Character List

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Aftermath

I could tell that my mom was a ball of nervous energy driving to the hospital as she couldn't stop fidgeting with the radio and then her hair.  Looking at her was making me nervous so I took out my iPhone, figuring that I could play 2048 (totally addictive).  Instead I was greeted by a text from Priya wanting to know if I had heard from Anthony.

The last thing I wanted to do was tell Priya about the accident via text.  I knew that she was still with her family and didn't want to divert her attention or bring her down.  I thought carefully before texting her back, completely avoiding her original question.  "Lukas and I had such a great time at your sister's wedding.  I know you're still hanging out with your family and don't want to take up too much time.  Have fun and we'll talk later:-)"  Yes, I added a happy face just to ensure that she wouldn't suspect anything and felt guilty as hell for lying.

My mom pulled into a parking spot and I slipped my phone back into my purse.  We walked into the hospital and approached ICU.  As we got off the elevator, we spotted Mrs. Rossi, Britney and Ashley sitting and having coffee.  My mom made a mad dash towards Mrs. Rossi, hugging her tightly, the two of the crying and talking simultaneously. 

"Any change?" I asked Britney and Ashley.  

The both shook their heads and Ashley quickly filled us in that they were running some more tests on Anthony and we should get an update shortly.  I bit my lower lip before asking what had been weighing heavily on my mind, "Um, Ashley, I don't know if this is the right time and I don't want to upset or stress you out anymore than you already are but I was curious about Amy."

"What about Amy?" Ashley asked with raised eyebrows.

"Well, how did she get out of jail?  I mean she violated the restraining order Anthony had against her multiple times and it just doesn't make sense" I said, nervously twirling a strand of my hair.

"I didn't know about any of this til last night" Ashley said solemnly.  "Everytime I called home, my mom would tell me everything was fine.  She mentioned that Anthony and Amy broke up but didn't go into details. Neither did Anthony.  I didn't know she was this crazy bitch tormenting my brother and you til now."

"I'm sorry Ashley, I didn't mean to upset you" I said quietly.

She waved her hand, "You didn't and please don't apologize.  If I had known, I would've come home and kicked her ass.  No one fucks with my brother or my family."

I nodded agreeing, "I couldn't have said it better myself."

"I talked to the Anthony's lawyer this morning and he was saying some shit about how Amy's parents put up their house as collateral to get her out Friday."

"I don't get what the fuck her problem was" Britney said angrily.  "She fucked up and Anthony broke off their engagement.  Why couldn't she just be an adult and move on?"

That was definitely a question that we all had asked ourselves throughout this ordeal.  Yet, there wasn't a concrete answer.  I glanced over towards my mom.  She and Mrs. Rossi were sitting together talking.

"You know that's the most animated I've seen my mom in the past 24 hours?" Ashley chimed.

"They are both moms and can relate to each other" Britney chirped.

"Elisabeth, your mom looks exactly the same as she did when we were kids" Ashley said.

"Botox" I deadpanned.

"For real?" Ashley asked surprised.

I shook my head.  "Nah, we just got good Italian genes" I said with a smile.

Britney asked Ashley how she was doing and she said that she still can't grasp what happened.  She was angry that Amy had tormented her brother for so long and saddened that Anthony was struggling for his life. I leaned over and embraced her, whispering that it was going to be okay.  She nodded and wiped away a tear.

The next hour or so we sat there reminiscing about the past while my mom and Anthony's consoled each other.  Ashley was telling us about her plans for the summer when a doctor approached.  "Mrs. Rossi?" he called out, looking around.

We watched as Anthony's mom approached the doctor with my mom in tow.  "That's me, doctor."

"I'm Dr. Chung.  Can we talk for a few minutes?"

Mrs. Rossi nodded.  "Everyone here is family, can you tell me whatever it is here?"

Dr. Chung hesitantly agreed.  "From the tests we conducted earlier, we see signs of brain activity whenever Anthony is being spoken to.  It seems that he is aware of everything, even though he's unconscious.  I've seen this before in a number of patients and it's a good sign.  I don't see why he can't make a full physical recovery once he comes back to consciousness."

A saw a relieved look sweep over Mrs. Rossi's face, "What do we do in the meantime?"

"I think you should continue to talk to him.  Maybe something you say will jolt him awake.  We have him hooked up to all types of monitors and will observe his brain activity" Dr. Chung replied.

After Dr. Chung left we took turns going in to see Anthony.  This time I wasn't as nervous or scared as I was before.  I noticed immediately that Anthony didn't look as pale anymore.  I sat on the chair next to him, taking his hand in mine, pleading with him to wake up.  "Anthony we all need you.  You are one of the strongest people I know and you will get through this.  Please wake up.  There's so much more left for you to do here."

I told him stories about our childhood, how he promised that he would always be there for me.  How he talked about one day settling down and having a couple of bad children.  Yes, I said bad children.  You see Anthony felt that well behaved kids (under the age of eight) were boring and wanted to have bad children who would keep him on his toes and ensure that there was never a dull moment.  He also wanted a hot wife that was strong enough to keep him in check if need be.  I told him that I was not going to let him give up on his dreams and that I knew that he would wake up.

I heard a gently knock on the door and turned.  It was Ashley.  "I was wondering if I could talk to Anthony for a little" she said nervously.

I glanced at my watch and realized that I was talking to Anthony for well over an hour.  "Oh my goodness, Ashley.  I'm so sorry.  I didn't realize I was in here so long."

"That's fine.  I'll give you a couple minutes to finish up" she said politely.

I squeezed Anthony's hand and prayed for him to get better before kissing his forehead.  I walked out and once again apologized to Ashley who assured me that it was okay before heading back to the waiting area where I was met with expectant gazes.  "I totally lost track of time.  I was telling Anthony, well I hope he heard, about things he said when we were little kids."

"Oh honey, that's exactly what he needs right now" my mom answered and Mrs. Rossi agreed.

It was close to four by the time w finished visiting with Anthony.  We were saying our goodbyes when we saw Dr. Chung walking towards the elevator.   Mrs. Rossi called him over asking him if there was any change in Anthony's condition.  Dr. Chung smiled.  "While you visited Anthony we monitored a lot of brain activity which is a great sign."

We were all pleased that Anthony was slowly making progress, even though he was still unconscious.  Before leaving I hugged Mrs. Rossi and Ashley and made them promise to text or call me if they needed anything or if there was a change.

During the drive home, my mom tried to convince Lukas and I stay for dinner but we declined.  Tomorrow was Monday, a work day and I wanted to get home at a decent time. Britney was already at the train station when my mom pulled up.  She embraced me tightly, making me promise to be safe.  I nodded, overcome with emotion.  I saw my mom hug Lukas while saying, "You have to come back and visit.  I'll make you dinner."

Lukas cheerfully agreed.  We headed to the platform and turned to wave to my mom before boarding the train.  During the train ride home we tried to not talk about Anthony.  Instead I told Britney about Priya's sister's wedding which felt like it was an eternity ago.  Britney was completely enthralled with the details.  "I just love weddings" she said giddily.

"Me too" I replied, looking down.

"What's wrong?" Britney asked.

"I feel so damn guilty.  Priya was really worried that Anthony didn't show up at the wedding and then she texted me asking me if I had heard from him" I said quietly.

"Did you tell her?"

I shook my head, "How could I, Britney?  She's at her sister's wedding and I didn't want to be a Debbie Downer.  I hated lying to her but what choice did I have?"

"I hear ya.  You have to tell her though."

"I will, when we get home.  I hope she understands" I responded.

An hour later Lukas and I walked into my apartment.  Priya was in the kitchen making tea.  She greeted us, well me a little coldly.

"Um Priya is everything okay?" I asked.

"I'm annoyed that you blew me off.  I texted you to find out about Anthony and you couldn't even give me a straight answer!  What the fuck, Elisabeth?"

I heard Lukas clear his throat, "I'm going to head over to my apartment, call me if you need me."

There we were Priya and I alone with a huge elephant in the room.  I nervously played with the hem of my shirt, not sure how to begin.  Priya was becoming inpatient and sharply said, "Elisabeth, I don't have all day.  If you have something to say, just say it."

I sighed and felt my eyes well up with tears.  I told her about the accident and saw the concern and pain in Priya's eyes and face.  She stuttered, "Is he okay?"

I didn't know the right words to say, instead blurting out, "He's still unconscious but he has brain activity.  He has some broken ribs and lacerations but that's secondary."

"Oh my God" Priya gasped in shock.

I squeezed her hand gently and told her that I knew Anthony would be okay.  Priya took a deep breath, "Why couldn't you tell me this earlier?"

"I didn't know how to tell you via text and didn't have the heart to ruin your sister's wedding" I pleaded.

"Anthony is more important to me than my sister's wedding.  I need to see him, Elisabeth" she said desperately.

"I know you do and you will.  I'm sorry for not telling you" I said hugging her.

"I'm not mad at that anymore.  All I care about now is Anthony getting better" she said, brushing away her tears with the back of her hand.

Priya was determined that she needed to see Anthony and I wasn't going to argue with her.  I gave her the hospital information and she told me that she was going to go during the day tomorrow.  She insisted that she needed to see him as soon as possible.

While we waited for Lukas, Priya told me about her sister's reception.  I was thrilled to hear that Priya was able to make peace with her grandma.  Her grandma had a change of heart and was now supportive of Priya's career aspirations.  Priya had a feeling that her parents had a talk with her grandma and helped her see things in a different light.  She told me that the reception was a huge party with every type of alcohol you could imagine.  They spent most of the night eating, drinking, dancing, drinking, mingling and then drinking some more.  I told her that it totally sounded like my type of party.

That night I snuggled close to Lukas before drifting off to dreamland.  The next day at work, I was a little anxious, worrying about Anthony and wondering if Priya made it to Long Island without any hitch.  I couldn't have been happier when the clock struck six and I left.  Lukas had some things to take care of and I was in no mood to take the subway home.  Instead, I hailed a cab and whipped out my iPhone.  I was shocked to find a text from a number I didn't recognize.

