- Text Size +
Author's Chapter Notes:

Alyssa and Nick begin to get careless.


Chapter 35- Still My Addiction


            For the next week or two leading up to Thanksgiving, Alyssa was happier than she'd been throughout her entire pregnancy so far. Her entire demeanor seemed to change. She was calmer and less uptight than she'd remembered feeling in a long time. There was only one explanation for her sudden change in attitude, Nick. Ever since that night they had slept together, Alyssa almost felt like a brand new person. She quickly realized that her admittance to Teri about still being in love with him was the complete truth. She had to be. There was no way that any other guy had ever made her feel this happy before. It was completely wrong, but Alyssa had practically wiped any thought of Sean clean from her mind at the moment. She purposely did not open his e-mails and luckily enough he hadn't called her since. She knew that she wasn't being fair to him, but she also felt that it would be unfair to tell him that she was falling in love with someone else in an e-mail. As soon as he comes back from Iraq I'll tell him, she vowed.


            In the meantime Alyssa had continued to see Nick and not just for friendly dinners and to shop for baby stuff. It was like finally giving in to him had opened up these gigantic floodgates of emotion and the two of them literally could not keep their hands off each other. Okay, maybe pregnancy hormones played their part too, but every time they were near each other they continued to hook up. You would think that they really were the happy committed couple anxiously awaiting the birth of their first child that they made themselves out to be. That couldn't be farther from the truth. Alyssa knew that it was wrong to continually sleep with a man other than her husband even if she cared more about Nick than she did for Sean, yet chose to do it anyway since nothing could really be done to change their situation at the moment. Both her and Nick seemed perfectly content with the way things had been for the past week or two Neither one of them had made a move to discuss what this thing going on between them meant because they both were afraid to consider that this could actually lead to something long term.


            But the more comfortable they were around each other the more and more careless they became. Nick came by just about every day now and almost every time they wound up either having sex or doing some sort of fooling around. Alyssa wasn't sure what exactly he was telling Shayla, but whatever it was so far she hadn't seemed too suspicious. Nick would sometimes wind up falling asleep and having to sneak out early in the morning. Other times he'd leave late at night. Neither one of them ever stopped to consider how suspicious it probably looked to Alyssa's neighbors.


            One day Nick had surprised her by already being at her door when she'd arrived home from work. Catching her completely off guard, she hadn't even stepped into the doorway when he'd wrapped his arms around her waist and greeted her with a kiss that was so demanding it almost completely pulled her breath away. Momentarily forgetting that they weren't even fully in the house and they were completely visible to anyone who passed by, Alyssa closed her eyes and submitted to the kiss until common sense got the better of her and she reluctantly pulled away. "What was that all about?" she slyly asked.


            Nick just shrugged his shoulders and grinned. "I don't know... Felt like it I guess."


            "If only I could be welcomed home from work like this every day," she told him, but then froze when she realized that they were right out in plain sight. "Maybe we should take this inside."


            "Good idea," Nick agreed as they stepped inside the doorway. "I have some things I want to show you anyway."


            As soon as Alyssa stepped inside she saw a few Babies' R Us bags sitting on her couch. "Oh no... Tell me you didn't buy all this for the baby already. Nick, you didn't have to do all this..."


            "But I wanted to," he stubbornly insisted. "I just went in to look and yea I wound up buying almost the whole store."


            Alyssa sat down on the couch and rifled through the bags. Surprisingly Nick had actually thought to buy some very necessary items such as some pink receiving blankets, a few packages of onesies, and a package of baby bottles. Of course he'd thrown in some other items such as a few cute outfits, some stuffed animals, and a rattle. "Wow... I'm not even going to need have a baby shower with you around," she joked.


            "Speaking of baby showers after Thanksgiving we should take you somewhere to start a gift registry, so people who want to give you any gifts for the baby know what to get. Oh yea... and you know how you said you were thinking of doing a princess theme for the nursery? They had tons of different kinds of furniture and stuff. We should go look at it and start ordering it now just in case it's on back order or something."


            Alyssa just listened to him ramble on almost shocked to hear what was coming out of his mouth. "Oh my God..." she interrupted him. "You're actually really into this."


            "Me? No, I'm just trying to help you out and-" Nick sputtered.


