Neither Ciara or Ben could sit still on the plane, all they could think about was soon they would be reunited with their daughter. They had so much time to make up for. Olivia was practically a year old now, so much could have changed but one thing never would: Ben and Ciara just wanted to give their daughter the best life possible.
As soon as the plane landed, Ciara and Ben made a b-line toward baggage claim, where Chelsea was supposed to meet them with Olivia. Ciara and Ben looked around but no sign of Max and Chelsea or Olivia.
Ben checked his watch, "Maybe we're early?" Ciara turned her head rapidly and sighed, "Our flight was 45 minutes delayed, Ben. What if something happened? What if-" Ciara's thoughts were interrupted by an unsteady child with black curls making her way toward the couple with Max and Chelsea not far behind. Ciara ran up to her daughter and lifted her up into her arms, spinning her around. "Olivia!" Tears poured down Ciara's face as she held her daughter close to her. Ciara splayed playful kisses all over Olivia as Olivia giggled.
Ben quickly caught up with his fiancée and the couple hugged their daughter together. Ciara rested her head on Ben's shoulder. Olivia was so much bigger than the last time they saw her. Ben took Olivia in his arms and Ciara gave her big sister a huge hug. Tears brimmed both of the Brady sisters's eyes.
Ciara pulled back and quietly said, "Thank you." Ciara sighed heavily, "For everything you've done, both of you." Ciara rested a hand on Max's forearm. Chelsea cleared her throat, "I, uh, I take this to mean you're free?" Ben nodded. "Has the real killer been caught?" Ben shook his head, "No-not exactly. My sister was found alive and well. Not coherent but clear that no murder or harm took place. So, I'm a free man. Free to be with the woman I love and free to be a father to my daughter." Ben kissed the side of Olivia's head and rested his forehead against it.
Ciara wrapped her sister in a tight hug, "I-I will never be able to thank you, Chelsea. For everything you've done." Ciara looked at Ben for a moment, "Keeping our secret." Chelsea smiled a small smile, "You're my sister. There isn't anything I wouldn't do for you… or Mon petite." Ben looked at the sisters in confusion, "Mon petite'?" Ciara chuckled, "When I was pregnant, Olivia was measuring on the smaller side so Chels started calling her Mon petite which means my little one. Before I knew Olivia's gender, we started calling her that and the name just stuck." Ben's face fell slightly, Chelsea cocked her head to the side ever so slightly, "What's wrong? I thought you'd be over the moon right now." Ben licked his lips, "I-I am. It's just… I-I don't even know my daughter's nickname or why she's called that." Ciara caressed Ben's cheek, "Baby, you will learn everything there is to learn about our little angel."
Ben bounced Olivia, "Chelsea, I-I can never thank you enough for everything you've done for my girls." snaking an arm around Ciara's waist. Tears threatened to fall down Chelsea's cheeks, "Jus-just take good care of them." Ben stiffened, "With my life." Ciara rested a hand on Ben's chest, "And he MEANS that, trust me."
Chelsea gave Ciara a tight hug before pulling back, "Call me. And don't be a stranger." Ciara shook her head, "I won't, believe me." Chelsea and Max walked away and Ciara took Olivia from Ben, "Let's get this little angel home, huh?" Ben nodded and stopped, "Wait." Ciara furrowed her eyebrows slightly, "Where IS home exactly?"
Ciara sighed, "Well, I was staying with my grandfather while trying to prove your innocence…" Ben tightly snaked an arm around Ciara's waist, "Have I thanked you for that?" Ciara chuckled, "Yes, Many, many times in fact." Ciara winked at Ben. "We'll go back to Salem, get a room at the Salem Inn, and… start planning our wedding."
Ben couldn't help the smile that came to his lips, "'Our wedding', I never thought it would happen." Ciara smiled, "I did. And looks like we waited just long enough to have this little lady be our flower girl." Ciara tickled her daughter.
Ciara and Ben sat down at a table in the Bistro with Olivia bouncing on Ben's lap. Ben's eyes nearly bugged out of his head when he saw Stefan walk by. "Stef-Stefan?!" Stefan turned around and greeted the couple. "Nice to see you two."
Ben stammered, "But-but, I-I thought you were-" Stefan finished, "Dead? Yeah turns out… what's that saying 'reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated'?" Ben just stared at Stefan and Stefan's eyes went to Olivia, "Looks like I'm not the only one whose life changed." Stefan lowered his voice, "I, uh, I heard about the murder rap." Ben shook his head, "Jordan's alive and well, not that I touched her anyway."
