BLEMISHED LOVE EPISODE 23
© Loudest Thoughts
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Melisa was standing over the broken glasses while Paige held her wobbling hands slowly out of the mess she created. They both didn’t want to wait for Stella to come in before they grabb£d her a juice so Melisa dragged her friend along to the kitchen to grab a glass of juice for Stella who hadn’t come in yet.
‘Is everything okay?’ Julia asked her niece who was still standing staring at Stella.
‘I’m fine, just a sudden headache.’
‘Let me get you something for that.’ Tom offered.
Ever since Grissel’s story broke out, Melisa has been extremely helpful and Tom hasn’t shut her up in a while.
‘She will be fine,’ Paige answered him when she noticed Melisa was lying about the headache. She quickly went in for a dustpan to help her friend clear the broken glass.
‘Emmm, you are Stel..la Re..ed right?’ Melisa asked with a stammer while Paige dragged her to a seat in the far corner as she was still standing at her initial place.
‘Yes, how do you know that?’ Stella asked curiously. Wait you look familiar.’
‘Oh yes, you both have Henry as a mutual friend.’ Tom smiled teasingly.
‘I think so.’ Stella said with a weird face as if she was still trying to remember where she knew Melisa from.
‘So Miss lucky, you never told me you write Reed.’ Tom shifted his attention to Stella.
‘Oh that must be my dad’s fault, he wanted me to drop my mom’s maiden name if I was going to take over the company.’
“So you changed to Medt.’
‘Yeah, a name I totally dislike.’
“We have something in common then. I never liked my dad’s name but some people won’t let me stick to my mom’s.” Tom said glancing at her aunty childishly.
Stella kept looking around for some few minutes, as the others were still watching Melisa.
‘Are you looking for Grissel?’ Gina asked her.
‘I actually came to see her about something.’ She replied.
‘She’s still asleep.’ Tom responded from where he sat.
‘I thought as much.’ Stella knew Grissel loves an undisturb£d sleep.
‘But if it’s urgent I could drag her out of b£d. I know what it took you to be here.’
‘Okay, I spoke t….’
‘Tom you haven’t introduced the young lady to us.’ Julia interrupted curiously as she was sure her pres£nce was making Melisa uncomfortable.
‘Forgive me aunty. Stella is my boss and the cousin to Grissel’s Ex-husband Dane.’
‘Dane?’ She stressed and glanced at Melisa who was already deep in thoughts.
‘Yes, do you know him?’ Tom asked as he noticed Julia was sad.
‘Dane Reed?’ She asked again to be sure and avoided Melisa’s gaze this time.
‘Yes, tall and well built.’ Tom muttered thinking Julia needed more descriptions.
‘OMG! Melisa.’ Julia exclaimed when she realized he was the same man Melisa is helplessly in love with. She could have shrugged it off since that name is a common one around there but Melisa’s earlier action flashed her mind, the more reason she asked for an introduction to be sure.
‘What is it aunty?’ Tom rushed to her side. Julia clutched her chest as if she couldn’t breathe.
‘Dane. Dani.’ She mentioned and glanced at Melisa who was wiping her tears.
‘Yes, that’s him and Dani is Grissel’s daughter.’ He mumbled. ‘Wait a minute, how do you know Dani?’
Suddenly Melisa’s sobs became deafening to the ears.
‘Lisa, why are you sobbing?’ Tom focused his attention on her sister now.
Paige held her t¡ghtly.
Gina and Stella was so lost to the extent the expression on their faces could be read from afar.
‘Can someone explain to me what is going on here?’ Tom yelled.
Melisa picked up her bag beside her and dragged Paige along to the door.
‘And where do you think you are off to?’ Tom asked on top of his voice.
‘You don’t get it do you?’ Her sister wiped her face with the edge of the shirt Dane got for her. She frowned when it seemed she noticed.
‘No I don’t and you should start talking if you want me to get it.’
‘What’s the point in telling you anyway?’
Tom left Julia who had her head against the couch and walked towards her sister at the door.
‘Paige what’s going on with your friend?’
‘Do you really care about your sister at all?’ Paige angrily asked.
‘And what is that supposed to mean?’
‘I mean if you do, that name would have meant something to you.’
‘Is this about why I’ve been h-rd on you?’
Melisa looked up at him and sobb£d.
