The following Saturday the couple was off to an L.A. suburb to face the music with Emily's parents. They'd gotten back from Fiji two days ago, and announce their marriage to their friends yesterday. After many congratulations, hugs, kisses, and Lia squealing, they were once again taken to the group's bar to celebrate, though of course Emily didn't drink anything.
It was here that Cheryl told them that Matt would meet his new partner, Anthony Marcellis, a transfer from New York on the following Monday. Marcellis, while not in the top five as Matt and Emily are, is still a high experienced negotiator, and they'd begin working together immediately. Emily, on the other hand, wasn't going to get a new partner until after she had the baby, considering she couldn't be in the field anyway. She'd continue teaching, and Washington had a special assignment for her over the next several months. She'd be visiting jailed HTs at federal prisons, and using her psychology background to do a study on what made them snap.
But now Emily gave Matt the final directions as he pulled onto yet another road that looked exactly like the last three, as they winded through the housing development. Sure he'd been there once, but how the hell can you find anything, when everything looks the same? He couldn't figure out how to tell the cookie cutter houses apart, and when he asked Emily she just shrugged and said it was just instinct at that point. Shaking his head in confusion, Matt pulled into the driveway of one of the huge, obviously expensive, white houses in the development.
He noticed as they walked up the pathway to the house that Emily seemed nervous, so with the hand that wasn't armed with a bouquet of flowers he grabbed Emily's hand and gave it a squeeze. She turned and gave him a grateful look before knocking. What she wouldn't give to not be pregnant right now so she could get mightily sloshed before doing this. After only a few seconds the door opened to reveal a bubbly women with hair that was only still blonde because she kept it dyed, and Emily's blue eyes.
"I don't believe L.A.'s let me have a day with my daughter." She commented with a smile.
"Hi mom," Emily hugged her mother, "You remember Matt."
"Of course, it's good to see you again Matt," she said as the engage in an awkward hug.
"Likewise Mrs. Lehman," he told her nervously, handing her the flowers.
"They're beautiful, thank you. And Matt, I told you, you can call me Bonnie," she insisted.
"Harold, the kids are here!" She called at the back of the house, as she led them in, retrieving a vase for the flowers Matt had handed her.
Moments later a man with salt and pepper hair, brown eyes, and a very manicured beard popped in from the back porch.
"Ah, there's my little girl," he said jovially as he embraced his daughter tightly.
"Hey dad, how've you been?"
"Fantastic, I beat Mark Bennington, and Andrew Goldstein yesterday in our golf game," he told her, referring to two of his oldest friends.
"Don't you always beat them?" She asked with a smirk.
"Why do you think I play them all the time?" He smiled at her, "And it's Matt right?"
Matt nodded and shook hands with the man who suddenly gave him his attention.
"How's the fish coming Harold?" Bonnie asked as she rejoined the group, setting the vase down on the glass-topped coffee table.
"Nearly done, in fact we can start getting ready for lunch, when we're ready the salmon will be too," he announced leading them out to the patio.
An hour later after an only slightly awkward lunch, where Emily kept her left hand hidden, the group moved to the more comfortable cushioned patio seats. Harold's 'Inquisition stare' was evidently a one-time thing, as he behaved completely civil to Matt the whole time, with no staring or even glaring. Matt and Emily knew it was now or never, and braced themselves for what they knew would be coming.
"So how did your case in Mexico go? Nothing appears to be bandaged this time, so I imagine it must have gone better than the last time?" Bonnie gave them a scrutinizing look.
"It went fine mom, as it usually does. That last time was a rarity, I told you that."
"If it's such a rarity then why'd it happen to you?" She demanded before turning to Matt, "Did she tell you what happened to her in Mexico Matt?"
With that simple question Matt suddenly remembered that they didn't even know he was Emily's partner. Matt didn't really know what to say, but fortunately Emily spoke before he had to.
"Actually mom, Matt was in Mexico."
"Really? I though negotiators worked in pairs? How many did they send down there?"
"Just the two of us mom, Matt's my partner or was, rather."
"Oh," was all was all she said, her mouth holding the 'o' shape longer than expected. Though the way she said 'oh' is the way you say it when someone tells you that the ugly little dog that looks like a cross between a rat and a disfigured monkey is actually theirs.
"Does your boss know about this Emily?" Her father's face took on a very disappointed look.
"Yes, that's why we aren't partners anymore. Part of the reason."
"Is he taking disciplinary action?"
"No Dad, she isn't."
"Well then, you are very lucky."
She shrugged, "Maybe."
"Emily how can you be so nonchalant about this, you could have very well been risking your career." Her mother scolded her.
"Why does that matter to you, mom? You hate my job."
"Be that as it may, I know you like your job and worked hard to get where you are, and to risk it all for some time under the sheets it's irresponsible. And anyway, you can't really expect much of a relationship to come from dating a coworker. Honestly Emily, sometimes I wonder where your head is you do these stupid things."
