Caring Christopher

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#72 The very best of all the good guys

Abigail

“Abby!” Caroline hugs me the moment she sees me, even though her belly is in the way. She’s huge considering she’s only four months pregnant. She pulls me into the living room with a smile at Christopher, and then we’re shoved onto a loveseat together. Nathan hands both of us piece of pie before hurrying off to get us some drinks as well. His daughter Rose is skipping around the room with her now 1-year-old sister Daisy in her arms, laughing like a madwoman. She looks a lot like Nathan with her wide green eyes and easy smile.

The loveseat is the only empty seat in the whole room, since there are people everywhere, so I settle in half on Christopher’s lap, pressing a kiss to his temple. It’s nice to be close like this after feeling like I was losing him the past weeks. It feels like I’ve got him back. Finally.

“Hey, you made it!” Aston flops down onto the floor, resting his back against Annabel’s legs. She hands him their baby boy and Aston cradles the kid to his chest, looking perfectly at ease. Their 2-year-old girl Steffi is on the other side of the room, playing with some kids I’ve never seen before.

We chat with Aston and Annabel for a while, and then Caroline joins us, bringing Shaughna, Dshawn, Brittany and Jaxon with her from the garden. Caroline finds a place on the couch while Dshawn sits down next to Aston on the floor. Shaughna pulls up a chair and puts her feet on either side of Dshawn’s tall frame, pulling her fingers through his dark curls. Jaxon makes sure Brittany has a comfy place on a chair as well before lowering himself onto the floor with a grunt.

“Damn, bro, you sound like an old man,” Aston comments, laughing.

“I’m younger than you,” Jax bites back, looking a little worn.

“Yeah, but I’m still a god,” Aston replies, winking up at his wife, who is smiling down on him with a fond smile. Few people are as compatible as Annabel and Aston are, if you ask me. They’re so different, yet they fit together perfectly.

“How are you doing?” I ask Brittany, nodding at her baby bump.

She grunts. “Nauseous as fuck. Barely sleeping. Everything hurts.”

“You’re growing a whole new life inside of you,” Jaxon says, rubbing her belly while gazing up at her with eyes full of love. “That’s no small feat.”

“Jax!” Britt says, cutting a look at me and flicking his forehead. “I said no talking about… you know.”

“Oh, right,” he says, looking embarrassed. He pulls his long hair in front of his face, hiding behind it. “Sorry, Abby.”

“It’s okay,” I assure him, not wanting Jaxon to feel bad for being excited about becoming a father soon. He has wanted this for so long, and finally Brittany agreed to have a baby with him, so I’m not surprised he is looking at like she’s a fertility goddess. He should never apologize for being happy about his wife being pregnant.

“What?” Aston asks, looking from me and Chris to Britt and Jax with a frown.

Oh. He doesn’t know yet. Looking around, I realize that probably only half the people here know that I’m infertile. I told Brittany and Caroline, so obviously Nathan and Jaxon know. I know Christopher has told Edward and his brother Cameron, but I didn’t realize none of the others know yet. Before I can respond to Aston’s question, the doorbell rings and Caroline tries to get up from the couch, only to be pushed back down by her husband.

“You’re the baby making machine,” he tells her, ruffling her light brown hair. “Sit tight, honey.”

She rolls her eyes, but gets comfortable anyway, putting a hand on her belly. “He’s so fucking protective it’s ridiculous. I’m still working almost four days a week, you know. I take care of a classroom full of kids almost every damn day, and I run a pretty tight ship at home, yet Nate seems to think I can’t even handle opening a goddamn door.”

“I think it’s sweet,” Shaughna says, still playing with Dshawn’s hair. “He should take good care of his baby making machine, after all.”

Caroline grunts and rolls her eyes. “Yeah, I really need to talk to him about that nickname.”

To my surprise, Francesca and Joshua walk in. I didn’t even know Caroline was close to them. Joshua is holding their baby boy Zachary, who is about nine months old by now. He’s got Joshua’s curls, and my heart hurts to see that little baby, because he looks the way I would imagine Chris’ son would look. Blonde curls, tiny, fragile, looking at the world with wide blue eyes. Fran could give Josh a beautiful boy like that, yet I will never be able to do the same for Christopher.

