“If somebody is gracious enough to give me a second chance, I won’t need a third.”– Pete Rose
Willow Creek DiLaurentis/Beauchamp Estate
The moment he spotted her he accelerated his pace, speedily minimizing the distance between them as he hurried around the small pond, she looked up, then quickly averted her glance again until Lucas stopped in front of her.
“Hey … you are a tough woman to find these days …” he offered quietly, noticeable relief sounding in his voice.
“Should have clued you in that maybe I don’t want to be found. Speaking of, how did you find me? Cos you weren’t supposed to.” Coralie told him dryly.
“Yeah, I got that message loud and clear, but I can be a determined sunnovabitch when I want to be. Turns out when you get to a point where you have no pride left and just whine and beg anyone for help, cos you were a dumbass. I was a dumbass in a big way, but I guess you already figured that.”
“Couldn’t help noticing.” she told him plainly.
“Well, luck would have it that my brother Oliver’s wife Angelina is actually the niece of your brand-new sister-in-law Sandrine and when I sat there pouring my heart out to Olli she mentioned that you were currently visiting with her aunt and new husband at Sandrine’s mansion. Like I said, I have zero pride left, so I got in the car right away, drove out here, it’s not exactly around the corner, but a lot closer than San Myshuno and well … here I am. Spoiler alert: met your brother Thierry, he’s the one who let me in, but I guess you missed telling him I was the baby daddy. Ruined that surprise for you. Nice guy, your brother, by the way. I think if roles were reversed and he’d have come banging on our door looking for my little sister Christina after knocking her up and treating her the way I did you, I’d have knocked him around some. Maybe more learning curve for me, ‘How to be a better person 101’.”
“Thierry isn’t the violent type and I am a grown woman. Not his place to ‘knock my baby daddy around’ and I didn’t tell anyone because none of my family knows you anyway, so what’s the point? I told them I had some casual romance with a guy I met on a plane, which was the truth. Lucas, what do you want?” she asked.
“Well, considering that I am eventually going to be his niece or nephew’s father, Thierry should probably at least know my name and face. And I came here to see you, obviously. Talk to you again. Apologize. Again. I really am sorry for how I reacted. I was out of line, but maybe it’s understandable, knowing my story?” Lucas explained.
“It is understandable and I don’t hold it against you that you were shocked. I do hold against you that you implied you may not be the father. Like it or not, but you are. There were no other men. Just you. I am not a whore, Lucas, and what happened is BOTH our fault, not just mine. I didn’t want this either, it clearly was an accident.”
“I know … I know all that. What I don’t know is what to offer you here. I don’t have that much money, I can’t offer you a worry-free life, but you could probably move in with my parents, my daughter and me until we can figure something out.”
“Move in? Umm … thanks, but that will be a hard pass. No offense, your parents and your little girl are great far as I can tell, but … just no. You and I are barely more than strangers, if you really think about it. I am not moving in with a family of quasi-strangers, no matter how nice you all seem. Just not gonna happen.” Coralie told him, shaking her head several times while talking.
“I know. But once the baby is born, your apartment is just too small. Babies, small as they are, need a lot of shit. Expensive crap too. I need to raid our attic to see if I have anything left from when Leonie …”
“Lucas .. again, thanks, but no thanks. I’ll figure it out. Like you said, when you have no pride left and are no longer above begging, turns out the wealthy woman your brother married comes in handy too. Sandrine offered to help, financially. I wanted to decline, but reality shows I don’t have that luxury at the moment. So, I thanked her, and we agreed it would be a loan, interest free.”
“I’ll help you pay it back.” Lucas promised.
“You don’t even know what it’s for.”
“I assume the baby. Sorry, but I drove all night and really need some coffee now, and you shouldn’t have any in your condition anyway, so … yeah.” Lucas said, while taking the cup of steaming coffee filling the air with an enticing aroma from Coralie’s hands as if it were the most natural thing in the world, suggesting an intimacy between them of a long-term couple when in reality they were little more than well-acquainted strangers.
“Sure, enjoy the coffee. You’re right, I shouldn’t be drinking that, still trying to adjust to my new situation myself. Yes, obviously the money would be for the baby, and for me to move to a larger place. Eventually, not right away. Or actually, I am not even sure it matters when I move anymore. I did some research. Most first-time moms don’t start showing to the point that you can’t hide the bump until about month 6 or so, especially if I were to watch my diet too. That means I should have been able to complete out filming this season of the show without breaking the contract and nobody would be the wiser. After filming is complete, I thought I’d go tell them and they can either not extend my contract and kill my character off the TV show or maybe my character gets pregnant too, or whatever producers and writers usually do in such instances.” Coralie explained, ending with a deep sigh.
