The Gift Box Ch. 07

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It was after two when Scott came in, picked her up from the couch, and carried her up to her room. He laid her in the bed and kissed her gently before covering her up. As much as he wanted to lie next to her, he knew that his dad would be there soon, and they needed each other right now. He brushed her hair from her face and left her alone.

“ERIC!” she screamed out, waking, finding herself in the bed, feeling for him, but he wasn’t there, it was almost three a.m. She hurried from the bed, grabbing her robe and rushed to check on her children, even Scott. She found everyone sleeping and hurried downstairs to the garage to see if her car was there, but it wasn’t.

She picked up the phone and dialed his cell, getting no answer. She tossed the phone on the table and sat down, looking at it, and trying to assess the reason she called his name. Had she been dreaming about him, why else would she call for him?

Scott came into the kitchen, his head still fuzzy with sleep, “Mom? What’s going on?”

“Your dad, he’s not home. I’m worried.”

“Maybe he stopped because of the snow, it was getting heavy earlier.”

“But he would have called.”

“He knew you were going to bed, he probably didn’t want to wake you.”

“Scott, it’s only an hour’s drive from the cabin. I know with the snowfall, he was being careful, but if he would have pulled off, he would have called.”

“What was he doing up there this time of night?”

“I don’t know, I didn’t ask. He told me he would tell me when he got home. I didn’t care, I just wanted him home.”

Headlights flashed in the kitchen window from the driveway, “Look mom, there he is now.” Scott pointed out, but Emily was hesitant to move, and looked at Scott, fear flashing in her eyes.

“Baby, that’s not your father. That’s not my car.”

“Come on mom, who else would be?”

A hard knock came from the front door startling them both. Emily stood up, wrapped her robe tightly around her, and hurried to the door, Scott on her heels. She pulled the door open to see a sheriff standing on the other side. “Emily Richmon?” his voice was strong.

“Yes, I’m Emily. Can I help you?” she opened the door further, offering him to come from the cold night air. He accepted and entered the house.

“I’m Deputy Patrick Kirk. And I’m sorry to wake you at such a late hour, but I have a few questions I need to ask you.”

“Yes, certainly.”

Scott walked up behind her and put his hands on her shoulders, feeling the need to give her strength, or maybe gain some for himself.

“Do you own a 2006 Mustang, red exterior, black interior, plate number…” he read something off to her, she shook her head yes. “We found the registration in the glove box, and thought you needed to be notified about your car.”

Emily went pale; she felt her blood go cold, “what happened to Eric!”

“Mr. Richmon is in the hospital. His wife said that he lost control of the car and…”

Emily cut him off, “HIS WIFE! I’M HIS WIFE!”

The officer was shocked, “Mrs. Richmon was at the scene, she said that her husband was returning the car this evening, and lost control of it on the mountain, she was the one who called us right after the accident. She said she had been following him here so she could drive him back home.”

Scott stepped up to confront him, “Did you get her name?”

He flipped though some pages of his notebook, and looked back up at Scott, “Tangelia Richmon, why is that sir?”

“She’s my EX wife, Eric is my father, Emily is my mother, Eric’s wife.” he felt his mother shaking, thinking she would faint. “Mom, come on, sit down.”

He led her to the couch, helping her sit, went to get her a glass of water, and retrieved her purse, rummaging though it for some information as proof for the officer. He handed off her insurance card, and pointed out the photographs of her and Eric, as well as some of his own information to prove who Tangy really was.

“I don’t understand,” the deputy replied.

“I do, my ex-wife is lying.” Scott stated sternly.

“Eric, where’s Eric, where’s my husband!” in her head, she was screaming, in reality, she was whispering.

“Mom,” Scott held her hand, “I’m sure dad is ok.” The deputy looked at her, and asked to speak to Scott alone, he agreed and they went to the kitchen.

“Look, I don’t know what’s going on here, I guess that is what I came here to find out. We found Mrs. Richmon’s car in a ravine off the mountain, about ten feet down. It looked like there was a patch of ice and the car slid from the road. Mr. Richmon, your father, is in the hospital, his condition was undetermined when I left the scene. Ms. Richmon, Tangelia, was direct and to the point about who she was and what she was doing there,” he looked back into the living room, “But unlike Mrs. Richmon,” he motioned to Emily, “she was not shocked by the incident. She was very matter of fact, which I found very disconcerting. I asked to come here because I remembered your mom’s car from a few months ago when I pulled her over canlı bahis for her tail light being out. There’s no mistaking that Mustang, it’s the only one around here that looked like that.”

