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Love Despite Reality

by Veronica Pollard 4 days ago in Series

Chapter 10

CHAPTER 10

Over the next month and a half Larissa goes back to work at Utopia. September 2nd was Larissa's birthday, unable to talk her into staying home West showers her with gifts at the office. Before lunch he has a huge bouquet of pink roses delivered and that afternoon chocolate covered strawberries and balloons arrive.

A little after four, that afternoon as they are about to head out for the day, a large edible bouquet arrives for Larissa. Surprised, West watches as she pulls out the card and reads it. As she does, she smiles and then glancing up at West, she suddenly stops.

West just stands there, then shaking his head he says

"I'll be in the car"

When Larissa finally makes it outside, she gets in the car

"Where's your fruit?" West asks

"I put it in the break room for the staff" she says finally

"Oh, how sweet! Who sent them?" he asks

"West, are you gonna make this a whole thing?"

Surprised by her response he asks

"Riss, what are we doing here?"

"I don't know, you said it was a surprise!" she replies

"Are we together or not? Cause apparently I'm supposed to be ok with other guys showing interest in you and sending you gifts!"

Larissa takes a deep breath then says

"It was fruit, West, for my birthday"

"How the f*ck does he know it's your birthday?"

"I am not doing this! You don't even know who they were from..."

"The look on your face, told me all I needed to know"

Larissa closes her eyes and shaking her head, she asks

"Are we going somewhere or not?"

"Are we together or not?" he asks

They sit in silence for a few moments and when West takes his keys out of the ignition, Larissa whispers

"West, why..." but, he gets out of the car and goes inside completely ignoring her

A few minutes later, Larissa follows him inside. When she gets upstairs West has poured himself a drink and is sitting at the dining room table.

"What do you want, you should, go enjoy your birthday!"

Larissa sits across from West at the table

"West, I love you. I'm pregnant with your baby. I'm working with you at your resort."

"Our resort!" he states taking a sip of his drink

"What else do you want from me?"

"I want a family! I want to be in a committed relationship without all these f*cking games!"

"I told you when I got here, that I wanted to take things slow." Larissa whispers

"Just have the baby and leave. I'll raise him, or her!"

"That's the only reason you're here, right? Because you're pregnant and you don't want to be?"

Larissa laughs, stands up and walks around the table to stand next to West

"If I didn't want to be here, I wouldn't be here and If I didn't want to be pregnant, I wouldn't be!" she shouts

"Happy f*cking birthday to me!" she adds then leaves the penthouse

A little after six, Larissa arrives at her building. Just before the elevator door closes, Rick and two other young men walk on.

"Hey, how's the birthday girl?" Rick asks

"I'm ok. Thank you so much for the bouquet of fruit!" she replies

"You are very welcome. I hope you've enjoyed your day" he states

"For the most part" she states forcing a smile

"Any big plans this evening?" he asks

"No, I'm just gonna order some takeout and watch tv"

"That's no way to spend your birthday" Rick states when the elevator opens to their floor

"Yeah, well, at least I won't be alone" she smiles placing her hand on her belly

"I'm free if you want a third wheel"

"That'd be nice" she smiles

"Ok, great. Let me take care of a few things and grab a quick shower and I'll be over."

"Ok, see you then"

An hour and a half later Rick and Larissa are sitting at the table enjoying Chinese takeout.

"Forgive me if I'm prying, but I'm a little surprised your boyfriend didn't have big plans for your birthday"

Larissa laughs then asks

"So, how was work today?"

Rick smiles and says

"It was busy. I like to schedule procedures for Mondays, but with Monday being Labor Day. I did several today."

"That's true, I forgot Monday is a holiday."

"So, do you come from a family of dentist or is it just you?" she asks

"Well, my dad's wife is a dentist. But I doubt she even knows I exist. So, let's just say it's just me"

"I'm sorry."

"No, don't be. That's ancient history"

"So, what about you? Anything exciting going on at work?"

"No, not at all"

"You sure don't talk about yourself a lot. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or bad. But the mystery is captivating" Rick smiles

"What mystery, I'm an open book, ask me anything" Larissa states standing up from the table clearing her plate

Rick gets up from the table and goes to stand next to her at the sink

"Why do you change the subject when I ask about your boyfriend?" he asks

"Because it's complicated!"

"Complicated like..." he begins

"Complicated like it's just complicated" she states then walks into the living room

Rick follows behind her and asks

"So, what movie are we watching?"

