Lightning Crashes Ch. 11byvelvetpie©
I want a baby.
Those words had startled Tanner so badly that it took him hours to properly recover. Jenny had wanted to make love as soon as they'd got home but he'd begged off, telling her that he was tired from his trip. She settled for cuddling up to him and the next day, he avoided her again by rising early and heading off to the office, keen on finishing up some work. When she came by the office at lunch time, bringing him a picnic basket, he knew that he couldn't keep sidestepping the problem.
He watched as she laid out the roast turkey sandwiches along with German potato salad, carrot slaw and slices of cherry cheesecake, then sat down next to her. "Jenny, I've been thinking about what you said." When she looked at him with a strange expression, he added, "About wanting a baby."
"You don't sound very excited."
"I'm not." He turned to Jenny, giving her his best smile. "Jenny, I don't have time for a baby right now."
"You don't have time? What do you mean?"
"I'm this close to being a partner, Jenny. I don't have time to tend to a pregnant wife or a newborn child!"
Her eyes widened and filled with tears. "I can't believe you're saying this, Tanner. You told me that you wanted children ... "
"I do want children, but not right now."
"Then when?" Jenny blurted, angrily wiping her tears away. "Will getting partner be enough for you?"
"Jenny, " Tanner tried to grab her hands but she didn't want him to touch her at all. "You're just feeling this way because of Missy."
"So what? Maybe I am!"
"And that's fine, Jen. I can understand that but it's not right for us."
That ended lunch. Angry and sobbing, Jenny grabbed her purse and keys from his desk. "My plane leaves at four. Don't look for me to come back any time soon."
Tanner pulled himself up from the floor and sat heavily in his chair, his temples suddenly threatening to explode. A knock on the door brought his head up and he just stared at the unexpected visitor, his assistant, Cherie, and the huge bouquet of flowers that she held.
"These just arrived for you."
"Wow, they're beautiful!" He looked over the artfully designed collection of roses, lilies and wildflowers and selected a small group of them, handing them to Cherie, who blushed. "Thanks, Cherie, as always." He waited until he she'd left before pouncing on the card, his heart pounding as he read the carefully written words. A pure beam of light entered my world and I haven't been the same since. You are my soulmate; there is no other explanation for why I cannot seem to function without your nearness. The Roosevelt, room 419. C.
Tanner read the card three times before he was convinced of its message. Collin was in town! He wasn't sure what to do first: faint or jump for joy. The lawyer in him acted first, checking his schedule. He had opening arguments on Thursday and two briefs that had to be filed but other than that, he was free. He decided to finish his work first, completing the briefs in record time and telling Cherie that he was going to go home to see Jenny before she left. Unfortunately, Jenny was not at the house when he arrived at two and wasn't answering her cell phone.
He left a message and with his business completed with her, he turned his attention to Collin. He decided to call the hotel. "Room 419, please." His heart pounded like a drum in his chest as he waited for Collin's voice, then ...
"Hi. It's me."
"Where are you?"
"Can you come here?"
"Good. I'll take care of dinner. You pack a bag and get your ass over here."
"I can't stay over, Col. I've got work in the morning."
"So bring your suits. I'll have them pressed here."
"Collin ... "
"If I'm painting here, you can sure as hell stay here."
Tanner paused. "What?"
"I moved part of my studio down here so I could paint and be near you. Can't you at least stay a night or two with me?"
"No, Collin, and there's two problems. One is that this is my town and for obvious reasons, I want to keep things discreet. I'm sure you understand."
Collin's voice was tight as he replied. "Of course."
"And the second problem is that if I stay with you, I'll never leave for work." Tanner's voice grew husky. "I'll just want you to keep on fucking me until we become one. You understand?"
"Yes, Tanner, but I have to see you."
"I want to see you, too, Col. I want to see you and touch you and taste you ... "
"Quit talking and get over here already!"
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