Doomed in Love

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Chapter 24

The next morning, Cyrus had gone to check on Tammy at his parent’s cabin across the lake and move some of her things for her. Tammy sat back in the recliner in the old cabin as Cyrus laid a blanket across her lap. The home was cozy with a mix of modern and rustic. Cyrus and his brother and sister had worked hard to keep the family home just as their parents would have wanted it. A home that was welcoming to everyone.

“How’s this? Are you comfortable?”

“Yes. Thank you. Will you sit with me awhile?”

Cyrus looked over at little Elias playing with his feet in the playpen across the room. With a sigh, he pulled over the ottoman and sat down next to her. She reached for his hand and Cyrus just stared at it as if it was an offering from Satan himself.
“Cyrus, please. I’m not trying to hit on you or anything. Just hold my hand. Please?”

Cyrus reached and took her hand in both of his. “I’m sorry. This is just a lot to process.”

“I know. The hesitation is more about the girl though, isn’t it? You’ve been tense all morning around me.”
“Mia means the world to me. I don’t want to disrespect her.”

“Of course. She’s a wonderful woman. Not many ladies would be okay with their man helping their ex.”

“Can you blame them?”
“Not really. But this girl is special, isn’t she? I saw how you look at her, Cy. You love her, don’t you?”

Cyrus looked into Tammy’s eyes. He had to be honest. “I do. It shows that much?”

Tammy gave a slight chuckle and began to cough. “Yep. That girl has your dick on a leash. Can’t blame her. It’s pretty impressive and you always knew how to use it.”
“Not funny. It’s not like that. She was a virgin when we met.”

“But not now?”

“No.” Cyrus blushed with a shy smile, looking away.

“That’s cute. Hell, Cy. I don’t think you were ever like this with me. It’s nice to see you truly happy.”

“You think so?”

“I know so. Cyrus. I need to be honest with you. I was never in love with you the way you were with me. I was just a clueless teenager when we met. We fell in love fast and married right out of high school. I wasn’t ready for that. You were ready to start a family as soon as you crossed the stage to get your diploma. It’s who you are. You are a nurturer. I loved you, but I wasn’t in love with you.”

“Wow. Thanks for making me feel like our marriage was a total lie.”

“It wasn’t. I needed you. You know how my family was. My dad was a drunk. My mom was a bar fly. They could have given a shit less about me. Then I met you. It was my senior year in high school and I thought the world of you. This sexy guy who was training to be a wrestler was paying attention to me. Before that, you were a man whore and everyone knew it. Despite the scars, you were a ladies man. I think mostly you slept around because you were dealing with your parent’s death. Truth is when we dated it was for moral support, rather than real love. We never had a chance to grow up and experience life. I spent my late teen years consumed in you. When we married I felt like it was just how things were.”
Cyrus thought for a moment. She was right. “That’s probably true for both of us. We never even dated anyone but each other after we got together. I slept around so much before then and I hated myself for it. I used those girls because I was so angry at the world over losing my parents. When I met you, I felt like I could take care of someone and felt useful. Getting you away from those piece-of-shit parents of yours was all I cared about.”

“Exactly. You just saw me as a charity case. Cy, I cheated. A lot. It started after you started wrestling for the pros and I went to college. I had found a whole new world, but I felt guilty for betraying you. After I started teaching, I thought it was time to settle down with you and really try. But the truth is, I felt empty inside. I was so alone while you were away and I went right back to those old habits. I started seeking out men to get the attention that I thought I wanted from you. Then I was asked to take care of Isis. She was so messed up then. I didn’t know what I was doing and sure had no business being responsible for her.”

“I always knew.”
Tammy moved her body to face him squeezing his hand. “Knew what?”

“About the cheating. I knew. I didn’t want to believe it. I just thought as long as you came home to me at night, I could accept it. It wasn’t until Grayson that I couldn’t take it anymore. Tammy, why him? That broke my heart. Especially knowing what he did to me and my family. How could you do that to me?”

