Nicholas Michael Brogen
I listened to Natalie’s gentle breathing as I ran my finger up and down her right arm. Her head was in the crook of my neck and I was lying on my back, watching the ceiling fan spin in the darkness of the quiet house.
I wondered if Katherine knew that Natalie had tried to kill herself, or even if Elizabeth knew. It seemed like something that Natalie didn’t want to ever bring up again and evidently, Kyle, Khloe, Sara, and Evan were the only people who actually knew about the incident.
I sighed as I held on to Natalie tighter. I never would have imagined that life would get so bad for her that she would want to commit suicide. Did Kendra really fuck her over that bad? She didn’t want to believe it. She actually wished that when she closed her eyes to go to sleep tonight, that when she once up she would find herself in her room back in Baltimore…but of course, that wasn’t the case.
I couldn’t sleep from the nightmares that I continued to have. Once I actually woke with a fright and almost woke Natalie up with me. Luckily, I was able to talk her back to sleep while I dealt with my inner demons.
I looked down at her sleeping body. Her red hair sprawled out over the pillow and her lips silently open. Her hand was clutching my waist and her legs were interlaced with my left one.
I smiled at her and kissed the top of her head. "Don’t ever leave me Natalie,” I whispered, running my fingers through her soft hair before kissing her head once more.
She smiled softly in her sleep and unconsciously tightened her grip around me. Even in her sleep she knew how much she meant to me.
Sometimes, I was afraid to admit how deeply I feel for her. It had only been five months and I was so in love with this girl. I would do anything for Natalie; absolutely anything. She had this power over me that no one else had.
If she said jump, I would ask how high, and if she wanted roses, I would ask what color. I was beginning to understand why Lee lost his mind over Jessie. Love sometimes makes you do crazy things, things that no one else understands, until they’ve been in love too.
“Beck…baby go to sleep” Natalie mumbled, her eyes still closed. I laughed to myself and put my arm over my face. “How’d you know I wasn’t asleep?” I asked, smirking at her.
“Your hearts beating too fast. That was a dead give away. Go to sleep” she replied, pulling my arm away from my face and wrapping it around her body instead.
I arched my eyebrows at her and grinned. “You sure you want me to just sleep?” I teased, kissing her neck. “These walls are made of paper” she replied bluntly.
“Good night Red” I said quickly, stopping my previous motions. She smiled and leaned up to kiss my chin. “Good night” she said back. I smiled to myself and slowly closed my eyes as sleep took over me.
Lee tried to relax but could not seem to sit still. He knew that Jessie was just using this against him. She was obviously still mad. There was no way that she would take him here unless she was trying to punish him. He knew that something like this shouldn’t be a big deal to him but it was. It always was! And she knew that, so she knew what she was doing when she asked:
“Lee, do you wanna go to the mall with me?”
Being the lovable boyfriend he is, he said yes.
“Jessie, we’ve been here for an hour. Can’t we go to another store at least?” he groaned, slowly walking behind her as she examined the clothes.
“No. I asked if you wanted to come and you said yes, if you didn’t want to come with me, you should have just said no” she shot back, not even looking over at him.
“You’re pregnant. I can’t just leave you by yourself when you’re pregnant. Who knows what could have happened to you if I wasn’t here?” he said, sitting down in a chair across from her.
“You used to let me go to the mall by myself before I got pregnant” she replied, raising an eyebrow at him.
“Yeah, but now you’re walking for two and what’s inside of you is very important to me,” he said bluntly. Jessie quickly spun around and glared at him.
“Oh, so I’m not important to you? Is that what you’re saying Lee? I could have sworn that a person’s fiancée is damn important to them but I guess the only thing you care about is my daughter!” she hissed angrily, marching toward him like a predator.
Lee sighed to himself. “Here we go again. Part five of Jessie’s mood swings” he thought to himself.
“Babe, I wasn’t saying that. I love you just as much as I love our daughter but what I’m saying is that now you’re more fragile. Things aren’t like they used to me because now it’s easier for you to get hurt. Knowing you got hurt when I could have been there would have destroyed me,” he said softly, standing on his two feet and rubbing her shoulders.
Jessie moaned in pleasure as Lee’s strong hand rubbed her stress away and he smiled. “Thank God I realized that rubbing her shoulders soothes her."
“You’re right. I’m sorry I lost my temper for a minute” she said, her eyes tearing up. “Damn, Jessie’s mood swings part six."