“Hey,” Chris murmurs into my ear, hugging me close so I’m completely in his lap now, our legs intertwined. “I love you.”

“Love you too.” I kiss him softly, letting the world melt away for a moment.

“Ahw, you guys are so cute,” Annabel says, smiling at us when we break apart.

“When are you finally going to knock Abby up?” Aston asks, bouncing Benji gently to make the little kid cry out with joy. “I bet your kids would look just like Zachary over there.” He gestured to Joshua, who is playing with his kid now, stretched out on the floor like he lives here instead of only just arriving. “All cute and curly.”

Christopher and I lock eyes for a moment, and I can see in his eyes that while he doesn’t feel like talking about it, we both know we need to tell the others at some point. Might as well do it now.

“I recently found out I’m infertile,” I say, not beating around the bush. “So… no kids for us.”

Everyone falls silent, even a few people I don’t know, who are pretending not to listen to our conversation. Even Aston doesn’t know what to say, and that never happens.

“Look, it’s okay,” I say when no one speaks up. “We’ve still got each other and our three boys. We’re getting married next month, I will be adopting the boys not long after that, hopefully… Plus, I’m applying to become a foster mom, and we already contacted an adoption agency. This is not the end of the world. You don’t have to look at me like I’m dying.”

“I’m so sorry for you,” Annabel says, being the first brave enough to speak up. She reaches out to take Chris’ hand, squeezing it before rubbing my arm gently. “Isn’t there anything they can do? I mean, Chris is a doctor, surely one of his colleagues-”

“I wish,” Christopher says, still holding me against him firmly. “There’s nothing to be done. It’s hard, but we’re okay.”

“Maybe you could use a surrogate?” Annabel suggests, her eyes intent on Chris. I like her, but she’s mostly Christopher’s friend, and she knows how badly he wants kids. She dated him, after all, even if it was years ago. “I know I might be a bit old, since I’ll be 41 soon, but if I can help…”

“Oh, Anna,” Chris says, choking up. “That’s really sweet, but Abby can’t…” He trails off, pressing his face against my shoulder, trying to pull himself back together.

“My uterus is so fucked up I can’t possible carry a child myself, but that’s not all it is. I haven’t ovulated in years,” I explain. “Even with intense treatment, chances are that I will never be able to produce viable eggs. The doctor told me that she’s never seen anyone like me have a biological child, not once in her entire career.”

“Oh,” Annabel says softly, looking down at Aston and Benjamin.

“I could have your kid,” Brittany speaks up, her high-pitched voice trembling. “I know I’m pregnant right now, so I’d obviously have to get this one out first, but if you want my eggs, or however it works…”

I was already feeling a little misty-eyed when Annabel offered to carry our kid, and now Brittany… I take a deep breath before answering. “That would mean that the kid would be biologically yours, Britty. Yours and Christopher’s.”

“Oh, right,” she realizes, looking a little unsure now. “Still, I’d be willing to do that. For you.”

My best friend is seriously telling me she’s be willing to carry my fiancés child and give up the baby for us to raise, even though it would be biologically hers and she’d be the one to carry it for nine months.

“Me too,” Caroline says, taking me completely by surprise. I love the girl, but we haven’t been friends that long. “I’m a baby making machine, after all.”

Christopher is crying now, pressing his face into my hair to try and hide it from the little kids that are playing all around us. I rub his back in soothing motions, trying my hardest to keep myself from crumbling as well. As much as I appreciate Brittany and Caroline offering something so major, I pray to God Chris won’t want to take them up on their offer. I can’t imagine anything harder than having to watch another woman pregnant with his child, without me being involved at all. Besides, I don’t think that they know what they’re offering. They would have to give up their own baby, their biological child. That’s rough. I can’t ask them to do that. Not even if I wanted to, which… honestly, I don’t. I really don’t.

