Traditions Ch. 05

byhoneyblood©

"Okay. We're pulled over. Can ya tell me why you t'ink I'm lying?"

She just shrugged. "Can you tell me why I would be suspicious?"

He threw his hands up. "What da hell are ya talking about?"

Cheyanne crossed her arms. "Oh come on. You don't really expect me to believe that sorry excuse of yours, do you? You've been pumping up for this match for the past few months and you expect me to believe that you just forgot to mention it to me? You can't possibly think I'm that dumb."

Declan just looked straight ahead through the windshield, staring at nothing in particular. His woman was questioning him and he wasn't too happy about it. She was asking questions about a subject he refused to talk about. Any other time, he'd be willing to let her express her concerns. But today was not one of those days.

Cheyanne didn't understand why he refused to say anything. He just sat there, staring out the window.

"Are you going to say anything?"

"No." he stated.

"Why not?"

He closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose. "Because ya don'a want me ta answer."

"Oh, I don't?"

"No," he dropped his hand and turned to her. "Ya don't. And if'n ya keep asking me, you're going ta regret the answer I give ya. So stop asking."

He was staring her down now, but Cheyanne refused to back off.

"Just tell me the truth and I'll let it go." She said. "Just tell me why you didn't tell me about your match. Did you not want me there or something?"

Declan had just about enough of her endless pestering. She had no right to question his motives or his reasoning. Amongst his people, women knew not to question a man's motives. A man was the bread winner at home, and a girl knew better than to bite the hand that fed her. Granted, Cheyanne's independent nature was something he loved about her. But she was meddling into things that needed to be addressed at a better time. He couldn't deal with the match, his family, and her ferocious curiosity all at once. Right now, she should just trust that he had a good reason for what he did. But if she wanted to know so badly, then fine. He'd put her in her place.

"No."

Cheyanne immediately straightened up in her chair. Did she hear him correctly? His voice was so low that maybe she misheard him.

"What?" She asked.

"No." This time the word was said more firmly. "I don't want you there."

There it was. The simple truth. Just a few words made up that sentence, and yet it was that small admission that made Cheyanne feel so...what? Inadequate. Unimportant.

Hurt. Unbelievably hurt.

A small lump had formed in her throat, but she swallowed it down. She wasn't going to break at this simple truth. Hearing it hurt, but it only sparked a few more questions she wanted answered.

"So, all those other competitions you've had, all those other matches...you didn't want me at those either?"

He didn't hesitate. "No."

"Why?"

This time he remained silent. He had turned away from her again and his gaze was grinding his teeth. It was causing the muscles in his jaw to flex and tense up. He was angry. But what the hell for? If anyone should be angry or upset, it should be her.

"Why, Declan?"

Silence.

"Why!"

"Damn it!" He yelled. "Because I didn't want you to see my parents there."

Now that shocked her. His parents. That's what this was about. They were sitting there, in his truck, having possibly their biggest fight, all because he didn't want her and his parents to have a meet and greet. What the hell!

"Are you serious?"

"God, wha' did ya expect me ta say, Cheyanne?" He huffed. "I mean, what do ya t'ink would happen if mi parents saw me walk in with ya, huh?"

Cheyanne could only open and close her mouth. Declan didn't give her a chance to form words.

"They'd be furious. Looking at me like I was crazy. Knowing mi dad, he probably wouldn't even give me a chance ta spit out your name. Ta him, our cultures and beliefs are at opposite ends of da spectrum. Ya might as well be and alien. To them, I'm a gypsy and you're a traveler. That's all dey'll ever see and dey'll never get past it."

A pregnant pause built between the two of them. Cheyanne thought it hurt when Declan said he didn't want her at the match. That was something they could have moved on from. But this...this was different. She had reasoned that his parents would not be too keen on the idea that there son was dating someone outside of their community. But she figured that once they got to know her, they'd be okay with it. Every significant other has to go through a similar process with the parents at some time or another. But what Declan has said made it perfectly clear to her that might never happen. His family wouldn't accept her because she wasn't an Irish Traveler. This was about who she was. She couldn't change that. That simple fact just crushed her.

But if he didn't want her and his parents to meet then...

"Have you even told them about me?" She asked softly.

Declan shifted in his seat, and closed his eyes. Slowly he started to shake his head. "I was waiting for the right time."

Cheyanne could feel the area behind her eyes start to ache. Water started to build in the corner of her eyes, and she tried to blink back the tears but couldn't. Damn it, she couldn't cry right now. Quickly she wiped a few away. Cheyanne turned back in her seat before Declan could see the tears fall from her face. A small ache began to build in her chest. She was not going to let him see her cry. She would not give him the satisfaction. But damn...damn, did it hurt.

Declan had his eyes closed when he heard a faint sniffling sound from across the seat. That sound was like an alarm to him and he quickly whipped his head around to look at the woman across from him. She had just turned away from him, but Declan could clearly see the redness in her eyes. Cheyanne was trying to wipe away the stray tears, but he didn't fail to see them fall. She was crying, and he was the one responsible. Had he really been that big of an asshole? Declan knew he was the type of person, who if angered enough, could really lash out at people. He could say some really hurtful things when he wanted to. It pained him to know he lashed out at her like that.

Lifting his hand, he went to wipe at her tear stained face but thought better of it. Balling his hand into his fist he slammed it against the dash board before leaning his head back and running his hand through his dark hair.

