Wished away a broken fai.., p.21
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       Wished Away: A Broken Fairy Tale, p.21

           S.P. Cervantes
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  “Damn, we have to be the best looking people in Mantoloking.” Joey looks me up and down before kissing me on the cheek.

  “Oh that’s an accomplishment considering there are like a hundred people who live here,” Kat says sarcastically making Joey turn and wrap her up in his arms playfully.

  “Don’t be so pessimistic, Pierce.” Joey is relentlessly flirting with Kat, which makes me happy to see since the last time the group of us were together, I thought they would rip each other’s heads off.

  I turn to Gage and whisper, “Did you make sure they didn’t bring dates?”

  He nods and smiles. “Hell yes. I wish those two would stop acting like five year olds and just admit they like each other.”

  Just then I notice a large limo bus turn down our street and look back at the group gathered. “I thought we were walking there?”

  “Not in these heels,” Cam says with a smile.

  Charlotte turns to me. “Grandmom and Grandpop Bosi are coming too. Gage set it all up!”

  I look back at the man I love and there are no words. He is always thinking of me, always trying to do little things that he knows will make me smile. He knows how important Dave’s parents are to Charlotte and me, and the fact that he’s included them in such a special night means so much to me.

  Gage is the last person to slide into the limo with that mischievous smile and kisses me. “Ready to roll babe?”

  “I can’t wait to see it!” I turn to the others. “Have you guys been inside yet?”

  “Yes,” all of them answer laughing when I pout up at Gage.

  “I think it’s safe to say that tonight is going to be full of surprises, Jess,” Holden says with a wink to Gage peaking my curiosity even more.

  In a matter of seconds we pull onto the stony road where the B and B sits. I feel large, soft hands reach around me, then suddenly cover my eager eyes. “What the hell, Gage,” I say trying to wriggle away to finally see how everything looks.

  His deep laugh settles me, and I feel his breath on my ear filling me with liquid heat. “Just play along tonight alright?” He kisses under my ear not waiting for my answer.

  I can hear the gasps and quiet excitement when everyone gets out of the limo, making it practically impossible not to break away from Gage, but tonight, just tonight, I’ll play along and be a good girl.

  “Take my hand.” I hear Joey’s voice and feel his fingers grasp mine as he gently leads me out of the limo while Gage keeps his hands securely over my eyes.

  When I’m standing on my own, Gage removes his hands from behind me and wraps his arms around my waist, pulling my back up against him and kisses my head. “What do you think?”

  I’m speechless. Once again, Gage has managed to tap into my dreams and has recreated my idea of Heaven. The cul de sac is lined in hundreds of illuminated antique lamps adding a soft, magical glow to the cozy shore street. Each of the three buildings are distinctively different. The B and B sits at the center, shining in the warmth of the New England style decor. The large white wrap around porch is filled with wicker lounge chairs, and tall topiaries all adorned with twinkling white lights. I’ve never experienced a scene more relaxing, and think it will be the perfect getaway for many people for years to come. To the right, the once Victorian style estate has been transformed into a more contemporary looking restaurant that’s no longer covered in grey shingles and black shutters, but now has grey and black slate accents on the metal grey exterior with worked copper accents around the enormous picture window. There are several sitting areas placed on the wrap around deck with mini table fire places blazing between each sitting area where my eyes fall upon Gage’s parents sitting deep in conversation with the Bosi’s and Mr. Dade. Just then they all look our way and take notice of our arrival, making their way down the elegant stone steps to greet us.

  “What do you think?” Gage whispers over my shoulder still waiting for my answer.

  “It’s perfect. I’m so proud of you,” I say turning to place a kiss on his lips. He takes in a deep breath before pulling me tightly into his warm body.

  I look over to the third property, the smaller of the three, but my favorite, and am surprised to see that while it’s clear there are some minor upgrades like fresh paint, and the three tiered deck is still in place, my favorite part of the home, that it still looks like a home, not a B and B. I look up into the blue eyes that heat me like a torch. “Let’s check that one out first.”