"Hey Elisabeth, it's Ashley.  Can you call me when you get a chance?"

I didn't hesitate, calling her immediately.  My anxiety level was rising as I waited for her to pick up the damn phone.  Finally on the fourth ring she answered.  "Hey Elisabeth, how's it going?" she asked.

"Okay, what's up?"

"I have some good news and some not so good news" she said on the other end.

"Tell me the not so good news first" I said.

"The cops came by earlier to check on Anthony and gave us an update on Amy" Ashley said quickly.

"And?" I asked impatiently.

"She didn't make it.  She wasn't breathing on her own and her parents made the difficult decision to take her off life support."

"Wow" I said quietly, "I totally wasn't expecting that."

"At least she's not here to bother any of us anymore.  Do you want to hear the good news?" she chirped.

"Yes, tell me."

"Anthony woke up" she exclaimed.

"Oh my God" I screeched happily.

I hadn't realized that the cab had come to a halt and was greeted with a dirty look from the driver.  I told Ashley to hold on for a sec while I paid him and climbed out of the cab.

"Sorry about that Ashley, how's Anthony doing?"

"He's doing well, he's in pain but that's expected.  He seems to be in good spirits" she responded happily.

"That's awesome.  When did he wake up?"

"This girl Priya came to see him and we didn't know who she was but she kept insisting that she needed to see Anthony and my mom relented.  Anyway, when she was visiting he woke up" Ashley relayed.

"Aw, that's so sweet" I said with a huge smile.

"I'm going to head to the hospital now but I'll keep up updated" Ashley said before hanging in up.

I was on cloud nine when I entered my apartment and plopped down on the sofa.  I quickly called Lukas and before he could say anything I exclaimed, "Anthony's awake!!!"

Lukas took a few seconds to digest what I said before telling me how glad he was to hear that.  I hesitantly told him that there was more and he urged me to continue.  "Amy's dead" I deadpanned.

"Holy shit" Lukas replied shocked.

"I know" I said quietly.

"I'm glad this nightmare is over but I feel for her family.  I can only imagine what they're going through" Lukas responded.

We talked for a few more minutes and Lukas asked if I wanted to meet him for dinner.  I declined.  The past few weeks had been so stressful and I honestly wanted some "me time."  As much as I enjoyed spending each and every moment with Lukas, I realized that we both needed to get back to our regular lives.

"Lukas I was thinking that it's time for us to go back to our normal lives.  It's not that I don't love spending each and every waking moment apart from work with you but we need to get back to own lives."

"I get you.  I have so much work that I let pile up and things I need to take care of too" Lukas replied understandingly.

"I love you Lukas."

"I love you too, Elisabeth.  Want to get together tomorrow night to celebrate?" he asked sweetly.

"Hmm, I'd love that" I giggled.

I was in my pajamas, lying in bed when Priya got home.  I heard her call for me and I rushed into the living room.  We embraced and started jumping around happily, talking simultaneously until we were both exhausted.  Plopping on the couch, I playfully asked her how she got Anthony to wake up.

"It's the weirdest thing.  I was sitting next to him and holding his hand, telling him how much he means to me and how I never met a man like him before when I felt his hand move.  At first I thought it was all in my head or reflexes" she said excitedly, stopping to catch her breath while I urged her to continue, hanging on her every word.

"Anyway, I started crying and telling him how the accident was my fault because if I didn't invite him to my sister's wedding he wouldn't have been on the road.  I told him how I felt about him and that I don't know how I could go on wondering what could have been between us.  It was then that his hand moved again and his eyes fluttered.  I was a little scared and rushed to the get to doctors" she said enthusiastically.

I leaned over, embracing her, "That's like the sweetest story ever.  Thank you so much for bringing back my best friend."

"Ah it was nothing" she joked.

"Is he aware of everything and talking?" I asked.

She nodded.  "He knows there was an accident but I didn't want to focus on that.  I told him that you spent all weekend by his side and he said to tell you that he loves you and isn't going anywhere anytime soon."

"Aw" I said as a happy tear trailed down my cheek.

My happiness suddenly turned to guilt, "Fuck" I muttered.

"What?" Priya asked confused.

"I totally forgot to tell Britney the good news" I said flatly.

"Well call her now" Priya ordered.

Thankfully when I called Britney, she mentioned that she was stuck in a client meeting and was only now leaving work.  She had absolutely nofree time all day and was totally stressed out.  I told her that I had some news and before she could ask any questions, I excitedly squealed that Anthony was awake.  She told me that was the best news she could've gotten.  She mentioned that she was going to meet Tommy for a drink and didn't have much time.  I quickly told her that Amy didn't make it and she said she was shocked by not surprised.  Before hanging up we agreed to go and see Anthony in a couple days.

That night before going to bed I prayed and thanked God for saving Anthony and even prayed for Amy's soul.  Every though she made my life and Anthony's hell, she must have been very troubled.  I probably would never understand why she acted the way she did or what ultimately set her off but I knew she wasn't well mentally.  I prayed more for her parents.  I've always heard that losing a child is the worst kind of pain every imaginable.  Amy was their only child and I could not fathom how they were coping.  It's crazy that while one family celebrates life, another mourns the death of own of their own.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Meet the Parents

Time seemed to stand still as we watched Mrs. Rossi walk over to the doctor.  He escorted her towards the double doors and they disappeared.  We were all scared not knowing what was happening.  I tried to not think the worst but it was virtually impossible to not think that we had lost Anthony.  None of us said a word but it was apparent that we were all thinking the same thing.  We waited impatiently for what seemed to be an eternity for Mrs. Rossi to return.

When she finally emerged from the double doors, Ashley rushed towards her.  "What happened, Mom?" she asked nervously.

"That was Dr. Peterson.  He said that Anthony doesn't have any brain damage only a concussion.  However the longer he remains unconscious, the more dire his condition will be."

We all breathed a sigh of relief.  Even though Anthony was still in danger, we found solace in knowing that he was still with us.  "Is there anything we can do to help him regain consciousness" Britney asked quietly.

"Right now the only thing we can do is pray and not give up hope.  Anthony is breathing on his own but they have the oxygen tubes in place just in case" Mrs. Rossi replied.

"I guess the biggest obstacle is that Anthony is unconscious.  Once he awakes everything will be okay, right?" I asked calmly.

"Well yes and no, dear.  Anthony has a some ways to go before making a full recovery.  With time he'll be okay but right now our priority is him waking up" Mrs. Rossi answered.

Mrs. Rossi was in a better state of mind and insisted that we go home and get some rest.  She promised to call us if there were any updates.  We all gave her and Ashley hugs before leaving.

On the way to the local diner, Eric said, "I'm willing to bet anything that Anthony will wake up and things will go back to how they were."

I chirped, "Me too."

"I wasn't planning on spending the night in Manhasset" Britney said.

It was then that it dawned on me that Lukas would have to spend the night at my parent's house. My parents knew all about Lukas and how great he's been to me but I never expected them to meet him under these circumstances.

I knew it was a bit of an awkward subject to broach while Eric and Britney were in the car and decided to wait a little.  After Eric pulled into a spot in front of the diner, I insisted the he and Britney go in and that we would join them in a couple minutes.

Lukas leaned against Eric's Audi and I stood in front of him.  "I totally appreciate you being here with me today.  I know this might not be the most comfortable situation but you are so staying at my parent's house tonight."

"Elisabeth, I" he started and I interrupted immediately.

"I'm not taking no for an answer.  You're staying.  End of story."

Lukas chuckled and pulled me near, his hands entangled in my hair as he kissed me.  I reluctantly pulled away.  "One small thing though" I said looking down.

"What?" he asked confused.

"Well it's just that I can't sleep in the same room as you in my parent's house.  Like I get they know I'm not exactly a virgin since I lived with Jason for years but I just think it would be so uncomfortable knowing that they were two doors down.  My parent's house isn't as big as yours and it would just be awkward" I said rambling.

Lukas smiled at me, "I love you Elisabeth and I'm cool with sleeping on the couch or wherever.  Don't worry so much."  He kissed my head gently before insisting that we head in.

During dinner I texted my mom and let her know that Lukas and I were going to spend the night.  I figured it was best to fill her in on Anthony in person.  She told me that she would get everything straightened out and couldn't wait to meet Lukas.  Dinner went by smoothly.  We ate our burgers and fries while catching up.  I was pleased that Lukas fit in so seemingly well with all of my friends so far.

After dinner Eric dropped Lukas and I at my parents house first.  Before I exited the car, Britney mouthed good luck and I gave her a quick smile and rushed to the front door.  I rang the door bell and in no time my mom threw open the door hugging me.  I was barely able to get a word in when she excitedly, hugged Lukas, "You must be Lukas, Elisabeth has told us so much about you."

As we entered the house, I introduced Lukas to my dad.  My dad and Lukas bantered for a little before my mom suggested coffee.  We sat around my parents granite kitchen island, with my parents looking at us expectantly.

I realized they had no idea what we were doing at their house after midnight.  "I guess you're wondering what were doing here" I said and both mom and dad nodded.

"Long story short, Anthony was in a car accident and we came to see him."

I saw my parent's eyes widen in shock, my dad was the first to speak.  "Is he okay?"

"Not really.  He's unconscious but doesn't have any brain damage.  His mom said he has some broken ribs and internal bleeding" I said looking down.

"Anthony is a good kid.  I hope he pulls through this" my dad sadly.

"I can only imagine what Linda is going through.  Was she at the hospital?" my mom prodded with a worried look on her face.

I nodded.  "She is doing better now than she was hours ago when we first got to the hospital."

My mom agreed to go with us to see Anthony tomorrow; she wanted to be there not only for him but also for Linda - his mom.

My dad inquired about how the accident happened.  I cleared my throat, "All I know is that Amy was chasing him on the Northern State and crashed into him."

"Amy, that's that crazy girl that's been stalking you?" my mom questioned.

"Yea.  She's on life support at North Shore" I said flatly.

