G5 Chapter Thirty Four – Andy’s Surprise

“I hate this!” Andy exclaimed. He gazed into the mirror and did not recognize the man that stared back at him. Around his feet laid locks of what used to be his collar-length hair. “Tell me again why I had to cut it, Kirby?” 

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Kirby shook his head. “Something about updated standards for team management from the new league commissioner. If it was up to me, Andy, well you know I don’t care what your hair looks like. I’m so used to you with it long.” 

“Danae is going to flip when she sees this. She loved my hair. This is a nightmare.” 

“I don’t mean to downplay this for you, but it’s just hair, Andy. It will grow back—” Kirby spoke, but Andy interrupted him.

“Only for them to tell me I have to cut it again.” Andy huffed in frustration. 

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“Did you love Danae any less when you saw her with red hair?” 

“Of course not. She was a sexy redhead. I wouldn’t mind if she recolored it again someday.” All their tenth-anniversary photos showed her flaming red locks, and Andy loved it.

“Keep that in mind. I’m sure she loves more than your hair.” 

“I know you’re right, Kirby. I just don’t like being told I have to do it. But I get it. Long hair isn’t professional.” 

“Well, you’re right, it’s not. But yours was always nicely groomed and you wore it well.” Kirby shrugged. 

“I haven’t had short hair since before high school. I don’t remember it ever being this short.” Andy bent over and picked up a handful of his silky, black hair from the floor. “I guess I’ll take a lock of it home to remember it.

*****

Andy dreaded his return from work that afternoon, faced with uncertainty. Danae had no idea his sudden haircut would take place, so his news would blindside her. 

He walked into the front door and heard the chaos of children playing and infants crying. Danae walked from their bedroom with Tessa in her arms. From the back, Danae had no idea it was Andy, and seeing a strange man in her house kicked her into protective Mama mode. She hurried to the kitchen and grabbed the first thing she saw.

“I have a weapon and I’m not afraid to use it!” she threatened him, their infant daughter clutched in her grasp.

Andy spun around to see Danae walking toward him brandishing a kitchen knife in her hand. “Don’t hurt me, baby!” he exclaimed loudly. 

She stopped in her tracks and studied the face of the man she loved. She recognized his voice, but she barely discerned it was him. “Andy?”

He sighed. “Yes, it’s me. This was my surprise this morning. The new football commissioner implemented a bunch of dress code policies today. My hair had to go.”

“Who is the new commissioner?” Danae asked. “He has too much power if he can tell you how you have to wear your hair.”

He sat down at the island and held his arms open for their baby girl. “It’s not just me. The ruling is league-wide and it affects everyone.” He ran his hands through his shorter hair and made a fist in frustration. “I know long hair isn’t professional, but mine was always neat and groomed. I haven’t had hair this short since middle school, Nae. I don’t like it.” He kissed Tessa’s forehead and smiled at her sweet little face. 

All Danae could think about was how it would affect her. She loved his long hair, and now he didn’t even resemble the man with whom she shared her life and her bed. “It will take some getting used to, my Andy,” she said, a crooked smile on her face. “I’m not sure I like it, either, but I suppose it will grow on me.” 

He shook his head. “I’m not surprised to hear you say you don’t like it, baby. I know I sure don’t.” 

Elyse heard the commotion in the living room and walked from her room. “Mama? What’s going on?” She saw Andy only from the back and she stepped backward toward her room. “Who is that?!”

“It’s Daddy, Lysie. Come see his new haircut.” Danae smiled at her. 

She shook her head. “No no, I’m good right here,” she said cautiously. 

“Sweet pea,” Andy spoke. “I’m not going to hurt you.” He chuckled a bit and turned around.

“What happened, Daddy? Why did you cut your hair?” 

“New rules at work, sweetie. I had no choice.” Danae took the baby from him to nurse her while Teddy still slept. “Come here and give me a hug. I need some love from you and Eamon.” He kneeled down on the floor and she sat on his leg. Carefully, she reached to touch his hair.

“I don’t like it,” Elyse said. “You don’t look like you anymore.” 

Andy laughed. “That makes three of us, honey.” He hugged her and kissed her cheek. “Do you want to swim with me today?” 

Elyse shook her head. “No thank you, Daddy. I have homework to do.” Since Emmitt’s death, neither child had gone back into the pool.