“It means a lot to me that you’d do that for us,” Chris says, his voice still wobbly, but his eyes dry now. “But… no offence, I don’t want that. I want a baby with Abby. And since I can’t have that, we’ll adopt or foster a baby that needs a safe home. I don’t want a biological child so badly that I want to have with someone who isn’t Abby.”

I sag against him in relief. Thank God. I don’t think I would be able to live through that, to be honest. I would have do it for Chris – I would do anything for him – but it would have been for him, not for me.

“I know, baby,” he whispers, so low that no one else can hear. He squeezes my hip. “It’s either you and me, or it’s not at all.”

“Fucking hell,” Aston says with a low grunt. “And here I thought that I had it bad with Anna being so goddamn moody during her pregnancies. Guess there are worse things than her bitching to me about my smelly feet all the time.”

“Hey!” she exclaims, hitting his arm. “I wasn’t moody! And your feet are smelly. That’s not me bitching, that’s just the truth.”

The tension is lifted, and I’m grateful for Aston always managing to keep things light. He winks at me and squeezes my foot – the only part he can reach from where he’s sitting. I smile at him in silent thanks. I catch Caroline’s eye next, mouthing thank you to her. She merely smiles, and looks up at her husband, who is standing behind her, massaging her shoulders.

“Okay, on to lighter subjects, because I can’t stand it when Chris cries,” Aston says, wiping at his eyes himself. Then he pipes up, grinning. “Oh, I know a great subject. A little birdie told me that Chris’ cock is larger than Joshua’s.”

Joshua looks up from the floor, where he’s still playing with Zachary. “Say what?”

“Oh God, Aston,” Francesca says, rolling her eyes at him. “I told you that in confidence.”

“Please, bitch, you were drunk as a filthy skunk,” Aston comments, winking at her.

Christopher laughs, and I turn a little in his lap so I can look grin at him. He smiles back and presses a kiss to my lips. We knew we’d get teased about getting caught at in his office, and I honestly don’t care. In fact, I’m grateful for the change of topic.

“Chris is bigger than Josh?” Shaughna asks, sounding surprised. “I’d have guessed the other way around. How do you know that?”

“I erm…” Francesca looks a little uncomfortable, giving me an apologetic look. “I walked in on them.”

“Oh my God, where?” Brittany asks, piping up. With everything going on, I didn’t tell her about this. It seemed so insignificant considering everything else that’s been going on.

“In my office,” Christopher replies, sounding perfectly at ease. “A little… afternoon delight.”

I laugh at his description and pull my fingers through his hair, pushing it out of his face.

“You were fucking in your office?” Aston asks, sounding impressed. “Nice, man.”

“Could we maybe stop using words like fuck and bitch with my impressionable young daughter around,” Nathan says, nodding at Rose, who is looking at us from the other side of the room, an amused smile on her face. The other kids are too young to truly understand what we’re talking about, but Rose is old enough to be intrigued by the subject.

“You use those words all the time, Daddy,” she says, rolling her eyes. “You called the ref in last night’s game a motherfucking asshole, remember?”

We all laugh, except Nathan and Caroline, who both yell “language!” at the young girl. “Good parenting,” Chris murmurs to me, smiling a little.

“You better go play in the yard,” Aston suggests to Rose. “The adults are going to use some real bad words in a moment.”

Nathan grunts and picks up Daisy and Steffi, carrying them outside with Rose right behind him. The other kids follow them, along with a woman I don’t know, closing the backdoor behind them. Now it’s just the adults and the tiny little babies in the room.

“I’m gonna need some details,” Aston says, grinning. “All Franny said was that she walked in and that you’re bigger than Josh.”

“Stop saying that,” Joshua complains, but he doesn’t look all that bothered. He’s such a laid-back guy I doubt he ever gets upset about the stuff Aston says. “You’re making me sound pathetic.”

To my surprise, Chris speaks up. “I already knew I were bigger than you.”

