Chapter 3.25 – Dog With a Bone – Part 1

Paris…. End of Taylor’s Junior year.  

“Taylor?” said both of her parents at the same time when they answered her call.

“Hi Mom, Dad!” she said cheerfully to both of them because they had her on the speaker.

“It’s good to hear from you,” said her mother, “is everything okay?”

Taylor laughed and rolled her eyes. Of course they would think something was wrong if she called.  “Yes! Everything is fine,” she said, “but…I do have news to share – good news and some not-so-bad bad news. Not-so-bad news first….I’m not coming home at all this summer. I’m staying in Paris and taking summer courses.”

“What?” they both said in unison, then her father added, “I thought your classes were going well.”

“Let me tell you the good news before you both have a stroke. I met with the counselor and I only needed to take two classes the last semester.  Two of the classes I need are offered this summer, so I can finish a semester sooner.”

“But we won’t see you until after Christmas,” said Cole. The disappointment in his voice made her sad.

“I know Dad. But there is a bright side – I won’t have to leave again when I do come home.”

“But, when will graduation be?” asked her mother, “I was thinking we would all come to Paris next May to attend since the twins haven’t been.”

Taylor sighed. She had hoped for cheering instead of complaining. And the twins, they should have come the first time. They had practically cut off their noses to spite their faces. “Maybe you all can come to just enjoy the sights. There’s no need to spend that much money just to watch a boring graduation ceremony. I’ll simply have them mail my diploma.”

“Okay… if that’s what you really want,” said Dannie, resigned, but still unable to hide her disappointment.

Taylor laughed. “Moooom, you just wanted an excuse to come back to Paris!”

“We really did want to see you walk across that stage,” added her father, “You earned it sweetheart. You’ll be the first of my children to get a college education. Ryan dropped out and Reagan is just taking online classes for her job. I doubt she’ll go for a degree. At least they are both employed.” He went straight from proud to sounding disappointed again.

“He dropped out?” asked Taylor. She was shocked.

“Yes. He decided he didn’t want to go back after his knee surgery. He has this grandiose plan to open a chain of gyms, starting in Newcrest,” said Cole.

“Ooooh, that’s a great idea!” said Taylor excited now because it gave her an idea, “if I can get some experience, maybe I could open a restaurant there in a few years too!” Then she laughed. “Everyone can eat at my restaurant, then go work it off at Ryan’s gym!”

Both of her parents laughed and thankfully the mood changed. Taylor realized how much she really did miss them. “We’ll have a whole family of entrepreneurs!” commented Dannie after their laughter died down. “When you get home maybe you should talk to Ami.”

“Mom, that’s just a bit premature. But certainly a goal,” said Taylor as the buzzer sounded in her tiny studio apartment. “Someone’s at the door, I need to go. I’ll call you later. Love you both.” She made a mwaaa sound and hung up.

Taylor ran to answer the door because she knew it must be Elliott.  Sure enough he was  standing there with a bag of groceries and a bottle of wine. When he flashed her his trademark bashful smile, her heart did a little flip flop. Elliott had made her decision to take those last two classes this summer very difficult. Instead of another year together, now they had about 7 months.

“So love, how did they take the news?” asked Elliott, his sexy British accent sending warm chills down her spine.

“They were okay, but disappointed that they won’t see me this summer. Mom was planning a trip with the whole family in May. I think Mom and Dad really just wanted a reason to come back to Paris,” she added and huffed out a laugh.

Elliott laughed too as he pulled her close and kissed her forehead. “Well, bloody hell Taylor, it’s not like you won’t still graduate magna cum laude. Didn’t you tell them that?”

Taylor sighed and pressed her forehead to Elliott’s. “No, I didn’t, just in case I don’t make it. I don’t want to disappoint them more.”

Elliott tweaked her nose. “That’s rubbish! You know that won’t happen and you could never disappoint them.”

“Well, even so, it won’t really matter. When I go home in 7 months, I’ll be jobless and homeless, while my brother and sister already have jobs and their futures mapped out.”

Elliott brushed her hair over her shoulder. “Don’t be jealous love. You’ll be wildly successful one day. I know it.” He paused and looked towards the kitchen. “Speaking of…that smells delicious!”

“Ohhhh – dinner!” she exclaimed and reluctantly pulled herself from his embrace to rescue it from the oven. He followed her over, and poured the wine he brought while she plated their food.

Once seated, she continued their conversation from earlier. “Your future is already laid out for you after graduation. You have insider experience, plus you get to take over an established chain of restaurants.” She knew she was whining and shouldn’t have been.

