Chapter 28 - In-Laws

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Chapter 28


With the Thanksgiving Holiday rapidly approaching Dane kept longer hours at the office.  Berkley found herself struggling to keep up with Ethan most nights.  Her hormones and the fatigue weren’t the only things beginning to show.  Her baby bump was growing and it was becoming more difficult to conceal her pregnancy.   She could only hope and pray that the weather would be cool enough on Thanksgiving Day to allow her to where her big oversized sweater.

Ethan was beginning to feel the strain and had spent the past few nights fighting sleep.  Ethan was also frustrated with the fact that Dane hadn’t been there before bedtime and that Berkley lacked her usual enthusiasm.  Grace had been more helpful as of late and Berkley felt indebted to her. 

Garret was spending Thanksgiving with Jess.  Berkley knew she needed to swing by and check on her mom but Garrett said she had been out of it for the past two days.  The doctor had increased her meds.  It saddened her to think about her mom spending the holiday alone and she hoped that Dane wouldn’t mind taking her by to check on her on their way back home.

Garrett promised that he and Jess would come by Thursday night on their way home for a little while and Berkley was ecstatic at the thought.  She wanted to tell them about the baby and she knew Jess would keep it quiet until the time came when everyone could know.

It was eleven thirty.  Ethan was breathing softly and his eyes were now closed.  She shut the book and tiptoed out of the room, carefully closed the door and headed to the fridge for some orange juice.  She was surprised to see Danes silhouette in the garage.  As late it as it was, this was early by this week’s standard.  He was on his phone and his body language was not good.  He was tense.  He voice was raised and his free hand was clinched at the base of his skull in an effort to massage his neck.  Berkley wanted to go to him but he chose to remain outside for a reason.  A reason that he didn’t want to drag home to her or Ethan, he was good that way.  She admired that.  He was cranky on occasion but never once had he offered to take his anger out on her by being physically violent.  She had finally learned to trust him in that regard and it felt good.  It was nice to feel safe and cherished.  Sure Dane had lots of lady friends in his recent past and the situation with Morgan wasn’t something she was happy about but for some reason regardless of the vivid image Ethan painted in her mind, she really believed Dane to be innocent.  She leaned against the door jamb sipping her orange juice and waited for him.

Dane was frustrated to say the least.  Laura’s parents had been after him all week.  They wanted to see Ethan and spend a few days with him after Thanksgiving which was just days away.  As if that wasn’t enough to cause him stress, he now feared an emergency trip to China might be inevitable.  The thought of being away from his family for the holidays had him on edge.  He had worked late every night in an effort to get ahead of the issues and resolve them in a timely fashion but it seemed the odds were stacked against him.  He had been home enough to notice that Ethan was suffering in his absence again.  He also knew, thanks to Grace, that it was beginning to weigh on Berkley and he hated it that she hadn’t even as much as complained to him about it.  She had been more than happy to give him a piece of her mind when she first started working for him but now it seemed that she was too tolerant of his shortcomings.  At the moment he needed her leniency and he would repay her by making sure this didn’t become a habit.  He ended his phone call and not a moment too soon.  He caught a glimpse of Berkley standing in the door and he immediately felt his mood lighten.  He had become dependent on the affect that she had on him.  She was the best thing to walk into his life and he wanted to make sure that he reminded her of it every day.

Berkley realized that Dane had noticed her as his face softened and his eyes brightened.  He made his way to the door, temporarily forgetting about China and met her with a smile on his face.  “Hey, sorry I’m late.”  He said pausing in the doorway to kiss her softly on the cheek.

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