Home Run Page 26

He’d taken his sunglasses off and slid them to the top of his head. Those dark eyes locked on to hers and then the corner of his mouth turned up and it made the dimple in his cheek crease.

“I know. You weren’t expecting me,” he said, finally breaking the silence and she realized she hadn’t even greeted him.

“Ever.” It was curt, but that was what she was feeling toward him.

He nodded tucking his lips between his teeth. “I heard you weren’t feeling well and I thought I’d stop by and see if you needed anything.”

She narrowed her eyes on him. “Who told you I wasn’t feeling good?”

His eyes were darting and it made her wonder what he’d really heard.

“John said you were sick.”

She let the tension out of her shoulders. “Yes. Seemed to have a touch of the flu. I’m fine now, but thanks for stopping.”

She tried to shut the door, but his foot seemed to wedge it open.

Swinging it back open she held up her hand. “What is it with you? Why are you really here?”

He bit his lip. “Because I also heard that Scott wasn’t here anymore.”

“So you’re here to just take over? I don’t need a man in my life. I can’t seem to keep them happy enough to want to stay.”

“That’s not true.”

“Chris, I don’t know why you’re here, but I have baths to give, dinner to make, and a book to read for the umpteenth time. You look like you have plans and perhaps you should just go do whoever you have plans for.”

She saw the tension in his jaw and knew that was his sign that he’d be turning around and getting into his car, but he wasn’t moving.

Instead, he stood there. His chest heaved enough that she knew he was calming himself with his breath intake. But he hadn’t retreated or said anything else.

“Would you mind if I came in so we could talk?” He asked, his voice low and deep.

That had her hand gripping on the doorknob a little tighter.

“You dressed up to come over here?”

His jaw tightened again. “No. I had plans, but I’ve changed them. Can I come in and talk?”

“Like I said, I’m busy. If you come in you can only stay for a few minutes.”

He nodded and as he passed by her, his cologne filling her nose and making her knees weak, he said, “We’ll see about that.”

Chapter Fifteen

Victoria felt her stomach twitch as he walked by. It was almost as if the baby knew he was there, but she knew that was absolutely impossible. She’d had enough time to Google search pregnancy. What she was feeling now was the mix of emotions that always stirred in her when Christian was around.

She noticed he hadn’t stopped walking once he’d made it through the kitchen. He’d walked all the way out to the family room where the kids were making a fort out of blankets and old sheets.

The words to protest him getting down on his knees and rolling up the sleeves on his shirt seemed to lodge in her throat. What was he doing?

It was obvious he had somewhere to go, why was he playing? What made him think that she wanted him in there with them?

But then she heard Sam giggle and that made Ali giggle—and then Chris.

Tears burned her throat. If she told him right now that she was pregnant with his baby, would he scoop her up in his arms and promise to love her forever? She shook her head and turned away from the play going on in the other room. He wasn’t the same man she’d fallen in love with years ago. This man was broken.

Whatever his reason for stopping by, the kids seemed to be having fun and she was going to utilize the time.

While Ali convinced Christian to make paper hats for all of them, Victoria switched out a load of laundry and took the basket upstairs.

She set the laundry basket on Ali’s bed and opened the dresser drawer. The picture which was prominently displayed on the top caught her eye as it always did. She took a deep breath and picked up the frame.

Her beautiful sister smiled up at her with her loving husband by her side. Each of them held one of their children, who had already grown so much since the picture had been taken.

She ran her finger over the picture and her heart ached. Ashley and Dave would be so proud of their children. And she hoped that if they could see them from heaven that they approved of how she was raising them. She was doing her very best.

“Hey,” Chris’s soft voice came from the door.

She wiped the tears that were clinging to her lashes. “Hey.”

“Ali sent me up for Poppy?”

Victoria let out a chuckle and set the frame back on the dresser. She turned toward the bed draped in pink and picked up the pink plush dog resting on the pillow.

When she turned back, Christian had picked up the frame and was studying it.

“This was only a few months before the accident.”

She nodded. “Easter.”

Christian closed his eyes. “You wore a yellow dress and carried a basket which Sam filled with eggs.”

“Yes,” she said on a breath.

He opened his eyes. “It was a happy time.”

“It was.” She shook the memory from her head and handed the worn dog to him. “This is Poppy.”

Christian took him and looked at him. “She’s had this dog since she was born.”

“Never goes anywhere without it.” Victoria wrung her hands. “I’m surprised you remember.”

“Don’t be. I told you these kids mean something to me. I promised their father that I’d always take care of them when he asked me to be their godfather. I forgot how important some of the promises I made were. I’m having some clarity.”

She heard what he was saying, but how truthful was he about it?

He shot her that handsome smile. “I’d better get back down there. Princess Ali has a tea time and Poppy is her guest.”

Victoria smiled. “Thank you.”

“Truly the most fun I’ve had in a long time.” He turned to walk out of the room.

“Chris,” Tori called. He turned back around. “Why are you here? Why are you really here?”

He took only one step back into the room and looked down at the well-loved dog. “I made a lot of promises to a lot of people and then I let those promises slide so that I could wallow in my own self-pity. One of those promises was to Dave. You’re doing a great job with these kids. But I know once in a while you could use a few minutes to catch your breath.”

Prev Next