Chapter 78: I know

Sorry it took so long. Life is a crazy thing and I have a great appreciation for sleep so that takes up my free writing time. Thanks to everyone who voted and thanks for the name suggestions, I really appreciate it!

~Aeryn

“I never thought it would happen,” he states quietly, looking straight ahead with a dazed expression.

“What?” I ask, turning off the car and looking over at him in confusion.

“I’m alive! I made it all the way from Bloomington to Pittsburgh with you driving!”

Kris and I had made the day and a half journey from Utah to Pittsburgh in two parts. We started our journey at 4 in the morning and he insisted that he drive the first 19 hour streak from Utah to Kansas City, coffee in hand and my jeep packed to capacity with dogs and luggage. It being 4 AM and me without coffee because of the baby, I didn’t put up much of a fight for the drivers seat. The doctor had limited me on my coffee to one cup a day, instead of my normal two. But after he found out how strong I made my coffee, he thought it best to cut it out of the equation for now.

We bunkered down in Kansas City that night to get some rest before leaving again the next morning for the last 14-hour stretch. Kris again insisted he drive but at the half way mark, I finally managed to push him out of the driver’s seat in Bloomington, Indiana and drive the final 7 hours home.

“Oh please, I’m not a bad driver,” I say getting out of the car and letting the dogs out.

“No, you’re not a bad driver… Speed Racer,” he grins walking with me to the door with the dogs behind us.

“I wasn’t driving that fast, we didn’t get pulled over.”

“That’s because you were going so fast the speed guns couldn’t catch you… OUCH,” he says grinning and rubbing the arm that I had punched him in, before pulling out his keys.

After unlocking he door, he let’s everyone inside. As he turns on the light I see someone else come running from the kitchen.

“SAMMY!” I smile as the Rottweiler comes barreling our way.

He immediately runs to me, his butt wiggling so fast that it looks like it might fall off.

“Awwww, how have you been? I haven’t seen you in forever!” I laugh as he rolls on his back to expose his tummy for me to pet.

After receiving a quick tummy rub he moves to his owner, giving him sloppy kisses on the cheek as Kris bends down to pet him.

“Here, I’ll show you the guest room,” Kris says with a smile taking my bag from my hand and leading me up the stairs.

It was already 10:30 and although I wanted to see Beth and my family, I was exhausted. After all we had been in the car for the better part of two days. So Kris was nice enough to give up his guest room for the night.

After he shows me the room, I go back downstairs and set about getting dinner for the dogs and let them out for the last time before I head back upstairs

“Kris, I’m going to go to bed,” I say popping my head into the living room where he was watching TV.

“Ok, night Ace,” he says watching some tape from a Devils vs. Panthers game.

“Night, and thanks Kris,” I smile before heading upstairs all the dogs, including Sam, following close behind me.

I turn the light on in “my room” with a sigh, looking at the empty bed, my eyes growing heavier and heavier. I change into my boxers and old t-shirt before making my way to the bathroom to crush my teeth and wash my face.

Finally, I make it back to the comfy looking bed and slide under the cool sheets and warm comforter. My body relaxing, but my mind wondering. I was dangerously close to Sid finding me and I wasn’t sure if I was ready for that. What would I do if he found me? For the past 3 months I hadn’t allowed myself to think about, I had pushed it to the back of my brain, telling myself I would worry about it when… if the time came. Now that I was back in Pittsburgh, and in his teammate’s house, he was no longer over 2,000 miles away and it both scared and excited me. Would he come and try to find me? Would I let him talk? Would he beg me to trust him again? Beg me to come back? If he did would I accept? Could I swallow my pride and stubbornness to do what was best for my child and his? Our baby deserved to have a father and Sid deserved to know that he was a father. But for him to be the child’s life, he also had to be in mine. Could I do that? Could I let him back in? Was I strong enough?

Suddenly I feel the bed dip beside me and arms pull me into a strong chest.

“Hey, hey… what’s with the tears?” he whispers in the darkness, his thumbs brushing away the wetness on my cheeks.

“Kris… I’m not sure that I can do this,” I whisper my voice breaking.

“Do what, Ace?”

“THIS! Here in Pittsburgh, with him so close. I don’t know if I can do it… I don’t know if I’m, if I’m strong enough…”

“Oh, Ace…” He whispers hugging me close, “You are the strongest person I know.”

