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Old 05-13-2005, 06:02 AM   #1
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The promises we make pt 8

***Disclaimer: ~Fiction: Pronunciation: 'fik-sh&n Function: noun 1 a : something invented by the imagination or feigned; specifically : an invented story

The Promises we make pt 8

“Uh… It’s good to meet you. Adam Clayton.” Adam greeted the woman politely, and introduced himself, recovering quickly from the initial shock of her introduction.

“Oh, I know who you are.” She told him with a flirtatious smile, holding on to his hand for a moment longer than made him entirely comfortable.

“What… what are you doing here?” Cat demanded, finally gathering the confidence to speak to her wayward mother. She had not heard from her in more than ten years, and she knew this meeting was no coincidence. That was not how Olivia worked. She controlled everything and everyone around her, and when she could not, she left them behind, forgotten.

“I’m in London for the reading of my late husband, Richard’s, will. An acquaintance brought me a magazine and told me how remarkable a photo in it was. She said it looked so much like a slightly younger me, she thought it was an old paper for a moment. Imagine my surprise!”

“Surprise? When you remembered you had a daughter?” Cat replied caustically.

“Cat…” Adam cautioned, resting a big, protective hand on her shoulder.

“I just thought since we were both in London I should stop in and tell you congratulations.” She continued, turning to look at Cat. She reached out and brushed a strand of hair out of her face in a tender gesture Cat had never experienced as a child. “I thought perhaps you had grown up a bit; realized you and I were more alike than you thought when you were younger.”

“Why do you think we’re alike? You don’t know anything about me!” Cat objected.

“I saw how you had married your way up in the world, gotten out of that little backwater you grew up in. You’re making a name for yourself. Though, you would never know it by your taste in clothes.” She said eyeing her over.

“So, basically you came here to insult me and accuse me of marrying Adam for money and social prowess?” Cat demanded, peering at her mother over the rims of her dark glasses. “I married Adam because we’re in love, and anything I have I earned!”

“Calm down, little girl, I wasn’t insulting you. I thought you’d grown up and started living in the real world. Apparently I was wrong.” Olivia said snottily. Cat looked ready to lunge at the woman, and so both Adam and Angel moved to intervene.

“I think you need to go now.” Angel advised the woman, and Adam rested both of his hands on Cat’s shoulders, squeezing gently to assure her of his concern for her, remind her of his presence.

“Well, Catalina, I suppose I should be used to leaving disappointed every time we cross paths.” Olivia shot, turning on her heel and breezing away as if nothing had happened. Just the way she always did. Cat stared after her, the tears burning her eyes. She was shaking with anger.

“C’mon, let’s get going.” Adam encouraged them all, getting the group moving again.

“Are you ok?” He asked, taking Cat’s hand in his own. She nodded silently, but squeezed his hand in thanks. She didn’t have much to say at the moment, and he didn’t want to pressure her. The entire group, in fact, was virtually silent until after the plane had taken off; an unusual situation amongst these lively men.

As soon as the plane leveled off Cat was up, retrieving a tiny bottle of vodka and orange juice and mixing herself a screwdriver. She could feel Adam watching her, and silently dared him to say something about it. She was on a short fuse at the moment. Edge retrieved an acoustic guitar and started playing a new tune which he’d had in his head.

The others all seemed interested in the song, no longer staring at her, and so Cat finally began to relax. She sank down onto a soft couch and swallowed almost half of her drink immediately. She leaned her head back against the couch and closed her eyes.

“I don’t know about you, but I’m glad you’re more like your old man than that woman.” She heard Bono’s voice whisper in her ear. She chuckled softly, one of the tears that had been welling in her eyes finally spilling over her eyelid and slipping down her cheek. She reached up to wipe it off and met his hand as he did the same.

She opened her eyes, looking over at him and blinking away the rest of those tears and letting him wipe them from her cheeks with his thick but gentle hands. She sighed a deep, broken sigh, filling her lungs with his scent.

“I don’t want to be like her.” She told him softly, her vision blurring with fresh tears.

“You’re not.” He assured her, reaching out and drawing her to him, resting her head on his shoulder. Bono buried one hand in her hair and the other slid around her, stroking her back. She wrapped her arms around him and clung to his warmth as the tears broke, her body racked with sobs. Bono held her and soothed her with gentle caresses and soft murmurs.

Angel scowled at them, her teeth clenched her already dark eyes almost black with jealousy. She turned to look at Adam, seeing that he was watching them as well. He looked at her and forced a smile, not wanting to fall into irrational jealousy. They were friends, and she was upset. Bono was his friend first; he and Adam had been mates for basically their entire lives, he would not do anything for Adam to be jealous of.

