Until You - Chapter 26

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*Chloe's POV*

"Do you know how much your boyfriend gave?" Foster asks, leaning against the doorway of my office.
"What?" I look up at him, confused.
He walks inside, closing the door behind him. "The day you gave me your check, you handed me an envelope from him right? You know what was inside?"
"A check?"
"For how much?"
I shrug, sitting back in my chair. "I don't know."
"Fifteen thousand." My eyebrows shoot up in surprise. No way. "And yesterday he asked me if I needed more. Chloe, the woman cried when I handed them to her. I'm so touched the two of you would do so much."
"But we haven't done anything!" I say, still surprised at Jacob though. He hasn't said a word to me.
"Yes, you have. And she's very happy."
"I'm glad she's happy Foster. That's what matters."
"I just want you to know I'm really grateful."
"Hey, I'm just doing my duty. And I've always said I'll help you all out with anything."


"Ready?" Jacob smiles as I button up my coat and then taking my hand, leads me out of the bakery.
"Where are we going?" I ask, looking up at him.
"I've got few sandwiches. Fancy a walk in the park?"
I shrug, "Sure."

Jacob drives down two blocks to the park and we both get out. It takes a while to find an empty bench, but with the sun shining down, it isn't all that cold, so we enjoy the walk.
"I was talking to Foster before you came."
He smiles, glancing down at me. "And? How's the family?"

I nod. "Good. There was an empty flat in his building so he's managed to move them there, got them cheap rent for the moment. The woman can't work for a few months, so she's resting and Foster's helping out by taking her daughter out and keeping her busy when he can. She's looking for some light work." I glance up at him, slipping my cold hand into the crook of his arm. "He told me how much you gave him. She's really happy Jacob, and I'm way beyond touched. You don't even know her!"

"So? I was just doing my duty. It was nothing."
"Yes, nothing." He smiles, squeezing my waist and pulling me closer. "I wanted to help." He glances at me as I take a bite of the sandwich, settling down on the empty bench we've just come across. "So, are you coming to the party with me?"
"Do you want me to?" I ask, swallowing.
"I'd love for you to."
"I'll come then."
"Why are you hesitant?" He tilts his head to the side and I just stare at him as the sunlight catches the tips of his hair.
He's just so beautiful.
"What?" I shake my head, trying to clear my thoughts.
"Why are you hesitant on coming? I've already told you so many times that the whole rich thing doesn't matter."

"Yes, it's vastly overrated." I raise an eyebrow, trying to imitate his voice.
He chuckles, "Something like that, but Chloe, I want you to come happily."
"And I will! I am, I promise. I'm not going to miss a red carpet event, who knows if another chance will ever come my way again."
Jacob chuckles, "Of course that's the reason you're coming."
"Of course." I shrug.

"And it has nothing to do with the handsome guy escorting you."
"I don't know what you're talking about. I'm going with this really old guy..." I let out a loud sigh.
"Oh really?"
"Yeah, really. But he's quite sexy actually."
Jacob laughs, "Make up your mind woman. Am I old or sexy?"
I tilt my head to the side, studying him. "Both."
Chuckling, he crushes his sandwich wrapper and throws it in the bin along with mine.
"So does this mean I get to take you dress shopping?"
I nod, "Yup."
He grins. "Awesome. So keep all day tomorrow free yeah?"
"Will do." I shoot him a smile.

Jacob lets out a groan as his phone starts ringing. "Looks like my lunch break is over." He pulls out his phone, "Skyes." I watch as he listens to whoever is on the other line, his eyebrows shoot up for a moment before he nods. "Yeah, sure. I'm not at the office at the moment but as soon as I get back I'll check the email... yeah sure." Sighing, he turns to me after hanging up. "Ready to leave?"
"Yup." I get to my feet.

Wrapping an arm around my waist, Jacob leads me towards the park gate. A group of little girls come running in our path and we stop and watch as they stand giggling in front of us. One of the girls looks up and I just stare back. She's beautiful with long brown wavy hair flowing down her back from under her pink cap, her cheeks pink from the cold.

