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Playing With Fire

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(bonus chapter-rated R)


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Playing With Fire
by
OKDeanna

     

Chapter Seven

Luis is awake

If she lived to be a hundred, Gwen didn't think she would ever forget the look in Tony's eyes as he heard Hank say those three words. She knew how close he was to his family, but she didn't think she fully realized how much love they shared until that moment. How could she though? Her family was anything, but close. She really envied Tony that. She envied how they all rallied around each other when one of them was in need. She envied how they stood up for each other no matter what the other had done. What she wouldn't give to have a family like that. Maybe then she wouldn't feel as if the weight of the world was on her shoulders - hers and hers alone.

Gwen watched as Tony embraced his mother, Theresa, Miguel, and Paloma, who Hank said had showed up yesterday. Their family was so close. Their joy at hearing the doctor say Luis was going to be just fine, still evident on their faces. She smiled and shook her head. Then she turned away not realizing Tony had raised his head and looked at her. She walked over and sat next to Ethan who was watching the Lopez-Fitzgerald's embrace each other. "Ethan, can I talk to you a minute?"

Ethan turned to her, his eyes full of surprise. "Gwen. Uh, sure."

She smiled and took a deep breath unsure of how to start. At one time she and Ethan had been close, able to tell each other almost anything, but they hadn't been as close as a couple about to be married should have been. She realized that now. She'd seen the love between Ethan and Theresa today and she knew if she was really honest with herself that she and Ethan had never had that. She needed Ethan to know she understood now. That she knew he did the right thing in calling off the wedding. "I don't blame you anymore Ethan. You or... Theresa. You did the right thing in calling off the wedding. I realize that now. The only thing I ever wanted was for you to be happy and that includes being happy with someone else."

"You mean that don't you?" Ethan asked searching her eyes.

"Yes, I do." She said smiling at how free she suddenly felt. It was as if she'd been reborn again. She suddenly felt as if she could deal with anything, even an ex-fiancé and his new girlfriend.

"Thank you." Ethan said suddenly pulling her into a big hug. "I never meant to hurt you Gwen."
"I know that Ethan." She said returning his hug with a smile. "I didn't at the time. But I know that now."

He pulled away and smiled. "Does Antonio have something to do with this change?"

She blushed and glanced around wondering if anyone else heard that. Her eyes connected with Tony's and she felt her face heat even more. She turned back to Ethan and smiled. "He might, Ethan. He just might."



Antonio met Gwen's eyes across the room and was more than a little surprised when she blushed. Interesting, he thought as she turned back to Ethan and smiled, he'd never seen her blush before. He wondered what they were talking about, but then she turned back around to look at him and he lost all thought. There was something about the way she was looking at him, he thought, there was a look in her eyes he hadn't seen before. Hell, if he didn't know any better he would think she was... he shook his head. No way. That was crazy. He and Gwen barely knew each other. There was no way she could be in love with him. Was there?

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