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Chapter Fifty Five – July 31

After a tearful goodbye with my mom, Nick and I caught the 11 o’clock flight to Atlanta. I waited until we reached level altitude before discussing my phone conversation from the day before.

“So,” I said as Nick opened a bag of peanuts. He looked over at me.

“What’s up?” he said. He tossed his head bag and threw a nut in the air. It hit his nose, but landed in his mouth.

“I got a phone call from Daniel Share yesterday,” I said. “My lawyer.”

“Good news?”

I made a face. “Not really,” I said. Nick set down the bag of nuts. “I don’t like that ‘not really,’” he said.

“Remember your promise,” I warned. “no temper.”

He sighed. I could tell he was already regretting that promise, but when you’re behind bars I think you’d probably agree to anything.

“Hunter’s lawyer sent Mr. Share a letter that explained that Hunter was made aware of my pregnancy,” I said. Nick’s eyes narrowed. Before he could interrupt, I rushed on. “He’s claiming there’s a chance the baby is his. Mr. Share explained to me that Wisconsin law requires a divorce case to be suspended until the child is born. So I’m stuck with him for the next seven months.”

If Nick wasn’t buckled into his seat, he probably would have flown out of it. “WHAT?! There’s no way!” he shouted.

“Nick, shh!” I hissed. Practically every head in the plane was turned in our direction.

“Is he insane?” Nick said in a loud whisper. “What the fuck is he trying to pull?”

I sighed. “I don’t know, Nick.”

“Why didn’t you tell me last night?” he said, his voice dipping even lower.

“Because you were still within choking range,” I responded. Nick slammed back in his seat. The person behind him gave a grunt of annoyance.

“This is classic,” he continued with a wry laugh. “That guy will pull anything to make our lives miserable. Not that we didn’t have anything or anyone else to worry about. Oh, no, life’s just peachy.”

Nick ran a hand down his face. Slowly he looked back at me.

“You’re way too calm,” Nick said.

“I hung up on my lawyer yesterday,” I said in defense. “I’ve never hung up on anyone before.”

Nick opened his mouth to say something, then stopped. He seemed to be mentally reorganizing his thoughts.

“Would you consider getting a different lawyer?” Nick said, his voice level.

I sighed. “Nick, it’s Wisconsin law. Hunter and I officially live in Wisconsin. Even a hot shot lawyer won’t be able to get around this.”

“Will you at least let me ask around?” Nick asked. I paused. If there was a loop hole…

“You can call,” I consented.

We fell into silence. After awhile I let my head fall onto his shoulder.

“We should never have left my condo,” Nick whispered. I smiled.

“Yeah, I know.”


We arrived in Atlanta at 2:30 and checked into a nice hotel by the airport. Nick and I had planned to meet Brian and Leighanne for dinner at five.

“I’m going to go take a bath,” I told Nick. He looked surprised.

“You’re going to chance it?” he said with a smile. I made a face.

“Well, I can’t drink so I need to relax another way; soaking in a tub is all I’ve got,” I said. Nick looked like he knew exactly what I meant.

I filled the tub up and lit one of the complementary candles. I lowered myself into the water. I didn’t bother to turn on the whirlpool jets. I wasn’t feeling that lucky.

I sighed as I sank down to my chin. The water felt amazing. My eyes fluttered closed. When the water ran cold, I filled it up again.

I didn’t even hear Nick come in. One minute I was in my own little world; the next moment I felt the softness of a wash cloth slid against my legs. My eyes fluttered open.

Nick leaned down, kissing me softly. I wrapped my wet arms around his neck, kissing back as the washcloth slid over my stomach. He had changed out of his clothes into a fluffy white robe.

“Can I join you?” he whispered. I nodded. He let the robe slide off of his broad shoulders, the view underneath was extremely pleasant.

I sat up and scooted over to the far end of the tub as he stepped in, sinking down into the water. He reached for me.

I slid into his arms, my legs entwining with his. His hands slid down my back, and farther still. He gently tugged me even closer.

