Room For More(4)

By: Beth Ehemann

“Do you miss him?” she asked slowly. “Any sparks?”

“Hell no!” I screeched, lowering my voice when I remembered Brody was just a couple rooms away. “Brody on his worst day is a thousand times better than Zach on his best day. It’s not about missing him; I was just caught off guard, that’s all.”

The bedroom door flew open, startling me, as Lucy came flying in. “Mom, can you make us eggs?” she whined. “Brody said he’d do it but we had to pay him a hundred dollars. We don’t have any money.”

I shook my head and laughed. “Sure, honey. Just one sec. All right, Lauren, I gotta get going. I’ve got some hungry hungry hippos and a blackmailing boyfriend on my hands. Plus, I have to work again today.”

“You do? Oh God.”

“Think positive, Lauren. Think positive.”

I didn’t know if I was reassuring her or me or both of us.

“Are you going to tell the girls?” she whispered into the phone.

“You know she can’t hear you, right?” I laughed, winking at Lucy who was sitting at the end of my bed, staring at me. “And the answer to that is a big fat no. I’m hoping he just goes away. Think it’s a possibility?”

“Um, no.”

Lauren and I said our good-byes and I followed Lucy out into the kitchen. The closer we got, the stronger the bacon smell got and all was right in the world again.

Brody was standing at the stove with his back to me. He had on a blue T-shirt that was just tight enough to accentuate his toned back and shoulders. Those same blue pajama pants he wore the first time I’d stayed at his house hung loosely from his hips. The memories of our first morning together made my cheeks flush. I walked up behind him, slid my arms under his, and wrapped them around his waist. I laid my head against his back and closed my eyes as the familiar smell of him calmed my nerves.

“Good morning.” A light chuckle mixed with his surprised tone.

“Don’t move. This is nice.” His back vibrated against my cheek as he laughed harder, squeezing my hands in his.

“Do you have to go to the hospital today?” he asked.

The knot in my stomach returned. I was dreading heading into my bedroom and putting my scrubs on. I was dreading driving up to work and seeing an ambulance parked outside. I was dreading seeing Maureen again, who probably thought I was a total flake after yesterday.

“Unfortunately, yes.”

“Why? Quit. Stay home with us. You don’t have to work. Who needs a degree these days anyway?”

“Not a chance, but you’re sweet.” I squeezed him tight one last time and turned around to the fridge.

“Why not? Do you ever want to be a stay-at-home mom?”

“I don’t know. After him, I swore to myself that I would never depend on a man again. It was embarrassing to move back home and rely on my mom to feed and take care of us.”

“What about when we have kids?”

I spun to face him, nearly dropping the eggs that were in my hand. “What?”

“Down the road, when there are dozens of little Brodys running around the house, do you want to be home with us?”

“Dozens of little Brodys?” I chuckled.

“Why not?” He grinned.

“Uh, I can think of a few reasons. My poor uterus for one.” I poked him in the chest.

“Okay, fine. Not a dozen, but at least like… six.” He wiggled his eyebrows. “After that, we can just practice—a lot.”

“I’m definitely down for the practicing.” I batted my eyes at him. “And what do you mean at home with us? You’ll be traveling most of the time.”

“Yeah, but not forever. Eventually I’ll retire and do the full-time dad thing.”

Crossing my arms over my chest, I cocked my head to the side and looked at him skeptically. “Since when does staying home with kids all day interest you?”

He looked over at the girls, who were watching a movie in the living room, and shrugged. “Since them.”

I grinned at him as my stomach flipped. “You’re too good to be real.”

“Nope, I’m real and I’m all yours.” He reached over and grabbed my T-shirt, pulling me in close to him.

“Until next week,” I pouted dramatically. “Then you have to start practicing every day and we won’t see each other much. Add in games and you’ll forget who I am.”

I was not looking forward to his season starting. My subconscious knew it was coming, but I was purposely not thinking about it. I’d gotten so used to seeing him often over the last couple months, this would definitely be an adjustment.