Brian's girlfriend of 4 years leaves him and their young daughter. He soon finds love in AJ's cousin but is it enough to help him through one of the darkest times of his life when his daughter is diagnosed with leukemia?
Fanfiction > Backstreet Boys Characters:
1. Prologue by fricksbrick
2. Chapter 1 by fricksbrick
3. Chapter 2 by fricksbrick
4. Chapter 3 by fricksbrick
5. Chapter 4 by fricksbrick
6. Chapter 5 by fricksbrick
7. Chapter 6 by fricksbrick
8. Chapter 7 by fricksbrick
9. Chapter 8 by fricksbrick
10. Chapter 9 by fricksbrick
11. Chapter 10 by fricksbrick
12. Chapter 11 by fricksbrick
13. Chapter 12 by fricksbrick
this is my first story and i'd appreciate any feedback :) hope you enjoy it
“How can you just say it’s over? We have a daughter together!” Brian yelled at his girlfriend Rachel.
“It’s not working out,” she said as she walked out the door leaving Brian standing there alone.
“Daddy where’s mommy gone?”
Brian turned round to see his two year old daughter Elly standing in the doorway, her soft strawberry blonde hair all shapes.
“Mommy is going away for awhile,” he explained walking over to Elly and picking her up. “Come on, let’s get you to bed.”
“Will you sing me to sleep?” she asked lying her head down on his shoulder.
“Course I will princess.”
“It’s just me and you now, isn’t it daddy?” Elly asked quietly. Hearing his little girl ask that made Brian’s heart break in two. He may have only been 20 years of age but he had wanted the best for his daughter. She meant the world to him and would die for her if it meant that she didn’t have to go through any pain. As he tucked Elly into bed that night, he couldn’t help but think to himself, was it really just going to be the two of them? His world revolved around that little girl but he didn’t want to have to bring her up on his own especially at his age. What if he did something wrong? He was on his own now.
“Come on princess get your coat on,” Brian said standing in the living room trying to get Elly to put her coat on.
“Can’t I come with you?” Elly asked. Since her mom left she followed Brian around like a shadow.
“No you’re going to Grandma’s. You love going there,” Brian said as he put her coat on.
“But I want to go with you,” she said looking up at him with her big blue eyes.
“Maybe next time,” he said picking her up and carrying her to the car.
After he dropped Elly of at his mom’s, he went round to his friend’s AJ’s who was having a house party.
“Hey Bri, glad you could come,” Nick said as he opened the door to AJ’s house. “Maybe we can get you a girlfriend.”
Brian smiled uncomfortably. That wasn’t why he agreed to come to the party. He did feel lonely at times, not having someone but he had Elly. That’s who his life revolved around now. It was different for him looking for a girlfriend now, he had to have some one that Elly liked and who liked Elly. He just wanted tonight to be about having fun, like he used to.
“Hey Brian, haven’t seen you in awhile,” Natalie said to Brian as she sat down beside him.
“Hey,” he said smiling at her. He couldn’t help notice how close she was sitting to him. She might as well have just straddled him. Every time he tried to put a bit of distance between them, she moved closer. He was right at the edge of the couch and knew that if she moved any closer to him he would be on the floor.
“You want to dance?” she asked him.
“Ok,” he said. Truth was that he didn’t, but he didn’t want to be rude and it wasn’t like there were loads of people wanting to dance with him.
As he was dancing with Natalie, he looked over her shoulder and saw his friend AJ’s cousin Claire. He couldn’t help but think that she was completely gorgeous. There was something about the way she was looking tonight, that made her stand out from everyone else. He tried to shake the thoughts he was having out of his head because he knew that he shouldn’t be thinking of her like he was.
An hour later and Brian had finally gotten rid of Natalie. She had went to the toilet and promised she would be back soon. He felt terrible but he really wished that she wouldn’t return. When he was getting himself and Natalie a drink he had heard one of her friends say that Natalie was talking to Brian because she thought that he was a sure thing. She thought that Brian would sleep with her. He hated that people thought that of him, just because he had a daughter at his age. He had been in a relationship with a girl for 4 years and had a daughter with her. He wasn’t one to just hop into bed with someone and it made him angry when people thought that he would.
“Hey Brian, are you having a good time?”
He looked up and his jaw hit the floor when he saw how beautiful Claire was close up. All he could do was nod his head as his mouth suddenly got dry.
“Doesn’t look like you are,” she giggled and he just stared at her.
“Do you want to go out for a walk? It will get you away from Natalie for awhile,” she smiled and Brian laughed.
“Did you really want to come here?” Claire asked when they got outside.
“I did and I didn’t,” Brian said.
“You’re missing Elly aren’t you?” she asked quietly.
“Yeah. I know that she’s ok with my mom but I still miss her. I’ve been tempted to ring and make sure she’s ok,” he explained.
“I’m sure if anything happened to her, your mom would have called,” Claire said.
“You should be in there having a good time. Not out here listening to me say about how much I’m missing Elly. You should be trying to get a guy,” Brian said looking down at the ground.
“There’s no one I like in there. Plus I love hearing about Elly,” she smiled.
“What do you mean there’s none in there that you like? There’s plenty for you to choose from,” Brian laughed.
“There’s only one guy that I’m interested in,” she smiled.
“Does AJ know?” Brian laughed.
“No and the guy doesn’t know either,” she said softly.
“Why haven’t you told him?” Brian asked turning to face her.
“Let’s just say that he’s off limits,” she said sadly.
“How come?” Brian asked continuing to stare at her.
“AJ wouldn’t like it if I went out with him and I don’t even know whether he likes me like that anyway,” she explained.
“If you really like him then you should tell him. I mean it’s better for them to know and you to have a little chance with him than never telling them and not having a chance with them,” he said looking into her eyes and then he laughed, “I’m just thinking, that made no sense at all.”
“No it did to me,” she laughed back. “I guess I should tell him.”
“I hope it works out for you,” he said looking in front of him. He couldn’t help but feel an aching in his heart knowing that she liked some one else. It wasn’t like he could have had her anyway. She was his friend’s little cousin and he had a daughter to think of. “We better get back before some one wonders were you are.”
“Brian wait,” Claire said grabbing his arm stopping him from walking back.
“What is it?” he asked looking her in the eyes again.
