A/N: This is already posted as a separate story(Jordan) but I decided to turn this into a full-fledged story and this chapter now serves as a Prologue.
Ciara and Ben walked up to Jordan's apartment. Ben was excited as he hadn't seen his sister in years. Ciara on the other hand was a little nervous. Ben squeezed Ciara's hand supportively, "You have nothing to worry about." Ciara sighed anxiously, "This is a BIG deal. This is your sister. The MOST important woman in your life." Ben smiled and kissed Ciara's cheek, "Second." Ciara blushed slightly, "I love you." Ben kissed Ciara's forehead, "And I love you. And Jordan will too."
Ciara sighed and shook the anxiety off. Ben knocked on the door and a moment later, a tall woman opened the door and threw her arms around Ben, "Benji!" Ben returned the hug and groaned, "MUST you call me that?" Jordan retreated from the hug and chuckled, "Yes, I am your sister, so it is my job to tease you endlessly. No matter HOW old you get." Jordan turned to Ciara, "And this must be Ciara. I have heard so much about you, I could swear that I've known you for years." Ciara turned to Ben and raised her eyebrows. Ben turned a light shade of pink. Jordan wrapped Ciara in a tight hug, even tighter than the one that she gave Ben.
Jordan didn't let up, "You are even more gorgeous than Ben said that you were." Ben's light pink turned into a tomato. Ben, desperate to change the subject said, "Are you gonna let us in or are you just going to continue to embarrass me in front of my girlfriend in the hallway?" Jordan smirked, "You're right. I'll have plenty of time to embarrass you IN my apartment." With that, Jordan stepped to the side and Ben and Ciara walked into Jordan's apartment. Ciara looked around, taking in the apartment, "Wow, it's beautiful. Wherever you got your décor taste is clearly not where Ben got his." Ben opened his mouth in shock, "Hey!" Ciara giggled and gave Ben a side hug, "I'm kidding, I love you AND your taste." Ben made a slight smile, "Nice save."
Jordan took Ciara's arm and pulled him toward her, "Okay. I need some one-on-one time with you." Before Ben could object, Jordan handed Ben a piece of paper, "I ordered your favorite Italian. Go pick it up?" Ben sighed, "Fine." As soon as the door shut, Jordan ushered Ciara to the couch, "Now that he's gone, you and I can get to know each other better." As soon as Ben left, Ciara's nerves returned. Jordan could sense that, "I'm not here to interrogate you. I just want to get to know the girl that has captured my brother's heart so."
Ciara smiled, "I'll be honest, when Ben told me that you invited us here, I was hesitant. Ben and I have spent so much of our relationship fighting other people's opinions, I wasn't sure if I could take one more. Ben assured me that you are the most understanding person in his life, so I said 'What the hell?'."
Jordan rested her hand on Ciara's wrist, "I promise, I don't want to give you the 3rd degree or anything." Ciara smiled a small smile relaxing. Jordan continued, "Ben told me all about how you guys met, but I want to hear it the way you saw it." Ciara sighed deeply, "It's a long story." Jordan gestured to the empty apartment, "We got time."
Ciara half-laughed, "Okay. It was a case of right-place right-time. I had just walked in on the guy that I was interested in hooking up with my friend/niece." Jordan looked at Ciara in confusion, "Wha-?" Ciara continued, "That's another story for another time. I took off on my motorcycle and I took a turn too quickly. I completely wiped out and couldn't move. As luck would have it, Chad DiMera had just run Ben out of Salem, so he just happened to find me. Thank god for that, now." Jordan looked at Ciara, "Now?"
Ciara sighed, "I didn't trust him at first. I just knew him as 'The Necktie Killer'. I was terrified that he was going to hurt me. He gave me a knife so I could protect myself if he made me feel unsafe. I never used it. Slowly I stopped seeing 'necktie killer' and just started to see Ben. We talked about so much: my past, his. He told me so much about Clyde. What you guys went through. He even told me about your kitten."
