It's been two weeks since my darkest secret was revealed at the charity event. When I heard Christian utter the one thing I asked him to keep private, I truly thought my world was going to crumble into a black hole.
However, once Christian told me he understood why I never told Ethan to begin with I felt something I never expected to feel.
My deepest, darkest secret was finally out in the open and it didn't end my life. It didn't end me. It did the opposite. It made me stronger in some strange way. I woke up the next morning with determination coursing through me.
I confronted Christian about the endless unnecessary drama and he opened up about something I never knew he felt - loneliness. I gave him the choice to leave or stay.
He chose to stay. It's weird to say, but it made our love so much stronger. Him finally understanding that Ethan is going to be here permanently felt like a huge step in our relationship. The past two weeks have been amazing for us.
I can't say the same for Ethan and I. I saw him briefly at his parents house when I picked up Will after our therapy sessions. He didn't speak to me and walked out of the room when I tried to explain. His mom said he just needed time to grasp what happened.
I thought his parents would hate me for what I did. While I always thought I was protecting Ethan and myself from any more pain by not telling anyone about the miscarriage when it happened, I realized I took away everyone else's opportunity to grieve the loss of a child or grandchild.
We can all thank Flynn for that revelation.
His mom and dad cried with me, while thanking me at the same time. They both claimed their first thought was the Ethan would have harmed himself during that time period. It was too much between the cheating and divorce. News of a miscarriage may have tipped him over the edge.
Christian sweetly held my hand on the way home as I tried my hardest to control the tears. He kept Will entertained when I struggled to speak. He's been amazingly supportive these last two weeks.
It's been touch and go with Ethan since then. I've scheduled two appointments with Flynn that I've invited him to join me. He's been a no show to both. We've texted a bit, of course about Will only, but it seems he is starting to get back to normal.
It's Friday and I have scheduled another appointment with Flynn. It's Ethan's weekend with Will, so I am hoping he will show up today.
I've been sitting inside Flynn's office for about ten minutes. I've caught him on the past week since I last saw him. I check my phone once more, hoping Ethan has responded to my text messages, but no such luck.
"Are you excited about your vacation? When and where are you going again?" Flynn questions generally interested in my life. Flynn has helped me through some of my darkest issue. Well, Carla, Ethan and baby Kavanagh. Without his help and gentle guidance, I don't think Christian and I would be where we are today. I definitely never thought I would be trying to get Ethan Kavanagh in a therapist office for a joint session after our divorce.
"We are going to the Bahamas in two months for two very long, relaxing weeks. Christian has arraigned for it to be just Will, me and him for the first half. Then our parents will join us for three days before they return with Will. Christian and I will be alone for-" the sound of the door opening stops me from babbling more about our much needed vacation.
"Ethan?" I question not believing my eyes. He gives me a tired smile before sitting on the couch next to me.
"Your assistant said it was okay to come in. Sorry if I interrupted something." He apologizes looking only at Flynn.
"Ana and I were catching up on everything since I saw her last week. I told Amy to send you on in if you arrived later so no worries." Flynn says in his friendly nonchalant tone while grabbing his pen and paper. It's silent for a moment before Flynn breaks the silence.
"Well, I think all of us know why we are here today. Ethan, if it's okay with you I would like you to let us in on how your feeling today." He scribbles a little then looks at Ethan.
"Today? Today I feel confused. When I found out, I felt blinding rage and somewhat unbelief. Then I felt like I was going to die because the pain was so intense." He says without making eye contact at me. It's quiet for a moment as he fidgets in his seat in attempt to get comfortable.
"If someone would have told me that Ana Steele could be the one to cause that pain I would have said they were lying. I thought seeing you with another man was going to end me, but this… this has been hell."
"Ethan, I'm so sorry that I didn't tell you when it happened. There was so much going on at the time when I found out. You were doing well and I thought-" I pause, slightly afraid to say aloud what I assumed would happen. Tears fill my eyes as I'm transported back to the day I found out. Thinking Ethan would kill himself was worse than the divorce. I began to have a reoccurring dream about him hurting himself. Every time he did it differently, every time I was always the one to find him.
"It's okay Ana. Continue when your ready." Flynn hands me a tissue and a comforting look. I glance over at Ethan and find his eyes staring back into mine. I know he knows what I'm about to say.
"I thought you would kill yourself. You had made threats before. Even if they were innocent, I thought that the miscarriage would send you over that cliff. I didn't want that. I was prepared to take that secret to the grave so you would never feel any pain." I dab my eyes with tissue as I try to control my breathing.
"Did the doctor say- you know, did they say what caused it?" He questions as he hold back his own tears.
"It was no ones fault. They pregnancy wouldn't have been successful no matter what. The doctor said it wasn't caused by stress." I watch as Ethan nods his head. He reaches forward and grabs a tissue from the coffee table. It's quiet as I wait for him to grasp what happened.
"I would have." He mumbles as he dabs his eyes. Flynn and I both look at him questioningly. He reaches over and grabs my hand without looking at me. I hesitate at first, but I know this isn't sexual on either side. I can feel him trying to hold onto something or anyone in fear he will drown if he doesn't.
"I'm embarrassed to say this, to even hear it coming out of my mouth is painful, but I truly think I would have killed myself if I knew back then. My days were incredibly dark after cheating and the divorce. I wasn't sure I was going to make it out alive from that. Thinking I caused my own child's death would have pushed me past no return." He says through heavy tears and I can't contain my own. We cry for the next several minutes, holding hands. We cry together for our child.
Flynn doesn't say anything. He only watches us, silently looking between us. Ethan clears his throat and grabs another tissue. He sits up a little straighter. I let go of his hand and grab another tissue for myself.
