Maya didn’t argue when Alain chose to bring her back to her place. But she led him up to her apartment instead of lingering in the garage. It held too many memories of their time together and Maya didn’t want any of those memories clouding her judgment. Once upstairs she offered Alain some wine or coffee, he chose wine but Maya didn’t pour a glass for herself.
“You must have a lot of things on your mind where we’re both concerned,” he began, twirling the empty wineglass in his hand as he sat on the edge of the couch. Maya sat on the other end, hugging her arms around her with her back stiff while sitting forward.
“I’m simply interested in how you plan explaining yourself,” Maya said calmly.
“What if I asked you to trust that it’s for the best?” Alain lifted those arresting blue eyes up to Maya’s. “You always put faith in whatever I said. Has it changed?”
“Oh, you have no idea what’s changed,” Maya said with a dramatic shake of her head. “But there are a few questions I have. When I called your number, it was a woman who answered and I wasn’t sure what to think. Is she some secretary, or…”
“That was Cerise. She’s an assistant at the company where I work. You don’t have to bother about her or anyone. I’m more interested, in knowing just how much progress you made. And if you really want to make your mark in the car community like you’ve implied. Is that really your dream?”
“So now you care about my dreams?” Maya huffed. “You skip out of here without warning, barely even call me or keep in touch, and suddenly my dreams matters? You’re joking right?”
Maya saw Alain’s cheeks flush slightly and she felt a twinge of satisfaction. Whether he was angry or just embarrassed that she called him out, it didn’t matter. If she didn’t love him so much, she’d have kicked him out from the first second.
Feeling annoyed with herself, with everything, Maya sprang up from the couch. Alain rose too, and now his brow was furrowed, this time in concern. “Maya, are you okay?”
“What?” she asked wide-eyed, surprised at the look on his face.
“Your nose is bleeding.” He gently grabbed her shoulders, swearing harshly in French even as he peered into her face. “Just what the hell is happening? Are you sick?”
“No, I’m not sick!” She brushed out of his arms and turned away, while lifting a tissue she kept handy to her nose. “I have nosebleeds every once in a while. I just need to soothe it with a dab of petroleum jelly and it’ll be back to normal.”
“There’s something you aren’t telling me,” Alain said, his chest slightly heaving as he placed his hands on his hips. “I’m not backing down till I find out what it is. I was with you for months and you never had nosebleeds once.”
“Nose issues are quite common in my condition.” Maya spoke in a calm tone, closing her eyes briefly before turning to face Alain again. “It’s the pregnancy hormones, or so my doctor tells me. Alain, I’m having a baby. Our baby.”
The following day was Maya’s three-month appointment, and she’d invited Alain to come with her. She had the hope that Alain might settle down and work on this with her.
He did show up, and when they both see the baby on the screen for the first time (a boy), Alain seemed overcome with emotion. Maya didn’t think it had all set in for him, until now. When she’d told him last night about the baby, she’d asked him to go back home to his hotel and think things over for the night. They’d both needed some distance but Maya had been glad, that he hadn’t acted like a dick and asked her if it was sure it was his.
Now, she felt incredibly connected with him as they shared a look. Afterward, they took a walk around the park surrounding the hospital. They found a bench in a cozy corner of the garden, and talked.
“Before I say anything, I’d like to know how you feel.” Alain didn’t look at her, but had his hand over hers in a warm, reassuring grip that almost, made Maya forgive him for his disappearing act.
Taking a deep breath, Maya found her voice, and gathered her thoughts. “Having the baby feels right to me. I’ll continue to work my retail jobs and support my small family. I’d love for you to be involved, but…I’ll understand if you’re not ready.”
She could have sworn she saw him flinch slightly, but Maya couldn’t be sure. She turned to him fully, expectantly. “Alain?”
His light blue eyes shifted to hers, and she saw all that genuineness she’d found so compelling and attractive from the start. There’d always been something noble and worthy about Alain, but could she still trust her instinct after what happened?