Saturday, October 14, 2017

Epilogue

Warning - some NSFW scenes and a little sappy and picture heavy!  

Seven Years Later.....

Kaitlin sat in the backyard of her and Leroy's home in Willow Creek watching her family and closest friends talking, drinking, dancing and congratulating Ben on his graduation and acceptance into San Myshuno University.

Four years after Kaitlin became Kaitlin Chapman, Leroy was offered a job in Willow Creek overseeing the design of a new housing development between Willow Creek and San Myshuno called called Newcrest. It was a long term project and one that Leroy would never get in Twinbrook. It was an offer he couldn't refuse.

The only problem was Willow Creek was 200 miles from Twinbrook. Leroy was having to spend a week there and wound up being home only on weekends. Kaitlin lovingly told him she was tired of visitation and wanted ‘full custody’ of him.  So after only 6 months they decided to relocate.

The nice thing was San Myshuno was only 40 miles from Willow Creek with Newcrest smack dab in the middle. However, as far as Ben was concerned, it might as well be 10,000 miles away. He had made it clear that he couldn't wait to get out of Twinbrook and be on his own. Kaitlin was pretty sure once Ben left for college, she would have less communication with him than she had when he lived 200 miles away. At least she had seen him every other weekend.

As she watched Ben with Gemma, his “girlfriend du jour”, Kaitlin thought back over the events of the last 9 years and wondered how he wound up so much like his father,  the very man he was once afraid of becoming.

When Newt came back into their lives, Ben was angry and confused. At the time he was too young to tell him what really happened between her and her ex-husband.

Ben wasn't aware at that time that his father’s abusive behavior extended beyond just yelling to hitting her and his brother.

Feeling neglected and left out Ben was determined to live with his father.  At the same time, Newt was determined to have a relationship with at least one of his sons. Kaitlin didn't blame Newt. He had worked hard to turn his life around.

When Ben turned 13, he moved in with Newt and broke her heart. Kaitlin felt like she had failed him. Ben pretended to be happy and maybe he was for a while.

Newt and Janet married a year after moving to Twinbrook and a year later announced she was pregnant. It was during this time that Ben moved in with them. After Connor was born, Newt’s new son took his attention away from Ben and he began to be resentful, once again feeling like he didn't belong anywhere.

When Ben turned fifteen, the year she and Leroy moved to Newcrest, he began to date girl after girl, a new girl on his arm every few weeks. Just as his father had done. Looking for love in all the wrong places, she thought. Kaitlin often wondered if he finally put the pieces together and found out about Newt's abuse even though he never mentioned it to her.

Kaitlin involuntarily shivered as a sense of deja vu washed over when she saw Gemma hanging on Ben's every word. It was so much the same way she herself had been with Newt. At least none of them got pregnant. Maybe he learned something from his father after all, she thought.

Feeling sad, Kaitlin immediately looked around for Leroy. He always made her feel better.

She spotted Leroy behind the bar talking to their unlikely best friends, Reid and Shea, now Shea Nielsen. Shea was holding their adorable 3 year-old little girl Tonya. She couldn't help the smile that covered her face. Leroy was her everything and she was happy he had resolved his past differences with Reid.

Watching the three of them made her think of her and Leroy's wedding day. It  had truly been the happiest day of her life. She closed her eyes remembering and smiled.

It was a simple wedding, performed in their home with just Reese, Brooke, Ben and Dakota as witnesses.

She slowly walked down the spiral staircase of their home, her heart beating erratically. When she met Leroy's eyes, all she saw was his pure, unconditional love reflected back at her. Her heart soared.



They said the traditional vows and exchanged rings. The minister then pronounced them man and wife.

After a toast and some cake, Reese and Brooke took Ben and Dakota and left to relieve the sitter and give the newlyweds some much needed alone time.

She and Leroy toasted their marriage one more time. Then hand in hand they walked upstairs to their room laughing.