It seemed like my parents needed a moment to digest what I said.  Finally my mom said that she hoped Anthony would recover.  My dad agreed, quickly changing the subject and asking "What do you do Lukas?"

"I work for dad's architectural company."

"What are you looking for in this relationship with Elisabeth?" my dad prodded and I shot him a look.

"Well I like Elisabeth a lot.  She's a wonderful woman.  I'm seeking a long term relationship and I think Elisabeth and I have a lot in common and we're enjoying the time we spend together" Lukas replied confidently.

"What about marriage?" my dad asked.

"I think Elisabeth and I need to get to know each other a lot better before crossing that bridge" Lukas responded with a smile.

I listened as the subject thankfully changed from our relationship to sports, entertaining and education.  It seemed like my parents liked Lukas.

It was close to two in the morning when we headed upstairs.  My mom had setup our guest room which was right next to my bedroom for Lukas.  She told him to make himself at home.  I got on my tiptoes and kissed Lukas before going to my room.  It was weird to sleep alone.  Ever since Amy started threatening me, Lukas and I were inseparable.  I tossed and turned trying hopelessly to fall asleep when I heard a soft knock on my bedroom door.

I quietly opened the door letting Lukas in.  He kissed me hard, pushing me back on the bed.  His body covered mine as our kiss deepened.  His tongue playing with mine.  In no time I was lying on my back naked, Lukas between my thighs, licking that special place.  I closed my eyes, reveling in the pleasure.  I had to bite my lip to stop myself from moaning.  I grabbed my bedding as my orgasm took over, my head moving from side to side.  I felt Lukas kiss his way up my body, stopping to tease my nipples.  Nibbling on them before kissing my neck, my chin and finally my lips. His hardness was pulsating against me.

My hands cupped Lukas face as I felt him slowly fill me.  I was about to moan when I felt Lukas' hand clamp over my mouth.  He moved painstakingly slow inside me, not wanting to make too much noise.  Each thrust making me more aroused.  It wasn't long before Lukas picked me up and set me down on my window seat (luckily it had window treatments).  His thrusts became deeper and more urgent.  In no time, I felt another wave of pleasure wash over me.  Lukas came shortly after, whispering my name.

As much as I wanted him to spend the night in my room, I knew that my parents would flip out.  Even when I was engaged to Jason, they made him sleep in the guest room.  He never attempted to sneak into my bedroom though.  The more I thought about our relationship, the  more I realized it had so many cracks that both Jason and I were oblivious too.  In a way, moving back to New York was a blessing in disguise.  I had so much to be thankful for and my life was finally falling into place.  All that I needed now, was for Anthony to get well.

I slept on and off throughout the night; waking up scared, worried about Anthony.  Usually on a Sunday morning I would never be caught dead waking up at 7:30 but this was not your typical day.  I took a quick shower and rummaged through my closet and before I settled on wearing the same skinny jeans from the day before with a polka dot blouse.  Before going downstairs, I knocked on Lukas' door before opening it, only to find that Lukas wasn't there.

As I got closer to the kitchen I heard my mom and Lukas chatting.  I smiled seeing Lukas in one of my mom's pink aprons helping her make breakfast.  My mom immediately spotted me, "Sleep well, honey?"

"Eh, I had a lot of my mind" I said flatly, sitting on one of the bar stools around the island.  My mom placed a cup of coffee in front of me while giving me a sympathetic smile.

In no time the three of us were sitting around having blueberry pancakes.  My dad had golf plans and had already left.  Even though they were delicious and I was starving, I ate them half heartedly.

"Honey, you have to eat and be strong for Anthony" my mom said sharply.

"But Mom" I started only to be interrupted.

"Don't but Mom me.  You will eat and sustain yourself."

After breakfast, Lukas insisted that my mom let him do the dishes.  She hesitantly agreed and left to get ready.  We had planned that she would go with us to the hospital to see Anthony and console his mom.

"You're parents are great" Lukas said, smiling at me.

"Yeah, they're cool."

"What's wrong?"  Lukas asked.

I shrugged,  "I just have all these questions."

"What questions?"

"Lukas when I was lying in bed, unable to sleep I kept thinking about how Amy got out.  Last we heard she was in jail.  Like how did this happen?"

"I honestly don't know. The only person who might be able to answer those question is Anthony's lawyer" Lukas said, turning towards me.

"Yeah, that's true.  I don't have his contact info or anything and I don't have the heart to ask Mrs. Rossi for that information right now either."

Lukas took me in his arms, "We'll figure it out in time.  What's important now is Anthony."

I nodded and looked up at him.  He smiled before his lips brushed softly against mine.

We heard my mom's voice from a distance and pulled away.

"Ready?" she asked looking from Lukas to me.

We both nodded and followed her.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Fade to Black?

Why the hell was Anthony in the hospital?  I was frantically trying to call Britney but my hands were shaking so bad that I couldn't pull up her number.  I yelled for Lukas who was sitting the living room.  Hearing the urgency in my voice, he rushed into the bedroom.  "What's wrong?" he asked, taking me in his arms.

"Anthony is in the hospital" I cried.

"What?!?" he exclaimed in disbelief.

I reluctantly pulled away and told him that I received a text from Britney to call her immediately because Anthony was in the hospital.  Lukas' face immediately turned sullen. He took my phone from my shaking hands and looked through my contacts for Britney and hit send before handing me the phone.

Britney sounded very scared when she picked up, "I don't know what happened Elisabeth.  Eric called and said that there was a car accident and that Anthony is in the hospital."

"How is he?" I asked morosely, sitting on the edge of my bed to keep my balance.

I heard Britney sobbing on the other end, "I don't know, Eric said he was unconscious and that it doesn't look good."

Tears welled up in my eyes and streamed down my cheeks. Memories of growing up with Anthony and the great times we shared filled my head. Childhood memories of playing in my dollhouse (Anthony refused but I was an extremely precocious and persuasive little girl), our school days and how Anthony never gave up on our friendship even when the boys told him he would get cooties from hanging out with me.  I felt Lukas' arm around me and I drifted back to reality.

I sniffled, "We have to go see him."

"Eric knows all the details" she said solemnly.  I told Britney that I would get all the information and we agreed to meet at my apartment in an hour.

I fell back on my bed, my eyes closed trying to process what had happened.  Lukas in a soothing, comforting tone asked "What happened, Elisabeth?"

"Anthony's been in an accident and he's unconscious.  Britney doesn't know much but Eric does so I'm going to call him."

"Who's Eric?" Lukas asked.

I gave him a half smile, "Eric has been Anthony's best friend for all our lives.  We all grew up together."

Lukas nodded and took my hands in his.  "I know that you're scared and worried but you need to call Eric right now so we can figure out the severity of this situation."

"I don't know if I can" I said quietly, wiping away a new wave of tears.

"You need to be strong for Anthony" Lukas replied, tucking a strand of hair behind my ears.

I took a deep breath and dialed Eric's number.  His voice was filled with sadness and almost unrecognizable. After a couple minutes I finally mustered enough courage to ask him how Anthony was.  Eric paused for a moment before responding.  "All I know is that he's still unconscious.  The doctors were doing tests when I got to the hospital."

I quickly asked about Anthony's mom and Eric said that Mrs. Rossi was pretty shaken up and not dealing well with this.  Once his sister arrived at the hospital, Eric left.  He wanted to give them some privacy.  Before hanging up, Eric gave me the hospital information and told me that actually seeing Anthony would be impossible since he is ICU.

Lukas had overhead the conversation and I was glad that I didn't have to repeat what Eric said.  We silently changed and got ready to head to Long Island.  Though no words were spoken I knew that Lukas was not going to let me deal with this alone and I appreciated that.

Lukas was making me a cup of tea when I heard Britney knocking on the door.  I slowly opened the door and embraced, overcome with emotions.  Minutes later, we sat on the couch sipping on hot tea while Lukas tried to reassure us that Anthony would be okay.  He told us that we had to be strong and positive for Anthony and we agreed.

The train ride back to Manhasset was long and torturous.  Both Britney and I were too consumed with our own thoughts to speak.  The closer we got to our stop the more nervous I became, fidgeting in my seat.  Lukas sensed this and whispered, "Think positive.  Don't let negativity cloud your judgment."

I closed my eyes and took a few deep breaths.   When we got out at the Manhasset station, we looked around for Eric.  He had agreed to pick us up and take us to Long Island Jewish Hospital which was about 10 minutes away.  Eric was pacing in the parking lot by a dark blue, almost black Audi.  Britney and I rushed over to him with Lukas following.  I quickly introduced Lukas and we were off to the hospital.

Twenty minutes later we were walking towards ICU (Intensive Care Unit).  As we approached the waiting room, I saw Anthony's mom.  She looked to be crying.  I cleared my throat and spoke softly, "Mrs. Rossi?"

She looked up from me to Britney before standing up and engulfing us in her arms.  Britney asked how Anthony was and Mrs. Rossi's swallowed hard.  "He's not doing good dear and it's very touch and go right now.  The doctors said he has internal bleeding, four broken ribs and he's still unconscious."

"Anthony's strong and will get past this" Lukas said confidently.

Mrs. Rossi gave him a quick smile. I introduced Lukas to her and she chimed, "The man our Elisabeth met at speed dating, it's such a pleasure to meet you."

"I don't know Anthony as well as these three but from what I've seen he is definitely a fighter and can weather anything.  This is just a minor setback" he said positively.

Mrs. Rossi reached up and touched Lukas' cheek, "I hope you are right.  Anthony is lucky to have all of you in his life."

Lukas asked her if she needed anything to eat or drink.  After a little convincing she agreed to allow Lukas to get her coffee.  We watched as Lukas walked towards the elevator.  Eric asked with a shaky voice, "Do you know how the accident happened?"

Her voice caught in her throat and tears streamed down her cheeks, she tried to answer but was overwhelmed with emotion.  We tried to console her and breathed a sigh of relief when Ashley, her daughter and Anthony's little sister, appeared.  She gave each of us a tight hug and smiled, trying unsuccessfully to hide her sadness.

