“Nothing fits me! I swear this thing doubled in size over night. I look fat in everything!”
Al’s been at this for a whole hour, she’s cried twice and told both me and Josh on separate occasions about how much she loves or loathes us depending on our breathing pattern. These pregnancy hormones came thick and fast.
“Why don’t you just wear this?” Josh grabs a large black t-shirt out from the wardrobe in the pool house and tosses it to her.
She picks up the giant piece of cloth and stares over it at Josh. “This is Jayce’s!”
Josh shrugs. “At least it will fit you.”
Oh good god. Al’s eyes start to fill with tears and I quickly jump onto the bed next to her and pull her into my arms. “Don’t listen to the vicious queen babe, you look beautiful in everything. He’s just being a prick because he needs to get laid, right Josh?!”
He whips his head around and leaves his distracted mind behind as he focuses on the pregnant best friend of his that he just crushed. “Oh shit.” He jumps onto the other side of her and engulfs us both in his giant arms. “I’m so sorry Aleah, I was thinking about Steve. You know you’re gorgeous no matter what you wear, I was just being my usual dick self and I wasn’t thinking. Forgive me please?”
She nods, leaning her head against his shoulder. We both know he didn’t mean to upset her, he’s just not great with remembering the emotions of other people sometimes. I look down at the t-shirt still on her lap. “You know I could probably do something with this? We could get a belt and you can borrow my boots? It’d look cute.”
We spend the next hour just trying to relax, even Josh starts to chill a bit when Milo asks if he wants to do some basketball practice with him. Al watches them from the kitchen window as I try to work miracles with Tara’s sewing kit. “Do you think he’ll ever find somebody? Look how good he is with kids, he should be a Dad one day. He deserves it.”
I glance out at where Josh is doing drills with Milo, the nearly teenager lapping up every second of his attention. “I fucking hope so. I know he’s got a lot going with work picking up and Steve but he needs to get back out there, I worry he’s going to spend his life in mourning. It’s not what Harley would’ve wanted.”
She nods, her fingers delicately holding the bracelet on her wrist and I know exactly who she’s thinking about. “It must be hard babe, to let it go of something that so completely encompassed your heart. It will take someone very special to put that heart back together for him one day.”
Glancing out at Josh’s happy smiling face as he celebrates Milo’s basket, I just hope that person is closer than we know.
Pulling the top down over Aleah’s body I make sure to position the skinny black belt right at her waist, allowing the fabric to nestle around the perfect little bump she’s developed. “Girl! You look gorgeous!”
She runs her hand under her little belly as she looks over herself in the mirror and I’ve never seen her so glowing, even more than after that night where Jayce and her- Shit Brie, not right now.
Josh can’t stop fiddling with his phone, running it back and forth through his fingers for the last hour ever since Steve text to say he was going dark. Apparently before a fight he totally zones out and cuts all communication with everyone until its over, I can tell he’s bricking it.
“Babe, you okay? He’s got this, stop panicking because I swear he’ll be able to feel it through the bro-bond.” Me and Al sit down either side of him at the edge of the bed, taking his hands and holding them in ours.
“I know, I always get nervous when he fights but this time... I don’t know, something just feels off, I can’t shake it.” He’s overthinking, a Josh speciality.
Al takes hold of his chin and turns him to face her. “We’ll be there hun, if anything happens I’ll tear my way into that cage myself if I have to. He’s going to be okay though, he’s tough.”
Josh nods and we get up to leave just as I hear Jayce pop his head back in through the door. He’d ran away to the safety of his team for a practice after Aleah threw the third pair of jeans that refused to fit her at him, screaming ‘You did this to me!’ at the top of her lungs.
“Is it safe for me to come get you yet?” He shouts up the stairs, causing everyone to giggle and Josh to finally relax.
Al stands up and pulls Josh with her. “Yeah, we’re coming down!” She turns back to Josh. “You good?” He nods and we start making our way downstairs.
The way Jayce looks at Al never ceases to amaze me, he’s seen her a million times and yet each time it’s like he’s meeting her all over again. She steps down the stairs but doesn’t even make it to the last one before his smile grows bigger than I thought possible and he pulls her from the step into his arms. “You look incredible.” His lips meeting her neck so he doesn’t ruin the matt red lip I just took the last ten minutes perfecting.
She giggles as he lowers her to the floor but continues to kiss her down her body until he reaches her stomach, laying gentle kisses all over it whilst Josh leans against my shoulder and we both just watch them in awe.
“Jayce, when she gets too big for you to pick up anymore you’re more than welcome to use me as a substitute, my legs would look good wrapped around you.”
Al shoots me daggers but she knows I live to wind her up, it’s just too easy at the moment with how hormonal she is. “Brianna, you’re disgusting. He’s practically your brother.” She speaks sarcastically.
I try desperately not to laugh. “Never stopped you.”
If looks could kill I don’t know which of the three of us would be dead first after we all burst out in a fit of laughter and she starts throwing sofa cushions at us all.