RATING: PG-15 (to tell you why would spoil the story, *strong* themes)
DISCLAIMER: See Part 1
NOTES: See part 1

"Rade!" Annie squealed as she ran into the room. Rade pulled away from
Toby to embrace her younger sister. Annie hugged Rade tightly and snuggled
into her. Rade just held her sister tight and tried not to look at her
parents.
"Rade, you have a lot of explaining to do." Eric snapped.
"No, I've got nothing to say to you." Rade replied softly as she looked
at him.
"Rade, your parents and I have been talking." Jed started.
"You're gonna send me back with them, aren't you?" Rade asked softly.
Toby, who had gotten to his feet, stared at Jed, waiting for an answer. Abbey
stared at her husband, also waiting.
"I'm not going to make you do anything you don't want to. I just think
that you should talk to them. If you want, I'll stay here. Toby, your
grandmom." Jed said softly. Rade shook her head.
"I have nothing to say to them." She said softly.
"Rade, are you coming home?" Annie asked softly as she looked at her big
sister. Rade looked into Annie's eyes and smiled weakly.
"No, sweetie, I'm not." She replied.
"Yes, you are!" Eric snapped.
"Shut up!" Toby retorted.
"Who the hell are you?" Eric exclaimed.
"My name is Toby Ziegler, and --" Toby started.
"Toby." Jed interrupted with a calming glare. Toby sighed and looked away.
"Well, Mr. Ziegler, you should learn to stay out of other people's
business." Eric exclaimed sharply.
"Screw you." Toby muttered. Eric started to say something but got an
tender hand on his shoulder from his wife.
"Rade, sweetie, I know you're angry with us for what happened, but
there's no reason why you should continue to lie to your--" Liz started.
"You believe them, don't you?" Rade demanded of her grandfather.
"Don't interrupt your mother!" Eric snapped.
"I'll do what I please!" Rade cried.
"Let's just calm down." Jed tried.
"You will not! Don't speak to me that way!" Eric exclaimed.
"Everyone, shut up! Just shut up!" Annie screamed. Everyone looked at the
young girl and saw the tears in her eyes. "Daddy, you can't do this! You
can't lie to them! I saw you do it, I saw!!"
"Annie, you don't know what you're saying." Eric started.
"Rade came in late and you and mom were waiting. I came downstairs cause
I wanted something to drink and I saw you yell at her and then she said
something and you hit her! Daddy, you hit her with the chair!" Annie cried.
Rade took her sister into a tight embrace and tried to sooth her. Jed looked
at his son-in-law, his eyes flaring with anger.
"You son of a bitch." Toby snapped and slammed his fist into Eric's face.
Eric flew back to the ground.
"Toby!" Jed exclaimed and moved to stop his communications director from
further attack. "I think that's quite enough. Ron, get him out of here." He
called to the secret service agent. Ron came and took Eric out of the room.
Liz was torn between following her husband and arguing with her family.
"Liz, leave." Abbey said sharply as she glared at her daughter. Liz
gulped, her lip trembling, and nodded. She moved out of the room, pausing
only to look at her daughters. Annie was still crying into her older sister
and Toby moved over to sit next to them. Rade looked at him and leaned into
him. He tried not to wince for now his fist hurt like hell. Abbey moved to
kneel next to Annie and stroked her back. Jed looked at his daughter, a dark
look in his eyes. Liz nodded and walked out into the hallway to where her
husband was nursing a bloody nose.
"That bastard had no right to do that." Eric cursed.
"He had every right." Liz said softly. "Let's go find you some ice."

********************************
"I finally got her to sleep." Abbey said softly of her younger
granddaughter as she walked into the bedroom that she shared with her
husband. Jed nodded and took his wife into his arms. "God, I wish I knew what
has happened to our family." She whispered as she hugged him tightly.
"I don't know. I wish I did. It's so hard. I'm the leader of the free
world and I don't even know what is happening to my family." He replied in a
whisper. Abbey nodded and pulled back from him.
"I'm going to go check on Rade, okay?" She whispered.
"You've checked on her twelve times." Jed replied. "Let her be for the
night." He insisted. Abbey paused and then shook her head.
"No, I just want to make sure she's sleeping okay." She repeated and
headed for the door. Jed sighed and watched his wife leave before sitting
down on his couch. What *was* happening to his family? His daughter had lied
to him. He knew that somewhere in the back of his mind, he was worried about
the press of all this. He had to know what to say, but --
"JED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Abbey's voice screamed through the halls. Jed
jumped to his feet and ran for the source. He skidded to a halt in Rade's
door as he saw his wife holding the young girl in her lap, blood streaming
from the young girl's wrist, a small buck knife with a bloody blade hanging
out of her other hand.

TBC.....

~D.C.
Batman

 

Just One Wish - 10

 

 

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