That Freelance Kid

Chapter 17

It was a slightly cool day in Los Angeles when the formerly estranged Gavin couple met in the park. Clouds covered the sky, yet the grey weather couldn't dampen Klavier Gavin's mood.

The park was nestled next to a food joint named Gummy's Burger's. Despite the odd name, Klavier noticed that the place looked full. He had just a moment to look however, before entering the adjacent park. It was small and full of greenery, and looked well-kept too. Much to Klavier's relief, there weren't too many people either-only a disgruntled looking old man throwing seeds at birds.

He spotted Ema on a bench, reading a book. The minute he saw her, Klavier's heart leapt from his chest and caught in his throat, and he was afraid he wouldn't have the right words to say, that he would choke after these long months of only speaking to her on the phone. Worst of all, he was afraid that she wouldn't have anything to say either. That they would only stare at each other until the realization that they were truly done finally sank in. Klavier's throat felt dry, and he tugged on the collar of his jacket.

Ema didn't seem to notice him, and for a moment he actually didn't know what to say. He searched her face, and thankfully saw no signs of anger or contempt; she was simply engrossed in whatever she was reading. When Klavier managed to get a good view of the title, he smiled. "I see you have picked up Herr Justice's new book, mein liebe."

Ema jumped slightly, startled. She looked up from her book, and when she recognized that Klavier was standing in front of her, she smiled. Klavier's heart fluttered-her smile was just as beautiful as he remembered, slightly mischievous but radiant all the same.

"He's a talented writer." Ema acknowledged, placing a bookmark in between the pages.

"Ja, he is." Klavier agreed. "He'll be happy to know you said that."

"You still talk to him, huh?"

Klavier nodded. "It's odd, but somehow I think we've become friends."

"How's he been?"

"Very good. He's engaged now, to his fiancé Vera. He invited us to his wedding, actually. Even though he's not sure about the when and where."

"I can't wait." She replied, still smiling

"Neither can I." Klavier said.

For a moment neither of them said anything, nor could they look at each other. Finally Ema took a deep breath and broke the silence.

"It's good to see you again, Klavier." She said.

Klavier couldn't agree more. After everything that happened at the Gatewater Hotel, Ema explained that she still wanted some more time to think. He understood, and Ema moved out of the Wright's apartment into one of her own. They didn't see each other much after that, save for phone calls. Even though he enjoyed talking to her, Klavier felt that it might be over, and his hope slowly dwindled. But when Ema called him and said she wanted to meet-for the first time in a few months, Klavier could hardly contain himself. He may have even sped through a few red lights on the way.

"Let's take a walk through the park, ja?" Klavier suggested, extending a hand to help her off the bench. Ema nodded as she tucked Apollo's book in her bag, then grabbed Klavier's hand.

Butterflies fluttered rapidly in Klavier's stomach at her touch. He searched her face, taking in the beauty he had been deprived of for months. When Ema noticed him staring, she blushed. Klavier let go of her hand. "Ah…I'm sorry." He said, tucking his hands in the pocket of his pants.

Ema shook her head. "No, don't be." She replied, moving closer to him. "It's fine."

They walked through the park in silence. Neither said anything to the other; it was a comfortable silence, as they had time to enjoy each other's company. Ema took in the sights around the park, while Klavier took in Ema. She hadn't changed at all-Her hair was still long and brown, her face still inquisitive and bold, her stride still steady and confident. The only thing Klavier noticed that was different was her outfit-she was clad in a baggy burgundy sweater and jeans, and she still looked wonderful.

After a while, Ema reached to grab Klavier's hand. He complied, and wrapped her hands in his. He noticed her palm was warm, and a slighly sweaty. "She's nervous," he thought "Ach, but so am I!"

Suddenly Ema stopped, and Klavier with her. "Ema?" He asked gently. "Everything all right?"

Ema turned to face him. Klavier could tell she was worried by the slight frown on her face and the anxious look in her eyes, but he had no idea why. Had he said something, or did something? Had he not said enough? Klavier was about to apologize but Ema spoke before him.

"I want to move back home." Ema blurted. "Today."

Klavier stared, speechless.

"I know it's sudden-," she began, but Klavier soon found his voice again.

"Not sudden at all! Achtung, it has been too long."

