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Behind Closed Doors

Guest allibaz91

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Arrrgh! Peter! Just kiss her for crying out loud and put me out of my misery. :lol:

That was absolutely brilliant. I was on the edge of my seat just reading it. It gets better and better and the better it gets the more I'm hooked.

Please update soon. The suspense is killing me :D

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Thanks very much swfc, I'm glad you're enjoying it!! By the way sorry about the teasers, posted from the wrong chapter! I'll try and get it right next time ;)

Chapter 7

A phone rang. In the next room, a cell phone was ringing at top volume. Peter got a fright, as did Clare. She smiled faintly at him, before getting up and leaving to answer it. He sighed heavily – it was going to be one of THOSE days, he could just tell. Anything good that would come along, something would happen to cancel it out. All in all, a very average day, then. Boring, was a better word for it. And long, unless he was very much mistaken. He strained his ears as he heard Clare retrieve the phone from her bag and answer it.

“Hello?” she said into it. “Oh! Hi … yeah, it’s been a long time … can you hold on? Thanks.” She hurried into Peter’s room again, covering the mouthpiece with her hand and looking exceedingly nervous. Peter sat up, wondering what could be wrong.

‘It’s Dan!’ she mouthed. Dan?? He was stunned – why was Dan calling Clare? He didn’t know what to do any more than she did. She put the phone on loudspeaker and signalled for him to keep quiet. As if he would speak – that was more than his life was worth.

“Sorry about that, Dan,” Clare said to the phone. “Uh, what can I do for you?”

“Clare, I don’t know how to say this …” said Dan’s voice. “It’s about Pete, he … he’s dead.”

“Oh!” Clare shot Peter a glance, as he stared blankly at the phone. “I, uh, I actually knew, Dan, I … the Superintendent told me, a few days after it happened. I’m really sorry.”

“Oh, thanks …” Dan seemed surprised. “So, you’ve known for a while then?”

“Yeah … I didn’t know whether to stop by or not – I’d already missed the funeral, you know, and … well, I didn’t think you’d be too pleased to see me, after everything.”

“Right … well, I thought you’d like to know, of course, but … there’s actually something else we hoped you could help us with. Leah and I, that is,” Dan said.

“Something else?” Clare repeated. “Like what? If I can help, I mean, I will, of course.”

“Thanks … Clare, who is Christy Curtis?”

Peter put his head in his hands. This was a problem he hadn’t thought of yet. Clare shot him a guilty look, and he knew she understood his dilemma. Christy was the mother of his seventeen-year-old son – the son Dan and Leah happened to know nothing about.

“Christy Curtis?” Clare said slowly, clearly stalling. She looked at Peter for help.

“Yes, Christy Curtis,” Dan said firmly. “Come on, Clare, don’t mess me around, okay? I know we haven’t always seen eye-to-eye, but I’ve lost my brother. And I’ve just found out that, guess what; he has no money, because all of it has been going to her. Now I think I have the right to know who she is, and why he’s been paying her off.”

“So why ask me?” Clare replied. Peter tried his best to think of what to do.

“You were engaged, Clare! There is no way he wouldn’t have told you about this. And I have the right to know. Can you please just be straight with me? Pete would’ve told me.”

“He never mentioned her before though, did he?” she pointed out. “Maybe he would prefer if you didn’t know. Maybe there’s a reason he hadn’t told you about her.”

“Maybe,” Dan agreed. “But he’s dead, Clare. The situation’s changed. He was the only brother I’ll ever have – and he was my best mate. Surely now he’s gone, I can at least comfort myself by getting to know the things I missed out on when he was alive?”

“Look, Dan, I really don’t know if this is my place …” Clare was doing everything she could think of to buy a little time, but Peter didn’t need any longer. Dan was right. He deserved to know the truth – even if it was too late. He shook his head wearily at Clare.

“Uh, Dan, I’m going to put you on hold for a minute – I’ll be right back,” she said.

“But, Clare –”

She pressed the ‘Hold’ button and sat down on the bed next to Peter again.