The children run away and I glance up at Jacob.
"Did you see that girl?"
He nods, "Yeah, she's adorable."

We both glance towards the direction the kids ran at the same time. As we near the gate, I hear the sound of feet behind us and turn around. The little girl in the pink hat stops in front of us, taking in a deep breath.
"Hi sweetie." Smiling, I crouch down in front of her.
She twirls a lock of hair around her finger and stares at me. Her gray eyes are wide as she looks up.

"Are you my Mommy?"


*Jacob's POV*

I watch as Chloe's back straightens when the girl asks her if she's her mother. There's nothing wrong with the question at all. Except for the fact that it's said with so much hope.

Turning, I look around to see if anyone's missing a child but there seems to be nobody. Chloe's eyes are still locked with the child's.

A red haired woman approaches us, smiling politely.
"I'm sorry, I hope she isn't bothering you?"
"No," I shake my head, smiling. "Are you her mother?"
"No, but I am her guardian."
"So, what happened to her parents?" I ask slowly.
"I'm sorry to say, they're not alive. There was a robbery at their home and they were killed. Somehow little Rosalyn survived."
I take in a sharp breath. "I'm so sorry to hear that," the woman nods and gulping, I ask. "She now stays with you?"
"Well, she and all the other orphans."
"An orphanage."

She nods, pulling out a card from her pocket and holding it out to me. "She's been with us for a few months now." She glances down at Chloe. "Are you alright?"
"Yes. "Chloe stands up, smiling and dusting her hands free of snow. "She's beautiful."
"Yes, she is." The woman, Caroline, I read from the card, squeezes the little girl's shoulder. "Why don't you run along and play? Your friends are waiting for you honey."
With a last glance in Chloe's direction, the little girl turns and runs towards the swing set.
Turning to the woman, I smile. "Thank you."
Nodding, she steps back. "Have a great day!"
I slip an arm around Chloe's waist as the woman walks away. "You alright?"
Looking up at me, she nods. "Yup, I'm fine."

It's an hour after I've dropped Chloe back at the bakery and returned to my office that my phone rings. I get so many calls a day from unknown numbers that I think nothing of it but as I see the number flashing on my screen, my stomach turns.

"Jacob, it's Tarek."
Crap. I hope she's alright. "Tarek. What's up? Is everything alright?"
"Yeah, yeah. Chloe's fine. I just wanted to ask.." He hesitates for a second, "Did anything happen during lunch?"
"No, why?"
"She seems... distracted. Like really distracted. Is there anything I should be worried about?"
My mind flashes back to the little girl.
"No, not exactly. Something happened during lunch, as in, we bumped into.. someone. You know what? Don't worry about it. I'll come and pick her up as soon as I'm able to leave. Keep her at the bakery for me?"
"Yeah, sure. Is there anything I can do?"
"Not really. Even I don't know what's wrong, I'm just assuming."
"Okay, then. Thanks."
"You too."
Sighing, I close my eyes. I knew it was bothering her.

I drive up to the bakery at half past nine with a box of Chinese noodles. I'd spoken to Ray for a little help and a last attempt, hoping that may be there was something else that could be bothering her. Something that I could solve. All Ray had to offer me was that her comfort food is Chinese noodles.

Taking in a deep breath, I push open the bakery door and step inside. It's pretty full, like it's been ever since the temperature started dropping. I start walking towards the counter when I spot Chloe sitting off to the side, her back to me.

Quietly walking up behind her, I place my hand over her eyes. Chloe's back straightens.
"Ray?" When there's no reply she bites her lip, "Okay, guess not. Um.." Raising her hand up she brushes her fingers across my hand, over my watch and slips a finger beneath my coat sleeve. I hold my breath as her fingers on my skin shoot excitement throughout my body. "Jacob." Her voice is resolute and chuckling I move my hand.

"How did you know?"
She smiles, "I think I should know you by now very well. Don't you?"
"So what am I planning for tonight?" I raise my eyebrows, looking at her.
Laughing, she stands up. "I said I should know you not that I'm psychic!" "Did you now?" Wrapping an arm around her, I pull her close. "So, come home with me?" I ask, dropping my head down to brush my lips against hers.
"Love too." Kissing my cheek, she pulls back. "Let me just get my bag."

