He knew he had to do it, he just couldn't bring himself to. This is what he wanted, what he wanted more than anything. And besides, it wasn't as though Nikki had been completely faithful to him. When the PI he had hired contacted him only hours before and told him what he had subconsciously known all along, Woody realised that he knew what he needed to do.
Nikki was a cheater, and that was that. His suspicions had been right. The fact that the PI told him that he had pictures of his fiancé kissing another man told him all he needed to know. And the fact that she had been acting suspiciously and all those 'tennis lessons' she had been going to back in LA just confirmed what he always believed. Add to the fact that Jordan and Emma needed him and Woody's choice couldn't have gotten any clearer.
So here he was, standing outside her hotel room door, wondering why he couldn't just reach out the handle and turn it and end that part of his life. He supposed it was because he was trying to gather how he felt. The fact that he felt absolutely nothing at all towards her, that he was just indifferent, made him feel better about what he was about to do.
Taking a deep breath, he reached out his hand and swiped the key card, the green light telling him to go in, and twisted the handle open. The hotel room was dark and quiet as he walked down the hall and flipped on the light. That's when he saw her, sitting in the far corner of the room, her blonde hair down for a change, flowing past her shoulders, reading glasses perched on petite nose, romance novel in her hands.
Woody stifled back a laugh. Jordan would never, ever, be caught reading a romance novel.
"Woody," Nikki said, her voice holding a tone of surprise. "I didn't think I'd see you again tonight." Her voice was quiet, subtle. Woody almost felt sorry for her before remembering why he was here.
"Save it Nik," he said, his voice cold. "I know what you did."
She extracted herself gracefully from the chair, tightening her silk robe tighter around her slim frame. "What are you talking about Woody?" she asked, the innocence in her voice almost believable.
"I know about Michael Lancaster," Woody said, his voice loathing.
Accidentally, the book in Nikki's hand fell to the floor in surprise. "How did you … how long have you … Woody …" her voice was pleading as she took a tentative step towards him. But he stepped back as she stepped forward.
"Don't Nicole. Don't," he said. He never used her full name. Never. Everyone always just called her Nikki. The only time he ever called her Nicole was when he was really, really, pissed off.
She backed off a little, taking a step back.
"I can't do this. I'm out. Out of this relationship, out of your life. I know it sounds a little harsh, but I can't do this. I can't be in a relationship with no trust, no faith. I can't and I won't," Woody said.
The tears started to pool in her eyes, threatening to spill over. But she was a lawyer. She was tough. She wouldn't let Woody see her cry.
Woody took the steps forward this time, walking slowly towards her and placing a soft kiss on her smooth, pale cheek. "Have a nice life," he said as he started to walk away.
But her voice stopped him. "Woody?" It was a plea, scared almost.
"Ya?" he asked, his voice barely above a whisper as he turned around.
Nikki was looking at him, a worried expression on her face, one arm looped tight around her waist. In her outstretched hand was something gold and shinny. He took a step back towards her, reaching out his own hand and taking the ring from her.
"Save it for someone you really, really love," she said. Her voice wasn't accusing, it was kind and warm and Woody smiled genuinely at her.
"Thanks. And for the record, I forgive you," he said, starting to walk away. But he stopped himself and turned around. "I know you'll find someone who's good enough for you and they'll love you more than anything in the world," Woody said kindly.
Nikki smiled. "Like you do with Jordan."
Woody didn't say anything but grinned lightly, dipping his head in embarrassment. "By Nik," he said as he turned and started to walk away.
"By Woods," she replied as he turned the doorknob and walked out without so much as a backward glance.XXXXXXXXXXX
He walked to Jordan's apartment door and knocked. With Emma being released from the hospital earlier that day, Woody knew that they would be back at home, probably with a bunch of people from the morgue over as well. Sure enough, as Jordan opened the door with a bottle of wine clutched in her hand, the noise from further inside the apartment greeted his ears. He smiled genuinely.
"Hey Woody," she said, swinging open the door and gesturing for him to step in.
He did just that and followed her down the hall to the living room where everyone was sitting, glasses of wine in their hands, and smiling at Emma who seemed to be the centre of attention.
"Daddy!" she said as she caught sight of Woody walking into the living room after Jordan. Emma ran towards him, arms outstretched wildly in front of her.
Woody caught her in his outstretched arms with a "Hey babe," and hugged her tight to his chest. He carried her into the living room and sat down on the only vacant chair left, Emma poised gently in his lap. He gratefully accepted the glass of wine Jordan tipsily handed him and downed half of it into his mouth, causing everyone to laugh as a little dribble fell down his chin.
Emma laughed and wiped it away with the sleeve of her plain black long-sleeved shirt and Woody ducked his head down and blew a raspberry on her stomach. Her giggles grew louder and everyone watched in appreciation at the amount of love Woody had for the daughter he had only just begun to know.
Jordan smile but put her glass down and turned to her daughter. "Emma baby it's time for bed," Jordan said, grinning at her daughter who was still laughing from her father's tickles.
"Aw do I havvveee to?" she whined.
"Ya Jordan," Woody piped in, mimicking Emma. "Does she havveee to?"
Everyone laughed again. "Ya sorry sweetie," Jordan replied. "Mommy's taking the day off work tomorrow and there's lots that we have to do. But we can't do it if you're tired," Jordan said.
Emma sighed. "Fine," she gave in. "But can Daddy come tuck me in too?" she asked.
"Course," Jordan replied, taking another swig from her glass and putting it back down. Emma extracted herself from Woody's entangled arms and hopped down to the floor. "Are you gonna give everyone kisses?"
Emma nodded and walked over to the first person beside Woody, Lily, and walked into her open arms, hugging her and receiving a kiss on the cheek. Next was Nigel, then Bug and lastly Garret who hugged her longer and tighter than anyone else.
With her mother in one hand and her father in the other, Emma led the way into her bedroom and pulled her pyjamas on, brushed her teeth, and was sung her favourite song. With sleep finally coming to her, Emma closed her eyes and allowed her imagination to take over.
Sighing, Woody and Jordan stood up, Jordan straightening her jeans and Woody running his fingers through his hair.
"You've done a great job Jor," Woody said, turning away from Emma.
"Thanks," she replied.
Silence weighted between them but it wasn't uncomfortable, not tense or awkward. It was comfortable. With his breath catching in his chest, Woody took a step towards him and Jordan neither flinched nor pulled away as he placed his hand on her cheek. She simply closed her eyes as though enjoying the touch and leaned towards his hand.
It was then that Jordan realised just how close they were standing. But instead of pulling away she simply let it be and allowed Woody to close what little remaining gap there was between them.
He moved in slowly, bringing his lips and hers and pressing them together with four years of pent up passion and sexual tension. She slid her hands over his neck and pulled his face closer towards hers as he pulled just a millimetre away. They pressed their lips closer together, mouths closing around the others.
"Woody," Jordan gasped, pulling ever-so-slightly away.
He looked at her, knowing it was only a matter of time before she did something like this. "Ya?" Woody whispered.
"I want this so much. I need you to know that it's just …" He wondered where she was going with this.
"Not in our daughter's room," she laughed. Woody laughed with her, pulling hesitantly away. "But later once everyone's left. I promise," she whispered in his ear.
He watched as she turned hesitantly away from him and left their daughters room, walking back into the living room. Woody walked over to Emma's bed and placed a kiss on her forehead before following Jordan back to the rest of the guests. In only a matter of hours, he and Jordan would be doing the one thing that had brought their daughter into creation.