Stuck In Fire 2 - Justin Bieber

Justin is finally reunited with Katie.. and that's awesome. I don't know what to write, 'cause i haven't read the story o.o IT'S NOT MIIIINE. I JUST POST IT TO READ IT :P

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11. 11

Chapter 11

BPOV

It was really exciting this morning, getting a little extra sleep…then rushing around, packing things for our little road trip. I wished I had Charlie's fishing poles to take with us…and Charlie to help teach them how to fish properly.

I couldn't feel sad today, no matter how hard I kept trying. We would be going out today, just the three of us, fishing! And even more miraculous, Justin would be going to see a psychologist for the first time tonight. If anyone asked me to, I would be able to FLY today.

I wondered what Dr. Facinelli would be like. Would Justin like him as much in person as he seemed to over the phone?

I don't know why but I was relieved when Justin said he'd made the appointment with a man. I know it shouldn't make any difference what sex the doctor was, but I think I would feel a little pang of jealousy if Justin sought help from a female doctor. He had put me on such a pedestal, acting like I was so brilliant…part of me worried that once he saw a REAL doctor, he'd look at me now like I'm chop liver.

I told myself to stop that. Today would be a fun day, a family day. And I would see Justin fish. I brought Ben's camera with me. I couldn't pass up these photo ops.

I also borrowed an old fishing hat of Ben's and had that packed away, out of sight. It was gray and old…beat up and filled with fishing lures that were hooked into the material. I couldn't wait to see it on Justin's head. It even has a chin strap under it!

Justin had checked the weather and it looked like it would be a very warm and summer like day. Everything was working for us and couldn't wait to write in my journal tonight about all that was going to happen. I had been keeping a little journal, in case…maybe someday we'd see Dad and Alice, Rosalie again…not to forget Jasper and Emmett…but this way, maybe I could share our experiences with them…it made me feel like they were with us now, not left out of anything.

Before I knew it, we were in the car, Justin at the wheel and Katie in the back seat. I was riding co pilot next to my captain, with the map in my hand. Justin thought I wouldn't be able to navigate, but he was surprised. My father taught me many guy things, and I knew my way around maps. I could also change a tire, check my oil, and spit farther than any boy I'd ever met.

"Wyoming.", Justin read a billboard that had a cowboy sitting on a bucking horse, "Forever west." This was a sign that we'd seen here before. It was the state motto and it was even on the Wyoming license plates.

Justin's voice had sounded a little sarcastic when he'd read that tagline. Then he mumbled, "It FEELS like forever."

Complainer. So much for no more griping about this state.

"Are we there yet, are we there yet?", Katie could hardly be contained in the back, buckled securely.

"Not yet.", Justin squinted out at the highway and then at me, "Are you sure we're going the right way?"

I huffed loudly. "YES!", I almost yelled, "Stop treating me like a stupid housewife from the 50's! I know what I'm doing!"

We were on Interstate 25 now…and our exit is 182. And we just passed exit 180.

And here comes Katie…

"Two more exits to GO!", the little announcer declared. Justin and I laughed, glancing at each other.

"Thanks Katie.", we whined at the same time, as we did after every exit we'd passed.

"Oh, bite me.", she shot back and I felt my mouth fall open, looking at Justin in shock.

"HEY!", Justin frowned and looked at her in his rear view mirror, "What the HELL is that? You don't talk that way!"

I almost giggled as Justin told her not to swear while he swore at her.

I wanted to go, 'Yea, DAMNIT!' But I stayed out of this one.

"Where'd you hear that?", Justin was still scolding Katie while I changed the radio station.

"This kid in my class says it all the time.", she shrugged, not looking very afraid of Justin's yelling.

"Kids…", he grumbled to himself, hating those other wicked children…the ones who were leading his little angel astray. I shook my head, watching his face. Justin really had to face the fact that Katie was not the perfect little cherub he imagined.