She told her mom to sit for a few minutes and relax before turning to us.  "It's great to see all of you, it's been years."

Truth be told, the last time I saw Ashley she was a lanky, awkward 13 year old.  Now she was absolutely stunning with a thin but curvy frame, her dark hair perfectly straight and framing her face.  She was no longer the little girl that annoyed and spied on Anthony, now she was a beautiful 21 year old woman who just finished her junior year at the University of Pennsylvania.  It was clear that Ashley was trying to avoid talking about Anthony as she babbled on and on about what she's been up to and asked us questions.

I breathed a sigh of relief as I saw Lukas approaching with coffee for all of us.  I helped him, placing one of the carriers on an empty chair.  He proceeded to hand Mrs. Rossi her coffee and told the rest of us to help ourselves.  From the corner of my eye I saw Ashley flirting with Lukas but he paid her no mind.  I wrapped my arm around him, making it clear to her that he was mine.

"Have there been any updates?" Lukas asked quietly.

We all shook our head.  Eric spoke up again, trying to get an answer to his initial question.  "Ashley do you know how all this happened?"

I saw the color drain from Ashley's face as she nodded.  Eric prodded her to continue. She sat next to her mom, holding her hand before telling us to sit.  We complied and she started, "The cops were here earlier to see if Anthony could give a statement. Obviously he couldn't because he's still unconscious."

We urged her to continue and she did with a quivering voice.  "Anthony was driving west on the Northern State and Amy was following him.  I guess he was trying to get away from her but couldn't.  He was going really fast and somehow Amy hit into his car."

"What happened to Amy?" Britney asked angrily.

"She's on life support" Ashley flatly.

"Is she here?" I asked quietly.

Ashley shook her head.  "No, they took her to North Shore Hospital."

I was ball of emotions.  In a way I was relieved that Amy was not at the same hospital as Anthony.  I could only imagine the craziness that would ensue if she were.  Even though she had made our lives hell, I was a little saddened to hear that she was on life support.  That sadness turned to anger as I realized that because of her behavior Anthony was lying unconscious in a hospital bed.

"This is all so surreal" Britney said aloud.

I silently agreed with that sentiment.  As we waited for any news or glimmer or hope regarding Anthony's condition, I couldn't help but notice the sadness of Lukas' face.  I nudged him gently and asked him if he wanted to go for a walk.

As we stood in front of the hospital, I asked nervously if he was okay.  At first Lukas said he was but I kept pressing.  Lukas motioned for me to sit on the bench off to the side.  I assured him that he could tell me anything, leaning my head on his shoulder.

"It's just that being in the hospital brings back memories that I have repressed for so long" he said with a hint of vulnerability in his voice.

"Because it reminds you of Isabella" I said completely understanding.

"Yea.  I don't want to bring you down and make this about me.  Our main concern needs to be Anthony now" he said strongly.

"But Lukas I want to make sure you are fine" I replied.

He gave me a half smile.  "Trust me, I'm fine."

Lukas and I talked about Amy being on life support.  He said it took a special kind of crazy to do the things Amy has done.  I agreed with him before playfully teasing him about Ashley flirting with him.

He chimed, "I can't help being so irresistible."

I leaned forward and kissed him gently.  "Thank you for coming here with me."

Lukas and I sat on the bench for a little while longer people watching.  We saw nervous fathers escorting their pregnant wives into the hospital to give birth to beautiful babies.  Relatives with bouquets or flowers and get well balloons coming to visit.  I always found it ironic that hospitals can bring one family so much joy with the birth of a baby and another so much sadness with death.

The afternoon had progressed to night and the temperature was dropping; I glanced at my watch and saw that it was a little after eight.  I got up slowly and Lukas followed as we returned to the ICU waiting room.  Eric told us that Mrs. Rossi had gone in to see Anthony and that hospital policy allowed one person to visit him for a couple minutes.  There was zero change in his condition and the doctors were still running tests.

When Mrs. Rossi returned her eyes were puffy and she looked extremely distraught.  I didn't have the heart to ask her any questions.  We watched as Ashley spoke quietly to her mother before making a beeline towards Anthony's room.

For as long as I could remember Eric always ran away from emotions and tried to mask his by joking around or by completely ignoring what was going on.  I wasn't surprised when he suggested that we all go out to dinner after seeing Anthony and catch up.

Mrs. Rossi was not thrilled with this idea, blurting out, "Eric how can you expect me to leave here not knowing what's going to happen with my son."  By this point she was crying again, "He's all I have."

Eric and Britney were trying to console her when I felt Lukas nudge me gently.  I turned my head, looking at at.  He started talking quietly, "Do you think I can maybe talk to Anthony's mom?"

"Why do you want to talk to her?" I whispered.

"I've been in her situation and I think I could help her or at least try" Lukas said.

He had a look of determination in his eyes that I had never seen before.  I thought for a second before responding.  "I think that might be a great idea."

After all that Lukas had been through he might be better able to relate to Mrs. Rossi than any of us.  I observed as he walked over to her.  With a little persuasion, I saw her take Lukas' hand.  "We're just going to get coffee downstairs" Lukas told us.

Eric, Britney and I huddled together.  We talked about the severity of Anthony's injuries and for the first time the grave condition the Amy was in.  It was apparent that we were all worried but were keeping positive for Anthony and his family's sake.  We also decided that once we all had a chance to see Anthony we would grab a bite to eat.  It was well after nine and we were all starving.

Ashley returned and said that we could go in, one at a time.  Eric being a gentleman suggested that Britney or me go first.  Britney quickly agreed to let me go first.  My legs felt like lead as I walked towards Anthony's room.  I leaned against the wall by his door to compose myself before walking in.  I couldn't hold back the emotion I felt seeing Anthony lying in that hospital bed.  He had both feeding and breathing tubes attached, a bandage on his forehead.  His eyes were closed and he looked pale.  His arms laid by his side.  I brushed away my tears and sat on the chair by his bed, taking his hand mine.

I squeezed it gently, hoping that he could sense my presence.  With the other hand, I gently touched his cheek which had a bruise.  "Please God I'm begging you, please help Anthony survive this.  He has so much to live for.  You can't take him away from his family and friends" I sobbed.

After sitting silently for minutes I got up and kissed Anthony's forehead. "Anthony you have to be strong and fight through this.  Your mom and sister need you, I need you.  I don't know how I can live without you" I said solemnly before squeezing his hand one last time.  Before exiting I turned, glancing at Anthony and offering a silent prayer for him.

Later when we had all seen Anthony we sat together trying to deal with our emotions.  By this time Lukas and Mrs. Rossi were back and I have to admit she seemed to be in better spirits.  She pulled me close to her and told me that I found a great man in Lukas and should hold onto him.

We were saying our goodbyes to Mrs. Rossi and Ashley when a doctor emerged with a somber look on his face.  He cleared his throat.

"Mrs. Rossi, can I speak to you for a minute?" he said grimly.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Apologize

I felt my heart sink and my pulse race, knowing that Lukas overheard me say that Jason kissed me.  I didn't know what to do in that moment and watched silently as Lukas turned and walked out of Vertigo.  I got up and rushed outside, following Lukas.  He was a good half block ahead of me when I called out his name.  He turned and looked at me with a wounded expression.

"Please let me explain" I said desperately, as I approached him.

"Elisabeth you had weeks to tell me about this and didn't" he said trying to keep his cool.

"There wasn't a right time" I pleaded.

Lukas scoffed, "Imagine my surprise, I come to escort my girlfriend home and instead I get blindsided by what I overhear."

"What were you doing at Vertigo anyway?  I thought you said you didn't want to be the third wheel."

"Really, Elisabeth?  You want to know why I showed up?  Anthony texted me earlier and said it might be a good idea for me to take you home just to be on the safe side" Lukas said, raising his voice.

"Oh okay" I replied.

"I can't believe you're turning this around on me.  Instead of addressing the issuing, you're bitching about me showing up at Vertigo?"

"I'm sorry, Lukas.  I met with Anthony and was trying to get his opinion on how I should tell you about Jason" I said sincerely.

"How about you sit me down and be straight with me, like I have been with you?  You have no problems asking me about my past or whatever but yours is like a closed book" he said pointedly.

"I know but there was never an appropriate time to tell you.  You and I were fighting when I met Jason and then we made up.  Everything was going so well and Jason was the furthest thing on my mind."

"What changed?" he asked bluntly.

I saw Anthony approaching us as I said quietly, "Lukas, can we discuss this at home?"

I watched as Lukas and Anthony greeted each other and then move away from me.  They seemed engaged in an animated conversation and I couldn't make out a word they were saying.  I felt terrible knowing that I hurt Lukas.  Truth was there was never a good time to tell Lukas about Jason.  If not for the letter, I wouldn't even be in this predicament.

Minutes later, Anthony and Lukas approached me.  "I'm going to get going but I'll call you tomorrow" Anthony said, giving me a quick hug before heading down the block.

Lukas and I cabbed it to his apartment in virtual silence.  Once inside, I started babbling, "It's not that I didn't want to tell you Lukas, it's just that there was never the right time."

"What changed?  I mean why do you need to talk about this now?" he demanded.

I looked down, "Well I received this letter from Jason yesterday saying that he was doing an internship in NYC this summer and wanted to get back together."

"And what do you want?" Lukas asked quietly.

"I want to be with you, Lukas.  I love you so much and I need you to understand that I never meant to hurt you.  I don't know what I would do without you" I said emotionally.

"I love you too, Elisabeth but I need for you to tell me everything" he said sitting on his leather couch.

I started telling Lukas about my meeting with Jason, how he blamed me for his cheating and then proceeded to profess his love for me.  I took a deep breath before relaying how I stormed out of the bar and was heading home when Jason grabbed me and begged me for a second chance before kissing me against my will.  From Lukas' expression I had a feeling that he would be understanding of my plight.

"I wish you would have told me this before.  Hearing you talking about kissing Jason hurt a lot" he replied.

