You know how it goes… Bree Guildford started writing a story, a one-shot about Clara and Lia, who are very much in love with each other, having a chance meeting in a café with Nathan, a guy Clara has had a crush on for the longest time and the unexpected long-term consequences of their one night stand.
Suddenly I got hit by a plot bus and I started writing about those same characters about a year on, when Lia accidentally meets at the airport the guy she has had a crush on for the longest time. Of course Clara has the brilliant idea that Lia should spend the weekend with Shane, instead of alone in her hotel room (Clara and Nathan are going to his grandmother’s for her birthday and Lia is persona non grata there).
In this bit I randomly decided to post, Clara and Nathan have just arrived at his grandmother’s house.
“So, Nathaniel, have you set a date yet?” his grandmother asked him and he sighed internally.
He had wondered how long it would take his grandmother to mention his love life and the answer was approximately five minutes after they all sat down in her living room with a cuppa. They’d been at her house all of 30 minutes, in which time Violet had been changed and had had a feed before the adults sat down.
“A date for what, grandma?”He tried to do his best to look confused as he looked at the old women who was sitting in her comfy armchair to his left.
“For your wedding of course, you silly boy,” the old lady admonished. “When are you going to marry that poor girl?”
Nathan didn’t bother hiding his sigh this time, as he threw Clara an apologetic look before taking his grandmother’s hand in his, his other hand keeping Violet safely against him on his knee.
“Grandma, I’ve told you this already, she is not mine to marry,” he told her for what seemed to be the thousandth time since the news had broken that he was going to be a father.
“Don’t be ridiculous!” the old lady exclaimed. “I have seen the way the two of you look at each other when you think the other one, or anyone else, is not looking. I might be old but I am not senile. I can still recognise that look for what it is!” she added in a huff.
Nathan couldn’t look at his grandma and he certainly couldn’t look at Clara so he concentrated on the little girl he was holding against him on his lap. He looked down at Violet who looked up at him, smiling her gorgeous baby grin and he couldn’t help but smile back at her.
He realised it was time to be honest with himself and acknowledge that what his grandmother had just said was true, at least on his part. He had fallen in love with his baby mama.
He knew she was in love with Lia so he had resolved to stay silent on the matter as the last thing he wanted was to cause trouble between the two women, because he had feelings for one of them.
He’d persuaded himself that full access to his child anytime he was actually in town and sometimes sex with the mother of said child was enough. Some of his mates had declared him a lucky bastard, enjoying the prefect balance of parenthood and relationships without any of the drawbacks of an actual relationship.
But they were wrong.
There was a drawback.
A massive one.
He was in love with the mother of his child and she belonged to someone else. Someone she was in love with.
He was just a one-night-stand gone wrong and she was kind enough to indulge him with sex from time to time. He knew she enjoyed the sex as much as he did, and he knew neither of them felt used by the other; it was just sex. Right?
He heard movement and turned his head in time to see Clara say something to his mother before leaving the room, closing the door behind her. Immediately he stood up, lifting the baby up to his chest, and walked over to his mother, who was sitting on the couch Clara had just vacated.
“Mum, can you take Violet for a bit?” he asked and when she nodded in agreement he kissed his daughter on the cheek before placing her in his mother’s awaiting arms.
“Thanks,” he muttered before leaving the room in search of Clara.
He found her in the room that was theirs for the weekend, sitting on the bed, her back against the wall, holding a pillow to her chest.
“Hey,” he called out softly from the doorway, relieved that she looked up at him but concerned when he saw the tears in her eyes.
“Hey yourself,” she replied, giving him a tight smile.
“Are you ok?” he asked, walking into the room and closing the door behind him before he walked over to the bed, sitting on the edge about two metres away from her. “I’m sorry about my grandma, you know how she is…” He was not responsible for anything coming out of his grandmother’s mouth but he felt the need to apologise all the same.
She wiped the unshed tears from her eyes and her smile got a bit wider for a second before it disappeared completely.
“Yes, I know how she is… Doesn’t mean she’s not right about some of it though, does it?” Clara said dejectedly.
Nathan froze. Had she seen through him? He’d done his best to hide his feelings from her but now he wasn’t so sure he’d succeeded. Was she about to tell him that she knew and that their arrangement had to change because of his unwanted feelings for her? After all, Shane has seemed to see through him pretty easily.
“What do you mean?” he asked, not wanting to assume too much but still getting a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach that she was about to tell him the thing they had was over for good.
“I love Lia,” she whispered and her voice seemed to come from a lot farther away than it was.
He sighed and lay back on the bed next to where she was sitting, his head nearly touching the wall she was leaning against. He glanced up at her. Here it comes…
“I know,” he told her softly then moved his left arm over his eyes, wanting to shield himself from what she had to say just as much as not wanting her to see the pain in his eyes when she told him their relationship – however casual it had been – was over.