"Wrong turn"

The next morning, Larissa and Rick wake up to the sound of the doorbell ringing. Larissa gets up and when she looks through the peephole, she whispers

"Sh*t!"

"What's wrong?" Rick asks walking up behind her

"Nothing, I need you to hide!"

"What!" he states

"Go in my bathroom and don't come out"

When he finally does, she takes a deep breath then opens the door

"What do you want West?"

"I just came to apologize" he states reaching her a coffee cup

"It's tea" he states

"Thank you, and apology accepted" she states

They stand there for a minute, then West asks

"Are you gonna invite me in?"

"No" she replies

"Ok, Did I wake you?" he asks glancing around the room

"Yeah, I fell asleep watching a movie last night"

"I'm really sorry about yesterday. If you don't have plans, I'd love to make..." he stops when he spots two glasses on the table

Looking back at her, he smiles.

"I'll let you go, call me later and we can grab lunch or something"

"Ok" she replies then starts closing the door

"Riss!" West calls out causing her heart to stop

"I almost forgot, I brought you a bagel" he states reaching her the paper bag

"Thank you!" she replies taking the bag

When she closes the door, she leans against it and takes a few deep breaths. Turning back around, she glances out the peephole and sees that West is gone. Rick peeps his head out of her room and asks

"Everything ok?"

"Yeah, I'm sorry. You gotta go, West can't know you slept here."

"I had a really nice time last night. I do hope we can do it again sometime." Rick states reaching down to kiss her

"I'm not looking to complicate my life any more than it already is. I'm sorry" Larissa states

Rick shakes his head and smiles, then reaching out his hand he says

"Ok"

Larissa opens the door and when Rick goes to walk out, West is standing there. Larissa's heart stops and before anyone can say anything West punches Rick. When he stumbles back, Larissa gets between them and shouts

"No!" then shoves West back

"West no!" she states pushing him against the wall then turns around to check on Rick

"Oh, my god!" she says when she turns around and sees that his nose is bleeding

"Rick, I'm so sorry."

Not, letting her touch him, he says

"I'm cool!" then after smirking at West, he leaves

Standing in front of West while Rick leaves, then pulling him inside she closes the door before anyone hears the commotion

"What the f*ck West?"

"I have to live here. You cannot just go around punching people!"

"You have lost your mind!"

West just stands there with his back to the door and glares at her, then finally after a minute he asks

"Did you sleep with him?"

"No, god no. Is that what you think?" Larissa replies taking a deep breath

"We fell asleep watching a movie, West!"

"I don't know what the hell is going on with you!"

Larissa goes into her room and closes the door. After a minute West sits down on the couch.

Thirty minutes later Larissa comes out of the room, apparently having took a shower.

"Why are you still here?"

"I owe you an apology" he states

"I'm sick of your phony apologies! And you owe Rick an apology too!"

"This f*cking guy keeps popping up, at your place. Now he's sending you stuff, and you won't just..." he begins then stops

"I won't just what?"

"Marry you, let you lock me up in your penthouse!"

"I'm not gonna just be your property West. I'm not just a breeding machine. I'm more than just a means for you to have a baby."

"I don't know at what point I made you feel like I wanted you to be my property or that I was only with you for a baby. But I am so, so sorry" West states getting up and walking over to her

"I love you Riss, and if the only way you can see that is by me letting you go. Then that's what I'll do. Because the reality is that loving you is exhausting so, until you figure out what you want, I'm done." he says taking her hand

"You went to Detroit, then you got this place all because you wanted space. Now you got it."

"I love you and I'm here if you need anything!" he whispers giving her a kiss on the cheek then leaves

Larissa is twenty-nine weeks and three days. As she pulls up to the doctor's office, anxious to see if West will actually show up. When she gets out of the car, she hears her name. Surprised when she turns and sees West walking up behind her.

"Hey, how are you?" he asks

"I'm good, and you?

"I'm ok" he replies holding the door open for her

While they sit waiting in the lobby Larissa says

"We're gonna find out the sex of the baby today, are you excited?"

"Of course!" West replies

West shares pictures of the nursery that he's started painting for the baby and after agreeing to show her later that day, they sit in silence until the nurse calls them back.

Six sonogram pictures later they finally know that they are having a baby boy. Having chosen to wait further into her pregnancy to find out the sex this time, they figured it would keep them from getting too attached in case there was any complications. West walks Larissa to her car and being that she had not said anything since they walked out, he asks

"Are you ok?"

