37. The Morning After

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I knew she was awake.  I could always tell, but I gave her a few minutes to reflect on last night.

Her back was against my chest, my arms around her, wanting to always make her feel safe.  I had let her down so many times since we'd arrived and I felt sick with the knowledge.

I had promised her a fun holiday and instead she'd had to endure Tracy's jealousy, my own fucking fathers touches and my mothers cold hearted words.

"Relax Jay."  She said quietly and I realised how tense my thoughts had made me.

"Are you okay babe?"  I asked quietly and she took a moment to respond.

"I've been treated like shit by people who don't even know me."  she started and I held my breath, afraid of what she was going to say next. 

"But again, I've woken up wrapped in the arms of the man I love.  It's only what you think that matters to me Jay."

She rolled over to face me, she looked tired but oh so fucking beautiful.  I grimaced as I took in her black eye and bruised cheek, my fists clenching as I thought back to what that psycho bitch had done.

"Is it that bad?"  She asked quietly as she studied my face and I shook my head. 

"No babe, I just wish none of it had happened.  You didn't deserve it, any of it.  How does it feel?"  I asked, gently stroking my thumb over her cheek.

"It felt a lot better when I woke up yesterday morning."  She joked and I smiled. 

"Do you realise how fucking strong you are?"  She shook her head and smiled. 

"On my own I'm nothing, with you beside me I can be anything Jay."

I was silent.  This woman who I'd only met recently had affected me so quickly, so deeply and I loved her more than I could ever put into words.

"What are you thinking?"  We were facing each other, our heads on our pillows, our fingers entwined. 

"How much I love you.  How lucky I am to have met you.  How I can't ever imagine being without you."  I answered truthfully.

"I sometimes think my marriage ended for a reason, not just the fact that he cheated.  But the timing of it all Jay.  Sometimes I think it was all mapped out so I could meet you.  Like I was just biding my time until the moment I was supposed to pick up that ad and meet you." 

She stopped then, looking almost embarrassed, but I was curious to what she meant.

"Like a destiny type thing?"  I asked.  She looked up and seemed relieved that I wasn't making fun of her. 

"Yeah, kinda.  There was no way we should have met Jay, but here we are."

"Luck, fate, destiny....whatever it was babe, I'm fucking glad it happened." 

"Me too." 

She smiled as she moved closer and wrapped her arms around me, her lips softly kissing my chest.

I lifted her chin, so I could meet her eyes.  "I'm so sorry Mia." 

She smiled.  "I know babe.  But it's not your fault and it's not mine.  I'm laying here with you, that's all that matters." 

Then her eyes twinkled.  "Well that and a coffee?" 

I kissed her before rolling out of bed, her eyes watching as I pulled on the pants I had worn last night. 

"Fuck you're hot."  She moaned and I looked at her over my shoulder. 

Instead of finding her blushing, she was grinning. 

"Don't move, I'll be right back."

My phone rang as I waited for the kettle to boil and I thought of ignoring it before I saw Cams name flash on the screen.

"Cam, how's it going buddy?" 

"Good mate, good.  Thought I should check in and see how everything's going, especially after I heard the news." 

I groaned as I realised what he was getting at.

"Is my little lady okay?" Cam asked and rather than being annoyed, I laughed.

"Yeah she's good, do you want to talk to her?"

"Of course."

I filled our cups and carried them back to the room, placing them down and throwing my phone on the bed as I climbed back in.

"You're on speaker mate, so behave."

"Hi sweetheart." It took a moment for the realisation to hit Mia's face, but she smiled when it did.


"The one and only baby."

I rolled my eyes and Mia laughed.

"I thought I should check in on my favourite girl."

Mia raised an eyebrow to me and I nodded.

"You heard?" She asked quietly.

"Not the full story, but enough to concern me.  Are you okay?"

Mia gave him the short story, telling him we'd fill him in on everything when we returned.

"I'm not proud of myself, I don't make a habit of fighting over men." She said quietly as she glanced my way and I smiled so she'd know I understand.

"Babe, that's not how I see it."

"You don't?" She asked confused.

"No, you didn't fight over him, you fought for him. Shit sweetheart, you're the best thing that's ever happened to him. I saw what she put him through, I fucking saw how she destroyed him Mia. And now I get to see him happy again, and it's all coz of you babe."

We spoke for a little while longer before finishing the call.

"You're smiling." I commented.

"Please don't take this the wrong way," she began and I immediately felt concerned. "it was nice to be told that I didn't do the wrong thing from someone outside of those that were there last night. And for Cam to say what he did means a lot."

I relaxed and smiled.

"He's a great guy. As much as he likes to goof around, he's a genuinely caring person. Hence why I felt able to stay with him when shit hit the fan." She nodded.

"Just for the record Mia." She looked my way as she sipped her coffee. "Thank you."

By the look in her eyes, I knew I conveyed everything I wanted to say in those two simple words.

"What time is the lunch?" She asked.

"It's at 2.00, but I already told Amanda we wouldn't be going."

"Jay, we have to go, they leave tonight and God knows how long it'll be until you see them again."

"I thought...." She cut me off by kissing me.

"I know what you thought and thank you, but we really should go."

She was already heading towards the bathroom as she spoke.

It had been a few minutes since she'd started the shower and I decided to join her, surprised as I stepped in and saw her staring at her face in the mirror. She dropped her eyes as she held up her arm and studied her wrist.

"Mia?" Her eyes shot up and caught mine in the mirror.

"I just...I didn't..." Her eyes flicked back to her face. "It was a bit of a shock." She admitted. "I uh...I didn't think it would be this bad."

"Do you want to press charges?" I asked as I stepped in behind her and wrapped my arms around her waist.

"No. No, there's no damage. I should be able to hide most of it with makeup."

I followed her into the shower, wondering how okay she really was.

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