“Three bloody restaurants, on the verge of failure, all in London,” corrected Elliott pointing his fork at her for for emphasis.

“Still a chain. When I get home, I’ll be a line chef, if I’m lucky,” groused Taylor and began to concentrate on her food, as did Elliott, both lost in their thoughts.

She stole a glance at him while they ate. She didn’t mean to fall in love with the quiet, seemingly self-absorbed older man. They both started the academy at the same time and she immediately gravitated to him. They shared a language, and he was very sweet and safe. He didn’t hit on her like most of the other guys she was constantly fighting off.

She took a drink and thought about their history.  Elliott hadn’t been an easy nut to crack. It took nearly a full year for him to finally open up to her. He answered her questions but folded back into himself with his own personal agenda, that he clearly did not want interfered with. However, once he finally gave up trying to ditch her, they became the best of friends.

Taylor remembered the day it happened like it was yesterday. She’d managed to get him to agree to go for coffee after class at the beginning of their second year of college. ‘I’m not going to rid myself of you am I?’ he’d asked and grinned, ‘You’re like a dog with a bloody bone and I suppose I’m that bone.’ She had almost spit out her coffee when he said that. He laughed at her, and it was the most glorious thing to see that sweet man let down a few of his walls and enjoy himself.

She loved his melodious accent and no longer found it hard to understand him. She could listen to him talk for hours. But talk was something he rarely did, until they were alone together. That’s when he told her about his reasons for being at the academy. About his parents, their declining health and their failing restaurants.

A year after becoming best friends, Taylor began to gradually fall in love with him. She craved his affection, and found she wanted intimacy. She noticed him stealing longing glances at her, or whenever he touched her, he lingered a little longer than necessary. But her sweet Elliott had an inherent sadness about him that seemed to keep him from taking that next step. His walls were high. When he did smile it melted her heart. He was beautiful both inside and out, and he had no idea.

Finally she couldn’t stand it any longer, and when they were together in her apartment, she finally took the initiative, determined to knock down the last of his walls. At first he held back, but she didn’t allow that to stop her. Once he gave in, their passion ignited like someone threw fuel into a smoldering fire – as a year’s worth of pent up desire was finally satisfied.

It wasn’t like it was in high school. It wasn’t simply sex. Elliott had made love to her that night. Maybe it was because he was 27 and experienced and she wasn’t.  Her only other partner was Darnell back in high school. He was sweet, but they both knew it was just experimenting.  With Elliott, it meant something much deeper. Laying in Elliott’s arms after they had made love made her incredibly happy.  She could feel the love he had for her just in the way he held her close.  She felt that together, they could do anything.  Taylor tried her best to make sure she gave as much as she took, so there would be no doubt in his mind how she felt about him, lest he start building his walls again.

Elliott stayed with her that night. He got up first and made the best omelettes she’d ever tasted. Maybe she was just starved from their extra curricular activities, but she was in heaven. He said it was a peace offering in case she changed her mind. Silly man. She was hopelessly in love but dared not say it out loud.  Instead she laughed and told him he better hope the omelettes were good or he was outta there.  He laughed and her heart sang. She loved seeing him laugh. Something he didn’t do nearly enough.  Since then, serving  omelettes to each other has become their code for an apology.

Even though they’d been intimate many times since, they still had yet to verbalize or name what they are to each other, and it made her sad. She couldn’t get past his last wall. He seemed to want their relationship to be a sort of friends with benefits, however, it felt like anything but that. She knew he was not the kind of man to give easily of himself.  And certainly not a one night stand kinda guy. She often wondered if he’d had a serious relationship before her and had been badly hurt.  Maybe that was why he kept that last piece of his heart closed off from her.

“Taylor,” he said, pulling her out of her reverie, “I was thinking, since you aren’t going to holiday in the States this summer, maybe we could have a short holiday together, before you have to begin your studies again.”

Taylor’s heart melted and a smile formed. “Of course Elliott. What did you have in mind,” she asked, holding her breath in anticipation.

“How about we holiday in Venice? We can take the train and spend a couple of nights. If I can find a deal, we can take a gondola through the city.”

“Really? That’s awesome!” Taylor was surprised she wasn’t a puddle of goo. That was the most romantic thing he’d ever proposed. Her mind was working overtime hoping this meant he was going to tell her he loved her and ask her to stay in England after she graduated. It was all she could do not to jump across the table and straddle him, placing kisses all over his sweet face.

Taylor knew Elliott’s primary focus was his family and their restaurant business.  He’d made that very clear, so he had never discussed a future beyond school. But, she had to believe, since he’d allowed her to accompany him to London and introduced her to his parents a few months ago, that meant something.

