Life goes on... (by Mallory Quinn)

Chapter 11 : "The reception..."
Translated by sunnyrainbow

Candy and Terry looked at each other for a moment. And then, all of a sudden, they realized they weren't alone...

-Candy, I would like to introduce my fiancée, Georgie Gerald.

Candy observed Georgie, surprised.

-Fiancée? Said Candy surprised.

-Yes...

-What did you do with Susanna? Asked Candy.

-Well, she's not in the game anymore as you can see... My dad brought me a fiancée...

-Indeed... I just realized I sacrificed myself for nothing! I left Susanna to you and you abandoned her to get engaged with another, because your father asked you??? Would you have done the same had it been me?

Candy was angry...

-Freckles, will you calm yourself a bit?

-I can't understand you Terry...

-Come, let's go to the garden to talk a while... Excuse me dear, he said to Georgie, I must speak with Candy.

-Of course Terry, said Georgie.

Candy looked at Terry full of attention towards his fiancée. She turned to Alistair.

-I'm coming, she said to Terry.

Alistair watched her go. Terry had shown more passion talking to his fiancée, then Candy to him. Since when did he notice these things? Because he was Alistair, the Inventor, and he was always a lunatic when it pertained to affairs of the heart. Georgie looked at Alistair and smiled.

-Good evening, I'm Georgie.

-And I'm Alistair.

-Would you mind dancing while our partners discuss?

-You're not worried?

-Not in the least...

-Do you know that it's the love of his life?

-Yes, said Georgie, I really like Terry too, and I've also had loves in my life...

-Of course, me too, only she died, so there wasn't any danger of her coming back...

-Terry must end it with Candy, as it should be...

-And if he realizes that he cannot live without her?

-Then he can't live without her and we'll have to learn to live with it... Do you want to dance?

-Oh... Of course...

They went to the dance floor and waltzed while Candy and Terry were discussing in the garden of roses "Sweet Candy".

-I don't understand Terry, how can you abandon Susanna everything she's done for you?

-Don't worry about her, she's fine...

-Your father "thanked" her for saving your life by paying her?

-Who would've thought it was this easy? Had we known, we could've asked your Uncle William to cough up the money to buy her!

-Terry! I don't find this amusing at all! Said Candy angry.

-Where is your sense of humor?

-You didn't answer my question. If you had been with me, would you have obeyed your father?

-You know very well the situation with you is very different! I loved you and nothing my dad could've said would've made me leave you... I wasn't in love with Susanna. She was unhappy with me because I didn't love her... I hope she will find a man to love her the way she deserves.

Candy had heard Terry say "loved" in the past tense when he spoke of her. Was he in love with his fiancée now?

-Does that mean that you love your fiancée? You don't love me anymore?

Terry looked in her eyes. She seemed so sad.

-Candy, he said softly, our lives took different roads since our separation... I am with Georgie and you, you're with the inventor?

-Yes, Alistair and I got closer since Patty's passing... Life goes on, I thought you were happy with Susanna.

-Well you thought wrong. I was unhappy with Susanna.

-And your new fiancée...?

-Georgie? You can say her name you know...

-No! Said Candy sulking.

-You're jealous! Smiled Terry.

-I am not jealous!

-Oh yeah? And me I don't mind seeing you with the inventor...

-His name is Alistair.

-I don't care! For all these years, it was his brother who was jealous because of you! Who would've thought the inventor secretly longed for you...

-What are you talking about? He was with Patty... It's only when he came back that we got closer...

-Oh Freckles, how na´ve you can be sometimes!

-You mean to say since...?

-I mean to say that your cousins would've cut me to pieces if they had the power to make you free...

-Stop it, you're saying nonsense...

-Well then... It's not my problem anymore... I am going to make my own life with Georgie...

-Do you love her? Asked Candy.

-Candy you asked me if I still loved you... I will answer you. I love you Candy and I always will... But as I said, our lives took on diverging paths. We have new destinies... We tried and it didn't work out...

Candy had tears streaming down her face. He was right. Their lives weren't the same. They had new projects and new partners, new lives. Life had gone on...

-You are right, said Candy, good luck Terry.

-Good luck Candy, said Terry.

It was costing him a lot to say this to her. Thankfully he was a good actor, which wasn't Candy's case, she couldn't stop crying... But there was one thing he had dreamed of since those days in Scotland and he wanted to in New York also but...

-Candy, he said, can I ask you something?

-Yes...

-Can I give you a goodbye kiss?

-OK...

-And please spare me the slaps this time...

She burst out laughing in the midst of her tears. Terry leaned towards her, gently took her lips and Candy put her arms around his neck and answered his kiss with all her heart. Terry put his tongue in Candy's mouth and started to caress her tongue...

**********

Georgie and Alistair were done dancing and were talking. Archie saw them together and he searched for Candy and Terry with his eyes; they were nowhere to be seen. He came closer to his brother and Georgie.

-Hello brother, where's your girl?

-Archie, said Alistair reproachfully.

-Since I see you with Terry's girl, that means yours is with Terry!

-If you want to know, they are talking in the garden, said Alistair.

-Talking about what? It's been over between them for a long time!

-They had things to say to each other, said Georgie.

-You trust Terry? Asked Archie.

-Absolutely!

-Well, you're wrong! When it's about Candy, Terry doesn't think! Same thing for Candy! You want to become single again?

-Archie, leave us be, will you? Said Alistair mildly annoyed.

-Yeah, it was fun while it lasted, eh bro?

Archie left them. He was a bit drunk... Alistair and Georgie looked at each other.

-I am ready for any outcome, said Georgie.

