Welcome To Heartbreak

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Epilogue

I didn’t know where I was when I woke up.

The room I was in wasn’t familiar whatsoever, and the fact that I couldn’t focus didn’t help. Nevertheless, the bed I was in was quite large and long, not to mention it felt silky under my fingers. Definitely expensive, so... perhaps I was in a hotel room. After all, I didn’t recall leaving the hotel. All I remembered was that I’d spoken to Adam, and... I’d saved him. I’d saved him, which meant he was okay, right?

So where was he?

Slowly but surely, I pushed myself up on my elbows, and my eyes darted about.

Yes, I was definitely in a hotel room, but if I recalled correctly, I hadn’t been alone when I’d come here, seeking Adam and hoping I’d be capable and strong enough to stop him from committing suicide.

So where was everybody?

At a snail’s pace, I slid off the bed, and crept out of that room.

When I peered outside, I saw Adam sat on the couch, utterly alone, and so completely consumed by his intense thoughts that, he only realized I was up when I was almost by the couch.

“Kid,” He mumbled desperately when he lifted his head and those icy blue eyes met mine. “You’re awake.”

“I am,” I said, and everything else I thought of saying, faded away when Adam leaped to his feet and dashed towards me, holding me tight in his arms.

It was an overwhelming sensation.

He was okay. God, he was okay and he was holding me. He hadn’t done that stupid thing; he hadn’t taken me with him. He was there, hugging me as if he’d lose me if he didn’t hold onto to me, crying as if his world had fallen apart.

Well, it had, hadn’t it?

However, it didn’t matter.

I was there. We were together again. And the truth in those words was so overwhelming that I didn’t realize I was crying until I noticed Adam’s shirt was wet when he pulled back just mere inches, and gazed into my dark blue eyes.

“I’m sorry, Eva,” He stated, his voice dripping bitterness all over the place. “I’m so, so sorry, kid,”

“Its okay, Adam, you’re okay, so... everything’s fine again.” I told him, my hand soaring towards his face to caress his reddened cheek and wipe off those tears.

“I didn’t mean to hurt you, I never would, Eva, you know it, I-”

“Adam,” I said steadily, determinedly, and holding that deadly and chilly gaze of his. “Forget about it, about everything that hurt you – us before. You’re okay, and God, you have no idea how much that is important to me and... everyone else.” Acknowledgement showed through Adam’s eyes, but he said nothing. So I asked him, “Where are they?”

He sighed, and then looked away. “They left,”

I remained calm. “Why?”

“I made them go,”

Serenely, I repeated the question. “Why?”

“Because I couldn’t face them,” He admitted, going back to the couch to sit and lean back. I joined him, unable to take my eyes off his beautiful face. “I couldn’t talk to them, I couldn’t... Alexis and Robert tried to talk me out to have a conversation with my parents while you wouldn’t wake up, but I refused to do it. I wasn’t strong enough to face them, Eva, I...” He trailed off, and more tears streaked his face.

I found myself feeling his pain, and it was excruciating. I leaned in closer, framed his face with my hands, and kissed him - a soft, gentle kiss. “Your mother didn’t desert you just because, Adam,” I revealed, “And your father loves you more than he lets you know because, just like you, he seldom shows what he’s feeling. He was just as broken as you were.”

“Is he, kid? Is he, really?”

I tried a different approach, seeing that Adam simply wouldn’t let me in. “Your grandfather threatened your parents, Adam.”

As soon as those words flew out of my mouth, Adam’s eyes widened in sheer shock, and I saw anger flashing through those cool eyes. “What?”

“They... they were forced to go separate ways in life because they were trying to protect you, and because your father loved your mother a lot.” I revealed, “He still does.”

“Why didn’t he do something? Why did he refuse to be with the woman he loved?” He questioned me, as if I could give him all the answers he was suddenly claiming to have. “My father’s no weak man, kid! We both know that! Why didn’t he stand up?”

“Did you stand up to be with me?” I immediately attacked him, anger and bitterness flooding my body. How dare he hold a grudge against his father for something he did himself? “You said you loved me countless times, Adam, yet you didn’t go to your father and told him you wanted to be with me. I suffered because you weren’t man enough either to admit that you loved me, just like your father.”

For several moments, a pang of guilt stilled his tongue.

“Your father had a rational reason to stay apart from your mother, Adam.” I spoke again, defending his parents with all of my heart, but with a soothing tone, aware that Adam’s temper could still be boarding on violent. “He was trying to protect you two.”

Adam suddenly got up again, and shook his head. “I tried so hard not to... become the same man my father is, but... Shit, I ended up being just like him!” He roared, his blue eyes ablaze with unleashed fury.

