Six Years Later
Six years have passed since I married Blaise, totaling eleven years since Harry left our apartment and never came back. I now have three children, ages five and a half, three and one. My eldest, is named Adolina, meaning little noble, my middle is Orabella, meaning golden beautiful, and my youngest is Adone, meaning my lord. All are Italian names, as are everyone in Blaises family for centuries. I was fine with it, he let me pick the names so I was perfectly happy.
I didn’t work, I stayed home with our children. We live in a three story house in a “well bred” part of town, naturally. Our home also has a generous front and back yard, our back yard has a pool that has a gate around it to keep any wondering five and three year olds out without a parent. It’s painted white with dark blue trimming.
I didn’t usually have visitors arrive unannounced so I was surprised when I was playing with the children in the play room on the top floor when my wards pinged a visitor and the doorbell rang. I smiled at my kids.
“Lina, watch Bella and Addy, won’t you?” I asked as I got up. She nodded happily as she continued coloring and I chuckled, heading out the door. I stepped over the baby gate that kept the littlest ones in and headed down the stairs. Our front door was on our second floor, we lived on a hill. The bell rang again and I rolled my eyes,
“Coming!” I called and opened the door. “Yes? How can I-“ I lost all words when I saw who stood before me.
“Hello Shel.” He gave me his crooked grin but his eyes were uncertain.
“Har-what-how…you’re supposed to be dead.” I whispered, fighting the urge to burst into tears as my life crumbled around me. He grimaced.
“Supposed? I can see why you’d think that. I’m sorry, it’s really quite a long story…”
“Wh-what are you doing here?” I asked numbly. His eyes widened and his spirit seemed to fall.
“I promised you I’d come back to you if I could…I know you’re married love, and I know you have three kids. I’ve been debating for a few months on if I should even approach you…I couldn’t stay away Shelby. I’m sorry.” He looked away.
“Eleven years Harry. That’s how long it’s been.” He nodded guiltily.
“I know sweetheart. I didn’t mean for it to be that long, can I explain?” I looked at him.
“I-I don’t know…if that’s best. My husband…” I watched as he grimaced.
“He knows I’m here Shel, I already talked to him…he…he offered to come home but I…I told him we’d be alright on our own, that I just needed to talk to you.” I gazed at him appraisingly. I had no doubt my husband had wanted to come home and be with me, he was probably terrified of what Harrys return would mean for him, for him and our family. I understood that, I was wondering the same things. I nodded.
“Come on in, it’s time for lunch for the children anyway, are you hungry?” I asked. He shrugged lightly and walked in. “Shoes off.” I told him. He chuckled and bent to take off his shoes.
“Lina! Lina!” I called as I walked to the bottom of the steps.
“What mummy?!” she called back.
“Are you three ready for lunch?” excited yells of “Yes!” answered my question and I laughed. I looked over at Harry.
“The kitchen is through there.” I pointed at a door. “We’ll be in shortly.” I headed up the stairs and all three kids were waiting by the door. I smiled at then. I opened the baby gate. “Kids, we have a visitor, ok? An old friend of mine so can you please be on your best behavior?” I asked. They all nodded.
“We always are Mummy.” Lina replied. Bella and Addy nodded. I grinned at them.
“I know, I’m just making sure. I know you’ll like him.” I promised.
“Does he like kids mummy?” Bella asked and I nodded.
“Definitely. Now let’s get down there, yeah?” They nodded and the girls took off down the stairs. “Be careful!” I called. Addy tugged on my pants. I looked down at him. He looked up at me, with my golden hair but everything else was Blaise. He lifted his arms and I smiled, pulling him up into my arms and on my hip. The girls were much more sociable then Addy, Blaise and I both had no idea where he’d gotten it but we didn’t mind, it was nice not having to worry about at least one of your kids running off with a stranger. We headed down the stairs and as we neared the kitchen we could hear the girls and Harry already talking.
“So you have been friends a long time?” Lina questioned.
“Yes, we have. I’ve known your mum since I was eleven.”
“Mummy and Daddy grew up together.” Bella commented. I imagined Harry nodding.
