“You’re drunk. Again.”
Clarke dropped her schoolbag on the front porch and stared back at her father. Jake didn’t even deny it. After losing his job at the local garage two weeks ago, Jake’s dignity began to spiral out of control, and he certainly didn’t need his 16-year-old daughter to remind him.
“What time is Mom home?”
Jake shrugged, as he looked up at the soccer game on the TV, clicking open another can. Clarke stomped her left foot down in frustration, and dialled the number for the Cardiology Department at the hospital.
A familiar voice answered her call.
“Jackson? It’s Clarke. Is my mom with you?”
Jackson was Clarke’s uncle – Abby’s brother. He worked alongside Doctor Griffin and Doctor Kane on the surgical team, and he would occasionally take Clarke to her soccer practice when Abby was busy.
“Uh. She left half an hour ago. Is everything okay?”
Clarke sighed internally as she glanced over at her father.
“Yeah, everything is just fine.”
The phone was abruptly cut off as Clarke hung up and began clearing up the dozens of beer cans left out on the kitchen table. She heard the front door slam shut as her mother walked in. Abby hung her coat and bag on the hooks by the entrance and looked at her husband – she had barely been home for two minutes and her eyes were already burning with aggravation. Clarke knew exactly what was about to happen. She’d be sent out of the house as they rowed, and her mom would throw her some change to get takeaway, because her dad was too drunk to cook and she was too tired after her shift.
Abby threw her keys down on the table and snatched the lager from Jake’s grasp.
“Hey! I was drinking that!”
Clarke stood in the kitchen door way, looking between her parents. Abby delved into her pocket and pulled out a twenty dollar bill.
“Clarke, go out and buy something nice to eat.”
Exactly as she’d predicted. She left quickly. Clarke hated the arguments. Abby glared at Jake, as he ignored her and continued to watch the game on the telly. She pulled the plug from it’s socket.
“I don’t work all day to come home and clean up after you, Jake. I’m tired of this!”
Jake stood up from the sofa, and faced Abby – he looked almost twice of her height. The frown on his face intensified.
“Work? You’re not working, we all know you’re screwing Marcus Kane over in the bathrooms. Admit it.”
Abby’s mouth hung open in a mixture of shock and disgust at his accusation. He was a friend, a neighbor, a colleague. Abby had never even thought of him like that in the twenty years she’d known him. And Jake certainly knew that.
“Marcus is my boss, Jake! Stop trying to reciprocate this blame.”
She could feel a rage build from the pit of her stomach as Jake laughed in her face.
“I work endless hours to support this family and you can’t even make our kid her lunch for when she gets home from school!”
She paced into the kitchen, quickly followed by Jake. Abby began clearing up plates and microwave meal boxes, scraping leftovers from Jake’s meals into the bin.
“Why are you so protective over Marcus, huh?”
A sigh escaped Abby’s throat as she closed the bin lid and looked directly up at her husband.
“You’re a slut, Abby. You’re just a stupid slut.”
Jake leaned over Abby, as if to intimidate her. But Abby kicked back. She shoved him backwards, Jake not moving too far, but stumbling as he did so.
“I’ve been married to you for almost six years, and now you’ve lost your job because you can’t stay sober, you’ve got to take it out on me and Clarke? Stop being so pathetic and grow up, Jake. Grow! Up!”
It was almost to quick for Abby to register when Jake struck his fist across her face. They’d argued before, but it had never been like this. Abby didn’t even lift her head to look at him. She watched as droplets of blood from her nose hit the kitchen floor tiles. The silence was broken by Abby’s heavy hyperventilating as she started to cry.
“Are you kidding me?”
She wiped her face on her sleeve, more blood starting to gush. Tucking her hair behind her ear, she reaveled a bleeding nose and bruised cheekbone.
“Are you fucking kidding me?!”
If it was possible to heart a heart break, Jake would’ve hear it. Not that he cared, though.
I appreciate all of the comments left below. I’d love to improve! Please remember this is all new to me so any constructive criticism or compliments are welcome :)
“Mom? I went to Bell’s for a couple of hours, I didn’t want to get caught up with you and dad.”
