ALISON

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55

David Hertz

"Take the day off." I told Lydia who happen to be dropping in and out of my office each passing second,

I could never understand her.

"If you ever need anything, do not hesitate to call, I'm just a block away." She said and turned to leave.

I was in the office since 9. A.M taking calls for a new project I was working on, I had to have everything ready before Alison takes over the company, but with my mind continually drifting to her,

I barely had any work done,

Tonight, I plan on making things up to her, I know nothing would cover for all the pain I caused her, but I must start somewhere, I would have to win back her trust.

My initial plan was to cook for her tonight, but with the project and conference calls that plan was shoved out the window,

So I sent Micheal to grab take out menus from all the five-star restaurant he can find in the city. Hopefully, she's not on a diet.

I brushed the thoughts aside and tried focus on work.

I had to get the projects ready and running done in a month, at least by then she would be acquainted with how to run the business.

I worked for a few hours more and glanced at my wrist, I realized I still had time for a quick shower and a change of clothes.

She should be on her way,

I arranged the files on my desk before going to get ready, I pray this works.

I stepped into the kitchen a few minutes later and reviewed the menus from the different restaurants Micheal was able to find,

There were varieties of them from Italian, Chinese, Indian and even Mexico,

I stared at them a bit confused,

I was aware she liked Chinese and Italian,

I hoped that hasn't changed.

I opened the Chinese menu and glimpsed through it, before finally picking up the phone and calling for the orders.

I glanced at my wrist watch again and realized I still had a few seconds left before she walked through the door.

I began setting the table, placing out the plates and cutlery.

I placed down two glasses of wine before heading over to the stereo to select one of her favorite songs.

Shortly after I got everything ready, I heard footsteps approaching the kitchen,

"Tessa?" She called as she came closer, "Why are the lights off?" She turned on the lights and froze abruptly.

"What's all this, David?" I noticed her legs go tense, "Do you have date?"

"Yes."

I hint of jealousy passed through her eyes,

"Lydia?" She confirmed.

"You." I whispered.

Her eyes lit up to me, but she covered it quickly.

"I was hoping we could catch up."

"You're four years late." She scoffed, still upset with me, then she eyed the table for a while, "Uhm..I'm only going to accept this dinner because I hate wasting good food... and I'm starving."

She walked towards the table.

I smiled and went over to her.

Alison

After spending the whole day staring out the ocean, and attempting to run away from everything else, including David.

I finally made it back home,

I couldn't stay away forever,

"Tessa?" I called as I made my way inside the house. "Tess." I walked through the dim kitchen, "Why are the lights off." I turned on the lights and froze abruptly.

David was standing in the middle of the room with his hands in his pocket.

My stomach did a slow slip as I stood frozen staring at him, he was wearing a suit that fitted to perfection, showing off his broad sexy shoulder and his tall broad frame.

A slow sexy grin appeared on his lips as he began making his way towards me,

My heart sped up,

"What's all this, David?" I managed to utter, "Do you have a date?" My heart skipped a million miles at the thought of it.

"Yes." he said amused.

"Lydia?" I found myself asking again, praying he proves me wrong.

"YOU." I whispered.

My eyes lit up to him. Then it him, what am I doing? I shouldn't give him the satisfaction.

"I was hoping we could catch up." he said.

"You are four years late." I scoffed, then glanced at the food, no matter how upset I was with him, I couldn't say no to good food, especially when he's made an effort, "Hhm, I'm only going to accept this because I hate wasting good food, plus I'm starving."

I went towards the table.

"Do you still love Chinese?"

I nodded, looking around the table.

"Good, I got you every kind."

"Did you make all this yourself?" I asked, everything was just so perfect and beautiful.

He pulled out a chair and gestured me to sit. I mouthed a thank you before taking a seat, he picked up the plate and began dishing out the food,

"That was the plan, but I was busy all day, I didn't have the time."

"It's fine...." I whispered and filled my fork, tasting the delicious aromatic noodles he placed in front of me,

It was absolutely delicious,

"Hmm...this is so delicious."

He sat on the chair opposite me, staring at me smilingly.

"Are you happy?" he asked out of nowhere.

"Huh?" I raised an eyebrow at him.

"With the food?" he said.

Yes, of course.." I beamed.

He chuckled as I let out an uncontrollable gulp,

"I'm so sorry." I quickly apologized, that was embarrassing. He filled the small glass in front of her with water and pushed it to my side, whispering.

"You're too adorable..."

And, causing my blood to boil under my skin, he still had that huge effect on me, my cheeks were flushing just from him looking at me with those deep blue eyes of his.