“You’re not your father, Adam,”

“Every fucking thing says the otherwise, kid,” He retorted through gritted teeth.

I rose from the couch, and touched his arm so he’d look at me. I swallowed dryly, and repeated, “You’re not your father,” Then, I added rather boldly, “Your father took years to admit he loved your mother. You didn’t. You stood up against your grandfather when he didn’t, you... you’re not your father, Adam.”

He looked at me, always so flawed, so damaged, so imperfect to everyone’s eyes. He was everything I wanted.

He stretched out his arm, and pulled me into a tight hug a second time. “I love you,” He whispered, “I love you, kid, and you’re the only thing that anchors me to this fucked-up life.”

I shook my head, “No, your life’s not like that anymore.” I said, taking in all the events that had taken place in the past days. “We can be together. Your mother’s alive. You’re going to open your clinic next week. How can you say you have a fucked-up life?”

“You’re right,” His face broke forth in a dazzling smile. “You’re totally right, kid.”

And then he came down on me, and the air was sucked out of my lungs with his enthralling kiss. His hands soon become curious and travelled fast, wanting to be certain that I was real, that I was truly there. It felt good having his warm fingers running down my ribcage, stopping on my lower back and pulling me closer, deepening the kiss and stirring me with that pang of lust that grew to become something unquenchable.

It didn’t take too long until Adam had me in his arms and was heading for the bedroom, in that unrestrained way of his.

“We should be... going,” I mumbled, gasping. “Your parents... everyone... is waiting for you.”

“Let them wait,” He said, slamming shut the bedroom door, and carefully placing me in bed. “I’ve waited more than twenty years to have that conversation with them, just like they did. An hour or so won’t make any difference.”

His eyes shone with desire begging to be satiated, and his lips parted in faint smile.

“It’s your call, I guess.” Smiling as well, I touched his leg with mine, a clear sign I wanted him in bed with me.

A second after, he took off his shirt, and my mouth watered.

Another second later, he knelt at my feet, and avidly stripped me off my jeans as I removed my shirt. Then, rather slowly, stimulating me, his lips ran up my leg, reaching my thigh, and lingering there, only to circle my inner thigh, successfully arousing me. I gasped, clutching the sheet with both of my hands, wanting him to go deeper, but he didn’t. He just played with that agonizing desire that was suddenly hindered my reasoning.

With his lips on my cold skin, Adam slithered up, kissing and licking my browned skin, and holding my hips in place as they rocked forward, wanting much, much more. It didn’t take long until he reached my chest, and then my lips, making me his captive the moment his lips smashed against mine.

A feral, gripping kiss it was, but I still wanted more.

So when I managed to strip him off his jeans, Adam lost his control after he put on the condom, which I was very thankful for, and we joined together.

His heavy breath, his thrusts, and his gripping kisses drove me crazy, but when he rolled and I was on top, nothing could compare to that moment, to that pleasure as my hips rocked and I took in everything I could as well as give as much as Adam wanted from me.

Still, it was only perfect when I grabbed his shoulder and forced him to come to me, to kiss me while I offered – and took – pleasure.

But when we cried together and reached that utmost moment, I had no doubt Adam was the love of my life and that I was his.

“I love you,” He whispered, holding my head so that I wouldn’t escape. “And there’s no me without you, kid.” And as we fell back, Adam’s lips were on mine.

Instances later, he finally felt satiated, and allowed me to simply lean on him when he closed his eyes and his breathing finally steadied.

“I love you too,” I said, lifting my head to look at him, “And regardless of how much I wish I could stay here with you, we... we have to go back, Adam.”

He didn’t say anything. He just kept caressing my shoulder.

“I’m serious,” I insisted, softly nudging him to open his eyes, which he did. “They’ve waited for so long, Adam, you can’t just lay here and sleep while they’re impatiently waiting for you.”

I thought he was going to scowl at me, but instead he just smiled. “So now it’s not my call, uh?”

“Oh, shut up!” I said, punching his ribs. “You wanted it too!”

“I did,”

“Besides, we’ll have plenty of time for this.”

Still smiling, Adam looked past me, but wasn’t really looking at nothing in particular. He was thinking, imagining. I could only wish I could his mind, but instead I waited patiently until he gazed back at him, and his smile turned out to be a grin.

“Have you imagined, Eva?” He suddenly spoke, “Have you imagined what it’ll be like, now that we can just be together, without caring about what others might see, think or do?”

I just chuckled. He really had no idea of how much I’d longed to be with him without having to worry about others, did he? “I’ve imagined it innumerable times.”

