Bits and Pieces

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Chapter Five

Waking wrapped in Travis’s arms felt good to Casey and she also felt safe. She knew it would be a good thing to wake up with him every morning. Glancing at the clock, it was five forty five AM and she knew she had fifteen minutes to be to work. Jumping out of bed, she ran to the bathroom to relieve herself.

Travis had turned on the light and was sitting up in bed when she came out of the bathroom. “Hey, what’s up?” He mumbled.

“I’m going to be late for work. You just go back to bed and come down later when you get up. I think you should call your parents too. They’re probably worried about you.” She said, digging through her dresser for a pair of clean underwear and a bra.

“I’m sure they know where I’m at.” Travis said, looking over her naked body.

“Still, you should call them.” Casey said as she pulled her jeans on.

Grabbing her shoes and socks, she sat on the bed to put them on. Travis slid his arm around her neck and gently pulled her down on the bed. “I just wanted to make sure I get a good bye kiss.” He said and kissed her.

Walking in the door just in time, she saw Joel in the kitchen. Walking up beside him, she greeted him and put her apron on. “I want to talk to you, do you have a minute?”

“Yeah sure, what’s up?” He said, giving her his attention.

“First, I may start night school, try to get my diploma instead of going back to school and creating a wave of surprise that I’m alive. I want to get my diploma. Secondly, I’ve been thinking of extra security for me and asking Travis to move in. But I need your permission.”

“Travis, move in with you?” Joel commented. “I don’t see any problem with it. I’ll still keep the rent the same.”

“That would be great. Thank you Joel.”

“You know you two have been friends for forever and I saw the spark before your accident. I’ve been seeing it again. I know you kids will be fine.”

She hugged him before opening the door for the day. Raising the curtains, she saw her usual crowd come in. Business people meeting for breakfast before starting their day. It was just after eight when Travis came down through the back door of the restaurant. Sitting at a booth in her station, she approached him.

“Good morning.” She said with a smile. “Do you want some breakfast?”

“Yes please. How about pancakes and eggs with bacon. Some coffee and orange juice.”

“Ok. I’ll get right on it.” Casey said and left the table.

Just before Travis got up to leave, Taylor and Rand walked through the door. Seeing Travis first, they sat at the booth with him. “What’s up Travis, we haven’t seen you in a few days.” Rand said.

“Um, I’ve been hanging out with Casey.”

“What, Casey? Where is she?”

“She’s right there.”

The two could hardly believe their eyes as they looked up to see her coming toward them. The two sitting with Travis looked somewhat familiar to Casey, but she couldn’t quite place them. “Hi.” She said as she walked up to their booth.

Taylor stood to her feet and hugged Casey. “Oh my God, how long have you been here?”

“Casey, this is Taylor and Rand. They were friends of yours, of ours.”

“What’s going on?” Taylor asked.

“I have amnesia from the gunshot wound. I’m sorry if I don’t know you.”

“But you do know us. We used to hang out. A lot.” Taylor said.

“I don’t remember anything from my past. My life is a blank.”

“Really, wow, that’s gotta be tough. But you remember Travis?”

“I didn’t, no. But I’m learning him now.” She smiled at Travis.

“When do you get out, we’ll hang out.”

“In a couple of hours.” Casey answered her. “But I kinda need to talk to Travis first. How about we meet around five.”

“Five is great.” Taylor said and hugged Casey again. “It’s so good to see you, I thought I never would again. This is a complete shock. All the media said you were dead.”

“I know, it was for my protection.”

“We’ll talk about it later.” Rand said. “She needs to get back to work.”

“He’s right, I have customers.” Casey said and walked away from the table.

Travis had left the restaurant to go home but returned around two, when Casey was due to get out of work. She brought him upstairs to her apartment to talk to him. But she was nervous about him saying no, but even more so, nervous about him saying yes.

Getting them each a soda from the refrigerator, she sat on the couch and patted the seat beside her, offering him to sit down. Waiting until he sat, she began. “I think you are just as concerned about my safety as I am.”

“Yes, I am.” He responded.

“That’s why I was wondering if your parents would let you move in here with me.”

