Carrie & Harlan 2

Chapter One

Carries fourth book was due to hit shelves in only a week so she, Harlan, Corina and Draven were having a small celebration in their living room. They no longer all lived together on the farm Harlan and Draven started but they all still worked on it together. With Corina and Draven having two children now Carrie and Harlan thought it best if they bought a house of their own and lived in it. Currently their oldest daughter Melia was babysitting their younger daughter Grizelda. Melia was only thirteen but she was responsible and could handle her seven year old sibling. It had taken Carrie a long time and a few petitions from her fanbase to write and release this fourth book because she had gotten so lost in the enjoyment of having her soulmate again. It was still amazing to her they had managed to find eachother in another life. It wasn’t without a lot of work from Charles but it was still no less amazing they were together for eternity again.

Her cellphone rang and she attempted to get up and answer but Harlan grabbed her “Baby, we’re having a fun evening. Thats your publishers ringtone. It can wait”

“alight” She got comfortable again and went back to enjoying their friends. “so, when are you two going to finally have children?”

“eventually” Sophie answered and Charles smiled “I guess we’ve just been enjoying eachother and hadn’t thought of it. i mean, we’ve been parents before so it wont be anything new to experience so it hasn’t been foremost in our minds” Corina dropped the subject and they began talking about other things. When they left for the night to make sure their children had gone to bed Harlan swept Carrie off her feet and kissed her as he kicked the door closed. She smiled against his lips before he pulled back and asked “what about children Sophie? You were such a good mom and it was amazing having kids with you. Do you want to stop taking your pills and have a few with me again? I promise I’ll be just as attentive as before”

Sophie smiled “of course Charles. Though, it may be better if you were less attentive while I’m pregnant. You treated me like glass” Charles laughed “Only because I love you so much. Plus you’re creating our baby. I need the two of you safe.”

“It will be nice to see what a great dad you are all over again” Harlan carried Sophie up the stairs and into their bedroom where their bodies mingled in ecstasy until they were both too tired to go on. She was still under the affects of her birth control but the thought of more children put them in a passionate mood. The next morning Harlan woke to Carries phone going off again. It was her publisher. He groaned and hung up the call to see five missed calls from her. Now it concerned Harlan so he woke Carrie “Soph” he said and planted a gentle kiss on her head “Hm?”

“Your publisher is trying really hard to reach you. Maybe she does really need to talk”

“Ok, hand me my cell please” Harlan did and Sophie called Amber back “Yeah?’

“Thank god, finally! You and your lawyer need to come meet with me. We’ll have coffee at my place”

“what’s going on?” Amber sighed “False accusations if whats going on. I’ll explain more when we’re in person. Just know I don’t think you’ve ripped off anybody. Nothing could make me think that of you. It’s a lot to explain and a scandal you don’t need this close to publishing your fourth book.”

“Ok, we’re coming right away. Can you call my lawyer for me?”

“sure thing beautiful.”

“Lawyer?” Harlan asked as soon as she was off the phone “yeah, sombody is accusing me of ripping off their book i guess but we both know that isn’t possible”

“what if theres another person who reincarnated and they did so before you”

“We’ll have to see. Lets just get dressed and go. Ambers going to have coffee made” The two dressed then headed over to Ambers home. Carrie was disappointed her lawyer wasn’t already present but hoped Amber would go ahead and discuss things with her. Amber greeted them both with hugs and showed them to her living room. “I’ll go grab the coffee” Amber knew what they liked so didn’t have to ask. Carrie saw a book on the table and read the binding “In A Warriors Time by Maximus Hault” Carries eyes grew wide and she showed Harlan the obvious pen name because that was Dreas or in current times Corinas fathers name in their past life. the person who was accusing them of ripping off his work was that bastard Maximus reincarnated.

“There’s no way he can say I ripped him off though.” Carrie opened the book and flipped through it. “I mean he was dead for most of the stuff we went through. I mean didn’t his liver fail or something?”

“All I know, is I was told no one cared.” Harlan snorted. “Piece of shit was the reason my mom and Rowne never got together.”

“Charles, watch your mouth.” She said under her breath.

“Sorry love.”

Amber came back with a tray with coffee on it and they all picked up their cups once she was situated. “So, what’s going on Amber. I don’t need my lawyer for you to tell me.”

Amber grabbed the book Carrie had been looking at and held it up. “This man, Maximus Hault, said you ripped off his story. I absolutely don’t believe it for a second. I mean, this guys has zero talent for one and there are some things that are spotty or just worded differently.”

“So what are we going to do?”

“As soon as your lawyer gets here sweetie we’ll figure it out. Hopefully we can send this bastard running with his tail between his legs.”

“Language.” Amber and Harlan both laughed, making her smile.

