SECOND CHANCES

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CHAPTER TWENTY

Aaliyah cried helplessly as she watched him take away everyone she had loved. One by one he’d lodge a bullet in each of their skulls and was saving the ‘best for last’ as he called it. He had something far much worse for him. The person she was deeply in love with, whose child she was bearing was sitting right across from her bound and gagged, blood seeping from the gash on his head.

She could feel the rope cutting into her skin as she effortlessly tried to break free. As much as she pleaded for him to stop it was futile, nothing but a mere muffle escaped her lips. She watched as Samantha fell to the floor, her eyes lifeless along with the others.

Tears cascaded down her face as he grabbed a knife off the table and stalked over to Jason, his eyes glistening in excitement. Jason cried in excruciating pain as Nathan drove the knife into his kneecap, immediately spouting blood. The knife progressed into one of Jason’s shoulders with a piercing of additional pain. The sound of his muffled cries made her fight harder against her restraints, but the results remained the same.

She shut her eyes and turned her head in the other direction, she couldn’t bear to watch. The sound of protruding footsteps was quickly approaching until they stopped directly behind her.

She let out a cry as he grabbed her by the hair and jerked her head back to face him. “Do not shut your eyes. I want you to watch as I slit his throat.” He growled and turned her head back so she could face Jason.

Her sobs grew louder as he stepped directly behind Jason. Their eyes locked with one another. The look in Jason’s eyes made the tears flow harder as they told her goodbye and that he loved her. He grabbed Jason and pulled his head back running the blade across his throat.

Now she was alone…with him.

“You failed to protect them you know. This is your fault. You’ve brought this upon yourself. I thought I made myself clear, Angel. You belong to me and only me. Now how about we take care of that hideous parasite growing within you?” He muttered, as he ran the blade down her protruding stomach.

Aaliyah woke with a start, a scream lodged in her throat. She was covered in sweat and her heart was trying to rip its way out of her chest from beating so hard. The dream slowly dissolved, but the fear still remained. Jason was hovered over her with a worried expression and brushed a few strands of her sweat soaked hair away from her face.

“Hey, it’s okay. It was just a dream.” he whispered reassuringly. “You’re safe, I promise.”

She slowly sat up and pulled her gown up over her baby bump and placed a hand over her bulging stomach rubbing it lightly. She let out a relieved sigh. The baby was still here and safe.

She looked over at Jason, still with that look on his face. The worried look in his eyes didn’t suit him. Needing to touch him, to reassure her he was really there. She ran a hand through his hair and smiled when a small moan escaped his lips, then moved her hand to touch his face then down his arm.

The feel of his skin under her fingers reassured her that everything was going to be okay. She leaned over and kissed him on the lips. Jason moved closer to her and returned the kiss.

“I need you, Jason.” she whispered pleadingly.

Heat passed over his features. He sat up just long enough to tug his pants down over his hips and off his legs. He crossed his arms over his chest as he grabbed the bottom hem of his white shirt and slowly pulled it over his head.

As soon as he stripped, her palms were pressed to the broad expanse of his muscled chest, pushing him backwards into a reclined position on his back, head cushioned by pillows.

Aaliyah crawled atop him, moving with the fluid grace of an oversized feline. She pressed her body against his as she straddled his thighs, trapping his member between them as it throbbed against her swollen stomach.

Jason watched through lust glazed eyes as she took his member in her hand and aligned him with her slit. She began to press downward, driving him into her body inch by agonizing inch. He watched her face as he entered her, captivated by full pink lips parted in a pleasured gasp as slick feminine muscles wrapped around him. When her hips sank down to his base, she could feel his tip bumping against a wall deep inside, filling her completely but doing little to satiate the burning lust that was threatening to eat her up from the inside out.

She braced small palms on his chest, leaning forward to look down at blue eyes as she lifted her hips off of him only to sink back down, panting heavily as he slid in and out of her dripping entrance easily.

