Here is the long awaited part 14! No, the story did not end after the declaration of love and subsequent grieving at the hospital. And it is not ending with this chapter either. There is little more that I will share with you as soon as it is done.
The whole pregnancy loss storyline really took it out of me and I felt drained for a couple of weeks. I’m ok now, just preparing myself for Chloé’s anniversary in a couple of weeks.
I wait until I’m home, sitting on my couch in my comfy PJs, snuggled up to Donovan with his arm around me, to ring my boss. I already know it’s not going to go well.
It never does when I ask her for a day off so a whole week? I sigh and dial her number. She picks up on the third ring.
“Hi, it’s Selina. I’m sorry for the late notice but I won’t be able to come in this week.”
“What do you mean? We have a huge week ahead, you can’t just take a holiday on a whim. You already had Saturday off!”
“I am not taking a freaking holiday, I need time off, doctor’s orders.” I really don’t want to get into details with her.
“You went to the effort to see a doctor on the weekend so you can have a week off? You really must be desperate. Who’s the guy?”
“What? I’m not taking a week off work because I have a new boyfriend!” Unlike some people… “I have a letter from the doctor at the hospital saying I need to have at least a week off for medical reasons.”
“Medical reasons? You have two days off and you manage to injure yourself that badly you need a doctor to get you out of work? Riiiight. What did you do?”
I feel Donovan tense beside me and I link my fingers with his, keeping his arm across my front. He’s never liked my boss because she tends to take advantage and I guess the way she’s talking to me right now isn’t helping.
He takes the phone out of my hand before I have a chance to react and all I can do is stare at him. He looks very pissed off.
“Sandra, it’s Donovan, Selina’s boyfriend… Yes… She’s spent the last 24 hours in hospital and needs to rest. I’ll drop off the letter from the hospital at the store tom—”
I wonder what the bitch is telling him, can’t be anything nice since he untangles himself from me, gets off the couch, and starts pacing.
“No, I have no need to fight her battles for her, she’s perfectly capable of doing it herself. But she nearly died yesterday so… yes that’s what I said… well that’s none of your business. All you need to know is that she won’t be coming in this week and we’ll let you know about next week when we’ve seen the doctor. Good night.”
He hangs up and puts my phone on the coffee table before sitting back down. I cuddle up to him again, pulling his arm around me and resting my head on his chest.
“Wow, she’s a piece of work!” he says, his fingers sneaking under the hem of my top and stroking my side.
I laugh. “Yes, she really is. Ever since she came back early from her cruise, she’s done nothing but whine about men being unfaithful wankers.”
“Let me guess, her latest toyboy cheated on her and she turned into even more of a man hater?” Donovan says, and I nod against his chest, loving the little shivers his fingers are creating on my skin.
I feel exhausted but apparently it’s to be expected. I know I must be due for some painkillers as well because the dull pain is getting more noticeable. I’m also feeling hungry for the first time in a week.
I look up to find Donovan gazing at me and I realise we haven’t kissed properly yet. While we’d both said ‘I love you’ last night and spent most of the night in the same narrow hospital bed, any deep and meaningful conversation had to be put off due to nursing staff, my parents, my friends, and leaving the hospital.
There was a quick peck on the lips when my parents arrived this morning before Donovan left the room to get a coffee and some breakfast, but now I want – need – a proper kiss.
“I love you.” I say it out loud this time. No more whispering. No more hiding.
“I love you,” he replies immediately with a huge smile, his free hand moving to cup my face, thumb stroking my cheek.
I reach up and he meets me halfway. The kiss starts slow, a rediscovery of the other’s mouth; the last time we kissed properly we were so angry at each other.
I moan when his tongue swipes my lower lip; he groans when I gently tug on his lip with my teeth.
Whenever we’d kiss in the three years since we started sleeping together, I’d feel he was mine, but now I know he’s mine and it somehow makes the kiss more intense.
I end up sitting across his lap without a clear idea of how I got there but I know we need to stop. Kissing usually leads to sex and we can’t have that at the moment.
The kiss ends and I rest my face against his neck, and closing my eyes as another wave of exhaustion washes over me.
That kiss really took it out of me.
“How about you get some sleep and I go get us something to eat?” Donovan suggests before helping me up and leading the way to my bedroom.
“But I’m hungry now,” I say as I sit on the bed and watch him help me out of my shoes. I’m so glad he’s here because I seem to have zero energy left.
“Your mum told me you’ve barely eaten anything in the past week, because you felt too sick. I know you, when you’re not feeling well, you forget to eat or buy food.”
He helps me out of the trackpants Mum brought for me this morning because my jeans had to be thrown out. Damn. I liked those jeans.
“Shut up.” I sigh. He’s right. There’s no food in my house that I want to eat.
“You get into bed and have a nap, I’ll go home and get changed then I’ll get us some food on the way back. I won’t take long I promise. You’re exhausted anyway, I can tell so you probably won’t even notice I’m not here.”
“Fine!” I reluctantly agree, carefully getting under the cover still wearing his hoodie. He pulls the covers up and leans in for a kiss. When he moves away I look up at him. “You better come back.”
He chuckles and shakes his head. “Of course I’m coming back, you silly woman. Now get some sleep. I’ll see you in a bit.”
“I think I need drugs, my tummy is hurting again,” I tell him, feeling half asleep already. My pillow feels so soft after the brick I slept on at the hospital.
“On it,” Donovan says and I hear him walk out of the room. He’s back a minute later with my pills and some water. I take them and lay back down. I vaguely hear him tell me again that I need to sleep and that he’ll be back soon. I don’t even hear the front door close when he leaves.