“seriously though, its a lousy read but read it. He’s a horrible writer. I can’t believe he has the gaul to say you got your ideas from him. Yeah some of your characters share names but still. This is absolutely ridiculous”

“I agree” Harlan said then Carrie asked “when will i have to see this man in person? I doubt I can avoid that”

“I told him I’d set up a meeting after I talked to you and your lawyer. I just don’t want this to get any press or put doubt in your readers minds.”

“If my fans doubt me they doubt me. There’s nothing we can do about it.” Jasper soon arrived at the front door. “sorry, I tried to hurry”

“No problem, come in.” Carrie smiled at him “How’s Stella and the kids?”

“Good, we’re going bowling this weekend if you guys want to come.’

“Of course”

“I’m going to see if Lupin and Brigid will come too. I’m not letting this asshole ruin your reputation so you have nothing to stress over. You gave me the jist on the phone Amber but I’ll need to hear the whole story and know precisely what he’s saying is copied. You know, all that” Amber went over everything with Jasper, showing him bookmarked and highlighted pages. She had been thorough going over Daniels aka Maximus’s claims so she could give Jasper everything he needed.

“This fraud isn’t going to be getting away with this. I mean everything you write is in such vivid detail Carrie.” Jasper said as he once again flipped through Maximus’ book. “It’s truly despicable he would even think to accuse you of such a thing.”

“Geez, you don’t have to act like you’re going to slit his throat.” Amber said.

“Carrie and Harlan are family and I do plan to slit his throat and drain him of as much as I can.” Amber’s eyes widened. “By throat I mean wallet and by drain I mean compensation.”

“Oh good, thank goodness.” He smiled and took Maximus’ book.

“I’ll be using this as evidence and as reference.” He checked his watch. “Alright, I need to get going, I promised Stella I’d take her and the kids out for ice cream today. If you need anything or have any questions or can remember anything you’d like to share please call.”

“We will, thank you Jasper.”

“Oh man he’s scary.” Amber said once he was gone. “The only time his eyes softened during that entire conversation was when he called you guys family and he mentioned his family.”

“He’s very protective of those he cares about, but he’s truly even more passionate about his family. He’s a good guy, but once he gets in a court room, he’s someone to be wary of.”

“Lucky you he sees you as family then, I’d hate to see what he’d do to that liar if they were face to face.”

“Well, we need to go Amber, I’m sure my brother and Corina will want to know what’s going on.” Harlan said. He was going to hate telling his mother about Maximus’ return.

Carrie hugged Amber and Charles gave her a handshake before they walked out and got back into their car. “Why did Maximus have to reincarnate aswell? I don’t want to tell your mother” Carrie said as she began driving. “My thoughts exactly. My mom should be free of that asshole but of course he has to follow is into the next life. He treated her like dirt and now has the audacity to bother us all again”

“atleast this time we can protect her. He can mess with us all he wants but he’ll have another thing coming if he messes with Drea again”

“He’s going to watch his fucking step with you too”

“Charles”

“sorry, I can’t help it right now. Just thinking of the abuse she suffered in her last life makes me so angry” Carrie took his hand “she’s your mom and on top of that an amazing, caring woman. Of course it upsets you. It upsets me too and we both know how pissed Rowne is going to be. I’m concerned about him going and murdering the man”

“I’ll help him with the body”

“Charles”

“What Sophie? He was always a bastard. I dont care if he was my grandfather. He was a piece every second of his life” Carrie brought his hand to her lips before taking the wheel with both hands again. Nobody could blame him for being angry and nobody could blame her father for the anger she was sure he’d feel over all this.

Once they were home and in the house, Harlan paced back and forth with his cell phone in his hand. He didn’t want to call his mother, knew that she would be having an amazing day with Rowne and that he was about to destroy it. “Charles, you need to call baby.”

“I know baby, I just hate this.” He squeezed his phone and she grabbed his hand.

“Stop before you break it. My dad will be right there for her.”

He took a deep breath. “I know.”

“Everything will be alright.”

“we should go in person and talk about this. How can I tell her over the phone”

“Then lets go there. Lets get back in the car” Charles nodded and they went back out. Carrie had originally intended to talk to their parents in person but she had gotten so lost in thought she auto piloted home. Traffic had been kind so it didn’t take long to arrive. They were outside with their children as they so often were. It was the children who first noticed them. They ran and gave hugs as their parents walked hand in hand behind them.

