The Domination Game: Checkmate Vol. 2

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Chapter 10

Late in the night an annoying sound pierced through the room, then stopped.Davis started to open his eyes at the sound, but closed them when nothing else came of it. He started to fall back asleep when the sound started up again. After the third ring he was fully awake, and his eyes adjusted to the darkened room. The annoying sound of a vibrating chirp went off once again, and he looked to his nightstand.Abie’s cell was ringing.

A warm little body hugged onto him as she slept. And even in her sleep she couldn’t keep her hands to herself, as a small hand glided over his stomach. He smiled to himself at the thought of her loving to feel him, and damn it was bringing some ideas into his mind, when the cell went off once more. He quickly picked it up before it rang again and woke Abie from her sleep. “Hello,” he said quietly.

“Who’s this?” came a woman’s voice.

“Davis,” he murmured, rubbing his eye.

“A.B.’s beau Davis?”

“Yeah, who’s this?”

“It’s Lucy. Give the phone to A.B.,” she commanded him, clearly upset.

Shit, he knew right away this wasn’t good. “All right, I’ll get her for you.”He turned over with the cell in his hand, nudging her. “Sugar, sugar. Lucy’s on the phone for you,” he whispered. That was all he said, and she turned quickly, feeling around for the phone in the dark. “Right here, baby,” he told her as he placed it in her hands.

“What’s wrong?” she asked Lucy, half asleep and panicked, sitting straight up next to him.“What? When? Yes…yes, I knew about that… No, oh no, Lucy,” she whimpered, and he could hear the tears in her voice even though he couldn’t see them in the dark. “No, I’m on my way… I don’t care, I’ll have Stacy fill in for me for the presentation, I’m leaving now. I just need to find a flight… Yes, I’ll be there in a day… I know, yes I know…no, don’t worry. I love you too. See you soon,” she told her and hung up the phone.

She sat still for a minute, not saying a word, not even moving from her spot. “Abie, what’s going on, honey?” he asked gently.

He heard her take a shuddering breath. “Mom’s in surgery, there was something wrong with her stomach, or bowels, I’m not quite sure at the moment. But I’m a day away from her and she’s in surgery, Davis. I won’t even be there when she wakes up,” she whispered. Her hands went to her face and he heard a muffled cry.

He pulled her down to him, and she went willingly. She lay on his chest as he held onto her, soothing her, loving her. “It’s all right, sugar. I’ll give Tony a call. Everybody knew that we were leaving first thing after your meeting. I don’t think there’ll be any problems with us leaving within the hour. They’ll just need to get the flight plan in to the tower.”

Her head nodded on his chest, then she made her way up to his face, and he felt wet lips touch his. “Thank you,” she sniffled, lying down next to him.

“No need to thank me, sugar. This is what loving each other is all about,” he whispered. He pushed the hair out of her face, kissing her lips once more. “Now let’s get up, and you get ready while I ring Tony.” She once again nodded, and started to get out of bed.

When he turned on the light he saw Abie getting dressed, trying to keep from collapsing in on herself, and he quickly made his way from the bed as well and got his cell to make his call.

The flight was long and Abie was a mess. She barely talked as she looked out the window of the plane with her cell sitting in her lap. Lucy called when Loretta was out of surgery, giving her an update. Seems Loretta had a difficult time with the surgery; they had lost her twice on the table. She hadn’t really eaten since before Christmas, and her body was very weak from lack of nutrition. The procedure had taken a little over five hours, and Lucy told her she was resting comfortably in the ICU unit at Memorial Health Hospital.

When they finally made it to Savannah, Abie was beyond anxious. She could barely sit still in her seat. Davis reached over to take her hand in reassurance, and that did seem to calm her just a little. The hospital was big, not Houston big, but big enough to take a couple of minutes to find out where Loretta was.

