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 'Cos I got issues, Zoe Kennedy
Kieran Hill
 Posted: Jan 13 2018, 08:58 AM
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Natalie


There was no better way to spend his Saturday than with his favourite girls in the world. Today he'd driven Grace and Zoe out to Hartford where they planned to spend the day. Not that they had any real plan in mind, but he'd suggested they hit the shopping mall first, mainly because Zoe had bought Grace a Build-A-Bear voucher for Christmas so he figured it would be fun to go and do that. Grace would be in her element in that place. Being a typical man he didn't particularly enjoy shopping, but he was happy to let Zoe look around for a bit afterwards before they moved on. It was cold but it was a nice day so he was sure they could find a nice park somewhere for a stroll. In all honesty, he didn't mind what they did, he just enjoyed the quality time with his girls.

It was mid morning and they'd already been at the mall for around an hour and a half, deciding it was better to get there early to avoid the weekend crowds of shoppers. Sure enough it was quiet in the Build-A-Bear store so he let Grace take her time deciding what she wanted. It was cute how confused she looked at first picking up a floppy teddy bear, not understanding the whole concept of the place. But the store assistant was very good with her and she was soon watching eagerly as the bear came to life. Grace clutched the bear to her chest whilst she eventually picked out a pink sweater, pair of denim jeans and shoes for it to wear. Needless to say she was delighted with it so Zoe had scored huge brownie points for that one.

With the bear safely in the box (which Grace had made him carry of course), they browsed a few more shops. Before he suggested they stop for a coffee. Starbucks was never far away, so that was convenient. Once he'd paid for two coffees and a chocolate milk for Grace, he joined the two girls at a table in the large seating area. It was definitely nice to sit down for a bit and he always enjoyed watching Grace interact with Zoe - it was sweet, she practically idolised her at the moment, always asking when she was going to see her. It took the pressure off knowing that they were bonding just fine. He smiled to himself as he sipped from his coffee, peering at Zoe as he put the cup down in front of him, "You've made her day. She was in her element building that bear" he smiled, shifting his gaze to his daughter who was sat next to Zoe sipping her carton of chocolate milk quite contently.

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Zoe Kennedy
 Posted: Jan 13 2018, 10:35 AM
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Kate


Weekends had certainly become a lot more exciting in recent months because that was when she got to spend time with Kieran. It wasn't always so easy during the week because of work and by the time she got home she was usually pretty knackered and didn't really feel like doing much. She found herself longing for the weekend to roll around even more so than before. Being with Kieran was never boring and time she spent with Grace was also precious, if she was going to be a part of her life as well then it was important she spent enough time getting to know her properly. It was a good job she was an adorable little thing, Zoe had become extremely fond of her.

Today had been fun so far, it turned out buying Grace that Build-A-Bear voucher for Christmas had been a brilliant idea. She had remembered doing that with her nephew when he'd been about Grace's age too and he'd loved it. So Grace seemed thrilled with her new bear and Zoe was feeling rather pleased with herself. She knew she didn't have anything to prove but it was still nice to know she'd made a small child feel very happy.

She was quite aware that Kieran probably wasn't going to want to hang around the shopping mall for longer than he had to even if he told her he didn't mind. She headed to Sephora after Grace was finished making her bear, picking up a few things for herself. It felt good to treat yourself sometimes. Next stop was Starbucks for a morning coffee and she sat down with Grace at a table whilst Kieran went to order and pay for their drinks. They made conversation about her new bear, Grace was still talking about it when Kieran came back. It seemed he was happy to let the conversation continue between the two of them for a while - until Grace went quiet as she enjoyed her chocolate milk. Zoe beamed a smile at Kieran, "I think I had as much fun as she did" she chuckled as she took a sip from her coffee, "I guess it was a good idea of mine, huh?" she smiled, at least she had done something right and Kieran had seemed impressed. She hesitated for a moment as she looked down at Grace and then back to Kieran again, "Is there anything you want to look at when we're done here?" she asked, she didn't want to drag him around any shops he didn't want to go in but she was more than happy to help him look for something he might be interested in.

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Kieran Hill
 Posted: Jan 13 2018, 11:27 AM
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Natalie


It wouldn't be the first time he'd been dragged around shops with a girlfriend. It didn't particularly bother him that much though, if it made his partner happy then he was happy. So the same went for Zoe, if she wanted to continue looking around then he was cool with that, the only problem was that he was sure Grace would get bored. He had memories of being a young child and kicking up a fuss because he didn't want to follow his mother around boring shops. It was no wonder he'd used to walk off on his own and end up getting lost.

