Cautious (Disastrous 2) - Page 36

“No, if you don’t mind, I would like to talk with you, privately.” He looked down and lightly shrugged. “If that’s okay with you?”

“Sure.” I scooted over so he could join me. He made his way over and sank down beside me.

The swing lightly swayed in place as we sat there in an awkward silence. After a few minutes, he finally cleared his throat. “It’s a nice night.”

A tiny smile touched the corner of my lips at his attempt to make small talk. It wasn’t easy for me either, so I just leaned back and admired the breeze. “Yes, it is.”

There were a few additional minutes of silence before he blurted, “I’m proud of you.”

Puzzled by the random statement, I tilted my chin and stared at his profile. He bowed his head and took a deep breath. “You grew up to be a very intelligent, independent, beautiful, and strong woman. I couldn’t be happier.” He looked up at me then. “I know I can’t make up for the last twenty-four years of your life, and it’s probably too late to build a relationship, but I can at least try. I want to be a part of your life. The last twenty-four years I’ve missed, but I don’t want to miss any more minutes from here on out.”

My heart swelled at his testament. I wiped away the tears that fell, and sniffing, I nodded slightly. “Okay” was all I could say; there was nothing more than that. How could I not give him another chance? Everyone deserved one, and maybe I was optimistic, but for so long I suffered being alone, trying to be strong for myself. There was so much I had faced on my own at such a young age. I didn’t want to push anyone away anymore. I had built a high barrier and not allowed anyone in but a simple few. I took a chance with Marcus, and I believed it was the best choice I’d ever made. I wanted to take more risks, to find more chances for happiness, and most of all, to build a family.

The man before me locked his tear-filled eyes with mine as his lip quivered. His body slightly shook as if he was trying to hold it all in, and then he pulled me into a tight hug. “Thank you.” His voice cracked. “I promise I won’t let you down.” He broke into soft sobs. My chest tightened at his promise. I tried to hold back tears and dug my head into his neck. “I know it was stupid, but your mother was so young . . .”

“No.” I mumbled into his chest. “Let’s leave it in the past.” There was no reason to go back to it. I didn’t want an explanation, and I didn’t care for one. All that mattered was that he was going to make up for it.

After our cries subsided, we pulled away from each other and sat out on the porch for a very long time, talking and laughing about our likes and dislikes—sports, school, and so much more. He was a man who was so comfortable to talk to and so easy to love. He reminded me a bit of my father. It begged the question as to why they didn’t get along, but I kept it to myself. All that mattered was at that very moment we created a memory I was able to store away as a keepsake of the time my grandfather and I swayed on a porch swing, laughing and admiring the October late night stars. That was a beautiful night.

“Mia, are you ready to call it a night, sweetie?” Sara popped her head out the door. “It’s late, and we have to head back to the hotel.” I looked over at my grandfather. I was having such a good time with him, and I didn’t want to leave so soon. He gave me a warm smile. “Go ahead, Mia. It’s past my bedtime, anyway. I never survive past eight.” He let out a raspy laugh. “We’re all having dinner tomorrow at a restaurant, so we’ll see each other then. Get some rest.”

Smiling along with him, I pulled him into a hug, and then we walked into the house so that I could give Kathy a tight hug as well and wish her a good night.

We all drove back to the hotel in silence as I counted the minutes before I could rejoin my grandparents and get to know them even better.

Marcus sensed my brighter mood as we entered the hotel room. He slightly shook his head and smiled as he removed his clothing. “Your grandparents were nice.” He flung his boots off.

“They were so cool, especially William.” We both stripped down to our undies and climbed into bed. I snuggled into his arms. “I can’t believe I actually have a family, Marcus. Is it wrong or cliché to actually have such strong feelings for them, despite everything that’s happened?”

He ran his fingers up and down the side of my arm as he pressed his lips on top of my head. “No, baby, it’s not. They’re your family no matter what. That’s what’s most important. Even if you feel betrayed for what they’d done in the past, you can only hope for the best in the future.”

I squeezed my eyes shut and tightened my arms around him. I knew deep down that what Marcus had just said was more of a realization for him than a speech for me. We lay in bed the rest of the night that way, until we both drifted into a deep sleep.



At noon that Saturday, Mia and I had a quiet breakfast at one of the hotel restaurants. Afterwards, we walked around the city before heading back to the hotel. As I waited for her to finish with her shower, I sat on a chair in the living area of our suite. When we first arrived three days ago, I was distraught, and although I felt more at ease by now, I’d almost forgotten that it was the day that marked fifteen years since my father passed.

Fifteen long fucking years.

All the memories I’d had of him were good, not one bad memory. And even though each day since his death I had grown sturdier, I asked myself, “How different would my life have been if he was still alive?” I didn’t blame him for how my life had turned out. As he told me once, if I wasn’t happy with my life, I alone had to do something to change it. I couldn’t wait around and expect it all to work out. But that was a difficult saying for me to put into practice, when I had no fucking clue how to change it.

The person that I wanted my life to be better for had just padded her way out of the bathroom. Just out of the shower, she dropped her towel, revealing the soft skin of her naked body. Bending over to grab a bra from on top of the bed, she slowly tilted her head and looked over at me. A smile formed along her lips as she caught me watching her. She straightened her posture and, with confidence, walked in my direction.

My earlier thoughts vanished as pleasure rushed through me with each stride she took. When Mia reached me, she leaned down and pressed her hands along the armrest of the chair. Mia gently stretched her neck, and with her lips, she grazed my jawline. “You like what you see?” she whispered. The warmth of her breath along my skin aroused me.