Chapter 25

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The week had flown by and life seemed to become a little more normal. Ben came over on Monday and Wednesday like we used to and he stayed over both times. In the evenings, when I had time, I started to pack up the old photos that hung the walls of my parents house and began to move things into a storage unit that I had rented out for the renovation. 

I had asked if Miles would be free for lunch in the coming weekend so he could meet Ben, and I had never seen so many emotions run through his face before. He seemed excited, nervous, upset, anxious, and he displayed more that I couldn't decipher. He didn't want to be alone and so I told him that we'd be meeting with Jules and Jason, but he asked if he would be able to bring Theo. I wanted to say no, I didn't want Theo to meet Ben and I didn't want Ben to meet Theo. I had to hold back my own selfish reasons, because I could see that Miles wanted someone there that he felt comfortable with and who was in his own social circle. I could only be grateful that I had prior notice of what was to come, and that I hoped would help me to prepare for any potential circumstance to come. 

Ben on the other hand had been a little frantic this week. I had shown him the photograph that I had received and his face visibly paled. All he wanted to do was hold me and assure me over and over that he'd protect me and he'd never let anyone hurt me. When I asked if he had any idea who the mysterious he was that I was supposed to warn, he just shook his head and held me tighter. 

He was thrilled at the idea of going out to lunch on Saturday, that he had completely bypassed the fact that I told him I wanted to introduce him to someone that was really important to me. It seemed that he was just ecstatic that I was starting to make plans with him once again. I had to admit that it had been a while since I had initiated going out and doing something with him. 

I felt the guilt surge through me once again at knowing that I had been neglecting and leaving him alone, while I was out making plans on spending time with other people. 

I was trying to rectify that today as I nervously got ready for the big lunch date. Jules and Jason were going to meet us at the restaurant along with Miles and Theo. I was hoping to be the first ones there so I can explain some things beforehand. I didn't want Ben to not go and I was afraid that if I told him before we left that he wouldn't go at all, I also didn't want to spring the whole situation without giving him any information and so I hoped that a brief five minute rundown before everyone else showed up would be enough. 

I set a reservation for us at a nicer, quieter restaurant that I knew wouldn't be overly crowded, but wouldn't be completely empty either. I wanted to set the surrounding circumstances to as perfect as it possibly could be. I flitted nervously with the hem of my white lace mini shift dress as I paced the floor of my kitchen, waiting for Ben to call or knock. 

I was really starting to get nervous for how this was all going to blow over. I probably called Jules at least once every night to hash out the worst possible scenario that could occur, just so that way I'd be prepared and every night she would talk me down, assuring me that everything would be okay. 

A knock came at my door and I was so wrapped up in my thoughts that I practically jumped out of my skin. I rushed to the door, smoothing out the wrinkles I had made in the hem of my dress, before opening up to reveal a very happy Ben. 

Before I could even verbally greet him, he gently wrapped a hand behind my head and pulled me in for a tender kiss. 

"Hi love." He smiled as he pulled away and his eyes drifted up and down my body. "You look beautiful. Should we get going?" 

I tried to give him my best smile as I nodded in agreement. At least I knew that he was in a good mood today, I just hoped that he'd forgive me for keeping this a secret for so long. 

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