“You take my place as I took yours.” Jess has a secret, a part of her life she tried to forget. Now a lost little girl threatens everything she holds dear.
A Primeval Fanfiction, rated T.
It had been a month since Izzie had been dropped on her doorstep, and Jess still felt no further forward when it came to looking after her. She’d tried everything but Izzie still kept asking when her mummy was coming home. All Jess could do was answer that she didn’t know; and it wasn’t a nice position for Jess to be in, she felt like she was holding Izzie captive, and she wanted to be able to give the girl answers.
She’d consulted every book that she could find and still came out with nothing. It was beginning to worry her. And now everyday she was cautious of Lester or Burton, just in case they were going to report her to social services or worse the police. Jess wanted Elizabeth to come back and collect her baby, but it just wasn’t the case.
Becker had noticed just how stressed out Jess was getting over the whole thing. Calling on Abby, he asked her to take Izzie out to the park on the Saturday so he could take Jess out for coffee. Abby wasn’t a mind reader, but she knew what Becker was doing; she’d seen Jess become a shadow of her former self, trying to balance work, Izzie and looking for Elizabeth. She welcomed anything to get her friend back.
Becker managed to talk Jess into coming with him. He figured that it was best to try and help her now before she came crawling to him for it, and it being too late.
Izzie was having fun in the park. She and Abby were swinging together while they’d sent Connor off to get them ice creams. It was another one of those days when Abby was feeling a little strange; she began to wonder what would happen to Izzie. Jess couldn’t keep her forever, and Izzie would either go back to her mother, or there would be something else, most likely social services. Abby didn’t want to see the adorable little girl go into the care system, she wouldn’t come out the same girl who went in.
They’d just gotten back to the flat, and Jess didn’t quite want her day with Becker to end, so she invited him in. They sat down with a glass of wine and a cheesy movie. Just as the credit’s rolled, Becker had the need to tell Jess everything. He felt it was time to lay his cards on the table, and let Jess decide if she wanted to keep him rather than have her clinging on to a dream of what she thought he was.
“Jess, I want to be honest with you.”
She looked at him as if to say ‘what do you mean’.
“I want to tell you my story, the bit you didn’t read in the file,”
Jess sat up, and crossed her legs. She perched at one side of the sofa looking attentive. And Becker did the same on the other side.
“Can I ask that you don’t interrupt Jess?” She nodded in reply so he began, “As you already know I was a soldier on the front line. I served two tours in Afghanistan. And on coming home from the second I was taken into Special Forces; barely finishing the training before I was shipped into the ARC to protect the men and women who were doing such a brilliant job on the home front.
“When I left for the first tour I was engaged to an adorable woman; she was everything that I thought I wanted. About two months into my tour, I received a letter, it was a little late in getting to me, but it arrived none the less.
“She told me she was carrying my baby. And I was so happy. I did everything I could while I was out there to be prepared to be a dad not long after I got home. I put up with the teasing of the guys, and I shared the happy moments of my brothers and sisters when they learned their children were doing well; Johnny was over the moon when he heard that his baby girl had been accepted into Oxford, he was so proud. And Kelly, she broke down in tears when her husband wrote to tell her that her son had taken his first steps, she was so upset that she’d missed it.
“I got home, and was expecting to see my fiancée heavily pregnant and glowing. Instead I found her in the same condition she was in when I left, only she was glowing with Diamonds. She told me that she’d had a miscarriage not long after sending the letter, and couldn’t bring herself to tell me. She’d spent the savings she’d had for the baby on her diamonds, and that she was finally happy again.
“I’d only been home a month when I overheard some of the men from another regiment talking about the ‘blonde bird’ they’d been fooling around with, while her other half was out on service. I thought nothing of it, until I found one of them in my bed.
“My ex hadn’t had a miscarriage, she’d been an escort. And she’d been doing her job while I was home, and even more while I was away, which explained where her money was coming from. We’d been high school sweet hearts, so I knew that she had to have been working somehow, because there was no way that it was her parents that were supporting her.
“I was called up to go back out. So I contacted my parents to deal with her. When I got home all there was were some solicitor’s papers to say that I was signing over the flat, and that she was to have nothing else to do with me. My mother and sisters did a very good job of getting all my things back.” He paused. “I swore to my mother that I would never put her through anything else like that. She’d been expecting a little Becker, and when she heard it had all been a lie, it nearly killed her. I want to be honest with you Jess, because I love you. But I’m not going to stand in your way if you don’t want to deal with the emotional baggage.”
Jess was silent for a few moments taking everything in, before she flung herself at Becker. “I love you too.” She whispered to him. “Whatever baggage you have, mine’s not much better.”
He held her too him, “You don’t have to tell me, sweet heart. When you’re ready it’ll be right.”
Abby and Connor got back from the park with a sleeping Izzie to find Becker and Jess asleep on the sofa, the menu screen from their DVD still playing. Abby put Izzie to bed while Connor cleaned up around the sleeping adults.
Connor couldn’t help but notice how in love they looked. He hoped that he and Abby looked like that.
It was Monday, the start of a new week. Jess decided that this was the best time to implement a new strategy. Taking Becker’s advice, she was going to make the flat feel more like a home. She made Izzie breakfast, and they waited for Connor and Abby.
Once everyone was awake Jess decided it was time for her announcement. “Okay, we are going to have a new initiative. Every Monday, Thursday and Sunday we are going to have a ‘family’ meal. Monday and Thursday’s menus are up for discussion, but Sunday we are going to have a proper dinner. Agreed?”
Izzie smiled, but all eyes were on Connor, who had lit up like a Christmas tree, and was nodding his head like the toy dogs on the parcel shelf of a hatchback.