She liked trees. And would climb them, at every
chance that she got when she was a little girl.
He liked to paint. And even though he didn't
think he was any good, he'd paint little things for her.
- Chapter Four -
He woke up because he felt the bed moving and realized that Tyler was shivering. He felt like the biggest jerk, not remembering that she would sometimes suffer from night-terrors. He knew that it was most likely because she was overtired. But he was helpless, he knew he wouldn't be able to wake her up, and being afraid that she would start getting worse, like screaming or thrashing around he had to think of something to do.
So he did the first thing that popped into his head. He started singing. One of her favorite songs. His voice was barely over a whisper as he pressed his face close to hers as he sang, "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are gray. You'll never know dear, how much I love you. Please don't take my sunshine away."
Ephraim kept singing and singing until Tyler stopped shaking and her breathing and heart went back to a normal rhythm. He let out a soft sigh of relief and tried to go back to sleep, making sure Tyler was secure in his arms.
Ephraim opened his eyes and smiled seeing Tyler looking back at him.
"How long have you been awake?" he asked, slowly and softly rubbing her bare arm with his fingers.
"Since you stopped singing," she mumbled tiredly.
"Oh I'm so sorry!" he whispered turning his face into his pillow.
"Why are you apologizing?" she stared at him.
"I should have stayed awake to help you fall back asleep." he told her.
"Why are you laughing?" he asked completely confused.
And she just kept laughing, getting louder and louder.
Ephraim couldn't help but start laughing with her and after almost twenty minutes, when they couldn't breathe anymore, Tyler finally calmed down. Ephraim started chuckling at her and she laughed again, soft and short.
"I love you," he whispered bringing his hand up to her face to brush hair out her eyes.
"I know," she replied smiling, "I know." And she kissed him, a chaste, soft kiss that had Ephraim's heart racing. Smiling she cuddled into the comforter and went to sleep.
The next time Ephraim woke up he was greeted with an empty room. Shooting up and out of bed he quickly went to see if Tyler was in the kitchen. And after seeing that she wasn't, he went back to the bedroom thinking maybe she was in the shower. But when he got there the bathroom door was open and there was no beautiful, light-skinned girl with hair the color of cinnamon to be found. He knew that he could be wrong, but Ephraim couldn't help having this sinking feeling that she was gone again. That she left, again.
After a couple hours that felt like days to Ephraim, he for some reason ventured into his studio room. Standing in the middle of the room he stared at the blank canvas. All around they were half-done pieces, some colorful and happy, others dark and angry. He hadn't been in this room since... Well since Tyler left. For a few more moments Ephraim stared, and stared, and stared. Until, on it's own, his hand slashed paint across the white square in front of him.
He had no idea what he was painting, but it seemed his hand (or maybe it was his heart), knew. At the moment he couldn't care less what he was painting. Ephraim was just enjoying it. Enjoying the feel of the brush in his hand. Enjoying the sound of the paint hitting the canvas. And he didn't stop. He just kept painting. His hand just kept moving from the little table that was holding all his paints, to the artwork it was creating.
He didn't realize that he was standing there for that long until he suddenly heard his stomach growling. Staring blankly at the half-done painting Ephraim cleaned his brushes and left the room gently closing the door behind him, as if any loud noise would disturb his work. Again when he got to the entrance of the kitchen he froze.
She turned her head as she was putting the milk in the fridge and smiled. "Hey."
"H...Hey," he breathed.
"Eph-" She was interrupted by his lips desperately pressed to hers.
When he parted from her she stared up at him with a look filled with surprise, worry and something else Ephraim couldn't place. "I thought you-I thought..." he trailed.
"Oh Ephraim, I'm sorry. I didn't mean for you to think-" She brought her palm up to his face cupping his cheek and smiled as he leaned into her hand. "I hadn't realized that I'd be gone for that long, but we needed groceries. If I had known I would've left you a note. I'm sorry."
"It's okay," he replied cupping her hand in his. "You're here now." he smiled and kissed her softly on her nose.
Beaming she ran her hand through his hair only for it to get caught in strands that were stuck together with something. "You've been painting I see," she stated bringing out green flecks of paint from the hair by his ear to show him.
Ephraim blushed, looking down.
Giggling she said, "Don't worry, I won't peek."
He continued to blush as Tyler forced his head up by his chin. Staring at him as he avoided eye contact, looking over her shoulder, she brushed red stained hair away from his eyes, making him glance at her.
Suddenly she kissed him, not as desperate as Ephraim's kiss, but just as powerful. Breaking the kiss, she said, "I have to make lunch."
Ephraim looked at her and then kissed her softly on her forehead, and then on both cheeks and stopping just at her lips, pressing his forehead against hers. He looked into her eyes as if he was trying to find something.
Tyler assumed he found it because she felt his mouth on hers and suddenly she was in the air.
"Ephraim!" she laughed.
He carried her bridal style to the bedroom and gently placed her on their unmade bed.
"Shhh," he murmured capturing her lips in a heated kiss.