Andy sighed. “Let me know when you’re ready, sweet pea. It’s safe when I’m with you, you know.” 

She nodded sadly. “I know, Daddy.” 

*****

That evening, after the twins were fed and rocked to sleep, Andy and Danae sat on the patio in the yard, a glass of wine for each of them. They were cuddled up on the same chair, snuggled together. He reached to kiss her and her gaze went to his face, that of a man she barely recognized. She shifted uncomfortably and sighed. 

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“What’s wrong, Nae?” Andy asked her. 

She shook her head. “It’s nothing, babe,” she replied. “I just need to get used to your new look.” 

“You hate it, don’t you?” Andy sighed in frustration. 

“Hate is a strong word.” 

“But it’s true, isn’t it baby?” 

Danae sniffled back tears that she didn’t want to cry. “I don’t hate it, Andy. It’s just not you. I feel like I’m married to a stranger.” The instant the words left her lips, she regretted it. She cringed and whispered, “I’m sorry, babe.”

“It isn’t like I had a choice, Danae,” Andy huffed. 

“I know. I still love you, no matter what.” She wiped tears away and settled back into Andy’s arms. But he stiffened his body and pushed her away.

“Was your love ever in question, Danae? I mean, did you ever look at me and think that you don’t?” 

Her mouth dropped open in shock. “Andy! Of course not! And I can’t believe you even went there.”

“Then why say ‘still’?” Andy growled, on the defensive.

“I didn’t know the word ‘still’ was so offensive to you!” Danae raised her voice, so uncharacteristic for her. She took her glass of wine and dumped the contents into the grass. “I’ll be upstairs when you come to your senses!” she spat and stomped into the house. 

“Danae, wait—” he called to her, but she slammed the door behind her. He drank the contents of his wine glass and went in for another full one. He plopped back onto the lounge and drank half of his new glass in one gulp. “This isn’t strong enough,” he said aloud to himself and dumped the rest. 

He picked up the phone and dialed Aaron’s cell number. “Murph?” came Aaron’s shocked greeting. 

“Let’s go out for a drink, Aaron. I’m buying.” Andy had the keys to his Aston Martin in his hand. “I will be by to get you.”

Aaron looked at Trixie and sighed. “Buddy, I can’t tonight. It’s the first night Trixie and I have had to ourselves since Steph was born.”

Mad at the world, Andy only huffed. “Thanks. Good to know I can count on you when I need my best friend.” He pressed End on the cell and walked outside to the garage. He started the engine on the car and revved it once he cleared the garage door, opened the gate, and spun his tires. He was going somewhere, and it didn’t matter where as long as his destination had copious amounts of alcohol inside. 

Andy walked into the bar in downtown Isla Paradiso and ordered two shots of whiskey and a beer. The first shot burned all the way down and he grimaced at the sensation. The second shot still tasted terrible but it didn’t burn. He twisted the top off the longneck the bartender handed him, took the bottle and sat at a small table close to the stage. 

He never intended to drink more than what he had purchased, but one of the guys on the team was there with a friend, spotted Andy and waved him over. He walked to the table where the guys sat and plopped down with them. “Hey, boss!” a player named Ted welcomed him.

“Hey guys,” Andy greeted them. “What brings you out this way?” 

“Just throwing back a few. I never see you out here, man. What’s shakin’, Murph?” 

“A spat with the wife,” he said through gritted teeth. He ran his fingers through his shorter hair and shook his head. “She hates it, and I can’t deal with her right now.” 

Ted was truly taken by surprise. He’d never heard Andy refer to Danae as anything other than her name. “The wife, huh? She really must have pissed you off.” 

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Andy took a swig from the bottle he had in his hand. “I’m not even sure what end is up right now.” He swirled the bottle and swished the liquid within. “Any word on who the new commish is?” 

“What are you asking me for?” Ted laughed. “You should know all of that before any of us peons know.” Andy took the last swig from the bottle he clutched and set it on the table. “Can I get you another, Murph?”

He shook his head and pushed away from the table slightly. “Nah, I gotta get going here soon.” But the guys’ insistence convinced him to have another. He twisted the top from the new bottle and the three of them clinked their bottles together in a silent, drunken toast. 

Three hours later, Andy was drunk and he was nauseated. He stumbled to his car and vomited on the tire, opened the door, and sat in the driver’s seat. His head swam from the alcohol and though he knew he shouldn’t drive he started his car anyway. Andy didn’t drive more than ten yards when he stopped the car, opened the door, and threw up outside on the gravel in the parking lot. He dug his phone from his pocket and dialed Danae’s cell phone.

