SUBMIT (BOOK 2, DSD SERIES)

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Chapter 11

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

Sponge Bob Squarepants.

Who’s porous and yellow...?

My head drums as the Sponge Bob theme song rings in my ears. I try drowning it out by covering my ears but alas the voices taking part in this song are too loud.

“Sponge Bob! SQUAREPANTS!” Natalia screams and I instinctively camp my hand over her mouth.

I never really appreciated this song after sixteen years of hearing it on repeat. It gets to you after a while.

“You have some power lungs Nat,” I say nicely and she nods in agreement. “But Aunty Izzy would like you to tone it down a bit okay. She’s getting a headache.”

She nods again and I release her slowly. She gives me a toothy smile before turning to the TV watching Sponge Bob and Patrick as they try to get Squidward to join their neighbour club.

I’ve watched this episode many times already and right now it hurts my eyes to even look at it.

I am still in the hospital lying on the hospital bed with this little siren, Nat, and to clarify when I said siren I mean the one you’d find on an ambulance.

Ah yes, the hospital such a glorious place. They cook for me, bring me food (if that mush can be considered food) and there’s a helper on call if I need one. Great right? Yet, somehow I still find myself itching to get out of here.

The good thing about this day is that I can finally escape this place. Yep, I’m being released and I get to go back to my apartment. Not that it’ll be the same again, Lexi and Johnattan are here and they’ll want answers. Answers I don’t want to give.

“Aunty Izzy?”

“Yes?” I say looking at little Natalia.

At age six, she stands at four feet with Raven black, kinky hair, big brown eyes, pink lips and a face that could challenge the most beautiful girl in the world and give her a run for her money. She’s in a pink dress with sleeves, black Vans and her beautiful curls in a high ponytail.

They’ve been known to say that it seems that she had swallowed a radio at a young age because she has a hard time keeping her mouth close. Plus she has a higher IQ than those her age. Yes to sum it up to us she’s a perfect little girl.

“Can you sing on the mic?” She asks with a curious gaze.

Wtf?

“Excuse me?” I ask a bit taken back.

“When I was with Joey he was talking to his friends and he was saying that his girlfriend could sing really well. She sang on his mic so good that she made him hit some notes that could be heard from heaven,” she replies innocently. “Mommy says I can sing too! So I’m asking if you can.”

I blink lost for words. Joey, was her big brother and Cheverlie’s nephew as Natalia was her niece. The boy lacked a censor so they convinced him to “clothe” his arguments so Nat wouldn’t pick up on the maturity they hold. Obviously that didn’t work.

How can I approach this?

“Nat, your singing and Joey’s girlfriend’s singing are totally different.” I state and she looks at me puzzled. “You both have different voices, sing at different places and in different ways. Her singing is for a more mature crowd and yours should remain at the children’s level.” Where your innocence will last.

“Oh,” she said in recognition. “I think I get it now. It’s like how Barney is for little babies and Fifty Shades of Grey is for adults.”

“How do you know about–?”

“Joey and his girlfriend were watching it one night when he was babysitting and he told me it wasn’t for my age group. There were a lot of screaming and noises it was like the girl was dying!”

Was she hearing the movie or Joey’s girlfriend?

“It really isn’t, okay Nat. Please just stick to Barney and Dora for now okay?”

“Okay Aunty.”

I sigh in relief. Not bad Tina, you’re already getting the hang of this mother thing. Nice deflect.

Natalia places her hand on her cheek with a wondering look. “So aunty can you sing like her or are you better? Do the ”mature crowd” love when you sing on the mic?”

The door opening prevents me from answering that question and I mentally praise whoever my saviour is. I thought maybe it was Chev but I am wrong as I stare at the person before me.

Hazel eyes lock with mine as locks of dark curly hair come into view from behind the door and I look surprisingly at my visitor.

Edward. What’s he doing here?

“Who’s he?” Natalia asks in awe as her focus shifts from the Sponge Bob to the man standing across from us. “He’s hot! Aunty, can we keep him?”

Edward chuckles at her boldness, she looks up at me pleading before turning to look at Edward and swoons as she takes in his smile.

“Now Natalia don’t inflate his ego. It’s big enough already. And we can’t keep him they say wild animals should be allowed to roam freely.”

