Thanks To: Adeline, my super-cool beta reader (aka spell checker). Without her my series would be a jumble of unintelligent typos and grammatical errors :o)
(Song Written by Garth Brooks, Bobby Wood, and John Peppard. Performed by Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood)
In another’s eyes, I’m someone who
Loves her enough to walk away from you
I’d never cheat, I’d never lie
In another’s eyes.....
In another’s eyes, I can do no wrong
He believes in me, and his faith is strong
I’d never fall, or even compromise
In another’s eyes........
In another’s eyes, I’m afraid that I can’t see
That picture perfect portrait that they paint of me
They don’t realize, and I pray they never do
Cause every time I look, I’m seeing you,
In another’s eyes.
In another’s eyes, starin’ back at me
I see a sinking soul trying desperately
To turn the tide before it dies
In another’s eyes.........
And what they don’t see, is killing me
And it’s a blessing and a curse that love is blind.......
In another’s eyes, I’m afraid that I don’t see
This picture perfect portrait that they paint of me
They don’t realize, and I pray to God they never do,
Cause every time I look I’m seeing you
In another’s eyes.
“Knock, Knock.” Joey said quietly, as she stuck her head into the hospital room.
“Joey! Get in here!” Andie told her with a huge grin on her face. Joey walked over and gave her a gentle, big hug, as she sat up in the bed.
“Congratulations, mom! How are you feeling? How’s the baby?” Joey was full of questions, and happy to see Andie.
“I’m still sore, but I feel great. And Caleb is wonderful. Pacey just left to bring him up from the nursery, so I can introduce him to you.” She smiled. “How is your family? When do I get to meet those girls of yours? she asked Joey.
“Whenever you want to. But gosh, Andie, you just had a baby! Don’t you want to take it slow for a while?” Joey laughed at Andie, who seemed to forget that she had just had a traumatic thing happen to her body.
“Oh whatever. I’m fine. And so is Caleb, so we will return to our normal lives as soon as I get out of this place.” She grinned, and told Joey in her usual enthusiastic fashion. “How is Andrew?” Andie asked her.
Joey sighed, and forced a smile, hoping Andie wouldn’t notice that she was lying. “He’s good.” she said, not elaborating. She didn’t exactly know how he was. He hadn’t spoken to her since last night when she came home from the hospital, and to be honest, she really didn’t care how he was. He had never acted like that before, and he had physically hurt her. That didn’t sit well with her. She was sure it was an isolated incident, but she didn’t know what had brought out that behavior in him.
“Ok.” Andie looked a bit surprised. Joey usually loved to talk about her husband and kids. “Is everything ok?”
“Yea Andie. Everything is fine.” She answered quickly, with a forced smile. Just then, Pacey entered the room, pushing a bassinet in front of him.
“Hello Joey. And hello my beautiful wife.” He took the tiny blue bundle out of the bassinet and laid it gently in Andie’s arms. He kissed her lips generously, and pulled away to look at his wife and newborn son. Joey just sat in the corner of the room, watching them together. Pacey had grown up so much, and he amazed her. He really was going to be a great father.
“Jo, don’t be anti-social. Come over here and meet my son.” Pacey told her, and she rose from her chair and gingerly sat on the edge of the hospital bed.
“Caleb, this Joey Phillips.” Andie told the infant, as placed him in Joey’s arms. Joey accepted the baby graciously, and studied his face. He had Pacey’s nose and eyes, and Andie’s mouth. She smiled, and cradled him in her arms.
“He so tiny. My girls were huge compared to this.” Joey laughed, as both of her daughters were nearly 9 pounds when they were born. “He’s just a little peanut.”
“Well, he surely didn’t feel like a little peanut coming out.” Andie laughed. As Joey shifted the infant to the other side, the sleeve of her shirt raised a bit, exposing a large bruise on her upper arm. Andie noticed it right away, and her face dropped.
“Joey, God! Where did you get that bruise?” She exclaimed as she lifted the edge of her sleeve. Joey stood up and backed away from her, handing Caleb to Pacey.
