C.J. woke up the next morning still feeling fine. If morning sickness was indeed to be in her future, it hadn't yet arrived. So she got up and went to fix herself some oatmeal before heading off to the racetrack for workouts. Matt still lay asleep in bed, and she smiled remembering how much she had tuckered him out last night. Served him right for waggling his eyebrows at her the way that he had done…caused her to melt every single time.
She took her vitamins and thought about making him some breakfast but she couldn't look at eggs or smell them without feeling nauseous. Eggs were just evil right now though she hoped her new sentiments about them wouldn't be long-lasting. The oatmeal proved to be easy enough to make and she had some leftover blueberries to put in it.
Although she'd slept well in the capable arms of a certain man, her dreams had been about Betty and what it must have been like to be in her situation. To be swept up by a powerful man who made every decision on you and to have gotten pregnant and then was told to get rid of it. What had Betty's response been to Bryce? Everyone she knew had thought she'd just left town and disappeared and now….was it her body that had been discovered in that grave? And if so, had it been Bryce who had killed her?
C.J. knew that Bryce was capable of evil things after what he'd done, trying to blackmail her into Betty's spot.
She took her oatmeal and a glass of orange juice and headed to the breakfast nook. The sunlight had just started to turn the sky pink although there were traces of the fog that must have drifted in overnight. She didn't know how much longer she'd stay in town knowing at some point she'd have to return to L.A….with Matt. The crisis with the recalled condoms had been handled well enough by Murray, fantastically as it turned out. She bit back a smile imagining Murray as a folk hero of sorts after testifying at the Congressional Hearing. When she and Matt returned to L.A. at some point everyone who had been following it would know about her pregnancy.
Maybe they should just issue a press release but then she wanted to keep it to themselves for a while longer. After all, it was still early and so many decisions to make, she thought with a sigh. She knew she loved Matt but they had just gotten together, they still were navigating their way through this new dimension of their relationship, not that she wasn't having the best time of her life.
She heard some noise in the kitchen and knew that he'd gotten up. He came into the breakfast nook wearing faded grey sweats and no shirt.
"Hey you've got enough to eat there?"
C.J. looked at her empty oatmeal bowl and nodded.
"I'm fine…just got up."
"I was going to make some omelets…."
"I don't know why Houston but the thought of eggs…I just can't look at them."
A smile curved his mouth because of course he knew why but he walked back into the kitchen and started making one of his famous omelets that he had time to perfect after picking up his culinary skills from the cooks at his daddy's ranch.
He reappeared a moment later.
"So how you feeling this morning otherwise…?"
She smiled at him.
"Great…well I was thinking about Betty."
He nodded and in a few moments reappeared with some oatmeal and coffee and she almost laughed.
"Houston…I never knew you even liked the stuff."
He looked puzzled.
He looked down at his bowl as he sat down.
"Well I like it just fine and I don't want to sit down with such a beautiful lady with eggs if they make her feel sick."
She sighed, running a hand through her hair.
"I hope it's not forever…because I really love your omelets especially the map of Texas."
He dug into his oatmeal and appeared to be enjoying it.
"I'm sure it's just temporary…"
C.J. fidgeted with her glass.
"Yeah…I just can't stop thinking about her."
Matt sipped his coffee looking at her.
"They don't know for sure that it's her lying in that grave."
She looked at him directly.
"We both know who that woman is Houston."
"I guess we do."
She rubbed her forehead.
"We still have to wait for an ID on the body," he said, "and that might take a while."
"I know but why would anyone do that to her," she said, "Why would Bryce…"
"If it's her and if he did it."
She felt impatience inside of her, struggling to the surface.
"I know he did it," she said, "He did it because she got pregnant and he didn't want the baby…didn't want it to mess up what he had going…didn't want any scandal."
"C.J…we have to more investigating to know that…."
She nodded, reaching to sip her juice.
"I know that but I know what we're going to find," she said, "and I hope he pays for what he did."
She felt as strongly about that as anything and she knew that Matt understood that. She did get where he was coming from too, but she felt it in her gut that Bryce was guilty of murder among other crimes.
She nodded knowing that one of the underpinnings of the situation had to do with the woman he had almost married. The one who was now engaged to Bryce.
"Houston, you tried to warn her about him," she said, "Just like you tried to warn me about Robert."
