Sunday, 6 May 2018

Chapter 64 - Gen 2 - Granite

I frown in confusion, as I snap my phone shut.

After a very quick and abrupt conversation with Mango.  Not that it was actually much of a conversation.  It was Mango barking out his demands and cutting the call off abruptly, without even giving me a chance to speak.

I am a very puzzled by his request.

          "Baby who was that?"  Mace mumbles as he frowns at me
          "What did he want?"
          "Me to pop into the hospital.  He needs me for something."  I mumble quietly and cringe knowing Mace is not going to be very happy with this.
          "Seriously Gran, you promised!!"  he tuts  "You have only just got back from the hospital.  You live in that place and you don't even work there officially!!!"
          "I know, but he is not asking me to work before you even start."  I smiles at him  "He said he needs me to meet him in maternity.  He has something important to show me and he needs me there urgently ... I doubt it will take long."
          "Yeah, like I haven't heard that one before.  I guess I'll see you tonight or tomorrow then."  he snaps sarcastically.   "You need sleep, you should have said no to Mango."
           "Have you ever tried to say no to Mango!"  I laugh as I sit down on the bed by him.  "He said it is urgent, and he wouldn't drag me in if it wasn't important.  He knows I have only just come home.  He knows I've had no sleep because of Gravel's shit today after doing the night shift"  I mumble quietly
           "I am coming with you!!"  he snaps 
           "No!!  You stay here.  He said urgent, and I would take you with me but it will take you too long to get dressed and slap your make up on."

He slaps me which makes me laugh

            "You will only get bored sat out in the corridor waiting for me. I promise two hours tops and I will be back ... if he hasn't finished with me then, I'll walk out!!"  I smirk as I crawl over him and start kissing him.
           "Maternity?"  Mace frowns at me as he pushes me away a little breaking the kiss, so I crawl off the bed ready to make my escape.
           "Yeah that is puzzling me too ... I get a nasty feeling it has something to do with Mel.  Her blood pressure is a little too high at the moment and they are struggling to keep it down."
           "Shouldn't Forrest be sorting out his own Mrs and babies  ... does Mango forget you two aren't together any more."
           "Knowing Mango he is just trying to protect Forrest, at the moment he does not need any added stress."  Mace frowns at me  "He has only just woken up today from a serious head injury remember.  He is already trying to deal with his amnesia and the loss of his child phobia.  Then there is Gravel's under the floorboards shit ... the police tearing his house to pieces is probably going to drive him nuts and kick his OCD off !"
           "That guy is a total fruit cake!!"  he snipes  "So I guess us going out later is about to be sacked off because of HIM AGAIN!"  he pulls a face at me
           "No!!  I told you two hours and I will be back ... so polish your ring, get your glad rags and make up ready.  I'll take you out to any place you wish, as soon as I have finished with Mango and had a sleep."
           "You know it would teach you one of these days, if I did wear make up!!"  he smirks at me  "I'm sure Crystal, Winter or Lilly have make up they could lend me."
           "DON'T YOU DARE!!"  I chokes and he starts howling at the expression on my face.

As I walk down the corridor quickly towards the maternity wards, I hear River shouting me from behind.  I stop and wait for him to catch up.  He walks beside me, a big grin on his face.
          "Dr Rock."  he continues to grin at me
          "What are you doing down here Mr Trauma Surgeon?"  I ask him
          "I have been summoned like you."  he rolls his eyes
          ""So why have we been summoned?"
          "There is yet another extended family drama unfolding in maternity as we speak." he laughs  "Dad will fill you in when we get there." 
          "A clue would help."  I laugh at him  "Mel, Scarlet, El which one is it?"
          "It is Scarlet, she has had her baby."
          "Ahhh my liver donors baby has arrived ... I hope they are not expecting me to be substitute Daddy seeing as I am carrying the babies Dad's liver around with me."
          "Oh you idiot!!"  he starts laughing at me  "That sounds just like something that Tapestry would say!!"  he laughs again.  I frown at him because of the way he is laughing at me.
          "Do you know why I have been summoned by your Dad?"
          "Yes, but don't ask me Granite ... I doubt you would believe me if I told you what Dad thinks is going on!!  You will find out why Dad wants you soon enough."

I really don't like the way he is laughing at me, almost mischievously.

Now in Maternity, we hear the loud shouting as we round the corner, and start making our way down the corridor towards the noise and the delivery rooms.  This pretty much reminds me of when Coral's twins arrived and we had all the drama over the arrival of the red baby, which turned out to be Maizie Shines.  I dread to think what might be going on this time!!

After we have pushed our way into the noisy room we are faced with bedlem.  The Shines and Forrests are going at it hammer and tongue.  I glance at Scarlet who is in pieces and crying her heart out.  Mango is just leaning against the wall with his arms folded and eyes closed.  He looks downright miserable and like he is trying to blank out what is going on in this room.

