Baby Bonanza (Maureen Child) – Chapter Four

So, Nick just told Jenna that he plans for her to live with him, without ever bothering to ask her how she felt about it. Jenna’s standing in the doorway looking at Nick like a deer at headlights, equally unable to do the right thing. (Which would be – unlike for the deer – a kick in his nuts and a hearty “You’re insane and I’m going to leave now. You will hear from my lawyer who will sue you for the aliments you owe your kids. Good-bye!”)

Instead, the fight is interrupted for Ms. Child to describe us what Nick’s wearing. 

Back to the things that are actually happening: Jenna manages to say that that’s not a good idea, unfortunately, she doesn’t think that it’s a bad idea because this guy basically takes away her choices,  uses a rather desperate situation to blackmail her and generally behaves like an ass, but because…

Meeting Nick in her tiny cabin hadn’t exactly been easy, but at least down there, there’d been no distractions. No easy opulence. No sensory overload of beauty. [But there had been a sensory overload in their closeness.]
This was a bad idea. Jenna knew it. Felt it. And didn’t have a single clue how to get out of it. [Here’s a suggestion: Leave. Just. Go. Away.]
“We shouldn’t be staying together,” she said finally, and winced because even to her she sounded like a prissy librarian or something. [First, to all librarians out there: I’m sorry for the constant abuse you have to suffer through clichés. Second: WHAT THE HELL IS PRISSY ABOUT REFUSING TO LIVE WITH A GUY YOU DON’T WANNA LIVE WITH???]

Well, Nick applies some more emotional pressure and Jenna, who couldn’t live with Nick thinking the she can’t keep her hands off him (although she totally can’t keep her hands off him), gives in and now lives with Nick who probably still thinks that she can’t keep her hands off him.

Wait, what? How exactly did that work out?

Anyway, Nick goes on a short tangent thinking about the children and whether they really are his, decides that he’s pretty sure that they are and is then interrupted by Jenna who says that she will stay, but she will not sleep with him.

Nick shook his head and smiled. “Don’t flatter yourself. I said you’re staying in my suite, not my bed. As it happens, there are three bedrooms here besides my own. Your things have been unpacked in one of them.” [And another breach of privacy – but it wasn’t to be expected differently. After all, they already packed her stuff for her…]
She frowned a little and the flush of color in her cheeks faded a bit. “Oh.”
“Disappointed?” Nick asked, feeling a quick jolt of something hot and reckless punch through him. [Can a jolt punch? And – ow!]
“Please,” she countered quickly. “You’re not exactly irresistible, Nick.” [I’ve got the sickening feeling that this qualifies as witty banter in Ms. Child’s book… Oh, where is Oscar when you need him?]
He frowned at that, but since he didn’t actually believe her, he let it go. [*headdesk* Who thinks that arrogance is an attractive trait in a man? Self-confidence, yes. Arrogance, no. Nick just passed the line between those two with a giant leap, doing a little, arrogant pirouette at the end…]

The exchange comes to an end and Jenna goes to take a shower. At the view of her ass, something inside Nick “stirred to life”.

Is somebody else thinking of Spaceballs?

alien

Anyway, back to the story.

Nick is thinking sinister thoughts that make him even more creepy.

Now she was back again. Here, trapped on his ship in the middle of the ocean with nowhere to go to escape him. [You can practically hear the manic laughter, can’t you?]
Yes, they had plenty to talk about-and if her children were indeed his sons, then there were a lot of decisions to be made. But, he told himself as he shoved both hands into his slacks pockets and smiled faintly at the sunlight glinting on the vast expanse of the sea, there would be enough time for him to have her again.
To feel her under him. To lay claim to her body once more. To drive her past the edge of reason. Then, when he was satisfied that he’d gotten her out from under his skin, he’d kick her loose and she’d be out of his life once and for all. He wouldn’t even allow her to be a memory this time.

So, he’s going to fuck her, drive her insane and then leave her (just to remind you, she is the mother of his children). And if she isn’t even allowed to be a memory, then I guess mere existence is out of the question, too, so he’ll probably have to kill her.

And who started the stupid idea that you can get people out of your system and life by spending more time with them?

Later, they are in the ship’s restaurant and Nick goes from table to table with Jenna on his arm. Why she’s on his arm, I honestly don’t know. But even though she’s there, women flirt with Nick all the time. Because they are bitches and don’t care whether a guy has a girlfriend or not. [Come on, you know that… hasn’t Hollywood taught you anything?]

Anyway, Jenna comments on it, Nick asks her if she’s jealous, she says no and that goes on for a while. Nick declines all invitations and Jenna is happy about it (even though she’s not jealous at all).

Then they arrive at their table and Nick tells Jenna to start the talk. Instead, Jenna comments again on all the women offering themselves to Nick. When Nick gets defensive and points out how Jenna lied to him, she tells him that she doesn’t want to rehash the past and they finally start to talk.

No wait… ah, yes, two pages later, we really start the talk. Jenna tells Nick about the twins – Jacob and Cooper. Jacob is always bright, Cooper is more thoughtful. They soon get to the topic of being a single mother and Nick asks whether she wants him in the life of the twins, or only his money.
As Jenna never considered that Nick might want to be more actively involved, the conversation turns awkward and is thankfully interrupted by the waiter bringing their food.

Which Nick had ordered before.

Without asking Jenna what she might want.

And yes, it’s her favourite food, but seriously, dude, maybe she doesn’t want fettucine right now? Maybe she wants some ants on a stick or whatever. Ordering for somebody else is so not cool.

Jenna, of course, doesn’t complain about the lack of choice she’s faced with AGAIN, but wonders about how he still remembered her favourite food after a whole year. *headdesk*

Anyway, Nick finally says that he wants a DNA test. So, he decides that both of them will go ashore the next day (because Jenna, as usual, doesn’t get a say in this), find a lab which will test Nick’s blood. The findings will be sent to a lab, where Jenna conveniently already placed some blood for the twins.

And the chapter ends with another vaguely threatening statement by Nick.

“Until this is taken care of to my satisfaction,” Nick told her softly, “I’m not letting you out of my sight. The two of us are going to be joined at the hip. So you might as well start getting used to it.”

You are on a ship and she wants money from you. Where the hell do you think she’ll go?

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