Note: This fic is a 'what if' scenario fic that was born from my over-active imagination. The story picks up right when Candy was waiting for Albert after the argument she had with Mrs. Gloria Bandog, the owner of the Magnolia Apartment, who just gave Candy an ultimatum to tell Albert to leave or face eviction.

Author's Note: I couldn't believe that I ended up writing my second fic while I haven't even finished my first one. The idea just kept on knocking on my head until I finally had it in writing. We'll see how this one will go. I hope you would find this as entertaining as the other one. For those who are still waiting for the next chapter of my other fic, I'm still working on it. I'm aiming to have it ready before end of March.

Disclaimer: I don't own Candy Candy manga and all the characters in it, but the talented Kyoko Mizuki does. This fic is a product of my own twisted imagination and inspired by Mizuki's masterpiece. If any of the plots, specific scenes, or dialogues appears to be similar to that from another fic or story, it is purely unintentional and coincidental. 'Great minds think alike', after all.

The characterization in the fic is based on the Manga and not the Anime.

Acknowledgement: As always, my heartfelt gratitude goes to my beta readers.

Ninety Days

Day 0

By forever

What if Albert was not able to leave Candy as he intended to?

What impact would this have on his relationship with Candy?

Would he still be able to keep his secrets?

What could ninety days bring for them?


Candy lifted her eyelids sluggishly as a big yawn escaped her mouth. It was still dark. What time was it? She must have fallen asleep while waiting for Albert. Albert… Where is he? Is he back yet? She was about to raise her head when she heard footsteps followed by the sound of the door being opened. Instead of rousing from her sleep, in reflex, she hurriedly closed her eyes and pretended to be sleeping soundly. Why am I doing this? I should probably just wake up now that he is here. While she continued having an internal dialogue, Albert had noticed her presence, and instantly, he stood still by the threshold, waiting. Only after he ascertained that she was asleep, he stepped inside, pulling the door behind him to shut gently.

She fought the urge to open her eyes when she felt the draft of air against her as he moved past her. She wondered why he had not approached her at all as she had expected. There was no way he could have missed seeing her. She couldn't help but feel that his behavior was rather peculiar. With that thought in the back of her mind, she decided to wait and see what he would do next. Shutting her eyes tightly, she trained her body to maintain the current position while her ears strained to catch any noise.

He padded carefully in the dark to cross the living area, trying to be as quiet as possible, and headed straight for the bedroom. When she heard a creaking sound from another door being opened, she knew right away where he had gone.

He rushed to pack his belongings that were only a few and grabbed a blanket before he moved toward the door. He stood with his back facing the door as he scanned the small space. He would miss the cozy bedroom and the bunk bed that he had shared with her. The times spent in the small apartment had brought nothing but joy to him. However, he could no longer delay his departure - he had caused enough troubles to her, especially after what he had witnessed earlier when he had unwittingly walked in on the heated argument between her and the landlady. He was deeply touched by her unwavering loyalty to protect him, but at the same time he felt ashamed thinking that he might have taken advantage of her kindness too far. He was supposed to be the one that protected her not the other way around. But, once he left her, he could go back to assume his place as her guardian and watched her from afar. That thought calmed his nerves and convinced him that he was doing the right thing. He turned toward the door and reached for the handle.

It had become harder and harder for her to stay still like a log while her muscles began to complain due to the strain. She probably should stop her act now and moved to the bedroom. But before she could do anything, the sound of the door being swung open alerted her and caused her to remain motionless. Is he going to wake me up now?

After turning off the light, he closed the door gently behind him and approached her hunched form with her head propping on the table. Standing by her side, he shook his head. The exhaustion must have caused her to fall asleep still wearing her winter coat. How could she be so careless sleeping outside when it was freezing cold? Is she waiting for me? Guilt suddenly overcame him as he realized that there was a high possibility that he might be the reason for her to be out here. The desire to take her into his arms and carry her form to the bedroom was so strong, but he managed to subdue it by rationalizing that he could easily wake her up if he would have done that. He unfolded the blanket he had retrieved from the bedroom and laid it across her back to cover her.

