“They are both sound asleep.” Eli said as Taylor smiled at us before leaning down to pull the towel I had lying over my legs and pulled it up so it covered me and Fin.
“It is Fin’s nap time.” Eli nodded as they walked back towards the water again.
“Taylor can I ask you a question?” Eli asked as they got to the water’s edge.
“Yeah sure go ahead.” Taylor nodded picking up a part of a shell and wiping the sand off it.
“Why were you so happy when Bailey ate all the food she ordered and more?” Taylor looked at him.
“Because I hated it last night when she didn’t eat. She needs to eat. If she always ate like that I would be a happy man.”
“But why?” Taylor slipped the shell into his swim suit pants pocket.
“Dad didn’t tell you? Bailey has cancer.” Eli looked at his brother as he looked out into the ocean.
“Wow. I thought she was pregnant.” Taylor gave a humorless laugh.
“She is pregnant.” Eli looked at him confused. “She’s pregnant and she has liver cancer.”
“Wow that’s…that’s insane. How are you taking it?” He shrugged.
“I’m living.” Eli put his hand on his shoulder.
“Tay. Talk to me.” Taylor sighed sitting down as the water splashed around him and over his lower body.
“I’m scared.” He said as Eli sat next to him.
“What are you scared of?” Taylor watched a kid playing in the sand.
“I’m scared I’m going to lose the woman I love. I’m scared I’m not going to be able to save her. I’m terrified that I’m not going to be able to raise my son without her. I’m scared I can’t live without her.”
“But what would you do if…” He trailed off. Taylor shook his head.
“I don’t want to think about her not living through this cancer. I’m scared I’m going to have to.”
“You’re a marine. I though you don’t get scared.” Taylor looked at him.
“Just because I’m a marine doesn’t mean I don’t care what happens to my family. What is wrong with you Eli?” Eli sighed.
“I’m sorry man. I don’t know where my head is. I can’t imagine what you are going through. I can’t believe Mom would say what she did…” Taylor’s head snapped towards him.
“What did Mom say about Bailey?” Eli shook his head standing up next to him.
“Nothing. Nothing.” He said quickly looking behind himself. “Let’s go see if Fin and Bailey are up yet.” He said looking back at Taylor. Taylor stood up watching his brother.
“What the hell is going on in our family?” Eli shrugged. He shook his head. “Whatever. Where’s Ria?” Eli looked around.
“I’m not sure. Let me go find her.” He jogged off. Taylor shook his head walking back up to the umbrella and chair his father was sitting in reading. Taylor sat down next to me pulling my sleeping frame onto his lap. I mumbled something curling up on his lap. Fin yawned from where he was laying happily rubbing his tired eyes.
“Mommy?” He yawned again. I blinked my eyes looking up at Taylor before closing my eyes again, too tired to keep them open. Fin sat up looking at the two of us. “Mommy.” He stood up walking over on wobbly feet till he got to my lap and sat down.
“Baby you alright?” I shook my head laying my head on his shoulder and gently stroking Fin’s hair. “What’s wrong beautiful?”
“I’m tired and my tummy hurts.” I groaned at him. He nodded kissing my head moving Fin off my lap. Fin didn’t like that and pouted at his father before crawling back onto my lap and holding onto me not wanting to be on the towel under us. Taylor stared at him as Fin stared back. “Stop it you two.” I yawned pulling Fin up to my chest.
“Mommy.” He sighed putting his thumb in his mouth closing his eyes.
“Taylor we should get going. Get these two home.” Michael nodded at Fin and me.
“Yeah your right.” He stood up with me in his arms and Fin in mine.
“Take them to Eli’s truck. We’ll meet you there.” Taylor nodded walking back to the truck….
We pulled up to the house and got out of the car. “Where the hell have you been?” Michael stopped in his tracks and looked at the front of the house.
“We just went to the beach.” Maria said getting out of the car.
“And why the hell would you think to do that was okay?”
“We were just having some fun….” She trailed off. Mary came walking down the stairs her arms crossed glaring at us.
“I don’t care if you were ‘having fun’ did you not think of tell me!” She yelled at them. “You are always like this. You don’t ever give a crap about anyone else but yourselves.” She almost growled at everyone.