            "Bullshit. You're all excited and talking about nursery themes and gift registries... For a man who didn't want kids you sound more excited about all of this than I am," she teased.


            "Okay," Nick admitted, his face growing a little red. "This baby thing kind of grows on you after a while I guess. I just want her to have nothing, but the best. There's nothing wrong with that, right?"


            Alyssa shook her head. "She's not even born yet and you're already spoiling her rotten. I hate to see how you're going to be once she's actually born."


            "Don't worry I got you something too." He reached over and grabbed another bag from the couch.


            "Oh, you did, did you?" she asked, wondering what in the world he could've picked up for her.


            "I saw it on the internet and I immediately thought of you, so I had to order it," he explained. "Open it."


            Alyssa opened up the bag and pulled out a white ribbed tank top with the words Future M.I.L.F. spelled out on it in black print across the top. She laughed as soon as she saw it. She and Nick had always shared a love of shirts with ridiculous sayings and the more perverted the better. The shirt definitely fit her since she'd always joked about how one day she was going to be a hot mama. "Oh my God... I love it Nick. It's hilarious!"


            "Yea, I thought you might," he told her with a grin. "I got it a little larger so you can wear it now during your pregnancy."


            "Thank you." Alyssa leaned over to give him a hug. She was genuinely floored by his thoughtfulness. "That was really sweet of you." She looked back at the shirt and smirked at him. "Mom I'd like to fuck, huh? A little late for that, don't you think?"


            "See, I thought it stood for Mom I like to fuck," Nick played along with her as his hands snaked around her neck.


            Alyssa just laughed at him. "You're such a cornball, but if that's the case then it's perfect." She leaned over and kissed him softly on the lips. "In fact, why don't you show me just how much you like it?" she asked him her voice becoming low and seductive.


            "My pleasure," Nick told her as he deepened the kiss and slowly lowered her body against the length of the couch.




            The following afternoon Alyssa arrived home from work to a completely different kind of greeting by the last person she expected. As soon as she'd slammed her car door shut, she'd looked up to see Kim coming down the driveway of her house across the street pushing Gavin in a stroller. Not caring much about her neighbor and ex-friend, Alyssa adjusted her tote bag and her purse over her shoulder and turned on her feet to head inside. She was just about at the door when she heard Kim's voice from behind her. "Alyssa, wait!"


            Alyssa set her things onto the porch and whirled around to see Kim coming up her own driveway now. "What do you want?" she icily replied, not even bothering to be civil.


            "To apologize," the younger woman simply stated. "I guess I was kind out of line the other day in the park when I told you that you were selfish and that you weren't going to be a good mother. I guess I kind of forgot what it feels like to be in your shoes even though it wasn't all that long ago for me. When you're pregnant it's such a scary, confusing, time and you're always worrying about what's going to happen when the baby arrives. I shouldn't have clouded your mind with anymore doubt then there probably already is going through there. I know you're just scared and hormonal and it was wrong for me to say those things to you."


            Alyssa stood there for a moment almost shocked at Kim's apology. It had been over two weeks now since their argument in the park, and in that time they hadn't spoken to each other at all. Callie probably suggested that she apologize, Alyssa figured. Still Alyssa figured the best thing would be to just accept her apology. Why continue on a grudge over something as petty as breast feeding? "You're right," she finally spoke. "It was messed up of you to say those things to me. I really thought that you of all people would think twice because you were only in my shoes, what? A year ago? But we are neighbors and our husbands are like best friends, so I really don't want to fight with you any more, especially over something as dumb as this."


            Kim's face broke into a grin. "Thanks Lyss. I'm glad that we can be friends again. I know I can be kind of pushy at times and stubborn, but I'm only trying to help you out. I may be younger, but I do have a six month old, so I kind of have experience when it comes to motherhood."


            Alyssa wasn't exactly sure how to take that comment, but figured that in Kim's own way she hadn't meant it to put her down. "Thanks Kim. You and Callie both have been great at giving me advice and all that."


            Kim dug into her purse and pulled out what looked to be a business card from her wallet. "Look, I hope you think I'm not intruding in your business or anything, but I've been thinking about what you said about not wanting to breastfeed and I realize that a lot of women who are first time mothers have the same kind of fears and doubts about it. If you're worried about like not being able to get the hang of it or something I can recommend you to my lactate consultant."


