Belle Montgomery's eyes opened to the sun shining on them from the curtain being drawn in her hospital room. She blinked a couple times and blocked the light with her hand before a short stocky nurse came into view, holding the chain to the blind.
"Morning, Ms. Montgomery. It's time for your breakfast." She said, walking to the door to bring in a cart with a tray of food on it. Belle closed her eyes for a moment longer before relaxing enough to feel the weight of Dean Portman's head on her stomach. She looked down to a mass of black curls, finding her hand intertwined with his and her other hand resting on his head. She didn't even remember him coming in last night. After waiting almost an hour for him to get there, Belle finally gave up and went to sleep. How did he manage to fall asleep on her without her knowing? She'd been tired but not that tired.
"Poor guy, been here since just past midnight waiting to see you. He was sleeping in the family waiting room until about three hours ago when I took pity on him and let him in. Is he the baby's father?" The nurse asked softly. Belle looked down at him again and was a bit amazed Dean had waited to see her instead of taking off in typical Portman fashion. She only nodded a response at first, taking in the man on her lap. She nodded her head in the nurse's direction again before looking up to her, a small smile on her lips.
"I thought so, he's very devoted to you." The nurse smiled, setting Belle's tray on her rolling table and leaving with a click from the door shutting. Belle softly ran her fingers through Dean's hair as she waited for him to stir but he didn't. He seemed peaceful, his head against her stomach where their baby was growing.
"Dean?" She finally whispered, again stroking his hair. He mumbled something and shifted his arm that had been tucked against his chest to around her waist and continued to sleep on. She groaned just slightly, now realizing how badly she needed to go to the bathroom with him squeezing her stomach.
"Dean..." She said a bit louder hoping he would wake up but again his did not. What was wrong with him? She thought in her head and she tried to pry his arms from around her to get up but he just tightened his hold and pulled her against him more. This was not working, Belle thought with a groan and leaned back against her pillow. She thought of what she could do to wake him up when he seemed to wake on his own and begin to rub his nose against her belly button. She laughed out loud, suddenly very ticklish in that spot.
Dean sat up quickly at her laugh and looked around to where she was leaning back on her pillows.
"Hey... Good Morning" Belle finally said when she could stop laughing. Dean looked back at her and saw Belle's face lit by the light coming in the open window, her face covered with a joyous expression. She had no make-up on and her hair was tangled from the night's sleep but Dean didn't think she could be any more beautiful than in that moment. He suddenly remembered the morning after they'd slept together and how she'd already been up and dressed before he even opened his eyes. She didn't have that luxury this morning and he was glad of it. To be able to see the real Belle and not the one she painted on for everyone else. They say that when women are pregnant, their partners are more attracted to them but Dean didn't think that had anything to do with it when he looked into her eyes. Belle was just beautiful to him. She stared at him for a second before turning her head a little and narrowing her eyes.
"What? Do I have something on my face? Do I drool when I sleep?" She asked playfully, bringing her hand to her chin to check. Dean seemed startled out of his thoughts.
"No, I'm just still tired." He lied, rubbing at his eyes and earning a knowing look from Belle.
"You really waited to see me?" She asked, smiling. He nodded his head,
"Yeah, I figured eventually they'd let me in." He laughed. She did too, covering her mouth with her hand to hide any morning breathe. "I promised I'd get in one way or another." He added. When she was able to stop laughing Belle looked back at him.
"Dean, I never got to thank you. If you hadn't picked me up and taken me here..." She trailed off, placing her hand on her stomach. Dean put his over hers and they both just looked at their intertwined fingers.
"I know." He said to assure her he knew what would have happened. "But it was my fault. I should have told Ashlee from the beginning and not let it get as far as it did. I'm sorry." Belle nodded,
"It's not your fault. We're both to blame in this situation. At least Todd doesn't hate me. Whether he wants to marry me, well that's a different story." She looked the other way when she made her last statement and Dean couldn't help but smile a bit at the chance to have a shot at being with her. "He's not sure he wants to raise someone else's kid." She sighed running a hand through her tangled hair.
"What did your parents say?" Dean asked causing Belle to turn back to him.
