BGGM Entry 6: Wednesday, December 16, 2026
This is a work of fiction. Any names, places, characters, and happenings are solely products of the author’s imagination or fictitious retellings. Any likeness to actual events, locations, persons living or dead, is coincidental.
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A frown is on my face when I wake because the dream - the nightmare - I was having was just that disturbing and vivid. I dreamed I came back to Anson Valley, found one of my mother’s inventions in the basement of our old home, and I used it to travel to another world with Valentine… twice. No, not twice with my Valentine, but with someone I called #2. In #2’s reality, it was me who was missing and not my mother, and I was also a physicist.
Did I hit my head that hard when I wrecked, I ask myself but then I can’t remember whether that was part of the dream or not. I also can’t remember where I am or how I got here.
I hear a groan and feel a body shift underneath my head. I’m in someone’s lap, I realize, and I know automatically it’s Valentine’s muscled thighs that support my head. I also realize that it’s not his shifting body that woke me, but one body part. That part demands that I move out its way and give it some room so it can stand at its fully erect state.
Valentine’s body underneath me?
That was no dream at all. It’s all real. It all happened.
My nightmare wasn’t some strange and scary fantasy but my current reality.
I sit up slowly being careful not to wake him. Valentine groans again, shifts again, and doesn’t seem to notice that my weight is gone. I don’t bother trying to retrieve my overnight bag that’s still in the basement, I pick up my engagement ring that still sits on the table and find my clutch and phone that’s still in Valentine’s mudroom. Fifteen minutes later, I’m back at the cabin whose back door isn’t locked.
I instantly still, unsure if I should turn around and go back to Valentine’s cabin. But there’s no need to worry because when I cautiously step inside and make my way across the mudroom, I find my brother inside walking through the kitchen with only a towel on.
“Joseph, what the hell are you doing here?” I ask, and I realize I probably should’ve announced myself first. He whips around, making the contents of his bowl slosh out and onto the wood floor.
“Val said you were going to be gone for a few days,” Joseph says in explanation. “God, Chrissy, you scared the hell out of me. What are you doing here?”
“I don’t need to call before I show up, Joe. This is my house,” I say, liking the way that sounds. I then think about the fact that I wouldn’t be allowed to own this house on #2’s world since Valentine and I have been apart for more than five years. Overwhelming gratefulness for my world makes me not want to ever take anything for granted again.
I can’t and won’t take for granted that Valentine will always be there, waiting. There might not be a tomorrow for us so if I want to be with him then that time is now.
Life is too short, you never know what might happen, you never know who you might lose or where your life might lead. Saying I’ll put off what I want for some future date is crazy when what I want is right in front of me, available in the way I’ve always wanted it to be. And like I said before, I can pursue my career from anywhere, especially the costuming stuff. Only a couple of hours away are several movie studios, and more films are made in Georgia than in Hollywood these days.
“Again, why are you here?” I ask my brother.
Before he can answer another person wrapped in a towel emerges through the large square entryway of the kitchen. She sees me, but not really because she keeps going. She then does a double-take and screeches my name.
“Chrissy! Oh my God,” Kendall says putting her hand to her terrycloth-covered chest. “I thought you were with Beau. Val said you left town for a few days,” Kendall says. “You know that jerk refused to explain himself when I asked why he kissed you…” Kendall shakes her head and huffs out a breath. It’s a gesture that says she has no idea what got into Valentine. She emphasizes her exasperation by saying, “You might want to get on that divorce before things get any crazier.”
I guess it’s right of her to assume I went after Beau to explain that I didn’t know Valentine planned to kiss me in the middle of a busy night at Lana Lou’s. But that’s not where I had been, though it’s where I plan to go.
Not that I’m going to California to get him back. I’m going to confront Juliette and hopefully be back in time for mine and Joe’s birthday celebration my father has decided to hold. It’s only been minutes since I found out about the party my father is hosting for us. The message was there waiting when I returned and turned my phone on. What was weird about that was the fact that my father didn’t mention the kiss. More than twenty-four hours have passed since then, so I know someone has told him. By now he should be demanding an explanation for what happened but there’s nothing about that in the few messages he’s sent. He only asks that I meet with the party planner within the next twenty-four hours to discuss food and beverage options. The other text is asking if I’ve spoken to Gray Mason about the interview, and the third is regarding my mother’s things I said I’d take. He says someone will deliver them to me by the end of the week.
