As the Leaves Change…."be with me, live with me….love with me" Final Chapter

It had been a week since Charles had walked out on Brenda, and she still couldn't believe that it happened.

It was early Saturday morning, and Brenda was lying in bed, staring at the ceiling. She missed Charles. It was like losing a best friend and a lover, at the same time. Every time the phone would ring, she would pray it was him, but it never was. He just dropped off the face of the earth. She wanted to call him, but every time she dialed his number, she would hang up before it had a chance to ring. She still had not spoken to Sonny, about what happened, or almost happened in Paris. She didn't know if she even wanted to. As much as she hated to admit it, she still had feelings for him. Maybe she would always, but she had definitely fallen for Charles too.

She reached for the remote, and turned the television on. She started flipping through the channels, she stopped at Spongebob. She sighed and turned it off. She didn't need anything that reminded her of Charles. She got out of bed, and walked towards the bathroom. After showering, she went into her closet. She spotted some of his things. She picked up a shirt, and put it on. She wondered if he was thinking about her, or missing her too….

After dressing, Brenda decided to go Kelly's for breakfast. She was at a table drinking coffee, and eating a bagel, when Charles walked in. He looked at her briefly, and continued on to the counter. After receiving his order, he turned to leave. Brenda couldn't believe he walked in, and didn't say two words to her. She got up, and stood in front of him.

"Hello, Charles."

He looked down at her. "Brenda."

"Were you not going to say hello?"

"No."

"Charles, I didn't do anything."

"Yeah, you did."

"I didn't ask him to come to Paris."

"Maybe you didn't, but you didn't tell me he was there either."

"I'm sorry. I didn't want you to get upset."

"It doesn't matter Brenda, it's over and done with."

Brenda stared into his eyes. "Just like that?"

"Yeah."

"Cha-." At that moment the worst thing that could happen, happened. Sonny walked in. And he walked up to them.

"Hello, Brenda." He turned to Charles. "How's it going Matlock?"

Charles looked him up and down. "And that coming from a sixty year old mobster, with a pinky ring." He looked over at Brenda. "The love of your life has arrived, so I will excuse myself."

Sonny laughed. "Thanks for reaffirming, what I've been telling her."

Charles left.

Brenda looked at Sonny, shook her head, and walked back over to her table. He followed her.

"I guess it's safe to assume that you two are over?"

"Yeah, he broke up with me, and it's your fault."

Sonny grinned. "I'll gladly accept credit for it."

Brenda shook her head. "That's not funny Sonny. And if you are wondering, I'm not happy about it."

"You will be, come over to my house tonight. I'll cook, and I'll make you happy."

"No."

"Why not? You're unattached, and so am I."

"Yeah, but there are still a lot of issues between us."

"We can fix them."

Brenda sighed. "I don't know. I've been jumping on and off, this merry go round with you, for awhile now. And it always ends bad."

Sonny grabbed her hand. "Maybe it won't this time."

Brenda shook her head. "I don't know if I want to take that chance again. Sonny, I need some time."

"Ok, take all the time you need. I'll wait for you."

"I don't want you to wait for me, because there may not be anything to wait for. "

"I want to."

Brenda stood up. "Well, I better get going, I'll be seeing you."

Sonny released her hand. "Ok." And then she was gone….

Later that night, Brenda was in bed. She was trying to go to sleep, but she couldn't. She couldn't stop thinking about Charles, and how he just broke things off. It actually bothered her. And it was odd, not having him around. He had been in her life for awhile now. At first as her friend, and then as her lover. She missed him, and had come to rely on him. And she just simply hated being rejected. He had not even called her, not once. She looked over at the clock, and spotted her keys. And not just her keys, but more specifically Charles' house key. (What if he has another woman with him?) Brenda quickly dismissed that idea, she didn't think he was seeing anyone, not that soon. She sat up, and looked at the keys again. (Don't do it, what if he rejects you?) She sighed, and leaned back. "Damn it, I'm going." She got out of bed, and went into her closet...

Brenda pulled up to Charles' apt building. She looked up, and saw that his light was off. What if he was not home? Brenda quickly dismissed that, when she saw his car. She parked and went inside. She pressed the button to the Penthouse floor. The elevator opened, and she got on. She stared at the numbers, as they lit up, one after the other. (This is crazy Brenda, have you turned into a stalker?) The door opened, and she just stood there. It was just about to close, when she rushed off. She walked down the hall to his apt. She made it to his door. (Ok, Brenda if you are going to do this, you have to project confidence, not weakness.). She stuck the key inside of the door, and turned the knob. She cautiously went in. It was dark. She closed and locked the door. (What if he shoots and kills me?) Brenda's heart was beating so fast. She walked up the stairs. His room door was open. She walked over to his bed, and looked down at him. He was sleeping. She started getting undressed. After removing her clothes, she got in the bed.

Charles felt a warm body, move on top of his. His eyes popped open. "Brenda? What….are….you doing here?"

