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“Stephan, you…”

“I knew you would eventually catch me.” He said calmly but I was enraged.

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“You lied to me the whole time. The whole time! This is what you really do?! Steal?! You’re just a thief!”

“I’m a good thief, very good at what I do. I’m not proud of it but it’s what I really do.” He said confidently. “All of this stuff, once I offload it, I’ll have enough to go straight and start my own business. Yes I lied to you about my job but… I never lied about my feelings for you.”

“Don’t give me that crap Stephan!” I shouted. “I’m a cop! I put away people like you. How long were you going to continue to lie to me?”

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“I was going to tell you the truth…”

“When? After you double crossed me? No one would suspect the husband of a detective so that’s why you married me, is that why…?”

“NO!” he shouted. “I love you Dani! I only lied to protect us…”

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“You lied to protect yourself Stephan!” I started crying, unable to hold back the tears. “I don’t even know who you are. You’ve ruined everything…” I ran upstairs as I had to get away. Stephan was close behind me and stopped me when I got to the top of the stairs.

“Stop!” he commanded and I surprised myself by following his order. “Let me explain. I had to lie because I wanted to be with you. When you told me at the bar that night about what you did, if I told you I was a criminal our relationship would have ended before it even began. And as time went on it became harder to tell the truth so I kept on lying. It was wrong but I fell so hard for you Danielle that I wanted to be a better man. I had one last heist with a team. We made a killing. That what you see down there is my cut and to avoid getting attention I’ve been offloading them piece by piece. That’s why I go out every night, I sell them to dealers. I’m telling the truth about going straight. I want a legitimate business but to do that I’ll need funds.”

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“You could’ve quit a long time ago, anonymously turn in the stolen goods and get a real job and save up for your business but no. You chose to remain in this life. You have no desire to go straight. You’re just lying to me again.”

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“I’m not lying again, I promise. This life is all I’ve ever known. My sister was a thief and so were my parents. Everyone I’ve ever known was a criminal so I became one too. But then I met you and realised that in order to have you in my life I need to change and I’m trying. I was completely wrong in not being honest with you from the start but give me another chance, please. For the sake of our marriage, for the sake of our baby girl… please Dani. Give me a second chance.”

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“I can’t…I just can’t…” He cut me off by grabbing me and kissing me so passionately that in that very moment I wanted so badly to forget everything I saw, everything I learned, and have my life go back to the way it was – living in blissful ignorance.

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But how could I do such a thing? What about my morals, my ethics? I knew it wasn’t right to forgive him. Not only did he lie to me, he committed crimes and he needed to pay for them. So, why did I smile at him like a school girl and nod when he asked me if I still loved him? Why did I agree to talk about this later at home instead of calling Chief Clay and reporting him right then and there?

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I got home and took a long, hot bath hoping to clear my head so I could understand what was wrong with me for letting my heart have more influence than my mind. He came to meet me in the bathroom and when I looked at him, it all became clear. It wasn’t about him or my love for him, it was about our baby. She was the reason why he was standing there in front of me instead of behind bars. I didn’t have the stomach to lock up the father of my child.

“Dani, my darling, I don’t know what to say or what to do to prove to you that I’ve changed, I want to change…”

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“You have to swear to me that you are completely out of that world. Do you understand?”

“Yes, I swear on my life that I’m done.”

“And you cannot lie to me again.”

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“I won’t, I promise.”

“And you cannot profit from your crimes. You’ll have to return the remaining items to the museum by the end of tomorrow. If you want to start a business you’ll have to do it legitimately.”

“But, how can I return it without giving myself up?”

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“You found a way to steal it without getting caught so I’m sure you’ll find a way to return it without getting caught as well.”

“You’re right. I’ll do it. I’ll make everything right, you’ll see. Thank you for understanding and for forgiving me…”

“You’re not forgiven yet.” I promised myself I wouldn’t cry but I couldn’t stop myself. “You broke my trust and it’ll take a lot for you to get it back. I love you Stephan but I love my baby more and she’s the only reason why I’m thinking about forgiving you but if anything like this happens again then it’s over! I can’t be with a criminal.”

