Lost and Found

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It’s not every day you find your long lost daughter standing in front of your doorstep. When Evelyn appeared at first I was confused because I didn’t recognize her. The last time I’d seen her, she was just a newborn baby, and I was too busy nursing the bullet wound in my gut my lovely wife, Lilith, had given me. Lilith was a cruel bitch, always had been, and a part of me wondered what I’d ever seen in her. I suppose some men like the bad girls…

And Lilith was as bad as they came.

Her thing was cutting. She was a knife nut. And over the course of our so-called marriage she’d felt the need to express herself with a knife. Mostly to win an argument. She even took to cutting me a few times in the bedroom. She was that sort of weird, and I kinda liked it at first. Now I had the scars to remember her by. But it was all just a peek at the sinister side she barely contained under that prefab smile she’d perfected over the years.

In either case. Lilith decided to kill me, take the kid, and start a new life. And she succeeded in two of these three goals. After my gut was stitched up well enough I took to trying to find her and Evelyn, and found the trail ended at an empty grave in Belton, Texas. Once I ran out of money to fund my one-man crusade I fell into a depression and ended up taking a job as a bouncer in a titty bar in a no-name town just outside of Las Vegas. I developed a drinking problem, solved it with more drinking, and then added drugs to the solution until I finally just got sick of feeling sorry for myself and cleaned up my act.

Now I run the titty bar. Take care of the place and the girls. It’s not much, but it’s better than I deserved.

Then, one night as I was watching some TV before heading to bed, she knocked on my front door. My angel, who I never thought I’d see again. She looked a bit like her mother in the face, but she’d gotten my dark mane of hair. She had it long, and it spilled out of the hoodie she had on. She was dressed in normal looking clothes for the most part, a red and black hoodie-though it was so hot that night it was a wonder she wasn’t sweating every last drop of water she’d had in her–and a pair of jeans. Though, like I said before, I didn’t realize who she was at first.

“You lost?” I asked her.

“Are you Rick Lope?” She said, her voice trembling.

I frowned. “Who’s asking?”

She stammered and bit her lip. Nervousness practically radiated from her as she fought back powerful emotions. “Your… your daughter…”

I froze. It was then I realized where I’d recognized her face. And I damn near fainted. “Evy?” I said, my voice cracked.

She started to cry.

And damn it so did I.

It was automatic. I pulled my baby girl into my arms and just held her tight. She was a little shocked by this, but I didn’t care. After I had given up all hope of finding her, she ended up finding me. And I was just thankful to God, or whomever, that they’d delivered her to me at last. I could feel her shaking in my arms, her tears soaked my T-shirt, and after a while she finally found the courage to return the hug I was giving her.

“Oh my sweet angel!” I said through blubbery tears. “How in the blue blazes did you find me?”

“Friend of a friend of Lilith’s… my mom’s…” She said, stammering over her mother’s name. “Told me you spent years looking for me. I just followed the breadcrumbs.”

“And now you’re here.” I kissed her forehead. I was so damn proud of her. Smart like her old man, smarter even. Then a bolt of panic hit me. “Your mother!”

Evy finally pulled away, she looked down at my feet and shrank. “She’s dead… She finally found someone who was better with a blade than her.”

“Good riddance.” I said without the slightest hesitation. The bitch was dead, and my angel was back with me. Life had finally decided to turn around. I invited my daughter into my home proper and quickly dashed into the kitchen to make her something to eat. I admit I was like a kid at Christmas. All the years I’d spent imagining this day, the day I had her back, and the reality simply blew it out of the water.

“What do you want to eat? I got some… shit…” I looked through the pantry, I had Raisin Bran, peanut butter, and some packets of taco seasoning. I had been living on fast food more than I’d like to admit. Worse yet I was out of milk so the cereal was a no-go. “Peanut butter…” I shrugged. I poked my head out through the little serving window that saw into the living room and shot her a guilty look. “I’m sorry darlin’. I’ll run to the store in the morning. Get you anything you need. Anything.”

Evy had taken a seat on my favorite recliner and just looked at me, I could tell she didn’t care what I had to give her. She was just happy to be here. “Peanut butter sounds great… Dad…”

Oh shit there went the water works again.

I grabbed some spoons and went to the couch next to my recliner and handed her one. “You like crunchy, I hope?”

She chuckled, we were kurtköy escort both so overjoyed it was ridiculous. “I love it.”