-You mean to say if they come back to announce that they are back together you will take it well?

-I know it is risky to let him see the one he loves alone... But I trust Terry, he wouldn't have started anything with me if he didn't want to be with me...

-I would love to have your confidence... I've loved Candy for so long and for years I watched without saying anything and without touching... But now that we are together, it's a dream come true, a dream I had never thought possible. I love her so much, even more than my inventions! That says it all...

Georgie burst out laughing.

-Yes, that says a lot...

-I live only for my inventions, but for Candy, I'd be ready to give them up...

-And if we were to go and see what's keeping them so long?

-OK, said Alistair.

They both moved towards the garden of flowers and when they arrived, they found Candy and Terry locked in a passionate kiss. Candy and Terry stopped. She nestled in Terry's arms and closed her eyes.

-I must say it's much better without the slaps, said Terry to jest.

-Yes, of course, said Candy smiling.

-We must return to the reception...

-Yes, the others must be looking for us...

They turned to go back to the reception and saw Alistair and Georgie watching them dumbfounded... Terry looked at Georgie, she was hurt.

-Georgie, said a grieved Terry, it's not what you think...

-I know what I saw, said Georgie leaving.

Terry ran after her... Alistair looked at Candy.

-You will also tell me that it's not what I saw?

-Of course...

-And yet I'm wearing my glasses...

-It was just a goodbye kiss...

-A goodbye kiss?

-Yes... He will be with Georgie... And I want to be with you...

-Isn't it only because Terry is not available? You seemed mad that he didn't come to get you after leaving Susanna.

-Our lives have taken different paths, she said remembering Terry's words... I beg your pardon for what you saw...

-Would you have told me if I hadn't seen?

-I don't know... Maybe... I don't want to hurt you Alistair. You know I loved Terry, I had to speak with him... Can you understand that?

-Yes... But I am not sure I understand the kiss...

And he left her there. Candy felt a bit lost. She searched for her mom and found her in a salon eating hors-d'oeuvres. She went to her. Sabrina saw her and felt at once her sadness.

-Are you all right, sweetie?

-Not really, said Candy, her eyes filled with tears.

-Oh my baby, come here...

Candy went to nestle in her mother's arms.

-Tell me what is wrong...

Candy told her what had just happened and her mother comforted her.

-All will be well my little one... what if you come to stay with us, to keep your mind off things... When you come back, you'll see if your feelings for Alistair are still there and if he still loves you...

-It's a good idea... I need to grieve for Terry and bring myself accustomed to the idea that he's with another woman he will come to love or already loves in a different way...

-Time settles everything. Trust me, or else I'd still be in an insane asylum...

-Oh mom! Said Candy, hugging her.

**********

Georgie had left the manor and was going to cross the road to find a taxi. Terry reached her.

-Georgie! Georgie! Will you stop and answer me?

-Why? So you can lie to me?

-It was a goodbye kiss, that's all...

-A goodbye kiss?

-Yes...

He didn't want to tell her he had been dreaming about it for years, it wouldn't help matters...

-Don't tell me it didn't mean anything, because it's the woman you love...

-And now I am with you, I thought you would understand...

-Yes, I understand... But it still hurt me to see you so passionate with her...

-Ah yes, because you love me a little bit? Said Terry playfully.

-A little bit as you say, she smiled.

-I had to say goodbye to Candy, Georgie... Now it's done, I'm all yours...

-So will you invite me to dance?

-Georgie, can I have this dance, please?

-Gladly...

They went back inside to the reception, directly to the dance floor and danced graciously while looking in each other's eyes.

Alistair was watching Terry dancing with Georgie, they looked happy. But he couldn't help thinking Candy was with him only because Terry was unavailable... Candy stayed with her mom until the end of the reception. She went to see Albert in his study, he was with his fiancée Caroline.

-How are you little one? Asked Albert, looking at her.

-I wanted to tell you I'll be staying over at my mom's for a couple of days.

-Ah? Said Albert, did something happen?

-I need to be with my mother...

-All right, stay as long as you want with her...

-Thank you, smiled Candy.

She went to her room to pack her suitcase. She was leaving early the next morning with her mother and grandparents. Archie was with his wife, still a bit drunk and he was happy to see Candy and Alistair had a row.

-I knew that no good aristocrat would ruin everything...

-You're rejoicing at your brother's misfortune? Asked Annie.

-I didn't do anything, said Archie.

-Terry is still with his fiancée...

-Which means that Candy's been had...

-I am going to bed, said Annie, come and sleep when you've finished babbling...

**********

Terry and Georgie left the reception after a few dances.

-Let's leave our parents here, said Georgie, I have some ideas...

-What kind of ideas?

-Well as my dad isn't here... And I'm sure he will spend the night in your mother's suite...

-Which means you could come and spend some time with me... in my suite...

-To do what? What teenagers do?

-We aren't teenagers Georgie... But I like kissing you...

-Let's see where things will lead us...

Georgie didn't go to her father's suite, she spent the night with Terry... Kissing each other.

**********

The next day Alistair learned from Albert that Candy had left to stay at her mother's for a couple of days. He was sad to have missed her. Archie was in good spirits, to see Alistair without Candy made him happy... Alistair was hurt, he missed Candy. Why had he doubted her? He had seen her kiss Terry, it was normal to be doubtful after that, no? But then he refused to believe her... What an idiot! Now she was gone! What if she meets someone else? It only took her a few minutes on the boat for her to fall in love with Terry. He promised himself he would forgive her and never let her go. But before that, he would let her spend some time with her mother.

**********

CHAPTER 12

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