From Farm to Fame- Chapter 26

I was desperate to convince Roxanne to just drive away. Gaige and I hadn't spoken since I had called him to say I was having twins. The thought of trying to talk to him after so long, and after how things had gone the last couple times we'd talked, was terrifying.  "Please... this is just going to make things worse. Let's go... now."

She was just as determined to get me to talk to him, and I could hear the frustration in her voice when I protested "Just go talk to him. I know he won't let you go when he finds out that you tried to kill yourself. Maybe your relationship won't be saved, but I'm sure he still cares about you and wouldn't let you do anything stupid."

"He hates me, he'll just slam the door in my face."

She grinned. "I don't think so... he's coming over right now!"

"Probably to tell us to go away."

The next thing I new she had rolled down the window and Gaige was yelling at me through it. "What are you doing here? I thought I made clear how I felt about you coming back, and that I don't really feel like talking to you at all. So if you actually have something to say make it quick, otherwise go away...and do that quick too."

Roxanne spoke before I could, I had no idea how she could sound calm... I was panicking and would have stumbled through an apology before taking off had it been my choice. "I brought her here. I'm sorry. I just don't know what else to do... "

"and why am I the solution? Whatever the problem is, it can be solved without me. That is the choice she made in leaving."

"The problem is that she wants to kill herself. I don't know how to fix it... I can only postpone it. Maybe since part of it has to do with you though, you can fix it."

He sighed, but I could still hear the anger in is his voice, I avoided looking at him and kept my head down. "Rachelle, get"

I was too scared not to do so, and fumbled trying to get my seatbelt off and open the door.  The walk up to the house was the most awkward times of my life, I was terrified of what would happen inside. I imagined it would involve a lot of yelling, mostly about how he hated me and thought I deserved to die.

We barely made it past the door and stood in silence for several minutes, I could tell he was trying to figure out what to say without yelling at me and I was just trying to brace myself for the fact that he probably was going to yell at me anyway. I didn't think he would be able to hold back his hatred for me.

He didn't yell when he finally found something to say, but he failed to mask any of his still crept through his voice. "Why would you want to kill yourself?"

I tried to avoid eye contact, and nervously muttered a reponse. "Because I couldn't come home..."

That was all it had taken to get him yelling again, the anger and frustration in his voice stronger than I'd ever heard it before. Stronger than at the rest stop, and stronger than it had been on the phone. "Don't give me that crap. You didn't even think twice about leaving you were just gone... and you've been gone for over 3 years. Don't tell me that you were going to kill yourself because you couldn't come home, I don't believe it for a second."

I stepped back, I felt sick to my stomach with fear. "It's true... I mean it wasn't the only reason but it was the biggest one. I justed wanted to be able to come home to things the way the were before. You'd hold me close and tight and promise me that everything would be okay... I may not have been able to believe that it would be okay, but it still always made me feel better."

"Last time I tried to do that for you, you left. Do you have any idea how much time i've spent wondering why you didn't feel that you could trust me to support you... especially after everything we'd already been through?" He paused for a moment, when he didn't yell when he continued, and the anger was replaced with sadness and confusion "When you didn't know that I would have done anything to make it better, and to help you through whatever was wrong... I knew it meant we had a problem. I often wondered if I had done something wrong, and I always wondered when we started to have problems and I didn't notice. I would have done anything to fix them, and I would have thought you would have done the same."

The feeling of sickness only worsened, and I started to cry... I felt so guilty "I did know that you would do anything for me. Of course I knew that, I never doubted that, and that's exactly why I had to leave. I never wanted you to feel as if you had anything to do with it...and I'm so sorry for that."

"Why was my wanting to support you such a bad thing, why did it mean you had to leave like that?"

"Because I didn't want you to die for me."

"and why would you worry about that? Carlos was found dead... it meant we were all a lot safer..."

"What if he wasn't dead?"

He just shook his head. "I don't even want to know."

I knew he would think I was crazy, and would either laugh or start yelling again, but went on anyway "They only assumed the body belonged to Carlos. They had no DNA evidence, the body was far too beaten and they say anyway. They found his wallet...and his car was parked out back... but what if that was to mislead everybody. What if he had died, but came back as a vampire. Traci did it, I don't know exactly how it works... what if he figured it out? Obviously he was dead... I doubt it would have taken him more than a couple days to seek revenge. It definitely wouldn't take 3 years. I  just couldn't know back then that he was dead, and I kept imagining that you would have been his first victim. I know you would have do anything for me...anything to protect me. It would make it too easy for him to get you, and having you die would hurt me more than anything."

