Beginning

I own nothing...Ha ha, this story is now longer than HDWGH. When I started it, I had no idea I'd take it this far.

Jordan pulled into the driveway at the Chase house and cut the engine. He leaned back in his seat and looked up at the house that he'd been visiting almost every day for the last year and a half. After tonight, he wouldn't have to come and visit Angela anymore. He'd be coming home to her.

That's what he wanted. But he'd be lying if he said he wasn't a little anxious about it all, too. For the last few weeks, his main concern was making sure they got to be together. And he definitely felt like they'd scored a small victory that afternoon with the Chases, no matter how it happened. Now they had to start thinking about the baby. Now it was all starting to feel real.

He sat there for a good ten minutes thinking about what happens next. How they were both going from teenagers to adults overnight. This was just the beginning for them. And Graham was right. None of it was going to be easy.

At 9:48 PM, he made his way to the back door and knocked once before walking inside. It made him smile as he thought about how this house kind of felt like home to him. It was a place where he was welcomed, where he could be himself. It was more like home to him than the house he'd grown up in.

Finding Patty in the kitchen wiping the counters, he says, "Hey, Patty."

She looked up at him with a smile. "Hey, Jordan. How was dinner with your uncle?"

"It was ok. Uncle Jimmy wanted to talk to me about the garage. We're gonna stay open later and he wanted to see if I was ok with it. You know, since I would be the one working late or whatever." He leaned back against the cabinet as he watched her work.

"That's good, right? And weren't you working late anyway?" She rinsed the dishcloth out and laid it over the sink. "You used to work even after the garage was closed."

"Yeah, I think that's what gave him the idea. I don't mind. He said he could make me assistant manager or something. He said he could pay me more that way." Which was good because they were going to need all the money they could get.

"Well, good." Patty leaned against the island facing him. "Angela's in her room. I looked in on her earlier and she was sleeping. Before you go up, I wanted to talk to you."

Fighting the urge to roll his eyes, he says, "Yeah?"

"I noticed that you don't have a bed. Is there anything else you need?" Patty inquires.

"No, I've got everything else. I've been sleeping on the couch. I was gonna call Tony and see if I could get my bed before Angela moved in." He didn't want to call Tony, but he would because they couldn't sleep on the couch together and he wasn't going to make her sleep on the floor.

"You don't want to call your dad, do you? Things didn't end well between the two of you?" Patty asks, the concerned mother coming out.

"Uh, no. He basically said, 'It was nice knowing you. Now leave.' I don't think he'd be too happy if I called or tried to show up." And he was almost certain that Tony had changed the locks.

"Well, Graham suggested that you take Angela's bed. And any of her furniture that will fit in your bedroom. I know it's not all that big, but maybe you could fit her chest of drawers and the night stand. And her desk in the living room. She has tons of sheets and blankets." When they had been at the apartment that morning, Graham had also suggested buying them a new sofa and a TV, but Patty told him that was a little excessive. "That will help a little. And we have an old TV in the basement that you can take, too. It doesn't have a remote, but it still works."

Looking at the floor, Jordan says, "Thanks, Patty. I appreciate everything." Glancing up to meet her eyes, he says, "I know you had a lot to do with, you know, letting her go. Thank you."

"Oh, Jordan. Honey, I'm still not letting her go. I'm just letting her live. She'll always be my little girl, but I trust that you'll take very good care of her." Walking over to him, she enfolded him in her arms. "I love you, Jordan."

Jordan didn't know how to react to that, so he just hugged Patty back. Aside from Angela, and a little girl named Emily in his second grade class, no one had ever told him that they loved him. And he had never said those words to anyone but Angela. He wasn't sure he could say them to someone else.

When Patty let him go, she had tears in her eyes. Cupping his cheek, she says, "Now go tell her our girl. But prepare yourself. She's probably going to hit the roof."

Blinking back tears of his own, he clears his throat and says, "I know. She's not happy with Graham at all right now."

"Jordan, you should know, Graham said that he's never slept with Hallie." With pain in her eyes, Patty says, "He claims that he only kissed her that one time. I'm not entirely sure I believe him, since I think I almost caught them kissing myself once, but I owe it to both of us to try to work this out. I can't just give up on 20 years of marriage."

"It's ok, Patty. I think I get it. But it's not gonna matter to her." He pushes himself away from the counter and kisses her on the cheek. "Wish me luck."

He walked up the stairs slowly, trying to come up with just the right words to tell her about her mom and dad. The whole thing about moving in with him would be easy. He just didn't know if he should tell her that before or after she got pissed off.

Pushing her bedroom door open, he quietly stepped inside and shut it behind him. She was still sleeping. She was lying on her stomach facing the doorway with her hand under her cheek. She looked so peaceful. He almost didn't want to wake her.