Clarke glanced at Jake sleeping in the sofa as she walked into the kitchen. Abby was working at the kitchen table, reading her patients’ data. She barely looked up as her daughter entered – hiding the bruise across her cheek with a strand of hair.
“That’s fine, baby. Did you eat?”
“Yes. Mr Kane cooked up some tomato pasta. I just had Octavia’s portion because she is staying at Raven’s.”
Abby nodded in acknowledgment. She studied her papers closely, as the pair sat in silence. Clarke drummed her fingers on the table, looking at her mother work.
“What happened to Bellamy and Octavia’s mom?”
Abby knew exactly what Clarke was thinking so she was to be careful of her next words.
“Her and Marcus divorced, when the twins [Bellamy and Octavia] were very young. She just upped and left, hasn’t been back since.”
Clarke was silent for a long moment.
“Are you and dad going to divorce? Because he’s a good dad when he’s not drinking, he just needs help.”
Abby’s heart shattered. All Clarke wanted was for things to go back to normal. Whatever normal was. I guess it was when Clarke could come home to her father who was ‘at least’ sober or her mother who would cook up something nice. Or go on day trips to the beach without listening to them argue.
“Of course not. Your dad and I are going to work things out. I think we’re getting there already.”
The lie fell from Abby’s lips easily. How could she promise her daughter that everything was going to be fine, when it wasn’t? I suppose protecting Clarke was something she was good at. Abby lifted her head and looked into her eyes, the strand of hair falling back and exposing her bruised face.
Clarke’s mouth hung open as she noticed. She stretched out her hand, rolling her fingers gently over the mark.
“What happened? Was this... dad?”
Her mother’s head shook almost immediately, and she was quick to reply. Lie.
“A patient in recovery reacted badly to some medication, I ran to help and tripped. It’s nothing.”
Clarke’s eyes narrowed, unconvinced. She looked at her for a long moment before standing up and walking up the stairs.
It was a cold Saturday morning and Jake and Clarke were still sleeping when Abby left early for work. She decided to travel in her own car instead of travelling with Marcus. Usually, as Marcus only lived next door, he would drive the pair to Arkadia Hospital and back after their shift together. But Abby didn’t want to exacerbate her situation with Jake. Simply because she didn’t want a matching bruise on her other cheek.
“Abby? You didn’t take the car wit-“
She turned around to see Marcus entering the Cardiology ward, pulling on his white coat and placing a lanyard over his soft, brown and conditioned hair.
“Oh, that’s a nasty bruise. What happened?”
He approached her slowly, placing his hand on the side of her face as he analysed her injury. His green eyes grew in concern as he saw her struggle to respond. For some reason, Abby couldn’t lie. She fastened the last button on her coat, and stared back at him.
“I- I have a patient to see. I’ll talk to you later.”
Abby shot Marcus a playful smile to mask her panic as she turned and walked away. Marcus replied with the same smile before his eyebrows furrowed.
Agh! This is short, I apologise.
Clarke scrolled through the notifications on her phone as she dressed.
12 unread messages from groupchat: “Da Good Guys”
Bellamy: My dad’s at work til late. Who’s up for a movie night?
Luna: If Raven’s in, yeah.
Raven: Hell yeah!
Wells: Haven’t we got a Chemistry exam on Monday? You guys should be revising.
Raven: Chemistry? Come on. I can make anything go boom.
Murphy: I’m coming. Shut up, Wells. Your dad’s the head, you will pass.
Wells: Fine. I’m in.
Lincoln: Is Octavia going to be there?
Octavia: (inserts thumbs up and heart emoji)
Jasper: Grounded. Mr Pike called my mom about stealing the Sodium from the lab to make my Fire Blaster 232.
Monty: (inserts laughing emoji) me 2 lol.
Lexa: I’m in.
Clarke stared at her phone, then pulled her white t-shirt over her head.
She walked downstairs to see her dad already starting to drink. She didn’t even think he was properly sober from yesterday’s lot. Jake looked his daughter, his eyes sunken and dark. She noticed dried blood on his hand when he picked up his beer can. Clarke paused in thought. So it was him? God. She didn’t think her dad would stoop that low.
