”What, Evie?” Katie asked.
”Mom…none of this would be happening if we weren’t together…none of it. It’s too much for me, it’s too much for Lucy, it’s too much for all of you to deal with. This is worse than the last time and we’ve only been together for….6 months. Mom…what will it be like 6 months from now? What will he do next? He’s going to get bailed out. I know his mother. And I say I want to have his rights terminated, but mom…Lucy needs to know who her father is, whether he’s a good father or a bad father…she doesn’t need someone coming in and out of her life every few months being mister perfect like Bruno…that’s just not safe….” Evie rambled. ”I just cannot do it.”
”Evie…I won’t tell you what to do, but I just hope you stop to think about what you’re doing. I know you’re under a lot of stress right now.” her mother told her watching her daughter take her phone.
I can’t do this anymore.
She texted to him.
Bruno looked down at his phone seeing her text to him. What the hell this is crap. I didn’t do anything.He thought to himself.
Yes you can. You’re so strong, you’re stronger than you think you are Eve. I love you.
No, Bruno. I mean us. I can’t do it. I just can’t do it.
”Is she breaking up with me through a text message?” Bruno asked handing Dre his cell phone to read it.
”It looks like it, dude.” Dre answered handing him the phone as they drove to his radio interview.
”The fuck she is.” Bruno said dialing her. ”Eve…”
”Bruno…I can’t do it. I just can’t do it. It’s too much. You don’t deserve all of this. You should have listened to Caleb. You should have listened to McKenzie when they said I was a mess….” she paused cringing in pain.
”Eve….we’ll talk about it when I get back. We’re not done fighting this yet. We’re not.” he told her in a shaky tone.
”No, Bruno. We are. ” she told him flatly.
”Geneva….” Bruno paused. Shit. His voice. I get chills. ”Just go to sleep, baby. It will get better. I promise you.”
”But, Bruno….it’s only going to get worse…it’s never going to get better….never…” she told him.
”Eve…I’m going to tell you I love you and then I’m going to hang up. Not because I don’t want to fight with you, but because you’re hurting and you need to sleep. So, Geneva…I love you.” the phone clicked and she listened to the silence.
”Geneva…wake up, sweetheart…” Katie said softly to her daughter. ”She’ll be awake in a few seconds…” Evie opened her eyes seeing her mother sitting next to her.
”Ouch…it still hurts..” Evie told her mother.
”I know…it will get better after…” her mother told her watching her daughter’s eyes move to the table in front.
”Who are those from?” Evie asked looking at the flowers and off to the side seeing a stuffed monkey. ”Oh..” paused. ”Can you hand me that?” she asked her mother pointing to the monkey. She lifted up the hat finding a note.
He’s going to keep an eye on you while I’m gone.
”Oh my god.” she laughed at the monkey.
”Mommmm…it’s BJ!” she heard Lucy running into the room.
”It’s what?” Evie asked.
”Mommm…Phil found it. They take it with them. But I don’t know how he got here…” Lucy answered jumping on the bed with her mother.
”Oh…I get it now. That’s so sweet.” Evie answered.
”Evie..do you remember talking to him last night?” Katie asked her daughter.
”I remember talking to him when I got here…but after they gave me this medicine I don’t remember anything.” Evie answered.
”Mommm…you remember me, though?” Lucy exclaimed.
”Yes, Lucy. I just don’t remember last night.” Evie answered.
”Okay…” Katie said looking at Carly who had come in with them. ”She doesn’t remember.”
”Remember what? What did I do?” Evie asked.
”You called Bruno and told him you wanted to break up with him.” Carly told her.
”Mommmm! Nooooooooooooooo.” Lucy cried.
”I think he’ll forgive me, Luc.” Evie answered.
”Call him, mommy. Tell him you’re sorryyyy…pleasseeee…” Lucy cried.
”Lucy..we’ll talk to him later, okay? I need to talk to the doctor, my love…” she told her daughter watching the doctor walk in the room.
”Are you ready to fix this thing today?” he asked her.
”Yeah. He’ll be really angry that he’s paying for a nose job.” Evie smiled glancing to the side to see a police officer walk in. ”Cici..will you take Lucy with you to get me something to eat?” Evie asked.
”Come on, Luc..let’s go…” Carly said taking her niece’s hand as they walked outside.
”Yes sir?” Evie asked the police officer who was holding some papers.
He introduced himself as Officer Harris who was assigned to the domestic violence case. ”We need to get a statement….” he told her.
”Ummm…I kind of want to wait for Craig to get here…” she told him speaking about her attorney assigned to the case.
”He’ll be here in a few minutes…” Katie told her daughter.
”Okay…can you wait?” she asked the police officer.
”Yes ma’am.” he turned around to leave the room.
”Evie..you have to get a restraining order for both you and Lucy…” her mother told her.
”I know. I know. That was the first thing I thought.” Evie said seeing her balding lawyer walk in the room.
”Restraining order? I’ve got it. Dana filled it out for you..” he said pulling out the paper. ”He cannot be within 1000 feet or you or your daughter.”
”Where is he now?” Evie asked.
”He’s still in jail. Michelle has not done anything to get him out of jail.” Craig answered her.
”But that doesn’t mean she isn’t going to.” Evie answered.
”Let’s worry about that later, Geneva. Sign these and then I will get everything taken care of.” he handed her the papers. She read over everything knowing that she knew exactly what was going on. She sighed signing the paper. ”He has to stay away from Bruno too…” she told him.
”I have no control over that until his lawyer calls us, Geneva.” he answered.
”I know. I just want to be careful. He’s going to be home in a few weeks…” Evie answered.
”He will be okay…” Craig reassured her.
:God I hope so.” she answered.
Evie rolled over on the couch at her mother’s house hearing music playing a few days after the successful surgery. Her friends and family remained by her side. She would be missing the first two weeks of the semester, which completely freaked her out. However, school was willing to work with her and knew that she would catch up. Sean remained in jail, his mother and sister upset at him not for the drugs, but for hurting Evie.
”Moommmm….” Lucy sat down on the end of the couch next to her mother.
”Bruno just called you when you were asleep…” Lucy told her handing her the phone.
”Did he leave a message, Luc?” she asked rubbing her eyes. ”Of course he did…you listened to it. What did he say?”
”Mommmm…he said he loves you. That was it. Listennn…” she put the phone up to her mother’s ear.
”Hey….Eve…I know you’re asleep. You should be. I love you. I’ll see you soon.” the message ended.
”I told you, mom!” Lucy said running away. Evie ran her fingers along the phone trying to decide what to do. She didn’t remember what she had told him, but she felt a strain in his voice- like he was trying to recover from a fight they had gotten in. His voice sounded like the night she told him she was giving him space. I don’t get it. She thought to herself dialing his phone.
”Brunoooo…” she called out hearing him pick up the phone.
”Hey baby doll. How are you feeling?:” he asked her.
”I’m okay…my whole face hurts though.” she told him.
”Eve…I’m so sorry I wasn’t there to protect you. If I was there you wouldn’t have even gone over there…” he told her.
”Oh please. I would have gone over there…you know that.” she responded.
”I would have pinned you down on the floor for as long as it took. You wouldn’t have left the house.” he told her.
”You don’t have to worry about that.” she answered him. ”We filed a TRO against him.” Evie answered.
”But that’s temporary, Eve…” he told her. ”I want you two to be safe…”
”We will. Please don’t worry about us, Bruno.” she replied.
”I’ll try…” he told her.