‘I know about Amy’s set up and I’m working on forgiving you so you can stop crying.’
‘Tom.’ He heard his name from the other side of the room and turned around.
‘Not now Stella.’ He recognized the voice and turned around while Stella stared at him.
‘I think your sister is trying to tell you Dane is the same man she’s in love with.’ She said with certainty as she remember her mom talking about Dane’s new girlfriend.
‘What?’ Both Gina and Tom chorused.
‘You’ve been sleeping with that nauseating man.’
Melisa glared at him and opened her mouth but nothing came out.
She turned the door knob and run out while Paige followed.
‘Lisa wait.’ He called after her but she was already out of the door.
‘I hope she doesn’t do anything crazy.’ Gina prayed.
‘How is this even possible? I mean she found about Grissel’s other marriage before anyone else did.’
Julia lamented. She has been happy for Lisa recently and her mind was at peace and now this.
‘I guess we were all occupied that none of you bothered to ask of his name.’ Tom clarified.
The room was so quiet for a wh0le five minutes as everyone’s emotion was high.
‘I think I should go now.’ Stella quickly stood up straightening her short shirt.
‘Go where?’ Grissel asked descending the stairs.
Everyone fixated their eyes on her as they were not too sure how long she has been standing there.
‘Why are you all suddenly quiet?’ She asked sounding different.
‘Nothing, Good morning.’ Tom quickly masked his fear. Knowing Grissel she would hate herself once she hears the news.
‘Good morning, I’m guessing the look on your faces tells me this secret meeting was about Lisa and Dane.’ She gestured to no one in particular.
‘Huh. Tom walked up to meet her.
‘Grissel you knew and didn’t say anything?’ Julia asked a bit relieved now. Though she was worried about Melisa going through another heart break she can’t help but sympathize with Grissel as well.
‘I spoke to her a while ago. She woke me up and don’t worry she’s fine.’
‘You spoke to Lisa? But she just left here.’ Tom asked with a surprise and worried tone.
‘Yeah, she’s on her way to meet Dane.’
‘I can’t believe this. To think all this is wrong she’s on her way to see him. Who does that?’
‘Allow Lisa to find some peace. If Dane makes her happy why not.’ Grissel said quietly.
‘Really and that doesn’t bother you.’
‘Why should it bother me besides we are separating today so I don’t have any connection with you anymore?’ Grissel walked over to her mom giving her a hug and then to Julia who she flashed a smile to.
‘We talked about this Grissel and Stella is even here to help.’ Tom was practically begging with his voice.
‘I forgot you are here Stella.’
‘Hi, I wanted to tell the cou….’
“That you faked your brother’s signature.”
Stella nodded while the others murmured.
‘I can’t have you do that, I can win this even without your testimony.’
‘Grissel, just accept her offer.’ Tom mentioned.
‘So I can stay in this house with you for another twenty-four hours.’
‘What is that even supposed to mean?’
‘It means we are not married and I have to leave today if I ever want to win this case.’
‘Where will you go?’ He asked with frustration written on his face.
‘Can’t you see my mom sitting right there. Everyone thought, I didn’t have a family so they were mean to me.’
‘I never did that Grissel.’ Tom raised his left arm up trying to control his anger.
‘Tom it’s just standard procedure.’ Stella chipped in.
‘And I’m not a fun of standard procedure. Don’t you get it?’ He snarled at Stella.
At this point everyone in the room decided to leave as they were tired of watching the drama.
Stella and Julia said their goodbyes to Gina and walked out while Gina rushed upstairs.
‘Grissel you’ve changed overnight.’
“I’m glad you noticed.” She strolled away from him towards the kitchen and Tom followed with his hands in his short pocket.
‘Come back here.’ He called out to her on his way to the kitchen.
Grissel turned around. ‘Tom, why can’t you leave me alone?’
Why would I want to do that?’ He asked still walking closer.
‘Because, you are suffocating me and I want to breathe.’ Grissel mumbled without regrets
‘How could you say that when we still love each other.’
‘Gosh, this time around it’s not love but obsession.’ She replied and took her eyes off him.
Tom watched her closely. ‘You need space?’ He waited for an answer and when he got none he added, ‘It’s unfair but take all the time.’
Grissel ignored him and wasn’t watching where she was going. She hit her head on the kitchen pillar and cursed herself.
