Thursday, June 14, 2012

Chapter 15-The Carter II

"Oh my God," Holly screamed as another contraction washed over her. "Get me a fucking epidural."

"Calm down," Jeff said rubbing her stomach gently.

"CALM DOWN," she screamed. "I will not calm down. YOU did this to me."

"Holly, please calm down," Dr. Hopkins said. "Your blood pressure is rising and the baby's heartbeat is going too fast. Calm down."

Jeff swallowed the lump that was in his throat as Holly took deep breaths to calm down. "Calm down, Holly,” he whispered in her ear as she gripped his hand tighter.

“I am asshole,” she growled through gritted teeth.

Dr. Hopkins left the room to grab the nurse so they could give the shot to Holly.

Holly looked at Jeff as he sat down on the chair next to her bed and ran his hands through her hair, “I know you hate me right now because you are in pain but this is almost over, just please calm down so you don’t hurt yourself or the baby,” Jeff said as Holly nodded her head slowly before closing her eyes.

Jeff rubbed her stomach gently and watched the TV that was playing the local news. “Jeff Carter will miss tonight’s game against the Rangers while he and his girlfriend await the arrival of their baby. We wish the best of luck to the both of them.”

“How many times have you told the media that we weren’t together,” Holly asked.

“I gave up on trying since they always twist the story around anyways, you know how that is. I’m the orange douche bag who doesn’t know how to respect women and has apparently banged half of the city.”

Holly laughed before pointing to her stomach, “You are a douche bag who has banged half of the city but only got your roommate pregnant, as long as we know.”

“Fuck you,” Jeff joked as Holly laughed before gripping his hand tighter. “Breathe,” he whispered. “Just take a deep breath.”

Holly inhaled then exhaled as Jeff continued rubbing her stomach with his free hand, “I just want this kid out of me.”

“It’ll be over before you know it, just calm yourself down before something happens to the both of you,” Jeff whispered kissing her knuckles. “Everything is going to be ok.”

Dr. Hopkins entered the room with a nurse and sat Holly up on the bed. Jeff held her close to him as the doctor pressed the needle to her spine. Jeff closed his eyes out of fear he would pass out. Dr. Hopkins checked Holly over once again before he made his way out of the room. Holly closed her eyes and fell asleep for a short time before Jeff too fell asleep.

Dr. Hopkins came in a short time later and checked Holly again, “You’re about seven centimeters now,” he said as he looked up at the monitor. “Your baby is fine and your blood pressure has gone back to normal. Just keep taking deep breaths and small sips of water. It shouldn’t be long now.”

“I’m going to go let my parents know,” Jeff said standing up from the chair. “I’ll send Lauren in.”

“Ok,” Holly smiled slightly as Jeff kissed her forehead before leaving the room.

Jeff walked down the hallway to the waiting room and everyone turned to look at him.

“Any news,” Mike asked as Jeff rubbed the back of his neck.

“She’s seven centimeters now; the doctor said it won’t be long now. Have Jane and Tom came yet?”

“They’re upstairs getting something to eat,” Lauren replied. “Why don’t you go get something to eat, if anything changes, I will call you?”

“Ok,” Jeff smiled, “I’ll be back.”

Jeff headed towards the elevators and hit the 11th floor. He had become familiar with what floor the cafeteria was on because both he and Mike would bring Holly and Lauren lunch sometimes when they were working. Jeff smiled at the couple who were getting on the elevator that was going down. They were oohing and awing over their newborn. Jeff was envious of the man as he kissed his wife on the lips as they entered the elevator.

He wanted that with Holly more than anything but he didn’t know if she felt the same way. They’re relationship was messed up and they knew it but that didn’t stop them from ending it.

Jeff entered the cafeteria and made a beeline for the coffee machines. He had been up ever since Holly called him at five am letting him know that she started having contractions.

“Hey,” Tom Petersen greeted Jeff as he spotted him in the line for the cashier. “How’s she doing?”

“She’s seven centimeters now,” Jeff replied. “It shouldn’t be long now. Where’s Jane?”

“She went back downstairs,” Tom said.

Jeff told the cashier to add Tom’s food on to his and they fell into a conversation. “I’m sorry,” Tom suddenly said. “I know both Jane and I haven’t been the nicest people but Holly has always been our rebel child. We just want what’s best for her and we got off to a bad start. Jane isn’t as forgiving as I am but I am proud of you for stepping up and being there for Holly. This baby will change your life in more ways than one.”

Jeff shook his hand and they headed towards the elevators. Jeff went back to the room and Lauren wished them both luck before she left.

“Can I have a bite,” Holly asked Jeff as he unwrapped the chicken caesar wrap from the cafeteria. Jeff stood up and brought it to Holly’s mouth and she took a bite. “I’m so hungry.”

“We’ll get you something as soon as the baby comes,” Jeff replied, “I promise.” He pulled a napkin from his back pocket and wiped her face before he sat down next to her and finished his lunch. Holly was eating the ice chips that the doctor gave her since she couldn’t have fluids when Dr. Hopkins entered the room again.

“You’re ready to start pushing,” he smiled. “I’m going to go get prepped. Mr. Carter come with me.”

“I’ll be back,” Jeff said as he followed the doctor out of the room.

Jeff put scrubs on as the doctor washed his hands and they headed back into the room. Holly was now sitting up and Jeff took his place next to her whispering words of encouragement.

“On the count of ten, we are going to start pushing,” Dr. Hopkins said. “Are you ready?”

“No,” Holly screamed causing Jeff to laugh but her grip on his hand strengthened. “It’s not fucking funny, asshole.”

“Alrighty then, let’s get started, shall we? Mr. Carter, count for me.”

“1, 2, 3, 4, 5,” he started as Holly let out a scream.

“You’re doing great,” Dr. Hopkins said, “Keep pushing.”

“Come on Holly,” Jeff said, “You can do it.”

“THEN YOU FUCKING HAVE THIS BABY,” she shouted as she squeezed his hand and he bent over.

“What the fuck Holly,” he said. “I fucking need my hands to play hockey.”

“Fuck you and hockey,” she shouted as she pushed again.

“Push, push, push, push,” the nurse said. “Good.”

“You’re doing great Holly, he’s almost here,” Jeff whispered as he ran his hand through her sweaty forehead. “Just keep doing what you’re doing. Are you ready?”

