After Alana finished speaking with Thornton, the doorbell rang.  Whoever it was must have had the code to the security gate.  It had to be either David’s father, Robert or mother, Ana.

“Good morning, Robert!”, Alana greeted him as she let him in the door.

“Hello Alana.”, Robert said in return.

She led him to the sitting area and then went to get coffee and cookies for them.   She quickly joined him.

“How are you this morning?”, Robert asked her, as he studied her face.

“I’m alright.  David asked you to stop by, didn’t he?”, she asked.

“Yes.  He said to tell you that you have two choices.  You can tell me what happened last night, or he will be flying home today!”, he told her.

Alana was silent for a few moments thinking about what he’d said.  No others besides herself, David and Thornton had known about her personal relationship with Thornton.  They had thought it best to keep it private.  Now she felt that she had no choice but to tell Robert.

“Please keep this just between us, Robert.”, she said.

“If I can, I will.”, Robert told her.  If it were something that he felt David needed to know, he could not make that promise.

Alana decided to trust him.  “When David and I were separated, I thought that he was in love with Erin.  Thornton let me believe that they were together.  He had fallen in love with me and asked me to marry him when my divorce became final.  After Joel was born, I agreed.”, Alana told him.

“What!”, Robert said in shock.

“I wasn’t thinking clearly then.  I was so depressed over losing David that I didn’t care what happened to me.  Thornton had been extremely kind to me, and was doing everything he could to make me happy.  So, I agreed to marry him.  After David and I talked at the hearing, I gave Thornton back his ring.”, she said.

“I bet he wasn’t pleased about that.”, Robert said.

“Actually, he seemed to take it very well at the time, but now I know that he didn’t believe that it was over between us.”, Alana said.  She was uncomfortable about continuing the story.

“What happened last night?”, Robert asked.

“He came over.  He wanted me to have an affair with him.  He insisted that I owe him, and he tried to force me to be with him.”, she said.

“He tried to force you?  How?, Robert said.

“He grabbed me, but I managed to get away.  Our struggle woke Alissa up, and she came downstairs.   Then I convinced him to leave.”, Alana continued.  “I called him today and told him that I don’t won’t to talk with him or see him again.”

“What was his reaction to that?”, Robert asked.

“He was upset, but I meant what I said.”, Alana told him.

“I know this is a personal question, Alana; but I have to ask you anyway.  While you and David were separated, did anything happen physically between you and Thornton?”, he asked.

“Of course not!  I was attracted to him, but I was still in love with David.   Until we were divorced, I was still David’s wife.  I made sure that Thornton knew how I felt.   Now, I really don’t think that I could have gone through with marrying Thornton even if David and I had divorced.”, she said.  “Please don’t tell David what happened last night.  You know that he will literally kill Thornton.  He hates him for keeping us apart for so long and pursuing me.  This whole mess is my fault.  I have to take care of it!”

“What about Alissa, won’t she tell David?”, he said.

“I forgot about that!  She will tell her father.  I can’t ask her to keep secrets from him.”, Alana said.

“I’ll figure something out.”, Robert reassured her.  “You just make sure that you stay away from Thornton.”  Although, he didn’t tell Alana, he didn’t believe that Thornton would leave her alone.

“I will!”, Alana told him.

Robert left soon after.  He drove over to Thornton’s office.  They needed to have a talk.

After he entered Thornton’s office, Robert wasted no time on pleasantries.  He got right to the point.

“Have you lost your mind?”, he asked Thornton, angrily.

Thornton looked at him defiantly.  “What happened last night is between Alana and me.  It’s not your business.”, Thornton told him firmly.

Robert forced himself to remain calm and try to reason with Thornton.  “So, what you are saying is that you intend to continue to pursue Alana?”, he asked.

Thornton didn’t answer.  He just continued to look at Robert.

“I know my son very well.  He won’t tolerate that.  If he finds out what you have already done, he will kill you!”, Robert said.

“I’m not afraid of your son!”, Thornton told him.

Robert sighed, thinking how foolish Thornton was to lightly dismiss David’s desire to protect Alana.  He decided to try another way to reach him.

“You claim to love Alana.”, Robert told Thornton.

“I do love Alana.”, Thornton said.