He stopped her before she walked through the door and picked her up and carried her over the threshold of their bedroom door.

He put her down and took off his coat. He reached up to touch her face, "You're really mine now,” he said in awe, “Mrs. Chapman, Kaitlin Chapman, my beautiful wife, my soulmate. I love you with all my being."

She remembered exactly what she said back to him, "Yes, yours. Forever and always. You showed me that love is beautiful and kind. You were always there helping me through my worst nightmares even when I thought I didn't want you there. You healed my heart Leroy Chapman, my husband. I love you more than I can say."

They held onto each other and Leroy began to cry. She was overcome at his tears and joined his emotional breakdown.


He composed himself and kissed her tears away as he began to help her slowly out of her gown, kissing her and touching her sweetly as went.




He made slow sweet love to her, taking his time, cherishing her.

The memory of their wedding night would be forever seared in her memory. It always made her smile - and very needy.

Leroy walked over to where Kaitlin was sitting, drink in hand, bringing her back to the present. “Hey you,” he said as he sat down with her, “You okay? You look like you are miles away. Thinking about Ben?”

She blushed at her thoughts and smiled at her husband. After the memories of their wedding night, all she wanted to do was take him inside and show him how much she still loved him."No," she said grinning, "not Ben, you."

At the mention of Ben, Kaitlin looked over where he stood talking and laughing with his friends. Ben and Nicolas Hamlin were rooming together for college. They had driven up from Twinbrook together for the party along with Nick’s younger sister Sofia and his girlfriend Val.

Sofia was like one of the guys and often hung out with Ben. They went fishing and even worked together on a small garden that Sofia helped him plant. She and Kaitlin had become friends too before they left Twinbrook. She had missed seeing her and was glad she came with her brother.

“Thanks for the drink,” said Kaitlin smiling up at her husband. “Ben has already checked out and I guess I have too. It makes it easier that he has been living with Newt. I'm just happy we get a week with him before he leaves for San Myshuno.”

She paused and took a long drink before continuing, “Actually, I was also thinking about how large our family has grown from what it was like before I met you.” Kaitlin let out a little laugh, “It was just me and my three babies, all alone in the world and you, all alone."

Kaitlin made large a sweeping motion with her arm, "Now look. We have five children and two grandchildren with another on the way, plus all of these friends!”

She pointed over to where the four school age children were playing on the monkey bars and laughed.  "Look at Maddy and Hailey. They are as thick as thieves! No telling what they are plotting to do to Jordan and Sam!”

“Should I go check on them?” asked Leroy.

“No...they are fine. Dakota will make sure they don't kill each other! She is beautiful isn't she. Both inside and out. We did right by taking her. Living here in Willow Creek has helped both her and Candy move on. Candy seems really happy with Darius. I wish she could have come but their baby is due any day.”

Kaitlin laughed and said, "I guess Reese's wedding was the place for new relationships to form, Darius and Candy plus Reid and Shea reconnected there. I think maybe even Angie made a love connection. If what Brooke says is right, her brother and Angie are actually moving in together."

Leroy laughed, "She needs someone like him to to keep up with her!"

"Look over there," said Leroy motioning towards where Newt and Janet were talking quietly to Brooke and Reese.

"Yes, they appear to be getting along really well. I think Janet and Brooke have become fast friends, especially since Connor was born and Brooke is expecting in just two months. If you would have asked me if this was possible nine years ago I would have guaranteed Reese would never have anything at all to do with his father and I would be single.

Then, when Ben left for school, it would be just Maddy and me, but now she has more family than I ever dreamed she would have loving her and another little brother she adores."  Kaitlin frowned before continuing, “I just wish Ben felt the same way about Connor. Maybe in time.”

Kaitlin stood up, looked at Leroy and squinted her eyes at him, “You know, this is all your fault Leroy Chapman!"

"What did I do now?" he said shrugging.

