Following Your Heart (Love Conquers All)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following Your Heart

 

 

BY: Cheryl Persons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This book is a work of fiction; the characters and events are the creation of the author.  Any resemblance to actual characters or events
is coincidental.

 

 

Copyright
© 2013 by Cheryl Persons

All rights reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This book is dedicated to my family
.  Without all of your help and guidance, I wouldn’t be where I am today. 

I love you all very much!

 

Chapter 1

 

Cassie nervously watched the cars go by, she knew before the night ended she needed to talk to Seth.  She glanced over at him.  The smile on his face proved that he had no idea she was about to drop some news into his lap.  “Seth...”

“Hmm?”  He asked as he gazed at her with those sexy eyes.  She bit her tongue.  This was going to be harder than she thought.  “Honey, what's wrong?”  He asked as he reached over and touched her leg.  “You seem like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders.”  He gently rubbed her knee as he took his eyes back to the road.

“It's...It's...” she stammered, she was not prepared to talk to him about it, even though she only had a week to situate everything.  “Are we going to be to, wherever we're going, soon?”

She bit her lip. She could see out of the corner of her eye that he was staring at her.  “Yeah, won't be much longer.  Anything else bothering you?  You seem a bit worried about something.”

She shook her head, “Just anxious to find out where we're going.”  She forced a smile, but she felt he probably didn't believe her.

He smiled, “Just about 15 more minutes.”

She nodded and then tried to focus on the road ahead of them; he said he had a surprise for her.  She now wondered if she should have demanded to find out where they were going.  He had told her to plan on a trip to Dallas and said she would not be home till the morning.  They had not been to Dallas in over 6 months, which they used to go every weekend.  Dallas was their home away from home.  That was until the death of his Aunt Sally.  She owned a Bed and Breakfast in Dallas.  During their senior year a bunch of friends would use the weekends to getaway, their parents did not care because they would be spending those weekends with Aunt Sally.  Everyone loved her; it was devastating when she died unexpectedly of a brain aneurysm. It was just 4 months shy of seeing them graduate.  When they came back for her funeral, they made a pact that Dallas would not be the same and that it would be a long time before anyone would be able to go back.  She didn't expect either one of them to back down, now...it looked like Seth had changed his mind.  As they drove in silence she tried to remember the good times that were spent there; however, it was all overshadowed by the loss.  She closed her eyes briefly, when she opened them she saw him turning down that familiar road.  “Seth...” her voice dropped when the building came into view.  “What are we doing?”  She asked quietly when she looked at him.

He slowed the car to a stop in front of the building and then turned to Cassie.  “Cassie I know that we said that we would not come back here, but...it's been 6 months.  Don't you think it is time?  Besides, I am sure Aunt Sally would be heartbroken that we have boycotted this place.”  He turned to the big house
; Cassie saw an instance of pain cross his face.  “We loved spending time here.   This place has brought us closer.  I owe a lot to Aunt Sally and this house,” he smiled causing Cassie to forget why she was so worried.  “I think this is the perfect place to celebrate our 6 year anniversary, don't you?”

Cassie laughed, “Is it our 6 year Anniversary?  Last I checked it has only been 3 years Seth, and our Anniversary is not for 3 more months.”

“Don't you remember?  You were 12.  I was 13.  I just moved into your neighborhood.  I was at the park, and you were riding your bike. I decided to show off and ended up falling out of a tree.  I knew then that I would one day be head over heels in love with you Cass.  I just had some convincing to do, where you were concerned.”

Cassie could feel her face turning red so she looked away and her eyes fell on the Welcome sign.  “This place has held a lifetime of memories, but I don't know that I am ready to come back.”  She swallowed hard and then looked back in his direction.  “What if I don't think I can do it?”

“Cassie, I don't want to force you to do something you don't want to do...it's just that, I thought...”  He shrugged, “if you don't want to stay...”

Cassie thought for a moment and then tried to smile.  “If it gets to be too much...we'll leave?”

He nodded and gave her a wink.  “The moment it gets to be too much, you say the word.”