She didn't say anything, she just started kissing his neck, and then she ran her tongue up his throat, kissing his chin, then finding his lips. Charles was so many things at that moment. He was shocked, turned on, and in no way was he going to make her stop. He grabbed the back of her head, and deepened the kiss. Brenda broke the kiss, and made a pathway down his body, flicking her tongue across his chest, dipping it in his navel, then finding his love. He moaned. Eventually she moved back up to his lips, positioned herself, and slid down onto him. She cried out, as she joined them. She moved slowly against him, as his hands guided her hips. Charles eventually took over, and pushed up against her, causing her to moan even louder, sending her over the edge. She buried her face into his neck, as he continued to make love to her. Eventually Charles increased his speed, until he grunted, and filled her with his love. Brenda collapsed onto him, burying her face into his neck. He reached down, and pulled the covers over them, as they both fell asleep...

It's the next morning, and Charles still couldn't believe what happened last night. He looked over at Brenda, who was lying on her stomach, still sleeping. She was the most beautiful woman, he'd ever seen. He looked out of the window, at that moment, so many things were running through his head. He grabbed his phone, and called his office. He asked his secretary to cancel all his appointments, he was taking the day off. After hanging up, he called and ordered breakfast. About thirty minutes later the food arrived. He walked back upstairs, with food in hand. He walked into the room, and found Brenda still sleeping. He sat the food on the nightstand. He kneeled, and rubbed her hair, kissing her shoulder. She moved, and her eyes open. "Hey."

He smiled. "Hey."

Brenda sat up, pulling the sheet with her. It was a terrible attempt at covering her body. Charles smiled. "Shy?"

"About last night...I'm sorry. I shouldn't have just barged in."

Charles laughed. "Did you hear me complaining?"

"No."

"And I guess it means, that you were missing me?"

"Yes, I was. I got use to having you around."

Charles handed her a t shirt, and he watched as she put it on. "Are you hungry?"

"A little."

"Well, let's eat."

They sat in the bed and ate their breakfast. Charles turned on the TV. He smiled. "Are you ready for a little stimulating cartoon conversation?"

"I'm ready, but don't you have to go work?"

"Not today."

She smiled. "You're off, on a weekday. Is a blizzard coming?"

Charles laughed. "I decided to take a day."

"Well, good for you. I guess I picked the right night to keep you up."

Charles smiled. "Or get me up."

Brenda grinned.

Charles and Brenda ate, and watched TV. There was still a lot tension between them. They were both looking at the television, but thinking of something else. Charles grabbed the remote, and turned off the television. "Let's talk."

He moved to middle of the bed, and she turned...facing him.

"We can't pretend like our issues aren't still here. You are not over your ex husband, and there lies the problem."

"Are we ever completely over anybody?"

"Yes you can get there. There are people in my past, that I still care for, but I don't want to be with them."

"I don't want to be with Sonny."

"Brenda, you say that so convincingly. But I don't think you really believe it."

"I do believe it, and it's the truth."

"But, yet you allowed him to kiss you?"

"I stopped him. And again, I didn't tell you, because I didn't want, what happened to happen, which is us to end."

"I didn't want it to end either"

"So, why did you do it?"

"Because I don't want to be wondering, if this is where you want to be."

"But it is where I want to be. I missed you terribly."

Charles smiled, and pulled her closer. He leaned over, and kissed her. "I missed you too. I just think you need to work through your issues."

"I don't have any issues."

"Yeah, you do. I'm talking to you as a friend. I think you should talk to someone."

"A shrink?"

"Yes."

"You think I'm crazy?"

"No, that's not what I'm saying."

Brenda moved away. "Ok, so now I'm crazy?"

"Brenda, I didn't say that. You are overreacting." He pulled her back over. "There is a reason, you keep going back. After everything you have told me, I can' believe you would even consider it. I think you need to talk to a neutral party, that's all I'm saying."

"I know me coming over here was crazy, but I don't need a shrink."

Charles could tell she was getting offended. "Ok, let's drop it. And for the record, I don't think you are crazy. I'm happy you came over." He smiled. "You can come over anytime you want. And to ease your mind, I saw a shrink a couple of times. Once when I was out cheating, and after my fiancée died. She made me go the first time, and it helped."

Brenda smiled. "Did the shrink tell you, what a creep you were being?"

He laughed. "Pretty much."

"Maybe you should go back, so they can tell you what a creep you are being to me."

"I'm not being a creep to you." He pulled her closer, wrapping her legs around his waist. At that moment, it started to rain. "I guess I picked the right day, to stay home."

Brenda grinned. "Now, we can't go anywhere. Whatever shall we do?"

Charles smiled. "I was thinking, I could pretend to be sleeping, and have you creep in, and well you know."

"No, I don't know."

"Better yet, how about a little role reversal?"

He pushed her back onto the bed. "Close your eyes." She closed them. He started kissing her neck. "Am I doing it right?"

She giggled. "Yes."

He moved up to her lips, and passionately kissed her. "Still ok?"

"Yes."

He moved down her body, taking her chest into his mouth. She moaned. He moved down her torso, kissing and sucking everything in his path. She ran her fingers through his hair. He kissed her inner thighs, and eventually kissed her….there.

"Am I still doing ok?"

