Read Holding On Online

Authors: Meg Jolie

Holding On (4 page)

BOOK: Holding On
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“Oh, baby doll,” Jake said. He pulled Quinn across the seat of his truck and into his arms. They were still parked in the driveway. Margo had called Pete back inside just as Quinn went out to meet Jake. “Is this hormones? Already?” he wondered. A small smile fought to dance on his lips.

For just a moment she rested against him, cherishing the feeling of rightness.

But only for a moment.

“No,” she
snapped as she pulled away from him. She sniffled and swiped at her tears. They were back again, fully flowing. She wasn’t a crier by nature and the fact that she’d spent a better part of the day sobbing had left her feeling unhinged. She grudgingly admitted to
it was hormones. But not to Jake. “This isn’t hormones! This is me…being
! I tell you I’m pregnant and you walk out on me?!” Her voice was so shrill she was hurting her own ears. She smacked him across the chest. Just in case he missed how upset she was.

“Quinn,” he said sounding surprised. “I didn’t walk out on you! I told you, I had something I needed to do!” He looked offended at the thought.

“More important than talking to your girlfriend about the baby we’re going to have?”  she demanded as she leaned away from him. “So important that when I tell you the biggest news of my life…of our lives…that you just turn around and walk away from me? Leaving me standing there?
?!” she emphasized for good measure. Her quaking voice and a case of the sniffles didn’t give her voice as much force as she had hoped to have.

He scraped a hand over his face. “Okay. When you put it that way…I see how it looks.”

She made a face at him, as if to ask what other way it could possibly look?

“I’m so sorry,” he said
. He leaned across the armrest and pulled her to him again. This time she didn’t resist. “I wasn’t thinking.”  She didn’t resist because it was exactly where she wanted to be. This was how she had expected things to be from the moment the words had tumbled from her lips. He started to place, soft, sweet, comforting kisses along her hairline. Across her cheek, down her neck. “I’m sorry. You caught me off-guard,” he murmured. He had one arm around her and the other was rubbing soothing circles across her back. “Forgive me?” He had backed up just enough so that he could look her in the eye.

“You’re not mad?” she asked. She was slightly embarrassed that her
voice sounded so strangled.

He broke into a huge grin.

Her heart somersaulted.

“Mad? Hell no!” he exclaimed. Then his grin fell away. “Oh,
shit, is that what you thought?” He grimaced. “Is that the impression I gave you?”

She raised her
eyebrows at him as she swallowed down the last of the fading lump in her throat. When she nodded, a tear leaked out and a pained look crossed Jake’s face. She realized that her emotions were all over the place. She quickly swiped the tear away and silently cursed her hormones.

“No,” he said
softly. “Baby, no. I am so completely the opposite of mad.”

She looped her
arms around him and held on tight. Those were the words she had been aching to hear. Her head rested on his chest. In that moment, she was finally sure that everything was going to be okay.

“I love you so mu
ch,” he murmured against her hair. “

“I love you
, too,” she whispered back.

“That’s why I wanted to do thin
gs right,” he said, releasing her again. “I think I was in shock when you told me. But can we just…can we start over?”

“Start over?” she

He nodded. “Just trust me on this, okay?”

“Okay,” she said as yet another tear seeped out. This, at least, was a tear of relief.

He leaned over and wiped it away. “No more tears, okay? It breaks my heart to see you crying.”

She nodded in agreement.

He grinned at her
and finally started his truck. They backed out and she realized that Carly was watching from the bedroom window again. She raised her hand in a small wave that went unnoticed by Jake. He was turned around, busy watching the street behind them as he backed out of the Johnson’s driveway.

raised her hands in a
kind of gesture. Quinn didn’t respond because Jake had swung his truck around and they were headed down the street.

“Where are we g
oing?” she asked with a frown.

He had taken a turn that was
obviously not headed to his house. That was where she had assumed he would take her. She wasn’t in the mood to go out or to
anything, really. She was physically and emotionally drained. What she really wanted was a nice, quiet night in. Preferably at Jake’s where they could have privacy while they talked things out. She was surprised that he didn’t want that as well.

“You’ll see,” he answered. His smile had faded and now he looked nervous. “So, what do I need to know? How far along are you? When are we due? Have you seen a doctor yet? You haven’t to
ld anyone else, have you?” he asked as he tossed a questioning glance her way. “Am I forgetting anything? I really don’t know what I should even ask.”

Carly is the only one that knows. She was there when I took the tests this morning,” Quinn admitted.

He nodded. “I wish you would’ve told me. I would’ve been there for you.”

She was quiet for a second, wishing she had done things differently. “I’m sorry. I just didn’t want to worry you unnecessarily.”

Worry me
?” he asked as he gave her a sideways glance. “Quinn, do you have any idea how excited I am?”

She bit her lip
then smiled. She was amazed at how much things had changed in the last fifteen minutes. Then she shook her head.

“I guess part of the reason I didn’t tell you was that
I kept thinking it couldn’t be true. Up until I had the three positive tests in my hand, I just…I couldn’t believe it could be true.”

