Taking a strengthening breath, I point to the couch. “You two might want to sit down.”
“SO LET ME GET THIS straight. You got some fucked-up letter at work and proceeded to pass out. You went to the doctor, found out my brother knocked you up, and then your dad flipped his shit and accused you of basically being a slut?” Lyn finishes her rehashing of my last twenty-four hours with a dramatic sigh. “Wow. When you decide to go for the shock factor, you really put your all in it.”
“I’m going to be an aunt?” Lila says breathily.
“Holy shit, we’re going to be aunts!” Lyn screams, and I wince when her loud tones hit my ears.
“Did you just register that little nugget? What part of ‘my brother knocked you up’ didn’t register that fact?” Lila smarts.
“Oh, shut it, Lila! I’m in shock here.”
“So . . . I take it you two don’t share my father’s immediate reaction?”
They both stare at me with a mix of outrage and sadness. Like I’ve lost my damn mind, which is a feeling I share with them both at the moment.
“You’ve been in love with my brother for years, Dani. Even if that weren’t the case, you aren’t the type of person who strays when you’re in a relationship. Regardless of where the other person is, you’re loyal to your very core.”
I smile at Lila’s words. I didn’t realize how badly I needed to hear that they believed me.
“I’m sure he regrets it, Dani. You know your dad. He’s hotheaded, and as protective of you as he is, I’m sure the ‘whole letter on the car, falling and getting hurt, and then finding out he’s about to be a grandfather’ took a toll on him. Yeah, I think it’s safe to say he was probably tipping over the boiling point.” Lyn reaches over and rubs my hand. “That doesn’t excuse it. You have every right to be upset. I just can’t figure out why you wouldn’t call us.” She gives me a sad smile, but there’s no judgment in her gaze.
“I needed to be around Cohen. I’m not even sure I realized it at the moment, but the second I got here—surrounded by his things—I don’t know how to explain it. I just felt like I was . . . home.”
Lila has a big dopey smile on her face, and Lyn is looking at me in complete understanding.
“You still could have called us, Dani. We would have been here in a second. Did you think we would be upset or something?” Lyn pushes.
“It has nothing to do with that. I promise. I was still wrapping my head around it all myself. I wanted to be here, alone, and spend time with Cohen the best I can without him being here. My God, I sound like a complete nut job,” I groan and drop my head into my hands. “He left here thinking he had one type of girl and he’s going to come home to me being a complete basket case. Who comes over to their boyfriend’s place so they can sniff his shit and hug his pillow?”
They both throw their heads back and laugh. The tension is broken just like that.
My girls get me. They always have, and that will never change.
“How about we spend the rest of the night doing girly shit and binge-watch some old One Tree Hill shows?” Lila asks as she stands to give me a big hug.
“At the risk of sounding even crazier . . . can we do that here?” I ask.
“Sure thing. I mean, I don’t think smelling my grungy brother will be quite as comforting for me as it is for you, but I’m down.” Lyn laughs. “We need to get some junk food too. Fatten you up already! I can’t wait for you to have a cute little belly. Oh my God! I still can’t believe my niece or nephew is cooking away in there.”
I stop, causing them both to bump into me in the middle of the hallway. My jaw goes slack and my eyes wide.
“Holy shit. I’m gonna get fat!” I spin, grab the nearest body, and shake her shoulders. I can hear Lyn laughing her ass off behind an equally shocked Lila. “I’m going to be a big freaking whale by the time he gets home. He left me all skinny, toned, and hot, and he’s going to come home and I’ll be like, ‘Oh hey, big boy, guess what? I ate a whale and you knocked me up!’”
Why are they laughing so hard? Can’t they tell how much I’m freaking out here? There is no damn way he’s going to want me all fatty mcfat fat.
“This is going to be terrible,” I groan and turn my back on two of my best friends, who are losing their sanity with how much they’re laughing. When I hit Cohen’s room, I crawl back in the center of his bed and wrap my arms around one of his pillows.