Crossing Palms

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Fifteen

Kitty swooped in and wrapped an arm around Adina, coaxing her off to keep her busy. Matthew gave an over exaggerated bow, making Raysia laugh and then disappeared. Leaving Mark and Raysia alone. He drank in the woman sitting next to him. Her red hair framing her face. The way her eyes twinkled, the curiosity shining through as she watched him, Waiting for his next move. He wanted to know everything he could. And share with her anything she wanted.

"I don't think we have been properly introduced. My full name is Marcus Anthony Dawlisky. I'm thirty-one years old. The youngest of all my siblings, Matthew is actually the oldest and Matthew is my only brother. We have a few sisters between us though. Like my mom said earlier, the family business was investigating crimes within the Wiccan community. And if need be, stepping in on occasion. I love being outdoors and I have no idea how this is supposed to work but I really hope I don't screw it up." He smiled at her. Reaching for her hand. When she didn't pull away from him his heart skipped a beat and a surge of excitement shot through him.

Raysia watched him. She wanted to grab his face and pull him to her. A need growing inside her that felt like it would take over if she let it. The sound of his voice had sent waves of comfort and peace through her. His smile warm and inviting. He still smelled of pine and dirt with a just a hint of cologne. She found it intoxicating. Even the short beard adorning his jaw line was growing on her.

"Well," she began, letting out the breath she hadn't realised she was holding, "I'm not sure what you don't already know about me. This is all new for me as well. I never really paid much attention to the vrak bonding stuff cause I didn't think it was ever in my luck to happen. But from what I can feel when I touch you, especially after everything that's happened. I'm glad that it's you. Before my accident my gifts were alive and I could use my abilities to heal or know exactly what someone was feeling. I haven't had those abilities in months, except now, when I'm touching you. And I can't explain it but even just looking at you makes me want to be next to you, always. But I don't want to hurt you with the baggage I carry. You saw the reports so you know. I've been raped, I've lost a baby I never wanted and now I know it's because this psycho fucked my sister's head up so badly that she didn't realise she have him permission." She stopped, tears breaking through the wall she had been so desperately hiding behind. Mark grabbed hold of the side of her chair and pulled her closer, he snaked his arms around her waist and pulled her further into his lap craddling her to him. He buried his head against her neck, getting lost her hair, as he rubbed her back and rocked her.

She started to laugh a little and it caught him by surprise. He lifted his head, tilting it a little, trying to see her face past the thick curtain of red. She whipped her head, flinging her hair out the way and began kissing him so deeply his hands went to roaming over her on their own accord. She pulled away just slightly, laughing again. Her eyes searching his.
"I'm not crying because I'm sad or in pain. Im crying at the relief of finally saying it out loud. The freedom. I've felt like a monster. That I should have been beside myself after losing the baby, no matter how it was conceived. That I shouldn't have been relieved when the doctor told me. But I was. And now I know that Travis was my rapist and I honestly feel even more relieved. Right now I would be saddled with his infant child. A child that very well could grow up to be just like him. A child that would most likely only put my sister and myself in more danger if he knew it was his." Something knew came to her, suddenly causing her to blush and shock reaching her face. "We can't. I can't. You didn't ask for this! You shouldn't have to fight my battles!"

Raysia turned to get off his lap but Mark pulled her back, grabbing her face, he turned her head to make her look at him. Her words struck him like a sucker punch to the gut. "Ray. I'm. Not. Going. Any. Where." He gruffed out, his throat tight. Desperation setting into his chest. He wouldn't leave her. He would never. This woman was now his world and he would be damned if he abandoned her. He wasn't about to let her push him away and think he would just stand by while she 'toughed it out'. She tried to pull away again. But he didn't budge. Her fists came up, landed several blows to his chest. He let her, a few of them actually made him whince but he didn't let go. Her head fell to his shoulder, fists gripping at the fabric around his collar. Mark buried his face in her neck again. "You're not alone baby. Not any more, I promise."

Adina
Kitty had decided they would go shopping with out Mark and Raysia, that he could take her sister later. She'd ordered Matthew to escort them as a precaution. The woman was so sweet and so generous. They shopped for everything. Adina could barely keep up. From shoes, to clothes, perfume, even offered to buy any books or supplies for hobbies. She bought Adina a new phone and laptop. After realising that Adina and Raysia hadn't been able to recover their wallets or anything she had Matthew make a few calls. Kitty seemed very pleased when he informed them their new forms of ID would arrive tomorrow.

By the time they got back to the Dawlisky house Adina was beyond exhausted and just wanted a nap. Matthew helped her carry her things upstairs, Kitty only a few steps behind them. When Matthew didn't stop at the room they'd been taken to this morning she turned to look at Kitty, hoping for an explanation. "Oh, I'm sorry dear. I told the maids this morning to set up a more permanent room for you so that you can have your privacy and feel free to make it your own. This is your home now for as long as you want it. We can paint it or buy new furniture, what you'd like." Kitty beamed. She was thrilled to have females in the house again. She loved her sons but it wasn't the same. She felt a pull to this girl. A need to nurture and love that she couldn't remember ever feeling before. Not even when her children were infants. She wanted Adina to feel safe, to feel loved, to know that she wasn't beyond forgiveness. Maybe it was Kitty's own feelings of falling short in her maternal duties, but either way Adina was as much a part of this family now as Raysia. And Kitty always took care of her children.
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