Home > Softly at Sunrise (KGI #5.5)(8)

Softly at Sunrise (KGI #5.5)(8)
Author: Maya Banks

Part of him hoped she was reconsidering. He wasn’t certain she was strong enough yet—physically or emotionally—to endure a pregnancy. And God forbid, what would happen if she miscarried again? It would devastate her, and he couldn’t bear for her to be hurt like that.

She smiled then, and it was so breathtakingly beautiful that for a moment he couldn’t force air into his lungs.

She gathered his hands in hers and pulled them to her chest, her hands cupped over his as they pressed against her skin. He could feel the gentle rhythm of her heart as her warmth seeped into his fingers.

“Apparently you don’t need practice at all,” she said in a hushed tone barely above a whisper. “It would appear that you’re quite the expert. We did it, Ethan. We made a baby!”

His eyebrows went up, and his mouth dropped open. He stared at her in complete befuddlement as he tried to collect his scattered wits.

“We did what?” he asked hoarsely.

Her smile grew even broader, and tears shone in her eyes, making them a glossy, rich brown.

He raised trembling hands to frame her face, and he thumbed away the tears as they brimmed over her eyelids.

“We’re having a baby?” he whispered.

She nodded, her eyes shining like stars.

He was assaulted by a multitude of emotions all at the same time. Indescribable joy. Gratitude. Gut-wrenching fear. Overwhelming love and tenderness for the woman he was holding in his hands.

“When? How?”

He ended the sputtering before he turned into a blithering idiot.

“Rusty went to buy me a home pregnancy test after she got to the house tonight. I was sick in the bathroom, so she went out for me. She bought two, and I took them both. They both came up positive.”

He frowned. “Sick? Are you all right?”

She leaned into him, nuzzling her face into the side of his neck. “I’m fine. Just normal pregnancy stuff. I shouldn’t have sipped the wine. I knew… I mean I suspected there was a chance. I’ve felt off for several days. Sick in the mornings and afternoons. Overwhelming fatigue. Tenderness in my br**sts. I think I was just afraid to have it confirmed.”

He stroked his hands down her body, caressing, just wanting to touch her in some way. He laid his cheek on the top of her head and cuddled her even closer, his heart about to burst right out of his chest.

“Are you okay now? Do you need anything?” he asked anxiously.

He felt her smile against his neck.

“Right now I couldn’t be more perfect. I’m right where I want to be.”

He pulled her up his body even more until her mouth hovered precariously close to his.

“Have I told you lately how much I love you?”

Her smile lit up the entire room once more.

“As a matter of fact, you have, but I never get tired of hearing it.”

“A baby,” he said in awe.

It was too much for him to comprehend. Oh, they’d talked about it. Seriously. They’d not made the decision to start trying for a baby lightly. It had taken months for them to talk out all the possibilities, the potential issues that could arise, whether they were ready for parenthood, whether their fragile relationship could withstand the risks involved.

They’d even talked about it in therapy.

Nothing about this decision had been made lightly, and yet Ethan was gobsmacked now that the reality was staring him in the face.

A baby.

A son or a daughter.

A part of Rachel, a woman who meant the world to him. Who meant everything to him.

His own eyes burned, and he blinked away the discomfort. His stomach clenched into a ball, and his chest tightened and flexed uncomfortably.

“Are you happy about it?” she asked anxiously.

He stared up in stupefaction at the worried glint in her eyes. He gathered her more closely, until their noses touched and their breaths mingled.

“Oh baby, I’m over the freaking moon. I don’t even have words. Happy? That seems such a pu**y word for what I’m feeling right now. God, I’m happy, but I’m also scared shitless for you.”

Her smile was gentle, and she reached up to touch his cheek. “I’ll be fine, Ethan. I have you now.”

That one statement. Just those simple words had the power to undo him. He had to close his eyes to prevent himself from completely breaking down and unmanning himself.

“Yes, you have me now,” he said hoarsely, so choked up that he could barely get the words out.

She hadn’t had him before. They both knew it. He’d checked out of their relationship early on. He was never there for her when she needed him. And after her miscarriage it got even worse.

He’d very nearly destroyed the one good thing in his life. The one person he loved beyond reason, and he’d tried his damnedest to push her away.

“You’ll always have me, Rachel. You and our baby both will have me. I swear it. You’ll never have to worry about whether I’m with you or not.”

She caressed his cheek with loving hands and then pressed her mouth carefully to his.

“I’m not worried, Ethan,” she whispered against his mouth, her words swallowed up when he inhaled.

“When do you want to tell the rest of the family?” he asked.

They’d be so thrilled. Though most of his brothers had gone on to marry, Rachel was still the first. She was dearly loved by his brothers and his parents. By his sisters-in-law as well. Rachel’s pregnancy would be greeted with so much love and enthusiasm. He had no doubt that when the day came for her to deliver, that every single Kelly would be crowded around at the hospital, all holding their breath waiting for his son or daughter to arrive.

   
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