Before you read this you might want to read the beginning of the trilogy “Happy Birthday to Me” & “First Comes Love”.

                                                                                          

The End

By:  Kelley

I don't even know when thing started to go wrong. It happened so slowly.

I first noticed the silence. Nick and I used to be able to sit in a room together and not have to talk; it was a comfortable silence. Lately though, the silence has been deafening-tense and strained. I tried to coax him into conversation, but some days I barely got more than a one word answer to my questions.

The little things were next. We used to constantly touch each other, even if it was just something as little as me tousling his hair as I walked through a room where he was sitting. Now he almost flinched when I came near him. We used to hold each other and talk before we went to sleep, now he just rolled over, most nights he didn't even say goodnight. The little goofy romantic things we used to do for each other stopped. I kept doing them, but after a while I quit. Nick never acknowledged them anyway. The more he shut himself off from me, the more I shut down. Sex-that's a joke. We used to barely be able to keep our hands off each other, now, well let's just say it's been months.

I finally cornered him one night in our bedroom.

"Nick, what's wrong? Talk to me, tell me what's going on in that head of yours"

"Nothing's wrong Kelley. I just have a lot on my mind" he said as he walked out of the room and out of the house. I had no idea where he went.

"Nick!" I yelled after him, but he was already gone. "Damn him!"

"Mommy, we don't swear in this house, remember." I looked up to see Kat standing in the doorway.

"Sorry KittyKat, I wasn't thinking." I pulled my five-year-old daughter into my arms. "Are you ready for dinner?"

"Is Daddy going to be there?"

"I don't think so Sugarplum." I could see her eyes fill with tears. This wasn't the first time Nick had left us alone. "Come on, why don't we go out, just you and Mommy. Maybe we could go get that new Barbie you were talking about the other day." I know buying her things could never make up for the hurt Nick was causing her, but I just didn't know what else to do and Nick didn't seem to really care. If that's what it took to make her smile, I was going to do it. I'd do anything for her.

She brightened at the thought. "Yeah!" It was one thing when Nick hurt me, it was quite another when he hurt Kat. I planned to tear him a new one when he got home. Whenever that might be.

It turned out to be at 2:00 AM. I was awake in our bed, sitting in the dark when he stumbled in.

"Where have you been." I was past furious at this point and well into dangerously calm.

"Kelley. I didn't think you'd still be up." I could smell the alcohol and perfume on him. "I went out with AJ."

"You could have at least called. I was worried."

"I didn't know you were my warden. I can go out and have fun if I want to." He just fell through that thin ice he had been skating on.

"Fuck you Nick! Do you have any idea how long it took me to calm Kat down tonight when I had to tell her, yet once again, her Daddy wouldn't be home to sing her a song before she went to sleep. Do you have any idea how hard it is to look into those eyes and see the hurt in them? You're causing that hurt Nick and you're never around to deal with it."

"I'll make it up to her tomorr..."

"No Nick, you won't. You say that all the time and you never do! She's growing up so fast Nick and you're missing it. You're never going to get this time back. She's your daughter Nick, she should be the most importan..."

"Damn it Kelley, I said I would take care of it tomorrow. God, cut me some slack here." He grabbed his pillow and blanket and stormed out of the room. He was getting good at doing that.

Once again I was sleeping alone.

Once again we had avoided the subject of us.

Part 2

I found him sleeping on the couch the next morning and knew I still loved him deeply. I bent over him and kissed him gently, waking him up.

"Hey Kel."

"Hi" I ran my fingers through his soft hair. God I missed him so much! We might physically be in the same room together, but most of the time, neither one of us was there mentally anymore. "We need to talk Nick. I'm afraid of the answer, but I need to know. Do you still love me? Do you still want to be married to me?" I was crying at this point.

"Oh Kel, don't cry." He hugged me tightly. "We'll work it out. I'm sorry I didn't call last night." He brushed my tears away and kissed me gently. The kisses turned passionate and soon he was thrusting roughly into me. "Ohhhh Niiiiiick!" I moaned. It had been so long and it felt so good to have him inside me again. He collapsed on top of me. "I love you Nick." He just looked at me and smiled before kissing me again.

It was hours before I realized that he hadn't, or couldn't, say he loved me.

Things were better for a few weeks. We were like newlyweds again and the passion and love would seem to return. He'd spend lots of time with Kat and for a little while at least we were a family again. It never seemed to last though. Nick would pull away again, retreating into his shell of silence. Those times hurt me and Kat the worst. It just seemed so cruel to give us a glimpse of how wonderful things could be and then snatch it out from under us.

It continued like this for the next few months.

Kat's sixth birthday was coming up and I had planned a small party. Nick and I were in the middle of another one of our bad times and I didn't want to deal with anything big. All of Nick's family and the Boys were there. Nick didn't make it to the party that night.

We were getting ready to cut the cake when I heard my daughter's sweet voice ask "Mommy, why isn't Daddy here?" All eyes were on me as Kat asked the question everyone else was afraid to. I was near the breaking point.

"I don't know sweetie. I'm sure he'll be here soon." My tears were threatening to fall.

"Hey KittyKat, why don't you start opening your presents" said my savior Kevin. "Let's see how much loot your gonna get."

"I'm going to go get the camera," I said as I ran from the room. I didn't want Kat to see me like this. I made it to the kitchen and leaned against the counter, sobbing. I felt a pair of strong arms around me.

"Oh Sweetheart come here." I collapsed into AJ's arms.

"I just can't do this anymore," I cried. "I can't stand to see him hurt Kat, I can't stand to see him hurt me. I just can't..." "Shhhh, baby it's OK." My tears soaked his shirt. He didn't say another word; he just rubbed my back and rocked me gently back and forth until I calmed down.

"I have to know AJ. Some nights he doesn't come home until late and he always says he's been out with you. I never thought to question it but lately...has he really been with you?" The look in his eyes gave me my answer.

"I wish I could lie to you and make this easier, but no, he hasn't been with me."

"Do you know who's he's been spending time with?"

"No baby I don't." I looked at him suspiciously. "I really don't Kel. I wouldn't lie to you about this." I smiled weakly.

"You I know I can trust." I wiped my eyes and grabbed the camera. "Thank god for waterproof mascara. Come on, Kat needs one of her parents with her on her birthday."

If you look at the pictures, Kat and I are smiling, but the smiles never reach our eyes. Like mother, like daughter.

Part 3

 

Nick didn't come home that night. He walked in the door the next day at noon

"Daddy!" Kat ran and jumped in his arms. "Grandma's going to take me to the park this afternoon! Why weren't you at my party? You wanna see what I got?" She dragged Nick upstairs. I had talked to Jane that morning and explained what was happening. I was afraid of her reaction but her only response-"I love my son Kelley, but that doesn't mean he isn't an idiot. I'll come get Kat this afternoon so you can tell him what you've decided."

