Eddie: Crystal Firefighter Romance Serial - Chapter Twelve

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Hey, sweets!

Is it Wednesday already? I love how we have all fallen in love with hump day. I guess that means I need to hurry up and write Jackson's story soon, right?

Next week you will be helping me with the ending of the book.

Happy reading! oxox

Sending love, Terra


Chapter Twelve

~ Eddie ~

“We may need to discuss our sleeping arrangement,” Sarah said and threw the fleece blanket on the sleigh bed.

“The hideaway bed not cutting it for you?”

“Well, metal rods poking in my back are kind of a deal breaker.”

I poked her side. “A deal breaker? Wow, you’re tough.”

It was five-thirty, and I knew Kelsey would wake up in about an hour. I wanted to make sure she didn’t find us in the basement. That was the last thing we needed because Sarah still seemed a little uncomfortable making our time together a public topic. If Kelsey had found us on the hideaway, she would have shared with Jan, who would have shared with my brother-in-law, and then who knows who next.

“Hey, you up for bed shopping today?”

“Bed shopping?” Sarah asked and climbed under the covers.

I slid in next to her and pulled her body close. “Yeah, we could look for a whole new bedroom set.”

She leaned her head back away from me. “Eddie, don’t change things because of me.”

The statement threw me off. She was the reason I was ready to make the changes. “What do you mean?”

Sarah kissed my cheek and sat up. “Listen, you have known me what, close to three months?”

“Yeah, what does that have to do with getting a new bedroom set?”

“Everything.”

If was like a light bulb had just gone off in my brain. “Sarah, talk to me. This thing between us, are you okay with it?”

“What? Yeah, of course.”

“But?”

“But nothing.”

I knew there was more. She had this distant look and her body language had changed from calm to maybe scared. Well, scared was me assuming things, but she looked uncomfortable.

Reaching for her hands. “Hey, look at me.”

“Eddie,” she whispered and kept her head bent.

Lifting her chin. “I’m not like the men from your past, Sarah,” I said and hesitated for a beat. “I’m not your dad either.”

“I know,” she said and stood up from the bed. “I just...”

“Hey.” I stepped up behind her. “How can I prove to you I’m different?”

She spun around. “Eddie, you don’t have to prove anything.”

“Yeah? Then what?”

“It’s me, I just need to believe.”

Her words caught me off guard.

She reached for my hands and pulled me back to the bed. “Will you hold me?”

I touched my hand to her cheek and then slid under the covers. Holding my arm open as an invitation, she nestled up against me. I heard her let out a heavy sigh and immediately wanted to know all that had happened in her past.

Sarah deserved more, so much more.

***

“How’s this one, Goldilocks?” I teased and pushed on the mattress.

“Just right,” Kelsey giggled and snuggled into a ball.

“We have a winner,” Sarah held her hands up.

When Kelsey woke up at the exact time I thought she would this morning, I suggested bed shopping. She seemed confused about why I would get rid of my bed. When I told her papa bear needed a new bed, she said, Goldilocks to the rescue.

For a four-year-old, the girl knew her story books.

“You sure this is the one?” I sat down on the edge of the bed.

“You try it, Daddy.”

“Yeah, you try it, Daddy,” Sarah teased and sighed the moment her back hit the mattress.

“That good, eh?” Since the girls were occupying the whole top of the bed, I tested out the small space next to their feet. “Oh yeah, you both are on to something here.”

“Do you have any questions?” The salesperson who talked to us when we arrived an hour ago asked.

I sat up. “I think we’ll take this one.”

“Oh, are you sure?”

Kelsey hopped up. “We sure,” then she fell into my lap.

“The child has spoken.”

The place didn’t have extra mattresses in the back to just take home, so we had to set up a delivery date. Which also meant Sarah and I had the sleigh bed for two more nights. I planned to put it on the neighborhood site and see if there were any takers.

“Let’s look at the dressers,” I said and pointed to the front of the store. “While we’re here.”

After about thirty minutes I think we made the sales guy happy with our purchases. “Okay, now we need to talk about the craft room.”

“Craft room,” Sarah asked.

“I think the sewing room needs a facelift, too.” I started the engine and put the truck in reverse.

“No,” Sarah said and turned her head to face the window.

Just as I was about to say something, Kelsey asked me a question. Sarah kept her head turned and stayed silent. After last night, I had this desire to make my home less about my dead wife and more about my future with Sarah. The attic would be crammed full of boxes soon, but I had no plans to dispose of anything. Kelsey would want to know all about her mother someday.

“Hey,” I placed my hand on Sarah’s leg. “You okay?”

“What?” She turned toward me. “Oh yeah, totally fine.”

“Sarah, what is it?”

I was worried she was mad, then a single tear fell down her cheek.

“Thank you.” That’s all she could get out. Her face turned back to the window and I noticed more tears falling.

I reached for her hand not expecting her to pull my own closer to her chest. She was holding my hand so tight I could feel tingling from lack of circulation.

Somehow I had to prove to her I wasn’t like all those other men-–I wanted to stay–I wanted her in my life.

~ Sarah ~

One month later…

“One, two, three, four,” I said and pointed to each puzzle piece. “Your turn.”

Kelsey picked each one up. “One,” she said slowly. “Two…three…four.” Then she paused and looked up at me. I didn’t count the last piece in hopes she would guess it on her own.

Holding my hand up, I counted each finger. “One, two, three, four, and,” I wiggled my thumb waiting for her to answer.

“Five,” she yelled.

“Yes! Good job, sweet pea.”

“I got it.”

“You did. You counted to five.” I picked her up and spun her in a circle.