As soon as the soft fabric fell on her, she felt warmer, and the corner of her lips lifted up into a smile against the material of her winter jacket. But the smile was wiped away instantly as questions started to fill her mind. Is he going to just let me sleep here? Why can't he just wake me up? She debated with herself again whether she should wake up now, but at the end, she decided to wait a little longer. She could sense that he was still hovering nearby.

Watching her quietly, a wistful smile formed on his face. Goodbye my sweet Candy. He bent forward to place the envelope, which contained the note that he had written earlier to explain his sudden absence and some paper money that would be of use to her, near her sleeping form on the table. Then, he turned on his heel to distance himself from the table.

She heard the sound of his footsteps moving further away.

He trudged toward the door and halted right in front of it. He peered over his shoulder to take one last glance at the place he had called home for more than a year. He didn't really want to leave, but it was clear that he had no other choice. His eyes drifted back to the figure lying fast asleep. He truly wanted to see her face one more time, but he knew that was just not possible. He would miss her shining emerald orbs and her bright beautiful smile immensely. He clenched his jaw to control the emotion that threatened to spill out and whirled his head back to face the door. His hand grasped the handle firmly as he realized once he stepped outside it was all over for him. This was it. The nice dream had finally ended.

As she heard the door handle being turned slowly, she felt her heart beating faster. She knew for sure that he had just opened the front door. What is he doing now? Is he going somewhere at this time? Her eyes flew open instantly, and she quickly straightened her back to sit up on her chair, the blanket slipping off from her shoulder onto the chair due to the sudden movement. She blinked several times to let her eyes adjust to the low light. Her sight immediately caught the small envelope lying on the table by the vase. She quickly raised her head to look forward at the front door and saw the silhouette of his tall figure against the ray of light coming from the partly opened door. "Albert - is that you? Where are you going? What time is it?"

Her voice made him freeze on his track as his heart ceased beating for a second. He twisted his neck to look over his shoulder. He thought he heard her voice, but that couldn't be right. His lips mumbled her name softly, "Candy…" Staring dumbly at a pair of round eyes looking at him from the darkness, he slowly came to his senses. "Candy!" he exclaimed loudly in surprise when he found her completely awake sitting erect on her seat.

She rose to her feet and approached him with quick steps. "Where are you going at this late hour? Are you leaving?" She fixed her eyes on his, a crease on her forehead marring her feature.

Her accusing tone pierced right into him as he stood there unmoving. "Candy - I..." He turned his head away from her as he felt at a loss due to the shock of being caught while guilt slowly gnawed at him.

Her eyes focused on the knapsack hanging over his shoulder, and just from that she could already conclude what his true intention was. "You are, huh? You are going to leave me. Why? You don't like living with me anymore? Is that it?" She couldn't hide the anguish in her voice as she was deeply hurt by him leaving without telling her.

"You know that is completely not true," he promptly corrected her.

"Then… why?" she inquired insistently.

He dropped his sack onto the floor and turned around to face her while taking a deep breath to diminish the growing anxiety in anticipation of a confrontation with her. "Candy - I… " He paused and pushed the door behind him with his shoulder to close it while he used his foot to move his belonging out of the way. They certainly did not want to attract the neighbors' attention with their voices, especially right now.

Once the door was completely shut, darkness prevailed in the small apartment. The only source of lighting was the stream of ambient light from outside passing through the glass window. He took a step closer toward her and started to speak in a clear voice, "Candy - I don't know what to tell you. But you are right. I am leaving. I will be forever grateful for everything that you have done for me. Without you, I don't know if I would even be here right now. But it is time for me to leave now. I've taken your compassion for granted and have been a burden to you all this time. I don't think I should stay here anymore."