“1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,” Dr. Hopkins said taking over the counting for Jeff. “We’re almost there one big one.”

Holly screamed as she pushed as hard as she could and the cries of a newborn baby filled the air. Holly threw her head back and Jeff cried as he saw his newborn baby for the first time.

“It’s a girl,” Dr. Hopkins said as he handed Jeff the scissors to cut the umbilical cord.

“Wait…,” Jeff asked. “What do you mean it’s a girl?”

“It’s a girl,” Dr. Hopkins said again.

“You better check again, you told us it was a boy.”

“I’m afraid I was wrong Mr. Carter, it’s a healthy baby girl.”

“That’s not my kid,” Jeff said somewhat serious and somewhat joking.

“It’s a girl,” Holly questioned glaring at Jeff. “Are we having twins?”

“Nope, it’s only one baby,” Dr. Hopkins replied. “I know I may have told you it was a boy but not every sonogram is accurate. I’m sorry.”

“What are we going to do with a girl,” Jeff asked as he shook his head before cutting the cord. The nurse had his cell phone and took a picture.

“She weighs seven pounds, nine ounces. She’s twenty inches long,” the nurse said as she wrote it down on the chart before wrapping the baby up in a blanket.

Jeff looked on amazed that the son they were expecting was a healthy baby girl. The nurse placed the baby in Holly’s arms and Jeff ran his finger over the baby’s cheek.

“She’s beautiful,” Holly whispered with tears in her eyes.

“She gets it from you,” Jeff replied as he wiped the tears away from his own eyes. Holly smiled as Dr. Hopkins congratulated them one last time and left the room. The nurse took the baby from Holly and placed her in the incubator.

“We’re going to take her and get her all cleaned up for you. We’ll be right back,” she smiled as she wheeled the nameless baby down the hall.

“I’m going to ask if I can get cleaned up myself,” Holly said to Jeff. “Why don’t you go tell everyone?”

“Ok,” Jeff said standing up. “I’ll be right back.”

Jeff walked down the hall towards the waiting room once again and this time everyone was sitting there, “How is she,” Jane asked.

“Holly’s fine,” Jeff replied.

“How’s the baby,” Mike asked.

“She’s fine too.”

“Wait…she,” Lauren asked.

“Yeah,” Jeff smiled.

“Oh my God,” Sue Carter said standing up to hug her son.

“It’s a girl,” her and Lauren said in unison causing Jeff to laugh.

“I have a niece,” Christine asked her brother.

“You have a very healthy niece; seven pounds, nine ounces, and twenty inches long.”

“Congratulations son,” Jim Carter said. “We’re proud of you.”

“Holly was getting cleaned up but you guys are all finally allowed back,” Jeff said as both he and Holly’s families along with Mike and Lauren followed him towards Holly’s room.

Holly was holding the baby and she smiled when everyone entered. Jeff lingered behind them as he saw them going crazy over the little bundle of joy. Jeff texted Holly’s sister who was now living in New York and told her that they had a girl. She was beyond excited and told Jeff that she would mail them some clothes first thing in the morning.

“Well, it looks like I got to take this “It’s a boy” teddy bear back down to the gift shop and exchange it for one that says ‘It’s a girl,’” Mike said as he quietly excused himself away from all the madness in the small hospital room.

After everyone had left, Holly fell asleep and Jeff stayed up holding the baby. Jeff placed his index finger into the hand of his baby girl and she squeezed as hard as she could. He had been wracking his brain to find a name for her and he came up with the perfect one, he just hoped Holly would like it.

Jeff was rocking the baby in the recliner that had been placed in Holly’s bed and he was slowly falling asleep himself.

“Jeff,” Holly whispered slowly sitting up in the bed. “Why are you still awake?”

“I was thinking of a name for her and I came up with one. I think it’s the perfect name for the perfect baby.”

“What is it?”

Jeff looked down at the baby before glancing over at Holly, “Olivia Christine,” he said. “I don’t know where the Olivia came from but the Christine is after my sister.”

“I love it,” Holly said.

“Really,” Jeff asked. “We don’t have to name her that. You won’t hurt my feelings.”

“Jeff, no,” Holly replied. “I really love it.”

Olivia Christine Carter entered the world on November 13, 2007 at 5:45pm weighing seven pounds, nine ounces. She was twenty inches long with all ten fingers and all ten toes.

“Bring her here,” Holly said as Jeff crossed the room and laid his daughter in her mother’s waiting arms.

Holly looked up and Jeff smiled as their faces were inches from each other. Holly closed the space and gently placed her lips on Jeff’s. Jeff was shocked but cupped her cheek in his hand and kissed her back. Olivia began crying in her mother’s arms breaking them out of their trance.

Jeff smiled as he kissed Holly once more before going to get a nurse so Olivia could be fed. Holly watched him leave and she smiled knowing she had caught Jeff off guard. She had never kissed him just for the hell of it but she was so overcome with emotion when she saw the love for their daughter in his eyes that she just did it.

Jeff stood outside of the door and smiled to himself before he walked down the hall. Holly was slowly coming around now it was time for him to do something about it. Everything was falling into place. He had the perfect life complete with the perfect baby, all he needed was the perfect woman and Holly was that perfect woman.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Chapter 14-Wine After Whiskey

"Jeff, answer you're fucking phone," Lauren shouted frantically as the EMTs loaded Holly into the ambulance. "Stay with us, Holly. Don't close your eyes," she said holding her best friend's hand.

"Where's Jeff," Holly asked out of it from the loss of blood.

Lauren watched as the EMT hooked Holly up to an IV bag. "Not too much, she's pregnant. Too much can kill the baby," Lauren said as she bossed the EMTs around.

"He's on his way," Lauren lied not wanting to worry her friend. The EMT shot a needle into the IV line and Holly went to sleep. Lauren was both relieved and worried. Relieved that Holly was knocked out but worried that she will not wake up.

Lauren watched the heart monitor to make sure nothing changed. With all things considered, Holly's vital signs were fine.

Lauren's phone ringing broke her out of her trance and she sighed in relief answering it.

"Did you call," Jeff asked.

"You need to get to the hospital right now."

“What’s wrong? Is Holly ok,” Jeff asked frantically.

“She started bleeding; she’s passed out in the ambulance right now. We’re on our way to the hospital right now.”

