Maddie's head was spinning. Instead of calling Chimney when she left the doctor's, she just drove home. She didn't know what to say, she didn't know how to process this news.
She shouldn't have been surprised to see his car out front; in her heart, she really wasn't.
Chimney jumped to standing when he saw her. "Maddie," he greeted, and she wanted to cry all over again. "I just want to say, whatever you need, I am there. Doctors appointments, child support, late night peanut butter runs...I am there for you."
"Thank you," she managed, tears filling her eyes, and her throat swelling. It was silly, really. She had no reason to be this emotional. Last night, she'd been terrified of a positive.
Now she was heartbroken.
"I'm not pregnant," she said simply, letting the news shatter like a vase. "So you can just go back to your normal life without me. I know you don't want anything else out of our relationship, and basically, I way overreacted. I'm sorry for worrying you."
Chimney didn't say anything, and she could see the emotions on his face. He turned to the wall for a moment, wiped at his face. "I'm sorry," he apologized, turning back. "I guess I got...excited."
"Seriously, it's my bad," she said. "I freaked out, and the test was just a goof, but I'm not pregnant. She did bloodwork, and checked down below. I shouldn't have even said anything."
He stuck his hands in his pockets. "I'm glad you did," he said seriously. "No woman should have to go through something like this alone."
"Well, thank you," she said. "Um, you really don't have to stick around. I know you probably just want to get going, and leave me in your past."
"Maddie," he began. "I'm glad you called me for a lot of reasons, and the main one is, I need to apologize to you."
"There's really no need," she began, but he shook his head.
"There is," he said. "I said some awful things, and I made some horrific assumptions. I think I was just so...scared that I wanted to hurt you before you could hurt me. That's not an excuse, and it doesn't make up for how I treated you. I am so sorry."
Her throat hurt again. "Yeah, well," she said.
"I didn't mean it, any of it," he said. "I mean, I did, but I was speaking out of terror. Of course you aren't that kind of woman."
"Chimney, it's okay," she said. "I know you don't have the same feelings, and we don't have to keep torturing ourselves like this."
He started to nod, and then paused. "Wait, what did you mean?"
"What?" She asked, feeling too tired for this. He wasn't interested, and she just wanted to get the heartbreak over and done with.
"Same feelings?" He said. "As what? As before?" He'd stepped closer, and she could see something new in his eyes. Something intense, something honest.
"The same feelings as me," she said, forcing the words out. "There, are you happy? I admit it. I fell for you, and you shattered my heart to pieces when you said you didn't have those same feelings."
"I didn't say that," he said, and she shrugged.
"Same difference," she began, but he'd stepped closer again.
"I didn't say that, because I wouldn't have meant it," he said. "I do have feelings for you, Maddie. That's why I freaked when I heard about Eddie, that's why I acted like a fucking idiot. I love you."
The words hung in the air, and Maddie tried to make sense of them.
Chimney was stammering, trying to regain his footing on the conversation. "I mean, I'm falling in love-"
"Shut up," she said, a smile finally coming after the hell this morning had been. "I love you too."
With that, she stepped forward and kissed him. His arms came around her in an instant, holding her tight, and it was just like it had been before...but about a million times better.
Chimney followed her inside for coffee, and after a few minutes of trying to resist, they couldn't keep their hands off of each other while making it. Finally, they somehow made it to her couch, and finished their conversation.
He felt drunk on love, and he'd never been so happy as now, sitting there with her feet in his lap, kissing her whenever just because he wanted to.
He loved her. There was no doubt about it.
They'd talked about everything; he admitted that he'd been in love the whole time, really, and she told him that everything had changed when he made her hot mustard.
That really touched him. He knew he was a shitty cook, but Maddie had liked his hot mustard. Somehow, that made him know that she really, really loved him for who he was. Not for who he wanted to be, not for any fake version of himself he'd shown Tatiana. He had tried to be whoever those other women had wanted, but it was when he was himself that she'd fallen for him.
She liked Howard Han, who made hot mustard, and liked dorky tv shows.
He'd never loved her more than the moment she told him, until a few moments after. They'd kissed passionately, with Maddie ending up on his lap, and now they were separated again, Maddie leaning on his chest.
"You know, when I thought that I was pregnant…" she began, looking up at him. "I was really grateful it was you. That the baby was yours."
He didn't know how to process those words, so he just leaned down and kissed her, long and hard. "Same," he whispered, as they came up for air. "I couldn't imagine doing something like this with anyone else but you."
Her eyes filled, and she turned, shifting on the couch until she was sitting on her knees, facing him. "So does this mean we're dating?" She asked, and he burst out laughing, reaching for her hands to kiss them.
"We're a lot more than just dating," he whispered, kissing each finger. "But yes, we are. And I am demanding that we don't see other people."
"I think I'm okay with that," she laughed, leaning to kiss him again. It was another kiss that ended with them panting, and she gazed up at him. "I need you to promise me one thing," she whispered, her hands on his shoulders.
"Anything," he swore, and she could barely form the words, but she knew she had to. And she wanted to.
"Promise me that we'll do this again, not now, but...someday. And that it will be good news."
"Do what?" He asked, searching her eyes, and she cupped his face.
"Promise me that the next time I take a pregnancy test, it's only good things," she whispered, and his eyes filled.
"Maddie, there is nothing that would make me more happy," he replied, and they were just silent for a moment, staring at each other. "In fact…" He whispered. "We could go and try right now."
She got up, reaching for his hand to pull him up to his feet. "I'll race you to the bedroom," she said, and turned to run.
Chimney caught her before she reached the stairs, and they fell to the floor in a tangle of legs and laughter. And she was so, so glad that he did.
A/N: i'm going to mark this as complete, but i will try to get an epilogue up for y'all. thank you for reading :) ~Meowser