I burry my face into his strong shoulder, wetting his cotton t-shirt with my salty tears. I felt weak and helpless, I hated feeling this way. I felt like I was losing me, the real me would have never broken like this. I curl myself tightly against his chest, my arms coming to his neck to hang on tight. He gently rubs my back and it prompts a sob to break free.

“I’m scared Kris.”

* * * *

“Ruff… Ruff…”

I stir only to find myself against a very warm, masculine body, a heavy arm weighing down my waist. My eyes shoot open in surprise and then I let out a sigh of relief when I realize who it is, and that we are both fully clothed.

“Ruff…”

“Alright Flash,” I whisper back, moving carefully so as not to wake Kris.

But his arms close tightly around me and pull me back to him.

“Kris…” I whisper.

“Just give me a few more minutes,” he mumbles back in a sleep groggy voice.

“I have to let the dogs out,” I chuckle.

“Fine. But come right back,” he grumbles letting me loose.

“I will,” I smile getting up and pulling my tank top down over the bump in my stomach. Bodies wiggle all around me with excitement.

“Good Morning,” I say my hands passing through various coats of fur with an occasional lick as my answer.

I make my way down the carpeted steps, the material soft beneath my bare feet, my pack behind me. I let them out into the cool December weather. I sigh, before letting them in 10 minutes later. I didn’t really want to go upstairs and talk about my problems. The last thing I wanted to do was burden Kris, I just wanted to move on. Get going with the day.

I walk upstairs to find that he has seemingly passed out again. I sigh; maybe more sleep wouldn’t be such a bad thing. I pad across the room to the warm inviting bed and slip under the covers facing him. After a moment I hear him inhale deeply and his strong arms reach out to pull me into him, apparently he isn’t asleep. I smile and nuzzle my nose into his neck, getting comfortable.

After a few minutes, I feel him kiss the top of my head and his voice rumbles against the cheek I have against his chest.

“I’m sorry Caitlin.”

“For what?” I ask curiously, my brow furrowing.

He lets out a long sigh before continuing.

“For what he did to you.”

I bite my lip and push the tears back down that have welled up.

“Kris, you have nothing to do with that,” I whisper, trying to make my voice void of emotion.

“I know, but still.”

Moments of comfortable silence pass, as thoughts about Sid run through my head. I was alone in this. This being my life, my pregnancy, it was a very real possibility that there would be no one there with me, to help get me through labor. To be with me when my baby took his/ her first steps, said their first word, and even smiled for the first time. Sure Kris was there for me, as were my family and Beth. But I lived in Utah now; they were all over 2,000 miles away. I was alone. Just me and my dogs, and the being growing inside me. I hug Kris tighter at the thought.

“Ace?”

“Hmm…”

“You need to tell him.”

“Kris…” I sitting up and looking down at my hands so that he won’t see the tears pooling in my eyes.

“Look at me,” he whispers gentling pulling my chin up so that I’m staring back into his dark brown eyes. “Ace, you need to talk to him. You need to listen to what he has to say. I’m not saying that you have to get back together or fall in love again. Just … he’s miserable without you Ace and whether you want to hear it or not, so are you.”

“But…”

“I know you lost Bran, Ace. And I know how much he meant to you, but you’re not just upset about him. Even if you want it to come off that way. I know Sid hurt you too. You wouldn’t have moved nor would you have been crying in my arms last night if he didn’t. You need to talk to him.”

I sigh, looking down at my hands.

“I know. But I never fell out of love with him,” I whisper, “Not for the past 5 years.”

“Oh Ace,” he says pulling me close again, letting his shoulder soak up my tears, “He never stopped loving you either.”

Sid’s POV

I walk into the locker room for practice like I do everyday, but this time is not like every other day. This time I’m not first. Kris Letang sits on the bench tugging on his skates. I take a deep breath, looking for an exit, but his eyes come to meet mine and I know why I’m not the first here. He’s been waiting for me.

We stare at each other in silence. He gives away no emotion, his brown eyes shielded. I know he went to Utah, I know he brought her home.

“How is she?” I finally ask breaking the silence.

“Miserable,” he says in an even tone with a frown.

I nod my head, my heart ripping. I don’t know which would have been better. If I would hear that she is miserable without me, knowing that I caused it, or , as selfish as it sounds, her being happy and knowing that it is without me.

“Sid, you need to talk to her.”