"You dared to love me enough to make this happen. Without you, it would be just Maddy and me...” then she looked at Newt and frowned, “or maybe just me.”

Leroy lifted her chin so she would look at him, “Guilty as charged Kaitlin Chapman,” he said smirking.

“Oh my god! They came Leroy!” exclaimed Kaitlin as she turned and ran across the yard to the redheaded couple that just walked up.

“Meadow! Norman! I am so glad you guys could make it! Welcome!” she said and drew Meadow into a huge hug as Norman and Leroy looked on.

Kaitlin looked around quickly for Newt, but she saw that he was already headed towards them. He must have heard her.

*************************************************************



Newt looked up at Kaitlin’s gushing to see what was going on. Did he hear right? Did she say Norman? He looked at the couple she was talking with. Was it really him? He had never met Norman. Norman was the man he had corresponded with as part of his therapy. Norman helped him admit to himself he had a problem. Norman stayed with him through his transformation.

Sadly the two of them hadn't corresponded much anymore since Newt got married and moved to Twinbrook. His life was so busy with the club, his wife, their 4 year-old and Ben that he didn't even go to therapy anymore. Not that there hadn't been a need in the beginning of their marriage. There was.

It wasn't hard to put two and two together. Newt knew the minute he saw the man and heard Kaitlin squealing, that it had to be his Norman. He put down Connor and excused himself from Janet, Reese and Brooke, then quickly made a beeline to Norman.

Newt grabbed the man in a bear hug. “Norman!” he said barely controlling his emotions. He owed Norman his life.

"Newt. My hero. Cool, hip Newt," said Norman, muttering his words, "I owe you so much, brother. I owe you."

"Hell, not so cool or hip anymore. I am married with a kid. Normal Newt now, just like you! Anyway, you don't owe me anything,” said Newt as he slapped Norman on the back and threw his arm around him. “Come, I want you to meet Janet and my kids, then we are going to have a beer together and toast to true friendship.”

**********************************************


Kaitlin and Meadow watched the two men, both women smiling. “Thank you for bringing Norman,” Kaitlin said to her friend with tears in her eyes, “He saved Newt and by extension, my family. And look around at all of these people. If it weren't for you and Norman, we wouldn't be here together!”

"Oh, Kaitlin!" Meadow said breathlessly. "You know it was you and Newt who helped us!"

"Let's just say, we helped each other then," beamed Kaitlin, “You remember Leroy? Right?”


“Yes. Nice to see you again,” said Meadow sweetly.

“You too,” replied Leroy and shook her hand.

As soon as Leroy released Meadow's hand Kaitlin grabbed it. “Come on,” she said, “I have someone special I want you to meet,” and led her over to where Shea was standing talking to Reid.

*******************************************************************************

A/N: I hope you noticed how cleverly I transitioned into TS4! I hope it wasn't too confusing. ðŸ˜Š

Coming soon:  My story will continue as we follow Ben to college in a new series where I loosely follow the Build Newcrest Challenge. I expect to begin it in a couple of weeks. Since everyone is now in TS4, you may still see peeks of the family from time to time.

If anyone wants to read about Newt's journey from abuser to a loving father and husband, you can read his story here.  It's his correspondence with Norman.

😁 Thank you to everyone that responded to my casting call!😁

For the Epilogue, I only used four from the casting call. Don't worry. If your sim didn't make it here, when Ben's story starts you may very well see them there!  Below are the ones that made it for this part:
 Gemma Parker - Ben's girlfriend by Munter_Bacon


Valerie Burns, Nicolas' Girlfriend by kylemaddex




Nicolas Hamlin - Ben's Best Friend by haswh


Sofia Hamlin - Nicholas' sister by haswh


Finally: I will link to the new blog from this page so you will be able to find it. I will also link from the forum page if you follow it there as well as the facebook group.

💗Thank you for reading! You guys make this so much fun!💗

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Chapter 54 - A New Beginning - Part 5 of 5

WARNING - PICTURE HEAVY and LONG 3,300 words...

