The Only Question That Matters

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It's two in the afternoon, and Rafael's still sleeping

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It's two in the afternoon, and Rafael's still sleeping. It's so unlike him. Normally he's able to function on a few hours of sleep.

I frown and peer at the half-closed bedroom door. I'm in the kitchen, making chicken soup. He's always loved my soup, but I haven't had the chance to make it since we've gotten back together. This weekend, with all that's happened, seems like a good time for comfort food.

Or maybe I'm the one who needs comfort. I still don't know what happened last night with Rafa and Christine. Or how everything went down. All he'd muttered was something about how everyone had been arrested and that it was over.

My journalist's mind is filled with questions.

I turn the heat on the stove to low and tiptoe to the bedroom, pushing the door open with my fingertips. Rafa's in bed, on his back. He makes a muffled groan, and I pad across the cool cement floor and sit at his side.

I should let him sleep, but I need to look at him, to reassure myself that he's here, with me, forever. Also, I want to make sure he's not having a nightmare.

His eyes flutter open, and he rests his big hand on my leg. "Justi."

I lean forward to kiss his forehead. "Good morning. Or, I should say, good afternoon."

He tugs at my hair and pulls me down for a kiss. Nothing spicy; just a loving, gentle gesture.

"What time is it?" he murmurs. "And what's that incredible smell?"

"It's two o'clock. I'm making chicken soup."

He squeezes my leg. "Did you go to the store? We didn't have any food in the house."

A warm shimmer spreads through my body when I hear him use the word we. "I asked the bodyguard, uh, security guard, to go to the store. I thought you'd want something comforting after last night."

He nods slowly. "Justi, there's something I need to tell you. I wanted to tell you this after I'd had a chance to sleep. And was going to wait until later today, but you deserve to know this now. It's something about last night."

Did he sleep with Christina? My heart leaps into my throat. "What about last night?"

Rafa sits up, leaning against the headboard, and when he scrubs his face with his hands, I know this is serious. "I told you Christina was arrested. And her father."

I nod.

"The boy. Javi. He's in a temporary foster home."

I exhale. Of course he's worried about the child. "That is so awful," I whisper. "I'm sorry. Is there anything we can do? Do they have any family that can take him?"

He shakes his head. "I'm not sure. But, Justine?"

I blink in response.

"Last night, I talked to the agents after the arrests. Apparently they're not sure who Javi's father is."

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