The light gently filtered into Evangelineís bedroom awakening her from a fitful nightís sleep, she had tossed and turned all night, Johnís words echoing into her brain, This is one time Iím not letting you call the shots, or deal the hand. This time you need to step up and admit itís you thatís afraid of what we have. She finally dozed off into a fretful sleep.
Focusing her eyes, she slowly got up from the bed. She knew that John was coming early with breakfast. Taking a shower and drying off, she looked for something to wear. She found slacks that still fit and a nice colorful top that added depth to her complexion. Liking the result, she felt a little better. Even though John had seemed much calmer when he left, she knew he was still upset with her. Oh, how she wished she had told him about the baby sooner. Then all of this wouldnít be happening. How did she lose control? That was something she never did until John McBain entered her life, that was the problem. Reaching for the phone, she called the only person who knew about the baby besides, John. She waited patiently for Nora to pick up.
"Hey, Nora. You up?" she asked.
"I am now. Van, whatís wrong?
"Remember our conversation earlier when you told me I should tell John about the baby?" she sighed.
"Yeah, I figured super cop would figure it out. You always said he was good."
"Well, he figured it out sooner, rather than later."
"What did you say? How did you explain why you kept it a secret?"
"I didnít. I was a little light headed and John had to get me something to eat. He agreed to finish our conversation later."
"You donít need me to tell you I told you so. But I told you so."
"Nora, what am I gonna do? Heís really upset."
"Well, thatís interesting. How can you tell?" she asked jokingly.
"Nora! Seriously, heís mad."
"Iíll take your word for it. All I can say is just lay it out there. Let him know why you kept the secret. Donít make it any worse than it already is."
"How much worse can it get? The one thing we had going for us is honesty and I went and destroyed that."
"Yeah, you did. I donít get it either and Iím your friend."
"I told you why. John and I were not in a committed anything. We were just two people hanging out and then I get pregnant. I donít know, I just feel like everything is out of control," she quietly rubbed her free hand through her hair.
"Look, I gave you good advice before and you didnít take it. Will you take my advice now?"
"What? Tell the truth and shame the devil? Or just tell the truth?" she said sarcastically.
"No need to get snippy, missy. John had a right to know about you and the baby. Now all you can do is throw yourself on his mercy and ask for understanding."
"Understanding. I donít need him to understand," she said emphatically.
"Oh, I forgot, youíre Miss Independence. You and your child wonít need a strong man and father to be complete."
"You know I didnít mean that. I just donít think I need to saddle him with a child he didnít plan."
"Well, the best laid plans ofÖwell you know where that leads. Seriously, just be honest. You owe that to your baby and John."
"Nora, all that sounds good, but I donít know if he will believe me after all of this. All I can do is try to make this work. Whatever that means. Iíll call you later, okay?"
"Okay, if I donít hear from you later, Iím coming over. Talk to you soon."
Evangeline set the phone down and sighed. How did my life get so complicated and how do I fix it?
John had stopped by Carlotta Vegaís diner to get breakfast and his thoughts were still running rampant. Heíd never thought much of being a father, even though he had taken on that role at a very young age. He honestly never thought he would ever become a father. If he had, this wasnít the way he would ever have thought it would happen. When Caitlin died, heíd believed that any possibility of him loving again or marrying had died too. That was the moment he thought his life ended, until Evangeline.
Evangeline was a beautiful sultry woman, who said ĎLieutenantí unlike anyone else on the planet. And, yeah he melted. Hell, she made him weak. Just thinking about her could bring him to his knees. The woman touched him, so deep sometimes it frightened him. He didnít know if he was coming or going. He couldnít deny that Evangeline made him honest with himself and she bought out his possessive side. She got under his skin.
He was not in control with her. That was why it was so easy for her to keep the truth from him. He trusted her completely or had until recently. He needed to know why she didnít tell him about their child. He needed to understand.
Mrs. Vega finally got to him and he placed his order. He ordered herbal tea for both of them since Evangeline couldnít stand the smell of coffee. When he left the diner, he realized that he was nowhere near close to knowing what he was going to say to her when he got to her place. He wasnít even aware of how he was going to handle what she was going to tell him.