“I’m going to Bellamy’s.”
Jake continued to stare at Clarke before he spoke, slurring as he did so.
“I thought you were gay or whatever the hell you call it. So why are you always at his house?”
Clarke felt her cheeks rush with heat. She was bisexual. So, what?
“I’m bisexual, dad.”
She was quick to correct him. And Clarke wasn’t ashamed. It wasn’t her fault her father was so ignorant.
“Same thing. Still unnatural.”
Suddenly, Clarke's eyes started to glisten as they welled up. He was so god-damn ignorant and now he could see how her mom became so infuriated by his drinking. Jake continued despite upsetting her.
“You and your mother go well together, I guess. Can’t decide who or what you want.”
“You’re right. Who’d want you?”
Clarke exited through the front door, slamming it. She saw her friends on Bellamy’s drive and quickly wiped the liquid from her eyes. He wasn’t going to ruin a perfectly good day.
Marcus caught up to Abby, who was walking towards her car in the car park. He couldn’t stop thinking about her for the whole day. He’d known that her and Jake were on bad terms, he could hear their arguments through the walls every night, he just needed to know that she was safe.
Abby pretended like she didn’t know what he was talking about, but like him, she’d spent all day with it on her mind. She wondered how he’d react if he told her.
“Your face? How did it happened?”
“We need to talk.”
Be prepared for a little bit of Marcus/Abby history <3
Abby pulled up behind Marcus outside of their houses. She stepped out of her car, her eyes locking with Marcus’ as she did so. The pair walked up his garden path, Abby glancing back at her home to make sure Jake didn’t suspect anything unusual between them. As Marcus walked into his home, his eyes set upon a group of children – including his twins and Abby’s daughter – snuggled up comfortably on the sofa. Octavia’s head turned quickly to look at her father.
“This was Bellamy’s idea.”
Marcus didn’t usually let their friends over whilst he was working, because the last time he did was the last time his kitchen almost burned down. Bellamy turned to see his father stood with his best friends mom, their neighbor.
“I didn’t realise you would be home this early. It’s okay isn’t it?”
Marcus saw the maturity and nodded his head in approval. But Marcus had more important things to worry about, like the woman stood by his side. He dropped his keys on the hooks by the entrance and smiled as Clarke waved at the pair of them.
Abby’s lips curled into a small smile as she looked at her daughter, her eyes sparkling an icy blue. Abby’s eyes then trailed off to the rest of the group, to see a few familiar faces. Raven, the daughter of Sinclair, the most talented engineer in Arkadia, and also one of Abby’s closest friends. Raven had a rare heart defect, and she’d been treated almost all of her life by Abby. The teenager shot her a half-happy, half-concerned smile as she noticed the bruise across her face.
Then, there was Wells. Wells was the son of Jaha, whom Abby and Jake had known just as long as Marcus – since elementary school. Wells, Clarke and the twins all grew up together as their parents were all so close. Too, Wells and Abby exchanged smiles.
Marcus tapped Abby’s shoulder and she followed him into the kitchen, where he closed the door behind them – so they could talk privately. She was sure she heard one of the kids say, ‘God, Clarke. What happened to your mom’s face’. Or something along the lines of that anyway.
“So, I think I might know what’s going on.”
Marcus’ voice was deep and calming as he stared into the eyes of the woman sat across the table. His finger circled a knot in the wooden table and he continued to talk.
“It’s Jake, right?”
“He hasn’t done anything like this before – ever. And Clarke thinks I did this at work.”
Eyes narrowing, Marcus listened to her, with a great deal of concern.
“You know she asked about Aurora because she was scared that Jake and I were going to separate.”
Marcus’ heart sank when he heard her name. Aurora and Marcus were childhood sweethearts, just like Abby and Jake.
With the four of them growing up together, Abby witnessed the deep devotion and affection Marcus had for his first and only partner. Abby witnessed the engagement, the marriage, the pregnancy, and the birth of the twins. What Abby didn’t witness was Marcus’ world shatter when he was informed that Aurora was murdered on her way home from work. In fact, Abby didn’t see Marcus for a whole month after the news.
