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 From Paris with love

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Sebslady
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PostSubject: Re: From Paris with love   Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:41 pm

Chapter 49

“How does it feel to be back in Los Angeles?” Séb asked Sheena as they left the private jet.

“It feels strange. I know that this was my home for a long time but I feel more at home in Paris than here. I can’t explain why. Maybe it has got something to do with my connection to Paris. I was conceived in Paris, studied art in Paris, fell in love in Paris, got pregnant in Paris and now I am living in Paris. Soon I will start working in Paris,” Sheena answered.

“You could have left out the part about being conceived in Paris,” Séb told her.

“Sorry but that is when it all started,” Sheena said with a smile.

“Let’s change the subject,” Séb suggested.

“As you wish,” Sheena laughed.

“Can we see grandma today?” Amanda looked at her parents.

“I don’t see why not. We do have three hours before we have to meet the others and she might be at ‘Galerie Dubois’ today,” Sheena replied.

“I could use a shower so I suggest we go to the hotel now. Then we have lunch with your mom before we meet the others. How does that sound?” Séb asked.

“It sounds good to me. I could really use a shower too and some fresh clothes,” Sheena agreed.

When they came out of the airport, Séb spotted a young man with a sign. He was standing in front of a car and the sign had Séb’s name written on it. They walked over to the young man and he informed them that he had been ordered to take them to the hotel. He took the bags and placed them in the trunk while Sheena, Séb and Amanda climbed into the car.

As he pulled up in front of the hotel, he informed them that he would pick them up in front of the hotel at 3pm. Carlos had arranged for the car to take all of them to Rebecca’s studio for the dress and suit fitting. Séb, Sheena and Amanda went into the hotel and five minutes later they were in their suite. They took turns in the bathroom and half an hour later they left the hotel.

Sheena had called Dani to let her know that they were in Los Angeles and Dani had offered to pick them up at the hotel. It was an offer that Sheena couldn’t say no to and Dani was waiting for them outside of the hotel. Hugs were exchanged and shortly after they were on their way to see Millie at ‘Galerie Dubois’.

Millie was happy to see them and even though she was busy, she agreed to have lunch with them. She informed Sheena that she had sold one of Pierre’s paintings and the customer was interested in buying two more paintings. It didn’t come as a surprise to Sheena because her dad had been and still was very popular.

After lunch with Millie, they went back to the gallery and Dani drove them back to the hotel. They went to their suite to relax a bit before they had to leave again. Sheena wanted to check her emails and she found one from Tim’s lawyer. It said urgent but Sheena wasn’t in the mood to read anything that had to do with Tim. It would have to wait until later.

It was almost 3pm when the Divo couples met in the lobby. The car pulled up shortly after and a few minutes later they were on their way to Rebecca’s studio. All of the girls were excited to see their dresses, especially Amanda. She had been so proud when Rebecca had asked her to be the flower girl at the wedding and she couldn’t wait to see her dress.

When they arrived at the studio, Rebecca told them to feel free to take a look around while she would get the suits and the dresses. Séb was looking at the sketches on the wall and suddenly he saw a sketch of a wedding dress. He had found the perfect wedding dress for Sheena. Séb had no idea that he was actually staring at Sheena’s design.

“Here we are,” Rebecca returned with the dresses and suits.

“You did a great job,” Miki picked up the dress with her name on it.

“Thanks. I’m glad you like it. Try them on and let’s see if they fit,” Rebecca smiled.

Everyone took their suit or dress and disappeared into the dressing rooms. Rebecca had to watch Victoria while Maggie was trying on her dress but she didn’t have a problem with that. Amanda was the first one to come out of the dressing room and she ran over to Rebecca with a big smile on her face.

“I love my dress aunty Becca,” Amanda said.

“I’m glad you do and you look very beautiful,” Rebecca said.

Amanda blushed a bit as she did a little spin and Rebecca couldn’t stop smiling. One by one the others came out of the dressing rooms and only one of the dresses needed a few adjustments. Both straps on Miki’s dress needed to be adjusted but it wouldn’t take long to change that. The other dresses fit perfectly and so did the suits. All four Divos looked extremely handsome as always and the girls looked stunning.

“I think that was it,” Rebecca said with a smile.

Everyone disappeared into the dressing rooms to change back to their own clothes, returning shortly after. They left the studio and as they drove back to the hotel, Carlos announced that they had made dinner reservations for all of them at the hotel at 6:30pm. When the car pulled up in front of the hotel, Amanda looked at David and it was easy to see that she had something to ask him.

“Can I spend some time with Victoria before dinner?” Amanda asked, tilting her head.

“If it is ok with your parents then yes,” David replied with a smile.

“Can I? Please?” Amanda looked at Sheena and Séb.

“Yes but you have to be at our suite no later than 6pm. You need a bath before dinner,” Sheena answered.

“Thanks mommy,” Amanda flashed her smile.

The group entered the hotel and Amanda left with David and Maggie. The other couples went to their suites to rest a bit before they had to get ready for dinner. Séb and Sheena walked into the suite and after closing the door behind them, Séb pulled Sheena close.

“I think Amanda is ready to become a big sister,” Séb looked into Sheena’s brown eyes.

“Yes she is and she will be an amazing big sister. She has already proven that by taking care of Victoria,” Sheena agreed.

“Want to join me in the bedroom?” Séb whispered in her ear.

Before Sheena had a chance to respond, Séb placed soft kisses on her neck and his hands were caressing her back. He looked at her as he removed the hairclip and he watched as her long, dark hair cascaded down her shoulders.

“What are you doing?” Sheena asked.

“Isn’t it obvious, Cherie?” Séb replied with a question.

“Yes it is but our daughter could walk through that door any minute,” Sheena replied

“We both know that she won’t do that. Now follow me,” Séb led her into the bedroom.

After a passionate love making session, Séb and Sheena were still in bed. Séb had fallen asleep but Sheena was staring at the ceiling. She couldn’t stop thinking about the email from Tim’s lawyer and she needed to know why he had contacted her. What could be so important? Tim was dead and there wasn’t going to be any trial so why was the lawyer so interested in talking to her? She quietly got out of bed and put on some clothes before she walked into the living room to turn on her laptop. She opened the email and read what it said:

‘Dear Miss Halliwell,

I have got a very urgent matter to discuss in regards to Timothy Andrew Michaels’ will. Would it be possible for you to meet with me when you are in Los Angeles for the funeral? Please let me know as soon as possible.

Best regards,

Anthony Hall’

Sheena stared at the screen, wondering what was going on. It made no sense that the lawyer wanted to meet with her about the will. Was she mentioned in the will? No, that couldn’t be the reason. Tim would never put her name in the will. Why would he? They had never been romantically involved.

“Bad news?” Séb suddenly asked.

“I don’t know. Tim’s lawyer wants to meet me. It has to do with Tim’s will,” Sheena replied as she closed the laptop.

“Tim’s will? Why does he want to talk to you about that? It doesn’t make any sense. You don’t think that Tim has mentioned you in the will, do you?” Séb kneeled down in front of her.

“I don’t know. He was crazy enough to do something like that but if he has mentioned me in the will, I will tell them to forget it. I don’t want anything of his,” Sheena explained.

“What are you going to do?” Séb looked at Sheena.

“I will call him after the wedding. The funeral is on the same day as the wedding and I don’t want to think about Tim or his will until after the wedding,” Sheena told him.

“Good. Let him wait. You should focus on Amanda and me now. Especially me,” Séb kissed her.

“I think you’ve had your share of attention for today. Amanda will be here soon so why don’t you take a shower?” Sheena asked.

“I will take a shower if you agree to join me,” Séb winked.

“I have to be here in case Amanda returns. Please take a shower now,” Sheena said.

“Yes mom,” Séb walked into the bathroom.

A few minutes later, Amanda returned to the suite and she eagerly told Sheena everything. Sheena listened as Amanda filled her in on her time with David, Maggie and Victoria. When Séb came out of the bathroom, Sheena and Amanda went in there to give Amanda a bath. Half an hour later, the family was ready to leave the suite.

******

As agreed, the Divo couples met in the hotel restaurant for dinner. Carlos had requested one of the tables in the private dining section because he wanted some privacy for them. After the orders were placed, they talked about what had happened since the last time they met.

“Do you have any news about Tim or the trial?” David asked.

“There isn’t going to be a trial,” Sheena replied.

“No trial? How is that possible? He kidnapped a child and beat up a woman. The man is guilty and he deserves to be punished for what he did,” David raised his voice.

“I know he is guilty but you can’t put a dead man in a court room. Yes, Tim is dead. I will tell you more about the details when Amanda is not around,” Sheena explained.

The other Divo couples were stunned to hear that Tim was dead and they agreed not to talk about it with Amanda around. They continued to talk about more pleasant topics and it was just after 10pm when they said goodnight and went to their rooms.

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PostSubject: Re: From Paris with love   Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:50 pm



Chapter 50

Saturday had arrived and Millie was getting ready to leave for the funeral. She didn’t want to go because of what Tim had done to her granddaughter but it would be rude of her not to go. She had known the family for many years and Margaret Michaels was one of her oldest and dearest friends. It wasn’t Margaret’s fault that Tim had done what he did and Margaret could use a friend now.

Millie put on her coat and picked up her purse before she left the apartment. She hailed a cab and told the driver where she was going. Fifteen minutes later the cab pulled up in front of the Michaels’ estate and Millie paid the driver. Margaret greeted Millie with hugs and called their driver. A few minutes later they were on their way to the funeral.

Margaret talked about Tim and how unfair it was that he was dead. She told Millie that Tim was a nice boy and that he didn’t deserve to get killed. Millie didn’t know what to say so she just listened as Margaret continued to talk about her precious Tim and all of his good deeds.

They reached their destination and got out of the car. Margaret excused herself and walked into the chapel where her son’s coffin was. After spending a few minutes by the coffin, she came out and greeted those who had arrived for the funeral. One of them was a man in his fifties and there was something about him that made Millie uncomfortable.

“This is Anthony Hall, Tim’s lawyer and this is my dear friend Millie Halliwell,” Margaret said.

“It is nice to meet you. Are you related to Sheena Halliwell?” Anthony asked.

“Sheena is my daughter,” Millie answered politely.

“Is your daughter here today?” Anthony wanted to know.

“No, she isn’t. Her best friend is getting married today,” Millie informed him.

“That is too bad. I have sent her an email but she hasn’t replied. It is very important that I talk to your daughter and I had hoped that she would be here today,” Anthony said.

“Sheena has been very busy helping her friend with the wedding. She will contact you when she has time to do so,” Millie told him.

“I hope so,” Anthony said.

“May I ask what this is all about?” Millie looked at him.

“I need to talk to Miss Halliwell about Tim’s daughter,” Anthony informed her.

“Tim’s daughter? Tim doesn’t have a daughter,” Millie was confused.

“Of course he does. Tim’s daughter is Miss Halliwell’s daughter Amanda. You should know that as the child’s grandmother. Excuse me,” Anthony left.

Millie was shocked to hear Anthony’s words. What kind of sick game was Tim playing from his grave? How did he manage to convince his lawyer that he was Amanda’s dad? Questions were running through her head and she wondered if she should call Sheena and tell her what she had just heard.

“Is everything ok?” Margaret suddenly asked.

“Everything is just fine,” Millie answered with a smile.

“It is time,” Margaret said.

After the funeral, Millie looked at her watch and she knew that Sheena was getting ready for the wedding but she had to be told about the news. Millie excused herself and went outside to make the call to Sheena.

“Hi mom. I thought you were at the funeral,” Sheena answered the phone.

“I am at the funeral but I just had to talk to you. Did you receive an email from Tim’s lawyer?” Millie asked.

“Yes I did but I never replied. He wanted to talk to me about Tim’s will and I don’t understand why,” Sheena explained.

“I think I know the answer to that,” Millie said.

“You do? How do you know?” Sheena was curious.

“The lawyer is here and he asked me if you would be attending the funeral. I told him no and he mentioned the email. I think you should contact him as soon as possible,” Millie replied.

“Why? What is going on?” Sheena demanded to know.

“I could be wrong but I have a feeling that Amanda is mentioned in Tim’s will,” Millie tried to avoid telling Sheena the truth.

“Why would Tim do that? She is not related to him so why add her to the will? What it is that you are not telling me?” Sheena asked.

“Tim has told the lawyer that he is Amanda’s dad,” Millie confessed.

“What? I don’t believe this. The man is dead and he is still making my life a living nightmare,” Sheena was getting angry.

“I know. I suggest you get proof that Séb is Amanda’s dad and then show it to the lawyer. That is all you can do. I have to get back. Don’t let this ruin your day or Rebecca’s wedding,” Millie told her.

“I already have proof of Séb being Amanda’s dad and I won’t let Tim ruin this day. I have to get ready. Thanks for telling me,” Sheena said.

“Have a good time. I love you. Bye,” Millie hung up.

She walked back inside, hoping that Sheena could forget about Tim and the will, at least until after the wedding.

*********

After hanging up the phone, Sheena sat down and recalled the conversation she had just had with Millie. She still couldn’t believe that Tim had told the lawyer that he was Amanda’s dad. It was like a bad dream. Millie’s words were running around in Sheena’s head and she wondered how to tell Séb about Tim claiming to be Amanda’s dad. It was a good thing that Tim was dead because she knew that Séb would kill him for spreading such lies.

A knock on the door brought Sheena back to real life and she could hear Rebecca’s voice on the other side of the door. Just as Sheena opened the door, Amanda came out of the bathroom.

“Are you ready to leave?” Rebecca asked with big smile.

“Yes we are,” Sheena smiled back.

“Great. I can’t believe that I am getting married today,” Rebecca beamed.

“I know,” Sheena said as they left the suite.

Rebecca had made an appointment with an old friend from high school to do hair and makeup on the girls. Chrissy was a makeup artist and she had been working with a lot of movie stars. A limousine was waiting for them outside of the hotel and all of the girls were looking forward to getting their hair and makeup done by a professional. Carlos had arranged for some snacks and sodas for the girls and it was a nice surprise for them. The girls arrived at the destination and Chrissy greeted Rebecca and Sheena with hugs.

“I want you to meet my team. Cindy, Lindsey, Linda and Gillian will be taking care of the four of you and I will take care of the bride. Can I get you something to drink? A glass of champagne or maybe some wine?” Chrissy asked.

“I don’t think one glass of champagne will hurt,” Rebecca looked at the girls.

“Would you like something else?” Chrissy turned her attention to Miki.

“Water will be fine,” Miki replied with a smile.

“What about you?” Chrissy looked at Amanda.

“Soda please,” Amanda flashed her smile.

Chrissy excused herself and returned with the drinks and five glasses. The girls had a great time and after spending two hours with Chrissy and her team, the girls said goodbye and went to the venue to get dressed.



Rebecca and Carlos had chosen Vibiana as their wedding venue because it was possible to have both the wedding ceremony and the reception there. At first they had decided to have the ceremony inside but after seeing the courtyard, they decided to have an outdoor wedding ceremony. The courtyard was decorated with palmtrees that seemed to form a path and at the end of the path was the ceremony area. It was indeed the perfect venue.

Rebecca’s mom, Marianna, and Consuela were waiting for the girls when they arrived at the venue. After greeting the girls, Marianna showed Rebecca to her dressing room and Consuela led the other girls to their dressing room.

After getting dressed, the girls followed Consuela to Rebecca’s dressing room. Rebecca looked beautiful in her wedding dress and Marianna was very emotional. When she saw the others in their bridesmaid dresses and Amanda in her flower girl dress, she let the tears flow.



“You all look so beautiful,” Marianna managed to say between sobs.

“Thank you,” all of the girls said.

“Do you have the bouquets and the basket?” Rebecca asked.

“I have got them right here,” Marianna found the bouquets and the basket.



Suddenly there was a knock on the door and Rebecca’s dad, Roberto, entered the room. He told them that it was time. They all left the room and as they walked toward the courtyard for the ceremony, Rebecca could feel her heart pounding faster.  She couldn’t believe that the moment had finally arrived.

Séb, David and Urs were waiting for the girls by the door that led to the courtyard and Carlos was in the courtyard with Antonio. Carlos was extremely nervous and Antonio was doing his best to calm him down but it seemed to be a mission impossible.

“Take a deep breath,” Antonio said.

“That is easy for you to say. You’re not the one who is getting married to the woman you love,” Carlos told him.

“You are right about that but there is no need to be nervous. She will say yes,” Antonio looked at his ‘brother’.

“I know she will but I really wish she would get here soon,” Carlos took a deep breath.

“It is normal for the bride to be a little late,” Antonio told Carlos, hoping that he would calm down.

********

It was time for the ceremony to begin. Marianna and Consuela were the first ones to step out into the courtyard and Victoria was sleeping peacefully in Marianna’s arms. The girls and the Divos were next in line, followed by Amanda and finally Roberto and Rebecca started to walk down the aisle. Carlos swallowed hard when he saw Rebecca. She looked so beautiful and her dress was stunning. Roberto kissed Rebecca’s cheek before he placed her hand in Carlos’. Carlos and Rebecca turned to the minister and he began his speech.

“Dear family and friends - we are gathered here today to celebrate the marriage of Rebecca and Carlos. Today we gather for the happiest of ceremonies – the change of status from single individuals to a married couple.

Marriage is more than any one single event or promise. It is a series of decisions that have been made, and will continue to be made over and over again, every day, that shows each of their care and concern for the one whom they each love most in the world.

Marriage is a promise that is renewed daily through a couples actions and a responsibility taken on in the spirit of faith, and hope, and love, that brings comfort in times of sadness and heightens our greatest joy.

A wedding is more than a celebration of the love which lives in our Bride and Groom's hearts today. It reaches into the future and proclaims their intentions for that which tomorrow shall hold. A couple who wed is joined, not only by the mutual affection and love they share, but also by their hopes, dreams and by their promises of what will be. The promises and vows they make this day shall guide them into their common future. Carlos and Rebecca will now pledge their vows to each other,” the minister said and looked at the couple in front of him.

“I, Carlos, take you, Rebecca, to be my wife, in equal love, as a partner on my path, to honor and to cherish in sorrow and in joy, till death do us part,” Carlos said.

“I, Rebecca, take you, Carlos, to be my husband, in equal love, as a partner on my path, to honor and to cherish in sorrow and in joy, till death do us part,” Rebecca said.

"As the rings have no end so your love should have no end. As the rings are made of gold symbolizing purity, so should your marriage have purity. As often as either of you see them, you will be reminded of this moment and the endless love you promised,” the minister continued.



"Rebecca, this ring I give to you in token and pledge of my constant faith and abiding love," Carlos placed the ring on Rebecca’s finger.

"Carlos, this ring I give to you in token and pledge of my constant faith and abiding love,” Rebecca placed the ring on Carlos’ finger.

“You have declared before all of us that you will live together in marriage. You have made special promises to each other, which have been symbolized by the joining of hands, taking of vows and the giving and receiving of two rings. By the authority vested in me, I now pronounce you to husband and wife. You may now kiss your bride,” the minister said and looked at Carlos.

Carlos and Rebecca shared their first kiss as husband and wife.

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PostSubject: Re: From Paris with love   Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:53 pm

Chapter 51

After the ceremony, Rebecca and Carlos left Vibiana and drove off to Exposition Park Rose Garden to have their wedding pics taken. While Rebecca and Carlos were gone, their guests were enjoying a drink in the courtyard and everyone seemed to be having a good time.

“Are you ok?” Marianna asked Sheena.

“I’m fine,” Sheena replied.

“No, you’re not fine. This is my daughter’s wedding and I don’t want to see any sad faces today so what is troubling you,” Marianna placed her hand on Sheena’s.

Sheena told Marianna about the email from Tim’s lawyer and her conversation with Millie. As Marianna listened to what Sheena told her, Marianna began to wonder what had happened to Tim because the person Sheena described was not the same person she knew or had known. What could make a nice, young man like Tim turn into this horrible person?

“I wouldn’t worry too much about it, honey. Everyone in their right minds can tell that she is Séb’s daughter just by looking at her,” Marianna said.

“I know that and that is not what I am worried about. We have got proof that Amanda is Séb’s daughter so that part is ok. We thought that I was mentioned in Tim’s will but it looks like Amanda´s name is mentioned in the will. How will Séb react when I tell him that his daughter might be mentioned in the will because Tim has told his lawyer that he is Amanda’s dad?” Sheena looked at Marianna.

“I don’t know him that well but my guess is that he won’t be happy. Roberto would freak out if someone else claimed to be Rebecca’s dad,” Marianna replied, holding Sheena’s hand.

“That is exactly what I am afraid of but I also know that I have to tell Séb. Well, all of that will have to wait until after the party. Let’s have a good time and give Rebecca a great wedding,” Sheena said with a smile.

“That is more like it. Everything will be fine,” Marianna smiled at her.

“Thanks Marianna,” Sheena smiled back.

“Am I interrupting something?” Séb wanted to know.

“No, you’re not,” Sheena replied as she stood.

Rebecca and Carlos had returned to Vibiana and they were enjoying a glass of champagne in the courtyard with their guests. After a brief welcome speech from Carlos, a young woman announced that dinner was ready. She gestured for them to follow her and they followed her back into the building. The woman stopped in front of a large curtain and once all of the guests were gathered around her, she drew the curtains apart to reveal the dining area.




It was breathtaking and of course the decorations were all in red and white. A white carpet was in the middle of the room, leading to a circular red dance floor. Round tables were placed on each side of the carpet and the main table was placed on the other side of the dance floor.

Carlos, Rebecca, their parents and Antonio walked to the main table as the guests found their seats and once everyone was seated, Roberto stood and made his speech, followed by Jose and his speech.

After both speeches, the food was served. Carlos seemed to be far away and he hardly touched his food. He knew that it was almost time for his speech to his lovely wife and even though he had been practicing a lot, he was still a bit nervous. Strange for a man who performs in front of thousands of people at concerts.

The time had come for Carlos to make his speech and it was a wonderful speech. A lot of tears were shed and Carlos ended the speech by declaring his undying love for Rebecca. As soon as Carlos sat down, the best man stood and made his speech. Antonio’s speech was both funny and serious and after the speech and the toast, he hugged Carlos and Rebecca.

Antonio returned to his seat and the main course was served. Everyone seemed to be having a good time. At the Divo table, Miki and Maggie told Sheena about their own weddings and Sheena really paid a lot of attention to every single detail because maybe she could get a few ideas for her own wedding. Of course they hadn’t talked about getting married but it couldn’t hurt to get a few ideas in case Séb did propose.

“I know that you’re not getting married yet but do you have a color scheme or a theme picked out?” Maggie surprised Sheena by asking.

“I’ve always wanted a winter wedding but that’s all. I believe a wedding should be planned by both partners, not just the bride,” Sheena replied.

“I agree with you. My cousin got married last year and she was in control of everything. All he was involved with was the guest list,” Maggie said.

“He was lucky. I wasn’t even involved in that part,” Séb looked at his friends.

“True but it will be different when you marry Sheena. I don’t think she will keep you out of the wedding plans,” Maggie looked at Sheena.

“I think it’s time to change the subject,” Séb said.

Urs and David looked at Séb then at each other. Why did he want to change the subject? Was he planning on proposing to Sheena or was it because he didn’t want to marry her? They had to ask him after dinner and hopefully he would give them some answers.

The Divos changed the subject and talked about baby Buhler. Only four months left and a new member of the Divo family would meet the world. They still didn’t know if the baby would be a boy or a girl and they didn’t really want to know. As long as the baby was healthy, it didn’t matter to them if it was a boy or a girl. The baby would be loved no matter what.

After the main course, it was time for the Divos to say a few words to the newlyweds. David was the lucky one and once the dishes were removed, he stood and cleared his throat.

“Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. On behalf of the bridesmaids and of course my fellow groomsmen, I would like to congratulate the happy couple on their special day. A lot of hearts are breaking all over the world today because another one of God’s beautiful creations is now married. Oh, and Carlos is off the market too.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m David Miller. I’ve known Carlos since the beginning of Il Divo and it seems like forever. Today is a very special day for you and Rebecca but it is also a special day for us because none of us ever thought that we would see Carlos wearing a tie at his wedding. Mainly because we thought that he would never get married.

It came as a surprise to us when Carlos announced that he was seeing someone. He had been good at hiding it for almost a year and I don’t know how he managed to do that. When I met my wife, Maggie, I wanted to tell everyone about her and I did. My friends and family knew I loved her before she did. Ok, it’s time for me to get back on the right track.

We never thought that Carlos would ever settle down but then a young woman came along and changed that. I don’t think we have ever seen Carlos happier than he is now and it is all because of you, Rebecca. You haven’t been a part of the Divo family for long but we all feel like we have known you for years and we are happy to have you in our little family.

Ladies and gentlemen, I can see that you are getting bored so on a final and serious note, I would like to ask you to stand and raise your glasses to Carlos and Rebecca. May their lives be filled with love and happiness,” David said.

The guests all stood and joined David in a toast. While Carlos and Rebecca thanked David and the other Divos, Sheena left the room. She returned with what seemed to be a book and she walked up to the main table where she gently knocked on the glass to get people’s attention.

“I am not going to make a speech but I do have something that I would like to give to the bride. Rebecca and I have been friends since kindergarten and she has always been there for me when I needed her. We have been through a lot together and we have both good memories and bad memories but today we add another good memory to the list. You’re the best friend a girl can get and I am happy to be here today to celebrate your wedding with you.

I have made a scrapbook with memories and it is my way of saying thank you for being my friend and for being Amanda’s godmother. I really hope you like it,” Sheena gave Rebecca the scrapbook.

Rebecca took the scrapbook and opened it. A smile appeared on her face as she quickly flipped through the pages. The scrapbook was filled with pictures from kindergarten up until now and it was the perfect gift. Rebecca loved it and she couldn’t wait to take a closer look at it. She closed the scrapbook and stood to give Sheena a hug.

“I love it. Thank you,” Rebecca whispered as she hugged her friend.

“You’re welcome,” Sheena said with a smile.

Rebecca sat down and Sheena walked back to the table and sat down. A few minutes later, the wedding cake was brought in and the newlyweds stood and walked to the center of the dance floor to cut the cake. Carlos and Rebecca looked so happy when they cut the cake and there was no doubt that they loved each other very much.



After cutting the cake, the happy couple returned to their seats and watched as their friends and family were gathered around the cake. The cake was removed as soon as everyone had gotten a piece of it and you could tell by the noises that the cake was delicious.

“Now that we have finished dinner, I would like to ask all of you to step outside while the staff clears the tables. The staff will tell us when we can return and when they do, I hope that we will have a great party,” Carlos said.

The guests went into the courtyard and Sheena made a phone call to Millie. It was time for her to pick up Amanda and Victoria. The original plan was for Millie to babysit Amanda but thanks to his boyish charm, David managed to talk Millie into babysitting Victoria too. Now both girls would be spending the night with Millie.

While the guests were outside, Rebecca and Carlos were busy opening their presents. After spending about fifteen minutes opening presents, they joined their guests outside and thanked everyone for the presents. As Carlos and Rebecca were talking to their guests, a member of the staff informed them that they could return.

Carlos and Rebecca walked back inside, followed by their guests and it was time for the party to start. As the newlyweds entered, the music started playing and Carlos led Rebecca to the dance floor and pulled her close. It was time for them to dance their first dance as husband and wife.

Roberto walked over to them when they had finished their dance and it was time for him to dance with his daughter. As Roberto was dancing with Rebecca, Consuela was dancing with Carlos. Sheena watched Rebecca and Roberto on the dance floor and suddenly it occurred to her that she would never be able to do a father/daughter dance. It made her sad and Séb had noticed the look on her face.

“What’s wrong, Cherie?” Séb asked.

“I was just watching Roberto and Rebecca. I won’t be able to do a father/daughter dance at my wedding,” Sheena sighed.

“We will worry about that when the time comes,” Séb kissed her cheek.

