💑EP TWENTY SEVEN💑
We stayed at the hotel for the whole weekend. We almostdidn’t go out of our room. We couldn’t get our hands offeach other. I lost count of how many times we made love.Afterward, we were happy to cuddle in each other’s arms.
I had never seen Travis this open or this happy. He waslaughing most of the time, and he couldn’t resist a chanceto pull me into his arms and kiss me.It was bliss. It was everything I could have ever dreamed
of. It was like for the first time in many years, I belonged toa family again. And I couldn’t be any happier that I belonged
to a family with Travis.
“Are you happy with the apartment, love?” he asked. “Orwould you want to move into a house?”
“I’ve just settled into your apartment,” I reminded him.
“Yes. But we need to think long-term now. If you don’twant to settle in New York, that’s fine with me. I can set upan office wherever you want. Pretty soon, we’re going tothink about having kids. And I’m not sure you want to raisethem in Manhattan.”
Kids. I smiled at the thought. Travis really wanted tohave kids with me. I really was married now!
“You’re thinking about kids now?” I asked, laughing.
“Of course,” he replied. “I was a lonely kid when I wasgrowing up. If it’s not too much to ask, I would like at leastthree kids.”
“Your birthday’s long over,” I reminded him.
He laughed. “Fine. I’ll ask for a baby for my next threebirthdays then.”
“Travis, I’m going to grow big if I get pregnant everyyear!”
“And I’ll adore you just the same,” he said, giving me akiss on the lips.
“All right. Why don’t we settle here in Manhattan fornow? And as soon as I’m pregnant, then we’ll think aboutrelocating somewhere else.”
“Okay, deal.” He smiled. He stared at me for a long whileand then he smiled. “You have no idea how happy I am.”
Tears welled up in my eyes. “I’m very happy too, Travis.”When we came back to his apartment, Travis looked likehe was a changed man. We were greeted at the door by thebellman.
“Good day to you, too, Godfrey.” He smiled.
I was surprised because the bellman was not wearing hisnametag, and yet Travis surprised us both by greeting himby his name.
Karl was at his doorstep when we got to our floor.
“Good afternoon, Mr. Cross,” he greeted him. “Mrs.Cross.”
“It’s Sunday, Karl. What are you doing here?” Travisasked.
It took Karl a moment before he could respond. “Well…Ijust wanted to ask if you needed anything for today. Iwanted to remind you about your meetings for tomorrow.”
“I have them on my phone, Karl. No need to come herepersonally to remind me. Go spend the rest of your freetime however you please,” Travis said.
When we got inside the apartment, I couldn’t help givingTravis a hug. I buried my face in his chest and sighed.
“What’s wrong?” he asked.
I giggled. “Nothing, Travis. You’re perfect!”
Monday, Travis came home at five in the afternoon. Hegot me a bouquet of roses.
“What is this for?”
He shook his head. “Passed by a flower shop andthought of you.”
I got on tiptoes to give him a kiss on the lips. “I lovethem. Thank you.”
He deepened the kiss. And then his hands crept undermy shirt. Electricity shot through me, along with a desire Ithought I couldn’t handle.
“Travis…” I m0aned.
We fell on the couch and Travis stripped off his jacketand his shirt.
“Travis, please…” I begged. I didn’t know desire could bethis potent, erasing all sense of reason, replacing it with asense of urgency.
In a minute, we were making love on the couch,whispering each other’s name, kissing each other aspassionately as humanly possible.
When it was over, we lay there for a while, cuddling eachother, while Travis told me what had happened during theday.
“Karl once told me you intended to liquidate yourfather’s company once you acquired it,” I said. “Do you stillplan to do that now?”
He sighed and hugged me tighter. “Are you going to askme to stop now, love? I once begged you not to.”
“There are other lives at stake, Travis,” I said. “Someinnocent people whose lives depend on their jobs. One ofyour father’s employees could have a pregnant wife, andlosing his job would mean losing their means to raise thebaby. You can have your battles with your father…but you have to keep them clean. Make sure…there will be no
“But I promised to save you, remember?”