"Yeah, I'm ok" she states, but he can tell she's lying

"I'm here if you wanna talk about it" he replies

"I'm ok. I'll see you at work" she states then gets in her car

Later that afternoon West walks into Larissa's office and finds her crying

"Riss, what's wrong? Are you ok?" he asks closing the door behind him

"I'm sorry, I..." she begins, then breaks down crying

West embraces her for a moment, then her phone rings. Glancing down he sees Rick's name on the caller ID.

West steps back, then says

"I'll go, I just wanted to remind you of the meeting in a few minutes"

"I can cover for you if you can't make it." He adds

Larissa takes his hand and says

"West, were just friends!"

With a halfhearted smirk he says

"Yeah." then closes the door behind him

West shuts down his office for the night and stops by Larissa's office before leaving

"Hey, I'm taking my parents to dinner tonight. I'm gonna share the sex of the baby with them, you are welcome to join us if you like"

"I um..."

"You don't have to if you don't want to. I just thought..." he replies

"Hey, it's not that. I'd love to. Just give me like five minutes."

"I'll meet you outside" she states

When West walks outside he sees a car pull up to the front door. After he gets in his car, he looks out the rearview mirror and sees what looks to be Rick, driving the car. A minute later Larissa comes out and walks up to the driver side window.

"Hey, I just tried calling you"

"I'm sorry, I'm gonna have to reschedule"

"Ok, I'll talk to you later!"

West sits infuriated listening to their one-sided conversation, but when Larissa gets in the car, he doesn't mention it.

They arrive at The Capital Grill a few minutes later. West gets out and goes around to open Larissa's door.

Larissa reaches for his hand, smiles and says

"Thanks for inviting me"

With his mind slightly at ease, they head inside

After their seated Mr. and Mrs. West arrive, very excited to see Larissa.

"It feels like we haven't seen you in months"

"How are you settling into your new place?" Rita asks

West clears his throat and Larissa ignores him

"It's coming together, and it has been a while. It's really good to see you both!" she states

"What's new with you two love birds?" Joe asks

"Nothing at all, we've just been working" Larissa states after a brief silence

"Yeah, trying to get the groundbreaking ceremony out of the way before the baby comes" West adds

"Yes, speaking of the baby. Am I buying pink or blue? You know I've been dying to go shopping!" Rita states

"You know that hasn't slowed you down one bit!" Joe laughs taking a sip of his wine

West smirks and looking over to Larissa, he whispers

"You wanna tell them?"

Smiling back at him, Larissa reaches into her purse and takes out the sonogram pictures and reaching them to Rita she says

"You can buy blue!"

Nearly two hours later, West pays the check, and they head outside. Mr. and Mrs. West's car pulls up right away and they all say good night. While they stand waiting for the valet to return with West's car, Larissa asks

"So, you didn't tell your parents that you broke up with me?"

"Correction, I never broke up with you, I have no idea what to consider this. I said that you wanted space and that I was done till you figured out what you wanted." West states as the car pulls up

"I'm just not willing to share!" he adds once they've gotten in the car

"We're not far from your place, would you like me to drop you off?" West asks after a few moments of silence

"I thought you were going to show me the nursery" she replies

"Ok, you just seemed tired"

"I'm always tired, nowadays" she laughs

When they arrive back at Utopia, Larissa is asleep

"Riss, wake up, we're here" West whispers

"You sure you're up for this?" he asks when he opens her door

"Yeah, I'm good. Let's go!"

When she stands up, she gently touches the side of West's face and states

"Thank you!"

Larissa takes West's hand, and they walk inside. Yawning again, for like the tenth time since they arrived at dinner

"What did you mean, when you said you're not willing to share?" she asks not walking inside when he opens the door

"We can talk about that some other time, when you're not half asleep" West replies walking inside and pulling her in too

"Oh, West. You cleared out your office!" she states seeing, what was once his office, now pretty much empty

"I did, it's the perfect room for a nursery" he replies as they walk into the room

"This is so nice"

West has painted a wall of the room a light blue color and seems to be going with a gray, blue and white elephant theme for their baby boy's room. Larissa takes one last look around and walks back into the living room

"Hey. Riss" West calls out when she leaves

Following behind her, he asks

"What's wrong?"

"Nothing" she states sitting down on the couch

Then looking up at him, she says

"I'll be thirty weeks tomorrow, and I haven't really done any shopping." she pauses placing her hand on her belly

"I can feel him kick, but this all still seems so unreal"

"How are you able to do all this?" she murmurs as she begins to cry

West sits down next to her and wrapping her in his arms he gently places his hand on top of hers. When he feels the baby kicking through her hand, he whispers

"We're in this together, no matter what"

After a long dead silence, West asks

"Is he always kicking like this?"

