Here's To Another Year - Chapter Two
Published Aug 15, 2013

Written By



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Well, It's been a couple of weeks but I've finally finished. I'm sorry for the long-ish wait.I really do hope you enjoy. I was super pleased with all of the positive feedback from chapter one. I hope that this will please you all just as much.

Thank you SO much to the CC creators out there. You're troopers.

Please let me know what you think :)
And Happy Reading!

Well, It's been a couple of weeks but I've finally finished. I'm sorry for the long-ish wait.I really do hope you enjoy. I was super pleased with all of the positive feedback from chapter one. I hope that this will please you all just as much.

Thank you SO much to the CC creators out there. You're troopers.

Please let me know what you think :)
And Happy Reading!
... Two weeks later on a Saturday morning, Hanleigh awoke in her best friend’s bedroom. Today was the day she would visit her Doctor for the first time. Seeing how she was the only person who knew, asking Florence to go with her for support seemed to make sense. Hanleigh gave a long stretch, rubbing her eyes to adjust to the morning light.
“Good morning.” She said to herself, giving a faint smile. Birds chirped outside, trees blew in the oncoming autumn wind. It was a truly beautiful day.
Adjusting her sweater, she rose from the bed and walked out of the bedroom.
She walked across the hall, half asleep. Trying to wake herself up entirely. Hanleigh reached for the tooth brush she had left on the bathroom counter for herself the previous night, smearing tooth paste onto its bristles. She turned the sink on, ran the brush under cool water and began to brush her teeth.
Moments later she heard a knock on the door, followed by a swift entrance. Florence waved at her friend.
“I heard you brushing and figured you were at least half way decent.” She smiled. “Are you ready for your big day?”
Hanleigh spit out some of the overcrowding of minty foam from her mouth, and smiled.
“How could I not be? I hardly slept last night from the nerves.” She plunged the tooth brush back into her mouth and began in a circular motion.
“Honestly, I’m really excited too. I woke up sometime around four and couldn’t fall back asleep so I went for a jog.” Florence explained.
Hanleigh rinsed her mouth and tooth brush, placing it back onto the counter.
“Oh, is that what that smell is?” She joked. Florence winced.
“Oh, I’m sorry. Don’t mind me, I’m jumping into the shower really quick. You don’t need in do you?” She asked.
Hanleigh shook her head.
“No, I got in last night before bed. I’ll probably take one when I’m home later. But I am gonna change in your room. I’ll wait for you in the kitchen.” She said.
Florence waved from behind the shower curtain. “Gotcha.”
Hanleigh smiled at her friend. She grabbed her overnight bag from the floor and opened the door, leaving the room. As she removed articles of clothing, she noticed what was being revealed. Every day it was getting worse. There was no way she could hide this from Topher much longer. She stared at the large bulge that was her lower abdomen. Caressing her belly with her hands in disbelief that there was a human being growing inside of her.
“Crazy..” She whispered, gazing at her reflection in the mirror. But something ticked in her, causing her to quickly look away. She wanted this to be a happy moment, but knew that no secret such as this was fair to keep. These feelings of guilt and shame were taking her over.
In attempt to free her conscience, she rushed her clothes on and shot out of the bedroom door.
She sat at the kitchen table, staring into space. She’d been awake for a whole 45 minutes and was already a nervous wreck. There was a storm in her stomach, but she couldn’t tell if it was due to emotion or pregnancy. Minutes later, Florence walked out of the bathroom. With her came the smell of the perfume she had used since Hanleigh had met her. It was an aroma of orange blossoms, so sweet and perfect.
“Seven Sixteen.” Florence said, looking down at her phone.
“Fourteen minutes to leave?” Hanleigh asked.
“I think not. I’m starving, and you need to eat regardless of how you feel.” Florence said, reaching into the refrigerator and popping a couple of breakfast burritos onto a cooking sheet.
