The breakfast table was normal mayhem on the Wednesday morning, and Nicole was helping Tina to get herself sorted out before they sat side by side at the large table in the dining room. Tina was still grinning as she enjoyed all the lively action going on around the table. Nicole had lent her some clothes to wear, so she didn’t look her normal rock/gothic self, but she still looked good though.
“How did you sleep last night Tink?” Carl asked as they ate their breakfast.
“It was a lot of fun Uncle Carl, thank you for letting me stop.” Tina smiled. “I hope you’ll let me do it again some time.” She added looking hopeful.
“You’re welcome here anytime Tink, just turn up with a suitcase and we’ll find you some place to sleep.” Carl chuckled.
“Don’t tempt me, I might just move in here.” Tina giggled.
“Not sure your father would like that.” Carl frowned.
“I doubt he’d notice.” Tina replied bitterly.
“I’m sure he would Tink.” Carl argued.
“I see so little of him Uncle Carl that I think I should take a photo the next time I see him, just so I can remember what he looks like.” Tina said with hurt in her voice.
“I’m sorry to hear that sweetie.” Carl said with a sigh as he wondered just how stupid his old friend was being. “Do you know where Cathleen and Damon are taking you two today then?” Carl asked trying to change the subject to a topic that wouldn’t upset Tina any more than it already had.
“We’ll leave that for Cathleen and Damon to decide. Tink and I just relax in the back of his car and let him transport us.” Danielle giggled as she still thought Damon reminded her of a young Jason Statham.
Tina got the joke as she started giggling as well. Damon had left the Transporter films out for her to watch, and she could see what Danielle was getting at. Damon did look like him in that movie role.
Carl looked a little puzzled as he looked at Mandy for some sort of an answer for the girl’s giggling fit, but Mandy just shrugged as if to say ’girls will be girls’.
Everyone finished breakfast and then the kids all ran off to finish getting ready for school while Tina and Danielle went up to finish getting ready for Cathleen and Damon arriving for them.
Tina and Danielle got hugs off all the kids before they left for school, and Tina thanked Nicole for letting her share her bed, and also for the loan of the clothes she was now wearing.
“I’ll be glad when this week ends.” Danielle said with a sigh as she hugged Lianna. “I’m sick of watching you drive away.” She added with a pout.
“I’m sick of seeing you hanging out with this little freak.” Lianna said as she stuck her tongue out at Tina.
Tina stuck her tongue out at Lianna as she playfully slapped her on the arm just before they started giggling. “Freak, and proud of it.” Tina said with a grin as she stepped into the hug that Lianna was now offering with her arms open. “I’ll try and keep her out of trouble for you.” Tina promised.
“Thanks, but who’s going to keep you from getting in to trouble?” Lianna asked with a worried look, but she was soon grinning again.
“Come Lianna, get on the bus.” Brad said as he placed his hands on Liana’s shoulders and pointed her towards the minibus.
Danielle ran after her and gave her another hug. “I’ll be thinking about you.” Danielle said just before she gave Lianna a quick kiss on the lips and then ran back to stand with Tina and the others as they waved to the minibus as it pulled out the driveway.
They hadn’t been back in the house very long when the doorbell chimed and Chrissy went to see who it was and found Cathleen and Damon stood there.
“Hi Aunty Chrissy!” Cathleen squealed as she threw her arms around Chrissy and tried to hug her to death.
“Hello.” Chrissy giggled as she hugged Cathleen back. “You seem overly happy for this time of the morning.” Chrissy added with a grin as she looked at the two of them stood side by side. “Did you have a good time last night?”
“Yes.” Cathleen blushed. “He’s in a band, and he took me to one of their shows.” Cathleen added, sounding impressed.
“We’re not very good, but it’s good fun.” Damon said trying to play down the praise Cathleen was paying him.
“He’s just being modest Aunty Chrissy, he’s amazing!” Cathleen argued as she slapped him on the arm.
“I’d love to hear you play some time Damon.” Chrissy said as she let them into the house and closed the door. “What do you play in the band?” She asked.
“I’ll make a note of the gigs we have coming up, but I must warn you we are a rock band, so it does get pretty loud.” Damon said looking nervous about everyone seeing him play. “I play lead guitar by the way.” He added.
“Richard was interested in learning the guitar not so long back, maybe you could give him a couple of lessons?” Chrissy asked.
“I’d be happy to come round and teach him what I know.” Damon said looking a little prouder of himself now. “Does He have a guitar of his own?” He asked.
“Yes, he got it last Christmas, but didn’t like the teacher we found for him, so he gave up.” Chrissy explained with a roll of her eyes to indicate that that was kids all over these days. “We did buy him some DVD’s on how to learn the guitar, and he’s gotten a little better, but he could use someone that can listen to him and point out where he’s going wrong.”
“I’d love to try and help, if I can.” Damon replied. “I find it very relaxing to play, when I’m not bouncing around on the stage with the other fools that is.” He added with a chuckle.
“If you want to see fools bouncing around, you should see Aunty Chrissy and Aunty Amy when they get on the dance floor.” Cathleen said with a giggle just before she ran off with Chrissy running after her.
