~*~Tracie~*~

I didnít sleep. I laid there thinking about what Kevin had said. That would explain why he wouldnít . . . why he couldnít talk about it. Why he was so sad and angry, but seemed to lack any feelings of guilt about the annulment.

Kevin woke up and I was still sitting there, "How long have you been awake?"

I smiled at him, seeing him differently yet again. This time as someone who had something very precious stolen from him, and would live with that forever. "I havenít been to sleep."

"Baby, you ok?"

I shook my head, "Iím ok. Letís get out of here. I want to go home."

He got up without another question. I love how we just know when to do, and not talk.

~*~Kevin~*~

I drove us home. I liked her calling my house home. A lot. She looked exhausted, and like sheíd been crying. Her eyes were red and swollen. I was so trashed last night I donít know if something happened. She kept a hold of me, so Iím pretty sure I didnít do something stupid. I took her upstairs and put her in the bed, "Think you can sleep now?"

"Stay with me until I do?"

I climbed in beside her, "Of course."

She was out quick and I watched her for a long time before I got up. I called AJís a few hours later and no one remembered anything bad happening. Good, I wasnít that out of it. Tracie came downstairs while I was reading on the couch. I laid down the book and let her sit in my lap, "Feel better?"

"Yeah." She was quiet for a bit then kissed my cheek, "Think we can go to a beach, get a room. Just us."

Oh yeah, I liked this idea. "Iím sure of it, anywhere in particular you want to go."

"Nope, you pick. As long as youíre there itíll be perfect."

I donít know what is going on, but I like this. Not that something is wrong, but that the solution is for us to go off together. I have to admit I like the tone to her voice. Soft and easy. I got on the phone and got us a suite a little north of Daytona. I know, itís touristy, but the beach is big and itís close enough. The place I picked was just far enough away to be out of the circus. There are condoís on one side and an empty lot on the other. So the beach getís pretty deserted. Itís just for scenery anyway.

We were there by sunset. The drive was good. Tracie was a little off the whole time. Nothing big, but I knew something was bothering her. I also knew that it wasnít time to push that. We got our stuff to the room then headed out to dinner. Great place on the pier. We took a cab down there so we could walk back. A bottle of wine, some excellent seafood, some laughs at the people, and we were on our way back. It would be dark by the time we made it to our hotel.

I took her hand and we headed down the beach. It was a beautiful night. The moon lit up the breakers and the sound from the waves was soothing. We walked on the wet sand and once we got away from the lights of the pier I turned and kissed her, "Somethingís been wrong all day. You want to talk about it, kitten." That got a smile and a roll of her eyes at me.

"Itís about you. Last night after we went to bed you said something. It makes perfect sense." I waited until she went on, no idea what Iíd said. She kissed me then went on, "You asked me if I would ever kill your baby?"

I closed my eyes and scrunched up my face, that hurt, "Oh shit! Iím sorry, Tracie. I canít believe I did that. Yes I can, I guess itís time, huh?" I had hoped that whole memory would disappear. Never happens, shit always comes back and bites me in the ass. "Iím sorry I dropped that bomb then conked out. Letís walk." I needed to keep moving.

"Donít apologize and if you donít want to talk, thatís fine."

I kissed her again, hugged her, then took her hand and started walking, "Jessica didnít have a miscarriage. She had an abortion. She took RU-486, and the day they called me home it had started working. The next day when I drove her to the doctor to be checked, she really was getting the second set of pills to finish it. One of the problems with the pills is sometimes it doesnít completely work. Thatís what happened, and they did a D & C. The doctor told me. Iím sure he thought I knew, since I was her husband. I played it off with him, then went to her room and told her to get the fuck out of my house, and out of my life. She was gonna keep lying, she lied right then to my face. If it wouldnít have screwed up I would have never known."

"Did she say why?"

I nodded, "Yeah, she said she thought getting pregnant, which I think she did on purpose, would make her first. Then I was putting the baby above her, so she got rid of it. Some shit about if we just had some time alone sheíd be first. Trace, the two things that killed me where that she planned this, it wasnít even an impulsive thing, she had those pills a few days before she took the. She thought this all out. Then I fucking drove her to finish it. She made me part of it. I hate her. Iíve never hated anyone in my life, but I hate her. That baby didnít ask to be made, and she killed it. I know that woman have abortions every day, and thatís their choice. I didnít get a choice, and I did the Ďrightí thing. I took responsibility and married her."

"You did good, Kevin." She squeezed my hand.

"You never agreed with what I did. I felt, hell I feel so stupid. You all told me not to do it, and I went ahead. Look what happened. I canít believe I didnít see what a case she was."

Trace stopped and yanked me back to her where I was facing her. She put her hands on my face, "I never agreed with what you did, but I was very proud of you for why you did it. You stuck with your beliefs even though you knew were sacrificing your own happiness. You did put the child first, in front of everyone. I still am proud of you." She kissed me then held me. I shed a few more tears. She did too. This time they were tinged with the smallest bit of happiness. Tracie is proud of me. She spoke quietly as we held on, "No way you could know how far sheíd go. Itís crazy how people can who they really are for so long to get what they want. No wonder you guys donít trust. I never in my wildest dreams thought of this one."

"Exactly, you wouldnít do that. Iím sorry I asked you that. That wasnít fair, and it had nothing to do with you. I trust you . . . completely." We stood in the moonlight kissing for what felt like forever.

Once back to our hotel I ran up to get a blanket so we could sit out there for a while. As I went up the elevator it hit me that she never even mentioned me not telling her this before. I laughed to myself, of course she didnít, this wasnít about her. This was about me, and anything I did to take care of me was good. She trusted me enough to let me do what I needed to do, and if it became an issue with us, or if I wanted to weíd talk about it. I thought a second and realized I would do the same thing. I had all day. I let her have her space, then asked if she wanted to talk. I would have been fine if she said no.

We sat on the beach with Tracie in front of me with my arms wrapped around her.  I kept my face close to her's.  I was watching the same things she was watching, smelling the ocean, and her.  Her.  She felt safe and warm there in my arms.  I felt safe and warm.  I squeezed her closer and felt her grip my arms a little tighter.  I nuzzled into her neck and sighed, "I love you, Tracie."

    She laid her head back against me and nuzzled into my neck, "I love you too, Kevin." 

    I turned her sideways leaning against my leg so I could see her, "I mean head over heels, forever, happily ever after, can't live without you, let's go make love until we're both crying love you."

    She smiled a smile that sent shivers through my body and she had never looked more beautiful to me, "I knew what you meant.  I meant the same thing."  She laid her hand on my face and we kissed.  Soft, and long.  I felt this amazing sense of calm overtake me.  Like all the tension leaving my body.  I had only said those words once before and it wasn't this easy.  This was very easy.  Things would be much easier in my life now that I really had found someone to share it with. All of it. She pulled away from me, "Yes."

    I was confused, "Yes what?"

    "Let's go make love until we're both crying."

    The best sound in the world was our laughter as I ran back to our room carrying her piggyback.

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