I can't say how long I walked along those familiar paths, but it felt like forever. I stopped and bent to my knees to catch some breath, feeling a couple of tears clouding my eyes again as I thought about my mother, the woman I thought was dead and turned out to be a huge lie.
I was aware, I was acting like some spoilt brat, but it just hurt so much.
Wiping my tears with the back of my hand, I decided I wasn't going to cry anymore, I got up and continued my endless walk.
I looked ahead and spotted a coffee shop on the other side of the road, it must be new, I thought as I walked towards it.
After a few minutes walk, I made it to the door and walked in.
I walked past the counter and took a seat on one of the benches upfront, turning my eyes warily at the place.
They weren't a lot of customers just two teenagers who were gossiping about some girl in school and a man who seems lost in his thoughts.
I turned to the front and a lady was standing there smiling at me, "Hello! what can I help you with?" She asked politely.
"Can I get a milk latte, please?" I asked.
"You don't come from around here?" She asked, noting what I guessed was my order on a notepad.
I just her a soft smile,
She rolled her eyes, "Anyway, that's three dollars."
"Um, okay," I said before scooping through my purse for a little change, I remember having a little change left from the pizza and I ordered this morning.
I don't have any money.
How am I supposed to pay for this now?
"I don't have all day, miss," She said sounding a bit irritated with the delay.
"I don't have any money." I whispered my cheeks flushed with embarrassment, "I thought I had some change in my purse and--"
"No cash no milk latte miss--" She cut in.
"I got it." A voice said from behind me.
My eyes widened, but I didn't look up, because I was too ashamed, who walks into a coffee shop and can't pay for a cheap latte.
The day couldn't get any worse.
"Fine..." The waitress said and walked away, leaving me alone with the stranger.
"Thank you?" Were the first words that come out from my mouth still embarrassed, I was still not able to look up and a little part of me just hoped whoever it was would just walk away and leave me to my misery.
"You must be new?"
That question again.
Deciding hiding wasn't getting me anywhere, I looked up to him,
"Thanks for the coffee Mr-"
"James." He supplied.
"And you must be--"
"Alison." I let out sharply.
"Alison, that's a lovely name.
"Thanks." I smiled politely.
"Alison, do you mind if I join you?" He asked pointing at the empty seat opposite me.
"I'm engaged." I injected, I didn't want him getting the wrong idea.
He laughed shortly.
"I thought you should know--" I added.
"The 15 carats diamond ring on your finger is proof enough, don't you think?" He pointed, having me laughing.
"Okay, that was uncalled for."
"Is that a yes?"
"Fine." I gave in, I was in a need of a distraction.
He took the empty chair and the waitress immediately walked over with our orders in her hands,
"Enjoy." she dropped him and left.
I picked my latte and brought it closer to my lips,
"So what brings you to this part of town?" I asked, starting a pep talk.
"Well, I flew in from the states to see an estranged sister of mine," He paused and took a sip of his drink, "But my mom had a last minute change of plans." he dropped his drink, "mother's you know?"
I would never understand how it feels to have a mother since mine decided to take 18 years pretend death vacation from my life, Hopefully, I would be a better mother than she was,
I thought as I sipped my coffee.
"What about you?" He asked,
"What about me?" I retorted.
"I find it hard to believe that a woman with a $4 million ring can't afford a $10 latte."
"Or maybe I'm just having a bad day." I said. I couldn't spill out my life history to a total stranger, even if he looks harmless. Jenna looked harmless and normal, then she turned out to be a complete nut case, my smart conscience reminded me.
I continue to sip onto my latte. At the same time my phone began to buzz in my pocket, I immediately pulled it out and answered it,
"Where are you?" David asked his voice echoing through the phone, I shouldn't have left him the way I did, he must be worried sick.
"I'm okay." I said calmly, "I'm just having a milk latte with a new friend James." I lifted my eyes to look at James and he had his eyes glued to something on his phone.
The line was cold for a while before he spoke up again,
"hurry back...okay?" he whispered,"I love you."
"I love you too." I whispered and hung up.
I should go home, I thought.
"Husband?" James uttered without lifting eyes off his phone.
I nodded and gathered my things to leave,
"It was nice meeting you James but I have to go." I said, getting up from the bench.
He got as well and stretched out his hand for me,
"Hopefully, we would meet again."
I shook his hand, "hopefully." I repeated with a smile before leaving.
There was something really familiar about him, I thought as I headed home.
I woke up in the middle of the night feeling a little thirsty and relentless, I began to creep out of the bed slowly and tried not to wake up David.
I made it out of the room and into the kitchen, then opening the fridge, I reached for a bottle of water and drank it all in one sip.
I got another one and turned to head to the living room,
I wasn't feeling like going back to bed.
I plopped on the couch as my eyes wandered to the window, the night was really quiet and you could see the stars above in the dark sky,
"Ali." David's voice broke through the silence, "here you are." He said as he joined me on the couch.
"Hey, did I wake you."
