Before all the dramas surrounding Eve’s birth, I wanted a heap of kids. A whole football team. Not anymore. Not now that I know the risks that can come with it. I don’t want my wife, my child, or myself, to ever go through anything like that again. I can’t risk it. I just can’t. I wouldn’t survive it.
What worries me the most though, is losing Indiana. They say things come in waves of three. I nearly lost her to the tumour, then again giving birth to Eve. The logical side of me needed to do something to eliminate that number three. I’m not sure if I could go on without her. She’s my air.
Rolling onto my side, I pull her body against mine. Her back is now flush with my front. “I love you,” is all I say as I place a kiss on her hair. She doesn’t answer or snuggle in closer like she usually does, so I tighten my grip. I hate how I’ve upset her. Hurting her is the last thing I ever want to do.
She has every right to be angry with me, even more so when I finally pluck up the courage to confess what I’ve done. My only hope is that she can forgive me for not discussing it with her first. Truth is, I couldn’t. Once I made up my mind, I had to go through with my plans. I couldn’t give her the opportunity to talk me out of it, because she probably would have.
“I love you, too,” she finally replies, and I breathe a sigh of relief.
Please let her understand the reasons behind the choices I’ve made.
As the next few weeks pass, I notice Carter withdraw further and further into himself. He tries to hide it, but I know him better than he thinks. Something is going on inside that gorgeous head of his, and I need to find out what.
He puts on a smile and goes about life as normal, but when he doesn’t realise I’m watching him, I can see the torment on his face. It breaks my heart. We need to sit down and have a good talk, but things have been crazy around here. Trying to look after a newborn and two active boys, as well as overseeing things at the veterinarian clinic, is hard work. I’m exhausted.
Carter helps out when he can, but he’s been pretty flat out too. Not only does he have his own shop to contend with, but he and Jax have finally got the tattoo parlour franchise up and running. They have over thirty stores now, state-wide. Next week they’re flying up to Queensland to check out some new sites so they can expand their business interstate. They’re hoping to be spread all over Australia within the next year.
I’m so proud of everything he has accomplished. Maybe it’s just the stress of the business that’s taking its toll on him, maybe it’s something else. My gut tells me it’s the latter. Things have been weird between us.
Sure he still loves me, I can see that, but since the birth of Eve, things aren’t the same. He’s somewhat reserved and distant. I haven’t tried to make a move on him since that night he stopped me. Believe me, I want to. I want to so much, I’m aching inside. I ache for him, for that connection we once shared. I’m scared though. I’m scared of being rejected again.
What worries me the most is that damn calendar hanging on the fridge. Not one marking. I look at it every day hoping to see that familiar red cross he used to put on the date as we counted down the six weeks until we could have each other again, but nothing, zero, zip. Every morning when I check, I have to fight back the tears. What is happening to us? Why have things suddenly changed?
Our parents are looking after the kids while Indi drops me off at the airport. I hate that I’m going to Queensland without them. I’m so fucking torn. Jax and I are partners, so this is something we need to do together, but leaving my family alone for three days doesn’t sit well with me at all.
It wasn’t feasible to drag them with me, and I know our parents will help Indi while I’m gone, but being apart from them is going to kill me. It’s only three days I keep telling myself. Who am I kidding? Three days away from my other half and my kids is going to feel like a damn eternity.
Jax and I are going to be on the road for most of the time, scoping out new sites for the franchises. Plus Jax has set up a few meetings with potential clients, as well as a few building companies so we can start the renovations once we’ve secured the locations. All our shops have identical interiors and shop fronts to keep with the branding. We’re very fussy about the kind of people we want owning our franchises. It’s our reputation that’s on the line if we put in someone who’s not suitable, someone who won’t work to our high standards.
Indi doesn’t say much on the drive to the airport. It’s unusual for her. It worries me. I hate this damn cloud that’s hovering over us. The longer I keep my secret, the harder I’m finding it to come clean. I’m worried what her reaction is going to be. I’m petrified that she won’t understand, or worse, won’t be able to forgive me.