Love Realized (The Real Love Series)
Author:Melanie Codina

chapter SIX

Jake stood there and listened to Allie and Gillian as they talked, but couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “… but she knows my husband very well,” Gillian had said. Is she flat out saying that the woman who just left here, with her husband and child, is cheating on him with Logan? No fucking way! Jake looked in Logan’s direction and saw that he was also looking in their direction. He and Jake made eye contact and Logan’s expression faltered and fell a bit, like he just realized that Jake knew his secret. He felt his pulse increase exponentially. Looking over at Jason, and his position next to Logan, it all made sense. Jason was either there to keep Logan away from his own wife, or to keep the other woman away from him? Holy shit! This was so not cool!

Jake was glad he was holding on to Gillian because if he didn’t have the reminder that she needed his support, he, too, would’ve marched right over to Logan and laid him out like Allie wanted to do. How the hell does a man do something like that and then come home to his wife? No matter how many different ways Jake thought about something like that, he could never come up with an answer. The truth of the matter was that it would never be something Jake would understand, because it simply wasn’t something he would do or tolerate. A promise is a promise, and if a man doesn’t stand by his word, he really doesn’t have much to offer.

Jake was still staring in the direction of Logan and Jason when he felt Gillian’s hands on his chest. “Jake … please, calm down,” she said and then slowly started moving her hands in a circular motion, drawing his attention to her. Jake looked down at her as he tried to rein in his temper. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath before reopening them and focusing on Gillian.

With his jaw still clenched and teeth grinding against each other, he said. “Gillian, are you saying that your husband is cheating on you with the woman that just left this party with her own husband?” He saw a look of shame cross her face just before she nodded and looked down at her hands, which still rested on his chest. Jake placed his hand under her chin to tilt her head up to look at him, but her eyes continued to evade his. He made sure he softened his tone before speaking to her. “Gillian, please look at me.” She slowly brought her eyes up to meet his, and he felt a tightening in his chest at what he saw there. Her eyes were overflowing with tears, and she looked so tired, so sad, and so ashamed. Not embarrassed, but ashamed. That really didn’t help his temper at all, that’s for sure. What the hell did she have to feel ashamed about? What did Logan say to make her feel that way?

Once again making sure his voice was soft and not showing the exceeding level of hostility that was brewing within, he said, “Gilly, you know you have nothing to be ashamed of, right? You didn’t do anything wrong here.” She again averted her eyes from him, confirming that she did, in fact, feel shame. God, that guy needs a good ass kicking!

Jake’s need to comfort her maxed out at that moment. He couldn’t stand it any longer so he pulled her into his arms and held her firmly against his chest. “I am so sorry, Gilly. So sorry that this happened to you,” he crooned to her while rubbing her back. Then he felt her relax against him. Support—that’s what she needs right now; she needed his support. Jake looked up to see Allie watching them with glossy eyes and one pissed off expression. “Let’s get her out of here. The kids are all gone so it really doesn’t matter whether she stays or not. You take her to the car, and I’ll take care of Logan. I will text you in a bit to find out where you girls will be.” Allie just nodded at him. He knew that Allie was just as pissed as him, but also conceded the fact that Gillian needed them now. Placing his hands on Gillian’s shoulders, he gently moved her away from his chest and immediately noticed the absence of her warmth. Why did that bother him? Focus. Rubbing her shoulders and upper arms in a gesture meant to be nurturing, he looked her in the eyes and said, “Go with Allie. I’ll catch up with you two later.” He felt her tense up, and he needed to reassure her more. “Don’t worry, I won’t beat his ass for being a giant prick. I know you don’t want a scene, so I'm not going to cause one. But I, too, reserve the right to do so later.” He gave her a pointed look, and a slight smile came across her sad face.

It struck him that even with watery green eyes and tear streaks down her cheeks she was a beautiful sight. But he really wanted to put a happy smile on her face. Just then, she placed her hands on his shoulders, and using them as support, she rose up on her toes and placed a kiss on his cheek. He could feel the wetness from her tears as she pulled back and attempted another weak smile at him. She must have noticed the wetness on his cheek because a small giggle escaped as she reached up and wiped it away. “Sorry. I bet you’re really hoping those were tears and not snot, aren’t you?” He smiled down at her. There’s my girl.

“Well, I didn’t think about that until you brought it up.” He reached up and swiped his hand across his cheek even though she had already wiped it clean. “But now that’s all I can think about. Gross, Gillian, thanks a lot.” Her smile grew bigger.