“Are you sure we won’t be late?” Hanleigh questioned with an expression of worry.
“We’ll be fine, just as long as we eat quickly.” Florence giggled, placing their breakfast in the oven.
The two chatted for what seemed like twenty minutes in Hanleigh’s opinion. Looking at the time, it had only been eight. Florence reached into the oven with her mit, and popped the two burritos onto plates, rushing them to the table. Hanleigh and Florence barely spoke as they scarfed down their burritos in a whirlwind of a rush. The sound of fork on plate and plate on fork filled and echoed on the kitchen walls. After coughing on a piece of her food, Florence cleared her throat and spoke up.
“See, I told you we’d make it. Two minutes to spare.” She smiled, pointing out the obvious. Hanleigh nodded.
They cleaned their plates. Even though Hanleigh did this not by choice, she knew that Florence would never let it go and the entire car ride would be miserable.
“Ready to go?” Hanleigh asked.
“Sure thing.” Florence pushed her chair in, grabbing the plates and tossing them into the kitchen sink.
Walking out the door in a rush, the girls got into the Florence’s car. “How are you feeling?” Florence asked, only five minutes into their half hour drive. Hanleigh’s stomach churned.
“I’ll manage. I think.” She responded in slight pain. They sat in silence for a brief moment.
“When do you think you’ll tell Topher?” Florence glanced between Hanleigh and the road. Noticing her red hair shining in the sun like flames. She sat in silence, not knowing how to answer her friend’s question. And then she broke.
“To be honest… I’m not sure. I thought about waiting until after the first ultrasound but I’m not sure how much longer I’m going to be able to keep this from him. I feel like such a liar and such a bad person. And I’m terrified that he’s going to walk in one day when I’m changing and freak out on me. And what do I do if he wants to get…intimate?” Hanleigh began to freak out. Florence placed a hand on her lap.
“Whoa.. Whoa. Calm yourself. I’m sorry for asking. It’ll all be okay, I promise. If you’re feeling all of those bad things about keeping this all in, you need to tell him. Like tonight, even.” Florence spoke in support.
They continued to drive, Hanleigh taking in deep breaths trying to prevent tears. Florence continued rubbing her friends leg, trying to comfort her.
“You’re right, though.” Hanleigh began, “I know I have to. I’m letting my own fears hold me back. Tonight has to be it. It just has to.”
Florence took her hand back, turning the wheel of the suv.
“I’m glad you understand.” Florence smiled. “When you go home later, text me and keep me updated. If you need me I’m only across town.” She winked at her friend.
“Thanks.” Hanleigh smiled and stared out the car window at her surroundings.
She spent the rest of the car ride drowning herself in impatience, nervousness, and worry. This was going to be the longest day of her life. Upon arrival at the Doctor’s Office, Hanleigh was required to check in with the front desk to let her Doctor know that she was present.
“Sign here, and here, and here.” The woman named Patricia at the front desk pointed out. Hanleigh was glad to. She rushed through the paperwork and went to sit down with Florence in the waiting area.
Florence sat, waiting for Hanleigh who was still at the front desk. While her friend was having issues, she was having her own. But it didn’t seem fair to pester Hanny when she was already going through so much.
The past couple of weeks had been so strange and frustrating. Ever since the night she had ran into Jance, she’d been having troubling dreams and thoughts involving him. The one person she couldn’t stand the very most in the world was on her mind like no other had ever been.
She stared out the window, thinking unpleasant thoughts. Why did he seem so bewildering in her sleep? So fascinating in her thoughts? But so completely awful in person. She was confused and angry at herself. Maybe she was becoming brain dead like the easy women who were so attracted to him.
Hanleigh sat down beside Florence, letting out a loud sigh. Florence flashed out of her pointless thought cirlces.
“You know, when this is over we can go for ice cream.” Florence joked, trying to lift Hanny’s spirits. She succeded, causing Hanleigh to give a light laugh.
“Thanks, Flor. I need some cheering up.” Hanleigh smiled