Evangeline was just finishing up her make-up, when she heard the doorbell ring. She walked slowly down the stairs knowing it was probably John. Checking to be sure, she opened the door.
"Hey," she said.
"Hey, I got breakfast. Are you hungry?" He looked at her in the morning light, at her beauty, and he almost forgot why he was there. Then it hit him and he felt the betrayal all over again.
"Yep, very. Come on in and letís go to the kitchen," she said.
"Lead the way. Iím right behind you," he said, as he closed and locked the door behind him.
Evangeline walked ahead of him and got plates. She seemed very subdued as if waiting for the other shoe to drop.
"Whatís for breakfast?
"I got you a bran muffin, low-fat blueberry, some fruit and some herbal tea for both of us. Sound okay?"
"Sounds healthy. No bacon? I could really use some bacon," she said.
"No, and donít even think about eating any. Itís not healthy for you or the baby."
"Since when has bacon been unhealthy?" she pouted.
"Since I read it had lots of nitrates and other stuff in it. You are not going to be eating anything unhealthy while you are carrying our baby?" he said, as he begin to put the food on the plates.
Evangeline straightened up and was about to respond, but John held up his hand and said, "Stop! Iím not going to argue with you about this, because we have other things to talk about. Remember why I came by?"
"Yeah, it has to do with our child," she said.
"Yeah, why? I know I asked you last night, but I really want to know. Why didnít you tell me, the real reason? Donít leave anything out."
Evangeline stopped stirring her tea. She turned to John and really looked at him. What reason did I have for not telling him?
"Van, Iíve got all morning. I think you need to explain and now would be a good time."
"John, I donít know if you can understand, but here goes. When I found out I was pregnant I was thrilled that I had a part of you growing inside of me. Then, I started thinking where we were as a couple. And I thought maybe it wasnít the right time for me to have this baby." She stopped and let him digest what she was saying.
"You mean you considered not having our child, Evangeline? Why?" He sounded hurt and for the first time, it really hit her how much she was risking by not telling him the truth.
"You were right about me. I am the one who needs to step out emotionally where you and I are concerned. I know I accused you of holding back, but that was my way of making sure I didnít have to put my feelings on the line," she replied.
"What made you change your mind? I know you did." How close did I come to losing both of them?
"You, Lieutenant. I remember how you told me that when your father died, you stayed and waited for your mom to stop crying. The silent waiting to make sure she was okay revealed so much. I understood then that you were the type of man who would love our child no matter how they came about. You would be patient with him or her throughout the years.
"You got all of that from me telling you about that one moment?" He couldnít believe how relieved he felt. Thank God that I shared that moment with her.
"I knew I couldnít hurt you or allow anything to happen to our child. I knew you would never get over that type of loss. Neither would I. As each day passed, I loved our child more and felt a deep sense of connection to this new life."
"Are you saying that you chose to keep our baby because of me; or is it the way you feel for me and our child?"
"You still havenít answered my question, why?
"I didnít tell you, because John I want you. There, I said it. I want you to want me. I donít want you to be with me because Iím having your baby. I want you to want to be with me for who I am to you."
"Evangeline," he sighed, looking at her as if for the first time. He saw both vulnerability and strength. "I donít understand how you didnít know how I felt about you. I tried in so many ways to let you know."
"You were not the problem, it was me. I need to know if you can forgive me? I know I made a huge mistake by not telling you in the beginning about our child. All I can say is that it was all done because I care. I know it doesnít make sense, but I did not make the decision not to tell you about our child lightly. I knew I was taking a risk with what we had begun to have together. It was like knowing you are going to make a huge mistake and you donít feel like you have a choice. Is there anyway you can forgive me?
"I need time to think. Right now I feel so many things. The major feeling is disappointment that you kept something so important from me."
"So, where do we go from here?"
"Right now, letís finish breakfast and then weíll see. I have a lot to sort through; what you said, and how I feel about it. You are going to have to be patient with me. Can you do that?"
"Do I have a choice?" she sighed. "Yeah, I can do that."
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