DISCLAIMER: CSI Miami and its characters are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS. No infringement intended.
WARNING: This story contains scenes of bloody violence. Reader discretion is advised.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
After she parked in front of the Complex, and as silently as she could, she made her way through the building. As she walked through the living room, she tried to avoid looking at her brother who was passed out in a death like trance on one of the leather couches. Entering her room, she pushed the door shut behind her and began to pull out two duffel bags. Stuffing the warmest clothes she could find into the bags, she also packed several guns, and even her iPod and the picture of herself training in the gym with Quinn.
Wiping the now silent tears that were trailing down her face, Grayson leaned her head against her bedpost trying to find the strength for the things she had to do. Clearing her head with a silent shake, Grayson pulled out soft white stationary and began to write two more letters. Taking her time and several long, painful minutes, she finished and slid each letter into an addressed envelope. Standing, she picked up the duffel bags and texted Dominique that she was now on the way to the airport, she took the letters with her, exiting the room.
Looking down at Jordan's slumbering form, she stopped herself from playing with his boyish curls, and she strode into the kitchen. Making sure both letters were visible when everyone woke up, Grayson leaned down to pat Adonis and Echo for the last time, since they had heard her arrival, they had been trailing that master through the building. "Take care of them okay? Even if you're not sure, just start attacking okay?" She rubbed both their ears playfully and kissed them both on the top of the head. She stood without a backwards glance and walked down the stairs into the garage.
Throwing the duffel bags into the back seat of the Mercedes, Grayson leaned against the side of the car, her forehead on the cool steel of the car's roof. Covering her face, she chanted over and over that she wasn't going to cry and everything would be alright.
Wiping the tears that continued to fall from obsidian eyes, Grayson stared into the garage at the finished Mustang under the tarp. Sighing, she walked inside and grabbed the tarp, tearing it off of the beautiful machine. Where there had been rust and nothing, now in its place, was gleaming black paint and raw American muscle. Lifting the hood she made sure the final touch on the car had been delivered via her satisfaction. She then opened the driver's side door and smiled at the photo she had taken of Calleigh leaning over the front end of the car, helping her days before. The photo had been developed in black and white, because everyone knew truly priceless moments didn't need color at all.
Setting the picture frame back down, Grayson walked out of the garage and opened the driver's side door to her car. Feeling eyes upon her body, she looked up curious to see who could be awake to catch her running off again.
Locking eyes with piercing jade eyes, Grayson realized that Calleigh was standing at one of the enormous windows, watching her closely. Grayson had a million things she wanted to say, she wanted to do, but every single one of them would pull her family closer to the death sentence that would eventually be handed out to them. Pushing on her sunglasses, Grayson slid into the driver's seat and pulled away from the Complex as quickly she could headed towards the private airfield where Dominique was waiting for her with her G5 ready and fully stocked for a long trip out of town indefinitely.
Standing at the window, watching Grayson drive away, Calleigh's emotion were in turmoil. Part of her was relieved that the dangerous woman was away from her wife, but on the other hand, she really liked the young woman and enjoyed her company.
Natalia was going to be devastated as she was really looking forward to spending some quality time with Grayson, really getting to know her.
As a ray of light fell over Jordan's relaxed face, he grunted at the intrusion, leaking into his eyelids and warming his face. Sitting up with another groan, he rubbed sleep encrusted eyes and opened them, looking around stretching and yawning. Standing up he noticed, Calleigh at the window. "Hey Short Stack... you alright?"He put a hand on her shoulder.
Turning to her friend, Calleigh didn't know how to tell him this, other than straight out. "Grayson's left. She's lefts us letters on the counter, and I would ask that you wait to read until I get Talia. I think that she's gonna need you."
Eyes going wide, his hand dropped from her shoulder, but his voice was an attempt at being light when he noticed the dogs were still there. "She can't leave without the dogs... They go everywhere with her." However, by the end of the statement, his eyes had fallen on the letters left for them on the countertop. His hands began to shake lightly and he clasped them into tight fists, bowing his head, trying to control himself. "No ... No... No, no, no, no." He chanted over and over again, maybe if he said it more, the nightmare would stop, and he would wake up. This couldn't be real; Grayson wouldn't leave him out of this. She wasn't that stupid. Right?
Hugging the young man, Calleigh held him close, knowing his pain was not something that was going to go away soon, and the emptiness would not be filled.
Taking long deep breaths, his eyes slid out the window. He knew that eventually that she would have to leave, but he had thought foolishly, she would take him with her. Take him on the final hunt, the monster deserved to die for what he had done to them, to their parents. He slowly realized that even though he wanted the man dead, Grayson wanted the man to suffer, to beg and plead for his life, like she had. They were sixteen when she told him that, how he'd held her down and made her beg for her life, beg to be let go, to be allowed to live. Jordan wrapped arms of corded steel around Calleigh for a brief moment, kissing the top of her head before letting her go. "You need to wake Natalia..." He looked down at her behind flat black eyes.
"Yeah, give me a few and we'll be right out." Tightening her arms briefly, Calleigh turned and slowly walked into his bedroom.
Going over to the bed, Calleigh stared down at her sleeping wife and smiled. They were going to have a baby. Natalia was curled up on her side with her hands underneath her chin; looking like an angel. Leaning over, she gently kissed a bronze shoulder.
"Darlin', you need to wake up."
Long lashes fluttered open at the sound of her wife's voice, her body even warmed at the contact of the lips on her shoulder. "Mmm, what's wrong?" Even just waking, she could detect an underlying sense of tension in the blonde's voice. Her hands slid up around Calleigh's body, pulling her down closer to her. "Come back to bed..." She whispered smiling in her semi still asleep state.
Reluctantly, Calleigh said what had to be said. "Talia, we need to go help Jordan... Grayson's left, and there are a couple of letters waiting to be read in the kitchen."
Similar to Jordan's expression, Natalia's eyes snapped open in worry. "What?" She stared at Calleigh, her hands shaking as they tried to find anchor anywhere to rest them, setting them beside herself, she sat up and closed her eyes.
Reaching for her hands, Calleigh took them in hers, scooting so that they were sitting almost on top of each other. "Gray has taken off. I had just gotten up and I saw her putting her things in the car from the window and drive off. She left a couple of envelopes on the counter with our and Jordan's name on them, and he's waiting for us so that we can read them together."
Sighing and leaning her head against Calleigh's, she looked up into her wife's eyes again. Signing quickly that her cousin wouldn't leave for just any random reason, Natalia kissed Calleigh softly, allowing her wife to help her up out of bed and into the robes, hanging just inside the bathroom door before she could be lead out into the living room, and she took Calleigh's hand tightly in her own.
"We will get through this babe." Calleigh reassured her wife. "Jordan, you, me and our baby will be one big family for Grayson to come back to, and she will come back."
Sitting on a barstool, Jordan was staring down at the letters with tears in his eyes. When he heard Calleigh mention that she will come back, he laughed silently. She was probably right; trying to kill Grayson was harder than it looked.
Walking over and leaning her head against her cousin's shoulder, Natalia squeezed Calleigh's hand and nodded for her to open the letter after she kissed Jordan's cheek. Resting her chin on her wife's shoulder now, she began to read what Grayson had written for them.
Natalia and Calleigh,
Congratulations on the baby, you'll make excellent parents. You're probably wondering why I would write you a letter when I could just say this to you.
