“I’m glad you found a good man.” My dad smiles at me as we walk down the beach.
After breakfast, we decided to take a walk while my mom went to lie out in the sun.
“You have always put everyone before you. I’m glad you found a man who makes sure you’re taken care of.”
“He’s good to me,” I say while taking in a lungful of ocean air.
“You can see it when he looks at you that he adores you.”
“Really?” I question, then wonder if I should have said something different.
“When you picked us up at the airport yesterday, your mother and I paused the moment we saw you at the baggage claim. We were, quite frankly, in awe. Kai is…well, kind of intimidating.”
“No, he’s not.” I shake my head. Kai is beautiful to me.
“He is, but he was looking at you with a softness in his eyes that I have only ever seen once before, and that was from you father when he looked at you or your mother,” my dad whispers.
My head swings his way. I’m in shock because we have never, not even once, spoken about my father before.
“You were his star.” He shakes his head before he looks out at the water and then back at me with a deep sadness in his eyes. “When he asked me to take you in, I knew how hard it was for him to do. Your mother and he loved you. You were the reason they were put on this Earth.”
“I hate that I don’t remember them,” I say through tears.
“You do…” He pauses, takes my hand, and then places it over my heart. “In there, you remember them. They have always been with you, will always be with you.”
“I know they loved me,” I tell him after a moment, when I finally find my voice again.
“I know they did too,” he says as his face softens.
“No, I know, because they gave you and Mom to me.”
“Oh, Myla.” He shakes his head and tugs me into a hug. “We miss our girl.” I can hear tears in his voice, and it kills me that I have done this to him.
“I miss you guys too,” I sob, wrapping my arms tighter around him.
“Let’s make this the last time we wait so long between visits.”
“Okay,” I agree, holding on to him tighter.
We stay like this for a long moment. I have missed both of my parents, but my dad and I have always been close, so not having him in my life over the last few years has really hurt.
“Love you, Dad.”
“Love you too.” He pulls away then looks at my tear-stained face. “You need to stop crying before we get back to the house and your husband sees you.”
“I’m done,” I smile at him through watery eyes.
He wraps his arm around my shoulders, and we walk the rest of the way back to the house in silence. I feel like, over the last few weeks, I have been bombarded with things from my past—some good, and some bad. But I’m also grateful for the closure I’m getting from it.
Tethered to Him
“I told you the moment we got them together it was going to be bad,” I growl at Kai, who has the nerve to smile at me.
After my dad and I got back from our walk on the beach, Kai’s mom showed up and instantly began talking to my mom about weddings and how she believes we should have another ceremony where everyone can come to witness us exchange vows. Then my mother started telling her that they would only be able to stay until the weekend but she would love to have some kind of celebration before she went home. So now, my mother and Kai’s have just told us what is going on and how we will be having a party with over one hundred and fifty people.
He shrugs. “It’s just a party.”
“Did you hear them?” I practically shout. “They said a hundred and fifty people. A hundred and fifty people is more than a party. That’s like…a concert or something.”
His eyebrow rises, and he shakes his head. “What kind of concerts have you gone to?”
“That doesn’t matter.” I roll my eyes, completely exasperated.
“I know you don’t want to do this, but look at how happy our mothers are right now. And it will be good for everyone to meet my wife. I should have done something as soon as we got home, but with everything that happened, I didn’t want to put to much pressure on you.”
“I don’t need to meet everyone, Kai,” I tell him, feeling nervous from even thinking about it. “We don’t even know what we’re doing. Things between us are still up in the air.”
“Stop,” he growls, turning to face me. “Every time you talk about us, you make it seem like we have an expiration date. We agreed to try to make this work, but in order for that to happen, both of us have to be involved. You can’t have one foot out the door already, Myla.”
I swallow, close my eyes, and drop my forehead to his chest, realizing that he’s right. I agreed to see where things go with him, while at the same time, I have been counting on us coming to an end.
“You’re right.” I open my eyes and look up at him. “I’m sorry. You’re right.”
His hands come up, and he gently holds my face between his palms. “Let’s worry about one thing at a time.” He kisses me softly then leans back just enough so he can look me in the eye. “Let’s give our mothers this party. I know it will mean a lot to both of them.”
I nod and lean into his touch.
“I’ll be with you all night.” He kisses me again, but this time, before he can pull away, I nip his bottom lip.
He growls deep in his throat and his hand tangles in my hair, forcing my head to the side. My mouth opens under his, and the moment his tongue touches mine, I whimper. I have never been with someone like him, and as much as it scares me, I still want him more than I have wanted anything in a very long time. He slows the kiss and pulls away, resting his forehead against mine.
“I’m right?” he asks, surprised.
“Well, it would mean a lot to my mom to be involved, even if it is just a party.”
“And us?” he questions.
I debate for a moment how to answer him before pressing my chest against his. “I know you don’t think I’m giving us a chance, but I am. I have never been with someone like you before. You scare me.”
“Oh, honey, I’m so excited!” my mom says, interrupting Kai. “Do you think we should have a photographer?”