Drea and Rowne could tell their children didn’t come with happy news or for just a pleasant visit “whats wrong?” Drea asked. “I think we should let the girls play outside and us adults go in” They went inside and sat down in the living room “whats wrong?’ Drea asked again. Charles sighed “Carrie is being accused of plagiarism”

“Thats not even possible” Rowne said, anger already in his tone. That protective father was never far under the surface. “well, the man acusing Carrie is Maximus. He used grandpas name as his pen name on the book he wrote. We don’t know if he’s aware of who he is but apparently his reincarnation is a bastard just like the original”

Chapter Two

Drea’s eyes widened and the hand Rowne wasn’t holding went to her stomach as it instantly twisted into knots. She started shaking and said, “But he’s dead, he can’t come back, he has to stay dead.” Her voice quaked and Rowne pulled her into a tight hug.

“How in the hell is that fair?” Rowne asked angrily, not to Sophie or Charles, but to the universe or whatever power had thought to bring them back. He could feel the rage bubbling in his chest.

“We’re sorry.” Charles said, his head hanging between his shoulders at making his mother and father in law so upset.

Drea snapped out of her shock and looked straight at her son. “Oh honey you had nothing to do with it.”

“Still, he shouldn’t be allowed a second chance to walk this earth and terrify people. He was nothing and obviously still is nothing, but a selfish, egotistical piece of garbage with no talent and no life.”

“Charles.”

“I’m sorry, but I just can’t take it. I can’t believe he’s come after Sophie. Jasper was furious.”

“I can only imagine.” Rowne said as he stroked his hand up and down Drea’s back. “He can do dead eyes so well, just like a shark right before it takes a bite out of you.”

“Only he doesn’t let go because he mistook you for a seal, he hangs on and bleeds you dry.” Charles added. “I hope he shows Maximus or Daniel or whatever he wants to be called who’s boss.”

“I know my brother will. Jasper was born to be a lawyer. He’s amazing in a court room. He wont let Maximus lie and say Sophie ripped off his work. I wish I could tell him we four are reincarnations but he’d think us crazy”

“Mom, hes a demon now. I think his mind could be open to realizing you, Rowne, Sophie and I are reincarnations.”

“That’s true, do you think we should explain all of this to him because of the case?”

“Maybe we should. I’d like it better if he and Stella knew the truth.” Rowne chimed in then Charles spoke again. “we’re meeting them this weekend for bowling. They’ve known we’re related in a sense to Chthon but it’s definitely time to tell them all why and how” Corina now spoke “My parents wouldn’t believe a word. We should keep it among us demons. They are getting old and don’t need the rug pulled out from under them”

“That’s understandable and it’s better that way.” Charles said, giving his mother a loving smile.

“Do you think Jasper will be mad at me?” Drea asked. “I mean, I’m his sister and I just hide something so important from him.”

“No way, I mean he might be surprised, but he’d never get angry.” Rowne replied and kissed her cheek.

“Anyway, now that we got that out of the way, maybe the guys should go out and play with the kids while you and I make something delicious to help cheer us up.” Sophie said to Drea who still looked extremely worried.

“That sounds like a really good idea.”

Charles kissed her on the lips and got to his feet, Rowne did the same with Drea then followed Charles outside. “I can’t believe that bastard is back.” Rowne said angrily once they were out of earshot. “That bastard is the one who screwed me and Drea over last time. I just want to choke the life out of him. I want to into his eyes and knock his block off.”

“Well if you ever see him just deny being Rowne. No matter how much recognition he shows us, we must deny who he thinks we are.”

“Why, I want him to know who I am, that I won in the end and that I won’t let him have Drea ever again.”

“I know it’ll be hard, but it’s for the better.”

“I’m so sorry this is happening Drea”

“I hate it for you. Sorry”

“Don’t apologize for that asshole. It’s not your fault mom” Drea smiled sadly. “I just hope we can make him go away quickly”

“Jasper will make sure of that.”

“I’m not sure if I can wait until this weekend to talk to him. This is going to be a big conversation”

“Maybe he could have dinner with us tonight. He does go home for dinner”

“Ok” Drea responded so Sophie pulled out her cellphone and sent a group message to Stella, Jasper, Brigid and Lupin. It read “We have somthing important to talk to you all about. We were hoping you guys would have dinner with us at Draven and Corinas. if not no sweat, we’ll all talk at the bowling ally the day after tomorrow” Sophie slid her phone back in her pocket then resumed cooking with Drea. Neither could check her phone at the moment the first response was received but as soon as the food was in the frying pan Drea took over so Sophie could read her text.

Lupin sent “Brigid and I are coming. What’s up?”

“I’ll tell you about it when everyone is here.” Sophie sent back. Lupins return was “Ok, love you guys”

“we love you and Brigid too” Sophie was just about to help again when Stella answered “we’re coming tonight aswell”

“Thanks” Sophie answered then turned to Drea “They are all coming”

“Good, now I don’t have to dwell on this”

“It’ll be fine, it won be earth shattering I’m sure”

“we’ll see”

“Daddy, can I have a piggy back ride?” Grizelda asked as she ran up to Rowne and Charles.