"Well when we get home I want his name, address, and phone number.", he ordered and then I couldn't hold it anymore. I had to laugh.

"What's YOUR problem?" he frowned at me.

"What are you gonna do with that?" I asked, trying to keep a straight face.

"Call his parents.", he said, as if it were obvious.

"Oh, okay.", I smiled, "I thought you were gonna go over there and do something…"

"I'm not THAT nuts.", he smirked at me.

When we finally reached our exit and found Edness Kimbal Wilkins State Park, Justin found instant appreciation of the natural beauty there.

"Uuuuhhh!", he gasped, "Pizza HUT! We're going THERE for lunch!"

"YAY!", Katie agreed.

I'm so glad those horses keep him jumping. The way he loves to eat, he'd be a little butterball if he didn't get some kind of daily workout. Not that I cared. I loved him and would always do so no matter what he looked like. And I had to admit, it was fun picturing him older, balding…putting on a few pounds. If he knew what I was doing in my head now, he'd absolutely murder me. But I got a little chuckle out of it.

I wonder how Justin will handle it when he DOES get older…when that beauty begins to fade…his appearance is so important to him. Let Dr. Facinelli deal with that, I told my inner Dr. Selena.

Maybe in time, Dr. Selena could be Justin's sexual healer alone. His head would be someone else's job.

"Aren't there any salad places around?", I asked, trying to promote healthy eating habits to the young, impressionable mind in the car…and to Katie too!

"Ppppbbbhhhttt!", Justin scoffed, "Salad."

"You're such a little glutton.", I said to him.

"Yes, when I find something I like, I eat it ALL…I devour.", Justin shot me a dirty little grin, "And I could go on for hours and hours…sometimes until my tongue is NUMB…but if you don't like that about me, I can change. I'll just nibble on some lettuce…"

Damn him.

"What kind of pizza do you guys like?", I asked, earning a great big kiss from my little boy at the wheel.

"Watch the road, I'd like to live!", I turned his face towards the windshield.

The day was absolutely marvelous. I was taking pictures of the mountains and the forest as we took a hike through one of their nature trails. Justin carried Katie on his shoulders and as much as I thought her weight would be too much for him, he acted like she was a feather. He didn't even seem to break a sweat!

It made me misty eyed to think that to an outsider, I guess we looked like a regular little family.

"DADDY!", Katie screamed as I spun around, seeing her looking up into a tall tree, "Come out of that TREE! You're too OLD to climb all the way up THERE!"

"Am NOT!", he argued back, and all I could see was his denim ass and legs from down here.

Or maybe people think I'm just babysitting my daughter and my overgrown goofball of a son.

"Justin Bieber!", I shouted, forgetting about our fake names, slapping a hand over my mouth, "Anthony Masen! Come down before you break your neck!"

"Neither one of them are in right now." he said like an answering machine, "Please leave a message at the beep. BEEP!"

I growled very loudly, afraid he was going to lose his balance and land right in front of me with a giant THUD. It would be stupid to die that way after all he'd already gone through.

"Aww, come on, Mom, I want to see the top!", he joked, going even higher.

I looked at Katie and sighed, "Is he always like this?"

"Yes.", she sighed with me, looking like a midget 40 year old mother, "He shouldn't have had all that sugar. I knew the cotton candy was a big mistake."

I laughed at her, loving her even more. I'm glad I had an adult to hang out with today.

"I MADE IT!", he screamed, celebrating with his squirrel friends up there, "I'M THE KING OF THE WOOORRRRLLLLDDD! WOOOOOO!"

"I'm not with you guys…", I started to walk away, putting on my sunglasses.

Later, we were feeding the sixteen different kinds of ducks. Justin was teasing them, making them do tricks to get their pellets. I had no idea that white bread is bad for ducks. The park ranger told me as they confiscated my plastic bagful of bread slices.

I must've contributed to a lot of duck health problems in my day.

"FLAP!", Justin was demanding this white duck, while he held a couple pellets over its head, "FLAP your WINGS!"

