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All the wrong reasons Episode 23

🌸ALL THE WRONG REASONS🌸
🌹EPISODE TWENTY-THREE🌹

It seemed like an eternity before Adrienne faced Justin
again. During the two days that they spent [email protected], she tried
to act normally. He’d call her at least three times a day. She
didn’t want him to think that something was up. Because
knowing him, he just might fly back to New York earlier than
scheduled and he only got two days to spend with his
family.
Monday evening, he appeared on her doorstep.
“Hi,” she greeted him, pasting a smile on her face.
He stared at her for a while. And without a word, he
pu-ll-ed her to him and crushed hisl-ips to hers.
“Justin,” she whispered against hisl-ips.
“I missed you,” he said, lifting her off her feet and
carrying her to the be-droom.
When he put her down on her feet, she stared up at
him. She could see fatigue in his eyes. “I missed you, too.”
He smiled at her, but she knew him better now. His
eyes didn’t sparkle and it looked like he was forcing the
smile on his face. Adrienne alre-ady knew that something
was up.
“Are you okay?” she asked.
He nodded. “I am now.”
“Justin…” she started.
He silenced her with a k!ss. She k!$$£d him back. Their
[email protected]£ [email protected] It was evident that he didn’t want
to talk. He just wanted to lose himself in her. And she
allowed him.
Within minutes, they were in be-d, [email protected] They rode
the tide of [email protected] that threatened to consume both of
them.
“Adrienne…” Justin whispered. He was more urgent
than usual. She matched his k!sses, his [email protected] with equal
fervor. She loved this man and she didn’t want to lose him.
She wanted to claim him, as much as he was claiming her.
When she reached her peak, she screamed his name
in ecstasy. In the midst of their [email protected], she managed to
remember that they got lost too soon, Justin wasn’t even
wearing protec-tion.
“Honey…we don’t have protec-tion,” she [email protected]
He stared back at her in eyes drun!kwith [email protected],
consumed by de-sire. His expression was so intense, she
almost didn’t recognize him.
He took her mouth in his in a rou-gh, [email protected] k!ss.
She k!$$£d him back, holding him close to her.
Then he leaned his forehead against hers and he
whispered in a hoarse voice, “Tell me you love me,
Adrienne.”
She blinked back at him, finally gaining back some of
her s-en-ses. “What?”
She stared back at him, unable to un-derstand what he
was asking of her.
“Tell me… that you’re in love with me,” he said, his
voice pleading. He drew in a de-ep breath. Then he added,
“The same way that I am so, so… in love with you.”
Her heart pounded inside her che-st and she struggled
to find her voice. Emotions enveloped her all at once and
she fought for air. She smiled at him, tears glistening in her
eyes. “Justin…you know I am.”
A slow, triumphant smile spre-ad across his face. “I
wanna hear you say it, honey.”
She pu-ll-ed him to her and k!$$£d him [email protected]
When she [email protected]£ up for air, she said, “I love you, Justin
Adams. With all my heart.”
He k!$$£d her back. “I love you, Adrienne Miller. With
all my heart. With all my soul. With all that I am,” he said.
And with that, she felt him move within her, more [email protected] and more urgently that it brou-ght her once
again to her peak.
“Justin!” she screamed.
“Adrienne, I love you so much!” he screamed her
name and within seconds she felt his b©dy rock within her.
He ti-ght£ñed his arms around her as he buried his
face into the [email protected] of her hair, taking in her scent, feeling
her every heartbeat, listening to her every breath. They
remained joined, still one with each other. And all Adrienne
could think of was how he told her he loved her.
Justin continued k!ss!ngher, nuzzling her n£¢k. Her
eyes were half-closed. She was consumed by the power of
their lovema-king. It was intense. And she knew that she had
just given herself completely to him. Her heart and her soul
now both belonged to Justin.
“You’re beautiful,” he whispered to her.
She smiled. “So are you.” Then, she again
remembered that they weren’t wearing protec-tion. “Justin…
you weren’t wearing any rubber.”
