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Old 11-30-2019, 06:10 PM   #1
War Child
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: uk
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the little stranger chapter 7

this is what happens when you have a boring Saturday with nothing better to do, I manage to finish the whole chapter after all

Jake realised taking Gemma down that particular memory lane, had perhaps not been such a good idea, He watched as she finished off the omelette. and put down the fork, her straightened poise and her whole demeaner had changed, telling him she was back on her guard and had retreated back behind that wall he had been trying to break down.

“Well, you proved your cooking skills have improved over the years, you are to be commended” she remarked, “But I am sure you have better things to do than sit here and chat about the past, so why don’t I wash the dishes, and let you get on with it”

“Don’t be like that Gem,” Jake urged, looking a little frustrated that she was now trying to give him the brush off.

“Like what?” she feigned a look surprise, as if not knowing what he was talking about, taking the opportunity to grab his plate from him, before getting up on her feet.

“Make it seem like I don’t want to spend time with you, or that I haven't got time for you, that’s not the case, in fact-” but he was interrupted at that point by his phone ringing, he found himself cursing inwardly.

“You had better answer that, it could be important. Here, I’ll just wash these plates for you, it’s the least I can do, after you making the food,” Gemma replied in the most casual tone she could muster, not knowing if she was relieved or disappointed by the interruption, whilst she hurriedly made her way over to the sink with the plates, before Jake could stop her.

Huffing a sigh, Jake reluctantly answered his phone, now wishing he had remembered to switch it of before they got talking. It was Laurence, his manager ringing him to discuss some business to do with his up and coming tour, about adding a few extra dates on some of the gig venues.

By the time he had hung up, twenty minutes later, Gemma had washed the dishes had disappeared.

He realised with a sense of annoyed frustration, that she had discreetly made her escape to the safety of her room. Now he found himself standing alone in the kitchen. Gemma had put away all the dishes and cleared up so well after them, that there was no trace of the cosy little snack he had prepared earlier, and they chatted over.

It was as if it had never happened.

The night had not gone exactly as he had planned. But now Jake found himself standing uncertainly outside the door of Gemma’s room, wondering what she was doing or what she thinking.

He was tempted to knock, but instead his hand absently rubbed the back of his neck, trying to relieve the tension he was feeling, whilst he was trying to make up his mind if he should disturb her.

Would he make things better or worse? He wasn’t even sure what he was going to say, without it making him sound desperate and needy sixteen-year-old boy again, and then she would probably tell him he was being silly, and use it as an excuse to retreat further away from him.

He grudgingly relented that the moment was lost as soon as the phone had rung earlier, and perhaps it was better not to push it any further tonight.

Instead he found himself going across the hallway, into his daughter’s room to check on her.
Ellie was sprawled out on her back in her cot, still fast asleep. Her blanket, was half kicked off and rucked around her legs. Jake lightly pulled it back over to her chest, careful not to disturb and waken her.

His hands resting lightly on the cot rails, Jake stared down at her, still in awe that this was his daughter.

Of course, when he had returned to England with her, Maurice had advised him getting a DNA test done, just to make sure. Jake had refused to think about the results either way and what he would do. But in the end, they had come back as a positive match that she was definitely his, and it hit him then, there was no escaping responsibility for her.

When the band split up, and he had made the decision to go on with a solo career in the music business, it had been a daunting task. But he needed the challenge, to help him pick himself up from the fallout of the split and the mess with Caroline, it helped him focus, and stopped him falling off the rails, into a dark place. The songs on his new album, reflected a lot of that, it had been an outlet, a way to help free him from all the mistakes he had come to regret in the past, a new start. And now he felt he was starting to come out the other side of those dark times.

But Caroline's death, and now finding out he was a father into the bargain, was a whole other ballgame. His life and career revolved around music, he loved it, he loved performing in front of thousands, he could handle that.

Bringing up a daughter as a single parent, being responsible for this tiny person, He still couldn’t quite get his head around it. It scared the hell out of him so much, he found himself refusing to dwell on it. But looking down at her now, realising that Ellie had brought Gemma back into his life again, made her even more precious to him.

He found himself now reflecting on his past relationship with her once more. Had there been times when he had wanted to cross that line, make their friendship something more? Yes, a few times the temptation had been there, ironic it was the fact he cared for her so much, he had been scared of taking that step.

He never felt worthy of her. He had always thought she needed someone who would bring stability to her life, someone who would care for her and put her first in their life, as she deserved. She had always been the one doing all the giving, and everyone else doing all the taking. Which was why back then, he knew he was not the one to give her that.

He never thought she would end up alone, He had been certain that she would have been snatched up by some guy, who would recognise her value in their life and make her happy, even though it sent a little pang of jealousy through his heart that it would not be him.

But that had not happened, and now he wasn’t sure if he was disappointed or glad.
Part of him was still feeling responsible, that she seemed to have put a barrier up, stopping people getting to close, probably because she felt she had been abandoned by those she cared about, her parents, as well as himself. It didn’t sit easy on his shoulders that because of it, perhaps she had missed out on having a husband and family of her own.

