The Broken Road, part 7 & 8
By Courtney & Lori
Summary: Ben and Felicity spent the summer together and now they are finally
returning to school. But the road to love will definitely have some twists and turns.
Disclaimer: We don't own the characters of Felicity. We are just borrowing
them. We promise to put them back where we found them when we get finished :-)
Skip to part 8
Ben shivered as he walked along the busy sidewalks towards
Dean and Deluca
for his shift, which started in ten minutes. Late November had become
increasingly cold as the days went by. He wondered if it was cold where
Felicity was. Shaking his head he cleared it of his thoughts. They were
useless anyway. Felicity was gone and no one knew where she was. Correction
everyone but him knew where she was and they weren't talking.
Mentally he began to tick off the list of people who wouldn't tell him where
his ex-girlfriend and mother of his child was. Elena had told him in no
uncertain terms to go to hell, Noel kept giving him that look that said he
thought Ben was a prick, and he suspected Sean had an idea as to where she
was because he had seen Elena leaving the loft the other day and he knew she
hadn't been there to see Julie.
Julie. The one person who was still talking to him was the one person he had
no desire to see or talk to. It wasn't that he blamed her for what happened.
It wasn't her fault. Well not totally her fault, he conceded as he entered
Dean and Deluca. Going to the back room he shed his jacket and then signed in
before walking back to the front.
"Hello Benjamin," Javier's voice greeted him. Ben smiled in spite of his
lousy mood. The balding man was always so cheerful and at times it could be
contagious even when Ben felt like shit.
"How are you doing?"
"I've had better months."
"You miss Felicity, right? Lemme tell you I miss her too. Best worker I had."
Javier patted Ben's shoulder before heading into the back.
Best worker Javier had and the best thing that ever happened to me. Ben
thought sadly. He'd called the Porter residence the other day and asked for
Felicity. Mrs. Porter had told him she wouldn't be home for months.
"Excuse me?" A voice broke into his thoughts. He looked up to see Elena and
Noel in front of him with Noel's old girlfriend Hannah and some guy he didn't
"Hi Elena. What can I get you?"
"A cup of coffee, black no sugar," Elena said.
"A mocha latte," was Hannah's response.
"Nothing for me," said Noel.
"I'll take a cappucino," the guy he didn't recognize said.
"Okay. I'll have that for you in a second."
"Aren't you Ben?" Hannah asked suddenly.
"You're Ben. We met last year at Thanksgiving."
"Right. How are you?"
"I'm good. So what are you doing this Thanksgiving?"
"Hannah, he's working. He doesn't have time to chit chat," Noel said.
"Oh." Hannah looked sheepish.
"It's okay," Ben said setting down Elena's coffee and going to work on
Hannah's latte. "I'm not sure what I'm doing this Thanksgiving." The truth
was he had all but forgotten about the upcoming holidays. He and Felicity had
planned to spend the long weekend in Surf City, New Jersey with his mom's
sister, his aunt Marilyn, since neither one wanted to spend the extra money
on a plane trip for the weekend. Giving Hannah the latte he made Elena's
friend a cappucino and rung up the purchases. Handing back the change he
thought he caught a look of sympathy in Noel's eyes but it was gone so fast
he thought for sure he had imagined it. Once the group had grabbed a table he
looked outside and saw flurries of snow dancing crazily among the streets and
hoped wherever Felicity was she and the baby were warm.
* * * * *
"Okay people, that's it for today. Have a great holiday," Mr. Jerome said
to the class.
Felicity put away her art history book and stood up. She slung her backpack
over her shoulder and started out of the classroom. She'd been a student at
The Atlanta College of Art for nearly a month and she was finally starting to
get used to the campus. At first, it had been strange. She'd been so used to
New York . . . it was hard to start all over. But, she was still sure she'd
made the right choice. Staying in New York would have only caused a lot of
pain for everyone.
She shuffled over the grass outside the lecture hall and headed towards
the train station to head home. It was strange to still be wearing short
sleeves at Thanksgiving, but Atlanta was still warm enough for them. Her
sweaters had yet to be unpacked.
As she sat down on the train, her eyes closed. She was so tired . . .
even at two months along in her pregnancy she was already feeling the
effects. She grew tired so easily now. But, at least the morning sickness was
subsiding. That was one good thing.
Her eyes opened as she looked out the window at the city passing rapidly
below her. She liked taking the train. It reminded her of the subway. God,
how many times had she and Ben sat impossibly close on the subway, making out
in the back of the last car? She smiled softly at the memory. It seemed like
a lifetime ago now. She pulled out the picture of she and Ben that she kept
in her purse. It was the same picture she'd stared at on the plane ride here
of the two of them in Hawaii the previous summer. It was creased and folded
from so much time being held in her hands. Sometimes she'd just stare at it
for hours. The two of them . . . happy.
She sighed as she put the picture away. Her eyes closed again. She missed
him so much sometimes that it hurt. She wondered if she'd ever see him again.
She wondered what he was doing at that moment. Was he on the subway? Was he
in class? Was he at home? Did he still think about her? Had the love they had
for one another faded . . . or grown stronger in her absence? She wondered
these same things every day. She knew she shouldn't. It was best not to dwell
on a life that she couldn't have, but . . . she still wanted him so
desperately. She still loved him so very much. She often wondered if she'd
ever find a way to stop loving Ben Covington. There were plenty of times that
she had wished that she could.
The train stopped and Felicity picked up her stuff and got off. The
Thanksgiving holidays had begun today so she had a week off from school. She
walked the half mile from the train station back to the house she and Sally
lived in, thinking about how she'd spend her Thanksgiving.
"Hey you," came a greeting as she walked into the front door of the three
story house. She looked up to see one of their housemates, Jeff Fraser,
coming into the foyer.
"Hey Jeff," she replied with a smile. Jeff was 26 years old and a music
promoter in Atlanta. He was pretty successful to be so young. He was also
very good looking; about 5'6 but well-built with short brown hair, killer
blue eyes and the cutest dimples that came out every time he smiled. He was
also gay, which Felicity felt was a tragedy for women everywhere, but was a
good thing for his lover, Sam. They had been together for about four years
and acted so much like a married couple that it was hysterical at times. Jeff
and Sam lived on the ground floor of the house, and Sally and Felicity were
on the basement level.
"Just get back from school?" Jeff asked.
"Yep, we're finally out for the holidays," she replied.
"That's great, so it's going pretty well, then?" he asked.
"Yeah, I really love my classes."
"You'll have to show me the newest additions to your portfolio. I haven't
had an update in a week," he said.
"Sure thing," she replied with a smile. Jeff was always asking her about
her art and seemed fascinated to see her latest creations. It was nice to
have someone to share it with.
"So, you going home for the holiday?" he asked.
"No, I can't afford to. I'm just gonna stay here," she replied.
"Oh, well why don't you and Sally come have dinner with Sam and I?" he
offered. "We've got a group of friends coming over so the more the merrier."
She smiled. "Thanks, I'll mention it to Sally," she told him.
"Good," he smiled in return. "Well, I better hit the road. I'm due to
meet with a new band in half an hour and I'm sure traffic is, well, traffic,"
he rolled his eyes.
"I hate to give you the bad news, but, yeah, it's pretty rotten."
