I didn’t see how anything or anyone could dispute my logic. Yet again, it made perfect sense to me.
When I opened the bathroom door to come out, test in hand, Ethan was still there where I’d left him when I’d shut it on his smirking face. God love him for trying to tease me and make a stressful situation a little easier. If I had to read him, I would say he was handling the possibility of being a father very well.
Actually, he almost seemed to be hopeful I was pregnant. I wondered why, and could certainly tell that he and I weren’t in the same place in the head about this at all. Far from it. Ethan was a lot older. Eight years older. Years that made a significant difference when faced with the imminent possibilities of marriage and a family. Life was happening much too quickly and it terrified me. The only thing keeping me from going bat-shit crazy was his attitude about the whole situation that we could do this.
I still didn’t really see how it was possible for me to even be pregnant at all. I had some major questions for my doctor, I knew that much. Like how in the hell do birth control pills just not work when they are never missed and taken religiously for years?
He put his arm around me and started walking me and my pole back to the bed. “You waited for me right here?” I peeked up at him.
“Of course I did,” Ethan said, taking my chin and holding it up to meet his lips in a slow, deliberate and very wet kiss. I needed it. He always seemed to know when I needed affection and reassurance, and was very generous in doling it out.
I pressed the test into his hand and watched his eyes widen. “I want you to look at it first. You look and then tell me. It takes a few minutes to give a result.” My voice sounded about as fluttery as I felt.
He smiled down at me. “Okay. I can do that. But first, it’s back to bed for my girl.”
Ethan kissed me on the forehead first and then set the test on the bedside table and left it there. He put me in the bed, ditched his jeans again and crawled in next to me. He drew me close and arranged us just as we’d been before. I rested my head back on his chest and laid a palm over the hard muscles. I had a lot to say, but hardly knew where to start. Best to start with the most important piece of my speech.
“I love you so much.”
The instant I whispered the words, his whole body relaxed. I felt the hardness in him soften and I knew he had been waiting for that declaration from me, probably for a while, throughout the many hours of this day-slash-nightmare. I knew I couldn’t say the words as often and as easily as Ethan could, and did, and even though I tried to show him, I realized that I did hold out on him a little, and it wasn’t right for me to do that. I could try to make an effort for his sake.
“I love you t—”
I shushed him with my fingers over his lips and lifted my head up. “I know you do. You tell me all the time. You’re better than me at expressing your feelings, and I want you to know that I see it. I see it in how you take care of me and how you touch me and how you show me by being so solid and just . . . there for me.” I took in a deep breath.
“Brynne . . . it’s the only way I—”
“Please let me finish.” I pressed my fingers back over his lips. “I need to say this before we look at the test and I lose it completely, because I’m sure I will either way it reads.”
His blue eyes said so much, even though his mouth stayed closed. He kissed my fingers, which were still covering his lips, and waited for me to continue.
I took another big breath. “I ran away from you for the last time. I won’t hit you with a ‘Waterloo’ again. It was terrible to just take off like that and I’m very ashamed I was so weak and selfish. I acted like a child and I cannot even imagine what your family thinks of me right now. They must be praying I’m not pregnant, just sick with some horrible flu, because I’m sure they see me as a crazy American freak who is trying to trap you—”
“No. No, no, no, no, they don’t think that,” he interrupted, his lips finding mine and silencing my speech for good. He rolled me under him, very careful of my left wrist, stretching my arm up and out of reach of getting bumped. So very Ethan-ish of him. Taking charge of me in the only way he knew, and in the way that I needed him to. How did he always know?
He kissed me thoroughly, pinning beneath him and finding his way deep inside with his tongue, sweeping in a wide circle over and over around mine. I felt that glorious sensation of being invaded that came whenever we were together. His need to be inside me coupled with my need to have him there.
He lifted his head and held me under him, one hand propping his body up and the other holding my cheek. He had his serious face on now. “I know the truth, Brynne. I was there from day one with you, remember? I know how hard I had to work to get you.” He dipped his head and dragged his stubble up my neck to lick below my ear. “I wanted you then, just like I want you now, like I’ll always want you,” he whispered through nibbles and lip bites up my neck and across my throat, working his way back to my mouth so he could swallow me again.
I blossomed under his intimate caresses, finding my way to where I needed to be.
He pulled back, his beautiful, hard features over me, reflected in the shadows of the one lamp in the room. And right there in the early hours of the night, buried in the middle of an experience that had the power to change our lives forever, my Ethan spoke the most perfect words.
“I wish I could make love to you right now. Now. Before we know what it says . . . because it will change nothing that I feel in here . . . for you.” He picked up my right hand and laid it flat over his heart.
“Yes, please,” I managed before falling into a place somewhere so far into love with him it laid me bare. This thing with him and me was truly irreversible.
He rose up from me and sat back on his knees. His eyes were piercing blue, asking for permission because he was like that with me. Ethan knew what he wanted and would take it from me, but he needed to know I was willing.
I was. No words were exchanged because they weren’t necessary. Not really.
I slowly raised my other arm to match my left one and arched my back, offering myself to him in a way I know he loved. Submitting myself to his care and knowing he would take us to a place where we could be like that together in the way we understood so well.
He pulled off his T-shirt and tossed it. My eyes soaked in the cut abdominals and solid curves of his deltoids and biceps. I could stare at him for hours, but usually didn’t get nearly my fill of looking.