“Who you calling a fool? Young lady.” Chrissy said as she chased her down the hallway.
“I’m not a young lady anymore!” Cathleen shouted back.
“You’re still young enough to be taken across my knee when I catch you!” Chrissy shouted back.
Cathleen was wearing heels, where as Chrissy was in a pair of fluffy slippers, so Chrissy was able to catch Cathleen, but instead of spanking her, she just gave her a hug as they both giggled.
“You’re a lovable fool though Aunty Chrissy.” Cathleen said as she rested her head on Chrissy’s shoulder while she tried to get her breath back. “And fast too.” She added.
“Must be all this dancing you do.” Damon said as he caught up to them.
The three of them were soon making their way into the kitchen where Danielle and Tina were sat at the kitchen table listening to Amy tell them about some adventure her and Chrissy got up to.
Tina waved at Damon and Cathleen, but didn’t stop Amy finishing her story though. Both girls were giggling by the end of it.
“Hi Damon, did you and Cathleen have a good time last night?” Tina asked as she got up and walked over to give Damon a hug.
“Hey kiddo, it was a great night, and the fans loved the new stuff we played.” Damon smiled as he wrapped his arms around Tina and hugged her back while she pressed her face into his chest. “How was the sleepover?” He asked when they stopped hugging.
“It was so cool!” Tina said excitedly. “We all sat around the kitchen table drinking hot chocolate, then Nicole and I spend ages playing around with her makeup.” She added.
“Doesn’t sound that cool to me.” Damon said with a raised eyebrow.
“That’s because you’re not a girl silly.” Tina giggled as she slapped Damon’s arm. “And you don’t wear makeup.”
“Maybe we should, it worked for poison and motley crew back in the eighties.” Damon chuckled jokingly.
“We’d love to help you experiment.” Chrissy grinned.
“Thanks for the offer Chrissy, but if you saw some of the other guys in the band, you’d see just how bad an idea that is.” Damon shuddered at some image he’d just formed in his mind.
“Well you know where to find me if you change your mind.” Chrissy giggled as she watched Damon shaking his head as he tried to remove the image he looked to be hating so much right now.
“You two ready to pick up where we left off yesterday?” Cathleen asked.
Danielle and Tina both nodded as they grabbed their purses and then walked to the front door with Chrissy and Mandy following them.
“Have a good time sweetie.” Mandy said to Danielle as she hugged her.
“I will mummy.” Danielle said as she hugged Mandy back.
“I hope you’ll come and spend another night with us soon Tink.” Chrissy said as she gave Tina a hug and then kissed her on the forehead. “You’re welcome to come over and stop anytime or just come over to chat about things only we girls can talk about.” Chrissy added in a motherly way.
“Thanks Aunt Chrissy.” Tina said as she gave Chrissy a big hug back.
Mandy and Chrissy waved to the girls as they drove away in Damon’s Audi, and then they returned to the house to go get ready for their shopping trip into the city for the rest of the stuff they wanted to get Danielle for her surprise birthday party, and anything else that they saw.
Lianna and Lauren were just walking between classes mid morning when Lianna felt her cell phone vibrate, so she pulled it out expecting it to be a text from Danielle, but she looked a little puzzled when she saw it was a call from Jessica.
“Hi Jess, What’s up?” Lianna asked nervously.
“Lianna! Come quick!” Jessica screamed down the phone. “Doug and Shane are picking on Jen and Charlie!”
“Where are you?” Lianna asked trying to remain calm.
“We’re behind the gym.” Jessica said just before she screamed at whom Lianna thought to be Doug and Shane. “Leave them alone you big bullies!”
“We’re on our way sis.” Lianna said as she ended the call and grabbed Lauren’s arm as she started running towards the gym. “Call Si and tell him to get to the gym, Doug and Shane are beating up Charlie.” Lianna added as she looked at Lauren running at her side.
Lauren hit a button on her phone and shouted. “Call Si!” She placed the phone to her ear and then waited for Simon to answer.
“Hi Beautiful, missing me already.” Simon’s voice asked smoothly on the other end.
“No time to play around Si. Lianna and I are heading to the back of the gym, Jess just called and said Doug and Shane are beating up Charlie.”
“Ian and I will see you there.” Simon said before ending the call.
“They’re on their way.” Lauren said just before she picked up the pace and had Lianna running faster to keep up.
Lianna and Lauren ran around to the back of the gym where Jessica had said Charlie was being beat up, and they saw Doug had Charlie pinned up against the wall as he slapped him around the face while saying something to him, but the two of them were too far away to hear what it was. A boy called Shane was holding Jennifer as she tried to make him let go.
Jennifer was screaming for Doug to stop picking on Charlie, so Shane never heard Lianna and Lauren approaching until it was too late and Lianna ploughed into Shane knocking him and Jennifer to the ground, but Shane let go of Jennifer as he fell, so Jennifer was able to roll free without hurting herself. Shane wasn’t as lucky as he had Lianna land on his back with a knee on his spine.