“Kris, she doesn’t want to talk to me. She’s better off without me.”

“Better off without you?! Yeah, that was my exact thought when she was crying on my shoulder last night.”

“She was?” I ask guiltily as a sudden pain shoots through my heart.

“This is no longer about just you and her, you need to talk to her.”

“What do you mean?”

“Just talk to her Sid. Thursday she’s going to burry Bran in her Grandparents field.”

“But Thursday is the day after Christmas.”

“Then consider it your Christmas present to me.”

Caitlin’s POV

I knock on the door, my dogs pooled around me. Almost immediately a woman with red wavy hair and a grin that stretches from ear to ear opens the door.

“You’re Back!!!” she squeals with delight, pulling me into a tight hug.

“Jesus, Beth, go easy. You’re going to send me into early labor!” I laugh, which immediately makes her pull away.

“Oh my God, I forgot! Let me look at you. Turn to the side,” she says motioning with her hand for me to turn.

I sigh and turn so that she can take in my profile.

“I never thought I would see the day when Caitlin Shaw was knocked up,” she grins, “You look absolutely adorable Cait.”

“Haha, thanks.”

“How is the baby? Do you know the sex yet?”

“No not yet. My doctor said that I can find out at my appointment next week.”

She looks at me and I can see the wheels turning in her head.

“Have you told…” she begins.

“No.”

“Cait…”

“I know Beth, I will.”

She let’s out a long sigh as I feel a paw hit my leg. I look down to see a big white dog shaking with excitement.

“Koda! Awww… I missed you!” I say bending down to his level as he licks my face, my hands threading through his thick white fur before letting him go see the other dogs.

From the doorway I see a taller man walk in with a baby in his arms.

“Oh my goodness. You have grown so much!” I say getting up to give Zach a hug and see the now much bigger Brad. He must have tripled in size since I last saw him.

“Hi,” I say in a voice that can only be used on a baby without it sounding utterly ridiculous, “You’re such a big boy now!”

He smiles showing me two sets of teeth, four in all. He gurgles and babbles out a string of undistinguishable words, while his chubby little legs bounce around excitedly. He was now 9 months old and it had been 4 months since I had last saw him.

“He’s not the only one that grew,” Zach smiles at me, to which I stick my tongue out at him. “Mature as ever I see.”

“So tell me what it’s like,” Beth smiles, motioning for me to sit next to her on the couch.

“What, What’s like?”

“Utah. Being someone’s employee. Being pregnant.”

“Haha, ok. Well, Utah is good so far. A little too hot for my liking but luckily its been pretty cool so far. I love my job! Beth, I feel like I’m actually making a difference in these dogs’ lives! I kinda miss making up my own schedule, but they give me a lot of wiggle room and the people there are great.”

“I’m glad you like it there. How’s pregnancy treating you?”

“Ok. I mean, I spent a few weeks next to a toilet. My apatite has increased and I had to go give up coffee, caffeine withdrawal was a ton of fun,” I laugh.

There is silence as she looks at me.

“Cait, are you happy?” she says seriously.

“Yeah, I haven’t seen you in forever. And it’s good to be back for a bit,” I smile.

“No, I’m mean are you happy, happy. With life right now?”

I sigh looking out the window, how to answer that question. I was happy with my job, I was pretty happy with how I was living, and although I was scared as hell I was also overjoyed with being pregnant. But I was lonely; something was missing that didn’t seem to be missing before.

“Honestly?” I sigh.

She nods.

“Not yet. Maybe someday soon, but not now, no,” I reply holding in the tears and putting up my strong front.

“I’m sorry about Bran… and Sid,” she says her green eyes conveying the depth of her sympathy.

“Yeah… yeah me too.”

* * * *

Days went by and Christmas came and went. My cousin had brought her boyfriend home for Christmas, inadvertently reminding me of last Christmas when I brought a friend. Everyone oohed and awed at my pregnancy, and gave advise on what was to come. Whether all of it was wanted advise is a different story. My family was relatively thrilled about the baby, especially my mom who was over the moon that she was finally going to be a grandma. But I also knew that they were disappointed that I wasn’t in contact with the father, even if they wouldn’t say it to my face, I knew. Besides, there was nothing they could do about it, and they knew I was too strong willed/ stubborn to make the first move with Sidney.

