86,400 Seconds 14

I push her arm off of me, not in an angry way.  I learned a long time ago that my physical outbursts could get me into trouble and I'm not about to start going back on that lesson learned.  I don't want to be mad about this.  I knew it would happen eventually, but I can't help but to feel disgusted by the way she's just dropped this on me.  And to do it here at the Harless house instead of somewhere that we could actually discuss like adults really is a low blow.  And with Jayden here there is even less of a chance for us to get all of this out in the open.

I push up so that I'm standing, facing her and the front door.  My knees are throbbing now and my head is pounding and I feel a bit faint from the sudden move.  I try not to sound too mean, too angry, but there isn't any way around it.  While I really want to throw a dictionary full of words at her, I can only find the means to repeat what she's just said to me.   "Married?"

She only nods at me.  I can see her shutting down.  She's a strong woman, stronger than I am by far and yet when the shit hits the fan, she pulls back into a protective ball and doesn't have a damn thing to say.

"Married?" I repeat again then rub my face a moment to clear my head.  Married.  Married.  I knew it could happen one day, but I was hoping that by the time she was ready to be with someone that I'd be back off the road and that I'd be the one to step into the position.  It was totally naive to think that now that I'm standing there looking at her reaction to giving me this news.  "Does Jayden know about him?"

At first she doesn't move.  If I didn't know her better I would have assumed that she stopped breathing.  Beverly nods.  "She's met him on occasion, but I tend to get a babysitter or send her over to my mom's so that she doesn't--"

"So when's the wedding?" I ask pushing the idea out of my head that she's been dropping our kid off somewhere so that she can go out on dates and hasn't even explained to her that there is a relationship going on there.

"A few weeks," she says.

"A few weeks?"  I swear if I was a little kid I'd hit the floor and have a temper tantrum.

"Will you stop?" she says.

"Stop what?" I say letting a little bit of my anger show.  "You just dropped in my lap that you're getting married.  I'm allowed to have some kind of reaction to that considering  and I quote.  'I'll probably never get remarried.'"

"When did I say that?"

"Hmmm," I say, "Over and over again during our divorce."

"Tiny," she sighed.  "That was a long time ago."

"Not that long ago," I say.  If asked straight out I could probably figure out how many days and hours and minutes that it's been.

"Do you still have feelings for me?" she asks.

"I always have," he say.

"But we--"

"Beverly.  The only reason I agreed to the divorce is because you were so upset about things.  I should have told you this years ago, but truly I didn't want to cause you more trouble.  You had Jayden to think about and I knew that if I was going to be a part of her life, I had to make sure that you had what you needed," I hear myself say.

"Well I've met someone new and I really feel--"  She stops and stares at me.  "You can't just drop this in my lap!  You can't just--"

Putting a hand on my hip, I bite down on my lip for a second before I speak.  I swear that after this conversation she's gonna need to leave and I'm going to need to run a few miles to get the aggression out.  "Keep your voice down.  I don't want everyone in the world to hear us fighting."

Her eyes narrow at me and she stands up.  "We aren't fighting."

"Oh yes we are.  The only thing that could make me lose it more would be if you told me that this guy is in security."

Her eyes dip low.

"Who is it?" I grit out.

"Ummm," she says.

"Just tell me."

"Tanner Wilson," she says.

The name and face pop into my head and I know that I should throw something at her.  Tanner and I had been partners when I first got into the business.  He helped me train when I was first on the road and had been so helpful that he'd been part of our family for those first few years, even was in consideration for being Jayden's Godfather at one point.  "Tanner?"

Beverly is silent, standing there watching me with what I know can see is fear in her eyes.

"Tanner?" I ask just to make sure.

"Yeah," she says.  "I know it's crazy and I can't explain it, but he's been in LA and--"

"I don't want to hear it," I say now.  I look at my watch and then look at the door before returning my eyes to her.  "I can't deal with this right now.  I have work to do.  I have Jayden to get settled and Justin and Vivian are--"

"I'm sorry," she says.  "I didn't mean to throw this on you, but I wanted you to know before tonight.  Tanner was invited to the party and I'm going to go as his date and I didn't want--"

"His date?"

"Yes," she says, "We're dating.  We go on dates."

"I know that," I say roughly.  "Fine.  I guess I'll see you there."

Beverly stands there watching me, not saying a word, just watching me.

"Jayden wants to go to the party."

"You can bring her if you want.  I would hate to have the Lynn and Paul have to stay home with her--"

"I'll set something up so she'll be looked after and maybe after the party you and Tanner can take her home with you.  I've got to look over the schedule, but I think tomorrow is another early day."

Beverly nods.  "I've got to get home and get my hair up--"

I nod and shuffle my feet a bit.  "Despite everything--" I say.  "Congratulations.  If this is really what you want--"

"Thank you," she says.

Pushing through the front door I'm confronted with a very beautiful looking little girl standing in front of me.  "Well hello Miss Pretty."

"Hi daddy," she says looking up at me.  She turns her head and looks up at me.  "What's wrong?"

"I'm trying to figure out what you're going to wear when we go to the party tonight."

"I can go?"

"Yep," I say turning back towards the door.  "You can go."

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