Chapter 20: Can’t Cry Hard Enough


Cosmopolitan

Cosmopolitan (Photo credit: StuartWebster)

I’m gonna live my life
Like every day’s the last
Without a simple good-bye
It all goes by so fast

And now that you’re gone
I can’t cry hard enough
No I can’t cry hard enough
For you to hear me now

I’m gonna open my eyes
And see for the first time
I’ve let go of you like
A child letting go of his kite

There it goes up in the sky
There it goes beyond the clouds
For no reason why
I can’t cry hard enough
No I can’t cry hard enough
For you to hear me now

I’m gonna look back in vain
And see you standing there
When all that remains
Is just an empty chair

And now that you’re gone
I can’t cry hard enough
No I can’t cry hard enough
For you to hear me now

There it goes, up in the sky
There it goes, beyond the clouds
For no reason why
I can’t cry hard enough
No I can’t cry hard enough
For you to hear me now

Can’t Cry Hard EnoughWilliams Brothers


Holding me through the night is not enough to keep the darkness out of my heart and I know that Elliot is feeling it too, but I still can’t really talk about my own feelings without a sense of the endless chasm that will open up before me. Yesterday, was supposed to help us deal with our grief by giving us closure but I’m not there yet. And I can’t talk to him anymore about how I am feeling because I don’t want the sympathetic glances and I don’t want to explain and I don’t want to cry any more. I can’t tell him that I am scared that he won’t love me now. I can’t tell him that I will never forgive myself even though all logic says it was not my fault. I can’t tell him that I am terrified to love that much ever again because it hurts so much to let it go. So I do what I do best. I lie. I pretend. Being born into a world of falsehood and deceit, this is just another level of performance for me.

Sooner or later I am going to have to see Ana so when she calls me at work on Monday I say yes to drinks after work. I don’t know what else to do.

“Hi Kate, how are you? I miss you.” Ana looks amazing and I wonder if we aren’t trading lives for a moment. Here she is in her designer wardrobe, with her designer hair and nails. Her make-up is understated and perfect. I have thrown on the work clothes I had packed in my overnight bag from the weekend which look like I slept in them. I haven’t been to a salon since before Barbados and I have applied my makeup an inch thick to hide the shadows under my eyes and the blotchiness of my skin. Crying and lack of sleep will do that to a person, I guess.

“Hi Ana, you look amazing. Seems like the new job and fiance are doing wonders for you.” I am plastering on my best fake smile hoping that some light will reach my eyes.

“Thanks. Work is crazy but good and Christian is…wonderful. So, food? Or just drinks?” I look past her and see her bodyguards hovering. Two, for Christ sake! Hell, now I even envy her that sense of safety that Christian is trying so hard to surround her with. She looks behind at them and shrugs before turning back to me. “I’m sorry about them. Christian insists.”

“Oh, well, if Master says so.” I murmur and then I see her face fall. “Oh, shit, Ana, I’m sorry. It was a joke. A very poor one but I didn’t mean anything by it…” Didn’t you Kate? Didn’t part of you want to just jab her in the skin and see if she could feel it?

“No, it’s okay. I know it seems a little ridiculous, all this protection. And I don’t expect you to understand the type of person that Christian is, but he is a good man, Kate.”

“Yeah, I keep hearing that.” Again, with the look. Oh, shit, did I say that out loud? Fucking great, Kavanagh. “I’m really sorry, I guess things at work are a little tough and it is getting to me.”

We sit and Ana summons a waiter, ordering us a round of Cosmos. “I know what you mean about the work thing. Since I got this promotion I am always tired. So do you want to tell me about it?” That’s right, Ana has been given Jack’s position at SIP. From a fucking PA to an editor in one foul swoop. Guess that’s what you get when your boyfriend buys the fucking company. Stop it, Kate, stop it right now.