As soon as the cab pulled in front of the hospital, Abie jumped out. Her cell was already to her ear as she ran through the sliding doors. Davis quickly paid the cab driver, then headed off to go find her. He had to stop and ask for directions to Loretta’s room when he couldn’t seem to find out where the hell he was going, and knew his little woman was too distraught to even notice he was missing.

The elevator dinged on the third floor and he followed the directions to where he was told to go. As he turned the corner he heard Abie’s strained voice, and the doctor talking to her.

“Ms. Black, we have taken some tissue samples from the mass and we’re running some tests as we speak. I must be honest with you; I want you to pray for the best, but expect the worst. That’s the best advice I can give you at this time.”

“What I don’t understand is how anyone could possibly miss a five-pound mass sitting in her intestines?” she sputtered.

“There is a lot of intestine, and it’s easer than you can imagine to have something even that big get lost sometimes in that area. But let me assure you that right now, she’s doing fine. After she wakes up from her rest you may all come in and see her.”

Davis walked over to them, and introduced himself to the doctor. “Is there somewhere you’d suggest for her treatment?” he asked.

The doctor shook his head. “At this moment we’re trying to find out the cause of it. We’ll know more when the lab results are back.” He looked over at Abie and Lucy. “I’ll have the nurse come get you when she’s awake.” And with that he left them.

He took Abie in his arms, looking over at Lucy. “Okay, I missed everything, so what happened?” he asked.

Lucy rubbed her eyes; she looked sleep deprived as she spoke. “The other night we were watching reruns on the game show channel, Tic-Tac-Toe was on and I swear everything was fine. She was knittin’, and I was reading through the TV guide. Just our normal routine.

“The next thing I know she’s on the floor screamin’ out in pain. I felt her pulse and it was racin’, so I called 911 and they took us to the hospital. They wouldn’t let me go in with her, and I know they had to sedate her to let the doctor examine her. Then they came out and told me she was going into surgery,” she explained. Lucy shook her head as she wiped a tear off her face. “I have never been so scared, sweet pea, as I was that night.”

Abie left Davis’s arms and went over to hug Lucy. “It will be okay. I heard this hospital is wonderful. We couldn’t ask for anything better,” she told her soothingly.

“And whatever she needs we’ll make sure that she gets the best treatment they have out there. So don’t you go worryin’ about nothing else. Let’s just focus on Loretta getting better,” Davis assured them.

Lucy eyed him, then looked back at Abie. “I see you at least followed my advice on talking to the boy. Smart move, sweet pea.” She smiled tiredly.

“No, he came after me, Luce. I’ll tell you all about it after I get a coffee in me,” she said, taking the woman by the arm and heading to where she thought the cafeteria must be.

“Lord, girl, you are as stubborn as they come! Mmm, mmm,” Lucy said, shaking her head, then looked back at him. “But he is really hot,” she giggled.

Abie’s eyes widened at her comment. “Lucy! My, my, my. To say such words.” She chuckled a little, but looked back as well. “He is exceptionally gorgeous, is he not?” she admitted to her second mother.

That had him laughing along with Lucy. “Stop, y’all are going to make me blush,” he joked, hoping to lighten the mood a little. But Abie turned around with the sly smile on her face, and grinned at his comment. Even with everything going on all around him, his mind still went to her favorite part of his body that she loved blushing red. “Damn it,” he grumbled under his breath, thinking of the other night together and getting turned on.

Within the hour and after two cups of cappuccino from the hospital cafeteria, the nurse came and told them that Loretta was awake and stable, and if they liked they could now go in and see her.

Davis remembered what Abie’s mother looked like on Christmas Eve. She was a very beautiful woman, and he saw where Abie got her beauty. Loretta was very slender with dark brown hair, a little gray at the temples, and big blue eyes. When he walked in behind Abie, he wasn’t prepared for what he saw lying in front of him. The ladies made their way into the room and he followed, but kept back a bit, not wanting to upset or frighten Loretta.

When her eyes met Abie’s a small smile broke out upon her face. “Kitten,” she exclaimed tiredly. Then her eyes fell on him, and her already white complexion grew chalkier.