“Sure sweetie.” He answered and got down so she could climb onto his back.

“Hi uncle Harlan.”

“Griz, he’s not our uncle remember, he’s dad’s son in law so he’s kind of like our brother and his name is Charles.” Melia said as she walked along beside them.

“But dad said his name is Harlan.”

“That’s only in front of others remember.” Melia smiled warmly at her. “Silly girl, you’ll get it eventually.”

“For now we’ll just let her call me Harlan then we’ll explain it the way we did to you.”

“Alright then. So what’s all this mess about,” she lowered her voice, “about that guy Maximus?”

“You heard?” Charles asked.

“Well yeah, I do have demon hearing and when Chthon comes over he teaches me how to focus it. He says I’m a really fast learner.”

“I think that’s an understatement and this mess with Maximus is nothing you need to worry about sweetie, he’s just a bad guy who was mean to your mother.”

“I get it enough said. So are you and Sophie, sorry, Carrie going to have babies? I always hear mom and dad talking about wanting grandkids again.”

He rubbed his neck. “Well we’ve been waiting to see if our children come back, Thatcher and Victoria, but no one has contacted us yet so either they haven’t been born yet or they weren’t born into this world.”

“Well, if they haven’t been born yet doesn’t that mean their souls could be waiting for a body which means they could be reborn to you and Sophie?”

Charles chuckled. “You are way to smart you know that?”

“So I’ve been told.” She said with a big grin.

“Well Carrie has gone off her birth control so we’ll see”

‘Charles” Draven interrupted. “Dad, I’m thirteen. I know what birth control is and what its for” Charles smiled apologetically “sorry” charles set a hand on Melias head and said “Be patient with him. He’s always been protective of his little girls. Should have seen him with Sophie. The only time he wasn’t fretting was when she was with me and thats because he knows I’d die for Sophie if it meant protecting her” Melia hugged him “I have such a cool family”

They rushed inside when Drea called and took their places at the large dining room table. “Jasper, Stella, Lupin and Brigid are coming tonight. They didn’t say they weren’t bringing their children so I’m sure they are coming too. The kids can play outside when we get to seriously talking.” Sophie said and the men nodded, shoving food in their faces as they always did.

Drea smiled, feeling better for a moment. It was hard knowing her father was alive again and nearby. She was already fighting back memories of the severe abuse she and her mother suffered before Rowne made that deal with her father to keep him from hurting them. She couldn’t eat she was so tense and afraid.

“Hey, it’ll be alright.” Rowne said as he grabbed her hand and kissed her cheek.

Drea just nodded and gave him a small smile. Both Sophie and Charles could see the strain on her face and frowned as they quietly finished their food. Once their plates were clean, Charles and Sophie washed dishes while Rowne and Drea sat down on the couch and relaxed as best as they could. Melia played on her laptop, writing on the book she had been working on. Since she was little she had always said she wanted to be a writer like her aunt Carrie. Once she was old enough to know how a computer worked, Rowne had finally bought her her own.

“What are you working on?” Sophie asked as she exited the kitchen, drying her hands.

“My book, would you read it when I’m done and tell me if it’s any good?”

“Of course I will sweetie, but let me ask you something. Do you think it’s good?”

“Yeah, but don’t publishers get picky?”

“Yeah, they do, but as long as you think it’s worth something then it is. It might not be the story they’re looking for today, but it might be the story they’re looking for someday. So no matter what a publisher tells you, just keep writing.”

“I will, I promise.”

“Good and if you ever need help just ask.”

“Thank you so much” Carrie kissed Melias head “I cant wait to read it” Drea smiled “You’re her idol Sophie”

“The baby sisters I never had” Sophie said with a bright grin. “I’m just glad in this life we were able to have more than one.” Rowne said “me too dad” Sophie said happily. It was really nice to see Drea and Rowne so happy together. They had been soulmates wronged horribly by Maximus in their past life so she was glad reincarnation really did happen and gave them a second chance at eachother. If she would have known what her father looked like now with Drea she would have known in her past life Kyra hadn’t been the one for him.

Carrie and Harlan tried to ease Drea as best they could until evening arrived. Jasper and Stella arrived first with their kids and were followed at most twenty minuets later by Lupin and his family. The children all ran outside. It was evening but their kids were demons. If sombody tried to kidnap them they would soon regret it. Plus their children were smart enough not to talk to people they didn’t know.

“what’s going on?” Jasper asked and Stella grabbed his arm “wait until we’re eating dinner honey”

“It was a last minute request love, no one makes a last minute dinner request unless there’s something wrong.” He searched their faces and Drea looked away, feeling ashamed. “Corina, what’s wrong?”

“Jasper’s right, we should get it out now while the kids are all playing.” Drea replied. They all took a seat in the living room, Carrie and Harlan there to lend their support.