  Gage smiles down at me and rolls his eyes looking to the others. “Of course,” he says sarcastically as they all laugh with me clearly being the only one not in on the joke. He kisses my forehead. “We’ll head over there in a bit. First things first. Remember, you promised to go with the flow.”

  “I’m just so excited,” I say and turn to my friends. “Let’s get this party started.”

  The others greet us with excited hugs and kisses. Gage and his father share a private exchange before he walks to the front of our group. “I want to thank all of you for coming to help us with the opening of our new venture.” His attention turns solely on me and I can feel the heat burning inside me with the power of his gaze. “When we were deciding on what to name this property, we wanted to have it stand apart from the hotels. We wanted it to be a place where people could experience all the luxury and amenities of a five star resort, but also feel like they are home.” He walks over to me and takes my hand in his, looking at me so tenderly, it almost breaks my heart. “When you came into my life, it was at your darkest moment. I’ll never forget thinking to myself that I would do anything in the world to bring back the light in your eyes. I wanted to be able to wish away your pain. I’ve thanked God every day since that you have let me. When people come here, I want them to be able to forget about their trouble, I want them to be able to bask in the light that you bring to everyone you meet with your electric magnetism and sarcastic sassy way that’s so endearing…most of the time.”

  We all laugh and when I look around I see tears of joy in the Bosis’ eyes, it makes me still. They have lost so much too. I hold out my hand to Mrs. Bosi and she smiles up at me when Gage continues. “We wanted you all to be here for the revealing of the name of the restaurant and B and B before the others arrive, so without further ado, here we go.” Two men dressed in black suits pull off a black cloth that I hadn’t noticed before, revealing a large white sign with peach writing. “We named it Wished Away, so that every time you see that sign, you remember I will spend every day keeping the light back in your eyes.” He takes his thumb and brushes the tear that has escaped away and leans in to kiss my cheek before pulling back, looking at me intently. “I love you.”

  So many feelings wash through me, that it’s hard to contain my emotions. Charlotte comes running up to Gage and jumps in his arms, giving him a kiss on the cheek and hugging him tightly. The way he’s looking at her is a look that can only be explained as unconditional love. He makes her feel special. He makes her feel loved.

  When my eyes meet Mrs. Bosi, and she is smiling happily at Gage and Charlotte, my thoughts drift to Dave, and the thought crosses my mind that he would be happy seeing this, knowing his girls are taken care of. I walk over to Gage and Charlotte and wrap my arms around them. “I love it. It’s perfect! When can we see the rest? What about the property over there?” I point to the third property again that’s the only one that doesn’t seem to have a lot of action going on inside.

  Gage and Charlotte smile at each other and I can’t help but laugh. “Let’s go in to dinner, then we can check out everything else.” He kisses my forehead and turns to the others. “Who’s ready to eat?”

  All through dinner, Gage’s hand never leaves my body, teasing me with his every caress. It’s a very intimate gathering with his close family and friends, and it makes me feel like we are truly coming together as a couple with the way he thought to include all of those close to me to this event. I notice the way the women in the room keep their gaze on Gage while he roams around the
room greeting his guests looking more handsome than should be legal. The men stand a little taller when he is around, and the women bat their eyes a little more, but Gage’s attention never flees from me for long.

  Watching Gage here, among all of these people makes me realize that maybe doing this, running this type of business, is something that really will make him happy. While he is the best of surgeons, when he came home from work, he was always emotionally drained, frustrated with the lives he couldn’t save. Here, he can be himself and make people happy in another way. I have no doubt that this place will be hugely successful for the restaurant alone. Everything I’ve tasted tonight from the oysters on a half shell, to the truffle macaroni and cheese, to the filet and lobster, has been beyond amazing. Everything is refined in taste, and simple, yet rich in flavor. The atmosphere is relaxing and casual but with service that I’ve only experienced in the finest restaurants. Gage has done well, and I couldn’t be more proud.

