36. Reception Pt 2

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I skulled my champagne.   And then I skulled Jays. 

For fucks sake, what was I doing here?  I was wearing a Harper Ryan original, I was made up, but still I didn't fit in.  Tracy had made it clear that I didn't belong.  

I felt like I was there on pretence.  Jays parents hated me for their own reasons and I had just destroyed a friendship that spanned a lifetime.

I was trying to breathe and listen to everyone that was huddled around me, reassuring me that it wasn't my fault.

But honestly, if I wasn't here this shit wouldn't have happened.

"I'm so sorry."  I said to no one in particular, but in the same breath, to everyone who was huddled in the small room Jay and Carlo had brought me to.

"Mia, stop apologising babe, it's not your fault."  Jay was kneeling in front of me, his eyes begging me to listen and believe. 

"I broke her nose."  I whimpered and that only made Jay smile. 

"And I'm so fucking proud of you."

Just then Amanda and Tim came into the room and I lowered my gaze as guilt overcame me.  This was their wedding day and I was causing a scene.

"Are you okay?"  Amanda asked as her eyes landed on my bruised cheek bone. 

"I...I'm fine.  I'm so sorry for...." 

She cut me off with a wave of her hand.  "Jay, can I speak to you?"

Jay and Amanda stood off to the side and held a quiet conversation.  Amanda didn't exactly look happy, but she nodded and seemed to accept whatever Jay was saying.

I cringed as the door opened and Beth and Robert strode in.  Beth glared at me as she made her way to Jay and Amanda, but Robert just watched me with a smile on his face.  A smile that made my skin crawl.

Stay Strong!

"We should get back out there."  I suggested as I forced a smile and assured everyone I was feeling much better. 

The truth was I needed to get away from Robert.  Jay looked over and understood immediately. 

"Great idea babe, there's a party out there that we should be part of." 

As if Carlo could pick up on the unspoken words, he quickly agreed.  His lighthearted easy going manner, quickly encouraging everyone that the disaster was over and we could all go back to enjoying ourselves.

Jay took my hand as we made our way towards the door and I involuntarily shuddered as Robert brushed his hand down my arm.  Before Jay could react, Megan was in his face. 

"Don't you dare fucking touch her, you dirty old man.  You fucking disgust me." 

"Megan!" 

Megan turned towards her mother.  "You're just as bad.  Grow some fucking balls mum!"

All the emotions I was feeling let loose and I found myself laughing hysterically.  Jay looked at me with concern and eventually joined in when I couldn't stop.

I turned to Megan and tried to compose myself. 

"That was fucking hilarious."  I giggled.  Her face softened and she too began laughing. 

It was just the release I needed.  Sure my arm was stinging and my cheek felt like I'd been hit with a baseball bat, but we were here to celebrate a wedding, and that's just what we're gonna do!

"Babe, I'm good.  Honestly."  I answered as Jay again asked if I was okay.  "How about you stop asking and take me to dance?" 

He smirked as he led me up to the dance floor.

This is what I needed.  The comfort of being in Jays arms, but in a way that didn't make me look needy.  I could draw from his strength as we danced and remember one important thing. Jay loved me. Me.

I drank.  I danced.  I talked.  I laughed. I did all the right things, but when Jay led me into our room at 2.30am, I did the one thing I hadn't allowed myself to do.

I cried. And I don't mean a few tears, I mean a flood. Not surprisingly, I was instantly in Jays arms as if he had known exactly when this moment would come.

He sat on the couch and pulled me onto his lap, my tears flowing onto his expensive suit, but still he held me as he whispered how sorry he was.

It had been almost an hour and my throat was sore from crying, my eyes were no doubt red and puffy and my cheek hurt like a bitch.

"Come on babe, I'll run you a nice hot shower."

I stood under the hot water, letting it soothe me, letting it run over my muscles and relieve the tension.

Jay climbed in behind me and I felt the body wash soaked sponge move in slow circular strokes over my back. He cleaned me, he washed my hair and then he dried me. All without saying a word.

He didn't need to, I could see everything he was feeling in his green eyes, could feel it in every loving gesture, could see it in his pained expression as he gently rubbed his thumb over my cheek.

Jay closed his eyes for a moment and when he opened them they were glistening with unshed tears.

"I'm so sorry baby." His voice was raw with emotion, causing more tears to form in my eyes.

I put my hand to the back of his neck, lowered his face and kissed him. It was slow, it was gentle, it was emotional. But mostly it was full of love and trust and understanding.

"I love you Jay Williams." I whispered against his lips and I had never meant the words more than I did in this moment.

A tear rolled down his cheek and I brushed it away before cupping his cheek.

"Make love to me Jay." I breathed.

He laid me down on the bed, his body hovering over mine as he kissed me. His arms held most of his weight as he settled himself between my legs.

There was no foreplay, the need to be joined as one was urgent and Jay easily slipped inside me and made me feel whole again.

With each slow thrust, each tender kiss and each loving word he stripped away the pain and healed me.

"I love you Mia Campbell. With all my fucking heart I love you." He whispered as he shuddered inside me, my muscles clenching him, holding him inside me as we found our release together.

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