Baby Bonanza (Maureen Child) – Chapter Ten

3 days later, Nick is still at Jenna’s house and Jenna has to explain herself to her sister Maxie, who, understandably, calls her nuts.

“Are you sleeping with him?”
Disappointment and need tangled up together in the center of Jenna’s chest. No, she wasn’t sleeping with him, but she was dreaming of him every night, experiencing erotic mental imagery like she’d never known before. She was waking up every morning with her body aching and her soul empty. [I wonder what an empty soul feels like… I mean, I can imagine that – if you believe in souls – you’d feel quite empty if you felt like you didn’t have one. But an empty soul… Is a soul some kind of jar?]

Anyways, Maxie preaches for a bit and Jenna tries to calm her as far as that’s humanly possible. And then Maxie asks Jenna whether she’s sure that Nick doesn’t want to stay for long.

Instead of saying, “I don’t think that’s a good idea and if he wants to stay longer than, say, a week, he’s going to have to go to a hotel and just come visit”, Jenna goes into a frantic kindergarden mood: “why didn’t he leave yet, oh, it must be because he likes, but what if he doesn’t like me, and what if he does…” Thankfully, this is interrupted by Nick calling out to Jenna.

Jenna introduces Maxie and Nick, with Maxie staring frostily at Nick, and Nick being polite. Then Maxie comes in for a cup of coffee, while Jenna compares the whole situation to “be[ing] dropped behind enemy lines with nothing more than a pocketknife.”

Well, after this completely excessive metaphor, we get to hear Nick’s voice. Nick knows that he should have left already because being close to Jenna, but not being in Jenna leaves him frustrated and horny. But at the same time, he can’t leaver her or the kids either.

Then we get pages of sentimental shit about children. [Sorry. I love children, but how many times do I have to hear what the twins look like and how they are different and how he loves them soooooooooooo much…]

Then Nick swears his kids that he will make this work, somehow.

That evening, Jenna is getting ready for bed and checks in on the twins one last time. But Nick’s already there. He’s only wearing jeans and immediately she wants to rip those off, too. But she makes it out into the hallway – both of them as much dressed as before the encounter – when Nick comes after her.

He tells her not to talk (and probably, she shouldn’t think either), presses her against the walls and grabs her breasts. [What, no kiss first?]

He touched her core, slid his fingers into her heat and instantly, she exploded, rocking her hips with the force of an orgasm that crashed down on her with a splintering fury. [Holy fucking shit. Don’t you masturbate, woman?] Whimpering his name, she clung to him with a desperate grip until the last of the tremors slid through her. [Do tremors really slide?] Then she was limp against him until he picked her up and walked to her bedroom. [Finally, someone gets carried… I was waiting for that cliché for quite a while.]

In case you can’t guess what they’re doing next: They fuck.

When he bent his head to kiss her, she parted her lips and met his tongue with her own in a tangle of need and want that was so beyond passion, beyond desire, that she felt the incredible sense that this is where she’d always been meant to be. [What, in his mouth?]

Then they both orgasm – simultaneously, of course. Though it’s no ordinary orgasm, it’s soul-shattering. The “the soul is a jar”-theory hardens.

The next morning, Nick’s stuff still in the house, but Nick isn’t. Jenna tries to fight her tears while she goes about her normal routine and finally puts the twins in the car to go somewhere unspecified.

“(…) Daddy has to go away, but Mommy’s here. And I’m never going to leave you.” [Does that sound vaguely threatening to somebody else, or only to me?]

At that moment, Jenna’s cell rings – it’s Nick. He tells her to come to San Pedro because he wants to show her something. At first, Jenna scoffs a bit, but when Nick says “please”, she melts [low expectations, huh?].

I bet you that this is about a bigger house he wants to buy for all of them.

Two sentences later: It is about a house. I swear I didn’t read in advance.

Nick runs towards them, helps her to get the twins out of the car and tells her to go inside this completely mind-blowingly amazing house. Jenna apparently has a pea instead of a brain because she doesn’t know why she should go inside. I quote, “I can’t just go inside. I don’t know who lives here and—”*headdesk* 

Anyways, Nick takes initiative (again) and leads Jenna to the house, which is completely empty. And finally Jenna understands. Or does she?

They walk through the house which “crie[s] out for a family’s presence” and into the garden, which is right at the sea. And then Nick breaks the news that he just bought the house and Jenna almost faints from surprise. [Really? You didn’t get that earlier?]

He reached out, cupped her cheek in his palm and was only mildly disappointed when she stepped back and away from him. He would convince her. He had to convince her. [Or he’d force her. Mwahahahaha. *evil laugh*] “I found a solution to our situation,” he said, locking his gaze with hers, wanting her to see everything he was thinking, feeling, written in his eyes. [Uhm, newsflash: Unless this novel takes a turn into the paranormal all of a sudden, Jenna can not read your thoughts, or your eyes. Why don’t you just tell her?]

And then Nick goes on to make the most romantic proposal ever: They both love the twins, they both want to have them, the sex is good, they more or less get along, so they should definitely get married. Dunk. [Which is the sound of my head hitting the desk.]

Jenna says no, she could never marry a man who doesn’t love her, so Nick decides that – and I am quoting – they have to do it “the hard way”. [Anyone else expecting violence after this announcement?]

So, he tells her that he does love her. [Which is the hard way how?]

He hadn’t wanted to have to admit to how he felt. He’d thought for sure that she’d go for the marriage-for-the-sake-of-the-boys thing and then he could have had all he wanted without mortgaging his soul. But maybe this was how it was supposed to work. Maybe you couldn’t get love until you were willing to give it. [NAAAH, you think???]

Then Nick gives a speech like from a badly written soap opera [“I love you, Jenna. Madly. Completely. Desperately.”] while Jenna starts crying again.

Then things get threatening again:

“Just so you know, I’m not prepared to lose, here. Nick Falco doesn’t quit when he wants something as badly as I want you. I won’t let you go. Not any of you.” [Not ever, no matter how badly you want it!]

Then Nick tells her how he’s got everything planned, how they’d live half of the year in the house and half on the boat, until the boys had to go to school and how he already bought a puppy. A golden retriever of course. Which, if it is lucky and behaves, gets to go on the boat as well. If not, it’s just gonna stay in the house and die from loneliness.
*sigh* Giving pets as presents is always such a good idea.

Then he tells her that he plans to have more kids and that he wants to be there all the way.

And while he makes more and more decisions for her about her life, he thinks that he’s actually convincing her to choose him… And surprise! Jenna finally gives in and tells him that she will marry him and have as many babies as he wants. Because it is her place as a woman to do as the man tells her to.

“I love you, Nick. I always have. We’ll be happy here, in this wonderful house.”
“We will,” he assured her, stealing another kiss.
“But you’re going to be housetraining that puppy,” she teased.
“For you, my love,” Nick whispered, feeling his heart become whole for the first time in his life, “anything.”

And just like that, all their relationship issues, which were so big and insurmountable before, dissolve.

The End.

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