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Love Despite Reality

by Veronica Pollard 4 days ago in Series

Chapter 5

CHAPTER 5

The following day West gets up early and heads into the office. Checking on his little project that he's had his staff working on while they were out of town. Pleased with the progress so far on the office he's had prepared for Larissa, he calls her to see if she's woken up. After not getting an answer he decides to go up and check on her.

Larissa is outside on the balcony when he walks in

"Morning gorgeous!" he says greeting her with a kiss

"Good morning!" she replies

"West, I want to apologize for going behind your back and buying the property. I know that you would have never went along with it if I had asked you!" she says wanting to clear the air

"Your right. I would not have. But since you did, I am not going to spend any more time arguing or being upset. It seems that's all we've done lately. We have a lot to get done and now we have a timetable, with the baby on the way. I keep saying that I want this to be our dream, so I guess your finally taking to the idea." West replies

Shocked Larissa goes over and sits on his lap.

"Promise me that moving forward you will give me the opportunity to voice my opinion and I will endeavor to do the same. We have to consider each other in our decision making for this to work." West states

"Promise!" Larissa replies

Laying his hand on her belly West asks

"Have you eaten?"

"Yes, I sure have. I had some oatmeal and a banana." she replies with a huge smile

"Great, because I have some things to discuss with you downstairs!" he states

"Like what?" she asks

"Just get dressed and come with me. Please!" he replies

"Ok!" she says

On the elevator West tells Larissa he has a surprise for her. Larissa looks at him amused and follows him off the elevator, to what was an empty office space next to his and sees that it has been turned into an office. On the desk is a desk plate that reads, Larissa Mathews Vice President!

"Because I want you to be a part of the company, I tried to not overreact to you buying the property. Hoping that you would be a little more receptive to this!" he states pointing to the desk

"Well played James! I didn't see this coming." she replies after a beat

"James!" he replies

"Thank you West! This was a nice gesture, but I don't need an office!" she says

"I fully intend on you needing and using this office, but it doesn't have to be tomorrow." he states

Larissa walks into West's office and says

"Is that all you needed me to come down for?"

"No" West says as his phone rings

"This is West!" he says closing his office door and putting the phone on speaker

"West, I just talked to Dad! Congratulations Bro! Engagement and a baby! Why didn't you tell me while you were here?" the voice on the other line says

"Congratulations to you Brian! And thanks!" West replies

"Dad told me how mom reacted when you told them. Did she really call her a gold-digging tr...?" Brian begins

"You're on speaker Brian." he shouts glancing at Larissa

"How is Larissa?" Brian asks

"She is okay, she can hear you" he states

"Hey Riss, Congratulations!" he adds

"Thank you, Brian! Congrats to you and Meghan!" she replies

"I am so happy for you guys! I won't keep you, Megan and I are supposed to spend Thanksgiving with her folks so depending on how this Superbowl run goes, we may visit soon but I hope not!" he says

"Thanks Brian, we appreciate it." West replies hanging up the phone

"What else did your mom say when I left!" Larissa states

"Riss, Don't! Please!" West says softly

"Don't what? Are you going to tell me what happened after I left?" she asks

"No, I told you that you should have stayed!" he replies

"You know I wasn't ready for that West" she says walking over to him

"Neither was I, but I couldn't just up and walk out"

"I'm sorry!" she says

"I forgive you! I just wanted to reduce your stress but be prepared, the situation with my mom isn't completely over." he replies

"What do you mean it isn't over?" she asks

"She needs to apologize to the both of us for how she reacted!" West states

"We can talk about this later, this isn't the place. Is there anything you need me to do work related?" she asks

"I have three meetings that shouldn't take long, would you like to join me for them. I can introduce you to some of the management staff." he states

"No, thank you. I told you I want to be behind the scenes."

"I don't want you behind the seen, I want your face on the sign out front! And on billboards all over town!" West replies sarcastically

"I'm going back upstairs, see you after your meetings." she says giving him a soft kiss West pulls her on his lap and says

"I'm not kidding, behind the scenes isn't an option. I will be getting with my Attorneys and planning a meeting with the management staff to properly introduce you."

Larissa gets up smirks then leaves.

Upstairs she decides to cook dinner, roasted chicken and potatoes. Over dinner West shares several things with Larissa, letting her know that he wants her to move in and get settled before the baby arrives. Following a brief argument about her wanting to get her own place in Orlando she gives in to West's wishes for her to move in.

"Dinner was amazing!" West says as they clear the table

"Thank you" she replies "So you're ok with me moving here, but you don't want me to sell my house?" she adds

"Honestly I don't care if you sell it or not. As long as you're here, it doesn't matter. Considering the break in and all that's been going on, it probably would be a good idea. You don't need any added stress."

"That being said, when do you think we will have time for that?" she replies

"For what?" he asks

"For me to go get my things?" she states

"Next weekend!" West says quickly

"Next weekend!" she replies

"Yes, that should give you time to get everything arranged. After that is all squared away we can start getting you settled in here."

"Alright West" she says softly

West heads into his office and Larissa decides to call and catch up with Pam. Pam tells her that she thinks she has a stalker and that there is a car that's been parking down the road from the house often since the break in. Larissa tells her to let security know about the car. She also lets her know that she has decided to put her house on the market but that she is welcome to stay there as long as she needs to or until the house sells and that she will be there next week to finish moving her things.

"I'm so happy for you Larissa. West seems like a great guy, and I've never seen you as happy as you are when he's around or even when you talk about him." Pam says

Larissa chooses not to mention anything to her about Josh coming to the hotel and being on the flight, and that he could be the one who's been hanging around. When West walks out of his office she quickly says her goodbyes and hangs up.

"How is Pam?" he asks

"She is fine" Larissa replies "So are you done working for tonight?"

"Do you have something else you'd rather I be doing?" he asks walking over to the couch

How does he go from serious and concerned to flirtatious and seductive in a nano-second?

"Wait!" she says quickly "I need to talk to you about an idea I had" she states

West sits down on the couch and says

"An idea about what?"

"I know that you said you weren't speaking to your mom until she apologized. But I've been thinking and honestly, I can't figure out why she hates me so much.

"Babe, I...!" he begins

"Please, just hear me out."