“You’re right, we should go,” He said, motioning to get up. “I should talk to my parents. I should hear them out, and I should then let the house hear me out, to let them know that I love you, and that nothing can tore us apart now.”

Those words overwhelmed me, and I reveled in that happiness that overflowed everything else. He was going to stand up to be with me, and there was nothing else I could’ve asked for.

Feeling ecstatic, I jumped off the bed, and hurried to get dressed. After I went to the bathroom, washed myself and combed my hair just a little, we were ready to go.

It didn’t surprise that, once we were spotted in the lobby to check out of the hotel, a few people dashed towards us to talk to Adam and I about what had happened. They wanted to make sure we were okay, and wanted Adam to sign a few papers. It was just a minor thing to do, and then I found out why it was so minor. Apparently, Mr. Cooper had taken care of everything before he left, so Adam wouldn’t have to deal with the outcomes of his actions later that day.

Definitely something to soothe his son’s temper before they both talked.

Afterwards, we walked to Adam’s car, and he didn’t lose anytime. After we climbed inside, he took off. I kind of understood why he wanted to get there as fast as he could. He just wanted to deal with everything so he could get on with his life. Our life now, I corrected myself.

“How did you find me?”

“Alexis,” I replied, wanting to look into his eyes, but couldn’t since he was driving. “She stormed into your father’s office while we were trying to find out where you were, and... she helped us.”

A feeble smile formed on his lips, “I have no idea what I’d ever do without her,” Then, he spared a glance at me, and added, “Or you.”

I blushed as my heart raced in my chest. I didn’t need to say I also didn’t have any idea what I’d do in case he’d... gotten away with it.

Adam said nothing for at least fifteen minutes. But when he did speak, the topic wasn’t of my liking. “Have you thought of what you’re going to do next, kid?”

My eyebrow arched when I stared at him. “What do you mean?”

“Are you going to keep working as the Coopers’ maid?”

“I...” My tongue stilled. I hadn’t thought about it. I’d promised myself that, if I didn’t get Adam, I wouldn’t keep working there, but... I had him. We were together. So what now? “I-I don’t know. I honestly don’t. I decided that if I... we... you know, if we didn’t stay together, I’d stop working there, but since the otherwise happened...”

Adam chuckled, and glanced at me. “That doesn’t surprise me. People always think of what to do if the worse happens, and I guess you’re no different.” Then, I noticed dark shadows dancing in those icy blue eyes. “You really didn’t have any faith in me, did you?”

“The odds were against what I wanted, I... No matter how much I loved you and wanted you and vice-versa, I think I never really expected that this would turn out thus.” It was the simple truth. It was never a matter of having faith in him or not.

Adam said nothing for a while. He was probably considering what I’d said. However, moments later, he enquired, “How good of a student were you?”

“Straight A’s, of course.” I frowned, and although it didn’t show, bitterness consumed part of my happiness. “My mother wouldn’t let me go out with my friends and stuff if I didn’t get good grades.” I smiled bitterly, “My mother worked two jobs so that I could go to college after high school, but... she passed away, and I... never had the chance to do that.”

“Because of the money?”

“I had some,” I admitted, “But it wasn’t enough, which meant I had to work. I also had to pay for a place to live.” I sighed, overwhelmed by what I had to do if I’d had the chance to go to college.

I wondered why he wanted to know that sort of stuff, but he didn’t say anything after. He just kept his eyes on the road, which meant he was thinking, pondering. About what, though?

“Why don’t you work for another year while prepping for the admission tests of your chosen college, and try to get accepted into the one you want?”

He spoke so suddenly, and spoke about such a touchy matter, that I gagged when I tried to speak. Well, I didn’t even know what to say, because the idea hadn’t occurred to me before. Still, he didn’t let me say anything. He wasn’t finished yet.

“I don’t want you to keep working as a maid at my house,” He prompted, and even slowed down the car to have the chance to look at me, so that I could see he was really, really serious about it. “But I want you to go to college. I’d pay for it,” I immediately shook my head and opened my mouth to say a huge no, but Adam was faster. “But I know you wouldn’t accept it, so... I have a proposal.”

I narrowed my eyes and grew wary. I wasn’t afraid of his intentions or something, but... listening to the word proposal was sort of suspicious. So instead of saying something, I just urged him to keep going. And he did. “I’m missing a receptionist. For my clinic, I mean. You could work there while studying for the admission tests. You could earn your money for the coming expenses, and you could still work for me after you got accepted, so you could keep paying college fees and whatever. As for the house, you could keep living with me or... you could ask your aunt if you could stay at that house I found you before I... before I lost my head. She doesn’t use it, and I’m sure she won’t ask you for money, so... why not, kid?”

