Dawn and Gabe laid in bed, the soft light of the early morning sun slowly streamed into the bedroom, cocooning their bodies, stillintertwined after a night of love making. The summer heat made itself known, warming the breeze coming in through the open windows.Dawn stirred as her cell phone vibrated on the floor next to the bed. She lazily reached for it, but Gabe pulled her back towards him."Let the voicemail get it," he urged as he kissed the back of her neck, her shoulders. His hand ran up and down her side, coming to restaround her waist, pulling her closer to him. Dawn managed to turn and face him, and he immediately closed his mouth over hers.
Gabe finally let her out of the bed awhile later, only to carry her to the adjoining bathroom, where he turned the water on and walked herinto the shower. After another session of love making, Dawn finally made it to the dresser for some clothes. Gabe came up behind her.Before he could distract her again, her phone started to vibrate."Voicemail." was all he said as he lay soft kisses on her face."No Gabe, I need to get it!" she said, giggling and wiggling out of his arms. She noticed the caller id and answered her phone.
"Hey Mom!"Gabe watched her face change from happy to concerned in a blink of an eye."Whats wrong?"He went to her when a strangled sigh escaped her mouth, a pained expression crossed her face and pools of tears formed quickly inher eyes."No!" she exclaimed. "When?"Gabe watched as his fiancé visibly shook from grief. "I should have been there," she whispered into the phone. She shook her head,but said "Youre right." as she continues to sob. "Ill be home soon. I Love you too" she said and hung up the phone.
"Quest-ce que cest? What is it?" Gabe asked trying to comfort her."My Dad! He died last night!" she managed through the sobs. Dawn buried herself in the comfort of Gabes arms, letting the tears fall.
"Je suis désolé. I am so sorry mon amour!"He hated feeling powerless. Gabe continued his soft caresses, hoping they brought her some comfort."Mom said it was peaceful...in his sleep" she choked out. "I shouldve been there.""There is nothing you could have done." he said as his hands gently rubbed up and down her back.
She nodded her head. "I know, thats what she said. She sounded so sad, Gabe, but she was so strong.""She was being strong for you.""Yes, she was." Dawn reluctantly inched out of Gabes arms, looking up at the man she loved. "I need to get home.""Oui! And I am coming with you."
Dawn caressed his face "You dont have to. A funeral isnt the ideal time to meet my family." she said, managing to smile at him."Il nest pas question. It does not matter." Gabe waved her words away. "I am coming with you because you are my fiancé. I want to bethere to support you, because I love you.""I love you too."
When Dawn arrived home she found her mother, as well as all three of her brothers waiting for her. It made her a little sad when sheremembered that the last time she had come home from France her father had been waiting up for her to get home. She raced into hermothers arms, both comforting the other.
"Are you alright?" Bebe asked her daughter, peering from her lovely face to the stranger that was standing near the door. There wereso many questions implied in her choice of words that Dawn decided to answer it honestly. She smiled, knowing she could honestlyanswer that:"Yes, Im fine!"
"I am so sorry I ran away; that I wasnt here.""Oh Dawn!" Bebe said as she wrapped her arms around her only daughter "You had to get away. He understood that; we bothunderstood."Dawn held tightly to her mother. The woman who was the rock she knew she could always hold tight to. She nodded her head andwiped the tears of regret from her eyes. She turned to all her brothers and greeted them all with a hug. It felt like a lifetime since shehad seen them."Whos that guy?" Darcy asked, pointing towards the door where Gabe stood.
Dawn ignored her brothers rudeness. She walked to Gabe, took his hands and led him over to her mother."Mom, this is Gabriel Goulon...my fiancé""Fiancé!" Douglas exclaimed.
"Its nice to meet you Gabriel" Bebe said, obviously pleased by the news that Dawn had a fiancé...who wasnt a certain Don Lothario."Gabe, please call me Gabe. Its nice to meet you too, Mrs. Discourse.""Call me Bebe, or Mom. After all, well be family soon."Gabe smiled. "Yes, soon." he answered, his gaze falling on Dawn. "I thought she was dating that Lothario guy." Donald added.
"You didnt tell them?" Dawn asked surprised to find out her brothers seemed to be oblivious to what had happened to her over the pastseveral months."Its not my place to tell them your business.""Im very sorry for your loss," Gabe said to the group. "I understand how hard it is to lose someone you love. I lost my parents in a caraccident recently."
"Thank you." Bebe answered for everyone. "So, Gabe, you must tell us all how you two met!" She led Gabe to sit down. "My daughterhasnt had the time to call her mother and tell her that a handsome Frenchman swept her off her feet."Gabe told them all about their courtship. As he spoke, Dawn filled in gaps, and corrected him in places, smiling, teasing, and laughingthe whole time. The family could see very plainly that they were in love, and they approved.