”Bruno…what did I tell you that night?” she burst out still worried about what she had done.
”You broke up with me.” he answered with no elaboration.
”Oh.” she answered.
”But I wouldn’t let you. So you’re still mine.” he smiled through the phone.
”I think I’m okay with that.” Evie replied trying to laugh.
”Eve…I have to go….” he said over a sudden sound of music playing.
”Okay. I know you’re busy.” she said in a sad tone.
”I will see you in a week and a half, Evie.” he reassured her.
”Bruno…wait…” she responded to his statement. ”I love you.”
”Eve..I love you too. Have a good day.”
”You too.” she said hearing the quiet at the end of the phone. She sat the phone down watching Lucy try to eavesdrop on the conversation. ”Lucy! You need to learn how to do that better. Come over here and watch tv with me.” Evie said.
”Mom….you made things better?” she asked.
”I think so, Lucy.” she said kissing her daughter on the cheek cuddling up next to her as they watched the Disney Channel.
”Lucy! Hurry up! Come on..we’re not going to be there forever…” Evie yelled at her daughter.
”But mom…you have to look pretty…” Lucy came out holding a black dress in her hand.
”Lucy….girls don’t always have to get dressed up to impress boys…” she said sitting her 4 year old daughter on the couch. ”That’s what makes Bruno special…he sees you…” she pointed her daughter’s heart. ”and me without all that silly stuff.”
”But, mom…you did it all the time with Blake…and you always put on the lip gloss when you go see daddy…” Lucy told her. Hmm. My daughter is quite insightful.
”Bruno’s different. He doesn’t care if I have all that stuff on. And that’s why I like him, Luc.” Evie told her daughter.
”But mommmm…I thought you loved Bruno. You told him on the phone…” Lucy got confused.
”Oh, I do…Lucy…got get your jacket so we can go.” Evie begged again picking up a big black bag with some of Lucy’s clothes and her homework that she really had no intention of doing while she was at Bruno’s house.
”Mommmm…I want to bring my pillow. I can’t sleep without it…and we’re having a slumber party…” Lucy told her mother dragging a big pillow.
”Okay..fine..bring it with. Let’s go…” she grabbed her phone to text Bruno.
Watch out Lucy brought her big pillow tonight.
I can’t wait ;)
”Mom..does Bruno live in a castle?” Lucy asked pointing to the big houses they passed as she drove to his house that was almost 35 minutes away from their apartment.
”No, Lucy…he doesn’t. It’s kind of like Mimi and Papa’s house….” she explained telling her daughter about the things she would find at his house.
”And I can play with the drums? Mommmm..I wanna play on the drums!” Lucy responded after Evie told her about all the instruments in the house.
”We will have to wait and see, Lucy.” Evie said turning down the winding road to his house. ”Look..there it is!” she pointed to his sprawling white house. Lucy jumped out of the car running toward the door. She reached the porch waiting for Evie. ”Well..what are you going to do now, Lucy?”
”I don’t know…” Lucy looked at her mother.
”Hang on…” she said grabbing the door to open it. ”Bruno?” she asked.
”Bruno!” Lucy screamed looking around. ”Mom…it’s big…”
”Lucy!” Bruno called out holding his arms out for her to come to him. She ran toward him jumping into his arms. ”I missed you, Luc!” He kissed her on the head looking up at Evie.”Who’s that beautiful girl with you, Lucy? It can’t be your mother…I would recognize her…”
”Bruno! Stop! It’s my mom!” she told him walking toward her mother not noticing that Bruno was seriously flirting with Evie with his eyes as he talked to Lucy.
”Lucy…go over there..I have a present for you…” Bruno said pointing to a wrapped box.
”What did you get her?” Evie asked him as he walked toward her to hug her.
”You have to wait and see.” he told her grabbing her by the waist walking to the couch where Lucy was ripping the bright red wrapping paper. ”You’ll get yours later.” he told her.
”Bruno! I’ll sleep with it right nowwww….” Lucy responded to the dark brown teddy bear he had bought her. ”And this?” Lucy asked looking at a small charm bracelet with a globe and a heart charm hanging.
”Dani said I had to get her something girly…” Bruno told Evie squeezing her tightly.
”It’s a good thing you have at least one girl with you.” Evie laughed.
”Put it on, mom!” Lucy said sitting in between the two of them. Bruno got up from the couch walking toward the kitchen.
”Bruno…what are you doing?” Lucy asked him.
”I’m making you dinner, silly.” he said watching her sit down at the kitchen table.
”Are you going to be our waiter too, Bruno?” Lucy asked. ”Because I want a soda.”
”Lucy!” Evie laughed. ”I want one too.”
Bruno turned around looking at Evie. ”Please?”
”Please, Bruno!” Lucy replied watching him bring them both a can of coke.
”Wait..you need straws to be extra classy…” he told them getting out twisty straws.
”Bruno..why do you have those?” Evie asked.
”Well..I do have nephews…” he answered her taking a sip from her drink. ”And it tastes better with bendy green straws, obviously.” he told her raising his eyebrows at her.
”Bruno…the timer went off. What do we need to do?” Evie asked.
”Nothing…” Bruno responded pulling something out of the oven. He placed three pieces of chicken on plates scooping piles of rice on the same plate. He handed each of the girls their plates. ”Be careful…it’s hot…” he said watching Lucy stare at the plate in awe.
”Bruno…what is it?” Lucy asked.
”Yeah..Bruno…what is it?” Evie asked.
”Well…” Bruno explained what he cooked watching Lucy poke at the food. ”Try it…you’ll like it, Lucy. I know you will…”
”Go ahead..Luc…” Evie poked at her daughter’s plate taking a bite of the rice. She looked at Bruno genuinely surprised by how good it was. ”It’s really good…”
”Okay…fine…” Lucy harrumphed taking a bite of the food. She took several more looking up at the two of them. ”Okay…it’s good. Let me finish. Don’t watch me. You make me nervous.”
”Fine….” Evie said looking at her daughter. ”Bruno…you never said you could cook like this…”
”Well…there’s still a lot of stuff you don’t know, Eve.” Bruno answered her.
”Mom…I know something you don’t know about Bruno!” Lucy told her mother.
”What, Lucy?” she asked.
”He has something for you!” Lucy said jumping up from her chair taking a small box from the counter showing her mother.
”Lucy, you are such a spy…” Evie said.
”Open it, Eve…” Bruno told her.
”What is it?” she asked him.
”Just open it…” Bruno told her. Evie opened the small box to see the same charm bracelet Bruno had given Lucy. He placed the same charms on her bracelet adding a small palm tree to the bracelet.
”For when we met…awww…” she ran her fingers along the bracelet watching him lean over to put it on her wrist. ”It’s beautiful, Bru…” she sniffed. ”Thank you…” he kissed her lightly on the lips touching her cheek as she pulled away.
”You’re beautiful.” he told her.
Lucy coughed at cleared her throat watching the couple kiss. ”Gross. Can we play Rock Band now?” she asked.
”Yes, Lucy…let’s go. I’ll even let you win…” Bruno told her walking into the living room with her.
”Well don’t worry about cleaning up or anything…” Evie sighed picking up the plates carrying them to the kitchen cleaning up the dinner he had cooked without Lucy or Bruno even noticing. She took 15 minutes to clean up the dishes walking back to the living room to see them still banging against the electronic instruments.
”Lucy..let your mom sing…” Bruno said handing her the microphone.
”Oh god…really?” Evie said watching him move to a song.
”Now sing it, Geneva!” he exclaimed turning to Billionaire.