He felt her move from her spot against the wall and then he felt her body press alongside his. She put her head on his shoulder and when she moved his free arm around her he released a breath he hadn’t noticed he’d been holding.
He felt her arm reach over him, her hand settling on his chest, her fingers stroking his skin between the buttons of his shirt. He hoped like hell her getting close like that wasn’t as a way to soften the blow.
“The thing is…” she whispered against his shoulder and he decided to stop being such a coward and moved his arm away from his face, instead covering her hand with his. She linked her fingers with his and he rolled over onto his side so he could face her and what she was about to say.
She looked very nervous, a lot more nervous than he’d seen her in a long time. He brought her hand up to his mouth and kissed her knuckles softly. She let out a sighy whimper that made him want to kiss her.
“The thing is,” she started again, looking up at him with a nervous smile, “somehow I fell in love with you, too. Earlier today, Lia and then Shane assured me you felt the same way about me. That’s what I meant about your grandma having a point. Now you know.” She stopped talking but kept looking at him, biting her lip ever so slightly, before adding, “Nathan, I love you.”
Nathan just stared at her for a moment then cupped her cheek with one hand and kissed her lips ever so softly before pulling away to look at her again. It was her turn to stare and the smile on her face made him feel like his heart was about to burst.
“I love you too,” was all he managed to get out before she pulled him down for another kiss that quickly turned passionate, their tongues sliding against each other, causing dual moans of pleasure.
His leg found its way between hers as she moaned and wrapped her arms around his neck at the same time she started moving her hips against him in that way of hers that made him really hard really fast.
Nathan was pretty sure that the only thing that stopped them from having sex there and then was the sounds of a crying baby and the urgent knock on the door, followed by his mum’s voice.
“Nathan? Honey? I am sorry, I tried everything to give you guys some time to talk about whatever you needed to talk about but this little girl wants her mummy and she doesn’t want to wait any longer.”
Nathan sighed and looked at Clara who had somehow ended up under him and who was now looking at him with a happy grin, her fingers stroking his neck.
“Your daughter is such a cock block,” Clara whispered and he chuckled.
“Oh, sure, now she’s my daughter…” he whispered back at her, moving off her, his hand trailing over her waist.
“Well since her badly-timed tantrum means I can’t have your cock deep inside me right now, leaving me extremely wet and frustrated, yes, she’s yours,” she elaborated as she sat up on the bed and shuffled to the edge.
Nathan threw an arm around her waist and pulled her back down on the bed.
“Oh and you think it’s a good look for me to get back out there with a boner? In front of my grandmother, of all people?” he asked with a playful growl that made her giggle.
“I don’t know, your cousin’s girlfriend might enjoy the view. She seems to be quite taken with you,” Clara joked and he arched an eyebrow at her.
“Oh really? Well that’s too bad, I’m already taken and the only woman I want is you,” he told her and she smiled at him. He was about to kiss her again when there was another knock on the door and they were brought back to the reality of the screaming baby on the other side of said door.
He rested his forehead against hers for a second, their breaths mingling as they resisted the urge to kiss again.
“I’ll get Violet, you get yourself comfortable, ok?” he said, letting his arm fall away from her before he got up and walked over to the door.
Once he opened the door he was faced with his mum and his daughter who stopped crying for a second when she saw him, before putting her arms out to him as she began screaming just as loud as before.
“Aww, Princess,” he soothed as he picked her up from his mother’s embrace. He turned to his mum with a grateful smile. “Thanks mum,” he thanked her and she nodded before starting down the hallway.
Nathan stepped back into the room and closed the door. Violet’s screams had lost in intensity the moment she’d spotted her mother on the bed but he wasted no time in reuniting mother and daughter He sat on the bed next to Clara watching her as she settled against the headboard with two pillows behind her back before latching the baby onto her breast.
“I never tire of that sight,” Nathan told her and he meant it. There was something about the sight of the woman he loved feeding their baby girl that just made him happy. He suddenly felt like shouting from the rooftop that yes, this was the woman he loved and she loved him right back.
Clara giggled then shook her head.
“What is it with you boys and breastfeeding?” she asked with an exaggerated sigh and when Nathan looked at her a little confused she added, “Shane had the same reaction, on a way smaller scale, earlier at the airport. We agreed it’s a pretty nifty trick.”
“I didn’t realise you and Shane were that close,” Nathan joked and Clara playfully hit him on the shoulder while calling him a dick. He liked that she was relaxed again, as she’d seemed tense and nervous since they’d left the airport. He’d put it down to the Lia/Shane situation but now realised it’d probably had to do with the unspoken feelings between them instead.