"Hmmm….Mmmmm….." That was all the encouragement he needed…..and then he went to work…

The cool air blew through the room, as Brenda planted a kiss on Charles' neck. It was still raining, and the window in Charles' room was up, allowing the breeze to make its way throughout the room. Charles held her close. Brenda looked up. "At some point, we are going to have to get up."

"At some point."

She giggled, and buried her face into his neck. "Charles, I have to ask you a question?"

"Ask."

"Why did you just give up so easily?"

"It was not easy, but I'm not going to compete for you."

"I never wanted you too."

"But I could tell you were wrestling with your feelings, so I decided to make it easier for you."

"So, what is this?"

Charles looked at her and smiled. "This is just, you breaking into my apt, and sexually assaulting me."

Brenda grinned. "You let me."

"Why wouldn't I?"

"I don't know, I didn't think you wanted to have anything to do with me."

The smiled left his face. "Brenda, it's not that. I just don't want to be with you, when you are unsure."

"But you'll still have sex with me?"

"Wait a minute, you came here...in the middle of the night."

Brenda looked up at the ceiling. "I'm sorry, you're right."

He turned her face toward him. "Look, last night was good, and it showed me you care." He leaned down and kissed her. "Enough of the serious talk, let's see how many times we can make love, in a day."

She giggled, as he made his way down her body...

Brenda hugged Robin. "Hey, thanks for meeting me."

"Yeah, no problem"

"I wanted to know, if you could recommend a shrink, for me?"

"You?"

"Yes, me."

"Of course, but why?"

"I have some issues that I need to work through. And I need to talk to a neutral party."

"Ok."

"And as soon as possible."

"Ok, I'll see if I can get you an appointment."

"Thanks, just call me with the information. I know you're busy, so I'll let you get back to the business, of saving lives."

Brenda was about to leave, when Robin stopped her. "Brenda, is it something, I can help you with?"

"No, I already know how you feel."

"Sonny?"

Brenda smiled. "A little bit of everything."

"Ok. I'll send you the information."

"Thanks..."

Brenda was waiting on the elevator, when she heard her name. She turned and saw Sonny.

She sighed. (Why am I always running into him?) "Hello."

He walked up to her. "You here to see Robin?"

"Yes, what brings you by?" She looked him over. "You're not walking funny, so you couldn't have gotten yourself shot."

Sonny smiled. "Funny. No, I had to come and get my heart checked out."

Brenda's eyes got wide. "Why? Are you having chest pains?"

"No. It's broken, and missing you."

Brenda rolled her eyes, then pushed him. "That's not funny. I thought something was wrong with you."

"I'm sorry."

"No, you're not." The elevator door opened. Some people got off, and she got on. Sonny followed. She turned and looked at him. "Are you following me?"

"No, I'm actually leaving too. Am I not allowed, to ride the elevator with you?"

"It's a free country."

"Not that free, I can't touch you."

Brenda shook her head, then looked up at the numbers.

Sonny continued. "I miss you."

"Sonny stop it."

The elevator stopped, and a elderly lady got on. But that didn't shut Sonny up. "I can't Brenda, I miss you."

"Well, stop. When you had me, you didn't know what to do with me."

"I made some mistakes, but I've always loved you."

"Not the way I needed."

"You still love me, I can see it in your eyes."

"Sonny...shut up."

The lady spoke up. "Sweetheart, he seems sincere. At least where I'm standing."

"Maam, you've only been on this elevator a couple of minutes, looks can be deceiving." She looked over at Sonny. "And from where I'm standing...it sounds like a broken record." The door opened, and she exits. Sonny follows.

Brenda walked out into the parking garage.

"Brenda, wait."

She stopped and turned. "Stop hitting on me, and meddling in my life. Look, I know things didn't work out with you and Kate, and I'm sorry. But I want things to work out with Charles."

"What, are you in love with him?"

"None of your business."

"Look, maybe you do care about him, but it can be like what we have."

Brenda rolled her eyes, and started back walking. Sonny didn't follow her, he knew she still loved him. And it was a matter of time, before she realized it too...

Part 2

Brenda was sitting in Kelly's drinking a cup of coffee, when Jax walked in. He didn't see her at first, but then he looked to his left, and smiled. He walked over. "Hello, Brenda."

"Hey."

Jax cautiously bends and paused. "Is it ok, to give you a hug?"

She smiled. "Of course." They hug, then Jax takes a seat. The waitress came over, and took his order.

"I didn't know if it was ok or not. The last time I saw you, I thought you were going bite my head off."

Brenda laughed. "I'd never do that."

"You gave a good impression of it."

"I was just upset. I'd just left Sonny, and I thought you were coming to say I told you so."

"I just wanted to see how you were, that was all."

The waitress returned with his coffee. He thanked her. "So, how is everything?"

"It's fine."

"Dating?"

Brenda laughed. "Just get right to it."

"I'm just curious."

"A little. What about you?"

"Nope, I don't have time. I'm in a custody battle with Carly, and it's taking up a lot of my time. If she wants to hang with hitmen and criminals, them that's her right. But Josslyn won't."

