"Say something, Aaron. Please."
We were back in Martina's hotel room and I wasn't quite sure how we got there. It was like everything that had happened the past hour was a crazy dream, and I was waiting to wake up so I could laugh at it. There was only one thing I hoped would still be here when I did, though.
She came to sit on her knees in front of me and grabbed my hands in hers, and I just stared at them. The way hers slipped so naturally inside my palms, so soft and so delicate.
"I'm worried about you," she whispered, and I could see it in her face too. Her gorgeous, big deer eyes were serious and searching, and her mouth tried to smile, but failed.
It was then it clicked, and I stood up so fast that she gasped.
"You fainted," I said, startled. How the hell could I forget that?
"I gotta take you to the hospital."
I helped her up from the floor and stared at her stomach. There was a baby in there. My baby. And if I understood things correctly, it would be my first born child.
Did he know? Had he known all the time, or did Bree keep it a secret from him as well? Because she knew. That calculated, evil bitch had probably laughed behind my back all these years, not only because of the twelve years of hell she put me through, but for the six years with a generous alimony after that. And for what? To make me look like a fool and have someone to take out her frustration on? Because she sure loved to make my life miserable.
Then there was the million dollar question; who was Rocco's real father? Was it the amoeba? Or someone completely random Bree had fucked around with around my back? Not that we dated exclusively around the time she got pregnant. But she didn't seem like the girl to sleep around at that time. She was daddy's good girl and all that crap. It wasn't until later that I learned how she really was.
Martina waved her hand in front of my face. I'd zoned out again.
"I'm sorry," I mumbled. Then I shook my head, as if that would help to clear my thoughts.
"I know, baby. You're not yourself right now, and I understand. Everything kind of blew up in your face at once."
I smiled vaguely at my new nickname. I guess I had to share that from now on.
"The big one..."
I pointed at myself and then at her stomach.
"...and the small one."
"Yes. And I think the little one is just fine. I'm more worried about the big one right now."
She cradled my cheeks in her hands and kissed me lightly, and found myself automatically leaning in for more. So I wrapped my arms around her to keep her there, and leaned my forehead against hers.
"Can we please not talk about it?" I asked, and I knew I probably sounded confusing.
"Rocco?" she said, and I made a little hum to tell her she guessed right.
"Just don't lock it in forever, okay?"
Then she pecked my nose the way she knew would make me feel better, and no matter how chaotic my mind was right then, it worked. A little bit, at least.
"Promise," I answered. But I had one more question.
"Does he know?"
"I don't know. I haven't told him, and I thought maybe you should be the one to bring it up. I'm not sure if he noticed that I was pregnant either, and I know for sure that he doesn't know about the DNA test."
I raised my eyebrows.
"His hairbrush," she giggled and looked away, and the way her cheeks heated up made me chuckle as well.
"Special agent Martina Sanchez collecting tissue samples while doing a house search in true FBI style?"
"Guilty as charged."
"Should I be concerned?" I chuckled even more, and when I hugged her tighter, I felt our little baby like a bubble between us.
"Not as long as you behave."
I was quick to make a scout's honor.
"Stick a needle in my eye."
"I think we should leave your eyes alone for now. I like them just the way they are."
"I hope our baby gets eyes like yours, though," I said casually, and I watched her lips quiver a bit and she teared up.
"Darn hormones," she sniffled. Then she giggled when I wiped away a couple of tears from her cheeks.
"Do you know what it is?"
She smiled secretively, but didn't say anything.
"You do! Tell me," I urged, and tickled her to make her laugh harder.
"Okay! It's a girl!"
"So we'll have to paint the room pink, then?" I suggested with a grin and enjoyed her instant bewilderment. Therefore I elaborated.
"The nursery? I never liked yellow flowers anyway."
I wished I was a mind-reader. So much was going on inside that pretty head of hers right then, and I wanted to hear them all. Was she happy? Was she scared? Because lord knows I was. Did she have regrets? Did I have regrets? Was she ready to move in with me? I mean, we'd talked about it, but she'd never really given me an answer.
Fuck! Maybe she wants you to move to New York? No, no, no... Not gonna happen!
"You're moving here, right?" I asked, suddenly anxious. And I tensed up even more when she just shrugged.
"I don't know."
"Please? I'll get you everything you need. You'll make new friends. You'll get new job in no time, too. No, forget that. You don't have to work at all. We'll manage just f..."
She took a deep sigh.
"Moving across the country isn't exactly something you decide in an hour. I'm still not used to the idea that you know that I'm pregnant, and that you actually want to be a part of bringing her up."
Why did it suck to hear that? She didn't include you in her future, and you can't really blame her either.
"Can you give me some time to think?"
"Yes!" I exclaimed, grasping the tiny hope she offered.
"I'm not saying either yes or no, I just need to..."
"...think about it. Of course," I finished, and stole the words out of her mouth.
"But only four months, then."
"And if I ask you to move to New York with me?"
"Nevermind. You don't have to answer," she said, soon after.
"I already know what you're going to say."
Double fuck! You forgot that she reads you like an open book.
"Let's continue this conversation later, shall we?"
"Yeah, that's... Uh... What are you doing?" she asked, when I grabbed her hand and pulled her after me.