He looked down at his coffee mug in his hand.
"That was one of the most difficult things I ever had to do."
She smiled at him to let him know she knew that.
"Look you gave me the space to figure it out on my own about Robert," she said, "You did the same for her and that's really all you can do."
Because she knew that if Matt had pushed the issue with Robert after she had threatened to resign from the firm, she would have just pushed back harder, gotten more stubborn…no, what he'd done was give her the space to calm down and for her to realize he had been right.
"I don't think she's listening."
"Well Houston, I didn't at first….I was so angry with you I couldn't think about anything but deep down I knew you'd never intentionally hurt me."
"Yeah well the 24 hours after you walked out were some of the longest hours of my life."
She reached out with a hand for one of his own and he met her, clasping it.
"I'm sorry about that Houston…"
He squeezed her hand looking at her with one of those looks that made her melt.
"Nothing to be sorry about," he said, "besides whatever happened we're together now."
She smiled at the way he said, that, the confidence, the absolute certainty in his eyes and the timbre of his voice that it was what he wanted. What she wanted too but it still felt so new.
"I know the baby complicates things…"
He looked at her blinking his eyes, but still held onto her hand.
"C.J. I know we didn't plan it," he said, "but I'm so excited about it…I…"
The emotion in his voice, the tightness she heard mixed with the happiness, she knew that he meant what he said…but a part of him wished his father had lived long enough to know that he'd be a grandfather.
"Me too….I just don't know what comes next…I mean we just got together."
"Well we'll figure it out," he said, "When we get back to L.A., we'll figure out where to live."
She pulled her hand away.
"I know….we've each got a place so there's options."
He looked at her thoughtfully.
"I was thinking about finding a new place…maybe outside the city."
She nodded happily..
"Yeah I'd like that…some open space to build a house…raise some animals…"
Like they had grown up back in Texas and like the ranch Matt had bought when they first arrived in L.A. The one he sold when their investigative firm had taken off and the commute started to bite so much into his busy lifestyle.
"Yeah…we can go looking for land when we get back but we have some other things to work out."
He rubbed his hands together.
"Like when to get married."
Her eyes widened suddenly as she looked at him.
"Well yeah…isn't that what couples usually do…"
She pointed her finger at him.
"Houston…don't say it….I'm not having a shotgun wedding."
He just looked at her, his mind clearly working.
"C.J. it wouldn't be what you just called it," he said, "but I want my child to have two parents."
She pursed her lips.
"I know, I want that too," she said, "but I don't want it to be the only reason I marry someone."
"No Houston….I love you….I know we're going to be parents but I think we should wait before making any decisions like that."
She saw a look of impatience on his face but she wasn't going to take it back.
"C.J…we need to talk about this…"
"I know…but right now I just don't want to," she said, "I want to take it one day at a time and I want to find out what happened with Betty."
He looked at her a moment and then nodded, realizing that she wouldn't budge…at least not right now.
"Okay…we'll do that then."
Her face softened.
"Thanks…I just need some time," she said, "So many things going on right now."
She got up from the table to take her dishes to the kitchen and he watched her go. He knew that she felt more than a little overwhelmed with all that had changed lately. Getting together, getting pregnant and being affected by what had happened to Betty because she clearly saw parallels with some of it in her own life. But while she might be confused on some things, he most definitely knew what he wanted, he thought as he followed her into the kitchen.
She rinsed her dishes to put them in the rack and then turned to look at him, her dark hair tucked around her face wearing her blue robe, the one he liked mostly because he knew she liked only wearing it. She smiled as he slid his arms around her waist and pulled her closer, against him while his lips brushed her mouth, tasting her. She returned his kiss eagerly.
He broke away and stroked her mouth with one of his fingers, looking intently at her.
"Hey we've got a few moments….why don't we…"
She smiled back at him and then the phone rang.. She sighed and went to answer it. He looked at her face which had been relaxed become more lined with concern.
"Oh my god….yes…I guess I can be there in about an hour…maybe less," she said, "I just have to get dressed….okay…give me the information."
He watched as she listened intently after reaching for a piece of paper towel and a pen to write some information down.
"Yes…got it…I'll see you there…."
She hung up the phone and turned to Matt.
"It's Rusty…Flash's been taken in for questioning…."
"On what…one of his bar fights?"
She shook her head.
"No on investigation of murder."