A/N: This is the last "Chapter" in Starting Over. It is bittersweet for me. I have had so much fun writing it and it's been wonderful to know that the readers have enjoyed Kaitlin and her little (big?) family's journey as much as I have.

A lot of you have asked if I am going to continue the story. Yes and no. I am not going to continue with Kaitlin's journey, but instead I plan to focus on one of her children - a heir. So this may well wind up being much like a legacy which wasn't my intention at all when I started!

Enjoy!


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

It had been 2 weeks since Reese and Brooke said 'I do' when Kaitlin and Leroy were escorted into the conference room by her attorney's assistant. Newt and Janet had already arrived, sitting at the oblong table talking in whispers. They glanced up when she and Leroy walked in and Janet smiled sweetly. Newt looked like Kaitlin felt - sick.

Both couples were there to sign the documents transferring ownership of Leroy’s bar to Newt. Then Kaitlin and Newt would sign and file the agreed upon divorce papers. The mood was solemn. Even though this marked a new beginning for all of them - for Kaitlin and Newt it also underscored a huge failure in their lives.

Kaitlin tried and failed to smile as she and Leroy seated themselves across from Newt and Janet. The couples offered each other cursory greetings and then fell into an awkward silence. She was glad when the attorney and his assistant walked into the small room armed with stacks of documents only a minute later sparing them more discomfort.

The foursome robotically signed each document as it was pushed in front of them and explained. After about 45 minutes of signing, Kaitlin put her signature on the final document.

She handed over the signed paper and the attorney addressed them, “Mr. Chapman, we have confirmation that the wire transfer from Mr. Murdock’s bank has been sent and should be here within the hour. We will then deposit the funds into your account at which time we will turn the keys over to Mr. Murdock and Miss Archer. Mr. Murdock, you and Miss Archer are welcome to stay and wait or return later this afternoon. Mr. Chapman there is no need for you to wait.”


He then turned to Kaitlin and Newt and continued, “Mrs. Murdock, Mr. Murdock, the divorce papers will be filed today and will be final in 10 days at which time documents will be mailed to each of you. Any questions from anyone?”

No one said anything. “Okay. Then that's all. You are free to go. Thank you and good luck,” he said as he and his assistant left the room.

They stood up to leave and Kaitlin walked over to Newt. She needed to say something to make this better but she didn’t know what or why she felt that way so she just started talking. “Newt, I never wanted anything but for us to be happy,” she said quietly, tears in her eyes, “I’m truly sorry it came to this.”

Newt was struggling to remain in control of his emotions as well, his jaw working back and forth. “No, Kaitlin, not you,” he whispered as he hesitantly reached his hand out to her in an awkward attempt to comfort her, “my fault, I was…I’m the one that should be sorry...I...”

Kaitlin didn't shrink back from his touch this time. Instead she reached out to him and they embraced while Janet and Leroy looked on. Leroy took a step towards them, but Janet put her hand on his arm and shook her head stopping him. “No Leroy,” she said softly enough that they didn't hear her, “They need this. Let them get closure.”


Kaitlin was crying now and she could tell Newt was too because she could feel his breath hitching. “I'm so sorry Kaitlin,” he choked out between sobs, “I never meant for any of this….Someday maybe you can forgive me….I know I have to earn it.”

Newt pulled back and looked at her, tears running down his face. “I love you Kaitlin,” he said softly looking miserable. He sniffed and took a deep breath, “but we were never meant to be, even if I …. maybe someday we can at least be friends.”

Her tears mirrored his. She thought about his words as she studied him. He was right, they were never meant to be a couple but there was still a bond, some sort of love between them. When you share so much with someone for so long...it happens. It wasn’t always bad. “I love you too Newt,” she said so softly only he could hear, “Friends would be good.”

