A/N: OK, so after this for the next story, we jump ahead three years. Thanks for reviewing!

Disclaimer: I own nothing


Chapter 10: Serious

"He's coming here?" Kevin asked. Bella nodded. She looked at him, they were snuggled happily in bed together. "Why?"

"Because he wants to talk," she shrugged. "And I want him to meet Gabriel." He looked at her.

"Don't I have a say in that?" He asked. She looked at him. "Maybe I don't want Gabriel to be around someone who flakes on the two people he claims to love the most when they really need him."

"Really?" She said. "Gordon's the bad friend in this equation? Not you know the guy who got his best friend's girlfriend pregnant?" He sighed. "You're actually worried that I'll see him again and I'll change my mind, right?"

"Something like that," he nodded. She smiled and kissed him. "It's not impossible."

"It's unlikely," she said. "Kevin, I love you and I want to be with you, I want us to be a family. But I think I owe it to Gordon to see him and hear him out, and tell him that face to face."

"OK," he said. "Or," she groaned. "Or you could see him again, and do your fickle Bella thing and take my son to Indiana."

"I'm not moving to Indiana," she said. "I would never take Gabriel away from you, even if we weren't together, which we are." They kissed again.

"Marry me," he said. She rolled her eyes and walked away. "Come on, Bella, it makes sense."

"I'm not marrying you," she said. "Not yet, I'm not having this conversation again. I'm not getting married to anyone until after law school."

"That could be ten years from now," he said. She nodded. "So, you're willing to let Gabe live until he's ten without the security of his parents being married to each other."

"Kevin," she said softly. "Come here," she put her hand against his face. "I love you, I want to make this work, I want to be with you, I want to raise our son together but if you don't stop harping on the fact that I'm not ready to marry you, I will murder you, and then not only will Gabe's parents be unmarried but one will be dead and the other in prison and any sane judge will send him to my parents not yours which means that you won't even get a proper burial, Tanya will just let people spit on you as they walk past." He kissed her.

"You're insane," he said, "and your parents would lose so fast." She giggled. "I like this."

"I know," she said, "me too." They kept kissing. He pulled her close and she whimpered happily. "I should go feed Gabe."

"No, PJ can handle it," he whispered and kissed her again. "I didn't get enough of you last night." They kissed for a long time and she pushed away.

"I have too much to do," she said and got out of bed.

"It's Gordon!" He groaned. "He eats anything you cover in cheese and then he obsesses about you. He's very low maintenance." She looked at him. "I'm just saying, we've been friends our whole lives. And since we were fourteen that's been all he does."

"I still think it would be nice if you at least said hello," she sighed pulling a pair of jeans on. She sucked in her breath to button them. Since having Gabe she had to do that and it normally didn't bother her, but the thought of seeing Gordon suddenly made it seem like the end of the world. "Or since you're working tonight you could drive up to Annapolis and watch the game."

"Bella, no," he said. "I don't want to see him, and he doesn't want to see me, he wants to see you. He made that very clear."

"Fine, be a horses ass," she rolled her eyes. "Maybe I'll stop having sex with you."

"I think you like it too much," he said. She looked at him. "Don't give me the prim debutante face Annabelle, I think you really like sex a whole lot, and you missed it, and that's why we've done it every night this week."

"We've had sex every night this week because you climbed on top of me last night," she said, "and so romantically whispered, 'Baby, I'm hot for you,' and I was too tired to say no."

"Nice," he said. "So when you said, 'OK, I love you,' that was resignation?"

"Uh huh," she smiled and kissed him. "Change your mind about tonight. I think he does want to see you."

"Does he know about us?" He asked. She shook her head.

"I'm going to tell him tonight," she said. He looked at her. "It didn't seem like phone news."


"Terry," Nick Parsons opened the door to his son's room, where Terry and Carmen were barely pulling their clothes on. "I'm sorry, we haven't," he looked at the girl.

"Dad this is Carmen," Terry said. "Carmen this is my father." Carmen swallowed.

"Hi," she said. Nick nodded and shook her hand. "I should get back to school, Terry, I'll call you." She rushed out.

"Was she embarrassed?" Nick asked. Terry shook his head. "Why haven't I met her?"

"Because she doesn't want to meet you," Terry shrugged. Nick looked at him.

"She reminded me of," he shook his head.

"Olivia Martinez?" Terry tried. Nick raised his eyebrows. "A girl who you date raped, apparently."

