"Mmm," she cooed approvingly, not opening her eyes. She loved when Jerry woke her up from her naps with those light kisses to her neck and cheek.
"I'm so happy we're having a baby," he whispered.
She fought to keep her features schooled at the voice.
Her husband's, not Jerry's.
Oh, she'd never imagined sharing that with him would mean she'd have to deal with his being more affectionate! How was that fair!?
He kissed her lips again, "But you go back to bed, Lib. We can talk more when I get home." He squeezed her arm before closing the bedroom door behind himself, she deflating into the mattress with a groan.
She didn't sleep much longer any way – stupid Drew; why would you wake up a pregnant woman? Instead, she got up when she heard the kids start downstairs, stopping in the bathroom first – this kid was putting a lot of weight on her bladder!
Becca was irritably attempting to cut her cereal bowl or something, the silverware making a grating clink against the ceramic, when she strode in, picking up the kettle and flashing a smile at her babies on the way to the sink to refill it for tea – oh, she missed coffee.
She carried it back to the stove, turning the burner on beneath it and turning to smile at the kids again when Becca started, her voice cold, "Why didn't you just tell us?"
She blinked, "Tell you what?"
"You're pregnant, aren't you," her daughter answered, it not really a question.
Where had her darling daughter learned to put so much disdain in her voice?
She turned to face them more, agreeing softly, "Yes, I am."
Becca looked up at the ceiling before shrugging, gesturing weakly, "Why?"
"Why?" she echoed, breathing a laugh, "Whaddya mean 'Why'? There is no 'why.' It's something that happened." Because she was shtooping Jerry five days a week. And apparently his swimmers weren't content to sit in innertubes, like Drew's were. "Aren't you happy about it?" She'd thought they would be. It was a baby! What was to be upset about?
"Mom, we're not children," her daughter claimed, shaking her head. Apparently they were, based on this reaction. "You don't have to keep secrets from us."
She closed her eyes, exhaling, before trying to explain, "We were waiting-"
Becca huffed a laugh, "Waiting for what!? For it to grow up?" Her voice changed, suddenly too like her condescending father, "'Oh, by the way, ya know the guy that's been hanging around? Well, he's your brother.'" She smirked.
"Becca, don't talk to me like that," she returned immediately. It was bad enough she got it from Drew; she wouldn't take it from her daughter too.
"I'm sorry," Becca answered, not sounding sorry in the least, "It's just that you and dad decide to change the whole family and don't even ask us." … She hadn't really consulted Drew in the matter either. Nor had Jerry consulted her, or vice versa. She'd just thought – at her age – it wasn't a thing that needed to be discussed. Surprise. "Like we don't even count."
She looked around the kitchen, licking her lips and debating just... coming clean. Better to explain everything, right? And then she wouldn't have to hide. And-
But she couldn't do that. That was changing the whole family. She pulled a chair out, sitting kitty-cornered from Becca, "We're not changing the whole family."
"Oh, yeah?" her daughter challenged, "Lisa Fisher's mom had a baby and she had to drop out of tennis so she could babysit." Becca didn't even play tennis. Yes, the specificity of tennis wasn't the point, but Becca didn't do anything after school that wasn't academic. She'd never ask Becca to drop something academic to babysit. Surely she had to know how important she and Drew found her education to be! "Now she has to apply to junior colleges because that's all she can afford. All for a baby!" She swung her hands forward, knocking over the milk, and they both reached to catch it, the milk puddling anyway.
She exhaled, reaching wearily for the napkins beside her and starting to blot the white puddle.
"We were fine the way we were," her daughter finished softly, she freezing at that.
No. No she wasn't. The kids were, maybe, and that'd been her ultimate goal. But she deserved to be 'fine' too. And she wasn't without Jerry. And she wouldn't be without this baby.
She bit her lip, staring at the milk as she sopped it up with the napkins and tried not to cry, "Do you feel the same way, Corky?"
"I don't know!" he returned, his voice harsh. She looked up at that, this sudden change in her sweet boy. "What's so great about being born anyway?"
Her eyes widened before she narrowed them a bit, pressing, "Whadda you mean?"
He looked to her, still angry, "I don't want to have my birthday."
Becca looked to him then, too, her frigid facade melting a bit.