When she moves her hand away, West places a hand on each side of her belly and starts talking to the baby

Larissa smiles at him for a long time then whispers

"You're going to be an amazing father, West!"

"And motherhood..." West begins but is interrupted by Larissa's phone ringing

Larissa takes out her phone and silences it, but West is already standing

"I'm sorry for springing dinner on you last minute." He states

"Are you gonna be weird every time my phone rings?" Larissa asks standing up

"How am I being weird?"

"You should see the look on your face, every time my phone rings. It's been over a month and you've barely even talked to me." She states

"You wanted space. I'm doing my best to respect that."

"Look, I'm sorry about all that stuff I said. I was just upset and..." she states

"It's ok. I'm pretty sure you meant most if not all of what you said" he replies cutting her off

"West, I'm..." she begins then is interrupted by her phone vibrating

Ignoring her phone, she takes his hand and whispers

"I know things won't ever be the way they were, but I need you to trust me when I say. Rick and I are just friends."

"Thank you for coming to dinner. My parents were elated to see you" West states then walks towards the door

With a surprised look on her face Larissa laughs halfheartedly then shakes her head

"You're welcome, I've missed seeing them." She replies following him

"West" she pauses

West just stands there waiting for her to continue, but when she doesn't, they just stand there looking at each other

Larissa takes a deep breath fighting to reign in her emotions and fighting back tears, she whispers

"Good night, West"

"Night Riss, I'll walk you down" West replies

"No, that's ok"

"Riss, it's late" he states

Taking the doorknob, she just shakes her head and pulls the door shut

West stands there with his hand on the door fighting the urge to follow after her, knowing, that she isn't ok.

After a minute, West opens the door and takes the elevator down. When he gets to the parking lot, he still sees Larissa's car, but with no sign of her, he heads back inside. When he walks back in and checks the lobby, still not seeing her, he checks with Noah, who is covering the front desk.

"Hey, Noah. Did you see Larissa come through here?" he asks

"No Sir." Noah replies

Now worried, West walks up to the office floor and checks to see if she's there. When he walks down the hall, he hears a faint sob coming from her office.

Walking up to her office door, he twists the handle then walks in. Larissa jumps then lifts her head from her desk

"Riss" West whispers seeing her sitting in the dark office

When she sees him, she breaks down crying even more. West walks around the desk and when she stands up, he wraps her in his arms. Laying her head on his chest, she just continues to cry.

After some time, West pulls back and says,

"It's late, you need to get some rest.

When they make it back upstairs to the penthouse, West leads Larissa to the couch and when she sits down, he grabs her a bottle of water and sits down next to her

"Riss, what's wrong? You've been like this for days now."

"I'm sorry, I'm so, so, sorry!" she murmurs through tears

"Were ok. You don't need to apologize" he replies

"Then, why are..." she begins then pauses

"I don't even know what you're being, but I don't like it. Ever since I got back, one minute, you're caring and nice and the next you're mean and cold."

"This is an emotional roller coaster, and I don't know what's going on with us, but I hate this." She states looking up at West with tears in her eyes

"You came back and said you wanted to take things slow, you brought your condo, all that I was cool with. But then you started entertaining Richard or whatever his name is."

"Then after he sent you the gift for your birthday. I asked you if we were together or not. Which seems like a pretty clear question."

"You're not being able to answer, was an answer all in itself!"

"West, I..." Larissa begins

"No, let me finish. Even after that, I was willing to forgive and forget. But the morning I came to your place, and he'd apparently stayed the night. Then, I knew..."

"Knew, what. I told you, we fell asleep watching a movie." Larissa states

"And I heard you. But..."

"But nothing, I told you that we are just friends. Why can't you believe that?"

"So, now you don't trust me?"

"This isn't about me trusting you. I don't trust him!"

"Whether or not you trust him, If I say were just friends, then were just friends"

"Ok, answer one question" West says

"What?"

"Has he tried to kiss you?" he asks

Larissa sits for a second, not responding

"Exactly, that's my point. No matter what you say, he has an agenda" West states

"Look, I'm sorry for how you feel, but I'm just giving you the space you said you wanted."

Moments pass by and neither of them say anything, until finally West says

"I've been thinking a lot about the night you came back, after the accident. You said that you flew in for a doctor's appointment. You initially said you'd only be here a day or two. Then all of a sudden, you bought a condo." West sits just looking at her

"And!" she says expecting him to continue

"And, what changed?" he asks

"West, it's late. I gotta go." She replies after a minute then stands up

Standing up, West takes her arm as she starts towards the door.