            "Lactate consultant?" Alyssa's eyebrows rose. She'd never heard of such a thing before in her life.


            Kim nodded. "Yea... A lot of new Mom's have a bit of trouble getting a handle on breast feeding at first, so they go see a lactate consultant. This woman I went to see does it right out of her home and you pay per session, however many you need. Basically she watches you breast feed and gives you tips and pointers on what you're doing right or wrong. She helped me out a lot, so I thought that maybe she could help you too."


            She handed Alyssa over the business card and Alyssa stared at it for a moment feeling a bubble of rage go through her. Who did Kim think she was? One minute she was apologizing to her for her inappropriate comments two weeks ago, and the next she was back on the breast feeding bandwagon. What part of this did she not understand that Alyssa was not going to change her mind? "Thanks, but no thanks," she tried to say in her sweetest voice possible as she handed the card back to Kim. "Not interested."


            "She'll work with you until you get it down, Alyssa. She's awesome. There's no reason why you can't change your mind. She-"


            That's when Alyssa lost her cool. "You're really unbelievable, you know that?" she interrupted. "You just don't get it. Maybe I need to say this nice and slow for you. I. DO. NOT. WANT. TO. BREAST. FEED. End of story! I'm not changing my mind, so you can take your fucking lactate specialist or whatever and shove it!"


            Kim looked as if she'd been slapped. "You don't even have any good reasons not to. All the ones you have are all about you and not about the child."


            "Here we go again with me being selfish again, right? Actually, I have been doing some further research on the matter and I did actually come up with some better reasons not too. Would you like to hear them?" Without even waiting for Kim's response, she began ticking the reasons off on her fingers. "One, there's no way of knowing exactly how much the baby is actually getting. It's all estimating. What if they're getting too much? What if they're getting too little? You can't exactly measure it like in a bottle. Two, some babies have a really hard time being weaned off of breast milk. They can't breast feed forever. Three, some women's milk doesn't even come in right away. That could be a problem." Alyssa sighed, realizing how pointless this all was. "Why am I even trying to justify myself to you? You're just going to knock down everything I say anyway and go all La Leche League on me. So what's the point?"


            Kim continued to look hurt, but her features quickly twisted in anger to hide her hurt at Alyssa's words. "You're right. What is the point? You and I obviously were brought up quite differently. On an entirely different set of morals it seems."


            Alyssa frowned. "So now because I'm not breast feeding I'm immoral?"


            "No, you're just immoral because while your husband is away fighting for our country you're here entertaining other men in his home. Wonder how Sean would feel about that?"


            Alyssa immediately felt her back stiffen. It had been a very low blow by Kim, but she couldn't let Kim know that she'd gotten to her. For all she knew Kim could be just calling her bluff. "What do you know about anything that is going on behind my doors?" she shakily replied.


            Seeing that she'd struck a nerve Kim grinned. "Oh please Alyssa! Do you think this whole neighborhood is that blind? This is an army base. Most of our husbands are off in Iraq right now. Yet, your friend Nick is over here almost all the time." Alyssa opened her mouth to protest, but before she could Kim held up a hand to quiet her. "And don't try to give me that line of shit about him being around to help you with baby stuff. I've seen him leave your house early in the morning when his car has been there all night. He comes and goes at all hours. There's something not kosher going on."


            "What do you do? Spy on me or something?" Alyssa asked, sounding outraged.


            "No, I don't spy. You're just not as secretive as you seem to think you are. Don't worry; I won't say anything for now. I'm hoping that you'll get your head out of your ass and do the right thing in the end. Just thought you might want to know that we're on to you," she bitchily replied.


Without another word she turned her stroller around and headed back down the driveway leaving Alyssa standing there, her mouth gaping. Was Kim right? Were people really beginning to suspect that her and Nick were actually having an affair? This was a pretty tight knot community. All she needed was for someone to mention to their husband that they'd seen Nick over a lot at her house and for it to somehow get back to Sean. Finding out that way would be even worse than if she told him herself through an e-mail. She and Nick would just have to be a whole lot more secretive and careful for the time being.




