A/N: This chapter is more about family as you soon will tell. And you get to see a sneak peek into Finns head.
CHAPTER THREE: SMILE FOR THE CAMERA
“He did what!”
I was currently at my parents house in Hoboken, New Jersey lounging out in the family room with my eldest brother Robert. My parents were playing in the backyard with the grandkids except my eldest nephew Tomas who was in the kitchen with his mother Maria- Robert’s wife of 20 years.
Robert was the only one of my three brothers that still resided in New York, as a Family Lawyer he took his job very seriously. He help me with my divorce and the custody battle I had to endure during Finn and I’s separation. He was (and still is) overly protective of me. He and Finn had been great friends, and over the years we took family vacations together. But the moment I finally revealed what happened between Finn and I, he became even more overbearing, and even vengeful towards a certain someone. I guess he was hurt, a friendship destroyed and a little sister broken. It was a beautiful disaster.
Julian the second oldest is currently living in San Francisco with his four year old son Parker. He went through a nasty breakup from his ex-wife Becca 6 months ago after finding out she was embezzling money into an off sore account of her estranged lover. His small doctors practice nearly went bankrupt due to the money loss but our parents stepped in and helped him financially to stay afloat. Becca was currently serving an 8 Year sentence in prison and her mysterious lover disappeared with nearly $500,000. He decided to stay in San Francisco and continue on with the life he built with his son, but frequently visited New York.
Mark, the youngest of my brothers was also over the other side of America as well, pursuing his dream in Los Angeles. He packed up and left straight after high-school with the families support to become an actor. Over the years he has done well for himself, after staring in small commercials, then he moved on to TV drama, before getting his big break at 26. He stared as the supporting roll in one of Hollywood’s greatest movies. He got noticed, then got famous. He kept to his bachelor life style, and I didn’t ask him about the different women he was photographed with.
I had just explained to Robert what had happened this morning over breakfast and what Olivia had said to me. To say he was mad was an understatement, he had practically choked on his beer the moment I told him about my uninvited guests.
“Yeah well I can’t stop him from seeing Josh on his birthday can I? But did he really need to bring her?” Robert understood my emotions. He was the only one out of my entire family that knew what really happened, between Finn and I.
“Yes you damn well can Rae! That is your house, your property and if you don’t want someone there you can tell them to leave. Invite Finn in sure but kindly remind him to leave his baggage at the door” Robert fumed and I couldn’t help the laugh that escaped my lips.
“I’m seriously Rae, don’t let him walk all over you! That asshole needs to be taken down a peg or two” I sighed knowing that the more I talked about the situation, the more angry my brother would get. So in true Rae fashion I changed the subject.
“So anyways! Are you excited about Tomas starting collage next year?” My eighteen year old nephew was a prodigy of his old man. I knew one day he would be a brilliant lawyer and husband, it was just a matter of time.
Robert beamed and the mention of his eldest boy. “Of course! The kid got into Harvard for fuck sakes” he laughed, “not even I did that well. I tell you what, I can’t wait to see him successfully one day”. That was just typical Robert, he was the kindest man you would ever meet but if you messed with his family he would back hand you quicker then a women at a black Friday sale.
“You know Elissa and Emery are going to be artist just like there momma” his daughters Elissa, 15, and Emery, 10, were splitting images of there beautiful mother Maria. Both had dark chocolate hair and golden brown eyes, they could never do anything wrong in Robert’s eyes because they looked to much like their mother. Who was a pretty well known artist in New York, both girls had talent but in different areas.
Elissa enjoyed painting faces and was brilliant at it, she has won numerous awards at school. And Emery loves mixing colour, some would call it abstract but to her it was just pure fun.
“I’ve got my work cut out with them don’t I?” Robert mused taking a long swig from his beer bottle before sitting it down on the coffee table.
“No, more like you’ve got your work cut out with Robert junior over there” I pointed wards the glass doors that looked out into the backyard just as the Feisty little 7 year old crash tackled his grandpa with the help of Ruby who was laughing along.
