as long as we have eachother

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    dezz (100)

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    Ghoul of 2016
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    henry & Payton

    “some nights are made for torture, or reflection, or the savoring of loneliness.”
    ― poppy z. brite

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    "i want to be as brave as rain, never afraid to fall"
    -- anonymous


    charles & zada
    March 2nd, 2020 at 07:43pm
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    dezz (100)

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    It was the weekend and Zada had begged her father to let her go stay the night with her uncle up in the mountains. Her excuse had been that she wanted to go hiking, an easy enough lie that wouldn't set off any suspicions. The young dark haired girl had just recently joined the after school art club and had told Henry that she needed to paint a landscape and thought the forest surrounding Charles house would be perfect for some inspiration. Henry had bought it, though leaving her sister all alone with that monster, it tied her stomach up in knots.

    It was hard to look at her father and not see a monster, especially with what she was suspecting was going on. Sometimes Zada would come home on evenings where Henry, she supposed, thought she had something to do after school and she would hear... ungodly noises coming her sister's room. Zada knew her father was home and from as far as she knew, Payton didn't have a boyfriend... and sometimes, she just heard Zada sobbing. The topic alone was too vile, something Zada didn't think she could gather enough courage to bring up to her sister. She wanted to ask Penelope if there was anything she could do, but what would they do against their own father? What if it was all in her head and nothing was going on at all?

    Henry's car pulled into the drive of his brother's cabin and he leaned over, placing his arm over Zada's shoulders, barely glancing in the rear view mirror at Penelope. It made Henry's skin crawl to think Zada was trying to get away from him, doing anything she could to get out of the house. She has to know what's going on..., he thought, wondering why his youngest daughter was finding it hard to look at him. "If you need anything, or if you want me to come get you at any point, I don't care what time it is, I-"

    Zada cut Henry off, forcing herself to look up at her dad with a smile. "I'm not a baby anymore and it's just uncles," she tried to relax him, but something in her father's eye seemed off... like he knew about something she didn't. And maybe Henry did know something about his brother that Zada couldn't know, after all, how different could two brothers be? Watching the young girl get out of the car, Henry let his fingers slip through her raven hair, grinding his teeth as the last few strands left his fingers. Flinching when the door slammed shut, he sat there in silence for a few moments, watching Zada walk away. He couldn't stop telling himself that that was his baby girl and if Charles so much as... Henry's piercing eyes glanced back to the backseat of his car, seeing Payton sitting there, pulling at the skin around her fingernails.

    "How about you jump up front with me?" Henry smiled, turning his attention back to the dirt path in front of the car, seeing Zada had completely disappeared by now. "We can stop for ice cream on the way back home? Or we could go see a movie?" Henry was doing his best. He never wanted to hurt either of his kids, they were both the only things he had left in this world and he just wanted to keep them safe, but sometimes... The loneliness just became unbearable. It was too easy to reach out and run his fingers through Payton's hair, to smell his wife whenever he walked past Zada... It was too easy to close his eyes and pretend that they were her...

    "Do you need my help?" Henry raised an eyebrow and looked over his shoulder one more time, knowing Payton wouldn't refuse him. Though he wanted to jump out of the car instantly and help her into the front seat next to him, he always liked to offer to allow her to do it on her own. His oldest daughter had only been sightless for a little over two years and every day it still seemed like she was trying her best to get used to it.
    Zada shut the car door quickly, shivering as she felt her father's hands leave her hair. It was impossible not to feel goosebumps pop up along her arms whenever he looked at her a certain way, or when his hands lingered on her in a much too gentle way. Every time, she just wanted to melt, or to crawl out of her skin, anything to get away from him. She couldn't imagine what Payton must be going through, if her assumptions were correct...

    Hurrying up the small path towards her uncles home, she hurried up the couple of steps to his home, feeling odd that she hadn't been here in so long. When the girls were much younger, their family used to be much closer. They would spend weekends and full on weeks during the summer at Charles' cabin, but at some point they just... stopped. Zada couldn't remember why as she shifted her bag on her shoulder, pulling open the screen door and knocking loudly. "Uncle Charles?" Zada called, hoping her uncle remembered that she was staying with him for the weekend.

    Stepping back, she looked around the forest that surrounded him, pulling her phone from her pocket and realizing she had no service. "Shit..." She sighed, dropping her hands back by her sides as she waited for him to answer the door.
    March 2nd, 2020 at 08:01pm
  • castle.

    castle. (2000)

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    Payton's heart was racing from the moment that she had climbed into the back seat of the car. She listened to the sound of the tires on the road, trying to remain as calm as she could. She knew that if Zada started figuring out what was going on, her father's attention could turn toward Zada and that was the last thing that she wanted. She squeezed her eyes shut, chewing on the inside of her lip. She wanted so desperately to ask for help but deep down, Payton felt like she deserved everything that had happened to her. She had been the one in the car with her mother when the accident happened. It was her fault that her mother had passed away and her heart was broken, it hadn't gotten any better in the two years since the accident.

    It had been nearly six months before Henry had first touched her but she had wanted to. The first time it happened, Henry was drunk and he was sobbing - heartbroken and lost because his wife had been ripped away from his arms. Henry had suggested that they just... lay with each other. Without clothes and Payton had been so nervous because she could tell what was going to end up happening. She had still done it because she could tell just how defeated Henry was, even if she couldn't see him. At first, it had been so loving and gentle that Payton hadn't completely hated it.

    Until the first time that Payton had tried to tell him no. Henry had morphed into someone she didn't know then. He had been angry, guilt-tripping her until she relented. Things had been different since then though. Payton hated when she was alone with Henry because there was hardly a time when he wasn't demanding something from her. When he was drinking, Henry's temper was even shorter. She would have avoided him if she was able to but she relied so heavily on Henry for help that she often didn't have a choice in the matter. Which only made her feel more guilty because she needed help when Henry had so much to worry about.

    Zada was going away for the entire weekend and Payton could only imagine what was going to happen while she had so much time alone with Henry. He didn't work as the football coach and instructor at the hospital anymore. He was always home, to help care for Payton. The thought had her dreading the moment that she was finally alone with Henry. She nearly wanted to beg Zada not to leave but she couldn't - she was afraid that if she did, Henry would start touching her and she was the older sister. She had to protect her little sister.