"In high school we were really close. I talked to her about everything, even things sometimes before I even talked to my own parents. Sometimes I felt like we were too close. Maybe that's why I've been so hurt by the way she acted when we went to view the house. I thought it would be nice seeing her again after all this time. She was like a second mom, maybe I did something or said something that I don't remember" she states

"You said all that to say what exactly?" West asks

"I want to invite her to lunch tomorrow so we can talk" she states

"No!" West replies shaking his head

"Excuse me!" Larissa states

"I wasn't asking for permission. Just give me her number and I'll call her myself"

"No!" West says again

"Why West, this is hard enough as it is?" she asks

"I understand how bad you want to make this go away but the way she acted was not motherly and completely unforgivable." he states

"You could never understand what I am going through! Just give me the number like I asked you!" she says fighting to hold back tears

"I'll give you the number but I'm coming to lunch with you!" he says after a beat

"I don't want you to come!" she replies

"I don't want you to go either. But we have to learn to compromise!" West states

"Whatever just give me the number!"

Dialing Rita's number West hands, her the phone and Larissa gets up and goes into the other room

The following afternoon Larissa cooks lunch for them instead of going out. West thought it would be better to do something at home, not knowing how the lunch was going to go. West heads into the office bright and early to make sure his afternoon would be clear for their lunch date from hell.

At 12:30 sharp the doorbell rings. Larissa told West that lunch was going to be at 1, hoping to give her and Rita a few minutes alone. Opening the door Larissa says

"Hi Mrs. West, how are you?"

"I'm as well as can be expected, and you?" she says sarcastically as she walks in

"I'm ok" Larissa says

Looking around Rita asks

"Is my son here?"

"No, he is still downstairs in the office, he'll be joining us shortly. I was hoping we could chat a little before he arrived." Larissa replies

"What would you like to chat about?" Rita asks

"I know it's been years since we've seen each other, but I thought we use to have a great relationship." Larissa states

"Honey that was a long time ago!" she replies

"I understand that but there has to be something more than just time bothering you. You are going to be our child's grandmother and I want to have a healthy relationship with you. Is there something I said or did to upset you?" she asks

"Are you sure West is the father of your baby? Have you even been here for three months?" Rita asks

Larissa's mouth goes dry and before she can reply West walks in the door distracting her. Remembering she called Rita and asked her to lunch against West's advice, she knows this has to be a productive conversation.

"Yes ma'am, I'm sure." she replies sweetly as West comes to join her on the sofa

"West, how could you be so reckless? Are you sure this is your baby?" she asks

West instantly becomes furious. Watching his face Larissa places her hand on his knee. West closes his eyes then turns to look back at Rita

"Larissa invited you here, I have nothing to say to you!" West replies and sits back on the couch

Appalled by his reaction she focuses back on Larissa.

"This is hopeless! My son worships you and would let you trick him into..."

West stands up and states

"Do not finish that sentence! This lunch or whatever it is, is over and you need to leave!" he snaps at Rita

"West, no! Please!" Larissa stands up and says "Please, just let her finish. We have to get to the bottom of this! Like it or not we are all going to be family!"

West finally sits back down, and Larissa sits and slides closer to him and continues, with tears threatening to fall from her eyes she looks at Rita and says

"I'm truly sorry for whatever I've done to upset or offend you. I don't have a mother or a father to share all the great things that have happened to me over the past few months. But when West and I met you treated me like I was your own daughter and the night we ran into each other I looked forward to seeing you and having a mother again. But after the way you treated me at the house viewing, and ever since then has shattered me! I've looked forward to becoming a part of this family until lately!"

West wraps his arm around her as they sit glaring at his mom as she becomes teary-eyed

"It horrifies me being pregnant with your grandchild! Seeing how much you dislike me." Larissa continues and is followed by a brief silence.

"For six years I treated you as if you were my own daughter, then one day you just disappeared! It wasn't just West that was heartbroken Larissa, we all loved you! You meant a lot to this family. The day you chose to leave you didn't think about how your actions would affect the family you dreamed of being a part of, did you?" she says wiping a tear from her cheek in frustration

"I'm so sorry, I was 18 and no, I didn't realize what I was walking away from" she says softly

West closes his eyes and sits silently shaking his head

"I can't go back and change any of that. And I'm very sorry for how everything fell apart back then. Please forgive me!" Larissa continues

"I guess I'm wrong for holding something against you that my son and everyone else has clearly forgiven you for. I guess I still wanted you to feel the pain you caused us!" Rita says with tears streaming down her face.

"I'm sorry!" she says as she stands up and begins to walk towards the door. Larissa follows behind her and says

"Please don't leave?"

Turning she says, "Yes dear, I think I should go." looking over Larissa's shoulder at West as he stands up

"We haven't eaten lunch yet!" she says as Rita gives her a hug and says

"I'm very sorry!"

West walks over and wraps his arm around Larissa, watching his mom intensely. Then turning her to face him, he says

"You sure you still want to have lunch?"

Wiping her eyes, she says

"I made fajitas!" walking into the kitchen she begins setting the table

Still seething West remains silent and stands there glaring at his mother.

"West, I can only imagine how upset you are with me, but I am sorry! For all the awful things I've said. Please try to forgive me." she says quietly

"You can never take back the way you've acted or the awful things you've said. And I'll never forget them!" he replies as he turns and walks into the kitchen joining Larissa

"This looks and smells amazing babe, I'm not staying for lunch, I'll eat later." he says walking up behind her then gives her a brief kiss on the cheek

She stops and turns to him "Please stay! I know you cleared your afternoon for this lunch." she states

"I'm sorry, Babe, I can't!" he replies

She looks deep into his eyes and says, "You can, please!" stepping back and placing his hand on her belly she adds "Please!"

He closes his eyes "I..." he starts then stops

"Ok!" he says finally

Lunch is very quiet except for West's phone, ringing and vibrating like crazy.

Rita says "Larissa, lunch was amazing, I'd better be going I have to meet Joe."

Getting up from the table West says

"Excuse me I need to take this"

Larissa walks Rita to the door and says

"Thank you for lunch today! Again, I'm really sorry and I hope that we can do this again"

"Please, don't be sorry, now I just hope we can move on. And absolutely we can do this again, next time it's my treat!" she says giving Larissa a quick hug and then leaves.