She stood silently absorbing his words and surmised that there had to be something else. Suddenly, one idea that could be the only possible explanation for his departure surfaced in her mind, and it rolled out of her tongue in a form of a question, "Have you regained your memory completely?" She tried to focus on his face to observe the expression displayed there, but the poor lighting condition hampered her effort.

He had two seconds to decide whether he should tell her the truth or not, and he opted for the first. He heaved a sigh to gather his courage before he told her in a voice laden by guilt, "Yes… Actually, it happened several months ago. I'm sorry… I didn't tell you. I know I should have…" he trailed and was suddenly unsure how he should continue.

Her eyes met his. His answer didn't surprise her at all, and the reason why and for how long he had been keeping his full recovery a secret didn't matter as much right now. She was more worried about him leaving her now, and that was something that she knew she could not cope with. Tears threatened to spill out of her eyes as she was completely overtaken by emotions. "Please -" The word just slipped out of her mouth.

He waited for her to continue, but she just remained speechless, staring blankly. Her reaction concerned him deeply, and he wondered if he had done the best by telling her the truth. Not knowing what to do, he lifted his hand to touch her arm lightly. "Candy-"

"Please don't leave me now, Albert… Please… " she blurted abruptly as her hand grasped the hem of his jacket, clenching the material tightly.

Her emotional outburst caught him off guard, and he fought hard to not let her reaction waver him, "Candy… but I can't… " He swallowed the lump in his throat and fixed the tone of his voice. "You have done enough for me. I don't want to impose on you anymore. And I can't think of anything else but to leave and let you have your normal life back. That's the least I could do to repay your kindness and generosity."

She released her hold on his jacket and let out a melancholic chuckle. "You're unbelievable. What kindness and generosity are you talking about? You are my friend, and you were also a very sick person having experienced a memory loss. As a nurse, It was obviously my duty to care for you, and as a friend I just wanted to be there for you when you needed me the most just as you have done for me many times." She stopped briefly before she continued in a somber tone, "Albert - do you know that I owe you my life? That is so true. If you did not save me then, I don't think I will ever make it. And how many times have you consoled me and cheered me up? Don't you see? You have done a lot for me too, probably even more than I have ever done for you. But if you still insist you want to repay me, then the least you could do is to fulfill my wish and stay." She looked at him while a single teardrop trailed down her cheek.

He didn't know how to respond to her forthright request. "Candy…"

"Please, Albert… I know eventually you have to leave, but for now I just… I… I just really need you now," she choked back a sob, wiping her wet cheek with the sleeves of her coat.

As he watched her, his heart squeezed in pain. He loathed to see her crying, and he loathed it even more to know that he was the cause. "Candy…" Breathing a long sigh, he gathered her into his arms, and she drew herself closer to him, roping her arms tightly around his waist. She wept quietly against him while he patted her back gently to assuage her.

After a few moments of silence, he finally relented. "All right… I will stay… I will stay just a little longer for now."

Relief poured over her to hear the assurance straight from his mouth, and she could only burrow her head further into his chest, tightening her hold around him. To be in his embrace like this certainly felt like a déjà vu as her mind recalled a similar scene that happened about a year ago when she found him by the lake in the park after he had abandoned his room in the hospital.

He pushed her away from him slightly and held her firmly by the shoulder. She tilted her head up and met his eyes looking down at her. "But I have to be honest with you. At some point, I must leave. You know that I cannot stay with you for too long. I hope you understand," he told her in a serious tone.

The prospect of him leaving her for good was not something that she could readily accept - but what else could she do? So with a heavy heart, she nodded her head slowly and mumbled her answer, "I understand." Then, she quickly added, "But you will tell me, right? Please don't just walk away from me without saying goodbye."

His eyes softened as he perceived how much he had hurt her. "I'm sorry… I will not do that again… " he uttered in a remorseful tone. "I promise I will let you know." He patted her head lightly in an affectionate gesture.

