Title: Samantha - part 25
Fandom: Zeke & Casey
Author's note: AU - The boys have great future plans ...
Disclaimer: of course, not mine
previous parts here
- twenty-five -
Casey finally started to realize what had happened.
“Did you sneak to the porch and listen to Stokes and me secretly,” he asked.
Samantha kept quiet for a moment, her lower lip defiantly pushed forward. Then she nodded.
“Just a bit,” she admitted.
“And you did say that he wants to send me away. I've heard.”
Casey cringed inwardly. So all this was his fault? He did remember his discussion with Stokes all too well. Yes, he often felt angry about Zeke lately, but a lot of things he had told Stokely were not like it seemed to be. Deep inside he knew it. Zeke was willing to agree to an adoption … but it was not because he didn't care about Samantha. Quite the contrary. It was his way to take over responsibility … even if it was the wrong way, at least in Casey's mind. His eyes were resting on Samantha and he didn't know how to explain this to her. It almost broke his heart to think about it to let her got. But for the moment he had to push these thought beside. He reached for her hand and squeezed it slightly.
“I guess, you know, that it's not okay to eavesdrop,” he said.
“Sometimes you will hear things you might not be able to understand right. Zeke wants to let you go, yes, but just because he thinks this is the best for you. He loves you a lot. We all love you. We want you to be happy.”
“And why can't we all just stay here? Is it because of me? I will behave better. I will never run away again. Go to bed without complaining … and I can help Ditha in the kitchen. I can cook … eggs with bacon … and … and ...”
She sounded so desperate and Casey felt tears pricking in his eyes. All he wanted was to promise, her that everything would be okay. But how could he? He couldn't give her what she wanted.
He pulled her even closer.
“You did nothing wrong, you are a wonderful, little girl. But you know, Zeke and me, we are still going to College in Columbus. We can't stay here. When summer is over we will have to go back. We would love to take you with us, but it's our last year at school and we will have to learn a lot.
There might be not enough time to make you dinner, to bring you to bed or to visit your theater performance at school.”
“But I don't like acting!”
Casey chuckled slightly.
“Or to go to a Baseball game with you,” he corrected himself.
“Whatever you like to do. Things your friends do together with their parents too.”
“Uncle Frank wanted to take me to a Baseball game next season,” she whispered.
Casey smiled. He did remember all too well how much his father had missed adventures like this. But his son had always refused to go into the stadium on a Saturday afternoon. His father had never let him feel it, but today Casey knew that he had been slightly disappointed when he had preferred to visit his grandma's farm then to spend time together with his Dad.
“Well, if he has promised this, he will do it,” Casey assured her.
“Even if you don't live here any longer, you can still visit us from time to time.”
Thoughtful the little girl chew at her lower lip.
“But you will not be there any more to bring me to bed. And read to me.”
“No,” Casey agreed.
He swallowed hard. This was going to be harder with every minute.
“No, I won't. But I'm sure, your Daddy will like to read to you too. You will have a lot of fun with him.”
Samantha took a deep breath, closed her eyes and put her head onto Casey's shoulder.
“I wish, you could be my daddy,” she whispered.
Zeke was still sitting alone on the porch. Smoking one cigarette after the other, trying to clear his mind.
Stokes. It's great that you can fun together with her, Zeke, but that's not all. Did you ever ask about her feelings?
Casey. We can make it, Zeke! We are family! You are going to make a great mistake.
Samantha. His little daughter. All the time he had spent together with her. He had enjoyed it, but at the same time he had tried to keep her at distance. Because he knew it was just a matter of time, when summer was over they would go separate ways. He had tried hard to convince himself that it was best for both of them. But it was not that easy. He couldn't close his eyes for the truth any longer …
She already was a part of his life. He smiled and remembered her hilarious laughing. The sparkle in her eyes when they worked together on the model car. How she always wet her lips with the tip of her tongue when she was thinking hard. He also remembered her nightmares, night after night after night. Only Mrs. Connor had been able help her when she woke up, shaking and crying. Until, only some days ago, she had suddenly called his name. He had hold her in his arms, had talked to her silently …
It was over. She didn't trust him any longer. Wanted another dad who would hold her in the night and laugh with her over the day. Probably he didn't deserve better. He only got what he had asked for. Just … it felt so wrong.
He startled out of his thoughts when Casey entered the porch.