Ruby is pretty much doing the same, but she is sat motionless and just staring down at the floor.

Alpine is raring, he almost looks like he is going off his rocker.  Screaming and shouting that the baby is not Cinnamons, and hurling a load of obscene abuse in Scarlet's direction.  Scarlet really confuses me continuously shouting at Alpine that he needs to speak to Forrest and she needs Forrest here.  Bay and Caramel are trying to calm Alpine down but it is not working.

I automatically jump in and grab Mel and pull her away.

          "Are you stupid!!"  I snap at her  "You are pregnant for berry's sake!!  We are already struggling with your blood pressure without you kicking off!!"

I frown at Mango, wandering why he is letting Mel get involved.  Him hearing my voice has him opening his eyes and seems to snap him back to the reality of what is happening here.

           "EVERYONE SHUT UP!!!!"  Mango yells really loudly.

The room suddenly falls into a deafening silence.  Even Alpine stops and shuts up.

         "Bay, Crimson, Maize, help River take Alpine up to Neurology.  Caramel you go up with them, after you have told maternity where you are going.  Hopefully Forrest can calm you down!!"  he mumbles quietly then looks at River.  "River get Alpine sedated if he carries on kicking off, and put in a bed.  There are no free side rooms, so you will have to put him in with Forrest.  Everyone needs to be quiet, Forrest could do without the hassle of everyone kicking off around him, he's already had enough to deal with today without this added to it."
          "I'm not leaving here till I get some answers!!" Alpine snaps
          "Alpine, we will sort this mess out in a civilized manner, then you will get your answers.  We won't get anywhere everyone screaming and shouting at each other, other than kicked out of the hospital by security!!"  he snaps at Alpine. "I will try and get to the bottom of this, but in the meantime everyone can all wait up in Neurology for me QUIETLY!!"  he laughs quietly  "River, you are in charge of keeping them quiet, I don't want them causing bedlam on my department!"
          "Thanks Dad!!"  River laughs at him
          "Can you remind Tapestry, I need to see him straight away.  He should be with Forrest, unless he has wandered off somewhere and forgotten."  he smiles at River before his face goes serious again   "Now that Granite is here, we can get this mess sorted out properly." Mango smiles at me
          "What the hell does Granite have to do with this?"  Bay snaps as he frowns at me.  All I can do is shrug my shoulders because I am as confused as he is.
          "I was just about to ask exactly the same question Bay."  I mumble   "I'm as confused as you are right now."
          "Everyone out except Scarlet, Granite and Ruby, so we can sort this mess out in peace!!"

I watch as everyone files quietly out of the room, including Alpine.  None of them looking too happy about it, but they are doing it anyway.  It amuses me that none of the extended family question Mango's authority, they just do as they are told.  What doesn't amuse me are Bay and Crimsons suspicious scowls, that are aimed directly in my direction as they walk past me, like I've done something!!

          "I just knew this was coming!!  Ruby, I think you have something to tell your daughter don't you!!"  Mango snaps angrily at Ruby as soon as the door closes behind everyone.  "I was right all those years ago, wasn't I!!  You tried to deny it, but the medical evidence told me otherwise!!  I do not doubt that is Cinnamons baby ... and you need to quit being so damn selfish ... TELL HER the damn truth about her own father, instead of sitting there and letting her take the slack for your shit!!  She isn't the one everyone should be shouting at!!"
         "Mango what the hell is going on and why am I here?"  I frown at him as Ruby and Mango just scowl at each other in uncomfortable silence.
         "Oh SHE knows exactly why you are here!  Don't you Ruby!!"  he laughs sarcastically  "So are you going to be the one to tell him, or shall I??

Ruby jumps up and stands there scowling at both me and Mango.

         "I need to have a word with you outside for a moment Granite."  he says as he grabs my arm and starts to push me out through the door.  "Tell her Ruby, or me and you will be seriously falling out!!"  he snaps quiet angrily just before he pushes me out through the door.

We stand out in the corridor and he just stands there staring into space like he has the troubles of the world on his shoulders.