“WHAT,” Jeff screamed. “What happened?”

“She was cooking dinner and started bleeding. She passed out and I called the ambulance.”

“What about the baby?”

“I’m not sure about the baby, just get to the hospital.”

“I’ll be right there,” Jeff said.

Holly was immediately rushed back to the trauma unit when they arrived at the hospital. Lauren was forced to sit in the waiting room as the doctors worked to figure out what was wrong. Jeff ran through the doors and sat down next to Lauren.

“Where is she,” he asked as Lauren hugged him.

“She’s back there with the doctors. They said they will come out here when they know something.”

Jeff and Lauren sat in the waiting room when Mike arrived. “How is she,” he asked as he sat down on the other side of Lauren.

“She’s been back there almost twenty minutes,” Lauren said. “They won’t tell us anything.”

Just then the doors opened and a doctor walked out towards them. “Lauren, hi how are you,” the tall blonde haired man said, “Are you all here for Holly?”

“I’m her boyfriend,” Jeff said shocking not only himself but Mike and Lauren as well.

“I’m Dr. Northman,” he said shaking Jeff, Holly, and Mike’s hand. “Holly lost a lot of blood.”

“Is she ok,” Jeff asked.

“She’s fine. The fetus is ok as well. It’s stress that caused it, her membrane broke and that’s what caused her to bleed. She is going to be here for the rest of her pregnancy.”

Jeff sighed in relief, “When can we see her?”

“I sedated her for her own benefit. She’ll be out for the next twenty-four hours. You guys can go to the fifth floor, room 501.”

“Thank you Paul,” Lauren smiled as they headed towards the elevators. “Jeff, you can go see her. Mike and I are going to get some lunch. Do you want anything?”

“No, thank you,” Jeff smiled getting off of the elevator. “Where do I go?”

“To the right, she’ll be the first room on the left.”

Jeff smiled, “Thank you.”

Jeff walked down the hall slowly. It was the first time in almost a month that he was seeing Holly and she wasn’t even awake so he could apologize.

“Holly,” he whispered pulling the chair over to the bed before grabbing her hand. He kissed her lips lightly and ran his free hand over her stomach. “I know that I haven’t done anything that has made you happy, all I have done is disappoint you. I know you can hear me, I am so sorry for everything. I want this baby more than anything in the world. I can’t lose either one of you.”

Jeff smiled at the nurse that came in to check Holly’s IVs. “I’m Patricia,” she smiled, “You must be Jeff.”

Jeff smiled before sticking his hand out. “Nice to meet you,” he smiled.

“I used to work with her all of the time before I changed floors a couple of months ago. I’ve heard wonderful things about you.”

Jeff could have swore he felt Holly’s hand squeeze his. Jeff smiled at the older woman, “I heard great things about you as well."

"Her vitals are fine, the baby's heartbeat is normal, and her blood pressure is stable."

"She scared me," Jeff said running his fingers through Holly's hair.

"She scared a lot of us but she is going to be fine. Your baby is going to be fine too."

"I'm going to go get something to eat," Jeff said, "Will she be ok?"

"She'll be fine, take your time."

Jeff stood up from the chair and pressed a kiss to Holly's forehead, "I'll be right back," he whispered in her ear before he walked out of the room.

Jeff went to the gift shop in the lobby of the hospital and purchased a pre-made turkey sandwich along with flowers for Holly. He went back up to her room and put the flowers on the stand next to her bed.

He ate in silence while watching the TV in her room. He had just gotten off of the phone with her ever pleasant mother who hated his guts. She was out of town on a church field trip and Jeff laughed as he hung up the phone.

"Your mom is a psycho," Jeff said out loud. If Holly would have been awake, she would have agreed with him then told stories about when she was little.

Patricia came back into the room and smiled at him as he tried to sleep in the chair. "You can lay next to her if you want to," she said. "Just watch her IVs."

Jeff nodded his head as he stood up from the chair, "Thank you."

"It's no problem, sweetie. I'll get you a pillow and a blanket."

Jeff looked at the clock on the wall noticing it was going on seven o'clock at night. Lauren and Mike had sent him a text telling him they'd be back first thing in the morning. Lauren needed sleep after the day she had and Jeff didn't blame her for wanting to rest.

Patricia returned with a pillow and a blanket for Jeff, "I'll be in every so often checking things but I'll be as quiet as I can."

Jeff smiled, "Thank you for everything."

"It's no problem, dear. I'm just doing my job but she deserves the best."

Jeff nodded his head in agreement, "She definitely does."

Jeff sat down gently on the bed. He kicked his shoes off and curled into Holly's back. "Goodnight," he whispered. "I love you."

He kissed her below her ear and wrapped his arm around her before falling asleep. It was the best sleep that he had gotten in a month after their fight that sent her to Lauren's house.

There had been no other women for Jeff in that month. He had given up going out in return for the time he had spent painting the nursery. It was pale yellow with a Noah's Ark decal on the wall. Jeff had spent hours working on it. The crib was put together with Mike's help and the car seat was fastened securely in the back of his car. There was a bassinette in his room for nights that Holly needed a break and the diapers and the three outfits Jeff had bought were in the drawers. Everything was ready to go for when the baby arrived.

Jeff woke up the next morning to something poking him in the chest. He grumbled as he pulled Holly closer, "You're going to squeeze the baby right out of me," she said laughing as he quickly pulled away.

"Oh my God," he said standing up. "You're awake."

Holly turned to look at him, "I'm fine. I was so scared yesterday."

"I was too," he replied as she motioned for him to climb in bed again with her. She held her arms out to him and he hugged her, "I thought I was going to lose you and the baby."

Holly closed her eyes and pulled herself closer to him, "You don't disappoint me, Jeff and you have done things that make me happy."

Jeff froze, "You heard that last night?"

Holly looked up at him, "I was sedated not unconscious."

Jeff smiled, "You hate me."

"I don't hate you, I never could."

"I bought that house," Jeff said tracing circles on her arm, "It's your dream house and I can't wait for you to see it."

"You what?"

"I bought the house I was going to look at when you left. It's the house that you have always wanted. I had it decorated like the picture in the magazine that you had and they are finishing it up. The baby's room is complete and yours is filled with boxes of the stuff that you had left. Mike and Lauren bought the townhouse, so I guess the only thing I'm asking is if you'll move in with me...again?"

