Chapter 2

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PIC of Aunt's house------------->

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About an hour after driving Colby, Ariel, and mom were all sleeping. I looked over at my mom and knew I needed to get stiches and something to set her broken arm, knowing that she wasn't going to let me stop at a hospital.

Pulling into the first drugstore I saw, I got out and went in. I grabbed everything that I would need and went to pay for it. The old lady at the register gave me a funny look, so I raised my brow at her, paid and left. When I made it back to the car, everyone was still sound asleep. I smiled as they were finally able to get a nice sleep maybe not comfortable but at least it was safe. About six hours later, I could barely keep my eyes opened. I found the closest motel and stopped. I leaned over a lightly shook my mom awake. She looked at me and then out the window.

"Mom I'll be right back, I'll go and get us a room." She nodded her head and gave me a small smile. I walked in and the gentleman behind the counter gave me a key to room 3. I went back to the car and grabbed Colby from the car and brought him the room first. Going back I grabbed Ariel and mom followed me back. I laid Ariel next to Colby on the one bed and then went back out to the car grabbing the drugstore bag I went back in. Setting everything up on the little table I called mom over.

"Mama come over here. I need to take care of your cuts and broken arm."

When I was all finish, which took much longer than I thought it would, mom laid her hand on my cheek. "My sweet baby girl, thank you." Kissing her on her forehead, I handed her pain killers and a glass of water.

"You're welcome, mommy." I whispered to her. I hated seeing her like this. I helped her lay down on the extra bed and got in on the other side.

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10 days and 7 motels later we finally pulled up to my Aunt Holly's house. It was a beautiful Victorian styled home that was nestled in the tall trees and it was big. I looked over to my mom, who looked just as shocked as me.

"What does her new husband do again?" I asked.

"I have no idea but I wish I had a job like that." She said.

I giggled as I pulled up in front of the house. Just as I turned off the car my aunt was running down the stairs, her eyes big with shock, and a smile as wide as Texas on her face. Well it was until she saw how we looked. She began to cry and waited for us to exit the car. I got out a slowly walked over to my mom's side to help her out. My aunt saw and began cry harder as she saw just how bad my mom and I were. She rushed at us and hugged us both tight, making both of us grimace in pain, that's when I noticed she wasn't alone.

"Sweetheart, I think you need to loosen your grip. They look like they are in pain." Said a deep voice from the front door. This guy was huge in the muscle department. He had dark hair that ended at the base of his neck. A very nice tan and he was well over 6 feet tall, which was very noticeable with my 4' 11'' height. He had golden brown eyes. He gave me a small smile when he saw that I was checking him out, but not in the 'I want you' way but in the 'are you good enough for my aunt' look.

"Did I pass the test?" he asked, amusement lacing his voice.

I blushed, "Yeah." I said softly. He chuckled and went to stand next to my aunt.

"This is Antonio." She smiled up to him, while he looked at her with such love that I didn't know was possible. "My husband." She looked at us proudly.

"Sorry we didn't make it to your wedding." My mom said. I cringe as I remembered why we did not come. It was the time my dad broke three of my ribs and wrist and beat mom until she was barely breathing. It didn't go unnoticed by either my aunt or Antonio, whose eyes darken slightly with anger. It was a look that I saw on my father's face to many times that I took a step back scared of what he might do.

His eyes soften and he gave me a small sad smile. "I wouldn't hurt you little one." He said. He then looked over to my mom. "Claire it's alright. Holly and I understood that you had to deal... with other things."

My mom gave him a small, grateful smile that he didn't say it out loud; the real reason for us not coming. I took a really good look at him and my aunt together. They looked good together. With my aunt's honey colored hair that was short and her golden brown eyes. The looked perfect together.

"Tony will you help grab their things while I take Claire inside?" Aunt Holly asked giving puppy dog eyes.

"You know I will, Holly. No reason to waste a good pair of puppy eyes." He said smiling at her. "Like I could say no to you any way."

I giggled and went to go wake up Colby and Ariel, who were both napping in the back seat.

"Time to wake up, little ones. We're here! You want to go see Aunt Holly and meet her new husband?" They both woke up with smiles on their faces.

Ariel hopped out of her seat and jumped into my arms, making my breath catch and wince at the pain. Colby's smile faded into a frown and Antonio didn't look to pleased either. I put Ariel down, not letting her see that I was in pain.

"Well go in. Moms is in there too." And with that she ran inside the house. I turned back to Colby.

"Stop frowning or your face with stick like that." Trying to make a joke but he did smile.

"You're in pain Gabs." I frowned. "You didn't even heal from the last beating." He said choking over his words. I caught Antonio looking at us, a deep frown gracing his face.

I walked over to Colby and held him to me, giving him and myself a much need hug. "Colby I'm fine now. We are all fine now. I mean look at that guy," I said putting to Antonio, "Would you wanna mess with him he's huge." I tried joking again and this time it worked. Antonio chuckled while Colby laughed.

"Theres that smile I love. Now go in and see if Ariel needs help with anything." I pecked him on his head before he started walking over to the house. He turned around and looked at me.

"I love you Gabs." He said. I started to tear up.

"I love you too, Colbs. Always do, always will." I watched as he walked into the house and totally forgot that Antonio was there until he spoke.

"You're a good sister." I flinched at the suddenness of his voice and turned to him. He was giving me an apologetic smile.

"Thank you." I told him.

I popped open the trunk but before I could grab anything Antonio grabbed it.

"No you don't. Your hurt and I can at least take care of these bags." He said giving me a million dollar smile.

Returning it with a small one of my own, "Thanks. I have a question." I started to say as walked to the house.

"Shoot." He said.

"So do I call you Antonio, Uncle Antonio or Uncle Tony?"

He laughed, "Anything you want, little one but I like Uncle Tony or just Tony is fine.

I smiled at him, "Uncle Tony it is then." Right before we entered the house, though, I had one more question to ask him so I grabbed his arm to stop him. "Uncle Tony?" I said biting my lip.

"Yes?" his said looking down at me.

"Can you make me a promise? A promise you've gotta keep." I said almost sounding desperate and in a way I was.

"What is it, little one?" He said, concern in his voice.

"I want you to promise me that you will keep my mother safe, that you will keep Colby and Ariel safe. I can't have them go through that again. I don't think they will make it again." I said sadly and barely above a whisper but he heard me. Putting our bags down, he gathered me carefully into his arms.

"I promise."

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Okay so i know its not a super exciting part but it will get better, i promise. make sure to vote and all that jazz. (:

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