He stared back at her. She expected him to panic, and
realize what just happened. They were both lost in their
[email protected] that they actually forgot about the risks. But he
said, “I know.” He leaned down and k!$$£d her once again.
“Justin, I’m not on the pill.” She remembered that she
should have thought about this since the day she lost her
vir-ginity.
“I know,” he said again.
“Justin…”
He silenced her with a k!ss.
“Do you think I would worry, Adrienne?” he asked. “I
love you, honey.”
She bit her l!pand k!$$£d him back. “I love you, too.”
He smiled back at her. “Then we have nothing to
worry about.”
Finally, he pu-ll-ed out of her and rolled on his back. He
gathered her in her arms. She rested her head on his shoulder.
They got lost in their thoughts for a while. Justin
silently ca-ressed her arms and k!$$£d the t©p of her head
once in a while.
She wondered what happened in Chicago. Did he
manage to convince his parents not to go throu-gh with their
arrangement to marry him off? Did he win? Is he finally free?
She took a de-ep breath. “Justin… is everything all
right with you and your parents?”
It took a moment for him to answer. “Nothing I can’t
handle.”
She stared up at him, searching his face. Again, his
eyes weren’t dancing. Something was there beneath their
depths. Something that worried Adrienne.
She didn’t want to tell him that she knew about his
engagement. She wanted him to tell her at his own time.
When he managed to fix things. When he’s re-ady.
“If something’s wrong, you would tell me, right?” she
asked.
He smiled at her. “The woman I love just told me she
feels the same way about me. Right now, I’m invincible. I’m
the king of the world! Everything is perfect.”
“Justin!” she pinched him on his side.
He pu-ll-ed her to him and k!$$£d her forehead.
“Nothing’s wrong, Adrienne. Everything is just fine.”
***
The next day, Adrienne tried to concentrate on her work.
But she stayed anxious. She should be happy. Justin loves
her. Everything was perfect. But somehow, she still couldn’t
forget that nagging feeling that this bubble she was in
would just b!ow up in her face. That she would lose Justin.
Because even though his heart belonged to her… he was
still Justin Adams. And his name… belonged to someb©dy
else.
“So, did you talk to him?” Jill asked, sitting on the
chair in front of her desk.
“No. I tried to get something out of him. But he
wouldn’t talk. He just tells me that I have nothing to worry
about.”
Jill stared at her apologetically, not really knowing
what to say.
“He finally told me he loves me.”
Jill’s eyes wi-de-ned. “Wow!” She suppressed a scream.
“Then…you have nothing to worry about, Adrienne!”
“I know. But I can see it in his eyes. Something’s
bothering him and he doesn’t want to talk about it.”
“Maybe it’s not yet all peachy. Maybe he’s still trying
to sort it out. But he loves you. And that’s your @ssurance.
He’s fighting for you.”
Adrienne took a de-ep breath. “I know. I just hope he
wins, though.”
She decided to cook that night. Something special for
both Justin and her. She knew that even though he’s happy
with her, things still seemed off when it [email protected]£ to his parents.
His mother was determined to change his mind and make
him fulfill his promise to go throu-gh with their arrangement.
He loved her. And she knew it must be tough for him to defy
his parents.
“Something smells good,” he said when he entered
her [email protected] and found her in the kitchen.
“Hey!” she greeted him. “I hope you’re hungry. Dinner
will be re-ady in fifteen minutes.”
He stood behind her and wra-pped his arms around her
[email protected]!st. He gave her a k!sson the n£¢k and looked at what
she was cooking.
“Stroganoff?”
“Yes.”
“My favorite,” he said. He k!$$£d the t©p of her head.
“I love you.”
She smiled and turned to him. She reached up and
k!$$£d hisl-ips. “I love you, too,” she said. “Now, go wait in
the living room, so I can finish this.”
Just after they sat down for dinner and Justin had
taken a taste of what she had cooked for him, he stared
back at her in awe.
“What?” she asked.
“Wow! You really can cook!” He took another bite.
“This is awesome!”
She smiled. “I’m glad you like it.”
“Love it!” he said and ate as if he hasn’t eaten the
whole day. And it made Adrienne feel proud and happy.