"Not surprised. Okay, well, I'll see you later, Felicity."
"Okay, bye Jeff," she said and waved as he walked out the front door. She
turned and headed down the steps that led to the basement apartment she
shared with Sally. Opening the door, she was met with silence. That wasn't
surprising. Sally had a late class on Tuesdays. She usually made it home just
before five and it was only a little after 4 o'clock.
Felicity set her bag down beside the couch and pushed the button on the
answering machine, sitting down as she listened to the day's messages. She
scribbled down a number from one of Sally's students, listened to her
mother's voice, making a mental note to call her later, then smiled brightly
when she heard Elena.
"Hey girlfriend! Greetings from the Big Apple where we are freezing our
asses off while 'ya'll' down south are living it up in 75 degree weather.
What's that about? Anyway, just calling to see how you were and wish you a
happy holiday. I'm eating with my dad and Noel at our apartment. You have the
number so call us soon! Talk to you later. Oh, hi to Sally. Bye!"
The machine stopped and started rewinding the tape after the message had
ended. She hadn't talked to Elena in two weeks. It seemed like so long.
They'd spoken everyday during her first week in Atlanta, then three times a
week, and now once every two weeks. She made a promise to herself to call
again soon. Elena was one of her only friends. She didn't want to lose touch
She looked at the clock and decided she'd better get started with dinner
since it was her night to cook, so she got up and headed into the kitchen.
Rooting through the refrigerator, she found some chicken she'd set out to
thaw and a few potatoes. She put the chicken on the broil, tossed the
potatoes in the microwave to bake and got started on a salad. By the time she
had the salad made, the potatoes were half done and the chicken was, too. She
figured Sally would be there by the time it was all done.
Once dinner had been taken care of, Felicity sat back down on the couch
and looked around, trying to decide what to do with herself. She looked at
the book laying open on the coffee table: What To Expect When You're
Expecting. Fascinating reading, but she decided to pass. All that was on TV
was talk shows and game shows so she didn't bother with that. Finally, she
decided to try and call Elena. She picked up the phone and entered in the
"Hello?" answered a male voice that she immediately recognized.
"Noel! Hey, it's Felicity," she replied.
"Oh, hey! How's everything down south?"
"Good, I suppose. How are you doing?"
"Fine. One more class and then I'm out for the holidays," he told her.
"Yeah, I just got done with my last one."
"Well, hey, Elena just walked in and she's trying to grab the phone from
me so I better hand it over. It's great hearing your voice again, Felicity."
"You too, bye Noel."
"Bye," he replied, the handed the phone to his anxious roommate.
"Hey girl!" she squealed into the receiver.
"Hey, what's up?" Felicity asked.
"Not much, just went turkey shopping. How about you?"
"Just got back from class and made dinner. That's about it," she said.
"How is everything?" Elena wanted to know.
"Fine . . . I went to the doctor last Wednesday. He said everything
looked great and he'll see me again in a month," she said.
"That's good to hear. So, any plans for turkey day?"
"Yeah, I think I'm having dinner with the guys upstairs. Jeff just
invited me and Sally."
"That sounds like fun."
"Yeah," Felicity replied. "And, I won't have to cook."
"Ugh," Elena groaned. "Lucky."
"So, have you seen him lately?" she asked quietly.
"Felicity, don't do this to yourself . . ."
"I'm not. I just . . . does he seem okay?" she asked.
"It seemed fine the last time I saw him, but who cares. He's still an
asshole," she said emphatically.
"I know," she nodded. "But, he's this baby's father. Eventually, like it
or not, I'll have to let him back into my life."
"Well, that's up to you, but I'm not going to try and sway your decision."
"So, how's everyone else? Have you talked to Sean?"
"Yeah, about a week ago. He told me that Julie was moving out," she said.
"Where to?" Felicity asked.
"I dunno, with someone from work I think," Elena said.
"Hmm . . . well, things really have gotten screwed up, haven't they?" she
"It'll all be alright," Elena assured her.
"Yeah, I hope so," Felicity said. "Well, I guess I better go. I just
wanted to return your call. It seems like it's been way too long since we
"You're right, it has. Oh, I got your letter about you finally getting
your email address set up with the school, though, so I will be sure and
"Okay, great, I'll do the same. And make sure to give Noel the address."
"Okay, happy Thanksgiving."
"You too, sweetie. Talk to you soon."
She waited until she'd heard the phone click as it disconnected before
she cradled the receiver. She thought about calling her mom back, but decided
to wait. She wasn't quite up to that at the moment. Her parents knew that
she'd broken up with Ben and moved down to Atlanta with Sally. They knew that
she'd taken her grandmother's last name, Halliwell, to avoid him finding her.
What they didn't know was that not only had their little girl changed her
major, her school, and her identity, she was also about to change the number
of people in their family. Felicity knew that sooner or later she'd have to
tell her parents about the baby. She was just opting for later.
Felicity gave a sigh as she got up to check on dinner. The chicken needed
a few more minutes and the potatoes were just about there as well. She
stopped momentarily to stare out the kitchen window that faced the backyard.
Only the back of the basement level had windows, the front was underground.
Looking out, she saw a few birds on a leafless tree. Funny, this time last
year she'd been up to her ankles in snow. Her mind wandered further as she
remembered that first holiday away from home. It would be the first of many.
She laid a hand on her flat stomach and wondered to herself, was it snowing
where Ben was right now?
* * * * *
Ben wiped his hands on his apron and headed up front to clock out.
"Javier, I'm leaving," he called into the back room.
"Okay Benjamin, see you tomorrow," came the heavily accented reply. He
punched out, then grabbed his coat and headed out into the snow.
The city had been blanketed practically overnight. The first snow of
winter . . . he trudged through the slush that had covered the sidewalk as he
made his way to the subway to head back to the loft. Once he was in his seat,
he looked out the window. There was nothing to see but the train station
going by in a blur, then the graffiti covered walls that flew by at high
speed. His mind drifted back to numerous subway rides with Felicity in his
arms. They'd been oblivious to the people around them then. All the noise and
chaos of the city would fade into the background as he held her close and
kissed her . . . God, he missed her.
Every morning he woke up wondering what Felicity would wear today, what
she'd eat for breakfast, who she'd talk to, where she would go. He wondered
if she was happy. He wondered if she thought about him as often as he thought
about her. He wondered if she still loved him . . . or was he the only one
left holding onto those feelings that used to consume both of their lives?
The train stopped and Ben got up with a sigh. He headed out of the
station and towards home. The snow was falling again and he thought back to a
day close to the beginning of freshman year when he had told Felicity about
how he couldn't wait to see the city covered in snow. She had agreed.
Somehow, the snow and the city seemed to have lost all of its magic when she
Climbing the stairs, Ben opened the door to the loft. Sean was sitting on
the couch and nodded hello as he looked up briefly from his latest gadget.
"What's up, man. You still working on that contraption?"
"It's a razor that never gets dull. You never have to replace the blade
again," Sean said.
"You're gonna end up cutting off your hand," Ben warned with a smirk.
"You been at work all day?"
"Nah, I had class this morning."
"So, have you decided on your plans for Thursday?" Sean inquired.
Ben nodded. "I have a date with the couch, the TV, and ten bucks worth of
Chinese food from Mr. Wong's."
