We Can't Run From Fate

Jack had never given much thought to the mark on his wrist, the one that told him he had a soulmate out in the world. He was always more the one night stand than soulmate kinda guy. One thing he never expected though was to find his match in Alex Gaskarth, a twenty something single dad just trying to give the best life he can to his daughter.

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13. Chapter 12

In the weeks after their getting back together Jack had practically moved in with Alex and Grace. He’d looked after the little girl why Alex recovered from his bronchitis, he cooked them dinner and taken Grace to nursery. He still went to work and Alex was always waiting up for him to get back, they slept in the same bed and Jack’s belongings had become scattered amongst Alex’s. Jack was surprised by how quickly he fell into family life, the whole routine had become to feel normal but what surprised him the most was, he didn’t mind.

He’d always thought family life wasn’t for him; he’d never thought be anyone he would want to give up his life style for. Then he met Alex, Alex and Grace. They’d changed his whole outlook on life and honestly Jack had never been so happy.

It was a Saturday afternoon and all three of them were just sitting around watching movies. It wasn’t very exciting but they were all quite happy just to be together. Jack and Alex cuddled up on the couch why Grace sat on the floor, her eyes glued to the dragons flying across the screen.

“Daddy, I want a Toothless,” she said.

“You can have one, if you can find one,” Alex replied.

“Daddy that’s not fair!”

“Life isn’t fair Grace,” he teased.

“Alex be nice! Maybe we should get a pet or something,” Jack said.

“A goldfish?” he suggested.

“Daddy!”

“I was thinking more like a dog...”

“Yes Daddy please!” Grace begged.

“We can’t have a dog, not in this shi...Rubbish apartment,” Alex said.

“Then we’ll move.”

“How? Where?” Alex asked.

“Where ever you like, we could live in a house in a good part of town, with a garden for Grace and the dog to play in. Somewhere where we could watch them on the porch as we drink wine and the sun goes down.”

“That sounds amazing,” Alex said, resting his head on Jack’s shoulder.

“But I can’t afford anything like that, why else do you think I live in a place which barely has hot water and gets so cold in winter we have to wear our coats indoors. It’s all I can afford.”

“Alex, hun, you’re forgetting something. It’s not just you anymore, it’s us, we’re a team. We can sell my apartment downtown and this place, maybe move in with my mom for a little while but we’ll get it sorted. You didn’t think we’d live here forever did you?”

Alex looked up at Jack was tears in his eyes. He’d been so used to battling through everything alone sometimes it still slipped his mind that he didn’t have to anymore. Jack was right there beside him and he could make it all okay.

“I love you.”

“I love you too ‘Lex.”

Neither could remember exactly the first time they’d said it. Somewhere in the last few weeks those three little words had slipped out and it had just fitted, they hadn’t made a big thing about it, it had just become part of their lives. They loved each other to the moon and back.

They’d just settled back into the movie when the door buzzer went off.

“It’s like four on a Saturday, who could that be?” Alex grumbled, getting up to answer it.

“Probably some kid trying to sell something,” Jack replied.

“Hello?” Alex answered, pressing the buzzer and waiting for the reply.

“Hello? Alex is that you? It’s Mrs Taylor.”

“Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit,” Alex swore, luckily letting go of the button so she wouldn’t hear.

“Alex, what is it?”

“It’s Mrs Taylor... Who did she find out where I live? Shit, shit, shit.”

“Who’s Mrs Taylor?” Jack asked.

“She’s Megan’s mother, Grace’s grandmother.”

“Oh...”

“I haven’t seen them in years, they’ve never met Grace and they bloody well hate me. Shit, what am I going to do?”

“Shh, ‘Lex calm down.”

Jack was stood up next to Alex, wrapping his arms around the boy’s waist to try and comfort him. The buzzer went off again and Alex shuddered.

“You don’t have to do anything, just ignore her and she’ll go away,” Jack said.

“But she’s Grace’s grandmother, doesn’t she have a right to meet her?” Alex panicked.

“I suppose, I guess she could find out what she wants. Maybe she’s dying and wants to meet her granddaughter before she kicks the bucket.”

“Jack, this isn’t some court room drama.”

“Hey, you never know.”

Alex sighed and pressed the buzzer again, Jack was right he could at least find out what the woman wanted.

“Alexander, that is you isn’t it?” she asked.

“Yes it’s me.”

“Well could we come up? We’d like to speak to you.”

“We?”

“Mr Taylor is here too.”

Alex swallowed hard and Jack held his hand tighter, trying to reassure him.

“Yeah okay, I’ll buzz you in.”

Alex pressed the buzzer that opened the front door, then it was only a matter of time before they were at his door.

“Grace could you go play in your room please? I have some people coming I need to speak to,” Alex said.

“But I want to watch Hiccup!”

“Grace please.”

“Go on Grace, I’ll make you spaghetti for dinner if you’re good,” Jack offered.

“Okay.”

She got up and walked off to her room, once Alex heard the door close he sighed with relief. He wasn’t going to have Mr and Mrs Taylor talk to her first, not without him knowing what the hell was going on. He was barely able to relax when there was a knock at the door.

“Sit down, I’ll get it,” Jack said.

Alex just nodded and went over to the couch. Jack answered the door, unsure of the people he was about to meet. Alex had mentioned before that Megan’s parents had had no involvement in Grace, apparently they’d never been a fan from Alex and actually blamed him for their daughter’s death.

“Hi Mr and Mrs Taylor, I’m Jack, please come in.”   

