Claire closed her book and began to rant again, "I mean, if he doesn't want to come that's fine, seriously, its totally fine. But this isn't about 'us' anymore, its about Kaci, I mean the least he could do is show up you know?" she paused and took a breath. Molly parted her lips to speak but Claire cut her off again. " And, I mean, I know I told him I wouldn't bother him with anything to do with Kaci, and if I had my way I really wouldn't have asked him, but this isn't me, its Kaci asking and I cant ignore what she wants, and what if this time is the one time he actually decides he wants to get to know her and I didn't ask an -". "CLAIRE" Molly shouted. "Calm down honey, besides, you never know, this might be for the best. If he does decide to show then at least you know his balls have finally dropped" Claire gasped but Molly rolled her eyes and continued, "and if he doesn't show, then maybe Kaci will see her dad for what he really is. A jackass". Claire stared at Molly as her face cracked into a grin. "You never fail to make me smile" she sighed. "Hey, what am I here for?" Molly winked back.
"Claire, she was amazing! The way she just fluttered across the stage like a butterfly!" Bessie gushed through the phone to Claire, "Busters just sorry he had to miss it in person but he watched the video I taped when I got home last night, he just had to call and tell her how proud he was, I hope we didn't keep her up too late?" Bessie continued. "Oh no" Claire said, "Its fine, she was just so happy to hear from him" Claire smiled. "Anyway, How are things with Buster and Xander now?" Claire asked. Buster had originally been going to watch Kaci's recital along with Claire and Bessie, but just as he was leaving, he'd gotten a call from an old police pal of his, informing him that Xander had been arrested, he was drunk and sleeping it off in one of the cells, but that wasn't all. He'd been arrested with a large quantity of drugs in his car. Enough for the police to want to charge him with dealing, but Busters friend had pulled some strings and got the charges dropped, so long as he agreed to do community service. A LOT of community service. When Buster got the station he readily agreed, something which Xander was not too happy about when he was roused from his stupor and was told the condition on which he was being released. This is what Bessie and Claire had heard them shouting about when she'd dropped Bessie home after the recital. Claire had meekly asked if she could help, but Bessie had smiled sadly and said, "Best to leave them to it sweetheart". Bessie would have left him in there for a week if it was up to her, but Xander was Busters golden boy. Never could do anything wrong, not even when he'd purposely stood there and watched their daughter wander into the road right in front of that drunken driver. Bessie shook the thought from her mind. She wondered if Buster would love him so much if he knew the truth. No, she shook her head again. Some secrets are best left that way. Claire interrupted her train of thought. "Bessie I have to go, I can hear Kaci shouting" She said worriedly, "I think its at Jared".
"Why weren't you at my recital! Jacks mom and dad aren't even married anymore and his dad was there why weren't you??!" Kaci shouted at Jared with such force that he genuinely didn't know what to say.
Who was this kid anyway, to be shouting at him like that, he had nothing to do with her and with good reason. But seeing her up close stirred something in him, he quickly brushed the feeling aside and began to answer her, "Now hold on one minute missy-" he began, "No you hold on!" Kaci shouted at him again, her little fists balled up by her sides, if she hadn't been shouting at him, he may have found her display amusing. "Your supposed to be my dad, and if I ask you to be somewhere then that's where your supposed to be, you got it?!" Kaci turned to walk away but Jared grabbed her arm and held on tight ignoring her squirming, "Now you listen to me, and you listen good, you little brat, I didn't want you when you were born and I sure as hell don't want you now, so don't you ever come over here again do you hear me!" he spat, "Hey!" he heard a stern shout and the surprise made him drop Kaci's arm, "YOU GET YOUR HANDS OFF OF MY DAUGHTER NOW!". Kaci ran back across the road but the image of her face when he had been speaking to her still played on his mind. He saw the same look in her eyes that he was so very used to seeing in his own. There hadn't even been one tear, no fear, nothing. Nothing but a stubborn streak. His stubborn streak.
Before he had time to contemplate this any further, Claire had crossed the road and was screaming in his face, "Don't you eeeever, as long as you live, put your hands on my daughter again, I mean, if you so much as even lay a finger on her, so help me God, I will kill you Jared Frio, and that's a promise, do you hear me?!"
"Well then control your brat!" Jared shot back, "Who the hell does she think she is, shouting in my face like that, you need to keep her on a leash, and a tight one at tha-" CRAAACCCKKK!
Before he could say anything else, he felt Claire's open palm connect with his cheek, blindsiding him. He began to see stars and shook his head to try and get rid of them. "I mean it Jared" Claire continued, her tone low, "Lay a hand on my daughter again and I'll kill you". Jared stared at her, fuming, but as angry as Claire was, he could see it wasn't just her feelings talking, she meant it. Jared didn't like being threatened, especially by her. His face was stinging like hell and he could hardly see straight but he wasn't about to give her the benefit of knowing that.
He gestured violently towards Claire's house, "Well you just keep, her, away from me, and no one has to get hurt now, do they" he said, letting the statement hang in the air like a unveiled threat. Claire stared at him for a minute before she began to turn slightly away, "You disgust me, what did I ever see in you" she shook her head and calmly walked across the road back to her house and her daughter. The truth was, she was a nervous wreck, but she could never let him think he had won. Besides, she meant what she said, she'd kill him if he ever hurt her daughter again.