“Tell me what’s wrong sis.”

“There is something that Draven, Carrie, Harlan, and I have been hiding from you. I really hate that we had too, but now that this thing with uh Maximus is going on, I think you have the right to know. We four are the reincarnations of the people in Carrie’s books. My name in my past life was Drea, Draven was well is Rowne, Harlan is Charles and Carrie is Sophie. We died in another world and were reincarnated here on this plane.” She looked at her hands and swallowed. Rowne hugged her and ran his hand up and down her back.

“You’re reincarnations of book characters?”

“Yes and it gets even worse.” Drea choked up so Sophie took over.

“The man who wrote that book and who is claiming that I stole the idea from him, is Drea’s father from her past life. Maximus was and still is the biggest bastard to have ever walked this earth or any earth. He’s after me because he shares some of the same memories, he just doesn’t know he’s been reincarnated.”

Jasper, Stella, Lupin and Brigid all studied them and Drea could feel the weight of their gazes. “So that’s why you’ve been acting a little different.” Lupin said and Drea looked up at him, tears swimming in her eyes. “Oh hell Corina of course we believe you right?” They all nodded. “I mean we’re demons, that’s weird, but it’s a fact.”

“You’re still our sister, no matter what your name is, no matter where you came from, you’re still our Corina.” Her tears spilled over and they all got up to hug her. Jasper pulled her to her feet and held her tightly against his chest while Stella, Lupin and Brigid wrapped their arms around both of them. “I’m so sorry baby girl, sorry you have to go through this again.”

Chapter Three

“I can do it with all of you. I’m so glad you believe me and aren’t mad I didn’t say somthing sooner” Lupin laughed “Yeah, because telling people you’re a reincarnation is totally easy. Even with your family that’s understandable Corina or Drea. You got blessed with two cool names. I like them both” She smiled “You can call me whichever you like but my husband prefers Rowne and Harlan prefers Charles. Rowne absolutely hates his name here”

“Then we’ll start calling them by their past names when we’re alone.” Jasper added. “I love you guys so much” Drea said and Brigid answered ‘we all love you too Corina. You mean the world to your brothers.”

“You really do and that dick is really going to pay now. I was going to take him to the cleaners anyway just for the insult of saying Carrie ripped him off. You don’t fucking mess with my sister” Dreas mind ran through times of her childhood in this life. How all her brothers would beat the living hell out of anybody who messed with her. She felt lucky to be reincarnated into such an amazing family.

They all had a great time over dinner except for Jasper who seemed to stay in his own little world. He always got that way when he had a serious case to work on. Things hadn’t even started and they knew Maximus was going to regret coming after them in this life. At the end of the night the kids didn’t want to part with eachother as normal but they managed to get them out the door and Rownes kids in their rooms for bedtime. As Stella and the kids walked out Jasper said seriously to Drea “If that man comes near your property, you or calls you Corina you call me right away. If he figures out or knows who you guys are he will not harass you or hurt you in anyway again. He’s got once to mess with you and he’s finished”

Drea kissed her brothers cheek “thank you” With everyone else gone Sophie and Charles took their leave “Bye mom and dad” they both said with tight hugs then loaded into their car ‘It went so well”

“Thankfully my mom got it much better in this life. Sure as hell she deserved a better life this time. First her father and then my dad treated her like shit. I hated my dad and grandpa so much for how they degraded and pushed her around. I’m happy we live in a time where women don’t have to put up with that. Its sick theres any world where men can treat their wives and children any way they please.”

“You’re a good man baby”

The minute they pulled into their driveway, Carrie’s phone went off, startling her. She sighed and answered. “Hello?”

“It’s Amber sweetie, so that bastard wants to meet with you the day after tomorrow for lunch. He’s going to be bringing his scummy little lawyer, do you think Jasper can swing that?”

“It’s a Sunday so I’m sure he can manage. Let me guess, they want to try and make a deal so this doesn’t have to be taken to trial?”

“I would imagine so.”

“Alright, I’ll call him and tell him then, what’s the name of Daniel’s attorney?”

She heard Amber shifting papers around. “Joseph Warren.”

“Alright thanks Amber, I’m sure Jasper will know what firm he works for.”

“I just can’t wait till this is all over. Just know you have everyone ready to support you, your fans would raise hell if they heard what that dick head said.”

“Thanks, talk to you later.” She hung up and gave another sigh.

“What’s wrong?” Harlan asked.

“Maximus wants to meet us on Sunday. This is going to be a thing, I just know it.” He reached over and rubbed her neck. “After I’m off the phone with Jasper I think I need the rest of this night to be nice and romantic, maybe we can light a candle or two and soak in a tub full of bubbles.”

“Anything you want baby.”
Carrie called Jasper “Yeah?”