“I like you Brian. I really like you,” she said softly.
“You what?” Brian asked her stunned.
“I really like you. It’s you that I like. I know that you’re my cousin’s best friend but I can’t help how I feel,” she said as she watched him.
“I don’t know what to say,” he told her honestly. Part of him wanted to kiss her but another part told him to tell her that it would never work with her. Those parts were his heart and his head. They were battling each other and he could feel his heart winning. “I like you too but things are complicated.”
“I have a daughter,” he said.
“That doesn’t stop you from going out with some one.”
“Yes it does. It’s not the same for me as it is for you. I can’t go out with some one who Elly hates or who hates Elly,” Brian said sitting down on the wall.
“I don’t hate Elly and she doesn’t hate me. Give me another reason,” she said sitting down beside him and he looked at her.
“AJ. He will kill me if he finds out that I like his little cousin. He’s really protective of you,” Brian explained as Lena took hold of his hand. He felt a weird feeling as her hand touched his.
“Tell me the real reason. You’re scared aren’t you?” she asked, “You think I’m going to leave you heart broken like Rachel.”
At that moment Brian looked up at her again. He couldn’t believe that she knew him so well. He looked her straight in the eyes and leaned closer to her and pressed his lips to hers. He had never felt like this when he had kissed some one before. Even when he had kissed Rachel, it hadn’t felt like this before. She let go of his hand and moved it to his hair. It felt like a lifetime before they finally pulled apart and they smiled at each other.
“We really should go back before AJ wonders what I’ve done to his cousin,” Brian smiled.
“Yep,” she said, her smile reflecting his. They got off the wall and as they were walking back to the house, Brian took hold of her hand. Before they got to the house, he let go which was a good thing because AJ appeared in the doorway.
“Where have you two been?” he asked.
“We just went for a walk,” Claire said quickly.
“Claire was just trying to cheer me up,” Brian said.
“Why do you have lip stick on your lips?” AJ asked Brian.
“Erm,” Brian stuttered wishing suddenly that the ground would swallow him up. His mind seemed to shut down and he couldn’t think of a reason to tell AJ that would stop him from flying off the handle at him.
“Did you kiss my cousin?” AJ demanded.
“What’s with all the questions? Let’s just go inside,” Claire said trying to get in past AJ to avoid an argument.
“No I want to know what you pair were up too,” AJ said. “Did you have sex with her?”
“No,” Brian said shocked.
“So you just kissed her?” AJ said.
“Well erm,” Brian started.
“You did didn’t you?” AJ asked getting annoyed. Brian nodded his head. “I can’t believe you.”
“AJ we just kissed,” Brian started to say but AJ cut him off.
“So she’s just a kiss to you. Move on and go to the next,” AJ accused.
“No that’s not it, if you would just let me explain,” Brian tried.
“Go on then, explain.”
“I like her and she likes me. We kissed and it meant something to both of us. I ain’t just fooling around with your cousin,” Brian said quietly.
“Yeah right, Brian. No way are you and her getting together so you can screw her and get her pregnant,” AJ said with hatred. “You’ll have her stuck with a brat like you have.”
“Don’t you dare call Elly a brat. I’m not going to get Claire pregnant and even if I did I wouldn’t leave her. I didn’t leave Rachel or Elly. I’m there for Elly all the time. You don’t know anything about me if that’s what you think. I can’t help liking Claire but I’m not sorry that I do.”
He turned to Claire and said,
“I think it’s best if I go,” kissing her softly.
“I’ll speak to you tomorrow,” Claire said as she watched Brian walk away.
“No you won’t,” AJ said.
“You can’t stop me,” Claire said walking into the house.
Claire couldn’t believe what had just happened. She really did like Brian and she couldn’t believe how it felt to kiss him. She had waited so long for that to happen and now it finally had and AJ was ruining it. With AJ acting the way he was, Claire was scared that Brian would change his mind and think that she was too immature to be with. She got into bed dreaming of Brian and hoping that everything was going to work out the way she wanted it too.
Claire got up the next day and went downstairs to find AJ sitting at the table eating breakfast.
“Where did you go to last night? I had to tidy the place up myself,” AJ said.
“I went to bed,” she stated getting a glass and going to the fridge for some orange juice.
“You could have helped me clean up before you went to bed,” he said.
“Where’s the orange juice?” Claire asked.
“I drank the last of it,” AJ said.
Claire didn’t answer him. She put her shoes on and went to the door.
“Where are you going?” AJ called after her.
“To replace the orange juice you drank,” Claire said closing the door behind her.
As soon as she got to the store she felt her heart stop. She looked over to see Brian with Elly. She loved seeing how much he cared about his little girl. He was always so caring and loving towards her.
“Is that the candy you want?” he asked her.
“Yes daddy,” Elly said taking Brian’s hand. Claire thought back to the relationship she had with her own dad. She was never like that with him when she was younger that she could remember. She couldn’t remember much about her dad as he left when she was one because he couldn’t handle fatherhood anymore. She could see how much Brian loved Elly though. Maybe that was because Brian was having to make up for the fact her mom was no longer in her life. She continued to watch them and saw Elly starting to pull Brian to the cashier.
“Come on daddy,” she said pulling at his hand.
“I’m coming,” he laughed turning round and coming face to face with Claire.
“Hi Brian,” Claire smiled.
“Hey,” he smiled.
“How are you after last night?” she asked.
“I’m ok. Did AJ gave you a hard time after I left?” he asked as Elly kept pulling on his hand.
“Come on Daddy, I want to eat my candy,” Elly said.
“Ok I’m coming now,” he said to Elly. “Sorry about this,” he said to Claire.
“It’s ok,” Claire smiled. Brian went over to the cashier and paid for the candy Elly wanted. He turned round and seen Claire over at the orange juice.
“Come on Princess, I gotta talk to Claire a second,” he said leading her over to were Claire was.
“And then we go home?” Elly asked looking up at her daddy.
“Yes,” he smiled. “Hey Claire, sorry that I didn’t give you a chance to answer my question, that was rude of me,” he said once he reached her. Claire couldn’t help but smile when she noticed that Brian had came back over to her.
“It’s ok. To answer your question he didn’t really have the chance. I’ve hardly spoken to him since last night. After you left I just went straight to my room and then this morning I got up and there was no orange juice so I came out to get some. I’m sure he will have plenty to say when I go home though,” she answered.
