Chapter Eight

As the rays of dawn began to filter through the window, Sabrina found herself embraced in a peace she hadn’t felt in many long years. At last, she began to drift to sleep, held in Giovanni’s protective embrace. He listened as her breathing become slow and steady and knew she had fallen asleep. He sighed as he thought about the past four hours and all the love they had shared. Then he thought of Andre and he frowned. He was not going to allow her to go back to him, but he didn’t know what he could do to keep her away.

Sabrina had always been a stubborn woman and when she made a commitment she stuck to it. She had agreed to marry the prat, and even though everyone knew she was miserable, she would be hard-pressed to call off the wedding. Somehow, he had to find a way to make Andre be the one to break off the engagement. But how?

As his eyes fluttered shut and sleep began to steal over him, he thought of those who loved her as much as he did. Maybe one of them would be able to help him devise an idea to drive a rift between the mismatched lovers and bring her back into his embrace, permanently. He had decided not to get her family involved, but after tonight, he needed help, and quickly. Maybe he would ask Sandra, after all.

“Do you remember that time we went to Orleans?” Giovanni asked as they sat eating brunch on deck later the next afternoon.

The ship had returned to Northampton a little after ten o’clock that morning and after a few hours’ sleep, the young lovers had awoken to an urgent heat building between them again.

“Which time?” Sabrina asked with a smile as she looked up from her plate of pastries and fruit.

“The time when we found that statue of Joan of Arc made from seashells.

“I do remember that. I loved that statue. I just wish we would have had the money to buy it.

“I’ve thought about that strange creation a lot over the past few years. I wonder if the artist is still making them.

“I don’t know,” Sabrina said, reaching for the orange juice. “She was pretty old when we met her, I can’t imagine she’s still alive.

“It wasn’t that long ago,” Giovanni said with a frown.

“Nine years. We were seniors in high school when we went there.

“I refuse to admit I’m that old,” he chuckled. “At least you’ve held your age. You don’t look a day over twenty.

“You should move seats,” she teased. “I think the sun is in your eyes.

“You’re just as beautiful as the day I first asked you out,” he said with a wicked grin.

Their conversation was cut short when the Captain stepped up on deck. He wore a pair of jeans and a pullover knit sweater rather than his trademark uniform and across his shoulder was a small black backpack.

“We will be going ashore unless you need us,” the man asked, his grey mustache curling in his mouth as his deep French accent held a cheerful tone.

“We’ll be fine,” Giovanni assured him as he stood to shake the man’s hand. “Thank you for the wonderful trip and the use of the ship.

“She needed a shakedown before the season starts,” he answered with a friendly smile. “I’m just happy Monsieur Ashford called to say you would be enjoying the cruise. It’s nice to have someone on board besides us.

“It was great, thank you. I hope to do it again soon.

“You’re always welcome, I’m sure. It’s been nice to see you both again. Good day,” Captain Shaw said as he nodded to Sabrina and turned around, leaving the lovers alone.

“What are your plans for today?” Giovanni asked as he returned to the table.

The carefree expression she had worn all day instantly vanished as she stared at her empty plate.

“I have to go home,” she said quietly. “I have a lot to do before my brother’s party next week.

“What are you going to do about Andre?” he asked gently.

“What do you mean?” Sabrina frowned across the table at the man who stared at her.

“Are you going to tell him about us?

She looked down at her plate again, her mind reeling as her heart felt like it was shattering into a million pieces. She didn’t want to think about her fiancée or the future, but she knew there would be no escaping her destiny. She had to return to France and the life she left behind.

Without a word she stood up and walked to the railing, looking out onto the River Nene. The sun was shining in the clear blue sky, not a cloud in sight and the fragrance of wildflowers blew around her on the gentle breeze, making her feel melancholy and alone.

“Do you regret what happened?” Giovanni asked as he stepped up behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist.

“No,” she answered honestly. “I know I should, but I don’t.

“You know how I feel,” he whispered next to her ear. “But you haven’t told me how you feel. If there was anything in this world we could do to change present circumstances, would you be able to love me again? Would you give me another chance to make things right for us?

Tears began to roll down Sabrina’s face as she thought about all she had thrown away. She thought about the future she once dreamt of and the one that now faced her, and she knew she would never be able to heal the pain ripping her heart to shreds.

“I have to go back,” she sobbed softly. “I made a promise.

