|Subject: Chapter 194 - Part 2
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Date Posted: Friday, July 08, 07:34:59am
In reply to:
's message, "Dreams in the Dark - Chapter 193 and onwards" on Thursday, July 07, 07:06:24am
When she saw her child come back to himself at last, she nodded quietly, leading him toward the couch. "Sit down." Once they were both together there, she nodded to Michael to take a chair not too near them. She still wasn't entirely certain what her son might do.
She began the conversation with the boy, knowing he needed to hear it from her--her hand on his shoulder, gaining his eyes. "I know you've figured it out, and you're right. Michael and I were close once." There was a deep, quiet breath, as she braced herself. "He's your real father."
This statement only made things worse, the boy immediately jumping to a hundred different conclusions. "You mean you cheated on Dad with him?! You . . ."
Elena raised one hand in front of his mouth, stopping him before he said things she knew he would regret. "I wasn't married or engaged to Chuck. This was before that."
This continued soft approach took some of the outer rage away, even if much of it still burned somewhere in the pit of his stomach. At least one fear had been dismissed, but so many others lingered; his look was uncomprehending. "Then why . . .?"
The question didn't need to be finished, Elena understanding. "Because I love Chuck, not Michael." Her look connected deeply with the boy. "Because I'm happy with all of you."
This answer should possibly have calmed the boy, but it didn't prove as helpful as the woman would have liked--Adam's mind turning to a much more grotesque theory than the truth, his gaze burning at the actor. "What did you do to her?"
His question gained no answer yet; there was a small laugh beside him, as his mother turned his head back to her--leaving Michael with his mouth open, nothing said. "He didn't do anything to me, baby." She went on, when he was about to point out the obvious. "Nothing we both didn't want."
The truth of this claim did nothing to soothe him. While some of the anger left in a breath, he still leaned over, elbows on his knees, the horrible truth sinking in at last. "Then I'm an accident." His gaze burned Michael. "A bastard."
Fortunately, Elena had an answer yet again, her soft laugh turning the boy's head toward her. "If you really insist on looking at it like that, *all* of you are 'accidents.'" Adam's hurt eyes made her shake her head, her hand running over his hair. "Honey, babies don't always come because you've *planned* for them. Sometimes, God just decides that you need one."
The boy seemed to be taking this in, seemed a little soothed by it, Michael watching it all in quiet sadness. He had seen too many children conceived to the wrong people at the wrong times to believe what she said--had seen the devastating results on everyone involved. Still, while he couldn't at all agree with Elena's opinion, he said nothing. For her own situation, she seemed to be telling the truth. Her children were a blessing for her, made her happy; his sigh was imperceptible. If only everyone who had them were as lucky.
Adam, fortunately, didn't see most of the man's thoughts, only understanding his mother's love. It was for the best. There were just some theories he didn't need to comprehend tonight.
It took him a second to accept all of this, some of the rage leaving. He didn't know all the details between his mother and this man--and didn't want to know them--but they did make sense of some parts of his upbringing, making him remember. Once he had reached about 14, had started to get more seriously interested in girls, his father had explained the facts of life to him--but his mother had also had a talk. She had explained that his desires weren't bad, weren't the evil some would tell him--and neither were those of any woman he might be with. Still, she had made clear that there were many possible complications which came along with having sex, responsibilities he would be accountable for; she had even briefly discussed methods of trying to avoid the otherwise inevitable. In other words, she had warned him to choose his partners wisely, had told him that it was far better if he were in love with the girl. That way, if the precautions didn't work, if the unexpected happened, he wouldn't feel cheated in marrying her. She had made it clear that understanding this fact was a vital part of being a man.
This had been an odd bit of education, he knew--especially coming from a mother. The majority of his friends either got messages that sex was evil from their mothers and vital at every possible opportunity from their fathers or were told nothing at all about it, as though ignoring it would make it all go away. As far as he could tell, none of them had been told that it was normal and quite wonderful but that you always had to be adult and responsible about the choices you made. He almost laughed. It definitely gave him the strangest upbringing of the year.
He could see the background to his mother's advice now, could also feel her love for him. Now that some of the rage had passed, he understood that she had never been sorry to have him, had never seen him as a burden. Once or twice, when he had done the wrong thing, she had been deeply disappointed in him, but the love she felt for him had always been there just the same. Whatever his origins might be, she had never wanted him gone.
He accepted this fact now, could see that he was no bastard, in the more total senses of the word--whatever the technical facts; even if the truth made sense of the lack of acceptance his mother's family had always shown him, he still didn't mind. He almost smiled. His father--his *real* father, not this idiot in front of him--had clearly loved him. Even if he thought that it wouldn't be particularly unusual if the man had shown favoritism for the children which were more technically his own, he never had; Adam's sigh went deep, gaze on the floor. His real father had always accepted him as his own.
Still, this truth led to a rather unpleasant thought, his gaze finding his mother's--the anger rising again, even if he wasn't certain at whom it was aimed. "Dad knows?"
His mother just laughed, brushing over his hair. "Dad's *always* known," she smiled, and he knew it was the truth, his look dropping again. It also explained his father's anger these past few days. Still, it didn't solve all his problems; his sigh was quiet. If only such a thing seemed possible anymore.
His look returned to the actor--understanding now why he had shown up so suddenly; he had to make his new intention clear. "I don't want your money."
"Sweetheart," his mother began, but he shook off the hand on his shoulder. He wouldn't be swayed. Not after what he had learned today.
"I'll work whatever job I have to and earn it myself. I'll go to college whenever I can raise it all." He sat up straighter, his gaze burning. "Don't come cleaning your conscience on me."
Lord. Michael wasn't certain what to say, how to persuade him; every approach seemed wrong. The boy wasn't likely to listen to a word he said--and there was no real reason he should. But he had to take the scholarship, should go to school. No member of his family had ever made it so far--and to a university like Columbia, yet. His gaze was begging. He just didn't want it to be his fault for finally ruining this child's life.
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