“And you did,” he said. “Now, I couldn’t imagine lifewithout you…” He took my hand and kissed my fingers. “Orwithout these fingers touching me, these hands holdingme…” He kissed me on the lips. “Or these lips kissing me.”
I smiled at him. “I guess it will be like this forever.”
He smiled back. “Yes, love. Forever.”
Travis never came home late. When he did have ameeting, he let me know beforehand. Sometimes, he askedme to wait for him at a café in the hotel where he washaving his meeting. He arranged for the limo to pick me up.After his meeting, we had dinner or coffee together. Traviswas not afraid to show affection. He hugged me, kissed mein public. Sometimes, I was afraid we’d get charged with
When I told him that, he just laughed. “I think I haveenough money to pay that fine over and over again!”
Thursday night, we met Karl in the corridor.
“Coming to see me?” Travis asked.
“Yes,” he said. “I was just wondering if Monday would bea very busy day…because…if it is, I can come to the office,but if not, I was wondering…”
“Karl, you can take Monday off,” Travis said immediately.
“Really?” Karl’s face immediately brightened. “Are yousure? Because if it’s going to be busy, I’ll be okay. I’ll cometo work.”
“If you want to go to the Bahamas, Karl, you can do so.”
Karl was surprised. And then he smiled. “I’ll bring alaptop just in case…”
“I’m not going to ask you to do some work on yourweekend getaway. Now go, before I change my mind.” Travis said.
Karl beamed. “Thank you, Travis,” he said. He turned tome. “See you later, Brianne.”
We entered our apartment. “You told him he could callyou Travis?”
Travis shrugged. “I figured Mr. Cross makes me feel old!”
I laughed and gave him a hug. “You’re wonderful, Travis.And no matter how old you are, I think you’re still the mostattractive man I’ve ever laid eyes on.”
Travis pulled me into a hug and then asked me to sitdown on the couch.
“What’s going on?” I asked.
He went into our room and then he came back with afolder. He looked at me wearily and then he handed it tome.
I started getting worried. “Travis, what’s going on?” Iasked.
He sighed. “Everything I own, Brianne…is summarized inthese papers here,” he replied. “Every bank statement,every piece of property that is under my name is in there The original copies of the deeds are in my security depositbox, to which you will have access to.”
I narrowed my eyes. “Why?”
“Because they are yours, too. I don’t want to hideanything from you. When we got married, everything that Iwas and everything that I owned became yours as well. Soyou should be aware of them.”
“But, Travis…I don’t want anything from you. I don’tneed these.”
“You do, Brianne. You’re my wife. Before we got married,I had no beneficiaries at all. No one to give the fruits of mylabor to,” he said. “Well…it has always been you. But that isspecified in my will. That’s different. But now, you have tobe aware of these things.”
“Travis, why? I don’t need to know.”
“Yes, you do,” he insisted. “Because if somethinghappens to me…I want to make sure everything goes toyou. Not anybody else whose only relation to me is a sharedDNA.”
I raised my brow at him. “Specifically your father.”
He took a deep breath and gave me a slight nod. “I wantyou to be able to fight for your right. And you will be able todo that if you’re aware of everything. My father is very, veryshrewd. And he’s getting desperate.”
Tears filled my eyes. “Travis…” I sighed. “Please. Don’ttake this too far. I would rather be penniless any day, aslong as I have you with me. I don’t need all these.” I said,pointing at the folder in front of me. “I only want myhusband.”
He smiled at me and then sat beside me, taking me inhis arms. “And you have me. But you know me, Brianne. Ialways plan ahead. Always one step ahead of the game. Ihave to do this.”
It was sad to think about a future without Travis, but hewas right. The coin had two sides. And the reality was thathe had the father he had. I nodded and gave him a tighthug. He hugged me back.
“And I have something else to ask you, Brianne,” hesaid.
I stared back at him.
“Whenever you’re ready, I want you to learn the ropes atmy company.”
Now, panic gripped me. “What? Travis…I’m in to arts!”
He laughed. “And you’re smart. I’m sure you’ll learn fast.And I’ll be your teacher.”