The phone ringing woke her from a deep sleep and for a moment she forgot where she was. And when she saw Andy’s number on the display, her heart sank. “Andy?” she asked, sleep heavy in her voice.

“Baby,” he slurred. “I can’t drive home. Come get me?” 

She sat up in bed and turned the light on next to her. “Where are you, Andy? I thought you were downstairs in our bed?”

“I’m at the bar across from the museum, baby. I…” he hated to say it. He had promised her years ago he wouldn’t drink outside their home anymore and she would be angry. “I had too much to drink and I don’t want to wreck my car.” He covered the phone with his hand as he retched, but nothing more came up.

“Andy, I can’t just leave the kids to come to get you. Find another way home. And we’ll talk about your drinking when you sober up in the morning!”

“Baby, would you call my limo for me at least? I can’t drive.” 

She wanted to hang up on him, but she also recognized he knew he was impaired. She sighed and put the call on speaker. “Let me find the number and I’ll call for you. Whatever you do, Andy, do not drink any more liquor!” She picked up the house phone and dialed his limo service, requested the ride and confirmed it. “They’ll be there to pick you up in ten minutes.” She waited, but there was no answer on the other end of the line. “Andy?” She checked to make sure the call was still connected and listened for breathing, any sign of life on the other end of the phone. “Andy?!” she half-screamed into her handset.  

Fifteen minutes later, the limousine driver arrived to retrieve Andy from the bar and bring him home. He was slumped over in the driver’s side seat, the door half open and his foot stuck out from it. The driver approached him and tapped his shoulder. 

“Mr. Anduin?” the driver said. 

Andy roused when he felt the driver’s hand touch him. “Hey Jorge,” he slurred. “Please do me a huge favor and lock the car for me?” He held the keys out for the driver to take.

“My pleasure, Mr. Anduin,” Jorge replied. He locked the doors of the fancy red Aston Martin and gave the keys back to Andy. 

“Thank you,” Andy said. “Home, please.”

Jorge took the winding roads to the dead-end street where the Murphy house sat. All the main lights were on inside the house, but Andy didn’t care. He only wanted to sleep off his night of alcohol and frivolity. Consequences were best saved for morning sobriety. 

Jorge stopped the limousine outside the gate and opened the door for Andy, who tipped handsomely and dismissed the driver once he was safely within the gate. Andy stumbled across the yard until he got to the porch, pulled himself up to the front door, and opened it. Danae stood on the other side, her arms crossed and an angry scowl on her face.

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Andy put his hand up before she could say a word. “Save it, Danae,” he mumbled. “I just want to sleep this off.”

Screenshot-708“Andy, either you are done drinking, or I’m done,” Danae spat. “I won’t tolerate this any longer, not after you promised me you wouldn’t drink like this.” 

Andy huffed at her and made his way to the bedroom. “Morning,” he grumbled and closed the door behind him.


Andy’s rude awakening the next morning included bright sunlight through a thrown-open drape and the sullen scowl of his wife. He covered his head with his pillow but Danae grabbed it from his hands and threw it on the floor.

“What the hell, Danae?” Andy growled, the light hurt his eyes and his head pounded. 

Screenshot-721“You told me morning, and it’s morning,” she snarled. “It’s now or it’s never, Andy. You choose right now what you love more: me or that booze on your breath. Choose wisely, because I will not offer it again.”

He squinted his eyes and rubbed his temples. “You?” came his one-word answer. 

“Are you asking me or telling me?” she spat. 

“Telling you,” he muttered. 

Danae threw her hands in the air. “I don’t want to even look at you. We will talk about this later. But you’re going to be late for work if you don’t get up.” She spun on her heel and walked from the room.

Screenshot-722Andy groaned and pulled himself out of bed, shambled to the shower and turned the water on. The warmth felt good and he stood there under the spray until he felt better. The water was nearly chilly when he turned the shower off and stepped out. 

“…but Mama!” Andy was getting dressed when he heard a whiny protest from Eamon, who had taken a cold shower. “I feel gross.”

“You’re going to have to deal with it son!” Danae snapped. And when she saw the tears in his eyes, she immediately felt terrible. She was upset with Andy but was taking it out on the kids. She kneeled down and opened her arms for him. He went to her embrace and cried. 