Zoe had certainly chosen the perfect Christmas gift for Grace, it had been a good idea and one he probably wouldn't have thought of himself. "Yes, it was a really sweet thing for you to do. She loved it" he smiled, but Zoe had nothing to prove to him, not only was she perfect for him but she was so wonderful with Grace too. He couldn't think of a better role model for his little girl so he was grateful for that much at least. Taking a sip from his coffee he leant back against his chair as Zoe asked him if there was anything he wanted to look at. He had a couple of ideas but it all depended on how restless Grace got. He did want to see if he could find a new pair of sunglasses though. Designer ones, obviously. He did have expensive taste at the best of times. He looked around as he thought to himself for a moment, "Well, I was thinking I might go and uhh...." somehow he found himself distracted as he saw a young man and woman at the other end of the seating area walking right towards the Starbucks counter. A couple. A couple in love. His arm was around her and she was gazing up at him. No big deal, right? Except he recognised the girl straight away...

It was Carly. Carly. As in Grace's mother. If you could call her a mother.

Fuck. This wasn't happening.

He'd not set eyes on her since the day she'd had Grace and then taken off. Needless to say he wanted nothing to do with her just as much as she claimed she wanted nothing to do with him or her child. Hartford was her hometown of course, but anytime he came here he never particularly thought he might possibly run into her, it wasn't like it was a small town.

His heart was pounding furiously and the colour drained from his face. "Uhh... we... um... I..." why was he still talking? He felt like he was about to black out. He shifted his gaze, looking down at the table because he was afraid Carly would see him... and he did not want her setting eyes on Grace. Because then what? What if she realised what she'd missed out on and did all she could to get her back? The thought of that terrified him beyond belief.

He kept his head down, fiddling with a strand of hair as he sat there looking extremely nervous which was quite out of character for him. He was fidgeting, unsure of whether to stay put and lay low or get the hell out of here as fast as he could.

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Zoe Kennedy
 Posted: Jan 13 2018, 01:54 PM
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Kate


It hadn't been hard shopping for Grace's Christmas presents, after all she'd been a little girl once! Anyway, it had been fun shopping for a girl, she'd been so used to buying gifts suitable for boys since her nephew had come along that this had made a nice change. And she definitely felt like she knew what she was doing when it came to shopping for girls. Boys were harder to buy for in her experience, she'd always had trouble knowing what to get her dad and her brother was even harder to shop for. "Well I'm glad she did" she smiled, looking at Grace for a moment as she sat there quietly with her drink.

She had no problem helping Kieran out with anything he might want to look for, he'd been good enough to follow her around for a start. It had been the same when they'd gone to New York, if he'd been annoyed about her dragging him around the shops then he hadn't showed it. Her happiness was clearly important to him and she appreciated that. She looked at him as he started to speak, but then his voice trailed off as if he had become distracted with something. Whatever it was, it wasn't her or Grace that had made him lose his trail of thought. Zoe raised an eyebrow, waiting for him to finish, but something wasn't right. That much was obvious.

'Kieran?" she frowned, he honestly looked like he'd seen a ghost or something. She turned around to see what he was looking at, but she couldn't be sure what had caught his attention, over than an overly affectionate couple that had just walked through the seating area. Why would he be looking at them? She turned back to Kieran, wondering if he'd just zoned out and was staring into space. Weird. His behaviour right now wasn't normal, he was acting strangely indeed. Had he suddenly come down with something? He didn't look well now she thought about it and studied his face. "Babe, what's wrong?" she asked softly, suddenly seeming really concerned about him. "Are you feeling okay? You've gone really pale" she pointed out, reaching her hand over and touching his arm lightly. Something was wrong and now she felt on edge not knowing what the hell was going on.

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Kieran Hill
 Posted: Jan 14 2018, 05:25 AM
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Natalie


This was... the worst possible scenario for him. It hadn't crossed his mind in the slightest that he might run into her. If he was completely honest, he often looked at Carly's social media profiles, the ones that were public anyway - it seemed she hadn't found the privacy settings on her Twitter account at least. It wasn't like he was stalking her, he just wanted to make sure she stayed out of his way. A few tweets had been enough to tell him she was at college in California. And he gathered she had a boyfriend, and plenty of college friends. Fuck... what was she doing back here? In the time they'd spent together she'd often made it known how much she hated Connecticut and wanted to move away. He should have realised back then that she was younger than she was letting on. Christ, she was still young now, a quick calculation in his head put her at twenty-two. Looking at her now he wondered how he'd ever believed her when she'd told him she was twenty-four when she'd only been just nineteen. How stupid could he have been? But a pretty, young thing had shown interest in him and he just couldn't help himself. He was certainly more careful these days.