“Military school” he mumbled. I laughed, little Robert had always been upto no good, but he did it in the most innocent way.
“Come on” I slapped Robert’s leg then stood up to stretch, “we better go join the others instead of having our bitch and moan session. I’m sure mom is running around out there with her new camera trying to take photos”.
Laughing, we reminst about the first few weeks after Karim had brought her the camera, let’s just say she went through two 16 gig memory cards, and hundreds of dollars worth of prints.
I kissed the top of ruby’s head, her eyes were already fluttering shut which didn’t surprise me. Flicking off the light, then walked out of the room. Goodnight my princess.
I walked down the hallway to Josh’s room and poked my head in. He had already passed out, soft snores echoed in the room. I quickly tucked him in, kissing his soft brown hair. Goodnight my little man.
Today was a big day, after the little spat I had with Finn the rest of the day went off without a hitch. Ice skating was a blast with Chloe, and her kids, Harry and Stephen. It was the first time in years I had stepped foot on ice and having two little humans depend on me to keep them upright was quite amusing.
After that we had a nice long walk through central park before dinner and cake at mom and Karim’s house. They kids had enjoyed the company of their 4 cousins, and I couldn’t help but smile at how close they were. It made me wonder if they were as close with Finn’s family as they were mine, especially Finn’s 4 year old neice Sophia.
I grabbed an ice cold beer out of the refrigerator and possistioned my rear end nicely on my plush couch. I chose to leave on whatever TV show that was already on, and continued watching without paying attention to what was happening.
As the credits rolled by I heard a loud knock on the door. Sighing, I took the last few sips of my beer and shuffled towards the door.
Gregory was standing there with a dopey smile on his face and a large blue box in his hand. He bent over and gave me a peck on the lips. A smile curved on my face the moment he wrapped his arms around me. We walked back toward the couch, not leaving an inch of space between us.
He bent forward placing the blue box on the table quickly and wound is arms back around me. “How was your day beautiful?” Gregory whispered nibbling on my ear lobe.
“It was good! Joshua had a great day and passed out as soon as he got back home. How was your day?” I replied choosing to keep my encounter with Finn out of it.
“Oh it was fine, sold a penthouse in Manhattan today. It came with a nice fat commission to which I plan on spending on you. Maybe a weekend to Hawaii?” He continued to kiss my neck.
“Oohh… well maybe one day we can enjoy that lovely vacation. And thank you again for today! I know you wanted to enjoy Joshua’s birthday with us but thank you for letting me have this time with th-”.
He kissed me softly on the lips to shut me up, no doubt I was rambling on once again. “Its fine sweetheart. I got a sale and you got time with your kids, Plus we have tomorrow. And tonight…” he wiggled his eyebrows and licked his lips. My body was dragged upon his and our lips crashed together. It had been weeks since we had last had sex and I was more then ready for him. I needed him right now, I needed to forget for a moment, I needed to feel that earth shattering orgasm.
I needed to feel human again.
I had dragged myself from the comfort of my silk sheets at 5am this morning. Olivia had managed to stick to her side of the bed last night thank God, I hated waking up with her short blonde hair tickling my face.
Putting on my joggers and a t-shirt I laced up my sneakers and walked towards the kitchen to have a quick shake before heading to the gym down stairs in my apartment. This was my Daily accurance, I needed to exercise before I sat in my office all day behind paper work and my laptop.
Running my own company was hard work, long hours and no sleep. I had been living this way since I graduated college, the only balance I once had in my life were my kids and wife. But now that had all changed because of Rachel.
We had just gotten back from Aspen Monday night after I had taken Olivia and her God awful family away for her birthday. I had nearly cancelled after the ruckus Olivia had caused with Rae in front of my kids on my son’s birthday, but I knew if I did that the nagging would increase and i wasn’t in the mood for that.