The funeral was the next day. After the service the family held a private burial at Old Town Cemetery. Her mother and brothers insistedthat since Gabe was soon to be part of the family he should come, too.Later in the day, friends and family gathered at the house to remember and reminisce about Deaglan Discourse.
The number of people who knew and loved Deaglan was extensive. Douglas barely heard the door bell ring before he went to answerit. He opened the door and came face to face with Don Lothario. His sister had caught him and his brothers up on the details of herturbulent relationship with the man and the pregnancy that resulted from it. All the brothers agreed that Don Lothario deserved to begelded. This was in stark contrast to the admiration they felt for Gabe who was obviously in love and devoted to Dawn despite herpredicament."May I help you?" he asked the man as nicely as he could muster.
"Im really sorry about your father. He seemed like a really good guy." Don began."He was; thank you for your sympathy." Douglas replied with just a touch of sarcasm on the last word. "I’ll pass it along to the family.""May I come in?" Don asked. "Im sure Dawn will be happy to see me. Ill be family soon, too. Dawn would want her fiancé close foremotional support.""Youre not welcome here, and youre not Dawns fiancé!" Douglas exclaimed. He was trying to remove the man politely, but it wasbecoming increasingly difficult to stay clam when he knew what this asshole had done to his baby sister. "You, Mr. Lothario, are justsome bum playboy trying to ruin Dawns life! I know for a fact that she doesnt want to see you.""You need to let me speak with her." Don answered calmly. He knew if he had any chance of getting her back, he needed to stay calm.It was hard when all he wanted to do was shove past whichever brother this was and get inside to her. "I know your sister and I havehad a misunderstanding, but that’s all over now. We’re going to be brothers, let’s put the past behind us and be a family. If you just letme see Dawn, she can tell you all this herself.”
Douglas was about to kick Dons no good ass off the property when Gabe walked out the door."Is there a problem,Doug?" Gabe asked, staring directly at Don. He didnt need to be introduced to the man to know who he was."No, Mr. Lothario was just leaving, werent you Mr. Lothario?" Douglas said. He was glad Gabe had interrupted before things escalated.
"Whos this guy?" Don asked."Im Gabe," he said with a self satisfied smirk. "Im Dawns fiancé."
Don scoffed at the man. There was no way Dawn would pick this guy over me! he thought."I dont think so." Don said, quickly losing his patience. "Thats my baby shes carrying. Were going to raise it together and no one,especially not some guy with a faggoty French accent, is going to stop us.""Youre right!" Gabe said calmly. He wasnt going to give this man the satisfaction of addressing his derogatory comment. "If that is whatDawn wants, you will raise the baby together, just separately; and I will be there with Dawn to make sure the child has a positive malerole model."
Don was losing his grip on his temper fast. He wanted to punch the smirk off this guys face!"You have no right to keep her from me. Shes carrying my baby and I have rights as a father!""We can work out visitation after the baby is born, but until then, you will not come near her again, do you understand me? Leave now,or I will have to make you leave.""Youre a dead man!" Don exclaimed losing the control over his temper momentarily and charging towards Gabe.
Donald had been watching the whole ordeal from inside the house and decided he had better intervene before things got too out ofhand."Excuse me, but this is my fathers funeral!" he said coming between the two men. "If you cared about Dawn at all, you would showsome respect for her feelings and not make things harder for her or my mother. No one wants a scene here; they are mourning the lossof a great man. This is not the time for making threats, which will be reported!" he emphasized as he looked at Don.
Douglas couldnt help but throw one last verbal punch."Face the truth, Lothario! It’s over between you and my sister. She didnt accept your marriage proposal. The ring on Dawn’s handbelongs to Gabe, a man who actually cares about her, and only her. Go get on with your life and leave them in peace.”
If Don was being rational, he would know he should just walk away and leave Dawn alone. If he was rational, he would understand hisplan had backfired, and although Dawn carried his child, he had ruined his chance to marry her. However, in his growing angst over theDawn leaving him the second time, his mind had twisted into something far from rational. The angst turned to anger and he hadbecome a dangerous man. The pain and punishment he inflicted upon Juanita for her role in the whole thing had finally crossed adangerous line, and she had the insight to leave Don, and Riverview, while she still could. Despite his slow decent into madness, hewas still calculating. He knew he wasnt going to get by the three men today. Any attempt to forcefully enter the house to get to Dawnwould be disastrous. But they wouldnt always be there to protect her."This isnt over." he stated before reluctantly turned to leave.He couldnt accept Dawn had cast him aside like this. He knew all she had to do was see him, listen to his apology and she would behis again. He would even allow her to admonish him for his wrong doings. Of course she too would need to be punished for leaving himfor that brief time and allowing this Gabe to touch her. No one touched her but him. Then they would make a fresh start. She was hisand he would do anything to keep it that way.