Page Twenty Five—
The door opened behind them, revealing a Doctor.
“Hanleigh Forrester?” The woman in a simple light blue scrub called out.
Hanleigh shot from her seat, as did Florence.
The door opened behind them, revealing a Doctor.
“Hanleigh Forrester?” The woman in a simple light blue scrub called out.
Hanleigh shot from her seat, as did Florence.
“Do you need me to come back with you, or are you okay on your own?” Florence asked, holding her friend’s arms with her warm hands. Hanleigh smiled, pleased at her friend’s supportive attitude.
“I think I’ll be fine, thanks. It means a lot that you asked.” She hugged Florence. Hanleigh released her friend and walked toward the Doctor.
“I’ll be waiting right here when you get out.” Florence slightly yelled out to her best friend. Hanleigh waved off to her.
The Doctor opened a door, showing Hanleigh the way in. Her heart was racing, and her palms were sweating.
“I’m Doctor Snowe, It’s nice to meet you.” She shook Hanleigh’s hand.
“It’s nice to meet you.” Hanleigh smiled awkwardly.
The doctor wiped her hand on her pants, removing Hanleigh’s sweat.
“You seem nervous.” Doctor Snowe smiled warmly. Hanleigh felt embarrassed that she had just sweat all over her Doctor’s hand.
“I’m so sorry.” Hanleigh covered her face with her hands. Doctor Snowe placed a hand on her patient’s shoulder.
“You are absolutely fine. There’s no need to apologize. Please, take a seat over here.” She motioned Hanleigh over to the examination table.
As Hanleigh sat, Doctor Snowe checked her vital signs. As she did, she moved back and forth between her patient and the computer, typing in the results.
“Everything seems to be perfect.” The Doctor said, taking a seat at her stool. “It says here that you think you’re pregnant, is that correct?” This question made Hanleigh’s heart skip a beat, causing her to shoot forward from her slouching position.
“That’s correct.” Her voice was shaking. Doctor Snowe raised from her stool again, pulling something out from a cabinet.
“Do you have any idea as to when the conception occurred?” She asked Hanleigh.
“I’m not sure.. But my guess is maybe three months ago? That’s the only time I can imagine that I had allowed something like this to happen.” She responded.
“Okay. I’m going to ask you to take this cup into the rest room so that I can get a urine sample.” The Doctor handed a small cup with a lid to Hanleigh.