“You made a promise to me before you ever met that guy,” he said, trying hard to keep his voice calm though his heart was screaming for justice. “You were my fiancée before my self-centered brother got in the way. I’ve loved you longer and deeper than any man ever could.

“Giovanni, please don’t make this harder than it has to be,” she said, turning around in his arms. “I can’t just walk away, as if he means nothing to me.

“And what about me?” he asked in an angry voice, pushing her from his embrace. “You won’t leave him for me, but you will forget everything we feel for each other. Can you forget last night, for a mistaken promise to the wrong man?

“He’s a good man,” she sobbed.

“He’s a tyrant with a Greater Than Thou attitude. He expects you to give up everything you want, just to be his wife. He’s a jerk and he doesn’t deserve you.

“I can’t do this,” she shouted as she pushed past him, running through the ship to the room they had shared the night before.

She fell to the made bed and began sobbing uncontrollably into the pillow, feeling her heart tearing from her chest. She was being torn in two. She loved Giovanni more than any man she had ever known. She knew she could no longer deny her heart, but she had a commitment to Andre.

How could life have taken such a horrible turn of events in such a short time? Why couldn’t Giovanni have stayed in her past and allowed her to move on without him? She didn’t love Andre, but she promised to marry him, and she couldn’t walk away from that. His mother was making plans for an elaborate wedding, and she couldn’t force them to face the shame of her defiance. They would be publicly and socially ruined, and for what? A woman who wanted to live a fantasy with a man she had cast out of her life so long ago.

Wiping her tears, she sat up and looked around the room. This yacht had always held joyful memories for her, until now. Now, all she would remember was one last night in the arms of a man she had no business being with. A man she would secretly love while taking vows with a man she openly resented.

Sabrina arrived back at New Hope’s French quarters. She nodded to the security behind the front desk, then moved down the passage to the office she had been using, only to find the doors locked. Marie had called the night before to tell her she was taking the day off. She had found Mr. Wonderful the night before at a local club and wasn’t eager to release her hold on him just yet.

Though there was a considerable amount of work still to do, this allowed Sabrina some time to collect her thoughts and composure before facing Andre. She returned to France three days ago and so far, had managed to bypass her fiancée with the excuse of work that kept them apart, but she knew it wouldn’t last for long. When she spoke with Andre before going to bed last night, he was very unhappy that she was avoiding him. They argued about Creighton’s company party and the promise to attend, not to mention his having to endure her family and all their kids for four days.

Andre’s mother was free this weekend, and like always, he expected Sabrina to drop everything to discuss Gwyn’s plans for their wedding. Sabrina refused the man’s insistence and assured him she was going to the party, with or without him. She had promised her family long before Andre’s mother rearranged her precious schedule, and that ensued in what proved to be another heated quarrel.

Twice, Sabrina came close to telling him the engagement was off but backed out each time. She almost told him of her weekend with Giovanni but backed out of that as well. The only thing she had managed to accomplish was making him understand she was not going to cancel her commitment to Creighton and her family.

Giovanni hadn’t attempted to contact her since she arrived home, and a part of her was happy he hadn’t. She knew she wasn’t strong enough to fight both him and Andre in one week. After they left the yacht, he drove her back to Yorkshire, collected his daughter, then left for his flat in London. They had barely spoken more than a few short words on the trip back to the farm, and none whatsoever after they arrived.

Fortunately for her, Sandra and Creighton had taken the kids to visit Cathy and Andrew in London. This allowed Sabrina the opportunity to have his pilot take her back to France, without undergoing her sister-in-law’s interrogation about the night before. As it was, she had to answer her parents’ questions, but thankfully, she was able to keep the conversation brief, using her departure as an excuse to escape the cross-examination.

Since coming back, however, Sabrina had not been lucky enough to avoid Sandra’s texts and emails. She had the distinct impression that the woman would have been thrilled to learn she slept with Giovanni and would, in fact, be equally excited to inform Andre. Neither of which she was emotionally ready to confront.

The phone began to ring as Sabrina sat down at her desk, cappuccino in hand, and a blank piece of paper in front of her. With a heavy sigh, she answered the sleek white phone on the desk and tried to put a smile in her voice.

“Sabrina, this is Dora Jordan,” the woman on the other end said. “I got that information you asked me for.

“That’s wonderful,” Sabrina answered, as she looked down at the blank piece of paper. “Can you email it to me?