She took the 2-month-old twins under her wing whilst she was pregnant with Clarke so Marcus could recover and prepare to be a single father. It was a miracle that Bellamy and Octavia never found out the real reason to why they only had one parent. Marcus could never bring himself to tell his children about their mother.
“I know what it’s like to lose someone, Abby. You feel like you’re losing Jake, and if he’s treating you like this, then you deserve to be treated better.”
Abby realised his reference to Aurora, but she shook her head.
“I can’t do that to Clarke. I can’t break her heart.”
A sigh escaped Marcus’ throat and, gently, he placed her hand on top of hers. Marcus could feel the cold from her.
“You want to protect her, yet you let her live with a man who hits you?”
“I’m sorry, but I love Jake and so does Clarke. It was just a one-off.”
Abby felt like Marcus’ stare of disbelief was burning into her soul. He knew she was far from stupid, but why would she go running back to a violent man?
This chapter contains strong adult themes with references to rape. Please do not read if this is a sensitive topic!
It was late when Abby and Clarke left the Blake’s. Although they only lived next door, Marcus stood at his door and watched them to make sure they arrived home safely.
“If anything happens, you call me first. Call me.”
When the mother and daughter walked through the front door, the house was free of beer cans and had returned to the family home they once knew before Jake had started drinking. In fact, Jake wasn’t drunk. He was sat on the sofa, a grin spread across his freshly-shaven face.
“My girls. Please come and sit with me.”
Clarke’s eyes had lit up and Abby was pretty sure her’s lit up too. Both of them sat at each side of Jake as he stretched out his arms and wrapped them around his wife and child, their heads resting on his shoulders.
“I love you both, you know that, right? And I’m so sorry for acting the way I have. But I feel so much better now I’m with the two most beautiful people in the world.”
Jake pulled them closer and then everything that had happened in the previous couple of weeks was almost immediately forgotten as the warmth of familial love returned to their hearts. This was what they needed.
“Bell, O? Telly off.”
Marcus sat down on the sofa and looked at his children. They both had the eyes of their mother, and Marcus was lost in his small epiphany. The TV screen zapped off and the twins heads turned and faced their father. With them being sixteen now, they were old enough to understand the truth about their mother.
Bellamy had grown and matured so much over the past year and Marcus was comfortable with sharing the truth with his son, but Marcus struggled to open up to Octavia. Her face was still so young, so innocent. She was still the baby that giggled hysterically when he tickled his beard on her face, or the baby girl who would break all of the electricity circuits in the house by switching the lights on and off super-fast to make the house into a ‘disco-party’ or even the toddler who knew precisely the right moment to switch off the TV when Marcus was watching his favourite show. Now he understood why Abby wanted to protect Clarke so much.
“It’s about your mom.”
Bellamy and Octavia’s face grew with concern as they waited for their father to elaborate.
“I’ve told you that you’re mom ‘just left’. But it was through no choice of her own. Two months after you were born, she was hit by a car and the driver... he umh- he just left her lying there.”
Octavia’s eyes began to water and suddenly she remembered the messages she would write on a balloon and release on her birthday without her father knowing – hoping some day she would come to visit her. She remembered finding photographs of her parents wedding day and Bellamy yelling at her for keeping the pictures of them after she ‘left them behind for no god-damn reason’.
Marcus’ head nodded slowly. Bellamy sat silently and pulled his sister into a hug as she wept.
“You want to know why your names are Bellamy and Octavia?”
The children looked up at their father, nodding.
“Your mother loved reading stories about Ancient Greece, and both of you names were picked especially from your mother’s favourite book. She too left behind the most wonderful legacies – like the Ancient Greeks – and she would be so proud of the people you two have become.”
It was late evening and Clarke went to bed early after the movie night at Bellamy’s house. She was so relieved that her parents were on good terms and fell asleep easily. Abby was snuggled into Jake’s chest as the pair watched the television. She was exhausted after her day at work, and her emotional talk with Marcus now seemed pointless. Everything was how it should be, how it was. Perfect.
“I’m going to bed.”