“Yes, they did. Most purebloods do. I’m sure you two spend time with both Ron and Draco’s families.”
“You know Messers Weasly and Malfoy?” Lina again. I heard Harry chuckle.
“Oh yes. Mr. Weasly is one of my best friends. As for Mr. Malfoy…we’re probably close enough to be friends, at least we were before I…left.”
“If your Mummys best friend, why haven’t we met you before?” Lina asked.
“I left a long time before you were born pet.” He explained.
“Where?” Bella asked. I tensed.
“A lot of places.” He responded vaguely.
“Why?” she insisted.
“It’s kind of a long story darling.” Harry replied. I decided to save him from my pestering children and walked in.
“Girls, set the table, won’t you?” I asked. They nodded and headed off to do their job. “Sorry.” I said to Harry apologetically. He shrugged lightly and his eyes fell on the little boy in my arms.
“Hello there.” He smiled at Addy. He hid his face in my hair. I gave Harry another apologetic look.
“His name is Adone, and he’s one. He’s a bit, well, a lot shyer then the rest of the family.” Harry raised an eyebrow.
“Adone? Adolina? Orobella? Quite the names you have here love.” He teased. I laughed.
“They’re all Italian.” I explained. “Adolina means little noble, Orobella means golden beautiful, and Adone means my lord.” He whistled.
“Far cries from Chase, Lily, James and Jenny, no?” he murmured. I tensed again and turned to the fridge.
“Those were our names, weren’t they?” I murmured as I pulled open the fridge. “Girls, what do we want, hmm?”
“Mac n Cheese!” Addy looked up at me.
“What do you want Addy?”
“Uhm…” he said thoughtfully. I rolled my eyes.
“Mum! Chicken!” Lina insisted.
“No! I want Mac n Cheese!” I turned to them.
“How about I just make both?” I offered, they nodded.
“Mummy, we’re going to go play!” They headed for the door.
“Stay out of your fathers study!” I called as they disappeared out the door. I heard then laugh and sighed.
“A never ending battle?” Harry guessed. I nodded and made to let Addy down but he started protesting.
“Adone, please, mummy needs to cook, please let go.”
“No!” he cried clinging to me. I grimaced helplessly. That’s when Harry got up and came over, crouching beside me.
“Hello Adone.” He murmured soothingly and the little boy instantly quieted to gaze at this strange man. “My name is Harry, and I’m your friend.” He smiled at my son. “How about you let your mummy make lunch, you are hungry, no?” Addy nodded shyly but he didn’t release me. “That’s what I thought. If you let your mummy go I’d be honored to hold you instead, would you like that?” Addy hesitated before cautiously letting me go and nodding slightly. Harry grinned and held out his arms. Addy grinned shyly and all but through himself in Harrys arms. I was stunned and we both straightened and I smiled.
“Thank you Harry.” He shrugged.
“Happy to help Shel.” He smiled at me and I had to turn away, his smile pulled at feelings I don’t think I can handle just yet. I pulled out a pot and pan.
“So, how about that long story?” I asked casually as I placed the pan on the counter and placed the pot in the sink, filling it with water. He looked up from Addy, who settled happily against Harry, resting his head against his shoulder. He took a deep breath.
“Well, love…you know that Ron and I had been working on the Causer case…” I nodded as I turned off the water and set the pot on the stove, not looking at him. “Well, needless to say things went bad. Ron, Rogers and I were at this abandoned warehouse in the woods in Berlin. Ron and I were sure it was a trap, but you knew Erin, she wanted to rush in and save everyone, you know? Probably the only truly beneficial thing that came from the War for Ron and I was the ability to accept we couldn’t save everyone. Erin was young and reckless…” he sighed and looked out our sliding glass door. He stroked Addys hair absently. “She took off when she heard screaming, she got maybe ten meters before she got hit, naturally I took off after her, she was only nineteen Shel, she had so much life left…anyway, everything went to hell after that, I don’t remember much other then Ron screaming my name, a gas bomb and a bang. When I woke up I was in a room, chained to a wall, my wand and locater gone. I was alone, and it was deathly quiet.” He shivered and I glanced up at him, having taken the chicken out of the freezer and was thawing it in the sink with warm water. I had turned the stove on and grabbed two boxes of Mac N Cheese. He wore a troubled expression and Addy seemed to be falling asleep. “I’m not going to go into detail about what I went through that first week, because frankly, you don’t want to know and I don’t really to relive that right now. However, they did grant me one mercy, writing that letter to you. I begged them, not for my life but for the chance to say good bye to you.” He smiled sadly. “They weren’t going to but there was this one girl…she couldn’t have been more then eleven or twelve and she took pity on me. She let me write that letter, and kept it safe so you would get it. I hope it got to you on your birthday, yeah?” he glanced at me and I nodded.
