Tuesday, June 10, 2008

No Going Back

It surprised me, his reaction to the blonde telling him to tell the truth. When she spoke those words, I expected him to look guilty but he didn't. It was like deja vu. It was the evening that I went to the hospital to bring Alexis to see her parents, only to end up taking Sean out for dinner and 'catching' Devon with another women. Of course she ended up being his cousin, one I hung out with before.

So intend of letting my insane jealous take hold of the blonde's comment and twist it to suit my insecurities, I watched him. Waiting for him to do something. Waiting for the right moment to satisfy my curiosity - a moment where I wasn't too sensitive so I wouldn't over react.

As she walked away, his eyes were on me. When she spoke, he acknowledged her with a nod only. Like I already said, he didn't look the least bit worried or guilty. He smiled when my eyes met his. "Would you like to go inside Janie?"

"Yes," I nodded. "I don't think it's wise to do this in full view of your neighbours."

With a slight nod, Devon motioned towards the open front door and waited until I moved for it before he started in after me.

"Would you like something to drink?" He hovered near the couch as I sat down.

"Sure," I said with a slight shrug of my shoulders. Personally I didn't need anything to drink but I thought it would be a good idea to have something in my hands as we worked through what was ahead of us.

"Ok." He turned quickly and hurried off into the kitchen. Just after he disappeared, I heard the fridge door open and then close. Seconds later, I heard a couple cupboard doors being opened and closed as well.

A few minutes passed by since the last door closed before Devon resurfaced. "So, ummm." He ran a hand through his hair and gave me an apologetic look. "I don't have anything to drink besides tap water and -" He made a face. "You aren't drinking that."

"It's ok."

"No, no." He came over to sit next to me on the couch. "I haven't been here, that's why there's nothing here."

"I know Devon. I don't need something to drink. I'm fine."

"Are you sure?" He asked. "We could go out, grab something to - Oh! Ice cream!" His eyes lit up. "Do you want to get out for ice cream? We could go to Dairy Queen, get you that brownie quake thing that you love so much. Want do you say?"

I was about to say 'no' when DQ images flashed through my head. "You know what?" I slid to the edge of the couch. "Ice cream sounds perfect." As I stood before him I told him about the recent DQ commercial that I saw on TV. "It looked so amazing Devon - the chocolate covered strawberry sundae - I was so close to actually licking my TV screen."

Devon laughed. "Well how about we get you a spoon and a little ice cream for you to lick? I'm betting it'll taste better than the TV screen."

As we walked out of his place and started towards his car, I told him about the fresh baked waffle bowl dipped in chocolate before it's filled with yummy soft serve ice cream then smothered in strawberries and chocolate fudge.

"And there's whip cream too," I exclaimed with a laugh.

"Sounds good." Devon held up his keys to unlock the doors with the remote.

"Hey Devon?" I turned to him, my hand automatically went to his shoulder - it was a long reach since he is a good foot taller than me. He paused, his eyebrow rose. "Do you want to walk there?"

It was a fairly nice night. The mosquitoes weren't out in full force, there was only a light breeze and the sun had settled off in the distance making for a beautiful reddish purple sky.

There was a brief moment when I saw shock in his eyes but he quickly recovered and nodded slowly. "Yeah, sure." He hit the button on his remote to lock his doors again.

I was so certain I saw a smile on his face when he turned to lock his car but it was gone. Without a word, he motioned me forward and soon fell into place next to me as I made my way down to the sidewalk. Movement on the front porch on a house half a block down from Devon's caught my eye. I tried not to stare at the couple relaxing in each other's arms but I couldn't help it the woman looked very familiar.

We were almost in front of their house when I realized why she looked familiar - she was the woman who was all over Devon not even a half hour before. I watched her laugh at something the guy she was with said and I wondered what was going on. One glance sideways told me that Devon saw them as well, but he didn't seemed too surprised nor did he seem to care.

I wanted to ask him what she was talking about when she left but something told me that I would find out soon.

"I'm thinking I'll get a banana split."

"Oh? Not going to try the waffle sundae with me?"

His mouth turned up in the corners. He tilted his head in my direction and in his sexiest voice, he asked me if I would let him have a taste. "Maybe." I started to walk faster. "If you step up the pace - Grandpa!"

"Oh ho!" Devon laughed. "Me? Grandpa? I don't think so!" He lunged for me and I barely escaped his hands. "Gonna make me chase you now?" He asked as I started to jog down the sidewalk.

"Damn right!" I threw over my shoulder.

"Better run Janie," he called after me. "When I catch you, I'm not letting you go!"

It was pointless to run away from him, I knew this - Devon was in great shape, he worked out often. But it was fun and the idea of him 'catching' me was exciting to say the least.

"Gotcha!" He shouted just before he tackled me to the ground. Laughing and rolling around on the grass, I ended up on top of him, staring down into his eyes. "I caught you," he said softly.

I couldn't help but smile. "You did. Now what are you going to do with me?"

"That's up to you Janie."

"It is?"

He nodded.

"Hmmm." I looked away from him. A million thought ran through my head but there was one easy one that was sitting right at the front of my mind. Turning my eyes back to his, I smiled. "Take me for ice cream."

Devon rubbed his hands over my thighs. "Done."

A half hour later we were walked back from DQ with our ice cream treats in our hands. The walk back to his place was a slow one and as we eat our ice cream, I asked him where he was. "You just disappeared. You had everyone worried Devon."

"Went to visit my grandmother."

"What?" I frowned. "Why didn't she say anything?"

"I asked her not to." He told me. "I told her that I needed some quite time to figure out what I was doing and she told me that she didn't see me."

He went on to tell me that, while he was there, he unloaded everything onto his grandmother. "You would get along with her Janie. Like you, she knows how I work. She knows when I'm being true."

"Did your grandmother tell you to come home?" I tried hard to ignore that last part but it wasn't that easy.

He nodded. "Yeah, she told me that running away from my feelings won't make them go away."

"Oh -" I glanced in his direction only to find out he wasn't there; he stopped a couple steps back. "What are you doing?"

"I love you." He told me in his matter-of-fact tone. "I'm tired of running from it. I thought it was time to come back and face you - to settle this one way or another."

"Settle this?" I stared at him. "You talk about it like it's some kind of fight."

"Some times it feels like it Janie. Some times I feel like I have to fight against your demons."

I turned away from him.

"Janie please don't -"

"No," I shrugged off the hand that he placed on my shoulder. "You're right." Devon started to speak but I cut him off. "Let's go back to your place." I glanced over my shoulder. "We really need to talk."

Back at his place, we sat on the couch together and finished our ice cream in silence. Once the containers were disposed of, we faced each other. I was trying to get my thoughts in order before I laid everything out on the table but I found that it wasn't as easy as I hoped it would be.

I was still unsure how to say what I needed to.

Then I remembered the email I wrote, it would be a good place to start. "Read your email," I told him.

Ten minutes later, he closed his laptop and turned back to me; his lips parted.

"Don't say anything." I jumped in. "I have a few things to say first."

Taking a deep breath, I sighed. "I've been thinking about our relationship ever since that night. We've never been able to have a decent relationship from the beginning. Every time I found out you cheated on me, I swore that I would never let it happen again. I would leave, you would find me whenever the latest chick bored you and I would take you back - only to have it happen all over again."

Devon lowered his head. "Janie..."

"Devon please, just let me talk please?"