“I already sent it. I hope your friend is able to find the woman. I spoke with the clerk at the delivery ward who remembered her, even after all these years. She said she was a nightmare, screaming like a banshee, even with an epidural.

“I suppose some women are like that.

“Not this bad,” she added. “She was screaming so loudly; her partner even left the room.

“Her partner?” Sabrina asked with a frown. “You mean the father? Do you know who he was?

“Not a he, a she. My friend said the baby was a result of insemination of some kind, and the woman who gave birth was the best choice for the pregnancy. I’m not sure how the other woman was able to handle her. I suppose it’s true, opposites do attract.

“I suppose. Thank you for the help, Dora,” Sabrina said as she opened her computer. “I’ll have your dress ready for you in a few weeks.

“So long as it’s ready by October. I really want my sister to turn green with envy when I show up in a Sabrina original.

“I don’t know about the envy part, but it will be an original.

Sabrina hung up the phone as she logged into her email and had just begun to read through the attachment the clerk had sent when the door to her office pushed open.

“I spoke with my mother,” Andre said as he walked in, not pausing to say hello or greet her as a prospective husband normally would. “She was not pleased with your refusal to meet this weekend, but fortunately she already has most of the plans finished. I told her you would make yourself available Monday, regardless of your family’s previous plans.

He sat down in the chair opposite her, after running his finger down the back to check for dust.

“I cannot understand why you are not making our wedding the most important item on your obvious long list of things you’re doing,” he continued.

“I am aware of how important the plans are, Andre, but I have previous commitments that have to be upheld first. Once things calm down, I’ll be able to devote more time to the arrangements and discuss your mother’s ideas with her.

“Oh, they are not ideas, My Dear,” he said in a voice that sounded much like he was scolding a child. “My mother has already hired the caterer and booked the country club for the reception. The wedding will be held at my family’s parish and we’ll be taking a two-month cruise around the world as a honeymoon. Once we’re back, you’ll be quitting this ridiculous job, and start supporting my career, as a proper wife is expected to do.

“I am not quitting my job,” Sabrina said in a stern, determined tone. “And I cannot take two months off. I have two more shows scheduled this year that I have to get ready for. As for my wedding, I will be making the arrangements, not your mother.

“You have obviously been working too hard,” he said in a bored tone. “It’s impossible to reason with you when you’re in this frame of mind.

“So, why don’t you leave and let me get back to work?” Sabrina answered.

She could feel her anger beginning to loosen her tongue, but before she could say more, the door opened again, and Marie came bouncing into the office. She called out to Sabrina as she pushed the door open, two lattes, and a bag of pastries in her hands and a cheerful edge to her voice.

“You are not going to believe what I heard,” she shouted as she came around the corner, not looking up from the stack of mail she had collected at the front desk. “That gorgeous guy that was here the other day, Giovanni Vigano - what a magnificent name - anyway he is spending nearly half a million euros on a flat in the same building as yours, and it’s rumored he’s found a woman he plans on marrying. I think if you played your cards right…” she paused when she saw the concerned look on her boss’ face, then noticed Andre watching her.

“What could she do if she played her cards right?” Andre asked in a bitter voice.

“She…could…design the wedding gown,” Marie said. “Any woman would love to have a Sabrina original. It would be great publicity.

“Do you have a connection with Giovanni Vigano, I should know about?” Andre asked with a suspicious expression.

“He’s your prospect, not mine,” Sabrina lied. “It was you who invited him to dinner, remember?

“What was he doing here then?

“He wanted to buy a dress from the show, for his sister,” Marie answered quickly.

Sabrina refused to look flustered as Andre examined her expression. Instead, she folded her arms and set back in her seat, locking her expression with his in a look that was almost challenging.

“So, did you give it to him?” he asked, causing Marie to cough violently from behind him.

“I don’t see how my professional life should have anything to do with you, and unlike you, I keep my clients private. If I started giving out names and information now, I might as well hang up my tape measure.

“Fine, I can see I’m not getting anywhere here,” Andre said in a disgruntled tone as he stood from his seat. “I certainly hope your attitude improves before you meet with Mother on Monday. I’ll call you later, perhaps we can get some supper.

He kissed her forehead before leaving the office, allowing Sabrina to glare at her assistant.

“That was romantic,” Marie grumbled as she sat the latte on her desk.

“Why did you come bursting in here like that?” Sabrina scolded. “You could have gotten me in a lot of trouble with Andre. Besides, I thought you were taking the day off?

