After Alex’s visit to her office, every time that her cellphone rang, Alissa was afraid it would be him calling to set up a time for them to see each other. She knew that what he had told her was not an empty threat. If she did not do as he wanted, he would harm Dale.
Alissa looked at Dale as they were sitting together watching television. He was a big man, even larger than Alex, but Alex was a trained killer. She was afraid for Dale.
The fact that she wouldn’t tell him told him all that he needed to know. It was Alex. He knew that something must have happened when Alex had visited her at her office. Living in the same town with Alex was just too convenient for him. Alissa was too easy for him to get to!
Alissa kissed Dale. He was just about to suggest that they continue in their bedroom when Alissa’s cellphone rang. She stiffened, hoping it wasn’t Alex.
“Dale, that was Lydia, one of the news directors at the station. They need me to go an assignment in Pleasant Valley. I have to interview the first female Mayor elected in the town. It will help me with getting the position that I want at the station in Newport.”
“How long will you be gone?” Dale asked her.
“Just for three or four days at the most.”
“I-I’ll have to reschedule it.” She answered.
Of course Dale wasn’t going to keep her from progressing in her career.
“Well, you be safe, Alissa!”
Alissa wasn’t really ready to leave him so soon, but she knew that she needed to do this interview. Dale went with her to the master bedroom and helped her pack. Although he was more of a distraction than help.
While Alissa was gone, they received an offer on the house that she and Alex had shared. The buyer was willing to pay full asking price if they were willing to include the furniture. Dale was able to negotiate for a little over the asking with the furniture included.
Now that the old house had sold, Dale wanted to go forward with their move. He searched the internet and found a builder and neighborhood that he thought would be right for them. Most of the homes were already built and just awaiting buyers and final design details made by the purchasers. As he was looking, his cellphone rang.
It was Matthew.
“Hello Matthew.” Although Dale didn’t remember Alissa’s father, he had spoken with him on the phone several times since his return. Dale liked him.
“I tried to reach Alissa, but she must be busy! I got her voice mail.” Matthew said.
“Well, I have good news! I am now partial owner of a studio and production company along with two other partners.”
“That’s great Matthew!”
“My contract with the studio here in Bridgeport was up over a month ago and I didn’t renew it because this deal was in the works. I didn’t tell Alissa because I wasn’t sure if it would work out. This means that I will be relocating to DE.
I know you haven’t met Kay yet, but after Alissa was shot, Kay stayed with her until the ambulance arrived. After you two went into hiding and Alissa was believed dead, I ran into her. She offered her condolences and we ended up hitting it off. We’ve been seeing each other ever since, and she has agreed to relocate with me.”
“I look forward to meeting her.” Dale had insisted that Alissa tell him about their past, good and bad. So, he knew about the shooting and the hitman. She had also told him about her mother, the rape and the miscarriage.
“The other reason I called involves you and Alissa.”
“Yes. We want her to work at the station there. I know the type of show that she wants to do, and the partners and I think that it would be a great success. We just need to put the right people in place to work with her on it!”
“There is also a great hospital there. However, you would have to do your training in a town about an hour away. Although DE needs surgeons, the training that you need in order to be re-certified is not available there.”
This was a wonderful opportunity for Alissa and Dale would only have to train for a few months. He would commute an hour both ways gladly if it meant that Alissa would be happy!
“It sounds great Matthew. Do you know what the schools are like there?”
“There is a great school system there. The children should do well.”
“Alright. I’ll discuss it with Alissa and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!”
Dale started his search over again. DE seemed to be a great town, and there were a lot of new housing developments to choose from. He settled on one that he thought Alissa and the children would love. They would be able to have the pool that the children wanted, and they would each have their own rooms.
There was a room that would make a great nursery and a room for an office. There was also the option for a hobby room. They would need to make a trip out and see what it was like for themselves. He checked out the hospital and schools.
He spoke with Alissa that evening, and she agreed that it sounded like the right town for them. She called Matthew and told him their decision. They decided to visit DE the following week and check it out.
The day on which she had been scheduled to take the pregnancy test, Alissa knew that she did not want to wait until she returned home to get the test. She left her hotel and went to a drug store to purchase an early pregnancy test kit. She used it as soon as she returned to the hotel. She was on pins and needles as she awaited the results.
“It’s very nice to meet you Mr. Stallworth.” Principal Vance told him.
“Thank you, it’s nice to meet you too!”
“How can we help you?”
“I don’t know if you are aware of it, but our family is planning to move at the end of this semester of school, which I believe is over two months away. However, it would be much better if we could make our move within the next couple of weeks. Since Cara and Shawn are both excellent students, I was wondering if it would be possible for them to complete this semester by taking their classes online. Then the following semester, we would be settled in our new town and they could begin attending school again.”
The principal accompanied Dale to the children’s classrooms.
Shawn and Cara rushed over to Dale when he entered the classroom. Mr. Vance explained the situation to Cara and Shawn’s teacher.
It went smoothly for Dale at Sharlee’s school as well.
She tried to be happy about it. She loved children, and although she wanted more, she wanted them with Dale. However, if this was Alex’s baby she would love it just the same. She had loved Alex and hoped that if this baby was his, it had been conceived out of love and not their last night together. Dale loved Sharlee as though she were his own, and she hoped that he would be able to love this baby too if it were not his.
He kissed her.
“I need to talk with you, Dale.”
“What is it?”
“I hope so!”
“I know so!” Dale told her firmly.
Yes, now that they knew that she was pregnant, Dale was even more sure that they shouldn’t wait to move.
The doctor’s test verified the results. Although Alissa was very early in her pregnancy, she was definitely pregnant. In three months they would test for paternity. Alissa had been relieved that Alex had not contacted her since visiting her office, but she knew that they had to tell him about the baby.
Alex answered his door, surprised to see Dale standing there. He moved aside to allow him to enter.
“So, what are you doing here?”
“We need to talk.” Dale answered.
Alex looked at him curiously, wondering briefly if Alissa had told him about their last conversation.
Dale gazed at him silently, not understanding him at all. When a woman said no, that meant no. He knew that Alissa had made it plain to Alex that she no longer wanted to be with him. However, Alex refused to accept her decision or to acknowledge her feelings. Dale didn’t know what to expect when he told him about the baby.
“Alex, do you still love Alissa?”
“I didn’t come here to argue, Alex. We will never see this the same way because we both want her.”
“The baby might be mine, not yours!”
“When Alissa and I were together after I first returned, she forgot that she wasn’t taking the pill. So from the timing, either one of us could be the father. Alissa is very ashamed that this has happened.”
“It’s not just her fault! It’s yours too! You know that when you sleep with a woman unless you want her to become pregnant, you use protection!” Alex was angry! “You should never have come back! You have ruined our lives, Dale!”
“I know that I should have asked, but I just assumed that she was on the pill. Regardless of how it happened, Alissa is pregnant and either of us may be the father. We won’t be able to test for paternity until she is three months along. The test itself can be painful for the mother. If not for the stress of worrying, then I would suggest that we wait until after the baby is born. However, I know that she won’t want to wait.
From what I understand, all of her previous pregnancies have been during difficult times in her life. She has not really had a chance to enjoy them. If you do love her Alex, let her enjoy this time. Let’s call a truce and let her have a stress free pregnancy!”
Alex was silent for a few moments, thinking. “Alright, but you had better take care of her and of my baby. I won’t keep trying to persuade her to return to me for now, but I make no promises for after the baby is born!”
Dale left soon after. His mind was only a little relieved. A couple of weeks later, they made their move to DE.