Seeing West isn't out of his office she lays down on the couch and begins to cry. Realizing the pain her and West felt so long ago also affected others she begins to weep. Consumed with guilt her tears become uncontrollable. West walks out of his office to find her laying with her face in the couch and says

"Babe, please don't cry!" sitting her up he holds her until she is finally done crying then says

"You have to stop stressing so much, your pregnant!" lifting her head and gazing into her eyes he whispers

"Please let this go!"

"Okay" she mutters

West gets up from the couch and walks into the bedroom, when he returns he has her shoes in his hand.

"Come take a ride with me, please" he says as he gives her, her shoes

"I thought you were going back to work"

"Will you come take a ride with me?" he asks

"Sure!" Larissa replies as her tears subside

After washing her face and putting on her shoes West takes her to an art museum for the afternoon, hoping to help her relax and clear her head. Stopping for take out on the way back to the resort she presses her luck again and asks to pay.

"You've had a long day, I suppose that would put a smile on your face!" West says sweetly

With a huge smile she quickly pulls out her card and pays for their dinner. Not giving him a chance to change his mind.

Back at the penthouse they enjoy dinner and talk more about planning the trip to Jacksonville after West gives her a more in-depth tour of the penthouse. They end the tour in the master bathroom, West takes her by the hands and asks

"What do you say we wash away the day together?" then he turns on the shower

"Yes, please" she replies

Following their shower, they lie in bed West checking his emails while Larissa reads some baby books online. Not long after they're settled West's phone rings.

"It's Brian!" he says as he answers

"This is West!"

"Hey bro, what up? Dad told me you guys had lunch with mom today. Well, he said Larissa wanted to have lunch with her. Is Larissa still there?" he asks

"Yeah Brian she is here and you're on speaker" West replies as he rolls his eyes

"How did it go?" he asks

"It went okay, everyone lived!" West states

"Hey Larissa, how are you?" Brian asks

"I'm good, thanks for asking. How are you and Megan?" she replies

"We are good! I was calling to remind you that we're playing Thursday night football on Thanksgiving and Megan's folks will be coming to town. If you can we would love for you to come too." Brian states

"That's less than two weeks away! I doubt it, Brian, we have a lot to get done. But we are planning a trip to the Superbowl in a few months! It's already on my calendar!" West replies

"I'm looking forward to it too! Look I know you guys have a lot on your plate, keep in touch. Good night!" he replies

"We'll definitely be watching Brian, and please tell Megan I said hello!" Larissa states

"Alright sis talk to you guys soon!"

"Good night Brian!" West says as he hangs up

"I'm sorry Riss!" he says quickly after they're off the phone

"Sorry for what, don't be! Have you heard from your dad?" she asks

"No, I'm sure he'll call me tomorrow. As you can see we have no secrets" he replies

"I know you want me to leave this alone, but I do have one question." Larissa states

"Only one?" West replies

"Only one!" she says putting her phone away and cuddling up close to him

"What your mom said today, about you not being the only one that was heartbroken. Did you know she felt that way?"

"You promise this is the last conversation about this?" he asks with a slight smile

"Yes, I promise! Tomorrow we start moving forward!" she replies without hesitation

"No, I had no Idea! But it explains why she has been so rude and nasty to every female Brian and I even thought about trying to date, without reason. First, I thought it was funny because I really didn't date. But slowly we noticed she acted the same way with all of them. You were right, most of Brian's relationships ended after they met our mother, he even started bringing girls to meet her, when he wanted to break up, just for fun. That's the real reason why he didn't bring Meghan to visit, he actually likes her. But she wasn't like that with you. You we're the only one she ever got close to, and the last."

"I'm so sorry!" she replies

"I guess you two were closer than I thought. You were the daughter she couldn't have!" he replied

Closing her eyes, she says

"Wait, I remember, your mom had a miscarriage when Brian was two and could never conceive after that. I'd completely forgotten about that!"

Remembering the loss his mom had reminded her of all the mother daughter things they'd done together, baking, the spa days they spent together and shopping trips. They had nothing to do with West but everything to do with filling a void she was unable to fill any other way. Larissa took that away without explanation, wounding her for years.

West spends the next week and a half in the office meeting with several lawyers and CPAs making sure things were in order for the buyout that was fastly approaching. He had till the end of the year to get things finalized. He's agreed to let Larissa do whatever she wanted to the penthouse to make it her own.

It's late Friday evening when West is done in the office. Entering the penthouse, he is greeted with the delicious smell of garlic, cheese and herbs coming from the kitchen. Larissa is standing by the table dressed in a low-cut peach mini dress and matching dress sandals.

Closing the door, he leans back against it and says

"Good evening!"

"Good evening!" she replies softly

Walking over to her he gives her a gentle kiss and says

"You look incredible!" then taking his hand down the back of her dress he whispers

"This is very short!"

Wrapping her arms around his neck she asks

"How was your day?"

"Perfect now!" he answers

"You hungry?" she asks in a quiet seductive voice

"Starving!" he replies picking her up and carrying her into the room.

Over dinner Larissa lets West know that Pam has moved back into her condo and wouldn't be at the house this weekend. Strangely he asks about the status of the stalker investigation, and whether or not she felt safe staying at the house. Not wanting to intensify his paranoia she keeps Pam's stalker comments to herself.

"I can't imagine what I'd do if something was to happen to you, either of you." he states

"Don't worry, we're fine." she replies

"Do you have everything set for the move?" he asks

"Yes sir! I know you have a lot going on here, I can go to Jacksonville alone!" Larissa says as she stands and begins to clear the table

Standing up and following her into the kitchen he says

"That's not happening!" with a kind smile he kisses her cheek then goes into his office

Larissa grabs a blanket and pillow from the room and sits on the couch. Not long after, West joins her and they watch tv.

"Have you chosen a room for the nursery?" West asks

"No, not yet" she replies

"My office would be perfect?" West states

"Yes, it would if it wasn't your office" she replies softly

"I can move my office to any other room" he states

"I don't want you to do that. It'll most likely be the first guest room." she says laying her head on his shoulder

"We have a long drive in the morning, come to bed. You can watch tv in the room." West says standing up and helping her to her feet they walk into the bedroom

Pulling up to Larissa's Mediterranean palace, they notice that the keyless access box is dangling from the wall. Looking at each other West asks

"You sure about staying here?"

