I made my way to North Carolina. I didn’t know where I was going, but I was going. I was enjoying seeing all the sights. I found a little motel and decided to crash for the night. I felt sad and was missing Lucas. I just don’t understand. I thought I meant everything to him. Maybe I should have given him a chance to explain? No, I saw with my own eyes what he was doing. Why am I trying to make sense of it? I just wanted to be far away. I’ve been gone for two weeks now and I haven’t checked in once. I know my mother must be worried, but I just needed to do this for myself. I haven’t heard a word from Lucas but he has that red-headed bitch to keep him busy. He probably doesn’t even give a shit.
This town on the ocean was nice. I had been in touch with my mother and Jack and I decided I wasn’t coming home and I wanted to start a new life for myself here in Cedar Island North Carolina. They have a small community College and I got myself set up in a very small one-bedroom cabin right on the water. I felt happy and I was very surprised that I didn’t feel like fighting to be someone important in Lucas's life. My mother at first wasn’t happy about my choice, but Jack talked her into it and he was happy I was choosing a better life for myself. He never once mentioned Lucas to me and I just never asked. I felt for my own heart that it was just better for me to move on that way. When Jack tells me everyone is doing good. I know that’s his way of letting me know Lucas is okay.
Five years later...
I graduated from nursing school over a year ago and I work at the local hospital. My life is good and busy. I prefer it this way. I work six days a week and spend my Sundays resting and reading at home. I ended up buying my house about six months ago. I stayed by the water because the ocean is my favorite place to be. I haven’t seen my family in five years with the exception of my little sister coming out to see me for two weeks after she graduated high school. She had tried to tell me things about Lucas, but I always ended up changing the subject. I did learn that he has moved into a place of his own and still works alongside Jack, but I don’t know much more than that. I don’t have a steady boyfriend in my life. I have gone out with a few men but I just don’t have the time for romance in my life. I’m not really looking to be with someone right now.
I made two really good friends in college named Kim and Brianna and we are still good friends. Kim became a nurse like me and got a job at her father’s private practice in the city. Brianna ended up studying to be a sports physician and landed a job with the NBA. I get together with them about twice a month and we go out and have dinner and drinks. My social life is crap, but I choose to make it that way. I’m trying to get out of the hospital scene and go to a small family practice, but its taking time so, I work long hours at the hospital.
Until my work calms down, I just don’t have the time for a social life. It seems like most nurses end up marrying doctors. I don’t care too much for doctors, only because they work even longer hours than us nurses do and I want to be with someone I can spend time with. I did, however, date a young doctor when I first started working for the hospital. His name was Max and he was a good man with a great heart, but we only got to see each other once a week and I wasn’t happy with it, so I ended it. He understood and we remained friends.
I’m still in touch with my best friend Jessica from back home. She has been out to see me at least six times in the last five years. She does her best every year to try and get me to go home for holidays and whatnot, but I just don’t want to go. Besides holidays are when the hospital is the busiest and I know they need me. The hospital was having a huge charity ball in Jacksonville North Carolina. I have attended the last two balls and I intended on going to this one. It would give me at least three days off work and that was the main reason I agreed to go. I needed the break to just breathe a little and they always turned out very nice and I always gave them a good donation. They were always for a very good cause and I loved to help. Normally they aren’t so far from home but I was excited to get out of town for a few days.
This ball was being hosted by a Mrs. Blake Marsh. I thought I had recognized the name, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I didn’t worry too much about it. These things were always put on by very rich families looking to do a good deed. I got myself an evening gown and book myself a room at the hotel that the event was happening. I was surprised I was even able to get a room since I did everything last minute. It was only a two-hour drive from here so I packed the car and headed out. The drive was nice and I got a chance to clear my mind. I checked into the hotel and went out to find some food. The event wasn’t until the next night. I made myself comfortable in a booth alone at the hotel’s restaurant. I went over the menu and decided on my dinner. As I set the menu down and waited for the waitress, I heard someone call out my name. I turned to see Darren Marsh standing in the restaurant. He was standing there with his father and a very beautiful woman. I was sure was maybe his mother. Now I remember where I had heard the name for the host of the event. Fuck, I said to myself. I smiled at him and he made his way over to me.
“Scarlet, Jack Daltons daughter and Lucas Daltons girl?” He said, with a slight smile on his face. I just sat there and shook my head.
“Jack Dalton’s stepdaughter and not Lucas Daltons girl.” I corrected him.
“Mind if I join you?” He asked me. I point to the seat in front of me and said.
“By all means.” He smiled and took a seat.
“Tell Me, Scarlet, what are you doing on my side of the country?” He asked me. He had a very sexy smiled on his face and he was very good looking. It had been a very long time since a man touched me and I was powerless to brush him off.
“I’ve lived out here now for a little over five years,” I said.
“Really? alone or...”
“Alone,” I said.
“So you and Lucas are no more?”
“That’s been over just as long,” I said taking a drink of my water. The waitress came over to our table and she took my order.
“And what can I get for you, Mr. Marsh?” The waitress asked. He said something to her about the usual and looked back to me. I cocked my head at him.
“You come here a lot?” I asked. He laughed a little.
“Something like that. I own this place.” He said. I almost choked on my water.
“Of course you do."
“Why did you come to North Carolina?” He asked me.
“It’s a really long boring story. I’m really not in the mood to talk about it right now.”
“Understandable, So do you come to this restaurant a lot? Because I have never seen you here.” He asked. I smiled at him.
“I’m actually here for tomorrow night's event. I’m a nurse now and I live in Cedar Island.” I said. His eyes lite up.
“That’s wonderful to hear. So you're not working with Jack?” He asked.
“No, It’s not a life for me,” I said. “I live on my own and work for Cedar Hospital,” I told him.
“That’s all wonderful Scarlet. You should be very proud of yourself.” He said as his father and mother walked up to us. I turned and looked at them. “Father you remember Scarlet, Jacks Dalton’s stepdaughter?” He said to him.
“Hello, again Scarlet, what brings you here?” Mr. Marsh asked me.
“I’m here for the event tomorrow night."
“Are you a doctor?” His mother asked me.
“No ma’ma, but I’m a nurse for Cedar Hospital in Cedar Island,” I said.
“You don’t work with your father?” Mr. Marsh asked.
“No sir, I left that." He nodded his head at me and said something to Darren and they excused themselves.
“Your mother seems nice,” I said to Darren.
“She is, she is the backbone to our family.” He said. “Scarlet, did you come alone, or are you with someone?” I knew what he was trying to get at.
“No Darren, I’m alone."
“Would you like to be my date tomorrow night?” He asked me.
“For the event?” I asked like an idiot. He nodded at me and I just couldn’t turn him down.
“I’d love to. I mean we’re having dinner together now. So a second date?” I said with a smile on my face and humor in my voice. He winked at me. This was going to be fun. I was actually really excited about the event now. Not that I sat there thinking I would have any sort of future with Mr. Darren Marsh. I knew the type of things his family was involved in and I wanted nothing to do with any of that, but a couple of nights of fun, well that was something I was looking forward to. Darren was a smart and sexy man. Just the man I would love to touch. He got his looks from his father because even though he was much older. Mr. William Marsh was a very good looking man. Plus his mother was beautiful and you could tell she was much younger than her husband. Still not a family I wanted to get involved with. I knew William Marsh was a very powerful man and his son was just the same.