"That is the craziest thing I have ever heard... but I know you mean every word of it. I would have gladly died for you though... We dealt with the whole Carlos thing together right from the start, I would have been there until the end... whatever the end had been."

"I couldn't have handled one second of the thought that you had died as revenge for what I had done, what you had no part in. I would never have been able deal with having a part in your death. Dealing with giving you up, and what it did you has been hard enough...and obviously I haven't done very well with it... but I would far rather deal with that."

"And there was no way you could have told me that at least, so I wouldn't wonder what the hell happened?"

"It needed to be the way it was, It had to be real. I know otherwise you wouldn't have been able to stay out of the way and I wasn't going to leave to protect you only to have you get killed anyway. There's also the fact that had Carlos been alive he would have needed to believe it too, he would have needed to believe that I had given up on you... that I wasn't interested anymore. If he realized the real reason, he would have gone after you. I couldn't let those thoughts leave my head... I couldn't let anybody hear them."

"I just really wish you hadn't had though of that though. Especially since it wasn't true... we wouldn't have lost everything for nothing."

I took a deep breath... I wasn't sure I wanted to know the answer to my question, but I also had to know it."Is it really gone though?"

He sighed and shook his head, I knew before he spoke what that meant. "I wish I could say no...especially with what you just told me...thing just aren't the same now though. The damage is already done... the reason why doesn't change that. I'm sorry... you can still stay here as long as you need to, in fact I won't let you leave until I know you won't kill yourself."

"Sometimes damage can be fixed... just because something is damaged, it doesn't mean it has to be forever. You just have to do the work to fix it."

"Sometimes it's just too much to fix. Why don't we both think about it for a day or two?"

I nodded, I didn't need time to think about it. I just hoped that his decision would change. "That's probably a good idea."


From Farm to Fame- Chapter 25

It had been slightly more than 3 years since I had left Gaige and my children, I'd begun to realize it was all for nothing. I was not protecting them from anything. I'd just hurt the person who meant the most to me, who had stayed by my side through everything... proving everyday just how much he loved me. We'd been through so much together, and I had thrown it away...for nothing. I regretted it everyday.

I regreted it most standing at the edge of the bridge, reflecting back on the day. It was the kind of day I would have gone home trying to act as if everything was okay because I wouldn't want to worry Gaige or cause him to over react, but he would have seen through it. Demanded to know what happened, and threaten to go out after revenge. Still he'd stay with me, arms wrapped around me trying to make me feel better. I'd try to convince him to just let it go, I didn't want him getting involved and risking getting hurt. Of course I had been the one to hurt him in the end. He hated me now, and it would be the waves of the river wrapped around me, only offering the comfort that soon everything would be over. I would no longer feel pain or regret, I would fail at nothing else, I would finally be free.

The words that had set everything in motion that day echoed in my head as I took a deep breath and moved even closer to the edge...close enough that my toes hung over the edge. "Love, can I get an order of you to go." The pervert at the diner, his voice had the same sinister tone that Carlos' did, and I imagine that had I ever turned around to look at him he would have the same creepy grin. Guys like that were all the same, I didn't need to look over to know that. I had ignored him, and been fired. Explaining to my boss why hadn't helped, he insisted girls like me were servers for a reason. He'd fired me in front of everybody in the diner,  with 20 or so customers and staff watching. I was embarassed, and took the walk of shame out, I could see his shadow as he followed me out, still yelling various lines at me. I have no idea when he vanished, but by the time I had gotten to the bridge I'd had enough of it all. Enough of life.

I turned around, I decided I would fall back into the water below, I didn't want to watch the water and rocks approaching and wonder which one would kill me first. I saw her face when I turned around, Roxanne she had been one of my co-workers at the dinner and was also my best...and only... friend. I felt bad watching the look of horror spread across her usually smiling and bubbly face, but it would be the last time I would dissappoint anybody. "Rachelle, what the hell are you doing? Stop it right now. Don't be stupid."