So we ate the peanut butter in silence. Looking at one another. Happy that we’d found one another finally after all these years. In my lifetime I’ve eaten at some pretty bitchin’ places. Had some of the finest foods that a guy could ask for.

But that peanut butter… that was the best meal of my life…

Eventually I had to grab something for us to wash it down. I had some sodas in the fridge that did the trick. After another long silence I finally felt the need to start asking her questions. There were a million of them, but there was one above them all that I felt I needed to know. The answer I hadn’t been able to find on my own.

“So where the heck were you all this time?” I asked as I sipped my soda.

Evy had to swallow another spoonful of peanut butter before answering. “Nebraska. Lilith… Mom… she…” Her eyes seemed to stare off into the distance for a moment. “…She told me you had died around the time I was born. She moved there to start fresh. Or as fresh as a woman like her could.”

“No shock that she’d think I was dead. She shot me the day she stole you from me.” I told her.

“I know. After she died I decided to try and track you down, or rather find your grave.” She sighed. Then she smiled. “I met a man in New Mexico, Trip Packard…”

I knew Trip. He was one of Lilith’s booty calls, and a pretty decent card player. I had done a few jobs with him back in the day when I was married to Lilith. He’d stuck by me when she skipped town with Evy. A decent guy if there ever was one. If I ever saw him again, I’d fucking kiss him. “I know him.”

“Yeah, he was the one who told me you were alive. And where to find you.” She smiled again, god it was the sweetest smile.

“And you didn’t call me?” I said.

She shrugged. “I guess I was afraid to. I didn’t know how you’d react to seeing me. Trip told me how you had tried to find me but when the trail ran cold you gave up…”

That hurt me more than the gunshot ever did. “I didn’t want to… I just… I didn’t know where to go after that… I kept looking as long as I could. Poured every last cent I had into finding you.” Now I looked down at the floor. “I’m so sorry, Evy… I’m sorry I wasn’t able to find you…”

She went to me, and lifted my head so she could look into my eyes as they filled with tears again. She had her mother’s eyes, but they were full of love and light, very much unlike Lilith’s. She smiled at me and said: “I found you, in the end.”

Damn this was a night full of tears.

“That you did baby girl.” I hugged her. She was quick to embrace me this time. “And I promise you, I’m never letting go.”

My place is a little too big for me to be honest. I had three bedrooms. I used one for storage and the other as an office, and the third one was my bedroom. But I didn’t have the heart to put my angel on the couch. I slept better in my recliner as it was, so I got my bed ready for her. Made sure the sheets were clean and such. I wasn’t a neat freak but I did keep a clean house for the most part.

Evy seemed to be perfectly fine with the situation. She’d slipped out of her hoody, and I was shocked to find she had been wearing a long sleeved shirt underneath it. I let her change in the bedroom, let her have her privacy, but when she came out she was wearing a pair of yoga pants along with the same shirt. The girl seemed to prefer being covered up. I didn’t know how she was wearing all that in this heat. I was in a t-shirt and shorts and I was sweating.

Evy was very much like her mother though, I could tell. At least in the looks department. Thankfully she was an angel in other regards where Lilith had been pure evil. Though her hair was basically black like mine she’d gotten all of her mother’s best features. Long legs, a slender waist, and she’d gotten her mother’s perfect ass as well, which the yoga pants weren’t hiding at all. The only thing that was different was her bust size. She was smaller than her mother. Lilith had been a solid D cup whereas Evy had B cups from what I could tell. It didn’t matter though, I was an ass man. And Evy had that perfect ass.

Then I paused… The fuck did I just think? What the fuck, Rick? Did you just ogle your own daughter?

My logical brain shook this off as a brief moment of confusion. I wasn’t used to having a pretty young lady in my home, and Evy was definitely pretty. And I still wasn’t in full-on “dad mode.” Maybe it would take some time to get used to her being here? I shook the thoughts away and smiled at her.

“You need me I’ll be in the recliner.” I told her.

She smiled and hugged me again, this time she kissed my cheek. “Thank you… Dad…”

I loved being called that. “You’re welcome, angel.”

Evy laughed again. A nervous laugh but happy nonetheless. “I guess this levent escort is… goodnight then…” She shrugged, I could sense she still felt a little uncomfortable being in a new place, being with her dad for the first time.

