Monday, 4 May 2020



Season 3

Episode 23


I walked over to the bar and poured myself a shot of Jack. As I slammed it back, Connor stood there with Julia, staring at me.


“I don’t think it’s a good idea to be drinking when you took a pain pill,” he replied as he put Julia in her swing.

“It’s fine, Connor. One shot isn’t going to kill me.”

“No, but Ashlyn could’ve and you seem to think that’s okay.”

“I’m not listening to you anymore,” I said as I tore up the stairs.

“You never do anyway!” I heard him yell.

As I glanced at the time on my phone, I noticed that Peyton and Henry were going to be over soon. After I changed into more comfortable clothing, I went into the kitchen and took out a bottle of wine. I heard the elevator doors open and Connor greeting Peyton and Henry. When they walked into the kitchen, Henry walked over to me and gave me a light kiss.

“How’s your head?”

“It’s sore, but I’m okay.” I smiled.

I stood there thinking that at least someone cared. Peyton walked over to me and put her arm around me.

“Are you and sexy man still fighting?”

“Yes. God, I’m so mad at him for keeping that from me.”

“I understand, but don’t forget you kept something from him too.”

I rolled my eyes and then flinched at the pain from the stitches. I reached up in the cabinet, grabbed four dinner plates, and then Peyton finished setting up the rest of the table. As the four of us sat down and ate our dinner, Peyton took out the recorder she had earlier. First, she looked at me and then over at Connor.

“Do you want to hear this or not?” she asked him.

“No, actually I don’t,” he replied. “It doesn’t matter what’s on there. You shouldn’t have been there in the first place.”

“Fuck you, Connor,” I said as I got up and threw my plate in the sink and it broke.

“Way to go, Elle!” he exclaimed.

As I was on the verge of tears, the doorman rang and said that Lou was on his way up. I opened the door just as he stepped off the elevator in the hallway.

“Hi, Lou,” I said as he leaned over and kissed me on the cheek.

“Are you all right?” he asked.

We gathered into the living room and Connor poured everyone their drinks. Lou looked at me as he asked, “Can you tell me what happened today?”

“This is what happened today,” Peyton said as she pressed play on the recorder.

Connor handed Lou a drink and then sat down in the chair across from where I was sitting. He stared at me and he listened intently. He slowly closed his eyes when he heard Ashlyn say how she was going to destroy not only him, but me and Julia as well.

“Talk about fatal attraction. Right, Lou?” Peyton said.

When Lou finished listening to our horrific altercation, he looked at me and smiled. “That is one damn good confession and threat Ashlyn made. I’m taking that to her lawyer and then submitting it as evidence. If she isn’t advised to change her plea, then we’ll continue to press the charges of assault and battery and she’ll get added time for that. Ellery, I have a question for you and I need you to be completely honest with me. Did you physically attack her?”

“Hell, yeah, she did!” Peyton spoke up. “You should’ve seen her. She knocked her ass to the ground and then grabbed a hold of her face and wouldn’t let her go and told her she better never threaten her daughter again. Well, you heard it.”

Connor looked at me with an expression of shock. “Oh, please. I already punched her out once; did you honestly think I wouldn’t go after her when she threatened our daughter?” I said to him.

Lou sat there, nodding his head. “We’re just going to keep that information to ourselves. She doesn’t have a mark on her and you have stitches. So, once the judge and jury hear what she had to say, they won’t believe her anyway.”

He got up from the chair, and we walked him to the door.

“Thanks, Lou,” Connor said as they shook hands.

“No problem.” He smiled. “Take care of that head, Ellery. I’m asking for a postponement and this could all be over within a week.”

A feeling of relief flowed through me when I heard Lou say that. Peyton took Julia from her swing and walked over to me. “It’s almost over, sweetie. Henry and I are going to leave. He has to be at the hospital in a few hours. Go take a pain pill, down a couple shots of that shit you like, and you’ll sleep great.”