Ugh, I forgot I was supposed to be mad at him.

I sighed, dropping my fork.

"David...What do you want from me?

"You, all of you." he took my hand into his, "Please give me a second chance," he said desperately and I almost jumped on it.

"Well, you're too late I have a boyfriend now.." I lied jerking my hand away from him.

I wasn't just going to forgive without making him suffer,

"You don't have a boyfriend, Ali.." He said with all certainty.

I scoffed, was I so visible?

"Unbelievable, you don't know that..."

He stared amused,

"Okay, let's just say you do. What's his name?"

"Josh..." I thought quickly,

"Hmmm...Josh, huh?" He refilled his cup, "And, what does Josh do for a living?" he teasesm

"H-he is so gentle, loving, and caring. The opposite of you, and most importantly I don't have to worry about him abandoning me in another country someday..."

"He seems like the perfect guy, almost too real to be true..." I wanted to punch him.

"He's real alright. So if you think some delicious dinner is just to make me forget how much you hurt me, think again. ..For years, I was miserable because of you, can bring back all those years I lost because of..."

He cleared his throat, saying. "I know this doesn't even cover half of the things I made you go through, Ali. I was coward and I don't deserve your forgiveness, but if you do give me another I will do everything to gain your trust again."

I stared at him, the sincerity in his beautiful eyes broke me,

"I never stopped trusting you, David." I admitted and that was the truth, "I-I was just tired of being the one fighting for us, while you sat there and did nothing, you just push me away when things get harder."

"From now things would be different, Ali. I promise." He paused and then said, "Come to Melbourne with me."

I raised an eyebrow at him confused,

"What's happening in Melbourne?"

"I'm want to introduce you to my family." He said and my eyes lit up, you don't know how long I have waited for him to say that, but just then it hit.

"I can't.."

He leaned back surprised,

"I mean, Tessa and I have to get back to school, we have finals coming." I never thought a day would come, where I would choose school over him.

He smiled, "I already made arrangements this morning, I called your school and asked them to move all your classes online for a few days, and Tessa, a plane is set to take her home whenever she's ready."

I gasped giving him a pointed look,

"Are you kidding me!! You can't just make such decisions without informing me, David. It's disrespectful." I scolded him.

"I'm sorry and I would understand if this isn't a good time,"

"No, I didn't say that....I just can't...well I mean I couldn't...before..." God, this man has turned me into a mumbling idiot.

He flashed me his boyish grin,

The one I longed to see for so long,

"So is that a yes?" he asked again.

"You know it is..." I said sighing in defeat, "What am I going to do with you?" I sigh.

He snickered,

"We would return in a few days, so you have enough time to prepare for finals."

I nodded and then we stared at each other in complete silence, there was so much tension between us, so many things that needed to be said, so many memories, but at the moment all I wanted to do was touch him.

I bit my lip nervously before whispering his name,

"David?" He didn't reply and just captured my lips.

The moment his lips found mine, the fire inside me, the one I have been searching for in all those men ignited and I grinned, pressing my body against his.

He tasted as delicious as I remembered.

A low moan escaped me as he picked me up and placed me atop the dining table.

I wrapped my legs around him as he leaned over and traced sweet Kisses around my neck,

the kissing became intense and full of lust as we were starved for each other.

He broke away when things were becoming intense to look at me, "I don't want you feeling like I did this to have my way with you, Ali."

Are you kidding me? He's thinking that now, "I don't care David." I gasped breathlessly.

He chuckled and began pulling my dress over my head, He probed himself up and looked me over slowly with lust filled in his eyes,

"All yours," I breathed,

He leans and starts kissing me again, this time he was careful, as if trying hard not to hurt me or my feelings.

I exhalted frustratedly

"David?" I called and he snapped his head to me.

"Did I hurt you?" He panicked, scanning my body.

"I'm not hurt and won't get hurt." I whispered staring sweetly at him, "So stop worrying, I'm not a child anymore." He kept forgetting. If only he knew how mischievous I have been over the years.

He nodded and with his beautiful eyes not taking a glance off mine he pulled off his shirt and then leaned back and began unbuckling his belt,

My heart was pounding so hard I was sure he could hear it.

That was when I heard someone approaching the room and I went still.

"What's wrong babe?" David worried.

"I think someone is here." I said in a whisper.

David stopped to listen,

"David?" A voice called.

He gave out a frustrated sigh, "It's just Lydia." He said like it was a normal thing to recognize her voice.

"What are you doing here, Lydia?" He yelled out for her and she walked in on us almost naked, I couldn't help the smirk that appeared on my face.