Holly laughed, "Of course."

Jeff kissed her cheek, "I'm sorry for bringing that girl home."

"I'm sorry for blowing up the way I did. You're right, we're not together and I had no right being mad."

"I can't say I blame you though," Jeff said as Lauren and Mike walked through the door.

"You two ok," Mike asked.

"We're great," Jeff replied.

"Does this mean you two are together," Lauren asked.

"No," Holly said. "Just back to where we were before."

Mike looked at Jeff sympathetically and Jeff sighed. He still had a lot to prove and a lot to do to make Holly his once and for all.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Chapter 13-The Carter I

“Come on Holly, just pick a name,” Jeff said as he laid down a name book on the table, “We’ve been trying to decide for a week and we still have nothing.”

Holly rolled her eyes, “It’s a difficult decision, our baby will live with this name for the rest of his life.”

“What’s wrong with Easton?”

Holly scoffed, “We are not naming our son after hockey equipment. You’re sponsored by Bauer anyways.”

Jeff smirked, “You’re starting to watch the games, aren’t you?”

“Your sticks hang around the house all of the time and your bag makes the basement smell like ass.”

Jeff laughed before rubbing her stomach feeling the baby kick, “See even he doesn’t want to be named after hockey equipment!”

“Mommy’s a bitch,” Jeff smirked before turning to Holly, “I have to head over to the arena, I’ll give you a call afterwards.”

“I’ll probably be up; I’ll text you if I’m going to bed.”

Jeff placed a kiss on her cheek, “I’ll score a hat trick tonight, two for you and one for Easton.”

Holly growled causing Jeff to laugh as he walked out of their house that was going to be too small once the baby once.

They went back to Philly for a charity game that Jeff and Mike were participating in. It was almost September which game them almost a month to spend together before hockey got in the way. Holly was now six months pregnant and was home as much as she could because she didn’t want to stress herself out.

Holly looked through the name books again and was on the Ds when the name Declan stood out to her. Declan was a Gaelic name meaning “full of goodness.” The name would also satisfy Holly’s mother because it was the name of a saint.

Holly smiled as she wrote the name down on paper and added Michael as a middle name. Holly texted Jeff the name and he responded that the loved it and it was settled that Declan Michael Carter was going to be the name of their son.

Holly was turning the channels of the TV looking for something to watch then she found A Baby Story on TLC. Holly rested the remote on her stomach as she watched intently. The doorbell rang causing her to groan as she turned the TV off before walking down the stairs towards the hallway to answer the door.

“What the fuck are you doing here,” she asked as Riley stepped into the house, “Jeff and I are finally getting along, my son is healthy, and I’m 30 seconds away from beating the shit out of you for that little stunt you pulled with the request for a DNA test.”

“I was in town today and I figured I’d stop by and apologize.”

“Well your apology is not accepted, so kindly go fuck off.”

“So, Holly tells me that you and Jeff aren’t officially together yet. Kind of funny considering you’re pregnant and all, don’t you think?”

Holly laughed sarcastically, “Mind your own fucking business, Riley. You’re just pissed that I am not with your sorry ass anymore. I don’t love you anymore and quite frankly, I can’t stand to even look at you. You are nothing to me. Go back to your slutty ass wife and your cheating ways. I’m not girl anymore, I’m not the only one that I have to think about now, I’m going to be a mother soon and you are done upsetting me, have a nice life.”

Riley stood there completely silent, unsure of what to say. Holly had changed a lot and it was clear to him that she had meant what she said.

“You’re DONE manipulating me, if you were honest to everyone and weren’t so sadistic, maybe more people would like you. Get out of my house.”

Riley was at a loss for words as he turned on his heel and headed towards his car. He felt Holly’s eyes on him as he pulled out of the driveway. Holly was proud of herself for finally letting go and taking a stand to the one person that was always her weakness.

Holly couldn’t wait to tell Jeff about what had happened. They were still “friends” but Holly was beginning to want more, not only for herself but for her baby as well because he deserved both of his parents to be happy.

Holly went back to bed, putting all thoughts of Jeff and Riley aside as she drifted off to sleep.

Jeff returned home and saw Holly sound asleep in her room. Smiling to himself, he left her door open instead of closing it in case she needed him to run out for 2 a.m. cravings. Jeff sat down on his bed and began looking at the house listings that the real estate agent had sent him.

A four bedroom, two bathroom Tudor style home with a large front yard, that had a long driveway where his son could play hockey stood out to him the most. He could see his son running around the front yard, chasing a dog, as well as Jeff coming home from a road trip and his son running into his arms as he opened the car door.

Jeff laughed at the irony of the situation, he never saw himself as the type to settle down in the suburbs of New Jersey. He had always wanted the party life and bachelor lifestyle of Downtown Philly, but had he ever really lived the life that everyone thought he had lived?

Holly had lived with him for almost three years and he had only slept with one other person in that amount of time. The girl was his girlfriend but she dumped him when he refused to tell Holly to move out. Holly had also had a boyfriend, if you even wanted to call Riley that. Jeff suddenly became afraid of what the future held, was he really ready to settle down at 21 years old? Some people did, but not everyone that did it had gorgeous women throwing themselves at their feet all day, every day, 24/7, 365.

Sure, Jeff had thought about telling Holly that he loved her countless times but was he ready to love her fully? Jeff slammed the laptop shut before heading into the bathroom. Opening the door to his shower, he turned on the faucet before stepping under the spray after stripping off his jeans and t-shirt.

As Jeff showered, he tried to search for answers to all of his questions but came up empty. When Jeff was finished, he wrapped a towel around his waist before going into his room to call Scottie and Steve who were planning on going out that night.

Jeff knew what he was doing was wrong but he was never one to think about the consequences of his actions. Holly wasn’t his girlfriend, he was free to do what he wanted until the baby was born. Jeff walked into the bar and was greeted by Scottie yelling his name as soon as he walked closer to the small booth in the back with his beer where the two men already had women lining up.

Jeff smirked before sitting down at the table across from a pretty brunette who was eyeing him up from the moment he stepped closer to the table.

“What’s your name,” Jeff asked as he leaned closer to her while her two friends made out with Scottie and Steve.

“I’m Megan,” she smiled as Jeff wrapped his arm around her.

