Missed the previous parts? Click HERE
"With This Heart: Part Six"
Continuing to kneel, Kaleb held his breath while savoring the feel of the warm swollen mound against his cheek. Above him, he could feel the weight of her stare on him. Savoring the closeness, he waited for her to speak. To do something - to say anything but she continued to be silent. Finally he lifted his head, his eyes connecting with hers.
“So are you going to let me explain before you rip my head off, Paisley?”
She shook her head as she took a step backwards, freeing herself from his hold. Drawing to his full height, he moved to follow her when she held a hand up.
“Stop.” Her voice was tense with emotion, her fingers trembling as she fumbled with the hospital gown.
Clenching his fists at his side, he longed to go to her, but was leery of her reaction. The longing to hold her was so fierce he was surprised he wasn’t shaking with it. Finally after watching her fumble with the ties on the gown, he closed the distance between them. “Shhh. Let me.” He freed them from her grasp, before gently turning her away from him. Seeing the expanse of her slender back, he wanted nothing more than to press kisses across the pale expanse. Tying the closure shut, he let his hands drop to his sides but refused to move back. The tantalizing scent of her body mist teased his nose. He’d dreamt about it during the long nights he’d spent gazing up at the foreign star-studded sky.
“Thank you.” She was so quiet and distant from him it was starting to scare him. Awkwardly maneuvering her swollen body onto the exam table with his help, she fisted the edge of the table before finally looking up at him to speak.
“Why are you here, Kaleb? I would’ve assumed that my ignoring your calls would’ve been more than enough to get my point across – I don’t want to see you anymore.”
Bracing his arms on either side of her hips, he sighed. “So that’s it? I’m not allowed to explain – to assure you of how much I love you and our child? How I want to have a life, a family with you? Or are you going to take the word of another over mine? You’re just going to kick me out of your lives? All over a misguided woman who was merely trying to protect me?”
Paisley stiffened, her fingers digging into the table until the whites of her knuckles showed, but he caught the flare of emotion in her gaze – the hope. Perhaps he hadn’t lost her yet.
She drew a sharp breath. “It was only protection? That’s your excuse? What could she be honestly protecting you from? I’m one naive white girl.” She fidgeted before looking way, until he tilted her face back towards his.
“Yes – a recent bad experience with another white girl…”
She stopped him with a finger over his lips. “Just tell me honestly that she’s not in your life anymore? Can you assure me that I’m enough for you? That you don’t need her.”
He groaned as she removed her fingers to allow him to answer. If he gave her the truth, he had a feeling she wouldn’t understand but he couldn’t lie to her. “Sandy will always be a part of my life, but you’ve been enough for me since the day you tripped over that idiot’s laptop. I haven’t wanted another since. Just you, baby.” He quickly added, rubbing his hands up and down her arms.
Her nostrils flared, but before he could think of anything else to say, she unloaded on him.
“How can you still claim to want me when you won’t give her up? I can’t believe that you honestly thought I’d let you have your cake and eat it too. She was right you are nothing but a damned player!” Her voice rose. He ducked when she swung the purse sitting next to her left hand at his head. He leaned to the right, allowing it to bounce harmlessly off his shoulder. He didn’t even look as it slipped free of her grasp to land on the floor.
“Whoa – calm down…I don’t know why you think I’d ever date more than one woman at time, Paisley. I’m not built that…” As he dodged a rolled-up magazine, he wedged his hips between a pair of splayed legs. He didn’t even wince as it bounced off his shoulder. Angry eyes accused him of things – things which he hadn’t done but he understood why she thought he had.
“Enough!” He pried the magazine away from her. “Listen to me. You’re the only woman I’ve been with in almost two years!”
“Liar.” She reached up fiddling with the latch on the necklace he’d given her. His heart froze before fear sent it skittering. His hand grabbed at hers – to stop her from removing his gift.
“Don’t, baby.” He swallowed roughly. “Don’t do this. At least give me the chance…”
Shaking her head, she pushed his hand away. “I’m fresh out of chances, Kaleb. You can’t disprove physical evidence. She wears a locket just like mine – your usual parting token to your fling before you leave.” Tears welled up in her eyes before coursing over her cheeks.
Using his thumbs, he brushed the tears away. “Of course she does. Malachi, my twin brother and I had these made for our future wives. And Sandy is…”
Her eyes searched his. “..is his wife? Not yours?”
He nodded. “They’ve been married for nearly two years now. I have proof.” He reached into his hip pocket. Pulling his wallet open, he flipped open the photo section. “Here - look.” He turned it towards her, displaying the wedding picture of his brother, Sandy and him. “Believe me now, Baby?” He lifted her chin up to lightly brush his lips over hers. “I’m sorry that Sandy caused you this kind of grief. If it makes you feel any better, I ripped my brother a new one when I got home.”
He watched helplessly as she burst into a fresh round of tears, before she buried her face in his chest. “Shhh.” Rubbing her back, he could only hope that this time it was pregnancy hormones causing her tears. He didn’t think he could handle any more problems. He just needed everything to be okay between them.
TO BE CONTINUED...