at them, her lips—pouty, soft from what I could tell.
“I envy the quiet childhood you must’ve had,” I replied, trying to keep myself distracted. “My sisters were, and still are, the loudest human beings on the planet.”
“Do you get to see them a lot?” Brynn asked through a smile. “They live here in Houston?”
“See ‘em every Sunday,” I answered. “My mother makes a big dinner every week and insists we all show up. In fact, that’s where I’ll be headed when I leave here. It’s my turn to help her cook so I’m going early. Usually takes a while.”
A mass of dark hair shifted and fell away from her shoulder when Brynn tilted her head to the side. I clocked her every move. “You don’t cook,” she teased, narrowing her eyes a bit.
Pretending to be offended, I looked her up and down. “Nah, don’t get it twisted. I know my way around a kitchen.”
She laughed again, flashing white teeth that had to have cost her parents a fortune when she was a kid.
“Well, that’s nice that you all get together regularly. My brother and I used to meet for dinner once a month before he moved to Atlanta. We talk all the time, though.” She pushed her hair behind her ears. “We’ve always been pretty close. Our parents adopted us late in life, so they made sure Cedric and I knew we would be all the other had one day.”
I glanced up, wondering if being adopted had been a positive or negative experience for her, until she went on, adding, “I couldn’t have been taken in by more amazing people.”
“They passed away?” I asked, picking up on the clues.
Brynn nodded with distant emotion in her eyes, leading me to believe it’d been a while. “Yeah, years ago—both while I was in college.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” I replied. “I’m sure you miss them.”
“Every day,” she said with a faint smile. “They were pretty far up in age when it happened—both in their early eighties—so they lived a full, happy life.”
She seemed to hold high regards for her folks. Family was everything to me, too, so this was something else the two of us had in common.
I downed the last of my juice and set the glass aside, finding Brynn’s eyes fixed on me when I did. She didn’t say anything, quickly averting her stare, but not before I caught her. I didn’t read anything into it, but if I had to guess, she was just as surprised as I was that we were actually getting along. Considering the odds we had stacked against us, this was definitely progress.
The whole reason I came by was to discuss our situation, so I asked the question that hit me almost first thing this morning, before I even made it out of bed: “Do you plan on finding out the sex of the baby?”
She brought her warm, brown eyes back and her shoulders lifted into the air with a shrug. “I hadn’t even thought that far ahead,” she said with a soft laugh. Her gaze drifted down to her fingers as she spread them flat across the countertop. “To be honest, I’ve just been taking this whole thing one day at a time.” The laugh faded to a dim smile. “I know most women are excited and counting down the days, but it’s been… different for me. Different for us, ” she clarified, still looking away.
Her admission, and the look on her face when she said the words, was sobering to me. No, this pregnancy wasn’t planned, but did that have to mean a dark cloud would hang over our heads the whole time? Did either one of us have to keep feeling like this?
My mother used to say something so simple to me when I was a kid. Back then the saying did nothing but piss me off every time I’d hear it, but that was because it was so basic, something I should have thought of myself. She’d say, ‘If you’re tired of being unhappy, then be happy’ . To her, it was all about your mindset. If you wanted things to change, wanted them to be better, then just change your perspective. Maybe that’s what Brynn and I needed to do—change our
To Tame a Warrior's Heart