They kissed in a hungry clash of lips and tongue, each seeking to devour the other between breathless pants and cries of pleasure. The rhythm of their mouths matched the driving of Aaliyah’s hips, overtaking them until she felt that even her own heart was beating in time to their love making.

She pulled back, noting that his lips were shiny and wet and slightly swollen from her kiss and for some reason it turned her on to know that she had left her mark on him, even if it was only temporary.

“Lia,” he growled, his own large hands instinctively moving to squeeze the toned cheeks of her ass, kneading the firm flesh as her hips established a slow and steady rhythm over his cock.

She was moaning softly every time her body engulfed him, mewling deliciously as he stretched her, filled her, slid against the slick tightness of her vaginal walls. Her deep green eyes were half closed, eyes clouded and sometimes losing focus when he rubbed certain places within her. The sight alone drove the breath from his lungs and the feel of her around him damn near sent him over the edge, but he refused to give in before he was able to watch her climax on top of him.

She began to pick up the pace, grinding back and forth and Jason couldn’t help but urge her on, the hands on her rear assisting in lifting her up and down and encouraging her to move even faster. Her hazy eyes closed at the sensation as she moaned sensuously, last night’s inhibitions and shyness just a dream as she was caught up in the exquisite feeling.

“Oh, Jason,” she moaned, fingernails biting into the hard expanse of his chest.

The woman atop him only sobbed as he thrust upward again, making her head fall back helplessly to expose the milky column of her throat. Her brown hair flowed down her back like a waterfall, complimenting the blush that had spread over her smooth skin.

She began to grind her hips in desperate circles as Jason continued to lift his pelvis while his hands pushed her downward, her impassioned cries mingled with his deeper, raspier moans and reverent utterances of how tight and hot she was and good she felt. She had intended to take charge of him, to dominate him fully, but it seemed the lust they both felt had grown into a monster that neither of them could control. The one in charge now was their mutual passion, powering the smooth undulations of toned muscles and sweat-slicked skin.

“Jason…” she whimpered breathlessly, forcing her eyes open to look at him. “I’m gonna…I think I’m…”

It didn’t take much thinking to figure out what she was trying to say, but he found the murmured admittance of her impending climax to be endlessly sexy, and wanted to encourage her to let go as much as he could.

“Do it,” he growled huskily. “Come for me, baby.”

She could see those blue eyes staring at her hungrily, and even when she closed her own, she could still feel his hot gaze on her. He wanted to watch her fall off the edge, wanted to see her at the pinnacle of pleasure, and though she was still a little embarrassed by the idea, she wanted to give him a damn good show.

The constant waves of desire flowing through her continued to increase in frequency and intensity until everything around her was washed away. With a desperate cry, she came, her vision awash in white as her womb clenched painfully tight before erupting in spasms so intense, her whole body shook with the force of it. Never had she felt something so intense and primal and pleasurable. It felt like she was being torn apart from within, like a beautifully violent torrent was racing through her and there would be nothing left when it passed.

Jason watched her all the while, not saying a word but drinking in the gorgeous sight of his lover caught up in her orgasm. She grew painfully tight around him and twice as wet as a gush of fluid accompanied her release. She was so damn tight, so hot and wet and fucking beautiful that he couldn’t hold out anymore. Just as she was coming down from her high, he groaned her name long and low as his own body shook and he emptied himself into her womb with a few last shuddering thrusts.

Still quivering and totally spent, she collapsed onto his chest, at last allowing her lover to wrap strong arms around her as they both came down from their high. They laid there a moment, a tangle of naked limbs, and Jason took in the scent of her hair and skin as she rested her head in the crook of his shoulder, his hands running soothingly up and down her back.

“Are you okay?” he asked, his voice quiet.

Aaliyah nodded. “Better now.”

“Another nightmare?”

She nodded again and swallowed hard before replying, “Yes,”

“You want to talk about it? It might help.” He suggested.

“I dreamt you were dead,” she whispered hesitantly.

“What?”