“Are you kidding Casey? I would love to. I think they may agree, given your situation.”

“But then they will be worried about you.”

“Yes, well they’re worried about you too.”

“They are?”

“Well yes. Are you serious Casey, you want me to move in with you?”

“Yes. I liked waking in your arms this morning. It’s made me think.”

“You have no idea how happy this makes me. It’s like you’re finally accepting me into your life again.”

“I’m sorry for pushing you away at first, it was very awkward for me. It was like you came on extremely strong, but now I know why.”

“I understand Casey. I tried to put myself in your shoes. I can’t imagine what it must be like for you.” He said and hugged her. “When do you want me to get my things?”

“As soon as you want to move in.”

“Right now.” Travis said and kissed her. “Come on, we’ll go tell my parents and get my things.”

“Don’t forget, we’re supposed to meet Taylor and Rand at five.” Casey reminded him.

“Well, we’ll tell my parents and grab a few things.” He said, taking her hand and standing to his feet.

Casey looked at her parents house as they passed it. Memories flashed by her mind and she was engulfed in them. Travis pulled up in his driveway and ran around to open Casey’s door as she was still thinking of the memories.

Following Travis into the house, she knew she had been there before. It seemed vaguely familiar. “Casey, how are you?” Travis’s mother said.

“I’m doing ok.” She answered him.

“Casey, you remember my parents, Connie and Joe. And my little sister Grace.” Travis introduced them again.

“Not really but it’s nice to see you again.” Casey said.

“Mom, Casey has asked me to move in with her. I really want to do this.” Travis said.

“Wow, that’s a big step, are you sure you want to do this Casey?”

“Yes. I’ve been thinking of it all day and all night.”

“Well Travis is only seventeen and we could tell him no. But I don’t want to push him away and I think you two need to be together. I think that it’s great you two found each other again. However, this decision is not only mine, it is also Joe’s. I will talk with him tonight. Travis and I will talk to him.” Connie said and looked at Travis.

“What time, we’re supposed to meet some friends at five.” Travis said.

“Well, when you come home tonight, we’ll talk to him.” Connie said.

“I’ll be here around nine, but I want to stay with Casey tonight.” Travis informed his mother.

“We’ll talk to your father when you get here and we’ll see what he says.” Connie said.

“Alright. But I’m gathering some clothes to take with me.” Travis said and headed up the stairs.

“So, are you planning on returning to school?” Connie asked Casey.

“Well, actually, I’m going to try adult ed. If I can pass my exams, I can get my GED. It will be faster than if I stay in school.”

“So, you’re still planning on attending college with Travis?”

“That part I’m not sure about yet. I want him to pursue his goals, but mine may be put on hold.”

“Why, they shouldn’t have to be. You have no children, there is nothing tying you down.”

“But I can’t afford it until I turn eighteen and can pay for college from my trust fund. By then I’ll miss the start of the fall semester.”

“I’m sure there is something your lawyer can do to pay your tuition fees.” Connie said.

“I’ll have to speak with him.” She said, knowing that wasn’t the entire reason for postponing college. But she wasn’t about to reveal the other reason.

Travis came rushing down the stairs with a duffel bag in hand. “Are you ready, it’s almost four. I thought we could get a bite before we meet up with Rand and Taylor.”

“Ok.” Casey simply said and smiled at Connie.

“You kids be careful, it’s supposed to snow tonight. Watch those roads Travis.” Connie said as the two headed out the door.

Getting into his car, Travis took out his cell phone and dialed a number. “I’m calling Rand to see if they want to get dinner or what.” Travis explained before Rand answered. “Rand,” Travis began his conversation with Rand. “what are you two planning on, maybe dinner?” Casey listened as Travis talked to Rand on the phone, figuring that they would go out for dinner then catch a movie.

Hanging up the phone, Travis drove toward the other end of town to a different restaurant. It was a small chain of fast food but it was a local hangout for the kids. Casey knew it may be a bad idea when she saw the crowd of teenage kids through the window. But she walked in anyways. Suddenly a hush came over the crowd as they all looked at her.

