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Chapter 20

Toren's POV

There’s literally nothing worse than waiting on a woman. Oh wait, I’m wrong. There is. It’s waiting on a man who cares more about hair, makeup, and fashion than the majority of women.

“I swear to Christ Adrien, if you don’t hurry the fuck up she’s going to see you here!” I yell, leaving the fourth message on his phone.

I’m meeting with him briefly before Scarlett gets off work. Things are happening and I need some sort of affirmation that what I’m doing isn’t completely lunatic.

As soon as I hang up I hear my buzzer ring. Opening the door, I see him in all his magical glory.

“What the fuck is on your head?” I ask, peering down at some sort of duck placed on his long, crimped out hair weave.

“Listen, I don’t have the time to discuss what high end fashion is, you’ll just need to trust that I’m always one step ahead of the game. Mmmkay playboy?”

“Still with the playboy I see, cool.” I roll my eyes, letting him in through the door.

As if those days weren’t forever ago. I’ve long-forgotten the playboy era.

Tyler waits at the kitchen island, looking up from his phone as Adrien clip clops his way into the kitchen.

“Next time you need some embroidering done, please hit my line.” Adrien smiles condescending, patting Tyler on the shoulder.

He looks at me like a deer in headlights.

“You told him!?” he gasps, looking horrified.

“Your life is too funny not to share.” I shrug.

He groans and slams his forehead on his hands on the counter.

“I’m just trying to figure out why the bitch put her mouth on you. I mean, did it need to go that far? Like...ew.” Adrien contorts his face.

“She liked it.” Tyler retorts, defending his honor.

“Trust me, boo. She didn’t.”

“Okay, can we not? Like we are here for info. Spill the beans Adrien!” I demand, breaking up their banter.

He flips his weave over his shoulder taking a seat at the island next to Tyler. He crosses his legs, then licks his purple lipstick, looking hesitantly over at me before tucking some weave behind his oversized earring.

“What happened? Shit.” I run my hand nervously through my hair, taking in his hesitant appearance. “It’s bad.”

“No, no, no...it’s not bad, it’s just...expected.” Adrien winces.

“Expected? What? She doesn’t want to marry your bitch ass?” Tyler asks, looking back and forth between us.

I shoot him a glare before focusing my attention back on Adrien.

“Well, I did what you suggested, worked marriage and wedding talk into the conversation as a feeler, and...well...”

I pace the kitchen, hands raking down my face. “Well what?! Spit it out A!”

“Well, she isn’t like me-”

“Thank god for that.” I interrupt his sentence. Tyler laughs.

He blinks slowly at me with a flat face then continues. “She hasn’t exactly been dreaming of a wedding her whole life. The idea is kinda new to her. This whole idea of marriage and whatnot. Since you.”

I sigh, finally breathing. It’s been a tough week, especially with the news of my father. I haven’t talked to my mother about it yet. I don’t even know where to begin. Every time we used to talk about what my father was up to she’d always cover for him. It’s almost as if she knows about his indiscretions but doesn’t care.

I’m about to walk into marriage while my parents’ is seemingly slipping apart. The thought of that being us in the future makes me sick to my stomach. How did they get there? After years of family vacations, dancing in the living room together after dinner, sneaking kisses in the hallway when they passed each other, making me and Ronan groan with disgust. How could he do this to the woman who raised us, who gave us the world and selflessly wanted nothing but love in return. I’d give anything for those moments again.

But as far as Scarlett goes, I knew this about her, assumed even more just based on what I know about her. She’s not that girl that dreams of the fairy tale wedding and it’s one of the reasons I love her. She doesn’t care about materialistic things or appearances, she cares about what’s real. Me and her and nothing else. The fact that she’s even been considering this with me after a lifetime of denying the possibility makes my heart soar.

“So what’s that mean?” Tyler asks, bringing me back to reality.

“It means...” Adrien begins by looking from Tyler to me, “...you’re the perfect man for the job. You’re already ahead of the game. We’re on the right track.”

His smile grows before he squeals with excitement, doing a little happy dance at the counter, clicking his fake nails like he’s playing a keyboard at a wedding in the nineties.