"You should be sleeping." he cautioned.
"I got thirsty...." I said with a flitted sigh.
He took my hand into his and squeezed it.
And, doesn't say anything for a while, his eyes read worry as they stared back at me,
"Tell me what's on your mind?" He asked instead.
I knew he was referring to my mother, he had decided not to bring the topic since it was upsetting.
"I don't know..."
I took my eyes back to the window feeling my eyes starting to fill up with tears again. I hated feeling that way, I was thankful she was alive, but also angry and the resentment wasn't good on the baby.
I turned my eyes to him,
"What if I'm hurting our baby?"
He gave my hand another squeeze,
"Then you have to talk to her, just listen to what she has to say." He suggested.
"What's even there to say? How can she explain playing dead to her child? David, I'm barely a mother, I have no idea what it means to be a parent, but the thought of abandoning my child for even a second is tormenting, talk of 18 years."
"I know but listen to her and then you can decide whether you want to forgive or not." Maybe he was right and I wasn't being totally fair to her, I should at least listen to her, I thought as I gave in to the idea.
"Okay..." Avoiding her wasn't going to solve anything, "I am ready to listen to what she has to say."
I sighed depleted. "Now we talk about something else now?"
He pulled me up unto his lap and placed both hands on my slightly bloated stomach and just ran his hand on it, a habit he got accustomed to, he said he could feel the baby connecting with him.
"You know what I was thinking?" he spoke up.
"Oh! That's never good." I exclaimed.
He laughed, still brushing his hands on belly,
"I want to move up the weeding, preferably next month."
I leaned back to look at,
"I thought we agreed to wait. You even suggested we wait. What's changed?"
He wrapped his arms around my waist, "I don't want to wait any longer, I want us to get married as soon as possible. I want to make you officially mine."
I smile and shook my head,
He leaned up to kiss me, and I paused his lips.
"I will always be yours, David, married or not." I told him and then kissed him.
He pulled away to look at me again.
"I want the baby to be welcomed into a home."
I bite my lips gently, loving the sound of that.
"Okay...let's get married." I gleed.
He pressed a chaste kiss on my cheeks before pulling me up, "Now, let's get you two back to bed."
"David..." I whine and spout.
"Come on." He gave no room for protest as he swooped me into his arms,
I just leaned back enjoyed the ride.
The next day ...
"Are you sure, you don't want me to come with you?" David asked for the 5th time since we arrived at Anne's driveway.
"For the last time...I want to do this alone." I snapped.
Ugh, I wasn't mad at him.
"I'm sorry." I sigh.
"It's fine, I understand you're tensed." He reached and grabbed my hand to his lips, "Call me when you're done, and I would take you home."
I nodded and got down from the car, I turned and watched as he drove off before returning my gaze to the house with a grunt.
I let out a depleated huff and moved towards the front door. I reach to knock when the door unexpectedly opened, Anne's grinning face revealed.
"David insisted." I said.
I noticed her smile turn to a sad one,
"I'm happy you did." She said and made way for me to come in.
I stepped in,
"Pardon the mess." She said as she closed the door behind, "I haven't had the chance to clean."
I would never admit it to her but it immediately felt like home to me, it was cozy and comforting. I found myself hovering around and getting comfortable with the place.
"You're so beautiful." She exclaimed, having me turning to her, she was staring at me.
I swallowed thickly and looked away.
There were some many things I planned to say to her, I wanted to yell at her, I wanted her to suffer, I wanted to hurt her but I couldn't,
I found myself wanting to hug her.
"I'm sorry, I was a terrible mother." She said in tears,
There was an interruption suddenly, the front door slammed shut,
"Mom?" A voice called, having me turning to see.
"James?" I questioned confused.
"Alison?" He raised an eyebrow,
"What, what are you doing here?"
"I leave here." He replied sarcastically as if finding my question amusing.
"Alison..." Anne injected, "James is your younger brother." She said in a whisper but I heard every word.
Enough to make me freeze.
I have a brother!!
"So you're Alison?"
I suddenly felt anger and hurt both emotions mixed together into one,
"Alison.." Anne called breathlessly as she tried to reach me, moved backward, stopping her from coming towards me, "Have a seat--"
"Don't you dare come close to me?" I snarled at her, "What kind of sick mother abandons one child and retains the other."
"Alison, it's not what you think."
"You are so dead to me now." I spat and turned to walk away but I was yanked back forcefully. I looked up to see James gleaming angrily at me.
"I suggest you apologize sister."
"You apologize to her right now." James gritted, tightening his grip on my arm, "That's my mother you're talking to, apologize."
"Get your hands off me." I jerked my arm and almost lost my balance.
Anne cuts in almost immediately,
"That's enough, James!"
"I won't tolerate--"
"I said that's enough.." She warned him threatfuly, "Just leave us now."
He glared and muttered curses under his breath before storming out the door.
