“I hate him. I hated him before, but now, I really, really hate him. I hope…” She pauses to take a breath. “I hope he gets run over by a bus. Too bad we don’t have buses in town,” she mutters under her breath as I shut off the car and hop out.
After walking around to her side to help her out, I take her hand and help her up the stairs and into the house.
“Really, who does he think he is?” she asks before rambling some more while pulling off her cap and unwrapping the scarf she had tied around her neck.
I walk straight into the kitchen, open the cupboard above the fridge, and pull down my whiskey before pulling the cap off and putting the bottle to my lips to take a swig.
“That’s really not fair,” Kat states as I put the bottle down on the counter.
“Sorry, Kitten,” I say and put the lid back on the bottle. “Come here,” I tell her, feeling the liquid heat of the alcohol lessening some of the anger I’m feeling.
She looks at me for a few seconds before walking to where I’m standing. When she’s close enough, I wrap my arms around her.
“How are you feeling?” I ask, rubbing her back.
“I got that, Kitten. How’s our boy?”
“He’s fine,” she says and immediately melts into me.
Earlier in the week, we found out that we would be adding another boy to our family. Everyone was overjoyed. Well, everyone except Asher, who had found out the week before that he and my baby girl were going to be adding another girl to their bunch. When we told everyone that we were expecting, they were all really excited about the news, and November was more than excited about becoming a big sister—even if she already considered Brandon her brother.
“Do you think Brandon will be okay?”
“He’s fine.” I rub her back again. “He said he was going to talk with his dad and then he would be home,” I remind her.
Brandon was upset with his father as well but had tried to neutralize the situation and agreed to go talk with his dad while I took Kat home. I was proud of him.
“I can’t believe you punched him.” She pauses then looks up at me and smiles. “Twice.”
“He had his hands and mouth on you,” I growl, my anger returning at the memory. “He’s lucky that he was able to walk away and that Trevor was there to hold me back after I got the first two hits in.”
I never thought that, at my age, I would be fighting at a high school function. But seeing that fuck touch my woman—the woman carrying my child—had my blood boiling.
I hear Kat’s yawn and look down at her, realizing that she has been going all day. The stress of this situation added on top of her pregnancy has her worn out.
“Head up and get ready for bed, babe. I’m going to send Brandon a message to make sure he’s okay before locking up.”
“Okay.” She yawns again, and I kiss her forehead and pat her bottom. “I’ll meet you in bed,” she says, walking away.
When I hear the water turn on upstairs, I send I message to Brandon asking if he’s okay. I quickly get a reply that let me know that he just got in his car and is on his way home. I clean up the kitchen and wait until I hear Brandon pull up outside. Then I open the front door and meet him on the porch.
When I see him, I can tell that he is stressed. As much as he has matured over the last few months, he is still a young kid, and sometimes, it’s hard to remember that.
“You okay?” I ask him, letting him inside.
“Yeah. He’s heading home tomorrow. I guess the only reason he wanted to come was to see if he had a chance of getting back with Mom,” he says.
I want to get in my car, head to the fuckwad’s hotel, and beat the shit out of him for hurting his kid again.
“Sorry, bud,” I tell him, squeezing his shoulder.
“Nothing with him surprises me anymore.”
“You wanna talk about it?”
“Nah. I want to go to bed. Can you tell Mom I said goodnight?”
“Sure,” I tell him, watching as he heads down the basement stairs.
I finish locking up and set the house alarm before heading upstairs. When I reach the bedroom, Kat is already asleep, so I make quick work of my clothes before getting into bed behind her and pulling her into me.
“Is Brandon home?” she asks sleepily when I kiss the back of her head.
“Yeah,” I tell her, running my hand over her slightly rounded stomach.
“I should go make sure he’s okay.”
“He went to bed and said to tell you goodnight.” I whisper.
“I hate that he has to go through this.”
“Me too, Kitten.” I sigh, tucking her closer to me.
I wish there were something I could do for both her and Brandon, but I know that this situation is beyond my control. Kat, her ex, and Brandon will be tied together for the rest of their lives whether I like it or not. The only thing I can do I is be here for both of them when they need me.
I wait and listen for Kat’s breath to even out before closing my eyes and following her off to sleep.
I walk into the kitchen and stop when my eyes land on Kat and Brandon. They are leaning on the counter and have their heads together, looking at some recipe book. I watch as Kat says something, making him laugh, then bumps him with her hip, smiling at him. I like knowing that our son is going to have this, that he is going to grow up with people around him who want and love him and that he will never feel like November felt growing up.
“Let’s go pick out a Christmas tree,” I say after a few more seconds of watching them.
Both her and Brandon’s heads rise at the same time, and Kats eyes draw together in confusion.
“It’s not even Thanksgiving,” she says, standing up. I smile when I see the small bump that is starting to form on her stomach.
“I know, but it’s a tradition I started when November moved home. I always get her a tree. And now that we’re a family, I would like to get one for us as well so that we can start our own traditions,” I say, looking at first Brandon then down at Kat’s stomach.
I missed out on so much with November; I refuse to miss out on anything now.
I still couldn’t believe that I was going to be a dad and that I would be having a son. I had given up hope of having a larger family a long time ago. I never would have dreamed that I would be getting married or having a baby or marrying a woman who had a child already and adopting him as my own. Life has a way of giving you everything you didn’t even know you needed, and Kat, Brandon, and now our new little one are proof of that.