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Bloom For You

Episode 25

I shook my head. “No, I ran away because I was tired of him dictating my life, just like he dictates everything else.” The tears were coming now and I could do nothing to stop them. “Back when he was still a big-shot lawyer, my mother was his secretary. She was beautiful and young and so full of dreams and she fell in love with a total bastard.” I choked out a bitter laugh, this was a tale that seemed as old as time. It was almost too cliché to seem real.

“Long story short, she got pregnant and he refused to acknowledge me as his own until she died when I was seven. He took one look at me on the day of her funeral, spit some garbage about how I looked so much like him and carted me off to his mansion in the hills.”

“From there it was all-girl’s boarding schools for most of the year and summers spent being carted around the south of France with Au Pairs, followed by my entrance to a well-known but not too prestigious university, and an internship at a small time law firm.” I was becoming increasingly angrier, almost unable to contain my contempt. “And of course the relationship with a well-to-do young man. All carefully planned and orchestrated by my father.”

Dex’s expression had gone from angry, to shocked, to confused in the span of a few seconds. “And you couldn’t tell him that you were unhappy?”

“He didn’t care.” My voice sounded desperate. “Christopher Reed doesn’t care about me or anyone else who dares to defy him.”

“So what about, Daniel? How did that happen?”

“I did what my father asked and met a man. Daniel is from a well-off family, one with connections and a bank account the size of a large country. We dated for a while and it didn’t work out. I broke up with him and the next thing I know, he’s kneeling down in front of me with a ring, talking about short engagements, and children, and moving to California to support my father’s reelection.”

I remembered the feeling I had when Daniel approached me that evening on my way home, the abject disgust I felt as he slipped the gaudy ring on my finger before I could get a word out. It had been the tipping point. The thought of spending my life standing at the side of Daniel Bennett, bearing his pompous little children, and forever being under my father’s thumb had me creating a half-cocked plan to move across the country and start a new life.

“I just couldn’t do it, Dex. Not anymore. So I left. I emptied my bank accounts, chose the sunniest place I could find, got my shitty little apartment and hauled ass.”

Dex stepped closer to me, softly touching me for the first time since he had confronted me about Daniel. His rough hands gripped my elbows, forcing me to uncross my arms and wrap myself around him. I breathed him in as he held me, his clean, musky scent comforting me endlessly. I was too tired to cry but somehow more at ease than I had been in a long time.

“So what now?” Dex’s voice rumbled and vibrated through me.

“What do you mean?”

“What are we going to do about this?”

I was confused. “There’s nothing to do, Dex. Now that you know everything we can just move on.”

“Rosie, sweetheart…” His voice was soft, like he was trying not to upset me. “We can’t just pick up where we left off like there’s nothing wrong here.”

“I don’t see why not. My father, Daniel, none of that matters.” I got my new start and now that Dex knew everything, I didn’t have to hide or be ashamed anymore, we were so close to everything finally being perfect.

“You can’t just expect your family to forget about you, baby.” He chuckled, his hand moving up to my smooth cheek, prompting me to look up into his gorgeous eyes. “I don’t care how much of an asshole your father is, there’s no way he’s just going to let his daughter disappear without a fight.”

He didn’t understand. Not fully anyway. Sure, my father never raised a hand against me but he never had to. His neglect, his lack of affection, his overall disdain for my presence in his perfect family was more than enough to screw me up.

Dex had an amazing family. A mother and father who loved and supported him, a beautiful unit of nuclear happiness, there was no way he could understand the messed up relationship I had with my father.

He was right about one thing, though. My father would come for me. Not due to any kind of fatherly concern or because he genuinely cared about my safety, but because he owned me. In his eyes I owed him for acknowledging me when he hadn’t had to and for giving me a life that most people coveted. The money, the education, the blessing of his family name. All of it came with a price. One that I had to pay with my obedience.

“I don’t want to talk about this anymore right now.” I wasn’t sure how to make Dex understand, but things were becoming overwhelming again.

Dex sighed as I gently moved out of his arms. “Fine, but you can’t ignore this forever, Rosie. Not anymore.”

I nodded, turning back to the now room temperature celery on the counter. “Fine.”

He moved up behind me, his large hands clasping my bare hips, pressing his lips against the back of my n

eck. “You don’t have to do it alone, baby. I’m here now. There’s no way I’m going to let anyone take you away from me.”



Two weeks after our fight and my subsequent gut spilling, Dex and I had barely broached the subject again. He tried countless times to prompt me into carrying on the discussion, but I always refused. Instead choosing to change the subject and push it from my mind.

Dex took my countless deflections gracefully, giving me constant reassurance that he was there to support me, telling me definitively that everything would be alright. I appreciated the sentiments but they did very little to comfort me.

I knew there would come a time when I would have to confront my past head on. When I would have to stop running and stand up to my father once and for all. There was no way I could continue on with my life, with or without Dex, in a constant state of worry. Something needed to be done, and soon. I wasn’t entirely sure what the outcome would be, whether I would fold to my father’s demands as I always had or come out stronger. Either way, it would have to wait. I wanted to hold on to my life here for as long as possible.


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