What if you'd...
Set 5 years in the future. Danny and Alice are invited to a world wildlife convention. When they arrive they are greeted by a familiar face.
"You are absolutely sure you'll be fine?" Alice asked her sixteen year old daughter as she rushed around getting everyone she and Danny needed for their impending evening.
"Yes Mum, how many times do I have to say I will be fine?" Charlotte exclaimed, rolling her eyes. She'd agreed to babysit her younger brother Robert whilst her mother and Danny attended a World Wildlife Convention that was being held for the first time ever in Jo'burg. Her Mum was doing her usual panic and ask one hundred times if everyone was ok routine.
"Well just call if you have any problems and we'll-"
"Really enjoy ourselves." Danny cut in as he walked through causing Alice to stop mid sentence. He was wearing a navy blue suit with a crisp white shirt and black shoes; Alice felt herself swoon slightly as she noticed his tanned skin peeking out from the top of his shirt. "Alice honey, relax." He grinned, wrapping an arm around her.
"I know but I just worry..."
"It's your job." Danny grinned, "But Charlotte and Robert will be completely fine. Nomsa is here and Caroline is ambling about somewhere... and then Rosie's only a shout away."
"See!" Charlotte beamed, "Now go! Have fun!" She teased giving her Mum a hug, "We'll be completely fine."
"Ok... right, ok." Alice agreed squeezing her daughter's hands, "Robbie!" She called to which her own miniature Danny ran through, "We're going son."
Robert smiled his typically Danny smile before hugging both his parents tightly. He nodded at them both approvingly before shrugging. "Bye then." He said in a more 'Alice' like fashion before marching back into the front room to watch TV.
Danny laughed before saying bye to Charlotte and taking Alice's hand before she could add any more instructions to her already mile long list causing Charlotte to giggle slightly and shake her head as she watched Danny save her from her mother's motherly antics.
"Don't want to be around when those to get back... loved up or what?" Rosie chuckled as she wandered through the door, making her way directly to the fridge and grabbing a bottle of Savanna Dry.
"Depends." Charlotte shrugged, "Don't think either of them have thought this through..."
"Terry will be there. Wild Dogs Conservationist." Charlotte gestured on, "God, imagine if Mum had actually left."
"Aye..." Rosie sighed, "Place would be bloody peaceful!" She laughed, running off as Charlotte attempted to hit her with a magazine. Charlotte laughed herself before wandering over to where Robert was - with him around there'd never be peace for any of them!
"You look beautiful Mrs Trevanion." Danny told her seriously as he offered his arm to her, putting his hand over hers as she took it with a beaming grin.
"You don't look so bad yourself." Alice chuckled, kissing him gently. She was wearing a knee length bright red dress that reminded Danny of her fiery temper and passion. Her hair was flowing down her back in a natural wave and her intelligent blue eyes were outlined in smoky shades.
"Shall we?" Danny asked her, waiting for her affirmative before leading the way to the grand entrance where he quickly handed over their tickets to the usher.
Alice gasped slightly as they entered the hall in which everything was set. It was a grand yet somewhat modern affair with huge screens littering the historic building which they had just entered. A large bar stretched half way down the left side of the building with numerous bartenders making a variety of cocktails in the usual, fashionable way that involved a great deal of showing off. Small tables littered the entire hall, leaflets for the taking and computers showing off powerpoint presentations. Towards the bottom were a number of seats and tables, some small and some large with one huge stage with a large screen behind it. At present a band was blaring out some 90s music, a slideshow of animals flicking behind them.
"Can't say they've not gone all out." Danny commented as they both took a glass of champagne off a waiter who had eagerly offered them a glass on a silver plated tray.
"It's huge." Alice admitted, taking his hand and beginning to walk towards the first of the tables. "Who'd have thought it? Glamour and animals joining together as one!"
"Your dream." Danny laughed as they saw a presentation about elephant rehabilitation. Both smirked slightly, "Looks like there's an end to my talents..."
Alice said nothing but raised her eyebrows, a naughty yet cheeky smile rushing across her face causing Danny to quickly engage in conversation with the people on the stand, soon both Danny and Alice were talking avidly about their own projects. They continued to walk around, talking to various people about their projects. Bumping into old friends as they went.
As they made their way down, neither noticed the stand they were both approaching or who was stood there. They were consumed by each other, engaged in their own conversation exchanging secret yet meaningful smiles. Alice gripped her husbands hand even tighter as he complimented her once again on her looks before launching into yet another conversation about funding.
"We should try and get someone to invest in the lion breeding programme." Alice suggested, "I know how much it means to you."
"I'm useless at this schmoozing crap." Danny admitted.