Nick found me in our bedroom, packing my suitcase. "What the hell are you doing Kel?" he asked.

"I'm leaving you. I found an apartment for Kat and me this morning. I want a divorce Nick."

"What" he shrieked in indignation. "Why?"

"Why? How dare you even ask me that. What's her name Nick or is there more than one her?" The shocked look in his eyes gave him away. "I talked to AJ yesterday, I know you haven't been going out with him. You know what, I don't care who she is, don't even bother telling me." I resumed my packing.

Nick walked up behind me and slid his hands around my waist, kissing the back of my neck. "Kel, we can work this out, I know we can."

I pushed him away. "Damn it Nick, don't touch me. I don't want those lips anymore; I don't know where they've been! God you just don't get it do you. It's not just the fact that you've been fucking god knows who, you've been treating Kat and me like we were mere incidentals in your life. You'll give us time and attention when YOU feel like it which isn't very often. Well you know what, that just ain't gonna cut it any more. I'm tired of being hurt and I'm tired of Kat being hurt. I won't let you do it to either one of us anymore." He didn't say a word. I heard the door slam and his car squeal out of the driveway. I went back to packing. It was the only thing keeping me standing.

Thanks to AJ and Kevin, Kat and I got moved in that afternoon. The next few weeks were a blur. I know I got Kat to school everyday and got her home. I'm pretty sure we ate. I spent endless hours sitting on our balcony, just staring off into the distance. I knew Kat and I were better off but it was so hard. I missed Nick, the old Nick so much. I wanted to feel that again, that rush of love that we used to share. I could remember it all so vividly, every touch, every kiss, every whispered word. I could remember the way he looked that night we met as he stood in the doorway of my hotel room. I could remember the way he smelled when he kissed me for the first time. I never thought the man who opened my heart to love would be the one crushing it.

Kat was better off than I was. I'll give Nick credit; he was good about spending time with her. Us leaving must have jarred a little sense into him. She was with him every other weekend and he usually dropped by a few nights a week to see her. It was the most time he'd spent with her in months. I guess there is some good in all of this-Kat got her Daddy back.

Our divorce was final a few months later. Nick brought his new girlfriend to the courtroom that day. I guess my heart wasn't crushed enough for him, he apparently felt the need to rip it from my chest and stomp on it some more. Jane was kind enough to take Kat for the night. I just couldn't do it tonight; I couldn't be the Mommy. I needed to be, just for a little while, the grieving ex-wife. I sat in my dark apartment and sobbed for hours.

I kept thinking I would stop crying, I just hoped it was soon.

Part 4

Author's note: Thanks Lara, Nicky's girlfriend needed a name!

I did stop crying, eventually. I was able to regain some measure of control and to the outside world I looked fairly normal-a skinnier and dark circle under the eye version, but normal. Inside I was dead. The only emotion I felt was love for my daughter. If I didn't have Kat I'm not sure what I would have done. She was the only reason I got out of bed every morning.

My divorce settlement was generous enough for me to buy a small house for Kat and me. She needed a yard to play in and I needed a project. I threw myself into it and slowly turned it in a home. I was in the middle of wallpapering Kat's room one day when Nick stopped by. Kat was at Jane's so she wouldn't be underfoot. I had a tendency to swear when I wallpapered.

"Fuck! Damn border! I've put your stupid ass up three times and you're still crooked." I sighed and got back up on the ladder when the doorbell rang. "Fuck it!" I yanked it off the wall and threw it in the waste can. "I'll just paint." I was confused when I saw Nick on the other side of my peephole. "Hi Nick. Um, Kat's at your Mom's if you're looking for her."

"I know, I just came from there. I came to see you. Wipe that shocked look off your face. Just because we're divorced doesn't mean we can't talk." He brushed past me, walking into the living room. "You've done wonders with this place Kel. I had my doubts when I first saw it, but it looks great. I forget sometimes how amazing you are." He looked at me with those blue eyes and I felt myself getting lost in them. Again.

I tore my gaze away and walked towards the kitchen. "Thanks Nick. Do you want something to drink?" I was reaching for a glass when I felt his arms come around me.

"I also forget how beautiful you are when you blush" he whispered against my neck.

"Nick don't, please" I choked. His lips, oh god those lips, were running down my neck. He undid the top button of my shirt and pulled it open, exposing my shoulder to him too. It was too much. I moaned and laid my head back on his shoulder giving him full access. His hands came up and cupped my breasts, teasing my nipples between his fingers. I put my hands over his and pulled them off, turning around in his arms, and replacing his hands on my behind. There was no going back now. We kissed hungrily, angrily almost. I pulled his shirts off and starting kissing his chest, lusting for the feel of his skin under my lips. I swirled my tongue around his nipple and ran my hand along the bulge in his pants, loving the way he gasped when I did it. He pulled me up and looking deep into my eyes, slowly unbuttoned the rest of my shirt, pushing it from my shoulders. We unbuttoned the others pants and we were soon standing naked in my kitchen, just staring at each other. "You're so beautiful Kel. How did I ever let you go?" I was too stunned to speak. He picked me up and carried me to the kitchen table, sat me on the edge and buried his head between my legs. "Niiiiiiiccccccccckkkkkkkkkkkk!"

After making good use of the kitchen table, a kitchen chair and the stairs, we finally ended up snuggled in my bed. "I've missed you Kel," he said as he stroked my hair. "I've missed us."

"Nick, I've missed you too" I sighed. I knew that for him at least, this was nothing more than reliving old times. For me, on the other hand, it awakened feelings that I thought were long dead. Lying in his arms did feel like old times. I knew it wouldn't last, that he would soon walk out my door and I decided to hasten the process. "How's Lara?" I asked. Lara was the woman he'd been seeing all this time. I'd met her once when Nick came to pick up Kat. I found her to be, well, a little trampy. I suppose I was biased.

"We're getting married Kel." Handily Nick was wearing a pair of his heavy shoes when he came over. Now he wouldn't get those pesky little bits of my heart stuck between his toes as he stomped it to bits again. I thought I would cry, instead I found myself laughing. I tore myself from his arms and pulled on some clothes. "What's so funny?"

"Oh Nick, you're such a prick. I guess I've had my little bit of revenge now, huh? You can stay as long as you want, I'm going to start painting Kat's room" and I walked out of the bedroom. I knew it would take me a while to get over this little setback and that I'd be crying later, but I knew it was a good sign that I was laughing now.

It was my first real step on my way back to becoming Kelley again.