"Thank you, Albert," she replied with a smile on her face.

Her smile dissolved quickly when she was reminded of the sole reason why she had waited for him, and frankly she wasn't sure how to best inform him without offending him. " But… Um…" she began hesitantly.

"What is it, Candy?" he asked with apparent concern in his voice.

She reluctantly continued, "There is one thing I have to tell you, though, and I don't really know how to explain this to you but… we have to find a new place soon. And-"

He raised his hand to interrupt her. "Say no more, Candy. I understand. Please, don't worry about it. I'll find a way. Will you trust me?"

She looked at him skeptically and thought she had missed something. But when her eyes caught the distinct arching of his lips in a kind smile she could only release a sigh of relief and moved her head slightly into a nod to reply to him. Then, the tender moment was ruined when a big yawn escaped her mouth as her sleepiness finally caught up with her.

He smiled ruefully and led her to move slowly toward the bedroom. They stopped their steps right before the door. "It's really late now. I'm sorry I kept you waiting for a while. You should go back to sleep now." He paused briefly before adding with a hint of humor in his voice, "On your bed, Candy, not on the table."

She half-chuckled. "Don't worry - that's not going to happen again. The table is definitely not a comfortable place for sleeping. How about you? Are you going to bed too?" Her hand gripped the handle on the door, turning it open.

"I will, in a little bit. Good night, Candy."

Candy stepped inside the room and glanced at him. "Good night, Albert." They exchanged one last smile before she closed the door completely. Inside the dark bedroom, she stood still and let her back fall against the door. She moved one hand to her chest and felt the thumping of her heartbeat against her palm. She had no credible reason to stop him from leaving, especially now when he was recovered completely. Yet, she had done it in a moment of panic. But why? And since when had she grown so attached to him that the thought of a separation tore at her heart painfully? She thought she had accepted the fact that he could leave her anytime as he had done in the past, and on top of that, she had prepared herself to be ready when the time came for her to be left alone again. But now when the time was finally here, she could not let him go. No, it was not just that - she had been desperate to make him stay. In addition, there was still the big mystery why he had kept mum about his recovery. What had been his motivation? All the different thoughts swirling inside her mind made her dizzy, and the fog of drowsiness that slowly blurred her mind did not help at all. She didn't know how long he would stay, but before he left, she would make sure that she would find the answers to her questions.

Meanwhile, inside the dark apartment, Albert moved toward the front door in a half-trance state. He picked up his backpack from the floor, carrying it over his shoulder, and plodded toward the table. After he let the bag drop onto the floor with a thud, he lowered himself onto one of the chairs. What have I done? He didn't know if he had made the right decision and hoped with all his heart that he would not regret it. His conscience told him that he would pay dearly for this. He shook his head at himself thinking how weak he was when it came to her. He had made that promise to himself to find her happiness and would surely do anything to accomplish that. When he had seen the tears in her eyes, he felt like he had failed and brought her pain instead of joy. He hated the tears that clouded her beautiful sparkling eyes, and if staying would make the tears go away, so be it, for now.

Albert knew for sure that he had to leave before the year ends. No - it would be even sooner than that. Due to the accident and his bout with amnesia, his formal introduction as the Patriarch of Andrew had been postponed for at least two years, and there was no way it could be deferred further. Since he had planned to move out of the apartment by tonight, he had informed George that he would return to Lakewood Estate tomorrow and stayed there until the date for the formal presentation, and following a direction from him, his assistant had delivered the news to Aunt Elroy. But things had changed again now as he obviously would not be able to leave for Lakewood anytime soon. He had to quickly devise a new plan that would allow him to delay his return without causing a major disturbance. It appeared that he might have to pay Aunt Elroy a visit after all tomorrow. It didn't seem that he had that many options as it became clear to him that he had to resort to the one thing he least wanted to do. But for Candy and for her happiness, he would do anything.