In less than five minutes, we were being chased by about fifty pissed off ducks. I was so scared, I think I lost five years off my life. I'll NEVER stop hearing those horrible honking sounds they made. They finally cornered us and we threw our bag of duck food at them, hoping the bribe would save us from being pecked to death. I couldn't believe Justin grabbed Katie under one arm and took off, leaving me behind!

"RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!", Justin screeched, moving at lightning speed.

It took him an hour to get back on my good side after that one.

"You said you were an independent woman who could take care of herself.", he explained, trying to get out of the doghouse.

"Bite me.", I borrowed Katie's new motto, and us girls shared a fist bump.

"Where?", he asked, topping that one. What a punk!

You'd think he would've learned after the duck incident (as it came to be known) that he would've left the animals alone. But he didn't.

"Justin!", I shouted, following him later on, "Leave those BEAVERS alone!"

And seconds later, we were running from a huge pack of beavers! They were faster and scarier than the ducks! Their teeth were like six inches long!

I kept looking for the fishing class. If we weren't murdered by pissed off carnivores by lunchtime, I wanted to do that next!

After Justin was done being patched up in the First Aid office, we did go to Pizza Hut for lunch. I tried to tear the sticker off his shirt the nurse had given him that bore a giant star and said, 'I was a brave cowboy today.', but he refused to part with it. It was even harder trying to get the lollipop out of his mouth…yes, a cherry pop, you guessed it.

That bitch nurse didn't fool me. She acted all innocent but I saw her face when she put that thing right into Justin's mouth! Whore! The nurse, not Justin.

It was good to see him calm down a little. I watched him balling up the straw wrapper and he used his straw to blow it across the table at Katie. She loved that, blowing it back in his direction with her own straw. I had to get in on this game and we had a ball! We must've looked like a bunch of DOPES to everyone else but I didn't care.

I had to admit, I envied Justin his playful spirit. When he played, he PLAYED…hard! He's a lot of fun and even more fun now that Katie's around. She makes him young again…I could see that. I can't believe anyone would ever be so cruel as to try and split them up. I couldn't be angry with him for having fun this way. It had been six years since he could go out and do anything like this, just being free. I kept telling myself that whenever he began to aggravate me.

Then the waitress had the GAUL to bring water guns over to our table.

"WATER GUNS!", Justin's eyes boggled, snatching one, "I WANT BLUE!"

"Are you out of your MIND?", I gritted my teeth at the waitress. But she, too, had fallen under Justin's spell and just wanted to make the large kid happy in any way she could.

I watched him unwrap his gun and he looked around like a hawk.

"I'm getting WATER!", he said, running out of the booth and straight to the men's room.

"ME TOO!", Katie chased after, going into the men's room too.

A second later, Justin placed Katie outside the bathroom door, his face pink.

"You use the Ladies' room!", he reminded, "There's bad stuff in HERE!"

I'm glad we did this. I'm seeing a whole new side of him today. I THINK I like him this way…I haven't decided yet. I was trying to be fun, too, but Charlie had raised me a bit differently. He didn't run and play and climb trees. His was a quiet way. Fishing was fun for him.

I kind of envied Katie and Justin. They had such a sweet bond. Justin had that magical knack for allowing his adultness to slip off him like a coat. He could be nine years old if he wanted, and he wasn't ashamed of it. I wish Charlie and I had had times like these together.

I don't want to be the stick in the mud trying to ruin everyone's good time. I'd loosen up, I told myself.

And then I felt ice cold water hit me in the back of the head.

My mouth dropped open and I slowly turned behind me, hearing two dead people snickering, ducking quickly under the hostess podium behind our booth. Like I can't see that spiky red hair from under there.

It was them, and they had fired several shots into my hair before I'd made eye contact with them. At first, Justin almost looked sorry.

But then I locked my jaw and grabbed my pink, wrapped water gun. My Dad had taught me to fire these things. No one shoots me in the head and walks away from it.

