43// Tori

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I've been home from the hospital for just over four weeks now. We've been staying at Derek's house with deacon and Daisy, mostly just so when Derek has to go out there's someone here with me whilst I'm recovering.

And plus, Daisy nursery is here, and all of her things are here, so it made sense to just stay at this house.

The last few weeks have been a haze, my parents and Grace stayed for a week after I woke up, but they had to get home and as much as I love them, I was glad that things were getting back to normal.

When I was in the hospital, I remembered the voices I heard, and I asked my mom if Mia was there. And apparently, she was, she turned up and stayed for a day until Grace threaten to kick her ass if she didn't leave.

Honesty I'm glad because Mia is someone I just don't want to deal with right now. But I've got a feeling in my gut that sometime in the future I'm going to have to face it and face her, but that time is not now.

What else has been driving me crazy since coming home, is Derek and Deacon. I love them I do; Deacon is my family now and Derek I love so much, but I swear the way they have been surrounding me since getting home, making sure I have what I need and they won't let me do anything, or move or lift anything I basically can't do much with either one of them around. I know that their concern comes from a place of love.

But for the love of God, I would just like to get my own cup of tea and sit outside without a bodyguard.

The last week Derek and me we've talked about the future; I've chosen to stay in River-Cove. I know that most people wouldn't if they were stalked here, kidnapped and so on and we talked about moving somewhere new. 

But Derek loves River-Cove not that he would admit that, but he does, and Deacon has made a life here for himself. It wouldn't feel right leaving Deacon behind and moving away.

Plus, even with everything that happened here with Marcus, River-Cove still feels like home and I want that same feeling for Daisy as she grows up.

Yes, it comes with its challenges, and I have nightmares which I will probably have for a very long time, but I'm healing with Derek by my side, he's love anchors me and with that I know we could have a great life in River-Cove.

Breaking away from my own thoughts as I hear a quiet knock on the side doorway of the beach house, letting my eyes flicker from Daisy who was sleeping soundly in her travel cot, before moving my eyes to the door just in time to see Tess walking through them, with a smile on her face as she locks eyes on me.

This morning Derek and Deacon said they had something that they had to take care off, which surprised me because either one has left me alone since I got out of the hospital. 

Which is why I was more shocked when Derek also asked me to watch Daisy for a little bit, so he and Deacon could do what they had too.

But I should have known better that he didn't have a plan B. And now seeing Tess here, she's his back-up plan.

"Hey sweetheart, how are you feeling?" Tess asks as she takes a seat down on the couch next to me.

"I'm good, getting stronger everyday. What are you doing here, did Derek ask you to stop by?" I replied and then threw her a smirk, because I know for certain that Derek asked her to stop by this morning.

"I was planning on stopping by anyways, but Derek did call and ask me to spend sometime with you and little Daisy, why he and Deacon took care of something"

"And do you know what the Henderson brothers are up too?"

Tess looks at me and smiles....yeah, she definitely knows what they are up too.

"I don't know anything and if I did, it's a surprise" she says to me.

Shaking my head and returned her smile, not saying anything else because I know she won't tell me anyways.

"Not that it's any of my business, but have you decided if you're going to go back home?" Tess said.

"Yeah, Derek and me we talked about it. And we're going to stay here, River-Cove is a special place, it's where I want my family to grow" I answered.

Derek and I we spoke about all of this, once the doctor clears me, I'm going to start looking for work at the local hospital, see if they have any openings.

We chosen to move into my beach-house with Daisy just as it's a little bigger, and Deacon will have their house, we'll still be close...literally next door to one another.

My parents respect my choice to stay, and they respect Derek, their happy that I've found someone who really loves me, at least that's what mom told me before her and dad left.

Grace on the other hand wasn't too thrilled when I told her I wasn't coming back to California. She understands why I'm not; she knows that my heart belongs with Derek and Daisy here in River-Cove.

And hate leaving her behind because she is my best friend has been for years, she has been the one to have my back, picked me up through the hard times.

Even though she won't admit it, she's afraid, her past consumes her most of the time. But no matter how far away I am, all she's got to do is call me and i'm on a plane to California.

"That's lovely news Tori, I'm happy for you" she says proudly to me. Tess has always been family to me, she was family to my Nan, she's watched me grow up. I feel at peace knowing she's here for me if I need her.

"Thank you, Tess, for the first time in a long time. I feel blessed and true happiness, and that's all because of Derek and that sweet little girl over there"

I replied and moved my eyes over Daisy and sighed.

One day I hope she might legally be my daughter and I might be her mom.

I'll never try to replace her biological mom, Tilly is and will always be her mother, the one who carried her, birthed her, and loved her.

I just hope that I can be apart of that love and watch her grow-up, be apart of raising her side by side with her dad.

"You deserve it honey, live every moment the good, the bad, even the ugly. But live it with the ones who you hold in your heart with everything you've got, you do that, and you will be okay-" she breaks off and smiles at me.

Nodding my head at her words and smiled, as a peaceful silence takes over us and we just enjoyed living and being here with the ones we care about the most.

Tess is right about one thing; I plan on living every moment I can with Derek Henderson. 

Loving Derek (River-Cove Series: Book 1) ✓Where stories live. Discover now