He went over to the bed and sat down beside her. He softly brushed her hair away from her cheek before bending to kiss her there. Running his hand over her back, he whispered her name.

He watched her eyelids flutter before slowly coming open. She smiled sleepily at him and turned onto her side. Her smile lasted all of two seconds, quickly turning into a frown.

"Jordan, what the hell did you do?" she asks, clearly angry with him.

"I didn't do nothing." He had no idea what she as talking about.

Angela sat up on the bed and crossed her arms. "Yes, you did. You cut your hair!"

He had forgotten all about his hair. Running his hand over it, he says, "It's just hair. It'll grow back."

Tearing up, she says, "It's not just hair. I loved your hair."

"Ah, babe. Don't cry over my hair. It needed to be cut anyway. It was getting in my way when I work." He moved his hand to rest on her blanket covered knee.

"I just can't believe you didn't tell me you were gonna cut it, that's all." Rubbing her eyes, she says, "What are you doing here? I thought you weren't coming by today."

"I wasn't, but I needed to talk to you." When he doesn't immediately elaborate, she motions for him to continue. "Your mom and dad came by the apartment today."

"For what?" she asks, pushing the covers back.

"Well, they said they needed to talk to me about some things." He pulled his knee up onto the bed and and took her hands in his. "Some things that will affect all of us."

Looking at him in confusion, her brows drawn together, she says, "What do you mean, all of us? Me, you and the baby?"

"Well, no. All of us. Your mom and dad, and Danielle, too." Nervously licking his lips, he says, "You got to promise not to get mad, ok?"

"Just tell me. I won't get mad." She looks at him impatiently.

"Ok. Your dad is moving back home. To be with your mom." He can see the anger building in her eyes, the way her chest is rising with every breath she takes. "They're gonna try to work everything out. He said that he never slept with Hallie, or whatever."

"Oh, that's just great. So, he lied to her and she's gonna just let him come back? Just like that?" Angela starts to get up from the bed, but Jordan puts a hand on her shoulder to stop her. "Move, Jordan."

"No, you didn't let me finish." He wants to tell her everything before she flies off the handle.

"I don't care. I know he slept with that bitch. I don't care how much he denies it. I'm going to tell my mom everything I witnessed." She pushes his hand away and stands.

As she goes to stalk past him, he grabs her hand and pulls her back down on the bed beside him. "Angela, how do you know that he did sleep with her? You don't. All you know is that I saw them kissing. And that's all it was. I didn't see anything else." He laces their fingers together. "Maybe he did tell your mom what really happened. Anyway, it's between them. We have no say in it."

Searching his face, she says, "Why are you defending him?"

"I'm not defending him. But I sorta know how he feels. I mean, not about moving out or anything, but about wanting to work things out with Patty. I'm sure he regrets what he did. Maybe he felt guilty about it, so he moved out. We don't know all of it." Jordan remembers what it felt like after Angela found out about him and Rayanne. He did what he had to do to make it right with her.

"Oh my god. So you think she should just take him back? She should just let him move back in and make all of our lives miserable? Because I guarantee he's not going to make things easy for us." Biting at her bottom lip, she angrily tucks at her hair. "I just can't believe it."

"You're wrong," he says, pulling her around to face him. "He's actually gonna make it really easy for us."

With an angry snort, she says, "How? How can it possibly be easy for us to be together if I have to be here?"

"Because you don't have to be here. Not anymore." Jordan watches her shake her head in confusion.

"What do you mean? Did he say we had to get married?" She isn't understanding what he's trying to say.

"Well, no. But I already said we could if you wanted to." Looking down at their joined hands, he says, "Have you changed your mind?"

"Jordan, we're still really young. And I do love you more than anything, but I don't want you to tie yourself to me, just to end up regretting it down the road. Having a baby together is one thing, but getting married is completely different." She looks at top of his bowed head, wishing he would look up. When he doesn't, she tugs on his hands until he does. "That doesn't mean I want to be with you any less. But like you said, unless my dad and mom change their minds, I'm stuck here."

"That's what I'm telling you. They did change their minds. They said you could move in with me." He almost laughs at the expression on her face. It's a cross between elation and disbelief.

"Shut up! No, they did not," she says, her eyes wide.

He can't stop himself from grinning. "Yeah, they did."

With a squeal, she launches herself at him. Toppling them both onto the bed. She ends up on top of him, her mouth directly above his. Smiling, she says, "You aren't kidding, are you?"

"Nope. I'm not kidding," he says, then he pulls her head down for a kiss.

She moves off of him and gets up from the bed. Reaching out for his hand, she pulls him up with her. "Come on. I want to go talk to my mom."

When she tries to pull him out of the room, he stops her. "Look, Angela. Don't give your mom a hard time. Just think about what she's going through, ok? None of this has been easy on her."

"I won't. I just want to say thank you. I know she's the one that talked him into giving in." She doesn't believe that her dad had anything to do with it.

