The Edge of Always (The Edge of Never #2)(4)

by J.A. Redmerski

“How long?” I ask.

“Married only five years,” Marna says. “But they’ve been together for about nine, I believe.” She nods as she thinks about it further, satisfied with her memory.

“It’s probably just Aidan,” Andrew says. “I wouldn’t wanna be married to him.” He laughs.

“Yeah, that would be weird,” I say, wrinkling my nose at him.

“Well, Michelle won’t be able to make the baby shower,” Marna says. “She has a few conferences she has to attend in December, and it just doesn’t fit with her schedule, especially since she’s so far away. But she’ll probably send the best gifts out of everyone.” She smiles sweetly over at me.

I acknowledge her and take another sip, but my mind is wandering again and I can’t stop it. All I can think about is what she said a few comments back, about never knowing of a marriage without struggles. And I slip right back into worry mode.

“You’re birthday is December the eighth, right, Camryn?”

I blink back into the moment. “Oh… yes. The big twenty-one.”

“Well, looks like I have a birthday party to plan, too, then.”

“Oh, no, you don’t need to do that.”

She waves away my plea as if it’s ridiculous, and Andrew just sits back with that dopey grin on his face.

I give in because I know with Marna there’s no use trying.

We head home after an hour, and it’s already dark out. I’m so tired from running around all day and from the Lily excitement.

Lily. I can’t believe I’m going to be a mom. A smile spreads across my face as I step into the living room. I drop my purse on the coffee table and plop down on the center cushion of the couch, kicking my shoes off. But before too long, Andrew is sitting down next to me with that knowing look on his beautiful face.

I could fool Marna, but I should’ve known better than to think I could fool him.

Andrew

3

I lift Camryn into my arms and pull her onto my lap. We sit here together, my arms wrapped around her and my chin nestled into the crook of her neck. I know something’s bothering her. I can feel it, but a part of me is afraid to ask.

“What is it?” I ask anyway and hold my breath.

She turns to look me in the eyes, and they’re consumed with worry. “I’m just afraid.”

“What are you afraid of?”

She pauses, letting her gaze fall about the room until resting directly out in front of her. “Everything,” she says.

I reach up and turn her chin back toward me. “You can tell me anything, Camryn. You know that, right?”

Her blue eyes fill with tears, but she doesn’t let them fall.

“I… well I don’t want us to end up like… well like a lot of people.”

Oh, I know where this is going. I grab her by the waist and turn her body around so that she’s facing me, straddling my lap.

“Look at me,” I say, taking both of her hands. “We’re not going to end up like everybody else. You want to know how I know?”

She doesn’t respond, but she doesn’t need to. I know she wants me to go on. A tear escapes one eye, and I reach up and wipe it away with the pad of my thumb.

“We won’t because we’re both conscious of it,” I begin. “Because it was fate that we met on that bus in Kansas, and because we both know what we want out of life. We may not have the details mapped out—and we don’t need to—but we both know which direction we don’t want to go.”

I stop and then say, “We can still travel the world. We just have to put it off for a while longer. And in the meantime, we live our lives the way we want to. None of that daily monotonous bullshit.”

I get a tiny smile out of her.

“Well, how do we avoid that exactly?” she asks, crossing her arms and smirking down at me.

Now there’s the playful smartass Camryn I know and love.

I rub my hands up and down her thighs briskly and then say, “If you want to work, you can work. I don’t care if you want to flip burgers or shovel shit at the zoo, do whatever you want. But the second you get tired of it or feel like it’s becoming your life, walk the f**k away. And if you’d rather sit back and do nothing, you can do that too, like I’ve told you before. You know I’ll take care of you no matter what.”

I know what’s coming next, so I brace for it. And sure enough Camryn snarls at me and argues, “No way in hell will I sit back on my ass and let you take care of me.”

She’s so hot when she’s bein’ all independent.

“Well that’s fine. Whatever,” I say, raising my hands up in surrender. “But I want you to understand that I don’t care what you do as long as you’re happy doing it.”

“And what about you, Andrew? You can’t just tell me not to worry about ‘the monotony of life’ while you take it on headfirst just because we have a baby to support. That’s not fair.”

“That’s sort of what you said that first night I buried my head between your thighs. Did I have a problem with it then?”

She blushes hard. Even after all this time and all that we’ve been through together, I still manage to make her blush.

I lean up and cup her face within my hands and pull her into a kiss.

“As long as I have you, Lily, and my music, I don’t need anything else.”

Another tear streams down her soft cheek, but this time she’s smiling underneath it. “You promise?” she asks.

“Yes, I promise,” I say with determination, squeezing her hands within mine. I let the seriousness fade from my face and smile at her again.

“I’m sorry,” she says, letting out a defeated breath. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me lately. One day I’m all smiles and perfectly fine and then it’s like, out of nowhere, I’m doom-and-gloom pathetic.”

I laugh a little under my breath. “Bitch-slapped by mood swings. Get used to it.”

Her mouth falls open slightly, and she laughs too. “Well, I guess that’s one way of putting it.”

She stops abruptly. “Do you hear that?” Her eyes narrow as she pushes her ear toward the source of the sound. I hear but pretend not to.

“Oh great,” I say. “Don’t tell me that pregnancy causes schizophrenia, too.”