“We have so much to finish,” he exclaims. “Ah! I need to get my ass in gear!”

“Indeed we do.” I rub my hands together, looking at my partners in crime.


Later that evening after Scarlett finished up with work, she sneaks into the door with a curious look on her face.

“Hey babe. How was your day?” I ask, pulling my tie off and loosening the top button to my shirt.

After the stress of last night and today, I just need to hold her.

She leans back against the door, her hands behind her back. “Fine,” she says with a clipped tone.

She’s acting strange, like she’s hiding something from me.

“What’s that you got there?” I ask immediately, moving towards her with a cocked brow.

“Nothing. Nothing at all,” she says, her eyes darting past me.

She makes a break for it, attempting to run past me into the bedroom with some sort of bag in her hand. I chase after her, making her laugh as she quickly makes her way down the hall and successfully locks herself in the bedroom before I can get to her. I knock on the door patiently, waiting for what she has up her sleeve.

“Hello? Can I help you?” She peeks her little head out of the door like nothing happened.

“What’s in the bag?” I demand, resting my head against the door frame.

“A surprise,” she answers, like it’s more than obvious.

“Can I see?”

She makes a little tsk tsk sound while shaking her head. “So nosy.”

“I thought we agreed, no secrets between us.” I lean over her, hoping that’ll do the trick.

She leans against the door, crossing her arms and tilting her head to the side. “Really? You’re gonna pull that card?”

I bit my lip, raising my brows, with a little wishful thinking on my side.

“Goddammit.” she curses to herself, looking at me. “Why you gotta give me those puppy dog eyes? You know I’m a sucker for you nerdish, adorable ways.”

“I’m a sucker for all your ways.”

“Okay, listen, here’s the deal, kid. Hit the showers. Meet me on the field in ten,” she instructs with her brows lowered and deep voice before leaning forward and smacking me on the ass.

“Ouch! What? Where’s the field?′ I ask, chuckling at her adorable playfulness.

She cocks her head, giving me a kooky grin. “The bed, obviously.”

I swallow at her direct statement. “You got it, coach.”

I hit the showers, as she suggested, and leave the bathroom in my towel to see the bedroom set with dim lighting and some deliciously smelling aroma.

“Babe?” I call out, creeping around the corner until I see her standing in the corner of the room.

She’s got her hair up, tied into a sleek bun on top of her head, wearing nothing but a loose, silk robe with her thigh exposed, and an easy smile that could break any man’s heart. There’s a large towel laid out on the bed as she nods over to it, telling me where to go.

I walk over to it as she meets me, holding her hands out to help me down.

“A little treat for my hardworking man,” she says softly with that sexy smile I love so much.

She has me lie flat on my stomach, stretched out across the bed as she straddles my lower back. My head is turned to the side as I see the robe get thrown up by my head. I try to turn around but she pushes on my shoulders blades, pressing me against the towel.

“Nu-uh.” She scolds.

A warm liquid hits my back.

“Adrien? Is that you?”

Scar laughs, “You’re sick in the head.”

“My bad.”

“Also, for the record, he doesn’t remember seeing you naked. Side effect of drunken adventures.”

“Thank god. I’d hate to come between your friendship,” I tease.

“You can take the man outta the game, but you can’t take the game outta the man. Still cocky as ever I see.”

“Hey, you’re the only game I wanna play.” I try to turn towards her and she roughly pushes me back down again making me chuckle.

Her hands begin massaging the muscles of my back. I groan in approval as she works outs the knots in the areas that need it most. She works my neck, my lower back, my shoulders, everywhere relieving the day’s tension. Then I feel her body against mine. She leans forward and I feel her warmed abdomen against my back, followed by her breasts. I’m achingly aware of her hardened nipples pressing into me. She begins massaging my body with the entire length of hers.

“God, this feels amazing.” I moan as she continues the motions.

“Good. You need to loosen up, get this tension out,” she whispers softly against my ear as her fingers work the muscles in my neck.

“I’ve got something for you to work out.” I smirk, rolling beneath her naked, oiled body.

