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.

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