Chapter 14: Harry

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Her apartment is still quite bare and rather cold. She looks calmer and she's wearing proper clothes, her hair is up in a neat little bun, she looks tired and very pregnant all of a sudden and it catches me off guard to see her this way.

"You look quite pretty actually."

I state as she sits next to me on the couch and smiles a little.

"The people at planned parenthood helped me realize I need to take better care of us no matter what I decide to do." She reaches over to the coffee table and as she does I notice it's damaged condition. "They took a sonogram the other day. I thought you might like a copy."

She hands me the blurry black and brown picture and the baby is so obvious in it that it takes my breath away.

"He's enormous. I was expecting a Lima bean."

She laughs and nods her head as she looks at her picture too.

"He has a great nose, just like his daddy."

She points it out to me and I have to say she's right. The little bump on his face is rather prominent and reminds me of my own.

"He's going to look just like me."

I grin to myself and she shrugs her shoulders.

"Hopefully."

I tear my eyes away from the picture and glance over at her.

There's something different about her.

"What's happened Serena?"

"Today is just a hard day for me. It's my dad's birthday on top of everything else." She sees my expression and explains. "My father was murdered when I was thirteen. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and he got robbed. He was a great guy, and the only thing holding my family together. I've been on my own since his death."

I take her hand in mine before I can stop myself or think about it. She lowers her eyes to the floor.

"I'm sorry. That's awful."

"He wouldn't be proud of who I've become. He thought I was sweet and now look at me. I'm a horrible person. You've been nothing but good to me, and I knew what our relationship was from the very beginning, and I've done nothing but hurt you more and more every chance that I get." I can't believe my ears, but I wouldn't dare interrupt her. "I don't even have a reason for it. I guess it's because I wanted you and when you didn't want me I didn't know how to deal with it but I'm not even sure if that's it. I think I'm just a bad person."

"I don't think you are."

I absolutely did think she was until just right now, but her tears are real and she has nothing to gain from saying any of this. I feel for her.

"This is just hormones. Don't trust it." She laughs a little, but it's a dry laugh and she is clearly not happy. "Don't trust me. I don't."

I tighten my grip on her hand and rest my chin on the palm of my other hand as I lean over a bit.

"You can change. Anyone can; that's what I've learned this past year. People change; for good and for bad. You can be who you want to be."

"I want to be better, for the baby. I want to be a good mother....but how can I be when I'm not even sure that I should keep it."

"You should keep it."

She raises her eyebrows and scoffs.

"Cecilia doesn't think so."

"Cecilia doesn't have to. It's not her decision." I shrug a little and she watches me in cautious awe. "It's our baby. We get to choose. And moreso you do. But I can promise you this; I will be there for you like never before. If you can stay like this and keep a clear mind I will be right by your side through every scary thing and I'll take care of you and our son."

"You will?"

She looks doubtful, as though it couldn't possibly be true. Her face is free of the makeup she usually wears, her eyes gleam a little in the now setting sunlight, shadows cast throughout the room and she looks vulnerable and sweet.

I didn't think it was possible. I kiss her cheek and feel her skin warm a little as she blushes.

"I absolutely swear. You won't be alone."

"I'll have to think about it." She looks up at me and bats her eyelashes. "I won't try to make you live here or threaten the baby any more, I just need you to be there for me because I'm alone if you don't. And that's terrifying because I don't know what to do."

"I'll be there."

My mind is already working out ways to get this apartment in shape and get some actual furniture in here. As my eyes scan the room her lips come softly against mine.

It's a sweet moment, she clutches my shirt and it isn't totally unpleasant to have her kissing me. She smells better than she used to, and she doesn't try to slip me her tongue or feel me up. She pulls away slowly and looks slightly horrified.

"I'm so sorry." Tears well up in her eyes. I feel awful for her. "I can't help it I guess."

"It's just your hormones, like you said."

"No it isn't." She shakes her head slowly. "I still want you and I know I can't be with you and I don't trust myself to-"

I wrap my arms around her tightly and once I feel her relax I pull her in close and lay back on the couch with her in my arms.

"It's alright. You and the little one just need a minute to rest. Calm down. Close your eyes."

She just looks at me for a moment. I kiss her forehead and she does as I told her to. She falls asleep in just a few minutes, but I lay there for much longer than that, unwilling to disturb her by moving.

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