“And what would you do if I don’t learn or if I make amistake?”
His eyes gleamed. “Well, I’ll be happy to teach you alesson.” Then he scooped me up in his arms and carried me to the bedroom. “In fact, I should give you have a glimpse ofthat now.”
I laughed. “Travis!” I landed on the bed with a bounce,and soon, he landed on top of me.The laughter died in my throat as he leaned forward andkissed me thoroughly.
Travis had a meeting with his father in LA the next weekend.
“You want to come with?” he asked. “Although, I preferhe doesn’t see you.”
“My father is the devil incarnate. The less he knowsabout you, the safer you will be from him.”
“And what about you?” I asked nervously.
“I’m his son, Brianne,” he replied. “And I can take care ofmyself.”
I nodded. “Okay. I think I’ll just go to Connecticut. I needto visit Sarah. Plus, I have an apartment there that I need tovacate. I’ve got stuff to sell.”
He smiled. “Do that. I’ll come to Connecticut from LA topick you up.”
He kissed me thoroughly. “Two nights are going to be solong without you.”
I smiled. “I know. It’s like…I don’t know how to go backanymore, Travis.”
“Good. Because you’re not allowed to go back, love,” hesaid. “I warned you before, remember. When you let metouch you again, we belonged exclusively to each otherfrom then on. It was the plan before. It’s the plan now,especially now that you’ve made me feel all this! I think I’mgoing to die if I don’t get to feel your touch…if I don’t knowyou’re mine…only mine.”
My heart swelled at his words. “I’m yours, Travis,” Isighed. “I guess part of me has always been yours. Andnow…all of me is,” I whispered, and then I kissed himthoroughly.
When I met Sarah Saturday morning, I was pretty sure Iwas a picture of bliss.
“What have you not been telling me?” she asked. “Youlook wonderful! And you have a certain glow about you! Areyou pregnant?”
I laughed. “Don’t be silly! This is not pregnancy glow.Let’s just say that I’m totally in love with my husband.”
She shrieked. “When did this happen?”
“I guess on our honeymoon, we were…doing a lot ofkissing, and it took a lot for us not to sleep with each other.And then…on his birthday, I decided to stop thinking aboutthe consequences and just go for the one man I’d alwayswanted. The marriage just turned real. And I’m happy,Sarah! I’ve never been this happy! I mean…we’ve only sleptwith each other for a week, but it has been wonderful. He is
talking about kids and settling down in a different city. He’severything I could ever, ever ask for and more.”
“I’m so jealous! How lucky can you be? I thought TravisCross was a devil in angel’s skin. But it looks like hechanged a lot for you. I guess this is love.”
I sighed. “We haven’t said ‘I love you’ to each othersince we slept with each other.” I thought about it and Irealized it was true. “It’s funny, because all these years, itwas so easy to say ‘I love you,’ and we said it to each otherall the time. Now…we haven’t said it in a week.”
Sarah smiled at me. “Probably because it meanssomething different now. Before…those three words meantyou loved each other as friends or as family. Now…that’s nolonger the case.”
“I just wish he’d say it to me and I would have no doubtwhat he meant, you know,” I said wistfully. “Before we gotmarried, he said he was sort of in love with another woman.
But he chose to marry me nevertheless…and now, he keepstelling me that there is no one else for him. Only me. I guessthat is more than enough. Maybe he didn’t love that womanstrongly enough. And she’s out of the picture now.”
“So you did get what you were looking for after all. Yoursafety guy didn’t only save you from the ‘curse,’ but he alsoturned out to be the man you were looking for all your life.”
I nodded. “And I’m so happy! I’ve always loved Travis…as a dear friend. But he made me fall in love with him. He isa wonderful husband!”
While having coffee and dessert, Sarah told me aboutthe performance schedules. I wanted to join, but somehow Iknew this honeymoon phase with Travis wasn’t nearly overyet, and I didn’t want to spoil that by putting some distancebetween us. I wanted him to fall in love with me, too. Theway I was so in love with him. And besides, my priorities hadchanged now. Our family came first.