As soon as he left, I felt my knees going weak as I struggled to stay on my feet, my vision went blurry for a millisecond and I felt like I was about to collapse,
"Alison..." Anne came and held me to a chair, "be careful." She whispered as I slowly settled on it, "Do you need anything?" she seemed concerned.
"Water." I mumbled.
"Okay..." She left to get it,
I began doing breathing exercises to calm myself.
"Do you feel any better.." Anne appeared again with
a glass of water, "here, have some water."
I took it from her and drank it all in one gulp and soon after regained a little strength,
"Do you need anything else?" She asked again with a lot of distress emanating from her voice.
I shook my head and sucked in a deep breath, continuing to relax my nerves,
"You're pregnant?" She questioned, it sounded more like a statement,
I nodded anyway,
"Is it David's?" She asked, but something about the way she said just snapped.
"It's none of your business."
"You're right, I'm sorry." She apologized almost instantly.
I took my eyes to the few pictures hung beautifully on the wall. They were mostly of James and a few of her smiling so motherly at him,
I took my eyes to the others, and there was not a single one of me. I would be lying if I said, I wasn't jealous or hurt, especially to see how happy they looked without me.
"Alison, I know...." She started but stopped for a bit, "I was a terrible mother to you and nothing can even cover up for that, but you've to understand that whatever I did...I did it to protect you."
"That's all you got, mother. You can't come up with something better than that, Don't I deserve a better excuse?"
She sobbed silently moving to the other side of the room, I instantly felt guilty but the pain was greater than the guilt.
But, I came here to listen to her and get answers, I didn't want to have any regrets.
"You said you were trying to protect me, so tell me, protect me from what or who?"
She took a seat next to me and stayed silent for a while,
possibly cooking up more lies to tell me, she took a lot of time before speaking.
I was willing to wait, I had spent18 years without knowing the truth, a few more minutes won't hurt anyone.
"Before Jenna." She started finally, "Came into our lives your father and I were struggling with other problems, mostly with protecting you and the company from the Millers..."
"I know all that already." I cut her short, I heard enough of that story, "Just go straight to the point.."
Tears began to form in her eyes and I immediately felt a pang in my heart, it hurt even more that I couldn't even pretend to hate her,
"18 years ago, I found out your father was having an affair with Jenna." She started, her voice soft and cautious, "I was heartbroken and shattered." She stopped and stared at me.
I gave a nod to continue.
she took a deep breath and softly tapped her fingers under her eyes capturing the tears that were already clouding up, she continued and at some point I gasped in shock,
"Jenna killed father?"
She nodded, "I'm so sorry..."
I felt the room began to spin, my father wasn't exactly the best husband, I admit that, but he didn't deserve to die the way he did, no one deserves such a painful and cruel death.
Tears fell down my cheeks and wiped them, then motioned for her to continue.
"I was afraid Jenna would come after James if she found out he had survived, so with Bates help, I left." She muttered cowardly, "Alison, I swear...I wanted nothing more than to take you with me, I never planned on leaving you behind, but it was also your father's last request that you stay with David. I accepted because I trusted David and I knew you would be safer with him than with me."
"This woman is unbelievable.." I muttered under my breath. "Honestly, you should be honored an award for the mother of the century, because you are despicable, to think you left me to die and saved your other child."
"That's not true."
"You didn't think I would be in danger when you left me with the masterminds brother, the same woman who killed my father, and you just left me there." I yelled.
"I'm so sorry, Alison. I have no excuse.."
"No, you don't and I'm done listening to you."
"Please, forgive me." She pleaded and kneeled in front of me in tears, "I wish, I could take it all back, but I can't...."
I felt a pang in my heart as I stared back at her, this woman left me to die to save my brother, why couldn't I hate her? I couldn't even pretend to hate her...it was annoying.
"Please, get up."
"I-I'm so sorry." She wiped her tears and quickly got up.
All I felt was pain and heartache.
I took some moments of silence to pull my sanity together and stood up from the chair, ready to leave.
"David insisted I gave you the benefit of doubt, so that's what I did. Hopefully, someday I would be able to forgive but not today, and not any time soon."
"Will you stop by again?"
"I don't know. Maybe, I need more time to grasp everything in, this is to way much for me to take in all at once."
"I understand, take as much time as you need."
I nodded and turned to leave, halfway to the door I turned to her again, saying.
"However, I'm glad you're alive, mother."
She gave me a warm smile, one that almost had me running into her arms,
"Bye." I mumbled and with that I walked out the door, feeling satisfied.
I leaned my back against the bed and watched David as he got himself ready for the day, it surprised me see how he hadn't aged a day since we started dating, he was just as handsome as the first time we kissed.
"Taylor would here to help you with everything you might need." He said without pulling his attention from the shirt he was slowly buttoning,
Taylor is his assistant.
"Can I at least go see Olivia?" I whined. I woke up this morning with a mild headache and a flu, David being overly concerned placed me on a week house arrest, but after a long heated bargaining he agreed on 5 days, so I was not allowed to leave the house or move anywhere outside the building, unless there was an emergency, "I can't just sit and do nothing."