Tessa was scribbling away furiously on a pad of paper, pausing occasionally to brush her hair out of her eyes. Edge stopped playing to peek over her shoulder and his eyes widened in interest.

“That’s really good.” He told her, and her head snapped up as if she had forgotten anyone else was even there. She smiled shyly, covering the paper with one hand and shaking her head.

“It’s just chicken scratch.” She told him.

“No it isn’t, you’ve got a real talent there. Adam have a look at this.” He said, holding out his hand for the sketch pad, which Tessa handed over reluctantly. Edge slid the pad over to Adam and Angel who were both surprised to see a strikingly accurate and yet somehow otherworldly sketch of Cat, crying.

“Tessa, this is beautiful.” Adam told her. Angel frowned at the sketch studying it closely.

“Tessa, is Devoe the only last name you’ve ever used?” She asked after a moment. Tessa’s head fell forward, her face hidden behind her soft brown hair.

“No, Devoe is my maiden name. I went back to it after… after my husband died.” She replied.

“I didn’t realize. Tessa, I’m sorry to hear that.” Edge told her, sitting back in his seat and frowning at her. He didn’t realize she’d been married at all, let alone widowed.

“What was your married name?” Angel pressed, and when Tessa didn’t reply, she asked, “Was it Donavan?” Tessa nodded silently. “Every forensic psychologist and profiler started out studying your case in the academy. I mean, we all covered it, but they went over it and over it.”

“What are you talking about?” Edge asked, looking back and forth between the women with a growing feeling of concern in his belly. “What case?”

“I’m sorry. That was really insensitive.” Angel said, realizing she had just blurted out something which Tessa had probably been trying to put behind her for half of her life.

“It’s ok. It just sneaks up on me sometimes, still.” Tessa told her.

“It’s just, having read about you so many times… it’s sort of like meeting a celebrity or a character out of a favorite novel.” Angel told her, leaning forward. “I’ve always really admired your strength.”

“I don’t know that there’s really anything worth admiring. I didn’t do anything but survive.”

“Surviving is everything.” Angel told her. Tessa smiled weakly and looked at each of them in turn. She didn’t like to talk about it, and usually she would avoid it at all costs. That was half the reason she had stayed with Jolie for as long as she had. Jolie knew her before, and she didn’t have to constantly tell her about it afterward.

“I suppose that’s true, isn’t it?” She told Angel. “Would you like to start telling them? I’ll just fill in the blanks.” She said, giving Angel permission to relay the tale of the worst night of Tessa’s life from a cold, clinical perspective.

“If you’re sure.” Angel said, and Tessa nodded. “It must’ve been twenty years ago, right? February of 1985. Jack Donavan, a third year grad student at Harvard Law is involved in an argument with his pregnant wife; Tessa, age 18. Tessa is an artist, just a week short of her first solo exhibition in Boston. Experts now believe most likely Jack suffered a schizophrenic break, which happens most frequently in men about his age and is triggered by severe stress. Third year law students live and breathe stress.”

“Anyway, he returns home late one night from classes and an argument ensues between himself and his wife. From what I understand the argument revolved around suspicions he had based on some of her artwork, that she was involved in an affair and was plotting his murder with her lover. Neither of those things were true, which also lends itself to the theory of schizophrenia.”

“Am I fairly accurate so far?” Angel asked, and Tessa nodded.

“Yeah. I used to hate to hear people talk about it; break it down and look at it in such a cold, distant way. I guess I wanted them to remember that he and I were real people. I wanted people to have some understanding of what really happened, not just the how or even the why. I understand better, now, I think, that people can’t get too deeply into it. Police and Psychologists, especially. They can’t all suffer along with every person who has suffered, it would be too much.” Tessa told her, then gestured for her to continue.

“During the course of the argument, Jack Donavan picked up one of his wife’s art tools for wood carving. It was a straight shank gouge, the blade was 1/8" thick and three inches long.” Angel continued, and Edge’s eyes closed as he heard the description, his heart sinking in his chest. He didn’t want to hear what came next. He wanted to stop Angel from saying it, and somehow make it not be true.

“He stabbed his wife a total of twenty-seven times in the chest, abdomen, and back when she tried to flee. Then he moved into the bathroom, slashing his wrists and taking his own life.” Angel said, the crime scene photos vivid in her mind but coming to life more than ever, sitting her just feet from the woman who had lived through it. “She managed to survive despite the massive blood loss, and injuries to her right kidney, spleen and gall bladder.”

“My God, Tessa…” Edge breathed, his hand pressed to his forehead, his eyes still closed.

“How long…?” Adam started to ask, the words getting caught in his throat.

“It took me about two hours to get to a telephone. Then I think it was a little more than an hour before anybody got to the apartment. We didn’t have 911, yet. Nothing like today. I had to stay conscious enough to direct them there and explain basically what was happening.” She told them, bile creeping up in the back of her throat at the memory.