That's the problem though, if I said this to you, we both know you would try to stop me. Natalia, I know that you wanted your family to meet me, and Calleigh, I'm sure you wanted the same thing. That can never happen; I'm wanted by the FBI. If any more people find out about us, about our relationship, then I can no longer protect you. And if I can't protect you, then what good am I? It's for the sake of your families, for both of you, for your baby, that I have to do this. Judas, Stefan, and my Grandfather all want just one thing. They want me.
I'm sorry for the danger I put you in, I never wanted things to end this way. But it goes to show you no matter how hard you fight fate, in the end it will still come for you all the same. You showed me what it was to be loved, and to be accepted, to be cared about for something other than being a tool. You gave me a home when I had tried to make one in vain, and I know this baby couldn't grow up in a better home. In order for this baby to have the best chance at a good long life, it can't be raised around a monster like me.
I know you want to know what is that I am going to do. I will tell you. I'm going to run. It's what I do best. If I run, Judas will chase me. I'm going to make a final stand and hope that it ends with me. If I live through that, then I will face my biggest challenge, which is to eliminate my Grandfather and Stefan. I don't know if or when I'll ever come back. I've known all my life that I would die defending the people I loved. It's an honorable sacrifice, one I am more than willing to make. If I can trade my life for all of yours, then in my opinion that's a pretty fair deal. I'd rather die for something than fight for nothing. Take care of my brother; he'll need you now more than ever.
P.S. In the event of my death, which is most likely inevitable now, there is a will hidden under the floorboards beneath my bed. Calleigh, the keys are in the Mustang, take good care of her. Natalia, humor my brother and let him spoil you both rotten. I hear babies like music, my entire collection of every song I've ever written, ever loved, ever felt any connection with is locked upstairs in the vault; the key is with my will. Don't forget Adonis loves to be your pillow and he loves a good game of fetch, and Echo just wants to keep you company.
"Hearts are won. Empires fall in love with love. Love will conquer all for one; one for all is fair in love and war. For love and war are one, joined forever by the blood spilt in their names."
Grayson Isis Cerano
Jordan placed his hands over both Calleigh and Natalia's, looking at them sadly, he whispered to both of them. "Whatever happens, we are together in this, understand?"
Natalia's eyes began to drip tears almost immediately, even though her cousin couldn't speak, it seemed that Grayson was better with written words than she was when they were spoken. It was almost like hearing her voice, but she had tangible evidence that her cousin actually had real emotions. Her eyes continued to read down, and the further into the letter she delved, the chill seemed to settle over her bones.
Folding the letter slowly and efficiently, Jordan pushed it back into the envelope and laid it on the counter. Taking a deep breath, he looked up, watching Natalia and Calleigh's faces as they read the last letter his sister would probably ever write to them. Steepling his fingers, he caught himself, he couldn't have that kind of strength it took to walk away from the most important things in her life. It astounded him every day, the amount of torture his sister could do to herself, but this had taken the cake. She was literally using herself as bait; she was committing assisted suicide.
You of all people should understand what I am doing and why I am doing it. I'd invite you along, but with Natalia pregnant and Calleigh injured, Jordan I need you to take care of them for me. Judas is still out there, the Benedict is still out there.
I know that it's your fight as well as mine, but we both know who can pull the trigger and who can't. This has gone on long enough, I've let him chase us and destroy us little by little for far too long. He has to die, one of many, Jordan. With our Grandfather still living and in charge of the Familia as well as having Stefan at his disposal, there is no way I can be near Natalia and Calleigh plus one. It's too dangerous, it's taking too big of a risk on something that I'm not willing gamble with in the first place. I don't know when and if I'll ever be able to come back, but why should all five of us suffer, Sonia included, when I can solve it all and save everyone the trouble.
Don't even try to accuse me of not thinking this through either. You think about it then. Natalia's entire family, Calleigh's entire family, their baby, you not to mention Sonia and probably Quinn just for the hell of it. They could all die Jordan, and we both know he could cover it up like nothing would happened, like just some big accident. All three of them want one thing, and one thing only; they want me. I'm not trying to be a hero. We both know you can either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become a villain. I won't allow him to use you against me, any of you. I love you too much, you mean too much to me. I don't care what you see or what you hear, DO NOT FOLLOW ME. If you do, I'll put a bullet in you myself. Take care of our family, because it's up to you now Jordan.
Your lesser half,
Spinning around, Natalia grabbed a bottle of water and threw it against the refrigerator before she ran upstairs. Calleigh looked at the young man and started to follow her wife.
Eyes narrowing at both of the women's actions, Jordan snatched Calleigh into his arms and chased Natalia up the stairs. If Calleigh had tried run up the stairs after her wife, the stitches would have split, and she would of begin to bleed out, and Grayson had specifically said to TAKE CARE OF THEM. He knew better than to disobey a direct request from his twin sister.
By the time that they made it up the stairs, Natalia was hitting the heavy bag and crying. The bag was swinging slightly with the force of the hits, and the Natalia had her head down, throwing everything that she had into each punch.
Setting Calleigh on the ground, Jordan moved to try to steady the bag. "Natalia... I know you're angry, but she's right. All they want is her." He hated having to say it, he knew it was wrong, but it was the only way any of them would live to see another year. He looked at Calleigh. "Whatever it is she's done to you in the past, she's trying to make it right. All you can do is let her go." He stated quietly.
Stepping forward, Calleigh wrapped her arms around her wife's arms, effectively pinning them against her side. "Baby stop... I know that you're upset, but this isn't going to help you or Grayson."
Natalia leaned back against her wife and cried. She had lost someone that had risked their life to keep her safe, not to mention a family member.
"The baby... With you pregnant, and Calleigh injured, she left me to protect you. I'm not to lead you to her no matter what we see or hear on the news. I know where she's gone and what she's doing, but I can't take you to her." The large man held his urge to hug them, he could barely hold himself together.
Calleigh held Natalia in her embrace, resting her forehead against the brunette's back. She understood Grayson's reasoning, but it didn't make it any easier on them, especially Jordan. He looked like he was barely holding it together.
Closing his eyes he began to explain in a flat voice what his sister was planning. "Up north, out of the country, she'll visit my grandfather first though. To make sure he will let her go for a short while, she'll claim she needs a break. He'll give her one. Or send her on another errand. But she will set a trap and use herself as bait. Judas will come, he can't resist her. He created her." Jordan whispered softly.
Shaking her head, Natalia wrestled free from her wife, signing that she was going downstairs and start breakfast. Something that she was sure that no one would be able to eat, but it gave her something to do.
Jordan didn't move an inch, he simply sank to his knees his hands wrapped into tight fists, pushing them into his hair he began to try to pray for some kind of strength. Even an inkling of what his sister had would get him through this horrific moment of realizing he was alone, again.
Calleigh was torn who to go after, but. She felt that Natalia was alright so she went behind the young man and wrapped her arms around him, holding him close. "She wanted you away from Judas. She knows what can happen and can't bear that possibility. You have been her sole reason for living for so long. You didn't see her face when Eric hurt you. She was lost.".
"She has other reasons Calleigh. And you weren't around her when you and Natalia were hurt, she was enraged, I've never before seen her that out of control." He patted Calleigh's hands. "Plus she left you her dogs and her Mustang, she loves you, in her own strange way."
Coming around so that she could look Jordan in the face. "I know that, but you are her brother. She has spent her entire life with you. You are a part of her the way that no one else can be. You shared a womb, a heartbeat... Something that we can't imagine. And I think that she needs to keep you just as safe as she needs to keep us. Without you, there is no reason for her to be human. She would be a killing machine.".