After she washed the dishes and tidied up the kitchen,
she found Justin on the balcony. Lost in his own thoughts,
drinking beer and staring into space.
Her heart almost broke. She knew the burden he
carried. She promised she wouldn’t pressure him about it,
but at that moment, she felt like maybe it’s time for him to
share that burden. She realized that it was bad enough that
he’s defying his parents’ wishes. He carried the burden of
not telling her, too, because he feared he would hurt her or
he would lose her. She wanted him to know that she knows.
That it was okay. That she trusted him.
She took a de-ep breath and said, “You don’t have to
be strong all the time, you know.”
He turned around to face her. “Hey,” he whispered
softly.
“Justin…” She took a step closer to him. “I know…I
know what’s bothering you.”
He blinked back at her. “Nothing’s bothering me.”
She raised a brow at him. “Liar,” she said softly and
she smiled at him ruefully. “I know you’re engaged, Justin.”
He stared at her. Blood almost draining from his face.
She stepped closer to him. “Justin…you don’t have to hide it
from me.”
“Adrienne…I’m not engaged.”
“I know you are. St©p pretending that everything is
peachy! Like there’s nothing wrong. I know you have a
fiancée somewhere and you’re scared to tell me about it.”
He closed his eyes for a moment. He took a de-ep
breath and said, “As far as I’m concerned, I’m not engaged.”
“Justin…plea-se!” She’s getting frustrated. “How could
you say that? I know what’s going on with you!”
He gro-an ed softly. “I am not engaged, Adrienne!
Because if I was, then you would be wearing a hvge rock on
your f!nger!” He sank on the chair and refused to look at
her.
Adrienne took a moment to think about what he said
and what that meant. Her heart swelled at the thought that
if Justin was free to ask someb©dy to marry him, he would
ask her.
She went to him and knelt in front of him, taking his
hands in hers.
“Okay. You’re not engaged…by your own free will. Your
parents arranged you to be married to some heiress they
chose for you. Am I right?”
He gave her a [email protected] look. He squee-zed her hands.
“How did you know?”
“It doesn’t matter how I knew. But I do. And I know it’s
bothering you.”
He shook his head. “It’s not bothering me, Adrienne,”
he began in a broken voice “It’s killing me.”
She knew that. But what’s important is his choice.
What did he really plan to do about it?
She took a de-ep breath. “So what’s your plan, Mr.
Adams?” she asked. “Because I’m only willing to stand by
your side if you say that your choice is…me.”
He re-leased her hands, leaned down and gave her a
[email protected] k!sson thel-ips. Then he said, “What are you talking
about, Adrienne? The choice will always be you!” He pu-ll-ed
her up so she could sit on his [email protected] He drew her closer to him.
They stayed quiet for a while. She rested her head on
his shoulder. He gave her a ti-ght squee-ze. Then he said,
“You don’t know how relieved I am to hear you say that you
will stand by me.”
She looked up at him. “Is that what was bothering
you?”
He pushed a lock of hair away from her face. “The
only thing that’s killing me is the fear of losing you if you
found out.”
“I love you, Justin. And I know it wasn’t your choice.”
He took a de-ep breath. “I’ve alre-ady made my
choice,” he said. “My parents won’t be happy about it, but
there was never a question of ever giving you up for some
rich [email protected] I haven’t even met.”
“You haven’t met her?”
He shook his head. “All my life, my mother told me I
would marry the daughter of her best friend. Their family
had been very good friends with mine. Even our
grandfathers were the best of friends. They got it in their
heads to join our families and they believed the only way to
do that is throu-gh marriage. Unfortunately, my mother
never had a brother. And the girl’s mother was an only child.
So marriage was impossible in their generation. They
thought about ma-king me miserable instead.”
“How long have you known?”
He sighed. “Ever since I was boy,” he replied. “I
promised my grandfather I would do it. Back then, I thought
my Mom’s friend was beautiful. So her daughter couldn’t be
that bad. And I didn’t care about those things yet. Even
when I [email protected]£ an adult I never found someb©dy I could fall
in love with. So it never bothered me.