"That was over three months ago. There is still something you're not telling me" He whispers

Not turning to look at him she says

"West, please"

"Riss" he breathes turning her to face him

Looking up into his eyes she shakes her head, like she's trying to shake a thought

"Please, just let it go" she whispers as tears fall down her cheeks

Opening the door, she says

"Please don't follow me!"

"Larissa" West states

"Night, West"

It's almost two A.M when West gets a text message

Truth is, I was planning on terminating this pregnancy.

I figured it would just be easier than dealing with another loss

I was gonna tell you that I'd lost it.

And I knew you'd hate me, but you'd eventually move on.

When I came to see you that night after my appointment,

that decision became harder and harder to go through with.

I know you want a family, and I didn't want, well,

I still don't want us to get serious again if that's something I can't ever give you.

Now I keep feeling guilty because If you hadn't flown to Detroit,

I probably wouldn't have even told you.

Now every time he kicks,

I'm reminded, what a huge, huge mistake I came so close to making.

That guilt has been eating away at me.

And I'm sorry.

West lays there reading the text over and over again, word for word, until finally he falls asleep.

The following day, West arrives at the office a little after ten, just in time for their meeting with the contractors to discuss the final dates for the groundbreaking ceremony and the schedule moving forward. Surprised to see Larissa sitting across the table, West clears his throat and tries to focus on the agenda at hand.

After their meeting, as everyone leaves the conference room, West sits down at the table. Watching him, Larissa stays behind and comes to sit in the chair next to him.

"Hey" she whispers

"Hey" he replies

"Mr. West, your one o'clock is here" a voice says over the intercom

"Thank you, I'll be right out" West replies getting up from the table

"West" Larissa calls out when he does

"Yeah" he says stopping in the doorway

"Are we, gonna talk?" she asks

"Sure. My meeting is here, I gotta go" he states then continues out the door

It's after six, and most of the office is quiet. Larissa walks into West's office and closes the door. Seeing him on a phone call, she quietly sits down in the chair across from him and waits until he finishes up the call.

The two of them sit, not saying anything, until finally Larissa whispers

"Just tell me if you want me to leave!"

West laughs then says

"That would make things easier for you, wouldn't it?"

"You wanted to know, what I wasn't saying. Now you know."

"Please say something!" she adds after a minute

"I don't know what to say. Everything you wrote, I already knew. All you did was confirm the fact that you've been lying to me for months"

"West" She responds

"When I left the hospital in Detroit, I never thought I'd see you again. I mean honestly, who'd be dumb enough to take you back after you'd made it crystal clear how much you didn't want to be here or have a baby."

"When Brian called and told me you'd been in an accident, I realized that despite the fact, that you may not share the same feelings for me, I still loved and cared about you."

"That's not it at all. West, I love you and the only reason I left was because I know how much you want a family, and I couldn't live with you resenting me if I could never give you that."

"Look, it may not seem like it now, but I really am sorry for everything that I've put you through" Larissa states standing up from the chair

When she starts walking towards the door, West says

"You know you keep saying how much I want a family" standing up, he walks around the desk to her

"For so long, I just wanted you back in my life. And yes, when you got pregnant, I was thrilled to be starting a family with you. I wanted a family with YOU, not just a family" he whispers taking her hand

As her eyes swell with unshed tears, Larissa leans into West's chest and he wraps his arms around her, and they just stand there.

After a while West pulls away and whispers

"I'm doing some work in the nursery tonight, you are welcome to join me. If you want."

Larissa smiles then wipes a tear from her cheek

"I haven't even started the nursery at my place, so sure. I'd love to." she replies

They decide to order take out and head upstairs. On the elevator Larissa just stands looking at West then she asks

"Why are you being so nice to me?"

West just stares at her, then when the elevator opens, he steps in front of her and tilting her chin up to face him he says

"Because despite everything, I'm still in love with you! So, let's just focus on being parents!" then turning to walk out of the elevator he takes her hand then says

"Plus, you're the mother of my son, what choice do I have?"

They both laugh and for the first time in a long time, they actually spend the evening together enjoying each other's company.

It's close to midnight when, Larissa wakes up crying then grabs her belly. Realizing she'd just had another nightmare; she rolls over and texts West

Are you sleep?

He replies right away

No, what's wrong?

Just a bad dream...

When he reads her text, he sighs then replies

The Super bowl or your parents?