He looks at me faking hurt as he puts his hand on his chest. “Hear the little jail bird sing. You’d be surprise the things wild animals can do it’ll probably blow your little domestic mind.”

“There is a child here!” I say covering her ears. “Behave yourself.”

He winks and I shake my head releasing my hold on Natalia.

I have to admit though. He looks ravishing. He’s in a white T-shirt that clings to his body like a second skin showing the grooves of his well-toned body and black pants that almost strains against his package. This outfit he then pairs with white Vans.

At that he raises a brow at me with a smirk on his delectable lips as he notices my eyes taking him in. ”Isabelle."

My name flows over his lips with a purr. It would have made any woman shiver in delight and arousal but I’m not just any woman.

“Edward,” I say with an unamused face. “What are you doing here?”

“You know been around the place and heard you were chilling out here so I came to give you a visit.” He says with a sheepish smile while he scratches the back of his head.

“Since when does a dashing, rich guy like you take a walk near a hospital?” I ask raising my brow.

“Since my Isabelle has been wounded and admitted,” he replies walking closer to me. “I’ve been here times before but you were still unconscious.”

He was here before? Worried about me?

“Ooh, he called you his!” Natalia exclaims in glee. “Are you guys dating?”

“No.”

“Yes.”

I glare at Edward as he says yes and Natalia pouts at my reply. “You guys should Aunty he’s a looker.”

I see Chev has rubbed off on her.

She smiles at him dreamily and he chuckles shooting her his award winning smile. “Thanks for the help small fry.”

“Anything for you good looking,” Nat pipes back and I laugh at her flirty tone.

The children of this generation... So old for their age.

“At least one of you can admit I’m good looking,” he states looking over at me.

I roll my eyes at his antics as Natalia replies. “She knows. She’s just hiding it.”

“Okay, stop talking about me like I’m not here,” I pipe up.

“If you’re not trying to talk to him why can’t I?” She asks innocently with a turn off her head. “Plus, he’s hot!”

“What’s this I hear about someone being hot?” I hear Chev ask as she pops into room.

She looks over at the tall, masterpiece standing next to my bed and a sour smile appears on her lips. ”Oh, Edward. That explains it.”

“Oh-uh, does Aunty Chev not like him too?!” Natalia asks in glee after noticing the smile on her Aunty’s face. “You guys should date! Maybe you’ll like him and hook up,”

Chev stares at Natalia bit taken back. “What? Why would you say that?”

She looks at Edward a bit jittery as she awaits Natalia’s answer. Edward watches the child in amusement ignoring the looks Chev throws at him.

“Well I was with Joey and he said that you need to get bang soon. That’s why you’re so cranky when you come over. He says it’s been so long since you’ve hooked up he fears your female parts may have dried up from lack of use.”

I stifle a laugh while Edward barks out buckling with laughter. He laughs so hard I think I saw tears coming from his eyes. His laughing triggers mine and before I know it we’re both laughing at a flustered Chev.

“So ... Wait,” I say through my laughter. “You’re always talking about a guy being a good tumble in the sheets when all this time you’ve been tumbling in those sheets by yourself?”

Chev glares at me with arms crossed not finding my taunting funny and fire burns in her eyes. That look on her face tells me if I don’t stop now I won’t like what comes after. I hold up my hands in defeat as I try to control my laughter which she stink eyes me for. Her glaring is ceased and redirected as Edward speaks.

“How long has it been Cheverlie? A month, two, three, four?” Edward asks with a raised brow as he leans against the hospital bed.

Chev looks at him horrified. “I am not answering that!”

He looks at her shocked. “Five? You must be drier than the Sarah Desert right now!”

And with that I bark out laughing.

She huffs ignoring us as she walks over to my bed holding out her arms to Natalia. “Come on Mommy’s here to get you. I don’t want these a-holes to corrupt you anymore.”

Natalia nods climbing into her Aunty’s arms. She waves goodbye to us and we do the same as our laughter settle. Chev rolls her eyes at us making her way through the door and as she walks I can head her lecturing Nat on not listening to Joey or any of his friends.

Before she could make it out the door however Edward yells something after her that causes her to slam the door in his face.

