Holden Snyder was a patient man. If one was to describe him, they would probably call him strong; stoic, even. Of course, he had lapses in judgment, and a fierce need to just act would overwhelm his normally calm senses. He thought that over his lifetime, he had learned to control these lapses fairly well. However, nothing – nothing - could have prepared him for the sight he had to witness.
It was torture to stand silently and watch his son break apart so completely, and not do anything about it. He knew that it was for the best to stay back and let Luke vent out all of his disappointment with Damian, but knowing that fact didn’t make the practice of it any easier.
Holden knew that to anybody else watching Luke and Damian, it would seem as if Luke was furious, with no other emotion residing within him. However, the smallest indicators showed Holden what Luke was really feeling – and it was a far cry from just pure rage.
The tremor in Luke’s voice, the erratic hand gestures, and his harsh rebuttals all pointed to Luke’s distress; showing Holden that Luke’s anguish and just rage that was overwhelming him. Holden knew that he should turn around and give them their privacy, but he couldn’t. He needed to know when enough was enough, when Luke had reached his breaking point, and when he could finally, finally, interfere and get his message across to Damian.
Holden stood there, trying to stop the words that Luke was flinging towards Damian from affecting him, but having no results. Phrases would float towards Holden, resounding in his ears, and settling there with their claws burrowing into his heart; causing Holden heartache he would have done anything to avoid.
“You said it was because my dad didn’t want me there!” Luke’s shout echoed clear throughout the airport, but it would have hurt Holden just the same if the scream had been a whisper. Oh, Luke, how could you think I would ever not want you? Was I not clear enough when I said that no matter what, you are my son, and I love you? How could you believe him?
Jarring Holden out of his temporary self-loathing was another accusation Luke hurled towards Damian, something that shattered whatever was left of Holden’s currently mangled, broken heart.
“Yeah, but you let me blame myself!” It wasn’t the words that Luke had yelled, or even the meaning behind the words. It was the way in which Luke said them – his voice, starting out so strong and impassioned, rising until it cracked – as if he had given up all hope. Holden had never seen Luke so anguished, and everything in him wanted to go pound Damian, hit him until every wrong deed he had ever made against Luke was taken back. Despite the thoughts that were flitting through Holden’s mind, he stood stock still, face as hard as if was carved from stone and just as emotionless.
When Luke started rambling about Lily, and how she had known the truth, Holden began to truly see what had drawn Luke to Damian. It wasn’t just the DNA, although he was sure that was part of it. It was his need to have someone accept him blindly for everything he was, and everything that he wasn’t. Although it hurt Holden to know that his approval wasn’t enough, on some level he understood that Luke needed someone on the outside to accept him.
Words were spilling out of Luke’s mouth, and Luke’s hurt was shining through to the point that Damian had to have seen it. Holden could tell that Luke had reached his breaking point; long overdue, at that. Holden tensed, fighting centuries-old protective instincts that were screaming to go save his family and his young. Instead, he waited for the right moment to go to his son.
Luke’s rant rose to a crescendo, and his self control snapped as he yelled “My mother could die, and I would never get a chance to say that I’m sorry, or that I love her, all because you needed my time, and you wanted my money to save your own worthless life, you stupid lying son of a bitch!” With that, Luke drove Damian back through sheer physical force before collapsing, near sobbing into his chest. The second Damian move to comfort Luke, Holden saw his son temporarily relax, before his entire being struck out against Damian. That was another revelation for Holden – realizing that no matter what, Luke would love Damian at some level, and always strive for Damian’s approval - no matter how badly he hated the man, or denied that fact to himself.
Hardly aware of his movements, Holden finally allowed himself to walk over to Luke, and pull him away from his so called ‘father’.
“Luke, Luke! You need to calm down!” Holden commanded, hardly aware of the words that were coming out of his mouth. Personally, he would have loved to go over and kick Damian’s sorry ass, but he knew that calming his son down would always come first; even if calming Luke down meant wrestling him away from Damian.