She's completely fine on our drive home and even during dinner, although we're sitting in front of the TV and don't talk much. But while I go put our dishes away and get some water, she's gone quiet. Sitting down beside her, I glance towards Chloe who's curled up in the corner, almost in a defensive position. Her eyes are on the screen but I know she isn't watching anything.

"I'm just going to go freshen up."
She turns to me. "Alright."

When I come out, showered and changed into a pair of joggers and shirt, Chloe's fallen asleep.
Biting my lip, I watch her, torn between letting her sleep and waking her up. She looks peaceful, something she hasn't been all day.

Sighing, I turn off the television and then crouch down beside her.
"Chloe, sweetheart?" I gently shake her arm. "Sweetheart?"
"Mm?" She opens her eyes, blinking at the light.
"Come on sweetheart, let's get to bed."
"Okay." She sits up, rubbing her eyes. There are creases on her cheek from where her face was pressed into the arm of the couch but she still looks beautiful. Wrapping an arm around her waist, I lead her into the bedroom.
"I'll just go change." Chloe murmurs.
"Okay. Be careful."

I watch as she walks to the bathroom, yawning. Walking over to the window, I pull the curtains closed and then put my clothes away, clearing the bed. Just as I sit down, the washroom door opens and Chloe comes out in her pajamas. She switches off the light and then climbs into bed, crawling over my legs to get in. Sinking down into the pillows, she turns and yanks me down. I pull the blanket over us as she wraps her arms around my neck.

"Can I ask you something?"
"Sure." She murmurs from where her face is pressed into my chest.
"You alright, beautiful?"
"Yes." She pulls back and looks at me. "Why?"
"You've been distracted."
She sighs, "Yeah well..." Looking up at me, she smiles. "I'm fine. Promise."
"Ever since lunch. Is it the little girl?"

Sighing, she drops her head back down to my chest. "Yes."
"What's wrong?" I ask softly, combing my fingers through her hair.
"Did you see the way she asked me if I were her mother? She said it so.. hopefully. Like if I said no, then the whole world would end or something."
"Yeah, I did. It's so sad how she lost her parents and she's so young."
"Jacob, imagine growing up alone." She pulls back and looks up at me, her eyes shining with tears. "To never have someone to call your own."
"I'd be lost."
"What do you want to do sweetheart?"
She shrugs, "I don't know. There's nothing I can do. It's just made me look at my life and be so thankful. For my parents, Ray, my friends.." Raising her hand up, she brushes it along my cheek. "You."
"I feel the same." Leaning forward, I press my lips to her forehead.

I'm not sure when Chloe falls asleep but throughout the whole night she's very restless. Only when daylight starts approaching does she finally settle down in my arms and sleeps continuously for a couple of hours.

My sleep abandons me around nine. I lie in bed, Chloe curled under my arms, planning out the day. She starts stirring around half past and I watch as her eyes flutter open.
"Morning gorgeous."
She looks up and gives me a sleepy smile. "Hey." Snuggling down in my arms, she closes her eyes again.
"No way, honey. You're not falling asleep on me."

Moaning, she raises her hands up and stretches, her whole body curving over mine. I groan, placing my hands on her waist and pulling her onto the mattress beside me.
"Did you sleep well?" I ask as she drapes her arms around my neck.
"Yup. You?"
I nod. "You were very restless. Sure you're alright?"
"I was?"
"I'm fine. You sure?"
I chuckle. "Yes, I have you in my arms all night. I'd know if you're sleeping well or not."
She smiles, running her fingers through my hair. "Did I disturb you?"
"No, I slept fine. Don't worry." I brush my finger along her cheek. "It's already later than I was planning so why don't we freshen up and have breakfast? I'll drop you home so you can get ready for the shopping trip."
"Okay." She nods.

I drop her home an hour later and then hurry back to the hotel, already making the calls I need to for the day.