“Thanks, Jake.” He leaned down and kissed her forehead, and as he pulled back said, “I really had to fight the urge to lick you as payback.” She giggled, and his anger at the situation decreased because as long as he could get her to smile, things weren’t as bad as they seemed.

“Go with Allie. I’ll see you soon.” She nodded, and he moved them toward the back door of the house. Allie gave him a look over her shoulder, and he nodded, understanding the unspoken information. She was clearly furious at her brother, and he could tell she barely had a grip on her feelings about that. It took a lot for Allie to hold things back; she was always very vocal and didn’t take any crap from anyone. There was really only one subject that she was tight-lipped about and that was her late husband, Marc. Just the fact that she was controlling herself showed how much Gillian meant to her.

Once the ladies had disappeared into the house, Jake turned to where Logan and Jason had been standing. When he made eye contact with Logan, he saw the recognition dawn on his face. He wasn’t sure if it was the realization that Jake knew what was going on or if Logan just realized that his wife was gone. That’s right, jackass, she’s gone AND I know. Jake crossed his arms over his chest and raised his eyebrows up at Logan, basically goading him, but who cares. If he got a punch in at Logan in defense, that would be fine, too. And with that thought, Logan was up and heading toward the back door of the house, Jason hot on his heels. Too bad Jake was between him and the house. Keeping up his stance, effectively blocking Logan, Jake decided that yes, he wanted to fuck with him.

“Hey man, you going somewhere?” he asked as he moved to prevent Logan from going around him.

“Out of my way, Jake. I need to get inside my house … to talk to my wife.” Logan’s emphasis on the word ‘my’ in his statement didn’t escape Jake’s notice. Well, if he really wanted to point out things that were his, Jake would just have to help him with that.

“Well, YOUR wife is not inside YOUR house.” Of course, Jake’s emphasis on the word ‘your’ didn’t escape Logan’s attention either. He paused in his attempts to get past Jake and stared at him, confusion and irritation very evident on his face.

“What the fuck are you talking about?” Logan asked through clenched teeth.

Jake got directly in Logan’s face and growled back at him. “What I mean is that YOUR wife left YOUR house shortly after YOUR mistress left YOUR son’s birthday party!” Jake stayed in his face, begging him to do something about it. Logan just glared back at him, so Jake continued, “Oh, and she probably left here in YOUR car with YOUR sister. Yep, I think that about covers it.” And with that, Jake relaxed back in his stance, put some distance between them, and waited for Logan to respond. Jake once again raised his eyebrows in question at Logan, daring him to continue the conversation.

The distant sounds of mumbling and a chair being roughly slid across the patio surface caught Jake’s attention. He leaned to the side to look behind Logan. Then Logan was in motion. He shoved Jake aside so he could get through the door and started to run toward the front of the house after Gillian. As Jake tried to right himself, he noticed that Jason looked to be scuffling around with Sean. Oh shit! Sean must have heard what I said to Logan. Way to broadcast it to everyone, you moron. He hadn’t paid attention to who was still in the backyard because his only concern had been for Gillian to get out of there, and then, of course, to provoke Logan. Now there was one pissed off looking big brother. Well, join the club, man. Jason was barely holding him back, especially since Logan had made it into the house.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Gillian and Allie had just made it out the front door when she heard Logan calling for her. “Gillian! Stop, Gillian, stop!” Shit … I knew I shouldn’t have gone back for my damn cell phone. Allie grabbed her arm and propelled her forward even faster.

“You better move it girl unless you want this to go down right here, right now!” Gillian could feel her heart pounding against her ribcage as her adrenaline levels spiked. She didn’t want to deal with Logan now. She wasn’t afraid of Logan—she knew he would never hurt her, physically that is. But she was afraid that if she listened to him ‘plead his case’ she would forgive him just as she had before. And look where that got her. If there was one thing she knew about her husband, it was that when he was determined, and he wanted something, very little held him back. The man could sell ice to a freaking Eskimo he was so damn persuasive! It was a handy trait to have when what he wanted was mutually beneficial, but otherwise, not so much.

You’re avoiding him based on the assumption that he even wants you still. Maybe he wants to tell you that he picks her. It may be a damn good point, but very mean, nonetheless, and it brought a deep ache to her chest. This wasn’t cool at all considering her chest wall was already taking a beating from the inside.