          "What on earth is going on?"  I laugh nervously at him
          "Before I explain what is going on here, I need to discuss something work related with you, before I forget.  I need to check that you have had your copy of the Medical Convention letter."  he mumbles as he pulls a letter out of his pocket.  "I thought I ought to bring it to your attention as I presume they will have sent your letter to your home in Cherry Hill."  I take the letter off him and read it.
          "Mmm is it that time again already!"  I laugh quietly  "I doubt they will have offered it to me this year, not after I have turned it down for the past two years, and I am on medical leave.  I've not exactly been in the game this year have I!"
          "Yes Dr Rock, it has been offered to you again.  I phoned up to check who my partner in crime is going to be this year, and it's you."  he smirks at me, then frowns  "Granite tell me something.  You know they don't offer this place to just anyone.  So why on earth would you be turning down the opportunity to take your place and show the rest of the medical profession that you have been ranked one of the best Neurosurgeons on the planet?"
          "Don't talk wet!!"  I laugh at him  "I'm sure there are far better Neurosurgeons out there!!"
          "Obviously not, or they wouldn't have been  offering it to you for the last three year on the trot!!"  he smiles at me  "It is no wander I have had your CEO in my ear a few times over the past few months, warning me not to tempt you into staying at Sugar Valley.  They obviously don't want to lose you."  he laughs  "I have obviously taken my eye off the ball lately!!  The only reason you have slipped under my radar is because you have only just made Department Head, AND you have avoided being my partner at the annual Medical Convention for the past two years."
         "Yeah ... that is exactly why I have been turning it down, and shirking any work related publicity.  To avoid you seeing me."  I laugh at him  "I guessed when Dr Fry retired and they offered me Head, it wouldn't take long for you to spot me in Neurology.  I've been quite happy hiding behind Dr Fry!"

           "Well you are out of hiding now Dr Rock.  So there is no reason for you to be turning your place at the convention down this year is there!!"  he smirks at me
           "No I guess not."  I laugh at him
           "Good."  he smiles at me  "We will have to put our heads together later this week to prepare for it.  Before you get distracted by this surprise marriage you are springing on Mace."
           "Sounds like a plan."  I laugh at him  "Yeah the timing does stink a little.  Mace is seriously not going to be impressed that a week after I marry him I'll be taking off on my own for a week, even if it is work."
           "Yeah I know, the timing isn't good.  There is something else he might not be too impressed with.  The convention ties in with the start of Tapestry's tour.  They have concerts in Rainbow the week we will be there, so I am actually go to one of his concerts while I'm out there!"  he smirks at me
           "Oh Berry ... THAT I have got to see!!"  I start howling at him.  The thought of Mango attending a rock concert is pretty hysterical.
           "Oh don't worry, you will, because you will be coming with me!!"  he really starts laughing.  "Tapestry has sorted out two front row tickets with our names on."
           "That's great and fine by me!"  I smirk at him  "It has been years since I've been to a rock concert."
           "I have never been to one."  he chuckles.  I would be shocked if he had!!!
           "So what is going on in there with Scarlet and the baby?"
           "You might guess!!  YET ANOTHER extended family sordid mess!!" he mumbles  "Everyone is questioning the Father of Scarlet's baby because of stray colouring that has been thrown up .... nobody believes it is Cinnamons baby." 
          "Oh dear!!"  I frown at him

Now I am seriously confused as to why I am here ... unless ...

          "Why did Scarlet keep asking for Forrest?"  I mumble  "You are about to tell me that the stray colour is green and Forrest is responsible for it, aren't you."     
          "Hell No!!"  he starts really laughing at me  "If only that baby had something to do with Forrest it might make this a whole lot easier."  he mumbles

          "I don't have a clue why she kept asking for Forrest!!  The baby is brown with A type blood, both of which I would lay bets on him inheriting from Cinnamon, however, it is what he has inherited from Scarlet that is causing the confusion.  It is not the baby's Father that has been thrown into doubt here ... it is actually Scarlet's Father and you Granite are here for a very good reason."

I suddenly remember something that Mace told me months ago, about Sunny knowing he wasn't Scarlet's biological Father.

         "Why me and what good reason?"  I frown at him  "Don't even think about trying to lay this shit on me!!"  I laugh at him  "I know you was right about Slate, but trust me ... Scarlet is nothing to do with me!!  I still stand by what I said, not even my mouth has been anywhere near a woman, especially not that red slut!!"
         "Oh Granite!!"  he stands there almost howling with laughter for a moment  "I know she is not yours, besides you was inside when Scarlet was created."  he carries on laughing  "I am not even sure if Sunny ever realised that he was not Scarlet's biological Father, because of her being all red.  However, I have known since the day that she was born that it was impossible for her to be Sunny's child because of her blood type.  Sunny and Ruby are O, like all the rest of their children, but not Scarlet ... she is B."
         "Oh fudge!!  She definitely can't be Sunny's ... have you ever asked Ruby?"
         "Yes, I did tackle her just after Scarlet was born but she stayed tight lipped,.  She would not even admit that Sunny was not her Father, probably because she thought I might tell him.  I didn't pursue the matter at the time because it was around the time Cosmic faded, Lilly lost their baby and we had all kinds of hell going on."  he rolls his eyes  "It has always bugged me, but for the life of me I couldn't see anyone in her except for Ruby, until recently when I've spotted something about her eyes."  he chuckles

        "Granite I have never known who Scarlet's Father is, however, it is quite obvious when you put all the facts together ... the stray colour in the baby, along with her B type blood, her eyes and the babies nose.
        "What colour?"
        "The babies hair is grey."  Mango stares at me with an amused look on his face, probably waiting for a reaction to come from me.
        "Grey!"  I mumble
        "Yeah.  Who do you know with grey hair, B type blood AND the Rock piggy nose?"

