So I was really done with writing for awhile. I'm trying to become active again and its really thanks to your guy's reviews and everything. I really appreciate you support. I haven't written like this in a long time and I hope that doesn't show in this chapter. Please leave your reviews in order to tell me how I'm doing. Your reviews really want to make me keep going with the story.
I sit in the bakery with Pucks favorite tea and November cake in front of me. I slip a small box from my pocket. Already a half hour in and its covered in horse hair, the smell of hay and November air. All despite my best efforts. I open up the box as if it could take away my fingers in one small close of its lid. In it lies a small band with one sparkling diamond, on top of a sea of blue velvet. There it lies perfectly for the world to see.
The thought of asking her scares me more than any night trip to the shore or monster the sea could spit at me. I close the minuscule lid and slip it in to my pocket with all of my worries and fears. Maybe she was busy. Maybe she got caught up with some buyer from the mainland interested in an older horse she had. She had wanted to take care of the few the island couldn't.
That was Puck. Helping those who needed it. She could be feisty and oh so stubborn but she was a good person. A terrific person, and that's why I know I have to marry her. She is what makes this island home. She is the one that can hold me to this island. What saves me from drowning my soul in the sea and the sand and Corr. Kate Connolly.
I walk back home in hopes that maybe there is a surprise waiting for me. I smile when I see her there with Dove and the yearling. Her shadow following her on the hard pack dirt and the cobblestone.
"Hey where were you?" I hold the bag with two November cakes. I hold the tea in a carton. Ill heat it up for her for breakfast tomorrow. I smile and I cant be happier looking at her right now. So when she turns to look at me I cant understand. Her eyebrows are set in concentration? No. Anger? Lots and lots of anger. At who? At me. "Puck..." I call but I am answered with nothing. " Kate." I try. Maybe she had a bad experience with that American man. "Hey I got you some tea and ca-" I start and put my hand on her shoulder as she brushes out Dove. She simply shoves me off.
"Don't touch me." she snaps and I can hear it in her voice. She knows that I signed my name.
"Puck..." I try.
"Don't talk to me." she snaps again and I'm so confused with what to say next. I have never seen her this upset, never seen her this torn. I believe the color of her hair and cheeks changes from that of the November grass to what I can only explain as hell fire.
"Well then what do you want me to do?" I ask
"Take your fucking name off the fucking board!" She screams and then the world is silent except for the sound of her breathing. I don't believe I can breathe.
"Kate..." I try. Maybe this name will calm her down. The charms and bells to her violent outburst and rush to the sea.
"Do not Kate me, Kendrick! Don't even try. You are a bold face liar! A piece of Uisce shit!" She yells at me and slams her fist in to my chest in pure rage. The cake and tea falls to the floor. The tea creating little puddles around my shoes.
Why doesn't she understand why I did this? Doesn't she know that if I am to marry her that I must give her the best. I will give her what she needs.
I take deep breath. " I don't want to talk about this Puck." I say and go to fill a bucket of water from the water pump.
She moves so shes facing me once more. Here in the light from the barns her shadow matches her attitude, dark,large and unyielding. "We need to talk about this Kendrick! You promised me! You told me that you were done with the races." She says.
I shake my head. "I never fully said I was done, Puck. Don't you want a better life? Don't you want to stop worrying about money?" I ask. Her life had become so much better after winning these games. Money was no longer a problem. She had more opportunities than she had ever had before. Winning again could be the icing on top. It could be it all for us. It could be the money for a wedding for us. A beautiful wedding dress for her and maybe the crib for... but I cant think anymore because she shoves my shoulder.
Shes fuming. "Don't pretend like this is for the money, Kendrick. Don't lie to me anymore! You just want to ruin the Malverns once and for all. That is all you want this for. Don't lie to me, Kendrick. I don't want this!"
The Malverns deserved everything bad that came to them. His sons death was a blessing to the world. No one here would miss Mutt Malvern. Not a living being could have loved that monster. No one cares for his father either. But this is all besides the point. Im not doing this for that. I'm not. I'm doing this because I love this woman in front of me. I will bring her as much joy as she brings me.
"I am not. I'm not doing this because of them." I state.
"You're lying to my face! Stop lying to me and go erase your name! You're so stubborn and selfish! SO fucking selfish!"
Selfish? I am not selfish. "You think I'm being selfish?!" I ask and my voice cant help but raise. "I'm stubborn?! Puck Connolly you are the most stubborn woman on Thisby!"
"I'm not the one whose risking my life in a stupid race to show off! I'm not trying to ruin someones life." she says and gets in my face. Our bodies close and our voice raised. The shadows becoming bigger with our voices. The sun setting with our hopes of a quiet night. "Face it! Look at yourself! You're such a stupid, stubborn boy!"
"I'm doing this for us!"
"Killing yourself gets rid of an us, Kendrick! Just be honest. Just tell me. Tell me the truth that you're doing this to ruin Maverick. Just fucking be honest with me Kendrick." she says and I look down. My fist sinking in to the deep despairs of my jean pockets. " If you do this... I'm leaving you. I'm ending it."