“Gillian! Please stop!” He was out the front door now. Damn, this was going to happen, wasn’t it … well, I guess it was best to get it over with. She had just finished her thought when she felt her husband’s hand wrap firmly around her upper arm, halting her determined stride. He used her arm to turn her around and then wrapped his other arm firmly around her body and pulled her against him. Her hands remained at her side as Logan pressed his entire body against hers and buried his face in her neck and hair, while both of his arms held her tightly to him. She wasn’t going anywhere … yet.

“Baby, please don’t leave. Please … we need to talk. You can’t leave, baby.” His voice was soft and thick with emotion as he begged her to stay. God, how she loved to be held by him, it was her weakness. She knew it. He knew it. Even though he was the cause of her pain right now, his arms around her offered comfort. You are bat-shit-crazy girl … do you know that?

“Come back inside. We need to talk and fix this. I can’t let you leave.” Logan pulled his face from her neck and looked down at her as he smoothed her hair away from her face. Gently stroking her cheeks and wiping away the tears that she hadn’t realized were streaming down her face, he wrapped his arm back around her, securing her against him once again. “Give me a chance to explain myself,” he pleaded as he bent down and pressed a kiss against her lips and then pulled back to see her response. She couldn’t speak, couldn’t move. She felt physically numb—paralyzed.

“Let her go, Logan! She wants to get out of here. You are just gonna have to sit and stew over it,” Allie yelled at her brother. This just made him hold on to Gillian tighter.

“Back off, Allie. She’s my wife, and I'm not just going to let her walk away from me without letting me explain!” he barked back at her. “I deserve the right to explain myself.”

He deserves? He thinks he deserves something? Why that arrogant bastard! That snapped her out of her inability to speak. How dare him! How he could think he was entitled to anything at all was beyond her comprehension. “You deserve?” she managed to croak at him, and he turned his attention from Allie back to her. She looked up into his eyes and said, “You think you deserve something from me?” Her voice sounded a little stronger that time, which was clearly the result of the anger that was beginning to boil up in her veins. Logan was about to speak when she interrupted him. “What exactly is it that you think you deserve from me Logan?” She was able to achieve full volume and yell at him this time.

The adrenaline that had been slowly rising in her system before was now flowing full force as she struggled to get her arms free from the grip he had around her. He loosened his hold on her, and she moved her arms, effectively pushing him off of her. She knew that she was only able to do that because he allowed it, but she needed the space. Distance was a must if she was going to stay strong.

“Answer me!” she demanded of him. “Tell me, what exactly it is that you think you deserve from me Logan Baxter? What more could I possibly give you that you haven’t already been given?” He attempted to close the gap between them and take her in his arms again, but she halted him with a hand on his chest. “NO! You don’t get to touch me!” She felt a small amount of relief when she saw his shoulders sag before he spoke, “Baby, please, let’s go inside and talk about this. I know you must be in shock, and I understand that, but we can work this out.” He understands? Seriously, he thinks he knows what all this shit feels like? Once again she felt a spike in her anger and adrenaline level. That whole fight-or-flight thing was really gonna kick her butt when she finally tried to calm herself down.

“How could you possibly understand this, Logan?” she growled at him. “How could you know what this feels like?” She continued to yell at him, completely unaware of the people that had made their way into the front yard. “You know what it feels like to stand face-to-face with your husband’s mistress and her family … in your own backyard … at your son’s birthday party?” It certainly wasn’t a question because, of course, he had no idea what that felt like. Her voice picked up in volume as she continued, “You know what it feels like to find out that not only is your husband cheating on you, but probably has been for the past year, when he swore that he was not?” Logan just stood there silently as she continued her chastising. “You know what it feels like to find out that you are not the only woman in your husband’s life?”

After a few moments, Logan shook his head and mouthed the word, “No.”

She hadn’t realized that she had stepped closer to Logan and was now poking him hard in the chest, emphasizing each word with a new jab. “You’re right, Logan, you don’t! Because your wife didn’t put you in that position! But I can tell you how it feels if you’d like.” The sarcasm and nastiness dripped off her words as she mentally prepared herself to open that well of emotions and let them spill out all over her driveway. Those damn skeletons were out in the open and dancing circles around everyone as Gillian finally noticed that this exchange had an audience of family and friends now. Oh well, she wasn’t going to back down now, so it looked like everyone was in for a show.