“What do you mean when the time comes?” Sheena looked at him.

“Did I say that? Well, it was just an expression,” Séb said, hoping Sheena would leave it at that.

Sheena was about to say something when she saw Millie enter the room. Millie walked over to Carlos and Rebecca to congratulate them on the wedding and Sheena went to the bathroom to look for Maggie and Amanda. Maggie had just finished changing Victoria’s diaper with a little help from Amanda and Sheena told her that Millie had arrived.  They left the bathroom and soon after, Millie left the venue with the girls.

The music kept playing and soon the dance floor was full. People were enjoying themselves and it really was the perfect wedding. The evening went by too fast and before they knew it, the time had come for Carlos and Rebecca to leave the party and start their honeymoon. The couple would be spending two weeks in Southern France and they were looking forward to it.

It was almost 2am when the last guests left the venue. The Divo couples drove back to their hotel and Sheena couldn’t decide if she should tell Séb about the conversation she had with Millie earlier that day. She knew he would get angry if she told him but she also knew that he would get angry at her if she didn’t tell him.

After saying goodnight to the other couples, Sheena and Séb went to their suite. Séb removed his jacket, his tie and his shirt and placed them on the back of a chair while Sheena opened the door to the balcony. It was a chilly night and the stars were twinkling in the sky. Suddenly she felt Séb’s arms around her and she turned to look at him. He raised his hand and removed the hair clip from Sheena’s hair.

“Alone at last,” Séb moved his head closer to hers.

“Before you get any ideas, we need to talk,” Sheena looked at him.

“I don’t like the way that sounds,” Séb said.

“Tim’s lawyer was at the funeral and mom spoke to him. He told her a few things about Tim’s will and I have got some good news and some bad news,” Sheena explained.

“Do I want to hear this?” Séb wanted to know.

“Probably not but you have to. Let’s sit down,” Sheena replied.

“Good news first,” Séb said as they were on the couch.

“Ok. The good news is that I don’t think I am mentioned in Tim’s will,” Sheena told him.

“That is good news but if you are not mentioned in the will then why does the lawyer want to see you?” Séb was a bit confused.

“My name might not be mentioned in the will but I think someone else’s name is mentioned and that is what he wants to talk about,” Sheena bit her lip.

“Who is mentioned in the will? What are you trying to say?” Séb wanted answers.

“I think Amanda is mentioned in Tim’s will,” Sheena said without looking at him.

“Why do you think that? Tim is not related to Amanda at all so why would he mention her in the will?” Séb looked at Sheena.

“Tim has told his lawyer that he is Amanda’s dad,” Sheena finally said it.

Séb let go of Sheena’s hand and without a word, he rose from the couch and walked out onto the balcony to get some fresh air. He couldn’t believe what Sheena had just told him and he was furious. Knowing that Séb was upset, Sheena joined him on the balcony.

“This is your fault,” he said without looking at her.

“My fault? How can this be my fault? I had nothing to do with this,” Sheena was stunned.

“None of this would have happened if you had told me about the pregnancy five years ago,” Séb yelled at her.

“I can’t believe that you just said that. I thought we agreed to let the past be the past,” Sheena said.

“Apparently that is not possible. I need to get out of here,” Séb said and left the suite.

Sheena watched him leave and she didn’t know what to do. She knew he would be upset about the news but she never thought that he would bring up the past. It was unfair of him to do that because even if Sheena had told Séb about the pregnancy, it wouldn’t have made a difference. Tim knew that Séb was Amanda’s dad but he still claimed to be Amanda’s dad.

She closed the balcony door and got ready for bed. As she turned out the lights, she wondered if Séb would return or if he would spend the night somewhere else. Sheena climbed into bed and when her head hit the pillow, the tears began to flow.

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PostSubject: Re: From Paris with love   Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:54 pm

Chapter 52

A few minutes after she climbed into bed, Sheena rose and got dressed. She quickly put on her coat and left the suite. Sheena had to find Séb, an impossible task in Los Angeles, but they had to talk about this. There had been too much running and they were both adult so why couldn’t they just talk like adults? Five years ago she ran away from him and the very thought of Séb running away from her now was unbearable. At that moment she knew how Séb must have felt when she ran out on him and it wasn’t a nice feeling.

The elevator finally arrived but ride to the lobby seemed to take forever and patience was still not a word in Sheena’s vocabulary. When the elevator stopped and the doors opened, Sheena was surprised to see Séb standing in front of her.

“What are you doing down here?” Séb looked at her.

“I came down here to look for you. We need to talk about this. Running away only causes pain and if we can’t talk about this like adults then I don’t see how we can make this relationship work,” Sheena told him.

“You’re right. Running out was a childish thing to do and I realized that when I was standing in the street. Let’s go back to the suite, order something to eat and talk about this,” Séb stepped into the elevator.

Sheena pushed the button to their floor and the elevator began to move. They didn’t speak to each other until they were back in the suite. Séb picked up the phone and ordered some light snacks while Sheena was in the bedroom, changing back into her nightgown. She put on a robe before she joined Séb in the living room.

Séb hung up the phone and told Sheena the food would be there in ten minutes. He went into the bedroom to change into something a little more casual. When he returned to the living room, Sheena was staring out of the window. Séb joined her by the window and he knew her well enough to know that he shouldn’t show any affection, at least not until they had talked about what happened earlier.

“I think I owe you an apology. It was wrong of me to say what I did and it was wrong of me to run out like that,” Séb apologized.

“Did you mean what you said to me? Do you think this whole thing is my fault?” Sheena asked without looking at him.

“No, I didn’t mean it. I shouldn’t have said it and I’m really sorry,” Séb answered.

“There must have been some truth in it. Otherwise you wouldn’t have said it,” Sheena avoided looking at him.

“Listen to me,” Séb started to say but was interrupted by a knock on the door.

Séb opened the door and let in the young man who brought them their snacks. After the young man left, Séb walked over to the minibar and grabbed a bottle of cold white wine. He placed it on the table before he walked up to Sheena. She turned around but she didn’t look at him. Her eyes were glued to the floor and Séb tried to get her to look at him.

“Look at me. I didn’t mean what I said. I know it is not an excuse but I was frustrated. Tim is dead but we can’t seem to get rid of him. Even from his grave the man is trying to ruin what we have. I don’t want Tim or this to come between us because I can’t stand the thought of not being with you and Amanda. I love both of you so much,” Séb said as he cupped her face in his hands.

“Your words really hurt me. I’m not a saint and I’ve made mistakes but I didn’t deserve that,” Sheena looked at him, fighting off tears.

“I know my words hurt you and I would take them back if I could. I regretted every word as soon as I walked out and that is why I came back. I love you and I am begging you to forgive me,” Séb wiped a tear off her cheek.

His eyes told her that he was being sincere and he looked like he was fighting off tears. It was impossible for her to stay angry at him. She loved him too much and she couldn’t blame him for being frustrated.

“Please, say something. Say anything,” Séb pleaded.

“I forgive you but don’t ever mention the past again,” Sheena said.

“I promise. I love you and I hope you know that I would never do anything to hurt you,” Séb looked at her.

“I know and I love you too,” Sheena said.

“I don’t know about you but I could use a glass of wine now,” Séb smiled.

“A glass of wine sounds good,” Sheena smiled back.

Séb reached for her hand and led her over to the table. They sat down and Séb poured two glasses of wine. As the two of them enjoyed the snacks and the wine, they talked about what to do about the lawyer.

“I will contact him tomorrow and tell him to meet us here,” Sheena told him.

“What about the result of the DNA test? You don’t have it here,” Séb sipped his wine.

“Actually I do have it here,” Sheena said.

“I don’t understand,” Séb said.

“I have got two copies of the document. One is in my safe back at the mansion in Paris and the other one is in a safe at ‘Galerie Dubois’. Something told me that I might need it someday so I asked the lab to make two documents,” Sheena explained to him.

“You are not only beautiful, you are smart too,” Séb smiled.

“I know. Tomorrow you and I will pick up the document and then we will visit Mr. Hall and show him that you are Amanda’s dad.

“I can’t wait to see his face,” Séb finished his wine.

“Maybe it will make him realize that Tim wasn’t a saint. I don’t know about you but I could use some sleep,” Sheena let out a yawn.

“Good idea. It has been a long day,” Séb got up.

Sheena finished her wine and walked into the bedroom. Séb joined her a few minutes later and they fell asleep in each other’s arms.

*******

“You look tired this morning. Are you ok?” Urs asked Miki as she emerged from the bathroom.

“I’m fine but I could use a few weeks of rest and only rest,” Miki replied.

“We have been travelling a lot lately but I promise you that you will get two weeks of rest back in Switzerland before we go to Italy,” Urs walked over to her.

“That sounds good. I can’t wait,” Miki smiled at him.

“It’s time for breakfast,” Urs kissed Miki.

The couple left the suite and walked over to the elevator. They would be leaving later that day and they were having breakfast with the other two couples. Urs and Miki were the first couple to arrive and a few minutes later, Séb and Sheena showed up. There was no sign of David and Maggie and Urs was getting a bit annoyed. They had agreed to meet exactly at 9am and it was now ten minutes past.

“I will call David,” Urs took out his phone.

“Don’t do that. Give them a few more minutes,” Sheena looked at Urs.

“Why?” Urs asked.

“This is probably the first quality time David and Maggie have had since they adopted Victoria. Let them enjoy it,” Sheena answered with a smile.

“You’re right. I didn’t think of that,” Urs said.

“Two of my friends became parents about six months ago and they were so busy taking care of the baby that they forgot how to be a couple. They came very close to ending the relationship and I couldn’t let that happen so I had to interfere. I offered to babysit for one day and both of them agreed. They had a great day and the day ended with a proposal,” Sheena told them.

“Sorry we’re late,” David’s voice suddenly said.

“No problem,” Urs smiled.

The couples were enjoying their breakfast and after breakfast, Millie showed up with Amanda and Victoria. Millie told them that Victoria had been easy to take care of and Amanda had been a great help. Urs and Miki excused themselves and went to their suite to pack. Maggie went to their suite to change Victoria while David stayed in the restaurant with the others. Sheena had to contact the lawyer and she went outside to call him.

“Can you watch Amanda for about an hour? Séb and I have to meet the lawyer in half an hour,” Sheena asked Millie when she returned.

“Sorry but my day is completely booked. I am meeting the girls for brunch and this afternoon we are going to the movies before we go out to dinner,” Millie replied.

“We can watch her if you want. Maggie and I won’t leave until tomorrow morning,” David said.

“That would be great. Thanks,” Sheena smiled.

“No problem,” David smiled back.

Urs and Miki returned with their suitcase and shortly after, Maggie returned too. They all left the hotel and Urs hailed for a cab. Urs and Miki said goodbye to their friends and climbed into the cab. As soon as the cab was out of sight, David and Maggie went for a walk with the kids while Millie drove off to meet her friends.

Séb and Sheena went to the gallery to get the document for the lawyer and half an hour later they were back at the hotel. Both Séb and Sheena wondered how the lawyer would react to the result of the DNA test. Would he believe them even if they did have the proof? Sheena had her doubts but she didn’t tell Séb about it. They agreed to let Sheena do the talking because she had a plan. A knock on the door told them that the lawyer had arrived and Sheena took a deep breath as she walked to the door.

“Miss Halliwell? I am Anthony Hall,” the man said.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you. Come on in,” Sheena stepped aside.

“I am glad you called me because I want to wrap this up as soon as possible,” Anthony took off his coat.

“I can understand that. This is my boyfriend Sébastien,” Sheena introduced the two men.

“Nice to meet you,” Anthony shook Séb’s hand.

“Can I get you anything to drink?” Sheena offered.

“No thanks. I assume you want to read Tim’s will?” Anthony looked at Sheena.

“Am I allowed to do that?” Sheena inquired.

“Yes. I want you to take a look at it. You are Amanda’s mother and it is only natural that you get to see the will,” he handed Sheena the will.

Sheena read the will and it was just as she expected. Amanda was in the will and she was in the will as Tim’s daughter. She returned the will to Anthony after reading it and her blood was boiling but she had to stay calm.

“I am curious. Do you have a copy of the document that proves Tim is Amanda’s dad? I mean there must be some kind of DNA result or something like that,” Sheena looked at him.

“No, I don’t have any documents,” Anthony said.

“If you don’t have any proof at all then how do you know that Amanda is Tim’s daughter? You only have Tim’s word for it,” Sheena was fuming inside.

“I am a lawyer and I trust my clients. Tim wouldn’t have lied about something as important as this,” Anthony leaned back in his chair.

“Well, I am sorry to burst your little bubble but Tim did lie. Amanda does have a dad but Tim is not her dad. Take a look at this,” Sheena threw the DNA test result on the table.

“Is this document real?” Anthony looked up.

“It is very real. Seven years ago I went to Paris to study and I met Sébastien. Two years later I returned to LA and found out that I was two months pregnant. Sébastien is Amanda’s dad and he is listed as Amanda’s dad. If you want us to do another DNA test just let us know,” Sheena explained.

“This is proof enough but she is still mentioned in the will and Tim can’t sign a new will. The money belongs to Amanda but since she is only a child, you get to decide what we should do about the money,” Anthony told her.

“Tim kidnapped our daughter and kept her in an attic with only a bed, a table and a lamp. He threatened her, he had my boyfriend arrested for kidnapping and he beat up the woman who saved Amanda. You can give half of it to an animal shelter of your choice and the other half to cancer research because I don’t want Tim’s money,” Sheena took the document from him.

“As you wish. I will make the arrangements,” Anthony said.

“Thank you. I think we are done here,” Sheena got up.

They said goodbye to Anthony and Sheena escorted Anthony to the door. She let out a sigh of relief as she closed the door and she was finally able to calm down. Séb was sitting on the couch and he gestured for Sheena to join him.

“Can I ask you something?” Séb asked as Sheena sat down.

“Sure,” Sheena replied.

“Your hate towards Tim goes deeper than the kidnapping. Why is that?” Séb wanted to know.

“It happened a few days before I went to Paris. My friends and I went out to dinner and we all had a great time. After dinner we went out to get a drink and it was almost midnight when we said goodbye. Tim and I walked home together and when we reached my house, he tried to kiss me. I pushed him away and he didn’t like that. He slapped me hard across the cheek and I ran inside. I covered the bruise with makeup and nobody noticed. You’re the only person who knows about this,” Sheena explained.

“If I had known that when I met him at the airport, I would have slapped him,” Séb said, touching her cheek.

“I know. Let’s find our daughter and do some shopping,” Sheena suggested.

“Sounds like a plan. I will call David,” Séb took out his phone.

Five minutes later they left the suite to have lunch with David and Maggie.

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PostSubject: Re: From Paris with love   Sat Jul 12, 2014 9:21 pm

Chapter 53 – part one


Rebecca and Carlos had arrived at their destination. La Villa Mauresque near Saint-Raphaël on the French Riviera was the perfect place to spend your honeymoon. The Arabian architecture fit perfectly with the romantic view of the Bay of Saint-Tropez.



“Mr. and Mrs. Marin?” a young woman asked when they walked into the hotel.

“Yes,” Carlos replied.

“Welcome to La Villa Mauresque. My name is Michelle. Your suite is ready but first I will give you a tour of the place. Please follow me,” she smiled at them.

Michelle explained the history of the hotel during the tour and she also explained a little about the surroundings. After a quick tour they ended up at the suite which was on the ground floor. The suite had a large four-poster bed, a luxury bathroom with shower and Jacuzzi bath. Michelle opened the door to a large private terrace with sea view, a private pool and Jacuzzi.  The terrace also had a table with matching chairs and it would be perfect for a romantic dinner.

“I will leave you now. Dinner is served at 7pm in our restaurant but of course you can eat here in your suite if you want to do that,” Michelle said and walked to the door.

“Thank you,” Carlos said and closed the door behind her.

“I don’t know about you but I could use a shower,” Rebecca looked at Carlos.

“Why don’t we try the outdoor Jacuzzi? It does look really nice,” Carlos suggested, wiggling his eyebrows.

“It does look nice but we can try the Jacuzzi later. Right now I want a shower and then I want to take a closer look at the area,” Rebecca told him.

“I like the way you think,” Carlos walked over to her.

“Look at that view. Isn’t it stunning?” Rebecca asked.

“Yes it is but not as stunning as you,” Carlos wrapped his arms around her.

“Thank you Mr. Marin,” Rebecca turned her head and smiled at him.

“You’re welcome,” Carlos kissed her.

The couple went back inside and took turns in the bathroom. Half an hour later they left the suite and went for a walk around the premises. They walked through the park and ended up on a white private beach which was for hotel guests only. After spending a few minutes on the beach, the couple walked back to the hotel and found a table in the outdoor restaurant. Carlos and Rebecca both ordered something cold to drink and they started planning what to do and see during their stay.

“I think the time has come for us to try out the outdoor Jacuzzi. What do you think?” Carlos looked at his wife.

“I think you’re right,” Rebecca smiled at him.

Carlos smiled back as he stood and took Rebecca’s hand. He helped her up and the newlyweds went to their suite. Ten minutes later they were relaxing in the Jacuzzi.

“This is just perfect,” Rebecca said.

“I can’t argue with that but we shouldn’t stay in here for too long. I don’t want us to look like prunes at dinner,” Carlos laughed.

“You’re right. I just need ten minutes,” Rebecca told him as she closed her eyes.

Carlos closed his eyes too and they just sat there and enjoyed the silence. Ten minutes later they got out of the Jacuzzi and got ready for dinner. They had decided to have dinner in their suite and Carlos called Michelle while Rebecca was taking a shower. Once he had finished the phone call, Carlos joined his wife in the bathroom.

After an exploring shower and getting dressed, the newlyweds enjoyed a cold drink on the terrace. The view was indeed spectacular and Rebecca was looking forward to watching the sunset with her husband. A knock on the door told them that dinner had arrived and Carlos quickly finished his drink before he opened the door. Carlos gestured for the young man to take the cart to the terrace and the young man kindly greeted Rebecca before he started to serve dinner.

“Just place the cart in the hallway after dinner and I will pick it up later. Enjoy your dinner,” he said with a smile and left.

“To us,” Carlos raised his glass.

“And our friends,” Rebecca added with a smile.

“May we all have a long life filled with love and happiness,” Carlos said.

“I will drink to that,” Rebecca sipped her wine.

The newlyweds enjoyed their dinner as the sun was setting in the horizon. The sunset was the perfect ending to a perfect day. As soon as the sun disappeared, Carlos and Rebecca cleared the table and Carlos placed the cart in the hallway as agreed. He locked the door and joined Rebecca on the balcony. Without saying a word he picked her up and carried her into the bedroom.

*****

Séb, Sheena and Amanda were on their way back to Paris on the Dubois private jet. Amanda was sleeping peacefully in the bed, Sheena was checking her emails and Séb was staring out of the window. He had been doing a lot of thinking since Carlos and Rebecca’s wedding and he was trying to decide what to do and how to do it. Séb was so deep into his thoughts that he didn’t notice that Sheena was staring at him.

Sheena was trying hard to get his attention but no matter what she did, Séb just kept staring out of the window. She slowly ran her foot up his leg but he still didn’t respond. She continued to let her foot wander and suddenly Séb grabbed her foot. He looked at her and Sheena smiled at him.

“Stop doing that if you want to keep your foot,” Séb said.

“I am sorry but I was trying to catch your attention. You haven’t said much since we left Los Angeles and that is not like you at all. What is going on?” Sheena wanted to know.

“Nothing is going on. Staring out of the window doesn’t mean there is something wrong. I am just thinking. Don’t you do that sometimes?” Séb asked with a smile.

“I suppose so. You would tell me is something was wrong, wouldn’t you?” Sheena looked at him.

“Yes I would. I don’t want us to keep secrets from each other. We both know how bad keeping secrets from each other can be and I don’t want to go through that again,” Séb answered.

“Neither do I,” Sheena said.

“Good. I am glad we agree. Come here,” Séb stood and reached out his hand.

Sheena placed her hand in Séb’s hand as she stood and walked over to him. He led her over to the couch and sat down, pulling Sheena with him. Sheena made herself comfortable in Séb’s arms as Séb turned on the TV. Ten minutes later they had fallen asleep on the couch and they didn't wake up until the jet landed in Paris.

******

It was just after midnight when the car pulled up in front of the Dubois manor. Amanda was still sleeping so Séb had to carry her to her bedroom. She didn’t even react when he removed her clothes and dressed her in her nightgown. Once Amanda was tucked in, Séb turned out the light and closed the door behind him. Séb walked into the bedroom and found Sheena already in bed.

“Our daughter is a heavy sleeper. She didn’t wake up at all,” Séb said as he undressed.

“It has been a long day for her and us. Aren’t you tired?” Sheena asked, letting out a yawn.

“No but I am exhausted,” Séb teased her.

“Go to bed,” Sheena ordered with a smile.

“Yes ma’am,” Séb climbed into bed.

Séb pulled Sheena close him and they talked a bit before saying goodnight. Sheena fell asleep quickly but Séb couldn’t sleep even though he was exhausted. He had big plans for the next day and his mind was working on over time trying to plan everything. Séb had thought that it would be simple to put his plan together but he had to admit that he had been wrong. Half an hour later he drifted off to sleep with peace in his mind and a smile on his face.

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PostSubject: Re: From Paris with love   Thu Jul 17, 2014 6:56 am

Chapter 53 - part two


It was almost 8am when Sheena woke up the next morning. She reached out her hand, hoping to find Séb next to her but his side of the bed was empty. Sheena called out to him but there was no answer. As she was about to get out of bed, Amanda came running through the door and jumped into the bed.

“Good morning, mommy,” Amanda hugged Sheena.

“Good morning, pumpkin. You sure are cheerful this morning. What is going on?” Sheena was getting suspicious.

“Daddy has made pancakes for us,” Amanda replied with a smile.

“I know you love pancakes but I have never seen you react like this over pancakes,” Sheena looked at Amanda.

“I am just in a good mood today. Daddy is waiting for us in the kitchen,” Amanda said and ran out.

Sheena wondered what was going on as she got out of bed. She quickly put on her robe and went downstairs to see what was going on. Something wasn’t right and she was determined to find out what it was. When she entered the kitchen, Camille was at the table with Amanda and Séb. Now Sheena knew for sure that something wasn’t right.

“If I had known that you would be here I would have put on some clothes,” Sheena said as she greeted Camille.

“Don’t worry about it, sweetie. I am not the queen and you look stunning no matter what you wear,” Camille hugged Sheena.

“Thank you. What brings you here?” Sheena asked as she sat down.

“I am here to pick up Amanda. She will be spending the night at my place,” Camille replied.

“Pick up Amanda?” Sheena looked at Camille then at Séb.

“I thought it would be good for Amanda and mom to spend more time together. Amanda has to learn French and with mom’s background as a teacher, Amanda will learn French in no time,” Séb said with a smile.

“I see your point. We need to pack an overnight bag for you,” Sheena looked at Amanda.

“Daddy already did that,” Amanda flashed her smile.

“Any more surprises you want to share?” Sheena asked Séb.

“Not right now,” Séb finished his pancake.

They continued to eat their breakfast and Amanda wanted to know what Camille’s plans were for the day. Camille told Amanda everything and Amanda quickly finished her breakfast. She ran into the hallway to pick up her bag and returned to the kitchen, announcing that she was ready to leave. Camille finished her coffee and they said goodbye to Séb and Sheena.

“Alone at last,” Séb pulled Sheena close.

“What are your plans for today?” Sheena wanted to know.

“Well, you need a new dress for dinner tonight so I suggest we head into town to look for a dress. I thought we could eat lunch somewhere in town and then go back to the mansion. Maybe we could relax by the pool until we have to get ready for dinner,” Séb explained.

“That sounds good to me. Just give me half an hour to get ready,” Sheena kissed him and left.

Séb watched her as she walked upstairs and he couldn’t stop smiling. She hadn’t asked any questions and he was happy about that. He couldn’t wait to see her face when he revealed his surprise. Hopefully she would love it.

Sheena returned half an hour later and they left the mansion. They drove off and about twenty minutes later, Séb parked the car. He helped Sheena out of the car and they walked around in Paris. They stopped in front of a dress store and Sheena’s eyes instantly fell on a dress in the window.

Séb looked at the dress and it was perfect. He took Sheena’s hand and dragged her into the store. A saleslady approached them and Sheena informed her that she was interested in the dress in the window. The saleslady took one look at Sheena’s body and she instantly knew what size she was. She told Sheena to go into the dressing room and she would bring the dress to her. Sheena did as the woman said and soon after the saleslady brought her the dress.

The dress was perfect and Sheena didn’t want to try another dress. She had found her dress. Séb paid for the dress and the couple left the store. They walked around in Paris and ended up in a small bistro not far from Séb’s old apartment. As they were enjoying their lunch, Séb and Sheena talked about their upcoming vacation in Tuscany. After lunch they drove back to the mansion to relax before dinner.

----- Later that day -----



“How do I look?” Sheena asked, coming out of the bedroom.

“You look beautiful as always,” Séb walked over to her.

“Thank you. You don’t look so bad yourself,” Sheena said as she removed his tie.

“What are you doing? We have to be at the restaurant in twenty minutes and we don’t have time for this,” Séb reminded her.

“I know but you know my weakness. You look better without a tie and with your shirt open,” Sheena unbuttoned a few buttons on his shirt.

“Time to leave, Cherie, or we will definitely be late,” Séb smiled as he took Sheena’s hand.

Fifteen minutes later the car pulled up in front of a building that looked like it was in a really bad shape and Sheena wondered what they were doing there. No restaurants were in sight so why had Séb brought her to this place? Séb locked the car and walked over to Sheena. He grabbed her around her waist and pulled her close.

“Don’t worry, Cherie. I didn’t want you to see where we are having dinner so I parked the car here. Come with me,” Séb said with a smile.

Séb wrapped his arm around Sheena's shoulder as they walked down the street. The surroundings seemed familiar to Sheena and she knew that she had been in this area before but it wasn't until they stopped walking that she knew why everything looked familiar.

“This is the restaurant. Do you remember this place?” Séb asked.

“Of course I do. This is where we met seven years ago,” Sheena replied.

“Yes it is and this time I promise you there will be a table,” Séb laughed.

They stepped into the restaurant and were greeted by the same person who had argued with Sheena seven years ago. Séb told the man his name and the man showed them to their table. He pulled out Sheena’s chair and waited for her to sit down. The man gave them their menus and told them he would be back to take their orders. Séb and Sheena looked at the menus and the waiter returned five minutes later to take their orders.

Séb and Sheena were enjoying their dinner. They talked about the day they met and their first impressions of the other person. It was a topic they had never talked about before and now just seemed like the right moment to talk about that. They both admitted that it had been love at first sight. Séb also admitted that he had never believed in love at first sight until he had met Sheena that night. They continued to talk and it was just after 10pm when they left the restaurant.

“What are you thinking of?” Sheena asked Séb as they walked toward the car.

“I was just thinking of our first date. After dinner we went to the Eiffel Tower and we shared our first kiss right in front of the tower,” Séb replied.

“I remember that and I remember the kiss,” Sheena looked at Séb.

“It was a great kiss and a great date. I just had an idea. Do you want to hear it?” Séb stopped and looked at Sheena.

“Yes,” Sheena replied.

“Let us go to the Eiffel Tower,” Séb suggested.

“It is late,” Sheena looked at her watch.

“I know but that shouldn’t stop us from going. Amanda is with my mom and we don’t have any plans for tomorrow. We can stay out for as long as we want to,” Séb reminded her.

“Then let us go to the Eiffel Tower,” Sheena agreed.

They walked to the car and drove off. Séb was starting to get nervous and it only got worse as they got closer to the Eiffel Tower. He tried to hide his nervousness but Sheena wasn’t easy to fool. Séb was drumming his fingers on the steering wheel and he was playing with his hair. He always did that when he was nervous.

