A week later, Ryan was still at Kevin’s. He felt unpardonably happy. Having had sex without using protection, the possibility of Olivia being pregnant had at first scared him. But, each time he
looked at her wide, deep-set eyes and considered her social status—a rich man’s daughter--and her delicate mannerisms, he couldn’t wish for anything else. If she got pregnant, this would assure him
of being part of her life.
How fortunes could change very fast. Just a few months ago, he’d been like a beggar, worried and on his knees imploring Vincent not to fire him. Little did he know this would be a blessing in
disguise. The future was bright with endless possibilities—worst-case scenario, he’d work for Kevin, managing some of his properties.
Leaving the celibate life and breaking up with Annie seemed to him like a delirious dream, but the reality was even sweeter. He was now with the love of his life. Instead of guilt, he felt
justified, thanks to Vincent’s torture. But the betrayal of Annie’s love made him a little sorry for her. Of course, it was unfair, but what else could he do? Better not to brood over it. What was
the meaning of life, if not happiness? He was now happy and had no apologies to make. Annie was young, pretty, and would find happiness with someone else. Perhaps Fred.
He snapped from his reverie when he heard steps at the door. Elated, thinking it was Olivia, he opened the door. But it was only Kevin. “Damn it, ah, sorry, I thought it was Olivia.”
“Oh, she’s not here?”
“No, she went home. Her mom has been worried stiff. It’s been two weeks. I just dunno what would’ve happened to me if her dad were around. I’d be a dead man. Come on in.”
Kevin sat on the edge of the bed. “You must be the happiest man in town. She’s hot. By the way, it’s just occurred to me, did you say her daddy impregnated and eloped with her friend?”
“Yeah, they went to the coast for some time but are now back in the city at an unknown location. Why are you asking?”
“I just find so much coincidence with my tenant on block ten. He’s staying with a very young chick, so pregnant she can give birth any minute.”
Ryan's jaw dropped. Could it be the guy he saw staring into their window the other night? “You don’t say. Oh my goodness. It’s him! how did I miss it?”
“Why, you seem so certain. I could be wrong— “
“No—no, it’s him. He saw me having sex with his daughter."
“You’re kidding me. How did he see you?”
“We forgot to pull the blinds.”
“Don’t fret ‘bout it. Could be another man just toying around.”
“Know what, I saw him with my very own eyes. I know him. Don’t tell Olivia anything. I’ll talk to her myself. I should leave this place immediately. Ah, I’m scared for my life.”
Though terrified about Justin, he wasn’t about to back down. Love wasn’t something to be sorry about. Besides, he needed to stand up like a man and defend his woman—even if the aggressor was her
father. The hairs on the back of his neck prickled. Come what may. He’d take a bullet for her.
“No. No. No… I’d rather they leave and not you guys. My kids are in love with Olivia. Irene will be so hurt, um, she’s so used to her.”
“I know, but as it is, I’m not even sure her mom will allow her back.”
“Oh, that’s absurd. Man, why not marry her? If you don’t move fast, someone else will.”
Ryan hadn’t felt this insecure and couldn’t imagine his life without Olivia. Now, more than ever, he hoped she was pregnant. If she wasn’t, he’d try harder, starting tonight.
He paced. “Damn it, man. How could I be this blind?”
“Easy buddy, just don’t take chances.”
The more he thought about her, the more he wished she were there. He didn’t understand why she even loved him in the first place—a poor, homeless bastard. He’d never seen such goodness. The thought
of losing her was too much. Kevin was right. He needed to act—and quickly.
“No one’s gonna take her from me.”
Kevin rubbed Ryan’s shoulders. “Anything you want, count on me. We’ll support you guys.”
God forbid. What if she fell in love with someone else? The thought sent a sharp pain to his gut. His voice trembled. “She so loves me, man. I can’t imagine my life without her. She got no will of
her own around me, and she’s always so eager to anticipate my needs. I often wonder what she sees in me that I don't.”
