Learning to Love

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Christmas Party

“Jessy!” Maddison said excitedly as we walked through the door. “How are you doing, sweetheart?”

I hated how hearing her call me that made my chest ache. I knew I needed to talk to Adrian. I had almost texted him a hundred times the night before, but I was still hurt that he wouldn’t tell me what was going on.

“I’m doing well, thanks for inviting us.” I said, shifting Ally on my hip.

“Oh, and miss Aaliyah. You have gotten so big, baby girl!” Maddy reached out tickling Ally’s belly.

“Hey Maddy.” Drew smiled at her in a way I hadn’t seen before.

Her deep brown eyes glittered as she beamed at him. Drew smiled and bent down kissing her thick auburn curls. The gesture was so sweet and natural I wondered how long this had been going on.

“So you got the transfer into the K9 unit like you wanted, finally. Does that mean I can do this whenever I want?” Drew asked, sliding his arms around her waist.

“Only when I deem it okay.” She grinned. “Oh, and you have to meet Luna! She’s the best dog ever. I do have to get more work done with her before anyone meets her though.”

“I can be patient.” He smiled sweetly.

Watching them together made me suddenly exhausted. I looked around the room just as a distraction. My eyes landed almost immediately on Adrian who was already staring at me. I smiled weakly and he started walking my way. Reluctantly I started walking towards him. It wasn’t packed but there were enough people that it took me a minute to get to where he now waited by a sliding glass door.

“Adrian, I’m so sorry. I just-” I started but he stopped me short by reaching out to touch my hand.

“I know, I’m sorry too. I should have just told you everything. I just didn’t want you to worry.” Adrian admitted.

“I know. Drew told me.” I said. “I missed you. I didn’t realize how much I would.”

Adrian smiled before leaning over and kissing me. His lips were soft and I used my free hand to brush the stubble on his cheek.

“I missed you too.” His eyes met mine before glancing over my head. He did a double take before looking down at me, “I didn’t know your dad was coming.”

“What?” I asked, wondering why I couldn’t catch a break.

I looked for Drew but he was talking to Maddy and some of his teammates. Simon and Balissa wern’t here yet. I knew Drew had told my father about the party, but I also knew that since I agreed to come, he had not been invited.

“What’s wrong?” Adrian asked curiously.

“I’m so sorry for this, you don’t have to stay.” I managed to say.

Adrian laid his hand on my lower back frowning in confusion. I shifted Aaliyah to my hip as I watched my father strut over to us. He looked at me expectantly, but I suddenly couldn’t remember how to speak. What would he say this time? In front of everyone, in front of Adrian.

“So you must be Adrian.” My father said, smiling falsely.

“Yes sir.” Adrian smiled slightly, still clearly confused, before offering his hand.

“I see you met Aaliyah.” My father spat her name as if it tasted bitter, ignoring the outstretched hand.

Aaliyah buried her head into my neck whimpering and Adrian’s eyebrows raised slightly. I knew he had heard it too.

“Yes, she’s an amazing little girl. I’ll take care of them both, I promise.” His smile was slightly stiffer as if daring my father to argue.

“Right…” My dad sighed, “Listen you seem like a nice kid, so I’m going to tell you straight up you should find someone else. You don’t want to father that child, and trust me Jessica won’t get rid of it.”

Adrians whole body stiffened and his voice was suddenly dark and cold. “With all due respect sir, I will not allow you to talk that way about them in front of me.”

I froze in shock and gratitude as Adrian slid his hand around my waist pulling us closer so that Ally was sandwiched between our bodies.

“Ok ok, I get the chivalry and shit. I’m just warning you. With that asswipe as a father, that little girl would be lucky to grow up a hooker and not a serial killer. DNA is everything and…” Whatever he was going to say was cut short as Adrian stepped forward, his fist collided with my fathers mouth.

“I’ll say it again, I will not allow you to talk about them like that around me.” He said standing defensively in front of us.

“Hey hey, what’s going on here?” Someone asked, walking up to us.

“Oh it’s nothing, Sean. My father just showed up drunk and where he wasn’t wanted, again.” Drew said, appearing on my other side.

My father spat blood on the floor before glaring between the three of us. His gaze landed on Adrian who had his arm around my waist again. I leaned my head on his shoulder and, to my surprise, Ally reached out grabbing at his shirt.

“On second thought.” My father spat, “maybe you do deserve them.”

“Why thank you, sir.” Adrian said in a condescending tone.

I had to bite back a smile as my father glowered at Adrian. He turned on his heel and stomped out of the house. I turned my face into Adrians shoulder shoulder and took a deep breath. I couldn’t believe that had actually happened. Not only had Adrian not believed my father but he had defended us more thoroughly then even Drew.

“So that’s why Thanksgiving sucked.” Adrian said coolly.

I laughed. I couldn’t help it. I was riding a high from watching my father get put in his place and getting Adrian back all in the last half hour. I couldn’t believe this had all happened. It seemed surreal, but then Adrian turned to face me.

“I’m sorry about that, agápi mou.” He started but I interrupted him with a kiss.

“I love you. Thank you.” I smiled at him.

“Woah now the party has really started.” Someone behind me said.

Drew as well as several others laughed loudly, but I didn’t care. I was happy, and I knew I always would be as long as I had Adrian by my side. I would never be alone again.

The End

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