© Kat Morgan 1999/2000
In Name Only
Chapter 33: Another twist
Brian and AJ were all ready half way through breakfast when a haggard Kevin joined them. AJ was about to tease him about his night, but something in his face told him he had better not, so he just asked Kevin how he was. Kevin just grunted and reached for the coffeepot. Nick arrived, sitting beside Brian, and Kevin blatantly ignored him.
It was almost fifteen minutes later that Howie showed up.
"Where’s Kat?" Nick asked him as he sat down, and Kevin looked away angrily.
"She’s gone to New York," Howie replied, ordering some tea for himself. "I just dropped her off at the airport."
"Why?" Brian asked.
Howie shrugged. "Some problem with the book I guess. She came in early this morning and got her stuff."
"I hope she didn’t catch you in the middle of someone," Nick said acidly. He was still angry with Howie for the way he believed he was treating Kat.
Howie frowned at Nick’s sudden attack. "No. She just got her stuff and said she had to go. So I got up and took her to LAX."
"When will she be back?" Kevin croaked, his throat raw from the tears he had shed after leaving her at the diner.
"I don't know. She said she’d call." Howie was confused by the sudden concern. "She’s fine. Just worried about the book."
AJ could sense that there was much more going on underneath the surface, but wisely close not to explore it then. "I’m sure its fine, and she’ll be back soon."
Kat didn’t return.
She made excuses not to rejoin the tour and then arranged to go on a book signing and promotional tour out of the country. This extended her absence for almost a month after the others had returned from the tour. Howie was more than a little concerned by now. She hadn’t talked to him very much while she was away, and now on her return, she closeted herself in the study, working on another project. She vehemently refused to see anyone, even spending little time with him. He knew that part of his anxiety was due to the final end to his relationship with Paul, but it was like she was suddenly unavailable to him.
Kat couldn’t give him the support he needed, suffering as she was from heartbreak over the end of her affair with Kevin. She had tried numerous times to call him, to tell him that she had lied about Nick, but always hung up the phone before it connected. He’d been with Mindy, so he must be uninterested in her. If only it was over for Kat. She still thought about him every second, cried herself to sleep, his name on her lips. She still loved him desperately, but couldn’t handle the thought of seeing him, especially seeing him with someone else. She just stayed in her room and suffered.
Howie walked into the living room and turned on the lights.
"Jesus! You scared me! What are you doing sitting there in the dark?"
"Howie, we need to talk."
"I don't like the sound of this."
She sighed, leaning forward so that her head was resting on her hands. "I had an affair."
Howie was surprised at the surge of jealousy he felt. He knew he had no right; he had told her that if he was going to continue his life, seeing his lovers, that she should explore other opportunities if she wanted to. But either she had been exceedingly discreet or this was her first one. And he hated it. Hated that knowledge that he had to share her with some other man. Even if he couldn't love her the way a husband should, he still loved her.
"Its okay," he said lightly, trying to control his response. "I have them all the time."
"Ha ha," she said tonelessly. "This is different."
Howie sat down on the sofa; a fall actually. He was stunned. "My god."
"I want a divorce."
"What are you talking about?"
"Howie, I am pregnant with another man's child. I am not going to get rid of it. I am having this child, and I can't ask you to raise another man's child."
She exploded out of her chair, "because it is not fair to you, that's why." She walked to the window and stared out at the moonlit waves on the pool.
"Does he know?" He didn’t ask who he’d been. He wanted to, Lord how he wanted to, but he didn’t ask.
Kat stood silent. "No."
"Do you plan on tell him?"
"No. I want a divorce, and I want to leave here. Go somewhere else and deal with this on my own."
"Please, don't." He rose and put his arms around her, hugging her close to him. "I want to raise this child. I want to raise YOUR child."
Kat was weeping quietly. "No, Howie. I can't do that."
He turned her to face him. "I want children. I've always wanted children. But I am gay and the only way I could get one is through adoption. This is better. I love you. You know that. And any child of yours… That would be a great gift. Please, I don’t want to lose you, no matter what."
"This would never work. Please just let me go, Howie."
"Why? Why wouldn't it?" he thought for a moment, and then came up with a possible reason. "Unless the man who had the affair with looked totally unlike either of us." He was trying so hard not to ask questions about him; to find out who could have awaken her, who could have made her give herself to him. Nick? Could it have been Nick? He knew Nick wanted her, and Howie had pushed her at him on several occasions. Not because he wanted to, but because he felt he should. Nick was blond and blue-eyed. He looked nothing like either he or Kat. Please, don’t let it be Nick. "Does he?"
Kat shook her head. "No. He had similar colouring," she admitted.
Howie released a breath he hadn’t realized that he was holding. "Then it is not an issue. We can tell everyone it is our child."
"People will know it isn't true, Howie."
"Who? The guys? We can tell them that we planned this or something. They'll buy it if we stick to the story."
Not all of them she thought. "My idea was better."
"Why? Because then you and the father can be together?"
She shook her head violently, tears spilling down her face. "No. That can’t ever happen. Not after… Look, Howie, it would just be better if I went away."
"Leave? No, I don't think so. Here you will have me, my family and four other guys at your beck and call for anyone. Need pickles and ice cream; I'll send Brian. Pampering? No one does that better than Mama D. And in a few months we will have a beautiful baby to call our own. Please, Kat."
He looked so earnest, so excited. She did love him so much and knew he would be a good father. So would… No, she was not going to think about him. Could this be a better way?
"I don’t think its right."
"Why? You said that the child would look like us, you at least. That the father wouldn’t be involved. Stay here, be with me. Please. You know how much I love you, and I would love to raise your child. Please, I need you."
The pleading look on his face was too much for her. And against her better judgement she said, "okay."
"Okay? You will!" He grabbed her, swinging her around happily. "We’re going to have a baby!"
"Hey," she laughed. "Pregnant woman here. No sudden movements."
He put her down, looking anxiously at her. "You are okay? I didn't hurt you? Or the baby?"
She smiled, and stroked his face. "We are both strong and healthy."
"A baby. A baby who looks like his beautiful mother. When? When am I going to be a father? When do I get to see our beautiful baby?
"A few months. I have to see a doctor first, to confirm everything."
"A baby." Howie positively glowed. "With her mother’s lovely dark hair and deep brown eyes. I can't wait."
"Yeah. A baby," she thought. "Dear gods, please don't let it have green eyes. Please, don't let it look like Kevin."