He seemed fortified by her statement, once again in control of his emotions. He hugged her one last time and kissed her on the forehead. He let her go, laughed and said loudly enough for Janet and Leroy to hear, “Go to Leroy before he comes unglued and I wind up in the hospital. I'll call you next week."

Newt turned and took Janet by the hand. “Let’s go Jan, we can come back later for keys. There's no rush and I need some fresh air.”

Janet turned and winked at Leroy with a knowing smile before she allowed Newt to guide her out of the office.

Leroy made a beeline to Kaitlin and pulled her to him, “Are you okay sweetheart?” he asked.

“Yes,” she said and took a deep cleansing breath. “I am much better now, it was just so hard, harder than I ever imagined, even though it was the right thing for us all. But, what about you? That bar was your baby,” said Kaitlin worried.

Leroy gave her a silly smirk. “It was just an investment, one that paid off better than my wildest dreams could have imagined. It gave me you and my precious daughter. Now, I don’t need it anymore,” he said as he brushed a hair behind her ear and leaned in for a kiss.


The memory of that night came rushing back and she giggled pushing him back. “Leroy! Come on, we can't make out in the attorney’s office. Let’s go home and finish packing,” she said still laughing.

Leroy put his arm around Kaitlin and the second couple left the room where their lives had just been irrevocably changed with only a few simple strokes of a pen.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


The next morning, Kaitlin woke up energized and refreshed. When she climbed out of bed it felt like all the weight she had been carrying around for the past 5 years had suddenly been lifted and she could breathe easier. She was no longer bound to Newt and he was getting help. Even Reese had made some peace with his father. They weren't BFF's but at least he was acknowledging Newt's efforts to make amends.

When she saw Leroy’s side of the bed was empty, she was disappointed, but then smiled and stretched remembering their ‘celebration’ that night - their last night in the cramped apartment. She couldn’t wait until they had their own room - she knew they would 'celebrate' again tonight and many more nights to come.

She smelled coffee. But how? The coffee pot had already been packed. She followed the aroma and found Leroy had gone out for coffee. He also had the kids up and fed, fast food she was sure.


He leaned in and kissed her. “About time you got up sleepy head," he said grinning from ear to ear, "Did you forget, it’s moving day! Look, even the kids are excited. If you hadn't got up they were going to gang pile you in the bed. I wouldn't have been able to stop them."

"It was probably your idea!" she said pretending to be mad, "Really, you should have woken me up, I could have helped. But thank you. I feel more rested than I have in a very long time. Let me drink this and I will get ready."


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Kaitlin got emotional as she took one more look around the tiny apartment before she, Leroy and the kids took the last ride down the elevator carrying the few things that hadn't already been moved. Leroy laughed at her and said, “You are not supposed to be crying!”


“Happy tears!” she said, “Let's go. I can't stand the suspense!”

Leroy hadn't allowed her to see the home during the last several weeks of construction wanting it to be a surprise. She could tell how excited he was though. He was so cute, grinning from ear to ear in anticipation. Leroy made her close her eyes as they drove up. She heard Dakota squeal and Ben even let out a “cool”. She knew it must be amazing. She opened her eyes and climbed out of the car. She wasn't disappointed.

The initial structure was to have had only 3 bedrooms downstairs with room for expansion later. Leroy had begged for her to allow him go ahead and develop the second story since she no longer had to worry about custody. She relented and was very glad she did.

“This is really ours?” asked Kaitlin, "Pinch me. I must be dreaming.”

“Come on, let's take a tour and I can show everyone their new rooms," said Leroy beaming.


















* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


The kids were playing and checking things out when Kaitlin's phone rang. She hung up and was obviously upset.

“That didn't sound good. What’s wrong?” asked Leroy.

“It was CPS. They are coming to inspect our home tomorrow and interview the kids. They especially want to talk to Ben - because of the shoplifting incident. Thank God they don't know he ran away! Oh my God! What if Ben says he wants to live with his father?”