“Are you ok?” Sheena was a bit worried.

“I am fine. We are here,” Séb stopped the car.

Raindrops had started to fall and Sheena told him they could visit the Eiffel Tower the next day but Séb wouldn’t hear of it. He had a plan and he wouldn’t let rain interfere with his plan. The couple found a bench and Séb gestured for Sheena to sit down. Sheena did as Séb asked her to and she waited for him to join her but he didn’t.

“It looks like the rain is getting worse and I don’t want us to get sick but there is something I have to do. Before I do this, I want to say that I am sorry,” Séb told her.

“Sorry for what?” Sheena asked.

“I am sorry for not doing this five years ago,” Séb kneeled down in front of Sheena.

“Séb,” Sheena managed to say.

“Will you marry me?” Séb revealed the ring.



“Yes. Yes, I will marry you,” Sheena answered with tears in her eyes.

Séb smiled as he placed the ring on Sheena’s finger. He stood and pulled Sheena with him. The kiss they shared was deep and passionate and Séb suggested they went back to the mansion to celebrate. It was pouring down when the couple ran back to the car.

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PostSubject: Re: From Paris with love   Sun Aug 10, 2014 1:21 pm

Chapter 54

---- Two weeks later in Tuscany ----

Séb, Sheena and Amanda were on their way to Pierre’s house in Tuscany. It would be their home for the next two weeks and they were looking forward to relax and do nothing at all. Sheena had no idea that Séb had arranged a surprise for her and he couldn’t wait to see her face when his surprise was revealed. Hopefully she wouldn’t get mad at him for making these arrangements without her knowledge.

The car pulled up in front of the house and Sheena was stunned to see the house because the house was not what she had expected and for a second she thought it was the wrong house. Séb stopped the car as Sheena checked the address one more time. The address matched the address of the house so it had to be the right house.



They got out of the car and walked to the house. Sheena took out the keys and opened the front door. The house was just as amazing on the inside as it was on the outside. Sheena had expected a two bedroom house but this house had six bedrooms. Amanda quickly found her bedroom and she started to unpack before she had seen the rest of the house.

“This house is amazing,” Sheena said.

“It sure is. Your dad had great taste,” Séb agreed.

“It might sound crazy but it is almost like I can feel his presence here. Maybe it is because of the paintings on the walls. All of the paintings are Pierre’s,” Sheena pointed out.

“Not all of them. This one doesn’t have Pierre’s name on it,” Séb was staring at a painting.

Sheena walked over to him and looked at the painting. She couldn’t believe her own eyes. It was one of her first paintings and she had always wondered what happened to the painting. She was happy to learn that the painting hadn’t just disappeared and she could understand why her parents hadn’t mentioned to her what had happened to it. They knew that if they had told her about Pierre, she would have started asking questions; questions they were not ready to answer.

Séb and Sheena took a closer look at the house and suddenly Amanda joined them. She was in her bathing suit, ready to jump into the pool but she knew that she wasn’t allowed to go into the water alone. Séb and Sheena went to their bedroom to change and ten minutes later the family was having a great time in the pool.

Sheena was in the kitchen preparing lunch when she heard a doorbell. At first she thought it was her imagination because they were not expecting guests but when she heard the doorbell again, she knew that someone was at the door. She couldn’t believe her eyes when she opened the door.

“What are you guys doing here?” she asked.

“You should ask Séb about that. This was his idea,” Rebecca replied with a smile.

“I see. Well, welcome to Tuscany,” Sheena stepped aside.

“Nice house,” Urs said as he stepped into the hall.

“Yes, it is a nice house,” Sheena agreed.

“Where is Séb and Amanda?” David wanted to know.

“They are in the pool. I will show you to your bedrooms and then you can join us at the pool when you are ready. I was actually in the middle of making lunch,” Sheena walked upstairs, followed by the guests.

“That sounds good. The girls and I will help you,” Maggie said.

“Great. These are the rooms available. Pick one and I will meet you downstairs,” Sheena told them and disappeared.

Séb and Amanda were relaxing on the sunbeds when Sheena walked outside to tell Séb that his guests had arrived. Amanda was excited and she couldn’t wait to see Victoria and all of her aunts and uncles, especially uncle David. She ran into the house, calling for uncle David as she ran upstairs.

“Are you mad at me for inviting them?” Séb looked at Sheena.

“No, I am not mad at you but it would have been nice to know that they were coming,” Sheena answered.

“I know but I wanted it to be a surprise. I have invited them to stay with us for a week. That means we will have one week to ourselves after they are gone and I promise you that I will make it up to you,” Séb kissed her deeply.

“Get a room, please,” David suddenly said.

“We will do that later,” Séb said with a smile.

Séb greeted all of them and the guys jumped into the pool with Amanda and baby Victoria while the girls went into the kitchen to finish lunch. Amanda was having a blast and so was baby Victoria.

“Victoria is growing so fast,” Sheena said to Maggie.

“I know. Speaking of that, we have one bag of clothes for you already. I am so glad we could borrow Amanda’s baby clothes,” Maggie told her.

“I am glad you could use it. How are you feeling, Miki?” Sheena looked at her friend.

“Fine, thanks. If all goes well, baby Buhler will make an appearance by the end of September,” Miki touched her belly.

“That´s great,” Sheena smiled.

“What is that?” Rebecca grabbed Sheena’s hand.

“A ring,” Sheena replied.

“Did he propose?” Rebecca continued.

“Yes, he did. Two weeks ago he took me out to dinner. After dinner we drove to the Eiffel Tower and he proposed to me in front of the Eiffel Tower while the rain was pouring down,” Sheena beamed.

“And you didn’t tell us? Well, I guess you had your reasons for not telling us. This is great news and I think it calls for a party,” Rebecca hugged Sheena.

“A pool party. Let us discuss it over lunch,” Maggie suggested.

The girls agreed as they finished preparing lunch. The guys were talking when the girls joined them by the pool. Rebecca whispered something to Carlos as she sat down next to him and he looked at Sheena and Séb.

“I guess congratulations is in order. Rebecca tells me that you two are engaged,” Carlos said to them.

“What? When did this happen?” Urs asked.

“It happened two weeks ago in Paris,” Séb replied.

“Tell us more about that,” David sipped his coke.

Séb told them of the night he had proposed to Sheena and even though the girls had heard the story before, they still thought it was so romantic. Everyone was happy for the couple and Maggie informed the guys about the party and all of the guys were in on the idea. They made plans for the party as they were having lunch. After lunch, the couples went to their rooms to relax. It had been a long trip for David and Maggie and they didn’t want to be tired for the party.

Amanda had asked David and Maggie if Victoria could sleep in her room and both had agreed to it. They knew that Amanda would take good care of  Victoria and their room was right next to Amanda’s room in case something happened.

“I want a baby,” Séb said to Sheena.

“What?” Sheena looked at him.

“A baby. Amanda needs a brother or a sister,” Séb smiled.

“And she will get a brother or a sister but why the rush?  I am not going anywhere,” Sheena told him.

“I know that but I just want to have a baby with you,” Séb pulled her close.

“Don’t worry. It will happen when the time is right,” Sheena looked at him.

“I know,” Séb sighed.

“Of course it can’t hurt to practice a little. After all, practice makes perfect,” Sheena  smiled as she gently touched Séb’s chest.

“I like the way you think,” Séb smiled back.

*******

Rebecca and Carlos were sitting on the balcony, enjoying the view and a cold drink. Both of them understood why Pierre had left this place to Millie. It was the perfect hide away if you wanted to get away from the city and have some privacy.  No neighbors , no traffic and no stress. The only sounds came from the trees and the birds in the sky.

“This is life. I could stay here forever,” Rebecca sipped her coke.

“So you want to live here instead of Spain?” Carlos asked.

“Maybe but it is not my decision. I don’t really care where we live as long as I am with you,” Rebecca answered.

“I have to admit that Tuscany is very appealing and it can’t hurt to look at homes here. If we can find a home like this one then I wouldn’t mind living here,” Carlos smiled.

“Do you really mean that?” Rebecca was stunned.

“Of course I do. I wouldn’t have said it if I didn’t mean it. Let us finish our drinks and then go for a walk. It is only 2pm,” Carlos suggested.

“I like that idea,” Rebecca finished her coke.

Carlos and Rebecca changed their clothes and left the house.

*******

“I know we agreed that we didn’t want to know if the baby is a boy or a girl but it would be easier to start on the nursery if we did know,” Urs said to Miki.

“I have been thinking the same thing but I didn’t want to say anything,” Miki confessed.

“We could call the doctor now. No need to wait,” Urs suggested.

“How long have you been thinking about this?” Miki looked at Urs.

“A few weeks. So, what do you say?” Urs asked.

“Call the doctor,” Miki replied with a smile.

Urs picked up his phone and called the doctor. He put the call on speaker so Miki could listen in on the conversation. The doctor asked several times if they were sure before she told them. They thanked the doctor and hung up. Urs stared at the phone without saying anything and Miki wondered if he was upset about the answer. Urs had told her that he didn’t care if it was a boy or girl as long as the baby was healthy. Now they knew the answer and Urs looked like he wasn’t pleased.

“Are you disappointed?” Miki asked, looking down.

“What? No, I am not disappointed at all. Why would you think something like that?” Urs was stunned.

“You are staring at the phone without saying a word,” Miki looked at him.

“It has got nothing to do with that. I know this sounds stupid but now that we know that we are expecting a little princess, it just seems more real. Our baby is now a person, not just a baby and we can use the word she instead of the baby or baby Buhler,” Urs expressed his feelings.

“It doesn’t sound stupid at all and you are right,” Miki agreed.

“Do you want to tell the others or should we just keep it a secret for now?” Urs held Miki’s hands.

“You know me and secrets. I can’t keep secrets,” Miki reminded him.

“I forgot about that but you will have to keep the secret until tomorrow. Tonight we are all celebrating an engagement,” Urs told her.

“I won’t say a word tonight,” Miki promised.

“Good. What do you want to do now?” Urs pulled Miki close.

“I want to stay here and cuddle with my husband,” Miki replied with a smile.

“As you wish,” Urs smiled back.

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PostSubject: Re: From Paris with love   Tue Aug 12, 2014 6:10 pm

Chapter 55

“Have you decided on a wedding date yet?” Miki asked Sheena.

“Not really. At this point we know it will be a winter wedding but that is all. It will most likely be in the beginning of December,” Sheena answered.

“A winter wedding sounds so romantic. Are you getting married in Los Angeles?” Maggie sipped her ice tea.

“We talked about it but it is difficult for us to combine a winter wedding with Los Angeles. Right now we lean toward Paris or somewhere with snow,” Sheena told her.

“We have got some great venues in Switzerland or you could choose Austria. You will have snow and mountains. It would be just perfect,” Miki said with a smile.

“It could work. I will talk to Séb about it,” Sheena smiled back.

“Have you found your wedding dress yet? I had found my dress long before David even proposed to me,” Maggie looked at Sheena.

“Kind of. When Séb and I were dating the first time, he went on vacation with some friends and I went back to Los Angeles to be with the family. One day Rebecca and I were at her house and she was working on some new designs. I thought it could be fun to create a dress so I decided to make my wedding dress. The dress looked great and I asked Rebecca to hold on to the drawing,” Sheena explained.

“So, you have actually designed your own dress? That is so cool,” Maggie said.

“Yes, but I won’t be able to use the dress,” Sheena sighed.

“Why not?” Miki asked.

“That dress was for my wedding with Séb. I thought Séb had cheated on me so I left him and went back to Los Angeles. I knew there wouldn’t be a wedding so I asked Rebecca to throw the drawing away, so the drawing no longer exists,” Sheena looked at Rebecca.

“That is not true. I know you asked me to throw it away but I never did. The drawing still exists and if you still want the dress then I will happy to make it for you,” Rebecca surprised Sheena by saying.

“You still have the drawing?” Sheena was stunned.

“Yes, I do. The design was too good to throw away so I decided to keep the drawing. It is upstairs in my room now. I never leave home without my designs,” Rebecca smiled.

“Can we see it?” Maggie was curious.

“If it is ok with Sheena,” Rebecca looked at her friend.

“It is only a sketch but if you want to see it then be my guest,” Sheena agreed.

Rebecca excused herself and went upstairs to get the drawing. She returned a few minutes later and showed the drawing to Maggie and Miki. They loved the sketch and they couldn’t wait to see the dress when it was finished.



The girls were busy talking about the wedding when the guys returned to the house. They had been out shopping for groceries for the party.

“What is that?” Séb pointed at the drawing on the table.

“Oh, I was just showing the girls one of my designs,” Rebecca hid the drawing.

“Can I see it?” Séb continued.

“No, you can’t. This is a drawing of Sheena’s wedding dress and I don’t think she wants you to see it yet,” Rebecca told him.

“I see. Well, I guess I can wait until the wedding. I am sure the dress will be stunning and you will look beautiful in it,” Séb kissed Sheena.

The guys disappeared into the kitchen with the groceries and the girls joined them shortly after but they were told to leave again. The Divos wanted to prepare everything and who could say no to that? Amanda wanted to help out in the kitchen and she asked Sheena if it was ok. Sheena told her she would have to talk to her daddy about that and Amanda ran into the kitchen. When she didn’t return, Sheena knew that the guys had said yes. It didn’t come as a surprise because Amanda had all of the guys wrapped around her finger.

The girls went upstairs to change into their bathing suits. Since they were not allowed access to the kitchen, they decided to go for a swim. The weather was still nice and the water was perfect. Carlos suddenly showed up and he poured ice tea for all of the girls before he disappeared again.

“I could get used to this,” Rebecca said with a smile.

“Me too. This is life,” Miki sipped her ice tea.

David and Urs appeared with plates, glasses, knives and forks. Maggie offered to help them set the table but the Divos refused the offer. Urs told her that they wanted to pamper the girs and that they had everything under control. Maggie smiled as she leaned back on the sunbed. She had just closed her eyes when Victoria announced it was dinner time for her. Maggie was about to get up when David walked over to the stroller and picked up his daughter.

“I will take care of this,” he flashed his smile and disappeared.

“Isn’t he just great?” Maggie looked at her friends.

“Yes, he is. You all have great husbands,” Sheena agreed.

“And you have a great husband to be,” Rebecca said.

“I know and it’s amazing how much my life has changed over the last few months. It has been a real roller coaster ride for me but hopefully now only good things will happen,” Sheena told her.

“Nothing can go wrong. It’s time for you to look on the bright sides,” Rebecca smiled.

“You’re right. Let’s talk about something else,” Sheena suggested.

The other girls agreed and soon after they were talking about colors for the nursery. Miki and Urs had found one nursery each before they knew it the baby was going to be a boy or a girl but they couldn’t agree which one to use. Urs’ idea for a nursery was a jungle theme with huts, palm trees, girafs, lions, zebras and elephants. Miki wasn’t happy about it because she thought it was a bit too much and she didn’t want to scare the poor child.

Miki’s idea was very different from Urs’ idea. She had found a nursery in a silver look and she was convinced that it was the right nursery for the baby. Miki knew the girls would be on her side so she wasn’t worried at all.

In the kitchen Urs was telling his friends about his wishes for a nursery and he asked them to help him convince Miki that the jungle theme was the way to go. Without knowing exactly what Urs’ nursery looked like, the guys agreed to help Urs. He wasn’t ready to give up his idea, at least not without a fight and he was happy to hear that the guys were on his side.

Dinner was ready and the guys carried the food outside where the girls were waiting. The food was delicious and the conversation during dinner was mostly about the wedding but of course the nurseries were mentioned too.

“If we had a computer we could settle this once and for all,” Miki said.

“We do have a computer. I always bring my laptop in case the girls have problems at the galleries. I will get it after dinner,” Sheena told her.

“Good. Then Urs will see that a jungle theme is not the way to go,” Miki looked at Urs.

“I wouldn’t count on it,” Urs smiled at her.

“We just have to wait and see about that,” Miki smiled back.

“I agree. Now I want to hear more about the wedding,” Urs sipped his wine.

“Well, there is not much to tell. All we know so far is that it will be in December,” Séb said.

“Really?” Urs was a bit stunned.

“We’ve only been engaged for two weeks and we’ve got plenty of time to plan the wedding,” Séb said, looking at Sheena.

“That’s what you think. Planning a wedding isn’t done in one day or one week. Our wedding took almost two months to plan,” Maggie told Séb.

“This is my first time planning a wedding. Virginia was planning our wedding all by herself and I had no idea what she had planned. I didn’t even know that she hadn’t invited any of my friends or family to the wedding,” Séb said.

“Well, I’m not planning this wedding without you. This is our wedding and we will make all of the decisions together,” Sheena promised.

“I probably won’t be of much help but I will do my best to give you the wedding you deserve,” Séb said.

“The wedding we deserve,” Sheena corrected him.

“You’re right. The wedding we deserve,” Séb agreed.

“I hate to interupt your little conversation but I think your daughter is tired,” David pointed at a sleeping Amanda.

Séb excused himself and carried his daughter upstairs to her room. Shortly after David entered the room with Victoria. The two Divos looked at their daughters sleeping and suddenly David started to laugh. Séb looked at his friend, wondering what was so amusing about watching two girls sleeping.

“Are you doing ok?” Séb asked.

“I’m fine. It’s just funny. You have a daughter, I have a daughter and Urs will have a daughter soon. If Carlos and Rebecca have a daughter then we have a new group called Divas,” David replied with a smile.

“You’re right. It is funny. Let’s go back to the party,” Séb suggested.

Séb and David went downstairs and joined their friends. Carlos and Urs was enjoying their wine and the girls were in the kitchen doing the dishes. After doing the dishes, Rebecca, Maggie and Miki went outside while Sheena went upstairs to get her laptop. Sheena returned with her laptop and she gave it to Miki. It only took Miki a few minutes to find the nursery pics and then it was time to vote.





“What do you think? Jungle theme or silver/white theme?” Miki asked her friends.

“I like Urs’ idea,” David expressed his opinion.

“I don’t. It’s not suitable for a girl. Would you put Victoria in a room like that?” Maggie looked at her husband.

“Well, we’re not talking about me or Victoria. This is about Miki and Urs’ daughter,” David replied.

“Nice try. Would you put your daughter in a room like that?” Maggie turned to Sheena.

“No way. Sorry Urs but I have to agree with Maggie and Miki on this. That room is so not suitable for a girl,” Sheena expressed her opinion.

“It’s a cool nursery and if I had a son then I wouldn’t have a problem making a nursery like that,” Carlos added his opinion.

“Fine. I give up. You win,” Urs said to Miki.

“Of course I do. I promise you that next time you get to choose the nursery,” Miki kissed Urs on the cheek.

“Even if the next baby is a girl?” Urs asked.

“Yes, even if the baby is a girl,” Miki agreed.

“I suggest you get this one first before you start talking about having more babies,” David looked at them.

“He does have a point. Let’s focus on this one first,” Urs touched Miki’s belly.

“I think we’ve had enough baby talk for tonight. Let’s change the subject and enjoy this beautiful evening,” David raised his glass.

The others raised their glasses too and they all had a great time. When the clock reached 2am it was time for them to say goodnight after spending a wonderful day with friends.

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PostSubject: Re: From Paris with love   Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:43 pm

Chapter 56

It was a beautiful morning in Tuscany when Sheena woke up. Séb was sleeping like a baby next to her and she didn’t have the heart to wake him up. She rose from the bed and walked into Amanda’s room to check on her. Amanda was sleeping but Victoria was beginning to stir. Sheena walked over to the crib and she was met by Victoria’s blue eyes and a big smile. A few seconds later Victoria started to make sounds and Sheena knew what that sound meant.

“I think someone needs a clean diaper,” Sheena picked up Victoria.

She carried Victoria into the bathroom and removed the dirty diaper. Sheena took her time in cleaning up Victoria and she hadn’t noticed that Séb was watching her. He watched her closely as she reached for a new diaper and gently wrapped it around Victoria. Once Victoria was ready, Sheena picked her up and turned around.

“You looked like a pro,” Séb said with a smile.

“I’ve done it lots of times before,” Sheena smiled back.

“You look really comfortable with a baby in your arms, not to mention extremely attractive,” Séb walked over to Sheena.

“We’ve already had this conversation,” Sheena reminded him.

“I know but you told me that practice makes perfect,” Séb winked at her.

“True but I didn’t say how much practice,” Sheena said.

“No, you didn’t but I think we need a lot of practice. After all, it did take us two years to make Amanda,” Séb teased her.

“You’re so funny. Do you want to help me with breakfast?” Sheena asked him.

“On one condition,” Séb replied.

“Name it,” Sheena looked at him.

“That we practice tonight,” Séb said with a smile.

“Fine. Let’s get started on the breakfast,” Sheena walked out of the bathroom.

Séb smiled at his reflection in the mirror before he turned and followed Sheena downstairs to the kitchen. Sheena placed Victoria in the baby rocking chair before she made coffee. Séb was preparing the pancake batter when Maggie walked in.

“Good morning,” Maggie said, followed by a yawn.

“It sure is a good morning. Your daughter is clean and ready for breakfast. I hope you don’t mind,” Sheena looked at Maggie.

“Not at all. David is still sleeping. Are the others still sleeping too?” Maggie asked as she bent down in front of Victoria.

“I haven’t seen them yet so I would think so. They will probably be here when they smell the coffee and the pancakes. I know one little lady who will be here when she smells the pancakes,” Sheena replied.

“You can’t blame her. Pancakes are good,” David suddenly voiced his opinion.

“Good morning,” Séb said.

“Morning. Is the coffee ready yet?” David wanted to know.

“Not yet. There is juice in the fridge if you want some of that,” Sheena pointed at the fridge.

“Can I help with anything?” Maggie asked.

“Yes, you can set the table. The weather is great so I suggest we eat outside,” Sheena looked at her friends.

“Great idea,” Maggie grabbed plates and mugs from the cupboard.

Maggie and David went outside to set the table while Sheena and Séb were busy in the kitchen. A few minutes later Rebecca and Carlos joined them, followed by Amanda and Urs. There was no sign of Miki and Urs explained that Miki was still in bed. She wasn’t feeling so good and it didn’t look like she would be going sightseeing with them later.

“Maybe we should postpone the trip to Florence until Miki is feeling better,” Sheena suggested.

“I’ve already talked to her and she wants us to go to Florence. She will just stay here and rest,” Urs explained.

“Do you think she would mind watching Victoria while we’re gone?” David asked Urs.

“I think she would the thrilled to do it,” Urs replied with a smile.

“Can I stay too? I want to help aunt Miki take care of Victoria,” Amanda looked at Sheena and Séb.

“If Miki says ok then you can stay but you have to ask her,” Séb told her.

“After breakfast,” Sheena added when Amanda was about to leave the table.

“Yes, mommy,” Amanda ate her pancakes.

Half an hour later they had finished breakfast and everyone went to their rooms to get ready for the trip to Florence. Urs and Amanda went upstairs together because they both had something to ask Miki. As expected Miki agreed to watch Victoria and Amanda was thrilled when Miki told her that she could stay and help with Victoria. Urs and Amanda left the bedroom and Miki went into the bathroom to get ready for the day.

It was twenty minutes later when Miki came downstairs to say goodbye to her friends. She was feeling a little better but not well enough to go with her friends. Maggie and Sheena felt bad about leaving the girls with Miki when she wasn’t feeling well but Miki told them it wasn’t a problem at all. She was glad to do it and she needed to practice for when her own child was born.

The group said goodbye and drove off. As soon as they were out of sight, Miki went inside with the girls. Victoria was yawning so Miki brought her upstairs and changed the diaper before she put her down in the crib. It didn’t take long before Victoria was sleeping peacefully and as she watched the little girl, Miki touched her own belly. In there was her own baby girl growing and she couldn’t wait to hold the baby in her arms. Miki turned on the baby alarm and went downstairs to Amanda.

“What should we do now?” Miki asked Amanda.

“Well, it is hot today so I would like to swim in the pool,” Amanda replied.

“That sounds like a good idea. Let’s go upstairs and change,” Miki smiled.

Amanda held Miki’s hand as they walked upstairs to change into their bathing suits. Ten minutes later they were having fun in the pool.

********

The first stop on the group’s tour was the Santa Maria Novella Church. It was one of the most beautiful churches in Italy, characterized by a wonderful facade with multicolored marbles. The inside was filled with great masterpieces of art such as a crucifix by Giotto and a fresco of The Holy Trinity by Masaccio.



The church was like paradise for Sheena. Of course the art was different from what Sheena had in her galleries but it was still art and she loved it. The others were impressed by the interior too and they too had a good time.

Next stop was Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore which is the main church of Florence. The exterior of the basilica is faced with polychrome marble panels in various shades of green and pink bordered by white and has an elaborate 19th-century Gothic Revival facede by Emilio De Fabris. The cathedral complex, located in Piazza del Duomo, includes the Baptistery and Giotto’s Bell Tower. If you felt like climbing the 414 steps of the Bell Tower, you would get a great view over the city and the dome itself. The group decided not to do that.



Inside the dome, the group admired works by Giotto, Donatello, and many others. West of the dome was the Baptistery of San Giovanni with its octagonal shape, rising over the remains of a Roman palace of the 1st century AD.



After the visit to the dome, the group had lunch at a small restaurant before they went to Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio. Piazza della Signoria is the very heart of Florence, adorned by an array of statues, including Michelangelo’s David. Palazzo Vecchio is the town hall of Florence. The massive fortress-palace is among the most impressive town halls of Tuscany. It hosts a lot of masterpieces of art and is one of the most significant public places in Italy.



Next to Palazzo Vecchio was the famous art gallery of Uffizi, the greatest collection of Renaissance paintings in the all world, including treasures by Michelangelo, Tiziano, and Raffaello, amongst many others. After visiting the art gallery, the group went for a walk in Florence and David managed to take a lot of pictures.

It was late afternoon when they returned to the house. They expected to the house buzzing with activity because of Amanda and Victoria but when they walked through the door, they were met by silence. It seemed strange but Sheena had an idea of what was going on.

“My guess is that they are sleeping. Amanda is only this quiet when she is sleeping or watching Disney movies. I bet they are upstairs,” Sheena said.

“I hope you’re right,” Urs looked at her.

The group went upstairs and Urs checked his bedroom but there was no sign of Miki or the girls. He left the bedroom and was met by Carlos who led him to Amanda’s room. Urs walked into the bedroom and found his wife sleeping with Amanda cuddled up to her. Victoria was sleeping peacefully in the crib and the group decided to let them sleep.

Carlos, Rebecca and Maggie wanted to take a nap before dinner and they went to their rooms. Sheena, Séb, David and Urs wanted to spend some time by the pool so they went to their rooms to change. While Urs was changing, Miki walked into the bedroom.

“Did you have a good time?” Miki asked as she walked over to Urs.

“Yes, but I would have enjoyed it more if you had been there with me,” Urs kissed her.

“I’ve missed you too and I will go with you tomorrow. That is a promise,” Miki said with a smile.

“That sounds good. How is the baby doing?” Urs touched Miki’s belly.

“She is doing fine,” Miki replied.

“I can’t wait to meet her,” Urs said.

“Same here. It will be December before we know it,” Miki touched his cheek.

“I know. It’s time for a dip in the pool. Are you coming?” Urs held out his hand.

“Yes,” Miki placed her hand in his.

David was already in the pool when Urs and Miki arrived. Séb and Sheena joined them a few minutes later with refreshments for all of them. Sheena and Miki were talking while the guys were having fun in the pool.

“It looks like you have got two kids to take care of,” Miki said to Sheena.

“Yes, it sure does. Right now Amanda seems more mature than Séb does,” Sheena laughed.

“I’m not deaf,” Séb said.

“I know you’re not deaf but you have to admit that you’re not acting your age,” Sheena looked at him.

“There is nothing wrong with acting like a kid. Just look at David,” Séb pointed at his friend.