Tugging on a link of golden honey wheat hair, Jordan smiled. "Stop being so difficult and realize that crazy killing machine loves you. Eric is the only Target to have been Sentenced and still live." The large man stood up, pushing the punching bag away from him. "She's never stopped before, never has she ever stopped and turned someone into the authorities."
Smiling at the giant of a man with the gentlest soul that she had ever met, Calleigh stood up so that she could stare him in the eyes. "You silly rabbit, I knew that she loved me the first time that she let me win at pool. I don't think that Grayson loses at very many thing.".
Lifting the blonde like he'd seen his sister do on numerous occasions, Jordan carried the smaller woman into the elevator and pushed the button for the ground floor of the Complex. With one arm he threw up the gate upon reaching their desired level and let his jaw drop at the beautiful display of American Muscle in their garage, now his garage. The gleaming black paint was breath taking, the car had been restored to its almost total glory, since his sister couldn't stop herself from bells and while they were custom racing rims, body kit, fiberglass hood, tinted windows, the car was all black, every inch except for the decals. A thing of beauty.
"Holy shit! She gave this to me?" Calleigh was trying to bring her jaw up from the floor.
"No sugar, she didn't give it to you, she built her just for you." He carried her over and set her in the chair next to the machine. Lifting the hood he pointed to the DuVista family crest engraved in the hood underneath above the engine, and then he pointed down to the license plate that said BLLTGRL.
Sitting in that chair, it hit her; Grayson was gone and Calleigh started crying. Her and Grayson butted head and had disagreements, but the blonde always knew that there was someone there who would die for Natalia, just like she would and that in its own perverse way was comforting.
Putting a hand on his cousin's shoulder, Jordan knelt next to her. Sighing, he began to speak. "More than anything, this is what she tried so hard to protect you from. Eventually things would spiral out of control like they always do around her. She left because she loves you, all of you, the baby she knew about. She couldn't leave without making sure though. It just cemented further why she had to leave Calleigh. Let her have her beautiful death, let her die a hero. Instead of a villain."
Wiping her face, Calleigh stared at the young man and shook her head. "You of all people, should have faith in your sister. I'm sure that she's been in tough situations before and has gotten out alive. I know that she is offering herself for Judas, your grandfather and Stefan, but I am going to believe that she will get out of this alive and come back to you, back to all of us. And if you don't, you don't deserve to be her brother."
Turning to look at the car, the large man stood up and shut the hood, hard, making the metal echo like a gunshot. "If she dies, it all ends. If you honestly believe that I wouldn't trade places with her in a heartbeat, than your a fool as well. All she has ever wanted was to find our estranged family. She wanted to prove we weren't alone, and that all of us weren't bad. That there had to be some reason for her guilt, for her inability to just kill without remorse, like the rest of the family. Now that she has that proof, let her do what she's wanted to do since she was six. I hope to God she does come back, but I don't expect her to."
He had never once turned around to look back at her, choosing instead to keep his massive hands on the hood of her new car, staring at the wall behind car.
Jumping to her feet, Calleigh walked over and turned him to face her. "I know that you would trade places with her, and that she has this need to finish that. I get it, but you have to have faith, because without faith, we have nothing. So you believe whatever you want because I know that Talia and I will believe that she will come back and be a part of our family." Turning around, she slowly made her way upstairs.
Natalia was quietly making breakfast for herself, Calleigh and Jordan. It was physically painful as well as mentally, to come to grips with the fact her cousin had left her. Deep down she knew Grayson was right, but it was still one of the hardest things she had to come to terms with. Her cousin was willingly using herself as bait to lure out her greatest predator. Putting her elbow on the countertop, Natalia hung her head and began to cry softly again. The tears tracing wet tracks down her bronze cheeks onto the oak of the countertop. Shakily she stood again to her full height and finished the light breakfast she had been preparing; Scrambled eggs, pancakes, toast, grits, fruit, and of course, bacon for Calleigh.
Walking into the kitchen, Calleigh came up beside her wife and laid her head on her shoulder. "Hi babe. You doing alright?"
Signing no, she wasn't alright, she wanted Grayson to come home; Natalia leaned back against her. Closing her eyes, she took in a deep breath of the scent that always seemed to linger around the blonde; always, peaches and vanilla, it was soothing. Taking one of Calleigh's hands in her own, she held it around her against her belly, taking another deep breath.
"We're having a baby. I can't tell you how cool that it to be able to say that... I know that you want Grayson to come home, I do to and I'm gonna believe that she will someday." Calleigh reassured her.
Nodding her head that she agreed with her, she signed silently that the baby would most likely have Calleigh's stubborn streak, she smiled for the first time since waking up that morning. Turning around she had Calleigh help her with setting the table for Jordan, who had appeared at the top of the stairs wiping dime-sized tears out of his eyes.
Under his arm, Natalia noticed a framed wooden framed black and white photograph. He wordlessly handed it to her before sitting down to eat without real enthusiasm. Smiling at the photograph, it made certain parts of her clench and not all of them were near her heart. It was a photo of Calleigh in pair of Grayson's coveralls, oil streaked across her nose, blonde hair in a pony tail, and her body laying over the hood of a rusted muscle car. It was one of the most beautiful and erotic things she'd ever seen, hugging the photo to her chest, she kissed Calleigh softly and showed her the photo smiling.
The blonde smiled. "I didn't even know she took the picture. Where did she leave it Jordan?"
Slowly chewing his food he looked up at her, his eyes were no longer the sinister black his sister seemed to convey, they were now the warm honey brown they normally were. "The front seat of your new car. She must of taken it when you were working on the Mustang together." Taking a sip of his coffee he looked at the photographs his sister had left behind of their parents. "Sometimes she has moments, where she tries to do nice things for people she cares about."
Slapping the counter to get his attention, Natalia signed. 'We know that she cared about us. We got it. She's gone because she cares about us. You don't have to be sarcastic.'
"I'm sorry...." His face dissolved from the calm facade into a broken mask of fright. "She's never left like this before. Just disappeared. I'm not sure what to do... What do I do?" He covered his face and stood up from the table.
Signing that he was going to help them get ready for the baby, Natalia went over to hug her cousin.
Before he could respond the buzz from the speaker downstairs rang through the large complex. He'd installed it for deliveries for all the car parts they constantly ordered. Frowning he went to answer the door, moments later he returned with two envelopes one larger than the other, addressed to Calleigh and Natalia the other to Grayson.
Reading the letter quickly, Natalia paled.
Calleigh grabbed the letter and reread it.
Calleigh & Natalia,
Thank you both for helping me through my arrest, turning my life around and introducing me to Grayson... You both have changed my life for the best and will forever be the best friends I'll have in this lifetime.
Calleigh thank you for giving me a second chance, I wouldn't have been able to turn my life around from the jail cell. Natalia, you and Calleigh having faith in me has helped me more then I could ever repay...Thank you again and again.
You warned me I would hurt Grayson and she, in turn, left me. Perhaps you were right Natalia, I got too close and like the rest, she disappeared. From how I read it, it is my fault for making her leave town, maybe she'll come back to you if I leave. So I'm gone...
I'm leaving you the diner, everything you need to get the diner signed over is stamped sealed and signed in the envelope, sell it, keep it, I don't care. The Jeeps title is in there as well with a bill of sale, it's sitting at the airport on a 3 day pass if you care to pick it up.
Suddenly Miami has too many memories that I can't handle living through day to day. If you are ever in Spain, look me up. Until then...