I was ready.

"You guys are SO going DOWN!", I jumped up and raced to the ladies' room, ready to load up.

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"Well, there's one Pizza Hut we can never go back to again.", I said after the manager had nicely asked us to go back to the park.

"They didn't kick us out.", Justin snickered, shooting water into his own mouth, drinking the cold water, "He just said it would be a good idea if we left now."

I was fingering through my damp hair, glad it was warm out today. My hair would dry, but it would frizz to oblivion. Great. I just knew there'd be a picture of me with my big afro hanging on our wall someday.

"Stupid waitress.", I cursed her under my breath. I'd never get those guns out of their hands now.

"They weren't mad at us until that old guy got in the way of our shots!", Katie defended her father.

"Oh, yea, what a jerk that guy was!", Justin remembered, walking through the forest path beside us.

"Yea, he was a jerk.", I agreed, "Why would an eighty year old man stand up and try to get some pizza from the buffet table while you two are deep into your shootout?"

"He reported us!", Justin pointed out.

"After you sprayed him in the BUTT!", I added, "The poor man almost thought he wet himself!"

Justin tried to stop himself but he was laughing, going, "Pppbbtttt" when the first huge burst of laughter came stabbing out of him.

Katie joined in loudly, belly laughing right along with him.

"And it's not like the whole PLACE didn't see you until then!", I grinned, almost laughing too, "You guys were all over, shooting and crawling under tables!"

"Hey, you were right THERE with US!", Justin pointed at me, accusingly.

"Yea!", Katie half frowned, "You shot me like, ten times!"

"Yea.", I smiled happily, remembering that…"It felt good."

"It would've been more if I didn't cover you and block all those times.", Justin informed his daughter.

"Okay, here's where the fishing thing is!", I pointed to the sign that pointed the way.

"Yay!", Katie and Justin cheered at the same time, no sarcasm at all.

"And I don't know how you'd do it, Justin, but DON'T tease the FISH!" I pointed at him, "We've been attacked by every living thing here today, let's have a nice experience on the pond at least, okay?"

"Okay.", he agreed, giving me this innocent smile. I didn't believe him.

"If they kick you off the boat, you're swimming back ALONE!", I warned, "I'm not getting wet for you."

"You won't?" he asked, a filthy little giggle falling from his lips as I ignored him. Ben would've been proud.

"Oh, Selena…", he took my hand and placed this very moist kiss upon it, then put it to his chest…"Don't be mad…I'll behave myself."

"You've been saying that all day.", I glared at him…but I didn't pull my hand away…those pecks feel FIRM today…mmmmm….his chest feels so warm…and a little damp…

"Feel something you like?", he sparkled those wickedly beautiful eyes at me and I felt like some black magic had just swarmed around me. Would I ever NOT tremble when he looked at me that way? I honestly couldn't picture myself, even 50 years from now, being BORED with this man.

But if this is what our kids would act like, I may have to rethink that whole having his baby dream I had awhile ago.

"Euuwww. We ARE in PUBLIC, you know!", Katie walked past us, pretending not to be with us for a second, her hand going up on just her right side so the image of us would be blocked.

This time, the laugh was between Justin and I…and Katie was the old angry mother.

Yes, he plays as hard with ME too. But this is a family place.

"Justin, sit down!", I said a little loudly across from me in the boat as the park rangers in the middle began to row us away from the dock.

Justin tried to stand up a bit, peeking over the edge of the boat to see if he could SEE any fish in the water yet. Would my baby boy ever grow up?

I almost rolled my eyes. If Charlie were here, he'd smack Justin in the back of the head.

Katie was sitting next to me for once and I was glad. She might love this and it could be a part of her adult life someday. It was good to start a kid young with this. I hoped these guys knew what they were doing, the park rangers that were rowing us out into the center of the little pond. They wore yellow polo shirts and khaki shorts, baseball caps on their heads. They seemed very friendly and I knew they'd have to be if they were working with kids everyday. There were about twenty other children in the boat with us. Justin and I were the only adults on board besides the rangers.