“Uhhhhh…” It’s a sound that’s part warning of a disclaimer and part sigh. “We’re not getting a divorce,” I say and then hurry past the couple, hoping neither of them will question me about the decision. No such luck. I hear footfalls behind me, and I know Kendall is hot on my heels, but I don’t stop until I get to the room Beau and I had been sharing before he left.
His neat piles of clothes, and perfectly placed grooming tools and products have all been removed, leaving behind my mess. My suitcase still sits open with clothes hanging out, and the bed is still unmade. I walk over to the bed, throw the phone on it, and set the ring on the nightstand. I then notice an envelope with my name written in neat and compact cursive writing. It’s Beau’s handwriting and I sigh knowing I’m not ready to read what he has to say. It can’t be good after seeing me and #2 kiss twice.
Knowing me well, Kendall enters the room, closes the door, but doesn’t even mention the letter I have in my hand. She removes it from my grip and sets it aside, and then leads me over to the bed.
“You’re here. Beau is gone. You’re not divorcing Valentine. Is that where you’ve been for the past day? Hiding out at Val’s?”
“No,” I say, “and you have to trust me when I say I can’t talk about where I was yet. I will talk to you when I can but not right now. Right now, I need to go back to California and begin the process of closing out my life there. I also need to talk to Beau and end things more amicably,” I say. It’s a lie but Kendall can’t know that yet. I’m not ready to tell her, or anyone else, the truth about what I found in my parents’ basement or what it does.
“I’m getting my best friend back full-time?” Kendall asks excitedly and I nod. “Oh my God, I can’t wait. Do you need me to go out to Cali with you? I can help you pack, I can do a little shopping, I can -”
“You know what…? Yes,” I say, interrupting. “How about we make a trip out of it? Maybe Joe can get a few days off after my father’s event. I know you’ve both been out to see me, but you’ve never been there at the same time,” I say, liking the idea more and more. It might be better if I take some time to think things through, decide on how to confront Beau or Juliette, maybe even Laurent. “I can wait until the new year since that’s what I planned in the first place.”
There’s a soft knock on the door before it opens. My brother pops his head inside to say, “Chrissy, your husband is downstairs, and he looks pissed.”
“Crap,” I utter as I rise to open the door wider. Joseph is no longer in a towel, he is dressed in jeans and a long-sleeved Anson Valley High School Football t-shirt which makes me think about the Joseph on the other world who was once a professional football player. I so badly want to tell him about it, at the moment deciding, I will tell both him and Kendall about that other version of them one day. “I sort of snuck out while he was still sleeping, and was planning to leave for California today… without him.”
“Damn baby sis. Never pegged you for the hit and run type,” Joseph exclaims, chuckling at his own joke. “But I guess one twin has to be the bad one. In our case that’s you.”
“Oh really?” I ask and then look pointedly at Kendall in her towel.
“Touché,” he says, chuckling harder. “Love makes you do strange things,” my brother adds. I want to gush over them and then tell my brother it’s okay to want to be happy with a person who makes you happy. Though, I’m almost positive he’s already starting to figure that out.
“Yep,” I agree. “Like moving back to Anson Valley to explore a relationship with the estranged husband no one knows you’re married to.”
“Whaaaaat,” Joseph says and then whistles. “I guess dad will be doubly flipping his shit because I’m going to ask Ripley for a divorce. I can’t turn off my feelings for Ken so I’m not.”
“Good for you,” I say.
“I’m taking Kendall to our birthday celebration as my date,” my brother adds proudly. “You should bring Val. I mean… people are already talking. You might as well give them something to talk about.”
I smile in agreement, but the truth is that the opinions of the people of Anson Valley are not my biggest concern. My biggest concern is why I ask, “Are you sure that’s a good idea? I love V, I really do, but this isn’t about us, it’s about him,” I say, referring to our father. “Our father wants to put on a show for his town and show them how well we turned out. I don’t know if bringing someone other than our significant others is going to go over well.”