"No, but we're not staying at a hotel!" she replies

Unsure what to think, they get out of the car and West brings in their luggage. Walking in they see that not much has changed.

"What time are the movers going to be here?" he asks

"At one!" she replies

"That's like an hour from now" he says

"I know. Let's get started!"

"Yes ma'am! Let me take these things up stairs and I'm all yours." he states walking up the stairs

As they begin to sort through Larissa's things West says

"I just want you giving directions not lifting anything!"

"Okay, West. I know!" she replies softly

It's early evening and the movers are wrapping things up for the day. Larissa stands looking out the front window, as the sun sets.

"What's wrong?" West asks walking up behind her

"Nothing, I was just thinking. Mr. Croft has a cat."

"Mr. Croft?" West says slightly confused

"My neighbor, across the street, he has a cat. Remember, there was a dead cat in the kitchen. And I didn't see him today" she explains

"Riss, that was like two months ago"

"I know, I'm sorry" she replies

Wrapping his arms around her, she continues to gaze out the window and says

"Six months ago, I never would have imagined myself moving to Orlando, let alone selling this house."

Turning her to face him he says

"Please be sure this is really what you want to do. No pressure!"

"I know, this is what I want to do! I can get my own place in Orlando though." she replies

"We've talked about this! I want you to stay with me. If not at the resort, we can get another place together." West replies

"Okay!" she says as one of the movers walks over to them

After having subs for dinner, they choose to grab a quick shower and lay down to watch a movie. Thirty minutes into the movie Larissa is sleep and West decides to check some emails. Not wanting to leave her side he brings the laptop into the bedroom. Just as he gets settled, he hears a loud shattering sound, like glass downstairs. Larissa jumps as the noise startles her. West quickly gets up and says

"Shh" with his finger to his mouth

"Get in the closet" he says watching the door

After they're both in the closet West reaches in his bag and pulls out a black smith & wesson gun. Quickly giving her his phone, he says

"Call the police and don't come out!"

"Where did you get that?" she whispers staring at the gun

"Call and don't open this door!" he says as he closes the closet door behind him

As he opens the bedroom door, he hears a male's voice whispering

"Laaaarissa!"

West closes the bedroom door behind him and walks over towards the balcony and sees a male figure walking toward the stairs. Aiming his gun at him he says

"Don't move or I'll shoot!"

The man who West instantly recognizes from the hotel security camera as Josh Norman, Larissa's stalker, looks at him and says

"Well, well, well! If it isn't Mr. James West! This has nothing to do with you. Where is Larissa?" he asks taking another step

"I said don't move!" West says as he fires a warning shot at the floor next to his feet

Larissa sits paralyzed in the closet on the line with the operator

"Was that a gun shot?" the operator asks. Unable to respond tears begin to swell up in her eyes

The operator says "Ma'am, are you there!"

"Yes!" she replies "I think so!"

"Are you okay?" she asks

"Yes, I'm in the closet. My boyfriend went downstairs" she whispers

"Ok, stay where you are. The officers are at the security gate" the operator says

"Okay!" Larissa whispers

"Ok, okay. I just want to talk to her." Josh states

"You have until the count of three! One!" West states

"Don't shoot. I just want to talk!" he says again

"It's after midnight and you broke in! People that want to talk ring the doorbell. Two!" West continues

"You don't get it!" he says angrily then starts up the stairs. Just as he gets almost to the top West says

"Three!" then firing two shots. He walks over and watches as he tumbles down the stairs. Watching as the body lies there immobile for a second then seeing the police lights flashing outside, he lays the gun at the top of the stairs and goes back into the room to check on Larissa. Opening the closet door, he sees her tucked tightly in the corner

"Riss!" he whispers

"West!" she replies standing up quickly

"Are you ok?" he asks

"I'm fine! What happened?" she asks

"He's ok" she tells the operator

As they stand in the closet, they can hear the officers bust through the front door. Walking out of the closet and to the bedroom door they walk to the top of the stairs West holds Larissa tight. An officer seeing them, walks around the body, holsters his gun and walks up the stairs. Larissa stands glaring at the body on the floor

"Are you both ok?" the officer asks

"Yes, we're fine" West replies

Pointing at his gun on the floor West says

"This is my gun!"

The officer reaches in his pocket and pulls out a glove.

"Stay here please. It seems he was alone but were still checking the perimeter. I'll be back shortly to get your statements." he states

Walking back into the room West sits Larissa on the chair and asks

"Are you sure you're ok?"

Shaking her head, she says

"Yes, I'm fine. What happened?"

"He wouldn't stop so I shot him" he states

"Who was it?" she asks

"The guy from the hotel and the plane!" West replies

"What!" she shouts in disbelief

After over an hour of giving their statements and getting the house cleaned up, they stand looking out of the front window. An officer walks back in and says

"We are all done here. I think we have everything we need, please call us if you think of anything else. We will also be running the partial prints from the previous break in and see if there's a match." he says handing them his card

"Thank you. I know it sounds strange but there was a dead cat in the kitchen the last time someone broke in. I didn't think about it then, but Mr. Croft an older gentleman across the street has a cat and I haven't seen him. Will you please check on him?" Larissa asks

"It is almost two am. We can follow up with him later today" the officer states

"All the other neighbors have come out, but he didn't even turn on a light." she replies

"Ok, I'll check on him. You all have a good night!" the officer says

West looks at her and says

"Do you want to go to a hotel?"

"No." she says and pauses briefly then says

"Yes, I won't get any sleep here."

"Ok, let's go pack a bag." West replies

"Wait, I want to see if he answers the door" she says referring to Mr. Croft

"Ok" he replies then walks over and sits on the couch

Larissa stands in the window and watches as the officer walks up to the door and rings the doorbell. After a minute he peeps in a window as if he hears a noise and then walks around to the back of the house, out of sight. After a few minutes there are three police cars pulling back up, followed by a fire truck and an ambulance. Curious as to what exactly was going on Larissa walks out and stands at the end of the driveway. Not long after the EMTs go in she sees them wheeling Mr. Croft out on a stretcher. West walks out to join her and they stand watching still not sure of what has happened. The ambulance drives off and the officer walks back over to inform them that Josh Norman (the intruder), must have been held up in the neighbor's house for quite some time and that Mr. Croft was in bad shape. They had to rush him to the emergency room. Letting her know that remembering he had a cat may have saved his life.

