Title: Coming Of Age – Part Eight - Sharing
Timeline: Two years post season 5
A/N: This is part eight of my Coming Of Age – Hunter and Amanda’s Story.
Extra Notes: I feel so badly that it has taken me so long to get back into this story, especially as the feedback I have received has been so wonderful and positive. But those of you who are writers I hope will understand that you cannot force something. I would rather take time and get it right than write something meaningless for the sake of it. This story means a lot to me.
If you have forgotten (which I wouldn’t be surprised about) what the story is about the previous chapters can be found through the links below.
Comments and feedback is appreciated.
This chapter is from Hunter's POV
Part One – Explanations
Part Two - Discussions
Part Three - Meetings
Part Four - Conversations
Part Five - Confessions
Part Six - Worries
Part Seven - Understanding
By the time we arrived at Debbie’s, we were both out of breath from running. I opened the door to find Carl sitting at the table, looking none too happy, and Debbie’s voice booming from the kitchen “If they don’t get their asses here soon dinner will be ruined!”
I gave Carl an apologetic look and pulled Amanda further into the room.
“Hey Carl, sorry we’re late.”
“Not as sorry as my stomach is.” He replied, looking longingly at the empty table.
“I’ll go tell Debbie we’re here.” I replied, trying to keep a smile from my face but not succeeding judging by the scowl he gave me. “Oh, this is Amanda.”
“We really are sorry!” Amanda said, walking over and pulling out a chair next to Carl. “Hunter tells me you’re a detective. That must be interesting work.” She continued and received a smile from Carl.
I could see Carl about to launch into a full scale job description and gave Amanda a silent ‘thank you’ then headed into the kitchen.
“About fucking time!” Debbie stated, pulling a large dish from the oven.
“Sorry.” I apologized once again. “We were talking and sort of lost track of time.”
Debbie stopped what she was doing and met my eyes, the question in them obvious to see.
“Yeah I told her.” I answered before she could ask.
“Just about.” I replied and once again felt relief flow through my body. The hardest part was over. Amanda knew the worst and hadn’t run away. The feeling that we could survive anything from now on was stronger than ever.
“You did the right thing.” Debbie replied, looking at me closely.
I was wondering if I had dirt on my face and rubbed my hand over it as she continued to look at me.
“You’ve grown into a nice young man.” Debbie said, and I’m sure I could see her eyes glistening slightly.
“Tell that to Michael…..he thinks I’m a smart ass brat!” I replied trying to lighten the moment.
Debbie and I have a yet to form a defined relationship. She’s tried to be a mixture of mother, grandmother and friend, but as yet we still hadn’t found the common ground between them. I didn’t need a mother, had survived since childhood without one, at least one that understood the meaning of being a mother. I’m not even sure if I needed a grandmother. I’d never had one or really any family. I was used to being on my own but once Debbie decided I was family her mothering instincts took over. I felt comfortable around her, and maybe that’s what being a grandmother was. I knew she would go into battle for me at a moment’s notice and that gave me a good feeling.
“I’m worried about Michael.” Debbie’s voiced snapped me out of my thoughts. “He’s not eating or sleeping.”
I looked at Debbie, and her face showed something that I had never seen from my mother, the worry and love you have for a child, no matter what their age.
I walked over to her and draped my arm around her shoulders. I saw the surprised look on her face.
“You’re a good kid.” She said again and pulled me into a hug. I let her hug me a little longer than usua,l and when she moved away, she had a smile back on her face.
“I’m going to the hospital after dinner. I’ll make sure he eats and gets a some sleep.” I told her and she nodded in reply.
“Talking about food, we’d better get Carl fed before he starts sulking.” Debbie said, handing me the large dish which I was pleased to see was my favorite, ziti.
I carried it into the other room and put it on the table. Amanda and Carl were still in deep discussion over who knows what, but Amanda flashed me a quick smile which as always caused my heart to beat just that little bit faster.
“Come on everyone let’s eat.” Debbie boomed walking from the kitchen, a platter of garlic bread in her hands. I settled into the seat beside Amanda, and the next few minutes were taken up with us loading our plates.
Conversation was sparse while everyone concentrated on their food. I still wondered how Michael never managed to inherit any of his mother’s cooking skills.
“That was as good as Hunter said!” Amanda said as she finished her last mouthful and received a brilliant smile from Debbie.
“You like cooking?” Debbie asked.
“I don’t get a chance to do it much. My mom doesn’t……she likes to do all the cooking herself.” Amanda answered.
“Well you’re always welcome here.” Debbie smiled, and I could see questions forming in her mind about Amanda’s home life. Debbie is, if nothing else, very astute.
“Let me help with those!” Amanda said as Debbie starting clearing the table.
Debbie attempted to shoo her away, but Amanda ignored her, picking up the empty plates and carrying them to the kitchen.
Carl and I left them to it and settled onto the couch. I still wasn’t sure what Carl thought about me. I think he’d got past the ‘the kids a hustler’ stage, and my distrust of cops, which had started at an early age, had diminished over time. I liked Carl. The fact he could hold his own with Debbie was a major point in his favor in my eyes.
“She’s a nice kid.” Carl’s voice startled me. “But aren’t you a little young to be getting serious?”
I knew he and Debbie must have talked about us which didn’t surprise me.
“What I should wait till I’m as old as you and Debbie?” I retorted.
“Smart ass kid, yeah I know.” I replied as Carl’s deep laugh filled the room.
“You realize Debbie is already planning your wedding?” Carl said, and I noticed a wistful look in his eyes.
“Shouldn’t she be planning her own?” I answered.
“You know what she’s like.” Carl replied. “Determined not to get married until Michael and Ben can.”
“That argument’s getting old.” I replied. “Maybe you should just organize it and not give her a chance to say no.”
“Have you ever known Debbie to do anything she doesn’t want to?” Carl answered, but I could see he was considering the idea.
“Won’t know unless you try will you!” I told him as I looked at my watch and realized it was getting late, and I wanted to get to the hospital. I was grateful for the distraction that the visit to Debbie’s had caused, but my thoughts were still with my fathers.
I walked to the kitchen and stopped at the door. Debbie was standing there with Amanda wrapped in her arms, and I’m sure Amanda was crying. I wanted to burst in but something stopped me.
I backtracked and headed to the bathroom, letting my mind fill with all possible scenarios as to what could have caused Amanda’s tears. The thoughts that came to me were not ones I liked.
I couldn’t imagine that Debbie had said something to upset her and thinking back to the conversation during dinner nothing set off any alarm bells.
Pushing thoughts I was not yet ready to face from my mind, I left the bathroom and wandered slowly downstairs, this time calling Amanda’s name as I neared the kitchen.
When I walked in the door, she turned to me, and I could tell she had made an effort to remove any trace of tears from her face, but I could see she was still trying to compose herself.
“I want to get to the hospital.” I said from the doorway.
“I’m coming with you.” Amanda replied, and I’m sure my surprise at her words was clearly visible judging from the look on her face.
I walked further into the room tentatively reaching for her hand. She slipped hers into mine and squeezed it.
“Are you sure?” I asked, not sure if she was ready for this.
She just nodded in reply before her lips briefly touched mine, and she turned back to Debbie.
“Thank you for dinner.” She said. “I’ll be back for those cooking lessons soon.”
Debbie beamed at her. “Just don’t wait for my grandson to bring you, otherwise you’ll never get here.”
“Hey that’s unfair!” I protested, but knew it was half true.
They both laughed and I relaxed for a moment before the thoughts of Amanda seeing Ben in the hospital flooded back into my mind.
I didn’t know what her reaction would be or if she could handle it, but I guess it was better to find out now.