"Fried rice for Thanksgiving?" Sean said skeptically. Ben just shrugged.
"I guess I'm going to Chloe's parent's house with her. Do you really think
that's a good idea, though? I mean, her parents? That's a big step."
"Just go," Ben said.
"Yeah, I guess," Sean replied. "I hate to think you'll be alone all day,
"I won't . . . I'll have the Knicks and Mr. Wong to keep me company," he
"I wish she were here . . ." Sean said sadly.
"Yeah," Ben replied. "I wish she were, too."
"You still won't tell me where she is?" Ben asked.
"Sorry, buddy, but I made a promise. Besides, even I don't know exactly."
Ben nodded. He hadn't really expected to gain the information, but he
still had to try. "Well, I'm beat. I'm gonna go crash."
"Okay, later," Sean said as he turned back to his creation.
Ben mounted the stairs and headed into his room. He hated this room now.
It was the place that his life had all fallen apart. He still couldn't
believe that he'd ruined everything he'd worked so hard to build . . . all
for nothing. He sank down onto the bed heavily. His eyes focused on the sky
outside as it grew darker. Through the thick, gray clouds he couldn't see the
stars, but he knew they were there. He wondered if Felicity would see those
same stars tonight . . . and think of him. He hoped so, because he'd
definitely be thinking of her.
* * * * *
"Hey Halliwell!" a voice from outside the apartment's front door shouted.
Felicity looked up from the drawing she was working on for her still life
class and smiled, knowing the voice belonged to Trapper Davenport, one of
people who lived on the top floor and went to Georgia Tech. He was the only
one around here who called her Halliwell. She didn't mind. It helped her get
used to her new last name which had become legal two weeks after she had
settled in Atlanta. Getting up she opened the door for the good-looking young
"Hey Trap. What's up?"
"You, me, Resa, and Jennifer are going to Jelly Rolls. C'mon."
"Yes now. C'mon grab your jacket there's a chill in the air."
"Trapper, I'm doing homework."
"You have a week to do homework. It's kareoke night at Jelly Rolls and we're
"I can't sing."
"Neither can I. We can make fun of all the people who get up to sing."
"I don't know, Trapper."
"In her room grading papers, why?"
"Hey Sally! Get out here." A few minutes later Sally Reardon entered the
"Hi Trapper, what is it?"
"Help me convince Halliwell to come with me, Resa, and Jennifer to Jelly
Rolls for kareoke night."
"Oh, most definitely. Go have fun Felicity." Sally smiled at her friend's
look. "And don't give me that look. You need to have a life outside of school
and working at Cafe Primo."
"I have a life."
"No, sweetie, you don't. Go out and have fun," Sally ordered.
"What about the turkey?"
"We're eating at Jeff's tomorrow. Nice try though," Sally said as she handed
Felicity her coat and keys before propelling her out the door.
"Well, here's your hat, what's your hurry?" Felicity mumbled sarcastically as
Trapper and she went up the stairs and out onto the street.
"C'mon Resa's driving," Trapper said as he led Felicity to a dark blue
mustang where his roommates, Teresa 'Resa' Bancroft and Jennifer Potter, were
"Hey Felicity," Resa, a blonde from Tennesse drawled, as she started the car
once Felicity and Trapper were safely buckled into the back seat.
"Hey Resa. Hi Jennifer."
The redhead from Boston turned around and smiled. "Hi Felicity. How are your
"Pretty good. How are yours?"
"Not bad. Just glad to be out of school for the holiday. My engineering
teacher is driving me nuts."
"I know how that is. My professor in my still-life class hates everything I
do," Felicity said as she settled back against the leather seats of Resa's
"Oh, c'mon Halliwell. I'm sure he doesn't hate everything you do," Trapper
"I haven't gotten higher then a C the whole semester. I swear I think he
holds a grudge just because I was a transfer from a Yankee school. Not to
mention I'm originally from California."
"Maybe your painting just stinks."
"Thank you, Trapper."
"You know what I mean. Some artists are not cut out to hold a paintbrush.
Some are just able to hold a pencil and paper."
"Well, I've always gotten good painting grades before. I just have to face
it. Muldoon hates me."
"Whatever, Halliwell." Trapper rolled his eyes. "So Resa, you gonna sing for
"Only if you get enough liquor in me," Resa said with a giggle as her fellow
* * * * *
Ben put his fried rice down with a sigh as he turned off the TV. The game had
been over for half an hour and the Celtics hadn't even made an effort as far
as he was concerned. Getting up, he tossed away his trash before going to the
window, opening it up and climbing out onto the fire escape. The city below
him was lit up like a Christmas tree as people rushed every which way, either
coming or going from their holiday plans. He thought of how many times he'd
come home to find his girlfriend out here doing her homework or drawing in
her sketchpad as the sun set over the city.
Bending his legs, he rested his arms on his knees and tilted his head back
against the outside wall of the building. Other memories had included him and
Felicity sitting out here together watching the lights below them come on and
listening to the sounds of the city. God, he missed her. This place didn't
feel right without her. Going to classes, eating lunch, even working at Dean
& Deluca didn't feel right. Nothing had felt right since the day Meghan had
told him that Felicity was gone.
He faintly heard the loft door open and Sean enter. A few minutes later his
roommate and landlord stuck his head out the window.
"Hey buddy. What's going on?" Sean asked.
"Not much. How was dinner?"
"Pretty good. Her parents are really nice people and aren't at all
"Good. I'm glad for you," Ben said. His friend deserved happiness.
"Yeah, I'm just thinking."
"Oh. Hey, did Julie get the last of her stuff?"
"Uh, yeah. She came by about twenty minutes after you left. She left her keys
on the counter." Julie being here had been uncomfortable to say the least but
at least it was over with. They didn't talk about what had happened anymore.
Julie had told him flat out that she knew he loved Felicity and that it was
over between them. She had no ill will towards him but she also couldn't live
in a place that had caused her former friend so much pain so, as soon as she
could, she moved out. It was better this way. Seeing Julie on a daily basis
would have driven one or the both of them crazy.
"So, how was the game?" Sean asked, trying to draw his friend into a
conversation. No matter how much of a bonehead Ben had been he was still his
friend and he hated to see him so miserable.
"Any other plans for the day?"
"Calling myself every name in the book for what I did to Felicity."
"Ben, you've never claimed to be Prince Charming."
"How about Prince Slimey Toad? Prince Let Down? Prince Can't Keep his Pants
Zipped? Any of those fit me?"
"Well how about Prince I Made a Mistake and I'll Never Forgive Myself?" Sean
"I hate myself, Sean."
"Listen, you fucked up, that's a given, but you're not the first and sad to
say you won't be the last. But, out of all the guys who have done and will do
what you did I don't think any of them will feel as guilty as you do right
"So, what are you saying?"
"Ben, no matter what happens you're still a good man. If you weren't Felicity
wouldn't have fallen in love with you in the first place. You're just a good
man who is a little misguided at times."
"A little misguided?"
"Okay, very misguided. Happy?"
"Not till I know she's okay."
"I'm pretty sure she's okay." Sean waited a minute before asking. "Have you
tried her parents again?"
"Yeah, yesterday. I got the same answer. Felicity's at school and won't be
home for a while."
"Do you think they know?"
