"Mmmmmm..." Vanessa turns around in my arms.
I pull back as she looks up at me and wraps her arms around my neck. It's taken a few weeks for the sadness to completely leave her eyes.
The funeral the day after we landed was... painful. The kids were at school and all the adults attended. I don't remember most of it because I felt so numb and because my eyes were glued on Nessa the whole time. Thank God Peter and Justin handled all the arrangements. When she found out what I wanted to name our son, that brought on a whole load of new tears.
Smiling sleepily, she looks at me through half closed eyes.
"What time is it?"
Gasping, she starts to sit up, "The kids!"
I pull her back down. "I woke them up, gave them breakfast, got them ready and sent them to school. Breathe darling."
Sighing, she snuggles up in my arms. "Thanks Markey."
"Why are you still here?"
"Do you want me to leave?"
"No! I meant, you're not going to work?"
"Thought I'd spend the day with my wife."
She looks up, smiling. "Good thinking."
Laughing, I reach down press my lips to hers. She pulls me closer and I hover above her, devouring her lips. When I pull back, she looks up at me, her eyes shining. I kiss my way down her throat, as she breathes in, her fingers curling around my hair.
"What are you doing?" Vanessa's arms come around me from behind.
She kisses the back of my neck. "And what shall I do?"
"Ummm..." I glance around. "Get the coffee?"
We sit down at the breakfast bar a few minutes later with our breakfast. I glance at Nessa as we eat and see her staring into space, with an expression I've seen way too much recently.
I watch her for a few seconds before nudging her foot beneath the table.
She looks up at me and a smile tugs at her lips.
"What is it Ness?"
She shakes her head, "Nothing. Just lost in thought."
"I'd love for you to share them with me."
She grins. "Too bad. I don't feel like sharing."
Chuckling, I shake my head. "Now I'm suspicious."
She glances down at her plate before slowly looking back up at me. "They're wandering where they shouldn't. I'd rather not take you."
My mouth bends down, troubled that Nessa's still hurting, upset with myself for not being more sensitive.
"Mark?" Vanessa murmurs later on. We're both in the living room, and she's sitting in my lap, looking at the television.
"Uh..." She shakes her head. "Nothing." "Ness?" I shift her around so that she's facing me. Hooking my finger under her chin, I turn her face towards me. "What is it, sweetheart?"
She looks at me, searching my face. "It's nothing. Forget it."
"I'm not going to forget it sweetheart. Something's bothering you, it's clear and I want to know what it is because that's going to bother me until you tell me."
She sighs, looking away. Her hair's falling over her shoulder, hiding part of her face and glancing down, I see her playing with the hem of my shirt.
"If I told you that..." She breathes in deeply, "That I want to try to get pregnant again, what would you say?"
I take in a breath, waiting for her to turn and look at me. When she glances at me, our eyes lock and I survey her expression.
She looks down after a second.
"Do you really want that?" I ask, keeping my voice as calm as I can. When I'm anything but calm.
She nods, still looking down.
Take in a deep breath, I lift her face up towards me. "Ness, I have no problem with it. I've always told you, the more children the better and I do still mean it. But.." I blow out a breath and reaching up, gently rub my thumb over her lower lip. "But I think, it'd be better if we waited a while."
She just nods and leaning closer I press my lips to her forehead.
"Because as much as I love my children and I'd give my life up for them, you're very important to me too. They're a part of me, yes. But Ness, you, you're like the air I breathe. I need you, I can't live without you, so I need for you to get well completely before we try for more kids. Alright?"
She nods, this time tears in her eyes. I pull Vanessa close, holding her tight. Dropping my head, I bury my face in her hair.
I glance down at my list and then reach out to get 2 tins of corn. Brian loves to cook, something I discovered a while back, so this weekend we're cooking up a feast for the both of us.
I glance behind me at the blond woman standing a few feet away and then look again. Why does she look familiar?
Shrugging, I turn back to my shopping cart.
As I start pushing my way down the aisle, my phone rings. Pulling it out, I see Brian's name.
"When are you coming home?" He whines.
I laugh, "You finished cleaning?"
"Yes, so come now."
"I still need to get a few things Brian."
"It's alright. Forget them. I want you."
Chuckling, I shake my head. "You'll just have to be patient."