“Mom, this is Davis. You remember Davis, don’t you?” Abie said soothingly. Loretta squinted her eyes, looking him over, then gave a tiny nod. “Good, that’s really good, Mom. I have some wonderful news, I was hoping I could tell you about it.” She pulled up a chair to sit next to her mother, while Lucy took a seat in the bigger chair that made out into a bed.

Abie took Loretta’s hand, but glanced over at Lucy as she spoke. “Davis asked me to marry him,” she told her softly. Her mother’s eyes then dashed over in his direction.

“He did?” she asked, placing her other hand on top of Abie’s.

“Yes, he did.”

“What did yah say, kitten?”

“I told him yes.”

“Is he good to you?” she asked, and Davis could clearly see the concern written all over her mother’s face.

Abie turned around, taking him in, and turned back around with a smile on her face. “Mom, he is simply wonderful to me,” she told her, pushing back some dark hair that had slipped into her face. “I love him so very much, and I’m hoping in time you’ll come to see how wonderful he truly is, and not be frightened of him.”

“Does he love you as well?” she asked Abie, but Davis softly replied before she could. “I love her more than life itself, ma’am. And I promise you I’ll always take good care of your daughter.”

Loretta’s chalky face seemed to brighten a bit after that, and that tiny smile found its way back. “That’s good. I was afraid you’d always be by yourself, kitten. I’m happy yah found a man to love,” she whispered, but her eyes started to flutter closed as she grew tired. Abie placed her head on the blankets next to her mother’s. She started to hum softly, “Take me out to the ball game,” while Loretta’s breathing became slow and steady.

Lucy stood and kissed Loretta’s forehead. Then she looked over at Abie. “I’m going to have a smoke, sweet pea. You keep an eye on your momma for me now,” she told her. Abie nodded, not really paying attention.

Lucy went to Abie and kissed the top of her head, then looked over at Davis standing in the doorway. “Why don’t you come along with me, and let these two young ladies have a moment alone together,” she said softly. Davis walked into the room and kissed the top of Abie’s head as well. “I love you, sugar. I’ll be right back,” he whispered. Her hand went over the one he had placed on her arm, giving it a squeeze to let him know she heard him.

He and Lucy walked down a long hall in silence, and he knew she had something more on her mind than what was going on with Loretta. He followed her down into a courtyard that was set up for smokers, where a few other people were smoking.

“Why don’t you and I sit down and have a chat, young man,” she said, making her way under a giant oak tree and lighting up.

“All right.”

He sat next to her, and she didn’t say anything at first, just took a long drag of the cigarette, blowing out the smoke. She glanced at him then back to the world in front of her. “I know who your daddy is.”

His shoulders tightened, but he should’ve known Abie would tell Lucy what had happened, why she’d left him in the first place. “Are you going to try to stop me from me marrying her?” he asked cautiously.

Again she glanced over at him, then away. “That all depends on how you answer my questions. And don’t you go thinking I couldn’t talk her out of marrying you, because I could,” she informed him. She took a deep breath and Davis got himself ready to deal with the inevitable questions that he had known would come one day. “Now, do you love her like you claim you do?”

“Yes, ma’am. I love her more than I’ve ever loved anyone or anything in my entire life,” he declared truthfully to her.

She nodded, taking another drag. “That girl has been through so much in her life. When she came and saw me on Christmas, she looked broken once more. She doesn’t need that kind of love, young man, she deserves to be happy.” She shook her head. “Even though she never thought she ever deserved anything at all.”

Davis interjected there. “That’s all I want to give her. I want to give her everything I can. I want us to make a life together, a family together; all I want is to make her happy. I want to make her happy, Lucy, that I swear to you,” he assured Abie’s second mother.

She nodded her head, but wore a deep frown on her face. “And what about your father? She can never be around that man, you know that, right? I think she might physically attack him if she saw him again. Are you willing to give up your father for her?” she asked sadly.