She was completely shocked.

"I-I'm sorry...I just checking on you...I called, but you weren't picking....and I thought something had happened--"

I rolled my eyes as she blurted more nonsense out of her mouth,

"We will talk about it tomorrow, leave." David was calm, too calm. Has this happened before, to make things worse, she just stood there gawking at his chest.

"Well, do you mind!" I let out uncontrollably, irritated with her presence.

I noticed David's mouth twitch, holding himself from laughing, "I will see you in the morning, Lydia."

She threw me a glare before looking over at David and apologizing again, "Once again, I'm really sorry, David. It won't happen again." She said and left.

As soon as she left, I gave out a sigh of relief, releasing the anger I felt just watching her drool over him,

"She clearly has athing for you." I let out.

"Ali?" he stretches like I was not making sense.

"What, I see the way she looks at you. I'm not even going to add all the lies she's said about you two since I got here, and as mean as this might sound...I think you should fire her." Let her find some other man flicker over.

David reached and wrapped his hands around my waist,

"I'm working on it." He pulled and started kissing my neck.

"No, call her right now and fire her, or do you just enjoy the attention."

He sighed, "Ali, you know, I can't just fire anyone without a reason."

I groaned frustrated,

He pulled away and brought my hand to his lips.

"I have another surprise for you."

I started at him as he went to wear back his shirt before moving towards the stereo,

He turned it up and my eyes lit up with joy.

"David!"

My favorite song play on the stereo, how did he know I loved this song?

I wore back my dress and hurried over to him, "Dance with me?" I demanded and he snickered, grabbing my hand.

I rested my head on his shoulder as our body moved slowly to the rhythm of the song,

He leaned closer to my ear,

"Alison stone." He leaned closer to my ear and whispers, "You are the best thing that has ever been mine."

I heard him and my whole world spun around. I grinned, I couldn't have asked for a better first date.

_____

Alison

We landed at the Melbourne airport sometime in the afternoon and arrived at his country home later in the evening,

It was a long ride, but we made it finally.

David dialed a button and large gates welcomed us in, as he drove in, I took my head out the window and admired in awe.

"Woah!" I let out compulsively.

The house was nothing compared to his house back home...correction it was not a house but a freaking castle.

He chuckle at my reaction and parked the car.

I quickly got down and took in more of it,

"This place is really beautiful, David." I gushed. I wasn't used to all the luxuries, despite being privileged all my life.

"Ali." He took my hand and pulled me close to him, "You are never leave my sight." I was too distracted to understand what he meant.

"Good day, sir." An elderly man interrupted, bowing to us, "Welcome home." He said.

David acknowledged him,

"How are you, luis?"

"Fine, sir." He responded and David nodded.

"There are some bags in the trunk, get them to my room." David said and the man hurried towards the car.

I turned to David,

"I thought we were staying at the hotel?" His home was beautiful and everything but I rather not face his family right away, what if they don't like me? They had a lot of reasons not to, plus he's been distant all the way here. I wasn't sure if he told them about me.

"Alison you would be fine.." He assured me, drawing me inside.

I was curious to see the inside anyway.

I stepped in and gasped.

The house was even more beautiful from the inside, decorated with black, whites and greys and absolutely spotless..

The furnitures antique, but looked extremely expensive,

"They are here!" A woman yelled rushing down the stairs,

I moved closer to David, nervous.

The woman looked in her mid-sixties, she had a bright smile on her face and her eyes sparkled when they met David's.

She reached out her pulling her into a long lasting hug,

"I'm so glad you came home." She said as she kissed his cheeks sweetly.

"You are just as beautiful as I remember." He said with a smile as he stared lovingly at her, I couldn't help but smile at all the love in front of me.

"You always had your way with flattering me, David Hertz." She tapped him playfully before her eyes met mine, "how are you, dear?" She asked staring questionably at me.

"I'm fine, thank you." I smiled.

"Nana, this is Alison."

"Oh, it's nice to finally meet you, Dear. you don't have to be nervous child, David told me all about you two. It think it's sweet."

I smiled at her feeling a little relieved.

Then I heard voices and looked up to see more people running down the downstairs, my anxiety returned in full force this time.

David reached and took my hands into his.

"I'm here.." He whispered, starting tenderly at me. I must look tense, I should loosen up a bit.

"The prodigal son finally returns." I looked to see a woman in her mid seventies approaching us, with Jenna and a boy about my age walking slowly behind her,

"Mother?" David sneered and my mouth gaped open.

That's his mother!

