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Secrets

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Secrets
by Jamie Yarbrough

Chapter 16

Gwen had packed her bags the day before, a small collection compared to her usual style. She was exhausted from the night before when she had held her son and wept. Liam had slept through most of the night and Gwen had held him the whole night through not drifting into sleep once. She felt like the walking dead. She knew she was doing the best thing for everyone, Ethan was just as miserable as she was and it wasn’t fair to raise Liam in that kind of environment, the anger and bitterness they both felt had eat away at them and made them so much like their parents so fast that Gwen was horrified. She looked at the little picture of Liam in her hand as the chauffeur loaded her bags. Ethan walked into the foyer and looked at Gwen’s red eyes and puffy skin. He wished that they were still friends but even that had been lost because of this terrible marriage. He knew she wanted to never have contact again, because it would hurt less and he respected that he handed his son to her to kiss good-bye and he gripped her hand as she turned to the door choking back tears.

"Gwen, I am sorry." He said, his voice rough.

Gwen nodded, her blond hair shimmering and didn’t look back as she climbed into the waiting car. She thought only of Luc as the plane climbed into the air and she drifted off into sleep, her heart both light and heavy as she left her life behind.

Luis pushed himself from his desk, he had been reading over his file for an hour. He had taken on a private case in-volving the Harmony Burglar, Mini St. Harper had lost over a million in jewels only a month before. She had hired Luis when it appeared that the Harmony PD was getting nowhere. Luis knew he needed to get to work on this case but he couldn’t stop thinking about his own unsolved mystery. He had gotten a lead only a few days before that Kay was somewhere out west, most likely in Seattle or somewhere nearby. He had forced himself not to leap on a plane again and now could barely think straight. He knew he would have to go to his mother’s for dinner tonight, with only a week to the wedding she was insisting on family meals. He hated seeing Charity and Miguel together more and more, because he was so jealous of them. Luis had resented Miguel especially because he blamed his announcement of his and Char-ity’s engagement for Kay’s leaving. Luis sighed as Theresa stepped through the door and he handed her a stack of files barley even glancing at her before he was out the door.

He wandered across the road to his car heading home for lunch, he walked slow up the stairs planning what to have for lunch and concentrating on who else he had to call to follow up on this latest lead on Kay. He stopped short as he reached his door and saw a note stuck to it. He almost brushed it off as another letter from Beth, angry or begging for a chance. He yanked it off the door and stepped inside he tossed the letter on the couch as he headed to the kitchen to make a sandwich. He had almost completely forgotten it by the time he sat down on the couch and flipped on the TV to make noise while he ate. He set his plate down and sighed as he unfolded it and then choked on the bite he was swallowing as he recognized the handwriting.

Dear Luis,
I am sorry I left you with so little, I know you have moved on with your life, and I wouldn’t have come back without a good reason. Can you meet me at the Harmony Inn tonight, six o’clock? We need to talk. I still love you. Always, Kay

Luis coughed and sputtered as he read the brief note and then stormed off the couch and was in his car in a matter of seconds. He drove to the Harmony Inn and asked for any and all the names he could think of with no luck. He finally resigned himself to the fact that she was still hiding from him and he walked outside to wait for her.

Kay knew it was probably best not to have Ahnna in her arms when she met up with Luis initially so she asked Theresa to stop by and watch her while they talked downstairs. Theresa had agreed and when she knocked on the door at 5:30 she found Kay tearing around the room half dressed and nearly hysterical.

"Umm... Kay, could you take a nice deep breath please, I don’t want you to pass out." Theresa tried to distract her with details about Ahnna and finally sighed when she whirled out the door at 5:55.

Kay dashed down the stairs and wondered if she really was crazy to come back. She smoothed down her hair and tugged at her shirt as she glanced into the lobby. Her heart did a little trip as she saw him. He was pacing and mum-bling to himself. Kay was relieved that he had even come she hadn’t been sure if he wanted anything to do with her at all any longer. She tried to catch her breath as she stood watching him and felt her heart stop and the familiar ache as he turned and looked directly into her eyes. Kay froze to the spot more terrified than she had been even as she found out she was alone and pregnant.

Luis’ own heart lurched as he turned and found himself staring into her eyes. He didn’t know what to do, she stood more beautiful than ever and only feet away and Luis rushed to her and did what he had longed to so many times, he tilted her head back and pulled her tight against him and kissed her with all his might. He held her to him knowing she probably didn’t want this but unable to stop. His tongue slid over her lips and tasted her familiar flavor as he darted in and out. He lifted her to her toes and slid his hands over her back and felt her own arms wrap around his neck. He knew he could never let go and prayed she was real even as his pulse rocketed and he felt her kiss him back.

When they finally broke apart neither was able to speak as they both just held on to each other and caught their breath. Kay realized she was still wrapped around him and she eased back then stepped into a small room for guests to talk or have tea in off to one side of the lobby. Luis followed her, capturing her hand in his afraid that if he let go she would disappear again.

"Luis," Kay began as they sat on the very proper couch and she turned pulling herself away hoping for the strength to tell him. Luis watched her pull back but tensed only for a second. She can’t literally disappear he reminded himself.

"Kay, why did you leave?" Luis asked hearing his own tears in his voice.

Kay heard them too and wondered why he sounded so angry and hurt, she had known she would hurt him a little but it had been a year and surely he had moved on. She looked at him and realized it was really time for all of the truth. She felt her own tears begin to flow at the memory of their time together.

"I wanted to leave you before you left me and I wanted to set you free to be with someone who deserved you. Who was old enough and just better suited than you and I." Kay choked over her words. "I loved you so much but I knew it wasn’t enough, you deserve better and I tried to let you have it. I still love you that much, but some things have changed."

"Kay..." Luis said stunned at what she had said. All the pain of this last year was because she loved him too much. Luis almost laughed at the horrifying irony.

"What has changed?" Luis asked.

Kay swallowed hard, her first confession over she was back to the really hard one. Luis was not going to be happy.

"Well, I really have no idea how to tell you this, in fact I have spent a lot of the last year trying to figure out how... Luis please don’t hate me." Kay trembled and shifted to face his her heart pounding in her chest, Luis looked at her curiously.

"I could never hate you Kay..." Luis began.

"Luis we have a daughter." Kay interrupted. She watched as Luis’ face drained of color.

Luis couldn’t hear over the ringing in his ears and the roar of blood in his head. It felt like he had been kicked in the stomach.

Theresa chose that unfortunate moment to interrupt.

"Kay?" She asked as she stepped into the room.

"Theresa? What is it? Is Ahnna alright?" Panic filled Kay’s voice and she was to the door before she even realized Theresa was speaking.

"No she is fine, I left Mrs. Hundly with her just so I could run down, I needed to know where the diapers and formula are?" Theresa winced as he brother turned to looked at them in the door. The stunned look on his face made it clear that she had picked the worst possible time.

Kay directed Theresa to them and asked her to bring Ahnna down as soon as she was done, then she turned back to Luis.

Luis was finally able to speak as his sister turned to leave, he shook his head in amazement. Theresa was going to take care of his daughter. Oh God, he thought, his DAUGHTER.

"Only Theresa knows, Luis I wanted to tell you first but I ran into her just after I got here and I had to explain." Kay started.

Luis shook his head, silent still. He didn’t know if he should be furious at Kay for keeping this or just ask her to marry him right there. He was thrilled at the idea of a daughter, a family, but he was scared she would see that as pity or obligation. Shit, he thought, now what. He had the woman he loved here with him and a chance at a perfect future but now there was a whole trap for him to fall into.

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