“Let's go talk to him and prepare him. That's all we can really do,” said Leroy ever the voice of reason.

Kaitlin knocked on his door, “Ben, can we come in? We need to talk for a minute.”

Ben opened his door and let them in and they sat down. “Ben, do you remember when the lady from CPS came by and talked to you at our first apartment? When Leroy was your advocate?” asked Kaitlin.

“Yeah. So,” said Ben dissmissively.

“She is coming again,” said Kaitlin and sighed before adding, “because you tried to steal that video game.”

“I haven't taken anything else!” objected Ben loudly.

“No one said you did,” Kaitlin said softly, trying to calm him, “Honey, you aren't in trouble, they just want to talk to you and Dakota.”

“About what?” asked Ben as he fiddled with his shoes.

Leroy answered, “It will be the same sort of questions that they asked before. You remember?”

“What if I don't want to talk to them,” he shot back defiantly.

“Ben,” said Kaitlin, “You don't have a choice. If you act like that they might keep coming back or could even decide you would be better off in foster care.”

Ben looked at Leroy, “Will you have to be with me again?” he asked.

“I don't think we will be allowed to this time since you are older,” he replied.

“Good,” stated Ben.

“Why good?” asked Kaitlin concerned that he suddenly changed his mind.

“Because I want to live with Dad and if I tell her that she will let me,” he said like he suddenly figured out a way to get what he wanted.

Kaitlin was dying inside. “You are going to get to see your Dad,” she said with desperation, “Besides, I thought you liked your room and our new house,”

“You promised I would get to see Dad! I only saw him one time since you told me that!” yelled Ben.

“Lower your voice when you speak to me!” reprimanded Kaitlin, “And when you saw your Dad, didn’t he tell you we were working things out? You will get to spend time with him.”

“Yes, but I would still rather live with Dad!” he said petulantly.

Kaitlin was trying to stay calm. “Honey, your Dad is moving to Twinbrook. We told you that. You will be able to see him every other week.”

“When will he be here?” he said defeated.

“Next week," said Kaitlin happy that he seemed to have accepted what she said. "He and Janet just bought a house. That’s why he hasn’t been able to have you with him. He is wrapping things up in Roaring Heights so he can move here to be close to you and Maddy. Then you will get to stay with him every other week.”

“Why can’t I live with him all the time?” He challenged.

Kaitlin took a deep breath before answering. “Because I would miss you terribly and so would your sisters. Wouldn't you miss them too? They love you very much and would be sad if they never got to see you anymore. Besides you would miss fishing right outside the house and this new room with your own TV.”

Ben thought for a minute. “I will have a room at Dad’s house too. I know some of the kids at school have two of everything. That way I can see Uncle Reid. He will come over to Dad’s new house and race with me.”

Kaitlin groaned inwardly every time he said ‘Uncle Reid’. She had hoped Reid would one day be a distant memory and now he was part of her extended family. To further complicate things, he was dating Shea. They had gotten real cozy at Reese’s wedding. She was pretty sure that sooner, rather than later, they would all be one big happy dysfunctional family.

“You can see Reid when you are staying with your Dad. You don't have to live with him full time to do that,” she explained.

“Fine. Can I call Dad?” asked Ben and held out his hand for her phone.

“Sure,” she said and handed it to him. He ran excitedly out of the room to call his father.

Kaitlin turned to Leroy who hadn't said much during the exchange. “I'm losing my baby. What am I going to do?” she said frowning.

Leroy smiled and pulled her into a hug. “Just keep loving him,” he said, “Maybe he will find what he's looking for from Newt. I had hoped that we would bond more, but at least he is beginning to accept me. Reese finally came around, Ben will too,” he said with certainty.

Kaitlin laughed, “You built them a house!”

“So I did,” he replied and laughed, “It wasn’t completely unselfish though, technically I still own it, I got to move in with you and the rent makes the payment for the remodel. It was a very good investment.”