“He murdered all of you in front of me and there was nothing I could do to stop him. And the baby, he—”

“Hey—it was just a bad dream.” Reaching up, he clasped her head in his hands. His eyes burned into hers and the comfort in them was sobering. “Let’s try to get some more sleep, okay?”

Aaliyah nodded and rested her head against his chest, lulled by his steady heartbeat. His warm hands on her back were comforting and soon she felt her eyelids growing heavy and allowed herself to succumb to sleep.

***

Aaliyah woke up to an empty bed, but the sheets were still warm so she knew Jason hadn’t been gone long. She stretched slowly, enjoying the feel of her overused muscles. She got out of bed and joined Jason in the kitchen. He turned from the stove where he was scrambling eggs.

“Mornin’ beautiful.”

She smiled. “Morning.”

Jason placed his hands on either side of the baby bump then leaned forward and kissed her swollen belly. “Hello, little one.” He pressed his ear against her stomach and remained there; she ran her fingers through his hair and smiled down at him.

At seventeen weeks pregnant, Aaliyah had developed a slight baby bump. It wasn’t noticeable to anybody who didn’t know she was carrying a baby, and easily covered up by a sweater or a jacket.

As soon as the baby bump had appeared, Jason had been fascinated. He hadn’t been watching for it as carefully and excitedly as Aaliyah, but as soon as it had become obvious to him, he couldn’t manage a couple of hours without kneeling down and pressing his hands over Aaliyah’s smooth stomach, which was now firm to the touch. If he rested his ear against her belly, he liked to think that he could hear the faint sounds of their baby moving within his lover’s womb.

“She’s active this morning,” he chuckled, when he felt the baby kick.

Aaliyah arched an amused brow. “She?”

Jason straightened and rubbed her belly once more. “It’s a girl.”

“I don’t know,” Aaliyah said in a sing-song voice. “It could be a boy.”

“Nope,” he said. “Definitely a girl.”

She laughed. “Guess we’ll find out next week, won’t we?” She settled into one of the seats at the island.

He poured her a cup of orange juice with lots of pulp, just the way she liked it. She thanked him and took a sip, feeling a little more ready to start the day.

“There’s that or we could wait until the baby is born to find out.”

Aaliyah blinked. “You want it to be a surprise?”

“I mean if you don’t want to—”

“No, it’s perfectly fine.” She smiled. “It’ll make it more exciting when the time comes. We’ll let your mother know next week. We can get her to write it down for us and seal it in an envelope in case we ever change our mind.”

“Sounds like a plan.”

He made two plates for them and ate his standing on the opposite side of the island.

“We should start thinking about names.” Aaliyah said between bites of her breakfast.

“Already ahead of you.”

“Oh?”

“I was kinda leaning towards Landon if it was a boy. You know, after my grandfather. He was a big part of my life and a huge role model from when I was growing up.”

Aaliyah tilted her head slightly and gave him a warm smile. “I love it. And if it’s a girl?”

He set his fork down and moved toward her. “If it’s a girl, I was thinking maybe you would like to name her after your mother.”

She blinked at him, seemingly at a loss for words. Aaliyah hardly spoke about her mother. She loved the woman to death, but her name was hardly mentioned because of the kind of heartbreak it brought to her heart. For the entirety of her childhood, Aaliyah had witnessed the woman go through hell and back. Despite it all, she always held a smile for her child, a warm hug and a few reassuring words for her. Since she could remember, her father had been abusive to her mother. She had never witnessed a calm moment with both of them, as anything and everything set him off on her. Whenever he would start throwing his tantrums, the woman would add half a sleeping pill to whatever she was drinking while she had her dinner so that she would sleep through the impending doom. Even as a young girl, she always knew when something wasn’t right. As she got older, the scars and bruises finally started to make sense to her. Having no relationship with the man who she called her father, she found it hard to stand up to him or speak to him, and he saw her as nothing but a liability.

“Everly?” she said finally, and smiled, her eyes watering slightly.

Jason nodded with a warm smile. He knew Aaliyah’s story, and he knew how much honoring her mother’s memory meant to her. She hardly had anything to remember the woman by, except for her maiden name, Barnett. It only felt right.