Jake felt Abby’s body pull away from what was perfectly molded to his. He kissed her as a ‘goodnight’ gesture, but within moments, his lips were surrounding hers. He was running his hand up her inner thigh. Abby pulled away again hesitantly, too tired.
“That wasn’t an invite to have sex. I’m genuinely tired.”
Abby smiled, finding his misinterpretation amusing as she stood up. Suddenly, she felt Jake’s hand grip her wrist.
“Are you not going to show me how much you love me? The old me is back.”
“I’m not in the mood, Jake. Maybe tomorrow?”
That was it. That small amount of refusal triggered Jake’s over-reaction. He pulled her towards himself, startling Abby in doing so. His fingers interlocked with her hair and Abby tried to pull back.
“I want you to show me that you still love me, Abby.”
God, he was really scaring her now and Abby started to panic. She attempted to pull away from him again but he grip intensified.
Before she could attempt to pull away from him once more, Jake pushed her down onto the sofa, forcing her to lie on her back. One hand still remained gripping to her hair and the other forcing her legs apart.
“Jake! Our daughter is upstairs. Stop it.”
Abby struggled against him as he used one of his knees to keep her legs separated. His hands then found their way onto her arms, pinning them down as he kissed down her neck. Abby’s heart was racing at this point. A surge of disgust and disbelief rushing through her veins.
“Shut up! You’ll wake Clarke.”
She let out a small yelp as her bones struggled under his strength and he forced his weight on top of her to keep her still. His lips met hers again, but Abby scrunched up her mouth, refusing to participate; spitting and hissing at him.
Jake’s grip weakened and Abby wasn’t going to give up without a fight. Slowly, Abby was wriggling from his grip and off the sofa. Soon, the pair had wrestled each other to the floor, but Jake still dominated her. She wanted so desperately to cry, scream, shout, but she didn’t want worry Clarke. Abby couldn’t bear it. She had to stop him.
The screech caused a burst of energy in Jake as his temper ignited. He smashed the back of Abby’s head on the wooden floor. Consequently, her teeth snapped down at her tongue with the force. She almost choked on the blood welling up in her mouth and Jake mounted her, undoing the belt on his waist. Abby could barely move, her head throbbing. She wasn’t even aware that Jake had already forced himself into her before her groan started to burn.
The only two words she could managed before droplets of blood rolled down her cheeks from her tongue. Abby barely struggled now. She already knew she had lost.
It was seven atm and Abby hadn’t slept. She glanced over at Jake, who was lay sleeping next to her in their bed, and she shuddered. Her eyes carried dark circles, as she looked down at her bruised arms, where Jake had pinned her down. Her tongue stung as she rolled it against her teeth. All night, the event played over and over in her head. Abby wasn’t sure if Jake had actually convinced himself that they had consensual sex, as he acted like he normally would after they both made love.
Abby heard her daughter’s voice from the other side of the bedroom door, and for a moment, she panicked – wondering if she had heard them last night. Jake moaned as he woke.
“What’s up, Clarke?”
Jake looked at Abby as she spoke. He sat up and Abby half-flinched when he placed a kiss on the side of her head.
“I need you to drive me to my game in Polis. Bellamy’s going to be late, so I can’t get the car with him.”
Abby and Jake both looked at one another as Jake spoke.
“We’ll both be down in a minute to take you.”
Clarke smiled. Her old parents were back, and she was relieved. Abby heard Clarke’s footsteps ascend downstairs and she got out of bed – not looking Jake. Then she felt his hands slide around her waist and cuddle her.
“It’s good to have you back, Abby.”
“Get off of me.”
Abby shrugged him off and shoved on a white t-shirt and blue jeans.
“Don’t touch me.”
Jake stood there as if he didn’t know what he’d done and it angered Abby. She strutted out and waited in the car.
The car ride journey was only twenty minutes to the Polis soccer pitches, but Abby was sure it felt like an hour. Clarke shoved on her boots in the backseat of the car, as she talked about spending the day out now her parents were on ‘good terms’. Well, according to her anyway.
“What about the beach? We can invite Thelonious, Sinclair and Marcus with the kids, like last year.”