“Do you know where they took my dad?”

“County General, about an hour ago, after they cut him out of the car.”

“Do you know how long ago the wreck happened?”

“We received a 911 call around twelve-thirty, and the paramedics have been working to get him out of the car since we got there a little before or about one a.m.”

“What the hell am I going to tell mom!” he fiercely whispered.

“Let me call in and see what I can find out, and then I can tell your mother, if you prefer?”

“No, I would rather be the one to tell her, but yes, if you could find out some more information, that would help a great deal.” Scott looked over at his mom, “They just made up from a fight, he was coming back from the cabin so that they could talk about things. I hope that what ever they said gives mom strength to deal with this, because I don’t think she can handle anything else right now.”

The deputy sheriff walked away to call in on his radio, talking for a while to some one. Scott went back in to sit with Emily, who was mumbling something incoherently to herself. He startled her when he took her hand.

“Oh Scotty,” she hadn’t called him that in a long time. “He knew, when he talked to me earlier, he knew something was wrong. If not, he wouldn’t have said all those things, asked me how much I loved him, reminding him of why, telling me why…” she just kept going on and on about their conversation.

“Mom, I need to tell you what happened.” he held her hand, she just stared into the darkness, “Emily!”

She flashed her eyes to him. “Scott, he’s dying. I have to get to him before he slips away from me.” She left him sitting there and ran upstairs to change her clothes.

Scott went to the officer and asked him to wait, going up after Emily, “Mom, you can’t, you don’t know where he is. You have to, what about Willow, Hayden and Bren, and Brey?”

“I’ll take your father’s truck. Please, call Erica, and Mal, don’t wake Hayden or Bren. I have to make Eric hang on, just for a few more hours. I have to go.”

He grabbed her shoulders, “MOM! They cut him out of your car. They don’t know what condition he’s in! MOM!”

“Scott, I have to go to him. Don’t you understand, I may never get to tell him I love him again! I have to tell him about…” She left him standing there and ran back down the stairs stopping at the deputy, “tell me where he is, and what’s happening, I know you know.”

He took a deep breath, “He’s at County, he’s in surgery right now. I don’t know anything else besides that, but…”

She cut him off, “BUT WHAT! That little bitch there to claim him too!”

“I don’t know that ma’am, but I would like to escort you to the hospital, if I could.”

“No, I’ll take my husbands truck.”

“Please, let me lead the way, so you don’t get hurt, or pulled over.”

“Mom, let him take you, you’re in no shape to drive. I’ll follow as soon as I get Erica here to watch the kids. EMILY!” he grabbed her, making her look at him, “I love you, please, do this for me, do this for dad!”

She threw her arms around him, “Scott, I love you too, for you, for dad, yes, I’ll do it for you both, for all of you.” She grabbed her purse and turned to the officer, nodding her head. Scott watched them pull out of the driveway, and went to the kitchen to call his brother and sister.

When they arrived at the hospital, Emily was personally escorted to the ICU and left to wait until a nurse came to sit with her. The young sheriff never left Emily’s side, because he knew that if the other woman was there, the truth would come out soon enough, and he was hoping to catch her red-handed.

The nurse collected some information that only Emily could provide, stating that the other woman hadn’t a clue about her husband. Emily calmly sat in the private waiting area, her adrenalin overtaking her body.

She couldn’t relax, she couldn’t settle down, but she could think. If she got her hands on that little bitch, she would… her thoughts trailed off to the officers’ words, His Wife! My fucking ass! She looked up to see Tangy standing in the hallway.

‘Em, don’t, you need to stay focused on Eric. You need to keep your mind clear.’ She leaned back in the chair and closed her eyes, softly humming a song that Eric sung to Willow.

She heard a scuffle outside and opened her eyes to see Scott and Tangy arguing. She got up, walked to the door, and opened it. “Don’t you two know there are sick people in this place, now shut the fuck up, both of you!”

“MOM!”

“Don’t mom me, get your ass’ in here, NOW!” They both fell in behind her, and she put Scott to her side and Tangy across from her.

“Now, you little slut, you’re going to tell me exactly what I want to know, or else.”

“Or else what? Your gonna have me arrested for murder?” she scoffed, “Eric’s not dead, yet.”

Emily’s bahis siteleri eyes flashed up to look over her, she saw Officer Kirk standing outside of the door, and silently motioned for him to come in, he did so unnoticed to Tangy. “No, I want to know exactly what you have been telling everyone!”