"I don't really want to talk about it. It's really stupid, the idea that my Father came up with and I won't do it. it's not fair to you or me." She said looking down at her hospital blankets and playing with the ends. Now Dean was curious as to what they had to say but he didn't want to push her.
"What did they say about me?" He drew the conversation back to another topic but her eyes narrowed at that.
"My Mother didn't have anything to say considering she was still drunk and passed out in the car. It was my Father that came to see me on both their behalves." She sighed. "He wants... He wants us to act like we're in love..." She trailed off when she said it and again looked down. Dean almost didn't hear her and when it registered what she was saying he couldn't believe it.
"But why? They can't like me. Did you tell them how we met and everything?" He asked, standing from his chair to pace the floor. She nodded, her cheeks getting red with embarrassment. She wasn't sure of her feelings for Dean Portman and if he didn't care for her at all then this whole idea could just blow up in their faces.
"Yeah, I did. My Dad says any way we spin this, my family will look bad with me cheating on the mayor's son. So he wants to preserve as much good from it as we can for his next election to the senate and make me seem like a victim or something. The other option was to say you attacked me but I would never do that." She tried to explain as best she could. "He says that if we act like were in love we can say that we had to hide our relationship because of our different back grounds and my obligation to marry Todd. I swear he wants to play some Romeo and Juliet thing... He says the public will love it." She groaned hoping to not sound too into the idea. She didn't want him to feel like he had to do it.
"He also said he'd pay you... If you were interested. I have nothing left to lose either way." She trailed off before Dean turned quickly to look at her. She was looking down at the blankets again, too embarrassed to see his reaction. "I mean, it would just be until after his election in November and then we'll say we broke up or something... It's a stupid idea, I'll just tell him no again." Belle trailed off.
"I'll do it." Dean stated firmly, thinking if he could only spend some time with her then this could work. What better way to get her to like him then have to pretend they were actually together. Belle looked up quickly, not quiet understanding his eagerness to do this but hoping it had something to do with her and not the money.
"I'll do it, Belle. I'll pretend we've been together this whole time if you want." He nodded. Belle nodded too,
"Okay... After the election you're free to go and so am I. The baby will be here by then and we can work out arrangements." She said solemnly. "Todd is still going to be a part of my life too, I just want you to understand that." She reminded him looking back up into his eyes. She could swear she saw a pang of hurt flash in them but was quickly hidden.
"Okay but Belle, I promise you during this whole thing, I won't be with any other girls. I'm going to be committed to the two of you. I won't screw this up for your family." He promised. Belle nodded, liking the idea of a faithful Portman before laughing slightly,
"I'll believe that when I see it, Dean." She smiled as he did too.
Fulton Reed rolled over to an empty bed when he reached out for Tammy. The sheets felt cold when he touched them before opening his eyes and looking around the room to see where she went. Her dress still hung over the back of his desk chair and her shoes were still discarded on the floor as they had clumsily made their way to the bed the night before. So where did she go? He thought just as a loud bang of something hitting his door caused him to sit up. A loud cheer erupted from the hall and Fulton pushed the hair from his face before standing to find some boxers and a t-shirt to wear. Opening his door slowly he was met with the person his had been looking for. She was standing at the other end of the hall, his hockey stick in her hands getting ready to shoot a street puck in his direction, most likely to the side turned bucket that was at his feet.
"Fulton, you're awake!" She cried happily, abandoning the stick and running for him at full speed. She was dressed in one of his t-shirts and a pair of his shorts that were way too big for her. Behind her, Adam Banks and Les Averman stood with their hockey sticks, apparently there that been some sort of shooting match going on. Tammy launched herself into his awaiting arms before wrapping her legs around his waist and kissing him.
"I came out to make us breakfast and Averman was already up so we made pancakes, you have to try them..." She said happily getting down and pulling him towards the kitchen.
"You owe me twenty bucks, Cake eater. I'll show you I can still shoot a puck." She seemed to tease as they made it back to Adam and Averman who were picking up the pucks and sticks.