Instantly embarrassed, she diverted their attention. “Ok, yes, I’m Casey and I’m alive. You can get on with your conversations now.” She announced as she walked through the restaurant and found an empty booth.

Sitting down, she scooted over to let Travis sit beside her. “You’re so brave.” Taylor said.

“Why would you bring me to a place like this Travis?” Casey asked him.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t really realize this would happen. I was just trying to take you to places we used to hang out.”

“Well, I think it’s safe to say the whole town will know you’re alive and well.” Taylor added.

“Yes, I know and I was trying to stay low profile. But you’re right Taylor.”

“I’m so sorry Casey, I didn’t realize.” Travis said.

“You’re alright Travis, I understand you were just trying to help me remember. Besides, this would’ve happened eventually. Might as well get it over with.” Casey said.

By the time they left the restaurant, Casey knew everyone had whispered about her somewhere in their private conversations. But she didn’t care, she would rise above. Taylor and Rand followed Travis as he led them to the movie theater. Ten minutes it took before they all decided on one movie. A comedy.

Walking down to find their places, Travis led Casey to the first row where all four of them sat. Gaining her attention from the start of the movie, Casey enjoyed it. But by the time they had left the theater, it had already snowed over two inches from the major storm. After dropping Casey off at her apartment, Travis made it home just in time to talk to both of his parents about moving in with Casey.

It was nearly three hours before Travis returned to Casey’s apartment. With him, he brought his dresser and all his clothes. Plus extra things he would need such as soap, toothpaste and towels. Walking up the stairs with his suitcases in his hand, he knocked on the door for her to open it, not knowing she had fallen asleep on the couch, waiting for him.

The knock on the door frightened her and she nearly fell off the couch. Hoping it was Travis, she opened to door to find him standing there with his arms full. “Here, let me help you.” She said, relieving some of the items from his load.

“I have two more trips to make.” He said as he dropped everything in the middle of the floor.

Carrying his dresser up last, he left everything in the middle of the floor until morning. It was now nearly midnight and she had to be up by five thirty. Turning the lights and TV off, Travis locked the door before they went to the bedroom.

“So, I guess your parents are going to let you stay?” Casey said as she changed into her pajamas.

“They said that only under certain circumstances would I be able to move in. One of the stipulations is that I have to stay in school. And they stressed on me that we need to use birth control.” Travis said as he stripped his clothes off down to his underwear.

“It’s kinda late for that, we’ve had sex twice without birth control.” She made a risky statement.

“Yeah but mom is right. You don’t need to get pregnant right now.”

Sitting on the bed, she looked up at him. “And if I did, would it change your plans?”

“I don’t know, that may depend on you.”

“What do you mean?” She asked, laying beside him.

“Why are you asking me this Casey?”

“I’m just curious.” She said.

“Well, we’ll cross that bridge when it comes.” He said, sliding his arm beneath her.

It was the last words they spoke that night before they both fell sleep. Casey found herself standing in that familiar room, looking down at her dead parents. Knowing what was coming next, she looked toward the stairs to see the man in the mask coming down them. She tried to move, to run but it was like her feet were stuck to the floor and she couldn’t move.

The man raised his gloved hand and pulled the trigger. Instantly, she sat up in bed, sweating and out of breath. Covering her face with her hands, she cried as Travis sat up in bed. “Casey, are you alright?” He asked, rubbing her back.

“Just a recurrent dream from that night. I’ll be fine.” She sobbed.

“Is there anything I can do, do you want to talk about it?” He asked.

“No, I just want a good nights sleep without the bad dreams.” She said, laying back down.

Travis laid back down beside her, wrapping her in his arms. “I’m right here, I’m not going to let anything happen to you.” He whispered.

“I know, and I feel a lot better having you here.” She said.

It was New Years Eve, Casey worked the morning shift as usual, getting out of work at two. Going back to the apartment, she laid on the couch for a nap, knowing they would be out late. Travis straightened the apartment and cooked them dinner while she slept. Waking at four, she showered before sitting down for dinner.