As the night wore on, Jeff lost count of how many drinks both he and Megan had consumed. The next thing Jeff knew, he found himself driving back to his house with Megan in the passenger seat. As soon as Jeff closed the door, Megan attached herself to his lips and they stumbled up the stairs to Jeff’s bedroom.

Jeff didn’t think twice about Holly in the room down the hall as he kicked his door shut and had meaningless sex with the girl that he brought home from the bar.

Holly woke up the next morning feeling better than she had the day before, she was ready to go down the stairs to the kitchen when Jeff’s bedroom door opened.

“Rough night,” Holly asked expecting to see Jeff following her but instead she felt the lump rise in her throat as she heard a gasp behind her.

“Oh shit,” the petite brunette said holding her shoes in her hand, “I was just leaving.”

Holly glared at her, “Look, I don’t know who you are but take this as friendly advice, do not and I mean do not ever come near him again. This baby that I’m carrying is his, you’re just another notch on his bedpost, the same as all the other women before you were. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.”

Megan looked at Holly with wide eyes before darting out of the house just as quickly as she had came in the night before. Holly walked back into her room and curled up on her bed letting her emotions get the best of her. She promised herself that she would never cry over another man but that man also happened to be the father of her unborn child.

Holly finally found the strength to get out of bed and took a shower before getting dressed. Holly grabbed her phone and sighed as she dialed the number she tried to forget but always found herself dialing when she was down.

“Hello,” the voice asked on the other end.

Holly was still upset and felt her voice cracking, “Can you come pick me up?”

“I thought you told me to stay out of your life,” the person replied.

“I really need to get out of this house,” she responded, “Jeff brought a whore home last night.”

The line went silent and Holly was ready to ask him if he was still there but a sudden outburst startled her, “I’ll fucking kill him. Hang tight, I’ll be there in twenty minutes.”

Holly hung up the phone and pushed into her flip flops before heading downstairs. Jeff was sitting at the dining room table reading a newspaper as he drank a sip of his orange juice, “Good morning,” he smiled as he placed the paper down on the table, standing up to give Holly a hug.

“Don’t touch me,” she snapped causing Jeff to stop dead in his tracks.

“Are you okay?”

Holly laughed, “Are you seriously asking me that question after you brought a whore home last night?”

Jeff sighed, “How did you know?”

“I saw the whore sneaking out of your room this morning. I was so stupid to ever allow myself to believe that maybe, just maybe you had changed.”

“I’m sorry,” Jeff said not knowing what else to say.

“Sorry doesn’t cut it anymore, especially when we’re going to be parents in three months. Whatever Jeff, I’m heading out.”

“Where are you going,” he asked, “We were supposed to go look at houses today.”

Holly laughed sarcastically once again, “There is no we, Jeff and by the looks of this morning there never will be. I’ll be finding my own apartment soon where I can live with the baby.”

“You’re moving out,” Jeff asked.

“I’m moving out without you, please respect that.”

“You’re going to let one mistake make your decision? I didn’t do anything wrong, Holly. We’re not together, we’re having a baby together. What and who I do isn’t any of your business.”

“You just need to shut up because you sound real stupid right about now,” Holly said as the doorbell rang, “I’ll be home whenever.”

“Where are you going?”

“What I do isn’t any of your business,” Holly replied turning Jeff’s own words against him, “I’m sure your slut would love to go look at houses with you.”

Jeff scowled as Holly walked towards the door, he heard a few hushed whispers before the door shut. Not bothering to see who it was, Jeff smacked the empty glass off the table, “FUCK,” he screamed slamming his fist down on the table causing the dishes to rattle.

Holly and Jeff hadn’t spoken for two weeks except if he asked a question about the baby or about Holly’s doctor’s appointment that she had not wanted him to go to with her. Jeff was in the middle of a scrimmage as Flyers training camp began when he took a hit from behind. Jeff laid on the ice for several seconds before looking up to see who hit him.

“Keep your head up, asshole,” Riley hissed as stood over Jeff. Ken Hitchcock blew the whistle as Jeff and Riley got into each other’s faces. Derian Hatcher and Mike skated over to hold them back.

“What the fuck,” Jeff snapped, “You could have broken my neck.”

“I’ll leave that to Holly,” Riley said, “You don’t fucking deserve her or that kid.”

“Let me the fuck go,” Jeff said to Mike as he lunged for Riley who had managed to shrug Derian off of him, “Don’t ever talk about my kid again.”

“I’d make a better father to it than you would,” Riley replied, “I wouldn’t have to fuck a random whore every night to make myself feel like a man. You need to man up and stop trying to run from your problems.”

“You’d just fuck Holly while your wife sits at home waiting for you. Stay away from Holly and my baby, I mean it,” Jeff spat, “Or so help me God, I’ll end your fucking career.”

“I’d like to see you try,” Riley replied grabbing his gloves and stick before skating away.

“Carter,” Ken Hitchcock called out, “You’re done for the day.”

Jeff went to argue but Mike stopped him, “Let it go,” he whispered, “Go home, get some rest, and try to talk to Holly.”

Jeff nodded his head as he skated off the ice and showered as quickly as he could before heading home. He knew he had a lot to figure out about his future but if he wanted Holly and his son to be a part of his future, he had a lot of growing up to do. Jeff also knew he had to find his own identity before he brought another person into the world but with two months to do it, he suddenly became even more afraid. He had nowhere to run and he knew he couldn’t hide from himself or Holly forever. It was time to be a man and face the music.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Chapter 12-So not the Drama

"Holly," Jeff called out as he walked through the door of his house on the beach in Sea Isle, New Jersey, "I'm back."

"I'm out here," she yelled and Jeff walked out to the patio where she was sitting, tanning her fair skin in the sun.

"I stopped and got you some food on the way here," he said, "I grabbed some pizza, ice cream, cookies, brownies, pretty much everything I know you crave."

Holly smiled as Jeff's hands travelled to her now four month’s pregnant stomach. Jeff thought Holly looked beautiful in the black and pink polka dotted maternity bathing suit that she was wearing.

Holly ran her nails through Jeff's scalp as he leaned down to kiss her stomach. He really surprised her since the drama at the hospital when they found out she was pregnant. He would always rub or kiss her belly and whisper to the baby. What surprised her most was how attentive he was to her, Holly and Lauren had been laid off from their jobs at the hospital and the Flyers season was over which meant her and Jeff had a lot of time together.

