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 Falling Slowly

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PostSubject: Falling Slowly   Thu May 24, 2012 8:00 pm





Intro

*Sebastien Surfaces*

Since Sebastien had left London for parts unknown, Simon and the others had no idea what was to happen with the group, no one knew if he would return or not. It had been 2 months since any of them had heard from him.

During that time Urs had taken Jewel and Belle home to Switzerland, for the honeymoon they never had. They had left Belle with Urs's mother, and took a few days to be alone, as Urs helped conquer her fear after the kidnapping. Her mind was made up that she would never forgive Seb, but Urs could understand that and he felt pretty much the same way.

After being away for a month, they came back to look at the prospect of buying a home in Luzerne, too have a safe place away from people, who might want to repeat the incident Seb had caused.

Sebastien in the meantime had spent 2 months in the Islands of Hawaii, he swam and just enjoyed the private life he had now craved, No Il Divo just him and the life of a single man. He spent most of his time looking at the beautiful women on the islands, but he never touched any of them. Something had changed in him, but he wasn't sure just what that was.

Part of him wanted a stable life, and someone who would love only him, but after all he had done to Jewel, he really didn't think he would ever be the man a woman could trust. That trust he had to find in himself, before he could share a life with a true love.

In the morning, Seb would board the Cruise Ship 'Pride of America' where he would spend the next 2 weeks. Then he would know if he was going back to London and the group. Could he go back and pick up with the guys, and still deal with seeing Urs and his family, could he even stand working with Urs anymore?

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PostSubject: Re: Falling Slowly   Thu May 24, 2012 8:08 pm

Chapter 1
*Boarding the Ship*

It was early in the morning when Sébastien gathered his things. The time had come for the next part of his journey. A journey that would hopefully make him the kind of man a woman could love.

He felt good about himself as he left the hotel room and walked down to the reception to check out. It had been great staying at the hotel but he was looking forward to 2 weeks at sea on board a cruise ship. After checking out, he picked up his bags and went down to the pier.

About 10 minutes later, he boarded "Pride of America". As the first brand-new U.S flagged cruise ship in nearly 50 years and the biggest ever built, "Pride of America" had been designed to reflect America's favorite places.



As Sébastien entered the reception area, he knew that he had made the right choice about taking a cruise. He walked over to the desk and soon after, he received the key to one of the penthouse rooms on deck 10. Sébastien thanked the woman at the reception and went upstairs to find his room.



He entered the penthouse and took a look around. This would be his home for the next 2 weeks and it was perfect. The penthouse room wasn't his first choice but when he booked the cruise, those were the only rooms available. It had a bedroom with king-size bed, living room, walk-in closet, bath with shower, room for two additional guests if needed and a private balcony with outdoor jacuzzi. It also included butler and concierge service.



Séb grabbed a bottle of water from the minibar before picking up the folder on the table. He walked outside, sat down and looked at the folder. It contained info about the ship, events on board, and a map. After reading the folder, he decided to take a look at the ship.

The ship had 12 decks and an all American crew of 1,000 people. Lots of restaurants, bars and activities. And if you got bored, it was your own fault.

He ended up at the Stardust Theater/Hollywood Theater where tonight's welcome event would be held. Séb heard a woman's voice coming from the other side of the glass door. He looked through the glass door and noticed a young woman who seemed to be giving instructions to about 20 people. Séb listened for a few minutes before returning to his room.

As he lay down on his bed, he knew that he would have a great time on board this ship. After setting the alarm, he drifted off to sleep.

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PostSubject: Re: Falling Slowly   Wed May 30, 2012 8:31 pm

Chapter 2
*The journey begins*

Isabel Carrington had just finished giving instructions to the performers of the show down at the Hollywood Theater when the ship left the port in Honolulu. It was her 3rd year on board "Pride of America" and it just kept getting better. She was in charge of the shows and other performances held in the Hollywood/Stardust Theater and the Dazzles Lounge. You could say that she was the event manager on board.

When she first applied for a job on the ship, it was not because she really wanted the job but it gave her a chance to go back to Hawaii. She was born in Hawaii but she hadn't lived there since she was 10. It was hard to believe that it had been 22 years since that horrible accident that changed her life forever.

After her first week on the cruise, she loved the job and couldn't imagine having another job. The job was full of challenges and it appealed to her even though some challenges were more difficult than others. But 3 years on, she was still on board the ship and still loving every minute of it. Meeting new people and making sure they had a good time. Who could ask for more?

Closing the door to the Theater behind her, Isabel walked to one of the diners on board to get something to eat. She met some of the other crew members and they all sat down and had lunch together. They talked about the cruise, the events on board and how much they had missed being together. After an hour, they all returned to their rooms. They had to relax a little because the first night was always the worst. They were always nervous about the first night because if it went bad, the guests would think that it was the standard on board.

When Isabel returned to her room, she went to her closet and found the dress she would be wearing. She always wore it on the first night of each cruise. After the first night, it was up to her if she wanted to use it again. She had never used it more than once on each cruise because she felt it was best suited for the opening night.

Isabel grabbed her MP3-player and went outside. Listening to music was the best way for her to relax and she loved music. She listened to all kinds of music, depending on her mood. A bad day screamed for heavy rock and a good day called for pop or maybe some classical.

After spending about an hour relaxing, Isabel was getting ready for the evening. She had just finished her shower, when there was a knock on the door. Isabel put on a robe and walked to the door. She opened it to see Gina standing there.

"Your personal stylist is here" Gina said with a smile. Gina was working at the beauty parlor on board and she was Isabel's best friend on the ship.

"Come on in and work your magic" Isabel said to her as she took a step back and let Gina in.

"You don't need magic, honey. You always look stunning" Gina told her as she walked over to the minibar and took out a small bottle of champagne. It was tradition to enjoy a glass of champagne while getting ready for the opening night.

"Thanks Gina" Isabel said as she looked at herself in the mirror.

"Did you tell Gerald about your decision?" Gina asked. Isabel looked at her.

"I haven't made the decision yet. I told my uncle that I would get back to him by the end of this cruise. And until then, I don't want to talk about it" Isabel said as she took a sip of champagne.

"No problem. Have you seen any cute guys on board?" Gina asked.

"I haven't had time to look at guys. In case you haven't noticed, I have been busy with other things" Isabel said.

"You are working too much, honey. When are you going to have some fun and start dating again?" Gina asked her.

"Never. I will never date a man again. They are nothing but trouble" Isabel told her. Gina let out a sigh and Isabel looked at her.

"Do you have something you want to say?" Isabel asked. Gina was always playing match maker and Isabel hated that.

"No, I was just thinking" Gina said.

"Besides, I don't have time for a boyfriend as long as I am working here" Isabel told her.

"If I can make it work, then you can too" Gina said, knowing what Isabel would say to that comment.

"Your boyfriend is working as a fitness instructor on this ship" Isabel said and Gina just bursted out in laughter.

"I knew you would say that. You have a lot of single, male crew members on board. Just pick one and you could be together here" Gina said.

"I am not interested in a boyfriend. I am doing fine on my own" Isabel told Gina.

"If you say so, I believe you" Gina said as she continued what she was doing.

After about 1 hour, Gina had finished doing make-up and hair and Isabel could put on the dress.



"You look stunning as always" Gina said as she zipped up the dress.

"Thanks. Now let's finish up here and join the others" Isabel said as she drank her last champagne.

The girls left the room and went into the auditorium for the final briefing.

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PostSubject: Re: Falling Slowly   Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:34 am

Chapter 3
*Close Encounters*

Sébastien woke up to the alarm and got ready for the show and the dinner. After taking a shower, he put on his dinner suit and left his room.

As he walked towards the Theater, a woman suddenly called out his name. Sébastien stopped and turned around to see a group of women walking towards him.

"OMG, I don't believe it. Imagine being on the same cruise as a Divo. This cruise is going to be so great. Would it be ok to have a pic taken with you" one of the women asked. Séb really wasn't feeling up to it but he didn't want to be rude to the fans.

"Sure" Séb said as the women gathered around him. As soon as the pic had been taken, one of the women handed him a note with a room number before they left. Séb took a brief look at the note before he threw it into the nearest garbage bin. Before he came to Hawaii, he would have kept the note but he was starting a new life and he didn't want to go back to being the old Séb. With a smile, he continued down to the Theater and found a seat.

Meanwhile Isabel and 15 other crew members were in a meeting with their boss, Gerald Jones. None of the crew members liked him because of his attitude towards them. He treated them like slaves and to make things worse, he had feelings for one of the girls on the ship.

Gerald had been giving the same speech for the last 3 years and it was still as boring as the first time. As soon as the meeting was over, all of the crew members hurried out of the auditorium. Isabel was about to leave too when she heard Gerald's voice.

"Could I have a word with you, Isabel?" he asked. Isabel sighed as she turned around to face him.

"What do you want, Gerald? I have to be at the Theater in 10 minutes and I don't have time for this" Isabel said.

"We need to talk" he told her as he walked towards her. Isabel took a step back and reached for the door handle.

"We don't have anything to talk about and I have a job to do. Just leave me alone" she said before leaving the auditorium.

As she reached the Theater, she went backstage to talk to the performers one last time. She peaked through the curtain to see that people had found their seats and it would only be a matter of time before the show could start.



Isabel was always nervous before the start of a show, but now she had to step out on the stage to introduce the show, so that made her more nervous. After the introduction, Isabel left the stage and the show started.

The show was a huge success and Isabel couldn't help but feeling proud. It was times like this that made her love her job even more.

After an hour of great entertainment, people left the Theater and walked towards the Liberty Restaurant where the dinner would be held. It was the biggest restaurant on the ship and it looked very elegant with the colored carpet, the white pillars and the black piano.



As soon as people had found their tables, Isabel made her appearance. Normally Gerald was the one giving the welcome speech but he had ordered Isabel to do it. It was his way of punishing her and it made her hate him even more.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of the crew on board this ship, I would like to welcome you all to our 2 week cruise. We hope you will have a great time with us and we will do our best to make you all feel welcome. I can see that dinner is about to be served and I will let you eat in peace" Isabel said before she sat down.

The dinner went as planned but Isabel knew that it would only be a matter of time before Gerald would want to talk to her. As soon as the dinner was over, she would be off and couldn't use her job as an excuse for not talking to him.

After dinner, people left the restaurant and Sébastien went into the John Adams coffee bar along with some of the other guests. A few minutes later, Isabel and Gina walked into the coffee bar. It was a tradition for the crew to meet there and relax after a long day at work. Soon after Isabel and Gina had arrived, some of the other crew members joined them at the table.



They were talking and laughing until they noticed Gerald. Gina looked at Isabel before looking back at Gerald. She didn't like the look on his face and she knew that Isabel was the target when he had to get that anger out of his system. Gerald came over to the table and bent down towards Isabel.

"We need to talk now" he whispered into her ear. Isabel knew she couldn't avoid him anymore. She got up and walked out of the coffee bar with Gerald right behind her. The others looked at each other and knew that this could get ugly. Gerald was not the kind of man who would take no for an answer.

Sébastien had been watching them and he got up and walked over to the door. He couldn't hear what they were talking about but he could tell by their body language that it wasn't a friendly conversation. As soon as Gerald left, Sébastien walked out of the coffee bar and walked over to Isabel.

"Excuse me, but I have been dying to ask you this all evening. Are you trying out for Ms Liberty's sister?" he asked her with a smile.

"What?" Isabel asked as she glared back at him, she wasn't amused by his comment. She had just been arguing with Gerald and she was not in the mood for jokes.

"I asked you if you are trying out for Ms Liberty's sister? I was just wondering because of the dress. If I had known that it was a costume party, I would have dressed up too" he said, trying not to laugh.

"Looks like you did dress up. You are dressed up like a big jerk" Isabel said before turning around, and smiling to herself. It was the first time someone had made comments about her dress. As she was about to walk away, she heard his voice again.

"You forgot your torch!" he managed to say before bursting out in laughter. Isabel was fuming mad but she just ignored him and walked away.

Sébastien watched her leave before he returned to the coffee bar. Gina noticed Sébastien and she couldn't believe it. Who would have thought that Sébastien Izambard of Il Divo would be on this cruise? Gina told her friends but they all agreed not to say anything. He was on vacation and he deserved some privacy.

After arguing with Gerald and being insulted by Séb, Isabel walked back to her room and made a phone call.

"Hi, it's me. If the offer still stands, I accept. I will be there as soon as the cruise is over" she said. After a few minutes, she hung up and took off her dress. Isabel put the dress in a bag and threw the bag into the closet. She had worn that stupid dress for the last time.

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PostSubject: Re: Falling Slowly   Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:36 am

Chapter 4
*Secrets*

Gina and the others were starting to wonder where Isabel was. None of them had seen her after she left the coffee bar with Gerald and it wasn't like her to disappear without saying anything. As she looked around the coffee bar, her eyes fell on Sébastien. She didn't want to intrude on his vacation but maybe he had seen Isabel since he had been outside about the same time as Isabel and Gerald.

"Let's get out of this place" Gina said as she looked towards the door. The others turned around and noticed Gerald by the door.

"I suggest we meet in the Mardi Gras Lounge in 10 minutes" Billy said. The others nodded in agreement as Gerald made his way over to them.

"Mind if I join you?" he asked with a smile and he pulled out a chair. Just as he sat down, they all got up and Billy, Gina's boyfriend, looked at him.

"Yes, we do mind. It's been a long and busy day and we're tired" Billy said as he reached for Gina's hand before they left.

"You go ahead. I will be there soon" Gina said to Billy. As soon as Billy was gone, Gina walked over to Sébastien's table.

"I'm sorry to bother you, Mr. Izambard but I was wondering if you had seen my friend. She left the coffee bar earlier with some guy and we haven't seen her since. You couldn't miss her if you saw her. She is wearing a Stars and Stripes dress" Gina asked.

"I saw her talking to some guy but it didn't seem like a friendly conversation. After the guy left, I spoke to her briefly and then she left. Sorry, but that is all I know" Sébastien told her.

"Thanks, and I'm sorry for bothering you. I hope you enjoy the cruise" Gina said as she left the coffee bar. She knew that when Isabel needed to think, she had two favorite places; her room and the sun deck. Gina wondered where to go but decided to try Isabel's room.

------------------------------------

Isabel had changed into another dress and she was standing on her balcony, wondering if she had done the right thing about accepting the offer. She didn't want to say goodbye to all of her friends on board the ship, but working with Gerald was no longer possible. Her mind drifted back to that day 1 year ago when Gerald had told her how he felt about her.

*Flashback*

Isabel had just finished unpacking when there was a knock on the door. She opened the door to see Gerald standing there.

"I just wanted to tell you that we are having a staff meeting in the auditorium at 6:30 PM" he told her.

"I thought that was tomorrow" Isabel told him. Gerald had to make up lie fast or Isabel would figure out what he had planned.

"That was the plan but I have changed it because I won't have time tomorrow" Gerald said with a smile, hoping Isabel would believe him.

"Oh. Well, I will be there then" Isabel said before closing the door. She continued to unpack her things while wondering what was going on. Somehow she didn't believe that he had moved the meeting because he would be busy but why would he lie?

When Isabel arrived at the auditorium later that day, she saw Gerald in the auditorium next to a table for two and she knew that he had tricked her.

"What is going on?" Isabel asked him with anger in her voice.

"Isn't it obvious? It's our romantic dinner" Gerald said as he walked towards her. Isabel stared at him.

"I am not having a romantic dinner with you, Gerald. I don't feel anything for you" Isabel told him.

"Don't say that, Isabel. You do love me but you don't know it yet" Gerald said with a smile.

"I don't love you and I never will" Isabel said and turned to leave but Gerald grabbed her arm.

"You will learn to love me, Isabel" he said as he dragged her over to the table. Isabel struggled to get away from him but it seemed impossible. When Gerald forced her to sit down, Isabel saw her chance to get away and she kicked him hard. Gerald fell to the floor and Isabel ran out of the auditorium and straight to her room. Since that day, Gerald had been following her every move.

*End of flashback*


Isabel walked back inside when there was a knock on the door. She didn't say anything because she feared it was Gerald who had come to see her.

"Are you in there, Isabel?" Gina's voice said and Isabel let out a sigh of relief. She walked over to the door and let Gina in.

"What is going on? Why did you leave without saying anything?" Gina asked.

"I'm sorry, Gina. I just needed some time alone to think. I just had an argument with Gerald and I needed to clear my thoughts" Isabel said as she sat down on the bed.

"That's fine but you could have told us. We are your friends and we are all worried about you" Gina said as she took Isabel's hand.

"I know that and I'm really sorry" Isabel told her. Gina could tell that Isabel was sorry and she decided not to say another word about it.

"What is that?" Gina asked as she pointed at the bag in the closet.

"It's just a bag. Let's go back to the others" Isabel said as she got up and closed the closet but Gina would not leave it at that.

"They can wait. I want to know what is going on. You are hiding something and I want to know what it is" Gina said as she took a step towards the closet. Isabel didn't move but she knew that Gina wouldn't leave it alone.

"If you must know, it's my dress" Isabel said as she stepped away from the closet. Gina walked over to the closet and took out the bag. She opened it to see Isabel's dress. As Gina took out the dress, she turned to Isabel.

"Why is your dress in a bag? It should be on a hanger, not in a bag" Gina said.

"I wasn't going to tell you yet but I won't need the dress anymore. This is my last cruise" Isabel told her friend. Gina put the dress back in the bag without saying anything. It didn't come as a big surprise to her. Deep down she had a feeling that this would be Isabel's last cruise.

"I guess this means that you said yes to the job?" Gina asked.

"I had to. I know I could file a complaint against Gerald but since he is very popular and knows how to talk his way out of things, I wouldn't stand a chance. We both know that" Isabel said as she glared at her friend. Gina knew Isabel was right about Gerald. No matter what happened, he always knew exactly how to make himself look good.

"When are you planning on telling the others? And when will you tell Gerald?" Gina asked.

"I want to wait until the end of next week. I am planning on telling them when we get back to Honolulu. And Gerald won't know until we get back to San Francisco" Isabel said, knowing what would happen if Gerald was told before the cruise was over.

"Sounds like a good idea. What do you say about joining the others now?" Gina asked Isabel as she walked towards the door.

"Let's go" Isabel said. They left the room and walked into the Mardi Gras Lounge. Isabel looked at her friends and wondered how they would feel about her leaving. It would definitely be one of the worst days of her life but she didn't want to think about it tonight. Tonight she wanted to have good time with her friends.

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PostSubject: Re: Falling Slowly   Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:37 am

Chapter 5
*Stalking His Prey*

Sébastien had returned to his room. It had been a great first day and it was time for him to make plans for the next two weeks. As he looked at some of the excursions, he found some that seemed to be interesting. After deciding what to do for the next two weeks, he got ready for bed. He couldn't wait to see what day 2 had in store for him. With a smile on his face, he drifted off to sleep.

In the Mardi Gras Lounge, Isabel was talking to a guy when Gerald entered. Seeing Isabel and that guy talking was making Gerald's blood boil but he didn't want to make a scene, so he was hiding in the back of the room, watching them both.

Gerald had been watching them for about 10 minutes, when Gina spotted him.

"Don't look but Gerald is here and he is watching you. I suggest that you say goodnight, and then Billy and I will take you to your room" Gina whispered in her ear. Isabel nodded her head and turned to the guy she had been talking to.

"It's getting late and I have a busy day tomorrow" Isabel told the guy. Dylan looked at her with a smile.

"That's ok. I should leave too. It was nice meeting you all and hopefully we get a chance to talk again" Dylan said.

"I am sure we will" Isabel said before she left the Lounge with Billy and Gina.

"I think he likes you" Billy told Isabel as they walked to their rooms. Gina didn't say anything but Billy was right.

"No, he doesn't" Isabel said. Even if he did, she wasn't interested. Or maybe she was, but as long as she was on board the same ship as Gerald, dating was out of the question. It would only cause more problems and that was the last thing she needed.

"Well, you might be right" Billy said as they finally reached Isabel's room.

"Thanks for bringing me to my room. I will see you tomorrow. Goodnight" Isabel said as she entered her room and closed the door behind her. As she turned on the light, she was shocked. Her room was covered in flowers and there was a note on her bed. She picked up the note and read it.

"My love,

I hope you like the flowers. I am sorry for the things I said earlier today and I hope you can forgive me.

Gerald"

Isabel could feel the tears forming in her eyes. Why couldn't he just leave her alone? Why was it so hard for him to understand that she wasn't interested in him? She couldn't wait to get off the ship. Isabel threw the note in the garbage bin and got ready for bed. As she was in her bed, she looked at the picture next to her bed and wondered what her parents would have told her to do. Unfortunately, they couldn't give her any advice but maybe her aunt could. Isabel had to talk to someone who wasn't on the ship. Before drifting off to sleep, she decided to call her the next day.

---- London ----

"What are you thinking of?" Melinda asked her husband. He looked at her with a smile.

"I was just thinking of how great it will be to have Isabel here with us. She seemed a bit upset when I spoke to her. Has she said anything to you?" he asked.

"No, she hasn't said anything. But you might be right. She loves being on that ship, so why did she accept your offer? It doesn't make sense" Melinda told him.

"I know. Well, I am sure she will tell us if something is wrong. I am late for a meeting but I will see you later" he said before kissing his wife. As soon as he had left, Melinda poured herself a cup of coffee and went into the living room. She felt a need to look at some old pictures and she picked up the photo album and as she flipped through the pages, she thought of how much had happened in the last 25 years.

---- Pride of America ----

Séb woke up early the next morning. He was going to a Luau in the evening and he decided to have a day of just relaxing. Spending the day by the pool seemed like the best way to relax. After getting ready for the day, he went to one of the restaurants for breakfast. As he entered the restaurant, he saw a face that looked familiar but he couldn't figure out where he had seen her before. Suddenly it hit him. She was Ms. Liberty's sister but she looked different today. Séb noticed Gerald enter the restaurant and somehow he knew there would be trouble. He watched Gerald walk over to Isabel and he watched her face, when Gerald pulled out a chair and sat down.

After getting his breakfast, Séb found a table close to Isabel's table. He wasn't sure why but he just had a feeling that being close would be a good idea. While he was eating, he listened to the conversation between Isabel and Gerald.

"Did you like the flowers?" Gerald asked her with a smile. Isabel glared at him with hate in her eyes.

"No, I didn't" Isabel told him. Gerald knew that Isabel loved roses and he couldn't understand why she didn't like the ones he had put in her room.

"What was wrong with them? Was it the wrong color?" Gerald asked her. Isabel looked at him, wondering what it would take to get him off her back.

"The color was right but the guy who gave them to me is wrong. I don't love you and I never will. All I want is for you to leave me alone" Isabel told him.

"You know I can't do that, Isabel. We belong together and sooner or later you will see that. I can wait for as long as it takes" Gerald said before he got up and left. Isabel watched him leave and she could feel the tears forming in her eyes. She wanted to get off the ship right now but if she did that, Gerald would have won. And she wasn't going to let that happen.

Séb wanted to say something but maybe she just needed to be alone. He didn't want to intrude, so he finished up his breakfast and walked towards the door. As he was about to walk out of the door, he turned around and looked at her. He didn't know why but he hoped that she would be ok.

After Séb had left, Isabel made a phone call. She needed someone to talk to and hopefully get some advice.

"Hi, this is Melinda. I can't come to the phone right now but leave your name and number after the beep and I will get back to you. Thanks" the voice said.

"It's me. I really need to talk to you, so please call me back. It's urgent" Isabel said after the beep. All she could do now was to wait. She finished her breakfast and walked to the sundeck. It was safer to be around others right now and she knew there would be people up there.

"There you are. We have been looking all over for you" Gina said as she saw Isabel come up the stairs.

"Sorry but I needed some time alone to think" Isabel told her friend. Gina knew that it had to do with Gerald and she knew that Isabel would tell her about it when she felt up to it.

"It's ok. Did you bring your bathing suit?" Gina asked. Isabel nodded and took off her dress.

Little did she know that someone was watching her from a distance.

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PostSubject: Re: Falling Slowly   Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:29 am

Chapter 6
*Let's Party!*

----London----

After spending an hour at the personal gym, Melinda returned to the living room. She always went to the gym when she needed to think and she needed that today. This whole thing with Isabel coming home was still a mystery to her. She wanted to call Isabel but she wasn't sure if it was a good idea. After thinking for a few minutes, she picked up her phone and was about to call Isabel when she noticed a message on her voice mail. When she heard Isabel's voice, she knew that something was wrong. Without hesitation, she dialed Isabel's number.

----Pride of America----

"Isabel Carrington's phone, Gina speaking" Gina said as she picked up the phone. Isabel had just gone into the pool when her phone started ringing.

"Hi Gina, it's Melinda. Isabel left me a message asking me to call her. Is she around?" Melinda asked. She had met Gina once a year ago when Isabel had invited Gina to stay with them in London for a few weeks. Gina seemed like a sweet girl who would do anything to help her friends if they were in trouble.

"Yes, she is. Hang on" Gina said before turning to Isabel who had just stepped out of the pool "your aunt is on the phone". Isabel walked over to Gina and took the phone.

"Hi! I'm so glad you called. Do you remember my boss, Gerald?" Isabel asked.

"How could I forget him? He didn't make a very good first impression" Melinda said as she thought back to that day when Isabel was going on her first cruise.

"I know. Hitting on you wasn't such a good idea. Anyway, he is getting on my nerves. I can't go anywhere or talk to anyone without him watching me. Yesterday we had a big argument and later on, he had sent flowers to my room with a note saying he was sorry. I don't know how much longer I can deal with this" Isabel said.

"Listen to me. You are strong, Isabel. If things get worse, you have to file a complaint. I know, he might deny everything but it's your only option right now. If you decide to get off the ship in Honolulu, we will make sure that the jet will be ready at the airport. I don't know what else to tell you" Melinda said.

"Thanks, Melly. I will let you know what I decide to do. Tell uncle Mons that I said hi. Bye" Isabel said before she hung up the phone. Isabel walked back to the others and they were enjoying their day off.

Not far from where they were, Sébastien was relaxing with a book. He had been watching Isabel and the others closely all morning but he wasn't sure why. Maybe he was jealous of the friendship they had. He used to be that close to his brothers too but after the Jewel situation, the friendship had suffered and he wasn't sure if they would ever be that close again. Or was there another reason for him watching them?

--------

Sébastien was in his room getting ready for the luau. According to the leaflet, the luau was a must when you were visiting Hawaii and he thought it couldn't hurt to check it out. After getting dressed, he left his room and went downstairs to the coffee bar to meet some of the other guests. He had met some other singles on board and they agreed to go to the luau together and have a great time.

Meanwhile in Isabel's room, she too was getting ready for the luau. Gina, Isabel and some of the other female crew members had agreed to dress up in hula outfits. Isabel looked at herself in the mirror one last time before she left. She knew that Gerald wouldn't be at the luau because he had to work. Isabel was in a good mood when she knocked on Alison's door. Alison was a few years younger than Isabel and it was her first year on board the ship.

"Just a second" Alison's voice said. A few seconds later, Alison opened the door and let Isabel in.

"Are you ready to leave?" Isabel asked. Alison nodded her head before picking up her purse. The girls left the ship and were waiting at the pier for Gina and Billy to join them, when Sébastien came walking down the landing. A big smile appeared on his face when the saw them, but he didn't say anything. He wanted to so badly but he didn't want to be rude. At least not yet!

As soon as Billy and Gina appeared, they went to the luau. They couldn't wait to have an evening of fun, without having Gerald around.

"Here is to a great evening with friends" Billy said as he raised his glass. The others chimed in and soon after, dinner was announced. After everyone had been seated, dinner was served and everyone seemed to be having a great time. As soon as dinner was over, people went down to the beach to where there would be some entertainment. Gina looked at the hula dancers, then at Isabel and Alison. She just had a great idea and hopefully Isabel and Alison were in on it.

"I just had a brilliant idea. Come with me" Gina said with a smile. Isabel and Alison stared at her, and both had this bad feeling.