"I don't want you out in the cold Ali, and I mean it," he warned.
I sneered and scoffed, so bossy.
Once he was fully prepared, he came over to my side and gave me a chaste kiss.
"Try and get some rest." He broke away and pressed his lips against my forehead before leaving for work. As soon as he left, I groaned and sunk further into the duvet, feeling so alone already.
I reached for my phone and began dialing Olivia's, hoping she would be disposed to spend the rest of the day with me, I was so bored.
I sighed when it went straight to her voicemail.
Deciding not to while away in bed, I stood up and made my way to the kitchen.
I opened the fridge reached for the carton of milk and drank it in one sip without bothering to get a glass, I got pretty lazy.
I threw the empty carton of milk in the trash and turned to head to the living to see a movie, seeing everyone was way to busy to spend the day with me,
So I settled for the one thing that always has time for me, Netflix.
I was getting the movie ready when I heard the doorbell ring. I immediately made my way towards the door knowing it was Taylor.
At least I had a movie buddy.
I opened the door and froze ,
His lips spread into a smile.
"Dylan, what are you doing here?" I looked around for Tessa.
"Can I come in?"He asked.
I nodded and stepped away from the door for him to come in. I shouldn't be surprised to see my best friend, but this wasn't a good time, he had no idea I was seeing David, or getting married, or worse than I was pregnant for David.
I prayed I got a chance to explain it all to him before he did himself.
"I didn't know you moved?" I closed the door behind and turned to face him. His eyes were moving warily around the new house, "It's nice, but I don't advise you to stay in alone."
"I'm not, don't worry." I said sharply.
"You have a housemate?"
"Yeah...." I said, not quite sure what to say to him.
"That's good..." He says and then looks at me.
I faltered and quickly moved to the other side, "Would you like anything?"
"Can we talk first?"
I abruptly felt my heart accelerate at the random thoughts of what he might want to talk about.
"Yeah, of course." I lead him towards the living room and sat down across him, crossing my legs over one another and folding my hands in my lap, covering my ring. "So what's going on?" I asked anxiously.
"Ali, relax." he chuckled, "You're acting like I'm David Hertz or something." He said and laughed afterward, "I'm just here to see you, I missed you so much and it felt like I haven't seen you in forever."
He reached and grabbed my hand into his, giving it a gentle rub,
I formed a convincing smile, hoping he doesn't notice the engagement ring.
"How's Tessa?" I tried to change the direction of the conversation.
"She's alright." He said with a smile, which was odd, considering how he always used to flip up at the mention of her name.
"You two getting along?" I asked.
"Yes, we've sorted our differences.."
"Dylan, that's good to hear. I'm so glad you did.."
"Yeah, me too." He smiled, then took the moment to look at me properly, "Alison, you look different."
"What?" I stuttered,
"Good different, but..." That sweet smile on his face didn't last long as his eyes landed on my stomach, "Wait, Alison. Are you pregnant?
"Are you pregnant?"
Swallowing my saliva, I let out a dry laugh," what?"
Tell him, its the right time, my inner voice screamed out from inside.
His face fell,
"You Are, aren't you?"
I got up from the couch and impulsively made my way to the kitchen to pour myself a glass of water. He followed me and I could feel his eyes digging through my back as I took a sip from my glass, I didn't dare turn back.
"It's true then, you're pregnant."
I slowly turned around and came face with my best friend's shocked face.
"Who go you pregnant?"
I looked away not sure how to tell him I have been seeing my David, "Damn it, Alison! Tell me who got you pregnant." He hurled and I cringed.
"David!.." I muttered under my breath, but it was audible enough for him or anyone to hear.
I couldn't lie anymore.
"Who the hell is David..." He paused and thought about it, then his face drops in shock, staring at the maill on the counter.
"D....Dylan." I stutter to him,
He doesn't speak or move, "My God!" he exclaimed as he slowly pulled himself out of it, "You've been fucking Mr. Hertz."
"Dylan, please just hear me out." I move towards him,
"Mr. Hertz!" He clamored.
"Dylan?" I called, joining my hand with his in an attempt to calm him and explain things better to him, but he flinched away from me,
"Don't fucking touch me." He snarled nearly screaming.
"Dylan, just hear me out..." I pleaded.
"What other explanation is there Alison, other than you've been sleeping with him...,Jezz! Alison, the man is twice your age, how could you be so stupid?" he said in disgust.
My heart broke at his words, I didn't do anything wrong, I shouldn't feel sorry for getting pregnant or falling in love with David,
"I love him and I'm aware it's weird but I do. He makes me happy.." I exhaled and looked at Dylan in the eyes, "and if you can't accept it and be happy for me as a best friend should, then I don't think we should be best friends anymore."
I could see pain flash through his eyes at my words,
"Was he the reason you pushed me away?" He asked.
I looked away cowardly.
