Quick Authors Note: I'm pretty sure this is the last chapter to this novella. I enjoyed writing it just because I didn't feel any pressure to complete it. It was an easy going storyline and the characters were fun also. I was thinking of a sequel, but stand alone type deal with guest appearances. Another matchmaking, meddling team of Margaret and Robert, but who would be their victim???? LMAO...Anyway, I hope everyone enjoyed this story. I have some completed stories that I'll probably post, so be on the look out for them. As always, thanks for reading and reviewing...

Please Excuse any Errors...I'm still without my computer program I use for writing. I went over this twice, but I may have missed something.


15

The click of the door broke whatever resolve she'd tried to hold onto. She couldn't believe he'd not only confessed his feelings, but that he'd walked out the door afterwards. Alex couldn't stop the tears that began streaming down her face. What had she done? Did she just let the best thing in her life walk out on her because she was afraid he'd do it anyway?

Alex looked around her home and the silence was deafening suddenly. She'd sat in quiet for the better part of the day and now it was even quieter. Wrapping her arms around herself tightly, she looked at the door again. The prospect of never seeing Eric within the context that he'd been in her life the past few weeks seemed unfathomable. He'd come into it and kept coming back never giving up. He'd been in her face ever since, and she doubted they'd be able to avoid each other from now on. She couldn't do that, see him everyday and wonder what if she'd trusted him just a little bit more.

Alex knew she'd never get over this or forgive herself if she let him to walk out of her life without telling him she loved him too. He didn't think she did and Alex couldn't let him leave without him knowing the feeling was mutual. That she'd fallen in love with his charm, his persistance, and his personality. The charateristics that every woman wanted. He fit her perfectly, just as her Grandmother and Robert had known.

"Shit!" she moaned and wiped her tears. "Eric." Alex ran to the door hoping to catch him before he pulled off. When she pulled it open, it was only to find him standing there looking back at her. "Oh, thank you, Eric!" she breathed and grabbed him. Her tears absorbing on the lapel of his jacket as her shoulders shook with relief at seeing him. That he hadn't left.

Eric exhaled the breath he was holding when she opened the door. He didn't have the guts or the courage to do what he threatened. After closing the door, he'd stood there on her porch willing his feet to move, but to no avail. He tried talking some sense into himself, giving the pros and cons. Most of them were cons. But the pros won out. He loved her. He just loved her and would never be able to stay away from her. Eric knew he'd always come back. Alex would open the door and allow him entrance for a short while, then he'd leave to wonder when the addiction to this woman would stop. It would just be a rotating door, but he wouldn't have cared. He walked them inside the house shutting the door behind him and leaning on it. He pulled her face up and wiped her tears. Kissing her softly.

"I'm sorry." she whispered. "I'm so sorry." Alex swallowed and sniffed. "I didn't get a chance to tell you that I love you, too. I do." she said quickly. "I-I love you too, Eric. Not because you said it, either. You make me feel so special. I should be thanking you, not giving you such a hard time. I'm so sorry, Eric. Please, forgive me." she gave him a small smile and Eric looked into their watery depths, speechless.

Eric was surprised by her confession and opened his mouth as he looked at her. He didn't think she felt the same way. Wanted him, yes, but love him? With so much resistance, he didn't want to think she'd gotten that far with her feelings as he did.

"Don't go." Alex whispered. She lifted on her toes to kiss his chin. "Don't leave." she whispered against the smoothness of it. The scent of his cologne sent a shiver through her body. The coolness of his skin against her warm one as he rubbed his cheek against hers felt so comforting, she closed her eyes. Her body relaxed in his arms as he squeezed her tightly.

"Alex, I don't think I could even if I wanted to." he heard her let out a small laugh. Eric let her go and took off his coat. Grabbing her hand he led her to the living room and sat down with Alex beside him. Eric kissed her temple.

"It wasn't you this time, Eric, I swear." she looked at him before moving out of his arms just to get the invitation and handing it to him. Eric read it and blinked. He looked warily at Alex, whose face was stoic. He wasn't sure how to feel about this and how to feel about Alex being upset either.