“He wants us to have lunch with him Sunday. His attorney is Joseph Warren” Jasper chuckled as if he was trying to contain much more boisterous laughter. “what’s so funny? I’m not tickled about meeting with them”

“If all he can get is Joseph Warren he really must be a nobody in this life. Please, going against that loser will be easy. He’s disorganized and loses way more cases than he wins.”

“Thank goodness for that”

“You know I could rip anybody to shreds for you. Especially someone who used to mess with my sister. I dont care who she used to be. Corina will always be my little sister and I’ll protect you both. I’m atleast going to get him for slander. Claiming someone plagiarized work can be detrimental. Not only to sales but to the author themselves Carrie.” Carrie smiled ‘I love you Jasper, so much. I’m really happy she has a brother like you and you’re now my family”

“What time are we bowling tomorrow, or do you feel like bowling now?’

“Oh no, we should all still have fun. I’m sure your kids are excited”

“As long as you’re sure.”

“Of course and thank you, I’ll tell Amber to tell that piece of crap to meet us at Luigi’s then and we’ll see you guys tomorrow at lunch. We can eat a bunch of junk food and bowl.”

Jasper chuckled. “Sounds good.”

They both hung up and she sent a text to Amber, telling her where they wanted to have lunch then dropped her phone in her purse with a loud, exhausted sigh. “Who knew stuff like this could be so tiring.”

“It’s to be expected, but we both know you can make it through anything. You’ve had much worse happen to you and come out alive and kicking.”

Carrie smiled. “To be blessed with the most amazing husband in the world twice, I feel so lucky. You’ve always been my rock.”

“Really, I thought it was the other way around.”

Harlan carried her into the bathroom and sat her on the counter, getting the water started. He dumped a bunch of the rose scented bubble bath into the bath then left the room and came back with some candles. “Silly man, you don’t have to do all of this, I was only messing around.”

“My wife needs to relax, so I’m helping her relax.” He sat the candles on the back of the toilet and lit them then switched off the lights. “Maybe I should consider putting a dimmer switch in here.”

“It might come in handy, especially those days I’m having a headache and the brightness just pierces my skull.”

“when everything with Corina is over I’ll see what all I have to do to make that happen” Carrie sighed “Poor mom”

“don’t stress about it. Everything will be fine. It’s you he’s sueing anyway”

“still, to know the man who made your childhood a living hell roams the earth again. I hate how unfair things can be. I mean, Paul was as sweet as my father compared to your grandpa”

“yeah, just relax for me baby. I know I can’t think about it or I’ll go crazy. I want to kill him but I dont want to go to jail”

“Bathe with me?” Charles smiled and began stripping his clothes as his wife did. Charles got in first so Sophie could lay against his chest and stomach. She sighed, allowing herself to find what peace she could. The next afternoon they met up with their family at the bowling ally and attempted to unwind. Jasper and Sophie took turns paying for lanes, absolutely refusing to let Drea and Rowne pay. “hard headed children” Rowne said to Charles and he chuckled “hey now, I’m your brother old man” Rowne took Charles in a head lock making the kids laugh. Drea and Sophie just smiled, understanding completely why the universe would make those two brothers. That had always been more the kind of relationship they had.

They had a good time playing, uncaring who won or lost as long as they were all smiling. The longer they played the more at ease they became until Maximus was in the back of their minds. They knew he couldn’t be completely forgotten, especially since Carrie, Harlan, and Jasper would be going to meet him with Amber the following day, but for right now they just let him drift away as if he didn’t exist. They left when dinner time rolled around and they all went to a steak house. They only decided to go home when their kids started yawning.

“So tomorrow, Luigi’s.” Jasper said.

Carrie nodded. “Yeah, it’s going to be so much fun. A big part of me hopes he takes it to trial so you can emasculate him in front of the world.”

“And here I was thinking you were all sunshine and rainbows.”

Carrie laughed at his teasing. “Hey I can be fierce when I have too be.”

“I know, I know, it’s just funny when you’re always telling us to watch our mouths. Alright then, I’ll see you tomorrow then. Good night, night Harlan.”

“Night Jasper.”

“You ready as you sound honey?” Harlan asked in the car. “He wont intimidate me. I wont let him. I’ve already decided that. Men like him love intimidation so no matter how we feel don’t show him he gets to us”

“I love you” he said softly and she answered in mock annoyance “Why does it sound like you’re laughing at me?”

“You’re cute”

“well i wont be cute tomorrow”

“Oh, I’m sure you will”

“Charles” he chuckled “You’re constantly cute to me”

“Hm, I don’t think I’m very cute in our bedroom”

“Then you’re sexy and cute and beautiful and, well, you get the idea”

“I love you too Charles” They went to bed as if nothing was looming tomorrow and woke actually feeling good about the meeting. Not being able to help themselves they got ready and left a little too early and ended up sitting in their car to wait on Jasper. They didn’t want to talk to Maximus atall without him by their side. They were glad to see Jasper arrive early too. They both got out and approached his car. He opened the door and stepped out “Hey guys”

“Anxious?’