Part 5

Once I had finished with the house I decided it was time for me to go back to work. Kat was in school all day and the walls were closing in on me sitting in that house all day. I was much, much luckier than most single moms were; I didn't have to work. I ended up volunteering at a food bank. It was hard to feel sorry for myself when I was surrounded by people who's own problems put mine to shame. I went home every night thanking God or whoever that I had a roof over my head and my little KittyKat to come home to.

Nick stopped by again a few weeks later, hoping for a repeat performance.

"Go home to Lara, Nick. I'm sure she'll fuck you." He was tracing my collarbone with his tongue, knowing full well I had a hard time resisting it.

"It's not the same. She doesn't know how to do that thing with her tongue like you do. I love the way your skin feels on mine. I love the way it feels when I'm so deep inside you." He kissed his way up my neck and began sucking lightly on my earlobe. Bastard. "I know you want me Kel, I know you well enough to know the signs. You're panting, your nipples are hard, you'd like to feel my mouth on them wouldn't you?" He kissed his way back down my neck and ran his tongue across the top of my cleavage. "I know how wet you get Kel, god I want to taste you again." His hand was heading south and I stopped it just as his fingers were sliding under the waistband of my skirt.

"Nick, you had me and you lost me. I can't do this again, it hurts too much when you walk out that door." I pulled myself out of his arms and walked to the door, opening it for him. "Goodbye Nick, go home to your fiancée." He walked out the door in silence.

I waited until his car was gone before I started my little dance of joy. "I did it, I did it, I did it!" Kat came running down the stairs when she heard me shouting.

"Mommy, what's wrong." I ran to her and spun her around in my arms.

"Nothing sweetie. You want to go out to dinner tonight? I'll take you anywhere."

"Yes! I'll get my coat."

Though she didn't know it, my daughter and I celebrated my victory over Happy Meals that night. Another step.

I was still something of a hermit. Ok I was a total hermit. I turned down invitations for dinner, movies, cookouts, you name it, I wasn't there. I didn't want to run into Nick and Lara. The thought of him with her still sickened me and I didn't want to be held accountable for my actions if I saw them kissing or something. I really just didn't want to be around people at all. I was completely content to sit at home and read a book. It was safe, comfortable, easy. You can't get hurt when you're all alone and after a while I didn't even notice the loneliness anymore. Kat was my life. She was enough.

It turned out that my life was about to be turned completely upside down.

"Damn it AJ, pick up the phone." I fidgeted.

"Hel.."

"It's about fucking time. Can you come over?"

"Well hello sweetheart. Long time, no hear. We all thought you were dead."

"Are you going to make me beg or what? Ok, I'm on my knees, please, please, please come over."

"I'll be right over baby. What the hell is wrong with you anyway?"

"I don't want to get the results of my pregnancy test alone." I could hear him gulp into the phone.

"I'll be there in five minutes. Wait for me." I heard the dial tone as he hung up the phone.

Part 6

It took AJ fifteen minutes to get here. I was pacing outside the bathroom door when the doorbell rang.

"Damn, could you have driven any slower?" I asked as he walked through the door.

"Accident, couldn't be helped. Ok have you taken it yet?"

"Yeah. It's sitting in the bathroom." My eyes filled with tears. "AJ, I'm afraid to look at it, will you go?"

He wrinkled up his nose. "Do I have to touch it."

"God you big baby, no, you don't have to touch it. Just look and see what the stick says. A plus sign means I'm gonna have to buy a crib, a minus means we are going to go out and get completely drunk." I held my breath as he walked into the bathroom. He walked back out ten seconds later. I couldn't read his face.

"Well?"

"Name your poison Kel. Daiquiri? Wine? That's right, you go for the hard stuff. Gin and Tonic?"

"Woohoo, I'm not a tramp!" I screamed and jumped into his arms. He laughed at me.

"Kel, your logic there baffles me. If you were pregnant you'd be a tramp? You still fucked Nicky."

"Totally and completely beside the point. Right now only you, Nicky, and me know that. If I was pregnant, the whole world would know."

"So if only a few people know..."

"The less trampy I am" I finished for him.

"I personally think you might be a tramp, but I'll buy you a drink anyway."

"I've missed you AJ."

"I've missed you too baby. Let's get out of here."

I woke up the next morning in AJ's bed, completely hung over and naked. Fuck.

I snuck out and went home before he woke up. Afterwards we both pretended like it didn't happen. Personally, I didn't remember it happening and I don't think AJ did either. I went back to being a hermit and AJ went back to being, well, AJ. He did actually get me to go out a few times and he had dinner with Kat and me once a week. It was nice to have my friend back.

A month later I placed another phone call.

"Can you come over?" I tried to keep the panic out of my voice.

"Sure, what's wrong Kel? You sound a little frantic."

"Do you really want to know?" I could hear the light bulb come on over his head.

"I'll be there in five." I heard the familiar dial tone as he hung up the phone.

Part 7

I was glad Kat was at Nick's that weekend. She didn't need to be a part of what was to come.

AJ made it to my doorstep in four minutes. He was just as frantic as I was when he ran through the door. "Kel are you OK? Have you looked yet or are you going to make me do it again?"

"I looked already."

"And..." There was a look in his eyes that I couldn't place. I nodded.

"Wow. You mean we're, you and me, wow." He came and sat next to me on the couch, placing his hand on my stomach. His eyes filled with tears. "I'm going to be a Dad?" This wasn't the reaction I was expecting. I nodded again, unsure of what to say or how I felt about all of this. He pulled me into his arms. "I think we should get married. You and Kat could move in with me. Oh honey, I'm so happy!"

"Whoa, whoa, whoa AJ. As messy as this situation is I have to say I'm a little excited about having another baby, but there is no way I'm marrying you." I kicked myself in the ass for the way that came out. His face fell, I'd swear I could hear his world shattering. He got up and headed towards the door. "AJ wait, please...."

"You made it perfectly clear how you feel Kel. I'll talk to you later." He slammed the door on the way out.

I lay on the couch and cried-for me, for AJ, and for our baby. How fucked up was this?

"Mommy, why have you been throwing up every morning? Are you sick?" Kat asked the next week as she was eating breakfast.

"Well honey, there's something I need to tell you. It's going to be a little hard for you to understand." That was the understatement of the century. "KittyKat, Mommy is going to have a baby."

Her eyes got huge. "You mean I'm going to have a little brother or sister?" I nodded. "Is Daddy going to be the daddy?" I debated about whether I should tell her the truth. I decided that lying would just come back and haunt me. Reality would probably haunt me too before it was all over.

"No Sugar, he's not." She looked so confused. "Honey, your Uncle AJ is the Daddy."

She thought for a minute. "Does that mean he's my Daddy too?"

"No honey, your Daddy will always be your Daddy. The new baby will just have a different daddy. How do you feel about that KittyKat?" I was terrified of the answer I was going to get.

