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One year later...

Sitting on the back patio of the mansion, I sip a small glass of lemonade Owen and Ricky helped me make earlier on in the day. I watch the boys jump around in the pool, splashing around and having fun.

Matilda sits to my right, doing the same as I, except blabbing on and on about one of the hot guards she is infatuated with now. "Every time he looks at me... I feel my heart rush!" she practically squeals, moving around in her seat.

"Why don't you just go up to him and talk to him?" I question, shrugging my shoulders and watching the boys like a responsible adult.

"No way! He'd probably think I'm... crazy or something. Besides, who here wants to be with the ex wife of the enemy?" Matilda sighs, leaning back a bit, "Laine, I feel like such an outsider. Everyone still sees me as an enemy. I don't belong here."

Scrunching my eyebrows, I glance to her with a confused look, "What are you talking about? I thought you were happy here. Ricky sure seems to enjoy it, and I know that I love having you here..."

"It's not that I don't love being here with you... it's just that I want more in life than to sit around and watch Ricky all day. I want to go out and make a career, buy my own things, do things for myself... For so long I relied on Jason for everything, and I don't want that to happen with you and Kyle."

"I understand that..." I sigh in a bit of melancholy. It felt almost unfair that she could leave and do these things, while I had no sort of choice liked that. "How do you plan to do all that?" I ask anyways, leaning back in my chair and glancing to the boys.

A month later, she is gone, Ricky with her. She stops by every few weeks, but I'm sure that won't last. She, like I, can't imagine her child growing up around all these mafia men.

The only difference is she doesn't have to.

Kyle has changed quite a lot since Owen and I were taken. His whole demeanor has changed, it'll and it's actually tolerable to be around him. He's more understanding and isn't so quick to fill with anger.

He actually talks to me, has conversations with me, treats me as if I'm a person with feelings.

I can't complain, honestly. Living here with him isn't as bad as I made myself think it would be.

I've told him about my wedding planner dreams, and he supports it. He actually supports it.

When he offered to purchase a property and build up a building for it, I refused. Over the few years on my own, I kept some money saved for emergencies. Five thousand. Enough to rent out a small office and buy the starting supplies for it.

All of it is in the works though, but I've had the pleasure of planning three successful weddings already. Who knew entrepreneurship could be so hard? So many expenditures, so many extra steps. I'm not one to complain though, I just had the idea that it would be easier.

Finally, I am doing what I dreamed I would, what I was held back from. I have fought and fought for happiness, and now I'm dipping my foot into the pool of it.

Kyle and I enrolled Owen into elementary school near the beginning of the year, and so far, so good. He has made many little friends, which makes me quite happy. Kyle and I searched for the perfect school for about a month before setting on this one. It was a private school, of course, but it promoted the values I held, and the staff was quite welcoming, unlike other schools.

Some schools looked like prisons from the outside AND inside. That was a hard no from me once I saw how ugly they looked.

I love hearing all the things he did at school each day, and it's just amazing to watch his mind grow with the new knowledge given to him.

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