Lost Love Ė Ch 4

The following morning, John sat up in his bed and looked down at Evangeline where she was curled into his pillow. He brushed the hair from her cheek and she leaned into his hand. He smiled as he thought of their night together. It had been incredible. Unlike any other time theyíd been together and that was saying something. He reluctantly got out of bed and went to take a shower.

When he came out of the bathroom, Evangeline had turned onto her back. He walked to the bed and ran his finger along the top of the sheet. Evangeline moaned in her sleep and shuddered under his touch. He leaned down and kissed her hard. She melted into him and ran her fingers through his hair. She held him to her. When they separated, she opened her eyes.

"Hi," she said with a sleepy smile.

"Hi," he said and his whole face smiled back, "Iím going to get Dani, so think of something for us to do today."

"Iíll get up and cook breakfast for when you two get back."

"You sure you donít want to sleep in this morning? You didnít get much sleep last night."

"Iím sure. I got enough sleep. Last night was invigorating. If I get too tired later, Iíll take a nap."

"A nap sounds nice."

"Would you like to join me?"

"I might just do that."

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When Dani arrived home, she ran to the kitchen where she heard her mother. Mother and daughter hugged and kissed and then Dani proceeded to tell her mother all that sheíd done at ĎNanaísí house. She was bouncing around like a rubber ball. This had been the first night that sheíd been away from both her mother and father. She was a big girl now.

"Mommy what did you do last night?" she asked when she finished her tale, wanting to make sure that she hadnít missed anything.

"Your father and I talked," Evangeline said with a blush, that Dani didnít notice.

"Did he keep you company? He promised."

"He sure did. Where is he?"

"He said he was going upstairs."

"How about you go get him? Breakfast is almost ready."

"Kay," Dani said and took off up the stairs yelling, "Daddy, Mommy said breakfast is almost ready."

"I could have done that myself," Evangeline said to herself, shaking her head.

She had set the table and was placing a platter of food on the kitchen table, when John walked in carrying Dani. He walked up behind her and pulled her into a hug. He kissed her softly on the lips and leaned back to smile at her. Dani, who John was still holding, crossed her little arms across her chest and frowned.

"Dani, whatís wrong, honey?" asked Evangeline when she got a look at their daughterís face.

"I want Daddy to kiss me, too," Dani said unhappily. Evangeline had to bite her lip to keep from laughing at her little girl. She glanced at John, who was struggling with laughter as well.

"Iím sorry, pumpkin," John said and placed a noisy kiss on her cheek that made her giggle. As easy as that, she was back to being a happy child. I hope itís as simple as this ten years from now, John thought, but somehow, I doubt it.

After having an animated breakfast with Dani providing the entertainment, John got called in to work. A body had been found and John was needed to help with the investigation. Evangeline walked into the master bedroom and sat on the bed while John was getting ready to leave. Dani was in her room playing dolls. Evangeline and Dani would be going to the zoo later so Dani was playing quietly now.

"Iíll probably be late getting home tonight."

"I figured as much," she said. He looked at her strangely. He wasnít sure what heíd heard in her voice, but it was different.

"Whatís wrong?"

She looked startled at the question, "What do you mean?"

"Whatís wrong? Something is bothering you," he was in tune with her feelings enough that he knew when something was going on with her.

"I was just worried thatís all."

"Worried about what?"

"You. We still havenít talked about the past and where we go from here. I know we still have a lot of feelings to work through, but I feel like I just got you back and I donít want to lose you."

"Youíre not going to lose me. We have plenty of time to talk and a lot to talk about. Iím going to help with an investigation. No big deal. Yes, my job can get dangerous at times, but youíve always known that."

"Youíre right and I donít want to change it or you. Being a cop is who you are. I just reserve the right to be concerned for your safety. Is that okay with you?"

He walked over to where she sat on the bed and leaned over her. "All this concern means you care about me right?"

"Absolutely," she said drowning in his blue eyes.

"Well, if thatís the case you have permission to be concerned," he said and kissed her. He pulled her up from the bed and held her close as the kiss deepened. She wrapped her arms around his shoulders and savored the feeling of his arms around her. He heard Dani singing to herself and ended the kiss. He tightened his hold on Evangeline and held her.

"What cha doing?" asked Dani when she appeared in the doorway to Johnís room.

"Giving Mommy a hug goodbye. You want one?" John said to cover as Evangeline turned away.

"Yes," she said with a grin and ran to her father, "Where you going?"

"Iíve got to go to work. You be good for Mommy okay?"

"Iím always good."