I'm back at her place in thirty minutes. "Get your passport." I say as she opens the front door.
She shoots me a puzzled look. "Okay. One second."
When she joins me, I lead her down to my car.
"Where are we going?" Chloe asks, pulling on the seat belt.
"Surprise." I shoot her a grin, gunning the engine and pressing down on the gas.
As we drive towards the airport, Chloe starts getting restless.
"Patience beautiful. Almost there."
Once I show my ID, we drive past the security and into a restricted area, towards a building.
"Come on."

Getting out, I take Chloe's hand and lead her towards the doors that are opened by a security guard.
I knock on the door he ushers us to.
"Jacob!" The man behind the desk stands up as we enter.
"Nick." I shake his hand, smiling. "Long time."
"Yes, it's been awhile." His eyes trail over to Chloe and I pull her close, smiling.
"Nick, my girlfriend Chloe. Chloe, Nick."
She takes the hand he holds out, smiling. "Nice to meet you."
"The pleasure's all mine." His eyes linger on her longer than needed and I protectively pull her into my side. Smiling, he turns to me. "She's ready and waiting. Come on."
Chloe looks up at me, confused. "Who?"
"What?" I raise an eyebrow, confused.
"Who's waiting?"
"Ah, you'll see."

She groans softly and smiling, I brush my lips across her forehead. Nick leads us to a security jeep waiting outside and gets in. I help Chloe in, before getting on myself. Pulling on my shades, I look at the empty runway as we drive down. Feeling Chloe sliding closer to me, I glance at her to see an annoyed expression on her face. A look at Nick tells me why. Gritting my teeth, I wrap my arm around her and pull her into me.

"You alright?" I murmur, dropping my head to her ear.
She nods and reaches up. "Is he always such a pervert?"
I laugh, "I don't know. I hardly know the guy. Want me to say something?" I raise an eyebrow.
A shocked expression crosses her face. "No!"
Chuckling, I brush my lips across hers.
"Okay, where are you taking me?" Chloe asks just as the jeep comes to a stop.
"Here we are!" Nick jumps off and we follow.

Chloe gasps as I take her hand, looking up at the jet we've stopped in front of.
"You're kidding me!"
I smile, "Nope! Surprise!"
She pulls her shades down from her head and looks around, following me as I lead her towards the stairs.
"Thanks a lot Nick. I appreciate it."
"It's my pleasure. Have a safe and happy trip!" With another glance towards Chloe, he turns around and heads back.
"Such a creep." Chloe says under her breath and I laugh.

I lead her up into the airplane, where the pilot and two stewards are waiting to greet us. Fifteen minutes later, we're both seated in the spacious seats.
"Where are we going?" Chloe turns to me, excitement evident on her face.
"Where would you like to go for shopping?"
"Uh.." She bites her lip, thinking. "Paris?"
"Then where?"
"How about.. New York?"
She gasps, "No way!"
"Yup." I grin, nodding. I love seeing her so happy, especially if I'm the one making her happy. "We're going to New York."

She glances out of the window, a huge smile on her face, as we start moving. "But why? We could have just shopped here."
I shrug, "True. But Dana was telling me the shopping there is incomparable and I want to take you somewhere. If I'd taken you anywhere here, I doubt I'd be seeing the breathtaking smile that's on your face at the moment!"
She blushes, leaning forward and brushing her lips across mine. "Thank you!"
"Don't thank me now! Wait till you're done shopping. One rule though." I hold up a finger, watching her closely.
"No saying no. You want something, get it, understand?"
She nods, "Okay."

My fingers curled around her chin, I tilt her face up so she's looking me straight in the eye. "I'm going to spoil you like the princess you are today. Don't dampen my happiness."
Laughing, she nods. "Okay, okay. I get it."
Once we're in the air, a steward comes to serve us drinks.
"So, this is the company's personal jet?" Chloe asks, leaning back in her seat and looking at me.
I nod, "Yup."
"Can you use it like this whenever you want?"
"Not really, it's mostly for business use. But once in a while it's alright. It's only for senior management use, though."
"It's not all that great."
"Uh huh. A private jet is nothing to Jacob Skyes."
I laugh, "If it makes you happy."
"Yes," She grins. "It does."

There's a car waiting for us when we arrive at JFK airport and it whisks us away to the city center.