    SIlent until Henry spoke up, Payton forced herself to look up and gave a tight smile as she shook her head. "I have it, Dad," she said, pushing the door open. She climbed out, closing the door before she stepped forward to climb into the passenger's seat. She hoped that if she started showing she could be more independent, that Henry wouldn't be as stressed out because he could get back to things he enjoyed and maybe he would even stop hurting her.
    Charles had always had some sort of desire for control. He wanted to find a girl to completely dominate and he had found that, years ago. Things had simply gone too far. That was all that he told himself because to admit the truth, Charles didn't think he could handle it. He had been desperate at the time to hide the body of the girl he'd killed and it was even a surprise when Henry had helped him dispose of it. The pair had agreed never to speak about that incident again and so far, they hadn't. It was a secret that was best left alone because if they talked about it, the more chance there was for someone to find out. That Henry would lose his twin which had always been something that Charles feared. It had come true when Henry distanced himself and his family from Charles quite a bit. It had broken Charles right down to his core and he had started to withdraw even further, not going out to events as much

    When Henry lost his wife and nearly ended up losing Payton, Charles had been by his twin's side despite the situation that had torn them apart. He had refused to leave Henry's side at first, only going back to his usual routine when Henry expressed that he was going to be okay. Charles did his best to still remain close to Henry but he remained clueless about what transpired between Henry and Payton.

    Henry had called him up and asked if Zada could come to the mountain, Charles had been all too eager to agree. Emerging from the woods just as Henry started to retreat down the driveway, Charles' face broke into a wide smile when he spotted Zada. "There's my favourite girl!" He called, jogging toward her. As soon as he was close enough, he enveloped her in a tight hug before stepping back. "Don't tell your dad but there's a whole lot of junk food inside so you can eat whatever you want while you're here," he teased as he turned to lead his niece inside.
    March 3rd, 2020 at 01:28am
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    dezz (100)

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    Ghoul of 2016
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    It broke Henry's heart, watching Payton push open the car door and come around to the front. Not because Henry thought she was hopeless or broken, but because he blamed himself. He should've been there that night, in the car with both of them. He should've died. The girls needed their mother, much more than they needed him. Especially now, especially with what he was doing.

    Looking back up to Charles' cabin, Henry found his grip on the steering wheel tighten, his knuckles burning white. Would Charles hurt Zada? Would he try to do to her what he had done to that cheerleader all those years ago? A voice told him he wouldn't, that Zada was safe, that he wouldn't touch a hair on her head because she was his niece... When the passenger side door opened, Henry was forced from his thoughts, a blunt reminder that it didn't matter if Zada was Charles family or not. He would hurt Zada just as Henry was hurting Payton.

    He had to tell himself he wasn't hurting Payton, that she was fine. She was right here next to him, every hair on her head perfectly in place. He would never really, really hurt her. Would he? "I know you got it, girl, I'm just offering help. I'm your dad, that's why I'm here." It hadn't went over Henry's head that ever since he started being more affectionate with her that she was pushing him away, trying to be more independent. While he wanted that for her, Henry was also terrified to be alone. What would happen when she turned eighteen and went off to college, Zada following in her footsteps?

    How could he live all alone?

    The thought brought tears to his eyes and he had to force them away, clearing his throat as he started to leave Charles' drive. "So ice cream?" His voice was low and rough, doing his best to hide the tremble in his voice. All Henry felt like he had left were his daughters, without them what did he have to live for?
    Zada was starting to grow more nervous, getting on her tiptoes to try and peer into the dark house, already hearing her father driving away. She was about to turn around and try to flag down Henry, terrified that her uncle forgot about her. "There's my favorite girl!" That familiar deep voice echoed through the trees, and before Zada could entirely turn around to face him, she found her head buried into his chest as he hugged her tightly.

    How long has it been since I've hugged my uncle? Zada wasn't about to lie, it had gotten quiet awkward after her father distanced himself from his brother. If they saw him out in town, which was super rare, they would barely say a greeting in passing. It had also seemed like her father did his best to keep Charles from her and her sister, too, now that she thought about it. Seeing her uncle more around the time when her mother died hadn't been as comforting as she had hoped. Henry had been quick to push him away. Maybe her father was worried his brother would find out his dark secret?

    Her arms wrapped back around his torso, feeling his muscles through the thin fabric of his t-shirt. He slipped out of her fingers and moved to unlock the door, and Zada was right on his heels. She had always been an uncles girl, always begging to go stay the night or on winter or summer break with Charles. His home felt so familiar to her even if she hadn't stepped inside of it for years. "How do you not go crazy up here all by yourself?" Zada couldn't help but ask as she let her bag fall into his couch and she slipped out of her shoes.

    @ castle.
    March 3rd, 2020 at 02:28am
  • castle.

    castle. (2000)

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    Payton tensed slightly when Henry spoke, his tone enough to make her uneasy because she was worried she had upset him. He was sober so she knew he would have more control over his emotions but that didn't mean anything if he ended up drinking because she upset him. She was quiet for a long moment before turning toward Henry. "I know, Dad. I appreciate it, too. You know that. I wouldn't know what to do without you," she spoke softly. She was being honest because she truly had no idea how she would have gotten through the accident without her dad around to help her out.

    "Yeah, ice cream sounds good," Payton agreed with a nod of her head, continuing to play with the edge of her shirt. Anyway to stay out in public was welcome because she was sure she knew what would happen as soon as they were alone. She still loved Henry but that didn't stop her from not wanting to be alone with him.

    "Daddy?" Her voice was quiet as she spoke, shifting in her seat. "Are you.. are you okay?" She asked after another moment of silence. She couldn't pick up on things as easily as she had been able to but she knew Henry well enough that she could usually tell when his emotions were changing drastically. She reached out, searching for his hand so that she could grab it and squeeze it, trying to reassure Henry as well as hse could.
    Looking up from his spot by the kitchen island, Charles couldn't help but let out a small laugh as he poured himself a glass of water. "It's peaceful out here. I don't have to be around people if I don't want to be. But if I want to head to a game or just have a cup of coffee, then I can have all the socializing I want. Sometimes it's nice to not have to worry about the pressure of people around you, y'know?" He spoke softly.

