Got a secret, can you keep it?

Red Rock 
#1
 It was still early in the morning, but Savannah was already making breakfast while a very sleepy Sarah was in bed. She still struggled with the fact she had to feed a child proper food, instead of just having coffee and a toast. Since Sarah had been born everything changed, much more than she had expected, but one day at a time was the motto, and so it went.

The night had been calm, without any attack which led the woman to think maybe it had come to an end. Still, she was waiting for Luke to arrive and take a look at everything. She couldn't risk living in a non safe place with a 6 year old kid. And he had yet to meet Sarah. That was actually Savannah's biggest fear at the moment. She spent all night trying to figure out the best way to introduce her without giving him an heart attack, but nothing came up. She would let it flow, after all it was just a child. Her child, the one she had hidden for all this time, who had a father that was a criminal and had no idea she existed. Ugh she didn't even want to think about Travis, but he had come to mind many times. That would be the biggest and ultimate nightmare. She knew he would react badly, and in one hand she felt remorse for not giving him a chance to be a father. But Travis meant trouble and Sarah needed to be in a safe environment.

Savannah shook those thoughts away when her daughter's voice echoed in the kitchen. She was still in her yellow pajamas, rubbing her eye while trying to get into a chair.
"Good morning sweetie." Savannah said, kissing the top of her head. "Did you sleep well?"
When they first arrived, Savannah was a bit concerned with the fact that Sarah would not feel comfortable sleeping in her own bed in a new place, but the girl easily felt at home. "Yes. Mommy where is your friend?"
She knew about Luke's visit, and was actually pretty excited to meet someone new.
"I don't know. He'll arrive soon, don't worry. Now, are you ready for breakfast?"
The mother placed a raspberry smoothie bowl in front of the child and sipped on her coffee, while taking a place in front of her.

"Are you still mad at me because you have to go to school next week?"
Sarah was a very assertive and independent child who would let anyone know her opinion even if no one asked for it. She had thrown a tantrum once she discovered about school, claiming she didn't want to go to a new one or make new friends. Savannah understood her and it pained her to see Sarah so sad and angry, but there was nothing she could do.
"Yes." the little girl answered. "But I will go, I don't want you to be angry with me."

It actually hurt a bit to hear those words. "Mommy's not angry with you!" How could she explain to a six year old girl that it had nothing to do with being angry? Motherhood was proving to be more difficult than she had thought and every day was a new challenge.
"I just want you to be happy, to learn new things and make friends. It will be fun, you never know until you give it a chance."
If there was something Savannah always tried was to encourage her offspring to be adventurous and experiment on new things. There was a smile on the girl's face as she took her first spoonful. It may have looked like the war was over, but the Pressley woman knew her daughter. She did not only look like her father. She was like him.

@Luke Hardy
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#2
 Luke had parked at the edge of the property as she had warned him not to come too early, and he did not know what that was supposed to mean. He was an early-riser by nature, and in anticipation of coming over could not help but to wake up before his alarm and set to work. Most of his gear had been prepped the night before, and after he showered he set about loading the truck, filling his thermos with coffee and setting on the road.
 When he’d found the edge of the Pressley property, he pulled off the shoulder and killed the engine. There he sat with the chill of winter closing in, staved off by his parka and the cups of coffee he sipped. His blue eyes scanned the landscape surrounding, and the fencing and structures on the property. There was a lot to offer a hungry predator here, and many avenues for them to come stalking in, but north was further from civilization and he suspected the creature had come from that direction.
 With the sun rising higher on the horizon, Luke fired up the diesel again. While it warmed he polished off his last cup and then popped it onto the top of his thermos. Ready to go, he drove back onto the road and set down the gravel path to the main house. He pulled up front and again turned off the engine, but this time plucked the keys from the ignition and opened up the cab door. On the way out he plucked the pistol wedged between the seat and center console to tuck in the holster at his back, and covered it with his coat.
 When he stomped up the steps to her house he pulled his hearing aid from his pocket, but second-guessed himself before knocking. Savannah had said there would be someone here for him to meet, and the idea still left him a little uneasy. He decided against it, stowed the aid and knocked on her front door, then waited.
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#3
Savannah could not wait for Luke to arrive. She just wanted to get on with it and move on to another subject. But introducing Sarah was not a light subject that could be dealt with so easily.
As time passed, she could feel the nerves running up and down her spine, her body became restless and she would pace around, looking for things to do while her own daughter judge her.
Savannah never thought she would be afraid of Luke, but in fact, she was. It almost made her run to the bathroom and puke as if she had morning sickness all over again.
Was he going to point how irresponsible she had been for not being careful? Was he going to be mad because Sarah was Travis' daughter? She always knew how much he hated him... She could not bear look at him a see disappointment in his eyes, it would hurt to much. She was definitely having a case of cold feet.

