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I woke up early and decided to fix breakfast though I’m not the best at cooking, eggs are easy to make. Ryan’s mother walks into the kitchen still in her nightgown, her face lights up when she sees the food on the table. “Oh, dear! You’re the sweetest! Thank you,” She hugs me before taking a seat. “Just trying to help.” I smile at her. A lump sits in my throat, I’m usually one to help people in tough situations but for some reason, I haven’t been able to find the words to express my sympathy. I’m hoping not having to worry about breakfast will at least give her a moment to rest.

Ryan is sleeping when I enter the room to climb the bed and lay next to him. His beautiful face is looking peaceful, his lips are slightly parted. All of a sudden, his arm wraps around my waist pulling me closer. “I thought you were sleeping,” I say, quietly. “I was but then I felt you watching me,” he smiles with his eyes still shut. “I made breakfast,” I kiss his cheek. “I have a sausage right here for you,” he laughs leading my hand to his morning wood. “Wow! Haha so funny, come on, get up,” I giggle trying to move away. “I’m up!” he pulls me flush against his muscular frame kissing me softly. He’s playful but I know that’s him trying to hide the fact that he’s not ready to face the day. He needs me. I cuddle with him until we hear his mother walking around the kitchen. With one last peck to my lips, he gets up and I follow him.

Ryan and his mother eat quietly, thanking me for the nice gesture. Once we’re done with our food, his mother informs him that we need to start preparing for the funeral. Their feelings are easy to pick up on through the raspiness of their voices. I feel for them. It must be horrible losing your husband without even saying goodbye. I remember how my heart broke when I thought Ryan was dead after Jake shot at him. Shudders run down my back as the image flashed through my mind. I can only imagine what Grace is experiencing. Even though Robert wasn’t his biological dad, Ryan loved him dearly. He’s shaken and I hate to admit part of me is worried he’ll think about drinking I plan on making sure that doesn’t happen. He’s made a lot of progress but our therapist said it’s a lifelong battle.

A few calls are made before we make our way to the funeral home for them to finalize everything. I want to be there for them but I also wish to give them privacy by staying quiet, holding his hand for support. Grace breaks down when she asks for their song to be played in the background during the ceremony. With a hug, Ryan comforts his mother. He hasn’t cried much and it worries me. But then again he never really cried often until he went through his drinking issues.

Going to a restaurant for dinner seemed like the logical thing to do with him refusing to let me or his mother cook. Cooper and Max joined us. Even though today has been about a family matter, they’ve both been there supporting us and Ryan offered them dinner as a thank you. I noticed Cooper and Ryan seem to have gotten closer, he did say they exercised every day in the past week they spent together in California. Max is still careful with his words and actions around me. I’m glad to see him and Cooper being close, I would hate for him to feel left out since Ryan obviously told him to keep his distance from me. We’ll have to discuss this detail but now is not the time.

His mother insisted we go back to our flat after dinner, she convinced him she needed to be alone as I’m sure she’s going through a lot of emotions. She also knows Ryan and I spent a week apart before we got here. I feel bad now remembering I kept him in the dark while I was dealing with the nightmares; they disappeared as soon as I talked to him again reminding me that I have to quit pushing him away when I need him the most.

“Can you tell me why you were so distant last week?” he asks as we sit in the tub.
“We don’t have to talk about me right now,”
“Ella, please. I want to know and I need to think of something else…” he trails off.
“I had bad dreams about you being hurt because of the tape,” I gulp.
“You could have told me, baby,” he says in a gentle whisper to my ear.
“I knew you had a new project and…”
“And what?” Suddenly, I’m flipped around to face him.
“Well, I didn’t want you to worry. The past few months were hard and you deserve to be happy with your work without distractions.” I explain.
“I appreciate you being thoughtful as usual but you’re forgetting one thing. We are a team! If you’re going through something, I’m here to help. So you need to kick the shitty habit of pushing me away once and for all, do I make myself clear?” His eyes stare into mine.
“Yes… sorry. I promise to try harder,” I plant a soft kiss on his lips, one that releases the tension that was rising in the room.
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