Finally, they arrive at the hotel around two-thirty am. Exhausted they jump right into bed. Lying in bed Larissa asks

"West, where did you get a gun?"

"I brought it. I've had it for years." West replies

"I've never seen it." she states

"You don't need to see it!" he replies softly

"I hope this is finally over!" she says cuddling up next to West and after a minute she falls asleep

The next morning, they get back to Larissa's house just in time to meet the movers. Leaving West to give instructions for the day she begins making calls to have the back door repaired. Wanting to make this transition as quick as possible she finally finds someone that will come the same day.

West sees Larissa walk upstairs so he finishes up talking to the one of the movers and follows behind her. Finding her in the bedroom closet continuing to pack he asks

"Are you ok?"

"No, I'm not ok. I'm the farthest thing from ok West!" she says as she begins to cry

"Babe, what's wrong?" he asks

"What's not wrong!" she whispers

"Riss, after this move and Thanksgiving, we are going on a weekend getaway. Just the two of us. Well, the three of us." he says as he pulls her into his arms

"You have too much going on for that!" she replies

Holding her close and searching her eyes West says

"You want to go to a sunny beach or a cabin in the mountains? One weekend away, no phone and no laptops. Just relaxing!"

"I'll believe it when I see it!" she says with a slight smile

"Now, let's finish up. I want to get done today so we can head back" she adds

It's after eight when they're all done getting the house squared away. Larissa stands and looks at the house one last time and then gets into the car.

"Let's run by the hotel and get our things so we can head back." West says

"Tonight!?" she replies

"Yes, it will only take a minute for us to get our things. And we'll be home before midnight." he states

Knowing full well she's ready to get back, she doesn't reply.

It's 10:48pm when they pull into the parking lot at Utopia Grand. West gently grabs Larissa's hand and says

"Babe, we're here!"

Opening her eyes, she slowly gets out and heads upstairs and lays down on the couch. West heads straight to the room and turns on the shower. Undressing down to his boxers he goes back into the living room and asks Larissa to join him.

In the shower they bathe quickly.

"You didn't answer me when I asked about the beach or cabin!" West says as they dry off

"Honestly, you don't have time for that. But I do appreciate the gesture!" she replies

"Just answer the question!" he says

"Beach!" she replies finally after they've dried off

"Beach it is then! Thank you!" he replies sweetly. Taking her by the hand he leads her to the bed and kneeling down in front of her he says

"I can't believe how much you're starting to show."

"What a sweet way to say I'm getting fat!" Larissa replies

Looking up at her shocked he says

"You aren't fat!"

Leaning in he begins kissing her belly and asks

"How are you feeling?"

"Fine!" she breathes

"Good, because that's exactly how you look!" he states

"Let's go to bed" she replies just before he kisses her again

"Sleep in this" he says with a sexy grin

"I don't have anything on" she states

"You don't need anything. I'll keep you warm!" he says pulling back the cover and climbing in bed

"West!"

"Come on!" he pleads

Not replying she slowly stands up and walks around the bed and says

"This is why I'm getting fat now."

"You're not fat, don't say that! This is my son or daughter your talking about!" she smiles as he sits up in the bed. Larissa slowly climbs on his lap and says

"I guess I'll have to keep you warm too!"

West walks into the bedroom with a cheese omelet, toast, fruit and orange juice on a tray.

"Good morning Babe!" he states pulling the blinds back, letting the morning sunlight kiss her already glowing skin

"Good morning! Thank you." Larissa replies

"You are very welcome! I know that we've had a lot going on but from today on I want you to stop stressing!"

"That's easier said than done, but I'll try!" she replies

"Enjoy your breakfast when your done come in the office please. I want to share something with you." West states

As he leaves the room the doorbell rings. After fifteen minutes West returns

"The movers are here. I have them putting your things in one of the guest rooms if that's ok. We can sort through them later." he states

"Ok, it shouldn't be much" she replies with a sneaky smile, making West close then lock the door. Pulling back the cover she says

"I guess I should get dressed!"

"I'd rather you didn't but we have guest" West replies

"Rain check!" she states giving him an all too brief kiss

"Put something on and join us please." he replies

"Yes Sir!"

When the movers are done West sees them out and they walk into his office

"This is going to be a busy week, but I promise to make sure it has a relaxing end to it!" he says before going over their plans for the week

"Ok, so what's the plan?" Larissa asks

"Well, I have to go into the office and finalize things for the buy out that should be finalized tomorrow."

"Tomorrow!" she states in disbelief

"That's awesome!"

"Then, Thursday is Thanksgiving. We're having dinner at my parents and watching the game there if that's ok" he continues

"Yes, that's fine!" Larissa replies

"Wednesday night we have to pack for our weekend getaway that begins Thursday night (Early Friday morning) when we leave my parents."

"Thursday night! Are you serious?"

"Yes, I'm serious. We are going to a private villa in the Bahamas for the weekend. We will come back home on Monday. Unless you have any objections." West states

"No, I don't. But FYI I've scheduled a doctor's appointment for next Wednesday. With an OBGYN here in Orlando."

"Ok, great!" West replies "So I can confirm all my plans, right?" he asks

"Yes sir!"

"I'll be going downstairs in a little bit. Is there anything you need before I go?"

"I think I'm good. I'm just going to hang out and unpack a little." she states softly

Just as West stands up his phone rings

"This is West!" he says answering it

"West, I've been calling you all weekend. How are you kids doing?" the voice on the other end says

"Were fine Dad. You wouldn't believe how long a weekend we've had. You know we went to Jacksonville to get Larissa moved." he replies

"I completely forgot that was this weekend. I won't hold you. I just wanted to confirm that you all were coming over for Thanksgiving." Joe says

"Yes Sir, we'll be there!" West replies

"Ok, great! I look forward to seeing you and Larissa then." he says then hangs up

Finishing his phone call West heads into the room and gets dressed. After about fifteen minutes he comes out dressed in dark jeans, a light gray shirt with the top button open and as he walks over towards Larissa he pulls on his blue blazer.