‘Serves you right.’ Tom said quietly and walked away from her. Grissel glanced at him going and rolled her eyes. She didn’t know where all that anger came from earlier.
Lisa was supposed to go to Dallas that morning but Julia decided they should see Tom first.
So when Stella mentioned Dane that morning and she left the house in a hurry, she was encouraged by Paige to call Grissel as she believed it wasn’t a coincidence that among all the men she could fall in love with is the one man who had hurt someone close to her.
Paige dropped her off at the airport and she changed her ticket to the next available flight. She wasn’t so sure what she plans on doing when she gets there but Grissel seems not to have a problem with her relationship with her ex-husband.
Dane was to pick her up that morning but Dani was complaining of nausea so he asked one of his drivers to pick her up. He had no idea she found out.
Lisa stood at the door, wiped her face from the tears she shed since she found out about Dani’s mom. She figured Dane must have changed her name from Shirley.
She entered and saw him leading Dani to her room.
‘Hey, how was your flight.’ Dane mumbled with a worried face. ‘Julia called asking if you had arrived because your brother was worried about you.’
Melisa rolled her eyes at him, ignoring his questions. Dani run into her arms and she carried her up when suddenly her tears couldn’t stop flowing.
Dani asked to be put down when she heard her sob.
‘Why are you crying Lisa?’
She asked drawing her dad’s attention to Melisa.
He walked closer to her and tried to hold her hands.
Melisa pushed his hands away.
‘Don’t you dare touch me ever again?
Dane wasn’t so sure he understood her.
He called out to one of the nanny’s to pick up Dani.
‘Dani, wait for me inside.’
‘Daddy, you hurt her again? But you promised.’
‘I did but trust me, this wasn’t my fault.’ He pointed at Melisa.
‘Then who is making her cry.’
The little girl asked pointing to Lisa still in tears when her nanny came to carry her away.
Dane sighed after watching them disappear into the room.
‘Lisa, what is all this. You can’t do that in the pres£nce of my daughter and make me look like a bad father.’
Melisa gave him an ugly stare. ‘You think hiding the fact that her mom is alive makes you a good dad?’
Before he could finish, Dane had walked away from where they were standing as it was so clear the wh0le family finally found out.
‘Look, I was just waiting for your arrival today so we talk about it but I’m glad you already found out.’ Dane said and kept walking farther away from her while Melisa kept yelling.
‘Don’t walk out on me? Grissel is alive, why did you lie to Dani her mom died.’
Melisa paused, drawing Dane’s attention to the earlier sound were cut off from their conversation when they heard something drop and turned around. Dani was standing at the door staring at them.
‘I thought I told you to stay inside.’ He yelled.
‘Would you stop yelling at everyone?’ Melisa chipped in.
Dane turned to look at her and breathed in heavily.
Dani knelt on the floor picked up her book and dragged her feet on the floor to grab her dads attention.
She turned around while going back to her room.
‘Daddy, I don’t like you anymore.’ She pouted and turned back to her door.
‘Princess, come back here.’
‘Mommy is not in heaven but you lied to me.’
‘I didn’t lie, that woman is not good for you as a mother.’
‘It’s not your decision to make.’ Dani muttered maturely.
Both Melisa and Dane was taken back at how she could say that all of a sudden.
‘How can you say that? I’m your dad and guardian.’
‘Not anymore daddy, I’m eighteen years now.’ She said walking closer.
‘You are eight years my dear.’ Dane found himself relaxing now.
‘If I add one to eight then I’m eighteen.’ She said and quickly run back to her room.
Dane stood in the middle of the side room and paced around.
‘You did this Lisa. I can’t forgive that.’
‘Neither can I forgive the fact that you were actually using me to get back at Grissel.’
He was mute for a while when his phone rang. Dane pulled it out and quickly hanged up.’
Melisa stood there watching him pace around.
‘You didn’t bring your luggage?’ He finally calmed himself with his eyes lit.
‘So you can keep using me?’ Melisa snarled.
‘Lisa, don’t say that. I love you and it has nothing to do with that woman.’
‘That woman? Was that all she was to you?’
‘She killed my son and nearly ruined my daughter’s life. How else do you expect me to call her?’
‘Grissel is a good woman, and from what I heard she didn’t leave her children in the car on purpose.’