”I want you to sing it…” Evie said hearing the start of the song.
”No…you sing it!” he yelled at her turning to see their time running out.
”We’re gonna lose if you don’t sing, Eve! Come onnnn…” he whined.
”Okay…okay..okaaay…” she started singing making her daughter laugh at her. Eve sang several more songs severaly embarrassing herself in front of her boyfriend and daughter, but through the laughs and the off tune songs she wouldn’t have changed anything. Evie looked at her phone as Lucy started to pick the next song they were going to sing. Oh my. How did it get so late? ”Lucy…this is the last one..it’s already past your bed time…”
”Mommmm! Two more!” Lucy pleaded.
”Two more…and then it’s time for bed.” Evie agreed.
”Okay..and then after those we get three more…” Lucy bargained.
”No way, missy. Two more and then bed…” Evie answered.
”Luc…listen to your mom.” Bruno told her. ”We’re gonna read you that awesome story, tonight, remember?” he asked her.
”Oh! Okay. I’m ready .now!” Lucy exclaimed running into the room where Evie had left her clothes. Bruno followed Lucy into the small guest bedroom seeing Lucy already in the bed waiting for them.
”Wow…Lucy..you weren’t kidding…” Evie said.
”Mom..I just want Bruno to do it.” Lucy said.
”Oh…okay…” Evie said turning around kind of hurt.
”You’ll get over it, Eve.” Bruno said kissing her on the forehead.
”Okay….fine…” she sighed turning around.
”Mommy..I still love you.” Lucy said holding her arms out.
”I know, my love. I know..” Evie replied hugging her daughter sitting next to Bruno who started to read the story to Lucy. Damn…he is actually really good at this. She thought to herself watching his expressions through acting out the childhood story.
”And they lived happily ever after…” Bruno finished the story seeing that Lucy had already fallen asleep. Evie kissed her daughter on the head watching her squeeze the teddy bear Bruno had bought her.
”Are you sure you weren’t Mother Teresa in another life, Bruno?” Evie asked standing up with him to walk out the room.
”I’d like to think that I was Elvis.” he told her.
”Oh god. You’re so amazing, Bruno.” Evie laughed walking toward the living room.
”Shit, Evie..” Bruno said quietly making her turn around.
”What?” she asked him caught off guard by his reaction to her statement.
”You’re just so fucking hot. Like…woah…” he answered looking her up and down quickly taking her hand bringing her in toward his face. ”Even with your bruised nose.”
”Shut up! I’m still sensitive about that.” she smiled against his lips.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.
He pulled away from her to look at her nose. ”I think the little bump is sexy..” he told her running his finger along the bridge of her nose.
”Wait…wait…” she turned around to sneeze.
”Bless you…” he responded grabbing her from behind burying his head in her hair kissing her neck. ”Eve…I’ve been waiting for tonight…” he told her feeling turn around to kiss him. She wrapped her arms around his neck kissing him. She moved her fingers through his hair trying not to laugh. ”Bruno…what in the world do you put in your hair?” she asked him.
”I’ll tell you tomorrow morning…” he said returning to her neck pushing her sweater off her shoulders. She felt it drop down to the ground. She sighed pressing herself into him feeling her muscles loosen up in a way they hadn’t in a long time. She laid her head on his shoulder feeling him run his hands along her waist moving up toward her chest. She pulled away from him lifting her t-shirt off. She started to kiss him again as he continued to move his hands along her body moving down to her butt. He held her in his arms trying to decide whether he should pick her up or not. She wrapped her legs around his ankles kicking off her shoes as he unhooked her bra watching it fall to the ground alongside her sweater. She moved away from him to run her fingers along the t-shirt he was wearing. She smiled at him watching him take off his shirt.
”Bruno..your arms are so hot.” she told him touching his chest.
”Eve…” he paused moving in closer to her. ”You’re hot…” he said touching her arm along her Strongertattoo. ”Well more than hot…but..that’s what came out…you smell good..you smell like honey…and strawberries…I…oh god…” he told her.
”Come on…” she said leading him into the bedroom taking off her pants as she walked in the room. He took off his shoes leaving a trail of clothes along the way to his room. He watched her lay down on the bed licking her lips.
”Baby..you gotta stop doin’ that…” he told her laying down in between her legs to kiss her.
”But….” she smiled at him.
”Don’t but me, Geneva…” he said leaning in toward her warm naked body kissing her from her head to her toes moving back up to her hips. ”Eve….shhh…” he said moving down in between her legs alternating between soft passionate kisses to more hard and sexy kisses. He heard her start to repeat his name over and over again.
”Oh Bruno…please don’t stop…” she said feeling her legs get wrap around his back to keep herself from screaming. ”Oh my god…Bruno..I don’t knoooowwww….if I can….” she let out a quiet moan grabbing onto his shoulder. She let out a loud sigh as he moved up to kiss her lips.
”Eve…you turn me on when you scream…” he told her.
”Oh my god….Bruno….quit fucking with me and just fuck me….” she demanded.
”But Eve..I wanna see you…” he told her holding onto her flipping her on top of him. She moved down against his chest kissing him the same way he had kissed her alternating between soft and hard touches making him return the pleasurable words.
”Bruno…..” she moved up from him running her fingers along his face touching little pieces of sweat running down his neck. I think I’ll kiss that..she thought to herself moving toward his neck licking and sucking on his neck. ”I need you, Bru….ohhhh….” she moaned feeling him inside her. ”Holllyyyyy shitttttt….oh my god…I…oh….” she screamed throwing her body up arching her back as he continued to move with her hips. He moved his hands toward her waist making her moan even more. ”Bruno….I’m oh my goodness…..” she moved herself closer to him feeling everything in their bodies explode. ”Oh fuck….” she sighed throwing her body onto top of him. ”Woah.”
”Eve….” he said lightly in her ear trying to catch his breath. ”I love you.”
”I more than love you after that.” she got out as she tried to catch her breath as well. She felt his hands in her hair and his even breathes in her ear as she rolled over to lay just her head on his chest. ”Bruno…why do you have to leave in two weeks?”
”Who are you, Lucy?” he asked her.
”Well…yeah. I just want you for myself. I can be selfish, can’t I?” she asked. He laughed her response kissing her neck. ”Oh, no. Not again, Bruno. That seriously…heart attack worthy…” she told him.
”Fine..I’ll just have to settle for morning sex…” he said getting up to put on his boxers. He watched her laugh at him leaning toward the bed to grab one of the shirts he had unpacked to put on.
”I’m gonna keep this one too. It will be my way of making sure that you can’t live without me…because I have all your shirts…” she told him.
”Okay…you look better in them anyway.” he said flopping on the bed to kiss her. ”Good night, Geneva.”
Evie flinched feeling Bruno’s arms move from underneath her. She opened her eyes seeing the sun shining. She grabbed her phone to see that it was almost 8 in the morning. She heard noise coming from where they had put Lucy to sleep.
”Mommm….” she heard Lucy come in their bedroom holding her sweater. ”Why are your clothes all over the place?”
”Umm…we were doing laundry but fell asleep before we could finish it, Luc.”
”What time is it?” Bruno whined rubbing his eyes.
”It’s 8..” Evie told him.
”Oh…does that mean I have to get up? It’s Saturday.” he asked.
”Welll…you don’t have to…but I think Ari and Phil would be upset if you didn’t.” Evie answered.
”Oh…I forgot I have that…” he answered sitting up in the bed looking at Lucy’s hair. ”Luc..you need some help with your hair…” Bruno told her.