“I was, but that was before I found out my dream-lover had a wife and kids. Anyway, you said nothing happened in England. You told me you just had supper with that gorgeous man. Was there something more you forgot to tell me?

Marie’s eyebrows shot up in interest as she stared at the soft blush on Sabrina’s face.

“Giovanni’s father is Creighton’s partner, but I don’t want Andre to know that,” she said, hoping to avoid the sorted details of her past relationship with the man - or her present one. “If he knew we were friends, he’d expect me to try and persuade Giovanni into giving him the photography contract. Besides, he still doesn’t know I lied about working last weekend. It will send him off the deep end if he knew I chose my family over discussing wedding plans with his mother.

“Sorry to almost let the cat out of the bag, but I don’t know why you won’t just tell him to mind his own business. If it were me, I’d be reliving old memories of passion with that incredible boyfriend of yours.

“Don’t be a wise arse,” Sabrina snapped. “Let’s get down to business. We have a lot to do before I go to NHT’s party on Friday.

The designs were once again pulled out as Sabrina closed her computer, promising herself to send the information on to Giovanni later that night. In the meantime, she had to work on the last design for the new show and then concentrate on the promised dress for Dora. All this had to be accomplished by the time she returned from NHT’s company party and before meeting with the great and powerful Gwyn Lewis-Marez. The matron of her future husband and his money.

The trip back to the flat that night was dark and dismal with storm clouds promising a heavy rain. Sabrina pulled her car into the underground parking near the lift and shut it off, drawing a deep breath of relief. She hated driving in bad weather, especially this late at night. The streets were deserted, and the travel was long and boring, but the parking garage was worse of all. It was dimly lit, cold, and very frightening. She could imagine people hiding behind every shadow in the place, ready to spring out at her at any given moment.

She took her portfolio tote with her newest designs out of the backseat of her Lexus and locked the door, then walked the few steps to the lift and pressed the up button. Once again, she had turned Andre down for a supper date. That made four nights in a row, not counting the weekend. The problem with that was it made the man suspicious and left her very hungry. She rode the lift to the top floor and stepped out, spying the vase of colorful carnations by her door.

With a reluctant sigh, she unlocked her door and took the vase inside, sniffing the blossoms. She set the flowers on the counter and locked the door before struggling out of her coat. It wasn’t common for her to find flowers on her doorstep, much less this late at night, and her favorite flower no less. There was only a handful of people in the world that knew she loved carnations, but she was certain she knew who they were from, so she chose to ignore the card. She hurried into her bedroom to change, jumping on one foot as she removed her shoe, then the other until she was barefoot on the soft carpet. A few minutes later, she shuffled her slipper clad feet back into the kitchen, opening the fridge to look for something to eat.

She had not gone shopping in nearly a month, and there was nothing in the fridge except a half bottle of wine, a block of moldy cheese and a can of whipped cream. Even the freezer was bare, except for a container of ice cubes. Her cupboards weren’t much better with only a box of saltines and a jar of peanut butter to fill the emptiness. At least she could combine these to make something to hold her over until morning.

Taking the items to the table, Sabrina opened her portfolio, removed her designs, and took out her pencil. She opened the box of crackers and dipped them unceremoniously into the jar of peanut butter, scooping some out on the end. It was far from filet mignon, but it was edible, and actually tasted pretty good. The clock above the mantle struck one and she glanced up, sighing heavily. Another long night, with the promise of a lot of work to keep her busy the next day, but at least she was going to be with her family again the day after tomorrow.

As she swallowed the fourth cracker, a soft knock sounded at her door, making her jump from her chair. It was far too late for visitors, including Andre, and the desk clerk hadn’t called to say there was anyone downstairs for her. Cautiously, she stepped into the kitchen and removed a rolling pin from the drawer before walking to the door.

“Who is it?” she asked as she leaned closer to the frame.

“It’s Giovanni,” the familiar voice said. “If it’s too late, I’ll come back.

Sabrina hesitantly opened the door, keeping the wooden object in her hand. She saw the tired-looking man standing on her doorstep, his eyes bloodshot and the collar of his shirt unbuttoned. He couldn’t help but smile when he saw her weapon of choice.

“I promise I won’t cause problems,” he told her with a warm smile. “Just please don’t roll me to death.

“Very funny,” she snapped and opened the door a bit wider. “Do you have any idea what time it is?

