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Chapter 6 : Chapter 5 - Surprises
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“You weren't asleep?” he asked quietly, as though someone else was in the room with them. Of course, they were alone, but he still felt the need to whisper.
“No. I wish you'd go to sleep, though.”
“Why is that?”
“Because you look like a zombie!”
“If you didn't have me worried sick, I wouldn't. I wish you would've let me take you to a hotel.”
Noelle sighed and burrowed her head into Seamus's chest. Lovingly, he rubbed her back still being wary of her bruises. He'd coaxed her into letting his mother – a Healer – look at her cuts and bruises to see if there was anything that could be done to make them better. It took hours to convince Noelle to do this, but Seamus promised her that his mother would never tell anyone. She trusted him enough that she believed his words and he was positive that his mum would never say anything to anyone – not even his father.
“I love you,” she whispered into his chest. He smiled and twirled one of her ginger curls around his finger.
“Why now?” he questioned softly, burying his nose into her hair.
“What do you mean?”
“Why did you get fed up now?”
Noelle grew uncomfortably silent. She squirmed carefully out of his grip and touched his face with the tips of her fingers. She traced the outline of his face and its features as he watched with curiosity. When she stopped, Seamus took her hand in his and placed it over his heart. Their eyes met and he watched cautiously as tears built up behind her fierce facade of strength.
“You can tell me anything.”
“Well – er – I...”
“I know, I know.”
“Then just tell me before you drive me mad.”
“I'm gaining weight.”
“That's a good thing.”
“Seamus, are you understanding what I'm trying to tell you?”
“I think I'm pregnant.”
Surprise settled into his gut as he stared at her, his expression blank. He wasn't sure what to think of what he thought she had just said. It was possible, very possible, that she could be pregnant. They'd been in a physical relationship for almost six months. The blank expression still remained.
“Can you repeat that, Noelle?”
“I think that I might be pregnant.”
He remained silent. This possibility still hadn't sunken into his brain. He continued to look at her, dazed.
“Are you upset with me?”
“No,” he said, “I'm not upset.”
“Then why do you look and sound like you're mad at me?”
“I'm just...surprised, that's all.”
“A bad surprised.”
“Then why do you look so sad?”
“Because it took you getting pregnant to realize that you had to leave him.”
The tears that had threatened to pour from Noelle's eyes made themselves visible on her cheeks as she tried to muster up a response to him. Seamus held her close to him and allowed her to cry into his chest, even if he wasn't exactly happy with her at that moment. He kissed her hair and cheeks lovingly as she tried to spit out words. Her words weren't coherent, but he pretended to understand.
“I'm sorry,” she spluttered, the first set of words he could understand.
“You don't have anything to be sorry for. I know that you couldn't leave him.”
“I disappointed you.”
“Love, you'll never disappoint me. The only thing you could ever do to disappoint me is to not leave him, and you've left him. I'm happy for that, but sad that you wouldn't have left unless you got pregnant. What if I never got you pregnant? You would've been stuck with him until he killed you.”
“You're acting like I actually am pregnant. I only think I am.”
“I – I kind of want you to be,” he whispered, embarrassed. He was relieved when Noelle smiled and reached toward him, pushing his hair from his eyes. Her cool hand remained on his forehead. Still a bit embarrassed, Seamus reached his hand so that it touched her stomach.
“You want to have a baby?”
“Yes.” He could feel his cheeks turning red now. She continued smiling, though. His heart raced happily when she snuggled nearer to him.
“Good night,” she said softly as she buried her head comfortably into his neck.
“I love you.”
He had never seen her in this state before. Her cheeks were rosy and she looked genuinely, one hundred percent happy. As she sat up in bed and he sat at the desk across from the bed, he stole a glance at her. Her face was aglow with delight as she read a book she had found in his – their – bookcase downstairs. He couldn't not smile at her. The happiness in her face – especially her eyes – was priceless and something he wanted to see in her every day for the rest of their lives.
“Can you come here?” she asked. Seamus put the folder of paperwork he was trying to do on the desk and walked over to Noelle. He sat on the edge of the bed next to her as she placed her book down next to her. As she drew her knees to her chest, he leaned over and kissed her lovingly. She took his hand and looked at him, an impatient look in her eyes.
“When will your mother be here?”
“Soon, just be patient. Why?”
“Is it a crime to want to meet my boyfriend's mother?”
“No. I just wanted to make sure that nothing was wrong.”
“I'm fine.” He kissed her forehead softly before they each returned to their own tasks. He laughed quietly and shook his head when she began to hum. Though the noise would have normally annoyed him, he enjoyed it. In his mind, it was a voiced opinion of happiness. Of course, he couldn't be sure as he'd never seen Noelle truly happy before.
“Is that your mum?”
“Hmm?” Again, he got up from his desk and walked over to Noelle. She was on her knees, looking out the window behind the bed. She – in fact – had spotted Mrs. Finnigan.
“She's very pretty,” Noelle commented.
“You are too,” Seamus whispered. She shook her head in disagreement. She was right; Noelle wasn't pretty in the traditional sense. But he thought that she was beautiful. Just because everything about her wasn't flawless, her inner beauty was all that mattered. He nudged her gently so that they could go downstairs together.
“Can you please not ask her about my being pregnant? I'd rather that stay between us until we know for sure. Then you can tell anyone you'd like to,” Noelle suggested.
“I'll try,” he said softly as he followed her down the stairway.
“Good afternoon, darling,” Mrs. Finnigan said her her smooth, matronly voice as Seamus opened the door. Noelle smiled from behind him as he let his mum into the house. Being her shy self, Noelle held onto Seamus's hand wherever he went until his mum decided it was time to get down to business. She looked at him with a look he couldn't refuse. When his mother gave him that look, he knew it best to abide by her rules.
“Go on upstairs so that she can examine you,” he said to Noelle. She nodded reluctantly but went upstairs.
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