”Hey! That’s not nice.” Lucy said making a mean face at him.
”What did I tell you about mean people?” Evie asked.
”I’m rubber and he’s…sticky?” Lucy asked.
”Exactly.” Evie pushed Bruno out of the bed. ”Tell her you’re sorry.”
”I’m sorry Lucy…” he hugged her getting out of the bed dragging her to the kitchen. ”Come on…let’s go eat breakfast…”
”Brunooo..you have to brush your teeth..you smell.” Lucy told him.
”Well..only if you brush your teeth with me…” he told her.
”Okay!” she smiled running into the bathroom past her mother.
”Woah..slow down..” Evie called out watching Bruno walk behind Lucy. ”She called you out, didn’t she?” Evie smiled at him. He shook her head laughing at her. He kissed her on the cheek rubbed her head and went into the bathroom to brush his teeth with Lucy. Evie grabbed Bruno’s butt squeezing into the sink between the two of them brushing her teeth with them. ”You’re very pretty, Lucy…” Evie said through her full mouth of toothpaste. Bruno finished brushing his teeth turning to her to kiss her.
”Stopp..that’s grosss…” Lucy whined walking out of the bathroom.
”Lucy…come ‘ere…let me put your hair up…” Evie asked taking a hold of a hair tie. ”We need to get this all fixed…”
”Mooommmm. Yaya and Aunt Stacey can fix it…” she told her. Oh..and we were doing so good…Evie thought to herself. Since Sean had been arrested Lucy hadn’t been over to their house or seen her father. She had no idea what was going on. Evie and her family wanted to keep it that way. They continued to tell Lucy that Sean was working too much and knew he couldn’t see her with his schedule. ”Mommmm….I want Yaya to do my hair!” Evie looked down at the floor trying to figure out how to respond to her daughter.
”Lucy..we’ll have to see about that…okay?” Evie tried to get around the topic. Bruno saw her distress unsure of how to respond to it.
”Luc..I know who can fix it…and you won’t have to wait…” Bruno told her.
”Who? Who? Bruno! You fix it!” Lucy said sitting next to him at the kitchen table.
”Urbana can do it.” Bruno answered.
”She can?” Evie asked.
”Oh yeah..and Kay-kay can do it too.” he answered referring to his sister.
”Oh…that would be so good.” Evie answered.
”I’m done…” Lucy told them looking at her bowl of cereal.
”Let me have it, Lu-boo…” Evie responded going over to the sink.
”Mom…” Lucy called out to her mom picking up Bruno’s hat from the counter. ”Look!”
”Lucy…you are…too cute for words.” she answered her. Lucy smiled dancing around the house in the hat.
”You need another one, though…like this one…” Bruno said grabbing a baseball cap flipping it around.
”No..not that…dad has that..I don’t like that..I want this with the feather.” Lucy said grabbing the other hat from his hand.
”You’re gonna need it with that hair…” Evie laughed watching her daughter run to a free space in the house to dance to the music Bruno had put on.
”Eve…are you okay?” Bruno asked moving himself over to the chair next to her. He moved the chair toward him to get close to her.
”Bruno..I still get scared about everything…is she going to be as messed up as us because of all the shit she has to see?” Evie asked him.
”Baby…you’re doing your best to protect her from everything. You’re doing an amazing job…she has no idea…” Bruno told her.
”Oh please. She knows…she’s always known…” Evie told him.
”Geneva…you just have to do your best. And I’m here for you too…” Bruno said looking into her eyes. ”I’m here…”
”But, Bru…you’re not…I mean…I’m okay with that….but…like that night…I just wish you were there…and you weren’t. I think that’s why I freaked out about everything…” she admitted.
”Eve..I wanted to get on a plane and kick his ass…like…you know I’m not an angry person.” he started to tell her.
”And I guess I’m okay with you not being there because I don’t even want to know what you would have done..” Evie told him. ”We have to go to court on the….the…oh…the 4th…” she said looking at him.
”Why the 4th?” he asked her.
”Well…that was the day they gave us, Bru…” she tried not to sound shocked by his lack of options. ”We just have to do what he says…the restraining order expires that day…”
”Eve..he can’t be near you two…he can’t…but I can’t be there…” he told her.
”Because you’re going to be in Las Vegas…” she said quietly.
”I’m sorry.” he said hugging her. ”What time do you have to be there?”
”It’s scheduled for 9:30…” she paused. ”but I’m not sure what’s going on before…cases are heard starting at 9 and I don’t know who is before or anything…”
”Eve..it’ll be okay…” he said still holding on to her.
”I just don’t want him close to her…ever…ever….again…” Evie answered.
”He won’t Evie…he won’t. I won’t let him…” Bruno whispered in her ear feeling her start to cry.
”I just want it all to stop, Bruno. I just want it all to go away….” she started to cry wiping her eyes on his shirt.
”Mommm….why are you sad?” Lucy came over to them. ”Here…this will make you better…” she said putting Bruno’s brown fedora on her head. ”You need it more than me.”
Bruno grabbed Lucy hugging her. ”You’re amazing too, Lucy.”
”I know.” she answered.
Later that day Evie stretched out on the couch watching papers fly all over the floor. Damn. She thought to herself picking up the papers. She glanced over at her daughter laying on the floor watching a movie. I wish I could just sit and watch a movie…she thought to herself going back to her papers highlighting things like crazy. ”Lucy..do you want to eat dinner?” Evie asked getting up to grab some leftover food from the fridge.
Lucy ran into the kitchen sitting at the table. ”Yes.” she smiled at her mother. Evie put the food in the microwave sitting down with her daughter.
”Did you have fun this weekend?” Evie asked.
”Mom..I want to do that every weekend.” Lucy answered.
”Well, I don’t know if that’s possible, Luc…but I’m glad you had fun.” she told her daughter. ”Do you want to go over to Laura’s tonight?” she asked her daughter.
”Mom…Bella doesn’t like Bruno. I don’t like her anymore.” Lucy told her mother. ”I wanna break her nose.”
”Lucy!” Evie exclaimed.
”But mom!” Lucy said leaving the kitchen mad at her mother. ”I don’t want to see Bella ever again! She hates Bruno!” she started crying about her cousin.
”Lucy…come on. I think you two can figure it out.” Evie said grabbing repacked bags for both of them. She drug Lucy out of the house as she cried. ”Lucy…shush. Everyone is going to think that I’m hurting you.”
”But mommmm…you hurt meeeee….” she cried. Evie quickly let go of her daughter’s arm.
”Lucy Shay Greene…get in the car right now…” Evie told her daughter sternly. She glanced at her phone seeing a text from Bruno.
She grabbed her phone to text him back.
I’m almost there.
What a liar. She thought to herself getting in the car waiting for Lucy to jump in the backseat.
”Mommmmm…don’t leave without meeee….” Lucy whined getting in the car. Evie leaned back to the backseat buckling her daughter’s seatbelt.
”Ready?” she asked.
”Yes…” Lucy cried. ”Mommy…I don’t like sleeping at Auntie Laura’s house. It’s cold.”
”Lu-lu…it will be okay.” Evie said to her daughter. I am the worst mother ever. She thought to herself dragging in daughter into her sister’s house.
”Auntie Laura..I don’t want to see Bella. She’s mean…” Lucy stomped into her aunt’s house into the playroom.
”What was that?” Laura asked.
”She’s mad at Bella because she said Bruno was old.” Evie answered.
”Oh good lord.” Laura laughed.