Jake didn’t respond – his eyes still on the road so Abby replied.
“It’s not a bad idea. I think I have next weekend off work too.”
Jake turned his head to look at Abby, expressing his disapproval. Clarke smiled, and it wasn’t long before the car pulled up at Polis soccer pitches. Clarke stepped out of the car and ran over to her team who were already warming up. Abby stepped out soon after, and she noticed Marcus’ car pulling into the parking space next to her. She quickly walked over to the sideline, making sure Jake didn’t see them together. She didn’t want to trigger another of his tantrums.
Marcus stepped out of his car, wearing a fake smile as he hugged his friend.
“We’ve not spoken in a while. How are things?”
Marcus’ voice was drenched in sarcasm as he pretended to show concern. Jake was blunt when replying, barely making eye contact as he walked over to the sideline to stand by Abby.
Jake saw Bellamy run onto the pitch in his football kit, immediately greeting his daughter. Octavia followed soon after. Marcus joined Abby and Jake at the sideline and Abby barely moved throughout the game. Marcus stared at her for most of the match, hoping that they’d make eye contact but Abby couldn’t even bring herself to look at him in fear of Jake’s reaction.
When the final whistle blew, Jake nudged Abby’s shoulder, signalling her to walk over to the car with him. Instead, Abby stayed and waited for Clarke to come off to congratulate her on the win. Jake, before the kids come off the pitch, grabbed Abby’s wrist and pulled her – strongly yet subtly. Marcus spotted this, his automatic response batting his arm away from Abby.
“What are you playing at? Don’t touch her like that.”
Infuriated, Marcus stepped in front of Abby, as if to protect her and stared Jake in the face. She felt a blush creep across her face at the commotion.
“Who are you to tell me how to treat my wife? Look what happened to yours.”
And with that, Marcus shoved Jake and the pair began to brawl. The kids came running over, their faces panicked and confused. Clarke and Octavia watched in horror as Bellamy tried to intervene, pulling his father back by his shirt.
Abby couldn’t even register what was happening around her. She heard nothing but her heart pounding in her head. She felt Clarke’s hand grip her arm, and she was shouting something that she couldn’t quite make out.
It had taken Jackson, Sinclair and Thelonious several attempts to break them up. Both of their faces we grazed and flushed when they finally separated. Abby had never seen Marcus like this before. Being a paediatrician, his temper levels were slim to none. In their whole career, Abby had only seen Marcus angry once, and that was when his junior doctors accidently switched a dose of medication and almost overdosed a patient. But even then, Marcus didn’t throw himself into a fist fight.
Marcus swept his hair back and looked at his daughter, who was trembling.
“O. I’m so sorry.”
Octavia hugged her father, gripping him tightly. Jake was still furious, and anxious to intervene, Abby took Clarke’s hand and watched as Sinclair and Thelonious continued to walk him away from the sideline.
“Are you okay?”
Abby heard her brother’s voice as he stepped in beside her and Clarke.
“Jackson? Why are you here?”
Abby looked confused, and still shaken.
“I came to watch Clarke but I arrived rather late. Are you okay?”
“Yeah. I’m fine.”
Jackson’s eyebrows furrowed as he looked at her.
“What was all that about?”
Abby knew fine-well what that was about, and shrugged. Images flashed across her mind from last night and the colour fell her face, leaving her pale and weak. Suddenly, she felt sick.
“Abby, are you okay? You look... ill.”
Before she could reply, her hand fell from Clarke’s grasp as she ran to the trash can, her head hanging over it as she vomited. Jackson rubbed her back, comforting her.
“Okay, I’m going to drive you home.”
When they were kids, Abby would always be the one taking care of Jackson. As the older sibling, she would always help him with his Biology homework, cook up his favourite meals and drive him to places when their parents worked. But as they got older, when Abby moved in with Jake and fell pregnant, Jackson would call her everyday – just to check on her.
Marcus watched as Jackson and Clarke supported Abby’s limp body over to the car park. When she saw Marcus, Abby tried to walk without dragging her feet and tried to straighten the pained expression on her face, but failed, it making her feel more nauseous. Marcus ran over as Abby sat back in the passenger seat and knocked on the window.