“I’m sorry, it’s my fault,” he said sadly.
“No it’s not. What are you up to for the rest of the day?” she asked.
“Nothing, why?” he asked as Elly pulled on his hand as she tried to see the sweets on the shelves near where they were standing.
“I was just wondering if you wanted to come over so we can talk about what happened last night,” Claire said softly.
“I can’t,” Brian said and then regretted it when he saw the look on her face.
“Ok,” she said and walked out of the store quickly leaving the orange juice she had went for and got into her car before Brian had the chance to pick Elly up and go outside.
“That’s not how this was supposed to turn out,” he said to himself as he watched Claire pull out of the car park. “Why can’t I stop people running away from me?”
“I won’t run away from you Daddy. I love you,” Elly said looking up at him.
“I love you too Princess.”
Claire walked into the house and threw her keys on the table and tried to go up to her room without AJ saying anything. She had no luck though, she might have known that he would have been waiting on her.
“I thought you were going out for orange juice?” he asked when he seen that she had returned without it.
“Don’t start. I’m really not in the mood to argue with you” she said and went upstairs. AJ followed her upstairs and into her room.
“What’s the matter?” AJ asked sitting on her bed.
“Don’t act like you’re concerned now after the way you embarrassed me last night,” she angrily.
“What do you mean?” AJ asked oblivious to what she was talking about.
“Don’t act all innocent. The way you spoke to me in front of Brian. It was embarrassing! You made it look like I was a little girl,” Claire said.
“What are you so bothered about? It’s not like you and him are going out together. You and him only kissed. The way you are acting you would think you and him were married and getting divorced. He’s got a child for God’s sake,” AJ shouted.
Claire couldn’t understand why AJ was acting the way he was. She couldn’t understand what his problem with Brian was all of a sudden. They had been best friend for years and the fact that he had a child had never been a problem before.
“I like him a lot and you’re ruining things,” Claire answered.
“It’s just a crush you have on him,” AJ said.
“Don’t tell me how I feel,” Claire said, “just get out and leave me alone.”
“Fine but you know that Brian will just use you. He’ll get what he wants from you and then leave you. That’s why you won’t go out with him,” AJ said closing Claire’s bedroom door behind him.
Claire didn’t know what to do. It was driving her mad in the house and she was about to go out and do some shopping to take her mind of things when she got a text message on her phone.
‘Hey Claire, sorry about earlier. I didn’t mean it the way it sounded. Can you come round to mine to talk? Brian x’
Right then Claire wanted to dance around the room. She had been worried that things between her and Brian had been messed up, but she was so glad that he wanted to talk. She went and got ready and then rushed round to Brian’s house. She knocked on the door and nervously waited on Brian answering the door. A couple of seconds later he opened the door.
“Hey Claire, I’m really glad you came round,” he smiled. “Come on in.”
“Thank you,” she said as she stepped into the house and went into the living room.
“I didn’t mean what I said earlier. Well I did but it came out wrong,” Brian started as he sat down beside Claire who had sat down on the couch.
“I did want to talk to you about what happened but well cause of Elly, I couldn’t come back to yours.”
“I thought that you didn’t want to talk about what had happened. I thought that you just wanted to forget what happened,” she said.
“No,” he said. “I do really like you but it’s a lot harder for me to have a relationship with me having Elly. I mean it’s kinda like you would be going out with us both.”
“I understand all that but I really do like you. I have done for a long time,” Claire said.
“Will you not get hassle from AJ?” he asked.
“Probably but I don’t care what he says. It’s up to me what I do with my life,” she stated.
“That’s the answer I was hoping for,” Brian laughed.
Claire had spent the afternoon over at Brian’s and had loved every minute of it. She always loved hanging out with him because he always made her smile. When it came to her time to leave she really didn’t really want to go home.
“I wish you could stay,” Brian said wrapping his arms around her waist.
“I know I wish I could as well,” Claire said putting her arms around his neck.
“How are you getting home?” Brian asked.
“Oh I’m walking it,” Claire said getting up from the couch.
“I thought you drove here,” Brian said as he got up also.
“No,” Claire said and kissed Brian.
“Hang on a second then,” Brian said and walked away. He came back a few minutes later with Elly who had her coat on.
“Where are you two going?” Claire asked.
“We’re going to walk you home,” Brian smiled as he put his coat on.
“Aww aren’t you sweet?” Claire teased.
“Course I am,” he laughed. He took Elly’s hand and with his free hand took Claire’s hand. Claire was so happy as she walked home with Brian and Elly. When she got home she kissed Brian goodbye and went into the house to be greeted by AJ. All of a sudden her good mood changed.
“Where have you been all day?” he asked.
“If you must know I’ve been at Brian’s,” Claire said getting herself a glass of water.
“Because that’s what couples do,” Claire said.
“What did you say?” AJ asked, rage clear in his voice.
“I said that’s what couples do,” Claire said.
“Since when were you and Brian a couple?” AJ screamed.
“Since this afternoon,” Claire said.
“You’re so stupid. You and him won’t last a week. He’s just messing with you. He’s lonely and just wants company and you’re so dumb that you are falling for the crap he’s telling you,” AJ ranted as he walked around the living room.
“How can you say that about Brian? I thought he was your best friend,” Claire said.
“Yeah that’s what I thought as well but I’m beginning to doubt that as well since he’s sleeping with my cousin!” AJ shouted.
“Think what you like AJ. I know the truth. I’m a big girl and I can look after myself. It’s my life and I know that Brian isn’t just using me for company,” Claire shouted and walked to the front door.
“Where the hell are you going?” AJ screamed.
“Anywhere that you’re not!”
Claire slammed the front door shut and just started walking. She had no idea where she was walking to but she was really angry with everything that AJ had said. She couldn’t understand why he was behaving the way that he was. It was her life and he was trying to live it for her.
AJ had tried ringing her five times and she had got about ten text messages from him as well. She was about to turn her phone off when it began to ring again. This time the caller ID didn’t say AJ, instead it said Brian.
“Hello?” Claire answered.
“Hey, where are you? AJ’s just been round demanding to know where you are,” Brian asked.
“I just needed to get out of the house. He was doing my head in,” Claire explained.