"I'll give you that you can still shoot but you can't aim worth a damn." He laughed, tossing the stuff on the couch before returning to the kitchen to eat his pancakes where he'd left them. Guy was there too, sitting at the table, reading the newspaper that Adam must of got that morning and drinking coffee. He looked up at Fulton and nodded, going back to reading an article. Fulton thought he'd been rather quiet these past few days but didn't make any comment since Tammy was shoving a plate of pancakes to his chest. He laughed lightly, sitting across from Guy at the table and beginning to pour syrup on his breakfast. He'd just completed the task before Tammy was in his lap, cuddling up to his chest.
"I wanted to wake up to you." He said quietly, rubbing her back through his t-shirt.
"Me too and I was just going to make breakfast and bring it in but then everyone started waking up. I haven't seen any of them in forever so I wanted to spend some time with them and then we woke you. I'm sorry, baby." She whispered, kissing his ear. He smiled slightly, how could he be mad at her? He thought, treading his hand through her hair and pulling her in for a kiss.
"Guys, not at the breakfast table. I mean, we haven't had a duck relationship since Guy and Connie and they were pretty bad but..." Averman started but was cut off by Guy abruptly getting up and leaving the kitchen. Tammy and Fulton had broken apart by then and everyone watched him leave.
"What did I say?" Averman asked, looking to Adam and then Fulton and Tammy. Everyone seemed to shrug before going back to what they were doing. Averman flipped another pancake in the pan.
"So what time do I have to have you home?" Fulton asked, beginning to eat his food. Tammy shrugged, knowing she was in trouble already.
"I don't really care. I'd rather spend the day with you but I have nothing to wear..." She said looking down at her lack of fashion.
"Well, we can go to your house and get you something to wear or I could take you to get something. I mean, your dress is fine to wear to a store." He suggested. Tammy's eyes lit up.
"You'd take me shopping?" She asked, wondering if he cared that much. He nodded,
"Yeah, I mean, I don't have a lot of cash but..."
"Don't worry about that, I haven't spend a dime since I won the Olympics but you'd actually go?" She questioned again. He smiled, leaning forward to kiss her.
"Tammy, of course, I'd do anything to spend more time with you." He smiled. She kissed too before jumping up.
"I'm going to go get changed so we can go." She said, kissing him on the nose and rushing out of the kitchen at top speed. She popped her head around the corner a minute later. "I love you, Fulton." She smiled before disappearing again. He smiled too, finishing his pancakes and ignoring the stares he was getting from his roommates.
"Whipped already..." Adam said, laughing slightly over his coffee cup as Averman made the whipping noise from the stove he was standing at. Fulton chuckled slightly, let them laugh.
"I love her guys, I'd do anything or her." He defended. At that moment Guy came stomping out of his room, tossing on his grey sweat shirt and headed for the door. He didn't say anything to anyone before opening the front door and exiting with a bang. The three occupants of the kitchen turned to look.
"What's up his butt lately?" Adam asked, coming to sit across from Fulton at the table. Fulton shrugged, "I can guess it has something to do with the brunette living one floor down but that's just speculation." Fulton commented before Adam nodded in agreement.
"They can never seemed to get it right. Either they're together or their not." Adam shook his head.
"None of us can..." Averman added thinking back to the night before and glad that Ashlee had not told Adam about their argument or the fact that they were kissing in the living room. In fact she had left right after their interaction and not even woken Adam as she might have planned.
"Well whatever it is, I'm not going to let him ruin my day with his problems. I think I'll go see if Tammy needs help getting dress." Fulton smiled, dumping his plate in the sink.
"Don't you mean undressed..." Adam chuckled opening the paper to the business section. Fulton ignored him, heading down the hall to his door. He was torn on whether he should knock or not and finally decided against it, opening the door and walking in. Tammy stood before him in her bra and panties, trying to run his comb through her long blonde locks that were tangled from rolling around in the sheets the night before. She looked up when the door opened ready to run for cover if it was someone other than Fulton.
"I thought you were getting dressed." He mumbled, coming to wrap his arms around her waist and kiss her shoulder. She smiled,
"I was and you're distracting me." She smiled, turning in his arms to kiss him on the lips. A moment later the kiss turned passion driven and Fulton was picking Tammy up and carrying her back to the bed. She laughed slightly as she landed on her back, getting one of her shoes she had collected to the small of her back. She quickly pushed her shoes and dress to the floor as Fulton continued to kiss her neck and collar bone.