"Please go away."

"No, just don't be like this. Come on, I know you're emarassed and upset, but this can't be your solution."

"I failed at everything. I failed at life. I have nothing to live for. "

"You haven't failed at life until you die, and you aren't dead yet. You don't have to fail. You just have to stop running from things. Stop running and face things head on, maybe you'll stop failing."

"Running is easier. Even when I try to face things head on, I fail. Why wouldn't I just run?"

"Fine, then we will run together. You from your life, and me from the misery of losing my best friend." She stood beside me on the bridge and linked her arm through mine. "On the count of 3?"

I pulled myself free. "I hate you for that."

"And I hate you for making me do that. Now let's get as far away from here as possible."

Defeated I climbed into her car, she locked the doors as soon as we were both in. "Now you can't get away. I'm in control. You don't get to make decisions now, you have to go wherever I take you."

"Which is where?"

"I don't know. We're just going to drive and see what happens. We'll get you out of this town, and maybe you'll calm down enough to find your common sense."

"Isn't that the same as running?"

"Yes it is, but it's better than running towards death. Sometimes exceptions have to be made."

I didn't bother telling her that we would never stop driving if we were waiting until I was no longer about to kill myself. I wanted out of life, I wanted my freedom from everything that had happened. I would never change my mind.

Day faded into night  and night back day, and still we drove. We only stopped to get gas or make stops at the bathroom... following me right to the door and waiting right outside it. I felt like a criminal or something. We didn't speak to  each other at all, I just found myself going between fits of anger and clenching my fists while fighting back the urge to say anything... I knew I shouldn't have been angry, and fit of sadness and just crying until the sadness turned back into anger. I didn't know however, what to feel when we passed in front of a familar house. There were so many emotions to choose between, fear was the one that sunk in when the car came to a stop out front.

I heard a click and noticed the door had been unlocked. "I think it's safe to let you out now. I don't think you will be able to run from here, I think somebody else will stop you." She smiled, and I noticed that she had been looking at the window of the house, where they were standing and watching us.

"I think this is the worst  place to be right now...let's just keep going please."

"Actually I think this exactly where I was looking for, this is where I wanted to take you the whole time. Like I said you don't get to make decisions anymore, so I decided to make this one for you. We're not leaving now, I am. You are not."


From Farm to Fame- Chapter 24

I hated all the questions my parent's asked me. You know; What happened? Are you okay? Did he hurt you? What are you hiding from us? Are you sure you're okay? I knew it was only because they cared, and not intended to annoy me, but I really didn't want to talk about all. I just wanted to forget it all, absolutely everything, right from leaving the farm for Bridgeport. It just wasn't that easy. Leaving Gaige and my children was the hardest thing I had ever done, and I didn't want to remember what I had left behind...forgetting would make it a lot easier to deal with. It was true that I thought they would be better off without me, trouble always found me. I wasn't going to let it hurt the people I cared about, I didn't want them to suffer just for knowing me. Gaige just didn't understand, but it was probably better that way...better for him to hate me and move on with his life...not wait around for me come back.

I realized it all meant that I would have to once again leave the farm, I couldn't let my parents or brother get caught in the middle of everything either. I would miss them too, and driving out in my repaired truck I realized that I was all alone, alone like I'd never been before... I'd removed everybody I cared about from my life. I drove until I came across a town that seemed as lonely and depressing as I felt, the town of Twinbrook. It seemed fitting....I had no desire to be happy anymore anyway.

I found a cheap house, it was small and ugly, and the fog crept in from outside... but it was cheap and it really didn't matter how nice it was or was not. I found a job at the local diner, the pay sucked and my boss was a jerk...but it paid the bills, of course it barely did so. The only that really bothered me was the fact that I still had one goodbye left, or more accurately two goodbyes left, and one last call to make to Gaige. One call I knew would be awkward and difficult, and I put off longer than I should have.

It scared me to make, and my hands shook as I tried to dial making it even harder... though I hadn't expect him to answer. It would have be easier talking to his voicemail, though it would have seemed cruel, I also didn't think it would have made things any worse. "What the hell do you want? If you called to ask for forgiveness you can just hang's not going to happen. I meant that." I could tell he was still just as angry as he had been at the rest stop.