I didn’t realize my jaw had dropped until I tried to speak. I didn’t realize how thunderstruck I was until I tried to come up of something to say.

“You...” I chocked back my stupidity, and tried to say a few words so I wouldn’t look as half as stupid as he was surely thinking I was. “When did you come up with this... proposal?”

The corner of Adam’s lips went up. “After we got inside the car.” He disclosed, shrugging a shoulder. “I started thinking how things would change from now on, and I thought of you. Well, I always think of you,” He fleetingly looked at me, and the glow in his eyes made my heart race. “But this time I wondered what you were going to do after today. I mean, would you want to continue working as my father’s maid? Would you consider going to college next year? Would you keep living there? Like I said, I considered paying for your college’s fees, but you wouldn’t accept, so I remembered I still had to hire a receptionist for my clinic. The rest came easily.”

“That’s a lot to think about in such a short amount of time,” It was the only thing I could say, and I felt stupid saying it. Adam had just come up with a great – well, the best – opportunity for me, and that was all I could say?

Adam just laughed. His hand flew towards my thigh, and restraining to keep his eyes on the road, he told me, “I love you, kid. I just want what’s best for you, for us.”

“What if we break up?” God, why the hell couldn’t I say something other than that?

“Do you really believe we’ll break up anytime soon?”

My grin was all summer. “No,”

“You’re the love of my life, Eva,” He said, caressing my thigh absently, with no second intentions. “And if something or someone tries to set us apart, we’ll deal with it, and we’ll make it.”

Yet again, I found myself speechless, and dumbfounded. “God, I love you, and if you weren’t driving, I would kiss you for a really long time.”

“I know,” He squeezed my hand when he grabbed, and then added, “You’ll kiss me after we’re done dealing with everything and everyone. Tonight, I don’t care what they’ll say or think, but you’re going to spend the coming nights with me, and I’m going to make sure they all know about it.”

I didn’t know what to say. Well, I didn’t need to say anything, because knew what that meant to me. He was going to let everyone know that we were together, and he couldn’t care less about it. Oh yes, I was definitely in paradise.

After that life-changing conversation, we arrived at his house five minutes later. The sun was completely gone.

When we walked inside the house, together, everything was silent.

The first person we saw was Alexis, who had been walking back and forth. When she saw us, however, her face lit up and all the weight had been lifted off her shoulders.

“Adam!” She gasped, her eyes shining as her eyes raked over her best friend’s face, “You’re here!” Not even a second later, she’d run into him and hugged him tightly.

“I am,” Adam whispered, his eyes closing for a brief moment as he hugged Alexis back. I watched them with a smile on my face, knowing that Alexis was the one we both should thank. Adam seemed to read my mind, because that was when he said, “Thanks,”

“For what?” The blonde asked, pulling away just a wee bit.

“For helping them finding me,”

“You know I’d do anything for you, silly.” She said, that dazzling grin capable of taking away any man’s breathe. Alexis was truly a stunning woman. How come she and Adam had just become good friends?

The both of them parted. Adam pulled me closer, and asked her, “Have you talked to Rachel?”

The woman in front of us nodded. “She’s... mad, sad. Heartbroken. You know she loved you, Adam.” Then, glancing at me, Alexis still said, “You talk to her. Not now, not tomorrow. Let her come to her senses first, otherwise you know she just won’t accept anything of what you might tell her.”

“I know,” And I knew Adam was indeed sorry for what he’d done to Rachel. I felt sorry for the girl, but... I loved Adam, I couldn’t have just stepped away and let her stay with him! “I will do that, but right now, I have something else I have to deal with.”

“And I guess that’s my cue to leave!” Alexis said, sounding so much perkier than earlier that day...

I thought she was going to leave without saying a word to me, but I was wrong. She approached me, and hugged me as well. Then, she whispered, “I hope you won’t make the same mistake again, Eva, because Adam really loves you.” It had sounded like a warning... and I think it was. When she pulled back though, I knew she hadn’t intended to sound as mean as she had. “You’re the right woman for him, I can feel it in my bones.”

“So can I,” Adam leaned in, his icy blue eyes irradiating with warmth as he looked at me.

“Well, I should go. Trey’s been worried about me, and I promised I’d meet him tonight, so... see you tomorrow!” And just like, knowing her best friend was okay, Alexis sauntered out of the house with that dazzling smile leaving a trail of cheerfulness behind her.

“Who’s Trey?”

