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|Without Me(Men of Inked #7) by Chelle Bliss|
Max spun with my ma in her arms and glared at me. I just smiled, knowing there was no way out for her now. She’d agreed earlier, and now the announcement had been made.
We were officially engaged.
Joe burst into the room before everyone had finished giving their congratulations to Max and me. “It’s a girl!” he yelled, raking his hands through his hair. “A girl.”
“Yes!” Izzy cheered, and raised her arms. “Thank you, God,” she said as she fell to her knees and looked toward the ceiling.
“Congrats, brother.” I held out my hand to him, grabbing his arm. I could see tears in his eyes.
“When can I see her?” Ma asked as she kissed Joe on the cheek.
“They just need a little time and then everyone can go in and see them.”
“Do you have a name, son?” Pop asked as he stood beside Ma.
“Yes. It’s Giovanna Bianca.” He beamed as he said her name. He stood a bit straighter with his shoulders pushed back. The pride he felt at his new title of father was clearly evident.
“Gigi,” Ma whispered. “You named her after my mother.” She covered her mouth as she began to cry.
“We did.” Joe grabbed my ma and stared down at her. “It’s the perfect name for my little Italian princess.”
Joe went into graphic detail describing the birth of his baby girl. At times, I felt faint. I’d seen plenty of crazy shit. Hell, I’d seen things come out of a pussy that weren’t natural, but seeing a human being slide out, even a small one, was just wrong. He gushed over having been able to cut the umbilical cord and how a small piece of him would live on forever.
The entire time he spoke, I held Max’s hand as she listened and seemed totally enthralled. For a woman who didn’t want children, she was mesmerized and hung on every word.
Twenty minutes later, the family was given the go-ahead to see Suzy and Gigi. We let Ma and Pop go back first and spend time with the baby before we went in as a group.
“You doing okay, Max?” I asked as we waited.
“Yeah. I am,” she answered quietly.
“You seem off.” I stroked her hand as we sat side by side in the waiting room.
“I’m not. It’s just…”
“What is it? You know you can tell me anything.”
“Sometimes, I get sad when I think I’ll never be a mother.” She frowned as she stared down at our hands.
“You can be a mother. There’s nothing stopping you, Max.”
“I do not want to pass my bad genes on to a baby.”
I sat there a moment, thinking about what she’d said. I could understand it. No one wants to give their child a life filled with illness. There isn’t a person on the planet that has been guaranteed a lifetime of healthiness. We all experience some type of health issue in our life, whether it be cancer or some other ailment.
“Max, do you wish your parents never had you?” I asked her. It was the only thing I had thought to say.
“Have you had a happy life?”
“Yes. For the most part, I have.”
“Even with knowing how your future could turn out, would you want it to end now?”
“No. Stop asking stupid questions.”
“Listen to me. Just because the baby would have a small chance of getting the gene doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be born. If you had said you wished your parents had never had you, then I’d agree with you. But you said you’ve had a happy life and you want to live. Maybe being a mother will bring you more joy than anything else in your life. Maybe you can have a healthy baby.”
She sighed and blew a puff of air through her lips. “I don’t know, Anthony. It’s a big decision. If the baby is born with the gene, I’d feel so guilty.”
“Do you want your parents to feel guilty about your life? Are you mad at them for having had you?”
I didn’t know where all of this was coming from. Six months ago, all I’d cared about was banging my way through life and living in blissful ignorance of love. Now, I was in deep. So far down that I couldn’t imagine a life without Max anymore.
“Of course not.”
“Then why would your baby feel that way about you? If you don’t wish you weren’t born, neither will they, no matter the outcome of their health. Nothing is guaranteed, Max. I could get hit by a bus tomorrow and die.”
“What did you do with my boyfriend?” she asked as she peered up at me.
“Fiancé,” I said. “I don’t know what happened to me. You happened to me and mixed up my head.”
“I kind of miss my asshole sometimes, but times like this, when you’re so sweet and smart, I realize why I love you.”
“Why is that?” I was fishing for a compliment. Max wasn’t always so willing to hand them out. When she was in the mood, I made sure to get as much as I could.
“You have the perfect mix of asshole and lover. Just when I think you’ve hit your asshole streak, you come back saying such beautiful things that you make my heart melt.”
“And what does the asshole do to you? I know it’s that part of me that you were first attracted to.”
“He makes my panties melt,” she whispered, and bit her lip.
“Ahhh. I always knew that girls secretly wanted an asshole.”
I had known it. Even though they all said that they wanted the nice guy, they really wanted a mix. They wanted the asshole in the bedroom, banging their brains out, and the sweet guy the other times. I could be both. Fuck, I had been my entire life.