"Jason and Sonny would never intentionally, do anything to put her in danger."

"I'm sure they felt the same way about Michael."

Brenda sighed. "I guess you have a point."

"This is strictly to protect my child."

Brenda looked up at him. "Why did you marry her?"

"Why did you marry Sonny?

"Because I loved him."

"And I loved her, at one point anyway."

"You don't now?"

"I'll always care for her, but I'm done with it. You can only give someone so many chances."

Brenda instantly thought about Sonny. "Yeah, I know what you mean."

"Brenda? I need to ask you something?"

"Ask."

"Is Sonny trying to get back with you?"

Brenda grinned. "How did you know? Are you psychic?"

"No. It's just what he does. You get your life together, and you're happy, and then he has to have you again."

Brenda stared into her coffee cup. "Seems that way doesn't it?"

"Brenda, it is that way. I just hope you put a stop to it, and don't go back to him, not this time."

"Can we not talk about Sonny, show me some pictures of Josslyn."

"Ok, if that's what you want." Jax pulled out his phone, and started showing Brenda pictures, and telling her about each one. It was a welcome distraction to say the least….

It was late when Brenda, finally got home. It still felt so strange being home, and not having Charles there. She hadn't spoken to him all day. She didn't call, because she understood, that she needed to get things settled, before she moved on completely with him. But that didn't stop her from missing him. She showered, and was on her way down to the kitchen, when her doorbell rung. She looked at the time, it was after nine. She walked over to the door, and looked out the peephole, then smiled. She opened the door.

"Hello."

Charles smiled. He held a couple of bags up. "Hungry?"

"Actually I am."

She moved to the side, and allowed him entrance. He was still in his suit, which meant he just left the office. He walked in, and headed to the kitchen, with Brenda following. He started removing the food, from the bags.

"I didn't know what you wanted, so I bought a little of everything."

Brenda smiled. "I see. Thanks."

"No problem…"

They sat at the table and ate dinner together, and made small talk. After finishing dinner, Charles put all the stuff away. Brenda wanted him to stay, but she didn't know how to ask. They walked back into the living room. Charles stopped and turned. "Where am I sleeping?"

Brenda giggled. "Wherever you want?"

"With whomever I want?"

She stared into his dark eyes. "As long as it's me, I'm fine with it."

He leaned down and kissed her. "You didn't mind me coming over did you?"

"Do you hear me complaining?"

He smiled. She grabbed his hand, and walked over to the light, and turned it off. And then lead him upstairs…...

It's a beautiful summer day, in the city of Port Charles. Brenda should be outside enjoying it, but she is sitting in a doctor's office, discussing her life…..

Brenda sighed. "Where do I begin?"

"At the top. Tell me a little about your childhood."

"It was not great, but I can't complain too much. I grew up wealthy, but to me, money wasn't everything. I would have traded it all, for a real family. And after my father died, I could only depend on myself, and every since then, it has always been that way. I did have a surrogate family, and they were great, but wasn't the same."

"Do you have any blood relatives left?"

"My sister, but we aren't that close." Brenda continued giving the doctor a lot of background information, she had made it all the way through high school.

"How did you come to meet your ex husband?"

Brenda told the doctor all about how she met Sonny. "…..he was my first real love."

"What changed the relationship?"

"Well, I betrayed him. I did something that, at the time he thought was unforgivable."

"Cheating?"

"No, nothing like that." Brenda sighed. "Some things, I don't feel comfortable talking about."

"Just go into as much detail as you can."

"Ok. Well, I did the worse thing, that I could have ever done to him, and it caused him to lose trust in me, and then we broke up. It was a horrible break up."

"And you got back together, after that?"

Brenda shook her head. "Not over night." She went on to tell her, about Sonny marrying Lily, and how she chased after him.

"How did you feel, when he told you she was pregnant?"

"I was crushed, because I loved him so much." Tears fill her eyes. "I was devastated, but I accepted it, and moved on."

"With another man?"

Brenda went on to tell her about Jax, and how he came to be in her life. "…..and then I found out Sonny's wife died."

"And he wanted you back?"

"Yes, he was relentless. I tried to resist him, because I did love Jax, but I was still drawn to Sonny…." She told her, about leaving Jax for Sonny. "and I thought we finally had it all, but then he left me at the altar."

"He didn't show up?"

Brenda shook her head. "No. And the church was packed. I had a nervous breakdown, after that. But I got through it." She smiled. "Jax was there for me. And after awhile, we found our way back to each other." Brenda went on to tell her, about her fake death, and her life with Luis, and how she came back to Port Charles, reconnecting with Jax, and how her kiss with Sonny ruined it. "…..I never really looked at it from Jax's point of view. I was angry with him for a long time, but I understand. He just couldn't take the chance, that I would leave him again."

"Did you ever really love him?

"Jax?"

"Yes."

Brenda sighed. "More than I ever really knew. It's a shame because, I think if I would have stayed with him, things would have turned out differently…..in my life."

"But you don't know that Brenda."

"I do know that Jax was a good man. He didn't do anything, but love me. And I always treated him, like he was second best."