"I think it's a little fucked up Mommy." I had to bite the inside of my lip to keep from laughing hysterically. My wonderful daughter just hit the proverbial nail on the head. When I thought I could control myself I shifted back into parental mode.

"Kathryn Jane Carter! I don't ever, ever want to hear that word coming out of your mouth again! Do you understand me?" She nodded, her lip quivering. "Where did you hear that word?"

"I h-h-heard it at D-d-daddy's. Lara said it."

"Was Daddy around?"

"Yes. He told her not to say it so now she just says it when he's not around." I made a mental note to speak to Nicky about that.

"Honey, if she ever says it around you again, I want you to tell me or Daddy, OK."

"Are you mad at me Mommy?" I could see the tears starting to roll again.

"Come here baby." She crawled onto my lap. "I'm not mad, you just surprised me a little." She rubbed my stomach.

"Is this where the baby is?" I nodded. "I can't wait for it to come so I can play with it."

"I know baby, Mommy can't wait either." The doorbell rang as we were sitting there. Kat ran for the door. She liked to climb on a footstool and look out the peephole. "Mommy it's Uncle AJ, can I open the door?"

"Go ahead." I heard the door open.

"Hi princess, is your Mommy home?" I could hear Kat start to rattle. When she got excited she talked nonstop, barely stopping to breath.

"Hi, I hear your going to be a Daddy too, but not my Daddy. I think it's really cool. I'm going to have a little brother or sister. Are you going to come live with us? Hey, you and Mommy should get married!" I stepped into the foyer to find Kat in AJ's arms.

"KittyKat, why don't you go into the kitchen and finish your breakfast. I want to talk to AJ alone." He put her down and she skipped off to the kitchen. "You're really good with her AJ. You're going to be a great Dad you know." He smiled.

"I'm sorry about the other day. I was so excited that I just said the first thing that came out of my mouth. I shouldn't have run out on you like that."

"Oh AJ, I'm the one who should be apologizing. I could have come up with a little more tactful way to turn down your proposal." He took my hand and pulled me close, caressing my cheek with his thumb.

"I love you Kelley, always have. I know you don't feel the same way about me, but you will. I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure of it."

"AJ, I don't know if I could ever feel that way, or even want to feel that way again."

"I'm sorry Nick hurt you and I know how bad it's been for you, but you can't live without love sweetheart." He kissed me gently. "I just wish I could remember how the little one was conceived. I'm sure you were magnificent." I could feel myself start to blush.

"I've been told I'm rather good" I smirked. I looked into his brown eyes, wondering silently if I could ever feel love, romantic love for this man. I just wasn't sure at this point. "I've heard the same about you. I have a feeling I missed out."

"You did. Don't worry you'll get another chance." He leaned in to kiss me again when my daughter saved me from yet another potentially sticky situation.

"Mommy, AJ, I need more milk and I can't reach it!" Kat screamed from the kitchen.

"Coming" we yelled in unison. We looked at each other, startled, and walked hand in hand to the kitchen.

Part 8

"Mommy, can you tie my bow?"

"Yeah Mommy, tie mine too."

AJ and Kat were getting ready to go to Nick and Lara's wedding. Kat was a flower girl and AJ was one of the groomsmen.

"Baby, are you sure you don't want to go?" he asked as I was tying his tie.

"I don't think my presence would go over very well, besides I'm starting to show a little. AJ, we've got to tell everyone what's going on. It's not like I can just hide out here forever."

"Oh great queen of the hermits, it seems to me you rather enjoy hiding out here." I gave him a dirty look and flicked him in the ear.

"There you ass, you're all tied up. Let me look at you. Not bad McLean, you don't look half bad when you clean up. And it seems to me oh great king of the hermits that you rather enjoy hiding out here too." AJ had been spending lots of time at my house, even spending the night sometimes in the guestroom. Things were still strictly platonic and I wasn't planning on changing that.

"Mommy, how do I look when I clean up?" Kat spun around, modeling her dress.

"You always look beautiful, even when you're dirty." I kissed her on the cheek and herded both of them towards the door. "Now, you behave and do what AJ tells you to do. And you" I turned towards AJ, "behave and do what my daughter tells you."

"Are you going to be OK?" I nodded, not trusting myself to speak. "Page me if you need anything, even if it's just a hug." I nodded again and he squeezed my hand. "Bye beautiful. Come on princess, let's go."

"Bye Mommy!"

I had decided that cleaning out closets would be the best way to get through this day. I was going to be needing extra space in about six months. In the back of the linen closet I found a small box that didn't look familiar. I opened it and found the ice bucket and note Nick had sent me all those years ago. It reminded me of all that I had lost over the past years and I ended up sobbing on the floor, hating myself for getting so upset. I was supposed to be over Nick. By the time I calmed down, I realized it wasn't Nick I was missing, but that feeling of loving and of being loved. AJ was right, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't live without love. I was going to throw them away but I just couldn't. I knew someday Kat would ask about Nick and me and I wanted to have something that would show her just how much we had loved each other at one time.

I finished cleaning, ok I stopped cleaning when I got bored and waited for Kat and AJ to get home. I was sound asleep when they finally arrived, I didn't even hear them come in. "Hey beautiful"

I sat up quickly, startled by the whisper in my ear. "Man you scared me. Where's Kat?"

"I put her to bed already. Are you OK, you look kind of tired."

"AJ, do you think Nick started seeing Lara because of me. I mean, did he ever complain about me or tell you things I wasn't doing for him? Why wasn't I enough for him?" I could feel the tears streaming down my face.

He laid a pillow on his lap and beckoned me to lie on it. I did and he laid one hand on my stomach and began to softly stroke my hair with the other. "Kel, Nick was a fool to let you get away. He gets caught up in the rush and excitement of falling in love and doesn't want to do the work to keep it going. It's easier for him just to fall in love with someone else. We probably should have told you, but we were hoping things would be different with you. They were for a while and then Kat came and as much as he loved her, I think he felt tied down. There was nothing you could have done to make him happy Kel. Nothing." He brushed a tear from my cheek. "Nick was a fool to let you go. He'll want you back someday, you know. I just hope it will be too late for him."

"AJ, it's been too late for him for a long time. There is nothing that could make me take him back."

"When are we going to be able to feel it kick?" he asked as he rubbed my stomach.

"Not for a little while. Why don't we have a cookout or something so we can announce our little surprise? We should do it while Nicky is on his honeymoon."

"Everyone's going to freak out you know." I started laughing hard. "Kel, what's so funny?"

"Can you hear the phone call to my Mom-'Yeah Mom, he's nine years younger, no we're not getting married, no I don't actually remember having sex with him, yes I'm sure he's the father'. Hey don't laugh, you've never met the woman." AJ was wiping the tears from his eyes. "Tell me about the wedding AJ. None of my women friends were there so I'm counting on you. Were the dresses ugly? What did her dress look like? Was I a prettier bride than her?"

