Never Too Far (Chapter 41)
The house was dark and silent when I unlocked the door and stepped inside. Would Blaire have turned out all the lights if she were here alone? I'd been so focused on getting home to her after talking with Nan that I hadn't let myself consider she could have left me. Would she have left me?
I turned and took the stairs two at a time. Once I hit the top step I started running. My heart was pounding in my chest. She couldn't be gone. I'd told her I loved her. I'd told her I was coming home. She had to be here. I had to tell her everything. I had to tell her things would be different. I had to tell her I remembered her mom. I remembered those Mickey Mouse pancakes. I had to tell her I was going to be the man she needed. I was going to be the best damn father the world had ever known.
I jerked the door open leading up to my room and darted up the steps needing to see her. God, let her be there. Please let her be there.
The bed was empty. No. NO! I scanned the room for her things. Something to tell me she hadn't left me. She couldn't have left me. I'd chase her down. I'd get on my knees and grovel. I'd be her damn shadow until she gave in and forgave me.
"Rush?" Her voice broke the silence and the pounding in my head and I spun around to see her sitting up on the sofa. Her hair was a tangled mess and her sleepy face was perfect.
"You're here." I fell down on my knees before her and dropped my head in her lap. She was here. She hadn't left me.
Her hands touched my head as she ran her hands through my hair. "Yes, I'm here," she replied in an unsure voice. I was scaring her but I just needed a minute to reassure myself she hadn't left me. I hadn't completely messed this up. I didn't want to be like her dad. The lost and empty man I'd seen yesterday wasn't someone I ever wanted to become. And I knew without Blaire I'd be just like that.
"Are you okay?" she asked.
I nodded but kept my head in her lap. She continued to try and soothe me by gently stroking my head. When I was sure I could talk to her without completely breaking down I lifted my head to look up at her.
"I love you." The way I said it was so fierce it almost sounded like I was swearing.
A small sad smile tugged at her lips. "I know and it's okay. I understand. I'm not going to make you choose. I just want you to be happy. You deserve to be happy. I've had a lot of time to think about it and I'm going to be fine. You don't have to worry about me. I'm strong. I can do this on my own."
I wasn't following what she was saying. What was she doing on her own? "What?" I asked, replaying her words back in my head.
"I talked to my dad today. I know everything. It's hard to comprehend but it all makes more sense now."
Abe had come here? He'd come and told her everything. She knew… but what she was saying still made no sense.
"Baby, maybe it's because I haven't slept much in the past eight days or because I'm so fucking relieved that you're here but I don't understand what you're trying to tell me."
A tear glistened in her eye and I jumped up and pulled her into my lap. I didn't want to make her cry. I thought this was a happy thing. She knew the truth that she'd always known, her mom was as pure and honest as she believed. I was home and I was ready to be everything she deserved in life. I'd die making her happy.
"I love you and because I love you I am letting you go. I want you to get out of life what you want. I don't want to be a chain around your leg."
"What did you just say?" I asked as the words 'letting me go' sank in. Like hell she was letting me go.
"You heard me, Rush. Don't make this harder than it is," she whispered.
I stared at her in disbelief. She really meant what she was saying. I'd left her here to think all kinds of things while I'd sat in the hospital with Nan. I should have called but I hadn't. Of course she was confused.
"Listen to me, Blaire. If you try to go anywhere I will chase you down. I will become your shadow. I won't let you out of my sight because I can't live without you. I made so many damn mistakes with you I don't even want to try and count them but I am going to start making things right from here on out. I swear to you that this won't happen again. I know now that this is where I'm supposed to be. No more lies. Just us."
She sniffled and buried her head in my shoulder. I pulled her tighter up against me. "I mean it. I need you. You can't leave me."
"But I don't fit. Your family hates me. I make your life difficult."
That's where she was wrong. "No. You're my family. My mother has never been my family. She has never even tried to be. My sister may not have completely come around but she did tell me to ask you if she was going to be able to be apart of her niece or nephews life. So she's getting there. And as for making my life difficult, you, Blaire Wynn, make my life complete."
Blaire's mouth covered mine as she grabbed fistfuls of my shirt. Her tongue slid into my mouth and I savored the taste of her. I'd missed her so much. How I could have thought for a minute I'd survive without this… without her, I don't know.