Now here she was, looking after his daughter, and back in his life, so getting this second chance, he felt he had to make it up to her someway and fix it so that she could open up again and trust her heart. And hopefully Ellie would be the one, that would help him do that.

He didn’t want to fail either of them like he had failed Caroline.

He also realised rather soberly that he had a lot to prove, and more than likely, it was going to be the biggest challenge of his lifetime, he just hoped he was up for it.

**************************************
Gemma had trouble sleeping that night. She tossed and turned in her bed, thinking about Jake, realising she had made a huge mistake agreeing to come here to live under his roof and look after his daughter like this. She wasn’t sure she could do it without old resentments and memories threatened to disturb her peace of mind, that she thought she had left far behind her.

Only there was no way out of her predicament. She had signed a contract, made it official. She couldn’t just walk away. Even if Jake agreed to free her from the contract, it would be too short notice for him to find another nanny, he would be of on his tour in a few weeks, and she had her principles she wouldn’t do that to him, or Ellie.

Being around Jake like tonight, was a lot harder than she realised it was going to be, and living under his roof, it was going to be hard to avoid him.

But forcing herself to calm down, and think sensibly about her situation. It dawned on her that she was totally over reacting. After all, Jake would not be under his own roof in a few weeks' time, he would be away on his tour. By the time he returned from that, her six months, would almost be up and he would be looking for a more permeant nanny, and she would be free.

She just needed to hold it together till then.

Tonight, sitting with him in the kitchen, and talking about the old days, had just stirred up things she had not wanted to think about, and she would have to make sure she didn’t let herself get into that position again with him.

Feeling a little more in control of her emotions again, she finally drifted off into a dreamless sleep in the early hours of the morning.

When she woke up again it was just after seven a.m. She was still feeling tired and could have happily slept on if she could, but she knew she had to check on her charge, so dragged herself out of her bed, and crossed the hallway into Ellie’s room.

She found her awake and babbling away to herself in the cot, as Gemma leaned over the cot to lift her out, Ellie recognising her familiar face, now smiled in delight. Despite the fact Gemma tried to keep herself in professional mode, Ellie’s smile reminded her so much of Jake, she felt her heart flip, and melt in her chest.

Now as he lifted her out, she couldn’t help cuddling Ellie close to her, and kissed her on the head, realising her thoughts the evening before, about walking away from this little girl right now, was something, she knew she couldn’t do.

Walking over towards the window, with Ellie in her arms and looking out, she noticed Jake getting into his car down below in the driveway, and although she was quite happy being in Ellie’s company, she was a little relieved as she watched Jake drive off, that she wouldn’t have to face him that morning.

But she could only avoid him for so long and it was just a day later, he accosted her in the kitchen whilst she was feeding Ellie her breakfast, He had obviously only got up, dressed in a black tee shirt and boxer shorts, a shadow of a beard stubble covering his chin, and his dark hair was still mussed up.

Glancing around at him, Gemma found herself idly musing that he must have been working out a lot since she had last saw him. As a teenager he had been a bit on the scrawny side, but she couldn’t describe him like that now. Then she realised with mortification she should not even be thinking such thoughts, and now turned her attention back on Ellie and giving her another spoonful of cereal

“Ah, I am glad I caught you,” Jake came over looking a little business-like, much to her relief. It chased those thoughts further from her mind, and he seemed too preoccupied with his own thoughts to notice her blushes.

“With the tour coming up soon, I manage to get a free day today to take Ellie to visit her grandad before I go away, or I will never hear the end of it from him if I don’t” he finished with a tone touched with long suffering, that Gemma only too easily recognised, Jake used when he talked about his Father. Despite herself she couldn’t help smiling.

“Ok, well I will have her all dressed and ready, just let me know what time you are going” she replied

“Probably around lunchtime, Jake replied, “Oh, and you know you are coming too” he then added breezily

“Me?” Gemma’s eyes widened in surprise, “You don’t have to bring me along, I am sure you would rather take Ellie yourself, and spend time with him while you can.” she pointed out
.
“Gem, this is my dad we are talking about,” Jakes blue eyes stared at her pointedly.

“Besides He knows you are looking after Ellie now, he was always asking about you over the years, so I think it will be nice if you come along. He will be glad to see you, you always got on better with him than I ever did” he reminded her.

“Well I think that had more to do with him feeling a bit sorry for me at the time,” Gemma replied, “y’know, with my dad leaving us”

“Maybe,” Jake relented, “But still, if you come along, it means you and Ellie can distract him, and keep him off my back.”

Realisation hit Gemma now, “Ahh I see, you two still not on the best of terms, even after all this time?” she queried a little surprised

“Just let's say he still feels the need to take me down a peg or two whenever he can get the opportunity, and with everything happening after Caroline’s death, I have a feeling he’s going to have a lot to say.” Jake momentarily looked a little grim, but then switching his focus back on Gemma, his expression changed to that of pleading desperation.

“So, you see, you have to come!”

“Ok.” Gemma found herself reluctantly agreeing.

It had been quite a while from she had got caught up in the drama between Jake and his father, she hoped that this visit would not turn out that way, and be a pleasant occasion and she would not have to play referee.

All in all, it was going to be an interesting afternoon.
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