Chapter 9

 Evangelineís Living Room hours laterÖ

What was I thinking to let him know how I felt? How did I go from letting him go to wanting to get him back? And not just for the sake of our baby, although that is part of it. I need him to be a part of my life.

"Hello" she said, answering her cell phone. The incoming number was one she didnít recognize.

"Ms. Williamson. Hello, this is Juan Hernandez, Judge Hernandezís son."

"Mr. Hernandez, how are you? Iím so sorry for your recent loss."

"Thank you. I got your sympathy card. I need to meet with you, privately. Is there someplace other than your office that we can meet?"

"Sure. Can I ask about what?"

"Yes, but not on the phone. You said you know someplace we can meet?"

"Yeah, a friend of mineís house. Let me call her and set it up. Iíll get back to you with the address and time. Is that okay?"

"Yes, and Ms. Williamson, I canít tell you how much this will mean to me. Please call me back soon. Bye."

"Bye."

What in the world could he possibly have to say to me? Could it have anything to do with the Cramer vs. Buchanan case? If so, maybe I should call John. I may need back up and I did agree to let him handle this for me.

Evangeline called John. After telling him what Juan Hernandez said, he agreed to meet with her at Noraís. He totally agreed it would not be a good idea for her to meet with Hernandez by herself. She felt better about the meeting. She called Mr. Hernandez back and told him about John. He surprised her by saying that having the police there might be a good idea. They agreed to meet the following day at Noraís. She gave him the address, and set the meeting for six oíclock that following evening.

Llanview Police Station, later that evening...

"Come in," John said to the knock at the door.

"Hey Bro, how is it going? Got a few minutes to spare for your better-looking brother?

"Yeah, but Iím the good-looking one," he laughed. It felt good. He thought the laughter had vanished.

"How are things in love land?"

"Love land. Where in the world did you learn to speak?"

"Well, you know how I talk and you get it. Thatís all that matters."

"Well love land is tanked. Iím in deep and I donít know how to get out," John said seriously. Glancing at his brother, he wondered sometimes why he wasnít as easy going as Michael. They had the same parents but Michael always seemed more in touch with who he was. John always felt he couldnít completely let go; too many people depended on him.

"You find out what Evangeline was hiding?" Michael asked as he plopped in the seat in front of Johnís desk.

"Yeah, I figured it out the same day. I just had to confirm it with her."

"Did you?" he asked curiously.

"Yeah. You, little brother, are going to be an uncle."

"No way. When? How?"

"When? In a few months. If I have to tell you how, you need to go to counseling. And while youíre at it, give back that medical license," he said looking at his brother and shaking his head.

"Well, how did you get her to admit it or was she just ready to spill after you let her know you knew?"

"Little of both actually," he said.

"Did she explain or did you ask?"

"Oh, I asked. Did I understand afterwards? Not completely."

"John, did you tell her how you feel about her? Or is she still completely in the dark?"

"Look, for over a month, Iíve shown her how I felt. What more can a guy do?"

"I donít know. Maybe come out and say how you feel. I mean some women want the words, not the guessing."

"Exactly what words are you talking about Mikey and be quick about it?"

"Well, if you have to ask, then Quantico really sucks. Man, tell the woman you love her. Itís written all over your face. Every time you say her name. She is everything to you and if you blow it, because of pride, well you are not the man I raised you to be," he said half seriously and jokingly.

"Michael, she lied to me. She kept the truth from me. I donít know if pride is what is holding me back?"

"What else? Youíve finally opened up to a woman after years of burying yourself in work. Now you smile and you plan for the next day. Do you really want to give that up? So, she didnít tell you something she thought you didnít want to know. People make mistakes. You of all people should be able to understand that."

"This is not just a simple lie. This one was huge. She kept the truth about my child."

"I know I donít have all the facts, but you can tell how she feels about you. How many women do you know who could put up with your attitude and still care? Okay, she lied. Iím not saying that I get it, but you are the one who knows her best. Do you really think she would have kept it from you too much longer?"