I stepped onto the treadmill and started off at a walking pace, letting my muscles warm. Her beautiful face flashed though my head, her creamy skin, the hairpin curve of her plump lips, her button nose, her silk like hair- fuck!
My body tumbled to the ground hard, I had missed a step which caused me to trip all because I was thinking about her. Not my girlfriend that laid asleep in my sheets, but my ex-wife.
Pulling my legs to my body in frustration and leading my elbows on my knees I looked to the ceiling still thinking about her.
Over two years since I had touched her intimately, kissed her lips… My heart still ached everytime I saw her, but I couldn’t show her how much she ruined me. No, instead I channelled that built up frustration into pure hate towards Rae. I couldn’t help it, she took away my kids, my life, my fucking air.
I groaned picking myself up of the hard floor and turned off the treadmill. I made my way over towards the boxing bag, forgoing the gloves I collided my fist hard into the bag.
Memories of the night my world came apart washed over me, it was a disease I couldn’t fight.
‘Rae, honey. I’m home’
Smack! My fist collided with the solid leather. I felt nothing.
'Hello? Anyone home?’
Then I distinctly remember the words scribbled on a yellow post-it note in Rae’s hand writing, along with the divorce papers.
Grimacing I looked at the paperwork that had piled up in front of me, red tags with sign here scribbled across them poked out. It would take me all day just to read all the new contracts I was taking on in the new year and according to Olivia my deadline was only 4 hours away.
“Olivia” I buzzed through the intercom. “Can you ring Archie and tell him to come to my office immediately”.
“Of course Finny” she replied. A grimace shuttered through me. It was a nickname she had picked up just after we started dating, it was a habit I thought she would break but I was beginning to loose hope.
No more then 15 minutes later Archie lazily strolled through the door not even bothering to knock.
“I was summoned” he announced grinning.
“Yeah, clear your schedule. I need you to help me read through these contracts so I can sign them off. Apparently Liv decided to leave this to the last minute and I have-” I looked towards my watch. “3 hours and 44 minutes to get them done before they are sent to your department to be organised into financial groups” I signed.
It was only 9am and I was already exhausted, I had no idea how I was going to finish this in the time frame I had. There was atleast 40 small business contracts to sort through, but if there was anyone I knew that could help me it would be my brother, Archie.
“Fuck man! Why do you let her do this shit?” He groaned typing away on his phone, no doubt messaging his assistant Charleene about the turn of events.
“Don’t start” I growled flipping a page before signing.
“I’m just sayin-”
“Enough!” I yelled slamming my hands down on my desk. “Christ Arch, I know Ohkay… I know”.
“Look I’m sorry I shouldn’t of said it, but your not happy man. You haven’t been since-” he stopped before he finished, no doubt he saw the pain flash through my eyes. Archie picked up a contract and started to flick through it, awkward tension permeated the air.
To say my family where welcoming of Olivia was an understatement. They had all adored Rae, especially my parents who treated her like a daughter. When they asked me what caused the divorce all I could do was shrug, I had no fucking idea so what was I to tell them. They took my silence as an admission that I had fucked up somewhere, that I had wronged her but all I did was love and cherish that women.
Of course Ma and Archie had tried to contact Rae but she had obviously blocked their numbers, after 4 months they gave up trying just like I did, when bent Olivia over my desk and fucked her. That was the night I finally understood that my marriage was over, the life I knew before was gone and the women I loved more then life itself had left.
“Since my wife left me?”
“Finn” my brother sighed, rubbing his hand through his hair. “Have you even asked her why she left?”.
I shook my head in honesty. I had tried to talk to her but my pain turned into misery, my grief turned into anger and the only way i could express myself was by yelling at her.
“Maybe you should” Archie replied, picking up another contract.
“You don’t think I have? I tried for months to get her to talk to me. The most I got was a slap to the face and her repeating how vile I am. Fuck, I don’t know what happened. I-… It been 2 years and I still love her…”
“You have the kids tonight right?” I nodded. “Well when you drop them off talk to her…”