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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17. Chapter 16

The day after the social services visit and Jack had a long day of work in front of him. But no amount of serving drinks, loud music and Eliza’s nagging could stop the thoughts going around in his head. The thought that the Taylor’s weren’t going to give up, they’d keep fighting and pushing until they got their way, but how much would Alex suffer in the process? He didn’t deserve that and nor did Grace. Plus they had no right to want to see Grace, they’d been horrible, undeserving people and there was no way they were getting anywhere near that little girl. But most importantly Jack was not going to let them break Alex, even if it meant risking everything.

 

Jack managed to get of work a bit earlier than normal without too much protest from Eliza. He had somewhere to be. With people who had money like the Taylor’s they liked to show it off so it wasn’t difficult for Jack to find out where they lived. Jack didn’t know exactly what he was going to say just that something had to be done and Alex would never be able to do it so it fell to him to fix things.

It wasn’t much past eight when Jack arrived outside the gates of a large house in the higher class part of the city. It was exactly the kind of place Jack had imagined them living, big, posh and completely unnecessary. He walked through the iron gates and along the path that lead to the huge front door, where there was no doorbell just a large brass knocker. Of course, Jack thought at he tapped it, waiting for the sound to be heard. Something Jack hadn’t expected though was staff, an older lady answered the door all dressed in black and looking very professional.

“Can I help you?” she asked, eyeing Jack up and down.

“I’m here to speak to the Mr and Mrs Taylor,” he replied.

“Do they know you’re here?” she inquired.

“No.”

“Then I’m sorry, Mr and Mrs Taylor are not taking unexpect visits at this time.”

Jack sighed and looked the stern woman in the eye, he’d come too far to come back now.

“Please tell them a Mr Barakat is here to speak with them, they’ll understand.”

The woman stared back for a moment before agreeing and letting him into the hall.

“Just wait here, I’ll come and fetch you when it’s time,” she said.

Jack just nodded and shoved his hands in his pockets. He was pretty sure the woman just thought he was here to steal something, he looked a bit of a mess, dark marks still under his eyes from the days of little sleep, still in his works clothes and no doubt smelling of alcohol. He looked very out of place in the expensive hallway, all decorated with fancy paintings and rugs.

“Mr and Mrs Taylor will speak to you in the study, please follow me.”

The lady had returned and Jack was to follow her up the large staircase, past many dark oak doors until finally opening one. The room that was called the study was probably bigger than Alex’s whole apartment, a wooden desk the size of a single bed sat to the one side of the room why a couple of large couches sat together with a coffee table in between. That’s where Mr and Mrs Taylor were, a tray of evening coffee sat in the front of as they had not been expecting visitors.

“Is that all?” the stern lady asked.

“Yes, thank you Mrs Brown,” Mrs Taylor said.

With that the three of them were left alone, Jack stood awkwardly as they continued to sip their coffee.

“Are you going to tell us what you’re doing here or shall I just sign a cheque now?” Mrs Taylor asked.

“I’m not here for your money.”

“Oh that’s a first, that’s normally what one of you is begging for,” she scoffed.

Jack had to stop his mouth from falling open as he balled his hands into fists.

“Don’t you dare speak of Alex like that,” he spat.

“There’s a bit of venom in you, did your mother never teach you to be polite?”

“Stop it, this isn’t about me. This is about Alex, about what you’re doing to him and how you have to stop.”

“Stop what? Trying to get the right to see our Granddaughter? Because I think we’re within our right to do so,” she said.

As usual Mr Taylor was staying silent, Jack was sure he was completely under his wife’s thumb.

“Right, right? What right do you have? You never cared! You never gave Alex a cent when he needed, that girl could’ve died and you wouldn’t have done a thing,” Jack yelled, his temper getting the best of him.

“How dare you! How dare you come into our home and accuse us of such things!”

“No doubt you stood there at your own daughter’s funeral and didn’t give a second look at the broken man holding your grandchild.”

Obviously Jack had hit a nerve as Mrs Taylor looked away from him and he thought he saw wipe her face, like she was crying.

“Don’t you understand? Our daughter had just died, how could we want anything to do with the thing that caused it?” she asked, her voice breaking.

“Because that thing is the most beautiful little girl in the universe and it wasn’t her fault, babies don’t choose to be born, you can’t put the blame on her,” Jack said, his voice getting a bit calmer.

“We see that now, that’s why we want to see her, the last piece of Megan left on his world.”

“Then why are you making Alex suffer for it?”

The look Mrs Taylor gave to her husband was all Jack needed. He had to bite his lip to stop from doing something he’d regret.

“You don’t blame her, you blame him.”

“He was the one to get her pregnant, without him she’d still be with us,” she said.

Jack couldn’t believe what he was hearing, he wished he’d never come to their godforsaken house.

“So that’s why you’re doing this? You’re going to tear his world apart and try to take his child from him to make yourself feel better? What kind of sick people are you?”

“Don’t you speak to my wife like that!” Mr Taylor snapped.

“Oh shut up! Both of you! I don’t understand, your own daughter was taken from you and now you’re trying to do the same to someone else? Can’t you see the pain you’re creating? I’m just asking you to stop,” Jack said, breathing deeply to try calm himself.

“I don’t see why we should,” Mrs Taylor said, the anger back in her voice.

“Because you’re breaking him! Alex doesn’t deserve this, he’s never done a thing to you! If you want someone to blame try looking at yourselves, it was your own actions that stopped you from seeing your granddaughter in the first place!”

“I think it’s time you left,” Mr Taylor said, the only one left not shouting.

“Oh, so you’re throwing me out now?” Jack snapped.

“I think you’ve said enough, just leave before we call the Police,” he said.

Jack stood there for a moment before turning on his heel and walking out, he didn’t have anything left to say. Mrs Brown met him in the hall and lead him to the door, never once saying a word.

Once outside the full weight of what happened hit Jack and he felt exhausted, he just wanted for it all be over and all to be okay.

 

After the long drive back to Alex’s apartment Jack wanted nothing more than to crawl into bed. When he opened the door it found the place oddly quiet, Grace would’ve gone to bed some time ago but Alex should’ve still been up.

“‘Lex? Are you here?”

Jack wandered through the living room kitchen and bathroom only to find the boy already in bed. He was fast asleep with the blankets pulled up to his shoulders and Jack couldn’t help but smile. With all he’d been through in the last couple of hours he was finally at home with the person he needed most. He stripped off his work clothes and slipped into bed behind Alex, his arm wrapping around his waist and head against the sleeping boy’s shoulder. It was where he felt safe and happy, pressed up against Alex. He kissed Alex’s shoulder and smiled.

“I love you.”

Of course he didn’t expect a reply, he was just glad Alex was catching up on his much needed sleep. As Jack fell asleep he hoped that fate would be kind to them and the all the pain would be over soon, he’d done what he thought he could but the rest was up the uniserve. He just hoped it was enough.

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