Take care of yourselves
"What does it say?" Jordan asked nervously, he slid Grayson's letter into an empty counter drawer.
Handing him the letter, Calleigh went into Jordan's bedroom to dress and was soon back, tugging on a pair of tennis shoes. "I'm going to go get her. She needs to be here with us."
Slapping the counter once again, Natalia got both of their attentions. signing so quickly that it was hard to follow, Calleigh thought that she said. 'Calleigh, you're staying here. You don't need to be getting in and out of cars just yet and you can call the airport and see which flight she would be on. There's no way that she could have made a reservation yet. Jordan, you head to the airport as fast as you can and we'll call you with the information. I don't care how you do it, you just get her back here.'
Calleigh threw up her hands. "I'm not arguing with her."
Taking a deep breath, Jordan smiled. "When you get like this, you remind me of Grayson." He smiled again and disappeared into the bedroom, moments later he reappeared in riding leathers with a helmet under one arm, zipping up his jacket, he pushed on sunglasses and gave each woman a kiss on the cheek. "Back in a flash." He pushed the helmet onto his head and walked down the stairs into the garage.
Within moments, the two women heard nothing but the screeching of rubber and the high-pitched whine of a Ducati 999s ripping down the empty streets amongst decrepit warehouses.
The second Grayson had seen Calleigh, the moment their eyes had locked, it was clear the blonde knew what she was up to. If she didn't agree, well to hell with her, but she more than likely understood. The drive to the airport was nothing more than a blur, she didn't even turn on the radio, it seemed that her thoughts were more than enough company. The assassin had strong self-control, legendary discipline, unswerving determination, she was the unstoppable force. What she didn't have however, was her family, the one thing she would give anything for. Hence the self-imposed exile/public execution.
Luring Judas out of hiding should be a simple chore, she thought. The fool had to have her, he had to posses her, it had been proven time and time again. He was just as obsessed with her as she was with him, and that was easy to use to her advantage. If he wanted her, he could chase her, but this time she would choose the terms, she would choose the battlefield. Home field advantage had to count for something right? Judas Benedict was hers, her white whale. He was her unicorn, only he wasn't going to die the perfect death. Oh no, no, no, he would suffer, he would beg, scream, bleed, moan, gurgle, bleed some more, gag, scream, and choke on his own blood before he would die peacefully. He would pay and she would collect.
It still didn't make her feel anymore justified leaving her family. Especially with the baby on the way, sorely more than most, Grayson secretly wanted to be around a pregnant Natalia. Just to sneak a feel at a baby bump, squashing down the sentimentally of the thought, she focused instead of what she had done to Sonia. Made love to her for the first and the last time, could she have been anymore cruel to that woman? So many wrongs would never make at least one right, nothing would change, but she was going to try like hell to change the way it went down. Jordan, he didn't' deserve to be taken through hell. Calleigh would take good care of Natalia, she knew it.
Pulling the gunmetal Mercedes coupe into the last open airplane hangar on the private airfield, Grayson cut off the engine and examined her appearance. Her air was tousled, but she looked better than she had the rest of the week; the artfully faded blue v neck short sleeve t-shirt with a pair of distressed brownish jeans pushed into brown leather knee high boots, topped off with a brown leather jacket and aviator shades.
Tucker and Tanner were standing guard at the two G5 private planes occupying the enormous hanger. Behind her Mercedes were two bulletproof limo's black of course, exiting the vehicle, she locked it behind her and met the brothers halfway.
"Mornin' boys. I want one of you in each limo, you know how I am about children okay?" When they both nodded at her instructions, she moved on. "I'm leaving town for awhile so these will be my last orders understand?"
"Leaving town? Like not coming back?" Tanner was young, only nineteen to his older brothers twenty-four. He'd become attached to her, much like Tucker had. It made her heart clench she would have to abandon good people.
"That remains to be seen. Raines." She made sure to address both of them and when they both went silent, she continued. "Jordan is staying behind. Check on him every day, drive by both the Complex and every house hold that has a relative in it, do you understand me?"
"I thought you caught Eric, Boss?" Tucker interrupted.
"I did. Don't ask fucking questions." She hissed, then immediately felt bad for having to pull rank. "Just don't ask questions please. Okay?" When they both nodded, she motioned to the pilots to lower the stair to each plane, and then for the limo drivers to come get the baggage and open their doors for the families.
After the families had exited the planes, Grayson grabbed her duffel bags and threw them into one of the empty planes. As Dominique came down the stairs, he caught one in the middle of the chest. "Morning to you too. We'll be ready for flight in about an hour, we need time to refuel, and it's a long flight... Up north." He deposited the bags inside the cabin and left her alone.
Turning to the brothers, she motioned they should sit up front with the limo drivers, she unlocked her Mercedes, intending to at least follow the families to the DuVista household, maybe catch a last glimpse of her family before disappearing for good.
Taking a throwaway phone out of her back pocket, she texted Jordan and told him that the families would be waiting at the DuVista household and were anxious to see them.
Behind the mirrored lenses, Grayson's cold black eyes calculated all the similarities between Calleigh's family and the blonde CSI. The brothers, Court and Chance, were like male versions of their sister Calleigh, the same beautiful bone structure and soft white skin, blonde hair all around, and Court's two boys were the same. Grayson then looked at Anya, Christine, and Christine's two little girls. They were all so beautiful, all this did however, was further cement her reasoning that staying in Miami was lethal for these families. Her smile was easy to cover, more than anything she wanted to be a part of that family, to share in the smiles and the laughter. It seemed the only comfort she had now was a gun, pretty hard reality she sighed to herself.
Isabel caught sight of the lady that had been with Tia Natalia and Tia Calleigh when they were home last and ran over to stand to her. "Hi, where is my Tia's?"
Kneeling down and taking off her sunglasses in respect for the child, the assassin smiled for the first time that morning and looked the little girl square in the eye. "Your Tia's are on their way to their house to meet you."
Natalia's father, Alejandro Boa Vista walked up to get his granddaughter. "I am sorry if my grand-daughter bothered you. She wants to see my daughter Natalia and her wife to tell them about her vacation."
Standing up to her full height, and with the heels, she stood an inch above Alejandro's eye level. She lifted her eyes from the beautiful child and looked him in the eye. "There is no need to make any apologies Sir, you have a beautiful family." Her smile was honest and warm, because she was being truthful. Natalia, Christine, Anya, Eva, and Isabel were beautiful girls, he had every right to be the proud man he was.
Squinting his eyes, he stared at this woman in front of him, and then his eyes went wide and he pulled his granddaughter away. "You stay away from my family. I know who you are." Slowly he began to back away.
Eyebrows knitted together and it dawned on her, Alejandro remembered who she was. He remember what she looked like as a child from photos, and he still cared to hold a grudge. Silly little man, foolish, though she respected his decision to make his claim, because he was right. Eyes narrowing, she crossed her arms. rolling her eyes. Her deep whiskey voice boomed through the hanger. "Tucker, Tanner, take them to the DuVista household please." Turning she looked at Alejandro, sizing him up before walking past him to talk to the drivers quietly.
He watched her walk away, turning he directed the little girl to go to her mother as he slowly followed her, making sure that he kept a close watch on the woman talking to the drivers.
Ignoring Alejandro's gaze, Grayson gave specific instructions to the drivers who bowed their heads over and over nodding constantly, terrified to mishear something from their boss. Patting them both on the shoulder she signaled to Tanner and Tucker to get into the limos while she got behind the wheel of her Mercedes, the limos pulled out of the hanger followed closely by Grayson.