Candy... The guilt mixed with shame felt like tons of bricks falling right on top of him, crushing him down. She had been very trusting to him even to a point of being too gullible. And what had he done in return? He had done nothing but keeping secrets after secrets from her. At least, now she had been enlightened by the fact that he had recovered, but the other matters… He had no idea whether he should reveal anything at all to her, or whether he would be able to keep them hidden before the ninety days over, or whether he would be able to answer at all if she were to ask him. For now, he resolved that he would keep things as is. However, sooner or later, he would have to bring everything to light, and by then, he hoped that he would be ready.

Inadvertently, his eyes fell on the unopened envelope lying on the table. As his hand reached out to take the envelope, he suddenly remembered that he had left Pouppe with George since he had thought his visit to the apartment would be a quick one that he would be back shortly after collecting his belongings. Well, that certainly had changed. It was too late now, and he didn't want to cause anymore commotion. He would have to retrieve his pet skunk tomorrow. George surely didn't mind to have a fury animal to keep him company tonight.


Aunt Elroy tapped her fingers mechanically against the arm of the chair to suppress the rush of anxiety within her. She had been overjoyed earlier to find that her nephew had decided to grace her with his presence after his last visit, which dated back to about six months ago. But, instead of making her happiness complete by announcing his permanent return, he had come to bargain with her. She observed the face of her young nephew who sat right across from her with an impassive look on her face.

His voice was clear when he repeated his words, "Ninety days, aunt. That is all I ask from you."

"William - don't you think you have had more than enough leisure times that could last you a lifetime? What made you think I would grant your request this time?" Aunt Elroy asked in a challenging tone.

Albert had foreseen that it would not be an easy feat, but he was not willing to give up now. "Aunt - please forgive me again for my lack of wisdom driven by selfishness to leave London without notifying you or George, but as I mentioned to you before, it was never my intention to delay my return at that time. I was on a journey to return home when I was involved in an accident that left me seriously injured and caused me to experience a severe case of memory loss. I had no recollection of my identity. And if… " He caught himself before he disclosed to her about his whereabouts during the time he had gone missing - that was not something relevant that she needed to know for their discussion. He refocused his attention on the main purpose for his visit to the mansion. "I promise you that I will never repeat the same mistake again. But, please just allow me to make this one request, and this will be the last thing I would ever ask from you." His blue eyes shone with sincere gratitude.

After a moment of silence, Aunt Elroy finally said, "William - I'm glad you have acknowledged your past mistake and learned from it." She let out a long, audible sigh of resignation. "I just hope that you're not going to make me regret this." She passed him a stern look. "Very well, after ninety days you shall return and take your rightful position as the patriarch of this family. And I expect no less from you, William. Once you have returned… " She purposely let her sentence hang while passing him a look that conveyed to him that she wanted no compromise in the matter.

He knew right away what she expected him to do and finished for her in an affirmation, "I will fulfill whatever you wish me to do by then, aunt." As soon as he had said that, he shifted his focus away from her, his jaw tightening as he felt as if he had just relinquished his deed of life. He quelled the dreadful feelings that grew in the pit of his stomach when he thought about his bleak future. He didn't want to think about that now when there were still other matters he wanted to discuss with her. He would ensure that this time he had everything covered, and his aunt would not interfere whatsoever. "However…" he began as he brought his attention back to her.

Her eyebrow curved upward in a look that could only be described as half-amused, a faint smirk gracing her lips. "However?"

He continued, "I hope you understand if I include a few terms to our agreement."

What he had just told her did not faze her, and it was duly expected coming from her meticulous nephew - he had done something similar in the past. "I have raised you practically since you were born. Nothing you could do that would surprise me anymore. I don't see how adding conditions could harm me." She gestured with her hand. "Please, let me hear your terms."

He dismissed her failed attempt to humor him and immediately said in a serious tone, "Aunt - I hope that you will really honor our agreement this time and will not use any underhanded method to thwart it."