“Yes, but I saw the light under the door and hoped you’d be up. I wanted to talk to you. Just talk. Nothing else.

Sabrina stepped aside and let the man in, then closed the door and locked it again. She padded back to the table and gathered the crackers and peanut butter and took them into the kitchen.

“I’m on the top floor alone,” she clarified as she returned her dinner items to the cupboard. “I doubt you could see my light from the lobby.

“I wanted to talk to you and came up. If I hadn’t seen the light, I wouldn’t have stopped. Haven’t you eaten?” he asked with a frown when he saw her choice of supper.

“I didn’t have time,” she answered. “I’ve been busy all day and forgot to go to the store.

“Then let me order something for you,” he told her in a stern voice, making her feel guilty for not thinking of take-out for herself.

“I’m fine,” she lied.

“You have to eat, Sabrina.

“I said I’m fine. What did you want to talk about?

“What happened between us,” he said with a deep sigh as he sat down at the table.

Sabrina busied herself with closing her designs and moving them to the counter before sitting across from him, trying very hard to keep her emotions in check.

“I told you I don’t regret it, what more do you want?” she asked softly.

“But there may be consequences neither of us considered at the time,” he told her. “I may have made another mistake that could prove damaging for your chosen future.

“Like what?” she asked with a frown.

All she could think of was the rumor that he was buying a flat in the building, and that he was going to be very close to her from here on out. Not exactly the best start to married life with another man. That was, of course, if they continued to live there. Creighton may choose not to allow them to live there once they were married, or Andre may get his way and convince her to quit her job and move…who knew where. Perhaps to his tiny riverside flat?

“I have to ask you a personal question and I want an honest answer,” he continued, watching the confused expression pull her brows together. “Are you on any form of birth control?

“That is a very personal question,” she assured him, thinking back on the many conversations she had with Andre about starting on something before they were married.

The last thing he wanted was a pregnancy he hadn’t planned, and heaven forbid if an accident were to happen more than once.

“I know and I’m sorry, but it is something we need to consider, especially after last weekend.

“What do you mean…oh my God,” she gasped, her tired mind catching on to the path of the conversation. “Please tell me you used something,” she asked with wide eyes.

“I didn’t think about it at the time,” he admitted. “I was rather hoping you were still on the pill.

“I stopped them after we broke up,” she told him. “I didn’t have any reason to take them.

“So, Andre uses the contraception?

“We haven’t…I mean he doesn’t…we are waiting,” she said, stumbling over her words as she turned a brilliant shade of red.

“You haven’t slept with the man you’re going to marry?” he asked, feeling stunned that any man would be in a relationship with this woman and not be begging her to let him make love to her.

“No, we haven’t,” she snapped. “The fact that I decided to wait, is none of your business.

“You decided to wait? He hasn’t been as patient?

“That’s not what I meant. I don’t know why I’m discussing this with you.

“How many men have you slept with?” he asked with a frown.

“That’s none of your business,” she said again.

“It is, if I have to worry about diseases,” he said, thinking of any excuse to get his answers.

“I do not have diseases. You have to have sex to get anything, and the only man I’ve ever had sex with is you. Are you happy now? The same can’t be said for you though. How many horrible things have you gotten from that bar whore you married?

“None, thank God,” he said honestly. “I’ve been tested to make certain. But that doesn’t solve our problem. There’s a very strong chance you’re already pregnant from our night together. The many times we made love, only increases the chance.

“I hadn’t thought about that,” she said looking suddenly very pale.

“You better think about it. Call me old fashioned, but I won’t allow you to marry another man if you’re pregnant with my baby. I won’t have the likes of Andre Marez raising my child.

“I don’t know what to do,” she said in a hushed whisper.

“I do,” he told her. “Break it off with the guy and marry me instead. I can give you everything you’ve ever wanted, everything you once said you wanted. I won’t stand in the way of your career, or your family. You know I’m in love with you, and I think you feel the same about me. I promise to never give you cause to regret your decision and I will make you the happiest woman on earth. All I ask is the chance to prove it.

Sabrina looked stunned, shaken, and confused. She did love Giovanni, but she couldn’t just turn her back on Andre, not after all the plans he had made, all the people they had told. How was she supposed to explain the sudden change of mind? The sudden engagement to Giovanni, while she was still betrothed to Andre?

“I need time,” she said softly. “We don’t even know if anything happened from the other night.