"Hey, we can reload!", Justin pulled out his water gun and began filling it up in the pond water to his right hand side.

Like I was saying, I was the only adult on board besides the rangers…

"I hope you drop it.", I teased, looking out into the twinkling waters.

"If he does, he'll just fish for it all day.", Katie looked her father over, telling our future, "Once he knows how to fish, that is."

"True.", I looked at his happy expression as he plugged up his gun, fully armed.

He stuck his gun into his jeans, at the hip, like he was a cop or something. I heard him laughing at the look on my face when I saw this.

"Oh, here.", I pulled the hat out of my tote bag, "Put this on."

Justin winced at it, hardly touching it as I handed it to him.

"On MY head?", he asked, as if his head was too pretty to wear such a repulsive thing.

"Yes.", I said, "It's a fishing hat. It's Ben's."

"You stole his UGLIEST hat?" he asked, getting a glare from Katie, "I mean, you stole his hat?"

"No.", I smirked, "I earned it."

Justin's face fell open…and then we both laughed.

"What's so funny about that?" Katie asked, but neither of us were going to explain it to her.

"Okay, everyone, I'm passing out your happy fish head hats!", one of the fishing teachers announced, handing out foam caps that had a giant fish on the top. The fish was wearing a big, goofy smile.

"Give me that.", Justin took Ben's hat back from me, and plunked it on his head.

As Katie put hers on, Justin helped her adjust it in back and gushed, "Awww, you look SOO cute in this! I'm sorry I already have a hat on, or I'd wear it too….but…"

"Can it, Dad.", Katie's eyes were so funny. They were like Bert's from Sesame Street when he got mad, the eyebrows would over the top half of his eyes so he'd look UBER PISSED…almost murderous. That was Katie now.

"I need a picture of this, Selena, click it.", he snapped his fingers at me and I almost threw the camera at his face.

But I had to have this picture, too. And Justin put his arm around Katie, smiling with his eyes closed while Katie kept glaring in my direction, her yellow fish hat totally within the picture frame.

"That's a classic.", I commented, putting the camera in my bag, "If the fish could see this now, they'd die laughing."

"Selena, I really like you.", Katie warned with a very dry tone of voice, "Don't give me a reason to change my mind."

Before long, we had gotten to the spot in the pond, the "sweet spot" they called it. Charlie had lots of lucky spots like that in Forks. I knew them all. And he swore me to secrecy. If I were to ever tell anyone, I'd have to kill them. That was our deal.

They handed out a small fishing pole to each child. They were cute and light but sturdy.

And Justin nearly had a heart attack when they handed every child a hook. "No, KATIE, don't touch it, it's SHARP!" he said before he found out that because these were kids, the hooks were barbless, meaning no sharp edge to prick the kid's fingers on.

"No sharp edge?" I wondered aloud, "How do we snag the fish then?"

"These are training hooks.", one of the men informed me politely, "But they'll work on our little fish here."

"Sunfish?", I asked the man and he smiled at me.

"Yea, hey this girl knows her fish!", he announced, "Everybody give her a round of applause!"

Oh God. I wanted to die right there as everyone clapped for me. I have never been so embarrassed.

Until…

"Hey, Ken doll!", Justin addressed him acidly, "She's with ME! Help one of the kids with their dull hook or something."

And then he realized he was saying that wearing Ben's old man hat. He whipped it off his head, staring the guy down.

"Show him your gun, Dad!", Katie frowned, just as jealously as Justin was.

The poor man looked terrified at the mention of a GUN. Oh Jesus, we were going to spend the night in jail tonight! Maybe Dr. Facinelli can bail us out.

"No, there's no gun!", I told the man, "It's a water pistol!"

