December 24, 2016 (Three Years Later)
Nikos and Cassia’s Home
Island of Skorpios, Greece
Nikos stood at the head of the table and began slicing the roast beef that his wife cooked for their Christmas Eve dinner.
His wife smiled and so did his two year old son, Theo. They were surrounded by friends and family. Costas was here and so was Stavros Demakis. Over the years, the two learned to be civil to each other. They both wanted the same thing: to see their grandson. Cassia and Nikos didn’t allow them that privilege until they had settled all their disputes.
It took a long time but here they were.
Costas Andrade had been diagnosed with cancer a year ago. Now, he’d been told he only had about two years to live. So he began making amends. He apologized to Cassia and Nikos and explained everything he did wrong. He asked for forgiveness from Cassia and she told him he’d been forgiven a long time ago. But some things were never forgotten.
Then there was Alex and Isobel. They were married a year ago and they were now also expecting their first child. Beside them were Antonio and Elise with their son Anton who, by Cassia and Nikos’ opinion, had grown up fast. Beside Anton was their second son, Gabriel.
“Oh, I forgot the mashed potatoes!”
Cassia slowly stood up and wobbled to the kitchen. Nikos stopped what he was doing and assisted her. She had a difficult time walking now since she was seven months pregnant with their twins.
Nikos still couldn’t believe that miracle. He vowed he would protect Cassia and see her through all the aches and pains of carrying his twins, a boy and a girl. She complained all the time about how she had to pee and how it was so hard to walk and balance herself because her stomach was huge.
She always told him she felt like Atlas but was carrying the world in her womb instead of on her back.
Nikos listened to it all and he never complained. He even enjoyed giving her back and foot massages to alleviate her pain.
He shook his head as he realized how much his life changed. It was a full one hundred and eighty degree turn but he loved it. He wouldn’t trade it for anything else.
Finally after a few hours of mayhem, they were alone in their room.
“I enjoyed that but I would have loved it more if my back didn’t hurt so much. Theo is growing up and it’s hard to catch him in my state.”
“Don’t run after him anymore, agapimeni. You might slip and hurt yourself. Just watch him and let his nannies chase him for now.”
“I know. I can’t wait for these babies to come out. I want to see my feet again. I want to bend over again,” she laughed.
“They’re the last.”
She speared him with a glare.
Nikos threw up his hands and laughed.
“Let’s close it on an even number. Maybe four? Six? Eight?” he teased.
Cassia slapped his arm and glared.
“Are you happy you married me, glikia mou?”
“At first, no. Which bride in their right mind would want a groom drunk enough to fall asleep at his own wedding?” she teased.
Nikos held his breath as he waited for her to continue
“But you know, you wormed your way into my heart,” she added.
“And you’ll never leave me, right?”
“What makes you think I won’t leave you? What if I get fed up by how you roar at me when you’re angry?”
Nikos grinned. “Because you love me...”
She reached up and cupped his jaw. “Yes, I do, my arrogant billionaire. The first time I laid eyes on you on that ballroom when you rescued me, you stole my heart”
His heart melted at her words. He reached for her and kissed her tenderly.
“Back to my question...you’ll never leave?”
“We’re shackled together until we’re old and gray,” she whispered against his lips.
Nikos took out some papers from an old envelope. It was the contract that their grandparents agreed on but it was they who fulfilled the terms.
Nikos got up and threw it into the fire. They watched as it burned to nothing but ash.
“I don’t need a piece of paper signed by two old men who thought they could play as gods and meddle with our fate to tell you that you are mine, Cassia. You’re with me for the rest of our lives, Mrs. Demakis. We’re not bound by a piece of paper worth billions but by our love for each other. I love you, agape mou.”
“S’agapo, sýzygos...” I love you, husband.
Cassia took a deep breath and continued.
“Our love is our new contract and it is beyond any price.”
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