He was still totally in shock that he didn't register the fact that Zoe was looking at him and wondering what the problem was right now. He ignored her first of all because he was desperately trying to figure out what he should do. He pressed his fingers to his temple and shifted in his seat uncomfortably, pulling his arm away when Zoe touched him. "What?" he felt like he'd completely been elsewhere for the past few moments. He looked past her and noticed that Carly and her boyfriend had now joined the line at the counter, waiting to order drinks. Fuck, it was now or never. He couldn't stay here in fear of her seeing them. "No... no.... I'm sorry" he stood up and quickly put his coat back on. "I'm sorry but we have to go. We have to go now" he said bluntly, he was not explaining now either. Shakily he almost grabbed the chocolate milk from Grace's hands and put it back down on the table, which did not go down well as you can imagine. "Daddy! Nooo! Chocat milk!" oh she was not pleased as he tried to wriggle her back into her coat, "Grace... please... not now... we have to go" he lifted her into his arms much to her dissatisfaction. "Zoe... please... can you grab her bear.... we're going" he looked across at her with a slight panicked expression on his face, he wasn't prepared to wait another second. "Nooo! Not going!" Grace cried, wriggling so much in his arms that they were causing more of a scene than he would have liked. Not to mention he looked like the world's worst parent right now tearing her away from her drink. He held her tightly in his arms as he wasted no time in getting the hell away from there. And he didn't just mean getting out of the shopping mall. He was taking them home. "Nooooo! Daddy!" Grace was flapping her arms around, clearly upset and angry that he'd spoiled her fun. "Grace! Please!" he responded, but the more she fought against him the more it distressed himself. He was just focused on heading out to the parking lot right now, trying to ignore the looks he felt he was getting from fellow shoppers.

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Zoe Kennedy
 Posted: Jan 14 2018, 09:40 AM
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Kate


Kieran's sudden change of behaviour was actually scaring her a bit. And from what she could tell there was no real explanation for it either. Weird, right? Either he'd suddenly come down feeling ill and wanted to leave or he'd remembered something really important. Even still, why would he be acting like this? He even flinched when she touched his arm which was more than unusual for him. Yeah, she'd witnessed him be quite cold and dare she say it, but a bit rude towards people sometimes, but since he'd started letting her in it had been a while since she'd seen that side of him. So she had no clue as to what had gotten in to him this morning, not when they'd been having such a nice time.

Were the couple currently waiting at the counter something to do with his weird behaviour right now? He kept looking over at them as if he were afraid he might be spotted. Yet at this point in time Zoe couldn't put two and two together and work out what was going on. They were a young couple, early twenties, they were so wrapped up in each other that she doubted they cared what was going on around them. So why was Kieran causing a scene? Zoe's eyes widened as he suddenly stood up, demanding that they leave now. What the hell?! "We're going? Why? Kieran... what are you doing?" she looked extremely confused as he took the milk away from Grace and started putting her coat on. What the hell was so urgent? And he'd created a scene now by upsetting his daughter who was probably just as confused as Zoe was. But she wasn't going to argue with him because he was already in a state and she didn't want to make things any worse than they were already.

Without saying another word she pulled on her own coat and grabbed her bags, Kieran had already gone on ahead in front of her with Grace who seemed seriously unhappy with her dad. Could he blame her? Zoe caught up quickly with him, trying to keep up with his pace but he was walking far too fast. "What's going on? What just happened?" she asked, frowning at him as she tried to stick by his side as they left the mall. She fully expected to be snapped at because that was what he did in situations like this. Whatever this situation was because quite frankly she had no idea.

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Kieran Hill
 Posted: Jan 14 2018, 10:35 AM
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Natalie


His mind was so preoccupied right now that he ignored the questions Zoe was firing at him. It wasn't deliberate, he just wanted to get the hell out of this goddamn place and not look back. And the quicker they got out of here the better. He was in no position to be explaining what was going on just yet. So he'd upset his daughter by tearing her away when she'd seemed so quiet and content, and now he'd confused his girlfriend by acting oddly. What had been the perfect morning was now turning into a complete disaster.