"I don't know what to say, Alex. Do you still have feelings for him?" he asked, hating that he wanted to know. Alex shook her head.

"I don't know. I just know that it pissed me off that he moved on and I couldn't. I'm sorry, Eric, this isn't how I want to be. I love you, I want to be with you, but I was so scared to make a mistake and then go through this again."

"And I told you that I'm not him, Alex." he told her softly.

"I know... I know." she took a deep breath and let it out. There was nothing she could tell him to put his mind at ease besides telling him she loved him. Alex took the invitation back. "Here, let me get dressed, I'll hurry, Eric." she promised. Eric looked after her as she quickly ran to her room. He wiped his hands on his dress pants, wondering if love was supposed to be this hard.

Alex dressed and pinned her hair up quickly. She placed on her necklace and matching bracelet before coming down the stairs with her heels in hand. She stopped short when Eric stood hearing her footsteps. Eric gave her a slight grin of appreciation at the soft peach cowl-neck satin sheath. It flowed over her body like water where it stopped just at her ankles and the color against her skin was perfect.

"Is this okay? Not to dressy?" Alex asked, when he didn't say anything. She slipped on the satin and rhinestone studded sandals as Eric shook his head. Alex grabbed the matching clutch and a faux fur white wrap. "Well, come on. I don't want you to be late because of me." She headed for her door when Eric called to her.

"Alex?" he started and took her hand. Kissing the back of it, then her lips. "Accept his invitation." he kissed her cheek. "I don't want to start us off with any loose ends and I want to leave the past where it should be." Alex looked up at him and nodded. Eric gave her a soft smile and touched her cheek. The message in his eyes alone made her heart skip. Her future was with Eric and Alex knew he felt the same when it came to her.

xxxxx

Dinner at her grandmother's would be an event that Alex didn't want to bother thinking about at the moment. After she and Eric went to the party, which she'd enjoyed immensly, Eric didn't have to ask her twice to spend that weekend with him. They'd left the party, went back to her place where she packed an overnight bag and headed to his Condo. He'd planned the whole thing, which shouldn't have surprised Alex. Eric took her on another fishing expedition and it was much better than last time. Alex didn't want to think about how close she came to losing him. She still felt vulnerable and was very afraid of what lay ahead, but Eric was right. He wasn't Luc and she shouldn't put them both in the same category.

Alex parked on the side of her grandmother's car and headed up the walkway. She could smell the food wafting from the backyard as she neared the door and let herself in. The empty living room made her start. Usually she could hear her grandmother fussing at Jeff or Jeff calling her grandmother for something. It seemed unreasonably quiet. Alex headed toward the back of the house.

"Mama! Grandpa Jeff!" she called out. She heard the shuffle of feet above her head and went to the staircase. "Mama!" she cried, thinking something was wrong.

"Don't you come up here, Alex!" her grandmother screamed, sounding panicked and Alex swallowed stepping back. She walked out toward the back of the house to the kitchen. fifteen minutes later she saw her grandmother her clothes on backwards and her head a mess. Alex wrinkled her face and made vomiting noises.

"Shut up!"

"Ugh! So not what I wanted to envision, Mama!" Alex shook her head, then began laughing hysterically.

"I'm gonna kill you and feed you to the fishes." Margaret threatened and Alex laughed with her. "You're early, where is Eric?"

"Um..." Alex looked away then back to her.

"You did invite Eric??" she placed her hands on her hips.

"I forgot. We kind of had this falling out, then we made up, so I forgot." she shrugged.

"Okay, so call him." Margaret waved her hand in irritation. She was going to strangle her granddaughter and try to ressucitate her just to do it all over again. "And don't think I don't know that you and he haven't been seeing each other." she pointed to her. Alex eyes widened.