I look up at him shocked while he shrugs. “Did you just tell my friend that her hands won’t do the job properly?”

He smiles with a nod. “And that if she ever wanna hydrate her desert I got some pipe links for her.”

I raise a brow at him, trying to stifle my laughter. “That was highly rude Mr McKnight.”

“Well Ms. Hinds we can’t be polite all the time. Where would the fun be in that? Having a stick up your ass is no fun believe me.”

“Do you know that from personal experience Mr McKnight?” I ask cheekily and he laughs.

“Aren’t you being rude now?” He asks raising his brow challengingly.

“Maybe but that didn’t answer my question,” I shoot back. “So I’m guessing there’s a reason you skipped it.”

“Touché Ms. Hinds but no. I like to be the one putting it up and hopefully one day maybe up in you.”

My eyes widen at his bluntness. It was unexpected and so unlike him. “Well that was blunt.”

“Well I can’t help it, you awaken so many unpredictable things about me so sometimes a few things will just slip out and stiffen the atmosphere.”

My cheeks burned as I picked up on his not so subtle innuendo and I mentally curse my body. These hormones are making me more responsive and making him get the wrong idea.

I’m a pregnant woman. I’m Johnattan’s pregnant woman and we need to try and work something out for our child. Playing around with Edward is a no-no.

Trisha entering from the door catches our attention and I sigh in relief. She walks over to me greeting both Edward and I before checking my vitals and other things before nodding in approval.

“You’re in good shape. Totally ready to be released from this place,” she says as she stares at me. “I’ll go inform the doctor.”

“Want to get rid of me so quickly, Trish?” I ask teasingly.

She blushes shaking her head. “Oh come on you know I enjoy your company a lot but I think you’d like to get out of here. I wouldn’t want to stay here either but I work here so I’m stuck.”

“I know I was just joking with you,” I state.

She nods before giving us a smile and making her way through the door.

“Well looks like you are getting released today. Are you happy to be going home?” Edward asks from the chair beside my bed.

Home, that apartment was never my home. A place I live? Yes but never a home. Home is where your heart is and that was never the apartment.

“Sure, it’s better than staying here,” I say with a small smile. Or is it?

****

At five in the evening after a long conversation with a flirty Edward and teasing Chev after she dropped off Natalia to her mom I am ready to leave the hospital.

Or so I think.

Chev had brought a comfy black dress for me and she helps me into it with help from Trisha. My leg still hurts but it’s more bearable and I find myself moving around on it well enough.

By five thirty I was wheeling out of the hospital in a wheelchair by Edward who hasn’t left my side since this morning and Chev is behind me carrying my crouches. She moves in front of us opening her car before moving to the trunk to put away my crouches.

Edward helps me into the passenger seat and we talk before he bids me farewell and moves towards the hospital with the wheelchair. He promises to visit me soon but he has to go and take care of something right now.

I can’t deny that I enjoy his company but I don’t feel that way about him.

Chev makes her way to the driver’s side and enters the car before driving off. A few minutes into the drive we engage in a small conversation.

“Are you nervous?” She asks.

“I’m fine,” I say but in reality I’m freaking out. What if he’s there? What if I get a panic attack again? If I can’t look at him how am I to share my child with him?

“Christina, I know you. It’s okay to be afraid,” she coos. “You’ll be okay.”

“I hope. It’s just so hard.”

“I’m here for you Christina, Isabelle. Whichever just know I’m here.”

She holds my hand comforting me and I smile. She is one of the best persons I have had the pleasure of meeting. She’s real and I’m happy that I found her in my time of need.

She turns on the radio engulfing us in music trying to take my mind off my nervousness and as the song plays we sing along to it. Nicki Minaj’s Starship plays out and we laugh as we rap to it. The singing helps to calm me and I smile at her grateful for her help.

Five songs later we pull up in front of my apartment. My heart stops for a minute as my body starts to let my fears sink in. Chev grabs my hand and I look over at her with fear in my eyes. Her eyes look at me warmly as if saying ‘you’ll be fine’ and I give a small smile.

“Ready?” Chev asks as she stares at me and I nod slowly as I open my door. This is it Tina.

“Let’s go.”


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