“We’ll go shopping in the morning.” I told her. “Drive into Vegas and get you all the things you need.” My hand went to her face and I cupped her cheek. “You’re home now, angel.”

Some tears came out of both of us again, but not as much as before. Then she started to play with the bottom of her shirt, looking nervous, and I could tell she had something she wanted to say.

“What’s wrong, baby girl?” I asked her.

“Would it be weird if you slept with me? In the same bed?” She fidgeted as she asked.

I was a bit confused by her request. “You wanna sleep with me?” It was an innocent question, without any sexual connotation. Yet admittedly it sounded worse after I said it.

She started to stammer. “Well I just… I’m not really sure about this. I just don’t feel comfortable sleeping alone… Lilith… I mean Mom… she…”

I could immediately tell something had gone down between Evy and her mother. Something bad. I didn’t press her for answers though, I could tell she was exhausted. So I nodded. “Hey, you wanna sleep with your old man, I have no problems with that. I’ll keep the bad dreams away.”

She smiled. “Thank you.”

We retreated to my bedroom and I went and got myself situated on my side of the bed. Evy got in next to me and I couldn’t help but smile like a big dumb idiot. My little girl was here, I was the happiest man in the world right now. She couldn’t help but smile in return.

“We’ve got a busy day tomorrow,” I told her. “Let’s get some shut-eye, eh?”

Evy nodded, and then she started moving close to me until she was snuggled up next to me. Wedging herself into the crook of my arm and resting her head on my shoulder. I was a bit surprised by this. She sensed my slight discomfort.

“Is this okay?” She asked me, looking up into my eyes. “I can move to the other side if…”

I cut her off. “Whatever makes you comfortable, baby girl.” The look she gave me when she heard me say that was damn near heartbreaking. The thankfulness in her eyes, the joy, it was all plain to see. She snuggled up closer and fought back another crying episode.

“I’m so happy right now…” She said as she closed her eyes. The exhaustion of her long journey to me had finally caught up with her. “I love you, Dad.”

I kissed her head. “I love you too, Evy.”

Sleep didn’t come to me as easily, sadly. She was a powerful heater and I was already hot as it was. So I just lay in bed while sweating under the thick blankets. How my girl was so comfortable in all this heat was a mystery to me. Most of the time I just stared at her sleeping form, a part of me still couldn’t believe this was reality. I could smell her hair, it had a faint hint of strawberries to it. Her right arm was draped over my chest, and at some point her right leg came over my own.

I became acutely aware of her body pressed against mine as she slept and again my mind went to a dirty place for a brief second. I hated myself for thinking about the fact that I had a cute young woman wrapped around me, and the fact that I was getting a little hard from it all didn’t much help.

This is your daughter, man! Get a grip! I thought to myself.

And then she started dreaming. Whimpering in her sleep and moving around. Then she started to grind her pelvis into my leg and moaned. That definitely set off alarm bells. I wanted to pull away but I was also worried about waking her up. A part of me didn’t want this perfect reunion to get messed up over a stupid dream. So I kept silent as she continued to dream.

“Dad…” She whimpered in her sleep. “Where are you?”

“I’m here, baby girl.” I whispered. I lightly stroked her hair. “Dad’s right here.”

“…scared…” She continued to say between mumbles. “Mom… she hurt me…”

That got me angrier than anything in the whole world. “Your mom’s gone, baby girl. I’ve got you. No one will hurt you ever again.”

“It hurts… It hurts…”

“Shhh…” I continued stroking her hair. “I got you, baby girl. I got you.”

“Where are you, Dad?”

This was breaking my heart. I was getting a glimpse into my baby girl’s mind, the pain and confusion she had gone through with Lilith and her torment. She had spent her whole life wondering where I was. And I failed to find her in time…

I would never forgive myself for that.

“Dad?” She kept whimpering over and over. “Dad? Dad? Dad?!?” She woke herself up, her head lifted from my shoulder and she was breathing hard. Her eyes found mine and visible relief washed over her face, and a bit of guilt. “Sorry…” She whispered, closing her eyes as she returned her head to my shoulder.

“It’s okay, baby.” I stroked her hair some more, this seemed to relax mahmutbey escort her. “It was just a nightmare.”

She didn’t say anything else, and she didn’t really go back to sleep for the longest time. So we just laid there in silence. I continued to stroke her hair and she just clung to me like her life depended on it. Soon the exhaustion proved to be too great for both of us and we fell asleep at last.