“I will get you for that comment later,” David promised.

“And I will be waiting,” Séb smiled.

“What’s for dinner tonight?” David asked as he got out of the pool.

“My mom mentioned a restaurant not far from here. It’s a small restaurant but the food is great and the owner is really nice,” Sheena answered.

“We should go there,” David said.

“I will call the restaurant now,” Sheena disappeared.

Séb and Urs got out of the pool and they drank their ice tea before they went upstairs to get ready for dinner. Maggie was awake when David walked into the bedroom. He informed her of the dinner plans and Maggie went into the bathroom to take a shower. Sheena went into Amanda’s room to wake her up and she knocked on the door to Rebecca and Carlos’ room before she went to her own bedroom.

Half an hour later they left the house and went to the restaurant for dinner. When Sheena walked into the restaurant, she noticed a picture on the wall. It was a picture of the owner with Pierre and Millie. Sheena explained to him that Pierre and Millie were her parents and the owner told her that he knew who she was when she walked into the restaurant. The owner showed them to their table and a few seconds later a woman brought them the menus.

After placing the orders, David took out his camera and showed his pictures and videos to Miki. She was impressed too and she hoped that she would be able to see Florence before they had to leave. Urs asked his friends if it was ok for him to take his wife to Florence the next day and all of them thought it was a good idea. It would be good for them to spend some time alone with their loved ones.

The food was served and as they enjoyed their dinner, they talked about what to do the next day. When they left the restaurant, they had all made plans and everyone was looking forward to some alone time with their loved ones. The couples went straight to bed when they returned to the house.

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PostSubject: Re: From Paris with love   Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:51 pm

Chapter 57

Séb woke up when he felt something on his face. As he opened his eyes, he stared directly at a child’s foot. He heard Sheena giggle and he turned his head to look at her. Amanda’s head was resting on Sheena’s legs and her feet were in Séb’s face.

“Why is she here?” Séb whispered.

“Your guess is as good as mine. She was in the bed when I woke up. Only two things would make her climb into bed with us,” Sheena whispered back.

“Nightmare or thunder but we know it can’t be thunder,” Séb pointed out as he gently removed Amanda’s foot from his face.

“How can you be so sure of that?” Sheena looked at him.

“If there had been thunder, you would have woken up in my arms,” Séb teased her.

“That is true,” Sheena admitted.

“You don’t have to wait for thunder to wake up in my arms,” Séb smiled at her.

“I know. We should get out of bed,” Sheena said.

Sheena tried to wake up Amanda but it was easier said than done. Amanda just made a few sounds and went back to sleep. After Sheena had tried to wake her up three times, Séb made a decision and tickled Amanda’s feet. It worked and Amanda instantly woke up.

“What are you doing in here young lady?” Séb asked.

“I’m sorry, daddy. I had a bad dream and I was afraid to go back to sleep so I came in here to be close to you and mommy. Are you and mommy mad at me?” Amanda looked at her parents.

“No, we’re not mad at you. How could we be mad at you? You’re our daughter and we love you very much,” Séb kissed her forehead.

“Who wants to help me with breakfast?” Sheena asked.

“I do, I do,” Amanda replied as she jumped out of bed.

“Don’t forget to put on your slippers,” Sheena said.

“I won’t,” Amanda ran out of the bedroom.

“I want a dozen girls like her,” Séb rose from the bed.

“I don’t,” Sheena told him.

“Why not? She is a great child,” Séb walked over to Sheena.

“Yes, she is but I would have to stay in Paris and take care of all of them while you’re on tour. Not going to happen, Izambard,” Sheena firmly stated.

“I’m just teasing you. I love children but a dozen is too much,” Séb wrapped his arms around her.

“I’m glad we agree. It’s time for breakfast,” Sheena looked at him.

“Not so fast,” Séb kissed her softly.

He broke the kiss and they got dressed. When they entered the kitchen, David was preparing breakfast for all of them and Amanda was playing with Victoria. Urs and Miki joined them a few minutes later and finally Carlos and Rebecca made an appearance. David told his friends to go outside and find a seat and they did as he requested. Five minutes later he joined them and the group enjoyed their breakfast.

“Can I go with David and Maggie today?” Amanda asked.

“Not today pumpkin. I think David and Maggie need some time alone,” Sheena answered.

“I don’t know if you remember this but we have a baby and time alone is not something we have,” David laughed.

“I know you have a baby and I remember what it was like to have a baby. I just thought that you might want to be alone as a family,” Sheena explained.

“Amanda is family. If she wants to come with us today then it’s fine with me. She loves to help out and it’s nice to have her around,” Maggie told Sheena.

“I agree. She can come with us if she wants,” David flashed his smile.

“Ok. Amanda can go with you today but on one condition,” Sheena looked at Maggie.

“What is it?” Maggie asked.

“Tomorrow you and David go out and enjoy the day together as a couple. No Victoria, just David and Maggie. We will take care of Victoria until you return from your day out. How does that sound?” Sheena wanted to know.

“It sounds like a good plan. What do you think?” Maggie looked at David.

“I love the idea. It’s a deal,” David agreed.

They finished their breakfast and went upstairs to get ready for their days out. Half an hour later they all left the house and went their separate ways.


-- Miki and Urs - Florence --



As Urs and Miki were on their way to Florence, Urs began to have a bad feeling about going to Florence. Miki was pregnant and he was worried that she wouldn’t be able to enjoy Florence. She had been so tired lately and he wasn’t sure if walking so much was good for her. Maybe they should have stayed at the house instead of going sightseeing in Florence.

“What’s wrong?” Miki asked.

“Are you sure about this? I mean, you have to walk a lot,” Urs voiced his concern.

“I’m pregnant, not sick. I admit that I’ve had bad days but today I feel like I can walk on water,” Miki told him.

“Just promise me that you won’t overdo it. If you get tired then we go back to the house. I don’t want anything to happen to you or our daughter,” Urs said.

“I promise,” Miki smiled.

“Good. Well, welcome to Florence,” Urs smiled back.

“Thank you. What a beautiful city this is. Where do we start?” Miki asked.

“I suggest I show you some of the places we went yesterday. We might be able to do that before lunch and after lunch, I will take you to the old bridge. I do have a few more places to show you but I will only take you there if you feel up to it,” Urs replied.

“Agreed. Let’s go sightseeing,” Miki kissed his cheek.

Hand in hand they walked towards Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. Urs had been up most of the night reading about the sights in Florence and it was time for him to share his knowledge with Miki. Inside of the Dome, he told her about the bell tower and the 414 steps leading to the top.

“Did you guys do it yesterday?” Miki was curious.

“We decided against it but some day I want to come back and then I will climb all 414 steps to the top,” Urs told her.

“I will join you when the time comes,” Miki said.

“Really?” Urs was stunned.

“If I could, I would walk to the top right now,” Miki answered.

“That’s great. We will be back next year,” Urs promised.

Urs and Miki continued their tour and when they had finished their tour, the couple went to Piazza della Signoria where Michelangelo’s statue David was. Miki had only seen pictures of the statue and it was impressive to see it in real life. The last stop on the tour before lunch was Palazzo Vecchio, the town hall of Florence. Miki was impressed by the masterpieces of art and she could only imagine that it must have been like paradise for Sheena.

“I don’t know about you but I’m hungry,” Urs told Miki.

“Me too,” Miki said.

“Let’s go to the restaurant where we had lunch yesterday. The food is great,” Urs suggested.

“I can eat anything right now. Just lead the way,” Miki smiled at him.

Urs brought her to the restaurant and the two of them enjoyed their lunch. An hour later they had finished their lunch and were on their way to Ponte Vecchio, the old bridge of Florence.



The bridge was unique and it was the only bridge to survive the bombs dropped by the Nazi’s during World War 2. It had also survived the tragic flooding of the Arno in 1966 and it is now one of the main sights and symbols of the city.

The bridge hosted a lot of jewelry shops and of course Miki wanted to visit every single shop. Urs didn’t object and in one of the shops he found the perfect gift for Miki but how could he buy it when she was in the shop? The problem solved itself when Miki had to use the bathroom. As soon as she was gone, Urs purchased the necklace and he had just put it in his pocket when Miki returned. He asked her if there was anything she wanted but Miki told him no.

They left the shop and continued their walk. Urs led her to the most famous shopping street in Florence, Via dè Tornabuoni where you could find brands like Prada, Gucci and Valentino just to mention a few brands. Miki knew that she couldn’t buy anything but it couldn’t hurt to look and get some ideas. She knew they would be back next year and she had more than enough clothes in her closet back home.

“I hope this was the last stop,” Miki said as they left one of the shops.

“Are you tired?” Urs asked.

“A little,” Miki replied.

“No problem. May I suggest that we return to the car and drive to the restaurant we went to last night?” Urs looked at her.

“I love your suggestion. Let’s go,” Miki agreed.

The couple went back to the car and drove off. When they arrived at the restaurant, they were greeted by the owner who remembered them from the night before. He escorted them to a table in a corner of the restaurant to give them some privacy. The couple had already decided what to eat so Urs placed the orders right away.

A waiter brought them their drinks and he informed them that their food would be served within the next ten minutes. Urs and Miki were enjoying the privacy and they were enjoying their evening. They both knew that once their daughter was born, it would be difficult for them to find the time to go out and enjoy a nice dinner. Another waiter brought them their food and during dinner they talked about names for their daughter. They both suggested a lot of names and when they walked out of the restaurant, they had found a name for their first born.

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PostSubject: Re: From Paris with love   Sun Sep 21, 2014 1:52 pm

Chapter 58

-- Rebecca and Carlos - Siena --



Carlos and Rebecca had arrived at Siena. The gothic town had a very characteristic and appealing historical center, enclosed within its medieval walls, through which traffic was not allowed. The atmosphere was peaceful and being there made you feel like you had entered another world where life went by slowly.

“This is amazing but we won’t be able to see it all since we can’t drive around,” Rebecca said.

“Don’t worry about it. We can reach every corner of the city on foot, at least that is what this leaflet says,” Carlos told her.

“That sounds great. Where do we start?” Rebecca looked at him.

“We could start at the Cathedral and then just walk around. It says here that the Cathedral of Siena is from the 12th century and it is supposed to be a true, gothic masterpiece in black and white marbles.It also says that the Cathedral offers a lot to the traveler: from the amazing panorama you enjoy from the unfinished nave to the mosaic pavement and the superb fresco cycle by Pinturicchio in the Piccolomini Library, to the masterpieces by Duccio and Donatello,” Carlos read from the leaflet.

“That sounds interesting. Let’s start there,” Rebecca smiled.



The couple walked to the cathedral and the leaflet wasn’t lying. The Cathedral was indeed beautiful and Rebecca instantly reached for her camera. She had always been fascinated by historical buildings and monuments and she always had her camera with her. Rebecca took a lot of pictures and some of them included Carlos in front of the Cathedral. Not far from where Carlos was standing, two women were whispering and Rebecca was sure that she heard the words Carlos and Il Divo mentioned.

Suddenly the young woman approached Carlos and asked him if her mom could have her picture taken with him. She explained that her mom was in her late sixties and a die hard cutie. Carlos told her that it would be an honor and he held out his hand to the older woman. She acted like a school girl when she placed her hand in his and Carlos wiggled his eyebrows at her. The woman blushed a bit and Rebecca couldn’t stop smiling. It was just so cute to watch a woman in her sixties blushing like that. After the pic was taken, the two women thanked him and left.

“Your cuties love you,” Rebecca said with a smile.

“And I love my cuties. Let’s continue our tour. We still have a lot to see,” Carlos kissed Rebecca.

They continued to walk around the charming alleys of Siena and ended up in front of the Museum but they decided to wait until after lunch to visit the museum because they knew it would take a long time to see it all. Instead of visiting the museum they walked to the Contrada dell’Oca territory. Near the beatiful and most ancient fountain of Siena, Fontebranda, Saint Catherine’s sanctuary and birthplace was located. It was a spiritual place full of peace.

Saint Catherine, famous for her mystical visions, was born here in 1347. She followed the Dominican order, led an austere life, and struggled against the corruption of the church. Her family home was then transformed into a real sanctuary with a series of oratories, chapels, artworks, as well as records of her life. The head of the saint is preserved in the majestic Church of San Domenico.

After admiring the wonderful frescoes that represented the saint’s life, Carlos and Rebecca decided to get some lunch. They walked around the city , looking for a place to eat and suddenly, hidden in one of the small alleys, they found a restaurant. When they entered the restaurant, Rebecca instantly thought of the Disney movie Lady and the Tramp. Once they were seated, a waiter brought them the menus.

“I just had a crazy idea. We should order spaghetti and meatballs,” Rebecca said, looking at Carlos.

“You’re kidding me, right?” Carlos asked.

“No, I’m not. It’s the perfect setting for a scene from Lady and the Tramp,” Rebecca answered with a smile.

“It’s not the perfect setting. It’s daytime. Let’s just order a sandwich or something like that. Tonight we will return and then we can order spaghetti and meatballs,” Carlos said.

“I like your idea,” Rebecca smiled.

When the waiter returned, they ordered two sandwiches and two cokes. Carlos and Rebecca talked about where to go after lunch and Carlos came up with a few suggestions as he looked at the leaflet. He suggested a visit to Museum Pinacoteca Nazionale, followed by a visit to Santa Maria della Scala. Santa Maria della Scala was one of the first hospitals in Europe, taking care of pilgrims and poor and sick people but it has been turned into a museum. The museum hosts a collection of artworks, frescoes, decorated chapels, temporary exhibitions and events.

After lunch and visiting the two museums, Carlos and Rebecca spent some time walking around in Siena. As the evening drew closer, they walked back to the restaurant and ordered spaghetti and meatballs.

“I hope you don’t expect me to push a meatball your way using my nose because I won’t to that,” Carlos said with a smile as they waited on the food.

“Why not? It was so romantic in the movie. And the spaghetti kiss part was just so adorable,” Rebecca looked at him.

“Pushing food with your nose is gross and I bet you wouldn’t eat the meatball if I did it. Yes, the kiss was adorable but I’m not doing something like that in a public place. We can do stuff like that when we are alone,” Carlos told her.

“So you want to take some spaghetti back to the house?” Rebecca teased him.

“We’re not alone at the house. The others will be there too,” Carlos reminded her.

“You’re right. Guess we have to wait until we’re back in Los Angeles next week,” Rebecca sighed.

“Yes,” Carlos agreed as the waiter brought them their food.

“Since you don’t want to do the meatball thing or the spaghetti kiss then maybe you could sing ‘Bella Notte’ to all of us,” Rebecca suggested.

“You want me to stand up and sing ‘Bella Notte’ now? My food will get cold,” Carlos looked at her.

“I see your point. Ok, you can eat your dinner first,” Rebecca smiled.

“Thank you,” Carlos smiled back.

As soon as Carlos had finished his dinner, a young waitress called for everyone’s attention. She told them that a member of Il Divo was in the restaurant and that he wanted to perform ‘Bella Notte’. As Carlos rose from his chair, the guests started clapping. Carlos started to sing and Rebecca looked at the ladies in the restaurant. They looked like they had drifted off into a world of their own and it made Rebecca smile. Carlos finished the song and everyone was clapping. They were still clapping when he sat down across from Rebecca.

“You were fantastic as always,” Rebecca proudly said.

“Thanks, querida. I don’t know about you but I’m exhausted,” Carlos wiggled his eyebrows.

“Me too. Let’s pay and go back to the house,” Rebecca looked at him.

Carlos paid for the food and they left the restaurant. They walked back to the car and drove back to the house.

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PostSubject: Re: From Paris with love   Sun Sep 21, 2014 1:56 pm

Chapter 59

-- David and Maggie - The Pinocchio Park --

Maggie and David’s original plan had been to go to the Chianti region but now that Amanda was going with them they had decided to change their plan. David had been looking at different websites to find a place that would be perfect for Amanda and after surfing the internet for twenty minutes, he had found the perfect place.

The Pinocchio Park is located in a small town called Collodi and is dedicated to the long-nosed wooden puppet who dreamed of becoming a real boy. The park is set up completely outdoors. Walking inside the large garden, surrounded by the well-cared after vegetation, you’ll find all the main protagonists of the story: Pinocchio, the Fairy with Turquoise Hair, the Cat and the Fox and many other characters from the novel virtually accompany visitors and remind them some of the most relevant passages of the book.

The Park of Pinocchio is an enchanted place, with an almost retro style atmosphere. It is not a place where you will find special effects or high technology attractions, except for several fountains with a few water games installed. Even though the park is not filled with high tech, you will still be able to have a great time.

“Where are we going?” Amanda was dying of curiosity.

“You will find out when we get there,” David told her.

“When will that be?” Amanda asked.

“Now,” David said and stopped the car.

“I love Pinocchio,” Amanda beamed when she saw the entrance to the park.

“Me too. Pinocchio was my bedtime story when I was a kid. I remember every little detail,” Maggie said with a smile.

They got out of the car and walked towards the entrance. Victoria was sleeping peacefully and Amanda was all excited. She was holding David’s hand as they entered the park and the first thing she noticed was the great dogfish shark from the story. Overlooking a pretty pond, the concrete animal emits long splashes of water at regular intervals.



“Do you want to go inside the shark?” David asked Amanda.

“No, I don’t want it to eat me. I remember what happened to Pinocchio and his father,” Amanda replied.

“I don’t want to get eaten either but maybe if we go together, the shark won’t eat us,” David said.

“Ok,” Amanda agreed as she tightened her grip on David’s hand.

Maggie watched as Amanda and David zig-zagged their way between its large and “sharp” teeth and then disappeared. Ten minutes later Amanda and David returned and Amanda told Maggie that they had been inside the shark’s head. All the way to the top of the head where they had a beautiful view of of the garden.



They continued to walk through the park and ended up in a corner of the park where an ivy maze was located. Adults and children were having lots of fun and Maggie asked Amanda if she wanted to go with her. Amanda eagerly nodded her head and the two of them went into the maze. Amanda was the first one to come out of the maze and she was so proud of herself for being able to find her way out without help. Maggie joined them a few minutes later and she admitted that she had to ask a small boy for help.

“Don’t worry about it, baby. You’re getting old and your memory is not what it used to be,” David teased her.

“Mazes can be really tricky, Miller. I bet you wouldn’t be able to find your way out without help,” Maggie looked at him.

“Is that a challenge?” David smiled at her.

“Yes, it is,” Maggie smiled back.

“I will see you in a few minutes,” David said and went into the maze.

Maggie and Amanda found a bench nearby and sat down. After ten minutes David still hadn’t returned and Maggie was sure that he had gotten lost in the maze. A boy around Amanda’s age came out of the maze, followed by David.

“I guess you needed help,” Maggie said.

“Not at all. The little boy just happened to walk in front of me,” David told her.

“Mommy. That big guy over there couldn’t find his way out so I had to help him,” the little boy proudly told his mom as he pointed at David.

“The little boy just happened to walk in front of you. You’re so busted, Miller,” Maggie laughed.

“Let’s move on,” David said.

As they walked through the park, they discovered several activities for children; such as ancient merry-go-rounds, a puppet theater, a castle of ropes, giant chess board and different workshops. Amanda wanted to try out some of the workshops and Maggie and David took turns in joining her. After visiting a few workshops, they wanted to see the Story-teller. The story-teller presented the old and new adventures of Pinocchio with the help of puppets and fascinating and fabulous objects.

They had lunch at a small cafe and after lunch they went to the Pinocchio Museum where they could see costumes, paintings, ceramic creations and lots of other items. Inside the museum The Virtual Library was located. Large interactive touch screens were allowing visitors to explore a selection of texts and images of dozens of Pinocchio from all over the world, published from 1883 to date.

It was almost 3pm when they left the park and drove to The Garzoni Garden which was one of two other attractions in the area. The Garzoni Garden was one of the most beautiful gardens in Italy: manicured walkways, flower beds, fountains with traditional water games and towering statues accompanied you along a charming and, at the same time, relaxing walk. Maggie had brought her camera with her and she managed to take a lot of pictures.

After walking around in the garden for an hour, they headed off to the final destination of the day. The Butterfly House was a large greenhouse with an exotic garden populated by thousands of colorful tropical butterflies. Amanda was amazed by the colors of the butterflies and she watched them closely as they flew around her head. Maggie took some pictures and David shot of video of the butterflies.

It was past 5pm when they walked back to the car. Amanda was yawning and they decided to go back to the house and spend the evening there. They got into the car and shortly after they drove off, Amanda had fallen asleep in the backseat.

“What do we do about dinner?” Maggie asked.

“Well, we are in Italy so how about a good, Italian pizza?” David suggested.

“I like your suggestion and I’m sure Amanda will love it. We know she loves pizza,” Maggie said to him.

“Then it’s settled. I think I saw a place called ‘Guido’s Pizza’ not far from the restaurant we went to last night,” David looked at Maggie.

“Great. Let’s go there,” Maggie said.

David pulled up in front of ‘Guido’s Pizza’ and Amanda woke up when he stopped the car. When she saw a picture of a pizza, she was wide awake. Baby Victoria was making noises and Maggie chose to stay in the car and feed Victoria while David and Amanda went inside to order pizza. Ten minutes later they returned and soon after they were on their way back to the house to have dinner.

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PostSubject: Re: From Paris with love   Tue Dec 09, 2014 7:05 pm

Chapter 60

-- Sheena and Séb - San Gimignano --



Sheena and Séb had decided to spend their day alone in San Gimignano. It was called the city of the beautiful towers and it was the most visited medieval hill town of Tuscany and Italy. The incredible and spectacular skyline of towers pointing to the sky would be imprinted in your memory forever.

Originally the town had 72 towers but only 13 towers were left. It would have been a spectacular view if all 72 towers had still been intact. The towers and tower-houses were built by noble families during the Middle Ages. Each family competed with the others to build the tallest and most beautiful tower of all. It was a demonstration of power and wealth.

San Gimignano is located in the heart of Tuscany, halfway between Florence and Siena. Almost intact defensive walls enclose imposing towers and narrow streets that climb up and down the hill. The village is suspended in time that still retains all its medieval atmosphere; walking through its characteristic alleys is a real delight!

“I can understand why it’s called the city of the beautiful towers. It’s amazing,” Sheena said when they entered the town.

“It really is amazing. According to this leaflet there is a great view from Torre Grossa,” Séb said.

“What? We can actually climb up one of the towers?” Sheena was excited.

“Yes. Torre Grossa is the only tower you can enter. The rest of the towers are off limits. Would you like to see it?” Séb asked.

“Of course I do,” Sheena replied.

“We have to find the town’s hall first. According to the map it should be in that direction,” Séb pointed at a narrow street.

Séb held Sheena’s hand as they walked down the narrow street. They reached the end of the street and there, in front of them, was the town’s hall. Inside the town’s hall was a museum and Séb promised Sheena that they would take a look at the museum after visiting the tower.

“I don’t have to visit every museum in Tuscany. I love art but I don’t want to force you into looking at art. This is our vacation and it shouldn’t be about what I want,” Sheena told him.

“So, you don’t want to visit the museum?” Séb was shocked.

“No, I don’t. I’m sure we can find a lot of other things to see here,” Sheena said.

“Are you sure?” Séb asked.

“Yes, I’m sure,” Sheena kissed his cheek.

The couple climbed up the tower and the leaflet wasn’t lying. The view from the tower was amazing and you could see the village and the surrounding green hills. Sheena took some pictures and suddenly Séb took the camera from her.

“What are you doing?” she looked at him.

“I just want to take a few pictures of the stunning view in front of me,” he replied with a smile.

“I already did that,” Sheena told him.

“Well, I wasn’t talking about that view. I was talking about you,” Séb winked at her.

“Stop that,” Sheena covered the camera lens with her hand.

“Why? You are stunning,” Séb said.

“I know what you’re trying to do but this is not the right time or place,” Sheena looked at him.

“Fine. Let’s continue our tour,” he agreed.

They left the tower and continued their walk through San Gimignano. They reached the Piazza della Cisterna, an incredibly charming and characteristic medieval square, named after the public cistern that dates back to the far 1273 and is to be found in the center of the piazza. The square is enclosed by towers and beautiful palaces.

Rising on the highest part of the village is the 14th century Rocca with its one surviving tower. It is the old fortress of San Gimignano, enclosing a lovely garden with figs and olive trees, and an ancient well. From the ramparts you get outstanding views over the scenic countryside.

“I have to take a picture of this,” Sheena took out her camera.

“You are just as bad as David when it comes to videos and pictures,” Séb laughed.

“I don’t take pictures just to take pictures. If the picture turns out great then I can turn it into a painting,” Sheena explained.

“I know. I was just teasing you,” Séb said.

“I don’t know about you but I could really use something to eat,” Sheena exclaimed as they walked on.

“Lunch sounds like a good idea. After lunch we can visit the torture museum. It’s not far from here,” Séb told her.

“An interesting choice. Maybe I can get some ideas of how to torture you,” Sheena winked.

“I will look forward to that, cherié,” Séb winked back.

-- Five minutes later --

“Any ideas for tomorrow?” Séb looked at Sheena.

“Not really,” Sheena admitted.

“We could stay at the house and just relax. We will have plenty of time to go sightseeing next week,” Séb sipped his coke.

“You’re right about that. I don’t think Amanda would mind. I’m sure Victoria can keep her entertained,” Sheena smiled.

“No doubt about that,” Séb agreed as the waiter brought them their food.

After lunch they walked to The Torture Museum, located within Devil’s Tower in Piazza della Cisterna. Inside the museum you could find all instruments and techniques of medieval torture and it was quite interesting to see but being there made Sheena feel uncomfortable, especially when the guide started to explain how the torture instruments were used. She had all kinds of images in her head and she felt sorry for the poor people who had been tortured back then.

“I don’t understand how anyone could do something like that to another human being. Imagine being locked up in something like that,” Sheena pointed at one of the torture instruments.

“Hopefully they were unconscious when they were locked up,” Séb touched the spikes.

“Some might have been but they were all alive when they were tortured. The really scary part is that some of these torture instruments are still being used today,” the guide explained.

Sheena held Séb’s hand tighter as they continued the tour. She was happy when they left the museum and she told Séb that she wanted to see something that didn’t involve hurting people. Séb suggested a visit to The Collegiata Church or Duomo; a beautiful Romanesque church, built on three naves and filled with beautiful frescoes. He thought a little bit of art would make Sheena feel better and it did.

From the Duomo they walked to the attraction San Gimignano 1300. It was a scale reproduction of the medieval city in the Middle Ages, the year 1300 to be exact. All was done by hand and it was a chance to go back in time and see what San Gimignano looked like at the time of its maximum development.

Séb and Sheena couldn’t decide on what to do next. They had seen everything they wanted to see in San Gimignano. They were standing by one of the medieval fountains, talking about where to go next when an Italian woman walked up to them. She apologized for interrupting but she explained that she had been listening to their conversation and she wanted to make a suggestion. The woman suggested a walk along the circle of walls that surrounded the historical center of San Gimignano. It was a relaxing walk and the views were enchanting. Sheena and Séb thanked her for the suggestion and they went for a walk along the walls. The woman was right. It was a relaxing walk and the views were enchanting. After their walk along the walls, they walked back to the fountain.

“So, what should we do now?” Séb asked.

“I have no idea and I am open to suggestions,” Sheena looked at him.

“Well, I do have one suggestion but you might not approve,” Séb pulled Sheena close.

“You won’t know until you tell me what is on your mind,” Sheena said.

“David and Maggie are watching Amanda and I think we should use this opportunity to find a place to spend the night. We have to babysit tomorrow and we both know those two ladies will make sure that we don’t have any time alone. I saw a lot of nice places on the way here and one of them must have a room for us. How does that sound?” Séb looked at Sheena.

“I have to admit that it does sound very tempting,” Sheena played with Séb’s shirt.

“But?” Séb asked.

“I hate to ask David and Maggie to watch Amanda tonight,” Sheena confessed.