Elliott’s shoulders slumped slightly at Taylor’s exuberance. “Calm down love,” he said, “I have to secure reservations first.”

“Baby,” said Taylor, “You know, we don’t have to get a gondola. They’re expensive. Maybe we can just sample the cuisine at a sidewalk café and watch everyone else go by. Live vicariously through them.”  She gave him a little laugh so he’d know she wasn’t upset. She knew he couldn’t afford it. His money was going to his education, and the rest, back into the family business. She had no money either. Not really, just what her parents provided.

“You’re sure?” he asked looking relieved, yet pensive.  He obviously didn’t want to disappoint her. 

Taylor was glad she’d declined a gondola. He was definitely worried about the cost. Elliott didn’t have to spend money to win her heart, he already had it. She got up and walked over to him and put her arms around him. “Why don’t we just stay here and hang out in Paris? There are Paris things I haven’t done yet. Let’s just do that instead.”

“If that’s what you really want…” he said.

Taylor kissed him. “Mmmhuh. One hundred percent. As long as I’m with you, I don’t care where I am.”

“You’re amazing,” he replied, but still looked sad.

“Elliott? What’s going on up there?” she asked tapping his forehead.

“I can’t bear the thought of losing you,” he whispered and kissed her again.

“That will never happen,” she assured him, even as her dream of professed feelings and living with him in England dissolved into thin air. She should’ve known better than to dream.

“You’re going back to America after next semester,” he explained, “I have to stay for my final term and then head back to London to help Mum and Dad. We’ll have a bloody ocean between us darling.”

“So, what do we do about it?” Please say you love me….please – just say you love me…. she chanted to herself over and over, waiting for him to respond.

“I….we shouldn’t have gotten involved …” he muttered and hung his head in shame.

What?! thought Taylor, now enraged. Of all the things he could’ve said, he said that.

She pulled away from him and pointed her finger in his face. “How dare you Elliot Gray! First you offer me a romantic weekend in Venice, then say you shouldn’t be with me!  God Elliott, I don’t know what you want from me. I love you……”  Taylor gasped as the words escaped and clapped her hands over her mouth wishing she could stuff them back in.

Elliott got a weird, sad look on his face like he might get sick. She could see his walls clicking back into place as he pushed her away from him. “I need to leave. I’m very sorry Taylor. Please forgive me.”

Taylor stood there in shock as Elliott calmly turned around and left. Just like that, he was gone. He didn’t get angry or fight back.  He just left. No amount of omelettes could ever make up for him walking out on her like that.

When the door softly clicked shut, it pissed her off even more.  He could’ve at least slammed it!  She threw herself on the bed and cried herself to sleep.

Go to Chapter 3.26>>>>>>>>

Go back to Chapter 3.24

Introducing another hot guy courtesy of Maladi777

Meet our resident Londoner, Elliott Gray.

60 thoughts on “Chapter 3.25 – Dog With a Bone – Part 1

  1. Wow.That turned into a break up really fast. I think Elliot loves her but is shellshocked from a prior relationship that went bad so he won’t commit. Add that to her impending departure and he just can’t take it. He would return her feelings but he’s too scared. Poor Taylor. She let those words fly out of her mouth and it scared him away. I’m inclined to let him leave. A man who doesn’t love you as much or who has tons of baggage is not worth it in the end. (Plus, I think she could do MUCH better back home.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. They sure make a lovely couple, but it seems like the initiative is mostly on her side. As if she talked him into a relationship he didn’t want. I’m not sure what to think. As much as I hate to say it about this handsome young man, to run away like this seemed immature. He better have a really good explanation. Being a gentle and very introverted man is one thing, being a coward is another. 😞

    Liked by 2 people

    • He better have a good explanation! That’s for sure to break her heart like that. He was definitely freaked out and it did feel cowardly. I think maybe he wants it, but perhaps doesn’t feel he deserves her or maybe your right, he really didn’t want a relationship. More to come on Saturday.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I just cannot make up my mind if I wanna ship this or not. So am I sad he’s gone, do I WANT him to come back or be like “NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEXT!”? Odd time to start questioning your relationship’s future though, buddy.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know. I want to ship them so bad too! They are so sweet together. I think his mild calm (until he walked out anyway) personality suits hers. She also thinks things through and doesn’t jump in head first. She really does have a good head on her shoulders. And Elliott has a devotion to family very much like she does.