“I don’t care if it did or not. I want to marry you because I love you. The fact that you could have my child inside you, only adds to the hasty decision you need to make.

“We don’t know if there’s anything to worry about or not.

“Sabrina, I won’t allow you to go through with marrying Marez. If you don’t tell him, I will.

“You wouldn’t dare?” she asked with a soft gasp.

“I would, and I will. I am not going to allow you to marry him when there’s more than a slight chance that you’ve conceived my child.

“I want you to leave,” she said suddenly, standing and walking to the door.

“Not until this is settled,” he told her, closing the door as she tried to open it.

“I need to think,” she whispered, as tears sprung to her eyes. “Please, leave me alone.

Giovanni drew a heavy sigh, running his hands through his dark hair. It took all the strength he possessed, not to take her in his arms and increase the chance of her becoming pregnant.

“Alright, but I will be back,” he said reluctantly. “I’ve been invited to Creighton’s party, and I will expect an answer before it’s over. I promise you, Sabrina, if you don’t tell Andre there’s a chance, you’re pregnant with my child, I will.

“What if I start my cycle? Will you still tell him about the other night?

“I’m not sure,” he answered honestly. “If it means getting you back, I will, but I don’t want to hurt you. I don’t want you to make a mistake that you will regret the rest of your life. Even if that mistake is with me.

Giovanni kissed her lips gently, sending waves of tingles traveling along her nerve endings. He opened the door quietly and stepped out, then glanced behind her to the flowers on the counter.

“I will never stop loving you,” he assured her as his eyes returned to her. “Never forget that.

Sabrina watched him walk slowly away and disappear into the elevator before she closed the door and locked it again, falling against it. Tears began to fill her eyes as she placed a hand across her abdomen and slid to the floor. She had the perfect escape plan, a way to get out of marrying Andre, but could she hurt him like that? Then she thought of Olivia’s mother. Was she as cold-hearted as that woman had been?

The dream of her youth came rushing into her mind and she began to sob silently. This was the way for her to have the man who loved her, the career she had worked so hard for. With Giovanni, she could have a family, children, passion. Her life could be the way she had always dreamt it would be. But what about Andre?

It should have been a simple decision. She didn’t love Andre, at least not as much as she loved Giovanni, but she did care for him… or did once upon a time. Then there was Giovanni. Was she ready to be an instant mother to his daughter? Could she give them both the love and attention they deserved? What if she did grow to regret her decision? Maybe she really was meant to be with Andre. If she realized her mistake after marrying Giovanni, would she have the strength to correct it?

The frustration and confusion of a very long week came crashing in on her and she slowly rose off the cold floor, wiping her tears away with the sleeve of her nightshirt. Slowly, she walked into her bedroom, shutting off the lights behind her and ignoring the work she still had to do. She closed the door and crawled between the cool sheets, feeling numb all over. Her head was pounding, and her stomach growled violently as she considered a possible tiny creature growing inside her.

Giovanni had done this to her. He brought this confusion into her life and set everything she thought she wanted spinning out of control. Just a week ago she knew what she was doing, she knew what she wanted and then he showed up like a ghost from her past, haunting her with words of love and promises of passion. He reminded her how things once were.

It was a beautiful memory and for a very brief moment, she was able to relive it. But that was all it was. A vision of something that had once been. She had moved past that point of her life and found a new existence for herself, a beginning with another man. She knew Andre loved her in his own strange way, but she wasn’t sure if that was enough anymore. She had been reacquainted with true passion. Was she able to give that up for a life of solidarity? A life that involved only the needs of her husband.

Chaos took over the fabric of her world and began to unravel it into useless tatters. Did she want to build a life with a man she may one day grow to love, or did she want to pull the old life out of the closet of her mind, and begin wearing it again like an old cloak? Was she strong enough to rebuild the past with a man she loved, the first man she ever loved? A man who secretly held her heart in his strong hands.

Or perhaps, there was a third path, one she hadn’t considered before, one that would give her the time she needed to find a life that would offer her time to heal, time to bind her world back together. Child or not, maybe what she needed was to be alone, to collect her dreams and sort them out for herself. Maybe what she was looking for was a way to decide for herself, without the confusion and frustration of being pulled in two different directions. Maybe it was time to find Sabrina and let the world see her as the woman she was, the woman she wanted to be. Strong, proud, and individual.

Maybe it was time for her to make the choice alone, once and for all.

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