newww chapter for you to enjoy. this'll be the second to last chapter! Its short, quick... but necessary for the story. read and REVIEW!

-Candy


(( Chapter 11 ))

Jeff hummed softly to himself as he drove through the endless roads of concrete within the slowly fading afternoon, his hands tapping against the steerling wheel. Inside, his single emotion of excitement was exploding over all, and it left him anxious to get home, where he'd gather the love of his life into his arms until they'd make love again. A new love, a new career almost.. together they seemed to bring him a whole new life, one in which he didn't mind in the least.

The younger Hardy almost laughed to himself as he thought back on his recent love story with Trish. It was funny, he realized, how fate is the most powerful thing a human can edure. And anyone who expierenced felt special enough that God had such a specific plan for them, he was willing to do anything to make sure it happened. It was in his control and only his control, no one else could step in it's way.

He sighed, leaning back in his seat as he drove lazily down the empty street.. yeah, it was meant to be this way.

Pulling into Matt's long driveway, the stones pelting his beloved car, Jeff quickly disgarded all else and bolted through the open front door, ignoring Ashley as she tried to catch him. He swung open Trish's door in a heartbeat, calling to her as he did so.. but he stopped dead in his tracks as he realized the bed was made for the first time in weeks, her stuff almost completely cleared out.

"Jeff?"

After hearing the feminine voice call his name, Jeff turned and ran back down the stairs, coming face to face with a blanched Ashley. "Ash.." He had tried to sound serious, stern.. but his voice buckled under his emotion. "Where's Trish?"

"She left, Jeff." The blonde sighed, almost as a sign to him that she was defeated also.

"Well no fuck," The colorful man snapped bitterly, his eyes flashing with anger while they wallowed in sadness. "Ash where is she? Where'd she go!"

Lowering her eyes to the floor beneath her, Ashley covered her face with her hands, letting them catch the tears as they fell slowly. "She went home," She finally gasped, gathering up the strength to look back up at him again, "She said she couldn't say here anymore."

"What?" He yelled, his jaw clenched tightly, his insides bottling up with a bitter, impaitent saddness and rage. "What happened? What's wrong with her?"

"Jeff.." Ashley paused slowly before she so harshly broke the promise she swore on Trish's heart she wouldn't break, but she needed this.. Jeff needed this.

"She's pregnant."

Trish let her eyes flutter closed softly as she tried to tune out all else going on around her; the turbulance of the plane, the sleeping passenger beside her, the painful way in which her heart was shutting down horifficly, comming a suicide of guilt within her. Her thoughts were merciless, question upon question belitting her and her very decision to do what she did.

But with it all, she still felt somewhat at ease knowing that for the first time in far too long, she'd be home again. Hopefully within the confines of her own kingdom, she'd be able to rest peacefully, without the inner battle within her keeping her awake at night.

Slipping the earpieces of her ipod in her ears, Trish turned on a soft song that she could relax to as she let her eyes open again, only to have them fall on the fading sunset outside her window. The sky, a beautiful mix of oranges and pinks, was as pretty as a sunset could be. But as her eyes welled, she realized it was a mere nothing compared to the North Carolina sky she had fallen in love with.

Fallen in love..

Subconciously or conciously, Trish brought a hand to her stomach, letting it rest there gently.

Is this all what her and Jeff's passionate fling was destined to be? A short-lived, deep romance that they somehow felt bound to keep a secret, and was now abruptly broken due to her selfish decision to keep him safe from herself. And that first night of love-making was for nothing but creating the life that was now within her?

No, she decided.

Jeff had set ablaze the fire of life that she had so carlessly left behind after her schedule got ahead of her. And as for the other life inside her.. well, that was something far more beautiful. Something he created with her. Something that even as their burning 'love' for eachother faded over their time apart, would keep them linked in far more ways than one for the rest of their lives.

Taking yet another long breath and letting her eyes flutter until they closed, Trish finally let the tears fall as she realized the harsh reality of it all. She could never hide this baby from Jeff, he'd find out somehow, if not Ashley'd let it slip sometime. And even then, if he loved her so, he'd be calling her now, wouldn't he?

Maybe. But he hadn't. None of them had.

He had told her he loved her that first night in the cabin, and few times after that when the time was right. If anything, Trish had learned two things about Jeff over the many years she had known him; he was the most gentle human being alive, and that when he said those three little words, he meant it with all he had within him. And in return, she loved him back.

But why, then, was she doing this to him? Why was she taking the woman he loved more than life itself and maybe the only child he'd ever have and sending them miles and miles away..where it was almost impossible for him to find them? Why was she leaving the only man she thought she loved as empty as she had left her room within Matt's house?

And why was she doing this to herself? God damn, she didn't know.

Trembling in her sorrow, Trish turned towards the window and the world so far away beneath her, tears spilling town her cheeks in an unsteady flow. She'd always been a strong believer in the fact that God wouldn't give her anything she couldn't handle, and as far as this unborn baby went, she'd be just fine. How she'd do it without the man she thought she loved, she wasn't sure, but hand in hand with everything else, it'd all turn out just fine.

Just as long as she never had to look at his beautiful face ever again.

Jeff raked his hands forcefully through his hair, his body trembling with rage as he paced through the living room, both his brother and Ashley completely silent, sad and motionless as they sat wrapped up in eachother on the couch before him. The night was fallen now, the breeze flowing in steadily from the window as crickets chirped and leaves rustled about as they usually did.

"I don't get it," He spat, stopping in his tracks momentairly as he swept his hands over his face, the clouded greens of his eyes remaining locked on a blank ceiling, although they saw something entierly different. "I don't fucking get it... why'd she run?"

"She's scared, Jeff.." Ashley spoke softly, as if not to startle him or cause him anymore pain than she already had. "She's confused, she's hurt.. so she ran." Her eyes flew to Matt's as he patted her leg for quiet support, offering her a weak smile.

"Ran." He flintched, as if speaking the word had caused him pain, then laughed bitterly into the air. "Why couldn't she just come to me? ...she always comes to me."

"Jeff, you don't understand.."

"Don't understand?" Jeff yelled fiercly, his eyes welling with rage and shock as he turned towards her suddenly, unfaultering when she flintched at his actions. "The woman I love finds out shes pregnant with my kid, decides not to talk to me, and gets on a plane and goes somewhere where she knows its impossible for anyone to find her? Okay, yeah, you're right.. maybe I don't understand."

She sighed, laying her head against Matt's shoulder as she let her eyes flutter. The elder Hardy wrapped his arm around his little blonde woman instintively, kissing the top of her head as a small token of his affection.

"I just don't get it.." He spoke distantly to no one at all, his voice whisper-like as he stared out the window towards the small cabin he and Trish had spent in so many nights before..nights he'd do anything now to go back and relive again. "..what the hell does she want me to do?"