We stayed silent, Dylan ran his hand over his face for the millionth time,
"This is wrong, Alison." He spoke up, his tone a lot calmer now, "And something needs to be done, I mean look at yourself, he's ruining your life." He says taking my hand to face him, "You don't have to do this because you are scared. Alison, we can report him, all you have to say is that he forced himself on you and you were vulnerable, you won't get in any trouble. He would be locked up for taking advantage of you." He said rubbing my hand softly.
I removed my hand off his in disgust,
"You know nothing about David and me, absolutely no idea how much I love him." I growled, rage builded up inside of me, as tears rolled out of my eyes, down my cheeks and neck.
"Alison, you're not in love with him, it only feels that way because he got you pregnant, come with me and I would show you."
"Get out!" I snarled.
"I said, Get out!"
Suddenly something switched back in him and he went back to being vindictive,
"Suit yourself." He stormed past me, bumping my shoulder with his. More tears rolled down my eyes as I realized I just lost my best friend.
The rest of the month went by fast, I knew because I was in L.A preparing for my finals.
I just had a few weeks left to walk up across the stage and grab my diploma, the only sad thing was that I wouldn't be graduating with my best friend this time,
"Do you miss him?" Tessa waved in.
"I do." I admitted, "These few months have been terrible without him...I wish he would at least talk to me."
"If it makes you feel any better, he hates me too." She added, "he's not picking any of my calls or replied to any of the voicemails I left him." She said in frustration.
Tessa told me about their little secret, apparently, they had something going while I was away, I was really happy for Dylan.
Tessa is really amazing, I hope he realized that soon.
"You know what, forget Dylan, let's have a girl night,
let's party tonight."
I threw her skeptical look,
"Have you seen me?" I pointed at my bloated bump.
"What, pregnant women party all the time... C'mon, Ali, when was the last time you had actual fun?"
I huffed in defeat, I needed a break.
"Okay, fine...." I gave in to avoid an argument, I was going to lose anyway.
"There's an exclusive new club, called Truth and I know someone that can help get us in."
Moments later, we arrived in front of the famous club. Tessa dragged me by the wrist and pulled towards the overcrowd entrance of the club,
We stopped it in front of the huge bouncer, ignoring the constant rants and glares we got from the desperate crowd behind us,
"Tessa." The bouncer acknowledged her with a smirk.
"C'mon, let us in Ben." She said winking playfully at him.
"Who's your pregnant friend?" He asked his eyes landing directly on me.
"She's with me..."
He stared at me quite uncertain, but steps aside and allowed us in, "Thanks, Ben." Tessa uttered, dragging me quickly into the club and as we made it further in I couldn't help but frown at the loud music, I could feel a migraine coming up already.
Maybe this was a bad idea, I thought.
"This way." Tessa led me to the packed bar, "Hey, Vin?" She called out the bartender like they were old pals,
"Tessa." The bartender exclaimed as he made it over to us.
"Hey! can I get 8 shots of tequila and something really light for my friend, you see she's pregnant." She said pointing at my bump.
"Sure." He nodded and walked away.
"What do you think?" She asked looking around.
"I feel like I'm about to fall off my face.." I said and she laughed, the battender soon returned with our drinks and we had a blast.
A few minutes later I was sitting alone on the stool, sipping to what orange soda. Tessa got really drunk after her 7th shot and vanished into the dancing crowd with some stranger.
"Hey, beautiful." My face scrunched up in disgust as a man's heated drunk voice blurted to my face, "Are you alone?"
I ignored him and looked away, wishing he would just leave.
"Let me buy you a drink, beautiful." he spoke up again.
"No, thank you." I said and tried to walk away but he dragged me by the wrist and yanked me back to him, "Where do you think you're going, beautiful?"
"What the hell? get your filthy hands off me you perv." I yelled jerking his sweaty hands on me.
"Let's just have some fun, beautiful," he said, his eyes scrolling lustfully at my body. I knew this dress was way too short, but Tessa insisted I wore it.
"Get off me!" I pushed him away.
"I just want to have some fun...."
"She said no, you asshole." A voice spoke up from behind, I turned around and was faced with a furious Dylan.
"This is none of your business." Within seconds Dylan's fist collided on the man's Jaw having him stumbling to the ground,
"You think it's funny to harass women.." He kept hitting him. The crowd began gathering up to watch the fight.
"Dylan, please stop." I held to his arm as he was aiming for another hard blow, I mean the man was passed out on the floor already.
Dylan grabbed my forearm and dragged me with him out of the club,
"Let go of me." I struggled as the hold was really tight on my wrist. As we got to a place completely quiet, he freed my arm,
"What the hell are you doing here?" he scolded me like he was dealing with a toddler.
"I'm here with Tessa."
"You should be more responsible." his eyes glimpsed at my bump but he immediately looked away, "You should be more careful, do you know what would have happened if I didn't show up?"
"Thank you." I cut in, "but I can take care of myself."
"Sure you can, that man almost raped you in there.."
"I still had it under control."
I scoffed, "So suddenly you care about me, I thought you weren't talking to me, what changed?"
