Together, Forever! Ch. 13


Victoria didn’t know what to say. “What am I supposed to say to that, Marisa? What do you expect me to do, throw my arms around you in friendship and forget everything that’s happened? Up until this very moment, you’ve done everything in your power to drag Colin and me apart.”

“I know and I understand your feelings about me, but don’t let the mistakes I’ve made tear apart what Colin and you have.”

“Had,” she quickly corrected.

“Look, I know you don’t believe me, but after I sobered him up last night, Colin confided in me. Above everything else, I want him to be happy and I really want us to be friends.”

Victoria stared at her, incredulous. “How can I trust you? How can you expect that of me?”

“I don’t expect that, but you have to take what I’m saying on faith. It has to say something to you that I’d humble myself in the ladies room here at Barfly in front of someone who despises me! As much as she hated to admit it, Victoria had to agree with her on that, and for a moment, almost felt sorry for her. She couldn’t help it! “Victoria, you’d be a fool to let Colin slip away the way I did. He needs you.” Victoria began to see her in a new light, despite everything and she desperately wanted to believe what she was saying. If it was true, Colin had been faithful and she had been the idiot. That brought a lump to her throat. “Look,” she said, pointing back out toward the club on the other side of the door. “Colin is here. He’s sober and actually made me bring him here so he could try again to make it up to you. He was hoping you might show up. He’s been everywhere trying to catch a glimpse of you. It’s really pathetic.” Victoria eyed her suspiciously. Marisa could tell that she didn’t really believe her. “Go on,” she urged, “See for yourself.”

“Okay,” she said, pushing her way past her. “I will.”

When she went back out into the club, all Victoria could see was a mass of people. Not knowing where to look, she saw Nick dancing up on one of the dance platforms and headed straight for him. Her plan was to get up as high as she could and see if she could see Colin from there. Nick saw her coming and helped hoist her up to where he was. As Victoria started to dance, Nick eyed her and she could tell he wanted her to spill out what had happened, but she was too busy trying to find Colin. She didn’t want to be real obvious about what she was doing, so she really started to get into the music and that’s when she saw him. He was leaning against the bar and his eyes were right on her. So she did her best to show him what he was missing. She didn’t think he’d be able to contain himself. He kept smiling at her and Victoria couldn’t help but smile back. He had the sexiest smile she had ever seen and watching him brought her body to life.

Just then a slow song came on and Victoria stood there watching him make his way over to where she stood, holding up a hand to help her down. She stood for a moment, eyeing him, thinking just how much she wanted him, how much she loved him above everything that had happened. It was as if she was floating above the crowd, watching her hand reach out for his as he lifted her down into his arms, arms that held her close to him. All she could do was hold on; her legs suddenly jelly, as they swayed in time to the music.

Victoria tried not to stare at him, not look into his eyes, but he kept pushing her back just enough so he could see her face, his eyes boring into her soul, his hair falling into his eyes. His hair and grown back out to the length she loved and Victoria longed to reach up and brush it back with her fingers. But at the same time, she wanted to slap him for everything that he had put her through, regret washing through her that she had acted to irrationally with Brad.

When the song ended, she gently pushed away from him. “Do me a favor. You’ve come and now it’s time for you to go. For both our sakes, go.”

“I won’t.” He was adamant. “I’m not going, Vicky. Not this time. If you don’t want me, you tell me, and we’ll see, but not because of this damn misunderstanding that’s between us. I don’t care about our mistakes. I love you. I love your head and your heart and your soul. I love what you’ve given me and what you’ve done for me. I love your hardheadedness. I’m not leaving,” he repeated.

“Yes, you are.” Her face was hard. “I don’t want pity. I don’t want you on a rebound. I just want to go on with my life.”

“I am your life. I’m not leaving you, Vicky.” She glared at him for a moment, and then with guilt over her lovemaking with Brad washing over her, she began to fight through the crowd, trying to get away from him. But everywhere she went, Colin was right behind. At last, winded and tired, Victoria knew she had to stop. They were at the far end of the club now, and she looked at him almost in despair as she finally stopped.

“Why are you doing this, Colin?”