I smiled at her and took the baby as we said our goodbyes. Connor picked up the dirty glasses from the table and took them into the kitchen. He still didn’t say anything to me, even after hearing what Ashlyn had said. Taking Julia upstairs to change her, I couldn’t stop thinking about how hurt I was finding out that Connor knew Ashlyn was out of jail and how he was tracking my every move. A sick feeling emerged in my stomach as I laid Julia down in her crib. The only thing I wanted and needed was a hot bath.

As I started the bath, I poured a capful of bubbles under the stream of the hot water. Closing the bathroom door, I undressed, twisted up my hair, and lay back in the tub. If there was one person I needed the most right now, it was my mom. Tears started to fall down my face as the bullshit of the day settled inside me. I brought my knees up to my chest and wrapped my arms around my legs assistant I sobbed into them.

“Ellery,” I heard Connor whisper as he opened the door and walked in.

He climbed into the bathtub, behind me, fully dressed, and wrapped his arms around me.

“I’m so sorry, baby,” he began to cry. “I’m sorry for everything you’ve been through today. I just wanted to shield you from the scariness of the world. I wanted to protect you, Ellery. I need you to try and understand why I did what I did and why I behaved the way that I did. I love you so damn much.”

Bringing my arms to his, he loosened his grip around me and I turned around to face him. He tilted his head as he stared at me and tried to wipe away the mascara stains from under my eyes. Bringing my hand up to his face, I gently wiped away each tear that fell from his eyes.

“Look at you; your clothes are soaking wet.” I smiled softly.

“It doesn’t matter as long as I’m holding you.” He smiled as his hand softly swept across my cheek.

“Do you forgive me?” I asked.

“Of course I forgive you. Do you forgive me?”

“Yes, I love you way too much not to.”

I sat down at my easel to start my third painting. A peaceful feeling was restored throughout my body now that Ashlyn had been found guilty and sentenced to twenty-five years in prison with no possibility of parole. Connor was more relaxed, and so was I without the trial hanging over our heads. Julia was growing so fast, we could barely keep up with her. As the sunlight beamed through the windows, I decided to take advantage of the beautiful day and take Julia to Central Park. I grabbed my sketchpad and headed up to the penthouse. As I stepped off the elevator, I saw Mason and Julia in the living room.

“I’m giving you the afternoon off because I’m taking Julia to Central Park.”

“Oh goody, can I come?” Mason asked as he handed me the baby.

I felt bad telling him no, but I wanted to spend some time alone with my daughter.

“Aw, Mason. I’m sorry, but I really just want to spend some time alone with Julia. Considering all the shit that went on, I feel like a horrible mom that I haven’t spent as much time with her as I should.”

“I understand, Mama.” He smiled as he kissed me on the cheek.

“I do need you to do me a favor, though. I need you to go to the spa for me,” I said as I grabbed my purse and pulled out my wallet.

“What do you need from the spa?” he asked.

“I need you to get the works done: massage, manicure, and facial.”

“Are you serious?”

“Yes,” I said as I handed him some money. “Consider this a perk because you have done so much for Connor and me, and we appreciate it. I know it isn’t much, but it’s a start.”

“Are you kidding? It’s awesome. Thank you, doll face!” he said excitedly as he kissed me and headed towards the elevator.

As I smiled and kissed Julia on the nose, I desperately wished that Connor could join us in the park, but he had back-to-back meetings all day, plus a conference call. I put Julia in her stroller, packed her diaper bag, grabbed a blanket, my drawing pad, pencils, and bottled water. After I made sure I had everything I needed, I pushed the stroller onto the elevator and walked to Central Park.

The flowers in the Conservatory Garden were as beautiful as always. As I was pushing Julia, I looked ahead and noticed there was no one in my favorite spot. When I reached it, I spread out the blanket on the grass, kicked off my shoes, and took Julia from her stroller.

“This is my favorite place, Julia. I hope that it’ll be yours too someday.”

I laid her down on the blanket and took off her socks. She started kicking and moving her arms around while making the cutest cooing sounds. I opened up my drawing pad and began drawing the picture I had envisioned for my painting. Looking over at Julia, I started to sketch a field of flowers. A few moments later, I heard my phone ring. As I pulled it from my bag, I smiled when I saw it was Connor calling.