But now Christmas with the family was coming to a close, and I was due to go back to Utah the day after tomorrow. Later today I would say goodbye to my family before my parents and brother went back to Maryland. Tomorrow I would say goodbye to Beth and Tanger. The next morning bright and early, I was driving back to Utah.

But now… now I had something that needed to be done on my own. Just me, with a shovel and red urn in hand as I walk up to the field.

Sid’s POV

“She’s leaving the day after tomorrow, Sid. And she won’t be coming back for a while. You need to talk to her,” he stresses as I pull of my equipment with a sigh, sitting down, my head falling in my hands.

I knew he was right. I had to see her, try to make her understand how sorry I was, what happened that night. I had to see if she was really as miserable as I was, or if she was happy.

“I know Tanger. I know.”

I lay in bed. Going over what I need to say to her.

‘It meant nothing.’

‘I was drunk, I don’t even remember.’

‘I know it’s no excuse.’

‘It won’t happen EVER again’

‘I need you in my life.’

‘I’m sorry.’

But would she believe me? Would she yell at me? Would she tell me she hated me, that she found someone else? Would she even listen to what I had to say?

I knew now that I had to try. That I had to fight to get her back, which would be an uphill battle, but I had to try.

* * * *

I drive the 1 hour and a half, getting farther and farther into the woods. It was 9 in the morning, but I knew she would be up. The tires rumble over the pothole ridden back roads, turning onto a road that is so beat up that it might as well not be paved. I head deeper and deeper into the woods, the bare tree branches providing enough cover to make even this dreary day look even darker. There was no snow, but the cold was bitter.

I pull into the driveway next to a familiar light green jeep. I sigh and look down on to a small house painted green. There are no other cars in the long sloping driveway, telling me that no one else is home. I walk across one of the rickety wooden bridges that runs over the small stream running in front of the house. I make quick time of walking across the frozen grown and to the base of a steep hill, that looks like it goes deeper into the woods my nerves building more and more. I make my way up the hill; my heart pounding in my chest and it’s not from the almost vertical slope of the hill. I step over a branch right before I make it to my destination. A few birds chattered in the thicket to the left, with trails running through it. I take a deep breath and turn to my right, knowing that’s where she is.

As I approach I see a figure through a grove in the small trees off the path. She stands looking at three piles of rocks. The sight of her makes my heart flutter, and it feels like it might beat out of my chest.The left is the biggest pile, the right is slightly smaller, and there is an even smaller one in the middle that looks like it was just made. I hear her sniff and pull her coat tighter around her, her chestnut hair blowing in the bitter wind.

“I miss you,” she says in a broken voice.

April 10, 2010 at Saturday, April 10, 2010

11 Comments to "Chapter 78: I know"

stop it that was so good. i feel awful for her. going what she's going through would be horrible.

aww kris is such a sweetie :) i also feel awful for her for having to go through all of that. i cant wait for the next post girl! :)

Posted by Anonymous ( April 11, 2010 at 4:13 AM )

i know you love sleep, but could you please update soon?

so good...so so good..i agree I love sleep to and I know you do to but pretty please update as soon as you can...I want to know what happens with her and Sid and

oh jeez, kris is the sweetest guy ever!!!!!!!!! and Sid needs to know and Caitlin needs to tell him and I can't wait for the next update(: I loved this so much, haha there are no words to describe it. So sorry for my short comment

That was so good!!!
I'm begging you, PLEASE update soon. All I want is for him to find out that she's pregnant!!!

Posted by Anonymous ( April 12, 2010 at 11:54 AM )

PLEASE update like sometime this week! THAT WAS SOOOO GOOOOD!PLEASEEE!!!!

Posted by Kate ( April 12, 2010 at 6:12 PM )

You. Are. Killing. Me!!
I really want to see Sid's reaction to Caitlin being pregnant. I cannot wait to read more and see what happens. Please update soon!! Pretty please.
And btw, you are making me develop a big crush on Tanger. A really big crush. I really want a Tanger of my own. =) lol

Posted by Anonymous ( April 18, 2010 at 11:24 AM )

Please go back to your old profile, i like that best (: when i think of this story, i think of orange and white!! please go back! lol :)

Haha... I was just going to ask what everyone else thought of it cause I wasn't sure. Thanks, I will go back, I'm really not liking the set up : )

your killing me here! lol I keep checking to see if you've updated (for some reason it never shows up on my account when you post) :(

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Discovering...Love? by AS is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.