"Taking you to the hospital."
"No, Aaron. I don't need that. Everything is fine."
"You don't know that!"
"Yes, I do. I felt her move a bit."
That piqued my interest for sure.
"Really? You can feel that?"
I wanted to touch her little bump, but I wasn't sure if she was comfortable with it.
"Merely. It's just a small flutter. Kind of like tiny bubbles bursting."
"So you can't feel it with your hand?"
"No, silly," she giggled.
"Not yet, at least."
Feeling a bit bummed, I started pulling her toward the door again. But of course she protested.
"Aaron. Seriously. I probably fainted because I haven't eaten properly."
I cocked my head. I thought you were supposed to eat for two when you were pregnant?
"I kind of..." she mumbled the rest so I couldn't hear, and when I asked her to repeat, she didn't meet my gaze.
"I tried to hide that I was pregnant by not eating much."
"What? That's not healthy."
She shrugged. And more determined than ever, I wanted to get her out of there.
"Pack your bags."
"Pack your bags and cancel your flight tomorrow. We're going to my place."
"No buts. I've got plans."
She gave me a challenging stare, but this time I wouldn't budge for nothing.
"I need to get back to work."
"They'll manage well without you."
"But I have a doctor's appointment..."
"You can get a new doctor here. I'll have them send over your papers. Because no matter if you decide to move here or not, I don't want to miss any more of the time until you're due. When is it, by the way?"
She pursed her lips for a moment to contain her laughter.
"It's just so unexpected. I honestly didn't expect you to be happy about it."
I sniffed and pretended to be offended.
You know she's right, Aaron. You didn't expect it either. Maybe you've finally grown up? Yeah... Let's see about that.
"That's the due date?"
She nodded and smiled, and I couldn't help but to hold her and kiss her again.
"You're gonna be the best mom ever. The way you've saved my ass from devastation is a solid proof."
Then I squinted at her.
"Pack. Your. Bags," I demanded, emphasizing every word, but my strict glare only made her laugh. Still though, she did as I said. And in true gentleman style, I paid for her room, and refused to listen to any of her protests. Then I bought her the biggest sandwich they had at 7 Eleven and commanded her to eat every crumble, a little pre-taste of what I had planned for later.
"Where are you taking me?" she asked, sounding both nervous and excited at the same time. Then she got confused when I parked outside the grocery store where we first met.
"We got the worst start of our relationship. How about we do it all over again?"
To say she looked confused was an understatement.
"Mhm? Like when we met at the store for the first time."
"You wanna recreate that?" she smiled in disbelief, and I smirked proudly. I often had ideas. This was one of the rare good ones.
"But... Let's skip the vanilla extract."
She giggled and nodded. That would be weird for sure. So after we split and bumped into each other at the same spot, just like the very first time, she said:
"I'm terribly sorry, sir. I didn't see where I was going."
She giggled again and looked around to see if anyone was watching. Just like the first time, I found myself struggling to pull my eyes away from her, and she smiled shyly back at me.
Damn, Aaron. She's one hell of a catch. You lucky bastard.
Unlike the first time, she had her hair gathered in a messy bun, but it was still the dark caramel color that had changed my standards so drastically.
"It's okay. I didn't see where I was going, either."
Her eyes snapped up to mine again at the sound of my voice, and I saw her teeth graze over her bottom lip. Then she mirrored me when I smiled down at her.
"You look familiar. Have we met before?" she asked, but shook her head right after when she saw my questioning face.
"Nevermind. You don't happen to know where I can find the... Uhm... Chocolate?"
I snickered and nodded in the right direction. Was that one of her cravings?
"I'm Martina, by the way," she said solemnly, and stretched out her hand to greet me.
"And I'm Aaron. Nice to meet you," I replied, and shook it. I just couldn't stop smiling.
"And what brings you to San Francisco, if I may ask?"
"I'm on vacation here to meet a special friend."
"Aha. What kind of friend? Someone close?"
"Yes. And he's really handsome, too. And I hope we can get even closer, because we have something to look forward to," she smiled back.
"You do?" I asked, and found the flirty Aaron in me. It had the effect that I wanted. Still, she managed to stick with our plan.
"Yeah. It's a really big surprise that will be here in about four months."
Then she looked at me and poked my arm.
"You're even worse than me," she teased, and it was first then I noticed that my eyes were glossy. So to distract both myself and her, I crashed against her lips and kissed her like we were all alone in the store. And I didn't stop until people started complaining.
"Get a room!" someone yelled, and I could see a mother holding her hand in front of her son's face to shield him from our sudden PDA.
"Shut up!" I yelled back.
"She's having my baby! And she's the best fucking woman on the planet! And the most gorgeous one, too!"
Then I hugged her and murmured into her hair.
"And sexiest, with the most amazing pussy that will have all my attention when we get home."
Needless to say, she blushed and shushed me.
"God, I love when you do that," I chuckled, and she slapped my chest the playful way.
"Get all embarrassed and shy."
"Shut up," she grumbled, but both of us smiled like idiots on our way out, and even received applause from a few of the customers. And when we were well seated in the car, I gave her another good kiss, before I grinned like the love-sick puppy I was.
"How about a first date?"