“Okay, I guess you're right.  Aunt Sally wouldn't want either of us to forget about the memories we all had.”  He squeezed her hand and jumped out of the car.  When he opened
the door for Cassie to get out, she paused for a moment and took a deep breath. 

When she got out of the car, Seth gave her a gentle kiss.  “I love you.”

“I love you too, Seth.” 

Seth held onto her hand as he led her towards the sidewalk that went to the door.  When they reached the sign, Cassie reached out and touched the wood.  “Sally's Bed and Breakfast...” Seth read. 

“Your Home Away From Home,” Cassie finished.  “It really was a home away from home.”  Cassie replied with a smile.

He pulled her towards the door and then opened the
door; Cassie noticed he didn't have to use a key.  “We're here,” he yelled as the door shut behind him.

“Seth...what?”  Cassie was confused. She didn't see any cars outside.  At that moment, she saw Seth's sister Megan come out of the dining room.

“Just in time.”  She came over and gave Seth and Cassie a hug. 

“Megan, what are you doing here?  I didn't see a car, so what?  I'm so confused, what's going on?”

Megan giggled, “Peter dropped me off, and he’s doing some errands.  Why am I here?  Dinner is served, follow me.”

Megan and Peter had moved to Dallas right after Aunt Sally had died.  Megan wanted to make sure no one would mess with the building, and Peter's company was able to transfer him to the Dallas office.  Cassie suspected that Megan probably wanted to run the Bed and Breakfast, but as of yet it was just an empty building.  When they got in the dining room, Cassie saw the table set up with a romantic floral centerpiece.  Seth pulled out the chair for her, and she sat down in disbelief.  “Thank you Megan.”  He replied as he took his seat.

“Would you like anything else before I go back to the kitchen?”

“Cassie, do you need anything?”  He asked softly as
she continued to look at the table, she slowly shook her head.

“We're good, but thanks.”

“Let me know when you would like dessert.  I made Chocolate Cream Pie.”             

“Perfect.  Thank you.” 

When Megan was out of the room, Cassie looked up at Seth.  “You did this?”

He nodded, “Of course.  I figured we both deserved a nice night out.  Considering it's our Anniversary,” he replied with a wink.  “Go ahead dig in.”

Before she removed the lid from the plate, she looked at him.  “Seth, I really have something I need to talk to you about.”  She knew this wasn't the most appropriate timing, but she didn't know if she could make it through dinner.

“Well, I have some things I need to discuss with you too.  Can it wait
till after we eat?”

“I don't know,” she replied in a whisper, barely audible to the ear.

“What was that?”

“Sure, I suppose so.”  He smiled and they removed their lids, Cassie took in the great aroma.  “Steak, potatoes, chocolate cream pie?  How ever did Megan know my favorites?”

He smiled, “I'll never tell.”  Cassie laughed and shook her head.  “Hm...That’s nice.”

She cocked her head, “What's nice?”

“It's just I haven't heard your laugh in a few days.  I was beginning to wonder if something happened.”

She ignored the phrase and went onto eating.  They made idle chit chat, and Cassie tried to forget about what she needed to say to him.  As soon as they were finished eating Megan entered the dining room.  Cassie almost wondered if Megan was spying on them, because she knew the exact the moment they were finished eating.  “How was everything?”  She asked eagerly.

“Great, thank you.”  Cassie replied quietly.

“Are you ready for your pie?”

Cassie let out a breath, “I don't think so.  Maybe later?”

“Yeah sis, I'm stuffed.”  Seth added as he patted his stomach.

“Okay, well...”

“Anyone here?”  Cassie looked up when she heard Peter's voice.

Megan rolled her eyes, “He picks now as a time to be early.”  Cassie laughed, “we're in here babe.”

Peter walked in and came over and gave Megan a kiss,
and then he kissed Cassie on the cheek.  “Hey guys, I'm sorry I'm early.”

“That's okay Peter.”  Seth replied with a smile, “
We’re finished.”  He looked at Megan, “Did you get that other thing done?”

She nodded, and Cassie could see her big grin.  “I sure did.”

