She stared at the beautiful two story house, resting her arm outside the open truck window, drumming her fingers nervously on the side of the truck. Her diamond wedding band glittered in the cheerful sunlight slanting through the front window. She glanced at the band now, and she couldn’t help but smile again at the significance of the ring.
The alias she had been using for over two years was no more. She was no longer Aaliyah Barnette. She was officially known as Mrs. Angeline Moore.
Nine months had passed since the incident with Nathan. Since then, Angeline sold their house. Deborah had been caught; she lost her law firm and was sentenced to a lengthy jail time. And in these few months, Angeline had enjoyed a level of happiness she hadn’t felt in a long time.
A warm hand placed itself on her thigh, interrupting her reverie.
Angeline blew out a nervous breath and rubbed her palms down the sides of her cotton skirt. “Yeah.”
Jason turned off the ignition, jumped out of the truck, and hustled around to open Angeline’s door for her. He held out a hand and helped her down before shutting the door. He moved to the back passenger side and opened it, pulling out a diaper bag and a baby carrier from inside.
“Here, let me help.” She offered as she reached for the diaper bag, but he turned his body slightly. She pursed her lips. “Do you think I’m too weak to carry that?” she asked.
He grinned. “Nope, just don’t want you carrying it while I’m around.”
Angeline smiled and rolled her eyes.
They walked up to the front entrance and went up the steps leading to the large oak front door. She let out another long breath, pushing the hair from her face, saying with a nervous laughter, “Here goes nothing.”
She rang the doorbell.
“Dad! Someone’s at the door!”
Angeline closed her eyes and smiled. It had been so long since she heard those silly boys. Oh, how she had missed them.
Her breath hitched as she heard footsteps approaching from the other side and the sound of the door being unlocked. Jason ran a soothing hand up her back, which made her relax some.
Finally, the door opened and Daniel appeared at the doorway.
He was wearing a suit. He looked good and he was beaming at her. He enfolded her into his arms, hugging me hard. And it was all she could do not to burst into tears. Her friend, the man who fought for her when she couldn’t. Tears pooled in her eyes.
“Angeline, hi, it’s so good to see you!” he gushed.
“Hello, Daniel. It’s been too long.” she whispered in his ear.
“You’re looking well, Angeline, really well.” He grinned as he examined her at arm’s length. Then he released her to shake hands with Jason. “You must be Jason. I’m Daniel Hightower. It’s good to finally meet you. I’ve heard nothing but great things about you from Angeline.”
“Thanks. You too.” He said. “I appreciate everything you’ve done for Angeline.”
“Of course,” he said. “I’m just sorry it took so long.”
“Does she know?” Angeline asked.
Daniel shook his head. “Nope. Didn’t say a word. I wanted it to be a surprise.”
Suddenly, Jaxon and Michael appeared behind Daniel, their eyes beaming with unspeakable enthusiasm and joy as they rushed toward Angeline.
Angeline crouched down to their level and captured them into her arms. Tears poured down her face as she hugged and kissed their heads, her palms on the face of the two boys she considered as nephews.
“I’ve missed you two so much,” she cried happily. “Look how big you’ve both gotten.”
A soft gasp at the doorway had all of their heads turning. Veronica stood there, green eyes wide and glistening with tears.
“Angeline,” she whispered softly, as if she couldn’t quite believe what she was seeing.
Angeline wiped her tears away and stood.
Silence stretched between the two, breathless and surreal, until the spell was suddenly broken by Veronica rushing forward and throwing her arms around her friend. Tears flowed down her cheeks as she sobbingly confessed that she thought she would never see her again and how much she had been missed. Angeline hugged right back, the feel of her friends arms around her proving that this was indeed reality, not a cruel dream.
Jason watched them with a smile on his lips, his own heart swelling with joy and relief. He had wanted this for Angeline for a very long time. Happiness, true, complete happiness. He looked at her in Veronica’s arms, she looked content, happy that everything had worked out perfectly.
“I can’t believe it,” Veronica sniffled when she finally broke away from her friend. “Look at you. You are so beautiful and so tan!”
Angeline laughed as they separated. “Where I’m at, that part of Texas will do that to you.”
Veronica cupped her cheek gently in her palm and smiled before shifting her gaze over to Jason.
Angeline could see the curious look in her eyes as she wondered who he was and smiled. She walked over to Jason, hooking her arm in his and said, “Veronica, this is my husband, Jason.”
With a quivering lip, Veronica stepped forward and shook Jason’s hand, then—pulled him into a hug. She could only just catch what she said.
“Thank you,” she murmured. Jason said nothing, for once stunned into silence, then warmly returned her hug.
Just then, a small cry escaped from inside the infant carrier.
A small sob escaped Veronica and she turned to Angeline with wide eyes. “And a baby?”
Angeline laughed and wrapped an arm around Jason’s waist. “We’ve been kinda busy.”
Veronica blinked back tears and kneeled down in front of the carrier. As she removed the small pink blanket that was draped over it, her tears fell harder. “She’s so beautiful,” she told them. “What’s her name?”
“Everly,” Angeline answered with a warm smile.
Veronica gasped. “After your mother?”
Veronica smiled and turned her gaze back to Everly. “It’s perfect. She’s perfect.”
“Without you, none of this would have been possible. I just want you to know how grateful I am to both you and Daniel.” Angeline told her softly. “I did it, Vern. I’m finally, and truly, happy.”
A/N: It's done everyone! Please drop a like, review, something. Let me know what you all think! I appreciate you taking the time to read.
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