Lauren made straight for Doug and knocked him away from Charlie before she placed herself between the two of them. Charlie was sobbing, and Lauren could see both his cheeks looked sore from where Doug had been slapping him.
“What do we have here then? Little sissy Charlie needs a girl to protect him.” Doug mocked as he stepped closer now he’d recovered his balance.
“This girl’s going to kick your ass if you try to come any closer.” Lauren spat out as she took a fighting stance like she’d been shown by Uncle Carl and Uncle Vic.
“You don’t scare me little girl.” Doug spat back as he took another step closer.
“That’s because you’re too stupid to realise when you’re out numbered.” Lauren said smugly.
Doug took another step forward and was just about to speak when Lauren kicked out with her foot and made contact with Doug’s groin, dropping him to the ground with a huff as all the air left his body. He was left rolling around on the floor groaning as he held his groin.
“I said you were stupid.” Lauren grinned as she stepped closer and bent over to mock Doug as he groaned in pain.
Doug lashed out with his hand and swiped Lauren’s feet from under her before she had time to react, but she rolled away from him before he could punch her, and the next thing Lauren saw was Simon diving on Doug before letting him have it with a couple of good punches.
“You don’t ever hit a girl, and you never hit my girlfriend, or one of my friends!” Simon snarled as he lifted Doug’s upper body by the shirt collar before slamming him back down into the ground. “You okay baby?” Simon asked in a much calmer voice as he looked at Lauren being helped up by Ian before he went to help Lianna with Shane, who was still pinned to the ground with Lianna sat on his back while bending both arms back.
“I’m fine; just feel a bit foolish for letting him knock my feet from under me.” Lauren frowned. “Serves me right for claiming gloating rights.” She added with a giggle as she brushed off the dust and dirt from her skirt.
“You still looked pretty amazing to me.” Simon grinned. “I don’t know about you playing for the hockey team, I think you should sign up for the girls soccer team instead after that kick.” He added as he got to his feet and let Doug go back to gripping his privates.
“That was a nice trick Lauren.” Ian said from over where he’d helped Shane to his feet before twisting his arm up behind his back to stop him trying to get away.
“What trick was that Ian?” Lauren asked.
“Si and I saw you do that kung fu stance like you were going to hit him, but all of a sudden you just lashed out with your foot and kicked him right in the nuts.” Ian grinned. “Even I felt it.” Ian added with a pained look.
“He had it coming, and he pissed me off by upsetting Charlie.” Lauren said as she kicked some dirt in Doug’s face as he groaned on the floor still. “How’s Charlie doing Jen?” She asked as she turned and saw Charlie still sobbing, but in Jennifer’s arms now though.
“How you doing Charlie?” Jennifer asked in a soothing voice as she broke the hug and looked him in the eyes while she pulled out a tissue and wiped them for him.
“I’ve had worse from them in the past.” Charlie snuffled. “But I’ll be fine when my cheeks stop burning.” He added as he touched one of his glowing cheeks and let go again when it made it hurt even more.
“It won’t happen again Charlie.” Simon said as he leaned down and made Doug look up at him. “Charlie’s with us now, so you can lay off him, or you’ll be the one getting picked on.” Simon added as he poked Doug in the chest after every word.
Just then Jessica ran around the corner with a couple of the sports teachers following behind her. She’d run off to get help when Doug and Shane first cornered them as they took a short cut trying to get to their next class together.
“There's the two boys that were picking on us Sir.” Jessica said as she pointed first to Shane still being held by Ian, and then at Doug still rolling around on the floor groaning about his nuts hurting.
“What happened?” Mr Moore asked, he was the head sports teacher.
“Jessica, Charlie and I were heading to our next class when these two tried to pick on Charlie, so I tried to stop them, but that one.” Jennifer explained as she pointed at Shane. “Grabbed me and pulled me away while he.” She added as she pointed at Doug now. “Pushed Charlie up against the wall and started slapping him across the face when Shane grabbed me.” Jennifer filled the teachers in as she held a sobbing Charlie in her arms.
“What happened after that?” Mr Moore asked with a smirk as he looked down at Doug on the floor groaning.
“I stopped him from picking on Charlie, and then I defended myself when he tried to attack me.” Lauren said in a matter of fact way.
“I jumped on Shane when I saw he was trying to stop Jennifer helping Charlie.” Lianna explained her part in it.
“I jumped on Doug and then punched him Sir when I saw he was about to hit Lauren. I wasn’t going to let him get away with hitting a girl.” Simon added with pride.
“While I’m not supposed to condone any form of fighting, I would have done the same thing if I’d have been walking past and saw something like that.” Mr Moore said as he frowned at the two boys. “Help your friend up off the ground Shane.” Mr Moore ordered as he looked at Shane this time.
Shane helped a groaning Doug to stand up. “I want to press charges against her.” Doug snarled in a higher pitch than he normally used.
“You can do that if you want young man, but then I will be forced to take you to the headmaster so he can contact your parents and tell them you’re being expelled from school, and they will have to find you a new one to attend.” Mr Moore informed him.
“Expelled!?” Doug squealed just before letting out another groan. “What am I being expelled for?” He asked with actual shock in his voice.