    "Besides! There's nothing better to surround yourself with than the nature that's all around us right now. There's a hike that I take every morning, sometimes I get up early enough to watch the sunrise. Which means getting up super early, I know.. but if you feel up to it, we can do that tomorrow morning. I bet it would be great for your project," Charles offered with a little grin. "You don't have to decide right now because I know hiking through the woods in the middle of the night isn't for everyone."

    Charles nodded toward the fridge as he moved back into the living room. "You can have whatever you want No judgment, I swear," he teased as he dropped down onto the couch. He groaned as he stretched out before turning back to her. "So, what's new with you? I don't get to see you as much as I wish!"
    March 3rd, 2020 at 03:30am
  • dezz

    dezz (100)

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    Henry hadn't wanted his younger daughter to go away for the weekend, almost as much as Payton had wanted her to stay, and almost for the same reason. It was only Friday evening, school had just let out and already he had dropped Zada off. That left him with two whole nights and two whole days, alone, with Payton. He knew what would happen, how he would feel, especially at night, when the house would be cool and dark, silent enough to hear the creeling of floorboards. Zada wouldn't be home, presenting an obstacle for him to sneak around. Usually, Henry could control himself, to some extent. If he knew both girls were home, it was like a barrier.

    What if Zada hears? What if she goes to the bathroom and peeks in? Or if Payton gets to loud and she comes running to see what's wrong... with both girls home, there was so much he had to worry about, but this weekend... There would be nothing to stop him.

    Payton's quiet, worried voice brought him back to reality, seeing her fragile little hand searching for his, so close to the steering wheel, but not quite. Reaching out for her, he grabbed her hand in his and squeezed it gently. "Daddy's fine, baby girl. Just worried about your sister..." He whispered, finding some sort of peace in the fact that it wasn't really a lie. "It's just... Been so long since we weren't all together, can't help but worry." Clearing his throat again, he only held her hand tighter, bringing it down to rest on his thigh as he focused on the road ahead.
    Zada couldn't help feel slightly uncomfortable as she watched Charles. He, obviously, looked so much like her dad,they were twins after all, but his hair was much longer, more wild and untamed. Charles also seemed more positive, more energetic, but could she really blame her dad? After everything he'd been through, losing mom... Zada let out a quiet sigh as she thought about it, finding herself exploring the living room and pausing in front of one of the large windows overlooking the forest.

    "Hate to say it, but I could probably paint my landscape right here," she laughed, finding the view breathtaking. "but if you think you can wrestle me awake before the sun rises, I wouldn't care to go hiking." She turned, brushing a hand through her hair when she heard him fall back on the couch, her eyes falling on him just in time to see him stretching out his legs. Zada unzipped her jacket, shrugging it off before sitting on her knees at the end of the couch.

    "I'm a sophomore now," she tried to remember what grade she was in last time she had visited him. "I'm taking a lot of accelerated classes to help earn some credits for college, the art class is one of them," she rambled, glancing over towards the canvas she had brought with her, that laid underneath her bag on the floor. Zada almost wanted to tell him about her father, what she thought was going on, but, looking up at his face, the way his eyes crinkled when he smiled just like her dad... She couldn't. "So you have to make sure I get this landscape done before I leave," she forced a smile.

    @ castle.
    March 3rd, 2020 at 04:35am
  • castle.

    castle. (2000)

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    Payton was hopeful that this weekend wouldn't get too out of hand. She knew that he wouldn't put any marks on her face because they'd still be there when they picked Zada up. But that wouldn't stop Henry from wanting things from her. It wouldn't be stopped because Zada would be home soon or because Payton needed to go to sleep so she was well rested for school. There would be no way for her to reason with Henry if he wanted to continue with whatever happened - Payton would do as she was told. In part because she was afraid of what would happen to her sister if she didn't.

    When she finally held Henry's hand, Payton gave a small nod of her head as she brushed her thumb over the top of his hand. Payton hated that Henry looked at her as her mother, hated what happened between them because it wasn't solely out of a need for love like it had been when it first started. Chewing on her bottom lip, Payton gave his hand another squeeze. "She's with Uncle. She'll be okay," Payton said softly.

    Payton had missed Charles like crazy but it hadn't really been up to her whether she got to Charles' cabin or not. Her father had put his foot down over it and she didn't really understand why but whenever she had asked, Henry had shut it down. She forced a smile to her face because she knew what made Henry upset so in theory, she thought she knew what would make him happy. Even if it was a lie, it would keep him happy and that was all that mattered. "Besides, we don't have to worry about anything..." she hinted, not quite ready to say much more.
    Charles glanced out the window and breathed a small sigh, glancing over the view he was greeted with every morning. That was the whole reason that he owned this cabin. He loved being in the woods, secluded when he needed to be. Part of it, he thought was because he was afraid of making that mistake again. If he called Henry and told him that it had happened again, would his win be by his side again? Charles liked to think so but he wasn't too sure, especially with the way that Henry had distance his entire family from him.

    "This is the weekend, I don't want to get you up early if you don't want to," Charles said with an easy shrug of his shoulders. "You don't have to go to school for the next few days so you can enjoy this mini vacation however you want," he added before he took a sip of his water. He relaxed back against the couch, his face breaking out into a huge smile as Zada told him about school.

    "That's really awesome, Zada. I'm so proud of you!" Charles exclaimed as he sat up, leaning forward now. "So, what do you want to go to school for? Any schools you have your eye on?"
    March 3rd, 2020 at 05:01am
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    dezz (100)

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    Henry could feel his muscles tightening when they passed the city limit marker, arriving back in town. He looked in the rear view mirror, back towards the mountains, his jaw clenching. He didn't like knowing his daughter was up there, with a murderer, and with no cell service. If anything happened, she'd have to manage to get to Charles' landline. Henry arched an eyebrow and glanced towards Payton when she remarked that Zada would be fine, she's with uncle. His grip on her hand tightening, knowing deep down that family didn't mean anything, not to his brother anyway. He knew Charles didn't care to hurt anyone or anything, if that's what he wanted to do, he would do it.

