Ride Again

A month ago if you had mentioned the name, Leland Chapman, in front of Vanessa Woods, she would have told you that he was the ex-boyfriend that she would most like to see get hit by a bus. But that was a month ago. Now, Vanessa's world has come crashing down and the comfort of an old love might be just what she needs to heal.

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1. One-Shot

Disclaimer: I don't know any of the Chapmans. Not to give a teaser for this story's sister fic or anything... BUT for this storyline to have happened, given who Dakota's girlfriend is... I would have had to have messed with the space time continuum. I'm good but I'm not THAT good. And, come on, if I could actually mess with that do you honestly think Leland would still be married to Jamie? Right after saving Kennedy and telling Princess Diana not to get in that car in Paris I would go back and make sure that woman was never born. Meghan, Hannah, Nick, Bella, and probably Ashley would be fighting each other for shotgun in the time machine on that trip. Holy crap, this is the longest disclaimer that I have ever written...

Author's Note: This story was requested by Ashley. I sincerely hope that I captured your dad the way that you wanted me to. Thank you to Meghan (Christlove88) for beta reading.

 

“Yo, moms, you hear the news?” Dakota Chapman strolled through the doors of Woods Bail Bonds like he owned the place and plopped down in the chair in front of her desk with a smirk on his face.

“If you got Britney pregnant, I don't care how in love you are, I will cut it off. You're only twenty-two.” The lecture flowed out of her mouth almost like it was second nature. She had known the boy since he was fifteen. “And you have to stop calling me that... you know I'm not your mom.”

“Britney's not pregnant, I swear.” Dakota quickly shook his head. “And you're the closest thing to a mom that Leiah, Cobie, and me ever had. Leiah still asks for mama Vee,”

Vanessa had to take a few deep breaths so she didn't lose her temper. She hated Leland Chapman with every bone in her body. She had given him six years of her life and when they ran into a few bumps in the road and decided to take what she thought was a temporary break, he had married the first floozy that had come along. She had remained in touch with the three kids that she had raised as her own since the breakup and she knew the kids hated the new Mrs. Chapman.

“Anyway.” Dakota clapped his hands together. “Wanna hear my news?”

“Pops is having his marriage to Tattoo Barbie annulled,” Dakota smirked. “He's single again.”

Even though Vanessa was thrown by the news, she tried not to show it. “Yeah, and he's going to remain that way,” she cut her pseudo-son off at the neck. “Now, does my daddy pay you to play cupid or to catch fugitives? There are four guys up on the board, go find them please.”

Vanessa grabbed her purse and got to her feet. While she helped her old man out at his Kona based bail bond firm part-time, she also worked full-time as a makeup artist and hairstylist at the upscale Vanity Box Salon.

“Love the purple and black, moms... very Evil Queen,” Dakota smirked at her as she headed out the door.

It was three in the afternoon and Vanessa's new client turned out to be the last person on earth that she wanted to see... Beth Chapman.

“Let me guess, Playbunny blonde coloring and WWE Diva circa the 1980's curls,” Vanessa couldn't help but quip. Fashion sense wise, Beth's look was both cheap and dated.

“I guess I don't have to ask if you're still angry with me.” Beth rolled her eyes as Vanessa threw the smock around the much larger woman.

“Why would I be angry with you?” Vanessa's bright blue eyes widened in mock confusion. “Just because you fired Dakota because he fell in love with someone you didn't like? Britney's a very sweet girl and she makes Dakota happier than I've ever seen him. You lost one hell of hunter over something stupid. That boy's leading my dad's crew.”

“I'll admit I made a mistake.” It looked like it was physically painful for her to admit that. “Look, I need your help. Leland is really depressed, so much so that fans of the show are starting to notice...”

So, that's what this visit was all about. Vanessa had heard that Dog and Beth's newest reality show, Dog and Beth: On the Hunt was failing in the ratings.

She stood as straight and as tall as her 4'11 frame allowed and put her hands on her hips. The tattooed sleeves of ivy on both arms contrasted with the scarlet red of her sundress and kind of made her look Poison Ivy from Batman. “Beth, I have never and will never care about your damn show. Please, leave. This booth is reserved for people with actual class.”

 

LATER THAT EVENING

“You know, pumpkin, you really have to stop spending so much time hanging out with your old man.” Vanessa's dad, Bo, accepted the beer that she handed him. “You need to go out and socialize with people your own age.”

“Trust me daddy, after everything I went through with Leland, you're all the socialization I need right now. Besides, I see Dakota almost every day and I just spent four hours with Britany at the tattoo shop yesterday.”

