“Get out,” he said, sighing heavily as he rubbed his hands down his face.
“But, the movie’s not over yet,” Aidan pointed out around another mouthful of chocolate.
“Don’t fucking care. Get out,” he said, grabbing his brother by the ankle and pulled.
“You bastard!” Aidan gasped as his back hit the floor.
“Next time you’ll listen,” Darrin calmly explained, ignoring his brother’s desperate attempts to escape his hold as he dragged him out into the hallway where he released him.
“Lock up on your way out,” he said as he walked back into Marybeth’s bedroom and closed the door behind him, making sure to lock it.
“You abusive bastard!” he heard Aidan cry in outrage as he undid his belt and kicked off his shoes.
“That was kind of mean,” Marybeth said with a sleepy smile when she opened her eyes and spotted him, making his chest tighten.
God, she was so fucking beautiful…..
“He wouldn’t leave,” he explained as he walked over to the bed and sat down next to her.
“You could have asked him to leave,” she pointed out teasingly as she leaned up and kissed him.
“I could have…” he hedged before adding, “but where would the fun in that be?”
She rolled her eyes playfully even as she shifted so that she was snuggled up against him. “Where did you go?” she asked him as she shifted to get more comfortable.
“Guy’s night out,” he said as he leaned down and kissed the top of her head, savoring her strawberries and cream scent.
“I thought we were having dinner tonight,” she said quietly as she toyed with one of the buttons on his shirt.
“We were,” he said, wrapping his arm around her as he pressed another kiss against the top of her head.
“Then what changed?”
He sighed heavily as he said, “Shot day.”
“Shot day?” she repeated back, not sure what that had to do with anything.
“You always kick me out on shot day,” he said with a careless shrug as he leaned down and pressed a kiss against her neck, making her lick her lips as he place his hand on her stomach and-
Reminded her exactly why she avoided him on the days when she had to get her monthly injection. She placed her hand over his where it was absently caressing her stomach and pushed it away. She wasn’t sure if he realized that he was doing it, but he did it every single time she had to get a shot, making an already difficult situation unbearable.
He also did it anytime they were around someone that was pregnant, or they saw a baby or a young child doing something cute. He’d put his arms around her, place his hand over her stomach and with the slightest caress, he’d break her heart a little more.
He wanted a family and she couldn’t give that to him and she desperately wanted to, more than anything. She wanted to spend the rest of her life with him, start a family with him and grow old together, surrounded by their children and grandchildren, but that was never going to happen, at least not for her.
When the time was right, and God, how many times had she told herself that it was the right time, she was going to put an end to this thing between them once and for all so that he could move on and find a woman that wasn’t broken and could give him what he deserved.
“Are you still mad at me?” he asked as she shifted onto her side, facing away from him.
“No,” she said softly, hating the way that her bottom lip trembled, “I’m just tired.”
She felt him shift behind her, hoping that he would just leave so that she could lay here wallowing in self-pity, but instead of leaving, he curled his large body behind hers and wrapped his arm around her. He reached over and placed his hand over hers.
“I don’t like the effect these shots have on you,” he murmured, pressing a kiss against her nape as she closed her eyes and prayed that this day would end.
God, she hated shot day.
“It’s fine,” she said mumbled with a soft sniffle.
“No, it’s not,” he said, tightening his hold around her. “No more shots, Marybeth.”
“I need them.”
“No, you don’t,” he said, pressing a kiss to her neck. “I’ll start wearing condoms, sweetheart. There’s no need to keep putting yourself through this.”
She shook her head. “No, it’s fine.”
“No,” he said, pressing another kiss against her neck, “it’s not. I don’t want you taking the shots anymore.”
“It’s not your decision,” she said, part of her wishing that she’d just ended this thing between them years ago so that she wasn’t forced to lay here in his arms while he made everything worse by being so damn understanding.
He sighed heavily as he reached up and pushed her hair away from her face. “Would it really be so bad?” he asked, brushing his lips along her jaw as he once again placed his hand over her stomach, making her close her eyes and struggle not to cry. “We’d make beautiful babies, Marybeth,” he whispered, kissing her jaw.
“I don’t want children, Darrin,” she said, forcing the lie as she swallowed back the bile that threatened to send her running for the bathroom.
“Have you even thought about what it would be like?”
Only every waking minute of the day.
“Not every woman was meant to be a mother,” she said, repeating what the nurse had said to her when she was fifteen and devastated to find out that she would never be able to have a child.
“You would make a wonderful mother,” he said, tightening his arms around her. “Any child would be lucky to have you.”
“Stop, Darrin, just stop,” she said, pushing his hand away as she crawled off the bed, needing to put some space between them before she did something stupid like tell him the truth just so she could put an end to this nightmare.
He sat up and threw his legs over the side of the bed as he shoved his fingers through his short hair. “I didn’t come here to upset you.”
“It’s fine,” she said, shaking her head absently as she glanced at the clock. It was just after nine o’clock and unfortunately, most places would be starting to close for the night, limiting her options for an escape.
“How about a bath and a late dinner?” he suggested, looking exhausted and making her wonder how long it had been since he took a day off and got some rest.