    "You're right," Henry forced himself to agree with Payton, loosening his grip, he patted the top of her hand in an anxious manner. "She's safe." Swallowing around a lump in his throat, he knew sooner or later he would loosen up, and after a few beers, he would forget all about Zada. Still, he wondered if the next body he'd help Charles cover up would be his own daughters. Surely it wouldn't come to that, there wouldn't be a next at all, but if there was... it wouldn't be his daughter.

    Henry drove through downtown, before parking in one of the back alleys behind a little hole in the wall ice-cream parlor. Stepping out, he moved around the vehicle to open Payton's door, reaching in and took her hand to help her out of the car. Shutting the door behind her, he wrapped his arm around her shoulder, guiding her onto the sidewalk and into the sweet shop. The inside of the building was painted pink and the smell of chocolates and sugar filled the air. "What do you want, sweetie?" Henry asked, patting the pocket on the back of his jeans to make sure his wallet was with him. "Whatever you want." He kept his voice down, looking around the parlor as they waited in line.
    Zada loved to be congratulated and prided on the way she excelled in school, so when Charles had a huge grin break out on his face and he sat up, exclaiming how proud he was, she ate it up. "It's really not that big of a deal," but the way her face turned pink and how her smile grew bigger said something different. Actually, Zada just ate up any attention she could get. Since her mother died, it had seem like Henry had focused in on Payton, and likely so, since her sister suffered the most from the accident. Payton had lost her sight, he needed their father more than she did..., but still, her father didn't give her a reaction like Charles just did, ever, on anything. Not to say her father wouldn't commend her, he would, but not with much enthusiasm and he usually seemed to be more worried about something else. Zada was usually pushed to the side and forgotten by her father, it seemed to her. Sometimes she wondered if she was just jealous and maybe her mind was fabricating a lie about how close he seemed with Payton...

    "Schools?" She repeated, swallowing as she thought about it for a second, "No, not yet, and... I'm not sure. I-I wanted to go for art, but dad says that's not a good idea, unless all I wanna be is an art teacher or something." Zada shrugged her shoulders, passing it off like it wasn't that big of a deal. In reality, her father had actually used the word stupid and he only agreed she could take an extra art course after school if she took the accelerated math class to make up for it. Still, she was acing all of her classes and that was something she was proud of. "I have time to think about it, I suppose."

    @ castle.
    March 3rd, 2020 at 06:05am
  • castle.

    castle. (2000)

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    Payton breathed a small sigh of relief when it seemed like Henry had started to calm down. She wasn't sure what had put him on edge but with the way he'd patted her hand and agreed that she was right, she hoped that Henry would forget all about his concerns by the end of the night. Before he drank too much, before anything... worse happened. She shivered and pulled her sweater closer to her, trying to conceal how she was really feeling.

    "Thank you," Payton said when Henry helped her out of the car. She leaned into his chest when his arm wrapped around his shoulders. Little touches like this made her heart ache. She missed the relationship that she used to have with Henry, before the accident. Before everything had gotten all messed up. Plus, she knew that if she acted standoffish and scared the townspeople would talk. In such a small town, they would take any reason that they could to talk.

    "The brownie sundae!" Payton spoke almost before Henry even finished asking what she wanted. She was pretty hardcore in her belief that brownies made ice cream better. There would never be a chance to sway her mind. Payton really didn't like being out in public though because even though she couldn't see them, she knew people were staring. People would feel sorry for her, pity her and she would nearly laugh at the thought if she could. If they only knew.

    "What're you getting?"
    "It is a big deal, Zada. To already be focusing on your future the way you are. Not every does that, especially not at your age. I really am proud of you," Charles explained, not liking the idea of either of his nieces downplaying their accomplishments. He wondered briefly if it had something to do with the shift in Henry's focus from both of the girls to largely focused on Payton for the most part. He wouldn't be surprised but he also couldn't say he would blame Henry. His twin was trying his best with the awful situation that he had been dealt with. Would anyone else have been any different?

    Charles nodded as Zada explained about schools, shrugging his shoulders at the comment about being a teacher. "Okay? And so what if all you want to do is be an art teacher? So long as you enjoy yourself and you're passionate about what you're doing... that's all that really should matter. You can't go to a deadend job where you're going to hate everything otherwise you'll just be miserable for the rest of the life. And I'm sure that you don't want that. Do you?"
    March 3rd, 2020 at 06:20am
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    dezz (100)

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    It wasn't often Henry got to enjoy seeing his daughter's face light up, even if it was over something so small as ice-cream. At the declaration of what she wanted, Payton's whole face had brightened up, a small smile growing wider across her face as she spoke. Henry tried to remember his daughter in moments like these, not how she was at home, when they were alone. She never smiled like that when they were alone.

    "Brownie sundae it is then!" He smiled, forcing himself to just relax. The line moved after a few moments and Henry stepped to order one brownie sundae and a banana milkshake for himself. He couldn't stop himself from looking over both shoulders as he pulled his wallet from his jeans, sliding the cashier a twenty for their food before dropping the change into his pocket. Henry was terrified of becoming like his brother, secluded and all alone, but slowly that had been what was happening. He didn't coach football anymore or spend extra time at the hospital on the weekends. He barely put in the full time at his job, finding any way he could to cut hours to make sure he was home whenever Payton might need him. He had been a prominent face in the community, and lately, whenever Henry stepped out of the house he wished he could wear a mask. He knew what he was ashamed of.

    Henry led Payton to a table in the corner of the building, setting her sundae down in front of her and handing her a spoon. He hated to say it, or even feel it, but he was a little glad that he was getting to spend this alone time with Payton. Not like they didn't spend alone time often, but usually that was at home, in a different... setting. Either she needed help... or he did, but in this situation, it was like old times. He was just her father. It hurt him to feel happy that his other daughter wasn't here with them, and he knew he had been neglectful lately, but Payton needed him. "So... what do you want to do this weekend?" Henry found it hard to find the right words for a conversation. He knew what would already happen this weekend, but maybe, he could do something for her too.
    Zada's chest felt tight when Charles reiterated how proud he was of her. She sunk back into his couch, allowing her back to rest against the cushions, her legs still tightly folded underneath of herself. "That's just what dad said," Zada shrugged, sighing as her eyes flickered to the floor. "I don't really know what I want to do yet, but yeah, I don't want to be miserable." Thinking about what she wanted to go to school for had been the last thing on Zada's mind. Whenever she thought about school, she felt an overwhelming sense of dread, because she knew first, Payton would leave and she would be left alone with their father. If Payton went to college,... If Henry would let her... Zada could never have a positive thought when she wondered about her future. It was always plagued with horrible possibilities.