“Mom stop acting like we are the bad guys. You do that all the time. You don’t even care about us.” Maria huffed from next to me.
“That is enough out of you Maria Andrews! Get your fucking ass into this fucking house and go to your fucking room. I do not want to fucking see, your fucking face for a long fucking time.” Mary screamed at her. I covered Fin’s ears as he started to cry. Maria sighed walking closer to the house slowly. “Get your fucking ass into the house NOW!” She growled at her. Fin reach for Taylor as Maria sprinted into the house away from her mother. I stood looking at her when her cold eyes snapped to me. “You.” She growled.
“Who do you think you are?” She screamed walking towards me. I stood my ground but I admit I was a little scared. “Who do you think you are coming into my fucking house and acting like you are everything? You are NOTHING! You are Taylor’s fuck buddy. You are just some tart hussy who thinks she can come into my son’s life like it’s nothing. BUT NO! I’m the only woman in his life. You should get your ass out of my house! Away from my son! And away from my grandson! Stop faking being sick to get attention! No one believes you! ” I stood there staring at her not knowing what to do
“Don’t talk to her like that!” Maria screamed back at her mother from the open door way. I turned my teary eyes to Taylor. He was frozen staring at his mother in shock.
“Maria I don’t give a fuck what you think! She is fucking trapping him for his money! I know it! The faster that tart is gone the faster we have fun!”
“What about her baby? Huh? Is she faking that you idiot!” She screamed back at her as I felt the tears running down my cheeks.
“It’s not even his!” She laughed at my face. “She’s a fucking tart. That baby isn’t his. We all know that.” I closed my eyes as the sense of nausea washed over me. My eyes popped open when the sound of a smack rang through the air. Mary was holding her cheek.
“I hate you!” She screamed before running back into the house. Mary turned back to me still holding her red cheek.
“You are nothing.” She said slowly. I ran past her and up the stairs as I heard her laugh at me. I went straight to Taylor’s room yanking my bag up off the floor and shoving all of my things into it as fast as I could.
“You’re leaving?” I turned my head to look at Maria where she stood in the door way as I struggled to zip my bag.
“I have to.” I zipped it up putting it over my shoulder. “Thank you.” She shook her head.
“For what?” I walked towards her.
“For everything you said.” I hugged her. “Thank you.”
“Stay safe.” She pulled something from her pocket. “Here.” I run my finger over the keys in my hand. “They’re for Taylor’s old truck. Mine now.”
“Thank you.” I nodded before running down the stairs and outside. Mary’s head snapped to me.
“Good your living. Go fake sick someone else you little tart.” She growled as I ran to the only jeep here and unlocked it getting into the drives seat. “What do you think you’re doing?” I threw my bad into the back and pulling out of the drive way. “Where are you taking my car?” She screamed at me.
“Bailey!” Taylor screamed as I speeded off. One word from him this whole time. The one that broke my heart. I pulled my cell phone from my jeans pocket and dialed Uncle TJ.
“Hey Bailey.” His voice said coming from my cell phone.
“Uncle TJ can I stay by you?” I said as I started to cry again.
“Of course you can. What’s wrong Baby?”
“I don’t want to talk about it right now.” I sniffled as I made my way towards Camp Pendleton. “I really don’t want to talk about it right now.” I heard Uncle TJ sigh.
“I’ll right Bailey. I’ll be waiting for you outside for when you get here.” I sniffled wiping my eyes.
“Okay. Thank you.”
“Bye.” I whispered closing my phone and putting it into the car cup holder. When I pulled up to Uncle TJ’s house he was standing on the front steps watching just like he said he would be. He walking down to the truck and helping me take my bag into the house and into my Cousin Sawyer’s room. “You want to talk about it yet?” I shook my head and sighed. He wrapped his free arm around me.
“It’s alright sweetheart. You don’t have to tell me.” He kissed my head as I sat down on the bed. “You want to be alone?” I nodded my head wordlessly as he nodded patting my shoulder in comfort before leaving the room. “I’ll be in the living room if you need me.” He said before closing the door. I put my buried my face into my hands. I could only think of one thing this whole time.
Why didn't he stand up for me?
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