Stefan clapped his hands together once, "Well, I am back at DiMera, at the helm of my family's company, so your old job is yours if you want it." Ben stood up and handed Olivia Ciara. Ben pressed his lips together, "Than-thank you, but I will not be able to take my old residence at the gatehouse. Too small for us now."
Stefan nodded, "What if you moved into the mansion?" Ciara stood up putting Olivia down on her seat, "Really?" Stefan nodded, "Look, you're my best friend… only friend really, and plus, Arianna would LOVE a playmate. So, what do you say?" Stefan put his hand out and Ben looked at it, looked at Ciara who nodded slightly, and shook Stefan's hand, "Thanks, man." Stefan nodded, "I'll see you back at the mansion."
Ciara and Ben moved out of the Salem Inn and into the DiMera mansion. They still had their privacy and the ability to be a family, but it was nice to be among familiar people again. Ben walked into the living room and found Stefan sitting at the chess table. Ben sat down in front of him, "Did you get it?" Stefan nodded and pulled a ring box out of his jacket pocket. Ben opened the box and sighed happily, "It's perfect. Ciara deserves the perfect ring. Thanks for helping me with this, man." Stefan nodded, "I know how much you and Ciara have been through to be together."
Ben sighed, "Yeah, and I know you have done so much for me, for us, but I have one more thing to ask of you." Stefan eyed Ben curiously. Ben played with a chess piece nervously, "I-I wanted to ask if you would be my best man." Ben looked up at Stefan who had a huge grin on his face. "Of course." Stefan and Ben stood up.
Ben swallowed hard, "You're more than a boss or even a friend to me Stefan, you're like a brother." Stefan smiled, "You're like a brother to me too. And you and Ciara are getting married, right here in this living room." Ben looked at Stefan shocked, "A-are you serious?" Stefan nodded, "You stood here while I married Gabi and I know this property holds so many memories for you and Ciara. I mean your daughter was conceived here." Ben bashfully chuckled, "Yeah."
Ben was about to continue when he heard Ciara and Gabi's voices getting louder. Gabi was flipping through different bridal magazines and Ciara looked like her head was going to explode. Ben walked up to Ciara, "There's my FIANCEE." Ciara chuckled, "Baby."
Ben lead Ciara over to the couch, "I have something for you." Ciara sat down and Ben pulled the ring box out of his pocket. Ciara gasped, "Ben."
Ben got down on one knee, "When we got engaged, something was missing. I wasn't able to get you a ring like you deserved." Ciara caressed Ben's cheek, "I didn't need a fancy ring."
"But you deserve the whole world, babe." Ben opened the box and revealed the ring to Ciara. "I-I know it isn't a typical ring so let me explain. The left stone is Aquamarine, my birthstone. The right stone is Ruby, your birthstone. And the center stone is Emerald, Olivia's birthstone. And the stones in-between is Alexandrite, one of the June birthstones symbolizing when we met in June and it's actually considered an 'Emerald by day Ruby by night' stone making it all the more appropriate for us."
Ben looked up and Ciara was staring at Ben with her mouth gaped open. Ben's face fell, "Y-you don't like it." Ben clasped the ringbox shut and stood up, "I-I'm sorry, I should have gotten you something traditional. I-I just thought-"
Ben was cut off by Ciara standing up, grabbing his face, and kissing him. Ciara pulled away after a moment and shook Ben's face in her hands, "Ben, I love it. Anyone can buy or give any ol' diamond." Gabi scoffed, "Hey!" Ciara kept her attention on Ben, "But you literally told our love story through this ring. I am never taking it off, that is if you'll put it on me."
Ben smiled and opened the ringbox and slid the ring onto Ciara's finger. Ciara held her left hand up as tears pooled her eyes, "I love it." Ben smiled, "You do?" Ciara nodded, "Yeah, I do. Truly." Ciara rested her head on Ben's shoulder.
Ciara raised her head up and looked at Gabi, "Now, where were we?" Gabi looked at her pile, "We were discussing dresses and now we're onto venues." Ben pressed his lips together, "A-actually Stefan offered to let us get married here since this property holds so many memories for us." Ciara smiled, "I love it." Ben relaxed, "You do?"
Ciara nodded, "And I just want this to be simple. Just you and me, making it official." Ben sighed and hugged Ciara, "That's what I want too."
Gabi pulled Ciara's arm, "C'mon we have a dress fitting." Gabi pulled Ciara out of the room as Ciara mouthed 'help me' to Ben. Ben chuckled.