”I know…by the time they start playing she’ll forget about it…” Evie answered.
”I hope so.” Laura answered glancing into the room where Lucy was sitting on the other side of the room from her cousin. ”You’re going to stay over there tonight?”
”I don’t know..I’m starting to feel guilty about leaving her with y’all…” Evie answered walking toward the door.
”Evie…it’s okay. That’s why we’re here for you…” Laura told her.
”Lucy said she didn’t like sleeping here…I know we were just over there for a night but she was all homesick.” Evie said.
”She was like that with Sean too, Eve. She’ll get better. You know that.” Laura answered her sister. Evie sighed shaking her head walking out the door. ”Just go get laid, Eve. Geez.” Evie laughed opening the door to the car.
”Good night, Laura.” Evie responded.
On your way my ass.
Evie read on her phone.
I’m serious this time! I’ll be there in a few minutes.
She drove to an unfamiliar part of the city down the streets making mental notes of stores and street names so she wouldn’t forget how to get home later in the evening. She opened the door peeking in to see a messy room with papers thrown all over and food containers on the floor.
”Wow..could y’all clean up at least?” she asked picking up the containers.
”Well…we were…but we figured you’d never come…” Phil said holding a coat. ”We’ll be right back…”
”Wait..I just got here…” Evie wondered out loud.
”Bruno gives the best tours of the studio…” Ari said.
”Oh…okay…” she said looking at him with a smile.
”Yeah…I do…” he told her taking her hand leading her to the middle of the messy room. He watched them leave the room closing the door behind them.
”What do you have planned Bruno Mars?” Evie asked feeling his arms wrap around her.
”Nothing…” he answered. ”Look…this is where the magic happens…” he said sitting her down in a chair near a mixer.
”What do you do, exactly?” she asked running her fingers along the buttons.
”I just press them and wait for something cool to come out…like this…” he said pressing a button playing a track for her.
”And then you go and sing it?” she asked pointing to the booth.
”Yeah…” he said. He watched her eyes light up at the microphone.
”Eve…you wanna do it don’t you?” he asked her starting to laugh at her.
”Umm…no….I mean…noooo….” she shook her head embarrassed.
”Eve….” he handed her a headset.
”Go in there and sing something silly. You have a beautiful voice.” he told her.
”Nooooooo…that’s embarrassing…” she told him. ”Wait…can you make me sound like Britney Spears?”
”I can do whatever you want…” he said pointing to the buttons.
”Okay..I’m gonna sing Hit me Baby One More Time…and when I’d done I better sound like her.” she answered him taking the headset nearing the door. ”Wait…what do I do….”
”Just go in there and I’ll tell you when to start…” he told her.
”Okay…okay..okayyyy…” she went in the room looking at him with a ridiculously silly smile on her face. He tried not to laugh at her pressing the button.
”Sing your heart out, sexy…” he told her.
”Go!” he said in a soft reassuring voice.
”Oh babbby babbbyyyyy….” she started singing the song from memory making him laugh at her. She stopped halfway through throwing her hands in the air.
”You forgot the words, didn’t you?” he asked watching her come out of the room.
”Yeah..I forgot…” she told him. ”Now let me listen to the next Britney Spears…I can give up Law school after I hear this…” she said sitting next to him. He pressed a few buttons shaking his head not sure how to fix what she had just done. ”It’s not that bad!” she exclaimed.
”No…it’s not…” he told her pressing the play button. She listened to it for a few seconds hearing him say Go and then her voice. ”Oh god…it’s fucking horrible, Bruno.” she laughed. ”It’s so bad. Delete that shit.”
”No..I wanna keep it.” he told her.
”But no one else gets to hear it…” she told him nearing a button to delete the song. He grabbed her hand moving it away. ”What are you doing?” she asked him.
”Just…Eve…god.” he told her moving his body close to her to kiss her.
”Wait…wait…wait…” she said pulling away from him looking at his acoustic guitar. ”Teach me how to play the guitar first.” she jumped up grabbing it. ”Teach me…please…” she looked at him with a sad face.
”Sit down….” he said pointing to the floor near the couch. He handed her the guitar wrapping his arms around her. ”Just follow my fingers…” he told her holding her fingers. He started humming something in her ear moving her fingers slowly against the strings.
”Bruno…you’re going too fast…” she told him feeling him start to play with her fingers.
”Okay…okay…move your fingers here…” he said moving her fingers feeling her loosen up as he slowed down. Evie leaned into his legs feeling him breath slowly and in synch with what he was playing. He moved his head down toward her neck starting to kiss her as his fingers continued against the strings of the guitar. She moved his hands placing the guitar next to her as he continued to kiss her. She moved from his kisses to get on the couch next to him pushing him against the couch. ”Oh…Eve…” he called out feeling her pressing into his lips running her fingers through his hair.
”Wait…not now…” I hear Phil…” Evie said jumping up seconds before the door opened.
”Damnit, Phil.” Bruno responded to the door opening. Evie stood up trying not to laugh at the circumstances.
”If you stare at him anymore you’re going to burn his eyes out, Evie.” Katie told her daughter.
”I would be okay with that.” Evie answered seeing Sean look over at her from across the expansive waiting area of the court house. After staring at Sean she looked around the waiting area seeing all the broken families and troubles. She closed her eyes wishing she wasn’t there. There isn’t much difference between us..she thought to herself. She was jolted out of her daydream hearing ”Greene Wilson!” being shouted from across the hallway. She looked down at her phone walking into the court room.
You can do it.
”Did he text you?” Katie asked.
”Yeah…” Evie handed her phone to her mother.
”What did you say to him?” she asked about his own court issues.
”I talked to him this morning before he left…he said it was the scariest thing he’s ever done. He was really nervous.” Evie told her mother.
”Ms. Wilson…I do have something for you before we start…” Christina came up to her handing her a packet.
”What is it?” Evie asked.
”The background check.” she said in a flat tone.
”It’s good if it’s one sheet..why are there so many?” Evie asked lifting the papers out of the folder. ”So he has to wait for this stuff before he can be with her?”
”Yes ma’am..once there is a ruling…until then the visits must be supervised by a non-family member.” Christina answered.
”But she can be with him all she wants? Christina! This isn’t fair! It’s like…I know he’s not going to be here a lot…but Christina!” she exclaimed making Sean’s lawyer turn around to look at her. I am not even going to respond to that. She thought to herself. ”There are a lot worse people in the world than Bruno Mars!” she almost yelled the last part making several people who were not part of the case turn to see her expression.
”Evie…we’ll fix it…” Craig told her.
”You better fix it…” she said hearing the door open. They all stood up as the judge arrived. The middle aged Hispanic man sat down and started
”So, let’s go over this case again..it’s a long one. One that I don’t want to see continue…” he paused looking over the papers to summarize. ”A call was made to 911 on September 26, 2007, reporting domestic violence. Ms. Wilson reported that Mr. Greene was threatening harm to Ms. Wilson and was being somewhat aggressive with Lucy….family based services was assigned the case sending both to parenting classes and domestic violence awareness courses…those were completed by Ms. Wilson in a timely manner but Mr. Greene took nearly a year to complete courses during which time another call for domestic violence was reported. At this time a safety plan was implemented requiring supervised visits with Mr. Greene and Ms. Wilson finding other living arrangements. Both agreed to random drug tests and visits. By March of 2009 Mr. Greene completed courses and visitation was agreed upon. In July of 2009 Mr. Greene was reported for terroristic threats against Ms. Wilson and a Mr. Blake Davis…background checks were completed and the case was closed after Mr. Greene agreed that Mr. Davis could visit with Lucy…case was sent to follow-up. Ms. Wilson called Ms. Yates September 6, 2010, requesting a background check for a Mr. Peter Hernandez to ensure no repeat of the Davis incident. On January 4, 2011, Ms. Wilson contacted Ms. Yates to inform her of Mr. Greene’s drug use. Police were dispatched to home later that day at which time Mr. Greene’s sister spoke with Ms. Wilson informing her of the current incident. Ms. Wilson went to the home to speak with Ms. Greene at which time Mr. Greene assaulted Ms. Wilson causing a nasal fracture and bruising. A temporary restraining order, expiring on February 4, 2011, was issued. And..that is why we are here today…Mr. Berg, would you like to file an extension on this restraining order?”