    Her eyes flickered back up to her uncle, noticing how he had shifted to sit forward. "You said something about junk food?" Zada quickly felt uncomfortable talking about the topic they were on, because somehow it had found its way back to her father. She expected that would happen often, especially since it sort of felt like she was speaking with her dad now. Charles looked just like him, but he definitely didn't act like her dad. Pushing herself up from the couch, she disappeared into the kitchen, opening his fridge to snoop inside.

    @ castle.
    March 3rd, 2020 at 06:49am
  • castle.

    castle. (2000)

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    Payton's mind was racing, she was trying to come up with something that would keep them out of the house. If she kept up at it, they could stay out all day and then she wouldn't be alone with Henry for as long. She hoped... but when she thought about being surrounded by other people all day, it sent her heart racing. At least she thought she knew what to expect when she was with Henry at home. Starting to eat her sundae, Payton was quiet. She could hear everything that was happening around her but she couldn't see a thing. It was still hard for her to handle before she started getting overstimulated, and just being in the ice cream parlour was enough that she knew she couldn't push too hard.

    Looking up when Henry spoke, Payton gave a gentle smile. "I have that history project that I have to work on. Other than that, I don't have a lot in mind," she paused, biting her bottom lip. "Could we turn on the hot tub at some point?" She asked after a moment, tilting her head to the side. How Henry had managed to convince her mom to get a hot tub, she would never know. but she was thankful. It was a nice way to relax, even in the dead of winter.

    Hesitant to even ask, Payton knew she could never totally ignore her father even if she was nervous or afraid to be around him at times. "Is there anything you wanted to do?" She asked, almost hoping that he'd want to do something fun that would take them out of the house so she didn't have to worry too much about that happening.
    Charles couldn't help but chuckle softly when Zada changed the subject to the snacks that he had mentioned. He shrugged his shoulders, nodding toward the kitchen. "You can grab whatever you want. There's ice cream, chips, nuts, whatever you could want," he said with a small smile. He wanted to make sure that Zada had felt welcomed here because it had been so long since either of the girls stayed at his cabin. He didn't know when the next time would be that either of them would stay here, that he wanted to make the memories while he could.

    Shifting, Charles breathed a small sigh as he stretched his legs out on the couch before pulling them up so there would still be plenty of room for Zada to sit and get comfortable. "Do you have any of your art that you'd want to show me?" He asked after a beat of silence. "No pressure for anything. Whatever you're comfortable with," he added. If he did too much, or pushed Zada too far, he was afraid Zada would tell Henry that she didn't ever want to come back and then he would be completely alone. At least right now, he had some semblance of family with Henry and his nieces.
    March 3rd, 2020 at 05:53pm
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    dezz (100)

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    Ghoul of 2016
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    26
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    Henry ignored his milkshake, his eyes fixed sharply on his daughter as he watched her eat her sundae. He felt sick to his stomach, watching how she tightly held the sundae bowl in one hand, her cloudy eyes seemingly searching around her as if desperately trying to see. It was impossible for him to imagine, encountering all the loud noises and voices all around them, but not being able to see. Hesitating for a moment first, Henry stretched his arm out across the table and gently grabbed her hand, rubbing his thumb over hers.

    "Whatever you want, sweetie. Maybe we can keep it on and when Zada comes home Sunday evening, you two can enjoy it together." Henry hated when she asked what he would want to do, knowing all he craved was a case of beer and Payton in his arms. He'd never say it out loud, at least not in public. Letting out a stressed sigh, he thought about what they should do. "We probably need to run by the grocery store, maybe on the way home we could rent a movie?"

    He was doing his best to be a normal dad. Suggesting things that seemed fun, harmless, that they could enjoy together, but deep down, Henry knew where he would try to go once he had drank a few beers. Payton wouldn't be safe from him.
    Zada appeared back in the door way, leaning against the frame, holding a small bowl of chips in her hand. It surprised her to hear someone actually wanting to see her art. Sometimes Payton asked,but usually Zada just shoved her pathetic doodlings in her sisters face. Still, Payton always talked them up like they were masterpieces. Still, it wasn't the recognition she wanted. "You want to see my art?" Zada repeated, her brow arching up slightly, genuinely surprised. "I.. don't think I brought any of my sketchbooks, but maybe..."

    The girl was too overjoyed at the thought that Charles actually wanted to see something she had done. Hurrying across the living room, she moved behind the couch, reaching over the back to place the bowl of chips in Charles lap. "Let me look!" There she was, easily excited once again as she sat on the floor by the front door, rifling through her bag until she found a small black sketchbook, that she mostly only used for small watercolor paintings. A lot of landscapes, animals, flowers, things like that, but she was proud of them. "These aren't the best..." She suddenly felt nervous to show him, moving to her feet once more and instead, taking a seat next to them on the couch. "I've done better, but these are okay..." Zada cleared her throat, hesitating before she handed him the little leather bound book.

    @ castle.
    March 3rd, 2020 at 07:09pm
  • castle.

    castle. (2000)

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    Despite everything that happened between them, Payton still felt a certain sense of calm wash over her when Henry grabbed her hand. Her dad was here, she would be safe. Nothing would happen to her, she was sure of it. Her brows pulled together as she turned in Henry's direction, hearing the little sigh that he let out. She was about to ask what was on his mind but he had already started talking before she had the chance to. Payton was a bit relieved by what Henry suggested because the grocery store was safe - there wouldn't be too many people there but it still wasn't home. She didn't have to worry about Henry drinking or his hands travelling where they shouldn't be.