“It’s nothing Andie. Just a stupid mistake. I ran into....” Pacey quickly handed the baby to Andie and walked over to her. He gave her a look that caused her to be silent right away. He lifted both of the sleeves of her shirt, revealing a large bruise on each arm. They were long, and Pacey recognized them immediately. He placed his hands over them gently so as not to hurt her, indicating that they were from a pair of hands gripping her to the point of breaking blood vessels.
“Joey, what the hell is going on? Who did this?” Pacey removed his hands, and placed them on either side of her face, so she had look him in the eyes. She couldn’t lie, because he would call her on it immediately.
“Listen Pacey, I’m fine. He just got carried away, in an argument. I’m not defending him. He was an asshole. But it’s not that big of a deal....” Joey rolled her eyes and tried to get away from him.
2“Like hell it’s not a big deal Joey! Your husband grabbed you so hard he left marks. That is not normal, and you know that.” He said, his tone a cross between angry and concerned. “Has he done this before?”
“No.” She quickly answered. “He’s never touched me before.”
“Joey, what made him so angry as to do this? I mean, if it was something little just think of the possibilities. If he hurt you, what about the kids? I mean...” Andie started, but Joey cut her off.
“Stop right there.” She said, her tone turning angry. “He wouldn’t touch the girls. He won’t even spank them when they deserve it. Listen, you are both blowing this way out of proportion. He just...”
Pacey cut her off. “...just grabbed you and bruised you. Out of anger.” The look on his face was one that Joey had never seen before, at least not directed towards herself, and this made her anger dissipate quickly. “What were you arguing about?”
Joey took a deep breath, and went back over to Andie’s bed. She sat carefully on the edge, and put her head in her hands, trying not to cry. “Dawson.” She whispered, barely audibly.
“What about Dawson?” Pacey asked.
“Pacey, could you give me and Joey a minute please?” Andie asked him. “I think it might be.....”
“No Andie, it’s ok. He can stay. He’ll hear it eventually anyway I suppose. Dawson brought me home from the hospital last night, because my car wouldn’t start. He tried to tell me that he didn’t like me seeing Dawson, and that he didn’t want me to anymore. To which I basically told him to go to hell, because he was treating me like a 5 year old. And he just blew up. Listen, he’s always been possessive, and he knows that Dawson and I have a history. I’ve tried to explain to him that we’re just friends and that I don’t have any feelings for him romantically anymore, but I don’t think he buys it. And to be honest, I don’t buy it either. I am about to tell you something in total secrecy, all right?” She looked at Pacey and Andie, and the both nodded in agreement. “I am still in love with him, and I probably always will be. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t love Andrew or our life together. That doesn’t mean that I want to leave him. But I don’t think he understands that.”
Pacey looked a bit surprised, but Andie just took Joey’s hand. She knew from their conversation before the reunion that she still loved Dawson. The baby started to stir, and make soft cries, and Andie tried to hush him as Pacey walked to the bed and sat next to Joey.
“Joey, you can’t let him do this again. If he ever touches you or your children like this again, I swear to God, I will kill him myself. All I can say now, is hopefully this was an isolated incident. But you have to try to reason with him Jo. He has to know the truth about how you feel.” He paused, and took her face in his hands. “And Dawson has to know too.”
Joey sighed, as her eyes welled up with tears. “I know Pacey. Can you and Andie do me a favor?”
“What’s that?” Andie asked her.
“Could you cover for me tomorrow? Dawson and I are supposed to get together with the kids and go to the beach, but I don’t know if Andrew is going to...” she stopped.
“Say no more Joey. Just tell him that you’re coming over to our house to let Molly and Katie meet Caleb. We’ll take care of it. As long as you promise to talk to Dawson about all of this.” Pacey told her.
“I promise. I don’t think I can lie to him anymore anyhow.” She said, lifting herself from the bed. “Thank you so much guys. I really should be going though. Caleb is beautiful, and congratulations again.” She hugged Andie, and placed a gentle kiss on the newborn’s head. She then moved to Pacey who took her into a protective embrace.
“Joey, if you need anything at all, call us.” He told her, with Andie nodding in agreement.
