Calder and I knew we would be moving soon, but he still insisted on setting up an area for me to play in the penthouse. I always leave the door open. His home office is right across from it, and he likes to listen to me play when he’s working.
He hardly goes into his work office anymore. His administrative assistant brings him what he needs, or he’ll have us both stop over after we have lunch. He keeps telling me he’s making up for the lost months. I feel bad that I might be keeping him away from work but not bad enough to tell him he should go in. I like having him around and soaking up this time we have, just the two of us before the baby gets here.
I’ve never been in a relationship before, and I can’t seem to get enough of it. I’ve never wanted to have attention showered on me, but when it comes to Calder, I can’t seem to get enough of it.
Since I told him I’d give us a real try, everything has been perfect. He still hasn’t told me he loves me. It stings, but with the way he treats me, I can’t complain. He dotes on me and tends to my every need. Sometimes it’s actually a little much.
I found his stupid baby book the other day and tossed it in the trash. I had to hide a giggle when he searched for it for an hour last night. That book was driving me insane. I make my way out of the room and step into his office, rolling my eyes when I see a new baby book sitting on his desk. I shove it behind one of the throw pillows on the little sofa he has in here. I often lie on it and read while he works.
I head back to the bedroom and pop my head in but don’t see him there. He wouldn’t have left without telling me. Now that I think about it, I don’t actually think we have been apart since we moved in together. Whenever he leaves, I go with him, be it grocery shopping or looking at new homes.
When I hear a noise down the hall, I head for the entryway. The sight in front of me stops me in my tracks. Calder has his arms wrapped around a woman. When she turns her face, I can see it’s Sidney. The breath leaves my lungs, and I stand there shocked.
We haven’t talked about her since my father brought her up at dinner. I didn’t want to. I don’t know how long their affair went on, or if they were together those months I was away at school before he’d found out I was pregnant. I didn’t want to know. I was going with the whole ignorance-is-bliss thing, but I knew he hadn’t been with her since we got married. It just isn’t possible, but here she is in our home, both of them with their arms wrapped around each other.
She pulls back from Calder when she catches sight of me, making Calder turn and look, too. I just stand there. I can’t seem to form words.
“I thought I felt the baby move,” I finally say, then turn and practically run down the hallway.
I hear Calder yell my name, but I slam the bedroom door behind me. As I sit down on the edge of the bed, I feel the baby kick again. When the door opens, I’m surprised to see Sidney standing there.
“Hear me out?” she says, raising her hands. “I promise it’s not what you think.” It’s then I see her face. It’s blotchy, like she’s been crying. I immediately feel bad for her. I know what it feels like for Calder to break your heart.
She walks over and sits next to me.
“It’s nice to finally meet you. I feel like I know you already.” She gives me a half-smile, then looks at my belly. She reaches out to touch it but stops short. I just nod. Since I got pregnant I’ve noticed people like to touch your belly. Many don’t get the chance because Calder literally growls at them. It’s kind of adorable and makes me giggle every time.
“He’s so happy. I haven’t seen him like this since before his parents died. You’ve really brought him back to life. I could hear it in his voice every time we talked on the phone. I saw it on his face when he opened the door today. Thank you.”
I can see how much she cares about him. It’s all over her face. “You knew his parents? He doesn’t talk about them much.” I’ve tried to get him to a couple times, but I can see the flash of pain on his face anytime I bring it up, so I’ve stopped. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to lose my dad.
“I pretty much lived over there with them. My parents are difficult. Calder and I pretty much grew up together. His parents knew I was,” she pauses for a second, “gay. Mine, not so much.”
“You two have never been…?” I find myself asking. Her face scrunches in disgust.
“No. He’s like my freaking brother. It’s how it’s always been. He was protecting my secret. Because we knew when my family found out, they would lose it, and he’s been helping me hide it, even going so far as pretending to be my boyfriend.”