Never Too Far (Chapter 23)
My feet were cemented to the floor. Even as I watched Blaire running away from me I couldn't move. Had I just dreamed that? Was it a desperate hallucination? Was I getting that bad?
"If you aren't going after her I am." Woods' voice broke into my thoughts and I snapped out of my shocked haze.
"What?" I asked, glaring at him. I hated him. Beating his face in was something I was suddenly fantasizing about.
"I said, if you aren't going after her I am. She needs someone right now. As much as I don't want it to be you because I don't think you deserve her it needs to be you."
Did he know she was pregnant? My blood started to boil. Had she told Woods she was pregnant and hadn't told me?
"I was here the first morning she tried to work and the smell of bacon sent her scrambling to the restroom to vomit. So, yeah I already knew. Get that crazed possessive gleam out of your eyes and go get her." Woods' tone was laced with disgust.
"She's been sick?" I hadn't known she was sick. My chest hurt. She'd been sick alone. I'd left her alone and she'd been suffering. Air wasn't getting to my lungs.
"Yeah, you stupid shit, she's been sick. That happens in her situation. But she's getting better. Now I'm about to turn and go after her. Make your move," Woods warned.
I broke into a run.
It wasn't until I exited the building in the back and looked up the hill that I found her. She was still running. It was toward the condos. She was going back to her place. I went after her. She was pregnant. Should she be running like this? What if it was bad for the baby? She needed to slow down.
"Blaire, stop. Wait," I called out when I was close enough. She slowed down and finally stopped as I caught up with her.
"I'm sorry," she sobbed with her face in her hands.
"What are you sorry for?" I asked, closing the distance between us and pulling her against me. I wasn't worried about scaring her off anymore. I wasn't letting her go anywhere.
"This. Everything. My being pregnant," she whispered, stiff in my arms.
She was sorry. No. She wasn't going to be sorry for that. "You have nothing to be sorry for. Don't ever apologize to me again. Do you hear me?"
Some of the tension in her body eased and she leaned against me. "But I didn't tell you."
No, she hadn't but I understood. It sucked but I understood. "I wish you had. I'd have never let you be sick on your own. I'd have taken care of you. I'm going to take care of you now. I'll make up for it. I swear."
Blaire shook her head and pushed away from me. "No. I can't. We can't do this. I didn't tell you for a reason. We… we need to talk."
I was taking care of her and she wasn't leaving me. But if she needed to talk about it then I'd let her. "Okay. Let's go to your place since we're so close."
Blaire nodded and turned to walk toward the condo she'd been running for earlier. Jace had said Woods was letting them stay there for the same amount as Bethy's old apartment. He thought Woods was thinking of using it as a tax write off or something. I understood now. He'd been doing it for Blaire. He'd been taking care of her. Not anymore he wasn't. I was taking care of what was mine. I didn't need Woods doing it. I'd go talk to Woods later but I'd be paying the prime amount for rent on this place. Woods was not taking care of Blaire. She was mine.
I watched as she bent down and got the key from under the mat. That had to be the worst hiding spot ever for a key. I'd deal with that later too. I wasn't going to be able to sleep at night knowing she had a key tucked under her front door mat for anyone to walk in on her.
Blaire opened the door and stepped back. "Come on in."
I stepped inside and took her hand with me as I passed her. She might want to tell me all the reasons we couldn't be together but I was going to be touching her while she talked. I needed to know she was okay. Touching her calmed me down.
She closed the door and let me pull her over to the sofa. I sat down and pulled her down beside me. I wanted to put her in my lap but the worried, nervous look on her face stopped me. She needed to talk and I was going to let her.
"I should have told you. I'm sorry I didn't. I was going to; maybe not the way I did today but I was going to tell you. I just needed time to decide on where I was going to go next and what I was going to do with my life. I wanted to save up and go start somewhere new. For the baby. But I was going to tell you."
She was going to tell me and then leave me? Panic gripped me. She couldn't do that. "You can't leave me," I said as plainly as I could. She needed to understand that.
