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A Second Chance Part 8.

Dan was concerned by Loni's need to talk to him seriously and he thought about it for the rest of the afternoon. In between shows they joked and chatted with everyone backstage as they normally did, but the nagging reminder of the needed talk kept invading his mind, but he didn't let it show.

The last fashion show was standing room only and the crowd was very responsive. All too soon five thirty arrived signaling the end of the bridal fair. Dan said his goodbyes to everyone as did Loni, she had become well liked in her short time there.

"So, where do you want to talk?" he asked as they walked to their cars.

"Your place will be fine unless I am not invited back over," she responded.

"Of course, you're invited over. Why would you think that?"

"I figured that since you already got me in bed that your interest had vanished."

"I thought you knew me better than that?"

"Things and people change," she answered simply in a soft voice.

"On certain topics maybe," he responded.

She followed him back to his place with her mind whirling with the events of today and wondered if she had made a mistake. Once inside Dan pardoned himself to shower and change and Loni offered to make coffee.

Fresh from his shower and clad in his favorite lounging clothes he went into the kitchen and found that Loni was wearing one of his dress shirts. Due to his height and build, it looked like a mini dress on her and he smiled at the sight.

Loni smiled back and poured him a cup of coffee and one for herself. After placing the pot back on the coffee maker, she took a seat opposite him. Dan's heart was thumping in his chest as he waited for her to fix her coffee and begin, and he didn't wait long.

"I know that we just remet, but I need to know how you really feel about being with me. Outside of the sex which by the way is great. I need to know what you feel deep inside," she said.

Never at a loss for words he found himself floundering. Did she really want to hear the truth he wondered?

"You know how I feel," he said simply.

"What a cop out of an answer. Tell me what you really feel," she added with a touch of aggravation.

"What difference does it make? You're engaged to someone else," he responded in his aggravated voice.

Loni held up her hand and Dan noticed that the engagement was now missing.

"I am not engaged anymore," she informed him.

Dan took her hands in his and kissed them.

"What do want me to tell you? How angry I was when we stopped seeing each other so long ago and how I became so depressed that I spent the Summer drinking? How I blamed you for my loneliness and hated you for so long?"

Tears stung Loni's eyes but she encouraged him to continue.

"Should I tell you how happy I have been these last three days and that I want it never to end," he continued.

Loni came around the table to sit on his lap and bury her head in his neck and cry. He stroked her long hair and allowed her to weep. She eventually stopped weeping and dried her eyes and looked deep into his.

"Until I bumped into you I thought I was happy. I then I realized that if I were truly happy I would have not spent the whole day with you or slept with you. I was attempting to become someone I wasn't in order to keep my fiancée and his family happy. With you I can be myself," she told him.

"So what do you need to know?"

"You know I am going for my Doctorate and the only thing that will stop me is the finances. Now Brad and his family were willing to support me providing I start having babies as soon as we wed and put off my plans for a few years because he wanted a family."

"And?"

"Do you want a family?" she asked.

 I don't want children, and I never did if that's what you're asking."

"When I used to make references about that you said that you were OK with it," she responded puzzled.

"We were younger and had no career goals. I drove a truck and you ran a restaurant.So settling down to a family life seemed like the right idea at the time."

"And now?" she asked.

"We both have goals and having kids really doesn't fit in right now, maybe later."

They talked late into the evening before they curled up in bed together. There was no sex that night as she just wanted to be held and Dan understood. She was gone when he finally woke up and started his day. He thought about her on his ride to work and throughout his shift.

Loni had left early as she had a week of classes in front of her. As she was heading to her first class, she bumped into Brad, and she had totally forgotten about him.

"We need to talk," he said in his commanding voice.

"I have said all that needs to be said," as she stepped around him.

"I said we need to talk," he repeated himself and seized her wrist.

Reaction time born on the streets and lessons taught to her by her Father took control of her actions. She counter grabbed his wrist grab by snaking her grabbed hand around his wrist. She twisted in the direction of his thumb as she placed his elbow into her midsection, the pain forced him to release his grip on her.

With the elbow of his arm locked against her, she dropped her backpack and placed her free hand on his triceps muscle. She kept her fingers and hand stiff and pressed the side of her hand and wrist into his flesh.

This was a move from the Aikido system that her Father had taught her as a little girl and she had used it many times. Brad let out a yelp of pain and surprise and dropped his coffee. Loni kept applying pressure to his wrist and her stiff arm rolled his bicep muscle. The pain was intense and he was forced to bend at the waist.

"I could drop you on your face if I wished, but I won't. Don't your ever place your hands on me again," she said in a calm voice.

Brad nodded with tears in his eyes and she released him.

"Let see you afford that Doctorate now. You'll be walking the streets in order to pay off the massive student loans you will incur," he sneered as he rubbed his hand and arm in an effort to increase blood flow.

"At least, I'll get paid and be satisfied," she responded as she backed away from him.

Loni ignored him and headed to her first class. His words, however, had stung her and it played on her mind. The trust fund set up by her late Mother would not bear the cost of next three years and she would be forced to work again. Not that she was opposed to working, she had held a job since she was fifteen.

On her drive home, she turned on the radio and twisted the dial until she found the talk station and listened to Dan's show. She found herself laughing at the way he was able to use the caller's comments against them. He had come a long way since his truck driving days.

Loni reappeared at his house around 7:00 PM. She didn't tell him about her confrontation with Brad as it would only anger him and that was not what she wanted. If angered, he was unstoppable when confronting the aggressor, she had seen it in the past and it wasn't a pretty sight.

Later that evening, she dressed in her sexiest nightgown, she joined him on the couch and they talked even more about the unseen future. She sensed that he was holding something back but didn't push, she instead questioned him about his new position in Florida.

"I'll be the morning man. I spent enough time in Florida that I know what's happening in the state legislature as well as the cultural aspect. Plus I can use my newly arrived status to help me make my show even more interesting," he informed her.

"So, are you using your real name this time?"

"Yes. It's time to retire Geg Alexander and be myself."

"Seems we both are on a path to become ourselves."

Nothing more was said as it was bedtime..

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