"Where are we going?" Alison asked as they got up. Gina just smiled as she took their hands and dragged them over to the hula dancers.

"Aloha. Could we please dance with you?" Gina asked the hula dancers.

"Of course" one of the dancers said. Isabel and Alison stared at each other. None of them wanted to do a hula dance in front of all of these people.

"Come on, girls" Gina said as she looked at Alison and Isabel.

"You are joking, right?" Alison asked but she could tell that Gina was being serious. Alison looked at Isabel and Isabel looked at the dancers. Isabel looked back at Alison before turning to Gina.

"I'm in" Isabel said. Alison didn't want to be a chicken, so she agreed to do it too. The girls lined up next to the dancers and they actually had a great time dancing hula. The guests seemed to be having a great time too and everything was perfect. After finishing the dance, Isabel walked over to the bar and ordered a Mai-Tai. As she was waiting for the drink, Sébastien joined her by the bar.

"So, we meet again" Sébastien said to her. Isabel turned to look at him.

"Unfortunately" she replied. She couldn't believe that he had the nerve to talk to her again after his little comment the night before.

"Ouch, that hurts. I'm Sébastien" he said with a smile.

"Good for you. Excuse me" Isabel said and turned to leave.

"I guess you didn't make the tryouts for Ms. Liberty's sister since you're trying out for Ms. Hula" Sébastien said. Isabel turned around and glanced at him with anger in her eyes.

"If you can't say anything nice to a person, then maybe you should keep your mouth shut. Some people might think your comments are funny but I am not one of them. In fact I think you're being rude and I am not in the mood to deal with your jokes. So leave me alone" Isabel said before leaving. Séb didn't know what to say or do. He was just trying to make conversation and apparently his attempt failed. He had just ordered a drink when Gina walked up to him.

"Can I have a word with you?" she asked him. Séb nodded his head and he followed Gina over to one of the tables.

"What's up?" Séb asked her.

"Why are you trying so hard to piss off my friend? She hasn't done anything to you. I thought the men of Il Divo were kind but maybe it's just some of them" Gina said to him.

"The men of Il Divo are kind. I am not trying to piss off your friend. I am trying to communicate with her but I'm afraid my communication skills are not good when it comes to women" Sébastien told her.

"Are you kidding me?" Gina asked him.

"No, I am serious. I am not sure if I should tell you this since I don't know you but I have a feeling that I can trust you. What I am about to tell you has to stay between us" Sébastien said.

"Don't worry. I won't say a word" Gina told him.

"Alright, the fact is that since I joined Il Divo, I've been living like a playboy. My communication skills were used to get women to sleep with me and it didn't take a lot of communicating. The women were more than willing to sleep with me and I took advantage of that. So, my communication skills are really bad" Séb told her.

"Did you go on this cruise to see how many more women you could get into bed?" Gina asked him. It was hard to her to believe that this charming man had been treating women like that. She would have never thought that about him.

"No. I am here because I needed some time to think. My actions had some bad consequences and it made me make a decision. So I went on this cruise to start over and that is the truth" Séb told her.

"I believe you and I am sure you can change. But it will be hard for you to do so. My friend is very touchy right now because of some personal problems and the last thing she needs is someone with your past in her life" Gina told him.

"I assume the man she was talking to last night is the reason" Séb said. Gina wasn't comfortable about giving him details about Isabel and Gerald but she thought it couldn't hurt.

"Yes. That man is our boss, Gerald. He came on to Isabel on last year's cruise but she turned him down. When she boarded the ship in San Francisco this year, it was with the hope that Gerald had gotten over her but she was wrong. He is doing whatever he can to make her time on board miserable and he keeps watching her every move. Gerald is working tonight and it's a chance for Isabel to have a good time with her friends without having him around. I want her to have that" Gina told him.

"I understand. Thanks for listening" Séb said to her.

"You're welcome. If you want Isabel's attention, I suggest you start by saying hi. Making hurtful comments isn't the way. I suggest you grow up or you will lose the best woman you will ever meet. She could be the one for you but chances are that you will ruin everything before you even get started. Think about that" Gina told him as she got up. Sébastien watched her leave and he thought of what she had said. He noticed Isabel over by the bar and he decided to try what Gina had told him to do.

"Hello" Sébastien said to Isabel. She turned to look at him.

"What do you want?" Isabel asked him. She was expecting some kind of hurtful comment but he took her by surprise.

"I want to apologize for my comments about the dress and the hula outfit. It was a lousy attempt to start a conversation with you" Séb told her.

"You're right. It was a lousy attempt and not very funny" Isabel said to him.

"I know. How about we start over? My name is Sébastien Izambard" he said as he held out his hand to her. Isabel looked at him before taking his hand.

"Isabel Carrington" she said.

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Isabel Carrington" he said before he kissed her hand. Isabel wasn't sure of how to react. He had been making hurtful comments and now this. She pulled back her hand and looked at him.

"I should get back to my friends. Would you like to join us?" Isabel asked him.

"Thanks, but you should enjoy this evening with your friends. I am sure we will meet again" Séb told her. Isabel smiled at him before she walked back to Gina and the others.

As Séb watched her leave, he wondered if Gina had been right about Isabel being his The One. Only time would tell.

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PostSubject: Re: Falling Slowly   Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:31 am

Chapter 7
*Making plans/Lurking danger*

Two days had passed since the luau and for those two days, Isabel had been busy planning a wedding for a young couple who wanted to get married on board the ship. Planning a wedding in two days was not an easy task but Isabel couldn't say no to them. They wanted to get married so badly and she just couldn't let them down.

She had seen Sébastien several times since the luau but they didn't really talk. Since Gina had told him about Isabel's problems with Gerald, he didn't want to put her in any danger so he had chosen to keep a distance.

Isabel was in the coffee bar waiting for the young couple to arrive when Gerald approached her. He smiled at her as he pulled out a chair and sat down.

"Hello, honey. Haven't seen you much in the last two days" he said.

"I am not your honey and I have been busy planning a wedding" Isabel said with hate in her eyes. Gerald just looked at her with a smile.

"Is it our wedding?" he asked her.

"That wedding only exists in your dreams, Gerald. I have a meeting, so I would appreciate it if you left" Isabel told him. Gerald got up and bent down towards Isabel.

"This isn't over, Isabel. You will never get rid of me" he whispered in her ear before leaving the coffee bar. After Gerald had left, she closed her eyes and wondered what to do about Gerald. Part of her wanted to do what Melinda had told her to do but she was afraid of the outcome. Gerald would know that she had been the one to complain and things would only get worse. No matter what she did, there would be hell to pay. She let out a deep sigh, not knowing that someone else was in the coffee bar watching her.

"Are you ok?" a familiar voice said. Isabel opened her eyes to see Sébastien standing in front of her.

"No, I'm not. I'm a mess" Isabel told him.

"I know it's none of my business but you have to do something about that guy. If you don't, he will break you" Sébastien told her.

"That's what my aunt told me too. And you're right. I have to do something. But how do you know about my problems?" Isabel asked.

"Your friend, Gina told me at the luau but I knew before she told me. I witnessed your argument with the guy on the first night and it wasn't difficult to see that he was giving you a hard time" Sébastien told her. Isabel should be angry at Gina for telling strangers private things but for some reason, it didn't bother her.

"That's Gina. She does have a problem keeping her mouth shut" Isabel said as the door opened and the young couple made an appearance. They walked over to Isabel's table and greeted both her and Sébastien before sitting down.

"I will leave you alone to talk" Sébastien said before walking towards the door. Just as he was about to leave, he heard Isabel's voice.

"Thanks, Sébastien" she said. Sébastien turned and smiled at her before leaving the coffee bar. As soon as he was gone, Isabel turned her attention to the young couple.

After leaving the coffee bar, Gerald had gone back to his room. He grabbed a beer from the minibar before walking into his bedroom. He took a shoe box from the closet and sat down on his bed. The name Isabel Carrington was written in CAPS on the lid and he slowly opened the box. It was full of pictures and most of them were taken without Isabel's knowledge. A wicked smile appeared on his face as he looked at one of his favorite pictures.

"You will be mine, Miss Carrington" he said to himself before taking a sip of his beer. He put the pic back in the box and finished his beer before he left the room.

------------------

Isabel had finished her meeting with the young couple and was about to leave the coffee bar when her phone started ringing. She looked at the caller ID and smiled.

"Aloha, Maile" she said as she answered the phone.

"Aloha. How are you?" Maile asked. Isabel and Maile had been best friends since they were children. Maile was the same age as Isabel and the two girls had been in contact ever since Isabel had to leave Hawaii 25 years ago.

"Not so good. Still having problems with my boss but things will be ok soon. What about you?" Isabel said.

"I hope so for your sake. I'm getting married on Sunday and I want you to be my maid of honor. Oh, and I am pregnant" Maile said before bursting out in laughter.

"You're getting married? That's so great. I'm so happy for you and I'd be honored to be your maid of honor. When do you want me there?" Isabel asked.

"The wedding is at 11 am but I need you there at 10 am if that's ok" Maile said.

"I will be there at 10 am. I can't wait to see you again" Isabel said. She was happy for Maile and being at the wedding would take her mind of Gerald for a while.

"That sounds good. It will be so good to see you. Oh no, my mom just showed up and it's time for me to go. You know how she is" Maile said.

"Yes, I do. Tell her I said hi. See you Sunday" Isabel said. Maile hung up and Isabel bursted out laughing. Maile's mom was the kind of woman who wanted to be in charge of everything and Isabel was sure that she had given Maile a few ideas about the wedding. Isabel looked at her watch before picking up all of her things and leaving the coffee bar. She had a few minutes before she had to meet some of the other crew members to talk about the entertainment for Monday night.

As Isabel was about to open the door to her room, she heard Gerald's voice.

"So, you are going to your friend's wedding on Sunday. You must be excited" Gerald said to her. Isabel didn't know what to say. She couldn't believe that he had been listening to her conversation with Maile.

"How do you know about that? Are you listening in on my calls?" Isabel asked but she could tell by the smile on his face that he had been.

"Of course I am. I need to know what you are doing and who you are talking to. I have to make sure that you don't get into trouble. Like the young man who left the coffee bar before the young couple arrived. He is not for you, Isabel. You need a real man" Gerald said.

"If I need a real man, then why should I be with you?" Isabel asked him. Gerald looked at her and he felt his anger burning inside.

"How dare you talk that way to me? I am your boss" Gerald said with anger in his voice.

"You may be my boss but you can't tell me how I should talk to you. You don't own me. And now I think you should leave" Isabel told him as she reached for the door handle.

"I will leave when I am ready to leave" Gerald said as he grabbed Isabel's arm and spun her around.

"Let me go or I will contact management" Isabel told him as she tried to get away.

"And what do you think you will get out of that? Nothing! It will be your word against mine and who do you think they will believe? They will ask for proof or witnesses and you don't have any" Gerald said with an evil smile on his face.

"I wouldn't be so sure about that" Billy's voice said. Gerald let go of Isabel and turned around to see Billy, Gina and Alison standing there.

"This doesn't concern you. It's between me and Isabel" Gerald told them. Billy walked over to them and got between Isabel and Gerald.

"I suggest you leave now" Billy said. He was a rather big guy and Gerald didn't feel like getting into a fight with him.

"Fine but this isn't over" Gerald said and disappeared. Isabel let out a sigh and all 4 walked into her room.

"Thanks you guys. It would have gotten ugly if you hadn't come" Isabel said in a low voice. Gina hugged her and held her tight.

"You have to contact management about this. He is not stepping down and you know it. If you don't, then I will contact them" Gina told her. Isabel knew that Gina was right but she was scared. Gerald would know that she had been complaining and it would only make things worse but she didn't have a choice.

"I know and I will do it tomorrow. Right now I need to sit down and plan the party on Monday" Isabel said.

"That's why we are here" Gina said with a smile.

"That is my clue to leave. Talk to you girls later" Billy said and left. The girls looked at each other before bursting out in laughter.

"Do you have any ideas for the party?" Alison asked. Isabel smiled at her before telling the girls of her plans for the party.

As Isabel was talking, Alison watched her closely but she didn't really pay any attention to what she was saying. It was obvious to her that Isabel was using her job to get away from her problems with Gerald and it was only a matter of time before Isabel would break down. Seeing what he was doing to Isabel, Alison knew that she had to do something or she would end up the same way as Isabel. She wasn't going to let that happen.

While Isabel, Gina and Alison were talking in Isabel's room, Sébastien was in the coffee bar with some of the other guests. They were making plans for the rest of the trip and they didn't have a lot of problems agreeing on what to see.

In the morning (Saturday) the ship would dock in Honolulu, and they would visit Pearl Harbor and see USS Missouri before going back to the ship. The ship would leave Honolulu in the evening and arrive in Maui early the next morning (Sunday). In Maui they would go on a helicopter ride that would take them over a volcano, waterfalls and rain forests. In the evening they would attend a BBQ before returning to the ship. The ship would leave Maui Monday afternoon and Monday night was the party that Isabel was planning. Tuesday they would arrive in Hawaii where they were boarding a submarine to explore 25 acres of coral reef gardens before enjoying one of the best beaches in Hawaii. Thursday the ship would leave Hawaii and arrive in Maui Friday where they would stay until the ship sailed out Saturday morning for the final part of the cruise.

After having planned the last week of the cruise, the other guests wanted to visit the card room but Séb wasn't into gambling so he stayed at the coffee bar. Just as the others had left, Gerald showed up and walked straight over to Séb. He pulled out a chair and sat down without saying a word.

"Can I do something for you?" Séb asked him.

"Yes. You can stay away from Isabel. She doesn't need a boy like you because she has got a real man in her life and that is me" Gerald said.

"And if I don't want to stay away from her?" Séb asked. He wanted to see how far he could push Gerald.

"If you don't stay away from her, I will make you regret that you got on board this ship" Gerald said with an evil look on his face.

"She seems old enough to decide who she wants to be with and I am not afraid of you. Excuse me but I have plans" Séb said as he got up and left the coffee bar.

As Gerald watched Séb leave, he had a great idea. With an evil smile on his face, he returned to his room to plan his next move. If his plan worked, Isabel had been on her last cruise.

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PostSubject: Re: Falling Slowly   Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:36 am

Chapter 8
*Evil lurks*

Early Sunday morning, the ship arrived in Maui. Isabel was already up and dressed. It had been a restless night for her, because she had been thinking about Gerald, and what to do about him. She went to the coffeebar, and got herself a cup of coffee before walking up on the sundeck. As she sat there, watching the sunrise, she could hear footsteps coming closer, and she looked up to see Séb walking towards her.

"Good morning. You're up early" Séb said, as he sat down next to her.

"Good morning. Yes, I am. Haven't really slept much because of Gerald" Isabel said. He already knew of her problems with Gerald, so telling him couldn't hurt.

"Sorry to hear that. That guy is really giving you a hard time" Séb said to her.

"Yes, but that will change. I've decided to go to management and tell them everything. I have to do something, because I'm afraid that he will find someone else to stalk after I am gone" Isabel told him.

"Are you going somewhere?" Séb asked her.

"Yes, I've been offered a job in London, and I've said yes. This will be my last cruise, at least as a crew member" Isabel told him.

"What kind of job?" Séb asked her. He was curious, and a part of him hoped that he would meet her in London.

"It's almost the same as here. I'll be planning big events, but it will be a bit different" Isabel told him with a smile.

"That sounds great, and you do a great job on the ship. How will it be different?" Séb asked her.

"Thanks. The difference is that I won't have to wear funny dresses" Isabel said, before bursting out in laughter.

"You just had to mention that. Well, the dress wasn't that bad, and the same goes for the hula outfit" Séb told her.

"You don't have to say that, but thanks. Well, I should get ready for my friend's wedding. If I am late, her mom will kill me" Isabel said as she got up.

"Are we talking about a Hawaiian wedding?" Séb asked her. Isabel nodded her head.

"Yes, my friend is Hawaiian. We've been friends since we were kids" Isabel said.

"That sounds great. I've always wanted to see a Hawaiian wedding" Séb told her.

"You could come with me, if you don't have any plans" Isabel said, as they left the sundeck.

"I'd love to, but I've already made plans to go on a helicopter ride with my friends", Séb said to her. Isabel had hoped that he would say yes, but she understood that he couldn't abandon his friends.

"That's ok" Isabel told him, trying not to seem too disappointed. They walked to the coffee bar to return their cups before returning to their rooms.

Gerald had been in the coffee bar, watching them enter and leave together. He had told Séb to stay away from Isabel, but looked like he didn't take the threat seriously. It was time for Gerald to put his plan into motion.

At 9.30, Isabel was ready to leave the ship, and as she walked down the landing, Gerald was at the top watching her leave. As soon as Isabel was at the bottom of the landing, he decided to follow her. As he walked down the landing, Séb and his friends appeared, and Séb wondered what Gerald was up to, until he saw Isabel walking on the pier. He had a bad feeling about this, and he had to make a decision. Should he go to the wedding, or go on a helicopter ride with his friends?

"Are you coming, Séb?" one of the guys asked. Séb looked at him before shaking his head no.

"Sorry guys, but I can't come with you. You go ahead and enjoy your trip. I will see you later tonight" Séb said.

"No problem. I just hope you know what you are doing. See you later" the guy said, as they got into a cab.

When Séb arrived at the hotel, where the wedding would be held, he saw Isabel talking to Maile at the reception. He looked around the reception area, and spotted Gerald behind a palm tree. As Séb walked over to Isabel, Maile noticed him, and she whispered something in Isabel's ear. Isabel turned around and saw Séb walking towards her.

"What are you doing here?" Isabel asked him. Séb didn't want to tell her that Gerald was there.

"I couldn't miss out on a chance to see a Hawaiian wedding" he said with a smile.

"I'm glad you decided to come. This is my friend, Maile, and this is Sébastien" Isabel introduced them.

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Maile. And you look beautiful" Séb said to her. Maile was wearing a white dress and she had white haku lei on her head.



"Thank you. I hope you don't think of me as rude, but would you mind changing into this shirt? It matches Isabel's dress" Maile asked him, as she held out a shirt to him.



"Of course not. I will be right back" Séb said before disappearing into the men's room, leaving Isabel and Maile to talk.

"That man is hotter than hell" Maile said to Isabel.

"You think so? I haven't really noticed" Isabel told her. Séb had changed into the shirt, and he looked very handsome. When he returned to the ladies, Isabel put a white lei around his neck.

"Now we match" Isabel said with a smile. Shortly after, they were joined by Maile's fiancé, Kanoa. He was wearing a white shirt, made of the same fabric as Maile's dress, black pants, and a Ti Leaf and white orchid lei around his neck.




"Isabel, you look stunning" he said before kissing her cheeks.

"Thank you, Kanoa. This is Sébastien. He is a friend of mine" Isabel said. Kanoa looked at him before reaching out his hand to Séb.

"It's nice to meet you, Sébastien. I think it's time. Come with me" Kanoa said to Sébastien who followed him into the garden.

As soon as Kanoa and Séb had left, Maile's mom arrived with the bouquets.



Shortly after, the music started playing, and Isabel walked into the garden, followed by Maile. It was the perfect place for a wedding, and one day, Isabel would get married here too. Isabel was so happy for her friend, and it was a beautiful ceremony. After the ceremony, dinner was served, and it was time to celebrate.

Séb kept an eye on Gerald all evening, and he didn't leave Isabel's side even once. If he had to go to the bathroom, he always made sure that Isabel was around people. He didn't want her to be alone, with Gerald sneaking around. Isabel had noticed Séb's behavior, but didn't want to ask him what was wrong. She didn't have any right to ask him that.

"Ladies and gentlemen, my wife and I would like to say thank you for being here today. It has been the best day of our lives, and we are so happy, that we had the opportunity to share it with you. This day means a lot to Maile, not just because of the wedding, but because her friend could be here too. I want to say a big thank you to Isabel for being here, and I hope that you will be back here, when our baby is born" Kanoa said.

"I will be back" Isabel told him with a smile.

"Good. Well, my wife and I will leave you now, but we hope that you will continue with the party. The bar is open, and don't worry about the bill. My dad will take care of that" Kanoa said.

He took Maile's hand before walking over to Isabel and Sébastien.

"Thank you for being here, it means a lot to me" Maile told Isabel.

"I wouldn't have missed it. Even if I hadn't been in the area, I would have been on a plane from New York to be here" Isabel told her.

"We should leave, Maile" Kanoa told her. Maile nodded her head yes. After exchanging hugs and kisses, Maile and Kanoa left the hotel.

"They seem really nice, and you can tell how much they love each other" Séb said. He thought about Jewel and Urs, and he thought about himself. Would he ever experience that kind of love? He had never thought about love before, so why did he think about it now?

"Their love has lasted 16 years so far, and I am sure they will grow old together. The love they share is really strong, and I hope some day I will be as lucky, as they are. I think it's what we all want" Isabel said.

"I guess you're right" Séb said.

"Isn't it what you want?" Isabel asked him. She was a bit shocked about his comment. How on earth could he not want what Maile and Kanoa had?

"I don't really know. A part of me does, but I'm not sure that I know how be in a relationship" Séb told her.

"As soon as the right woman enters your life, you will learn" Isabel said with a smile, before she walked over to Maile's parents. Séb grabbed two Mai-Tai's from the bar and joined Isabel. After spending half an hour talking to Maile's parents, Isabel and Séb said their goodnights, and went back to the ship.

Gerald had left a few minutes before, and he was waiting for Isabel and Séb to return. He was hiding in the dark, and his blood was boiling, as he watched them talk and laugh. Unaware of Gerald hiding, they walked on board the ship. Just before they reached the top of the landing, Gerald stepped out from the dark, his eyes burning with anger. Without thinking, Isabel reached out for Séb's hand. Séb could tell that she was scared, so he stepped in front of her. If Gerald tried anything, Séb would be the one to get hurt, not Isabel.

"I thought I told you to stay away from her, but seems like you didn't listen" Gerald said to Séb.

"And I told you that she is old enough to make her own decisions. Get out of my way" Séb told him, but Gerald didn't move. He just stood there, arms crossed over his chest like he was king of the ship.

"I am not moving, until you promise never to talk to mygirlfriend again" Gerald said with an evil grin.

"I am not your girlfriend, Gerald. I hate you, and I will never be your girlfriend" Isabel said, as she held on to Séb's hand. Séb had enough of Gerald's games, so he stepped forward, but was met by a punch to his stomach. As Séb went down, Gerald bent down next to him.

"Maybe this will teach you to do as I say" Gerald whispered in his ear. He looked at Isabel, who had also bent down next to Séb, and he smiled at her. He got up and walked inside the ship.

"Are you ok?" Isabel asked Séb, as she helped him get up.

"I'm ok, but I would like to lie down" he said. Isabel smiled at him, as she put her arm around him, and walked him to his suite.

As soon as Séb was inside his suite, Isabel said goodnight, and walked to her own room. After Gerald's behavior, she knew, that she had to report him. Hurting her was one thing, but hurting her friends was another.

Isabel got herself ready for bed, and as she was in her bed, she thought about what Séb had told her about love and relationships. Was he serious, or only kidding? Isabel turned off the lights and drifted off to sleep.

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PostSubject: Re: Falling Slowly   Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:44 am

Chapter 9
*Whose girl? My girl*

The next morning, Isabel was having breakfast with Alison and Gina. The girls wanted to know all about the wedding, and Isabel told them everything. Including what happened, when they returned to the ship.

"Are you serious?" Alison asked. Both Alison and Gina were shocked about Gerald punching Séb. He was out of control, and he had to be stopped.

"Yes, I am serious. I don't know what is going on in his head, but this is as far as it goes" Isabel said to her friends. They could see the anger and hate in her eyes, and they knew that Gerald had pushed her over the edge this time.

"You really have to report him to management, Isabel. He can't keep doing this to you, and now he has taken it out on one of the guests" Gina told her.

"I did contact management, but didn't get a chance to tell them about Gerald. They wanted to speak with me, so they will be here tomorrow" Isabel said.

"Did they say why they wanted to talk to you?" Alison asked. Something in her voice, told Isabel that she was nervous.

"No, but I assume it's about my resignation. Or maybe Gerald has contacted them to complain about me, but why would he do that? I've done nothing wrong" Isabel said.

"You will find out tomorrow, so stop worrying about it. You have to focus on tonight's show" Gina told her.

"You're right. I should keep my focus on the show, especially since it's the first time we are doing a show like this" Isabel said.

As the girls continued to talk, Séb entered. He picked up some breakfast, and walked over to their table.

"Mind if I join you?" he asked.

"No, sit down" Gina said, as she gestured for him to sit down. Séb pulled out a chair, and sat down next to Alison.

"Isabel told us what happened last night. How are you feeling this morning?" Alison asked him.

"Well, I am a bit sore. The guy does have quite a punch there" Séb told her.

"I'm sorry you got hurt, and I'm sorry you got involved in this. Gerald is my problem, not yours" Isabel said to him.

"Don't worry about it. It wasn't your fault. He did tell me to stay away from you, and I didn't listen" Séb said with a smile.

"I still feel bad about it. I'm sorry, but I have to go. I have a show to plan" Isabel said, as she got up.

"We will see you later" Gina told her. Isabel nodded her head yes before leaving. As soon as she had left, Séb turned to Gina.

"I need your help, Gina. It has to do with the show tonight. Will you help me?" Séb asked her. Gina looked at him with a weird look on her face.

"Isabel is the one who takes care of the shows. I don't have anything to do with it. You have to ask her for help" Gina told him.

"I can't do that. She can't know about this. Could you please help me?" Séb almost begged. Gina looked at Alison, and then she turned back to Séb.

"Well, I shouldn't be doing this, but I will help you. Just tell me what you need" Gina told him. Séb filled her in on his plan, and Gina knew it would be a big success.

"Alison and I will get started right now, and Billy can help you with the rest. He has 2 hours before he has to be at work, and I am sure that he will help you. You will find him in our room" Gina told Séb. As soon as their meeting was over, they went their separate ways. Séb went down to Billy, and they went shopping for the show. After Séb had gotten everything he needed, he thanked Billy and went to his room. He had to plan his idea for the show, and he couldn't wait to see what kind of reactions, he would get.

Isabel was in a meeting with the performers, and they had a busy schedule ahead of them.

"As you all know, this is something we have never done before. I've never been this nervous about a show before, but I am this time. I want this to be beyond perfect, and I know that it will be. Now, I will let you go back to your final practice, and then we will meet back here in 4 hours" Isabel said to them. As soon as they had all left, Isabel walked to Hollywood Theater to check on the decorations.

"Looks like everything is going well here" Isabel said to Michael Jameson. He was in charge of decorations, and he always did a good job.

"Yes, we should be ready in a couple of hours. Then we have to work on sound and lights, and in about 4 hours, we should be done" Michael told her. He had been working with Isabel for 3 years, and they always had the same ideas.

"That sounds good. I will see you later" Isabel said before leaving. She couldn't believe that this would be her last, big event on board "Pride of America". It was sad to think about, but she knew that her new job would be just as exciting, maybe even more.

Isabel was on her way to her room, when she heard Gerald call out her name. She turned around to see him walking towards her, and she let out sigh.

"What do you want? Didn't you do enough damage last night?" Isabel told him. She was mad at him, and she made sure that he knew.

"I just want to talk to you, and apologize for last night. My temper gets the best of me some times, and it makes me do bad things. I never wanted to hurt your friend, but he didn't do as I told him. I had to prove to him that I was serious" Gerald told her.

"I don't have time for this, Gerald. We have a new kind of show for tonight, and it has to be perfect. I am really busy, so if you don't mind, I'd like to continue" Isabel said.

"No problem" Gerald said with a smile and left. Something was not right about this picture, and Isabel was sure that he had something up his sleeve. But she didn't want to think about that now. She had other and more important things to deal with. When she entered her room, she grabbed a bottle of diet coke before she sat down and wrote her speech for later.