"Yes the dresses were ugly. She looked like a Barbie doll gone bad and baby, she can't even come close to being as beautiful as you."

"Thank you, that's exactly how a woman would say it, but they wouldn't call me baby."

"You should get to bed Kel. You and our child need some sleep." He walked me to my room and chastely kissed my cheek. "Night"

"Goodnight AJ." I watched as he walked to the guestroom.

"Enjoying the view Kel?" he asked, not even turning around.

"Yep." I heard him laughing as he closed his door.

It was a nice sound.

Part 9

The big day had finally arrived. We decided after all to wait for Nick and Lara to get back from their honeymoon. I figured this was going to be ugly so we might as well get it over all at one time. I was scared to death. I had shipped Kat off to Jane's because it was not going to be a place for a youngster in the next few hours. Jane had actually taken the news quite well. Her only condition was that this one calls her grandma too.

"AJ, could you get the extra chairs out of the closet in the hallway" I yelled.

"Baby, I did it an hour ago when you asked me the first time. Little nervous?"

"Terrified." He hugged me tightly. "Do I look too pregnant?" I was wearing one of his shirts; it was the only thing that fit at this point that wasn't maternity wear. He studied me for a minute.

"You look a little pregnant, but I know that you are. If someone didn't, I don't think they would notice a thing except how sexy you look in my shirt." I rolled my eyes at him as the doorbell rang.

"I think I'm going to throw up."

"Suck it up Kel." I winced at his choice of words. "Sorry baby." He took my face in his hands. "You can do this. We can do this. You OK?" I nodded. He headed for the door.

Two hours later we were nearly done eating. I was getting quieter and quieter as time went by.

"Kelley, you're awfully quiet tonight." said Nick. "Something wrong? We usually can't get you to shut up to save your soul." I had married this guy? AJ shot him a look of death.

"We sort of asked you all here because Kelley and I have some news..."

"I'mpregnantandAJ'sthefather." I figured the faster I said it the better.

"You want to run that by us again Kel, 'cause it sounded a lot like you just told us you and AJ are going to have a baby" asked Kevin, his fork stopped in mid air.

"That would be exactly what she, I mean we, just told you." He squeezed my hand under the table.

"Hey Kel, here's an idea for you" smirked Nick, "after the baby is born you could put a sign up sheet on your bedroom door. That way Kev, Brian and Howie could have their turn too." The entire room was silent.

"Well at least I wasn't married when I was out whoring around. Get him out of my house AJ. Goodnight everyone." I stood up and walked out of the room.

I was lying on my bed looking at the ceiling when AJ came in thirty minutes later. He looked a little disheveled.

"What happened to you?"

"Nicky and I got into a little tussle. I was going to jump him right away, but I figured I would upset you. I'm sorry Kel, I shouldn't have done it, but nobody talks to you that way."

"Did you kick his ass?" I don't condone violence, but in this case I felt Nick deserved a good ass kicking.

"It took Kevin and Howie to pull me off of him. I think he'll have a black eye tomorrow." I hugged him fiercely.

"Thank you. That's the nicest thing anyone has done for me in a long time."

"Chivalry is my middle name baby. Puddle in your way, I'm there. Ex-husband's ass needs kicking, I'm there." We held each other tightly. "Was that what I think it was?" I nodded and he placed his hand on my stomach and felt the baby kick again. "Oh my god Kel that's amazing." His eyes were wide with wonder. He moved down my body until his head rested on my stomach and began to sing softly.

"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.

You make me happy, when skies are grey.

You'll never know dear, how much I love you.

Please don't take, my sunshine away."

He kissed my stomach and then moved up and kissed me gently. "I wasn't singing that just to the baby you know. Good night sweetheart."

I spent the rest of the night looking at the ceiling.

Part 10

After they got used to the idea, everyone accepted the fact that AJ and I were going to be parents. Everyone except Nick that is. He and AJ were back on speaking terms, but he barely spoke a word to me when he would come and pick up Kat. I really didn't care all that much. He had given up the right to comment on my life a long time ago.

"AJ, you know you should just move in here," I said. He'd been at my house now for a week and showed no signs of leaving. I didn't mind, he was nice to have around.

"Nah. I need my own space sometimes. Ya know, when I bring the ladies home and stuff."

"Oh." I was a little disappointed. When was he bringing ladies home? What about me? Why the hell was I jealous, he could have a girlfriend. I had made it perfectly clear over and over that we were nothing more than friends, right?

"What's wrong baby, jealous?" he smirked.

"No" I quickly recovered, hating him for being able to read me so easily. "I'm just surprised. You didn't tell me you were seeing anyone."

"You never asked. She's nice, but we're not serious or anything."

"I'm glad you met someone nice," I said, lying through my teeth. I was getting used to this "AJ worships Kelley" thing we had going on. "You should bring her over for dinner some night." In my mind I was smacking myself on the head.

"How about tomorrow?"

"Swell. I'll make, well I'll think of something to cook. How about 7:00?"

"That'll work. I gotta go, we're going to the movies." He ran out the door. I was so wrapped up in thought I didn't see the smirk on his face.

"Movies? Girlfriend? Argh, why do I care!" I mumbled to myself.

"Mommy, what's 5 + 4?" Kat was working on her homework in the kitchen.

"You can work it out Kat. Where are your blocks." With the help of the blocks, Kat was able to finish her math on her own.

"KittyKat I'm so proud of you. You got them all right! Oh yeah, we're having company for dinner tomorrow. AJ and his girlfriend are coming over."

"Oh, I like Sarah, she's nice."

"You've met her" I squeaked. She nodded.

"They took me to the park last week."

AJ didn't stay at my house that night. I spent a restless night trying to figure out what I was feeling. I just couldn't understand why I cared? The whole Kelley worship thing was endearing, but it did more for my ego than anything. At least I think that was it. I fell asleep completely confused and a little disappointed that I wouldn't see him at the breakfast table in the morning.

They arrived promptly at 7:00. I had made lasagna, it being one of the few things I could actually cook. AJ was right, Sarah was nice. She was a little bit clingy with him, but other than that she was OK. I really wanted to hate this girl, but I just couldn't. Damnit.

AJ came back after he took her home.

"Well, what did you think?" he asked.

"She was nice. She must be nice if she's willing to have dinner with the woman who's having your baby." He looked a little guilty.

"She doesn't know Kel."

"What!" I shrieked. "AJ, you have to tell her and now. This isn't something you can hide."

"I know, I know, but she's not going to like it. She was a little jealous of you. She said, and I quote, 'I think that woman's in love with you AJ. She keeps looking at me funny.'" I got a shocked look on my face. "Is she right Kel?"