He nodded, “Then we can get the pie later.  You are freed from your servant job,” he teased. 

“Are you sure?”

“Go home Megan, I can handle it from here.”

Megan shrugged, “If you say so.  I'll see you guys later.”  She turned her attention to Seth, “Call me later?”

He nodded, Megan seemed pleased with that answer and so they turned to leave.  “Thanks for supper Megan; it was good seeing you both.”  With that, they were out the door, and Cassie turned back to Seth.  “What was that all about?  What else did she do?”

“You'll see soon enough.”  Cassie supposed that was going to have to be good enough. 

“So, you had something you wanted to talk to me about?”  Cassie focused her attention to him; she hoped that he couldn't see her apprehension.

He smiled, “Do you
want to go first?”

Cassie quickly shook her head, “No that's okay.”

He stood up and walked around to where she was sitting.  “I have something to show you.”  He helped her up, and they walked out of the dining room.  When they reached the bottom of the stairs, he stopped for a moment, “How are you doing?”

Cassie smiled, “So far, so good.”

“I don't want tonight to be too much; I want it to be special.”

Cassie took a step back; she knew what he was getting at.  “That night was a mistake.”

She saw the pain on his face, and she regretted what she said.  “Cassie, I know that what happened here after the funeral wasn't planned and I know that we got carried away, and we probably shouldn't have allowed it to go too far, but...it wasn't a mistake.  We love each other, and it's bound to happen between two people that spend so much time together.  I don't regret making love to you; I regret that you want to forget about it and pretend it never happened.  I am sorry; I can't do that.  Is that why you've been so distant lately?  Was it that horrible of an experience that you just want to move past it?”

Cassie stared at him for a moment; the answers to his questions were rushing through her mind.  Finally she shook her head.  “I'm sorry Seth, it's not that.  I'm not being distant because of that night.  The fact is it was a special moment and one that we could share together.  I just thought that we wanted to wait, until...marriage.  I don't want you to think that I regretted making love to you, but I didn't want you to think I had any expectations of what it meant.”

“Oh babe...I was afraid that you regretted letting it happen.  I know that it wasn't the best timing.  I took advantage of the situation, and I apologize for that.”

Cassie moved closer and kissed him tenderly on the lips.  When she pulled away, she gave him a reassuring smile.  “You didn't take advantage of the
situation; in that moment I felt I was ready.  It helped to reassure myself about my feelings for you, and I was glad we could spend that night together.”

“Me too, which brings me to today.  We came here for a couple of reasons.”  He reached for her hand, and they slowly walked up the stairs.  Cassie wasn't afraid in that moment she knew that Seth wouldn't make her do anything that she didn't want to do.  When they reached the same room that they had stayed in the night they consummated their relationship, she stopped and turned to face him.  “This Bed and Breakfast has had a lot of memories for the two of us, both good and bad.  The fact is...I just learned that Aunt Sally left this building to my sister and
me, with the hopes that we would reopen and continue its legacy.”

Cassie's eyes got big, “You're going to run Sally's Bed and Breakfast?”

“I'm going to co-run it.  I have decided not to go onto school, and since you'll be attending Dallas University in a couple of months...I figured this way, we'll be closer to each other.”

Cassie looked away; she didn't notice that Seth had opened the bedroom door, “Seth I...” she began when she noticed what was in front of her.  She slowly walked into the room and was shocked to see another surprise that was in store for her.  The bed was completely covered with rose petals, spelling out
I Love You
.  She could feel a tear threatening to fall down her cheek; Seth obviously wanted that evening to be romantic.  “Seth...” when she turned to look at him, her heart fell in her chest.  “Seth, what are you doing?”  She asked quietly as he remained on one knee.

“Cassie Jamison, you are the most important person in my life.  I love you with all of my heart and nothing would make me happier if you would help us run this business.  Cassie, will you marry me?”

She stood there in silence, for what seemed like an eternity.  She started to question what she wanted out of life, she loved Seth...why wasn't that enough?  “Seth...” she wiped a tear from her eye, “please stand up.”

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