“Did you hurt more than your privates just now boy?” Mr Moore asked angrily. “You were bullying, and you know the rules about that.” He added.
“She should be taken to the head master and expelled as well then, because she bullied me.” Doug blurted out before he had time to think it through.
“Let it go man.” Shane warned. “Do you want the whole school to think you got bullied by a girl?” He added in some hope of making Doug realise what a laughing stock that would make them both.
“Or you could just be on your way, and we’ll hear nothing more said about it.” Mr Moore said in that stern but wise teacher way.
“Come on man; let’s just get out of here before we really end up in trouble.” Shane said as he pulled a still groaning Doug away.
“But Sir!” Lauren whined. “He was bullying Charlie and slapped him a bunch of times.” Lauren added as she pointed at Charlie and his still glowing red cheeks.
“I know that Lauren, but if we push that matter, then it will also mean you being expelled for what you did, even though it was in self defence.” Mr Moore explained as he raised his hands when he saw that Lauren was about to speak.
“So I should have let him carry on hitting Charlie until you turned up?” Lauren asked with an edge of anger to her voice.
“No, you did the right thing, but it does mean we have to let the matter drop to keep you in school.” Mr Moore said calmly as he placed a hand on Lauren’s shoulder. “I don’t think he’ll be picking on Charlie again anytime soon.” He added with a grin which seemed to make Lauren smirk and then giggle.
“What do we do if he has another go at Charlie, or one of us?” Simon asked as he placed an arm around Lauren.
“Try not to react with violence, and then we can have him expelled, but I think this may have scared them off, for a short time anyway.” Mr Moore shrugged as he thought about just how thick Doug and Shane could be.
“Will you be alright Charlie?” Lianna asked as she stepped over and looked at his cheeks.
“Yes, it was worth the sore cheeks just to see Lauren kick him in the...” Charlie grinned just before he winced at the pain it caused in his cheeks. “Thanks for coming to my rescue.” Charlie added looking proud of his group of friends.
“What are friends for?” Simon asked as he held out his balled up hand for Charlie to bump fists with.
“You lot better get off to your next class before you find your self’s in trouble for being late to class.” Mr Moore warned them as he smiled at the fact little Charlie had finally found himself some friends.
They all walked with Jennifer, Jessica and Charlie to their room before the others all ran off to get to their next class.
“Wait here for us at the end of class, and we’ll meet up and head off to lunch together.” Lianna said just before they all left Charlie Jennifer and Jessica to enter their classroom.
“Do you think we should say anything to our mums?” Lauren asked as they made their way to class.
“I think we should explain everything that happened, just in case Doug has any long lasting problems.” Lianna said with a wince of her own as she thought of just how painful it must have been for Doug when Lauren kicked him.
“I still claim it was self defence.” Lauren grumbled as they ran down the hallway to their classroom. “That will teach him not to attack defenceless girls.” She added with a pout.
“I doubt Doug would agree with you being defenceless.” Lianna giggled. “But that was a seriously nice kick though, and I think Si was right about you trying out for the girl’s soccer team.” Lianna added with a grin.
“I prefer hockey, I get to use a stick.” Lauren said with an evil grin. “Just think of the damage I could have done to Doug if I had my hockey stick on me.”
“I can, and I can also imagine you sat in Stanman’s office waiting for our mothers to come and collect you because you’ve been expelled.” Lianna pointed out.
“I still say he had it coming.” Lauren said in a matter of fact way.
“I’m not arguing with you on that, but hitting him with your foot is one thing, but going all St.Trinian’s on him with a hockey stick would look a little pre meditated.” Lianna said sounding out of breath as they finally reached their classroom.
“Okay, I guess you’re right.” Lauren said with a roll of her eyes like it was something she didn’t want to admit. “We’ll sit and explain everything to our mothers when we get home tonight.”She added as she let Lianna lead them into the classroom where they both said they were sorry for being late.
Carl was just taking a break from checking over some paperwork when he heard the sound of his Personal assistant buzzing him on the intercom, so he got up and walked back to his desk to find out what she wanted.
“Hello Amanda, what is it?” Carl asked trying to sound pleasant to her.
“I’m sorry to bother you Carl, but you told me to let you know when the police arrived to talk with you.” Amanda’s voice said on the other end of the intercom.
“Thank you Amanda, please send them in.” Carl said; glad to be finding out what was going on in the case against Ken Douglas, the childcare worker that tried to abduct Danielle last week.
Carl was sat behind his desk when Amanda entered the office with a man and woman following. “Please take a seat and I’ll fetch you both a drink.” Amanda said as she walked them over to a couple of chairs facing Carl’s large desk.
“Thank you.” The male office smiled up at Amanda before he looked back in Carl’s direction. “We’re sorry to bother you Mr Wayne, but we thought it best to come and see you to sort out a good time to come around to your house and interview Danielle about what happened with Ken Douglas?”
“I thought we’d given you enough evidence that you wouldn’t need to involve Danielle?” Carl asked. “I don’t want her name getting in the papers, and people finding out about her troubled past.”
