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Perfect Love Story (Love 1) Natasha Madison 2022/8/3 13:48:56

I let her vent, hating Eric more than is humanly possible. More than even Julia, and I hated her right down to the pit of my stomach. “I didn’t read it.”

“Do you want to read it?” I ask her as she turns in my arms to look at me. “No,” she says. “Not one piece of me needs those words in my life.”

“Then don’t.” I kiss her lips, and then her tear stained cheeks. “You get to do this on your own time, when you want to. Not when he wants.”

“Yes.” She leans into my shoulder, laying her head against it. “I’m going to do it on my time.”

I nod my head. “When you want to.” I smile at her as she closes her eyes, and I hold her, thinking about that white envelope and wondering if things will still be the same between us when she opens it. I sit out there holding her while she processes whatever it is she needs to process.

“Do you want to get pizza tonight?” she asks me. “We could grab Mila and eat it there.” She looks at me.

“Yeah, you want to bring Blake?” I ask, knowing he won’t be visiting for long. No matter what she is going through, she still needs to spend time with him.

“Yeah,” she answers as she gets on her knees, facing me. “I’m happy.” Her declaration makes me smile.

“I’m happy too.” I grab her face and kiss her. She lets go to stand up and holds her hand out for me to take as she tries to pull me up. I laugh at her while she grunts. I finally stand up, linking our fingers together, and we walk back to her house. “I will see you soon.” I kiss her nose. “Call you when I get Mila.”

“I’ll meet you there,” she tells me as she turns and walks up the stairs to the house.

I pick up the phone and see I have about fifteen missed calls from Crystal, so I press her number. “What the fuck is wrong with you two? Why can’t you carry phones?”

“Because they don’t want you to disturb them,” I hear Gabe in the background while Crystal hisses at him.

“Mrs. Henderson is waiting for you to treat her hang nail. I’m assuming you can do that without a nurse,” she hisses. “What happened to Hailey?” she asks me.

“I think it’s best for her to tell you.” I’m not going to break the trust I have with her. “I’m going to get Mila and then we are meeting for dinner at D’Amore.”

“Oh, I want pizza. I’m coming too. What time?” she asks.

“I have no idea. Probably around six.”

“Perfect. I’m off by then, so save me a place.”

“Me too,” Gabe yells from the background.

“You aren’t invited.”

“My cousin is going, so I can go to the restaurant if I want, Crys. It’s a public place.”

“Whatever, but you aren’t sitting with us. Maybe you can meet another date?”

“Oh my god, I dated her in fucking high school,” he counters.

“Okay, are you guys done?” I ask the bickering duo.

“I’m not talking to him. I’ll be there. See you at six,” she finally says then disconnects. I shake my head, thinking of the dysfunction that must be going on at that clinic.

I pull up to the house, and when I walk in, I hear Mila giggle. “I’m home,” I yell, so she turns and runs to me.

“Poppa.” She kisses my cheek. “We make cookies.”

“Did you?” I ask her, smiling at Jessica.

“We did, and I ate some cookie dough,” she whispers. “It’s a secret, so don’t say anything.” I laugh, setting her down to run back and finish the cookie she was eating before I walked in.

“We are going to grab some pizza tonight,” I tell her as I grab the mail on the table. “Would you like that?”

“Hmm.” She moans out between her bites of cookie.

Jessica leaves right before six, at the same time as Mila and I make our way to D’Amore. I texted Hailey, telling her I would see her at six. She responded with a kiss emoji.

As we finally walk into D’Amore, my eyes are scanning everyone when I see Hailey wave her hand at me. “Look, Hailey is here,” Mila says when we walk toward her.

“Hey there, Princess Mila.” She smiles at her, and I nod to her brother, Blake, who is sitting in front of her. “Mila, this is my brother, Blake. Blake, this is the coolest four-year-old, Princess Mila.”

Blake smiles at Mila. “Nice to meet you, your highness.” He bows his head as Mila laughs and asks for crayons.

“I’m not driving you home. I hope you know.” I hear Crystal’s voice when she walks in. Looking around, she spots us.

“You have to drive me home,” Gabe says while he follows her.

“Hey there,” Crystal says, sitting down next to Mila and kissing her cheek. “Hello, Princess. Blake.”