A short time later, they were pulling into the DuVista's neighborhood.
Sonia turned up the volume on her iPod, otherwise quietly waiting, pacing in front of the boarding gate window. Opening the letter to read it once more, she closed her eyes and shook her head, letting a tear fall.
Parking the expensive motorcycle in the correct area, Jordan pulled off the helmet and strapped it to the back seat of the bike. Unzipping his jacket, he pushed through the crowd of people entering the bustling airport, he checked the text message Calleigh had sent him. After several tedious moments, Jordan located the right terminal, his heart softened when he caught sight of Sonia staring down at his sister's letter, pacing back and forth in front of the enormous window. He slowly walked towards her and waited until she noticed him, after all sneaking up on a Latina woman wearing headphones and frightening her had its health risks.
She handed him the note, pulling off the earphones, not even looking at him. "It's my fault she's gone. This is why I'm leaving. Just... let me go."
Crushing the letter in his leather-gloved fist, Jordan threw the letter into a nearby trashcan. Taking her hand in his, he lead her to a seat. "Sonia... she left because staying around would get all of us killed." He whispered urgently. "Please come back and let us tell you the full story, don't continue to blame yourself over something you cannot even began to control."
She sat down hesitantly and looked up at him. "I can't... go back in that house, I can't go to the complex its... the memories are bad enough... being where it all happened... I..." She pauses flustered, she wanted to go back, wait it out, but how can sit around and wait. She sighed and nodded. "You are a good brother Jordan. And even if I don't know you ... at all, a good man.... lets... go I guess."
Taking her hand in his, they gathered all the luggage she had brought, though it did take a little while longer to retrieve the luggage that had been already stored on the plane. In no time, they were in front of the Complex, Jordan motioning to leave the luggage, and he helped her into the elevator quietly riding to the second story to Natalia and Calleigh. Holding the gate open, he called out for his cousins to come into the kitchen. "Look who I found." he smiled at Sonia sadly.
Natalia all but ran to wrap her arms around the young woman, while Calleigh followed at a slower pace. "Took you long enough Bear. What did you do, stop and lift weights or something?"
"Unlike my sibling, I obey the rules of the road. Especially on a glorified street rocket." He put his hand on Sonia's shoulder. "The only way I could convince her to come back is promise to tell her the truth."
She lightly hugged back, and gave them both a sad smile, somehow managing to avoid everything visually, but the floor at any given angle.
Walking over to her wife and Sonia, Calleigh reached out and took Sonia's hand to tug her over to one of the sofas.
Sitting so that she could look at the young woman, Calleigh started. "Well, you found out last night that Natalia and those two are cousins, but what you don't know is that..." Looking towards Natalia for help, Calleigh paused.
Signing towards Jordan, hoping he would translate, which he did verbatim. "Grayson is quite literally married to the mob. That's how she came to Miami, running errands for the family business so to speak." Jordan sighed.
She just closed her eyes and nodded. "Okay, makes sense but the way you all are sitting here looking just as lost as me, she gave us all the slip so what's really... going on?"
Sighing, Calleigh continued. "Eric had a partner, his name is Paul Judas and he has a past with both Grayson and Jordan. He's responsible for the death of their parents and for making Grayson the way that she is today. Anyway, he's still out there and she's gone off to draw him away from us in hopes that she can get him to come after her so that she can kill him."
Jordan was proud of the way Calleigh had laid it out all on the table, he couldn't have put it so bluntly. He knew how much it probably cost internally to crush everything together in such a flat unemotional sentences.
Sonia watched Calleigh, then looked at Natalia, then Jordan. "Is there a way we can find him?" Something sinister sparked in her hearing all this game play, mobs, things she only dealt with as a child till she was brought to Miami.
"I will not share that information." He said firmly, his hands in tight fists. "She left to protect you, not to lead you into further danger Sonia. She isn't the only one you have to worry about." He growled. "Our Grandfather has had my sister schooled in almost every single form of combat known to man, she is one of the world's most deadly assassins. You will not try to track her down. Let her come back...on her own." He stared at all three women, this was for all of them to understand.
She stood up walking over to the window everyone seemed to look out, she closed her eyes as if feeling Grayson wrap her arms around her waist again. She took a deep breath and looked out the window again.
Coming up behind her, Jordan wrapped his arms tight around her. "If she didn't love you, if she didn't care for you, then why walk away to try to protect you from herself?" He whispered, hugging her tight.
She turned in his arms and tearlessly cried in his chest. "I don't care about being protected... I'm willing to walk on fire to help her with anything... I'd go through the hell I know she goes through everyday to be at her side and help her."
"I know... Shhh" He ran his hands down her back, resting his head on top of hers. "She left me to take care of you, of all of you, in her absence. So let me take care of you... and help me with our cousin's until your girlfriend comes home to you." he smiled down at her.
She buried herself against him, kidding quietly. "You don't even like me." The slightest of smiles in her sad eyes.
"I can't like someone I don't know very well." He argued back. "I just worry for Grayson, she deserves so much more than she allows herself. When she comes home, promise me you'll take good care of her." He ruffled her hair.
"I wouldn't have it any other way. Do you really think she wants me here when she comes home?" She looked up wondering.
"She wouldn't of spent her last night with you, if she didn't want to be with you when she came home Sonia." He hugged her tighter.
She hugged him, looking out the window. "She better come home in one piece or someone will be answering to the whole lot of us. Not just you and the DuVista's."
"I'm sure if she comes home with more cuts, nicks, and bruises... " He laughed, letting her go and pinching her arm lightly. "You'll be the one to KISS them all better right?" He dragged her back into the living room with the rest of their little make shift family. "She's gone, and it's up to us to make sure she has a home to come back to okay?"
She nodded and leaned into him, hugging him tight. "Thanks for everything."
"Sometimes... when we were younger..." He rested his head on top hers again. "She used to joke that I held her heart inside my chest. And that she held all of my strength inside of hers." he laughed lightly, trying to keep the tears at bay. If he didn't have Grayson, he could occupy his time with Sonia, Natalia and the baby, or Calleigh. He was quite sure, eventually they would become annoyed with his mother hen tendencies.
"Well, with the chest the size of yours, Cerano hearts are the biggest and sweetest of them all." Glances at the DuVista's with a playful snicker, just waiting to be tackled.
Pushing Sonia into the couch, Jordan half-heartedly began to beat her with a soft black suede pillow. "I'm sure that is some kind of reference to Natalia and Grayson's cleavage..." he guffawed.
Laughing, she shielded herself. "Weeeelllll maybe!" Pulling back a pillow trying to get him with it.
Jordan was holding up his arms to ward off Sonia's pillow attack when his phone chirped to alert him of a text. Looking over to Calleigh and Natalia who were back in the kitchen cleaning up, he reached into his pocket and pulled it out. His eyes went wide when he read the message, and he excused himself to go over to the DuVista's.
"We need to go to your house right now."
Calleigh was wiping the counter off. "Why? What's up?"
Natalia turned and wrapped her arms around Calleigh's waist, waiting for Jordan to answer.
"Your families are back in town. Grayson had them flown in this morning as her last surprise, they're waiting at your house for you, which I assume has been finished." He smiled at them pleasantly, even though his sister had abandonment problems, she did leave behind lots of nice surprises.
Looking at each other, Natalia and Calleigh smiled and turned to go into Grayson's bedroom to change clothes. Stopping, Calleigh looked over to Sonia. "You are most welcome to come with us. You might as well meet the family since you're part of it."