“I’m sorry, Mama,” Eamon wept. But Danae put her finger to his lips and hugged him close to her.

“No, sweetheart, you did nothing wrong, and I’m sorry.” She kissed his face and dried his tears. “Can you forgive me?”

His tear-stained face looked at her and he nodded. “Yes, I forgive you.” Danae wiped a tear from her own eyes and she rocked him in her arms. 

“What’s going on here?” Andy asked.

Danae glared at him. “Eamon took a cold shower this morning because someone used all the hot water.” Andy shrugged and walked to the coffee pot, filled his travel mug, and grabbed his keys. Danae pointed at him before he walked to the door. “This isn’t over.”

“Yeah, I can’t wait,” Andy replied. “I’m late.”

Danae followed him to the door. “I love you, Andy, but I don’t like you very well right now. Please consider how your decisions affect our family. You have four children who need their daddy.”

“What about their mother?” he asked.

“I will always need you, babe. But we have some things to discuss before this is irreparable.” She kissed him and caressed his cheek. “Have a good day at work.”

*****

Andy stomped through the corridor to his office, jammed the key into the door and turned it. A stack of faxes awaited him, and as he took the papers from the printer a soft knock came at his door. “What?” he snapped.

Kirby opened the door and stuck his head inside. “Andy, the new commissioner will be at the stadium at noon, and we need to go…” Kirby stopped speaking and cocked his head. “What is bothering you, son?”

Andy’s expression softened and for the first time since his surprise haircut the previous day, he was off the defensive. “It’s nothing,” he tried to lie, but Kirby knew better. 

“I know it is something because you have never taken that tone with me before. I am willing to let it slide because I know it’s not who you are.” Kirby looked Andy up and down. He recognized the signs of a hangover and he frowned at his manager.

Andy broke contact with Kirby’s gaze and looked at his feet, ashamed. “I am sorry, Kirby. When I got home yesterday, things were so different. Danae thought I was an intruder and nearly stabbed me with a kitchen knife. She told me she feels like she is married to a stranger. Even Lysie was afraid of me. How can I cope with this drastic change when everyone I love is against me?”

Kirby motioned to the desk. “May I?” Andy nodded and sat across from his boss. “Andy,” Kirby began, “I want to recognize that you suffered a bit of a trauma yesterday with your haircut. But you need to hear this, and you need to hear it good because I love you and Danae like my own family.” He sat up, folded his hands on Andy’s desk, and looked straight into his eyes. “Grow up.”

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Andy sat back in his office chair in stunned silence. All of the advice Kirby could have doled out and two words summed it up. And he never felt more betrayed. “Excuse me?” he finally squeaked out.

“You heard me, Andy. You need to learn to pick your battles with Danae. This is such a small, trivial matter. Yes, she will need time to adjust and so will the kids. But don’t throw your marriage away over something as meaningless as a haircut. And for the love of everything good, stop drinking. If you need help then get it, but don’t make alcohol more important than your wife. Please, Andy, learn from my mistake. I nearly lost Rae because the booze took over my life. Don’t do that with Danae.”

Andy’s thoughts went to Danae and all he could see was her angry face. It was all so unnecessary, and he felt terrible. He rubbed his temples with his fingers and looked at Kirby. “You’re right,” Andy finally said. “I broke a promise last night and Danae was angry. She had every right to be angry, too. I acted like a child.”

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Kirby reached for Andy’s hand and patted it. “Make it right with her before it’s too late. And you might want to brace yourself for our noon meeting with the commissioner. You’re not going to like it.”

Andy shook his head. The last thing he needed was another unpleasant surprise. “I’ll be ready,” he assured Kirby. He waved as the boss left his office and picked up his cell phone. On his messaging app, he typed in a quick message:

Baby, I’m sorry about last night and this morning. Be ready for dinner tonight at six. I will pick you up. Wear something amazing. I crazy love you!

Andy logged into his computer and reserved his table for the evening at By The Sea. It would be a night of begging her for forgiveness and making their relationship whole. It was the most important item on his agenda for the day, and he needed to make sure it was perfect. 

At 11:30, Kirby knocked on Andy’s door, Aaron in tow. “Andy, it’s time. We need to be early for this.”

Andy locked his computer and stood. “I’m good to go,” he announced. “Hey, Aaron! How was your date with Trix last night?” 

