I leant back in my chair and closed my eyes for a second. It had been a long night and a… amazing day but I hadn't stopped at all. I had stayed awake last night, watching T.V., reading my book, walking around the garden and then driving around the suburbs of the city. When I had come back Marco just smirked at me, so I got dressed and drove all the way to Martha's and well, the story ends there.
Because now we were in the waiting room, wondering what was taking so long. Martha had gone into the room about half an hour ago, and we were all worried that it was taking too long.
A second after Lance walked in and sat down next to Jen; Derek stumbled into the waiting room, like he was drunk. His face was pale white and drawn and his eyes were lost. He almost looked… scared.
I slowly got up and moved over; what had happened? What happened to Martha…?
My hand moved to his shoulder and I shook him slightly, making him focus on me. He blinked hard and focused on my face. He stared for a second and then his face broke out into this huge happy grin and he hugged me and yelled happily in my ear.
"I'm a dad!"
I burst out laughing and pulled away, letting Jen and then Lance hug him, Elle stayed at the side of us. Her arms folded across her chest, looking like she was intruding on a family event. When you look at it, she kind of was. I, Jen, Lance, Martha and Derek had been friends for years and we always spent time just us. She may have known Derek and been friends with Martha but she was still new.
"Boy or a girl?" Jen asked the brightest smile on her face as she leant back into Lance.
"A boy, of course. He's 7 pounds and he's got these little, delicate fingers and these big green eyes. There's this tiny tuft of brown hair on his head and it is the quaintest thing I have ever seen. I really…"
He couldn't finish the sentence but we all knew what he was going to say and what this meant for him, we could see it in his eyes. They were filled with happiness and unconditional love that was so unlike him and on a scale I had only ever seen once, his wedding day.
"When can we see him?" asked Lance, Derek blinked and turned his head to face him and smiled brightly.
"Now, you can all go see him now. Martha's with him in her room."
Lance looked down at Jen and then they let Derek lead them into the room, I hung back and moved to stand next to Ellie; she glanced up at me, reproachful. I held up my hands to signal surrender.
"I'm not here to yell. I'm here to apologize, I am really sorry about what I've said. I should have been more…delicate with that information. But… you needed to know the truth. I needed you to know the truth."
We walked as I talked and as we reached the door leading to Martha's room, she stopped and looked up at me with her big brown eyes. I swear for a second my heart and breathing stopped and I just stood there frozen like a statue, I wasn't paying attention when she said something, so I had to ask her to repeat it.
"I said why?"
"Because I wouldn't be able to live with myself if Marco did something to you because I neglected to tell you something."
"But why do you feel like that?" She insisted, her eyes filling with fear and uncertainty but also with confidence and excitement.
I opened my mouth and froze; what if I ruin our friendship by telling her? What if I am never able to see her again because I made the mistake of telling her?
But then this part of my head spoke up, that part that sounded remarkably like Martha and told me to just take a look at the girl in front of me and take a chance on her. Because I needed her to know.
"Because I like you, really like you, and yes, it's like a high school sort of saying but its right and I want to be with you. I don't want you."
Her mouth fell open and she let out a small, shaky laugh and she stared up at me, her face breaking out into a soft smile. Her arms flew out and wound around my neck and she held onto me. I put my arms back around her and lifted her up, holding her to my chest.
"Oh, god. You son of a bitch, why didn't you tell me that last night?"
I rolled my eyes and laughed, awkwardly. "Well, if I had known…"
She pulled away and put herself an inch away from me and stared at me with her big brown eyes. Her head moved forward and she inched closer and I stopped breathing. Just stood there waiting…
And then she pulled away and shook her head, blushing and began leaving my arms, I quickly pulled her back and swung her head to mine and I kissed her.
It was like being electrocuted, only better. Much, much better. Because you can't wrap your arms around lightning. Or feel lightning's heart skip a beat beneath yours. Or have tasted the coffee she'd had to drink earlier, or have smelt the fresh smell of her perfume and her hair. And all those things I could do with Ellie…
… And I did. Including press myself as close to her as I could, not only to prove to myself that it was happening but the she was responding, rather enthusiastically.
When we'd pulled away I rested my forehead on hers and stared at her eyes. "Now why haven't we done that before?"
"Because I work for you." She coughed, attempting to breathe normally.
"Oh, yeah." I said, like I had just remembered that fact, because I had. Hey, running for Senate wasn't really on my mind. "Hey, Elle. We should go inside, they'll be wondering where we are."