"I'm sorry, Lukas" I said softly.

"I can't get mad about Jason kissing you.  You didn't initiate it or do anything wrong.  It's just that I need for you to be more open and honest with me" Lukas said.

"Are you still mad at me?" I asked.

"A little.  I feel blindsided.  I would hope that you would confide in me, instead of turning to your friends first."

"I promise I will."

"Do you have any feelings for Jason?" Lukas asked pointedly.

"No" I answered quickly "I'm happier with you than I've ever been with Jason.  You make me feel special and like I'm the only girl in the world.  I'm so blessed to have you in my life.  I don't know what I would do without you.  I know I'm a challenge and that I do things that piss you off but that's never my intention.  I was only trying to protect you."

Lukas took a deep breath, " I know you were.   Next time, just be honest with me.  Don't worry about hurting my feelings so much."

I watched as Lukas got up and walked into the kitchen.  I followed him and staring into his eyes.  Moments later my hands were on his face and then in his hair as I got on tiptoes and kiss him fiercely.  I felt Lukas nip my lip gently with his teeth and I moaned softly.  Lukas hands pulled at my dress urgently.  Breaking our kiss, I turn around allowing him to unzip my dress and let it fall to the floor.  I unbuttoned Lukas shirt as fast as I could and then his jeans, freeing his erection.  He pulled me hard against him and I felt his fingers unclasping my bra while his lips explored my neck and then my breasts. Lukas hands are on my ass squeezing hard before lifting me.  I wrapped my legs around him, feeling his erection pulsing against the thin material of my thong as we kissed.  Rotating my hips, I grind slowly but urgently against him.  His hands reached down and pushed my thong out of the way.  Lukas slid into me in one quick, thrust.  I bit his shoulder and my nails raked down his back as he started moving urgently inside me.  Lukas' voice became ragged as his pleasure intensified.  I screamed Lukas' name as I lost control and orgasmed.  My arms wrapping around his back tightly.  Lukas thrusted frantically inside me, cumming hard shortly after.  His arms let me down slowly, my legs shaky as I stood.

That night, after we freshened up, Lukas grabbed some things and we headed back to my apartment.  Even though Amy was behind bars, we were being extra cautious.  Priya was reading when we walked in.  Lukas excused himself and headed to my bedroom, while Priya asked if we could talk.  I sat across from her and nodded.

"I wanted to invite Anthony to my sister's wedding but I'm not sure if I should.  What do you think?" she asked nervously.

"Weddings are interesting.  You always have relatives that start asking awkward questions when we show up with a date.  Are you ready for that?" I asked.

"I guess I am ready for anything.  I'm going to invite him to the actual wedding not the reception.  I need a friendly face to get me through the day. At least at the reception, there will be alcohol" she said with a smile.

"I love the way you think" I responded, giggling.

"Do you want to come to the wedding, I mean you can bring Lukas if you want" she asked happily.

"I think it might be a great experience but I'd have to talk it over with Lukas.  I don't know what I would wear to an Indian wedding" I said honestly.

"You can wear a cute dress and it will be fun.   Please, come" she pleaded.

"I'll come for sure but I'll get back to you on Lukas" I replied.

"Yay!! I'm so happy" she said smiling broadly.

That night as I lay in bed with Lukas I asked him about going to the wedding.  At first he was hesitant saying that it didn't seem right to crash.  After I told him about Priya's situation and how she needed our support, he agreed to go.  Lukas told me that he had been to a couple Indian weddings and how much fun they were.  As I snuggled near him I said gently, "I love you so much Lukas and I am grateful that you are so understanding.  I know being with me isn't exactly um drama free."

"That's what makes it interesting; never a dull moment with you" Lukas said with a laugh.

The remainder of the week flew by and before I knew it, Lukas and I were getting dressed for Priya's sister's wedding.  Lukas wore a navy blue suit, with a white button down shirt, no tie and brown dress shoes.  I opted for a pink, lace fit and flare dress that was conservative but showed off my figure.  I scoured my closet before settling on nude pointy toe pumps.  Priya had a lot to do and spent the previous night with her sister. The actual wedding was being held at a hotel in Midtown and we had agreed to meet Priya there.

For once, Lukas and I were on time.  We were escorted to the ballroom where the wedding was going to be held.  On a raised stage was a something like a gazebo (I learned after the fact from Priya that it's actually a mandap) with gorgeous white flowers around the top and sheer fabric draped perfectly around the pillars. Under the mandap were two chairs, which I assumed were for the bride and groom.  There were pillars down the aisle with magnificent centerpieces sitting on top.  I was blown away by the beauty of the room.

The room begin to fill slowly with relatives and friends, most decked out in beautiful, colorful, ornate saris and outfits that consisted of stunning midriff tops and long skirts.  Lukas and I found seats behind the reserved rows when there was an announcement to head outside to meet the groom.  Outside we were greeted by music and dancing and the groom approaching on a white horse.  I nudged Lukas and he looked down at me, "This is so beautiful and awesome" I said in awe.

He nodded, taking my hand in his.  Eventually we made our way back to the ballroom and took our seats.  I looked around for Anthony but couldn't find him.  In no time the bride, made her way in, wearing a very blinged out dark red and gold Indian outfit.  She wore stacks of bangles of both arms, a lavish necklace and massive chandelier earrings.  As she walked down the aisle her beauty and happiness filled the room.  The wedding ceremony was different than what I was use to but beautiful nonetheless.  I was grateful that after the priest did the traditional rites in Hindi, he took the time to translate it into English.

After the ceremony was finished, we were escorted to another room where there was a buffet lunch.  We had just gotten our food and settled down at a table when Priya rushed over.  She was glowing and her turquioise outfit fit her like a glove.  She threw her arms around me, thanking me for coming before giving Lukas a quick hug.  We told her how much we enjoyed the wedding.

"Where's Anthony?" she asked looking around.

"I don't know.  Lukas and I looked for him earlier but couldn't find him" I answered.

"Maybe he changed his mind and didn't come" Priya said flatly.

"I doubt it.  Anthony is a man of his words.  If he says he's going to do something, he does it" I said positively.

In that moment, an older woman came over and said something to Priya in Hindi.  Priya apologized before following the older woman.

"Lukas, I'm worried about Anthony" I said solemnly, "This isn't like him at all."

"Maybe he got cold feet" Lukas said, rationalizing.

"What if something happened to him?" I asked.

"Elisabeth, you're overreacting.  If you're so worried, why don't you text him?"

I opened my clutch only to realize that I left my phone at home.  I cursed under my breath.  Lukas offered to lend me his phone but I declined.  We would be back at my apartment soon enough and Lukas was probably right.

Before we left, Priya introduced us to her parents.  Her parents were very sweet and insisted that we have dinner with them before they left.  I told them that sounded great and Priya promised to set something up. As they went to mingle, I pulled Priya to the side "Lukas and I are going to go, but thank you so much for inviting us."

"Thank you for coming" she said happily.

"Priya, I almost forgot" I said, pulling out an envelope from my bag, "Please give this to your sister."

"Elisabeth, you didn't have to" she started and I cut her off.

"I wanted to, please give it to your sister" I said giving her a quick hug.

Our cab ride back to the apartment was quiet and fast.  I practically dragged Lukas through the lobby of my building and then to the elevator. I opened the door and rushed in, searching for me phone which was on my bed.  I have four missed calls and eight texts.  My eyes opened in shock and fear as I read the most recent text from Britney:

"Elisabeth, you really need to call me.  Anthony is in the hospital."

****Readers:  This was graduation weekend and I was at my alma mater in Boston watching my cousin graduate.  I honestly was so swamped and didn't have much time to write.  I apologize for this length of this post and promise to make it up. Thanks for understanding.  ****

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Ex Factor

Isn't it funny that when you want time to fly by, it does exactly the opposite?  On Monday my workday just seemed to drag.  I kept checking the clock and that made it worse.  I'm sure my colleagues wondered why I was so quiet and kept to myself but fortunately they didn't ask any questions.  I was extremely tired and stressed.  I hadn't slept the night before, worrying about Amy's threats.  I knew the police stated they had grounds for arresting her but that wasn't enough.  What's the point in arresting someone, then letting them out on bail a day or two later only to find out that they haven't learned their lesson?

I was relieved when Lukas texted me at 5:45 to let me know he was outside.  I grabbed  my things and rushed to meet him, wanting an escape from all the drama.  With Lukas, I felt safe and didn't have to worry as much about Amy. I gave him a quick hug before we headed home.  Sitting next to Lukas in the cab, I realized how exhausted he looked.  In part, I felt guilty.  If not for me, he wouldn't have been up all night long.  Even though I didn't know how I got roped into this Amy drama, I dragged Lukas and Priya along with me.  

"How was your day?" Lukas asked softly.

"Eh, it went by so slowly.  I have a killer headache and I'm just so stressed about Amy.  I don't know what to do.  It's like there is no end in sight" I said despondently.

"No end in sight?  Amy is a minor inconvenience but I am positive that this debacle will be over sooner rather than later.  You gotta think positively and stop stressing" Lukas replied.

"That's virtually impossible."

"Nothing is impossible.  I know that it's hard to believe but you have to try" he said, looking at me.

In a way I knew he was right but how could I stop stressing when my main stressor was out there tormenting me?  We quietly headed into my building and up to my apartment.  I opened the door and called out for Priya..  As we walked in I found a note from Priya saying that she was meeting with her sister and should be back by nine.  

I needed to relax and decided to take a long bath, while Lukas cooked us dinner.  I told him he didn't have to but he kept insisted that he wanted to.  An hour later we were eating chicken stir fry and rice.  We were in the middle of dinner when I heard my phone pinging.  I hesitated and Lukas asked, "Do you want me to get your phone?"

I nodded.  He brought over my iPhone which had a bunch of texts from Anthony, the last telling me to call him ASAP.  I took a deep breath, instantly worried.  Lukas watched as I dialed Anthony's number, he answered immediately.  

"I have some good news for you" Anthony said.

