Written By Special Guest Author Becca O.

Chapter 17

Becca poured herself a glass of juice and turned on the radio. The dishwasher had finished its cycle, and so she set about putting the dishes away, torn between making an ungodly amount of noise and trying to be quiet. She sighed, and as she reached for the top shelf with a mixing bowl, a subdued voice spoke up behind her.

“Here, let me do that.” Nick took the bowl from her hands and easily placed it just so as Becca turned back to her task. “You should have gotten me up earlier, Bec, it’s almost noon.”

“It doesn’t matter, you had a late night.” Avoiding his eyes, she opened the silverware drawer and reached for the clean utensils, sorting them methodically into the proper compartments.

“GT’s been quiet.” Nick was stretching, trying to find some common ground to get a conversation going, but it wasn’t working.

“Garrett isn’t even here. Sonja picked him up two hours ago.”

“Sonja? Is-”

“No, Nick, Brian isn’t even in town. He won’t be anywhere near Garrett.” Her voice turned icy, and Nick caught his lip between his teeth, holding back the instinctive retort that sprang to mind.

“Bec, I wasn’t-”

“You know what Nick? It doesn’t matter anymore. No one that I see or talk to is right anymore. You have something against everyone in my life.”

He knew she was right, and there was nothing he could say to even attempt to deny it. “I thought you’d be gone when I woke up.”

“No, Nick. I’m not running away this time. I haven’t done anything wrong, and I refuse to leave my home for you.”

My home. Not our home. “Should I leave?”

Becca slammed down the broiler pan she’d been holding. “Damnit Nick, I don’t want you to leave. I don’t want to run away again. I just want you to talk to me and stop treating me like I’d cheated on you.”

“Bec, I never-”

“Yes, Nick, you DID. Your entire attitude has been to treat me like I’ve been unfaithful to you. I never asked for Andrew to leave me his fortune. I never asked for him to use me like a cheap whore. I never asked for him to die of AIDS and scare me half to death. I never asked-” Becca stopped and took a deep, ragged breath. She’d come perilously close to throwing her pregnancy back in Nick’s face, and caught herself before saying something she could never ever take back. “I never asked for a lot of things that have happened in the course of my life, Nick. But you know what? I deal with them. I do the best that I can with the hand that I’ve been dealt and pray that I’m making the right choices.”


“Choices, Nick. It’s all about choices.” Leaning back against the kitchen counter, she looked him squarely in the eye. “You can do a lot with your life. You can move on and have a fantastic future, or you can let the idiots bring you down to their level. Don’t let Brian and Kevin have the last laugh, don’t screw up this chance that you’ve been handed and prove them right. Take the talent and gifts that God gave you and do something with them instead of drowning yourself in a pity party and moaning ‘Woe is me, my wife’s dead lover made her a millionaire.’ ’

Nick watched Becca and bit back a smile. Trust her to put it more bluntly than Howie had. “I love you.”

Becca deflated a bit and sighed. “I love you, too, but right now I don’t like you very much.”

“Can I have a hug?”

“No. You have to be in Tampa in an hour. Your new probation officer needs to set up a community service opportunity, and it has to be in person.”

“You were going to tell me about this … when?”

“At the last possible moment. You’d better hurry, or you’ll be late.” Becca hung up the dish towel that she’d dropped on the floor, and left the room. The door swung behind her and Nick grinned. At least she was talking to him.

Chapter 18            Index