When she returned, she sat back down on the examination table waiting for the Doctor to return to the room. It seemed like an hour before the door finally opened.
“Your results came back. You are definitely pregnant. Congratulations, Hanleigh.” Doctor Snowe said smiling. She placed her file down on the counter.
“Thank you.” Hanleigh let out weakly.
Doctor Snowe walked toward Hanleigh, removing some equipment from beside the examination table.
“Okay, Mommy. I need for you to lay down and lift your shirt so that your belly is exposed.” The Doctor said, putting a pair of latex gloves on.
Hanleigh laid down uncomfortably, staring at the ceiling. This whole day was not going to be easy. That much was obvious.
She lifted her shirt and felt a cold sensation on her stomach. This was followed by a smooth object rolling around every which way. The Doctor pressed in places, searching for the baby.
There was a thump, followed by several more quick thumps. Hanleigh froze. There was a warming sensation deep inside her, almost maternal. Tears began to form and her heart began to race.
“There you are.” Her voice cracked.
... Deep in the city, at a large penthouse in a jungle of high rise buildings, Jance slept. Recuperating from the previous night. His eyes opened and he realized he wasn’t at home. There were overly intrusive windows and a lack of privacy. He could see cars and people moving just outside the window beside him. Letting out a yawn and looking forward he realized where he was. He couldn’t remember the name of the woman before him. In fact he couldn’t remember the name of the past two weeks of woman he had gone through. Night after night was a party, and night after night was a new woman. That represented his life as of the past two weeks. He’d increased the party, as well as the women. Anything to take his mind off of his recent emotions. He sat forward on the bed in pain from the sunlight, staring out the window in front of him people watching for several minutes. Placing his face in his hands, he yawned once again. The woman beside him began to awake and removed herself from the bed. “Last night was crazy.” She said, fixing her hair. Jance sat with no response. Hungover and intolerant of noise he couldn’t stand anyone with vocal chords.
“Did you hear me?” She asked, walking towards him in a sultry manner.
He rose from the bed, searching the room for his clothes as she continued to walk closer toward him. This woman wasn’t giving up. “We could make it even more crazy.” She rubbed his chest, biting her lip. Jance wasn’t having it. He wanted to get out and go home pronto. He’d promised Topher they’d get together that afternoon to go boating on Jance’s new speed boat.
“It was fun, Love.” He pushed her aside, grabbing his clothes from the floor.
“Are you serious?” She shot out at him. He chuckled, buttoning his shirt.
“Quite.” He said, putting his sunglasses on. She watched him leave, dumbfounded. He left the woman’s apartment building and entered his newly purchased candy apple red Ferrari. When sobriety had finally settled in, his feelings came flooding forward. Florence’s face drowned his thoughts with feelings of longing and emotions he couldn’t keep forced down. This had never happened to him before. Ever. There had always been something for her deep down. But the moment they had crossed paths just weeks ago had solidified and hardened what was once moldable and easily shaped. He had no control now. And his entire life he’d had all control he’d desired. Money could buy many things but emotions and removal of emotions was in fact not one of them.
He drove on. The front of his car devouring the road ahead.
... Wren danced, deeply into a meditative trance. Nothing in the world could enter her space at that very moment. She closed her eyes and let her body take control. As she finished up, doing her daily stretches, she opened her eyes to find a handsome young man staring. Had he been watching her the entire time? She felt slightly embarrassed and arose from the light wooden floor.
He winked at her as she grabbed her bag from along the wall. Wren flashed him a large smile in return. She could tell he was watching her walk away as she headed toward the changing room.
As she walked out, the beautiful man was waiting for her beside the door, grinning with his hands in his pockets. She walked in front of him, and stood by the door.
“How was your day, beautiful?” He asked her. She looked him right in the eye.
“It was wonderful.” She put her arm in his and they walked out.
The two walked together, arm in arm onto the side walk of the building. She released him and spoke.
“We shouldn’t do that.” She frowned, looking down at the ground. He gave her a look of disappointment and grabbed her by the waist.
Pulling her closely, he kissed her with a deep passion. She took in his sweet breath and gave into her temptation.
“You look gorgeous today.” She whispered onto her lips. Catching herself, she pushed him away from her in anger.
“I told you not to do that in public!” She exclaimed, clearly upset. He returned the emotion as he outwardly expressed.