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He looked at me solemnly before telling me he was going out to organise returning his stash. He even said he would donate to charity the money he made from the ones he sold earlier so he would have a clean slate. After he left I went straight to bed. It was an exhausting day and my back hurt more than usual. I was awakened by a sudden pain in my stomach which made me worried initially until I saw water pool around my legs on the floor and realised I had gone into labour.

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I went to the hospital by myself, calling Stephan to meet me there while I was on my way. I didn’t want to disturb Dad and my brothers. Plus I was sure they would want to come along with me since Stephan was not at home and in spite of everything I really wanted him to be the one there. It was his right as the father after all.

I had already changed into the hospital gown waiting for the doctor to come to see me when Stephan bolted through the doors of the maternity ward. For a while I was worried he wouldn’t make it and I was happy when he finally did.

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Unlike my mother and grandmother I chose to not have a painful, natural delivery at home. Natural labour my foot, as far as I was concerned. I had scheduled a C-section with my OBGYN Dr Selena Newcomb, who was the best in her field, not realising that it would actually become a necessity. Dr Newcomb said the baby was breech and in distress so she wasted little time getting me in the operating room to start the surgery.

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Stephan was not allowed in the operating room at first but somehow he managed to convince the nurses to let him enter so he could be there for me.

“You better take good care of my wife and baby, Doctor. They’re my life. If anything happens to them…”

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“I’ve been delivering babies for decades, young man.” She said very calmly as she continued working. “I’m very good at my job. Don’t worry, they’re in good hands.”

I felt no pain because of the anaesthetic but I was nervous about the procedure since the doctor said the baby was in distress. As I was lost in my thoughts I heard Stephan scream, “What the hell doc?!” The doctor had to move around some of my organs, which is a completely normal procedure during a C-section on Sims, in order for her to get to the baby.

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“It’s okay Stephan it’s a part of the procedure.”

He looked so freaked out it was kind of cute and funny seeing him that way. When I heard a short but strong cry followed by cooing I realised she was finally here. I couldn’t see her properly but I knew she was beautiful. Stephan looked like he wanted to cry as he stared at her happily. Dr Newcomb closed me back up and I couldn’t wait to hold her in my arms.

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I never knew what happiness truly was until I held my daughter in my arms for the first time. “Hey little cutie, so you must be the little scamp playing football in my belly all those months. Your mummy loves you so, so much.” She had Stephan’s light brown eyes and his smile. She was perfect! Stephan called her our precious gem so we thought it only fitting to give her the name Gemma.

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When we got home Dad couldn’t wait to hold her. “Oh Gemma, your grandpop is gonna spoil you rotten!” He so glad he was able to meet his first grandchild.

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Even Stephan didn’t want to put her down. He was such a doting father and seeing him care for Gemma reminded me of why I married him in the first place. Stephan was the kind of man who wanted to take care of things. I knew he would be a good father because of that way about him.

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A life of crime was all he knew since he was young. He later explained that he no longer shared a relationship with his sister because she didn’t approve of him giving it up to be with me. Ethan later asked me about what happened with Stephan at the house we tracked him to. I had to lie as I couldn’t tell Ethan the truth. I told him that Stephan lost his job and was afraid to tell me so he was buying time at a friend’s house. Stephan didn’t like that I made him look like a lazy coward but I very well couldn’t tell my family members that he was a thief. Unemployment explained everything, even why he stopped going out late at night for his meetings. He really was trying to do right by me and our family and after realising how much he gave up for me I decided to put it all in the past and move forward.

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I knew no one would understand. Even Stephan questioned why I forgave him so quickly. But I loved him. As pathetic as it might sound, I loved him so much that I forgave the unforgivable. If he really was having an affair it wouldn’t have hurt as much as finding out he lied about who he was and what he really did. But somehow I forgave him and was ready to move on. Was that so bad? Was it wrong to want our lives to go back to the way it was?

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