Super bowl...

You want me to come over?

Please...

Twelve minutes later West arrives at her condo. When she answers the door, she gives him a hug then wrapping her in his arms, he kisses the top of her head. Larissa gets some water then they head to bed.

The following morning, as they're getting dressed, West yawns and says

"I'm starting to get used to this again?"

"Used to what?"

"Us waking up together!" he smirks

"I don't know why I keep having these dreams" she states

Walking over to her West bends down and placing a hand on either side of her belly he says

"I'm pretty sure this little guy has something to do with it."

After kissing her belly, he stands up then asks

"You wanna ride with me, or would you rather drive? You know this would be a lot easier if we just lived together"

"West" she whispers, turning to face him

"I know" he states

"How would you feel about moving in here with me?" Larissa asks

"Are you asking me?"

"I'm asking how you feel about it, yes!" she smiles sweetly after pulling her dress down over her head

When West doesn't reply, she says

"I have a doctor's appointment this morning, remember. Were you able to move your meeting?"

"I did, it's at eleven." he replies

"That's cutting it kind a close, the ceremony starts at noon."

"I know, but I didn't want to miss the appointment"

"Trust me, there will be plenty of appointments, you don't have to make everyone. For the next four weeks, Doctor Smith wants to see me two or three times a week."

"That seems a little excessive, but I do appreciate her vigilance"

West walks into the kitchen and before he opens the fridge, he hears Larissa cry out from the room. Rushing back to the bedroom, he finds her hunched over by the bed.

"What's wrong?" he asks

"Nothing, I guess I just moved wrong. I was trying to bend down and put on my shoe"

"Here, sit down. Let me help you"

"Ow!" she cries out in pain as she moves towards the chair

"No, I can't sit. It hurts, I think it's my hip." She states

"Ok, hold on to my shoulder, I'll slide it on." West replies

"If your hip is bothering you, you should wear flats, not these." he says seeing the high heel shoes, she's trying to put on

Larissa stands taking a deep breath and moving her hips and bending from side to side.

"Ouch!" she groans squeezing West's shoulder

"Ok, I think, I might be in labor."

Not missing a beat, West takes out his phone and calls Doctor Smith. After she agrees to meet them at the hospital, they head to the car. Just before the elevator closes, Rick walks on.

"Good morn..." Larissa groans squeezing West's arm

"Good morning, are you ok?" he asks glancing back at her

"I'm, yeah." She replies quickly, blowing out a long breath

When the elevator opens, Rick gets off holding the door and West starts to move and she whispers

"Wait" closing her eyes

Finally, when the contraction stops, they make their way off

"Do you need..." Rick begins

"No thank you!" West replies cutting him off

"West!" Larissa snaps, squeezing his hand

When they arrive at the hospital, Dr. Smith has a nurse waiting at the door with a wheelchair to take Larissa straight back. West gives valet his keys and follows them to the back. While the nurse gets Larissa hooked up to the fetal monitor and takes her blood pressure, West steps out to the hall and calls the office and his father to let him know what's going on. As soon as Joe asks about the ribbon cutting ceremony, West sees Doctor Smith walking up the hall.

"Dad, I'll text you. The doctor is walking in" West states then hangs up

"Mr. West, how are you?" Dr. Smith asks as West holds the door open for her

"I'm ok, thanks for coming" he replies

"It's my pleasure." She responds walking into the room

"Larissa, what's going on? This isn't where we were supposed to be meeting today?" she laughs

"I know right." Larissa giggles then stops as another contraction starts

"Alright, lets see what's going on. This little one seems to be really busy today. His heart rate looks good"

"Have you all chosen a name yet?" Dr. Smith asks as she checks Larissa's cervix

"Carter" West states

"So, you are only two centimeters and you're not effaced." She states getting up checking the fetal monitors

"Does that mean I'm in labor or..." Larissa asks then pauses

"Well, yes. You are in early labor. I'm going to give you some , that will temporarily stop your contractions." She replies

"Your water hasn't broken, and the baby is still in a breech position, so we have several options" she adds

"We can admit you overnight for observation..."

"No, I can't..." Larissa begins

"Riss!" West whispers

"Or I can keep you for a few hours, then if there's no change, I'll discharge you."

"Few hours, no, what time is it?" Larissa asks

Ignoring her West asks

"Dr. Smith, what happens if the terbutaline doesn't work?"

"Well, if we can't delay labor and the baby stays breech, the safest thing, based on your history, is to perform a c-section." she replies looking at Larissa

"Excuse me, what time is it?"

