My father stayed with me for a few hours. He talked to me about what adventures to England and China. He would joke about the natives in Brazil. He was an easy going man who was quick to smile and comfort me when I showed signs of distress. When I could actually talk, the conversation grew deep and long. Sometimes, he would keep me up all night long, talking about how South Korea, and I'd ask questions, that he almost always knew the answer to.
The last day I spent at the hospital, Sebastian and Stephen were carrying the bags down to the car. It was just me and my father. I looked at him, feeling the hurt in my eyes, "Did you think of us? Did you truly think of us in everything that you did?" He looked to me, his face suddenly looking aged.
"I thought of you every time I blinked. You and Stephen were my angels. I never thought for a minute that your mom would abuse you guys like she did me. If I would have known, you wouldn't be living with Sebastian. We would be in Florida." His sounded sincerely, so I closed my last little handbag and walked to him. "I love you, Ariel." He took me by the shoulders and looked into my face. "Just because it has been nearly twenty years since I lost saw you, doesn't mean I don't love you or your brother. I thought of you and missed you every day."
"I know." I said, "But I can't love a man I don't know." I walked away from him. "You can always visit and earn my trust." I tossed over my shoulder, tears falling. I heard him sigh and knew he was right behind me. We stood in the elevator quietly, waiting for it end. Just as we reached the ground floor, he pulled me into a tight bear hug.
"I almost lost you before I had you." He said, his voice thick. He released me and we got into separate cars. My father was going to follow us to Sebastian's and from there, who knows?
The sun kissed my skin as I walked the beach holding Sebastian's hand. He was almost a whole foot taller than me, but I didn't care. We were meant to be together. Being with him meant I wouldn't get to have children, but I was okay with that. We could adopt. He smiled down at me, and even with the over-sized shades, I squinted up at him from under my hand. "I love Florida." I said.
"Me too. I bought us a Condo down here. Teddi and Stephen are preping it right now." I grinned wickedly. "What?"
"Can you believe how this worked out? The two older brothers got the two younger sisters." He smiled, a slight smile. "What?"
"It's funny, that fate worked out like that." I nodded. "Zackariah called the other day. He said Catherina is looking for vengance. She followed him home when we weren't at our's. I guess she tore up his place pretty bad, and wants me to pay the damages. After all, I'm the one that took off to Florida." The sun was setting, so the weather began to prickle my skin, still being human and all. Sebastian grabbed me and hugged me tight. "Ariel, I love you." His finger traced my jaw-line before it was gone. In it's place was a flower. A simple lotus flower. He kissed my cheek.
"I love you too." I said. That's when he got down on his knee and pulled out a ring with dazzling diamonds. He touched my left hand and I gave it to him. The ring had a small lotus flower, like the one in my hair. His favorite flower, I guessed.
The question simple and not as romantic as I thought it would be. "Will you marry me?"
"What about Catherina?" What a stupid question! I yelled at myself.
"We'll deal with her together, if you say yes, we'll deal with everything together."
I looked at the ring, placed perfectly on my finger. I was seventeen, eascaped death twice, and was being asked to marry a vampire. What was I supposed to do? "We aren't having a lotus themed wedding." I said.
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