Chapter Fourteen - The Visit

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Between August 16th, my assigning day, and today, September 30th, 45 days have passed. In just 45 days I have been attacked, become a director, been hit by a car, and most importantly fell in love and have gotten engaged. 

Now I find myself seated next to the man I am engaged to on a plane headed for my childhood home. It's only been a month and fourteen days but I miss my family so much. I can't wait to see them all and introduce Liam as my fiancee. I intertwine my fingers with his as I look over at him and smile. We have dealt with so much since we've met but we have faced it together. Just a short while ago I would have never understood how I could love and wholly trust a man I have only known for a twelfth of a year. But now I can't understand how I could trust anyone more than him. I have had my doubts and accused him of dishonesty but we have worked through it and it has only made us stronger. 

***

Liam is roused next to me by the pilot speaking over the intercom. "Directors please fasten your seatbelts as we will begin our landing procedure thank you." Liam and I comply eager to land and see our loved ones. Once landing is completed we are lead to a waiting car and our luggage is put into the trunk. I feel uncomfortable about having people do all this work and managing for me but as a director it's something I will have to get used too. 

The car is programmed to take us to my home, well old home now. We sit in the backseat and I watch as we ride past the division square and through the neighborhoods. I smile thinking of all the memories here and of my family I am about to see. I am also a bit nervous about meeting Liam's parents and siblings who flew in last night. Ryker always said they were wonderful people and seeing how Liam turned out I am inclined to agree, however Leah doesn't seem to have the morals that my fiancee does. 

Turning down my road butterflies scatter in my stomach and my heart beats faster as we pull into the driveway. As the car is parking the front door of the house is opened and family floods out onto the porch. Getting out of the car I am greeted by smiles and waves. I rush to hug my parents as Liam greets his own. My siblings pool around me wrapping me in a warm embrace. We all laugh trying to keep our balance in the cluster before letting go. Liam pulls me into his side an arm around my waist as we look our families.

I introduced him to my father, who he shook hands with, my mother, who pulled him into a hug, and my six remaining siblings. He said hello to them all and laughed when Addeline told him he was handsome and when he was covered in silly string courtesy of the twins. He assured my mother it was fine when she started to chastise the boys. He is so well mannered yet still good natured with kids.

I am pulled from my thoughts when he turns me to face his family. He introduces me to his parents David and Rachel Parker. Who both greet me warmly with a hug. I then am introduced to Landon who I can see will get along with Terrance well and lastly Larkyn, who despite being the same age as Addeline couldn't be more different. 

After all the introductions we all shuffle into the house and Liam and I put our luggage away. Mine in my old bedroom which I will be sharing with my sisters and Larkyn and Liam in my brother's bedroom. To accommodate the guests the my parents had given their room to the Parker's despite their protests and all the kids would be staying in two rooms one for the girls and one for the boys.

After stashing our stuff we gather in the living room with the family. Up until now my ring was stowed in my purse to surprise my family with later. I carefully slid it on my left hand and sat down next to Liam chatting with everyone waiting for someone to notice the ring. We talked about our fly in, and how I liked living in Council amongst other small talk. 

It wasn't until Terrance and Landon teased Liam about having a Life Partner that engagement was brought up. "It's been a month and a half, when can we expect a wedding?" My mother asked in a teasing tone. She was curious but didn't want to pressure us as she was still oblivious to the jewelry on my finger. Liam took my hand in his and said, "Actually we haven't chosen a date yet." and lifted up my hand to display the shining rock and gold band. 

Immediately there were smiles and "Congratulations" from around the room. I smiled brightly and pecked Liam on the cheek. Not a minute after our mothers were over doting on us and discussing wedding details that Liam and I had not yet thought about. 

Soon after both sets of parents left to attend to dinner leaving us kids to occupy ourselves and us older few to supervise. Watching the younger kids flit about in whatever game they were playing brought the idea of having my own children. It was a scary and exciting thought. I had no doubts that Liam would be a great father or that they wouldn't have family to grow up with. My doubts were solely on my own abilities to parent. 

My futuristic ideas were disrupted as Maisie plopped down into the seat next to me. Seeing her entrance Liam stood up to give us time to talk. He placed a peck on my forehead and went to go discuss something with his father in the kitchen. 

Maisie looked at me expectantly, waiting for me to spill my stories. So I did. After finishing she told me how happy she was for me and how she couldn't wait to have stories of her own. "I'm sure you have some story about the happenings at home since I have been gone." I prodded her. She thought about it a moment before speaking, "Everything around here has been pretty much the same. I took over some of your chores and Addeline received some of mine which she wasn't happy about." She finished. She still looked like she had something to say but didn't want to tell me. 

" I know there is something your not saying." I accused her gently, "Come on you know you can tell me." She looked hesitant before scanning the room to confirm no one would over hear. "I met someone." She said. "What do you mean?" I questioned not understanding where the story was going. She hurriedly continued, "I met a boy, Felix Ingalls, and we've been walking home from classes together... and welllll, we kissed." She rushed out looking at me timidly awaiting judgement. "I feel like I did something wrong, did I break a Life Partner law?" she asks me. I thought about my response for a moment before answering.

 "Well, it didn't break a law the Life Partner Bill demands abstinence and avoiding romantic relationships with people besides your Life Partner, but  you have not been assigned a Life Partner. I wouldn't advise doing it again. Just think it would be upsetting when you do find your Life Partner. You would want your relationship with them to be special." She took in my answer before asking more questions. "Did you kiss someone before you were partnered with Liam? Did he?" Thinking about it I don't know about Liam and I make a mental note to ask him later to satisfy my curiosity.  "No, my first kiss was Liam but I never asked Liam if it was his. But don't beat yourself up. People make mistakes." I pulled her into a hug, happy that she brought it up to me and I could ease her conscience. 

***

After enjoying a delicious dinner with the two families everyone headed off their own directions. Liam and I hoping to escape the madhouse inside stepped out onto the porch to spend a few minutes alone. We both loved each other's families and were happy that everyone got along. After spending a few minutes in silence I looked up at Liam to ask the question that had been weighing on my mind. "Was I your first kiss?" I wasn't going t o reject him either way but I wanted to know. 

He looked a little uneasy before opening his mouth to speak. "You weren't. Looking back now I wish I could say that you were but I won't lie to you." He look ashamed. "Hey, it's not a big deal I was just curious." I said trying to console him. He smiled seeing that I wasn't upset. "You're a much better kisser ya know." He said with a smirk. I laughed and blushed though it was hidden by the darkness of the night. I didn't bother to ask who it was or when. Because it didn't matter. Because this was now and I hope Maisie's Life Partner believes the same thing.

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