Meeting with Taylor and Rand, they had made plans to hang out at the same local restaurant where Travis had taken her the previous night. The restaurant was open late that night and had made plans for the local teenagers who hung out there. It was a party where they had created their own ball to drop at midnight.

Having planned activities for the local teenagers, they held games and activities for them. Participating in some of the activities, Casey was still extremely tired by the time midnight rolled around. As they gathered around for the countdown to the new year, they watched the ball drop. Travis took Casey in his arms and kissed her to bring in the new year. Soon after, all the teenagers vacated the building and returned home.

As the first week passed, Travis returned to school and Casey signed up for night school. Casey learned a routine of working in the morning, sleeping until Travis returned, eating dinner with him, then helping him with his homework before going to school.

It was a Saturday when she returned home after work. Laying on the couch, she fell asleep as she usually did. Travis sat on the other end of the couch, her feet in his lap. Finding herself in an unfamiliar place, she looked around the room. Then she heard a voice that was not quite her own. “I told you to kill them all.”

“I thought I did.” She heard his voice.

Feeling herself walk toward the man, she took a good look at him and saw the glass eye. A brown eye and a blue eye. Suddenly she was sure he was the man who shot her. Fear crept through her body as she came closer to the man. But she felt the knife as she buried it deep into his abdomen. Feeling the warm blood on her hands, she looked down at her hands to see one holding the bloody knife. Again, she pushed it into his abdomen and twisted the knife.

Not understanding what was happening, she screamed, sitting straight up on the couch. Travis nearly jumped off the couch as she startled him. “Casey!” He said, grabbing her legs. “What’s wrong?”

With tears flowing from her eyes, her hands were shaking as she looked down at them, still feeling the warmth of the blood. But they were clean with no knife. She was instantly confused by the dream, not understanding it.

“What happened?” Travis asked her.

“I don’t know, I was dreaming about the man who shot me. I stabbed him, twice, in the abdomen. I could feel his blood on my hands. And I said something to him… ‘I told you to kill them all’. That’s what I said before I stabbed him. He’s dead...”

“It was just a dream Casey...” He said, holding her in his arms. “You didn’t kill him.”

“But it was so real...” She said.

“Emily...” Travis mumbled.

“Emily?” Casey said. “You think it was Emily?”

“I don’t know, maybe, you should call Jason.”

“Maybe I shouldn’t. It was like you said, just a dream.”

“But it could be a clue.” Travis encouraged her.

“We don’t know that.” Casey said as she stood from the couch. “Besides, the dream doesn’t prove anything.”

Closing the bathroom door behind her, she relieved herself then came back out and returned to the couch. Sitting beside Travis, she cuddled up beside him, kicking her feet behind her. “What do you want to do today?”

“Nothing, just be here with you.” Travis said and closed his arms around her.

For the evening they stayed in and watched TV. Monday afternoon as soon as she got out of work, she returned to the apartment to locate Dr. Grant’s business card. She knew she needed to find a doctor and he was the best chance she had. Opening the file containing her important documents, she located his card and dialed the number.

Making an appointment for Wednesday afternoon, it was late and she knew she would have to come up with an excuse why she would be gone when he returned home from school. But she didn’t want to have to lie to him. Instead, she would tell him and invite him to come with her. She just wasn’t sure how she would tell him.

As usual, she laid on the couch to rest until he returned home from school. But she couldn’t sleep, instead, her mind was engulfed in how she would tell Travis about the pregnancy. She thought about how and when she would initiate that conversation.

It was late when they went to bed. Travis began kissing her, showing his arousal. But Casey had other things on her mind. “Travis, can I ask you something?” She said, interrupting his affection.

“Yes, what is it?” He pulled back and looked at her.

“Did we ever talk about… ya know, getting married and having kids?”

“Yes, we did. Just not to each other.”

“Why not?”

“Because we were just realizing our feelings for each other when you were shot. We were not really boyfriend and girlfriend yet. Just best friends who were experiencing each others passions, learning each others feelings. I do believe we would have become a lot more than friends, given you didn’t have your incident.”

“What about now?”

“What do you mean, what about now? Are you trying to tell me that you want to get married?” Travis asked.

