Author's Note: This is it folks! The final chapter of "Saving My Heart".  I want to thank all of you, my followers, that have been kicking my butt each week to keep writing. Knowing you were waiting for the next post made me sit down and write. I dedicate this last chapter to you. Thank you for your support. Enjoy!-Marilyn

Chapter 24

Julie's POV

When Mrs. Mason stepped out of the limo, Peter and I helped escort her into her husband's wake. I didn't see Shelley or Jessica scuttle off, but with so many people in the apartment, it was hard to notice people for more than a few minutes. It was so crowded.

I didn't really know anyone, so I mostly hung out in a corner drinking some champagne. It was indeed a celebration of life that had been lost. Mr. Mason apparently had left instructions for people to live it up if ever he should pass. But it's hard to get people into a party mood over death. Still, it was a wake with alcohol and the inevitable Manhattan party shrimp. I had two before Peter found me.

"I've made sure my Mother is surrounded by her friends. I'm sorry to leave you for a moment. It's been a rough day. But," he came up and caressed my cheek. "I wanted to see if you were okay."

I looked up into his eyes. "It's been a little rough from Jessica pulling all her crap. And on a day like this. But I'm guessing you both had to figure it out. You did warn me about baggage. You weren't kidding."

He laughed at my comment. "Yeah. But it isn't anymore. We can move on. How about yours? I wasn't sure how you'd do at a funeral so soon after loosing your boyfriend."

I had forgotten Stephen until he mentioned his name. In fact, it shocked me. Stephen was always in the forefront of all my thoughts, until today. Now, as I looked at him, it was all about Peter. "It's funny. I forgot all about Stephen until you mentioned him just now. There was a little flashback by your father's grave." I looked down and found his hand. Grabbing it, I felt stronger with my next words. "But I've always had Stephen in my thoughts. Today though," I licked my lips and smiled. "I forgot about him. In fact, I found myself just thinking about you."

He moved down, reaching for my face with both hands. I eased closer, letting my lips brush his. My eyes closed as I felt his lips connect with mine in an explosion between us. It was soft, gentle, and much more full of passion than ever before.

When we moved apart, I saw Peter smiling, I knew he loved me. "You are the best thing that has happened to me all day Julie. Ever really. If anything has come of today, it's now I have you."

I answered his comment with another kiss. I was probably wrong to be doing this at his Dad's wake, but there is nothing better for grief but confirmation of still living. He pulled me closer, and held me. I felt safe in his arms as time stopped. I wanted to stay that way forever. It's like a shield surrounded us leaving our quiet moment safe away from others.

He whispered in my ear. "I should go around and mingle."

"I'll go with you."

"I was hoping you would."

He wrapped his arm around my waist, and we started moving through the crowd. People offered their sorrow and condolences. I stood by his side, not as his assistant, but as his girlfriend. A pillar to support him as he listened to people's memories of his Dad, memories of him growing up, memories of love. People would smile looking at me, nodding their approval. It was like to see him with someone with him was what they wanted to see too.

After about an hour of hand grasping, some tears and laughter, he directed me to the side. He kissed me lightly, and asked, "Do you want to get out of here?"

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