“What if we offer to do the same for them tomorrow night?” Séb wanted to know.

“Make the call,” Sheena smiled at him.

Séb took out his phone and called David. He told David about their plan and David had no objections at all. After a few minutes on the phone talking to David, Séb hung up and smiled at Sheena.

“Well, miss Halliwell. It looks like it will be just the two of us tonight,” Séb said.

“Great. Let’s go then,” Sheena smiled at him.

They walked back to the car and drove to a B&B Séb had seen on the way to San Gimignano. It was the perfect place to spend a romantic night. The owner showed them to their room and informed them that dinner would be served twenty minutes later. Séb and Sheena freshened up and went downstairs for dinner. After dinner they went for a walk. When they returned from their walk, they went to the room.

“What do you want to do now?” Sheena asked.

“I think you know,” Séb walked over to her.

“No, I don’t,” Sheena looked up at him.

“Well, then I will have to show you,” Séb kissed her deeply.

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PostSubject: Re: From Paris with love   Tue Dec 09, 2014 7:06 pm

Chapter 61

September had arrived and the last month had been a busy month for the Divos. They had been in London and Brussels, recording the new album but now they were back with their loved ones. For Maggie and David, September hadn't started out the way they had planned. Something unexpected had come up and they didn't know how to deal with it. The day after David returned to Denver, they had received a phone call from Carrie at the adoption agency. She informed them that she had received a letter from Victoria’s biological dad in which he stated that he wanted his daughter. It had come as a surprise to everyone and they all thought it was just a bad joke but it turned out to be the real thing.

“There has to be something we can do. Victoria is our daughter now,” Maggie said to Carrie.

“I am doing everything I can to work this out,” Carrie told her.

“How can Keith claim Victoria? He kicked Lynn out when she got pregnant and told her that he didn’t want anything to do with Lynn or the baby so why does he want her now?” David looked at Carrie.

“I do admit that it sounds strange but I don’t see how we can prove that he has got some deeper motive for wanting her,” Carrie replied.

“What are we going to do?” Maggie asked between sobs

“We are going to fight. I will not give up my daughter to that lowlife creep. He never wanted her in the first place so why has he changed his mind? Why does he want her now? Something isn’t right and I will find out what it is. I promise you that he will never get his hands on our daughter,” David pulled Maggie close.

“How will you stop him? He is Victoria’s biological dad,” Maggie looked at David.

“I don’t know but I will think of something. Victoria is our daughter and she will continue to be our daughter. We could ask Debbie for help,” David suggested.

“You want to ask your ex-girlfriend for help?” Maggie was shocked.

“I know you don’t like Debbie but she knows people and she is good at what she is doing. Right now she might be our only chance,” David told Maggie.

“What are you up to?” Carrie looked at David.

“I am not sure that I should tell you because you could get into trouble if you know too much about it. You could lose your job and we don’t want that to happen,” David explained.

“Well, you are right about that. I love my job,” Carrie agreed.

“Then we agree. I will call Debbie today and hopefully she will be able to help us. We will get back to you as soon as possible,” David said.

“I will be waiting for your call. This is just between us. I don’t want that lowlife to get his hands on Victoria either,” Carrie smiled.

“Thanks,” David and Maggie said before leaving the office.

“I want to keep our daughter and if Debbie can help us so be it. Just make sure that she stays out of my sight,” Maggie said.

“Something tells me that she doesn’t want to be near you. I think she learned her lesson at your last encounter,” David laughed.

“Good. Let us go home and make the call,” Maggie smiled as she climbed into the car.

David joined his wife in the car and they drove off. Ten minutes later they pulled up in front of their apartment. Maggie went into the nursery to change Victoria’s diaper while David made the call to his ex-girlfriend, Debbie. She was a lawyer and a really good one too. Debbie worked mostly as a prosecutor and she could be really terrifying in a court room. A lot of people disliked her because her methods were not always straight after the book but she didn’t care. She knew exactly where to go to dig up dirt about the people that were on trial and she could find dirt hidden so deep beneath the surface that any person on trial would be scared to enter the court room.

“Debbie Lawson speaking,” she answered the phone.

“It’s David,” David said.

“David Miller. It has been a while. I heard that you have adopted a baby girl. Congratulations to you and Maggie,” Debbie said.

“Thanks. The baby is actually why I called you. We have got a little problem and we hope that you might be able to help us,” David told her.

“That doesn’t sound good? Did the parents change their minds about the baby?” Debbie asked.

David told Debbie everything about Keith and Lynn and Debbie paid close attention to every detail. It did seem strange to Debbie that a man who never wanted the baby in the first place suddenly changed his mind. She had to agree with David. Something wasn’t right about this.

“I will do my best to help you but I will need some information from you before I can start digging,” Debbie told him.

“Just tell me what you need and I will email it to you today,” David said.

Debbie told him what kind of information she needed and David wrote it down. He thanked her and hung up. David found the information and wrote an email to Debbie. She wrote back and promised to give it her full attention.

“Now we just have to wait,” David looked at Maggie.

“And keep our fingers crossed,” Maggie added.

“Yes,” David agreed.

David went into the kitchen to make a cup of hot chocolate and Maggie made herself comfortable on the couch. When David returned with the hot chocolate, he joined Maggie on the couch. They just sat there without saying a word. They both hoped and prayed that Debbie could find out why Keith was so interested in Victoria. They knew it wasn’t love so what was it?

*********

September was special for Amanda because it was time for her to start nursery school. As expected she was a bit scared but both Séb and Sheena reassured her that everything would be fine. Thanks to two months of French lessons, Amanda’s French skills had improved a lot and both Sheena and Séb were convinced that she would be able to keep up with the other children.

Today was her first day and she looked so pretty in her outfit. Before they left the house, Séb took a picture of Amanda. It was a big day for the whole family and Séb was proud of his daughter. The family drove off and ten minutes later they arrived at the school. Séb and Sheena got out of the car but Amanda didn’t get out. She just sat there like a statue and stared at the building in front of her.

“I know you’re scared but your mom and I will be there with you. I was scared too when I started in nursery school but as soon as I walked through the door, my fears disappeared and I made a lot of new friends,” Séb told Amanda.

“Do you think I will make a lot of friends too?” Amanda asked.

“I am sure you will. Are you ready to go?” Séb looked at her.

“Yes, I am ready,” Amanda smiled and got out of the car.

Amanda held hands with Séb and Sheena as they walked to the main entrance. They walked down the hall to Amanda’s class room where about ten other children were waiting. Amanda looked at the other children and they looked just as scared as her. It made her relax because she knew that she wasn’t alone.

Shortly after, a young man walked into the room. He introduced himself as Armand and explained that he was their teacher. Armand asked the children to find a seat but nobody moved. Suddenly Amanda stepped forward and walked over to one of the tables. Armand smiled at her as she took a seat and he asked for her name. She told him that her name was Amanda and Armand asked who wanted to sit next to Amanda. One of the girls stepped forward and walked over to Amanda and sat down.

“I think she has made her first friend,” Séb whispered to Sheena.

“It looks like it,” Sheena whispered back.

Within a few minutes all of the children were seated and Armand asked the children to make a brief introduction. Once the introduction was over, Armand handed out a few books to the children and some information for the parents.

“Now that we have got that part done, I suggest we go outside and play for a while. I think it will be a good way for the children to make new friends and of course it will give you a chance to talk to the other parents,” Armand said to the parents.

Everyone agreed and they all stepped outside. It didn’t take long before the children were playing and having fun. Séb held Sheena’s hand as they watched Amanda play with the other children. Amanda had completely forgotten about being nervous and she seemed to be doing quite well talking to the other children.

An hour later it was time to leave but the children were having so much fun that it was difficult for the parents to get them to leave. Armand promised the children they could play tomorrow and he must have been very convincing because the children walked over to their parents.

“I can’t wait to come back tomorrow,” Amanda said as they walked to the car.

“Does that mean you love school?” Sheena asked even though she knew the answer.

“School is great and my new friends are nice,” Amanda replied with a smile.

“I told you that you had nothing to worry about,” Séb said.

“Yes,” Amanda smiled.

“Your dad and I are proud of you. I think Armand was impressed by your French skills,” Sheena said to Amanda.

“She had a great teacher,” Séb looked at Sheena.

“Two great teachers,” Sheena said.

“True. We make a great team,” Séb smiled as they drove off.

They had lunch at a small bistro and after lunch they drove back to the mansion. As soon as they arrived at the mansion, Amanda went to her room to take a nap and Sheena went into her office to check her emails. Séb walked into the kitchen to make coffee for him and Sheena. As he waited for the coffee to brew, he thought of how to tell Sheena that he had to leave for a few weeks maybe more.

“Earth to Sébastien,” Sheena suddenly said.

“Sorry, I didn’t hear you. Do you want coffee?” Séb asked.

“Yes, please,” Sheena replied.

“We need to talk,” Séb said as he poured coffee into the mugs.

“Talk about what?” Sheena reached for a mug.

“Let us go into the living room,” Séb suggested.

Sheena was nervous as they walked to the living room. Thoughts were running trough her head and she had all kinds of scenarios in her head. They sat down and Sheena waited for Séb to say what he wanted to say. He was nervous too and it made Sheena even more uncomfortable.

“Are you calling off the wedding?” Sheena asked him.

“What? No, why would you think that? I’ve loved you for seven years and I’ve wanted to marry you for seven years. You and I will get married in December and nothing can or will ever change that,” Séb replied.

“Then what is it?” Sheena looked at him.

“Gerard called while you were checking your emails. They have finished the album and the album will be released on Monday,” Séb answered.

“That is great news,” Sheena sipped her coffee.

“Yes it is but Gerard is planning a promotion tour and he wants me to go with them on tour,” Séb explained.

“When will be tour begin and how long will you be gone?” Sheena wanted to know.

“The tour is scheduled to begin Tuesday and I will be gone for at least two weeks,” Séb said.

“Talk about short notice but you are the songwriter and of course you should go,” Sheena looked at him.

“So, you are not upset?” Séb asked.

“No, I am not upset. We have to get used to being apart. Il Divo will go on tour next year and we won’t be able to join you on tour because of my jobs and Amanda’s school. We will be parted for a long time when the tour starts,” Sheena reminded him.

“That is true. I just hate to leave you alone with everything. It feels like I am abandoning you and it doesn’t feel good,” Séb looked at Sheena.

“I’ve done it before and I can do it again. Don’t worry about it. As long as you don’t miss Amanda’s birthday party next month then I don’t have a problem with you going on tour,” Sheena smiled at him.

“I promise you that I won’t miss her birthday,” Séb smiled back.

“Good,” Sheena said.

Séb and Sheena spent the afternoon talking about their wedding. They still had a lot of planning to do and with Séb being gone for two weeks, they had to work fast. When Amanda woke up from her nap, she joined Sheena and Séb in the living room. She sat down between her parents and she was allowed to help with choosing bridesmaid dresses, tuxedos, bouquets and her own flower girl dress.

“It will be just as I dreamed it would be and I can’t wait to see mom’s dress,” Amanda said.

“I can’t wait to see it either. Can’t you give us a hint?” Séb looked at Sheena.

“No. You will have to wait until I walk down the aisle,” Sheena replied with a smile.

“Ok. Just promise me the dress will be worth waiting for,” Séb said.

“It will be,” Sheena promised.

“Good. Let us see if we can find a venue,” Séb reached for his laptop.

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PostSubject: Re: From Paris with love   Fri Dec 19, 2014 3:03 pm

Chapter 62

Tuesday had arrived and it was time for Séb to go on the promo tour but he had second thoughts about going. The reason was his daughter. The news hadn’t gone over well with Amanda and ever since Séb had told her that he had to leave, Amanda had pulled away from him. Séb had been in a bad mood too and Sheena had been stuck in the middle. Both Séb and Sheena had tried to explain to Amanda why Séb had to leave but without luck.

A silence filled the kitchen as the family was having breakfast. Amanda was playing with her cereal and Séb was staring out of the window. Sheena wanted to say something but she had no idea what to say to them.

“Stop playing with your breakfast,” Séb said to Amanda.

“No!” Amanda replied.

“Do as your dad says,” Sheena told her.

“Yes, mommy,” Amanda finished her breakfast.

Sheena looked at Séb and she could see that he was affected by what was going on. Amanda rose from the table and carried her bowl to the sink before she disappeared. Séb let out a sigh as he rose from his chair and walked over to the window. As he stood there, staring out into the garden, Sheena walked over to him.

“I can’t leave knowing that Amanda hates me,” Séb turned to look at Sheena.

“Amanda doesn’t hate you,” Sheena said to him.

“She has been ignoring me since I told her that I had to leave. You saw what just happened,” Séb said.

“I think she is scared,” Sheena told him.

“Scared of what?” Séb asked.

“She is scared of losing you, Séb. Amanda has been without a dad most of her life and suddenly she has a dad. Now you have to leave and she is afraid that you’re not coming back,” Sheena replied.

“But I will be back,” Séb told Sheena.

“I know that but did you tell her that? Did you tell how long you would be gone for?” Sheena looked at him.

“No, I didn’t. I just told her that I had to leave,” Séb explained.

“Maybe you should tell her that you will be back. I am not saying it will help but it can’t hurt to try,” Sheena suggested.

“Right now I am ready to try anything,” Séb kissed her.

“You have to hurry. We are leaving in ten minutes,” Sheena told him.

Séb left the kitchen and went upstairs to Amanda’s room to talk to her. The door was closed and he gently knocked on the door before he entered the room. He called out her name but Amanda totally ignored him. Séb walked over to the bed and sat down.

“Why are you mad at me?” Séb asked.

“Because you don’t love us anymore,” Amanda replied without looking at him.

“What makes you think that I don’t love you and mommy?” Séb was shocked.

“You are leaving us,” Amanda almost whispered.

“I have to go away for two weeks to promote Vincent’s new CD but I will be back. You and mommy are the most important people in my life and I love you both very much. I will never leave you and mommy,” Séb told Amanda.

“You promise?” Amanda asked.

“I promise,” Séb answered with a smile.

Amanda wrapped her arms around his neck and hugged him. Sheena had been watching the two of them and she was happy that everything was just as it should be. She told Séb and Amanda that it was time to leave and they all went downstairs.

“Be nice to mom while I am gone,” Séb looked at Amanda.

“Ok, daddy,” Amanda promised as she hugged him.

“Go and get your lunch in the kitchen. I need to speak to your mom,” Séb winked at Amanda.

Amanda giggled and disappeared into the kitchen. Séb walked over to Sheena and pulled her close to him. He looked deep into her brown eyes before he captured her lips in a soft kiss. Even though it was only a soft kiss, Sheena’s legs felt like rubber and she was forced to hold on to him to steady herself.

“Wow,” Sheena said when he broke the kiss.

“Was it that good?” Séb asked.

“No, it was better than good. Can you do it again?” Sheena looked at him.

“I can’t promise you anything but I would love to try,” Séb replied and kissed her again.

The kiss was interrupted by the sound of the door bell. Séb cursed as he walked over to the door. As expected Gerard was standing on the other side of the door. He greeted Sheena before turning his attention to Séb.

“Are you ready to leave?” Gerard asked.

“Well, almost ready. Give me a minute,” Séb looked at Gerard.

“I will take your suitcase to the car and then you can finish whatever you were doing,” Gerard said with a smile and left.

“Time to leave but I will call you tonight,” Séb said.

“Can’t wait. Have fun and good luck. Tell Vincent I said hi,” Sheena smiled at him.

“Thanks. I will do that. I love you,” Séb kissed her.

“And I love you,” Sheena said when they broke the kiss.

Amanda joined them and Séb said goodbye to her before he walked to the car. Soon after, the car drove off and Amanda looked at Sheena.

“Will daddy call us tonight?” she asked.

“Yes, he will,” Sheena answered.

“I will miss him,” Amanda said.

“Me too, pumpkin,” Sheena looked at her.

They both put on their coats and left the mansion. A few minutes later they were on their way.

*****

It was almost 1am in Denver and as usual Maggie was standing by the bedroom window, staring out into the night. Ever since Keith had announced that he wanted Victoria, Maggie hadn’t had a full night’s sleep. Suddenly she felt David’s arms around her.

“Still can’t sleep?” David asked her.

“No. I don’t think I will be able to sleep until we hear from Debbie. Why is it taking so long for her to get back to us?” Maggie looked at him.

“Debbie doesn’t want to give us false hope and that is why she wants to wait until she has got proof that something isn’t right. I trust her,” David told her.

“I know you’re right but I don’t know how much longer I can do this,” Maggie said.

David was about to say something when his phone started to ring. He looked at Maggie before he walked over to the bed and picked up his phone. When he saw Debbie’s name on the display, his heart began to race.

“Did I wake you?” Debbie asked when David answered the phone.

“No, you didn’t. We haven’t slept much since Keith made his claim,” David replied.

“Sorry to hear that but hopefully what I have found out will make you able to sleep. I’ve found out something about Victoria and I am almost positive that what I have found is the reason for Keith’s sudden interest in his daughter,” Debbie informed him.

“What did you find out?” David asked.

“I don’t want to tell you over the phone so I suggest we meet as soon as possible,” Debbie replied.

“Is now soon enough?” David suggested.

“Now is perfect. I will be there in ten minutes,” Debbie agreed and hung up.

“What did she say?” Maggie looked at David.

“She might have found the reason why Keith suddenly wants Victoria and she is on her way here,” David explained.

“Really? That is good news. I can’t wait to hear what she has to say,” Maggie said with a smile.

“Let’s get dressed,” David smiled back.

******

Rebecca and Carlos had returned to Los Angeles because Rebecca had to go back to work. While she had been away, Torres’ Designs had received a few large orders and of course there was the order for dresses and suits for the Halliwell/Izambard wedding too. Carlos’ birthday was getting closer and Carlos had told her that he wanted to celebrate his birthday in Madrid with his parents and Rebecca’s parents but Rebecca had other plans. The Divos and their wives would be in Los Angeles for Amanda’s birthday and since the birthdays were only two days apart, Rebecca thought it would be cool to have a surprise party for Carlos in Los Angeles.

Even though it was past midnight in Los Angeles, Rebecca was wide awake and she was enjoying a cup of tea in front of the computer. Carlos was sleeping so she had time to plan his birthday party. Although she had already sent out the invitations she still had a lot of work to do.

“What are you doing up?” Carlos suddenly asked.

“I couldn’t sleep and I had some work to do,” Rebecca replied.

“What kind of work?” Carlos sat down next to her.

“A little of everything. As you know the theme for Amanda’s birthday will be Beauty and the Beast and Sheena wanted to know if she could borrow Belle’s dress for Amanda to wear at the party. The dress was made two years ago for Halloween but the girl never got to wear it,” Rebecca sighed.

“Why not?” Carlos wanted to know.

“The girl died in a car accident two days before Halloween. Her dad lost control of the car in a curve and the car rolled over seven times before it stopped. He died in the crash and she died three days later. I still remember the day the mom walked into the store to return the dress. We talked for two hours and before she left she asked me to give the dress to someone who loved Beauty and the Beast as much as her own daughter did. I promised to do that and I am going to keep my promise,” Rebecca explained.

“It was a nice thing to do and we both know the dress will be worn by a girl who loves Beauty and the Beast more than anything. I can just see her in that dress and it will be perfect for my surprise. I can’t wait,” Carlos said.

“Will you tell me more about the surprise you have for Amanda?” Rebecca asked.

“No! You will have to wait until the birthday party,” Carlos answered with a smile.

“It doesn’t matter. I think I know what you have in mind and if I am right then Amanda will love the surprise,” Rebecca smiled at him.

“Are you upset that we won’t be with our friends on my birthday?” Carlos looked at his wife.

“We will see them at Amanda’s birthday party,” Rebecca replied.

“I am glad you feel that way. It is not that I don’t want to celebrate my birthday with our friends but I think we need some time with our families,” Carlos said.

“I know and I understand,” Rebecca told him, letting out a yawn.

“Let us get some sleep,” Carlos suggested.

Rebecca turned off the computer and followed Carlos into the bedroom. They climbed into bed and while Carlos drifted off to sleep, Rebecca wondered if she was doing the right thing planning a party for Carlos. He had made it clear to her that he wanted only their families present but the Divos and their partners were family too. Well, it was too late to cancel so he just had to accept it. Rebecca cuddled up to Carlos and drifted off to sleep.

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PostSubject: Re: From Paris with love   Tue Jan 27, 2015 5:56 am

Chapter 63


“What are you thinking of?” Miki asked Urs as they were having a late breakfast in bed.

“Do you remember some time ago when we talked about moving to Los Angeles?” Urs answered with a question.

“Of course I remember. Why?” Miki looked at him.

“Millie called yesterday and she wanted to know if we were still interested in moving to Los Angeles,” Urs replied.

“I don’t understand,” Miki said.

“Millie has moved out of Sheena’s apartment in Los Angeles and she wants to know if we want to buy it or if she should put it up for sale,” Urs explained.

“She has moved out? Why? Where will she stay?” Miki wanted to know.

“She is moving in with her boyfriend. They met through a mutual friend and from what Millie told me they have been seeing each other for a few months,” Urs said with a smile.

“I can’t believe that Millie has a boyfriend. Does Sheena know?” Miki was stunned.

“No, she doesn’t know. Sheena has had a lot on her mind and Millie didn’t want to add one more thing to the list. I told her that she had to tell Sheena about him and she promised to do it soon. So, what do you think about the apartment? I know that it is a very short notice but it is better to move now than wait until after our daughter is born,” Urs said.

“I agree with you but what about our apartment here?” Miki asked.

“We sell it of course. I have already been in contact with a real estate agent and he has got two people on a waiting list for an apartment like ours. Since Millie has already moved out, the apartment is ready for us if we want it. All we need to do is to turn one of the rooms into a nursery,” Urs replied.

“It does sound tempting. Do you think she could send us pictures of the apartment?” Miki looked at him.

“She already did. The pictures are on the computer. I suggest we eat our breakfast and then look at the pictures. Millie will need an answer tomorrow so we have to make a decision today,” Urs told her.

“I like your suggestion,” Miki kissed his cheek.

The couple finished their breakfast and got ready for the day before they looked at the pictures from Millie. The apartment was perfect and they didn’t have to change a thing, except for the changes to one of the rooms.

“What do you think?” Urs asked Miki.

“It is a big decision to make but nothing is keeping us here so I say let us do it,” Miki replied with a smile.

“Are you sure?” Urs looked at her.

“Definitely,” Miki nodded her head.

“Good. I will call Millie later and tell her that we want the apartment,” Urs said.

Miki smiled at him before she turned her attention to the pictures on the computer. She couldn’t wait to start a new life in Los Angeles with her husband and their baby. ‘Only a few more months’ Miki thought to herself as she touched her belly.

******

“What did you find out?” David asked Debbie.

“You already know that Keith walked out on Lynn when she got pregnant. Lynn’s parents were furious when Lynn met Keith because they believed he was bad for her. Her parents gave her a choice; them or Keith. Of course Lynn was in love and had no intention of ending her relationship so she chose him. Lynn lost contact with her parents but a month before Victoria was born, Lynn reached out to them and they forgave her. There is something you didn’t know about Lynn. She was sick and she knew that she was going to die. Her parents were too old to raise a baby and Lynn decided to give the baby up for adoption,” Debbie replied.

“Poor Lynn. She made the right choice when she reached out to her parents but I don’t understand what that has got to do with Keith wanting Victoria,” Maggie said.

“Lynn’s parents were rich and Victoria is the sole heir to the fortune. Lynn’s parents died last week so I did some digging and I found out they died a few days before Keith made his claim to get his daughter back. I can’t prove anything but I think Keith had something to do with their deaths,” Debbie told them.

“Why do you think that?” Maggie asked.

“I asked a friend of mine to do a background check on him and this guy Keith has been in and out of jail since he was sixteen. Robbery and assault mostly but he was a suspect in a murder case but due to lack of evidence, the police had to let him go. He isn’t exactly one of the good guys and he will do anything to get what he wants,” Debbie informed them.

“There is no way that I will give Victoria to a guy like that but what can we do?” Maggie sighed.

“I have an idea but I will need your help,” David looked at Debbie.

“Tell me your plan,” Debbie said.

David explained his plan to Debbie and she had a bad feeling about the whole thing. The plan could work but it was risky. Debbie knew how important it was to David and Maggie so she agreed to help with the plan but on her conditions. She told them that she would take care of everything and let them know when everything was ready. She said goodbye and left.

“Are you sure about this?” Maggie asked David.

“Yes, I am sure,” David answered.

“I hope it works,” Maggie looked at him.

“It will work. Don’t worry,” David promised as he pulled Maggie close.

---- Paris - later that day ----

"It’s Sheena. I need a huge favor,” Sheena said when Camille answered the phone.

“Well, hello to you too,” Camille said.

“I’m sorry Camille but this day hasn’t exactly gone as planned. I am supposed to pick up Amanda from school but an important client just called and asked for a meeting. Is it possible for you to pick her up?” Sheena asked.

“I understand and of course I can pick her up,” Camille replied.  

“Thank you so much. I should be home in two hours, maybe three,” Sheena said.

“Good. I will talk to you later,” Camille hung up.

After saying goodbye to Camille, Sheena walked into the gallery and greeted her employees before she walked into her office. As she sat down, she let out a deep sigh.

“Bad day?” Denise, one of the employees asked.

“No, but my entire day has been turned upside down. This meeting wasn’t a part of my plan,” Sheena replied with a smile.

“I am sorry but he insisted on having the meeting today,” Denise apologized.

“No need to apologize, Denise. It is not your fault,” Sheena said.

“I have forwarded two emails from Kate in Los Angeles,” Denise told her.  

“Thanks. I will look at them later,” Sheena smiled.

Denise smiled back and left the office, returning a few minutes later with the client.

***********

“Where is mommy?” Amanda asked Camille.

“She had an important meeting so she asked me to pick you up. Are you upset about that?” Camille replied.

“No. I like to spend time with you,” Amanda flashed her smile.

“You look so much like your dad when you smile,” Camille smiled back.

“That is what mommy says too,” Amanda said.

“What do you want to do now?” Camille asked as they walked to the car.

“Can we watch a movie?” Amanda looked at Camille.

“Of course we can,” Camille replied.

They got into the car and drove off. Once they had arrived at the mansion, Camille made some hot chocolate and Amanda went upstairs to change her clothes.

When Amanda came down she instantly found the Disney movie she wanted to see and shortly after Camille joined her.

“What did you choose? ‘Beauty and the Beast’ again?” Camille asked with a smile.

“I do have other movies grandma,” Amanda was offended.

“I know but you watch it a lot. At least that is what your mom and dad say,” Camille said.

“It is my favorite movie but I watched it yesterday and I don’t want to watch it again,” Amanda told her and pushed play on the remote control.

Amanda sipped her hot chocolate before she cuddled up to Camille on the couch. About forty minutes into ‘Cinderella’, Amanda was sleeping peacefully. Camille slowly rose from the couch and turned off the TV. She grabbed the blanket and covered Amanda with it before she carried the mugs into the kitchen. When she returned to the living room, she sat down and started reading the book she had brought with her.

It was half an hour later when Sheena walked through the door. She removed her coat and kicked off her shoes before she walked into the living room where she found Amanda sleeping on the couch and Camille sleeping in the chair. Sheena couldn’t find it in her heart to wake them up so she went into the kitchen to make herself a cup of tea.

“Oh, I must have fallen asleep. When did you get home?” Camilla suddenly asked.

“I walked in about ten minutes ago. Do you want some tea?” Sheena asked.

“A cup of tea sounds good. How did the meeting go?” Camille pulled out a chair and sat down.

“It went well. I sold two paintings today and both of them were painted by my dad,” Sheena told her as she took a seat across from Camille.

“That is great. Your dad was a talented painter,” Camille said.

“Yes, he was. How did it go here?” Sheena was curious.