"Nothing. Just finish quickly and come home."
It takes me ten minutes to grab all the things and I walk towards the check out, checking that I've got everything. As I pay, I look up to see the blond woman standing and staring at me. Okay. What's up with her?
I gather all the bags and as I step out of the store, she's nowhere to be seen. Shrugging, I head towards my car. Popping the trunk open, I place the bags inside and then close it.
Turning around, I come face to face with her.
Before I can say anything, she looks me up and down.
"What does he see in you anyway?"
I frown before it clicks. Brian's ex. My mind flits back to the conversation we'd had one night when I'd stayed over.
"Why exactly does she follow you around?" I'd asked.
Brian sighs, looking at me. "People know my Dad, his business. That he's loaded. And even though Mark's taken over, I've got part of the business under my name, it's just that Mark takes care of everything for me because I'm not interested in any of it. So when they find out, many people are after me for the money."
"Oh." I chew my lip, thinking. "It must have been hard growing up."
He shakes his head, "You can't imagine! I didn't know why people actually wanted to be friends with me. Mark had it easy because he's always got Vanessa and he's always been cautious. Lucy's trouble growing up, but at the end I guess it just makes you stronger, more careful."
"Excuse me?" I ask, staring at her, willing her to push the point.
"What the hell does he see in you? Brian."
I shake my head. "Not a money-grubber that's for sure." Not one to stand back and let people insult me, I tilt my head. "You're so desperate."
"So you know who I am?"
I let out a laugh, "I'd be stupid not to."
"Well, just know that he loves me."
"Yeah." I nod. "Sure. Don't waste you're time. You're not getting anything out of chasing him."
She glares at me. Turning around, I open my car door and get in. As I pull out, she's standing and glaring at me.
"At last." Brian says, opening the door. He takes the bags from my hands in one hand and pulls me close, his other arm wrapped around my waist.
"Took you long enough." He says, dropping his mouth down to mine.
When he pulls back, I shoot him a smile.
He shakes his head, "No of course not. Why'd you think that?"
Laughing, I follow him to the kitchen where he's putting the bags.
"Let's get started?"
"Are you kidding me? I'm exhausted!"
"Doing what?" I ask, pulling out things from the bag and placing them where they belong.
"Lots of stuff."
Shaking my head, I lean against the counter and watch as he empties the last bag, wondering if I should tell him. He doesn't give me much time to think as he turns around and walks towards me. Placing his hands on the counter on either sides of me, Brian leans in and crushes his mouth to mine.
We spend the afternoon cooking, and I casually bring the topic up.
"I bumped into someone at the supermarket."
"Oh?" He glances up from where he's chopping veggies. "Who?"
"I don't remember her name. Your ex?"
Hearing the knife clatter, I turn around.
Brian looks up slowly. "What? Did she say anything?"
Nodding, I turn back to the stove. "Yeah. She said things. She asked what you saw in me. That you still love her."
The kitchen is in complete silence for a heartbeat, before Brian's arms come around me.
"You don't believe her, do you?" He murmurs. When I just shrug, he sighs. "Tor, you know I love only you. I can't believe she'd say stuff like that. Actually... I can because she's jealous that I have such a beautiful, loving, understanding, caring girlfriend. Something she'd never be."
Chuckling, I turn around. "Yeah, I didn't believe her. I just wanted to know how you'd react."
He narrows his eyes, even though there's a smile tugging his lips.
"You are in BIG trouble young lady. I was scared. Thought you were upset with me."
Laughing, I lean in and steal a kiss.
Laughing, Lily and I walk out of the building and towards the parking lot.
"So, my brother's picking you up?" She asks.
"Yup." I smile.
"Where's he taking you? You guys can't expect me to believe he's just taking you home!"
I throw her a look. "What do you mean?"
"He isn't taking you to a nice little cafe to romance you?"
I laugh, "Is that what your boyfriend's been doing?"
"Nah, he just gets to the point."
I shake my head and as we turn towards the parking lot, look up. My mouth falls open at the sight.
Andrew is standing at the end of the huge walkway, leaning against his Jaguar, his shades on. Dressed in dark blue pants and a powder blue shirt, he's such a beautiful sight, I just stop dead in my tracks.