The transformation in her composed countenance was abrupt as she looked at him in bewilderment. "William-"

Gesturing with his hand, he interposed her right away, "Please, aunt, let me continue - I hope you are aware that I don't appreciate it when you treated me like a fugitive and sent your men to follow and spy after me." The hurt seeped through his voice, and she was clearly not oblivious to it.

She immediately explained, "Heavens! William - you know that was never my intention. I just wanted to ensure your safety-"

"Aunt - I truly appreciate your concern, but I hope you realize by now that I'm a capable adult that can take care after myself just fine," he uttered firmly.

She whirled her head sideways looking away from him in an act of dissension. Although she agreed that he had grown out of the callow teenage boy he had been before, she still could not condone his unorthodox way of thinking. Why was he so tenacious about preserving his freedom to a point that he had to disguise himself in the past just to escape from the highly qualified personnel who had been appointed by her to protect him? Did he even realize the devastating and widespread effect should something happen to him? Had he learn anything at all from his recent plight with the accident? She exhaled loudly in a disparaging fashion.

Albert disregarded her and carried on to state his proposed term, "So, please, during the ninety days period, you will not search for me or contract a third party to learn about me. And if it would be any consolation to you - I can inform you for sure that I'm not leaving the country." He paused briefly before adding, "And George should be able to inform you everything that you need to know - I will be in constant contact with him."

His last comment was somehow able to generate a semblance of calmness inside her. She moved her head slowly to face him. "Since you are alluding to the fact that George will have knowledge of your whereabouts, I can be rest assured that you would be fine. I accept the first term," she acquiesced.

He smiled gratefully at her. " Thank you, aunt. I truly appreciate that."

"Is there a second term?" asked Aunt Elroy carefully, hoping that there would not be, but knowing how whimsical her nephew could be, she could never be so sure.

He contemplated for a few seconds whether he should bring forward the other term before he decided to just forge ahead. "Yes, there is." He paused to gauge her reaction and saw nothing but her impenetrable mask that was firmly put back in place. "Within these ninety days, should I meet a woman that possesses all the attributes I desire to be my life partner, and she is willing to marry me - I will bring her back with me in my return and introduce her to you as my bride," he proclaimed.

Aunt Elroy nearly huffed in indignation as an expression of repugnance crossed her face. "William! Do you think I would just allow any woman to come into this family, let alone become the life companion for the patriarch of our family?" She threw him a critical look.

Albert replied promptly, "Aunt - if I were to find a woman that I deem worthy to be my wife, you can be assured I will not let her slip by. Please understand that I need to protect my best interest also, especially if I were to devote the rest of my life to serve this family. At the very least, I could have a caring and supportive wife that I truly love from the bottom of my heart."

"What if I refuse?" she ventured, her eyes searching his face.

Just as he had predicted, his aunt would not let an opportunity to defy him go by, but she would soon find out that he was not one to trifle with. He managed to pass her a polite smile. "If that is the case, then I'm afraid there will be no agreement between us. And with no agreement, I may disappear again and may even consider to voluntarily forsake my name and everything that comes with it. You know how I feel about name, position, and material possessions - they mean nothing to me, and I will gladly leave them behind me. And I'm sure you would not have any problem finding my replacement," Albert told her in a steady voice.

Aunt Elroy's dark eyes widened in disbelief after hearing his remark, and she countered him promptly, "Why are you so adamant to gain extra ninety days of freedom that seem to be so insignificant compared to the lifetime commitment you are willing to offer in return?"

He would not let her use her manipulative tactic to deter him. He rose from his seat and stood facing her. "The reason why is not of importance to you, aunt. But I'm sure you know very well I always keep my word," he said with total conviction while his eyes held hers in a steadfast gaze.

She narrowed her eyes at him. "Is that a threat, William?"