Aaron blushed. “Perfect.”

Andy smiled and clapped his best friend on the shoulder. “Good to hear it, buddy.” He pulled his office door closed and locked it behind him. “Let’s do this.”

The three men walked to the stadium and into the PR room. Though the press was not there, the meeting was somewhat casual and Kirby thought it best handled in their media section. Precisely at noon, a knock came at the door, and Andy’s face went sheet white when he saw the new commissioner. 

“Gentlemen,” Fiona McDonald said as she entered the room. Beside her was Devin Jones. She smiled at Andy’s obvious upset. “Murphy, you haven’t changed a bit. Please be seated.” She took command of the room and opened her briefcase. “You all know my husband, Devin.” 

Andy’s shocked gaze met Kirby’s, who promptly returned a shrug. Aaron patted Andy on the shoulder, his own distress was evident. When Kirby announced the commissioner that morning, Andy never expected the two people in his media room. 

“W-What happened to Cael?” Andy stuttered. He had so many questions, none of them relating to the business at hand. 

“That is none of your concern,” Fiona snapped at him. Devin sat at her side, a Cheshire cat grin on his face. “My personal life is not subject to discussion today, Mr. Murphy, so I suggest you keep on topic.”

Kirby’s expression changed, and for the first time since Andy had worked for him, he saw anger on his boss’ face. “With all due respect, Commissioner Jones, this is my stadium and I will not tolerate your tone with my staff. This meeting will be respectful or it is done. Have I made myself clear?” 

Fiona opened her mouth to protest but Kirby shut her down. “You brought your husband to this meeting today to cause problems with Mr. Murphy and Mr. Hall, but I am telling you he is not welcome in this stadium in this capacity. As a player, I have no control over his presence here but Mr. Jones is not to accompany you to meetings such as this.” 

Devin sneered at his estranged brother-in-law. “Likewise, that man is no longer allowed at Jones Stadium in Starlight Shores.” He pointed at Andy. “Mr. Kemp, you will be required to accompany the team to the Shores for all games instead.” 

Kirby was furious. “You cannot ban my team manager from any facility! It’s in the regulations—”

“Don’t you know, Mr. Kemp, that whoever holds the position of Commissioner makes the rules?” Fiona’s tone was condescending and crude. “You have no control over who I ban from what stadium. In fact, I could shut down your whole franchise and have Mr. Hall investigated for cheating. There is no way this team could have won all those championships without doing so.”

Screenshot-728Kirby stood and pointed at the door. “Get out. You cannot do this, and the meeting is over.” Fiona and Devin stood where they were and Kirby pounded his fist on the table. “GET OUT!” he shouted, his angry voice echoed in the room. Andy had never seen his boss so irate. 

“This isn’t over,” Devin growled on their way out. “Oh, by the way, Murphy, nice haircut.” Andy stood to confront him, but Aaron and Kirby both held him back. Fiona and Devin left the media room and slammed the door behind them. 

The three of them sat, all of them speechless in the wake of such a threat. Finally, Aaron spoke. “She can’t do that, can she, Kirby? I mean, my plays have been reviewed by the league for years and there hasn’t been a problem.” He slumped in his chair. “I have a family now. I can’t afford scandal and legal fees.” 

Kirby patted Aaron’s shoulder. “Don’t worry, Aaron, I have your back. We have recourse should she decide to pull this little stunt. Neither of you should be concerned about it. I will always cover you.” 

“Did you know they were together, Kirby? When did this happen? This should have been big news and yet…” Andy buried his face in his hands. “That man needs to be stopped.”

“Well, the committee that appointed Fiona to the commissioner position can be petitioned with a grievance. Her threat won’t stick, so please don’t fret about this.” Kirby spoke softly and placed his hand on Aaron’s shoulder. “You’ve done nothing wrong, Aaron. This team is strong and skilled, and they don’t like it. If we are investigated, they will find nothing.”

The meeting adjourned and the three men walked to their respective offices. When Andy returned to his, a message was on his phone. He picked it up and read what Danae had written:

My Andy, I have a sitter arranged for tonight. I can’t wait to spend some quality time with you. I love you with all I have. 

For the first time that day, Andy was truly happy. 

*****

Andy showered at the stadium and washed off the funk of a terrible day. He couldn’t wait to pick Danae up at the house, and he couldn’t wait to see what she would wear. He dressed in the tuxedo he kept in his office for impromptu meetings and slicked his hair back. In just twenty minutes he needed to be home to pick Danae up for dinner.