“He was there when I was needing you most. When we finally got pregnant that summer before…”
“Stop. I don’t want to talk about that.” Cyrus pulled his hand away and stood up. “You don’t get to talk about that.”

“Cyrus. Listen to me. You have to move past it.”

“No. I don’t. How can you? She was our daughter.”

“She was. But she was just not meant to be born. The miscarriage was like having lost both of you in one swift blow. We didn’t even tell your family I was carrying a baby. They still don't know. It was early in the pregnancy. It’s no one's fault .”
“No. I lost you long before that. You are the one who pushed me away.”

“Because you were not living for you. You were living for me, Isis, Holly, Wraith, and all of IWX. It’s like your parents died and you died with them. The only thing left was trying to keep everyone around you in this bubble you created. It was suffocating. Even the girls always said how overprotective you can be. When I lost the baby, it was like a part of you died with her. Like another part of you died all over again. Just like when your parents were killed.”

“Yet you marry the one man who destroyed my life and made it worse.”
Tammy dropped her head. “I know. It’s the one thing I can’t forgive myself for. But, I can make it right. You can give Elise a life he deserves, away from that monster. You were right. All Greyson does is destroy people. All I could see then was money and how he lavished me with attention.”

“Was that what you wanted?”

“I don’t know? I guess I was craving attention. Nothing I say can fix that. It was wrong and I know it. What I can do is give you back something he took. A life. That little boy needs a good father who will love him and raise him to be a good honest man. I can’t fix what I did to you. I can make sure that my son has the best life with someone that would give his life to protect him. I honestly believe that is with you.”
Cyrus looked over at the baby who was smiling up at him and he gave the little guy a smile. The boy’s big brown eyes made Cyrus’ heart melt. “Do you think I will be a good dad?”

“I do. I wouldn’t trust him to anyone else.”

Cyrus picked up the child and held him close, smelling his soft baby powder scent. Elias snuggled into Cyrus’ neck with a smile.

“Our daughter. Do you think she is looking down on us now?”

“I think so. Maybe she’s helping us both to heal and make amends.”

“I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you then. I’m sorry I shut down. I thought my last chance of having a child of my own was gone. I felt like I failed you. After all those years trying, and then we lose her.”

“I forgive you. I hope you can one day forgive me too.” Tammy smiled up at her baby boy.

Cyrus nodded. He would try but it would take time. Even though time seemed short.

Mia had spent the morning hanging out with the wives. She had been convinced by little Macy to take her to play outside and Macy was having a blast. The little girl was a sassy little bundle of joy.

Wraith walked up as Mia was playing hide and seek with Macy.
“Uncy. Hide Macy.”

“Shh… come on munchkin. Let’s go. I’ll hide with you.” Wraith scooped her up in his arms and took off running around the house. “Good luck finding us, Mia. Macy and I are the best hide and seek team in the world.”

“In world!” Macy giggled as Wraith ran with her.

The group stepped outside from the house, seeing Wraith running away. Slade and Colt shoved each other back and forth roughhousing, as usual.

“What do you say, guys? A group hide and seek game?”

Candy shook her head at her husband as the best friends shoved each other back and forth. “Will you two ever grow up?”
“Never! Too bad we didn’t bring our kids with us, Candy. They would have had a blast this weekend.”

“Next time, baby. We can invite everyone to Florida and do this again sometime.”

Just as Colt was about to take off running, Mia slapped him in the back of the head. “You’re it! The porch is home base. I’m safe.”

Isis just shook her head and laughed. “I’m going back inside. This little one needs a diaper change. Don’t you Madison? You smell like poo-poo.”

Gage followed, wiggling his brows at his wife. “And daddy needs to convince his love to put the baby down for a nap. Daddy needs some sexy time.”
Isis slapped his arm. “Not in front of the baby.”

“Like Madison knows what I’m talking about. Move it, woman. Daddy needs his special time.”