“We just want to cover all our bases and make sure this animal goes away for a very long time.” The female office explained.
“As do I, that is why I gave you all the information we’d managed to find.” Carl glared back at her. “Danielle is recovering from corrective surgery still at the minute, and the stress of all this isn’t helping her to recover.” Carl added angrily. “I won’t have my daughter dragged over the coals in a courtroom by some lawyer of a pervert.”
“Danielle won’t have to go to court, we will video tape her interview and her face will be blacked out to stop anyone from bothering her after the trial.” The male officer promised. “We are hoping not to need her as a witness, but we also need to cover everything he did, and trying to abduct a child is a nice cherry on the cake.” The male officer added.
“So you can promise that Danielle will be safe, and no one will find out who she is?” Carl asked as he thought it over.
“We can’t give guarantees, but we will do all we can our end to keep her identity a secret.” The male officer promised.
“I’ll need to talk it over with Danielle and see if she’s willing to do it.” Carl said with a nod of his head. “Have you had any luck uncovering who else is involved in this sick little ring?” Carl asked with venom on his tongue for the perverts that prey on young children.
“I’m sorry Mr Wayne, but you know we can’t discuss any other parts of this case with you.” The man said with a sigh. “But we did uncover some paperwork and payoffs to people. We think he might have taken payment to deliver Danielle to a client, we think that is why he was so stupid as to try and take Danielle from your home.” He explained.
“I thank you for letting me know that, and I hope you get every bastard involved in it.” Carl growled as he balled up his hands into fists.
“We will get them Mr Wayne, it’s just a matter of time, and anything Danielle can give us, no matter how small she thinks it is, could help us stop that animal from ever seeing the light of day again.” The man said.
“I’m sure Danielle will help all she can, but I’ll have a word with her and get back to you.” Carl said as he got to his feet to let the two officers know that this meeting was now over.
The officers got up and the male one handed Carl a business card with his details on it before letting Carl walk them to the door and out of his office. Carl smiled when he saw that Richard Bell was sat talking to Amanda when he’d seen the two officers out.
“Hello Richard, is it that time already?” Carl asked as he looked at his watch and saw it was lunchtime, and he’d asked Richard Bell to join him for lunch so they could talk business. “I hope you’ve not been waiting long?” Carl asked as he let Richard enter his office before he closed the door and then walked over to his desk and buzzed Amanda to have lunch delivered to his office.
“I hope it’s nothing serious with the police Carl?” Richard asked as he took a seat on the couch Carl had in his office while Carl made them both a coffee.
“It is serious, but it’s not work related.” Carl started to explain. He then went on to tell Richard about Danielle’s past and how Brad had managed to stop the guy from abducting Danielle last week.
“I’m glad Danielle is alright, but I’m surprised Brad didn’t kill him.” Richard said when Carl finished explaining.
“Brad didn’t know about him being a pervert at the time, he thought the man was just trying to return Danielle to the childcare system.” Carl frowned. “It took Vic and several officers to hold him back when he saw what he had in the trunk of his car.” Carl added.
“Doesn’t sound like it would have been any great loss if Brad had snapped his neck.” Richard said.
“Why let them get off so easy?” Carl asked. “I plan to make sure everyone involved pays for what they have done, or thought about doing.”
Lunch arrived and the two of them went to sit at the large table Carl had in the room and they ate in silence for a short time until Carl spoke.
“How are you holding up old friend?” Carl asked with worry in his voice.
“I’m taking each day as it comes, but I still miss her so much Carl.” Richard said with pain in his voice.
“How are things between you and Tink?”
“They're fine I think.” Richard shrugged. “I’m trying to give her some space to deal with her mother’s loss in her own way.”
“When was the last time you spent any real time with her?”
“You know how hard it is to run a company Carl.” Richard said avoiding the real answer.
“Tink feels like she’s lost both her parents at the minute with how you’re pushing her away.” Carl sighed.
“How can I face her and say we’ll make it through this, when I don’t know if I can make it through the next twenty four hours.” Richard said as he lost his appetite and placed the knife and fork back on the table.
“Tink doesn’t need that from you Rich. She just wants to know you still love her. Let her see this grieving side of you.” Carl said in a pleading tone. “I think you both need to spend a little more time together.” Carl added with a knowing look.
“I can see why you’re such a good business man now Carl.” Richard said with a sad sounding chuckle. “Even with everything you have going on, you still find time to have lunch with me to help sort out my problems.”
“I’d like to think that you’d do the same for me if I was in your shoes.” Carl replied with a smile. “You need to take a couple of days off from work, and spend it with Tink, so she can see that she still has a father who loves her very much, and don’t be afraid to let her see you cry.” Carl added.
“Is that advice from Carl or Carla?” Richard asked with a smile of his own as he saw a sparkle in Carl’s eye that seemed more feminine than masculine.
“Does it matter just as long as you listen to it and fix things between Tink and yourself?” Carl asked.
