The events from Monday cast a shadow over the whole week and it ended up a pretty quiet week. Ben’s father didn’t give us too much trouble. He pretty much kept to himself or talked to Ben. It was like the rest of us were beneath his notice. I did notice that he and Ben mostly stuck to his practice and when Ben brought home a three headed bearded dragon that actually breathed fire, decided to move out of the house and in to Rose Cottage which was only a mile or two away. That was Wednesday. Not everyone can handle our house.
That was also when I decided the bearded dragon could stay.
“Give him to me, Miles. You jiggle him one more time you’re going to make him sick.” I said as I took the lizard away from Miles.
He was jiggling the poor creature to make it burp fire.
“Aww, but he was happy!”
“He was not, that poor thing is probably full of indigestion!”
Ben laughed. “Probably not, but you could kill him that way.”
I put the lizard in a cage that Ben had brought in from some storage closet. I set the cage on a side table and pointed at Miles.
“Leave the thing alone.”
“I will not leave the thing alone.” He pouted.
Jude started laughing at us. I smiled at her.
“You two. Are you family?”
“Cousins on my Mamma’s side.”
“Sister, you can at least tell her more than that.” Miles chided softly. “You see, her parents died in a car accident when she was five or so. She lived with us for a while, my family, but ended up with Grandmama.”
“Oh. You poor thing. So young.” Jude put her hands over mine.
I smiled. “Grandmama was good to me. The only time I ever felt lonely was when I was around the families that had parents. It was much better when I had Miles and Grandmama to myself. Still, I’m happy I found family by moving here.”
Jude didn’t say anything, just patted my hands. I looked over at Miles, but the little twerp had abandoned me. He was just leaving the room, cage in hand, when I looked for him.
“Get back here with that blasted cage! You’re not setting the house on fire!”
“Mine! My pet! My precious!” Miles said as he ran out of the room with the cage.
I groaned and looked over at Ben, who gave me a small smile.
“Well, at least you don’t have to take care of it?”
“I better not.” I grumbled as I scratched Winston’s ears.
He had padded over and plopped his head in to my lap.
“What do you say, Winston? Should we head to bed? Thanksgiving is tomorrow!” Winston sneezed. “I’ll take that as a yes.”
Everyone in the room laughed, but they got up and said their good nights anyway.
The following morning it was Mark and Ben’s turn for breakfast so Miles and I were in the living room watching the parade with Jude. We were still in pjs when his father arrived. I saw the wrinkle of disgust at what we were wearing and what was on the TV before he moved in to the kitchen to talk to Ben. I shook my head and looked at Miles.
“Mark my words: We’re going to have some kind of fight today and its going to be big.”
“Marked and noted. Now pay attention to the parade.”
Jude laughed. “I need to visit more often.”
I looked over my shoulder from where I was on the floor with Miles, spread out on blankets and pillows. Jude was on the couch with her own blankets and pillows. It was good that we were resting now, because when the parade was over, dinner prep would start and we’d be cooking until 6pm this evening when everyone arrived.
“You know, I’m so glad the kitchen expanded this morning. Those extra ovens are going to come in handy.” I said to Miles.
Miles snorted. “The house is a god send some days.”
“You know, I don’t think I’ll ever get used to that.” Jude said.
I laughed. “I said the same thing. You eventually just tune it out.”
Jude thought about it and I turned my attention back to the parade. Before I could get back in to it, there was a loud shout from the kitchen and Mark came storming out.
“That man! I’ve never met a more rude, dismissive person in my entire life.” He stormed by and upstairs.
I sighed. “Okay. Time to lay the smack down.”
“Better you than me.”
“You don’t scare him, I do. He fears my powers.”
“Smart man, in some things. I’d better go with you.” Jude said.
I got up and stretched, then marched in to the kitchen. Ben was giving his father a glare, but was on the other side of the island in the middle of the kitchen. I looked at his father.
“What happened in here?”
“That man, wants me to give you up and marry that woman from New York. The same one I said no to five years ago.”
Jude sighed. “Oh Mo, give it a rest. He’s never going to marry her. You drove our son away with that bit of nonsense.”
“It is not nonsense! It is family duty!”
“From the old country. Not here. He has the right to choose as he pleases. I warned you not to make him unhappy.” I said.
“You do not tell me what to do in my son’s house.”
“It is my house too. We bought it together. I am tired of being dismissed as though I do not matter. I love your son. Your son loves me. That’s the way it is. If you do not accept this, you are not welcome at the table.” I said evenly.
I walked over to Ben and put my hand in his. Ben looked down at me and smiled.
“Mo, you’re going to lose this one. Again.” Jude said.
His father looked at all of us and I could hear him grinding his teeth.
“You will not slander her.” Ben said and his father jerked back like he’d been slapped.
“You will not read my mind!” His father growled out.
“I will if it means protecting Marlowe.” Ben replied.
I looked up at Ben and nodded. “I gave him permission long ago. You never trusted your son. I do. That’s why he will choose to stay. He’s found a home here. A life here. Things he didn’t have back when he was under your boot in New York.”
His father unleashed a string of expletives in Arabic and it felt like I had been slapped. When he advanced on Ben and myself, I lost my temper. After everything that happened, I couldn’t keep hold on my temper anymore. Before I realized what I had done, ever single knife in the kitchen was pointing at Ben’s father and I was standing in front of him. I knew my eyes had gone completely silver.
“You. Will. Not. Touch. Him.”
His father looked at me like he’d seen his own nightmares. Ben had to physically pull me back from his father. He tried to get my attention, but I was too focused on his father. Finally Ben physically picked me up and took me outside in the cold and dumped me in to a snow bank. I came up sputtering and cursing. I looked around and up at him. I saw the look on his face and swore.
“I lost control, didn’t I?” He nodded and I sighed. “I’ll stay out here.”
“No. He had it coming. You’ll come back inside and he will leave.” Ben said firmly.
“I’m sorry, Ben.”
Ben’s face softened a little and he kissed my hair. “No one can hold their emotions in check, and their power, all the time. I know how hard you work to control yours.”
“I’m still sorry.” I whispered. “I could have killed him if you hadn’t moved me outside.”
“I love you, but you owe us a new chefs knife. The old one is embedded in the wall behind his head.”
I groaned. So I hadn’t held all of them back.
I followed Ben back inside, but his father was gone from the kitchen. Miles was pulling knives that I hadn’t managed to control, out of the walls.
“When you lose control, you really do pick the way.” Miles said. He was waving around a steak knife. “Look at this, it’s bent in half! From the impact! There’s another one over on the other side that has a shattered handle.”
I looked around and sighed. “It looks like a cartoon in here.”
Miles laughed. “Mark said the same thing when he got a look at it. He’s off to tell everyone we need knives for today. Grandma Murphy is bringing hers.”
I closed my eyes and concentrated, pulling each knife from the wall and placing it on the table. I’d destroyed every knife in the kitchen, but at least that’s all I had done. I hadn’t killed anyone and that’s always a plus.
“Hey Magneto, would you mind not doing your steak knife in to the wall thing for a minute so you can tell Grandma Murphy just why we need all her knives?” Mark shouted from the other room.
I groaned. I was going to kill him.