“No, honestly, it’s fine. I just want to make sure that I am worthy of the job and that people aren’t treating me differently because I am Sam Kavanagh’s daughter. I want them to accept me on my own merits and not the family name, you know what I mean.”

“Yeah, I know exactly what you mean.” She doesn’t elaborate though and I have to admire her for her discretion. For not talking about how pissed off she is that Mr Stalker Grey has purchased the company for her. But that has always been Ana. She doesn’t do gossip, she doesn’t lie, or not very well and she protects the people she loves even when they are stupid or mean. The soul of discretion and I wonder how much of her has rubbed off on me. How much am I going to tell her? Right now, nothing, because I don’t have the energy to poke that particular hornet’s nest.

“So how are the plans for the wedding going? Do we have a date yet?” The little tight smile gives her away. Oh crap.

“Yeah, three weeks from Saturday.” Holy shit! Then the unthinkable enters my head. Why does anyone get married so fast? She’s fucking pregnant! And I feel the bile rise in my throat. I have to get out of here.

“Wow, that’s not a lot of time.” I choke the words out as I stand. “Excuse me, I need to find the powder room.”

“Hey, I’ll go with…”

“No!” I take a breath and try to bring my emotions under control. “I’ll be fine. You order us another round, I’ll be back in a moment.”

I stumble blindly across the room towards the ladies room and once I get inside the cubicle I crumble to the floor, sobbing. Shit, I should feel happy for her. I don’t even know if that is the reason for the quickie wedding. Jeez, it could be like fucking Twilight, they just might be in a hurry, although unlike Bella I know that Ana is no fucking virgin. After a few minutes I get myself under control and struggle to my feet, brushing my skirt down as I emerge from the cubicle. When I raise my head I come face to face with one of Ana’s bodyguards, what was her name? Prescott?

“Are you alright, Miss Kavanagh?” Concern is etched across her face but not the pity that I have had to see in every other face over the weekend.

“Yeah, I’m fine. Just a little tired and overwrought. I guess drinking on an empty stomach isn’t helping.” Standing at the basin I splash some water over my face before I realize how much make-up I am wearing. Oh, what the fuck, things can’t get any worse, can they? Prescott hands me a towel.

“You know Miss Kavanagh, it seems that tonight could go one of two ways. You could do the sensible thing and call it a night. Or you could let the safety of a good friend, her entourage and a few more drinks do their magic.” What, you want me to get drunk? And suddenly that seems like the best fucking idea I have heard in weeks.

Within an hour I am wasted. Four cosmos in quick succession have done the trick and the buzz feels great. I look at my phone, three missed calls from Elliot. I tuck it away in my bag and order another round. Ana is giggling but she isn’t drinking anywhere near fast enough for me. This time I order beers and shots. I don’t notice Ana texting.

Another hour rolls past and we have planned out her entire future. If she has told me anything about her kinky relationship with Christian then I don’t remember it although at one stage I almost let it slip about Elliot and I in the red room. Some cute guys stop at our table to talk with us and I notice both Ana and her guard dogs getting edgy but I am in full Kate Kavanagh mode now, flirting up a storm. I know it is all alcohol talking but I am all over them like a rash.

Next thing I know strong masculine arms wrap around me and pull me back against a hard frame that I know so well. Closing my eyes I inhale his fragrance and my head lolls back against his shoulder.

“Hey man, the lady was happy with us. Find your own girl.” The good looking dark haired one is being friendly enough with just a small undercurrent of ‘get-the-fuck-out-of-my-way’. Elliot just gropes me a little more.

“Hey baby, did you want to stay with this guy?” He murmurs in my ear with his eyes still on dark-haired dude. What was his name again?

“Mm, he’s nice, kind of yummy, could we take him home?” I giggle in my drunkenness.

“You want him, baby? Why don’t you ask him?”