"Have you ever told him that?"

"No."

"Maybe you should. I'm not talking for reconciliation purposes, just as a sort of closure to the relationship."

"Yeah, because we have never really talked about it."

"You should talk about it. It will help."

"Yeah." Bell goes off.

Dr. Gibson closed her folder. "Well, that's our hour. I want to talk to you, about your marriage next time."

"Ok…."

After leaving the doctor's office, Brenda headed home. She was emotionally exhausted. She pulled up into the parking lot, and exited her vehicle. She was in the process of locking her car door, when she saw Jason pull up. She rolled her eyes, and started walking to the building. She walked inside, and pressed the button on the elevator. Jason walked up to her.

"Hello, Brenda."

"Jason."

He stood their staring at her. "Are you sick?"

She turned to him. "No, do I look sick?"

"I was just wondering." *silence* Jason stood there staring at her, but she kept looking straight ahead. "Why are you ignoring me?"

"Not ignoring you. I just don't feel like talking." The door to the elevator opened, and they got on.

Jason pressed the button. "That's a first. Are you ok?"

"Yes. I've been seeing a shrink, and I just left her office. So I don't feel like talking."

"Why?"

Brenda was shocked. "Why?" She smiled. "Aren't you the one, that's been calling me crazy for years? I took your advice, and decided to see a psychiatrist."

"I never thought you actually would. But seriously why are seeing a shrink?"

"I'm losing my mind."

Jason smiled. "You lost that a long time ago."

"Yeah, when I married you." The elevator door opened. Brenda started down the hall.

"Well, maybe I should make an appointment too."

She yelled back. "A shrink is not what you need! You need to go find a wizard, and ask for a brain."

Jason laughed, and headed into his apt….

"How did you two get back together, after all those years?"

"It just happened. It seemed like the years apart, made us realize just how special we were together. It was like coming full circle. We were older, and wiser, or so I thought. We had a quick engagement. Our wedding was beautiful, and the honeymoon was great."

"How long before the trouble started?"

"As soon as we came back from the honeymoon." Brenda told her about Carly, and how she was allowed to barge in. She also told her about, how the kids were off limits.

"How did that make you feel?"

"Not good. I felt like a guest in my own home. I was not treated like his wife. I didn't feel loved, I didn't feel anything. And I couldn't take it anymore, so I left."

"And he begged you to stay?"

"He was shocked more than anything. I don't know why. I guess I was supposed to just take it. It took me awhile, but I moved on."

"And now, he wants you back?"

"Yes."

"Do you want him back?"

"I still care a lot about him."

"But do you want him back?"

"I don't know."

"Brenda, just by listening to you, is it safe to assume, your greatest time together, was the beginning?"

"Beginning of our relationship?"

"Yes, when you were younger?"

"Yes it was, before the incident. It seems like, ever since then, it always ends bad."

"Meaning worse than the last time?"

"Exactly.

"What makes you think it will be different this time?"

"I don't even know, if there will be a this time."

"But you are thinking about it?"

"No, not really."

"I think in the back of your mind, you are wondering if it will be different this time."

Brenda remained silent.

Dr. Gibson continued. "Because when it is good, it is great."

Brenda smiled. "Yeah, it is."

"But, if ten percent is good and the rest is bad...is that ten percent worth it? That's a decision you're going to have to make."

"Yes, I know..."

Part 3

Brenda pulled up to Sonny's. She spotted the usual suspects, Max and Milo, standing outside. She shook her head. (Dumb and dumber.) She got out, and walked toward the house.

They smile. "Hello Mrs. C."

"Brenda is fine, and hello Max...hello Milo."

Milo stepped in front of Max. "You're looking quite lovely tonight."

She smiled. "Thanks Milo."

Max pushed him out of the way. "Simply breathtaking."

Brenda grinned. "Thanks Max."

Max opened the door for her. Brenda walked inside.

Milo pushed Max. "Don't push me."

"I should have punched you..."

Brenda walked into Sonny's living room. She looked up, and saw him coming down the stairs.

He smiled. "Hey, right on time." He hugged her. "You look nice."

She smiled. "And so do you, but you always keep it GQ."

"It's because I want you to stay interested."

She rolled her eyes. "You want more than me to stay interested."

He laughed and grabbed her hand, and they walk out onto the patio.

"This looks really nice."

"All for you."

She smiled. "You've always known, how to woo the ladies."

Sonny smiled. "You're not just a lady, and I'm not trying to woo you. I just want the opportunity to love you again."

They locked eyes for a moment, and then Brenda looked away. She walked over to the iron railing, and looked out into the garden.

"This garden is so beautiful, and calming."

Sonny walked over, and stood beside her. "It is..." All of a sudden, a breeze whipped through, and kissed their faces.

Brenda took a deep breath. "And it smells divinely."

"I use to catch you looking out that door, right there, all of the time."

"I was just marveling at how beautiful it was. It was hard to find beauty, in anything when I was living here. But I found it out here."

"Brenda…I don't know how many times I can apologize."

She looked over at him. "One sincere apology was enough." She sighed. "I think I need a drink."