"That she's pregnant?" Sean nodded at Ben's question. "I don't think so. If
they did she'd be home. They wouldn't let her out of their sight and they
sure as hell wouldn't be so polite to me."
"Well, I'm gonna go to bed. Don't stay out here too long. It's supposed to
"Okay, thanks man."
"Night," Sean said before he pulled his head back in and left Ben to look out
over the city alone again. Sean's question about Felicity's condition had
started him thinking. Was she showing yet? Did they know the sex of the baby?
He had all these questions and not an answer in sight. He could only hope
that one day Felicity would let him into their child's life and maybe, if he
were truly lucky, she'd let him back into her life and if it didn't require
an act of God, her heart.
* * * * *
"Hey Felicity, what's going on?" Felicity heard from behind her. She
turned and smiled as one of her upstairs neighbors, Jennifer Potter,
"Hey Jen, not much, just daydreaming" she replied. She was sitting on the
grass in the backyard of the house she now called home and looking up at the
"Mind if I join you?" Felicity shook her head with a smile and Jennifer
took a seat beside her. "So, you and Sally are eating here today, too, right?"
"Yep," she nodded. "You, too?"
"Yeah, Trap went to his grandparents house in Athens and Resa drove home
to Tennessee early this morning. I couldn't really afford the plane ticket
back to Boston, so I decided to stick around here," she told her.
"Same here, the airfare to California was way out of my budget. Besides,
with all that's happened in my life these last few months, I think I'd do
best to stay a few thousand miles from my parents for a while."
"That bad, huh?" Jennifer asked.
"Not so much bad," Felicity replied, "Just . . . weird. I feel like I've
let them down, you know?"
Her friend nodded, but said, "I'm sure they don't feel that way, though."
"I hope not."
"So, how are your art classes going? Jeff has been telling me that your
work keeps getting better and better."
Felicity smiled. "Jeff is very sweet. Completely biased, but sweet."
"I'm sure he's right. From what I've seen you are a great artist."
"Thanks, Jen," she smiled. "Gosh, I can't believe that just a few months
ago I was pre-med. It seems like a different world than the one I'm in now,"
"Do you mind if I ask . . . and you don't have to answer . . . I just, I
wondered . . . what made you decide to leave New York and come here to
Atlanta to study art?"
Felicity's eyes skipped back up to the puffy, white clouds overhead as
her mind drifted over a thousand thoughts of the life she'd left behind.
"There was a lot involved," she answered. "Mostly though, my boyfriend."
"Oh, I see. Well, I'm sorry to be nosy, really. I just . . . it's such a
"Yeah, it is," she agreed.
"Are you sorry you did it?" Jennifer asked.
"Every day," Felicity responded.
"Then why stay?"
"Because I'm also glad that I did it every day. It was the only thing I
could have done, really," she said sadly.
"Well, I hope things work out for the best for you, Felicity," Jennifer
told her as she laid a comforting hand on her shoulder.
"Thanks, Jen," she smiled. "So do I."
"We should probably get back inside. Dinner will be ready soon." Felicity
nodded and the two girls started to get up. As she stood, Felicity swayed a
little and had to catch hold of Jennifer's arm to get her balance. "Felicity,
are you okay?" the redhead asked.
"Yeah, yeah, fine . . . I just get a little dizzy. It's nothing," she
"I still think we should get Sally," Jennifer said.
"Jen, I'm fine, really," she insisted.
"How can you be so sure?" she asked.
"Because, dizziness is one of the most common side effects."
"Side effects? Side effects of what?" she asked with a puzzled look.
Felicity sighed and said, "Of pregnancy."
Jennifer's mouth formed an O but she didn't respond. Suddenly it was all
clear why Felicity had made such a sudden and life-changing decision as she
had. There was much more at stake than just boy troubles, that was for sure.
"Come on, let's get you inside," she said as she took her friend's arm.
Felicity followed her obediently.
"Please, don't say anything to the others, not yet," she asked.
Jennifer smiled at her and nodded. "Never, I promise," she told her.
Felicity nodded her appreciation and the two made their way back inside.
* * * * *
"Benjamin, wake up!"
The bright and overly cheerful voice of his roommate woke Ben from his
sleep. "Sean . . . what time is it?" he asked as he rubbed the sleep from his
"Time for you to get you to get up," Sean replied. "It's a little after
eight in the morning. You fell asleep on the couch again," he chided.
"Yeah, sorry," Ben said as he came fully awake and sat up.
"It's okay, I just think you'd be more comfortable in your bed," he told
Ben nodded. That wasn't true, of course. He hated to sleep in his bed. It
reminded him of all that had happened there with Julie and with Felicity.
Every time he walked in that room he saw the pain in her eyes that morning
all over again.
"We're going out tonight," Sean said.
"We are?" Ben asked.
"Yep. I got us tickets to a hockey game at Madison Square Garden."
"Ah, I don't really feel like it, Sean. Why don't you take Chloe instead?"
"Chloe doesn't like hockey, that's why. Besides, I got the tickets for
the sole purpose of getting you out of this apartment for a few hours. If you
keep staying here and brooding then eventually you're going to drive yourself
"I'll be fine," Ben assured him.
"Yeah, you look fine," Sean replied sarcastically as he rolled his eyes.
"I just . . . I'm not up to a hockey game today, Sean. I'm sorry."
Sean sat on the couch next to his friend and laid a hand on his shoulder.
"You have to move on, Ben. She's gone, there's nothing you can do about that
now," he said quietly.
"I know . . . I just . . . I can't just forget about her, Sean. She's all
I can think about. I love her so much . . ." his voice trailed off and he
looked away to hide the tears in his eyes.
"It's okay, buddy," Sean assured him.
Ben nodded, but didn't look back.
"Well, look, I'm gonna go over and see Chloe for a while. The game starts
at 7 o'clock. At least think about it?" he asked hopefully.
"Yeah, okay, I'll think about it," Ben agreed.
"Okay, later," Sean said to his friend. Ben waited until he heard the
door close, then got up from the couch. He really did spend all of his free
time stuck in this apartment. He just hated to leave, thinking that as soon
as he did that the phone would ring and it would be her and he'd miss his
last chance to try and make amends. As the days passed, he felt the
likelihood of that phone call ever coming in slip further and further away.
He mounted the stairs to his room, thinking that a shower would do him
some good. He stepped into the room, though, and was flooded with memories.
He remembered standing in front of his mirror as he got ready for their date
that night at Tavern on the Green; the first night they made love. He sank
down onto the bed and closed his eyes as he remembered the way her hair had
looked, the color of her dress, the feel of her skin as he held her close
while they danced . . . It had all been so magical. What he wouldn't give to
go back to that night and start all over. Just one last chance, that was all
He leaned over and opened up his desk drawer, pulling out a pad of paper
and a pen. Not sure of what he was doing, he began to write.
I know you probably hate me right now. If it makes you feel even a little
bit better, I hate myself more than you could ever imagine. I still can't
begin to explain why I did what I did, but I do know that I'm so sorry I
don't know what to do. I think about you every day. I wonder how you're doing
and what your life is like now. I hope it's wonderful. You deserve to be
I know it's too little too late, but I want to apologize for what
happened before you left. I can't ever make up for hurting you that way and
that is something I will have to live with for the rest of my life. You
deserved so much more than what I gave you and for that I will never forgive
myself. I'm sorry I couldn't be a better man . . . the kind of man worthy of
someone as special as you are.
