Author's note: I forgot my disclaimer's last time, Sorry!
Disclaimer: I do not own Glee or any of its characters. I also do not own "I Only Have Eyes for You" by the Flamingos.
After the Storm?
After driving for about six and a half hours; Sam and Mercedes arrived at his family's ranch. Mercedes had never seen anything so spacious and beautiful. The area was rife with trees and the sprawling green grass was the most therapeutic thing she had ever seen. In the distance she saw horses grazing in a pen, and with the sparkling light of the sun shining through the treetops; it looked as if it were something out of a picture postcard. Mercedes had no doubt that she could get the rest that she needed; she would be lulled to sleep by the sound of the babbling brook in the distance which added just enough mist in the air to bring alive the smell of the cherry blossom trees.
Sam's mother came running out of the ranch style home which was sitting off of the driveway. She ran past Sam and began to completely engulf Mercedes in a hug.
Sarah Evans: Oh my God! I am so glad you are alright? When we heard on the news that you had been performing at the Starstruck Lounge last night, I was out of my mind with worry.
Sam: Nice to see you too Mom! (Sam said as he took the luggage from the car)
Sarah: Yes, Sam. Are you alright too?
She said while never letting go of Mercedes but casually looking over one shoulder to acknowledge his presence.
Sam: Yes, thank you I am fine.
Mercedes: Oh, Ms. Evans it is sooo good to see you again. (She smiled) Thank you so much for letting me come and stay at your home; this is place is really beautiful.
Sarah: You know you never need an invite Mercedes. I have missed you so much you know that you are part of the family. You should have called more! (She spoke as she began to lead Mercedes down the driveway and into the house.
Once they entered the home there was then a thunderous rumbling of feet running down the stairs and then they were up and in the air landing about five feet from Mercedes. Shaun Evans who had just leap over the banister grabbed Mercedes and swung her around and around.
Shaun: Cedes! Where you been gal! You know I missed you! (Still spinning her around)
Mercedes: (Laughing) Mr. Evans stop you are going to hurt yourself!
Shaun: Are you callin' me old gal! You're lucky I love you so much or I might have been insulted. (He says as he finally rests her down on the ground).
Sarah: I keep telling him that he is not a spring chicken anymore! And now that you are here, to keep up appearances, he will never listen.
Sam: Dad, you have your own woman. Why are you grabbing on my girl?
Shaun: Your girl? Son, if you were man enough to hang on to this little fillet! I will eat my hat with salt and pepper. (Shaun says as he walks over too his son and gives him a strong hug)
Sara then approaches Sam and hugs him afterward.
Sara: It's good to see you too Sam; you look thin!
Sam: Mom I'm fine; as matter of fact I am the best that I have been in a very long time. (He said as he looks at Mercy)
Sarah: Well I am glad to hear it!
Then she turned and gave Mercedes a wink.
Sarah: Take the bags to upstairs. Mercedes by the way I have a surprise for you out in the back yard. Go through those doors on your left and it is the first door on your right after the bathroom.
Mercedes: You really didn't have to go to any trouble Ms. Evans. Just inviting me here is enough.
Sarah: I would like to take the credit for this surprise but I can't; this one was all Sam.
Sam: Go ahead I will meet you out there once the bags are put upstairs. (Sam goes upstairs)
Mercedes: Mr. & Ms. Evans aren't you going to come with me?
Shaun: Well I would love too little lady!
Sarah: But he won't because he has some potatoes to peel to help me with the potato salad for dinner; and if he is as young as he says then he will be able to lift that bag of potatoes.
Shaun: I lift you up every once in a while don't I dear?
He said as he quickly kissed Mercedes on the cheek and ran in the direction of the kitchen. (Laughing)
Sarah: Shaun Evans I am going to get you. (And off she went giving chase)
Mercedes proceeded to follow the directions as it was told to her and walked out into what she could only call an enchanted garden. There were flowers everywhere and a large tent was placed in the middle of the paving stones. A grill pit was off to the far right with another set of paving stones which were designed in the shape of a rectangle; and then on each corner the paving stones extended in to four different pathways which lead into its own row of trees. She had hoped to be able to explore each path in the time that she was here. This place was just breathtaking it was straight out of a fantasy land. She thought to herself. But then her fantasy became even better because walking toward her from one of those paths were her parents.
Mercedes: MOM! DAD! She yelled and then ran toward her parents.
Karen and William Jones who were holding hands when they saw Mercedes came running toward their daughter.
Karen: Oh, thank you Jesus! I know they said you were alright but I would not believe it until I saw it with my own eyes!
William: Baby Girl! (He said as they all hugged each other).
Mercedes simply cried for a while in their arms. No one spoke but she just held on to them. Sam had entered into the backyard but watching them in their embrace decided to let it be for awhile. Upon his return from the backyard he accompanied his own parents in the kitchen.
Sam: Mom & Dad do you need any help with anything?
Sarah: I thought you were going to share your surprise with Mercedes?