“Abby, are you okay?”
She faced away from Marcus, ignoring the fact that he was concerned, but remembering that he had attacked her husband in front of the kids. The pair of them had completely humiliated her.
Her head rested back on the seat and Clarke looked back from the back seat for her father. Marcus stepped back from the car as it reversed.
“Abby! I’m sorry!”
I have planned three chapters ahead from this one so expect a lot more drama!!!
“Your dads are crazy.”
Raven looked down at her timetable, then glanced at Clarke and Octavia. The pair ignored her remark as the three walked into Mr Cage’s Chem class.
“What even caused it?”
Each of claimed the three consecutive seats at the back, and they felt a number of eyes staring at them.
“Are you talking about the fight at the soccer match last night?”
Alie, one of the girls sat in the front row, turned her head and intervened in their conversation. Alie was not necessarily bitchy, but cunning. Clarke hated her.
“What’s it to you?” Clarke spat.
Alie, rolling her eyes, turned around and whispered something inaudible to her twin sister, Becca. Becca then turned, wearing a small sympathetic smile as if to say: ‘Sorry, my sister is an ass.’
“Wasn’t it your dad, Clarke? And yours, Octavia?” asked Anya, one of the girls from Trikru squad.
“God, leave the poor girl alone. She clearly doesn’t want to talk about it,” a brunette girl in the seat beside Anya, intervened. Lexa.
Octavia sunk back into her chair and watched a blush creep across Clarke’s face.
“We wouldn’t have this problem if your dad wasn’t so rude,” Octavia growled at Clarke. Mr Cage heard the disagreement, but with his many years of teaching, he passed the comment off as teenage bickering.
“What?” Clarke’s voice was sharp and she snapped back, “your dad was the one who started it.”
“It’s not like no one’s noticed your dads knocking your mom around, he deserved it.”
Octavia had hit way below the belt, and immediately regretted the words she’d just outed so carelessly. But it only ignited a rage in Clarke, and, too, she retorted – a note of vengeance in her voice.
“At least I have a mom.”
“Whoa, easy tiger,” interrupted Mr Cage as Octavia clenched her fist and lunged towards Clarke, “both of you to Jaha’s office. Now.”
If looks could kill, Clarke and Octavia and Jaha would be dead right now. The girls faced the head master as he expressed his disappointment.
“Out of all the students who I expect to fight and bicker, you too were not one of them. I’ve known you girls since you were very small, and both of you have gotten on so well. I’m going to have to give your parents a call. Abby and Marcus will be so disappointed.”
The three only waited a short period before Abby and Marcus entered the headmaster’s office, Marcus’ face frowning – annoyed at his daughter – and Abby’s confused – questioning whether Jake was responsible for Clarke’s change in behaviour. Abby’s eyes met Marcus’ momentarily as the pair left with their daughters.
“Why don’t you just leave him, Abby?” Marcus finally spoke as Clarke and Octavia got into separate cars.
“No,” Abby said, anxious that Clarke heard his words, “I won’t do that. Not to Clarke and not to me.”
Abby got into her car, slamming her car door as rain began tricking from the sky.
It was a matter of weeks before Octavia and Clarke became friends again, but the actions of their fathers had stained their friendship. Abby only spoke to Marcus when absolutely necessary at work. Last night, the pair had performed a twelve hour surgery on a young woman, going the whole time barely looking at one another – and only speaking when monitoring the vitals and exchanging tools. Usually, they’d tell each stories about when they were growing up together, talk about their kids – which then led to how much things have changed since they were teenagers. They felt lonelier than they’d ever been.
“Jake,” Abby called as she opened the front door. This was the first time he hadn’t been home in weeks. Abby had no idea where he was, but she didn’t care. All she wanted to do was wash away the stress of her twelve hour shift at the hospital. She headed upstairs for a shower.
After her shower, Abby felt her eyes slowly closing as she sat at the edge of her bed. Only for the fact that her damp hair needed blow drying, she would’ve been asleep. When warm, dry and in her pyjamas, Abby popped her head around Clarke’s door to see Octavia and her daughter studying.