“She’ll never find out, I don’t understand why you’re so upset!” he yelled in return. She was truly infuriated.
“Hmm, let me see. I’m having an affair with a married man. How does that not strike you as inappropriate in public?” She screamed in a whisper. “And I thought you were leaving her, anyway. Whatever happened to that?” She continued.
He motioned to calm her down with his hands.
“I promise this time, I will. I promise.” He grabbed Wren, pulling her closer. She tried to resist by gave into his calming words. They sounded so wonderful coming out. She resented the person that she had become. Growing up, there wasn’t a chance she’d ever give into any boy. Now she couldn’t live without this adulterer of a man.
“Ian, you always say that. I just want it to be true. I love you and it’s killing me.” She whimpered.
He placed his hands on her cheeks and kissed her forehead.
“I mean it this time.” He spoke words of comfort but not of truth. But this was enough for Wren to call her fix.
... “Look at this place.” Dani said, grinning. Bryce wrapped his arms around her, breathing her in.
Dani and Bryce had decided to get an apartment together to make it easier to plan the wedding. It didn’t make sense in their eyes to go back and forth between places at this time in their relationship.
“It’ll do for now.” He kissed her cheek, and walked over to the last pile of boxes sitting on the floor. Dani followed.
She took a seat on one of her suitcases and gave a sigh.
“What’s wrong?” Bryce asked his fiancée. She gazed out the window, taking in her surroundings.
“I’m just going to miss living so far from the city.” She frowned, sliding down to the floor. Bryce took a spot beside her.
“Well, you know we can always buy ourselves a farm house after the wedding. Lots of trees and ponies.” Bryce joked, smiling into her eyes.
“You kill me.” She pulled him close, playfully giggling.
After finishing unpacking and playing like children, the couple of lovers cleaned themselves and prepared for the night.
Bryce undressed, watching Dani in the mirror. Shaving his face might have been a bad idea, as he cut himself, adoring his sweetheart.
“Ouch!” He called out. Dani jumped in the tub.
“Honey, are you alright?” She asked him.
“I’m fine. I’m fine.” He rinsed the cut and headed for the shower.
He felt the hot water, beating down on his chest. The steam of the water filling his lungs.
“So what’s going on at this place or whatever.” He shouted over the sound of the shower.
“It’s called Connery’s. Live music and a bar or something. I’m pretty sure they serve food too.” She responded, fixing her hair.
“But why are we going?” He asked. Dani rolled her eyes. She had already explained to him several times.
“Wren has a friend playing there tonight and I promised we’d all come out to support her. We’re showing up early because Florence is wanting to take some pictures for the girl’s website.” She explained for the umpteenth time.
“But why do we have to show up early? It’s Florence’s thing.” He asked, wrapping a towel around his body and walking toward Dani.
“Sweetheart, I am not about to play twenty questions with you. “ She laughed, half way serious.
“I’m sorry. I just wanted to spend a little more time with my future wife is all.” He came closer, wrapping his arms around her waist. The smell of a fresh-out-of-the-shower man was enticing to her. She could hardly resist.
Bryce pulled her in, kissing her. His facial hair still wet from the shower. This drove her crazy.
“This isn’t fair.” She whimpered onto his lips mouth. He pushed her back, grinning.
“Go finish up. I’ll be ready in a few.” He chuckled. She rolled her eyes in disbelief.
“You suck.” She joked.
He watched her walk away, feeling the temptation of it all. But he’d known just how much she adored her friends. They were important to her and holding her back wasn’t the right thing to do. Plus he thought it was cute the way she struggled when he was still dripping from the shower.
“I love you!” He called out. Dani was in the bedroom, putting on her shoes.
“And I love you!” She called out in return.
... Jance was sitting on the dock when Topher arrived. He could tell that something was wrong with his best friend. Not just the hungover kind of wrong.
“You okay, man.” Topher asked. Jance stayed silent for a few seconds until looking up.
“Not sure.” Jance responded. Topher offered his hand, and pulled the man to his feet.
“Explain.” Topher said, searching for an answer.
Jance felt uncomfortable even speaking about it to the friend he’d had almost his whole life.
“It’s weird. Usually I don’t give a care about any woman. Apart from Hanny, you know I care about her. She takes care of you.” He began, “But lately I’ve had this certain… person just on my mind. Everywhere I look, I see her. It’s like no matter what I do I can’t make it go away and It’s driving me to the brink of insanity.”
“That is weird.” Topher raised an eyebrow, “Is this about the incident a couple weeks ago?”
Jance winced, staying silent.
“No way, dude. Are you serious? Florence? I mean no offense..but she’s too much for you. There’s no way she’d ever put up with you.” He laughed.