"Oh, I get it. Somehow, I should get past the lie and forgive and forget. After all, this is Evangeline. You donít even think about my feelings here."

"See that is the wrong way to look at it. People do stupid things for good reasons, but at the time they think they are doing the right thing."

"So you really think I should forgive her and move on."

"No, all Iím saying is put yourself in her place and forget your pride."

"Forget my pride and forgive her."

"Well yeah, she is worth it. I donít think you will find another woman like Evangeline. I believe you two are it for each other. Then again, I could be wrong. I donít think you should do anything until you give it some thought."

"Maybe youíre right, but right now Iím feeling raw. Iíll think about it and Michael, thanks."

"Hey, no need to thank me. If the situation was reversed, youíd do the same for me and Marcie."

"Yeah, I would. Now your time is up. Let me get some of this paperwork done, and Michael, this stays between us."

"Hey, my lips are sealed, but I am going out and start looking for gifts for my niece or nephew. I thought Marcie and I would be the first to make Ma, a Nana. Go figure."

Evangelineís House:

Nora said she would be by for moral support, but Evangeline was tired of talking and thinking about the mess sheíd made. She called Nora and told her she was going to make it an early night and they should get together for lunch. She was just getting ready for bed when the doorbell rang.

Going to the door and looking out, she was surprised John was back. She opened the door and let him in.

"Hey. What brings you by or need I ask?" she said.

"I came by to check on you and the baby personally. How are you? Did you eat?"

"I ate and Iím just a little tired. It has been a long day."

"For me too, but I need to clear up some things, and tonight if we can."

"John, Iím tired. If you wonít be long then okay."

"If you are tired go get ready for bed. Iíll wait down here and you call me when you are tucked in."

"You arenít staying here tonight," she said, thinking that the last thing she wanted was him hovering over her tonight.

"No, but I want to be here until you go to sleep. I just need to be close to you. No, Iím not ready to forget, but I need to be with you. Is that okay?"

Itís okay. Let me go up and shower. I wonít be long."

John sat in the chair Evangeline had bought for him remembering how excited she was when it was delivered. He thought then how she seemed to always think about what would be good for him. He didnít know she noticed how he liked to sit and think things through. That was one of the reasons he cared for her; she always put his needs on her list of things to do. Now maybe he should try to come to terms with what she did.

Evangelineís Bedroom

Evangeline was just getting into bed and pulling the comforter over her tired body when she heard the knock.

"Come in," she answered.

"You tucked in yet?" he asked as he strolled into her room thinking how small and fragile she looked in that huge bed. He never understood why someone so small would buy a bed that huge.

"Yes. Come and rest with me, if you donít mind?"

"Hey, I thought you wanted to be alone?"

"I did then I thought, why should I be alone and tired when I can be with you and get plenty of rest? We both know I donít rest well when you are not here." She watched as he took of his shirt and laid it on the chair. She noted how tired he looked and her heart just tipped. Then she remembered all the ways this man was special to her and how she never wanted to be responsible for his pain. She always wanted to be the one to make it better.

"Van, I need to be here tonight. No, I am not over what happened, but I want to hold you. Maybe just feel what I felt before all of this." He stepped back to the bed and looked at her. He got under the comforter and pulled her close. He felt her tense for a minute then her body melted. It was always like this for them. The moment they touched it seemed that everything and everyone melted away. He breathed her as she rested in the curve of his body perfectly. He took his hand and rested it on her stomach, feeling for the first time connected to her and their child. Damn, she smelt like flowers in springtime and her skin felt like satin. Now he knew that no matter what, he was weak for her. But, was she for him?

"John," she whispered, "Iím sorry."

"Shh, get some rest. Just rest," he said. He started to rub her stomach and as the rhythms of the night settled in, they both went on to a peaceful sleep in each otherís arms.

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