“Yes Harry, I got it.” I murmured, reaching over and squeezing his arm gently before going back to the chicken.
“Good.” He said softly, his voice breaking. “You know, I meant every word I wrote but…but it killed me to tell you to move on, seeing you now, so happy…with your family, it’s hard. I can’t help thinking I should be your husband, they should be my kids and this should be our life.” He sighed heavily. I felt the tears fill my eyes and stared down at the chicken I was thawing.
“I waited Harry. Three years I refused to give up, to date even though Cait and Mione wanted me to, and then I put off getting married an additional two…I didn’t want to move on, but I needed to.” I whispered. I felt his eyes on me but couldn’t look up. I pulled the chicken out of the bag and stuck it on the pan.
“I know honey, I know. Ron told me. It took a lot to get Ron and Hermione to promise not to tell you I was back yet. I’ve been back a couple months now.” I nodded slightly.
“That explains the first week, what happened the rest of the time?”
“The night I wrote the letter they moved me, to the United States, Oregon…anyway, they kept me in that place for another year.” His face darkened. “I would’ve been better off if they had killed me that night. It would’ve been merciful. Anyway, they eventually got tired of me I guess, I never told them anything they wanted to know. They left me there to die. I laid there for who knows how long before someone found me, a muggle. I passed out. Later I found out I’d been there approximately four days before the muggle found me. I was nearly dead. He took me to the hospital and I spent the next four years in a coma. When I woke up I didn’t know where I was, I didn’t remember anything. The only thing I remembered was that my name was Harry. Everything else…the psychologist thought my brain was suppressing my past because so much horror happened in it.” He laughed and I turned to the pot. I poured the noodles in the boiling water and put the chicken in the oven. They’d take about the same amount of time. “If only she knew, right?” he sighed, “So I spent the next two years in a mental hospital before they decided I was well enough to go into the world. They gave me a new name, found me a place and a job. The muggle who found me, Adam, and his family were rich, they paid for all of that, I’ll have to go back and thank them, repay them for all they’ve done for me…I lived as a muggle for two and a half years before I remembered anything. And you know what triggered it? Draco, he was in the US for some sort of business conference and came into my store, I was working at a jewelry store, he was looking for something for Caitlin and their daughter…I can’t believe they have an eight year old daughter now, and Adam! Adam’s what, thirteen?” I nodded.
“And Jake.” I added, stirring the noodles. “You’ve never met him either, but he’s six, just a bit older then my Lina. They spend a lot of time together.” I smiled wryly. “But Lina insists she’s going to marry Adam.” I laughed, remembering that particular conversation.
“What?” Harry asked, stunned. “He’s more than twice her age!” he protested. I nodded, casting a smile over my shoulder at him.
“My thoughts exactly, still.” I shrugged. “Baise thinks Lina and Jake will end up together though. I told him that’s just fine as long as they do it on their own, I told him there will be no pureblood arrangements for my family! Cait agreed with me, of course, but that doesn’t keep those two from their conspiring.” I rolled my eyes and Harry laughed.
“No, I don’t suppose it would.” He mused as I pulled out a strainer and set it in the sink, pouring the noodles into it. I set the pot to the side and turned back to the stove, opening the oven and pulling out the chicken. I set that on top of the stove. I shut the oven and turned to the fridge, pulling out the butter and milk for the Mac N Cheese. I turned back to the sink and set the ingredients on the counter beside me before pouring the noodles back in the pot.
