Read episode 9 here: http://bit.ly/allureserial
I had entered that stage in my life where I was ready to leave the craziness of my past behind.
Ready to settle down.
Was it age?
I knew the answer to that. It had nothing to do with being almost thirty-two, and everything to do with the girl pressed to my side.
A sudden image overcame me—Demitra in her mid-twenties, or whenever she decided she was ready, belly swollen with our child.
I’d be almost forty when I had my first child, but that didn’t matter to me at all. As long as it was with her.
As long as she was the mother.
Sonofabitch. There was no denying it anymore. I wanted her to marr—
“Dorian!” She sat up and fisted my shirt. “Are you okay?”
“Huh? Oh. Yeah . . . yeah.” Staring into her light eyes, I waited for a sense of panic to hit.
Perhaps even a little bit of worry.
Well, that was there, but it had nothing to do with my desire to eventually put a ring on her finger.
I couldn’t lose her.
I really couldn’t now.
That brief glimpse of our possible future that I saw? I had to make that a reality.
There was no other acceptable outcome for me.
“You don’t look okay,” Demi said dubiously.
“Come with me to Chicago,” I blurted out, a request I hadn’t even considered making, yet.
But an inevitable one nonetheless.
It’d only last a week. Less than that if I flew back right after the main night of the design conference.
I promised myself on my last trip that it wouldn’t happen again—we wouldn’t be separated like that. Which meant Demi had to be there with me.
She was still blinking at me, flustered.
I grabbed her hand. “Please.”
“You want me there?”
“I want you everywhere.” On all counts.
I got a happy, loving smile for that, and it was hard not to drag her onto my lap. “Okay,” she said.
“I know we’re going to have to tell your father on a video call, or something. We can’t spring it on him right before the conference.”
Demitra’s eyes clouded at the mention of her father. Beck ran up to her and placed his paws on her lap. Rising up on his hind legs, he offered her his chew toy.
Brow furrowed, Demi took it from him and flicked it across the living room.
Panting happily, he ran to pick it up and brought it to me next.
She watched as I took my turn playing fetch with the pup. “I really don’t care how he finds out anymore. But, even so, a video call might not be right, either. I don’t know.”
“Demi . . . I know he fucked up—bad—but he’s still your father.”
“Don’t do that.” She rose from the couch and headed to her kitchen. Through the serving hatch, I saw her open the fridge and reach inside. “There are sides to that man that I’m just starting to see, and the last thing I need is you standing up for him because of any sense of solidarity.”
I knew what she was implying with that. Mulling over my best response, I watched her unscrew a bottle of water and make her way back to me. “Baby, I understand how you feel. There are sides to him I didn’t anticipate, either.”