"Well, I donít know about that," her mother interjected and the little girl frowned. John stood her on her feet and reached out a hand for Evangeline. She placed her hand in his and he squeezed her fingers.

"Iíll call you later and let you know when Iíll be home."

"Okay, be careful," she said with a smile. John released her hand and walked out of the room.

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Evangeline and Dani had gone to the petting zoo. Dani was in love with the ponies. She had been ecstatic about getting a pony ride. She had wanted to call her father from the petting zoo and tell him about her adventure. It had been difficult to explain to Dani that her father couldnít talk to her right then. Sheíd been disappointed, but sheíd understood.

The two of them were now lying in the middle of Daniís floor coloring. Evangeline had been spending time teaching Dani the alphabet, numbers and colors since she could talk. Now they were working on coloring within the lines. She was attempting to teach her baby that discipline was important and that there were some limitations in life. It was slow going. Dani was the type of child who didnít want to color someone elseís pictures; she wanted to create her own. And while Evangeline was very much in support of Dani finding her own way, she wanted her to understand that sometimes you had to do things someone elseís way.

Dani had already had her bath and would be in bed soon. Evangeline knew she was tired after her fun filled day. She also knew that she was fighting going to sleep, because she wanted to see her Daddy. Sheíd missed him today.

"Mommy, do you love Daddy?" Dani asked as she was coloring a tree.

"Why do you ask?" Evangeline asked somewhat startled by the question.

"You kissed Daddy. We only kiss people we love."

"Thatís not true for everybody, but you should only kiss people you love."

"So do you love Daddy?"

"Yes, Dani. I love your Daddy," Evangeline answered honestly. She heard a sound from the doorway. She glanced up into a pair of shocked blue eyes and asked quietly, "How long have you been there?"

"Long enough," he said with a smile, "Hey pumpkin."

"Hey Daddy," Dani said looking up at him with a grin.

"What are you doing?"

"Iím coloring a tree," she said as she threw the crayon down and ran to her father for a hug, "Guess what I did today."

She proceeded to tell her father about how she had ridden a brown pony with a white spot on his cheek, named Red. After sheíd told him all about her day, she rested her head on his shoulder.

"It looks like someone is tired."

"Yes, sheís been going nonstop all day. She didnít take a nap and she didnít want to go to sleep until she saw you," Evangeline said as she rose from the floor and moved to stand beside John and Dani. She stroked the little girlís head and smiled at her. Dani smiled back but didnít lift her head. She was so sleepy she could hardly keep her eyes open.

"Why donít you put her to bed?" Evangeline said to John and he nodded. She kissed Dani on the cheek and said, "Goodnight baby. I love you. Iíll see you in the morning."

"Night, mommy. Love you, too." Evangeline knew that Dani was exhausted when she didnít protest being called baby.

"Angie, Iíll see you downstairs in a few," John said to Evangeline.

As he was putting Dani to bed, he was reliving the moment when Evangeline told Dani that she loved him. He knew that he loved her too. He also knew that they were up against some pretty big odds. They didnít fully trust each other. They were still dealing with the four years of absence and all those unspoken words. No matter what their feelings were, they were different people now. Or at least Evangeline was. She wasnít a lawyer anymore and he could tell from his conversations with Nora that she missed it. Would she go back to practicing now? Would she continue teaching music? He didnít know how she was really dealing with being back. They hadnít had the opportunity to talk about that.

Heíd made a choice to forgive Evangeline for not telling him about Dani. He understood why she was away and he knew that it wasnít her fault. It was just easy to forget that sometimes, but he wanted to work through that. He wanted a life with her if it was at all possible. His mom had made a comment to him about how much heíd changed in the time Evangeline had been back in his life. Heíd like to give the credit to Dani, but he knew she wasnít totally responsible for the changes. He liked having Evangeline with him.

"I love you pumpkin," he said to Dani as he pulled her blanket up and kissed her forehead.

"I love you too Daddy," Dani replied and rolled over on her side with Johnny Boy under her arm. She was so sleepy that she couldnít keep her eyes open for more than a couple of seconds at a time, "Daddy?"

"What pumpkin?" John said from the doorway, without looking at her.

"I want us to get a baby like MJ."

"What?" he asked surprised by the statement. He looked at her and she was fast asleep. He shook his head and laughed. His daughter was amazing. He turned out the light and made sure that the Pluto night light was on. He pulled the door up so that it was just cracked.

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As he went downstairs looking for Evangeline, he thought about his daughterís statement. He wouldnít mind them getting a baby like MJ either. But before any of that could even be considered, he needed to find Angie and they needed to talk. After looking around, he went out on the patio and found her sitting on a lounge chair. She looked up as he walked out of the house. He sat on the end of her chair, where she had her legs pulled up and was resting her arms on them. He moved his hand to cup her calf and stroked her leg. She took a shuddering breath.