Séb was in the internet café looking for a certain youtube video. He needed it for the show, and he wanted to get everything right. After watching the video over and over for half an hour, he believed he was ready for the show. With a big smile on his face, he left the internet café, and walked back to his room. He had two hours to get everything right, and it had to be perfect.
Isabel was back in Hollywood Theater to watch the final practice before the show. It was perfect, and she loved every minute of it.

"This is the best show ever. I'm proud of you all" Isabel said with a smile, as she greeted the performers.

"We want your last show on board the ship to be the best one ever" Jeremy told her. Isabel looked at him with a stunned look on her face.

"How do you know about that?" Isabel asked him.

"Gina told us when she was here earlier today" Jeremy told her.

"Wait a minute. Gina was here? What was she doing here? She has got nothing to do with the show. What is going on?" Isabel asked.

"Nothing is going on. She just came by to say hi" Mallory told her.

"You are a bad liar, Mal. Anyway, the show looks great, and I can't wait to see you perform tonight" Isabel said before leaving.

"You fool. You almost ruined everything" Mallory told Jeremy, as she hit him.

"I know, and I am sorry. You know, I have a problem keeping my mouth shut" Jeremy said.

"Yes, it runs in the family. Your sister is having the same problem" Mallory told him. Jeremy knew that she was right. Gina did have the same problem.

"Let's go get something to drink" Jeremy suggested. The others nodded, and they left the Theater to go to the Cadillac Diner.

---- One hour before showtime ----

Séb was in his room. He had put on his outfit for the night, and he looked at himself in the mirror. It was the first time he had been in a suit like this, but he loved it. He put on his hat and left his room.



Billy was waiting for Séb in the Cadillac Diner, and Gina was in Isabel's room, helping her get ready for the show.

"I heard that you have been down at the Theater" Isabel told Gina, as she put on her dress.




"Yes, I wanted to talk to my brother. Is that against the law?" Gina said.

"No, but I think you're up to something" Isabel said, and she could tell by the smile on Gina's face, that she was right.

"Maybe I am, but I am not telling you anything" Gina said before picking up her purse. Isabel put on her shoes, and the girls left the room.

Gina and Isabel walked down to the Theater, where they were met by Billy and Séb. A lot of guests had already found their seats, and Isabel excused herself to go backstage to talk to talk to the performers.

Ten minutes later, Isabel stepped out on the stage to introduce the show. As the show started, she took a seat in the audience next to Séb. She enjoyed the show, and she could tell that the audience loved it too.

At the end of the show, Gina and Séb got up and walked backstage. Shortly after, Gina stepped out on the stage, and Isabel wondered what was going on.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we have a surprise for you. One of our guests would like to sing for you, and I am sure you will like it. Please put your hands together for Sébastien" Gina said and left. Isabel was stunned, when Séb appeared on stage. Gina came back to her seat and sat down with a big smile on her face.

"Thank you, Gina. As Gina said, I would like to sing a song. It's was sung by Temptations, but my version is inspired by Westlife. I hope you like it" Séb said. The music started playing, and Séb started singing his version of My Girl.



Isabel was impressed. He had a good voice, and he seemed to feel good on stage. Séb looked at Isabel, as he was singing, and Isabel didn't know what to do. She looked at Gina, who had a big grin on her face. It was obvious to Isabel, why Gina had been in the Theater. They had been planning this.

Séb was enjoying himself, and the audience was enjoying watching him. After the song, he surprised them by announcing another song. Just as he was about to start, he spotted Gerald in the back. He looked mad, and Séb knew, that Gerald had been watching him sing My Girl to Isabel.

There was no way that Séb would let Gerald ruin his performance, so he proceeded like everything was ok. His performance of "Don't cha" was a big hit, and he was met by a standing applause. Séb thanked them all before he left the stage.



"That was amazing. I didn't know that you could sing" Isabel told him with a smile.

"Thanks. I've been singing for a long time, but enough about that. Should we get something to eat?" Séb asked. They all left the Theater, and walked into the Cadillac Diner. It was a 50's style diner with Cadillac seats and a juke box.




As they sat there talking, Gerald made an appearance. He walked straight over to their table, pulled out a chair and sat down.

"What are you doing here?" Gina asked him.

"I just wanted to say congratulations to Sébastien. Great performance, even though you were singing to my girl" Gerald said.

"Could you please get out of here? Why do you have to ruin a great night?" Isabel yelled at him, making the other guests turn around. Gerald was shocked by Isabel's reaction, and he looked around the diner to see people staring at him. Without saying a word, Gerald left the diner.

"Do you want to leave?" Gina asked Isabel, as she held her hand.

"No, I want to stay. He is gone now, and I want to enjoy being with my friends" Isabel said. Shortly after, some of the performers entered the diner. They had a great night, talking and laughing.

After spending a few hours at the diner, they left for their rooms. Séb escorted Isabel to her room.

"Thanks for walking me to my room. You didn't have to" Isabel said, as she unlocked the door.

"It was my pleasure. I had a great time tonight" he said to her.

"So did I. You should think about singing professionally" Isabel told him.

"I will think about that. By the way, you look stunning in that dress" Séb told her. Isabel smiled at him.
"You don't look so bad yourself. Well, I should get some sleep. Goodnight, Séb" Isabel said before kissing his cheek.

"Goodnight, Isabel" Séb said, as she closed the door. He touched his cheek where she had kissed him, and a smile appeared on his face. No woman had ever kissed him, unless he had kissed her first. As he walked back to his room, he wondered what was happening to him. One thing was for sure, it was a nice feeling.

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PostSubject: Re: Falling Slowly   Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:49 am

Chapter 10
*Freedom*

Isabel was nervous, as she walked towards the auditorium. It was time for the meeting with management, and she was wondering what was going on. She knew they wanted to talk about her resigning, but it had to be something else, something a little more serious.

"Good morning, Isabel." a voice said behind her. Isabel turned around and saw Captain Anderson walking towards her.

"Good morning, Captain Anderson." Isabel said with a smile.

"Are you nervous about the meeting?" he asked her.

"Yes, I am. I assume it's about my resignation, but I think there is more to it." Isabel told him truthfully. He looked at her, and Isabel knew by the look on his face, that she was right.

"There is more to it, but we will talk about it at the meeting." he said, as they reached the auditorium. He opened the door, and they walked inside.

"Good morning, Miss Carrington. My name is Michelle Thompson, and this is Kevin Johnson." a woman said to Isabel. Isabel shook hands with them before taking a seat across from them.

"I suggest we start with the main reason for this meeting. We have received complaints about one of the men on board this ship, and we need to know if any of it is true. I don't want to go into details, but most of the complaints are about the way he treats some of his employees. Since you have been working with him for the last 3 years, we believe that you would know if any of this is true." Michelle said.

"It is true. On last year's cruise, he declared his love for me, but I turned him down. Since then, he has been making my life miserable. He is stalking me; sending me flowers, watching my every move. He is always around, and I can't go anywhere without him being there. And a few days ago, he punched one of the guests because he had been with me at my friend's wedding." Isabel told them. It felt good to finally get it out.

"Why didn't you report him?" Kevin asked her.

"I should have done that, but I was afraid that you wouldn't believe me. Gerald is the boss, and I am just the employee." Isabel said.

"I understand what you are saying, and we will deal with him. He won't bother you on this ship again. That brings us to the other issue; your resignation. Are you resigning because of Gerald?" Kevin said.

"Well, he is one of the reasons, but I want to try something else. I am 32 years old, and as much as I love being on the ship, I think it's time for me to move on. Maybe start a family. Things like that." Isabel said.

"Sounds fair enough, but now we need to find someone to take over your job and someone to take over Gerald's job. We had hoped that you would take over Gerald's job." Kevin told her.

"It's tempting, but I have to decline. I made a promise to my uncle, and I don't want to disappoint him. He has done so much for me, and I can't do that to him. However, I do recommend two people for the jobs." Isabel said.

"Who are these two people?" Michelle asked.

"Alison Moore and Gina Richardson" Isabel said. She was sure both girls would accept without hesitation.

"I strongly recommend both girls, and I couldn't think of anyone else to take over." Captain Anderson said.

"Then we will talk to them. Could you please tell them both to join us here?" Kevin asked Isabel.

"Yes, I will get them right now." Isabel said, as she got up. Kevin and Michelle got up too, and they shook Isabel's hand before she left the auditorium.

She was in a good mood when she entered the coffee bar. Gina and Alison were enjoying a cup of coffee, and they seemed to be having fun.

"Isn't it a beautiful morning?" Isabel asked, as she sat down. Gina and Alison looked at each other, then at Isabel.

"Are you ok, sweetie?" Gina asked with a smile.

"I'm fine. I just finished my meeting with management, and it feels so good to be me. They will deal with Gerald later today, and hopefully this will be my last day with him. Oh, and management wants to see you in the auditorium now." Isabel said.

"See us?" Alison repeated. Isabel nodded her head before taking a sip of Gina's coffee.

"Yes! They have something they want to discuss with you, and I am sure you will love it." Isabel said. Gina and Alison got up and left the coffee bar. Isabel watched them leave with a smile on her face. Today was a new beginning for all of them.

As Isabel walked back to her room, she saw Séb and his friends. She wanted to tell him her news, but she didn't want to intrude. They seemed to be having a good time, and he needed some time with his friends. They were talking about a submarine ride, and Isabel knew they would have a great time. She had been on that ride on the last cruise, and it had been so much fun. Isabel continued on her way to her room, as Séb and his friends got off the ship.

Gina and Alison had finished their meeting with management, and as they left the auditorium, Gerald was waiting outside for his meeting.

"You look lovely today." Gerald said with a smile. Gina and Alison just walked passed him without saying a word. They had nothing to say to him.

They heard him open the door, and they turned around when they heard the door close. Both of them had smiles on her faces, and they knew it would be the end of Gerald.

"This calls for a celebration." Gina said, as she put her arm around Alison.

"Oh, yes! I will book the Cadillac Diner, and you will tell everyone that tonight we have a party. We also have to plan the party for Saturday." Alison said.

"No, we should let Isabel do that. It is her last event on board the ship, and I don't want to take that away from her. We just add a little surprise." Gina said.

"You are wicked, Gina Richardson." Alison said with a smile.

"Yes, and I love it. Now, let's find Miss Carrington." Gina said, as they walked towards Isabel's room.

---- Later ----

Gerald was in his room. A guard was watching him pack, and Gerald wasn't pleased. Management had told him to get off the ship before dinner, and they asked him to leave quietly. He had been really violent, and Captain Anderson had to call security. Gerald had been escorted to his room, and he would be escorted off the ship too.

As soon as Gerald had packed his bags, the guard escorted him to the landing. Gerald looked around, and he saw Isabel, Gina and Alison over by the stairs.

"You did this to me. I will make you pay. You can count on that, Isabel." Gerald said before the guard took his arm and walked him down the landing. He let go of Gerald, who hailed a cab and got inside. As soon as the cab had left, the guard returned to the ship.

"Don't worry about him, Isabel. He is gone." Gina assured Isabel, but Isabel wasn't sure about that.

"Well, I don't want to think about that tonight. Let's get dressed for the party." Isabel said. The other girls nodded their heads in agreement, and they walked towards their rooms.

Two hours later, Séb and his friends returned to the ship. They agreed to have dinner together, and they would meet one hour later. As Séb was on his way to his room, he met Isabel. She looked happy, and he wondered what was going on.

"Did something happen?" he asked her, as he looked at her dress. She looked stunning in the dress, and he had that strange feeling again.



"Gerald is gone. He got fired today, and I am free. We are having a party in the Cadillac Diner to celebrate our freedom, and you are more than welcome to join us." Isabel told him.

"Thanks for the offer, but I am having dinner with my friends. Maybe we could drop by later?" Séb said to her.

"Sure. Drop by whenever you want." Isabel said before leaving. As Séb watched her leave, an idea popped into his head. He wanted to do something special for her, and he had the perfect plan. With a smile on his face, he walked back to his room.

---- Later that night ----

In the Cadillac Diner, Isabel and her friends were having a great time. Gerald was no longer there, and the last days on the cruise would be like heaven. Isabel seemed more relaxed than before, and it was good to see her happy.

Gina and Alison had talked Billy into keeping Isabel busy, while they were planning what to do at the party on Saturday night.

"We agree to let Isabel plan the main party, and then we will do something special for Isabel after dinner." Gina said.

"Yes, that is the plan. All we need now is an idea. We should make a few speeches, and we should get her a present." Alison said.

"Ok, you will take care of the present, and I will take care of the speech. We can think of more tomorrow. I want to party now." Gina said.

"Yes, I agree with you. Let's have some fun." Alison said. They got up and walked over to Billy and Isabel. As the four of them were talking, Séb suddenly showed up with his friends. He walked over to them, and he whispered something in Alison's ear. She excused herself, and the two of them left the diner. Gina was wondering what was going on, and judging by the look on Isabel's face, she was wondering too.

About 10 minutes later, Alison and Séb returned to the diner, and Alison had a big smile on her face. Gina walked over to her, and she dragged Alison outside.

"What was that about?" Gina asked her.

"He wants to go on the sunset cruise on Friday, and he asked me about it." Alison told her.

"Did he ask you to join him, or did he just ask for info?" Gina asked.

"He asked me for info. I would never do that to Isabel. It's obvious that she likes him, and I would never do anything to hurt her. You should know me better than that." Alison said.

"You're right, Alison. I shouldn't have said that." Gina told her friend.

"It's ok. We both want Isabel to be happy. Let's get back to the party." Alison said. They walked back to the diner, and the party didn't end until 2 am.

As they walked back to their rooms, they all thought of how great the day had been. Gerald was gone, and they could enjoy the rest of the cruise. What more could anyone ask for?

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PostSubject: Re: Falling Slowly   Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:26 pm

Chapter 11
*Memories to cherish*


Over the next few days, Isabel and Séb didn't talk much. Isabel was busy planning the final party, and Séb was helping Gina and Alison with their surprise. In return, Alison and Gina were helping him getting things ready for the sunset cruise.

Since Gerald left the ship, the crew seemed happier and more relaxed. Isabel felt guilty about not talking to management earlier, but she was glad that someone had. She did have an idea of who this person was, but she wasn't sure.

Isabel was in the auditorium, making the final preparations for the party, when Gina and Alison walked in.

"Are you done?" Gina asked her. Isabel looked at her friends with a big smile.

"Yes, everything is ready for the party. I would like to talk to Alison for a few minutes." Isabel said, as she looked at Alison.

"I will see you by the landing." Gina said. As soon as she had left the auditorium, Isabel looked at Alison. It was time for the truth.

"Did you talk to management?" Isabel asked her. Alison walked over to Isabel and sat down.

"Yes, I did. They offered me your job, and I said yes." Alison said.

"That is not what I am talking about, and you know it. Did you talk to management about Gerald?" Isabel asked her friend.

"Yes, it was me. I didn't think you would do it, so I did it. I saw what he was doing to you, and I couldn't let him do that anymore." Alison said truthfully.

"I should be mad at you, but you did the right thing. Thanks!" Isabel said with a smile. Alison stood up and hugged Isabel.

"You're welcome, and now it's time for us to leave. Come with me." Alison said, as she took Isabel's hand and dragged her out of the auditorium. Isabel wondered what was going on, until she saw Gina and Séb by the landing.

"What is going on here?" Isabel asked them.

"You deserve to have a good time, and we will take care of the party. I will take those." Alison said, as she took the papers out of Isabel's hand.

"Planning the party is my job, and I don't have time to go anywhere." Isabel said with determination in her voice.

"Yes, you do." Séb said, as he took Isabel's hand and dragged her down the landing. Isabel turned to look at Gina and Alison who had big smiles on their faces, as they waved to her.

"This is not funny at all. I have a party to plan, and you can't force me to go with you." Isabel told Séb. He just looked at her with a smile, as he hailed a cab. After getting into the cab, Isabel was starting to relax a little.

"Are you going to tell me where we are going?" Isabel asked him. Séb hadn't said one word since they got off the ship, and it was getting really annoying. He just looked at her, as he shook his head no. Séb could tell that Isabel was annoyed, and it made him smile.

"Not being in control is really getting to you, isn't it?" Séb joked, as the cab stopped.

"Yes, it is. Can't you just give me a hint?" Isabel asked him. Séb pointed out of the window, and Isabel noticed a small ship. She knew that ship, and she looked at Séb.

Séb opened the door, and they got out of the cab. Isabel wondered why he was taking her on the sunset cruise.

"You are probably wondering why we are here, but I thought this would take your mind off work. You do need that." Séb told her, as they walked on board the ship.

"No, I don't, but we are here, so let's just enjoy it." Isabel said. They took a seat and waited to for the ship to sail.

Isabel and Séb were enjoying the cruise, and Isabel was fascinated by the whales. Not being in control wasn't that bad after all.

"So, tell me about Isabel Carrington." Séb said to Isabel, as they were enjoying their dinner. The sun was setting, and everything was so peaceful.

"I was born 32 years ago in Hawaii. My dad was transferred to Kauai, and of course my mom went with him. Two years later, Isabel Leilani Carrington was born. My parents died when I was 7, and my aunt and uncle brought me to live with them in New York. They adopted me, and 7 years later, my uncle died of a heart attack. My aunt took me on a trip to London for my 16th birthday, and she met a British man. He was nice, and my aunt moved to London a few years later. She left me the apartment in Manhattan, and I lived there with a friend until I moved to London 3 years ago." Isabel told him.

"Sorry to hear about your parents. It must have been hard for you." Séb said.

"Thanks. It was hard, but thanks to my aunt and uncle, I had a great childhood." Isabel told him.

"I assume your middle name is Hawaiian. What does Leilani mean?" Séb asked her.

"It means heavenly flowers, and you can laugh if you want. Everyone else does." Isabel said, as she took a sip of her wine.

"I'm not going to laugh about the name. I think it's a great name." Séb told her. They continued to talk, as the sun disappeared in the horizon.

--- Pride of America ---

Gina and Alison were busy getting everything ready for the party the next day. It wasn't an easy job, and they wondered how Isabel was able to do it all by herself.

"I guess that's everything." Gina said, as she took a look around the restaurant.

"Yes, it is. You do know that Isabel will kill us for this, don't you?" Alison asked with a smile. Gina looked at her.

"Oh, yes! But it will be worth it." Gina said, as Billy appeared. He looked around the restaurant, and then he looked at Gina.

"You two are really brave. Isabel won't be happy, and you know that. She wanted her last event on board to be special." Billy told them.

"It will be special." Gina told him.

"Yes, but it's not what she wanted. How much of this is Isabel's idea?" Billy asked. Gina looked at Alison, then back at Billy.

"Decorations and seating plan are her ideas." Gina said. She knew that Billy was concerned, but they just wanted to do something special for Isabel.

"I hope you know what you are doing. Are you girls hungry?" he asked them. He had just finished work, and he was starving. Gina and Alison both nodded their heads, and they left the restaurant. As they were on their way to the diner, they met Isabel and Séb.

"Did you have a great cruise?" Gina asked. She wanted to know everything.

"It was fantastic. We saw lots of whales, and they were really big. Then we had a great dinner, and now we are back here. I want to check on the restaurant, if you don't mind." Isabel said.

"Don't you trust us?" Alison asked her, hoping Isabel would change her mind.

"Of course I do. Sorry, but it's my last event. Where are you guys off to?" Isabel asked.

"We need food. Want to join us?" Billy asked.

"I should get some sleep. I'm getting off the ship on Sunday, and I want to finish packing tomorrow." Séb told them.

"That's ok. What about you?" Billy said to Isabel.

"A cup of coffee couldn't hurt." Isabel said. As soon as Séb had left, they walked into the diner.

--- Saturday ---

Isabel was in her room, looking out at the ocean. She had made the decision to get off the ship the next day. The private jet would be waiting for her at the airport, and she was looking forward to going back to London. A lot of things had happened on this cruise, and most of it had been good. She had made a new friend, and she had a lot of nice memories. It had been the best cruise ever, despite her problems with Gerald.

Isabel picked up her room key and left. She was meeting the other crew members for breakfast, and she was looking forward to it. It would be the last chance for them to get together and talk. Isabel was feeling a bit sad, as she walked into the diner. She didn't regret her decision, but she still felt sad.

After breakfast, she wanted to take a look at the restaurant, but Alison wouldn't allow it.

"You just have to trust us. I know you want everything to be perfect, but I promise you that you won't be disappointed. Besides, you don't have time for that. Gina and I have a few surprises in store for you, and you are going to love it. Come with me." Alison said, as she took Isabel's hand. The girls walked towards the spa, and Gina was waiting for them.

A couple of hours later, Alison and Isabel walked up on the sundeck for a few hours of swimming and just relaxing.

While Isabel was being pampered, Séb was in his room packing. He wondered what would happen, when he returned to London. Séb hadn't been thinking about Il Divo for a long time, but it was time for him to decide if he wanted to continue in the group. Could he work with Urs? Could Urs work with him? A lot of questions needing answering, but that would have to wait. He was still on vacation, and he wanted to enjoy his last day on the ship. He left his room, and he met some of his friends. They decided to spent a day of relaxing on the ship.

It was 5 pm, and everyone was getting ready for the dinner party. An hour later, Séb was on his way to Isabel's room. Alison had asked him to pick Isabel up, and then they would meet in the restaurant. He knocked on the door to Isabel's room, and he could hear her move around in there.

"I will be there shortly." Isabel said, as she struggled with the zipper on her dress. She needed help, and she opened the door, thinking it was Alison or Gina.

"Good evening, Miss Carrington," Séb said, as she opened the door. He couldn't help smiling, when he saw her struggle with the dress.



"Stop smiling and help me." Isabel told him, as she turned around. Séb zipped up her dress, and then took a step back.

"Done!" he said. Isabel turned around and looked at him.

"Thanks! What are you doing here?" Isabel asked him.

"Alison asked me to pick you up. She is waiting for us at the restaurant, and she will get mad at me if we are late." Séb said, as he reached out his hand to her. She took his hand, and they walked towards the restaurant.

As Séb and Isabel walked into the restaurant, Isabel understood why Gina and Alison didn't want her to go in there. They had really outdone themselves, and it moved Isabel to tears. Séb led Isabel over to Captain Anderson's table, and they sat down.

After dinner, Gina got up and pulled out a piece of paper. It was a wonderful speech, and Isabel hugged her when she was done. All of the crew members present at the party got up and started singing to her. Isabel looked at Gina and Alison, and she couldn't stop smiling.

As soon as they had finished the song, Captain Anderson held his speech. He thanked Isabel for her hard work on board, and he hoped that she would be back on the ship as a guest. After his speech, it was time for the present. Alison got up, and took out a box.

"Dear Isabel. We have something for you, and we hope you like it. It's from all of your friends on board the ship." Alison said, as she handed the box to Isabel. She opened the box to find jewelry set with a ring, a necklace and earrings. Isabel was moved to tears, and she thanked all of her friends.

After the present, it was time for dancing. Captain Anderson excused himself and left, and Séb asked Isabel to dance. It was a great evening, and Isabel enjoyed every minute of it.

When they finally decided to call it a night, Séb escorted Isabel to her room. Isabel had been really quiet since they left the restaurant, and Séb wondered if something was wrong.

"Are you ok?" he asked her, as she took out her key and unlocked the door.

"I don't know. I've been thinking about something, but I am not sure if I should ask you." Isabel told him.

"You can't even look me in the eyes, so it must be something serious. What is on your mind?" Séb asked, as he took her hand.

"This is our last night together, and I want us to make a memory. Spend the night with me." Isabel said. Séb just stared at her. A few months ago he would have done it, but he couldn't now.

"As much as I want you and want to be with you, our time together until now has given me the most precious memories. I can't do what you ask of me, because I don't want you to feel used when we part. I'm sorry, Isabel." Séb said.

"It's ok. You have your reasons. Goodbye Séb." Isabel said, as she walked into her room.

"Goodbye Isabel. Good luck in your new job." Séb said before leaving. Isabel closed the door and went to bed.

Séb was in his bed, wondering if he had done the right thing. He couldn't believe that he had said no, but he felt good about it. It was a big step for him. Slowly he drifted off to sleep.

The next morning, Séb got ready to leave the ship. He picked up his suitcase and left his room. As he was on his way to the landing, he met Gina and Billy. They walked down the landing with him because Isabel wason her way there.

As Isabel came down the landing, Séb hailed a cab. Isabel said goodbye to Gina and Billy, and they agreed to keep in touch.

"Need a ride to the airport?" Séb asked Isabel.

"Yes, please!" Isabel said. Séb opened the door and let her in first. He climbed into the cab, and they were on their way home. They didn't say much, because they didn't know what to say to each other.

They arrived at the airport, and they walked inside together. After saying goodbye again, they went their separate ways.

As Séb was at the gate, waiting to get on board the plane, he picked up his phone and dialed a number.

"Hello, Sébastien. Are you still in Hawaii?" Simon's voice asked.

"Yes, but I am at the airport now. I just wanted to inform you that I am coming back, and I want you to call the other guys and arrange a meeting." Séb said.

"I will do that. Hopefully things will work out for you, because I would hate for this to be the end of Il Divo. I will arrange for a meeting in two days. See you when you get back. Bye, Sébastien." Simon said as he hung up. He wondered what would happen when the guys got together, and he wondered how they would react to his surprise.

He picked up his phone and made calls to the other guys, hoping they would agree to a meeting.

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PostSubject: Re: Falling Slowly   Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:29 pm

Chapter 12
*What Does The Future Hold?*

David was in the living room, staring out of the window. He was miles away, when Mary entered the room, carrying their dinner. She looked at David standing there, and she put down the dinner before walking to him. He didn't notice her, until she put her arms around his waist.

"Still thinking about Il Divo?" she asked him. David turned around and looked at her.

"Yes. I have to accept that Séb might not be back, and then I have to decide what to do. Il Divo won't go on without Séb, or Urs for that matter. This is really a big mess. We were so close, and now Urs and Séb can't be in the same room." David told her.

"Do you really think he would leave the group?" Mary asked him.

"No, I don't. He might have done some bad things, but he would never turn his back on us." David said to her.

"Well, Simon will call you when he has some news, so I suggest that we eat before it gets cold." Mary told him with a smile.

"You're right. Let's eat." David said and kissed her. They sat down and had just started eating, when the phone started ringing. David looked at the caller ID, and when he saw Simon's name, he knew it was the call, he had been waiting for.

"Good evening, Simon." David said, as he looked at Mary.

"Good evening, David. I've heard from Séb today, and he asked me to arrange a meeting. We will meet in my office Tuesday at 10 am, and then we will discuss the future of Il Divo." Simon told him.

"Ok, Simon. I will be there. Hopefully Urs and Séb won't hurt each other." David said. He knew how much Urs hated Séb, and he knew this could be end of Il Divo.

"Yes, I hope so too. I will see you Tuesday. Goodbye, David." Simon said and hung up. David hung up and looked at Mary.

"Bad news or good news?" she asked him.

"I'm not sure. Séb is coming back, and he asked for a meeting. We will meet on Tuesday, and hopefully we can get through it without anyone getting hurt." David replied.

"I hope so, and I hope you will figure something out. I want the old David back." Mary told him. David just looked at her.

"Have I really been that bad?" he asked before flashing his smile. Mary hated when he did that.

"Yes, you have. And stop flashing your smile at me. It's not fair, Miller!" Mary told him.

"I know, but it works every time." he winked at her.

"Eat your dinner." Mary told him. David did as she said, and Mary couldn't stop smiling, as she watched him.

After dinner they did the dishes together, and as soon as the dishes were put away, David took her hand and led her into the bedroom. He knew that he had been in a bad mood lately, and he wanted to show her that he was still her baby bear.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

At Carlos' place, Larissa was in the shower, while Carlos was cooking. After finishing her shower, Larissa put on some comfortable clothes and walked downstairs. As she walked into the kitchen, Carlos smiled at her.

"Can I help?" she asked him.

"No, I'm done." he said, as he turned off the stove. They walked into the dining room and sat down. They didn't say much during dinner, but Larissa knew he was thinking of Il Divo.

