Two months later Margo was hosting a New Year’s Day party in her home. She smiled as Lexie bounced around with her friends, playing a new game on her video game system. Larson stood next to a massive Christmas tree with a tall glass of iced tea in his hand. She touched his arm lovingly as she walked back towards the kitchen, a sleek smile on her face.
Since they had returned to Boston the charges against Scott had been dropped. He moved back to New Hampshire to live near his mother. Gail and Reggie were out of business and on their way to hard time. The bookstore that Margo had decided to open was almost ready for business; ironically the best spot she had found was in the lobby of Larson’s building, next to the little coffee shop. It seemed everything was back to normal and they had everything.
Margo looked out into the back yard while she drained the celery for another party platter. The extremely elegant kitchen held a lot of quiet contemplation for her. The granite counters were smooth, cool and welcoming. She arranged the rinsed vegetables on the platter surrounding the homemade vegetable dip and called out to Larson.
“Do you want these now?”
She didn’t know he had followed her into the kitchen and stood behind her. He slipped his arms around her and nuzzled her neck.
“You have to be a bit more specific, Darling,” he growled wickedly, “I want a lot of things now. But we have guests on the way over here thanks to your new found love of entertaining.”
Margo smiled and turned her head slightly, allowing him to capture her lips in a kiss that held promise of something yet to come.
The doorbell rang just then and the two separated just as Lexie had come into the kitchen to get a drink. “You two are starting to make that a habit…I feel like I’m in a soap opera.”
Truth be told Lexie couldn’t be happier that her parents had reconciled. Every teenage girls dream come true. She was mostly glad that she was able to put the gifts her mother had been sending out for display. All around her room were little mementos of her life. The quotes and notes were in her scrapbook except for the last one…which was on her mirror in her bathroom. She smiled and looked at her parents again, and said, tongue in cheek, “You guys just relax, I’ll get the door.”
She unscrewed the cap of the bottle of water she had gotten and took a long sip before she opened the door, expecting to see another of her friends, or Doug standing there. Instead she gasped and took a step back. There before her stood an elderly gentleman, leaning heavily on a dark wooden cane. His eyes glistened with tears as he stared at her. “Alexis?” he whispered incredulously.
“Who is it--” Margo was saying when she came behind her, but knew as soon as she saw the older man. “Papa!” she took a step back in fear backing into Larson who came to stand behind her.
The old man took in the sight before him. The young man he had scorned tuned out to be a strong man, protecting his family, loving unconditionally. He was successful and capable and Senor Grenaldi had been wrong. He could admit that, and held up his hand in surrender.
“A moment of your time, then I’ll go,” he pleaded, “if you want.”
Margo stood to the side and let him in. He didn’t seem so out of place as he walked into the grand room. Nigel appeared beside the man and looked toward Larson for direction.
“Nigel, please take Senor Grenaldi’s coat.”
“Of course Sir,” Larson gestured to the leather sofa in the room in front of the entertainment center. Margo watched as the man who had raised her lowered himself to the richly decorated sofa and smiled. “It’s good to see you Papa. I’m glad you’re here.”
Robert Grenaldi looked up surprised. “Really Marguerite? After all this time, all this trouble I’ve caused with my short sightedness? I don’t deserve that, but you,“ he leveled his eyes to Larson, “to you I owe a debt that I don’t believe I can ever repay.” He looked down at his lap, his hands joined together. “But I’m sorry. If there was anything I’ve learned in these years, it’s this. I was wrong to make you leave him Marguerite. Them. Can you ever forgive me?”
Margo took in the sight of her grandfather, complacent and pleading and had no reserve. She lowered herself to kneel in front of him, her eyes shining with tears. “There’s nothing to forgive Papa,“ she said, “I love you.”
The old man broke then, tears of joy spilled down his cheeks, “I love you too, Querida, so much.”
“Oh Papa,” Margo sobbed, throwing her arms around his neck and holding him.
A while later, Robert was watching his grand-daughter dance to a video game on the screen of the large plasma television. His hand grasped the arm of the couch, a smile of contentment on his features. When Margo brought out another plate of dip and appetizers Robert looked at the plate before him in small wonder.
“You cooked this?”
Margo smiled, linking hands with Larson
“Simply fascinating.” Robert Grenaldi murmured, reaching for a canape. He put the small morsel in his mouth and sighed, closing his eyes. “Delicious. You do this a lot? You like it?”
Margo laughed then, “Yes, Papa, I love it.”
“Can you teach your grandmother?”
They all laughed then, a hearty sound bringing life to the room.
Lexie looked over her shoulder as the song ended and smiled. All her dreams seemed to be coming true at last.
Larson joined hands with his wife and smiled at her. “Happy?” he murmured in her ear.
“You have no idea, but I’ll show you later.”
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