I finally felt like I could breathe right again. The remodel was complete, the secretaries were picked and would be starting training with me and Jameson was settling into his office. He was already picking up on things well and it was all right on time for Rochelle to get home from her honeymoon.
Life felt right for the first time in a while, I wasn't feeling so overwhelmed by life anymore; I was happy. My stomach was growing a little every day and I couldn't help but smile every time I saw myself in the mirror or rested my hands on my stomach.
My babies were growing there and I was going to get to be a mom. I would have two little ones to love and to watch grow, I would have two babies that were half me and half Chase; they would be perfect.
All the tension between us had disappeared, Riley and Chase hung out and talked like all the drama from last year never happened and I got to spend time with my girls again.
Things were how they should be.
We were growing as individuals, couples, friends and a company. It took five years to finally get back on track but we finally succeeded.
"This was a great idea, Brylee." Riley wrapped an arm around me our first day in the finished office and I nodded.
"I'm glad it's done." I had a habit of resting a hand on my stomach now and Riley's covered mine.
"I'm glad too; you really need to relax more now. I'm not asking you not to work, just stop working twelve hour days now; for the three of you and Chase's sanity. He's so worried about you but he won't say it." I looked over at his office and through the window I could see his back was turned towards me and he was setting up his new office.
"I know, he won't say it but I know he's worried I'll miscarry again if I keep putting so much stress on myself. I'm okay though Riley." I tried to assure him.
"I'm worried that if you don't let up you're going to hurt yourself and your children Brylee. I don't care that some pregnant women have it harder, I don't care that others are working overtime when they're expecting because you aren't just anyone, you are my sister and I don't want anything to happen to any of you. We are so fortunate and you can and should pull back at least a little bit and try to take care of the three of you." I was about to say some kind of possibly sarcastic comment and ignore his words, not because I didn't care, because I just kept telling myself I could handle it.
The point he was trying to make wasn't about that though, he knew that I could; the point was that he didn't want me to.
The point was that he and Chase were friends and talking again and my husband was worried about me, and that the health of my babies was more important than having me kill myself to help run this company.
This was what I wanted though, right? This was why I called the meeting, why we hired more people on, why we're actually having secretaries and why Jameson is here.
"I know." I told him and he looked like he was getting ready for a fight with me and was surprised I agreed with him so easily.
"He's afraid to talk to you about this, you know. He doesn't want to fight about it, he just wants you to be pregnant Brylee, he wants his wife to be happy and healthy, he wants her to have a smile on her face, to enjoy what's about to come. He's so happy, I don't think I've ever seen him this happy, Bry." I was so fucking hormonal.
I wiped my eyes as I looked over my shoulder again and this time he was facing forward. He looked at me and his eyes saddened in concern. It upset him when I cried and that seemed to be all I was able to do lately.
"What he wants is the whole barefoot in the kitchen, me to be at home and relax, go out and spend money and watch me be pregnant and never work." Chase had that alpha male personality that he wanted to provide for his family and didn't want me to have to work. Chase would never say that to me but it was true.
"Well we know that will never happen but that's not a bad thing Brylee. He adores you and I think the greatest news you could have ever told him was he was going to be the father to your children. It's almost embarrassing how he's like a lost puppy when it comes to you." I smacked him
"Don't be mean; do you not remember how you would follow after Monica begging all the time every time you pissed her off?" I asked him because It wasn't embarrassing, Chase had nothing to be embarrassed about.
"Still do." he grinned and I let the laugh go, the sound was so foreign to my ears lately.
"Exactly so if he's embarrassing then you are too." He shrugged
"I know I am. Monica is the absolute love of my life and I'm not ashamed to say I have gotten on my knees and begged her not to leave me, to give me a second chance and a third when I messed up. She was ready to walk after what I did to you and I begged and cried and pleaded with her not to. I love her enough to give up my pride and dignity to make her stay because she never makes me feel like I'm giving up anything. Losing her would be worse than losing that pride."
I admired his devotion to her and I always had. Monica was a strong woman to put up with his crap and to help him through it all while raising two children when Riley wasn't much help.
"Should I call you embarrassing or pathetic now?" I asked him and he just shook his head, I didn't think that he was in the least; his comment about my very loving husband just really rubbed me the wrong way.
