Yes, D had defeated her writer's block at last and has finished the twenty fourth chapter of the Watchmen Files, File One! I'm glad I got past it, thanks to the encouragement from you guys :) Thanks so much for sticking with me through one week of nothingness! :)
Though I did get something done in that time; the Liebster Award was given to a few other bloggers, plus Willow and I also took it and answered some questions. If you want to check that out, click here.
But anyway, on a personal scale, the choir we are in is going to perform this Friday. I'm SO excited! I remember how nervous I was the first time. Whew! I felt like rolling into a ball and hiding under my seat. But it was fun when I got up there, so now I feel much better. Plus, we're singing one of my favorite hymns, Come to Jesus, which I mentioned in one of the chapters of this book. That makes it super special for me :)
Anyway, yeah, this is the chapter. Writer's block cannot stop me!! ;)
Darkness engulfed the entire room, casting long shadows in every direction. There were small lights embedded into the floor, parallel to each other, making a narrow trail down the center. Two figures, one slightly taller and younger than the other, walked cautiously down the way together.
Dominik's eyes blazed at the proposal, and hatred filled his soul. "There will be no need, Father."
Three weeks later, Mason was brewing the early morning coffee in a cottage in the state of Wyoming. He pressed the on button and placed a pan on the stove-top, cracked seven eggs into it and turned up the heat. A cool breeze blew through the house from the open french-doors, and pale sunlight streamed in with it. It was late autumn, and the days were getting colder.
He heard the pitter-patter of a child's feet from the hall, and then felt little arms wrap around his legs tightly. "Good morning, Mason!"
"Good morning, Ava," he answered with a smile, picking her up, and giving her a big kiss on the forehead. She giggled in return and rested her head on his shoulder comfortably.
The bumbling footfalls of an adult came next, and a loud yawn followed.
"You were up late," Mason stated.
"You were up late," Mason stated.
Conner rubbed his sleepy eyes and and mumbled, "Wha was that..?"
"Here," Mason chuckled and handed him a cup of coffee. "Up late writing your parents again?"
"No, just Grace... a friend," Conner clarified as he sipped from the steaming cup.
There was an abrupt knock on the door, and Ava clamored down from her perch in Mason's arms to answer it.
Before Mason could object (you never knew who would be there when you are a Watchman), Conner put a hand on his shoulder and explained, "It's Graham, I got a call from him last night. He said he'd pop in this morning."
He was still a bit paranoid about anyone, but Mason nodded, poured another cup and shouted, "Coffee?"
"Sure!" the reply came from the door and moments later Graham was making himself at home in the living room. "I hope you know what a privilege it is for Barton to let you boys stay in his private safe-house," he stated while taking a gulp of the warm liquid. "He didn't even let me and my wife stay here for our honeymoon!"
"I'll have Conner write him a thank you card," Mason joked and sat next to him on the couch. "What's up?"
Graham didn't answer at first, but shot a look over to Conner, who nodded with understanding and took Ava by the hand. "Hey Ava, do you want to jump in a pile of leaves outside?"
Ava slid her plump hand in his and nodded, "Only if you rake 'em up!"
"Deal," Conner smirked and followed her into the backyard.
Now alone, Graham turned so he was looking Mason straight on. His complexion was serious and sad, and his tone of voice matched it. "We have something important to discus."
"Shoot," Mason shrugged, and took an enormous bite of scrambled eggs.
Taking a deep breath, he began, "At the beginning of this, you agreed to a certain amount of commitment. You would be on the team that broke your cousin out of the clutches of Hydra. Now Ava is safe, and your mission is accomplished. You have to make the decision to stay with the Watchmen or not. If not, we can find you a place to start over. A clean slate, a new name, background, everything. You and Ava will live as safely as possible."
Mason was silent. He didn't know what to say. He didn't want to go back to normal life again, not really. Plus, his dad was still out there, alive and needing someone to liberate him. And then there was his newly acquired friend. "What about Conner?"
"I talked to him over the phone last night, and told him the situation. He said that he understood your options, and that he wouldn't take it personally if you left. He said that if you did go, he would go home too."
He looked up in surprise. "Really?"
"That's what he told me," Graham shrugged.
Mason paused to think. From the precautions that Conner had taken to keep his past hidden, he didn't know what Conner would be going back to. Maybe he had left to get away from them, or maybe it was something else? Mason didn't know. But Conner was a big part of the equation now.
And there were so many other things to consider. Over the passed months, he had learned so much. He had something to live for and to fight for. Now Ava was safe, but his father was not. Doctor Kruger was still out there, in the clutches of Hydra. Mason wanted to help him just as he had helped Ava, and he could only do that with the Watchmen.
The Watchmen were all he had. And that was okay, they protected him and became like a family. Mason had great respect for Sargent Graham, and a brotherly relationship with Conner and the rest of the guys. He would miss it.
Mason had spent his weeks of recovery in deep thought, and now he had to make a decision that would change his life.
He sat upright and ran his hand through his hair self-consciously. Taking a deep breath, he answered in a steady, serious tone, "I want to stay a Watchman."
Graham nodded. "Good for you. But unfortunately, there's more to it than that."
He nodded back, waiting for Graham to continue.