"Ok," he waved for me to continue.

"I took you back because I believed that you cared about me and that you would be true to your word when you said it wouldn't happen again. Of course, when it did happen again, my heart would break a little more until I couldn't take it anymore."

"When Amber came back into Reed's life."

"Yes," I agreed. "When Amber came back and unknowingly showed me how stupid I was being for letting you walk all over me."

He dropped his head into his hands.

"I hated myself so much. I had become the one person I didn't want to be - a broken woman who was making excuses for a man who shouldn't have needed them. I was my mom."

"You aren't your mom."

"No," I agreed. "I'm not. I got out before I couldn't."

Devon sat up straight, ran his hands over his face and then, with a sigh, he sunk back against the couch. "I never meant to hurt you Janie."

"I don't think you really cared at the time Devon."

He started to argue.

"Devon please, it doesn't matter now."

"Yeah, it does. If you are talking about it now, it still matters."

I gave him that. It did matter but it didn't seem to be that big of a deal to me anymore. "Fine," I told him. "It matters. I can't see you with another woman without wondering if there is something going on. It doesn't even matter who it is either - I use to think that you were after Amber. It hurts. It makes me insanely jealous. It makes me doubt everything that has changed in the last year or so with you."

"You have every right to doubt me Janie, I know I haven't been perfect in the past but I swear, I'm not that guy anymore. I want more out of life than just a one night stand."

"Do you?"

"Yes, I want more."

"I find it hard to believe when you had that chick all over you earlier." He rolled his eyes. "What did she mean by telling me the truth Devon? And why did she leave here to go cuddle with some guy on the front porch down the street?"

"My only mistake is that I'm a moron."

"What did you do?"

He shook his head. "Marty is a friend - well, she's the wife of a friend, Dale."

I gasped. "You are fooling around with a friend's wife?"

"No!" He exclaimed. "I'm not fooling around with anyone! She knows our story; Dale told her. She told me that she didn't understand why you weren't giving me a chance because even she saw the chance in me over the last year. She must've saw you come in and decided that she was going to do something about it."

"So she came over here and flirted with you? Crawled all over you like you were a rug? And her husband is fine with that?"

"I don't know!" He stared at me helplessly. "Janie I swear I haven't been with anyone or even thought about being with anyone. I love you, I want you and no one else is going to do."

"I know what you mean," I said quietly.

"What?" His brow wrinkled as he gazed down at me. "What are you saying Janie?"

Taking his hand, I met his gaze. "You have changed Devon, I know this. I saw it when you helped me when my mom died. I see it every time you play with Alexis. You aren't the jerk who broke my heart all the time."

"But with that said, I can't help but be insecure. I see you with another woman and I wonder. I can't help it. I want to trust you but trusting you would mean letting you in again. And I want to do that but every time I think I can, all those old feelings of betrayal come back and I pull back."

"I'm not sure if I'll ever be the secure woman you want. I don't know if I'll ever get over the jealously that I feel when another woman is around you. You are a handsome man Devon - and wealthy - women will always be after you and I don't know if I can handle that."

"Are you going to throw all that could be with us away over some woman who might hit on me?" When I didn't reply he groaned. "Janie that's crazy! I love you! I don't want anyone else. I will never want anyone else. I-"

Reaching out, I grabbed his shirt and pulled him to me. "You miss understand me Devon. I wasn't giving you reasons why we shouldn't be together. I was telling you all the reasons why this wouldn't be easy."

"Janie..." his tongue slid slowly over his lips. "What are you saying?"

"Devon," I gazed into his eyes. "I'm saying that I'm not perfect and I'll probably overreact at times but I don't -" I glanced down at his lips briefly before returning to his eyes. "I don't want to be without you Devon. I love you and I want to give us a chance." With a chuckle, I said, "I want to be your girl Devon."

He didn't react for the longest time and I thought I shocked him into some sort of strange trance.

"Devon did you hear me?"

He blinked a couple times before nodding.

"Are you going to say anything?"

Again, he nodded.

"Well?" I chuckled nervously.

He started to shake his head. "I..." He chuckled. "I..." His mouth moved but no sounds came out as he grabbed me and pulled me into his arms - squeezing me so hard, I thought I would burst. "Thank you," he whispered. "Thank you for loving me."


It's been a couple weeks since that night and I'm proud to say that things with Devon are going great. Sure, I've felt a tinge of jealousy every now and then but he has done everything in his power to ensure that he is never in a position where he has to explain his actions.

We were over to see Amber and Reed last night. It was great to spend time with them as a 'couple'. While Reed and Devon were playing with Alexis in the living room, Amber and I were seated in the kitchen.

"So this is getting pretty serious, isn't it Janie?"

I nodded. "He's always talking about the future - our future together."

"That's great!" Amber squealed. Then, in a low voice, she asked me something I didn't think would ever come out of her mouth. "Are you going to elope with Reed and me next month?"

"Elope?" I laughed. "Devon and I are no where near that step and besides -" I gave her a questioning look. "Since when did you decided to skip the huge family wedding to elope?"

She shrugged, "I don't care how we do it anymore, I just want to be Mrs Reed Johnson now!"

"I know the feeling." Reed slipped onto the chair next to Amber. "Maybe I'll get some of that obeying happening once we tie the knot."

Amber patted his cheek lovingly. "Dream on Reed, dream on."

While Reed and Amber flirted, I excused myself and wandered into the living room where Devon was laying on his stomach talking to Alexis as she played with a doll that we brought her. "...and hopefully, one day, Aunt Janie and I will be lucky enough to have a daughter as cute as you."

When Devon said my name, Alexis looked up at me. "A'nt 'anie!"

"Hi Sweetiepie." I got down on the floor with them. "Are you having a good time with Uncle Devon?"

She started to babble something about Devon. It was so cute, I watched her with a smile the entire time.

"Lexi." Reed called out as him and Amber came into the living room. "Time for bed - give kisses and say good night."

Once Alexis gave out kisses to Devon and I, she ran over to her parents. "I wan up."

"We'll be back in a minute," Amber told us as she followed Reed down the hallway to Alexis' room to tuck her in for the night.

"Hey," Devon tapped my arm. When I smiled at him, he rolled over and placed his head on my lap. "I'm happy."

"Yeah?" I grinned. "I'm happy too."

"I'm glad we have this a chance." He tilted his head back to gaze up at me. "Come here." He reached up and wrapped his arms around my back.


I have no idea what the future holds for me but I know I can't wait to find out.

Monday, June 9, 2008

At The Front Door

It seems like time has flown by since the night I went over to Devon's. I went over there with the intention of finding something, or doing something to make him come home.

As you all know, I didn't find him, instead I spotted his laptop and decided to email him. I poured my heart out into an email that I really didn't think I would be around to see him read - let alone spill to him the moment I saw him wrapped up in another chick.

OK, to be honest, he wasn't wrapped up in her, he actually looked a little bored with her. Or maybe that's what I wanted to see. Who really knows?

All I know is that I was the one he didn't want to leave that night. I was the one he was spending time with. I was the woman who's hand was in his. I was the women he wanted be to with.

And, since I'm being honest, despite the troubles in our past and the uncertainty of our future, I wanted to be with him. Call me crazy, but I don't care. I meant what I said in the email to him.

"Janie?" Devon crouched down until he was eye to eye with me. He chuckled nervously, something I barely ever heard him do.

