T W E N T Y - O N E: The Choice

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A/N: I've made an update on paragraphs 1 - 14 in chapter 17 to help build this chapter better. Enjoy.

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Chapter Twenty-one

Josslyn awakens to a dim lamp. Turning to her side, she sees Wyatt in Edwin's wooden chair, his elbows planted on both knees, thumbs tracing his bottom pout while lost in silent contemplations.

Josslyn sits up and gently shakes her head, "you shouldn't sit there."

Wyatt glances downward and stands. "Edwin's chair?" He asks.

She nods.

He rubs his nose, "what about that?" he points at the floral patterned armchair in the corner of the room, "that his chair too?"

She shakes her head, "no one's claimed that yet."

Wyatt switches seat, all the while keeping an eye on her.

"Where's Dr. Atkins?" She asks.

"He left. We both figured you ought to get some rest, seems you've gone through enough in one day. Your story matches all the evidence he's dug up and given that you granted him permission, he'll keep researching some more. He gave you his card and the picture of Edwin's family." Wyatt points to the coffee table. "You can show Edwin. Dr. Atkins will be in touch soon."

She nods then slowly locks eyes with him. "Why are you still here?"

Wyatt glances at the rope still laying beside the stool. "To watch you until Edwin returns."

She scoffs, "trust me, your efforts won't be appreciated, if anything, he'll kick your ass."

Wyatt shrugs, "okay."

"Okay?"

"Kick away."

Josslyn slumps into the futon. Oh, Wyatt. She recalls what he was trying to mention when they were seeking respite under the storm in Montana. He had mentioned that he'd fallen in love with her. Now he's well aware she's married. How can he still be here trying to hold onto something that can never be rightfully his?

"Wyatt, why do you want anything to do with me? Look at me. I'm a complete mess."

Maybe you're the type of mess I'm willing to clean. But he doesn't say that even though he feels it. She's married, after all.

"I don't want to see you get hurt. I don't think Edwin would want that too. Hell, the guy waited seven lifetimes to be with you. If you're going to end it all, at least ask him first if he's ready to go."

Josslyn sighs and walks to the window. Only a man who's had a noose tied around his own neck will know why that rope is still there. All she had to do was tie another knot, and it'd be her own deadliest weapon. She'd end it all and take Edwin with her. Like a dirty white board, they'd erase these errors and correct these wrongs next time around. But Wyatt's right about one thing, committing suicide is selfish on her part.

"Regardless of how you feel, you can't stay here." Josslyn talks to the window, "my husband won't like it and I don't want to disrespect him anymore. I've already done enough damage." She turns to him, "thank you for everything but please, leave."

A long silence lingered.

Wyatt rises and snatches up both the wooden stool and rope, then he exits the house. He throws the items in his trunk, he'll trash them in a dumpster. Emotionally deflated, he takes off down the driveway only to turn back toward the house. Slumping over, he rests his arms and head against the steering wheel as the car sits in complete darkness outside of Josslyn's driveway. Winter's first snowstorm begins to open up from the sky and tiny white frosted specks rapidly coat his black Infiniti Q50.

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