‘And you believe her?’
‘Yes, no one in their right mind would ever do that.’
‘Then she’s crazy to have done that.’
‘Crazy people don’t go to law school and become one of the first in their class.’
He scoffed. ‘She’s a lawyer?’
‘Of course, a damn good one.’
‘She must have swindled someone to get there.’
‘That’s where you are wrong. She had family and don’t forget she was looking after herself before you met her.’
‘You mean when I took her out of her misery.’
‘Watch your mouth, I won’t stand here for you to badmouth Grissel.
‘But you know what I’m saying is true. That woman used me and destroyed my life. She will get what is coming to her.’
‘That woman is married to my only brother. If you destroy her marriage, then you destroy me.’
‘Are you blackmailing me now? I thought you love me.’
‘I’m not but I can’t be stupid either just because I’m in love with someone who wants his ex-wife back.’
‘We were never divorced.’
‘What would you get from putting her back in jail and separating her from her husband?’
‘I won’t get anything but I can’t allow her be happy with someone else.’
‘You are smart but not wise Dane.’ She walked away from her to the couch.
‘Can we stop talking about other people’s business and talk about us?’
‘There’s no us anymore. You forgot if Grissel separates from Tom, you are not allowed to have any relationship either.’
He sat beside her and laughed hilariously.
‘What is funny?’
‘I have my ways Lisa. How then do you think I got her subpoenaed?’
‘I know you have connections and you can do whatever you want to with your money but just let Grissel be happy where she is now.’
‘Why should I do that? I’m doing this so Dani wouldn’t suffer.
‘Trust me, she had already paid for her mistakes. And if you ever loved her, you would want to see the mother of your daughter happy than sad.’
‘I never loved her like I love you now.’
‘No you don’t love me, you were just using me.
‘I wasn’t Lisa. I do love you but finding out from you, that criminal is related to you broke me.’
Melisa paused and glanced at him. ‘I gave her up when I mentioned her that day over the phone right?’
He reached out for her hands which she withdrew. ‘Yes, avoiding you and stalking you for weeks wasn’t because you were not ready for marriage but because you mentioned her and I was furious she’s still in the states when I thought she was deported after York.’
‘You mean your plans to get her deported didn’t work so you were not expecting to find her happy with my brother.’
‘Your brother, I sympathize with a lot. How does he cope with someone like that?’
‘It’s called love without blemish.’
‘That’s weird, but if you came here so I change my mind forget it.’
‘If you won’t change your mind for yourself do it for Shirley.’
‘Oh, she told you I changed her name to Daniella.’
‘Don’t let hatred control your life.’
‘If she wants to be free, then she should get me my son back.’
‘That’s not even possible Dane. Let this woman go or else you can’t be with me.’
‘You will leave me?’ He licked his l-ips sadly with love in his eyes.
‘I may because I can’t be with someone who wants to destroy my family.’ Melisa admired his l-ips and felt a surge going through her body. Her thoughts were filled with love.
Dane kept staring at her and pushed his l-ips on hers in a hurry.
‘What a.. re you do.. ing?’ She was talking in between their clenched l-ips and tried pushing him off when in earlier all she wanted was to be in his arms.
Dane held on t¡ghtly and kept on k-ssing her vigorously.
She wanted to give in at point but still stood her ground. She finally found the strength to let go but couldn’t as her emotions were wild at that moment.
They heard that sound faintly from afar and stopped.
‘Who is there?’ Dane asked and there was no response. He looked around and there was no sign of Dani or the house helps.
He looked at the wall clock and was convinced Dani must be asleep and probably the sound was from outside.
Dane looked back at Lisa who was gasping for air.
He drew her closer and w-rapped his hands around her neck.
‘Look at me and tell me you don’t want this and you have fallen out of love with me.’
Melisa whose face was down blushed.
‘I do want you and I still love you but you are hurti….’
‘Ssshhhhh.’ He raised her face up. ‘That is all I want to hear.
She nodded and sobb£d like a small girl who just lost a contest.
Dane k-ssed her on the forehead and gave her a t¡ght hug.
For some few seconds in each other’s arms, their cloths were flying around.
Dane was about to take off her underwear when she spoke up.
‘Someone might come in here.’
‘No one is allowed in here unless I ask them to.’