“Babe, don’t cry. It’s alright. These things happen. You’re gonna flip out on me once or twice and even though I get pissed off some times, I know it’s just one of your moods” he said, kissing her forehead.
“You’re not gonna leave me?” she asked, for seventh time that day. Lee chuckled, shaking his head. “No, I’m not going anywhere. Now, let’s go find you some maternity clothes huh?” he replied.
Jessie nodded and wiped her eyes. “You promise you won’t bitch any more?” she asked. Lee frowned at her choice of words but nodded anyway. “Great! Now come on, I see a top over there that’s calling my name!” she replied, giddy again, as if they never even had a conversation.
Lee rolled her eyes and followed his fiancé further into the store. “Man, I hope Beck is having a better time in L.A than I am here” he mumbled, before tracking down Jessie next to the shoes.
I sat down on a couch in front of the changing room with Katherine right next to me. She was holding her stomach and we were both waiting for Natalie to come out with the next dress selection on.
Katherine every now and then would rub her stomach and when I asked if she was alright, she would just smile and nod her head.
“Some time today Red” I teased, laughing when I heard her yell, “shut up” from behind the curtain.
Katherine laughed with me and shook her head. “It’s her first dance Beck. She wants to make sure that everything is perfect” she replied.
My eyes widened and I turned so that I was facing her. “This is going to be Natalie's first dance?” I asked.
Katherine nodded. “She never wanted to go. I don’t exactly know why but right before her junior prom, she changed her mind about going. At first, she was excited about the prom but three days before the actually event, she changed her mind. I asked her why but, you know Natalie, if she doesn’t want to talk about something, she won’t.”
I leaned back against the couch and tried not to think about another one of my nightmares from last night. Maybe I didn’t know Natalie as well as I thought I did…
“I’m ready!” she shouted. Katherine’s face lit up and my jaw dropped when Natalie stepped out wearing a short reddish pink prom dresses. There was a small bow at the waist area and it ruffled around the bottom. Her hair was down and curled at the ends as she wore the tan 2-inch heels with the dress.
“So, what do you think?” she asked, smiling at us. Katherine put her hand on her chest and smiled at her daughter, motioning for her to do a twirl. I closed my mouth but still looked at Natalie with pure awe.
“Beck?” she asked, glancing at me. I smirked at her and got up from my seat, walking towards her and putting my hands on her waist.
“I think we should get out of her before my girlfriend sees me” I replied huskily, whispering in her ear as she giggled, wrapping her arms around her neck.
“I take it you like it?” she said, kissing my nose. “I love it Red."
“Now, what does that mean actually when you call her ‘Red’?” Katherine asked, smirking at me.
I slowly let go of Natalie and chuckled when she pouted as I pulled away. “It’s sort of a term of endearment. She calls me ‘baby’ and I call her ‘red’” I explained.
“Awww. That’s cute. Alright, your turn Beck” Katherine said, smiling devilishly at me. “Oh, I am going to enjoy this” Natalie teased.
I sighed before looking around at all the dresses. “For you I would” I quickly said. Natalie smiled and was about to say something else when Katherine groaned, putting her hand on her stomach.
“Mom, are you okay?” she asked with concern on her face. Katherine shook her head and clinched the side of the couch as another wave of pain hit her.
“Oh shit. Mom, are you having contractions?” Natalie asked in a panic. Katherine nodded quickly and closed her eyes. I went into panic mode but stopped when I saw the look on Natalie’s face. The worry and fear was clearly present and despite how afraid I was myself, I was gonna have to set up to the plate on this one.
“Nat, go put your clothes back on. I’m going to walk your mom out to the car and wait for you, okay?” I said quickly. She nodded and ran back inside the changing rooms.
I took Katherine’s hand and helped her get off the couch, sure enough, there was a wet spot left behind from when her water broke. She squeezed my hand tightly as I bit my tongue from yelling out. One of the store clerks saw what happened and quickly came to my aid.
He helped me buckle Katherine into the car as Natalie ran out the store dressed in her usual clothing. “I don’t know the way to the hospital,” I said, handing her the keys.
“I’ll drive. Can you call Pierce for me?” she asked, whimpering when Katherine let out another painful sound. “I’m fine sweetheart. Just drive” Katherine replied, giving Natalie a small smile. She nodded and drove out of the store parking lot and on to the road.
Natalie told me the number to call and I quickly punched it into my cell.
