8 MONTHS LATER
Raven started fresh away from everyone a good 4 hours away, she changed her number the only one that got it was Holly of course, she missed her dearly Holly was her mum, and Holly had always seen her as the daughter and child she never had, she hadn't seen any of them and kept under the radar.
It’s a Wednesday early afternoon and her phone rings, to her horror it’s the hospital Holly had been taken in, Raven doesn't think twice and heads back there as quick as possible.
Once she gets there, she is shown to Holly’s room, but before she can enter she hears someone call her from behind “RAVEN!”
Raven stops “Brax...”
Braxton runs to her pulling her in to his arms “OH MY GOD YOU’RE OK! I HAVE BEEN SO WORRIED!” Braxton is looking her over “I can’t believe you’re here!”
Raven just smiles then looks over at Holly sleeping, she heads over to her side “What happened...” Raven gently sits down taking Holly’s hand in hers “Oh Mama...” Braxton can’t even talk his still in shock that his sister is in front of him again after so long
Holly stirs and gives Raven a warm smile “you came!”
Raven smiles back at her “of course I did! you’re my mama remember!”
Holly chuckles, she looks over at Braxton and gives him a stern look “Braxton would you give us a minute..” Braxton nods and heads out
Raven looks at her confused “what’s wrong...”
Holly smiles holding her hand “I have news....” Raven listens waiting “I have cancer sweetheart, and it’s terminal..”
“wh...what..” Raven’s eyes water “no...”
Holly nods “yes...I won’t make it out of the hospital darling...”
Raven start’s to cry “then I am going to be here too! I wont leave you again!” Raven bursts in to tears, Holly cuddles in to her.
After some time Holly falls back asleep, and visiting times come to an end, Holly had given Raven her house, she never had kids and wanted her to have it, Raven heads out Braxton is sat waiting “Raven?!” Raven is in shock, as her tears flow, Braxton stands and just cuddles her.
Sometime later from behind her she hears him “Brax, how’s Holly!” Raven stiffens, she turns “RAVEN!”
Raven stands “Freddie...listen I’m gonna make a move I came a long way, night!” she quickly speeds past him, she dare look at him scared all her feelings would resurface, she had to get out of there now.
“wait Raven!” she quickly gets to her car and drives off clenching the steering wheel.
Once she gets to Holly’s, she heads in, it was a beautiful little cottage, she had been here so many times and it was weird to be here without her, knowing Holly would never step foot in here again, Raven begins to cry and sits at the kitchen table.
A little time later the door goes, Raven takes a deep breath and heads to answer it “Oh Raven!” Braxton pulls her in to a tight hug, Raven breaks down in to his arms, he gently takes her in doors, they talk and cry it out together on the sofa.
A couple of weeks pass, Raven packed up and moved in to the cottage, Holly passed away a few days back, Raven was numb, there wasn’t much left for her anymore, everything was now gone, she sits in her living room staring at the wall knowing she was going to have to plan the funeral.
The funeral day comes round, and she climbs out of bed looking at her funeral outfit prepared and hung at the end of her bed, after a few minutes she climbs out of bed and heads for a shower, once she is out, her door bell goes, she heads down swings the door open without even looking and heads back up stairs knowing it was Braxton, she goes in to her room and comes back down some time later ready, once she heads in to the kitchen there is quite the turn out including Braxton and Freddie, she doesn’t pay attention and goes in to the living room and sits, she takes a deep breath, someone sits next to her, she turns and see’s Freddie looking down “Not now, please...”
Freddie shakes his head “I’m not going to beg and plead, I just wanna be here for you Raven....”
Raven hangs her head back down, then stands “maybe you should be saving that for you’re wife....” she walks out in to the front as the funeral cars arrive.
Later that day it hits about 9pm, and the last of the people were leaving, she heads in to the kitchen pulling out the whiskey and necking it from the bottle, then taking the bottle to bed until she drunk herself in to an oblivion.
A few weeks passed everyone tried to check on her but she didn't wanna know.
But today she decided enough was enough Today she was picking herself up, Rose Corner had been shut all this time, she wanted to get back to normal as much as she could. Raven showers then heads out to Rose Corner, she gets in to the swing of things and settles in to the front desk.