"Good news?"  I asked.

"Yea, I was talking to my lawyer and first Amy is back in jail where she belongs."

I breathed a sigh of relief, "That's great."

He continued to tell me that since Amy violated both of the restraining orders she was subject to being fined as well as 6 months in jail for each violation.  Since Amy didn't have the financial resources to pay the the prospective fine she could be ordered to do community service or serve additional time in jail.  He also mentioned that her bail this time will be set a higher rate since she is a repeat offender.  

"So for the time being I guess we could get back to life as normal?" I asked with a hint of positivity.

"You could say that" Anthony replied with a laugh. 

Lukas started washing the dishes as I continued my conversation with Anthony.  I had so many questions about Amy and Anthony was the only one that could answer them.  "Anthony, I was wondering if I could ask you some things about Amy."

"What would you like to know?" he asked.

"Well can you tell me about her.  I guess I want to know about her life.  You know her childhood, her job, anything so I can figure out why she is like she is" I said quickly.  

I heard Anthony take a deep breath before he said, "I would rather discuss that in person.  I'll tell you whatever you want to know but I want to do it face to face."

We agreed to meet up Wednesday after work for drinks before hanging up.  By this time Lukas was lounging on the couch doing something on his iPad.  I walked over and sat next to him, "So I'm going to meet up with Anthony after work Wednesday to talk."

"That's great.  It's about time you get your life back.  For the past few weeks we've been holed up in your apartment or mine because of Amy."

I agreed and asked him if he wanted to come along.  He declined saying that he doesn't want to be the third wheel but I needed him to text or call and he'll be there.  I gave him a quick hug, almost knocking his iPad down before thanking him for being so supportive.  

"My sister emailed me" Lukas said in a serious tone.

"What about?" I asked curiously.

"Honestly her email was all over the place.  I guess she's upset that I told her she had no business talking to you like that or sticking her nose in my business.  She said something about Jeff but her email was so incoherent" he said, rubbing his temples.

"Lukas, you mean a lot to me and I want to get along with your sister.  I'm not saying we have to be best friends or anything like that but I at least want to be civil with her.  I get that I didn't make the best first impression but I know if she took time to get to know me, she'll see I'm not all that bad" I said passionately.

"I would like that a lot but you don't know Lauren.  Do you know how many times she would bitch about Isabella to my parents and me?  She was constantly causing problems.  She did the same thing with this girl I dated in college.  I'm old enough to know what I want" he responded, smiling at me.

As much as I wanted to play along and ask what he wanted, I needed to know more.  "How did Isabella react to your sister?" I asked quietly.

"At first it bothered her a lot.  I would come home and she would be in tears over something my sister said to her.  After a while I think she realized that my sister wouldn't come around and learned to ignore her."

"But I thought you said they became friends when Isabella got sick?" I said quickly.

"Friends is a strong word.  Lauren was, let's say civil with her" Lukas said flatly.

I started playing nervously with the hem of my top.  "I was thinking that maybe you can intervene and set up lunch or something for Lauren and I to get to know each other."

I saw Lukas take a deep breath before responding.  "Don't get me wrong, I would love for you and my sister to get along but at the same time I don't want to force the issue.  Lauren has a lot going on in her personal life and I doubt she would even accept an invite to lunch."

I agreed with Lukas.  Maybe forcing the issue wasn't the best strategy right now.  I realized that Lukas wasn't even paying attention to what I was saying and glanced in at him.  He seemed very much engrossed in his thoughts.  I figured that talking about his wife brought back a lot of memories.  I rubbed his hand gently, "Lukas, do you ever think about Isabella?"

Lukas nodded, "From time to time I do.  When she first passed away I thought about her all the time but with time I've accepted her death and realize that she is in a much better place."

"Do you miss her?" I asked quietly.

"I'm in a good spot right now with you.  I love you, Elisabeth.  I need you to understand that Isabella will always have a special place in my heart but that has no bearing on you and I.  I haven't been this happy in a long time and it's all because of you."

"I love you too.  I know it's probably hard for you to talk about Isabella and I totally appreciate you opening up to me" I said wrapping my arms around him.

"I know" he said before kissing me softly, his lips brushing against mine.

The rest of the night flew by and before I knew it was morning and Lukas was escorting me to the train station.  Even though Amy was behind bars, Lukas still watched until I made my way down the subway stairs until going his way. I was a great mood when I got to work.  Alison was sitting behind her desk when I walked in.  I chirped, "Good morning, Alison."

She smiled and told me that it was great to see me in such a good mood.  We chatted for a little, even agreeing to do lunch next week before I headed to my work area.  After logging on I realized that I was going to be swamped with meetings all day long.  I sighed loudly and both Rob and Nick looked at me curiously.

"Everything good?" Rob asked apprehensively.

"Just great" I said happily.

"We've been worried about you" Nick said a little concerned.

"I totally appreciate your concern.  I'm dealing with some things in my personal life but it's all good now" I said, reassuring them.

"Well if you ever need anything, let us know" Nick said before returning back to his emails.

After three hours of grueling back-to-back meetings, I was finally able to concentrate on my daily tasks.  I was halfway through when I received an email from John, our managing director, asking for me an update on the project I was working on.  I pulled up a proposal that I drafted, based off of the suggestions of legal, audit and Operations and skimmed it.  I quickly proofread and sent it over to John, only to have him call me into his office an hour later.

I nervously walked to John's office and he motioned for me to come in.  Sitting across from him, I clasped my hand in my lap to keep from fidgeting.  Nervous energy, I tell you.  I was trying to read John's expression but the man is darn stoic it's hard to know what he's thinking.  I saw him look over the proposal and I started speaking, "Um John, I must admit that I pulled that proposal together really quick and it's not my best work."

John looked at me with his eyebrows raised, "Actually Elisabeth I called you in here to tell you how happy I am with my decision to have you lead this project.  This proposal is one of the best that I've ever seen.  If this isn't your best work, I can't fathom what is.  This is truly remarkable" he said with a smile.

I stuttered, "Thank you."

"I wanted to tell you did a great job in person.  I feel that is more personal than an email saying 'job well done.'"

A few hours later, I was headed towards Lannam, a Vietnamese restaurant, not too far from my workplace to meet Britney for dinner. She had texted me earlier in the day, saying that she needed to talk ASAP.  I managed to break free for a couple minutes for my desk to let Lukas know about my plans.  Lukas has been great but I felt guilty having him give up his personal life to meet me after work each day.  He deserved to have some private time as well.  Lukas mentioned that he was going to have dinner with a couple friends and meet me at my apartment later.

I got a table and was people watching when Britney strolled in.  She gave a quick hug before sitting across from me.  "It feels like ages since I saw you" she squealed.

"I know, life's been crazy" I responded.

I quickly filled her in about Amy and then about the wedding.  Britney's assessment, "I think you need to ignore Lauren.  She needs to get over herself and you don't need to put up with her shit."

Even though I agreed with her I wasn't willing to give up on being civil with Lauren just yet.  By this time our food arrived and dived in.  Midway through our meal, I asked Britney about Tommy.

"I love Tommy" she said beaming, "Everything is going so well and I think I'm ready to take our relationship to the next level."

I almost choked as I sipped on my water.  "You mean MARRIAGE?" I croaked.

"No silly" she said with a laugh, "You know Tommy and I have waited to um consummate our relationship and I think it's time."

I giggled, "You scared me there for a second."

Britney and I spent the remainder of the dinner, catching up.  I had been so caught up in my own personal affairs and didn't realize how isolated I had made myself.  I gave Britney a hug before we went our separate ways.  When I got home, neither Priya or Lukas were around.  I plopped myself on the couch and looked through the mail on the coffee table.  I saw a letter addressed to me, the handwriting was familiar but I couldn't place it.  There wasn't a return address.  Part of me wanted to rip it open immediately but the sensible part worried about it's content.  I was jolted to reality when I heard the apartment door open and heard Priya's voice.

"How was your day?" she asked cheerfully.

"It was good" I said unsteadily.

"What are you doing?" she asked, looking at me.

I told her I was debating whether I should read whatever was in the envelope. She insisted that we should.  I slowly opened the envelope and took out a handwritten letter from Jason. Part of me wanted to shred the letter and not even bother but I needed to know what Jason had to say.  I read the letter twice before putting back in the envelope.

Jason was moving to New York City for the summer to do an internship at one of the most prestigious law firms.  He wanted to rekindle our relationship and apologized for the things he said in the heat of the moment. He said that he was sorry for cheating on me and then blaming me for the demise of our relationship. Basically, he accepted the internship because he wanted to be closer to me.   We heard a knock on the door and I shoved the letter under the sofa cushion and made Priya promise not to tell Lukas anything about the letter.

I opened the door and let Lukas in.  He looked from Priya to me suspiciously but didn't say anything.  That night as we lay in bed, I knew I had to tell Lukas about Jason but how?  Things were strained between us when I met with Jason and I never got the chance to fill Lukas in on that conversation.  Then after we had made up, I never found the time to tell Lukas that Jason professed his love for me and wanted to get back together.  I wondered how he would react if he found out that Jason kissed me, would he be upset?  Deep in my heart I knew that I didn't want to be with Jason, I wanted Lukas but how would he react to hearing about Jason.

Lukas realized that I was not acting like myself and turned on his side, his hand on my stomach, "You seem so stressed" he said.

"Just thinking" I said as calmly as I could.

"Mm, sometimes you think too much" he said as his fingers brushed over my breasts.  In no time our clothes were strewn all over my bedroom and Lukas was moving inside me.  It didn't take long for either of us to cum.  As much as I tried to fall asleep I couldn't.  My mind kept drifting to that night when I met with Jason.  I needed advice and figured that the next day I could pick Anthony's brain and get his thoughts.

Work flew by on Wednesday and before I knew it I sitting at the bar at Vertigo waiting for Anthony.  I saw him and waved.  He gave me a kiss on the cheek before ordering a drink and sitting on the stool next to me. I wasted no time asking him about Amy.