“Let me guess, he was having a go at you about us?” Brian said.
“Yeah,” Claire said softly.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t want it to turn out like this. I understand if you don’t want to be with me anymore,” Brian said.
“Brian I really like you and want to be with you and AJ’s little rant isn’t going to stop us from being together.
“That’s ok,” Brian breathed a sigh of relief. “So where are you walking to?”
“I don’t know. I really don’t want to go back there just yet,” Claire explained.
“Well are you far from mine? You can come here till you want to go back home,” Brian offered.
“Are you sure? Aren’t you busy?” Claire asked.
“No I’ve just put Elly to bed so I could use some company,” Brian said.
“I’ll be there shortly,” Claire said and hung up. She started towards Brian’s house and already was feeling happier.
About ten minutes later and Claire was on Brian’s doorstep ringing his bell. After a few minutes and Brian still hadn’t answered the door and Claire was about to ring him to see where he was. Just then the door opened.
“Hey, sorry it took me so long but Elly woke up,” he said clearly out of breath.
“That’s ok,” Claire said as she stepped into Brian’s house. They went in and sat down on the couch. Claire took hold of Brian’s hand and rubbed her thumb over it. They were both silent, just enjoying each other’s company.
“Bri, what am I going to do about AJ?” Claire asked him.
“I don’t know,” Brian said softly, wishing there was something he could say or do to make things better for her.
“He’s doing my head in. I really can’t see his problem with us being together,” she said.
“Me neither but he’s always been protective of his family,” Brian tried to reason.
“Yeah but so are you. Would you be like this if it was Kevin going out with one of your friends?”
“I don’t know, depends on the friend,” Brian laughed trying to lighten the mood.
“I suppose him and Nick would make an odd couple,” Claire laughed.
“I guess though if he was happy then I’d be happy for him,” Brian explained.
“That’s just what AJ needs to understand. I am really happy with you but he doesn’t get it,” Claire said.
“He will one day,” Brian said and kissed her. The kiss became more passionate. Brian was lying on top of Claire and she had her hands in his hair as she kissed him. Brian put his hand on her waist and then moved it under her shirt. Claire’s skin felt as if it was on fire just from the simple touch of Brian’s hand. As Brian’s hand started to move up Claire’s body, her head started to take over.
“Brian,” Claire started, but Brian continued to kiss her neck.
“Brian,” Claire said again pushing at his chest. “Please stop.”
With that Brian stopped and looked into her big brown eyes.
“What’s wrong?” he asked at her sudden change of heart.
“Everything is moving too fast,” she tried to explain.
“What do you mean?”
“You know what nearly happened?” she asked Brian and he nodded, “well I’m not ready for that. It’s too soon.”
“Ok,” he said and got off her and walked over to get the TV remote. Claire watched him and thought that she had really messed up. She had wanted to be with him for so long. Before Elly was born, before he had been with Rachel. From the day he was introduced to her she had developed a crush on him. The way he smiled at her and his whole face lit up. She had always thought he was cute and when she had got to know him better she had started to fall in love with him. He was everything that she had ever wanted in a man and she had just ruined it by not having sex with him. She wanted to, but she just couldn’t. Something was stopping her. She was sure that Brian was going to finish with her. She watched Brian stand in front of the TV as he flicked through the channels. The silence was killing her.
“Are you ok?” she asked him.
“Yeah I’m fine,” he answered not turning around.
“You’re making me nervous by standing there,” Claire said softly.
“Sorry,” he said and sat down on the recliner. Claire thought that she had really messed up because now he didn’t even want to sit on the couch with her. She decided that it was best that she left, although she didn’t know where she was going to go because she still didn’t want to back and face AJ.
“I’ll go,” she said standing up.
“Why?” Brian asked.
“Because you clearly have changed your mind about us,” Claire stated.
“How have I?”
“One minute you’re all over me and the next you won’t even sit on the couch with me. I’m sorry,” Claire said.
“I haven’t changed my mind about us. You said you weren’t ready for any of that,” Brian said finally looking at Claire.
“I’m not. It’s just, oh never mind,” Claire said.
“What is it? Don’t you want to? Don’t you like me like that?”
“Of course I do. I do want to. It’s hard to explain and you probably won’t understand,” Claire said watching Brian’s reaction. She was sure he would tell her where to go and that she was wasting his time. Instead he got up and walked over to the couch and sat down beside her.
“Try me,” he said looking into her eyes.
“Ok,” Claire said as she tried to think of how to explain things to him.
“I do really like you. I have done for longer than you know. Since the day we met I had a crush on you and things have changed since I’ve gotten to know you. My feelings are a lot deeper for you. I’m so happy that you’re my boyfriend and I do want to move our relationship to the next level eventually. I do want us to but there’s something that’s stopping me. When we do sleep together, well you’ll erm, well you’ll be my…” Claire suddenly started to get embarrassed.
“I understand,” Brian said.
Claire was sure he was going to end it then. Why would he wait? He could have gotten with Natalie or most of the other girls at the party the other night. They were all willing to sleep with him. A few tears started to fall down Claire’s cheeks.
“I’ll go,” Claire said.
“Brian you could have any girl you want that would be willing to give you what you want. Why would you stay with me?” Claire continued to cry.
“Don’t cry,” Brian said and pulled her into a hug. He kissed the top of her head and held her as she cried. She held onto his shirt, scared to let go.
“I’m sorry,” Claire cried.
“Hey now don’t be sorry about that. Don’t ever say you’re sorry for that,” Brian soothed.
“Aren’t you mad?” she asked.
“Why would I be mad? I didn’t understand why you changed your mind like that but now I do.”
“But you could have anyone that you want,” Claire said.
“I doubt that,” Brian laughed. “I’ve got the only person that I want and ever will. I love you.”
He said the last part quietly that Claire barely heard him.
“What did you say?” Claire asked looking up at him.
“I love you,” he said louder so she could hear him properly.
“I love you too,” Claire smiled.
“Do you?” Brian asked.
“Yes from the day I met you,” Claire said as tears fell from her eyes again.
“Come on baby I didn’t say it to make you cry,” he said as he wiped her eyes with his thumbs.
“I’m not crying cause I’m sad. I’ve never been this happy,” she said kissing him.
“That’s good cause so am I,” Brian said as he pulled away.
