Nick’s face looked so sad, “Oh baby, don’t.  I love you, but I will not get married just because I’m pregnant.  Did we not learn anything from Kevin’s marrying the pregnant girlfriend?”

            “This is nothing like Jessica and Kevin.  I actually love you.”

            I was fucking this up, “I’m sorry.  Honey, we all talked about how getting married because of a kid isn’t the way to do it.  I believe that.  If I wasn’t pregnant you wouldn’t have asked me to marry you now.  I love you even more for the thought, but not like this, because of this.” 

            He got out of bed and came back in about ten minutes,  “Ok.  I’m selling the house.  Don’t want it.  Let’s find one together, room for the three of us.”

            “You bounce back fast.”  I was in shock.  In the last 15 minutes I’d been proposed to, said no, and now the same guy wanted me to move in with him.

            “Go for the big thing then negotiate.  Live with me.”

            I smiled, “Yes.”

            “I am the man!”



            “I can’t walk.  My thighs are killing me.”

            Tracie put a huge mug of coffee and a plate with breakfast on the nightstand before she jumped back into bed, “I’m sore all over.”  She kissed me, “Ain’t it great?”

            I grabbed her and threw her to the foot of the bed, “It’s very great.”  I climbed on top of her and kissed her, “I love you.”

“I feel thoroughly and completely made love to.  You didn’t miss an inch.”

“I take pride in my work.”

“You enjoy your work.”  She laughed and wrapped a leg around me.

“I’m a perfectionist.  I may have missed an inch.  Gonna have to dig deep.”

“Oh, I love deep.”

“I know you do.  When do you have to be at work?”

Tracie coughed, “I’m sick.  I’m all yours.  All day.”


My lady sleeps.  It’s funny.  She has wrapped herself around my arm.  I can’t feel my fingers.  They are wedged between her knees.  She is the tiniest damn thing.  Sometimes I’m afraid I’m going to break her.  I watched her sleep.  This had been a day.  I feel better than I have in months.  I really am happy for Nick.  He seems happy, and he deserves some happy.  So do I.  I wondered there for awhile. 

 It was getting to be late afternoon when we woke up again. “I need to run over to my place.  I left the training manual I’ve been working on over there.”

“Did you stay over there while I was gone?”  I just assumed she’d stayed at my house.

“No, I stayed here.  Curled up around your pillow.  Kevin, you called here and got me.” 

“Oh yeah.  Ok, let’s go.” 

I wandered around her place.  I saw little bits of her around.  Those feminine touches that told me a woman lived here.  I didn’t have those at my house.  I think I need some.  I got an idea.




            A couple days later Lee and I had found the house.  Bought the house.  I called the guys and told them to meet us at the address.  I threw open the door, “Welcome to our new house.”

            AJ looked at both of use, “Moving in together?”

            I smiled and hugged Lee, “Yep, maybe another two weeks before we close.”  I gave them a tour.  It’s right on the beach.  I can’t be too far from the beach.  Lee liked the beach too, so we’d be good.  We could both see the kid playing out there.  I think that solidified it.  When we could see our family here.  Upstairs Lee told them our plans for the master suite.  I spun around in the small room right next to our room, “This will be the nursery, not sure about theme yet.”

            Lee shook her head, “I want you to do a mural.  You draw it all.”

            “I want it perfect.”

            “It will be if you do it.”

            “Hold up!”  AJ yelled.

            Howie chimed it, “Nursery?”

            I was beaming, “I’m gonna be a daddy.”

           I don’t think I’ve seen those three speechless all at the same time.  AJ’s mouth dropped.  Lee and I started laughing.  Neither of us taking this personal.  Hell, it was a shock.  Howie got it back together fastest, “Little Nicky is gonna be a daddy.  Shit!  Congratulations you two!”  He hugged us.

            AJ was shaking his head, “Man, I need a drink.  The first Backstreet baby is gonna be a Carter?  I figured one of us would have a love child first.  But not little Nicky.  Glad it’s you.  Can I babysit?”

            Lee glared, “Leave my kids hair alone.”  She hugged him and he dipped her and kissed her.  Open mouth kissed the mother of my child.  “Whoa, what is that about?”

            “Never kissed a pregnant woman before.  Seems the same.”

