Chapter 36

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I practically rip my shower curtain off the rod, reaching out for my towel. "What? What's he saying?"

"Nothing yet... Damn, he's fine."

I pull open my bathroom door, tripping over my stupid feet. "Dammit!"

"Calm down. He hasn't even started yet."

"Channel!"

"Five."

Hair dripping down my back, I grab my controller, changing the food network to channel five and surely enough, this isn't a cruel joke. The blonde billionaire I'm dating is on the screen, sitting in what I imagine is his ridiculously large office. I have no idea whether this is live or pre-recorded... I missed the introduction.

"He didn't even tell me he was doing this? Why the hell is he on the news?"

"I don't know," Trisha answers.

I listen in intently as my heart picks up at the mere sound of Tristan's voice.

"Good evening. I'm Tristan Maddox, CEO and founder of Maddox Global. I've decided, after the recent turn of events, that a statement would be the best way to explain what has occurred over the last few weeks regarding Miss Mathews and I."

My beating heart jumps to my throat as he stares into a camera- calm, cool and collected. His hair is longer now than when I met him- it grows so fast. Tousled and golden, it makes him look young- like he's in his early twenties instead of late. His suit is tailored- as always- perfectly to his torso- the only part I can see of him as he sits behind his powerful desk.

"The best way I can think of to say this is bluntly and straightforward... It is true- I turned my father into the Chicago PD and he is being held with a murder charge. Many of you know him as the former governor of California... While it gave me no pleasure to do so, I was forced to do this. I was in Thailand recently and was caught in the tsunami that struck the coast. Miss Mathews and I had already separated before this trip but when I did return, I was confronted with that fact that she had hired a private investigator and he had found evidence that could convict my father of murder. Naturally, one wants to protect their family... Anyone who knows me well knows I love my father. Miss Mathews then proceeded to blackmail me, threatening to take this evidence to the police if I did not resume seeing her romantically."

My hand settles over my mouth as I stare at the screen, unable to understand why he's putting this out for everyone. I know he doesn't care what the public thinks.

"That is the only reason I have been seen with her lately. But last night, it was brought to my attention that someone else had incriminating evidence regarding my father. He knew fully about what I had to do and he is not proud of what he did long ago. Late last night, I confronted Casey with the help of the police and she was arrested as well for what she's done."

He clears his throat, running a hand through his hair, probably sending half the world into frenzy.

"I am aware that Miss Mathews is loved by many and this will come as a shock to most of you. I wish it wasn't true. This was a woman I proposed to- a woman I trusted once but I will not live a lie. And to be completely honest, I wouldn't have even done this if it weren't for the fact that I was not the only one effected by Miss Mathews actions."

Oh Jesus

"I met Genevieve Harding in Thailand, a day before the tsunami and the most paramount thing I can tell you about her is that if she weren't such a wonderful, selfless, giving person- I would not be here today."

Speechless, I breathe in and out, feeling as if my heart is about to burst. He's doing this for me... Once again, trying to right what was wrong... Trying to prove our love to the world.

"This woman and I were separated when the water hit and I spent the night in the water with a piece of wood wedged in my shoulder... And these waves had hit in the morning. I don't really know how I made it out of the water and I don't know how I made it into the forest but this woman- this woman who's been tormented and ridiculed simply for knowing me- stopped the van that was taking her and others to a hospital and ran into the forest at the mere thought that it could be me walking. I was practically unconscious as she helped me from the forest over to the van. The driver told her they did not have room for me and she fought with them, until she initially offered up her place so I could be taken to a hospital. This was a girl covered in multiple injuries including a set of broken ribs."

He looks down at the desk, pressing his full lips together.

"Jesus." I hear Trisha's voice in my ear and I jump slightly, having forgotten that she was on the phone.

"You see... This woman is my life now. She's proven to me over multiple occasions that she is one of the strongest, most hard-working women I've ever met. She puts her full heart into everything and that is why it has killed me to see what simply knowing me has done to her... Yet she's stuck by me throughout this. I wasn't able to announce this before because of Miss Mathews but now, I wanted to set the record straight for her sake- for our sake... because I plan on seeing this woman. If I'm lucky enough, I plan on marrying this woman someday- I would like to spend my life with this woman and I would like to ask for privacy. I would like to ask for respect and understanding. This woman has given me a second chance and I plan on repaying her for as long as she could possibly want me. Thank you." 

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