It hits me harder than any punch. It hurts more than any bite, slap, or kick could. It hits a part in me I didn't know I had. A small part but the foundation. I have become too reliant on Kate Connoly. "No you wouldn't..." I dare speak.
"Do you wanna try it?" She asks quietly. "I have lost enough people to the horses and the mainland. I will not lose you like that. You will not be mine and then suddenly not, because of some horse or man." she barely whispers. Any voice louder would let the tears escape from her throat and in to the air.
The small but mighty shadow drifts away. Smaller and smaller it becomes as it reaches the horse's shadow.
The now quivering shadow stops in its tracks and slowly flickers across the ground. Back and forth it rocks on its dark heels. Its owner simply contemplating her next actions. The shadow waits.
"I love you."
A foot. An ankle. A leg. A torso. Then all of her at once. Two dark figures staring at each other. One small and one large.
"You're lying again..." and the words sting more than my cheeks after the salt water and sand have found their coarse paths across them.
She walks away and I let her. I don't try to calm her with whispering her wishes. I don't press stones or iron against her back. I don't do anything. I don't even do what I want to do the most, which is just to let my fingers run through her November hair. But I don't do it. I don't do anything. Not one god damn thing.
I float to bed that night, the small box still in my pocket. Hopefully that dark sea of blue velvet will take it along with the green jacket covered in dun horse hair and hay.
I hate Sean Kendrick.
I let Dove lead me home and I just pet her and her side. I can feel her walk carefully. She understands that I'm sad, she knows that I'm angry and upset and disappointed. She knows.
Gabe sits at Dads armchair. "Where you been Puck?" Gabe smiles ready for a smart arse comment hes not going to get. "Puck?" he asks but I just put my key on the the key rack and empty my pockets on to the dining room table.
" I'm just gonna go to bed. I don't need anything." I mutter to him.
He looks over, his head peeking out from the arm chair like it did when mother got home. "Puck what happened?" he asks.
I don't want to tell him that I was fool. I don't want to tell him that my once boyfriend and talked about fiance had chosen a stupid race over me. I don't want to tell him that for being so strong I was broken a little today. Still together but a crack all the same.
I don't really know why I let myself do it. I'm still ashamed of it some times. My fingers grip the back of the kitchen table chair and I let the tears that had welled behind my eyes finally fall. I'm still here but Im not as happy to be here. I rather have him next to me. Rather have his quiet and strong presence confirming my safety. I want his fingers between my hair and my hand on his steady heart beat.
"Puck..." Gabe says and gets up and I try to busy myself as I cant help the tears fall. He hugs me and I just stand there at first.
"I'm sorry... " he starts "I saw the name." he says and I hug him back and we just stand there. His sorry doesn't help, its an attempt but it shoots far off its target. But I'm happy hes my brother when he knows its the name. He knows me. "I'll go erase it." He says trying to make me laugh. I decide to let out a chuckle.
"Aye." I smile a little but I can feel the tears on my cheeks still. "Thank you."
So I slowly float to my bed. I still wear his shirt covered in horse hair and what I hope isn't flecks of his blood. In a fit of rage I rip it off and throw it across the room. I take the few shirts of his I own and I throw them all in a bag. I throw the bag and it hits the wall of my room. I take a deep breath and let the flood gates open. I slide down the post of my bed and on to the floor.
I sit there with the cold October air pricking at my bare arms and stomach. My shoulders bent in ward and my face in between my knees.
I prepare for Sean Kendricks certain end. Because if this is what he wants. He can have it. I wont stop him.
I cant sleep so I decide to walk. Its a horrible idea to go anywhere at this time of night with the Uisce said to be out. I've already made enough bad ideas so one more cant do much. I just walk toward the town. My hands deep deep in the dark depths of my pockets.
Its all a blur as I walk towards the bar. My face stinging from the cold of the midnight October air.
The bar smells stale and its packed with men from the mainland. "Hey its Kendrick. " Holly says and smiles. "Where is Puck?" he asks looking around.
"Shes staying at home." I say but he knows.
"I'm so sorry for letting it slip. I thought she knew and well," he pauses and rubs the back of his neck awkwardly. "She was gonna find out about it any way." My hands ball in to fist but I know it is not his fault. I made this decision. I still make this decision. "Can I buy you a drink?" he asks and we sit next to each other and he orders two large things of beer.
He doesn't ask what she said and for that I am thankful. He just speaks to me about the races and my plans and my ideas for the next year when it comes to the Capill Uisces. Drink after drink he buys me and I could not have enough. Down after down they go and I can feel the worries go away.
My name on the board becomes blurrier and blurrier with every drink I have. It starts to blend with all the other names. The laughter and the smiling comes back. Holly laughs and I cant remember much except him helping me back home and laughing.
"I need to get drunk with you more often Sean Kendrick." he laughs. He helps me to the door and lets me take care of myself. I don't go much farther than the couch which is were I wake up now. Not with Puck's arms around me. Absolutely nothing but the nauseous feeling that only stem from a newly single mans night.