“So, what happened? After Draco walked in?” I asked, wanting to hear the rest of the story.
“Oh, well, he recognized me immediately. He demanded to know how long I’d been there, why I hadn’t come back, that I was supposed to be dead and that you would never forgive me.” He rolled his eyes slightly. “It was all a bit overwhelming, but he always managed to get a rise out of him. I told him he needed to shut up and calm the fuck down so I could explain myself. He was a bit surprised but merely crossed his arms and glared at me. I proceeded to explain my story to him as I helped him find what he was wanting for the girls. He’d been stunned of course, and then I started shooting questions at him. He told me we had a lot to talk about and asked to take me to dinner, so we could talk and I agreed. He explained everything to me, you, Blaise, the kids…he told me about Ron and Mione, as well as George and Luna and himself and Caitlin…it seems everyone’s families have grown…he told me about Hugo, Fred and Molly, he told me about Adam, Cassandra and Jake…he was actually rather sad when he told me about you, Adolona, Orobella and Adone…he said he was sorry, that if it hadn’t been for him and your friends pressuring you, you wouldn’t have married. I told him it was ok, that I had told you too, because I had thought I would die. I asked him if you were happy, and he didn’t really answer.” Harry frowned and looked at me intently. “Now I can see why. You don’t seem particularly unhappy but you don’t seem happy either, you seem…comfortable. I mean, I can tell you love your children but…” he shrugged slightly as he watched me mix the Mac N Cheese.
“I won’t lie to you Harry. I never got over your disappearance. I never accepted you were dead, I just…I just figured you weren’t coming back. It’s hard to explain. It was hard, marrying Blaise, but it was so much harder living alone, waiting, wondering. It killed me every time I went home to our apartment, I kept thinking that if I just stayed, eventually you’d walk through that front door…but you never did. I was tired of waiting, of crying every night, of being alone. I wanted a family, and so did Blaise. He understood me. You see, his wife died a year after you disappeared, we bonded over our losses, you know? No one else could understand like we do…I want you to know Harry, that I love my husband, but I was never, and never will be, in love with him. Only you.” I said quietly. I looked up and our eyes locked. His looked so pained.
“I’m sorry love, I never meant to put you through so much pain…I just…” he gazed into my eyes intently. “Are…are you still in love with me?” he whispered so quietly I barely heard him. I nodded slightly.
“Always Harry, always and forever.” His expression lit up, and so much love shined in his eyes. “But Harry, I have a family now, it’s not just about you and me anymore, there are others to consider.” His expression dimmed but he nodded. As if on cue the girls came back in.
“Mummy! We’re hungry!” Bella whined. I looked at them and smiled.
“Good, because it’s ready now.” I smiled and they grinned.
“Yay!” They ran over to the table and took their seats. I chuckled and grabbed a few plates. I put a piece of chicken as well as Mac N Cheese on two plates and cut up the chicken. I took the plates over to the kids. “Here.” I smiled at them as I set it down.
“thank you Mummy!” They said happily. I nodded.
“You’re welcome.” I replied and went back to the fridge. I grabbed a couple cups and filled them with pumpkin juice before taking it back to them. After they were settled I turned to Harry and my son. I walked over and shook Adone gently. “Wake up sweetie, it’s time to eat.” He blinked awake sleepily and smiled at me.
“Mummy?” I nodded and smiled back.
“It’s time to eat lunch honey. Then you can go back to sleep, ok?” he nodded and reached for me. I took him from Harry and took him over to his booster seat. I set him down and went and got him a bowl of Mac N Cheese and cut up chicken. I brought him a sippy cup of juice too and set it in front of him. I looked at Harry.
“How about you?” I asked, he smiled but it didn’t reach his eyes.
“You know I’ve never said no to food.” I laughed and nodded.
“True.” I dished he and I some and we joined the kids. It wasn’t long before the room was filled with happy chatter. The kids seemed to love Harry, and I watched with a soft smile as he talked to the girls and managed to help Adone at the same time. He’d be such a great Dad. I sighed quietly and looked away. What will happen now? We can be friends…can we? I wondered. He loves me, so much, and I will never love anyone more than him, so can we really? Can we be just friends? I don’t know, but I guess I’ll find out. I can’t give him up now that he’s back. I’ll figure this out.