A week after Eddie and I got home from Mackinac Island, I mentioned getting my job back at Marv’s grocery store. Eddie didn’t respond which I thought was weird. Then he confided in me that Jan was pregnant but she had not shared it with anyone yet. She experienced two miscarriages and didn’t know what would happen with this pregnancy. So far the only thing she was experiencing was horrible morning sickness, well, more like all day sickness.

He asked me if I would like to care for Kelsey while he was at work. At first, the thought of staying home with Kelsey scared me. It wasn’t that I was scared to be with her, I was afraid of myself alone with her all day. Then we spent the day together and something shifted. A part of me wondered if I had it in me to ever be like my father. Would I yell or feel the urge to hit a child? The thoughts scared me. I needed to remind myself I was nothing like my father. At least I hoped I wasn’t.

The sewing room where I slept for several weeks was now Kelsey’s craft and school room. Eddie announced a few weeks ago while having dinner we had a new project to do together. For about a week we loaded everything in boxes and hauled them to the attic. Then we painted the room, well, Eddie painted while Kelsey and I chased each other around the room with our paint brushes.

“What should we do now?” I asked. Her smile took the negative feelings from my mind.

“Paint,” she said and ran over to the drawer with all the different color.

Kelsey picked out the paint for the walls which was why there were four different colors that made the room feel bright and alive. “Painting? You should paint a picture for daddy.”

“Who’s painting a picture for me?” Eddie said surprising me.

Hearing his voice sent a jolt up my spine. “Look who’s home early.” I turned to find Eddie leaning up against the door frame. He took my breath away.

“Daddy,” Kelsey yelled and ran into his outstretched arms. Then she wiggled out of his arms and ran down the hallway to her room.

“Hey.”

“Hey yourself,” he said and stepped closer. “I like this look.”

“Oh, this old thing,” I teased and brushed my hands down my apron that was covered in paint.

“Did you have fun today?” He tucked a strand of hair behind my ear.

I loved the way it felt when he came home. It took me a few weeks to get used to this new life. I still had a little part of me wondering when this happy bubble would burst. “We did. You should ask her what she learned today.”

He wrapped his arms around my waist. “I will later. I need this right now.” Then he leaned forward and kissed me. Every time my lips made contact with his, my body reacted. “And maybe a little of this,” he said and pushed his body firmly up against me.

I could feel the outline of his erection against my belly. “Oh, you do, huh?” I fisted my hands in his hair. “What are we going to do about that?”

Right as Eddie was about to answer my question Kelsey ran back in the room. “Ewwww.”

I stepped away and burst out laughing. “Oh you silly girl, come here.” As I bent to pick her up, I knew Eddie was still close, so I made sure my behind pushed back against his body. He inhaled sharply.

“You’re evil,” he whispered and poked Kelsey’s belly. “I heard you learned something today?”

“I counted.”

“You did? Will you share with me?”

I passed her to Eddie and leaned against a set of drawers. For the first time in my life, I felt the desire to have a baby. The thought took me by surprise. Then as fast as the image appeared it quickly disappeared. I knew with my past, there was no way I could ever be a good mother.

Me, a mother?

Never.

***

“How are you feeling?” I asked Jan and sat down beside her on the couch.

“Excited that I kept my lunch down for two hours so far,” she teased and reached for her water. “How are you, sweetie?”

“Good, I think.”

“You think?”

I felt comfortable talking to her about almost anything, well, not everything. I didn’t know how to tell her that I was searching pregnancy sites and had How to be a Better Mother book hidden under my bed. The more my mind thought about a baby, the more I wanted to know if I could really do it.

Two nights ago Eddie and Kelsey were at the kitchen table, he was helping her put a puzzle together. I watched them laugh and tease each other. There was never a time in my life where I sat with my father and laughed about anything. 

“Hey,” Jan moved closer and looped her arm into mine. “Remember when I said you can talk to me about anything? I meant it.”

“This one is big.”

“Big, as in you haven’t even talked to Eddie yet, big?”

“Yeah.”

“But big in a way that you don’t know how to talk to him?”

“Pretty much.”

“Do you think he will ask you to leave if he finds out?”

That question took me a moment to answer because I didn’t know that answer. “I’m not sure.”

“Sarah, Eddie and I grew up in a household where we did everything together, and shared all of our stories good or bad.”

“So your family was close?”

“Very,” she said and turned her head to the side. “Is this about your parents?”

“Kind of, it’s…” I stood up and walked over to the big bay window. “I guess…” I turned back toward Jan. “I’ve enjoyed my time at home with Kelsey.”

She stood up. “That’s good.”

“It is but I worry, too.”

“Worry? Does this have to do with how your father treated you growing up?” she asked and reached for my hands. “I know how he treated you at the grocery store that day, so my guess is that was normal.”

“Yeah. I want you to know I would never hurt Kelsey the way my father hurt me.” I bent my head feeling scared to continue. “Being home with Kelsey made me think about having a baby,” I whispered. “That thought scared the shit out of me.”

“Hey, you are nothing like your father. You have got to know that.”

“I don’t.”

Jan pulled me back to the couch. “Sarah, you would be an amazing mother.”

“You don’t know that though.”

“Yeah, I do. You have the biggest heart of anyone I have ever met,” she paused and reached for my hand. “The baby is kicking.”

I gasped as my hand touched her stomach. Tears clouded my vision the moment a little foot hit my hand. I lifted my head. “I can feel the outline of his foot.”

Jan reached up and wiped the tear falling down my cheek. “Sarah”–she squeezed my hand–“you are too beautiful of a soul to have any anger bottled up inside of here.” She placed her hand on my chest over my heart.

I let my head fall to her lap as the tears fell.

How did I get so lucky when I found this family?


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