"Iím sorry. I didnít want to burden you with my feelings," she said and rested her head on her arms and looked away from him.

"What are you talking about? You canít burden someone with love," he said in a gentle voice.

"You can when they donít feel the same way," she said quietly.

"I guess I hadnít thought of that. Maybe youíre right, but that isnít the case here."

She looked up at him, "What are you saying?"

"I love you, too," he said and grasped her hand. He pulled her into his arms and realized that the love he thought was lost had been found. She wrapped her arms around him and just enjoyed being in his arms.

After a few minutes, she leaned back and he kissed her.

"Iíve been thinking about doing that all day."

"Really?"

"Yes. Do you have any idea how beautiful you are?"

"No, but you make me feel beautiful. Youíre pretty handsome yourself."

"Thank you. So what do you want to do now that Dani is in bed?"

"Well, we could have that talk."

"Are you up to that right now?"

"Now that I know that you love me. Iím up for anything. Are you up to talking right now?"

"I donít know, but letís try it."

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Over the next hour, John listened while Evangeline gave him more details of how her life had changed over the last 4 years. As he listened, he realized what sheíd done to protect him and their daughter. Sheíd made a deal with the FBI, since they were monitoring the whole Santi operation, that if John got too close to anything that could result in him getting hurt, the FBI would protect him. That had been one of the conditions of her cooperating. She had also left a confidential letter and custody papers with an attorney in Atlanta so that if anything happened to her, Dani would be sent to him. Sheíd taken the time to cover all her bases just in case she didnít make it back. It was a reminder of what an amazing woman she really was and how much danger sheíd been in. In the midst of everything in her life changing, she had taken care of him and their daughter without them knowing.

Johnís life had been no where near as chaotic. Although for the first 3 months after sheíd gone missing, heíd been a mad man. Heíd even been reprimanded by Bo at one point for the way he was interacting with the other cops. Heíd ended up taking some time off and finally his mother and Michael had cornered him. Theyíd expressed their concern for him and had forced him to see where he was headed. Heíd taken a step back and decided that he could live without Angie, even though he didnít want to. He still had a family to take care of. Then a few months later heíd gotten that letter from Angie. Heíd read it so many times he could remember it.

John,

I sorry it took me so long to get in touch with you, but for reasons beyond my control it just became possible for me to contact you. I can only imagine what youíve gone through the last few months not knowing where I was. Iím okay. Iím safe.

I know how you are. Probably trying to figure out what you could have done differently, but this is not something that you could have fixed, no matter how much you would have wanted to. I hope that you had someone to talk to, since Iím not there, because you keep things so close to your chest. Please donít shut the people who love you out of your life. You need them as much as they need you. Iím sorry that I canít be there with you. Please find a way to get past this and be happy.

I want you to know that I will always love you. Please take care of yourself. There are lots of people who depend on you, so please be safe.

Yours Always,

Angie

"John? John? Where were you?" Evangeline asked when John finally looked at her.

"Iím sorry. I was thinking about those first few months after you were gone and I was on a rampage. For a while, I was awful to everyone. It was harder than Caitlin dying because I didnít know if you were alive or dead. There was no closure and I didnít know how to let you go. I needed some answers and they werenít forthcoming. Mom and Michael forced me to look at what I was becoming and I took a look at myself and decided I could live without you, but I didnít give up my search until I got your letter. Then I started hanging out with Michael and spending time with the family. They were really good to me. Thank you for helping me to not push them away."

"Iím glad I could help, seeing as I was the reason for all that drama."

"Maybe that was something that we needed to go through to get us here. Maybe if it hadnít happened we wouldnít be here together right now. I donít know, but Iím glad we are here. Now we know what it feels like to be apart. I donít want to feel that again, ever."

"Neither do I. I donít want to be apart from you again."

"You need to stop looking for somewhere else to live. Youíre staying here," he said in a determined voice.

"John," she replied with a smirk, "we canít just live together; not with an impressionable child like Dani around."

"Youíre right, but we love each other. Weíre both willing to work at a relationship," he said looking at Evangeline for confirmation, at her nod he continued, "and we have an adorable daughter to raise. We need to take some time and see if we can make a relationship work. Weíve been living together platonically up to this point. I propose that we continue doing that for a while and see where we go."

"We can try that for a while, but if it doesnít work, Dani and I can move close by."

"Iíll agree to that. Now that thatís settled, I should tell you that your daughter said she wants a baby like MJ."

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