After lunch I herded the kids upstairs and into their beds. It was nap time, and they all were tired, even Lina, who insists she’s big enough that she doesn’t need nap time. It didn’t take long to get them settled and I went back downstairs. Harry was sitting on our couch, a pile of photo albums on the table, he had found them. I sat beside him and saw that he was just sitting there, staring down at the ivory cover of my wedding album. I grimaced slightly and he looked up at me. There were so many emotions in his eyes I didn’t dare try to read them, I didn’t want to know. “You don’t have to look at that Harry.” He looked back at it.
“No, I’d like to.” He replied quietly and opened the album. The first picture was of Blaise and myself, six months before our wedding at our engagement party, that I didn’t know about. I had thought it was just a get together but Blaise had surprised everyone when he dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him. The pictures showed that. The first in the sequence was us sitting together, the next he was on his knee in front of me, the third him pulling out the box and me covering my mouth with my hands, the fourth was me nodding and him sliding the ring onto my finger, and the last was me throwing my arms around his neck. Across the top in silver The Proposal was written. All the spreads were titled in the same font. The next page was more pictures from the party, and it was titled the engagement party. This spread lasted a few pages. After that were the spreads for our bachelor and bachelorette parties. Getting Ready came after that and there were pictures of both the boys and us getting ready for the wedding. Next came The Ceremony and Harry gazed intently at the picture of me coming down the aisle. I was smiling but I was surprised when I saw the smile didn’t reach my eyes. I was startled, I’d never noticed that before.
“You looked beautiful love, except…” his fingers brushed over my eyes. “You’re sad. You didn’t want to marry him, did you?” he murmured. I paused for a long moment then shook my head slightly.
“I needed to.” I replied quietly. He looked back at the pictures and we continued to go through them. We got to the spread titled The Bridal Party. He smiled when he saw our friends, all beaming.
“They were so happy for you.” I nodded.
“They just wanted me to be happy and…to move on. They worried for me a great deal. They knew I was miserable alone, but with Blaise…he made it much easier to bear.” I smiled softly and brushed my fingers over the picture of Blaise and I. “He’s a good man Harry, he saved me.” I said honestly. “I’m not sure how much longer I would’ve survived if not for his quiet strength. Blaise is a firm, steady man. He’s emotional but doesn’t show it much. He’s stern, but loving. The children look up to him. I look up to him. This family means everything to him. This is why I don’t know what will happen. I think…I think we should try to be friends, you and I Harry. See if we can do it and not complicate everything. I don’t want to hurt him, you can’t ask me to leave him, to break up my family.” He was quiet and I looked up at him. “Harry?” I saw tears in his eyes and he nodded slowly, looking into my own.
“I won’t.” he whispered. “I won’t do that. We can try love, try and be friends but I don’t know if I’ll be able to live with that.” He whispered, his voice breaking. I nodded.