“Who got inked? You or her?” Bo crouched down to examine something on the side of his Harley. The old man loved that bike almost as much as he loved his daughter. “Please, tell me you didn't get anything else pierced? The nose and belly button were enough.”

Vanessa rolled her eyes and she sat on the floor of the garage cross-legged and sipped her own beer. “Britney was getting Dakota's name on her ribcage. I just tagged along because I was off work and bored.”

“Good.” Bo nodded, his bald head catching the setting sunlight and casting a brief glare. “You're running out of skin and have enough holes in your body as is. And what's with the hair this week? Did you eat that wrong berry at Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory?”

“You're really one to talk, pops,” Vanessa laughed. “Have you looked in the mirror recently?”

She might have her fair share of tattoos but her dad had her beat by a mile. William ‘Bo’ Woods was covered in tatts, her favorite being her baby footprint above his heart. He looked every bit the old-school bounty hunter and biker that he was. Vanessa was one of the only people in the world who knew how big of a teddy bear he actually was.

“Back to what I was sayin', hangin' out with your kid and his girl does not a social life make. Have you thought about talking to Leland?”

Wonderful. Now her old man was jumping on the pro-Leland bandwagon. She wasn't really surprised. Even though Leland was nine years older than her and a father three times over when they first met, he had been the only boyfriend that Vanessa ever had that her dad had liked. He had said from the beginning that something fishy was up with Leland's quickie marriage to Jamie.

“Dakota is not my son,” she said on autopilot.

“Tell that to Dakota,” Bo snorted. “Cobie and Leiah too for that matter.”

Vanessa rolled her eyes, “And there is NOTHING that would ever make me speak to Leland Chapman ever again.”

“I'm not gonna be around forever, pumpkin. I just want to make sure you are taken care of.”

That conversation with her father would come back to haunt Vanessa only one month later. It was a rainy Friday afternoon when Dakota called from the hospital to tell her that her dad had suffered a heart attack while out on a bounty. She had barely made it to the hospital in time to say goodbye.

The next few days passed in a stunned and emotionally shattered blur. She was almost positive that Leland had shown up at the hospital and been the one to drive her home but the first few hours after her dad's death, Vanessa seemed to have almost blacked out entirely. The next thing she remembered was her mom flying in from Alabama to help her plan the funeral.

It was the day before the funeral and while her mom was inside cooking for the reception that would follow the graveside service, Dakota and Cobie had come over and were out in the garage pulling out spare tables and chairs. Vanessa, needing some fresh air, went and took a walk on the private stretch of beach behind her dad's house.

“Mama Vee!” a little voice that Vanessa would know anywhere broke the solitude.

Vanessa turned around just in time for seven-year-old Leiah to jump into her arms. The little girl hugged her for dear life and Vanessa hugged her back just as hard. She hadn't seen the little girl she loved like her own in almost a year.

“I missed you,” Leiah spoke into her neck.

“I missed you too, princess,” Vanessa kissed her forehead and looked up to find the child's father standing and watching them with his hands shoved into the pockets of his cargo pants. “Hey, Leland,” she kept her tone neutral. She was neither rude nor polite.

“Hey, baby girl.” he gave her a small, sad smile. “How are you holding up?”

Vanessa really wished he wouldn't use that pet name with her. It just reminded her of everything she had lost, and she had lost way too much. “I think you know me well enough to know the answer to that,” she answered him and he nodded in understanding. “Thank you for bringing her.” She set Leiah on her feet in the sand but kept ahold of the child's hand. It was like she was scared she would vanish if she stopped touching her. “And for letting Cobie come over. I really needed to see them.”

“Don't thank me, baby girl.” Leland shook his head. “Bo was more of a grandpa to the kids than my dad.”

From the day before the funeral on, Leland made sure to bring Cobie and Leiah by to see Vanessa on an almost daily basis. He claimed it was because of the bond she shared with the kids and their need for stability in their lives. Dakota, a grown man who could come by whenever he wanted to... Vanessa was pretty sure she wasn't getting rid of him without a restraining order being involved. She had given up on telling any of the kids not call her mom. Leland never corrected them, in fact, he encouraged them. It was a losing battle and Vanessa was secretly glad. Spending time with the kids helped her move on from her grief over losing her father. She would always miss him but having the kids around reminded her that there was more still to live for.

It was a month after her father's funeral, and, as had become routine, Leland was dropping Cobie and Leiah off to spend the weekend while he worked.

As Leland handed her Leiah's bookbag, she had to ask, “is everything okay?” He had a pissed off look on his face.

“It's not your problem, baby girl.” Leland shook his head and said firmly.

“Jamie's talkin' smack about dad online,” sixteen-year-old Cobie clued her in.

