15

Goodbye, Moonlight Falls

Author’s Note: Although there were a few updates about the kids, posts will now be focused on Jill once again. I know it’s been a while, so in case you’re wondering, the following post picks up from where we left off on the Private Party post. 

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When I awoke this morning, my mind was buzzing with anticipation. For some time now, I’ve been considering moving to another town. While the kids and I have loved living in Moonlight Falls, it can be difficult running into ex-lovers so often. I really feel as though I need a fresh start.

Last night I let the kids know we were moving. Everyone was so excited as I described Lucky Palms and how it was summer all year round. I had already listed the house with a real estate agent and asked her to discreetly find me a buyer once I had put an offer on a house in Lucky Palms. Our house was snapped up so quickly, we never even had to put a “for sale” sign in the yard. The fact that the buyer wanted it fully furnished was perfect for us and meant that packing would be much simpler.

With our timeline compressed, I knew I had to break up with Jameson today, and I wasn’t sure how he was going to take the news of our moving. As I held our son Logan, I called Jameson and asked him to stop by after work.

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That afternoon I found out that Jenna had been setting booby-traps all over the house. I was furious with her.

“How would you like it if you bought a new house and got purple hair the first time you used the shower? It wouldn’t be so funny starting the first day of school like that, would it?”

“And if the first time you used the sink, water started shooting up your nose, you’d think the previous owner was a real jerk, wouldn’t you?”

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“Sorry, Mom. It was just a prank. I guess I didn’t think about it like that.”

“No, I’m sure you didn’t. You’ve earned yourself a timeout. You know what you need to do. While you’re standing there, see if you can come up with a better use of your time. I’ll be watching you tonight, Jenna, and you’d better be on your best behavior.”

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As I started walking away, I heard Jenna say softly, “Sorry, Mom,” as she began her punishment.

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After her stint in timeout, Jenna spent the evening playing with Logan and teaching him to talk.

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Jameson came over after work and spent some time playing with Lucas. Jameson is such a good father to the twins. I hate to put such distance between them, but I’m looking forward to getting a fresh start in a new town where my past isn’t lurking around every corner.

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It’s getting near bedtime for the kids, and Jayden has time to read one quick story to Kendra before it’s lights out for all of them.

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I give Logan a bottle, put on his pajamas and put him in his crib, while Jameson does the same with Lucas.

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As soon as I close the door behind us, I turn Jameson back towards me and tell him softly, “We need to talk, Jameson.”

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He responds by pulling me into his arms and kissing me passionately instead. Knowing this is goodbye, I surrender to the moment, as we put off the inevitable.

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“Jameson…”

“It’s over, isn’t it, Jill? You don’t want to see me anymore. I’ve known this was coming, and still it hurts like hell.”

“Yes, Jameson. And, I know. It hurts me, too.” I take a deep breath and continue. “There’s something else I have to tell you as well. The kids and I are moving to Lucky Palms.”

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“What do you mean, you’re moving? You’re taking Logan and Lucas away from me? No way, Jill. I won’t allow it.”

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“Jameson…” I pleaded. “Don’t be like that. You knew we could only be together for a short time and that you wouldn’t be involved in raising the twins. You told me you could handle it.”

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Tears welled in Jameson’s eyes and he put his head on my shoulder. “But, Jill, I love my boys so much. I had no idea how much being a father would mean to me.”

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I knew Jameson would be sad to see us go, but I didn’t expect him to break down. I could feel that he was trying desperately to hold back the tears, and it was a gut-wrenching feeling to put him through so much pain. I held him close and stroked his back, trying to calm him.

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When Jameson had pulled himself together, he said in a strained voice, “I’m going to watch the boys sleep for a little while if that’s OK.”

“Of course it is, Jameson. Take all the time you need.”

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A while later, Jameson came out of the twins’ bedroom and approached me.

“Are you OK?”

“Not really, but it’s not like I have a choice in the matter. Can I still call you and check in on the boys? And, will you send me pictures so I can watch them grow up?”

“Of course.”

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Then we hugged each other tightly for one last time and said our goodbyes.

“I’m really going to miss you, Jill. Take care of yourself and the kids.”

“I’ll miss you, too, Jameson.”

