Chapter 14

Forever, For Always, For Love

In the limousine Evangeline leans into Jax for their first almost private kiss as husband and wife. Breathless and giddy with happiness and anticipation laughter bubbled from her mouth as they kissed.

After hugging her tightly Jax pulled away looked deep in her shining eyes then glanced down “I hate to break the mood sweetie, I’m sorry, I just have to ask…”

“Hmm, what? Am I as happy as you think? Happier.”

“Did everyone at our wedding or just the Llanview residents know that John had a love letter delivered to you on our wedding day?”

Closing her eyes Van clamped down and stomped on her desire to avoid the question; her husband needed and deserved complete honesty from her. Warily she looks into Jax’s eyes before answering “Most people did not know. I know it may have seemed as though everyone was whispering about this but it’s not true, love. And it truly was not a love note, it was a note of well-wishing for my future not an invitation from the past.”

“The future he was too late in offering to give to you?” Jax queried.

“Yes, but not from lack of trying. You know you’re not the rebound guy, right? I was over John before I committed to you.” she stated trying to gauge his sense of threat to their new marriage and the depth of hurt in his emotions. “I told you about the note as soon as I could because I will never keep secrets from you. Never. I love YOU, Jax, and only you. There’s no one else in my heart, there isn’t room. You take up every space and fill me with such….joy.” Her brown eyes were luminous with emotion, glistening slightly from unshed tears.

Van watched Jax taking in her words and saw belief in his bones, “I know, I know. It was in poor taste but harmless and I don’t blame John for wanting a presence on this day in your life even from a far distance.” Jax says quietly, “I took a risk telling you McBain was branding the Buchanan kid with a scarlet letter to match her hair. Letting you know I was having him investigated well, you could’ve shut me down and kicked me out of your life but you didn’t.”

Placing his left hand on the back of her head Jax’s fingers worked through the thick strands until he found and released the jeweled encrusted hair clips keeping Evangeline’s upswept hair do in place. Pulling her close he nuzzled her cheek while suggestively caressing her waist sliding his hands up to lightly brush against her breasts enjoying her sharp intake of breath. “When we get to the inn” he whispers hungrily, “you’re…all…mine.”

Back at the hotel Alexis and Nora, who clicked from the moment Evangeline introduced them several days earlier, changed clothes and settled in for a long night of talking. “Nora, why did you help John McBain try to wreck my best friend’s wedding?” asks Alexis as the two sit on the balcony of their suite enjoying Jax’s largesse of stocking the finest champagnes and wines.

“Oh, I kinda felt I owed him one. I think I had some small part not in their break-up, but in keeping them apart. I encouraged Evangeline to go talk to him right after they split and give him another chance. They were so right together; I felt she had overreacted a bit to some unsubstantiated things and had jumped to some hasty conclusions and acted rashly. Outwardly they’re very different people but they have or had a soul-shaking connection.”

Putting her toe to the heel of her shoe Nora worked out of them, slouched in her chair and put her feet on the rail, “I was so crushed by the public humiliation and betrayal I endured from my now annulled marriage to the gay murderer and my ex-husband so publicly exposing his duplicity,” she sighs “I felt someone deserved the happy ending and Evangeline and John really should’ve had it. But she walked in on him and his shadow stalker less then 24 hours after the breakup and although I believe it WAS totally innocent on his part, I agreed with Van she was facing ongoing heartache. John didn’t seem inclined to change the situation. I was still in agony over my circumstances so I’m sure I played on all of her fears and worst nightmares because I’d just been through it myself. I didn’t help and I do believe John finally gave in to Natalie because he lost all hope of a reunion with Evangeline. Trying to pretend a relationship with her was his ultimate punishment and torture. I had made it clear to him Evangeline was gone for good. I owed him, so I delivered the note. It wasn’t my intention to do so on her wedding day that was unfortunate timing, to say the least.”

Twisting in her seat to face Nora Alexis asked “Should I expect this to be another brief marriage for Jax? His wife has a ‘soul-shaking connection’ with another man? How unlucky can a person be at love? Poor Jax!”

“No, no, no. Evangeline is committed to Jax, she’s in love with the man deeply so, no worries there.” Nora hastened to reassure Alexis as her mind shot back to her final alone time with Van in those moments before she walked down the aisle going forward to her new life. “Okay, you’re sure about this? Is McBain’s number still on speed dial in the number 1 position in your heart? No regrets, Evangeline?”

Evangeline’s head was bent down and her eyes closed when Nora spoke.

Twisting the small blue hankie between her fingers she only leaned back in her chair, her eyes remained closed. “Nora, I love Jax and we will come awfully damn close to having that proverbial ‘perfect’ life together. He is EVERTYTHING I imagined and so much more in a man and a life partner. He’s a lifetime’s love.”

“And the love of your life?” Nora questioned softly.

“I accept that no one will ever move me and do to me what John made me feel. It was,” she paused and tried to knead the kinks from her neck and shoulders, “being with John was life shattering. I mean that in a good way, all my previous preconceived ideas about what my life would be were completely upended in that basement with John McBain. I knew I could only go forward from there, never back. I thought we would go forward together. John had a different idea.”

Opening her eyes Evangeline watched Nora in the full-length mirror reflected in the dressing table’s large mirror “Being intimate with John was life altering for me, for both of us. It was all consuming we didn’t know where one ended and the other began we were that connected from the start. I guess the cliché is true: it was too hot not to burn out or burn us up.”

“Hey Nora, are you with me?” Nora glanced around a bit startled to find Alexis watching her with open curiosity in her eyes.

“Oh yeah, I can assure you there’s no divorce in Jax’s future, Alexis. Relax and be happy for him for both of them, I am.” With that Nora made herself at ease content that she had watched Evangeline ride off into a lifetime of endless delights and pleasures, and reasonably sure that John would survive even though he would never know happiness again.

A thin band of dawn was pushing onto the horizon as Jax smiles in deep satisfaction at Evangeline’s taunt nipples and arched back as her moans of gratification vibrated through him pushing him deeper into her flesh, savoring every quiver he produced in her. Feeling their co-mingled wet essence slip out of her with little spots landing on his stomach and thighs as she arched back against his bent legs taking every inch of him in and releasing her long held pent-up response. They’ve been making love for hours since arriving at the isolated inn that seemed to exist at the edge of the world. Exploring with their mouths and fingers as if they had truly never touched each other before. The belief that he finally had the woman he would sleep and wake up with until the end of their lives inspires Jax to new levels of pleasurable experimentation and Evangeline was responsive and with him from the first touch. As his orgasm shook and took him Jax reflected that married sex was so much better when you knew it was forever, “Evangeline I love you, I love you, I love you.” he moans rising up and slightly pulling her down to capture her mouth with his.

Curling into the crook of his shoulder Evangeline let go of a shuddering breath and twined her long legs through Jax’s while pressing little kisses on his neck and shoulder blades. She was sated, contented, her limbs so relaxed but still trembling slightly she was liquid custard. It wouldn’t be the blissed-out life it might’ve been with John, but it was enough more then enough to keep her a totally devoted wife and someday mother to hers and Jax’s children.