“Fuck no, I’m ready for him and I’ll be ready for court if that happens”

Chapter Four

When they stepped into Luigi’s they all scanned the room. None of them saw Maximus or Warren so they got a table and ordered something to eat and drink. It was five minutes past the agreed upon time when they walked in. Maximus was still a bear of a man, his face still stuck in a permanent scowl. The biggest difference from his past self was the lack of a beer belly which meant in this life he wasn’t a heavy drinker. They waved to them and when Maximus saw them a brief look of confusion passed over his face and then was gone. On the other hand his attorney looked whiter than a sheet at the sight of Jasper. They both crossed over and took a seat at their table.

“Warren.” Jasper said, his voice cool, his eyes devoid of all emotion.

“Jasper.” Warren tried to sound unaffected by Jasper and failed. Jasper smiled, a show of white teeth and both Carrie and Harlan couldn’t help but imagine a twenty foot great white, its dorsal fin breaking the surface of the water right before it attacked. Warren’s fear was like blood in the water.

“Now, why don’t you explain to me why we’re here today.”

“Well your client wouldn’t be the successful author she is without mine. She obviously read his book then started writing from there. It’s the same place, same names. You have to admit it’s similar.”

“I read his book, every last page and it’s an insult to my client to say that. His writing is horrible. Carrie is much more descriptive, her characters have far more personality and there’s more characters. You can’t tell me she’s written four books all based off Daniel’s. So what her characters are similar to you two. In his book they are different. Dreas characters is just a disappointment whom screws everything up. In Carries books she’s an amazing woman whom everyone loves except for Maximus. Rowne is an idiot with poor taste to choose Drea.

In Carries books theres no mention of a love interest between them and he’s an intelligent man though that’s not to say he would be stupid for chosing her because I like Carries writing much better. Daniel isn’t half the writer Carrie is and any court will laugh you two out for trying to rip her off. You two just see how successful she is and are trying to get some money out of it or maybe you would just like to think your book inspired what Carrie has done with her career but Warren, you will be an idiot to take this to court. I can talk all day about how this is ridiculous.”

Daniel had been staring at Harlan rather he realized it or not. “what?” Harlan asked. “You, you’re kind of what I imagined Charles looks like”

“so now my clients are ripping you off with looks? Now this is getting even more ridiculous” Jasper said and Daniel groaned before snapping “I didn’t say that!”

“Yeah you did. I’ll make sure to tell them in court that you’re even accusing them of looking too much like your characters.” That made Daniel observe Carrie. His soul be damned she looked just like Sophie and here they were together in real life. They were straight out of the dream that inspired his book but how. “do not stare at my wife” Charles tempered flared, that same temper his grandson in the dreams had. Daniel could barely form a thought process.

“Is there something on our faces?” Carrie asked, her eyes shooting daggers at him. He blinked, finally coming out of his surprise.

“It’s nothing.”

“So what’s it going to be Warren, finish this here and now or shall I drag you and this so called man through the dirt. You know I can be very persuasive.”

Warren swallowed, further betraying his fear. “Lets just drop this for now.” Daniel said, surprising everyone at the table.

“Why?” Warren asked.

“Because I have better things to do than deal with these brats. We can always pick it back up later if we decided to.” In truth he was just more curious about them than he was worried about his book. He wanted to know what this strange familiarity was between them, why when he looked at Harlan he could also see the faces of the Paul and Drea from his book and also a hint of Rowne.

“So, does that mean we can go or are you planning on wasting more of our day?” Harlan asked angrily.

“It means we can leave.” Jasper said and then stood and leaned across the table so his face was right in front of Warren’s. “Just remember Warren, you threaten my family, you threaten me.” He then smiled his predator’s smile and straightened up. “Come on you two, lets get out of here.”

Daniel watched them leave then went out himself without a word to his attorney. “you two going to tell Drea what happened?” Jasper asked and Harlan nodded “Of course, we’ll go over there now”

“I wish I could go home. I have somthing to do for another case”

“Stella understands”

“I know, I just try not to work weekends.”

“we aren’t humans. You have eternity with them. Needing to give a little bit of time in the office because you absolutely have to is fine Jasper” he smiled then got in his car. He texted Stella an I love you and told her he had to go to the office but then he’d return home. “That was too easy for dealing with Maximus” Carrie said as they got in the car “I think he recognizes us”

“I kind of think that too”

“Want to stay over at our parents place incase he bothers my mom? He’s bound to look into things and of course he wont be able to just let my mom have peace. Every second he was alive the first time he made sure she was miserable. I don’t think it’s going to be any different now”

“Good idea, lets pack and then go over”

Both Corina and Draven were a little confused when Carrie and Harlan showed up on their front porch with a suitcase, but let them in without question. Their kids were always welcome in their home. “Did something happen?” Corina asked.