“Your daughter fell asleep about forty minutes after we walked through the door,” Camille answered with a smile.

“I am not surprised. According to her teacher she is very active during recess,” Sheena told Camille.

“I can imagine that,” Camille said.

“Do you want to stay for dinner?” Sheena looked at Camille.

“I can’t say no to that,” Camille smiled.

“Great. Oh, I think it is time for Amanda to wake up. Bath time,” Sheena said.

“May I give her a bath?” Camille asked.

“Of course. If you prepare the bath then I will wake her up,” Sheena told her.

“Agreed,” Camille finished her tea and went upstairs.

After waking up Amanda, Sheena walked into her office to check her emails. She found twenty emails in her inbox and she briefly looked through them. One email caught her attention and it was an email from one of the venues they had been in contact with. It wasn’t just a venue. It was the top venue on their list.

Sheena took a deep breath and opened the email. A big smile appeared on her face when she read the email. The venue was available on the date they had chosen for the wedding and she couldn’t wait to tell Séb the good news. Everything was falling into place and it felt really good.

When Sheena came out of the office, Amanda and Camille came down the stairs. Of course Amanda was wearing her ‘Belle’ nightshirt and she was holding her ‘Beast’ plush toy in her hand. While Camille and Sheena were cooking dinner, Amanda was watching the rest of the movie.

After dinner and the dishes were put away, Camille left the mansion. Amanda and Sheena were in the living room watching cartoons but it was getting harder for Amanda to stay awake. Sheena looked at her watch and she really hoped that Séb would call soon because it was bedtime for Amanda. A few minutes later the phone started to ring. Sheena looked at the caller ID and she let out a sigh of relief.She gave the phone to Amanda, adding that it was her dad.

Amanda told Séb everything that had happened that day and after talking to him for five minutes, she said goodnight and passed the phone to Sheena. When Sheena took the phone, she told Amanda to go to bed and that she would be up in a few minutes. Sheena told Séb about the email from the venue and he was happy to hear the good news.

After twenty minutes they hung up and Sheena turned off the TV and the lights before she headed upstairs to Amanda’s bedroom. Amanda was sleeping peacefully so Sheena just kissed her cheek and gently closed the door. Sheena walked to the bathroom to get ready for bed and a few minutes later she climbed into bed.

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PostSubject: Re: From Paris with love   Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:08 am

Chapter 64

Friday had arrived and Séb had been on tour for four days. He had called every night as promised but that didn’t stop Amanda from missing him. Sheena missed him too but it was easier for her to deal with being apart.

Sheena had picked up Amanda from school and the two of them had cooked dinner together and later they had been talking about Amanda’s birthday. Amanda had picked the cake, the decorations and the food. Everything, except for the food, had something to do with ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and maybe it was a bit too much but Amanda wanted a theme party for her birthday.

It was almost 2am when a cab pulled up in front of the Dubois mansion. All of the bedrooms were facing the garden, so nobody heard the cab. A man got out of the cab while the cab driver removed some bags from the trunk. The man paid the cab driver and once the cab was out of sight, the man walked up to the front door. He unlocked the door, hoping that nobody would hear him and walked into the mansion, closing the door behind him.

The man found a flashlight in a drawer in the hall and turned it on. He slowly made his way upstairs and walked down the hallway until he reached the master bedroom. He opened the door and stepped into the bedroom where Sheena was sleeping. Not wanting to wake her up, he turned off the flashlight and walked towards the bed. Suddenly he banged his foot against a large trunk and the noise caused Sheena to wake up.

“Who is there?” she asked, her voice trembling.

"It’s just me,” a familiar voice said.

“Séb?” Sheena turned on the light.

“Yes, it's me. Surprise,” Séb said.

“What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be on tour?” Sheena rose from the bed.

“The tour has been cancelled. Vincent got sick and we couldn’t continue the tour without him,” Séb replied.

“I can’t believe you are here,” Sheena walked over to him.

“Well, I am and I have to be honest with you. I am glad the tour was cancelled because I have missed both of you so much,” Séb pulled Sheena close.

“We have missed you too and I am really glad you are here. I can’t wait to see Amanda’s face when you walk into the kitchen in the morning. She has missed you so much and she has been sitting next to the phone every night, just waiting for the phone to ring,” Sheena told him.

“I have missed her too,” Séb said.

“What about me? How much did you miss me?” Sheena touched the buttons on his shirt.

“Let me show you,” Séb softly placed his lips on hers.

---- Denver ----

“I don’t think you should meet Keith tomorrow. It is too dangerous and I don’t want anything to happen to you,” Maggie said.

“You know I have to meet him. We need to find out what his plan is and the only to find out is to meet him,” David held her close.

“I know but I am just worried. I don’t want our daughter to grow up without a dad,” Maggie told him.

“She won’t grow up without a dad. I will be fine and I will have lots of back-up tomorrow,” David kissed her forehead.

“Just promise me that you will be careful,” Maggie looked at him.

“I promise,” David kissed her.

********

The next morning Debbie arrived at the Miller apartment as planned. David was in the bathroom and it gave Debbie and Maggie some time to talk. Maggie poured coffee for them and sat down across from Debbie.

“Do you think David is doing the right thing?” Maggie asked, sipping her coffee.

“No but it might be our only chance to find out if Keith did anything to Lynn’s parents and how much he knows about the inheritance,” Debbie replied.

“Just promise me that you won’t let anything happen to David. We need him here,” Maggie said.

“I give you my word. No harm will come to him. I would never forgive myself if anything happened to him,” Debbie promised.

“If anything happens to him then I will hunt you down and hurt you,” Maggie told her.

“I know you will,” Debbie smiled.

Debbie and Maggie were talking when David walked into the kitchen. He smiled at them and sat down but Maggie knew that he was nervous about meeting Keith. David knew his plan was dangerous and could backfire but he had to meet Keith.

“It is time for us to leave,” Debbie looked at David.

“Could you give us a minute?” David asked Debbie.

“Sure. I will wait downstairs,” Debbie left the apartment.

“This is it,” David said to Maggie.

“I know. I still don’t like it but I know you have to do it,” Maggie sighed.

“Everything will be fine. I trust Debbie and the back-up team,” David told Maggie.

“Just be careful,” Maggie looked at him.

“I love you,” David kissed her.

“I love you too,” Maggie said.

David kissed her one more time before he left the apartment. Maggie watched him leave and closed the door behind him. She had a bad feeling as she walked into the nursery to check on Victoria.

*********

David was in an abandoned building, waiting for Keith to arrive. Suddenly the door opened and a man walked in. He looked miserable and David wondered if the man coming towards him was Keith. The man stopped right in front of David.

“Are you David?” the man asked.

“If you are Keith then I am David,” David replied.

“I am Keith but let us get one thing straight. I don’t like jokes or funny people,” Keith told him.

“Thanks for telling me,” David said.

“Now that we have got that straight, let us talk about my daughter,” Keith sat down.

“She is not your daughter. You gave her up and I wonder why you want her back now,” David looked at Keith.

“I have changed my mind. That is all you need to know,” Keith said.

“That is not good enough. I need to know a lot more than that. You want to take my daughter away from me and I deserve to know why,” David told him.

“You don’t deserve to know anything but I am not a bad guy so I will tell you a little story. I owe a lot of money to this guy and he is not one of the good guys. Lynn’s parents were rich so I went to their house to ask for money. Lynn’s parents never liked me and of course they said no so I left. I kept thinking how I could get the money and suddenly it hit me. If something happened to Lynn’s parents then my daughter would be the sole heir to the fortune. I contacted a friend of mine who owed me a favor,” Keith informed him.

“You killed Lynn’s parents,” David was shocked.

“No, I didn’t but my friend did. Now I just need to get rid of you and your precious little wife and I will get my daughter back. And then I will have the money,” Keith pulled out a gun.

“Do you really think that you will get away with your plan?” David asked him.

“Only one other person knows about this and that person is you. I am holding a gun in my hand and I am sure that you can do the math,” Keith pointed the gun at David.

“You don’t scare me,” David told him.

“I don’t expect you to be scared. I expect you to die,” Keith said.

An evil smile appeared on Keith's face and suddenly the sound of a gun being fired filled the room. One person dropped to the floor, killed by a single gunshot to the head.

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PostSubject: Re: From Paris with love   Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:04 pm

Chapter 65

David stared at Keith who was lying on the floor in a pool of blood. He looked around for the person who had fired the shot and suddenly he spotted a man in the shadows. The man emerged from the shadows and David could tell that he was a cop.

“Are you ok?” he asked David.

“I am fine. How did you get in here?” David got up.

“Every building in this area has got a backdoor and Debbie thought it was better if one of us went in. Looks like she was right,” the man said.

“I don’t know your name but thanks,” David smiled.

“My name is Ethan and you are welcome. Why don’t we get you home to your wife and kid?” Ethan suggested.

“That sounds good to me,” David agreed.

********

“Please tell me she is sleeping,” Séb looked at Sheena.

“She is sleeping and it might be a few hours before she wakes up. You shouldn’t be complaining. She just wanted to spend time with you,” Sheena told him.

“I know and I don’t want you to think that I don’t want to spend time with her but she hasn’t left my side all day. She even followed me to the bathroom,” Séb said.

“Well, she is just happy to have you home,” Sheena smiled at him.

“And I am happy to be home with my two favorite girls,” Séb smiled back.

“Would you mind if I went upstairs to take a nap?” Sheena asked him.

“Are you ok?” Séb asked with concern in his voice.

“I am just tired. Some guy woke me up at 2am when he walked into our bedroom and I didn’t get a lot of sleep after that,” Sheena replied with a smile.

“Oh, right. Well, I will join you and after our nap we go out to dinner,” Séb said.

“That sounds good to me,” Sheena smiled.

Séb and Sheena walked upstairs to the bedroom and it didn’t take long for both of them to fall asleep.

*********

"Are you ok, David?” Debbie asked after they climbed into the car.

“Well, I am a little shocked. It is the first time someone has held a gun to my head. I have no doubt that he would have pulled the trigger if Ethan hadn’t stopped him,” David replied.

“It must have been scary. Are you going to tell Maggie about it?” Debbie wanted to know.

“I have to. I don’t want to walk through the door and pretend that everything is fine because she knows me better than anyone and she will see right through me. She will know that something is wrong so I prefer to tell her the truth. I know she might get mad at me but I also know that she loves me,” David told Debbie.

“She is a wonderful lady and you are lucky to have her,” Debbie said as she pulled up in front of the apartment building.

“I know. I need another favor,” David looked at her.

“What is it?” Debbie asked.

“Would you mind talking to the lawyer about the inheritance? You are a lawyer and you probably know more about this stuff than me,” David answered.

“It would be my pleasure. I will call him Monday and hopefully we can arrange a meeting soon,” Debbie said.

“Thanks,” David smiled.

“No problem. Tell Maggie hi from me,” Debbie said.

“I will. Talk to you later,” David got out of the car.

Debbie drove off and David walked into the apartment building. It was time for him to tell his wife about the meeting with Keith. When David entered the apartment, Maggie was sitting in the living room with Victoria. David walked over to her and sat down.

“How did it go?” Maggie asked.

“Keith is dead. He was killed by a cop,” David told her.

“That is all I need to know,” Maggie said.

“No, you need to know everything,” David took her hand.

He told her about what happened between him and Keith and Maggie was shocked. She was angry at first but when she looked at David, her anger disappeared. A man had held a gun to his head and she could only imagine how David must have felt at that moment. She knew her husband would need all of the support he could get to get him trough this traumatic event.

“Are you ok? Do you want to talk to someone about what happened?“ Maggie asked.

“I am fine and I have already got someone to talk to,” David replied.

“Yes, you do and I am here for you,” Maggie said.

“I know you are,” David kissed her.

The couple continued to talk about Victoria, the inheritance and the future. David informed Maggie of his conversation with Debbie and Maggie was thankful to her for everything she had done and would do for them.

*********

A month had passed since Keith was killed and a lot had happened in Divo world during that month.

Miki and Urs had moved into Sheena’s old apartment in Los Angeles and they knew they had made the right decision about moving. The nursery was ready for the arrival of baby Buhler and according to the doctor, everything was fine with Miki and the baby.

It had come as a surprise to Sheena and Séb but mostly Sheena when Millie showed up in Paris with her boyfriend. His name was Gary Masterson and Sheena knew him well. He was an old friend of the family and the former owner and founder of ‘Masterson Jewelry’. Sheena was happy for them but she was disappointed that Millie hadn’t told her about Gary sooner. After talking to Séb and Millie, Sheena understood Millie’s reasons for not telling her sooner.

Carlos and Rebecca had been house hunting in Madrid. They wanted to move to Madrid permanently but after discussing pros and cons, they had decided to stay in Los Angeles. Rebecca’s business was in Los Angeles and she didn’t want to start over in a new city. As a compromise they had bought a house in Madrid where they could spend their vacations.

David and Maggie had settled everything with the lawyer and they were now managing Victoria’s trust fund. It had been a rough month for the couple. David had been having nightmares but when Maggie had asked him about the nightmares, he had told her it was nothing. Maggie had tried to talk to him about it but he had told her there was nothing to talk about.

**********

Los Angeles - October 11 2007

Amanda’s big day had finally arrived. Gary had offered to have the party at his house and it was an offer Séb and Sheena couldn’t turn down. Of course they had to inform their guests of the change but everyone had taken the news well.

Séb, Sheena, Gary and Millie had been up most of the night preparing the birthday party. Sheena had painted a background with Beauty and the Beast and in front of the background was an arch made of yellow balloons. One of Sheena’s friends had made the arch and she had also made the decorations for the table.

Amanda had chosen one big table with a yellow table cloth and a royal blue table runner. The table was decorated with two candelabras, one glass dome with a red rose inside and red rose petals spread all over the table runner.

“You are up early,” Sheena said to Séb.

“I couldn’t sleep. Today is a big day, not only for Amanda but also for me. This is the first time I will be with Amanda on her birthday,” Séb told Sheena.

“I am so sorry,” Sheena sat up in bed.

“Why are you sorry?” Séb looked at her.

“It is my fault that you haven’t been with her on her birthday before,” Sheena sighed.

“Stop that. So, I have missed four birthdays but I am here for this one and I will have a lot of birthdays to come. I want to think of the future, not the past,” Séb walked over to the bed.

Sheena was about to say something but Séb stopped her by placing his finger on her lips as he shook his head no. He replaced his finger with his lips and softly kissed her. They got out of bed and walked downstairs to prepare breakfast for Amanda but they were too late. Millie had already made pancakes and hot chocolate.

Séb and Sheena walked to Amanda’s room to wake her up but she was already awake. She looked at them with a big smile on her face before she jumped out of bed. They wished her a happy birthday and hugs were exchanged. The family walked to the kitchen where Millie and Gary were waiting for them. After breakfast, Séb and Sheena gave her one of her birthday presents and they couldn’t wait to see her reaction. It was something she had wanted for a long time but Sheena hadn’t been able to find it anywhere. Just when she had given up, Rebecca had called to tell her that she had managed to find a set and that she would give it to Millie.

Amanda opened the present and let out a scream when she saw what was inside. It was a special edition doll set of Beauty and the Beast. The Beast could transform into the Prince and her eyes were sparkling when she looked at her parents and she ran over to them and gave both a big hug. She gently took out the dolls and placed them on the table.

“What will I wear today?” Amanda asked.

“Well, aunty Becca has made a special dress for you,” Sheena replied with a smile.

“Can I see it?” Amanda tilted her head.

“Not yet. First you need a bath,” Sheena told her.

“When is it time for my bath?” Amanda continued to ask questions.

“You have to wait a little longer,” Sheena said.

“How long?” Amanda asked.

“At least one hour,” Sheena answered.

“Can I play with my dolls until then?” Amanda looked at Séb.

“Of course you can,” Séb said.

Amanda grabbed the dolls and ran to her room. When she was out of sight, Sheena and Millie made the final preparations for the party. They placed a sign with the words ‘Be our guest’ on the door to the dining room and outside Millie put up a large sign that said ‘You are welcome in my house and you can go anywhere you want except for the West Wing’.

“Can we look now?” Séb asked when Sheena and Millie returned.

“Be our guest.” Sheena replied with a smile.

Séb and Gary walked outside to take a look at the sign. Amanda had no idea about the sign on the door, the sign outside, the arch or the painting and Séb knew that she would love it. An hour later it was time for everyone to get ready for the party.

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PostSubject: Re: From Paris with love   Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:08 pm

Chapter 66

It was almost noon when Sheena woke up from her nap. She looked at Séb who was still sleeping and she wondered for a few seconds if she should wake him up but she chose to let him sleep. Sheena got out of bed and walked to Amanda’s room to see if she was awake but Amanda was sleeping too. Her dolls were sleeping next to her and Sheena picked up her phone and took a picture. It was one of the moments that you just had to have a picture of. She walked back to the bedroom, placed the phone on the night table before she walked into the bathroom to take a shower.

After a nice shower, she dried herself off and wrapped towel around her hair and another towel around her body. Séb rose from the bed when Sheena walked into the bedroom. He kissed her briefly before he disappeared into the bathroom. Sheena quickly put on some sweatpants and a t-shirt before she walked into Amanda’s room. Amanda was still sleeping so Sheena walked over to the bed and sat down.

“Time to wake up pumpkin,” Sheena said to Amanda.

“Can’t I sleep a little longer?” Amanda let out a yawn.

“No, you can’t but you can stay in bed until I have prepared your bath,” Sheena stroked Amanda’s hair.

“Ok,” Amanda smiled.

Sheena walked to the bathroom and turned on the water. As the water filled the tub, Sheena decided to pick up Amanda’s dress. The dress was in a dress bag in Millie and Gary’s bedroom.

“Is that my dress for today?” Amanda asked when Sheena returned.

“Yes, it is but you can’t see it until after your bath,” Sheena answered.

Amanda jumped out of bed and ran into the bathroom followed by Sheena. When Sheena picked up the sponge, Amanda took the sponge from Sheena and started to wash herself. Sheena watched as Amanda washed herself and she couldn’t stop smiling.

“Look mommy. I can wash myself now,” Amanda proudly said.

“I can see that. You are a big girl,” Sheena smiled at her.

“Yes,” Amanda agreed.

When Amanda got out of the tub, Sheena handed her a towel but Amanda just stared at her like she was crazy. Sheena could take a hint so she dried off Amanda. Mother and daughter walked into the bedroom and picked out some underwear for Amanda.

“Are you ready to see your dress?” Sheena asked.

“Yes,” Amanda eagerly replied.

Sheena opened the dress bag and Amanda let out a scream when she saw the dress. It was just like Belle’s yellow dress and it had gloves too.



“I will look just like Belle,” Amanda beamed.

“Yes, you will. Let us get you dressed,” Sheena agreed.

Sheena helped Amanda with the dress and once Amanda was dressed, Sheena placed a towel on her shoulders. Séb walked into the bedroom as Sheena was doing Amanda’s hair. Ten minutes later the hair was done and Amanda flashed her smile when Séb picked up the tiara and placed it on her head. Amanda walked over to the mirror to look at her reflection. She couldn’t stop smiling as she looked at herself in the mirror. Sheena and Séb exchanged smiles before Sheena walked to her own bedroom to get dressed.

Twenty minutes later the guests started to arrive and they all greeted Amanda first. The guests were shown into the living room where Amanda would open her presents. While Amanda was busy opening her presents, Sheena, Millie and Camille went into the dining room to make sure that everything was ready. Amanda took her time opening the presents. She received clothes, a complete art set with easel, paint and brushes, illustrated books, pink roller skates and toys that would help her learn to read and write. After Amanda had thanked the guests for the presents, Séb brought in a large present. Even though Amanda was curious to see what was inside, she calmly removed the paper and opened the box. She couldn’t hide her excitement when she saw the bike that her parents had bought for her.



“Can I try it now?” Amanda asked.

“No pumpkin. It’s time to eat but you can ride the bike later,” Sheena promised.

Amanda flashed her smile and hugged her parents. Sheena asked the guests to follow her into the dining room and they all stopped in front of the door to take a look at the sign. Séb opened the door and the guests walked into the dining room and found their seats. Amanda was stunned when she saw the decorations and it was easy to see that she loved it.

When everyone was seated, Séb turned on the music and started to sing ‘Be our guest’ but of course he sang in French. The big smile on Amanda’s face revealed that she loved every minute of it. After singing, Séb kissed Amanda’s cheek and returned to his seat.

A song was brought in and it was a special song that Millie had written, with a little help from Séb. It was a very personal and emotional song and everyone had to shed a tear. After the song, Séb got up and said a few words to his daughter. Amanda was enjoying every minute of her birthday and she hadn’t even noticed that Carlos had left the table. Ten minutes later there was a knock on the door and Rebecca got up.

“Ma chere mademoiselle,

I don’t think it comes as a surprise to any of us that you love ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and that is why we have invited a special guest to sing for you. Despite his looks, this guest is a very sweet and gentle person,” Rebecca said.

She walked over to the door and opened it. Amanda’s eyes widened when ‘Beast’ walked though the door and she just stared at him. While Amanda was completely stunned, Rebecca turned on the music and ‘Beast’ started to sing ‘Beauty and the Beast’. He was holding a red rose in his hand as he walked towards Amanda. He got down on his knee in front of her and Amanda’s face turned red when he gave her the rose. Amanda giggled and ‘Beast’ held her hand as he continued to sing. When the song ended, he kissed her hand and left the dining room.

“I loved my surprise aunty Becca. Thank you,” Amanda hugged her.

“The surprise is not over yet. There is more to come,” Rebecca told her.

Shortly after, the door opened and Carlos walked into the dining room, dressed as the prince. Carlos walked over to Amanda and held out his hand to her. Amanda placed her hand in his as the music started playing again. He danced with her and Amanda was beaming and blushing at the same time. David had been recording since Carlos walked in as ‘Beast’ and this was the highlight of the birthday.

“Were you ‘Beast’, uncle Carlos?” Amanda asked after the dance.

“Yes, I was,” Carlos answered with a smile.

“I didn’t know it was you,” Amanda confessed.

“I know. That was the plan. Did you like the surprise?” Carlos asked.

“Yes, I did. Thank you,” Amanda kissed his cheek.

“You are welcome,” Carlos said.

“Thank you so much. You really made this a perfect birthday,” Sheena said.

“It was my pleasure. Rebecca didn’t know about it until this morning,” Carlos told her.

“That is true. I knew he was up to something but he wouldn’t tell me what it was. I should have known it had something to do with ‘Beauty and the Beast’ but the thought never entered my mind,” Rebecca confessed.

Everyone returned to their seats and continued their lunch. After lunch, Sheena informed the guests that they would be serving hot chocolate in the living room. Millie and Camille cleared the table while the others took a closer look at Amanda’s presents.

“Can I ride my bike now?” Amanda asked with pleading eyes.

“Yes, but you have to take off the dress,” Séb told her.

Amanda asked Rebecca if she would help her with the dress and the two of them walked upstairs. A few minutes later they returned and all of the guests walked outside to watch Amanda ride her bike. Séb walked next to Amanda in case she should fall. He didn’t want anything to happen to her. Amanda was having a good time and her eyes were sparkling.Ten minutes later they returned to the living room to have hot chocolate. Amanda took a seat on Séb’s lap and it was obvious that she was fighting to stay awake. She fought for ten minutes before she had to surrender. Séb carried her upstairs and once Amanda was safely in her bed, he returned to the living room. When everyone had finished their hot chocolate, the four Divo girls cleared the table and disappeared into the kitchen. They had some personal things to talk about.

“Are you ready for Carlos’ birthday?” Maggie asked Rebecca.

“Yes, I am but I am a bit worried. Carlos wanted to keep it simple and I have planned a surprise party,” Rebecca replied.

“I don’t think you have anything to worry about,” Maggie told her.

“I agree with Maggie. He will be celebrating his birthday with his closest family and friends,” Miki said.

“You might be right. I guess I am just worrying too much,” Rebecca smiled.

“Yes, you are. Let us finish up here,” Sheena said.

The girls finished up in the kitchen and walked back to the living room. David was busy connecting the video camera to the TV so they could watch Amanda’s encounter with ‘Beast’ and ‘Prince Adam’.

“This is a birthday she will never forget,” Sheena said.

“And I have recorded it all. I will make a copy for you tonight,” David smiled.

“Thanks. I bet she will be watching it over and over,” Sheena laughed.

“No doubt about that. She never even noticed that Carlos was gone,” Rebecca sipped her coke.

“I think she was just overwhelmed by ‘Beast’ being there. She only had eyes for him. You did a good job, Carlos,” Millie said.

“Thanks. I actually swore never to perform as ‘Beast’ again but when I heard that Amanda wanted a ‘Beauty and the Beast’ theme for her birthday, I just had to perform,” Carlos told her.

“Well, you made her day. Now that we are all here, I would like to ask all of you to stay for dinner. We promised Amanda that she could have pizza tonight since it is her birthday,” Sheena said.

“And we do have a birthday cake too,” Séb added.

Everyone accepted the offer and once Amanda was awake, they ordered pizzas. The girls wanted to set the dinging room table but Millie told them they could eat in the living room. Half an hour later they were talking and eating pizza.

After dinner, Amanda was yawning again and they decided to bring in the cake before she fell asleep. Séb excused himself and disappeared into the kitchen, returning a few minutes later with the cake.



“That is you and me, uncle Carlos,” Amanda said when she saw the cake.

“It sure is,” Carlos smiled.

Séb was in charge of cutting the cake. He kept the pieces small because he knew that the guests were not hungry. They all tasted the cake because they knew Amanda would be disappointed if they didn’t. The birthday girl never finished her cake. She fell asleep in Sheena’s lap after a few bites. As soon as the rest had finished their cake, they said goodnight and left the house.

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PostSubject: Re: From Paris with love   Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:19 pm

Chapter 67

---- Los Angeles - Two days later ----

It was time to celebrate Carlos’ birthday and Rebecca had invited Carlos’ parents, Antonio and her own parents for breakfast at the apartment. Consuela, Jose and Antonio had arrived the day before and they were staying with Marianna and Roberto at their house.

“Should I feel bad about not having invited the guys and the girls for my birthday?” Carlos asked as he was making pancakes.

“I don’t know. Do you feel bad about it?” Rebecca looked at him.

“Maybe a little. They are our friends and it feels wrong to celebrate my birthday without them,” Carlos confessed.

“Well, it is too late to change your mind now,” Rebecca told him as the doorbell rang.

“I know,” Carlos said and disappeared into the hallway.

Rebecca had just finished with the scrambled eggs when Carlos returned to the kitchen, followed by their families. Hugs and kisses were exchanged and Carlos unwrapped his presents while Marianna and Consuela helped Rebecca in the kitchen.

“What did you give him?” Consuela asked.

“I gave him a watch when he woke up and later I will give him another present,” Rebecca replied.



“He still has no idea about the party?” Marianna looked at her daughter.

“Not a clue. He just told me that he feels bad about not inviting the guys and the girls for his birthday. I can’t wait to see his face when he sees them at the restaurant,” Rebecca answered with a smile.

“It will be a surprise for sure,” Marianna smiled back.

“Let us eat before the food gets cold,” Consuela suggested.

Marianna and Rebecca agreed and the three women grabbed the food and joined the men in the dining room. The breakfast went well except for the second when Antonio almost let it slip about the surprise party. He stopped himself when he felt someone kicking him under the table. They continued to eat their breakfast and they were having a good time. After breakfast and the dishes were put away, Marianna and Consuela wanted to see Rebecca’s work and the men decided to take a look at Los Angeles.

“Do you have Sheena’s wedding dress and the bridesmaid dresses here?” Marianna asked when they reached ‘Torres Designs’.

“Yes, I do but why do you ask?” Rebecca looked at her mom.

“Well, I am just curious to see what she will be wearing for the wedding. I have known Sheena since she was a little girl,” Marianna replied.