"How could you abandon your poor mother with this selfish people?"

"Mama--" Jenna cautioned,

"Oh, shut up!" She scolded her, then her eyes landed on me, "Who's this one?" She yelled, starting me to ribs, "One of your flings?"

"Have you been drinking again, Mother?" David questioned her.

"So now you care about your poor mother--" For a moment there was an awkward silence between David and his mother, from the little I was able to grab, it's seemed David had neglected contact with his mother and she's not so happy about it.

"David and Alison, you must be tired, why don't you go upstairs and rest." Nana interrupted.

"Jenna, please take Alison upstairs." David said and looked down at me, "I'll be up soon."

I nodded and went to Jenna.

"C'mon, I'll show you to your room."Jenna escorted me upstairs. "I'm happy to see you again, Ali...it's been so long, hopefully this time we would have enough time to catch up."Jenna said as we made it to the room.

She opened the door and allowed me in first, it has spacious as the rest of the house. It totally screamed David Hertz.

The fancy grey walls, the silky plain white sheets.

I walked on exploring the room forgetting that Jenna was standing there, waiting for me.

It had a spaced bathroom, almost the size of the room, completely equipped with towels and general toiletries.

"Would you like something to eat?" Jenna said from the other side of the room.

I re-entered the room,

"I would love too, but I rather wait for David."

She nodded, "Call me if you need anything."

I gave her a sweet smile as I watched her turn her back to leave. She seemed a lot different from the last time I saw her,

I sighed and threw myself on the bed consumed with the fact that David's mom might probably not approve of us being together, I never cared what anyone thought about our relationship, but things are different when it involves his family.

Sighing deeply,

I got up from the bed and reached David's suitcase.

I grabbed one of his shirts and quickly changed into it,

I loved to smell his cologne on me.

"You look much better on my clothes than I do." I turned to see David leaned against the door frame.

He snickered.

"Just tell me, your mom hates me!" I sat down with a sigh.

He walked in and dropped his keys on the side table,

"She hates everyone." he said,

"Why did you bring me to meet her then?"

"I brought you to meet Nana, and no one else. So don't worry yourself about her opinion, it doesn't matter in this case." He said and next to me,

David starts to take off his watch as we both sat in silence.

"What happened between you two? You never talk about her."

He stared intensely at the wall, before turning to look at me,

"Growing up, my mom was very sick. I don't think I remember a time where she was sober or not blacked out on the floor from heroin or some hard substance. One time I got home from a school and saw Jenna laying helplessly on the floor in a pool of her own blood, it turned out mom had one of her withdrawals that night and had beaten her to a bloody pulp, she was admitted for months."

My mouth gasped open in shock,

"That's awful, David." How could a mother be so cruel to her own child, "Why didn't you tell me?" I squeezed his arm gently.

"Because it's in my past and I don't want you worrying yourself about such nonsense or worse trying to fix it."

"David?" I called in a whisper. I could see how it affected him to tell me that and how hard he pretending it wasn't, "You know you don't have to act all tough around me, it's okay to feel vulnerable once in a while, it only makes you human." I told him.

He smiled shortly,

"We can move to a hotel, if you're not comfortable staying here."

I shook my head and leaned my head on his shoulder with a smile, "I want to stay here with your family, and maybe I could get Nana to tell me goofy stories from your childhood."

I chuckled at the thought of the child David,

I bet he was a really gorgeous boy.

"I'm sure she has a loaded truck of them." he kissed my side, "Just be careful around here...okay?"

I nodded.

"We should get something to eat?"

"Or we could always skip to desert." I straddled on his lap, and before I could blink I was on my back and he was on top of me,

He had this devilish smile on his face,

"David--" I barely got the words out, when he starts tickling me and making me laugh out louder than usual.

He had me cracking up like a maniac,

I was certain everyone could hear me.

"Marry me!"

He bit my lower lip lightly making me chuckle slightly at the feeling.

Then it hit me!!

Wait! wait! wait! Did he just ask me to marry him?

_____

Alison

"Alison, for God's sake, say something." David slowly brought me to consciousness, you know that moment when you hear something that you weren't expecting.

"I..I..you..I., " I mumbled like an idiot before closing my eyes and inhaling deeply, this was happening for real, David wanted to marry me for real this time.

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Tears began falling from my eyes as I looked at the man I love, the man that I would love nothing more than to spend the rest of my life with, the one I would rather wake up every morning next to.

I opened my mouth to answer but nothing came out, what the hell! What's wrong with me, dummy!? Why was I hesitating?

Just tell me!

