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Secrets

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Secrets
by Jamie Yarbrough

Chapter 20

Luis watched as Kay got Ahnna ready for bed and felt his heart nearly burst at the sight. He could hardly wait to make her his wife, whether she wanted to or not. He was just going to convince her she did. He had spent the day with Kay going to see her family and all the people she had left. Everyone except her mother was thrilled at her return. Luis didn’t know how he was going to manage not holding her that night and not being near Ahnna. He had asked her to come back to his apartment promising that it was far more livable than the year before. They had planned to go visit Pilar and Miguel and Charity but Ahnna had gotten fussy and they had gone instead to the hotel. Luis watched Kay nurse Ahnna and could do nothing but stare. He couldn’t believe the amazing thing that he and Kay had created. She was perfect in every way and he planned to do everything for her. And her brothers and sisters, but that was some-thing they could deal with later. He smiled at the thought of the future for the first time in a year. He knew although he would go home to an empty house tonight he would never be alone like he had been again.

Kay felt self-conscious with Luis watching her as she nursed their daughter. She had never realized how intimate it was to have a man do that. She loved him so much she didn’t know how she had turned down his offer at a room in his apartment. But she had known being that close to him but not in his bed and his arms would make her crazy. She had been so relieved at his reaction she didn’t know where to go from there. She knew she needed to make some more permanent arrangements for her new life in Harmony but she didn’t know where to start her dreams of returning had never gotten past Luis and Ahnna.

She had planned to tell her father about her mother right away but hadn’t been able to break her father’s heart again. She could do it in the morning. She rocked while Ahnna nursed and told Luis about Harry and Grace. Luis was livid but stayed quiet, he wanted to rush to Sam and let him know right away but Kay stopped him with a look and explained her plan to do so but to let her father have one more night thinking his family was finally whole again.

Luis held Ahnna as she feel asleep and he laid her carefully on the bed and stood to go to the door. Kay walked with him keeping half her attention on their daughter. She gasped as Luis grabbed her shoulders and thought for a fleeting second that he was finally going to show his anger. She was right.

"Kay, you had no right to leave!" Luis said angrily. "I love you so much you killed me by leaving. I am so glad you are back, but I have to tell you, if you ever even think about leaving again I am going to handcuff you to me."

Kay held back a smile at Luis’ words. He shook her shoulders and then pulled her up against him and kissed her. He melted into her and let go again finally able to show her his love. Kay felt her emotions swirled over her and trembled as their tongues met. She sighed softly as he pulled away and beamed.

"I love you to Luis, and I could never leave again, Ahnna needs you." Kay said.

Ahnna needs you, it echoed in his mind. Luis felt a sharp pain shot through his heart and gut again. He thought about not talking to her before and her leaving before he could make her understand and he forced out the words.

"Ahnna needs me, I know, but Kay, what about you? Do you need me?" He asked putting his heart once again in her hands.

"Yes." she said softly, "I need you too."

Luis dropped his head and his forehead rested against hers. He nearly trembled with relief. "I need you too Kay."

He kissed her softly and she turned back to the bed as Ahnna whimpered in her sleep she went to their daughter and Luis shut the door behind him closing his eyes to savor the sight of Kay and thier beautiful Ahnna. Soon, he promised himself, soon we will be a real family.

Jessica curled herself into bed, it was her night to meet with Reese but she was scared to. She had spent the afternoon flowing between happy for her sister returning and scared to death about telling Reese. She knew he would want to do the right thing and she had always thought they would be together forever, but she was just 18 and she didn’t know how forever was going to be now.

She cried and clutched her ratty bear that Reese had given her on their first date, just one year ago. She had loved him so long and she was terrified she was going to ruin his life when she told him. His studies had flown by and he had nearly finished school in only a year to get his BS and she had been so proud when he told her that he was offered a scholarship to Harvard. Jessica wept at the thought that she might jeopardize it. She knew Reese deserved to go and become everything he was capable of being. She knew he would be worrying and she knew she would have to explain in the morning and she thought of that as she drifted into and exhausted sleep.