“That’s true love. Don’t let her go.”
What had started as a bright day, waking up in Olivia’s warm thighs, was quickly turning into a dark and sad day. The weather was cold and so windy that the window panes rattled. Sadness clung to
Outside, a car door slammed. He rushed to the window. “Oh my God! She’s come in her mother’s car. She’s gonna get me in trouble.”
“Relax, she’s not a kid. What’d she think if she found you shivering in fear like this?” asked Kevin.
Dressed in short pants, Olivia strolled across the yard, the ruffle on her sleeveless top fluttering in the breeze.
Ryan withdrew to the bedside. “Let’s catch up later. I need some time alone with her.”
He followed Kevin downstairs, then ran out to meet her.
“I really missed you.” He walked towards her with open arms. “I feared your mom won’t let you come back.”
She jumped into his arms and wrapped her legs around his waist. “Come on, I’m a grownup. How can she stop me?”
He planted a kiss on her full lips, so long and hard she blushed. “Careful, someone could be watching us.”
“I don’t give a damn.”
She unwrapped herself from him, stepped back, and held up a magazine he'd not noticed.
“It’s a magazine featuring my aunt as a cancer survivor. She’s now become a celebrity, every media station’s calling her.”
“Thank God, she’s suffered a lot.”
“I should be leaving you behind more often if this is the kind of greeting I get.” She went back to the boot. “I passed by the supermarket and bought some groceries. Got you some pants too. I
hope you’ll like them.”
“Oh, how sweet of you. I’ll definitely love them, you got taste.”
“Guess whom I ran into?” She removed her shoes at the door.
“No idea. Ken?”
“Annie and Fred, at the Pearls boutique. She’s shopping for a wedding gown.”
“Oh, good for her. We’ll soon be visiting there too.”
“I can’t wait, honey.”
Inside the house, Irene sat on the sofa. Olivia ran and embraced her. “Don’t stress. Oh, I can feel the baby kicking, it must be a boy.”
“Your guess is as good as mine,” said Irene.
Olivia sat beside her. “I’m so glad to see you. I couldn’t wait to come back.”
“I’m glad, too. I was bored stiff.”
Kevin's oldest son ran into the room and flew into Olivia's arms.
“Heavens, I missed you, sweetheart.” She kissed the boy. Then, reached into one of the shopping bags and pulled out bars of chocolate. “This is for you. Take the rest to your brothers.”
Later that evening in the bedroom, Ryan pulled her into his arms. “How did it go, at home with mom? She must be mad at you.”
“Guess what? I didn’t even see her!”
“Dad was there. A quarrel ensued and he started fighting with one of their friends, the former governor. I just didn’t want to be with either of them in that state.”
“Oh, that’s sad. Why were they fighting?”
“Can you imagine the irony! He’s the one cheating on mom, yet he accused her of cheating on him with the governor. It’s just absurd.”
He walked to the window and stared outside. Should he tell her about her father seeing them?
“Is there something wrong?” she asked.
She wrung her hands and joined him. “Are you sure? Since I arrived, you've seemed distracted. You know you can tell me anything… is it something I’ve done?”
He embraced her. “Honey, it’s nothing serious. The last thing I want is to spoil this moment.”
“I knew it, you’re still in love with her. You’re hurting because I told you I saw Annie shopping for a wedding gown.”
"What? No. You can doubt me on anything but my faithfulness to you. It’s you I love and nobody else. I don’t think I can love someone else.”
“Then what is it?”
“Okay, um, your papa and Gisela are living here.” He looked across the window. “Over there.”
“No way, you’re kidding me. How do you know? Are they the ones who were looking at us the other night we forgot to close the curtain?”
He rubbed his eyes and dropped his gaze. “Err, it’s awful. Let’s not talk about it.”
“Oh my God! Dad saw me?”