Andy locked his office door behind him, his briefcase in his hand. Aaron was on his way out just ahead of him. When he heard Andy, he stopped and turned. 

“Crazy day,” he said casually.

Andy stopped and hugged Aaron’s shoulder. “Buddy, we have nothing to worry about.” 

“Easy for you to say, Andy. You weren’t mentioned by name in this mess. You don’t have anything at stake—”

“Aaron, relax,” Andy interrupted him. “Kirby is going to take care of his staff. I promise you.” He stood in front of his best friend, his hands on Aaron’s arms. “Look, go home, kiss Trixie and Steph and enjoy your family. Have a glass of wine together and take it easy. And tomorrow, when we’re back here at this stadium, we hit this problem head-on. Deal?” 

Aaron breathed a heavy sigh. “I guess you’re right.” He twirled the keys to his shiny black Aston Martin on his finger. “See you tomorrow.” 

Andy nodded. “See you tomorrow. Give Trix a hug from all of us?” 

“Of course,” Aaron smiled. “Have fun on your date.”

Andy got into his car and started it, put it in gear, and started home. His mind was on Danae. The past twenty-four hours replayed in his head, and he hoped she had enough forgiveness in her heart for him. He turned onto the dead-end street that led to the Murphy home and his stomach fluttered and he was nervous. He opened the gate and pulled into the driveway. Two minutes later, Danae appeared on the front porch dressed in an evening gown he hadn’t seen her wear. His mouth dropped open as she approached him, and he blushed when she kissed his cheek. 

“Shall we?” he asked and held his arm for her to take. 

“Of course, my Andy,” she almost whispered. He walked her to the car and held the door for her.

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“You look stunning, sweetheart,” he said quietly. 

Danae blushed slightly. “Thank you, babe.” 

Their ride to By The Sea was quiet, both of them were nervous. Much depended upon the outcome of this date, of their pending discussion. Either there would be healing or a grievous wound left on their relationship. Danae dreaded to think of what her mind entertained over the past twenty-four hours. 

Andy valet parked his car and together they walked into the restaurant. Maître D’ recognized them immediately and led them to Andy’s reserved table. Before they were seated, Andy embraced his beloved wife, the woman who he loved more than life itself. He kissed her forehead gently and held her to him tightly. 

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“Danae,” he began, “I am so sorry about how I acted. I’d be devastated if I lost you—”

“Shh,” she said softly. “I’m not going anywhere. But we do have to talk.” 

He nodded. “I know, baby. That’s why we are here.” He took her hand and led her to the table. 

The waiter brought them each a glass of their usual champagne and left the bottle near the table. Andy took Danae’s hand and kissed it, and they sat looking at each other, their hands clasped together. There was not a force that could have separated them. 

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“Andy,” Danae said, “I’m sorry. I was angry and—”

Andy interrupted her. “No, honey. You have absolutely nothing to be sorry about. I took something meaningless and made it into an ordeal. I was childish and immature. I am sorry.” He kissed her hand tenderly. “I want to ask your forgiveness. Can you forgive me, Danae?” 

She stared into his caramel brown eyes as a single tear left hers. “Oh, Andy, of course I can forgive you. I was angry and I overreacted, too. And I’m sorry.” 

Andy shook his head gently. “Danae, you had every right to be angry. I broke my promise to you, an important promise. I never want to let you down like this again, and I swear to you right here, right now I won’t do this to you, not one more time for the rest of my life.” He rubbed her fingers between his and squeezed her hand gently. “I guarantee it.”  

She smiled at him, his eyes begged her for one more blessing of her forgiveness. She reached to caress his cheek and he nuzzled his face into her hand. “I believe you.”

Andy stood and walked to where she sat. “Would you do me the honor of this dance, my love?” he asked her.

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“I would love to,” she whispered back, lost in the moment. 

He held her close as they danced to the music, his whispered confessions of love in her ears. And Danae realized the man she loved was still there and had never left, nor would he for the rest of his life. At that moment, she never felt more secure or more loved. 

“Andy,” she whispered, “hold me like this for the rest of our lives.” 

“Forever and always, my sweet, darling princess,” he whispered back. 

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Up Next: Chapter Thirty Five, Part One, Generation Five


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