The question he has just asked me hits me like a full force punch to the stomach.  I can actually feel my colour draining from my face.

         "Gravel ... but ... that is impossible!!"
         "I might have said so due to his medical condition ... however,  Clay proves it is very possible.  Gravel has obviously managed to defy the odds, twice, twenty years apart."  he chuckles
         "Oh Berry!!"
         "I need you to confirm the babies hair is the correct grey, I can't see it because I am colourblind.  However I don't doubt it will be because the baby has Gravel's awful nose, which kind of proves Scarlet  is Gravel's daughter, and I have noticed recently since you have been back, something about her really stands out.  Scarlet actually has your eyes, your Mother's eyes, which are very distinctive."
         "Hell!!  Scarlet could be my Niece ... she could be Clay's half sister!!"
         "There is no could be about it .. trust me, Scarlet is Gravel's daughter!!"  he tuts "Ruby has obviously kept that little secret all to herself.  Neither Scarlet or Gravel have a damn clue!!"

         "I seriously can't believe this!!"  I choke
         "We need to tackle Ruby to get the truth out of her.  That woman is impossible, and no doubt she will keep denying it until she is blue in the face.  I've half a mind to set Ice on her, she can make her talk!!"  he chuckles  "We could actually do a sibling test on Scarlet and Clay, as Gravel is not here to do a paternity test."
          "I thought you had some of Gravel's blood."
          "I'm afraid I only took enough of his blood with Corals twins in mind, and we used some of it on Clays paternity test.  The other vile, that we should have, got broken and wasted by one of the clumsy idiots in the lab."  he rolls his eyes  "What blood group does Clay have?  Do you know?"
         "Yeah B."  I smile at him
         "That is even better ... he has Gravel's blood just like Scarlet."  he smirks at me  "I know this will impact on your family, Gravel being Scarlet's Father, but with Alpine and his dicky head, I am going to need concrete proof to put his mind to rest.  He is adamant that the baby is not Cinnamons and I don't know how I am ever going to convince him otherwise.  I get the feeling Caramel and Forrest are going to have hell with him, not that either of them are up to all the hassle right now.!!"
         "That would make Scarlet and Slate cousins."  my brain starts doing overtime  "They have never been in a romantic relationship have they?"
         "That did cross my mind too, but no, I don't think so.  However, without checking with them I can not be hundred percent sure.  Cinnamon and Scarlet have been together pretty much since school, they were together before Slate and Coral started dating and I think Slate has always been too busy mooning over Juniper and Fudge."

        "OH BERRY!!!  I hope you are right because I feel very sick suddenly!!"  something else hits me pretty hard   "The brown skin - the Rock nose, the grey hair - the A type blood - my Mother's eyes ... the facts point to something else ... that baby could have inherited all that from ... Slates!!"
         "Yeah that has also crossed my mind  ... but think about it, when that baby was created, Slate was on life support, so we are safe with that one!"  he laughs at me "Scarlet has been adamantly screaming in there that it is Cinnamons baby and she has never slept with anyone else."  he laughs quietly  "Honestly I believe her, she has always been a very good, honest and quiet girl.  She is nothing like her Mother or Strawberry ... trust me that baby is Cinnamons and Scarlet is Gravel's child!!"       
         "Oh berry!!  This is madness!!"  I laugh
         "Oh the madness doesn't stop there ... there is more."  he rolls his eyes
         "Go on ..."
         "The baby has blue eyes."
         "WHAT!?"  I frown at him  "Where the hell does the blue come from?"
         "That is a question, I seriously DON'T have the answer to?"  he stands there rubbing his neck  "Granite, your Mother was a pure grey berry wasn't she."
          "Yes, as far as I know she was!!  Dad has never said otherwise, I'll have to ask him"  I frown with confusion.  "Her family turned their back on her and us because of the colour mixing.  Like Dad she was born in Raspberry.  The first time I saw my Mom's Brother, I was about ten.  He was disgusted by us, he called me and Gravel mixed berry scum to our faces ... so I doubt the blue could have came from Mom."
          "I don't ever remember seeing any of your Mothers family while we were growing up.  I don't even remember seeing any of them at her funeral."

            "No, they were never told at the time that she had faded.  I doubt they would have come to her funeral anyway.  I presume they know she has faded by now."  I chuckle  "You probably know my Uncle and don't even know it."  I smirk at Mango  "Dr Grey ... Raspberry Hill.  Head of Paediatrics."
            "Seriously!!"  his eyes nearly pop out "Yeah I do know him.  I did not realise he was your Uncle."
             "I doubt he would admit that I am his Nephew.  Not publicly anyway."  I chuckle   "You aren't the only reason why I have avoided conventions and work related publicy ... I've been trying to avoid Dr Grey too!!"
Tapestry shouts at us from down the corridor..  He is pushing Forrest in a wheelchair, which amuses me but doesn't impress Mango one little bit.  I laugh seeing Snow on Forrests lap, who Forrest seems to be chatting away to quite happily.