‘But I’m sti…ll not..com..for.table.’
‘Okay, let’s go upstairs.’ He dragged her along leaving their cloths on the floor.
‘Yuck.’ Dani came out a few minutes after from behind the couch where she was hiding.
She walked to the couch, sat down and folded their wears which were scattered in the hall.
‘Are you okay?’ Dane asked pulling the sheets to cover her.
She nodded turning her back towards him.
‘Then why are you not looking at me.’ He asked dragging himself closer.
‘What we did a while ago was wrong Dane. It can’t happen again.’
‘It can’t happen again because I screwed up or because you feel guilty not to have achieved your aim of coming to Dallas.’
‘We are family now, don’t forget that.’
‘Family? OMG, you are an African.’
‘What has that got to do with anything?’
‘I read they are African values.’
‘Whatever.’ She shifted when his body touched hers.
‘Okay, I’m sorry.’
‘For sleeping with me when you said some months back you were not ready or for mentioning Grissel several times.’
‘What? He quickly sat up.
‘Yes, you are still hang up on her even if you don’t want to admit it. You think you want to make her life difficult by asking her to choose between jail time and separation from Tom but you fail to admit you still want her.’
He was so quiet for a few minutes and tapped her to look at him.
‘Daddy.’ Came Dani’s voice from the door.
He picked up his phone from the b£dside and checked the time. It was pass twelve midnight.
‘Dani, is that you.’
‘Aren’t you two done yet? I’ve been waiting for hours.’ She quietly asked.
Melisa sprung up quickly and turned on the b£dside lamp. Their gazes met while Danes confused eyes kept searching her eyes.
‘Are you okay?’ He shouted back.
‘Dad, I need you in my room right now.’
‘You need me?’
‘Yes, Nanny Zoe isn’t awake. I’ve been on the couch for long.
Dane quickly got himself from under the sheets and walked unclad to his wardrobe.
‘Okay, I’m sorry, give me a minute and let me dress up.’
‘I need Lisa too.’
Melisa shook her head indicating she doesn’t want to go.
‘She’s not in here and besides she must be asleep by now. I will be right over.’
‘Lisa, I know you are in there and not asleep.’
‘You are right. I will be with you soon.’ She gave up and replied her loudly.
‘Great, you’ll need your dress. You left them in the hall.’
Melisa tried to laugh while Danes face became pale. He dragged on his boxers and angrily walked out.
‘Give me that.’ He took the wears from her and threw it over to Melisa who caught it immediately.
‘Dad, I heard everything and I want to go and live with my mom.’
‘Go back to b£d, you are not going anywhere.’ He thundered.
‘You are yelling Daddy.’
‘Yes because you are being naughty Dani.’
‘It’s Shirley, not Dani.’
‘What? Where did you get that from?’
‘I heard everything, you changed my name.’
Dane at that minute was fuming while Melisa came over.
‘Your name is Shirley, I get that but kindly go back to b£d. We will come over soon.’
‘Are you sure Lisa?’
‘Yes, let me talk to your dad.’
‘Okay. Daddy?’ she muttered.
‘Go already before I smack you.’
Melisa pulled him back in and waved Dani who took a step back when her Dad mentioned smacking.
‘She’s right Dane. And if you keep scaring her in that manner, trust me you will lose her when Grissel takes the stand in court.’
‘What is that supposed to mean?’
‘I’m saying that, you claim you are doing this for your daughter. She wants to see her mom, who left her when she was just five months old. I think she wants closure, she’s known you to be both her mom and dad all these years but now that Grissel has shown up, I believe it’s not a coincidence that I’m in your life so let Dani see her mom.’
‘You don’t expect me to let her live with that woman after all these years.’
‘Not necessarily to live with her but just meet her over the weekend so even if you decide to go ahead with your case in court, you still have your daughter on your side.’
‘You think my daughter is capable of turning on me in court.’
‘Trust me, if Grissel puts her on the stand she just might if you don’t do as she says.’
‘You think she’s capable of putting her own daughter on the stand?’
‘She’s young, I get that but if you won’t let Grissel be happy where she is, Dani might end up as a bargaining chip.’
Dane walked over to his b£d, put on his fl-ip flops as he was bare footed earlier.
‘Let’s go and meet the new Queen of the house.’ He managed a smile while Melisa followed.
To be continued