"You look quite edible" she mutters as he leans in and kisses her gently

"Thank you! I'll let you have a sample when I get back!" he replies

"You were wearing something like this the night I ran into you in the lobby! Made me fall in love with you all over again." Larissa says

West leans in giving her a more passionate kiss that deepens immediately. Then she reaches up and wraps her arm around his neck as she does, he pulls away.

"I really have to go!" he says trying to convince his self

"Okay!" she replies and kisses him once more, then pulling away she says

"I'll see you later." biting her bottom lip she watches him walk towards the door

"Love you babe, see you later!" he replies not turning around

Larissa spends the next two hours unpacking and decides to go pay West a visit and see how things are coming along. Exiting the elevator, she sees a tall brunette in five-inch red stilettos and a black, very unbusiness like dress, walk into his office. Passing by the office space West has gone so far out of his way to prepare for her she glances at the name plate on the desk. Walking up to his door she can hear West saying

"It wasn't a good time then and it isn't a good time now! Nina I'm engaged!"

"Engaged!" she shouts

"To who? You're kidding!" she replies

"Yes, engaged! You don't know her."

"I didn't even know you were seeing someone" she states

"You don't need to know. I have an important meeting that should be here any minute!" he replies

Thrilled to hear how well he handles his self under pressure she knocks on the already open door startling the woman. Pushing the door open wider she sees West stand up relieved to see her he says

"Nina, this is my beautiful fiancée! Honey, this is Nina Macintosh. Her father owns the investment firm I told you about."

Nina is stunned to see her and not realizing it, she stands gawking at Larissa for a moment. Larissa reaches out her hand and says

"Very nice to meet you Miss Macintosh"

Snapping back into the here and now she finally shakes her hand

"Likewise!" she replies

"I didn't mean to interrupt." Larissa says looking at West

"No, Nina was just leaving" he replies sweetly

Realizing he had just thrown her out Nina says

"Well, you two have a lovely day." then walks out of the office

West quickly closes the door behind her and says

"I've never been happier to see you! Is everything okay?" he asks

Larissa laughs and says

"Looks like you have an admirer! Who wasn't too pleased to see me."

West just shakes his head and looks at Larissa then smirks

"Yes, everything is fine! I just wanted to see if you had time to grab lunch." she adds

"I would love to, but I have a meeting with John. We'll probably grab something from the grill during our meeting, it will most likely be longer than an hour." he replies

"No problem. I'll call Rita to see if she wants to grab lunch. That way I can see if she needs any help for Thanksgiving." Larissa states

"Ok, don't have too much fun without me!" West says just as there's a knock at the door

"John!" he says greeting an older gentleman that has walked up

"John this is Larissa, my fiancée. Larissa, this is John Murdock."

"Nice to meet you Larissa" he says

"Likewise, Mr. Murdock." she replies

"Please call me John" he states

"Come right in make yourself comfortable. I'll be right back, John." West says walking Larissa out of the office

"That's my meeting, I have to go. Love you!" he says sweetly

"No, problem. I'll call your mom from my office. See you later, love you more!" she replies

"Your office!" West winks and smiles

"Stop back by after your lunch."

Rita is thrilled to hear from Larissa and comes right over for lunch. They choose to eat at one of the grills there at the resort. Over lunch Rita asks Larissa if she would like to come over and help her with Thanksgiving dinner.

"I'd be more than happy to" she replies

"Larissa, I know that I have been less than welcoming to you. But please..." Rita begins

"Mrs. West, we're good. I just want to focus on the future. Let's just put all that behind us, please." Larissa says cutting her off

"Ok! And please honey, call me Rita" she replies

"West is in a meeting, I'm sure he would have loved to see you." Larissa says after lunch as she walks Rita to the car.

"I'm not sure he's talking to me yet" Rita states

Larissa walks Rita out to her car.

John and West walk out behind them a minute later. John gets into his car and West walks over to join them.

"Mother, how are you?" West says greeting her with a hug

"I'm fine West, how are you?" she replies

"Good. Did you ladies have a good lunch?" he asks

"We sure did!" Larissa states

"Good to hear" he replies

"Larissa, I look forward to seeing you Thursday" Rita says

"Let me know if you need us to bring anything" she replies

West and Larissa walk back into the lobby. Stopping just as they get inside, Larissa grabs his hand looks into his eyes and says

"West, you are treating your mom the same way she treated me!"

Not saying a word West heads towards the elevator. Watching as he walks off she chooses not to follow him. Instead, she heads to the spa and gets a manicure and pedicure. Almost three hours later Larissa in the penthouse and at first glance she doesn't see West. Hearing someone down the hall she joins him in the guest room where her things are.

"I thought you were doing some unpacking this morning" West states after ending his call

"I did, kinda." she replies softly

"Kinda!" West states

Standing there silent she looks around at all the boxes, then says

"I will! I'm just not sure where to put most of it"

"Where have you been?" he asks

"Nowhere, I just went to the spa" she states

"Oh, how are you feeling?"

"I'm fine."

Later that night as they lay in the tub, West apologizes to Larissa and tells her that he called his mom and apologized to her for the way he was acting and agreed to let it all go under one condition. That, being her actions and comments remain as sweet as they were today, after their lunch.

As West begins to wash her belly he says

"I still can't believe we are going to have a baby!"

"Me either!" she replies

"You'll never know how much I've missed you Riss!" West says

"I know!" she replies

Larissa wakes up right after 7am, easing out of bed trying not to wake West, she begins fixing breakfast. Less than fifteen minutes later he walks into the kitchen.

"This is not resting!" he says as he walks over giving her a quick kiss

"I will rest after I finish breakfast. Mrs. Rita will be here after nine this morning." she replies

"Rita, my mom?" West asks

"Yes, she is coming over to keep me company today. I don't want you worrying about me. Today's a big day for you and I want you focused!" she says sweetly

"I'm still going to worry. Maybe not as much since you went out of your way to make sure I didn't. Thank you!" he replies

Larissa makes pancakes, bacon and eggs for breakfast with orange juice, coffee and fruit.

