“Nolan!” she gasps through tears.
“I’m here, Angel.” I wrap my arms around her, kissing the white bandage on her forehead.
“Who called you? I told them not to call you.” She shakes her head, pulling back to look up into my eyes.
“I didn’t want you to worry. I didn’t want you to have to leave work.”
“Beautiful, do you know the kind of trouble you would be in if I would have found out about what happened later instead of right now? You never keep anything from me, especially if that something has to do with you.”
“I’m fine, and you worry too much.”
“You were almost run over. You have a cut on your forehead, fell, and now have tears streaming down your cheeks and you don’t think I have a reason to worry?” I bark, making her jump.
“I know it sounds bad,” she mumbles, making a growl vibrate my chest.
“It not only sounds bad, but is bad, Angel. Now, tell me. Have they made sure the baby is okay?”
“The baby is fine. I didn’t fall hard.”
“Chloe, I’m beginning to wonder if you understand what the fuck happened.”
“I know exactly what happened. I was walking out of the store when a stupid delivery bike almost ran me over. I jumped out of the way and tripped, hitting my head on one of the meters.”
“You don’t find it odd that a motorcycle was driving on a sidewalk of one of the nicest streets in Manhattan?”
“I don’t know.” She shrugs and smiles at the EMT, making me growl at him, which causes him to jump back and me to get hit in the chest.
“This is not a joke, Chloe. You could have been seriously hurt—or worse.”
“I know it’s not a joke, but I don’t think you’re right about this. I think it was an accident. I mean, how would anyone even know where to find me?”
That’s what I’m going to find out. None of this was by chance. There had to be a reason all of this is happening now.
“I will figure it out, but until then, you’re not to go out unless I’m with you.”
“I would like to remind you that I didn’t want to go out in the first place, but our mothers insisted I find a christening gown.” She lifts her hands before dropping them to her side. “I didn’t even know we are Catholic,” she complains, making me smile despite the situation and kiss her head.
“We’re not Catholic—well, not practicing, anyways. But Mom was baptized, and so was I, so she just wants to keep the tradition.”
“I think our moms need a hobby that doesn’t include me.”
“They are excited about the baby.”
“I know.” She leans her head on my shoulder as we watch the police talk to our mothers while Bernard stands near them, listening to the details of what occurred.
I make eye contact with Bernard and nod when he shakes his head. I can tell that he doesn’t believe this was an accident either.
“Who’s on the phone?” I ask Chloe, walking into the bedroom, where she is sitting up on the side of the bed with the phone to her ear while she paints her toenails some strange purple color.
“Bre called to see if I was okay,” she says, leaning her head back and accepting my kiss.
“What did I tell you about speaking to her” I ask.
She presses her lips together then frowns and pulls the phone from her ear, setting it down on the bed next to her hip.
“She hung up.” She shrugs and begins painting again.
“Good,” I mutter, looking down at the phone and seeing that the image on the screen is a picture of Bre that pops up when she calls. The longer I look at the picture, the more something in the back of my head keeps niggling me. I know her from somewhere, but I just cannot place where. I shake off the feeling and head for the shower.
My guys are working on getting the security tapes from what happened this afternoon. Hopefully, they will have something for me before too long. I want all of this shit taken care of before Chloe has our child. There is no fucking way I will be able to work if I think for even one moment my family is in danger.
“What’s this?” I ask as I walk into my living room.
Four heads turn my way, and I know that Chloe is going to get her ass spanked tonight for disobeying me again when one of the heads that turns towards me is Bre’s.
“Our moms were here going over the plans for the nursery and Bre stopped by to bring me flowers, and when she saw what we were doing, she asked to see the plans,” Chloe says as her eyes plead with me to understand.
But all I can think about is the woman in front of me and the familiar way she looks. My mind keeps nagging at me to remember, but for some reason, there is a block. The idea of her knowing anything about the room that my child will sleep in makes me feel like I could kill.
I look at Chloe and nod towards the kitchen. She bites her lip but gets up from where she’s sitting on the floor and heads in that direction. I give her a few moments before following behind her. When I reach the kitchen, Chloe is standing near the sink, her eyes on the doorway, and she looks away as soon as our eyes connect.
“What did I tell you about Bre?” I growl, stepping towards her.
“Be reasonable, Nolan,” she pleads, looking back at me.
“What did I tell you, Chloe?”
Her face falls at the sound of her name. I never her call her by her name; I have always called her Angel or Beautiful. But she has pushed me too far.
“I don’t understand why you have such a problem with her.”
“I told you already I do not trust her. I also explained that, once I find out what is going on with you, and if she has been cleared and proven to be innocent, you can resume your friendship.”
“She’s really nice. If you just give her a chance, you will see that.”
I shake my head no. “People believed that some of the most notorious mass murders in history were nice, Chloe. So please forgive me if I don’t buy it.”
“You’re insane,” she hisses.
“Get rid of her or I will,” I snarl, pointing towards the door of the kitchen.
“Fine.” She stomps out of the kitchen.
I follow a few steps behind her into the living room. When I walk around the corner, Chloe is talking to our mothers and Bre is nowhere in sight.
“Are you happy now?” Chloe asks, turning to look at me. “She left.”