      He was shocked, not shocked really, at her words. He just didn’t want to admit it, though I suspect he knew, but is afraid because he can’t commit and now it’s out there… and they have to deal with it. Comeback and deal buddy! Grrrr.
      More on Saturday!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, he is cute and sweet, and they would make a cute couple, but I disagree about him thinking things through. His major fail in my book.
        So you went there, bud, promised her a bed of roses. Pretty obvious Taylor is not the vacation (or college abroad) fling kinda girl. So, huh?
        Leaves him really loving her. OK, shellshocked, OK.
        But have you never heard of immigration or long-distance relationships?! Are you new, Elliot?
        I just really don’t know. Only her second real boyfriend … she is young, smart, pretty. Has so many options. And would she even be able to leave her family for him?
        Or he could can his failing restaurants and open a new one in Newcrest. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • He is. He certain,y didn’t think things through when he told her they shouldn’t have gotten together…. I don’t think her really promised her a bed of roses. He has been careful not to do that….but offering to take her to Venice was almost that for her.

          Taylor isn’t a fling kinda girl and he isn’t that way either, so yes, they are very much in love. I wonder if maybe he’s afraid to disappoint her, that he isn’t good enough for her. Maybe, he sees her potential and doesn’t want to hold her back. Thinks he’s doing her favor? Or he’s just another asshole with a shit ton of baggage…

          Would she leave her family for him? In a heart beat I think..if only he would say how he feels, she would do anything for him. But now, she’s so hurt she doesn’t think she can forgive him. 😭😭😭

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Yay, we finally get to see Taylor! 😀
    Hmmm first of all, I would totally think the same thing about the twins if I were in her shoes. They should have come when they had the chance, and she shouldn’t have to even think of changing her plans because of them, her parents or anyone else…! Although something tells me she would change her plans in a heartbeat if it was for Elliot (who is super cute by the way 😍)
    But man, he sure has a lot of baggage… I wonder what his deal is! And how he managed to go from “romantic trip to Venice” to “we shouldn’t have been involved” in just a few minutes, is beyond me! 😥
    Poor Taylor… but she shouldn’t be afraid to let her feelings show – they know each other for a long time. If he can’t handle it, then she should let him go! (But I still want to know what his issues are because I’m super curious 😁)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Taylor. She’s so sweet. Always has been. She does have a good heart, but the twins were mean to her through no fault of her own. She tried to bridge the gap and I think before she left, they were making progress. When she eventually goes home, I hope they will become friends again. But no, she shouldn’t change her plans to accommodate them.

      Now… ELLIOTT! She would do anything for him I think. Well, maybe not now, because he hurt her pretty badly, but….. Elliott is so adorable! 😍. Too bad he does have baggage that seems to be influencing his decisions. He is super afraid to commit. And he knew she was reading more into the trip than he intended. The fact that he even told her he didn’t want to lose her was a lot for him to say. And he tried to walk it back. But maybe he went a bit too far.

      The rest of this story on Saturday….after they’ve both had a chance to sleep on it. He needs to digest what she said and Taylor needs to decide what she wants to do about it too.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. So sorry that Taylor’s going through this. Though we aren’t dating or anything, I have a (sort of) friend who always puts up barriers, and never lets me know too much about him. Like, how can you even tell someone that something happened last week, but you won’t say what? That’s what he did today, and it still troubles me. Now I was reminded.
    I don’t know what to think of this relationship. It looks a lot like Elliott would want to be with Taylor but something’s clearly troubling him and providing him from being fully happy with her, could be that he’s afraid of commitment, as he could get hurt. Maybe that’s just what Taylor thinks, and he had a bad experience in the past. Or it could be anything, really, but Taylor won’t know for sure until he finally decides to open up to her. If he doesn’t, then I can’t see their relationship lasting for long.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jovita – I’m sorry about your friend not being able to fully share. All it does it worry you more more because you think of scenarios that are probably worse than what it really is…

      As for Elliott, he does have some things that he is keeping to himself. Like his feelings for her maybe! Grrr. He should have opened up to her instead of running. Maybe he’ll realize he made a mistake and has hurt her terribly. I hope so. Because I do think he cares very much about Taylor and her well-being . You are right he has to open up and tell her or their relationship truly is over.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I was so happy to see my girl Taylor, but now… 😭 Elliot is a total hottie and he seems sweet, but he’s so guarded and can’t face his feelings (or hers) 😦 I feel so bad for her, but if he can’t open up to her, maybe this is for the best? 😦 But I will give it time… maybe he can get his shit together and have a real conversation with her. He’s kind of being an Emberlynn right now though 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. Taylor has turned into a very lovely young lady. And Elliott would be perfect for her if he would just open up more. I felt terrible for. Ha! He’s totally being an Emberlynn, running away from his feelings because he’s afraid. But what is he afraid of? They definitely need to have that conversation otherwise this relationship is toast. Maybe after he sleeps on it? I hope anyway….they do have the summer and one more semester together. So it’s not like they can avoid each other after the summer is over. 🤷‍♀️