“Sounds like a great plan, why do I feel like there is a ‘but‘?” Lucas wondered.
“Because there is a ‘but‘. That was my plan, I am almost certain I could have made that work, but …”
“It’s twins, Lucas. I haven’t got a prayer trying to hide that for too long, let alone 6 months. I am lucky if I still fit into any of my clothes by month 3 or 4.”
“TWINS!? Did you just say twins? As in TWO babies?” Lucas coughed up the sip of coffee he had been drinking, staring at Coralie from widened eyes.
“Yeah. Do those run in your family? I asked Thierry and he said nobody in our family, dead or alive, ever had twins that he knows of.”
“Umm … well … my das was basically an orphan, his grandma raised him, but died when he was still kinda young, so he doesn’t know much about his side, but my grandpa Jamie on my mom’s side had an identical twin brother, Jordan. And my mom’s sister, Aunt Abby, actually had two sets of multiples, triplets and then twins … they are all grown-up about my age or a little older, and one of them was pregnant with triplets a couple years ago, but lost them in womb, so .. yeah, I guess those run in my family.” Lucas recapped.
“Well, thanks for that genepool. As if one baby wasn’t enough already …”
“Twins? And the doctor is absolutely sure?” Lucas was still trying to digest the news.
“Yup. I am still early on, just a few weeks along, I am not even out of what the doc called the danger zone yet. Especially with multiples the risk of complications in the early stages is high. Meaning, I could lose one or both of them. Just because I didn’t have enough drama and anxiety already. So this is not only scary as heck, but also very confusing and I don’t know how I feel about any of this on a good day.” Coralie told him.
“Oh man. Here I was feeling some way about twins and then you lay that on me. Now I am hoping they’ll be okay. Confused is putting it mildly.” Lucas admitted.
“Welcome to my club. I never wanted kids, I think. I don’t know. Lucas, I never even thought really hard about how I feel about being a mother. Mine died when I was young, I have no role-model to copy, I am gonna have to wing this entire thing. And now, unless terrible unspeakable things happen, I will have not only one, but two kids with a man whom I know hardly anything about and who already has a child? No offense, I don’t mean to reduce you to just that, but ultimately, that’s what we’re looking at here. Not to mention you and I met on a plane, live on opposite sides of the world, hung out a few times and clearly enjoyed that, but we’re barely more than strangers. I don’t even know your birthday, nor you mine. Not exactly every girl’s dreams come true. Definitely not my dream.” Coralie ranted.
“No offense taken, and I was actually thinking the very same things, and that my parents will kill me. Yes, I am a grown man, supposedly, but my daughter and I living with them gives them every right to my business. Including this mess. They already almost took me out when I fessed up to how I treated you at the park when you told me about the pregnancy. My mom’s usually sweet as pie, and my dad patience personified, but those two went off on me. ‘This is NOT how we raised you!’ blah blah ‘Have you not learned anything from the last time?!’ blah blah. Jeeze, as if I didn’t know how messed up this situation already was. If they hear about twins now … man … I swear I won’t be able to sit on my ass for days after the kicking they will give it. Verbally, and probably physically too.” Lucas briefly chuckled unamused.
“Good. I am not a violent person, but you seriously lost credibility with me when we met at the park and when you came talk to me at my apartment and said the same damn shit again when we fought. I wanted to punch you out myself for being so smug and self-righteous. Not even joking. As if I wanted or needed a baby any more than you do. Let alone two.”
“Yeah, I realized that. My sister literally slapped me, her handprint was on my face for 30 minutes after still and my brother kicked my ass. Like, literally shoe to butt cheek. So, my family would agree with you. And I do too, in retrospect, which is why I am here now. Look, I don’t know what to do. I really do not have the foggiest idea how to deal with this. Yes, when you sleep with someone there is a risk you assume, blah blah blah, we all know that, but when it actually happens, THAT is when you realize what it REALLY means. I am sorry, Coralie. I can do better. I am sorry I hurt you. I really genuinely am, and I like you, a lot, I missed you, and I really want to get to know you better before and after the babies are born, I want to be a part of their lives and yours, but … don’t take this the wrong way, I don’t want to marry you.”