"C-can you take me home now."

Declan turned his head just slightly to look at her from across the way. Her voice, all though loud enough to hear, sounded fragile. Her voice never sounded so weak.

He sighed. "Chey-"

"Can you just take me home...please."

He stared at her, hoping she'd turn and look at him. When she didn't, Declan merely nodded and stuck his key back in the ignition.

"Sure." Turning the key, he revved the car up and pulled back out onto the street. The normally short drive back to her dorm seemed like the longest ride of their lives. Neither of them spoke a word the entire time. When they pulled up in front of her building, Declan had expected her to make a quick getaway back to her room. Instead, she just sat there, her eyes staring straight ahead trained on nothing in particular.

Declan had never seen her look so downtrodden before. Her mood up to this point had always been light. That is, if you didn't count the moments where he would purposely annoy her. The drained, upset look on her face tore at him on the inside. He never meant to hurt her. Every choice he's made was for her. He only wanted to protect her from his families prejudice views. Once he was able to smooth things over with them, then he had planned to introduce them. Maybe he should have just told Cheyanne that in the first place. If he told her now...maybe she'd understand. She had always been understanding with him before. It was worth a shot. He didn't want her to walk out if the truck upset like this. They didn't need to be fighting right now. He needed things to be right with them. If he explained thing to her, maybe they could get past this.

"Cheyanne..." He turned to her to see if she was paying attention. A fraction like turn of her head was the only indication that she was listening. With a sigh, Declan chose to continue.

"I don'a want ya to t'ink dat I wasn't going to tell them about ya."

"Bullshit." She whispered.

He ignored the harsh word and continued. "Look, you're not some sorta dirty little secret or somet'ing. I'm not ashamed of ya or trying ta hide ya. My parents are just...God, mi whole family is pretty set in there ways about certain t'ings, okay. We haven't exactly been treated well by most non-travelers, and its kind of left a sour taste in their mouths."

Slowly he inched his hand over until his palm rested on one of hers. Surprisingly she didn't flinch away. That small acknowledgement on her part gave him some encouragement.

"When I finally introduce you, I want to make sure that when they see ya, they don'a see an outsider. I want them to see an amazing girl I've spent almost every day with. Want them to see the girl I..." He paused.

Loved?

"Care about." Somehow that particular choice of words didn't sit well with him. His vocal cords coiled at the phrase.

He gently squeezed her hand. "You're different than most girls, Chey. You're something special. I don'a want mi parents ta get in da middle t'ings and ruin what we got going for us."

Cheyanne had to hold back a snort. Didn't he realize that this whole situation with his parents was already driving a wedge between them?

"Cheyanne." Taking his hand from hers he placed it behind her neck and started to rub the area of skin beneath her hair, gently coaxing her to look at him. "Dove, please understand. I'm going ta tell them. It will just take a lot of coercing ta ware them down. That's why I was-"

"Waiting for the right moment." Cheyanne finished for him.

Declan nodded his head. "Exactly."

After a few moments Cheyanne finally turned to look at him. The look she was giving him wasn't a look of understanding though. This look told him that she wasn't going to be the least bit understanding about this.

"From what you've told me Declan, it seems to me like there never would have been a right time."

She looked at him for a second longer before shrugging away from his hand and opening the door.

"Goodnight." Grabbing her purse from off the floor she quickly jumped out of the truck and slammed the door.

Declan watched as she lightly sprinted to her dorm building. Not once did she look back. He waited until she had entered in through the exit door before he leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes. That last look she gave him just before she got out of the cab was burned into his brain. It was a look he was never going to forget. Her beautiful brown eyes had looked straight into his and the feelings behind them spoke volumes. In that one look she gave him, he knew that she wasn't angry with him or sad. No...she was disappointed. And the fact that he had disappointed her tore at him.

His grip on the steering wheel slowly tightened as his breathing started to increase. The short breaths he was taking were meant to be calming, but they were doing anything but. That image of Cheyanne burned behind his eyelids.

"Fuck!" He slammed his fist into the dash board. Never had he been so angry with himself. The urge to vent his anger was strong, and he took his frustrations out by abusing the inside of his car. Repeatedly he slammed his fist against the dash board yelling out a slew of cuss words with each hit. When he hand began to grow sore from hitting the hard surface, he laid a few hits to the head rest on the passenger's seat.

"Fuck!" This wasn't supposed to happen. This wasn't what he wanted. How did this happen? When did his life get so complicated? Things were supposed to be simple. He was supposed to work, find a girl, get married, have a family, grow old and die. That's it. But that all got thrown out the window when Cheyanne walked into his life. She was a breath of a fresh air to him. She brought excitement into his life. Now what did he have.

Cheyanne had mad it perfectly clear that she was more than angry with him. Where did that leave their relationship? That thought scared him. He never had to think about things like that before.

Damn it!

Punching the inside of the car wasn't relieving his frustration. He needed a better outlet, and he'd get one this weekend. Saturday at the match, he would beat Jagger to a fucking pulp. By then a few days will have passed and hopefully Cheyanne will be more inclined to talk to him again.

Revving the car up, Declan took one last look up at her building before backing up and driving out into the street. Hopefully she'll be willing to talk to him.

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byhoneyblood© 8 comments/ 14047 views/ 25 favorites

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