A Journey of Passion Ch. 09


"Oh, I can about imagine how easy you are, Dad. It's written all over you." Shelby winked and nudged him as she spoke.

The adults laughed but Seth knew she was right. Gabriela only had to look at him and he melted.

Yes, the house was alive. Seth knew the next year could only get better.


Gift-wrapping and ribbons cluttered the floor but no one cared. Dallas was in the middle of every picture as he offered his assistance opening presents. Shelby and Nicole looked puzzled when their parents gave them each an envelope.

"We know you've both had a hard year. Shelby, Nicole, there's no way we can take away the hurt. Life didn't go the way we hoped for either of you. Gabriela and I wanted to do something to make this next year less stressful for you."

"Both of you are remarkable young ladies. I know your futures will be brighter," Gabriela added.

The girls looked at each other and slowly opened the envelopes. Shelby stared at the paper inside but didn't say a word. Nicole had tears in her eyes.

"I know you didn't have life insurance, Shelby. You had plans that have been on hold for several years now. Nicole, you were in a bad relationship that isn't in the picture anymore. We want you both to have the chance to fulfill your dreams."

Seth spoke in a voice that told the girls there was no arguing. Gabriela held his hand and nodded in agreement.

"But, this is for ..." Nicole started but couldn't finish.

"Yes, it's for a full college degree of your choice. It's up to you girls to decide where you go, of course," Gabriela said.

Seth noticed that Shelby still hadn't said anything. "Honey, what's wrong?"

"This is ..."

"You have Dallas to think about. I know you aren't happy in that job you have now. A degree will open so many doors for you and give you security in your future," Seth said.

Nicole looked at Shelby and shrieked. "We're going back to school!"

Gabriela laughed and Seth smiled. The girls would be okay, they'd given them an opportunity to be sure of that.

Dallas had ignored the adults and torn into some of his new toys. Effie sat back and just watched as her family enjoyed themselves. They spent the afternoon snacking and chatting. Gabriela found herself either staring at Seth or her ring. He was amazing and she knew life could only get better.


The house was quiet now but it still felt alive. Gabriela wandered through the rooms and smiled. She thought back to all the laughter and fun they'd had and knew it was just the first of many such Christmas's to come. Life was so much better than she ever thought it could be. Nicole had gone home with Shelby and Dallas again. The two girls wanted to research colleges together. It pleased her to see them getting along so well.

Effie had left soon after dinner saying she was tired. Gabriela noticed the worried look Seth gave her and decided she would check more often on the older woman herself. Dallas ran out of energy at the table and hadn't even stirred when his grandpa carried him to the car.

Seth was in the shower as she locked the house up. She had so many thoughts in her mind right then. Seth's proposal caught her by surprise and the ring was an absolute gorgeous choice. The girls talked about it during the day and wondered when the wedding was. Gabriela hadn't even gotten that far. Their wedding, she thought now with chills. She really was his forever.

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