Thanksgiving was yesterday . . . I hope you were among people that you
love. I thought about you all day. I was remembering the plans we made to
spend the day at my aunt's house. I wish we could have done that. I just know
that she would love you. Everyone loves you. Me especially.
I'm not sure what to say here because everything I think of sounds so
contrived. There is really no excuse for what I've done and I don't want to
try and make one. I just want to tell you how much I love you and that I will
never stop. I miss you so much that my heart aches. I wonder how you and the
baby are and about whether I will ever be able to see the child I already
love so much. I know it's more than I will ever deserve, but my greatest wish
is that you will some day forgive me for all the terrible things I have done.
I wouldn't blame you if you didn't, though. I know I can never forgive
If nothing else, please just know that I will never stop loving you. No
matter what happens, my heart will belong to you forever. That is one promise
that I will never break.
All my love forever,
He looked down at the letter before him. The words blurred from the tears
welled in his eyes. Would she ever know what was in his heart? Would she ever
be able to look at him again in anything but disgust? He could only pray that
Folding the letter, he found an envelope and put it inside, writing her
name across the front and putting it away in the top drawer of the desk. He
looked out the window as his tears finally spilled down his cheeks. He was
pretty certain that he had lost Felicity forever . . . and he'd never get a
second chance. After all, he didn't deserve one.
He laid his head down on the pillow and curled up tightly on the bed as
he let himself cry. The tears did little to wash away his pain, but they
couldn't be stopped nonetheless. As his body shook with sobs, he wondered if
he was doomed forever to cry for a love he could never have again? Only time
* * * * *
"Hey, Halliwell." Felicity looked up from where she
was sitting on the front
stoop of the house to see Trapper coming out of the door.
"Hey Trap, I thought you left already."
"Nope, heading out now. How about you? What are your plans for the holiday?"
"A couple of friends from New York are due in today and they're spending
Christmas with me and Sally."
"You're not going home?"
"No, I'm not ready to go there yet." Felicity cast her eyes downward to
the notebook she'd been doodling in while she waited for Noel and Elena's
cab. She looked up again when Trapper sat down beside her. "What are you
"No, the question is what are you doing? Why won't you go home?"
"It's a long story."
"So, let's go for a ride and you can tell me all about it."
"On your Harley?"
"No. I'll borrow Resa's 'stang," Trapper smiled at the nervous expression
on Felicity's face. "What have you got to lose?"
"Well, nothing since I've already lost my virginity."
"Oh, you're so funny."
"Aren't I? But seriously, Resa's going home in about an hour and you're
supposed to be on your way to Athens."
"So, instead of taking a drive we'll take a walk. C'mon Felicity, I'm not
going to attack you, I just would like for you to trust me like you seem to
trust Jen and Resa."
"It's different with Jen and Resa."
"Cause they're girls?"
"Yes and you're a guy and right now I'm having a problem trusting guys."
"So you got hurt?"
"You sure you wanna hear this? It's slightly pathetic."
"Okay, you asked for it." Felicity took a deep breath before launching
into her story. "Before I came to Atlanta my last name was Porter. I'm
originally from Palo Alto, California which is where I developed a huge crush
on Ben Covington."
"Huge enough to follow him across the country to New York. Best mistake
of my life. I kind of stalked him for awhile and then I went out with Noel
Crane, who is coming today, and he dated my ex-best friend, Julie. Noel and
I broke up when he got confused and went off with his ex-girlfriend and I
slept with a guy I barely knew and Ben and Julie broke up a few weeks later
right before school ended. This was after Ben asked Julie to go on a road
trip with him and she asked me and I asked Noel cause at the time we were
trying to get back together. Anyway Noel chose to go to Berlin and asked me
to come with him and I was gonna go till Ben told me he still wanted me to
come with him on the road trip."
"So what happened?"
"Julie wanted me to go with Ben for a purely selfish reason on her part."
"She wanted to see if he talked about this other girl she thought he
dumped her for."
"I think I know where this is going."
"So, one night Ben and I were working late at the coffee shop we both
work at and we got a little close."
"We almost kissed but we were interrupted."
"Then what happened?"
"Noel asked me to go with him to Berlin and I told Ben I was going to go
"Then what happened?"
"Ben kissed me and my flight reflex kicked in. So anyway, I had decided
to go with Noel but everything just started spiraling out of control and I
ended up telling Ben I'd go with him and we had this intense conversation
which Julie ended up overhearing."
"Tell me about it. She told Noel and he asked for his plane ticket back.
She also called me a lying bitch. Anyway I was gonna just go home but then
Ben came by and asked me once more to go with him. He said he'd wait till a
certain time and if I didn't show then he'd see me over the summer. Then I
found this amazing letter from Noel that professed his love to me. So, I had
"And I chose Ben."
"So what happened?"
"I fell in love with him. We started sleeping together once we got back
"So, when are you due?"
"What?" Felicity asked Trapper in amazement.
"You've got that look my sister Vanessa had when she got pregnant."
"How old was she?"
"She's okay and you will be too."
"I hope so."
* * * * *
"What about this one?" Sean asked as he stood in front of yet another
tree. He'd been dragging Ben all over the Christmas tree lot for almost an
hour trying to get him excited about the holidays. So far, it wasn't working.
"It's nice. Get that one," Ben replied without more than a glance at the
"Come on Ben, get into the spirit of the season," Sean said.
"I'm not in much of a Christmas mood, sorry," Ben replied.
"Elena and Noel went to see her, you know," he said casually. Ben's head
"They did? How did you find out?" he wanted to know.
"I ran into Elena at the Lucky Strike the other night when I went there
with Chloe. She told me they were leaving this afternoon."
"What time?" Ben asked.
"I dunno . . . why?"
"What time is it now?" he demanded.
Sean looked at his watch. "Uh . . . 2 o'clock . . . why, what are you
gonna do?" Before the words were out of his mouth, Ben had taken off. "Wait!
Where are you going?" he called after his friend, but Ben didn't turn back.
"Great," Sean mumbled. "Now who is going to help me get this damned tree back
to the loft?"
* * * * *
Elena was just zipping up her suitcase when she heard a knock on the
door. Thinking that maybe Noel had forgotten his key, she walked in and
opened it. Her face hardened when she saw Ben Covington standing before her.
"What do you want?" she asked in a biting tone.
"Sean told me that you were going to see Felicity," he said. He was out
of breath from running over there, his face red with exertion.
"So?" she said with an arch of her eyebrow. "I'm still not telling you
where she is so don't ask," she warned.
"I know that. I just wanted to ask you . . ." He stopped to dig in his
coat pocket, then produced an envelope and held it out to her. "Please, will
you give her this?"
She looked down, turning her noser up at the proffered object. "What is
"A letter," he said.
"From you? I don't think she'll want it," Elena said.
"Please . . . please, I'm begging you. Just give her this. Please?"
Elena considered his request. She looked at his face. God, she thought,
he looks terrible. She couldn't remember ever seeing anyone look so lost. She
briefly considered taking the letter to deliver to her friend. But then she
was reminded of the look she'd seen on Felicity's face the day that she had
found him in bed with Julie and whatever pity she felt quickly evaporated.
