Caring Christopher

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#76 Maybe we should try

Oh my God, okay, this is the FINAL CHAPTER! Earlier than I planned, but I know this is right. It feels good to end their story here.

Of course there will be epilogues, and I will post the first one today or tomorrow, but this is the last real chapter!

***

Abigail

The first guests are leaving, but I know I won’t be able to sleep for hours to come. Our wedding was without a doubt the most amazing day ever, and even though it’s late now, and a little cold out, I still feel like I’m walking on air.

“Can I have this dance?” Jagger asks, smiling down on me, holding out his hand.

“Sure.” I let him pull me up from my chair. My feet are hurting from dancing so much, and I’ve kicked off my heels an hour ago, so I’m in flipflops now, which looks ridiculous with my fancy wedding dress, but I don’t care.

Jagger pulls me in for a hug and we sway to the music Francesca’s and Joshua’s band is playing. I had no idea they were this good, and I’m happy that Shaughna got them to play at the wedding. The song they played while I walked down the aisle was beautiful, perfect for me and Chris, and I’ve already asked them if they will record it for us, which they happily agreed to.

“Mom?” Jagger asks, looking at me with those big green eyes of his. “Can I ask you something?”

“Anything,” I reply right away, smiling at him. “You know that, Jag.”

“Yeah, but it’s kind of a big ask,” he says, glancing away from my face, looking unsure of himself. “Celeste and I have been talking and… she wants to give the baby up for adoption, and even though I don’t want her to, I know I have to support her if this is what she needs to move on.”

“Oh, Jag,” I sigh, touching his cheek in a soft caress. “I know how hard that must be for you, but I’m proud you’re putting her needs before your own. She’s been through a lot.”

“I know,” he says, sighing. “Dad talked to me, and he made me realize that adoption might be the best thing for both of us. Which leads me to my question…” His eyes find mine again and he stops moving, just standing there with me in the grass. “Do you think that maybe you and Dad…”

Oh God, is he asking us to adopt Celeste’s kid?

“Jagger,” I say carefully. “You know we love you and Celeste, and her baby, but I don’t think that would be the best idea.”

“Why not?” he asks, anger flashing in his eyes for a split second. “You and Dad can’t have kids, and you desperate want a baby, and Celeste has one that she doesn’t want to raise. I think it’s a great idea.”

“Honey…” I step back, putting my hands on his shoulders and squeezing. “I get that you might think that, but Celeste wants to move on from what Wyatt did to her, and if her baby is living here, with us, she won’t be able to do that. She needs you, and us, and we can’t be there for her if we adopt her baby. We will find her baby a great family, I promise.”

“But you and Chris-”

“We’ll find a way to have a baby,” I say forcefully. “Don’t you worry about us. You want to be this baby’s father, Jagger. Don’t you think that it would be really weird for you to basically be his or hers big brother? You’ve been to all the sonograms with Celeste, held her hair back when she puked, rubbed her back when she was having pains…”

“Yeah,” he sighs, looking resigned. “Maybe. It just feels so weird to give up a baby. I know it’s probably not mine, but what if it is? What if the baby comes out and it has my eyes and my smile? How can I be okay with Celeste giving up my son or daughter when I’m not even truly okay with her giving up the baby if it’s Wyatt’s?”

“I don’t know,” I say honestly. “It will be hard, I know, but if it’s what Celeste needs, and if it’s what’s best for the baby…”

He nods and drops his hands from my waist. “Yeah, okay. I… I think I’m gonna check on Celeste. She’s asleep in my room and I don’t like to leave her alone for too long.”

“Okay.” I give him a kiss on the cheek and watch him walk back into the house, looking defeated. Part of me wants to tell him that yes, of course, Chris and I will adopt Celeste’s baby, but I know that it will be too hard on her and Jagger. Chris and I would love to adopt their kid and raise it as our own, but this isn’t about us. This isn’t even truly about Jagger, although I do want him to be okay. This is about a scared teenage girl that was raped and doesn’t know how to be around the kid that came from such a violent union. She needs me, Chris, Jagger and Edward to rally together for her. Adopting her kid may seem like a nice thing to do, but I doubt it would help her in the long run.

I spot Chris on the other side of the yard, talking to his parents, and I walk over, wrapping my arms around him from behind. He turns in my embrace and kisses me softly, smiling against my lips.

“Hey, hubby,” I say, grinning up at him.

“Hi, wifey,” he replies. “Is Jagger okay?”

I shake my head. “Not really.”

His parents slip away, leaving us to talk for a moment, and I love them for understanding that I need my husband – oh, I love calling him that – to myself for a few minutes. I tell him about my conversation with Jagger, and his eyes turn sad.

“You’re right,” he agrees when I tell him about what I told our son. “Celeste deserves a clean break, but Abby…” He sighs and closes his eyes for a moment. “I’m not going to lie. I’d love to adopt that baby. I know it’s not the smart thing to do, and we won’t, but if I’m honest, it has crossed my mind a few times.”

“Yeah, but it would be selfish,” I say, resting my forehead against his. “And maybe…” Oh God, am I really going to say this? I didn’t think I would, but here I am, saying it anyway. “Maybe I was wrong to dismiss the idea of a surrogate.”

“What?” he asks, leaning back to look at me with wide blue eyes. “What are you saying, Abby?”

“I’m saying…” I take deep breath. “Maybe I should start those fertility treatments. It’s a long shot, and we will probably end up disappointed, but we both said in our vows that we will love each other no matter what, right? That we will work to have the family we’ve always wanted? Well, maybe we should try. I talked to Britty and Caroline earlier, and their offer still stands. I don’t want to use their eggs, but if I somehow manage to produce a few viable ones myself, they’re both willing to be our surrogate.”

To my surprise, Chris shakes his head. “I don’t want to have a baby with another woman, even if it’s technically your kid,” he says, sounding sure of it. “I know you’re only doing this for me, and I don’t need you to, baby. All I need is you. We will adopt. I’m okay with that. Watching another woman be pregnant with our kid will be hard on you, and I don’t want that for you.”

Part of me is relieved to hear him say that, since I agree that watching Caroline or Brittany be pregnant with my kid would be the hardest thing I’d ever do, and that is saying something considering all the crap life has already thrown my way since I got born into the world.

“Then what about…” I trail off, unsure how to go on. “What about if we start the treatments anyway? I read about this clinical trial with this new medication that can help women with hostile uteruses to be able to carry a kid full-term. I know it’s a long shot, but I… I’d like to try. For you. For us.”

“Are you sure?” he asks, his expression guarded. “I’m happy no matter what you decide. I know I had a hard time accepting that we can’t have children, but I’m there now, I’m okay with it. I don’t need you to do something you don’t feel comfortable with.”

“Let’s make an appointment with Dr. Gio and see what we can do,” I insist. “If it doesn’t work, we still have our three boys. But if it does work… Chris, imagine a kid with your curls and my eyes…”

Finally, a smile appears on his handsome face. “Oh Abby, I’ve been imagining that since we met.”

“Then you agree that we should at least try?” I ask. “I don’t want you to fall apart when it doesn’t work, and I know it will be hard and it will take years, probably, but… I’ve lived so many years on the run from commitment, on the run from love, and now I’m your wife, and a mother to our three boys, and it makes me think that maybe we can do this. That we should.”

“Okay,” he agrees, kissing me softly. “Let’s try. But I still want to adopt, whether or not we have a kid of our own one day. Or foster more kids. Or both. Let’s try it all and see what happens.”

“Deal,” I agree, kissing him back. “Let’s see what happens.”


THE END

(Well, sort of, since there will be epilogues, of course!)

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