Beyond the Pines (Part 2)

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8 months later

I hummed as I wrote down the melody in my head, a melody that had come to me last night, and I was now trying to write lyrics for. It would be the first time in many years I even thought of writing my own song, but it felt right, especially since my fingers finally moved right.

I’d gone through a series of physiotherapy to get through my paralysis. It was temporary, as the doctor had said, but my limbs didn’t feel right for a long time even after I finally could feel things again. Now I was able to finally move like a normal person again, and it was a relief. I hated using crutches (although when Diego acted like my personal crutch it was a different story).

Things went back to normal, somewhat. Patrick took care of Diego legally, so he got out of the entire situation with Donnelly unscathed. The police found the drugs Donnelly injected me with, labeled Delight, and confiscated everything they’d found. As Diego had promised, the underworld decided to leave him alone after he basically threatened them with his power and money, and now, finally, he could be free.

There was one good thing that came out of all this, and it was Patrick and Luna. In an odd twist of events, Patrick had met Luna when I was in the hospital. Luna had come visit me, which was so freaking nice of her, and just cemented the friendship we now had, and Patrick was there, too. The two took one look at one another, and Patrick, my older brother who’d claimed himself to be a player, a non-monogamist much like Marco had claimed to be before he suddenly realized Gen was working in his company and she was gorgeous and he was down for, and Patrick got Luna’s number.

The two were now the most disgusting couple ever. Patrick had never been the doting kind of person, but with Luna, he had suddenly turned into this hopeless romantic I didn’t recognize. He bought her flowers, took her on romantic dates such as sailing through the Charles or treating her to an extravagant vacation in Hawaii, and Luna found it all so very charming, until she kind of got annoyed, feeling like he was trying to buy her love, and he was forced to stop and let Luna take charge.

Which appeared to work for them even better.

As for Peter… He’d been growing distant lately. At first, I thought it was because I’d move in with Diego, leaving the Beacon Hill apartment for his use alone - which he obviously didn’t want, so he rented a studio apartment in Cambridge instead - but when he insisted it wasn’t it, I started wondering if having both of his siblings dating might make him miss Juan even more, and messed up with his head.

But he refused to talk about it, and forced himself to look like everything was fine, even though I knew none of it was fine at all.

“You seem pensive.”

I blinked, snapping out of my thoughts, and turned to see Diego settling down next to me on the sofa. “Just thinking,” I said, smiling as he pressed a kiss to my forehead.

“I love it when you think,” he murmured, his eyes twinkling, “it’s so very sexy.”

My lips twitched. “Shut up, you idiot.”

He grinned, and then said, “I got something for you.”

Surprised, I said nothing as he took my hands and put something in them. When he let go, I saw it was a wooden figurine, but it wasn’t one of his old collections; this one was brand new, carved recently, with the wood still fresh. It was a figurine of a mermaid, a beautiful mermaid, with long hair wrapped around her torso as she sat with her back to a pine tree, smiling at the viewer. She looked so vivid, so alive.

“It’s beautiful,” I said softly, my heart melting.

Diego cleared his throat. “Open it.”

I frowned, turning to look at him. “What should I open?”

His face was blank as he gestured toward the wooden platform on which the mermaid and the tree sat on. “It’s a box,” he said helpfully.

Gently, I grabbed the pine tree and pulled the lid. The platform was now open, and what was inside made me gape. The inside was covered in dark purple velvet, and in the middle…

Diego moved, and suddenly he was on one knee in front of me, his eyes serious on me. “I’m not good with words,” he said clippedly, tersely, “just say yes.”

I half-chuckled, half-snorted. “My God, you’re bossy,” I said, but my heart was fluttering inside my chest as I looked at the beautiful silver ring with the simple emerald diamond. “But you know my answer. You’re mine. I’m yours. It’s a done deal, remember?”

He rolled his eyes. “Just say the word to make it official, will you?”

I frowned. “This is supposed to be a super romantic moment, in which you propose, and I cry out of happiness, but you’re ruining it.”

His lips twitched. “Are you seriously going to prolong this shit?”

“You know me,” I shrugged, smirking now as I looked down at his crotch. “I like prolonged stuff.”

He sighed. “Just give me a reply, will you?”

“Fine, yes,” I rolled my eyes. “Are you happy no - “

With the wooden figurine in my hands, Diego pushed my staved notebook aside and lifted me in his arms, kissing all the air out of me, pouring all of his happiness, his joy, his love into me, and I could only return in kind, unable to give him anything less.

If someone had told me seven years ago that I was going to marry Diego Rivero, I would’ve called the asylum and told them they lost a patient. But now...

Diego was mine. I was his. And everything that happened… It was all worth it.


If you want to read some notes, go to the next page for an official Author’s Note to end this journey :)

Also, I know the ending was rushed. It will change in the future edits :)

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