Sequel: Breathless

There Are Still Rules To Break

"Welcome to the family."

Just as Patrice had pulled Amanda from the computer room, his phone went off. Seeing his brother’s name, Guillaume, flash across the screen, he picked up the call and dove into a quiet, French conversation. As he talked to his older brother, he kept his eyes on Amanda who walked slowly around his bedroom, the last room he had planned on showing her had he not been interrupted. When he disconnected the call and turned to Amanda with a small smile, she smiled back and moved toward him, wrapping her arms around his waist.

Leaning down, Patrice pressed a kiss to her forehead before saying, “That was my brother. My parents want us to come for dinner.”

Amanda tensed in his arms, staring up at him, “You told your parents I was here?”

Patrice laughed, “Of course I told them my girlfriend was coming for a visit. They really want to meet you.”

Amanda blushed, still not used to being called Patrice’s girlfriend. She felt the butterflies swarm in her stomach as Patrice hugged her tighter against his chest. She couldn’t help but feel nerves, though. She couldn’t help but feel like perfect Patrice’s presumably perfect brother and perfect parents would hate her. What was their son doing with a young, immature Boston girl? As if Patrice could read her mind, like always, he whispered into her ear, “They’re going to love you.” Amanda smiled up at him, feeling nearly a thousand percent more confident than she had just seconds before. Patrice had a way of doing that to her, she guessed.

Pulling away from him, she told him she was going to change. Patrice nodded, letting go of her hand as she headed toward the guest room. When she got to her bags, she let out a large sigh. She had no idea what to wear to dinner with Patrice’s parents, and she realized she needed help. “Uh, Patrice?” She called, laughing lightly at the five suitcases in front of her. Patrice appeared at the door a few seconds later, his plain white tee shirt in his hand, leaving him in his light wash, low rise jeans. Biting her lip and staring at his bare chest and torso, she had to really try to remember why she had called him in the first place.

“I told you, you packed too much.”

“Shut up, and help me pick something out.”

He laughed, looking at the open suitcases on the bed and shook his head, “It’s not anything fancy. It’s at my parents’ house, and it’ll just be them, my brother, and us.”

“Well,” Amanda started, nodding. “What are you wearing?”

Patrice shrugged, “A nicer pair of jeans and a shirt…” Amanda nodded, shoving him toward the door. He laughed, shaking his head as he closed the door behind him and went back to his own bedroom. Amanda sighed and took a deep breath before diving into her luggage and pulling out a suitable outfit. She pulled out a pair of dark wash skinny jeans, a pair of black flats, and a black, button-up short sleeved shirt. Deciding she wanted to freshen up, she took a quick shower, keeping her hair up un a bun on the top of her head, not wanting to get it wet.

Stepping back into the guest room with only a towel wrapped around her, she jumped when she saw Patrice sitting on the bed, a smirk on his face. Putting a hand to her chest, she glared at him, “You scared me!” Patrice laughed and mumbled an apology before standing up and moving toward Amanda. Gripping her at her waist, he pressed a kiss to her cheek. Amanda closed her eyes at the contact, but just as soon as his lips were there, they were gone. He left with her with a small smile, telling her he’d like to leave within a half an hour, but if she needed longer, she should take her time.

Smiling at his thoughtfulness as he left her again, she shook her head and turned to her clothes, quickly pulling on her under garments and jeans. Leaving her shirt on the bed, she quickly applied a thin layer of makeup and light blush before putting on some mascara. Finally pulling her shirt on, she buttoned it up and shook her hair out of the elastic holder. Smiling at her appearance, she decided not to bring a purse and left the guest room.

Patrice was in the living room watching TV when she found him. He grinned at her before standing up and grabbing her hand with his, “You look beautiful.” Amanda knew she was blushing as she smiled back at him, as she gave his hand a squeeze in recognition. They were outside and in the car in what seemed like seconds, and what seemed like mere minutes later, they were sitting in the driveway of a house smaller than Patrice’s but just as beautiful.

“This is it,” He told her, grinning her way. “My parents are going to love you, I promise.” Again, his words had a calming effect on her. Smiling back at him, she followed his actions and climbed out of the car. Walking around to the back of the house, Patrice led her through an open door, the smell of food immediately tickling her nose as she stepped into a den. The two men on the couch looked up at she and Patrice, and Amanda knew that these two men were Patrice’s brother and father. They looked so much alike.