Blaire dropped her gaze from mine and studied our hands. I'd laced my fingers through hers. It was all that was keeping me calm at the moment. "Rush," she said softly. "I don't want my baby to ever feel unwanted. Your family…" she trailed off and her face had gone pale.
"My family will accept what I tell them to accept. If they don't I will take you and my baby and leave them to pay all their own damn bills. You come first, Blaire."
She shook her head and tugged her hand loose from mine as she stood up. "No. You say that now but it isn't true. It wasn't true a month ago and it isn't true now. You will always choose them over me. Or at least you will Nan and that's okay. I understand; I just can't live with it. I can't stay here."
Not telling her about her dad was going to haunt me for the rest of my life. My need to protect Nan had fucked up the only thing important to me. I stood up and walked toward her as she backed up until she was against the wall. "No. One. Comes. Before. You."
Her eyes shimmered with unshed tears and she shook her head. I hated that she couldn't believe me.
"I love you. When you walked into my life I didn't know you. Nan was my first priority. But you changed that. You changed everything. I was going to tell you but my mom came home too soon. I was so scared to death of losing you that I lost you anyway. Nothing is going to take you away from me again. I'll spend the rest of my life proving to you that I love you. You and this baby," I touched her flat stomach and she trembled, "come first."
"I want to believe you," she said through a sob.
"Let me prove it to you. Leaving me doesn't let me prove anything. You have to stay with me, Blaire. You have to give me a chance."
A tear slipped free and rolled down her face. "I'm gonna get big and fat. Babies cry all night and they cost money. I won't be the same. We won't be the same. You'll regret it."
She really didn't have a clue. No matter how many times I told her, she didn't believe me. She'd lost everyone in her life she'd loved and trusted. Why should she believe me? The only men in her life had left her. Betrayed her. She expected nothing else.
"This baby brought you back to me. It's a part of us. I will never regret it. And you can get as big as a whale and I'll love you anyway."
A small smile tugged on her lips. "I better not get as big as a whale."
I shrugged. "Doesn't matter."
Her small smile quickly left. "Your sister. She's going to hate this. Me. The baby."
I would deal with Nan. If she couldn't cope then I'd take Blaire and we'd go somewhere far away from my sister. Blaire had been upset enough. I wasn't letting anyone else hurt her. "Trust me to protect you and put you first."
Blaire closed her eyes and then nodded.
My chest swelled and I wanted to shout to the world that this woman was mine. But instead I picked her up. "Where's your bedroom?" I asked.
"The last room on the left."
I walked back there. I wouldn't make love to her right now but I needed to hold her for awhile. I pushed the door open and I froze. The bedroom was a nice size for a condo but the blanket on the floor with a single pillow was just one more strike against me. When I'd moved them I had known Blaire didn't have a bed. She'd been sleeping on the couch. But I had been so wrapped up in getting her back I hadn't thought about her needing a bed.
"I haven't got a bed yet. I could've just slept on the couch but I wanted to sleep in my own room." Blaire mumbled, trying to get down out of my arms. I wasn't letting her go. I held her tighter against me. She'd slept on the hard ground last night while I'd been sleeping in my big king size bed. Fuck.
"You're shaking, Rush. Put me down," Blaire said, tugging on my arm.
Without putting her down, I spun around and stalked back to the living room, then out the door. Slamming the door behind me I locked it and stuck the key in my pocket. I wasn't sticking it back under that damn mat.
"What are you doing?" Blaire asked.
My car wasn't here. Then I'd carry her back down the hill and to my Rover. "I'm taking you to get a bed. A big ass bed. One that costs a fucking fortune," I growled. I was furious that I'd missed that one major issue. It was no wonder Woods had been taking care of her. I'd failed. I wasn't going to fail her again. I'd make sure she had it all.
"I don't need an expensive bed. I'm going to get a bed soon."
"Yeah, real soon. Tonight," I replied then bent my head and kissed her nose. "Let me do this. I need to do this. I need you tucked into the best bed money can buy. Okay?"
A small smile tugged at her lips. "Okay.