I see a new side of Chloe as she looks out, eyes shining, and takes in everything. Her cheeks are pink, her eyes darting everywhere to not miss a thing.

Once we get on the streets and start shopping, she tries to suppress her excitement at first but it comes out by the time we walk into the third shop. Like she promised, she lets herself go and we spend more time in dressing rooms then I've spent probably in my whole entire life. And she's not the only one. I discovered a few weeks back that she enjoys shopping for me just as much as herself and even when we'd gone to buy my suit I'd seen the same thing. So along with her, I get a new wardrobe as well.

For lunch, we have tacos from a street stall before continuing on with our shopping spree. It's just starting to get dark when we walk by a store. Looking inside, I see the most gorgeous deep red floor length gown. Chloe follows my gaze and gasps and before she can say anything, I've pulled her into the store and tell the saleswoman that we want to see the dress.

In the changing room, Chloe tries it on and steps out.
A vision of pure beauty.

The dress falls gracefully down her body. It's strapless, the dress held closed by strings that zigzag halfway down her back.

It doesn't take too long for Chloe to decide that the dress is perfect. Once we've bought it, our priority changes towards getting the best shoes to go with the dress.

For dinner, I take her to this Italian restaurant Carter told me was a must see. It's the perfect place to end the day, so romantic, complete with dim lighting, candles, light music and waiters waiting for serve you every second. And most importantly, Chloe enjoys the food, the attention and by the time we've left, her adventurous, shopping side has subsided and left me with the Chloe I have in my arms almost every night.

"I'm so tired!" She sighs, returning from the washroom and walking to her seat. I reach for her arm and pull her down into my lap. She sits back, leaning her head beside mine against the headrest.

"I can imagine! With all the walking we've done today."
She turns her head to the side, brushing her lips to the side of my jaw, the only place she can reach without moving. "I really enjoyed it Jacob. Thank you."
"Why are you thanking me? I should be thanking you! One of the best days of my life by far."
"And what is your best?"
"Oh, that's easy."
"The morning I walked into Little Miracles and saw you behind the counter. The whole day worked out great after my eyes locked with yours. The day before was completely horrid until I met you in the bar. Since then..."
She laughs, "Sure. So before me, no other day stands out?"
"Laugh all you want to Stevens. I know I'm telling the truth!"
"But really! I've always wanted to go to New York."
"Wish I'd known that at least a day before, I'd have booked us for a night's halt so we could go sightseeing and all."
"Hey! I loved today as a first trip."

"And there will be another one to follow, I promise. I've only been there once and that was for business so other than my hotel and the conference room, I saw nothing! We'll go there sometime. I promise!"

Smiling, she slings an arm around my neck, curling up in my lap. Pressing a button, I recline the seat back so that we're in a more comfortable position.
"You must be dreading to see your credit card bill!"
I laugh, "No way! The only reason today turned out as great as it did was because you cooperated. Imagine, otherwise, we'd be arguing over everything!"
"And you, stubborn as ever, would win."

"Of course. Agreeing with me you could reason if you'd changed your mind about buying something. But if you'd said no from before, I'd have gotten anything and everything your eyes landed on!" Kissing her forehead, I pull back to see her face. "And I didn't use my credit card all day anyway, so no harm done."
"Who carries that ridiculous amount of cash around with them?" She scowls at me and I chuckle.
"I only did because I knew where we were going."
"Ah, yes. How could I forget?"
I grin. "Hey, you enjoyed right? Don't complain now."
"I am in love with my dress."
"I know, so am I. Especially the back." I run my fingers down her back and she pushes in closer to my chest. "You're going to be the belle of the ball."
Biting her lip, I watch as the little furrow between her eyebrows appears. "It's going to be very big, isn't it?"

"The party? Yes." I watch her carefully. "You can invite Ray and Amelia if you like."
"We can?" Raising her head, she looks at me. I nod, smiling, although I'd much rather her alone with me all night. "No, I don't want to. And Ray's taking Amelia away to Prince Edward Island for New Year's anyway."
"Yeah. Her relatives are over so there are people to look after her mom so she's going."
"That's great! They deserve it."
She nods, "Yeah they do." Sighing, she lays her head back. "Ray really likes her."
"Has he dated much?"