A question pops into my head and before I can stop myself I'm blurting it out through hiccups.
"Why did you show up today? I've invited you several times, but you showed up today. Why?" I ask curiously. It doesn't really matter why, but I would love to know what helped get him here. I watch as he rolls his eyes.
"Grey" He says, clearly annoyed. I look over to Flynn and he gives a small shake of the head.
"I don't understand. What does Christian have to do with you coming?" I ask sitting up straighter.
"He showed up at my work about 2 hours ago. Cornered me in my office." He narrows his eyes while looking at me. "I know you didn't ask him to, he made that very clear."
"No, I didn't." I frown, completely confused by this new information. Ethan sees my look of confusion and continues to explain.
"He reminded me that at the end of the day it was about Will. That this situation was bigger than my hurt feelings or your years worth of guilt. He said we needed to get past this bump in the road for Will so we can do our jobs as parents and providers for him." He explains then looks to Flynn.
"I can't stand the guy for obvious reasons, but he had a pretty good point. So, I told him I would reach out to you about scheduling another appointment. He didn't agree with that so I was brought here by his goons." He shoots me another pointed look, but I can see past the annoyance. He finds it amusing.
"He's in the suv outside, probably waiting for one of us to come out dragging each other by the hair." He throws his hands up in surrender.
"I would apologize for his behavior, but I'm not sorry. I'm glad you showed up even if you had some assistance getting here." I smile through my tears and it finally feels lighter in here. The room no longer holds this tense, gloomy feeling.
"Yeah yeah." He smiles as well while waving me off. "Look, I still need a little more time to grieve and wrap my head around everything, but I promise I won't shut you or Will out."
"Thank you Ethan. If you need to talk or want to cry together, I'm here." I offer and he nods his head.
"Also, I promise to work on accepting Grey into our lives." He says sadly. "He loves you and he loves Will too. It will take some time getting used to someone else being around, mostly more than me." I'm a little shocked by his admission of acceptance. I expected we would need another therapy session to address that alone.
"He doesn't want to take your place Ethan." I tell him honestly, praying he knows this. He playfully scoffs at my words.
"Oh, I know. There is no replacing me." We both smile at his statement.
"I think my work here is done." Flynn speaks up, looking amused. "Even though I didn't ethnically do much besides provide a place for you to speak openly, I'm still billing you the full price." He says with a wink while we all stand up. He reaches over to hug me.
"I'm proud of you." He whispers in my ear before pulling away. He then reaches over to shake Ethan's hand. "Ethan, it was nice to meet you."
"You as well." I watch as Ethan watches Flynn with wide eyes. We turn to walk out of the office and into the hallway.
"Wow." Ethan says with a look of wonder on his face.
"He really has a way of pulling out what you want to really say and he didn't even say much. How did is that possible?" He questions, clearly confused at what just went down back there. I shrug, unable to explain.
"If I knew, we'd all be rich by now." I smile as we make our way outside. I spot Christian leaning against my Jeep by the front door. It awkward for a moment, all three of us standing there.
"I'll be by to pick up Will around five, Okay?" Ethan questions while lightly grabbing my elbow to get my attention.
"Why don't we all sit down for dinner before you take Will home?" Christian suggests coming to stand next to me. I look up to him and find him looking at Ethan. He's trying.
"I…" Ethan looks to me then back to Christian. "I think I'll pass this time. I just need a little more time to get to a place where we can all sit down for dinners." Ethan shakes his head as the words tumble out of his mouth. "Never thought I would say that."
I'm surprised to hear Christian chuckle lightly.
"I couldn't agree with you more, but here we are." Christian nods his head in disbelief. They both laugh lightly before growing silent again.
"Okay, we will see you at five." I say to Ethan as he turns to walk toward the parking lot.
"Wait! My truck isn't here." Ethan shouts, annoyance falling over his features.
"Oh, right. Taylor will take you back to the hospital." Christian says while pointing his head toward the black suv parked a few feet away. Taylor sees Christians nod and gets out to open the back door for Ethan.
"You owe me Grey!" Ethan shouts as he walks to the suv.
"I know!" Christian shouts with a smirk. We watch as the suv pulls out of the parking lot and back to the hospital. Christian pulls me into him, warmly wrapping his arms around me. He leans down, kissing me lightly several times.
"You didn't have to do that, ya know?" I ask. His eyes go from playful to serious in less than a second.
"I did. This whole mess started with me and I wanted to make sure I did my part to help end it. The longer this goes on, the longer it takes over our lives." He leans in again and kiss me. This time passionately and deep. I pull away breathless and look up into his eyes.
"Thank you, for everything Christian. It means the world to me that you would do this for me, us and Will." I grip him tighter, never wanting to let him go.
"I would do anything for you Ana." His words hit me deeply and I feel the same way for him. Possibly even deeper.
"Come on, let's go pick up Will and spend some time with him." He says while leading me to the Jeep. He holds out his hand for the keys then opens the passenger door for me to climb in. He goes around and climbs in the driver's seat.
"Wait, you don't have to go back to work?" I question.
"Nope, I took a family day." He says while shooting me a smirk. "I've apparently never used one and they roll over supposedly. So I have like eight hundred saved up." He says and I can't help but giggle at his playfulness. He's the owner and head honcho, he doesn't have time off.
"So, you're free all weekend?" I reach over and grab his free hand. I intertwine our fingers and place it in my lap.
"I'm yours all weekend baby." He grins at me while wiggling his eyebrows. I begin to plan all the ways I want to say thank you to him for all he's done for me. I grin when I realize all of my plans involve being naked.