Rating: Adult overall
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters in this story
Summary: Xander has a crush. William has a secret
On the Thursday after the funeral we all went to the solicitors
office for the reading of the will. He was a man that had been a
good friend of Grandda's for as long as I could remember.
His name was Ethan Rayne, and Grandda had told me once if I
ever needed legal help Mr. Rayne is who I should go to.
Mother was very sick that day. She could barely stand, and
her speech was slurred. I asked her what was wrong, but
Baxter got angry and told me to shut up and mind my
He was mean with her too. He took her by the arm and pushed
her into the room, then down on the chair.
She acted like she didn't notice.
I wasn't paying much attention to what Mr. Rayne was saying.
I was only thinking of Mother.
The reading took a long time.
I remember being surprised at how much money there must have
been because Grandda had left funds to several charities.
Varied amounts went to Mr. Harvey and of course Mrs. Wilcox.
Then it was down to mother and me.
The solicitor said only family was to be there for that part,
but Baxter refused to leave.
Said he and Mother were to be married and he would not be excluded.
I was shocked. I tried to ask mother about it, but she acted as though
she didn't hear me. I could tell Mr. Rayne was surprised too.
Several times she would fall asleep, and Baxter shook
her awake. I wanted to tell him to stop, but I was a coward.
The rest of the will was read.
Mother was to get a sizable amount but far from the bulk of the estate.
All of that was to be left to me. T
he estate, the grounds, and the money.
The only catch was that it was to be held in a trust until I turned 16.
Baxter was furious. I remember him threatening the solicitor, and
screaming at Mother.
She must have come to herself because she was crying
and apologizing to him.
Finally we went home and that became the start of the "after" time of my life.
He and mother went away the next weekend and when they returned I was
told they were married.
I never knew where it had happened, she only told me he was my father
now, and I was to obey him.
I didn't want him to be my father.
He was not an honorable man.
He hated me, and told me so at every opportunity.
Mother got worse and seldom left her room.
Baxter acted as though everything was his, and he spent Mother's
money like water. I found out sometime later he had petitioned the
court to give him control of my trust, but they refused.
Two months later I was sent away to boarding school. It was a new
school far away and I begged him not to make me go. At first I was
allowed to come home for a weekend once a month, then as time
went on I was told Mother was too sick or Mr. Harvey couldn't
come after me or any number of reasons, till 6 months had gone by before
I returned to the estate.
I had to take the train from school and found later that Mr. Harvey
had been dismissed When I arrived I was shocked at what I saw.
The gardens and grounds were neglected and dying.
The car was sitting in the drive with the bonnet up and parts lying about.
When I went in the house it seemed to be abandoned.
I called for Mrs. Wilcox, but there was no answer.
Entering the library I found Baxter on the sofa with a very trollopy
looking girl I recognized from the village.
He laughed and said Mother was in her room. I asked about
Mrs. Wilcox. Said he had canned her."
The words were coming in a rush now. William looked like he was on a
bicycle going down hill without brakes. The further he went the faster
he flew and Xander knew there was no stopping it now till he reached the
end and crashed. Xander only hoped to God he would be able to pick
him up and comfort and sooth his wounds.
These were wounds that were far worse than anything physical damage could cause.
"I went to her room to see her." The words were clearly painful and William flinched.
"Her room smelled. Smelled like vomit. Like she hadn't washed in ages.
I went to her and sat on the side of her bed. She couldn't have weighed
more that 80 pounds.
Her face was sunken in.
I told her I loved her, and I asker if she needed anything.
She asked me if I had brought her something.
I didn't understand what she meant. I told her "no".
She cried and told me to leave her alone. I left the
next morning and never saw her again.
I stayed at school from then on. I had no real friends and I was terribly
lonely, but there was nothing else.
It was March, two months had passed when I got word.
Baxter sent a cable that Mother had died. Said her
heart had given out. I'm not stupid. I know now that it was the drugs.
I was three months from my 16th birthday and he said I should come home."
Xander could see that the worst was to come, and he wished desperately
that he could spare William the memories he was clearly drowning in.
"What happened Will? What happened when you got home?" He asked gently.
William looked up at Xander surprised, almost as if he had forgotten there was someone else in the room with him.
"I thought I was going home for the funeral, but when I got there I found
it was over. She had died the month before and been cremated like Grandda.
I was heartbroken. Everything was ruined. The house was in total disrepair.
The servants were all gone.
It was only Baxter and I.
I asked him why he had me come back. I knew he hated me, and
truth was, I hated him too. It never occurred to me that as the new
owner of the house I could have thrown him out.
He said he had a birthday present for me.
He told me it was a surprise. That it was up on the fourth floor in the attic.
I knew something was wrong. I tried not to go with him, but he was
so big and so much stronger."
William's voice was getting louder now, shriller as he started to shake.
"Xander, he needs to stop now" Willow begged, hoping Xander
would intervene. "No, Willow. Let him go"
William heard none of the concerns or conversation between them.
"He dragged me by the arm. The first two flights he was still telling me it was a gift.
It was a surprise. By the third floor he was talking about me turning 16 and getting all that money.
Money that should be his. That he earned it by caring for my druggie of a mother.
By the time we reached the attic he was laughing about the changes in Mother's
will. That if I die before I turned 16 all the money and property went to him."
The blood in Xander's veins turned to ice.
Willow fought desperately to keep from vomiting.
The room was stifling.
"When we reached the attic I saw that the window at the far end was
pushed open. That struck me as odd since I had never, even as a child
seen it opened.
He had me by the arms and was walking behind me, forcing me to go ahead.
When we reached the window he pushed me forward.
Told me to look down.
Said "See all that? It will all be mine soon.
At least as long as it takes to sell this dump and get
away from this shit town. And as for you,
well, everyone will talk about the poor little girly boy who
was so upset over the death of his junky mother that he
came home to kill himself."
I could see the garden below .
The garden that had been so beautiful and fruitful.
Now it was ugly. Dead and ugly. He had done that.
He had killed us all.
I got so angry then.
I struggled to get loose, but he was too strong.
Out of frustration I threw my head back against his face.
I must have broken his nose because the blood was tremendous.
He cursed at me, and loosened his grip He let go of me and I fell to
On the floor next to me was Grandda's favorite walking stick.
I remember wondering how it could have gotten there.
He never came up here, and if he had he certainly wouldn't have brought his stick.
It was almost like he knew I would need help, and it was there for me.
So I picked it up and swung it as hard as I could.
It caught Baxter off guard.
He was still holding his nose and trying to stop the blood
and he lost his balance.
He fell backward and out the open window.