This Man Confessed (Page 170)

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Sarah’s tear drenched eyes widen in shock. ‘Beatrice?’ she splutters, shutting the door.

‘What the hell are you doing here, you vindictive b***h!’ Jesse’s mother snipes coldly. It doesn’t take any more words to confirm that Beatrice knows about Sarah and Jesse’s encounter and the events that followed—the events that took her granddaughter.

‘Mother!’ Amalie yells, shocked.

I’m shocked. Sarah is definitely shocked, and then the door to Jesse’s room swings open and he’s standing there, shocked. I gasp and rush over to him, noting he’s wrapped in a thin sheet at the waist and has practically dragged his drip and catheter frame with him. ‘Jesse, for God’s sake!’

‘Mum?’ he looks so confused and a little unsteady.

Jesse’s mother’s screwed up face of hatred softens immediately at the sight of her son looking so pale. ‘Oh Jesse, you stupid man. Get back in bed now!’

I’m even more shocked now. I look up and find nothing but puzzlement on his bearded, dazed face, and then I turn, seeing Beatrice clearly fighting her motherly instinct to put him back in bed herself. I’m not sure what to make of it. Is she even entitled to demand such a thing?

This is an incredibly bizarre situation, but as I watch Sarah skulk off quietly and see Amalie and Beatrice scanning Jesse’s tall frame worriedly, I quickly snap back into action. ‘Give me five minutes, Beatrice.’ I say, pushing Jesse back into the room and shutting the door behind me. ‘What do you think you’re playing at? Get in bed!’

His mouth falls open to yell at me, but soon snaps shut again when he starts to sway.

‘Oh s**t!’ I’ll never catch him. ‘S**t, s**t, s**t!’ I drop my bag and frantically guide him back to the bed, but I can do nothing more than let him collapse in a heap of hard muscle. ‘You’re an idiot, Ward.’ I’m so mad with him. ‘Why can’t you do what you’re bloody told?’ I sort his drip and catheter out before heaving his heavy legs into place and re-covering him with the sheet.

‘I feel pissed.’ he slurs, lifting his arm and draping his it across his head.

‘You got up too quickly.’

‘What are they doing here, Ava?’ he asks quietly. ‘I don’t want to see them.’

My shoulders droop spectacularly, but I quickly check his dressing before sitting on his bed and pulling his arm away from his hiding face. He looks at me with beseeching eyes. It kills me, but I’m going to try anyway.

‘You have me, and I’m all you need, I know that; but this is a chance to put everything in your life right. Just give them a few minutes. I’m here forever, no matter what, but I can’t let you pass up an opportunity to find peace in this element of your life, Jesse.’

‘I don’t want anything to ruin what I have.’ he grates the words through his clenched teeth, squeezing his eyes shut.

‘Listen to me.’ I grab his cheek and wiggle it, prompting him to open his eyes. ‘After everything we have been through, do you really think there is anything else that could possibly fracture what we have?’ If that is his only concern, then I’m more determined to repair this. ‘It’ll be done on your terms. We’ll take it slow, and they will accept it.’

‘I only need you.’ he murmurs bitterly, slipping his hand under his t-shirt and finding my tummy. ‘Just you and our babies.’

I sigh, placing my hand over his. ‘You don’t have to want something to need it, Jesse. We’re having twins. I know we have each other, but we’ll need our families, too. And I’d like our children to have two sets of grandparents. We’re not normal, but we should make our children’s lives as normal as possible. It won’t change us or what we have together.’

I can see him grasping my logic, his pale face mulling over my statement until he nods lightly and gingerly pulls me down, engulfing me with his arms. I relax into him, thankful that he will at least attempt to do this. I won’t hold my breath for an instant remedy or reunion, but it’s a start. ‘Tell me you love me.’ he says into my hair.

‘I love you.’

‘Tell me you need me.’

‘I need you.’

‘Okay.’ He releases me. ‘Plump my pillow, wife. I need to be comfy for this.’

I ignore his insolence and make him comfy. ‘I’m going to give you some privacy.’ I tell him, standing and making my way to the door.

‘You’re not staying?’ he blurts, his green eyes bulging in panic.

‘No. I don’t need to. You’ll be fine.’ It takes every effort not to sit and hold his hand through this, but he needs to do this for himself. I might have played the babies card, but my reasons are far deeper than the need to have more family around us. Jesse needs to heal physically and mentally. Forgiving his parents will play a massive role in that.

I open the door and smile at Beatrice and Amalie, who have since been joined by Henry. I say nothing. I leave the door open for them and lose myself for a time while I let a lost family find themselves again.

Chapter 35

I’m in Paradise.

After Jesse got the all clear from the doctors a full week after he woke, we left the hospital, me leading him. He refused the wheelchair that was delivered to his room, which I wasn’t surprised about at all. My big, strapping man had been laid up for three weeks, dependant on others to care for him, so I couldn’t deny him the dignity of walking out of the hospital, even if it took us an hour. We returned to Lusso, where Cathy fussed and flapped around like a mother hen, ensuring cupboards were full, washing was done and the whole place looked like it did on the launch night before it had been lived in. Then I gave her a few weeks off. We needed privacy in our home. I needed to look after Jesse. I needed to nurse him back to the man who I know and love.

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