All of my thoughts, good and bad, were of him. Thoughts of my love for him, the bond we share, and what we built over the past few years. I thought about how I put everything on the table, hoping that it would help us and bring us together. So far, it pulled him further away. I understood he has a lot to process and cope with, but I missed my husband.
Avery hasn't returned home yet and I kind of expected it. I wish he would have stayed home so we could talk and work through our issues together. I never missed him this much in my life, but I understood his need to be alone. I tried to contact Avery, but he wasn't answering or responding to any calls or messages. I was starting to get worried because even his mother couldn't get in contact with him. I didn't really know what to do. So, I pretty much stayed to myself as I pondered on my next steps.
While I was trying to get myself together, everyone was there for me. I appreciated their support. My parents helped take care of my kids and made sure that I was okay. I thought my dad would be angry, but he was patient and sympathetic. He even volunteered to check on my husband for me. Sky and Nick volunteered to assist the cleaning staff by putting my bedroom back together. No matter how clean it was, I couldn't sleep in there. So, I decided that I'd sleep in the guest room with my mother-in-law. Then Andrew dropped by to tell me that he was safe at his house resting. I felt relieved that he was okay. I hoped that Avery would come home soon.
The next morning I came downstairs to eat. I didn't want to bother anyone and I physically felt fine. My kitchen was filled with my family. They briefly acknowledged me and then went back to discussing my whereabouts as if I wasn't sitting here eating. It was a little after ten. After my dad saw the damage Avery caused, he called an emergency family meeting, but I didn't think it would be here.
My four brothers, dad, and grandpa Roman, my dad's father, were all sitting or standing around the kitchen table. They were debating what to do about my husband. I felt that they were overreacting and overreaching. They didn't have full the story and had no idea what Avery just went through. Since I was too mentally and emotionally drained to do anything, I just sat there and listened as they continued to go back and forth.
"Dad, I told you that we shouldn't have let her marry him. I got a game today. I don't have time for this," Bryce said, standing up.
"But he didn't harm her and they are going through a lot right now. He just lost his temper. It happens to the best of us," Bryan said defensively.
Bryce scoffed. He and Avery didn't have the best relationship. At one point they were really close. It has gotten better since I had Aiden, but Bryce was waiting for Avery to mess up. Then he came over to me and kissed my cheek.
"I'll come and check on you tomorrow. I love you, Bebe," Bryce said.
I hugged him and nodded my head. Then he left. Blake stood up then sat closer to Bryan.
"Not an excuse. I don't appreciate him going crazy like that on my sister. I like Avery. I understand what's going on with him, but I don't think Blaire should stay here alone. If I didn't have an away game this Tuesday I'd be staying here. So one of y'all need to be here," Blake said, pointing to Bryan and Brent.
"Just because I don't play ball doesn't mean I don't have a career and a family to take care of. I'm tired of you and Bryce thinking just because y'all some pro athletes that we just sit here doing nothing. You don't have a wife or kids. You can step up more and be there for our sister and the family," Bryan complained.
They began going back and forth taking cheap shots at each other. Blake and Bryan usually didn't get into it. Brent and Blake did growing up. My entire family was falling apart all because of me. My nerves and my stress levels were not at a good level. I closed my eyes to tune everyone out and took deep breaths. I realized that I wanted to get out of this house and away from it all. I wanted to pretend that none of this happened. I knew in my condition that wasn't a safe thing to do.
I opened my eyes and saw that my father and grandpa were probably just as irritated as I was. My grandpa slowly stood up. I saw the frustration in his aging blue eyes and deep-set frown lines. He was just as upset as I was about hearing my brothers verbally abuse each other.
"Blake and Bryan that's enough! It's not about you. It's about my granddaughter and what she wants... Blaire, what do you want us to do?" Grandpa asked.
This was the first time that someone acknowledged me and wanted my input on my own situation.
"I understand that you all are concerned. These issues in my marriage are for me and my husband to work out. Avery just needs a few days to blow off some steam. I'm grown and you all can't fight my battles for me. I love you and I appreciate all that you have done. I know the past few weeks have been rough, but I'll survive this. Now, I want you all to leave my house. I just want some time to myself. I need some peace and quiet," I answered.
"I'm sorry," Bryan and Blake said at the same time.
"It's okay," I said.