"Yea, right.", Justin made some scary moves with his eyes, like he was a complete PSYCHO, "It's just a water pistol…"

I don't know how I did it but I got us all back on track. In a few minutes, we were learning how to tie our fishing line knots. The lines had a little red bobber tied into them, so if the fish bites, the little red ball would bob under. It made it easier for a child to know when they were getting a nibble.

All the kids had done very well with their knots, and I was impressed by Katie. She did it perfectly the very first try!

"God, I can hardly SEE the line!", Justin looked away, blinking his eyes, "Aren't there lines that have some kind of COLOR to them so I can SEE what I'm doing here? KEN!"

I just kept picturing Justin swimming back to shore while I looked away, pretending not to know him.

And if you can believe it…there was actually a SONG the rangers were making the kids sing about baiting a hook!

"It's time to bait our hook, bait our hook, bait our hooks…" the rangers began, getting blank stares from every child…and Justin.

"It's lots easier than it looks, than it looks, than it looks…" they continued, not getting anyone to sing along.

Justin leaned in and whispered to me. "I'm leaving now." He rose up like he was going to jump out of the boat but I stopped him.

"Sit your lily white butt down.", I growled lowly under my breath.

He grinned and provoked, "Tell me more about my cute little butt."

"I didn't say the word CUTE.", I muttered, helping Justin tie his knot.

We baited our "hooks" with dough balls, something lots of people do with kids. Real bait is slimy and smelly and it turns a child off. And the little sunfish love the dough. I didn't think it would be too hard for my kids to catch a fish here. The pond is small and shallow, that's a good thing. And I was glad.

After 30 minutes, if a kid hasn't had a bite or caught something, they'd get bored and want to quit. And if a child has a bad first day of fishing, it will probably be their last day of fishing.

I remember the thrill of my first catch. It seemed like I battled forever to reel the bastard in…to me, it felt like a whale was fighting on the end of my line! And then I HAD him! He wriggled in the sunlight and splashed water on me and I was SO proud! I showed my Dad and he grinned, saying, "That's great, Bells."

He took it off my hook and tossed it back in without another word. I screamed so loud I think I scared away every bird within ten miles. Then Charlie explained to me about fish that were too small versus larger fish you could keep and take home to eat. It didn't seem to ease my mind…or change my plans of killing him in his sleep…until I was older.

I'm glad that wouldn't be happening to Justin or Katie today.

Another good thing about our dull dough baited hooks was that when we learned to cast, we wouldn't be snagging anyone else's eye or shirt or whatever with our hook. That part always made me very squeamish.

The rangers were too funny with their lessons. They were good and meant well, but they were a little corny too. They were actually telling the kids to choose a buddy next to them and start up a conversation.

One of them said, "You can talk about your Mom and Dad, your day at school yesterday…or your favorite color…"

Justin turned to me and snidely asked, "What's YOUR favorite color, Selena?"

"Black and blue.", I came back quickly, and heard Justin chuckle.

Shit! I shouldn't have said that. Dr. Selena was in! How could you say that to Justin? He probably got bruises all the time at the hands of those shit bag bitches.

I was quiet for a long time after that. Justin asked me if I was okay and I felt even worse then. I miss my Dad. I am screwing up things with Justin, too. And I suck as a therapist….and I suck more as a girlfriend or a soon to be stepmom.

And then a miracle happened. Katie caught her first fish.

I took about a hundred pictures, yelling at Justin, telling him what to do to help Katie get it. I got every second of it on film and I could NOT wait to get these back.

My favorite part was Justin screaming, "Put the camera down and HELP ME Selena!"

Justin had stood up to assist Katie and started rocking the boat a bit…but thankfully we didn't capsize. Everyone stayed dry, mostly.

We were laughing and celebrating like a trio of drunks when Katie got her fish freed of the hook. She was so cool, seeing it trying to breathe made her feel bad…and she tossed him back into the water herself.

Justin kissed her and held her tight, the pride glowing off him like light.

"You're SOO great, Kate.", he closed his eyes, that love so thick and unbreakable, "I'm glad you're not a murderer."