“Follow me,” Rebecca said.

Marianna and Consuela followed Rebecca and she showed them into the showroom. She told them to sit down while she picked up the dresses. Rebecca returned with three bags and she opened the one with Amanda’s flower girl dress.

“She will look so adorable in that dress,” Consuela said with a smile.

“Yes, she will. She is really looking forward to being a flower girl,” Rebecca informed them.

“What about your dress?” Marianna asked.

“This is what Maggie, Miki and I will be wearing,” Rebecca showed them the bridesmaid dresses.

“Stunning. You will look beautiful,” Marianna said.

“You haven’t seen Sheena’s dress yet,” Rebecca took out Sheena’s dress.

“That is beautiful. You are really talented,” Consuela said to Rebecca.

“Thanks, but I can’t take credit for this one. Sheena designed the dress herself a long time ago. I just made it for her,” Rebecca told her.

“Sheena will look absolutely stunning in that dress and poor Séb won’t know what hit him. Maybe it would be a good idea to bring some smelling salt to the church,” Consuela suggested.

“That sounds like a good idea. I will tell Carlos to bring it,” Rebecca said as her phone started to ring.

While Rebecca was on the phone, Marianna and Consuela took a closer look at some of Rebecca’s designs and they found the suits for the Halliwell/Izambard wedding. When they saw the suits, they had no doubt that it would be a beautiful wedding.

“That was the restaurant. We can decorate now if we want to,” Rebecca informed them.

“Perfect. We dropped off the decorations when we passed the restaurant earlier so everything should be there,” Marianna said.

“Great. Let us go,” Rebecca smiled.

They walked to the restaurant which was only a few minutes away. Rebecca greeted the owner and he showed them into a private dining room. They began to decorate the room but they needed help with the birthday banner. The owner’s son helped them with the banner and it only took about twenty minutes to decorate the entire dining room.

“It looks great,” Rebecca said as they looked at the room.

“It sure does. I just hope Carlos likes it,” Consuela looked at Rebecca.

“He will love it,” Marianna smiled.

“I hope so,” Rebecca said and turned out the light.

******

Carlos was in the shower and Rebecca quickly sent text messages to the guests to make sure that they would be at the restaurant when Carlos arrived. Everyone sent messages back and she could relax a bit, at least for a while.

She was already dressed when Carlos emerged from the bathroom and she told him to hurry because their families were already at the restaurant. Carlos got dressed and twenty minutes later they were at the restaurant. The owner greeted both of them and called for a waiter to escort them to their table.

“I thought you said our families would be here. I don’t see them anywhere,” Carlos looked around the restaurant.

“They are here but I booked a private room for us. I don’t want the world to see what Carlos Marin does on his birthday,” Rebecca told him.

“I see your point,” Carlos said.

“Good evening. My name is Andy and I will be your waiter tonight. Your table is ready so if you would please follow me,” a young man approached them.

Carlos and Rebecca followed the young man to the back of the restaurant. He excused himself and disappeared, leaving Carlos and Rebecca alone. Carlos thought it was a bit strange but he didn’t want to make a big deal out of it. He opened the door to the dining room and he jumped when he heard the word ‘surprise’.

“Did you do this?” Carlos looked at Rebecca.

“Yes, I am guilty and don’t be mad at me. I know you wanted to celebrate your birthday with only family but I just thought it was wrong to have a birthday dinner without our friends,” Rebecca answered in a low voice.

“How can I be mad at you? I told you how I felt about the guys and the girls not being here. I love your idea and it is perfect,” Carlos kissed her cheek.

Carlos greeted his guests and Amanda was the first one to give him a present. He opened the present and found a painting inside. It was a painting of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ of course and she had painted it all by herself. Amanda’s cheeks turned red when Carlos kissed her cheek and thanked her. He received clothes, a gift voucher for a trip to a destination of his own choice, a gift voucher to a restaurant and lots of other useful gifts. After he had opened his presents, they all took a seat.

“Thank you everyone for the presents and for being here. This is indeed a surprise. I told Rebecca that I wanted to celebrate my birthday with our parents and Antonio but this morning I felt bad about not inviting you guys and girls. You are family too and I am grateful to Rebecca for setting this up. Now it feels right to celebrate my birthday. This will be the best birthday ever and I am sure that we will have a good time,” Carlos said and raised his glass.

They all chimed in and shortly after the food was served. People were talking and having a good time but suddenly the sound of a plate breaking caused David to jump up. He raised his voice to the young woman who had dropped the plate and everyone was staring at him. They were shocked by David’s reaction because it wasn’t like him to act like that. David was shocked too and he realized that the incident with Keith had affected him more than he thought.

“I am sorry,” David said and left.

“What is going on with him?” Carlos asked Maggie.

“I don’t want to ruin your birthday,” Maggie replied.

“David is our friend and we are worried about him. Something is wrong. Please, tell us what is going on,” Urs pleaded.

“Ok, I will tell you what is wrong,” Maggie sighed and told them everything.

“Why didn’t he say something?” Séb asked.

“David didn’t want you to know about it because he didn’t really think it was a big deal. He has been having nightmares but whenever I tried to talk to him, he just said it was nothing and that he was fine,” Maggie told them.

“A man holds a gun to his head and he doesn’t think it is a big deal? Well, it is a big deal and he is not doing fine,” Séb stood and left.

Carlos and Urs followed Séb outside where they found David sitting on a bench. He was just staring straight ahead and he didn’t pay any attention to the guys at all. David didn’t notice them until Carlos cleared his throat.

“Do you want to talk about it?” Urs asked.

“Talk about what?” David stood.

“Maggie told us about what happened to you. Why didn’t you tell us? We are your friends. You guys were there for me and Sheena when Amanda was kidnapped. That is what friends do. They support each other,” Séb replied.

“You are right. I should have told you but I am strong and I thought that I could deal with it myself. I guess I was wrong. I haven’t had a full night’s sleep since it happened and I keep telling Maggie that I am fine. Somehow I don’t think she believes me. It feels good to get it out. The man who did it is in jail and he can’t hurt us anymore,” David said.

“You need to talk to someone about it. We want to help you and we will do whatever we can to help you get through this but we are not skilled for stuff like this,” Carlos told him.

“I haven’t told Maggie about this but I have made an appointment to see someone when we go back to Denver,” David said.

“That is good but you need to tell Maggie about the appointment. Maybe she would like to be there with you,” Séb pointed out.

“He does have a good point,” Urs added.

“You are right. I will tell her later. Thanks for listening and I am sorry if I have ruined your birthday,” David looked at the guys.

“That is what friends are for and you didn’t ruin my birthday. The night is still young so let us go back inside and continue the festivities,” Carlos padded David’s shoulder.

The guys walked back inside and David apologized to everyone, including the young waitress. They had a great time at the restaurant and they didn’t leave until the restaurant closed. When they got back to Rebecca’s apartment, Victoria and Amanda had fallen asleep. David and Séb carried their sleeping daughters into the guest room while Carlos offered everyone a drink. Despite David’s little outburst, it turned out to be a great birthday. It was past midnight when the Divos and their partners left Rebecca's apartment.

“Thank you for the surprise party,” Carlos said to Rebecca.

“You are welcome and I am so glad you are not angry at me for setting up the party,” Rebecca took off her robe.

“It has been the best birthday ever and I love my watch,” Carlos climbed into bed.

“Well, your birthday is not over yet. I do have one more present for you,” Rebecca smiled.

“What is it? Can I have it?” Carlos asked.

“Actually, you won’t get it yet. I can tell you what it is but you have to wait until July to hold it in your hands,” Rebecca replied.

“I don’t understand. Why do I have to wait until July?” Carlos looked at her.

“Because the present won’t be here until July,” Rebecca answered with a smile.

Carlos’ mind was working on overtime trying to figure out what kind of present Rebecca had for him and suddenly he seemed to have seen the light. He turned to look at Rebecca and the look on her face told him that he was right.

“That is the best birthday present ever,” he said.

“How do you know? I haven’t told you what the present is,” Rebecca reminded him.

“It took me a while to figure it out but I am not stupid. We are having a baby,” Carlos pulled Rebecca close.

“I know you are not stupid and you are right. We are having a baby in about seven months,” Rebecca smiled.

“I love you,” Carlos touched her cheek.

“And I love you. You are going to be a wonderful dad,” Rebecca said.

“And you are going to be a wonderful mom,” Carlos kissed Rebecca.

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PostSubject: Re: From Paris with love   Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:20 pm

Chapter 68

November had come and gone and it was now December which also meant big changes were about to happen to two of the Divo couples. December was the month where Miki and Urs would welcome their baby and it was the month where Séb and Sheena would say yes to spending the rest of their lives together.

Miki could give birth any day but she hoped that the baby would wait until after the wedding to make an appearance because Miki really wanted to be at the wedding. Urs wanted Miki to relax until after the baby was born but he didn’t tell her because he knew how stubborn she could be. He knew that she would put up a fight and a fight could cause stress. So he decided not to say anything.

It was the day before the wedding and Séb was at the airport to pick up Jean-Luc, Bianca and Camille who would fly in from Paris on Sheena’s private jet. He had been at the airport for about ten minutes when he saw Camille walk into the arrival hall. She walked over to him and greeted him with a warm hug.

“Did you leave Jean-Luc and Bianca in Paris?” Séb asked.

“No, they are on their way. Didn’t you bring Sheena and Amanda?” Camille looked at him.

“Sheena wanted to come but she had to meet an important client and Amanda is at home with Millie and Gary. They have invited all of us to lunch,” Séb replied.

“That sounds good,” Camille smiled at him.

Shortly after, Bianca and Jean-Luc walked into the arrival hall with their suitcases. Bianca spotted Séb and Camille and she hurried over to them. She greeted Séb with a hug, telling him how excited she was about the wedding. Jean-Luc walked over to them and greeted Séb with a manly hug. Séb took Camille’s suitcase and they all walked out of the airport.

“Are you excited about tomorrow?” Jean-Luc asked as they climbed into the car.

“Yes, I am. I have been waiting for this for five years,” Séb answered.

“I don’t understand. Are you saying that you wanted to marry Sheena when you were engaged to Virginia?” Jean-Luc wanted to know.

“Yes, that is what I am saying. I am sorry if you think that makes me a bad person but Sheena is the only woman I have ever truly loved,” Séb confessed.

“I don’t think that you are a bad person. You met the woman of your dreams and you never stopped loving her. I am happy for you and I am not judging you,” Jean-Luc told him.

“Thanks,” Séb said.

It was a little after noon when Séb pulled up in front of Gary’s house. They got out of the car and Séb helped Jean-Luc with the suitcases. Millie opened the door and greeted all of them. Amanda came running into the hallway, followed by Gary and she hugged all of them. Millie introduced them to Gary and once they had removed their coats, Gary showed them into the living room and gestured for them to sit down.

“Sheena should be here soon. She had to meet an important client about some of her dad’s paintings. This client has bought a lot of Pierre’s paintings and apparently he wants to buy more,” Millie said.

“I told them about the meeting. I just wish that she had asked Kate or Dani to meet with him. Sheena doesn’t need the stress right now,” Séb told Millie.

“Is she pregnant?” Bianca asked.

“Not that I know of. Why would you think that?” Séb looked at her.

“Well, you said that she didn’t need the stress,” Bianca reminded him.

“Oh, right. Well, she is not pregnant but she has been under a lot of stress with the wedding,” Séb explained.

“I thought you had everything under control,” Jean-Luc said.

“We do but Sheena is a perfectionist and she wants the wedding to be perfect. Our wedding planner is one of the best in Los Angeles and she knows what she is doing but Sheena has this weird feeling that we have forgotten something,” Séb told him.

“I felt the same way before my wedding. Didn’t you feel like that before your wedding?” Bianca looked at Millie.

“Yes, I did. I think it is natural for a woman to worry about her wedding. She wants everything to run smoothly and one tiny mistake can ruin it all,” Millie smiled at Bianca.

“That is so true,” Camille agreed.

They were talking about the wedding when Séb’s phone made a noise. He looked at his phone and it was a text message from Sheena.

“Sheena is on her way home. She should be here in about ten minutes,” Séb said.

“I should start lunch then,” Millie rose from the chair.

“Do you need any help?” Bianca asked as she got up.

“Yes, please,” Millie replied with a smile.

Bianca followed Millie into the kitchen and shortly after, Camillie and Amanda joined them. While the three woman and Amanda were in the kitchen. Gary showed Jean-Luc the house. Séb looked at his watch and he still had five minutes before Sheena would walk in. He walked over to the desk in the corner and opened the top drawer. Séb took out a piece of paper and sat down at the desk. His eyes scanned the paper in his hand and shortly after, he found a pen and added a few lines. He quickly read the words on the paper and he had just finished reading when Sheena pulled up. Séb returned the paper to the drawer and walked into the hall to greet Sheena.

“Are you ok?” Séb asked with concern in his voice.

“Yes, I am fine. Just a little tired. This last week has been crazy but once we get married, I will be able to relax. I will have plenty of time to relax on our honeymoon,” Sheena replied.

“I wouldn’t count on that if I were you,” Séb whispered in her ear.

“I knew you would say that. Where is everyone?” Sheena asked.

“Gary is giving Jean-Luc a tour of the house and Amanda is in the kitchen with Bianca, your mom and my mom,” Séb answered.

“I will be back in a few minutes,” Sheena said.

Sheena walked upstairs to freshen up and change her clothes. When she walked down the stairs, Séb was waiting for her at the bottom with a big smile on his face. He reached out his hand to her and she gently placed her hand in his. Without a word he pulled her into his arms and kissed her deeply. He broke the kiss when he heard footsteps. It was Gary and Jean-Luc.

“Are we interrupting something?” Gary asked with a smile.

“No, you are not. I needed air anyway,” Sheena told him.

Gary smiled at her and Jean-Luc greeted her with a hug. Sheena excused herself and walked into the kitchen to greet Bianca and Camille. She offered to help them with lunch but they had already finished and it was time to eat.

“I am so excited about the wedding. I have been waiting for this wedding for seven years and now it is finally happening,” Camille said to Séb and Sheena.

“Have you seen Sheena’s dress?” Séb asked Millie.

“Of course I have seen her dress. Why do you ask?” Millie sipped her water.

“Well, I am just curious,” Séb replied.

"He is hoping that you will tell him what my dress looks like," Sheena told Millie.

“Well, I won't do that. I am sorry but you will have to wait until tomorrow but I promise you that Sheena will look stunning,” Millie smiled at Séb.

Séb looked at Millie then at Sheena. Of course she would look stunning in her wedding dress. She was beautiful with her big brown eyes and her long dark hair. As he looked at her he wondered what her hair would look like at the wedding and what kind of make-up she would be wearing. Would she be wearing a veil, a tiara or just some kind of decoration?

While Séb was lost in his own world, the others were talking about the plans for the day. Sheena told them that they had a meeting with the wedding planner later and that they were welcome to join them. After the meeting they would go back to the house to relax before they had to get ready for dinner.

*******

The meeting with the wedding planner went well and the venue was ready for the Halliwell/Izambard wedding the next day. They all went to their rooms when they got back from the meeting. Sheena had to wrap the present and finish the card from Amanda to Séb. Millie had to finish her speech and Séb had to pack an overnight bag as he would be spending the night at the Beverly Wilshire with the Divos, Gary, Jean-Luc and Juliette’s son, Claude.

Since the guys would spend the night at the Beverly Wilshire, Millie had invited the girls to spend the night at Gary’s house. With a little help from Rebecca she had chosen one movie for the girls to watch after dinner.

It was a little before six when they arrived at the hotel. Séb, Jean-Luc, Claude and Gary went to their rooms to settle in and they returned ten minutes later. The other wedding guests started to arrive and after a drink in the bar, they walked into the restaurant to have dinner. The main subject at dinner was the wedding and the guys were curious to know what kind of dress Sheena would be wearing. They had a lot of ideas and Sheena knew they would be surprised to see the dress because their ideas were way off.

They had a great dinner and the evening went by so fast. Before they knew it, the time had come to say goodnight and go their separate ways. The guys escorted the girls outside and they said their goodnights. As Carlos, David and Urs walked back to the hotel entrance, Carlos padded Séb on the shoulder.

“Time to say goodnight to your bride-to-be,” Carlos said.

“I know. Just give me a few minutes,” Séb looked at him.

“No problem. It is too cold to wait out here so we will wait inside,” Carlos told him.

“Only one more sleep and you will finally become Mrs. Izambard,“ Séb looked into Sheena’s eyes.

“In my heart I have been Mrs. Izambard since I met you seven years ago,” Sheena told him.

“Really? Even when we were apart?” Séb was shocked.

“Even then. I just didn’t want to admit it,” Sheena confessed.

Séb didn’t say anything as he raised his hand and touched her cheek. He looked deep into her brown eyes and slowly moved his head towards hers. Sheena closed her eyes when Séb captured her lips in a soft kiss.

“I will see you tomorrow morning,” Séb said when he broke the kiss.

“Yes, you will,” Sheena promised.

“Je t’aime,” Séb whispered before kissing her again.

“I love you too. Now go. The guys are waiting for you,” Sheena told him when they broke the kiss.

Séb turned and walked into the hotel where the guys were waiting for him. They watched as the cars drove off and once the cars were out of sight, the guys walked into the bar to get a drink.

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PostSubject: Re: From Paris with love   Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:31 pm

Chapter 69

“Good morning. How is the bride-to-be this morning?” Miki asked as she sat down on Sheena’s bed.

“I have never felt better. What about the mom-to-be?” Sheena smiled at Miki.

“I am fine considering the fact that I didn’t get much sleep. The baby has been kicking a lot. I think she is ready to come out but I will do my best to keep her inside until after the wedding,” Miki laughed.

“Thanks but if she wants to come out then I don’t think you have a choice. Of course I do hope that she waits until Séb and I have left the party,” Sheena said with a smile.

“I hope so too. I want you to have the perfect wedding,” Miki told her.

“It will be perfect. I am marrying the man I love and that makes the wedding perfect,” Sheena rose from the bed.

“That is true. Time for you to get ready for breakfast. We have to be at the hotel in an hour,” Miki got up too.

Miki left the room and Sheena walked into the bathroom to take a shower. She got dressed and checked her suitcase to make sure that she had everything she needed for a two week honeymoon. Once she had made sure that everything was packed, she picked up the suitcase and walked downstairs where the others were waiting.

“Are you ready to leave?” Millie asked.

“Yes, I am,” Sheena answered with a big smile.

“Are you nervous?” Maggie was curious.

“Not yet but I am sure that I will be nervous later,” Sheena replied.

“Oh, you will be. No doubt about that but once you walk down the aisle with your mom, you will have forgotten all about being nervous,” Maggie told her.

“Speaking of walking down the aisle. There is something we need to talk about,” Millie took Sheena’s hand.

“What is it?” Sheena asked.

“I won’t walk you down the aisle,” Millie replied.

“What? I thought we agreed that you would,” Sheena was upset.

“We did agree on that but someone else offered to do it,” Millie told her.

“Who?” Sheena wanted to know.

“I know he is not your dad but Gary offered to walk you down the aisle and I told him it was ok,” Millie answered.

“You should have talked to me about it but I don’t have a problem with Gary being the one who walks me down the aisle,” Sheena hugged Millie.

“I am glad you feel that way,” Millie let out a sigh of relief.

“We should go. The guys are probably waiting for us,” Maggie looked at her watch.

The ladies grabbed their coats and left the house. Amanda ran to the minibus and there was no doubt that she was excited about the wedding. Her parents were getting married and she would be wearing a beautiful flower girl dress. What more could a five year old girl ask for?

“What are the plans for today?” Maggie wanted to know.

“Well, I don’t know about you girls but I am getting married,” Sheena replied with a smile.

“We know you are but you must have some kind of schedule for the day. Make-up, hair etc.,” Maggie smiled back.

“I do. Rebecca and I went to school with a girl who only had one dream. She wanted to be a make-up artist and she pursued her dream and is now a famous make-up artist. Sandie and her crew will meet us in Camille’s suite at 12.30pm,” Sheena explained.

“At 12.30pm? That only gives us a little over three hours to get ready. One bride, four bridesmaids, two moms and a flower girl,” Miki looked at Sheena.

“I know but Sandie promised me that it was enough time. She will bring her entire crew which means that each of us will have our own personal groomer,” Sheena told her.

“Great. What about the dresses and the bouquets?” Miki wanted to know.

“Two of my employees will bring the dresses to the hotel around noon and the bouquets should be at the hotel now. That was the agreement but I will check it once we get to the hotel,” Rebecca replied.

A few minutes later the minibus pulled up in front of the hotel. The girls got out and walked into the hotel where they were greeted by the hotel manager. He showed them into the breakfast restaurant where the Divos, Gary, Jean-Luc and Claude were waiting for them. After greeting their men, the girls sat down and everyone enjoyed their breakfast.

After a nice breakfast, people went their separate ways. Miki wanted to relax until it was time for her to meet the girls and Urs wanted to be close to her in case she went into labor so they had gone to their room. Maggie and David had gone shopping because Maggie had found the perfect dress for Victoria to wear at the wedding and it was only available in one store in Los Angeles. Rebecca and Carlos had gone to the ballroom to meet with the wedding planner, Linda, and Rebecca was relieved to hear that the flower decorations and bouquets had arrived.

Amanda, Sheena and Séb were enjoying some family time by the pool. They wouldn’t be together as a family for two weeks because of the honeymoon and both Sheena and Séb wanted to spend as much time as possible with Amanda before they had to leave at midnight. As Sheena watched Séb and Amanda having fun in the pool, she thought of how much her life had changed since May. And soon her life would change once more.

**** Wedding time ****



---- Carlos’ suite ----

“Are you still alive in there?” David knocked on the bathroom door.

"Yes, I am alive,” Séb emerged from the bathroom.

“Are you nervous?” Urs asked, straightening his tie.

“Of course I am nervous. I am getting married,” Séb replied as he struggled with his tie.

“I can tell. Let me fix your tie or we will be late for the ceremony. Take a deep breath,” David told him.

Séb took a deep breath as David fixed his tie and it did help a little but he was still extremely nervous when they left the suite.

---- Camille’s suite ----



After spending several hours getting their hair and make-up done, the Divo girls were getting dressed. Camille was helping Amanda get into the flower girl dress and Millie was about to help Sheena with the wedding dress when Sheena suddenly hurried into the bathroom. They all looked at each other then the bathroom door. A few minutes later, Sheena came out of the bathroom and everyone was staring at her.

“What?” Sheena asked.

“Are you alright?” Millie walked over to her.

“I am fine. I just wanted to go to the bathroom before I put on the dress,” Sheena replied with a smile.

“That does make sense but it doesn’t explain the noises we heard,” Millie looked at Sheena.

“My stomach is acting up. I am getting married and I am a little nervous. I have been waiting for this moment for a long time and I don’t want anything to go wrong. I swear that I am fine,” Sheena told her.

“If you are fine then let us get you into this dress,” Millie said with a smile.

“How do I look?” Sheena asked when she was dressed.

“You look beautiful. I wish Christopher and Pierre could see you,” Millie touched Sheena’s cheek.

“I am sure they are looking down on me today,” Sheena said.

“They are,” Millie told her.

“This is from daddy,” Amanda gave Sheena a small box.

Sheena took the box and sat down on the bed. She opened the box and found a pearl necklace and matching earrings.



“It matches our dresses,” Miki said.

“Yes, it does,” Sheena agreed as she put on the jewelry.

“You girls look beautiful. I want a picture of all of you together. Grab your bouquets,” Camille reached for her camera.



Each girl picked up her bouquet and lined up for the picture. The line up was Miki, Rebecca, Sheena, Bianca and Maggie and Amanda was standing in front of Sheena. Earlier in the day Sheena’s friend, who was one of the bridesmaids, had called Sheena to inform her that she was unable to attend the wedding. Sheena had to find a new bridesmaid and Séb had suggested Bianca. When Sheena had asked Bianca to be a bridesmaid, Bianca had said yes without hesitation.

The girls were talking and laughing when there was a knock on the door. Millie opened it and Gary stepped into the suite. He looked at Sheena and a big smile appeared on his face. Gary walked over to her and took her hand.

“You look beautiful. Are you ready to get married?” he asked her.

“Yes, I am,” Sheena answered with a smile.

They all left the suite and walked downstairs. When they reached the ceremony room, both Millie and Camille kissed Sheena’s cheek before they found their seats. Suddenly the music started to play and the doors opened. Amanda entered the ceremony room and she walked down the aisle, followed by the bridesmaids. As soon as the last bridesmaid had reached the end of the aisle, Sheena and Gary appeared in the doorway.

Séb stared at Sheena as she walked towards him and he couldn’t believe how beautiful she looked in her wedding dress. The smile on his face said everything and everyone could tell how much he loved Sheena just by looking at him. When Sheena and Gary reached the end of the aisle, Gary placed her hand in Séb’s and sat down next to Millie.

The music stopped playing and the priest briefly smiled at Séb and Sheena before he started his speech:

“Today Sheena and Sébastien proclaim their love and commitment to the world, and we gather here to rejoice, with and for them, in the new life they now undertake together. We share with them their delight in finding love with each other, and support their decision to be together from now until the end of time.

What is love? I believe most people have asked themselves that question and it’s impossible to give one answer because love is many things. Love is the magic that has brought Sheena and Sébastien together and through that magic, we are joining them today.Love is genuine, honest, and open, compassionate and kind, passionate and blind, love doesn’t know space or time, nor look through jealous eyes, and in the modified words of Paul in his letter to the Corinthians, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.

When we love, we see things other people do not see. We see beneath the surface, to the qualities, which make our beloved special and unique.

Marriage is to belong to each other through a unique and diverse collaboration, like two threads crossing in different directions, yet weaving one tapestry together.

The secret of love and marriage is to be in love and in trust, to know in your hearts that you want only the best for each other. It takes dedication, to stay open to one another, to learn and grow, even when it is difficult to do so. And it takes faith, to go forward together without knowing what the future holds for you both.

Love never dies and I think we can all agree that these two are proof of that. They have shown us that even after five years apart, they still love each other and have decided to spend the rest of their lives together.

Sheena and Sébastien have written their own vows,” the minister said and nodded at Séb.

“It has been long in coming to this day. I chose you, Sheena, to be my wife years ago. Fate chose to delay this union but I believe that everything does have a reason. The reason in this case is to show me just how much you truly mean to me.

My life was incomplete until I met you. From that moment, each day with you made my life more complete and today completes that journey, making my soul whole for the first time in my life.

I promise to be the best man that I can be for you. You have brought out the very best in me and I promise you that I will not falter in my love for you or my life with you. If my daughter is the light of my life, you are the sky to which I wake every morning. You embody the bright skies and full nights of my life.

It is by this ring and this ceremony that I make you that which you should have been so long ago. I love you and never shall let you go,” Séb said, holding Sheena’s hand.

“As I stand here before you, looking into your eyes, I see all of the things I fell in love with.

As I stand here before you, my heart beating so strongly, I find myself so lost for the right words to say.

As I stand here before you, I remember how complete you make my life. It makes me remember every laugh we’ve ever shared, every hard time we made it through together, and every beautiful moment there is to come.

Today I give you my heart and my soul. I give you the everything I am today as I stand before you. I promise to love you, protect you, be with you forever, and cherish every moment until death do us part,” Sheena said.

“Do you have the rings?” the priest asked.

Jean-Luc was the best man and he stepped forward and gave the rings to the priest. The priest took the rings and gave them to Sheena and Séb. He looked at Séb and nodded his head.



“Sheena, I give you this ring as a reminder that I will love, honor, and cherish you in all times, in all places and in all ways, forever,” Séb said as he placed the ring on Sheena’s finger.

“Sébastien, I give you this ring as a reminder that I will love, honor, and cherish you in all times, in all places and in all ways, forever,” Sheena said as she placed the ring on Sébastien’s finger.

