Lost Love – Ch 7
Dani had come back from getting her ice cream and John had taken his girls home. He’d arranged for officers to patrol the area at least once an hour. He was not taking any chances with them. Evangeline had gone into the kitchen to do some baking and tried to keep herself pre-occupied.
Dani was sitting at the table having a snack and singing to herself. Evangeline looked at her and had to smile. Her daughter was so funny. She was such a happy child even after all the restraints she’d been under since she was born. Evangeline felt like patting herself on the back. Her daughter was secure in her own skin. She’d done a good job, even if she said so herself.
"Dani, how about you go and grab your coloring book and crayons? You can bring them in here with me. Then, we can make some cookies for daddy."
"Okay," Dani ran out of the kitchen. She was back in minutes, "Mommy, are you and daddy getting married?"
"Dani, where did that come from?"
"Why do you ask?"
"Well, Bobby’s mommy and daddy are married and they kiss all the time and they live in the same house. You and daddy kiss all the time and we live in the same house. Are you getting married?"
"Dani, I don’t know."
"But Mommy you know everything."
"Thanks for that vote of confidence, sweetie, but I don’t know everything. I wish I did," Evangeline said. Dani had a confused look on her face, so Van picked up the coloring book and picked a picture for Dani to color for her daddy.
While Dani was distracted, Evangeline’s mind went to John. Did she want to marry John? Absolutely. Would she get the chance? She wasn’t sure. She’d dreamed he was hurt months ago and she couldn’t shake the feeling that something was going to happen to them. She loved him so much and she didn’t know what she’d do if something happened to him. Too many people needed him.
John was at the office and had just talked to Officer Malone about what he’d found at the gift shop; nothing that they could use. A call had been placed to the shop and the dog had been selected for delivery. The dog had been paid for with a pre-paid Visa card that was untraceable. Right before the dog had been sent out to the pre-school, a teenager had brought a card in to go with the dog. The clerk didn’t think anything of it, since the call had supposed come from the child’s grandmother and she’d told him that someone would be bringing a card to attach to the gift.
The gift and card had been delivered to the pre-school within the hour. John was so frustrated with the fact that every lead led to a dead end. They had gotten a description of the teenager that delivered the card and were looking for him. He needed some answers and he needed them now. He’d called home an hour ago and the girls were fine. He needed to get home to see them. Dani had told him that they had a surprise waiting for him. She’d been really excited about him getting home. He did not want to disappoint her.
He stopped by Bo’s office and updated him on the latest developments in the case. Bo sent John home to spend some time with his family. Bo let John know that if he needed him, he would be at Eve’s. They were seeing each other again. John was glad for his boss and his mom. They both deserved to be in good relationships. He had been concerned about Bo ever since Nora had married Daniel Colsen. Bo and Eve had just recently decided to give something more than friendship a try. Bo and John both knew that they needed to keep their priorities straight, because no matter what they couldn’t solve every case. With that in mind, John cleared everything off his desk and was on his way home within the hour.
Evangeline and Dani were taking a nap on the lounge chair on the patio when John got home. When he walked in the house, he smelled cinnamon and chocolate. He followed the scent to the kitchen and saw the plate of cookies sitting on the table. Next to it was a picture that Dani had colored and then meticulously written "for Daddy". He studied the picture for a few moments. His little girl was getting better at staying in the lines.
He grabbed an oatmeal-raisin-chocolate chip cookie and bit into it. He closed his eyes as he savored the sensation of flavors that exploded in his mouth. Those were the best cookies he’d ever had. Now where were the women in his life? No sooner had that thought crossed his mind, when he saw them outside asleep. He smiled as he walked out the back door.
When he got close to them, he stooped to their level and pushed the hair back from Evangeline’s brow. She smiled, then opened her eyes and looked into John’s.
"Hi," she said sleepily.
"Hey," he replied. He leaned in and kissed her, before kissing his daughter’s forehead. Evangeline watched him as he reached down and picked up Dani, who curled into his chest. He reached down for her hand and pulled her up from the lounge chair. "How long has she been asleep?"
Evangeline glanced at his arm and told him just a few minutes. He pulled her with him as he went to lay Dani in her own bed. She picked up the blanket at the end of the bed to cover Dani after John laid her down. After she kissed Dani’s forehead, he pulled her into the master bedroom. Once there, John locked his door, pushed Evangeline against the wall and kissed her passionately. She kissed him back with everything in her. When he started to pull her shirt free of the jeans she’d changed into, she put her hands around his wrists.