"I'm not comfortable leaving you here alone," Dad said.
"There's 24/7 security. I won't be completely alone. Dad, I'll be fine. I just need some time to myself. In my condition, I don't need any more stress," I said.
My dad stood up and signaled for his sons to get up. They all got up and gave me hugs and kissed either my cheek or forehead before they left. Then mom and Sandy came down with my babies. Blake, Brent, and Bryan kissed mom and the kids goodbye. Then Grandpa left next after he hugged me. Then I hugged Maddie and then Aiden. He cuddled up to me and he smelled so good. He must have just gotten out of the tub. Maddie was holding my hand as she chatted away. It seemed that both of my children were unaffected by the turmoil.
My dad pulled my mom aside and whispered in her ear. I could tell she wasn't happy with what I wanted. He pulled her close and placed a quick peck on her lips which made her smile. After 43 years together, they still act like teenage sweethearts. My mom came over to me and sat down.
"We'll be taking kids then. Let me know if you need anything. Don't hesitate," she said worriedly.
"I'll be fine. I'm going to get some rest."
She finally agreed then she hugged and kissed me on my cheek. Sandy hugged me too and told me that her husband just got back in town and they were going to spend some time together. They've been apart for a while and they needed their time too. I told Nick to go home too. He needed a break. He's been by my side all this time. Nick was adamant about someone from his security team staying with my parents to watch out for them and I agreed. They all reluctantly began to pack up.
I had to constantly remind them that I was safe and I'd be okay. There's a highly trained armed team watching the house and we have a top-notch security system and a safe room so I felt safe being alone. I didn't think Henry or anyone else would come after me.
Once everyone left, I felt like I could breathe. I needed to recharge and take a break from the emotionally and mentally taxing job of trying to be strong for my family. Being alone, I didn't have to think about others and how my emotions affected them. I could be selfish. I didn't have to pretend that everything was okay. I didn't have to be strong. I could freely cry, letting out all of my pain and hurt. If I wanted to I could scream at the top of my lungs.
I did all that and more. I meditated on my situation and ways I could overcome being raped, having a child kidnapped, having a miscarriage, and the disconnect with my husband. Step one was to actually get some professional help. I knew that I couldn't overcome this alone. I decided to start looking for someone to talk to as soon as Monday.
I felt better but tired so, I laid down to rest. I eventually dozed off. Then I woke up and got something to eat. I was happy that my mom and Sandy cooked all that food. I was in food heaven. I watched a movie. After it ended, I went to get some snacks. Then I checked my phone, hoping that I would at least get a reply from Avery. I went through my phone and saw all the messages from my family. I replied to them that I was fine. I got a message from a number that I didn't recognize.
Unknown: Mrs. Rowland this is Aubrey's personal assistant, Jay. It is very important that you contact him. It's regarding the safety of him and your husband. Please call him as soon as possible.
Me: What is this about?
Jay: I'm not at liberty to say. Please call Aubrey.
Me: Okay. Thanks.
Then Aubrey's assistant sent me his personal contact info. I figured Avery must have sought out Aubrey and they got into it. Avery wasn't in his right frame of mind. So, I was a bit worried. I didn't have Aubrey's number since we didn't talk. I decided to call the given number to see what was going on. Aubrey answered on the first ring.
"Blaire? Are you safe?" he asked.
"Yes. What's up?" I said, puzzled by his initial question.
"Thank God, you're okay. I just-" he started.
"What? I'm fine. Why would you think I wasn't okay?" I asked sincerely confused.
"I just got a message that Avery is trying to kill you. I'm here in Atlanta for my upcoming show. I dropped everything to see if you're okay. I'm almost at your house. I feel like all of this is my fault. Is he there? Are you sure that you're okay? Do I need to call the cops?" he said anxiously.
Aubrey had been to our house a few times so I had no doubt he was on his way. I was confused that someone would tell him that. None of this was making any sense.
"He's not here and I promise I'm okay. I got a message from someone named Jay claiming that they're your assistant. They told me to call you. Something regarding you and Avery. I thought Avery found you and tried to fight you or something worse than that."
"What? I don't even have a personal assistant named Jay. I'm like five minutes away. We can talk and clear this all up.”
