Status: All finished! :)

One More Night

Chapter 21

It didn’t take long for Bree to fall asleep in his arms, but somehow, as exhausted as Marc was, sleep eluded him. Before he’d felt that little bump that had been his baby – another mind-blowing thought now that he could see her and feel her stomach – he’d been hardly able to keep his eyes open. Now, however, it was like they would never shut again. Being able to see Bree in person for the first time in months, put his hand on her rounded stomach, feel his child kick against his hand, Marc didn’t want to have to miss another moment. Not of Bree’s life, not of his baby’s… he’d missed so much already, and if there was any slight possibility of Bree wanting him back, slim as it was, he needed to take it.

So Marc sat there with Bree in his arms while she snoozed, breathing softly against his chest with his hand on her stomach. The quiet calm that surrounded them seemed foreign; Marc’s life had been a storm of emotions and problems since the fight with Robyn that had torn his whole life apart. It gave him a bit of hope that he could rebuild it, like this, with Bree, and have what he’d been craving from day one. Marc had always wanted normal; the stereotypical suburbia paradise. A wife, kids, dog, white picket fence… and while he knew pursuing hockey would mess with that he’d never had any idea just how badly. That he’d be gone so much, that when he had kids he’d miss out on a lot of their lives, the lack of privacy, the gossip… but deep down he still had that original dream sitting there, waiting to remind him that things weren’t working the way he’d always hoped. Bree was like a little ray of hope that he could have the closest possible thing to that dream, even if he’d screwed it all up getting there.
It was over an hour later when Bree woke up, appearing thoroughly embarrassed that she’d fallen asleep on him. Marc had immediately shrugged it off, because he really didn’t mind. He’d missed just being around her, because they’d never absolutely had to say anything.

“Okay, you feeling better?” she asked as she brought him a cup of coffee. She was having tea – it was better for the baby – and Marc thanked her before nodding.

“Yeah, thanks,”

“You’re welcome. Now, tell me all of this – from the start,” she instructed, catching Marc off guard.

“You’re sure?”

“Yes I’m sure Marc; I’m having your goddamn baby after all,” she growled at him, reminding him that with her hormones in their current state he was much better off to just do as she asked.

“Well… Robyn and I met five years ago. Things just kind of went along; I mean, I figured I’d fallen in love with her. We were together for two and a half years when I proposed, and then we got married. Things were all right, but I mean, to look back at it now it was nothing like I’d hoped it would be,” he felt terrible admitting it because even after all that had gone on Marc didn’t like tearing away at his and Robyn’s relationship - not the parts he’d conceived to be ‘good’. “Then there was the lockout that season. We spent tons of time together for the first half, almost getting on each other’s nerves, and then with the crazy schedule suddenly we didn’t see each other. It was like I hardly knew her; and we just started to really drift apart. I tried to schedule time for dates or going to movies or stuff like that, figuring that it would help for us just to see each other and get to talk, but it didn’t seem to matter.

Then we came back to Thunder Bay for the summer. Things just slowly got worse from there; it was like she went out of her way to avoid me. We didn’t talk; she’d just leave, not tell me where she was going. I didn’t know if or when she was coming back, and then Jared hauled me out to the bar with our two other brothers… and then I met you. And to be honest, I really had no intention of anything else aside from asking you to dance, talking with you a little bit… but then we went back to your place and… and for the first time in a really long time I felt important. I felt like what I said mattered to you, like my thoughts had some sort of importance; and when you listened to what I said and kept focused it felt like I was good enough. Like at least for that moment, I was all you needed. You have no idea what it’s like to be me and feel that way Bree… it was… I don’t even know how to explain it to you.”

Marc could see the internal struggle that Bree was having. He understood; she probably thought he was some jackass playboy hockey player who thought he was too good for everything else, marriage included. Who figured he should get his way just because he was making millions of dollars a year. But seeing her so close to breaking down just solidified how badly he’d hurt her.