“You’re so damn amazing.” She said, wiping away the tears that clung to her eyelashes. “Damn hormones, making me cry at everything.”

He chuckled and pulled her into a hug. “I love you.”

“I love you, too.” She murmured in a muffled voice as she buried her face deeper in his shoulders.

After breakfast, they cleaned up the kitchen and took a nice long shower together before work. Jason sat on the edge of the bed to pull on his work boots while Aaliyah examined herself in the mirror.

“My belly button’s going to pop like a turkey timer any day now.” She rubbed cocoa butter over her skin that was stretched tight. She was carrying in front. Her hips were still narrow. Her breasts were full and round, straining against the tight fabric.

Jason chuckled and stood from the bed. “I think it’s adorable.” He hugged her from behind as he took over the job of rubbing the cocoa butter in for her.

“You think so?” She smiled at his reflection in the mirror.

“I do,” he murmured into her ear. “You should consider staying at home soon. I don’t want either of you to get hurt by overworking yourself.”

Aaliyah turned slightly in his hold to look up at him. “I don’t want to take time off just yet,” she said. “Maybe in a few months I’ll consider it.”

“Lia…”

“I just need to save a little bit more,” she told him. “I don’t want to feel like I’m solely relying on you to support our child. I can pitch in and help.”

“Babe, money isn’t an issue, okay?”

“I know,” she said. “I just don’t want you to think I’m like Deborah and just in this relationship for your money.”

“Is that what you’re worried about? Sweetheart, there’s nothing you could say or do that would convince me to think you’re like Deborah, not ever.” Jason reassured.

Aaliyah nodded. “Just a few more months, that’s all I ask.” she said quietly.

“Of course,” he smiled. “Are we still on for tonight with Samantha and Lucas?”

“Mmhmm,” She murmured absentmindedly as she searched for something to wear. Pulling out a pair of jeans, she held them out in front of her for a minute, twisting her lips to the side in disapproval, before throwing it to the side and picking up another pair of pants. These ones were loose and flowy, and she pulled it on, sliding it around her swollen belly until it felt snug. Then she pulled on a breezy, rust colored top and nodded in approval at her outfit.

“I’ll hitch a ride with Samantha after work and we’ll meet you two at the restaurant.”

“Great,” he said. “Not really sure how I feel about those two going out though.”

“Samantha’s a big girl, she can take care of herself Jason.”

“But it’s Lucas…”

“Who’s also your best friend.”

“Which makes it more awkward if the two end up breaking up.”

“It’ll be fine,” Aaliyah reassured him. “I think those two are good for each other.”

Jason was almost pouting—sulky.

“Don’t pout.”

“Why?” He’s amused now.

“Because it makes you look hot and with these raging hormones I’ve been experiencing, I’m gonna jump your bones again Mr. Moore.”

He raised his eyebrows, surprised and pleased at the same time. “Really?” He pouted again and leaned down to give her a swift chaste kiss.

She laughed and raised her lips to meet his before slapping him playfully on the chest. “C’mon. If we don’t leave now we’re both going to be late for work.”

Jason threw his head back and groaned. “Alright.”

***

Aaliyah had experienced crowded places and chaos before. Hell, sometimes she even thrived on the hustle and bustle of the workplace, but she had never been this busy before and honestly, she wasn’t really sure what to make of it.

The bell from the kitchen rang indicating someone’s meal was ready. She grabbed the plate from the kitchen window and made her way over to the customer. She placed a steaming hot plate of eggs and hashbrowns in front of him and said, “Anything else I can get for you, Bobby?”

“I think I have everything I need, sweetie. But if you want, how about you write down that phone number of yours on this napkin?” He smiled and pushed a napkin toward her.

Aaliyah rolled her eyes. She opened her mouth to speak but Samantha who was taking an order from the table behind her intervened. “She’s four months pregnant, you old coot and with my brother’s child nonetheless.” She scolded. “I’m sure your wife would love to hear that you’re flirting with the waitresses down here first thing in the morning.”