“Are you sure you want to tell him?” she asked concernedly. “He’ll kill you if he finds out you’re still alive – I mean, once he’s over the shock. He’ll be furious about the lies.”

“Well, that’s something I’ll have to deal with if it comes to it,” he sighed. “Dan has to know about Drew, Clare – he hates his mother, you know that. He was this close to moving to the city with us. At least if I can’t be there for him, Dan can. I trust him – he’ll look after him. And I’d rather have him living there than with Christy if he hates her that much.”

“It’s your decision, obviously, but … Pete, once I tell him, there’s no going back. He’s going to track Drew down and tell him you’re dead. And once we get out of here … it took him a long time to feel comfortable around you. If he finds out you lied about this, who knows how far it might set you back in your relationship? It’s pretty risky.”

“The way I see it, the same will happen either way. He’d find out eventually about my ‘death,’ right? Better he has Dan and Leah around to support him than not.”

“I guess …” Clare still wasn’t convinced. Peter could see in her eyes that she was worried.

“I know it’ll be hard, but I need you to do this for me,” he said imploringly. She sighed.

“All right … write down her number while I talk to Dan.”

Clare took Dan off of hold, and Peter smiled gratefully at her as he wrote down Christy’s home phone number. Better to get this over with sooner than later, he thought.

“Dan? Sorry about that,” Clare said, taking the piece of paper from Peter. “This is just a bit of an awkward time, that’s all … anyway, uh, Christy Curtis. Are you sitting down?”

“I am now,” said Dan, sounding unsure. “Clare, what is going on? Who is she?”

“I don’t know if you maybe met her a long time ago – she was Peter’s girlfriend when he was in high school,” Clare said hesitantly. “I’m not sure how long for …”

“I recognised the name from somewhere,” admitted Dan. “It could be that. So, I don’t get it, why was Pete sending her money, if they dated in high school?”

“Well … okay, uh, how do I say this? … When they were together, Christy fell pregnant.”

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I love it. It's got such a great twist to it. Arrgh! Why didn't Pete/Clare kiss? It would've sealed it completely.

That was yet another brilliant chapter, Allison. [is that the correct spelling of your name? Might have to go ask Shan :P ]

Update soon, please.

I agree with Lil. I love how you've changed it around.

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That was yet another brilliant chapter, Allison. [is that the correct spelling of your name? Might have to go ask Shan :P ]

Saw that! :lol: As far as I am aware its Alison, I dont know I only say Ali :P

Once again, brillant chapter, this is awesome, cos I get to read it again! :D

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Lol Shan I think you're getting a bit obsessed with this fic :P Not that I dont appreciate it lol!! Thanks again everyone for the lovely comments :D (And by the way swfc, there is only one L in my name: Alison. I just spell Alli with 2 L's sometimes to be different lol! :P)

Also Shan, I have FINALLY updated on FYS ;)

Chapter 8

“She WHAT?!?!” Peter didn’t need the phone on loudspeaker to hear his brother’s reaction to that piece of news. Clare held the phone away from her ear, and Peter half-laughed.

“Sorry you had to find out this way,” Clare said, “but it’s true. You have a nephew.”

“Well – how old is he, what’s his name? How long has Pete known about him?”

“He’s seventeen, his name is Andrew Curtis – although, just a tip, you might want to call him Drew or he’ll flay you alive. And Pete found out about him five years ago.”

“Seventeen?” Dan appeared to be in shock. “But that would mean Pete was … fifteen, maybe sixteen at most, when he was born?” Peter rolled his eyes. Typical Dan.

“Yeah, that’s about right,” Clare agreed, shushing Peter. “I know this must come as a shock to you, but Drew … he didn’t want a lot to do with Pete when they first met; and you guys weren’t speaking at the time, so … I guess he thought he’d better not tell you, at least not at first, without getting to know Drew a bit better. I’m sorry, Dan …”

“Not as sorry as I am,” he replied. “I wish I had’ve known – how can I go to him as some stranger and tell him his dad’s dead? He probably doesn’t even know I exist.”

Peter shook his head violently at Clare, and she nodded to show she understood.

