“Does it have something to do with what Thomas said?”
I leaned in to kiss him, sliding my hands around his backside. The bed was just behind him, and with one small push, Taylor was lying on his back on the mattress.
I crawled on top of him, and his hands found their way to my hips. He groaned as I sucked on his bottom lip, and his erection formed beneath me as I kissed him.
“Oh my God, this is all I thought about last week,” he said.
“You told me to think about not having kids this week, to really think about it, so I did.”
I lowered myself until my breasts were pressed against his warm chest. My mouth made a trail of kisses along his jawline to his earlobe, gently nibbling at the soft skin before pulling away with the slightest suction.
He moaned, grabbing my jaw with both hands, forcing my mouth back to his. I positioned myself over him, but he released me and grabbed my hips, holding me at bay.
I waited, trying to predict what he might say.
“I love you, too,” I said, bending down for another kiss.
He sat up, and at the same time, he pushed me so that I was sitting as far away from him as possible while still being on his lap. He swallowed.
“Taylor, what the hell is going on?”
He blew out a controlled breath, his thoughts swimming in the pint of whiskey he’d consumed since dinner. “We should go to sleep.”
“Because I need to sleep this off. I shouldn’t have had so much to drink.”
Taylor rubbed the back of his neck. “I don’t … I don’t want you to leave me.”
I hugged him. “I’m right here. I’m not going anywhere.”
I shrugged, a bit amused. “Where else am I going to go?”
He touched my face with that look in his eyes, as if he were studying every curve, every line. He sighed, his eyes glossing over. “I didn’t know. I thought you … I thought we were … I was pissed at you. I just wanted to get my mind off of it for a night.”
“Last week. When I was in San Diego.”
I shrugged again. “So, you got drunk?”
The worry that had been in his eyes all day, the dread, even some of the things he’d said now made sense.
My lips parted as the truth set in.
“Baby, I swear to God, I didn’t know we were still together. That’s not an excuse because I shouldn’t have done it anyway.”
“What did you do?” I asked, scooting away from him and covering myself with the corner of the comforter. The question had two meanings.
“I went to some dive bar with Thomas. I was upset, and I got as fucking plastered as I could. Thomas left, and I stayed.”
“I … the bar was across the street from Thomas’s place. She came back with me.”
“So, he knows,” I said, rolling my eyes at my own words. “Of course he knows. He didn’t want you to tell me.”
Taylor’s mouth popped open, and then he moved toward me.
I hopped off the bed, yanking the comforter until Taylor stood and I could take it with me. “I admit that what I did was shitty. I have no excuse. It was an awful way to make sure you knew what you were getting into. But you …” I touched my forehead. “You said you were thinking about it. You were thinking about our future and whether you wanted to be with me despite the fact that I’m barren. And you go fuck someone? How exactly did that help your process?”
He stood up, slipped a pair of shorts on, and took a step toward me.
I held out my hand, palm out, and then pointed at him. “Don’t touch me.”
His shoulders sagged. “Please don’t hate me. I thought I was going to go nuts last week. I can’t go through that again, Falyn. I can’t fucking do it.” His voice broke.
I sat down on the bed, staring at nothing in front of me. “Well, I can’t either. So, now what?”
He sat next to me. “You can’t what?”
“Do this.” I looked over at him. “I can’t stay with you now. It’s not fair for you to even ask.”
“You’re right. It’s not. But I don’t give a fuck. I can’t lose you again.”
“Thomas didn’t want you to tell me, but you did anyway. Why?”
“I was going to tell you. I had to before we—”
I made a disgusted face and then wiped away a tear that had escaped down my cheek.
“I’m an idiot. That was a stupid thing to do. I admit it. But I didn’t go to San Diego to cheat on you. Despite being a complete asshole and trying to distract myself with the first chick who showed me attention, I do love you.”
“You were trying to do the right thing. I didn’t understand at first, but you were right. It would have been hard for me to make a decision to essentially break up with you if I decided I wanted kids.”
I stood up, and he startled.
“What are you doing?” he said, panic in his voice.
“Getting dressed. I think it’s safe to say the moment has passed.”
I left him for the bathroom, dragging the comforter along with me. I washed my face and brushed my teeth, thankful he hadn’t let me go down on him. He would have to get tested for STDs. Just when I’d thought the hard part was behind us, everything had become more complicated.
I dried my face with a towel, and then the tears came. As I cried silently into the lush cloth, everything he’d said and done since I arrived along with the drunk text all made sense. He’d practically admitted it to me then. He had made a huge mistake, but until now, he was the only one who had lost trust. I was just as capable of breaking his heart, and I didn’t need to sleep with someone else to do it.
I returned, wearing one of Taylor’s T-shirts as a nightgown, carrying the rolled up comforter in my arms. He was still sitting on the end of the bed, his head in his hands.
“I’m going to stay,” I said. “We have a lot to work out. But don’t make me feel like I need to console you. When you’re around me, you’re going to have to suck it up.”
He nodded and pushed himself back until he was at the head of the bed. He watched me fan out the blanket, and then I turned down the covers on my side of the bed.
“No,” I said simply, lying down and turning my back to him.
I couldn’t fall asleep. I heard every noise from his every breath and sigh and every movement he made. The air conditioner eventually kicked on as I stared at the cracks in the walls and then the ceiling. We had spent enough nights together that I knew he wasn’t asleep, too, just by the way he breathed, but we lay there, not speaking, not touching, both of us feeling tortured.