Faith Of You

Chapter 34

Emily set down her purse and slipped off her heels as she closed her bedroom door. The family had just gotten home from church and everyone was at Sunday school with Amielle except for her and the father of the family. Throughout the entire service Emily had felt guilt welling inside her, the priest reading and preaching from the book of Leviticus just before serving the Eucharist to the church members. The eighteen year old saw Amielle out of the corner of her eye nodding along with what their priest had to say, her hands clasped firmly around her rosary with her eyes shut tight, reciting the words of her favorite prayer in a quiet whisper.

Wiping a hot tear that managed to escape her onyx eyes, Emily sighed. Throwing her hair up into a ponytail and changing into her favorite sweats and tank top, the French girl made her way back downstairs and into the kitchen to get a drink that would take away the soreness of her throat.

"Hey pumpkin."

The brunette didn't even turn at the sound of the older man's voice. "Hey," she whispered, taking out a bottle of water before closing up the fridge.

James Jareau looked at the eighteen year old with careful eyes, watching as she sat down across from him at the island, her gaze firm on the water bottle as she unscrewed its cap. "How are you feeling?"

"I'm fine," she nodded, examining the condensation that had accumulated on the bottle and gently splaying her fingers over the cold container.

The father of four smiled warmly at his pseudo daughter. "I saw you tense during the priest's reading, pumpkin." He watched as Emily stiffened at the question, and he nodded his head in acknowledgement. "Tell me what's on your mind, Emily. I can make you, you know."

Emily wanted to smile at the older man's joke. "Nothing too big." She gave a small shrug before looking up to the graying man, worrying filling her dark orbs. "Jennifer really loves church and reading the bible." She felt her chin tremble at the thought that had been racing through her mind, her chocolate eyes meeting those of her girlfriend's father. "Do you think that she'd pick it over me? Listen to everything they say about being gay?"

James looked sternly at the teenager before him. "Emily Joi, you know that I do not stand for any of my children thinking poorly of themselves."

The brunette gave a vigorous nod of the head, her hand quickly going up to wipe away more tears that had fallen down from her eyes. "I know," she nodded, giving the quietest of sniffles so the older man couldn't hear it.

James set down his newspaper onto the granite island, his heart breaking at the girl before him who was doing her best not to crack under his gaze. "Come here, sweetheart." He held his arms out to the teen, wrapping her in a tight embrace when she somberly sat herself down beside him on the other side of the island. Pressing a fatherly kiss to her dark head of hair, James held Emily to him as tight as he could. "I know you're a little nervous after mass, I understand that, pumpkin."

Emily nodded into the father of four's chest, her arms tight around his waist. "I know," she croaked. "If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable," she whispered, shivering in James' hold. "They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads."

"Leviticus 20:13." The blond man nodded at the remembrance of the certain verse. "That's one of Amielle's favorite verses."

Emily sobbed into her pseudo father's chest, feeling the shirt beneath her head beginning to soak from the tears that were falling from her eyes. "She'll hate me." She looked up into James' blue eyes, the ones that he had given to his youngest daughter. "She's gonna really hate me when she finds out."

"Oh pumpkin," James crooned, kissing the French girl's cheek warmly. "She could never hate you, Emily. Who could ever hate you?"

The eighteen year old did her best to glare at the man whose arms she was nestled in. "Do you know your wife at all? She preached about apples to me when I took two in one day just to make me put it back!" Her head shook violently at the thought of the blond woman who had taken her into her home. "She follows every word of the Bible inside and out and she would never look at me the same if she found out."

James shushed the crying girl, rocking her shaking body gently in his arms to calm her down. "No matter what happens, what she may think, you are my little girl just as much Julie, Jennifer and my Grace are. I will let nothing happen to you."

Emily felt her heart stop at the older man's words, but her thoughts kept on coming. "What if she disowns Jennifer? When she finds out that her little girl is gay, and I'm the one who brought it out in her?"

"You know that's not how it works, honey." He ran a hand down Emily's back to calm her just that much more, looking down into those big brown eyes that were filled to the brim with tears. "Even Amielle can't deny that what you and Rosie are isn't a chosen pathway." Taking her chin firmly between his fingers, he nodded his head. "You are a perfect young woman just the way you are, and nothing can change that. Get that through your pretty head, pumpkin," he chuckled softly, letting her cling to him once more.

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