"I'm sorry about that..."
"What exactly for, Dylan?"
"A lot, but first, I shouldn't have reacted the way I did, I was a complete ass to you and for that, I'm sorry."
"Let's not forget, how you completely avoided me for months." I added.
"I needed time, it was a lot to deal with, you didn't expect me to be thrilled with the news... But now, I think I'm over it, I rather not lose our friendship, our friendship means everything to me."
"So you're willing to accept David?"
He moved towards me,
"I'm willing to adjust." He smiled,"Just for you." he added. I couldn't help but return the smile,
"That's good enough. Thank you, Dylan."
He chuckled,"You're welcome pops."
Few months after Graduation
Turning this way and that way, trying to get the best out of my wedding dress in the mirror, it was so beautiful, and one could hardly tell I was 6 months pregnant,
"Al, stop moving! you'll smudge your makeup." Tessa, my maid of honor warned amusingly.
I stopped and allowed her to set the tiara on my head, ensuring it doesn't fall off on the way.
Once she finished, she stepped back to take a look at her work,
"Oh, my God!" She let out with teary eyes,"You look so beautiful."
I grinned and felt more tears clouding up.
"Alison, I'm so happy."
"You are gonna make me cry, Tessa." I patted my under eyes afraid I might mess up my make up.
She starts crying too and pulled me into a hug.
"Alison." A voice called from behind and I broke away from Tessa to see it was, and was faced with my mom's teary eyes,
She was wearing a pretty pink dress, while holding my bouquet in her left hand,
"You look so beautiful, baby girl."
I smiled at her, it took a while for me to forgive her. At first, I didn't want to, I wanted her to suffer without me like I did without her, but in the end, I figured to wrongs don't make a right and I needed to move on with my life.
She moved closer dropping the bouquet on the empty couch beside me,
"Are you nervous?" She asked adjusting my veil.
"A little.." I muttered.
"Good." She smiled.
"Are you really okay with this?" I asked, I was aware she had concerns. If my daughter was marrying a man twice her age I would worry.
"At first, I wasn't." She admitted, "But along the line, I realized that age is just a number and it should never be used as a determining factor in any relationship, besides David is a good man, he would make you happy."
I felt relief hearing those words,
"Thanks, mom." I said and pulling her into a hug.
"Ladies." Dylan spoke up from the door interrupting our little mother and daughter moment, "It's time." he informed.
I nodded and gathered myself together,
Mother helped with the veil and Tessa helped with last touches on the dress, before we finally made it out of the door.
We began making our way down the hall, maybe it's because I was almost due soon, but my legs were heavy with each step.
As we stopped in front of the door, mother went ahead leaving me to myself, from where I stood in front of the glass door.
I could see David standing gorgeously at the altar, losing his tie a bit as Bate tried to whisper something into his ear, his nervous, why is he nervous? I panicked.
My maids began walking by me, heading down the aisle as Tessa took her place, it was my turn.
As the melodious music began to play, I swallowed thickly and the doors opened slowly to reveal me.
"Lady and gentlemen, the bride!" Everyone stood up to their feet and turned heads to me.
I took a few steps forward before James walked up to me,
He insisted on walking me down the aisle to make up for lost times and I just couldn't say no, he looked so adorable in his black tuxedo.
I slid my hand into his and began taking slow steps down the aisle.
I was nervous, sighting everyone in the wide hall.
But I kept my eyes focused on one person that mattered, he was almost teary as he stared back at me like I was the most beautiful girl on earth, a heartfelt smile appeared on my face as he smiled at me.
Slow and steady Alison, I cautioned myself as every part of me just wanted to run and jump in his arms.
After what felt like an endless walk, we made it to the end of the aisle where David was,
"Take care of her brother-in-law or you would have me to deal with it." James said to David as he placed my hand over his.
David nodded, without taking his eyes off me, his eyes were filled with love and admiration,
"You look beautiful, princess." he whispered,
I just smiled scared that I might just burst out in tears.
The priest cleared his throat to get our attention,
"Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today in the presence of these witnesses, to join Alison and David in matrimony commended to be honorable among all, and therefore is not to be entered into lightly but reverently, passionately, lovingly and solemnly. Into these two persons present now come to be joined. If any person can show just cause why they may not be joined together - let them speak now or forever hold their peace.
I froze as the audience went quiet.
"Moving on..." That priest spoke up again and I let out a sigh of relief. I noticed David's mouth twitch into a smile at my reaction.
Who knows one of his crazy exes might just decide to show up.
David and I decided it would be best if we said our vows ourselves,
"We would begin with the groom." the priest said,
David nodded and reached out for my hand, I grinned.
"Alison, I feel like everything in my life has led me to you." He started, "My decisions, my choices, my regrets. Everything and when we are together my past decisions are worth it because if I had done one thing differently, I might never have met you."