“About me and Eric? Sure, I have nothing to hide about my husband!”

“Your husband?” Emily leaned forward.

“Well yes, he has been my husband for a while now, can’t you see, we’re expecting our first child together. After all, your divorce was settled a year ago, after he found out what kind of trash you were, he married me.” she flashed some kind of cheap ring at Emily.

Emily drew in a breath, putting her hand on Scott’s arm. “So, tell me Tangy, if he is your husband, then surely you know about his tribal markings.” Tangy looked at her funny, Scott almost busted out laughing.

“Come on Tangy, you know, my dad’s tattoos. Being his wife, you should know what each one of them mean, and how many he has.”

Emily looked up at the deputy and smiled. “So, Tangy, do you know what’s on his upper left arm?”

“No. I mean, I’m not sure what it is, it’s, I can’t tell because it’s so old.”

Emily’s voice changed, “are you calling Eric old?”

“Well, he is sixty-five, I mean, he is old!”

“Dad is only sixty, hardly old!” Scott pointed out.

Emily had to look away before she laughed. She turned back to Tangy, “What’s on his chest, above his heart?”

“A scar, from a motorcycle accident a long time ago.”

Emily looked at Scott, she was right about that one. “And what is the tattoo next to his heart?”

“A ribbon with an unreadable name,” Tangy wrinkled her nose.

“That name happens to be mine!” she responded sharply, and then contained herself, “One more question Tangy. Where did Eric put your name on his body?”

“HE hasn’t, it’s not something he wanted to do.”

“That’s a shock, because everyone that he loves is on his body, either in a sign, or a name.” Scott squinted his eyes at his ex-wife.

“I didn’t want my name on his body like that. I told him so.” She crossed her arms in a huff and turned away from his burning eyes.

“Where’s my name on daddy’s body Tangy?” Erica’s voice shattered the silence, bringing Emily to look at her, “Momma, don’t worry, everyone is ok, Mel is looking after the babies, and she’s going to get Hayden and Bren off to school. Mal is dropping Bridge and Ryan off at the house and coming as soon as he can.” she hurried over and embraced Emily as she started to cry.

“How is daddy?”

“Honey, I don’t know, they haven’t told me anything yet.”

Erica looked at Scott, “You better get her out of here Scott, or I’m going to pummel her!”

“You’ll do no such thing,” Emily brought Erica’s attention back to her, “I don’t care how horrible she is, if it is your fathers child she’s carrying, I won’t have that innocent child hurt.” she looked at Tangy then, “I wouldn’t be as cruel and selfish as others!”

“Mrs. Richmon.” a deep voice called from the doorway. Emily released Erica and stood at her side, Scott stood behind them, Tangy stood up to look back at the doorway, starting to say something, but changed her mind after she saw the look on Erica’s face.

“Yes,” Emily advanced towards him, “What’s happening with my husband?”

“I would like to speak with you privately if I could.” He stood in his scrubs, his mask still around his neck, his kind voice helped her heart.

“Yes, certainly.” she walked out the door with the doctor, and out of sight.

“Tangy, the best thing for you to do is walk away now. I don’t know what kind of game you’re playing, but it’s not going to end in your favor. Not after what you’ve done to dad.” Scott remarked.

“I haven’t done anything to Eric, except give him myself and a child.”

“Be that as it may, I find it too convenient for you to have been there to call the police after the accident.” He pulled her to face him, his eyes brunt with fear and loathing. “What did you do Tangy, run mom’s car off the road because you thought it was her, and not dad!” He took a deep breath, “get mom out of the way so that you could come in and comfort him, giving him another child to take his mind off of Mom!”

“I would never!”

“Just so you know Tangy, Dad has eleven tattoos on his body so far, each one representing each his children, and his grandchildren, and two for mom. Besides the scar the one on his chest has mom’s name on it, he also has EM on his upper left arm, and it’s been there since before they even started dating. Mine is under mom’s on his chest, Breyden’s is under mine, Willow’s is on his upper right chest, Hayden’s and Brendan’s are on his upper right arm, Erica’s and Malcolm’s are tattooed on each shoulder, and Ryan’s is underneath Mal’s, that way we all encircle his heart. And all of us are symbolized on his leg in a circle of linage that he and mom designed after Bren came!”

“I…I…” she stammered.

“I know.” he looked past her at the deputy bahis şirketleri and nodded.

Tangy sat back down and started crying as Scott walked away, motioning the deputy outside.