My cheeks sting kindly with the snap of the October air. I wrap my green coat around me more and walk to the barn where Dove looks out for me. "Good morning my love." I smile and pet her nose softly "Thank you for last night." I whisper to her and she just pricks her ears towards me. "Wanna go for a ride?" I ask her and she shakes her head with excitement.
I saddle her up and brush her coat.
Most of my day revolves around the horses I keep here now. The one Uisce mare I keep is in her stall. Sean was teaching me how to deal with the beast and so I decide to try to feed her or to teach her something. I grab the bucket of fresh blood from the butchers and dump it in her trough. She lunges at me and I just back up. "Fine." I mumble, annoyed with her.
I wish Kendrick could fix her.
I spend my time at home with Gabe as Finn tinkers with his car outside.
I can remember it. A day like this a few months back.
The snow was just about done thawing. The birds were coming out and Dove was big and pregnant with Fundamental. It was Spring. After months of the cold winter and the fear of Uisces the warm spring was gladly welcomed. I had been sitting here getting ready to check on Dove and go walk her around. It was our ritual eve since we had found out she was pregnant. I heard a small but strong knock on the door before going out. Kendrick's signature knock.
I opened the door to find him there in a blue shirt and dark jeans. We had been dating or courting, whatever people wanted to call it, for five months. It was typical and is typical of him to visit me at home every other day or so. It wasn't much. We weren't the romantic type. We'd sit at the table with our feet up. I would make some horrible concoction for lunch and in Seans typical way he would politely eat it. But that day was different.
This time I made Potato and beef stew, something I couldn't mess up and that was so much better than my family could afford before we won. In the middle of our lunch there was the unmistakable sound of Dove whinnying. No whinny I had ever heard from her before. The two of us ran outside to find Dove breathing heavy and wobbling around. Sean and I looked at each other and smiled wide. If she was like this then the baby would be born today.
"Im gonna win that bet." he laughed a little as I rushed to Dove's side, braiding her tail and getting everything we would need. "A girl. I bet you that its a girl." He stated with that stupid smirk he would get sometimes. He helped me braid back Doves mane. His braids were small, slim, and clean unlike my big, dopey, ones. "Let me take care of this one?" he smiles.
My poor Dove took so long. We couldn't blame her. it was unusual for any normal horse to give birth to a Uisce hybrid. So Sean and I sat next to her through the night.
"Do you want kids one day?" I asked Sean as I petted Doves nose.
He smiled a little and then looked at me. " I wouldn't be any good. "
"No good?" I questioned with a smirk. "Sean, you've raised the foals on Thisby. You can take care of Uisce."
He shrugged a little "Human babies are different though." He says. "Horses just need a firm hand. For the most part they want to please you cause you give them food."he laughed and I joined in.
"Well don't babies just want you to feed them?"
"Yeah but babies are more stubborn than horses. Or so I've been told." I smiled a little and then he looked up from the rope he had been knotting. "Why Puck? You want a stubborn little red headed baby like you?" he smiled.
I looked up. Its a question I have asked myself since my parents died. "Ive said no for a long time." I shrugged.
"What do you say now?" Sean asked.
"My mom would have wanted me to have one." I say "I'm supposed to aren't I? I'm healthy and all."
Sean looked at me "What do you want though?" He asked. The look on his face is one that I wont forget for a long time. It wasn't as if he was just asking me a simple question. He was planning for our future.
I petted the small white hairs on Doves nose. Her breath blowing against my leg in the warm spring air. "I'm not one for motherhood." I said and I still believe it for the most part.
"You took care of your brothers." he pointed out. Its true that I helped my brothers and after my mother and father died I practically raised Finn. I don't want to raise another child just to die before its grown. On this island and what Sean and I do limit the chances of us growing old. We live dangerous lives. If I was to have a baby it would have to be with Kendrick. Both of us don't know much about parenting and haven't had parents for a long time. I didn't like growing up without parents. Seans life without real parents hurt him.
"I just don't think I can be a mother." I said . Its all he needed to know. He laughed a little. "What? Why is that so funny?" I asked him a little annoyed.
He shakes his head a little "You'd be the best mom out there." he says. "You know I'm gonna tell you something you've probably never noticed for yourself." He says and smiles. "You... Puck Conolly are a good person." He pauses a little and scoots closer. "You're stubborn but there are stubborn people who only say no for their personal gain... You don't do that." he stated. "When you say 'no' Its because you're protecting other people." he shrugs like what hes saying isn't too big of a deal.
I couldn't help but smile a little. He leaned in to kiss me a little but before he could Dove started breathing heavier and whinnied loud. The rest of that hour was us trying to deliver that baby. By the end Sean and I were covered in sweat from trying to help Dove. Poor Dove was exhausted and I won the bet.
Little Fundamental laid there covered in afterbirth. Sean and I smiled and stayed with them till dawn.
I miss our adventures. I miss having someone you could talk to and feel rest assured that the whole island wouldn't know in an hour. I miss having a good friend to count on and someone to hold on to. I don't have that now but I don't care. I don't care about Sean and he doesn't care about me. We're even.
Now neither of us has to worry about the future or babies. I wont anyway. I've got plenty of other things to think about.