“Why? Why? Why? Maybe if I punch, punch - punch his face in, will I - will I be man enough for you Damian? Huh - huh how’s that? If I kick your teeth in, am I a real Grimaldi?” Luke screamed, and the desperation in his voice damn near broke Holden’s heart all over again. He hardly paid attention to Damian’s calm, emotionless response, focusing only on his son, his Luke Snyder – not Damian’s “Luciano Grimaldi”.
Luke went off at Damian again, and Holden began to raise his hand with the intention of stopping Luke. Before his hand had come anywhere near Luke, he lowered it again, realizing that Luke needed this opportunity to make his feelings heard.
Standing there, listening to Luke lament about Lily, and her coma being his fault, Holden was overwrought by both the guilt he heard in Luke’s voice, and the guilt he felt himself. He had been secretly hoping for this moment, when Luke would realize that Damian was full of lies, and was no good for this family. He had no idea, however, how badly it would hurt both Luke and himself when the truth finally surfaced.
When Luke made his heartbreaking declaration that he believed he had turned his back on Lily, Holden wanted nothing more than to gather Luke in his arms and hug him like he used to do when Luke was six years old, and scared of the thunderstorm outside. Knowing that this wasn’t an option, he was about to forcefully drag Luke away from Damian, away from this entire mess, when Dallas Griffin appeared with news involving Damian’s arrest, followed shortly by Lucy.
Yet another wave of guilt washed through Holden – how could he have forgotten about Lucy? His niece, and his friend in so many ways - he had left her. Granted, he knew that he had been worried sick about Luke, but that still didn’t excuse his behavior. What kind of person am I, to let this happen?
Once again, Holden was ripped out of his self-pitying thoughts when Lucy finished her confession, and Luke decided against arresting Damian. The looks Dallas was sending him showed that he thought Holden was crazy for backing up Luke, but truth was that Holden didn’t think he could have been any damn prouder of his son. Instead of going the pettier route, Luke decided to do what was best for his family – make a clean break, and forget about this entire mess.
Holden had been ready to grab Luke and Lucy, and leave that damned airport when Damian stated, “You’ll always be my son, that’s not over between us.” - causing the blood in Holden’s veins to turn to ice.
“The hell it isn’t,” he said, and felt all that rage, the repressed emotions he had been burying well up within him temporarily, giving him that icy calm that he was so well known for.
“Your hold on my son, and this family, is over.” Holden couldn’t prevent the twinge of satisfaction he got when Damian visibly winced at his words, but lost his time to gloat when Luke began speaking again, asking Damian for the legal papers to his inheritance. When Luke pulled out a pen, Holden realized what he was about to do.
Seeing Luke sign those papers, the ones that had brought this whole mess upon them, caused a protest to rise to Holden’s lips.
“Luke…” he stated, not quite sure what that one word was supposed to say. ‘Don’t sign away your inheritance; Let his enemies kill him,’? However, Luke’s following actions made the reasons he was signing the papers more than clear. When Luke handed over the Grimaldi ring, it was more than just giving back a family artifact. It was Luke saying that he was a Snyder, 100%, and no trace of the Grimaldi’s would ever linger.
As Luke walked off, Holden knew he had to have one last word with Damian, to make sure he understood what exactly what had just happened.
Truth be told, he couldn’t remember exactly what he had said. All he remembered was Damian saying that Luke would forgive him, and he would eventually be able to reinstate himself in their lives. Hearing these words coming out of Damian’s mouth forced Holden’s rage to an all-new high, and the menace in Holden’s voice for his parting words couldn’t have been helped.
“Don’t ever come back here again.” Holden practically growled, knowing there was nothing else he could say, no other actions he could make, that would make his point more clear. Without waiting for Damian’s rebuff, he simply turned his back to him, walked up to Luke and Lucy, and finally, finally, hugged his family. Oh, thank god this mess is over.
Holden Snyder is a very patient man. But what most people don’t realize is that his patience is a guise to cover the emotions brewing under his surface. It takes a lot for someone to touch that emotion, that passion, and even more for it to be given out. Once you have it, you aren’t going to be able to give it back. When it comes to family, this is more than anyone could ever ask for. When you are on the wrong side of this passion, however, you might as well be trapped in a volcano. For if you threaten Holden’s family, the infamous patience is gone, and the resulting fury you will see from him will make you rue the day you ever messed with his family.