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So, picking up where we left off, I was telling Emma what I hoped to accomplish with my methods of discipline. I don’t expect her to agree, but at the very least I want her to see my point of view. True, my beliefs are unconventional, which would be understatement of the decade, but they’ve been tried and tested and found to be extremely effective. Uh-uh.
Look there are three things Emma – one: making him realize the wrong he did. This is most important or everything else is useless. If Jesse was completely addicted, he wouldn’t have realized his fault, but he did. Which means there is hope yet. Two: making him accept responsibility for his actions, making him understand that every misdemeanor has consequences. Be consoled by the fact that it could have been worse. You were in grave danger Emma. Adam could have kicked Jesse out of MutantX. Would you want that? And Three: Forgiving. Redemption. To tell him that despite everything, we still love him and will always be there for him, that nothing changes between us. It’s this love that ultimately works… it will show him what we did, was all out of love and concern for him and his well-being. And that love will bring him closer to us, not push him away as you suggest!
Emma wants to buy it, really she does. “We’ll see about that wont we?”
I sigh again. Seems I’ve been doing a lot of that lately. “Yes we will.”
But I really should go see for myself first, before I start bellowing my horns to Emma. Brennan has been in there for ages now. I can’t hear any yelling or see things flying so, I’ll assume things are under control. Have to say Brennan has been good for Jesse. Of course I was skeptical initially, but when I see them together… I find myself trusting him more and more.
Oh Jesse. How I long to hold him, kiss him, hear him call to me in that playful voice of his. Adam says ferals have acute maternal instincts, and I say he’s right. As usual.
I sometimes think of Adam and me as having started this family. And Jesse was the first one we brought into the fold, our fold… our family. He’s also been the youngest, demanding the maximum attention, getting into maximum trouble. I am smiling to myself at the memories. And Emma is looking at me like I’ve lost it. Well feral or no, I love Jesse the way I’d love my children… when I have them, that is. And no parent is at peace after punishing or grounding an errant child. So I prowl, I growl, I totally freak Emma out, and now I can’t wait any longer.
Very silently, I open the door to Jesse’s chamber and step in. Jesse sleeps, curled up over his boyfriend, face hidden in the crook of Brennan’s neck, one hand gripping Brennan’s flannel in a desperate bunch, the other lying twisted carelessly beside him. Brennan’s arms around my boy, holding him, offering him the safety I cant. Brennan’s propped up knee barely hides his nakedness from me. I feel uninvited, unwanted, like an intruder. So ignoring the cold knife in my heart, I turn around to leave.
I’m spun around. “Yes.”
He’s awake, he peers at me heavy-eyed, he’s seeking words to say to me… what is it darling?
I take a step closer. And another.
‘Jesse I just… I came to see if you were up, which you were not, so I was leaving when… you got up and now…”
I am surprised to see Brennan awake too and chuckling ever so quietly at my way with words. I glare at him and kneel by the bed right by Jesse. He fixes me with an intense stare, as if reading me. He is confused, I can tell. So am I Jesse, so am I.
“How’re you feeling?”
And that somehow was the wrong thing to ask, he is reminded of the spanking and blushes furiously. I touch his cheek with my hand, which I hope isn’t cold and clammy.
“Jesse, does it hurt too much?”
He shakes his head.
I stand up and for a moment he looks alarmed, like maybe he thinks I was leaving? I smile at him reassuringly, draw up the covers over him and Brennan and come back to sit by his side again. Now he smiles. Now he doesn’t.
“Shal I’m sorry.”
“Shhh…” I press my finger to his lips, and Brennan looks at me almost gratefully. Did he expect something else?
Okay so I aint too good with words. There is so much I want to say, to do. Maybe it’s another feral thing, not being able to express my emotions unless its anger, of course. Maybe I know Jesse would just make his irritated teenager face at me if I get all fussy and mushy-wushy. Maybe I don’t give a damn about that but I would just rather expose my soft *maternal* side when Brennan is NOT around. Who knows. I know what I needed to know. Jesse will be fine, just fine. And there will be no more relapses, Jesse’s past will never rule his future again.
I kiss his cheek ever so softly, even stop to rub noses with him. Okay he didn’t scrunch up in disgust. Which is good. Very good. I decide not to push it.
“Sweet dreams, both of you.”
I get up to leave. But he stops me again. “No. Don’t go.”
What? My heart gives a little jump as I look into his expectant eyes. He wants me to stay? Jesse wants me to stay? Brennan shifts to make space on the bed and gathers up the covers.
//My baby. My sweet baby.//