"and I meant that I want to leave...I'm not calling for forgiveness." I shook my head at myself....want wasn't the right word...I didn't want things to be this way... I just needed the to be. Want and need are two very different things.

He didn't even give me a chance to continue, and he sounded very annoyed already. "Then what is it. Just get to the point."

He was making this even harder than I imagine it would be and I could barely get out one word... I would rather have died than finished the conversation "Twins..."

"What about the twins? If you want to be part of their lives again you can forget that too. I won't allow it...they're already suffering enough. Haylie cries for you every single night, I can't trust you not to abandon them again....they don't need that. They just need to forget you."

It broke my heart to hear that, and the tears I'd been fighting back since I dialled the phone snuck out, it was just too much. I had to take a moment so I could calm do enough to endure the rest of the conversation.  "No, it's not about Haylie and Ian."

"Then just get to the point already, like I asked. I don't have time for this garbage, and I don't really want to talk to you anyway."

"Our twins... I'm pregnant with twins... two girls. I figured you should know now...rather than being surprised later."

I braced myself for his reaction... I didn't know what to expect but I didn't think it would be pleasant. He remained silent for several minutes, until I couldn't take the silence any longer. "Gaige? Are you okay? Are you still there even?"

He didn't sound angry or annoyed anymore, but his voice was flat and almost emotionless... I couldn't tell what he really felt. "I don't really know what to say now... I'm going to have 5 kids to look after now. 4 had barely settled in."

"I'm sorry..."

"This would just be easier if you hadn't left, and it would still have been difficult to process. I have no idea how I'm going to manage."

"You're a great father... if anybody can handle it you can. You could handle me, and 3 children...that should be the equivalent of like 5 children. At least you don't have to say good-bye to them. None of this is easy for me, but I know it's better this way... I'm sorry I can't make you see that." I did wish I could make him understand and maybe make it easier... he was still so upset and I felt horrible for it.

His was no longer emotionless, but once again full of anger. "Don't start that crap again. This was all your choice, I doubt you actually do care, but either way you brought it on yourself and you'll get what you deserve." He hung up.

I was relieved in a way when the babies finally came, perhaps without being pregnant and having to worry about them or saying goodbye to them, I would be able to do what I wanted so bad to do and forget everything. Forget what had made my life so miserable, and what I had done to make it that way. It didn't get any easier though, I didn't forget. I went back to work as soon as I could, and my days consisted of me going to work only because I had to before going home and spending my night crying and wishing I wasn't even alive. My life was barely worth living anymore, I'd known that since I left Gaige, it had just become less worthwhile.


From Farm to Fame- Chapter 23

"Stupid truck."  I muttered to myself, my truck had broken down on the side of the highway. Not far enough from Appaloosa plains, but not close enough to the next town. My phone was dead, all the desperate calls from Gaige that I ignored drained the battery. I couldn't call for help, I didn't want to try heading back, and it was way too far to walk into the next town. I could hitchhike, but there weren't too many cars coming could take a while.

I felt a moment of relief when a car pulled up in front of me, somebody had stopped to help. That feeling went away when I realized it was Gaige's car. I tried again to start the truck, I hadn't changed my mind, and I didn't want to see the look on his face again. I hated that I'd hurt him. "Oh come on you piece of crap. Damn it!"

I kept my window rolled up, and stayed in the truck trying to ignore him, it still seemed easier. It wasn't really possible to ignore him however, and I could still hear him through the window, desperate for my attention. "Rachelle, at least roll down the window. Please? You can't stay locked up in there forever. I'll wait right here for as long as it takes."

I tried to ignore him a little while longer but eventually gave up, and rolled down the window. "You came chasing after me, really? I don't want you to follow me, I want you to go away. I don't want to see you again. Ever. Just go." I knew I would only be hurting him more, and I felt horrible about it. I just hoped he let me go easier, and we wouldn't drag it out. I didn't want to drag it out, in the end it would only hurt us both more.

"I hoped you would have thought things over and changed your mind. I don't want to lose you, I don't want you to leave. I love you. Please... just stop this. We've made it through so much together already. We can make it through this, we have to. We can't just throw this away." I could hear the hurt growing in voice.

"Gaige..." I tried to fight back more tears "I'm really sorry, I am. I'm not changing my mind though. You'll be better off with out me, you'll see. Just let me go. It will stop hurting sooner if you let me go sooner."