"I-I...Mama!!!" Margaret rolled her eyes and headed into the downstairs bathroom to fix herself up. Alex shoulders slumped, feeling more like a bereft child than an grown woman. She decided to refocuse the attention on her grandmother as she followed her. "I never thought that you and Grampa Jeff would still be getting it on. I mean, your what, seventy..." Margaret slammed the door in Alex's face before she could finish. Alex jumped and began giggling as she turned to dial Eric's number. He picked up on the second ring.

"Babe! What do I owe the pleasure." His smooth voice seemed deeper to her and she closed her eyes. Clearing her throat she walked back toward the kitchen.

"Mama, wanted me to invite you for dinner, but I forgot, with everything going on between us. Do you still want to come?"

"Of course. Dad and Mom won't mind if I skip this one. They'll be more. but only if you come next weekend with me." Alex grinned and pulled her bottom lip in her mouth.

"Hmm, meeting the parents is a big step, Eric."

"Oh please, you know my father."

"Not really, given the fact that I had no idea bout you."

"Yeah, well, still. I love you, they'll love you too. You have a head start with Dad anyway." He chuckled. Alex didn't want to be reminded of their matchmaking family members.

"Mmm okay. So, you'll be here soon?

"Yeah, Alex. Tell Margaret to keep my plate warm."

"Alright, drive safe." Eric gave her a kiss over the phone and Alex laughed. She hung up and turned to see her grandmother looking at her. "What?" Alex cried innocently. Jeff came down the staircase at that moment and blushed furiously before walking past them to the kitchen refridgerator.

"Jeff honey, we are having Eric over." Margaret looked at Alex with a smile. Alex sighed and turned back twoard the front room. She was never going to live this one down.

xxxxxxx

Robert looked at his son after he closed his cellular. He tried hard to hold in the grin that threatened to break free. He'd never thought that meddling in his son's life would be positive. He thought of Andrew, his oldest and wondered if he should start fiddling with his. He could always find a wonderful woman for his son, but knowing Andrew, he wouldn't be as complacent as Eric. He knew his youngest because they were close. Having Eric so late in life, he made extra time with him and the rest of the family. Now, he may get to see grandchildren from at least one of his children. He sat back in the leather office chair and stretched his arms above his head.

"So, I take it you won't be joining us for dinner tonight?" he raised an eyebrow. Eric eyed his father and smiled. "Ah, well, I can't complain. My job is done."

"Oh, don't think you and Margaret won't pay for this, Dad!" Eric pointed at him with phone in hand. He stood and slipped his jacket on. "You two got lucky this time."

"Yes, we did, but we know our children." he grinned. "But let me ask you, son, how far do you see yourself going with Alex?" he asked. Eric hadn't expected the question, but then again, hadn't he asked himself the same thing all weekend. The time they'd spent together, relaxed and without Alex's fear in the way, made it possible to see himself with her long term. A future that included both of them side by side. He couldn't lie on that count. With his other girlfriends, he'd never thought beyond the next date. With Alex, he was planning the next date, trips, and what they would do for holidays and so on. Eric looked at his father and grinned.

"Very far." he concluded and left closing the door quietly behind him. Robert looked at the wooden door and breathed out. He called up Morgan to thank him.

"My pleasure, Robert." Morgan chuckled. "She seems so much happier, I couldn't have thought of it myself."

"Well, I was thinking maybe we could do this again."

"Oh, no..." Morgan groaned, rolling his eyes.

"Well, you don't have a nice woman to go home to..and Margaret and I have to repay you for helping us out." he said thoughtfully.

"Robert, I'm hanging up.." Morgan began. Robert's laughter in his ear as he closed his own cellular and shook his head.

xxxxxxxx

Three weeks later...

"You look freakin' amazing, baby." Eric kissed Alex long and hard..

"You don't look to shabby yourself." Alex laughed. Eric waited for her to lock her door and escorted her to his car.

"Are you nervous." he asked when they'd gotten on the road.

"No." she said confidently. Alex wrapped her fingers through Eric's free hand that sat on the console. "You're with me. You can scare all the bad people away." she whispered. Eric grinned happily and squeezed her hand.

