Four Years Later

"Happy birthday, dear Ameliaaaa! Happy birthday to youuu!" The crowd sang. The four year old leaned in, took in a deep breath, and blew out her candles. She smiled brightly and clapped along with her party guests.

Cordelia leaned down to kiss the top of her daughter's head. When she did, she noticed the toddler tensed up at her mother's touch. This wasn't anything new for Cordelia, but it hurt more each time it happened. She batted her eyelashes for a few seconds, blinking back the tears that threatened to fall every time. She took the cake and handed it over to Hank. "Alright, sweet girl. Ready to open presents?"

"Yes!" Amelia cheered, clapping her tiny hands together once more.

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"I think that's the last of them," Cordelia waved as the last of the party guests got into their cars. She closed the door and breathed an exhausted breath. Hank walked into the foyer, pulling a suitcase behind him. Cordelia stifled a groan. "Again?"

"Afraid so," Hank rolled his eyes and leaned in, kissing Cordelia gently. "Where's Amelia? I want to kiss her goodnight before I leave."

"In her bedroom," Cordelia walked into the living area and started cleaning up the remainder of the party mess.

"No, she isn't. I peeped in there before I came talk to you." Cordelia turned and locked eyes with Hank, who mirrored her concerned glance. Cordelia put the trash she picked up back where it was and she and Hank fast-walked up the stairs and down the hall to Amelia's room. Hank pushed the door open and as he had said—she wasn't in her room. Worry started working its way into Cordelia's stomach as they searched the bedroom. They checked the closet, under the bed, even in her toy box. Delia stopped, took a deep breath, and closed her eyes. She tried using her power to find her daughter, but something was blocking it. "I'm calling 911," Hank sprinted from the room, and Cordelia lost it. For the next four hours, they dealt with police, detectives, and nonstop calls from concerned neighbors and family members.

Cordelia had excused herself several times to attempt to use divination to find Amelia, but nothing worked.

This was the most scared Cordelia had been since the day her child was born. She sat on the edge of her bed and closed her eyes again. She manifested all of the energy she could and took a deep breath.

"Delia! They found her!" Hank called from downstairs. Cordelia leapt from the bed and ran down into the foyer where Hank and one of the officers that took the call were standing. "She fell asleep in that damn treehouse again."

"But…that isn't possible, Hank. We checked…"

"She fell asleep in the treehouse…with your mother."

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"Fiona!" Hot rage seethed from Cordelia as she stomped across the yard to her daughter's treehouse.

"Yes, darling?" Her mother's voice came from behind her. Startled, Cordelia jumped and swung around to see Fiona casually standing in her yard, a lit cigarette in one hand and Amelia's hand in the other.

For a second—just a second—the overwhelming relief washed over Cordelia and she dropped to her knees, with open arms. "Amelia, baby, come here. Please." She begged after seeing her daughter's hesitation. "Sweetheart, please… come give mommy a hug." Amelia looked up at Fiona, almost as if asking for approval. Fury took over as Fiona shrugged and released Amelia's hand. She walked slowly into her mother's arms, and leaned in uncomfortably. Relief once again wiped away every other emotion as she held her child in her arms.

"Amelia," Cordelia heard Hank say breathlessly as he ran down the steps and into the yard.

"Daddy!" She shrieked, wrestling away from Cordelia's grasp and running to her father. Cordelia's heart broke…again.

Her anger returned as she got to her feet and met her mother's amused expression. "What the hell is wrong with you?" Cordelia glared at her mother in utter hatred and anger. "For the last five hours I had no idea where my child was."

"Well, had you asked, I'd have told you she was with me." Fiona smirked, unbothered by her daughter's outburst.

"And had you asked me before you just took her, I'd have told you to go fuck yourself," Cordelia scoffed and walked past her mother, toward her house.

"Delia," Fiona dragged out the last syllable for a couple of seconds. "I know it upsets you that your child would rather be with me—your neglectful, hateful mother—than you, but that's no reason to be disrespectful, darling."

"Go to hell," Cordelia called over her shoulder as she approached Hank and Amelia. She picked her daughter up and walked into the house, followed by Hank. "You need to get on the road."

"Will the two of you be okay?" Hank looked hesitant.

"We'll be fine, as long as Houdini here doesn't try another disappearing act," She pinched Amelia's cheek jokingly, and Amelia pulled back.

"Can I go to bed now?" She asked.

Cordelia bit her lip in an attempt to keep from crying. "Yes, sweetheart. I'll come up to tuck you in in a little bit."

Amelia flashed an uncomfortable look before turning on her heel and walking into the house. As soon as her daughter was out of sight, Cordelia wept. She wept for her daughter, she wept for herself, and she wept when the realization hit her that she would never have the relationship with her child that she so desperately wanted. Hank wrapped his arms around his wife in an attempt to comfort her.

"Oh, boo hoo." Fiona scoffed as she lit another cigarette. "So your kid doesn't want you; welcome to the club."

Cordelia turned, trying to control the white, hot rage that seethed inside of her. "It isn't as if me not wanting you is unwarranted—I learned that from the best. Now get the fuck off of my property."

"She'll need you soon enough, Delia. Just like you'll need me." Fiona blew out a puff of smoke and vanished into the darkness.