            "We need to start being more careful. We're starting to get sloppy," Alyssa told Nick the next afternoon. They were lying under the sheets of the bed in Alyssa's guest room. Nick had originally come over to look at the guest room which Alyssa had planned to convert into the baby's room. They had been trying to make a list of everything that needed to be done in there, but somewhere along the line they'd gotten a little distracted, which led to clothes being removed, which of course led to sex on the closest available surface.


            Nick frowned as his fingers absentmindedly traced down her arms. "What do you mean?"


            Alyssa sighed. "Kim across the street made a comment to me about you being over here so much. She didn't exactly accuse me of anything, but she did mention that she found it strange that you've been coming and going at all different hours and that you've spent the night here before and stuff. I just don't want her to say something to her husband who might say something to Sean. I don't want him to find out like that. So, we need to cool things a bit. Like the other day when you kissed me right out on the porch? That can't happen."


            "You're right," Nick agreed as he realized just how much they'd began to let their guard down around each other in the last week or so. "I'm sorry about that. I guess I just wasn't thinking."


            "It's not your fault," she assured him. "Just because it's an army base and everyone knows one another it's kind of risky for us to keep meeting here."


            Nick nodded his head. "Well, there's always the condo. It's still sitting there unoccupied and no one else knows about it, but us. We'll just start meeting there."


            That was actually a very clever idea. Alyssa had almost completely forgotten about the condo. They probably should've kept their visits limited to over there even before things had started to happen between them. "That sounds smart. And whenever you do come over here for something, we have to make a big show about you only coming over to help me out. Nothing more happens in this house after today. And you're not leaving at any weird times without a good cover story."


            "Sounds like a solid plan," he agreed. "This is getting complicated, huh?"


            Alyssa nodded her head. "Yea... It is, but this is just until Sean gets back from Iraq. Then things will be different."


            It was the first time that she'd openly spoken about where this all was headed and Nick realized that the door had just been opened for conversation about their future. Even though it seemed like a perfect opportunity, he decided to pass on it for the time being. He could tell that Alyssa was shaken enough about almost being caught and quite frankly he was a little worried about what she wanted. For the time being he still kept Shayla in his life because it was just easier than divorcing her. Then there was the sense of security his life with her held. He wasn't making a move until he heard exactly what Alyssa intended on doing. As of lately he really began to feel that maybe she did plan on coming clean with Sean about not only her feelings for him, but also about the true paternity of the baby. But you never could tell. He wasn't sure if even Alyssa knew what she wanted to do just yet. It was too soon into their relationship to think about all of this right away. Maybe after Thanksgiving.


            Speaking of Thanksgiving, Nick decided that moment would be a good time to change the subject to their respective plans for the upcoming holiday. He brushed back a piece of hair that had fallen into her hair as if to calm her down. "Let's not think about that right now. What are you doing for Thanksgiving? Are you going to New York to see your family?"


            Alyssa shook her head. "Actually, they're coming to me. Even though Dr. Spencer told me that I'm perfectly okay to travel on a plane, they think a cross country flight would be too much for me. So, the whole clan is flying out here on Wednesday."


            "You don't sound too happy about that," Nick observed.


            "I'm not." Alyssa sighed. "I didn't want to be responsible for hosting Thanksgiving. I know that everyone is going to pitch in and help, but I'm still going to have five extra adults and one infant staying here when there isn't much room to begin with. I don't know where I'm going to fit everyone. I'm probably going to wind up putting my parents and in my room and Meg and Scott in here. Callie is lending me a crib for Kristina."


            "Who's Kristina?" Nick asked, sounding a little confused.


            Alyssa laughed a little, forgetting that she'd never told Nick about her. "Kristina is my brand new niece that I haven't even gotten a chance to meet yet. Remember I told you that Meg and Scott were adopting a baby from China?"


            "Oh yea... Vaguely. That was a few months ago, right?"


            "Yea... They went over the summer. Anyway Meg's sent me a ton of pictures, and she's absolutely gorgeous, so I'm itching to finally meet her."


            "That sounds nice." Nick thought for a second and frowned. "You said five people though. Is Steph coming?"


            Alyssa made a face. "Unfortunately. I don't really want her here, but my parents wouldn't accept me not inviting her. Guess I'm just going to have to make the best of it. I can ignore her all weekend."


            "You still don't talk to her, huh?"


            Alyssa shook her head. "Not since I left Australia. Maybe I said two or three words to her at my wedding. That's about it. I can't trust her anymore, so we're better off not talking."