He didn't push me. After the initial 'can I go with you?' Devon didn't ask or beg or anything - he waited. Waited for me to utter something to give him hope.

"Devon...." I let out the breath I was apparently holding. It was a big moment for me, to admit that I wanted someone by my side, I wanted to say the right thing. I wanted it to be perfect. Well, as perfect as possible.

The front door opened and the blonde poked her head out. "Devon are you coming in?"

I yanked my hand back and turned away from them. I wanted to walk away but I just couldn't do it, I didn't want anything to happen between them. I didn't want her to think that if I left it meant she had a free pass with my man.

That's right, I said it 'my' man.

And as soon as the little skank was out of the way, I planned on telling him. "I think it's time to go home," I said over my shoulder.

"No!" Devon exclaimed as I felt him move in behind me. "Janie we need -"

Looking over my shoulder, I stared past him, to her. "It's time for you to go home."

She started to sputter, asking me who I thought I was.

I resisted the urge to turn around and rise to the bait. I didn't need to explain anything to her.

As I stood with my back to them, I heard Devon tell her that I was right, it was time for her to go home.

"Are you sure?" She asked him.

"Yes," he replied.

"Ok." She walked by me but before she disappeared out of sight, she turned. "Tell her the truth Devon. I'll talk to you later."

Friday, May 23, 2008

Making A Choice

"Devon." I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. "I just emailed you. I-"

He stepped back and looked around. With a puzzled look on his face, he turned back to me. "Yup, this is my place. What the hell are you doing in there?"

"I had to -"

He held up his hands. "You know what Janie, I really don't care. Just go."

"But we have so much to say and..." I trailed off as a tiny blonde appeared at Devon's side. I watched in horror as she wrapped her arm around him and smiled sweetly at me. I thought I was going to be sick.

"Go inside," he told her.

"What are you doing?" I barely was able to ask him after the chick went inside. "I thought..."

"You thought what Janie? That I would keep coming back after you shut me out over and over again?"

I stared at him. "Yeah," I shrugged. "Silly me, I thought you actually cared about me."

He sighed. "Janie..."

"Go to hell Devon." I pushed passed him. "Just take the blonde ride, she'll get you there."

I started to walk away when I remembered something. Turning around, I forced myself to meet his eyes. "I wrote you an email. I didn't know how to reach you but I figured that you would at least check your email sometime."

"What did you say?"

I chuckled sadly. "I said that I was searching for something." I took a step closer to him. "I wrote that I wanted you to love me and want to be with me because -" It hurt, telling him this when I knew that he had given up on me already. The proof was making herself comfortable in his living room as we spoke. "I love you Devon."

"Janie," he reached for me.

"No," I waved my hands in front of me as I tried not to let my emotions get the best of me. "It's just not meant to be, you and me. Maybe it's time we both realized it and stopped fooling ourselves into thinking that we could ever be anything more."

He moved closer to me.

"We keep hurting each other Devon. Since the moment we met, we traded insults and avoided letting our true feelings guide us."

His hands circled around my hips. "I don't want to hurt you," he whispered as he pulled me close.

"I know," I pressed my hands against his chest. "Just like I don't want to hurt you Devon. But we do, we hurt each other and -" I looked over his shoulder at the blonde as she stood in the doorway, watching us. "She's just proof of that."

He didn't even bother to look over his shoulder. "If I was alone, would you be saying this? If I told you nothing has happened? No," he shook his head. "I swear nothing has happened. I just got back to town and I know this looks bad but I -"

I covered his mouth. "It doesn't matter Devon, nothing is ever going to change, no matter how we feel."

Devon pulled my hand away. "I don't believe that Janie. I believe people can change, if they couldn't, then what is it I'm going through?"

"Hormones?" I joked.

"I'm serious Janie."

"But you haven't changed Devon, I thought you did but she's proof that you haven't. If you did, she wouldn't be here with you, no matter if anything happened or not."

The blonde came out of his place. "Nothing has happened between us," she told me. "Devon never even gave me the time of day before I ran into him tonight."

"It doesn't matter why or how -"

"Why not?" She asked me. "Because you are too stupid to give him a chance?"

"You don't know anything about us, so why don't you just shut up."

She shrugged and then smiled. "If you are letting him go, the whole female population of this town will love you for it."

"Well the whole female population can take a flying leap for all I care, this isn't about them!"

"But we still thank you," she turned to Devon. "I'll be inside - waiting for you." She gave me a look, as if she would stick her tongue out at me if she could've gotten away with it.

"Well," I flashed him a fake smile. "I better go so you can get started on pleasing the rest of the female population."

"Hey!" He grabbed my arm. "If you are walking away from me Janie, do it because you don't love me and don't want to be with me, not because you think I care what any other woman wants from me."

"Says the man who has one of those chicks in his living room." I patted his arm. "Do whatever you want Devon."


I blinked, I didn't expect him to agree that quickly. "Oh, ok. I'll be going now. Bye."

"No, not bye." He turned around and shut his front door. "Can I go with you?" He took my hand. "I want to go with you."

I hesitated. I knew this was it. If I walked away from him, it would be over. If I walked away with him, we had a chance to really see how we could be together. I thought about all the times in the past that he hurt me and I thought about what it was like without him. I knew that I could walk away and still go on, I was strong enough to make it over him.

I knew what I had to do.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Reaching Out

From: Janie Millier
To: Devon Stowe

You would think that it would be easy, writing the man you love an email to tell him how much you want him to come home but things are never easy when I'm involved; I make it difficult.

Then again, it's always been difficult between us.

I stepped off the curb, engrossed in the shopping bag that I was carrying. I had just gotten my first paycheck from my horrible waitress job and the first thing on my 'must have' list was a new pair of sneakers so I could hit the walking trail that ran down by the lake in town. I wasn't paying attention, I didn't notice that the little walking guy had stopped flashing.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a flashy red sports car at the same moment I heard the screeching sound of its breaks.

"Hey! You! Get the hell out of the street!" The most gorgeous guy I've ever seen leaned out of the drivers' window. He was so hot, I almost tripped over my feet - that is, until he opened his mouth again. "Your corner is that way!"

I gasped. Sure, I wasn't dressed completely innocently but I'll be damned if I looked like a streetwalker. So me, being the classy broad that I am, I smacked my hand on the hood of his car and yelled, "Why don't you take your 'tiny dick' car and shove it up your ass, prick!"

"Oh Sweetheart, is that the best you can do?" He yelled after me as I turned, and with my nose in the air, I walked away.

His engine revved. The moment I was out of the way of his car, he stomped on the gas and sped away.

Later that night, I was in Amber's room with her getting ready for some party that her new boyfriend, Reed was throwing out at the lake. I was in mid rant about the asshole that almost ran me down when Amber laid down her brush and stared at me. "Janie, do you hear yourself? You walked out into the street, he didn't do it on purpose."

"Oh sure, take his side in this!"

"For the love of God Janie!" Amber scoffed. "I don't even know the guy - hot guy - doesn't actually tell me anything about him."

"Oh who cares?" I gave her a look. "So when are you going to tell me about all of Reed's hot friends? Who should I be looking to hook up with?"

Amber shook her head and chuckled. "Well there's Devon, he's kinda cute."

"Devon?" I raised a brow. "Sounds hot. Single?"

She screwed up her face and shrugged. "It's hard to tell with Devon - he loves women."

"Ohh," I grinned. "Sounds like my kinda guy - the non serious type."