Davis sat forward, elbows on his knees. He ran his hand through his hair, trying to find the best explanation he could possibly give her. “My dad and me, we’ve never had a close relationship. I guess growing up I always wanted to help my momma.” He chuckled softly to himself. “I guess I was always a momma’s boy.”

He looked at Lucy with one hand still in his hair and an elbow planted on his knee. “My momma was always heartbroken because of that man. My sister and me, we would hear her cry at night when she thought we were asleep. But the two of us would sit by our doors looking at each other, hearing her sadness over him skirtin’ around on her once again.

“I guess that’s why I don’t believe in the whole cheatin’ on your woman thing. Because I saw what it did to my momma. But what I felt when it came to my dad, well, let’s just say I had a lot of anger towards him. He always had a viper’s tongue. And he’d use it to put my momma in her place, and on my sister and I to keep us in check.

“What he put my momma through.” He shook his head at the memories. “I came to hate the man, and would get so mad at my momma for not kicking him out for what he’d done. I would get so angry that I would go and spend most of my time at my granddad’s house. That’s when Granddad got me into rodeoin’, and learning on how to work the horses, and ranches.

“Most of the time momma would let me stay away, because Dad and I were toxic together. I had no problems ignoring his authority. But he’d then start to play meanly, so I just always did what I was supposed to do when it came to him after a time. Made my life easier than having to fight with him.” He smiled, thinking back through his life. “Well, that’s not necessarily the truth. I did just enough to get him off my back. Then I did whatever the hell I wanted, which pissed him off even more and made me very happy.”

He turned so he could look in Lucy’s direction. “I have an investigation going on right now in Boston, to see if he can still be held accountable for his crimes against Loretta. And truthfully, I’m hoping he can. But I will find a way to make that man pay for his crimes. The thought of Abie having to see that man again… No, that will never happen! That I swear to you.

“I lost her that day when she realized who he was, and I was related to him. And I also know I’m one lucky son of a bitch that she’d even come back to me. That just shows how damn loving she is. I don’t know if anyone could be that forgiving, but my little woman is,” he told her. But he wanted to make sure she knew where his intentions lay. “I know he’s my father, but I’m no longer his son. And I can promise you that I want nothing more to do with that man for the rest of my life.”

Lucy nodded, smoking her cigarette. “That’s good to know. I see you have all your priorities straight, and you’re a good match for our A.B. It makes what I’m going to ask you for much easier.”

“What are you going to ask me for?” he asked curiously.

“What would you think if I asked you to marry A.B. in the next day or two?”

That got him sitting up straight. “What?”

She sat back, not bothering to even look at him, but up at the swaying branches of the tree. “Loretta and I have kept a lot from that girl. Well, Loretta didn’t want her to know everything that was going on with her. But I’m fearin’ the road ahead is going to be difficult,” she began.

“What do you mean by that exactly? What have you and Loretta been hiding?” he asked warily.

The cigarette went to her mouth once more, as she thought before she answered. “It’s nothing like you’re thinking. She’s not dying or anything, and her momma and I want to see A.B. happy before all the news hits her of what’s been going on.”

“Okay, so what are you asking exactly? That I marry her today, tomorrow, the next day? I don’t have any problems with marrying her right now if that’s what you’re askin’ of me.” He turned away from her then. “But Abie would know something’s up. And she’d want an explanation--that I’m sure of.”

Her shoulders fell after he said that. “Loretta wants to see A.B. find happiness before she gets diagnosed with anything that’s going to turn her world upside down.”

“Loretta?” he asked suspiciously.

She then sighed, getting frustrated with him. “Hell, me. I want to see her happy before all the shit hits the fan,” she admitted. “When she finds out what’s been going on, she’s going to be devastated. But her momma didn’t want her to know… Abie just lost her Aunt Sally two years ago. The thought of her having to watch Loretta go through anything more just rips my heart out. It would be better if I knew she had someone who always was there to help her through the tough times…like you being there for her,” she cried.