Sam: I wanted to give them a little time to themselves; I am not sure how long it has been since they have seen each other and Mercedes has been through quite a lot over the last six months.
Shaun: I am really glad that she is alright; I was really worried when I heard about what happened. Did they find out who would do such a thing?
Sam: Dad, it was someone who knew me from college and was jealous of my love for her even then.
Sarah: You actually knew the person who would do something like this?
Sam: Mom, I am ashamed to say I even dated her for two months. Mom, she was a racist and when I found out I was horrified. I felt like I betrayed Mercy by even knowing her; it was crazy. She was crazy, and she had this horrific overinflated ego.
Shaun: How could you have chosen someone like her?
Sam: I didn't really; besides, you know who my choice is.
Sarah: Yes, I believe we do.
Shaun: Did you hear from your brother or sister?
Sam: I only left a message with them but I believe we will see them.
Stevie: See who?
He said as he walked in followed by his four year old daughter Cindy and his Sister Stacey.
Stacey: Mom! Dad!
The Evans family spent the next few minutes hugging and judging each other on their clothes and hairstyles. Fussing about how long it has been since everyone had been together now that they had grown. There was a lot of picking up of Cindy and laughter when the Jones family accompanied them in the kitchen. Once more hugs and kisses were handed out; and when the smell of hot food started to waft through the home the family decided to eat dinner and share how much they were grateful to see each other again and have everyone together under one roof. After the family had dinner and they decided to discuss some good news.
Cindy shared how she was able to start pre-school soon, and Stacey discussed how her boutique had net sales which tripled since her last quarter. Karen and William Jones shared how they were so happy to finally be retired and take this time to be together and travel like they had always wanted to do when Mercedes was little. Shaun talked about his prize foal that birthed a colt and he was going to train him for racing. But Sam surprised them all telling them that while he was putting the bags away he had gotten a call from his publisher Craig who had just finalized the deal for his book to be optioned in Hollywood and he had just be given a 2 million dollar advance for writing the screenplay. Everyone laughed and cheered at how blessed they really had been, and what a really good year this could turn out to be. Sam's parents invited everyone into the backyard for coffee at dusk; they explained how it was the most beautiful sight this side of heaven.
As they found their way into the early night air Mercedes grabbed Sam's hand and squeezed it.
Mercedes: Sam that is wonderful news! You must be so excited and happy!
Sam: It was great to hear; but nothing made me more excited and happy then you walking into Stevie's bar that night.
Mercedes: Sam, I have something to tell you. It was not a coincidence that we met that night. I had been in town for days and I had missed you so much that I had been… (Holding her head down) kind of following you for awhile. She said nervously.
Sam: You were following me? For how long?
Mercedes: About four days. She squinted and titled her head and shrugged her shoulders to brace herself for whatever might be coming.
Sam: WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG TO APPROACH ME! (He yelled)
Mercedes: What? (She whispered looking around to see if the others had heard them)
Sam: Do you know how long I have been missing you? Why didn't you speak earlier! At least my excuse for not talking to you all those times I've been to your shows was that you're famous and no one can get near you!
Mercedes: Sam, didn't you know that you could always get near me?
Sam: I'll test you on that later. (He said raising his eyebrows and smirking his lopsided grin).
They continued outside and the night air let off a nice breeze along the edges of the trees and the swayed in the moonlight. They families had already been outside with music playing and dancing. They continued to laugh and enjoy each other's company. As the evening wore on and the parents started complaining about how the music that they knew when then young was much better than these days; that's when Stevie and Stacie excused themselves for bed and carried an already sleeping Chloe upstairs to their perspective bedrooms.
Once the Jones' excused themselves for the night and thanked the Evans again for allowing their family to join in this wonderful family gathering they excused themselves and went to bed. When Sam and Mercedes offered to help clean up Shaun and Sarah would not hear any of it; and instead told them to enjoy the music and the night air; they retreated with the glasses and coffee cups and went inside. Then Shaun came back and plopped in a CD, pressed play, and bid them goodnight.
Sam and Mercedes danced to the music in the still of the night air the music only accompanied by the rhythmic sounds of the brook and the crickets in the distance. The moon being the only light shining their way into their future then the music played a song which Sam remembered his parents listening to when he was younger.
Sam and Mercedes dance and sway to the music.
My love must be a kind of blind love;
I can't see anyone but you.
Are there stars out tonight?
I don't know if it's cloudy or bright.
Cause, I only have eyes for you, dear.
The moon may be high.
But I can't see a thing in the sky.
I only have eyes for you.
I don't know if we're in a garden
Or on a crowded avenue
You are here and so am I
Maybe millions of people go by
But they all disappear from view
And I only have eyes for you.
As the music starts to fade; Sam speaks.
Sam: Marry Me (He said confidently)
Mercy: Oh, hell to the yeah! (She smiled)
Then the kissing began.
Authors notes: Thanks for sticking it out with me everyone. There may be about two more chapters till the end. I hope you can stick it out until then. Please Review – Thanks Anna