Authors: Katherine Owen
“I don’t have one,” she says irritably.
“Then, don’t start making one up.” I kiss her hard. Hard enough to clear away any doubts about my long-term intentions and my short ones too. “We’re putting Cara to bed early.”
“But you have a game.”
I don’t usually stay when I have a game. We have this weird-ass ritual worked out where I leave most of the time because we’re still trying to figure out things with Cara. Maybe even between us too. The thing is I do need a decent night’s sleep before a game which doesn’t happen very often when we’re together. Compatible is not a word I would use to describe the two of us when we’re together. Insatiable is probably better. Sometimes it seems as if we annihilate each other more than we love each other. Still, at other times, it seems as we resuscitate the very life back into the other person. Maybe we’re undefinable. And with Cara, things get even more complicated. I can’t ravage Tally any time I want because we have our amazing three-year-old little girl around us most of the time.
“Forget the game. I’ll be fine,” I say, pulling her close and trailing my hand between her thighs. My finger makes contact with her softness. She moves in closer to me. I feel her fight for breath. “I want to fuck you right now,” I say low enough so our child in the next room won’t hear us.
“Can’t. Cara,” she says with a moan and inches closer to my roving fingers. “I don’t want to confuse Cara. Stop. Please. She’ll hear us,” Tally says even as her breath comes faster. “You have to stop doing this to me. I’m
. We have Cara. Geez, Linc. I said no!” She moves away from me and pulls down her skirt.
“Is this about Cara? Or, is it about me staying? Or something else entirely? Because sometimes I wonder what you really want when you get all pissy and unsure like this,” I say. She washes her hands at the sink. I move in to do the same. She glares at me. It sets me off. “Yes, I’m frustrated. I’ve got a game. I want to stay and fuck you properly. I want to own your soul and wake up next to you in the morning and pitch a baseball in the afternoon with you in the stands for
. Is that so much to ask? Am I so wrong in wanting all of that? Why does everything have to be so complicated between us? Why can’t you tell me what’s bothering you, instead of lying to me and telling me it’s nothing when it is definitely something? You’ve been slamming things around since I got here. So tell me, Tally, just tell me what’s really going on with you tonight? Why can’t you be honest for once?”
I’ve unleashed fire, and I know this as soon as the last word leaves my mouth.
“For once?" She asks. “Oh, I don’t know why I can’t be
. I really don’t. Maybe it’s because I’m seriously,” she leans in close to me, “fucked up, and you knew this when you signed up for it. It’s complicated. Us. We’re complicated. We have a child who doesn’t speak, who needs us—
, I guess—since you are
. You want this gigantic wedding spun up on an epic scale with four hundred and fifty strangers that your father insisted we invite without a thought as to who is paying for it. My parents! Me! And yet! You are never around to plan a God damn thing for it. I wish Holly were here to help. I wish my mother could be of help. But my mother has been in rehab.
, Linc. And I’ve been dealing with all the shit that comes along with that. Family sessions. Therapy sessions. How do-you-feel-about-your-mom’s-addiction-Tally sessions? And all the how-you-can-help-the-alcoholic sessions, too. And I’m the one who has had to pick up all of the slack left by my mom’s thirty-day absence in taking care of my dad and Tommy and Cara. And you.
When you’re here
She takes a deep breath and blows it out.
“And you?" She asks quietly. “You play the Yankees in New York on Tuesday, which means you’ll leave on Sunday and need those uniforms washed on Saturday. Well, guess what? I’ll still be here in San Fran trying to keep my new boss Mikhail Rostov off my back and hold onto my job, continually hiding the chronic pain in my left foot from him, so he doesn’t outright replace me before the season even starts, pick up Cara from preschool
every day, hit the counseling sessions for my mother, help her cook something for my dad and my little brother; and oh, now I get to cancel all the Hollins House plans for the big wedding in October because the Giants may go all the way. Well great. Fucking fantastic. Bully for you. It’s all good for you, but what and when exactly is it good for me? And now you want to fuck me? I am so sorry. But you know what? I’m just too fucking tired. Maybe the reason you don’t know what’s going on with me today is, again, because you’re
hardly ever here
. You don’t even remember what today was, do you? No. You don’t. Okay then. Sorry to disappoint you but I don’t want to fuck you right now. But at least I’m being
She throws the metal spoon onto the kitchen floor and stalks out the door. “Make your own God damn dinner. I’m done.”
“Tally! Come back here. Don’t do this.”
She doesn’t answer.
Now, Cara stands in the kitchen doorway. A second later she picks up the castoff spoon and starts gleefully rapping it on the open door frame. Now there’s marinara sauce pretty much everywhere.
“Mommy’s mad,” I say softly to Cara.
Cara looks at me and slowly nods. We both hear Tally as she stomps up the stairs.
“Don’t worry, kiddo. Daddy will fix it.”
Perfect For Me -LINC
My mom once told me when I was about fourteen never go to bed mad. Not at her or Dad or Elliott. “Someday you’ll meet a girl, and if you marry her, the best advice I can give you is never go to bed mad,” she said.
