“Drive to my place.” I said pulling my phone out of my bag. I called Mom a couple of times, but she didn’t answer.
When we arrived home Mom was there, the house was in darkness, as was the farm. I ran from the car to the stables, Dominic followed close behind.
“Molly!” I called. “Are you here!”
“Molly!” Dominic called behind me. We stopped in the stable and I frowned.
“I was sure she would be here.” I whispered. “Dominic. I’m so sorry.”
Dominic walked over and placed his hands on my shoulders. “It’s okay. We’ll find her okay.”
I buried myself in his chest and shook with tears. How could I have been so stupid to run? The thought we might not find her was like a big black cloud hanging over my head.
“I love you.” I said softly. “Dominic, I love you.”
Dominic ran his fingers through my hair and kissed my head. “I love you too.”
“Still?” I replied pulling back. “After everything.”
“Felicity, I tried really hard to stop. I couldn’t. You’ve been in my mind and heart every day since you left me.”
We kissed, it was chaste and quick, Molly was still missing and we still needed to find her. “We could try inside the house before we leave.” I suggested.
Dominic nodded and grabbed my hand, but before we could leave I heard rustling in the loft above Blondie’s stable. I pulled my hand from Dominic’s and climbed the loft ladder. Molly lay in the hay, sleeping. Beside her sat a knapsack and she had a photo of the three of us in her arms.
I knelt down beside her and rocked her gently.
“Molly.” I whispered. “Wake up.”
Dominic was beside me, one arm on mine, the other on Molly. Molly’s eyes slowly opened and she looked up at us both. She instantly burst in to tears and lunged at me. I felt like I had been living in an abyss without her near me, like I’d been functioning, not actually living.
“Why did you leave me?” She cried. “You said you wouldn’t you said.”
“I know, I’m sorry.”
“I missed you Flick. I told daddy every night to get you to come back.”
“Honey, we were worried.”
“I know Daddy. I’m sorry.” She looked at him for a moment and then back at me. “Are you coming home?”
I nodded, I knew leaving them had been a knee jerk reaction in the first place, and more about myself than it had ever been about mom’s job. She had told me not to throw my own heart under a bus because I thought she had been hard done by. She still thought Dominic was a good man, even when I had barred her from speaking his name. I had been scared, and I still was, but I knew I needed Dominic and Molly in my life.
“Yes, I’m coming home.” I murmured, her grip on me tightened and she pulled Dominic in to the hug.
“I want you to be my Mommy.” She said. “Is that strange?”
I kiss her forehead, “No, it’s not strange.”
“Do you love Daddy?”
“Yes. Very much.”
“Do you love Flick, Daddy?”
“Then by the power messded in me, I pronounce you Daddy and Mommy.” She giggled.
“Did you just marry us?” Dominic laughed.
“No... I made you my parents. If you’re getting married I want a dress. A big one, blue, or maybe pink and I want a crown.” She giggled as she reached for Dominic.
We sat in the loft for five more minutes before climbing down the ladder. By the time we walked back to the car Mom was home. She looked at the three of us strangely and tilted her head.
“I ran away.” Molly said. “I wanted my family together again.”
Mom smiled at Molly and then at me. She walked forward and covered my hand with hers. “I guess this means I need to say goodbye again.” She said, her voice wavered as she spoke.
“Not goodbye Mom. I’m only down the road, and we can visit each other every god damned day, and Molly will be here to ride blondie, and you’re going to work at CoranCorp and you’re part of this family too.” Tears prickled my eyes, I realized as I stood there that this was it.
“Of course.” She murmured. “But watching you leave, knowing it’s for good is like watching a butterfly leave its cocoon. You’re opening your wings and flying into a life you deserve to live.”
Her words touched my heard and sent me in to full blown tears. She wrapped her arms around my neck and held me closely. I could feel her warmth surrounding me, and I knew no matter where I was, she was with me. “It only took a lifetime, but you’re living for you now, rather than everyone else.”
"And everyone else Mom.”
“Yes. You’re right. A stormy night couldn’t dampen your heart that burns with such passion for helping those. I’m proud of the woman you’ve become.”
“Thank you Mom.” I kissed her on the cheek, then pulled her in once more.
I whispered in her ear, quietly, almost too quiet. “I’m pregnant.”
It felt good to say it out loud, to accept its actuality for once rather than pretending it was real. Mom’s hands moved to my shoulders and gripped. “You’re what.”
“Pregnant.” I replied again. She looked down at my belly, it had softly rounded already, but no one could see, I’d been wearing loose tops for the last week.
“Pregnant means baby?” Molly gasped from behind me. “Right?”
Dominic let out a chuckle. “Sure does kiddo. You ready to be a big sister?”
“Am I ever!” she chortled.
“My baby is having a baby.” Mom said, bringing my attention back to her, our eyes met and she smiled through thick tears. “I already have Molly to love and treasure, now you’re saying I’m getting another grandchild as well?”
I nodded, Dominic stepped forward and placed his arm around my waist. “I’ll give you as many grandchildren as you like Karen.” He laughed.