“Do you want to come home with me and my boyfriend?” I don’t want this guy but I love where Elliot is taking this. Ana is sitting open mouthed beside us before Elliot winks at her and then she starts to giggle too. I look at her. This will serve you right for texting my boyfriend behind my back, Steele. “Or did you want this one Ana? I am sure Christian would like him.”

“Oh, I don’t think he is Christian’s type, Kate.” The poor guy has gone from interested to shocked in a second as our discussion progresses. Now you know what it’s like being in the meat market as a woman. Not much fun, huh?

“Pity, he’s so pretty. I bet he swings both ways too. He’s got such a fine ass.” My hand reaches out to get a handful and the guy steps away.

“Wow, I don’t share, lady. You guys are too weird for me.” We all burst into laughter as he heads for the other end of the bar. Even Prescott and Sawyer have smirks on their faces.

“Kate, I think I better call it a night.” Ana has picked up her bag and jacket. Suddenly I can see that she is nowhere near as drunk as me and part of me is a little disappointed. “Listen, I will make an appointment with your mother for lunch on Thursday. Can you make it?”

“Sure,” I reply. “Just let me know when and where.” I give her a kiss on the cheek and she and her entourage move off. Elliot turns me in his arms.

“That was very naughty, Miss K. If you’re going to get that drunk can you at least not proposition other men?” He has a smile on his face but I can feel the disappointment underneath and it makes me angry.

“You don’t own me Elliot. If I want to go with another guy, which I don’t, there is not much you can do about it.” I down the last of my drink and glare at him as I pick up my bag. He grabs my hand and all but drags me outside.

“I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt on this one Kate. You’re drunk and you probably needed to get drunk after everything that we have been through. But don’t think for a moment that you are free to pick up strange guys in bars. I don’t work that way.”

His body is tense as he stands over me. Anyone walking past us would see him as a threat and part of me wants to play on the sympathies of strangers for a moment but the argument and the cold air are enough to sober me up a little bit.

“Until you put a ring on it, you don’t have automatic rights and exclusivity. If you want those you have to learn how to trust me.” I spit the words out at him in a low hiss.

“I want to trust you but if you drink like that then how can you trust yourself? As for putting a ring on it, I have tried and you won’t take it. Well guess what, Kate, I withdraw my proposal until you get through your grief.”

“Jesus, Elliot, it was one fucking night. I haven’t had more than a drop of alcohol since I found out I was pregnant. So get off my fucking back. I needed to have a blow out tonight and I had it. End of story.”

I stalk off down the road towards the apartment leaving him standing on the sidewalk. My legs are not as steady as they should be and I stagger against a wall before righting myself and continuing down the road. I hear his footsteps behind me but he doesn’t get close, he only follows. We arrive back at my apartment and he lets us in.

“You have a key to my apartment? How did you get that?”

“Ethan gave it to me.” His voice is terse and he pushes inside ahead of me, throwing his key on the table before stripping his jacket off and placing it on a chair. He walks straight into the kitchen and starts to put the kettle on. I watch him for a moment getting more and more angry that he is making himself so at home in my apartment.

“What the fuck is this? You are acting like you live here, like you own me. Well, you don’t, on both accounts.” My voice is raising with my anger. His body has stilled and he stares at me for a moment before walking around the kitchen bench and stopping in front of me. He is using his height to intimidate me.

“I do live here, we agreed on that last night. Week days here, and weekends at my place wherever practical. As for owning you, you’re still wearing my collar, sweetheart.” My hand flies to my throat. Oh shit, he can’t truly believe this can he? “Now, be a good girl and finish making the tea. I am going to take Zeus out for a walk, he’s been cooped up in this apartment all evening.” Shit, Zeus is here? Elliot gives a short, sharp whistle and Zeus rises from behind the couch. He looks so huge in this small space that it almost makes me laugh.

Elliot places the lead on Zeus, puts his jacket back on and grabs his keys heading to the door. As he opens it he pauses and looks back at me.

