© Kat Morgan 1999/2000
In Name Only
Chapter 34: Revelations
The following day Howie escorted her to the doctorís and waited patiently for confirmation. The results were swift and conclusive. She was pregnant. Kat pleaded a headache and retreated to her room.
Howie was ecstatic, and busily began plans to turn one of the spare rooms into a nursery. He had totally forgotten about meeting the others at the studio until AJ called. Nick and Brian were playing wastepaper basketball and AJ was chatting away with one of the producers. Kevin was in the corner, toodling around on the piano. Howie noted the dark bags under the older manís eyes. Kevin was still beautiful, and part of Howie yearned to take him in his arms and kiss away whatever pain he was suffering. He still loved him, desired him, though he realized how much Kevin regretted their affair.
"D! About time you showed up," Brian chirped.
"Yeah, well, Kat and I had some important business to take care of." He noticed the several reactions to his statement. Brian smiled wistfully, knowing that he hadnít spent much time with his friend since his marriage. Kevin hunched his head lower, concentrating on the piano keys. Nick glowered at Howie. Only AJ looked the same, though he seemed to notice the reactions too.
"Thatís why Iím late. We have an announcement to make." This time he had their undivided attention. "Katís pregnant. We are going to have a baby."
"What?! How did that happen?" AJ surged forward, asking the question on every oneís mind.
"How do you think, Bone?" Howie said sarcastically, then sighed. "No. Itís not mine. She wonít tell me whose it is. She even offered me a divorce. Can you believe it? After all I put her through?" He shook his head. "It doesnít matter. I love her and I want kids. This is our only way."
"Well congratulations, Nick," Kevinís harsh voice broke in.
"What are you talking about?" Nick was surprised by the attack, and the way the others suddenly started to glare at him.
"I saw you two in LA. I saw you taking her into your room," Kevin persisted.
"Nothing happened!," Nick protested, turning to Howie. "D, Iíll be honest. I want her, yes. You all ready know that. But she was upset that night. Nothing happened. I wanted it too, but it didnít. She left almost immediately."
"Itís okay, Nick. Itís not him, Train. Kat wonít tell me who, but she did tell me that whoever it was, that the baby would look enough like us that no one would notice. Weíre both dark haired and eyed. I doubt sheíd lie about this. Sheís never lied to me about anything before."
"And having an affair isnít lying?" Nick muttered.
"No, it isnít Frack," Howie said firmly.
"So who..." Brian asked.
"I don't know," Howie shrugged. "Someone she met on her book tour maybe. I don't know. Sheís always accepted my affairs; I canít get upset about this one." He smiled morosely. "I think it was her first since weíve been married. It obviously didnít turn out well. She is very upset."
"Not her first," Kevin thought but couldnít say. Kat pregnant. How could she? How could she lie to him about being with Nick? How could she sleep with someone else? Didnít she know? Didnít she realize that he was dying without her?
"Well, I guess congratulations are in order," AJ said, breaking the silence.
"Yeah, congrats, D," Brian chimed in.
Kevin nodded, unable to say anything.
Nick also nodded, swallowing back his disappointment. His angel was tarnished. And she hadnít even let him do it. "I wish you two all the best."
"Thanks guys. This is unexpected, to say the least. But I love Kat as much as I can love any woman. And I canít wait to be a father." His excitement showed in his face, and Brian smiled.
"You don't need me here right now, do you? I want to get back. Katís not feeling too good and I donít want to leave her alone," Howie said getting up. "Sheís taking this very hard."
"And she wonít say anything about the father?" AJ asked again.
Howie shook his head. "Iíve tried everything. She just clams right up. All sheíll say is that she cares very much for him, but it is not something that she can tell him. Whoever he is, sheís protecting him." Howie gave a short barking laugh. "Sort of like she has been doing for me for so long."
"Do you think sheíd talk to me?" Brian asked. "I could try."
"Could you, B-rok? Iím worried about her. I donít care, really, about who it is. But she is so upset. I just really want her to know that I am there for her. That we are there for her."
Brian nodded. "Iíll be over first thing in the morning."
"Iíll try to," said AJ. "You better go back now. See that sheís okay."
Kevin was in turmoil. Kat had slept with someone else. Not Nick, like she had said. He had wanted to disbelieve Nickís pronouncement, but the younger man was as distraught over this as he was. Some nameless, faceless man had walked in and taken her away. She had left him, misinterpreted Mindyís presence and departed before he could explain. Then disappeared on a book tour, refusing to see him, refusing to see any of them. He had tried to call her, always chickening out before the call connected.
Kevin took another swig of his drink. Why had she done that? Why had she lied to him about Nick? Why hadnít she listened to him when he tried to tell her about Mindy? Because you never explained it to her, a little voice in his head said. You just accused her of being with Nick and then walked out.
And she had found someone else to be with. Someone she cared about, according to Howie. Someone who had felt the silken skin of her stomach and felt the delicate rise of her belly. Someone who had touched her full, round breasts. Someone who had made her gasp, her mouth open in a small moue, eyes closed in enjoyment. Someone who had felt the warmth of her insides as they...
He couldnít stand it. He had to know. He had to find out who had touched her that deeply. Who felt the velvety softness of her thighs. Who had stolen her heart from him. He shoved the bottle aside, and stood, a lot more steadily than he felt. He ran to his car and drove the short distance to Howieís house. He rang the doorbell, banging on the door, calling her name.
Kat could hear him pounding on the door. It was the moment she had been afraid of ever since she had discovered she was carrying his child. She sat quietly, tucked down on the sofa, praying that he would go away, praying for more time to figure out what to do. The ringing of the bell finally stopped and the knocking faded. She listened for the sound of a car leaving, but the hammering of her heart was too loud. She couldnít hear anything but its frantic pulse. She lay there for a few minutes, then, sure that he had gone, got up from the sofa and walked towards the kitchen.
He was standing in the hallway.
"How did you..."
"The patio door was open. Who is he, Kat?" he asked harshly.
"Go away, Kevin. This is none of your business."
"It is my business. I loved you. Whose baby is it?"
"You went back to Mindy. You left me and went back to that bitch."
"I did not. I never slept with her. I kicked her out and you went with Nick. Why did you lie about that, Kat?"
"I thought you and she..." Kat was dumbfounded. "I wanted to hurt you as much as you hurt me."
"Well, congratulations. Youíve done that in the worst possible way," he sneered. "Who did you sleep with? Some stud on your tour? Who is he?"
"Get out, Kevin."
"Tell me! I have a right to know."
"You have no rights, Kevin. None. Mindy aside, we were all ready on the rocks. The only person I owe an explanation to is Howie. Go away. Leave me alone."
Kevin was stricken by the vehemence of her attack. "I loved you," he said softly. Then turned and walked out the front door.
Kat collapsed in a heap, sobbing hysterically. Howie knelt beside her, gathering her in his arms. He had arrived as the two fought, had recognized Kevinís voice and ducked into the dining room to overhear their discussion. It was all so clear now, as he held the overwrought woman, his wife, the only woman he loved, as she wept her heartbreak. He rocked her softly, trying to calm her. It took forever until she finally quieted.
"Itís his. Itís Kevinís baby," he said when she looked up at him, realizing that he was there. She nodded then burst into tears again.
"Damn. Itís okay, Kat. Itís okay. Just tell me."
She wiped her tears away, gulping back her sobs, and poured the whole sordid mess out to her husband.