"John, what’s going on?"
"I’m just getting my priorities straight."
"What are you talking about?"
"I’m talking about us. You are my priority right now. I love you and I know that you love me. I want to be with you right now."
She looked at him and nodded. They undressed each other and savored the feeling that being together invoked. Later, Evangeline lay half on top of John just basking in his presence. For the moment, she was content. She was wrapped in the arms of the man that she loved. She couldn’t think of a more perfect moment. She thought of Dani and pulled away from John to get dressed.
"What is it?"
"Dani will be up soon. I’m gonna shower, get dressed and go downstairs."
"I forgot. I’ll get dressed too. We can spend some time together talking before she’s up and raring to go. "
"I don’t know how long that will be. We’ve been in here for a while."
"Well, we’ve got to have our time as well. I love our daughter dearly, but sometimes I just need her mother."
Evangeline smiled at him and went into his bathroom. As she was stepping into the shower, she felt him behind her. His hand was on her hip as he pushed her into the stall. After soaping each other down, the two made love again in the shower stall. It was the most erotic thing Evangeline had ever experienced. When they both came down from their high, John turned off the shower and toweled Evangeline dry. As she went to get dressed he toweled himself off. As he walked out of the bathroom, she went to him and kissed him. After the kiss ended, she left him to get dressed.
She found Dani sitting in the middle of her bed singing to Spot.
"Sweetie, what are you doing?"
"Singing. Come sing with me."
"What are you singing?"
"The ABC song."
"Well, you sing it first and I’ll join in."
"Okay," Dani said and then she broke out with the song. On the second time around, Evangeline joined in. When they finished, Evangeline looked around the room and said, "Dani, where is Johnny Boy?"
"I don’t know. I have Spot," she said and held him up for her mother to see.
"I know that, but you told me Johnny Boy was your best friend."
"I know, but Spot is new." This appeared to be the perfect time for a lesson.
"I know that Dani, but you can’t just turn your back on your old friends when someone new comes along. You can be friends and spend time with both," Evangeline said and left Dani in her room to think about what she’d just said. Evangeline then went downstairs to start dinner.
John arrived at Dani’s door a few minutes later and overheard her talking to Spot. She was saying something about mommy and daddy getting married. What was that about?
"Hey, Dani. What are you talking to Spot about?"
"You and mommy getting married."
"Oh, well what about that?"
"I was just telling him that I think you and mommy are going to get married."
"You and mommy kiss a lot; and we all live together," she said as if the answer was obvious.
"Well, are you?"
"Dani, I don’t know."
"Do you love mommy?"
"Yes, very much."
"So you are getting married," she said and turned back to Spot as if it was completely settled.
"Dani, where is mommy?"
"Gone to make dinner."
"Are you coming down stairs?"
"Uh uh. I want to stay here with Spot."
"Okay, I’ll leave you up here for a little while. Then you need to come downstairs, okay?"
Across the street someone watched the condo and thought; I can’t wait to see you lose everything that you hold dear. You will pay for what you’ve done to me.
John came into the kitchen after making a detour back to his bedroom and sat on the stool watching Evangeline. She had her back to him, but he knew that she was aware of him.
"Are you just going to sit there and stare at me?"
"Yeah. I like looking at you."
She glanced over her shoulder with a smile, "Really?"
"Yes. Do you know that your daughter just asked me if we were getting married?"
"I’m sure she did. She asked me that earlier."
"Well, are we?"
"What?" she said turning completely around.
"Are you going to marry me?"
"When are you going to ask?"
"Do you always answer a question with a question?"
She laughed as he got up from the stool and invaded her personal space. He took her face between his hands and said, "I love you. I’ve loved you for a long time and I want to be your husband."
Evangeline took a deep breath and said, "John, you don’t have to do this just because of what Dani asked you. We’re okay."
"Maybe you are, Angie, but I want to go to bed with you every night and wake up to your face every morning."
"Will you marry me?" he asked removing the ring, he retrieved from his bedroom, from his pocket. She looked at the ring and then looked at him.
"What about the threats and everything?"
"What about them? They don’t change the way I feel about you or the fact that with or without them, we don’t know if we’ll see tomorrow. I want to seize this moment with you. Say yes."
"Yes," she said and he placed the ring on her finger. Before she could take a breath, he kissed her with every bit of himself. As they pulled away to take a breath, Dani screamed.
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