He nodded back, waiting for Graham to continue.
"Well, if you stay with the Watchmen, you can't spend as much time with her as if you didn't. You would have more off time, but you would be gone for long periods of time, unfortunately. But there is another option of her. There's a couple, Mr. and Mrs. Harrison, who live here Wyoming. They have two daughters, five and seven years old."
Mason was suspicious now. "So what?"Graham continued, "I know this will be hard for you o swallow, but if you stay with Ava, she will not have the life she could have. She will have one parent, you, and will have no mother, unless the situation changes. She will not have the loving structure of a family. You grew up mainly in a one parent household, and I know you don't want that for her. If you join the Watchmen, she definitely won't have that family. If you don't join, she still won't have that family. But there is an option that could give it to her. The Harrisons are willing to take her under their care. They're good people, I worked side-by-side with Isaiah, and his wife Katrina is very sweet. She would be a good mother to Ava. She would have a healthy family to grow up in. You could visit her."
Mason couldn't believe his ears. Graham was asking him to give up everything he had fought for, the only family he had left. But he was right. Ava wouldn't have a family like she would have, he couldn't offer her the life that was the best. He had grown up like that, and he didn't want her going through that kind of emotional pain. Mason didn't feel sorry for himself, but he certainly didn't want her to grow up like he had.
The emotions were running through his mind in a worrisome flurry. "I literally don't know what to say."
Graham nodded in return, "I understand. I'll give you some time to think about it. I'll tell you what, next week, let's take a little drive to the Harrison household. You can visit them there and see what you think. But I need a decision by the end of the month."
Mason didn't answer, but sat in stunned silence.
Taking that as a yes, Graham put his cup on the coffee table and left.
When Conner came back in with Ava, their eyes locked, and he gave him a pitied look.
That night, Mason tossed and turned in his bed. He couldn't sleep a wink. All of the options, what would happen if he chose one or the other were keeping him awake. He lay on his back, eyes wide open, staring at the ceiling. It was three am. Then four, and five quickly followed. His eyes were dark and baggy from lack of sleep.
Quietly as not to wake the others, Mason swung his legs over the side of his bed and sat there, thinking deeply. Looking up with hands clasped, he began, "Okay God, I know you don't have any obligation to listen to this, I'm not a Christian. But Ava is. Please, I don't know what to do. I can't make this decision. You make it, I'll follow it." Taking another deep breath, he got back under the covers and slowly drifted off into a fitful sleep, his burden still weighting heavily on his mind.
Earlier that night, Conner closed his Bible and snuggled under the covers. A cool breeze of air washed over him, and the door hinges creaked loudly.
"Conner?" A small, shaky voice whispered.
"Conner?" A small, shaky voice whispered.
"Ava, it's late," he stated, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. "What's is it?"
A pair of eyes peeked up from below the bed. "I'm scared."
Running his hands through his caramel hair, Conner pulled the covers up, not wanting to argue with the girl. "Alright, if you insist."
She clamored up, her icy feet chilling him as she nestled in. Conner didn't complain, but held her close. "What's on your mind?"
"What's wrong with Mason? He looked worried."
He knew what was troubling the young man, but also understood the seriousness of the situation. Ava couldn't know, not yet. It wasn't his job to tell her. "He is worried. It's grown up stuff, kind of."
"I'm scared. He's gonna be okay, right?"
"Of course he is. Mason's strong, he'll brighten up. Have you prayed for him yet?"
The small body shifted, and soon she was at eye level with him. "No, I forgot."
"There's nothing better to do in a situation like this than to pray," he smiled, and took her hands in between his own. "Shall we?"
She nodded very seriously, closed her eyes and bowed her head. "Dear God, please help Mason to feel better and not be sad. I don't like to see him like that. It makes me feel sad, too. Amen."
Conner smiled, then added, "I pray that this would draw him closer to You, and that he would know You're power and love. Help him make the right decision, and that he may have peace in Your decision. I know how hard this must be for him, it's a life changing move. Guide him in this and make his path straight, leading him to You all the way through. Amen."Opening his eyes, he found Ava sleeping soundly beside him, her hands still clasped inside of his.
Smirking, he gently picked her up and carried her back into her room, tucking her in bed and making her cozy. He wrapped her arms around her worn teddy bear snugly, and kissed her forehead. "May God lead you in the way He wills. Sleep well, little one."
And that's the end! Well, not the real end, one more chapter and File One will be complete. It's so exciting :) Mason's got something to think about. Then I, after I'm finished, I will move on to the Christmas Special. I know, it's not Christmas. I know, it's spring. But that parts kinda has to be done for the Second File, which I have an actual name for, unlike it's predecessor.
Also, I'd like to credit the Harrisons to Sarah, who came up with the characters (though I did change Mr. Harrison's name). Thanks, Sarah! :)
Okay, on to the announcements...
Ammelia has completed another chapter of her book Without Cause, and will try to post it next Monday.
Willow will try to write her chapter for Friday.
And I will try to post my chapter next week, but I might have to wait another Wednesday to do it. That will be the last chapter, and I have to polish it and get it just right.
So, I do believe that's everything to be said. Now, on to the final chapter!! Thanks for hanging with me, guys :) Just one more to go, then the Special, then the second book!