            I smacked his head.  Brian was being quiet.  He was still walking on egg shells around everyone.  “I’m happy for you.  This is great.  Thank you for letting me part of this.”

            Lee was over with AJ, next to Brian.  She hugged him, “Moving on, Brian.  Moving on.  You had to be here, you belong here.”

            “Thank you.”  I joined in on the hug.  Lee and I didn’t discuss this, but she spoke for both of us.  I want to let it all go.  This is the happiest thing in my life and I won’t have anything negative ruining it.  I know that I still react out of stuff left over from that relationship, but I’m trying.  Lee is great with it, she calls them my “Pamism’s”.  Kevin has is “Jessicaism’s”.  We all have something.  Not everyone is as lucky as Kevin and I having women who are willing to help us deal with them.  



            I asked AJ for his help with my end of the week project.  He pulled his sunglasses down and looked at me, “She know about this?”

            “Nope.”  I smiled.

            “Good for you.  Just skip the hassle of discussing it death and winding up at the same place.  You got a 50/50 shot of living.”

            “I think my odds are a little better.  She doesn’t have much stuff there.”  I had bought Tracie out of her lease.  She was living at my house anyway.  AJ and I would go over early on Thursday and decide what went to storage and what went to my house.  I thought that I would have a good idea about this, and I had rented a huge storage unit to put the other stuff in.  We could go over there and sort through anything we wanted.  I wanted to make a statement and make it fast ~ I want you with me . . . yesterday.


            The alarm went off at six am.  Tracie raised her head and looked at the time, “Why?”

            I kissed her and untangled myself from her embrace, “AJ and I have something to take care of this morning.  I’ll see you when you get home.  Go back to sleep, you’ve got a few hours.  I love you.”

            She curled back into a ball, “Love you too.”

            AJ was waiting when I got there, “I stopped and got coffee.”  I unlocked the door, “Let’s move my love.”

            The movers arrived at eight and we had a good head start. Really there wasn’t much left, but kitchen stuff, knick knacks, and some miscellaneous bathroom stuff.  She never really had done a lot to make this a home, she talked about getting a house and not wanting to spend the money or time on a temporary place.  Looking back over the time I’d known her, she had spent a lot of time at my place.  Initially house sitting while I was gone, then with me.  I wondered where all her stuff was at my place.  I’d never really noticed her things overtaking the place.  I’d have to investigate this later. 

            They were done loading the things to go to my house by 10, and I left with them to supervise the unloading.  AJ stayed at Tracie’s old apartment to make sure the rest of the stuff made it safely to storage.  A run would have to be made from my house to storage as well.  Both of us preferred my bed, the mattress anyway, but I loved her bedroom suit.  So we’d tear down mine and it would go to storage.  She had these great bar stools at her breakfast bar too.  I started unloaded the drawers in the bedroom as they moved things in.  I had to laugh at how she had taken over drawers, and I hadn’t even noticed.  I sat back and thought about it.  I remembered opening “my” drawers and finding her stuff, I had blown it off and found my things.  Funny how once I decided to let her in she became such a part of my everyday that I never noticed her make her own space within mine. 


            AJ and I had just sat down with beers when Tracie got home.  He had planned on being gone, but she was early.  She kissed us both and got her own beer before she sat down, “What have you two been up to all day?”

            She had walked right by her own furniture and didn’t notice it, “Moving you in here.”

            She had the beer tilted up to her lips and froze, “What?”  She looked around and saw little things of hers, then her bar stools.  She smiled and I knew I would be permitted to live, “You moved me in here?”

            I laid my hand on her leg, “I bought out your lease.  What’s not here is in storage.  We’ll go over there and sort through, see if there’s anything you want here, and take anything else over there.”



            I thought he’d get to live.  She had that mushy girl expression, “That was your project today?”


            “Thank you.”  She put her hand over his.

            He ran his fingers through her hair, “I want you here, Tracie.  For real.”

            I expected the next move.  She flung her leg over him, sat in his lap, and wrapped her arms around his neck, “I love you.”

            He said the same thing then they were kissing.  I watched his hands run down her back and settle on her ass, pulling her toward him and holding her there.  Time for me to leave.  I put a hand on both of their shoulders and leaned right next to their faces, “Glad to be of help.  Don’t get up, I’ll let myself out.”

            They never broke the kiss.



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