Ema let out a deep breath, then smiled faintly. "It's settled then? It's not to much trouble moving everything back today? "

"Of course not, mein leibe. For you, I would happily move mountains, so what is a little furniture to me?" Klavier said, embracing her. Ema stiffened at the sudden contact, but then relaxed and put her arms around him as well. They stood there for a few moments, simply enjoying each other's touch. After a while Klavier spoke again. "You know, Ema, I was surprised."

"About me wanting to move back in?" She asked.

"No, not that. That you decided to move out in the first place is what surprised me. I mean, most wives kick their husbands out that house, ja? And I didn't deserve to stay."

"I couldn't do that," Ema replied. "A fop needs his foppish house, after all."

Klavier pulled away from her slightly, his eyes wide. "A fop?" He said, then smirked. "You haven't called me that since we first met."

Ema shrugged. "I felt like that mood called for it."

"Then mein liebe, you're terrible at determining the mood. I am being serious!"

"I know," Ema teased.

Klavier laughed, then pulled her in to another hug. "Ah, that is the Fraulein I love."

Ema laughed too, then looked into his merry blue eyes, eyes than until now had been clouded by sadness. "And that's the Klavier I loved. And missed."

"Then there's no time to waste, ja? We have a lot of catching up to do. Let's go to your apartment and start packing."

"Sounds like a good idea," Ema replied, a huge smile on her face. "You know, I was starting to get worried about who was going to take care of us."

"Ja, I was worried too that-"Klavier paused, thinking over what she had said. "Ema, what do you mean by who is going to take care of us? Nobody has taken care of us, unless you mean the maid once a week, but…"

Ema shook her head. "I'm not talking about me and you. I mean," she smiled, and gently placed a hand on her stomach. "I wondered about who was going to take care of us.

Klavier thought for a moment, letting the weight of her words sink in. He ran a hand through his hair, and stared at Ema. "Ema…you don't mean…"

"I found out the day after I left. " She explained. "Phoenix pushed me to tell you back then, but I was scared. I mean, I wanted to tell you, I really did, but…but I wasn't even sure if we were getting back together. And if that was the case, I wouldn't know what to do…"Ema trailed off, looking at Klavier. He still stared at her with wide, nervous eyes-she couldn't discern if he was excited or terrified.

Ema spoke again. "I think maybe that's why Phoenix decided to get that freelance kid to help us. He hired Apollo to get us back together, so that we could do this together." Ema added emphasis to the word together, and reached for his hand, squeezing it gently.

"Ema, if I had known…"Klavier said, his voice choked with emotion. "I would have told you everything right away. I would have never kept any of my stupid secrets, and we could have avoided everything…"

Ema reached up to wrap her arms around Klavier's neck, then pulled him down for a tender kiss. "I know," she whispered. "But it's okay now, right? We've gotten through this, so now we can pull it together and start over…with a family."

Klavier smiled, then leaned down to kiss his wife again. "Ja, you are right. Absolutely." Ema took in a deep breath, then stretched her arms into the air as if she finished a long run. "Come on, let's hurry back!" She exclaimed. "I'm excited about moving back in."

Klavier cleared his throat. "I'm more concerned about the baby." He confessed. "We should talk about this properly, Ema!"

"We will!" Ema reassured him. "As soon as I move back in."

"I think you love our house more than me sometimes." Klavier replied with a teasing smile. "Tell me, did you actually marry me because you loved me, or for my fame and riches and luxurious rock god hair?"

Ema rolled her eyes. "Once a fop, always a fop."

"Ja, and your fop, forever."

Ema smiled; for the first time in a long time, the word forever meant something to her again. Before it was a word filled with uncertainty, as she watched her marriage and her love fall apart in front of her very eyes. But now it was filled with meaning-so much meaning that she felt her eyes grow misty, and she wiped away a tear from her eye before it could fall.

"Are you all right?" Asked Klavier, concerned.

"I'm fine." She replied, wiping her eyes. "I'm fine, really. It's probably just pregnancy hormones, or something." She gave him a reassuring smile.

"Then you'll want to rest then, ja? Let's get home and get you settled then."

"Yeah," Ema replied happily. "That sounds great."

Klavier draped his arm across her shoulder, leading her towards his car, and she pressed her body against his as they walked. And in that moment they felt a peace they hadn't felt in a long time-a peace that flowed from being back together, from knowing they'd always be by each other's side from now on, and from knowing they were going to build a family. Their life seemed to be on the right track, surviving the derailment that almost destroyed them.

And they knew in their hearts that everything was going to be just fine.

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