Sonia politely declined. "I have to unpack and I need to get to work since I'm not running half away across the world anymore... but thank you. Come by for dinner tonight and we'll play a game of pool okay Jordan?" She smiled and hugged him before departing down the stairs quietly.
Picking up one of the photos from the counter, Jordan clutched his keys tight in his hand, the photo of himself and his sister under the car engine shook in his hands. "Oh Gray... please be safe." He set the photo down sadly, waiting by the door for his cousins. He was nervous to meet their families, and he had an inkling things may not go as smoothly as they thought.
Natalia had to help Calleigh put on a pair of pants as they didn't want to alarm everyone any more than they were going to.
"What exactly are we going to tell them?" Calleigh asked.
Her wife was at a loss for words, thinking to herself for a moment, she nodded more to herself than Calleigh. The truth, she signed. 'They deserve to know we have living family, Calleigh.' She signed this all slowly, watching her wife's expression closely.
"Darlin', I know that my family won't have a problem, but yours might." Calleigh answered her back honestly.
Frowning and nodding to herself, she knew Calleigh was right. Her father was going to be livid with her, but how dare he withhold this information from them. They were family, he should have trusted his daughters enough to share this with them. Natalia signed her thoughts to Calleigh quickly, worried.
Going up to frame Natalia's face with her hands, Calleigh reassured her. "Talia, Jordan and Grayson are a part of OUR family, the DuVista family, and no matter what your father says, nothing is ever going to change that, so he had better get used to it."
Nodding and kissing the blonde softly, she allowed Calleigh to lead her into the living room where Jordan was waiting, twirling his keys in his hand. "Calleigh, I think Grayson intended for you to drive your shiny new toy to your house... though I think she may have some kind of surprise for Natalia." Jordan knew Grayson, and he knew she had wanted to drop gifts left and right on the girls.
Grinning, Calleigh walked over to him. "So, where are my keys then?" Reaching out, she tickled his stomach lightly with her nails.
Slapping her hands away from his chiseled stomach, Jordan laughed. "In the ignition...ACK STOP!" he danced away from her.
"Okay, Uncle Jordy... Come on Talia... Let's go drive my new car." Calleigh grinned. She couldn't wait for Natalia to see the Mustang.
Jordan was already so much a part of their family and he didn't even realize it yet, Natalia smiled as the three of them trooped into the elevator. As soon as it hit ground level and opened up, Natalia's jaw hit the floor. She couldn't even sign a reaction, running her hands over the beautiful machine, she couldn't stop the thoughts of the things she wanted to do with Calleigh, to Calleigh or have the blonde do to her, or that could be done in and around this car.
Watching her wife's face, Calleigh slipped up beside her and whispered. "You should see the backseat." Then she winked as she strolled towards the driver's side.
Smirking as he overheard Calleigh, he opened Natalia's door for his cousin. "I think Grayson had mentioned something about your lack of kink and decided to put in a backseat for you two... normally her custom cars don't have them.." He laughed softly, shutting the door after Natalia.
Reaching out, Natalia grabbed Jordan's arm before he got into his own car, and signed. 'There is kink... and then there is kink. We do just fine, thank you very much.'
Roaring with laughter he patted her hand on his arm. "When Grayson comes back, you two can sit down and have a long talk about kink, since she's the self proclaimed Queen of Kink." He shut the door firmly and patted Natalia's head again before climbing into his own muscle car.
Turning to Calleigh, the brunette signed. 'He's gonna keep our life interesting, isn't he.'
Chucking, Calleigh agreed. "Like it isn't already."
Leading the way to the DuVista household, Jordan pulled up to the curb near two very expensive limos. Getting out, he opened the door for Natalia and helped her of the car.
By the time that Calleigh got out of the car and made her way around to her wife, the front door opened and out ran all four kids. Cal and Leigh headed straight for Calleigh as Natalia's nieces ran to her. The rest of the families were soon all standing in the front yard.
Isabel hugged Natalia around the waist. "Tia, I rode an airplane and I saw the lady that was with you when you were at our house."
Calleigh's head snapped towards the little girl. "Hey Izzy B, where did you see the lady at?"
Isabel answered. "She was at the airport and right now, she's down the street watching us. Don't you see her car, silly?"
Natalia turned, saw that she was right and took off running in that direction.
Jordan knew he wasn't allowed to leave Calleigh's side, so helplessly he watched Natalia try to reach his sister.
Stopping in the middle of the street, Natalia panted, trying to catch her breath as she started crying. Taking a deep breath, she signed, 'Take care of yourself, take care of your business and then come home to your family. We will be waiting for you. We love you Grayson, very much.'
In moments, Grayson was by Natalia's side, holding her sweaty body up. "Talia..." her deep voice was rough with emotion. "You're supposed to be taking care of yourself." She brushed hair out of her cousin's eyes.
'As long as you take care of yourself, I'll do the same.' Natalia signed back. 'Come back to us Grayson.' Softly she whispered. "I love you cousin." Reaching up, she touched the white gold necklace with pendant that Grayson was wearing.
The assassin smiled softly, taking her hand and wrapping it around Natalia's that was touching the pendant that hung against her slightly sweaty chest. "Ironic, I thought I couldn't have a heart, and you gave mine back to me. I plan on coming back to my niece or nephew..." Grayson's hand gravitated towards the nonexistent bump on her cousin's stomach. Pulling her hand back quickly, she kissed Natalia's sweaty cheek, hugging her tightly, she pulled back to look at Natalia, letting her see her eyes after pushing her sunglasses up. "I will come back to my family. I love you too... I'll be watching." She kissed her cheek again softly before slipping into her car and peeling out backwards down the street in a cloud of smoke and rubber, whipping the car around in a half circle, she was gone in moments.
Calleigh and Jordan joined her in the middle of the street. "You alright Darlin'?" Calleigh asked as Jordan rubbed her back.
Natalia took a deep breath and signed that she was better now that she had spoken to Grayson. She hesitated and passed on that Grayson had said she loved her. Jordan's eyes widened and the smile on his face was beautiful. Natalia was overjoyed at hearing those words come from Grayson's lips, when her cousin came home, they would be inseparable, she promised herself.
Twining her fingers with Natalia's, Calleigh tugged her towards the group of people standing in their front yard watching them with puzzled looks, save one.
As soon as Natalia saw her father, she attached herself to Jordan's side, her hand never leaving Calleigh's. Her eyes narrowed at the look on Alejandro's face when he slowly recognized Jordan as well. That meant he had said something to Grayson at the airport. She signed her thoughts to Calleigh and then to Jordan, who just shrugged. "Natty, not everyone is going to think we're good enough to be in your lives..." He trailed off.
Calleigh spoke for the both of them. "Well, we'll tell them all the same thing. In the DuVista family, we pick who is good enough for our family, and you Jordan, are most certainly good enough. If they don't like it, they know the way to the door."
Kissing Calleigh softly, Natalia signed that everyone should come inside and they would talk about the last week; the edited versions of the past week and then they would introduce Jordan to their family. The towering bear of a man nodded and opened their front door for them smiling and waving them all inside. But when he opened the door, he saw the entire living room had been redecorated, Grayson's personal touch had been added, large black and white photographs that she had taken of Adonia, and Beltran; both of them on the beach. It appeared Grayson had been hiding a digital camera all week. He smiled and hoped his cousin's like their new living room couch, and coffee table.