“You’re incredible,” Claire said as she played with Brian’s shirt.
“I know,” Brian laughed.
“And big headed,” Claire laughed.
“So when are you going home?” he asked.
“So now they you’ve told me that you love me, you are kicking me out?” Claire joked.
“No course not. Just wondered what you’re plans were that’s all,” he said.
“I don’t know. I really don’t want to have another argument with AJ and I know that when I go home, that’s what will happen,” Claire explained.
“Why don’t you stay the night here?” Brian suggested. Claire gave him a look. “I’ll be on my best behaviour. I won’t try anything.”
“Are you sure?” Claire asked.
“Yes. It means that you’ll get a night away from AJ and he might have cooled down a bit by the time that you go back tomorrow. Plus you can be my teddy bear tonight,” he laughed.
“Aww do you have a little teddy bear?” Claire teased.
“No, that’s why you’ll be staying,” he laughed.
“I’m not sure,” Claire said.
“If it makes it easier for you, I can sleep in the spare room or on the floor or something,” Brian said.
“No it’s ok. It will be nice to cuddle up to you,” Claire smiled.
“Good,” Brian smiled.
“Can we watch a DVD?” Claire asked.
“Course we can. What one do you want to watch?” Brian asked as he got up and walked over to his DVD cabinet.
“Any one,” Claire answered. Brian put one in and then sat back down on the couch and put his arm around Claire. He put his feet on the coffee table and Claire put her head onto his chest. Claire was really happy sitting there with Brian. She wasn’t really paying attention to the movie even after half an hour of it, all she was thinking about was the man beside her and how she wished it could stay just the two of them alone forever.
“Daddy?” came Elly’s small voice from the doorway snapping her back into reality.
“What is it Princess?” Brian asked as he got up from the couch and walked towards Elly.
“I can’t sleep,” she went straight into Brian’s arms and he lifted her up. “Can I stay with you?”
“Ok, you can stay here till you go to sleep,” he said walking over to the couch and sitting down. Claire wasn’t sure how Elly would react with her being there. She was used to her and Brian being friends but if she had seen the way Brian and Claire had been then she would know there was something going on.
Brian sat down beside Claire and Elly put her head in his lap.
“What are you doing here?” Elly asked Claire.
“I’m here watching a DVD with your daddy,” Claire explained.
“Are you sad?” Elly asked.
“No why do you ask?” Claire asked Elly.
“Daddy was hugging you when I came down,” Elly said looking up at Claire. “I don’t like when people are sad.”
“Me neither,” Claire said.
“My daddy gets sad sometimes,” Elly said and Claire looked at Brian who weakly smiled at her. “He cries when he thinks I’m not there.”
“I thought you were going to sleep,” Brian said changing the subject. Elly put her head back into Brian’s lap. Claire couldn’t help but think about what Elly had said about Brian crying. She knew that he was heart broken when Rachel had left him and that he found it hard sometimes with Elly but she didn’t know how badly he had been hurt by his break up with Rachel. She looked at Brian and saw him watching the DVD. When he realised she was looking at him, he turned to face her.
“What?” he asked.
“Nothing, I was just thinking,” he said.
“Nothing much,” she answered.
“Ok,” he said even though he didn’t believe her. Soon Elly had fallen asleep and Brian lifted her back up to bed. He came back down and sat down with Claire and put his arm around her.
“Is she ok?” Claire asked.
“Yeah out for the count. Hopefully she’ll stay like that for the rest of the night. I don’t fancy being woken up several times tonight,” Brian said and Claire yawned. “Looks like someone else is tired.”
“A little,” Claire said.
“Come on then, let’s get you to bed,” Brian said standing up and pulling on her hands.
“No we can watch the rest of the DVD,” Claire said. She didn’t want to ruin what they had and she was scared that it would change when they went to bed and that Brian wouldn’t want to be as close to her.
“We can watch the rest of it in bed and if you happen to fall asleep, I won’t have to carry you anywhere,” he laughed.
“Ok,” Claire laughed as she followed Brian upstairs. Claire had never been upstairs in Brian’s house. She never had any reason too before. Brian went into Elly’s room to check on her and Claire stood at the doorway. She loved watching him with her. It just showed how caring he really was. He closed the door behind him and took Claire’s hand.
“Are you sure you want me in here with you?” he asked Claire.
“Course I do,” she answered and kissed him.
They went into Brian’s room and Brian handed Claire a T-shirt and a pair of his boxers for her to change into.
“You can change in here or the bathroom,” he said.
“I’ll change in the bathroom,” she said nervously as she turned and left the room.
When Claire came back into the room, she was really quiet and really nervous. She had never shared a bed with a guy before and she didn’t know how to react.
“What’s up baby?” Brian asked when he noticed that Claire was shaking.
“Nothing,” she said quietly.
“Tell me. You’re shaking,” he said taking her hands into his.
“I don’t know what to do,” she said softly.
“What do you mean?”
“I’ve never slept in the same bed as a guy before,” she said softly and suddenly regretting it because she thought that Brian would think that she was stupid.
“Oh baby, it’s ok. I know you aren’t ready for anything to happen so I’ll be good. If you don’t want me in the bed, I’ll even sleep on the floor,” he said giving her a hug.
“I do want you in the bed though. Forget it I’m just being stupid,” she said.
“Come on,” he said and lead her to the bed. They both got in and Claire couldn’t help the butterflies in her stomach. “If your uncomfortable just say ok?”
“Ok,” she said as Brian put his arm around her and she cuddled into his chest. Within a couple of minutes Claire had fallen asleep.
The next morning Claire woke up and Brian was nowhere to be seen. She got up and went in search of him. She could hear his voice in the kitchen.
“So princess what do you for breakfast?” he asked Elly.
“Cereal,” she said. “Where’s Claire?”
“She’s in bed sleeping still,” he answered putting a bowl of cereal in front of Elly.
“Is she going to be my new mommy?” she asked Brian.
“No princess,” Brian answered.
“Why was she here last night?” Elly asked.
“Well she’s a friend of Daddy’s,” Brian explained. Claire choose this moment to walk into the kitchen.
“Hey,” she said and Brian turned round.
“Hey, how did you sleep?” he asked.
“Great,” Claire smiled.
“So what do you want for breakfast?” he asked.