“Her boyfriend,” Adam replied, but when I looked at him, he looked once more serious. And the reason was the woman he was looking at.

Rita was standing in front of us, trying to hide the surprise, but utterly failing at it. Adam’s eyes immediately flared while hers just widened in shock, but he pulled me even closer, and set his arm over my shoulders, as if ready to protect me from anything that might stumble upon our path.

“Where’s my father?” He asked flat-out, aware that her eyes were set on me.

“I... He... I believe he is in his office, with... your grandfather.” She stammered, overwhelmed by what she was seeing. Adam nodded, and mumbled no thanks to the maid that had once gotten into a fight with me after we set off.

Moments later, Adam was storming through the door, and the first person he looked at was his grandfather, who held his stare with pure arrogance and ruthlessness, which didn’t surprise me. What also didn’t surprise me was the purple are around his jaw. That had probably been from the punch which Adam had knocked him out with when he’d tried to hit me in front of everyone.

“You,” Adam pointed angrily, “Everything that’s happened so far... it’s your entire fault.”

Mr. Cooper immediately tried to say something, but his father’s laughter, of sheer nastiness, cut him off. “So you blame me for trying to save your father – and you,” He glanced at me, and saw only disgust in those hostile eyes. “From ending up with some maid?”

“My father loved my mother,”

“How would you know that?”

“Because I love her,” Adam stated, not afraid of his grandfather’s reaction as he glanced at me. Well, he’d never been afraid of him, had he? Unlike his father, Adam knew when to stand up against the person that had destroyed what his family could’ve been. “And because I’m my son’s father, I know.”

Cooper Sr. only smirked, but I saw how Mr. Cooper’s eyes shone with pride. “You know nothing, and if you had a son who fell in love with some... maid, you’d know how it hurt.”

“Hurt?” I expected it to be Adam’s voice, but it wasn’t. Mr. Cooper took a step forward, and gaped at his father, and his voice faltered with the coming storm. ”Hurt? You have no idea how bad something hurts, you only hurt. Forcing myself to break up with Al and... lie to Adam hurt, father.”

“Didn’t you try to do something, Arthur?” Cooper Sr. spat cruelly.

“Only because I didn’t want him to go through what I did!” His son yelled, letting out everything he’d kept for himself for years. “I might’ve tried to talk him out of being with Eva because she was a maid, but only in the beginning! When I saw he’d fallen... I didn’t talk him out for that reason, I tried to talk to him because I didn’t want a repetition of my story!”

If I was surprised with Mr. Cooper’s reaction, Adam was utterly taken aback while watching his father finally doing what he never did – standing up for what he wanted. I grabbed Adam’s hand, a sign of my support.

“I loved Allison, father, and I was weak and stupid when I allowed you to threaten her and my son! I should’ve never let you do that! You’ve ruined my life, you’ve ruined the family I could’ve built for Adam, you...” He trailed off, and I knew a maelstrom of emotions was killing him right there. “You’ve ruined my life. And I hate you for it.”

Cooper Sr. gasped, and I saw shock stamped in that face and showing through those deadly blue eyes. How could he be that surprised? Hadn’t he known his son would hate him for the rest of his life after he successfully took away the woman he loved and hindered him from having the family his son justly deserved?

“All these years I blamed my father for the way I am. I hated myself, and I hated him for it.” Adam started, and I felt his hand shaking, which meant his temper was barely chained. If any of those two had any idea of it, they wouldn’t look so calm. “But you’re the one who caused this. You’re the one who tried to ruin my life and ruined my father’s. You say it hurt? You don’t know what it feels like hurting. You never knew, did you? You never knew what it was like to lose the woman you love, and you certainly didn’t care if my father or I were hurting because of it. All you cared about was your reputation, the money, what women like my mother or Eva could do to us.” Oh, the disgust, the anger and the nastiness in those words... It could break any man’s heart, and Cooper Sr.’s was no exception, because I saw the way his eyes flashed not only with anger, but with resentment for his actions and sadness for what he was about to lose. Adam knew where to hit, and knew when to bring up the brutal side of him, but I knew how much it was hurting him. “Guess what, they make us better men, something you couldn’t do as a father.”

Neither his father nor his grandfather spoke.

Mr. Cooper’s eyes shone unsteadily, and I glimpsed a tear in his eye. His son had told everything he’d wanted to say but wasn’t man enough to do it. In a way, I knew Adam was freeing his father of the guilt he’d put on his father’s shoulders, and Mr. Cooper knew it as well. I could see the weight being lifted off his shoulders and I saw the way he carried himself afterwards.

As for Mr. Cooper’s father, he just stared at the only family he had left... and had lost.