  Cam and Kat get up and move to sit by me when the men go to the bar with Gage to check out the twelve big screens showcasing every sporting event imaginable.

  “Holy hell, this place is awesome, isn’t it?” I say taking a sip from my wine.

  “My dad is shaking in his boots, this place has everything. Just wait until you see the pool at the B ad B. It overlooks the freaking ocean!” Cam holds her glass up for a toast. “May we spend many nights eating and drinking here….free.”

  We all laugh and toast with her. “I can’t wait for Gage to show everything to me over there. If it’s half as amazing as this place, I don’t think I’ll ever leave.” I say feeling the heat of his gaze on me.

  “Maybe you won’t ever have to leave.” Kat’s smiling sweetly at me.

  I let my attention fall back to Gage, sitting with a group of guys who are in a spirited conversation, but his attention is still on me and I feel warm inside. “Gage isn’t going to live here, he still lives in that little house in Brick.” I look back to my friends. “I want to ask him to move in with me, but it wouldn’t be right for Charlotte. I’d be setting a bad example. Hell, he still doesn’t even spend the night when she’s there. But I don’t want to be apart anymore.”

  Kat smiles devilishly. “Just think how romantic it will be for the two of you when I move in!”

  We all laugh and I notice the way Cam rolls her eyes at Kat. “What? You’re still moving in right? I already cleared out the guest room.” Kat just got a teaching job in Point Pleasant and is going to be staying with us until she finds a better place. It was Gage’s suggestion actually, and I’m glad to have her back with me.

  Just then Gage walks up behind us and when he rests his hand on my shoulder, my entire body shudders with excitement. “May I steal my lady for a minute? I want to show her the rest.”

  Kat and Cam both smile brightly and I notice Cam gets a tear in her eye when he takes my hand and leads me from the table. I know that seeing me happy again is something she never thought she’d witness, but am surprised to see her so emotional right now. I think for a moment that maybe she’s pregnant again, but when I see the glass of wine she is holding, my momentary excitement is extinguished.

  I stop and look up at Gage before following his lead. “Let me just let Charlotte know,” I say turning to the Bosi’s table to only to see it is empty. “Wait, where’d she go?”

  Gage kisses my forehead. “She’s fine, just come with me.”

  When we walk out to the front patio he twirls me around and presses my body up against the warm stone, kissing me deeply, filling it with so much meaning that he’s stroking the embers to the fire burning inside me for him to a dangerous degree. I can feel him smile through our kiss, and he pulls back with blue eyes that look as if they are telling me so many things. “I can’t wait to get you alone tonight.” He nips at my lip and laces his fingers through mine. “Come with me.”

  “Are you taking me somewhere to be alone now?” I press my body up to the side of him needing to feel that physical connection.

  He smiles down at me, leading me across the glowing street when I begin to hear soft music playing through the night sky. It’s “Fix You” by Coldplay, what has become our favorite band to use to say how we’re feeling. He raises an eyebrow and his smile grows even bigger. “I want tonight to be one you’ll never forget. I have something to show you, but promise me one thing, no questions. Ok?”

  “What are you talking about? You know that’s impossible!”

  Gage sighs with a smile curling on his fabulously plump lips. “No. Questions.” His voice is deep and sultry, making it impossible to deny him.

  “Alright, um…” Why can I only think of questions right now? “Where? Can I see…”

  Gage laughs. “Just follow me, I want to show you something.”

  We walk up to the white picket fence that surrounds the home at the opposite end of the cul de sac from the restaurant. The one I’ve been dying to see. Gage looks down at me and I see something in his eyes I can’t quite understand. He looks worried, nervous perhaps, and it makes me giggle a little thinking how silly it is that he can be worrying how I’ll feel about all of this.

  I look up to the beautiful home and notice right away the wrought iron designs of butterflies that are on either side of the enormous oak door. At the very top of the entryway there is another wrought iron design of a rainbow. I look up at Gage and smile. “Rainbows and butterflies. What a great idea for the entryway. Anyone who comes here will be reminded to focus on the positive. I love it.” I lean up and place a soft kiss on his lips. “I can’t believe the ways you thought to put little pieces of me in all of this. Good thing since I have such great taste,” I add playfully.