"Wha-Oh!" Lily stops beside me and follows my gaze, letting out a low whistle. "Damn. Is that my brother?"
"Yeah." I gulp, watching him tapping away at his BlackBerry.
"Check that out." I follow her finger to see Natalie walking up to Andrew.
I exchange a look with Lily and chuckle. "This is going to be interesting."
"Oh yeah. Definitely."
We watch as Natalie walks up to him. Andrew looks up smiling but seeing her, his smile starts to vanish. Lily and I watch as she starts talking, flicking her hair. Andrew answers her, standing up straight, keeping some space between them as she walks closer. I glance at Lily and she's watching the both of them, her arms crossed.
As Andrew shifts uncomfortably again, I smile. "Come on, let's go."
We start walking towards them and finally are able to hear what they're saying.
"I really like your car." Natalie runs her hand down the hood and sidles up to Andrew.
"So why are you here? To pick up a friend or your sibling?"
As she says this, I reach them and Andrew looks up, relief clear on his face.
"Hey." I walk up to him, smiling and he pulls me close, covering my mouth with his.
"Hi." Turning to Natalie, he shoots her a smile. "Nope. I'm here to pick up my girlfriend."
I glance at her and she looks me up and down, distaste clear in her expression.
"So how was your day?" Andrew asks me and I turn back to him.
"It was good."
He's holding me up against him, a deliciously wonderful feeling as my arms are around his neck. Leaning in, he softly presses his lips to mine for no more than two seconds.
"Well, if you ever want to have some fun, then here's my number." Natalie says.
Andrew looks at her as she scribbles it and then shakes his head as she holds it out.
"No thanks. I've got all the fun I need right here." He turns to me with a beautiful smile and my knees go weak. Andrew's arms tighten around me.
"Natalie?" Lily appears beside us. "Are you hitting on my brother?" Lily fakes a shocked expression."What happened to him being a 'good for nothing who doesn't deserve two seconds of your time'?"
I chuckle as Natalie's eyes widen. She's always hated us, I'm not sure why and once even went as far as to insult Andrew when she didn't even know him.
"She's your sister?" She asks Andrew.
He shoots Lily a boyish grin, making me melt even more. "Yup."
She looks Lily and me up and down, before rolling her eyes. Turning around, she starts to walk away.
"Okay guys, I'll see you later." Lily waves at us and walks towards her car. "Bye Lil." I turn back to Andrew to see him smiling.
"Ready to leave?"
Andrew moves away from his car, an arm still around my waist. He holds the passenger door open for me and takes my bag from my shoulder. Once I slide in, he closes the door and then puts my bag on the seat behind me.
I watch him as he walks around the front of the car, glancing at Natalie as she walks away. Sitting down behind the wheel, he puts on his belt and glances at me.
"How are you?" He asks.
I smile. "Great. You?"
He laughs softly, turning on the car. "Me too. Who was she?" He nods towards the direction Natalie went.
"Natalie. Doesn't like us very much."
"Why?" He shoots me a puzzled look.
I shrug, "Beats me."
"Well, it's obviously because you're so much more beautiful than her. And loving. And dignified."
I chuckle, "Thank you. She doesn't like your sister either."
"Yeah because Lily is prettier than her." He shoots me a grin, driving out of the college gates.
"How's work?" I ask, settling down in my seat.
Andrew reaches over for my hand, kisses it and then holds it up to the steering wheel with his as he drives.
I turn around in my seat so that I'm facing him. As we come to a stop, he turns to me, his eyes staring into mine. I stare back, unable to look away. Seconds later he looks away and as the traffic light changes to green, continues driving.
The 30 minutes drive, home is quiet but there's an intensity in the air that takes up my mind, making me immune to everything but Andrew. His every movement.
As he comes to a stop in front of house, he turns off the engine and turns to me. He'd been holding my hand throughout the drive and now he lifts it up to his lips, his eyes locked on mine and kisses each of my fingers. A shiver runs down my spine and I take in a breath.
Leaning over, Andrew's fingers splay over my cheek, his palm cupping my face and he presses his lips to mine for the gentlest, most breathtaking kiss. I turn towards him, unconsciously leaning in closer and his hand trails down to unbuckle my seat belt, which I'd forgotten. I pull back, taking in a deep breath.