"Your birthday?" she echoed, stopping her attempt at cleaning the milk. She dropped her hands to her lap, "Hunny, do you understand what we're talking about?" She hated talking to him like he didn't understand. But she had to know. She couldn't assume he did and have him be confused or misinterpret.
"I understand," he confirmed. "I don't mind about the baby." Finally. One supportive answer. "But why do we have to have my birthday?" he pressed.
She hesitated – she loved celebrating her beautiful boy – before shaking her head, offering, "We don't." … If he didn't want a party this year, that was his choice. And he was being sweet enough to her to support the new baby. She had to support him, more now than ever.
Becca sighed, Corky nodding a bit, "Good."
She set down another napkin, Becca pushing herself up and deciding, "We'd better get to school." Corky took her lead, pushing his chair back as well.
She watched them go, Becca turning around to give her another sad look, before exhaling as the door closed, dropping her head to her hands.
Where was Jerry? Or Drew? She shouldn't have to deal with this alone.
"Libs? Oh, thank God! I was starting to worry that something had h-"
Growling, she hung up the phone.
That was not a proper apology and she wasn't accepting anything less.
And why had it taken him nearly three days to even call her? What the fuck kind of apology took three days? Not a lousy-ass phone call. That was for certain.
She'd been snapped at by her children that morning. And had to endure making the decision regarding amnio alone. And then he calls? Just a phone call!?
He needed to do better.
She sighed when the phone rang again, "What?"
"Don't hang up!" he pleaded, speaking quickly.
"What do you want, Jerry?" she demanded.
"I'm sorry," he tried. "I had meetings all d-"
She shook her head, interrupting him, "Not. Good. Enough."
He sounded panicked, trying again, "But I love you! And the baby! Please don't hang up, Libs."
"Why shouldn't I?" she demanded. "I kept trying to call you about the amnio test and you didn't answer and now it's scheduled and I have to go and you didn't answer until now!"
"Amnio?" he echoed.
She nodded, "Yes. Amnio. It's a test that might make me lose the baby and it's really the biggest decision I've had to make since we found out that Corky had Downs. And even that wasn't even a decision. So it's been the biggest decision I've had to make since leaving behind acting and I had to make it myself and you weren't here for me when I was crying and pacing and breaking out in a cold sweat and you don't even care!"
He seemed stunned into silence, "Wh- you could lose the baby? And you're doing it!? Why would you take that chance? Libby!"
"Don't yell at me!" she squawked. "I'm doing it because it'll tell me if the baby's healthy and if I can carry it and because I have to, Jerry! So don't you dare yell at me!"
"I'm sorry," he amended. "I'm so sorry, Libby. Please forgive me? I promise I won't be this distant in the future. I'll tell my assistant to always put your calls through. No matter what."
She clucked her tongue, "How are you going to explain that, Jerry? Huh? How are you going to explain that? You're not married. Who are you going to say it is? Me? I quit, Jerry. Remember!?"
He exhaled in her ear and she hung up again without waiting to hear what he was planning to say.
How dare that man sigh in her ear that way? Was this a fucking joke to him!?
"What!?" she screeched when the phone rang again, picking it up on the first ring.
She exhaled, closing her eyes and forcing a smile that she hoped would come out in her voice, "Hi, hunny."
"Is everything okay? I just wanted to check on my baby. And my baby," her husband joked.
She forced a small laugh, "We're fine. It's just... been a rough morning."
She could practically hear his deportment change on the other end and she wished she'd chosen her words better. "What? What happened? Is everything alright? Is it the baby?"
"We're fine," she repeated, unconsciously petting her stomach. "I just... Becca found the test. And .. she's upset about it. And then J- Jerry called."
"Why?" he asked, immediately suspicious.
But she couldn't exactly have tried to turn 'Jerry' into something else. Not without having had her tea. Which she hadn't had since she'd been too upset.
She shrugged, lying, "Something about some question about the office. He doesn't even know how to run his own office, hunny. I don't know how he was my boss. And telemarketers called. And it's just been so stressful!"
He cooed, "Aww. You poor thing! Well you just put your feet up and relax, okay? I'll call the school and leave a message for the kids to come here for dinner. And I'll have them bring you home something. I wish I could come home for lunch, but you know we're so swamped then. If I can get away after the lunch rush, I'll try, how's that sound?"
"Thanks, babe," she breathed a smile. "That's sweet."