"That was amazing!" West says sitting at the table

"It's only 8:15!" he adds

"What does that mean? You have to get dressed!" Larissa says getting up and clearing the table

"I'm not going down til 9:30!" he replies with that seductive smile

"West!" she says quickly turning away from him. Still picturing his smile, she turns back to him and he's gotten up

"West what?" he asks

"Don't you want to wish me luck for my big day!"

Larissa leans in and gives him a quick kiss and says

"Luck!"

Before she can resist he picks her up and puts her on the counter.

"Careful I'm carrying a precious package!" she giggles

"Trust me I know!" he replies

Not taking his eyes off of her he drops his pants and gently pulls down her panties.

After taking a quick shower West says

"I'm really happy to see you and my mom getting along. Kinda reminds me of how you guys use to be. Except your not playing hard to get as much."

Larissa laughs and says

"Maybe I should work on that."

Larissa lays in bed watching as West pulls on his pants, just then the doorbell rings

"I hate to miss the rest of the show, but that's probably your mom!" she says

Walking into the living room West sees his mom and Larissa walking over to the couch

"Good morning West" Rita states

"Good morning Ma." he replies with a smile

Greeting Larissa with a kiss he says

"Behave, and get some rest please"

Then glancing at his mom, he says

"I'll see you ladies later this afternoon." then leaves the penthouse

Larissa and Rita spend the morning watching tv and planning dinner for Thursday. They discuss the pregnancy and Larissa tells her that she's almost fifteen weeks. Rita hopes the baby is a girl. Larissa also tells her about how dizzy and nauseous she's been all the time. Rita advises her to share her concerns with her doctor and West and to keep an eye on her blood pressure.

"Trust me, he always knows when you're not being completely honest! He always has." Rita says

A little after noon West is done with his meetings and Rita leaves to do some last-minute shopping with Joe.

"How did everything go West?" Larissa asks once his mom is gone

"Everything went well. As well as could be expected I guess" he adds

Larissa looks at him a little confused

"I do have one thing to discuss with you, later!" he states walking into his office

Following behind him Larissa asks

"Why later?"

"Have you eaten lunch?" he asks

"No, not yet. Why can't we talk now?" she asks again standing in the doorway

"I'll go get us something to eat!" West says getting up walking towards the door. Not moving Larissa asks

"What happened in your meeting that you need to talk to me about?"

He stands looking at her but doesn't say anything. Stepping aside she whispers

"We promised we would talk, no secrets!"

"Did you buy the property at the south end of the resort?" he utters finally

"Why?" she replies

Closing his eyes, he shakes his head and walks over to the sofa

"It came up in our meeting today. John said he was sorry that I wasn't able to acquire the property for all the expansion ideas I had been working so hard on. Not sure why he cared so much, but it occurred to me that you only said you made an offer and you hadn't mentioned anymore about it, so I assume you had probably withdrawn your offer."

"We've been so busy I'd completely forgotten about the fact that someone else might buy it right from under me." he says in a small voice

Larissa walks over to him so she's standing between his legs and looking into his eyes she says

"Why would I withdraw my offer?" pausing, then continuing she says

"Everything was finalized last week. I knew you had a lot going on and we could talk about it after the buyout. Why the hell is John looking into it anyway."

Looking up at her he states

"The property was purchased by an LLC out of Ohio. After the meeting I called Shirley to see what she knew."

"Babe, my dad owned several apartments and condos in Ohio that are under that LLC, which I now own. Buying under the LLC helped us get a better deal especially since we paid cash. They just figured I'd build more condos." she says

West stands up and says

"Are you serious?" he asks

"Yes! As serious as I'm standing here pregnant with your kid!"

Laughing he replies

"That's pretty sure then!" stopping he embraces then kisses her as if his life depended on it.

"You never told me you owned property" West says

"I kinda did, it was just bad timing, I guess. I mentioned that all my dad's debts were paid by one of his insurance policies. He had like four different condo and townhouse developments, when he passed, they were all paid off. I just own them, I have someone that handles all of it for me. I saw how much you had going on and I knew that when the time came, we would discuss it more. I can see that this was really bothering you, why not just ask me about it?" she says

"I don't know, I was hurt and disappointed I guess, I'm sorry!" he says sweetly

"Now that you own all shares of your company, we can finally make it your property!" she replies

"Well about that. I only own 70% of the shares." West confesses

"What do you mean, what happened to the other 30%?" Larissa asks

"You own 30%!" he replies slowly

"What!" Larissa snaps and leaves the room

West follows her and says

"I knew you would react this way."

"Then why do it?" she asks

"I wasn't going to, honestly. But after you brought the property, I didn't have a choice."

"You did have a choice! You didn't even know I had brought the property yet!" she replies

"We don't need to talk about this! I already did it so just go ahead and be mad for the day and get over it!" West states

Appalled she stands looking at him and with a straight face she says

"I still own your property, so watch it!"

"I'm not going to let this ruin our evening!" he replies

Larissa sits on the bed and remains silent.

"Can I take you to lunch?" he asks

"I'm not hungry." she says after a beat

"Well, my offspring needs to eat!" he states

"So, you can choose where we go, or I will!"

"I don't care, but I don't feel like going out." she states

"That's fine, I'll go get some takeout"

"Okay." she replies as she grabs a pillow and takes a blanket from the chair and heads into the living room

West grabs his phone and keys from the counter and heads out the door. Larissa lays on the couch and tries to figure out whether or not she should tell West that she hasn't been feeling her best. Knowing that he'll probably overreact. After ten minutes she falls asleep.

When West walks back in a little while later, he walks into the kitchen and Larissa jumps up and hurries to the bathroom, peaking around the corner he watches her. Walking back into the living room she notices him watching her from the kitchen.

"Hey babe, I didn't know you were back." she states

"Yeah, I can see that. Are you feeling ok?" he asks

Hesitant she just stands there and looks at him.

"How can you expect me not to worry if you're not honest with me?" he asks

Remaining silent she walks over to him and embracing her he whispers

"You're not in this alone!"

"Thank you! I'm fine." she replies

" Are you ready to eat?" he asks

"Sure, what did you get" she states

"Chicken and rice with steamed veggies!"

Sitting at the table she says

"I'm worrying enough for the both of us. You've had a lot going on, I don't want to be an added stress."

