Mia rolled over in the early morning hours to find Cyrus sleeping peacefully beside her. They had made love most the night until they finally fell asleep in each other's arms. She reached for the heart necklace he had given her for her birthday, kissing it with a smile.
The night had been perfect. He made sure she was taken care of and her first time was everything she had ever dreamed of.
Mia slipped from the bed and got dressed, leaving Cyrus sleeping peacefully as she slipped from the camper.
Making her way toward the lake, she saw Holly sitting on the dock that reached out into the water. Mia walked to the end of the dock sitting next to Holly. Their legs dangled over the edge and Holly looked over to her with surprise.
“It’s okay. I understand.”
“I was bullied too. Isis was too. I used to take a lot of beatings when we were kids to try to protect her. Isis was always so small but she was a little overweight so people teased her. I guess sometimes I forget not everyone is going to be a bad person. I just get defensive before people have the chance to hurt me or my family.”
“I get that. I really do care about Cyrus. I never in a million years thought he would like someone like me.”
“Look at me. I’m sort of a big girl.”
“Big girl? You’re curvy but it’s not like your fat. I know I was being a jerk but I didn't mean it.”
“Not everyone thinks that. A lot of people think I am fat. I guess everyone has their issues, huh?”
“True. I’m sorry I was mean to you. I can be a bully when I feel threatened and I’m working on it. I’m seeing a therapist to work on my anger problems.”
“That’s good. Cyrus told me about all the girls he was with before.”
“Yeah. He was never really into them though. I think he really loves you. I have never seen him like this.”
“I love him too. He told me for the first time last night.”
“You mean when you two were fucking in the woods.”
Mia’s eyes widened and her cheeks went flush. She quickly looked back at the lake. “You heard that?”
“Everyone across the lake heard that.”
Mia covered her face. “I think I’m going to die now.”
Holly giggled. “I really didn’t need to hear how hard my brother’s cock is. You two got loud last night.”
“Sorry. It was… my first time. I guess I got carried away.”
Holly tilted her head and looked at Mia with surprise. “First time?”
“Yes. Cyrus was my first.”
Holly gave a half-smile and flipped water in the lake with her toes. “Well, shit. I guess we do have a lot in common. Colt was my first. I saved myself for… I don’t know?”
“Love. Yeah. Me too. I really love Cyrus. Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve loved him for years.”
Holly shook her head with a giggle. “Fangirl crush?”
“No. It’s not like that. At first, it was. But over the years, I really started to have feelings for him. I know it’s crazy. Since I met him, I realize everything I thought about him was real. He’s a good man.”
“He is. Cyrus had a big heart. So, how did you meet?”
Mia looked over at Holly to see if she was just messing with her or not. “You don’t know?”
“Uh-uh. I just knew Cyrus had a thing for some chick.”
Mia giggled. “It’s sort of crazy. We met online.”
“Yep. I made a post about him and he made up a fake profile to talk to me. I thought he was some creeper in his mom’s basement with a bunch of cats.”
Holly laughed. “That’s epic.”
“So, you plan on having kids?”
“Yes. Colt and I tried for a while after we got married but we gave up. It was lot of pressure for both of us. Plus, it’s been hard with our work schedule. I’ve had trouble conceiving. We decided to take a break and focus on our career and then start a family. What about you?”
“Well, I know Cyrus can’t. I don’t mind if we tried other ways. Maybe in vitro fertilization or adopt. I want a baby. I’m not getting any younger and my clock is ticking.”
“Cyrus really wants a child. He always has. If you can help that happen that would be great.”
“Why didn’t his ex-wife try to have a baby? He said that he might still be able to but it’s a slim chance. They could have tried other options.”
“Honestly, I don’t think she wanted kids with him. I never told him, but I think she cheated for years. She hated that our family was so close. I’ll be honest. Tammy just wanted more attention than Cyrus could give. She didn’t have a good family and she was a little needy when it came to Cyrus. He was the first person to ever show her real affection."
"A relationship isn't always like that. People need their space to grow as a person."
"Exactly. She hated wrestling and just wanted him to be at home all the time to cater to her. She still loved the money though. I think she was just… confused. Her friends really put a lot of bad thoughts in her mind about him too. Tammy wasn’t always that way. She was actually a good person before things started to unravel for them.”
“Do you think he still loves her?”
Holly chuckled softly. “Not a chance in hell. Once Cyrus is done with someone, he’s done. He may help the person if they needed something, but that's it. That is just his good-natured kindness, but he would never be able to love them again. He doesn’t do well with betrayal. My brothers are big on respect, and once they lose that, it’s hard to get it back. He is all for second chances, but not with something as serious as adultery.”
“MIA?” Cyrus yelled from the camper.