"No, I can't give it to her," she said coldly.
"Elena, please . . ." he begged.
"No!" she said emphatically. "Look, just go home, Ben. Go home and get
over her already. Like . . ." she hesitated for a moment, unsure if she
should render this final blow, then decided to go ahead with it. He had to
forget about Felicity if he was ever going to get on with his life. "Get over
her and move on . . . just like she has." With that, she slammed the door . .
. and left him standing outside alone.
* * * * *
Noel walked quickly into his building. He knew they needed to hurry if
they were going to catch their plane to Atlanta on time. He'd just turned to
dash up the stairs when he bumped into a familiar face. The last person he
wanted to see . . .
"Ben," he snarled.
Ben looked up and saw Noel, but didn't say anything. He just nodded
dejectedly and started to pass. Noel would have just let him go, but
something caught his attention. Was Ben crying?
"Hey, stop," Noel turned and called.
Ben turned back to him, not bothering to wipe the tears from his cheeks.
"What?" he asked.
"What happened?" Noel demanded.
"Nothing, it's over. It's really over," Ben said dejectedly. He started
to turn back to leave the building, but Noel caught his arm.
"Tell me what happened," he insisted.
"What do you care? You hate me as much as Elena does. It's hopeless, I
should have known that a long time ago, I guess." He sighed and Noel didn't
think he'd ever heard anyone sound that devoid of faith.
"What did Elena say to you?"
"I heard from Sean about your trip today. I came by to . . ." he
sniffled, then continued, " . . . to ask you to give her this." He held up
the letter and Noel took the crumpled envelope from his hand. He looked at it
and saw Felicity's name across the front. "She won't give it to her," Ben
replied. "I asked, but Elena said no." He hung his head in desperation.
Despite himself, Noel felt himself feeling sorry for this poor guy. Yes,
he had done a terrible thing. Yes, he had hurt Felicity. But, he'd made a
mistake. Did that mean he should have to be reminded of it every day for the
rest of his life?
"I'll give it to her," Noel heard himself say. He almost couldn't believe
the words had come from his mouth, but there they were.
Ben looked up in astonishment. "Are you . . . are you serious?" he asked.
Noel could see the hope gleaming in his watery eyes, but could also tell that
he was holding back in case this was all just a game. When he saw that look,
there was no way he could turn down Ben's request.
"I'll give it to her, I promise," he said.
Ben finally let the hope in his eyes shine through as he grabbed Noel in
a bear hug. "Thank you . . . thank you . . ." he whispered.
"This doesn't mean it will change things," Noel warned.
"I know," Ben said as he stood back and tried to regain some of his
composure. "I just . . . I want her to know what I feel. I want to get the
chance to say that I'm sorry."
Noel nodded and put the letter carefully in his pocket.
"Thanks," Ben said, then turned to go. Noel was halfway up the flight of
stairs when he heard Ben's voice again. "Hey Noel?" He turned back. "Tell her
that I love her, will you? That I love her and the baby."
Noel stood there a moment, then gave a small half smile and nodded.
"Okay, I'll tell her." And with that, Ben left the building and returned to
the snow-covered street outside. He still lacked so much in his life, but at
least now he had a little hope. That and his love for Felicity would keep him
fighting to win her back.
* * * * *
"You want my advice?" Resa asked as she grilled some burgers in the backyard.
"Do I have a choice?"
"No. Look, Felicity, I know I have a reputation for being the ditz in the
building, but I know broken hearts when I see them and the first time we met
I knew you had one."
"What gave it away?"
"The look in your eyes." Resa closed the grill top and sat down next to
Felicity on the back stoop. "You looked so totally dispirited and crushed I
knew that you had had your heart broken recently."
"Really. What exactly did Ben do?"
"He slept with his ex-girlfriend who also happened to be my best friend
at the time."
"And he's still breathing?"
Felicity laughed. "You and Elena are going to get along famously."
"I can't wait to meet her and Noel. When are they getting here?"
Felicity checked her watch. "Their plane lands in an hour." Something
occurred to her. "Hey aren't you supposed to be heading home?"
"No, my parents called last night and told me they decided to spend
Christmas in Paris this year."
"And you didn't want to go?"
"Eat snails for Christmas dinner? No thank you."
"Well, you're in luck. Sally, Jeff, Sam, and I are all cooking so you are
more then welcome to join us."
"Thanks, I wasn't looking forward to spending the day alone."
"When did Jen leave?" Felicity asked.
"Around five this morning. She left gifts for everyone in the building
under the tree in the front hall. So did Trap."
"He's a good listener."
"Yeah, he is. I think Jen has a thing for him," Resa confided.
"Would not surprise me. Any girl within their right mind would have a
thing for Trap."
"That include you?"
"No. Unfortunately my heart and soul still belong to one Ben Covington."
"Which brings me back to my advice."
"Yes o wise one?"
"Just call him and let him know that you're alright. Cause, see, if I'm
Ben I'm scared to death that something's happened to you."
"I don't know, Resa . . ."
Resa smiled at her friend before standing up. "Just think about it. You
say you still love him, right?"
"Then don't give him anymore pain than he's given you. Not that he
doesn't deserve it, but the human spirit can only take so much before it
"That's very profound, Resa," Felicity said.
"Thanks. I read it in Cosmo," the blonde said with a straight face
before both girls dissolved into giggles.
* * * * *
"There's my suitcase," Elena pointed. Noel grabbed it for her and set it
down beside the luggage turnstile at Hartsfield International Airport. They
watched the bags turn several more times before Noel's bag came along, then
they both grabbed their things and headed out to catch a cab. The cab driver
helped them get their luggage into the trunk, then they all got into the car.
"651 North Avenue, please," Noel told him. The driver nodded and pulled
away from the curb.
"I can't wait to see her, it seems like forever," Elena said excitedly.
"Yeah, me either . . . you think she's showing yet?" he asked.
"She said she really wasn't, but that she could tell a difference. Pretty
soon it'll be hard to hide."
"Is she hiding it?" he asked.
"Well, I think she was. She told me that her housemates didn't know,
except Sally of course. But, she told the two girls that live upstairs since
then. And I'm pretty sure she'll tell the others soon if she hasn't already."
"I wonder if she's told her mom and dad yet," he said.
"I don't think so. She said she wasn't sure when she'd get the courage,"
"Yeah, I can understand that. It'll be rough for her, I'm sure."
"She'll be okay," Elena replied. "She's got a lot of people looking out
"Like you," Noel said with a lopsided grin. "I've never seen someone so
protective of their friends."
"Aren't you glad I'm your friend, then, huh?" she teased.
"Yeah, I can remember what happened the last time I fell into your bad
graces. I've been watching my step ever since," he chuckled. Elena just shook
her head and laughed.
The driver pulled up the to curb of an old, two-story house and turned to
the couple in the backseat. "Here we are, 651 North Avenue."
"Thanks," Noel said as he paid him. They got out and retrieved their bags
from the trunk, then the cab pulled away. At about that time, the front door
of the house opened and out came Felicity and two other women and one guy.
Felicity ran ahead of the others and immediately threw her arms around Elena.
"Oh my God, I'm so glad you're here!" she squealed.