“Oh, hmm, hello,” greeted Mrs Taylor, obviously surprised by Jack’s presence.

“Can I take your coat?” Jack asked.

“Oh thank you.”

Jack took two very expensive coats and hung them by the door. Mr and Mrs Taylor obviously thought themselves of a higher class, exhibited by Mrs Taylor’s fancy pearl necklace and Mr Taylor’s expensive watch.

“Alexander, it’s been a long time,” said Mrs Taylor, leaning down to kiss both his cheeks.

“How many times do I have to tell you to call me Alex?”

She just pursed her lips and didn’t reply, taking a seat on one of the chairs opposite.

“It’s good to see you again,” Mr Taylor said, shaking Alex’s hand.

“Yeah you too.”

After that the room fell into an awkward silence, Alex still not understand what was going on and the Taylors’ obviously not really wanting to be there.

“Hey, why I don’t make some coffee?” Jack suggested.

“Black, no sugar,” replied Mr Taylor.

“Hmm no thanks dear,” Mrs Taylor said. Jack saw the way she eyed up the apartment, she didn’t think it was good enough for her. Jack wanted to slap her already.

“Alex, coffee?”

He just nodded. It was only when Jack had disappeared in the kitchen that Alex finally found his voice again, the sight of his long dead girlfriend’s parents in his home had shocked him slightly.

“What are you doing here?” Alex asked, he hadn’t meant for it come out so blunt but other words had failed him.

“We’ve come to see Grace,” Mrs Taylor replied.

“It’s been nearly five years, why do you care all of a sudden?”

Alex’s shock had turned to anger, these people had ignored him and Grace for years. Leaving them to struggle on alone why they continued to live a life of luxury.

“Lauren, our youngest daughter had recently discovered she is not able to have children. As such making Grace our only grandchild and well we’d like to be involved.”

Alex remembered Lauren, she was a few years younger than Megan and he’d spent a lot of time with her over their relationship. He’d even kept in contact with her a bit after Megan’s death but like everyone else, she stopped replying eventually.

“I’m sorry for you and all that but I think it’s a bit late, you can’t just walk into my daughter’s life now because it’s convenient to you.”

“She’s still our granddaughter.”

“That’s not what you said when she was born, you wanted nothing to do with her or me.”

“You’ve got to understand, her daughter had just died. Would you want to be involved in the cause of it?” she snapped.

“My girlfriend had just died and I had to be! I couldn’t just run away because I was upset, that baby needed a family and you weren’t one.”

“Coffee!”

Jack choice that moment to walk back in, he placed the mugs down and with one look at Alex’s hurt expression knew things weren’t going well.

“Thanks,” Mr Taylor said who’d been oddly quiet through the whole argument.

Alex calmed down as Jack sat beside him, Jack’s arm wrapped around his waist and held him close to his side.

“Alexander...”

“For gods sake, it’s Alex, it’s always been Alex!” he snapped.

“Alex...” she said it like the word made her mouth feel dirty.

“You’ve got to see it from our point of you, Grace well... She’s the only thing left of Megan and we’ve never even seen her.”

Then Alex felt guilty, she was right. The only part of Megan was still around was sitting playing in her bedroom and was it right for him to keep that from them? They were her family after all.

“He said no. Grace is his daughter and he knows what best. She’s only a little girl, she won’t understand what’s going on and who do you think you are turning up like this? Demanding to see the granddaughter who’s existents you’ve never acknowledged.”

Alex was surprised by Jack’s words, he was coming to his rescue once again.

“I’m sorry, but who exactly are you?” Mrs Taylor asked.

“I’m Jack Barakat, I’m Alex’s... Boyfriend.”

They’d never really discussed the word, they’d fall into place so easily it didn’t really seem necessary. But saying it, putting it into the words, it felt right. He was Alex’s boyfriend.

“You’re... You’re dating?” Mrs Taylor asked, obviously shocked.

“Well it’s a bit more than that... We’re kind of soulmates,” Alex laughed, touching the mark behind his ear.

“You’re...”

Mrs Taylor had gone very pale and her hands were shaking.

“We’re leaving, right now. Jeffery, let’s go.”  

“Dolores I think....”

“NOW,” she yelled.

“I think that means we’re leaving,” said Mr Taylor.

“I’ll get your coats,” Jack mumbled, jumping up.

Alex didn’t know what to say, he didn’t understand what had just happened. She’d been so intent of seeing Grace and now she was just going to give up without a fight? The whole thing confused the fuck out of him.

He followed Mr and Mrs Taylor out to the hall where Jack handed them their coats, Mrs Taylor nearly snatching it out of his hand.

“Well... Hmm thanks for the coffee,” Mr Taylor said as he followed his wife out the door.

“Daddy?”

All four of them had heard the little girl’s voice. Alex wasn’t surprised she’d come to see what was going on, it had been nearly an hour since he’d asked her to go play and they’d be plenty of yelling.

“Hey baby girl.”

Alex scooped her up his arms and took her to the door, where Mr and Mrs Taylor were staring dumbfounded at the little girl. Their dead daughter’s eyes staring back at them.

“Daddy, who are those people?” she asked.

“Oh no one important, they’re just leaving anyway.”

Before Mrs Taylor could open her mouth Jack had closed the door, saying a much needed goodbye to the Taylor family.

“Who were they?” Grace asked again.

“Some people I hope to never see again,” Alex said.

He really did hope to never have to deal with them ever again but as usual for Alex, fate had other ideas...

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