“No, that’s not really what I’m saying. But I might consider it.” Casey answered.

“What are you saying Casey? My feelings for you have only grown. I love you more than you know. And I know that somewhere deep inside of you, you love me too.”

“Yes Travis, I do love you.”

“Then what are we talking about here?” Travis asked.

“The other part.” She said, watching as his face held a note of confusion. Drawing in a deep breath, she let out a long sigh. “I’m trying to tell you that I’m pregnant.”

“What! Casey, are you serious.”

“Yes Travis. I’m three months. I found out the day I was raped at the foster care home.”

“Three months?” He thought to himself. Homecoming, under the bleachers.” He mumbled.

“Yes.” She said, watching his facial expressions.

“I’m… going to be… a father.” He said, sitting up in bed.

She wasn’t sure how to take his reaction, not sure if he was happy or upset. Sitting up beside him, she placed her hand on his back. “Travis?”

“Casey, I’m sorry, I was just trying to get over the initial shock.” He said and wrapped his arms around her. “I can’t believe this. Casey, it’s great.”

Relieved, she knew it was a huge step that turned out alright. She no longer had to hide the secret from him and now, she knew his parents would know. And it would be safe to let Joel know, as long as it didn’t interfere with her job.

“It all makes sense now.” She heard Travis say. “Why you say your plans have changed.”

“Yes.” She nodded her head.

“I’ve got to tell my parents. Come on, let’s go over there.”

“What, right now, it’s almost midnight.”

“Yes. They won’t mind getting out of bed for this.”

“Alright, if you say so.” Casey said and climbed out of bed.

Pulling in the driveway, there was still a light on in the living room. Travis unlocked the door with his key and walked in, Casey following him. Connie heard the door open and shut and it alarmed her. Getting off the couch, she walked toward the door to see Travis and Casey.

“Hey kids, is everything ok?” She seemed concerned.

“Where is dad, is he in bed?”

“Yes, what’s wrong?”

“Nothing. You need to get him up, we have news.”

“Ok, I’ll be right back down.” Connie said and went up the stairs.

Waiting for them to come back down, Travis and Casey stood at the bottom of the stairs. “What’s going on that you have to get me out of bed?” Joe said as he came down the stairs.

“Mom, dad, Casey is pregnant. Three months.”

“Casey, is this true?” Connie said.

“Yes. I just told Travis and he insisted on coming over.”

Joe drew in a deep breath. “Congratulations, I wish you the best. We’ll talk about this later, I’m going back to bed.”

Joe’s comment seemed harsh to Casey but Travis and Connie didn’t seem too concerned. Connie hugged her son. “I’m so happy for you. And I’m so excited.” Then she hugged Casey. “Congratulations.”

“Thank you Connie.” Casey said.

“I knew this would happen some day, just not this soon.” Connie said and hugged Casey again.

“Don’t worry mom, this isn’t going to change my plans. I’m still going to medical school. Casey is getting her GED then she’s going to college with me.” Travis informed her.

“And don’t worry, we’ll be able to afford child care.” Casey added.

“How are you going to do that?”

“I’m getting a weekly check from my lawyer and when I turn eighteen, I’ll have access to my trust fund. Financial care won’t be a problem.”

“When are you due?” Connie asked.

“I’m not sure, I haven’t went to the doctor yet. But I’m seeing Dr. Grant on Wednesday.”

“Three months and you haven’t went to the doctor yet?”

“No, I didn’t find out until I was ten weeks. But things have been hard on me. I promise I’ll go to the doctor.”

“Dr. Grant is not an obstetrician.”

“I know, but he can at least give me a check up and refer me to one.” Casey said.

“Yes, you’re right. I never expected to be a grandma this soon, but it’s happening and I’m very excited. Don’t worry, I’ll be here if you need me.” Connie said, putting one arm around Casey and the other around Travis. “But right now, you should go home. Casey needs her rest.”

“Yes ma’am.” Casey said, grabbing her coat.

“I’m going to her doctor appointment with her. It’s after school.” Travis said as he threw his coat on over his shoulders and zipped it.