“Three?” Jake asked with a laugh.

She shrugged. “I wanted to be sure.”

He was still smiling. “Well, I’m glad you’re sure. And I’m glad you at least had Carly there.”

He didn’t sound mad. Quinn was relieved at that so she continued on.

“I’m only a few weeks along. I haven’t seen a doctor. I mean, I just found out this morning.
due,” she said as she gave him a tentative smile, he gave her an elated grin back, “at the end of November. Right after Thanksgiving, I think. We went online and found a due date calculator.”

“They have those?” he asked with raised eyebrows.

She nodded. “They have everything on line.”

, wow,” he breathed out heavily. “A baby. We’re really going to have a baby.”

“Yeah,” she
agreed, “we are.”

pulled into the city park.

“What are we doing?” Quinn

glanced at the dashboard clock. It was nearly seven. Then he gave her a nervous look. “Have you eaten yet?” Then he shook his head looking inexplicably disappointed. “You probably have. It’s getting pretty late.”

“Actually,” she admitted, “I haven’t.”
She had been too upset to eat.

He gave her a relieved smile. “Perfect
,” he said as he chose a parking spot.

e got out, she followed. It was nearly April and even though the day had been unseasonably warm, the evening air was chilly. She was grateful she’d thought to grab a sweater.

realized he had pulled a picnic basket out of the back seat. It looked oddly familiar. She pointed at it, her expression a question mark.

“Yeah,” he said. His
grin was still plastered across his face. “It’s the same one.”

’d gone to an antique store last fall. Quinn had spotted a picnic basket. The old-fashioned kind; woven with a lid that flipped open and closed. For no particular reason, she’d always thought they were really fun looking. Even though she realized they were probably not the least bit practical. Not like the small, insulated coolers people toted around these days. But she’d mentioned to Jake that she’d always wanted one, practical or not. When she’d looked at the price-tag, she’d changed her mind. Apparently the one she had looked at was a fancy-schmansy antique. The price tag reflected it.

Her heart melted when she
realized he’d gone back and gotten it for her.

He latched
his free hand around hers as he towed her across the parking lot to the grass. His other hand held the basket as well as a blanket. He led her to a spot near the lake’s edge. He finally let go of her hand to spread out the blanket.

“Is this okay?” he asked.

She nodded. “You left without a word so we could have a picnic?” she asked, incredulous.

He sat and she placed her
self next to him.

“Yeah,” he said with a grin. “I’ve had this picnic planned for a
really long time.”

shook her head at him. “That doesn’t even make sense. And I can’t believe you bought me that basket!”

“The basket is only part of it,” he said.
His expression had turned serious. “And it does make sense. Just be patient.” They’d been sitting side by side but suddenly, he moved. In seconds, he was on one knee, kneeling in front of her.

She opened her
mouth to speak, but he placed a finger over her lips. He hadn’t needed to do that because no words were willing to make an appearance.

“This isn’t exactly how I’d planned on doing this,” he said
. “I’d always envisioned us having a romantic picnic
. But we’ll do it a little backwards.”

“You’ve envisioned this?” she
managed to get out.

“So many times,” he admitted. “I’ve been planning this for months. I even had the date picked out. I was going to wait until the weekend after you graduated. I had wanted to take you up to
the mountains. I thought we could stay at a bed and breakfast. I thought we’d be up late, sleep in late,” he said with a devilish grin. “Then I’d planned on packing a picnic lunch and taking you to some beautiful park. But,” he said with an unapologetic shrug, “I don’t want to wait that long. Not now. So I’m improvising.” His hand slid into his pocket, pulling out the small, tell-tale box. “Quinn Marie Johnson, I never thought it would be possible to love someone as much as I love you. The past year and a half…it’s been amazing. Incredible. I cannot picture my future without you in it. I couldn’t before and after today…There is no way I can live without you. Please tell me you feel the same way. Please tell me that you’ll marry me.”

He opened the box and the small hinges popped. Insi
de was the most beautiful ring she’d ever seen. It was an enormous triangular shaped diamond. A trillion. Her favorite cut because of its uniqueness. She realized she had mentioned it ages ago, not really expecting him to be paying attention at the time.

nodded and whispered. “Yes, yes of course I’ll marry you.”

He placed the ring on her finger and
the moment he did, she launched herself at him. She knocked him over but he didn’t complain. He pulled her mouth down to his so he could place a sultry kiss on her lips. She let out a happy little whimper as she melted into him. His mouth moved with hers in a rhythm that was comfortable and familiar. The kiss was full of love, security and the promise of a future. His hands skimmed over her back, pulling her close. She groaned in disappointment when he finally pulled away.

“I promise
you, I will spend every day for the rest of my life making the two of you happy,” he told her. He rolled them both over so she was on her side next to him. He leaned back in to place a light kiss on her nose.

“I just can’t believe this,” Quinn admitted. “You hadn’t mentioned marriage for so long…I’d started to wonder if you’d changed your mind.”

BOOK: Holding On
8.85Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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