”That is what we are seeking, your honor…” Craig responded.
”Before we can proceed with this I have a few questions. This is the second go around with this situation and it just appears to be escalating. My goal is the safety of Lucy…Mr. Greene…how will you ensure your daughter’s safety?” the judge asked.
”It won’t happen again. I have learned my lesson.” Sean answered diplomatically.
Evie leaned over to talk to Craig. ”But if he gets to be with her why can’t Bruno?”
”We’ll get there, Geneva…” he told her.
”Prior to this TRO, Mr. Greene twice monthly visits with your daughter were restricted to you being supervised by another adult. How do you expect me to respond to these violent acts when you are already restricted?”
”Your honor…Mr. Greene has enrolled in voluntary counseling focusing on anger management…” his lawyer answered.
”And how many sessions has this been?” the judge asked.
”I need results and to hear from the therapist before I can see this through…” the judge started to speak. ”Now…from Lucy’s perspective…” he looked over at child advocates who were speaking on her behalf.
”Lucy is safe with her mother and family. When I asked her about her Mr. Greene she said she would rather be with Mr. Hernandez because he is nicer to her. I asked her if she felt safe around her father, she continued to reference Mr. Hernandez and her mother.” her advocate stated.
”And where is this Mr. Hernandez?” the judge asked.
”He has previous commitments, your honor.” Craig answered.
”Previous commitments?” the judge asked.
”He was charged with drug possession.” Sean’s lawyer spoke up.
”And that’s why the background check was completed…to avoid another situation like Mr. Davis…” Craig spoke up. Evie looked down about to cry. I can’t do this. But I have to. I have to do this…
”And the results of this check?” the judge asked.
”He has everything completed your honor. The state wants to see the resulting order from his current charge. Which will be written today.” Christina stated.
”And do we have any idea as to what these results will be?” the judge asked.
Evie leaned over to Christina. ”He’s pleading guilty…”
”He will plead guilty.” she answered.
”I see this is the only charge on his record whereas Mr. Greene has several…including the most recent…” the judge said flipping through the papers.
”I want the parties to agree to a visitation schedule. The restraining order will be lifted. I need to speak to the court in Las Vegas..” the judge said. Oh my god. Why is he doing this? This is the biggest load of shit. This is not that big of a case…Evie thought to herself.
”Why is he doing that?” Evie asked Craig.
”I don’t know…” Craig said looking over at Sean’s team. They shrugged their shoulders unaware of what was going on. The judge put the Clark County court house on the speaker phone. He asked for someone he knew.
”I need to speak about a Mr. Hernandez..do you have the notes?” he asked.
”Oh…yes…umm…community service and informal probation is what will be agreed upon…and a fine.” the person answered.
”Thank you.” the judge answered hanging up the phone.
”This background check is complete. Mr. Hernandez will be allowed to see Lucy.” he finished.
”Your Honor…” Craig spoke up. ”After speaking with Ms. Wilson and Ms. Yates we believe it would be better for a restraining order to be reinstated….”
”Why?” the judge asked almost annoyed with the proceedings.
”Ms. Wilson remains quite worried that if she is in contact with Mr. Greene that he will hurt either her or Lucy. She has done her best to keep her daughter away from this.” Craig explained more of Evie’s feelings.
”Your honor…Mr. Greene does not agree with that. He has not been without visitation with his daughter since her birth…” Sean’s lawyer spoke up.
”The more I hear the more I dislike what is going on here. Mr. Greene…the restraining order will be extended. You will be able to visit with your daughter twice a month at the office upon clean UA tests..which…you haven’t had since this case was reopened.” the judge answered. ”Please leave the court room prior to everyone else. 6 month follow-up will be scheduled for August 3rd at 2:30pm. ”
”That’s a load of shit.” Sean said under his breath. Evie shot him a dirty look.
”Case dismissed.” the judge said.
Evie sat at the table watching everyone get up. ”Are you coming, Evie?” Craig asked.
”Yeah…I’m coming…” she said walking behind everyone. She looked down at Bruno’s text message again running her finger along the screen.
”Geneva…” her mother stopped her. ”Things will be okay.”
”It just keeps getting worse. I just….Lucy in the same room as my mother…” she described the room and the last visit she had with her mother. ”I don’t want that to happen to her.”
Bruno walked past the flashing lights with his head down into the court room. He sat down next to his lawyers watching the proceedings. Holy shit. He thought to himself. The judge called his name making him stand up and take his seat.
”Mr. Hernandez, how do you plead?” the judge asked.
”Guilty.” he said flatly.
Evie sat in the car in the parking lot the week after with her daughter in the backseat playing with a doll. She looked at the door thinking about all the times she walked through the same doors as a child.This will get fixed. She thought to herself looking at her daughter dancing with the doll in her car seat.She looks more and more like him everyday…”Mom…are we going in? I want to see Christina…”
”Oh..yeah…just give me a second..” she said getting out of the car getting her daughter out of the booster seat holding her hand tightly as they walked into the office. She signed the two of them in, went through the metal detector, went to the receptionist and then sat down with Lucy whose hair was still a mess and her shirt too big because Bruno still didn’t know that she was a 4 and not a 6. God. He is obviously not a father…she thought to herself listening to her sing Marry You to the doll. ”Lucy..shush. Not everyone loves him.” she told her daughter.
”Fine..I’ll sing…Travie…” she said starting to sing Billionaire perfectly. Evie heard another mother start to hum the song to herself.
”That’s a good one.” she lady answered.
”Yeah. If I’ve done anything right it’s give her good music to listen to.” Evie laughed looking down at her phone.
After rehearsal you’re mine.
”Ms. Wilson?” Christina came up to the waiting area.
”Oh..yes..” she answered. Lucy jumped up running to Christina who she hadn’t seen since December.
”Lucy..will you go with Ms. Desiree, please?” Christina asked pointing to the other caseworker that was assisting with the case.
”Mom? You’re not coming? But you said it’s not safe….” Lucy looked at her mother scared.
”Lucy…Ms. Christina is the safest person to be with. She will take care of you, okay? It’s only for an hour…” she answered hugging her daughter leading her toward the caseworker. As they walked away Christina led Evie toward her office.
”How are you?” she asked Evie.
”I could be better. I just don’t like this.” Evie answered.
”I understand your frustration. However, the faster we get through this the faster things will go back to normal.” Christina answered. ”I just wanted to bring you back here so the two of you didn’t have to see each other.”
”Oh…thank you..I do have some reading I should be doing…” Evie pulled out a small book from her purse.
About an hour later Christina took Evie downstairs where she saw Sean sitting in that same bright white room with fluorescent lights with his daughter. I’m not going to freak out. I can do it. She smiled at Sean watching Lucy jump up to see her mother. ”Lucy! Come ‘ere!” Sean called out. Lucy ran back to her dad. ”Be good to your mom, okay?”