„Why don't you come in? It's almost midnight.“
„Can't sleep anyway.“
Stubborn as he sometimes could be, he snuggled beside him on the wooden bench and put his head on his shoulder. He often did that and Zeke usually enjoyed their nearness. Not today though. It felt as if he didn't deserve it.
“Why don't you just leave my alone? Is it fun to see me in that state? Do you wanna hear that you had been right?
He knew his words were much too harsh but in this moment he couldn't care less.
“Fine, I've fucked it up. I was so afraid about how much she would change our life. It had always been just you and me … in our future was no place for a child. I didn't want to give up all our wonderful plans … I'm such a selfish coward … It's no wonder that she hates me …”
Casey rolled his eyes.
“Too much self pity is not very helpful, Zeke.”
He didn't listen at all.
“I did hate my mother when she left me. I was seven. Alone with my dad. But he was more interested in fucking much too young bitches. It feels as if I was all alone on the world.
But you know what was worst? I hated her … and at the same time all I wanted was for her to come back. It took me some years to realize that this would never happen.
I'm gonna call Mr. Caviness tomorrow. I don't want an open adoption. It will be easier for her when she's able to forget me.”
“No, Zeke, no!”
The panic in his voice was not to overhear. Great. So he had not only hurt Samantha but Casey too. He wondered if Casey would ever be able to forgive him; if their relationship would be strong enough to get through this crises. And he couldn't even blame someone else but himself for this mess.
„You are not your mother,“ Casey said calmly.
„Maybe she didn't care, but you do. You love her. More then you are willing to admit. Maybe you should stop thinking so fucking rational. Listen to your heart. Don't let her go. It's not too late yet.”
Zeke stared at him.
„Love is not enough,“ he growled.
Casey frowned and kept quiet for a while.
„Do you love me,“ he finally asked.
„Would you let me go, Zeke, without fighting for our future?”
Zeke stiffened. Not fair … so not fair.
Casey bent forward and kissed him on his cheek.
“It was not always easy for us, wasn't it? The time at Herrington High where we had to hide our feelings. Graduation day, when you just pulled me in your arms and kissed me, right in front of everyone. I guess, we were the number one topic of conversation for the next few weeks at Herrington.
My parents, being so shocked at first … I was afraid my dad would send my to College somewhere in Alaska just to keep us apart. We always had our differences, my dad and me, still have. He is a jurist with all his heart. It's still hard for him to accept that is son prefers to study art. And my Mom … you know her … she's a mother hen … and sometimes that can be so embarrassing.”
He chuckled slightly before going on. It was good to hear and Zeke relaxed a bit.
“They are not perfect, you know, but this didn't matter at all. Because I know, they love me.
You would be a good father for her, Zeke. She needs you, not some guy who is a stranger for her. You two are so much alike.”
“I dunno if this is a good thing,” he grumbled.
“But you do enjoy it, don't you,” Casey asked.
“That she is as crazy about cars like you. Last week when we saw this yellow car at 'Millers' … ”
“Yeah, the Chevrolet Corvette, 1956, it's a classic.“
„Do you remember the stunned look of the driver when she started to ask her curious questions? You was so proud of her.
You don't want to give this up, Zeke. You don't want to miss the opportunity to give her her first driving lesson. I bet she's more talented then me.”
Zeke couldn't help a smile when he remembered Casey's first time at the drivers seat of the GTO. He had been so hyper that their trip unexpectedly ended in the mud of a little river. Casey had looked so miserable but all Zeke could do was laughing with relief that nothing serious had happened to him. That had been the moment when he realized how much Casey meant to him. No one had ever made him feel this way … no one before Samantha had turned up in his life …
He turned round and even if it was too dark he could fancy Casey's big, deep-blue eyes, so full of love and warmth. So much love for both of them: for him and Samantha. And suddenly everything was so easy.
“I love you,” he murmured.
“Can't say how much I love you. Don't you ever leave me, Case. I can't do this without you! Sam and me, we both need you."
For a moment it was deathly silent. Zeke almost started to worry that Casey might have changed his mind. But then he felt his arms around him, lips meeting his, tears of relief on his face.
“We're gonna make it,” he sniffed between an amount of small pecks and kisses.
“We will give her what she needs most: a place where she's loved and safe. Problems, yeah … we will deal with them when the time is right for it.
We are family, Zeke, a real family. As long as we stay together we can make everything.”