“I was raised with this arrangement like it was a [email protected]
of my system… a [email protected] of who I am. And besides, my mother
and my father [email protected]£ from that sort of arrangement and they
were so in love with each other. It worked out well for them,
so I thought, maybe, I would fall for the girl, too.”
Adrienne rested her head on his shoulder as she
listened to his story.
“That’s why I never committed to anyb©dy. Because I
knew not to become emotionally attached. I know every girl
I got to be with is just… temporary. In the end I’m still going
to marry my mother’s friend’s daughter. So it didn’t matter
if I never had a relationsh!pbefore. What was the point?”
“You were a bachelor for a reason,” she murmured.
He took a de-ep breath. “Then I saw you one day, in
your office. You were beautiful and I was entranced. The fact
that you ignored me and didn’t seem interested in me got
me fascinated with you even more.”
Adrienne giggled. “That’s your ego talking.”
Justin chuckled. “I always watched you. You didn’t
seem interested. I saw you move into this [email protected] and I
got excited because it meant I would get a chance to get
your attention.”
“Maybe I pres£nted a challenge, that’s why you were
interested in me.”
“Maybe at first. But the more I watched you, the more
I got intrigued by you. You were always serious, but I felt like
you have a shell that I just had to crack and something even
more beautiful would come out. That night at Gypsys, I saw
a crack in that shell. So I pursued you. Because I knew that
was my only chance.”
Adrienne giggled. “Jamila McBride gave you a
chance.”
“That was hilarious. I alre-ady knew so much about
you, and when you gave me a fake name, I tried so [email protected] not
to laugh.”
“I thought you would easily forget me.”
“Now, you know, I won’t,” he said. “I never meant for
this to be just a one-night thing. And the more I got to know
you… the more drawn I [email protected]£ to you. You have layers in
your personality that I find enthralling. You were smart,
funny and tough. And I felt privileged that you showed me sides of you that you don’t allow anyb©dy else to see. The
fact that I was the guy you gave your vir-ginity to, made me
feel like somehow, I did something right in my life to
deserve such a special prize.
“Our secret made me live in your world… the world
you try so much to hide. After two weeks of being with you, I
realized that I was way into you for this thing to be called
just a fling. When I saw that guy, Jin Starck, looking
interested in you, I felt a pang of jealousy that I never felt
before. I [email protected]£ possessive of you. I wanted you all to
myself and I didn’t care anymore if I was previously
arranged to someb©dy else. I don’t want her. I want you.”
“Did you tell your parents about this?”
“Yes,” he replied. “Last weekend, I told them that I’m
calling off the whole arrangement. They can’t choose my
wife for me. I alre-ady know who I wanted to spend the rest
of my life with.”
“How did they take it?”
He sighed. “Badly,” he whispered. “My mother was
threatening to disinherit me.”
She pu-ll-ed away from him and looked into his eyes.
“Justin…she couldn’t do that to you, can she?”
He smiled ruefully. “I was hoping she would get it
someday. She didn’t know what it was like. She accepted
her fate willingly. She was never in love with someb©dy else
when she married my Dad. And then they got to know each
other and fell madly in love. So after a few months, it wasn’t
a business arrangement anymore.”
“How sure are you that you won’t like this girl, too?”
Adrienne asked him.
Justin shook his head. “How could I even like her? I’m
alre-ady too far in love with you.”
She leaned forward and k!$$£d hisl-ips. Her heart
swelled with joy and broke in pain at the same time. She
was happy to hear him say he loved her enough to fight for her. But she also knew that he’s sacrificing his family for
their love. And a [email protected] of her didn’t want that for him.
“What are you going to do now, Justin?”
He smiled at her ruefully. “I can’t live without you
now, honey. I won’t. Even if it means I lose everything.”
“Are you re-ady to do that?”
“Will you stay with me even if I’m not Justin Adams
anymore? Even if I make a living bussing tables?”
“You know I will,” she replied. Then she grinned.
“Maybe I just might love you even more.”
He stared at her for a while and said, “Then you just
made me the happiest man alive, honey.” He leaned forward
and gave her a [email protected] k!sson thel-ips.

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