Harlan continued upstairs with their bag, dropping it in the guest room and then coming back down and sitting next to Carrie on the couch. “Well the talk with Maximus went better than we hoped, but we think he recognized us. We could tell he wasn’t one hundred percent sure, but the wheels were definitely turning.” Carrie explained.

“Does that mean he’ll come looking for you two, for me.” Corina asked worriedly.

“If he does you know we won’t let him hurt you mom.”

“Charles is right Drea, he won’t touch a single hair on your head.”

She swallowed the lump in her throat. “Why can’t he just leave me alone, why can’t he just stay dead?”

Rowne hugged her and pressed a kiss against her temple. “Everything’s going to be okay love.”

Daniel went home and began researching Carrie on the web. She didn’t have as much information as he’d like to have found but just looking at pictures of her with her family screamed they were his characters. Then he saw a picture a fan had snapped of Carrie and Corina at a coffee shop. It was then it hit him like an eighteen wheel truck “How is this possible? That woman? They are all from my dreams, from my book” Daniel searched the phone book for Carrie or Harlans number but they were intelligent enough not to have it listed. He then checked her website to see her mailing address but it was a P.O Box.

He groaned trying many methods of finding her address. Eventually he decided if he couldn’t find them he could find Corina and Draven. They wouldn’t think anything of allowing their number to be in the phone book. He knew their last name since the fans had said Harlan and Draven were brothers so obviously Rose was their last name too. He flipped it open again and smiled smugly when sure enough their numbers were in the phonebook.

He typed it in online and soon had their address. He could atleast see why Corina looked so much like the daughter he had in his imagination. Originally he was going to surprise them in the morning but he grew impatient and went right over. Fearless and not even considering them calling the police he got out of his car and approached the door.

The door was yanked open by a genuinely pissed off Draven and standing right behind him, with arms crossed, was Harlan. Both of them had the look of death in their eyes that dared him to take another step and take another step he did. “What do you want?” Draven asked, clearly in a hostile mood.

“What I want is to know who the hell you people are.” Daniel snapped back.

“What are you talking about?” Harlan asked.

“I know you people, I’ve dreamed of you, I put you in my book.”

“You mean your book of lies?”

Daniel glared at him. “Drea,” he yelled, “that’s your name right, come out here right now.”

Carrie was sitting on the couch with Corina who looked terrified and was holding her hand to lend her strength. “You don’t have to go out there, you don’t even have to answer him.” Carrie said under her breath. “Just let him think he’s lost it.”

“But he already knows where we are, he’ll just come back if I don’t say something.”

“As long as you’re sure.”

“I am, really, I can do this.” They both stood, Carrie keeping a hold of Corina’s hand. “Draven, it’s okay.” Corina said as she grabbed her husband’s shoulder and gently pulled him back. She took a deep breath and looked up at Daniel. She felt her heart leap in her chest at the sight of her father from the past. Never would she call him dad again, only the man who had raised her with love and care was her father. “I would appreciate it if you would keep your voice down, our children are sleeping.”

Daniel just stared at her, shocked by how similar she looked to Drea. Now that he was up close, he could really tell. “You, I know your face.”

“I want you to go away and never come back, you’re not welcome here, ever.”

“You’re Drea and they’re…they’re, but it’s impossible, completely and utterly impossible. You’re my…”

“No, never in a million years, not in any lifetime so don’t say it, don’t even let the word slip past your tongue you vile man.”

His face contorted into anger and Draven tried to shield her again “Rowne I’m ok” she assured then looked back at Maximus “leave or I’m calling my brother and the cops”

‘I’ll leave but this isn’t the last you’ll see of me”

“For your own sake I hope thats not true. Jasper will have your ass on a platter” He groaned and stomped off to his car. Harlan slammed the door shut and locked it “still a fucking prick” Carrie hugged Corina “you stood up to him. That is somthing I’m glad I got to see” Rowne took her hand and kissed it “I’m glad in this lifetime I can enjoy seeing it..in the past”

“shh, lets just enjoy eachother”

“Since the danger has come and gone do you want Harlan and I to leave?” Carrie asked. “You two are always welcome” Drea answered and Sophie smiled. Their evening was peaceful and so were the following weeks. They didn’t know if Maximus changed his mind or just wasn’t bothering them yet but either way none of them stressed over it. In this world he had no control and couldn’t abuse women and children just because he was a man. This world had laws that would protect them and if all else failed he was but a man in this life while they were all demons.

~ The End ~

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