"Uh-huh," Amber shook her head. "Finding a serious guy isn't that horrible Janie."

"No," I agreed. "But Reed is already taken."

Amber scoffed and batted at me. "There are other men out there you know."

"Like Devon!"

I didn't know at the time that my psycho near hit and run driver was Devon and let me tell you, I wasn't too happy when I found out.


"Well, well, well..." he took a sip of his beer.

I turned towards Amber. "That's the jerk!"

"Hey!" Devon frowned. "I'm not the one who jumped out into traffic!"

"Whatever!" I rolled my eyes. "Why don't you -"

"Take my 'tiny dick' car and shove it up my ass?" He raised a brow as he smirked.

Some chick came over to us and wrapped herself around Devon. "Baby," she whined. "I thought you were getting me a drink?" She gave me a dirty look. "Lowering your standards Dev?"

Devon left with her shortly after but before he did, he leaned in and whispered. "My cock is anything but tiny Sweetheart." He pulled back and grinned down at me. "Maybe, if I'm feeling charitable, I'll give you a ride one day."

"Maybe," I smiled sweetly. "But I'm not that desperate."

As you all know I was forced to eat those words, time and time again. And to tell the truth, I'm not the least bit sorry about it. Of all the men that I've gone out with, Devon was the one who got me the most.

And he loved me.

My eyes went back to Devon's laptop sitting on the table in front of me.

Enough of this, I grabbed the laptop and put my fingers to the keys.

Subject: A Few Words Too Many


I wish that I could go back and tell you what I was thinking the night that Amber called us to let us know about Reed. I've gone over it so many times and I get to the point where I said, 'with Alexis gone, you would have no reason to stay,' and my heart aches.

I didn't mean it the way it sounded. I know this is going to sound crazy but I was searching for something when I said that and I guarantee you it wasn't for you to leave town.

I wanted you to tell me that you loved me and you wanted to be with me. Because Devon, I love you and I want to be with you.

There's nothing else I can say. I love you. I miss you. Please come home so I can tell you to your face.


I brought the mouse pointer to the send button and I paused. I won't lie, I thought about deleting it but in the end, I closed my eyes and clicked 'send'.

Before the heartache set in, I closed out the window and closed his laptop. Darkness surrounded me as I made my way to the front door.

I pulled the door opened and was about to go through it. "Oh!" I exclaimed as my heart leapt into my throat.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I'm sure there are people who don't think I have the right to be but I'm worried about Devon. Yes, I feel solely responsible for his disappearing. How could I not? I keep thinking if I was honest with him in the beginning and told him that I was weary about being with him again after all that had happened, then maybe he would've understood that my comments weren't meant to say that he didn't have anything to stick around for. I really believe I was asking him if he had anything to stick around for. Because hearing him say that he loved me and wanted to be with me wasn't hint enough that I meant anything to him.

Like I said, I'm an idiot.

Amber, Reed and Kelly have all asked me time and time again if I knew were Devon was or if he had contacted me. I told them that I knew nothing more than they did but they didn't seem to believe me, they thought that I would be the one person he called out of everyone else.

Even his mother has been calling me everyday since he disappeared, asking me to let her know if he calls. "Tell him we miss him Janie. Let him know that we love him and want him to call us."

I didn't have the heart to tell her that I was the last person Devon would reach out to.

The morning before Devon went to visit Reed in the hospital, he made a trip to his bank and withdrew enough money from his account that would allow him to have gone all this time without using either of his credit cards or his debit card. I can't tell you how much his parents were hoping that some sort of paper trail would show up and they would be able to track him down.

They went to his place, hoping to find some clue of where he could've gone but all they found were empty drawers and his cell phone. His mother was certain something bad happened to him while his father kept suggesting that maybe he just needed some time to himself.

Knowing that this was my fault, I felt that I needed to do something - anything - to get him to either call his parents or to come home. So last night, I went over to his place and let myself in with the key that he had given me when I stayed with him - one he insisted I kept.

It seemed wrong to be in his place without him around. I walked through the darkened rooms, cursing the silence and Devon for leaving town.

As I went from one room to another, I had flashes of memories from our time together after my mother died in the fire. I couldn't help the fist that seemed to circle around my heart as I recalled how happy and content I was to share those moments with him.

In his bed room, I made my way to his bed and sat down. I was telling myself that I was trying to get some sense of what had happened the last time he was here but it wasn't true, I just wanted to feel close to him and his room was the last place he spent any real time besides the hospital when he visited Reed.

I missed him. It wasn't that hard to figure that out. It was the only explanation for why I was in his place, sitting on his bed in complete darkness, just to feel some connection to him.

In the darkness, a flashing light in the distance caught my eye. Hesitatantly, I rose from his bed and made my way out of his room and back into the living room where his laptop was sitting on a TV tray table.

When I lived with him, he had told me his password for the laptop so that I could use it when he was at work or out. As I pulled sat down on his couch and pulled the laptop onto my lap, I hoped that he hadn't changed the password. Opening the lid, I waited for the password screen to pop up and let out a sigh of relief when the word I typed in was accepted.

But I didn't know what to do with it once I was into it. I didn't have his passwords to his email or anything private like that.

"This is pointless," I sighed but I couldn't bring myself to shut down his laptop.

I sat there for the longest time, just staring at the picture on his background - me and him sitting in front of the tree we decorated for Christmas. With a shaky hand, I reached out and traced his smiling face with my finger.

"I love you," I whispered softly as I cursed myself for not being able to tell him that when he was with me.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

It's Too Late To Apologize

We were sitting on the couch together, I was trying to ignore the intense, worried look he was giving me as he held my hand in one of his and stroked my cheek as I rested my head against his shoulder.

I was surprised, when I sat down and curled up next to him, he didn't ask again what Amber wanted, he just seemed to do his best to make me feel good. And that made me feel like a bitch.

"Devon?" I tilted my head back to look at him.

He shifted, his hand left mine to slip behind my back; he pulled me closer. "Yes?"

I sighed and closed my eyes. "Amber called to tell us that Reed just opened his eyes."

Every muscle in his body seemed to go rigid. "What did you say?"

With mixed emotions, I opened my eyes again. "Reed's awake."

"I have to call Amber," he said quickly as he pulled away from me, almost knocking me off the couch in the process.

As Devon fumbled with my phone, misdialing a couple times, I rose from the couch and wandered down the hallway to my room. Closing the door softly, I leaned back against it and cursed myself for being so selfish. How much of a bitch was I if I didn't really want my best friend's man to wake up because I wasn't ready to make a decision involving Devon's place in my life?

Devon's excitement about his best friend's change drifted down the hall as I curled up on the bed. I was happy that Reed was awake but inside I was afraid that it would mean that Devon had no reason to stay here anymore and that he would realize that what he was feeling wasn't real but only the affects of thinking he had to do something that Reed couldn't do for Amber.

I know, it didn't make sense to me either.

Tears ran down my cheeks as I thought about being alone in the house once again. I knew in my heart that I didn't want to be alone, otherwise why would I be acting like that. But I wasn't sure if it was for sure that I didn't want to be without Devon. Or maybe I just didn't want to admit that I was in love with the man.

"Janie?" His voice startled me. Half turning towards the door where he stood, I glanced over my shoulder and waited. "Amber said Reed is awake. The doctor came in to check him over and it seems that he is going to be alright, he doesn't remember anything right before the accident though."