“Whatever you are having,” she said sitting at the table with Elly.
After breakfast, Claire got showered and decided it was time to face going back home.
“Hey baby,” she said leaning over the back of the couch and kissing the top of Brian’s head.
“Hey, you all showered?” he asked looking up at her.
“Yep. So what are you doing today?” she asked him putting her arms around his neck and resting her head on top of his.
“Just taking Elly to the park and doing some shopping,” he said, “what about you?”
“Well I’m going to go and see what AJ has to say and then just do nothing for the rest of the day.”
“You could always come with me and Elly,” he said.
“I’d love to but I’ll have to let you know,” she said. “I better get going.” She kissed him and left.
On the way back, Claire was wondering what AJ was going to say to her when she got home. She really didn’t want to have another argument with AJ about her relationship with Brian.
She walked in the back door to walk straight in to AJ.
“Where have you been all night? Actually don’t answer that. I know you’ve been with Brian having sex,” AJ said harshly.
“Don’t start,” Claire said as she went to go upstairs.
“That’s where you were wasn’t it?” he asked.
“Yes but we didn’t have sex!” Claire said starting to get annoyed.
“I can’t believe he lied to me. He said that he didn’t know where you were!” AJ shouted.
“He didn’t when you went round. I went round after you had been round. What is your problem?” Lena screamed.
“He doesn’t even like you!” AJ screamed.
“That’s where you’re wrong. He loves me!” Claire screamed back.
“You heard me. He loves me and I love him too.”
“How do you know?” AJ asked.
“He told me last night,” Claire replied.
“And you actually believe him?” AJ asked.
“Yes I do,” Claire said.
“He’s lying,” AJ stated.
“No he’s not AJ. You may claim that you know how Brian feels and you think that he’s lying about loving me but he’s not. I can see it in his eyes. I don’t know why you can’t be happy for us. You’ve went on about how Brian doesn’t care how I feel about things but it’s you that doesn’t. You can’t see that Brian makes me happy,” Claire said.
“You’re just flattered that a guy is paying attention to you,” AJ said.
“No I’m not. I love Brian. He’s a great guy. You should know. He’s one of your best friends. The same person that you thought was such a great guy before all this happened. I’m not going to stop seeing him because of you,” Claire said starting to go upstairs.
“Fine. Don’t bring him back to this house. You can tell him from me that me and him are no longer friends. I hate him for what he’s done,” AJ said with hate.
“Tell me what he’s done that’s so wrong?”
“He’s taken you away and he’s pretending that he loves you. Isn’t that enough?” AJ asked.
“He’s not taken me away. You’ve pushed me away. He’s not pretending he loves me, he really does,” Claire said.
“No he doesn’t,” AJ screamed.
“I’m not listening to this anymore,” Claire said and went upstairs. AJ followed her upstairs and walked into her room. “Leave me alone.”
“Why are you so convinced that he loves you?” AJ asked.
“I’ve already told you. I don’t want to talk about this anymore,” Claire said sitting on her bed.
“Ok,” AJ said and walked out the door and closed it behind him. Claire couldn’t understand why he was acting the way that he was. She was getting sick of it. Nothing that she said or did was going to change his mind about her and Brian being together. She didn’t want to talk to AJ because all he wanted to bring up was how Brian didn’t love her and she knew that wasn’t true. She sat on her bed thinking until her phone rang and snapped her out of her thoughts.
“Hey baby, how did things go?” Brian asked.
“I’m so glad to hear your voice,” Claire said. The tears started to come to her eyes and she could feel her voice start to crack.
“Aww baby, what’s the matter?” he asked.
“I don’t know how much more of AJ I can take. As soon as I came in, he started. I’m sitting in my room and don’t want to leave it. I don’t want another fight with him,” Claire said starting to cry.
“Baby don’t cry. Do you want to come round here?” he asked her.
“You’ve got Elly to look after,” she cried.
“I can look after you both. I hate to know that you are upset. Elly and I will come round for you,” Brian said.
“No AJ will start on you and that’s the last thing that Elly needs to see,” Claire said trying to calm down.
“I’ll drive round. You can come out to the car. I’m not going to take no for an answer,” he said.
“Ok,” Claire said softly.
“Why don’t you pack a few things and stay here for a few days? It will give you a break away from AJ until he calms down,” Brian said.
“Are you sure?”
“Course I am. Anything to make you happy,” Brian said and she could tell that he was smiling.
“Ok. I’ll just pack a few things then and I’ll be ready,” Claire said.
“I’ll get Elly ready and come over for you,” Brian said.
“Ok baby. See you real soon,” Claire said. They hung up the phone and Claire went over to her closet. She grabbed a bag and put everything she was going to need for a few days into it. She went into the bathroom and grabbed what she needed. She grabbed a few DVDs and other things she thought she might need and started downstairs hoping to avoid AJ but had no luck.
“Where are you going?” he asked.
“I’m going to stay with Brian for a few days. I can’t stay here with us being like this,” Claire said.
“Why are you choosing him over me?” he asked.
“I’m not choosing either. I love Brian and I hate being here with you right now. I’m sick of fighting with you all the time over it. I think we need time away from each until you and deal with me and Brian being together. You can yell at me all you want and tell me to end it with Brian but I’m not going to. I love him with everything in me and I’m not ending it with him,” Claire said calmly and carried on walking out the door. Just as she was closing the front door Brian pulled up. She got into the car and let out the breath she was holding.
“Hey baby, are you ok?” he asked.
“Yeah I am,” Claire smiled.
“Do you mind if we just hang out at mine today? Elly isn’t feeling very well.”
“That’s fine with me,” Claire smiled.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with her mom. She keeps on crying and she’s got a really high fever. She’s not eating either. I’ve tried to feed her and she just keeps crying and saying that she’s sore,” Brian told his mom over the phone.
“How long has this been going on sweetheart?” his mom asking trying to remain calm so that Brian wouldn’t panic even more.
“She’s had a fever off and on for a few days but I thought that it would go away,” he said pacing back and forth in Elly’s room.
“Ring the doctor and get him to come out and take a look at her. I’m sure it’s just a virus that she has but maybe he will be able to give her something so that she can rest.”
“Ok thanks mom.”