“Thanks…friend.” Jance said sarcastically, staring out at the waves.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I think this is where I’m supposed to tell you that you need to tell her or you’re pretty much going to be miserable forever.” Topher continued.
“I was afraid of that.” Jance said miserably.
“Really, Jance. In all seriousness. She’s never gonna notice unless you say something. Maybe you’ll grow on her.” Topher patted his arm for encouragement.
Jance grumbled, taking the arm that had just patted his.
“Let’s go enjoy some waves.” Jance pointed to the open water.
They sat in Jance’s speed boat, talking.
“So how’s Hanny doing? She still sick?” Jance took a sip of his iced tea, sitting back in his seat.
Topher was sitting on the front of the boat, enjoying the surrounding water.
“Not really, man. It feels like every time we try to enjoy a meal together she ends up getting sick. Sometimes when we’re not even eating.” He explained.
“How long has this been going on?” Jance asked in curiosity.
“I’m not sure, maybe a couple months. I keep telling her to go see a Doctor but she says she’s fine. I mean I can’t force her to do anything she doesn’t want to do.” He responded.
And then it hit Jance like a speeding bus.
“Has she had her lady-thing recently?” He asked Topher in discomfort of the word.
Topher felt shocked that Jance would ask such a question.
“Ew, dude. Gross. That’s my girlfriend you’re talking about.” He cringed.
“No, not like that! I’m being serious.” Jance yelled.
“I mean.. I don’t keep track of that stuff. But she hasn’t been like she usually is when she’s going through it.” Topher explained.
“I thought so.” Jance chuckled, “Dude, she’s so pregnant. She’s gotta be.”
Topher turned white, he felt his heart sink.
“There’s no way. She would have told me.” He hoped.
Jance threw his arms up.
“I’m just saying, dude. That’s what it seems like. Maybe you’re right though. She could just be sick.” He said, “Anyway, let’s hit the water. You’re skiing first.” He stood up, putting his sunglasses on and taking a last sip of iced tea.
Topher’s knees were shaking as he stood up. Maybe this wasn’t a good idea.
Topher did his best to enjoy himself, attempting to take his mind off of the worry. They spent the afternoon boating, skiing, and being the men that they were. ... ... Wren’s friend was playing at a local spot by the name of Connery’s. She and Florence had shown up early to get some close up shots before the place really opened. Just as Florence was getting her last few shots, Dani and Bryce arrived right on time just as they usually were. “Hey girls.” Bryce said, holding Dani by his side.
“Hey you two, Florence is just finishing up for now. You can grab some drinks while we wait for the place to fill up.” Wren pointed out.
“I think we’re fine. She sounds amazing, Wren. I’m really impressed.” Dani nodded towards the woman on stage.
“Oh, I know right?” Wren smiled.
Florence put her camera away and walked over to the group.
“Well, I think that should do for now. I’ll start back up later.” She said.
“How’s Hanleigh doing? I heard she could’t make it tonight.” Dani asked.
“Oh, she’s doing good. I had to run her somewhere this morning, then headed home to change and grab my camera. Then came straight here. I’ve had a lot of bar food and I’m in desperate need for a drink.” She laughed.
Dani laughed in return.
Not so coincidentally Jance showed up at Connery’s. Topher had given him the deets on where Florence was going to be tonight and he decided to take a chance.
He didn’t even have to search the bar. He took one look and there she was, dead ahead with Dani, Bryce, and Wren. There was also a woman playing the guitar on stage. This place was dead. As was suiting due to the time. Florence stood, just finishing a conversation with Dani when she felt a presence behind her. Having noticed just moments earlier that Jance had walked in, Florence did the math. She turned around to see what was up. Jance was standing there, clearly uncomfortable.
“Jance?” She asked. He looked up as awkwardly as he could.
“Oh..uh.. Hey. This is awkard.” He rubbed the back of his head.
Florence smiled, curious to know what was going on.
“Would you want to maybe go for a walk?” He asked her, hoping she’d say yes.
She stood puzzled. He seemed so different than he usually was. She’d longed for a moment like this for weeks now and it was actually happening.
“Uh…” She began, “I mean.. sure. I’ve got a couple of hours to kill before this place gets packed.”
Jance felt a wave of relief wash over him.
“Cool.. Cool.” He smiled at the ground.
Florence walked over to Wren to let her know she’d be leaving for a couple of hours with Jance.
“Are you sure about this? He’s kind of the biggest jerk on the planet.” She asked her friend in concern.
“I’m a big girl. I think I can manage.” Florence returned.
“Okay, Okay. Just give me a call or text if something goes sour.” Wren eyed Jance in the background.
Jance opened the door for Florence, being the best gentlemen he knew he could be. Just seeing her smile at him was enough to make his heart melt.
They walked to the park just down the way from Connery’s, enjoying where they were and who they were with.
