Hope For The Morning.
Anne felt sick to her stomach as she loaded the bag containing her cousin's belongings into the boot of her car. She hated this, she hated the fact that she couldn't watch over her younger cousin herself but there was just no room for an extra body in her three-bedroom apartment, not with both her daughter and Maggie there.
"Are you sure this is the best idea, Anne? I mean, after all, she's been through and...she seems devastated." Maggie, Anne's best friend, and housemate whispered, causing Anne to glance over at the young girl in question, who was sitting on the steps.
"Mags, I would love to have her stay. But she deserves to have a room of her own and someone who will be a constant in her life. My life pretty much rotates around work, caring for Elizabeth and classes. Jane at least will have time to spend with her and honestly, that is exactly what Kat needs right now."
Anne retorted in a hissed whisper before sighing and slamming the boot shut.
"Kitty? Can we talk inside for a second?"
Anne hated this, hated the dejection written across the thirteen-year-old's face as she got up and wordlessly headed toward the door and Anne couldn't help but notice how stiff the girl's movements where. Just what had her baby cousin faced during her stay in not only foster homes but at the hands of her step-grandmother? Sure, Anne had saw faded bruising on the girl's arms but she didn't know the full extent and honestly, she was afraid to.
Anne's heart broke when she saw that the girl had tears in her eyes when she walked in. How could anyone turn their back on this child, let alone hurt her? Anne wondered because she was sure her heart would melt at the forlorn expression painted across the girl's face.
"Before you start yelling...can I ask one thing?"
Anne froze at the question. Why on earth would she yell at Katherine? Had that happened before?
"Kat, honey, no one is going to yell at you and you don't have to ask permission to ask me things, you should know that." Anne managed to respond, wanting nothing more than to pull the young girl into a hug but knowing that probably wouldn't be appreciated since Katherine Katherine flinched at an arm wrapping around her a few days prior.
"What did I do wrong? I….dont understand...and I thought you loved me."
Katherine questioned, her response breaking Anne's heart completely and all while throwing caution to the wind, she pulled the teen into a hug.
"I do love you, I love you so damn much and If there is nothing more I would like more but to keep you here, safe with us but you deserve to have your own space and not have to be alone for hours. That's why I talked to Jane, I know she is safe and would never let anyone hurt you again. it was never anything you did, sweetheart, never. Understand?"
Katherine wasn't sure what to expect when Anne moved toward her, however, she was surprised when she suddenly found herself nearly crushed in an embrace. Sure, it irritated the bruises on her back and ribs but she couldn't help but melt into the embrace.
"I don't wanna go."
She couldn't help the childish whimper that escaped her mouth and reflexively drew back slightly, waiting for an insult or blow to be thrown her way. However, she was just held tighter.
"I know Kitkat, I know this is scary and you've been moved around so much and treated so badly but please...Please trust me when I say this time will be different because guess what? this time if anyone dares to lay so much as a finger on you, I will personally kick their ass because no one messes with my family."
With that, she pressed a kiss atop the girls head before adding:
"Here, so you can always contact me. I promise you will never be alone again."
Katherine glanced down at what was being put into her jacket pocket, eyes growing wide when she saw that it was a phone.
"Anne, I can't ...it's too much."
She began, only to earn a look.
"You can and will Kitty-Kat. I want you to know you can contact me whenever for whatever reason and I will drop in to check on you. You are not going it alone this time, okay. I trust Jane but I'm not just going to let you fend for yourself. This time is different because this time you have people who will always be in your corner."