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The End

By Klswhite

Romance / Drama

Chapter 1

Chapter 1

Robbie opened the front door, dropping his keys in the bowl on the table. He could hear soft music playing, smell something cooking in the kitchen. He didn’t see Laura, suspected she was upstairs packing. Between packing their things for the trip and packing the house, it was all she did in her spare time.

He poured a glass of wine and stepped outside into the garden. It was odd not to see something growing either in a planter or in the small garden she had put in. In preparation for their leaving, she had pulled it all out. They were only going for six months but somehow it felt longer.

“Hello you, I didn’t hear you come home.”

He covered her arms with his, comforted by her touch. “I’m only just. Figured you would make it down in a few minutes.”

She took his glass taking a deep sip. “You’ve just enough time to change. Dinner will be ready in ten minutes.”

Kissing her on the top of the head, “I’ll be right back.” Nodding toward the glass, “Why don’t you top me off and get one of your own?”

She smiled after him as he walked away. Briefly, she wondered what was bothering him. As she was winding down her case load, she hadn’t been as involved with his cases. She’d ask him about it at dinner. Walking inside, she topped off his glass and pulled one down for herself.

Quickly she prepared plates for both of them then carried them to the table. Robbie was coming down the stairs as she set them down. Looking over to him she noticed his smile didn’t quite make it to his eyes.

As he sat, she reached for his hand. “Are you alright?”

Nodding, he placed his napkin in his lap. “Just tired, I didn’t sleep well.”

“Let’s make it an early night.” When he nodded, she lightly stroked his cheek. They ate in silence for a few minutes. “I talked to my niece today. She’s doing well. She’s excited about us coming to visit. Said she went to the cottage we’re renting and it’s ready for us.”

He nodded, “That’s nice.”

“I’ve started planning things we can do. Is there anything you specifically wanted to do? I can add it to the list.”

Robbie set his fork on the edge of his plate. “Laura, I’m not sure.”

She smiled at him, “Not sure of what?”

“Not sure if we should go.”

“What?”

“Six months is a long time. I’m not sure about being away from our Lyn and Jack for so long.”

“Robbie, they’re already booked to meet us in Australia to see Patrick. You’ll end up spending more time with them on this trip than you do normally.”

“I just don’t think it’s a good idea. Things are so unsettled.”

Picking up both of their plates, she turned away from him, fighting tears. “What things? We’ve talked about this for ages. You said yourself you wanted to travel while we were still young enough to enjoy it. What is this really about, Robbie?”

“I told you, things aren’t settled. I’m worried about James.”

Dropping both plates into the garbage can not caring when they broke. She turned to him, “James? I wasn’t aware James was part of this relationship. I wasn’t aware James had a say in what we do.”

“Laura, it’s not like that.”

“Isn’t it? You went back to work, never asked me how I felt about it because James needed you. Now, when we have the trip of a lifetime planned, you want to cancel because James needs you.”

“You know what he’s going through.”

She nodded, the tears falling down her cheeks. “Yes and he’s a grown man. It’s time he started acting like one.”

He reached for her hand, “You can still go. I can change my flight and I’ll meet you in Australia with the kids.”

She pulled her hand back. “No, that won’t be necessary.”

“Laura, there’s no need for you to change your plan.”

“I’m not. I will be on that plane on Saturday, with or without you. But know this, if I’m on that plane alone, then I expect to return in six months to an empty house.”

“Laura…”

“No, Robbie. I waited for years for you to be ready. I’ve been patient, giving. I have loved you enough for both of us, done whatever you’ve wanted. And now, I am asking you to do something for me. It’s the only thing I’ve ever asked you to do beyond loving me.”

“I do love you.”

“I know you think you do. But just once, I want you to choose me.” Seeing him about to argue, she raised her hand. “It would be different if Lyn needed you or Patrick. But you are choosing James over the woman you claim to love.”

“Laura, don’t do this.”

She shook her head, walking past him. At the foot of the stairs, she turned to him. “The way I see it. I’m not doing anything. It’s your choice, Robbie. It’s either join me or say goodbye. I love you, I suspect I always will but I want someone who chooses me.”

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