“Would you like to sit down?” He asked her, motioning to the bench that sat by the pond.
“Sure, I’d like that.” She said.
They sat in silence for a short while until,
“You know.. I’m sorry for the way I acted a couple of weeks ago. I can be a real jerk.” He took up a hand of sand, releasing it slowly as he watched the wind interrupt the stream that flowed down to the ground.
“It’s okay. I can be pretty snotty when I want to be.” She appreciated his apology, but who was this man that sat before her? She’d never seen this side of Jance and wasn’t sure that anyone but Topher, ever had.
This stirred a deep curiosity within her, causing her to scoot herself down to the ground beside him.
“Why are you acting so different, if you don’t mind me asking?” She pulled her knees closer, placing her arms upon them. Searching for his expression.
She’d noticed. Of course, how could she not? Even he was appalled by his sudden change of heart.
“Uh…” He rubbed the back of his head with a palm, “I guess maybe I’m not such a bad guy after all?” He looked to her, giving a half smile.
“Maybe you aren’t, Jance.” She smiled back at him. That smile. His heart melted in his chest, liquefying his insides like lava on rock. He couldn’t conceal it. Not from the world, not from Florence, and certainly not from himself.
“Could I ask you something, maybe?” She asked him with curious eyes.
“Go for it.” He responded, tossing a small pebble into the pond.
She searched for words. The rights one, if only not to offend him.
“Why do you act like you do? Like women are the enemy and the world belongs to you?” She let out.
Painful memories of childhood past began to fill his head, hurting his heart in the process.
“It’s funny you ask me this, and I’m more than willing to open up. I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced this.” He lightly laughed, placing his head on one knee.
“I’m flattered.” She blushed, giving him that smile that he loved so dearly. This made it even easier to open himself up to her.
“I think I fear everything. You could even call me a coward in ways. It’s easy to hide behind walls of money and put on a different face each night like a masquerader. But letting anyone in seems to scare me the most.” He began, “ I love my mother, so don’t believe that I don’t. She’s the only woman I’ve ever loved and until recently I thought she might be the only one. It’s just easier to keep yourself guarded and be cocky about everything than it is to open yourself to someone, giving them everything and they throw it all away on someone or something else. See, I’ve seen this all my life. My mother has spent her entire life with the same man, my father, but not once has he shown her an ounce of compassion. Not once has he given her his heart. Instead he gives her pretty things and a son to keep her busy while he’s off having affair after affair. I never understood why I should give anything to anyone when all my mother did was give him love but got nothing but paper in return. I pity her and I used to wonder if she’d really known where he was and what he was up to. But now that I’m grown I’ve come to realize that she does. And she keeps loving him. Knowing that he is betraying her.” He felt his face get hot and a warm sensation filled his eyes. Was he crying? Great, this was exactly what she needed to see.
Florence searched for the right words.
“I think you should pity him.” She spoke. He lifted his head in wonder.
“…..” He searched her face.
“I think you should pity him for being so ignorant.” She looked up, staring into his eyes, “For years, your father had such a wonderful woman right in front of him, willing to love him. And instead he traded her for who knows how many women who loved him only for his money. It takes a really stupid man to do such a thing.” She faced him, pulling his arm so that he would face her, “As for your mother, she is the one you should treasure. After going through so much pain, she still loved your father and forgave him for every wrong that he made. It takes a really strong woman to do such a thing.” Her eyes glimmered in the starlight of the night sky. She was the most amazing woman he’d ever met, and this was verification, “Not only that, but she gave birth to you. She raised you, and she was there for you when he was not.” Florence finished.
He stared deeply into her eyes.
“Thank you… so much for that. I don’t think I’ve ever been deep enough to realize what you’ve just explained to me.”
Florence admired this side of him that she’d never seen. He’d always seemed so two dimensional with his emotions and now she was taking a view into the window of his life. Something about seeing him so open and sensitive was drawing her even closer to him.
“Don’t thank me. You should thank her.” She placed a hand on his cheek.
She was so beautiful, and now she was touching him. He grabbed her by the waist, picking her up and placing her on his lap.
“Wha-“ She began as he cut her off.
“I can’t stop thinking about you. You’ve been on my mind for weeks and it’s driving me crazy. No matter what I do all I see everywhere is you. I hear your voice in my dreams. This has never happened to me before.” He was staring into her soul, as she was his.
