Last Update/ Next Update
Derick Pace is 51, Charity is 36, Jordyn is 5 (Donna Foster is 59, Tessa de Muse is 47)
When, my, time comes around
Lay me gently in the cold dark Earth
No grave could hold my body down
I’ll crawl home to her
Derick Pace had it all. This was not something he took lightly. No, he was well aware that considering the way his life began, where he was now was nothing short of a miracle. Since moving to LaQuest in 2023, he had gone from the town bad boy to a loving husband and doting father. And while his true nature was never too far from the surface, he was pretty happy with the man he had become……
His days now consisted of mundane conversations with his 5 year old daughter, Jordyn, over eggs and bacon. She would never know how much she changed his world. His shady business dealings took on a whole new light when she entered the picture. He knew that he could never do anything that would bring trouble to his door because that meant it would bring trouble to hers as well. And there was no way in hell he could ever allow that.
In all honesty, the transformation truly began when he met his now wife, Charity. She was the first woman in his life who wouldn’t take his shit, but loved him despite of everything. He knew that if Jordyn grew to be anything like her mother, she would be just fine. Despite her small size, Jordyn kept them on their toes. The latest occurrence of this was forcing Derick to confront a part of his past that he’d thought he had buried. He should have known that ghosts linger………
Of all the children that his daughter could have befriended at LaQuest Beach Elementary, she of course befriends Arwen Vasan. Arwen was a nice enough kid as far as Derick could tell. It was her mother that gave him pause. It was her mother that made his hair stand on end. He supposed when a man took 32 years before falling in love for the first time, the woman on the receiving end of that love would be quite hard to forget………
He honestly hadn’t expected that she would take his call. Tessa de Muse was probably on the same level as he when it came to stubbornness. Hell, she may have even had him beat. But if their daughters were to become friends, there needed to be an understanding between the adults. He wasn’t all together too comfortable with Jordyn hanging around this family if he were honest with himself. He still hazily remembered Tessa’s freak of a husband doing something to him all those years ago. He shared as much of their history as he thought was necessary with Charity, but he doubted his wife would believe him if he told her that Tessa’s husband did something to him that made him think he was a chicken for a few hours………she’d think he was a damn nut!
Charity decided to spend the day with Donna Foster. She was more than twenty years older than Charity, but her husband was friends with Derick and the two women had become close as a result. She actually enjoyed spending time with Donna and found her to be quite wise. The two women decided to do some light shopping and have some lunch at the beach. Charity had been eying this adorable bracelet for Jordyn and was finally picking it up.
Donna decided she wanted to stop and get a drink instead of going for lunch.
“I’ll just be getting some juice as I’ll be off alcohol for a while,” Charity said.
“Oh yea? Everything okay? You’re not usually one to turn down a drink,” Donna said laughing.
“True. I’m fine, just a little pregnant………”
“Oh my God! Congrats! Derick must be over the moon,” Donna said.
“I haven’t told him yet, so keep quiet. I’m just so excited I had to tell someone. You know he’s wanted to add to our family for a while now,” Charity said.
“Well of course. We aren’t young like you honey,” Donna said laughing.
“You’re as old as you feel, you know.”
“Well I feel pretty old. Sixty is just around the corner. But I’m happy with my life. I’m happy with DeJuan and with where the kids are in life. I’m happy. But I”m old,” Donna said laughing.
She was still beautiful. Time had added a few lines here or there, but she was still one of the most beautiful women he had ever seen.
“Tessa, thank you for coming.”
“It’s not like I had much of a choice, is it? What are the odds that our daughters would become besties?” Tessa asked.
“Gotta be like one in a million. Look, I know shit between us was pretty terrible. Mostly my fault. But that was years ago and I’m a different man,” he said.
“It appears that way. But I trusted you once before Derick, and it didn’t turn out all that great for me.”
“Again, that was years ago. There is nothing more important to me than that little girl upstairs and her mother. It’d be easier if she had just befriended someone else, but she didn’t. So here we are. I just want to know that she is going to be safe and that freak of a husband of yours isn’t going to do anything to my daughter. Because despite the changes, I am still me when I need to be. Do I need to be, Tessa?” he asked.
“First of all, don’t threaten me. Secondly, Arwen’s dad is not my husband, not that it’s any of your business. And her father is a lot scarier than my husband I can assure you. No one will hurt Jordyn at my home. The only reason you had your little encounter with my husband was because you were being an ass. I have my own concerns. You still have your little side hustles going on?” she asked.
“No, I’m legit. Have been for quite a while. I just run the club now. I don’t care who Arwen’s father is. Any harm comes to my princess while she’s around you or your family, things will get bad real fast. Don’t test me on this.”
“No, Derick. Don’t you test ME. Arwen is a special child. And I don’t mean that in the way mother’s all think their children are special. She is beyond description. Much like her father. So if you’re thinking of getting revenge using her, tread carefully. My husband will be the least of your worries if harm comes to Arwen. I won’t object to them being friends, for now. But I’m watching you,” Tessa said.
“And I you. It was good seeing you, Tessa.”
Tessa was in no way comfortable with Arwen being friends with Jordyn. Both Elvin and Gurth warned her against allowing Arwen to make human friends. What would be the point since she would leave this world permanently when she was twelve? But Tessa was realistic enough to know that it was impossible to send Arwen to school and expect her to not interact with the other children. She needed the socialization that would afford her. Surely elf teens wouldn’t be so different from human ones? She didn’t look forward to discussing the outcome of her meeting with Derick with neither Elvin nor Gurth. It was tough dealing with two separate men when it came to her daughters……..
The older Derick got, the more he realized he needed to hire a manager for the club. Zazu had become a pretty popular spot in Englewood and he felt confident that it could run without him now. He’d rather be home with his family than out in his smokey club. Jesus, things had really changed……
They decided to take Jordyn out bowling the following weekend so that they could give her the good news about the baby. She had been hounding the two of them about having a sibling so they knew she would be ecstatic when she heard the news. Derick was so excited to be expanding his family. He knew that he waited late in life to get started, but he planned to give them his all. He hoped for a boy this time around to complete the picture.
He knew that Charity didn’t really have a preference for what the new baby was. Truth be told, he’d really be happy either way. He knew that his life wasn’t perfect, knew that there was always something in the shadows waiting. Given the way he lived his life for years, that was the way that it had to be. Regardless of that, his girls brought light into those shadowy places. And for that, he would love them from this life into the next………….