Even though she was capable of doing things herself, Jeff would help her get dressed or take a shower. He'd help her put her shoes on, and then tell her how beautiful she was. He was definitely changing and Holly liked the person he was becoming.

"Do you want to find out what we're having next week at the appointment," Holly asked as she dipped her pizza in the chocolate milk that Jeff bought.

Jeff scrunched his face in disgust before smiling at Holly who was glaring at him, "Yeah," he replied, "I got a bet going with Mike. He thinks it's a girl but I know it's a boy."

"I don't care either way as long as it's healthy," Holly said chugging down the milk before ripping the lid off the chocolate ice cream.

Jeff laughed as she ate the ice cream from the carton, "Want some," Holly asked holding the spoon out to him. Jeff smiled and took the bite from the spoon.

"Can I tell you something without you getting mad," Jeff asked.

Holly didn't know what to expect and didn't give a response as Jeff sighed, "Riley wants a paternity test done. He thinks the baby is his. Well, Holly does anyway."

Holly rolled her eyes and laughed sarcastically, "You're kidding me, right? That bitch is trying to get me to miscarry."

"I wish that I was, but I'm not. They have those fluid tests, with the one, you can miscarry but the other one is safe. They stick a needle in your vagina and use an ultrasound to test the cells that had produced the egg."

"You really have a way with words, but if it will get them to leave us alone then yeah, we'll get it done."

"I'm sorry if I upset you," Jeff said eating another bite of ice cream from Holly's spoon.

"I want to go swim." she said changing the subject, "I haven't been down there yet today."

"We’ll go down later. I was going to take a nap for a little bit. I’m tired from driving all morning.”

Holly looked at the clock that read it was noon, Jeff had been driving since 8 am, “I’ll wake you up at 1, is that okay?”

“One sounds good; don’t go outside until we go down to the beach. It’s too hot outside and I don’t want you passing out. Bake the brownies that I got you.”

“Okay,” Holly smiled excitedly.

Jeff laughed as he kissed her quickly on the lips and walked into his bedroom. Holly began making the brownie mix and when they were done, she put them on the counter to cool before lying down on the couch. Jeff woke up a short while later and found Holly asleep.

Jeff took it upon himself to put the fudge icing on the brownies. Holly woke up and found Jeff in the kitchen and wiped a blob of fudge on his chest, “You are going to get it,” he said smiling as Holly laughed and took the spatula from his hands.

“You suck at this,” she said as Jeff wiped at his chest with a napkin.

Jeff smiled before going outside on the patio. Holly washed her hands and joined him on the deck, “I love it here,” she said, “It’s so peaceful.”

“It is,” Jeff agreed, “Ready to go swimming?”

Holly smiled as they made their way down to the sand, she was starting to get used to being by Jeff’s side.

The next week, Holly and Jeff found themselves back in Philadelphia for Holly’s doctor’s appointment. She was close to four and half months pregnant now and they would be able to find out the gender of the baby that she was carrying.

The doctor performed the paternity test first that Riley had asked for and took the sample that he collected from Holly’s stomach and Jeff to the lab so that they’d have it when they left. Holly sat on the table with Jeff by her side making her laugh by playing with the medical equipment. Jeff was caught when the doctor returned, blushing Jeff sat down in the chair and Holly laughed at his ears that were redder than his face.

The baby’s heartbeat filled the room as the doctor moved the ball over Holly’s stomach. Jeff stood next to her with his arms crossed over his chest, “There’s the head,” the doctor said as the baby’s face appeared on the screen.

Holly smiled as the baby sucked its thumb. The doctor moved the ultrasound lower and smiled, “Do you guys want to know what you’re having?”

Jeff smiled and Holly nodded looking at the screen, “Congratulations! It’s a boy!”

Jeff laughed before leaning down to kiss Holly on the lips, “It’s a boy,” he whispered and Holly’s eyes filled with tears.

“We’re having a boy,” she said, “Oh my God!”

“Everything looks good,” the doctor said, “Schedule an appointment for next month. We’ll get these pictures printed off and get the results of the test back then send you on your way.”

Holly and Jeff were in the room texting rapidly on their phones when the doctor returned with the results of the test.

“Congratulations Mr. Carter, you are having a baby boy,” he smiled handing Jeff the folder. Jeff opened it up and saw that his DNA matched 99.99%.

Jeff shook his hand before helping Holly up from the table. They walked to the car and Jeff couldn’t help the smile from spreading wider across his face. The test confirmed what he already knew and he looked forward to showing his son how to play hockey. Holly was happy it was a boy but deep down she still wanted a girl. Jeff drove back to Sea Isle where Mike and Lauren were waiting for them. He was so over the drama with Riley and was looking forward to the birth of his baby boy.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Chapter 11-Down with the Sickness

“Hey,” Jeff said walking into the room of the hospital that Holly was in.

“Hi,” she replied sitting up as he leaned down to give her a hug.

“Are you feeling better,” he asked as he took a seat in the chair next to her.

Holly passed out at work a couple of days prior and was now in the hospital getting IVs for being dehydrated from working for almost five days straight. Holly barely found time to eat and drink in between which landed her here in the hospital that she worked in day in and day out.

“I still can’t keep anything down. They’re still running tests to see what else is wrong. They think it may be my blood sugar too but I’m not sure.”

“You’ll be fine,” Jeff replied suddenly worried that Holly was sicker than he thought, “Are you hungry?”

“A little bit but I don’t know if anything will stay down.”

“I’ll go and get you some soup at Panera,” Jeff said standing up, “I’m kind of hungry too; take a nap until I get back.”

Holly smiled as Jeff kissed her forehead and left the room. Holly was almost asleep when Jennifer, the nurse who was on duty and one of her coworkers came in to change the bag on her IV.

"Your blood pressure is good, so are your vital signs," Jennifer said as she placed the stethoscope back around her neck, "You just need a couple days to rest and you'll be fine but we'll see when your bloodwork from this morning comes back from the lab."

"When can I go home?"

"Doctor Hopkins said that if your bloodwork comes out okay and your scan comes back good, you can be released late tonight or early tomorrow morning."

"I just want to go home."

Jennifer laughed before writing something down on Holly's chart, "If I lived with your roommate, I'd want to go home too."