"Ok, let's do that, and we'll wait a few hours and take it from there" West states glaring at Larissa

"No, I can't stay here for a few hours. We have a..."

"Dr. Smith can you please give us a minute?" West states

When Doctor Smith leaves the room, West snaps

"What the hell Riss!?"

"West, my water hasn't broken, I am fine, and the baby is doing good. You cannot miss the ribbon cutting ceremony"

West laughs then asks

"You're kidding right. There is no way in hell, I'm letting you leave this hospital until Doctor Smith says that it's safe, for both you and the baby." West shakes his head then continues

"I distinctly remember your idea of fine almost costing you your life, I am not going through that..."

"I think you've made your point and you should probably stop before you say something you'll regret" Larissa states pressing the nurse's button

When Doctor Smith walks back into the room, she brings a nurse and while the nurse takes Larissa's blood pressure and temperature, Dr. Smith says

"I also ordered dexamethasone, that is a steroid to help with the babies lung development. It's just to make sure he's ready for his impending birthday."

"Ok, so I can stay for an hour for observation..." Larissa begins

"Riss..." West states cutting her off, but she continues to talk over him

"After an hour, I'll sign whatever I need to and if anything changes, I'll come back" she states looking at West

"Ok, Laurie go ahead and get Mrs. Mathews paperwork ready" she tells the nurse

"I understand your decision, but I do recommend waiting at least two hours, just to..." Dr. Smith begins

"I understand the risks, but James has a ribbon cutting ceremony at noon that he's spent years preparing for and I know that he'll never go as long as I'm here, so I have to leave. I'm really sorry. But I will definitely come back if anything changes."

West leaves the room and texts his dad then calls the resort. Not long after the nurse leaves the room followed shortly after by Dr. Smith, who stops when she closes the door

"I know you're worried, but Mom and baby both look good. Honestly, for the moment, there's nothing to worry about. Not to say that can't change quickly, just keep an eye on her, if she looks like she's in any pain or if her water breaks or she starts to spot at all, please bring her back in. If she won't come and you're worried somethings wrong, please call 911, then me."

"Thank you for everything" West replies then goes back into the room

"West, did you call..." she begins

"I cannot believe you are being so impossible." West states

"Did you call the resort?"

"You can't possibly be this careless Larissa!"

"Where's my phone?" Larissa asks

"Larissa!" West shouts

"Give me my phone!" she shouts back at him

Enraged, West leaves the room and walks down to the waiting room to cool down, trying with everything in him to keep his composure. Continuing to relive the day they lost Junior and he also almost lost Larissa.

A little while later, West's parents walk into the waiting room. After giving West a hug, Rita goes down to Larissa's room. A little while later, West and Joe also walk down to the room. For a few minutes, they sit around talking and everything seems to be going great, the baby is stable, Larissa is still in bed being monitored, but the calm is short lived, when the nurse walks back into the room with what looks to be discharge papers in hand.

Before the door closes, West stands up and walks over to the bed to stand next to Larissa, not saying anything, just staring at her.

"Laurie, can you give us just a minute please?" Larissa states

"Sure!" she replies

"I'll leave these right here and I'll be back in a minute" she adds

"We'll be in the waiting room" Rita states as her and Joe stand and leave the room

West watches as they leave and closing his eyes, he exhales

"Riss, please don't do this" he whispers

Larissa takes his hand and says

"I'll make a deal with you."

"Riss, no deals. An..."

"I will stay, under one condition" she murmurs getting his attention

Curious, West asks

"What's the condition?"

"You leave. The ceremony starts in..." she pauses looking at her phone

"Fifty-three minutes. If you go, I'll stay!"

West smirks "This was your plan all along" he states, then shakes his head

"This is a huge moment and you've worked countless hours making sure everything is just the way you envisioned it. Carter and I are fine, and we will stay that way until you get back. I promise!" she states pulling West down giving him a quick kiss

Before pulling away, West looks deep into her eyes and smiling he whispers

"You are infuriating!"

Before Larissa replies, the nurse walks back in, smiling she asks

"Are we ready?"

"So, Laurie, there's been a change of plans. I'm going to stay overnight for observation"

West leans in giving her a quick kiss then says

"I gotta go, I'll leave mom to keep you company. Text or call me if anything changes."

"I will, love you!"

"I love you!"

West and Joe leave the hospital and head back to Utopia, they arrive just as the local news crews are pulling up. Rita and Larissa sit watching tv and discussing baby Carter. West's new resort manager meets him in the front lobby, after filling him in on his family emergency, they gather the team and head out to begin the ceremony.