I looked at the time and realized it was kind of late. It was close to ten. I was a bit anxious about being alone with a man. I didn't think Aubrey would try anything, but I just didn't trust males at this point. I almost wanted to call him back to tell him not to come. I made sure to cover up and I grabbed my pocket knife and sat in the living room waiting.
He arrived shortly. He came in and it was a bit awkward. I offered him something to drink and he declined. We sat on the couch. I was waiting for him to say something, but he didn't so I decided to start the conversation.
"So, someone told you I was in danger?" I asked.
"The message was from Kai so I thought it was legit," he said.
He handed me his phone. I read the message and looked at the number comparing the number I had and it wasn't the same. He looked at my message too.
"This isn't Kai. And this person that texted me wasn't your assistant. I don't know what's going on," I said, shaking my head.
"That's crazy. Ave got a random message too. Someone told him we slept together. He confronted me at the club and then he attacked me. I think this is the same person. I honestly didn't know that Avery didn't know about us. Why didn't you tell him?"
"He attacked you? Oh, my God! I'm so sorry... All of this is so messed up."
"It's okay. I'm just glad he didn't kill me. For one second, I thought he was. I know how he is about you." He smiled.
"I didn't think not telling him would cause all of this. I haven't told him because it's something I don't care to share. I guess I was embarrassed."
"You shouldn't feel embarrassed. I'm ashamed of what I did and I didn't want to face you. I should have never ignored you. I should have been man enough to apologize to you in person. I'm really sorry for lying to you and hurting you. I hope that you can forgive me."
"Thank you... I should have known that I wasn't the only one," I said, looking at my hands.
"I was stupid. I didn't realize what I had and I regret hurting you, but I never deserved you anyway. You really do have something special with Avery. I'm glad he has you."
That was sweet of him to say. I started tearing up. I was so emotional about everything.
"Thanks, Aubrey. I'm glad that we talked about that. Maybe we can be friends now." I sniffled.
"I don't think Avery will want me anywhere near you now, but I definitely want to be friends." He grinned.
We both laughed. I started to feel relaxed around him. He scooted closer to me.
"Well, who knows with him. Anyway. I'm still curious about who told Avery in the first place. I only told two people about us and I don't think they would betray me. Did you tell anyone about us?" I said.
"I told my mom, Trey, and Future. I know it wasn't my mom. Trey isn't like that either. The way Ave and Future have been going at it lately, I wouldn't be surprised if it was him. He did bring Anastasia to your first wedding. I want you to know that I had no idea that went down until after you went off on Av. He was messed up that night and I honestly don't think he knew what was going on. I'm not sure if Future knew or not either. Besides, Anastasia is a clout chaser. She'll do anything for some attention," he confessed.
"If it's Future, why does he want us apart? What does he gain from it?"
"I don't know. He's not happy about a lot of things. Don't worry about him. I'll talk to him, okay?"
"Okay... Can I ask you something? And please be honest with me."
"Do you think Avery is messing with her? I saw the photos and the video... And things haven't been good between us. I feel like I'm losing him," I cried.
He pulled me in for a hug. At first, I was shocked, but I calmed down and let him embrace me.
"He said he's not messing with her and I believe him. You are not losing him. You two are just going through a lot, but I know you'll overcome it. I'm here for both of you," he said.
He pulled away but his hand remained around me. He slowly wiped the tears falling down my cheek. I heard a noise. When I looked up, I noticed Avery standing there with that crazy look in his eyes. I knew seeing us together like this wasn't helping me. Aubrey stood up defensively. I didn't want them to fight so I stood in front of Aubrey.
"Avery? I- I didn't think you were coming back tonight," I said.
I didn't really know what to say, but I knew that was probably the dumbest thing to say in this situation. Avery looked so angry. I didn't know what he was going to do.
"Look Av, I just came to check on her. We were just talking and I was on my way out. I'm not here to start anything, okay?" Aubrey said with his hands up.
"I can't do this sh!t today," Avery seethed.
He headed toward the door. I couldn't let him leave again. I ran as fast as I could after him attempting to stop him.
"Don't leave," I begged.
He just stared at me for a few moments and left. It hurt so bad to see him leave again that I began to sob. Aubrey pulled me in for a comforting hug and rubbed my back. He kept telling me it was going to be okay, but I knew it wasn't. Whoever wanted us apart was successful at this point.