“This must be Amanda!” Patrice’s father said, jumping off the couch and smiling down at the young girl who shyly stood at Patrice’s side. Her boyfriend gave her hand a light squeeze before letting go of her and nudging her forward. She found herself in a huge hug, making her smile as Patrice’s father squeezed her tightly. “We’ve heard so much about you, dear,” He said, smiling down at her as he put his hands on her shoulders.

“It’s nice to meet you, Mr. Bergeron,” She said quietly as she smiled up at him.

“Oh, please,” He started. “Gerard, Amanda. Call me Gerard.”

She nodded, smiling widely as Patrice’s brother stuck his hand out to her and he shot Patrice a look. Amanda couldn’t help but blush again; she knew the look. Guillaume, as she had been told to call him, approved of her, or her looks at least. She figured the Bergeron brothers must have had the same taste in women. She grinned when she felt Patrice’s arm wrap around her waist, leaning down to whisper to her, “Let’s go find my mother.”

If Amanda had thought Gerard and Guillaume’s welcomes were nice, they were nothing compared to Sylvie Bergeron’s. She stopped what she was doing as soon as Patrice pulled Amanda into the kitchen. She looked the Boston native up and down, glanced at Patrice, and grinned widely. “Welcome to the family, dear.” Her eyes widened as Sylvie pulled her into a tight hug. Welcome to the family?, she wanted to ask, but she didn’t. She smiled and thanked Sylvie before shooting a questioning look at Patrice, who only shrugged, his cheeks tinged with pinkness.

After a few minutes in the kitchen with Sylvie, Patrice pulled Amanda toward the stairway, “Want to see where I spent my childhood?” Amanda laughed and followed him up to his old bedroom, her eyes widening at the hockey posters, old hockey sticks, and trophies that decorated the room. “Typical,” She said, laughing, her eyes scanning over all the ‘boy’ things that were in every inch of the rather small room. They only had a few minutes in the room before they were called down for dinner. Pressing a kiss to her lips, Patrice again grabbed Amanda’s hand and led her to the dining room.

Dinner lasted only forty five minutes, but no one left he table for nearly three hours. Amanda found herself falling into easy conversation with all three members of Patrice’s family, much like she had with Patrice when they had first met. She talked about herself; her likes, her dislikes, her family, and her wishes for the future. All four members of the Bergeron family listened intently, Patrice holding her hand under the table as she spoke. It was when they asked her about her job that Amanda really opened up. She could talk about writing for forever it seemed.

“I’m a journalist for an online magazine now and I love it, but one day, I really want to write a book.”

It was something she hadn’t really told anyone else, not her closest friend (Olivia), not her family, and not even Patrice. It was something she had only begun to put much thought into even though it had been a lifelong dream of hers to be published. Now, with her steady job that allowed for the most possible free time, she realized that her dream could become a reality. Everyone at the table stared at her with wide eyes, especially Patrice, but their wide eyed faces turned to grinning faces as they nodded. Patrice looked at her with such intensity, silently telling her she could do whatever she wanted, and when she looked at his brother, his father, and his mother and they wore almost the same looks, she knew she was going to fit right into the Bergeron family.

“Dear, why don’t you help me clean up a bit, have some girl talk with me while the boys watch TV?” Sylvie asked as everyone finally stood from the dining room table. Amanda immediately agreed, not even glancing at Patrice as she picked up plates and carried them into the kitchen. She heard Patrice’s father and brother laugh, and she glanced back seeing the look of shock on her boyfriend’s face. “What?” She whispered, smiling at him, but Patrice shook his head, smiling back before following his brother and father into the living room.

“I must say, Amanda, I was apprehensive when Guillaume mentioned Patrice had starting seeing you, just because it came upon so soon, you know?”

She nodded, smiling at Sylvie, “It really did, Mrs. Ber - ” She stopped herself. “Sylvie. It seems like one moment I was interviewing him for the magazine, and the next… We were spending every possible second together.” As Amanda spoke, she seemed to get lost in her words and lost in her thoughts of how she had met Patrice. Her voice became airy and her eyes wandered off as the small smile stretched over her lips. Patrice’s mother, of course, noticed this. Grinning, she put a hand on Amanda’s shoulder and nodded her head toward Patrice, who stood leaning against the doorway to the kitchen. Amanda blushed and turned back to the dishes, but Sylvie shoved her away as Patrice pulled.

“Let’s go home,” was all Patrice said, wrapping his arms around her waist. Amanda nodded, said her goodbyes to Sylvie, Gerard, and Guillaume and let herself be let of the house. Home, Patrice had said. Little did he know that wherever he was, that was home to Amanda.
♠ ♠ ♠
For my bb, Amanda, as always.

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