“I will. Thanks again.” she told him with a smile, and quietly left the room.
Andrew sat on the front porch of Bessie and Bodie’s house as his wife pulled up into the driveway. Joey took a deep breath and got out of the car. She hadn’t spoken to him since the incident yesterday, and she really didn’t want to talk to him. She was still angry, and still hurt that he could do such a thing. From the look on Andrew’s face however, she knew that avoiding him wasn’t going to be an option this time. He didn’t look angry, but even if he was, Joey wasn’t afraid of him. As she drew nearer however, she saw that he had been crying. She didn’t know why, and she was afraid it was one of the girls. She walked faster up the steps to him, and he stood up, with his hands covering his face.
“God, Andrew what is it? Is it the girls? Where are they? What happened?” She was starting to panic, as he wasn’t saying anything. He joined her on the steps and carefully took her into his arms, as if he was afraid to break her. The tears started welling up in her eyes, and she just knew that something had happened and he was afraid to tell her. She shoved him away hard, nearly causing him to fall off the porch. “WHAT HAPPENED?” She was screaming at the top of her lungs now, feeling the panic rise up into her stomach as mercury would rise up in a thermometer.
He said nothing, but wiped his eyes, and again walked closer to her. He moved the sleeves to her short sleeved shirt up, to reveal the bruises on her arms. He broke down again, and she stepped away from him, not sure of what to say. He broke the uncomfortable silence between them.
“Molly and Katie are with Bessie the kids at the park.” he tried to hold his emotions back for a moment. Joey had rarely seen her husband like this. He had cried when his father died a couple years ago, and when Molly was born, but other than that, he wasn’t an overly emotional person. “Joey, oh God....I did this to you.” He touched her arms gingerly. He was fighting his sobs ineffectively.
Joey didn’t know how to react. Part of her was still angry, and the other part of her wanted to hold him in her arms, and pretend that nothing had changed. Pretend that she had never came back to this town, pretend that Dawson and her feelings for him were still a distant memory. But they weren’t, and things had changed drastically.
“Andrew, let’s go in the house and talk about this.” Her voice wasn’t cold, but it lacked emotion. She didn’t know how she was feeling. She breezed past him, and he followed her into the living room. She sat on the edge on the couch, and he sat on the opposite end, not looking her directly in the eyes. “What is going on?” she asked him bluntly, with just a touch of anger in her voice.
“I don’t know Jo. I really don’t. I love you so much, and I saw the way you and Dawson were looking at each other dancing at the reunion. I know this sounds stupid, but you haven’t looked at me that way in such a long time...maybe ever. I know that you still have feelings for this man, and it kills me. I just love you so much....”
She cut him off. “So you grab me and throw me against the wall? I mean, if that’s your way of showing me love then....”
He stopped her. “Joey, it wasn’t like that. There is no excuse for what I did. None at all. My temper got away from me, and I swear to God, it will never happen again. I just don’t want to lose you to him. For anything. I just want to go home...me, you, and the girls. Home to Seattle....to our lives there. I want to pretend that I am the only one that you love, and pretend that you never even had your life here. This place doesn’t have anything for you anymore, Jo.” He calmed, and his tears began to subside.
“Nothing except the friends that I have neglected for 10 years, my best friend in the entire world, and the only family that I have. My sister, and her family. Andrew, I have repressed this part of my life for too long, and it feels good to finally be back here. I ran away when I was young, and I have to face what it is that I ran away from. You have to give me that much.” She was approaching tears and, knew what he was trying to say, she just didn’t want to do it. He was asking her to give up too much.
He didn’t say anything right away. He just looked at her, and she looked at him. She didn’t know what she was feeling right then. Here was a man that she loved with all of her heart and soul, and he had hurt her very badly. Everyone told her not to forgive him, even her instinct told her not forgive him. But her heart....her heart told her something entirely different. He was her husband...the one who she had built her life with, fathered the two most important people in her life, and taken care of them for the past few years. She loved him, no matter what he did. And in that moment, she realized what she wanted. She wanted Andrew as her husband. Dawson was her best friend, but any romantic feelings that were there were merely sweet echoes of the past, brought up by the nostalgia of being back in Capeside. She wanted Dawson in her life, but she wanted Andrew as her husband, her lover, her provider. And that feeling would prove that her love for him was strong enough to endure anything, even this great pain.