Andrew unbuckles his belt and gets out of the car. Walking towards my side, he opens my door and holds it open as I get out.
Once I'm out, he closes the door behind me, then places both his hands on either side of me, trapping me. I look up at him, my heart pounding way too fast, and reach up, snaking my arms around his neck. Taking a step closer, he leans in and takes my lower lip between his. He pushes against me and my hands slide down, untangling from his neck.
Thank God he's practically holding me up because as my fingers move over his chest, I can feel the muscles through his shirt and my knees go weak. Andrew pulls away and his mouth trails down my jaw and he kisses his way down my neck, burying his face there.
"Andrew." I whisper after a few seconds.
"Mm?" He looks up and kisses me. He presses his forehead against mine, catching his breath. "Are you alright?"
I nod, not being able to talk. As he stands up straight, I bury my face in his shirt, breathing in his cologne. Mmmm, yum. Gulping, I try to divert my mind from the fact that at the moment my senses are all heightened by him. Andrew's arms come around my waist and he pulls me from the car and towards him.
"I think I should go." He breathes, resting his cheek against my hair.
I groan, not wanting him to leave me at all. "Do you have too?"
He pulls back and I look up into his face. He looks undecided. "Unfortunately. Although I don't want to." He brushes his lips across mine. "Not one bit."
Sighing, he unwraps one of his arms from my waist and gets my bag from the car. He leads me to the front door and waits as I unlock it. After opening it, I turn around in his arms and press my mouth firmly onto his. He shivers slightly, surprising me, crushing his mouth to mine. I hear a light thump as he lets go of my bag and wraps both of his arms around me, engulfing me in his firm hold. My fingers run through his hair, messing it up, before trailing down the back of his neck to his collar. But as soon as I touch his shirt, I pull back.
"Lucy?" He asks, surprised, his voice husky.
"Sorry! You've got to get back to work." I glance up at his hair. "And I've completely messed up your hair."
He shrugs, smiling. "It's alright." He trails a finger down my cheek. "I miss you already."
"Andrew." I whine, looking up into his eyes.
"Don't do that. Make me feel guilty."
He chuckles. "I should actually. It's because of you I can't leave."
Narrowing my eyes, I pull away. "Okay, go. I'm tired of you. Thanks for the ride."
He laughs and I try everything I can to stop my own smile from forming. He catches my arm as I turn away and pulls be back into him. His arms come around me from behind and he rests his chin on my shoulder.
"Guess I have to go." Kissing my cheek he straightens, lifting my bag and placing it inside by the door. "Take care."
"Alright. Enjoy work." I grin.
He groans. "You are pure evil, you know that?" Tilting my chin up, he steals one more kiss before taking a step back. "Better close the door Lucy or I might change my mind."
"Hmmm... that sounds like a good idea." I lean against the door.
Andrew shakes his head, turning around. "You're really going to regret that Lucy. Just you wait."
Laughing, I blow him a kiss as he gets into the car. I'm about to close the door when something across the street catches my eye. I hesitate for a second, staring at the figure walking down the neighborhood before shrugging and closing the door.
Ria - Sorry for the delay!
Lucy - Um... sorry?
PH - I'm sorry :( Aaaaw, you really cried?! Yeah! You guessed it from the beginning! You know me well, huh? Thanks!
Aashi - I am so sorry! Hope you enjoyed this chap!
Macy - Ummm, I'm sorry? :) hope you enjoyed this chap!
Mari - I'm sooowee.. Ure really crying? Oops! Sorry for the delay! Thanks!
Nitm - :)
LJ - The whole story is painful?
H - Yeah, I know you really love me so hush up. Haha, don't broadcast my title! You liked it that much, huh? I know I love Mark! Alryt!
May June July - Alryt hun, calm down. You knew it was coming! Yeah he is! And I know you do! :)
Priya - Thanks so much! Ummm, I don't know, it just comes naturally I guess... Okay, I'll try my best!
Tee - I laughed out loud when I read your comment! That's how I talk! Lol.. I'm soooweee! I'll make it better, I promise! Like me again?
Sasha - Thanks so much! I really appreciate it!
Alice X - Alryt! Hope you enjoyed!
Charise - Thanks so much! Hope you enjoyed this one!