When I wake up some time later he’s in the shower and I join him. He holds me tight as the water washes away my tears and I think his too. Once we’re both dry and dressed again I follow him into the kitchen to find he bought potato chips and a ready-cooked chicken.
He makes us a cup of tea then we sit on the couch with the TV on the music channel because neither of us are in the mood for anything more serious. He eats while I nibble but it feels nice to be having proper food again.
I notice a bag that wasn’t there before in a corner of the lounge.
“What’s that?” I ask, pointing at the familiar looking sports bag on the floor.
“My clothes for the week.”
“But I like it when you’re naked.”
“I know, but I’m going to see your boss tomorrow. If I show up with no clothes on, I’m terrified she’ll drag me into the back of the store and I’ll never see the light of day again!”
“Um, I guess you have a point. You’re hot and covered in tattoos, just her type!”
“That’s too bad, I’m taken. And just so you know, now that I finally have you all to myself, I’m never letting go.”
I smile when he says that then I remember how close we both got to losing each other and I realise there is something I need to say. I move the leftover food out of the way then slowly and carefully straddle him.
I lean forward to kiss his mouth for a moment then pull back, taking a calming breath and looking straight at him before launching myself into the metaphorical deep end.
“I’m sorry it took me so long to realise I was in love with you.” I blink a few times to make sure the tears stay away. I have cried too many times of late. “The girls and my parents kept telling me that it was obvious you and I loved each other but I always denied it. When I finally woke up to how I felt I thought it was too late and I had lost you forever.”
“That would never happen, bub,” Donovan says, wrapping his arms around me and hugging me loosely as he knows it is all my sore body will allow. “There was a moment where I lost hope you’d work out that you felt about me the way I felt about you. But instead of talking to you, I let myself believe the dumbass theory of an asshole who is supposed to be my friend. You dropping that box of stuff at my house plus some of the things you said later that night made me realise I’d truly fucked up.”
I’m pretty sure I know what dumbass theory he’s talking about but I’m too tired to ask about it.
“When I saw your watch on the table…” I start but I can’t go on. The memory is too raw and too painful. I bury my face in his neck and take comfort in his warm, solid presence.
He’s in my life, in my house, on my couch. He loves me and I haven’t lost him to someone else. But I came so close…
“I’m sorry, bub. That was a jerk move. I was hurting and I wanted to hurt you. I’m so sorry,” he whispers and I can hear a catch in his voice.
“It’s okay. You’re here now, that’s all that matters.” I wrap my arms around his neck and he rests one hand on my back, the other just inside the waistband of my pyjama pants, softly stroking my lower back.
We stay like that for a while, hugging each other and strengthening that connection between us while 90s music plays on the TV and I start to feel sleepy again.
“I didn’t have sex with Naomi,” he blurts out suddenly and his words pull me out my daze.
I push away from him and sit up so I can look him in the eye. “Excuse me?” I’m feeling rather confused. Did he just say what I think he said? How is that possible?
“I never slept with her. Don’t get me wrong, she really wanted to… but I couldn’t.”
The look on my face must be enough to express my disbelief because he lets out a big sigh and, picking up my hands in his, he adds, “I went on one date with her, the week after that damn wedding I took her to. It wasn’t my idea.”
He’s stroking the tops of my hands with his thumbs and I find myself wanting to know more yet not wanting to hear whatever he’s going to say at the same time. He glances up at me then looks down at our hands, like he can’t bear to see the look on my face as he continues.
“She threw herself at me and I told her I wasn’t interested, that I was in love with you. She didn’t care. She kept showing up when I went out with the guys, I didn’t see you as much because I knew you were busier than usual with work and between her and Jordan they pretty much had me convinced that you only cared about the sex. For some insane reason I chose to listen to them instead of talking to you and for that I will forever be sorry.”
“Oh Donovan…” I don’t know what to say. I have no idea what my reaction would have been if he’d told me how he felt then, when I was still oblivious to the way I truly felt about him. I was so deep in denial, I probably would have freaked out and sent him away.
“I didn’t want to make things awkward if you didn’t feel the same way and I thought if I let her call me her boyfriend, since she was so desperate to do so, it would help wean myself off of you. It didn’t work of course. It felt all wrong and I just missed you more. Then you dropped the stuff I’d left here at my house, I was hurting like crazy and she ranted for like an hour. I told her to leave because I was over it. That night at your house… You were so fired up, you said I was yours, that she stole me from you and that it hurt to look at me. I wanted you so bad even if I was worried you might deny saying those things in the light of day. Then the next morning I tried to talk to you and you shut me down. So I left. I went to her house and told her the charade was over.”
“And I didn’t give you a chance to tell me because I never answered your calls… I’m sorry. I thought it’d be easier to avoid you entirely. I was so wrong.” I feel the tears roll down my face and I don’t care. Donovan is looking just as messed up as me and I breach the distance to rest my head on his shoulder, my arms finding their way around his neck again.
“I had to fight the urge to show up at your house, every single day, but I figured you needed space. I hoped you’d answer the phone sooner or later, then your mum rang and I didn’t think twice. I’m sorry we lost our baby, but in a way it’s what brought us together and I can never be sorry for that.”
I know what he means because I feel the same.
“I love you,” I say, because I don’t know what else to say.
“I love you too. Bed?”
I smile through my tears and nod against his shoulder.
Bed sounds like the best idea ever.
Yay! New stuff!! Part 15