    "That sounds perfect. As long as I can get those ice cream cones!" Payton declared, her face scrunching a bit as she grinned. Even though she was in the middle of eating a sundae, she couldn't very well eat one at home if she decided she wanted one. Not without asking Henry to make her one, anyway. And as simple as the task would be, Payton was trying to do as much as she could on her own because she didn't want to stress Henry out more than he already was.

    Slipping her arm through Henry's once they stood to leave the ice cream parlour, Payton made sure to stay close to them as they headed back to the car. She settled down into the passenger seat and waited until the driver's door opened and Henry had sat before she spoke. "So, what kind of movie did you want to get?"
    "Of course I do! What kind of uncle would I be if I didn't support your art?" Charles teased, nodded eagerly. Seeing the happiness on Zada's face when she all but threw the bowl of chips in his lap before rushing off to her bag warmed Charles' heart. He knew that she had to miss her mom terribly and while he hadn't really been around her much as of late, he still wanted what was best for her. Whatever that might mean, Charles wanted to take the extra step to do anything he could to put a smile on her face. If his suspicions were right, Payton's needs likely took priority over Zada's. He couldn't blame Henry but he could help Zada all the same.

    Looking over some of the paintings that she had done, Charles' smile only continued to grow. He glanced toward her, nodding eagerly as he brushed his fingers lightly over the painting he had stopped on, a beautiful landscape that had awed him in the first moment that he had looked it over. "No, Zada. These are outstanding. Your talent is so... amazing, I wish i could even draw half as good as some of these," he said with a little laugh, nudging her with his elbow. "Which one is your favourite?"
    March 3rd, 2020 at 08:21pm
  • dezz

    dezz (100)

    :
    Ghoul of 2016
    Gender:
    Age:
    26
    Location:
    United States
    It was a relief to Henry that Payton could still squeeze his hand, her face could still light up when she felt happiness. Hopefully, she still loved him. He knew what he did was wrong, but it helped him, he needed it. He couldn't see any other options.

    Buckling his seatbelt once back in the car, Henry glanced over towards Payton and couldn't help the smile that pulled to his face when he saw she had accidentally left with a little bit of ice cream on her chin. "Sweetie..." He leaned over and wiped it away from her face, his fingers holding her chin for a moment as he admired just how beautiful she was. It terrified him just how much she looked like... Clearing his throat, he put both hands back on the wheel, turning his attention back to the road in front of him.

    "Well, we could rent a horror movie," he suggested, knowing he didn't let the girls rent them often. Henry could be a pretty strict father, he liked to shield them from as much as he could... Sometimes he felt hypocritical. He could put his daughter through so much trauma and terror, but forbid she watched a scary movie? "I really just want this weekend to be all about you, so you can make the final decision."

    Once they pulled into the parking lot of the grocery store, Henry parked and turned to look at Payton. "Do you want to go in with me? If not, I can run in, grab a few things for dinner, be back in a few minutes?" He knew how dealing with the public could overwhelm her. "Any special requests? Other than ice cream cones?" His laugh filled the car as be unbuckled his seat belt and opened his door.
    Zada was nervous, her hands growing sweaty as she watched Charles flip through the pages, until he landed on the landscape of an icy mountain with a glowing sky that seemed to capture his interest. She visually relaxed, her shoulders slouching in relief when he seemed pleased. Henry had barely looked through any of her art, she had to flip through the pages for him as he nonchalantly glanced over, humming in approval while he cooked or did something for Payton. It was almost enough to make her cry, her uncle praising her for something she was good at.

    She couldn't help but scoot closer, pressing herself into Charles side as she looked over his arm, glancing towards the sketchbook. "This one," she said without even having to think, stretching her arm over his to flip towards the back. It was a watercolor painting of a wolf, as detailed as it could be, surrounded by trees on either side. "You...really like them? Or are you just trying to be supportive?" Zada found herself melting into his side, feeling how warm and soft he was. When was the last time she had sat with her dad? Or hugged him? Zada felt a lump forming in her throat, tears burning behind her eyes and she had to blink them away.

    @ castle.
    March 3rd, 2020 at 09:54pm
  • castle.

    castle. (2000)

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    Payton could feel her cheeks heating up when Henry brushed the bit of ice cream from her chin. She gulped, briefly wondering if he was about to lean in and kiss her. She knew what sort of mood it would put him in if she told him no so even if he leaned in, she would never tell him no. Relaxing back in her seat once Henry started driving, Payton was quiet. Her head turned toward the window, letting the rumble of the engine relax her further

    Moving to undo her seatbelt, Payton shook her head when Henry offered to go in by himself. “I’ll come in with you,” she said with a small smile. She waited by the front of the car, taking Henry’s arm when he came to a stop beside her. She was quick to follow him inside, taking a step toward where she remembered the fruits to be. “I’m just going to grab some pears, okay? You can grab whatever else and come back to get me? I’ll be a minute,” she said, a light blush covering her cheeks.

    Payton started to browse the fruits, all too thankful for the help of one of her classmates who stepped up when Payton was unsure of herself. They talked for a few minutes and Payton was all too eager to turn toward Henry when he reappeared. “Dad! I was wondering if I could go to Hailey’s for a few hours tonight, just to watch a movie and hang out?”
    Charles’ swore his smile couldn’t have gotten any better but it certainly did when Zada showed him her favourite painting. “This is amazing, Zada. Really, I can’t believe how detailed it is!” He exclaimed. He turned to face her a bit more, pulling Zada into a tight hug. “Thinking of it, I might just wake you up early tomorrow. I want to see what you’re capable of with the view up top. I’m sure you’ll be able to make it as breathtaking as it is in person.”

    He pulled away from her, raising an eyebrow. “Do you want to stay up there while you paint or how does that work? If we’re going to be up there for awhile, I should prep some food that we can take with us,” he added thoughtfully, rubbing his chin. “But whatever you decide. You’re the artist here!”