“You’ll leave this property this instance.” Adam’s father said assertively, his face blank and gazing into his father deadly blue eyes. “You will not come back. That is, unless you’re ready to apologize to everyone you hurt - and that includes Allison and Eva.”

Cooper Sr.’s jaw dropped, but the man said nothing, and just held his head high. How could he be capable of acting like that, when he was about to lose the two people he most likely loved more than anyone and anything else?

What kind of man was he?

“If that is your wish, I will comply, but mark my words, boys,” He uttered with unleashed wrath, “You’ll regret this.” Then, he finally strode towards the door.

However, before he left, Adam violently gripped his grandfather’s arms, and I heard him whisper, “By the way, if you ever touch Eva again, I swear to God you’ll never see the face of the sun again.” His menacing tone was daunting, but his grandfather didn’t seem to be aware of it. “And believe me when I say this, I might be my father’s mirror, but at the same time, I am not. Be sure to remember that.” In other words, he was capable of doing what his father didn’t.

Whatever that meant.

At any rate, Cooper Sr. took in the threat and walked away. It was then when all of us realized a crowd was outside the office, staring at all of us. Some had their eyes on Mr. Cooper’s father walking away, his face flushed with anger, whereas some eyed Adam carefully, evidently frightened by what they knew Adam to be capable of. Obviously, there were also those who couldn’t take their eyes off me, curious and jealous, happy and angry.

“Mother,” I heard Adam saying, and then I noticed Allison’s face in the crowd, right beside my aunt. I nodded at her, and I memorized the smile she had.

Allison advanced forward; visibly nervous at what Adam might tell her. I knew he’d only talk to her, listen to her and tell her everything would be alright, but she didn’t, and I understood why she felt so anxious. After she walked inside, I knew Adam was going to do what I wanted him to, but it was something he had to do alone.

“I should... see my aunt now, I’m sure she was worried when they told her I fainted.” I told Adam, aware of the eyes and the whispers. “Besides, you three need to have this conversation in private.”

“I’d never hide anything from you,” Adam said, approaching me and caressing my cheek as he always did.

I smiled, “I know, but... this is about you and your parents. And I owe them the right to let them spend some time alone with you.” Adam knew it to be true, so he didn’t insist. Ever since I’d arrived to work as a maid for him and his family, I’d stolen him from everyone – but I didn’t regret it whatsoever.

“You’re awfully good to be true, kid.” He said, his lips parting in a smile and his icy blue eyes gleaming with warmth. Then, right there, he leaned down, and his lips touched mine as his arms engulfed me in a caring and protective manner. When he pulled back, he said, “I’ll meet you in my room in a while, okay?”

It took a lot of effort not to blush or show surprise at Adam’s words. He’d said that to me a few times before while we had hidden our relationship from everyone, but... he’d said it in front of everybody and it meant the whole world to me.

I grinned, and irradiated contagious happiness. Still, I walked away and closed the door so that no one could spy on that certainly emotional conversation.

Blushing and feeling somewhat pressured by all of those pair of set on me, I had no idea of what to do. However, Glenda was there, and in no time, she told them off.

“Thank you,” I said, after every single maid had gone downstairs.

“You’re welcome, child,” She said. For some moments, she said nothing, but then she opened her mouth, and a shadow of a smile played in her lips. “You changed the story. Both stories. You deserve everything good, and I hope Adam gives it to you.”

“He’s already given me something, Glenda. He gave me himself. He’s mine, and I’m his. And we’re together. Nothing’s better than that.”

In that moment, my aunt stepped up to me, and hugged me tightly. When I felt my shoulder wet, I noticed she was crying, and I realized she was crying because, well, I was happy. From now on, nothing could separate Adam and I.

“I’m so happy for you,” She mumbled, wiping off her tears, “I’m sorry I ever tried to distance you from Adam, but I was only worried about you and how you would suffer, and-”

“Everything’s fine now, aunt,” I told her, not denying that I hadn’t suffered, because I did – and a lot. “Now, shall we go downstairs? I feel like we’re spying on Adam and his parents.”

“Arthur will surely think that,” The three of us laughed, and it felt good watching a side of Glenda that was slightly more relaxed and less frightening.

When we got downstairs, I spot Mrs. Cooper and Brad, what but shocked me the most was that they had their bags packed... to leave. Whereas Brad, Adam’s younger brother, glared at me, his mother smiled faintly, yet kindly. I wondered why she was leaving, but the answer wasn’t hard to guess. Allison was back, and every single person in this house – at least those who knew of Allison story with Mr. Cooper – knew that Adam’s father was still in love with Allison.