Holly laughed as Jennifer left the room. Closing her eyes, she was almost asleep a short while later when Jeff came back. Gone was the suit that he wore earlier and in its place was jeans and a black hooded Eagles sweatshirt underneath. He had on glasses that Holly barely saw him wear and a hat that matched his shirt.

Holly knew it was so he didn't draw attention to himself, Jeff didn't look like himself and Holly thought it was a good thing as she rubbed her eyes to wake up.

"Sorry I took so long but the suit was on my nerves."

"Don't worry about it," Holly said as Jeff sat the bags down on the small table in the corner of the room.

"I got you Chicken soup and a toasted asiago cheese bagel, is that good?"

"That's fine; can you bring it over here?"

Jeff took the lid off of the soup and sat it on the tray in front of Holly. Jeff went back over to the table and sat down to eat his lunch.

Holly felt distanced from him and scooted over in her bed, "Jeff!"

"What," he asked placing the sandwich down on the table.

"Come here," Holly replied patting the spot next to her. Jeff smiled before picking up his sandwich and filling in the empty space next to Holly.

"Better," he asked.

"Mhm," Holly replied finishing her soup. Jeff smiled down at her as Holly leaned up and placed a gentle kiss on his lips which left him speechless, "Thank you," she whispered putting her arm around his waist nuzzling into his chest.

"Anytime," he replied kissing the top of her head as he wrapped his arm around her shoulder.

They were watching a re-run of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air when Dr. Hopkins knocked on the door.

"Holly," he said peeking his head in.

"Hi Dr. Hopkins, how are you?"

"I should be asking you that question," he joked as he stuck his hand out to Jeff, "Dr. Hopkins, it's nice to meet you."

"Jeff," he smiled, "It's nice to meet you too."

"Well Holly, do you want the good news or the bad news," Dr. Hopkins said.

Jeff sighed as Holly grabbed his hand as Dr. Hopkins sat down on the chair next to the bed with her chart in his hands.

"Just be straight with us," Jeff said, "What's the bad news?"

Dr. Hopkins laughed causing Jeff to get frustrated, “The bad news is, she’s in here for one more day for observation.”

“That’s not funny, Dr. Hopkins,” Holly said, “I thought you were going to tell me that I had cancer or something.”

“Now Holly, don’t be getting yourself all worked up,” Dr. Hopkins said, “It’s not healthy for you or your baby.”

“Baby,” Holly and Jeff said in unison, “WHAT?”

Dr. Hopkins laughed, “I guess this is a surprise for the two of you."

“Wait,” Holly asked confused, “What?”

“You’re nine weeks pregnant, that explains the vomiting in the morning and the passing out that landed you in here.”

“Oh my God,” Holly said as Jeff’s arms fell from around her waist.

“I take it that this baby was unplanned?”

“You can say that again,” Jeff said as Dr. Hopkins stood up to leave the room.

“I’ll give you two some privacy,” he said leaving both Jeff and Holly alone.

Jeff stood up from the bed, pacing back and forth on the carpet. Holly looked at him and didn’t know what to do. Neither one of them were expecting this to say the least, they weren’t even together and now they were having a baby.

“Be honest with me right now,” Jeff said stopping his pacing to look at Holly, “Is that baby mine?”

“Jeff, it’s the beginning of April, I slept with Riley and Mike in January, and of course this is your baby.”

“I need some air,” Jeff said stepping out of the room. Holly curled up into a ball and let the tears fall freely.

Jeff walked into the elevator and went outside where he sat on the bench with his head in his hands, “Jeff,” Mike’s voice said breaking him out of his thoughts, “Jeff, what’s wrong?”

Jeff wasn’t sure how long he sat there with his head in his hands trying to wrap his head around things, “Nothing, I’m fine! Holly’s fine, I fucking need to get out of here,” he replied standing up but was pushed back into his spot on the bench by Lauren who looked furious with him.

“What the fuck is your problem,” she whispered to him so that she didn’t draw attention to them.

“She’s fucking knocked up,” Jeff replied, “Can you deal with the fact that Mike may be the kid’s father?”

Lauren went to walk away when Mike grabbed her arm and kept her in place as Jeff explained himself, “How far along is she,” Mike asked suddenly feeling nauseous.

“Nine weeks,” Jeff replied.

Lauren laughed sarcastically, “You are such a fucking asshole,” she said to Jeff, “Everything went down in January, she’s come home to you every fucking night. You spend time with her like you two are together but in reality, you’re just using her for sex. Imagine that, Jeff Carter using someone for sex. That’s never happen before.”

“Lauren,” Mike said trying to calm her down, “You know what, I’m not going to stand around and watch you walk all over Holly like she’s another one of your whores. Don’t bother going back upstairs because you will just upset her even more.”

“Dickhead,” Lauren said knocking Jeff’s shoulder as her and Mike walked around Jeff and into the hospital.

Jeff walked to the garage and climbed into his car before he sped off towards the house that he shared with Holly. Sighing to himself, he sat down on the couch and called his mom to tell her everything.

“Jeff,” Sue Carter greeted her son, “What’s wrong?”

Jeff sighed again for what seemed like the millionth time that day, “I need to talk to you about something. I don’t know what to do and you are the only person I could think of to call.”

“What’s wrong, honey?”

“Holly’s pregnant.”

There was silence on the other end of the phone as both Jeff and his mother processed the information.

“Jeff,” she sighed, “That’s wonderful, who’s the father?”

It was clear to Jeff that his mom didn’t know about the relationship that both he and Holly shared, “Mom, it’s my baby.”

“Oh my God,” Sue Carter said excitedly, “I didn’t even know you two were together. JIM, GET IN HERE QUICK!”

“Mom, I don’t know what to do. I’m twenty-two years old and I’m expecting a kid when I’m still a kid myself.

“Jeff,” Jim Carter said picking up the other phone in the living room so that both he and his wife could talk to him, “What’s wrong?”

“Holly’s having a baby.”

“You’re both having a baby,” Sue corrected, “It’s not just her.”

“What the fuck am I supposed to do, mom?”

“Well, Jeff you should have thought about that when you couldn’t keep your dick in your pants and treated her like another one of your whores that we always hear you sleep around with,” Jim Carter said.

“She is another one of the whores I sleep with, she fucking dated Riley while he was married and she slept with Mike. So yeah, she is another whore.”