He could not be certain that Carly hadn't spotted him. He may not have caught eye contact with her but after causing that scene there was a very high possibility that she'd seen him struggling to drag Grace away. Perhaps he should have just stayed there after all, if she had seen him then it didn't give a very good impression of his parenting skills did it? Fuck! He could all but pray that she hadn't seen him. But for now all he could do was run away, almost literally, he realised he was walking way too fast for Zoe and was aware she was probably struggling to keep up with him. Grace was still crying and trying to wriggle out of his arms, which only made him hold her tighter against him. He was breathing heavily as they continued to walk out of the mall, "Please... Zoe... not now" he finally acknowledged her, though he probably shouldn't have taken that tone with her. This was far from being her fault and had he been in her shoes right now he'd be wondering what the fuck was going on too.

He was so glad to get outside even if it was freezing, he needed the air after being in that place and practically having some kind of panic attack after who he'd just seen. It turned out he was still in a panic and couldn't remember where he'd left the park, this place was huge. "Where did I park?! Where's the fu-" he stopped himself from swearing in front of Grace, "Where's the car!?" his blue eyes shifted from left to right, he was certainly not thinking rationally right now and in his panic couldn't begin to remember where they'd parked this morning. "Daddy! No!! Not going in car!" Grace was still shouting at him, tears rolling down her cheeks as she kicked her legs in protest. "Grace! Daddy can't think straight when you're shouting!" he scolded her which didn't exactly help matters but he was at a complete loss as to what to do right now. The fact he couldn't remember where he'd parked the fucking car was sending him into more of a panic than he'd been in before.

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Zoe Kennedy
 Posted: Jan 14 2018, 12:53 PM
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Kate


So it seemed they were going home. Zoe wasn't exactly pleased about that when she'd been looking forward to a day out all week. And well, Grace was more than upset by the sound of it. What was so bad that had made Kieran react like that? Nothing made sense right now and whilst he'd ignored her questions before, now he was pleading with her not to ask him about it. Fine. She wasn't going to risk being snapped at. She sighed loudly and rolled her eyes as she followed him out of the mall, deciding it was best she stayed quiet until he'd calmed down a bit and felt ready to talk.

Damn, it was cold outside. Maybe she noticed it more because it had been quite stuffy inside the mall. Either way she supposed it was nice to get some air, it was just a shame he'd had to cut their trip so short. She stayed a comfortable distance behind Kieran as they entered the parking lot, only looking up at him when it seemed he went into another panic. What the hell was up with him? She didn't believe he genuinely couldn't remember where he'd parked. The parking lot was large but they'd parked fairly close to the entrance as it had been quiet when they'd arrived. "Kieran..." she said softly, unsure what to do right now. It was a good job she'd remembered where he'd left the car otherwise they'd be trailing around the parking lot trying to find the car for god knows how long. She bit her lip as she started heading towards the section he'd parked in, glancing over at him when Grace started making a fuss again. Honestly, Zoe couldn't exactly blame her, she was a two year old child who was bound to throw a tantrum when she was forced to do something she didn't want. In this case she didn't want go home or get in the car. Oh this was going to be fun. "Kieran... just calm down" she said, whatever had happened she was sure he didn't want to be comforted but she felt it was important he took a deep breath and composed himself. "The car is over here" she pointed to it once she'd located it. Oh boy, this was going to be a fun trip home wasn't it? She doubted he was even going to talk to her.

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Kieran Hill
 Posted: Jan 15 2018, 01:54 PM
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Natalie


Calm down? No, he wasn't about to calm down. He'd just nearly come face to face with the girl who had abandoned her own child, putting him through hell before she'd finally decided at the last moment he could have her. Now he was afraid, no terrified that she might change her mind. In reality she probably hadn't so much as even seen him, she'd been so wrapped up with her boyfriend that chances were she hadn't noticed him. But it only took a second. And that was enough to scare the shit out of him.

If he was able to think straight right now then of course he'd remember where he'd parked this morning, but he'd gone into a complete panic that nothing made sense. And with Grace giving it hell, he couldn't even hear himself think. No, it wasn't her fault in the slightest, he was entirely to blame, but her screaming was not helping matters right now. At least Zoe knew what she was doing and found the car, probably wondering why he'd gone so weird and couldn't remember a simple thing. He was losing the plot. "Yes, I knew that!" he exclaimed, the tone of voice he used made it sound like he was snapping at her, which he actually wasn't trying to do, but he was in such a state that quite frankly he just wanted to run away and be on his own. That couldn't happen right now though.