“Makes two of us. I don’t want to marry you either, Lucas. From what I heard, that didn’t work out for you and Leonie’s mom. And the last thing I need on my pile of unwanted surprises is pulling myself a husband out of thin air like a rabbit from a magician’s hat. Again, no offense, but that isn’t gonna happen. I am totally with you on the getting to know each other better part though. There is still a lot we never talked about, seemed silly, considering we were just lightly dating or whatever you want to call this. Probably something along the lines of “Acquaintances with benefits”. I still have no idea how that even happened, the pregnancy, we both used protection. Guess this would be that 1 % failure rate then. We became a statistic now. I always wanted to be part of the 1-percenters, but I meant that a totally different way.” Coralie said, nodding.
With a sigh, Lucas sat the now empty coffee mug on the ground and squeezed in next to Coralie, who let him. Feeling his body so close felt good to her. As did him wrapping his arm around her shoulders.
“Look Cora, I fucked up, if you can find it in your heart to forgive me and give me another chance, I am sure we can somehow figure out how to handle this. A baby is a lot of work, I don’t even want to imagine two of them at the same time, but I am sure my parents will help again, my sister too, my brother would if he lived closer. Speaking of, if you are gonna lose your job anyway, how about you at least move closer to me? I’ll help you in any way I can, but I cannot afford to fly to San Myshuno all the time and I definitely cannot move there. Leonie’s in school, I have my job which I need, I just can’t.”
“Yeah, I get that. Plus, San Sequoia is closer to Del Sol Valley. Maybe I’ll move to your town and try my luck in Del Sol Valley, since it’s just a few hours by car. Find some small roles and work my way up from there. San Myshuno seems burned as far as my career is concerned now anyway.”
“Okay, cool. That’s good. I mean, not the burnt career part, of course, but having you closer would definitely be good. I’d like that. A lot. I …. ahem … missed you.”
“I missed you too, Lucas. You are actually a pretty nice guy when not acting like a total douchebag. Cute too, and pretty hot with and sexy without a shirt, which always helps.”
“Yeah, I can be decent too. Look, not an excuse but I was in this very situation before, where I got a girl pregnant, neither one of us prepared or ready, I thought I loved her and she me and it would be enough, so we got married and it was a disaster all the way around. It screwed me up really bad when she left without any warning, and to blow off steam from that pain and anger inside of me I worked out a lot, which had its benefits. My mom always wanted me to see a therapist for it, but I told her I wasn’t a pussy and was over it. Your news at the park and my reaction to it proved I am not. But I can handle this. I’ll be there, right by your side. Whatever you need.”
“Lucas, anyone who ever listened to you talk about Sasha leaving you and your daughter KNOWS it messed with your head and heart. I mean, one look at you, a really good-looking man in his prime, knowing you are 28 years old and single, and have been for .. well .. since Sasha left you is enough to realize something is seriously wrong with this picture. That was actually the second thing that went through my head when I saw two lines on that pregnancy test wand. Right after thinking “oh shit!” I thought about telling you I was pregnant wouldn’t be easy, I knew you’d freak out, knowing your baggage with a similar situation, and if I could have done anything to avoid this, trust me I would have. I actually toyed with the idea to terminate, which is when my siblings kicked my ass like yours did. I don’t blame them. I don’t think I could live with myself.”
“Oh shit! That didn’t even cross my mind. What a rollercoaster. From wishing you weren’t pregnant, to hoping you stay pregnant after learning you could lose them to hearing about an abortion idea and being glad you didn’t. Dayum girl, I think we got every emotion imaginable covered now.”
“Tell me about it.”
“Thank you for not doing … that. You’re right, as complicated as trying to figure this out will be, I don’t think either one of us could live with ourselves knowing … that. I know stuff like that has its place and some need that option, but my family is just too close-knit to make that an option for me. We’ll always find a way.”
“Yeah, same here. Especially since both, my brother and my sister are going to be parents too. So they have all the pre-natal hormones floating around and telling them I was even thinking about that didn’t go over well. Not to mention Sandrine. My sister-in-law is great … unless you upset her. Damn that woman has a temper. But she was very nice to me and so supportive. I can really see why my brother fell for her, despite of everything. Everyone in our small suburb in France calls him Chercheur d’or. Golddigger. Because of how they met, she on her multi-million dollar yacht, super-wealthy, older than him, but Thierry’s not like that. He had a side-job as a service worker, they ended up catering an event for her and when they saw each other, Thierry and Sandrine both swear it was love at first sight. Honestly, my sister Elodie and I didn’t believe it was real at first either. Until we saw them together, and now we’re both sold. And staying with them here, I could see first-hand it’s no show, it’s real. And then Elodie goes and marries a much older man, some cowboy, I kid you not, Stetson and all. Same thing, the two are like teenagers and he’s all charming with ‘Yes Ma’am’ this and ‘Darrrrlin’ that. And then here is me with you. Clearly there is something between us, we put the horse before the carriage with this unplanned pregnancy and now we don’t have a choice than to get to know each other better, but the thought of living together or marriage makes us both break out in hives. There is just no way I even want to entertain that at this time. Our parents would be so proud … not.”