She returned his kiss running her small hands through his messy, painted hair making him moan in reply. He broke away from her grinning down at her smiling face. "I missed you," he whispered.
She smiled a watery smile," I missed you too."
"How could you be...? Are you sure that I...?"
"Are you kidding me!"
Ephraim squeezed his eyes shut, shaking his head.
"I can't believe you're implying something like that," she whispered.
He quickly walked up to her grasping her hands tight in his. "I'm sorry, I wasn't thinking." He shook his head again. "I didn't mean it, honest." He looked at her trying relay how sorry he was.
Tyler sighed. "Okay, it's okay," she whispered. She squeezed his hands and smiled.
"How," he swallowed. "How far along are you?"
"Oh." He stared down at beige carpet thinking of how inviting it look and sunk to the floor.
"Ephraim..." she breathed.
He held up his hand to silently tell her, "Wait."
She nodded her head, her eyes tearing up.
"Why would you-How could-I" he sighed deeply trying to get his thoughts together.
"I know," she murmured, "And I'm sorry."
He held up his hand again making her bite her lip.
Tyler gasped at the sudden outburst, a couple tears shook loose and ran down her flushed cheeks. The next thing she knew Ephraim was in front of her cupping her face in his hands. She stared at him wondering what just happened.
"Did I hurt you?" he asked, "Last night. Did I hurt you? Did I-Did I hurt...?" he looked down at her stomach and right then she understood.
"Oh Ephraim," she made him look at her, "Of course not Sweetie. You didn't hurt anyone," she smiled.
"Oh," he visibly relaxed. "Good," he sighed. "Good," he smiled at her, her face still in his hands. "I thought," he closed his eyes, shaking his head once more, "Never mind," he whispered. Opening his eyes to smile at her he said again but louder, "Never mind." She smiled back putting her hand on his cheek, her thumb stoking the skin right under his eye.
"But wait," he said his brow furrowed. "How do you know? How do you know for sure?"
"Because Ephraim, I went to the doctor and asked if it was okay...you know for me to..." she blushed from her neck to her ears.
Smiling at the fact that she couldn't say it, Ephraim kissed her. "Okay," he said, "As long as you know for sure."
"Good," he stared at her and suddenly he was turning away. "But I still can't believe you didn't tell me."
Tyler watched as he walked away from her, feeling her chest hurt as if someone was trying to rip her heart out.
He looked at her from across the room, "How could you have not told me?" he asked her staring at her right in the eye.
She looked down not able to take the intense look that was he was giving her. "I know, I know I should have told you, I just, I didn't-"
Ephraim looked at the door behind her and couldn't help but get a flashback of the day she left. And he understood. Sighing, he stared at the door, "I get it."
"I understand," he said still looking at the door.
She followed his eyes, "Oh, I, um."
"You don't have to explain, I get it."
Tyler couldn't help but wonder, and wondering made her doubt, which made more tears come. She frowned, "Do you," she glanced at the door he was still staring at. "Do you want me to...?" She was trying to not let her voice crack, but she couldn't say it.
Ephraim was in front of her again in seconds, "What?" he gasped hastily brushing away her tears. "Oh, no," he murmured placing his lips gently on her forehead right int the middle of her brow, making her frown lines disappear. "No, no, no," he shook his head. "No, Tyler. You," he glanced down at her stomach, sinking down to his knees in front of her and gently placing his hands on her very slightly larger middle.
He looked up at her after staring at her stomach for a few moments. "I don't want you to leave. Never, would I want you to leave. You-you and," he looked down at the wonderful thing in front of him and started to softly and slowly rub her t-shirt covered center. "And this-this baby," he paused glancing up at her. "Belong here, with me," he told her looking up at her from kneeling on the floor with a dopey smile on his face.
And then she started crying again, "Happy tears! Happy tears!" she exclaimed when she saw a look of worry from Ephraim. "I know I should have told you and I'm sorry. I was just scared. I didn't think we were ready and after talking about waiting to have kids, and then finding out I was pregnant. I-I panicked."
Ephraim nodded. "I understand, Tyler. I do."
"Good," she whispered. "You're too perfect, why are you with me?" she whispered more to herself.
Placing an air-soft kiss to the barely swollen pregnant stomach, Ephraim stood and kissed Tyler's lips hard. Similar to the kiss he gave her when she was leaving, this one was filled with love, but instead of heartache, it was also filled with joy.
"Because," he whispered back cupping her face in his hands. "I love you, Arizona Tyler. I love you so much."
Smiling another watery smile, "I," she didn't want to say, I know, "I love you too," she whispered. "So much."
He nodded, "I know," he mouthed.
"Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter. Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here. Here comes the sun, here comes the sun, and I say it's all right."
- The Beatles
I'm sorry it took me so long to post this!
I thought I already had, so my deepest apologies.
Also I want to give a head's up, that this story is not going to be updated again for while.
I really am sorry that this chapter wasn't already up!
But I do have a new story that I'm going to post, probably today.