The Perfect Family

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The Trouble Begins

Ava is woken up by somebody ringing the doorbell again and again. She checks the alarm clock beside her bed, and seeing that her grandparents would still be home she ran downstairs.

"Grandma! Grandpa! Who's at the door?" Ava yelled, almost tripping when she was met with a tall lady with shockingly red hair.

"Grandma? Who's she?" She asked, confused with the situation. Ava could tell something was wrong because this mystery woman had rang the doorbell, and nobody ever did that. Also because Henry had a very scared and shocked face, and Ava had never in her short life seen her grandfather shocked or scared by anything.

Quickly, before Ava could see or hear much more, Madeline was ushering her out the door and telling Ava how they would take a day and go to the mall.

"What about school Grandma? Won't I get in trouble?" Ava, despite being excited about going out with Grandma, who always bought her anything she wanted, was worried about what would happen to her if she missed school and wasn't sick.

"It's okay to skip a day here and there. We need some time together, alright Ava? I haven't been seeing enough of my favorite grandchild lately!" Madeline jokes as she tells one of the maids to make them breakfast. "Is that okay with you Ava?" She asks, sitting at the breakfast bar.

"Alright Grandma!" Ava replies, forgetting all about school as fresh chocolate chip pancakes are placed under her nose.

Madeline and Ava leave around the same time Madeline usually heads to the office, taking one of the "big" cars and heading for a nearby small town that mostly consisted of mom and pops shops and small diners. The main attraction of the town was a truck stop half a mile away.

In the meantime, Crystal woke up not hungover for the first time in a long time. She got up, got dressed, took a long shower, and shot a text to the guy of the day.

An hour later, whichever guy she happened to text was sitting next to her on the couch. The situation would stay innocent for no more than the next two or three minutes before a heavy make out session began.

Of course, in the thrall of cheating with an attractive guy in the house that she had bought with her husband, Crystal failed to notice the door open. She failed to notice the voice of her husband panicking at the door, but Crystal did notice when Gabriel dropped some sort of glass. Crystal did notice when glass went everywhere and Gabriel started yelling for the man to leave his house.

Crystal's eyes welled up with tears as she stood up and adjusted her clothing. "Gabriel I can explain! I kn-" She starts, fully ready to try and explain away her horrendous actions.

"Stop!" Gabriel cuts her off with an unusually gruff shout. "We have to get to your parents house immediately. Your father needs all the support he can get right now. We will be talking later Crystal." Gabriel steps around the glass on the floor and takes Crystal by the wrist as he leads her out of the house.

"Baby! Gabe! Gabriel! Please try to unders-" Crystal tries again, struggling against his forceful grip.

"I just explained that we will talk about this later. Right now you need to put on a smile and act like you love me. It shouldn't be hard." Gabriel hisses, once again cutting Crystal off.

"I do love you Gabriel." Crystal says, trying to reason with Gabriel. She's never seen him so upset before, and it's scaring her. "Our baby can't be from a broken home." Crystal is crying and emotional and she forgets she hasn't told Gabriel the news yet.

"Our baby? What do you mean our baby?" Gabriel is immediately softer and his grip lessens.

Crystal gulps. She can't help it, she really didn't mean to tell Gabriel yet. "I-I'm pregnant Gabe." Crystal looks down at her feet and rubs the wrist Gabriel let go.

"We will talk about all of this later, I swear. We do have to get to your parents house though." Gabriel seems so conflicted Crystal doesn't push the issue and gets into the car without further question.

When Crystal and Gabriel walk into the dining room at Crystal's parents house, they are met with the sight of a woman with bright red hair staring at their father as he looks more stressed than either of them had ever seen him.

"Yes! Please take a seat! Xavier and James should be here soon. Adrian has disappeared again." Henry says as he looks up at his only daughter and her husband. Crystal and Gabriel don't hesitate to take seats across from Henry and the strange woman.

Xavier and James walk in just moments after Crystal and Gabriel sit down, both of them taking seats on the same side of the table.

"What do you need to talk to us about Dad?" Xavier asks, eyeing the women in the seat next to his father.

"Yeah! And who's that woman?" Crystal asks, eyeing the red head with disdain.

"I'm sorry to tell you all this under these circumstances." Henry begins. "Your mother is out with Ava, don't give me that look Xavier." Henry shoots a look toward his son. "This woman-"

"Clara Chavez" The woman interjects.

Henry gives a quick nod of affirmation "As I was saying, this woman claims to be my child. I have never once cheated on Madeline, so this claim is unfounded and a crazy accusation." Henry folds his hands together on the table. "However, this would also be a nightmare for us in terms of press."

"What are you saying Henry?" Gabriel asks, looking uncomfortably at Clara. The other people seated on that side of the table made similar remarks.

"He means that he wants you to help him decide if he should pay me off or not. I will go to the press if Henry decides not to pay me." Clara speaks up, locking eyes with each of them in turn.

"You can't do that! It's blackmail!" James exclaims, shaking his head in disbelief.

Clara gives a smile so chilling Crystal actually shivers. Gabriel and Xavier, who are on either side of her, both reach out and grab one of her hands.

"I know exactly what it is. And you have my terms." Clara stands up and throws her red hair over her shoulder. "You can expect to see more of me. I will get my money. You abandoned my mother as soon as you found out about me, so now I want my penance." Clara walks calmly out of the house, not even sparing the magnificent house a second glance.

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