”I will daddy.” she said hugging him. ”I love you.” she said. ”But why can’t you come with us?”
”You’ll have to ask your mom about that one, Luc.” he answered putting the blame on her.
”I think it would be better if you explain it, Sean.” Evie snapped.
”Well, see, Lucy…your mother…she…she’s not making the best decisions right now. So we can’t see each other for another few weeks.”
”I’m not making good decisions?” Evie answered.
”Oh please. You called her and told on me like a 4 year old, Geneva. And now look where we are. Exactly where you didn’t want to me. You screwed everything up.” he told her.
”Mom?” Lucy asked. ”Why are you mad?”
”I’m not mad, Lu-boo. Let’s go. I heard Bruno’s in town.” she said taking her daughter’s hand turning around so Sean didn’t see their faces.
”Fuck you, Geneva.” she heard Sean yell from the other side of the building.
”Lucy…go with Christina…” she said pushing her daughter toward her caseworker making her 4 year old jump. ”No..fuck you and all the shit you’ve put me through. You’ve put your daughter through. I hope that one day you realize that you’re the biggest fucking asshole in the world, Sean Michael Greene. And it’s a damn good thing that there are people here that will hold me back from hitting you. Because had you said that in the parking lot I would have hit you so hard that I would have had to call Bruno to come and hold me back from breaking your nose and every other body part.”
”I’ll be waiting for you outside, then, Eve.” he looked her up and down trying to decide what he was going to do next. As he started to turn around Christina grabbed Evie.
”Ms. Wilson..let me walk you and Lucy to the car…” she said quickly.
”Please, do. Thank you.” Evie answered. ”And please don’t let him anywhere near me again.”
”We will see that that doesn’t happen again, Ms. Wilson.” she answered. Lucy grabbed onto Evie’s hand tightly as they walked out the door.
Evie put Lucy in the car seeing her daughter start to cry. ”Mommmmmyy….what did you say that?”
”Oh baby…I know. They were mean words. I’m sorry you saw that.”
”Mommm…I’m scared.” she told her mother.
”Lucy..I’m always right here, my love. Nothing will happen again. Do you hear me? Nothing.” she answered.
”But mommmmyyyy…he hurt your nose. I don’t want him to hurt your arms, or your legs, or your ears…mommy….” she started to cry.
I’m not going to cry. I’m not going to cry. I’m not. Evie thought to herself. All she could do was hug her daughter. ”He won’t hurt anything anymore.”
Later in the evening Evie sat down on the couch reading a book when she heard a knock on the door. Bruno hadn’t texted her back since his earlier text, so the knock surprised her. She saw his hat through the peep hole. She opened the door looking at him feeling her eyes get heavy. She grabbed onto his shirt, which for some reason was ridiculously sweaty, and started crying in his arms. He grabbed onto her moving her into the apartment closing the door behind him.
”Eve…I’m here…I’m here..it’s okay, baby…” he repeated in her ear.
She sat down on the couch wiping her eyes looking at Bruno. ”I should be worried about you…and everything you’re going through….” she paused sniffing wiping her face again. ”But here I am…upset at myself for everything that I’ve caused….”
Bruno knelt down in front of her on the couch. He took his hands and placed them on her cheeks wiping away the few tears that she missed. ”Eve…what happened happened. It’s done, it’s over. I can’t live in the past. I’ve moved on. But, baby…I’m here for you. I’m here for everything, the good, the bad, the ugly…sweetheart..I’m sorry all this happened.”
”No…..it’s just me. It’s never going to go away. It’s never going to get better. You don’t deserve to be with someone who has this going on when you have the whole world at your fingertips right now, Bruno. You have your tour and all this…I don’t need you worrying about all of it. You don’t need it right now….” she paused looked at the concern in her face. ”Now I know why I said that in the hospital. I meant it.”
”Eve….no. Look at me. Just look at me…” Bruno said continuing to hold her cheeks. She pushed his hands down shaking her head. ”You’re right. I don’t need that in my life…but I need you. I don’t care what else comes along with it. If you walk away from what we have….Eve…” he moved over to sit next to her on the couch moving her legs so she was facing him.
”I don’t want this, Bruno. I don’t want all of this. I just want to go back to the way it was. When I would drop Lucy off at Michelle’s…do my homework all weekend and then repeat. I don’t want all this drama. ”
”Eve..it’s over…you don’t have to worry about it anymore…” he told her.
”No..Bruno..it’s not. I didn’t tell you what happened after the visit today…”
”Geneva…he didn’t hurt you did he? Where?” he ran his fingers along her arms noticing little freckles on her arms and small scars on her hands.
”He didn’t do anything. But he could have…” she told him. Bruno held onto her again laying his head on her shoulder. ”Eve…you’re safe here. You’re safe right where you are. He can’t get you.” he felt her start to cry again. ”Come on…let’s get you to bed…” he said taking her hand helping her stand up. ”Do you want to change?” he asked her looking at her sweater and shorts. She shook her head.
”No. I just need you.” she told him laying down in the bed burying her head in her pillow.
Bruno threw his jacket off to the side of her bed wrapping his arms around her kissing the back of her neck. ”I’m right here, Eve. Just go to sleep. When you wake up it will all be over.” he told her.
”Don’t lie to me, Bruno. Don’t do it.” she told him. ”It will just be another day. Another day for him to get to me and for me to worry about Lucy.” he pulled away from her running his fingers along her back trying to calm her down.
”Stretch out on your back, baby…you’re so tense…”he responded to her. She flipped onto her stomach breathing quickly from all the tears. He moved down along her back running his hands all over her back. ”I’m not even gonna try to get in your pants tonight.” he told her laying his head on her back.
”Shut up.” she laughed at him. ”Bruno…the Grammy’s are this weekend…they’re Sunday…I forgot…I completely forgot….” she flipped over catching him off guard. ”I completely forgot..that’s like the biggest day ever….and you’re mom…and your sisters are here…and you’re here…with me…why?”
”Because I need you more than I need them right now.” he said kissing her lightly.
”Bruno…I love you.” she told him closing her eyes feeling his lips against hers. He let go lying on her chest feeling her breathing and heart slow down next to his body.
”Eve?” he asked.
”Hmm?” she answered.
”Good night.” he answered her.
Bruno turned around taking a hold of his phone early in the morning. Shit. Of all the nights to end up here…I can’t stay…He moved his arm carefully away from Evie’s waist to get out of the bed at 6 in the morning.
”Brunooo…” she whined.
”I have to go, baby.” he leaned down whispering in her ear. ”I will see you later tonight.”
”Bruno..do you like the dress?” she asked him about the bright pink dress she had gotten for the Grammy’s that night.
”It’s beautiful. I’ll see you at 5.” he walked to her side of the bed bent down and kissed her running his fingers through her messy hair. ”Go back to sleep.”
He took slow and deliberate steps in her apartment knowing exactly where the floor made noise and that Lucy would wake up if she heard the noises. Damnit. He heard the floor make a noise. He turned around to Lucy’s bedroom seeing her sound asleep. Okay…she didn’t hear it. He made his way closer to the door hearing a noise behind him.
”Bruno!” she screamed. ”Where are you going? Stay hereeeee…” she wrapped her arms around him holding on tightly.
”Lu-lu…shhhh. Your mom’s still asleep.” Bruno tried to keep her quiet.