    (Sorry this is a bit short. Work starts in two minutes lol)
    March 4th, 2020 at 01:57am
  • dezz

    dezz (100)

    :
    Ghoul of 2016
    Gender:
    Age:
    26
    Location:
    United States
    Henry wasn't happy when he heard Payton mention wanting to run off on her own. He had barely turned to look at her, to ask if she really thought that was a good idea, but she had already disappeared. At least in the right direction, towards the produce. Sighing, Henry slouched his shoulders and grabbed one of the hand baskets before exploring down every other isle. The first thing he made sure to find was the ice cream cones, before he would forget. He picked up milk, some fish he could bake for dinner and something for breakfast. On the way to find Payton, he picked up a box of popcorn down the candy aisle.

    "There you are," Henry sighed when he found her, not entirely thrilled she was with a friend. His frown only grew when she asked him to go off with her friend. Looking towards the other girl, Henry then looked around for any parents and didn't see any. No way. "Payton, I... Don't think that's a good idea. You have home work, you know the rule."

    He knew he'd be eaten up by guilt later. If Zada hadn't left for the weekend, maybe, maybe he would've been more likely to let her go, but he couldn't be completely alone... Not even for a few hours. "Come on, let's go." He frowned, looking towards her friend again and apologizing. "Maybe next weekend?"

    There was an awkward silence between them as Henry paid for the groceries. He knew Payton was mad. "Candy bar?" He huffed as his eyes skimmed the candy before them as the lady scanned his items.
    Zada pressed into Charles chest, instinctively inhaling when her face was hidden in his neck. She half expected to smell the familiar scent of home, of her father, but she didn't. Charles smelled like a roaring fire, like pine cones, like fall... He had just been doing something out in the woods, but still, he smelled good. "Like I said, if you think you can get me up," she laughed, her hands still gently resting on his arms. "Kidding, I'll get up promise. A hike and a sunset, that sounds really fun."

    Zada wanted to do whatever Charles suggested. The attention and praise he was feeding her with, all but made her want more. If she did what he wanted and kept impressing him, she'd get more affection, right? She thought about how Payton had stolen her father's affection. Payton had gotten hurt, and sometimes Zada felt sad enough to hurt herself, but she could never bring herself too. Sometimes she wondered if her father found her broken, if he'd give her more attention too.

    But maybe now she didn't have to think like that. Her uncle seemed so supportive, and enthusiastic, she hoped it wasn't all fake. "If you don't care, we could stay up there while I painted, yes! Or, I could just take photos and paint when we come back."

    @ castle.
    March 4th, 2020 at 05:50am
  • castle.

    castle. (2000)

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    Payton visibly deflated when Henry told her no right off the bat. She frowned, shifting her weight from one side to the other. "But I can do the assignment tomorrow when I get up. It'll still get done!" Payton was so enthusiastic about hanging out with her friend in part because she couldn't remember the last time that she had hung out with someone outside of her house and family, if she wasn't at work. Plus then she wouldn't be alone in the house with Henry... She pouted, chewing on her bottom lip when Henry put his foot down. She bit back a sigh, turning toward Hailey while she forced a bit of a smile to her face.

    "Yeah, maybe next weekend," Payton murmured with a small nod of her head. Already, Payton knew how that would go if she brought it up again in another week. She waved goodbye before turning around to follow after Henry, her hang reluctantly moving to rest on his forearm so she didn't run into another or lose him. Her hand dropped the moment that they reached the till, her head lowered as she picked at her fingers. She could only shake her head when Henry offered a candy bar.

    Payton was quiet the rest of the way to the video store, not even sure she wanted to rent one at this point but it had been Henry's idea, she didn't want to turn him down and make the situation any worse than she already had. It seemed like he was in a bad mood from the moment he'd spotted her with Hailey so she just knew that she needed to tread very carefully.

    "I, uh, don't really mind what we rent," Payton forced her voice to remain even as they pulled up to the store. "If you want to get a horror movie, or something else... that's fine, too."
    "Oh, I'll get you up," Charles joked as he nudged her with his arm. "I had to grow up with your dad. I know how to wake the dead," he joked with a small laugh. He pushed to his feet, nodding at her enthusiasm. "Yeah, we can stay up there. It's really peaceful up there. Maybe I can do some reading or something while you paint," he said as he turned toward the kitchen. "I'm going to get some food prepped so I don't have to get up so early. How big is your canvas? Do you think we'll be there until lunch?" He asked, tossing a glance over his shoulder, toward her.

    Once Zada answered him, CHarles headed into the kitchen and started prepping their sandwiches for lunch the next day. He also tossed a container of nuts with it, deciding to also slice some strawberries and bananas for a bit of a sweet boost. Contemplating whether it was enough, Charles decided to toss together a little salad. Since they were going to be hiking up to the top of the mountain and all the way back down after spending most of the day at the top, they would need their energy.

    When he finished, Charles headed back into the living room. He leaned against the doorway with a tired smile on his face. "You should probably head to bed soon. It's the room right across from mine. But the hike's a little over an hour on the way up. We can take it slow but we'll have to get up early if you want to see the full sun rise and get the best view for your project."
    March 4th, 2020 at 07:10am
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    dezz (100)

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    Ghoul of 2016
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    26
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    United States
    Henry cut the engine to the car, letting his hands fall to his lap as be looked up at the video store. He knew he had messed up now. Payton would be upset the rest of the evening, probably the rest of the whole weekend... Relaxing back in his seat, he decided it was better to level with her than just try to be an authoritative parent. "Look, Payton," he slightly turned towards her, his arm going to rest over the back of the seat. "I know this isn't what you want to hear, and this isn't your responsibility, but I can't be alone in our home. I can't." Her father was sure to keep a straight face, not wanting to reveal too much to his young daughter. "So I'm sorry you couldn't go with your friend, but, I promise, next weekend, okay?"

    The soft spot he had for Payton grew larger every single time they got in a little argument. He was seeming to bend to her more and more and he wondered if it was because of what he had done to her, what he would do, or if it was because he couldn't look at her and not see her mother. "Please help me pick out a movie?" Reaching his arm out, he placed his hand over Payton's, giving it a gentle squeeze before climbing out of his car.