“Maybe your father should just be happy that you’re happy,” I hear from behind Joseph. He steps out of the doorway to let Valentine in, and as soon as he does, Kendall gets up and leaves the room with my brother without saying another word.
“He should, right?” I say. I shake my head because I know I’m crying, and I have no idea why. I don’t know if it’s the stress of that other world finally catching up to me or the fact that this man is so good to me and I’m such a fuck up when it comes to relationships. He shouldn’t want to be with me, and he might not want to be with me if he knew what happened with #2.
“Chris…” Valentine says with pity as he sits where Kendall had just been sitting. He lifts a hand and cups the side of my face and his thumb brushes away moisture. “Talk to me. Tell me what happened over there.”
“I already told you what happened, V,” I say without hesitation and then shrug. “I guess I’m just a little overwhelmed. It’s all finally catching up to me.”
“Why’d you leave without waking me?” Valentine asks. “You were planning to go back to him without taking me with you,” he states.
It’s not a question, it’s an accusation.
“V…” I start ready to tell a lie. “Yes, I was going to do that. But then I changed my mind just as quickly as I made the decision to leave. You and #2 are right that I can’t just go out there demanding answers. I need a plan. I need more information. I need -”
“You need to give yourself a break. That’s why you came home. To celebrate your father’s career and to give yourself a break,” Valentine says, which is true. “Tell me what you need, Chris. Tell me how I can help.”
“Be my date for the birthday party my father is throwing for me and Joe,” I say, taking a page from my brother’s book and shaking my head for changing my mind so quickly.
Valentine chuckles. “Are you sure?”
I nod. “I am. Everyone in town already thinks you kissed me. Taking you as my date will explain why ‘you’ did that,” I say throwing up air quotes around the word ‘you’ since we both know that wasn’t him.
“I don’t like hearing about you kissing him,” Valentine proclaims and then tries his best to replace any memories of kissing #2 with his own passionate and thorough kiss.
He succeeds, ravishing my mouth until we are twisted within the blankets and sheets of the unmade bed. When we come up for air, Valentine has the letter from Beau in his hand.
“It’s from Beau,” I explain before he can ask.
Valentine takes the letter, folds it, and sticks it into the pocket of his gray sweatpants.
I don’t know if he means to distract me as he does this, but he does. I can’t seem to tear my eyes away from his manhood tenting his pants as he switches positions to access his pocket. Honestly, I have to get up off the bed not only because I feel slutty for even considering sex with Valentine after having sex with #2, but because Beau and I slept in this bed while he was here. We never had sex in this bed or in this house, but it just doesn’t feel right.
My love life has never been this interesting and active… and stressful.
“I’ll take this with me, so you won’t be tempted to read it,” Valentine says as I get up, take a long, deep, cleansing breath. I manage to push away some of the lust but have to bite the side of my cheek when I turn around and see him lying in the bed like he is supposed to be here… with me. “When you’re ready to read what he has to say you can ask me for it and I’ll give it to you.”
“I don’t think I’ll ever be ready to read a letter where someone tells me how bad of a person I am, but I know I’ll need to read it at some point… for closure,” I say, reluctantly removing my gaze from his body and settling it on his gorgeous face.
“As I said… it can wait until you’re ready,” Valentines states. “But what can’t and won’t wait is your stepdaughter. She is dying to make you her famous rainbow sprinkle pancakes,” Valentine says and then he reaches for my hand.
I’m a stepmother? I’m a stepmother… I’m still thinking about my new role as Valentine takes my hand, guiding me closer to where he sits on the bed. He laces our fingers and then pulls me closer. Once I’m standing in front of him he places his forehead against my belly where those butterflies are going crazy, fluttering their wings violently like they need to tell me how in love I am with this man. I already know. I have been since the last time I saw him. Those feelings have never gone anywhere. It feels like coming home when Valentine begins to guide one leg and then the other over his hips until I’m straddling him and he’s gripping my backside possessively.
“Welcome back, Mrs. Trudeau.”