Devastation Ė Chapter 7

A few hours later, Evangeline was ready to crawl into bed for a week. After the family talk, Viki, Evangeline and Jessica had gone to the Banner Sun and done the interview. The article would come out in the morning edition and would be a full disclosure based on the information they had.

Evangeline had called her mother, Amelia, so she would be prepared if the reporters tried to contact her. Amelia was not pleased with the development, but she would deal with it. Evangeline wasnít in a place yet to talk to her mother, but she did want her to be okay. She was still angry about the lie, but that didnít change that she was her mother.

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When Evangeline arrived home, John was already there. He was on the patio grilling steaks for dinner in an undershirt and jeans. She walked up behind him and wrapped her arms around his waist. She pressed her forehead into the center of his back and drew in a deep breath. His scent enveloped her. She relaxed into him.

"Hi," she said.

"Hi, youíd better get out of here before my fiancéí gets home. Sheís pretty possessive."

"Is that right? Maybe we can get her to share."

"Well, Iím a one woman man, so I wonít be shared."

"Good answer," she said placing a kiss on his shoulder, "What are you doing home? I thought youíd be late."

"I was able to leave early and why not come home."

Once heíd flipped the steaks, he turned in her arms and kissed her deeply.

"I missed you, today," he said nuzzling her neck.

"I missed you, too. Iíve been running around with Viki and Iím ready to go to bed."

"You can after you eat," he said with a peck on the lips, before turning back to the grill.

"I canít believe how you are about eating now. You Mr. Coffee for breakfast, Coffee with cream for lunch, add sugar for dinner."

"Well, it just took me having a good woman pushing me to eat all the time," he said sarcastically. The two of them shared a laugh at that.

"So how did everything go?" John asked.

"Pretty much the way I described when I called you. I was so overwhelmed at how welcoming Vikiís family was to me, even Natalie."

"Why wouldnít they be?"

"John, come on. You know that Natalie and I have never had a real relationship of any kind. Do you know that she even invited me to call her if I needed to talk to someone who would understand what Iím going through?"

"Well, Iím glad that sheís grown up. Christian is obviously very good for her, but itís to her advantage to get to know you. The Lord family lucked out."

Evangeline and John had had a talk about his relationship with Natalie a long time ago. They were friends and that was all. Evangeline had stood on that when she and Natalie had made peace. Natalie had confirmed that she had feelings for John, but they couldnít go anywhere. She knew that John was in love with Evangeline and she wouldnít do anything to hurt him. That was before Christian had come home. Now Natalie and Christian appeared to be extremely happy.

"When is dinner going to be ready?"

"About 20 minutes. You have time to take a shower."

"Howíd you know thatís what I was going to do?"

"Because I know you."

"Well, Iím going to take that shower and then Iíll be down."

"Hey, what about calling your mom?"

She sighed, "John, I called her earlier to let her know about the article that will be coming out in the paper."

"Did you talk to her?"

"No," she said and wouldnít look at him.

"Van, youíve got to talk to her to let this anger go."

"John, Iím not ready to talk to her. I want to forgive her, but I canít yet."

"You wonít be able to if you donít give her a chance to explain what happened."

"I donít know if I want to know what happened."

"Would it be better if the two of you talked in person?"

"I donít know, maybe, but sheíd never come here. I told you we are not close."

"What if she did?"

"I guess I would talk to her, but I donít want to think about it."

"VanÖ"

"John, Iím going to take that shower. Iíll be down in about 15 minutes," she said interrupting him. He watched her go through the door into the house and shook his head. The phone rang. John sighed and answered it from where it sat on the table.

"Hello," he answered.

"Hello, John," said Amelia, "how are you tonight?"

"Iím fine Amelia. How are you?"

"I could be better, but Iíll be fine. How is Evangeline?"

"Van is fine. She told me that she talked to you earlier."

"She did just briefly. I just wanted to make sure that sheís okay."

John sighed, thinking back to his earlier conversation with Van. He made a decision that he was sure would come back to haunt him, but that needed to be made. He knew she would be angry, but she would get over it.

"Amelia, what are you doing for the next few days?" John asked. Amelia was now a counselor at a womenís shelter and John knew from their talks that she spent most of her time there.

"Nothing special. Why?"

"I was wondering if you could maybe get away for a few days."

"Sure. I just need to call the director of the Center."

"Well, why donít you do that and fly here and talk to Van in person? That would probably be better for the both of you."

"Are you sure that sheís going to be willing to do that?"

"Nope, but she needs to talk to you and you need to tell her what happened. I need her to be whole. I donít know any other way to make that happen."

"Sheís going to be so angry at you."

"Yes, she is, but she loves me. Sheíll get over it."

"If youíre sure, Iíll catch a flight tomorrow or the next day."

"Iím sure. Just call me and let me know when youíre getting here. Iíll pick you up at the airport."

"Okay, Iíll call you and let you know. John, thank you for loving my daughter so much."

"I canít help myself. Iíll see you," he said and hung up the phone. He hated doing this behind Vanís back, but it had to be done.

When she got back downstairs, John was sitting a platter with the steaks on the kitchen table. He looked up at her and didnít say anything. She walked around the table and into his arms.

"Iím sorry I cut you off earlier, but Iím really not ready to talk to her," she said into his chest.

"Okay, I wonít say anything else about it," he said with a sigh. He wouldnít have to. He hated keeping things from her, but he felt this was necessary.

"Thank you."

"Youíre welcome."

"I love you so much," she said with a smile

"I love you too. More than you know," he said with a kiss.

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