Reese paced up and down the block in front of his house. His parents were at a conference in Ohio for a week and he had planned the perfect night for their anniversary. He had waited for an hour before he gave up on Jessica and he had spent the last hour and a half wondering if this was her way of telling him it was over. He shook his head at the thought Jess wouldn’t do that she had more courage than anyone he had ever known and if she wanted to end it she would have. He then began worrying that she was hurt or in danger and he ducked out the front door he had stopped at her house and then turned back he knew she was home her light glowing in her room and he had seen her shadow, he had paced his blocking hoping she would come. He fingered the ring in his pocket. A simple white gold band with no stone was all he could afford he had wanted to wait longer until he could buy her something she deserved but then his mother had talked to him about seizing the day and he hadn’t been able to get the idea of proposing out of his mind. He dashed up his walk and grabbed a few roses out of the arrangement he had bought her and he ran down the street to her house. She was getting the ring tonight and that was final he thought stubbornly as he climbed the trellis next to her window. He paused inside the window and caught his breath quietly and looked down at the slightly smoushed flowers then looked over at her sleeping figure. She is so beautiful, he thought, so sweet. He never wanted anything more than he wanted a life with her. He stood and walked to the bed and knelt next to it he caressed her cheek and kissed her lightly as she awoke.

"Reese?" She asked sleepily, "what are you doing here?"

Reese swallowed nervously he wondered if he could ask her for some water first. He couldn’t believe how beautiful she was, sleep in her eyes and her mouth turned down. He leaned in and kissed her before he could stop himself. He didn’t think he could be any luckier. He remembered the flowers as he leaned back.

"Happy Anniversary." He said as he handed them too her.

"Sorry it was a hard climb," He added sheepishly.

"They’re beautiful Reese." Jessica said thickly. Her heart was pounding. She didn’t know what to say or do, she pushed herself up and realized she was wearing only her T-shirt and they didn’t need another distraction. She pulled her blan-kets around her and looked at Reese trying to decide where to begin.

"Jess," He said nervously, "I couldn’t stay away tonight, I am sorry I woke you..."

"No, Reese, it’s fine. I needed to see you too..." She said.

"Well I need to talk to you about something," Reese said. Jessica felt her stomach drop down to her knees at his seri-ous tone. She tried to push back her tears as she thought of what he might say. She knew he was worried about them being apart, and maybe he had met a girl in college over the last year. She was horrified as Reese let out a deep breath and began to speak.

"Jessica, I love you."

Not too bad yet, she thought hopefully, she took a deep breath and held it as he continued.

"You are everything to me,"

Oh god, she thought this is it, I am going to raise a baby alone.

Reese brushed his fingers over her cheek, he felt his heart hammering like it would burst out of his chest. He had never been so terrified.

"Jessica Bennett, will you marry me?" He squeaked out.

Jessica felt her face flush and her head grew light, she let out her breath in a whoosh and then promptly began hyper-ventilating. Reese looked scared to death she realized, had he thought I would say no she wondered. She felt the tears pour down her face as she nodded and Reese’s face lit up. He pulled Jess into his arms and held her there whispering words of love and relief and then when Jessica’s body was wracked with sobs he began to worry.

"Jess, baby?" He asked, "Are you ok? What is wrong?"

She just shook her head and buried her face in his chest. She didn’t know if she was more scared or relieved now. She wept for what felt like an eternity before she lifted her tears stained face to him.

He reached for her hand and slipped on the ring he had been gripping. She smiled at it and the fear returned to her face, she pulled out of his arms and they sat facing one another on her bed.

"Reese, there is something I need to tell you." Jessica said shakily.

"Jess, you have just made me the happiest man ever, anything you tell me can’t be bad!" Reese said as he grinned.

"I am sorry I wasn’t there tonight but I didn’t know how to tell you..." Jess began, " Reese, I guess I just need to say it."

A flicker of worry passed through Reese as he watched Jess compose herself. She took his hand and kissed it before she looked at his face again.

"Reese, I’m pregnant." Jessica blurted out.

Reese felt his world spin. He tried to keep his face calm and he swallowed hard. Well he thought, I decided I was ready for commitment. He pulled her close to him.

"I am so happy Jess." He said, meaning every word. He was scared to death but he knew that they would manage somehow. He felt her relax and her hot tears dampen his shirt as he held her.

"We will really be a family now." He whispered pressing a kiss into her hair and holding her close.

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