"Can we start this morning over?" Fulton asked, playfully. Tammy nodded, capturing his lips with hers.
"I think that's a good idea." She said before being consumed with passion again.
Guy Germaine stomped child-like down the stairs towards the next landing huffing about Averman minding his own business when the sound of a race car caught his attention just before he tripped over it. Being as lucky as Guy was these days, his torn pant leg caught in its wheel and pulled him to the ground face first. Letting out a groan of annoyance, Guy looked up to find a small blonde boy staring down at him, a look of pure dread on his face. Guy's first reaction would have been to yell and ask the boy where his parents were but a feeling of realization overcame Guy as he looked at the boy. He'd swear he'd seen this kid before but he knew he hadn't. Sitting up on to his knees, Guy looked at the boy more closely.
"I's sorry, mister. I didn't mean to." The boy promised, rocking on his feet nervously while swinging the controlled between his teeny hands. "Are you okay?" The boy asked after Guy didn't respond to him for a minute, just stared awkwardly at him. Robbie was really nervous he was going to get in trouble. Guy nodded a little, trying to figure out where he could have seen this kid before.
"I'm fine. Do you live here?" Guy managed to get out. The boy nodded, looking back towards the hall behind him.
"Mommy says I shouldn't talk to strangers. She'd be mad if she knew I was talking to you." He seemed to worry. Guy nodded again,
"You live with your Mom?" Guy asked, the boy seemed hesitant to answer but nodded, pointing down the hall.
"Are you going to tell her I tripped you. I didn't mean it." The boy seemed nervous now that he'd told him where he lived.
"No, have we met before?" Guy asked, confusion marking his face. The boy shook his head but seemed to be studying him as well before the door the boy had pointed to opened,
"Robbie, it's almost lunch..." Connie's voice trailed off at the sight before her. Her son staring at his father in the middle of the hall. Guy was on his knees, eye level with Robbie and they were intently staring at each other, a look of confusion on both their faces. When both sets of eyes turned to her and a realization passed between her and Guy, Connie felt her world start to spin and then go black. Guy watched with confusion as Connie's eyes gave away her secret but before he could react, she was on the floor passed out.
"Mommy!" Robbie screamed, dropping the controller and running to Connie's crumbled form. Guy was immediately up too and rushed to her side.
"Connie, Connie!" He frantically asked, picking up her torso and resting it on his knees. He lightly tapped her cheek to get her to wake up. Julie had come rushing out of the apartment at that moment and seen what was happening.
"Oh god, Connie? What happened?" She had asked Guy.
"I think she fainted. Help me get her inside." Guy motioned for Julie to hold open the door while he carried her into the apartment. Setting her down on the couch, he began to pace the room, a million thoughts running through his head. It was becoming clear now but the real answers would have to come from Connie and in typical Connie fashion she was avoiding the conversation, he thought with a chuckle looking down at her on the couch just as she started to stir. Julie was sitting on the coffee table trying to brush the hair out of Connie's face.
"What's wrong with Mommy?" Robbie asked, tears beginning to form in his eyes. Julie got up to comfort him as Guy watched for the first time noticing the boy's features. He had Connie's eyes, big brown doe eyes that Guy knew he'd never be able to say no to but he had his hair, blonde curly hair that Guy fought with every day of his life and he had his nose. God, he was a father and he hadn't even known it. Guy had to sit down, staring straight at the boy who continued to wail in Julie's arms.
"It's all your fault!" Robbie yelled at Guy, snapping Guy out of his trance.
"No, it's not Robbie. Your Mom just fainted." Julie tried to calm the situation as Connie finally opened her eyes to look around.
"Mommy!" Robbie yelled, breaking away from Julie to run to Connie before she could even bring her head up to look around.
"Robbie, what's wrong?" There was a silent conversation between the two of them, Connie realizing Guy was seated across from her before Connie wiped his tears, "Can you take Aunt Julie to play in the hall?" She asked, Robbie shook his head,
"No, he'll hurt you again." Robbie argued,
"No, he won't hurt me. Mommy was just shocked is all and I need to talk to him then I'll explain everything to you, okay?" Connie reasoned. Robbie finally agreed and left the room with Julie trailing behind him. Connie watched them until the door was shut and then sat up and looked at Guy.