After dinner, Larissa cleared the table, while Carlos walked into the living room. He had been in contact with an old friend from his pre-Il Divo days, just in case Il Divo wouldn't continue. It couldn't hurt to keep a window open, but deep down it wasn't what he wanted. He wanted Il Divo to continue, and he would do whatever he could to make Urs and Séb get along. They might never have the same relationship as earlier, but if they could just put their differences aside while on stage, there was still hope for the group.

Larissa had finished doing the dishes, when Carlos' phone started ringing. He picked it up, as Larissa came into the living room.

"Hello, Simon." Carlos said.

"Good evening, Carlos. I hope I am not interrupting, but I have some news. I've heard from Sébastien, and he is coming back." Simon told him.

"That's good news. Will he return to the group too?" Carlos wanted to know.

"I don't know yet, but I want to see all of you in my office at 10 am on Tuesday. Then we will talk about the future, and just hope for the best. I am not ready to give up on Il Divo, and I am sure that you guys don't want that either." Simon said.

"I can't speak for the others, but I would hate to see the group splitting up. We are, or were, like brothers, and I still have hope that we can be like that again. I know it won't be easy, since Urs and Séb have got a lot of issues to deal with." Carlos told him.

"They sure do. Well, I will let you enjoy your evening. See you Tuesday." Simon said and hung up. Carlos turned around and looked at Larissa.

"The moment of truth has come. Séb is on his way back, and Simon wants to see us Tuesday. Let's hope Urs and Séb won't kill each other at that meeting." Carlos said as he walked over to her.

"They will work it out. Both of them love being in Il Divo, and I'm sure they will get along in time." Larissa told him. Carlos smiled at her, and he hoped that she was right. He pulled her into his arms and kissed her deeply.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Urs, are you down here?" Jewel called, as she came down the stairs looking for her husband. She walked into the kitchen and found him hanging up the phone.

"I am sorry love, I was on the phone." Urs turned and looked at Jewel. As she stood there, he thought she was the most beautiful woman. He wasn't sure, but he had a feeling that this phone call was going to cause more stress, and they had finally put the kidnapping behind them and moved on with their lives.

"Oh, who was on the phone love?" Jewel asked, as she went to the coffee maker and began making the coffee to go with the dessert she had made. After getting Belle settled for the night, they would enjoy their evening of quiet time.

"Come on love, have a seat, and I will finish the coffee." Urs took her hand and lead her to the chair, and then went back and started the coffee as he spoke.

"So, who was on the phone Urs?" Jewel could always tell when Urs was upset, and she could see in his eyes that he was very nervous about the phone call.

"It was Simon." Urs spoke clearly, and he kept his eyes on her face, hoping she wouldn't get upset when he told her what Simon had to say.

"Urs, what did Simon want? Has he forgotten that you're on a break, and that we are not excepting any promotional work for the tour?" Jewel asked. She knew in her heart that this phone call had to do with Seb, but she hoped she was wrong.

"He called to tell me that Seb is coming back, and that we are due for a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the group." Urs told her. He could see in her eyes that the mention of Seb upset her, and it always brought back the kidnapping, no matter how much she tried to hide it from him.

"Are you going to the meeting Urs?" Jewel asked, but she knew the answer before she asked the question. How could he refuse Simon? This was his job and singing in Il Divo was a major part of his life. Of course he had to go, but could she support the group getting back together? Could she deal with having Seb play a role in her and her family's life again? She sure hoped she could, because the only other thing to do was to separate from Urs, and stay home with Belle during the many long months of touring. They had agreed that they wanted to be together on the road.

"Jewel, you know I have to go to the meeting. My only other option is to quit the group, and I don't want to do that. Don't look so surprised, love. I know how you feel about Séb, and you know I feel the same way. I am still so very angry about the rape, the kidnapping and the article, but Il Divo is my job. If I could do anything to change Séb or the situation, I would." Urs said, as he walked over to her and pulled her into his arms. He kissed her with all the passion his body and soul could show, and she knew his words were true. Urs loved her and their daughter, and the love was everlasting. She could see the turmoil in his eyes, and she couldn't bear to make this harder on him, so she steeled herself to support him.

She took Urs hand, and they turned off the coffee before heading up to their suite, where they spent the rest of the night giving and taking of the overpowering love they felt.