"That's great." I smiled half-heartedly. "Amber sounded so happy when I was talking to her but she hadn't talked to the doctor at that point."

"I got to talk to Reed for a second."


"Yeah," he chuckled softly. "He wanted me to tell you thank you for taking care of Alexis so Amber didn't wear herself out worrying about the both of them."

I didn't say anything as I turned back to press my face into my pillow.

"Janie?" I heard him approach my bed and felt the mattress shift under his weight as he moved to lay behind me. "Tell me what's wrong?"

I shook me head, about to tell him it was nothing when he stopped me. "I know it's something, otherwise you would be jumping off the walls at the news that Reed is awake." His hand trailed over my arm until his hand came to curl around mine on the pillow in front of me. "Come on Janie, you know you can tell me."

After taking a couple deep breathes, I turned my head until I could see Devon's outline in the moonlight. Before I could say anything, he rose to his elbow and looked down at me. "I'm happy that Reed's awake," I told him. "I've wished for nothing more in the last couple months."

"Me too," he admitted.

I nodded slowly. "I know Devon."

"I don't understand what's going on Janie. If you are happy that he's awake, why doesn't it seem that way? Why aren't you wanting to celebrate like I am?"

I started to shrugged but stopped. "I'm happy but I'm also sad." He asked me why and I told him that with Reed awake, they didn't need me to watch Alexis anymore. "I know it's wrong of me, but I was enjoying being needed like that. I just started to become confident that I could take care of her. And now she has to go back home. I'm going to miss her."

With a sigh, Devon dropped to the mattress and took me in his arms. "Baby you know she isn't going to be going home just yet -"

"What do you mean? Amber and Reed are going to want her back right away Devon, she's their little girl."

"Yeah, I know that," he kissed my shoulder. "But right now Reed is still in the hospital and Amber will stay there with him until he's released. When they go home, they might need a day or so before -"

"No," I cut him off. "Amber told me tonight that she wanted me to bring Alexis to the hospital tomorrow."

"To visit Reed because he wants to see her but not to stay."

I shook my head. "Amber told me she misses Alexis and can't wait to take her home - tomorrow."


"Yeah," I pulled away from him. "So I guess that means that tomorrow night I'll be alone for the first time since the accident."

"Why do you say that?"

"Well, with Alexis gone, you'll have no reason to stick around."

I didn't think it was possible but I think I hurt him. As soon as the words I spoke sunk in, he rolled off the bed and stomped out of my room.

His, "I guess not," has been echoing around inside my head since that night. I wish I could say that I've seen him and had a chance to take it back but I haven't. No one has. Not since he stopped into see Reed the day after he woke up.

I'm such an idiot.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Just A Little Piece

I told Devon that I needed some time and asked him to leave again but he refused. He asked me how I could ask him to leave when I knew in my heart that I loved him just as much as he loved me.

"I don't want to leave because I'm afraid that you won't let me back in," he confessed when I didn't reply to his comment. "I don't know what I was thinking before Janie, but I know now that being without you sucks."

When I didn't say anything, he sighed. "Just let me stay," he begged. "I'll sleep on the couch. You don't even have to acknowledge me. Just don't make me go."

This was a side of him that I never seen before. I never heard him beg, I never saw him plead and I certainly never recall a moment when he would've been alright if I ignored him.

So that's what we did. He slept on my couch and I pretended to be ignoring him but to tell you the truth, I was more aware of him than ever before.

I'm not really sure how long he was camped on my couch and no, I didn't pretend that he wasn't there are all times - we spoke in the morning and watched TV together after Alexis was in bed. We fell into a routine and I became so use to him being there when I got home that when I hung up the phone two nights ago, I wanted to cry.

Devon was laying on the couch, watching some program on Discovery, when I hung up the phone. "Are you ok Janie?"

I couldn't form a complete sentence for the life of me.

"Janie?" He jumped off the couch and was at my side in no time. "Who was on the phone?"

Slowly, I turned my head upwards to face him. "That was Amber."

"Amber? How is -?" All the color ran from his face. "I think I should sit down."

"Devon..." I followed him back to the couch, where I watched him sit stiffly on the cushion. Sighing, I plopped down next to him.

"Is - is...." He shook his head, unable to complete his sentence.

"No!" I exclaimed and wrapped my arm around his back. "No."

"No?" There was such hope in his eyes. "Are you sure? Reed isn't....?" I shook my head. "Then..." he frowned. "Why did - what was with the look Janie?"

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Where Did I Go Wrong?

Devon refused to leave. He told me that until I listened to him, he wasn't going anyway and there was nothing I could do to make him. When I told him I could call the police, he told me to go right ahead. "They'll have to drag me out of here in handcuffs Janie because I'm not about to let you cut me out without hearing me out."

"Here you out?" I scoffed. "What do you think I'm going to do Devon? Stand here and listen to you tell me one lie after another?"


"NO!" I snapped. "I had enough of that Devon a long time ago. I can't deal with him anymore. I want you to leave."

"I'm not going anywhere," he told me as I marched past him.

Without saying another word to him, I went directly to my living room and grabbed my phone from it's nest on my end table. Shifting Alexis to my left hip, I pressed the 'talk' button.

"Give me that!" Devon snatched the phone from me and tossed it across the room. "I didn't do anything wrong!"

"Leave me alone!"

"No," he shook his head. "I've done that before and I didn't enjoy it one bit!"

"Yeah?" I angrily brushed my bangs back from my face. "I've done the whole 'I like you but I'm fucking everyone else' thing before too and I hated it. I won't go down that road again Devon."

"I'm not fucking anyone!"

"Well if you aren't, you are thinking about fucking someone else!"

"No," he replied as he took a step towards me, backing me up to the arm of the couch. "I'm not thinking about fucking anyone; I'm thinking about making love to someone."

I turned my head away from him.

"I think about being with her all the time." His breath caressed my cheek as his fingers trailed up and down my arm. "I'd give everything to be with her once again. To feel all the tension drain from her body as she squirms under the pressure of my mouth."

Closing my eyes, I lifted my chin upwards stubbornly but didn't say a word.

His lips brushed gently against my cheek. "I didn't do anything to make you doubt me Janie."

"Huh!" I rolled my eyes. "Are you going to tell me she was nothing? Like you always do."

"No," he said softly.

I opened my eyes and met his. "I can't tell you she was nothing because I never did anything with her." He paused, studying my face. "Didn't you recognize her Janie?"

Frowning, I thought back to what I saw outside the restaurant. To tell the truth, besides knowing that she was blond and she was way too close to him for my liking.

"You didn't," he seemed surprised.

"No," I snapped as I pulled away from him. "Why should I recognize all your whores?"

With a laugh, he told me that in a minute I was going to regret that comment.

"Whatever Devon." I started towards the bedrooms with Alexis.

"Janie it was Laura."

I froze in mid stride. "Laura?" I shot him a look over my shoulder. "I don't believe you, she isn't a blond."

"She is now," he said simply. Reaching into his pocket, he fished out his wallet and pulled out a card. Passing it to me, he told me that I shouldn't be so quick to assume that he was cheating on me. "Especially when you were cozying up with Sean."

Ignoring that comment, I focused on the business card in my hand. My eyes landed on the picture first and then slowly I read the words. He was telling me the truth, it was Laura - his cousin.

"I was supposed to meet with Tom as well," he came up behind me and leaned in over my shoulder. "You remember Tom? Laura's husband?"