Brian hung up the phone and immediately rung the doctor who said he would be round within the hour. He went and sat on Elly’s bed and watched her as she lay there. Her forehead was covered in sweat and her face was puffy from the tears that she had been crying.
“It’s ok princess, daddy’s here,” he said as he stroked her face.
The next hour seemed to drag and Brian wouldn’t leave Elly’s side. His panic got worse when the doctor suggested that he take her to the hospital for some tests.
“What does she need tests for? Don’t you know what’s wrong with her?” Brian asked.
“I can’t say for sure but her symptoms are not of your average virus. I would like you to take her to the hospital so we can rule out a few things. Just go to the desk and tell them who you are. I have anything arranged and they will be ready to take her for tests,” the doctor said as he walked to the door.
“Ok I’ll take her straight away,” Brian said.
On the ride to the hospital they seemed to get every red light. Brian kept looking in his mirror at Elly and could see that she was getting worse. As soon as they got to the hospital he scooped her into his arms and ran into the hospital.
“The doctor told me to bring my daughter here,” Brian said to the woman that was behind the desk.
“What’s her name?” the woman asked kindly.
“It’s Elly Littrell.”
“Oh yes Mr Littrell. We’ve been expecting you. I’ll just get a nurse to come out to you. Please take a seat.”
Brian carried Elly and took a seat. Elly felt really warm against him. She seemed to get worse by the minute.
“Mr Littrell?” a nurse asked as she approached him. “If you’d like to follow me.”
Brian carried Elly into a small room where they were going to perform some tests on her.
“Daddy don’t go!” Elly cried as Brian moved to pull a chair closer to her bed.
“Daddy’s not going anywhere princess,” Brian said as he took her small hand.
He watched as they took blood tests and a doctor checked Elly’s body over. All the while feeling helpless.
“Mr Littrell can I have a word with you?” the doctor asked.
“Daddy will be back in a flash princess,” he said to Elly.
He followed the doctor to a small room and followed his lead as he sat down.
“I need to ask you a few questions about how Elly has been feeling recently,” he started, “Has Elly been feeling tired recently? Has she had a lot of bruising? Any pain under her ribs?”
Brian tried to take all the questions in and digest them.
“She’s been tired more than normal but I thought it was the fever. Erm I guess she’s had a few bruises recently but she’s a kid they are always banging themselves. She told me earlier that she was feeling a little sore,” he answered not sure why the doctor was asking these questions.
“Thank you,” the doctor said getting up.
“Why do you want to know that?” Brian asked.
“If you had of answered no to those questions then I wouldn’t have considered doing the next test on Elly,” the doctor said.
Brian could feel himself start to panic again and knew that he would probably regret the next question he was going to ask.
“What next test?” he asked slowly.
“A biopsy,” the doctor stated.
“Biopsy? Why what’s wrong with her?”
“I can’t be sure but she’s showing early signs of leukaemia,” the doctor said as he left Brian alone in the room.
Brian could feel his world shatter around him.
Chapter 10 by fricksbrick
The hours seemed to drag on for Brian as he sat in Elly’s room waiting on the doctor coming back with the results. The one thing that he was thankful for was that Elly had finally been able to sleep.
As he sat in the hospital room he could still hear the doctor’s words from before echoing in his head. All the through the night, he couldn’t sleep a wink as the words continued to go round and round. Leukemia? How could his little girl have that disease? He couldn’t go through this on his own. With shaky legs he stood up, kissed Elly on the forehead and went to the pay phones and dialed the number that he knew he could always find comfort in.
“Mom?” he cried as soon as he heard her answer.
“What’s wrong honey?” his mom asked, panic taking over her body.
“I’m at the hospital. Can you come here?” he asked.
“Why are you there?” Jackie asked.
“The doctor told me to bring Elly here for tests last night. I’ve been here all night with her. They are testing her for leukemia.”
As soon as Brian said the words, Jackie could feel her heart ache. Her only grandchild could have leukemia, it didn’t seem real.
“Your dad and I are on our way,” she replied.
Brian hung up and knew he had to make another phone call before he went back to Elly’s room.
“Hello?” came the soft voice.
“Hey it’s me. Can you come to the hospital? Elly’s been admitted to the hospital. They think she has leukaemia,” Brian cried. The words just tumbled from his mouth.
“I’m on my way,” Claire said.
Brian slowly made his way back to Elly’s room. He had no idea how he managed to make it back to her room as his legs felt like jelly. He was glad to see that Elly was still asleep when he made it back to her room.
Each minute that passed by, seemed like it was an hour. Brian turned to Elly and watched her sleep. He was so scared right then as his world was falling around him. He had never loved anyone as much as he loved his daughter. She was everything to him.
He was so wrapped up in his own thoughts that he didn’t see his mom and dad enter the room.
“How is she?” his mom asked quietly resting her hand over his that was holding Elly’s hand tight.
As soon as he looked up at his mom, he started to cry. Jackie pulled him to her like she had done so many times when he was younger. This was one time though that she knew she would not be able to kiss away his pain like she had so many times when he had come running into the house with a banged knee.
“I’m so scared Mom,” Brian cried as he held onto his mom like his life depended on it.
“I know sweetheart but we will get through this together,” she said smoothing his hair. “You should have called us as soon as you got here.”
Five hours later and there was no sign of the doctor returning with the results of any of Elly’s tests. Claire had arrived shortly after Jackie and Harold had. Brian had hardly spoken anything to anyone, he just continued to sit by Elly.
The door to the room slowly opened and Brian’s head immediately shot up, only to turn away again when he seen his brother walk through the door.
“Hey little bro,” Harold greeted, disappointed when he got no response from him.
Harold turned to his parents who smiled weakly at him. He pulled up a chair and sat down.
“Has anyone called Rachel?” he asked.
Brian’s head shot up straight away and he glared at his brother.
“Why the hell would she get called?” he snapped.
“I just thought,” Harold started.
“She’s not bothered with Elly for the last year. She won’t care whether Elly is sick,” Brian spat.
Before Harold could respond, the door opened and the doctor walked in.
“Mr Littrell, we have the results of your daughter’s tests.”
Chapter 11 by fricksbrick
Brian couldn’t open his mouth to speak to the doctor. He could see in the doctor’s eyes that it wasn’t good news.
“Mr Littrell?” the doctor said.