The past few weeks he and Alex had soldified their relationship. He'd watched her relax with each passing day. And every moment they spent together Eric felt more secure himself. Gaining Alex's trust was difficult in the beginning, but it was worth it in the end. Maybe that was why he couldn't stop coming back. He knew once she gave her heart, it would be forever. Although their jobs kept them busy, Eric made sure Alex took time off to spend with him. He didn't want all his hard work being pushed to the side. He also didn't want Alex to feel self-conscious about how she was behaving in the relationship. To not worry if she was doing the right things to keep him interested, Eric didn't think he could ever be uninterested in her. He got to see a side of her that made him want to thank Luc for giving her to him.

The church was filled with people from both sides. Alex recognized Luc's family members as they waved to her. Eric urged her to go on and say hello while he found a seat for them. When she came back to sit down, he leaned over and whispered in her ear.

"How did they take you? Surprised?" he asked curiously.

"Yes and almost like they wanted me to know that I let a good man go." she held back a snort. "Ah well, if this was to show me how much I was missing, then they will be sadly disappointed." Eric kissed her quickly on the lips grinning at her tough lawyer woman look.

"Very disappointed." The sound of music broke them apart and Eric turned forward to watch the procession.

Luc's debonair frame walked down the aisle and Alex watched as he looked around before his eyes landed on hers. She smiled happily, Eric with her. Alex watched as Luc glanced at her every now and then. Eric just wanted to laugh out loud. Such a obvious nasty act that backfired apparently. He was glad he convinced Alex to come.

The wedding was beautiful and the blushing bride, Alex thought, didn't deserve a man like Luc. She was a beautiful shade of toffee with brown and blonde hair that was pinned atop her head giving a graceful outline to her oval face. After the vows and introduction, the bride and groom walked hand in hand down the aisle. Luc looked at her on the way and Alex wondered if his wife was the one that gave him what he needed when they were together. Either way, Luc had never appreciated Alex for what she was and his selfishness was not her fault.

"Alex?" Eric's voice caught her attention. "Are we going to the reception?" he asked.

"Do you want to?" she grinned.

"Free food and a chance to dance with the most beautiful woman in the room. Of course." He stood and held out his arm for her to take. They garnered curious looks from others, but Alex was to impressed with Eric to care.

xxxxxx

"Alex." Luc's deep voice had found her at the champagne and dessert table. Alex quickly chewed the chocolate covered strawberry and swallowed.

"Luc!" she wiped her mouth with a napkin. His once smooth face was shadowed with a percision beard and his wide smile seemed almost genuine. "Beautiful wedding. Where is the bride?" she looked around. Alex surprised herself today. She had been worried honestly about Luc and how she'd feel, but she was over him and although he'd done a number on her self-esteem, Eric was right. It was life. Luc was her past and this would be the last time he'd cross her mind. Luc surprised by her cheerful attitude looked out toward the crowd of wedding guests.

"She's with her bridesmaids to get changed. Thanks for coming, by the way." he said.

"Thanks for inviting me. I wasn't sure it was appropiate, but I'm assuming the Missus agreed." Luc had a guilty look across his face at Alex's assumption. He quickly covered it up and nodded.

"So, I see you bought a date." he edged in. Alex nodded. She looked out toward the crowd to see Eric talking to two women that fawned all over him. A blonde and brunette. Both svelte in their beautiful dresses. Eric looked up at her and winked. Alex could only laugh at the spectacle. Luc grinned as he raised an eyebrow. "Looks like you have competition." he commented. Alex sipped her champagne thoughtfully.

"No, I don't." she stated confidently. "Their not his type." She said easilly and walked away to save her baby from the leeches

xxxxxxxx

Eric drove them toward a secluded area of a park after leaving the reception early. They'd spent most of the time dancing with one another and Alex found herself pretending she was the bride and Eric the groom. She tried hard to talk sense into herself, but she could only smile at the daydream. Eric shut off the engine and got out the car. He bent his head back. The sky was exceptionally clear and he could see every constellation in the dark sky.