Turns out that she was an only child.  Her parents had a farm out east that depended on for money.  Her parents were very nice people who clearly wanted the best for Amy.  They gave her the all they could but it seemed like that was never enough. They had high expectations for her but they never materialized.  In high school Amy hung out with the bad crowd and got into drugs.  Her parents sent her to rehab and she seemed like a changed person when she returned.  She took the GED and applied to college, determined to prove that she was on the right path.

When Anthony met her she was attending community college and wanted to be a nutritionist.  They were paired together in a wedding party.  He wasn't into her at first because she came off as being needy and pretentious but she was determined to prove otherwise.  She was very sweet and kind in the beginning.  It wasn't long before she moved from Riverhead to Flushing because neither she nor Anthony could deal with hour drive (and that's without traffic) to see each other.  She dropped out of college and got a job waitressing.  Things were going great and they got engaged.  Anthony bought the condo in Bayside a couple months later and Amy moved in with him and quit her job to focus on wedding planning.  Anthony paid her all of her bills and took care of her.  She would angry and psychically attack Anthony whenever she didn't get her way.  At first he didn't think much about it but things got worse.

Anthony seemed reluctant to talk more about that domestic abuse and I didn't want to push him.  "Thank you so much for confiding in me.  I know that must have been hard."

He nodded and I continued, "I could be wrong but do you think that Amy might have started using drugs again when she moved in with you.  It seems like that's when everything took a turn for the worse."

"I don't know.  There were many instances where I blamed myself for her actions.  I was too busy trying to figure out how to fix things that I never even thought about that" he said quietly.

"You didn't do anything wrong" I said soothingly.

"Yea, I know.  Right now I want to distance myself from Amy.  I need to get her completely out of my life so I can move" he said confidently.

I looked down and played nervously with the stir in my vodka/club soda.  "Anthony I need some advice."

He urged me to continue and I told him the letter I received from Jason.  "What do you want?" Anthony asked pointedly.

"I want to be with Lukas" I said, blushing.

"What's the problem then?"

"I think I owe it to Lukas to tell him what's going on" I responded.

"Wait, Lukas doesn't know that you met Jason?" he asked confused.

"He does but we were having problems and I never told him what happened that night."

Anthony seemed to be focused on what was going on behind me, quickly saying, "Let's talk about this another time."

"But Anthony don't you think I should tell Lukas that Jason kissed me" I asked, getting angry when I heard someone clear their throat behind me.  I turned around and saw Lukas standing behind me, the color drained from his face, looking clearly hurt.


Monday, May 12, 2014

Falling Into You

The train was half full when Lukas and I boarded and quickly settled into our seats. Lukas didn't waste any time as he asked me what was bothering me the night before.  I thought long and hard about how to phrase his sister's comments before I responded.

"I felt that that your sister was a little closed off last night" I said tentatively.

"Closed off?" he asked with a confused look. 

"Well after you left to get a drink she wasn't exactly pleasant" I responded, nervously.

"What did she say?" he prodded.

"You know what, Lukas.  Let's not talk about that" I said, desperately wanting to change the subject.

Lukas looked at me expectantly, "Please tell me, Elisabeth."

"She said that you deserve someone better than me and that I could never measure up to your wife" I blurted out.

I watched a look of disappointment spread over Lukas' face.  "Elisabeth, you are exactly what I need in my life and my sister was wrong to say that to you.  I can't believe she would bring up Isabella.  When we were married she always tried to drive a wedge in our relationship.  It wasn't until Isabella got sick that Lauren became friends with her, if you could call it that" he revealed.

"I didn't mean to upset you and I know that Lauren was only looking out for you" I replied quietly.

"She had no business talking to you like that" Lukas said sharply, "Did she say anything else?"

I quickly thought back to our bathroom conversation and debated whether I should tell him about that as well.  I had no other choice I reasoned, before nodding slowly.  "When you found me outside, I was trying to calm down a little because Lauren accosted me in the bathroom.  She was saying how I fooled your parents but she would never accept me."

Lukas sighed and leaned back, clearly upset.  "Did you at least stand up for yourself?" he asked.

"At first I didn't want to cause any problems because I promised you I wouldn't.  However, when we were in the bathroom I told her that she needed to back off and not get into our relationship" I said a little embarrassed.

He gave me a half smile, "I'm proud of you Elisabeth, for standing up for us.  Lauren was out of line and I'll talk to her."

"I'm sorry to put you in this position."

"You did nothing wrong.  It's all Lauren.  I'm sorry you had to deal with her bullshit and that I made you promise to not create drama.  I was a little out of line" he said apologetically.

"No, you were right, Lukas" I said honestly.

"Actually isn't my place to tell you how to act.  You're a grown woman and it was wrong of me to say that.  You were great this weekend and I'm happy that you decided to come with me to the wedding and meet my family."

I snuggled close to him and asked him about Lauren's husband.  I could tell that it was an uncomfortable subject for him but he ended up saying that Lauren feels that Jeff's family doesn't wholeheartedly accept her. Because of that reason Lauren tries to make Jeff out to be a bad guy.  He said that he really liked Jeff and thinks he's a wonderful father and husband but Lauren has been on this crusade to isolate him from her family as of late.

As we approached Grand Central Terminal, Lukas got up and retrieved our bags.  I followed him to the vestibule by the doors.  In no time Lukas hailed us a cab and we were on our way to my apartment.  I leaned into Lukas and kissed him passionately; his hand trailed up my skirt before settling between my thighs. Teasing me over my thin panties.  I pulled away from him as the taxi came to sudden halt in front of my building.

We hurried out of the car and headed inside.  When I opened my apartment door, I immediately spotted Anthony sitting on the couch.  He looked towards the door before asking how the wedding was.  I told him it was great and asked for Priya.  He said she was studying.  I knocked softly on Priya's bedroom door before entering.

"How was the wedding?" she asked enthusiastically.

I quickly filled her in about the wedding but left out the part about Lauren being a complete bitch to me.  "So how were things here?" I asked quietly.

"So-so" she responded before I urged her to continue.

Amy realized that Anthony was staying at our apartment. On Saturday when they were going to her sister's apartment, Amy followed them.  Both Priya and Anthony realized that they were being followed and Anthony came up with a plan. They ducked into store to buy some time but noticed Amy lingering outside.  It was then that Anthony called the police and relayed that he was being followed.  Moments later the police came and apprehended Amy who kept insisting that she did nothing wrong.  Anthony told the cops about the restraining order and Amy was arrested for violating it.

I told her that I was glad that both her and Anthony were okay and that Amy didn't hurt them in any way.  I was still feeling a little guilty for not believing her story the other night.  I cleared my throat, "Priya, I feel terrible for not supporting you the other night.  I'm so sorry.  You deserved better and I let you down when you needed me."

"Oh Elisabeth, it's fine.  You don't have to apologize" she replied.

"No it's not.  I should have been a better friend and I will be.  That night I didn't want to believe that Amy was on the loose again.  I would be devastated if she hurt you and I promise from here on out I will be there for you" I said genuinely.

Priya reached over and gave me a hug.  "That means so much to me" she responded.

"Was Anthony a good roommate?" I asked with a smile.

She giggled, "Yes, he was great.  I know you are wondering if anything happened between us and the answer is no."

I was a little taken aback, "Really?" I asked.

"I like Anthony and we have so much in common, but he isn't ready for a relationship and I am not looking to just hook up with him, even though he is so damn hot" she said honestly.

"Aw, I think that you and Anthony will get your chance, you just have to be a little patient" I said reassuringly.

With that we headed into the living room where Lukas and Anthony were engaged in what looked to be a very serious conversation.  Anthony quickly changed the subject to the glorious weather that we had been having. Uneasily I asked, "So what were you two talking about?"

Anthony answered first, "You know sports, plans for the summer, guy stuff."

"Hmm, interesting" I responded, not believing a word he said.

"What's up with Amy?  Priya told me that she following the two of you and was arrested."

Anthony looked at Lukas before responding.  "Yea, she must've figured out I was staying here.  I don't know how though."

"Anthony and I were talking and even though this is a safe, doorman building, maybe the two of you need a little more security" Lukas said calmly.

"I know Amy is crazy and capable of anything but do you really think that's necessary?" I asked skeptically.

I saw Anthony take a deep breath, "Honestly, yes.  I have no idea what Amy is thinking, especially now that she's seen me with Priya.  I feel that we have to take the necessary precautions to protect both of you."

"Do you really think Amy would come after me?" Priya asked meekly.

Both Lukas and Anthony brushed her question to the side, not wanting to scare her.  "I think that we need to get both of you a bodyguard or something" Lukas offered instead.

"A bodyguard?!?" Priya and I exclaimed simultaneously.

"Lukas and I can't always be here with both of you and we don't know what Amy is going to do next.  This is the best course of action.  Lukas and I will make some calls and get everything arranged" Anthony said strongly.

Priya was the first to respond, "I think I might have a better idea."

We all looked at her expectantly, urging her to continue.  "Elisabeth and I can take self defense classes and learn to protect ourselves.  I think getting a bodyguard is a bit extreme."

I instantly agreed with her, "That's a great idea, Priya.  If Amy persists and self defense doesn't work, then we can discuss the bodyguard option."

Lukas and Anthony realized that neither of us was willing to cave and finally agreed to let us try self defense first.  Anthony mentioned that he would look into bodyguards and interview a few prospective candidates in the interim.  Priya excused herself and went back to her room to study, while Lukas said that he needed to head home and get some things.

"Tell me what happened at the wedding" Anthony said.

I scoffed, "The wedding was great, Lukas' parents were awesome, everything was perfect except for his sister accosting me in the bathroom."

"His sister?"

I nodded and proceeded to shamefully tell him about the coffeehouse incident months earlier.  I saw Anthony's lips curl up into a smile and smacked him on the arm playfully, "Anthony it isn't funny" I whined.

"I know, sorry" he said looking down, snickering.  Rolling my eyes I continued, telling how I made a complete ass of myself that day.