Nice.

There were juice boxes and snacks on the boat and that kept Justin happy while he waited for his own little miracle to happen. He looked so bored as he stared at his red bobble on the water, seeing nothing happen. He whipped out his water gun and started to shoot it at the bobble…and then BAM! His line jerked under the water HARD!

It seems that Justin's line was being fought over by two large sunfish. It was a mess and Justin fought like a champion. His pole almost snapped! But in the end, he was victorious and had caught not ONE, but TWO fish!

He stood there, high on the feeling of power as "Ken" helped him free his fish off the hook. Then Justin made his two fish talk to each other as they gulped for air.

"Hey, you're cute.", he made one say to the other, his voice a cross between Grover and Elmo.

"So are you!", he made the "girl" fish respond.

"Let's do some fish kissing.", he made the first say and he put their mouths together, and it did look like they were kissing.

"Oh. My. God.", I deadpanned, getting his laughter…Katie was already half off the boat in hysterics at what her Dad had been doing. Then he tried to make the fish kiss KATIE…and she squealed, shrinking away from him.

"Are you gonna play with them or let them live?" I asked, watching their poor eyes bug out of their heads.

"Oh, yea, sorry guys.", Justin said to the fish, "Go home…have a nice life!"

And they were tossed back into the pond, free to live another day.

Later, once we were back on land again, Justin tried to comfort me.

"It's okay, Selena.", he put his arm around my shoulder, "You've caught lots of fish before, REAL ones!"

Katie and Justin were proudly displaying badges pinned to their shirts that said in big red letters , 'I caught a fish today!'

I hate them.

"Shut up, Justin.", I wish he'd stop trying already.

"It was probably that Ken guy's fault. You didn't respond to his flirting and just by some WILD coincidence, you're the only one who doesn't catch a fish! I think he rigged it.", Justin pondered aloud.

Then he whispered into my ear, his arm around me pinning me to his side, "I'll make it up to you later, I promise. Don't look so sad."

I almost melted against him.

"Hey Dad!", Katie interrupted, "Look, there's a fox trail over there, with real foxes!"

"Don't even THINK about it!", I grabbed Justin's arm and directed him in the opposite trail.

Before we knew it, the sky was getting bright red and the mountains in the distance were colored black. The water looked purple. I got about ten shots of that!

None of us could look away and we just sat there in the grass, cuddled up in a group of three, silently watching our wonderful family day come to an end. I felt Justin kiss my temple, and then he kissed Katie's head, one of his arms around each of us.

"I love you guys.", he said, sounding a little emotional, trying to hide it.

"I love you too.", Katie and I both said at the same time…we all gave a small laugh.

Once the sun was gone, it was time for the park to close. The way back to the car was spent reminiscing about all the funny parts of the day.

"Did you see Selena run from those ducks?", Justin giggled with Katie.

I was laughing now, too. All my aggravation was long gone.

"How could YOU see me?", I asked, "You were way out in front of me!"

"I had a child to protect.", he defended himself slyly.

"How about YOU when that beaver BIT your finger?", I asked, waving my finger around wildly, doing his voice, "GET IT OFF ME! GET IT OFF ME!"

Katie and Justin laughed hard at that one.

"Thanks both of you for NOT getting it off me, by the way.", he grinned, his finger all covered by a white bandage.

"I'm not grabbing a BEAVER to get it off you!", I said in a high pitched squeak, "I didn't need it coming after ME! YOU were the one who had to go screwing with 'em. You learned a big lesson about nature. Don't fuck with it."

"Language, MARIE.", Justin joked, widening his eyes at me like an old school marm.

We only made one stop on the way out. Getting cotton candies to take home with us for the future.

"That sugar is bad for your teeth, you know.", Katie informed as Justin rolled his eyes, carrying his FIVE bags of cotton candy to the car.

"Not to mention what it does to YOU!", she went on, "You turn into a HYPER little person!"