“Then think about how she feels.  She loves her husband, but you won’t leave her alone.  She feels guilty because of the pain that she has already caused David when she was with you.  How do you think she will feel if she is the cause of a confrontation between you and David?”, he reasoned to Thornton.  “If you really love her, then try not to cause her anymore pain.  She has had a hard life, but she is happy with David.  Don’t ruin that for her.”, Robert said.

Thornton didn’t say anything.  He was deep in thought.  Robert left the office, hoping that he had reached Thornton.

Later that afternoon, Robert received a phone call.  It was from Thornton.  After he spoke with Thornton, he called David and told him that everything was okay.  He did not need to return home early.  Then he called Alana.

“Alana, you don’t need to worry about Thornton, anymore.  That situation is resolved.”, he told her.

Alana didn’t even ask what Robert did.  She was just relieved it was over.

That Friday morning, I took the entrance exam.  I waited until I received my results, and then took the next flight home to Sunset Valley.  Alana wasn’t expecting me home until Sunday.  I couldn’t wait to be with her and wanted to surprise her.  I arrived home that evening.

When Alana came out of the master bathroom after her bath, she was overjoyed and surprised to see me standing in the bedroom.  She ran over to me and jumped into my arms.

“Oh David!  I missed you so much.  You will never know how happy I am that you are home!”, she told me.

“I missed you too!  I couldn’t wait until Sunday to come home.”, I said. 

I kissed her deeply.

After a good while, I released her.  “Did you get the results of the test?”, she asked.

I smiled.  “I passed it.  I get to enter the program.  It won’t be long before I am an astronaut.”, I answered.

“I knew you would!  I bet you were one of the highest scorers.”, she said proudly.

“Yes, I was.  Actually, because of my score, I get to take the accelerated course.”, I told her.  I studied her face closely.  “How have you really been while I was gone, Alana?”, I asked.

“Fine.  I’ve been very busy.  Joel is crawling now, and before long, he will be walking.  He is progressing even more quickly than Aidan did!”, she said.

I knew that meant that she still wasn’t ready to tell me what had upset her while I was gone.  I decided not to push it anymore.  I just wanted to enjoy being with her.  Our eyes met, and we each saw the desire in the others’ eyes.

I took off my clothes and Alana slipped off her nightgown.  We moved to the bed together and made love, satisfying our hunger for each other.

One month later, without any explanation, Thornton Wolff closed down his practice and left Sunset Valley.  I checked the mail and brought in a letter addressed to Alana from Thornton.  I left her alone to read it.  When I returned to the room, Alana was in tears.

I took her into my arms.  “What is it, Alana?”, I asked her.

Alana didn’t feel that it was fair to Thornton for her to tell David his personal thoughts and feelings for her that he had expressed in his letter.

“Thornton sent me this letter to say goodbye and explain why he left.”, she told me.

“Why are you crying?”, I asked her.

“Because he sounds so sad.  It’s my fault that all of this happened.”, she explained.

I still had no sympathy for Thornton.  I was glad that he was gone.  However, I knew that Alana still felt guilty.

“Alana, what happened was not your fault.  It was because of Erin’s actions, and Thornton was also to blame.  Please stop blaming yourself.  You didn’t make Thornton fall in love with you.  I can understand his feelings, but he handled it the wrong way.  You had no control over what he did.”, I told her.

Alana knew that I was right and from that moment on, she stopped letting the guilt eat away at her.  She told me what had happened the night Thornton had come to the house.  I was furious just as Alana had known I would be.

“Thornton apologized to me in his letter, David!”, Alana told me quickly.

I tried to calm myself down.  However, if I ever saw Thornton Wolff again, Thornton would not survive the meeting.  It was wise of him to have left town.

Finally Alana and I were able to put our separation behind us.  I was able to reach my dream of becoming an astronaut and going out in space.  It was even more awe-inspiring than I had always dreamed it would be. 

Alana, along with a partner, bought the Bistro and made it into a world renowned restaurant known for its unique cuisine and beautiful chef.

Time continued to pass quickly by.


6 thoughts on “LOVE ENDURES-Chapter 17

  1. I have no sympathy for Thornton, either and I do hope Alana and David can finally put the whole scenario behind them but it was certainly a gripping storyline.

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