“How?” I ask, frowning at my fiancé. Him and Josh are friendly, but they don’t hang out or anything. I’ve never seen the two of them together except when all the guys go out together or him and Francesca stop by together. Franny is his friend, not Joshua, even though Chris likes the guy. Why the hell would Christopher and Joshua ever… well, compare sizes?

“Oh, that’s right!” Fran realizes, laughing. “I forgot all about that!” When she sees my questioning glance, she explains herself further. “Joshua, me and two other friends went skinny dipping in the pool of a vacant house one night, only the house wasn’t vacant. It was Chris’ place. He’d just moved in”

“Oh God.” I can’t help but laugh along with the others. “You were naked in his yard?”

“That’s not even the worst part,” she goes on. “He’d only just hired me as his nurse, and he’d asked me out not long before that night, so I was naked in my new boss’s yard, kissing Joshua, when I’d only just told Christopher that I didn’t want to go on a date with him.”

“I honestly still don’t get how Christopher was still single when I met him,” I muse, snuggling against my man. Suddenly, I realize that if Franny hadn’t said no to him, he might be the father of the cute blonde kid in Joshua’s lap. And if Anna hadn’t turned Chris down, he’d be the father of her two kids instead of Aston. Instead, he’s stuck with me, who can’t give him any kids. Ever.

“Sex in the office,” Aston muses, still on that subject. “Guess Chris might not be as vanilla as we thought.”

I almost choke on my own laughter. “Oh, trust me, Chris is a lot of things, but vanilla isn’t one of them.”

Aston looks up at Annabel with a frown. “You said he was.”

“Guess I just needed to meet the right woman,” Chris says, pulling me even closer against him and brushing his lips over my cheek, causing me to shiver. “Now can we stop talking about this? It’s not like we’re the first to get caught. I remember a story about Dshawn and Shaughna walking in on Anna and Aston back in the day, right?”

“Oh, not just back in the day,” Dshawn says with a grin. “Last time was… what? Two weeks ago, I think?”

“Nothing beats me walking in on Aston and Franny,” Shaughna says, shuddering. “Way way back in the day, long before Joshua was in the picture. I still have nightmares about Fran walking into the kitchen with Aston’s sperm in her hair. Ewww.”

“I really didn’t need to know that,” Joshua comments, picking up his baby boy and pressing a kiss to Franny’s lips before announcing he’s heading outside. Franny follows him, her arms going around his waist as they step outside together.

“Are they going to fight over this?” I ask, a little surprised that something got to Joshua.

“Them? Fight?” Shaughna says, shaking her head. “They never truly fight. The most I’ve seen them do is have a mild-mannered argument and then kiss and make up right after. They’re both way too laid-back and sweet to get into big fights. She’s probably telling him he’s the most amazing guy she’s ever met, hung like horse, the love of her life, all that sappy stuff. They’re not like me and Dshawn. We fight all the time.”

“Only because I like the make-up sex so much, baby,” he replies right away, grinning up at her. “In fact, I think you look horrible today. I hate that shirt. And you’re a dumb slut.”

“Oh, you’re in for it now,” she jokes, smacking his arm. “Keep that up and you won’t get lucky at all tonight.”

“Please, like you can resist me.”

The playful banter continues for a while, and I enjoy listening to their stories and jokes. I haven’t been a part of this group of friends for long, but they make me feel included, explaining inside jokes and telling me about embarrassing stuff Christopher has done over the years. Annabel tells an amusing story about her first time with Chris, in her office, where he got so excited that he never actually finished her off, leaving her to head home and masturbate to pictures of Aston. I don’t even mind hearing about his past with her. If anything, it makes me realize how good we are for each other. Just like I can’t imagine Franny and Aston ending up together, even though they dated at one point, I know that Annabel and Christopher never would have worked out in the end. Him and I are right together. I know we are.

About an hour later, I’m in the yard with Caroline and Brittany, watching our guys playing with the kids. Jaxon is running around with Steffi on his back, Nathan is chasing Rose and some of her friends from school, and Christopher is helping Daisy take tiny little steps around the yard, holding onto her hands as she toddles along.

