Chapter: 34

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ELENA

He hadn’t said it back. I had noticed but that hadn’t bothered me. It’s Rylan we were talking about and he had something holding him back, a bitter past probably. I believed every word he said and that expressed his feelings just enough. I could work with that.
    
Picking the tray up, I walked out to the living room. He was sitting on the couch and browsing through Netflix. On seeing me he offered me a small smile.
    
"I thought maybe we could uhh watch a movie or something…" I smiled and set the tray down.
    
"Yeah, that will be nice." He nodded before I went and sat down beside him. Hardly did we start the movie when we heard Ava.
    
"Daddy? Mommy? You're back early?" She slowed down in her steps and stared at us. Stacey was just a few feet back.
    
"Yes sweetheart, we came home early." She came and stood in front of us before looking at the television.
    
"You are watching a movie?" Rylan picked Ava up and placed her on his lap so that she was facing me.
    
"Yep."
    
"So how was your day at school?" She nodded letting us know that it was fine  before a look of realization fell upon her face.
    
"Are you and Daddy friends now?" She asked with wide hopeful eyes but what concerned me was how did she know that we were not friends. I looked at Rylan's face to see the same confused expression.
    
"Now? We were friends already." I offered the most convincing smile that I could manage.
    
"No , friends talk to each other. You didn't talk to each other." She ended with a proud expression, satisfied with her observation. Rylan looked at me with the "what to say now" face.
    
"We had a small fight, sweetheart, like friends have. Now we are friends again."  I playfully poked her stomach with my fingers and she pushed it aside with a giggle.
    
"Go and put your backpack in your room. Then I will get you something to eat." Nodding, she went up to his room.
    
"It's stupid that we think that kids don't understand anything. I mean we never fought in front of her but she understood that things were not good between us. She is a child and because of us , she had to see this." I heard Rylan sigh before he shifted closer and put his arm around my shoulders.
    
"Yes and it was my fault that she had to pass through this but it's over now. She will now have a proper and functional family." I looked up at his face which held the most promising smile. I smiled back before putting my hand around his waist. Just then we heard Ava's footsteps. She furrowed her eyebrows on seeing us  before she lunged herself upon us.
    
"No hugs without me!" We laughed and pulled her closer.

RYLAN

"Yes, I'll be there to pick it up." I hung up to look at Jayce who was sitting right in front of me. He raised a brow at me.
    
"What?" He leaned back in his chair.
    
"Are you really stressing yourself out over a birthday?" He looked on with an amused smile.
    
"No." His smirk told me that he didn't buy it.
    
"Okay, fine. I want to have everything done properly. I want to gift her a beautiful evening after…all these past months." I sighed, my mind already thinking back to everything that has happened in all the time span.
    
"So you're trying to impress her." He said with a mock smile.
    
"It's fun watching you sweat over your impression on your wife." I glared at him.
    
"If you have nothing good to say then get out of my office." He raised his hand in mock surrender before getting up from his seat.
    
"Well best of luck."

My feet froze at the door once I took in Elena's appearance. She stood there in a rust coloured satin dress which was hugging her curves in all the right places. Her blonde waves were gracefully falling upon her shoulders. As she put the earrings on, her eyes fell on me.
    
"Hey!" I returned her smile before taking small steps inside. She blushed under my unfaltering gaze.
    
"You look beautiful." Something told me that she didn't do good with compliments.
    
"Thank you." She tucked a strand of hair behind her ear.
    
"I got something for you." Tilting her head slightly to the left, she stared at my face with a smile.
    
"Well, do you want me to say You didn’t have to? Because I happen to love birthday presents." I chuckled. She was cute. Fucking adorable! No damn pretenses.
    
I pulled the box out of my pocket and gave it in her hands. I saw as her dainty hands went on to open it. There was a long second of silence almost convincing me that she didn't like it.
    
"This looks so beautiful!" She looked up at me and her face told me that she wasn't trying to protect my feelings and that she actually liked it.
    
"It has my name on it." She said while her fingers grazed the side of the pendant where her name was engraved.
    
Giving the box back to me, she turned back towards the mirror. She pushed the brown waves of her hair to the side giving me a clear view of her long slender neck.
    
Picking the chain up and putting it round her neck, I secured the clasp. I dragged my hands all the way down her arms to her waist. From the reflection in the mirror I saw her biting down on her lower lip while she maintained eye contact with me. Still holding her gaze, I placed my lips on her shoulders. She let out a shaky breath.
    
"It looks good on you." She smiled at me through the mirror before turning around and putting her arms around my neck.
    
"I love it." She placed a quick peck on my cheek before flashing another bright smile.

" She placed a quick peck on my cheek before flashing another bright smile

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