I nodded.

"He's a doctor, you know. We were in the middle of talking about the house they were hoping I would design for them when he got a delivery call - he asked me to take Laura home after we were done discussing what she wanted for her home."

I didn't look at him as I passed the card back over my shoulder. "I have to put Alexis down," was all I said before I high tailed it out of my living room.

Needless to say, I felt like an ass for accusing him of cheating.

Will I ever be able to see Devon with another woman and not think he's cheating? I wondered as I cleaned Alexis up and wrestled her into her pjs. I thought I was over it but after what happened, could I ever be over it?

The whole time I was putting Alexis to bed, I thought about how things were with him and how they had been the last couple months. He's changed, you know in your heart he isn't the same man he was before, so why do you get yourself all worked up over nothing?

I didn't have an answer to that when I left Alexis' room. I walked back out into the living room not really sure what I was going to do.


He looked so hopeful as he stared at me from across the room.

"I'm sorry," I turned away. "I can't do this. Please leave."

"But..." I heard him curse. "This is bullshit Janie! I haven't done anything wrong in a long time but it doesn't matter to you, does it?"

I held up my hands, my eyes were closed tight because I was on the verge of tears. "Please, just go." I begged. "I can't do this, I can't."

When he cursed again, I opened my eyes in time to see him move towards me.

"What are you doing?" I demanded as he bared down on me.

His hands reached me first and then my body crashed against his as he pulled me to him. Before I could do anything - protest or push him away - his lips covered mine and I kissed him back with a force to match his own.

When he pull back a little, we were both shaking. Even his voice was unsteady when he spoke. "Don't send me away please." His tongue flicked over his lips before he continued. "I've been so careful not to do anything stupid to make you doubt me Janie. I need you so much. I - I -"

I raised a brow as he coughed to clear his throat.

"I love you Janie. Really love you."

Friday, April 25, 2008

Face Off

He just left. He looked guilty. He shook his head. And then I watched him open his door.

But I wouldn't watch him drive away with her. I refused to watch him betray me.

Without a word, I turned and headed back to the restaurant's parking lot. I didn't even bother to see if Sean as following me or not. I really didn't care at that moment, I just wanted to get out of there and get back to Amber. I needed to concentrate on something other than the stabbing pain in my heart.

It hurt, more than anything else I've ever felt. I trusted him. I let him back in and I believed that he had changed, that he loved me and really wanted to be with me. It was all a lie. He was the same self centered jerk that he has always been - screwing with my emotions and not caring that he hurt me.

But what pissed me off the most was the fact that he blew off going to visit his best friend, who could die, to fuck around with that skanky whore. A well dressed, beautiful skanky whore, I thought bitterly. When I started to wonder what she had that I didn't, I knew it was time to shake myself out of it and forget about it for now.

I turned suddenly and grabbed Sean's arm. "Do you think Amber is having a good time with Alexis?"

He nodded, a small smile played on his lips. "I'm sure she is, she's been missing Alexis."

"Yeah." I chuckled sadly. "Alexis has been walking around calling out to both Amber and Reed since I brought her home. Dev -" I stopped short.

"Janie..." Sean's arm wrapped around my shoulder as I tried to fight the tears. "It's ok," he spoke softly. "You'll be ok."

"Ha," I laughed. "I expected some snarky comment from you." From under my lashes, I glanced up at him. "What's wrong?"

With a shrug he told me that I was old enough to take care of myself and nothing he could say would make the situation better. "Although," he paused for a moment. "I will say that I believe Devon is a moron; you are a good person."

I laughed. If I didn't, I probably would've hugged him for not making some snide comment about Devon. "Thanks," I smiled as we approached my car. And then changed the subject. "Back to the hospital?"

A comfortable silence settled over the car on the drive back to the hospital. It was nice, I really wasn't in the mood to say that much.

When we arrived at Reed's room, his parents and Amber's parents' were all gathered around the bed with Amber and Alexis.

"What's going on?" Sean demanded as he hurried over to his brother's side. "Is everything -?"

"His fingers twitched!" Amber exclaimed as she threw her arms around Sean's broad shoulders. "I was sitting here watching Alexis as she laid down with Reed and his hand twitched - twice!"

"Oh my God!" I ran over to them. "That's wonderful! What do the doctors say?"

Amber shook her head, "They tell me not to get too worked up over it, it could be just a muscle thing but -" she turned to gaze adoringly at Reed. "I know he's coming back to us, I just know it!"

It was exciting news and the first thing I thought was, I wish Devon was here to see it, before I could stop myself.

Amber rambled on and on about the spiel the doctors gave her and how exciting it was to see him move something but I barely heard it. I was trying hard not to think about Devon and the blond chick.

An hour later, after promising Amber I would bring Alexis by the next day, I finally was able to leave the hospital.

On the drive home, all I could think about was the struggle ahead of me. About how difficult it would be to get Alexis settled down for the night without Devon there to help me. Alexis loved Devon and she did everything he wanted her to without much fuss.

I wasn't prepared to see Devon's car sitting in my driveway. It actually pissed me off that he had the nerve to show up at my place after I saw him with her. My only hope was that he was grabbing his stuff and would be gone in no time.

My front door swung open as I walked up the path.

"I didn't think you would ever come home," Devon exclaimed as he watched me climb the couple steps to the door. "I've been waiting for an -"

"Don't even," I snapped when he reached out to touch me. "Grab your stuff and get out of my house."

Monday, April 14, 2008


The day that I brought Alexis to the hospital to see her parents, something changed. Everything changed.

Dinner with Sean was different from any other meal I shared with him. After we left the hospital he went quiet, only speaking when he told the waitress what he wanted to drink and eat.

"Ok," I reached across the table and grabbed his hand once the waitress dropped off our meals; I couldn't stand the silence any longer. "Talk to me. Flirt with me. Be rude and annoying, just please talk. The silence is killing me."

Sean ran a hand through his hair and sighed deeply. "Janie, I'm sorry, I'm not really in the mood to laugh and joke around. Not with Reed lying in that bed. Not with my brother missing out on his little girl's life and the love of his fiancee." He pulled his hand out from under mine and sat back in his seat. "Besides, you have a boyfriend and you don't like it when I hit on you." He laughed, "You think it's creepy - I'm so much older than you."

"You aren't that much older than me."

"Ten years." He raised a brow. "That's old enough to make it illegal Janie."

"No," I shook my head. "It's not that bad."

He scoffed. "You say that now but if I were to hit on you, you'd have a different tune." Shaking his head, he told me that he wasn't in the mood to play that game with me. "Let's just eat so I can get back to Amber - she needs me."

"Needs you?" I laughed. "Sean she begged me to get you out of that room - she wanted to be alone with Reed and Alexis."

Sean closed his eyes and sighed. "Do you set out to hurt me? Or are you that much of a bitch?"

"What?" I almost dropped the glass I was holding.

"I can understand being rude while I hit on you but now? When I'm already feeling pretty low?"

"I don't think that makes me a bitch," I replied defensively.

"What do you think it makes you Janie?"

Instead of replying, I stabbed my pasta with my fork.

"Are you not talking to me now?" He asked after a couple minutes.

"Just eat," I mumbled.

While I hated the silence, I was happy for it. I didn't think I was being a bitch, I didn't think I was kicking him while he was down. I was just stating facts. Amber wanted him out of that room. Why would he get mad at me for that? I'm not the one who didn't want him around - this time.

