Episode 677: So Pure"I am your friend." Xavier collected Tansy’s hand yet again as they made the walk to her house. He held on tighter this time so the pouty little girl couldn’t wrench away. It was dark out, he feared losing her. He’d lost a lot in his life.
"If you were my friend we’d still be at your place, you wouldn’t be dragging me back to my horrible aunt."
Xavier sighed, this was the same roundabout argument they’d engaged in over the last half hour or so. "You have to promise me you won’t run off like this again, Tans. Night or day. I’m worried enough about keeping you safe right this minute, and you’re beside me."
He didn’t know how good parents did this without going crazy, maybe they just hadn’t seen as much ugliness as he had, and they were naïve as to how truly bad it could get for a kid out here, whereas he’d lived it.
"You’re probably the best kid I’ve ever known, Tansy; it would kill me if anything bad happened to you. You have to be careful. The world isn’t always a very nice place; you’re lucky you have your mom and your dad and whole bunch of other people like me who want to protect you. Do me a favor and don’t be mad, be grateful we care."
For the first time since they’d set out on the walk, Tansy’s fingers curled around his in return. She looked up at him, chewing on her lips, and slowly she nodded. "Nobody protected you, huh?"
Slowly, he nodded, too. "My mom wanted to protect me, but she… it didn’t happen."
"I wish she did." Tansy squeezed his hand tighter.
"It’s okay, kid, I’m okay, now."
Tansy softly smiled. "You’ve got my dad and my mom and me to protect you now, you’re gonna be okay. We love you."
Xavier ruffled the top of her little blonde head, too choked up to say anything. He saw her to her aunt’s door and Tansy gave him a huge hug. Xavier waited until she’d slipped inside before he turned to leave, satisfied that he’d done well by her. But hearing the door open behind him, he turned back, thinking Tansy must have forgotten to tell him something, only it wasn’t her.
A brunette woman with shoulder sweeping earrings and a couple too many book club cocktails from the looks of her staggered steps, approached him. "Thanks for bringing my niece back; I don’t know how she slipped away from me like that. I would have caught such hell from her parents if… hey, have I seen you somewhere?"
Tansy ran out to them just then. "He works at daddy’s garage, that’s where you’ve seen him, that’s the only place," she insisted, protecting him, just like she’d promised she would.