She shakes her head. "No. He used to in college. Gosh, it was one girl or the next and sometimes I'd get stuck in the middle, telling the girls to back off when he wasn't interested anymore. But once we graduated and moved in together, it went down. Way down. I used to tease him. It was like he suddenly decided to grow up since I was living with him, and he had to be the responsible adult."

"Him? An adult?"
She laughs, sitting up. "I know! It sounds stupid when I say it, but he did become more responsible."
"So, just the two of us tomorrow night?" I ask, tilting her face up to mine.
Chloe breaks into a beautiful smile. "Just us."
Lowering my head down to her lips, I murmur, "I can't tell you how much I love the sound of that." I softly press my lips to hers. "Of us."


*Amelia's POV*

I glance across the cab at Ray who's frowning at his phone and then glancing at the road we're driving on.

I can't believe that I'm here. Alone with him for a few days.
Looking up, he sees me watching and grins, his lopsided smile. Chuckling, I glance out of the window.
I look at him. "Nothing."
"Why were you looking at me?" He raises an eyebrow.
"Because I felt like it."

"What were you thinking?"
"My thoughts are for myself Sutherland. Otherwise they'd have been broadcasted out loud."
He chuckles. "Yes ma'am."

I shake my head smiling and turn back to the window, as the cab comes to a stop. Ray checks the address on his phone and then leans in front.
"Are you sure this is the place?"
"Yes." The grouchy driver replies.
Sighing, Ray glances at me. "Let's hope the interior is better than the outside."
We both get out and I look at the rusty old building in front of us.
"What did you ask the agent for?"
"A nice beach side room."

"Okay," in the dim evening light I look around. "I don't see a beach."
"Neither do I. Let's check this place out if it's as bad as it looks, we'll go back into town."

I take my suitcase and pull it along beside Ray as he leads the way towards the building.
And the interior is much worse than the outside. At least in the dark the outside looked okay-ish but in the unforgiving bright light in what is supposed to be the lobby, it's old and dusty.

Groaning, Ray walks over to the reception desk and looks at the man standing behind it dubiously.
"Is this the Coral Inn?"
"Yes, welcome. Would you like a room or do you already have reservations?"
"Uh.. Give me a minute."
Turning around, he joins me a few feet away.
"I don't like the look of this place." He says, eyeing the couch in the corner of the room. I'm guessing it was red a few centuries ago. Not so easy to tell in this era.
"What do you want to do?"
"Let's catch a cab and go back into town. There has to be some place to stay."
Nodding, I follow him out once more.


*Ray's POV*

Cheeks burning in embarrassment, I walk back up the few feet down the road, I'd gotten to where Amelia is standing.
"Come on Ray. We're not going to catch a cab anytime soon. There's not a soul out here."
"I'm so sorry Meals."

She glares at me, pretending to be upset. "What for? You didn't ask for this.. It was that stupid travel agent woman. Complete moron."
"What do you want to do?"

She glances over her shoulder at the building. "One night in this place won't be so bad. As soon as the sun's up, we'll hit the road and find somewhere else."
"Are you sure?" I watch her closely, looking for any sign of doubt or hesitation. There is none.
"Positive." Taking my hand, she squeezes it. "You're exhausted. Come on. It won't kill us."

Sighing, I lead her back inside and five minutes later, we've got the key and directions to our room. The room isn't as bad as I feared. It's clean and actually looks decent compared to the rest of the place.

"Hey, it's not so bad." She turns to me and I muster up a smile. It doesn't fool her of course. Sighing, she takes my arm and pulls me down on the bed. "Ray."
Groaning, I bury my head in my hands. "I wanted it to be special! Since it's the first time it's just the two of us."
"Exactly and it's special because it is just the two of us. Now cheer up or I'll be really upset."

I look at her silently for a moment before putting on a big smile. Amelia cracks up, throwing her head back and laughing.
"You really are something Sutherland."
I grin. "And I know you love it."
"Yes," calming down, she looks at me. "Surprisingly I do."