”But…..” she started to talk to him. ”You just got here…”
”I know, Lucy. But I have lots to do today…” he tried to reason with her as she held onto his hand.
”I wanna go with!” she whined.
”Lucy…you’ll get bored. I don’t think you’d like it.” Bruno told her.
”Noooo…it will be better than going to the park with Em. We always do that….”
”Lucy…you can come with me another day, okay?” he said hearing Evie coming out into the living room.
”Luc…we’ll see him later today. He has to take a shower and put on different clothes. And he has to perform tonight. He has to be all pretty.” Evie told her daughter.
”Yeah, Luc..I have to be pretty…” he answered.
”Lucy…come on. Let’s go back to bed, baby doll. We’ll go see Bruno later today. And we’ll see Jaimo too.”
”I don’t want to see him. He’s a jerk. He’s a jerk just like Bella.” Lucy stomped away.
”Okay, fine. Have it your way.” Evie said watching her walk away.
”I would have ended up leaving with a 4 year old had you not saved me, Eve.” he told her holding onto her hand.
”I know…she was this close to getting you to take her with you.” Evie smiled. ”Bruno…you have to go.” she opened the door for him.
”I know. I’ll see you later today.” he smiled kissing her lightly walking down the stairs.
”Mommmaaaa…do I get to see you on TV too?” Lucy asked looking at her mother in the mirror sitting on the bed.
”Nope. Not yet.” Evie said running her fingers through her shinny damp hair.
”But, mom. You’re prettier than Beyonce.” Lucy told her mother.
”Oh..that’s sweet.” Evie said starting to tickle her daughter.
”Mommmm…noooo!” she laughed. ”Mom! Bruno’s here!” she heard a knock on the door. Lucy ran to the door opening it seeing Bruno standing in the door wearing black dress pants, a white shirt and ray-bans.
”Ladddieeess…” he responded grabbing onto Evie twirling her around in her dress. ”You’re beautiful.”
”She’s prettier than Beyonce, Bruno.” Lucy said.
”I know.” Bruno smiled at her. He let go of her watching her pick up her bags leading them toward the front door. ”Luc…are you ready for a party?” Bruno asked.
”Do I get to dance?” Lucy asked.
”You can dance until the world ends, Luc.” Bruno said walking down the stairs with them to his car.
”You’re such a dad, Bruno…how do you still have this in your car?” Evie asked.
”I just didn’t get a chance to take it out, honestly. But it’s good now.” he told her turning up the radio hearing Lucy start to sing with him.
”Bruno…are you nervous about tonight?” Evie asked him.
”Yeah. I’m nervous..but I think once I get on stage it will make it all better. Evie..it’s like the best feeling in the world. There’s no way to describe it.” he told her.
”I wish I knew what it was like. I know I feel amazing when I’m doing things at my internship…” she told him.
”It’s kind of like that..only better.” he told her. ”And it’s even better than better when I know you’re watching me.” he smiled.
”I’m just so amazed that you’re nominated for all these..Bruno…a year ago, what were you doing?” she asked him.
”Sittin’ in a studio in London eating a sandwich.” he told her.
”It better have been a good sandwich.” she laughed at him.
”It really wasn’t.” he answered.
”Bruno…what are your sisters going to think of me?”
”Eve…they love you already. Jamie loves you which means they all love you already.” Bruno reassured her.
”She’s pretty, too. They will like her.” Lucy interrupted them as they pulled up to his house full of cars and people.
”Just take a deep breath, Evie. You can do it.” he told her again squeezing her hand holding her bag. Lucy held onto her mother’s other hand not sure what they were doing.
”I’m hommmeeee!” Bruno shouted.
”Oh…and with Geneva!” Jamie exclaimed hugging her.
”Kalaini?” Lucy asked.
”Yes ma’am.” she replied.
”I don’t want to see Jamio. He hurt me.” she told him.
”I’m sorry, Lucy.” Jamio came over and hugged her. ”I’m sorry I hurt your arm.”
”Oh god. They’ll forget about it.” Evie laughed watching them run away after Jamio said he had something to show her.
Bruno introduced Evie to all his sisters and his mother.
”Are you nervous for him?” Tiara asked Evie.
”Oh goodness. Yes.” Evie answered watching all the girls get dressed.
”I think he’s really nervous..” Tiara answered.
”I know. He’ll be okay though.” Evie answered.
After they all got ready Bruno’s mother insisted on taking pictures of all of them dressed up.
”Wait…Eve…get in…” Bruno pushed her to the middle of the group.
”Oh..no…no..I can’t do that.” she told hm.
”Go!” he pushed her again next to his oldest sister. ”Now smile!”
”Wait..let me get a picture of the two of you..” Bernie said looking at Bruno. ”Just for us..okay?”He grabbed her from the group pretending to make an ugly face at her. ”Serious, Brunito…a good one please.” she demanded.
”Okay..fine…” he grabbed her waist lightly leaning in to whisper in her ear. ”You’re beautiful.” she smiled hearing the camera click. ”Lucy!” Bruno yelled from across the house. ”Come take a picture with your mom.”
”But I’m not pretty like you are…” she told them.
”Get in there…” Eric told her with a laugh.
”Okay..okay…” she smiled running to her mother’s open arms.
”Say cheese!” Bruno said watching the two of them from behind his mother.
”Bruno..get in there.” his mother told him.
”Yeah…we don’t have one of you and Lucy yet…” Evie responded pulling him toward them.
”Be nice, Bruno!” Tahiti yelled at him.
”I’m always nice..” Bruno told them hugging Lucy tightly hearing the picture being taken.
”I wanna seeeeee…” Lucy said as Evie let go of her. Bernie showed her the picture laughing at them.
”You’re all very pretty.” Bernie told her.
”I know!” Lucy said wandering back to where the rest of the kids were playing video games.
”I’ll print this for you, Geneva. It’s beautiful.” Bernie told her handing her the picture.
”It really is.” Evie said looking at Bruno’s eyes.
”It won’t be the last one either, Eve.” he said kissing her on the cheek.
”Eww, okay. That’s enough of you two. Let’s get to the shooow!” Phil told them.
”Okay..okay..okay…let’s go!” Bruno answered. ”I’ll see you after I take over the Grammy’s.” he whispered to Evie in her ear making her laugh.
”Okay. Good luck. Even though you don’t need it.” she told him kissing him on the cheek squeezing his hand.
Evie sat in the audience far away from the Grammy nominees with sweaty palms and a nervous twitch. She heard her phone buzz between her thoughts that were alternating between Bruno’s brother in law watching her daughter to Sean to school and back to the original reason why she was sitting there. She grabbed onto her phone watching his sisters do the same.
”Oh my gosh!” she said with his family members. ”That’s so good!”
After the show Evie walked down the hallway with his family still in shock by the events. She was suddenly caught off guard by cameras and lights flashing in one direction. ”It’s the green room..” Jamie told her. Evie peeked in the room seeing them interviewing Bruno.
”Wait..they’re interviewing him….” Evie said grabbing one of his sister’s hands.
”Woah…” they all said together watching all the questions being thrown in his direction. He took a step down walking behind Ari weaving his way through the crowd. He looked down at his feet still trying to put together the whole evening. Woah. This is just crazy. He thought to himself seeing Evie’s bright pink dress in the distance. That’s where I need to be. He said to himself moving with the crowd. Evie saw them walking toward them. She smiled a huge smile at him not saying a word. She just held onto his hand walking down the hallway. As they neared the front door she leaned into his ear. ”I love you.”