“Shrewd businessman, master mixologist, builder and architect extraordinaire! What more could a woman want!” said Kaitlin still laughing.

Leroy looked hurt. “What?” she asked not understanding what she said wrong.


He pulled her too him hard and tipped her chin up smirking, “You forgot amazing lover, maybe I need to remind you,” he said seductively going in for a kiss.

“God! Mom, gross!” said Ben when he came back in. Leroy and Kaitlin jumped apart like a couple of teenagers caught by their parents.

Kaitlin noticed his mood had worsened. “What's wrong Ben? Didn't he answer?” asked Kaitlin.

“Dad said I couldn't live with him all the time. He said you would be sad. But I didn't see him for a long time and he was sad. It's not fair.” whined Ben.

Kaitlin hugged Ben, but he didn't want a hug and wiggled away.

“Oh Ben,” she said after he pulled away and looked at the ground, “I wish you could know how hard it was for me to take you away from your father. One day you will understand why. Since your father and I are now in much better places, it's time to put the past behind us and for you two to rebuild your relationship. He loves you. I am sure he was sad when we left but I don't think he's mad at me for leaving him. It was the only way at the time.”

Ben frowned. “Twinbrook is a better place than Roaring Heights?” he asked confused.

Kaitlin and Leroy busted out laughing. “Yes Ben,” she said, “Twinbrook is a much better place for all of us. You okay now?”

“I guess so, can I go fishing?” he asked looking at them like they had three eyes.

“Sure, but be careful. You know where everything is?” asked Kaitlin.

“Yes, Leroy showed me,” he said and ran off leaving them once more alone in his bedroom.


“Now, where were we?” asked Leroy.

In a much better place? Twinbrook!" she replied and they both started laughing again. It felt really good to laugh.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Later that night after all the kids were finally asleep and the day's drama was done, Leroy and Kaitlin sat on the deck of their new home. It was a quiet evening, punctuated every so often by the sound of a fish jumping in the river, the croak of a frog or a car going slowly across the nearby bridge.

Looking out over the water and up at the night sky, they sat in companionable silence, each basking in the comfort of the other and lost in their own thoughts.

Kaitlin truly felt like her life had started over today. But this time she wasn't running from something all alone with 3 children and no idea how she was going to feed and shelter them. This time she was running towards a brighter and more positive future with a man she loved, who wholly loved her back.


“This is perfect. It’s how I always dreamed my life should be," she whispered, her words sounding loud in the quiet night as she lay her head on Leroy's shoulder.

Leroy picked out the brightest of the thousands of stars that popped out as the sun disappeared transforming the night sky to midnight blue. “Hey beautiful,” he whispered back and pointed to the star, “Close your eyes and make a wish.”

Leroy studied at Kaitlin as she closed her eyes. She was indeed beautiful and sexy, he thought, more relaxed than she had been since he had known her. And she was going to be his, forever.

After Kaitlin made her wish and opened her eyes she saw him watching her. She laughed and asked, “Were you staring at me Leroy Chapman?”

“Mmm huh,” he said smiling and turned around to face her. He pulled a black velvet box out of his pocket and opened it. Then he looked at her with so much love it took her breath away.

“It's time I did this right,” he said as he presented the opened box to Kaitlin.

And for the third time Leroy asked Kaitlin to marry him.  This time he had a ring.










The End


Special Thanks.......

💓I want to thank CathyTea for her encouragement and her pen pal letters which helped me better understand the effects domestic violence has on all parties touched by it - including the abuser, TheoriesofHappiness and CathyTea for providing me with suggestions on how to improve my writing mechanics, those that reached out to me privately with their personal experiences with abuse - my heart goes out to you, my reading circles on the forums - thanks for being there, reading and providing feedback so I shortened my chapters at the end. 💓 And of course all of my readers. 💓You made this so much more fun for me to do. 💓

I will be posting an epilogue but it may be 2-3 weeks before it is ready.