He smiled. "You haven't said anything but a word."

She laughed. "This is definitely the place to come, if you need a drink."

He walked over to the table, and poured her a glass of champagne. He handed it to her. He also poured himself one...

Charles had just gotten off work, he had a long day. He was on his way home, when he spotted Brenda's car. He also saw Sonny's, which meant they were together. He spoke with her earlier, but she didn't mention that she was seeing Sonny. But at the same time, she didn't have to tell him anything. (Maybe, she has decided to give him another shot? Won't be the first time.) Charles continued on. Yes, it bothered him, but he couldn't make her want him. That still didn't stop him, from wanting her. He had fell for her, and he knew it was a risk. Especially based off her history with Sonny. He felt like maybe this time was different, but he guess not...

Brenda and Sonny ate dinner, and actually had a pleasant conversation. This is what she wanted, when they were married. He was so charming and funny. But wasn't he always, when he was trying to get her back?

After dinner they nibbled on chocolate covered strawberries, and drunk champagne.

Sonny picked one up, and offered it to her. She reluctantly took a bite. He finished it off.

He smiled. "Now, that one was especially good."

She grinned. "Why?"

"Because it touched your lips first."

Brenda laughed. "Some things never change."

"Whaat?"

"You flirting..."

"I'm not flirting." There was music playing in the background. Sonny stood up, and reached for her hand. "Let's dance."

Brenda stood up, and placed her hand into his.

They dance for awhile, Brenda thought about all the things she needed from him, but never got. She felt a tear slide down her cheek. She held him close. All her hopes and dreams, at one time, were tied to him. He looked down at her, and stopped dancing.

"Brenda, we can have it all again, just say the word."

She smiled. "Babe, when it's good, it's the best I ever had. I want you to know that."

"For me too." Sonny's eyes are on her. "We are good together."

"No we're not. It's just the good times, are so good, they can make you forget about the bad times."

"Sweetheart every relationship goes through bad times. Brenda, if we are going to move on, we have to let the past go."

"But I don't think I can." She sighed, and looked into his eyes. "There were moments when I enjoyed this…ride, but it's time for me to get off."

Sonny was shocked, he did not see this coming. "Brenda..." He intertwined his hand with hers. "I thought we were making an honest attempt."

Brenda wiped her face. "How many times, can we do this?"

"How ever many times, it takes for us to get it right."

"I don't think I can survive another round with you. I came here tonight, because I wanted to end on a good note. Truly end."

Sonny sighed and rubbed the back of his neck. He then looked into her eyes. "We've done this before. One of us has said goodbye, but we always find our way back."

"This time is different."

"All the other times were different too."

"Sonny, I don't see a future for us. It's never going to work because, I don't think you have ever really gotten over me wearing that wire."

"That happened a long time ago, and I forgave you."

"Maybe you did, but you never trusted me. Not with your children, and not enough to truly be your partner in life."

"Brenda, I know I wasn't the best husband, and I admitted I made a mistake."

"I'm not looking for another apology. I just want to move on, and I would love it, if you allowed me."

"But you love me, I know you do."

Brenda smiled, and caressed his face. "I'll always love you, always." She pulled her hand back. "But I'm in love with someone else."

"LA Law?"

"Charles."

"I don't believe that."

"It's true, I am. He makes me happy."

Sonny stared at her for a moment. "If you need space for awhile, I will give it to you. I told you, I will wait."

"Not for awhile Sonny, this is it. I was so broken when I left you, and it took me awhile to snap out of it. I cannot and will not, let any man treat me the way you did ever again. That period in time, ruined any chance that we could ever have, at being together."

"But Sweetheart, we did have some good times."

"Yeah, but it stopped at the honeymoon."

"I don't understand how you can just forget, about all this history we have together."

"Yes, we have history. But honestly can you say it was always great?"

"Nothing is always great."

"I know, but when it was bad, it was bad."

He grabbed her hand. "We love hard, that's all."

She looked into his eyes. "I'm tired Sonny. I just don't want this anymore."

"You're just scared."

"No, I'm not scared. I'm just….done."

At that moment, he saw something in her eyes, and it made him sad. He knew she meant it. He sighed, and released her hand. "I guess it's my fault."

"It doesn't matter at this point, it just the way things have to be. I just want to be happy. And it never lasts with you. And I know you'll be fine, life has always continued for you. And it has for me too."

"But it is never the same, when you are not in it."

"It's just the way it has to be." *silence* "Well, I think I better be going. Goodbye Sonny." And then she was gone…..

Brenda walked out of the door, and right passed Milo and Max.

Max smiled. "Did you have a nice dinner?"

Brenda smiled. "Yes, thank you."

"Are you two getting back together?"

"Maybe in another lifetime." They watched as she got into her car, and drove off…..

On the way home, Brenda stopped by Kelly's to get some coffee. She walked in, and saw Jax sitting at one of the tables. She walked over and sat down. "This must be your new hang out."

Jax looked up. "Brenda, hello."

She smiled. "Hi." She could tell something was bothering him. "Are you ok?"

