Chapter 114 - Trinity-Family Visit
Carter came running into the room first. He saw me standing next to the fireplace, leaning against the mantle for support as much as warmth at the moment. My nerves were making me feel cold.
"Trinity." He called out to me before he ran over and wrapped his arms around me. He lifted me off the ground in a great big hug, turning in slow circles. "Trinity, I thought I was never going to see you again." He said as he set me down, his hands on my shoulders. "Are you alright? Does anything hurt? Is there anyone I can kick the shit out of to make this all better?" He asked me the questions in rapid succession, so fast I couldn't answer him yet.
"I'm fine Carter. I'm just glad to be out of there." I smiled at him.
"I can't believe what happened, and to top it off, you got your wolf out of it all." He was smiling at me. "See, I told you you have a wolf, but you never believed me." Carter seemed so relieved to see me, I was just happy to see his smiling face.
At that moment Noah and Uncle Wesley came into the room.
"Trinity." They both called out at the same time. Noah rushed to me much like Carter had, picking me up in his arms and hugging me tight, tighter than Carter had.
"Ah, careful Noah, I'm still sore." I warned him. His arms loosened and he set me on the floor gently, a look of pain filling his eyes. "I'm fine, just sore is all." I assured him. I had a feeling I would be telling a lot of people that.
"I'm sorry, Trinity. I told Reece it would be best to leave you home." He was blaming himself, the same as Reece and Vincent had.
"They would have tried at another time. This would have happened anyway." These words were already feeling old.
"I'm so sorry."
"Calm down Noah, it's not your fault." Uncle Wesley said as he patted Noah's shoulder.
"I know, Dad, but I still blame myself."
"Don't." I told him firmly.
"Listen to the lady." Uncle Wesley laughed softly as he pushed past Noah. "Now, come here Trinity, it's my turn for a hug." He had his arms held out and was smiling at me with a mixture of happiness and worry.
"I'm alright, Uncle Wesley." I said as I hugged him tight. He held me firmly, but his arms were gently around me.
"I was scared to death when I heard you were missing." I heard Uncle Wesley say from above me. "My entire world had been flipped upside down. I was afraid I would never see you again." I felt something wet drip onto my cheek and looked up to see the man who raised me crying.
"Uncle Wesley, there's no reason to cry. I'm fine now. I'm alive and kicking."
"I'm going to cry, just like I'm going to worry about you for the rest of my life." He said firmly.
"But why Uncle Wesley? I'm out of the house now, there's no reason to worry about me anymore." I saw Uncle Wesley bite his lip then, a wave of emotions so strong I didn't know what to call spread across his face.
"How can I not worry about you?" He seemed so hurt by my words. "How am I supposed to not worry when you don't have me there to protect you anymore?"
"Uncle Wesley?" I was confused, I didn't know what it was he wanted from me. He took my hands and pulled me to the sofa to sit with him. I could see Noah and Carter standing behind him, looking at me.
"Trinity, do you not see yourself as part of our family?" Uncle Wesley asked me, further confusing me.
"What?" I nearly yelled in shock. "No, that's the only constant that I had in my life. I knew that no matter how bad things ever got for me, I always had you guys there for me." I could feel the heat rising in my face, tears were stinging in the back of my eyes. Was my family rejecting me now? Was Uncle Wesley telling me that I am not one of them?
"Then why would you think that we would quit worrying about you just because you no longer live with us? A parent will never stop worrying about their children, no matter where they live or how old they are." He was looking at me pleadingly. It finally dawned on me what he was getting at, what he was saying. I finally understood the pain in his voice.
"But, I'm not your daughter, Uncle Wesley." I looked at the floor, feeling the tears drip slowly down my cheeks.
"You are in my eyes." I could hear tears threatening his voice as well. When I looked up to meet his eyes, he stared at me with a mix of love and loss.
"But, Uncle Wesley-." I started but he interrupted me.
"No, let me say something first, please." He pleaded. "I know I am not your father and Eve is not your mother. We never called ourselves as such when you were growing up, and I never hid anything about your mother from you. The reason for that was simple, in my eyes anyway, I didn't want to get rid of my sister's memory. She left you, she left me, she left all of us too soon. And no matter how much Eve and I love you, Trinity, I didn't want to erase my sister from your life. But I have always thought of you as my daughter, not my niece. In my eyes, you are no different than Noah and Carter. No, maybe you're more precious, because you are my baby girl, and they were rambunctious little devils." He laughed at the end, a mixture of tears and a smile, the look on his face made my heart ache for him.
Uncle Wesley had lost a lot when my mother died almost nineteen years ago. He was eleven years older than his sister, so he wasn't always around when she was young. But when their mother died and she was lonely at home, she would spend her time with him and his family. Noah was five and Carter was just a year old. They grew close, my mother and Uncle Wesley, he was happy to finally be a major part of his sister's life.
"When you disappeared Trinity, all I could think was it's happening again. I wasn't able to protect my sister back then, and now I failed to protect her daughter, the child I raise, my little girl. I thought I was going to lose you like I lost Lily. My heart broke into a million pieces. You're older than your mother was by a couple years, but Noah is the same age I was. Looking at you, I see so much of your mother in you. And Noah looks so much like I did back then, that I thought the past was coming back to haunt me. It terrified me Trinity. I knew I had to be there to help bring you back. I wasn't going to sit idly by this time."
"Uncle Wesley." I sobbed after hearing what he had to say. "I've always thought you and Aunt Eve were the best parents I could ever ask for. I'm sorry if I made you feel like I don't love you." I threw my arms around him and hugged him tight. "I love you Uncle Wesley."
I felt him hug me back, rocking me side to side like he used to do when I was a little girl. He had always been there to quell my fears when I was young, or to calm me down when my emotions were running high. He had always been there for me, why did I ever think that was going to change?
"I love you sweetheart." I felt him kiss me softly on the side of my head just like he did when I would cry on his shoulder as a little girl. His actions brought more tears to my eyes, but these ones were of happy and fond memories.
The four of us talked for a little while longer before they left. Carter said he would be heading home shortly and would see me when I got back. The others would be flying back with Reece and me tomorrow.