"Amen, sister.", I agreed 150% with her on this.

"I need my sugar.", he plead his case, "It makes me happy."

That ended that discussion.

We dropped Katie off at Ben and Angela's, making very sure first that she'd be okay this time. I think today showed Katie a few things…most of all, that she was important to us…and that we would NEVER leave her behind. She seemed more secure in that now.

"I'm good.", she said, "I'm kinda tired. I think I'll go to bed early after dinner anyway."

"Yea, you've had a big day.", Justin leaned in, kissing her on both cheeks, whispering, "I had the best time with you today."

"Me too.", I heard Katie say to her father, "Selena was fun."

I was? I thought I'd been the pain in the ass all day.

"Yea, she is.", he said, smiling warmly at her, "We'll come over tomorrow, here, for dinner with G Mom and Pop Pop. Right?"

Justin and I talked about that earlier. We would try to have Sunday dinners together with Ben and Angela as much as possible. It would be a nice tradition to begin. And besides, Justin and I really missed having them at our table. And it had only been a couple days! We were sure Katie missed them, too.

"Right.", she yawned, looking very drowsy.

"Bye Angel.", he said, kissing her forehead.

"Bye Daddy. Bye Selena.", she said to us, walking us to the door and opening it for us.

"Be good for them.", Justin warned, a slight parenty tone entering his voice. It was nice to hear after a whole day of him being her nine year old playmate.

We drove and talked about how great today had been. I even told Justin that for the first time, I felt like we really were a family today.

He simply responded, "We ARE a family."

"Yea, I know but…", I looked around the town as he drove through it, "It's not legal or anything…I mean…I'm not asking, but…we're not married or anything."

How many times could I say 'anything'?

"Ohhhh…", Justin had a little teasing tone in his voice, "The M word!"

"I don't want to get married, Justin.", I said and his face sobered right up.

"I mean…not YET.", I corrected, seeing hurt in his eyes, "There's a lot I want to do before we get married…IF we ever got…married. I'm gonna stop saying 'married' now."

We were at a stop light and Justin turned towards me, his smile so delicious.

"Selena…", he said, "I want to marry you. You're the one, I know that. If you're worried about our future, don't be. You will be my wife…when you're ready…when Katie's ready."

"What about you?", I smiled, feeling all hot and squishy inside.

"I need to be a better man before I marry you, Selena.", he said it with such meaning that I knew it wasn't some line.

"I'm a sick guy right now.", he began to drive again, the light green, "I won't marry you until I'm the man you deserve. A man who makes you happy."

"You DO make me happy.", I assured him, my eyes wet.

"I know.", he said, looking at me and stroking my cheek with the back of his hand, "You love me with all my flaws…but I know in time, when I'm better…I'll make you even happier. I don't want to be in another miserable marriage. And especially with you. I want our marriage to be strong. Unbreakable."

"I love you, you little sap.", I snuggled into his side more, playing with his little sticker from the nurse. I wanted it OFF him…but I'd have to be sneaky about it.

"Ditto, Marie.", he kissed my head, then said, "Do you realize…that when we get married your initials will be M. M.? M and M…I love that candy."

I thought of that and my mouth fell open.

"Oh, man."

"Wait, your middle name is really Marie, so it'll be M.M.M.", Justin figured out…"Mmmmmm!"

"NO!", I protested as he laughed, "NO WAY! I'll DIE first!"

"I like it.", Justin decided, "It fits."

"Well forget it.", I said, "I'm not having that as my monogram. I'll change my first name or something."

"You could call yourself Ursula…and then you'd be UMM." Justin chuckled, enjoying this.

"Okay, enough."

"Or you could stay single and call yourself Debbie Ursula…but that would be D.U.M.B." he continued.

"Where are we going, anyway?", I tried to stop this crazy train his mind was on right now, "You have an appointment at eight, you know."

"I know.", he looked completely relaxed as he said this, "But first, we're going for some Lo Mein!"

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