Both Danny and Alice turned around, their hands still entwined tightly as they both stared at the man in front of them. Danny squeezed Alice's hand even tighter as memories flooded his mind as Alice stared open mouthed at him.
"Terry." Alice choked, squeezing Danny's hand. "How are you?"
"Yeh, great." Alice replied.
"I see you two got together." Terry stated, "Glad to see you're well Danny."
Danny nodded stiffly, "Still into Wild Dog Conservation?"
"Yes... I wasn't meant to come here but with Angela pregnant I had too. I'm glad I did. It's great to see you." Terry smiled, "I'm glad you're happy Alice."
"Likewise." Alice replied awkwardly.
"Wait!" Terry called before they could walk away, "How's Charlotte?"
"Fine except for being kept in babysitting." Alice chuckled, smiling dumbly at Danny who smirked back.
"Babysitting?" Terry asked.
"We have a son, Robert." Danny explained in a false politeness.
"Wow... congratulations." Terry stumbled over his words slightly as he looked between them. Everything he could have had rushing through his mind. He'd dreamt of being the father of this woman's child once of a day, but he'd picked work over her and now she belonged to another man. A man who worshipped the ground she walked on and a man who she was obviously devoted to.
"We're meant to be meeting Rik in five Alice." Danny murmured glancing at his watch. Alice nodded, smirking before turning back to Terry.
"We have to go, we're glad to see your happy. Bye Terry." Alice said before turning and walking away, leaving her past behind.
"See you!" Terry called.
"Hope not." Danny murmured causing Alice to laugh and rest her head on his shoulder as they made their way over to the tables. She loved him so much - jealously included!
Three hours later and Danny and Alice were sat in a small up-town cocktail bar in city centre.
"A Tom Collins for you madam." Danny beamed as he placed a cocktail in front of her, "And 'Sex on the beach' for me." Danny wiggled his eyebrows seductively as he sat down across from her.
"Hmm..." Alice laughed as she sipped at her own drink, "You can live in hope my dear."
"I don't need too." Danny laughed, "And it was massively untrue, I got one of their 'crazy cocktails' so if I'm utterly illiterate afterwards please remember it's the drink."
Alice said nothing simply raised her eyebrows. She leant back slightly, looking around the bar. She'd met Terry in a similar bar and he'd been a taboo subject all night.
"You know, seeing Terry it made me appreciate what I have." Alice commented, "It made me realise that I made the right decision."
"Seeing Terry made me ask what if..." Danny admitted, "What if you'd have left with him? What if the last ten years didn't happen? But more... it made me realise how lucky I am to have you and it made me realise how much I have to thank you for. I've been an idiot and made some stellar mistakes Alice but I'll always love you more than life itself."
Alice smiled a watery smile before taking his hands over the table, "I asked myself what if I didn't have you? I'm the lucky one Danny. I am the one who has all the thanking to do. When I left Terry, I never expected to be happy. I resigned myself to the fact that maybe I wasn't meant to fall in love or be happy with someone, then I met you and I realised, it was meant to be, but only with the right person - you." Alice told him sincerely, "You're an idiot eighty percent of the time Mr Trevanion, but you're the idiot I fell in love with and the idiot I married til death do us part."
"You make an insult so complimentary." Danny smiled, kissing one of her hands.
"You make a compliment so easily insulting." Alice retorted, "Now, are you going to ask me to dance?"
"Naturally Mrs Trevanion on the promise we head straight home after this dance." Danny smiled, downing the rest of his drink before standing and taking her hand.
"Why home?" Alice asked him as they made their way to the dance floor.
"I'm living in hope remember." He whispered in her ear as he leant down to wrap his arms around her tightly. Alice blushed bright red and immediately hid her face in his shoulder.
"It's all quiet." Danny commented, "Everyone is in bed."
"Ought we to be in bed too?" Alice asked as they stumbled up the stairs, leaning onto one another for support. Both had had a little too much to drink and Danny's killer cocktail had made him slightly unsteady.
"Sssh..." Danny laughed as they managed to make their way through the hall, "Don't wake them."
"Timid." Alice murmured opening the door and grabbing a fistful of his shirt, "Especially..." She said closing the door as soon as he was through it and pushing his backwards onto the bed, "For a man..." She continued leaning down and kissing him passionately, "living in hope."
"Forget hope, I'm living." Danny murmured, pulling her closer and rolling over as he kissed her passionately. And living he was... living the dream that was his life with his beautiful wife. Yes they had their arguments and the down moments but they also had their ups and amazing moments that made them forget every 'what if you'd' that could ever cloud their minds - and that's what made it love.