“I’m sorry, Samantha. It won’t happen again.” he apologized.

“Damn right,” she said. “Now hurry up and eat your food before it gets cold.”

“Yes ma’am.”

Aaliyah shook her head and laughed. “And here Jason’s worried about you dating Lucus.”

Samantha arched her brows, amusement dancing in her eyes. “Is he now?”

“He’s just being protective of his little sister,” she defended. “Obviously he has nothing to worry about.”

“Obviously,” she said. “I place fear in the hearts of men. It’s one of my many talents.”

Aaliyah laughed again and took the overfilled trash bag out of the bin to dispose of at the back of the diner.

“Here, let me do it.” Samantha offered.

Aaliyah turned her body slightly to keep Samantha from taking the trash. “I’ve got it thank you very much,”

“You shouldn’t be lifting heavy things,” she said disapprovingly.

“Yes mother,” Aaliyah said as she made her way to the back of the diner.

She walked around to the back alley where the dumpsters were and tossed the large bag into the large metal bin before shutting the lid.

“Still working as a mediocre waitress at a dead-end job, I see.”

Aaliyah spun around to find Deborah leaning casually against the wall, watching her critically. As usual, she was dressed to kill in a deep blue shirt with a plunging neckline and stylish black slacks. She even had three inch heels on, and Aaliyah wondered how she managed to sneak up on her in such footwear.

“Hello Deborah,” Aaliyah said, instantly wary, wondering what the hell the snotty diva wanted considering their last encounter hadn’t exactly been friendly. “What an unexpected surprise to see you again.”

“I had some business here that needed attending to.” Deborah’s eyes narrowed to her swollen belly. “The two of you sure didn’t waste any time.”

“It was an unexpected surprise.” Aaliyah replied. “However, Jason’s thrilled. We both are.”

She hummed. “Jason always did want children. For the life of me I couldn’t understand why. They’re so...needy. Too much work, really.”

“Not everyone is cut out to be a parent, Deborah. There’s no shame in that.” Aaliyah said. “I’m sorry to cut our conversation short, but I really need to head back inside. It’s been a crazy afternoon.”

Aaliyah turned to leave, but stopped short when Deborah spoke again.

“Did Jason ever mention to you what I do for a living?” she asked coolly, pushing off the wall.

“No, I can’t say that it’s ever crossed his mind.”

“I’m an attorney,” she smiled, although the wicked expression seemed to cloud her face rather than light it up. “What’s great about my profession is that I know a lot of people.”

“Good for you,” Aaliyah said. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go.”

Deborah continued, enjoying her discomfort. “Oh, come on. Don’t run away. But then again, it’s what you’re good at right, Angeline?”

Aaliyah’s heart jumped to her mouth and she paused in her steps before turning around slowly, and if she had to name the expression on Deborah’s face, she would have thought it to be almost…smug.

“What did you just call me?”

“Angeline. That is your name, isn’t it?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Deborah,” she lied, coolly.

Deborah laughed a wicked laugh and pulled out a large manilla envelope from her purse and handed it to her. When Aaliyah opened it, the contents made the blood on her face drain away, and the alley began to spin. She thought she was going to faint.

Oh shit!

“I was curious about you so I hired a private detective. His job is to find things out and dig up the truth, and it turns out that you’re not who you really say you are.” Deborah said.

“What is your problem? What could I have possibly done to make you hate me so much?”

“You’re my problem. If you think for one minute you can make Jason happy, you’re very much mistaken.”

“Get over yourself,” Aaliyah seethed. “What you had with Jason is over. He doesn’t want anything to do with you, Deborah. Maybe take a hint and leave him alone.”

The blonde woman ignored her.

“He has needs-needs you cannot possibly begin to satisfy,” she gloated.

“What do you know of his needs?” Aaliyah snarled. Her sense of indignation flared brightly, burning inside her as adrenaline surged through her body. “You’re nothing but a cheating whore who does nothing but thrive in causing him pain and misery. What he needs is to be loved by someone who gives a damn. Now get out of my way and never come back.”