Walking past Jordan into their house, Natalia kept a hold of Calleigh's hand the whole way through the front door and into the living room. She stopped and smiled at all the photos Grayson had taken and placed around their home; there was even a tiny picture of her and Jordan that had been taken at a random silly angle and was placed in a frame on the mantel next to an empty picture frame. Staring for a moment, she signed to Jordan that the photo of her and Calleigh at the range was gone. Smiling, Jordan put a hand on her shoulder. "It's not gone; Grayson took it with her to remember what you look like..." He squeezed her shoulder softly.
Calleigh smiled at Jordan's response and started to say something when all of a sudden when everyone one else started talking at them, asking what was going on.
"Natalia, I need to speak with you privately please." Alejandro whispered urgently once he was near Natalia. He knew the woman that had been in the street was his niece, and the towering man who stood over Natalia like an over protective brother was his nephew. The thought of his children anywhere near these vile people made his fists clench.
Calleigh interrupted him by placing her hand on his arm. "Alejandro, if you wouldn't mind waiting a bit, we will explain and hopefully everything will be made clearer. Why don't we get the kids in our bedroom so that they can watch DVD's while we talk first."
Nodding that his daughter-in-law was right, he helped Anya and Christine help set up a DVD in their bedroom, the whole time keeping an eye on Jordan who stared back at him with bored disinterest.
After the kids where happily ensconced in the bedroom watching Disney movies, Calleigh and Natalia stood in front of both of their families with Jordan standing over to the side.
"I'm sure that you have tons of questions, and we will answer them all the best that we can. So who wants to go first?" Calleigh started things off.
"How did you find them?" Alejandro asked first, his voice quiet, but strong. He was staring hard at Jordan, wanting nothing more to throw him from his daughter's house.
Natalia took a small step forward towards her father and signed. 'If you are asking how I found our cousins papa, I will be glad to tell you, but shouldn't your first question be why am I signing... or why Calleigh is limping? It make me feel really good knowing that you care more about hatred than you do our well-being. Thanks a lot.'
"Natalia... do not be disrespectful. And they are not your cousins; they are monsters, criminals, hired guns. Your well-being is directly related to these people, as long as they are around; you will never be safe. Where is the woman?" He growled angrily, looking around the house for Jordan's sister.
Getting in front of Natalia, Calleigh growled. "Sir, with respect, you are in our house and these people... our cousins kept Natalia from being murdered by Eric Delko. Because of Grayson, you got to spend almost two weeks with your grandchildren without spending a dime."
Chance was standing in the back of the room with his arms around Anya's waist. "Calleigh, what exactly happened?"
Taking a deep breath, the blonde woman tried to explain the best that she could. Telling them about Eric's medical condition and everything that he put them through and how they came into the Cerano's company. She breezed over their illegal activities, but was brutally honest on everything else. She didn't however tell them about Natalia being pregnant, thinking that this wasn't the right time.
"What you just explained further cements why she is a monster and her... brother is the same. Stay away from them Natalia, or people will be hurt." Alejandro tried to warn his daughters, looking at Anya and then Christine, pleading with them.
Natalia stepped over to Jordan, leaning back up against his chest with her back, taking his hands and placing them on her waist, and then started signing. 'I am as safe in this man's arms as I am in Calleigh's. Anyone that doesn't accept this... the front door is in that direction. What I want to know papa, is why you choose to keep silent about our mother's family. What did these two people ever do to you?'
"THEY ARE THE SAME AS THEIR GRANDFATHER. As their father before them, cruel, unfeeling, heartless killers. I kept silent to protect you from them. Natalia please understand..." Alejandro pleaded, folding his hands, looking at Anya, then Christine, and then finally Natalia and Calleigh; he chose to ignore Jordan, he wasn't included in this conversation.
'Have you ever met them? Had a conversation with either one of them or are you just going on their family history? If everyone were to do that, we would be judged as horse thieves and rum runners.' Natalia furiously signed as Calleigh tried to translate verbatim.
"When I married your mother, I met their Grandfather. To say his was displeased in his daughters choice of men was saying it nicely. He never approved of our marriage or the three of you. Ashamed that I didn't follow his example. Natalia... Stop trying to defend them!" Alejandro slammed his fist into the countertop. "You are my daughter, you will not disobey me!" He growled.
"GET OUT OF OUR HOUSE!" Natalia roughly shouted, and then started coughing.
Picking up Natalia in his massive arms, Jordan carried his cousin into the spare bedroom to lay her down and talk quietly with her, in hopes to calm her down and keep her from talking. Natalia clung to him as soon as he picked her up, instantly relaxing into his bear like grasp, her hand going protectively towards her stomach, which was out of view of her family.
Trying to follow this man and his oldest daughter, Alejandro walked around Calleigh and headed towards the spare bedroom where he could see him, setting Natalia down on the bed and gently taking her hands in his, talking softly to her, like some gentle grizzly bear.
Moving at the same time, both Calleigh and Chance stood in front of him, barring his way. "I believe that you were told to leave. If you can't treat our family members with the respect that we ask for, don't let the door hit you on the way out." Calleigh's voice was as hard as steel. "
Stopping dead in his tracks, Alejandro stared hard at his daughter's wife. "They will only bring you trouble, pain and death." He looked at Calleigh for a moment longer before stomping out the front door.
"Thanks little brother." Calleigh leaned against the younger man.
"I have a feeling there is more to the story than you are letting on Calleigh." Chance put his arm around his sister.
Looking into the spare room to see that Natalia was calm, Calleigh turned back to their family. "There's more, and I will answer any question that you have as the best of my ability, but there is things that I can't and won't go into."
"Does it have to do with him... and his family? Natalia's family?" The same green eyes Calleigh possessed stared hard at the back of Jordan's head, who was talking softly to Natalia, holding her hand in his, smiling at her; she was smiling back at him, laughing softly.
Christine came to stand beside her sister-in-law. "Our mothers family is just that; The Family. The Mafia and even though they were born into the family, papa blames this man and her sister for mothers pain."
Calleigh turned to look at her in amazement. "How do you know this?"
Smiling sadly, Christine stated. "I found momma's diaries years ago and it had everything in it."
After making sure Natalia would be fine, when left alone for a few minutes, Jordan walked out into the living room. He towered over everyone, Court and Chance included, by a several inches. He looked so different standing next to their pale peach like skin and green eyes, his muscles bulged and rippled, tan skin is freckled from the sun and his deep black eyes watching all of them, though they naturally gravitated towards Calleigh. "Natty is fine... she just needs to rest after all this excitement. And Gray leaving..." he whispered.
Standing beside the young man, Calleigh leaned against him. "Everyone, I would like to introduce you to Jordan Jeffries. He has a warped sense of humor, can't shoot pool, which you should love Court, but he can rebuild a car and restore buildings with the best of them. And I trust him with Natalia's life."
Tilting his head to the side, Jordan stared down at Calleigh for a moment before looking at their family. This was all done without a single word, it seemed that Grayson and her brother's shared several similar traits, one of which was silence under stress.
Court took a step forward, holding out his hand in friendship. "Welcome to the family. I'm Court Duquesne, and this is my wife Eileen, and anytime that you're in Atlanta, just come and look me up."
After his brother shook Jordan's hand, Chance shouldered him aside, and gave Jordan a hug. "I know that you can probably whip my ass for doing this, but we're a hugging family and you had might as well get use to it."
After shaking Court's hand, Jordan didn't know what to make of Chance's hug, so he lightly hugged him back before nodding his head and taking Eileen's hand in his own bear like grasp, bending down his head, he brushed his lips against the back of her hand, politely and released it. "Ma'am..." He murmured respectfully. He turned to look at the rest of the family. "You have a beautiful family..." He fought down the urge to show a picture of Grayson on his cell phone, knowing it would only upset himself and Calleigh even more.