He picked up her free hand and started to stroke her skin with his thumb while she fed the baby. She gave his hand a squeeze and smiled happily at him.
“He seemed a bit confused and asked a couple of questions which I answered,” she told him before adding, “questions about you and me and Lia.”
“So… how did he react? What did you tell him” he asked, genuinely curious. He’d known Shane for a few years now, they played on the same team and he’d learned about Lia’s crush on him a few weeks after finding out Clara was pregnant, when he’d decided he wanted to be involved in the child’s life and he’d started spending more time with the girls.
He’d noticed at the airport that Shane seemed keen on Lia so he hadn’t been overly surprised when Clara had come up with her plan. If he’d had to guess though, he’d have said she felt the need to repay Lia for letting her spend the night with him a year ago.
“I told him… Oh god…” she started then stopped, blushing. “I told him he had my blessing to fuck my girlfriend… Those words exactly…”
Nathan chuckled and shook his head.
“How did he take that?” He had to ask. He didn’t think Shane was quite used to the occasional bluntness of Clara.
He could tell Clara was extremely embarrassed and if she hadn’t been in the middle of feeding Violet, he would have reached over and kissed her until that blushing was replaced by another kind of blushing.
“He said it was weird but he seemed relieved. He asked what I thought would happen in Napier but I told him that he and Lia were the only two people who could answer that particular question.”
“True. How do you think it’s going to go between them? Are you sure you’re ok with it?” He didn’t think she’d have suggested it if she wasn’t ok with the idea of Lia spending time with Shane. Not when there was so much at stake.
She didn’t answer straight away as she was getting a half-asleep Violet to release her nipple. Once the baby’s mouth had let go, Nathan moved to pick Violet up and while Clara was putting her breast away, he set his daughter high up on his chest with her little head against his neck. He started gently rubbing her back, pacing around the room.
The sleepy little girl let out an almighty burp then nuzzled his neck and Nathan looked at Clara who had just got her drink bottle out of the change bag and they both laughed. He was always amazed that such a little person could produce such loud noises.
“Looks like Madam is due for a sleep. Do you want me to change her now or after she has the other side?” he asked Clara who was having a drink of water. She shrugged and sat back on the bed against the pillows she’d piled up to support her back.
“Up to you, baby. If you do it now, she’s sure to fill her nappy mid-feed,” she told him and all he could do was stare. That was the first time ever she’d used any kind of term of endearment when speaking to him; he was used to her calling Lia ‘baby’ or ‘bub’ but that was it.
“What?” she asked, “you know how she is.”
“I do,” he said with a happy grin, realising Clara had no idea she’d called him something she’d never called him before, then reached into the change bag to get the change mat, a nappy and the wipes. He put the mat down on the bed one-handed and lay the little girl on it.
As he busied himself with the task of changing his daughter’s nappy, he could feel Clara’s eyes on him. Once he was done he handed the baby girl back to her mother and sat down next to his girls again. He watched Clara latch their daughter onto her breast and was hit with the sensory memory of her nipple against his tongue.
It’d been a long time since he’d had the chance to get up and personal with her boobs. Her nipples had become quite sore during her pregnancy, and were a no-go zone by the time they’d started sleeping together again.
Since Violet’s birth, she had been exclusively breastfeeding and he knew she felt self-conscious about possible leaks, and to prevent such an embarrassing (in her view) event, she was always wearing a maternity bra.
He missed having her naked body pressed against his in bed. They didn’t spend that many nights together, never really had, as she was Lia’s girlfriend, not his, but now that their feelings for each other were out in the open, he hoped that this could change.
He came out of his daydream when she squeezed his hand.
“You ok, baby? You seemed miles away,” she asked, concerned and he noticed Violet was now asleep in her mother’s arms. He smiled at Clara.
“That’s the second time you’ve called me that today,” he remarked and she blushed. He wondered if she was remembering the few times he’d called her honey. In the couple of months since he’d come to terms with his feelings for her, he’d slipped a few times but she hadn’t mentioned it. He hadn’t either, thinking it might make her uncomfortable.
He smiled at her and, picking up her hand that was still on top of his, brought it to his lips.
“I like it,” he assured her, kissing her hand, and smiled wider when he heard the whoosh of her breath. He realised she must have been holding her breath after his remark, trying to gauge how he was feeling about it.
He moved closer, mindful of the sleeping baby, and leaned across to kiss her. She let out a little whimper when his lips touched hers and again when his lips left hers. He pulled back to look at her.
“I love you,” he reiterated and when she smiled at him, he could see unshed tears in her eyes.
“I love you too,” she replied, squeezing his hand again.