As Aaliyah turned once more, she heard Deborah dial a number on her phone and place it on speaker.”

“Los Angeles Police Department, how may I direct your call?” The voice said on the other line.

Aaliyah stopped dead in her tracks, her eyes wide with fear.

“Detective Nathan Snyder, please.”

“Please hold.”

She gasped and spun around. “What are you doing?”

“Calling your husband.”

“Hang up.” Aaliyah said quickly, her voice cracking up in anxiety and fear. She couldn’t believe all of this was happening, after how careful she had been with hiding everything from everyone.

“No, I don’t think I will.” Deborah quipped. “I think your husband has the right to know where his wife has been all this time, don’t you agree? He’s probably been worried sick about you.”

It was the way Deborah said wife that made Aaliyah want to throw up in her own mouth. She made sure to drag the word out, probably enjoying the sick pleasure it gave to have Aaliyah in the palm of her hands like that.

“Deborah, hang up.” She pleaded once more. “You have no idea what that man is capable of or what he will do to me if he finds me. I am begging you, hang up!”

“This is Detective Snyder,”

The familiar voice sent shivers down Aaliyah’s spine. Tears welled in her eyes.

“Hello, Detective Snyder? This is Deborah Sparks, I’m an attorney for—”

The sentence was never finished because she was interrupted by Aaliyah ripping the phone out of her hand. She quickly pressed the end button, disconnecting the call.

“What do you want from me?” she cried angrily, her voice shaking.

The taller woman walked towards her, snatched her phone back and leaned in as if she were going to tell her a secret, although Aaliyah knew it wouldn’t be anything of the sort, and she couldn’t help but feel slightly intimidated by this woman. She was confident and elegant, but seemed like the type who excelled at underhanded and sneaky retaliation.

“What I want is for you to end your relationship with Jason.”

Aaliyah let out a shocked laugh. “What?”

A humorless smile appeared on the taller woman’s glossy lips as she crossed her arms over her ample chest defensively. “I want Jason back,” she told her. “I know I’ve made some mistakes in the past, but I’ve changed now. And well, Jason can be rather forgiving. It might take some time, but he’ll come around.”

“You’re insane,” Aaliyah said. “I’m not ending my relationship with Jason. I love him. We’re having a child together.”

“Was that your plan all along? To trap him into a relationship by getting yourself knocked up?”

“What? No!” Aaliyah gasped. “I would never do something like that to him. How dare you even assume that I would.”

Deborah actually let out a laugh, although it held more scorn than mirth.

“Here’s the thing, Angeline. You’re going to do it.” she said with a flip of her long blonde tresses.

“And if I don’t?” She managed to croak out.

“If you don’t, then I’ll call your husband and tell him exactly where you are and what you’ve been up to. I’m sure he’ll be thrilled to see his wife pregnant with another man’s child.” she said with so much confidence that Aaliyah couldn’t help but believe her. With that, she turned on her stiletto heel and walked away but paused as though she had remembered something.

“Oh, and one more thing. Abort that parasite while you’re at.” she said, pointing a manicured finger at her stomach. “ I don’t need you coming back asking Jason for child support.”

Once Deborah disappeared around the corner, Aaliyah let out a shaky sigh and collapsed back against the brick wall tiredly. Tears welled at the corners of her eyes, and only with effort could she blink them back. So much for being able to handle that conniving bitch. She had threatened to blackmail her by calling her husband if she didn’t succumb to her petty terms.

A surge of nausea swept over her, adding to her misery. Aaliyah suddenly rushed to the dumpster, leaning over it as she was violently sick, retching and gagging until her stomach was completely emptied of its contents.

The tears in her eyes finally fell, cutting inky black trails down her face as her make up was ruined. Aaliyah didn’t care. She welcomed the tears, putting her face in her hands and sobbing softly as the sheer hopelessness of the situation overwhelmed her.

Indulging in her tears, she cried, alone in the small alleyway.

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