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Shattered Pieces

By´╝ÜPortia Moore

Chapter One





Everything I believed, everything I held on to was a lie…

Except her. She’s my only truth—Cal

One Day Later…





Lauren


“Why the hell are you crying, Lauren? This is going to fix everything!” His voice feels like razors cutting through me, fury erupting from him. He’s angrier than I’ve ever seen him but what scares me is how casual he’s treating this, as if holding a gun to a man’s head is normal. His hands aren’t trembling, his voice isn’t shaking, and he’s not acting scared but excited. He’s going to kill him.

When I wake, my heart is in my throat demanding to be let out. My entire body trembles, replaying what happened a few hours ago, as I lie wrapped up in Cal’s body. I’m so scared of losing him, of losing Chris and I just don’t know if they can handle what’s happening. How does anyone handle knowing that they killed their mother, holding that secret inside that has been engrained in their mind? How does anyone let go of the hatred that has been motivating them year after year? Mr. Rice has agreed not to press charges. Apparently it was in some agreement he signed with Dexter Sr. all those years ago, but the least of my worries was Cal going to jail. My worry is of him getting lost. He hasn’t said a word since we pulled him out of that house.

After Lisa dropped the bomb on us and Chris shut down, I thought that was the worst of it, because what could top that? But hearing from Mr. Scott about how they came about adopting Chris, learning that Dexter Sr. is really Cal’s biological father, and how his mother tricked her own son into killing her because of some twisted Medea complex broke me. I’m terrified of what all of this is doing to the man I love. I know the body lying next to mine well, but I don’t know who will wake up next to me. It’s not Cal, it’s not Chris, and I can’t even say it is Collin. Collin is an entirely different story, another persona that I met briefly. He seemed to come out of nowhere, but I’d even take him making an appearance right about now if only he would just wake up. At this moment, my husband’s on autopilot, I don’t know who’s in there, and I’m even more terrified that it will be someone I don’t know.

I haven’t said anything to him yet because I don’t even know what to say. I don’t know how he will come back from this, and more importantly, I don’t know who to talk to for help. Now knowing the truth that Dexter Jr. is actually Cal’s brother not his uncle-in-law. Did he know this all along? Mr. Scott knew this whole time because apparently he is the master when it comes to keeping secrets. Though I can’t blame him totally since Mr. Crestfield had him sign a non-disclosure agreement, and he said not even Gwen knew the relationship between her own son and Dexter Sr. Though he claimed to be different from Dexter Sr., it seems they have a lot of the same traits.

Still, I shudder to think what my husband would have been like if his biological father had raised him. I nestle my head in the space between his head and shoulder. I bite my lip from saying anything out loud to him each time he tosses his body and instead hold him closer to me. I close my eyes and thank God for letting him be here with me and for allowing me to comfort him during his time of need.

Suddenly I feel a jolt so hard that it makes my eyes shoot open, and I have to suppress my scream. It’s so quick and forceful that I’m almost thrown from the mattress, but I don’t let a sound escape my mouth. I squint my eyes open and see him sitting up but only for a few seconds before he falls back down on the mattress, his eyes closed the entire time, as if he’s not even awake but dreaming.

I cover my mouth to stop the whimper that’s trying to escape. I move to the edge of the bed to plant my feet on the floor, and I put my head between my legs to slow down my racing heart and catch my breath.

We’re going to come back from this. We’re going to come back from this.

I keep reciting this to myself, but still can’t stop the whimpers and sobs fighting to escape. I jump quickly from the bed and run out of our room before he can hear me. He seems to be in a semiconscious sleep, and I don’t want him to see that I’m scared, that I’m terrified about this place we’re in now. I sit outside the door and lean back with my knees to my chest not willing to be too far if he calls for me. I cry hard and ugly for the first time since Cal left me those years ago.

He’s here now, he’s not gone.

“Lauren? Are you ok?” I look up after wiping the tears that are blurring my vision and see Mr. Scott. He looks awful—an emotional mess from the fallout of the bomb dropped—but I don’t say anything and try to appear to not be an emotional mess.

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