“That’s all I’m asking, because honestly, I don’t know if I can either.” I closed the wedding album and grabbed a different one, my baby book. “This one has pictures of all the kids, mine, the Malfoy’s, the Weaslys.” I grinned, opening it. The first picture was one of all the kids. Adam stood with his arms crossed, his dark auburn hair falling in his face but you could still see his glowing gray eyes, a smirk firmly in place on his face. Next to him stood Rose, her fiery red hair contained in two tight braids, she had a hand on her hip and was rolling her big cinnamon brown eyes. Dominique stood with them, her hair was the Weasly red and she wore it short. Her green eyes were amused, if not a bit annoyed. Teddy and Victoire stood next to them, Teddy’s arm slung loosely over her shoulders. His hair was green, his natual soft honey colored eyes shined as he grinned. Victoire stood with her arms wrapped around Teddy’s middle. Her pale blonde hair, inherited from her mother, fell in soft waves and her light green eyes were bright with love. In front of the quartet stood Louis, Cass, Molly and Fred. Cass stood between the twins with a wide, bright smile. Her pale blonde hair fell in curls, framing her face and her bangs fell just in her gold eyes. Fred and Molly both had strawberry blonde hair, Fred had his dads brown eyes and Molly had her mother’s bright electric, blue. Fred wore his hair in a short ponytail while his sister had her hair up in pigtails. Louis stood next to Molly, his hair was blonde and he wore it in a short ponytail like his best friend Fred, and his dad. His eyes were his mothers soft baby blue and he was grinning happily. Sitting on the ground in front of them were Lina, with her black hair and sapphire eyes and Jake, the spitting image of Draco, it was kinda funny, seeing a female Blaise beside a mini Draco, with Hugo and Bella next. Hugo had a head full of crazy brown hair and soft blue eyes, he had a shy smile on his face, Bella’s golden blonde hair was in a messy bun and her sapphire eyes shined as she laughed. Adone sat at the very front, between Hugo and Bella, his straight blonde hair neat and his softer, but still very dark, blue eyes watched the camera curiously. All my children had their father’s eyes. “This is the most recent picture of all of them, taken a couple months ago.” I murmured, then pointed to the surrounding photos, all individual baby pictures. They came in order, Teddy, Vitoire, Adam, Dominique, Rose, Louis, Cass, the Twins, Jake, Lina, Hugo, Bella and Adone. Victoire is 15, a year younger then Teddy, who’s 16, Adam, Dominique and Rose are all 13, Adam born a month before Dominique and seven weeks before Rose. Louis, Cass and the twins are all ten, Louis born in December, Cass in February and the twins in April. Jake is six, born in August, and Lina in March. Hugo and Bella were both born in September, eleven days apart, they are three. Adone is the youngest, born in July and is only 14 months old. I explained all this to Harry, though he knew the oldest ones. Anyone over eleven. He whistled.
“So many children.” He mused. I nodded.
“Yes, there are quite a few.” I agreed, laughing. “Ginny and Neville have three girls too.” I told him. “Ages nine, seven and five. Mary, Anna and Leslie. They aren’t on this page because they moved to Australia for Nev’s work, oh, about a year after you disappeared. I have pictures of them on other pages though.” I promised. We spent the next few hours going through those pictures. The kids woke up after about an hour and were happy to play in the play room while Harry and I talked. I had lost track of time and was laughing at something Harry said when my front door opened and Blaise walked in. He raised an eyebrow at me.
“I’m sorry I missed the joke.” He teased. I blushed lightly, giggling.
“Blaise!” I gasped. “You’re home early, what time is it?” he shook his head.
“I’m not actually, it’s seven.” My eyes widened and I jumped up.
“Oh, no. I’m sorry dear, I lost track of time.” I walked toward him. He smiled wryly.
“I thought you might, which is why I ordered pizza before I left work.” I beamed.
“Thank you, I really am-“
“DADDY!” came the excited cries of my kids as they came running down the stairs. Blaise grinned as he faced the stairs and a very excited Bella threw herself into her Dad’s waiting arms.
“Hello, beautiful. Did you have a good day?” Lina was helping Addy down the stairs more slowly but still excitedly.
“Yes Daddy.” She said sweetly. “We played and napped and ate and made a new friend. Aren’t you proud Daddy?” he laughed.
“A new friend you say?”
“Yes Papa.” Lina said, finally reaching the bottom of the stairs. Adone came and reached his arms out to me as Lina went over to Blaise. I pulled him up into my arms. “Have you met Harry Papa? He’s very nice, and funny, and Addy really likes him.” Blaise pulled Lina up on his other him.
“Hello princess.” He said with a smile at her. “And I have met Harry, surely he told you we all went to school with each other?” Harry came and stood next to me somewhat awkwardly.
“He said he’s known Mum since he was eleven.” She repeated. “But he didn’t tell us that.” Blaise looked at Harry and smiled at him, though his eyes were somewhat guarded as they passed between us. I held Addy closer.
“Probably because he started school with us at eleven.” Blaise explained patiently.
“Yeah, I just, you know, made the mental connection but I guess they’re not old enough to make that connection, huh?” Harry answered, slightly uncomfortable. Blaise tilted his head in acknowledgement.
