Chapter 30 - A Bridge Of Hope


Jay's heart sank as he absorbed Tim's somber words. The reality of the situation weighed heavily on his shoulders. It was clear that Tim's life as a gangster had left scars that ran deep, and his concerns for Aria's safety were genuine. But Jay couldn't give up so easily, he loved Aria with all his heart.

With a determined look in his eyes, Jay replied, "I appreciate your honesty, Tim, and I can't pretend to understand everything you've been through. But I also can't deny what I feel for Aria. I love her, and I want her to have a future filled with happiness, not just for us but for you too."

Tim regarded Jay with a mixture of surprise and contemplation. He had dealt with countless individuals in his line of work, but this young man's sincerity and love for his daughter touched something deep within him. Tim wore a small smile and remarked, "Youth, huh? I used to be as stubborn as you, and only Cicilia could handle me." Jay sat there, puzzled, and Tim clarified, "Ah, you didn't know, did you? She was my wife, Aria's mom." Jay nodded in understanding, prompting Tim to continue, "You're right," he conceded. "Aria deserves a better life than the one I've led. I'll do whatever it takes to be there for her on her special day."

Jay smiled, and Tim inquired, "By the way, you're asking me to attend my daughter's wedding, but have you already proposed to her? She didn't mention that to me or Cath."

Jay clarified, "No, actually, the main reason I reached out to you is that my parents have been arguing with me about my relationship with Aria, given your background. But I want to clear things up with my parents and you before I propose to Aria. I don't want her to be stressed by all this family drama."

Tim chuckled and remarked, "She's not going to like that. Aria doesn't appreciate being left out of the conversation and having decisions made for her."

Jay felt tense, but Tim reassured him, saying, "Don't worry, just explain everything honestly to her. She'll understand." Without realising a new understanding had formed between Jay and Tim.

As Jay left Tim's presence that day, he knew that their future remained uncertain, but he was determined to fight for the love he and Aria shared, even if it meant challenging the darkest aspects of their lives.

man and woman standing and touching foreheads during golden hour
man and woman standing and touching foreheads during golden hour

When Jay met Aria that evening, he found relief from the tension that had been building over the past few days, and happiness washed over him. He gazed deeply into her eyes, leaving Aria puzzled by his intense stare.

She finally asked, "What's going on?" Jay smiled, gently tucking a strand of her hair behind her ear, and replied, "Your smile and your beautiful face fill my heart with overflowing love."

Aria blushed and playfully responded, "Quit with the cheesy lines!"

Jay wrapped his arms around Aria's waist, drawing her nearer. Aria held Jay close in her embrace, and he gently kissed her forehead. As Aria closed her eyes, she savored the sensation of his kiss. With deep affection in his voice, Jay whispered, "You mean the world to me, my dear. I love you."

To be continued..

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Chapter 31: A Beautiful Illusion