💑EP THIRTY FOUR💑
It was against Travis’s will, but I insisted on a hot bath. Hejoined me in the tub, and it was a glorious feeling. Untilthen, I still couldn’t believe that Travis and I were backtogether…back in each other’s arms. I didn’t need to losehim again. That finally, we’d laid down all our cards on thetable, and taken off all our masks. We were starting afresh,
and nothing could come between us again.
I dressed in one of his pajama bottoms and shirts, whichwere too big for me. I had to tie the shirt in the waist area asit was big enough to be a dress.
Travis’s room was huge. It had a royal bed in the center,the headboard and edges of which had elegant goldcarvings. The couch set had matching carvings, and thefabric on them was lush and luxurious.
“Would you like to have dinner here, or downstairs? Orperhaps you’d like to go out?”
“I’d like to see the house, if that’s okay with you,” Ireplied. “I haven’t been here before.”
He took my hand in his and led me out the door.The whole house was massive. Like their lake house, itwas covered mostly in glass. The chandeliers were elegantand looked very expensive. I could tell that the house wasyears old. Probably older than Travis. But it was rich andluxurious. More like a manor or a small castle than a house.
It had about eight bedrooms, two living rooms, a library, agame room, and a huge nursery.
“Is this the house you grew up in?”
“I can’t tell which house I really grew up in,” he replied.
“This was my grandparents’ house. I have many happy memories here from when my grandmother was alive. Mygrandfather died a month after she did.” He took a deepbreath. “They were so in love with each other. Even in theirold age, I remember how happy they were. When mygrandmother died, my grandfather was devastated. Thenone day, he told me, ‘I will be happy again, son. Soon, I willbe with my love again.’ He died after a few days. Iremembered being so sad…but then again, I knew that he’shappier. Because they’re together again.”
I couldn’t help crying. Travis’s grandparents’ love storywas so touching.
“Hey…” Travis said, pulling me into his arms. “Why areyou crying?”
I giggled. “That story was sweet.”
I smiled and then I reached up to kiss him. “I love you.”
“I love you more.”
We checked out each of the bedrooms. They were allonly a little smaller than Travis’s bedroom, but still abouttwice the size of my bedroom in Connecticut.
“I don’t remember,” he replied. “It’s been a long while. Ifound out that my grandparents left me this house when Iturned nineteen. If I had known that earlier, I would havemoved out of my father’s house sooner. Here, I’m safe fromhim and his bodyguards.”
“But you’re safe from him now, aren’t you?” I asked.
He looked at me wearily. “I am. Because I’m his son. ButI’m afraid of what he might do if he finds out just how important you are to me.”
I hugged him. “You know you can stop, Travis,” I said. “Iknow you don’t need the money anymore. I’m a simplewoman with simple needs. Don’t you have enough money…to quit this war? Leave your father be?”
He took a deep breath. Then he pulled away from meslightly so he could look me in the eyes. “Are you asking meto?”
I took a deep breath. “I want you to be happy, Travis. Toconcentrate on your own happiness, on your own life,instead of your father’s destruction. It’s not worth it. Youdeserve to live your life…for yourself.”
He didn’t say anything. He just gave me a hug. Then Iheard him take a deep breath and kiss my forehead.
He led me to the dining room. There was a long table inthe center. Maids were standing close by. They greeted uswarmly. The table was set for two.
“Hungry?” he asked.
I nodded. “Yeah. Actually, I am.”
After dinner, Travis decided to show me the outside ofthe house. At the door, I saw a familiar old woman. She wasmuch older now. But I still recognized her.
“Mrs. Beets!” I reached forward and gave her a hug.
“Madam.” She smiled.
“Do you live here now?”
“Wherever the Master needs me, madam,” she said.
“I’m happy that you are our Mistress now. I know you willtake care of him.”
The garden was massive, beautifully landscaped andadorned with roses. There was a gazebo where luncheonsand private dinners could be held. They also had a pool anda huge yard where kids could play football.