In the morning I popped over to the nearby McDonalds to get some breakfast. When I got back Evy had woken up and was looking at some of the photos on the wall in the living room. Most of them were of me and the girls from the bar and some buddies from the old days. Nothing really spectacular, yet she was entranced.

“Are these your friends?” She asked me.

“Some are.” I told her. “Some are my girls… I…” I felt a little embarrassed to tell her about my job. “I run a titty bar.” I said a bit too bluntly.

“A strip club?” She smiled. “That’s cool.”

I didn’t expect that reaction. “I guess it is, yeah.” I shrugged and put the food on the kitchen table. “Come on, get it while it’s hot.”

We sat and ate our breakfast. I could tell she’d been starving since she was wolfing down the hash browns like there was no tomorrow. I smiled at her. “Today we’ll go get you a bed and everything you need. I’ll clear out the back room for you so you can have a proper bed and you don’t have to sleep with your smelly dad.” I joked.

She shrugged. “I didn’t mind it… I liked it, actually…”

I chuffed. “Your old man’s a smelly old fart. We’ll get you a nice, good smelling bed today. Get you sorted.” I frowned. “You going to school? Shit I don’t even know that…”

She laughed. “It’s okay. No, I’m not going to school. I graduated high school a year ago. Lilith… Mom…” her voice trailed off again. “…well she didn’t think I was smart enough for college…”

“Your mother was a cruel, callous, bitch.” I said firmly. “You were smart enough to find me. You’re plenty smart, angel. If college is where you want to be…” I paused. I wasn’t sure what the hell I was gonna do, I couldn’t afford to send her to college. “We’ll figure it out. Right now though… It’s time for some shopping. Girls still like shopping right?”

She smiled. “We do!”

So that’s what we did. After Evy put on that darned hoodie once again we hopped into my truck and drove off to get my baby girl everything she needed. Toothbrush, hair brushes, new shoes, a bed, bedsheets, blankets, pillows, and god knows what else. I probably spent far too much in a single day, but I didn’t care. I was gonna spoil my angel rotten!

We even went and got her clothes. But that’s where I noticed something odd. I’d suggest cute dresses, frilly ones that I figured would look good on her, but she insisted on more long sleeved shirts, long pants, and a jacket even. She refused to try on any of the dresses I suggested. At the time I just figured girls her age just didn’t go for that sort of thing. I waited out near the dressing rooms as she tried on some clothes she picked out. Eventually I realized I could hear her crying in the changing room.

“Evy? You okay?” I asked, concerned.

It took her a moment but she finally came out in her new outfit. She’d gone with a blue flannel shirt and a new pair of jeans. She looked pretty in anything, but she looked absolutely beautiful in the new outfit. However, I could see she had something on her mind as she came out of the stall.

“I’m okay… Just… this is all so overwhelming. You’ve… you’ve been so nice to me…” She started to tear up again.

“You’re my sweet baby girl.” I told her. “You’re gonna get as best as I can give you. I know it may not be much, I’m not a Rockefeller… but I will take care of you.”

She started crying and rushed to hug me. “Dad… Dad… Thank you…”

Some people in the store were looking at us funny. I didn’t give a shit. I was still on cloud nine. Once she’d gotten the tears out she tried on some similar outfits, but this time she seemed to be in better spirits. We bought a few more outfits, then finished up by grabbing groceries on the way home.

I cooked up some spaghetti, I wasn’t much of a cook myself but the easy stuff I could do okay. And we ate and talked some more. Soon, the conversation went to Lilith again. I honestly didn’t care about what the bitch had been up to since she’d stolen my angel, but Evy seemed to have a lot on her mind regarding her.

“What was she like? Before everything happened between you two, I mean.” She asked.

“A psycho, really.” I answered honestly. “She was a sadist of the worst sort. And she liked her knives…”

Evy nodded knowingly. “She did at that…”

“That was her go-to answer for anything.” I said. “That or a .38…”

Evy sighed. “She… she was the worst… I hated her…” She looked at me again, pain in her eyes. “I wish things had been different… that you had been there instead of her. You’re… you’re so sweet and wonderful… And nice… And you love me… She never loved me…”

That didn’t surprise me. I honestly believed that Lilith didn’t have the capability to love. This just proved it. And I was even more glad that the witch was burning in hell right now. “I do love you, angel. I always have. I always will.”

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