“I want you showered and ready for bed by the time I get back, Kate. Tonight you are going to sleep and tomorrow we are going back to the Ob/Gyn for your check up before you start work in the morning. I’ll be back in twenty minutes. Don’t cross me on this Kate.”

The door shuts behind him and I am sure that my mouth is hanging open. Where the hell did dominant Elliot come from and why the hell does he think he can just move in here and tell me what to do? Because you need that right now, Kate, or you will never recover from this. I wish that voice in my head would shut up as I stomp down to the hall to my bedroom.

Within twenty minutes I have showered, put on my pink pjs and have finished making the tea. Elliot comes in with Zeus, who looks much happier for his walk. Elliot stands at the table and studies me. He is still angry at me but he is being careful. I pick up the cups and walk out of the kitchen to hand him his tea.

Placing my cup down on the table I turn back to him and help him to take his jacket off. The look on his face is priceless as I take his hand and lead him over to the couch, snuggling against him with my tea in my hand.

“Would, Sir, like me to take his shoes off? Rub his feet?” Now the smirk is on my face. Taunting him probably isn’t smart but I still have enough of a buzz not to care.

“Don’t mock me woman. If you do, I will take you over my knee so fast you won’t know who smacked that pert little ass.” He pulls me closer against him as he takes a mouthful of his drink. “I love you, Katie.”

“I know. I’m sorry about the guy in the bar. I guess old habits die hard when I have too much to drink.”

“Yeah, well just don’t lead him on. And if you want another guy in this relationship then can we at least talk about it first?” My eyes shoot to his.

“Are you serious?” He shrugs.

“It wouldn’t be the first time for me and it certainly isn’t the first time this has come up for us. If it is something that you want then I am open to discussion but we make the decision together, not as a result of some drunken bender when you’re feeling emotionally fragile.”

Holy, fuck! “Elliot, I…tonight wasn’t about that at all. I just needed to blow off some steam and I guess the flirting is what I know.”

“Yeah, well that poor guy really thought he was going to get to take you home. You’re a tease, Kate. I love it about you, I love watching guys lusting after you, but can you please do it when I am there? It worries me that some idiot will get the wrong message and take advantage of you.”

“So you loved watching Jack and Linc pawing me?”

“No. That would be an exception. I was fucking terrified when I saw them touching you. But that was different.” We are both silent for a moment and I am regretting let those two pigs into our conversation or our thoughts tonight.

“You know we haven’t heard anything from either of them for over a week now. Do you think that Jack has backed down?”

“I don’t think we could be that lucky. No, I would say that this just might be the calm before the storm, babe. I don’t want to think about them tonight. Come on, let’s get you to bed.”

The next morning Elliot accompanies me to the doctor appointment where I am given a clean bill of health.

“Kate, how are you sleeping?” Dr Greene is very professional but right now is showing a level of compassion and insight that I almost can’t cope with. I know where she is heading with this but I am loathe to admit how bad things are. Even with Elliot sleeping next to me I am not getting more than two or three hours of sleep each night.

“I guess you already know the answer to that.” I am being untypically evasive.

“You know there is no shame in talking about any of this Kate. You are allowed to have these feelings. No one expects you to just get over this.” Her words bring on the tears and I don’t want to cry. There just aren’t enough tears in the world to make any of this better.

“Okay, I’m not sleeping, therefore I am barely functioning during the day,” I state angrily. “Is that what you wanted to hear?”

“Not really. But it is a start. I can give you something to help you to sleep, to help you to cope.”

“No, I don’t want to take anything that flattens me out emotionally. It frightens me to feel numb.” Numb has been my best friend this past week and I am kind of over its company. Elliot takes my hand and gives it a squeeze.

“Alright. How about I just give you the sleeping pills and a prescription for anti-depressants that you can either fill or not?”

I look at Elliot. “Fine. That would be…fine.”

“You know that there is every chance that what happened this time around won’t happen again. If you wanted to try again in a few months, we could monitor you closely from the beginning.”