“My offer still stands,” Caroline says, her eyes on Christopher. “If you ever want me to have his baby, your baby, I mean…”

“Thanks,” I say, putting an arm around her and hugging her close. “That means a lot to me. I don’t think we’ll go that way, though. I don’t mind fostering and adopting instead, even though I’m technically raising other people’s kids. Raising a kid that’s half Chris and half you… I think that would be weird to me. I’d feel…”

“I get it,” she says, rubbing my back. “But if you ever do decide to get that fertility treatment and by some miracle you have some viable eggs, and I’m not pregnant around that time… Feel free to use my uterus.”

I smile at the way the describes being a surrogate. I’m still hoping Christopher is truly okay with not doing that, because I’m perfectly fine the way we are, but it’s nice that Caroline cares so much that she would do that for me.

“Same here,” Britty says softly, her hand on her belly. “I fucking hate how weak and sick this baby makes me, but I’d totally do it again for you, Abby. You know I would.”

“Thanks.” Oh God, I’m going to cry.

My eyes meet Christopher’s across the yard, and when he sees I’m in tears, he picks up Daisy and hurries over. Caroline takes her daughter from him and he pulls me in for a hug, kissing me softly.

“I’m okay,” I assure him, wiping at my eyes.

“I know you are,” he says with a small smile. “You’re so goddamn strong. Because of you, I’m okay too.”

“They’re so cute,” I hear Caroline mumble to Brittany.

“Oh, I know,” she agrees with a smile in her voice. “And it’s all thanks to me, you know. I told Abby about Chris looking for a nanny, so I basically matched them.”

Chris and I lock eyes, smiling. Brittany is right. I’m more than grateful that she told me to go to that job interview and that she helped me see that Chris is a good guy and not some douchebag. He’s truly one of the last decent men alive, just like she told me.

Looking around at all the people at this birthday party, I have to admit that there are a hell of a lot of good guys out there. Nathan, Jaxon, Dshawn, Joshua, Aston… they’re all amazing husbands and fathers, just like Christopher. Not one of them is quite like my fiancé, though. To me, he’s the best of all of them.

***

Author’s note:

Okay, I have some news... I have decided that the next book will be about... Thomas & Tracy. They are characters from the book before this one: “Feisty Francesca”. Thomas is Francesca’s old neighbor who she sort of dated / was fuckbuddies with, and Tracy is the vet tech who saved The General, and then Francesca tried to set up Tracy and Thomas. We never got to see how that played out, so I want to pick the story up at that point, so we’re going back in time a bit!

I have a few great characters in mind, like Thomas’ best friend Dylan (who he runs his own tech company with, he was mentioned a few times, but we wasn’t in Fran’s book) and a new neighbor for Thomas, since Franny moved out when she and Joshua got together for real. And... Michel will be back! He worked in the kitchen of Giovanni’s in Shaughna’s book, and he later started working at The Stables in the epilogue. He’s also the guy who took Abby out on a date in this book, right before she decided to go for it with Chris.

Of course we will also see Franny, Joshua, and a few others, but the book won’t be focused on Aston, Annabel, Caroline and the others from the older books as much. I’m excited to start something new within the same “world” I created.

And... I’ve got some really naughty scenes planned, inclusing... a threesome! :) I’ve been wanting to write one for ages now, and Thomas is the perfect guy for that. I’ve already jotted down some ideas, and it will be HOT.

Anyway, I first need to finish the book, but then it’s time for Thomas! It will be from his POV and from Tracy’s. I loved writing from two POVs in this book, so I want to try again, but it will be quite different from this book, so I’m curious what you guys will think.

I’m just torn about the title. I’ve got a few ideas so far:

- Thomas & Tracy - Double Trouble

- Tricky Thomas

- Twisted Thomas

- Tasty Thomas

- Or a combination like “Twisted Tracy & Tasty Thomas”

I’m working on the cover right now, but I can’t seem to find the right fit.

Anyway... hope you will let me know what you think! (I’m guessing I’m making my dear Cat very happy right now.... Right, girl?)

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