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."
"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."
"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."
"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.