Chapter Five

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I spent the rest of the night wondering if Aurora was her real name.

I'd never met anyone with that name before. She conjured images of Elodie's favourite Disney princess. Except Princess Aurora was innocent. A sixteen year old girl living in the forest if memory served me well. The Aurora from the club was a dancer. Maybe a stripper too, she worked in a club, she'd probably performed a million private dances before. She was feisty and self assured and therefore she would be hardened by her profession. Thick skinned and capable of looking out for herself.

Certainly not the kind of girl that pricked her finger on spinning wheels.

I was thankful that Trey wasn't home. He'd either gone to another club or headed to wherever the blonde and red head came from. No rocking head board. No giggling. No grunts and moans.

Just blissful silence, save for the car alarm a block away. But even that didnt phase me.

I kept seeing Aurora, dancing against that pole.

...................

I waited by the front door of the house. I knew Caroline would be getting the girls ready for their violin lessons and I wanted to catch them before I left. I hoped the element of surprise would stand me in good stead.

But of course it didnt.

Natasha ran out into the front yard first, her head turned as she bantered with her sister. When she saw me standing on the path she froze, and then backed up.

'Tash' I called out to her.

She narrowed her eyes, shaking her head.

'Mom!'

My eyes flitted from my daughter to the doorway.

'Mom, dad's here!'

She didnt hold eye contact with me. I didn't understand it. I wanted to call out to her and ask her why but I didn't want to scare her off. I wanted to give her space.

Caroline came running outside, ushering our daughter back into the safe confines of the house and she backed me up against her SUV.

The car I'd bought her less than six months ago.

'Don't fuck with me Daniel. They don't wanna see you. Respect their decision. What the hell were you thinking?!'

'I was thinking that maybe you've poisoned them.'

'We've been through this. I thought we'd discussed this. If you won't leave I'll call the police.'

I saw in her eyes, that she wasn't bluffing. She would do whatever she could to stand in my way. She resented me. I sickened her. She could barely meet my eyes without revulsion existing there.

Maybe that revulsion had always existed.

'I hope you're happy Caroline.' I hissed, as I walked back to my car, and sitting behind the wheel I watched as my ex wife ferried my girls into the SUV and disappeared out of sight.

Part of me wanted to follow.

Part of me wanted to fight.

But I was a broken man and fighting right now would be like an uphill battle in a river of molasses.

I wasn't going anywhere.

............

I fought the urge to stay away from the club for three long weeks. By that time I'd found myself a loft down town, close enough to work, and close enough to a variety of fast food joints and delis. It didnt feel like home. I wondered if it ever would.

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