"AJ I do love you, but as a friend. That's all." I found that I couldn't look him in the eye and say it.

"I'm going to bed Kel. Goodnight." He didn't kiss me goodnight for the first time ever.

It was going to be another sleepless night.

Part 11

Sarah did not react well to AJ's surprise announcement. In fact he never saw her after that. I felt bad for him but was a little ashamed to also feel relieved.

The more time passed, the more AJ became a part of our lives. Kat adored him and he treated her like a daughter. You would think that he would spoil her rotten, but he didn't. He was actually strict with her, making sure she helped out around the house and had her homework done. I'd forgotten how nice it was to have someone to share the parenting. Nick was still really good about seeing her, but it wasn't the same as having him in the house every day.

I was beginning to adore AJ too. He was the best friend I'd ever had. I told him things that Nick never even knew, like all the yucky stuff from my childhood. It was the first time I wasn't afraid to show someone every part of myself. I just somehow knew that he'd just accept whatever quirk it was and love me all the more for it. He would stand up to me when I was in one of my moods, that mood where I was ultra-bitch and was just looking for a fight. No one had ever done that before. Nick would always just leave me alone until it passed. AJ would roll his eyes at me, tell me to settle down, and then do everything in his power to make me laugh. He was the best at making me laugh.

"You see Kel, that is where you're wrong. Scrappy Doo made the show. He added a little life to it..."

"God you are so wrong. Velma practically faded into the background once that little annoying mutt appeared. How can you get rid of Velma? She was the only one with brains."

"Velma wore orange!"

"So what! What did Daphne contribute, she was cute and wore short skirts...nothing else!"

"Fred had to be getting some from somewhere."

"Fred wore a blue ascot. He wasn't getting any from anyone!" I countered.

"Hey, chicks dig ascots." I screamed with laughter. "What, what's so funny?"

"If you really believed that you would be the first to wear one 24/7!" He doubled over on the couch and joined me. The next day he showed up on my doorstep dressed in, you guessed it, a blue ascot. It took me a while, but I finally regained my composure. "Where did you get..." I started to ask, wiping the tears from my eyes.

"Found it. I figured I'd tried everything else to win you over, it couldn't hurt." He wore the stupid thing the whole day.

Little did he know it was one of the things that made me open my eyes.

Part 12

It was the day before my 37th birthday, I was eight months pregnant, and I was standing in front of the bathroom mirror with my shirt unbuttoned, looking at my swollen stomach.

"Kel, what are you doing?" AJ asked. He looked at me like I was mental.

"It's so different this time." I turned to look at the view from the side. "With Kat I felt so, I don't know, ugly and huge. I always turned to Nick to make me feel good. Now, well, look at me AJ. This is going to sound vain, but I feel so beautiful. My face is glowing, I have cleavage again, and having this baby in me makes me feel so womanly."

He bent his head and slowly kissed his way from my ear, down my neck and to my shoulder. I gasped when he hit that spot where my neck meets my shoulder. "Hand me the lotion sweetheart." He ran the bottle under the hot water to warm it up and put some in his hands. Standing behind me, he began to rub my stomach with the lotion, very slowly and deliberately. We stared at each other in the mirror the entire time. "I've always thought you were incredibly beautiful when you were pregnant." He kissed my cheek and left me standing there in wonder. I never thought the most sensual experience of my life would be when I was totally pregnant. "I like the cleavage too" he called from down the hallway.

"That was your Daddy, baby" I whispered. "He loves us very much."

Kat, AJ and I had our own private birthday party. I just wasn't in the mood for a house full of people. AJ had taken Kat to get her picture taken. She had picked out her own clothes, done her own hair and picked out the frame. She was wearing her favorite purple shirt, her favorite red pants and her favorite blue shoes. She had pink barrettes in her hair and the frame was orange. It was the most wonderful thing I had ever seen. It was totally Kat.

I picked up AJ's present and shook it. "Hmm, too small for a car..."

"Open it Mommy, open it!" Kat was beside herself.

"Ok, ok." I tore into the wrapping paper and couldn't believe my eyes. It was a copy of my favorite book from when I was a little kid-The Old Black Witch. I'd been looking for it for years. "AJ, how did you..." I could feel the tears slipping down my face.

"I called your Mom and she said you've always wanted it. I looked all over and finally found it in a tiny used book store in New York." I threw my arms around his neck and hugged him tightly. It was wonderful that he had found the book, but what meant the most to me is that he had gone out of his way to find the one thing in the whole world that I had always wanted. "I'm going to assume those tears mean you like it." I couldn't do anything but nod. It was the best birthday I'd ever had.

AJ was going to spend the night and we were walking to our rooms.

"Well, I have to say that this has been the most interesting birthday of my life."

"Why?"

"Well, when I turned 30 I fell in love with a 19-year-old. I'm turning 37 and I'm a month away from having a baby with my best friend. I think this one wins." He smiled and rubbed my back. "Are you staying for dinner tomorrow night?" I asked.

He looked at me guiltily. "I can't Kel, I, jeez this is hard. I have a date."

"Oh, well ok. Um, goodnight." I went into my room before he could kiss me goodnight. I didn't want him to see my tears.

Oh god, I was so stupid. How could I be so stupid? The man I'd always dreamed of was right under my nose all this time and I'd let him get away. I cried myself to sleep, knowing I had no one but myself to blame.

 

Part 13

Authors note: Grab a Kleenex-I needed one!

I woke up at three that morning trying to figure out when I had fallen in love with AJ. I couldn't pinpoint exactly when it was, but it was so different than when I was with Nick. I loved Nick when we were together, I didn't doubt that. But AJ, oh man, AJ made my soul soar. I had to let him know. If he didn't still want me, fine, but I had to let him know.

"Happy birthday Kel." Nick kissed me on the cheek as he arrived to pick up Kat. "You always were a beautiful pregnant woman." My eyes narrowed suspiciously. These were the most words he had spoken to me in months. "Is Kat ready? KittyKat..."

"Daddy!" She ran and jumped into his arms. I don't know why, but I hugged them both. It was Nick's turn to look suspicious. "What was that for."

"Nick, we've been through a lot, but I wouldn't change any of it. There might have been lots of pain, but we got a really great daughter out of it."

"Thank Mommy!"

"Have fun this weekend. Make sure you do your homework, I don't want to have to do it when you get home on Sunday." Nick and Kat both saluted and walked out the door.

I hoped AJ was coming here to spend the night. He hadn't officially moved in, but he'd been here every night for the past three months. I was sitting in the dark in the living room when he came in at midnight. "Did you have fun?" I could see him jump.

"Damn Kel, what are you doing down here? Yeah it was ok. Why do you care?" I could tell he was completely annoyed with me.

