"Come down for dinner", Lacy called up the stairs, going back to the kitchen to finish setting up the thanksgiving feast.

As she set down the delectable cooked turkey and the girls and Margaret came into the eating room, a sharp knock sounded at the door. "Sit down I'll get it", 17-year old Luna said with a shy smile. Margaret rolled her eyes and started serving herself some Loaded Mashed Potatoes. "Who is it", Lacy asked Margaret quietly.

"Uncle Jay you came!"

That was Lacy's cue to get the hell out of there. As she turned to go, Margaret grabbed her by one of her belt loops and still managed to serve herself some ham.

"Margaret", Lacy hissed.

"Oh hush, and sit down. I'm sure Jay knows your home from college."

Lacy knew he didn't just cause she took extra courses on the weekends to get the semester over with quicker, didn't mean she had to tell her "husband". Well by paper anyways. But Margaret thought her older brother Jay could do no wrong, along with her daughters Luna and Sol.

Of course, Lacy knew better, being a victim of several of his out bursts. Of course he never yelled or got violent but his movements and cold voice, even those steel-like eyes were scary enough sometimes.

Lacy ended up sighing and sitting across from Sol and to the right of Margaret. She heard the major difference between Luna's flip flops and Jay's hard sole shoes as they came don the hall. Lacy nibbled on her bottom lip afraid to say anything or react in any way. But as they entered the room the hard soled shoes stopped but the flip flops kept on going until Luna flopped down in her seat next to Sol.

Lacy was afraid to look back. Afraid to see the broad shoulders that made his physique more intimidating, the scowling most handsomest face she had ever seen. Most of all she didn't want to see his disappointment.

That's when a new type of shoe could be heard a tip tapping of high stiletto heels. Lacy saw Margaret flush from the corner of her eye, but Lacy just smiled. Jay's new girl probably prettier than the last. She stood up and faced the girl who would be gone in a week or two. Three if she was lucky. But when Lacy faced her she was oddly familiar, wasn't she with Jay last month? Lacy shrugged off the worry and put on the stage smile. "Come on big brother come sit down", Lacy fakey enthused. What hurt though was that Jay obviously didn't feel guilty he looked cool and collected, as always. He always told his girl's Lacy was the annoying little step-sister, she just played her part to a tee.

Cold black eyes stared back at her, but he motioned the blonde to the seat beside Sol. Lacy gulped that meant he would sit next to her. Which, he did. "So Jay who's your friend", Margaret said smiling. "I told you last week Margaret this is Darla."

"Hello", the girls murmured, including Lacy. Lacy was just hoping everyone would finish quickly so she could do the dishes and get out of this awkward situation.


Twenty minutes of awkward silence later the timer dinged and Lacy raced to go get it.

As she was taking it out of the oven she heard Jay's curt low voice. "I thought she was still at school." 

sighed, "She did courses on the weekends so she could come home early like you told her to this summer. Damn it remember when you say stuff so you don't have to walk eggshells around her."

Lacy lowered her eyes to the task at hand and put the pumpkin pie on the window sill. She didn't want to be a burden. God she hated being one, even though it was all she had been on her father ever since her mom died when she was ten. But even her second family thought she was a burden. No one actually liked her. Nice. Real nice.  

Lacy took her chances and walked out the back door and sat on the porch bench. She laid her head down and started to hum. That's always what she did, when the kids would tease her, when her dad got drunk, when someone yelled, she'd hum. Just a little tune getting lost in her own mind then popping back into reality when whatever had botherd her went away. But Lacy could still hear them in the eating room, mostly because the window was next to the bench.

"Jay, I'm going to the bathroom."

"Down the hall to your left Darla."


"I cannot believe you brought her here", Marget growled.

"She has no family what was I supposed to do tell her mine's taken by another homeless girl."

Ouch that stung.

"She's part of my family Jay. Were the only family she has!"

"Yea 'your' family not part of mine. Not in 65 days anyways."

"So soon?"

"I told you the day she turned 21 I was signing that annulment paper."

"B-but she has no where to go!"

"I'm sure she can support herself in that time length."


"She's not our concern Margaret. We took her in out of pity she is nothing but a stray. She'll never fit in to our social set were rich she's poor. Big difference."


"Jay. I love her if you don' t that's your own problem, because she's staying with me till I say so."


Lacy stood up and walked around the house grateful she had put her keys in her pocket. She had just about enough today and planned to go to a motel to lick her wounds before she set foot in the house again.

Portville was a small town Lacy had lived in her whole life, she knew everyone but she was closet to her best friend Chet ad his sister Jamie. When she knocked on the door it was immediately answered. "Lacy", Jamie greeted pulling her into a tight hug. Lacy hugged her back but felt the tears run down her cheeks. When Jamie pulled back she saw them, "He did it again." She shook her head and led Jamie to the guest bedroom and layed her down on the bed.

Jamie was furious when she shut the door softly behind her, Jay Everheart had some real nerve. Lacy's emotions were as fragile as spun glass, he should know that by now. He should know that she had absolutely no self esteem, or self confidence. And that Lacy loved him with all her being Jamie whipped out her cell phone and called the Everheart house.

"Jay here."

"Come near her again I fucking dare you."

"Whoa! Someone lost their pills. What are you talking about?"

"Lacy! I swear you have no soul! You come near her again I will get one of my rattle snakes and mess you the hell up!"

"She's there?"


"Can I talk to her?"

The line went dead.

Jay stared at the phone and hung it up, Marg was going to kill him for this one. But what could he do? His feelings were too out of control for this girl and he knew she had a case on him. Even thinking about family ties made him sweat. It was for the best that she thought he hated her. He ran his hand through his hair, trying to think of a way not to have her hate him, but to understand he didn't love her.

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