A Different Blue Page 51

I stood in the foyer, frozen with indecision. I was tempted to leave and just shoot Wilson a text and tell him I was tired and didn't want to stay any longer. But my phone was in my purse, and my purse was still on the roof sitting next to the deck chair I had been parked in most of the evening.

“Blue!” Tiffa was descending the stairs with a sleeping Henry in her arms. “Have we worn you out, duck? You aren't the only one.” Henry was still in his swim trucks, and his head was a tousled mop of red, resting on her shoulder. She stroked it absentmindedly.

“I thought I would put Henry to bed. I think he's done for the night. Gavin and Aiden are still awake, although Aiden's starting to whinge and rub his eyes. I don't think it will be long before he's unconscious, too.”

“I'm am a little tired, I guess,” I took the excuse she offered. “I thought I'd get my purse and maybe catch a cab so Wilson doesn't have to leave yet.”

“Darcy won't want that. Plus, I think he's keen to get home. He was looking for you.” Tiffa moved through the archway toward a section of the apartment I hadn't yet seen. She called over her shoulder. “Come with me while I lay Henry down. I didn't get to visit with you today. Your pieces are selling so well we need to start strategizing about establishing a bigger presence – more pieces, larger pieces.” Tiffa talked as she walked, and I followed her obediently, postponing my departure.

Tiffa laid the little boy down, and he sprawled across the bed, dead to the world. He was completely limp as Tiffa removed his swim trunks. When she sat him up to put on his pajama top he bobbed and swayed, drunk with sleep. We both laughed, and Tiffa guided him back against the pillows, kissed him, and pulled a light blanket over his small form.

“Good night, sweet boy,” she whispered as she looked down at him.

I felt like an intruder, a peeping Tom, watching her as she gazed at him.



“I'm pregnant. Did you know that?”

“Yes, Blue. I know,” she said gently.

“Did Wilson tell you?”

“He told me when you moved into the little downstairs flat.” The light in the room was dim, and we both spoke in hushed tones in order to not disturb Henry, but neither of us moved, a silent acknowledgement that the conversation had taken an intimate turn.

“I overheard your mother and Wilson talking,” I said softly.

Tiffa tipped her head curiously, waiting.

“Your mother was upset.”

“Oh, no,” Tiffa moaned quietly, her shoulders slumping. “What did she say?”

“She told Wilson he shouldn't have brought me here. That it was hard for you.” I wanted to apologize, but my lingering anger at Joanna Wilson kept me silent. I hadn't tried to hurt anyone.

“Oh, Mum. She can be such a nitwit . . . and an old-fashioned one at that. I see now why Wilson was keen to leave. She probably gutted the poor boy.” Tiffa reached out and clasped my hand.

“I'm sorry, Blue. Although I desperately wish I had a baby bump just like yours, you are welcome in my home, with my brother, any time.”

“Have you been trying to get pregnant?” I asked, hoping I wasn't getting too personal.

“Jack and I have never used birth control, and we enjoy each other immensely, if you know what I mean. I thought I would have several little Jackie's biting at our ankles by now.” Tiffa paused and looked at Henry again. “A few years ago, Jack and I saw a specialist. He said our chances are slim to none . . . and they favor none. But I'm an optimist, and I keep telling myself it could still happen. I'm only thirty-two. My mum had a difficult time getting pregnant, and she still managed it a couple of times.”

“Have you ever thought of adoption?” The words tumbled out of my mouth, and my heart begin to race. I knew what I was going to say next, and it terrified me even as I felt the surety of my sudden inspiration settle upon me.

Tiffa must have sensed my heightened emotion because she turned toward me, a quizzical look in her blue eyes.

“Yes,” she answered slowly, drawing out the word as her eyes searched my face. All the nights, laying awake, considering options, battling insecurities, weighing choices, seemed to coalesce in this one moment. I stared back, anxious to communicate. Needing her to understand.

“My mother abandoned me when I was two years old.” The words tumbled out with the force of Niagara, and the little boy in the bed tossed, though I hadn't raised my voice. “I want my child to have a different life than I had. I want her . . . or him, to be anticipated, celebrated . . . ch-cherished,” I stuttered, stopping to press my hands to my galloping heart. I was going to say it. I was going to make Tiffa Snook an offer that shook me to my core. She had pressed her hands to her own heart, and her eyes were as wide as twin moons.

“I would like you and Jack to adopt my baby.”

Chapter Seventeen

Wilson was quiet as we drove back to Boulder City, and I was too preoccupied to confess that I had overheard his conversation with his mother. I was too dizzy with hope to care that he'd dismissed me as a whim, nothing more. I had arrived at Tiffa's that Fourth of July expecting nothing but fireworks, hotdogs, and a long swim. I had left with a possible family for my unborn child. And though my head swam and my thoughts raced frantically, I felt a rightness that resonated within me through that first long night and into the days that followed.

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