By the time Jewel had drifted off to sleep in Urs's arms, he was sure that whatever the next few days held, that Jewel would be at his side.

~~~~~~~ Tuesday - The Meeting ~~~~~~~~

Simon was in his office, wondering what would happen at the meeting. Hopefully they would agree to stay in the group, but if they decided to leave, Simon had to respect that. But he wouldn't give up that easy.

His thoughts were interrupted by a knock on the door.

"Come in." he said, as he looked at the door. The door opened, and Urs entered the office. Of course he would be the first one to arrive.

"Hello, Simon. I see the others haven't arrived yet." Urs said, as he walked over to Simon.

"No, but they will be here soon. Is everything ok?" Simon asked him. Urs seemed a bit distant, and Simon wanted to know what was going on.

"After our phone call, I told Jewel about Séb coming back, and she wasn't in a good mood. She had hoped that he would have stayed away, and she wasn't happy about this meeting. I have to admit that I'm not thrilled about it either, but I want Il Divo to continue, so here I am." Urs said.

"I'm glad you decided to come. It has been a hard time for you and Jewel, and I hope that we can make this work. Il Divo is my best project to date, and I will not let anything ruin it." Simon told him. Urs knew that, and he would do his best to get along with Séb.

A few minutes later, David and Carlos arrived. After greeting Simon and Urs, they sat down and waited for Séb to arrive.

Séb pulled up in front of Sony/BMG, and he let out a sigh, as he stopped the car. This was it. It was time for him to meet the guys, his brothers, again since the episode with Jewel. As soon as he had left the car, he took a deep breath and walked through the door. The walk towards Simon's office seemed longer than normal, but he had to face them.

He knocked on the door, and he heard Simon's voice.

"The door is open." Simon said. Séb opened the door and walked inside. He had never been this nervous about a meeting before, but he did what he could to hide it.

"Hello." Séb said to them. He didn't really know what to do or say.

"Hello, Séb. Welcome back. Did you have a great trip?" David asked, as he walked over to Séb and gave him a brotherly hug.

"Thanks, and yes, I had a great trip. I made some new friends, and I met a lot of nice people." Séb said. David sensed some kind of change in his friend, but maybe it was just his imagination. They walked over to the others, and Séb greeted Carlos. He seemed a bit more reserved than David, but that was ok.

"Sébastien." Urs said, as he reached out his hand to him.

"Hello, Urs." Séb said, as he shook Urs' hand.

"Since we are all here, I suggest we get this meeting started. Séb asked me to call this meeting because we need to discuss the future. I know you don't want Il Divo to end, and I don't want that either. I know there have been some problems, but I think it's time to put that behind us. We have to, if we want Il Divo to go on." Simon said.

"Put it behind us? Are you for real, Simon? What Séb did to Jewel is unforgiveable, and I can't just forgive and forget." Urs said with anger in his voice.

"That didn't sound right. What I mean is that you two have to get along while on stage. After that, I don't care what you do." Simon said.

"I am not sure if I can work with him." Urs said, as he looked at Séb. Séb didn't say anything. What could he say? Urs was still mad at him, and he couldn't blame him.

"What about you, Séb? Can you work with Urs?" Simon asked him. Séb couldn't let his brothers down, and he loved being in Il Divo.

"I don't know, but I am willing to give it a try. What I did to Jewel was wrong, but I had nothing to do with her being kidnapped." Séb said. Urs' blood was boiling.

"You did have something to do with that. My wife and daughter were kidnapped by two crazy women, and it was all because of your interview." Urs told him.

"Calm down, Urs. What Séb did was wrong, but he did help get them back." Carlos said. Urs turned to look at Carlos.

"He did help, but that doesn't justify the fact that he raped her." Urs yelled. The others just looked at him without saying anything. They weren't shocked to see Urs react like this.

"What do you want me to say, Urs? DO YOU WANT ME TO SAY THAT I RAPED HER? FINE! I RAPED HER! DOES THAT MAKE YOU HAPPY? IS THAT WHAT YOU WANTED TO HEAR?" Séb asked him with anger in his voice. Urs didn't say anything.

"This meeting was a bad idea! I thought we could talk about this, but I was wrong! Guess there is nothing more to say." Séb said, as he got up and stormed out of the office slamming the door behind him.

"I think it's safe to say this meeting is over. My advice is that you all go home to your families, and I will talk to Séb alone. Oh, and I'm having a dinner party at my house Thursday night at 7 pm, and I want all of you to be there; including the girls." Simon told them.

"We will be there. Bye, Simon." David said. They left the office, and Simon made a call to Séb. He asked Séb to meet him for breakfast at his house the next day. They needed to talk in private. After hanging up, Simon went home to spend some much needed quiet time with the family. He didn't think he would have much of that over the next few days.

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PostSubject: Re: Falling Slowly   Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:34 pm

Chapter 13
*Secrets Unfold*

Séb was getting ready for his breakfast meeting with Simon. After finishing his shower, he put on a pair of jeans and a black shirt. He walked downstairs and poured himself a cup of coffee. As he sat there, he was thinking of what would happen now. Urs was still mad at him, and he had every right to be. Séb knew that he had been wrong about a lot of things, and if it had been the other way around, he would feel the same.

After finishing his coffee, he picked up his jacket and left the house. He got into his car and drove off to his meeting with Simon.

Simon was in his home office looking at some papers, when the doorbell rang. He got up and walked to the door.

"Good morning, Séb. You are just on time. Let's go outside and get some breakfast." Simon said, as he stepped aside and let Séb in.

"Thanks, Simon. I'm sorry for leaving like that the other day, but things get heated when Urs and I are in the same room." Séb said, as they walked outside to the pool area.

"I know that, and it's one of the things we have to work on. I am not losing Il Divo over this, and you have to work it out somehow." Simon told him, as they sat down.

"And we will work it out, but it will take some time. We are both professional, and I am sure we can put it aside when we are on stage. We have to." Séb said, as he poured himself some coffee.

"Yes, you do. And hopefully in time you will be able to become brothers again." Simon said.

"I hope so. We were so close until this mess happened, and I miss that." Séb told him truthfully.

"I know, and I am sure the others feel the same way." Simon said, as a young woman walked through the door.

"Oh, you're busy." she said to Simon. Séb thought her voice sounded familiar, but he couldn't really figure out why.

"No, it's ok. I want you to meet Sébastien Izambard from Il Divo." he told her with a smile. The minute she heard the name, her heart skipped a beat. He got up and turned around to see Isabel standing there. He looked at her, and she glanced back at him.

"So, we meet again." Séb told her with a smile.

"Yes, we do. Didn't expect to see you here." she told him, as she reached out her hand to him. Séb took it, and he kissed her hand before pulling out a chair. Isabel sat down, and Simon just stared at them.

"You two know each other?" he asked. Séb and Isabel both looked at him with a smile.

"Yes, we met on board 'Pride of America'. Séb was on the cruise." Isabel told him. Simon was just about to speak, when his phone started ringing. He looked at the caller ID before answering the phone. After a few minutes, he hung up the phone and looked at them.

"I'm sorry, but I've been called to a meeting. Enjoy your breakfast." Simon said to them. He bent down and kissed Isabel's cheek before leaving. Séb was shocked. Did Simon just kiss Isabel's cheek?

"Are you ok?" Isabel asked him, as she poured herself some juice.

"Yes, I'm fine." Séb told her, even though it wasn't true. Watching Simon kiss Isabel's cheek was too much to deal with this early. But why did it bother him?

"You are not fine, but I understand you don't want to talk about it. So, you are one of the Divos. Never did expect that." Isabel told him with a smile.

"Well, it's not like I wear a sign that says Divo, but enough about that. How long have you known Simon?" Séb asked her. He wanted to get to the bottom of this.

"I've known him for about 16 years. Why do you ask?" Isabel asked him. Séb's mind was in overdrive, and he had all kinds of images in is head.

"Well, because I know Simon is married, so what are you doing here in his house?" Séb asked her.

"I live here, and I've been living here for the past 3 years. When I'm not on board 'Pride of America', this is my home." Isabel told him, wondering what was going on.

"Are you having an affair with Simon?" Séb finally asked her. Isabel couldn't believe it.

"What? I don't believe this. How can you even think that? If I was involved with anyone, then I wouldn't have asked you to spend the night with me. What kind of woman do you think I am?" Isabel yelled at him.

Just as Séb was about to say something, a woman appeared in the doorway.

"What is going on here, Isabel?" Melinda asked her niece.

"Well, Sébastien here thinks that I am uncle Simon's mistress." Isabel told Melinda. Séb was speechless. Isabel was Simon's niece. No, that couldn't be right.

"Is that true, Sébastien?" Melinda asked him. Séb was embarrassed, and he couldn't even look at Melinda.

"Yes, it's true, but I didn't know she was Simon's niece. She never told me." Séb said.

"Hang on for a second. She never told you? Do you two know each other?" Melinda asked.

"We met on the cruise. Remember the guy I told you about, when I came back?" Isabel asked her. Isabel had told Melinda everything that happened on the cruise, including the last night on board the ship.

"Yes, I remember him. He was an annoying jerk at first, but he changed his attitude towards you. I can't believe that was you." Melinda said to Séb.

"Well, it was." Séb said while looking at Isabel. Melinda looked at both of them, and it was easy to see the attraction. They talked for about an hour, and then Melinda got up.

"I have to meet a friend for lunch, and try not to kill each other while I'm gone." Melinda said with a smile. They watched her leave, and as soon as she was gone, Séb turned to Isabel.

"Why didn't you tell me that you knew Simon?" Séb asked her.

"I didn't know who you were. If I had known that you were part of Il Divo, I would have told you. I should have known who you were, but I didn't know. That is the truth." Isabel told him.

"I believe you, and I'm sorry for what I said about you and Simon. I don't think that you would have asked me to spend the night with you, if you were seeing someone. You are not that kind of woman." Séb said to her.

"Apology accepted, but I'm still hurt by your comment." Isabel said.

"You have every right to be hurt. It was wrong of me to accuse you of that, but I didn't know what to think. I still can't believe that Simon is your uncle. It's a small world." Séb told her.

"Yes, it is. What are your plans for today?" Isabel asked Séb. No matter how much she tried to be mad at him, it was pointless. He had her under his spell, and she couldn't get out of it.

"Well, I still haven't had my meeting with Simon, so if you don't mind, I would like to wait for him." Séb said with a smile.

"I don't mind. Would you like to go swimming?" Isabel asked him, hoping he would say yes.

"Yes, but I don't have any trunks." Séb replied. Isabel took his hand and dragged him into the house. She led him to the guest bathroom, and she showed him a drawer full of trunks and bathing suits.

"What is that?" he asked her, as he looked in the drawer. Isabel bursted out in laughter, and Séb couldn't stop smiling. There was something about her laugh that made him smile.

"Uncle Simon thinks it's important to have trunks and bathing suits around, in case our guests don't bring any. It sounds crazy, but that's how he feels. I am sure you will find a pair in your size. I will go change, and I will see you by the pool." Isabel told him. As soon as she was gone, Séb undressed himself and changed into a pair of trunks. He walked out to the pool area and jumped into the pool.

Shortly after, Isabel joined him in the pool. After about 10 minutes, they got out of the pool, and Isabel went inside to make some snacks. As she was in the kitchen, Simon came home. He found Sébastien by the pool, and he walked over to him.

"I didn't expect to find you here." Simon told him. Sébastien looked at him, and he could tell that Simon was in a bad mood.

"Well, since we didn't finish the meeting, I decided to stay and wait for you. Your wife said it was ok." Séb told him.

"Oh, ok. I will just put this away, and then I will be back." Simon said and left. While Simon was gone, Isabel joined Séb by the pool. They were laughing and having a good time, when Simon returned. He was not pleased to see Isabel and Séb having fun together.

"Should we continue our meeting?" Simon asked Séb.

"I will go change." Isabel said and left.

Simon and Séb had their meeting, and after about 20 minutes, Séb walked to the bathroom and changed back into his own clothes. Simon was saying goodbye to Séb, when Isabel came down the stairs.

"Are you leaving?" she asked Séb.

"Yes, but I had a great time. And I'm still sorry for what I said." Séb told her.

"It's ok, and I had a great time too." Isabel told him. She kissed his cheek, and Simon watched them very closely. As soon as Séb had left, Simon walked over to Isabel.

"We need to talk about this. I don't like you hanging out with him. He is not the man for you." Simon said to her.

"Excuse me? I am 32 years old, and I can date whoever I want." Isabel told him.

"Yes, you can, but Sébastien is not one of them. I'm not trying to be mean, but you don't know him. And I don't want you to get hurt." Simon said, knowing it wouldn't be good enough for Isabel.

"I know enough. Listen, I'm glad you are looking out for me, but you are wrong about Séb. He is a sweet guy, and he helped me on board 'Pride of America'." Isabel told Simon.

"You don't understand. Isabel, there is some things that you don't know about him. Things that will make you change your mind about him, and I am not sure I should tell you." Simon told her,

"What things?" Isabel asked him. Simon took her hand, and he led her over to the couch. She deserved to know about the man, even if it would hurt her.

"Séb is a playboy. After each concert he would find a girl, sweet talk her into sleeping with him, and then dump her the next morning. He did that for a long time, until he got a girl pregnant. He wanted her gone, and he ordered her to get rid of the baby, but she refused. She had the baby and is now raising it with her husband." Simon said to her.

"You're lying. Séb would never do that." Isabel said.

"There is more. Séb was furious, and he was interviewed by the Tattletell Gazette. He said that he loved her and the baby, but she left him for another man. It backfired when two crazy fans believed his story. They decided to kidnap the girl and the baby, and they dropped off the baby in my office, telling me to give the baby to her father. He is not the man for you, Isabel." Simon said. Isabel just sat there, staring into the air.

"No, that can't be right. That is not the Séb I met on 'Pride of America'. He was so sweet and caring, and I don't believe he would do something like that. He turned me down, when I asked him to spend the night with me. He didn't want me to feel used after we parted, and that's why he turned me down." Isabel said.

"What are you talking about?" Melinda suddenly said.

"I told Isabel that Séb was not the man for her." Simon told Melinda.

"Did he really do what Simon said?" Isabel asked Melinda. She couldn't lie to Isabel.

"Yes, he did do those things, but I believe he is changing. The old Séb would have never done what he did on the cruise. Séb still has a long way to go, but he is getting there. If you really like him, then you have to be patient with him." Melinda told her.

"Your aunt might be right about Séb, and you are old enough to make your own decisions, but if he hurts you, then I will make him pay." Simon told her.

"I know you will. It still seems unbelievable to me that Séb would treat women like that, but you have no reason to lie. If you had seen him on that cruise, you would see him in a different light." Isabel said.

"Well, guess we just have to wait and see what happens. They will all be here for the dinner tomorrow, and I wonder how they will react to my surprise." Simon said, as he looked at Melinda.

"It will be a big surprise to them, but Isabel will do a good job." Melinda said with a smile. Isabel couldn't wait to meet the other Divos and their loved ones.

Little did she know, that the evening would turn into a night of shocking discoveries.

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PostSubject: Re: Falling Slowly   Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:30 pm

Chapter 14
*Shocking discoveries*

Isabel didn't sleep much that night. She was thinking of what Simon had told her about Séb, and her mind was trying to process the news. Could he really have been like that? And what would stop him from going back down that road again? She got out of bed, put on a robe and walked downstairs to make a cup of tea.

"Are you ok?" Melinda suddenly said. Isabel turned around and looked at her without saying anything. She didn't have to say anything. Melinda knew her well enough to know that she wasn't ok.

"I can't sleep." Isabel told her.

"You are thinking of what your uncle said. I know it's hard to believe, but it's the truth. Séb has done a lot of bad things, but he did some good things too. Thanks to him, the woman was reunited with her child and her husband. And you told me of all the things he did for you. I do have faith in him, and if you really like him, then you should have faith in him too." Melinda told Isabel, as she stroked her hair.

"Thanks, Melly." Isabel said with a smile.

"You're welcome. Now, get some sleep." Melinda said. Isabel kissed her cheek before heading upstairs to her room.

Melinda watched her leave, and she had no doubts that Isabel and Séb liked each other. Séb was trying to change, and he had made progress. And when he was ready, he was the one who would make her niece happy. With a smile on her face, she walked upstairs and climbed into bed.

----- Next day -----

Jewel was standing by the window, when Urs walked into the bedroom, holding Belle in his arms. He knew that Jewel wasn't happy about going to the dinner, but Simon had asked all of them to be there, and she didn't want to disappoint him.

"It's time to get dressed." Urs said, as he walked over to her. Jewel turned around and looked at him. He looked so handsome in his suit, and Belle looked so adorable in her dress.



"I know. It will be hard for me to spend an evening with Séb after what he did, but I will do it for you and Simon." Jewel told him. Urs kissed her softly before going downstairs with Belle. She walked over to the closet and pulled out her dress.




As she came into the living room, a big smile appeared on Urs' face. He couldn't stop staring at her. She looked stunning, and for a second he didn't want to leave.

"Are you ready to leave?" Urs asked her.

"As ready as I will ever be." Jewel replied, as she picked up her purse. They left the house and drove to Simon's house. Both of them were worried about the dinner. Hopefully they would make it through dinner without fighting with Séb.

¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨
At Simon's house, Isabel was getting ready for the dinner. After doing her hair and make-up, she put on her dress.




As she looked at herself in the mirror, she thought of how to ask Séb if Simon had told her the truth. She knew that Simon had no reason to lie to her, but she needed to hear it from Séb. If they were to have any chance of a relationship, she needed to know. Isabel took one last look at herself in the mirror before walking downstairs.

Simon and Melinda were in the living room talking, when Isabel walked in.

"How are you feeling?" Simon said to Isabel. Tonight was the night for his surprise, and he hoped the guys would accept his surprise.

"I'm fine, but I'm still not sure about it. I know I said yes, but maybe it's a bad idea." Isabel told him. She couldn't lie to him.

"It will be ok. It's not a bad idea. If I thought it was a bad idea, then I wouldn't have asked you. I'm glad you said yes, and I know you will do a good job." Simon told her.

"Thanks for your confidence." Isabel told him with a smile, as she sat down on the couch. Melinda was just about to speak, when the doorbell rang. Simon got up and walked into the hall. He opened the door to see Urs, Jewel and Belle standing there. After greeting them, they walked into the living room where they said hello to Melinda.

Simon introduced Isabel to Urs and Jewel, and Isabel was very interested in Belle.

"It's a pleasure to meet you." Isabel told them, as she shook their hands.

"And you too, Isabel." Jewel and Urs said. Isabel kept staring at Belle, and she was dying to hold her.

"May I hold her?" Isabel asked Jewel.

"Of course you may." Jewel said, as she handed Belle to Isabel. Isabel took Belle in her arms, and she was really enjoying it.

"She is so adorable." Isabel said. Belle smiled at her, and Isabel couldn't wait until she would have her own child.

"Thanks. Do you have any children?" Jewel asked her. She seemed like a sweet person, and she was so good with Belle.

"No, I don't. I don't even have a man in my life, but I do want children in the future." Isabel told Jewel, as she handed Belle back to her.

"You will meet someone." Jewel told her with a smile. Isabel smiled back before she looked at Simon. She knew that he might never accept a relationship between her and Séb, but it was Isabel's decision.

"I've already met someone, but I don't know if anything will happen. Only time will tell." Isabel told them.

They sat down and continued to talk, until the doorbell rang again. Simon opened it and returned with David, Mary, Larissa and Carlos. He introduced all of them to Isabel, and Isabel seemed to be getting along with all of them.

As they sat there talking, Isabel noticed that Jewel seemed to be getting more nervous. Something wasn't right about it, but she didn't want to ask. She got her answer, when the doorbell rang again. Séb entered the living room, and you could feel the tension.

"Now that we are all here, I think we need a drink." Simon said and left. Séb greeted Melinda first, and then he turned towards Isabel.

"You look beautiful." he whispered, as he kissed her cheek. Isabel felt a bit embarrassed with all of these people around, especially when she noticed the looks from the other Divos.

Séb greeted David and Carlos with hugs before he turned to the girls.

"May I just say that you girls look amazing in your dresses." Sébastien said, as he greeted Larissa and Mary with kisses on their cheeks.



"Thank you, Séb." Larissa and Mary said together. Séb winked at them before he turned to Urs and Jewel.

"Hello, Urs." Séb said, as he reached out his hand to him. Isabel wondered what was going on, because the other Divos were greeted with hugs, and Urs just got a handshake.

"Hello, Sébastien." Urs said, as he shook Séb's hand. As soon as Séb turned to Jewel, Urs didn't hesitate to put his arm around Jewel.

"Hello, Jewel." Séb said to her. Jewel didn't really feel like saying hello to him, but she didn't want to be rude.

"Hello, Sébastien." Jewel said, as she looked at him before looking at Belle. Séb looked at Belle, but he didn't do anything but look at her.

Isabel had been watching them, and she couldn't understand what was going on. Simon had mentioned Il Divo several times, and he always made it sound like they had a strong bond, but that didn't add up with their behavior tonight.

Simon returned with the drinks, and shortly after, dinner was announced. They all walked into the dining room, and Jewel made sure that she was as far away from Séb as possible. During dinner, they didn't talk about Il Divo at all. They talked about Séb's trip, his meeting with Isabel, and Isabel's job on board the ship.

"How long have you been on that ship?" Jewel asked Isabel.

"This was my 3rd and last year, and even though I had some problems with my boss, it turned out to be the best cruise ever". Isabel said, as she looked at Séb. He looked at her and smiled, and it made Jewel worry about Isabel. She liked her, but getting involved with Séb, would only cause Isabel problems.

"Why was it your last cruise? Didn't you like being at sea?" David asked Isabel.

"Yes, but I am 32 years old, and it's about time I start thinking about settling down. I want a family, and hopefully I will have a baby like Belle someday." Isabel said with a smile.

"So, do you have another job?" Jewel asked her, as she picked up Belle. She had been sleeping in her stroller next to Jewel.

"I think I should answer that question. Isabel has got a new job, and she will be working for me. Allow me to introduce you to your new tour manager." Simon said. The guys looked at Simon, then at Isabel.

"Well, it's a big improvement from the last one." Carlos said, as he wiggled his eyebrows. The others were laughing, and Isabel smiled at him.

"Thank you, Carlos. I hope you're all ok with this." Isabel said to the guys, and all of them nodded their heads in agreement.

"Good. Now I think it's time for some dessert, and after that we will celebrate." Simon said with a smile.

During dessert, Isabel was holding Belle, and she noticed that Séb was looking at her.

"Do you want to hold her?" Isabel asked him. Séb shook his head no before he turned to look at Jewel. Isabel noticed the way Séb and Jewel looked at each other, and their eyes showed nothing but hate. As she looked at them, she saw the big picture. Although she didn't want to believe it, there was no doubt in her mind.

"Are you alright, Isabel?" Mary asked her, as she took her hand. She had noticed Isabel's face turn white, and she was worried about her.

"I'm sorry, but I need to be alone." Isabel said, as she handed Belle to Mary and walked out of the room.

Melinda excused herself and walked after Isabel, while Simon and the others walked into the living room. All of them were trying to figure out what had caused Isabel to react like that. Séb wanted to know what was going on with her, so he excused himself and walked after Melinda. As he reached Isabel's bedroom, he heard Melinda and Isabel talking.

"What is going on, Isabel?" Melinda asked her, as she sat down on the bed next to Isabel.

"I've been watching Séb and Jewel all evening, and there is nothing but hate in their eyes when they look at each other. I've also noticed the way he looks at Belle. When he didn't want to hold Belle, everything became clear to me. Jewel is the girl who got pregnant, and Belle is Séb's daughter. I wanted to believe that it wasn't true, but the proof is sitting in this house now." Isabel replied with tears forming in her eyes.

"I can imagine it must have been a shock for you to find out like that. We didn't want to tell you because it didn't seem important, but we should have done that. Séb has done some bad things, and he is paying for them now. I know you love him, but before you turn your back on him, remember that Séb helped getting Jewel back after the kidnapping, and remember all of the things he did for you on the ship." Melinda told Isabel.

"I do love him, but I'm afraid that he might go back to being that guy again." Isabel told Melinda.

"He won't go back to being that guy again. He has lost his girlfriend and one of his brothers because of his behavior back then, and I doubt he will risk losing the rest of his brothers." Melinda said, as she got up and walked towards the door. Just as she was about to walk out, she heard Isabel's voice.

"Thanks, Melinda." Isabel said. Melinda turned around and smiled at her niece before leaving the room.

Séb had been standing outside of Isabel's room, and he had heard everything. It brought back memories to that day when Lindsey had found out about his one night stand with Jewel and her being pregnant with Séb's child. He had lost one girlfriend because of Jewel, and he had never met a woman like Isabel before. She was special, and he couldn't lose her too. He took a deep breath before knocking on her door.

Isabel walked to the door and opened it to see Séb standing there.

"We need to talk. Can I come in?" Séb asked her. Isabel stepped aside to let Séb enter. She closed the door behind him and gestured for him to sit down.

"What do you want to talk about?" Isabel asked him. Séb didn't really know where to start, but they had to talk.

"I heard you talk to Melinda, and it made me think. I had a girlfriend when I slept with Jewel, and when it came out, she dumped me. The truth is that I blamed Jewel for Lindsey dumping me, but it was my own fault. I cheated on her more times than I can even count, and when she found out about Jewel expecting my child, she chose to break up with me. Looking back, I did deserve that. If I could change the past and undo what I've done, I would do it. Honestly, I'm afraid it will happen again." Séb told her.

"It won't happen again. You're no longer that man, Sébastien." Isabel said. She wanted to believe him.

"I'm not talking about cheating. I've lost one girlfriend because of Jewel, and I'm not ready to lose another one." Séb said, as he got up.

"I don't understand. You don't have a girlfriend." Isabel told him. She was confused, and Séb didn't make much sense to her.

"No, I don't, but I'm working on it. I'm just not sure if she wants me. Now that she knows about my past, she might have changed her mind about me." Séb said, as he walked towards Isabel. She couldn't move, and Séb kept coming closer. As he was standing right in front of her, Isabel looked into his eyes.

"She hasn't changed her mind about you." Isabel told him, as she touched his cheek. Séb moved his head closer to hers, and their lips met in an intoxicating kiss.

"We should go back downstairs." Séb whispered, as they broke from the kiss.

"Yes, we should." Isabel agreed with a smile. Séb took her hand, and they left the room.

As they walked down the stairs, the guys were about to leave. They all looked at Isabel and Séb walking down hand in hand, and there was no doubt that Isabel and Séb were in love.

Mary, David, Larissa and Carlos said goodbye and left. Belle was sleeping, and Jewel was putting on her jacket while Urs was outside. Urs walked into the house, and he saw Isabel and Séb together. Jewel said goodbye to Melinda and Simon before walking outside with Belle. Isabel walked outside with her, while Simon and Melinda said goodbye to Urs before walking upstairs to their room.

"So, you're with Isabel now?" Urs asked Séb.

"Yes, I am. She knows about my past, and she is ok with it." Séb told him.

"Oh, so she is ok with the fact that you raped Jewel?" Urs asked him, as Isabel walked through the door.
Urs and Séb looked at her, and Séb didn't know what to do.

"Jewel is in the car waiting." Isabel told Urs. He said goodnight and walked out of the house, closing the door behind him.

"Isabel, please listen to me. We were both drunk that night, but I wasn't as drunk as she was. Her friends had left her alone, and I took her to my place. She didn't understand much of what was happening, and I took advantage of that. Urs sees it as rape, but I see it as consensual." Séb told her. Isabel walked over to the couch and sat down.

"That explains why she hates you, and it explains why you don't want to have anything to do with Belle." Isabel said.

"I wanted to tell you, but I was afraid that you would hate me. Maybe it's hard for you to believe, but I do have feelings for you." Séb told her.

"I know I shouldn't, but I believe you. This night has been filled with shocking discoveries." Isabel said, as she looked at him.

"Yes, it has. It's getting late, and I should probably leave." Séb said, as he got up. Isabel got up too, and she walked him to the door.

"Will I see you tomorrow?" Isabel asked him. Séb took her hands in his before he raised them to his lips.

"Yes, you will. I will be here at 10 AM. I have to talk to Simon." he said before kissing her softly.

"You need to work things out with Urs. If you don't, then I won't have a job." Isabel said. Séb knew she was right, and he didn't want Il Divo to end either.

"I promise you that I will talk to him. Goodnight, Isabel." Séb said before he kissed her again.

"Goodnight, Sébastien." Isabel said to him, as he walked out of the door. She closed the door behind him and walked upstairs to her room. She drifted off to sleep with a smile on her face.

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PostSubject: Re: Falling Slowly   Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:31 pm

Chapter 15
*New Beginnings*

After returning to his home, Séb went to bed but he couldn’t sleep. As he was staring at the ceiling, he thought about the events that took place earlier in the evening. Isabel’s reaction to his past and his one night stand with Jewel had surprised him. He couldn’t believe that she was still interested in being with him, after what he had done. How many women would want to be with a man with his past? Of course most people have a past, but his was not like most people. One thing was for sure; he would never go back to being that person again. He drifted off to sleep, thinking about his meeting with Simon and Urs the next day.

Urs woke up early the next morning. Belle was crying, and he walked into the nursery and picked up his daughter. As he sat there with Belle in his arms, he wondered if Jewel and Belle would join him on tour. He couldn’t imagine being on tour without them, and hopefully Jewel felt the same way.

“Good morning.” Jewel suddenly said. She was standing in the doorway, and she smiled at the sight of Urs and Belle sitting there.

“Good morning, love.” Urs said, as he stood and walked over to her. He kissed her softly, and they walked downstairs. Jewel was making breakfast while Urs was playing with Belle. She could sense that something was going on, and she had a feeling it had to do with Il Divo and the tour.

“What are you thinking of?” Jewel questioned as she poured some coffee for them.

“I was just thinking about the tour and you.” Urs told her truthfully. Jewel looked at him, wondering what he meant.

“Me? Why me? Don’t you want me to come with you?” Jewel asked him. Urs stared at her, and he couldn’t believe that she would ask him that.

“Yes, I want you and Belle to join me on tour. I just wasn’t sure if you would join me.” Urs replied.

“I love you, and I want to be with you. Yes, Séb will be there too, but I don’t want to let him stand in the way of me spending time with you and Belle.” Jewel told him.

“I’m glad to hear that. I couldn’t imagine being on tour without you.” Urs said as he took her hand in his. Jewel smiled at him, and they continued to eat breakfast.

Séb woke up to the alarm. He felt like staying in bed, but he had to talk to Simon and Urs about the tour. After staying in bed for a few more minutes, Séb got out of bed and walked into the bathroom to see to his needs and have a shower. Wearing only his briefs, he walked over to his closet and picked out a pair of jeans and a shirt. He got dressed and walked downstairs to make a cup of coffee before calling Simon. As soon as his coffee was ready, he picked up his phone and called Simon.

“Good morning, Sébastien. What can I do for you?” Simon asked.

“Good morning. I was hoping we could have a meeting today.” Séb told him. He knew that Simon might be busy, but this was really important.

“I do have a busy day, but if you can be here at 10 am it would be ok. Just have to be done by 11 am, as I have another meeting at 11.30.” Simon replied.

“Thanks, Simon. I will call Urs and ask him to come too. We have to settle this now. See you later.” Séb said and hung up. As he dialed Urs’ number, he hoped that Urs would agree to meet him at Simon’s.

Jewel was upstairs giving Belle a bath, while Urs was cleaning the kitchen. His phone started ringing, and Urs picked it up without checking the caller ID.

“Hello.” Urs said.

“Hey, it’s Séb. I just got off the phone with Simon, and he wants to see both of us at his house at 10 am.” Séb told him.

“I will be there. See you later.” Urs said and hung up. He put down the phone and turned around to see Jewel standing there. He didn’t have to say anything. Jewel knew who was on the phone.

“What is going on?” Jewel asked him. Urs walked over to her and put his arms around her.

“I’ve been called to a meeting at Simon’s. With the tour starting soon, Séb and I have to figure out how to get along. It won’t be easy, but we are both professionals.” Urs told her.

“Can I come with you?” Jewel surprised him by asking.

“Yes, but do you think it’s a good idea? Séb will be there.” Urs replied. He didn’t like the idea of Jewel and Séb in the same room, and he hoped that she would change her mind.

“I don’t want to talk to Séb. I want to talk to Isabel. She has to know the truth about the man she loves.” Jewel said.

“She does know everything, including what happened to you.” Urs told her. Jewel couldn’t believe it. How could Isabel still be interested in Séb after knowing everything?

“Well, I still want to talk to her. I want to know what is so interesting about a man who sleeps with any woman who wants him. Isabel is a beautiful girl, and she could do better.” Jewel said. Urs knew there was no point in arguing with Jewel about this.

“Ok, you can come.” Urs told her. Jewel smiled at him before turning around and leaving the kitchen. As she walked away, Urs wondered how that meeting would go.

Séb was the first one to arrive at Simon’s place. He was nervous about the meeting, but it had to be done. As he rang the doorbell, a lot of thoughts went through his head.

“Good morning, Sébastien.” Melinda said before stepping aside.

“Good morning, Melinda. You look beautiful this morning.” Séb told her with a smile.

“Thank you. Simon is in his office down the hall.” Melinda said.

“Thanks. Is Isabel around?” Séb wanted to know.

“I think she is in her room.” Melinda told him before leaving. Séb walked upstairs to Isabel’s room, and he knocked on the door.

“It’s open.” Isabel said. She was brushing her hair, when Séb entered her room. He closed the door behind him and walked over to her. He took the brush from her as he bent down and kissed her cheek.

“Good morning.” he whispered in her ear. She stood and turned around to face him.

“Good morning.” she said with a smile. Séb pulled her close and kissed her softly. After they broke from the kiss, they walked downstairs to see Jewel and Urs in the hall with Simon. After saying hello, Séb and Urs followed Simon to his office, leaving Jewel and Isabel alone.

“I didn’t expect to see you here.” Isabel said to Jewel.

“Well, I actually came here because I want to talk to you. Is there somewhere we can talk?” Jewel asked her.