“Yup, great sum-up of our current shit-show. Hey, if you three lived in France, how’s is your English so good? You barely have any accent.”
“We didn’t grow up in France, our parents moved us all to San Myshuno when we were still little because of my dad’s job. But we used to fly back to France to visit family every year. After our parents died we couldn’t afford to travel, still lived in San Myshuno, my brother Thierry barely able to make enough money to keep us housed and fed, then once we all had grown up, after graduating college we started our own lives. We all lived close to each other, until recently Elodie moved to Strangerville when she met her future husband, Thierry moved a lot, but I always stayed in San Myshuno. Thierry was like a leaf in the wind, he just couldn’t find the place where he belonged. Again, lucky for Sandrine, he loves it here in Willow Creek, and not just because of her huge mansion and all the luxury life, but because of her he has a home and he’ll be a father soon too. Willow Creek is not really my cup of tea, but this estate is nice and seeing my brother so happy makes the crunchy hair frizz mess from the humidity worth it to me.” Coralie smiled, Lucas joined in.
“Here’s something you don’t know about me: I was actually born in Henford-on-Bagley, my brother and sister too, but we never developed that accent. Before we were born, mom and dad had gone there for a honeymoon or something and decided they wanted to be farmers. Well, you’ve met them. My parents are NOT farmers. They finally admitted that to themselves when Olli was already a teenager. So, we moved back to my mom’s hometown, Windenburg, but that didn’t really fit, so we moved to dad’s birthplace, Oasis Springs, where my siblings and I eventually graduated high school. By the time I dropped out of college because I was about to be a dad and had to switch to a cheaper community college, we were living in Windenburg again. And then we moved to San Sequoia, where my daughter has basically spent most of her life. Out of all the places, San Sequoia is home to me.”
Coralie got up, Lucas joined her when she pointed towards the home and started walking, Lucas following her.
“Speaking of home, I wanna go home. Come with me and help me grab my things? Won’t take long, I never really unpacked. Just need to say bye to my brother and sister-in-law, and then maybe you can take me to the airport?” Coralie wondered, Lucas shrugged and nodded.
They went inside and upstairs to the guestroom, both quiet, both digesting the news and change of situation again. Sitting on the edge of the guest bed, Lucas watched Coralie pack in only a few moments, then told her.
“Cora, I’ll take you to the airport if that’s what you want, but I have a counter-offer. It’s Friday, I called into work sick last night, so how about you come home with me for the weekend, and we start looking for vacant homes in San Sequoia and just spend some time together getting used to the idea that we’ll be parents this time next year.”
“Maybe we will be parents. Remember, the doctor told me that there is still a chance that …”
“Hush woman! Nothing is gonna happen. You will hatch these two awesome babies and they will be the most beautiful and healthiest, happiest babies the world has ever seen. I am an engineer, logic is my thing and logic dictates that you are a young, strong, healthy woman, so there is no reason you wouldn’t have two healthy, beautiful, amazing babies. The best babies ever.”
“What about your daughter?” Coralie smiled.
“Except for Leonie Anne, of course. She is also the best baby, toddler and kid anyone could ask for. See, I have a great track record with awesome and healthy babies.”
“Yeah. Okay, we can do that. That actually sounds nice, Lucas.”
He took her hand and planted a soft kiss on it, which made Coralie weak in the knees.
Lucas seemed to sense that, so he pulled her into his lap.
“Do we know the genders?” he asked.
“I know nothing, it’s way too early for that, all they can say for sure is that I am definitely pregnant, definitely by you and it’s definitely two.”
“Oh boy, I’ll be a father of three. This is so not how I imagined my life to go at all. When I was 16 I thought I’d be traveling the world, climbing mountains, fighting wild animals in jungles, exploring … just adventures and excitement.” Lucas huffed.
“And when I was 16 I though I would be a world-famous actress, featured on the front pages of all the magazines by now, all the men want me, all the girls want to be like me, while movie producers are beating down my door with offers.” Coralie admitted.
“My God were we stupid as kids.” Lucas said dryly.
“No kidding. Now, I just want … ha … I don’t even really know what I want anymore. I really do not. WOW!” Coralie said.
“I do. I know exactly what I want.” Lucas claimed, then pulled her closer, bringing his mouth up next to her ear, his voice nearly just a breath. “You. I want you in my life. And these babies.”