Emily's jaw dropped and her eyes nearly bugged out of her head, did her mother really just say that? That was nasty, even for her mother. She didn't know what to think right then, part of her was beyond pissed, while the other part was just hurt.
Beside her Matt was also stunned into silence, he couldn't believe she just said that. He turned to Emily, and watched as she closed her eyes a moment and took a deep breath, either trying to cry or yell, he was sure which. He gave her hand a soft little squeeze, as if to tell her that what her mother said meant nothing to him, and soon he felt her grip on his hand tighten.
"Mom how long do you think we've been dating?" Emily slowly asked, trying to keep calm.
"I don't know."
"We've been dating two and a half years. Now I know we don't talk a whole lot, but I think I've mentioned him enough for you to know it's more than just 'time under the sheets.'" She said, gesturing with air quotes.
"Relax Emily, you can't blame your mother for not remembering your boyfriends' names when none of them last that long." Her father scolded her again.
"But when I've been saying the same name for the past two years?" She challenged him.
"Well, between you and your sisters we can't remember who said which name, the two of you have had so many boyfriends it feels like a revolving door to us." Her mother defended.
"Oh god," Emily said mortified, "you two make it sound like I'm the town tramp."
"Of course we don't think that, stop being so melodramatic," her mother reprimanded her.
"Okay," Emily said, her grip tightening on Matt's hand, as she tried to remain calm, "We got married last week."
"What?" her mother gapped.
"We eloped mom. Had a short ceremony in Fiji."
"Emily Caroline, you can't just get married on a whim. It doesn't work that way." He father said, shooting a pointed look at Matt, who been silent for the time, but chose to speak now and give Emily a break.
"It wasn't a whim sir. I asked her to marry me three weeks ago." He held up Emily's engagement ring clad hand as proof.
"How could you not tell us that?" Her mother accused, as both her parents faces shot toward her.
"I was going to tell you last Saturday. I didn't want to tell you on the phone." She hoped that would placate her parents.
"So you just ran off and got married? Emily, of the stupid things you've done…" She trailed off, not needing to fill in the ending.
"Wow mom, you're really on a roll today," Emily spit out sarcastically, "first getting involved with Matt was stupid, then marrying him was stupid. I don't even think I know what to say to that-" Emily paused suddenly before continuing, "You know what? Actually I do. Did it ever occur that I love him? Does that even matter to you?"
It was clear to Matt that Emily was just hurt now by her parents' reaction, and he didn't really know what to do. She'd obviously had issues with her parents before this, so he'd just been letting her argue it out with them- they weren't really talking to him anyway- but now he was getting tired of them attacking her.
"Of course it matters Emily, but…your partner?" Her mother asked with an expression that showed a strong distaste.
"What? What is so wrong with that?"
"It's tacky," her father answered bluntly.
Once again newlyweds sat in stunned silence. Emily had know it would be bad, but this bad? Not even she could have predicated that.
"I'm sorry you're so disappointed, but I won't apologize for falling in love and I won't apologize for getting married. And you can damn well bet I won't apologize for getting pregnant." Emily had finally reached her breaking point, and by now she was seething.
Her parents just stared at her in shock. It wasn't horrified shock, but it wasn't particularly happy shock either, it was just straightforward, gaping shock.
"Is that why you eloped?" Her father finally asked.
"No, we were going to elope anyway. This just gave us incentive to do it sooner rather than later."
"When is your due date?" Her mother suddenly seemed much less angry.
"I haven't been to see my doctor yet, but from what they told me at the hospital I'm about six weeks along."
"Yeah, I fainted at work and they took me to the hospital, that's how we found out," Emily answered, hoping the more civil mood that seemed to have descended upon them at the mention of the baby would last.
"And what do you have to say for yourself?" Her father asked, suddenly turning toward Matt with an accusatory look.
Of course it couldn't last, could it?
"Sir?" Matt wasn't quite sure what he was asking.
"Well, you married my daughter without her family there and got her pregnant, and we barely know you? How should we feel about you?" He demanded.
Matt was about to answer when Emily suddenly jumped up and fled from the room, her hand placed firmly over her mouth. Too worried to care about not offending the people in front of him, Matt ran off after her, hoping she was okay.
Once inside the house it didn't take him long to figure what she'd run in for, as he immediately heard the painful, strained sounds of vomiting. Unfamiliar with the layout of the house, he was left to use the horrid noises as a guide to her location. The closer he got the louder it was and the worse it sounded, until he was at the door and instead of the sounds of regurgitation he heard the toilet flushing.
"Hey Em, you alright?" he called through the door. He heard her grunt from the other side, followed by the sound of the water running, and then she finally came out.
"I was wondering when that was going to start," she muttered, suddenly looking very tired. She'd managed to go the first six weeks of her pregnancy with no morning sickness, but now that was evidently over.
"Didn't think you'd be lucky enough for another six weeks?" He asked with half grin.
She just shook her head, not looking very well at all.
"How about we get you some water before we go back out there?"
"Sounds good," she nodded. Matt started to lead the way to the kitchen, then stopped, suddenly remembering he had no idea which way to go.