Jordan looked at Ciara shocked, "He told you about that? He's never told anyone that." Ciara smiled, "Yeah, but it wasn't all deep and dark in the cabin. We had light moments too. Like when he washed my feet because I had quite a 'funk' to me." Ciara laughed before continuing, "I warned him that I was ticklish and I might've kinda kicked him in the mouth. And he went flying across the room." Jordan stifled a laugh, "Oh my god." Ciara nodded laughing herself, "Yeah. He said that he was gonna quit while he still had all of his teeth. That was the moment. The turning moment when I realized that I didn't need the knife. He wasn't gonna hurt me. But then, thanks to my BRILLIANT mother, she put out an APB for Ben before she thought that he had taken me against my will. So, when Ben ran out of his meds, he couldn't get more because there were cops swirling around the pharmacy. That's when he lost touch with reality. Starting seeing Clyde." Tears filled Ciara's eyes as she continued, "I did everything I could to convince him that Clyde wasn't really there. But 'Clyde' was telling Ben that I was lying, that I had called my mom, which I hadn't. I wanted to be there with Ben. I got him to grab my hand and feel that that was real, I was. He finally went to the pharmacy and got his meds, but when he got back…" Jordan nodded, "The cabin was on fire." Ciara looked down, "Yeah."
Jordan put a supportive hand on Ciara's shoulder, "But you believed that he didn't do it." Ciara sighed, "There were moments where I let people like my mom and Tripp get in my head and put doubts there, but at the end of the day, I knew. I knew that Ben didn't do it. When he came and told me that he knew 100% that he didn't do it. The absolute joy I felt, that was indescribable." Ciara wiped a couple tears, "Sorry." Jordan shook her head, "No, don't apologize. You have been an amazing source of strength for my brother." Ciara sighed, "And he has been for me too. Can I tell you something? Something that I haven't even told Ben?" Jordan nodded, "Of course."
Ciara took a deep sigh, "I'm pregnant." Jordan jumped up, "What?! Oh my god!" At that moment Ben walked back into the apartment. Ben stood still for a moment listening intently to their conversation. Jordan asked, "Why haven't you told him?" Ciara closed her eyes, "I've tried, so many damn times. But every time I do, I chicken out." Jordan said, "You need to tell him." Ciara sighed, "I know, I know. But this is going to change everything. Nothing will ever be the same. There's a 3rd person in our relationship now."
Ben slid against the wall, not believing what Ciara was saying. She could be saying only one thing: she was cheating on him. He knew the signs, he'd seen it all before. The jumpiness whenever he touched her, constant avoiding alone time. He couldn't believe that this was happening again. Ben stormed out of the apartment and slammed the door shut.
Jordan and Ciara looked up. Ciara asked, "What was that?" Jordan shook her head, "It was just my neighbor. He doesn't know the concept of gently shutting a door." Ciara chuckled and glanced at her phone, "Where is Ben? This pregnant girl needs to eat." Ciara chuckled, "That's the first time I've said that out loud." Jordan hugged Ciara, "Well, congrats and I can't wait to spoil my niece or nephew."
Ben ran out of the apartment and started hyperventilating. He just kept running. He couldn't believe his ears. He ran until he couldn't anymore. He stopped when his legs were burning. He sat down on the sidewalk Ciara's words playing on a loop over and over again in his head. Jordan telling Ciara that she "needed to tell him", that once she did it would "change everything" and "nothing would be the same" and the "3rd person in the relationship". That last one, was the one that cut Ben's heart like a knife. She wasn't saying that it was a mistake, but that someone else was in their relationship now? Ben thought to himself, "Is this what Tripp felt like when he was getting in-between him and Ciara." Ben thought that he would never feel the type of pain that he did when he saw Abigail with Chad, but this was so much worse than that. He had exposed every part of himself to Ciara: the good, the bad, and certainly the ugly. He thought that Ciara had done the same with him, but it turned out that their relationship was one-sided in that respect.