“Sheena and Sébastien, you have expressed your love to one another through the commitment and promises you have just made. It is with these in mind that I pronounce you husband and wife. You have kissed a thousand times, maybe more. But today the feeling is new. No longer simply partners and best friends, you have become husband and wife and can now seal the agreement with a kiss. Today, your kiss is a promise. You may kiss the bride,” the priest said.

Everyone cheered when Sheena and Séb shared their first kiss as husband and wife. When Sheena and Séb broke the kiss, they looked at Amanda who had a big smile on her face. Séb took her hand and the Izambards left the ceremony room, followed by the guests.

When everyone had congratulated the couple, the family was escorted into another room where the photographer was waiting. After a fifteen minute photo session, the family returned to their guests.

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PostSubject: Re: From Paris with love   Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:15 pm

Chapter 70



Sheena and Sébastien found their seats at the main table and their closest family joined them. The other guests were seated at round tables on both sides of the dance floor. Once everyone had found their seats, Séb stood and held his speech.

“Someone once said that a good speech has both a good beginning and a good ending. However, a great speech keeps both of these very close together…One of the problems I’ve had is the middle bit!.... Too short and everyone gets very rare beef, too long and it’s well done!
Bearing this in mind, I’m aiming for Medium rare!.... Let’s see how we get on!

Ladies and Gentlemen, family and friends, on behalf of Sheena and myself, welcome to you all. Sadly, it has not been possible to have everyone we love here with us today, but we know they are here with us in spirit and more importantly they are with us in our hearts. So, with these people in mind, would you please all stand, raise your glasses, and join me in a toast to absent family and friends,” Séb said.

Everyone stood and toasted to absent family and friends. Millie knew that both Christopher and Pierre would have been so proud and she had a feeling that they were looking down on their daughter today. When everyone were seated once again, Séb continued his speech:

It is not often you get to marry your best friend, well today, that’s exactly what I’m doing. They say you don't marry someone you can live with - you marry the person who you can’t live without, and I think you’ll agree that sums me up perfectly.

Sheena and I first met back in 2000 but it still feels like it was yesterday. I was in a restaurant, enjoying a quiet dinner when I heard a woman’s voice. She was arguing with the host because instead of just changing her booking, they had cancelled it. I felt sorry for her so I told the waiter that she could sit at my table if she wanted to. He left and returned with the young woman. It was love at first sight when Sheena sat down at my table and I couldn’t believe it. I used to laugh when my friends spoke of love at first sight because I thought they were nuts. A person can’t fall in love that fast but I was proven wrong.

We spent two wonderful years together in Paris but fate played a trick on us and we ended up being apart for five years. Earlier this year our paths crossed again and the old feelings were brought back to life. I was engaged to be married but when I met Sheena again, I knew that I couldn’t go through with the wedding. It wouldn’t have been fair to my fiance because Sheena was the woman who held my heart.

The priest mentioned that love never dies and he was right. Sheena and I are together again and we love each other more than we did five years ago. We have got a beautiful daughter and hopefully she will not be an only child.

Sheena, thank you for agreeing to marry me. I love you very much and look forward to the rest of our lives together. You are beautiful, intelligent, kind and caring. I feel incredibly proud to call you my wife. And with that, ladies and gentlemen, please join me in a toast: To my beautiful wife Sheena,” Séb said.

After the toast, Séb bent down and kissed Sheena before he continued his speech. He thanked his mom and Millie, Jean-Luc for being his best man, Bianca for stepping in as bridesmaid, the Divos for always being there and for being groomsmen at the wedding and finally their wives for being Sheena’s bridesmaids. When the speech had come to an end, the main course was brought in.

Right after the main course, Millie’s song was brought in. Séb rose from the table and walked out of the ballroom, returning a few seconds later with his guitar. He started to play and then people began to sing. The song was very personal and it moved Sheena and some of the other ladies to tears. When the song ended, Millie stood and said a few words.

“Over the years I have written down a lot of stuff about Sheena and thanks to my son in law, I was able to turn all of it into a song. I am so proud of what you have achieved in your life and I know that Pierre and Christopher were proud too. It is safe to say that this year has been good and bad. Christopher’s passing in May, finding out that he wasn’t your real dad, meeting your real dad and then lose him. You met Séb on two different occasions and you did your best to hide your feelings for him but you never fooled any of us. We were all happy when the two of you got back together but a friend of the family almost ruined your happiness when he decided to kidnap Amanda. Thank God we got her back and now here we are at your wedding. The world is just as it should be. I wish both of you all the happiness in the world. And hopefully you will provide me with a few more like her,” Millie said, looking towards Amanda.

“I hope so too,” Camille added with a smile.

“To the bride and groom,” Millie raised her glass.

Everyone chimed in and both Sheena and Séb hugged Millie. Dessert was served shortly after and everyone enjoyed it. When people had finished their dessert, a young woman asked the guests to go into another room while they cleared the tables. People left the ballroom and a few of the ladies went to the powder room.

“She is still behaving nicely,” Maggie touched Miki’s belly.

“Now she is but she wasn’t behaving nicely during dinner. I think she was playing soccer in there,” Miki said with a smile.

“She might have been doing that. When I was pregnant, Amanda was kicking so much that I thought I was having twins. I thought it was impossible for one child to be as active as she was. When I held her in my arms for the first time, I forgot all about the kicking, the morning sickness and everything else I had to endure during my pregnancy,” Sheena added.

“I know it will be worth it in the end. I just wish it would end soon,” Miki said.

The girls left the powder room and returned to the ballroom where the tables had been cleared and the music was playing. Sheena had accepted that there would be no father/daughter dance and she was surprised when Gary suddenly walked over to her.

“I know am not your dad but would you like to dance a father/daughter dance with me?” Gary held out his hand.

“I would love to,” Sheena smiled at him.

Séb watched as Sheena and Gary were dancing and suddenly he had an idea. He walked over to his daughter and held out his hand to her. Amanda giggled when she placed her tiny hand in Séb’s. It was priceless and several of the guests took out their cameras. After the father/daughter dance, it was time for Séb and Sheena to dance their first dance.

It didn’t take long before the dance floor was full. Urs was dancing with Amanda and she seemed to be enjoying herself. She giggled and blushed whenever Urs gave her a blinky wink and it looked so cute. Miki watched the two of them and she knew that Urs would be a great dad.

“How are you feeling?” Camille joined Miki at the table.

“I am fine considering my baby is using me as a punching bag,” Miki touched her belly.

“Can I feel your stomach?” Camille asked.

“Of course,” Miki replied.

Camille placed her hand gently on Miki’s belly and she was surprised to feel how active baby Buhler was. Even though Camille wasn’t a midwife, she knew that It was only a matter of time before baby Buhler would make an appearance. She hoped that baby Buhler would wait until Sheena and Séb had left the party but she knew that the odds of that happening were really bad.

“I think she will be here before you know it,” Camille said with a smile.

“Maybe but I will do my best to keep her inside until the bride and groom have left the party. I don’t want to ruin their wedding day,” Miki told her.

“I don’t think they will mind,” Camille looked at Miki.

“I know but this is their wedding day and they deserve to have this day to themselves. A friend of mine gave birth at her sister’s wedding and the sister was so furious that she refused to talk to my friend. It took her almost six months to forgive her sister for giving birth at her wedding,” Miki informed Camille.

“Well, you know that Sheena and Séb wouldn’t react like that but I see your point,” Camille smiled at her.

The music had stopped playing and people returned to their seats. Séb and Sheena walked around and chatted with all of the guests. Before they knew it, the time had come for the cake to be brought in.



Everyone gathered around the cake and watched as Sheena and Séb cut the cake. They each picked up a small piece of cake and fed each other. Séb ended the feeding with a soft kiss and the guests all took a piece.

The evening went by really fast and suddenly Gary announced that it was time for the bride and groom to leave. Sheena and Séb said goodbye to their friends and family first and then they said goodbye to Amanda. When Sheena hugged her, Amanda whispered something in her ear and Sheena whispered back to her. Amanda giggled and Sheena winked at her. Séb hugged Amanda and told her to be nice to Camille and Millie. Amanda promised to be a good girl. He kissed her cheek before he reached for Sheena’s hand. They left the hotel, followed by their guests and climbed into the waiting car that would take them to the airport.

“What did you and Amanda whisper about?” Séb asked Sheena.

“I will tell you later,” Sheena replied with a smile.

“You are up to something, Mrs. Izambard,” Séb said.

“No, I am not. I promise to tell you later but I want to wait until we are alone,” Sheena told him.

“Ok, I will wait,” Séb said with a smile.

The car arrived at the airport and the newlyweds were escorted out to the private jet. When they came out to the jet, they were greeted by the crew who congratulated them. Sheena and Séb boarded the jet and soon after one of the crew members joined them. She told them that their suitcases were in the bedroom and that she had arranged for some drinks and snacks for them. They thanked her and went into the bedroom to change their clothes. The newlyweds didn't return.

******

“Have you seen Miki?” Urs asked Maggie.

“I know she went to the ladies room but that was like twenty minutes ago,” Maggie replied.

“Would you mind checking on her?” Urs pleaded.

“Of course not,” Maggie smiled and left.

On her way to the ladies room, she passed Rebecca and asked her to come with her. Rebecca and Maggie hurried to the ladies room and nothing could have prepared them for what they found. Miki was standing by the sink and she was standing in a puddle of water. Rebecca grabbed her phone and dialed 911.

“We have to get her out of here,” Maggie looked at Rebecca.

“I agree,” Rebecca said.

They left the ladies room and walked into the lobby. Maggie stayed with Miki while Rebecca ran to the ballroom to get Urs. Rebecca explained to him that Miki’s water had broken and Urs ran to the lobby to check on his wife. The ambulance arrived a few minutes later and Miki was brought to the hospital. Maggie and Rebecca returned to the ballroom and explained to everyone that Miki was on her way to the hospital.

It was almost 1am and some of the guests had already left the party, so the rest decided to call it a night. Maggie, David, Rebecca and Carlos went back to the apartment to change their clothes and ten minutes later they were on their way to the hospital.

They arrived at the hospital about ten minutes later and they asked about Miki. A nurse informed them that Miki was in the delivery room but she would tell Urs that they had arrived. The two Divos and their wives walked to the waiting room and sat down. All they could do was to wait.

An hour later, the nurse stepped into the waiting room and announced that Miki had given birth to a healthy baby girl. She told them that Miki and the baby had been brought to a private room and that Miki was asking for them. The nurse showed them to the room and she told them not to stay too long because Miki needed to rest. When they entered the room, Urs was sitting in a chair, holding his daughter. He looked at them with a big smile on his face. Miki was awake but she looked really tired. Even though she was tired, she still managed to smile at her friends.

“I want you all to meet our daughter. This is Ellie Grace,” Urs said with a smile.

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PostSubject: Re: From Paris with love   Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:25 pm

Chapter 71

“Hello Ellie Grace. We are Maggie and David, your aunt and uncle,” David said.

“And we are Rebecca and Carlos, your other aunt and uncle,” Carlos added.

"She is so beautiful and I love her name,” Rebecca looked at Miki.

“Thanks. We named her Ellie after my grandmother and Grace after Urs’ grandmother,” Miki proudly told her.

“I think we should leave you two alone with your little bundle of joy,” Maggie said to Urs and Miki.

“You don’t have to leave,” Urs looked at them.

“Yes, we do. It has been a long day and we are all exhausted,” David added.

They said goodbye to the new parents and left the hospital. As soon as they arrived at the apartment, they all went to bed.

********

Miki had fallen asleep and Urs was looking at Ellie Grace who was sleeping peacefully in his arms. He couldn’t believe that he was now a dad. It was a special feeling and he knew that he would be enjoying his new role as a dad. He had witnessed how Séb was with Amanda and how David was with Victoria. Now it was his turn to spoil his daughter and he promised to be the best dad he could be.

Urs carried his daughter over to the crib and gently placed her in it. He bent down and softly kissed her forehead before he climbed into his own bed. As he was lying in bed, he wondered if he should call Séb and Sheena. They were on their honeymoon but he knew that both of them would want to know about Ellie Grace. Urs reached for his phone and sent a text message and a picture to Séb:

“Hello you two. I know that you are on your way to St. Barts but I have some news to share with you. As you can see, I am now a dad. Miki gave birth to our daughter shortly after you left the party and I have to admit that being a dad is a wonderful feeling. Look at her. Isn’t she beautiful? I will talk to you when you get back. Enjoy your honeymoon. Urs”.

Urs closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep.

*******

----- Eden Rock Hotel - St. Barts -----



Séb and Sheena had arrived at The Eden Rock Hotel in St. Barts. After checking in, they were shown to their suite. The Fontaine suite was perfect for people who wanted privacy and it was the perfect suite for a honeymoon.

"This place is just amazing. Look at that view,” Sheena said, looking at the water.

“Yes, the view truly is amazing. I could stare at it forever,” Séb wrapped his arms around her.

“I was referring to the beach and the water,” Sheena told him.

“So was I,” Séb placed soft kisses on her neck.

“Of course. I assume you don’t want to take a closer look at this place?” Sheena turned around, still locked in his embrace.

“You are right about that. I want to stay here and spend some time with my wife,” Séb kissed her.

“Oh. I like the way you think but first I want to give you something. I will be right back,” Sheena slipped out of his embrace.

Sheena walked to the bedroom and opened her suitcase. She took out the box and the card that she had brought with her to St. Barts and both were undamaged. When she emerged from the bedroom, Séb was standing on the deck, staring at his phone. Her first thought was that maybe something had happened to Amanda and her heart was beating fast as she joined him on the balcony.

“Did something happen to Amanda?” she asked him.

“No, she is fine. I have received a text message from Urs. Miki had the baby,” Séb answered as he handed her the phone.

“That is good news and she is s adorable. I am so happy for them,” Sheena said.

“So am I but I have to admit that I am also a bit jealous. David and Urs get to change diapers, feed their daughters and stuff like that. Carlos will have to wait another five months but he still gets to do it once the baby is born,” Séb sighed.

Sheena knew that this was the right moment to give him the present and she placed the box in front of him, adding that it was a present from Amanda. Séb opened the box and looked inside. He found a pair of white baby booties inside the box and he looked at Sheena with a puzzled look on his face.



Thoughts were running through his head. Did these boots mean what he hoped they did? Or was it really a present from Amanda? Why would Amanda give him a pair of brand new baby booties? It was obvious that the boots had never been worn so what was going on? Séb had so many questions but before he could ask any questions, Sheena spoke up.

“Those baby booties belong to Amanda. They look new and there is a good explanation for that. When I was pregnant, I didn’t want to know if the baby was a boy or a girl. I just wanted a healthy baby. That was all that mattered. Rebecca came to visit me a few weeks before Amanda was born and she gave me the baby booties because white would be perfect for a girl and a boy. When Rebecca came to visit me in the hospital after Amanda was born, she gave me a pair of pink baby booties. I showed these to Amanda and she wanted you to have them,” Sheena explained.

“Oh, ok. Thanks,” Séb sighed.

“You sound disappointed,” Sheena said.

“I am sorry. I just hoped that the booties meant something else. Well, I love them and it is a nice gift,” Séb looked at Sheena.

“There is a card too,” Sheena gave him the card.

Séb took the card and Sheena watched him closely as he opened the envelope. She couldn’t wait to see his reaction when he read the card. Séb pulled out the card and opened it.



He read the message over and over because he wanted to make sure that it wasn’t his imagination. After reading the card for the fifth time, Séb finally looked at Sheena.

“Are we having a baby?” Séb asked.

“Yes, we are,” Sheena replied.

“This must be the best wedding present ever. You have just made me the happiest man in the world,” Séb pulled her close.

“I thought that marrying me made you the happiest man in the world,” Sheena looked at him.

“You know what I mean. How long have you known?” Séb asked.

“The signs were there so I took one of those home pregnancy tests last week and it was positive. The tests can be wrong so I made an appointment with the doctor. He confirmed it two days ago,” Sheena answered with a smile.

“When is the baby due?” Séb looked at Sheena.

“Somewhere between six and seven months,” Sheena answered.

“I can’t wait. Does Amanda know?” Séb asked.

“Yes, she does. I hope you are not mad at me for telling her before telling you,” Sheena looked at him.

“Of course I am not mad at you. I am just surprised that she has been able to keep the secret for two days. So that was what the two of you were whispering about,” Séb said.

“I told Amanda about the baby yesterday morning. She promised not to tell anyone about it and it looks like she has kept her promise,” Sheena told him.

“How do you know?” Séb took her in his arms.

“Because we haven’t heard anything from our moms. We both know that they would have called us if Amanda had told them about the baby,” Sheena replied.

“That is true. Well, I don’t want to talk about our moms. I want to enjoy some private time with my wife and our unborn baby,” Séb kissed Sheena deeply.

**********

“She is so beautiful,” Urs said as he looked at Ellie Grace.

“Yes, she is. We did a good job,” Miki agreed with a smile.

“Definitely. She is just so perfect,” Urs gently touched Ellie’s cheek.

“Just like her dad,” Miki added.

“And her mom,” Urs walked over to Miki.

Urs was about to kiss Miki when there was a knock on the door. A nurse appeared with breakfast and she left shortly after placing the tray on the table. Urs and Miki enjoyed their breakfast and once they had finished their breakfast, Urs went home to pick up some more clothes for Miki.

*******

“What are you thinking of?” Maggie asked David.

“I am just thinking of Il Divo. A lot has happened in Divo world this year. Urs and I have baby girls and Carlos will become a dad in May. What if this is the end of Il Divo?” David looked at Maggie.

“This is not the end of Il Divo. It will take a lot more than two or three babies to end Il Divo. I doubt Urs and Carlos will leave Il Divo because of their children. And I know that you won’t do it either but if you are worried then maybe you should talk to the guys about it,” Maggie replied.

“No, I won’t do that. You are right. We love what we are doing and it will take a lot more than children to split us up,” David walked over to Maggie.

“Well, it might be a problem when you guys have four or five children each,” Maggie laughed.

“I want more children but not four or five. No more than two for me,” David climbed back into bed.

“Two sounds good to me,” Maggie agreed.

“I am glad we agree on that,” David kissed her.

“Breakfast is ready,” Carlos knocked on the door to the guest room.

“We will be out in a few minutes,” David said.

David got dressed while Maggie took care of Victoria. As soon as they were dressed, they joined Carlos and Rebecca in the dining room. The two couples were talking about the events of yesterday as they were enjoying their breakfast.

“Now we have two Divo babies, one Diva and a Divo baby on the way. A lot has happened since Séb met Sheena,” Carlos said.

“I don’t think we can blame Séb and Sheena for Victoria, Ellie Grace or your unborn baby,” Maggie looked at Carlos.

“I know but it is funny that since Amanda walked into Séb’s life, the rest of us have or will have babies,” Carlos said.

“Amanda has started a chain reaction,” David laughed.

“She sure did. What are our plans for today?” Maggie asked.

“I have to drop by the studio to check on a few new designs. You and Victoria can join me if you want. Then I thought we could drop by the hospital after lunch and say hello to the new parents. Maybe go out to dinner later,” Rebecca answered.

“Your plan sounds good to me and we would love to join you in the studio,” Maggie said with a smile.

“Then let us finish up here and get dressed,” Rebecca suggested.

The couples finished their breakfast and the girls left the house an hour later. David and Carlos stayed at the apartment but after fifteen minutes they decided to join the girls down at Torres’ Designs. After spending an hour at Torres’ Designs, the two couples went back to the apartment to relax for a few hours before going to the hospital to visit Urs, Miki and of course Ellie Grace.

********

“What time is it?” Sheena asked Séb.

“Almost 3pm,” Séb replied.

“Maybe we should call Amanda and say hi? I know that we are on our honeymoon but I just want to say hi to her,” Sheena looked at Séb.

“I am glad you said that because I was thinking the same thing but I didn’t to say it,” Séb laughed and reached for his phone.

He dialed Millie’s number and waited for her to answer the phone. While he waited for Millie to answer her phone, Séb put the phone on speaker. It seemed to take forever for Millie to answer the phone but she finally answered the phone, saying hello.

“Hi mom,” Sheena said.

“Hello you two. How was the trip? How is the resort? How is the happy couple?” Millie asked.

“The trip went smoothly. We haven’t really seen much of the resort yet but the suite is just perfect. We are happy and excited because we are expecting a baby,” Séb cheerfully said.

“That is good to hear. Wait a minute.......you are expecting a baby?” Millie was shocked.

“Yes, we are. Sheena told me earlier today and we have been celebrating a little in our suite. That is why we haven’t seen much of the resort,” Séb told her.

“Too much information,” Millie said.

“Sorry but I couldn’t help myself,” Séb laughed.

“Do you want to tell Camille and Amanda about the baby?” Millie asked.

“Amanda already knows but we still want to talk to them,” Séb replied.

“Here comes Amanda,” Millie said.

“Hi mommy and daddy,” Amanda said.

“Hi pumpkin. Your dad knows about our secret,” Sheena told her.

“Yay. I am so happy,” Amanda almost screamed.

“We can hear that,” Sheena laughed.

“Grandma Camille is on her way. Will you call me tomorrow?” Amanda wanted to know.

“Of course we will pumpkin. We love you,” Sheena answered.

“I love you too,” Amanda said.

“I hear that you are having a baby. You have no idea how happy I am. When is the baby due?” Camille asked.

“Somewhere between six and seven months,” Séb replied.

“That sounds good. Now enjoy your honeymoon. Talk to you soon. Au revoir,” Camille said and hung up.

“Maybe we should get dressed and take a closer look at this place,” Séb suggested.

“That sounds like a good idea,” Sheena agreed.

After a quick shower, Séb and Sheena got dressed and left the suite.

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PostSubject: Re: From Paris with love   Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:32 pm

Chapter 72

---- Two weeks later ----

It was afternoon when Sheena and Séb were on their way home from the airport. It had been a wonderful honeymoon and they had enjoyed every minute of it. As the car drove up the driveway, Séb looked at Sheena.

“Home sweet home,” he said with a smile.

“Yes. I mean the honeymoon was perfect but it’s always nice to be home,” Sheena agreed.

“And the best part is that we have the mansion to ourselves until tomorrow afternoon,” Séb winked at her.

“Yes, we do but I am exhausted and I need some sleep,” Sheena told him.

“Well, we just have to wait and see about that,” Séb laughed.

The car stopped in front of the mansion and the two of them got out while the cab driver removed their suitcases from the trunk. Once he had received his money, the cab driver drove off. Séb and Sheena grabbed their suitcases and walked to the front door. Séb took out his keys and unlocked the door. Sheena was about to walk inside when Séb stopped her.

“Oh no. I want to do this right,” Séb said and lifted Sheena into his arms.

“What are you doing?” Sheena asked.

“I want to carry you over the threshold,” Séb replied with a smile.

Once Séb had crossed the threshold, he let go of Sheena and walked outside to get the suitcases. He walked back inside, closing the door behind him. Sheena took off her jacket and walked to the kitchen to make a cup of tea. Séb joined her in the kitchen and they had a cup of tea before they went upstairs to get some sleep.

*******

It had been two weeks since Ellie Grace was born and both Urs and Miki were adjusting to their new life as parents. When Miki was discharged from the hospital, Urs had arranged a small surprise party. He had only invited the closest family so they could see the latest addition to the Buhler family.

“Where is Ellie?” Urs asked when Miki walked into the kitchen.

“In her crib. She fell asleep right after I fed her so it looks like we will be able to enjoy our breakfast,” Miki replied with a smile.

“It will be a new experience for us,” Urs laughed.

“Yes, it will and that is why we have to enjoy it,” Miki laughed too.

They sat down and enjoyed their breakfast, hoping that Ellie wouldn’t wake up. They talked about the christening.To some people it might sound crazy because Ellie was only two weeks old but Miki and Urs wanted to plan ahead. They wanted to keep it simple so they decided only to invite their family and their closest friends to the christening.

“Break is over,” Miki said when she heard Ellie crying.

“Not for you. I will take her,” Urs smiled as he got up.

“Thanks,” Miki smiled back at him.

Urs left the kitchen and walked to the nursery to pick up his daughter. Ellie stopped crying when Urs picked her up and he carried her over to the changing table. After cleaning her up and changing her diaper, Urs played with her for a few minutes before they joined Miki in the kitchen.

*********

Pretty much the same thing was going on in the Miller household. Maggie was cleaning up the kitchen after breakfast and David was singing to Victoria in the living room.

“She loves it when you sing to her,” Maggie said with a smile.

“Just like her mom,” David looked at Maggie.

“And thousands of fans,” Maggie added.

“Them too,” David agreed.

“I have got something to show you. Your mom found them yesterday when we went shopping. I will be right back,” Maggie said and left.

Maggie returned with two small bags and sat down on the couch. David joined her, still holding Victoria and Maggie opened the bags. She took out three bodysuits and showed them to David.



“I love them. You will look so cute in those,” David kissed Victoria’s forehead.

Victoria giggled like she understood what David had said to her. Maggie put the bodysuits back in the bags and carried them back to the nursery.

“It’s time for us to leave. Mom hates it when we are late,” David joined Maggie in the nursery.

“I am ready. Did you pack her bag?” Maggie looked at David.

“Yes, I did. Everything is in the car,” David told her.

“Great. Let’s go then.” Maggie said.

*********

"Are you ready to go shopping for baby items?” Carlos asked Rebecca.

“Of course I am and it is a lot easier to go shopping now that we know it will be a girl. It is kind of funny that the four of you have or will have girls. Amanda, Ellie and Victoria. And now we will add another girl to the little group of Divas to be,” Rebecca replied with a smile.

“It is funny but I wouldn’t worry too much. There might be a little group of Divos in the future. I think we all want more children and maybe the next batch will be boys,” Carlos said.

“That is true. We should get going,” Rebecca looked at her watch.

Carlos and Rebecca put on their coats and left the apartment. They climbed into the car and drove off. Ten minutes later they arrived at the store and Rebecca was really excited when she walked through the doors. Carlos couldn’t hide his excitement either and even though they had a list of things to buy, they decided to take a look around the store before picking out the things on the list.

“Do we have everything?” Carlos asked.

“It looks like it,” Rebecca answered as her eyes scanned the list.

“Good. Let’s pay and get some lunch,” Carlos suggested.

“That sounds good to me,” Rebecca agreed.

*********

After a much needed sleep and a late dinner, Séb and Sheena were relaxing in the living room. They were watching 'Phantom of the Opera' and both Sheena and Séb were enjoying the movie. When the movie ended, Sheena turned off the TV. She had something important to discuss with Séb and she hoped that he would be ok with what she had to say.

"We need to talk about our baby. There is something you don’t know about my family," Sheena looked at Séb.

“Now I am worried,” Séb said.

“Don’t be. I just think you should know that twins run in our family and it always skips a generation,” Sheena explained.

“Your mom is not a twin,” Séb looked at Sheena.

“Yes, she is. Her twin sister died a few years before I moved to Paris,” Sheena told him.

“Are you telling me that we are expecting twins?” Séb was surprised.

“No, that is not what I am telling you. I am just telling you that the possibility is there. How do you feel about that?” Sheena wanted to know.

“It doesn’t scare me if that is what you are asking. I will be happy and excited no matter what,” Séb smiled at her.

“I am glad you feel that way,” Sheena smiled back.

Séb wrapped his arm around Sheena’s shoulder and pulled her close. He had never thought about twins before but now he hoped that they were expecting twins. Sheena let out a yawn and she fell asleep shortly after. Smiling to himself, Séb rose from the couch and gently lifted Sheena into his arms. He turned out the lights and carried Sheena upstairs. After taking care of his needs, he climbed into bed. Sheena woke up when he climbed into bed and she made herself comfortable in his arms before she drifted off to sleep again. Séb placed a soft kiss on her forehead before he closed his eyes and slowly drifted off to sleep.

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