“And that morning when I woke up I panicked. I wasn’t sure whether I should sneak out or just cuddle back up and stay there; and to be honest? I liked where I was. Not just because you were beautiful, but because you were smart, and thoughtful, and kind… and I realized I wanted to be there with you more than I wanted to be at home. Every time you smiled it was like all of my other thoughts just disappeared and all I could think about was you. Then when I called Jared to come and get me I figured that would be it; a one time, drunken, isolated incident and nobody would have to know. Terrible, I know, but it’s not like I didn’t know I was married.

I tried, but I couldn’t get you out of my head. When I ran into you in town as soon as I realized it was you I felt… better. Happier. I started making excuses to go into town hoping I would run into you.”
The slight, soft chuckle that they shared told Marc that the memories were just as fond to her as they were for him, which was another flicker of hope that he’d have a chance. He wasn’t stupid about how he’d hurt her, but he wanted to be involved in her life, especially when his child was part of that. Pregnancy looked good on her, he noticed, as his gaze swept over her once more. Her eyes were bright, her hair shiny and looking incredible even just tossed into a ponytail, and she all but glowed.

“And you kind of know how that went. Robyn didn’t have anything to do with me, and most of the time we weren’t even together at night. It was like we each led two different lives. That was why I broke it off before I moved Bree; I couldn’t keep leading you on, not when I actually had feelings for you. It scared me. It scared the shit out of me because if I’d had the choice to pick between you and Robyn I knew I would’ve chosen you in a heartbeat. It made me sick to know that I had the most perfect woman in the world in my arms and that she’d never be mine. Not when I was such an awful, lying douchebag. And I wouldn’t have blamed you. But I couldn’t stand the thought of you truly hating me so I wimped out and didn’t tell you the truth. So I left. I decided that I’d do everything I could to try and work out my marriage, but Robyn gave me the cold shoulder at every turn. If anything things got worse. And every day all I could think about was what life would be like if it was you with me instead.

‘And then… I got home from practice kind of early one day. I was exhausted, so I wanted to crawl into bed and have a nap. And I caught them.”

Her eyes widened, her jaw dropping ever so slightly. Marc had worked very hard to keep this entire situation pretty hushed - especially around his hometown – so she’d probably had no idea. She only knew her side of the story, which was Marc cheating on his wife with her.

“They’d been together since the lock out. She’d been screwing around on me for almost a year and I hadn’t had a clue the entire time. Then she tried to turn it all around on me when I came clean about being with you. It felt incredible to be honest about it, but I never told her your name. I didn’t want her trying to screw up your life Bree – this was months ago – and I’ve been struggling through trying to get the divorce settled since. Then your brother showed up at Dan’s – the friend’s place I’m staying at – and after punching me in the face told me about the baby. And, um, now I’m here,” he finished, sitting perfectly still as he tried to gauge Bree’s reaction.


“Just… You should leave Marc. I need some time to digest all this… I’ve spent all this time since I found out you were married trying to convince myself you were some egotistical asshole and now… now you have to go tell me you’ve been thinking about me? That I’ve been on your mind since you left, and that you would’ve chosen me over your wife? I have a lot of thinking to do here,” she quietly asked. Marc nodded, understanding. He’d expected her to freak out on him, not to be so calm and quiet about the whole thing, so he wasn’t sure what to do.

“Of course Bree… um, do you still have my number?” he asked. She nodded minutely, and he reciprocated the gesture before standing up.

“Give me a call when you’re ready, okay? Um… I have to go back on Friday – that or they’re going to look at sending me down or benching me for an extended period of time, but I mean, if that’s not enough time I can come back again,” he offered, hoping that he wasn’t being too pushy about it. He didn’t want to rush her or make her feel like he’d backed her into a corner, but he wanted to know that she would in fact contact him so they could talk again. There was a lot to work out.

“Yeah… I’ll call you,” she agreed, and he pulled her in for a gentle, quick hug before backing away.

“Sounds good. Goodbye, Bree”

“Goodbye Marc,” he hardly caught her whisper as he shut the door behind himself.
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