“Let’s take a walk in the garden.” Isabel said. They walked into the garden, and Jewel wondered where to begin. They sat down on a bench near a swan fountain.

“What is on your mind?” Isabel asked her. Jewel looked at Isabel, and it was still a mystery to her why a girl like Isabel could fall for a guy like Séb.

“I could understand from Urs that you know about Séb’s past. I know it’s none of my business, but I don’t think he is the right man for you.” Jewel told her.

“Yes, I do know about his past. Melinda and Simon told me, but I didn’t want to believe it. The man they told me about wasn’t the same man I met on the cruise. The man I met was kind, and he really did a lot of nice things for me. He even sang to me one night, and on our last night on the ship, I asked him to stay and spend the night with me. Séb turned me down, and he told me that he didn’t want me to feel used in case we never met again.” Isabel told Jewel.

“You’re right. That doesn’t sound like the same man, but you can’t be sure that he won’t go back to being the guy he was before. He cheated on his ex, and I don’t want to see another girl suffer like Lindsey did.” Jewel said.

“I know about Lindsey too, and I feel sorry for her. And I can’t be sure that he won’t go back, but I have to believe that he is trying to change. He told me yesterday that he didn’t want to become that man again, and I believe him. We all agree that what he did to you and Belle was wrong, and even Séb knows it was wrong. He has lost his brothers and their faith in him because of his actions, and he knows that he might never be forgiven.” Isabel told her.

“You really like him, don’t you?” Jewel questioned. As Isabel looked at her, Jewel didn’t need an answer. It was written all over Isabel’s face.

“Yes, I do. He is different from the guys I’ve dated earlier. I can’t explain it, but there is just something about him.” Isabel said.

“I can’t speak for the others, but I will never forgive him for what he did. I wish there was something I could do or say to make you change your mind, but I know there isn’t. Just promise me that you will be careful.” Jewel said to her.

“I promise.” Isabel told her with a smile. They walked back to the house and joined Melinda in the living room.

The guys were still in a meeting with Simon, and both Jewel and Isabel were anxious to know what was going on in Simon’s office.

About half an hour later, the guys walked into the living room with Simon.

“So, what happened?” Jewel asked.

“We are going on tour, and we work together on stage. As for what happens off stage, only time will tell.” Urs replied.

“When does the tour start?” Jewel asked Simon.

“I think I will leave that question for the tour manager.” Simon said as he looked at Isabel.

“Well, according to the schedule made by your previous tour manager, the first concert is in two weeks, so you guys will be busy from now on. Rehearsals start tomorrow at 9 am.” Isabel told them.

“Great. We have to pick up Belle. See you tomorrow.” Urs said as he took Jewel’s hand. As he opened the door, Jewel turned around.

“Remember what I said, Isabel.” Jewel said before she walked out of the door. Isabel closed the door and turned to Séb.

“Simon and I will leave you alone to talk.” Melinda told them. As soon as they had left, Isabel walked over to the couch and sat down.

“What did Jewel say? She tried to convince you not to date me, didn’t she?” Séb asked as he walked over to the window.

“Yes, she did. She thinks that you will go back to being that man again.” Isabel said. Séb turned around and looked at her.

“Do you think that too?” Séb asked, raising his voice.

“Don’t raise your voice. No, I don’t think that. I believe you are trying to change, and you’ve proved it to me. Now you have to prove it to your brothers and Simon. You’ve lost your brothers because of what you did, and I don’t think you would risk losing them again.” Isabel replied.

“I’m sorry for raising my voice.” Séb said as he joined her on the couch.

“It’s ok.” Isabel told him without looking at him. Séb put his hand under her chin and turned her face to look at him.

“Everything you said is true. I know it won’t be easy, but I will do whatever I can to make things right.” Séb said. Isabel looked into his eyes, and she knew he was telling her the truth.

“I know you will.” she said as Melinda and Simon returned to the living room. They sat down, and Simon kept staring at Séb and Isabel. Simon still didn’t like the idea of Séb dating Isabel, but when he watched Séb looking at Isabel, something told him that Séb was being serious about his niece.

“Listen, I know you don’t like the idea of me dating Isabel, but I swear to you that I won’t hurt her. You might not believe me, but I’m telling you the truth. I have changed, and I will do whatever it takes to make all of you trust me again.” Séb said to Simon.

“Melinda and Isabel seem to believe that you have changed, and I must admit that I too can see changes in you.” Simon told him.

“Does that mean I can ask Isabel out tonight?” Séb asked him.

“You can ask her out, but don’t stay out too late. You have rehearsals in the morning, young man.” Simon said to him.

“Yes, father.” Séb said with a smile as he took Isabel’s hand.

“Good. I have to leave now.” Simon said after looking at his watch. He walked into his office to get his papers, and then he said goodbye before leaving.

As soon as Simon had left, Melinda excused herself to prepare some lunch. Isabel offered to help her, but Melinda told her no.

“So, would you like to have dinner with me tonight?” Séb asked Isabel.

“Yes, if you’re paying for it.” Isabel said with a smile.

“I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Séb said as he put his arm around her.

“Lunch is ready.” Melinda suddenly said. Isabel and Séb joined her outside, and they had a great time until Séb had to leave.

“I will pick you up at 6.30 pm.” Séb told Isabel.

“That sounds good to me. I will be ready.” Isabel said. Séb pulled her close and kissed her softly before he left the house. He was looking forward to taking Isabel out on a real date, and he really wanted to make it special. As soon as he got into his car, he made a call to his favorite restaurant and ordered a table. After hanging up the phone, he drove back to his own place to relax before his big date later.

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PostSubject: Re: Falling Slowly   Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:35 pm

Chapter 16
*Sebastien's New Start*

Isabel was excited about her date with Séb. Yes, he had taken her on the sunset cruise in Hawaii, but this was their first date as a couple. As she put on her dress, she started thinking back and it dawned on her that Séb had never asked her to date him; he had just asked her out on a date. Agreed, he had kissed her several times, but she needed some kind of confirmation that they were together as a couple. Sighing, she finished getting dressed and walked downstairs where Melinda was relaxing on the couch with a magazine.

“You look stunning, Isabel.” Melinda said with a smile as she put down the magazine.

“Thanks.” Isabel seemed a bit distant, and Melinda knew something was up. She had been raising Isabel since she was seven, and she knew her better than anyone.

“Talk to me, Isabel.” Melinda looked at her niece. Isabel looked back at her, and she knew that Melinda wanted answers.

“It’s nothing. I’ve just been thinking about something. As I was getting dressed, it occurred to me that Séb hasn’t asked me if I wanted to date him. It’s like I don’t know where I stand with him.” Isabel said truthfully.

“Listen to me, young lady. I don’t know what is going on inside that head of yours, but you are so wrong about this. I’ve seen the way Séb looks at you, and there is no doubt in my mind that he does have very strong feelings for you. Remember, this is new for him too. I know he was in a relationship with Lindsey, but he never loved her. This is probably the first time he is falling in love with anyone, and maybe he is afraid to tell you how he feels.” Melinda said.

“I never thought about it that way. I will give him the time he needs. Thanks.” Isabel hugged Melinda. She pulled back and smiled at Melinda as Simon made his appearance.

“How did the meeting go?” Melinda questioned. Simon looked very pleased as he sat down.

“It went great. A photographer will drop in at the studio tomorrow to take some pictures of the rehearsal and our new tour manager.” Simon smiled at Isabel.

“Me? Why does he want pictures of me?” Isabel didn’t like where this was going.

“Well, at first he was just supposed to take pictures of the guys rehearsing, but then I thought it would be a good idea if we got some of you and the guys.” Simon replied. Isabel knew by the look in his eyes that he wasn’t going to change his mind.

“Guess there is no way to avoid it.” Isabel sighed. Simon looked very pleased with himself as he shook his head no.

“I have to call David and Carlos now, so if you will excuse me.” Simon got up and walked to his office.

---- David’s home ----

David was walking around in the living room, and Mary had asked him several times to sit down and relax.

“Simon will call you when he has news, so for the last time sit down and relax. You walking around is very annoying, Miller.” Mary told him. David looked at her, and he knew by the look on her face that she really was annoyed. He walked over to her and sat down.

“I’m sorry, but the tour is supposed to start in two weeks and we have rehearsals to do.” David said as he took her hands in his.

“I know, baby, but you have to be patient.” Mary looked at him. Just as she was about to kiss him, David’s phone started ringing. He answered the phone and Mary could see a smile appear on his face.

“That’s great news, Simon. I can’t wait. I will see you tomorrow.” David said before hanging up.

“I assume the smile on your face means that you are going on tour.” Mary smiled at him.

“Yes, and rehearsals start tomorrow at 9 am. This is a happy day for sure. I’m taking you out to dinner, so let’s get ready.” David said as he got up, pulling Mary with him. They walked upstairs and took a shower together before getting dressed for a night out.

---- Carlos & Larissa ----

Carlos was in the shower when his phone started ringing. Larissa looked at the caller ID and smiled. It had to be good news, at least she hoped it was.

“Carlos’ phone, Larissa speaking.” Larissa said as she answered the phone.

“Hi Larissa, is Carlos around?” Simon asked.

“He is upstairs in the bathroom. Can I take a message?” Larissa wondered.

“Yes, you can tell him that rehearsals start tomorrow morning at 9 am.” Simon told her. Larissa was happy to hear that, because the last two months had been a nightmare.

“That is great news for sure. I will tell him, and he will be thrilled about it. Have a great evening, Simon.” Larissa said to him, just as Carlos walked into the living room.

“What did Simon have to say?” Carlos asked Larissa as she hung up.

“He wanted to tell you that rehearsals start tomorrow morning at 9 am.” she told him with a smile.

“I can’t wait to get started. It will be so great being with the guys again. I’m cooking tonight. What do you want for dinner?” Carlos questioned with a big smile on his face.

“Surprise me.” Larissa replied. Carlos winked at her before going into the kitchen. Larissa hadn’t seen him like this in a long time, and she was happy to have him back.

---- Simon’s house ----

Séb arrived at Simon’s house, and he couldn’t wait to take Isabel out on a real date. He rang the doorbell and waited for someone to open it. As Isabel opened the door, Séb didn’t know what to say. The sight of her took his breath away.



”You look beyond stunning. That color looks amazing on you” Séb finally managed to speak.

“Thanks, you don’t look so bad yourself.” Isabel smiled at him.

“I will have her home before midnight.” Séb joked as he looked at Simon and Melinda.

“I hope so for your sake. Now, get out of here.” Simon told him. Séb took Isabel’s hand and they left the house. As soon as they were out of sight, Simon turned towards Melinda.

“Well, guess it’s just the two of us for dinner. Chinese?” Simon asked as he picked up his jacket.

“Absolutely!” Melinda replied with a smile. They both grabbed their coats and left the house.

------------

Séb stopped the car outside of the restaurant. He got out first and walked to Isabel’s side and opened the door. He reached out his hand to her and helped her get out of the car. After locking the car, they walked into the restaurant, and the hostess showed them to their table. Séb pulled out a chair for Isabel and after she was seated, he sat down across from her.

“This place is amazing, but you didn’t have to take me to such an expensive restaurant.” Isabel whispered to him. She didn’t want people to think she was being ungrateful.

“Well, this is our first official date and I wanted to take you somewhere special. Besides, is there anything wrong about wanting your girlfriend to have the best?” Séb said. Isabel was shocked. Did he just say what she thought he did?

“What did you call me?” Isabel asked him. She wanted to make sure that it hadn’t been her imagination.

“I called you my girlfriend. I couldn’t find another word for it.” Séb wondered if he had been wrong about using that word.

“Oh, ok. I like the word. It’s better than friend.” Isabel truthfully told him. Séb took her hand in his and raised it to his lips.

“Well, I will tell you something. I don’t kiss my friends the way I kiss you.” Séb smiled at her.

“I hope not.” Isabel smiled back. Séb winked at her as the waitress walked over to them. After placing the orders, Séb looked around the restaurant and noticed two women sitting at a table near the kitchen. They stared at him, and when he smiled at them, they didn’t smile back. It made him feel uncomfortable, but he didn’t want it to ruin his date with Isabel.

“I can’t believe that we are going on tour in two weeks. We are really behind schedule this time because of me, but I think I did the right thing about getting away. I’m glad I made that decision, and I got a bonus by doing it.” Séb told Isabel as he squeezed her hand.

“Even if you hadn’t gone on the cruise, we still would have met. After all, I am Simon’s niece, and I would have accepted his job no matter what.” Isabel explained to him.

“That’s true. Well, enough about that. Are you looking forward to the tour?” Séb changed the subject.

“I am excited and nervous. All of the dates and venues are ready, but I have to make sure that everything is right at each concert. Uncle Simon has faith in me and I don’t want to disappoint him.” Isabel replied.

“You will be fine, and I will be there with you. The guys and the girls will be there too.” Séb assured her.

“I know that. I’m just being stupid.” Isabel said. Shortly after, the waitress returned with their food. Isabel and Séb were having a great time eating and chatting. After finishing their dessert, Séb paid the bill before they left the restaurant. As Séb opened the door for Isabel, the two women from the restaurant walked up to them.

“Hello, Séb.” one of them said to him.

“Hello. Do I know you?” Séb asked her as Isabel got into the car. He thought she looked familiar, but he couldn’t be sure. Maybe it was a fan who had been at a Meet & Greet.

“Well, we did spent a night together some time ago, and you left without saying goodbye. I was hoping we could meet again and continue what we started.” she said while looking at Isabel.

“I’m sorry, but that’s not going to happen. I’ve got a girlfriend, and I have no intention of cheating on her. Now, if you’ll excuse me.” Séb said as he closed the door and walked over to the other side. As he opened the door, the two women walked away. Séb got into the car and closed the door before he turned to look at Isabel.

“I’m so sorry about that.” Séb said. He didn’t know what else to say.

“Don’t be. It was just a matter of time before someone besides Jewel would show up. We all have a past, and it always comes back to haunt us. It won’t be the last time, but I know you’re not that man anymore. And I know that you would not cheat on me.” Isabel told him.

Séb couldn’t believe how much faith Isabel had in him, and it made him realise that his feelings for her were much stronger than he thought.

“I suggest we get out of here.” Séb said as they drove off. They talked about the cruise, and they had fun remembering those two weeks.

20 minutes later, they arrived at Simon’s house. Isabel and Séb got out of the car and walked to the door.

“Do you want to come in?” Isabel asked him.

“I would love to, but I should go home and get a good night’s sleep.” Séb replied. He noticed the look on Isabel’s face, and it was the same look as the night on the cruise when he had turned her down.

“It’s ok. You have rehearsals in the morning.” Isabel told him. He looked at her standing there, and deep down he wanted to tell her how he felt about her, but was he ready to do it?

“Goodnight, Isabel. I will see you tomorrow.” he pulled her close and kissed her softly. When they broke from the kiss, he turned and walked towards his car. He got into his car and looked at Isabel still standing by the door.

As she turned to open the door, Séb got out of the car and ran towards her, calling her name. She turned around and saw him standing in front of her.

“What’s wrong?” she asked him.

“I don’t know how to say this.” he told her. Isabel looked at him as thoughts were running through her head.

“Say what? What is going on, Séb?” Isabel asked again, hoping he would give her an answer.

“I think I’m falling in love with you. No, I know I’m falling in love with you.” Séb confessed. It wasn’t the words Isabel wanted to hear from him, but it would have to do for now.

“I’m falling in love with you too, Séb.” Isabel said with a smile. Séb pulled her close and kissed her deeply.

Séb broke the kiss, whispered goodnight and walked back to his car. As he drove away, Isabel turned and walked into the house where Melinda and Simon were watching TV.

“How did the date go?” Melinda asked Isabel when she entered the living room.

“It went well, but I’m tired and would like to go to bed. Goodnight.” Isabel said before leaving the living room. As soon as she had left, Melinda looked at Simon.

“What was wrong with her? If the date went well, then why did she seem so sad?” Melinda asked Simon. He had noticed it too, and something wasn’t right.

“I have no idea. Maybe you should go talk to her?” Simon said to her. Melinda got up and walked out of the living room. She walked upstairs to Isabel’s room and knocked on the door.

“Come on in.” Isabel said as she was putting on her PJ. Melinda opened the door and walked inside. She sat down on the bed and looked at Isabel, waiting for her to start talking. Isabel didn’t say anything, and Melinda knew she had to make the first move.

“What happened on that date, Isabel?” Melinda asked her niece.

“We had dinner, and he called me his girlfriend.” Isabel told her as she walked over to the bed and sat down.

“I’m confused. Why are you sad, when he told you what you wanted to hear?” Melinda asked. It made no sense to her at all.

“He called me his girlfriend because he couldn’t find another word for it. When he dropped me off, he told me that he was falling in love with me. I told him that I was falling in love with him too, but that was a lie. The truth is that I love him.” Isabel confessed.

“I know you love him. It’s written all over your face when you look at him. Give him time, Isabel. You have to be patient with him.” Melinda told her as she got up.

“I know.” Isabel said as she climbed into bed. Melinda tucked her in and kissed her forehead.

“Get some sleep. Your new life starts tomorrow.” Melinda said before leaving the room. Isabel closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep, thinking of Sébastien.

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PostSubject: Re: Falling Slowly   Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:37 pm

Chapter 17
*Building Trust*

The guys were already rehearsing, when Isabel arrived at the studio. As soon as she walked through the door, she heard the guys singing. She quietly walked into the room where the guys were and sat down. They sounded amazing, and she closed her eyes for a while and just listened to their voices; four voices in perfect harmony.

The song ended, and Isabel opened her eyes to see Séb kneeling in front of her with a big smile on his face.

“Good morning.” he kissed her.

“Good morning. That was amazing.” Isabel smiled at him.

“Thanks. I’m an amazing kisser.” he winked at her. Isabel looked at him as she shook her head.

“I was talking about the song.” she said, trying hard not to laugh. Séb just stared at her with a hurt look on his face.

“Oh, ok. Guess I have to work harder on the kissing then.” Séb told her, still with a hurt look on his face.

“I will help you with that, but now I have to meet Simon.” Isabel said and got up.

Just as she was about to turn and walk away, Séb grabbed her and kissed her. When he broke the kiss, he looked at her like he was waiting for some kind of response from her.

“That was amazing.” she whispered to him before she left. Isabel walked into the room next door where Simon was waiting for her, but he wasn’t alone.

“Gentlemen, meet Isabel Carrington. She is Il Divo’s tour manager.” Simon said as he introduced her. The two men looked at her, and Isabel thought one of them looked familiar.

“Gordon McKenna, and this is Jimmy Milton. Have we met before?” he asked Isabel.

“Yes, I think so. If I’m not mistaking, we met on board ‘Pride of America’ last year.” Isabel replied. Gordon looked at her, and suddenly he remembered the meeting.

“That’s right. I was interviewing you and your boss, Gerald.” Gordon said to her. The second Isabel heard that name, she felt sick. She hated that guy, and she hoped that she would never see him again.

“Yes, but that was a long time ago.” Isabel told him. Gordon could tell that Isabel didn’t want to talk about it and he decided to change the subject.

“I don’t know how much Simon has told you, but we are here to cover the rehearsals. My photographer will take some pictures of you and the guys, and then I will do an interview with Simon.” Gordon informed.

“Ok, let’s go see the guys.” Isabel said with a smile. Simon, Gordon and Jimmy followed her into the room where the guys were rehearsing.

“What is going on?” David wanted to know. Isabel was surprised to learn that Simon hadn’t told the guys about the reporter and photographer being there.

“They are here to take some pictures of us and do an interview with Simon.” Isabel informed them.

“It will only take a few minutes.” Gordon added. He could tell by their looks that they weren’t happy about being interrupted.

“Ok, let’s do this.” David said. Jimmy, the photographer, took over and he told the guys where to stand. It took about five minutes, and then the guys could go back to rehearsing. As soon as Jimmy was gone, Urs turned to Isabel.

“Do you have more surprises in store for us?” he asked Isabel with anger in his voice.

“This is not my doing. I’m not the bad person here, so don’t take your frustrations out on me, Buhler.” Isabel replied before leaving.

As soon as she was gone, the other three guys looked at Urs.

“That was totally uncalled for, Urs.” Carlos said. He couldn’t believe that Urs took his frustrations out on Isabel, when Simon had planned the whole thing.

“I’m sorry, but we only have two weeks for rehearsals and we don’t need reporters interrupting us all the time.” Urs told them.

“We are all frustrated about not having more time for rehearsals, but we shouldn’t take it out on innocent people.” David stated his opinion.

“You’re right. I will talk to Isabel later. Let’s get back to rehearsing.” Urs said as he looked at Séb. He was a bit worried that Séb would say something, but Séb didn’t say a word. It wasn’t the right time to get into an argument and Séb was tired of arguing with Urs.

The guys were still rehearsing when Simon had finished his interview. After walking Gordon and Jimmy to the door, he listened to the guys rehearsing. As he watched them sing, he had a great idea and he wanted to talk to them about it.

Simon walked outside and made some calls to a few friends who could help him with his plan. After he had made the calls, he walked back to the guys. They had just finished a song when Simon returned, and they seemed pleased so far.

“Have you guys seen Isabel?” Simon asked them. Isabel wouldn’t have left without telling him, and he was sure the guys knew something.

“She left after you disappeared with those two men.” Séb replied as he looked at Urs.

“It was my fault. I got angry because we were interrupted, and I took it out on Isabel. I will apologize to her later.” Urs told Simon.

“Good. Now, I need to talk to you about the first concert in London.” Simon said as he gestured for the guys to sit down. As soon as they were seated, he told them what was so special about the first concert in London.

“It sounds like a good idea, and it will be a surprise for sure. But how will you manage to keep it a secret?” David was the first to speak his mind after Simon had filled them in on his plan.

“That won’t be a problem. Only you guys and the band will know about it. I’ve already been in contact with the venue, and everything will be ready for the concert.” Simon informed him.

“I like it, and I can’t wait to see her face when we start singing.” Séb said with a smile.

“Are you in on this?” Simon asked Urs and Carlos. They looked at each other before turning back to him.

“We are all in.” Carlos said and Urs nodded his head in agreement.

“Good. I will let you continue with your rehearsals. Have a nice evening.” Simon said before leaving. After Simon left, the guys continued their rehearsals.

---------

It was just around noon when Jewel walked into a local diner with Belle. She was meeting Urs for lunch, and she had to pick up the food. As she waited for her order to be ready, she spotted Isabel at one of the tables.

“Hi, Isabel.” Jewel called out to her. Isabel looked up and smiled at her.

“Hi. What are you doing here?” Isabel asked her.

“I promised Urs that we would meet for lunch today but as he is still in rehearsals, I am bringing the food to him. What about you?” Jewel asked as she sat down.

“I just needed some time to think.” Isabel told her.

“Is it Séb?” Jewel wanted to know. She still didn’t believe that Séb was changing, and she didn’t like to see people hurting because of him.

“No, it’s your husband.” Isabel told her what had happened at rehearsals. Jewel wasn’t shocked about the news. The guys were stressed, and it didn’t take much to upset them.

“Sorry about that. I will tell him to apologize to you when I see him.” Jewel said.

“You don’t have to do that. It’s not the first time someone has blamed me for things I wasn’t responsible for.” Isabel said as she sipped her coffee.

“What do you mean?” Jewel wanted to know.

“It’s nothing. I just had some problems with my boss on board the ship, but I don’t want to talk about it. He is out of my life and I want it to stay that way.” Isabel replied. She didn’t want to think about Gerald anymore.

“I understand, but if you ever want to talk about it, I will listen.” Jewel said with a smile as she got up.

“Thanks, Jewel.” Isabel smiled back. Jewel walked over to the counter and got her order. On her way out she turned towards Isabel.

“I will talk to you later. Take care.” Jewel said before leaving. As she walked over to the studio, she had a great idea. A lunch with the girls was just what Isabel needed, and the guys would be rehearsing anyway. She would have to discuss this with the other girls later.

The guys were taking a break when Jewel and Belle arrived at the studio. She greeted the guys as Urs took Belle out of the stroller before sitting down.

“I met Isabel at the diner when I picked up the food, and she told me what happened. She seemed a bit upset, but I don’t think it was because of what you said to her.” Jewel told Urs.

“What makes you say that?” Urs questioned.

“She told me that she had problems with her boss when she was on board the ship. I tried to talk to her about it, but she didn’t want to.” Jewel replied.

“His name is Gerald, and she did have a lot of problems with him. He was in love with her, but she turned him down. Gerald decided to punish her by making her time on board the ship miserable, but he got what he deserved. He got fired because one of the girls on the ship reported him to management. The guy is a creep, and he doesn’t have a problem with punching people.” Séb told them.

“Did he punch Isabel?” David wanted to know.

“No, he didn’t punch Isabel. I don’t think he would ever hurt Isabel. He punched me.” Séb replied as he took a sip of water.

“Why did he punch you? Did you sleep with one of his employees?” Jewel asked him with a smile. Those words made Séb get up.

“I’ve done some things that I’m not proud of, but I am trying to change and I may still have a long way to go but I am getting there. Unfortunately that is not good enough for you, and it seems like you’ll always see me as that man. You guys are on your own; I quit.” Séb said as he picked up his jacket and walked out of the door.

Séb left the building as Isabel arrived. It was obvious that something wasn’t right, and Isabel had a bad feeling about this.

“What is going on, Séb?” Isabel asked him as she held his hand.

“I just told the guys that I am leaving Il Divo. They are on their own.” Séb replied. Isabel was shocked. Did he just tell her that he was leaving Il Divo?

“Wait a second. You are leaving Il Divo? You can’t do that. The tour starts in two weeks. You are not doing this to me or the guys.” Isabel told him. Séb just stared at her without saying anything. He didn’t want to hurt her, but he had to.

“Talk to me, Séb!” Isabel pleaded. Séb raised his hand and touched her cheek before kissing her.

“I will always be the guy who raped Jewel, and as long as Urs and Jewel see me as that person, I can’t be around them. You deserve better, Isabel. I’m sorry, but I have to leave.” Séb said and got into his car. Isabel could feel the tears forming in her eyes as Séb drove away. As soon as Séb’s car disappeared, Isabel walked into the studio.

The guys and Jewel were talking when Isabel walked in. Tears were streaming down her cheeks, and Jewel knew that Isabel had met Séb. Jewel walked over to Isabel and helped her get over to the table. As Isabel sat down, Carlos handed her a tissue.

“I just met Séb outside and he told me that he was leaving Il Divo. I want to know why the man I love is leaving Il Divo.” Isabel said as she looked at them.

“It was something I said to him. He told us about Gerald, and Séb said that Gerald punched him. I asked him if Gerald punched him because he slept with one of Gerald’s employees.” Jewel truthfully told Isabel.

“He didn’t sleep with one of Gerald’s employees. Gerald punched him because he went with me to my friend’s wedding. He was waiting for us on the ship, and when Gerald tried to grab me, Séb stepped in front of me and Gerald punched him.” Isabel let out a sigh.

“Looks like Séb has changed after all. The old Séb wouldn’t have done that. Guess we should have a little more faith in him.” David said.

“I understand why you don’t like him, but I love him. Gerald made my life miserable, and if it hadn’t been for Séb, I wouldn’t have lasted the entire cruise. He helped me a lot on that cruise, and I felt safe around him. I know it’s difficult for you to understand, but I really do love him.” Isabel said to Urs and Jewel.

They all looked at each other without saying anything. Isabel got up and looked at them sitting there.

“I have to leave now. It’s my job to tell Simon that Il Divo won’t go on tour.” Isabel said and left.

As soon as she was gone, David and Carlos looked at Jewel and Urs. They needed to talk about this, and it had to be now.

“What do we do now? I don’t think any of us want Il Divo to end.” Carlos said as he looked at his friends at the table.

“We can’t put what he did to Jewel behind us, but I promised Simon that it wouldn’t cause any problems for Il Divo. I don’t want to break my promise to Simon, and I will find a way to make Séb return to Il Divo and Isabel.” Urs said as he looked at Jewel.

“I guess we’re done for today. Urs will try to contact Séb, and then we meet here at 9 am tomorrow. All of us.” Carlos said. The guys nodded their heads in agreement.

As they all went their separate ways, each of them wondered what would happen now. Was this the end of Il Divo?

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PostSubject: Re: Falling Slowly   Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:39 pm

Chapter 18
*Forgiveness*

Urs took Jewel home before he went over to Séb’s house to talk to him. After stopping his car, he got out and walked to the door. As he waited for Séb to open the door, he didn’t know what to expect. He feared the worst, and it seemed to take forever for Séb to open the door.

“What do you want?” Séb asked Urs as he finally opened the door.

“We need to talk about this. Can I come in?” Urs asked him. Séb looked at him before stepping aside and letting him in.

“Can I get you something to drink?” Séb asked as they walked into the living room.

“A cup of coffee would be nice.” Urs replied as he sat down. Séb disappeared and returned with two cups of coffee.

“So, what do you want to talk about?” Séb took a sip of his coffee.

“Il Divo. You love being in Il Divo, and I don’t want you to give up on something you love.” Urs said to him but he wasn’t just talking about Il Divo.

“I don’t want to leave Il Divo but you know it’s impossible for us to work together. It became very clear at the rehearsals.” Séb said.

“Listen, things may never be the same between you and me, but I am willing to give it a try. We can’t run away from our past or change it, but we can make sure we don’t make the same mistakes again. If you do this, you will regret it for the rest of your life. I’m not just talking about Il Divo.” Urs told him.

“As long as you and Jewel don’t trust me, I can’t be a part of Il Divo. I’m trying to prove that I’ve changed but you won’t let me prove it.” Séb got up and walked over to the window.

“I do see some changes in you. The old Séb wouldn’t have done what you did for Isabel on that cruise and a woman like Isabel wouldn’t have fallen in love with the old Séb.” Urs told him.

Séb walked back to the chair and sat down. He couldn’t give up on Il Divo and there was no way that he would give up on Isabel.

“Ok, I am not quitting Il Divo but I don’t want to hear another word about what happened back then. You can talk about it when I’m not around.” Séb told him.

“It’s a deal. Rehearsals start tomorrow morning at 9 am.” Urs said and reached out his hand to Séb. Séb took his hand and shook it.

“I will be there. Now I have to talk to my girlfriend.” Séb said as he walked Urs to the door. The guys said goodbye, and Séb watched Urs drive away before he got into his own car.

Over at Simon’s house, Isabel was home alone. Simon was in a meeting and Melinda was visiting a friend. Isabel was lying on the couch, snuggled up with a pillow as she watched a movie but her focus wasn’t on the movie. She couldn’t believe that Séb had walked out on her like that. Could she really have been so wrong about him?

The doorbell rang, but Isabel didn’t get up. She didn’t feel like talking to anyone, and she just wanted to be alone. It became obvious to her that whoever was at the door wasn’t leaving, so she got up and walked over to the door.

“What are you doing here?” she asked as she opened the door and saw Séb standing there.

“We need to talk. Can I come in?” he asked her with pleading eyes. Isabel stepped aside and locked the door as soon as Séb had entered the hall.

“Go to my room and I will be there shortly. Just have to get some coffee.” Isabel said before walking into the kitchen.

Séb was sitting in a chair when she entered with two mugs of coffee. She handed him a mug before sitting down on the bed.

“Ok, you’re here. Speak.” Isabel told him with anger in her voice.

“Did you talk to Simon about me leaving Il Divo?” Séb wanted to know. If Isabel had told Simon, it would take a lot of work to make things right again.

“No, he is in a meeting but I will tell him when he gets back.” Isabel replied without looking at him.

“Well, that won’t be necessary. I spoke to Urs and we agreed to continue with the tour. And this time we won’t change our mind.” Séb informed her.

“Good! I didn’t know how to tell Simon that Il Divo had come to an end.” Isabel said as she played with the mug.

Séb got up and placed the mug on the desk before walking over to the bed. He sat down next to Isabel and he reached for her hand.

“I owe you an apology. I shouldn’t have walked away from the studio like that, and I shouldn’t have left you. You are special to me, and I didn’t mean to hurt you.” Séb told her as he held her hand.

“Apology accepted.” Isabel replied staring straight ahead. Séb placed his hand under her chin and turned her head to look at him.

“I don’t deserve you, and you deserve better than me.” Séb said her as he looked into her eyes.

“Don’t say that. You are everything I want in a man, and I can’t imagine not being with you. It takes a lot of strength to change as much as you have.” Isabel told him as she touched his cheek.

As he looked into her eyes, all he saw was love and at that moment, Séb knew that he would never find a woman as special as Isabel. Séb took the mug from her and placed it on the table before he pulled her close and kissed her softly. He gently laid her down on her bed, and as his kisses became deeper and more passionate, he let his hands wander down her body.

Isabel knew she had to stop him before things went too far, and she grabbed his hand when he tried to pull her t-shirt out of her jeans.

“Not here and not like this. I want it to be special.” Isabel whispered to him as she pulled his hand away. He looked at her, and he felt the same way.

“You’re right. This is not the time and place for this. I just got caught up in the moment. I’m sorry.” Séb whispered in her ear.

“We both did, and it’s ok.” Isabel said as there was a knock on the door. They looked at each other and got off the bed.

“Isabel, are you in there?” Melinda’s voice sounded through the door.

“Yes, I will be down in a few minutes.” Isabel replied as she looked at Séb. His hair was all messed up and he looked really handsome like that.

After a few minutes they walked downstairs where Melinda was waiting. When she saw them walk down the stairs, a smile appeared on her face. She knew something had been going on but she didn’t want to know what it was.

“I’m surprised to see you here, Sébastien. I thought you were at the studio.” Melinda said.

“They decided to stop for today, but they will be back in the studio tomorrow.” Isabel smiled at her as Séb squeezed her hand as thank you.

“Would you like to stay for dinner?” Melinda asked him.

“Yes, I would. Thanks.” Séb replied with a smile.

“No problem. Why don’t you go shopping or something else? You are young and you shouldn’t be stuck in here with me.” Melinda told them with a smile.

“Sounds like a great idea. Let’s go.” Isabel replied. They left the house and Séb brought her to one of his special places.

After spending a few hours looking at shops, they went back to the house to spend an evening with Simon and Melinda.

At the Buhler home, Jewel was busy making brunch plans for her and the girls. She had already been on the phone with Larissa and Mary, and they thought it was a great idea.