Davis shook his head, getting a really bad feeling in his gut. “How bad is she? You’re sayin’ a whole lot of nothing about what’s been going on. Now I think you need to be honest with me.”

Lucy nodded at his request. “She has Alzheimer’s, and A.B. knows something like that was going on with her. But she was having some problems with eating, but they thought it had something to do with her chest radiating into the stomach. When they didn’t find anything in her lungs or chest region, they sent her to get an MRI on the abdominal region; that’s when they found the mass in her intestines. Loretta was going to go into surgery, she had a date set for Friday. It just happened sooner than we thought.”

“Y’all knew this and kept Abie out of it? Holy shit,” he swore, running his hands through his hair before he got up and stood in front of her. “What you’re askin’ of me, I’ll do in a heartbeat. I’ll marry her the day after tomorrow and then she’ll be my wife. I’ll get the damn chapel in the hospital set up, and send for my momma and sister to come out. But you need to let her know what’s going on. She’s not going to agree with this, without some sort of explanation.”

Lucy got up from where she sat, stubbing out her smoke in the ashtray. “That sounds fair enough, Davis. I’ll have a talk with her, let her know what’s going on and what Loretta’s and my hopes are for her. You, on the other hand, can get it all planned out for me.”

“Me? You want me to plan our wedding? Don’t you think it’s best if she does it?” he asked, baffled by the new requirement of him.

She started laughing before she walked off. “Do you know my sweet pea at all? You think she does anything by the seat of her pants? Believe me, you’ll do just fine. Just keep it simple, or you’ll be having that girl runnin’ from the altar,” she snorted.

After she walked back into the hospital Davis looked around him, trying to put all his thoughts together. Every time he thought he had one thing solved, a whole new problem came up.

He pulled out his phone, getting what he wanted to say ready in his head before the other line was answered. “Momma. Hey, looks like I’m getting hitched in two days’ time. You want to grab Jessie and Rich and fly out to Savannah?”

***

My mother was finally asleep. She’d tossed and turned for a bit after Lucy and Davis left. I laid my head next to her, humming like I used to do when I was a little girl. I don’t remember where I heard the song “take me out to the ball game,” but when my father first left us, it was the one thing I could sing to make her calm down.

Now I sat with my back up against the wall in some old stiff plastic chair, listening to all the beeps and buzzes of the room. My mother had hardly ever been around me growing up. But I always came and saw her, planned my week around her, even planned when I came home because I knew she’d be missing me by that point. She was all I had left. And even though Lucy loved me like I was one of her own children, with my aunt now passed and my mother facing lord only knows what, I had to really put some of the decisions I’d been contemplating into use.

Could I go back to Boston, knowing that man still walked the streets? What if he wanted to come see Davis? My head fell into my hands as all these unorganized thoughts assembled into neat little piles in my mind. What would my next course of action be?

My thoughts jumbled together, and my heart was aching when Lucy came in a little while later. I looked in back of her and saw no one following behind her. “Where’s Davis?” I whispered.

“Oh, last thing I seen, he was making a phone call. Don’t worry, I’m sure he’ll be back before you know it,” she assured me. She took a plastic chair over near the bathroom and pulled it to where I now sat. “She looks to be sleeping well,” she commented.

“Yes, she’s finally resting well,” I said without really thinking.

“I know that look, sweet pea. What you thinkin’?”

“I honestly couldn’t answer that truthfully at the moment, Lucy. My mind is muddled by all of the chaos that seems to be following me,” I told her absentmindedly.

“I need to tell you somethin’,” she blurted out at me. “And I don’t want you to be mad, because your momma didn’t want you to worry.”

That woke me up from my pondering. “What are you talking about? Why would I possibly be mad at either of you?”

She sighed and looked over at Mom. “They found an obstruction a couple days ago after an x-ray. She was going in for surgery on Friday. I told your momma that you were having a hard time with some things that come up in Boston, and that we shouldn’t be botherin’ you over something they said was simple. She agreed with me.” She shook her head, looking at the floor. “They just didn’t know how big it was or that it twisted up in her belly.”