“Hold your horses.” I interjected. “I’m still pregnant with this one.”
When we finally left, Molly fell asleep in the back of the car on the drive home. Dominic’s hand took mine and he lifted it to his lips. “I love you more than anything. Please don’t leave me again.”
“I couldn’t. This past month has been utter turmoil.”
“I know the feeling. You know I accidentally set my computer background to the digital frames around the office.”
“Yeah. It wouldn’t have been quite so embarrassing if it hadn’t been a letter I wrote you, with a list of things I’d tell you.”
“What?!” I laughed, half amused, half shocked.
“After you ran I wanted to remind myself how closed off I had been so I wrote a set of rules... for us. I made sure I could see them wherever I was. Well the whole office saw them.”
“It’s amazing, they all treated me differently after that, less like a walking fridge, more like a human.”
“I thawed you.” I teased.
“Thawed me?” He replied. “Baby you set me on fire, its inextinguishable.”
Once we were home we tucked Molly in bed and walked out in to the hall. Dominic took me in his arms and kissed me, but this time we went slowly, delved deeper into the kiss. I let it pull me in, right in to his heart, right where he burned for me. I knew I was home.
“I want to take you to bed.” He whispered. “We can talk tomorrow.”
I nodded in agreement. Talking right now was not what was needed. It had been a long month of avoiding my feelings, ignoring the love I held in my heart, ignoring the lust I held in my libido. I needed Dominic more than ever before.
Our last night together had played on my mind even since I had walked out. During the long nights when sleep was not my friend I remembered how safe I had felt in Dominic’s arms, even if it had only been a fleeting moment. It tormented me, because I had wanted it back, I had wanted to spend the rest of my life reliving the moment we succumbed to our love.
Now I could.
Dominic lifted my up, my arms enclosed themselves around his neck and his hands slid under my thighs. We kissed along the way, somehow making it up the stairs without falling. The minute we were in his room he placed me back down and fell to his knees. He unbuttoned my loose top and pulled at it. It fell slowly to the floor. My pencil skirt was tight around my belly, tight enough that the hint of a bump was visible. He ran his fingertips of his left hand over it, while the right pulled down the zip of my skirt. It fell as well, pooling at my feet. Dominic kissed my belly, his hands rest upon my hips and he stayed there for a moment. He didn’t say anything when he stood up, true to his word he wanted to leave the talking until the morning, and so did I. He unbuttoned his own shirt, his eyes wandered over my body while mine stayed set on his face.
I’d been foolish, I’d let myself think that running away had been a good idea and I had almost lost him.
“Stop.” Dominic said as he threw his shirt over the arm of the chair by his dressing table.
“Stop what?” I replied.
“Thinking.” He murmured stepping forward as his eyes traced up my body, finally connecting with mine.
I smiled and reached behind my back, with on hand movement I unclipped my bra and took it off. His eyes gazed downward, and he let out a tight breath. His fingertips grazed my over sensitive nipples. Pregnancy had left them achy, usually painfully so, but right now it was the right kind of painful. I let out a moan, a sound that set Dominic in to motion. I was in his arms, and his lips were on mine before even a second could pass. His five o clock shadow brushed against my face, and contrasted with his soft kiss I was beginning to lose myself in him, just from his kiss.
It was all I needed, and yet it wasn’t enough, my hands moved down his body, searching for his belt buckle. I wanted to be with him in every way I could, I wanted to feel him in all the ways I’d thought about him for four weeks straight. I undone his belt and then unbuttoned his trousers. I slid my hand down further, he was ready, hot and hard. His entire body was buzzing with want just like my own.
He let out a groan, and then a laugh. His hand slid down the front of my panties, he pressed against my sex and I buckled at his touch, almost falling forward. “Two can play at that game” he teased, his breath hit my ear. He lifted me again, carrying me to the bed this time to lay me down. His hands settled on my hips and pulled the panties down. His jaw clenched and for a minute I wondered if he was angry, but finally he took a deep breath, removed his pants and boxers completely before climbing on to the bed, positioning himself above me.
“I’ve missed you so much.” He grunted. “Every. Single. Part. Of. You.”
He didn’t waste another moment missing me. We connected in the most primal and personal way possible. It had seemed like an eternity without him, and my body was making up for it. Like it was starving, my body was taking reserves of Dom, and storing it for later. Just one touch had already had me sparking, and now it was like I was living inside a technicolor rainbow.
Our tongues tasted the parts of each other we hadn’t had the chance to explore, like part of his face where his jaw bone met his neck. He shivered at the touch momentarily stopping to gaze at me.
A rush of passion hit me, I yearned release. A months’ worth of pent up lustful love for Dominic began to secrete from my pores. His fingers grazed my nipples once more, sending me crying out his name in painful pleasure, then again he did it, only this time he stopped, and let his fingers dance over them. I felt my climax build, slowly at first. But then his lips replaced his fingertips, slowly circling one, then the other nublet. I arched back and he quickened his sped. I knew he was close too, he felt fuller inside me, and then suddenly, like a firework with no fuse left I exploded into a million pieces, contracting around him, which set off his climax. He shuddered against my body, slackening after a few moments.