He made it to the side of the car, fumbling for his key so he could unlock the doors. He opened the door to the backseats first of all, attempting to get Grace in her car seat. Yeah, that wasn't happening. She continued to scream at him as he got her in the seat, "Daddy!!! Nooooo!!" she kicked her legs at him this time as he struggled to fasten her seat belt, refusing to sit still. "Grace! No! You don't kick Daddy, that's really naughty" he scolded her again in a firm voice that would usually be enough to get her to stop. This tantrum was something else. He was used to her sulking fairly often and she'd have the odd tantrum that was completely normal for a child of her age, but he had not experienced something like this for ages. He wouldn't say he'd had it easy, but she was a well behaved child most of the time. He didn't exactly blame her for acting like this today though. "No! Daddy! You're naughty!" she kicked at him, eventually giving up when he got the seatbelt done up, but it didn't stop her from crying loudly. He closed her door and then got in to the driver's seat, not looking at Zoe as he fastened his own seatbelt. He put his hands on the wheel and took a deep breath, zoning out again as he stared at the wheel. "DADDY!!" Grace screamed again and he felt like the world's worst father for having upset her so much. "Grace! Please... please... be quiet for daddy" he turned around to look at her for a moment before he turned back again, leaning his head back against the headrest and closing his eyes. Maybe this was all just a nightmare he was about to wake up from.

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Zoe Kennedy
 Posted: Jan 16 2018, 07:48 AM
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Kate


Jesus. Zoe was afraid to open her mouth in fear of him snapping at her again. She simply sighed as she led him to the car, choosing to stay quiet until he'd calmed down and with any luck told her what the hell was actually going on. Because from what she could tell there had been absolutely no reason for his sudden outburst. And she wasn't a mindreader so how was she supposed to know what was going on unless he actually told her? Instead they were going to have to go home now, spoiling a perfectly nice day that she'd been looking forward to all week.

The more Grace screamed, the more she could tell it was frustrating Kieran. Well who's fault was that? She'd want to scream and kick at him too if she were a two year old child, so Grace's current behaviour was completely normal. Even if this was the first time Zoe had witnessed her have a tantrum like this. She'd been used to her nephew throwing similar tantrums through, so it wasn't like she was shocked to hear Grace in this state.

She opened the door to the front, not sure she even really wanted to sit next to Kieran when he clearly wasn't prepared to talk to her, but she'd see how it went. She left the Build-A-Bear box on the back seat, next to Grace's car seat. Perhaps it would provide her with some comfort. Zoe fastened herself in, biting her lip as Kieran struggled with Grace in the back, scolding her again for kicking him. The problem was that he'd set her off now, he was going to have a hard time calming her down. And the more he panicked the more Grace was likely to pick up on it. Eventually it seemed he managed to fasten her in and he was soon in the driver's seat. Zoe didn't think he was in a fit enough state to drive which concerned her slightly, "Kieran... just take a moment, please. I'm not letting you drive until you've calmed down" she said softly, she certainly wasn't going to let him kill all three of them. She hesitated for a moment, looking to the back seat and offering Grace a small smile as if that might help somehow. Then she looked at Kieran again, "Are you going to tell me what just happened?" she asked, because she was desperate to know, he couldn't just keep her in the dark when he'd made such a scene.

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Kieran Hill
 Posted: Jan 16 2018, 09:20 AM
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Natalie


He was rather embarassed that this was all happening in front of Zoe as well. She was probably thinking he was a terrible father now, either that or she'd start thinking that this was just going to be far too much for her. They'd been lucky up until now that Grace had never really had a full on tantrum in front of Zoe. On this occasion he knew it was his fault, but the way he saw it was that he was just protecting his daughter. He was not mean enough to ruin her day for no reason whatsoever. Perhaps she'd thank him for it one day, but at this present moment in time Grace was having none of it.