Leland glared at his middle child before turning back to face her. “It's my mess, don't worry about it.” He kissed her cheek before quickly leaving.

“So, ma,” Cobie slung an arm around her shoulders. “How long are you going to make dad pay for marrying the Achy Breaky Psychopath? You guys were broken up and he thought she was pregnant and was trying to do the right thing.”

“Wait... what?!” If Vanessa was shocked Leland had kissed her, she was blown away by this information.

“You didn't know that?” Cobie asked in surprise. “Crap, dad’s gonna murder me,” he groaned.

“Spill, Cobie, NOW!” Vanessa took a seat on the sofa while Cobie took the recliner.

“I'm dead anyway, so here it goes,” Cobie shrugged. “Dad had a drunken one-night stand with Jamie while you two were broken up. Jamie told him she was pregnant and would keep the kid from him if he didn't marry her. Dad found out she faked the pregnancy and had the marriage annulled. Now, Jamie is posting crap on Facebook saying that dad abused her and caused her to have a miscarriage.”

Vanessa saw red. That dumb bitch had played on Leland's love for his children to trap him into marriage and now she fucking wanted to defame his character as a man? Oh, HELL NO!

“Cobie, go and watch a movie with your sister in the den, please.”

“Ma, are you about to do anything that dad's gonna blame me for? Seriously, I don't think I can die twice.”

“Go, Cobie!” Vanessa grabbed her laptop off the coffee table as she ordered.

“Yes, ma'am,” was heard as the teenager hightailed it out of the room.

Vanessa logged onto Facebook and pulled up Jamie's page. Sure enough, there was post after post of lie after lie about Leland. The bimbo had even posted photos of tiny scratches on her arm and a smashed iPhone as proof of Leland's ‘violence’. Vanessa couldn't help herself, this bitch was defacing the character of the father of the children she considered her own. She had to defend him. She spent half an hour composing an open letter to Jamie before posting it, tagging the bitch, and hitting the submit button.

*** Jamie,

We've never met and I hope to God we never will. I am the woman whose shoes you were trying (poorly) to fill. I was Leland's girlfriend for six years and I am the mother of his children. You know who I am, the woman you tried to drive out of Cobie and Leiah's lives. Just so you know... that didn't work. My babies are currently sitting in the den watching ‘The Pagemaster’ while their daddy works.

I've kept silent about you for over a year but you have clearly crossed the line, sweetheart and now I'm going to let the public know two things about your lying ass.

Number One: Leland never loved and wanted to marry you. The two of you had a one-night stand and you tricked him into thinking you were pregnant. When he found out you FAKED the pregnancy, he didn't even bother with a divorce. He annulled your sham of a marriage. Legally, it never happened, honey.

Number Two: Leland has NEVER laid his hands on a woman. You think your pictures count as proof of abuse? Come on, lady! Leland is an MMA level fighter, not to mention a boxer. He would have done some REAL damage if he hit you. I was with him for six years and he never once raised his voice to me in anger, let alone his hand. Sell your bullshit somewhere else.

Jamie, I'm warning you right now. We are both from Huntsville, and I still have a lot of friends there. Keep the names of Leland and our children OUT of your lying mouth. I will NOT tell you twice.

To all my followers who are fans of Leland and the Chapman family, please, let this lying snake know what we all think of her.

Sincerely,

Vanessa Woods ***

That night, after Cobie and Leiah had gone to sleep, Vanessa found herself in the garage. She was straddling her dad's Harley with Pandora playing a country station on her phone in the background while she nursed a tumbler of whiskey in her hand.

“How's that steel horse ride on the streets of gold?

Does the promised land have any ol' back roads?

Ain't a doubt, you've done a burnout on a cloud

Knowin' you, you probably laid her down...”

As the words of the song hit home, she downed the rest of her drink and let a few teardrops fall.

“Have you revved it up while the angels sing?”

She was cursing Brantley Gilbert for making her think of her dad as she set her glass down the cement floor next to the bike.

“You're more than a memory, more than a friend...”

Vanessa was sobbing so hard that she didn't notice when the music shut off. She sure as hell noticed the pair of familiar tatted up, muscular arms that easily wrapped around her and lifted her from the Harley. She put up zero fight as she was carried bridal-style into the house. She didn't protest when Leland carried her into the living room and sat on the couch with her in his lap.

“What are you doing here?” Vanessa asked as she sniffled and snuggled into his familiar warmth.

“I was tagged on this interesting post on Facebook.” She could hear the amusement in his tone. “Which one of our boys do I need to kill?”

