By: Ashley Blake

“Are you saying that you are considering caving to family pressure?”

“Lauren, there are some things you just don’t understand. There is a long history between our families and there are several multi-million dollar deals at stake. Her family is extremely upset that this happened the way it did and they want the problem to be wrapped up in a nice, tidy red bow. In their minds that means a wedding. Her father has mentioned that a wedding is the right thing to do to keep the relationship between our two families running smoothly. He insinuated that he could look for another investment firm for our three pending deals if a wedding doesn’t take place.”

I thought about what he said and realized that he knew about this before he came here. He knew he was being pressured to marry someone else when he had sex with me. And now I was pissed.

“Wait a second Jake. Are you telling me you knew about this before you came here to see me and have sex with me? Are you really saying that you knew that Vivienne’s family was basically blackmailing you into marrying her when you came to fuck me??’

I was visibly angry and I could see the remorse written all over Jake’s face.

“That is such a crass word and it’s not like that between us. It’s not like that at all Lauren. I love you and you are the person that I want to be with, not Vivienne. But there is the issue of money, a lot of it. I just have to figure out what I am going to do. Please don’t abandon me, don’t abandon us. I will figure out the best thing to do for everyone, I promise.”

He was so sincere that my anger dissipated, but the sadness remained. I raked my fingers through my hair and then held my head in my hands.

“After all of this time, we still can’t be together. This is unbelievable.”

Jake gently lifted my chin with his finger. “I promise it will all be okay.”

It was hard to believe him and I wasn’t sure he even believed what he was saying.

This was all too much for me so I shoved it away and buried it behind a wall. I didn’t feel like facing anymore reality right then. I wanted to lighten the mood so that we could at least enjoy the small amount of time we still had together that weekend. “I’m starving. How does pizza sound?”

He looked relieved to have a bit of a reprieve from the heavy topic. “It sounds perfect.”

We ordered pizza, watched a movie on cable and just enjoyed each other’s company for the rest of the evening. As we were getting ready for bed, I asked him what time he was leaving the next day.

“I’m going to leave around 1:00. I thought it might be nice to go to brunch together. Do you have any place in particular you would like to go?”

“P.J. Clarke’s has an awesome Sunday brunch. That will be perfect.”

“Okay, then P.J. Clarke’s it is!”

We climbed into bed and I couldn’t get close enough to him as I snuggled into his arms. I want us to stay like this forever. Please, please, please figure something out so we can be together. I was trying not to let the sadness win, but Jake said, “I love you Lauren, sleep tight,” and the tears silently rolled down my cheeks as I drifted off to sleep.

The next morning we slept in and I awoke in Jake’s arms and he was still sleeping, his breath soft and even. I wanted to relish the moment so I didn’t move for a few minutes and I thought about the big decision he had ahead of him. What is going to happen to us? At that moment I wished I had a crystal ball so that I could see our future.

Jake started to stir and hugged me tight as he kissed me on my forehead. “Good morning beautiful. How did you sleep?”

“I slept really well and I think the fact that you are here had something to do with that. How did you sleep?”

“Like a baby next to you.”

My stomach growled and Jake raised an eyebrow at me.

“It sounds like someone is hungry. I am too, brunch sounds really good right now. Is the place you mentioned close by?”

“Yes, it’s literally around the corner and down the block.”

“Perfect. Let’s get ready so we can go eat.”

We enjoyed an incredible brunch together and all I could think was I wished we could be together like this all the time. I started to feel a knot in my stomach as we finished eating because I knew that meant that when we got back to my condo, Jake would be leaving. He must have seen the sadness on my face as we were waiting for our bill.

“What’s wrong sweetheart?”

“You’re leaving and I don’t know when I’ll see you again. And this situation with Vivienne…Jake it’s…”, I didn’t quite know how to tell him she was ruining our lives.

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