A Third Chance at First Love - The EndThe End - Part 2. The last main chapter of ATCAFL.
"...and in other news, one of the most notorious cases in our country has come to end today as Michael Dean, the sole founder of the most highly acclaimed Dean Industries is found guilty in connection to a multi-billion dollar FBI fraud investigation, multiple embezzlement cases, as well as for the murder of Elena Watson, the lawyer who died twenty-five years ago after a car crash that both killed herself and her unborn child.
Rumors surfaced that it was because of her connection to his only son, the retired Dr. James Dean, that pushed Michael to fix her death.
It was unclear whether the child was in fact, the lovechild of the two, but it certainly made headlines throughout the world that if alive, the child would be competing against the current heir, Gary Dean, for the empire.
The case had been held in very tight wraps as this involved the names of numerous politicians in the US, high-profiled investors from several countries and even a certain prime minister.
This criminal trial has gained tremendously high publicity ever since a mysterious folder was handed to the FBI three years ago, containing physical evidences to support the arrest of Michael Dean.
In the wake of 2019, the jury has finally reached a verdict. Michael Dean will now be serving prison time for the rest of his life, with no chance of parole.
This is Tracy Ellsworth, KBC News. "
Just like that, three years past quickly.
Television and radio announcers had nothing but news regarding Michael Dean. How he was handed in custody to the FBI, how he was located, or who found him was not announced to the public. The curiosity of the media almost put a number of underground organizations to light, including the Invisible Guardians, but they managed to slip by.
"Ah, how annoying."
Gary tilted his head sideways, cracking his stiffened neck back to place.
This will be the last time he'll ever wear a tie in his life.
He had never been a tie person in general, but today was a special occasion.
He went to see his grandfather today, even if it was inside a suffocating courtroom, and in his sentencing.
Ever since the news broke down, the phones haven't stopped ringing. They were calls from all sorts of people - from reporters, investors, the police, and even movie directors wanted to get his attention.
It wasn't as if Gary hadn't anticipated this. Still, it had been overwhelming.
"Mr. Dean, are you sure about this?"
He overheard a number of footsteps coming in his direction, so he got up from his seat, and stood before him was a man who resembled himself.
Now in his late forties, the man's face completely captured Gary's, except that he was older, much older than him. The lines on his father's face increased in numbers, and so Gary wasn't sure if it was his age that caused the wrinkles, or because of the stress from today's event alone.
"Yes, make it happen."
His father's secretary bowed down before leaving them both in the office.
Gary turned his head away.
He was starting to feel guilty.
It had been so long since he had seen him, and it had to be in this situation. Ever since he left for college, his father had decided not to get involved with the company, and focused mainly on the small hospital he built in England.
At first, Gary thought it was because his father couldn't take the pressure of being under the control of his grandfather that he willingly conceded the position to his own son.
But not anymore.
Now, he was sure that it was because he had already suspected Michael earlier on.
Gary's father is not a cruel man.
Yet, he always seemed lost, always out if it. Even when his mother tried to talk with him, it always seemed so constricted, so thoroughly scripted. It was as if his mind was elsewhere, his soul belonging somewhere else, to someone else.
That's what he thought of back then.
He is sure of it now.
"Father," Gary said slowly, "there is someone who wants to talk to you. Someone who knows everything about the past, everything that had happened to Ms. Watson, and about Grandfather."
He reached in his pocket, and pulled out a small piece of paper, containing the phone number of Irina Grey.
His father's eyes widened at first. Of course, he would recognize the name, but everyone had assumed she was dead.
He took the paper from Gary's hand.
"I will not apologize for what I did."
Gary told his father.
"I will take full responsibility for the company and its aftermath, but I will not apologize for turning Grandfather in."
His father didn't say anything but only looked at him. He let a second pass, and then another.
"My son," he said to him, "I am proud of you."
He walked forward, placing a hand on Gary's shoulder. It almost made Gary cry.
"I used to be like you - I was a free bird, so full of strength in mind and body. But I let him control me, I let him use me."
His father looked down on the piece of paper in his hand.
"I need to give her a call," he finally said. "I'd like to know how things went. It was a long fight, after all. This call is going to be a long one."
"Of course," Gary said, smiling.
"Ah," his father looked up, "and how are your friends?"
"I have no idea where they are. Somewhere happy, I suppose."
His father nodded, but another thought sprouted on his mind.
"I hear you've been looking for a certain redhead in the database," his father suddenly asked. "Should I ask Irina?"
Gary shook his head.
"It's fine, father." Gary said, tapping the table with an impatient smile.
"In time, I'll find her myself."
The first thing Erin saw was the ocean.
It was vast and astonishingly blue from east to west. Erin could hear the gentle waves gliding by the ocean rocks, and she listened to the songs of seagulls as they fly up in the early morning sky.
The ocean breeze has taken notice of her presence, making her shiver as it passed by. Even her long brown locks flew with the wind.
"Are you cold?"
It was a child's voice. His small hand clasped her finger tightly as they walked, and his big eyes looked at her with worry.
"I'm alright," Erin said wish such love. Using her index finger, she rubbed his hand with a smile, and they continued to walk as their bare feet stepped on cool, fresh sand.
"Are we there yet?" The little boy asked.
"But where are we going?" He asked again.
"You'll see when we get there."
"Okay." The boy whimpered, causing her to chuckle softly, not too loud so the boy wouldn't hear.
Erin felt nothing but bliss. Everything was so normal, so perfect, and so free - until the boy let go of her hand.
"Wait!" She yelled, running after the boy.
"Wait for me!"
She yelled, running after the boy.