She looks deliciously attractive above me, all shiny and slick. I begin rubbing the oil around on her chest as she runs her hands up my pecs, moving to my shoulders. The massage quickly advances to more than just a back rub. The towel is removed from my hips as she begins sliding her body against mine. She glides against my entire body in a slow erotic motion, the silky sensation of her warm, wet skin on mine has me hard and ready.

She crouches down with her ass in the air, breasts at my hips and slowly presses up against my erection, gliding up down over me. Her hands still exploring every inch of me, finally reaching my shoulders. I grip her hips in place with my hands and glide her against my shaft before I slide into her, making her gasp.

We connect, making love slowly and passionately. We explore one another with our hands, our mouths, our entire bodies until we are both reaching the blissful moment of awakening each other’s senses in the way only we know how.

After the oil massage, we shower off together, washing each other before cuddling up on the couch in our oversized robes. She’s quiet now as we nibble on dinner and it doesn’t go unnoticed.

“Inconvenient truth?” I offer, slurping up my ramen.

She sits back into the couch, resting her temple on her fist. “Shoot.”

“I’m afraid I’m going to want to come home to this every night.” I point my chopsticks towards the bedroom.

She smiles, staring at me adoringly.

“You shouldn’t spoil me. I’ll get used to it.” I set my bowl down and curl up behind her legs against the couch.

She toys with the hair on top of my head. “You deserve all of it.”

She smiles with her mouth but it doesn’t reach her eyes. There’s a somber look about her as she mulls something over in that beautiful head of hers.

“Inconvenient truth?” she offers, after what feels like the longest stretch of silence.

“Shoot.”

She sighs, then picks at the blanket in front of her with her little fingers. “I’m afraid that the information about your father might change you.”

“Change me?”

“Yeah. Maybe, it makes you rethink things a little—”

“I’m going to stop you right there.” I interrupt.

“Don’t you ever worry? Don’t you wonder? That if that can happen to them, that it’ll happen to us? I just worry if it makes you rethink where we’re headed and what you ultimately want or don’t want out of this."

I take a deep breath and let it out. It’s been hard to process, of course, but it doesn’t make me rethink us. I hate that she’s so used to dismissal, she’s so used to being left without a sense of security, so much so, that she thinks my father’s issues will somehow make me see us differently. She’s always waiting for the moment when someone she cares about leaves her.

“Scar, it’s not like that with us. It can’t be. Sure, things are great and easy right now, but we’ve weathered the storm before, we can do it again. That’s what commitment is about. Sticking it out, and choosing each other every day. Loving each other especially when things are hard, not just when they’re easy.”

“I love you so much,” she breathes, leaning over and pressing her lips to mine. We kiss softly while she mutters how she doesn’t deserve me against my lips.

“Besides, I’m sure when we decide to have kids, we’ll have our fair share of rough days. Look at Mags and Ro. Lack of sleep is hard on a partnership. But we’ll work through it, all of it. Together.” I stop myself from babbling, realizing I’m over here talking about kids by myself.

I turn my head to Scarlett, when I’m met with wide eyes.

“I don’t mean like anytime soon...I just meant, like maybe in the future. I-if you’re wanting or seeing, seeing that for our future.” I ramble, suddenly feeling parched. Why has my mouth turned to sand?

Her eyes are wider than normal and I cock my head quizzically. I mean, I’ve made it clear I wanted to put a baby in her before. It’s not like what I said was completely crazy, right?

“A-are you alright?”

She’s still staring at my face like I told her Santa Clause isn’t real. What the hell is happening?

“I’m just tired, I just need sleep. I promise, I’m fine.”

“We can make it through anything. There will never be a reason for me to leave you.” I try to reiterate.

She bites her bottom lip looking worried before telling me she’s off to bed.

I join her a bit later, crawling under the covers and softly stroking her arm. I wrap my arm around her waist, gently pulling her into my chest, holding her to me. She sighs softly and I listen to the sounds of her breathing, wondering what’s going on in her pretty little head of hers.

It’s not like her to act so unsure of us again. I thought we had passed all this. Maybe the situation with my father is having more of an effect on her than me. It pains me, especially now, when I have nothing but the best things in life waiting for her ahead.

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