"Liv's her mother," Nick said. Terry nodded. "It was a complicated time in my life Terry, and with Liv especially things were, I mean, it wasn't cut and dry."

"I really don't want to hear about girls you drugged when you were my age," Terry said sharply. "But I really care about Carmen, and the idea of actually meeting the man who raped her mother freaks her out a little, so yeah, I'm not bringing her home to dinner."


Elisa stood nervously in front of a mail box. Hunter walked out behind her.

"Hi," he said.

"Hi," she whispered. She was holding a few envelopes.

"What are those?" He asked. She looked at him.

"College applications," she whispered. "USC, Columbia, Yale, Michigan and Minnesota."

"Wow," he said, also holding a few.

"You?" She asked.

"Yale, I'm applying at least, I owe him that," he shrugged. She nodded. He put his arm around her. "And USC." She looked at him.

"USC?" She raised her eyebrows. "Why?"

"I am very aware of how quickly you fall apart without me, Ellie," he teased. "And I'm probably not going to college anyway, so I figured I should at least apply to Anne's first choice." She laughed.

"I knew it didn't have anything to do with me," she shook her head.

"So you're giving him Michigan," Hunter nodded. She nodded too.

"Hunter, I," she said. "I think I'm going to break up with him." He looked at her. "I just, I mean, I love Eddie, I always will, but we're too different, we want such different things."

"Sure," Hunter said. "Listen, Elle," she looked at him, "what do you think I should do?"

"Honestly?" She asked. He nodded. "I think you should go with Angela." He looked at her. "I think it's what you want to do, I think it's great for you. If you go to college and move back to New York, I'm afraid," she swallowed, "you'll get a job at one of your family's companies, and you'll write some decent newspaper stuff, but you'll end up like your dad and your uncle and you're better than that." He hugged her. "And I think that Anne would rather you went, than stay behind for her."

"I know she would," he said softly. "I'd miss you though."

"Please," she shrugged, "Angela is one of Grandpa Josh's pets, I know I'll see you plenty." He laughed.


Anne was walking around delivering mail. Once she finished she went back to her small desk and started looking over some press releases one of the publicists had asked her to proofread.

"Hey you," she looked up and saw Shawn.

"Hi," she said softly. "Shawn I'm kind of busy, and,"

"Did I do something wrong?" He asked. She looked at him. "I mean, I haven't heard from you in a while, and you didn't return my calls?"

"I've just been busy," she said, "with school." He looked at her. "Look, I really can't talk right now. And I need this to be over." She stood up and went to the file cabinet.

"I don't understand," he shook his head, "I thought you wanted to keep this going, I thought you," she sighed.

"Shawn," she said, "I can't do this anymore. I want to be with someone for real. I want to be happy and lying to my parents and my brother is not making me happy. I love you, I do, but I can't do this."

"So it's not that you want to break up with me," he said, "it's that you're sick of lying?" She sighed. "Fine, then we stop lying, let's go tell your father now."

"No," she said. "No, it's more than that, it's," she sighed. "I'm in high school, Shawn, I like being in high school, it makes sense to me, and next year I'm going to college, and I," she sighed, "when I went to visit schools with my mom a few weeks ago," he looked at her, "there's a whole world that I want to see and experience and be a part of, and by being with you, I don't get to do that. And there are people who love me and want the best for me and have always put up with all of my stupid decisions, and I want to stop," she sighed, "I want to be the kind of daughter that my parents deserve and the kind of sister Cal deserves and the kind of girl that," she said. "The kind of girl that doesn't run away from real love. I did that before, there's someone on this planet that loves me more than anyone else, and I love him too and I ran away because I wasn't ready, but I am ready now." He looked at her.

"God, you're just like her," he mumbled, "that's how I got myself into this, you know, you're just like Denise was when we were her age." She laughed and hugged him.

"Please don't tell my father any of this," she whispered. He nodded.

"You bet," he said.


Trina walked carefully into the Minnesota Club, she'd gotten an email from her Grandpa Tom asking her to meet him there for dinner, which was weird, because normally when she had dinner with her grandparents they just went to their house and her Grandma Ana cooked her favorite meal. They only went to the club on her grandpa's birthday.

"Hello Miss Vanderbilt," the maitre'd said.

"Hello," she said. "Are my grandparents here yet?" He looked at her oddly.