His lips twisted up slightly in a smile. "No - I'm merely stating a fact," he answered with ease.

Aunt Elroy acknowledged that her brilliant nephew had the upper hand this time, and he left her with no other choice. She wasn't too comfortable with his second term and could not dispel the thought that her nephew had someone in his mind already. But what could she do? She had neither the desire nor the strength to prove the validity of his words, and she absolutely could not afford to lose him now. Besides, it was only for ninety days. Glancing sideways, she scoffed. "You and Rosemary just cannot let me live peacefully." She focused her attention back on him. "Fine - I agree with your terms," she conceded before adding, "only for ninety days, William. And after that, you have to return." She paused and locked her eyes with his in an authoritarian gaze as she concluded, "Permanently."

Albert was too elated to worry about maintaining his composure as he approached her quickly, leaning toward her to drop a kiss on her cheek. "Thank you, aunt. This means a lot to me. I apologize I cannot stay long today since I have other matters that I need to attend. I have to take my leave now. I will surely see you in ninety days. In the mean time, please take care of yourself. With your permission." He made a swift bow and walked away with a confident gait to leave the room.

Once the door had been closed completely, Aunt Elroy released a long sigh and said in a pensive tone to the now empty room, "Take good care of yourself, William."

Albert walked in a hurried pace to exit the mansion, restraining the urge to sprint through the hallway and slide down the banister to express his excitement. He still couldn't believe what he had just accomplished. As he bounded the last three steps of the stairs, he lifted his eyes to see George strolling toward him. The last phase of his plan was almost complete now.

"Sir William-"

"George-" He signaled for his assistant to follow him. "Have you done what I asked you to do?" he asked as they headed toward the grand foyer.

"Yes, sir."George paused and fished something out from his jacket pocket. "Here are the keys, sir." George extended a hand toward him to present a set of keys linked to a metal loop.

They stopped their pace right before the door, and he took the keys from George, grasping them in his hand. "Thank you, George. I really appreciate your help on this."

"My pleasure, sir. If there is anything else I can help you with, please do not hesitate to let me know."

"That is all for now, George. Thank you."

With the keys in his hand, Albert passed through the front door stepping out of the mansion and advanced directly to his car. He unclenched his hand and looked at the set of keys lying on his palm as he chuckled lightly when he considered the absurd situation he had just placed himself into. He must have lost his mind to make such an outrageous agreement with his aunt, but he had nothing to lose. He had already accepted the fact that he would lead a life that would chain him to obligations and commitments and nothing else. Now, he was able to secure another ninety days of freedom, and even more amazingly, he would still be able to share that with Candy. His heartbeat suddenly accelerated as he thought what these ninety days could bring for him.

The truth was that it had not only been her words that had stopped him from leaving last night, but, more than anything, it had been her reaction and mannerism that had planted a new seed of hope within him. Was it really a seed of hope or was it only an illusion that had been conjured in his mind? Unfortunately, he was not sure himself. However, the ninety days should give him plenty of time to discover what was truly the answer. And that seed of hope, or what he presumed could be a seed of hope, had also prompted him to append the rather ludicrous second condition to his agreement with Aunt Elroy. What was he thinking? Aunt Elroy must have thought that he would be in a desperate quest for a bride during this period of ninety days. A rather inappropriate thought suddenly surfaced in his mind as he entertained the idea of seducing Candy to become his bride, but he quickly reprimanded himself for even allowing such an unwholesome thought to come to his mind, banishing the ridiculous idea completely.

He tossed the keys in the air and caught them right away in his hand before shoving them into his pants pocket. He then swung open the car door and scooted inside. He just wanted to go back to the apartment quickly as he couldn't wait to see Candy's face when he told her about the new place. And with the ninety days that he had now, Albert vouched that there would only be happy times, and then just maybe… maybe he didn't need to part from her at all in the end.

To Be Continued

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I would love to know what you think. Please send me your feedback. -forever-