Copyright © 2002 by Mezzo. All Rights Reserved.
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A few months passed and Tori had put into place all that was needed for the European offices to operate without her. With everything in order, she made her way back to the States.
It was now Thanksgiving and
she was on her way to the
She had started eating better and had gotten a physical to make sure her health was up to par. With a clean bill of health, she got back on her exercise regimen.
Now looking at her reflection in the window of the limo, she saw a hint of a smile grace her face. It was a rough road but she was starting to feel a whole lot better.
Gibeau, her driver, rolled
down his window as he approached the intercom. This would announce Tori's
arrival. The gates opened and the car made its way down the long drive
around the circular driveway. Tori got out of the car and went to the front
door. Philip, the butler, opened the door and welcomed her to the
Tori nodded, "Thank you Philip. It is very good to see you as well."
The conversation she had with Gordon the day she left the firm came ringing back. "Know that when your journey is through, we'll be here waiting for you." True to Gordon's word, they all were.
She entered the large dining room. Seated at the head of the table were Gordon and Janice Montgomery. To their right were Paul and Diane Crawford, Antoine and Michaela Fellini, and Oleg and Felicia Arden.
To Gordon's left was Tori's
father, Richard Hull, her brother Ian, his wife Pamela, and their two children:
two-year-old, Marcus and their brand new baby girl, Dominique Elizabeth. Stephan
Hull was next with his new flavor of the month. And
Rounding the table were Brett's
siblings: Eric Montgomery and his fianc» Corey, her younger brother Scott
and his girlfriend
Not forgotten and most importantly, seated in all her glory was Brett Montgomery. Tori almost passed out right there. No more was there that ever-present youthful look that always made Brett seem so much younger than she was. Now an air of poise and quiet sophistication sat in its place. True to form, blue eyes met green and, as they say, it was all over. Tori's heart betrayed her again. It was so willing to run unguarded to Brett's side casting all caution to the wind and sending signals to all parts of her body that her love was near.
Brett had heard that Tori was coming and anxiously awaited her appearance. The moment that her childhood mate entered the room, a flush of heat went to her face and everyone in the room ceased to exist the moment she arrived. Tori looked incredible. She wore a button down midnight blue Armani pantsuit which made her look even taller than she was. Her hair was a little shorter than the last time Brett had seen her. However, the dark tresses still flowed past her shoulders. Tori's look was sleek and polished. She exuded power and grace. Even more, she oozed of sensuality. Brett was having an intense physical reaction to this new and improved version of Victoria Hull.
Breaking the trance was a loud clearing of a throat. Turning to the direction of the intrusive sound, Tori's eyes connected with a smirking Gordon Montgomery. Giving Tori a welcoming gesture and an all-knowing wink, he uttered, "Ah... Tori. We are all happy to see you. However, can you sit your butt down? I'm hungry." Laughter filled the room and Tori's face turned a beet red. She gave everyone a blanketed hello and took her place between her father and her brother Ian. Of course, she noticed that Jenna Carlisle was delightfully missing. As that realization hit her, a smile crept upon the brunette's face. For the first time in years, it made it all the way to her beautiful blue eyes.
Hands were held around the table as Gordon started the traditional Thanksgiving Blessing.
"Dear Lord.... As we gather around this table, we remember all the many blessings that you have bestowed upon us. Like the many friends and families that have enriched our lives, those that share our lives with us on a daily basis, and those we don't quite see as often as we'd like." Gordon shot a look in Tori's direction and laughed as a blush made its way to Tori's face.
"We thank you for giving us the ability to express and receive love in its many forms. We thank you for the many miracles that you give us everyday. Like the new additions to our families," looking towards baby Dominique's crib and the various new girlfriends and fianc»es around the table.
"We thank you for keeping us strong and surviving the many obstacles that attempt to discourage us from our path in life. We thank you for the food that we are about to receive and for blessing the hands of those who have prepared the meal. Let this meal nourish us not only today...but whenever we look back at our lives and remember this day with love years from now.
"Dear Lord......Thank you for giving us so much that our hearts are bursting. For the love that fills this room and for the love I see in each and everyone's eyes. As it is written in the bible, we are all created in your image. Therefore, if we see love in ourselves, so must you be love. So above all else...... thank you for you." Gordon looked up with eyes that were filled with unshed tears and nodded indicating he was finished.
Tori's eyes were also filled with tears. She was always amazed at Gordon's capacity to love. With that thought, she let out an audible sigh. Realizing everyone was giving her an inquisitive look, she let out a dazzling smile and looked at Gordon. " Sir.... I think we might need to take a recess after that one." It was now Gordon's turn to blush.
Tori sent out a thank you of her own. She thanked whoever was listening for giving her back her life and promised to never ever do anything that would take her from her family again. Tori felt a hand on her shoulder and turned to see her father smiling at her. Nothing was said but he understood just the same. It had been a long road coming home and though Tori was a little tattered from the journey, she had survived.
All the while, green eyes were sending messages in Tori's direction. Soon enough, Brett said to herself, "Soon Victoria Hull... I'm gonna get you alone... and when I do..... if I have my way.....you...and I ....are going to have that conversation we should have had--six years ago in Michigan."
TO BE CONTINUED.