“Congratulations you two, it sounds like you’re both excited about it. Take care of yourself Casey.” Connie said as Travis and Casey went out the door, waving at her.

Excited, Casey laid on the couch and waited for Travis to return from school. She was happy to finally see Dr. Grant. Hearing the door open, she jumped off the couch and grabbed her coat. “Good, you’re here.”

“Yes, and it looks like you’re ready to go.”

“I am, are you?”

“Yep.” He said, holding the door open for her. “Who is driving?”

“I figured I’d let you, you probably know where to go.”

Travis nodded his head. “Yes, I do.”

Walking through the door, Casey looked around. There were a few other people in the waiting room. Checking in at the front desk, she took a seat in the middle of the room. Travis seemed nervous as she reached over and put her hand on his knee.

“Relax, I’m the one who’s pregnant and I’m not even that nervous.” Casey smiled.

“Is it really that obvious?”

“Yes. Here, look at a magazine.” She said, handing one to him.

Approximately twenty minutes they sat in the waiting room before Kyle came out personally and called for her. Travis followed her into an exam room as Kyle entered first and shut the door behind them. Looking at Kyle, she remembered him from the hospital, but there was something more. She remembered seeing him at her seventeenth birthday party. Again, her memory was slightly returning.

“Casey, you’re looking good. It’s good to see you.” He said, hugging her. Then he turned and shook Travis’s hand. “Travis.” He greeted him. “I’m glad to see you together again. What brings you kids in?”

“Well Dr. Grant, I’m pregnant and need a doctor.”

“Pregnant? Really? How far along?” Dr. Grant responded.

“Twelve weeks.” Casey answered.

“Twelve weeks? That means you were pregnant while in the hospital and under my care. I had no idea Casey, I never suspected it.” Dr. Grant said. “I’m not an obstetrician but I can refer you to one.”

“That’s why I’m here. I figured you could give me an exam and send me to a colleague.”

“You’re absolutely right. Do you want Travis to stay while I examine you?”

“I’ll step out for a few minutes.” Travis said, opening the door.

Asking her questions, Dr. Grant gave her a complete examination. Then gave her a business card for an associate who was an Obstetrician. She was a woman named Dr. Jillian Hahn. After another hug and a handshake, Casey and Travis said goodbye and left the office. By the time they returned home, it was too late to call and make an appointment. She would have to call tomorrow.

It was her third night of night school as she walked into the room and took her seat. She was required to sit through a determined amount of classroom hours before she could receive credit by exam. Not having the opportunity to take a nap after work, she was tired and fought falling asleep in class.

Returning home after work, she opened the door to find the entire apartment lit by candle light. Travis had prepared a late night snack for her, knowing she would be hungry. Setting her book bag down on the floor, she walked into the bedroom to find Travis laying on the bed, his head propped up in his hand and he was smiling.

“Hi Sweetie.” He said and climbed off the bed, wearing nothing but a pair of boxer shorts. Walking up to her, he slipped his hands along her shoulders, pushing the coat from her. As the coat fell to the floor, Travis slipped his hands around behind her, pulling her to him. “I’ve been waiting for you to get home.” He whispered, kissing her on the neck.

“Are you trying to seduce me?” She smiled, leaning her head back.

“Yes, is it working?” He whispered and looked at her.

“Yes.” She smiled and kissed him.

“But first… I’ve made something for you.” Travis said and took her hand, leading her to the kitchen. “Here, have a seat.”

Casey watched as he brought ingredients to the table. Round tortilla chips, refried beans and melted nacho cheese. “Wow, this looks really good. Thank you Travis.” She said as she first dipped the chip in the re fried beans, then in the cheese.

In the bottom of the bowl, beneath the tortilla chips, she found the ring and picked it up, looking at it. Then she looked at Travis who had dropped to his knee before her. “What is this?” She asked, looking at the ring again.

“That is your engagement ring Casey, if you’ll agree to marry me.”

“Oh my God, Travis. Where did you get this?”

“From Casper’s Jewelers. Why?”

“No, I mean how did you get it?”

“I borrowed the money from my mom.”