“Sorry,” Brian said finding his voice.
“I’m afraid it’s bad news. Elly has Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia,” the doctor said.
Brian tried to let the words sink in but he couldn’t believe that his little girl had leukemia. A few days ago and she had been fine. Sure she had been feeling under the weather recently but he never in a million years thought that this would be what had been making her ill. He turned to look at his little girl lying in the hospital bed. She looked so small and fragile. He could feel the tears fall from his eyes. One simple sentence from the doctor and his world fell apart.
“Brian?” Jackie said quietly snapping Brian from his thoughts.
Brian turned to face his mom and her heart continued to break for her baby son. She was feeling her own pain but she had to put that aside and be there for her son. She couldn’t let her own pain show.
“Honey you have to listen to what the doctor is saying,” she tried again.
Brian turned to the doctor to let him know that he was listening to what he had to say.
“We want to start her treatment straight away,” the doctor said.
“What treatment?” Brian asked.
“We want to start her first round of chemotherapy as soon as possible. It will give her the best chance.”
A small whimper escaped Brian’s mouth. He couldn’t believe this was happening. It was like something he would watch on TV not something he would live through.
“When is this going to happen?” Brian asked as tears streamed down his cheeks.
“As soon as possible. Since Elly is a young child we are going to insert a central line so she can receive the chemotherapy. This is a rubber tube that will be placed under the skin and will be attached to a central vein in her chest. The end of the tube will be on the outside and is sealed with a cap until chemotherapy is being received. It will be removed and the drugs will be injected into the line. I want to use this kind of treatment on her as she won’t have to be injected each time, which will hurt her, and it will also let us get blood samples a lot easier,” the doctor explained.
“OK,” Brian said quietly.
The doctor waited for a few minutes to let the words sink in for Brian and his family, before he spoke again.
“To insert this line however Elly will need to have a small operation, is that OK with you Mr Littrell?”
Brian looked at Elly and then back at the doctor and nodded his head slowly.
“OK I’ll send a nurse in to get her prepped for surgery,” the doctor said before he left the room.
Brian lifted Elly’s hand to his mouth and kissed it. He started to cry again as he watched his small daughter take every breath. He still couldn’t believe that she had leukemia.
“Son, the doctors are going to do everything that they can,” Harold told his son.
Brian looked away from Elly and up at his father like he had done when he was younger. He wanted to believe that everything would be ok and believe in the work of the doctors but he knew that doctors couldn’t save everyone.
“Baby, Elly will fight this. She’s just like her Daddy, a fighter.” Claire tried as she kissed the top of Brian’s head.
No amount of words though were helping the aching in Brian’s heart. None of them knew what he was going through.
“Mr Littrell, we’re ready to prep Elly for surgery,” the nurse said as she came into the room with a small medical trolley.
Brian turned to the nurse and for the first time knew that he had a long and heartbreaking journey ahead of him.
Chapter 12 by fricksbrick
Elly had been in surgery for just over half an hour and Brian felt as if it was the longest hour of his life. He couldn’t believe that this was all happening to him and his daughter. The room seemed like it was closing in on him but he had wanted to be there the second that the doctor had come back in. It was all getting too much for him though as he stood up.
“Where are you going honey?” Jackie asked.
“I just need to get out of this room,” he said making his way to the door.
“Do you want some company?” Claire asked.
“No thanks. I just want to be on my own.”
Claire understood why he wanted time and space on his own so even though it was breaking her heart to see him the way that he was, she watched him walk out of the room on his own.
Brian stood outside the room that his family was in and didn’t know were to go. He soon found himself outside the hospital chapel. He had always been a man of faith and he knew now that he needed God more than he had ever done in his life.
He walked into the chapel and walked to the front and sat down in the first pew. He had always loved sitting in church and looking at all the windows that showed different stories from the bible. He got down on his knees and said the hardest prayer he had ever had to in his life.
“God, I know that there’s a reason why Elly is ill, even though I don’t understand it, I know that you will help me get through. I don’t know how to deal with it all though. I don’t know how I should feel, none of it has sunk in yet. I thought that when Rachel left me, that it was going to be the hardest thing in my life to get through but I know that this is so much harder. Elly is everything to me and I can’t live without her. I know that I was young when she was born but I have done everything I can for her. Please don’t take my little girl away from me. Please help her to fight this so she can get better. I swear that I will do anything that you ask of me if I can just have my little girl safe and well again. I ask all this in your name. Amen”
Brian sat back up on the pew and wiped the tears that had fallen down his cheeks. Unknown to him, Claire had watched the whole scene. She didn’t know what to do for him. All she wanted to do was to make his pain disappear.
“Brian?” she called sofly.
He turned around startled, not knowing that she was there.
“The doctor wants to talk to you when he gets cleaned up,” she continued when Brian didn’t speak.
Taking in a shaky breath, Brian got to his feet. As he started to walk over to where Claire was standing in the doorway, he found each step he took harder than the one before. It was as if someone had put weights in his shoes. He was scared of what the doctor was going to say to him. When he reached Claire, she took his hand to give him some support as he walked.
Slowly they made it to the room and they stepped inside. He took a seat beside his mom wanting the comfort that only a mother could give. He put his arms around his mom and cried.
He didn’t calm down until the doctor stepped in the room and cleared his throat.
Brian quickly wiped his eyes and turned to the doctor.
“How’s Elly?” he asked.
“Everything went to plan. We were able to get the central line in. We have done an X-ray to make sure that it’s firmly in place. We want to start the treatment first thing in the morning.”
Brian swollen the lump that had formed in his throat. This wasn’t the time to feel sorry for himself, he had to be strong for Elly. She needed him now more than she had ever needed him.
“If you see any swelling around her neck or arm, please get a nurse immediately as her central line could be blocked or if there’s any redness or she complains that it’s sore around the area, please let myself or a nurse know as there could be an infection,” the doctor explained.
Brian could feel his head start to spin with all this new information but he wasn’t going to start feeling sorry for himself again. Elly had got him through the break up with Rachel and now it was time for him to get her through this. She needed her daddy and he was determined that he was going to help her through this. When Claire had said earlier that Elly was a fighter like her daddy, she was right. If Elly was going to fight this, then Brian was going to fight along with her. Tomorrow was the start of their long battle.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.