"It's never going to stop either way." He paused for a moment, and sighed. "At least let me take you into town or something. Please, I want to at least know you are safe...and if you still want to leave by the time we get there, I'll let you go. If it's what you really want, I just want you to be happy... though I'd be happy if your happiness included me."

"Just let me use your phone. I'll call for somebody else to come get me."

I called my dad, the farm was where I wanted to go anyway, and I knew I could count on him. "Daddy... I want to come home. Can you come get me please? I'm stuck on the highway towards home, a little ways outside of Appaloosa plains. There's a reststop I can go back to"

"You're crying, why are you crying? Is it that husband of yours, I'll kill him."

"Just please come get me. I don't want to talk about it right now, it's complicated."

"I'll be there as soon as I can."

"Thank-you." I hung up and gave Gaige back his phone. "There, you can go now."

"Let me take you back to the rest stop at least, it's a long way to walk."

I let him take me back, I figured it couldn't get more awkward anyway. He still wouldn't leave after we got there. "Now what is your excuse? Why won't you go away?"

"I'm not going to leave you here alone. It'll be hours before your dad can get here, I'll worry about you."

"You should worry more about you... you should leave before he gets here."

"I didn't do anything, why should I worry? I'm just trying to keep you safe."

"You're waiting around hoping I'll change my mind. I won't."

"That too. I really do want to make sure you are safe though. We don't have talk or anything, just stay in my car where you are safe."

I waited in his car until my dad came, we didn't speak at all, and it was very awkward. I just knew it would be no use to argue with him, and I did feel safer with him there. Even with Carlos dead, I still worried about there being other people like him chasing after me.

I was so relieved when I saw a flash of headlights and looked back to see my dads truck. I could finally get away. Gaige wouldn't be able to follow me anymore, my dad would make sure of that. I wouldn't have to see the hurt look on his face, or hear the hurt in voice as he tried to get me to change my mind. I took a depth breath before opening the door to get out. "I guess this is good-bye. I'm really sorry" I started to cry again. "I'm going to miss you so much. Please make sure they know I love them... I only did this for their good, and yours. Not to hurt anybody."

 I'd gotten out of the car but hadn't yet shut the door when Gaige spoke, this time he sounded more angry then hurt. "Well that didn't go very well did it? I can't tell them you love them, you have to show them... you have to show me. You don't love them, or me. If you did you wouldn't be leaving, so stop saying you do, stop saying you're sorry... because none of it's true. You don't know how to tell Haylie and Ian that their real dad is dead, and you can't handle that it might hurt them because they won't get the chance to know him, which they wouldn't have anyway... but you are going to take yourself out of their lives. That isn't any better, it's worse. You chose this."

"Carlos made the choice too, but he didn't do it with any good intentions. I do mean well, trouble just finds me, and when it finds me it finds the people I care about."

"I'm not done. I'm not listening to excuses, I'm not giving you the chance to redeem yourself. I've been fighting for us since you decided to leave. I've tried call you and work things out, I came and found you trying to work things out. I've waited here until you could leave safely, hoping in that somewhere in that time, you'd come to sense. I've proven how much I care about you...and you still want to leave.  You can go, I'm done fighting for you. I need people who are going to stay in my life, I'm not fighting for someone who doesn't want to stay. Everybody leaves me... you are the first to do so by choice, and I never thought you would do so. I thought forever meant forever, and I'll never forgive you. You made your choice, you had your chance to change your mind. Don't think that I'll still welcome you back if you ever do, I won't."

It felt like someone shot through my heart and it got blown into a million pieces. I knew I deserved what he said to me, but it didn't make it hurt any less. I couldn't even move the pain had complete control. I don't remember when he finally drove away, or anything that followed.


From Farm to Fame- Chapter 22

The breaking news report came on, Carlos had been found dead in a burned down old house, it was way faster than I had expected it to be. I expected it to be days before I found out he died, or hours before he came after me... but I wouldn't have been able to relax until I knew he was dead. Gaige was thrilled with the news.

"It's about time, just too bad I wasn't the one kill him. Whoever did deserves a million dollars."