"No problem. You just relax. Rest up and have a good day," he insisted.
She nodded, echoing, "Have a good day." She hung up again before propping her elbow on the table and dropping her chin to it.
God, she was just exhausted.
The phone rang again, she jumping a bit before reaching, "Hello?" She waited for an answer before repeating, "Hello? Who's calling?"
She blinked, repeating, "Hello?"
"Is this a Libby?"
She looked around her kitchen, confused, "Yes? This is she. Who's calling?"
"Some guy just gave me this number and said to call you," the man told her.
She combed her fingers through her unwashed hair, "What? Who? Who is this?"
He made loud chewing noises – so a friend of Drew's perhaps? - before answering, "Well my name's Eric. But the guy who paid me ten dollars to call you didn't give me his name."
"What in the world?" she started, looking around again. Was this some sort of joke? "Why are you calling?"
"I was just told to keep you on the line," he answered.
She blinked again, confused, "Why?"
He continued chewing before answering, "Don't really know. I was told to keep you on the phone until- oh. It's eleven. I called earlier but your line was busy."
"What does that have to do with-" she started.
"You're supposed to look out your window now," he instructed.
She froze, suddenly nervous, "Why? Who told you to call me?"
"Your back window, ma'am," he specified before hanging up.
She looked around nervously, swallowing, before going to the closet first and grabbing a broom. "Arnold!" she hissed, clapping her thigh. "Arnold!" The dog ran from the den, sitting by her feet and wagging his tail excitedly. Exhaling, she started for the back door, the broom held up for protection and the family dog at her heels. She took a deep breath before swinging the door open.
"Jerry?!" she gasped, dropping the broom.
He looked around before stepping inside and closing the door behind himself, she stepping back to give him room, "Surprise!"
She blinked before swatting at him, "What are you doing here!? You scared me half to death! Was that you who paid that man to call? What was that!?"
"You wanted a better apology," he reminded. "So I grabbed my car, drove by the restaurant to make sure Drew wouldn't be home, paid some homeless guy ten dollars and a Big Mac meal to call you and keep you distracted until 11, stopped at a florist and whoa-o! Here I am!" He pressed the flowers – gorgeous lilies and roses – into her hands before gripping her upper arms and holding her in place as he kissed her hard. "Forgive me?"
"I- uhm-" she stammered, looking down at the flowers in confusion.
"I brought lunch," he added, leading her away from the door and to the table. He pulled a chair out for her, she sitting in it heavily, before setting the bag hanging from his wrist down. "It's McDonalds," he revealed, an apology in his voice. "I didn't wanna make too many stops."
She blinked, looking up at him, "I- thank you."
"So I figured we could eat lunch and you could tell me about the amnio thing and we can figure something out so that they'll always put your calls through at the office. Maybe we'll say you're my dad's nurse or something. I don't know. But we'll figure it out, okay?" he tried, starting to unpack the bag of food.
She dropped the flowers to the table, blinking up at him, and he stopped unpacking food. ".. Is that a no, you don't forgive me?" She pushed her chair back, he deflating as she stood up. "C'mon, Libs. Please? I love you. Doesn't that count? I know I messed up. But I love you and-"
She curled her fingers in his lapel, pushing him backwards against the door frame leading out of the kitchen, before pressing her body to his and kissing him hard.
"This is the most romantic thing I think anyone's ever done for me," she told him softly, speaking against his lips. "Thank you for caring enough to do all this to apologize."
He smiled, "So I'm forgiven?"
She nudged him, warning, "Don't ever apologize like this again, though. You scared the hell out of me! I thought- I don't know what I thought!"
"Sorry. I guess it was a little frightening. I didn't think it through entirely. But I knew I couldn't go to the front door. And I knew I couldn't park here – I had to park around the corner. And I knew I couldn't be standing outside. So I figured if you came to the door right as I came up, it'd be okay. I didn't realize it would be scary to you," he admitted.
She exhaled, "... I didn't get dressed. I'm still in my pjs. I haven't even brushed my hair." Thank God she'd thought to brush her teeth when she'd gone in to relieve herself that morning. She hadn't made it back upstairs to get washed and dressed – this kid made the stairs seem so much longer these days – but she'd at least brushed her teeth. She subconsciously reached up to smooth it down. "Lemme run upstairs and get washed and dressed and then we can have lunch, hmm?"
