She was compliant, allowing me to take charge, and that was a massive relief. Taking care of her was something I could do. I didn’t need much, just the assurance she wanted my help. Wanted me.
“I’ll always find you.” I picked her up and started walking down the long drive of Stonewell Court to where I’d parked outside of the gate. She closed her eyes and put her palm on my chest.
Right over my heart.
It always amazed me at how easy it was to carry her. I knew why. It was because she carried my heart with her wherever she went. My heart was in her hands, and carrying her was some form of self-preservation, maybe. Holding her, holding me up.
I couldn’t explain it, but I understood it. Made perfect sense to me.
I said it again. “I’ll always find you, Brynne.”
As soon as I got her back to Hallborough, Fred told me to take her upstairs to our room and put her into bed. She was asleep when I laid her down. She didn’t even wake up when I took off her shoes and tucked the blanket around her.
My baby looked awful. I’d never say that out loud, but she did. It didn’t mean she wasn’t still the most beautiful woman in the world, though. To me she was. My beautiful American girl.
Fred came around to the other side of the bed and pinched the skin on her arm a few times. He took her pulse from her neck and then her temperature at her ear. “She’s severely dehydrated with an elevated pulse. I’d like to stick her with an IV. She needs the fluids right away or she could be in trouble. Her body mass is low and she can’t afford to—”
“Can you do that here so she doesn’t have to go into hospital?”
“I can but I have to run ’round to the clinic to get what I need, and someone will have to monitor her the entire time.”
“I’ll do it.” I looked back at her sleeping, hoping she was having a good dream at least. She deserved that. “I’m not leaving her.”
“And what’s the verdict? Am I going to be an uncle or not?”
“I don’t know, Fred. She never said. We still don’t know . . .” I wanted to know so very badly, though.
As soon as Fred took off, I pulled back the covers to get her out of her jeans. I wanted her comfortable in this bed since she was going to be in it for a good while. Hell, yes she would! She’d get some rest if I had to tie her down to the f**king bed.
I’d found some soft leggings to exchange for the jeans, and a pair of fuzzy purple socks she liked to wear around at night. Brynne had beautiful feet and loved to have them rubbed. I’d seen her slather her feet with lotion in the evenings and then put on socks like this. She said it was why they were so soft.
I unbuttoned her jeans and pulled them off her long, sexy legs in one smooth swoop. Her blue knickers came with. I could see her body as I had seen it many, many times, so perfectly made and utterly captivating, but I didn’t think about sex right now. I stared at her belly, so flat and hollowed, and thought about what might be growing inside there instead.
Are we having a baby?
Brynne might be scared to death about the possibility, but if it was true, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind she would be a wonderful mother. My girl was brilliant at everything she did.
She moved her head restlessly on the pillow, but didn’t wake. The soft words I spoke at her ear were whispered and I hoped she could hear me somehow. Slipping on the leggings, I quickly followed with the socks, grateful just to have my hands on her skin in some kind of useful service.
Having her back safe was the most important thing; even so, a “Waterloo” directed at me for the second time in our relationship hadn’t been nice. But in the end I was glad she’d used it when she needed to. She’d even given me a little “I’m sorry” before typing the word in her text. I sighed. I knew Brynne was doing the best she could, and at least she was honest about telling me when she needed some space and a little time. I felt like I was being the only way I knew how to be. I didn’t know what I could do any differently.
Putting her into a loose T-shirt was a little more challenging. I settled for her Hendrix shirt because it was so soft and I wanted her to be as comfortable as possible. Grateful the closure of her bra was situated in the front, I popped it open to reveal her beautiful tits and thought they looked no different to me than before. Just perfection, is all. But looks can be deceiving, and I’d seen how she reacted when I touched them earlier. How in the motherfuck did I get her pregnant when she is so careful about her pills?
Despite everything, my dickhead c**k reacted at the sight of her naked flesh. I wanted to twist the damn thing off for getting us into this mess, but knew that was pointless. The only way to keep that f**ker away from her would be from inside my grave.
Which might be soon, from the speed at which we were traveling. By God, I could hardly keep up, and felt like I’d aged a year in the past twenty-four hours.
In a rush to finish dressing her, I lifted her off the bed gently to push the T-shirt over her head and down her back. I smoothed it over until her beautiful bare skin was covered up again.
I couldn’t resist kissing her on the forehead before tugging her arms through the sleeves. She never woke throughout the whole process, which did not soothe me one bit. I didn’t want her feeling sick, but needed to have her back. So very badly. I tried to keep my emotions in check but it wasn’t easy, especially when my Sleeping Beauty wasn’t going to awaken from her slumber just because I’d kissed her. So where did that leave me in this clusterfuck of a weekend? Fairy tales really are full of shit when you get right down to it.
As I pulled the blankets in to tuck around her, something fell off the foot of the bed with a muffled thud. Her phone? Most likely Brynne’s mobile, in the pocket of her jeans. I reached down to retrieve it off the floor and saw something else had slipped out of her pocket. It was just lying there in the bunched-up blue fabric. A white plastic stick with a purple cap on the end that foretold a portion of our future.
I knew what that white plastic stick was, but I still didn’t know its secret. The test indicator window was facing the floor.
I opened my eyes to find Ethan dozing in the comfortable chair next to the bed. He had his arms folded in tight and his long legs stretched out on the matching ottoman. He was so beautiful to me it almost hurt to look at him for very long. I was still amazed that he’d come to find me. How could he want this? How was it possible? Why wasn’t he running for the hills?