West does a swift thank you speech to all the employees, his friends, family, previous business partners and most importantly his new co-owner and the love of his life, Larissa Mathews. Then after handing the floor to Nick, the resort manager to finish up. Following his statement and a few questions, they cut the ribbon, take a few pictures and West leaves things in Nicks hands and he and Joe head back to the hospital.

Joe and Rita take off and lets them know that they'll be by the phone waiting to hear any updates. As West sits showing Larissa the video Joe shot of the ceremony, suddenly, she's laying in a puddle of fluids. Once she presses the nurses' button, the monitor starts to beep faster, she says

"I think my water just broke!"

Before he stands up, Laurie and Dr. Smith come walking into the room. As Laurie checks the monitors, Dr. Smith checks Larissa.

"Unfortunately, Carter is ready to meet you all a little early. Larissa's blood pressure has been increasing over the past thirty minutes and there's been a decrease in motion on the fetal monitor. That could mean that baby isn't..."

"I think my water just broke like a minute ago." Larissa states cutting her off

"And that's why I'm gonna have to perform an emergency c-section. The baby is still breech and especially with your history. It'll be safer for mom and baby, to go ahead and get him out."

West just stands holding Larissa's hand and she looks over at him but neither of them say anything

"Laurie is gonna get you ready and I'm gonna meet you in the operating room. Regrettably we won't have time to wait on a local anesthetic, I'll have to put you under general. So, West, they'll meet you in the nursery with Carter." Dr. Smith continues

"Do either of you have any questions?" she asks

They both glance at each other then, shake their heads no.

"Before you take me, I need a quick minute alone with West"

Confused, West glares at her and Dr. Smith says

"Sure. Laurie, you ready?"

"Yes ma'am!" Laurie replies

"I'll be right outside, waiting to take you up" she adds

"Don't worry, I'll take good care of them both" Dr. Smith states then leaves the room

"In the bottom drawer of my office desk at Utopia, there's a blue folder..." Larissa begins then stops as tears pool in her eyes

She sniffles, clears her throat then before she can continue, West says

"Riss..."

"No, just listen! We don't have time to argue!"

"There's a blue folder. It has everything in it, my will, account statements, life insurance, deeds and titles and everything else you'll need incase..."

"Riss, you're gonna be fine!" West says then, takes a deep breath

"West, I love you and I'm sorry for everything. Tell me you understood what I said! Bottom drawer, blue folder!"

"Bottom drawer, blue folder. I got it!" he states leaning over giving her a quick kiss as there's a knock on the door

"I love you and I'll see you after..."

"OW!" Larissa states as the baby starts pressing further down into her cervix

Laurie opens the door and propping it open she says

"I'm so sorry but we've gotta go!"

Laurie and two other nurses roll Larissa out of the room and down the hall. Once they're out of sight, West calls Joe and Rita, to let them know what's happened. Still only a few blocks away, they let him know that they'll be back soon.

Shortly after ending the call, Laurie comes back to the room and takes West to change into his scrubs and they head to the nursery to anticipate Carters' arrival.

One of the nurses bring baby Carter into the nursery only a few minutes after West gets changed. His low-pitched cry filled the nursery as the nurses work to get him cleaned up. As West stands watching at the end of the bed, he asks

"How is he?"

"He looks good, that cry means his lungs are stronger than we expected."

"He's measuring five pounds, nine and a half ounces and just over seventeen inches" the nurse says putting up his hands

"How is Larissa?" he asks

"She's doing good, Doc was finishing and about to close up" she replies

Then suddenly they hear monitors beeping and chaos coming from the operating room. West looks from Carter to the nurse then at the door.

"That doesn't sound good!" he states

West starts to walk towards the door, but Laurie stops him.

"I'm sorry, but you will do more harm than good by going in there."

"It's a sterile field. I'll scrub back in and give you an update!" she adds

"Stay with Carter, I'll be right back" Laurie says leaving the nursery

Finally able to hold Carter, West can't fight the eerie feeling in the pit of his stomach. Fighting to enjoy the moment he sits holding Carter. As he cradles his now quietly cooing baby boy, his heart is overwhelmed with love, joy, and anguish. As West looks up, Laurie walks back into the room.

Series

Veronica Pollard

Loving house wife and mother with a passion for writing. With hopes of one day becoming a published author and script writer. This is the place to find a drama filled love story you'll love! Enjoy!

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Veronica Pollard
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