He kissed her again, "I think you look beautiful."
She made a low noise of protest, shaking her head even as he kissed her again, "No; oh, Jer, stop. I do not."
"You do," he repeated, tilting his head to kiss her neck as he tugged her closer.
"Nmm.." she insisted, her eyelids flickering before she cooed softly and let him push her against the wall by the stairs, her head leaning against the brass frame of the picture there.
His mouth traced the lining of her nightgown, teasing the bare hint of cleavage there, "This is cute, Libs. You should wear stuff like this to work." His hands found her hips before he started dragging the long skirt of her gown up, teasing her bare thigh. She hummed through a moan of approval when his mouth moved back to her throat, sucking teasingly as his fingers toyed with the elastic at her hip.
She was near panting, arching against him as she scratched at his shoulder through his blazer, "Jer-Jer... No. St- we shouldn't."
"The kids are at school," he soothed. "And Drew won't be home for lunch. He works at a restaurant, Libs."
Drew had said as much earlier on the phone.
Licking her lips, she gently pushed him back, disentangling herself before quickly going to the blinds by the door and closing them. She didn't return right away, though, repeating the action in each of the rooms on the lower level before returning to him and pushing him against the coat closet under the steps, the doorknob digging into his back, "I want you so much, darling."
He reached up, carefully undoing the top button before pushing her back against the opposite wall, his mouth at her throat as he undid another button. "I could get used to you in pajamas," he teased, kissing lower. She curled her fingers in his hair as he nudged fabric out of the way to expose her left breast.
"Jerry," she breathed her voice a soft whine.
"No pesky bras or stockings or extra layers," he continued anyway, ignoring her plea as he undid another button. He smoothed his left hand past the small gap, working her right breast as his breath and the occasional brush of his lips teased the left.
She swallowed, closing her eyes as she tried to force his mouth closer, complaining, "Then why are you taking longer to undress me if there's less to do?"
He breathed a chuckle, "Foreplay doesn't change despite what you're wearing, my sweet."
"We're playing with fire," she argued, getting frustrated and pushing him back against the coat closet as she feverishly clawed at his belt. "We don't know if someone could come home here; it's not like your place."
He grabbed her wrists, teasing, "But doesn't that just make it more exciting to draw it out? Drew could walk through that door at any minute." She looked at the front door, chewing her lip and hesitating.
He'd meant it to be playful, but it was all too unwelcome a reminder.
And after what Becca had said to her earlier? About changing the whole family? What if she came home while she and Jerry were going at it by the kitchen? What would that do to her darling -
"Jer!" she gasped, closing her eyes, when he took advantage of her hesitation to push her back against the wall and suck at her throat again, making heat coil tightly in her lower abdomen and throb between her thighs. She pushed his blazer from his shoulders and down his arms before tugging at his shirt and untucking it from his pants.
"What, Libs?" he encouraged, speaking hotly against the shell of her ear as he started hiking the skirt of her nightgown up again. He let it fall back down around his wrist as he teased her through her underwear. "Ya wanna finally have an orgasm in your own house? How about two? Or four? Let me do that for you, Libs."
She closed her eyes again, licking her lips, before stopping him, "Jer, you're making it weird."
He leaned away slightly, confused, "What? Why?"
Exhaling, she opened her eyes, "I'm not with you to spite Drew. I'm with you because I love you. And... the way you keep bringing him into it just... makes it seem like you're doing it for Drew and not me."
"Whaddya mean?" he blinked.
"I mean... I want you to make love to me because you love me," she started.
He nodded seriously, interrupting her, "I do love you."
"But it doesn't feel that way, hunny. It feels like you're doing it... to Drew, not for me. And I know you love me. I'm just asking... for a little more romance and a little less flaunting the sneaking around. We don't have to do anything," she added, reaching and cupping his cheeks before kissing him sweetly, "I'm just … flattered you came over here with flowers and lunch."
He exhaled, nodding haltingly, "Yeah... Right. Okay."
"Okay?" she pressed, kissing him again.
"Of course," he smiled, kissing her back lightly.
She released his face, smoothing her nightgown down before doing up the few button he'd undone, "So how about we have lunch, hmm?" He nodded, not answering more than that as he looked down. She kissed his cheek, "You go sit in the den and I'll grab the food after I put the flowers in some water." He obediently started for the den, she breathing a smile and shaking her head as he walked away, sulking. "Such a child," she teased, pursing her lips, before going to the kitchen.
