It shouldn’t be this hard to do the right thing. To do what’s best for herself.
Three mortgages, a child bride along with three other women, and faking cancer? It should’ve sent her over the edge already but, for Elizabeth Marks..no, Beth Boland , her children always came first. Cheating and lying or not, she couldn’t hurt them. She couldn’t cut the red thread of fate just yet.
So in the end, she deals with it and forgives him again. And again . And again . Because at the end of the day, Dean’s a good father.
She softly laughs to herself, though there is no reason for her too. She’s just tired. She’s always tired.
Then he comes around- Rio. And as much as he exhausts her, he makes her feel so alive.
The way his name rolls off her tongue excites her. He excites her. God, is she going insane?
“ I’m just so tired .” she says, barely choking back a sob. She doesn’t know why she tells him. He wouldn’t care and she doesn’t really want him to.
Or does she?
Rio calls her a Boss Bitch, gives her the keys to the ‘kingdom’. God, he was flirty too. She didn’t hate it.
Maybe she wasn’t going crazy after all. Hell, they’ve fucked in a bathroom for christ sakes. She refused to admit her growing feelings for him, but she couldn’t ignore how much of an impact he’s had on her. Rio made her feel good, made her confident again, and made her forget about all the problems already there and consequences to shortly come.
She realizes that her husband had never treated her right in all of their years of being together. Not only that, she couldn’t depend on him right now. Or ever again , in all honesty. She’d done more for them than he and his excuses ever had. At the end of the day, excuses get you nowhere.
She scoffs to herself and whispers, “I should really follow my own advice sometimes.”
She takes a sip of bourbon.
She’s been on an insane “power trip”, as Annie likes to call it, lately. And she couldn’t lie, she liked being in charge. But when Rio gets upset at her in her own backyard, pointing a gun to her again, she wondered if it was all worth it.
“ You need me, ” She says to him. Annie was right. She’s going overboard. But acting this way would push him away. They could forget that night ever happened. Forget the way their eyes met in the mirror or the silence that screamed with more tension than Beth had ever known.
God, she needed a drink.
Jane goes missing. Jane gets taken . She is furious. Furious with Dean, for being such an inept father. Furious at herself for letting herself think she could keep one foot in his world, the other out of it.
She’s crying, her ears ringing, head pounding. She doesn’t know what else to do but ask Rio. She shouldn't. The pull she feels towards him is what put her here in the first place.
“ If you mess up, you die! ” He reprimands her; he doesn’t know what they’ve done yet. They hadn’t come for her, like he had feared as soon as he found out what she’d done.
“ They took my kid!” She yells at him. She was crying again. The tears blur her vision and his face melts into the wall behind them and she just wants to go to sleep or maybe just get shitfaced wasted. Anything for all of this pain to go away.
It’s what she feared most. The problems and the consequences caught up to her. She didn’t know what else to do.
Her ears start to ring again and her head begins to pound.
She’s broken down again.
Warmth seeps into her bones as Rio wraps his arms around her. Before she could even react, the most comforting words fall from his lips.
I’ll fix it. Don’t worry.
And for a moment, she doesn’t.
Jane was home safe.
Days after the return of her youngest, she didn’t dare look or search for Rio. She didn’t even know what to say to him after all that, feeling embarrassed about the whole thing. She felt a presence behind her and turned around to see him . He looks her up and down, but it doesn’t feel as heated as usual.
“You’ve had a rotten egg in your own home this whole time, Elizabeth.” He reaches for a photo of Dean, Danny, and Buddy, running his finger along her husband’s face.
She laughs softly. “You know,” she states. She refuses to cry in front of him again but her eyes get glossy. He doesn’t answer.
“I don’t know how I managed to think that keeping a husband, who’s only managed to hurt me, around was what was best.” She laughs softly, tears threatening to fall but instead, she pushes her back against the oven, sliding to the floor. She hugs her knees, turning her head to rest her cheek on one of them and look up at Rio.
He lowers himself so that they sit, knees to knees. He reaches forwards and strokes his thumb over the knuckles resting on her knee. She doesn’t hate it.
Tears stream down her face now, and she has to inhale slowly before she can continue.
“He cheated on me. Four women. Probably a hundred different times. A girl he hired right out of high school, and three others while I was pregnant. He blames me. ‘I was lonely’ he says. As if I wasn’t lonely too. Not only that but he leaves me with three unpaid mortgages, lies about having cancer , and can’t even keep an eye on his own goddamn daughter.”
She presses her face into her other hand and a sob breaks through. Rio squeezes her hand lightly, and she squeezes it back as she lets herself ugly cry for a while. Finally, she takes a breath and looks up at him. He is looking at her, something she’s not used to written on his face. She realizes it’s concern. She appreciates it, she really does, so she tries her best to reassure him.
“It doesn't hurt, really it doesn't. It's like… falling off a cliff in slow motion, you know?” She starts and laughs as she wipes the tears from her eyes. Rio leans forward and wipes underneath each of her eyes with his free thumb and she laughs again. She couldn't believe the situation she’s in.
Continuing with a whisper, “After twenty years, I wish I’d just hit the ground already, you know?”
“Yeah” he says.
She looks at him with teary eyes. “Bullshit…you’ve never fallen off a cliff in your entire life! You’re too young. You can’t start falling until you’re at least twenty six.” She giggles at him, but she truly does appreciate his attempts to comfort her.
“Of course I have darlin’,” he moves some of her hair from her face and brings it behind her ear. She looks at him, at his eyes and his lips and his brown sugar skin and can’t believe whos she’s sitting with.
“When I met you..” he says, his voice softer and less sure than she’d ever heard it.
Sitting there, looking at the man with the gold gun and the throat tattoo and the world so different from hers, she realizes that she didn’t love Dean, and she probably never did.
She wants Rio more than she had ever wanted Dean.
She cupped his cheek in her hand and put their foreheads together. He moves his free hand up to grip the side of her neck and moves his chin forward just slightly, closing his eyes.
She leans forward and closes the gap.
The kiss was everything she’d wished she felt before.
He makes her feel loved .
She loves Rio.
The kiss, full of love and lust, soon escalates. Into something heated, and neither of them plan on stopping anytime soon.
Suddenly, she’s not so tired anymore.
When she met Rio, she learned what it’s like to feel loved.