    He helped his daughter out, linking his arm with hers as he helped her not to trip over the little stair that led into the building. It was chilly on the inside, and multiple screens along the walls played different movie trailers. "You can get anything..." Henry offered, guiding Payton inside, "I'll even sit through a romcom," he laughed.
    Zada looked up from the tv, sitting up and stretching before getting to her feet. "Okay, night, Charlie!" Zada wasn't going to argue about going to bed even if it was a bit early. She had been up early for school that morning anyway and she suspected he'd be trying to wake her before five. Grabbing her bag from by the front door, she hurried to her room and shut herself away inside. She was relieved to see there was a bathroom attached to her room, and without hesitating, she pulled her pajamas from her bag and started a shower.

    It was hard for her to not think about her uncle while she was in the shower. Or about her father. Or about how she wanted to tell her uncle about her father. Zada felt disgusting, her stomach twisting in knots, worrying that if she didn't talk about it, she'd get sick. After washing her hair and body, Zada hopped out of the shower and dried off, brushed her teeth and dressed. Tiptoeing to her bedroom door, Zada decided that if Charles door was open, that was a sign. Her hands trembling, Zada opened the door quietly and peeked outside, seeing Charles door was, in fact, left open.

    Fuck...

    Zada quietly snuck out of her room, and tiptoed across the hall. Before stepping into his room, she looked in first, seeing him lying on his side. Zadas body almost felt stiff, and she had to force herself to enter his bedroom, feeling like it was a place she wasn't supposed to be. When she got to his bed, she quietly crawled on to the mattress, feeling terrified. "Charlie?" Zada whispered, "can I talk to you about something?"

    @ castle.
    March 4th, 2020 at 07:36am
  • castle.

    castle. (2000)

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    Payton felt her heart break when Henry explained why he didn't let her go with Hailey. She had already known what he was going to say but hearing it straight out of his mouth, it broke her. She hated that her dad and little sister were suffering. She didn't remember much of anything from the accident so she didn't really know - had she been the cause of it? Smoothing down her shirt, she could only bring herself to nod her head. "I know. I'm sorry.. I was being selfish and I shouldn't have acted like that," she said, reaching up to rub her face. She meant every word she said, she only hoped that Henry realized that.

    Taking Henry's help out of the car, she breathed a small sigh as she leaned against his arm. She was doing her best to make Henry feel better because as far as she was concerned, she was the reason this had all happened. Even if she didn't remember anything, that didn't change her guilt in the least bit. "Can we get an action movie? I don't really want to get a horror movie," she said, her face scrunching at the thought. She did her best to ignore the idea of a romcom with Henry because hse wasn't sure if that would affect them somehow.

    "You did get popcorn, right?" Payton asked as they headed over to the checkout, raising an eyebrow when she glanced toward Henry. "I'm sorry, I know I forgot... but are there skittles we can get here?" If there were none at the video store, Payton wouldn't ask Henry to stop anywhere else before they headed home.
    Charles had headed into his bedroom after he finished prepping the food. He sighed, deciding that he would just take a shower once they got back to the cabin after the hike. Changing into a pair of sweats, Charles settled into his bed before pulling the book from the nightstand that he'd started a few evenings ago. With his face buried in the pages, Charles didn't even notice when Zada first slipped into the room. He'd left the door open purposefully, in case she needed something. Since she hadn't been here in forever, Charles just wanted to make sure she had everything that she needed.

    Looking up when his bed dipped, Charles' face broke into a small smile as he set the book back down on the nightstand. He pushed up so that he could sit, leaning against the headboard. "Of course you can. I'm always here for you," he said, a slight frown forming on his lips when he realized how nervous Zada seemed. He leaned forward so that he was closer to her, trying to make her feel as welcome as possible. "What's going on, little miss?" He asked softly.

    Charles reached out, taking her hand in his. He gave her hand a little squeeze, setting his other hand on top of hers as he waited to find out what was bothering her.
    March 4th, 2020 at 05:58pm
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    dezz (100)

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    Ghoul of 2016
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    26
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    United States
    Henry found himself moving silently through the movie store, down the rows of action movies as his eyes skimmed over the different titles. He supposed one weekend with Payton gone out with her friends wouldn't be so bad, not even a whole weekend, a night... That would give him time to give Zada some attention, he had been ignoring her lately. Not ignoring her, he corrected his thoughts, telling himself he was just so busy. And Payton needed him more, that's what he liked to tell himself. His little girl needed him.

    "Yes, I got the popcorn," he finally spoke, leading Payton to the checkout with the movie they had chosen. Some action movie with spies, Henry hadn't really given much thought to what he had picked out. Laying the movie on the counter, Henry took a step back as he looked at their candy selection, finding the bag of red Skittles and tossing it on the counter. He was sure Payton could hear the rattling candy, but as he shoved his hands in his pockets, he muttered to her, "got them. No need to apologize over candy."

    They left the movie store and headed home, arriving after a short few minute drive. Their home was nice, two stories and had a little bit of privacy. Trees fenced in the property and their closest neighbors could be seen down either ends of the road, but they had space between them. The sky was already beginning to melt into shades of orange and purples, reminding Henry that the day was over. "Can you get these?" He handed the movie and Skittles to Payton, "I'll grab the groceries." He didn't want her to try and helping with the groceries and feel the case of beer he had purchased.
    Zada felt like she had lost her tongue, looking up at Charles as he sat up on the bed. She continued to crawl over to him, feeling the sheets under her hands and running along her legs gave her goosebumps. She sat next to him and crossed her legs, chewing on the inside of her lip so nervously, she eventually broke skin and tasted blood. If she told him, would she get her dad in trouble?

    "Dad and Payton..." She started, the words leaving her dry mouth, her voice almost cracking. She couldn't look up at him, hiding her hands under her legs as she nervously fidgeted with the sheets. "I think Dad is doing something to Payton..." she felt disgusting letting the words leave her lips, she felt slimy, like she was telling on her dad. "Some nights he stays in her room all night and sometimes I hear Payton crying-" It was all starting to just roll off her tongue now like word vomit, and glancing up to Charles briefly, she noticed he looked a little confused, also a little sad? Did he know what she was meaning to say?

    She pulled herself into his side, her hands shaking worse now as she wrapped her arms around him. Hiding her face, she wished she could disappear, she wished she could go back in time and never have come to his room.

    @ castle.
    March 4th, 2020 at 06:20pm