“Are you going to stay for dinner Hawy?” Addy asked shyly, with a smile at Harry. I saw both men stiffen and felt myself tense.
“Oh, no, Adone.” He said with a soft smile at my son. “I actually have arrangements to have dinner with Mr. Weasley and his family.” Addy pouted.
“Are you going to come back?” Bella asked Harry.
“Of course he is.” Lina interrupted before Harry could answer. “ When are you going to come back Harry?” she rephrased. Harry looked at me for help and I glanced at Blaise. He shrugged slightly, gazing at me.
“Uhm, soon.” I supplied helpfully. I need to discuss things with Blaise. Harry nodded as he walked toward the door and began pulling on his shoes when Blaise stepped out of his way.
“How soon?” Bella complained and I laughed, I couldn’t help it. Already my children couldn’t get enough of Harry.
“Very soon.” Harry promised with a smile at the girls. I nodded as Harry grabbed his jacket. He looked at me. “I’ll call you later.” He said, with a glance at Blaise, who was carefully studying me. I felt my cheeks heat from the stare. I haven’t even done anything! I thought indignantly. I smiled at Harry, and knew it seemed strained. I nodded.
“I’ll talk to you later then.” I replied and he nodded before heading out the door. A chorus of “Bye Harry!”’s followed him as the door shut. Blaise set the girls down.
“Why don’t you girls go wash up for dinner, hmm?” he suggested. They nodded and took off. I kept my gaze on Adone. I listened to Baise’s steps as he got closer, and stopped right in front of me. “Hello son.” Blaise said softly, stroking Addy’s hair. Addy looked up at him.
“Hello Dada.” He replied. My husband smiled at our little boy and kissed his head, taking him from my arms.
“Why don’t you go have your sisters help you wash up?” Addy nodded and Blaise set him down. He didn’t waste any time doing what he was told. I crossed my arms, gazing at the ground. “Shelby, look at me please.” I bit my lip. “Shelby.” I sighed and raised my eyes. They locked with my husbands and he held my gaze unblinkingly. “I have to ask you this, darling, and please be honest with me.” I clenched my jaw, having a feeling what he was going to ask. “Did anything happen?” he asked quietly. Even though I knew it was coming I still gasped in shock.
“I didn’t have sex with him Blaise!” I hissed, hurt. “All we did was talk! Please tell me you didn’t really think I would have sex with a man other then you in our home, our children were here!” he grimaced guiltily.
“I’m sorry Shelby, but can you really blame me? Don’t pretend like you don’t love him, don’t want him anymore. I know you do, I’ve always known darling.” I refused to look away though my eyes filled with tears.
“I never said I didn’t Blaise, I’m just hurt that you think that’s what I’d do the minute he came back. I’m not 22 anymore, I have children, and a husband to think about now!” he gazed into my eyes.
“What are we going to do Shelby?” he asked, his voice breaking. My angry faded at the desperation in his tone.
“I told him he couldn’t ask me to leave my family.” His eyes widened at my statement. “We’re going to try and be friends.” Blaise ran a hand through his hair.
“That’s never going to last honey.” He whispered.
“I have to try.” I whispered back, my tears spilling over. “I don’t want to break up our family.”
“You’re staying for the kids.” He assumed.
“I’m trying to do by right by the kids, yes, but I’m also trying to do right by you, Blaise.” I whispered, taking his hands in mine and squeezing gently. “You’ve done so much for me-“
“Shelby, stop.” He looked into my eyes. “If you stay, I want you to stay because you want to, not because you think you have to. I don’t want you to leave, but I don’t want to make you miserable either. Think carefully my love. Hard and careful.” The door bell rang and he released me, going to the door. “I think you should go up to bed, I’ll take care of the kids.” I recognized the dismissal and nodded, grateful for it. I turned and slowly made it up the stairs as I heard him thank and pay the pizza guy. I slid into our room. I decided to take a quick shower and then went to bed. I knew what Blaise was saying, and deep down I knew he was right, but I refused to give up without trying at least. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be with Harry, of course I did, it was just that I didn’t want to selfishly break up my family.
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