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Olivia perked up. “Does that include Adele Peters?”
“Yes. She is currently in police custody as they try to determine the extent of her involvement.”
Olivia grinned, trying to hide her delight at the thought of Adele being led away in handcuffs for her role in everything, wishing she could have been there to witness it. “Thank you.”
“My pleasure.” The detective left the room, Carol close on his heels.
“Libby,” Cam said, looking down at her. “I need to get back to Florida, but I can stay if you need me to. Are you going to be okay?”
She glanced at the two men at her side and she smiled, squeezing both his and Alexander’s hands. “For the first time in my life, I know that I will be. Thanks for being here.”
“Anything for you.” He planted a kiss on her forehead. “The next time I see you, you better be out of this hospital bed, okay?”
She nodded, watching as Cam left her room.
“Olivia, love,” Alexander said once they were finally alone. “There’s something I need to talk to you about. I want you to know that no one is pressuring you to do anything that you’re not ready for yet. Do you understand?”
“What is it, Alexander?”
He took a deep breath. “Olivia, darling, your grandparents are here. They've been here every day this week but we wanted to wait until you were ready. They would really like to see you, but they understand if you need more time to process everything.”
Her bottom lip quivered. “I can’t believe that I finally have a family!” she cried out, a tear escaping from her eye.
“Oh, love,” he said, cradling her in his arms. “You always had a family.”
“I used to think I was all alone in this world,” she explained through her tears.
“You were never alone. I always knew you were out there.” He planted a kiss on her head.
She turned and looked into Alexander's eyes. “Can I see them?”
“Of course. When do you want to see them?”
Alexander smiled. “Okay.” He got up to go find Rose and Donald Harris. When he approached the doorway, he glanced back. “Hey, Olibia?”
“I love you.”
Her heart swelled. The green-eyed boy loved her, and she had a family. She finally felt complete. “I love you, too.”
A NEW BEGINNING
“ARE YOU SURE ABOUT this, Olivia?” Alexander asked as he drove down the familiar streets of Mystic, the barren trees beginning to bud.
“Yes. I need to see it,” she responded firmly.
“Okay,” he exhaled, steering through the gates of the cemetery. Helping her out of the car, he wrapped his arms around her. “You’re a strong girl, you know that?”
“And that’s why I love you so fucking much. Now, come.” He held her hand and led her to the three gravestones he had become so accustomed to seeing once a year for the past twenty-two years. They trekked through the dew on the grass on an early March morning and stopped in front of the three marble headstones.
“Wow,” she said under her breath almost in disbelief at the sight in front of her. A tear escaped.
Alexander squeezed her hand. “We can leave if it’s too much.”
She shook her head. “No. I need to do this so that I can move on with my life.” She turned to stare into the green eyes that she had loved since the day she was born, even if she didn’t know it. “My life with you.”
Alexander smiled. “Okay. But the minute it becomes too much, you let me know and we’ll go.”
Olivia nodded before breaking away from him. Clutching the stuffed animal that held all the answers in her hand, she walked over to her mother’s grave. She gently ran her hand across the headstone and set Mr. Bear in front of it. “Thank you, Mama. I did what you said. I held on to Mr. Bear. All those people are finally behind bars. At least, now, your death wasn’t for nothing.” She looked up and saw several butterflies flutter from behind the grave. She was caught by surprise and immediately thought of her mother’s words about how she would know when she was in love.
“Tomorrow’s my wedding day. Alexander and I are finally getting married…a real wedding this time, instead of one of our make-believe ones.” She smiled at the memory of all the games she used to make Alexander play with her. “He found me even after I was taken away from everyone when you died. He never gave up hope that I was still alive. He never forgot about me. All those years, I thought that I had no family, but I did…one that was searching for me. One that is about to celebrate the biggest day of my life with me tomorrow. I wish you could be here for it.” Her chin quivered as she looked at the vibrant red roses lying in front of her mother’s grave. “I love you, Mama. Thank you for loving me.” She pressed her lips to her hand before leaving a kiss on her mother’s headstone.
Taking a deep breath and trying to find the inner strength to get through what she needed to, she walked to where her father had supposedly been buried for all those years…his fake grave. Memories of that night back in August flashed through her mind. Her knees gave out and she sank to the ground, unable to hold back the tears.
“Olivia!” Alexander exclaimed, rushing to her side and wrapping his arms around her. “Come on, let’s go. You don’t have to do this.” He brought her head into his chest, soothing her sobs. “This is too much. I’ll have that fucking gravestone removed. You shouldn’t have to be reminded…”
Olivia vehemently shook her head. “No! It stays. The man I knew as my father did die that day. The man I met last summer was not my father. I need it to stay, as a reminder.”
He sighed. “Okay. If you’re sure.”
She nodded, bringing her head out of his chest, and looked at her father’s gravestone. “Can I just have a minute, please?”
“Of course.” Alexander planted a soft kiss on her forehead before leaving her.
She turned her head, staring at the grave belonging to the man that, at one point, ruined her life. But the more she thought about it, the less that seemed true. He didn’t ruin her life. If one thing differed, she may not be where she was at that moment. If she wasn’t ripped from her friends and family, she may have grown apart from them eventually, Alexander included. She didn’t even want to think about not being with him. He was her life. He was her world so, for that, she held no grudges.