Holly stomped across the floor in a rant. “Where the hell is my brother? If he takes that two-timing-slut back and leaves Mia, I’ll break his face. Mia has been waiting for hours for him. It’s almost dark outside. For gosh sakes, it’s pouring down rain! He hasn’t even called and we don’t even know if he’s had some accident and in a ditch someplace. This is one hundred kinds of fucked up.”
Wraith sat down in his recliner rubbing his hand over his face. His sister’s voice was getting annoying after hearing her go on for the past hour. He was worried too, but Holly was being irrational.
“Calm down, Holly. And watch your foul mouth. What do you expect him to do? Leave a child and a sick woman on the street?”
“Karma for her being such a conniving bitch all these years.”
“Holly! You don’t talk about a sick woman that way. What is wrong with you? She has a baby,” Lilly scolded.
“Fine. You’re right, I’m sorry. It’s just... where is he? Mia came here to meet our family and her… ugg! She has to be faced with this. This is just… wrong. It’s wrong.”
Holly stormed around with an angry fist at her sides. It was clear Holly was hurting for her new friend. Mia just gave herself sexually to her brother and then this happened. She knew Mia deep down had to be hurting. If it was her in that situation, she would be heartbroken after finally trusting him.
Mia was sitting by the window watching the rain trickle down the windowpane. She was trying to keep up her spirits, but the longer the time passed, the more worried she became. “It’s fine. I understand.”
“You shouldn’t have to. He’s your boyfriend and Tammy can’t be trusted. What if she’s lying and the whole thing is just some ruse to get Cy back?”
“She’s not lying.”
Cyrus trudged in the living room as all his friends and family looked over to him waiting for an explanation.
He shook off his jacket and wiped the rain from his face on his t-shirt. He looked exhausted as he flopped down on the couch rubbing his hand over his head in frustration.
“She’s dying. They don’t expect her to live much longer. The doctors say they are surprised she’s made it this long. Tammy was vomiting all evening from the treatments. She’s fighting but she says she doesn’t want to continue the chemo. It’s been too hard on her.”
Wraith stood to greet his brother with a hug. “I know this must be hard.”
“Where is Mia?”
Wraith pointed to her and Cyrus rushed in her arms. He instantly started to weep as Mia held him. “I’m sorry. I had to take some time to myself before I came home. I needed time to think. I should have called.”
“I’m just glad you’re okay. The storm outside is getting worse and I’ve been worried sick. You weren’t answering your cell phone.”
“My phone died. We have a lot to talk about. Everyone, I’m sorry, but I need to talk to Mia alone.”
“Sure brother. Why don’t we all go to the kitchen and start getting dinner ready while you two talk.”
As Cyrus watched everyone leave the room, Mia watched his expression. He was going to break up with her. She just knew it.
“So. It’s over.” Mia started to walk away.
“What? What’s over?”
“Us. I understand. She needs you.”
“No, of course not. That’s not it. Please, sit.”
“You’re not breaking up with me?”
“Hell no. Are you kidding? You’re the love of my life. Seeing Tammy again made me realize that my love for her was gone years ago. I care for her because we had a lot of good years and we were friends as kids. I do miss the friendship we had when we were younger, but that’s it. The love was gone the moment she started to pull away from our marriage. You can’t make someone love you. It took me a while to realize that. It was always so forced with her. Since I met you I can’t help but notice it’s so easy it is for us. That’s how real love should be.”
“I was worried. After last night, then this. I guess I’m just a little shaken and confused right now. Truth is, I would hate myself if I didn’t let you help her. So, I guess I need to know what’s next.” Mia cuddled into him. “Just promise you won’t leave me.”
“Mia, that is never going to happen. Let’s sit and talk, okay?”
Mia nodded as he led her to the couch.
“Tammy showed me her divorce papers. That asshole old man of hers left because he didn’t want the baby. He told her she was a burden now, especially since she was sick. All he wanted from her was a young wife and nothing to tie him down.”
“He sounds like a prick. Who just throws their child away like that?”
“Probably for the best. He was abusing Tammy before he left. Greyson started drinking again and she said he was violent when he was drunk. It started not long into their marriage. The best thing for baby Elias is him being out of the picture completely.”
“I never thought I would feel bad for your ex, but here we are.”
Cyrus chuckled. “Yep. Me too. Anyway. I saw the doctor’s reports and her bills. She’s telling the truth. It took me a while to get back because she got sick and I couldn’t leave her and the baby alone like that. She had just left the hospital from having chemo when we saw her today."
"So that's why she collapsed."
"She was trying to get some baby food before she headed home. I gave her some money and paid-up her household bills. They didn’t even have any lights on at the house. I took her to my parent's old home. She’s at the cabin now so they are in a safe warm place. I convinced her to let me sell our old place and I can move her into my parent’s house. It’s smaller but it will allow her to get around easier. I’ll hire her a nurse once she’s settled in.”