Vanessa chuckled as her tears slowly stopped. “Dakota's in Louisiana with Britney so... Cobie.” She sat up a little to look at him. “Why didn't you tell me?” She reached up and cupped his cheek.

“I already told you... it was my mess to clean up, baby girl.” He turned his head and laid a kiss on her palm.

“Do you still love me, Leland?” Vanessa finally asked the loaded question.

Leland grabbed her hips and repositioned her so she was straddling his lap and reached up to cup her face with both hands. “Vanessa, I have never, from the day I met you and you stole that bounty from me, NOT loved you. Give me another chance, baby girl. I swear I'll do right by you this time. I'll give you everything. Come on, you have to take me back. Do you see how much trouble I get myself into when I'm single?”

She giggled a little at that before looking in his eyes. “Last fucking chance, buddy,” she said before allowing him to pull her in for a kiss.

She tried to keep the kiss quick and chaste but Leland had other ideas. Letting his hands travel down to her ass, he pulled her against him hard enough to let her feel just how much he had missed her.

“Can we take this to your bedroom, baby girl?” Leland pulled his lips away from hers long enough to ask. “Last thing we need is the kids to find their parents fucking in the living room.”

Vanessa had almost forgotten how crude Leland could be when he was in a right (horny) mood. She pulled back to look at him, “If we do this, you better still be here in the morning,” she warned him.

“I'm back for good, I've already told you that, baby girl.” He gave her a quick kiss. “I'll be here tomorrow morning and every other morning after that, I promise.” He stood with her still in his arms and carried her upstairs to her bedroom.

When Vanessa lay naked in her bed, with Leland's massive form above hers and his cock running along her wet folds, she reached for the nightstand to retrieve a condom but Leland grabbed her hand, and seizing the other one, pinned them beside her head on the mattress. The green ivy from her sleeve tattoos contrasted sharply with the multiple colors from his and she gave him a questioning look.

“No more condoms,” he growled before taking her lips in a bruising kiss.

“Leland, I'm not on anything,” she cautioned him.

“I know,” Leland nodded before leaning down to take a nipple into his mouth as he slid inside in one smooth stroke.

“Fuck,” Vanessa hissed, arching her back. She almost wanted to smack the smug look off of her lover's face. Leland was good and the jackass knew it.

“I love you, Vanessa Jade,” Leland's lips were against hers when he whispered as he gently started rocking back and forth inside her. “We're not using condoms anymore because I'm marrying you as soon as you let me. I told you I'd give you everything and I know how much you wanted a baby when we were together. That's what I'm giving you, sweetheart, my baby.” He leaned down and ran his tongue from her ear all the way down to her collarbone. “I'm gonna do right by you, baby girl, I swear it.”

“Fuck,” Vanessa moaned as his thrusts increased in speed. “I love you... to... too,” she barely managed to spit out before she saw stars as her climax hit just as Leland spilled himself inside her.

 

FIVE YEARS LATER

Vanessa was trying not to scream. It was Halloween and she was trying to get the kids ready to go out trick or treating with their aunt Lyssa. Even though Cobie was away at college in Colorado and Dakota was now married with kids of his own, this still left her with four girls to wrangle while fighting some wicked nausea. Twelve-year-old Leiah was pouting because she wasn't allowed to wear a revealing witch's costume and she was being forced to go as Pocahontas instead. Her four-year-old, London, was so hyper as she ran around the house in her Supergirl costume pretending to fly that Vanessa was getting tired just watching her. Her youngest two daughters, twin almost 2-year-olds, Adalynn, and Emery would not keep their Thing 1 and Thing 2 hats on no matter what she did... and she had tried bribing them with chocolate.

When she finally did get the kids handed off to her sister-in-law, she collapsed onto her husband's lap on the couch.

“My baby girl tired?” Leland laid a kiss on her forehead.

Vanessa was so glad that after taking over her father's business, Leland was able to be home more than he had when working for Dog and Beth. He was always home in the evenings which was right around the time the girls managed to completely exhaust her every day. “Hell yes,” she chuckled. “Your kids are exhausting... even the ones that aren't fully cooked yet.”

It took Leland a minute to comprehend what she was telling him but he finally got it and a huge grin spread across his face. “Seriously, Lil' Mama?” he had taken to calling her that during her first pregnancy. They were almost positive they had conceived London their first night back together.

“Seriously,” Vanessa laughed, “and you're getting snipped now, buddy. I'm done.”

“I think if this one's a boy, we should name him William,” Leland said as he spread a hand over her belly.

Vanessa smiled. He said that every time. She leaned in and kissed him. Taking Leland back was the smartest thing that she had ever done.

 

FINIS

  

 

 

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