We fell apart eventually, laying naked on the bed in a haze of happiness.
“Can I see them?” I murmured finally as I pulled the sheet over my naked torso.
“The note you wrote to yourself about me.”
Dominic’s lips pressed against my shoulder and I felt him chuckle. “It’s embarrassing.”
“I bet it’s not.”
He turned and opened his bedside drawer. He pulled out a folded piece of paper and handed it to me, his face was slightly flushed, which amused me. I looked at him as I straightened out the paper.
“You weren’t lying when you said that you kept this everywhere were you.”
He looked up at shook his head. “I thought I had lost you for ever Felicity.” His eyes were lined with tears, and it broke my heart.
“You’ll never lose me Dominic, I’ll always be right here.” I murmured as I rest my hand against his chest. I kissed him, inhaling his musk before I looked down at the paper.
1 – When it comes to you, my rules don’t matter.
2 – Keeping those I love at arms-length is detrimental to myself, to Molly and to you. I must tell you and Molly every day that I love you.
3 – I need to love with my whole heart, not just part of it.
4 – Hurting is a part of healing.
5 – You melted my heart, but now I’m thirsty in the sun and wilting without you.
6 – I don’t need control, I need you.
7 – You will be an amazing business woman, you just need to believe in your abilities.
8 - You came in to my world, bent and broke all my rules, and I wouldn’t change any of it for anything.
9 – Whenever I close my eyes I see you
10 – I miss you.
I wiped the tears that had surprised me from my eyes, one slipped and fell on to the paper though. Dominic took it from me gently and lifted my face to look up at him.
“It’s almost poetic.” I sobbed. “You’re hiding nothing on there.”
“Not quite.” He replied, his eyes sunk, and darkened. “There is one thing left to tell.”
My heart thudded, what else was there?
“Not tonight baby. It’s dark and I don’t want to ruin this.”
I nodded, trusting him completely. I curved in to his body and together we lay naked in bed until exhaustion and pure bliss overcame us.
The next morning I woke in Dominic’s arms, his hand was brushing over my stomach and he sighed. “Your stomach is softening.”
“I’m going to get fat.” I grumbled.
“Fat or not I’m going to love you forever.” Dominic replied.
“Good, cos I could eat a mountain of pancakes.”
“A mountain you say?” He grinned and propped himself up on his arm. “With chocolate sauce?”
“Yes.” I laughed. “Please.”
Dominic laughed moved down to kiss me. He stopped, freezing mid kiss, and he pulled back. His smile fell and he let his head drop on to the pillow.
“I need to tell you about the last piece of my puzzle. My aunt.” He said through gritted teeth. “The truth is, she almost killed me.”
He tensed, I could feel him stiffen beside me, and not in a good way. “She was always a money hungry bitch and from the moment she took over my parent’s estate she saw me as an unwanted add on. So she was horrible, and hard and mean.”
“Dominic.” I sighed, I hated that anyone could mistreat him, especially when he was just a kid who had lost his entire family.
“That isn’t the worst of it.”
He turned back to face me, his skin was pale, all the light had left his eyes and he shook his head. “Promise me you won’t think differently of me.”
“You’re scaring me.” I replied honestly.
Dominic’s face didn’t change, and it was then that I knew the final part of Dominic’s puzzle was darker than I could have imagined.
“When I wasn’t much older than 14, I came home to find my Aunt entertaining people. That wasn’t out of the ordinary. She liked to pretend my inheritance was her fortune.” He laughed darkly before continuing. “She introduced me to a lady in her thirties. Then after she’d forced me to drink a few brandies, she told me I had to have sex with the woman.”
I reeled back in shock, and immediately I felt guilt for doing so. I looked back at Dominic and he was looking past me, at the wall behind me. He was recounting a past that he regarded numbly “It continued. For two years. She sold me like a piece of meat, and because I yearned to feel love I didn’t do anything to stop it. Until I finally told her I was going to go to the police, until I finally decided to be strong, but then she fell sick, and like the sucker I am. I took care of her until she died.”
I let out a gasp like I hadn’t been breathing the whole time. My heart ached, Dominic was more messed up, more broken than I had thought. He hadn’t just lost his parents and his sister. He’d been used as an underage prostitute, and then cared for the one person who had used him and treated him so poorly.
“It was after she died that I froze. I cut love from my life. I mean who would want me?” he sobbed. “Who the fuck would want me when all I can muster is misery.”
“Dominic. You’ve been through so much, but you once said we aren’t what we come from and I understand that now. You’re not either. You’re a loving, caring man with heart that was always warm. You got lost, but you’ve got us, you can find your way back.”
Dominic smiled softly, his eyes came back to mine and he nodded. “I think you coming to work for me was fate. I was meant to meet you. You opened my heart first to Molly, and then to falling love. You’ve already helped me find my way back.”
“Fate?” I smiled. “It’s funny, until I met you, I didn’t believe in fate. Now everything we’ve been through together reminds us of what we went through in the past. It’s fate.”
“Yeah, it is.”
“I love you.”
“I love you too.