She got a vase down, starting to fill it with water before snipping the bottoms off the flowers and arranging them. She smiled when she felt him curl his arms around her waist.
"I'm sorry," he offered, kissing the back of her neck and petting the baby.
"No need to apologize," she cooed, lightly tracing shapes on his hands.
"But I made you feel like it wasn't about how much I love you," he reminded. "I don't ever want to make you feel like that."
She smiled, leaning back against him, "Honestly, it's fine."
He shook his head, turning her around to face him, "It's not. I love you more than anything in this whole world, Libs. And I think you're the most beautiful woman to ever live – I really do – so, when I look at you, I always want to make love to you. Nothing in this world gives me more pleasure and happiness and satisfaction than seeing the deliriously happy, satisfied smile on your face after we make love. And nothing is more beautiful to me than the faces and noises you make while we make love." She started to blush again, heat creeping up her neck and settling in her cheeks as she started to look down before he tipped her chin up, kissing her lightly before continuing, "But that is always about you. It is never ever ever about anyone or anything else. It's not about my ex wife or Drew or anyone. It's about that radiant look on your beautiful face after, when you're laying beside me and panting and your makeup and hair are mussed and your skin is flushed."
"Oh, Jer," she exhaled, starting to cry. "That was so beautiful."
"Not like you," he returned, kissing her again. "I just want to make sure you always always know that my love for you is about you and your beautiful heart and perfect smile. I don't ever want you to think that comes second. It's second to nothing."
She took his hands, kissing his knuckles before kissing his lips again as she squeezed his hands, "I love you too. … D-do you wanna go upstairs?"
"Whatever you're comfortable with, Libs," he smiled.
She nodded, leading him up the stairs, "I am." She hesitated as she walked by a picture of the family, stopping and gripping the railing, "... B-but maybe not upstairs."
He indulgently stopped, promising, "We don't have to do anything."
"... I just think it might be weird, ya know? Like.. in Drew's bed? Plus... I mean, it'd smell like sex. And Drew'd know it wasn't with him."
"Of course," he agreed, repeating, "We don't have to do anything."
She bit her lip, turning to face him, "I just.. I don't think in his bed is the best idea."
"We could just have lunch," he suggested.
She hugged him before nodding, "That might be best." She let him lead her back down to the kitchen.
She curled against him in his bed, chewing her lip, "... I hate that you couldn't be there with me."
He stroked her back, "Me too. But you said it went okay."
"It did... " she looked up at him, "... I hate that I have to keep this secret. I just .. I wanna be with you all the time and it's so stupid that I can't be."
"But Drew's being good to you?" Jerry pressed.
She breathed a laugh, nodding, "Yes, you worry-wort."
"Hey, I have twice the reason to be worried now," he teased.
She ran a hand over her stomach, "He wants to be with me for the amnio; he wants to hold my hand."
He hugged her tightly, "That's good, right?"
"Yeah... but I wish it could be you. I'm so worried about...everything," she started, he sensing by the stiffness of her body that she was starting to cry. "And-and you won't be there, Jer. You won't be there and I'm scared for our baby!"
He hugged her again, cooing, "Shhh. I am here, Libs. I won't be in the room, but I am always here for you. Just relax."
"I can't!" she argued, clutching him. "I'm so scared about what the test will say! And if it make me lose the baby!"
He moved a hand to her stomach, soothing, "Shh. You said the chance is very slim, right?"
"What if Sylvia's wrong!?" she squawked.
"It's important that we know, Libs... so we can prepare. But... just... relax and take advantage of our quiet afternoon, hmm? Why don't you sleep?" he soothed.
She nodded reluctantly, pulling herself closer and leaning her head on his chest so she could hear his heart beating steadily in her ear.
… Everything had to be alright. It had to be.
She reached behind her in bed, still mostly asleep, "Mm?"
It was never cold when Drew was in bed – the man was a space heater, for better or worse.
"Hunny?" she murmured, looking behind her when her hand met with empty sheets.
Confused, she got up, looking around the room before opening the bedroom door to see him looking in on Corky – she was feeling sentimental too with the new baby, it made sense that he was too, she supposed.