Ciara glanced at her phone and saw it had been hours since Ben had left, "Where is he? Where'd you send him? To Italy to get the food?" Jordan chuckled, "No, it's about 20 minutes away. He should have been back by now." Ciara typed out a quick text, "Are you okay?"
Ben's phone beeped. Ben looked at his phone and chuckled bitterly. Was he okay? He was the furthest thing from okay. He thought about replying saying his thoughts exactly, but took a deep breath and deleted Ciara's text message. Before locking his phone, he saw the wallpaper and his heart broke even further than he thought it could. It was a picture from their first Christmas as a couple, on Ciara's motorcycle together. He had it fixed as a surprise for her. The way Ciara looked at him, or at least the way he had thought she was looking at him, in complete love, it all seemed like a lie now. Every look, every moment, every kiss, every EVERYTHING that they had shared since he stumbled upon her after she crashed.
Jordan could tell that Ciara was getting worried. Ciara was checking her phone what seemed like every 10 seconds. Jordan took Ciara's phone out of her hand and placed it on the coffee table, "Has he ever done this before?" Ciara shook her head violently, fighting back tears, "No. Never. It's so weird. We-we never go more than a few hours without at least texting. And he usually responds almost instantly. I-I don't know what's going on. But I'm starting to get really worried."
Ciara grabbed her phone and furiously typed "Ben, what is going on? I am getting really worried. Please just respond so I know that you're okay. I love you." Ciara sighed deeply and pressed send.
Ben, still sitting on the sidewalk looked at his phone once again. A part of him felt bad about how worried Ciara was, but another part of him thought that this was exactly what she deserved for betraying him like that. Ben shook his head and tried to get those thoughts out of his head.
After several hours of radio silence from Ben, Ciara fell asleep on the couch. Ciara heard a rustling in the kitchen and jumped up, "Ben?" Ciara's face fell when she saw it was just Jordan getting a bottle of water from the fridge, "Sorry, just me." Ciara closed her eyes, fighting tears.
Jordan placed the bottle of water on the island in the kitchen and ran and wrapped Ciara in a hug, "Hey, it's gonna be okay." Ciara sniffed, "This is so out of character for him. I hate to even say this, but I'm starting to think that…" Ciara couldn't even finish her sentence. Jordan pulled herself from the hug, "That he's gone off his meds?" Ciara nodded, "I hate, HATE even thinking this. But.." Jordan nodded, "Since it's so unlike him." Ciara swallowed hard, "Yeah. Should-should we call the police?" Jordan sighed deeply, "If he's not back by tomorrow morning, I think we need to seriously consider it. Sorry for waking you. Do you want to go to the hotel to sleep?" Ciara shook her head, "No, I think that if Ben's gonna go anywhere he's gonna come back here." Jordan nodded, "Okay."
Jordan went into the closet and pulled out a blanket, "Here. I know it's hard, but try to get some sleep." Ciara took a deep breath, "Okay." Ciara tried to make a makeshift bed on Jordan's couch, but as comfortable as it was, she couldn't sleep and that was because Ben wasn't next to her. Ciara couldn't remember the last time that she slept alone.
The next morning while Ciara was still sleeping, Ben walked into Jordan's apartment. Ciara heard the movement and jumped up throwing the blanket off of her and ran up to Ben. She wrapped Ben in a tight hug but Ben didn't return the hug and remained stiff. Ciara sighed deeply, "I am so glad that you're okay. I was about ready to call the police. What happened?"
Ciara put her hand to Ben's cheek and he flinched. Ben's face turned hard, "I came back with the food and I heard you and Jordan." Ciara raised her eyebrows, "And…?" Ben swallowed and continued, "I heard what you confessed to her." Ciara sighed deeply, "You heard that?" Ben nodded and Ciara continued, "Okay… Look, that's not the way I wanted you to find out." Ben started pacing, "How did this happen?" Ciara looked at Ben in confusion, "I think you know exactly how it happened." Ben continued, "So you're saying that this is MY fault?!" Ciara tried to take Ben's hands in her own, "No, no. That's not what I'm saying at all!" Ben said, "Then what ARE you saying? And how could you tell Jordan, at all, but especially before me?!"
