Chapter 50 - Happily Ever After
Scarlett stood holding the hand-written note in her hands as she read the words silently to herself over and over again, just to make sure she wasn’t dreaming or imagining them.
They were real; the note was real. A large smile suddenly forced its way out. She chuckled softly as she realised who the note would had to have come from; there was only one man who could have written those exact words.
And then she froze upon hearing his deep voice speak to her from behind.
Looking up from the note and slowly turning around she came face to face with Adam holding a large bouquet of fresh crimson roses in his hand. There had to have been at least two dozen of them, freshly cut long-stemmed roses and she could smell their incredible scent from where she stood. They were beyond beautiful.
Adam stood alone wearing a long black leather trench-coat over his hospital clothing, his dark hair in messy spikes and his warm chocolate brown eyes staring adoringly at her as he waited for her to respond.
“Adam…” she queried, “What are you doing here?”
“Stopping you from making a huge mistake.” he replied confidently as he took a step closer in an effort to close the gap between them, “I won’t let you leave.”
“You know I have to.”
“You don’t have to do anything Scarlett...” Adam challenged, “And why the hell haven’t you taken any of my calls? Answered my texts? Are you ghosting me now, is that it?”
“That’s not fair,” she countered defensively, “You know why! It’s too risky, we shouldn’t even be seen here together, out in the open like this... it’s too dangerous. You’re putting yourself in unnecessary danger Adam.”
“I don’t care about any of that-”
He tried reaching for her but she took a step back from him with a frown.
“-Well maybe you should!” she snapped, “Adam, you almost died! I almost los…”
Her pause before finishing her sentence had his full attention now as she appeared to tear up and glance away from him with what appeared to be embarrassment or shame. What was she really running from?
“Scarlett, tell me what’s going on.” he demanded calmly, “Why are you really leaving?”
Closing her eyes in an effort to focus all of her emotions, Scarlett let out a large sigh before she reopened them again and forced herself to meet his gaze.
“We’re not right for each other Adam.” she spoke softly, hesitantly, “I’m just… I’m trying to make this easier for both of us. If I leave now, things will be easier.”
He frowned at this, seemingly confused and baffled as to why she would feel this way.
“Easier? How on Earth would you leaving make anything any easier on us? On me?”
“I’m not a fool Adam… You and I, we live in completely different worlds. It’s not safe for you to be in mine and I know I’d never fit into yours-”
“-That’s bullshit and you know it!” he countered sternly, “You need to stop putting yourself down like this Scarlett. You’re an amazing woman, I only wish you could see yourself as I do. A woman as brave and smart and funny and ridiculously stunning as you... you could do anything you set your mind to. Anything! Why can’t you see that?”
Tears began to fall as she stared up at him with her brows furrowed.
“But you deserve someone who can give you everything that your world has to offer. Someone with money and stature… a woman who can make you really happy.”
She sucked in a sharp breath of air as he suddenly reached out to take her hand gently in his while maintaining eye contact and giving her a warm smile. She felt her lips beginning to tremble as she fought back the urge to begin crying in front of him.
“Don’t you see… It’s you who makes me happy, Scarlett… Not my money, not my influence, not even the flashy cars…” he announced, seeming to catch her by surprise, “For the first time in a very long time, I’m actually happy… Happier than I ever remember being before. And it’s all thanks to you. Because of you.”
Oh how she wanted to jump onto him and start delivering endless kisses all over his face and neck. To have his welcoming arms wrapped securely around her as they held one another tightly in a loving embrace...
But she needed to be smart about her choices now.
“Adam... this whole thing with the Mafia, it’s not over. You know that.” Scarlett reminded solemnly, “I won’t put your life in danger again. I won’t let you get hurt because of me and the mistakes of my past.”
“Scarlett, I appreciate your concern for me...really…” he replied softly, “But that’s not really your choice to make. I’m a big boy, remember? I can take care of myself. And if you’ll let me, I can keep you safe. I can protect you from-”
“-Woah, woah, wait, let’s get one thing straight here. I don’t need your protection Adam, I’m not completely helpless you know?” Scarlett’s tone showed her apparent frustration now as she took a step back from him, “What is it with the men in my life? I’m not some useless damsel in distress that needs a man to help keep me safe. I can handle myself.”
Adam’s hands were not up in front of him in a form of surrender, even with the lovely bouquet of flowers, as he spoke.
“I never said you were Scarlett. Believe me, I’ve seen first-hand how well you can handle yourself.” he smirked, “Not everyone gets to take out a Mafia Boss after all.”
She couldn’t fight a small tug at the corner of her mouth, not quite a smile but the beginning of one as she crossed her arms over her chest and blinked again and again.
Adam could see that she was being highly defensive of herself, of her heart being broken and of putting him in harm’s way again, but that wouldn’t stop him from getting through to her. He intended on getting to the bottom of what was going on between them; what they had.
Scarlett spoke again, her tone showing defeat now.
“You have a wonderful life ahead of you, filled with all the glitz and glamour that your world has to offer... I won’t allow you to throw all of that away… not for someone like me.”
Adam squinted his eyes with confusion. He couldn’t understand why she would choose to think so little of herself. To him, she was a goddess; kind and brave, and beyond beautiful.
He decided right then and there that he needed to prove to her just how much she meant to him; just how much he needed her in his life. How much he… he...
Adam’s heart skipped a beat as his eyes widened at the sudden realisation. How did he not see this until now? He’d been so blind! Scarlett had been there, right under his nose the entire time and he hadn’t realised just how strongly he felt for her.
He loved her... he was in love with her!
As he stood staring back at the wonderful woman standing before him Adam couldn’t help but smile as the realisation hit him hard; he spoke his mind confidently now. There was no more holding his feelings back. He’d never been so sure of anything else in his entire life; he felt as though he wanted to shout out how he felt from the mountain tops, to tell the world!
“I’m sorry Scarlett but… I can’t let you go. You see…” he paused as he lifted his free hand up to rest his open palm on the side of her face and she instinctively nuzzled into it as he added, “I care about you… I love you, Scarlett.”
Tears pooled in the corners of her glistening hazel eyes and she fought to hold them at bay as her lips began to tremble as she felt suddenly breathless.
“What?” her voice was a mere whisper now as she met his gaze, “What did you just say?”
“I love you, Scarlett Workman...” he stared deeply into her tear-filled eyes, “…and I need you to stay here… stay with me. Please.”
Not needing to hear another word, Scarlett suddenly lunged forwards and wrapped both of her arms around the back of his neck, pulling him in against her. Their lips crashed together in a desperate, needy kiss filled with incredibly intense emotion and unbelievable relief.
Several cheers came from random bystanders who happened to be there at the time, some clapped and others merely smiled at the movie-like moment occurring between these two lovers as they passed them by. Cameras flashed but neither Scarlett nor Adam seemed to notice; they were far too wrapped up in their passionate kiss.
As they eventually pulled apart, slowly enough to look into one another’s eyes both Adam and Scarlett smiled with utter delight as the realisation finally came at long last.
They needed each other.
Whether anyone thought that they were right for each other or not, in the end it didn’t appear to make any difference. They were in love. No matter what obstacles may lay ahead in their future, they would overcome them together.
Together they were strong, they were unbreakable...
They were well and truly hooked.
END OF BOOK 1 - "Hooked on You" - by Bec Middleton
NOTE FROM THE WRITER:
Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Bec MiddletonWrite a Review