“Mom, does this mean that you don’t love Daddy anymore?”
“Sweetie there is no one nor anything that will ever make me stop loving your Daddy! However, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room in my heart to love your uncle Alex.”
After that Shawn was happy about the upcoming wedding.
“Sharlee, your uncle Alex and I care about each other a lot.”
“I know you do, Mom.”
“Yes. I always have. I love him a lot.”
“I’m glad, Sharlee, because I love him too. He’s asked me to marry him. How do you feel about it?”
Alissa hugged Sharlee. Then she called Alex and told him what the children had said. They started to make plans and Alex decided that it was time to talk with his father and tell him.
Valerie hugged her.
“You and Alex?”
“Yes. We love each other, Valerie; and we’re getting married.”
Valerie’s face went pale. She had known that Alex had feelings for Alissa since the first day that he had met her. She had guessed that was the cause of the rift between Alex and Dale. They had tried to hide the tension between them from the rest of the family, but of course the family knew that something was wrong.
“So is this something recent or were you and Alex carrying on together before Dale’s death?”
“Alissa I know that you were the cause of the loss of closeness between my sons. I had always thought that it was just one sided. That you were devoted to Dale, but now this! Were you two carrying on before he died? Is that the reason for their broken relationship? I can’t give my blessing! It’s a betrayal to Dale’s memory!”
Alissa left with tears in her eyes.
“Of course I knew that a lovely young woman like Alissa would probably remarry, but not to her husband’s brother! She is probably feeling lonely which makes her very vulnerable right now. How can you take advantage of her like this? Alex, how can you do this to Dale? What will our friends say, Dale’s friends? What will the children say to their friends?”
Even Leslie and George had problems accepting their relationship. Alissa and Alex decided that it would be best to leave Riverview and move to Virginia with Alex. He would be able to take a lateral position at the bureau.
He would still be home more often than with his other position and able to spend more time with Alissa and the children.
They had a honeymoon in China.
“Alissa, how would you feel about having another child?”
“What’s so funny?”
“You are. Is this the same man who told me that there are some people who don’t have the dream of marriage and family? Now look at you! Wife, children and wanting another child!”
Alex had to smile too! “It’s funny, but sometimes you don’t really know what you want until you have it! I’ve never been happier than I have been since we got together, Alissa. I want to have a baby with you!”
Alissa stopped smiling. “I don’t know how the children would react to another child right now. We’ve only been married six months. It might be too soon for them!”
Alex told her about the children’s conversation. “Alright, Alex. Of course, I want another child!”
Alissa went off the pill, and she and Alex started trying to get pregnant.
Cara walked into the classroom, and she saw the new boy, Tim, sitting alone at a desk. He had just moved to town, and no one seemed to talk with him. Robbie waved to her to sit with him. She waved back.
She knew that Robbie really liked her a lot and had a crush on her, but she didn’t like him that way. Boys were so silly. They were always getting crushes.
“Hi, Cara!” Tim felt tongue tied. The prettiest girl in class was talking to him!
“Hey kids! Where are you?” He called.
“I’m upstairs! Cara answered.”
“So am I!”
“I heard him come in earlier. He might be out back!”
“So, who is this little visitor?”
“I tell you what. We’ll try and find his owners and if no one comes forward, we’ll keep him!”
Shawn named him Cocoa.
“Mom, do you think that Dad would be happy that I want to be a scientist and not a doctor?
The mention of Dale, brought deep pain to Alissa’s eyes. Sharlee seldom mentioned him to her because of that reason. Her mother was still often sad although she tried to hide it. Sharlee sensed it.
Sharlee was blessed with a strong sense of empathy and easily read the emotions of others. Sharlee had hoped that marrying Alex would make her mother happier. She was happy at times, but when she let her guard slip, Sharlee saw the unhappiness underneath.
‘Yes. He would want that.” Alissa said softly. She honestly didn’t believe that she would be completely happy again. She loved Alex and was trying to be the best wife and mother that she could be. However, she felt lost!
“Alissa, it’s only a matter of time until you’re pregnant, if you’re not already.”
“We will make it fine on my salary. After you become pregnant, you’re going to quit your job!”
“Alex, I haven’t decided whether I’m going to quit working after the baby comes. I see no reason to quit before the baby is born! I’ll be fine working during my pregnancy, at least until close to the end!”
“Alex, that is a decision that we should make together.”
“Part of the reason, why you’ve had so many problems is because Dale was weak. He didn’t know how to take charge. Well, I don’t have that problem. I have the final say about everything that goes on in this house!” Alex continued.
“I’m not saying that he wasn’t a good man, Alissa! He just didn’t know how to put his foot down! When I make a decision, there will be no discussion. It’s final! If it makes you feel better, just remember that I love you and it is for your own good!”
Sometimes Dale would tell her to do things, and she always knew that if she refused, Dale might be upset. However, he always recognized that she was an adult with the option to refuse. Alex was treating her as though she were a child. She and Dale always discussed things and came to decisions together.
“Alex, I’m not a child! I refuse to be treated as one!”
“Then stop acting like one! I am not going to constantly explain my decisions to you as though you were a child!” He was becoming angry! There was a hard look in his eyes that she had never seen before.
Alex and Alissa had to attend a formal reception that night. His new position required him to attend many similar affairs. He’d always avoided them in the past, but now that he had Alissa, he looked forward to them.
He was proud of her and loved the fact that he was the envy of every man in the room! To him, she was his Marilyn Monroe. He always helped her pick out her outfits for the occasion. He didn’t mind them looking, but they had better not do more than that!
Alissa didn’t enjoy them. She didn’t always feel comfortable in the outfits that Alex wanted her to wear, and if anyone asked her to dance, Alex would glare at them and tell them no rudely. She didn’t like this jealous side of him. His anger had become easily aroused.
Dancing with Alissa was something in which Alex took great pleasure . She followed his lead so effortlessly and having her so close always made his heart race. As they continued dancing, he couldn’t resist kissing her.
Without giving her a chance to respond, Alex said, “Beat it, Rodney!”
Rodney looked at Alex in surprise and retreated from the table.
“What, did you want to dance with him?” He asked.
“No, it’s not that, but there was no harm in a dance!”
“He wanted more than a dance, Alissa!”
“For the record.” He said leaning closer to her. “You wanted to sleep with me as well.”
That night after they were in bed, Alex tried to pull Alissa into his arms. He felt content and completely happy! He was expecting to make love as they usually did before going to sleep, but Alissa pulled away from him.
He knew that she was upset with him about something. He’d found that showing himself understanding about her feelings for Dale smoothed over a lot of conflicts. He knew that she felt guilty about her feelings.
“The older he gets, the more Shawn looks like Dale!” Alex told her.
“Yes. He does.” Alissa was silent after that.
“Thank you, Alex for trying to be so understanding!”
Dale was gone, so Alex felt there was no harm in acknowledging Alissa’s feelings for him. Alex didn’t want her to hide anything.