"I um," he said, "I'll show you to your table," she nodded and followed him into one of the back private rooms. This was exceedingly odd. This was just for dinner? She smiled though when she saw Jace, wearing a suit standing at the table. "I'll bring your dinner in a little bit, Mr. Fairbanks." Jace was smiling at Trina.

"What is all this?" She asked. He shrugged and pulled out her chair for her and she sat down.

"I can do this," he said. She looked at him. "I can be this guy for you Trina, if you need it."

"Jace, I," she sighed, "this is amazing! How did you even,"

"I called your grandpa and asked him to reserve the table," he shrugged. "He played along." She smiled. "I'm sorry I made fun of your cousins boat."

"I'm going to kill Ellie," she mumbled. "This is amazing Jace, but you didn't have to do all of this." He looked at her. "I just needed you to understand."

"I do," he said. "And I'm not going to apply to Yale," she nodded. "But I applied to UConn, and Fairfield and like five other schools in Connecticut, I'm also applying to USC but just because Amy will kill me if I don't. I want to be near you." She leaned across the table and kissed him.

"I love you," she whispered. "And thank you, for getting it."


Bella was nervously flitting around, knowing Gordon would arrive any minute. Gabriel was lying in a car seat on the table, cooing and chewing on a rattle, when the doorbell rang he started wailing.

"Come on, sweetheart," she mumbled and picked him up, "please be good, this is very important to Mommy." She jiggled him and went and opened the door and couldn't help smiling seeing Gordon standing there. "Hi, I'm sorry, he's,"

"It's OK," he laughed, "let me try, I remember from Adelle," she smiled and he took him. "You are loud, man," he said and started cooing and making faces and then put Gabriel against his shoulder and patted him on the back Gabriel burped and then giggled. "It's usually gas."

"Yes, it is," she smiled. "Hi, I had this whole angle where I was going to seem like this cool together mom, like you know Heidi Klum."

"Yeah," he said. "That didn't work out." She laughed. "He looks like you."

"Mm," she nodded, "more like TJ," she said. He nodded. "You look great." He smiled. "Let me just get him down. Have a seat."

"Sure," he sat down and she walked into the nursery where PJ was.

"Hi," he said, "he stopped screaming."

"I know," she said, "Gordon is an exorcist." He looked at her. "Sorry, inside joke, can you make sure he naps, and come down and say hi if you feel like it."

"Sure," PJ nodded and she walked downstairs. Gordon smiled at her.

"Hi," she said.

"Hi," he whispered. "So I had this whole speech to give you."

"I had mine too," she said. He nodded.

"Do you want to go first?" He asked. She nodded. "OK."

"Kevin and I are together, Gordon, we've been together," she said, "I told him that I wanted to try to be a family." He nodded.

"You're together?" He whispered. She nodded. "You're sleeping together."

"Yeah," she said. "I mean, I love him and Gabriel deserves a real family, mom and dad together. So we're trying."

"You're trying," he said. She nodded. "Are you in love with him?"

"It's um, it's complicated," she said. He looked at her. "I love him, he's the father of my son," she said. "It's not that simple."

"It is," he said. He put his arms around her. "I'm in love with you. I've been in love with you since I was fourteen and you walked into the cafeteria, holding Eddie Cole's hand," she looked at him. "I knew then that you were the girl for me."

"Gordon," she said, "is this what you came here to tell me?"

"No," he said, "I came here to see you and meet your son, and convince myself that walking away from you was right, that it was good. And to see if maybe I could move on and find peace to the idea of you and Kevin, and to tell you I wanted you to be happy." She nodded. "But I can't, and I thought I might not be able to, so I brought a safety net." He reached into his pocket and took out the ring. She looked at him. "I love you Leigh, I'll always love you, and I won't ever give up."

"I'm not the same girl I was a year ago Gordon," she said. "I can't,"

"I'll wait," he said, "I'll get to know you again, but you belong with me."

"That's my nana's ring," she whispered. He nodded. "Does my father know you're here?" He smiled.

"Eddie and your mom," he said, "and I'd bet your dad knows by now." She looked at him. "I don't expect you to say yes yet, I know what we've talked about, not until after law school," she smiled. "But I want you to know that I'm serious."

"Bella," Kevin walked in and saw them. "I um, changed my mind, and thought I'd come say hello." She looked at him guiltily, and then at Gordon.

"I can't do this," she whispered and ran out of the room.

To Be Continued...