I sat in silence, I was relieved in a way, but the feeling of guilt had only worsened. I knew he deserved it, but I didn't enjoy being part of others pain, no matter how much they deserved it.

"I thought you'd be even happier, why do you look so miserable? You don't actually miss him do you?"
I shook my head no.

"Then why do you look so sad. I don't get it."

"You remember earlier when you asked me what was going on?" It turned out that he had been in the kitchen and overheard part of the conversation between Traci and I, but not enough to know what was happening, and I wouldn't tell him.

"I remember yes, why?"

I sighed, I still didn't really want to tell him, but knew I should. "That girl.... she was the one who killed Carlos. She wanted my help to get him to go to that house so she find him easily, but not be seen by anybody. I just feel bad for helping, even though it's better that he's dead."

"That just proves that you're still a good person. I think you are the only person in the world who would feel guilty. I love that about you, but don't be upset about it. You can't change it now anyway."

"Yeah tell that to Haylie and Ian, I'm sure they'd love to hear why their father is dead." I stood up and started to walk away.

"Wait. If that is what is making you feel so guilty, don't. They were never going to get to see him anyway, it's not like they are going to miss anything. He might as well be dead to them. They have somebody to love them as a father would, you know how much they mean to me. They don't even have to know the difference."

"I don't think we can hide the difference. You may able to be love them just the same as if they were your own, but they aren't going to be too dumb to know the difference. You look at Ian and tell me he doesn't look like Carlos. They're going to want to know who their real father is, they're going to want to know him, and the only thing they'll ever get to know is that he is dead." I just started to cry, it was so hard to deal with, I wished I could go back and change it. All of it, right from leaving the farm. It would mean not knowing Gaige, and never having my babies, but nobody else would pay the price for my mistakes.

Gaige pulled me close, and held me tight. "It'll be ok."

"No it won't."

"It will. I know what it's like not to have either parent, they'll be just fine. They have us here to support them if nothing else, it'll be ok. Just please don't be upset. I hate this, I've never seen you this upset. I just want to make it better."

I pulled myself away from him. "I just need to get out of here, away from it all."

"Where do you want to go? We'll go wherever you want."

"I want to go home. To the farm. Alone, I want to forget all of this. I want to stop messing everything up for everybody else."

"You don't mean that do you? I know you're upset right now, but it'll get better.It's not always going to feel this way. Please don't leave, just stay. I can't lose you Rachelle."  I watched as the hurt spread across the face, the look would haunt me for the rest of my life.

"Yes, I do mean it. I'm sorry. I love you, and I love them. I'm always going to, which is why I need to go."

I left without looking back, I couldn't handle seeing what I was leaving behind me, I knew it would just make me stay... but it was better if I didn't. I drove my truck until I found a roadside turnout along the highway, I stopped there for the night. I knew I shouldn't have been driving at all, I was to upset to pay attention to what I was doing, but I had to get as far as I did.


From Farm to Fame- Chapter 21

I found it easier to distract myself over the summer, with Gaige at home during the day again, the babies, and remodling the half-destroyed kichen... I didn't have much time to think about Carlos, and I hadn't seen the hooded figure in a few weeks. It was nice to not worry about any of it for a while.

I never even thought any better about answering the door, which I was something I hadn't done since Carlos showed up at the house in Bridgeport. I regretted it when I opened it to see the hooded figure.

"I wasn't imagining things after all, what the hell do you want?"

I was surprised when a female voice spoke, I had assumed it was carlos. "That's not a very polite way to speak to somebody. It would be polite to offer me to come in."

"Why don't you take off your hood, and tell me who you are first?"

"I would rather not remove my hood right now. I am Traci Davila."

The name sounded very familiar, it took me a minute to figure out why. "Oh my god. You're one of those girls... one of the ones that went missing...everybody thinks Carlos killed you."

"He did."

"But you're talking to me and standing on my porch.... you can't be dead."

"I am a vampire, Carlos killed me and it is what I became."

"Right.... sure.... and I thought I had gone crazy."

"It is true, please let me come in. I will prove it to you, but I promise I will not hurt you. It is Carlos that I want to hurt."

"You should have just started with that."

"Does that mean I can come in. You have to tell me I can come in."

"Yes, you may come in." I still didn't believe she was a vampire but figured I'd play along.