“Well, I’m being summoned. I’ll see ya later.”
“Sure thing. I’m glad we had this talk. Treat him good, Mia.”
“I will. I promise.”
Later that day, Cyrus had taken Mia into town to do some shopping. She was spending a little extra time in a dress shop and Cyrus decided to go down the street to pick up some things for dinner at Wraith's cabin mansion that night.
Mia was exiting the shop with her bags when she saw a woman pushing a stroller across the street. The woman was leaning over as if she wasn’t feeling well. After a few steps, the lady collapsed to the ground. Mia rushed to the woman’s aid as the stroller started to roll across the street. Mia grabbed the stroller rolling it back to the woman who was sitting on the ground trying to get up.
“Ma'me. Let me help you. Are you okay? Should I call someone?” Mia helped the woman to her feet.
“I’m fine. I just got a little dizzy. Thank you for saving my baby.”
“Not a problem. There is a bench over there. Can you walk? I think you should sit for a second.”
“No. No. I’m fine. My car is right there. Thank you though.”
About that time, Cyrus was coming out of the corner grocery store when he saw Mia rush across the street. A woman wearing a turban and pushing a stroller collapsed before he could realize what had happened.
Cyrus ran over to where Mia was walking the frail woman to her car. “Mia? Is everything all right?”
Cyrus looked over to the woman and his heart stopped. Slowly he approached as he looked into the eyes of the woman who was once a fashionista and so well-kempt. She was a shell of her former self but he knew those eyes. His ex-wife was standing there but somehow it wasn’t the same.
“It can’t be.”
“Mia. This is my ex-wife. Tammy? What…?” Cyrus looked at her head seeing her hair was gone and Tammy’s eyes were sunken in with dark circles. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine. This nice lady helped me and my baby boy. If it wasn’t for her, he would have rolled into the street. Thank you miss.”
“You’re welcome. I’m Mia.”
Tammy looked at Cyrus with confusion.
“This is my girlfriend. Tammy, what’s going on? You’re hair. You look so frail. What’s wrong?”
“I’m sick, Cy. That’s why I’ve been trying to reach you. I’m dying.”
“Dying?” Cyrus gaped.
“Yes. Ovarian Cancer. They found it a few months ago. I don’t have much time left. They thought it was a compilation following my labor, but turns out it was cancer.”
Cyrus shook his head in disbelief. As much as he wanted to hate her, he didn’t wish this on anyone. “We can find you a good doctor. I’ll take care of everything.”
Mia stood in shock as she watched Cyrus rush to Tammy and take her hand to steady her. A ting of jealousy burned inside but she pushed it down deep. Mia knew that she couldn’t let it take over. This woman was sick and he was always the protector type. Of course, he would want to help, it was his nature.
“No. Cyrus. It’s too late. I hope you can see now why I needed to speak with you. It’s important and I don’t have anyone else to turn to.”
Cyrus turned back to Mia then looked back at Tammy. He stepped back and took Mia’s hand. “I’m sorry, Tammy. I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
“Please? Cyrus, Grayson abandoned us and gave over all his rights to our baby. He doesn’t want anything to do with Elias. I’m about to lose our old house and I’m afraid they will put him in foster care.”
Cyrus blinked away the shock. “You named your son after my father?”
Tammy nodded. “Grayson left me once I got pregnant. I knew you always wanted a child. It was the first thing I thought of when he was born. I remember that was always what you wanted to do to honor your dad.”
Cyrus could hear the baby cooing up at Mia. She was distracted by the little one, giving him a playful little wave.
He sighed and looked at Mia. “I don’t know what to say.”
Mia turned to face him. “Say you’ll hear her out. I know you, Cy. I know you are not the type to dismiss someone who needs your help. Hear her out. I’ll head back to the cabin and wait there.”
“No. I can’t do that. Mia, that wouldn’t be fair to you.”
Mia kissed his cheek. “It’s okay, sweetie. I’ll be fine. Go. Tammy clearly shouldn’t be driving right now. She just collapsed on the street. Help her and baby Elias back home. I’ll see you in a little while.”
Cyrus nodded. “I love you. I’ll be there as soon as I can. You’re right. I can’t leave her like this. It wouldn’t be right. Okay, Tammy, I guess I’ll hear you out.”
“Thank you. Thank you, Mia.”
Mia nodded with a little hesitation on her face. Could she trust Cyrus alone with his ex? This would be a true test to their relationship. She knew letting him go was the right thing to do.
“Go. Get Tammy home. I love you, Cy.” Mia kissed him and headed to the car while Cyrus watched with sad eyes as she crossed the street.
Turning back to Tammy he took her arm, gilding her to the car. “Let’s get you home.”