“Are you getting sleep?” Connor asked, directly.
I frowned. “What makes you think I’m not sleeping.” I had tried my best to hide the dark circles under my eyes with make up, clearly I hadn’t done a good job.
He had arrived a couple of hours ago to attend Sin’s mother’s funeral. He was impeccably dressed in an expensive suit.
“I know you Taylor. You can’t pretend with me.” He was sharp. What others had failed to notice, he did. Maybe it was because he had known me longer.
“I’ve been worried Sin,” I tried to explain.
“It’s never easy losing a loved one but all you can do is try be supportive. This is something he has to find a way to deal with.”
I nodded, thankful that he bought it. It would blow his mind if he discovered I might be pregnant.
“You know if you need anything, you just have to pick up the phone to me.”
“I know.” I took his hand into mine and gave it a squeeze.
As domineering and smothering as he could, I knew it was only because of how much he cared. I had put him through hell when I had been unable to cope after our parent’s murderer and he had done everything he could to pull me out of it. Without him, I wouldn’t be where I was today.
“You worry too much,” I murmured affectionately.
He didn’t look convinced but he let it go.
“How’s Chase?” I asked, knowing it would successfully steer him from questioning me further.
My brother’s features softened at the mention of his son.
“He is growing up so fast.”
I smiled at his proud smile.
It was still difficult to see my brother as a father with a family of his own. He was married to Slater’s sister, Shannon.
She was the sister Slater had believed had died after they had been split up before being sent into foster care. It was only when Jordan had approached Connor to find out more about the sister Slater refused to talk about he had uncovered through a private investigator that she was alive and living under a different name.
Connor had stepped in to protect her after he had discovered was dating a man who had a reputation for being abusive.
For a long time I had thought he would always be a bachelor and I was glad I had been wrong. This new role of husband and father suited him well.
“You need to send me some pictures.”
“I will. I would have brought Shannon and Chase but he has a cold at the moment.”
“We’ll organize something soon,” I assured him.
I loved my new role as an aunt, even though I had little experience with babies. Baby. It brought back the secret I was currently keeping to myself, the possible pregnancy. I had no real experience of looking after a baby, which brought a whole new range of fears.
My brother watched my expression. “You sure you’re okay?”
I smiled, determined to keep my secret until I could take a pregnancy test.
That afternoon I stood beside Sin as they lowered his mother’s coffin into the ground. Above us dark clouds gathered, it fit the somber mood.
The service had been beautiful and touching. Sin had stood in front of the small gathering of friends and family and spoke of his mom. It broke my heart when I saw the pain in his eyes as he spoke of his loss.
When you loved someone, you experienced their losses as your own. It also brought back past memories of losing my parents which I hadn’t been prepared for.
As if sensing my pain, Sin threaded his hand with mine. I held it like my life depended on it as I fought back the tears, unsure of who I was truly weeping for.
It had been years but the pain resurfaced with each milestone my parents weren’t there for. And now as we stood watching Sin’s mother being lowered into her final resting spot.
He had taken a lot of care choosing the spot. It was beautiful with a large tree and bench nearby.
Jordan and Slater had insisted on hosting the reception, intent on helping out wherever they could. They were good friends. I wasn’t in the best space to host anything.
The gathering was very small with only a few people.
I went into the kitchen to see if Jordan needed some help, leaving Sin in deep conversation with my brother. They had become closer and spoke often, which was far different to the beginning of our relationship where Connor had openly disapproved of him. How things had changed.
“Do you need a hand?” I asked when I found Jordan place some food on a tray.
“No. I’ve got it,” she replied. “How are you holding up?”
“I’m fine.” I gave a dismissive one arm shrug.
I lived in fear that I would slip up and someone would figure out what I was holding to myself.
“Have you eaten today?” Jordan asked, her focus on me.
My mind felt muddled. I had been so busy this morning.
“I don’t think so,” I murmured. “I think I was too nervous.”
“You’re looking very pale.” My friend studied me closer.
“It’s just stress. It hasn’t been easy, these past few days.”
Her hand went to my arm and she gave it a squeeze. “I know. How’s Sin been coping?”
“He doesn’t talk about it much. I think he is trying his best.”
It was hard to lose a loved one, it was that simple. Even the fact that his mother hadn’t always been good to him hadn’t mattered. It was their later relationship that had helped bring them closer. At least he had that before she had passed. It would have been much worse if they hadn’t been able to repair their relationship.
My head felt a little stuffy and I put my hand to my forehead. Jordan frowned.
“You sure you’re okay?” she asked.
It felt like the only thing I was being asked lately. Clearly I wasn’t any good at keeping things hidden from the people who loved me.
“I think I’m just tired.”
Or maybe it was the fact that I hadn’t eaten anything because I had been too nervous.
I put my hand to counter when the room tilted. I gripped it tightly trying not to fold into a mess on the floor.
“Here, sit,” Jordan instructed pulling a chair closer as I sank down into it.
She bent down to level our gaze as I placed my hands on my knees, trying to fight off the dizziness. She reached out to touch my cheek. “What’s going on Taylor?”
“Please don’t say anything,” I asked. “I don’t want to worry Sin.”
She studied me closely. I wanted to tell her so badly but I couldn’t bring myself to admit that I had made such a monumental mistake.
“I’m not coping well right now. I’m worried about Sin and everything…” I paused for a moment to collect myself. “It’s brought back memories of my parents.”
“Aww Taylor.” She hugged me. “I should have known. I’m sorry.”
“Why are you sorry?” I asked, pulling away from her.
“I should have known that this would dredge up old memories for you.”
I hated how emotional I felt, and I remember reading somewhere that it was a symptom of being pregnant. Dread curled up in my stomach.
“You haven’t said anything to Sin?”
Slowly, I shook my head. “He has enough to deal with.”
I was supposed to be supporting him, not adding to his stress. If I couldn’t get him through this, how could I expect to be his partner through life. There were times when you put the needs of your partner before your own and that’s what I was doing now.
And I was hoping that in a few days when I took the pregnancy test I would get a negative result. I had no idea what I was going to do if I was pregnant.
I honestly had no clue how Sin would take it. Would he be angry? I was truly scared that this would wreck things for us. How could I have been so irresponsible? I still couldn’t believe I had been that absent minded to forget it for an entire. Forgetting to take it for a day was understandable but an entire week?
“I’m here for you Tay,” Jordan said.
And I felt like awful for not telling her the truth.