  Inside my heart sings because it gives me hope that we really will have a future together. Just then I notice the song changes to “Arms” by Christina Perry and I’m instantly brought back to the night before I broke up with Gage. I was trying to be so strong, trying not to hold him back from anything, especially such an important opportunity like being chief of surgery in the top hospital in the nation. I sent him this song that night hoping he would see through my stupidity. When he smiles down at me singing along, I realize the songs playing through the street aren’t a coincidence. They are from Gage.

  Gage turns to me. “Remember when you sent this to me?” He gets an annoyed look, but can’t hide a smile from peeking through. “I knew right then, you were going to leave me. I saw through your walls.” He slips a key into the door and turns back to me. “I would have chased you forever, Jessica. I was never going to let you go.” He pulls me inside and shuts the door behind us, pressing himself into me kissing me once more, making me wish nothing other than ripping off every last bit of clothing he is wearing. When he pulls back I pout. “You turn me inside out, Jess.” He bites down on his bottom lip looking at me in the predatory way that drives me insane and takes a deep breath. “Follow me.”

  I have to pause when I see the entryway. I’ve never been inside before, and if I thought the outside was grand, the inside was even more magnificent. As the song changes to “Give Into Me” I see something that makes me pause. The circular entryway has a large driftwood table at the center that’s in the shape of a heart. It’s filled with pictures of Charlotte and our friends together on the beach. The ornately engraved white shelves that line the back wall of the circular entryway are also filled with pictures of Gage and the guys from college, me and my family, my parents before they died, and Cam and Kat. My eyes fall to the words that are above the one shelf that is in an archway at the center of the back wall. On the left the word Live is written in perfect script, to the right is the word, Laugh, and at the center is the word Love. But what is below the words is what strikes my heart like a shockwave. A family picture of Dave, Charlotte and me is on one side, and a picture of Gage and Cassie together is on the other. But what is at the center is what is most surprising. I walk over and pick up large black and white picture of Dave and Cassie, smiling brightly with each other at
the camera. I turn and look at Gage. “What…”

  He cuts me off. “No questions yet.” He walks over to my side. “I wanted to have a place where we could both remember them. Holden had this picture from college. Us being together, doesn’t mean we have to forget them Jess. I want Charlotte to always know what a great man Dave was, and I don’t ever want to forget the amazing woman Cassie was. They brought us together Jess, and I’d like to think they are up in Heaven together, cheering us on.”

  No words have ever been truer, but I wonder why he’s done this here, at the B and B instead of at home. “Why…”

  Gage puts his finger to my lips making me pout again and places a kiss on my palm. “Come on.” He pulls me through the delicately decorated entryway into a large open room decorated in a comfortable beachy way--my favorite. The bright blue walls opened to a large glass window that stands from floor to ceiling looking out onto the calm Atlantic. The song changes to “Sky Full of Stars” by Coldplay, and I think of our first official date on the beach when he played this entire CD for me, and we danced for hours under the stars. Remembering the smooth way his body moved with mine can’t keep a smile from my face.

  He leads me through a door to a large room with two oak desks on opposite ends of the room that span the entire wall. One side of the room has diplomas and pictures of the Giants placed over the deep grey walls. When I see the other desk my heart stops and everything starts to come together. Pictures of me and Gage, Charlotte, and all my friends are atop the desk. But it’s what is above the desk that makes me know Gage wants more than I realized. The words GOODFELLAS are written above the desk. The name of my foundation. “What…”

  He cuts me off. “There’s more.”

  I can’t help it, but I begin to shake a little. He smiles down at me and brings me in close when he walks us up the stairs to the second level and leads me into a room. “For Charlotte,” is all he says. The room is a warm purple with a beautiful crystal chandelier hanging above the sweet pink quilt and lace bed. Pictures of One Direction and Justin Bieber adorn the walls and I can only laugh through my tears.

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