          "You shouldn't be out of bed and off the ward!!"  Mango frowns at Forrest
          "Oh stop stressing - I have only got amnesia, it's not going to fade me!!"  he laughs at Mango
          "Fowest has got funny ears, but he's not a pussy cat!!"  Snow giggles suddenly which almost has Mango's eyes popping out of his head.
          "He just spoke!"  Mango chokes
          "Yeah, I've got a new friend haven't I Tap!"  Forrest laughs
          "I think he likes Forrest, and especially his ears.  He keeps saying things, and he's even been singing nursery rhymes!! I've never heard his voice so much!!"  Tap smirks at Mango  "I don't think I need to hire a supply teacher ... Forrest can do the job, now he is well cured of his phobia!  Snow is definitely going to have to spend more time with Forrest, because he is the only one who can get him to talk."
           "Daddy, me wants a pussy cat."  Snow giggles as he strokes Forrests arm.  I laugh firstly at Mango's shocked face, but also because I think Snow thinks Forrest is a cat because of his ears.
           "Snow we already have a cat."  Tapestry mumbles

           "Yellow cat is Nilla's cat.  ME wants this colour cat."  he mumbles as he points at his own arm.  I watch Tapestries mouth drop open as he crouches down to Snows level.
           "So you want a colourless cat?"
           "Yes, my cat!"
           "Okay, seeing as you are being a big boy and talking.  I will try and find you a colourless cat."  Tapestry laughs as he ruffles his hair.
            "Me's getting a pussy cat!"  he squeals at Forrest
            "That's nice, what are you going to call your cat?"
            "I don't know."  he shrugs his little shoulders then lies against Forrest and starts sucking his thumb.
            "Well I'll be damned!!"  Mango chuckles as he stands there watching Snow and Forrest.  "Here was us thinking he was mute and the little monkey can talk as well as Vanilla and Ocean!!"
              "Poof goes the child phobia ... Poof goes the selective mutism." I start laughing  "Today, is just getting madder and madder by the minute!"
          "Isn't it just!"  Mango laughs at me before he turns to Tapestry  "Anyway, you took your time!"  he grumbles at Tapestry  "I hoped you would get here before Granite did, seeing as he and River came from home and you was only up in Neurology!!"
          "Sorry, I had to help Forrest break out of Neurology."  he smirks at Mango  "Have you told Granite?"
          "Yeah, kind of."  he mumbles

I look between the two of them and Mango suddenly looks very uncomfortable as I frown at him.  He points towards Tapestry who just stands smiling at me sheepishly.

          "You knew about Gravel being Scarlet's Dad didn't you!"  I stare at Tapestry
          "Yes."  he mumbles
          "Did Sunny tell you?"
          "No, Sunny knew he wasn't Scarlet's biological Dad, but he never knew who was while he was alive, Ruby would never tell him."
          "So how did you know?"
          "The way I find out about most things ... my spirit friends told me."  he smiles at me while I just laugh.
          "Somehow I just knew you was going to say that."
          "Cosmic knew Gravel was Scarlet's Dad before she was born, he expected the brown or grey colour to come out when she was born.  When Scarlet was born all red, it didn't come out, and Ruby got away with it."
          "How long have you known?"  I snap at him
          "A few months ..."  he cringes  "... and before you even ask Dad, I have only just told him ... today!"  he mumbles today like it was an after thought and not very convincingly.

          "A few months!!!"  I snap  "Why the hell didn't you tell me Tap?  You have had plenty of opportunity too, so why haven't you?"  I frown at him
          "I'm sorry!!  I didn't know how too ... Scarlet does not know herself and I was just biding my time.  I guessed this might happen, the baby coming out with the wrong colouring, but hoping it didn't happen.  I was being a coward and waiting until now."  he mumbles
          "Didn't you think that I had a right to know she is my Neice and that my Dad has a right to know he has another Grandchild and now a Great Grandchild!!??"
          "Of course ... but what if Cosmic had got it wrong?  I could have opened my mouth and caused a lot of trouble and upset for nothing, when no doubt Gravel wasn't the only one sleeping with her at the time!!!  That woman has slept with most of the town!!  If I had told you, would you have been able to sit on the secret until the baby arrived to prove that she is Gravels Daugher?"
          "Why would I have had to sit on it?" I frown at him
          "Gravel faded Cinnamon!!  I wasn't going to be the one who lit that firework if it wasn't necessary ... this is going to destroy Bay's family and Scarlet all over again!!  How the hell are they going to look at that baby knowing it has something to do with Gravel after he murdered Cinnamon!!??"  he looks at me sheepishly  "I'm sorry Granite, now you might see why I wanted to keep this shit to myself for as long as possible ... "