Mia laughed as the couple flirted as they headed back inside.

Colt grabbed his wife’s hand. “Come on, Holly. We have a munchkin and a monster to find. Team up.”

As everyone ran in different directions, Mia watched the family play together with the little girl. She missed big family gatherings like this. Thinking back to her childhood, she remembered her cousins playing games in the backyard of her parent’s home. Those years had been long gone. Everyone had gone on different life paths.

There was something complete here with the Evans family and friends. Something she missed and craved. Family. All those lonely nights in her apartment back in Indiana felt far away. For the first time in years, she felt like she belonged.

Mia heard the patio sliding door close behind her. She turned to see who was coming and Cyrus was standing there smiling at her with baby Elias.
“Goo. Gaa.” The baby cooed looking up at him and grabbing his beard.

“Hey, babe. Meet, Elias. I call him Eli.”

Mia walked over to take the baby in her arms. “Hi, little one. Have you had fun with Cyrus this morning?”
“Ga ga.”

“He likes you. Tammy was having a bad morning so I agreed to take him for the day, so she can rest.” Cyrus pulled her to the patio chairs. “She’s bad, Mia. Tammy can barely stand up. I think she’s been holding on, hoping I would come around for the baby. I’m going to talk to her doctor first thing Monday and see what her prognosis is. Tammy says they keep mentioning Hospice.”

“So, she’s in the final stages then. One of my salon sisters’ mothers went through the same thing. That’s sort of the last step just to keep them comfortable.”
“Yes. Mia. I’m sorry about all of this. Holly is right, it’s not fair to you.”

“I’m a big girl, Cy. I can handle it. Life isn’t always fair. Truth is, I think we were so caught up in each other, we have pretty much been ignoring the fact there is a real-world around us. Everything with us has been so… perfect. But, life isn’t perfect, is it?”

“No. I suppose not. You’re right. I’ve been living in this fantasy world with you. But, if we want to really make it, we need to start figuring out what our future means to us.”

“What does it mean to you?”

“That’s what I want to know. I know what I want. But do you?”
“Well, I want a family and future. Being here with your family, I have felt for the first time in a long while, that I belong. I feel the love in your family and friends, and I want to be part of that. I love you, Cyrus, and I’m not getting any younger. I’m a thirty-something woman and I feel like my life has been on hold. Until now, I didn’t have any real direction to what I wanted. I know now what I really want is you.”

“And if that means, Elias is part of the package deal?”

“Are you really going to adopt him?”
“Yes. I can’t let his father get to him. He’s an abusive, murderous, evil man. If I said no, what kind of person would I be?”

“Human. It’s a big responsibility. The moment she mentioned you taking Elias, I saw your eyes light up. You really want this, don’t you?”

“Yes. But I want you too.”
“Then I guess we need to start planning for taking care of a baby, and figuring out how to juggle work and family life.”

“You mean it?”

“Yep. I’m not giving up my chance to manage Doom. So we need to work out how to raise a child and be on the road too.”

Cyrus started to get excited and pulled the baby and Mia into his arms. “I love you, flower. I’m going to make this work. I promise.” Cyrus yelled to the sky. “I’M GOING TO BE A DADDY!”

Wraith ran around the house with Macy over his shoulder as she laughed hysterically. “Uncy Cy! Save Macy!”

“No way, munchkin. You’re Uncy Wraith's baby girl now. Uncle Cy can’t save you. You let the monster get you.”

“Monter Uncy Wray Wray.”
“Monster? I’ll show you a monster!”

The little girl giggled as Wraith spun in the air making her laugh even more.

Mia snuggled into Cyrus’ arms, holding Elias to her chest as she watched Wraith playing with the Macy. Elias was cuddled to her, looking in her eye as if he knew that she was going to be his mother someday. “I guess it’s time to get to know each other, little one. Hi. I’m Mia. I’m going to be your second mommy.”
“Gaa gaa gaa.”

“It’s nice to meet you too.”

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