Falling into Us Read online

Page 28


“In…” Becca fumbled with my underwear, pushing at it until we got it off together. “I need…you. Ins-s-sss-side me. ”

  Page 79

 

  I slid against her, hovering above her, poised at her entrance. “I love you. ” I locked my eyes on her black gaze.

  “P-p-promise?” She caught my lower lip between her teeth and pulled it away. “For-for-forever?”

  “And then some. ” I slid into her tight wet heat as I spoke, and she gasped, her mouth wide in a silent scream.

  She held still, trembling, eyes searching mine, breath stopped in her lungs. “Again…I’m ab-about to come already…again. ”

  “Good. Let go, baby. ”

  She moved against me, lifting her hips to mine, fingernails clawing into my shoulders, scratching down my back to my ass and pulling me harder and harder into her. I resisted her efforts to speed my pace, slipping in slowly, withdrawing more slowly, moving softly, each motion, each gentle thrust a declaration of love.

  Our eyes never wavered from each other’s.

  She wrapped her legs around my waist and moved frantically against me, finally breaking gazes to bury her face in my shoulder as she shattered beneath me. She wept as she came, thrusting against me and sobbing, smiling through her tears—her first smile in days—pulling at me and clutching me and chanting my name without stuttering.

  Limp beneath me, Becca sniffed and caressed my face with the back of her fingers. “Your turn. ”

  I let go then. She matched me thrust for thrust, clinging to my neck and letting our hips crash together, our flesh slapping, our mouths bumping in clumsy, panting kisses. I fell over the edge helplessly, and she came with me. I unleashed inside her, gush after gush filling her, and then I let my weight go against hers; I knew she liked that, after.

  We drifted, and her fingers feathered in my hair.

  “I love you, Jason. ” She whispered it softly into the silence, sounding more like my Becca from before the events of that April day.

  * * *

  Becca

  Jason’s weight pressed wonderfully against me, kept me grounded in the present. His breathing began to shift, and we rolled together in a familiar habit. He tucked me into the nook of his arm, his warm flesh and hard muscle perfectly caging me.

  I was, for the first time in weeks, feeling lucid and something like okay.

  And that’s when it hit me: I hadn’t taken my birth control since April ninth, the day I found Ben.

  SIXTEEN: Secrets & Revelations

  Becca

  September

  I was pregnant. I knew I was. I hadn’t taken a test or seen a doctor, but I knew. I was seven weeks late for my period, my br**sts were tender, and I’d been sick in the mornings. Jason had been giving me odd looks when I’d rush to the bathroom, but I didn’t think he knew, or even really suspected.

  I had panic attacks every day. In private, in the bathroom at school, in the tutoring center between students, silently shaking and unable to breathe.

  Pregnant?

  Like, with a baby? A little human? No. No.

  I didn’t know how to do that.

  What if Jason couldn’t handle it, handle me being pregnant? What if he left me? I was still in therapy over Ben’s death…his suicide. I was better about that every day, less fragile. I’d stopped needing escape, started talking more. I still stuttered when I spoke, which drove me nuts. I was back to high school, basically, back to before Jason.

  He was on fire on the football field. I went to every game and sat on the sidelines with the other players’ girlfriends, cheering on the boys in blue and yellow. The pro scouts were sniffing around him, primarily New Orleans and Dallas. I’d seen the same scout from New Orleans at every game Jason played, and he and Jason had spoken a few times. I knew Jason was geeked at the prospect of playing with Drew Brees more than any other QB in the NFL.

  I had to tell him. I had to. But first I had to be sure. After my last class, I bought four different kind of pee tests, took them home, and sat on the toilet, staring at the first one. Finally, I sucked in a deep breath, lowered my pants and peed on the end, set the test aside, and washed my hands.

  I stared in the mirror at my pale reflection, waiting. I picked up the test and stared at the box.

  Pleaseletmenotbepregnant…pleaseletmenotbepregnant…

  Blue cross: pregnant.

  Shit. Fuck. Shit.

  I felt my lungs contracting and expanding rapidly, sucking in air and expelling it far too quickly. I was hyperventilating. I smacked clumsily at the toilet lid, knocking it down so I could slump onto it, ducking my head between my knees. Slowly, after long minutes of forced deep breathing, I managed to calm myself down.

  Then my phone rang. “Hello?” I still sounded out of breath.

  “Hi, Becca? This is Rachel Hawthorne. ”

  “Hi, Mrs. …I mean, Rachel. How are you?” I tried not to panic, but I didn’t see why she would call me if it wasn’t bad news.

  “I’m okay. Has Nell called you recently?”

  My heart rate and breathing ratcheted into hyperventilation territory all over again. “N-no. I haven’t heard from her in months. I called her, but it went to voicemail and she never got ba-back to me. ” I tried a deep breath but couldn’t make it slow down. “Why? What’s…what’s going on?”

  “Well, she came back suddenly. She showed up this morning without warning. She’s…I don’t know, Becca. I’m worried about her, but she says she’s okay. I was wondering if you could come down and talk to her. See if you can get her to tell you what’s going on. ”

  “What do y-you th-think is wrong?”

  “I’m not sure, honestly,” Rachel said. “I just…she wouldn’t just come back out of the blue like this for no reason. ”

  “I have a couple big tests tom-mmm-morrow morning,” I said, “but I c-c-can head down and s-s-see her afterward, okay?”

  “Okay, that sounds good, thanks, Becca. ”

  “Let me know if any-th-thing comes uh-uh-up?”

  “I will. I’ll see you tomorrow, then. ”

  “Okay, ’bye, Rachel. ” I hung up and set the phone aside, worried about Nell now.

  And pregnant.

  I hid the extra tests, not ready for Jason to see them, and then threw the used one away, burying it in the kitchen trash and covering it. Then, driven by a sudden rush of hope that the first one had been wrong, I dug them back out and took a second test, washed my hands, and waited.

  Two pink lines: pregnant.

  Third test…pregnant.

  Fourth test…pregnant.

  I threw them all away and then took the bag to the dumpster. Intellectually, I knew Jason wouldn’t leave me, especially if I was pregnant. But…knowing in my head wasn’t the same as knowing in my heart. Fear was fear, and fear had me paralyzed, unable to tell him.

  Page 80

 

  I half-heartedly attempted to study until Jason came home from work. He walked in wearing khaki cut-off shorts, battered and grass-stained Timberland boots, and a neon-green Bob’s Quality Landscaping and Snow Removal T-shirt with the sleeves cut off. He had a blue U of M ball cap on backward, with his jersey number stitched in yellow thread on the back, and his earbuds trailed down the front of his shirt where he’d strung them underneath to his shorts pocket. He stank of grass, sweat, gasoline, and oil, and he was filthy from head to toe. He had dirt smudged on his forehead and right cheek, his hands were nearly black with dirt and grease and bits of grass, and his shirt was sopping wet with sweat. He was gloriously sexy.

  The euphoria of seeing my man all nasty from a day of hard work only lasted a moment, and the weight of reality set in.

  Jason must’ve seen the crash on my features. “Hey, baby. What’s up?”

  I went for the easy answer. “Nell came home s-ssss-suddenly. Rachel is worried about her. ”

  Jason frowned. “That’s all she