Coming home to your wife puking was decidedly disturbing, Corey Porter thought. He’d hoped for a nice warm hug and a kiss, a good meal, put his stepchildren to bed and see if he could push Nicole’s limits for quiet sex. The loud stuff would have to wait.
Instead, he came into the house to hear the best libido killer in the world. He entered the bathroom, while she was washing her face. “Hey.” He wrapped an arm around her gently and kissed the top of her head. “I missed you.”
She smiled and their eyes met in the mirror. “I missed you.”
“I guess this ruins my plans for the evening.”
She slapped at him. “The kids are here, you know.” Then her face sobered. “We need to talk.”
“That’s the scariest face I’ve seen from you since Tanner was caught skipping school.”
“Only you would bring that up. Seriously.” She couldn’t keep herself from smiling, something he prided himself on in their marriage.
Even after eight months, he could scarcely believe he was married to her. Whatever it was they had to talk about, he could handle it. “How long have you been feeling yucky?”
“That’s not good.” He followed her to the living room and they sat on the sofa. He held her hand the entire time.
“Can you just shut up for a second?”
He blinked at her, because she never told anyone to shut up. A chill of fear ran down his spine. Okay, something was going on. “So… remember how I said I needed to go the doctor because I’d been late two months in a row and feeling tired?”
“I’d nearly forgotten. What did he say?”
“She said, congratulations.” Nicole made a face. “We’re having a baby.”
“Baby. Right there. Two months late means I’m technically about twelve weeks.” Her eyes rolled to the roof, as he struggled to catch his breath. “Uh, I’m due September eighth, by their calculations. We have an ultrasound in three days, I checked and you are home that day. So you might have to check about practice. But if you can’t be there, it’s fine.”
He patted her hand absently and stood “Alright, it’s okay. A baby. Huh?”
She got to her feet and grabbed his shirt sleeve as he started walking. “Corey, hey babe, are you okay?”
Jessa’s voice from the stairwell was plaintive. “What’s wrong?”
Corey was still trying to process the new information. He wasn’t against having children, but he figured he and Nick weren’t that young anymore and her other kids were teens. They would just be happy with what they had. Except, neither of them had made an appointment for anything permanent.
“It’s okay honey. I’ll explain to you and Tanner in a minute. Can you have him come down?”
“He’s on the phone with Vanessa. Again.”
“Tell him I need to talk to him and he can call Vanessa back after supper.” She turned to Corey, hands on her hips. “I swear I’m going to install a second phone line.”
“I thought kids texted not talked on the phone,” Corey said, thankful for a distraction.
She wrapped hair arms around his waist and looked up at him. “For the record, I was still using my birth control.”
“I know. I trust you. I also realize if we were serious about not having kids we would have scheduled some sort of more permanent solution.” He put his hand on her belly. “My baby is really in there?”
She nodded, biting her bottom lip. “Yeah, he is.”
“What’s so important?” Tanner demanded form the stairs. “I was doing homework on the phone.”
“She’ll still be pining for you after supper. Now stop being rude to your mother and come here, we need to talk to you,” Corey said.
“Sorry mom,” Tanner mumbled.
“I know how important this girl is to you,” Nicole said. She glanced at Corey, who shrugged. “There’s no way to do this other than just saying it. How do you feel about a new brother or sister?”
There were groans. “Are you kidding? We just got done with Ethan waking up at night at dad’s? Now you’re telling us we’re going to endure another two years of torture?” Tanner said. He leaned back in the chair, his hair flying, his hands covering his face. Ethan was their half brother from their father and stepmother. “Seriously?”
“Really Mom, you’re going to have a baby? With Corey?”
Corey realized that Jessa was old enough to realize how babies were made and what he was doing to her mother, night after night.
“That’s the cold hard truth,” Nicole said, clapping her hands. “So like it or lump it, there will be a screaming ball of human here come the new school year. Whose turn is to set the table?”
When the kids left a few moments later, one to set the table, one to go upstairs and do teenager things, Corey kissed Nicole. He rested a hand on her belly again. “So I’m pretty much terrified.”
She put a hand over hers and stroked his face with her other one. “Ah, you did pretty well with these two the past few years you’you’ve been following me around like a puppy.”
“Following you around? Listen woman. Stop distracting me. Yeah, I can handle kids, not quite full grown kids, who wipe their ass and feed themselves. But a helpless baby? What do you do with them?”
“You feed and bathe them. You protect them and love them. It’s pretty easy. You’ve been around Kip nd Mandy’s brood enough to get the general theme.”
“Yeah, but you notice I still don’t hold the babies very often. Especially as brand-new things. They look so tiny, they’ll break if I look at them long. I might be the favorite uncle Corey, but I don’t do the dad thing. I’ll screw it up,” he ended with a whisper.
“Corey Porter, you told me you could do anything by my side.”
“That was until there was a helpless infant coming to our house. How do you not break them when you dress them?”
Nicole laughed and at his look, she forced herself to stop. “You be gentle. I will help you. Besides most of it falls on me, you’ll be gone. And I’ll be nursing, so you will be on standby.” She smiled up at him.
Tanner called from the doorway to the kitchen. “I’m ready.”
“We need your sister.”
Tanner moved to the bottom of the stair case and screamed, “Jessa. Supper.”
Nicole gave him a look. “I could have done that.” She took Corey’s hand and led him from where he stood. The expression on his face was still one of mild shock.
At this rate, he’d need to see his therapist again.