“It took you that long to go to bed?” Sarah asked.
I laughed. “I was too careful! And Travis is too much of agentleman! He is a master of keeping his emotions undercontrol. We slipped sometimes, but we stopped just intime.”
“Wow! I can’t imagine how much self-control that took!”she laughed.
Suddenly, I felt queasy, as if something in the cake I atehad made me sick.
“Excuse me…” I said to her.
I immediately ran to the ladies’ room. I threw upeverything I’d eaten since the morning. I washed my facewith water while Sarah looked at me wearily.
“Sweetheart, are you…”
I laughed. “I can’t be, Sarah!” I said to her. “Unlesspregnancy manifests itself this early. I mean…I only sleptwith Travis a week ago. It’s too early.”
Sarah shrugged. “When was the last time you had yourperiod?”
Damn! I realized I hadn’t had my period in a long time. “Idon’t know. A week or so before my bachelorette party. Imight be delayed, but I can’t be pregnant.”
Then I realized pregnancy was not the only thing thatcould delay a woman’s period. There could be conditionsworse than that. I knew because a couple of my aunts hadsuffered from female cancers over the years.
“Oh my God, Sarah. I think…I need to go see a doctor.What if I’m sick? What if I have a medical condition thatactually prevents me from getting pregnant? A cousin ofmine had her ovaries removed when she was just in hertwenties. It runs in our family. I can’t take chances.” Tearswelled up in my eyes. “I need to give Travis a child, Sarah.”
“Hey, calm down!” she said to me. “I know a gooddoctor. Let’s go there now.”
Thirty minutes later, I was sitting in the waiting room atthe clinic Sarah went to. She was a blonde woman in herforties. She smiled at me.
“Married?” she asked.
“Good.” She narrowed her eyes. “s£xually activeIf I hadn’t been under stress, I would have laughed at that question. “Yes,” I replied.
“Alrighty. When was your last period?”
I shook my head. “Unfortunately, I cannot remember,” Isaid. “But I don’t remember having it last month or thismonth.”
“Feeling anything weird?”
“I threw up this morning.”
“First time you threw up?”
“Well, last week, too. Once. But that could be justbecause of something I ate.”
“Okay. Lie down on the table, and we’ll have a check.”She applied ultrasound gel on my tummy while I prayedso hard that I didn’t have cancer or any cysts that wouldprevent me from conceiving. Travis deserved to have a baby. He deserved to have a family. I didn’t want to rob himof the family he had dreamed of just because I was unable
to give him children. The only way he could forgive hisparents was…if he got a chance to be a better father to hischildren. That was my plan. And I also didn’t want to missout on becoming a mother.
“I can’t see it properly. I’m going under,” she said. Andshe shifted to do a vaginal ultrasound instead.
“Well, congratulations,” the doctor said after a fewminutes. “It looks like you’re pregnant.”
It took me a whole minute to process that. “What?” Iwanted to be happy. Could they really detect it this early?
“Seven weeks?” I echoed. “Are you sure? It’s not justthree or four weeks?”
She increased the volume of her ultrasound. I heard awalloping sound, and then it became rhythmic. I realized itwas my baby’s heartbeat. Tears slipped from my eyes. I feltwarmth envelop me, and I couldn’t define how happy Isuddenly felt.
I’m going to be a mom!
“Heartbeat is strong,” she said. “You can’t hear that ifyou’re only a week pregnant. And the ultrasound says it wasconceived around October 25th, plus or minus a week.”
Everything else that she said was a blur. She saidsomething about seeing a doctor in Manhattan immediately.I thought there was alarm on her face when she checked meagain, but she said the baby was fine, so I didn’t care about
anything else.I remember taking a note from her. I remember paying
“Hello!” Sarah had to snap her fingers in front of me tobring me back to reality.
I stared back at her.
“Are you okay? What did she say?”
“Sarah…she said I’m pregnant.”
“Then Travis is going to be ecstatic!”
“Sarah…I’m seven weeks pregnant!”
It took Sarah a moment to recover, too. And then shebreathed, “Oh my God!”