I let her in and took her coat. She definitely didn't look human, her eyes and skin glowed like the vampires in the stories my brother told me when I was little. I had never imagined they could be true, I just hoped that vampires could be nice unlike the ones in my brothers stories. I was glad Gaige was distracted by whatever he was doing on the computer though, as he would have been freaking out.

"So... I wasn't imagining things... I have been seeing you around."

"Yes, I have been following you. I'm sorry, I know it put a great deal of stress on you. I just can't track down Carlos, and I am sure that he will be chasing you down again eventually. He's laying low somewhere for a while, but he'll be back. I don't want to miss the moment he returns. I want my revenge. I want him to die. I have not been able to figure out how I will kill him without being seen. I do not want anybody to see me like this. This is a small town, people remember me as a human, a young and innocent girl, I do not want to taint that memory with the reality of what I am. Everybody has suffered enough with all of this, I do not want to give them another reason not to trust anybody." She stopped talking.

I gave her a minute to continue but she didn't, and I wondered if I had missed something. "and...."

"Sorry, I was just figuring out how to say the rest. I need your help, I can't let anybody else see me...but I want to make sure Carlos does. When he's dying I want him to know that it is because I wanted my revenge, he didn't get away with killing me that easily."

"I think I know where this is going, and I am sorry but I can't help you. I can't take the chance that something will happen. I care what happens to my family, and if any of them get caught in the middle and get hurt, I will never be able to forgive myself. My husband would never allow it anyway, it's slightly amazing he hasn't come to kick you out yet honestly."

"I just need you to tell him to go somewhere... I believe you have a cellphone, and on it you have his cellphone number. You just need to text him... tell him you will meet him somewhere, you do not want your husband to find you but you have realized you love him after all. He'll fall for it."

I'd forgotten i'd ever put his number on my phone, I had many contacts I never called and couldn't be bothered to delete. I agreed to help her, as it wouldn't put my family in anymore danger. I'd just assumed that I would need to let him in my home, I was not expecting something so simple.

It wasn't long before he replied... "He want's to know when.... he says he can be there in an hour."

"An hour works for me." She was gone faster than I could blink, I just heard the door slamming shut behind her.

I did feel a bit of guilt for my role in her plan, if it worked I had just aided in the murder of another human. Of course Carlos deserved to die for what he did, and I wouldn't have to live fear any more... but I still could shake the feeling of guilt. I also knew that if something went wrong and Traci couldn't kill him I would be in more danger than ever before. He would be after revenge, and I already knew what he was capable of when he was only after pleasure.

From Farm to Fame- Chapter 20

I felt like an idiot, and I dreaded what would happen when Gaige got home. He'd likely agree I was an idiot, and wonder even more about my sanity than he already did. I knew that although he didn't say it, he thought that the stress was making me insane. Setting fire to half the kitchen, because I was distracted by the figure looking in the window was not going to help my case at all....especially since nobody believed they were ever there. Nobody ever saw them but me, but I was positive I wasn't imagining matter what everybody thought.

I saw the look on his face when he walked in, it only made me feel more like an idiot...not at all comforting or reassuring. "I know I'm an idiot, and I'm careless, and I've gone insane. Please don't say it."

"I wasn't going to."

"But you're thinking it aren't you?"

"I'm thinking I'm getting worried about you. You never burn anything at all, so I'm wondering why half the kitchen is burnt."

"Because I'm stupid and careless."

"Would you stop saying that, and just tell me what actually happened."

"They were at the window again... I went to check outside for them and search around the house... by the time I came back in the fire had started."

"I see." He looked even more worried, and I knew he was worried about my sanity.

"See you're thinking it now, I can tell by the look on your face."

"I'm still just thinking about how worried I'm getting about you. I wish I knew how to help you."

"I wish I knew how to make you believe me, and you wouldn't have to worry so much."

"I think I will worry more if you can ever prove it."

"But you won't think I'm insane."

"I think we should go out for dinner."

I decided to ignore the change of subject from my sanity, and the fact that he hadn't offered reassurance. "I thought we could just order pizza or something. I don't want to go out to dinner with the babies, and it's awfully short notice for a babysitter."