Grace was still crying her eyes out when he left her in the back, he almost hoped that once he started driving she might just fall asleep. Wishful thinking perhaps, but she often fell asleep in the car. He sighed heavily as he closed his eyes, trying to ignore the crying for a moment as he attempted to compose himself. He was aware that Zoe was talking to him now, probably scared that he was going to drive off like a maniac and cause an accident. "I just want to go home" he said under his breath as he opened his eyes again, looking straight ahead for a few moments before he finally looked at Zoe again. He knew she deserved answers but he really didn't want to talk about it. He hesitated for a moment as he took a deep breath, trying to ignore the cries coming from the back of the car again. "I saw her" he stated, knowing that wouldn't mean anything to Zoe. "That couple that walked in" he said, running a hand over his jaw. He couldn't even bare to say her name. "The girl... she..." he closed his eyes again, "That was Carly" he said, he couldn't remember the last time he'd said her name out loud because he just didn't want to talk about her. "Daddy...." her screaming had turned into sobbing now, "Shhh... it's alright, sweetie. I'm sorry. Daddy's sorry" he tried to apologise as he turned around to look at his daughter again who was now refusing to look at him. "Zozo...." now she was looking at Zoe for attention instead, holding her hands out. Well at least it distracted him from having this conversation, one which he really didn't want to have.

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Zoe Kennedy
 Posted: Jan 16 2018, 11:02 AM
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Kate


She had certainly not seen Kieran in a state like this before. The only time she'd seen him panicked was when he'd nearly lost Grace in Bob's and luckily Zoe had found her. But this was something else altogether. He seemed scared... anxious... upset. She was so used to him being her rock that it was odd having the tables turned for once. All she could do was let him know that she was there for him. But it would be nice to know what was going on so she knew how to support him. She wasn't going to try and talk him out of going home, he'd clearly made his mind up and that was that.

Then he finally opened up. Zoe raised an eyebrow as he started to talk, who was the girl? She should have put two and two together really, but she had no idea what Grace's mother looked like. She knew the story behind what had happened but Kieran didn't talk about her and clearly had no intention to. She probably didn't realise quite how much he worried about it and what had happened today had obviously just triggered something inside him. "Oh..." she said, quite unsure of what to say at this moment in time. Of all the places and he'd ended up spotting her in the shopping mall they just so happened to go to today. "Well I can see why that's upset you" she said softly, no wonder he'd wanted to get the hell out of there. She bit her lip and ran a hand through her hair as she looked at him, "Did she see you?" she asked, raising her eyebrow again. He'd clearly been trying hard not to be spotted, but surely he'd ended up causing more of a scene by making them leave so suddenly.

Grace was still sobbing in the back and Zoe felt bad for her, Kieran wasn't exactly in a fit state to tend to her, he just wanted to get them home. "Gracieeee..." she smiled as Grace asked for her. "Would it help if I sat in the back with her?" she asked Kieran, she wasn't going to move unless he was okay with it. The last thing she wanted was to upset Grace even more, but she had just asked for her. Besides, Grace was probably going to end up being better company than her dad was right now.

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Kieran Hill
 Posted: Jan 17 2018, 01:40 PM
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Natalie


Kieran didn't expect Zoe to be able to understand how it had made him feel to see Carly. In fact it had surprised himself how badly he'd reacted, but he did what he did best and acted on an impulse, doing not only what he thought was best for Grace but for himself. And besides, it wasn't fair on Zoe either. He didn't want to make this awkward for her. He had no feelings for Carly, so that wasn't the issue, he just didn't want her coming back, changing her mind and turning his life upside down. She'd given him enough stress during her pregnancy, not letting him be a part of anything, the least she could do was just leave him to everything now like she'd promised. Maybe he was being selfish, but Grace lived a happy life without her in it and he didn't feel like she was missing out. Not when she already had strong, amazing women in her life who would be role models for her growing up.

He didn't know what was going through Zoe's head, she was probably thinking he was overreacting. He took a deep breath and shrugged his shoulders, he couldn't be sure that she'd seen him so perhaps he really was overreacting just a little bit. But still, he wasn't taking any chances right now. He wanted to get the hell out of Hartford. "I... I don't know... maybe... no... I'm not sure!" he shook his head, feeling like a right idiot for having panicked so much but even that brief glimpse of her had been enough to set him off. He closed his eyes again and sighed, "I don't want to talk about it" he said bluntly, he didn't want to have to take this out on Zoe... or Grace for that matter. They were both innocent and he'd ruined the day for both of them, he knew that much.

