Baby Bonanza (Maureen Child) – Chapter Eight

[Trigger Warning]*

*I’ve decided to include this Trigger Warning whenever there’s some reference to rape or other forms of sexual violence. Depressing as it is, this happens way too often in (romance) novels.

Before Jenna can say to or do anything about the evil redhead sitting naked in Nick’s bed, the redhead acts really embarassed and tries to get the hell out. Then Nick turns up and reacts really angrily, which again makes Jenna angry, because Nick’s only angry and not surprised.

Gah! What a fuck-up! First of all, the redhead is sexually harassing Nick (though I’m pretty sure that that’s not her intention) [but who gets up in the morning and thinks, “ah, today, I’ll totally harass my cute steamboat captain…”]. And then, Jenna does some victim blaming because it’s apparently completely Nick’s fault if naked women break into his suite and lie on his bed – if he’d behave differently that so wouldn’t happen (just like when women wear short skirts. If they wouldn’t, they’d never get raped!).

Then Jenna storms out and decides to pack and kick her own ass for kinda falling in love with Nick, when he’s so obviously an asshole for getting sexually assaulted.

Let’s headdesk for a bit, okay?

Nick runs after Jenna and they start to scream at each other. Paraphrasing:

She: “You nymphomaniac.”
He: “I don’t even fucking know her.”
She: “Don’t swear!”
He: “The results from the lab are here.”
She: “Well, I’m leaving anyway.”

After some screaming, Nick gets physical again, unbidden and violent, thank you very much, but instead of completely freaking out and filing a restraining order, Jenna gets aroused, which only makes her want to leave more.

Nick tries to explain that the bribed maid let the redhead in and the he had nothing to do with it and Jenna continues to beat Nick up for being sexually assaulted. When Nick says that he’s going to fire the maid, Jenna really explodes.

Jenna shook her head, looked him up and down, then fixed her gaze on his. “But you do what you want to, Nick. You always do. Blame the maid. Someone who works hard for a living. Fire her. [Yeah, you damn well should fire her! The maid took a bribe to let a stranger into a suite that wasn’t hers – that’s a damn good reason to fire anyone.] Make yourself feel better. Just don’t expect me to hang around to watch.”

If I didn’t have a major headache from all the headdesking I’m doing, I’d be doing some more now.

Finally, Jenna tells Nick that he should have his lawyers contact her and establish child support and that she’ll keep him informed but that he won’t get more from her, not in terms of contact with her and neither with the children. Then she leaves.

Jenna was gone.
So was the redhead.
And he didn’t fire the maid. [Well, if he didn’t fire the maid, all is forgiven.]

Nick thinks about why Jenna was so upset at the thought of the redhead and then he interrupts himself by looking at the test results – turns out he really is the father of the twins – which makes him both “proud and horrified”.

Jenna had left, assuming that he’d keep his distance. Deal with her through the comforting buffer of an attorney. He scowled at the sea and felt a small but undeniable surge of anger begin to rise within him, twisting with that sense of pride and confusion until he nearly shook with the rush of emotions he wasn’t used to experiencing.

So, now that he knows that he is a father, he decides that the boys have to be all his – because Nick thinks that possession is love. [Hint: It is not.] So he tells Teresa to book a flight to California.

In the meantime, Jenna arrives home, picks up the twins and feels like nothing ever happened – although leaving Nick with that redhead…

The pain of that slid down deep inside, where she carefully buried it. [To use the phrase “slid down deep inside” makes me picture the pain as those things from Fringe, you know, the ones that look like slugs? Anyways – yuckyuckyuck.]

Anyways, Jenna enjoys the company of her babies and her cozy living room in her cozy house and thinks about how all she ever wanted was a cozy life, when the doorbell rings.

She goes to open the door and guess what?! It’s Nick! Jenna’s surprised to see him, and he just pushes past her into the house carrying a bag. As if I needed more reason to think that he’s an arrogant bastard who considers everything and everyone his own personal property.

Nick gives Jenna an envelope from Mary Curran with her contact and demands to see his sons. Jenna points to the boys and watches Nick as his facial expression gets softer, uncertain and is surprised that Nick apparently has some kind of feelings, somehow, somewhere.

When Nick caresses the boys, Jenna almost starts to cry. [Oh, that sentence doesn’t sound too well. I swear, the way Nick touches the boys is fine, and Jenna only cries because she’s touched.]

She’d never for a moment thought that he would be interested in seeing them. And now, watching his gentle care with her boys made her heart weep and every gentle emotion inside her come rushing to the surface.

Jenna tears herself away from this picture of paternal serenity and asks Nick what the hell he’s doing there. Nick says that he wanted to see his kids and he thought about the situation and that he has a proposition to make. Maybe they can find a way so that they can both win.

So, Nick proposes that [Dun-Dun-DUUNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!]

“We split them up, each of us taking one of the twins.”
“What?”

Didn’t see that coming? Have you ever experienced a bad, convoluted plot in any form?

Well, we’ll have to wait till next week to know what’s going to happen. In the meantime, you might want to read up on Solomon.

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