After the night I had, I thought I would sleep a little later and get a slow start. But my phone signaled that I had an update from T and a voice message.
Pen has officially moved out of Harmony and to Bridgeport. T must be getting slow. That sexy reporter, Debbie, had the scoop on this almost two days ago.
As I listened to the voice mail, I heard Nani stirring. My phone must have woke her up. The message had been from Alison, a pro that got my name from Venus. Finally, I had a new case.
Nani awkwardly offered to make some breakfast, which I declined. My stomach wasn't up for the task of holding food just yet.
She quietly informed me that she was going back to sleep. I knew she was trying to smooth things over, for the baby' sake. And I also knew I wasn't making it easy for her.
After changing, I spent some time looking over Nani's sleeping form. She was just beginning to show. I had to make plans for my child's future, and that included taking care of their mother.
I pulled into Alison's driveway just as Ashpie's son was heading off to school. I can't explain the the feeling of panic I felt. I pulled my mind back to the task at hand.
Alison was full of giggles and laughing about her problem. She had sent some naughty pictures to a guy "friend", but had accidentally put the wrong address! She would pay me to trace it down and retrieve it. I could barley hold back my sigh. THIS is what my reputation has reduced me to.
Before I got started, I ran into Jolee, a friendly at the department. While she tried to pry more details about my little love triangle out of me, I let it slip that I was looking for some property outside of town. I think it was fate since her boyfriend, Derek, had a house that had just been vacated.
After figuring out the mailbox that Alison's letter had ended up in, I quickly dug through until I found it. And since she wasn't specific about what she wanted done with it, I slipped it into my coat pocket.
That's when I noticed that Chloe's house was right next door. The pain was slowly starting to dull. I had heard through T that she had still been hanging out with her friends and by all appearances, moving on. I guess it was time for me to, as well.
I made some quick calls to Derek and to the jeweler's. My final one was to Nani. I asked her to meet me at Hogan's. It was early enough that Chloe shouldn't be in yet.
Derek was somewhat intimidating when I met him. But he was friendly enough and more than willing to sell me the place he had out by the light house. I hurried to keep my lunch date with Nani and read through T's update son the way.
Kels has moved on once again, to the new resident, PF. Despite her encounter with Arden, she seems inclined to get serious with Kels.
Sadie has just received some news I can relate to. Pregnant! She looks so ... thrilled.
The new Braxton couple have been trying for a baby but so far, no bambino.
Another baby on the way!
My last update came in as I was parking. Ace has taken up with Arden. He wasted no time in moving in on PF's roommate. That update left a bad taste in my mouth.
I was slightly shocked to see Silver and Nani just parting ways when I came up. But I wasn't going to let that deter me from my plan.
I had picked up some flowers and was trying to be smooth in delivering them. She wanted to know what the hell I was up to.
I didn't waste my breathe on false words of love and devotion. Nani would have thrown them back in my face, in any case.
Instead, I stuck to the truth. We both knew our relationship was purely physical. My promise to provide for her and my child was the honesty that I think she wanted.
She accepted that promise. I felt a slight ache in my gut. She was settling for me and we both knew she deserved better.
As she hugged me, I whispered that I had another surprise for her. She looked skeptical but followed me to my truck anyway.
The drive was quiet. I slowed down as we crossed the wooden bridge. She started to smile as we pulled up in front of the pretty little house.
We both stood in silence, staring at the front door. The she turned to me and said that she was scared. I admit I was relieved that she was feeling the same thing I was.
I told her we were in this together. Then I reached my hand out and touched her belly. I couldn't help the wonder I felt at feeling the little life inside her move at my touch.
But then my phone went off. It was T. Chloe had just heard from Anna about my engagement and the baby. She has quit her job at Hogan's! I had to talk to her. Nani asked where I was going. I told her I had another job and would be back later. She stared after me as I pulled out.
I was able to track Chloe down at her favorite cafe. When she saw me coming toward her, she turned the other way and went to her car.
I know she saw me chasing after her but she just sped away down the street. I quickly jumped back into my truck and floored it.
I pulled up right in front of her house in time to see her slam the front door shut. I raced up the stairs and slammed through her door.
I was brought up short by her sobs. I couldn't stop my heart from aching for her. While Nani would always have my body, this woman would always have my heart.
I tried to explain my actions and why Nani and I were getting married.
She told me to shut up. I have always admired her spirit. Hearing that she felt like she had made a mistake by breaking it off with me was like torture to my already troubled soul.
I was so torn over wanting to be with her and fufilling my duties to Nani.
She lit into me! How could I even think of backing out on Nani after getting her pregnant? She had only been telling me what she felt, not that she wanted me back. She had quit her job to take a better one at the Bistro, not out of despair.
There was an awkward silence as we both thought about what we were doing. I realized how upsetting it must be to see your roommate living the life you were meant to.
Chloe broke the silence by asking if I was happy. I lied through my teeth by claiming I was. She smiled and nodded her head like that was what she expected me to say.
I tried to bridge the gap by asking if we might consider being friends again. She grinned and said she guessed so.
Then she said she had to get ready for her gig tonight at the Gator Shack. So I let myself out the front door.
I called Mark up and asked him to meet me for a drink. I only had a couple while I listed to him yak the poor bartender's ear off. I opened my phone and read through more updates.
Ace has gotten the wrong idea about Arden. There is no way he is going to settle down with her.
Early was spotted on the KOA beach ... all alone.
Silver and B Bordelisnki's child has aged into a teenager. Good luck to them!
Brandi and Skip Broke are trying again. Mayhap he won't cheat on her this time.
Kels has taken the next step and invited PF over to spend the night at his party pad.
The first of the orphaned teens has aged into a young adult. Raven has high hopes for the future.
Dante was sharing with Derek that he had bumped into L while applying for a marriage license. It seems both Dante and L had shotguns weddings today!
I heard a soulful sound coming from outside and I knew Chloe had arrived. I stood outside and just listened to her play her tunes.
Mark dragged me away and told me I needed to straighten my ass up. I couldn't keep mooning over Chloe, I had responsibilities I had to take care of.
I knew Mark was right. Although it was hard, I left Chloe behind and headed to the house.
At the front door, Mark suggested I make a clean break. With a heavy heart, I deleted all the texts, pictures, and numbers I had associated with Chloe. Then I went inside to get Nani.
We drove to the steps of City Hall. Mark agreed to be a witness as we exchanged vows in front of the fountain.
My hands shook as I placed that gold band on Nani's finger.
Then like that, it was done. I shook Mark's hand and he headed home to his wife and two teenage kids.
I joked around with Nani by talking to our unborn child. She laughed as I told the baby that I was officially in charge of their life.
I had made the biggest decision of my life. I sure hoped it was the right one.
We drove straight home. Nani murmured something about needing to finish unpacking the sheets. I headed for my new office and was thrilled to find the bar fully stocked.
As that drink burned down my throat, I closed my eyes and relived the conversation with Chloe at her house.
The deed was done so there was no use dwelling on what could have been. I decided that I wasn't going to spend my wedding night alone.
I found Nani carrying a basket down the hall. I reached out and goosed her which made her drop the basket. She turned and playfully slapped my arm. I pulled her in for a deep kiss.
I watched her face as she drifted off to sleep. Here, we always seemed to get along. But I couldn't keep her in bed all the time. Eventually, we will have to find some common ground.
So begins my life as a married man...