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Dang that went downhill fast. I can relate to Elliot though, it’s not easy to let those walls down especially in those circumstances. Hopefully something resolves it, if not Taylor is young, I am sure there are a couple of hundred guys in the greater Willow Creek/Newcrest/SanMyshuno area that would be happy to have her.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It did😬. Poor Elliott and Taylor both. Their timing seems off. Maybe he’ll rethink his decision to walk out like that. 🤷‍♀️. If not…you’re right. There are others. Of course she isn’t leaving for awhile. I don’t think she’s really ready to give up. But is he?

      Like

  8. Oh no, that turned bad really quickly. 😐 It’s too bad because I like those two and clearly Taylor is smitten. Hopefully he’ll come to his senses… or maybe Taylor will slowly recover and feel better. Whatever it is, I just want her to be happy. She’s a sweetheart, talking her siblings up when Cole is clearly disappointed. I like Taylor a lot. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Taylor is a very sweet empathetic person. And she is smitten with Elliott. They really are so much alike that they just belong together. He’s super conflicted. I hope he quickly realizes what he’s giving up. It’s sad.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oooh, it was nice to see Taylor again! I’m glad she’s doing well, and her new British guy is looking good. It’s a bummer they had a fall out though. I think they’re going to be okay though, I think he just got scared and ran away like a little scaredy cat. He’ll be back 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ohhh. I hope he does come back. Glad you enjoyed catching up with Taylor. Another chapter in the morning. Well in about 7 hours…. that picks up where this one left off…. I think he might be back or she’ll drag him! But she’s hurt and angry right now….

      Like

  10. Wait, so Taylor is such a good student she can even finish one semester earlier, and all Cole thinks about is that he doesn’t see her this summer?!
    What a dad.
    How about being proud of what your kids accomplish, once in a while?

    Okay, now about Elliot – does he maybe have an arranged marriage waiting home in London?
    Also, here’s another prime example why one never should date guys with low self esteem, no matter how sweet and cute they are 😒

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha….Cole…such a mess. They had plans and she messed them up. I’m sure he’s very proud of her. At least he an equal opportunity screw up dad! 😂😂😂. He’s getting better though. As his kids are moving on and not being total failures, he’s got to realize they can make decisions on their own.

      Elliott….he has stuff at home that’s a given. But no arranged marriages. He was just a coward. Pure and simple. His self esteem could use a boost and I think that certainly contributed to his behavior. He totally thinks he’s going to lose her, and for reasons beyond his low self esteem. More to come.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. God dang.

    This just shows that we don’t know what others go throught. Taylor has been the object of jealousy from both Reagan and Ryan from so long, but she also feels resentfull towards her siblins, since they already have jobs and a place to stay. Also, her uni-love just dumped her, and shoed that he very clearly didn’t want to be with her.

    If only they could see that ”perfect Taylor” also has her issues…Oh well, at least they’re treating her a little better.

    Oh,my! Things went downhill fast. I’m not sure the guy will come back. He seemed pretty freaked out when she said she loved him…what kind of reaction is:” I have to leave.” Poor girl.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Poor Taylor doesn’t have it all does she? She is very different from the twins in her thinking, but still….a little resentful of them for treating her badly. And now getting dumped so unceremoniously. Not fun.

      Reagan is growing up and maturing and no longer as self centered as she once was. And maybe Ryan isn’t as narcissistic either. Getting hurt brought him down a peg or two. They can look at things a little more objectively now, not that they aren’t still a bag of messed up! Just not as much! Lol….

      As for Taylor…this isn’t the end. Elliott just got spooked and ran…how could he not come back? Or not….

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Cole kills me yet again. LOLOLOL The twins are brought up, he’s disappointed. Taylor has excellent grades and is graduating early, and he’s disappointed. Dude-duh! Be proud of them! 😀

    This Elliott guy is handsome and Taylor is in loooove. 😀 He seems overwhelmed to me, but as if he’s trying to impress Taylor, too. Offering her a trip that he can’t afford and everything. Seems a bit insecure? He’s worried about his parents and their failing business, too. Still, I hope it works out. I think they’d make a good couple.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: Chapter 3.26 – Dog with a Bone – Part 2 | New Beginnings

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