My inner voice screamed and I tried to speak but I couldn't,

"It's fine--" He cut in before I could even speak, "Just forget I asked." he said with a lot of sadness in his voice.

He got up from the bed and away from me, and wore back his shirt,

"Where are you going?" I panicked.

"I have to be somewhere," he said and left the room.

I got dressed quickly and tried to follow him. I didn't want him out of my sight, especially when he believes I don't want to marry him,

I lost him.

Sighing, I ran my hands through my hair in frustration, why couldn't I say it to him? I want nothing more than to spend the rest my life with him, then what's the problem?

I guess, I panicked... It was unexpected.

"You okay?" A voice startled me.

I turned to see Nana smiling at me.

"You must be lost. It's alright...almost 30 years working in this bigbhouse and still get lost sometimes." She chuckled and reached for my hand, "C'mon! It's this way, you must be starving."

She pulled me towards what seemed like the kitchen.

I should be out there trying to find David and not here, I worried.

"Take a seat." She said ushering me to the dining table.

"Thanks." I said and sat down.

"Where's David?" She asked as she sets the plates on the table,

"Hhm, um...he's doing business, " I lied.

She chuckled and nodded understanding.

"Well, I made lasagna. Whenever his ready." she placed the bowl of lasagna in front of me and I could already tell that it was delicious.

"Hello, ladies!" The boy I saw earlier with Jenna walked into the kitchen.

He pulled out a chair and sat next to me.

"Ali, Right?"

"Um, yeah, "I mumbled as he looked curiously at me,

"Lucas." he stretched his arm for me to shake,

I took his hand with a faint smile.

"You're a lot prettier than Jenna described." He said with a flirtatious smirk on his face,

I swallowed a lump on my throat not knowing how to reply to that,

"Hhm, Thanks." I managed to say.

"So how old are you?"

"Leave her alone Lucas!!" Nana warned.

"I'm just saying it as it is, she's hell hot. Uncle Hertz has taste..."

Nana rolled her eyes at him and continued dishing out the food.

I wasn't quite sure how to react to whatever was going right in front of me, so I just sat there quietly and ate my food.

"This food is delicious." I complimented, I didn't want to seem rude.

"Thanks, dear. Glad you like it." Nana replied with a smile, Lucas just sat there ogling and touching my hair, which was really creepy.

"Lucas Hertz!" Nana yelled, "Leave the poor girl alone..."

"Alright!" Lucas raised his hand in defense and went quiet on his phone.

After that weird moment Lucas left for a party with some friends and I stayed back to help Nana clean up the kitchen,

So far she reminded me so much of Henna, I missed having this moments with Henna.

"You look so much like your mother." Nana waved in, having me snapping my head to her

"You knew my mom?"

"Yes, she always used came by the house with your father, that was before we moved to Melbourne. Anne had the loveliest smile and the kindest heart, may her soul rest in peace."

Apparently, everyone had met my parents expect from me.

"I don't remember her.." I whispered sadly.

She leaned closer,

"You mean you still don't remember anything from the accident." she asked looking at me.

"What accident?"bI gave her a questionable look. She must be mistaken me for someone else, everyone knows my parents were murdered.

"Oh, my!"'She let out regrettably, "Would you like some dessert? I think I left a bowl of ice cream in the freezer, I will go get it." She stormed away before I could even respond. What's gotten into her?

She returned with a white bowl,

"Be careful it's really cold." She said, placing the bowl of ice cream in front of me, "We can order for pizza if you want." she added.

I shook my head,

"This is more than enough." I threw her a quick smile, "Thank you."

"You're welcome, dear," She said and turned to finish tidying.

After dessert with Nanna, I walked through the endless halls trying to find my way back to David's room.

I eventually found it, I stood at the door for a moment before pushing the doorknob and making my way in.

The lights were off now,

David must have switched them off when he returned. Who knows where he ran off to?

I moved closer and found him sleeping on the bed.

He must be tired.

I sat at the edge and watched him rest for a while.

I smiled as my fingers reached to his forehead and softly trailed on it. It suddenly dawned on me the reason I wasn't able to answer him.

I was afraid,

Afraid of getting my hope up again, but there are no doubts in my heart, I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him.

I leaned down to kiss his forehead, whispering a.

"YES."

Tears formed in my eyes immediately,

I pulled myself together not wake him and stood up to head to the bathroom, when hands caught on mine and pulled me back,

I turned to see he was widely awake and staring deeply at me.

He pulled me to bed and wrapped his hands around me,

"Thank you." He whispered and kissed my side,

He must have heard me!

I smiled and rested my head on his chest.

______

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