Eva had claimed hiking kept her legs in ballet shape, and he’d claimed to like the shape of her legs. She’d hit him with a sofa pillow, and to his satisfaction, they’d wound up horizontal for the second time that evening.
Now, he wondered why Eva hadn’t come back to bed yet. Rising from the bed, he padded to the door, clad only in his boxers.
When he got downstairs, he headed to the kitchen. On the way, however, a noise from his study made him stop.
He walked to the study door and pushed it open a few inches. Light flickered inside the room, as if someone were watching TV.
He pushed the door open even farther and noticed Eva sitting at his desk, her back to him, staring at his computer screen.
He stopped dead when he realized what she was watching.
Ron’s DVD of Carter’s sex romp.
There was no sound from the computer, so the volume must have been turned off on the speakers.
Over Eva’s shoulders, Griffin watched as Carter and his lover emerged from their car and straightened their clothes.
After a moment, however, Griffin decided to back away from the door and turn around. His feet took him in the direction of the stairs. He was going back to bed. As if he could sleep.
Eva must have found Ron’s evidence in the drawer of his desk. He wished now he hadn’t been so careless about where he put it. He should have left the stuff at the office, except he hadn’t wanted anyone accidentally discovering it.
Of course, after Eva had moved in, she’d discovered Ron’s damned collection. He belatedly acknowledged he would have been better off destroying the evidence weeks ago.
Griffin felt his gut twist.
If Eva had gone to the trouble of locating Ron’s evidence, it could only mean she hadn’t entirely forgotten about Carter.
He told himself there wasn’t anything surprising about Eva still being preoccupied with Carter. It hadn’t been so long, after all, since her relationship with Carter had ended, and he’d rushed her to the altar.
Because he wanted her so damn badly.
Still, he wondered whether there was even more to Eva’s curiosity. Maybe she was having doubts about kicking Newell out of her life without a second chance.
Sure, the past few weeks had proven—to him, at least—that he and Eva were fantastic together.
But Eva could have been having doubts about their marriage.
E va stared at her doctor in shock.
It was a sunny late Thursday afternoon, and she’d come in for what she’d thought was a routine gynecological exam. Instead she’d gotten a grenade in her lap.
She’d been a patient of Leticia Bainbridge for almost a decade. Her doctor was an energetic woman in her early fifties who was married with two teenage children.
She watched Dr. Bainbridge’s mouth move, but couldn’t process the words. They were drowned out by the death knell she heard sounding on her fertility.
"—wait and see…"
A routine exam had led her doctor to note that her uterus was somewhat enlarged.
She’d been moved to another exam room, where the presence of growths within her uterus had been confirmed by an abdominal ultrasound.
"How could this happen without my knowing it?" she asked. "I haven’t experienced any pain."
"Not all women have symptoms," Dr. Bainbridge said kindly.
"You haven’t mentioned hysterectomy," she forced herself to say.
She felt unsteady, shaky.
If they removed her uterus, any chance she had of getting pregnant would be gone.
"There are options aside from hysterectomy these days," Dr. Bainbridge said. "We could try to shrink the fibroids through radiology, or perform a myomectomy, which, in your case, may ultimately be our best bet. A myomectomy would involve removing the fibroids surgically while leaving the uterus intact."
"Still," Eva persisted, "this means my chances of getting pregnant are greatly reduced, doesn’t it?"
She almost couldn’t stand to be confronted with the bald-faced truth. She couldn’t afford another strike against her. It was bad enough her egg supply was sinking fast. By the day, in fact.
"It may make it a harder for you to conceive, yes," Dr. Bainbridge said carefully.
Harder? Eva heard the word echo in her mind. Just how much was harder before her chances became nil? The average couple had only a twenty percent chance or so of conceiving in any given month.
She’d become acquainted with fertility statistics since becoming aware of her own rapidly ticking biological clock. She’d made it her business to know the stats and the facts.
All at once, she wanted to cry.
Instead she heard herself say hollowly, "Thank you for explaining the diagnosis to me."
Her mind went to Griffin, and his words came back to her, haunting in retrospect. You’re after my millions of sperm.
Their marriage was based on a straightforward agreement to conceive a child. Now that conceiving a child was more elusive than ever, where did that leave her marriage?
With sudden startling clarity, she realized that, somewhere along the way, the goal of having a child had been replaced by the dream of having Griffin’s child.
She was in love with her husband.
And the realization, instead of resulting in a burst of joy, as it would have just an hour ago, caused her to panic.
"I’ll leave you to get dressed," Dr. Bainbridge said. "I’m sure we’ll be speaking more in the coming days and weeks."
When the doctor had left the room, Eva hopped down from the examining table, removed the gown she wore and started to dress.
She expected her hands to be shaking, but the tumult was all inside her.
These past few weeks with Griffin had been some of the best of her life. It felt as if she’d finally been living in full color.
Their lives had seamlessly merged—more effortlessly than she could have imagined. But while they’d become comfortable with each other, their sex life had remained in hyperdrive.
She heated at the memories. They’d had sex in every position imaginable, and then some she hadn’t even given thought to. Griffin, however, apparently had.
Her mind drifted back to a particularly steamy encounter they’d had last week, after he’d discovered her practicing ballet in one of the unfurnished bedrooms.
Later that night, while she’d watched Griffin sleep, his face relaxed and his chest rising and falling evenly, she’d acknowledged that her feelings for him were beginning to get muddied.
He’d been joking about being a designated sperm donor, but the reality was he was getting under her skin.
Troubled and restless, she’d gotten out of bed. She’d meant to head to the kitchen for a glass of milk, but instead, she’d found herself pausing outside the door to Griffin’s study.