He stomps through the kitchen to the living room and I follow him numbly.
“You’re leaving? Without talking this through?”
I wrap my arms around myself and hold on tight. I blink the tears from my eyes and clear my face because I’ll be fucking damned if I’ll give him the satisfaction of seeing me cry.
He doesn’t answer me or even look back at me as he shakes his head and leaves, slamming the door behind him, and I’m suddenly standing in my silent house alone.
What just happened?
I sink into the floor and look around with blind eyes. Did the man I love just reject me because I’m pregnant with his child?
The timer on the oven beeps, but I don’t move. I can’t get up off the floor. I hurt everywhere.
I don’t know how long I stay here on the floor. I can smell dinner burning in the oven, and I know I need to get up and turn it off, but part of me just doesn’t care. I’m not crying. I’m just . . . here.
Suddenly, my front door opens and Ty rushes in, chest heaving, eyes worried. Lo follows him, and while she makes a run for the kitchen, Ty kneels next to me and takes my face in his hands.
“Jilly? What’s going on? Are you hurt?”
I just stare at him. I frown and look up at the ceiling.
“Why is there smoke?” I whisper.
“Your smoke alarms are going off, Jill. What the fuck is going on?”
Lauren is suddenly at his side. “There was something in the oven. It’s off now, and I’m opening all the windows and doors to air it out.”
“No, you stay here and I’ll do that. Call for an ambulance.”
“No,” I say loudly. “I don’t need an ambulance.”
Ty and Lo exchange a worried glance just before he hurries through the house to open windows and doors, then comes back with two thick blankets.
“Here, sweetness, wrap up. It’s about to get cold in here.”
“Should we just take her home?” Lo asks and wraps the blanket around herself.
“Let’s give it ten minutes to air out, and then yes, we’ll take her with us.”
“I’m right here,” I whisper as Ty wraps me in the blanket. “I can hear you.”
“You’re on the fucking floor, catatonic, princess.” He lifts me into his arms and sits on the couch with me in his lap. “The last time I found you like this . . .”
He can’t finish the sentence, but I know exactly what he’s talking about. I look up into his face and the tears finally come. “Oh my God, Ty.”
I bury my face in his chest and cry. Not delicate, soft whimpers, but loud, keening cries. Desperate cries. Grief-stricken cries. I can’t catch my breath, but I can’t stop. Am I being dramatic? Maybe. I don’t know. The way Zack looked at me when I told him I’m pregnant is not how a man in love with a woman looks at her. I should be pissed. I should flip him the bird and call it a day, but I’m just so damn sad.
Ty is stroking my back softly and I hear them murmuring back and forth between them. Finally, he stands, sets me on the couch, and leaves, but Lo wraps her arm around me and coos soothingly at me, yet I don’t understand her words.
I just see Zack’s cold eyes in my head, and feel the way he pushed me away.
I didn’t do this on purpose! And I’m happy about the baby!
Why can’t he be?
I’m lifted into Ty’s arms again, placed in the backseat of my car, and I must doze off because the next thing I know, Ty has lifted me once more and he’s carrying me up some stairs and laying me on a bed.
“I’ll be back,” Lo says as Ty covers me up and sits at my hip, brushing my hair away from my face.
“Talk to me, princess. What happened? Should I call Zack?”
“No,” I whisper. “Zack isn’t speaking to me.”
His hand stills in my hair. “Why?”
I shake my head and clench my lips together, but the sob comes anyway. I can’t talk about it yet. I want to sleep.
Suddenly, someone is wiping my face with a cool, wet washcloth. It feels heavenly, and makes me even sleepier.
“Sleepy,” I whisper.
“Go to sleep, Jilly.” Ty kisses my forehead. I can hear the concern, the frustration in his voice, and I want to open my eyes and tell him everything, but I can’t.
All I can do is sleep.
There’s a cat lying on my back, purring, digging his claws into my shoulder in rhythmic little pushes. I roll to my side, pushing him off, and turn my head to open one eye, but it’s swollen shut and crusty. Jesus Christ, did I get punched in the face?
“Here’s a fresh washcloth.” Lo’s soft voice comes from beside me, and it all comes back again. The baby, Zack, Ty and Lo showing up at my place and bringing me home with them, and I feel the tears start again. “Oh, honey, don’t cry.”
She presses the washcloth against my forehead and brushes it over my eyes and cheeks. I take it from her and wipe my eyes clean, then struggle to open them. It’s dark outside now. My head is pounding with the biggest headache of my life and my mouth is dry.
“Can I have some water?” I ask.
“There’s a bottle right here, along with some Advil.”
“I can’t have Advil,” I reply as I sit up and sip the water.
“Really?” She asks with knowing eyes, but I don’t want to tell her. Not yet.
I shake my head and wince at the pain that comes with it. I lower myself back to the bed and take a long, deep breath.
“Downstairs making soup. He doesn’t know what to do with himself, so he thought he’d make you some soup for when you wake up.”
A few seconds later, Ty enters the room quietly, walks around to the other side of the bed, and sits on it cross-legged, watching me closely.
“Talk to me, princess.”
“I’m pregnant.” My voice is hollow.
“That’s awesome!” Lo exclaims and takes my hand in hers.
Ty holds my gaze in his, his face sober, and I feel tears gather again.
“Why were you at my house?”
“We came by to say hi. Brought dessert. We could hear your smoke alarm from the driveway.”
I nod and frown, glance down at my hands.
“He left me.”
I shrug one shoulder and wipe my eyes with the washcloth still in my hand. “I thought my cycles were off again.” I hiccup and Lo offers me more water. “I dealt with infertility issues for a long time.” I quickly fill Lo in on my history with my ex. “So I made an appointment with Hannah for today, thinking I just needed to get some meds and I’d be on track again.”