I realized, as I toured the house, that I could picture ourkids playing here. I could picture us having family dinners in the gazebo, the kids playing football with their father, or theentire family swimming in the pool.
I sighed sadly. If only I could give Travis kids…if onlythere weren’t something wrong with me.
“Are you okay, love?” Travis asked, forcing me to lookinto his eyes.
I smiled at him but did not say anything.
“Brianne…this is me,” he said gently. “You never used tohide anything from me.”
He was right. He used to know every single one of mypains. He could read me like a book. After all that we hadbeen through, he deserved my honesty.
“I was just thinking that it’s so beautiful here,” I said.
“This…would be a good place to grow up in.”
He smiled. “Would you like us to live here?”
“Yes…if only…we could have kids.”
He hugged me. “We will have kids, love,” he said. “Wewill keep trying. There are plenty of options now. Medically,we could try two or three options. If nothing works, we canalways adopt. There are plenty of kids out there looking fora family. Like the two of us…when we were young. We weretwo kids desperately wanting to belong to a family again.We had each other. We were all the family we needed. If we
can’t have kids of our own, then we will adopt.”
I gave him a hug. “I’m really sorry, Travis,” I said to him.
“Don’t be,” he said. “It isn’t your fault. And we still havea chance. Right now, I’m just so happy that we’re backtogether. That I don’t have any risk of losing you anymore.”
I reached up and kissed him.“Thank you,” I whispered. “Thank you for acceptingme…in spite of my…condition.”
He pulled away from me so he could look into my eyes.
“Don’t you ever think that you’re less of a person…or awoman…just because you have lesser chances ofconceiving, Brianne. And don’t ever think I would love youany less because of that. I don’t, and I won’t.”
He wiped the tears from my cheeks.
“Our chances of having a baby are more than you give itcredit for, love. I know you never missed any of yourdoctor’s appointments. And your recent tests were gettingbetter results.”
“But still no guarantees,” I replied.
“But our chances are increasing.”
I nodded. Then I stared back at him. “Wait a minute.How do you know all that?”
He stared at me for a while and then he smiled. “I get allthe results of your tests and your gynecological reports aresent to me.”
“I’m your husband, Brianne. I have a right to knowwhat’s happening to you, too.” He stared at me deeply andthen he leaned forward and gave me a gentle kiss on thelips. “I don’t have to always be physically with you to keepmy promises to keep you safe. I did that for more than adecade before we got engaged. Come on, don’t you know
me by now?” There was laughter in his eyes.
I pinched him playfully. He laughed and hugged me tohim tightly.
“And there I was thinking you’d stopped loving me,” Iwhispered.
I felt him shake his head. “Never,” he said. “I could andwould never stop loving you, Brianne.”
We stayed in the gazebo for a while. The moon wasshining above us.
“So do you want to live here?” he asked.
“Yes. I think I like it here. It would be the best place toraise our kids. You have happy childhood memories here. Igrew up in this city, too. Education for the kids is good. It’scloser to Tom and to your grandparents…it’s a drive awayfrom the lake house, if we want to spend a weekend there,”I said to him.
“Well, I don’t really mind where I live as long as I’m withyou.”
I smiled at him. “But we need to renovate some things. Ihope your grandparents won’t mind. We need to repaintmany of the rooms. I think we need more chandeliers. I wantthis house to be full of light…full of life. We’re done beingsad, Travis.”
He chuckled. “I think you’re right. And I think mygrandparents will be very happy. I think Grandma would bevery pleased it is you wearing her engagement ring now.”
He kissed the top of my head. “Do you think Tom will bepleased with this?”
“Yes,” I said, remembering my dream. “He…sends youhis love.”
Travis pulled away from me to look at me in the eyes.
“I saw him, Travis,” I said. “In my dreams. Before I wokeup here. He told me that I was going to live a long andhappy life. And he told me to send you his love.”
Tears welled up in Travis’s eyes again. He pulled me tohim in a tight hug. I heard him take a deep breath. Then Iheard him whisper, “Thanks, bro.”