“What about the baby? She can’t take care of that little one if she is so sick.”
“That’s what I wanted to talk to you about. I’m going to take care of Elias. She wants me to adopt him after she passes and for me to take this time to bond with him.”
Mia felt a lump form in the back of her throat. “Oh. So… you’ll be moving in with her?”
“No. Not just me. We. I want you to come too. I told her that’s the only way. One day I’m going to marry you, Mia. That means when I adopt the baby, it will be our child.”
“You want to marry me?”
“Yes. I’m not asking right now, but I plan to one day. There has never been a question in my mind that you’re the one. I love you, but I can’t be another man who abandons that child. Mia, he’s so adorable and…” Cyrus smiled from ear-to-ear.
Mia interrupted, “Wait. I need time to think this over. This is a lot to ask of me, Cyrus. I love you, but I don’t know if I’m ready to move in with your ex-wife.”
“I know. If you don’t want to, I understand. I would like for you to spend time with the baby so we can bond with him. Unless you don’t want a child.”
“Or course I do. You know that, but are you just going to take in the child, just like that? Are you sure? That’s a big step.”
“I want this, Mia. I have wanted a baby for years and I can make a difference in his life. This is my chance to keep this little one from being thrown around through the foster care system. I could give him a good life.”
“ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?” Holly rushed over pushing her brother off the couch. “Fuck you, Cyrus Evans! How could you ask Mia to do this without ever so much as considering her feelings first?”
Mia jumped up, trying to calm Holly. “Holly, it’s okay.”
Holly pointed at Cyrus as she yelled. They had no idea she had been listening in. “No! It’s not okay. This isn’t fair. Cyrus finally finds someone who loves him for who he really is, and now this! When I finally trust this chick you go and screw it up. You expect Mia to just drop everything for you to deal with the ghost of your past? What the hell are you thinking?”
Cyrus stood up, trying to go to his sister to explain. Holly pulled back and kicked him in the nuts as hard as she could. Cyrus fell to the floor like a rock. “AHHH! What the fuck, Holly!”
“You can’t ask Mia to move in with her. You just can’t! It’s wrong! Find her a nurse. Anything that makes you feel better. Just don’t use Mia as a way to rectify some of your pent up guilt for a failed marriage. Damn it, Cy! Tammy never really loved you. She cheated on you more than once. I saw it first hand, I just couldn’t prove it. I never told you and have held this secret for years. I did it because I knew it would break your heart. I didn’t want to hurt you. But she keeps hurting you and you allow it.”
“I knew. I always knew. I just didn’t want to end up divorced. I thought I could fix it. I was wrong.”
“And you’re wrong now!”
Mia looked at Cyrus on the floor whose eyes were full of hurt and confusion. He looked up at her and she could see the pain he was feeling. Cyrus knew Holly was right but he was trying to be the good man he had always been. Despite how people treated him, he was; the protector, the nurture, the man who stood up for the ones who couldn’t stand up for themselves.
Mia stood watching him as she thought back to conversions they had online. His one consistent conversion was his love for family. She knew a child was the one thing he may never have on his own. This could be the one way she would be sure he had it. With a deep breath, she tried to calm herself before she said the words that possibly could make-or-break the future of their relationship.
“I’ll do it.”
Holly turned to Mia. “What?”
“What?” Cyrus shuffled to his feet, watching her in disbelief.
“I’ll do it. If it makes Cyrus happy, I’ll do it. He’s right. If I’m going to be the child’s mother one day, I need to get to know him. I want a baby too. I always thought adoption was going to probably be an option. I can get to know Tammy, and show her that her son will be loved and taken care of. Yes, she did a lot of heartless things, but I believe everyone is redeemable. Maybe she just needs to see that this is her chance to set things right, and Cyrus can make peace with it. She’s dying. Leaving her alone, when she’s reaching out for help, would be wrong.”
Holly huffed. “Why are you so dang likable? Why can’t you just get mad and be more of a bitch? She doesn’t deserve it.”
“Maybe not. But, I’m not doing it for her. I’m doing it for, Cy.”
“Geez. You need to stop being so damn nice and get pissed off sometimes. I have a lot to teach you young padawan.”
Mia giggled. “I guess we are like yin and yang. Good and evil. Maybe we will rub off on each other.”
Holly shook her head with a slight chuckle. “I guess that’s why we will probably end up best friends. We can even out each other’s weaknesses.”
Mia went over to lay her head on Hollys’ shoulder with a giggle. “I hope we are. I need someone to kick your brother's ass when he gets out of line. Besides, you kicking him in the nuts did actually make me feel a little better.”
“Hey, that’s not fair.”
“You asked your new girlfriend to move in with your ex. Pretty sure a kick in the nuts is only half of what you deserve right now.”
Cyrus went over and pulled Mia into his arms with a kiss. “As long as you don’t leave me, I’ll make it all up to you.”
“Trust me, you sure as hell will.”