She sat there at the bottom of the steps leading up to the flat she shared with her older sister, her arms wrapped tightly about her as the tears ran down her face. He was engaged! Why didn’t he tell her last night when they were together?
“What’s the matter?” Caspian asked Denny, his younger brother when he walked into the drawing room and he noticed the troubled expression on his face.
“I just spoke to Pearl and she sounded like she was upset about something.”
Caspian stiffened. “You two are still in touch?” he asked tautly.
“I didn’t think you would still be in touch after the breakup.”
“We decided that we could still be friends.”
“So, there’s no chance of the two of you getting back together, is there?”
Denny shook his head. He studied his older brother. “You sound like you don’t fancy the idea of us getting back together,” he remarked. “Do you dislike Pearl that much?”
“Where did you get the idea that I dislike her?”
Denny shrugged. “It’s just how you react whenever I mention her.”
“You mentioned that she sounded upset,” Caspian said, changing the subject.
“Yes, she sounded very upset and told me she had to go and then hung up.”
“And you have no idea of what has upset her?”
Denny shook her head. “I can’t imagine what I said that would have upset her. We were talking and she sounded fine. She mentioned that her cousin Sharon was getting married next week Sunday and that she would be flying to Tampa on Sunday evening. She was all excited about being a bridesmaid for the first time. I teased her about meeting a guy at the wedding and she laughed. Then, I mentioned that you were engaged and it was shortly after that she told me to hang on. She went off the phone for a few minutes and when she came on again, she sounded upset. I hope she didn’t get bad news or the wedding didn’t get called off. I will call or stop by and see her later.”
Caspian rose abruptly from the chair and walked over to the fireplace. His back was turned to Denny. He knew exactly why Pearl was upset. Last night when they were together he should have told her that he was engaged but he just couldn’t bring himself to do it. She looked so happy. He didn’t want to ruin that or their evening. They were at his flat. He had invited her for dinner. Unknown to Denny, they had been seeing each other since the breakup. He hadn’t intended to get involved with his brother’s ex-girlfriend, a girl half his age, but his attraction for her was so strong that he couldn’t resist.
On the evening of the break-up, he went to see Pearl at the flat she shared with her sister. Her sister wasn’t there. She was in Tampa with her fiancé. So, Pearl and he were alone.
As soon as he went inside the flat and she closed the door, he asked, “Why did you break up with Denny?”
“I like him but as a friend.”
“So, it wasn’t because of another boy?”
She shook her head. “No.”
He ran his fingers through his hair as he expelled his breath. “You have no idea how relieved I am to hear that.”
She looked surprised. “You are?” she exclaimed. “Why?”
Muttering under his breath, he reached for her and pulled her against him, making her gasp. Her eyes widened when she stared up into his face and her lips parted not in protest but in acquiescence as he lowered his head to kiss her. The feel of her soft lips drove him mad and his moved hungrily, ravenously against them while his fingers dug into the small of her back, pressing her tightly against him so that she could feel how much he wanted her.
She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him back. For a long time, they stood there kissing wildly and then, she broke off the kiss and grabbing his hand, she took him to her room. As soon as they got there, they stripped and got under the sheets. She cried out in pain but it soon passed and she was clinging to him as he made love to her. When they were done, he made it clear that he wanted to be in a relationship with her. They had been seeing each other since then. And now, his relationship with her was in jeopardy because she knew about his engagement. He had to sort this out.
“Caspian!” Denny’s voice jolted him. When he turned to face him, he demanded, “Didn’t you hear me calling you?”
“Sorry, Denny. I was thinking about something.” He brushed past him.
“Where are you going?”
“I have some business to take care of. Tell Mother that I won’t be back for dinner.” And he was gone.
Pearl was curled up on the sofa with a box of tissues next to her while the television played. She was dressed in a pair of pajamas and her hair was pulled back in a ponytail. She had been crying all day. Her eyes were red and her nose was sore from the constant blowing. She must look like a mess but she didn’t care. Nothing mattered anymore. Caspian was getting married to someone else. She closed her eyes as fresh tears fell. They opened again when the doorbell rang.
At first, she didn’t move. Perhaps whoever it was would think no one was home and go away. But, when the bell rang insistently, she quickly wiped her face, got up and went to answer it. Her heart ached when she saw that it was Caspian.
Slowly she opened the door. He looked so handsome. She wanted to throw herself into his arms but then she remembered his fiancee. “What are you doing here?” she asked. “Shouldn’t you be with your fiancee?”
His expression grew pale. “May I come in?”
She was tempted to slam the door in his face but she moved aside for him to go in and then she closed the door. After locking it, she turned toward him. “What are you doing here?”
“I had to see you. Pearl, I’m sorry I didn’t tell you that I was engaged.”
“Didn’t you think I deserved the right to know that the man I’ve been sleeping with is engaged to someone else?”
“I wanted to tell you but I was afraid that you would end our relationship.”
“You’re right. I would have ended it. I can’t be with someone else’s fiance.”
“I’m sorry. I should have told you.”
“Well, you’ve said what you had to say. Now, I’d like you to go.”
“You’ve been crying. Pearl…” he reached out to touch her but she recoiled.
“I’ll go now but I’ll come again.”
“Go to your fiancee.” Her voice broke when she said the word, “fiancee”. She leaned against the door as the tears trickled down her cheeks.
He pulled her to him, his grip tightening as she tried to push him away. “I don’t have a fiancee, Pearl,” he muttered tightly. “That’s what I came to tell you. I broke off my engagement.”
“Because I love you. I want to be with you.”
“You’re not engaged anymore?”
“No! I’m not engaged anymore. I know that right now you’re angry and upset with me. I’ll understand if you don’t want to have anything more to do with me but I hope that you will find it in your heart to forgive me and give me a second chance.”
Blindly, she reached up and touched his face. “I love you, Caspian,” she whispered. “And I forgive you.”
Groaning, he turned his head and pressed his lips into her palm before lowering his head to kiss her.
I believe forgiveness is the best form of love in any relationship. It takes a strong person to say they’re sorry and an even stronger person to forgive – Yolanda Hadid