My mouth wined into a smile and I felt little drops of tears roll down my eyes at his words,
"I David Hertz solemnly vow that I will protect you. Hold dear and deep in my heart our union and you. I promise to love you and be faithfully forsaken all others in sickness and in health, I give you my hand, heart, and love from this moment on for as long as we both shall leave."
The Priest cleared his throat again, I hadn't realized I had frozen to the ground, hearing him say those sweet words to me.
"You vow?" He reminded me again.
I nodded and lifted my eyes to David,
"I Alison stone solemnly vow to love you, unconditionally, to support you in all your dreams and goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, to share my hopes and dreams with you and bring you solace in Times of need. And cherish you as long as we both shall live."
A few hours later
"What was your favorite part?" I asked, as we found ourselves gliding across the dance floor hours later, warm smiles still present on our faces,
"The kissing part, of course."
I threw him a look at his very cliched answer,
"Mine was the 'I now pronounce you man and wife' part."
He grinned and bent down to kiss me again,
"Me too." He mumbled, someone cleared their throat and we instantly pulled away and turned to see who it was
"Mom." David utters surprised, I sent the invite, but I didn't think she would show up. Not after what happened with Jenna and without saying a word she pulled him into a hug,
"I'm so proud, Dai."
Oh, that name again.
"Thanks." He said and hugged her back. I decided to give them space, they had a lot to make up for.
I made my way over to Olivia, getting a lot of hugs and congratulations on the way,
"Mrs. Hertz?" Tessa teased as I sat beside her,
"And that would be me." I laugh.
I should get used to being called, Mrs. Hertz.
She formed an imaginary microphone with her hand, raising it to me,
"How does it feel like to be married to the most gorgeous man on earth," she asked.
I took my eyes back to him, he was still in a hot conversation with his mother,
"Amazing." I let out and sensed her mouth turn into a grin.
I turned my eyes back to her,
"Oh, Ali." She reached and rubbed my hands, "I'm so happy for you." She said with watery eyes.
"Thank you so much, Olivia. I mean for everything."I said pulling her into a hug,
"You're so welcome, Ali and I wish you all the happiness in the world." Suddenly someone cleared their throat and I quickly pulled away and looked up to see who it was.
I was shocked to him.
And, henwas wearing a beautiful black tuxedo that suited his body perfectly,
"Mrs. Hertz." He said stretching the last name.
Olivia excused herself, leaving us alone,
"I didn't think you would show up." I started not exactly sure what else to say to him.
"I wanted to see you one last time before I leave," he says, sliding his hands into his pocket.
"I'm moving to London to start up a new company. Thanks to your husband, I got all my frozen assets back."
David had told me about him deciding to help Matt, seeing it was the right thing to do, he did save my life and we were so terrible to me.
"It's really nice to see you again Matt." I said and did the one thing, I never in my wilds dream imagined I would do one day, I hugged him, "Thanks for coming." I whispered in his ear.
"Always." He whispered and broke away, "Good luck, Alison," he said with a smile before turning to walk away.
I stood there watching him as he completely vanished away, before making it back to my husband, who was laughing with some guest, female guests.
"Mr. Hertz?" I called from a distance, precisely in the middle of the dance floor, he turned his eyes to me and smiled, before excusing himself and stepping over to me.
"Mrs. Hertz." He responded, grabbing me by the waist possessively, and just in that moment our favorite song come on,
I grinned at him, circling my hands around him, as we slowly moved to the rhythm of the music, Dancing till our feet hurt.
We had our honeymoon in a beautiful island, it was all so romantic and somehow I just couldn't stop crying, I felt a lot of emotions overwhelming me.
David turned to my side instantly and pulled me closer to him, wiping the tears that were silently falling out with his thumb, "Don't cry? You are supposed to be happy." He whispered.
"Of course, I'm happy." I heaved a long sigh, "I'm happy that we surpassed all the difficult trials that we went through and now, we're in this beautiful island married, and happy." His expression softened as he gathered me closer to his arms, "Those trials made our love stronger."
He nodded, "Baby, there would always be ups and downs in every relationship, we just have to be strong to face any storm that would come our way in the future, but let's just be grateful for what we have now and be happy that we're finally together."
"You're right." I agreed and rested against his chest, as I silently listened to his heartbeat in rhythm with the ocean, we were silent for a long time after just holding onto each other and reminding ourselves that the worse was over, wanting to look at him I pulled away just enough so I could into his ocean blue eyes.
"You should get some rest luv." he whispered staring back at me, I shook my head, before leaning in and crashing my lips against his,
It was a deep kiss that touched me in the furthest reach of my soul, causing tingling sensations to go all the way down my toes,
He lifted me in one fluid motion, my back was pressed on the mattress.
One of my legs was on his waist as he loomed over me kissing me intensely, it was insane how crazy he drove me, he made me experience ecstasies I never knew existed. It was everything.
Five years later
I couldn't believe my world, marrying David completely changed everything, my life felt like a fairytale from a princess movie.
I became the CEO of a very influential hotel handed to me by my husband and the best of all, I was the mother of the most adorable five-year-old, Sophia.