“Hey, girls. Everything okay?” Abby asked, her voice soft. The pair of teenagers nodded as they scribbled on paper.
“I’ll make some lasagne for you, and then I’ll head to bed. I’m shattered. Clarke if your dad isn’t home by ten, lock up.”
“Thank you, Mrs Griffin.” Octavia said. Shortly followed by Clarke’s:
“Okay, thanks, Mom.”
In just under an hour later, the three girls were sat around the table tucking into Abby’s food. If she wasn’t a surgeon, Abby would’ve made a fine chef, for sure. Each of them sat in near silence, only for the scraping of their forks on their plates breaking the quiet as they enjoyed the food.
Suddenly, the front door swung open, a bloody and staggering Jake entering, shouting something Abby couldn’t make out because he was slurring. It was clearly he had gotten drunk and was involved in a fight.
“Clarke, take Octavia home,” Abby demanded, standing up and attending to Jake. Neither of them had finished their food, but Clarke followed her moms order.
“Jake, what on Earth happened?!” Abby’s tone was sharp, expressing her concern as she grabbed his forearms. Jake pushed her away, consequently, sending her stumbling back into the glass cabinet. Clarke was pushing Octavia through the back exit and she heard the crash of the glass colliding with the lounge floor.
“Maybe I should tell my dad,” Octavia’s voice was shaky, her eyes wide.
“No, don’t do that,” Clarke said, “It won’t end well. My mom will handle it, she always does.” Octavia ignored her as she heard another smash and Abby’s voice shouting:
“I’m trying to help you! Stop, Jake!”
Octavia ran around the garden fence to her house, unlocking the door and shouting her fathers name.
“Dad?! Dad, wake up!”
She burst into his room, shaking him from his sleep. Marcus’ eyes shot open, knowing immediately that something was wrong.
Marcus swung his legs out of bed, shoving on a t-shirt and some jeans and followed Octavia as she ran back to the Griffin house.
Clarke was screaming at her dad, who had just knocked Abby to her knees. A searing pain shot up Abby’s body as the glass tore through her legs. Jake raised his fist again to his wife, her head hung downwards – flinching. Clarke’s face was soaked in tears as she watched helplessly. It had never been like this before. Abby only saw blackness when the felt something heavy and blunt hit her head. That’s when Marcus burst through the door, immediately tackling Jake to the floor, punching him again and again.
Marcus had been sat by Abby’s bed all night before her eyes finally opened. She heard the familiar sounds of bleeping machines and felt a burning itch on her hand as she looked down at her canula.
“Abby, it’s Marcus.” He stood, taking his hand in hers.
“What happened?” she asked, her voice dry and cracking. Then, she’d remembered. Before Marcus could reply, she sat up quickly, glancing around the hospital room.
“Hey, Abby. Take it easy. You don’t have to worry about Jake anymore,” Marcus reassured, giving her hand a small squeeze, “he’s gone.”
Marcus watched Abby’s lips curl into a small smile, yet her brows still carried fear.
“Gone?” Abby asked, quietly.
Marcus nodded. He cupped his hand on the side of her face, brushing a piece of hair from her eye. Noticing how Abby leaned into his hand and closed her eyes, made Marcus feel warm. Although Abby’s heart ached at the gaping hole in her chest, the security of Marcus by her side seemed to alleviate the... pain?
Abby acknowledged the warmth radiating from Marcus, wanting to hold him forever – or at least until she felt better. It was relief to Abby to know that Marcus, too, had lost someone he loved. Understanding that they were two very different circumstances, yet, Marcus knew exactly how she felt.
Then, Marcus pulled Abby close. Her head fell upon his chest as they hugged. Abby listened to his heart, pounding in his chest. She enjoyed his heat and in the moment, she’d thought about lifting her head and kissing his lips, she thought about how his beard would tickle her chin, and how he’d know how appreciative she is of him. But the thought was erased. Abby was content with just being enveloped by his protection. Maybe the kissing as an act of ‘appreciation’ was for later?
Who knew what the future held for the pair of them?
Thank you so much for reading!