"This custody case, is wearing me down. Between your ex husband, and my ex wife, they are driving me insane."

"I'm sorry."

He looked her over. "You look nice."

"Thanks."

"Date?"

"No."

"Business?"

She grinned, then sighed. "I was with Sonny."

The smile left his face. "I'll keep my comments to myself." Jax started tapping his hand on the table. "Sorry, I can't…Brenda don't let him suck you back in again."

She grabbed his hand. "He's not, it's over."

"I'm sorry but I've heard that one before."

"I'm serious. I met with him, and asked him to just let me be. I am done with that chapter of my life."

Jax's blue eyes are on her. He wanted to believe her, but he couldn't be sure if she was telling the truth, or just trying to convince herself.

"Jax, I know you don't believe that. And you more than anybody, has every right to feel that way. And I'm so happy I ran into you. I owe you an apology."

He looked confused. "An apology?'

"Yes, for the way I handled things, when we were together. You didn't deserve a lot of the things I put you through. You were, and are a good man. And I know you loved me."

Jax was taken off guard. "I…did Brenda, and I would have done anything for you."

She smiled. "I know." She looked away, and then back at him. He was looking directly at her. "And Jax, just in case I never get the chance to tell you, I did love you. I wasn't settling, I was with who I wanted to be with. I just made a stupid mistake on that pier."

"Brenda, I had ever intention of marrying you, but I just couldn't stop thinking about, what happened last time. And I apologize for offering you money, and making you feel the way I did. I will never forgive myself for treating you like that."

Brenda smiled. "Looking back, I think I should have taken the money. You know for pain and suffering. Maybe I should collect three million from Sonny." They both laugh.

*silence* "You know you should have been Josslyn's mom?"

Brenda looked down, and back up. "I should have been a lot of things." She sighed. "I guess everything happens for a reason."

Jax smiled. "I haven't come up with one yet?"

Brenda laughed, then looked at the time. "Well, I have to go."

"What about your coffee? Or whatever you came in here for."

"I changed my mind." She stood up. "I'll see you later."

He smiled. "Take care." He watched until she was out of sight. He never stopped loving her. Of course, he would never tell her that. She had moved on, and by the looks of things, she was going to be ok. And that was enough for him…

Brenda decided to go home first, before going over to Charles'. She had just managed to undress, when she heard her doorbell. She grabbed a robe, and headed downstairs. She looked out the peephole, and quickly opened the door. "Hey, I was just about to come over to your place."

"Were you?"

"Yeah. Are you just leaving the office?"

"No."

He walked passed her. She closed and locked the door, then walked over to him. She wrapped her arms around his neck, and kissed him. She grinned. "You taste like alcohol."

"I had a couple of drinks."

"Stressful day?"

"Kind of."

"Well, I'm going to have to cheer you up." She didn't give him time to respond, she jumped on him, wrapping her legs around his waist. "Ok, now take me upstairs, so you can get cheered up."

"Brenda, we need to talk."

She ran her tongue across his bottom lip. "We can talk later. Didn't you miss me?"

Charles stared into her eyes, but he didn't say anything.

She started kissing his neck. "Babe, what are you waiting on? Would you like me to beg?"

Charles sighed, then kissed her hard. He then mounted the stairs quickly.

He walked over to the bed, and fell onto it, with her still wrapped around his waist. She helped him out of his jacket, and then started unbuttoning his shirt.
After his shirt was off, she started hungrily kissing his chest. He let out a deep moan, and pulled the belt on her robe. It fell open. He pushed her back on the bed, and started kissing her all over. She moaned his name. Brenda felt his mouth on her. She cried out, and ran her fingers through his hair. She pulled him up, and reached for his belt. She stared into his eyes. "I want you so bad."

He finished getting undressed, and moved over her. They looked into each others eyes, as their bodies joined. Their lovemaking that night was so intense. Charles knew how to love a woman, but that night it was different. He took her to heights that she didn't even know she could reach. Her whole body was on fire, by the time they finished. Brenda didn't have any words, she just fell off into a deep sleep.

It's the next morning, and Brenda is just waking up. She looked over and saw Charles standing by the window. She stretched. "Babe, come back to bed."

He walked back over, and got in beside her. She planted a kiss on his chest. She looked up at him. "Are you ok?"

"Yeah, I'm fine."

"Are you sure? You don't look ok."

Charles sat up, and looked down at her. "I know I made the choice to end things."

Brenda smiled. "Having a change of heart?"

Charles continued. "Brenda, it wasn't because I didn't care for you."

The smile left her face. "I know."

"I just didn't want to get caught up, in a tug a war with your ex husband."

"It was not like that, not for me. I'm done with Sonny."

Charles looked at her. "I find that hard to believe."

She sat up. "Why? I've been spending a lot of time with you, not him."

"Brenda, don't play games with me."

"I'm not."

Charles looked into her eyes, then got up, and walked over to the window. She was so confused, and had no idea what he was talking about. He turned and looked over at her. "Where were you last night?"

"Here with you. Or have you forgotten?"

"Before that."

"I had dinner with..….Sonny. But wait did you already know that?"