She wanted to believe him so badly. If only just for this moment. Florence placed her hands on each side of his neck, pulling him in.
His heart fluttered as he felt hers follow. Their lips touched and it was like nothing he’d ever known. He was in love with her. This had to be love. If it wasn’t, he couldn’t imagine how anyone could live through such an experience.
... Topher walked into Hanleigh’s small apartment, closing the door behind him. She was sitting on the couch in her pajamas watching television.
“Oh.. Hey sweetie.” She looked over to him, making space for him on the small love seat that she called a sofa.
As he sat down, he stared at her with wondering eyes stopping just at her belly. There was a protective hand placed just above it.
“Han, we need to talk, don’t we?” He asked her inquisitively. She froze, and her heart skipped a beat. He knew. But how?
“About what?” She shook. He noticed her discomfort and spoke up.
“I was talking with Jance today, and some things he said really made sense to me.” He began, “Han, I know you’re not really sick. I know you well enough to understand when something is really wrong and when it’s just kind of off. Are you… pregnant?”
She closed her eyes, feeling herself turn red. This was it.
“I didn’t want to tell you because I thought you’d be upset.” She began to cry, “ I know how you feel about your Dad and I know that you don’t want to be anything like him.”
He didn’t understand what she was saying. Sure he despised his father for walking out on his mother, and he did in fact fear being like him. But what he didn’t get is how she could feel like he would ever not want such a thing with her.
He grabbed her, pulling her close and wiping away her tears.
“Honey, why on earth would you feel that way? I love you and I would never turn my back on you.” He searched for an explanation.
She felt relief in a huge sum. Had she really been so upset for nothing?
“You’re really not at all upset?” She asked, sniffling.
“Of course not. If anything, I’m excited.” He laughed at the silly girl.
“So we’re doing this? We’re having a baby?” She smiled, hugging him.
“We’re having a baby. ….We’re having a baby!” He jumped from his seat in excitement that turned into a moment of frantic worry. Hanleigh launched herself up, grabbing the hands that were gripping both sides of his hair.
“It only starts out like that. Then you feel joy.” She held him closely, taking in his masculine scent.
He hugged her tightly, giving her kisses on the forehead.
“I love you so much.” He whispered into her hair.
“I love you too.” She smiled, looking up at him, “ I went to the Doctor for the first time this morning. I heard the baby’s heart beat.”
“Why didn’t you ask me to go? I would’ve loved to hear that.” He placed his hands in her hair.
“I was scared. Florence went with me but she waited outside the whole time. I do have my first ultrasound in a little over a week from now, though.” She smiled.
“I guess that’ll work.” He grinned, pulling her face toward his. She kissed him with all her heart, feeling the first bit of joy that she allowed herself in weeks.
Topher placed his hand on her belly, admiring her beauty. She lifted her shirt a small bit, revealing her small baby bump.
“So that’s why you haven’t let me close. When were you going to tell me?” His eyes widened, laughing with excitement.
“Tonight, actually.” She returned with the same expression. He lifted her up into his arms like a knight in shining armor, placing her gently onto the bed.
They laid together for hours that night, speaking words of what was to come. They would be parents and the joy they felt filled their hearts.
Topher watched the love of his life sleep as he placed his hand on her lower abdomen. The thought of new life, growing inside of her amazed him. He couldn’t fall asleep, but it didn’t seem to bother him. This was the most wonderful thing that had ever happened to him apart from meeting her.
The sounds of the city filled the air, as did his lover’s sweet breaths. He laid his head on the pillow beside her, closing his eyes if just for a moment to bury his face in her long red waves. Feeling her heartbeat against his chest, he was lulled into a half sleep. Waking up just as he caught himself drifting. There wasn’t a moment he would miss. He would make up for his Father’s past mistakes. He would be there and she would never miss him.
To Be Continued...

Thank you so much for reading Chapter Two. I sincerely hope that you enjoyed it. Please leave feedback and rate? I love knowing what you guys think. Have a great day! :)

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Add Smilie

freerealmsSep 2, 2013

I luv this story! Its all loving and I love love

fruitopia VIPAug 23, 2013

This is such a fantastic wonderful story. Your characters seems so real. I love the interactions between the characters.

Elizabethfaith21Aug 17, 2013

Also, I'm not sure where I found it. It's a whole stove lol. I'm sorry I couldn't be of any help.

Elizabethfaith21Aug 17, 2013

Oh my gosh. Thank you so much \:\) I'm starting the next chapter tomorrow.

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