My life was perfect and it couldn't get any more perfect.
"Where are we mommy?" Our little princess Sophia asked as we made it into Hertz's enterprise, it was her first time coming to the office.
I smiled as I remembered my first time.
"We are here to surprise Daddy, are you excited?"
"Yay." She jumped excitedly.
I smiled at her and reached to the front desk with Sophia playing in one hand.
"Good day, Mrs. Hertz." Gil, The receptionist said with a smile. Then she leaned down her desk to look at Sophia,
her mouth turning into a grin, "hey! Sweetie."
Sophia looked up at her with wide eyes,
"Hello!" She replied adorably.
I gave Gil one last polite smile before making it towards the elevator.
I held tightly to Sophia and made my way into the elevator, then with my free hand I pressed the button and watched as the door closed,
"Mommy, I want ice cream." Sophia said as we ascended to the top floor.
"How about we ask Daddy, huh?" I said and she became overly excited.
Finally, the elevator opened and we stepped out. Sophia began bouncing along the hallway, "This way baby." I dragged her attention to David's office door, she hurried and ran over to the door. Without knocking I pushed the door open and walked into his office.
He was sitting behind his desk with a pen over his mouth, he does that when he's thinking.
He lifted his eyes to me and smiled,
"Daddy! daddy!" Sophia squealed as she ran towards him, he got up and instantly hurled her into his arms. I smiled as I stared at the both of them. He was already the world's best father and Sophia our princess adored him.
They make me so happy.
"How's my little princess doing?" He says playfully as he walked over to me, "Hey, beautiful." He leaned and kissed me,
"I thought to surprise you..."
"The best surprise."
"How was the meeting? Did you convince the board to sign off the contract?"
"Daddy! I want ice cream." Sophia cuts in.
"Lets discuss that later?" holding tightly to her fragile body he reached over his desk and picked up the phone, "Taylor, can in for a second?"
Not a second later the door opened and Taylor stepped in, his eyes moved to my direction,
"Good day, Mrs. Hertz." He said.
I simply smiled and plopped unto the soft bed like couch in David's office.
"Uncle Taylor is going to take you to an ice cream shop so you can pick out your favorite strawberry ice cream."
"Yay." she squealed and extended her arms for Taylor and he made it over to them and took her from David's arms.
"Bye, princess." he waved at her as Taylor carried her out of the office, closing the door behind.
I stood up and made it over to him,
"You spoil her."
He wrapped his hand around my waist and brought me closer to his chest,
"It's just ice cream."
I threw him a look, "You bought her a human-sized dollhouse and a puppy, let's not forget the midnight candies you sneak to her every night, even after I insist on no sweets after dinner. You make me look like the bad parent."
He picked me up and sat me on his desk,
"I spoil you too princess, I don't see you complaining." he taunts.
I stutter, "That is beside the point David and you know it."
He raised an eyebrow at me,
"What ?"I shot upset.
"You're jealous of a five-year-old, Ali."
I let out a dry laugh,
"No, I'm not," I wasn't going to admit it to him, but I was a little jealous, he spent more time with her than he with me. What would happen when we have children, I would be invisible and completely out of the picture.
I couldn't even remember the last we went out on a Date or a movie, or took a simple walk at the part, just the two of us.
"I'm sorry, from now on things would be different, less work more Alison and David time." he whispered and I found myself grinning like a fool,
"how about we go on a vacation next week, just the two of us."I suggested.
"Done."nHe leaned over and began tracing sweet kisses around my neck, having me instantly forgotten what I was fretting about,
I wrapped my legs around him as the kissing became intense and full of lust.
with Sophia always cuddling up around him, and I mean literally every night, we barely had enough time to for ourselves.
So my whole body was extremely desperate for his touch, he leaned back as his eyes scan down my body, "you're so sexy, do you know that?"
He unbuckled his belt and in seconds he was plunging himself deep in every center of me, I wanted to yell or moan out but I remembered were in an office full of people outside, it took a great deal of effort to keep myself under control.
Then suddenly, we heard the door slams open, having us instantly jump apart, we pulled ourselves together before turning to it,
Sophia was standing frozen at the door, flickering her cute lashes at us with her favorite strawberry ice cream in her left hand.
Taylor was behind her trying to keep a straight face and his job.
David instantly reached out to her and hurled her into his arms,
"Hey! Princess. How's the ice cream?"
"We went to the mall, daddy...and...There was a mermaid...she was beautiful, just like princess Ariel."
"That's nice princess."He pecked her on the cheeks before placing her down, "That will be all, Taylor." He said.
Taylor nodded and left.
Sophia's tiny eyes settled on my messy hair and one left shoe, "Daddy! What are you doing to mommy?" She asked and we both froze.
I just wanted to use this platform and Thank Y'all so much for sticking with this book and with me, when I first started writing this book, I really wasn't expecting it to reach to this point and it has been an amazing journey. so thank y'all again❤️