"Show them Bear. Show them your sister. She's a part of this family too." Calleigh whispered. "She's here in spirit."
Smiling, Jordan pulled out his phone and pulled up a picture of Grayson. The photo was of her kneeling next to Adonis and Echo, in the garage next to the dune buggy, her face as usual showed no emotion, just flat boredom. Jordan handed the phone to Calleigh so she could show their family.
Shaking her head, she headed into the spare bedroom to be with her wife. "She's your sister, tell them about her. Share her with them darlin'."
"Um..." Jordan smiled hesitantly before handing the phone to Court. "This is my twin sister, Grayson..."
Walking into the bedroom, Calleigh closed the door and went over to the bed to find Natalia watching her.
Lying on her side, Natalia's eyes were dull and sad. She signed how it was wrong for her father to hide the twins from her sisters and herself. Sighing she sat up and held her hand out to her wife.
"Yes, they were wrong, but we are making it right Talia. We're giving them the family that they never had. And the rest of our family is accepting them as we speak." Sitting on the edge of the bed, Calleigh let her fingers run through silky hair.
Laying her head on Calleigh's shoulder, she gently kisses her wife's soft neck, before capturing her lips in a soft heated kiss. Signing that she wanted to go be with the rest of their family now that everything had calmed down, she allowed Calleigh to help her back into the living room.
Sitting down on the couch next to Jordan, who smiled and nudged her with his elbow, Natalia signed what she wanted Calleigh to tell their family since she couldn't really speak aloud quite just yet.
Sitting on the arm of the sofa next to her wife, Calleigh slipped her hand underneath Natalia's hair and caressed her neck. "Hey, did I also tell you that Jordan is a great babysitter? We're definitely going to use him on our date nights."
Jordan's eyes went wide and he turned around. "Hey... wait a minute; I am not a nanny..." He grumbled in vain. Smiling, he rolled his eyes however, more than happy to spend time with the family he had never known existed for him or his sister.
Anya and Christine took a moment longer to understand what was being said before they started screaming like twelve year olds, wrapping their arms around Natalia, hugging her tightly and gushing about how she was going to make a beautiful mother, that their mother would of been proud.
Chance and Court looked at their sister for a moment while Eileen took Calleigh's hands. "So... who's having the baby Cal?" She smiled pleasantly.
"Well... I think that you could say... technically... we both are." Calleigh teased.
"Shorty... I think they mean which one will carry the child." Jordan teased, pushing the back of Calleigh's head lightly.
Arching a golden eyebrow, Calleigh turned to look at her cousin. He held up his hands in mock surrender as she turned back to all of the anxious faces. Still caressing Natalia's neck, she explained. "Natalia is going to carry our baby, and it is our baby in every way since the egg that was fertilized is mine... so technically we are both pregnant."
Calleigh's brothers grabbed their sister in a large bear hug while Anya and Christine launched into speech about baby rooms and pre-schools, Natalia just smiled at them. Their cousin Jordan covered his grumbling stomach, looking at his wristwatch, wondering what time it was, and when he could convince everyone to eat.
Catching the slight movement out of the side of her eye, Natalia signed that they were taking everyone to lunch. Reaching out, she let Calleigh pull her to her feet, and kept her grip of her hand.
While Christine and Anya gathered the children with the help of Court, Chance, and Eileen, Jordan lead the two women into the garage. "I know you two will take the Mustang and I have my Charger, but Gray knew the baby was coming. I know Calleigh; you once made a crack at how bad she was at reading people. So she bought you this for when the baby came." Jordan pushed open the garage door, showing the brand new white Volvo XC 60 with a note on the hood that simply said 'Humor Me.' and in the backseat, both women could see a child seat with a bow on it.
Covering her mouth, tears once again began to flow down her cheeks. Jordan had been right about his sister, they had been getting to her all along. The baby seat in the back was the icing on the cake. "Jordan." Natalia's gravelly ruined voice said it all, more than anything she wished Grayson could have stayed.
Leaning down to place a gentle kiss atop caramel colored hair, Jordan whispered. "You don't have to say anything Natty, and I wish that you wouldn't because you're going to need all the voice that you have in the future to talk to your child."
Wrapping her arms around Jordan, Natalia buried her face in his chest, taking a deep breath of the smell that was just her cousin. Jordan always smelled like Armani, and the undeniable musky smell that Natalia realized was motor oil. Smiling, she signed to him that she loved him and that they needed to eat soon or his stomach would eat him from the inside out. Everyone finally finished loading up into vehicles. Chance and Anya road with Jordan, while Calleigh and Natalia were in the Mustang, while the rest of the family piled into Natalia's new SUV. Eventually all three vehicles pulled into Del's, Jordan making sure everyone's door was open before their cars were even off.
Calleigh had phoned ahead and let Sonia know that a party of eleven were heading her way, so when the door opened and the young Latina saw Jordan's head in the doorway, she knew that the expanded DuVista clan was now in the house.
Helping Sonia push several tables together, Jordan disappeared to retrieve seats for the children to sit on, so they would be level with the table. After making sure everyone was seated, Jordan himself finally sat down waiting for Sonia to make an appearance, which she did moments later, bending down to kiss his cheek. "Hey Jordan... The family is in the house, I take it?" She smiled warmly at all of them.
Calleigh introduced everyone to the young woman and invited her to join them.
Pulling up a chair beside Jordan, Sonia smiled and asked the family about their day.
Isabel was sitting on the other side of Sonia and reached to touch her hair. "Your hair is so pretty Miss Sonia. You should let me braid it sometime. Tia Calleigh does all the time."
Smiling at the little girl, she touched her hair as well. "You have beautiful hair too. I would love for you to braid my hair." Jordan smiled putting his arm around Sonia's shoulders, hugging her.
Anya watched the interaction between Jordan and Sonia and smiled. "How long have you two been together?"
Jordan smiled down sadly at Sonia who sighed and rubbed her temples before looking at Natalia's sister. "We're not... I was dating his sister, Grayson." Sonia bit her lip looking down at the table, making designs over the tile inlaid into the tabletop.
Jumping in, Natalia signed while Calleigh spoke for her. "Grayson had to leave suddenly on family business and we're unsure when she's going to come home, so we're all rather upset right now."
Covering Sonia's hand with his own bear like paw, Jordan tried to give Sonia any kind of comfort he could. Chance and Court were curious about Jordan's absentee sister. "So tell us about Grayson..." Court offered.
Taking a moment to figure out the words to describe Grayson, Natalia began to sign slowly. 'Very different from Jordan, quiet, reserved, she's hard to describe.' Natalia sighed.
Calleigh took over, "She's brash, stubborn, outspoken, but yet the most loyal, trustworthy, and dependable woman I've ever met... next to Talia."
"It's the Italian blood. Grayson has never been the type to back down from a fight; it's one of her most admirable traits, to stop her you'd have to kill her." Jordan laughed while Sonia smiled. "She's also heart stopping beautiful." Sonia added.
After the family had finished their meal, which was on the house since Sonia refused any type of payment, the family sat around talking and catching up for the remainder of the evening, it had been almost two weeks since they had seen one another. Jordan and Sonia opted to play pool close by and to talk quietly amongst themselves. After everyone had their fill of conversation, they decided to head home and take comfort in the family that was still whole. For now.
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