“I will tell you how it feels, Logan. How about you imagine the feeling of a hand … plunging deep into your chest, locking your heart in its firm grip and squeezing it until it explodes. Or how about you imagine yourself underwater, and your lungs are almost completely spent and the burn from lack of oxygen is growing … and even though you can see the surface, you somehow know you won’t be able to reach it as you slowly suffocate.” Her voice was losing its steam, and those wretched tears were like a water faucet down her face. “Or try to imagine someone just took a bat and swung it full force into your gut, and no matter what you do, you can’t catch your breath—you can’t escape the pain.”

She paused, took in a deep breath. “Can you imagine that Logan? Can you imagine what it feels like knowing that you have given everything you have to another, only to find out that it wasn’t enough. Can you imagine what it feels like to find out that the person you have loved and have given your whole life to, loves someone else?” A small sob escaped her as her emotions just became too much to handle at that last thought. She immediately felt the support of a body when two arms hugged her from behind and a head rested on her shoulder. Allie. Allie knew she needed help, but didn’t want to stop her. Her best friend once again infused her with a small surge of energy allowing her to continue.

“Tell me, Logan. Can you tell me what it feels like for you to close your eyes and visualize me in the arms of another man.” He visually tensed. A nerve, people, we have hit a nerve! It was time to stop pulling the punches and go for the kill shot—to see if she could make him feel a fraction of what she felt with his betrayal. Lowering her voice, to an almost seductive whisper, she went for his balls, figuratively, of course. “Close your eyes, and imagine my naked body pressed up against another man. His naked body pressed against mine.”

Clearly this was getting the desired affect because Logan’s hands were clenching repeatedly, and he looked like he was reining in what control he currently had. Too bad she wasn’t done with her visual for him. “Can you see it, Logan? His hands against my skin—my body responding to his touch. His body inside mine, claiming a part of me that has only ever been yours, Logan. Imagine me calling out his name as he brings me over the edge of ecstasy and then takes his own pleasure … deep inside my body.”

Well, if flames could come from a man’s ears, they would certainly be shooting from Logan’s at the moment. His face was red, his jaw was clenched, and his hands were fisted at his side. Good! He should know how this feels!

“I don’t need to imagine that, Gillian, because it’s never going to happen. You. Are. Mine,” he practically growled. That was a shockingly bold statement coming from him. Funny, he was such a possessive man. It was always a turn on to her in the past, but now it just pissed her off. He knew what the stakes were, and he still risked what they had for that woman. He claimed that she was his, yet his actions clearly proved he was willing to risk it all.

Especially since the last time it was discovered that he was involved with Slutty McWhore, she had told him in no uncertain terms that this was it—he had used all of his chances. Three strikes, and he was out. There would be no forgiving him the next time, and their marriage would be over. It was overwhelming to think that this was probably it. Even though she had set the rules, and she knew she had to stick to them, she was expecting to have more time to come to terms with what was going to happen. She wanted more time to accept that even though Logan had been aware of the risk, he took it anyway.

Logan following her out into the driveway and declaring that he deserved a chance to defend himself was forcing her hand. That made it even more difficult for her to do. It made her want to waiver and postpone it, but she knew if she did, Logan would somehow prevail. But the bottom line was that she told him if he was involved with her again, she would end their marriage. And while he had yet to admit to being with her, he had avoided directly answering her questions about it. Well, if she was going to end her marriage, she had to be sure.

She had to ask; she had to find out whether or not Logan was involved with that woman again. Considering he hadn’t denied anything yet, she knew he probably was, but there was a tiny sliver of hope deep inside of her that prayed it wasn’t the case. Sure, it was possible that the woman lived here, in San Diego, and that Logan had no knowledge of it. It was do or die time, and she had to ask him specifics, and it looked as if she was going to be doing it front of their friends and family. She had to know if her marriage was over or not, because she certainly wasn’t going back on what she said. Trusting Logan had been hard after she had found out about his infidelity, and she knew without a doubt that if he had broken it again, there would be no repairing that trust again.

Taking a deep breath, she leveled her tone and asked, “Tell me, Logan, did you ever stop sleeping with her? Or have you been screwing her this whole time?” Logan’s eyes closed, and he looked as if he was trying to process something. She had her answer. There was no denying it with his response, but she really needed to hear it. “Tell me you didn’t forget, Logan. Tell me you didn’t forget that I told you, if you cheated on me again it was over!” With that, his eyes opened wide, and he reached for her.

Gripping her shoulders, eyes actually tearing, he pulled her close to him, and begged her, “Please Gillian, no, please don’t do this. I'm begging you, don’t do this.”

“Don’t do what, Logan? Don’t remind you that because you couldn’t control your dick, you effectively threw our marriage away.”