“People were so shocked by it; a prominent, happy young couple involved in something so horrifying. This was back before the phrase ‘murder-suicide’ was a household term; something everyone heard on the 6 o’clock news every other night. I’ve always wondered…” Angel started, pausing to consider whether or not to ask her question. “How did you keep going? What made you… hold on?”

“It wasn’t for me.” She replied honestly. “If I hadn’t been pregnant, I would’ve died. I don’t doubt that. I couldn’t let the baby die, though. Everything was because I felt responsible for my child’s safety. I was young and I guess naive, hopeful. I didn’t realize that the baby had been killed long before he was even done stabbing me.” At this point, her voice finally cracked and her face began to twist up as she fought the tears.

There were no words to be said, nothing which could express the horror they felt for their new friend, that she had suffered something so terrible. Edge reached out to her with open arms and she leaned her head on his shoulder gratefully, letting him hold her for a moment.

“I’m so sorry.” He told her softly; the only words which he could seem to vocalize.

“It’s been twenty years. It’s long over. Besides, you were busy becoming a rock star about that time. There’s nothing for you to be sorry for.” She said, wiping her eyes.

“I’ll never understand how any human being could possibly do such a thing to someone else.” He told her, gently brushing her hair out of her face.

“He was sick.” She told him, and he could tell by her voice and the look in her eyes that she harbored no hate for the man. Just a sorrow deeper than the ocean; sorrow for the loss of her husband, her child, and her youth.

“I’m sorry I brought it up.” Angel told her honestly. “I wasn’t thinking, I just sort of blurted it out.”

“It’s ok, really.” Tessa assured her as Cat came over from her seat in the back to hug Tessa. “If none of it had ever happened, I wouldn’t be here right now, with all of you.” She told them, hugging Cat for an extra moment longer.

“I feel pretty stupid; crying and whining because my mothers a bitch when you’re setting here having gone through something like that.” Cat told her, moving to sit with Adam again, snuggling up against him when he wrapped an arm around her. Bono was the next to hug Tessa, and she actually had to chuckle afterwards.

“God leads us all where we belong, in time. We all suffer. Some of us just do it all at once, while others stretch it out over the course of a lifetime.” She told them, feeling stronger than ever, surrounded by these people. Good, strong people. She slipped her hand into Edge’s in what was a bold move for her, and smiled at him when he laced his fingers in between hers.

******************************************************************

Simone had not wanted Larry to see where she lived. It was a strange feeling; to suddenly be concerned what someone thought about her; about how she lived. She was a free spirit and usually couldn’t care less about appearances or possessions. Even now, she wasn’t sure just what it was that made her uncomfortable.

Perhaps it was that she was afraid he would think she should provide more for Pauley. Maybe it was just a side effect of coming back from Adam’s expensive house. Either way, she was trying to hurry and get everything around and ready to go before he arrived, hoping to be waiting in the car for him.

“Mom?”

“What’s that baby?”

“Can I have earrings like Larry’s?”

“What?” Simone asked, looking up in shock at her four year old, who was looking in the mirror at himself. She blinked a few times as she tried to comprehend the nature of his unexpected request.

“Maybe when you get a little older.” She finally said, still watching the boy suspiciously as he used a brush to try and slick his hair back. “Why do you think you want earrings?”

“Cuz they’re cool.” He told her, as if he were stating an obvious fact. She turned to look out the window when she heard the sound of a car pulling up in the drive. She looked out to see the tall, handsome man climbing out of the car followed by a moderate sized dog who obviously adored her owner. Pauley climbed down from the chair he was standing on and ran to open the door for them, immediately rushing to pet the dog who Larry introduced as 'Missy’.

“I’ll be just a few minutes longer.” Simone told him as she hurried into the other room. When she returned, she found him studying the framed photos that adorned the walls and bookshelves of the living room.

“Where was this?” He asked her, pointing to a picture she had taken while she was in Africa.

“Africa. It’s such a sad country; one of the most beautiful places on earth and one of the most terrifying at the same time.” She told him, pointing to another photo, this one of herself and a group of children. “I was in Botswana doing missionary work for about seven months.” She told him.

“Missionary work?”

“Yeah. Trine thinks it’s hilarious that I once held a missionary position for half a year.” She joked. “I hope to go to South America, when Pauley is older. He’s not quite old enough to get all the vaccinations and things he should have.” She told him as she finished packing her camera equipment and film into a bag. When she looked up again, she saw that he was staring at her.

“What?” She asked, looking at herself as if she must have forgotten to get fully dressed or spilled something all over her.

“I just had no idea you’d done so much.” He told her honestly.

