Chapter 27

       "Symphony! This is the tenth dress you've tried on. They all look beautiful! I'll pay for them all!" Michael groaned outside of the changing room.

       "Just this last one, sweetheart, and I'll make a decision."

       Michael muttered under his breath. "Damn! And I thought I was an indecisive shopper."

       "What was that?" Symphony yelled in return. "Is everything alright?"

       "Yes, everything is fine. When you're done, meet me out front near the cash register."

       As Michael waited for Symphony to finish her shopping, his thoughts drifted back to their discussion from the previous night. He could kill Nicolae for injecting such ideas into her head. If he had felt in any way Symphony was after his money, he would have never pursued her.

       But unlike his ex-fiancee, Mercedes, Michael knew Symphony's love for him was genuine. There were plenty of times when Symphony would pay for their dinner before he even got a chance to pull out his credit card. And sure, he'd pay for small things like groceries or putting gas in her car, but those were normal things. And in comparison to him, he wasn't living paycheck to paycheck. But in the case of Mercedes, it was an entirely different story — he knew she was after him for his money. But even with that knowledge, he continued to date her.

       When the two first started dating, Michael had just turned 41 years old and was longing for a wife and family. And though Mercedes did love him, he also knew she loved his money even more. She never hesitated to ask him to pay for any and everything. Which, in essence, wasn't a problem, but her request went beyond the usual things boyfriends would buy their girlfriends.

       As Michael was browsing around the store, his eyes turned cold and stormy when he saw the very person that had caused him so much pain. "Speak of the devil," he grumbled.

        Not wanting her to notice him, he made a beeline in the opposite direction. But it was too late. She had lifted her head from the rack of clothes she was browsing and happened to see him.

       "Michael! Is that you?" Mercedes, called out as she walked hastily after him.

       As she reached out and touched his shoulder, he quickly turned around and jumped back as if she were a ticking time bomb.

        "Don't touch me," he snarled.

       Mercedes sighed. "Are you ever going to forgive me?"

       His temperature rising, Michael spoke in disbelief. "You can't be serious? My answer is the same as it was six years ago... Hell no!"

      "Michael, baby. Please hear me ou--"

       Cutting her off mid-sentence, Michael shouted on the verge of tears, "I'm not your baby! How dare you call me that — when you killed ours! You killed our baby!" 


       "Michael. I'm sorry... I truly am. But at that time, I was an aspiring model; I couldn't afford to get pregnant at my age. I was in my 30's and had just received a contract from a major modeling agency. I told you this several times the night you stormed out on me!"


       "And when I returned, you were nowhere to be found. You immediately moved to Europe! Not once did you ever try to contact me! You killed our baby and essentially told me to fuck off!"


       "I tried explaining to you I would be moving out, but you refused to listen to me. The modeling agency had asked me to relocate since most of my photo-shoots and fashion shows would take place here in France and Italy."

        "That's no fucking excuse," Michael spoke low, noticing other shoppers had turned their attention towards them. The last thing he wanted to do was cause a scene and get thrown out of the store.

       When Symphony emerged from the changing room, her heart sank when she saw Michael talking to Mercedes. Though she had seen her on the cover of many magazines, her beauty paled in comparison to what she looked like in the flesh. Short cropped black hair, hazel colored eyes, and a body to die for; she could see why Michael had fallen for her — she was insanely gorgeous.

       Slowly walking up beside Michael, Symphony said to him quietly, "I'm finished shopping, sweetheart."

        "Did you get everything you wanted?" He smiled tenderly as he shifted his focus to Symphony.

       "Yes. I'm all set for tonight. Thank you."

       Placing a kiss on Symphony's forehead, he wrapped his arm around her shoulder as he led her to the cash register.

       "Michael! Are you just going to ignore me like that? Can't we discuss this?" Mercedes shouted.

       Without bothering to turn around, Michael replied coldly, "no! I have nothing further to say to you."

    After purchasing Symphony's dress and a few other items, she and Michael headed back to their Villa. She tried engaging him in light conversation, but he only nodded his head and gave one-word answers.

      Deciding it was best she stay quiet, she held Michael's hand and stopped talking. Seeing Mercedes seemed to upset him deeply, and she didn't want to badger him about their past relationship. And though Michael had never mentioned his ex-fiancee by name, Symphony knew precisely who she was.

       Back in the year 2001, Michael and Mercedes engagement was all over the news, and so was their break-up. From sun-up to sun-down, their relationship seemed to be the only thing the media reported on. And though the details of their split remained private, that didn't stop tabloids and gossip rags from publishing false information about the two.