*Chloe's POV*

I'm so nervous before the party that through the whole thirty minute drive I can barely speak. Jacob looks as impeccable as always in a blue tailored suit with a white and brown striped shirt, a red and blue striped tie finishing off his outfit. He'd gone for a haircut this morning and so his hair was short, none of the locks that fall onto his forehead.

Weirdly enough, for no reason I could fathom, I'd had a lump in my throat as he turned to me once he was ready.

I'd curled my hair into soft ringlets that fell down my shoulders and then left it loose since Jacob didn't like it pulled back. Not as much as he liked it lose apparently. I kept my make up light, red chandelier earrings, a red Tommy watch and a gorgeous red ring I'd bought a while ago.

As we pull up at the building, our doors are opened and Jacob gives the keys to the valet. Once we've made it up the stairs, he pulls me to the side, arm sliding around my waist and pulling me tightly against his body.

"Relax gorgeous. I'm going to be by your side the whole time. I can't even think of the idea of letting you go so don't worry okay?" When I nod, he leans in, his lips brushing my ear. "And I can hardly wait for this to be over so I can get you home and out of this sexy dress." I shiver as his fingers brush down my bare back.

It's actually not as horrible as I was imagining it. As soon as we enter, I'm overwhelmed with all the decorations and lights. And how the women are dressed! Some are probably more decked out than their own Christmas trees!

Jacob leads me through the crowds and stops a waiter, lifting up two glasses of champagne from his tray. Once I take it, his arm slips back around my waist.
"Don't look now but your ex is SO checking you out." And leaning in, he presses his lips to mine in a knee weakening kiss.

"What? He's here?" I breath once he pulls back.
"Yes, but first. My boss is here. Come make a good impression." Winking at my shocked expression, Jacob pulls me towards a man with graying hair standing with his wife.

Within an hour I'm introduced to more people than I can keep count of. Near dinner time, Jacob and I've settled with one of his friends and his wife. They're both great company and I actually have a great time. Once dinner is over though, Jacob excuses us as soon as an opportunity arises and for the rest of the night we're mostly on our own.


Replies to comments

Grace - Lol, aren't my chapters big enough gifts? Yeah they're starting to realize they can't stay without each other which is a good thing. Thanks so much!

Sanskriti - Thanks SO much! I'm glad you enjoy it.

Renae Oropeza - Thanks so much! My lips are sealed! I'm not saying anything.

Praiser - Thanks a lot! Yeah a great change after Ben's mother! Thanks!

Queenie - Thanks!

BriBri - Lol glad he does!

Anjana - Thanks so much!

Lucy - Yeah it wasn't mentioned, neither was what he actually got her. If I went into the specifics I'd be writing forever. Yeah it still isn't sure whether he's moving or not but at least he's considering it right? Amelia had her own family to spend time with during the holidays so she wasn't present! Thanks!

MayJuneJuly - Welcome! Chloe does deserve Jacob after Ben, I completely agree. Yeah it's a relief every one gets along completely fine this time around! My Jacob's the best. I know, love you more.

PH - Thanks SO much! Aw thanks so much, I'm glad you liked it! Haha, yeah he doesn't mind making fun of himself if it makes her happy! Which is very rare in guys. Well, Ray's parents died a while back, isn't the biggest secret but it'll turn up in like the second last chapter I think.. And Amelia had her own family coming in for the holidays and I wanted to make it a family thing. Yeah, if things work out between her and Ray, she'll be part of the family but with Ray, Jacob, Chloe and their parents it was more of a family thing, you know? Aww, I'm sorry, don't be upset. The thing is I'm torn between posting soon and then holding out... I don't want the story to end any more than you. Thanks so much.

Maddz - Thanks a lot! Yup, it proved Ray knows her all too well. Chloe Should be the happiest girl in the world, everything is working out great this time around.. Let's just see how thing splay out! Thanks so much!

DaniGirl - Thanks so much! Yes, I've missed your comments... Glad to see you're back!

Bekdk - Thanks!
Published: 2/28/2013
Bouquets and Brickbats | What Others Said