Coralie hated what this did to her. After his terrible reaction when she told him about the pregnancy, especially him telling her his doubts about paternity, then him showing up at her San Myshuno apartment, which made her feel hopeful again, until it ended in yet another terrible fight, she was guarded and swore he could never get to her again. Yet, here she was in his lap melting into a puddle of goo when he laid his moves on her.
But he smelled so good. And felt so good. And it felt so good to not feel all alone.
“Penny for your thoughts.” he said.
“Trust me. You don’t wanna know.”
“Lemme guess. Ranging from wondering how I could be so nice when I have proven that I can also be a total douchebag, to wondering how big you are going to get carrying two babies and how long it will take you till your body is back to normal, to worrying about what the doctor said. And I think you also remembered that I am – and I quote you – ‘pretty hot with and sexy without a shirt’ and now you remember what I can do to you when that shirt comes off, never had any complaints either. So, how am I doing?” Lucas’ smile and wink told Coralie he was trying to make light of a messed-up situation, so she smiled too.
“You are reaching scary mindreading levels. Are you even human?” Coralie joked.
“As god-like of an Adonis as I might be, it’s actually almost as if I had been through pregnancies before with my ex, and with my sister Chrissie and even a little bit with my sister-in-law. Not my first rodeo. Seen it all, heard it all, wore the t-shirt. And I have answers. I actually can be a real decent guy, for the most part that’s actually my default, partially because I never moved out of my parents’ home and they keep me on the straight and narrow. As for the twins, you will get scary-huge. But it will all go back to normal, eventually, you are a lot like my sister, Christina worked hard on all that and was back to her old fighting form in only a few months, as was my ex-wife Sasha. The doctor needs to take a chill-pill and should have never scared you like that.”
Coralie made a brief ‘aww‘ sound then just kissed Lucas.
“Lucas? Can you say it. Say that you will be there through all this. Promise you won’t abandon me. I am so scared having to do this alone.” Coralie allowed her vulnerable side to show.
“I would never flake on you. I don’t know where you and I will end up with each other romantically, friends or lovers, I honestly won’t even guess, but whatever we end up being to each other, we’ll always be linked as parents to those babies, and I will definitely be by your side for that. I have a great track record with that too, already proved all that with my daughter. You won’t go through this alone, Coralie. Do I need to find a knife so we can blood bond this in?” he smiled at the joke, Coralie smiled too.
“No thanks. I got pricked by enough needles at the doctor. All right, let’s tell Sandrine and Thierry goodbye and then hit the road. I am getting a little excited to go house hunting with you. But Lucas … just to make sure we are on the same page, I am looking for a house for just me and the babies, not you and Leonie. At least for now. Let’s not rush into stuff until we know how you and I even really fit together. And I won’t be able to move until filming has concluded or I’d be in serious breach of contract with the studio. So this is more long term planning at the moment.”
“Yeah, no worries, I am not moving anywhere either. It’ll be hard enough explaining the impending siblings to my daughter and all that strangeness with you and me. First that poor kid has no mother, now her bio-mom Sasha’s back in her life and here now are you. Whether you and I ultimately end up together or not, we will have to figure out how to co-parent, so you will always be her siblings’ mom and part of her life too because of it. Damn, my life is complicated.” Lucas recapped.
2 thoughts on “Chapter 457) Unconventional”
I’m glad they finally had a conversation without getting defensive and let themselves be vulnerable with each other. With twins their will be a lot of ups and downs so they need each other’s support. Lucas really is cute, sweet and caring. And it’s no surprise she was hesitant, but he makes her feel wanted when she’s with him. I hope it doesn’t blow up when he tells his daughter. I doubt it will. She’s used to having an unconventional family and as long as he includes her hopefully she won’t feel threatened and get jealous. ❤️
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These two are a tough sell.
Coralie doesn’t really want to be tied down, but has little choice with not just one, but two babies incoming, and she definitely needs their father to help.
Lucas is gun-shy, even though he realizes Coralie is nothing like his ex, and even his ex has matured and changed her ways now. Somehow, he seems quite into the idea of more kids, even though I am sure he didn’t imagine the next child(ren) to be born into odd circumstances yet again. As for his daughter, she seems quite enamored with Coralie and her tiny baby bump, how she feels about what eventually comes out of that bump remains to be seen.
Fact is, her grandparents have been steering her (and her father) well, so I don’t foresee too big of issues with that, plus ultimately Coralie and Lucas will remain in separate homes, so Leonie isn’t constantly confronted with the babies, once born (Coralie is in her 1st trimester, so it will be a good while).
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