        When Michael and Symphony entered into the Villa, Michael sat down at the edge of the sofa. For the past several years, he had been suppressing the intense pain he had suffered due to Mercedes.

       "She tossed the Ultrasound-Photo in the trash! She never intended for me to find out! How could she do that to me?" he cried out suddenly, tears streaming down his face.

       Rushing over to comfort him, Symphony caressed Michael's head as he pressed his forehead against her stomach. Seeing him in so much pain was breaking her heart into two. She desperately wanted to help him, but for her to do so, she needed him to open up completely.

       As Symphony continued to comfort Michael, she kissed the top of his head and said, "Do what to you, baby? What happened back at the store? What happened between you and Mercedes? Please tell me... I confided in you last night, and now it's time for you to confide in me. We can't keep saying we don't feel like talking when something or someone is causing us pain."

      His sobs becoming louder, he began to shake uncontrollably. "I found our babies first and only picture in the trash! Mercedes killed our baby. She had an abortion behind my back. She lied to me! She told me she wanted kids."


      "Oh no! I'm so sorry, sweetheart. I know there is nothing I can say or do to make the pain go away, but I'm here for you. I love you, Michael. Please know that... I love you so much."

      

        "I love you too, Symphony. But please! Let me know right now you won't do what she and Cassandra did to me. Though Cassandra hurt me deeply as well, I'll never forgive Mercedes! She was actually pregnant... We were a couple. She should have at least discussed it with me."


      "Michael, baby. What did Cassandra do to you? I know of your divorce, but what did she actually do?"


      "Before we got married, we spoke about raising a family together. She told me she wanted kids, but after we were married, I found out she was taking birth control pills behind my back. I thought we wanted the same things in our relationship. She lied to me."

 

       "Oh, Michael. That's horrible. I would never do that to you. You're my everything. And please remember... I'm not either of them. I want a future with you. I want a house full of babies and puppies."


      "Do you mean that? Please don't lie to make me happy. I can't relive that type of pain, Symphony."


       "Yes, Michael, I mean it. I want to take care of you; I want to spend forever with you. I want to have 10 of your big-headed babies."

       Looking up into Symphony's eyes, Michael cracked a small smile and said, "my head is not that big."

       Symphony giggled. "Come on! Yes, it is! And you know it. You told me yourself that most kids and some of your family call you 'Apple Head.' They didn't come up with that name out of the blue."

       "You know what? I hate to admit it, but you're right. I just wasn't trying to tell you the reason why," he laughed.

       Turning back serious, Symphony stroked the side of Michael's face and said, "you have to forgive her. The pain will never go away until you do."

       Michael sighed. "I can't do that, sweetie. I don't ever want to speak to her again."

       "You don't have to speak to her. Forgive her within your heart."

       "But Symphony. I'm not sure I can do that right now."

       "It doesn't have to be right now, Michael. I know you can't just up and forgive her... Healing is a process, I know. But if you continue to let your old wounds fester, bitterness will consume you."

       Michael knew Symphony was right. He had to let his resentment towards Mercedes go. But it wasn't easy for him. After being mistreated by many, he had a difficult time letting things go. Forgiveness would be something he'd have to work hard at.

       Letting out a shaky breath, Michael closed his eyes and said, "I can't make any promises, Beautiful. But I'll try."


***

       Later that night, as Symphony emerged from the bedroom, Michael's jaw dropped. The dress she picked out at Mes Demoiselles Boutique looked incredible on her — a floor-length, red satin, spaghetti strap gown. Her hair styled into a sleek 'top-bun' drew attention to her high cheekbones and freckles.

       As Michael's glittering gaze roamed her entire body, his breath hitched in his throat. "God! You look amazing! And I love your hair like this. You should wear it up more often."

       Symphony blushed. "Thank you, baby. If it weren't for you, I don't know what I would have worn tonight. You're my Knight in shining armor. Thanks so much for all you have done."

       "No problem, Beautiful. You're my lady. I'm always here if you need me," Michael spoke genuinely, his heart filled with gratitude.

      Symphony smiled. "Well, we should get going. Our limo should be arriving any moment now."

       After looking her over once more, Michael grasped her hand and sputtered, "Come with me!"

       As he led her to a full-length mirror, her heart began racing a mile a minute. She had spent the past couple of hours perfecting her look, and feared something had gone wrong in a matter of seconds. "What's going on, sweetie? Is something wrong with my hair? My makeup? My dress?"

       Kissing the back of her neck, He whispered, "you forgot something."

