“We’ve met, yes,” I said stiffly.
She looked at my hand, noticed my wedding ring.
“Wow, you’re married?” She seemed shocked.
I smiled to myself, looking down at the diamond given to me by the love of my life, the woman I’d fought so long and hard to get and keep. The woman who’d married me and loved me and created a family with me. The woman who’d rubbed my feet every day while I was pregnant, who would wake up in the middle of the night and make whatever snack I was craving at the time, or go out and drive around in search of a fast food place that had the meal I wanted. The woman who had promised to love and protect me, and had been doing just that… even now.
I swallowed down the remnants of my drink, got up. “I am. Thanks for reminding me,” I said, and left the bar.
I climbed into bed in the dark, taking my time so I wouldn’t wake her. But as soon as I lay down, she stirred. She switched on her lamp and twisted around to look at me, wide awake.
We lay on our sides, facing each other now, heads rested on our arms.
“Hi,” she said.
“Where did you go?”
“I drove around for a little while, ended up in Strobe…”
She didn’t say anything, and I knew she wanted to react, to know what I’d gotten up to there, but she held it back.
“I had a club soda, then a woman from my past came over. And all I could think about was how much I love you, and how desperate I was to get back home to you.”
She reached out and stroked my face tenderly. “I’m glad you came home.”
“I don’t like that you did this behind my back. And I’m still mad at you.”
“I’m mad at myself. I messed up,” she said, continuing to stroke my cheek, her hands soft. I hoped she’d never stop. I needed her touch. “We can cancel, and we never have to talk about this again.”
I sighed. “No, you were right, I do want to meet my half-siblings. I guess I can stomach being in the same room as him for an hour.”
“Are you sure?”
She inched over and kissed me. “I love you,” she whispered against my lips. “When this is all over, and work has calmed down, let’s go away. Anywhere you like.”
A grin broke out across my face. “Malta,” I said without hesitation. We’d already done a European tour for our honeymoon, but we hadn’t had time to visit Malta.
“Malta?” She made a face. “But it’s so overrated! What about—”
I put a finger to her lips. “Malta. You said anywhere I like, and that’s where I wanna go.”
She let out a smoky laugh. “Fine. Malta it is.”
We smooched some more then went to sleep. Well, she slept, at least. I was too preoccupied with the thought of coming face to face with my father again.
7 thoughts on “Bliss: Chapter 2”
Wow. What a chapter – I’m still processing and will likely read again! Firstly, I love the theme of this. Woven with the forgiveness of self from the book with furthering that forgiveness with settling the demons of others.
I loved the therapist’s advice: “I hate to break it to you, but you’re the only person who would suffer, not him. You don’t really want that kind of thing hanging over you forever, do you? Eating away at you slowly.” A fantastic summary to Dakota in her quest for personal recovery and processing trauma of her past.
Naomi arranging that meeting without consulting Dakota also angered me, but I adored how they resolved it as a couple ❤️ I’m still hesitant on allowing the father to come around…but only time will tell! I hope Dakota doesn’t break anymore glasses even though it gave me a good laugh 😂
Thank you for (heavy) beautiful chapter!
Yeah, it was pretty heavy. Dakota is still carrying around so much pain from her childhood, and she needs to let go of it in order to move on. I don’t think someone with her personality can do that without confronting their father.
Thanks a bunch for your comment!
This was a very engaging chapter, holy crap! Every scene with Naomi is always my favorite. Something about the way you write just ‘how’ she looks at Dakota and always notices every little thing—no hiding for Dak from the too-good-to-be-true attentive wifey. Plus, I’ll never get over all those little acts of affections—arms around waist, lips to neck. I don’t know if I’m explaining well exactly what I admire here but you add these things to almost all your books and they really are just my favorite bits that keep me coming back.
The secret family meeting arrangement shocked me, that’s for sure! I would’ve freaked at Naomi too! But gosh darn it is just too hard to stay mad at that sweet cow… (‘to get to the udder side’ …by the way that joke from QoM will forever be with me whenever someone mentions cow. HA!)
Lastly, I’m beyond relieved Dakota went back home to Naomi. Thanks for that. Definitely looking forward to the next chapter, and all the future works to come! No pressure, of course. (Totally hoping for QoM insight one day. Still reeling all this time later for Wila’s departure…)
Never stop writing, you! You’re awesome 😀
Glad you found it engaging.
I, too, love writing Dakota and Naomi’s scenes. It’s funny you should mention the way Naomi looks at Dakota, because there’s a scene coming up when Dakota also notices it, and, let’s just say it doesn’t go down well…
OMG, I totally forgot about that joke! So silly, but those are the funniest ones, LOL.
I’m not sure which direction the muse will take me in, but I THINK The Queen of Miami sequel will be the next story I add on here.
Cheers for your comment.
lol. That’s the second time I seem to have stumbled onto your fiction plans. Always fun being on the same wavelength as someone!
I’m very excited to see this scene you mentioned! Thanks for the breadcrumb! I look forward to next update even more now.
And I’m glad to learn you appreciate puns! They’re my favorite of all the jokes! So, I will leave you with this one…
What does a fish say when it swims into a wall?
Yep. You are welcome 🙂
And let that muse blow you in any direction it wants. I’m familiar with all your worlds and look forward to every new piece of content you gift us!
Hahaha! I’m totally stealing that one!
Well…this was true to form when it comes to Dakota. I understand how hard it is to forgive a parent for the wrongs that they have done to you while you were impressionable and growing up. I had a similar up-bringing. It took me a while to forgive my mother for what she had done to me and all the abuse I suffered at her hands. That feeling gets engraved deep into the psyche. I was also born into the church, but fully took it on at 25 y/o and the time. And I am sorry to say that god stuff does nothing to quell the pain caused over the years. And a parent finding god and changing their lives does nothing for the horrific past they reared us in. I did in the end forgive my mother for what she did to me. And she is lucky of that, because when she got sick and had a stroke at a young age, I have been there for her caring and allowing her to live with me for years now.
So, I am ok if Dakota decides not to allow him access to her new family and into her life. Some things are just unforgivable and unforgettable. Him sitting around the dinner table as a loving father just burns me. Sure he is a great husband to his current wife and his “new” kids, but that does nothing to pull at my heart strings. I am glad Dakota was true to form and let him have it. Sometimes I wished she had done more, but for the sake of her own emotional and mental welfare, I am glad she didn’t. I am also glad that she is in a stable and very loving marriage to show her what love really is. I doubt that could have happened without Naomi entering her life. Thank goodness that Naomi had a good family and a great upbringing. She knows what love looks like, even with the challenges that comes with loving someone so hurt and broken like Dakota had been.
This is one of my favorite stories because of the abuse and the presence of the church. I left the church 20 years ago and never looked back. I hope this is something that Dakota does at well. The only difference between me and Dakota is that she found her Naomi. I am still waiting for mine.