He was right when he said she hadn’t looked at him since she found out about her impending re-emergence into Capeside. Suddenly, as she sat there, the look returned. No matter how evil she could see Andrew becoming.
Andrew was the first to break the silence. “All right Joey. I won’t ask you to give this up. But I will ask you one thing. Please don’t read too much into your past with Dawson. Because it’s just that...the past. You belong with me and our girls now. I won’t try to stop your relationship, and I will try not to feel so threatened by it. Right now, all I can do is ask you to forgive me for what I did. And be assured that it will never happen again.” He looked directly into her eyes, anxiously awaiting her reply.
It came in the form of a kiss. She didn’t say a word, just placed a warm, passionate kiss on his lips. A kiss that made her believe that her love for this man was strong enough to overcome anything. And as Joey began to let herself go, she truly believed what he had said. She belonged with her husband. For once in her life, she was going to prove to everyone that she was not just Dawson Leery’s other half. Her life was apart from his, and her marriage and children proved it. As she sat there losing herself in that kiss, she knew that Dawson could be her friend and nothing more, no matter how much she wanted otherwise.
“Joey, can I ask you something?” he asked her almost shyly as he broke the kiss, obviously turned on by her aggressiveness.
“Yes.....anything. You know that.” she returned.
“Do you still want me? I mean, we haven’t made love since Katherine was born, and I though it was...”
She cut him off with another kiss. Standing, she took his hand and lead him up the stairs. And Joey vowed then and there to get over Dawson Leery, once and for all. And this meant being around him without sexual tension. She would start this tomorrow, at the picnic with their children.
Joey pulled her car into a parking spot, and corralled her thoughts. Just a few feet away Dawson was waiting with his children, and she didn’t understand why she was so nervous. She gathered her children and all of their stuff, and made their way down the beach, searching for Dawson through her sunglasses.
“Hmm....he must not be here yet.” She thought. She decided to go ahead and pick a spot on the sand to lounge in, and wait for them to arrive. She was scared to tell him her news, and she just wanted it to be over with.
Dawson scanned the beach looking for Joey and her kids. He was a little late, and he knew that she would have been right on time. Max and Colin were already racing towards the water with a toddling Maura following them when he spotted her. Every time he saw her, his breath caught. She was still striking, even after all these years. She was sitting up on a brightly striped beach blanket, wearing a red swimsuit and a small jacket that covered her arms. Her back was to him, and he longed to touch her shoulders, run his hands through her chestnut hair....slightly dirty thoughts were invading his mind, and he thought to look around before his fantasies overtook him.
Beside her on the blanket, was Katie, laying on her stomach and giggling at her older sister. Molly was futilely attempting to build a sand castle, and had a look of determination on her face that reminded Dawson of Joey. Her dark brown curls shone in the sun, and her deep brown eyes were fierce. She was going to get that sand pile to look like a castle if it killed her.
“Hey guys, come back!” Dawson yelled at his children. “There’s someone I want you to meet first.” Max turned and picked up Maura, and Colin was close on his heels.
Joey turned at the sound of his voice. Her mood instantly lightened, and she picked up Katie, took Molly’s hand, and stood to greet them.
He watched them from just out of sight from the beach, sneaking glances between bushes, and around other beach-goers. His eyes narrowed at their friendly embrace.
“Dawson Leery, you will not steal my family. Make no mistake about that.” Andrew said out loud, in a menacing tone. “You won’t know what hit you when I get through wtih you.”
Ooooooohhhhhh what’s Andrew going to do?? Keep reading to find out!!!! Sneak preview of what's to come in future installments:
“I belong with the one I love, not with the one I was with”
“I can’t do this anymore.....pretending that I don’t love you. Make love to me...”
“Please don’t leave me....”
“This can’t be happening now.....It can’t be......”
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