The flickering light from the candle cast long shadows over our bodies. The contrast between the cooler air and the warm water seemed to ignite my desire. Nick seemed to echo the sentiment. He stroked my breast, his mouth devouring my bottom lip. My breasts were already slightly swollen and extremely sensitive; every touch and nibble sent the strongest sensations through my body that I had ever felt. I moaned in need.

Maybe it was Nick’s way of reaffirming our relationship and his dedication to me, but the way he made love to me brought actual tears to my eyes. As I lay across his chest, he brushed a tear away with his finger.

“Did I hurt you?” he asked.

I shook my head. “No, not at all.”

He squeezed me gently. “I’ve never made love with a pregnant woman.”

I lifted my eyes to his. He was smiling down at me, his face lighted in love.

“You’re opinion?”



My mind was still back at Nick and the bathtub as we walked into the restaurant. I clung to Nick’s hand, willing myself to stay calm. He looked over at me.

“It’s okay,” Nick said, giving my hand a reassuring squeeze. I nodded.

Brian and Leighanne were already there. They both stood as we walked up to the table. After hugs all around, Nick pulled out a chair for me. I sat down, picking up a white linen napkin and spreading it across my lap. Nick sat to my right.

We started off with general conversation; what we’ve done the last three weeks, what to expect in Canada. When the food was served and the conversation had hit a comfortable lull, I knew it was time to speak up.

“I have something I need to tell you,” I said, wiping my mouth on the napkin. I felt Nick’s hand cover my knee.

“Oh?” Brian said. He looked at me and then over at Nick.

I wet my lips. After looking down at the table for a moment, I stared across at the striking couple. I didn’t want to tell them. I looked over at Nick for support.

“Liv’s pregnant,” Nick said simply. So much for tact.

Brian’s eyes widened in surprise; Leighanne looked worried.

“Really?” she said. “That’s, wow...”

Brian didn’t say anything. I tried to read his mind; I couldn’t.

“When are you due?” Leighanne continued.

“March 18, give or take,” I said quietly.

Brian turned slightly pale. He pulled out his phone. I knew it wouldn’t take him long; his favorite subject in school after all was math. Take it from a fan who knows.

“Please tell me it’s Nick’s,” Brian finally said in barely a whisper. I winced. Nick leaned over and took a sip of Brian’s wine; I couldn’t fault him. If I could, I would have chugged the whole damn thing.

“We can’t say that for sure,” Nick finally said, setting the glass back over by Brian’s plate.

Leighanne blanched. Grabbing her purse she looked around at us. I could tell she was trying to control her emotions.

Yet as always, she said politely, “Excuse me.”

I watched her walk in the direction of the bathroom.

Brian’s face had gone completely white. He looked like he was counting one more time.

“But you two did…?” he motioned. Nick and I nodded.

“Dozens of times,” Nick said, almost proudly.

“So the chances…”

“Are still about even. It only takes once,” I said. I rubbed my temples; a headache was threatening to erupt.
Brian shook his head. He looked like he was going to be sick. He pushed back his chair and looked at the two of us.

“I need to go check on Leighanne,” he said quietly. We watched him walk off.

“That went well,” Nick said uncomfortably.

“Oh yeah,” I said. Nick reached for Brian’s wine glass again; I smacked his hand.

About ten minutes later, I saw Leighanne and Brian make their way back to the table. They sat down and simultaneously looked at me. I wanted to crawl under the table.

“Can you guys come back to the house?” Leighanne asked. “I think we need to talk about this some more. In private.”

I had never seen Leighanne so cold. Tears threatened to spring into my eyes. Nick placed a hand on my back, rubbing gently.

“We’ll follow you guys,” Nick said.

We got up, no one saying a word. As we followed them through downtown Atlanta and into the suburbs, I thought of all of the things I wanted to say, but nothing I could think of would make this all better.

Somehow I didn’t think Christian forgiveness went so far as forgiving producing a baby with another woman’s husband.