Johnny held his daughter close, rocking her gently. "Baby, I'm so, so, sorry."
She buried her face in his chest, sobbing gently.
"Oh, darling." He grasped her cheek with his rough, calloused, inkstained hand. Her skin was soft, smooth. Youthful. "I know this is is..so hard. And I can't even imagine what's going through your head."
He felt her shaky muffled breathing slow. She pulled away and looked up to face her father. Her eyes, those sweet hazel eyes, that shone, wet with teardrops.
"This is the second time," Her voice soft, but sweet, in a sorrowful way. "The first was l-last year."
"I gave up hope a long time after G-Gracie. Then Danny.." She smiled her half smile.
"Danny..helped me realize..it was possible."
"Oh, Belle." Johnny whispered, tears seared at the corners of his eyes. "How come you didn't tell me anything?"
"I didn't think it was important," Belle pushed a lock of her hair from her eye, which was ringed with the yellow tinges of a fading bruise. 'Things with Danny were fine.."
"We fought. About everything." She pressed a hand to her belly, an empty womb. "He was nervous about the birth, being a dad, you know," She chuckled. "Dad things."
Her eyes shone brightly. She was in a different place. "I felt beautiful."
"You are beautiful,"
Danny now stood in the corner of the room, a complete mess. His hair was so dark, it seemed blue when it hit the light. His emerald green eyes were hazy with tears. 'You always are, and will be."
"Danny," Belle breathed.
Johnny slid aside to let them have a moment. It was needed.
They went right in for a kiss, feverishly closing the gap.
Tears poured down their cheeks, the barrier of emotions broke down between them. Danny wrapped an arm around her waist, pulling her close. "I'm so sorry, Belle. It was my fault, all my fault." He mumbled in the kiss.
She pressed his hands to her belly, pulling away from the embrace. "It's not the end, we can try again."
"You want to try again?" Danny's grip became loose.
"You don't." Her face fell."You don't want a baby."
Danny ran a hand through his hair. This again?
'"I do," He rubbed his shoulder gently. "But not right now. Why rush?"
"I thought you wanted to be in this together," Belle's tone was curt, unusual.
"I do, baby." Danny felt his teeth grind and gnash. "But you always want to rush into things like the world'll catch up to you. I want to take things slow." He clasped her slender hands in his, kissing her fingertips. "You understand, Belley. Don't you?"
Belle only stared down at the ground. Nothing.
"Belle, come on. You can't be serious." He dropped her hands, and crossed his arms over his chest. "You're an adult, we're both adults."
"We're young, Danny. Have a heart."
"A heart?" He seethed. "You can't be goddamn serious. I have a heart. I don't want to have a baby. I don't want to see you get hurt all over again."
"I want a baby, Danny." Belle's voice quavered. "Please,"
"Shut up!" He roared. This was enough. This was more than enough."I don't want a baby. Get it through your head. For once think about someone else besides yourself!" He clenched and unclenched his fists, slowly raising his hand up and bringing it back. There was a smack and a yelp. Belle was sprawled out across the floor, a hand shaped welt branded her cheek.
"I don't want a kid. Is that clear?"