            Nick looked at her sadly. "Does she even know that you're pregnant?"


            "Of course. My parents probably told her. I didn't, but I'm sure she's heard by now from someone."


            "Do you think you'll ever forgive her?"


            Alyssa thought about it for a moment. "I don't think so. I just can't find it in my heart to forgive her for going behind my back like that."


            "But you forgave me," Nick pointed out. "And I was just as much as fault. Maybe even more so because I didn't put a stop to it."


            Even though he had a very valid point Alyssa waved her hand as if to dismiss his comment. "It's still different. She's my sister. Sisters don't do crap like that to each other. I would never think to move into her territory like that, especially after everything I did for her! I mean I took her into our home because she felt like she had nowhere else to go, and look at how she repaid me?"


            "That was seven years ago Alyssa. She was only sixteen back then. You can't hold something she did as a fucked up teenager while she was under the influence of alcohol and God only knows what else," he tried to argue. "She's not the same person she was back then. Even you told me that she was starting to turn her life around. As someone who didn't talk to my siblings for a really long time, I just think that in the end life is too short to waste time hating each other for things that happened in the past. I really regret now missing out on all the time I didn't speak to my sisters or Aaron. That's time that you can never get back. And especially now that you have a baby on the way you should want to bury the hatchet more than ever. Is it really fair for you to deny your child the chance to get to know her Aunt?"


            Alyssa was quiet for a moment as she thought about what Nick had just said. He was right in a way. He was coming from the point of view of someone who did have the unfortunate experience of being estranged from his siblings, and she knew how much he regretted not spending that time with them now. Stephanie was now almost twenty-three. Was it fair to shut her out over a choice she had made when she was sixteen? The way Nick had put it about denying her child the chance to get to know Stephanie as an Aunt did make her feel guilty. "I don't know Nick... Maybe you're right, but we haven't talked in almost four years now. I'm not even sure how to go about forgiving her if I wanted to."


            "You had no problem forgiving me. Look, I'm not forcing you to do anything here. I just think that you may want to think things over about her a little more carefully," Nick suggested. "It can't hurt it, can it?"


            Alyssa sighed, realizing that he was probably right. "Okay, fine... I'll at least think about it, but I'm not making any promises. What about you though?" she asked cuddling up closer to him. "What are you doing for Thanksgiving?"


            Nick shrugged. "Nothing too special. Shayla and I are having my siblings over. Dad is spending it with his family and Mom... well we still don't really talk to her too much."


            "That's too bad," Alyssa sympathized. "But at least now you have each other."


            "Yea... It's not so bad. It sounds crazy, but we've gotten so much closer since we've done the reality show. And they really get along with Shayla because she worked so closely with us on House of Carters."


            "Oh, that's great." She tried to sound as enthusiastic as possible, but it was hard when it came to conversation about Nick's wife. She immediately felt a tiny pang of jealously. Even though she had a much longer history with Nick than Shayla, the only sibling that Alyssa had really gotten to know had been Aaron, and that had been in the earlier part of their relationship. She'd met his sisters once or twice, but at the time their relationship with Nick hadn't been the closest. It felt weird to her to think that Nick's siblings actually felt closer to Shayla than to her.


            "Yea, so it should be fun..." Nick's voice trailed off as he realized how uncomfortable Alyssa looked. Time to change the subject again. "Hey, so we should probably try to give this nursery planning thing another go. We're going to have to start deciding what color we want to paint it and where we may want to put everything."


            "All right," Alyssa agreed as she sat up in bed. "But no funny business this time, you got it? Remember we're not supposed to be doing anything here anymore."


            Nick pulled a face. "I thought you said that didn't start until tomorrow?"


            "I changed my mind. We have to get this nursery going and at this rate the baby will be here and have no place to sleep."


            "You're no fun," he teased as he searched the floor for his boxers and after he found them pulled them back onto his body.


            Alyssa gathered up the rest of her clothes and they spent the rest of the evening making lists of everything they needed to do and what they still needed to buy. They made loose plans to continue working on the nursery after Thanksgiving, next month. They ordered a pizza for dinner and then before it got too late she made sure that he left. Before he did though, they agreed that after Thanksgiving weekend they'd meet up at the condo for some one on one time. One could never be too careful.