After awhile at the hospital, Junia is released and I start to carry her outside, heading to my mom's car.
"You know," a voice pipes up from beside me and I turn to look at Carrick. "When you get home Kate is going to be pissed," he sighs as he run a hand through his dark hair which is starting to gray some. It makes me sad he is going gray. It's showing the fact that he is in his mid thirties and he is no longer the same age he was when I fell into some sort of infatuation with him, because as much as I hate to admit it, I did have some feelings for Carrick or I wouldn't have moved in with him.
I nod, knowing he is right. "I know," I tell him as we finish the walk to my mom's car and I move a still sleeping Junia up on my hip. For once I can feel like her mother and not feel bad. Though I do wonder if I had not given into Kate's blackmail if Zac would still be here and we could be raising her together.
Carrick looks down for a long while as if he is thinking of something, of what I am scared. "You could come back to my hotel for the night. I have enough room, I'm sure my room mate wouldn't mind if I let you and Junia use the other bed in the room?"
At his words, I consider his offer. "It will just make Kate worse," I sigh knowing it will add fuel to an already burning hot fire but I don't care. "Okay," I smile as start to put Junia in the back but Carrick blocks my way.
"I will come and get your mom's car later," he informs as he takes the keys right out of my hand and opens the back door, getting Junia's car seat out of the back for me. "You guys can ride with me," he smiles as he carries the car seat to his car and I follow behind him holding Junia.
Once he has the car seat in his car, I put Junia in and get in myself, buckling up as Carrick takes off to his hotel. The whole ride there is silent, except for the radio playing on one of the lowest volume settings. It's so weird how Carrick always seems to just be there for me, no questions asked. Maybe I should just try to make myself fall in love with him. Wouldn't that be easy? He could help me grieve Zac and also help me with Junia if I decide to take her as mine.
When we arrive at his hotel, I get out when he parks and go to get Junia, stopping as Carrick gets her out. She wakes up some but then lays her head on his shoulder and drifts right back off.
"I could carry her," I tell him as walk inside the hotel. "I am her mother," I whisper in case she wakes back up and hears me. The last thing I need is her asking questions to Kate tomorrow about what I meant.
Carrick just looks at me and smiles, his blue eyes locking with my brown. "She is fine," he tells me as I hear his voice crack some. "Holding her almost feels as if Zac is here still. That everything will be okay."
I frown after he says, "I guess in a way he is," I say as I look at my daughter. "She is part Zac," I smile sadly.
When Carrick stands in front of I room, I watch as he knocks and a few seconds later the door is opened by a girl with orange hair that I am not sure is real or a dye job. I really wasn't expecting whoever had came in with him to be a girl.
As we go inside, Carrick puts Junia down on a bed and I sit down, staying silent.
"I didn't know you were bringing guests," the girl finally speaks as she looks at Junia and I. I really hate the way she is glaring at me. It makes me feel so uncomfortable.
Carrick looks at her and sits down on the other bed, "They needed a place to go," he tells her as if that should explain everything. "Avery," he says as he looks at me. "This is my girlfriend Piper. Piper this is Avery."
Piper just glares at me more as she sits down beside Carrick on the bed. "I know who she is," she spits out. "You talk about her all the time."
"I don't want to get into this right now Piper. There is a child in the room and I am sure Avery wants to sleep," Carrick snaps back as he turns his head to Piper once she is beside him on the bed.
Carrick's comment is enough to shut Piper up and I am thankful for that because he is right. I do want to sleep. Slipping my shoes off, I lay down beside Junia in bed and drift off. I'm not saying sleeping beside her was the best sleep I had got since Zac's death but it came pretty close. It seems that being around the girl who I wanted to avoid is helping me instead of hurting me.
Awaking the next morning as the sun comes through the window, I groan and reach for Junia, only to find the place next to me empty. Opening my eyes, I sit up and look around, spotting Carrick at the table in the room drinking a cup of coffee and reading what looks like a copy of Tulsa World. "Where is my daughter?" I ask as I raise an eyebrow.
Carrick puts the paper down and looks at me. "I convinced Piper to take her downstairs to the continental breakfast. Piper may be pissed at me but she loves kids too much to turn down that offer," he smirks before taking a drink of his coffee.
"I'm sorry if my coming made Piper mad," I tell him. It's true, I don't want to cause problems for him and his girlfriend. It seems I just have a habit of ruining people's lives though. "Why does she say you talk about me all the time?" I ask as I stand from the bed and walk over taking a seat in the other chair at the table.
"Because I do," Carrick confesses as he watches me sit down. "It's a bad habit I still haven't broken since our break up," he laughs and I think I hear hurt in it. I know he willingly let me go but that doesn't mean it didn't hurt him.
I just blush and look away from his gaze, staying silent.
"How come Zac just let you walk out of his life?" Carrick asks breaking the silence. "I know Zac and he was stubborn so how come he didn't come after you, after you left him and Junia? It's kind of funny, I always figured you left him because he cheated on you with Kate and once the baby was there you just checked out. I never did the math."
I laugh some. I should have known he would have questions for me. "Zac was stubborn," I confess. "I tried to always tell him I was doing it for his own good. That Kate would just make us pay, but he didn't listen. Eventually I knew I would have to make him think I moved on and I did," I whisper hating myself for that. "The last time I saw him alive, he caught me having sex with someone we were both close to."
Carrick makes a face, "Who?" he ask curiously.
"I'd rather not say," I tell him as I chew on my lip. The guy and I had made a pact that no one would know of our one night stand. He had been drunk and I was just trying to find a way to get Zac to leave me alone and be with his bitch of a wife. I'm pretty sure Zac eventually confessed to the guy that he saw us, that he caught us, because the guy had also distanced himself from me.
"If you'd rather not then I won't push it," he says right as the door to the room opens and I smile seeing Junia run in.
"Aunt Avie," she yells as she runs to me and I pick her up, kissing her cheek.
"Hello June bug," I say to her as I hold her close. I almost wish I didn't have to go back home today. I just want some more time with my daughter. "You feeling better?" I ask as I look at her stitches.
Junia nods her head, "I want to go back home to mommy now though," she informs me and I feel my heart break. If only she knew she was with her mommy. Can I ever really rip her away from Kate? Kate may be a bitch but this little girl loves her.
"Sure," I tell her as I look at Carrick again. "Did you get my mom's car?"
"Yeah, I woke up before everyone else and took a taxi to the hospital. The car is in the parking lot."
At his words, I stand up from the chair and hold Junia on my hip. "I will see you later," I smile at Carrick, ignoring the glare Piper is giving me again.
Walking out of the room, I make it outside and to the car, smiling when I find that Carrick has also put Junia's car seat back in the car. Putting Junia in, I get in and drive back to my parents house. After being around Junia and finally acknowledging she is my daughter I have so many emotions and thoughts running through my head. Things I will need to figure out.