She moved over, ducking under his extended arm to cuddle against him, explaining, "I got a chill." He hugged her to him, she returning his embrace as they watched their darling Corky. "... You're always so warm."
He pressed a kiss to her head in response, still quietly watching, before - "Babe... are we ready for this?"
"I don't know, Drew," she admitted.
His chest expanded as he inhaled deeply, hesitating a moment. "... What if it's... another Downs baby?" He didn't say anything, waiting for her, but she couldn't speak.
She didn't know. She couldn't... do anything about it either way; she wouldn't.
"I mean..." he continued, his voice soft, "at this point in our lives are we really prepared to deal with that? … Can we really do it again? … And if not, are we... willing to face that decision?"
She collected herself, managing, ".. You mean not have the baby?"
He didn't answer, tensing in her arms, before exhaling, "Yes."
"... I don't think I would know how to do that," she returned.
She couldn't. It didn't matter. It- he didn't understand – this was her baby; her son. She'd felt him move, she'd heard his heart beat, she'd seen his little picture. Even if it weren't her little piece of Jerry, she couldn't do it. But.. that it was Jerry's meant it even more.
And if Drew wanted to... Well, Jerry had made it very clear he'd love to marry her. So she'd leave. She didn't want to wreck Corky's stability, but she would if it was that or lose her unborn son.
"... Can you imagine not having Corky?" she pressed, not wanting to be forced to choose between her two sons. … It was unpleasant for her, but easier on the family if she stayed, which she could only do if Drew wouldn't press for an abortion.
"Not for a minute," he returned, a smile in his voice as he hugged her again. "... But can you imagine doing it again?"
She closed her eyes tightly – was he kidding? It was practically all she'd been thinking about since Sylvia had brought it up. She was petrified. But it didn't change anything, not really.
It only changed... where she'd end up living. But, as long as the test didn't make her lose the baby, she was having it – with or without Drew's support.
She sat at the table – it'd been weeks since the test and every time the phone rang, she about jumped out of her skin; it was maddening.
Exhaling, she picked up the phone and closed her eyes, "Hello?"
God, it was the overly chipper front desk nurse. … it had to be good news, then, right? Sylvia wouldn't let this ditzy child deliver earth-shattering news.
"Speaking," she croaked, scratching at the tablecloth.
"I just wanted to say congratulations!"
She held her breath, nearly crying – that meant her baby was okay! "He's healthy?"
"He is!" the girl confirmed. "Now, the doctor wants you to come back in two weeks for a checkup, but the amnio revealed that your baby is perfectly healthy."
"Oh, thank you," she breathed, crying now. "Thank you so much!"
"Congratulations," the girl repeated, a smile in her voice.
She hung up, combing her fingers through her hair before resting her elbows on the table.
He was healthy, which was wonderful. Her baby was healthy and strong and everything would be fine.
Which meant Drew wouldn't push for an abortion.
… Which meant she should stay with him, and not go to Jerry... even though the idea had been nagging at her since Drew had suggested the abortion. But there was no reason now. So it'd just be cruel to Corky. She couldn't do that to him. It wasn't fair.
She dropped her arms to the table, crying selfishly.
She didn't know how long she sat like that before she heard the door close, Becca's voice intruding on her selfish little pity party.
"Hello? Mom? Mom, whats the matter?"
And she didn't know how to answer. Because it was supposed to be good news. But she was sobbing at the table like she'd just been told her baby was terminally ill. "He's- p-perfect!" Becca smiled, moving closer and hugging her, and she clung to her daughter. "Hunny, you have to forgive your old mom." She released her enough so she could look up at her from her seat, admitting, "Things have been a little crazy lately. I've been so worried about the baby and I-I-I've been riding the hormone express." She laughed when Becca did, her daughter sweetly pushing back her hair where it clung to the tears on her cheeks, "It's-" She sniffed back tears as she explained, "It's like being a teenager."
Becca laughed again, teasing, "So now you know." She reached, pushing her sweet daughter's hair back as the girl admitted, "I guess I've been kind of selfish about the baby."
"No," she shook her head, still playing with the girl's hair, "I understand. I do."
"I'm glad you're having it," her daughter decided, looking down at her
"Really?" she asked, feeling about to cry again. She hugged her daughter tightly.
Becca hugged her back, amending, "I'm glad we're having it. Having him- her." She threw up a hand, so much like her mother.
