Chapter: 53

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ELENA

Rylan's fingers traced the length of my upper arm. I let myself enjoy the feel of his smooth muscles under my palms as I lay with my eyes closed, allowing myself a few more minutes to bask in the moment.

"I know you have been awake for some time now." I unconsciously bit down on my lower lip feeling like a child who had been caught stealing candy. Peeling my eyes open, I raised myself up on my elbow and set my gaze on him. The refracted rays of the sun accentuated every feature on his strikingly handsome face. I could literally spend hours just admiring this fine specimen of a man.

"Good morning!" I drawled. His responding smile was slow, almost lazy. I was a tad bit envious of his thick long lashes.

"Now the morning wouldn't be that good without a kiss, would it?" He looped his hands around my waist.

"I'll take a hard pass. Morning breath." I said sitting up. Kissing without brushing my teeth? Just wasn't me. His eyes slightly narrowed before he gave a slow nod.

"Right. Get that drool cleaned off." At once my hand flew up to the corner of my mouth where he pointed at, totally embarrassed. The playful smirk lifting the side of his mouth made me use my phone's camera to check.

"Not funny!" He chuckled as I removed the covers and made my way to the bathroom.

......................................................................

Ava looked up from her plate as we walked in. Liliana was standing beside her. I assumed she probably had got Ava ready for school. I acknowledged her with a nod which she reciprocated.

"Mommy, Daddy look I made pancakes!" The splitting grin on Ava's face was way too contagious. I pulled myself a chair to sit beside her.

"You did? That's so cool!" If possible, her smile widened even more.

"You weren't alone in the kitchen, right?" Rylan interjected in a serious tone.

"No. I was there." He curtly nodded at Liliana before focussing back at Ava.

"Come on. You're getting late for school." Ava kissed everyone goodbye before Chris came in to take her along. Chris was the only person Rylan trusted Ava with.

"Are you okay?" Rylan's voice pulled my attention back to Liliana. She in fact looked nervous about something.

"Do you guys have a few minutes to spare?" Her eyes flicked from Rylan's face to mine as she fidgeted.

"Of course. Is anything wrong?" She kept shifting her weight from one foot to another until she found the right moment to speak up.

"I— I'm leaving." She was quiet for a second and when we didn't interrupt, she made things a little clearer. "I'm going back to Texas." Stunned silence. It took me a good few seconds before I could recover.

"You're leaving? Again?" Liliana visibly flinched at the disbelief that was clear in my tone.

"I know you perceive me as an irresponsible parent. I can't claim otherwise either." She started in a low tone, almost mumbling. "I couldn't be there for her and I regret it."

"Now you can. You have the chance to be there for her, as her mother." Trying to convince someone otherwise when they actually didn't wanna stay— I wasn't entirely too sure if this was a wise decision. The only thing I knew was Ava had gotten too attached to Liliana. To think that Liliana didn't care nearly enough would break her heart and I wanted to shield her from that.

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