"Ready to go?" Sean asked as the waitress cleared out plates. I shrugged, he sighed. "Come on," he pushed his chair out and stood. "Was there anything else you were suppose to do to keep me out of Reed's room?"

"Sean do you blame her for wanting some time alone with him?" I stood before him and stared up into his eyes. "He's her soul mate Sean, she's lost and lonely without him. She misses the little moments they shared together. I don't blame her for wanting everyone to leave them alone."

"She's not the only one who misses him Janie." I swear that his jaw was trembling but I didn't get a chance to really check it out, he turned away from me.

After paying for our meal, Sean and I made our way out of the restaurant. I started towards my car which was parked at the far end of the crowded parking lot but he stopped me and asked if I would mind just walking with him. "I don't have anywhere to go," he told me. "I don't know anyone - Reed is my only friend in this town."

"That's why you are always at the hospital," I glanced at him. "Isn't it?"

With a shrug, he flashed me a forced smile. "Let's walk," he motioned towards the sidewalk that ran along the side of the restaurant.

We strolled along the sidewalk, side by side but for the amount we spoke to each other, we could've been strangers. Only it wasn't uncomfortable. It was actually the most comfortable I felt with him ever. It was nice for a change.

"Sean," I reached out and touched his arm. I wanted to apologize for my behaviour and I wanted to tell him I could be his friend, if he let me in and stop hitting on me.

But I caught a glimpse of a familiar figure out of the corner of my eye. It was Devon. With his hand planted in the middle of some blonde chick's back as he led her from a building across the street, to his car. I stood, frozen in spot with my mouth hanging open as I watched him open the passenger side door for her. She turned, said something to him and he laughed. She kissed his cheek and he helped her into his car.

"Janie," Sean tugged on my hand as he suggested that we continue walking.

I couldn't move though, my heart was crumbling into a million pieces. I couldn't take my eyes off the smile on his face as he rounded his car.

Just before he opened his car door, he looked up and around. Our eyes met across the busy street and his smile disappeared.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

More Babysitting

I was fine that Devon wasn't going to the hospital with us until I walked up to Reed's door and then I started to curse him for not being there with me. If I didn't have Alexis in my arms, if I didn't tell her that we were going to see her mommy and if we didn't stop at the gift shop to buy a 'get well' card I probably would've turned around and walked away again.

"Are you ready to see mommy?"

Alexis nodded, her mouth opened as she went to stuff the corner of the card in her mouth.

"No," I grabbed the card. "That's for your daddy, remember I told you he was not feeling good?"

She nodded but I don't think she really knew what I was saying.

"Ok." Taking a deep breath, I turned the corner and entered Reed's room. Although I tried to avoid it, the first place my eyes rested was on Reed's battered and bruised body laying under the white hospital sheets. My heart hurt for Amber and Alexis. I started to wonder if it was really a good idea for Alexis to be here. If he dies, then it would be worse if Alexis never got to 'say' bye.

I didn't want to think like that but the longer I looked at him, the more I wondered if he would ever pull out of this. I had to force myself to look away, it was the only way I would stop worrying that he would die.

In the chair on the right side of his bed, Amber sat with her head resting on the mattress at his elbow and her hand under his. She was still, I thought she was sleeping.

"Dada?" Alexis' soft voice broke the silence and caused Amber to jump in her chair. Spinning around, she took one look at Alexis and just started to bawl. I couldn't make out a word she said as she came towards us and reached for Alexis. Once her daughter was in her arms, she turned around and walked back to Reed's side, whispering to Alexis every step of the way.

I watched Amber place Alexis on the bed by Reed's hip and then lift his hand so that Alexis' leg was under it. Alexis tried to kick it off and crawl on Reed but Amber wouldn't let her. "Daddy's not feeling that well Alexis, he needs to sleep so that he'll feel better. Will you sit there like a good little girl while daddy sleeps?"

She didn't want too, you could tell by the way she was holding herself, and I can't say I blame her. Alexis was daddy's little girl. She would follow him everywhere, she was always calling out to him when he wasn't around and when he was, they were always playing. She missed him and she didn't understand why he wasn't playing with her now.

Amber grabbed her as she tried to crawl on Reed again. "Alexis please don't," she groaned as Alexis cried. "Mommy's sorry, I wish I could do something but I can't."

"Do you want me to take her again?"

"No," Amber shook her head. "It'll be ok, she needs to see him and he needs her to be here." She grabbed Alexis again and this time pulled her down on her lap. "Thank you for bringing her in and for taking good care of her while I sit here with him."

"No problem," I told her. "She's been really good for Devon and me," I laughed. "Well if Devon wasn't there, I don't know how good it would be but..." I shrugged.

Amber smiled. "He's always been great with her - hasn't he Alexis? Uncle Devon is fun, isn't he?" Alexis didn't reply, she was struggling against her mom's arms as she tried to get on Reed's bed again. "Just hold on," Amber told her before turning to look at me - she looked so tired and worn out - I wondered if she was eating right and getting any sleep.

"Did you eat yet?" I asked her. "I could go get something for you if you like."

"Thanks but mom and dad are going to be here in a little while, they've been bringing me food. Lucinda and Roger have been visiting with food too. I don't really feel hungry but..." she trailed off as a hand rubbed over her belly. "The baby needs food."

"Ok," I gave her a half smile. "What about books or something to do while you sit with him?"

"I don't have the energy to do anything," she told me. "I just sit here and talk to him. I tell him what's going on and how everyone is." She chuckled softly. "His dad comes in and reads the entire paper to him."

"That's nice."

"Yeah," she shrugged. "Roger doesn't know what else to do, he doesn't like seeing Reed like this and not be able to do anything for him."

"I'm sure everyone feels like that," I stated. "I know I wish I could do something more."

"You're doing a lot," she told me. "It's easier for me to be here when I know that you and Devon are taking care of Alexis - it's almost as if we were their with her."

"Are you kidding? Alexis is plotting her escape!" I joked. "She misses you guys."

Amber smiled and turned back to Alexis. "Hey," she said after a couple minutes. "Do you think you can do me a favor?"

"Sure," I said without hesitating - I wanted to get out of that room. "What do you need?"

Amber pointed across the room to a corner that wasn't visible from where I stood. "Could you get him out of here for a while? He's been here every single moment since Reed's been admitted and while it's nice, I need to spend some time with Reed - just us."

As she spoke, I took a couple steps to see who she was talking about - even though I knew without a doubt that it was Sean. "He's sleeping," I stated. I didn't really want to spend any time with him.

"Janie please? It's just for a few minutes. He needs to get out of here, he hasn't been any where but home longer enough to shower and change. I don't even think he's sleeping that much." When I screwed up my face at the thought of spending time with him, Amber sighed. "I'm worried about him Janie."

"What do you expect me to do with him?"

"Take him out? Go to a restaurant, make sure he eats and thinks about something besides Reed in this bed for a few minutes."

After a couple minutes of listening to Amber's pleads, I gave in. "Ok, I'll take him." I told her and then jokingly added, "But babysitting Sean isn't the same as babysitting Alexis; you'll owe me big time!"

Amber thanked me and I made my way over to Sean. I called out his name but his only response was a couple soft snores. With a sigh, I leaned over him and gently shook his arm.

"Amber what is it?" He asked groggily as he shifted in his chair. "Is Reed - you aren't Amber." He rubbed his face, "I must be dreaming."