"I wouldn't care if you did. I have the most amazing and perfect wife and three loving, sweet and beautiful children so far. I wouldn't have all of that in my life if I just gave up and didn't grovel at my massive mistakes." It really didn't bother him.
Riley's always had a huge heart and what made that night so shocking. The alcoholic version of him was far from the man he actually was.
I'm thankful to my sister every day for sticking with him and giving him his life back each time he lost his way. She deserved an award for her patience and kindness and Riley was determined to give her everything because he could see her worth clearer than anyone.
"You're a good husband." I bumped my hip with his
"I haven't been but I'm sure as hell trying to be. I don't deserve her."
"She loves you Riley, she's not going to leave." He nodded lightly.
"We've worked a lot of things out and are going to marriage counseling." That was good, I knew he was getting it for himself; I'm relieved to see that they're working on the tension in their marriage and not just trying to ignore it.
"What did you mean by the three so far?" I asked catching something he said before and he smiled.
"Monica and I aren't done Brylee. We've talked and when we have our next child, she's not going back to work. She's going to be a stay at home mom." I didn't know how she did it now; god knows how she would with four.
"How many kids do you want?" I couldn't imagine having more; I just wanted to get through this pregnancy, who knows if I even wanted any more after this.
"Six maybe." My eyes nearly fell out of my head at that number
"Six!" I said a little too loudly and my voice was nearly a squeak; that was a lot of kids.
"Yes six, we want a big family and Monica isn't really attached to her career, she wants to stay home with the kids. She feels like she's missing so much and I know that I am. She's the one who asked how I felt about it. I would never ask her to give up her career." Monica was more independent, I was surprised that she was the one who wanted to stay home.
I would have assumed that Riley would have asked her too. Her love for her kids was infinitely greater than her love for her job.
"Hi honey." Chase came up behind me and wrapped his arms around me, resting his hands on my stomach "And my babies." He kissed my cheek and I leaned back into him.
"Got your office all set up?" Riley asked him and he nodded
"I do, and now I have to help my beautiful wife move stuff around and make room for the couch in there." he said and I frowned
"The what?" I asked, was he serious?
"If you're going to insist on continuing to work these stupid hours, my pregnant wife will have somewhere comfortable to rest or slay down if needed. I'm not going to ask you not to work Brylee but i will do anything necessary to take care of my wife and my children." Children, I would have to get used to him saying that.
It still hasn't exactly clicked in that this was real. Sure I felt sick, I know they're there, but I'm not to that stage where I'm bulging and miserable. We haven't picked anything out for a nursery, gone baby shopping or announced it to our extended friends yet; which those cards needed to go out tomorrow.
"You just love saying wife and children every opportunity." I smiled when Riley laughed. A year ago this would be a different story.
"I really do." He wasn't ashamed of it either, I found it sweet and it sometimes made me want to cry, like now, damn it.
"What's wrong?" Riley asked and Chase looked at me concerned.
"I'm just, so, so happy you're friends again." and I started fucking sobbing, I was such a mess. Neither of them made fun of me or freaked out, Chase just turned me around and held me while Riley rubbed my back.
"We were bound to work it out Bry. It's all okay now." Riley's voice was so familiarly soothing,
"You're both stuck with me now, of course we had too." Chase made me laugh and he nuzzled my neck.
"I'm sorry." I tried to pull away and Chase wouldn't let go.
"You have nothing to be embarrassed or sorry for honey, nothing at all." he let me go enough to wipe at me face and his fingers were gentle as they softly ran under my eyes.
"I'm such a mess." I knew pregnancy was hard and that I would be emotional, I just didn't expect this amount of tears and I was dreading this a little because I knew it only got worse from here.
"I know." His lips grazed mine as he moved his face left to right, his lips moving back and forth against mine.
"I know you know." And I loved that he loved me anyway.
"Could have been worse." Riley smirked
"What do you mean?" I eyes him suspiciously
"He could be Scott, now that's a level of crazy I don't want to see again anytime soon." Riley couldn't even finish that sentence without laughing at Scott's expense, it was so hilariously true.
I know it's short, but this chapter is important to me because in a casual environment, Chase and Brylee can be themselves and everyone is moving on from all the terrible things that happened in the previous book <3