"What are we doing here?" Alex asked as Eric helped her out. She didn't mind walking bare foot on he soft cool grass as Eric opened up the trunk of the car and grabbed something. She heard the clink of glasses and Eric threw her a blanket. Alex barely caught it, before he pointed toward the ground.

"Lay that down onto the grass please, sweetheart." he told her. Eric turned on the radio in his car, placing a CD in. Alex did as she was told, smiling at the romantic ambieance he was creating. He held up a bottle of champagne and the flutes before sitting down next to her.

"Okay, Eric. Are you trying to get me drunk?" she grinned. Eric shook his head.

"What for? I can have my way with you sober." he teased. Alex snorted and watched as he popped open the bottle and poured her a glass. Handing it to her he poured himself one. "The night is beautiful. The stars are out, and I'm with the woman I love. Some champagne, soft soul music about two people falling in love and making babies." he grinned. Alex laughed.

"Okay, I love that, but I'm already in love with you, and the baby making thing won't happen. Mama wouldn't appreciate no out of wedlock grandbabies. She'd really have my hide." Eric laughed openly, knowing it probably was true.

"Well, I apologize. All of our babies will be in wedlock." he grinned and kissed her quickly. His eyes softened as he looked at her and smiled. Eric pulled her close so that she leaned against him.

"Hmm, don't tease me, Eric." she said quietly. Her heart barely keeping a steady beat. Eric thinking that far in the future when she'd just been doing that not even an hour ago made her nervous. It was like he read her mind.

"You don't believe me, Alex?" he asked, sipping his champagne.

"Yes, I do. But..."

"Look in your glass, sweetheart." he urged. "I know it's cliche, but it seemed like a good idea." he chuckled. Alex looked in her glass and saw the huge diamond ring in the bottom.

"Eric!" she whispered. "Wh-what did you do? What are you..." she threw the liquid out onto the ground and picked up the ring. "Oh, my...oh...my..Eric." she cried. Eric took it from her and held out his hand for hers. He slid on the ring, it's jewels sparkeled beautifully in the moonlight.

"I know it's really soon, Alex, but we can have a long engagement if you want." he kissed her hand. Brushing the tears that slid down her face. "You put up a good fight, sweetheart. But I've always loved a challenge." he winked at her. "I love you, Alexandria Whitman." she laughed. "I want to marry you, either tomorrow or next year. It's not going to change, honey. You made me work to hard." he teased. "So, I figured I'd snatch you up now and keep you forever." Alex couldn't do anything but laugh outloud. He was handsome, sweet, and funny. Perfect.

"Eric..." she breathed. "I love you...I'd love to marry."

"Really?" he wrinkled his eyebrow. Alex began laughing. "No arguement, fighting...it's too soon!" he imitated her. Alex kissed him between her giggles.

"No, I don't think any woman would put up a fight when she has someone like you sitting beside her. But, um, does Mama know, though?" she asked in an afterthought.

"Uh, I don't know. If so, only Dad could have spilled the beans. I was talking to him about picking out a ring."

"Well, then, she knows." They both laughed. "It's beautiful, Eric." she looked at her finger, the two carat round diamond with two smaller diamonds on either side and baguets between each of them. It was littered with carats that had to cost him a fortune. She wrapped her arms around his shoulders, Eric sat his glass off to the side and laid her down on the blanket. He kissed her passionately, barely able to prevent making love to her right then and there.

"I think we need to take this back to the house." he said against her lips.

"Where's your sense of adventure, Eric?" He laughed, but was completely turned on at the same time.

"Oh, oh, the real Alex dares to show herself?" he cried playfully. He felt her legs wrap around his thighs as her hips rocked against his. Eric groaned at the heat she created inside him. His body quickly reacting to the enticing movements. "Oh, Alex, you are so bad.. I'm going to love being married to this Alex." She giggled in his ear, before they both lost themselves in each other.