“Ok.” She said, shrugging and hoisting her bag onto her shoulder. “Well, the bus for County Wicklow is leaving. Everybody aboard who’s going.” She told him, guiding Pauley and his new best friend Missy out to her car.

On the drive down, they began discussing the plans for the day in more detail. Simone mentioned the fact that if it got warm enough; which it had been the last few days, that she would let Pauley play in the Ocean for a bit, while they were at the beach. Pauley himself was fast asleep in the backseat, his head resting on missy, whose head in turn rested in Pauley’s lap.

“I see what this is, then.” Larry told her playfully. “This was all an excuse to see me in my swimming trunks.”

Simone didn’t mind the possibility, but she wasn’t about to admit that to him.

“Sorry to tell you this, pretty boy, but you’re not my type.” She retorted, earning a scowl from him. He scratched his nose thoughtfully for a moment before saying

“Right. That’s why Cat told me how anxious you were to get me on film.”

“Cat thought she was being funny.” Simone informed him seriously. “She thought it was funny when I told her I thought Edge would make the most interesting subject of the four of you, followed by Bono and then Adam. Apparently she thought all photographers would be falling all over themselves to work with you.” She told him, aware of his rather crestfallen reaction to her words.

“Nothing personal.” She told him, barely restraining the giggles welling up in her chest. He was acting as if she were the first woman in history not to drool over his good looks. After a moment, she reached out and batted at his dangling earring, setting it swinging it playfully, and getting a restrained smile out of him. He was baffled by her. Was she flirting with him or not? He honestly couldn’t tell, and it drove him crazy.

**********************************************************

Later, as Simone waded out into the ocean to photograph the shoreline, Larry, Pauley and Missy stood on the beach barefoot and playing in the waves. Simone nearly forgot what she was doing altogether as she watched Larry pick her son up by his arms and swing him out over the water, setting forth an eruption of squeals and laughter as the water tickled his toes.

She secretly snapped several photos of them; those were always the best way to capture a moment. A truly candid picture of someone who had no idea they were being photographed was like saving time in a bottle. This was definitely a day which she wanted to keep, to be able to bring out and cherish as the years passed.

The had the picnic lunch which she had packed ahead of time on the beach as well; a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and applesauce for Pauley, cucumber sandwiches, cherry tomatoes, and a bag of potato chips (or ‘crisps’ as everyone there called them) and lemonade. It wasn’t much, but everyone seemed satisfied by the time they were finished.

As Simone cleared away the garbage, Larry was kicking around a soccer ball with Pauley. Just as Pauley was about to kick the ball over the goal line Larry had drawn in the sand, Simone rushed in and stole it playfully, running partway back down the beach with it. Pauley screamed in playful objection, as she knew he would, since this was not an uncommon game for them to play.

Suddenly, though, she felt a strong arm wrap around her waist and lift her feet right off the sand. She was pressed tight to a broad, firm and nearly bare chest, the breath rushing out of her as he held her there, suspended off the ground.

“Go, go! Kick it in!” He cheered Pauley on as the boy recovered the ball and kicked it back down to the goal line and across it.

“That’s cheating!” Simone objected playfully. “You can’t do that!” She laughed as Larry swung her around, back down onto her own two feet but now facing him. She reached out instinctively to steady herself, placing a hand against his chest. Her breath caught in her throat as he smiled down at her, silver eyes sparkling behind dark glasses.

“You started it.” He retorted, laughter in his voice. Her heart skipped a beat as their eyes locked and held for a long moment. Finally she managed to tear herself away, turning first her eyes away and then managing to walk away to hug her son who was declaring himself a champion footballer.

This was complicated, she reminded herself. So she felt an urge to kiss him, it didn’t mean she had to act on that urge. She was in control of her actions, if not her desires. So what if she desperately wanted to roll around in the wet sand with this man, making passionate love in the waves like some cheesy old movie. She’d get over it. She just needed to remain focused.

She would keep her mind on other things, get through the day and everything would go back to normal, she kept telling herself. She didn’t believe it for a second, but she kept telling it to herself, anyway.
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Old 05-13-2005, 06:32 AM   #2
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oh my God, poor Tessa
I love how Larry and Simone are coming along!
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Old 05-13-2005, 06:50 AM   #3
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excelent part
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Old 05-13-2005, 07:03 AM   #4
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I love this! The Larry part is amazing! But poor tessa...

More!!! Good job!!
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Old 05-13-2005, 09:45 AM   #5
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That's horrible! Poor Tessa! I hope Edge makes it all better...I hope Angel and Adam don't get too huffy with Bono/Cat and I hope they don't do anything stupid...I'm liking the Larry/Simone thing...keep up the good work!
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Old 05-13-2005, 12:45 PM   #6
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ah the story gets better and better!!

im scared about what will happen between bono, cat, adam and angel
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