"Stop looking for excuses to lie to me!" he replies

West annoyed with her refusal to be more concerned about not just her well-being but their unborn child. He gets up from the table and goes to his office and shuts the door behind him. Shortly after Larissa's phone rings, getting up from the table she heads into the room. Answering the phone, she says

"Hello."

"Hi, Larissa. This is Megan, Brian's fiancée'. How are you?"

"Hi Megan, I'm well. How are you?"

The two of them stay on the phone for over an hour.

Early Thursday morning Larissa heads into the kitchen and starts on breakfast. Minutes after she starts West emerges from his office, where he slept last night.

"Morning Riss!" he says sweetly

"Morning, would you like some breakfast?" she asks

"Sure'' he replies sitting down at the bar.

"What time are you planning to go to your parents?" she asks

"Whatever time you want. Are you still helping mom cook?" he replies

"Yes, we can get dressed after breakfast if you want."

"We still have to pack. We won't have time to come back before our flight." he reminds her

"I completely forgot about that trip. I thought you were kidding!" she replies

"No, I wasn't! We'll be back Monday. Are you okay to fly? There will also be a ten-minute boat ride to and from the island."

"Island?" she replies

"Yes!"

"Okay! Let's eat so we can pack!" she states

West hopes he can get Larissa to open up on their trip, considering there won't be any distractions on the island.

"What's wrong? Larissa asks

"Nothing!" he replies

Glancing at her he, walks towards her and immediately wraps his arms around her waist. Leaning in she kisses him, but when he attempts to deepen the kiss she pulls away

"West, we have to go" she states

"No, we have a few minutes!" he replies

Pulling her back into his arms he asks

"What's wrong?" searching her eyes

"I have to go help your mom cook!" she whispers softly

"Okay!" he says

Pulling up to Joe and Rita's Larissa says

"I love you West!"

"I love you more!" he replies

Joe opens the door greeting them both with a huge smile he says

"Happy Thanksgiving!"

"Happy Thanksgiving Dad!" West replies

"Happy Thanksgiving Mr. West!" Larissa says giving him a hug

"Call me Joe!" he replies

"Rita is in the kitchen." he states stepping aside

In the kitchen the ladies cook for hours and discuss everything from babies to houses and vacations, Larissa tells her about the trip West has planned this weekend to the Bahamas. Rita also asks her about the pregnancy and whether or not she's been more open with West.

"Just talk to him Larissa. He can already tell somethings bothering you, trust me!" Rita says just as West walks into the kitchen

"How's it going?" he asks walking over he gives Larissa a kiss on the cheek

"It's going. Dinner is almost ready!" Rita says

"What time does Brian play?" Larissa asks

"Not until 8:20 tonight" he replies

"I'll be back to start setting the table." West states

"Okay!" they both reply

Then West leans over and whispers

"You look tired, you should probably take a break!"

"I will soon, promise!" she replies

A few minutes after they set the table they sit down to dinner, Joe not really wanting to leave the tv.

They're done eating dinner before 4 o'clock and West tells Larissa that his parents have a few friends coming over to watch the game that evening. Rita walks over and says

"Larissa, you are more than welcome to lay down in one of the guest rooms if you like."

"Sure, thank you!" she replies

West takes her and shows her the guest room. Walking in, he locks the door behind them.

"So, you've cooked!" West says as he walks towards her with that seductive smile

"And!" she states

"And!" he pauses and asks,

"Is it ok if I lay down with you?"

Relieved that he's not trying to have sex, she pulls back the cover and lays down, then says

"Sure!"

West sits at the edge of the bed and rubs her feet for a little while and sees how swollen her ankles are. Before long she's fast asleep, so he climbs in behind her and holds her while she sleeps.

Around 8 o'clock West opens the door to check in on Larissa and sees her holding her belly. Walking in he closes the door, causing her to open her eyes. Quickly moving her hand, she smiles at West and asks

"Is the game on?"

"No not yet, it's only a little after eight" he replies

"You have a missed call from Megan!" he adds

"Okay, thanks. I know it's almost kickoff time, so I'll just text her."

Rolling over she gets up and heads to the bathroom. Walking back out she goes over to West and standing between his legs they just look at each other. Interrupted by a knock on the door West says

"Yeah!"

"It's only a few minutes till kickoff!" Rita states

"Ok, we'll be right out" he replies

"Everything okay?" he asks Larissa

"Did you take a nap with me?" she asks kind of ignoring his question

"No, not really. I just laid with you for a while"

Getting up he leads her into the living area where he introduces her to the three other couples that have arrived. After all the introductions are done, Rita asks if they would like anything

When everyone replies, no thank you, Rita leaves the room for a minute then returns with a bottle of water she gives to Larissa. West Looks at her and then at his mom.

Right before halftime Rita tells West

"Larissa told me you all would be flying out tonight."

"Yeah, kind of. Our flight doesn't leave until 5 in the morning" he states

"You all could just stay here tonight. I'm sure it will be almost midnight when the game ends." she states

"Thanks, we most likely will!" West replies

Brian is having a great game; it's only halftime and he has 2 touchdowns and 7 receptions with 81 yards. Larissa sits and cuddles up next to West on the couch as he talks football with the guys. After the game they decide to stay there until they leave for the airport in less than five hours.

Lying in bed West tells Larissa

"Our flight is a little over an hour"

"That's great!"

After what feels like an hour nap West wakes Larissa up, so they can head to the airport at 4am.

"I can't remember the last time I was up before the sun!" she states as they get into the car

"I know, I'm sorry. It will be worth it, I promise!" he replies

The airport is pretty deserted as they walk through. Just as they arrive at their terminal, the announcer says their flight is boarding.

"Perfect timing!" Larissa says

"How are you feeling?" West asks after they're seated

"I'm fine, just sleepy. How are you?" she replies

"I'm good. I'm hoping this trip will help you relax and destress!"

"West..." she begins

"I know you've not been truthful about how your feeling." he states

"What makes you think that?" she asks after a beat

"I'm very observant and I know your body better than my own." he states

"Oh really!" she replies with a slight smirk

"Really!" he says reaching over giving her a kiss

Series

Veronica Pollard

Loving house wife and mother with a passion for writing. With hopes of one day becoming a published author and script writer. This is the place to find a drama filled love story you'll love! Enjoy!

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