She shook her head, swearing, "Hunny, I won't ask you to babysit all the time. I promise. And college- we'll make it happen. Don't worry-"
"I know we will," her daughter soothed. "I guess I just freaked out."
She smiled, teasing, "Welcome to the club." They both laughed before she shook her head, confiding, "This test has been a nightmare. .. Hunny, you don't know what a relief it is. He's a normal baby. A healthy, strong, normal baby."
"I'm really happy," Becca agreed, smiling widely.
She looked over, hearing something in the foyer, and her eyes went wide and her arms fell when she saw how devastated her son looked, clearly having heard her speech. "Corky?" She pushed herself up, using the doorjam to ballast herself and go to him even as he looked ready to run, "Corky!"
… And, of course, he did, heading for the door he'd left open and tripping down the front steps as she chased after him, yelling "Corky!" She gasped,"Cork!" She half-ran down the steps, sitting on the grass beside where he'd fallen on the bricks, trying to help him up, "Corky, hunny, are you-"
"Leave me alone!" he yelled, struggling against her.
She yelled over him, still trying to help him up, "Are you alright!?" She finally managed to get him to sit up, checking and deciding, "Hunny, you're hurt."
"You don't care!" he accused.
"I do!" She held his shoulders, looking at her beautiful baby.
He looked back at her, insisting, "No you don't. … You don't want me!"
"Corky, I do," she repeated, gripping his shoulders so he couldn't take off again.
"No you don't," he pressed, adding, "You wish I was normal!"
She shook him a bit, her pregnant hormones kicking in and making her more upset than she might normally be by these accusations, "Hunny, that's not true; it's not!"
… That and the fact that, just weeks ago she'd said essentially that to Jerry when selfishly lamenting that she couldn't leave Drew for him.
"It is," he argued, yelling, "I heard you!"
She inhaled before grabbing his chin with her right hand, "Listen to me; you're my first child. You're my very special first boy. You're the first thing I think about in the morning and my last dream at night." She started crying a bit, "You mean everything to me. Do you understand what I'm saying? … You mean everything to me."
He looked at her, clearly torn, before reminding, "You were happy that the baby wasn't like me!"
She licked her top lip before running her tongue along her teeth, "Would you be happy if the baby had Downs Syndrome?" He turned his head away and she quickly tilted his face back towards hers with her grip on his chin, inhaling before continuing, "I want the best for all my children." He didn't say anything for a long moment, but he did lean his head forward, she releasing his chin and resting her forehead against his as she exhaled.
After a while, Becca moved forward, squeezing her shoulder, before suggesting, "Let's go inside."
"Okay," she agreed, exhaling shakily before hugging Corky tightly.
"Jerry?" she started, chewing her lip – she hadn't told him Drew's veiled suggestion for an abortion if the baby hadn't been healthy, and she didn't think it was fair to dangle that in front of him now that she knew it wouldn't give her the out she'd hoped for.
"This is him," he returned, sounding distracted, "How can we at-"
"Jerry!" she snapped, glaring as she held the phone to her ear.
"L-" he started, "Please hold." She heard him get up before the door closed, "Hello? Libby?"
She nodded, "Mhmm. I- I wanted to tell you I got the results of the test."
He waited before pressing, "Yes? And? How's my son?"
"Perfect," she smiled, crying. "I'm- Oh, Jer, I'm so happy and relieved."
"He's healthy?" he demanded. "Oh, Libby.. Th- That's such good news. Can I take you out? I want to celebrate. Let's go to dinner. Can we do dinner? We'll go someplace outta town. C'mon, say yes."
She chewed her lip before exhaling and agreeing, "... I think I can convince Drew to have the kids have dinner at the restaurant so I can get some rest. Not tonight though. Tomorrow?"
"Whaddya say I take a half day tomorrow? I'll come pick you up for lunch and we'll order room service at some swanky hotel and then we'll go to dinner. Maybe a show? We'll go to Chicago," he promised.
She smiled, running a hand over their baby, "... That sounds perfect. I'll arrange it tonight. But I'll have to be home after dinner. Are there matinees tomorrow?"
He hesitated, "I don't know. But I'll figure something out and I'll take you someplace nice. I'm so happy, Libby. I love you so much."
"I love you too, Jer," she breathed.
… She needed to go back to work. She hated being away from him all the time like this.