Images 1

f l o r a

United States

lady madonna
children at your feet
I wonder how you manage to
make ends meet

Message to Readers

warnings; mentions of peril, tragedy, and some suggestive language.

One Step, Second Plunge (3) {Revised}

December 3, 2018

FREE WRITING

1
Danny ignored Belle's knocks at the door as he retched.
Her tentative, nervous calls for his name became distorted.
He wiped the last bits of bile from his lips before stumbling to the door.
Belle's eyes were filled with tears as she stood in the doorway, her hair strewn across her face. Her nightshirt was stained with remnants of food.
"I'm so sorry," She mumbled, as tears slid down her cheeks in jagged streaks. "I never should have told you anything, not yet at least."
Danny leaned up against the sink, trying to ease the burning feeling in his chest. "It wasn't your fault."
Belle took hold of his shoulder, her slender fingers wrapping around it. Danny shuddered. "You're cold," He said softly. "You're real cold."
Belle smiled gently. "You won't be feeling like that much longer." She drew a rag from the rack, and wet it under the sink. She held the thing under his lips and wiped gently.
The water was warm, Danny relaxed, his fingers unfurled from the edge of the vanity.
"Thanks, darling." He mumbled, his hand slowly moved to Belle's cheek. He cupped it gently in his grasp. The corners of her lips pulled up. A smile.
"Don't mention it." She was shy, suddenly.
Silence, only the hum of the radiator filled the room.
“How long did you know?” He stroked her soft, smooth skin.
“A few weeks or so.” Belle stopped wiping.
“You should have told me.”
“What difference would knowing the gender have made?” Belle’s hands were on her hips now, she raised an eyebrow.
“Nothing, treasure.” Danny drew back, his back arched against the vanity now, the sharp rim dug into his lower back. “I was just…”
“Just what?”
“I already said it was nothing.”
“Would you have loved our child more if it was a boy?”
That was it, for the second time that night.
“How can you say that? I would have loved our child regardless of gender!” Danny snapped. “Why are you treating me like I’m some misogynistic jerk? I’m not.”
Belle’s lip quivered.
“My father..he beat me when I was younger.” She said quietly.
Danny felt his expression soften.
“He was a bad person, Belle. But he turned it around.”
“He told me I was nothing. That I would amount to nothing.” She snapped, tears spilling over again.
“I felt important being with you, and having a baby.”
“Belle, I never said you weren’t important.”
“I got an education, and graduated at the top of my class. That wasn’t enough,” She was shouting at this point. “I wanted a family, a little family that I could call my own.”
“Can’t you see how selfish you’re being? You have two wonderful children, Sabelle! And just because I’m not ready for one more right now, doesn’t mean we won’t have one later.” Danny steadied her by the shoulders.
Her face crumbled.
“I love you, Danny Heartley.” She buried her face into his collarbone and cried.
Danny sighed and rocked her gently.
“Shh, shh..” He rubbed her back in tiny circles. “Please, Belle. I love you, too.”
“What did you do to my mom?” Eleven year old Alex stood in the bathroom doorway, his nose wrinkled in disgust. “Why is she crying now?”
“Alex, it’s complicated. Please go back to bed,” Danny smiled a fake smile.
“You crashed your car into a tree and the impact on the passenger’s side made her miscarry,”
Silence. Then more sobbing from Belle.
“Alexander, that’s enough from you!” Danny was seething by this point.
Alex just wrapped an arm around Belle’s swollen waist.
“How about you leave, and I comfort my grieving mother?” The boy sneered, his blue eyes seemed paler than usual, and his blonde hair was messily mused from a restless slumber. His features contrasted his mother’s pale fair skin, Hazel eyes and wavy raven locks.
“Alex, sweetheart,” Belle choked out, putting her own slender hand on her son’s pudgy, pasty one. “Danny is right. This matter doesn’t involve you.”
“Yes, it does,” The boy persisted. “Dad said that when he’s not around, I have to take care of you and Gracie.” He buried his face into Belle’s chest.
Belle looked up at Danny and gave him a tiny smile. “That’s my boy,” She whispered.
“No,” Danny bent down to kiss his lover atop her head. “It’s good that he’s protective of you.”
Belle struggled to pick up Alex, who had fallen asleep leaned up against her. She was somewhat petite. It was a definite challenge even just getting him to she and Danny’s bed. He seemed to be getting bigger and bigger with each passing day.
“Well, it looks like our bed is taken,” Danny smiled down at the sleeping child, who lay nestled in their comforter, knees pulled up close to his chest.
“We can always take the couch,” Belle snickered, jabbing her thumb out towards the living room.
Danny smirked, he wrapped an arm around Belle’s and hoisted her up bridal style. “Let me bring you there in style, milady.”
Belle squealed, draping her arms around Danny’s broad shoulders. “Just don’t drop me, okay?”
He let out a husky laugh as they made their way into the spacious area. “I promise, I promise,” He sat down on the worn, patchy sofa, leaning back tiredly against the headboard.
“It’s been a crazy day, I know,” Belle leaned into his chest, letting herself indulge in his warmth.
Danny scoffed. “It’s been a crazy month, is more like it.” He put a hand to Belle’s back.
“Yeah.” Belle trailed off. “I-It has.”
“I love you, Belle O’Malley.” He fingered the collar of her nightshirt.
Belle’s eyes flicked down to her collar, then back up to Danny.
It wasn’t long before she was in his lap, and he was nibbling at her neck, leaving little “lovebites” as he trailed down.
“Danny,” Belle breathed, gripping his biceps. “Danny..”
“I can give you what you want, Belley. This is only puppy love we’re having right now.” His left hand trailed down to her hip as he undid his belt buckle.
Their conjoining rhythm matched that of the rain that pattered against the window, the curtains were pulled shut.
“Oh, Danny,” Belle squeaked from beneath her lover.
“Yeah, treasure?” Danny’s bluish locks fell into his eyes as they fluttered almost daintily. The thin sheets flailed as they danced in them.
“I-I want you to be h-happy,” She gasped. “And if that m-means..not having a baby. Then so be it, I’m happy with you.”
‘No, treasure.” Danny separated himself from her and laid down by her side. “I think I may be turning a corner.”

And a few weeks later, that corner did in fact turn as Belle held the test in her hands, awaiting the faint beep that would hold her future. She sat on the bed, Danny by her side, squeezing her hand.
Beep.
Two intersecting lines.
A cross.
“I’m pregnant,” The tears bubbled over as Danny crushed her in a hug.

“We can have something together, Danny,” 







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