Page 156 of The Dancer

“Let’s hope there’s never a next time, it takes a lot out of me. Did you mean all those things you said? That this weekend was your last hooray before we get married?”

“Yes! I decided that I didn’t want a bachelor party somewhere down the line because I don’t want you to ever worry that I might stray. And all my partying from now on will be done with you by my side.”

“You don’t have to do that. I know you have friends.”

“But those friends were part of my old life. The way we used to party isn’t nowhere near what you’d be able to accept.”

“I respect that and my friends are still going to be my friends, I just have to find a new way to hang with them that includes you.” And I’m sure like Tony they’ll all give me grief, but anything for her. Damn nut!

She scooted over and put her head on my shoulder, apologizing again. I was just happy that we were over that hump. I felt like I could breathe again, like my world had tilted and was now back on firm ground.

Back at the house everyone was waiting with a table full of food. Mom and aunt Jess had been busy. No one asked any questions, mom just gave me a questioning look which I answered by kissing my girl’s temple.

We sat around the table eating mash potatoes and steak with vegetables and fried chicken family style, and I say that tongue in cheek because the conversation got bloody.

Both mom and aunt Jess wanted to go after Arlene after the whole story came out. Sherrie nursed the baby and bitched that she’d driven all that way and didn’t get to lay hands on anyone, and Travis was way too quiet for my liking.

I got them all to calm the hell down with threats and browbeating because that’s what we do. Tony was on his phone the whole time which wasn’t good and I realized this is what the next sixty years of my life was gonna look like.

Chapter 40

By the time the place emptied of guests I was over the day. My well planned homecoming was shot to hell but it was all good. As long as she was here with me at the end of all that shit I could deal.

“So you’re good now?” I rubbed her shoulders as we headed into our room.

“Nope!” She waved her hand in my face and I remembered the ring.

“Where is it?” She pointed to the night stand. My heart started racing for some fucked up reason as I picked up the box and opened it. I closed it again and she freaked.

“What, you don’t want to give it to me anymore? I said I was sorry, it all just hit me out of nowhere and I didn’t have time to think. I’d just been sitting there thinking how great my life is now that you’re in it and then the picture came through and…”

She started hyperventilating. “Shh, come ‘ere. Of course I want to give it to you, but I wanted it to be special. I wanted to plan a whole thing.”

“Really? That’s nice but after the day we had I just want your ring on my finger. And I plan to make some changes myself. I’m going to try not to jump the gun, but like Sherrie said, you’re fine and I expect women to always be after you.”

“Hey, just remember whoever is after me, I only have eyes for you. If I’d wanted anyone else, I wouldn’t be here with you. And believe me when I tell you, I will never hurt you.” I pulled her into my chest for a much needed hug.

“Remember, I told you, I saw what that shit did to my mother, I will never do that shit to someone else. Besides, she’d have my balls if I even think of doing that skeazy shit. Add the fact that she’d be disappointed as hell if I turned into one of those assholes, and I never disappoint my mother.”

“Thanks Max. I’m going to try really hard to hold onto everything you’ve said and done in the future.”

“That’s all I ask. Now let’s go take a shower, I want to wash this damn day off me.”

Of course I nailed her in the shower. It was fast hard and hot, but it was nothing in comparison to what I did to her once I got her back to our bed.

Raw emotion hit me out of nowhere when I put her beneath me and slid into her heat. My hands trembled and I think my heart did a little bit of that as well when I thought of all I could’ve lost.

“I’m sorry that you were hurt because of me. Sorry that something that was supposed to be beautiful got fucked up, again, because of me.” She lifted her lips for a kiss and I felt the tremble in them.