       Symphony furrowed her eyebrows, feeling perplexed. "What are you talking about? I didn't forget anything."

        "You forgot this." He smiled as he placed a diamond choker around her neck.

       Taking a glance at their reflection in the mirror, Symphony gasped. "Oh my! It's beautiful, Michael. But I can't accept this. It looks costly."

       "But Symphony. It's your birthday present. I put a lot of thought into this. You'll hurt my feelings if you don't accept it."

       Clasping the choker closed, he kissed the nape of her neck, causing her to let out an airy moan. The feel of his lush lips was weakening her resolve.

       "Mmm... Baby. I know what you're doing."

       "Is it working?"

       "A little."

       "Guess I'll have to try harder," he chuckled seductively as he slowly dragged his lips from the base of her neck up to her ear.

       "Is it still only working a little?" He whispered into her hair.

       Feeling as if her legs would buckle beneath her, she steadied herself against him and said, "Mmm... Well, maybe more than a little. But Michael, please. We have to go. I don't want to be late. We'll discuss the gift later."

       "Just one little taste, Beautiful," he murmured as he got down on his knees. "I promise not to make you late."

       Like a bee to a honeycomb, he craved her sweet treat. His eyes glistened with desire, as his mouth watered hungrily for her. As he gently slid her dress up to her waist, he emitted a husky groan that sent chills up her spine. Placing a feather-light kiss on her mound, he felt her wetness seeping through the thin lace of her panties.

       His voice low and raspy, he chuckled and said, "Damn, you're so wet... Is it all mine? Is it all for me?"

       Staring upwards into her eyes, he pushed aside her thong and then traced his tongue over her swollen folds.

       "Oooh, yes! Michael, Please!" Symphony whimpered as he continued to lick her slit.

       Michael chuckled wickedly as he pressed his face deeper into her pussy. Thrusting his tongue in and out of her, he hooked her leg over his shoulder and palmed her ass gently.

        "I'm so hard for you, Beautiful. You have no idea what you do to me." He moaned as he blew his warm breath over her box. "Tell me what you want, Sweetheart. Tell me what you desire."

      Symphony laughed breathlessly and said, "in a dream I had a few months ago — You asked me the same thing."

       "And what was your answer, Beautiful?"

       "Sadly, I woke up. I never got the chance to reply."

       Blowing another warm breath over her mound, he grinned mischievously and said, "So tell me now. What would you like me to do?"

       Symphony pleaded. "Please lick my clit, Michael. I want you to make me cum! I want you to fuck me with your tongue."

        Biting down on his lower lip, he tapped her lightly on her ass and said, "you're so naughty, Ms. Wilson. I love it when you talk dirty."

        "I'm so sorry, Michael. I feel so embarrassed. I didn't mean it to come out that way."

       "No need to feel embarrassed. I asked you what you wanted. It's my pleasure to fulfill your every desire."

      Never breaking eye contact with her, he licked her clit with the tip of his tongue in slow sensuous circles, making sure not to go too fast. He loved teasing her — he wanted to make her go wild for him.

      No longer being able to take the slow and sweet torture he was bestowing upon her body, she pressed her pussy against his mouth and started rotating her hips. As he sucked and kneaded her clit with his tongue, she let out an agonizing moan as her body writhe in ecstatic delight.

       Placing a small kiss on her inner thigh, Michael smirked and said, "the concert hall isn't too far away, I can do that again if you'd like."

       When Michael neared her still quivering mound, she covered his mouth with her hand and said, "Is this payback for my teasing you back in Newyork?"

       Removing her hand from his mouth, he giggled. "Maybe it was — maybe it wasn't. But regardless, you still liked it, didn't you?"

       Symphony smiled, as a heated blush covered her face. "Not just liked, baby... I loved it. But really, we should get going. Tonight is such an honor for me. I don't want Radio-France to think I take their invitation lightly."

      Michael frowned. "I'm sorry, Beautiful. Please forgive me. With all that has been happening, we haven't had a chance to make love all weekend, and I've been craving you like crazy."

       Unhooking her leg from over his shoulder, Symphony touched his cheek and said, "no need to be sorry. I know you wouldn't purposely make me late. But let's get going. I have to meet backstage with the orchestra before my performance."

       As Michael rose to his feet, he took his hands in hers and said, "you're right, sweetheart. I don't want you to be late for such a prestigious performance on account of me. But when we return, I need to feel and taste every inch of you."

        Symphony smiled. "That sounds delightful, Dr. Black. I'm looking forward to it."

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