“Look; it’s your daddy,” I said as I showed Julia the phone. “Hello,” I answered.

“Hey, baby, I was thinking we could have lunch together.”

“That sounds nice. What time?”

“How about now? Turn around,” he said.

I turned around and watched as Connor walked towards me with a bag in his hand. Grinning from ear to ear, I hung up and set my phone down.

“How did you know I was here?”

Before sitting down on the blanket, he kicked off his shoes and took off his socks. “I talked to Mason. I tried to call you earlier and it went straight to voicemail, so I called him and asked him to put you on the phone, and he told that me you and Julia were here,” he said as he sat down and kissed me.

“I thought you had back-to-back meetings and a conference call today?”

Connor picked up Julia and started playing with her. “I did. I had a couple of meetings already, but when I found out that my wife and daughter were in Central Park, I wanted to spend the day with them, so I cancelled the rest of my meetings.”

“I’m so happy you’re here with us.” I smiled as I stroked his cheek. “What’s in the bag?”

“Open it and find out.”

I picked up the bag and looked inside. “Aw, you brought us hot dogs.”

“I know how much you love them here.” He smiled.

As I took the hot dogs from the bag, Connor put Julia in her stroller.

“There’s something I need to discuss with you,” he said.

“Okay. What’s up?”

“I don’t want you to be mad that I didn’t discuss this with you first because it just sort of happened suddenly.”

As I gave him a worried look, he smiled and cupped my chin in his hand. “Don’t worry, it’s nothing bad.”

I let out a sigh of relief as he began to tell me what he did. “I’ve invested in Vinnie’s art gallery in Chicago. I’m now his partner.”

“What?” I asked in confusion.

“His partner pulled out at the last minute and left him with a half-finished gallery and not enough funds to complete it and get it ready for the opening. He called me and asked if I would be interested in investing in the gallery and being his partner. I had my business attorney draw up the legal papers and he’s coming to the office tomorrow to sign them.”

As I sat there and stared at him, I needed to tell him something that I’d been thinking about for a while.

“Can I be totally honest with you about something?”

“Of course, baby. What is it?”

“I thought you already owned the art gallery and that you didn’t want to tell me.”

The look on his face was dumbfounded. “Why would you think that?”

“I don’t know. It’s just a feeling I had.”

“Well, you were wrong. I had nothing to do with that gallery until this morning. I can’t believe you would think that I wouldn’t tell you something like that.”

“Really?” I said as I cocked my head and pursed my lips.

“Right. Point taken,” he said while nodding his head.

After we ate our hot dogs and Julia had fallen asleep, Connor and I lay down on the blanket. I snuggled up against him as he put his arm around me, and we looked up at the sky.

“This is a perfect day,” he said as he kissed my head.

“Every day is perfect when we’re together.” I smiled.

“I’ll never forget the day I found you lying here, in the rain. You were so sick, and I was so scared. You broke my heart that day, baby.”

“How?” I whispered.

“By telling me you were lying here so that no one would know you were crying. You have no idea how that killed me inside to hear you say that.”

I lifted up my head and looked at him. “I’m sorry. My life was so different then. You saved me from myself.”

He looked down at me and his lips brushed against mine. “We saved each other.”

Even though I wanted to stay in this spot forever, our heartfelt moment was soon interrupted by Julia’s cry. We both smiled as we got up and Connor took her from the stroller.

“I think it’s time we head home,” I said as I started packing up.

“I think you’re right.”

After kissing Julia on both cheeks, Connor put her in the stroller and pulled out his phone.

“Who are you calling?” I asked.

“Denny. I’m telling him to come pick us up.”

“Tell Denny I said hi!” I smiled as I took the stroller and started walking.

“Ellery Rose Black! Come back here with that baby!” he said rather loudly.

I turned my head and looked at him with a big smile on my face. “Have fun in the limo by yourself, Mr. Black! My baby and I are walking home.”

Before long, Connor was right behind me. “You are so stubborn.”

“I know, and that’s one of the reasons why you love me.”

“Just one of a million, baby. Just one of a million,” he said as he put his arm around me.





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