My aunt was dragging me towards the kitchen, but I escaped her hands, and said, “I’ll meet you in a minute,” At first, she eyed me suspiciously, but seeing Glenda nodding, as if giving me permission, my aunt then followed her silently.

“Hi, Mrs. Cooper.” I said politely when I approached her, offering her a thoughtful smile.

“Oh, I believe it’s not correct to treat like me like that anymore, Eva.” She replied. Her eyes hinted at sadness, but her smile never vacillated. “You can call me Gabrielle,”

“I’m sorry,” I uttered, looking at my feet. “I’m really sorry,”

“Why, dear?”

I sighed. “Well, I was the one who mentioned Allison to Adam, and I... I sort of told Mr. Cooper to... to get back to her if he still loved her, which I think...” I trailed off, and pursed my lips. Maybe I should’ve have come here.

However, Mrs. Cooper didn’t seem frustrated or angry. Her son did, though.

“How dare you say any of that to my mother?” He suddenly roared, stepping forward. Mrs. Cooper immediately lifted her arm, and even though she didn’t have the needed strength to stop her son if she ever needed to, that gesture was enough to bring him to a halt. Alas, that didn’t mean it was enough to silence him. “This is your fault! You were the one who brought that woman to this house! You ruined my father’s marriage with my mother! You should just...”

“Brad,”

“...leave with that woman and go back to whatever whole you came out in the first place! If it weren’t for you, this family would still be the same!”

“Brad,” Mr. Cooper said assertively. “That is enough,”

“No, it’s not, mum!” He yelled, raising his arm to violently point at me. “She caused this! We’re leaving this house because of everything she brought upon us!”

Mrs. Cooper shook her head, looking as if she’d suddenly aged. “Eva did what she thought right, Brad. And I don’t blame her for any of it, because she brought happiness back to Adam and your father,”

“Dad was happy with you!” Brad insisted, but he knew he wasn’t right. That was why he was so angry.

“You know he wasn’t. Everyone could see it.” She paused, and heaved a sigh. When she spoke again, she was regarding me. “Arthur never really loved me. I believe he might’ve tried to when we first married, but... I think he never stopped loving Allison, and I know now I was right at the time.”

“You knew about Allison?”

“Before I even married him,”

“Why did you decide to marry him, then?”

“Why did you decide to keep fighting for Adam? It’s simple, Eva.” Putting it that way, yes, it was pretty simple to understand. “Because I loved him,”

I didn’t know what to say then. All I wanted to say, though, was that I was sorry. I wasn’t sorry for bringing Allison back into Mr. Cooper’s life; I was sorry because, while he was now happy with the woman he was meant to be, Mrs. Cooper stood alone in the hallway, ready to leave that house.

“Don’t blame yourself, Eva,” She told me, “I know you did what you did for Adam, and I praise you for that because, well, I should’ve done the same for Arthur. I should’ve been a friend instead of a wife.”

Brad’s eyes shone with tears he didn’t want anyone to see. “Mum, don’t say that...”

“It’s the truth. And I guess I lived in a lie for over twenty years.” She said, interiorizing the meaning of those words. “I’ve had my chance with Arthur, and it didn’t work out. It never would. But now that Allison’s here, and they both have a chance at happiness, then I will let them be.”

My heart tightened inside my chest. If Mr. Cooper was ever meant to have a woman before Allison could finally be with him, then Mrs. Cooper was that woman, because she was ready to step away when the right woman came... which was exactly what was happening.

Before any of us could say anything else, two familiar voices were heard. When we turned to see who was coming, we caught sight of Adam and his father coming downstairs.

They carried themselves so lightly, so... happy. And that smile on Adam’s face and the way his blue eyes shone... it rock me off my heels.

When they spotted us, Adam stopped halfway, while Mr. Cooper continued. It was his time to say one last goodbye – and thank you – to his soon-to-be ex-wife. And because I had nothing to do with, I advanced towards Adam, but his father intercepted me.

“I... want to thank you, Eva.” He whispered, those glacial eyes irradiating happiness and warmth. “If it weren’t for you... Adam’s life... my life...”

“Mr. Cooper, you don’t have to thank me.” I told him, holding myself confidently. Then, I added in a very determining manner, “You better make Mrs. Coo... You better let Gabrielle know that she was worth it, even though you both know you love Allison. No woman would step away as gracefully as she did, Mr. Cooper.”

Having said that, I didn’t remain to see the surprised expression on his face nor him nodding in total agreement to what I said. Instead, I walked up to Adam, and let him lead us to his room.