"You fucked up and you're lucky Lukas gave you a second shot" Anthony deadpanned.

"Yea I know.  Anyway, at the wedding she started telling me how Lukas could do better and that I'm out of my league" I said angrily.

Anthony's eyes widened in shock, "Wow."

"Yea.  That's not the worse part, she told me I would never measure up to Lukas' deceased wife."

I saw a look of surprise on Anthony's face, "Lukas' what?"

"Deceased wife" I said quietly.

"I didn't know" he said gently.

I nodded and gave him a cliff notes version of Lukas' marriage.  When I got to the end Anthony said, "I had no idea."

He told me that from the start he felt that Lukas was a great guy but now his respect for Lukas has grown substantially.  He felt that Lauren was still grieving the death of her sister-in-law.  "I don't know what her problem is.  When I told Lukas he said that Lauren always gave his wife a hard time but then they got close when she was on her deathbed.  He promised to talk to Lauren."

"That's a good start.  It shows that he cares about you" Anthony responded.

I nodded in agreement before asking him about Priya.  He lowered his voice, "I like her a lot, I kinda wish I had met her instead of Amy years ago.  We went out to dinner with her sister last night and since it was so nice out, we decided to walk back. Long story short, we walked around for two hours sharing stories and getting to know each other."

"Aw, that's so sweet" I said genuinely.

"I wanted to kiss her and I did" he said, blushing.

"And?" I asked excitedly.

"It was perfect and I know she felt that way too."

I nodded, urging him to continue.  "Basically we decided that we needed time, well that I needed time to get my shit together before we start any relationship.  That said, I really care about Priya and for now we'll continue to get to know each other as friends."

"I'm so happy for you.  You're doing the right thing.  You have a lot going on and lot of healing to do before you can get with anyone."

"I know you're right but it's going to be hard to suppress my feelings" he whispered.

"The best things in life never come easy and are worth fighting for" I said with a smile.

"You sound like a damn Hallmark card" he said laughing.

Shortly after Lukas came back, bags of Chinese food in his hand.  The four of us had a very pleasant dinner, sans the awkward glances between Anthony and Priya.  Once we were done, Anthony said that he had to head home.  I watched as he gave Priya a lingering hug, whispering something in her ear.  She smiled at him as he walked away.

Lukas and I headed to bed early.  Even though it was a fun weekend, it seemed like we didn't have a quiet, relaxing moment.  I crawled on top on Lukas, kissing him gently, my hand cupping his face.  His hands worked their down my back and over my butt before stopping at the hemline of my black nightie.  As we kissed passionately, I felt his growing arousal, his hands now pushing my nightie up and squeezing my ass. Hesitantly, I pulled away from him.  Sitting up and straddling him, I removed my nightie.  I saw the desire in his eyes as he took in every inch of my almost naked body.

He raised his head and gently teased my nipples with his tongue.  Instinctively I arched my back wanting more.  Sensing this, he hungrily sucked on my left nipple while his fingers rolled my right.  I gasped in pleasure.  I felt his lips on my neck and then on my own lips and his fingers tugged at the waistband of my panties.  I raised my hips allowing him to slide them lower, his hands immediately cupped me, feeling how aroused I already was.  He rolled me onto my back, completely taking off my panties.

His eyes staring into mine and he stroked me slowly, causing my hips to buck.  I wanted Lukas so bad.  His fingers teased me masterfully bringing me so close to orgasm time after time but never allowing me to climax. My entire body felt like it was on fire and each touch made me shiver with desire.  I moaned softly with anticipation as I felt Lukas' hands on my hips, pulling me towards the edge of the bed.  He leaned over, kissing me passionately while he filled me completely with one long, quick thrust.  I felt him grind against me before moving thrusting quickly inside me.  His fingers teased me to orgasm once more, only this time letting me cum and I did.  I arched my back and bit my lower lip as my orgasm took over my body.  Lukas sped up his pace, his face body glistening with a thin layer of sweat, his breathing shallow as he came shortly after.

I sat up and pulled Lukas towards me, feeling his heart racing. Gently I traced his jawline with my fingertip before stopping to brush my lips over his.  "I love you so much Lukas" I said emotionally.

I saw a look of surprise and then happiness take over Lukas' face.  "I love you too, Elisabeth."

I swear I had butterflies wreaking havoc in my stomach when I heard those words and the emotion in Lukas voice.  I wanted to hold him so close to me, like this forever but sadly time doesn't stand still.  Lukas and I tiptoed through the apartment and took a quick shower before crawling into bed.  He gently caressed my face, "I haven't felt like this in so long" he said quietly.

I hadn't expected to profess my love for Lukas like this.  In fact for weeks I had been trying to determine my feelings for him.  I knew that I was falling for him but in that moment, that perfect moment, the words just came so naturally and I meant them.  I knew from the tone and emotion in Lukas' voice he did too.  After my breakup with Jason, I never thought I would feel this way again but then Lukas came into my life and everything changed.

The next morning Lukas walked me to the train station as usual but there was a look of happiness on his face that still lingered from the night before.  Before heading down the stairs, I got on my tiptoes and kissed him. My lips lingering on his.

My work day went by quickly and everything flowed.  At six, Lukas was outside waiting and we decided to grab burgers from the Shake Shack.  The line was about twenty five deep but that didn't matter to either of us.  Almost an hour later, we sat in Madison Square Park eating our burgers and sipping on super thick, absolutely delicious milkshakes.

The next two days just flew by.  It was a cold, rainy Wednesday night and we had the apartment to ourselves for a couple of hours while Priya went to meet with her study group.  We could hear the wind howling and the rain hitting the window as I cuddled up to Lukas.  His hand gently stroking my hair.

"I spoke to my sister" he said quietly.

"Lauren?" I asked surprised.

"Yes, I told her that she had no right to talk to you like that."

"What did she say?" I asked, facing him.

"Well, she reiterated her concerns and I told her that I'm a grown man and didn't need her to try and dictate my life.  I know what I want and what's best for me and quite frankly, that's you, Elisabeth."

I felt tears of joy streaming down my cheek, "That's so sweet, Lukas and swear these are happy tears."

"I feel that you bring out the best in me and I love you" he replied.

"I love you, too" I responded.

As the rain continued, I felt the urge to ask Lukas more about his sister's marriage.  "Lukas I know this isn't my business but do you think your sister is being so difficult because of her own relationship issues?"

He thought for a minute before answering, "That's a possibility.  My sister has two kids and Jeff as far as I know has been a great husband and father.  I don't know what their problems are and quite frankly I don't care much either."

"Okay" I said tentatively.

"I don't mean it like that. I mean my sister's marriage is her responsibility.  If she needs advice from me, I'm here for her but I'm not going to push my nose in their business" he said clarifying.

"I totally agree with you" I said reassuringly.

"Enough about my sister, let's focus on you and I" he said with a grin.

In a matter of moments, I was on my back and Lukas was between my legs.  His tongue moving up and down and then stopping to tease my clitoris. My moans filled the room as my legs clamped around Lukas' head.  My orgasm washed over me as I laid down on the sofa, Lukas' tongue now fluttering slowly over my most sensitive area while his fingers move in and out of me.  I watch as Lukas stood up, unzipped his pants and pulled off his boxers.  My hands instinctively wrapped around his hardness, feeling it pulsate.  I sat up and took him in my mouth, teasing him with my tongue until he can't take no more.  I moaned in anticipation as Lukas lifted and carried me to my bedroom.  I climbed onto the bed and fely Lukas' hands on my hips as he entered me slowly from behind.  In no time we are both breathing heavily and moaning with pleasure. "Let's cum together" Lukas said breathlessly as his fingers teased my clitoris in a circular motion.  I couldn't hold back anymore and cum hard with Lukas following behind.

As we laid in bed, basking in the afterglow, I glanced at the clock.  I quickly realized that Priya would be home soon and hurriedly jumped out of bed.  Lukas and I took a quick shower together before getting dressed.  We then cleaned up the living room and were sitting watching Netflix when we heard Priya's key in the door.

"Hey Priya" I yelled out.

"Hey guys, it is so bad out there.  My umbrella was useless, in fact it flipped over and broke" she said as she walked through the living room and into her bedroom.  A minute later she reappeared and  continued telling us about her dreadful commute, while drying her hair with a towel.

"The rest of week is suppose to be nice and plus Saturday is the big day" I said cheerfully.

"Shit, that's right.  My sister is getting married in less than three days and I haven't had time to get a manicure or my hair done or anything" she said panicked.

"Shh, calm down.  You have plenty of time" I said soothingly.

She nodded and we watched as she headed back to her bedroom, this time closing the door.  "I feel for her. Med school, the wedding and the Amy drama; I don't know how she does it" Lukas said.

"Yea, me neither."

That night, Lukas fell asleep a little before me.  I checked my phone one last time to make sure the alarm was one when I notice a text message.  I quickly opened it.

"This is not over by a long shot.  You started this shit and I will end it...my way.  No one can help you.  Not Anthony, not the cops, not your boyfriend.  I always get what I want."

I was breathing heavily and debating whether to wake up Lukas who was sleeping so peacefully next to me. I had no other choice as I nudged Lukas.  I felt him stir and I said shakily, "Lukas I have to show you something."

"What is it?" he asked groggily.

"Lukas, please wake up" I said shaking him.

Lukas was now wide awake.  "What's wrong, Elisabeth?" he asked quickly.

I couldn't speak and just showed him the text.  "Fuck" he exclaimed.

Here we were,  Priya, Lukas and I in the living room talking to the police.  This was becoming a habit and I hated it.  The police took a report and because of the restraining order had enough reason to detain Amy. Lukas mentioned that he felt we should keep Anthony abreast of what was happening and I agreed but was not in the frame of mind to talk to anyone.  As Priya tried to console me I heard Lukas on the phone telling Anthony about the texts and what they police said.  

That night I struggled to fall asleep replaying Amy's text and wondering if I would ever be completely free again.  Lukas was great staying up and reassuring me that everything will be okay but I was still scared out of my mind.