Max.jpg Indira.jpg Hope.jpg

Date: 2011.04.26
Location: EW - Headwoman's Quarters and Lakeshore
Synopsis: Max struggles with the reality of having his daughter back.
Rating: PG13
Logger: Max

It was during these hours, those between midnight and dawn in which the ghosts of memory broke free from their confinement to haunt. Torturing and mocking.

Even now standing quietly leaned up against the doorframe, arms folded over his chest and watching as his mother and daughter slept in that enormous bed of Indira’s, Max couldn’t seem to shake the darkness that constantly threatened to overwhelm.

Quietly he moved further into the room and then knelt at the side of the bed where his daughter lay sleeping peacefully, a tiny hand curled into a loose fist. He lifted a hand and fingers moved to brush lightly through the mop of soft black curls and then quickly retracted it again as impossibly long lashes fluttered and then swept upward and he found himself being studied by solemn eyes as black as midnight.

For long moments father and daughter held each other’s gaze until the two turn old’s rosy little mouth puckered and she let out a wail of distress that woke Indira.

“Max, what in Faranth’s name are you doing?” Indira hissed as she soothed the little girl that had burrowed her head in against her.

“I…uh…” Max rose to his feet and gave a frustrated shake of head as took a step backward. “I’m sorry, Ma. I’ll…go.” And he headed toward the door, his frame rife with tension.

Before Indira could stop him, he was gone.

Hope. In following the long established protocol set up by his parents all those turns ago, he’d even given his daughter a new name to go with her new life. A name that spoke to not only what she signified to him but of everything he wanted for her too - happiness, love and laughter.

Max couldn’t help the soft snort that spilled as his path carried him toward the lakeshore. Yes, he’d had such hope, such imaginings of how things would be when he finally got her back. For over two turns he’d pictured it in a thousand different ways, even carefully choosing a woman to be mother to his daughter but at no time could he have anticipated the reality of his situation as it now stood.

After a slightly bumpy start, Hope had come to accept Indira as her caregiver, thus entrenching rumours that due to the resemblance she bore to the beast manager, she was indeed the Headwoman’s daughter possibly born of the union between the tousled blonde and the northern stranger that had been to visit a while back.

But when it came to Max, Hope’s lower lip would tremble and she’d twist away from him. No matter what he tried, the toddler wanted nothing to do with him. And as much as Indira tried to soothe and explain that the little one would come around eventually, he couldn’t bear the sense of rejection that sprang up and tore at him each time that wail of distress pierced the air and cut into his heart. Not so soon after… Lips thinned and pressed together as he was reminded of yet another failure on his part, that of not providing his daughter with the mother he’d sworn to himself he would.

It might be considered cold-hearted and a betrayal of the worst kind. The woman in question would likely be sickened, his mother horrified, if they knew that his pursuit of her had begun with calculated intent. Identified long ago while still out on the road and watching as she’d dealt with the little ones of their group, he’d carefully held back, and kept his distance until he thought the time to be right before making his move.

However, falling in love with her and then her impressing to that sharding green of hers had never been a part of the plan. The former having been his final come-uppance for not only had he failed her in not having lived up to her expectations, he’d failed his daughter and ultimately, himself too for ever believing he’d get away with it and have the fantasy he’d tried to make a reality.

But there was nothing to be done about it now. What was done was done and now he needed to figure out a way to make a life for himself and his daughter, starting with finding a way to reach out to her for there was nothing he wouldn’t do to ensure her happiness.

Despite the heartache, uncertainty and the monumental mess he’d made of things that clouded his thoughts and weighed on his heart, the young crimelord’s mouth curved around a smile. In the end, none of it mattered because…he had his baby back!

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