"I know, it's so great to see you, girl!" Elena replied as she returned
her friend's hug.
"Noel . . ." Felicity said as she looked to her other friend. He smiled
and dropped his bags, the wrapped his arms around her in a fierce hug. "I've
missed you," she whispered in his ear.
"Yeah, me too," he whispered back before releasing her.
"Oh, there are some people I want you to meet," she said as she turned to
the three who had walked up behind them. "Elena, Noel, this is Sam. He lives
on the first floor with Jeff. Jeff's at work, you'll meet him later," she
said as she pointed to a tall, blonde man with wire-rimmed glasses and a
"Hi, nice to meet you both," the man said as he shook both of their
hands. He looked older than the others, maybe late 20's, early 30's, but he
was nice looking.
Felicity turned to a younger looking girl with long blonde hair and
bright green eyes. "And this is Resa. She's one of my upstairs neighbors."
"Hi, nice to meet ya'll," she replied with a nod.
"And this," Felicity said as she took the hand of a petite brunette with
wide eyes and welcoming grin, "is the infamous Sally."
"Wow, I feel like I know you already," Elena said to her.
"You too, Felicity talks about you all the time," Sally replied.
"It's great to finally put a name with the voice," Noel said with a grin
and shook her hand. She smiled.
"Well, let's get inside, shall we?" Sam suggested. "You three and catch
up on old times and I'll get dinner ready. Everyone can eat with us tonight
if you'd like."
"Sure, that sounds great, if it's okay with you guys," Felicity said as
she turned to Elena and Noel.
They both nodded. "Fine with us, thanks," Noel said.
"Great, we're having hamburgers so I'll go get things started," Sam said.
"I'll come help you," Resa offered and followed him. The two disappeared
into Sam and Jeff's apartment as Felicity and Sally led the way to their
"Well, this is it," Felicity said as she showed them around. "Elena, you
can sleep in my room and Noel, the sofa pulls out or Trap said you're welcome
to go up and sleep in his bed. He's out of town for the holidays." They both
"Okay, we'll I've got papers to grade, so I'll let you all have some time
to chat before dinner," Sally said.
"Nice meeting you, Sally," Elena said.
"Yeah, thanks for letting us stay," Noel added.
"It's no problem at all. Any friend of Felicity's . . ." she replied with
a smile. "Well, I'll see everyone at dinner," she said, then went down the
hall to her room.
Noel and Elena took their bags to Felicity's room, the trio returned to
the living room to chat. "So, tell me everything that's been going on in New
York," Felicity said to them. They proceeded to tell her about school, work,
the weather, Javier . . . everything but the one thing she didn't want to ask
about, but desperately wanted to know. Finally she said, "Okay, I know I
shouldn't ask, but . . . have you seen him? Just tell me."
Elena's eyes skipped away uncomfortably and Noel chewed on his lip.
Felicity looked at them both expectantly and finally Elena said with a sigh,
"Yeah, I have."
"This morning," she admitted.
"This morning?! Well, what did he say? How is he? What's he been doing?"
"Whoa, slow down," Elena said. "Maybe you really shouldn't be thinking
about him. It's not good for you."
"I know, but I can't help it. I worry about how he's doing," she told her
"He doesn't deserve your worry," she stated flatly.
"He doesn't deserve my love, either, but I can't stop feeling that
anymore than I can stop breathing. He's a part of me," she said, then patting
her stomach, added, "Especially now. There's no way I can change that."
Elena nodded. "I know, sweetie, I just hate seeing you still hurting
because of him."
Felicity nodded. She knew Elena was right, but that didn't change what
she felt in her heart for Ben. Nothing could change that.
Later, after dinner, Elena was downstairs talking to her dad on the phone
while Felicity was upstairs in Resa, Jennifer, and Trapper's apartment
helping Noel get settled in for the night.
"Resa said you're welcome to anything from the refrigerator. You're sure
you don't want to come down with us girls and join the slumber party?" she
asked him with a wink.
"Nah, I'm tired," he said. "Besides, you girls don't need some lame guy
crashing your party," he smirked.
"You are not lame," she assured him. "If I could pick any guy to have at
my slumber party, it would be you, Noel Crane."
He smiled at his friend. "Thanks Felicity . . . I think."
"Well, if you change your mind I'll leave the door unlocked. Me, Resa and
Elena will probably be up late talking."
"Okay, thanks," he said to her. She turned to go and he called out to
her. "Wait, hang on," he said.
She turned back to him. "What's up?"
He hesitated a moment. "I . . . um . . . I have something I'm supposed to
"What is it?" she asked curiously.
"Come sit," he instructed as he pointed to the bed. She obeyed and he
went to his suitcase and dug through it until he came up with a wrinkled
envelope. "I wanted to wait until we were alone. Elena wouldn't like that I
brought this," he told her as he handed it to her.
She took the envelope and turned it over in her hands. Her name was
written across the front in a handwriting she would have known anywhere.
"It's . . . it's from him," she said in an unbelieving whisper as he eyes
filled with tears.
"Yeah . . . he asked me to give it to you. I hope that's okay," Noel
"Yes . . . yes, it's perfectly okay. It's . . . thank you." She jumped up
and hugged him. He patted her hair down and kissed her forehead.
"I'm, uh . . . I'm gonna go out back and read it alone. Can you maybe
keep Elena occupied while I do?" she asked.
He smiled understandingly. "Sure."
"Thanks Noel . . . I mean it." He nodded and gave her a smile before
watching her leave, her eyes glued to the envelope in her hands. It was the
happiest he had seen her in months.
* * * * *
Felicity walked out back into the dark backyard. Stars twinkled overhead
as she found the old swing tied to a tie in the far corner of the yard. She
took a seat and sat for a long while, just looking at the unopened envelope
she held. The words inside were still a mystery, but she knew that whatever
the letter said, it would change her life forever. She hesitated briefly
before finally opening it carefully.
Her eyes scanned over the page quickly; once, then again. She noticed the
frantic quality of the handwriting, the streaks on the page that could have
only come from tears, and the words that made her jubilantly happy and
painfully sad all at the same time. He still loved her. He still thought
about her constantly and wished she were there with him. And he was sorry . .
. she wondered what all of this meant to her new life.
She refolded the paper and put it back into it's envelope, tucking it
safely away in her pocket. She was more unsure than ever of what she would do
next as far as Ben was concerned. Part of her wanted to be on the next flight
to New York. Another part wanted to rush inside and call him. But, her
rational mind told her not to rush ahead. She needed to let all of this sink
in before she made anymore impulsive decisions. So, she decided to give it
some time. She'd wait until after the holidays . . . and see what the new
year had to bring.
With a smile on her face and a renewed warmth in her heart, she made her
way back inside. More than ever, she was sure that her life would turn out
* * * * *
Ben sighed as he tried to concentrate on magazine article he was attempting
to read as he laid on the couch. Finally giving up, he tossed it to the table
beside him and stared up at ceiling.
"You are beginning to depress me, man," Sean commented as he hung tinsel on
the tree he'd picked out earlier that day.
"Sorry. Do you want me to go upstairs?"
"No, that's okay. What are you thinking about?"
"If Noel gave her the letter yet."
"You think he will?"
"Yeah, I do. I was thinking about it before and Noel and I have more in
common than I realize. We both fell for Felicity and we both fucked up our
relationships with her."