He was praying that Grace would soon forget about this little incident, though perhaps that was too much to ask. She wasn't such a baby anymore. He would try and give her a cuddle when they got home, though he didn't suppose that would make up for his behaviour. He hated to put this all on Zoe, but she was very natural with Grace and so he hoped she might be able to calm her down a bit. He wasn't sure he could put up with her screaming all the way home. Zoe offered to sit next to her in the back which was probably the best solution right now, it meant he didn't have to talk to anyone on the journey home which was going to take about an hour. "Yes... please. I think it would" he said softly, putting his key into the ignition, but he wouldn't start the engine until Zoe was safely in the back. A few more moments and he hoped he'd feel calm enough to drive.

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Zoe Kennedy
 Posted: Jan 20 2018, 09:54 AM
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Kate


It wasn't that Zoe thought he was overreacting, she could understand why he'd be so worried about Carly potentially spotting him and Grace. He had fought for his daughter and whilst he didn't express his concerns, it probably went without saying that he might be afraid she'd come walking back into his life to try and take Grace away from him. She was sure the idea of it alone was heartbreaking, but Grace's whole life was with Kieran. And she wasn't a tiny little baby who couldn't at least try and speak up. Zoe had witnessed first hand just how much she absolutely adored her father. Kieran was still panicked though, clearly paranoid that he'd been spotted. Zoe had been looking at her, without realising just who she was, from what she could see she just looked like a young girl in love with her boyfriend. She wondered if the boyfriend knew how she'd birthed a child she wanted nothing to do with. "I didn't see her looking at you. She was too wrapped up with her boyfriend" she commented, hoping that might help somehow. Either way he didn't want to talk about it, he made that much crystal clear. Zoe sighed lightly and nodded her head, she wouldn't risk saying another word about that incident in case he snapped at her. It was best to give him space when he was like this.

She was almost hoping he'd agree it was best she sat in the back, because she wasn't sure she particularly wanted to sit next to him whilst he was in this state. Luckily he agreed to it and she nodded her head, unfastening her seatbelt and opening the door so she could get out. She soon slid in next to Grace, leaving the middle seat free where her new bear was currently sat in it's box. "Guess you're stuck with me now, Gracie" she smiled as she strapped herself in and then rummaged around in her purse, pulling out a clean tissue. "How about we wipe those tears away, huh?" she said softly as she leant over, attempting to wipe Grace's cheeks gently. "Do you want to give your new bear a cuddle?" she asked, already beginning to open the box.

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Kieran Hill
 Posted: Jan 20 2018, 11:20 AM
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Natalie


He really did have so many thoughts going around his head right now. He hadn't paid much attention to the guy Carly had been with, quite frankly he didn't care that she had a boyfriend - that wasn't an issue. In fact he felt slightly bad for her boyfriend because he highly doubted he knew what she'd done. Maybe she was lying to him too? Or worse, what if he actually knew everything and he thought it might be a good idea to track Kieran down to get to Grace. He knew he was jumping to the worst possible scenario and worrying about something that most likely wouldn't happen, but seeing her today had really scared him. After all, it would be so easy to track him down, all she had to was type his name into Google and his website would pop up. She could contact him with the click of a button. He felt sometimes that he was just going to sit around for the rest of his life wondering when it would happen. He needed to be prepared and have a plan in case it did. One thing he knew for sure was that he'd go to the ends of the earth for his daughter and if it potentially meant paying for a top lawyer then he'd do it. Fuck, the very last thing he wanted was a custody battle on his hands and dragging his daughter's name through the court. Again, he was most likely being paranoid for no reason, especially when chances were Carly didn't give either of them a second thought anyway.

Zoe was probably just trying to reassure him by saying that, he still wasn't certain he hadn't been spotted. So he simply ignored her comment and stayed quiet as she got out of her seat and moved to the back. If only Grace would just stop crying, maybe he could think straight. He watched in the rearview mirror as Grace reacted to Zoe moving to the back. "Zozo..." she was sobbing lightly which made him feel terrible because she'd been in such a happy mood this morning. She let Zoe wipe her tears away, blinking a few times as the crying eventually stopped. She was still unsettled though and he didn't see that changing anytime soon. She was nodding her head now as she watched Zoe taking the bear out of the box, "Cuddly bear" she said sweetly as she held her hands out for it. Kieran took that as an opportunity to start the engine, reversing out of his parking space and then heading out of the lot. He may be slightly calmer than he'd been two minutes ago, but he was far from relaxed right now, just focused on getting home as quickly as possible.

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