She chase after the boy, running up the hill nervously until she realized where he was heading.
It was to see the grave.
Ever since they moved here, she told the little boy of one special place where he could sit down and tell all his problems to.
"Mommy will be here, and so will he, sweetie," she told him back then as she ruffled his soft, curly hair.
The boy has her eyes, but everything else came from his father, especially his soft, curly hair.
The child ran fast, and by the time she reached the top of hill, she saw his little body walking towards the small, marble stone located on the center of the peak.
Except that he wasn't alone.
Erin watched as the little boy's back matched the back of the man standing in front of her father's gravestone.
It had been so long since she had seen him, but even without seeing his face and only the broad of his back, Erin could easily tell who it was.
Erin fell to her knees, unable to move forward. She covered her mouth, holding herself as she watched the two in a distance.
Jordan's forehead furrowed.
His mom told him that this was a secret place, so why is there a big man hovering around his secret spot?
He was wearing a white shirt too, the same color of mommy's dress.
Jordan was starting to get mad.
He grabbed the side of the big man's pants.
The man snapped his attention to the little boy on his side, but he didn't say anything.
Jordan wanted to scold him for being there, but he saw that the man looked very sad. He remembered what his mom said to him before.
"If anyone looks sad, cheer them up! Isn't it better if everyone's happy?"
The boy's attention turned to the carefully encrypted scribbles written on the big stone. He can't read yet, but his mom told him that they were letters of the alphabet, and written there was the name of his granpop.
"Do you want to talk to granpop too?" He asked the big man. "Mommy told me that if there's something I don't want to tell anyone, even mommy, I could come and tell granpop here."
Jordan held the tip of the man's finger and led him closer to his grandfather's stone.
"Hi granpop!" Jordan said with the biggest grin on his face.
"I'm here again!" He waved excitedly. "Don't tell mommy I was here before. I'm not sad anymore. Roy teases me because I don't have my daddy, but I'm okay because mommy said he'll come soon and... and I can also talk to you!" He rubbed his eye.
"I'm not sad at all!"
Then he pulled the big man even closer. "Do you want to talk to granpop too?"
The big man nodded, and then he knelt all the way down, so low that he was the same height as Jordan.
When Jordan looked at him closely, he noticed something.
They had the same hair.
Mommy said that Jordan and daddy have very similar hair, just like the big man beside him.
Jordan started to touch his hair. It was soft too, just like his own mushroom brown hair.
Is he granpop's friend?
Jordan doesn't dislike him, even if he doesn't talk. In fact, Jordan was starting to like the fact that he was still holding Jordan's hand and didn't let go.
The big man's hand was very warm, and so Jordan liked it a lot.
"Hi father," the big man started to speak to granpop, and so Jordan started to listen.
"I'm finally here," he breathed.
"It had been a long time coming, but I'm glad it's over." The big man turned his head away, so Jordan tightened his hold on him.
"Granpop is nice, so don't be shy," he urged him.
The big man suddenly grabbed Jordan and gave him a big, big hug.
Then he kissed Jordan in the forehead.
The little boy started to sniffle.
"I've lost my memories in the process, but your daughter never left me. We fought together, all through the end. After handing Michael to the authorities, I've decided to look for the Watson's. I spent the next three years making sure Michael doesn't pull any strings while the trials proceeded. He tried a few, but we were able to block him in time. Besides..." The big man paused for a few seconds.
"I was able to use this time to get my memories back."
He grabbed the little child closer, and the child held him even tighter.
"Thank you for taking care of me before, for letting me meet Erin, and for taking care of my son. I'm here to tell you that I've returned."
He bowed his head.
"I thank you, Mr. Grey."
Jordan noticed that his mommy was behind them.
She was crying.
He heard the big man say mommy's name.
She was sobbing now. Jordan had never seen mommy cry before. She was always smiling, always laughing and always dancing in front of him.
Did the big man make her cry?
In an instant, the big man walked forward and hugged mommy for a long time.
Then, mommy gave the man a big kiss.
Jordan saw that they were smiling to each other now. They looked very, very happy.
"Jordan, sweetie," mommy said as she signaled him to come. "Can you come say hi to daddy?"
The little boy's almond eyes widened.
Then he started to run, straight in Derek's arms.
Derek nodded, and immediately tears stars to form in the little boy's eyes. He started to rub them away when Derek grabbed him up, rubbing the boy's tears with his finger.
"Daddy's here now, buddy," he told Jordan. "I'm sorry I'm late."
"It's okay," the boy said, sniffling. "Mommy always said you'll come back."
"Someday, I'll tell you a really cool story about how mommy and I met," said Derek as he cradled the boy in his arms. "Although it's going to be a really long one."
"Very long," added Erin.
Derek grabbed her by her hand.
"But it's a great one, isn't it?" He continued. "I'll tell you all about the cool friends we have. Someday, they'll be your friends too."
"Are they granpop's friends too?" Asked Jordan. It has piqued his interest.
"And grandma's too," Erin said, smiling. " She might even tell you herself, once she comes back next week."
"I love you," Erin said, kissing Derek on the cheek.
"No more leaving, daddy?" Jordan asked him.
"Pinky promise?" The boy held his tiny finger up the air, and Derek met it with his own.
Thank you so much for reading 'A Third Chance At First Love' all throughout the end! You did it!
I admit that I have not been updating regularly, but I appreciate those who had stayed with me throughout the end. I would like to especially thank 'Butterfly' for the kind comments. I appreciate it a lot.
I vow to be a better writer, so please keep checking for my upcoming stories.
Spoiler Alert: A pre-planned story may or may not contain a certain, mysterious redhead.
Thank you very much.