Richard and Carl had become friends in college after Richard went to Carl for some advice on a fancy dress costume. Richard had seen Carl and Vic on campus dressed, and he’d wanted to go to a party as a woman to try and impress a woman he’s had a crush on forever. They soon became good friends and Carl helped Richard win the girl of his dreams, who later became his wife and Tink’s mother. Richard had been crushed when She died of breast cancer, but Carl had done all he could to keep Richard and his company going, and now he was trying to get him and his daughter back on the same page.
“I’ll talk to her tonight at dinner, and let her know just how I’ve been feeling.” Richard said as he suddenly felt a little hungry again and carried on eating his lunch.
“Why don’t you join us for dinner? That way Tink won’t feel like you’re cornering her, and Mandy and the others would love to see you again.” Carl suggested. “Damon said that Tink’s really come out of her shell since spending time with Danielle and the others.” Carl added.
“She has, and I’d love to come over for dinner.” Richard agreed. “Damon was glad to get some time off from playing big brother to her.” Richard added with a chuckle.
“That’s the first time I’ve seen you laugh in some time Rich.” Carl smiled as he carried on eating his lunch.
“Maybe it’s time I did it a little more.” Richard said with some thought. “Sue could always make me laugh, even when I really didn’t want to. Tink reminds me so much of her Carl.” He added with a heavy sigh.
“Maybe you need to tell Tink that, and let her know you still love her.” Carl pleaded. “She’s a good kid, even if she does dress a little questionable.” Carl added with a raised eyebrow.
“I have noticed that, but thought she was just playing out her anger at the loss of her mother, so I let it slide.” Richard explained the fact he’d noticed the rebellious way Tina had been dressing this past year.
“You’re part right, but she was playing out her anger at you not noticing her.” Carl pointed out. “If you don’t take notice of her soon, she could slip away from you so far that you’d never get her back.” Carl warned.
“I just thought she’d grow out of it and find someone to help her get over it because I couldn’t even help myself, but I can see what you’re getting at, and it helps to know that Mandy and her sisters are willing to help Tink out when she needs a motherly figure to talk to.” Richard nodded.
“That she does, but now she needs to know she has a father that cares about her as well, even if he does start to clamp down on the wild way she dresses.” Carl chuckled.
“I hope she can forgive me for not being there these past several months?” Richard asked with a sigh.
“Just tell her what you told me, and I think you might be shocked.” Carl said.
“I guess I’ll find out this evening at dinner.” Richard said with a look that said he was ready to face his demons and show his daughter he does care about her, and he’s been hurting just as much as she has.
Carl felt better to see his old friend looking more like his old self, and they were soon talking business and what Carl could do to help Richard improve his company profits.
The rest of the school day had been a more normal affair for the kids. Charlie couldn’t stop thanking them all enough for coming to his defence, and Lauren was angry for kicking Doug in the privates and stopping him from being expelled for it, but he had spent a couple of hours in the nurses office with a ice pack pressed to his groin, Simon had found out later and told Lauren.
The rumour going around the school was the accident happened during a soccer match Doug was playing with some other boys, or what his friend Shane had said to anyone that asked.
Lauren and Lianna were glad to hear that because it meant that they wouldn’t get in trouble for causing Doug any damage now. Lauren thought she might be doing the world a favour if she did do long term damage to Doug in that area and stopping him fathering offspring, but she’d never say it out loud to anyone, just in case someone overheard.
“Do you still think we should tell our mother’s?” Lauren asked in a whisper as Brad drove them all home at the end of the school day.
“I’d rather face our parent’s wrath for fighting now, than later if they found out we were fighting and kept it from them.” Lianna said looking worried about what would happen if they kept quiet.
“Good point.” Lauren agreed looking just as worried.
Brad parked up outside the house and then let all the kids off the minibus and followed them into the house. Lauren and Lianna followed the others towards the kitchen in search of their parents.
Chrissy and Becky were sat at the kitchen table enjoying a glass of juice with Holly, Mandy, Amy and Amber when they saw the kids all enter the kitchen.
“Hi kids, good day at school?” Chrissy asked with a smile. All the kids said yes looking happy, but Chrissy could see that something was worrying her daughters. “What’s wrong with you two?” Chrissy asked a worried looking Lauren and Lianna.
“We got into a spot of trouble at school today mothers.” Lauren said nervously.
“What kind of trouble?” Becky asked with a hint of anger in her voice as she was suddenly very interested in what her daughters had to say.
“Jessica and Jennifer were walking from one class to another with a friend of ours called Charlie, and two boys started picking on him, so Jennifer stepped in trying to make them stop, but one of the boys grabbed hold of her while the other boy kept picking on Charlie.” Lauren started to explain. “Jessica called us for help and then ran off to find a teacher. One of the boys was slapping Charlie when we got to them, so Lianna pushed one boy off Jennifer, while I pushed the other one away from Charlie.” Lauren added still looking nervous.
“Is that all that happened?” Becky asked looking relieved.
“No, there’s a little bit more.” Lauren said.
“How much more?” Becky asked with a frown.
“The boy I pushed away from Charlie came at the two of us, so I kind of kicked him in the privates.” Lauren said with a pained look.
“Sounds like a simple case of self defence to me.” Brad said with a shrug. “Were you hurt sweetie?” He asked Jennifer.