Lunch time rolls round, and she walks around the library putting books away, while looking for a couple more to read at her desk “Raven?..” Raven spins startled, dropping the books she had piled in her arms she takes a deep breath, and drops down to pick them up “I am so sorry!” Freddie drops to his knees to help
“What do you want Freddie?...” she drops down all the way and pulls her legs in to her self in a state of defeat
he holds her hands “Look at me please...” She listens “I’m not married to her not anymore, we was going through a divorce before we even met....”
Raven shakes her head “you still told me nothing Freddie, and worst of all my brother kept it from me, the two people I am supposed to trust and love more than anything and you both do that to me, after everything, I thought you both had my back, I was so busy watching you’re backs that no one including myself had mine.....”
“I wanted to tell you so many times, no time seemed to be the right time, and I hate myself so fucking much for it, I will spend the rest of my life, punishing myself for it...”
Raven stands and he follows suit, she holds his face, like she is going to kiss him but doesn't she looks in to his eyes “don’t punish yourself for what I couldn’t handle. Move forward and be happy...”
She moves past him and back out towards the desk and sits down, Freddie leaves through another point in the library, she puts her head in her hands, everything was feeling heavy right now and she wasn't sure how much more her heart could take.
Raven spends the afternoon thinking about what Freddie said and it plays over and over, then she thinks about what she wanted and if Freddie was her future or at least could be, she had missed him. Then she had made her decision she closes up, she takes off down the road to get to Freddie’s and bangs on the door, Braxton opens the door “You ok Sis!” he says it in a panicked tone
“I think so, is Freddie here!” From behind Freddie comes out and before she gets the chance to speak, Tiffany comes out from behind him, her heart drops, she looks between them “this was a mistake...” she turns and runs back off.
Once she gets home to her surprise Aaron and his minions are there including Ray and Theo, she is in tears, Ray jumps up “Birdie what’s wrong!”
She shoves him back “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU ALL DOING HERE! AS IF I DIDN’T HAVE ENOUGH TO DEAL WITH...”
Aaron stands and reach's for her she flinches and he recoils “please can we talk”
Raven drops to her knee’s “You know, I wish that bullet had killed me, I hope you know that DAD...WHEN I DIED THEY SHOULD OF LEFT ME DEAD!”
Aaron goes pale “why would you say such a thing!”
Raven just cry’s from behind her “WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY DOING HERE!”
Raven just shrugs “I want everyone to leave...NOW! I can't take this shit!”
Aaron doesn’t shift “NO, what I did was a complete accident! I would never hurt you intentionally, you’re my daughter! to hear you say what you just said...”
Raven laughs bitterly “it’s true...when I flat lined they should of left it flat, or next time DAD do the job properly make sure I'm dead”
Aaron lashes out and smacks her, Ray punches him in return Aaron looks at his daughter “I'm so...”
Raven cuts in “Sorry? yeah me too” She barges past them all and enters the house locking the door.
A few seconds later “WHERE IS SHE, I NEED TO SEE HER!”
She hears Freddie join in then they are all talking among their self, Raven blocks it out, and sits in her living room.
After a few more minutes, she hears the letterbox open and Freddie begin to talk through it “baby, please open the door... god I have made such a mess of things, I love you so much, I don’t want no more secrets between us, and most if not more importantly I want us, and I want you” he stops for a second composing himself she can hear him getting emotional, she is also crying, she quietly goes to the hall “you are my world, and in those months you left, broke me completely, I never thought I would see you again, then when I did, my life restarted along with my heart, you are my life, and I don’t want a life without you in it... I thank Braxton all the time for bringing you in to my life, because you are the most amazing woman ever, who puts everyone before herself, the passion you have for Rose Corner...I...” he goes to continue but can’t he get’s to upset and so distraught.
Raven goes to the door slowly opening it and Freddie jumps up, she looks up at him as her tears stream, she launch’s herself in to his arms, and crashes her lips to his, he doesn't hesitate wrapping his arms around her and kissing her back, it’s a few moments before either pull away, he brushes her cheek with his thumb “I love you..”
“I love you too” he pulls her tight and holds her there.