"They made the decision together. Both of them." Jordan looks her in the eye. "Babe, no matter how mad you are at him, he's still your dad."

"Yeah, but that doesn't mean I have to speak to him. I don't want anything to do with him."

Jordan can see that talking to her about Graham is pointless, so when she tugs on his hand, he follows her from the room. At the top of the stairs, she yells for her mom. Patty appears at the bottom, a worried look on her face.

Patty says, "Yes, dear?"

Angela lets go of Jordan and rushes down the stairs and into her Patty's arms. As the two of them embrace, Jordan walks down the stairs and leans against the banister. Patty looks over the top of Angela's head to meet Jordan's gaze. She mouths, "Thank you," to him, continuing to hold her daughter. Jordan gives her a half smile, sensing the relief washing over Patty.

Eventually they break apart to look at each other. Patty says, "Are you alright, honey?"

"If you mean about Dad, then I'm still mad at him. I don't want you or Jordan or anyone else to defend him to me anymore. Maybe you can forgive him for what he's done, but I can't." When Patty starts to protest, Angela holds up her hand and says, "I don't care what he says he's done or hasn't done. It doesn't matter. I still remember what he did to Jordan."

"Angela, I'm not defending him. I just want you to think about it from my perspective. I love your dad. I need to work this out with him." Patty tucks Angela's hair behind her ear. "As much as it kills me to admit, you're grown up now. You're leaving to be with Jordan. You're going to be a mother. You've got your own life to live. I can't let your anger toward your father get in the way of my happiness."

"It's ok, Mom. I understand. But you have to understand that we aren't going to just be one big happy family again. Not right now. Maybe not ever." Angela's stubbornness is in full view.

"Angela, you can't say that. You're just mad at your father. Maybe one day you'll understand." Patty sighs, giving up her fight. "So, I guess Jordan gave you the other news."

Angela's expression changes instantly. "Yes, he did. When? Tonight?"

"Well, I thought maybe you could wait until tomorrow. That way Jordan can get your bed moved and you'll have somewhere to sleep." Patty shook her head. She should have known Angela wouldn't want to wait.

"Uh. Why can't I go tonight?" Angela says with a frown.

Jordan speaks up. "Because your mom is right. There's nowhere for you to sleep."

"We can sleep on the floor," she says, turning to look at him.

"No. We can't. I'm not letting you sleep on the floor."

"Why not?" she whines, "It'll only be one night."

"Because I'm not letting my pregnant girlfriend sleep on the floor. You can wait until tomorrow." He crosses his arms, over his chest. "Don't argue with me. Me and Shane will come and move the bed tomorrow."

Rolling her eyes, she says, "Fine. If I can't go to the apartment tonight, then you can stay here."

Looking at Patty, Jordan says, "No. I'm going back to the apartment."

"Why is it ok for you to sleep there with no bed, but not me? And besides, we'll be sharing a bed after tonight anyway. What difference does it make?" She crosses her arms, her jaw set. "You can stay here with me."

Jordan says, "Angela, just let it go. I'm not sleeping in your bedroom and if I'm gonna sleep on the couch, I can do it at home."

Patty surprises them both by saying, "I guess it really doesn't matter, does it? You shouldn't have to sleep on that hard sofa over there. I can tell you, it's not very comfortable. You may as well stay here tonight."

"It's ok, Patty." He made a promise to Graham and he wasn't going back on that.

"Just stay, Jordan. It's fine, really." She hugs Angela again, then she takes the steps up to Jordan and hugs him. "Don't worry, dear. No one will say anything. Will you guys turn everything off down here? It's been a long day. I'm going to turn in." She leaves them staring after her.

Jordan and Angela turn off all the lights, shut off the TV and lock the doors before heading back upstairs. They stand in the bathroom at the sink together brushing their teeth, Jordan with the new tooth brush Angela pulled out from under the sink. When they return to her room, Angela shuts and locks the door behind them.

Angela, already in her t shirt climbs into bed. Jordan empties his pockets and sits on the bed to unlace his boots. When he moves to climb into bed beside her, she asks, "You aren't going to sleep in your jeans are you? The door's locked. No one will come in here." When he hesitates, she says, "It's ok for you to sleep in your boxers."

As she watches him, he pulls his shirt over his head. After shedding his jeans, he climbs under the covers. She turns toward him, puckering her lips for a kiss. He kisses her chastely, then nudges her over onto her side, facing away from him. He slips his arm around her waist and pulls her back against his chest.

Burying his face in her hair, he hugs her to him. He says, "Sweet dreams, Red." With a contented sigh, they both fall asleep.

Ok...so I got the "how they moved in together" out of the way. What do you think? I'm ending this one here. I'll continue their story together, most likely in the M section as they're now growing up. "As days go by" will be coming soon...stay tuned.