After dinner, Diego and Janet go to the campus, but there are too many memories of Tex.
“He thinks Tex is his dad.”
“He’s five. What was I supposed to tell him? Your father’s an assassin, who left us to hunt down and murder other assassins? It isn’t easy being the son of a jailbird who beat his mother, but it’s easier than the truth.”
Pain contorted his face. “Is that what you think of me? That’s what you think I do?” He turned from her, biting his lip. Hands deep in his pockets, he hung his head.
“I don’t know. I don’t know you anymore! You’ve skipped in and out of my life for twenty years. Every time I think it’s going to last, you get snatched away from me again. I love you so much, but I don’t know how much more of this I have in me. I’m not a yo-yo, Diego. I’m a woman who’s lost without you. So broken and weak, she marries a man like Tex.”
“Why? Why him? You knew I was coming back.”
“But I didn’t! I had no idea where you were. I was alone and pregnant and scared…. And I did love him, once. I was never in love. He wasn’t you…. But he was there. And as flawed as he is, he made me feel alive and sexy and loved. Can you ever understand that?”
“I don’t know.” Diego shrugged, his hands out, palms up, hardly knowing what to do or say.
Janet eyed him carefully, tilting her head to one side. “Will you do something for me?”
“Anything.” He stepped close, winding his fingers in her hair.
“Will you take me back to that damn hotel and fornicate my brains out?”
Diego laughed loudly and abruptly. “That was unexpected.”
“I ache for you, and I can’t breathe right when you’re around. I want to laugh, or cry, or both at once. I haven’t had sex since Danny was born.”
“That’s a long time,” he replied huskily.
Taking her face in his hands, he lowered his mouth to hers. His kiss ignited the old fires. They surged and grew the longer he kissed her. Diego set some sort of speed record back to the hotel. Practically undressing in the elevator, they went to his suite. They didn’t make it as far as the bed the first time. Instead, they fell on the couch and made love there. Eventually, they made it to the bedroom. Janet lost herself in the moment, reveling in the affection, feeling alive for the first time in years.
Early in the morning, they lay cuddled in the middle of the king sized bed. Janet lay with her head on his chest while he wound his fingers in her hair.
“I want to get married,” he murmured. “We’ll find Tex, and get him to sign the papers.”
“I’ve tried. He won’t.”
“With all due respect, baby, you don’t speak persuasion, the same way I do.”
She shivered, imagining how he might coerce Tex. It wouldn’t be pretty, and she strongly suspected she’d end up not needing a divorce, because she’d be a widow.
“In the meantime, Janet Yarkowsky, will you marry me, at some unspecified time in the future? Will you live with me, and let me be father to my son?”
“Yes. Will you quit the agency?”
He exhaled slowly. “I can’t yet.”
She glared at him. “You said…!”
“Don’t start. If I quit, I’m no longer protected. There are still some nasty folks out there who want me dead.”
“And you expect me to marry you? To bring my son into that life?”
“I conceived him. I carried him nine months. I gave birth to him. You notice I did most of it without your help.”
“You had help with the conception part,” he pointed out, tickling her. “And I’d like to try that again. And again…. And again. I love you. And I don’t want to fight. I don’t want to talk about Tex, I don’t want to think about anything hard, or sad, or painful…. I want to make love to you until I can’t walk. I want to live the life we’ve missed out on all these years.”
“Okay. For now, we can do that. Eventually, there are some hard questions we have to answer.”
“But not tonight.” He rolled over, pulling her close, his desire evident.
©2020 Dellani Oakes
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