“No daddy, I was just angry that he got the better of me.” Jennifer grumbled.
“Did you report him to a teacher for picking on Charlie?” Chrissy asked sounding angry.
“Mr Moore turned up at the end and saw the aftermath, but he couldn’t do anything to the two boys without the same thing being done to me for my part in it.” Lauren explained.
“That’s just silly!” Chrissy grumbled. “There is a big difference between bullying and defending yourself.” Chrissy added.
“Did either of you get hurt?” Becky asked as she pulled a pacing Chrissy down onto her lap and wrapped her arms around her wife trying to calm her.
“I got knocked on my bottom, and Doug tried to hit me, but I rolled out the way, and Simon showed up before the boy had a chance to try anything else.” Lauren said with pride in her voice when she said Simon’s name. “Simon punched the boy and told him you never hit a girl.” Lauren added with a grin.
“Well consider yourselves both told off, but we’re also very proud that you ran to protect your friend and sisters.” Chrissy said with a smile. She just wished she’d had friends like Lianna and Lauren when she was at school, or friends she realised were her friends at the time and not years later.
Becky never argued with Chrissy over the lack of any punishment, as she could see that this friend that was being picked on had struck a nerve with her wife and made her remember all the bullying she’d gone through as a child.
“You all better go and get changed out of your school uniforms and then get your homework sorted out.” Becky said to them all just before they left the kitchen to go do as they were told.
Danielle and Tina skipped into the house giggling after having another fun day of sightseeing with Cathleen and Damon. Cathleen had talked Damon into coming into the house for a drink, so Tina could spend some time with Nicole, and to give her a little cuddly lion that she’d bought her as a thank you for the loan of the clothes, and for the sleepover.
“Hi mummy!” Danielle squealed happily as she entered the kitchen and saw Mandy sat at the table with Chrissy, Becky, Amy and Amber.
“Hello sweetie. Did you have another fun day?” Mandy asked as she pulled Danielle onto her knee and gave her a hug while kissing her on the cheek.
“It was amazing mummy.” Danielle grinned. “Damon bought us all lunch at the hard rock cafe.” Danielle added.
“Did he now?” Mandy asked with a frown as she looked at Damon who was sheepishly trying to hide behind Cathleen while trying to look anywhere except at Mandy and Danielle. “Was it nice?” Mandy finally asked with a giggle.
“Yes it was, and the burger was massive.” Danielle said as she held her hands apart to show Mandy just how big the burger was.
“You won’t be wanting any of your Nana’s dinner then tonight after eating a burger that big.” Mandy teased.
“We did a lot of walking after, so I’m hungry again now.” Danielle said in a pleading tone.
“That’s good to hear.” Holly said from the other side of the kitchen where she was checking on something in the oven. “Will the two of you be joining us for dinner?” Holly asked as she looked at Cathleen and Damon.
Damon was just about to decline the offer when Carl entered the kitchen with Richard bell walking at his side looking happier than he had the last few times everyone had seen him.
“Hello everyone.” Carl said with a smile as he walked over and gave Danielle a kiss on the forehead just before giving Mandy a much longer one on the lips. “I hope you don’t mind, but I brought Richard home to have dinner with us?” He added after he broke the kiss.
“I can’t see a problem with that.” Mandy smiled. “Hello Richard.” Mandy said as she slid Danielle off her knee and then raised up to great their guest.
“Hello Mandy. Thank you for entertaining Tink these past couple of days” Richard said as he let Mandy give him a hug as he hugged her back.
“It’s us that should be thanking you for letting Damon entertain Danielle for us.” Mandy smiled as she broke the hug and stepped back to where Danielle was stood with Carl after he’d given her a hug.
“Hello Tink, have you had a good time these past several days?” Richard asked a nervous looking Tina.
“Yes I have father.” Tina said looking down at the floor.
“I’m glad to hear it sweetie” Richard said as he closed the distance between them and went down on one knee to put him at the same eye line as Tina so he could give her hug. “I’m sorry I’ve not spent much time with you these past several months.” He said looking a little ashamed of his actions.
“Much time?” Tina asked with a huff.
“Okay, no time.” Richard chuckled as he was reminded of his wife and how she would correct him in the same way. “You’re so much like your mother.” He added with a sigh.
“Is that why you hate being around me father?” Tina asked with tears in her eyes as she finally looked her father in the eyes.
“I don’t hate spending time with you baby.” Richard said looking shocked at what his daughter just said. “I was just scared of living without your mother, and I buried myself in my work trying to get from one minute to the next.” Richard added as a tear rolled down his cheek.
“I miss her too daddy.” Tina said as she started sobbing as she threw her arms around his neck and hugged him.
Richard started sobbing and it looked like something they had both needed to get out for some time. Everyone just tried to look busy as they fought back tears of their own, and Damon let out a sigh as he finally saw the two of them talking to each other and starting to get over the pain that had been locked up inside for so long now.
“Richard’s here in his car Damon, so if you and Cathleen want to get out of here and do something together, that will be fine.” Carl said.