Erica looked at Tangy, she felt sorry for her in away, but, then again, she didn’t, “Why’d you do it Tangy? All you had to do was tell daddy, he would have taken care of you. He would have done it unconditionally, just like he has Brey.”

Tangy was in tears now, “Because, I don’t know, I don’t know.”

Erica stood up and walked over to her, putting her hand on Tangy’s shoulder, “I don’t know what you were thinking, but if daddy dies, his blood is on your hands, and then what’s going to happen?”

She saw Tangy go pale, and felt her go stiff. Tangy looked up at Erica, weeping, “I think my water just broke!”

“Oh, that’s just great!” Erica rolled her eyes and walked out into the hall, “Scott.” she motioned him over, “Tangy’s in labor.”

“This just keeps getting better doesn’t it?” he said sarcastically. He walked back into the waiting room and over to Tangy, she was panting like a cat, he shook his head and rolled his eyes, “Before I do this Tangy, I want the truth!”

“I, yes, Scott, yes, what!” she growled in pain, “What!”

“Did you run dad off the road? Is this dad’s baby!”

“NO, NO! NO! I didn’t run him off the road! He, I was following him, after we, OH!” she balled over in pain, “Scott, help me!”

“No, not until you tell me what the hell you were doing!”

“I was coming down the mountain, I was following him, I was going to meet him and…” she screamed.

“Where Tangy!”

“I didn’t know it wasn’t your mom. I thought she was up at the cabin. I thought it was her, I was coming to the house, I don’t know what I was doing!”

“You’re lying!”

“YES!” she was holding her stomach, the contractions closer, “Scott, help me to the, call someone.”

“No, you’re going to suffer just like mom and dad are, until you tell me what the hell you were doing!”

“Eric told me to meet him tonight at the lodge. Eric left a long time before I did. When I was driving down the mountain and I saw your mom’s car.” she stopped to grasp her air, panting heavier, “Scott, I was going to tell your mom, the truth. I wanted her to know I lied. After I talked to Eric, I couldn’t do it, my heart wasn’t in it after I saw the pain he was in. God Scott, this is your son, not his! I love you, but I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t lie any more.”

“How do I know you’re not lying to me now?”

“I was already pregnant when I seduced Eric that night you were in Denver! I drugged him, I fucked him, and it felt good! But I was already pregnant. Yes, I saw the car go off the road, I didn’t know what to do!”

“Why didn’t you call mom!”

“Because, I didn’t want her to think that I did it. Eric already told me that he hurt her because he was angry with me, he was trying to make it up to her!”

“Why did you lie, why did you tell the cops all that shit!”

“Because I was, I don’t know Scott. I was upset, and I didn’t know what to tell them when they asked me my name.”

“FUCK!”

“Scott, please, I let my anger get in the way of everything, please, help me with your baby.” When she looked at him, he saw the woman he had once loved, the woman he once knew.

He took a deep breath and picked her up, rushing her out to the nurses’ station. Erica came behind him.

“Find mom, tell her what’s happening, I’ll go with Tangy, and tell mom, I’ll explain everything.” Erica wasn’t buying it, “ERICA! Trust me!”

“FINE!” she threw her hands in the air and walked away, running into Malcolm.

“Where’s mom?”

“I don’t know, Scott took Tangy to labor and delivery, they won’t tell me anything about Daddy! And Scott’s yelling at me!”

“Come on, we’ll go sit down and talk. Tell me everything. I haven’t a clue what’s going on except dads hurt.” They sat down and Erica told him everything she knew.

Emily sat with Eric, holding his hand, listening to the monitors. She almost couldn’t bare to look at him. His face was swollen, his body was cut up, he was black and blue, and unconscious, but he was breathing, breathing on his own. She laid her head next to him, sniffling her tears away. “Eric, I’m sorry, I wish I hadn’t told you to go away. I wish we would have talked it out then.”

She looked at him, hoping for some response, nothing. She traced her hand up his arm and to the tattoo of is pet name for her, EM. He had that placed on his body before they even got together, with hopes that she would be his. She thought about their conversation on the night she discovered it.

Eric’s arms were strong, and taught. I ran my hands up them and squeezed, noticing a tattoo on his upper left arm, EM, scribed fancy with the red rose laced through it.

“Eric?”

“Yes baby?” he looked up at her.

“What’s this for?”

“You.”

She thought of the way he continued working his way down, tickling her, making her buck up to him, “How long have you had it?”

“Almost two years now.” he was nuzzling down on her trim. She didn’t want to ask him anymore questions, but she thought it was beautiful that he would do such a thing for her, even before they were together.

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