Monk heard the oven ding indicating that dinner was done. He always ate pretty late at night and the distraction of Natalie's mysterious crying had him feeling little hunger.
He thought about waking up Natalie to eat but he didn't have the heart. He neatly wrapped her portion of the food he had prepared and stored it away in the fridge in case she woke up hungry later and wanted dinner.
Once he had finished cleaning up from dinner and making sure the house looked spotless he decided it was time to get ready for bed. He made his way to the bathroom quietly to conduct his nightly routine locking the door behind him and bringing his pajamas so he wouldn't have to make noise searching for them in the dark once he finished getting ready for bed.
Natalie woke to the sound water running and the yellow light escaping from the edges of the bathroom door. Everything that had happened that day felt like a bad dream and she had almost convinced herself that it was until she realized she was in Monk's bed.
She recognized the distinct odor of cleaning chemicals and the fresh scent of clean laundry that always filled his home. She had grown to love those scents and every other little thing that was distinctly Monk.
She wondered how she had gotten to the bedroom even though she knew the only logical answer. She also knew she had to leave before he finished in the bathroom. She quietly slipped out from under the covers and tiptoed out of the room. Her shoes were set beside the door as usual so she slipped them on, retrieved her purse from the living room and made her way out the door without a sound. As much as her heart wanted to stay, she didn't think Monk would sleep in the same bed as her and a night on the couch in her condition was the last thing she needed.
Monk finished his shower and the rest of his nightly routine before exiting the bathroom quietly expecting to see Natalie's sleeping form illuminated in the bathroom light. He was disappointed when he saw she was gone. Making sure she hadn't just gotten up to go to the bathroom he checked the hallway and found her shoes were gone.
He had hoped she would stay because a part of him was falling in love with her although he couldn't even admit it to himself yet. Since Trudy died, she was the only woman he could think about for so long but now that the case was closed he felt like he might be able to start over. He was still Monk of course and he had no plans to go looking for new women but Natalie had become his closest friend and the only person he knew he could count on no matter what.
He felt depressed to be alone tonight and shuffled his feet into the bedroom where he got into bed without even bothering to change the sheets. Natalie's smell lingered in the white folds and it was almost like she was there. He had never been with another woman other than Trudy but he kept having this vision of Natalie in his bed with him. He shrugged it off as a dream but little did he know it was a reality. He leaned over to pick up the phone beside his bed to call Julie.
It was almost midnight when Natalie turned her key in the front door of her house. She went in and shut the door slowly, assuming Julie would be asleep. She was glad that this long day was almost over and longed for a good night's rest so that she could begin thinking about her situation with a clear head.
The flip of the light switch suddenly bringing the entire room into brightness startled her. It was Julie, who was sitting in the chair waiting up for her almost like a parent would do their child. Natalie couldn't help but feel a twinge of guilt although in her mind she knew she had done nothing wrong. She was the adult and she had no curfew.
Julie stared intently at her mother but not with malice or anger, just a stare than was unnerving to Natalie and intensified the feeling of guilt growing in her stomach. "Hey mom. Mr. Monk called and said you left and to make sure you got home okay," Julie said as if to explain her waiting up. "Oh that was nice of him," Natalie returned as she pivoted slightly to head up the stairs. She could almost feel her bed calling her name she was so tired.
Julie thought about confronting her mother with the evidence she had found right then and there but she could see Natalie was tired. Plus, maybe she should give her a few days to come to terms with the information of a pregnancy. It was possible that she had every intention of telling Julie as soon as she confirmed with her doctor or had a chance for it to sink in. As much as she wanted to ask, she held her tongue and decided to wait it out for a few days at least.
Julie stood and followed Natalie as they made their way upstairs. "Night mom. You know you can tell me anything right?" Julie said stopping at her bedroom door. "Yeah of course kiddo. Same goes for you. Night sweetheart. I love you," Natalie assured. "Love you too," Julie said and with that they entered their rooms for a good night's sleep.
Well dang. Two years and all I could come up with was this. I don't know I mean I started out writing this chapter with good intentions and I had the whole story planned out originally and it didn't go like this but this is what I came up with so enjoy!