From the moment Dean laid eyes on Autumn he knew she was his soulmate. But after finding out he was going to be a father, Autumn pulled the plug on their relationship and cut him off. A year later, Dean is still coming to grips with the fact that Autumn no longer being a part of his life. He now focuses on being the best father he can to his baby girl, Yara, and a successful business owner. Memories of him and Autumn’s brief love affair frequently invade his thoughts throughout the day. He said he would respect her wishes and stop pursuing her, but seeing her at a birthday dinner has him re-considering everything.
Is it true that if you love something let it go and if it comes back it's meant to be?
**note: While this can be read as a standalone, it is highly recommended that you read, Another Chance to love first!**
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We walked into the private room Ivy booked at Grant’s favorite restaurant. It looks like we are early, I didn’t see any familiar faces as I looked around the room. The dimly lit room had a single long rectangular table directly in the center, covered by a white tablecloth. The centerpiece was a crystal vase with two dozen long stem red roses. Every place setting consisted of a clear glass plate with the menu on the center. I sat Bre down at the table before walking over to Ivy who was speaking with a waiter about the menu.
“Dean! It’s so good to see you.” Ivy gave me a tight hug. It has been a few weeks since I last saw them. They just welcomed baby Gabby who was born last month. Labor Day just passed, G and I usually have a big cookout, but I have been giving them space to be parents. The new addition to their family will take a lot of adjusting.
“It’s good to see you too. You sure you just had a baby?” I spun her around as she laughed at me. Ivy still looked the same except she filled out some from her pregnancy. “Where is G?” I asked looking around the room, but everything went silent when Autumn walked in. Autumn. Damn. I had been trying my best not to think about that woman. Last year when she told me we could only be friends, she did everything to avoid me. Tonight is the first time I’d seen her in months. I accepted that this is how it would be. A man grabbing her waist from behind stopped my train of thought. Did she bring a date too? My brows wrinkled at the thought of her being with someone else. Her date looked like he was artsy. He had locs that were in a bun. He isn’t her type.
“Dean,” Ivy called my name.
“Yeah?” I cleared my throat and adjusted my tie.
“Grant is over there.” She smiled while pointing in the opposite direction of where I was staring. She cocked her head to the side and smiled.
“Chill,” was all I said as I walked towards G.
I walked over to Grant, but my eyes remained on Autumn. Everything about her is breathtaking. She had a natural glow about her. Her hair was in its naturally curly state down her back. She had on a black knee length dress that was off her shoulders. Her, buttery smooth skin glistened under the light, and her face is virtually make-up free. I knew because you could see the small moles on her face, they were so little they were often mistaken for freckles. Whatever her date was saying in her ear made her smile. Her cheeks rose as her teeth showed.
Damn, I missed her. She must’ve felt me staring because she looked my way. The moment we made eye contact I watched her take in a deep breath. She instantly looked away and walked out of the room. I wanted to chase behind her and apologize again for hurting her.
“Happy birthday, G!” I dapped Grant into a hug.
“Thanks, bro. I’m getting old huh?”
“No doubt.” We both laughed.
It was true we were getting old, but G is definitely in a great place in his life. He had a successful career, a supportive wife, and a beautiful babygirl. It was incredible to witness and seeing how great he is doing is indeed a motivation to let go of this player life.
After we caught up on his life as a new father, we all sat down and prepared for the five-star meal Ivy curated for us. She had all of Grant’s favorite foods from appetizers to dessert. Ivy even created a menu of drinks named after him. I couldn't help but smile as I watched Ivy and G interact with one another. The love they had was evident in everything they did together. Beside Ivy, Autumn is engaging in a conversation with her date. I stood to walk over to her, but Ivy thought I was about to make a toast, so she told everyone to quiet down. I picked up my almost empty glass of Henny and made up a speech on a whim.
“First, I want to say Ivy did the damn thing with this five-course meal. I am stuffed.” I patted my stomach causing everyone to erupt in laughter. “Secondly, I want to wish my bro G a happy birthday. He is one of the most giving and hard working men I know. You deserve every good thing that comes your way. Especially that wife of yours.” I winked at Ives, and she started clapping making everyone laugh again. “No, but seriously, let this be a lesson for all of us when you find the one do all you can to keep them.” I looked at Autumn, and she looked away when we made eye contact. “To love and more life.”
Everyone stood and repeated “love and more life,” and toasted. After dinner, everyone mingled on the balcony of the restaurant. I had a few glasses of Henny and feeling myself is an understatement. All night I had my eye on Autumn, and when her date stepped away, I took that as my chance to speak to her. She didn't know I was coming because her back was facing me. She was leaning on the rail staring at the view. I crept up behind her and whispered in her ear.
“Beautiful isn’t it?” While being this close to her, the scent of brown sugar overwhelmed my nostrils as I licked my lips. She tensed up before stepping to the side and turning to face me. She looked me in my eyes with a blank face. I don’t know whether she is surprised or pissed by me speaking to her. Either way, I decided I would continue the conversation.
“How have you been? It’s been a while.” I leaned on the railing waiting for her to respond. While I waited for her to respond, I took this time to get a good look at her. The form-fitting dress she wore accentuated her pear shape. I instinctively licked my lips while my eyes roamed her body freely. I ran the back of my hands down her arms, and I felt the chills that appeared on her skin. “Damn,” I thought to myself as I took a step closer to her, and she stepped back. She shook her head before replying,
“I’ve been good, Dean.” She folded her arms over her chest making me laugh while finishing the last of my drink.
“Why are you so cold towards me now?” Autumn is one of the sweetest and friendliest people I’ve ever met. So it confuses me how she can be so cold and distant towards me. She doesn’t have a bad bone in her body. I wanted to ask her why she stopped answering my calls and texts. Ask her how could I fix this, fix us. Before she could answer my question, her date came back. Dude put his arm around her waist trying to mark his territory. What he didn’t know was Autumn is, and always will be, mine. I chuckled at him thinking he was intimidating me.
“I’m Dean, an old friend of Autumn’s.” She rolled her eyes at my sarcasm.
“I’m Rim, a current friend of hers.” He extended his hand, and I shook it.
“Come on Rim. I am ready to go.” Autumn grabbed his hand and practically dragged him out the door.