Ciara closed her eyes, "Look, there were so many times that I started to tell you." Ben's eyes got wide, "AND..?" Ciara continued, "I-I just couldn't find the words." Ben's eyes turned dark, "It's 2 words. How hard could it be?!" Ciara took a step away from Ben, "I'm sorry, but I knew that as soon as I said those words that NOTHING would be the same." Ben said, "So, you just thought that you could keep it from me forever?" Ciara shook her head violently, "No, I knew that I couldn't keep this from you for much longer. It would become obvious." Ben looked at Ciara in complete shock, "Why? Be-because I had been through this before, I should know the signs." Ciara stopped for a second and took a deep breath, "Ben, I know that this is going to change things, but this doesn't have to be a bad thing. I think that this can make us and our connection to each other even stronger."
Ben looked at Ciara like she had lost her damn mind, "How in the world would this make our connection stronger?!" Ciara closed her eyes, "Because now there is physical proof of our love." Ciara put Ben's hand to her still-flat stomach. Ben looked at Ciara in complete and utter confusion, "Wait, what're you talking about?" Ciara half-laughed, "I'm pregnant. In 7 months, there's going to be a half-you/half-me running around. Okay maybe more than 7…" Before Ciara could finished Ben lifted Ciara up and kissed her. Tears started pooling in Ben's eyes, "We're gonna have a baby?" Ciara nodded just enjoyed staying in the position for a moment before realizing something, "Wait, what did YOU think I was talking about?"
Ben put Ciara down and started to scratch the back of his neck, "No-nothing. Exactly what you're talking about." Ciara raised her eyebrows at Ben, "You went from pissed off to elated in .2 seconds. I don't buy it, not for 1 minute." Ben sighed deeply and led Ciara over to the couch. "Okay. When I heard you talking to Jordan, I thought that you were confessing to her that you had cheated on me." Ciara looked at Ben in shock, "What? Wh-why would you think that?" Ben closed his eyes, not able to meet Ciara's, "You were saying how things were gonna change forever and nothing would ever be the same. And that you kept trying to tell me."
Now it was Ciara's turn to get angry, "Do you really think that I would cheat on you? Ever?! I mean, honestly, Ben, from the time that you rescued me after my crash, I couldn't even think about another guy without you being in my head. I love you and I would never, NEVER do that." Ben ran a nervous hand through his hair, "I know that, but there was a part of me that just, just went back to that place with Abigail. I thought we were happy, but she had been sleeping with Chad." Ciara put one of her hands on Ben's cheek and the other on Ben's hands, "Abigail and I may be cousins, which is really weird when I say it like that." Ben half-smiled before Ciara continued, "…But I would never EVER do that to you. Ben, YOU are the man that I love. You have been there for me for so much. I love you so much, Ben."
Jordan walked out into the living room and was shocked to see Ben sitting on the couch with Ciara, "Benjamin Weston… Why I oughta…" Ben wrapped Jordan in a hug, "Hey sis." Jordan shook her head, "You know, your girlfriend is a LOT more understanding than I am. If a guy did that to me…" Ben raised his hands up, "I know. I'm lucky." Ciara smiled at that. Jordan hit Ben on the shoulder, "What the hell is wrong with you?! Why did you disappear like that?!"
Before Ben could attempt to explain, Ciara interrupted, "Ben overheard our conversation. Missed the part where I told you that I was pregnant and just heard the keeping something from him part So…" Jordan narrowed her eyes at Ben, "So you thought she had some big secret. And now…?" Ben picked Ciara up and Ciara exclaimed, "Oh!" Ben put Ciara down and put his head on her stomach, "I'm your daddy." Ciara smiled and Jordan chuckled at how much her brother had grown up. Ben jumped up, ran over to the window and yelled, "I'm gonna be a father!" Jordan's neighbor yelled, "Congrats. Now SHUT UP!" Ciara and Jordan bursted out laughing.