“Did you call Isabel?” Urs questioned as he walked into the living room with Belle.

“Not yet. I don’t know if it’s a good idea.” Jewel told him as she kept staring at the phone in her hand.

“Of course it’s a good idea. Now, call her.” Urs said to her. Jewel looked at him briefly before dialing the number.

“Isabel Carrington.” Isabel said as she picked up the phone.

“Hi, it’s Jewel. The girls and I are having brunch at “Ricky’s diner” tomorrow, and we want you to come with us. How does that sound?” Jewel asked her.

“I’d like that.” Isabel replied.

“Great. I will pick you up at 9.30 am. See you tomorrow.” Jewel said before hanging up.

“What was that about?” Melinda asked as Isabel hung up.

“I am having brunch with the girls tomorrow. The guys will be at the studio, and it will be a great for us to spend some time together.” Isabel replied.

“That sounds like a good idea. You’re all coming with us on tour.” Séb said with a smile. It would be great for Isabel to get to know the other girls before the tour.

They spent the evening watching a movie, and as Simon watched Séb and Isabel sitting on the couch, he knew that they were in love with each other. For the first time since he found out about them, he wasn’t bothered by Séb dating his niece.

“They do make a cute couple, don’t they?” Melinda whispered to Simon. He looked at his wife, and she knew the answer to that question.

As soon as the movie ended, Séb said his goodnights and left the Cowell household. He drove home and went straight to bed.

---- Next day ----

Urs, David and Carlos were already at the studio when Séb arrived. They greeted each other and it was time for another day of rehearsals. Hopefully from now on, there wouldn’t be any problems.

At the diner, the girls were having a good time chatting. Larissa had brought a copy of the magazine that had pictures of Isabel and the guys in it.

“Those are the worst pics ever. I’m so ashamed.” Isabel complained when she saw the pictures. The other girls looked at her.

“Those are great pictures and you look beautiful. You should have become a model.” Larissa told her.

“I tried that but I wasn’t pretty enough. At least that’s what the guy at the model agency told me.” Isabel said with a smile.

“He must have been blind. Well, enough about that. I can’t believe that we are going on tour with the guys again.” Larissa told them.

“I feel the same way. A few months ago we didn’t know if there would even be a tour.” Mary spoke her mind.

“Well, we are going on tour and we will be with the men we love. And I am sure we will have a great time together.” Jewel said with a smile.

“You will have a great time, but I have to work. I am the tour manager.” Isabel told them. She wanted to have fun with the girls, but she had a job to do.

“Don’t worry. We will make sure that you have some fun too.” Larissa smiled at her.

“I can’t wait to spend time with you girls and the guys.” Isabel said.

“Let’s make a toast to Il Divo and us.” Jewel said as she raised her glass. The others joined her in the toast and they had a great time.

As the day came to an end, the Divos were enjoying some quiet time with their loved ones before the tour.

---- San Francisco ---

“A friend of mine in London sent me this, and I think page 22 would be of interest to you.” Morgan Collins said as he handed a copy of a magazine to a man behind a desk.

“I seriously doubt that anything in London could be of interest to me, but I will take a look.” the man said as he took the magazine and flipped through the pages until he reached page 22. He stared at the picture on the page. He raised his head and looked at Morgan.

“I told you it would be interesting.” Morgan said with an evil smile.

“It is interesting. Looks like I will be going to London and you will make all of the arrangements. Now go.” the man said to Morgan.

As soon as Morgan was gone, the man walked over to the bar and poured himself a drink. He kept staring at the picture in the magazine.

“I can’t wait to see you again, Miss Carrington. It’s payback time.” he smiled as he took a sip of his drink.

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PostSubject: Re: Falling Slowly   Sat Jun 16, 2012 1:53 pm

Chapter 19
*Falling in love*

After two weeks of intense rehearsals, it was time to start the tour. Opening night in London was getting closer but first they had to celebrate Isabel’s birthday.

Since the guys would be performing on her birthday, Simon had invited the guys and their partners to join them for breakfast at Isabel’s favorite restaurant.

Isabel, Simon and Melinda were the first to arrive and they were greeted by Sabina Rossi who owned the restaurant. She was the same age as Isabel and they had been friends for a long time.

“Happy birthday, honey.” Sabina said as she hugged Isabel.

“Thank you, Sab.” Isabel smiled.

“I’ve arranged for you to have the private room in the back, and everything is ready.” Sabina said.

“Perfect. Now we just have to wait for the guests.” Simon said with a smile as he looked at Isabel.

“Who are you talking about?” Isabel asked him.

“I think he is talking about us.” David said with a smile as he walked through the door, followed by the other guys and girls.

“This is a nice surprise. I thought you guys would be busy today.” Isabel said as she hugged them all.

“We are busy, but it’s your birthday and we want to celebrate it with you.” David said.

“I’m glad you’re here. You have a busy schedule, so I suggest that we eat now.” Isabel gestured for them to go into the private room.

They all did as she said, and just as Isabel was about to follow them, Séb took her hand and looked at her.

“Happy birthday.” he said as he moved his head closer to hers. His lips brushed gently against hers as he pulled her close to him.

“Thank you.” Isabel said as they broke the kiss.

They joined the others in the private room and they all had a great time until they had to leave. The guys wanted to have some private time with their loved ones before they had to leave for the soundcheck.

While Isabel was outside the restaurant saying goodbye to the others, Séb approached Melinda.

“I need your help. I want to have dinner with Isabel tonight but because of the concert, I can’t take her out to dinner. Would it be possible for you to arrange something at my place?” Séb asked her.

“What did you have in mind?” Melinda asked him.

“This is what I want, and here is the key to my place.” Séb replied as he handed her a piece of paper and a key.

Melinda took the key and the paper. After reading what was on the paper, she put the key in her pocket.

“I will have it ready for you when you are done with the concert.” Melinda told him with a smile.
“Thank you. I owe you big time.” Séb hugged her.

“Give my niece a nice evening, and we are even.” Melinda said as Isabel returned.

“What was that about?” she wanted to know.

“It was nothing. Let’s get out of here. I want to spend some time with you before the soundcheck.” Séb said as he took her hand.

They said goodbye to Sabina and left the restaurant. Séb drove her home and he stayed with her until he had to leave for the soundcheck.

---- London Coliseum ----

Séb, David, Urs and Carlos had just started the soundcheck when Isabel arrived at the venue. A smile appeared on her face as she listened to their voices. They were amazing and she couldn’t wait to hear and see them perform later.

Isabel walked towards the cafeteria for her appointment with Johnny Riley. He had to join Isabel when she took one last look around the venue to make sure everything was ready for the concert.

“It’s a pleasure to see you again, Miss Carrington.” Johnny said when Isabel walked into the cafeteria.

“Like wise.” Isabel said with a smile but she didn’t mean it. She disliked the man, and she couldn’t wait to get out of there. Her first meeting with Johnny had been ok up until the point when he tried to kiss her. It brought back memories to Gerald, and she didn’t want to think about that guy.

“Are you ready?” Johnny asked with a smile.

“Let’s go.” Isabel smiled back at him.

The tour took about 20 minutes and after the tour, Johnny asked her to join him for coffee. Isabel wanted to say no, but she didn’t want to be rude. She agreed to have coffee with him, but she would regret that.

“Do you want to have dinner with me tonight?” Johnny asked her as they were having coffee.

Isabel couldn’t believe that he would even ask her that.

“No, and I will tell you why. I am the tour manager and I have to be here, and I have a boyfriend. I want you to leave me alone.” Isabel said before walking out of the cafeteria.

Why was it so hard for a guy to accept it when a woman told him no?

Isabel decided that she wasn’t going to let a guy like Johnny ruin her birthday. She walked down to Séb’s dressing room and waited for him to show up.

About 15 minutes later, Séb walked into his dressing room. He could tell that something was wrong when he saw the look on Isabel’s face.

“What’s wrong?” he asked as he sat down next to her.

“That guy, Johnny, asked me out to dinner, and I said no. Why is it that some guys just won’t accept the word no?” Isabel asked.

“Did he hurt you?” Séb asked her.
“No, I walked out of there after saying no. I’m glad I won’t have to see him after tomorrow.” Isabel said to Séb.

He put his arm around her shoulder and pulled her close. Séb knew that Isabel was thinking about Gerald, and he didn’t want her to think about him tonight.

“It’s your birthday, and I don’t want this whole thing to ruin your day. Forget about Johnny and Gerald and let’s enjoy this evening. What do you say?” Séb asked her.

“You’re right. I don’t want my birthday ruined because of those two guys.” Isabel told him.

“That’s my girl. Now I have to get ready for the concert.” Séb got up and pulled Isabel with him.

“I will see you after the concert.” Isabel kissed him before leaving the dressing room.

While the guys were getting dressed, Isabel and the girls were finding their seats. They all looked forward to the concert, and they couldn’t wait to see the guys do what they loved.

“Will you please stop being nervous?” Larissa asked Isabel who was playing with her purse.

“I’m sorry, but I can’t help it. This is my first concert as tour manager and I want everything to be perfect. I don’t like to fail.” Isabel told her.

“Everything will be fine. Just relax.” Larissa said with a smile.

Isabel took a deep breath and nodded her head yes. Suddenly the lights went out and the music started playing. Shortly after, the Divos made their appearance on stage.

It was an amazing concert, and the audience loved it too. It was easy to hear that they had missed the guys, and you could tell that the guys felt the same way. They gave everything on that stage, and they made fun of each other.

Séb forgot his lines, Carlos was flirting, David was being goofy and Urs was being Urs. The guys seemed to be getting along on stage, and it made the girls happy to see that.

As the guys were about to end part one, Séb stepped forward.

“As you all know this is the first day of the new Il Divo tour, but it’s also our new tour manager’s birthday. As a birthday present, we would like to sing a song to her. Happy birthday, Isabel.” Séb said.

The music started playing, and the guys started singing ‘Falling Slowly’ to Isabel. She was moved to tears, and she blew kisses to all of them before they left the stage.

After the intermission they continued with the show, and before they knew it, the concert was over. You could tell by the audience that the concert had been a huge success, and Isabel was happy that everything went as planned.

After singing two extra songs, the guys walked down to their dressing rooms. Shortly after, the girls joined them.

About 30 minutes later, they left the venue but they were not allowed to leave without signing CD’s and pictures for the Divas waiting.

The guys loved the attention from the fans, and after spending about 10 minutes with them, the guys and their loved ones said goodnight to each other before getting into their cars.

“You were really amazing tonight and thank you for making my first concert a success.” Isabel said to Séb as they drove through the streets of London.

“You’re welcome. Now it’s time for you to relax as promised.” Séb told her with a smile.

“I know, and I will relax as soon as I get home.” Isabel smiled back.

“You are not going home. I am taking you out to dinner.” Séb said to her.

“Where will you find an open restaurant at this time?” she asked him.

She was happy that Séb wanted to have dinner with her on her birthday, but it was 10.30 pm and Isabel knew it was impossible to find an open restaurant.

“I have the perfect place in mind.” Séb winked at her.

Isabel couldn’t wait to see what he had planned for them. Séb stopped his car in front of his home, and he got out before opening the door in Isabel’s side.

“What is this place?” Isabel asked as Séb helped her out of the car.

“It’s my place. I knew it would be impossible to find a restaurant, so I decided to arrange something here. I hope that is ok.” Séb said, hoping Isabel wouldn’t be upset.

“It’s perfect, but how did you manage to get this done? You’ve been out all day.” Isabel wanted to know.

“I had a little help from your aunt.” Séb smiled as he took her hand.

He led her into his home, and he helped her get out of her jacket. Séb led Isabel into the dining room, and a smiled appeared on his face when he saw what Melinda had done for him.

“Have a seat.” Séb pulled out a chair.

As soon as Isabel was seated, he excused himself and walked into the kitchen. He returned shortly after with the food and two cold diet cokes.

“I hope diet coke is ok. Alcohol is not good for my voice.” Séb said but it wasn’t the only reason for not serving alcohol. He didn’t want Isabel to think that he was trying to get her drunk before taking her into his bed.

“It’s fine.” Isabel smiled at him.

The food was delicious, and they enjoyed each other’s company. They talked about everything, and Isabel had one question that she wanted him to answer.

“Can I ask you something?” she asked him.

“Of course you can. What is on your mind?” Séb asked her.

“What made you change your mind about coming to Maile’s wedding?” Isabel asked him as she played with her food.

“When you left the ship, my friends and I were waiting for our cab to arrive. I noticed Gerald following you to the hotel, so I decided to cancel my appointment with my friends and go to the wedding.” Séb told her.

“But why? Gerald wouldn’t have done anything with all those people around.” Isabel explained to him.

“You are right about that, but he might have done something when you left the wedding. I couldn’t let him hurt you, Isabel. When I think about it, I did it for both of us.” Séb said.

“What do you mean?” Isabel wanted to know.

“If I could save you from Gerald, then it meant that I had the chance of becoming a man who had respect for women. It would also mean that it was possible for me to change. I know it sounds stupid, but that is the way I feel.” Séb told her truthfully.

“It doesn’t sound stupid and you have changed.” Isabel said with a smile.

“Yes, I have and it’s all because I met a beautiful, loving woman.” Séb smiled back.

Séb got up and walked over to his CD-player to turn on the music. He returned to the table and held out his hand to Isabel. She placed her hand in his, and he pulled her up before leading her to the center of the room.

Séb held her close as they danced to the music. Isabel inhaled his cologne and she closed her eyes and imagined what it would be like to make love to this wonderful man.

As he continued to hold her close, he had the same feeling as he did on the ship. Holding her in his arms and feeling her response to his touch, made him realize that his feelings for her were getting stronger.

When the song ended, he pulled away and walked over to the CD-player and turned it off. He excused himself and disappeared. She could hear him mumbling in French and even though her French was not good, she could tell that he was cursing. Isabel wondered what was going on, and just as she was about to go look for him, Séb returned to the dining room.

“Is everything ok?” Isabel asked him.

“Yes, everything is fine. I just couldn’t find this.” he said as he pulled out a small present and handed it to her.

Isabel took the present and opened it to find a box inside. She opened the small box and found a necklace inside. It was from the Love’s Embrace collection, and it was really beautiful.



“It’s really beautiful, but you didn’t have.” Séb put his finger on her lips to stop her from finishing the sentence.

“Don’t say it. It’s your birthday, and I wanted to give you something special. It’s called Love’s Embrace - You will always be surrounded by the strength of my love.” he told her as he took the necklace out of the box and reached around her neck to put it on her.

“Thank you. I love it.” Isabel looked at him.

“And I love you.” Séb said as he caressed her face.

Isabel looked at him with a smile. She had been waiting to hear those words for a long time.

“I love you too, Séb.” Isabel said as she looked at him.

He smiled at her as he held her hand. Without saying a word, he led her upstairs to his bedroom. As soon as they were in his room, he pulled her close and kissed her as his hands began to unzip her dress. When she didn’t try to stop him, he continued to pull the dress off her shoulders.

Séb’s hands continued to undress her, and Isabel was finally able to unbutton his shirt. She pulled it off his shoulders and threw it onto the floor. Isabel’s dress dropped to the floor, and she stepped out of it. After removing the last clothes, Séb picked her up in his arms and gently laid her down on the bed.

“Are you sure you want this?” he asked her.

“I am sure.” Isabel replied as she cupped his head in her hands and pulled his face closer to hers.

The kiss said everything there was to say. No words were needed as they made love until sleep finally caught up with them.

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PostSubject: Re: Falling Slowly   Sat Jun 16, 2012 1:56 pm

Chapter 20
*A Stalker*

Waking up in Séb’s arms was the best way for Isabel to wake up. Feeling his arm around her waist made her feel safe, and she didn’t want to be anywhere else. She watched him sleeping; watched his chest rise and fall with each breath.

Isabel closed her eyes and inhaled his scent before she cuddled up to him again. She felt Séb tighten his grip, pulling her closer to his body.

A few hours later, Isabel woke up to see Séb looking at her. He had a big smile on his face as he caressed her face.

“Good morning. Did you sleep well?” he asked her as his hand moved down to her shoulder.

“Yes, I did.” she smiled at him.

“Last night was amazing. We should do it again.” he said as he pulled her close.

Isabel loved being in his arms and the look on his face told her that it wasn’t time for breakfast yet. Séb placed a kiss on her nose before moving down to her lips. Isabel returned the kiss and soon after they were making love again.

After getting their breathing under control, Isabel got ready to leave the bed but Séb stopped her.

“Why don’t we just stay here all day?” he asked her as he held her hand.

“We can’t do that. I am hungry, and you’ve got a soundcheck this afternoon and a concert tonight. As much as I want to spend the day in bed with you, it’s not possible today. Now, get dressed and let’s get some breakfast.” Isabel told him.

“Since when did you become my boss?” he teased her by saying.

“Since Simon hired me as your tour manager.” she said with a smile.

Séb let out a sigh before getting out of bed. He walked into the bathroom and turned around to look at Isabel who was still in bed.

“Are you joining me?” he asked her.

“No, you are on your own. I will start breakfast while you take a shower.” Isabel told him.

“Well, that’s your loss.” Séb said as he wiggled his butt before closing the door to the bathroom.

For a few seconds Isabel wondered if she should join him in there, but she knew it would be a bad idea. She let out a sigh as she walked out of the bedroom.

After having his shower, Séb got dressed and walked downstairs to the kitchen where Isabel was busy making breakfast. Séb walked over to her and placed his arms around her waist.

“Smells good.” he whispered in her ear.

“Thanks. I think we should eat now or you will need a cold shower.” Isabel laughed.

Séb knew what she meant and let go of her. They sat down and enjoyed their breakfast.

----------------

At Simon’s place, Simon and Melinda were also having breakfast, and of course their conversation was about Séb and Isabel.

“I can’t believe she didn’t come home.” Simon said as he sipped his coffee.

“She is 32 years old, Simon. You can’t expect her to come home every night. I know you think of her as a daughter but she has to live her own life. You can see the change in Séb too, and we both know he would never hurt her.” Melinda told him.

“I know that, but I still worry about her.” Simon said.

Melinda smiled at him. Simon seemed like a tough guy but he had one weakness; Isabel. He wanted the best for her and it had been like that since she walked into his life 16 years ago.

Melinda was about to speak when the doorbell rang. She got up and walked into the hall. A few minutes later she returned to the kitchen, holding a large bouquet of roses in her arms.

“Is that flowers from your secret admirer?” Simon asked with a smile.

“No, these are for Isabel. Who would send her flowers?” Melinda asked.

“Maybe they are from Séb.” Simon said, even though he knew it wouldn’t make much sense.

“I don’t think so. Well, we will find out when Isabel gets here.” Melinda carried the flowers over to the sink and put them in a vase.

As Melinda and Simon finished their breakfast, someone was outside of the Cowell estate watching the house.

Unaware of what was going on at Simon’s house, Isabel and Séb were getting ready to leave Séb’s place. Séb was having lunch with the guys before the soundcheck, and Isabel would spend some time with the girls.

After dropping off Isabel, Séb drove off to meet the guys at Carlos’ place.

“Hi, I’m home.” Isabel said as she walked through the door.

“Well, looks like your dinner went well.” Melinda said with a smile.

“Whatever makes you say that?” Isabel asked.

“Well, you didn’t come home and you look very happy.” Melinda smiled at her.

“I am happy. We had dinner, then we danced and he gave me the necklace I’m wearing. He also told me that he loves me and we took our relationship to another level. Thank you for arranging the dinner” Isabel hugged her.

“You’re welcome. Sounds like you had a great birthday.” Melinda said.

“I did. It was the best birthday ever. Where is Simon?” Isabel wanted to know.

“I’m here but I’m on my way out. I have a meeting this morning but I need to talk to you this afternoon. I was thinking 4 pm.” Simon told her.

“Ok, I will be there.” Isabel said.

Simon kissed them goodbye and left.

“Why does he want a meeting with me?” Isabel turned towards Melinda.

“I don’t know. Maybe he wants to discuss the tour or something. Anyway, those flowers came for you.” Melinda pointed at the vase.

Isabel walked over to them and looked at the card attached. The moment she saw the handwriting on the envelope, she had a bad feeling in her stomach. She took a deep breath before opening the envelope, and she took out the card.

“Who are they from?” Melinda asked with concern in her voice. She could tell by Isabel’s reaction that it wasn’t good.

“They are from Gerald.” Isabel sat down.

“What does he want? And what does the card say?” Melinda wanted to know. Isabel handed her the card, and Melinda read what it said:

‘My dearest Isabel,

First I want to wish you a happy birthday. I hope you had a good one.

I also want to congratulate you on your new job. You know I have a lot of faith in you and I’m sure you’ll do a great job.

I hope you like the flowers.

I will see you very soon but until then, take care.

All my love,

Gerald’


After reading the card, Melinda looked at Isabel. She could see the despair in her eyes, and she hated it when Isabel was upset.

“Do you think he is here in London?” Melinda asked.

“He wrote that he would see me soon, so I guess he is around somewhere. I don’t need this now.” Isabel got up.

“I know. You just have to make sure that you’re around people all the time. He won’t try anything with a lot of people around.” Melinda said and joined Isabel by the window.

“You are right about that. I have to meet the girls for lunch. Will you be at the concert tonight?” Isabel looked at Melinda.

“We will be there. You go out and spend some time with the girls.” Melinda said and left.

As soon as she was gone, Melinda picked up the phone and called Simon.

-----------------

David and Urs were already at Carlos’ place when Séb walked in. He seemed really happy and the guys all looked at each other. They all had an idea why he was looking so happy.

“Did you have a nice evening?” Carlos wanted to know.

“I had a great evening, night and morning but a gentleman never tells.” Séb replied with a smile.

“You are right about that. Sounds like you are really serious about Isabel.” Carlos said to him.

“I am serious about her. She is the first woman I’ve ever loved. Yes, I was with Lindsey but I didn’t love her. Isabel makes me feel something I’ve never felt before.” Séb told his friends.

They never expected to hear Séb say something like that. It proved to them that he really had changed, and they were all happy for him.

“It’s good to hear you say that, Séb. Isabel is a special girl and if you ever hurt her, Simon will make your life miserable.” David said with a smile.

“I know that but I have no intention of hurting her.” Séb reassured his friends.

“Why don’t we go out for lunch instead of staying here? The girls are out too.” Carlos suggested. The guys looked at each other before nodding their heads in agreement.

They grabbed their jackets and left the house. It had been a while since they had been together like this, and maybe it was what they needed to become close again.

-----------------

The girls met in a local diner, and they were looking forward to having lunch.

“What is wrong, Isabel?” Mary asked when she noticed that Isabel seemed far away.

“It’s nothing. I was just thinking.” Isabel replied with a smile.

“You can’t fool us. Tell us what is wrong. Maybe we can help you.” Jewel said as she looked at the others.

“Ok. I came home this morning to find a large bouquet of roses waiting for me. I thought they might be from Séb but they weren’t. Remember the guy who punched Séb? He sent the flowers and he left a card too. He wanted to congratulate me and he told me that he would see me soon.” Isabel told them.

The girls looked at her with concern written all over their faces. Did she really say that Gerald was here in London?

“This is not good. Do you really think he is here?” Jewel asked her.

“Yes, I think he is. He may be watching me right now, or maybe he has paid someone to keep an eye on me. I don’t know, but I have a feeling that he is here.” Isabel let out a sigh.

“Did you tell Séb?” Mary asked as she took Isabel’s hand.

“No, he doesn’t know and I want to keep it that way. He has to focus on the concert, not me. If he knows that Gerald is around, he won’t be able to perform. I will tell him after the concert.” Isabel said.

“He won’t be happy to hear it. Do you think Gerald would be at the concert?” Jewel asked as the waiter brought them the food.

“Yes, I do. He won’t try anything with security and people around, but he will be there. I’ve worked with him for three years and I know what he is capable of.” Isabel told them.

“Well, we will inform security, and we will make sure that you are not alone tonight. Friends stick together, and you are our friend.” Mary squeezed her hand.

“Thanks girls. I have to meet Simon in a few hours, so let’s eat.” Isabel smiled at her friends.

The girls continued to talk over lunch, and they all went with Isabel to her meeting with Simon. There was no way they would leave her alone with Gerald around.

While Isabel and the girls were at Simon’s, the guys were at the venue preparing for the soundcheck. They were joking and they seemed more relaxed than the day before.

The girls arrived at the venue when the guys had finished the soundcheck. Larissa and Mary spoke to the head of security while Jewel stayed with Isabel.

“You don’t have to watch me all the time.” Isabel told Jewel while they were enjoying a cup of coffee.

“Yes, we do. You can’t be sure that he won’t try to hurt you.” Jewel said.

“I know him, and I know that he won’t do anything here. We don’t even know if he is here.” Isabel said to her.

“That’s true, but we are still not leaving you alone.” Jewel said as Mary and Larissa joined them.

“Security has been informed about the situation.” Larissa said.

“You didn’t have to do that. I will be fine.” Isabel tried to convince them, but the girls seemed determined to protect her.

“Divo girls stick together.” Larissa said with a smile.

“Everyone should have friends like you.” Isabel smiled back as the guys walked into the room.

The guys joined the girls for coffee before they had to get ready for the concert. They were laughing and talking, and they had no idea that the evening would hold a few surprises.

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PostSubject: Re: Falling Slowly   Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:21 pm

Chapter 21
*Visits from the past*

As the guys were getting ready for the concert, the girls met with Simon and Melinda. It was obvious that Isabel was nervous but she had friends and family around to protect her.

“If he is here, then he won’t get near you. Security has been informed and they will make sure that he doesn’t come near you.” Simon said to her.

“How will they know what he looks like?” Isabel asked him.

“Well, I have my sources and you just have to trust me on this.” Simon smiled at her as he took her hand.

“I do trust you.” Isabel kissed his cheek.

“We should find our seats.” Melinda looked at her watch.

They found their seats and waited for the concert to begin. It wasn’t easy for Isabel to relax but she had to try. If Séb knew that something was up, he wouldn’t be able to give his best and she didn’t want to be the woman who was responsible for the guys giving a bad performance.

As soon as their voices filled the venue, Isabel was able to relax. The guys were amazing as always and it was easy to see that they enjoyed being on stage together.

Simon couldn’t help but feel proud as he watched them perform. They got along on stage as promised and he couldn’t hide that he was happy about them performing as a group.

He looked at Isabel and he knew that she was one of the reasons why the group was doing so great. If she hadn’t walked into Séb’s life and showed him how to be a good man, Il Divo wouldn’t have been standing in front of him performing.

A smile appeared on his face as the thought of the letter in his pocket. He couldn’t wait to share his info with the guys after the concert, and he hoped they would like his surprise.

While the guys were on stage, the security guards were arguing with a man at the entrance.

“I’m sorry, but we can’t let you in.” one of the guards said as he blocked the door.

“Listen to me. You have no right to do that. I have a ticket, and my girlfriend is in there.” the man told him with anger in his voice.

“I’m sorry, but there is nothing I can do. I have orders not to let you in.” the guard told him.

“I demand that you let me pass.” the man said to the guard.

“You are in no position to make demands. I suggest you leave.” the guard was getting annoyed.

“I won’t leave. I want to see my girlfriend.” the man wasn’t going to give up.

“If you don’t leave now, we will have to remove you by force.” the guard said before calling for back-up.

“I’m leaving, but I will be back.” the man said before walking away.

After almost 2 hours with a few mistakes, a few jokes and lots of singing, it was time for the guys to end another successful concert.

“As much as we would like to continue, it’s time for us to say goodbye. You have been a great audience, and we hope to see you again.” David said.

The guys performed the last song before leaving the stage to standing ovations. As usual the audience wanted more and after the usual two extra songs, the concert came to an end.

The girls, Simon and Melinda stayed in their seats as people walked outside.

“Let’s go see the guys.” Larissa suggested.

“You do that. Melinda and I will be at the café next door. We will see you there.” Simon told them.

As soon as the girls were gone, Simon and Melinda picked up their coats before going towards the exit.

Isabel was standing in front of Séb’s dressing room. It was time for her to tell him about Gerald, and she knew he wouldn’t like it. She took a deep breath before knocking on the door.

Séb opened the door and let her in. He could see that something was wrong and he had a bad feeling in his stomach.

“We need to talk.” Isabel told Séb as she looked at him.

“Babe, please don’t use those words.” Séb looked at her.

“I’m not dumping you if that’s what you are afraid of.” Isabel walked over to him.

“Glad to hear that. What’s wrong?” he asked as he took her hands in his.

Isabel told him about the flowers and the card from Gerald. As she spoke, Séb felt his blood boiling.

“Is he here?” Séb wanted to know.

“I don’t know. He might be. Simon has informed the security guards and told them not to let him in.” she told him.

“Why is he here? What does he want?” Séb asked as he held Isabel close.

“I can think of two reasons. Either he wants me, or he thinks that I’m the one who got him fired and wants to get back at me.” Isabel replied.

“I won’t let him hurt you. You have the Divo family to protect you.” Séb looked at her.

“I know that. Now, get dressed and let’s get out of here.” Isabel kissed him and left.

As soon as she was gone, Séb finished getting dressed. He left the dressing room with a strange feeling. Something told him there would be problems but he hoped that he was wrong.

Meanwhile Simon and Melinda walked towards the exit and they could hear the security guards argue with a man.

“You!” Simon said as he noticed the man.

“Yes, it’s me. I wanted to see Il Divo but these two baboons told me that I couldn’t. I assume you had something to do with that.” Gerald said.

“Of course I did. I had a feeling you would show your face here, and I wanted to keep you away from my niece.” Simon told him.

“You can’t stop me from seeing Isabel.” Gerald tried to make Simon angry.

“Isabel is my niece and I will do whatever I can to keep her away from you. She is happy and being with you will only make her unhappy. Now, get out of my sight.” Simon told Gerald.

“I will get my revenge, Simon. I lost my job because of her and she will pay for that.” Gerald said.

“If you hurt her, I will make your life a living hell. You can count on that.” Simon was angry.

“Bring it on. You don’t scare me.” Gerald said with a smile.

Suddenly Gerald stopped smiling, and Simon turned around to see Isabel and Séb walking towards them. They were holding hands and Gerald felt his blood boiling.

“Isabel.” he called out.

Isabel looked up and saw Gerald by the door. She couldn’t believe that he was there at the venue. She looked at Séb and he had anger written all over his face.

“What are you doing here?” Isabel asked him.

“I came to see you, baby. You know how I feel about you. He doesn’t love you. He is a playboy and it will only be a matter of time before he cheats on you. I would never cheat on you.” Gerald told her.

“Séb loves me. You don’t know what love is.” Isabel told him.

“I do know what love is and if you come with me, I will show you.” Gerald said with a smile.

“Gentlemen, please get this thing out of my sight.” Simon told the guards.

As the guards escorted Gerald away from the venue, the other guys arrived.

“Who was that?” David asked.

“That was the man who punched Séb in Hawaii.” Isabel told him.

“I suggest we go to the café and get something to eat and drink. We’ve had enough excitement for one day.” Simon said.

They all went to the café where another surprise was waiting for them.

--- At the café ---

“Did you enjoy the concert, sweetheart?” Peter Rice asked his girlfriend.

“Yes, I did. The guys are getting better all the time. Thank you for taking me here.” she smiled at him.

“You’re welcome. I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea with everything you’ve been through.” Peter said as he held her hand.

“That is all in the past. You are my future.” she kissed his cheek.

“Let’s get out of here.” Peter suggested.

Just as they were about to get up, the doors opened and Simon walked in. After him came Melinda, Isabel, the girls and the Divos.

“Are you ok, sweetheart?” Peter asked his girlfriend.

“I think so. I want to say hello to them.” she told him.

“Are you sure about this?” he asked with concern in his voice.

“Yes, I am sure. They are my friends, or they used to be. It means a lot to me.” she told him.

“If it’s what you really want, then I won’t stand in your way.” Peter kissed her.

She smiled at him as they walked over to Simon’s table.

“Hi everyone.” she said with a smile.

They all looked up and they couldn’t believe it.

“What are you doing here, Lindsey?” David asked as he got up and hugged her.

When Isabel heard the name Lindsey, she knew it was Séb’s ex. She looked at Séb but he was staring at the floor.

“Peter invited me to the concert, and I couldn’t say no.” Lindsey replied.

“It’s so good to see you again. You look amazing.” Mary hugged her.

“Thank you. I want you to meet Peter Rice. He was part of my therapy group and he has helped me a lot. And now we are dating.” Lindsey smiled.

“Can I talk to you?” Séb asked Lindsey.

“Sure.” Lindsey said to him.

As they left the table, Peter sat down and talked to the others.

“What’s on your mind, Séb?” Lindsey wanted to know.

“I just wanted to say that I’m sorry for what I did.” Séb told her.

Lindsey could tell that he really did mean it, and even though she would never forgive him for what he did, she didn’t want to stay angry at him. Life was too short for that, and she had moved on with her life.

“Apology accepted. Who is she?” Lindsey asked him as she noticed Isabel looking at them.

“Isabel is my girlfriend. She is Simon’s niece and we met on a cruise.” Séb replied with a smile.

Lindsey noticed there were sparkles in his eyes as he spoke of Isabel.

“You really love her, don’t you?” Lindsey asked him.

“Yes, I do. She is special to me.” Séb replied.

“Peter is special to me too. He has really been a great help.” Lindsey said with a smile.
“I’m happy for you, Lindsey. You deserve to be happy.” Séb said.

“Thanks, Séb. Let’s go back to the others.” Lindsey suggested.

They walked back to the table and sat down. Séb put his arm around Isabel and kissed her cheek. She felt a bit uncomfortable sitting there listening to them talk.

“Are you ok?” Séb whispered in her ear.

“I’m fine.” she replied even though it wasn’t true. She wanted to get out of there but with Gerald around, it would be safer for her to stay with her friends.

Lindsey and Peter spent about 10 minutes with the guys before they said goodbye and left.

“Before we go our separate ways, I want to ask all of you to come to my house tomorrow at 10 am. I have some news to share with you.” Simon told them.

The guys all agreed before saying goodbye and going their separate ways. As they drove home, they all wondered what Simon was up to. They couldn’t wait to find out.