He didn't say anything.

Brenda sighed and nodded. "But you already knew that."

"Yeah, I saw your car on the way home yesterday."

"Why didn't you say anything last night?"

"I tried."

"That's what you wanted to talk to me about?"

He nodded. "Look, I know it's your business, and I know I ended things….but….it bothered me."

Brenda got out of bed, and pulled on his shirt. She walked over to him. "It shouldn't have. I just needed to talk to him, in a calm setting. No screaming, I just needed to make some things clear."

"That you are seeing both of us?"

"Ch-"

Charles interrupts. "Look Brenda, I don't think I want to share you, or be with you knowing you are seeing other people. We should just make a clean break."

"You already broke up with me, you can't do it twice."

"You know what I mean."

"Charles, how do you feel about me?"

"I have deep feelings for you."

"But how deep do those feelings go?"

"No the question is, how deep does your feelings go?"

"You should already know how I feel about you."

"I should, but I don't. I know you like being intimate with me, that I do know. I guess old man pinky ring, was slacking in that department."

"I haven't been with Sonny in a very long time."

"How long is long?"

"Look, I'm not going to lie to you. We were together, New Year's night."

Charles nodded. "Before us."

"Yes, and it was a mistake. I had a little bit too much to drink, I thought you were at the door, but it was him. One thing lead to the other, and well…..but it meant nothing."

Charles shook his head. "Well, we were just friends, and he was still your husband at that time. I'm more concerned with now. Did you really end things with him last night?"

"There really wasn't anything to end. Him showing up in Paris, was his idea, not mine. He found out through Robin, and decided that he would come too. Nothing happened. Yes, he kissed me, and then I put him out. End of story."

"Brenda, you have a lot of history with him."

"Yes, a little good, and a lot of bad. Look Charles, yes….I have history with him, I can't erase that. But a lot of it, happened when I was very young. And this last time, everything happened so fast. And I honestly thought we would finally make it work. We were older, and the mob wasn't an issue, seemed like everything should have been great. But it wasn't. You know, when he left me at the altar, it was because someone threatened my life. And believe it or not, as hurt as I was, and am by that, at the end of the day I understood. But this time around, he treated me badly….just because. And I can't, and will not ever forget that. And there is no way in hell, I can just go back to him, not after that. That killed whatever I once felt for him. I don't love him like I use to. I will always care for him, but it is over between us."

"Let's say I believe you, so where does this leave us?"

"Free to be. Without any inteference."

"Be what?"

"Be together. Charles, I want to be with you. I don't want to see you sometimes, I want to see you all the time. I want and need you in my life. I love how you love me. When I was younger, I couldn't appreciate this kind of love. I'm older, and I not only appreciate it, I want to hold on to it." She smiled. "And I know you have never told me, you love me, but I know you love me, because she show me. And that counts the most. Am I wrong?"

He looked into her eyes. "No."

She grabbed his hand. "We could be so good together."

"But Brenda, you have to really want it."

"I do. Babe, when I get lonely, or sad, anxious, or anything, it's your voice I want to hear. It's your face I want to see. It's your arms, I want wrapped around me. That night I came to your place, I was misssing you so much. You are my best friend. I don't feel like there is anything more important, than me in your life. I'm in love with you Charles. You are who I want, today, tomorrow, and everyday after that."

He leaned down and kissed her. "I love you, Brenda. I've loved you for a long time now."

She smiled. "I know."

Charles sighed. "I don't know how to tell you this, so I'll just tell you. I'm moving to LA."

"LA?"

" I can grow my practice out there."

The smile left her face. "Really?"

"Yes, really. And I was wondering, if I needed a to get a place with a his and her sink?"

Her eyes got wide. "What are you saying, or asking?"

"I want you to come with me. Be with me, live with me….love with me."

Tears filled her eyes. "Babe…..how long have you been thinking about this?"

"For awhile now."

"But you were trying to break up with me….again."

He smiled. "Bluff, I just wanted to see where your heart was. But it did bother me seeing your car at Sonny's, for a minute, I thought you were going back."

She smiled. "And leave my happy? I don't think so."

"Look Brenda, I know marriage is too soon-."

"Marriage?"

"Yes, I want you to be my wife one day, when it's right."

Brenda giggled.

Charles looked down at her. "What's so funny?"

"Nothing is funny, I'm just happy. Last time this year, I was so broken. I was stuck in a terrible situation. I just wanted out, and I never thought….a year later, God would bless me with somebody like you." Tears rolled down her cheeks.

He reached up, and wiped them away. "Brenda, I'm sorry you went through what you went through. But I feel you are where you are supposed to be, and so am I. I never thought I would love anyone again. But I do. I love you so much. There is nothing more important than you…in my life."

She grinned. "I know." He grabbed both sides of her face and kissed her.

He looked down at her. "The only lips I want to kiss…..for the rest of my life."

"Ditto…..."

They were married a year later. It was a fall wedding. Brenda had a special place in her heart, for that season. It signified change to her. She was leaving the old hurt and heartbreak behind, and accepting her new fate….happiness…

The End