The noise of a truck approaching startled the woman, who made a big effort to compose herself. She peeped through the window and saw Luke climbing the stairs. Here goes nothing... she thought, as a kiss was planted in Sarah's forehead.
"Is that your friend, mommy?" The child asked, once they heard a knock on the door.
"Yes, that's Luke." Her voice came as a sigh due to the realization that there was nothing that could be done to change things now.
So Savannah left the kitchen and went to the hall, taking a deep breath before opening the door and see the familiar face.
"Hi!" She greeted forgetting that perhaps he was not able to hear her. It was not like her to forget such a thing so that would definitely be a strange thing.
Nervously smiling, Savannah wrapped him in a gentle hug, afraid that it would be the last they would share. At the same time she prayed that Sarah would stay still in the kitchen for a moment. Please!

[I'M GLAD YOU CAME.] she signed, giving him space to enter the house. Just as she was getting a bit calmer, hell broke loose. Sarah came running and yelling, anxious to meet her mother's friend that she had heard so much about.
Savannah's face turned white and her green eyes were not very sure where to land. She looked at the little girl in shock, then her attention went to Luke.
Her mouth was open but no words came out and suddenly she forgot how to use her hands to sign. That's when Sarah decided to approach him in all her innocence and started talking directly to Luke.
"Hello!"
In an act of sudden courage, Savannah looked the man in the eye and nodded with her head. She knew there would be no need to speak or explain. At least she was a bit calmer.
[HER NAME IS SARAH. SHE REALLY WANTED TO MEET YOU.]
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#4
 When the door opened and she greeted him warmly, much of his concerns were swept away in the current of the present moment. He smiled automatically and waved hello when he stepped inside. No thanks was offered however, as his eye had spied what looked like coloring books and crayons off to the side, and a pink blanket with stuffed animals. Evidence of children was immediately confirmed with the arrival of a bouncing young girl, maybe five or six, who presented herself before him. Even on her unpracticed lips her greeting was easy to read.
 He glanced between her and Savannah as the woman offered a tease of an explanation. Her name was Sarah with an H, and she had been looking forward to meet him, which was evident enough in how she had trundled forward with all the enthusiasm of a Labrador.
  He didn’t quite know how to react. He was not expecting for there to be a child, and while the thought occurred it was her kid, he couldn’t assume either. Maybe she had a cousin, or this was her niece? Maybe she babysat for the neighbors to help out or to makes her own ends meet. Having a kid seemed like something she would have mentioned to him before then.
 Unresolved mystery aside, it seemed rude to just ignore and talk over her. Luke squatted down and stuck out his hand to shake as if meeting an adult, and addressed her in the same tone, "My name’s Luke," he explained. She had already been introduced, but not of her own accord, and it seemed unfair to rob her of that so he waited for the confident little girl to announce herself.
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#5
 Sarah was trilled to meet Luke and it showed. The little girl was all smiles and very talkative, something she would usually do only with people she'd feel comfortable with. Savannah was glad she had liked Luke, although she'd never doubted of it.
On the other hand, Luke still hadn't figure out who the girl really was. It was written all over his face and Savannah could tell. Fortunately, or not, Sarah had the pleasure to spoil the big surprise in her whole innocence.
"I know, mommy told me about you."

Savannah's heart skipped a bit and unconsciously she took a step back, reaching for the wall to keep her balance. She swallowed the lump that threatened to suffocate her and focused on Luke.
"Please don't freak out." She said, once again forgetting to use her hands due to the nerves.
She was starting to realize that it had been a bad idea to have him meet Sarah without previous knowledge of her existence and now she had a lot of explaining to do.
Bending down so she could be the same height as her daughter, the woman caressed her hair in a soft gesture and smile, trying to assure her that everything was okay.
"Sweetie, mommy needs to speak with Luke for a moment, why don't you go and make him a drawing so he can take back home?"
Although stubborn, Sarah decided to follow her mother's suggestion, specially because making a present for Luke sounded like music to her hears. The little girl disappeared and Savannah was finally alone with him.

Taking his arm in her hand, she dragged him to the living room where they would be more comfortable.
[I'M SORRY, I SHOULD HAVE TOLD YOU BEFORE, PLEASE DON'T BE MAD.]
Nothing she would say would make sense to him, she knew it. Many people said the same when she explained them why she'd kept the girl away from Travis. But everything made sense to her and it was all that mattered.
[START ASKING YOUR QUESTIONS, I KNOW YOU HAVE THEM.] Suddenly she felt ready to take in his judgement, his disapproval and disappointment. It had been her decision and she did not owe it to anyone. She did all of that to protect Sarah, to keep her in a safe environment and that was the moment for her to be introduced to a new life. Not sooner nor later.
Slowly, she took a place in the couch and waited for whatever was about to come.
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