When I’m at the balcony, I can finally see everything clearly. There’s sand and palm trees and an ocean that stretches out as far as the eye can see. It’s utterly beautiful and looks like something out of one of my fantasies.
Standing there looking at paradise, everything comes crashing back to me. This isn’t the place of my dreams, it’s a lie from a thief.
“She refuses to eat. She won’t talk to me. Hell, she won’t even fucking look at me. But I don’t want to push her. Not yet.”
“She’ll get there. It won’t happen overnight, Sean. You’ll have to earn it from her.”
Sal’s words offer me comfort and remind me that I’ll have to fight for what I want. I reach out and hug him, needing his support.
When Dimitri first offered me the job, I set my plan into place. I knew that I would need a location that was isolated, and I knew Sal would have to come with me. Until Tessa, I’d never had any family besides him.
I bought the island in the South Pacific through a private sale.
Laura's father, a reclusive billionaire, had owned it. When he died, she didn't want the place, but she knew it could be of use. I’d never met her, but if Dimitri said she could be trusted, then I knew she could. Now that I know just how much he cares for her, I understand that she’s probably the most trustworthy person in the world. Especially after all he’s done.
The name of the island is Veilig. It means ‘safe’ in Dutch.
The island is only accessible by boat, but luckily it’s only a short ride to the mainland. Sal hired a couple of people willing to work and live here full time—a few who keep the grounds and a couple who maintain the inside of the home.
Two of the women he hired are certified midwives, so when the time comes, they can monitor Tessa while she’s pregnant. Seems you can get anything set up if you have the money.
When I told Sal my plan to live on Veilig and cut all ties, he was more than willing to agree. He’d spent his whole life digging snow in Chicago and trying to keep safe from street thugs. An isolated paradise was just what he was looking for.
My original plan didn’t include Tessa, but as soon as I saw her, things changed. My idea of a home changed. My modified plan didn’t include drugging her and bringing her here, but after what happened with Nick, I couldn’t risk it.
There won’t be any blowback from Nick—he’s not someone Heavy will miss—but I knew after Tessa recognized me she wouldn’t come with me here willingly, and I couldn’t risk it. I had Sal go by her place the morning of the robbery and pack up a few things, leaving a note and some cash for Harper. The note just said she was safe and wouldn't be coming back. I think the money I left for Harper will keep her quiet. At least for a little while.
Sal hopped on a plane to South America right after and took care of business, meeting us here later. We needed to travel separately, just in case. Neither of us is worried about the police. I’m not sure they’re working too hard on tracking down the killer of a local criminal with a rap sheet a mile long. And my hitting the alarm in the vault on the way out was my ace in the hole.
The cops arrived just in time to catch some of Heavy’s men, but the money still got away. So while Heavy has his money right now, I don’t think it will be for long. The two guys they picked up will sing like birds once they know what kind of sentence awaits them, and they’ll be the ones to blame when the cops come knocking on Heavy’s door.
The bank gets its money back, Heavy and his team go to jail, and I’m long gone. Not necessarily a free man, but I plan on spending the rest of my life living here with Tessa, so I’m not worried about what I am in the eyes of the law.
It’s been three days since she woke up, and it’s not getting any better. I thought maybe once she got some distance, she would start to change her mind. Start to see what happened and realize that it was for the best. That all that mattered was that we were together.
I tried explaining it to her while she sat on the balcony and looked out at the ocean, but she wouldn’t acknowledge anything I said. I’ve tried to give her space. Not having her touch is eating me up inside.
Feeling the ache deep in my soul, I long to hold her to me and make it all okay. I don’t want to force her, but I just can’t see any other way. She has to snap out of this fog she’s in, or I’m afraid she’ll be lost to me forever.
“I’m going to do some fishing today. Good luck, Sean.” With that, Sal is gone, leaving me alone.
I walk to the lower patio that looks over the sandy beach. It’s so beautiful here, but I feel like a part of me is dead inside. I need Tessa to come back to me. I need her light to make my darkness go away.
I didn’t think it was possible for someone to get inside you, and imprint themselves into your skin so quickly, but it happened.
There is no me without her, and I know that there is no her without me. These feelings I have aren’t one sided, and as much as she’s upset with me, I know it’s still in there.
I know that even if she never forgives me, I can love enough for the both of us. And while I’m strong, I’m still weak without her. I’m not even half a man without her in my arms.
Making up my mind, I turn from the patio and walk towards our bedroom. She may fight me, and she may even hate me after, but I’ll make her see. I’ll make her remember what we had and that I only did what I did because I love her.