My Happy Ending – Chapter 17

Over the next little while, Nick and Ashleigh kept themselves busy with baby-proofing their house, painting the nursery (or rather, Nick painting the nursery) and just plain enjoying their time together.

Ashleigh found herself quite enjoying the Florida summer, and while she regretted not being in Minneapolis with her friends, she was glad that she was with Nick. Since they’d had their argument back in the spring, things only seemed to be getting better between the two of them. Where Ashleigh had held many doubts earlier in the year, she was feeling much better about the two of them, thinking that they had been able to stay together even when things got difficult.

Nick found that he was rather enjoying himself as well. As much as he pretended to complain about having to set up furniture, he really did like taking on the role. Though he’d had trouble with his own family, he felt nothing but optimistic about the life he, Ashleigh and their child were going to have.

He’d tossed around the idea of bringing up the marriage subject with Ashleigh again, but he’d quickly dismissed it. He didn’t want to risk her getting upset over the idea, and he figured he’d be better off waiting until she brought it up… if she ever did. It was strange, Nick had never thought of himself as wanting to be married or having children, but with Ashleigh it all seemed to be coming naturally. He only hoped that she would change her mind eventually, after all, it made sense, didn’t it?

Ashleigh’s mom had managed to get some time off work, and had spent a little over a week with them in late July for Ashleigh’s birthday. As Nick had expected, she’d been amazed by the size of their house and had thoroughly enjoyed her visit. She’d warmed up to Nick quite a bit, and Nick suspected it was because he was being so good to Ashleigh with regards to their whole pregnancy situation. He’d heard the whole story from Ashleigh soon after they’d gotten together about how her mom had been fairly young when she was born, and how her dad had wanted nothing to do with the two of them. So, Nick could understand Ashleigh’s mom’s happiness with him.

While Ashleigh had spent the week with her mom, she’d wondered a little if she was ever going to meet Nick’s parents. She knew he didn’t exactly get along with them very well, but she was sure that they knew about their situation. Especially since they seemed to be the paparazzi’s favourite people to chase as of late.

She knew that Nick didn’t talk to his mother at all, and that he and his dad just didn’t keep in touch. She’d met all of his siblings at his birthday party, and Aaron had stopped by for a visit in July as well. She figured it was a touchy subject and didn’t bother bringing it up with Nick.

As the summer drew to a close, Ashleigh and Nick were impatiently awaiting the arrival of their child. Everything was set up and ready, and now all they had to do was play the waiting game.

Nick awoke late that September morning. It was raining outside, which wasn’t uncommon for Tampa at this time of year. He walked down the stairs, and saw Ashleigh sitting at the kitchen table, staring at a mug of ginger tea.

“Something’s wrong.” She said, as he sat down beside her.

“What?” Nick asked, half because he wasn’t sure what she was talking about, and half because he was still not completely awake.

Ashleigh sighed, and nervously rested her hands on her legs. “Something is really wrong.” She repeated herself. “He hasn’t kicked at all, Nick! He always, always kicks in the morning!” She said, getting frantic.

Nick watched as Ashleigh was obviously working herself up. “Hey… it’s okay.” He said reassuringly, rubbing her shoulders a little. “There’s probably just no room in there. And we’re having a ‘he’ now?”

Ashleigh shrugged. “Or she.” She said, her voice still filled with worry. “Are you sure?” She asked.

“Of course.” Nick replied with confidence. “You’re due in what…like two weeks? I bet you it’s getting kind of cramped in there.”

Ashleigh sighed. “You’re probably right. How do you know so much?”

Nick shrugged, and kissed her lightly before getting up to rummage through the fridge. “I was the oldest of five kids. You learn a few things.” He said, pulling out a carton of eggs. “Eggs?”

Ashleigh shook her head. She wasn’t hungry at all. “No thanks.”

Nick frowned. “You should eat something.”

She forced a smile, Nick really was being wonderful to her throughout this entire ordeal. “I’ll have something a little later.” She replied. “I think I’m going to go back to bed for a while.” She said, getting up and walking back to the bedroom.

Nick just watched as Ashleigh left the kitchen. He sighed to himself, he hadn’t seen Ashleigh that miserable in quite a while. Though he thought it was nothing, he really didn’t know as much about pregnancy as he’d led on to her. Glancing over at the phone, he thought it might be a good idea to call and ask someone, just to be on the safe side.

He couldn’t call his own mother, that would be a drama in itself. He could call Ashleigh’s mom though.

“Cathy?” He said, once she answered the phone. “Hey, it’s Nick.”

“Nick!” She exclaimed, obviously happy to hear from him. “How are you? Did Ashleigh go into labour?” She asked excitedly.

Nick laughed a little. “No, no. Not yet. I just called to ask you a question, if that’s okay.”

“Sure, whatever you need.”

Nick sighed. “Ashleigh was kind of worried this morning…she said that the baby wasn’t kicking at all… I told her not to worry about it… should we be worrying about it though?” He asked, cringing. He never did have a way with words.

She paused, thinking about it for a moment. “Well, you should probably take her to get it checked out. I don’t think it’s a big deal though, I imagine it’s probably becoming a little bit of a tight fit.” She laughed.

“Yeah, that’s what I said.” Nick agreed. “Okay, I’ll take her in, just in case. Thanks Cathy.”

“You’re welcome Nick, good luck.”

After hanging up the phone, Nick quickly ascended up the stairs to his and Ashleigh’s bedroom. After shaking her awake, he quickly convinced her to get dressed and go down to the doctor’s office. Not that she needed much convincing, she was just as eager to make sure everything was okay as Nick was.

“So, what do you want to do for our anniversary?” Nick asked her, trying to ease both their minds as he drove down the highway.

“What?” Ashleigh asked, she hadn’t been paying attention at all.

“Monday. The sixth. Two years?” He said, trying to remind her.

Ashleigh grinned a little. In all her nervousness and excitement, she’d nearly forgotten about that. “I don’t know. Don’t you have something extravagant planned?” She joked.

Nick chuckled. “I’ve been a little busy.” He said. “We could go out on the boat?” He suggested, and Ashleigh shrugged.

“I don’t know about that.” She said. “Why don’t we go for sushi? Remember when we did that?”

Nick nodded. He remembered that all too well. “I still don’t know how to use chopsticks.”

Ashleigh giggled. “You’ll have to learn eventually, Nickers.”

Nick rolled his eyes. “I won’t have to learn eventually.” He said, as he leaned in to kiss her once he had parked the car. “And don’t call me Nickers.”

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