"Uh, how do we get to the kitchen?" he asked sheepishly.
Emily laughed lightly at him, before grabbing his hand, and leading him through the house. Once in the kitchen, Emily went straight for the cabinet with the glasses, not bothering to wait and watch Matt try and find it in the name of chivalry. She filled it half way and took a long drink, letting it wash through her, bringing relief to her stinging throat.
"Feel a little better now?"
She nodded her head a few times, before suddenly stopping. She turned toward the direction of the bathroom, and for a minute Matt thought she was going to bolt. Instead, apparently deciding that she wouldn't make it in time, Emily turned back toward the sink, and once again began heaving away her stomach contents. This time Matt stood behind her holding her hair behind her, as she braced herself against the sink, and rubbing soothing circles in her back. After a few painful minutes she stopped retching, rinsed the sink and her mouth out, and dried her face and hands with the paper towel Matt handed her.
"Are you alright now?" he asked softly, concern reflected in his eyes.
She just looked at him like he'd asked an immeasurably stupid question, and once again picked up the glass, this time only taking a small sip to cool her throat, before dumping the rest of the liquid down the drain. Then she leaned against the sink with her hands, closing her eyes against the nausea that still plagued her stomach, trying desperately to will it away. Matt began rubbing circles along her back again, and Emily turned and leaned into him.
What the couple wasn't aware of was that they'd had an audience since Emily had begun throwing up the second time. Emily's parents had become worried after they didn't come out after a few minutes, and went in after them. Now they stood off to the side watching the tender scene before them.
"Do you want to go home now?" Matt asked Emily, as he ran a hand over her hair.
"I don't know," she mumbled miserably into his shoulder.
"Do you still feel sick?" He spoke to her bowed head.
"Yes," she mumbled again.
"Okay, then I'm taking you home. You're parents will have to finish yelling at us another day," he said cheekily, while resting a hand on her back, turning them both to head toward the patio. It was then that they saw her parents.
"Hey, we were just coming back out. The morning sickness thing just hit Emily, she's still feeling pretty sick. We're going to have to cut this short," Matt explained.
The older couple nodded at him, suddenly looking a bit guilty, likely for the hard time they'd given their daughter and her husband. Their daughter, who'd they'd just seen vomiting her guts up for the second time in ten minutes, and now stood tiredly beside her very supportive husband.
"Alright sweetie, you'll call me next week?" Her mother asked.
"Sure mom, I'll give you a call."
"Oh before you go, we'd like to throw you guys a reception. And, Emily I won't take any protests, we didn't get to see a wedding, but you can damn well bet we're seeing a reception."
Emily looked to Matt, who nodded with resignation.
"Sure mom, that would be great," she said plastering a fake smile on her face.
"Good, we'll talk about it when you call," she said giving her daughter and son-in-law a kiss on the cheek.
"Take care of yourself Emily," her father hugged her tightly and kisses her on the cheek, before turning and shaking Matt's hand, "Matt."
Matt nodded, offering his own firm shake. Soon the couple was out the door, all too gratefully. Emily rested in the passenger seat trying to focus on anything but the gently swaying of the car, as it tested the strength of her tortured stomach. Matt tried to keep the car as steady as possible, occasionally looking over toward Emily, just he incase he needed to pull over.
"I suppose that could have gone worse…somehow," she said.
"Yeah, well there were a few moments I was afraid your father was going to pull out a shotgun or baseball bat or something."
"Oh stop, the macho, streetwise FBI agent is afraid of a sixty year-old man?" She teased him.
"You know what, a woman could never understand how frightening it is to tell a man, who already doesn't like him by the way, that he got his little girl pregnant."
"Maybe not, just be glad that I don't have seven brothers or something."
"That is not even funny."
She laughed at him and he joined her soon after, before she sobered up, and spoke quietly.
"It's going to be weird not working together next week."
"Yeah, that's going to suck. We don't really have any options though," he answered.
"I know, I guess we'll get used to it. We worked with other people for years before we met each other, right?" She said trying to reassure both of them.
"Yeah, I'm sure it will be fine. Besides, we live together, so we'll only see each other a little less…" he trailed of, not quite convinced himself.
They sat in awkward silence for a moment, until Matt reached out for her hand, bring it to his lips, before resting their joined hands on the console between them. Emily offer him a smile, and covered their hands with her other one. It would take some time to get used to all the changes that suddenly popped up in their lives, but they'd be just fine.
Okay this is the end of Saturday. I realize that I was a little harsh with Emily's parents, but that's more likely than not me projecting my annoyance with my own mother's overprotectiveness. Though she wouldn't be that mean/obnoxious, not sure what to call that. Anyway, the series (as it as become) will (hopefully) have one more part-full length story-where Emily has the baby, but I have four other full length stories that I have to find the time to crank out. So I hope this holds you all until then. You can at least expect another short story by the end of the week. As always, a very large thank you to all my readers, and especially reviewers, as everyone else says the more you review, the more impulse I have to write.