“You’re a mess, Dani. Cohen isn’t going to just stop loving you because you have a belly. Plus, I hear some guys actually find it even more attractive. Stop freaking out over something you have no control over. Warning though, he will be shocked. I know my brother, and he might just pass out when he finds out.”
I gasp and shoot up to my elbows to glare at Lila. “Do what?”
“Do you really think he’s going to not even be a little shocked when you tell him that he gave you a little going-away present? No man would be able to take that kind of news without a little shock, Dani. Don’t worry about it. It’s all going to be fine. One thing about Cohen, and you know this, is that boy was made to be a father. He’s always looked forward to when he will settle down and start a family. I think it comes with the whole idolizing our dad thing.”
“What the hell are you talking about?” I question her.
“Just ask Lyn. When we were busy planning our weddings and what big, bright futures we would have as kids, Cohen would always tell us about how he couldn’t wait to get older. He would be a hero just like Dad and have a house full of kids and a woman he loved to warm his bed. Of course, I never understood the last part.” Lila finishes and sits down next to me, pulling the pillow from my body and shoving it behind her head. “He’s going to be so happy it’s you, Dani.”
I look at her for a beat, letting her words sink in, before I feel a big, crazy smile take over my lips.
Well, that all sounds like a dream come true.
Hours later, we are still sitting in Cohen’s bed. Junk food is spread all over the comforter and season two of One Tree Hill is starting on Cohen’s television. Thank you, Netflix, for making girls’ emotional television binging so much easier.
Lyn and Lila did what they do best. They took my thoughts out of my head and made me stop freaking out. Every time I got quiet, they would knock every doubt I had out of my head.
We spent time looking at the ultrasound pictures and talking about baby names and what he or she would look like.
I am hoping for a boy who will have his father’s strong features and gorgeous, brown eyes. The girls are hoping for a girl so that we can dress her up in all of these adorably cute outfits they already started looking for.
“Look at this one, Lila,” Lyn squeals and turns her phone to show Lila whatever new outfit she found online.
“Hey, Dani,” I hear from the front of the apartment, and I almost jump out of my skin.
“Holy shit, he scared the crap out of me,” Lyn says with her palm pressed to her chest.
“You and me both.” I climb over Lila and make my way down the hallway to where I think I heard Chance’s voice. Right when I come out of the hallway and into their large, sunken living room, I halt in my tracks and feel my body lock up with tension.
Chance walks my way and gives me a reassuring squeeze on my shoulder before he continues down the hall. I turn and see him step into Cohen’s room and shut the door behind him.
Well, I guess that means the girls won’t be coming to my rescue.
With a deep sigh full of dread, I turn, square my shoulders, and face my father.
“You look like you’re ready for battle, little princess,” he says solemnly.
“That’s because I feel like I’m gearing up for one.”
“Dani—” he starts, going to take a step towards me . . . until I hold up my hand to pause his movement.
“I think it would be best to stay over there, Daddy. This can’t be fixed with a hug.”
His eyes close, and I can tell how much it’s costing him to hold himself back. I have no doubt that he regrets what he said, but the fact remains that, however fleeting, the thought went through his head.
“You all but called me a whore, Daddy. Your own daughter. The one you raised to believe in the power of love, and despite your over-the-top protectiveness, I found that love. That once-in-a-lifetime soul mate connection you and Mom have. I never, not in a million years, expected that from you.”
His face softens, “Baby,” he sighs. “I’m so sorry.”
“Do you really believe that, after loving Cohen for as long as I have, with the first hurdle our relationship is faced with, I would run to another man?”
He shakes his head, his eyes never leaving mine.
“I can understand that you’re having a hard time with the fact that I’m not a baby anymore. I haven’t been one for a long time, but I always knew you would struggle with letting me go until you literally couldn’t hold on anymore. But what I can’t understand is why you reacted the way you did.”