“JEFF,” his mother yelled, “Do not talk about her like that. I’ve heard the story with Riley, she didn’t know he was married until you told her after she fell head over heels in love with him. She slept with Mike three times and once was with you.”

“What,” Jim Carter said.

“How…how did you know about that,” Jeff asked clearly embarrassed that his mother knew about the threesome he and Mike had with Holly.

“Your sister tells me everything and I know both you and your sister tell each other everything.”

“Mom,” Jeff sighed, “I don’t know what to do.”

“Why are you talking to your mother and not Holly?”

“She’s in the hospital getting IVs for being dehydrated since the pregnancy caused her to throw everything up I guess and plus she’s being treated for exhaustion.”

“Let me guess, you questioned who the father of the kid is when you know it’s yours,” Jim Carter asked.

“Yeah,” Jeff admitted.

“You are an asshole,” Jim said, “Your mother and I didn’t raise you like that, now get your ass back to that hospital and apologize to her. Man up son, your baby needs its father to act like a man and not a pussy who is running away from his mistakes.”

“I got to go,” Jeff said, “I’ll call you guys tomorrow. Are you still coming down for the last game of the season?”

“Yeah, we’ll be there,” Sue Carter assured her son, “Jeff, please go talk to Holly.”

“I am mom, I love her.”

“We love you, son but please don’t be a dick about this situation.”

“Bye dad,” Jeff said hanging up the phone grabbing his keys as he headed back to the hospital.

Mike bumped into Lauren playfully as they walked down the hall towards Holly’s room. Lauren pushed him against the wall and walked down the hall quickly. They were almost to Holly’s room when Mike pushed Lauren against the wall and claimed her lips with his.

“Not here,” Lauren growled as Mike claimed her lips with his won again.

“Why not?”

“I work here that’s why and there are cameras everywhere.”

“Never stopped me before,” he smirked kissing her again when Jennifer cleared her throat behind them.

“Go make out at home,” she said, “Not here.”

“Well, do you have an extra room we can use for a little bit,” Mike smirked causing Lauren to elbow him in the stomach.

Jennifer rolled her eyes, “I’m sorry we don’t give rooms out just so you can get your rocks off.”

Lauren pushed Mike towards the direction of Holly’s room and mouthed an ‘I’m Sorry’ to Jennifer who smiled slightly.

Jeff arrived back at the hospital to find Mike and Lauren already gone, “Surprise surprise,” he said to himself as he entered Holly’s hospital room.

She was lying in bed with her back towards him and her breathing was even which meant she was sleeping. Jeff sat down on the chair that was facing her and took her hand in his running his thumb over her knuckles. He leaned forward and placed a kiss on her lips before brushing the hair out of her face.

Jeff glanced down at her stomach and placed his free hand there, never in a million years would he imagine he’d be in this position at twenty-two. Who was he kidding, there were people in the world that had children at fifteen and sixteen.

Jeff wasn’t sure when or how he fell asleep but when he woke up, his head was on his arms as he supported himself on Holly’s hospital bed. Holly was up eating her breakfast that they had brought her when she noticed he was asleep.

“I’m surprised you’re here.”

“Listen, we need to talk,” Jeff said, “I’m sorry I walked out on you yesterday, it was a lot to take in.”

“How do you think I feel,” she said, “It was a lot for me too. I could have used you here yesterday.”

“I’m sorry!”

“You can’t just walk out on this kid when its born,” Holly said, “Every time you get frustrated and can’t take it anymore, you just can’t walk out on this kid and pretend nothing happened. This is OUR baby, Jeff. It’s YOUR baby.”

“I know,” he replied putting his head down, “Look, I know now is not the time to tell you this but it’s been eating me up inside for so long and I always got interrupted when I’d try to tell you.”

“Don’t change the subject, Jeff. This is our problem, we let things go too easily. We need to work things out, say what you have to say when you figure this out.

Jeff sighed defeated knowing that him admitting his feelings for Holly were going to have to wait once again as they worked on wrapping their heads around the fact that they were going to be parents in six months and had one more life to worry about in this ‘relationship’ that they had going.

“Do you think Holly and Jeff will be okay,” Lauren asked as her and Mike sat on the couch of his apartment in Old City.

“I hope so,” Mike replied, “I think that they are both shocked. They both need time to wrap their heads around everything.”

Lauren snuggled closer into Mike’s chest as he leaned down and kissed her. Lauren pushed herself up never breaking the kiss and straddled Mike’s waist. Mike slid his hands up her shirt as he deepened the kiss. Lauren moaned as Mike squeezed her breast in his palm.

Lauren reached down and undid the zipper of Mike’s jean before reaching for the hem of his shirt, “Are you sure you want to do this,” he asked, “I don’t want to push you into anything.”

“I’ve never been more sure of anything,” Lauren said as Mike picked her up and carried her to his bedroom down the hall.

Mike placed her down gently on the bed before removing his pants completely. Lauren reached to pull her shirt over her head but Mike swatted her hands away, “I’m doing this,” he said seductively as he bit down on her neck causing her to shriek before he pulled the shirt over her head. Mike make one swift motion of pulling off her jeans and underwear before he reached into the nightstand for a condom. Mike entered her slowly and she whimpered encouraging him to continue.

Lauren dug her nails into his back as he bottomed out inside of her picking up his pace, “Fuck,” she screamed earning a moan from him as her walls clenched around him.

“You’re perfect,” Mike whispered into her ear as Lauren flipped them over so that she was on top. It was new to her doing this and she loved the feeling of Mike’s hard cock hitting her gspot as she was sent over the edge as she moved her hips up and down.

“Let’s not worry about Holly and Jeff when we have ourselves to worry about,” Mike said when he collapsed on top of Lauren after making her scream his name.

Jeff sighed as he got Mike’s voicemail once again. He needed to apologize for overreacting the day before but he knew Lauren probably had spent the night. Jeff looked at Holly who looked content sitting on the couch of their house after being locked up in the hospital for almost two days, she was under a blanket watching “The Young and the Restless.” Jeff sat down next to her and pulled her close, “We’ll get through this Holly, I promise.”

Holly nodded her head praying that Jeff would keep that promise and wouldn’t let her down like so many of the men in her life had let her down before. One unkept promise and she was finished with loving a man who had let her down countless times but would always be there to pick up the pieces.