"Difference being Felicity could be around Noel after they broke up. You
wanna know what that tells me?"
"That she really loved you."
"I know she did and I know I messed up. All I want is a chance for her to
trust me again. Maybe even love me."
"I think the love part's still there."
"Yeah, I do. Because if it wasn't she'd be able to be in New York without any
problems," Sean said before walking over to a bag he'd brought in with him
earlier. Picking it up, he walked over to Ben and held it out to him. "Here,
this is something Chloe gave me when I told her what was going on."
"You told her?"
"Don't worry, she's not gonna broadcast it." Nodding towards the package he'd
just handed to his roommate he said, "Open it."
Ben sat up a little and pulled out the books inside the bag. Looking at the
titles he smiled slightly. "Tell Chloe thanks."
"Sure thing. Night, man. Try to make it to your room tonight."
"Sure. Night," Ben said as Sean went to his room. He didn't notice his
roommate's sad glance in his direction before he shut the door to his room.
Ben settled back against the couch and looked at the books Chloe had given
him. 'What to Expect When You're Expecting' and a baby name book. Opening the
first one a piece of paper fell out. Unfolding it, he lifted a post-it-note
with Chloe's handwriting on it. 'Dear Ben, I found this on the net. It helps
pinpoint the date of delivery by using the date of conception. If you can
figure it out you can keep track of Felicity's pregnancy. I wish you luck.
Date of conception? Ben had never really thought about it but now he started
to think. She had started to get sick on October thirty-first so she had
probably conceived around the end of September. The last week of September
they'd barely seen each other except for that one night. A slow smile spread
across his face; the first genuine one in months. He remembered that night
very clearly . . .
It'd been storming outside and when Ben came home he'd smiled when he saw
Felicity's jacket hanging on a hook by the door. He'd been hoping she would
spend the night tonight. He'd barely seen her this past week with all the
studying and working they'd both been doing and he'd missed her. Heading up
to his room, he saw the dim light coming from it and as he entered he smiled
at the sight.
Felicity was asleep in a pair of sweatpants and one of his T-shirts with her
anatomy book on her stomach. Ben carefully removed the book, trying not to
wake her up. Unfortunately it hadn't worked. Her eyes slowly opened and she
smiled at the sight of Ben.
"Hi," she whispered.
"Hi. I'm sorry for waking you."
"It's okay. I was trying to stay awake. I guess reading my anatomy book was a
kind of contradiction to that." She smiled lazily.
"Go back to sleep. I'm just gonna grab a shower and I'll be here soon."
"No, I'll wait for you."
"Sweetie, go to sleep," Ben advised.
"No, I'm okay. Besides I slept here tonight to be with you."
"And you will. I just want to shower."
"I mean *be with you*, Ben."
It finally dawned on him and he smiled. "Oh really, Ms. Porter?" he said in a
low voice as he climbed onto the bed beside her and put his arms around her.
She grinned as she nodded in reply. "Yes," she whispered as she brought
her arms up over his shoulders and leaned in to kiss his lips softly. "I was
sitting at home," she continued, stopping to kiss him again. "And I was
thinking . . ." She gave him another kiss. "That I haven't seen my boyfriend
in so . . . very . . . long." She punctuated each word with another brush of
her lips on his and he looked back at her with wonder.
"I've missed you like crazy," he said when she was done.
"Mmm, me too," she replied as she started kissing his neck.
"Felicity . . . oohhh . . . um, I should really . . . uh . . . take that
shower," he managed to say.
She lifted her head from his neck and smiled wickedly at him. "Need some
"You read my mind," he told her. He stood up beside the bed and held his
hand out to her. Taking it, she followed him into the bathroom. As he turned
on the water, she started undoing the button on his pants. By the time he'd
gotten the temperature about right, she had managed to get the pants
completely undone and they fell to the floor. "In a hurry?" he asked her with
a sly grin.
"Maybe," she replied as she leaned in for a long, slow kiss. She pulled
back and looked into his eyes that were shining with desire. "Is that a
problem?" she asked.
"Not at all," he assured her. He pulled her close for another kiss,
pushing her sweats off and kicking his pants aside. It wasn't long before
both of their shirts had joined the pile as well. Felicity stood before him
in nothing but her panties, her chest heaving and her skin flushed with
arousal. "My God . . ." he breathed.
"What?" she asked self consciously as his eyes perused her nearly naked
"You are just so . . ." he reached out a hand and caressed her shoulder.
"So very . . . perfect."
She smiled shyly. "Far from it," she replied.
"No, I'm serious. When I look at you, I can't imagine any woman every
being as beautiful as you are right at this minute. You're everything I've
ever dreamed of," he told her. His words brought a renewed tinge of color to
her skin and a smile to her lips. She pulled him to her for another kiss. His
hands traveled over her body as their mouths met. Her hands moved down to
slip beneath his boxers and cup his bare bottom. He groaned into her mouth at
"Let's get in the shower," she said breathlessly as their lips parted.
"First we need to finish getting undressed," he reminded her.
"Be my guest," she grinned.
He looked at her a moment, then grinned back. "Okay," he replied knelt
down in front of her. His fingers crept beneath the elastic of her panties
and he slowly lowered them to the floor so that she could step out of them.
He stood before her again. "Your turn," he said seductively. She nodded in
reply and moved to lower his boxers slowly, revealing all of him to her
waiting eyes. She smiled appreciatively. "C'mon," he said softly and took her
hand to lead her into the shower. She followed willingly.
Under the water and steam, they began to kiss almost frantically as their
hands roamed over each other in the same fashion. She moaned as his hands
cupped her breasts, grinding against him and causing him to moan as well. It
had been over a week since they'd been together and both were beginning to
wonder how much longer they could wait.
"Felicity . . ." Ben panted as he pulled away from her slightly.
"Huh?" she responded.
"I don't have anything . . ." he said.
"It's okay," she assured him. "I've been taking the pills I got from
health services for almost two weeks. The doctor said that was enough time
for the to take effect."
"You're sure?" he asked.
"Yes . . . positive," she replied as she kissed him again. He needed no
further coaxing. He pulled her as close as possible, lifting her body a bit
as he balanced her against the cool tile of the shower wall. When his body
sank into hers, they both moaned in unison. It was like coming home . . . for
both of them.
Their lovemaking that night had not ended in the shower. They'd dried
off, gone back to bed, and made love a second time before falling asleep in
each other's arms. It had been a perfect night. A night they'd always
remember. A night like they might never have again . . .
Ben sat back on his bed with a sigh as he thought about that magical
night that seemed such a distant memory now. It seemed like forever since
he'd touched Felicity, kissed her, held her close . . . though he could still
remember what all of those things felt like with picture perfect clarity. He
was sure that that night had been the night she'd gotten pregnant. It had to
be. He wondered if she realized that, too.
Looking down at the chart Chloe had sent, he quickly assessed that the
baby would mostly like arrive around the end of June, if it were on time. Six
more months . . . he hoped those six months would bring a change in his
relationship with Felicity. He loved her so much and wanted to be a part of
her life again. Not to mention that he wanted to get the chance to be a
father to his child. He'd just have to hold out hope that those things would
come to pass soon. Until then, he'd have to wait.
* * * * *