"No you aren't," I pulled away from him and turned to go. "Come on, I'm hungry and you are taking me out to dinner."

I was almost to the door when I heard him chuckle, "Now I know I'm dreaming."

Saturday, March 22, 2008


"Janie?" Devon poked his head into my room again, looking a little worried. "Is there something wrong?" He took a step in as if he was ready to spring to action if there was.

"No," I shook my head. "Just watching Alexis play with my hair clips. She finds happiness in the smallest things I - I..." I started to well up with tears as I thought about the fact she didn't even know her life could change for the worst.

"Don't cry," Devon came to sit by my side, his strong arms wrapping around me as he pulled me close so my head could rest on his broad shoulder.

Wiping my cheeks, I told him I didn't want to cry. "I feel like I have to be strong for her but I'm not, I've never been."

"That's not true," he rubbed his hand up and down my back, trying to soothe me. "You've always been strong Janie and I've admired that about you."

"No," I chuckled sadly. "I haven't been strong at all."

"Sure you have," he insisted. With a smile, he added, "You've put up with me this long, that takes a lot of strenght."

"Whatever," I playfully shoved him away. "You just don't get lost." The moment those words left my mouth, I had a second of panic in which I wondered if he would take that seriously or realize I was joking.

Never in my life was I so happy to hear his deep laugh. "Come see what I've been doing," he held out his hand to me. Nodding, I scooped Alexis off my bed, held her to me and then slipped my hand in his.

I had some idea what to expect when I walked down the hall - I knew it had to do with breakfast - but I can tell you that it wasn't the 'picnic' breakfast that he had set up in the living room. I was shocked - Alexis was excited. "Devon," I glanced at him. "You didn't have to do this, you know."

"I know," he grinned as he took Alexis from my arms. He whispered something to her before he set her on the floor - she hesitated for a moment but soon she was making her way over to the blanket Devon had spread out. "Wait for us!" He called after her but she just giggled and continued towards the plate of bacon. "We better get over there," he threw over his shoulder as he went to join her.

"What are you doing?" He asked in a low growling voice as he grabbed her around the waist and started to tickle her. "Didn't I ask you to wait for Janie and me? Huh?"

As I watched them together, I couldn't stop myself from thinking that it never ceased to amaze me to see him with kids - it was as if he was a completely different person - like he stopped hiding who he is and just enjoyed himself. It was times like that told me I was doing the right thing by being with him - that giving him another chance was a good thing.

I went over to them. "I want in on this action," I laughed as I joined them on the floor.

Without missing a beat, Devon grabbed me around the waist and had me on the floor on my back before I could even tell him I meant tickling Alexis.

Breakfast with Devon and Alexis was the best meal I had ever had in a long time. Even if Alexis did get bits of food everywhere! It was worth it to see the fun side of Devon. When we were done, when we were cleaning up before I went to give Alexis a bath, I told him we had to have more meals like that.

Laughing, he told me that he wasn't sure that Amber or Reed would let us kidnap Alexis too much after he got out of the hospital. "Would you be fine if it's just me and you?"

I didn't give him an answer but I did make a point of noticeably checking him out before I walked away with a big smile on my face.

That night, when I was getting Alexis ready for bed, Amber called like she had been doing since the first night I had Alexis. Like every other night, she would speak with me for a minute and then ask me to put Alexis on so she could talk to her. I would spend the next five minutes or so, trying to hold Alexis still so I could hold the phone to her ear; although most nights it was actually Devon who was holding Alexis so she could talk to her mom. After Alexis starts to fuss really badly, I'd talk to Amber for a couple more minutes and then she would say she had to go.

Last night, she didn't seem to want to hang up. I had asked her a few times if everything was alright and she swore that everything was until she finally broke down and started to bawl. "Amber, tell me what's wrong."

Devon shot me a worried look but I didn't have anything to tell him.

"Is it Reed? Have the doctors said something?"

"Nooo," she wailed.

I shook my head at Devon so he knew what she said, although I think he could hear her. "Is it the baby? Have you been eating?"

"No," she sniffled. "The baby's ok."

"Are you?" I asked her.

"Yeah," she sighed sadly as she sounded like she was trying to stop.

"Then what's wrong? I can't help you if you don't tell me."

"I just..." she sniffled. "I mean..." she sighed and sobbed. "Everything is wrong," she sobbed again. "I miss Reed so much..."

"Amber he's still there, he wouldn't go anywhere without you, you know that."

"I know...." she sighed. "I just want to take him home....to be with him...and..." she sobbed loudly - Devon gave me a worried look. "I miss my baby..."

"I know you do Amber but he's doing the best he can to come through this. He wouldn't leave you, he loves you too much for that."

"I know...I love him too...with all my heart but -"

"No buts Amber, Reed will come through this."

She chuckled sadly, "I was...I mean...I miss Alexis."

"Oh." I looked down at Alexis as she curled up in Devon's arms. "She really misses you too Amber, she asks for you and Reed every single day."

"Does she?"

"Of course," I laughed. "How could she not miss you and Reed? With me watching her? She probably wants to run away!"

Amber laughed. "She sounds happy when I hear her, you must be doing alright."

"No," I admitted. "Devon is doing alright - me? I'm just trying not to scar her for life!"

"I'm glad he's there with you," she told me. "He's great with Alexis, you see that, right?"

"Yeah," I grinned. "I see it."

Even with Reed in the hospital, Amber was able to get there and try to sell me on why she thought Devon was perfect for me. "Think about it, ok?" She said at the end of her 'sales' pitch. "If I learnt one thing, it's that the man you love may not always be around."

"Amber," I said in a warning tone as she started to sound depressed again. "Reed will pull through this."

"He's strong," she sighed. "They moved him today."

"What?" She didn't say that before. "Why?"

"Well they say he is stable and his mom had been freaking about him not being in a private room, so they moved him."

"Well that's a great sign!"

She didn't say anything.

"What is it Amber?"

Taking a deep breath, she asked me if I had plans tomorrow after work. When I told her no, she asked me if it would be too much trouble for me to bring Alexis to the hospital for a few minutes. "The doctors say that he might be able to hear us and I think that he would probably be wondering where Alexis is." She paused and then added that she really needed to see Alexis, even if Reed couldn't hear her.

"I'll bring her down," I promised her.

The next evening after I got off work, I went by the day care to pick up Alexis like I've been doing for the last week. Normally Devon was there waiting for me with Alexis all ready to go but when I walked into the day care, he was standing just inside the door with a frown on his face. My first thought was that he heard something about Reed and it wasn't good.

"Devon?" I approached him hesitantly.

"Janie," he sighed.

"What's wrong?" My heart literally was beating in my throat. "Did you hear something about Reed?"

"No," he shook his head. "I just can't go with you to the hospital, I have a dinner meeting that I just can't get out off - I tried really hard."

"Oh," I probably didn't look that disappointed by the news because his frown deepened. "No," I groaned as I reached for him. "I didn't mean it like that, I just thought that you had bad news about Reed and you didn't, so I was relieved."

He nodded. "I should go. Tell Amber that I wanted to be there and I am thinking of her and Reed."

"Devon?" I went after him as he walked away from me. When he turned, I threw my arms around him. "I really wish you were coming with us."

"So do I," he kissed my forehead. "I'll see you at home, ok?"

I was still nodding like a moron when he walked out through the doors.