“No, it’s only Gisela who saw us. Not your daddy. From what you tell me about him if he saw us he’d have confronted us right away.”
“Oh yeah. Dad would’ve broken this door.” She sighed. “Thank God.”
“Last night, I thought a lot and just realized how special you’re to me. I love you so much.”
Olivia moved her head closer to him and he felt his blood boiling. She leaned in, so her forehead rested against his. Without saying a word, they closed their eyes.
His breath shook. "I love you, and always will," he said, in barely more than a whisper.
"I love you more." Her voice was low and husky.
"Promise me you’ll never change, but will remain this sweet." His voice wavered, exhilarated from the tension between them.
She gently leaned in and kissed him. Then, pulled apart and took shaky, shallow breaths. Ryan was helpless. He held her head in his hands and pulled her into a passionate kiss. Her hands worked
their way around his body, slowing at each crevasse, each line along his perfect physique. “You have the perfect body.”
He loosened his body and chuckled beneath her breath. “It’s all yours baby.”
She lay on her back as he matched her body's form. His hands ventured over her curved body, exploring. She pulled apart again. “I know what you want, but not now babe, um, I need some time.”
He stared deep into her eyes, full of wonder. “Oh, no. Why?” He bent and started kissing her softly up and down the neck.
“I promise to make it up to you. I’m just not in the right state of mind.” She let out little whimpers of anticipation.
He pretended not to have heard her and worked his way back to her tender, smooth lips. As they kissed, she rolled him over and lay on top of his muscular body. She then ran her lips up his neck and
landed a loving and intense kiss on his lips. “Please, let’s do this later.”
She kissed him and jumped out of bed, adjusting her bra. “I need to clear my chest.”
“What is it, honey? Did I do something wrong?”
“No, it’s not you. Gisela’s ruined my family.” She turned away. “She betrayed our generosity. Imagine mama wanted to adopt her.”
Even in her anger, he liked her easy behavior to him and her truthful and innocent eyes. He embraced her. “I’m sorry. It’ll be fine. Papa will come to his senses and come back home.”
She disentangled from him. “She must tell me why.” She headed for the door. “Sorry, I have to deal with her right away.”
“Don’t go to that house--”
Olivia banged the door behind her on the way out. He followed her but couldn’t keep up with her pace and watched helplessly at the exit as she rushed to block ten.
What if Justin had come back and was in the house? He ran after her.
Olivia pressed the bell several times and even knocked, but there was no answer. Then, the sound they’d been hearing as though someone crying from the inside became distinct. Ryan peeped through
the window and saw Gisela lying on the floor, reeling in pain and holding her big tummy.
“We need help.” He turned to Olivia. “I think she’s in labour.”
“She’s flat on the floor.”
He turned the knob, and the door opened. Thank God.
“Oh my God. Please help.” Gisela lifted her head, but her hands were still glued on her tummy.
“Please call the ambulance,” said Ryan.
“She might not make it to the hospital. I’m calling mom. She gave birth to my sister on her own.”
“Please do it quick, we don’t have time.” He bent over Gisela. “Hang on there, help is on the way.”
Gisela held tightly on his sleeve. “I think the baby’s coming.” She sounded hysterical.
A few minutes later, the door flung open, and Katelyn stormed into the house. Elizabeth was behind her. Justin and Ambrose, after seeing Gisela on the floor, ran back outside.
Katelyn knelt before Gisela, pressing her thighs. “Push. Push. Push… you can do this…push.”
Gisela screamed all the louder. A few minutes passed and it wasn’t until the next long push that got the job done, just in time when the doctor had arrived.
Immediately after the doctor cut the cord from around the baby’s neck, he put the crying baby on Gisela’s chest. Katelyn stood by, tears shining in her eyes.
“I love you,” Gisela said, looking deep into the baby’s eyes.
A minute passed and the nurse took the baby away. Perhaps to clean it.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth took Katelyn aside. “Only God can reward your big heart.”
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