A/N: Here's the next chapter! Thanks for all the wonderful reviews and favorites and follows! (: I love you all!
"Mason, I'm pregnant."
His eyes light up and he picks me up and twirls me around. As suddenly as he began, he sets me down. "Oh, sorry little one," he says as he touches my stomach. "I'm your daddy, and I'm going to take good care of you."
I place my hand over his. "I can't believe it."
"Me neither," he looks me in the eyes, "but I'm so happy. I love you."
I try to savor this moment. Because I know what comes next. It's what always does.
I close my eyes and then open them again, suddenly in our bed. I feel wet. Investigating, I throw off the covers, look down, and see blood.
Beep. Beep. Beep.
I jolt awake, my alarm clock ringing. Looking next to me, I'm momentarily confused as to why the arms aren't around me. My throat is raw from screaming. I put my arm out to hit him, remind him to wake up, but the sheets next to me are cold.
Oh, yeah. I forgot.
I swing my legs out of bed, and stand up. Leaving the bed unmade, I walk lazily into the bathroom. I throw on some clean clothes, and then run a brush through my hair, half trying. My eyes are still red from crying.
But that's nothing new.
It's been nine months since I came home and found Mason's things were gone. That I found out Mason was gone.
Hey, Love. I just wanted to let you know that I'm going to be a bit later tonight, but I'll try to get home as soon as I can. I just got caught up at work. I hope you don't mind. Love you, bye!
As I remove the phone from my ear, I feel a few tears slip out of my eyes. Just like every day, my finger lingers over the delete button, but I can't bring myself to do it.
Outside of our house, I pretend everything is okay. Nobody knows that I'm still trying to get over this.
I sigh, and rub my face, then undress and hop in the shower. I get out, dry myself off, get dressed, and do my makeup.
I descend down the stairs, and pop some toast in the toaster, pouring myself a glass of orange juice to go along with it.
After I've eaten breakfast, I grab my bag and head out to the studio, where I work as an artist.
Today, one of the check-out people called in sick, so I end up having to cover for them.
It's a pretty slow day, people come in to look around, but no one really buys anything. I spend the majority of the morning paging through magazines.
"Excuse me," I hear a male voice. Looking up, I say, "How can I help you?"
The man points to a painting he has in his hand. "There's not a price tag on this, and I was just wondering how much it was."
"Oh, um, let's take a look. Where'd you find that?" It's one of mine, so I guess technically I could sell it to him for whatever.
"It was right here." he points to a section that says 50% off.
"You know what? You can have it."
He turns around and looks at me, shocked. "Really?"
"Yeah, it's one of mine, so consider it a gift," I give him a smile.
"Wait, you're an artist?"
"Yeah, I'm just covering for someone today. Usually I'd be in the back, painting, since I co-own the studio."
He whistles. "That's awesome. I come here all the time to get art. See, I'm a big fan of it."
I raise my eyebrows. "Well, you must have good taste, picking that one. You know, since it's mine."
He laughs. "I'm sorry," he says, "But I don't believe I caught your name."
"I'm Alex," I say, "And you?"
"Peter," he tells me. "So, I don't mean to pry, but who's the lucky fellow?"
"Um, what?" I say, confused.
"You're married. You're wearing a ring."
"Oh, yeah." I say. "Well, actually, I was married. He left me."
"I'm so sorry, I should have just kept my big mouth shut," he looks at me apologetically.
"It's okay. It was nine months ago, so I'm starting to get over it."
Peter smiles at me. "Well, Alex, how about I help you do that. Tonight, when do you get off work? We could go somewhere; have a few drinks, talk, whatever you want."
I hesitate. "I'm not sure that's a good idea," I start to say.
"Come on, it'll be fun."
I look at him for a little while, and then say, "Alright. I guess it would do me good to get out. But you're paying for the cab I'll need to get home."
He laughs. "Alright," I confess. "Maybe I'm not as over Mason as I would like to think."
"That's understandable. So, when do you get off work?"
"6 technically, but I have a few things to get done around here, so maybe 6:30?"
Peter takes a piece of scrap paper we keep by the register and scribbles something on it. "My number, in case something comes up."
I take the piece of paper he hands me. "Thanks."
"Well," he says. "I guess I'll see you tonight."
"See you tonight."
I watch him walk away, suddenly realizing how attractive he is. Blonde hair, tanned skin, and toned muscles.
I shake my head, trying to figure out what the heck I just did. I'm not ready yet to move on from Mason like this.
"He was just being nice. He's not expecting anything. You don't even know him, Alex," I say to myself.
I look down at the number in my hand, then carefully fold the paper and place it in my pocket.