“No, Gillian, we can work this out. We are strong enough to do this … I know it.”

“No, Logan, we aren’t. Because I'm not strong enough.”

“You don’t mean that, baby. Of course you are. We can fix this.” He said the last of his statement with such determination; she almost wanted to believe him.

“There is nothing to fix anymore, Logan. You made your choice, and clearly, I’m not it. There is nothing to fix because you threw it away.”

“No, Gillian! That’s not true. I love you! It’s not too late …” he declared, and she saw a tear roll down his cheek as he continued to hold on to her.

“Do you love her?” she whispered to him. It broke her heart further to ask it, but she had to know.

“What?” He looked shocked by her question. But didn’t they say that when you answer a question with a question it was the person’s way of avoiding the answer? Maybe he really didn’t hear her? Well, fuck! Let’s ask again, shall we?

“Do. You. Love. Her.” she said with a level tone, emphasizing each word with a pause for good measure. She had to make sure he wasn’t gonna play coy with her.

“I love you Gillian.” Once again Logan managed to avoid answering her question. That can’t be a coincidence.

“It’s not enough anymore, Logan. I needed you to stand by your word—I needed to know that I was the only woman in your world just as you were the only man in mine.”

Logan took in a shocked breath before whispering to her, “Were?”

“Yes, Logan … were.” She paused, delaying the end of this because as much as she loved her husband, she knew she had to walk away. Laying her hands over Allie’s, which were still firmly around her mid-section, she looked over Logan’s shoulder and saw Jake, Jason, Morgan and Sean. Well, crap! Her brother looked none too happy at the moment. His wife had her arms wrapped around his body and looked like she was hugging him, when in fact, Gillian knew that Morgan was holding Sean back. Her gaze made its way back to Jake, and he gave her a weak smile, which warmed her a bit.

Her tears continued to stream down her face when she brought her gaze back to Logan, who stood there looking expectant. He was waiting for something from her, but he wasn’t going to get it. She knew she was a glutton for punishment because she needed to know one more thing, and honestly she needed another burst of anger to get her through this. One more thing was needed to prove she was strong enough to walk away. Unfortunately, he had yet to answer any of her questions so she was going to have to do this one with the help of the onlookers. This was where being a smartass came in handy.

“I’ll tell you what, Logan, even though I said there were no more chances left, and that our marriage was over if you cheated on me again, I will talk with you and see if we can save our marriage—try to fix it for us—if you can tell me one thing.” Now she was looking at him expectantly, waiting for his answer. She could tell that what she offered gave him some hope that she would actually do just that. She almost felt guilty about that because she was pretty sure she already knew the answer to her final question. But she just had to ask it. “Were you with her this week? When I was waiting for you at the store to get Dylan’s birthday presents, and you didn’t show up or call me—were you with her?”

That spark of hope she had seen in his eyes dimmed as he processed what she had asked. He knew there was nothing he could do or say to cover his tracks because she had figured it out. “I do believe you told me that you and Jason were in a meeting over some botched blueprints. Should I ask Jason about that?” she said with full confidence, because she knew Jason would tell her if she asked. But she wanted to actually hear something from his mouth that was the truth about what he had done. She heard Jason, behind Logan, grumble a few choice four-letter words confirming that there was no meeting. With Gillian’s final statement, the glimmer of hope in Logan’s eyes vanished completely as he realized that he had no choice but to answer truthfully.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Jake couldn’t believe his own ears. This was crazy. Logan and Gillian appeared to have the perfect relationship, or was he so blinded by his own envy that it was an illusion? Okay, he wasn’t seething with envy, but it did rest comfortably below the surface. He had always possessed deeper-than-friendship type feelings for Gillian, but felt that he had them completely under control. Or at least he did.

The anger coursing through Jake’s system was at peak levels as he watched this horrible scene unfold in front of all of them. It truly broke his heart to think that Gillian had gone through all this with Logan already, and he had no idea. She was such a strong person, but everyone deserved a friend to help them through a shit-storm like that. His desire to protect her from any more harm was almost unbearable.

Jake looked around him at everyone watching what was happening. Sean was barely restrained by his wife. Thank God for tiny pregnant women who can control their giant husbands with only a touch of their hand. Jason stood next to him and held a similar posture as Jake did—hands were fisted at his sides, jaw was clenched, a deep scowl across his face, and he was rocking from foot to foot like a caged lion ready to pounce. He wasn’t sure if his brother’s ready-to-pounce-stature was aimed at Logan for being a total douche bag, or if it was aimed at Sean in case he needed to restrain him when he finally went for Logan’s throat.