Damon looked at Richard to make sure. “Please go out and have some fun without this little monster in tow.” Richard chuckled as he cupped Tina’s cheek in his hand.
“As you wish Sir.” Damon nodded.
“Yes Sir?” Damon asked as he turned back around to look at Richard Bell.
“Thank you for all you’ve done for Tink these past several months.”
“It’s been my pleasure sir.” Damon said with a bow of his head before he smiled at Cathleen and left the kitchen with her on his arm.
“Well he didn’t need telling twice did he?” Richard chuckled as he looked at the closing kitchen door. “So what you been doing these past couple of days?” He asked turning to look at Tina who was now sat on his knee grinning at him with black streaks running down her face from where her heavy black mascara had run down her face from all the crying.
Tina started telling her father all about the shopping trip on Monday and then about the last two days of sightseeing with Danielle, Cathleen and Damon, as well as the sleepover with Nicole.
“Mandy, Danielle, can I have a word with the two of you out in the dining room for a minute?” Carl asked when he saw that Richard was finally spending time with his daughter.
“Sure baby.” Mandy said looking worried when she saw the look on his face. Danielle looked just as worried as she was led from the room with Mandy holding her hand.
Carl helped the two of them to take seats at the table before he sat down himself and started to explain what the police needed Danielle to do.
“I had the police visit me at the office today. They want to video an interview with you Danielle, so they can make sure they have as much evidence against Ken Douglas as they can get together.”
“Will I have to appear in court if it goes that far?” Danielle asked looking worried about being sat in a room full of people all looking at her like she was the one that asked for everything that happened to her.
“No Sweetie, that’s why they want to get it all on video.” Carl promised. “I won’t let anyone hurt you or make you feel like you did anything wrong princess.” Carl added as he reached across and took hold of her hand.
“I’ll do it then.” Danielle said looking brave as she took in a deep breath to steady herself.
“That’s really brave of you honey.” Carl smiled. “I’ll get it all set up for tomorrow and your mother and I will be there with you the whole time.” Carl promised.
Richard was taking a couple of days off from working to spend some much needed time with Tina, and Danielle would have been left at home with Holly and whoever else was around, so it would work out quite well.
Danielle left Carl and Mandy to return to the kitchen, while she went up to find Lianna who was in her bedroom doing her homework. Danielle explained about what she would be doing and then told Lianna about her fun filled day until dinner was ready.
The decorating people arrived after dinner to talk to Danielle about her bedroom, and Lianna and Lauren helped her plan it out. The two people left after saying they would be back in a couple of days with some images to show her on how the room would look when completed.
Over the next couple of days Danielle went with Mandy and Carl to give the police her video statement while Becky went to the shop with Chrissy and Amy and helped to plan out everything for the party at the weekend. All the things they ordered for Danielle’s birthday arrived and were added to the things they had bought on Wednesday when they went out shopping.
Danielle went with Mandy, Chrissy and Amy to the shop on the Friday, just so they could get her away from the house while Holly, Becky and Brad got things ready for Sunday without giving too much away. Becky was busy wrapping gifts most of the day with Brad helping her.
Lianna and Lauren didn’t have any more trouble with Doug bullying Charlie, and Charlie was spending most of his time hanging out with them now, and sitting with Lianna in the library when the others had gym. Lianna hadn’t tried forcing the subject of Clare with Charlie. She thought Charlie would speak about it when he was ready, but she would let him know she was there ready to speak when he was.
They all ran out of school on the Friday afternoon cheering as they knew they wouldn’t be back here for another six weeks. Jennifer gave Charlie a hug and shocked him when she kissed him on the cheek before saying she’d see him on Sunday afternoon at the party. They had managed to make sure he showed up by getting Simon’s mum to pick him up on the way over.
Lianna was looking forward to spending even more time with Danielle, and finally starting school together after the holiday. Lianna was also looking forward to the look on Danielle’s face on Sunday when she found out she was having a birthday party, and all the kids she’d met in the two days she’d spent in school had bought her gifts to welcome her.
Danielle was still at the shop with Chrissy and the others when the kids got home, so they all had time to get their gifts for her wrapped and cards wrote out before she got home.
With all that done just before Danielle got home they all decided to have some fun in the pool and Lianna carried on teaching Danielle to swim.
They all got out when told to, and then they got showered and dried before dinner and then relaxed for the rest of the evening playing around in their rooms or in the games room.
To Be Continued Next friday
Story by SaraUK
Edited and Posted by SamanthaK
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
Child and Parent guide:
Parents Children Chrissy & Becky Andrew/Lianna, Lauren (Twins) Amy & Amber Jessica Ann & brad Jennifer Sara & Cathy Peter Mandy & Carl/Carla Craig, Danielle (Adopted) Jayden & Callum Richard, Nicola (Twins) Dan & Faith Penny, Christopher
EDITORS NOTE: Please Comment and/or leave Kudos and let Sara know you like her work please, Any comments on spelling, grammar or the layout of the story please PM me “Samanthak” not Sara. Thank you
If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudo!
Click the Good Story! button above to leave the author a kudo:
And please, remember to comment, too! Thanks.This story is 10061 words long.