"I guess we need to talk..." She mumbled, tucking the hair behind her ears in a nervous fashion. She hadn't planned to have this conversation so soon. She wasn't sure what to say. Guy nodded, standing from the chair to pace the room again. He wasn't sure how he felt right now, he was a Father and not just anyone's Father, he had a kid with Connie.
"Is he mine?" He asked quietly, stopping to look at her for when she answered. He had hoped but he could have been wrong. Connie nodded,
"Guy, I wanted to tell you but I... I couldn't do that to you..." She reasoned. Guy felt his anger began to surface. She kept him from him.
"You couldn't tell me I have a kid?!" He exclaimed, raising his voice before realizing Robbie was right outside the door and was probably listening. Connie seemed to think the same thing as she looked to the door for Robbie to come in. When the door didn't open she continued.
"Guy, it was the last time we'd been together. We were stupid and forgot to use protection. I couldn't ruin your life when you had everything going for you. We had decided to split so I did what I had to do at the time." She defended.
"What you had to do? Keep him away from me for his entire life? I don't even know his name..." Guy was trying to calm down but was doing a poor job of it. It had been his dream at one point to have kids with Connie and now he did but it was not as he had thought it would have been. No, joyous pregnancy announcement, no waiting for Connie to go into labor. Nothing like he imagined.
"Robbie... His name is Robbie..." Connie sighed, looking down at the floor. She felt like she had robbed him of something when she looked into his eyes. She needed to look down to stopped herself from crying.
"Where has he been this whole time?" Guy asked, wondering how he hadn't seen him before now. Connie had been living there for months.
"With my Grandparents. I couldn't afford to take care of him but I wouldn't give him away either. I... I was trying to make a better life for us." Connie felt tears begin to come to her eyes, no matter how hard she tried to control them.
"By stripping? You wanted to make everything better by stripping when you could have just come to me instead. I loved you, Connie. We would have gotten through it somehow. I could have taken care of the two of you." Guy argued.
"I know I've been stupid but don't take it out on Robbie now. He deserves to know how great you are." Connie pleaded. For the first time Guy shut up and sat down in the chair across from her to study the damaged hard wood floor.
"Where do we go from here..." Guy wondered, looking to the closed door and the sounds of laughter coming from the hall.
"You could meet him and tell him who you are." Connie suggested, hoping Guy would want to be in Robbie's life. The color seemed to drain from Guy's face. It was the first time Connie had seen him so nervous since he got his acceptance letter from MinnU and he didn't want to open the letter.
"Does he know about me?" Guy asked, swallowing hardly. The room was suddenly very hot. Connie nodded,
"Yeah, he's got pictures of us that my grandparents put by his bedside table at night and I've told him about you." Connie reassured him. Guy nodded, looking to the door again as it opened abruptly and Robbie rushed in, jumping in Connie's lap. He wasn't ready yet.
"Mommy, Mommy, I flipped my car like ten times. Ask Aunt Julie, you should come and see!" He exclaimed. Connie laughed hugging him to her before turning to Guy. He looked like he could throw up.
"Actually Robbie, I have someone I'd like you to meet." She said taking a deep breath, "Robbie, that's your Daddy." She whispered in his ear loud enough for Guy to hear. Robbie's eyes turned to Guy with a look of amazement. Guy felt himself under the gun with the little guy's eyes watching his every move. He finally cleared his throat and stood, walking around the table to sit in front of Connie and Robbie on the coffee table. Julie was watching from the doorway, trying not to intrude on the private moment.
"Robbie, I... I'm Guy and I didn't know you existed until today. So I'd really like the opportunity to make that up to you..." Guy said looking down to extend his hand before Robbie flung himself in Guy's open arms. Guy was momentarily knocked back before he was able to sit upright and hug Robbie to chest as Robbie was trying to do to him.
"Daddy, Daddy!" Robbie exclaimed over and over again, not sure if this was all real. Guy held him to his chest, hugging him soundly. The room was silent beside Robbie's small cries as Connie watched the exchange, tears in her eyes and for a moment Guy and Connie's eyes met and she felt like everything just might be okay.