“Because I love you. Vicky, please . . .”

“Colin, do you know what I’ve been through? And then Marisa . . .”

“God, stop with Marisa! It’s you I love! What do I have to do to convince you of that?!” He grabbed hold of her shoulders and she thought he’d shake her until her teeth rattled.

She stopped him by placing her hands on his arms, her eyes boring into his. “Colin, Marisa cornered me in the bathroom.” This caught his attention and he loosened his hold on her, but not enough for her to slip from his grasp. When she saw he was ready for her to continue, she did. “She told me the truth and I’m sorry. I should’ve believed you.”

He looked amazed at her proclamation. “You believe me?”

“Yeah, I guess I have no choice.” And then she whispered softly, “I loved you so damn much . . . it hurt so much. I didn’t think I could live without you.”

“Neither did I.” He said it with the sorrow of the past few weeks of lonely days and nights. “I wanted us to be like we used to be. All I did was think of you, Victoria. Every night I’d lie there and all I could think about was you.”

“Colin, I have to be honest with you,” she said, her eyes falling to the floor. How was she going to explain what had happened with Brad without losing him forever?

And then without further warning, he kissed her, pulling her body close to him and tangling his fingers in her hair. “Victoria . . . oh, Vicky . . .” And when she heard the words she had longed for for so long, she cried. “I won’t ever let anything or anyone get between us again, Victoria. Never.” His eyes held hers tight, and then she threw all caution to the winds and told him.

“Colin, I have to tell you what happened between me and Brad . . .”

“It doesn’t matter, Vicky. I don’t care. Our mistakes are behind us and our future is ahead of us.”

“But I don’t think you understand,” she argued gently, her eyes filling with tears.

Colin gently cupped her chin in his hands, lifting her eyes to meet his. “I understand what you’re trying to say and I’m telling you, it’s over. I love you. I’ve always loved you.”

“Colin, are you sure?” Her voice was filled with awe as her eyes drank him in. ‘Were we finally back to us?’ she thought inwardly.

When he kissed her this time, she murmured, “I love you too.” He took her hand then, and slowly, as close together as they could, they walked back across the dance floor towards the front door. As they passed Nick and Marisa, Nick smiled at her as Marisa reached out for her hand. Victoria quickly pulled her into an embrace. “Thank you,” she whispered, tears filling her eyes.

Marisa pulled back and smiled at her. “You just take care of him and remember what I said, okay?” Victoria just nodded as Colin led her to the front door.

Colin’s limo was waiting out front when they came slowly toward it. Victoria stopped and looked at Colin as he stood looking into her face. His eyes asked her a thousand questions, and his heart poured out into hers. She hesitated for only a moment, and then she smiled as he said the familiar words.

“I love you, Vicky.” And then in a voice that only she could hear, “I want you to remember that every day, every hour, every morning, and every night, for the rest of your life. From now on I’m going to be here with you, Victoria.”

Her eyes never left his, and then slowly, ever so slowly, she followed him into the limo. She sat there for a minute, watching him, wondering if she could trust him and if she could trust herself after all this. Was he really back now? Or was it all an illusion, a dream? Colin could sense the doubts that she was feeling, and as he sat beside her he held out his hand. “Trust me, babe . . .” And then after a long moment, “please.” His hand never wavered as she sat there, still and tall and proud. “Vicky?” As their eyes held and they watched each other, it was as though the doubt between them melted, and as she put her hand carefully in his, one could almost feel the bond between them begin to form again.

“Hold me, Colin.” Victoria said it matter-of-factly, and suddenly he knew that things had changed. There was a deep smile in the blue eyes as he drew her into his arms.

“Where do you want to go, Victoria?” She looked up into his face with a look of peace mingled with unbridled joy.

She smiled at him, whispering the word as she looked at him once more, “Home.”

When they reached Colin’s big house, he ran up to the front door with her only a few steps behind. He pulled open the door and watched her carefully for a long moment, her eyes tender with memory as they stood there remembering their times here together. With a last look at Colin, Victoria quietly stepped up to him, a tender smile on her lips. He swept her up into his arms, carrying her across the threshold of their home together, forever.

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