“I don’t want to try again.” The words are out of my mouth so fast I almost trip over them. And what frightens me about saying this out loud is that I think it is true. Elliot tenses up beside me but I don’t want to try again, I don’t want to go through that hell. I don’t ever want to feel like this again. And if I don’t want to have children what does that mean for me and Elliot? Now I can’t look at him so I focus on Dr Greene who gives Elliot an anxious glance.

“It is not uncommon to feel like this, Kate. You might change your mind in a few months time. When you do I want you to come back and see me so that we can make sure that we are giving you and your baby the best possible chance.”

As we walk back to the car, I can feel the weight of my words hanging between us. We stop at the car and Elliot pauses his hand on the door, he studies the door handle then after a while he looks at me.

“Do you really feel like that? You don’t want to try for another baby?” Oh fuck. I don’t want to talk about this right now.

“I don’t know…no, I don’t think I could take going through this again.” I whisper as a silent tear steals its way down my cheek. I wipe it away with a clenched fist and I can’t look at him. I don’t want to see that disappointment in his eyes. After a while he simply nods and then opens the door for me. Oh crap.

He doesn’t say anything all the way to my office. Even when I get out of the truck all he does is tell me that he will pick me up from work later. I know that my words have hurt him and I feel guilty but I can’t help how I am feeling right now. I want to give him some hope, but it doesn’t seem fair. Instead I turn my back on him and walk through the revolving doors of the Kavanagh Media office tower.

When I get to my desk I immediately call up Carrick’s office to confirm the arrangements I have already made to meet him for lunch. Elliot knows nothing about this which is just the way I want it for now. At 1pm I make my way to the restaurant where Carrick is waiting for me. He has already ordered wine and he pours me a glass as I take out the manila folder from my bag.

“Well, Kate, this is all very cloak and dagger but I have come to expect no less from you. I take it that folder is the reason you and I are meeting on our own?” I am a little bit taken aback by this almost confrontational approach from him. I guess after all these years he has been waiting for someone to connect the dots on this. I just wish that revealing this wasn’t going to hurt so many people. Without saying anything I slide the folder across the table to him. He flips it open and reads the few documents before closing it.

“What are you going to do with this, Kate?”

“Nothing, Carrick. I don’t think it is my place.” I am trying for a calm I don’t feel. Not even the wine is helping here.

“Can I suggest that we order some food and then I will tell you whatever you want to know.”

9 thoughts on “Chapter 20: Can’t Cry Hard Enough

  1. kaz says:

    That was a hard, necessary, and totally exceptional read !! All Kate’s feelings, so true , so real, so needed. But she will get there.. Just pray she gets with Elliot .. So feel for him.
    Chapter made me cry too, so emotional for the reader. Excellent yet again Sasha…
    On a lighter note. Do not like where my head is going, re: Carrick and that info. God I hope he hasn’t been near the dreaded Elena in the past as well as his sons??!! And God, so hope he hasn’t lied to Grace.. Cannot wait for next chapter, not too long please ! x

    Like

    • Thanks for the feedback. I love that you have had such an emotional response to Kate’s journey. I have to say, these have been the hardest chapters to write because I found myself getting choked up thinking about what she would be going through. On a lighter note – I love the way your mind works. Every possibility I have thought through for the link with Carrick and Elena has offered challenges but this one is by far my favorite. I only worry about what it could possibly do to Grace.

      Like

  2. 1klkelly says:

    You put a lot of feeling in this chapter. I think Carrick and Elena have a whopper of a secret(s)!

    Like

  3. Phil Gayle_For Singles and Couples says:

    Hi Sasha,
    Hope all is well.
    I like the song choice, you are a very talented writer. 🙂

    Like

  4. Lizzy Lyon says:

    I’m pretty sure that Carrick is Mia’s bio father. Elena could possibly be her bio mom

    Like

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