I sat forward, staring at her. “Why, why wouldn’t you just call me and let me know what was happening? I’m always listening to you and Mom when it comes to such matters,” I asked, stunned.

“I’m sorry, sweet pea. But after I saw you on Christmas, you were a mess. The last thing you needed was some more bad news, and the doctor assured us it was going to be a fairly easy procedure. Neither one of us thought it was as big of a deal then, not like what it seems to now be. Can you forgive me for not telling you?” she asked, wiping away a couple of tears.

My hands went over my face. “Yes, you know I’ll forgive you,” I whispered. “I know you would never keep something of importance from me, but no more, Lucy. You need to tell me everything that is happening with Mom,” I exclaimed, then turned back to her. “Is there anything else that you’ve not mentioned to me?”

She nodded. “They’re seeing if the tumor was cancerous. But you’ve probably already figured that one out.”

“Yes, I figured that was the first assumption, as to how she might’ve developed the mass,” I told her quietly. She sat there, just watching my mother but not able to keep still. “What do you have up your sleeve, you crafty woman? I know your mannerisms, you’ve been up to something,” I told her as I glanced at her fidgeting hands.

She looked at me innocently, too innocently. “Me! Why on earth would you think I’d have something up my sleeve, sweet pea?” she said calmly, with an air of being appalled at my suspicion. My brow went up at her animated outburst. “Nothin’ sweet pea, nothin’ at all.” She now glanced down at my ring. “My, how did I miss this stunner?” she exclaimed quietly.

Okay, now I knew something was up, and as I was about to answer her Davis walked quietly through the door, looking rather happy under the circumstances. I looked at him and then over to the woman who was a second mother to me, sensing foul play.

“Hey sugar. How’s she doin’?” he asked, just as innocently as Lucy.

“Fine. She’s doing fine at this moment,” I told them. They both were keeping something from me. “What is going on with you two?” I whispered harshly.

“Nothing. I’ll tell you all about it when your momma wakes up,” she insisted.

But Davis took me by the hand, pulling me up from the chair. “I need to talk to you. Come with me for a minute.” He took me down the hall into a little waiting room that was free of people normally waiting for their loved ones.

I gazed up into his beautiful face suspiciously. “What is going on?”

He smiled down at me. “You want to get married?”

I stared at him, trying to guess at his meaning. “Yes. I thought you already knew that I wanted to marry you,” I asked, baffled.

He shook his head. “No, I mean do you want to get married in two days,” he asked, slipping his hand around my back.

“What?”

“Why don’t we get married here in the hospital? I’ve already called my momma, and Jessie. They’re so excited about us getting married, my momma wouldn’t let me off the phone. That’s why it took me a bit longer to get back to the room. Your momma should feel well enough to sit in the chapel so we can say our vows to one another. This way your family would be there, and mine as well,” he told me, lightly kissing my lips.

I squinted up at him. “You want to get married now, right now in this hospital, with my mother coming out of surgery, and all the implications that could mean for her?” I questioned his sanity.

He was about to answer when Lucy cut in as she walked up to us. “Yes. That’s exactly what he wants to do. And that’s what your momma and I want you to do as well,” she told me calmly.

I turned to her, pulling free of Davis’s arms. “Why? Is Mom’s condition far worse than you just told me?” I asked. My hands were shaking and an anxiety attack was about to make its way to the forefront.

She came up to me and placed her hands on my arms, trying to soothe my nerves. “No, sweet pea. I just thought, before she might have to go through so much, she’d love to see that you were taken care of and happy before all the things that are a possibility might come to pass. You know, she’s always worried about you, and you never finding your true happiness.”

“You think me marrying Davis the day after tomorrow will make Mom happy? Wouldn’t she rather I get married in big church? Sit all in her best dress as mother of the bride, in the front pew for all to see that her kitten was getting married? See me take my vows in front of a priest? I was planning a wedding in Texas for Davis’s family…” I said.

