December 17, 2011

Harts - Round 15

Aaron was cleaning the bathroom the next morning when the doorbell rang.  "Huh, I wonder who that is," he wondered aloud.

"Gwen! What are you doing here?!" he exclaimed.

Gwen looked extremely nervous.  "Well, I had so much fun with you at Three Lakes... and I was in the area... so I thought I'd drop by.  I know it's so rude to come by without giving you any notice... but... I was hoping you wouldn't mind!"

Aaron wasn't just surprised - he was excited!

"No! No! It's so nice to see you! Come in!"

Their time together in Three Lakes had been magical.  And their time together here in Paradise Valley was magical, too.

"Look! It's the first snow of the season!"

Gwen dropped to one knee.  "I know it's so forward. But, I've never met anyone like you before.  Will you marry me?"

Aaron said yes, of course.

Aaron couldn't have been happier.  He was engaged to a beautiful, vivacious, flirty, fun woman.  She was take-charge and no-nonsense!  Her goal in life was to be the top architect.

Things were going wonderful for Seth, as well.  He'd reached the top in the medical field. 

And he'd just found out his wife was pregnant with another child. He was hoping she would take some time off of work after this child and stay home with the children.
Diane had been stewing over her life for the past few months.  It was so grating to see everyone else fulfilling their lifelong dreams.  And really, it was her fault for not speaking up for herself.  When they first married, Seth said he'd support her no matter what she wanted to do - and she should've told him then... but... she was a teacher then and knew he thought that was responsible and mature.

But... what she really wanted to do was to explore the world.  To experience adventure!

She just needed to figure out how to tell Seth...

Seth came home whistling.  He'd had an incredibly good day at the office.  He was now head of the SCIA.  He couldn't wait to talk to Diane about staying home with the kids full-time!

"Levi, I really appreciate you looking at those drafts I gave you.  I'm hoping to show the boss tomorrow & really wanted to impress him.  You know, being new to town, I don't have the connections that most everyone else does..."

Levi smiled kindly.  "No problem. I'll be sure to put in a good word for you."

Aaron was glad that Gwen was making new friends.  But, he kind of wished that it wasn't Levi.  There were rumors around town.

Aaron pulled Gwen aside later that night after Levi left.  "You know, this is between us, but some people say that his wife left him because he tried to kill her."

Gwen gasped.  "No! Not Levi!"

Aaron shrugged. "I'm just telling you what I heard. I don't think you should see him again."

Gwen was incensed.  "That is a horrible & cruel rumor to spread Aaron! I thought you were better than that!"  Turning on her heel, she stalked to their bedroom and slammed the door.

Diane grunted when she woke in the middle of the night.  "Seth," she pushed on Seth's shoulder.  "I think it's time..."

Welcome to the world little Frankie Hart!

 "Levi, I just wanted you to know that I'd heard rumors about your wife.  I don't believe a word of it!"

Levi's shoulders slumped. "It's been so hard.  One minute we were happily married and the next minute, she was leaving me for someone else.  I haven't known what to tell the kids!"

Gwen touched his shoulders.  "It will all work out for the best.  You seem like an amazing Dad." Gwen blushed.

Levi paused and seemed to consider something, then sighed.  "Well, I guess it's time I get home.  It's been fun chatting with you about work.  I'll... I'll see you tomorrow."

Gwen didn't know what to say.  She could swear that Levi was checking her out.  And the thought sent a tingle down her spine.

Watching him walk away, Gwen had the sinking feeling that she was falling for Levi... bad...

Aaron watched as Levi walked away late that night after dropping off a bouquet of flowers on their front step.  Aaron knew he was up to no good.

The next morning Aaron brought the flowers to the table as Gwen was eating.  "Do you want to tell me something?" he asked.

Gwen was confused.  "About flowers?"

Aaron balled up his hands.  "They're from Levi." He watched Gwen's eyes light up from excitement and felt his heart squeeze.  "It's like that, then..." he said sadly.

Gwen covered her mouth and felt tears spring to her eyes. "I never meant it to happen! It doesn't mean I'd act on it... I love you too!"

Aaron shook his head.  "You can't love us both, Gwen.  And I don't want to live always wondering if what we have is anything close to what you think you could've had with him...   I just don't understand it. Why him?"

Gwen wiped her eyes. "I don't know.  It just... happened..."  Hanging her head, she said softly, "I guess I'll go pack my things..."

Gwen quickly packed and loaded her things into the taxi, trying hard not to break down into a puddle of tears.  Life was so confusing sometimes.  She'd come to Paradise Bay because Aaron had touched her heart... and somehow she'd wound up falling for someone else.

Aaron stood in the hall and watched Gwen leave, fighting back the urge to beg her to stay.  "God, I'm unlucky in love," he thought miserable.

Time went by and Aaron started to get back in the swing of things. He still had faith that things would work out right.  His true love was right around the corner... he was sure of it...

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