          "Oh SHIT!!"  The reality suddenly smacks me.  I'm too busy trying to get my head around the fact that Gravel has managed to father another child, without thinking it all through properly.  "OH HELL!!  How much more destruction is that man going to cause?!  Gravel has murdered his own Daughter's boyfriend and Grandchild's Father ... how the hell are Scarlet, Mel and Alpine ever going to take this!!"  I snap
          "Exactly!"  Tap mumbles
          "I'll let you off for not telling me Tap ... I am not sure I could have lit that firework either, and it was probably better I didn't know, because I couldn't have sat there knowing she is my Neice and not say anything!!"  I frown  "But something still doesn't make sense ... the blue eyes, how is that even possible?"
         "I can explain where the blue comes from."  Forrest starts laughing
         "How?"  me and Mango both ask him at the same time.  "Where does it come from?"
         "Alpine."  he laughs
         "How can it?  Alpine is a pure green berry."  Mango mumbles at him
         "Yeah, that is what he thinks!!"  Forrest  rolls his eyes as he holds up the folder  "You need to read this.  Alpine is actually a mixed berry and he doesn't even know it himself."

I laugh at Mango, who's eyes nearly pop out as he takes the file off Forrest.

        "Leafy how doesn't Alpine know he a mixed berry?"  I frown at him as I stroll over to join them on the couch where they are now sitting.

        "Only by luck so far I think!!  Cinnamon had all of Mel's colouring and none of Alpines, or he could have found out when Cinn was born if the blue had surfaced then."  he laughs.  "Alpine was placed into care when he was a baby, obviously he is pure to the eye, so why would he doubt it.  Besides he has the papers that say he is pure.  He has never known anything about himself, not even his parents names or why he was put into care. "
        "And you do I suppose."  I laugh
        "Yeah, Cinnamon went on a mission to get some answers to the questions that Alpine has always wandered about himself, and I helped him.  Ironically Gravel even helped us at one point.  What we found, would really have upset Alpine, and with his brain damage, we doubted he would take it.  So Cinnamon decided he was better never knowing, and I agreed ... what he doesn't know will never hurt him."  he rolls his eyes
         "So what was so bad, that kept you two from telling him?"  I frown at him
         "After they traced Alpines social services records back to where he was born, it didn't take Cinn and Gravel long to discover that Alpine had been placed into care because both of his parents were arrested and sent to prison ... for colour mixing as well as fraud.  Alpine being the result of the colour mixing and the reason his parents were locked up."
        "One of his parents is blue I take it."  I frown at him
        "Yes, his Mother is Green and his Father is Blue."  he laughs
        "Why would any of that really upset him?"
        "Alpine has deep down always had a very big problem with colour mixing.  He is at heart still very stuck in the colour code as he had spent a lot of his life out in the coded world and brainwashed like the rest of them.  A reason why Lime was his girlfriend at boarding school, not because he liked her because she was green. The very same reason why he latched onto me and Meadow the moment he landed in this town, because of our colour, and a reason why he was never really into or comfortable with his relationship with Mel."

        "So why did he get into a relationship with Mel in the first place?"
        "He was a mixed up teenager, desperate and not thinking right.  He got very close to his school mates, they were like his first proper little family, he cared about them like they cared about him.  Up until then he'd never really been loved by anyone, and he felt loved by his friends.   He was scared that when school finished he would be alone again, not having any family of his own.  He knew that Lilly and Cosmic, Sunny and Ruby would be here with Mango.  Caramel was talking about coming here with them, so he just jumped on the bandwagon and attached himself to Caramel, who actually did like him at the time."
        "So you recon he wouldn't take the fact he is a mixed berry."
        "No he wouldn't, especially not with his brain damage, he would have taken it badly ... he is going to take it badly, because I am going to have to tell him now ... the blue in the baby comes from him, so I can't hide it any more."  he pulls a pain filled expression  "I knew this baby was probably going to open a huge can of worms on two counts ... "
        "Did you know Scarlet is Gravel's?"
        "No, I knew Sunny wasn't her biological Dad, because Mango pointed out the blood incompatibility when she was born, but I didn't know she was actually Gravels until Tap just told me."  he looks at Granite sheepishly  "I should have known, and I think deep down I knew, but didn't think it was possible with his fertility problems.  Scarlet's eyes have always spooked me, she has your eyes.  I've never been able to look at her without thinking about you."
         "Funny that isn't it, Clay has my eyes too."  Granite laughs  "Both of his children got our Mothers eyes, when I have them and Gravel and Slate don't!"
        "Forrest why do you have this police file?"  Mango mumbles as he hands it back to him
        "Cinnamon had it hidden at home.  Scarlet gave it me for safe keeping, after Cinnamon faded, because we guessed we might need it when the baby was born."

