“I love you, Nora, and I will show it to you. You’ll be so sick of love by the time I’m through.” He moved toward her, gripping her arms. “Please, give me this chance. Come back home.”
She was breaking. He saw it. She was going to cave.
“I’ll come home. I will, but I’m not going to work for you. I’ll take up Frank’s offer, but I’ll be working with him, or whoever he puts me with.”
He didn’t like that, but he knew he had to do something to keep her in his life.
Christmas didn’t go exactly how Nora had hoped. She didn’t stay at Rex’s place, and other than swapping gifts, she didn’t see him. He wanted to, but she just couldn’t bring herself to be with him.
She didn’t know what to think about what had happened over the past week. Fortunately, the firm had given them all a two weeks’ vacation for Christmas and the New Year. She didn’t have to face going back to the office or deal with questions. The day after Christmas, Rex decided to pay a visit.
He held a bunch of red roses and held his hands up in surrender. “I’m not here to fight. Please, I just want to talk, to spend time with you.”
Nora stared at his jeans and plain black shirt. It seemed strange to her to see him out of a suit.
Opening the door, she stepped back, and gave him room to enter. He closed the door behind him, and stared at her.
“You look beautiful,” he said.
She burst out laughing. “No, I don’t. I look like crap.” She wore baggy pajama pants, and a shirt that looked like she had spilt her lemon tea on.
“I never wanted to hurt you,” he said. “I want to be there for you, and for the baby.”
Licking her lips, she turned toward her apartment. “I’ve hated you for so long. I didn’t think it was even possible to like you. Then something changed, you changed, and I started to wonder. Is it even possible to love you? Does it make me weak because of how I feel about you?”
“I wasn’t the best guy for you to work for. I can’t make excuses for my behavior.”
“I deleted a lot of the messages you sent. I didn’t want to read them all or listen to them all. What did you say?” she asked.
“Pretty much the same stuff only said in different ways. I said how much I love you.” She laughed. “I know you don’t believe that, and I get it. I was too late in telling you how much I feel about you. That this is love for me.”
“What do you want, Rex? I mean seriously? Me being pregnant. Are you even happy about that? Was it just one big mistake?”
“No.” He took a step toward her, and she couldn’t help but take a step back. When she was around him it was near impossible for her to think. Right now, she needed her wits about her, and not to be thinking about what they could have had. “I want you to trust me.”
“Trust is earned, Rex. The way you spoke to me, the way you made me feel, you hurt me.”
“I didn’t want to hurt you. With Carl—”
She held her hand up. “I get it. I do. You were angry at him, and you took it out on me. Believe me, I get it. Just tell me what you want?”
He stared at her for a long time. She saw the pain in his gaze, and it hurt her so much to see that she was causing it. It would be so much easier if she could just run into his arms and all was forgiven. The world didn’t work that way, and neither did she.
Part of her wanted to make him pay for being so mean to her. She hadn’t been mean to him, and she was tired of him hurting her, even if he didn’t mean to. Another part of her was just tired, and didn’t want to give in to him. He had hurt her, and said stuff that really didn’t need to be said. Why should he be allowed to have everything his heart desired, hurting her in the process?
“I want us, Nora. I want us to be together. I want to raise our family together.” He didn’t move forward, but he held his hand out toward her stomach. “I don’t regret being with you. What I regret is waiting so long to claim you. You’ve always been mine. From the moment I first saw you, I knew, and yet you were so young, and compared to you I’m so fucking old. I shouldn’t have had the dirty thoughts that I do about you, or even wanted to start a life with you, but I do. I want it so badly. Every single day, I want it. Being with you, it was like you gave me a taster of what I could have. I want it all the time. I want to come home with you, eat dinner, watch television, talk, make love, fuck. I want to grow old, and have a family with you, kids, the entire works. That is what I want with you. I’m laying all my cards on the table.”