"I'm glad you like it here," Ray said, holding her hands. "I want to share it with you. I'd like you to think about having the wedding soon."
Lizzie balked. "I will, Ray. I promise...." Smiling up at him, she said coyly, "But right now there are a few other things that I want to think about!"
"Butler?" Lizzie asked, blinking. "You have a butler?!"
Ray laughed. "Of course! See you soon," he said, brushing a kiss on her forehead.
Ray frowned and glanced at his watch. "Actually, I have a meeting in just a few minutes. I'll be in after I finish up with that," he promised.
"Well, I'll be in the hot tub... maybe I'll put my swimsuit on," she teased. "I guess you'll just have to think about that the whole meeting!"
"I'd love to," Derek said smoothly.
"It's not like that, Derek," Lizzie argued. "I'm in love with him, something you don't know anything about! I bet I was just a part of your plan! You don't really love me!"
"We don't have an arrangement, Derek!"
"Come on, I just lost my most lucrative position. Surely you have it in your heart to hire me. Hire me and I won't say a word."
Lizzie thought about it. "We have a butler though!"
Derek shrugged. "Figure it out. Call me tomorrow and let me know."
"You little minx! I had the worst time going over the numbers with Sophia! She thought I was jacked in the head tonight!" he teased as he pulled her to him.
"Actually, I feel a little uncomfortable out here right now.." Lizzie hedged.
Ray reached out to pull her to him again. "Come on baby, we've done it out here a million times. It's well secluded."
Lizzie squirmed out of his arms. "Let's go inside, Ray. It's too cold, anyway."
Ray was a little confused, but no biggie... inside... outside... what did it matter to him?!
"I'm fine. Just let me eat my breakfast in peace."
"Right. Well let me know if you need anything. Alvin will get it for you."
Lizzie gulped. "Why yes, remember I spoke to you about that and we hired him."
Ray tried to remember the conversation. "I don't remember. I'm sure that Alvin can handle anything that needs to be done."
"Oh I'm sure, it's just... I just feel closer to my parents..." Lizzie lied. "We had him for so long, it's like having part of my home here."
Ray looked at her quizzically. "Well, if you're sure."
"I am," she said, grinding her teeth.
Derek waved his hand. "He doesn't suspect a thing! You're just being paranoid."
Lizzie heard a door opening and glanced up to see Alvin walking out. God, it wouldn't do to have him see her arguing with Derek. What a mess! she thought frantically. Speaking a little louder, she gave Derek a pointed look and said, "Well, don't be careless with the dusting again!"
Ray dropped the newspaper down and grinned at her. "Really?" he asked. "You're ready?"
Wordlessly, she nodded.
"Wonderful!" Ray said as he pulled her into his arms. "I must admit I was beginning to worry!"
"Well, you shouldn't have!" she told him, tacking on an "I love you" as an after fact.
Not to mention that soon she would bring his child!
His words seemed puzzling. "Access to the household goods.." she repeated. "Oh my God! You're stealing from him! You're going to get caught!"
"Only if you tell!" Derek threatened. "And if I get caught, I'll bring you down with me!"
"Even better," Derek said, "We'll get child support, too."
"Ha! That's rich!" Lizzie said. "Why would I want someone as low as you when I can have someone as important as him!"
She saw the anger flash in his eyes. "You'll regret that!" he said, jabbing his finger at her. "I'm going to make sure you regret that!"
With shaking hands, she punched in a number.
"I need to see you," she said, and gave her address.
"Give me 5 minutes," was the terse answer.
Sighing, she realized that she was feeling more calm & in control now. He would take care of everything!
Lizzie nodded sadly. "I'd had a horrible plan to marry Ray and then divorce him for alimony payments. But, I didn't!"
Ty nodded, shaking his head. "Wow, what a piece of work you are. Good thing I don't have money!"
"I'm not proud of myself," she said miserably. "It was all Derek's idea and I just somehow got wrapped up in it..." Lizzie couldn't seem to stop crying. Saying it all out loud made her sound like a horrible, horrible person!
"Are you sure?" she asked. "I just can't live like this... with this threat over my head all the time!"
"I'm positive. For him to come up with a scam like this, he must've done it before. I'll find out what we have on him and make him a better offer."
Lizzie looked at Ty confused. "A better offer than thousands of dollars?"
A ferrel smile lit up Ty's face. "A better offer than sitting in a jail cell, rotting."
"Oh God, Ty, thank you so much!" Lizzie said as she squeezed him tight.
"I wanted to personally let you know that your problem is taken care of."
"Completely," he assured her.
"Oh God! I don't know how to thank you!" she said softly.
Glancing at the door to Ray's office, her stomach plummeted. He couldn't know, could he?
Well, that answers that, she thought to herself. He knows.
"Numerous ones?!" Lizzie shouted, shooting a glare at Alvin. "That's ridiculous."
"But you freely admit you had an affair."
"It was just one time!" Lizzie blurted. "It was a mistake!"
Ray stood up. "One was enough!" Visibly restraining his temper, he added, "I'm sure you're aware of the terms of our prenuptial agreement."
Lizzie shifted in her seat uncomfortably. "Of course," she hedged.
"No!" Lizzie cried. "You can't take my baby!"
Ray crossed his arms. "You were the one that made the decision to disintegrate the family."
"How can you be so unfeeling?! So... so... hard?!" Lizzie sobbed. "I thought you loved me!"