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PostSubject: Re: Falling Slowly   Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:22 pm

Chapter 22
*Getting Closer*

It was about 4 am when Isabel woke up. The only sound in the room was Séb’s snoring, and it made her smile. He looked so peaceful as he was lying there. After getting out of bed, Isabel walked towards the bathroom and took care of her business before returning to her room. She walked over to the window and watched the moonlight. The moon was full, and it reflected in the small pond below her window. As Isabel was standing there, her mind drifted back to the events of the evening.

Getting the flowers and the card from Gerald was bad enough, but seeing him in person had been like hell. She couldn’t understand why he was so obsessed with her. If he loved her as much as he said, then why was he trying to ruin her life?

She wondered if he would be following them on tour, or if he would do something to stop her from going on tour with the guys. A part of her wished that she had never set foot on that ship in the first place. Her life would have been a lot easier, but she would have missed out on a lot of great experiences. With a sigh she walked back to bed and slipped back into Séb’s arms. It was the safest place she could think of at that moment.

Séb was still sleeping when Isabel woke up later. He wasn’t snoring anymore, but he was mumbling in his sleep. She couldn’t make out what he was saying, but it made her smile. Isabel looked at him as she let her fingers wander up his arm and then across his chest. Séb began to stir, and Isabel stopped what she was doing.

“Don’t stop.” Séb whispered to her.

Feeling Isabel’s fingers on his body was driving him crazy, and he knew it would only be a matter of time before he would have to release the desire building up inside of him. He closed his eyes as Isabel’s hand continued to explore his body, and Isabel loved the effect her touch had on him.

Suddenly, without saying a word, Séb flipped her over on her back and began kissing her deeply. He had reached the point where he had to let his desire be known. Isabel could hardly breathe as Séb pressed his lips on hers. After everything that had happened with Gerald the evening before, Séb wanted to show Isabel that he loved her.

An hour of passionate love making later, Séb rose to shower as Isabel lay in bed. When Séb came out of the bathroom, Isabel took her turn in the shower. After getting dressed they walked downstairs for breakfast.

Melinda and Simon were talking when Isabel and Séb entered the kitchen. Séb didn’t let go of Isabel as he poured coffee for both of them. Melinda and Simon both knew that Isabel was thinking about Gerald even though she hadn’t said anything. They could see the concern in Séb’s eyes when he looked at Isabel, and Simon knew that he had to do something about Gerald before the guys went on tour.

“Did you sleep well?” Melinda asked as Isabel and Séb joined them at the table.

“Séb slept like a baby, but I didn’t sleep much. I had a dream about Gerald.” Isabel let out a sigh.

“You shouldn’t let him get to you like that. The man doesn’t know the meaning of the word love.” Séb said as he looked at Isabel.

Simon looked at Séb as he said those words. Did Sébastien just say what he thought he did? Séb looked at Simon and knew what he was thinking. Simon was right. Who was he to talk about feelings and love? He had spent most of his adult life sleeping with every woman who wanted him, and here he was talking about love. When you thought about it, it was actually funny.

“You are right about that. If he loved Isabel, he would let her be happy. Unfortunately he is obsessed with Isabel, and I don’t think he even knows what he is doing to her.” Simon said to Séb.

“I am in the room you know. No need to talk about me like I wasn’t here.” Isabel told them.

“Sorry, sweetheart.” Simon said as there was a knock on the door.

“I will get it.” Isabel got up and walked to the door.

The person standing on the other side was not someone she wanted to talk to. Gerald had a big smile on his face and he held a single red rose in his hand. Isabel closed the door in his face and walked back to the kitchen.

“Who was it?” Melinda asked her.

“A sales person.” Isabel excused herself and disappeared.

“That was no sales person. That was Gerald! You have to do something about that guy, Simon.” Séb said as he poured coffee into the mugs in front of him.

“I know, and I am working on it. Give me time.” Simon told him.

Séb grabbed his and Isabel’s coffee mugs and left the kitchen without saying anything. He found Isabel sitting by the pool, and Séb sat down next to her. She smiled at him as he handed her the coffee, but it was obvious that the smile wasn’t real.

They sat there without saying anything. Séb wanted to say something but what could he say to make her feel better? He had promised that Gerald would never hurt her, but was he able to keep that promise? As he sat there looking at Isabel staring into the air, he thought back to their time on the ship. She had the same look on her face as back then, and he couldn’t stand to see her like that.

“Why me? There were 500 female crew members on that ship, so why did he pick me? I am just an ordinary girl. I’m not pretty or special in any way, so why?” Isabel asked as she played with the mug in her hand.

“If he picked you out of 500 females, then you are special. As for not being pretty, I have to agree with you on that. You are not pretty, you are beautiful, and I love everything about you. If Gerald does love you, then I can’t really blame him. I would have been even more surprised if he wasn’t in love with you.” Séb said as he took her hand in his.

“But you didn’t fall in love with me the first time you saw me.” Isabel said to him as her fingers entwined with his.

“Actually, I think I did. Only problem was that I had no idea what love felt like. Love was just a word, not a feeling.” Séb smiled as he moved his head closer to hers.

As his lips made contact with hers, there was a knock on the door. Isabel froze in place but let out a sigh of relieve when she heard David’s voice. Shortly after, they could hear the other guys too, and they got up and walked inside where they greeted their friends.

When Belle saw Isabel, she instantly reached her arms out to her. Jewel smiled at Isabel as she took Belle in her arms. Séb watched Isabel and Belle playing, and he felt guilty about not having any feelings for the baby. In his eyes, she was a mistake. She was the result of one night’s passion between two strangers.

“Let’s go into the dining room.” Simon told his guests.

They all followed him into the dining room and took a seat. After getting something to drink, it was time for Simon to reveal his surprise. He hoped the guys would be pleased about his surprise, especially after everything that had been going on with Il Divo.

“You guys have been nominated for an award, and this event will take place in London after the concert in Paris. It means that you have to spend a few days in London before going to Madrid.” Simon told them.

“An award? What kind of award?” Urs asked him.

“Group of the Year.” Simon said with a smile.

“Not bad! Will we be performing?” Carlos wanted to know.

“No, you won’t be performing. We will have dinner, then the award show will take place and after that, we go to Madrid.” Simon replied.

“Why wasn’t I informed of this? I am the tour manager.” Isabel told him.

“This won’t interfere with the tour. That is why I didn’t tell you.” Simon told her with a smile.

“Ok, then I won’t say another word.” Isabel said.

“Good. If you don’t mind, I would like to talk to the guys alone.” Simon said to the girls.

The girls left the dining room and walked into the garden. They talked about the award show, and they all agreed that new dresses were a must. A shopping trip was needed, but they chose to wait until they came to Paris.

In the dining room, Simon informed the guys of Gerald’s visit earlier that morning. He needed their input on what to do about Gerald. A full time bodyguard was an option, but Simon didn’t want that. There had to be another way to keep him away from Isabel. If anything happened to Isabel, Simon would never forgive himself.

Carlos, David and Urs came up with a few ideas, but Séb didn’t say anything. He had a few ideas, but the other guys wouldn’t like his ideas. If it had been up to him, he would make sure that Gerald never showed his face anywhere again.

Half an hour later, the guys and their partners left the house. They went back to their own homes to relax. Isabel was in her room packing as she would be staying at Séb’s place until they had to leave for Sweden.

While Isabel was packing, Simon was checking the grounds to make sure that Gerald was not around. He returned to the house and told Séb that there was no sign of Gerald.

As soon as Isabel had finished packing, she said goodbye to Melinda and Simon before getting into the car with Séb. They drove off, and Isabel couldn’t wait to spend some time with Séb at his place. She loved her aunt and uncle, but sometimes they worried too much. Séb stopped the car and got out before he helped Isabel out.

They walked to the door hand in hand, and Séb opened the door and let Isabel walk in first. He turned and looked out into the streets before closing the door behind them. Isabel took off her coat while Séb locked the door.

“Are you ok?” he asked as he pulled her close.

“Yes, but I’m a little tired.” Isabel kissed his cheek.

“Go get some sleep, and I will write some songs. I will wake you up when lunch is ready.” Séb smiled at her.

Isabel grabbed her bag and walked upstairs to his bedroom. She changed into her night gown and climbed into bed. It didn’t take her long to drift off to sleep.

Séb was downstairs writing songs while Isabel was upstairs sleeping. He was trying to focus on the songs, but he couldn’t as long as Isabel was upstairs in his bed. Séb got up and walked upstairs to his bedroom. He slowly opened the door and watched Isabel sleeping so peacefully. After closing the door, he pulled off his shoes and walked over to the bed. He laid down next to Isabel and looked at her. When he removed a strand of hair from her forehead, she turned and snuggled up to him. Holding her close, Séb drifted off to sleep too.

It was almost dinner time when Séb woke up. Isabel was still sleeping and Séb didn’t have the heart to wake her up. He slowly got out of bed and went downstairs to make dinner. Isabel woke up shortly after, and she put on one of Séb’s bathrobes before going downstairs. As she was walking down the stairs, she could hear Séb singing in the kitchen.

She walked into the kitchen and watched him closely. He was so into cooking and singing that he didn’t notice her standing there. Isabel walked over to him and put her arms around his waist. He turned around and smiled at her.

“Did you sleep well?” he asked her.

“Yes, I did. I really needed that but now I am starving.” she replied.

“Good. Dinner is ready, so let’s eat.” Séb said with a smile.

They walked into the living room and sat down. Séb turned on the music and they enjoyed a nice dinner together. After dinner, Séb cleaned up the kitchen before joining Isabel on the couch. He handed her a cup of coffee before turning on the TV. As they sat there watching TV, Isabel snuggled up to Séb.

After watching TV for a few hours, Séb turned off the TV and pulled Isabel up. He turned out the lights and they walked upstairs to the bedroom. After getting into bed, Séb pulled Isabel close and they drifted off to sleep, content in their own private world.

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PostSubject: Re: Falling Slowly   Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:24 pm

Chapter 23
*Unpredictable*

Over the next few days, the couples were preparing for the trip to Sweden. Gerald hadn’t shown his face, but Séb had a feeling that he was still around somewhere. The man was like weeds; no matter what you did, he would return.

It was still a mystery to Séb how Gerald had managed to get through the gates to Simon’s house. Simon couldn’t understand it either and he had a serious talk with his security guards. After talking to them, he found out that Gerald had paid off one of them to let him pass. Simon fired him on the spot, and he made it very clear that he would do the same to anyone who pulled the same stunt.

---- Carlos & Larissa ----

At the Marin home, Larissa was preparing dinner for her and Carlos. She had just returned home after an interesting meeting with her doctor. The doctor had confirmed what she suspected, and she couldn’t wait to tell Carlos her little secret. They hadn’t talked about it, but she knew he would be thrilled.

A big smile appeared on her face when she heard the door open, and she could feel her heart beating a lot faster as his footsteps came closer. Carlos walked over to her and put his arms around her as he kissed her neck.

“Did you miss me?” he asked.

“Of course I did.” Larissa turned around and kissed him.

“Food smells good.” he said as he let go of her.

“Glad you think so. Do you want to freshen up before we eat?” Larissa asked with a smile.

“Good idea. I will be back.” he kissed her before leaving the kitchen.

While Carlos was upstairs, Larissa made sure that everything was ready for her big surprise. She turned off the stove and brought the food to the table. As soon as Carlos returned, they sat down and enjoyed their private dinner.

Larissa was waiting for the right time to tell Carlos the big surprise she had for him. Carlos was about to clear the table, when Larissa took his hand.

“We need to talk, Carlos.” Larissa said with a smile.

“About what?” he asked.

Larissa put his hand on her stomach and smiled at him. She didn’t have to say anything. Carlos knew what she meant and a big smile appeared on his face. Without saying anything he got up and pulled her into his arms.

“You’ve just made me the happiest man in the world. How about we go upstairs and celebrate it?” he said as he wiggled his eyebrows.

“Lead the way.” Larissa smiled at him.

Carlos didn’t need to hear those words twice. He took Larissa’s hand and led her upstairs to the bedroom to celebrate the result of their love.

---- David & Mary ----

In the Miller household, Mary was watching David playing a game on the playstation. It had been his turn to make dinner, but she had told him that she would take care of it. Dinner was now ready to be served, but she hated interrupting him when he was playing.

She walked over to him and sat down next to him. He was so into his game that he didn’t even notice her there. It was a mystery to her how he could get so involved in these games, but he loved his games and she didn’t want to ruin his excitement.

“Dinner is on the table, Miller.” Mary whispered in his ear.

“Just give me two more minutes and I am all yours.” David said to her.

Mary shook her head as she got up and left the living room. She wasn’t sure if he had actually heard what she said, but that was his problem. Mary sat down at the table and started eating. A few minutes later, David made his appearance at the table. He flashed his smile at her, but she ignored him. David knew he had to make it up to her later.

---- Jewel & Urs ----

In the Buhler home, Jewel was upstairs in the nursery with Belle. Urs was doing the dishes, and he had planned on a romantic evening as soon as Belle was sleeping. He had just finished putting the dishes away when Jewel walked into the kitchen.

“Is she sleeping?” Urs asked as he walked over to Jewel.

“Yes, she is. She fell asleep right away.” Jewel told him with a smile.

Urs pulled her close to him and kissed her deeply. He pulled away and took her hand before leading her into the living room. Jewel didn’t know what to expect because Urs had told her not to go in there. She was moved to tears when she saw the living room.

In front of the fireplace there was a white rug covered in rose petals. To the right there was a bowl of strawberries and a bottle of non-alcoholic champagne. The only light in the room was the fireplace and the candles on the table.

“You didn’t have to do this.” Jewel looked at him.

“I know, but I wanted to spend a romantic night with you.” Urs led her over to the rug.

After sitting down, Urs poured two glasses of champagne before handing one to Jewel. Jewel smiled at him as she took the glass. Urs sat down next to her on the rug, and they looked at each other. Urs picked up a strawberry and put it in Jewel’s mouth before moving his head closer to hers. As they were kissing, Jewel ran her fingers through his hair before moving her hands down to his chest.

Urs felt a burning desire to make love to Jewel, and it didn’t take long for both of them to get undressed. They made love slowly in front of the fireplace, and Urs took her to a place she had never been before. As the fire was dying, Urs and Jewel drifted off to sleep in each other’s arms.

---- Isabel & Séb ----

Over at Séb’s place, Isabel was staring out of the window. She had a strange feeling about Gerald being in the area. It could just be her imagination, but she wouldn’t be surprised if he made an appearance. She let out a sigh before heading over to the couch and laid down, snuggled up to a pillow.

“Still thinking about Gerald?” Séb suddenly asked her.

“How can I not? He somehow managed to get through the gates to uncle Simon’s house, and we can’t be sure that he didn’t follow us here.” Isabel replied without looking at him.

“You’re right about that. We can’t be sure, but he won’t get through my door. I promise you that. I will do whatever I can to stop him, even if I put myself in jeopardy.” he said as he sat down next to her.

“I don’t want you or the other guys to put yourselves in jeopardy to protect me. Gerald is my problem.” Isabel told him.

“Wrong! Gerald is not your problem, he is OUR problem.” Séb raised his voice.

“Did you just raise your voice at me?” Isabel was stunned.

“I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to do that.” Séb reached for her hand but she pulled away.

“Forget it. I’m going to bed. Goodnight.” Isabel said and left.

As Séb watched her leave he wondered what had just happened. Yes, he knew that he had raised his voice at her but she was overreacting. He made sure the door was securely locked before turning out the lights. As he walked upstairs, he wondered what to say to Isabel.

Isabel was standing by the open window, looking out into the night. She felt bad about walking out on Séb like that, and she knew that she had been overreacting. This whole thing with Gerald was really getting to her, and she didn’t feel like Séb understood just how she felt. As she stood there watching the moon, she heard the bedroom door open. Séb closed the door behind him before walking over to Isabel.

“I’m sorry for raising my voice.” he whispered in her ear as he put his arms around her.

“It’s ok. I’m sorry for overreacting.” Isabel turned around, still locked in his embrace.

“Well, you overreacted and I shouldn’t have raised my voice. Isabel, the truth is that I’m afraid of losing you. I’ve never loved anyone the way I love you, and knowing that some creep might try to take you away scares me.” Séb told her.

“You won’t lose me to him.” Isabel touched his cheek.

“I know you won’t leave me for him, but he might try to hurt you. I won’t let that happen. We are in this together.” Séb kissed her hand.

“Yes, we are. I don’t know about you but I’m exhausted.” Isabel said with a smile.

Séb smiled as he took her hand and led her over to the bed. After getting undressed, they settled under the covers and fell asleep, wrapped in each other’s arms.

---- Heathrow Airport ----

Heathrow Airport was busy as always when the Divos and their partners were leaving for Sweden. As usual they were met by some fans who wanted autographs and pictures. Séb hadn’t told the fans that he was in a relationship with Isabel, and he received a few notes with phone numbers. He knew that Jewel still didn’t trust him, and he could feel her eyes watching his every move.

“You don’t have to watch me, Jewel. I have no intention of using the numbers.” Séb said as he threw the notes into the nearest trash can.

“I know that. You love Isabel, but I think maybe it’s time for you to share that with your fans.” Jewel told him.

Séb looked at her without saying anything. She was right. He had admitted to himself and his friends that he loved Isabel, and it was time for him to tell the fans. Séb decided to make it official as soon as possible, and he couldn’t wait to tell the world that he was in a serious relationship with Isabel.

Isabel was talking to a man about the luggage. She had to make sure that everything went as planned. If the luggage didn’t make it to the destination, it would mean that the guys would not have their suits for the concerts. Sometimes the job was challenging but she loved every minute of it.

As the guys were getting ready to check in, Isabel joined them. She got in line behind Jewel because she felt it was for the best. As long as Séb hadn’t gone public about their relationship, she thought it was for the best to keep some distance. She knew Séb would do it when he was ready, and she couldn’t wait until they could show how they felt in public.

After checking in, they picked up their bags and walked towards security check. There had been no sign of Gerald since that day at Simon’s house, and Isabel hoped that she had seen the last of him. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. As she was about to go through security check, she heard a familiar voice.

“Isabel!” Gerald’s voice sounded through the air.

“This is not happening. What are you doing here?” Isabel asked him with anger in her voice.

“Can I just talk to you for a few minutes? It’s really important.” Gerald looked at her.

“Two minutes.” She said and walked over to him.

As she was talking to Gerald, Séb and the others were watching them closely. They were ready to move in if he tried anything. After a few minutes with Gerald, Isabel returned to the guys with a strange look on her face. They all wanted to know what was going on, but this was not the time or the place to talk about it.

After getting through security, they were shown into a special VIP lounge where they would be alone until it was time to board the plane. Isabel knew that they were waiting to hear what Gerald wanted from her, and she decided to tell them.

“Now that we are alone, I think I should tell you what Gerald had to say. He actually said goodbye.” Isabel told them.

“Would you care to explain that?” Jewel asked.

“Gerald said goodbye. He apologized for everything he had done to me, and he said that he would never bother me again. It seems like he finally understands that I’m happy with Séb and that I would never feel anything for him. He is going back to San Francisco.” Isabel explained.

“That sounds too good to be true.” Séb told her.

“I know, but he really seemed like he meant it.” Isabel said as she looked at him.

“Well, I don’t trust him. I don’t think we have seen the last of him.” Séb said as he looked at the guys.

“I’m with Séb on this one. The guy is trouble, and he will show up again. Maybe not right away, but he will be back.” David said.

Isabel didn’t trust Gerald either, but if she had a chance to enjoy being with her friends without worrying about Gerald, then she was happy. If he ever returned, he would be in serious trouble. She had her friends and family to protect her, and they would make sure that he never got close to her.

Their meeting was interrupted by a young woman who informed them it was time to board the plane. They picked up their belongings and left the lounge. Jewel, Urs and Belle took the lead, Séb walked with David and Mary, and Isabel walked with Carlos and Larissa. As they walked to the gate, Isabel watched the other couples holding hands.

At one point Séb turned around and looked at Isabel. Even though she hadn’t said anything, he knew what she was thinking. He wanted nothing more than show how he felt in public, and without thinking too much about it, he reached for her hand. As their fingers entwined, the other couples looked at each other. They knew that nothing would ever get between Séb and Isabel, and they were all proud of Séb. He had almost reached the end of his journey, but one thing was still missing.

As the Divos and their partners were boarding their plane to Sweden, Gerald was getting ready to board the plane to San Francisco. He felt good about what he had done, and a smile appeared on his face as he found his seat. As he looked out of the window, he knew that he had done the right thing. Maybe Isabel didn’t trust him, but he couldn’t blame her. As the plane took off, Gerald closed his eyes with a smile on his face.

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PostSubject: Re: Falling Slowly   Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:26 pm

Chapter 24
*Misunderstanding*

The Divos and their partners had arrived safely in Sweden, and they couldn’t wait to get to the hotel and relax. As they were waiting for their luggage to be delivered, they were met by fans who wanted pictures and autographs. Isabel noticed one woman who seemed very interested in Séb, and the woman tried very hard to get close to Séb. When the woman finally reached him, she hugged him and squeezed his butt. The scene was too much for Isabel to look at, and she asked Urs to take her luggage because she had to get out of there. Urs looked at Jewel without saying anything, but she knew what he meant. She smiled at him before walking after Isabel.

“That must have been hard for you to watch.” Jewel said as she took a seat next to Isabel.

“It was. I don’t mind the fans having pictures taken or getting autographs, but that was just too much for me. I wanted to tell her to keep her hands off him, but I don’t have any right to say that.” Isabel looked at Jewel.

“You have every right to say that, Isabel. You’re his girlfriend.” Jewel pointed out.

“Am I?” Isabel asked her.

“Of course you are. What is wrong with you, Isabel?” Jewel was getting worried.

“I’m tired of only being his girlfriend in private. I want to show the whole world that I love him, but I can’t do that.” Isabel confessed.

“Oh, I see. Well, he took the first step in Heathrow when he held your hand. But I understand what you’re saying. You want him to tell the fans that you two are involved?” Jewel asked.

“Yes, I do. You think I am weird, don’t you?” Isabel asked her.

“No, I don’t think you are weird. You are a woman in love.” Jewel smiled at her.

Shortly after the others arrived with the luggage and Isabel led the way out of the airport. Jewel informed Urs of her conversation with Isabel, and Urs knew they had to talk to Séb about this soon. Carlos, Larissa, Jewel, Urs and Belle got into the first car and the others got into the second car. As they drove to the hotel there was a strange silence in the second car. Isabel kept staring out of the window, and she didn’t even react when Séb took her hand in his.

“Are you ok, Isabel?” he whispered in her ear.

“I’m fine. Just tired.” she said without looking at him.

Séb knew that something was wrong but it was obvious that Isabel didn’t want to talk about it with David and Mary in the car. They could talk about it when they were alone in their suite. He had a romantic night planned for them, and he hoped that whatever was bothering Isabel wouldn’t ruin his plans. Séb had no idea that Isabel had witnessed the scene at the airport, and he didn’t know that a surprise was waiting for him at the hotel.

Isabel was the first to get out of the car when they arrived at the hotel. She had to check all of them into the hotel, and she wanted to get it over with as soon as possible. The others walked into the lobby while Isabel was talking to the girl at the reception. After getting everything settled, Isabel walked over to the guys to give them their keycard and their breakfast cards.

“Ok, let’s see. Mary and David will be staying in 202, Urs and Jewel in 204, Carlos and Larissa in 206, and Séb in 208.” Isabel handed them the cards.

“What about you?” Séb was a bit confused about the arrangements.

“I have my own room. Dinner is served at 7 pm, so I will see you then.” Isabel said as she picked up her bag and left.

“What is going on with her? I thought we would be sharing a room.” Séb said to his friends.

“We will go upstairs to our rooms, and you guys can talk to Séb. I think it’s time for him to decide what he wants.” Jewel said as she looked at the other girls.

As soon as the girls were gone, the guys walked into the bar and ordered something to drink. After getting their drinks they found a table and sat down. David, Urs and Carlos looked at each other, wondering who should tell Séb why Isabel was acting like that. The silence was getting annoying and Séb wanted answers. His girlfriend was mad at him for some reason, but he had no idea why.

“Ok, who wants to go first?” Séb asked them.

“I don’t know where to start. Well, Isabel witnessed the scene at the airport.” Urs told him.

“Oh, that’s not good. You guys know that nothing happened. Should I have pushed her away? How would that look? I can just see the headlines.” Séb said to them.

“Well, you are right about that. Who was she?” Urs asked him.

“Apparently I spent a night with her a long time ago. It seems like these women keep coming back, and I don’t know how to stop them.” Séb replied as he looked down at the table.

“Well, maybe we have the answer to that. Tell our fans that you are in a serious relationship with Isabel. She doesn’t want to stay in a room with you as long as you haven’t gone public about you two.” Carlos said to him.

“Is that what this is all about? No problem. I will make an announcement later tonight or tomorrow before or at the concert. I think I have to talk to my girlfriend. See you at dinner.” Séb left the bar and walked over to the reception.

“Can I help you?” the woman at the reception asked him.

“What room is Isabel Carrington in?” Séb asked her.

“I’m sorry, but I’ve been instructed not to give out that information.” She said to him.

“I don’t believe this.” Séb turned and walked back to the guys.

“I thought you were going to talk to Isabel?” David said to him.

“Well, I tried but the girl at the reception didn’t want to tell me which room she was in.” Séb let out a sigh.

“What? I will handle this.” David said and walked over to the reception.

“Can I do something for you?” the woman asked him.

“Yes, you can tell me which room Isabel Carrington is in.” David flashed his smile at her.

“As I told you friend, I can’t give you that information.” the woman said.

“Listen to me, please. Isabel is his girlfriend, and they are having a few problems. It’s really important.” David said.

“I can’t tell you but I can write it down.” She wrote something on a piece of paper and handed it to him.

“Thank you.” David smiled at her as he took the paper.

“Did you get it?” Séb asked as David walked into the bar.

“Room 201.” David sat down at the table.

“I owe you big time. Thanks David!” Séb said and left the bar.

Séb walked over to the elevator and pushed the button. As he waited for the elevator to arrive, thoughts were running through his head. He wasn’t sure of what to tell her, and maybe she didn’t even want to talk to him. When the doors opened, he stepped inside and once again his head was filled with thoughts. He wasn’t sure if he should post a message on the OF later that day or wait until the concert to go public about him and Isabel. As the doors opened, he took a deep breath before walking over to Isabel’s room and knocked on the door.

“Who is it?” Isabel’s voice sounded through the door.

“It’s me, Séb.” He told her, hoping she wouldn’t get mad.

“How did you know where I was? I told the girl at the reception desk not to tell anyone.” Isabel was upset.

“Well, she couldn’t resist David’s smile. Open the door, please. We need to talk.” Séb told her.

Isabel knew they needed to talk and she knew that she might be overreacting, but she felt like Séb was embarrassed about her since he apparently didn’t want to tell his fans and the world about her. She didn’t know where this feeling came from but it wasn’t a nice feeling. The tour had just started, and being their tour manager meant that she couldn’t avoid seeing him. They had to work this out now, or she would have to quit her job. That was something she didn’t want to do.

Isabel unlocked the door and took a deep breath before opening it. Séb was standing in front of her with a sad look on his face. She stepped aside and let him in, closing the door behind him. Séb walked over to the couch and sat down without saying anything. He looked at Isabel as she walked over to him and sat down next to him. Both of them sat there in silence, waiting for the other person to speak. Séb knew that he had to start this conversation as he was the reason for Isabel’s sadness.

“I was told that you witnessed the scene at the airport, and I am really sorry. You were not supposed to have seen that.” Séb said to her.

“Oh, so it would have been better if I hadn’t been around. Is that what you are saying? Well, I will make it easy for you and quit my job. Then you won’t have to worry about me being around.” Isabel said in anger as she got up from the couch and walked over to the window.

“I’m sorry. That came out wrong. That is not what I meant. I meant it should have never happened, but I couldn’t just push her away from me. How would that look?” Séb told her.

Isabel didn’t say anything. She knew that him being in Il Divo meant that he had to be kind to their fans, and it would look bad if he had pushed her away.

“There was a time when I didn’t mind having them so close, but I am not that person anymore. I am in love with a wonderful woman, and I couldn’t imagine not being with her. I don’t want you to quit your job, Isabel. I want you to be with me on this tour.” Séb walked over to her.

“I thought you were embarrassed about me being here.” Isabel turned and looked at him.

“Why would you think that? I want you here with me; not as my tour manager but as my girlfriend.” Séb said as he touched her cheek.

“It’s just that you haven’t told your fans about me, but if that is what you want, then I will accept to be your girlfriend in private and your tour manager in public.” Isabel told him.

“That is not what I want. I want you to be my girlfriend in private and in public. I guess I should have told our fans about you earlier. You have my word that I will tell the world that I love you, and I will do so at the concert tomorrow.” Séb pulled her close.

“Only if you want to.” Isabel looked into his eyes.

“I want to.” Séb cupped her head in his hands before kissing her.

“So, what do we do now?” Isabel asked when they broke from the kiss.

“Well, I suggest we move your stuff into my suite and then we inform the girl at the reception desk that a room is available. How does that sound?” he smiled at her.

“Sounds like a good idea.” Isabel smiled back.

They picked up her things and walked out of the room, closing the door behind them. After entering Séb’s room, Isabel called down and told the girl at the reception that there was a room available. She hung up the phone and turned around to see Séb standing right in front of her. He looked at her without saying a word, but he didn’t have to say anything. He said it with his eyes. Séb took her hands in his and kissed them before pulling her close to him.

His hands started to undress her as he kissed her deeply. His kisses became deeper and more passionate, and it was sending Isabel into another dimension. She couldn’t breathe and she was lost in his embrace. He picked her up and carried her into his bedroom where he laid her down on the bed before he undressed and joined her on the bed. Séb pulled her close and they explored each other bodies until their passion for each other consume them both.


*******

Jewel was in the bedroom with Belle when Urs walked in. He watched them closely, and Belle looked really adorable sleeping in her crib. Urs couldn’t believe how lucky he was to have Jewel and Belle in his life.

“How did it go?” Jewel asked Urs when she saw him standing there.

“He went to her room and didn’t return, so we assume it went well.” Urs smiled at her.

“Well, he could have gone to his room if Isabel didn’t want to talk to him.” Jewel pointed out.

“True, but I doubt that. She might be mad at him, but she is not the kind of person who would stay mad forever. She loves him too much.” Urs sat down next to her.

“You’re right about that. She loves Séb just as much as I love you.” Jewel ran her hand down his chest.

“What are you up to, Mrs. Buhler?” Urs asked even though he could see it in her eyes.

“Well, Belle is sleeping and I thought we could cuddle a bit before dinner.” She smiled at him.

“I like the way you think.” Urs pulled her close and kissed her deeply.

*****

Larissa was resting on the couch when Carlos walked into their room. Carlos closed the door behind him and watched his beautiful wife sleeping. He couldn’t wait to become a dad and he wanted so badly to tell his friends about the pregnancy, but he had promised Larissa that he wouldn’t say anything yet. Carlos walked over to the couch and removed a strand of hair from her face which woke her up. She looked at him with a smile and sat up.

“I didn’t mean to wake you up.” he kissed her softly.

“It’s ok. Did you talk to Séb?” Larissa asked him

“Yes, we did. He left us and we haven’t seen him since. Hopefully it’s a good sign.” Carlos smiled at her.

“I think it is. I’ve been thinking about something. We agreed not to tell the others about the pregnancy, but I want to tell them.” Larissa said.

“So do I. They are our friends, and they won’t tell anyone.” Carlos held her hand.

“Let’s tell them at dinner tonight.” Larissa beamed.

“Perfect. I can’t wait to see their reaction.” Carlos kissed her.


*****

Mary was looking at wedding dresses and she never imagined it would be so difficult to find a dress. Well, if she could get together with the other girls sometime during the tour, then hopefully they could help her. She let out a sigh as David walked through the door. He smiled when he saw the catalogues on the table.

“Problems?” he asked with a smile.

“Yes, this is impossible. I know I won’t need it until the tour is over but I just want to find a dress as soon as possible.” She closed the catalogue.

“You have three friends who can help you choose a dress, so stop worrying about that. And if it makes you feel better you will look stunning no matter what you wear.” David flashed his smile.

“You do know what to say to a woman, Miller.” Mary laughed.

“Yes, I do. Let’s hope Séb knows what to say to Isabel. He has come a long way since what happened with Jewel, and he does love Isabel very much. I just hope he won’t destroy what they have.” David said.

“I hope so too. Isabel is a great girl and I really like her. Lindsey was a great girl too but Séb looks happier with Isabel than he ever did with Lindsey.” Mary said as she looked at him.

“You are right about that. How about we sit down and start planning the wedding? We still have a couple of hours before dinner.” David smiled at her.

“I’d like that.” Mary kissed his cheek.

The Divos and their loved ones were enjoying their private time, unaware that someone was trying hard to cause problems for one Divo and his partner.

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