“Hi mum,” Lucia greeted when her mother answered the phone.
“Hi honey; are you already at the airport?”
“No; actually I won’t make it back today.”
“Why, is anything wrong?”
“No, not at all. We decided to stay the night.”
“We, you mean and young Bourbon?” Lucia chuckled.
“Yeah, he suggested we stay behind and hang around a bit.”
“Huh, that sounds interesting. Whatever happens, don’t come back with little Bourbon in your womb, you hear me?”
“Come on mum, you raised me better than that!”
“I know but I’ve met the young guy and I must say he has his charm. You two can have all the babies you want after you’ve locked yourselves down.” Lucia laughed.
“I hear you, mum. Tell dad I said hi. See you soon.”
“You too, honey. Have fun.” Lucia cut the call. Ted entered.
“So where are we off to?” Lucia asked.
“I thought you said you wanted to do your pedicure stuff. I can keep you company.”
“I can always do that later. Maybe we should just talk. We haven’t ever since…you found out about me.”
“Okay, I’d love to have a bit of fresh air. Why not find a breezy spot outside?”
“Good idea,” Lucia said, getting up from the bed. They left the room.
“So I’ve been wondering, what was the only daughter of Mr. Fitzgerald doing, serving as a nurse?” Ted asked as they got settled with a glass of cocktail each.
“Well, my parents were forcing me to enter into the family business and I wasn’t ready so I left home. They tried to pressurize me into coming back home by freezing my account and all but I managed to get myself a job at the hospital where you came in dying,” Lucia narrated.
“I see; so what made you change your mind about joining your father in business? Was it because of me?” Ted asked.
“Oh no, not at all…when I lost my memories, I didn’t know where to turn and what was ahead of me. So when my mother proposed that I joined my father, I agreed and I’d say I haven’t regretted the decision so far.”
“So…you’re saying you’re not going to run off again?”
“No, I doubt it. Why do you ask?”
“Well we are partners now so if you decide to run off, you’d leave me stranded.” Lucia chuckled.
“Are you sure that’s the only reason why you don’t want me running off again?”
“No, you know why. Looking for you after my surgery was painful because I didn’t how you looked like and your files had miraculously vanished from the hospital’s system,” Ted said.
“Yeah, that sounds like my mother’s handiwork.”
“So…what do you remember about your boyfriend, Allen?”
“Well, I recently recalled the times he used to hit me and it wasn’t a pleasant experience. I don’t know I stayed with him though if he was abusing me.”
“Well, you were away from home and you needed someone to protect and care for you. As long as you thought you could handle his abusive side, you were okay.”
“I remember touching your face one day after he had hit you. Your face really felt bruised. I couldn’t see you but I could feel your pain. You didn’t deserve that.”
“Hey Ted!” They both looked up.
“Jon! Hey, what are you doing here?”
“I came to spend some quality time with my fiancée away from home. And who’s this lovely one?” He asked, shaking Lucia’s hand.
“She’s Monique Baker, my business partner. We came to meet someone.”
“I see. How’s Anita doing by the way?”
“She’s fine…as energetic as ever.”
“Can imagine. Wedding bells to ring anytime soon?”
“Nah, I doubt it.”
“Not surprised. She seemed so eager for my liking. But this lady over here, I think you two would be great.”
“Thanks, we’ll think about it.”
“See you around.” He walked away.
“Interesting guy,” Lucia remarked.
“Yeah, he is. So now that we’re on the issue, I wish to know where we stand.”
“Stand on what?”
“As in…the last time we talked that was before my surgery, I talked of us being together and you told me to hold on till after the surgery. Then you disappeared and months later, here you are,” Ted said.
“Yeah, and you recently canceled your wedding.”
“Yeah; and you just found out your boyfriend was abusing you. We’re both damaged.”
“Yeah, pretty much. We both need time to heal. It would be unreasonable if we just rushed into something we’re both not ready for, don’t you think?” Lucia said.
“I agree. But I’ve waited for you for so long that I must say with all honesty that, I’m ready to get married right now and call you my wife.”