“Where is your mother?”

“Still in my dad’s office,”

“She should come down to... be with Mr. Cooper now. Gabrielle deserves-”

“Kid,” He interrupted me, “My mother has already talked to Gabi. And I will call her tomorrow. Gabi’s attitude didn’t go unnoticed, don’t worry.” He reassured me, those icy blue eyes warming my insides.

When we got to his room, I couldn’t shake off the awkwardness that suddenly hit me, because, well, it was an awkward situation! I mean, those who were in the main hall, had seen Adam and I coming to his room, and... nothing had happened. Nothing.

“I don’t think I’ll ever get used to this,”

“To what?” Adam asked me as he walked inside his bathroom.

I fell back, and felt the fresh sheets against my sizzling skin. “Well, this. I don’t have to hide and wait for the night to come if I want to be with you. I don’t know to be careful, I don’t need to worry about your father and grandfather, I...” I stopped talking when Adam’s grandfather’s image popped up in my head and his earlier conversation with Mr. Cooper and his son was played. “How did you know it was him?”

Shirtless, Adam came out of the bathroom and I noticed his brow creasing in confusion. “Know what? Who?”

“You threatened to do something to your grandfather if he ever touched me... again.” The emphasis on the last word was more than sufficient, because Adam’s eyes flashed with acknowledgement.

I watched him gliding towards me, his beauty something utterly out of this world, but I ignored that pang of desire that he woke up in me. It wasn’t the right time. Yet. He sat down beside me, but I didn’t push myself up to join him completely. I just kept my eyes on his back, and heard him.

“It was a matter of thinking. My father would never hit a woman, regardless of what I think of him to be capable of.” He paused, and I was sure he was considering what he’d just said. “Anyway, my grandfather was the one with sufficient hate who would be capable of that. I pondered if my brother had been the one, but Brad... I don’t think he’d ever get near you after what I told him.”

I believed in that as well. I disliked Brad, but I felt sorry for him. His father was going to get a divorce and his mother, even though she didn’t completely show how sad she truly was, Brad was aware of it.

“I’m sorry he did that to you, Eva,” Adam uttered, and I heard a hint of anger in his voice. He turned his head to look at me over his shoulder, and as he spoke again, one of his hands slithered up my leg, towards my stomach. “You should’ve told me, I could’ve done something-”

“You would’ve lost your head,”

“I had the right to,”

“No, you didn’t, just like I didn’t have the right to tell you anything.” I said. It was a cruel thing to say, but it had been the truth at the time. I’d chosen to get away from him, and telling about what his grandfather had done... it would’ve been chaos again. “But it doesn’t matter now. It’s done. You can’t go back and change it.”

“If I could, I’d change much, much more, believe me.” He said, his eyes going glassy for a brief moment.

“Everything turned out the way we wanted, Adam.” I pushed myself up, and clung to his arm. It felt good to be able to do that. “God, I... It’s strange to hold onto to you, and not having to worry about Rachel, your father or any maid barging through the door and catching us together.”

I heard him chuckle. And then I felt his hand on my head, and his fingers getting tangled in my black curls.

“You’ll get used to it, kid.” He told me, his lips breaking forth in a tender smile. “I sure am going to,” And before I got the chance to say something, Adam leaned in, and his lips caught mine.

It was late. No one would be wondering the corridors at that time. And even if that happened, I couldn’t care less about the maids – I was sure they would be the ones who would surely try to spy on us, green with envy. If someone other than any of the maids decided to eavesdrop on us, well, they’d totally feel uncomfortable with what they would be listening in a few.

I swiftly put those thoughts aside, and let myself be taken into bliss with Adam’s riveting kiss.

We didn’t talk. Words would never be enough to tell each other how happy we both were, but it helped. Sex wouldn’t be enough either, but it was a way to let each of us know how much we cared about the other as we offered – and took. But the both of us knew how much one loved the other. We’d just proved that in the last couple of days, hadn’t we?

We didn’t hurry. We were slow. There was nothing that we had to worry about, so time was something we had – like freedom. At last, we could do as we pleased, we could go anywhere, we could do everything, we could tell the whole world that this was our time.

We didn’t care about tomorrow either. We’d made excuses, we’d repelled each other, and we’d ended up crashing. We’d pushed each other away, saying we were not for each other, and we’d ended up doing things to keep us apart. However, we knew this time there would be a tomorrow in which we wouldn’t have to wonder about the consequences of what we were about to do.

So we just reveled in that moment of victory, because, well... there would be nothing that could ever come between us from now on, and that was the plain truth that made my heart race as Adam and I become one.

FIN

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