Her hands rubbed up and down my arms. “Darlin’, I think she’s not going to be feeling well for some time, to see you in that kind of wedding. If I understand correctly your young man wants to marry you now.” I turned to Davis and looked into his deep blue eyes, then back to her.

She sighed at my blank stare. “Right now her mind isn’t too far gone, sweet pea. Let your momma see her kitten get married to a good man. This will make her so happy, and make anything she has to deal with bearable. You can take a trip to Texas for your honeymoon,” she said sadly.

I frowned at her, but reached back for Davis’s hand, and he took mine easily. “You want me to leave Mom while she’s going through lord knows what, to go on a honeymoon?” I asked, baffled and terrified.

She nodded at me. “Yes, that’s what I want you to do. When you’re out and about, send her a little trinket like you always do. A postcard here and there, and I promise you she will be tickled pink that her baby girl is married and out on her honeymoon, sending her things. You know she’ll love it, and I truly believe that it will make things easier for her, just like it always did.”

My hand squeezed Davis’s. “And what about you? Are you all right with a quick wedding? I would never want this to be something you wished we’d done differently. This is your wedding as well,” I explained.

He laughed gently, hugging me from behind, and Lucy took a step back from us. “I’ll let you two lovebirds talk. Just tell me what’s going on when you’re done,” she smiled at the man in back of me.

As she walked away, I sighed. I saw what she was saying, and that my mother could truly participate in the wedding; she’d understand what was happening around her at least. And I honestly did want my mother to know I was marrying this man because I loved him. “Are you sure that a wedding here in Savannah is something you want, Davis?” I asked quietly.

“Sugar, men aren’t into the wedding things. That’s woman stuff, we’re just lookin’ to get you into our bed on a forever basis.” He laughed gently. “Look, I already called my momma, and she and Jessie are coming out along with Richie. They should be here in the morning.”

I nodded. “I need Allie and Kitty here. Those two have been my partners in crime since I was a little girl. It wouldn’t be right for them not to be there with me,” I whispered.

“That’s fine, sugar. I’ll call Tony and let him know he’s takin’ a trip to Boston for a pick-up. You give the girls a call, and I’ll have them picked up at Logan.”

I nodded again, a little overwhelmed by what was happening. “So we’re really going to do this? You and I getting married…in two days?”

“Yes, and I already have the chapel set up for Wednesday afternoon. The girls will be here in five hours if you can get ahold of them quick enough. Then you can go shopping for a dress and all your womanly essentials,” he grinned.

I turned in his arms and hugged him. “You know the rules are still in place, no fooling around,” I informed him.

The sound of his laugh made me smile. “I think I like that you’re concerned over what I’m going to be up and about, the night before our wedding, sugar.”

Now it was my turn to chuckle. “Having your soon-to-be wife upset is never a wise thing to do, Mr. Mills,” I warned him.

He pulled me into his embrace. “I know, sugar. I was just messin’ with you,” he told me. “Now let’s go in there and let Lucy know that’s there’s going to be a wedding, just like she wished.”

“And you, you wish it as well, right?” I asked.

“You know this is what I want, and I don’t care how I get you to be mine, as long as you are,” he whispered in my hair, but then paused. “What about you? Is this what you want too?” I could feel his body tense, waiting for my answer.

“Yes, darling. I’m ready to start my new life with you, as your wife,” I confessed softly.

He pulled me back and took my lips happily as well as hungrily. I heard a couple of nurses laugh as they walked by. “Okay, sugar, let’s go tell them you’re going to be my wife in two days’ time,” he growled possessively.

“I could just as easily say you’re going to be under my ownership as well, now, couldn’t I?” I chuckled as we made our way into the hallway.

“That sounds fine by me. You can call it any ol’ damn thing you want,” he exclaimed, swatting my backside right before I walked into my mother’s room.

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