I feed Cara the pasta, give her a quick bath, and cajole her to go to sleep. In fact, I cheat because I let her listen to an audio play of
Winnie The Pooh
because I know she likes that one and that she’ll be out within minutes. Then I fix up a dinner plate of food for Tally because I remain determined to get her to eat something. I run a bath for in the second bedroom down from the master and finally think to check Tally’s iPhone calendar.
This newest doctor served as our last ray of hope in determining if there was a chance that Tally could still get pregnant. With the promise of a new medical procedure, Dr. Eldon thought after studying Tally’s films sent by her previous doctor in New York, it might be possible. An ultrasound was needed to confirm this which was scheduled for today.
Tally’s sleeping but her eyelids flutter open when I come into the room carrying her plate of food. “What did Dr. Eldon say?”
“I’m sorry. I forgot. I’m a jerk. Hate me. What did Dr. Eldon say?” I ask again.
She sits up on her elbows and get this resigned look. She points towards the hallway. “The tub’s overflowing.”
Sure enough water is streaming down the hallway flooding the floor as it goes. “Fuck.”
I set down her plate of food and go shut the faucet off and partially drain the bath water and just start throwing towels everywhere to sop up the mess. I look up and find Tally standing in the doorway with a satisfied smirk on her lovely face. I grin back at her shaking my head. “Hey between the marinara mess downstairs and the water mess up here, and the fact that I did get our child fed and to sleep early, I think I’ve made up for it, at least a little.” She nods. “The bath is for you.”
“I’m not ready to make up with you quite yet,” she says softly. “Don’t expect anything, Elvis.”
“I know. So just take a bath. I’ll watch.”
She strips off her top and slips out of her skirt and shimmies out of her black thong with the red bow which she knows I like very much. I suck in air while she gets this smirk as she struts naked past me and then lowers herself into the tub sloshing water over the sides. I throw yet another towel on the floor but like a good knave, I put one behind her neck while she leans back against the tub and closes her eyes. I proceed to lather up my hands with the lavender soap she likes then I start touching her beautiful body in all the right places.
She has even more of a hint of a smile, so I know we’re going to get past this. I’m reborn on that news alone.
“I’m sorry.” I trail the water with my soapy hands near her breasts.
She opens her eyes and looks at me. “I’m sorry. I completely lost it. I was being a bitch and completely unfair to you. You have a game that you need to be ready for. I was out of line. So, I’m sorry.”
“No need for you to be sorry.”
“But you have a game,” she says wearily.
“I’ll be ready. Let’s not talk about baseball tonight, okay? I want to talk about us. You, especially. I want to apologize. To you. You’re right. I’m sorry I haven’t been around and paying attention to things like I should. Your mom. Cara. Your family. Your job. The guest list. The wedding. I know you’ve had to handle it all. I’m sorry I haven’t been listening very well or paying any attention to the pressure you must feel in trying to do it all basically on your own since I’ve been gone so much. But let’s start with the last thing first.” She gives me a questioning look. “What did Dr. Eldon say?”
Her face is wet but I see the single tear that trails down her face. “I’m sorry. I blew up at you. It’s really not you or baseball. It’s me. I screwed this up a long time ago and it is all coming back to haunt me now. I messed up and now I’m paying for it.” Tally sighs big. “She is no longer optimistic. It is highly unlikely I can get pregnant.”
I catch her tear. “Don’t do this to yourself, Tal. Don’t. I love you. If we can’t have more kids so be it. It doesn’t change how I feel about you. It
. The most important thing is for us to be together. You and me. And Cara, of course. That’s it. Everything else is a bonus. You are my life.” I stand up and move to the door. “I’ll be right back.”
I take a long moment in the master bedroom.
Get it together.
I can’t let Tally sense my disappointment at Dr. Eldon’s news. After a few minutes of stalling, I retrieve the plate of food and take it to her setting it down on the wide edge of the bathtub. Then I strip off my shirt and undo my jeans.
“What are you doing?” she asks.
“I’m taking a bath. I’ve got marinara sauce in my hair. I’m going to feed you your dinner and make everything up to you.” I step into the tub with the plate in one hand while water sloshes over the sides. We face each other. I twirl pasta around the fork and feed it to her.
“Mmm…good.” She takes another four bites smiling wide after each one. Then she takes the plate and carefully sets it on the floor next to the tub. She moves into me, sloshing water as she goes and grabs the soap and wash cloth.
“What are you doing?”
“Washing the sauce out of your hair.” Her fingers wrap around my dick in one swift move. “Well maybe later,” she says lowering herself onto me in the next. “Water’s a challenge. You’ve got to really get moving…like this. Just think we don’t have to worry about birth control like ever again. No condoms. A silver lining I guess.”
“Silver lining,” I say forcing a smile.
“I’ll make it up to you. I promise,” she whispers pulling me closer so our faces practically touch. She looks at me intently. “I love you so much. Thanks for loving me back.”
“You say that like you’re a consolation prize.”
She pulls back and looks at me. “Maybe I am.”
“You’re more than enough. Yes, I would have liked to have had more kids with you, but we have Cara. We’re going to be okay.
. But let’s not talk anymore,” I say nipping her neck with my teeth. “No more talking.”
“Got it, No talking,” she says.