Looking at the ring, she pondered the idea. Married? To Travis? He was the father of her unborn baby. She knew deep inside if she loved him enough to take that chance that night, she should trust in that. Although he was like a familiar stranger, something deep inside her had a strong grip and she wanted to say yes.

“Let me think about it overnight.” She said. Placing the ring in the palm of his hand, she closed his hand. “I’ll let you know in the morning.”

Travis drew in a deep breath and closed his eyes knowing he would be in deep suspense until she gave him her answer. He was more nervous than he had ever been in his life and he felt his heartbeat strengthen and increase. Feeling her hand brush across his five o’clock shadow, he opened his eyes.

“Don’t worry Travis, the love I have for you is bleeding through my amnesia. I’m remembering you. It may be slowly, but I’m remembering things, here and there. And everything that I feel for you is good.”

Pulling her to him, he kissed her passionately. Standing to his feet, he took her hand and pulled her up to her feet, leading her into the bedroom. “I’m leaving this sit right here, in case you may want to put it on.” Travis said, putting the ring beside the lamp on the night stand. “I’ll be right back, I have to blow out the candles.”

As Travis blew out the candles in the living room and kitchen, Casey stripped off her clothes and climbed into bed completely naked. The cool sheets felt good against her bare skin. Travis blew out all the candles in the bedroom except for the two sitting on the night stands. Looking down at her, he smiled before he climbed in bed beside her. Seeing her naked body instantly aroused him.

After making love, they blew out the other two candles and Travis held Casey in his arms while she fell asleep. He laid awake for hours, worried about her response. Around the same time he fell asleep, Casey found herself surrounded by white.

Feeling the silky material clinging to her body, she looked down to see the glamorous wedding gown. Reaching up, she felt her hair that was braided and wrapped around her head and covered by a tiara with a veil attached. Looking up, she could see, through a window, Travis standing at the alter. Smiling, she pushed the door open and began to walk toward him until suddenly, everything turned bright.

Casey opened her eyes to the sun shining in them and realized she had been dreaming again. But it was a good dream, calm and comforting and she knew she was marrying Travis. Looking toward him, he was still asleep. She smiled at him.

Then she looked at the ring and picked it up, examining it. First, she slipped off the pink birthstone ring, then slid the engagement ring on her finger to find a perfect fit. Then she held her hand out to see how it looked on her. She couldn’t deny that she loved the ring, it was the most beautiful ring she had ever seen.

Looking at Travis, she began to softly kiss him on the neck. Travis drew in a deep breath and moaned, tightening his arms around her. “Yes...” She whispered in his ear.

Opening his eyes, he looked at her through tired eyes. “Yes?” He said, then thought about it. He knew she was answering his question from the night before. “Yes!” He said and squeezed her tighter then kissed her passionately.

“Casey!” He pulled back and looked at her. “You’re late for work.”

“No, I’m off today. But you’re probably late for school.”

“If you’re off today, then I’m taking the day off too. We have something to celebrate.”

“But your mom and dad said...”

“Yes, I know what they said. One day. Just one day, that’s all. I’ll go to school tomorrow. Besides, they’ll understand when I tell them why.”

“Well, let’s go tell them.” Casey said and pulled the covers back.

“In a minute,” Travis said, flipping the covers back over her. “I want a few minutes with you, my soon to be wife.”

Kissing here and touching there, they made love again in the early morning light. After showering together, they dressed and left the apartment without breakfast, going straight to his parents house and hoping they hadn’t left for work already.

Catching them just before they walked out the door, Travis and Casey entered his parents house. Grace was already on the school bus but her parents were both home. “She said yes, mom!” Travis nearly yelled.

“Congratulations. Boy this is going to be a big year for both of you. And us too.” Connie said.

“Look.” Casey said, showing her the ring.

“I know, I helped him pick it out.” Connie said, looking at it again. “He was so nervous, but it looks good on you.”

“Thank you.” Casey said.

“I’m sorry but we need to get to work. Are you off today?” Joe asked Casey.

“Yes. But I have school later.”

“Congratulations you two. Lock the door when you leave.” Joe said, escorting Connie out the door.

“Bye.” Casey said.

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