"AJ I need to tell you something. I don't want you to talk, just listen." I walked over to the stereo.

"Kelley..."

"Shhh...listen." I pushed play and went and stood in front of him, scared out of my mind.

"Are those your eyes, is that your smile

I've been looking at you forever

But I never saw you before

Are these your hands, holding mine"

I took his hands in mine and gently kissed them.

"Now I wonder how I could have been so blind

For the first time, I am looking in your eyes

For the first time I'm seeing who you are

I can't believe how much I see

When you're looking back at me

Now I understand what love is, love is

For the first time."

There was enough moonlight streaming into the room for me to see the tears in his eyes. He pulled me close and we started swaying gently, never taking our eyes off of each other.

"Can this be real, can this be true

Am I the person I was this morning

Are you the same you

It's all so strange, how can it be

All along this love was right in front of me

For the first time, I am looking in your eyes

For the first time I'm seeing who you are

I can't believe how much I see

When you're looking back at me

Now I understand what love is, love is

For the first time"

I took his face in my hands and gently brushed the tears from his face.

"Such a long time ago

I had give up on finding this emotion

Ever again

But you here with me now

Yes I found you somehow

And I've never been so sure"

I sang the last part softly

"For the first time I am looking in your eyes

For the first time I'm seeing who you are

I can't believe how much I see

When you're looking back at me

Now I understand what love is, love is

For the first time."

We didn't move or speak for god knows how long after the music ended.

"I love you Kelley" he whispered

"I love you too" I whispered back. "Thank you for waiting."

He smiled. And then he kissed me.

In all of history there have been kisses that stopped time. Kisses between two people who's love was pure and true...Romeo and Juliet...Antony and Cleopatra...Wesley and Buttercup. This one topped all of them.

Part 14

I thought AJ was frantic when Kat was born. It was nothing compared to now. We kept a bag packed in the Expedition. We made dry runs daily to the hospital at different times so AJ could judge the traffic and gauge the time we would need.

"AJ, we've done this everyday for the past two weeks. You have every possible route mapped out, hell you could drive this in your sleep. Can we please go home" I whined. This was our third trip to the hospital today.

"Baby, do you remember how fast Kat got here. I just want to be sure..."

"Honey, you've done everything you can. You can only control so much and then fate takes over. No one could be more prepared." I hoped that my soothing tone of voice would convince him to take me home.

"Maybe we should do it one more time. I want to try the freeway..."

"Take me home!" I screamed at the top of my lungs.

"Sheesh, you don't have to yell. Fine, we're going."

Twenty minutes later we were finally home. I was struggling to get out when he came over and helped me. I wasn't moving so well these days. When both my feet were finally on the ground I threw my arms around his neck and brought his lips to mine. I kissed him hungrily, swirling my tongue around his. He moaned deep in his throat when I tangled my fingers through his hair and he moved his hands down to cup my behind. We were both panting when we pulled away.

"Damn Kel, what was that for?"

"Because I love you so fucking much that sometimes I can't see straight." He growled and kissed me again.

"Come on sweetheart, I'm gonna paint your toenails." I stopped in my tracks and just looked at him. "I know, I said I'd never do it, but we've got to have you looking good when the baby comes."

"You're going to have to lead me to the house then. I'm having problems with my vision again." He brought me inside and painted them a nice shade of red. He said he thought it would go nicely with the hospital gown.

"AJ!" I shook his shoulder trying to wake him. "AJ! Wake up damn it!"

"What, what, whoa, what is that? Holy cow, it's time isn't it?" I nodded. He jumped out of bed and ran from our room, naked. "Come on Kel, let's go!" he called as he ran down the stairs. I just sat there. I figured he'd get as far as the car before he realized he was naked. I heard the horn honking as I dialed the phone, first the doctor and then Nick.

"Nick, yeah it's time. Can you come get Kat? Yeah, her stuff is packed. OK, see you soon." The horn was still honking.

"KittyKat, wake up sweetie."

"Is it time Mommy?" she asked as she rubbed her eyes.

"Yeah honey, it is. Daddy is on his way over. Why are you sleeping in your clothes?"

"I have been for the past week. AJ said I should be ready for anything." I laughed until I cried and just as I was calming down, I heard footsteps running up the stairs, which got me started again.

"Get your bag and wait downstairs. You can watch from the window for Daddy. I love you baby." I hugged my sweet daughter and loved her even more when she kissed my stomach.

"I can't wait to meet it Mommy" she sighed.

I walked into our bedroom and watch my wonderful man trying desperately to get dressed.

"You could have told me you know."

"You didn't give me a chance to talk. I'm surprised you weren't sleeping in your clothes like you had Kat do" I said slyly.

"Quit dawdling Kel. Get dressed!" I managed to get everything on before I had another contraction.

"Man, seven years makes you forget a lot of pain" I groaned.

"Mommy, Daddy's here!"

It finally passed and AJ and I made it down the stairs. "KittyKat, be good for Daddy, we'll call when whatever it is arrives." She kissed AJ and I and off they went.

Another contraction hit when we got to the car. "Damn AJ, they're really close together." He got a panicked look in his eyes and squealed out of the driveway.

For once I thought his panic was justified.

Part 15

"Baby, just hang on, we're almost there. Only a few miles to go." AJ's earlier panic was gone and he was doing all he could to keep me calm. I was going to have this baby very soon and I didn't want it to be in the car. "Just keep breathing. Fuck! Red light. Do you want me to run it?"

"No, oh god...." I cried. The tires squealed as the light turned green. Three minutes later we screeched to a halt in front of the emergency room doors.

"Come on baby, let's get you inside."

I don't know how we got into the emergency room. AJ told me later that they took one look at me and had my legs in the air before he ever did, or at least could remember. Fifteen minutes after we arrived; I gave birth to our daughter. When they put her in my arms she looked at me, looked at AJ, yawned like this was all no big deal and promptly fell asleep.

"Well, if there were ever any question that she was mine, that just answered it" he laughed.

"What are we going to name her Dad?" I could see the tears forming in his eyes.

"What if I can't do this Kel? What if I fail? I don't know what I'm doing, what if...."

"Hey, hey" I shifted the baby around to my other arm so I could pull him close. Our foreheads rested together. "You take care of me, you take care of Kat, and you're not alone here. I can teach you how to change a diaper and give her a bath, your heart will teach you everything else you need to know."

"I know what you mean now about not being able to see straight" he smiled through his tears and kissed me.

"Hey, that is what got you two into this mess," said Nick as he and Kat walked through the door.

"Mommy!" Kat launched herself onto the bed. "What's her name?"

"Alexa Kathryn." My KittyKat's eyes got big.

"You named her after me?" AJ and I nodded.

