"I'm really sorry Marcus," I said with a soft voice. His arms were around my body. My arms were around his waist.
"No Candace, I'm the one who is sorry. I'm sorry I was an asshole last night. I have no excuse for my behavior."
"It's okay Marcus, it been a very long time." Marcus stood back and looked at me. He looked around the store and then back at me.
"What do you think?" He asked me. I started to walk around the place and check it out.
"It's wonderful Marcus. I'm very proud of you." I said.
"Do you shoot?' He asked me.
"No, never," I said looking at all the guns in the display cases.
"You should let me teach you."
"I don't know maybe. They kind of scare me."
"They are nothing to fear. I can teach you if you'll let me." I looked over at him.
"Marcus, I'd really like to talk..." He cut me off.
"Come to lunch with me?" He asked and I nodded at him. We ended up at one of my favorite cafe's that we used to go to when we were kids. We ordered our food and I waited for Marcus to start talking. I wanted to give him the chance to say something before I asked questions. "How has life been treating you?" He asked me.
"Its been okay." I knew it was hard for Marcus to talk about things. So I indulged him for a while. I too him about everything that I have been doing. He listened to everything I had to say. I also too him how Mason and I saw each other again. "Tell me about you Marcus. I want to know about your life." I said and he sat his drink back down. The first thing he told me about was his brother and his mother. My heart broke for him. He told me how he went into some pretty dark things and it killed me that I wasn't here for him. Great more guilt.
Then he started to tell me about Tiffany. I did my best to maintain a good attitude while he told how wonderful she has been and how much she has helped him. It was hard to hear him talk about her like that. I know it makes me sound bad, but I was jealous. I was jealous because she was here for him and I wasn't. Even besides the fact that at one point we were lovers, but for the simple fact that for a long time we were best friends.
I reached out and placed my hands on top of his. "I'm so sorry, you had to go through all of that. I'm sorry I left." I said. I could feel tears sting my eyes.
"Hey, look at me. I'm okay now. I have a good life. I'm doing good for myself. Don't feel sorry for me." I smiled at him.
"I think I feel more sorry for myself," I said and he just smiled at me. "Marcus, I don't want to lose touch with you again," I said and I meant it.
"You're not going to." He said to me. We walked back to his store. Sharing more stories about what we have been up to. We stopped in front of his store as he looked for his keys. "I need to tell you something." He started to say, but he got cut off.
"Marcus?" We both heard her voice and turned around to see Tiffany standing there. Fuck, I said to myself. "What's going on?" she asked and then took a good look at me. "Candace?" Hse said and I nodded at her.
"Tiff, what are you doing back so early? I didn't expect you home until tonight?" Marcus said.
"Yeah, I was ready to come home. Marcus, what is she doing here?" I was wondering if he had ever told her about us. She was acting as if she knew. She crossed her arms and just waited for Marcus or someone to say something.
"Maybe I should go," I said.
"Maybe you should." Tiffany snapped. Oh yeah, she has changed alright. I started to walk the other way.
"Candace, stop." I heard Marcus say. I stopped but didn't turn around. I heard him running up to me. "Please don't go, let me straighten out this girl." He said.
"Why don't you just give me a call later. I don't want to cause you and her problems and she is obviously upset that I'm here." The look on Marcus's face was of nothing but anger.
"I will call you."He said and walked back to her. I watched them for a second and headed back to my car. When I got home I found Mason and my dad talking on the back porch. I stood there until Mason noticed me and then I walked back inside. I knew he would follow me.
"Cans?" He said. "Is everything okay?"
"Yeah, everything was good until Tiffany showed up. Mason, I don't know what kind of game she ran on you and Marcus, but she is still the same bitch she always was." I took a seat on the couch and he sat next to me.
"Tell me what happened," I explained the whole day to him. All the way up to the part with Tiffany.
"I don't even know what to say Cans. I mean she has been doing a pretty good job of hiding herself for a very long time. Maybe she was jealous and saw you as a threat?"
"I don't know but she wasn't pleasant that's for sure. Mason, do you think maybe Marcus told her about us. I mean, you know." Mason shrugged his shoulders.
"It's possible." He said to me.
"I told him to call me later. I hope that he does, but I don't want to mess things up in his life Mason, I mean he seems happy. I don't want to take that away from him." Mason moved closer to me and took me in his arms. He kissed my head and told me not to worry. later on that evening I was helping my mom set the table for dinner. The next day was their big party. We were going to be setting up all morning long. I heard the doorbell go off and my mother asked Mason to get the door. I watched as Mason opened the door and Marcus was standing there. I watched them hug and Mason stepped aside for Marcus to come in. He looked at me and I smiled at him. Just to see Mason and Marcus standing next to each other sent chills down my body. Not the scared ones the good ones.
"Marcus my boy." I heard my father say coming into the room. I just laughed. Mason and Marcus set in the living room with my dad for the next hour just lost in conversations about boring stuff. I made myself a glass of coffee and took a seat out in the greenhouse. I was alone for only a few moments.
"Candace?" I heard Marcus say as he and Mason came into the greenhouse.
"Look at the two of you. My guys, you have always been my guys." I said smiling.
"What's in your cup babe?" Mason asked me.
"Coffee," I said holding my cup closer to my body.
"Are you sure?" He said with his eyebrow up.
"I could throw it on you. Then you would know for sure." Mason put his hands up in defense.
"I'm sorry about Tiffany," Marcus said. Both Mason and I looked at Marcus.
"Marcus, did you ever tell Tiffany about us?" I asked him feeling brave.
"No, but she knees how much I have missed you."
"What was her problem today?" Mason asked her.
"I really don't know. I haven't seen her act like that in a long time. She is trying to act like she has no idea why I was so upset with her."
"Why Tiffany James Marcus? I said and I almost regretted what I said. Both and Mason and Marcus looked at me. At that moment Marcus looked like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders. "I'm sorry Marcus I shouldn't have asked you that."
"It's okay Cans." He said.
"You didn't pick me." He said. My heart about fell out of my chest. "You didn't even pick Mason. You chose to not be with either of us and then you just left us." My heart was beating fast and Mason was looking to the ground.
"I'm sorry, I couldn't do it. I couldn't choose. I made a bad choice to leave you guys. I regretted it every day for the last seven years." I said as tears stung my eyes. Mason just sighed and Marcus stood up and started to pace.
"You know Mason may have been putting on a good face, but he was just has hurt as I was. We loved you, Candace. We gave our hearts to you."
"Marcus," Mason said.
"No, No Mason. For any of us to be okay. We have to say this. You have to tell her how you felt." I just sat there, Marcus came over to me and went to his knees. He placed his hands on mine and just looked me in the eyes. "I wanted to hate you. I tried so hard to hate you. It was like you took the oxygen with you when you left. The tears poured down my face.
"I know Marcus, and I'm so sorry."
"Then why did you leave?" Mason spoke up. My eyes got huge as I looked over at him.
"I thought I was doing the right thing at the time. I thought that I needed to let you both go. I thought we needed to see the world and what life was all about on our own. I don't regret choosing none of you. You both made it perfectly clear to me that I couldn't have you both. I don't regurt that, but I regret leaving okay. I regret the last seven years. I have down nothing but beat myself up over it. I have missed you both more then you will ever know." I wiped my eyes as the tears wouldn't stop. None of us said a word for a good minute. "I love you both. I always have, but I cant beat myself up over this anymore. You both either want me in your lives or you don't. That choice is up to you." I got up and ran into the house. I went into my bedroom and locked the door behind me. I looked out my window and Mason and Marcus were still in the green house.