“… were you with her?” He heard Gillian ask Logan, and then he could hear Morgan trying to calm Sean some more.

“Relax tiger, she’s a big girl, and she’s doing just fine over there. Let her do this,” she was saying to her husband as she continued to gently rub his chest. Apparently a woman could sooth a beast by rubbing their chest. Interestingly, he recalled that that was exactly what Gillian did to his own chest in the backyard. He hadn’t realized that she had that kind of effect on him.

“Yes … I was with her,” Logan said in a shallow, emotionally spent voice of defeat, and hung his head forward. And then all hell broke loose.

Jake barely registered it when Gillian drew back her fisted arm and shot it forward into Logan’s face. Morgan released Sean and said, “Now you can help her.” He promptly lunged for Logan who was now trying to stand up straight from the hood of the car he fell back on when Gillian clocked him. Jason was following after Sean. Allie now had Gillian turned into her and was trying to console her loud sobs.

Jake turned to Morgan, “You doing okay with all this excitement?” he asked, while motioning toward her very pregnant belly with his hands.

“I'm great Jake; my husband didn’t just cheat on me,” she said with total sarcasm. “Help Allie get her out of here. She doesn’t need to see this, and I'm not about to jump in and stop my husband. Jason might be able to, but I'm not.”

Jake smiled at Morgan, then made his way around the three men who were arguing, not quite sure who was going after whom at the moment, but he could leave it up to them. He got to Allie and Gillian who were just off to the side and started to move them toward Gillian’s SUV where Allie had already stored her stuff. “Let’s get out of here girls,” he said, catching Gillian’s attention, causing her to turn around and throw her arms around his neck while she sobbed into his chest. Immediately wrapping his arms around her, he paused to try and soothe her. He felt about ten feet tall when she relaxed a bit. “Shh, I’ve got you Gillian. Shh,” he said to her while holding her with one arm and stroking down the length of her hair with the other, soothing her.

When she pulled back and looked up at him, his heart actually constricted in pain at the look on her face. “Why wasn’t I enough for him Jake? Why wasn’t I good enough?” she managed to choke out and then put her face back into his chest to sob some more.

He looked to Allie who stood there with tears rolling down her face, gritting her teeth. She was furious with her brother for sure. He motioned his head toward Gillian’s SUV and said, “You drive, Al. I’ll get her in the back.” With a nod of her head, she made her way to the driver’s side door. Jake bent forward and slipped his arm under Gillian’s knees and lifted, carrying her the rest of the way toward her car.

But when he tried to put her in the back of the car, she wouldn’t let go of him. Allie noticed and said, “Just get in with her, and put her on your lap.” So he did just that. He was slightly grateful that Allie suggested it because he didn’t want to let go of her just yet. Aside from all the shit that was going on at the moment, he couldn’t help but contain the feeling of rightness from having her in his arms.

He was struggling to put the seatbelt around the two of them as Allie put the vehicle in motion. As she backed it up and made the shift into drive, Jake looked out the window to the driveway and saw something that was one of the saddest things he had ever seen. There was Logan, on his knees in the middle of the driveway, with Sean and Jason standing just behind him, tears visible on his face as he watched the car drive away with his wife.

Jake looked down at Gillian in his arms and noticed that her sobbing had calmed down a bit. She may have actually passed out since her sobbing seemed awfully close to hyperventilating, but the noises she was making confirmed she was fine. He couldn’t believe that she thought she wasn’t enough. Logan was a moron, and a fool and any other stupid ass name he could come up with to describe a man who had something this perfect and didn’t cherish it. Stupid ass, that’s a perfect description!

As he stared down at her, he knew she was asleep because of her breathing pattern. He gently wiped the tears from her cheeks and then wiped them on his shirt, which was plenty wet with her tears, and he was pretty sure there was definitely snot this time. He smiled thinking of her comment about that earlier. The fact that she could make someone smile when she was experiencing such turmoil showed you what a great person she was to be around. She was a necessity in Jake’s life, and he didn’t know what he would do without her. He decided, then and there, that he was going to make sure that she never thought she wasn’t enough ever again.

He leaned forward and kissed her on the forehead, whispering, “You would be much more than ‘just enough’ for me Gillian.” When he pulled back to look down at her some more, he didn’t notice Allie watching him in the rearview mirror.