“No, he definitely does,” she assured Dan. “And he’s a good kid, Dan – but he doesn’t have the greatest relationship with his mother. Be there for him, if you can.”

“Wait – what do you mean, ‘he’s a great kid’?” Dan asked, and his voice had a steely edge to it now. “Are you telling me you’ve met him? You knew about him?”

“Well, yeah,” Clare said, exchanging a bemused glance with Peter. “We were getting married; Pete couldn’t very well keep it a secret from me forever, could he?”

“And you knew Pete had died – and you didn’t think to call, tell Drew, or us?!”

Clare made a face as though she was in pain, and Peter sighed heavily. He felt terrible – Clare should never have been left to do his dirty work for him. And she definitely didn’t deserve to get the blame for all his lies to his family and friends, he thought angrily. Why was it that he always ended up causing her trouble – even now he was supposedly ‘dead’?

“Look, Dan, I’ve been totally swamped at work lately – and no offence, but you know fine well that Peter and I went our separate ways long before any of this happened. I don’t think it’s my job to keep your family together after he’s gone. I’m sorry.”

“You knew he’d lied to us about his son!” Dan shouted. “You are unbelievable!”

“Do you want Christy’s number or not?” Clare asked him evenly. Peter smiled at this; he couldn’t help it. She was always so good at keeping her temper – unless it came to her work, of course. Then she could be so moody … but even when she was angry, she was still somehow always so beautiful … No! He had to stop thinking about her like that.

“Of course I want Christy’s number,” Dan snapped down the phone.

“All right, it’s 555-8260,” Clare said, crumpling up the bit of paper in her hand. “Good luck with everything, Dan. And I’m sorry, again, for your loss. Really.”

“But, Clare –” Dan started to say, but Clare had already hung up the phone. She then dropped it onto the bed, laughing at the look on Peter’s face.

“What’s with the long face?” she asked him, smiling. He raised his eyebrows.

“Well,” he said, confused, “I was feeling bad for putting you through that. But apparently there’s no need. Why are you so happy? Dan just laid into you and it was my fault.”

“Oh, come on, Peter!” Clare scoffed. “Your little brother is nothing I can’t handle after growing up around the stepmother and stepbrothers from hell. Dan’s like a little puppy dog by comparison – and a cute one, at that. I think I’ll get over it.”

“You are something else, you know that?” Peter said, smiling. “I don’t deserve all this.”

“Of course you do,” she replied. “Stop being so down on yourself. I didn’t stand for it when we were together, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to start letting you away with it now.”

“Oh, well, I guess that’ll be me told then, won’t it?” he laughed. She also laughed by way of response, and he felt a thrill inside him. She didn’t hate him because of what had happened before Dan called. Why did he have to phone right then, anyway? That was so typical, thought Peter. Ever since they were little – every time Peter was just about to be really happy, for a change, Dan would ruin it, usually unintentionally. He supposed that was the curse of having a younger sibling – Clare knew it well, he reminded himself, thinking of her two stepbrothers. And her sister, who she never saw. Then it came to him, quite suddenly – the perfect way to show her how sorry he was for how he had betrayed her. It was her birthday next week – what better time to make it up to her? If she would ever leave him alone in the house long enough for him to organise it, which he doubted.

“Peter!” Clare shook him playfully, and he jumped a little. He had just wandered off into a dream about her right in front of her face – how embarrassing! But she didn’t seem to mind very much, as she smiled warmly at him again. He smiled back, and brushed a few strands of loose from her eyes. To his surprise, she didn’t pull away, but instead she closed her eyes and smiled peacefully. Almost as though she didn’t want him to stop … this was it, he thought. He couldn’t explain how he knew, but something told him that it was now or never. And he wasn’t about to risk losing her again. Not now – not after everything they had already been though together. He moved his hand down over Clare’s soft cheek, cupped her face in his hand under her chin, pulled her close to him, and brushed her lips tenderly with his own.

Cliffhanger once again - I know, I have to stop doing it, but it's so much easier to end a chapter that way! Anyway, thanks once again for all the feedback, and enjoy! :D

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