        "Where has it come from so quickly?"  he frowns at Forrest
        "I kept it locked in my office desk, ready and waiting for when the baby arrives, just in case we needed it."  he laughs  "I better warn you, me and Tap have had to smash my desk up to get the draw open.  My keys are at home."  I chuckle at Mango who is rolling his eyes at Forrest, and giving him one of those disapproving looks.
        "So Scarlet already knows where the blue has come from?"
        "Yeah, and so will Caramel, but my three kids were never told.  We knew we would have to pre-warn her about the blue before the baby arrived.  But luckily Cinnamon had already told Scarlet, I didn't realise he had until she came to me in pieces when she found out she was pregnant.  I guess Cinn needed to tell her, I know it was torturing him, he knew if they ever had any children there was a possibility that the blue might surface, which would mean we couldn't keep hiding it and we would have to tell Alpine the truth about himself."
        "That is why Scarlet kept asking for Forrest earlier!!"  Mango laughs at me  "Forrest, this tit thought for a minute that the baby was yours!!"  this has the three of us laughing
         "I don't get it ... how does Alpine have papers saying he is a pure berry when he isn't?"
         "We never got to the bottom of that one either, not even Gravel could work it out."  he laughs  "It is pretty ironic really, because Alpine arrived all green.  He wasn't born in hospital, they kept the pregnancy a secret and he was born at home.  His Dad got Alpine dodgy papers and birth certificate, that is why they got extra prison time for fraud.  They were both sentenced to ten years.  I said ironic, because here is where Alpine was first shipped too when his parents were arrested and locked up.  Sugar Valley."  he laughs  "His surname Forrest, is not actually his birth name, it belonged to the first family here in Sugar Valley that fostered him.  By rights Alpines papers should have been changed by the authorities when it was first uncovered, but they weren't.  His name was changed, but the fact of him being a mixed berry wasn't ... whether it was an oversight, a clerical error, or another dodgy act ... we couldn't work it out.  The Forrest family were pure green berries and they moved out of this town with Alpine about a month after they started fostering him and there is a trail of foster families and childrens homes up until he went to the boarding school."

          "I wander if my parents remember that Forrest family?"
          "Yeah I know, I've wanted to ask your parents, my parents and Shale, but I haven't to keep it to myself."  he smiles at Mango  "I guess we can now."
          "So are Alpines biological parents still alive?"  Mango asks him
          "No, they are both long faded.  If they had still been alive when we uncovered the truth, we would have told him.  His Mother took her own life, a few months after being sentenced, she committed suicide, she faded when Alpine was a baby.  His Father faded in prison five years ago,  a few years before we found out who they were."
          "In Prison?"  Mango frowns  "I thought you said he only got ten years."
          "Yeah, he was stabbed. Cinnamon showed me his police records and Alpines Dad basically spent his life in and out of prison, and from what we could see, he was not a very nice character. Crime and drug addiction.  We didn't find any siblings on either side - so we didn't think Alpine needed to know something that would have really upset, even unhinged him.   Especially his Mother."

          "Where has Tapestry and Snow gone, I didn't see them go."  I frown at Mango
          "Oh you might guess."  he laughs as he rolls his eyes  "There is a baby crying on his radar - so he is in there.  I swear a switch trips in his head when he hears babies crying and he turns into robo nanny!!"

I laugh at Mango as he pushes open the door and calls Tapestry out.

          "You just can't help yourself can you!!"  he laughs at Tapestry as he comes out
          "What?!  I took Snow in to see his new little cousin."  he grins at Mango
          "Right you can take Forrest back up to Neurology seeing as you broke him out!!"  he laughs at Tapestry.  "I don't suppose you could tell if Ruby has told Scarlet about Gravel."
          "No she hasn't!!  Scarlet is very confused in there by the babies grey hair."  he mumbles.  "Ruby is just sat there saying nothing."

           "How are we going to do this .... "  Forrest chokes  "It is bad enough we have to tell Scarlet, but Alpine is going to totally lose it having to find out he is a mixed berry as well as his Grandson having Gravels genes in it!!  I also have Mel and the kids to deal with who are going to be totally devastated!!  Slate, how is this going to affect him?"  he looks at me miserably.
           "I don't know ... Slate is who is worrying me.  He didn't take Clay's existence too well to start with, did he.  With Scarlet, they are friends and she is another family member who has been right under his nose all this time and he never knew it."  I mumble
           "Slate is busy with Vanilla, Ocean and Amber, luckily he is out of the way, so hopefully you will be able to get to him before the gossip does."  he smiles at me  "I think we need to deal with Ruby and Scarlet first."  Mango mumbles  "We have the written proof to cover the blue ... now we need to get the proof to cover the grey ... before we even say anything to Alpine, Mel and the kids."           
           "Get the proof how?  It's not like Gravel is here to do a paternity test is it."  Forrest grumbles
           "Yeah but we have Clay.  I'll phone Mace in a bit and get him to bring him in so we can do a sibling test."  I smile at Forrest who now looks like he is getting upset.
           "Forrest, you will have to go back upstairs and play dumb till we come up.  You need to try and stop Bay from phoning Slate too."  he pulls a face  "Unfortunately there is no easy way to do this, but having Alpine upstairs where he can be sedated and put in a bed when he loses it, is the best place for him to be."
I watch Tapestry pushing Forrest up the corridor.  My head is totally blown and I can't help but worry about the trouble and upset we have coming!!