“You…don’t mean that.”
“Oh yes I do. Don’t you want to be Mrs. Bourbon?”
“The name makes me tingle a bit. Of all the names in the world, why choose that?”
“I’d say ask my father but he wouldn’t have the answer either. But come to think of it, being together will make us both very powerful.”
“Thinking just like my mummy.”
“Your mummy? Why, she knows about us?”
“Yeah…she warned me not to return with little Bourbon inside me.” Ted laughed.
“Wow…Mother Baker is keeping tabs on me already, isn’t she? Thanks for the heads up.” There was a pause.
“So if I hadn’t called off the wedding, would you have stopped me or would you have watched me marry Anita?” Ted asked, glancing at her. Lisa exhaled.
“I just want to know what you were thinking.”
“Part of me prayed that you would call it off…”
“And the other part? You also wanted me to move on?”
“Yeah, I thought me coming clean with you was like opening a can of worms which would make things more complicated. And Anita was so excited about life with you. It seems her life revolves around you and I didn’t want to take it away from her.”
“If I had found about you after our wedding, I would never have forgiven you.”
“And that is why, I want you to promise me you won’t leave me again.”
“I’ve nowhere else to go, Ted. I’m home now.”
“My home is wherever you are, Lucia. So don’t render me homeless ever again.”
They went back inside after dusk.
“Dinner after shower?” Ted asked.
“I think I’d just order room service,” Lucia mimicked teasingly.
“Haha…very funny.” He opened his door.
“Oh no…,” Lucia muttered.
“Why, what’s up?”
“I left my keycard inside.”
“Well, you could just come in with me and we could order room service.”
“I guess I don’t have a choice,” Lucia said, entering his room.
She threw herself on the bed.
“What would you like to have?” Ted asked.
“Okay.” He picked the phone.
“You like it?” Ted asked as they ate.
“Yeah, they do have great chefs over here. I’ll give them that. And your order was great. Thanks.” He smiled.
“Have you informed the front desk guy about your keycard situation?” He asked.
“Yeah, he said he’ll come up and open it for me. He has a few things to see to at the moment.”
“Why, you want me to leave already?”
“Are you kidding me? Of course not. I just want to make sure we don’t end up making little Bourbon tonight.” They both chuckled.
“No, we are not. Or else my mother will have your head.”
“Which I very much need. Up for a movie?”
“Yeah, what’s the latest? I’ve been in the dark for some time now.”
“Who can blame you? Our kind of work makes leisure sound very luxurious.”
“I want to lie down.”
“Okay; I’ll clear this up when the guy comes up to open your door. Get up.”
They got settled on the bed. Ted made Lucia put her head on his lap.
“Don’t fall asleep, Lucia.”
“I’ll try.” He played with her hair.
“What would Anita think if she found out we are here together?” Lucia asked.
“I know for sure she’d be furious and since we’re both out of her reach, she’d take it out on her poor décor.” Lucia chuckled. She turned to look at him.
“I’m glad to be here with you, Ted.”
“Me too.” They spent the next minute just staring at each other.
“What are you thinking?”
“Just how lucky I am that Lucia and Monique happened to be the same woman. Because Lucia was someone else, it would be tough choosing who to be with.”
She smiled. She sat up.
“And I’m lucky to be Monique Baker so I could meet you again.” They kissed.
Their magical moment was interrupted with a knock on the door.
“Miss Baker? I’m here to open your door.”
“Okay, thank you. I have to go.”
“You too.” He kissed her again and she got up. She took her shoes and opened the door. He opened Lucia’s door.
“Thank you sir, I’m sorry for inconveniencing you.”
“Don’t mention it, ma’am. I’m at your service. Goodnight.” He walked away. Ted came up behind Lucia and held her.
“Part of me wished he never came back.” She chuckled.
“Me too.” She turned and hugged him.”
“Sweet dreams, Lucia. I know who you’ll dream about tonight.”
“Huh, we’ll see.” She entered the room and closed the door.