"You just don't want to leave the house. You haven't left the house since you saw that figure at the grocery store. You need to get out and have some fun...and since we can't make anything here, it's a good opportunity to get out. I'll be with you, you'll be fine. You know it's never a problem getting a babysitter here, everybody loves looks after them."

"What if Carlos comes here while we are out? I don't want to be away from them... I'm scared of what he could do to defenseless babies... I don't feel safe unless they are with one of us. Even then it still scares me."

"He won't. The police just drive back and forth down the street, they will be here if he even attempts anything. We won't be far away either, and the babysitter can call us if anything happens, we'll come rushing right back.... it won't take long at all. Please?"

"Fine, but if anything bad happens..."

"you'll never forgive me. I know."

I couldn't enjoy dinner at all, it wasn't enough to distract me from everything. I was still worried about the babies, and about the hooded figure I kept seeing. The figure that was standing right across the street.

"Gaige! Look! They're right there, behind you!" I pointed at the spot where they had been standing.

"Rachelle....there's no one there."

I was frustrated "There was, they're gone now. They were there though."

"They can't have gone anywhere that fast... there's nowhere for them to go."

I thought about it and realized he was right. They'd been standing in an open field, there was no way they could have gone out of sight so only took a couple seconds for Gaige to look over. "Oh my god, I am seeing things. I have gone insane."

"You haven't gone insane. You are stressed, and understandably so. It'll be ok, you'll get through it....we'll get through it. You know I'll do anything I can to help you."


From Farm to Fame- Chapter 19

As glad as I was that Gaige had made it home safe, dinner was incredibly awkward as I didn't feel like talking much... or at all really. I was still bothered by Carlos showing up, but had no desire to tell Gaige. I knew how that conversation would go. I knew he was still upset about what happened between Carlos and I in the first place, and would question why he even knew where to find me. I knew he also hated Carlos more than I did, and would be grumpy and impossible to deal with... convincing him I didn't want Carlos there would just make it worse. I loved that he wanted to look after me, but I didn't like upsetting him... and I didn't want him going after Carlos, that too would just make things worse.

I was clearing the table when Gaige spoke. "So I'm assuming your unusual quietness has something to do with Carlos showing up?"

"You know?" I wondered how he knew, had Carlos tried going after him already? I hoped not.

"Well it seems to be the talk of the town. Seems he has a reputation here. Where you ever going to tell me? I know how you feel about him, you don't have to worry that I'll be mad at you."

"I was worried you'd be mad that he knew where to find me. I know you still aren't over everything, even if you act like you are. I also know how much you hate him, and that you aren't opposed to beating the crap out of him. Which as fun as it sounds, is only going to anger him more."

"I will do anything to protect you. You have no idea what his reputation here is for do you?"

"No. I'd guess stalking women though."

"I'd suggest you look it up. I'm sure what you find will explain it better than I can... I've only learned what I've overheard around town. I am over it by the way, at least your involvement. I wasn't for a long time but I am now. I will never forgive Carlos however. Given the opportunity I would beat the crap out of him... in fact I'll go further and kill him."

I didn't really want to know, and decided not to go look it up, but it made headline news that evening. His sudden reappearance in town and the stories of what he did when he was around before. A young girl who passed out after a single drink, and was seen being carried out by Carlos.... she never returned home. It was suspected that he'd spiked her drink with something. A girlfriend who went missing shortly after telling her family about how Carlos abused her, and she was going to break up with him..

I was startled when Gaige sat down beside me. I was still trying to process what I'd just heard. Spiking drinks explained why I could even remember how I ended up in his bed, he'd probably done the same to me. I was just lucky I was alive. "Sorry. You ok?"

I shook my head "I could have been one of them."

"I know, but you weren't and you won't be. I'll do anything to protect you and I mean that."

"He's after you."

"Well good he can find me, it'll make my job a lot easier."

"It's not good. What if he hurts you?"

"Well I beat him last time, I'm not so worried about it."

"I am. Just stay here, at least if he comes here after you I can take a shot at him as well. I won't worry all day."

"You know I can't. I wish I could, only so I could watch over you. We both have to go on with our lives though. Worrying too much is only going to drive us insane. Besides he'll probably hide for a while since the town knows to watch out for him. He'll wait until it dies off a bit, and then he'll come out of hiding. With any luck semster will be over by then." I had no idea how he could be so calm and confident, I wished I could be.