While I'm still trying to take in the fact that Gravel has created another child, and one that he didn't know existed.  She has been walking around right under his nose and he didn't have a clue ... this will probably destroy him more than Clay's existence will!!

It makes me wander if he had known about Scarlet, would it have changed things, would him knowing have stopped all of his madness and everything he has done to hide and keep a hold of Slate.  I think it definitely would have done ... Ruby could have stopped all of his destruction just by telling him that Scarlet was his child!!  I also probably would have known about my Son existing from the start too, which suddenly makes me angry!!

We walk back into the room to find silence.  Scarlet has stopped crying and is feeding the baby, Ruby is just sat quietly watching, she does not even look at us when we enter the room.

          "I take it you haven't said anything to Scarlet, Ruby!!"  Mango snaps at her.  She just shakes her head miserably, still not looking at us.
          "I just want a straight yes or no!!"  I snap at her  "Is she my Niece?"

Ruby looks up quickly and stares at me quite nastily for a moment.  She suddenly bursts into tears and tries to run out of the the room, but I grab her and stop her.

          "IS SHE?!"  I rare at her as I hold her firmly by the arm.  She just stands there scowling at me  "TELL ME before I shake it out of you!!  She is Gravel's isn't she!!"
          "Yes okay!!  She is!!"  She tugs her arm free from my grasp and runs out of the room, the doors bang violently behind her.
          "So typical of Ruby!!  She leaves her sordid mess for me to clean up AGAIN!!"  Mango tuts as he stands staring at the swinging door, his hands on his hips.

I stand staring at Scarlet, still seriously wandering if I am not imagining all this, looking for signs of Gravel in her, but I can't see any.  She doesn't resemble anyone in my family, she doesn't look like a Rock, because she looks too much like Ruby.  I think about what Mango said about her eyes, she has the same shaped eyes as me, my Mothers eyes, but I can't see Scarlet's eyes properly because she is looking down while she is feeding the baby.

My heart starts to break for her, this was always going to be hard for her, having that baby alone, with Cinnamon now faded.  Now she has to learn the truth about herself, that she is Gravel's daughter ... this is going to be very hard for her to take, because of him fading Cinnamon.

          "Mango, what is going on?"  she frowns in our direction  "Why does my baby have grey hair, it really doesn't make any sense!!  I need to speak to Forrest!!"  she mumbles as she starts to get upset  "This is definitely Cinnamons baby ... I have never slept with anyone else!!  You do believe me don't you!!"
          "Yes Scarlet I believe you!!"  Mango smiles at her  "Forrest has explained to us, where the blue comes from ... from Alpine."
          "Good!!"  she looks relieved  "I had to really bite my tongue with Alpine when he was raring in my face accusing me of all sorts.  Forest needs to explain it to him, because it is going to upset him!!"

I can't help but smile at what she just said.   Gravel would never have sat there and took the stick to protect and save someone else's feeling.  How has my evil Brother managed to create such a kind, sweet and selfless girl, when he himself is the opposite.

          "Forrest is going to explain it to Alpine later."
          "It still doesn't explain where the grey comes from!"  she mumbles  "Do you think the grey also comes from Alpine?"
          "Can you hand the baby over to Granite, he can finish feeding him while we sit down and have a chat about the grey."

I can't help but stare at her face as I take the baby off Scarlet, she looks straight at me and smiles.  My stomach rolls as I stare at her eyes ... Mango is right, she does have my Mother's eyes.  I wander why I have never noticed it until now.

As I stand feeding the baby, I'm not really listening to Mango because my thoughts drown out the sound of his voice as I stare down at the baby who is staring up at me.  I concentrate on the babies nose, Mango is right about that too, he does have Gravel's awful nose!!  This cracks me up and I start to cry ... I think I've got the proof that I am holding my brothers Grandchild, and I can't help but think that this poor baby is not getting a very good start in life because of my evil brother on two counts.

Scarlet suddenly starts screaming, which snaps me out of my daze.  She is verging on hysterical while Mango is trying to calm her down.  She looks at me wide eyed then starts screaming again.  Scarlet's screaming sets the baby off.  His little arms fly up in the air rigid and he let out an almighty loud cry.

          "I'll take the baby out so he doesn't get any more upset."  I mumble as I stare at Scarlet 

         "I need to make a phone call anyway.  I'll just be outside."

For the first time, I wander how my Dad is going to take this news!!