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Before I left town, there was someone I just had to see one more time. Although our relationship had become strained after I broke up with him and started seeing Jameson, I couldn’t leave without saying goodbye to Garret. The love of my life.

I was afraid that Garret might not want to see me, so I called Marco, his roommate, to see if Garret was home. Marco said all the guys were home and that I should feel free to come over.

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Marco was outside when I arrived. I filled him in on my planned move. He wished me the best, and I asked him to check in on our son Benjamin every now and then to see how he was doing.

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Marco had me follow him inside, and we continued our conversation there. Garret hardly noticed when I arrived because he was playing with their dog.

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When our conversation ended, I turned to find Garret watching me. I went over and said hello.

Garret said, “Jill, I’m sorry about the way I’ve been acting towards you. I’ve been a jealous ass, and you didn’t deserve that. Can you please forgive me?”

“Oh, Garret. I forgive you. That’s in the past, and I understand how you must’ve felt. It was really awkward for me, too.”

“Is there somewhere we can talk privately?” Garret nodded and led me towards the dining room. He must’ve signaled the guys to get lost because I could hear all three of them head upstairs.

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“What’s up, Jill?”

I filled Garret in on my plans to move to Lucky Palms while he sat and listened intently. All the while, his face was devoid of emotion.

“I guess your mind’s made up then.”

“Yes, Garret. The house has already been sold, and we leave tomorrow.”

He let out a heavy sigh. “So, it’s really over. For good. I mean, even though we’d broken up, my heart still held out hope that one day you’d come back to me. I see now that was foolish.”

“Garret…”

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“It’s OK, Jill. I get it.” Then he gets up and pushes in his chair. “Come. I’ll walk you out.”

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When we’re halfway to the door, Garret takes my hand and turns me towards him. “Jill, can I have a hug before you go?”

Even though warning bells are going off in my head, I immediately respond, “I’d like that.” A chance to hold you again? I can’t say no to that, not today. Besides, it’s just a hug. No harm in that.

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Cradled in Garret’s arms, the memories come flooding back. The feelings that never left. The comfort of being in his strong arms. Garret’s masculine scent and deep, sensual groan as he squeezes me tight.

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In an instant, Garret’s left hand grasps the nape of my neck, tilting me backwards as he holds me firm against his hips. He brushes his lips against mine, ever so softly, reverently. Our lips part and he slides his tongue between mine, his kiss full of desire and unfulfilled need. God, I’ve missed you, Garret. My love.

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While Garret kisses me senseless, my knees buckle. He continues the sensual assault while his strong arms prevent me from sliding to the floor, boneless with need. I really shouldn’t be doing this. I’ll just miss him more. But, it’s Garret. *sigh* Garret…

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I eventually come to my senses and start to push Garret away before things really get out of hand. Our hearts are beating rapidly, our breathing labored. The look on his face says it all … fear of impending loss, overwhelming need, and love … definitely love.

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“Jill, I take it back. It’s not OK. I don’t want you to leave. Please … stay with me.”

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“Garret, I’m sorry. I can’t do that.”

Garret whispered, his voice breaking with emotion, “I still love you, Jill. You know that, right? I probably always will.” He cleared his throat and continued. “If you need anything at all, or you just want to talk, you can always call me.”

“I know. I love you, too, Garret. Please … be happy. Promise me you’ll try. For me.”

He nodded his head slightly and then let me go. I turned and walked out of the house without looking back. It was too hard to watch Garret’s heart break all over again while mine was doing the very same thing.

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I did my best to keep it together, knowing I had to make a stop on my way home. I had a few items on consignment that hadn’t sold yet, and I wanted to take them with me to Lucky Palms. Then I went home to finish packing and get to bed. Somehow, I didn’t think I’d sleep very soundly tonight. Tomorrow was going to be a very long day.

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Morning came pretty quickly, and the kids were excited to get going on their big trip. Everyone piled into the waiting taxis, and we hit the road by mid-morning, not a bad feat with 7 kids in tow.

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As we headed out of town, we passed Colton who was out for a walk. I asked the taxi driver to beep, and we all waved. Then we drove over the bridge and left the snowy mountains of Moonlight Falls behind, along with a truckload of memories. Destination: Lucky Palms.

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