"Wow" was all she could say. Kat snuggled up to AJ and the three of us just looked at our beautiful little Alex. I heard Nick sigh and as I looked up, he blew me a kiss and walked out the door. Why was it a little piece of my heart broke every time I had a baby?

Alex and I went home the next day. We quickly adjusted to the newest member of our family. She was definitely her father's daughter; she savored attention however she could get it and Daddy made sure she got lots of it. It was cute for the first month. I was severely sleep deprived so it was much less cute now.

"Did you hear that?" AJ asked as we were sitting and eating dinner. I shook my head. "There. Did you hear that?" Kat and I both shook our heads. "Are you sure, it sounded like she was crying."

"I didn't hear anything J," said Kat.

"Honey she's been asleep for twenty minutes. She didn't get much sleep last night. She's fine. Let her sleep in peace for a little while." He had a bad habit of checking on her about once an hour every night. I don't think any of us had slept for more that three consecutive hours for the past month. It was making Kat and me tense and snappy. AJ was in his own little baby world and didn't even notice.

"I'm going to go check." He got up and walked out of the room. Kat and I rolled our eyes at each other.

"How long is he going to be like this Mommy?"

"About another eighteen years."

"Damn" she whispered.

"Kathryn Jane." She looked at me guiltily. "Normally I would scold you for that, but for once it was warranted. I'll bet you fifty cents he walks back into the room and tells us she's asleep."

"Nope, he'll probably wake her up like he did yesterday. You're on Mommy."

AJ walked back into the room. "She was asleep." Kat and I looked down at our plates, knowing we would laugh if we made eye contact. I could feel my shoulders start to shake. "If either of you laugh, you will be sorry. I can't help it if I'm obsessed." Kat reached into her pocket, pulled out two quarters and slid them across the table.

"You bet?" His tone of voice made us instantly sober. "All I'm trying to do is make sure my daughter's ok." He stood up, slammed his chair into the table and stalked out of the room. Kat and I eyed each other guiltily. Kat's big blue eyes filled with tears and mine weren't far behind.

"Suckers!" AJ called from the living room. Our jaws dropped.

"Let's get him Mommy." She smiled devilishly. I loved my KittyKat. We ran to the living room and tackled him, tickling him mercilessly.

"Hey, hey, ahhhhhh, nooooooo!" The tickling soon evolved to wrestling and it wasn't long until AJ had my arms pinned above my head and was straddling my waist. "You know, when a man's family can't take a little joke...." I stopped struggling and got lost in those brown eyes. How could I have ever been unsure of my love for this wonderful man?

"I love you too baby," he said, reading my mind. He bent his head to kiss me and at that exact moment, Alex woke up.

"I'll go. It's dinnertime. Kat, get your behind in your room and do your homework."

"I hate homework" she whined. I was sure she had inherited this unattractive trait from her father.

"Now!" She grumbled all the way up the stairs.

Once the kids were in bed, that sounded so strange-kids, I went looking for AJ who had disappeared earlier. I found him in our bedroom, staring out the window. I walked up behind and wrapped my arms around his waist, kissing his bare back. We hadn't actually consummated our relationship, at least not that either one of us could remember. Seeing him standing there, shirtless, had me overcome with lust.

"Kelley, don't." I was too stunned to continue.

"AJ what's wrong?"

"Nothing, I just..." he sighed. "I'm going to bed." He walked away from me and got into bed, laying on the very edge, far away from where I would soon be lying.

Part 16

I could feel myself tremble with fear. This was exactly what had happened with Nick. AJ and I had barely gotten started and now, out of nowhere, we were falling apart. I went downstairs, not wanting to be anywhere near the silence that enveloped the room.

I wrapped myself in a blanket and curled up on the couch, trying to maintain control. It was my own damn fault I was in this mess. I never should have opened my heart. I sat there for an hour, sometimes crying, sometimes just staring into space. I just couldn't believe this was happening, again. I couldn't believe that I had failed at love again. I couldn't believe that I was sitting here, doing nothing about it. "Fuck it" I growled and stomped up the stairs. I was not going to let this happen. I was going to fight to keep the man I loved.

I walked into the room and found AJ sitting in bed, calmly reading a book. He looked up from the book and smiled at me. I could have killed him for looking so unconcerned. "You want to tell me what the hell is going on?"

"Kel, I don't want to talk abou...."

"You know what, that's too bad. We're going to talk. We're not..."

"Kel, I don't..."

"Grrrrr." I jumped on the bed, grabbed his book, threw it on the floor and straddled his lap "We are not going to end up like Nick and me. You are not going to shut me out like he did. Why did you pull away from me, don't you want me?"

He sat up and kissed me passionately, rolling me onto my back. "You have no idea Kel." I actually had a pretty good idea, judging from the way he was grinding against me. "It's just, has the doctor, I mean, can we..." He blushed furiously.

"Why is it so hard for you to ask me that?"

"I don't want to push you. God, I want you all the time, hell I'm surprised you haven't noticed how many times a day I shut myself in the bathroom. I just have this mental picture of myself tapping you on the shoulder-'Kel can we now' 'how about now' 'would now be good'. Don't laugh!" He soon had my arms above my head again, forcing me into submission. I lifted my head to kiss him when Alex started to cry.

"It's not going to hurt her to cry for a little while."

"It's going to distract me Kel. I'll be back" he sighed as he walked out of the room. I was sound asleep in about two minutes.

AJ let me sleep in the next morning. He had taken Kat and Alex to the park according to the note he left on the table. I took advantage and went to the grocery store. I walked into the kitchen, four grocery bags in hand, when I heard music playing loudly. I didn't pay attention to what was playing. "AJ?" Not getting an answer, I dropped the keys on the counter and realized what song was playing when I heard him start to sing.

"I've been really trying baby

Trying to hold back this feeling for so long"

I turned and saw him leaning against the doorframe, wearing only a smile. He was subtle like this a lot.

"And if you feel like I feel Baby

Then come on, oh, come on

Woooo

Let's get it on"

He knew my weakness for Marvin Gaye. He knew my weakness for him naked. I dropped the grocery bags, not caring about the eggs, and started slowly unbuttoning my shirt.

"Ahhhhhhh baby

Let's get it on"

I was soon as naked as he was. "Where are the kids?"

"At my moms, until tomorrow."

"You mean we have this whole house, to ourselves, all day and all night. Just the two of us?" He nodded. "Then let's get this show on the road. We're wasting valuable time standing here admiring each other."

He sat down on one of the kitchen chairs and beckoned me. I slid onto his cock. "Oh fuck" we both whispered at the same time.

"Let's love baby

Let's get it on

Sugar

Let's get it on

wooohooooooo"

This time it was happily ever after.

The End, really

Let's Get It On-words by Marvin Gaye and E Townsend

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