By the time I managed to get Maxxie to let go of me, I had to go back to work. I made a quick phone call to Eden, asking her to pick up Danny and Lily because I had to do something after work. What was that, I hear you ask?
I had to go beat the shit out of my whore brother.
“Hadley, listen, I can explain everything” Cayden said nervously as he let me into his apartment.
“It’s okay, I’m cool with it” I said calmly.
I scowled. “Of course I’m not, you fucking cunt”
He barely had time to react before my fist collided with his face. I didn’t care that he was my brother, I didn’t care that I could probably kill him, he needed to fucking hurt like I did. He got a few of his own punches in but ultimately I was the one doing the damage.
“Wasn’t it enough splitting up John and Mari? Did you want to add me and Maxxie to your list of ‘marriages I’ve destroyed’? We’ve got fucking kids, you stupid prick” I yelled around punches while Cayden tried to defend himself. “Maxxie’s in the fucking hospital thanks to you”
“He’s in the hospital?” I vaguely heard Cayden say.
“Yeah, because he got fucking wasted and drove of somewhere and fucking crashed his car”
Cayden didn’t say anything else and I kept raging at him, bruising my own fists in the process of bruising his face. He was a curled up bloody mess once I was finished with him. I spat on him, knowing full well it was a really dickish thing to do.
“You’re not my brother, you bitch” was all I said before storming out, leaving the door swinging on its hinges.
I knew I looked like shit when I got back to the hospital. My knuckles were almost black with bruises and I had some of Cayden’s blood on my shirt and hands. I made my way to Maxxie’s bed, ignoring the weird looks I got.
“Do you want me to bring the kids to see you?” I asked, gritting my teeth slightly as the flashback of Maxxie and Cayden fucking flashed in my head.
Maxxie nodded, this vaguely hopeful look on his face. I went home, getting Danny and Lily from Eden and ignoring her questions about the blood. Lily asked me if I was okay and I just told her I got into a fight. It wasn’t strictly a lie. A look of horror flashed across Lily’s face when she saw the state Maxxie was in.
“Daddy, are you okay?” she asked with wide eyes as Danny stared at him.
Maxxie sort of patted the bed for them to sit with him, glancing at me. “What happened to you?”
“Cayden” I said, gritting my teeth.
“Oh” he said, playing with Lily’s hair.
I sat in the chair, watching as Danny stared at Maxxie.
“You okay, kids?” Maxxie asked.
“Yus” Lily said and Danny kept up the staring.
Maxxie smiled at them and Lily smiled back. Maxxie cuddled her, wincing. I hadn’t looked at the full list of his injuries but whiplash and a broken leg were obvious.
“I’m sorry, Daddy, did I hurt you? I didn’t mean to. I’m sorry” Lily said, about to burst into tears.
“No, hon, I’m fine” he smiled, playing with her hair again.
Lily snuggled up to him and Danny stared for a while. He got down off the bed and came over to me, staring up at me. I picked him up, putting him on my lap and cuddling him, kissing the top of his head. He almost managed a smile and I could see Maxxie smiling faintly.
“Daddy, when are you coming home?” Lily asked.
“I dunno. That’s up to the nurses, I guess”
“Oh” she said sadly.
“Sorry, honey. Ask Papa, maybe. He’s a doctor, he’ll know these things” he said, looking at me.
I shrugged. “A few days, maybe”
“I miss you all so much” he said, snuggling Lily closer to him.
“Even me?” Danny asked, staring as usual.
“Why wouldn’t I miss you?”
“He thinks you wouldn’t miss him because he’s weird” I said, playing with his hair.
That’s not me being horrible about my own kid, he told me that himself.
“That’s not gonna stop me missing anyone, especially not you, Danny”
Danny almost managed a smile again and Maxxie smiled back. Danny wriggled off my lap and sat on the bed again with his sister. Maxxie offered to let him join the snuggle and he did. I watched the three of them. Was it right of me just to give Maxxie another chance because the kids adored him? But then again, was it right not to and have to break up not just a marriage but a family? Tears were tugging at Maxxie’s eyes and he did his best not to let the kids see.
"I'm getting something to drink. Does anyone want anything?" I announced after a while.
“Juice, pwease" Lily grinned. Danny looked at her. “And one for Danny, too”
“Maxxie?” I asked when he didn’t say anything. He looked up. “Want anything?”
“I’m fine, thanks”
I went off in search of a vending machine, glad to have some time to myself. I had no fucking idea what to do. I may have had to buy myself another coffee since I fucked up the first one by crying into it. One of the nurses that walked by genuinely thought someone had died from how much I was crying. I composed myself again, taking the kids their juice. They both said thank you and I looked at Maxxie once I was sure they were distracted enough by the juice. Maxxie met my eyes, looking away again, this emo look on his face.
“Mm?” he said, not looking up from watching the kids.
“I’m... I’m willing to give you another chance. But it’s more for their sake than yours”
He looked vaguely hopeful at that. I just had to hope I’d made the right decision.