Come on, pick up Pierce!
Please for God’s sake, pick up!
Pierce, we can’t do this without you! Katherine can’t do this without you!
"Hello, this is Pierce Brogen. I’m sorry I can’t answer your call right now but leave a message or a phone number and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks. Beep!”
“Pierce! It’s Beck! Yeah, Katherine’s going into labor and we’re on our way to the hospital right now! Please call me back when you get this."
I hung up the phone and Natalie looked at me from the rearview mirror. “Did he pick up?” she asked. I shook my head and she bit her lower lip before mumbling, “fuck!” under her breath.
“Language” Katherine scolded, rubbing her stomach. “I’m sorry Nicholas. Your big sister didn’t mean to curse” Natalie said sweetly, putting her hand on Katherine’s stomach.
I smiled at them, feeling the need to take a photo, but right now would probably not be the best time. Natalie pulled into the hospital parking lot and helped me get Katherine out the car.
We helped her walk into the hospital and I ran to get a wheelchair for her while Natalie walked towards the receptionist. “Here you go Ms. Hudson,” I said, helping her seat down and get comfortable.
Before I wheeled her towards Natalie, she took my hand and squeezed it. “You’re good for her,” she said, smiling at me. I arched my eyebrows at her but stopped when Katherine groaned in pain again.
“Beck!” Natalie yelled towards me. I shook my head quickly and rolled Katherine down the hall and towards her room. Natalie held the door open for me as Katherine’s nurse helped her get out of the chair and out of her clothes.
They started putting scrubs on her and once she was dressed, laid her down on the bed. Natalie took her clothes and threw it into her bag, lying it in the chair next to her.
The nurse began setting up Katherine’s IV and I watched as Natalie started pacing back and forth. “Has he called back?” she asked. I checked my phone and shook my head when I saw I had 0 messages.
Natalie pouted and looked over at me. “Beck…” she whined. I opened my arms up to her and she quickly slid into them and on my lap as I rubbed her back.
“She’ll be alright, Nat. In a couple of hours, you’ll see Nicholas and we’ll be too overjoyed to even think about what’s happening right now” I whispered to her.
“I just don’t like seeing her in pain” she mumbled, staring into my eyes as I stared back. “Nobody likes seeing their mother in pain, but I’m sure when Pierce gets here, everything will get better."
She nodded her head and turned around so that she could relax against my body. I pulled off my jacket and wrapped it around us, trying to get Natalie to fall asleep.
Eventually we both were knocked out and when I opened my eyes again, Pierce was smiling at me with blue scrubs on. “Pier-!” “Shhhhh! You’ll wake Natalie,” he whispered, pointing to Natalie's sleeping form.
I nodded and smiled at him. “When did you get here?” I asked. “About ten minutes after you did. I got wrapped up in one of my patients. It was a smooth delivery but took a little too much time. Thank you for taking care of them Beck; all three of them” he replied, ruffling my hair.
I smiled brighter at him and yawned. “Is she still in labor?” I asked. Pierce shook his head and put his hands on his hips. “You two sleepyheads slept through the whole thing. I was going to wake you up earlier but I knew that the shock probably would have put you back to sleep anyway” he teased.
I glared at him and he laughed. “No but really, thank you. She’s sleeping right now but Nicholas is out and wide-awake. You have to see him Beck. Looks just like Natalie, although I think he’s got my chin,” he said, rubbing his hand over his goatee.
I laughed again and that small movement must have been enough to wake Natalie up because she slowly opening her eyes in stretched in my lap. She pulled my jacket closer around her neck and looked up at Pierce.
“Hello love” he said, smiling at her. “Pierce!” she squealed, jumping off of me and into his arms. He hugged her tightly as Natalie yelled questions at him and scolded him for being late.
“I’m sorry Natalie but I’m here now and I was here for the whole delivery, which you missed! Nicholas is awake, do you want to see him?” he asked. Natalie smiled and nodded her head.
She grabbed my hand and dragged me out of the chair with her. We walked back towards Katherine’s room and slowly opened the door. Pierce put a finger to his lips and pointing towards the small basinet in the corner.
We walked towards the basinet and peered down at the bundle inside of it. The five pound, three ounce baby boy was staring up at us as he moved his arms and legs back and forth. A small white onesie was clinging to his body with a hat placed on his head. His hair was as black as Natalie and he had those trademark Hudson eyes.
There were small traces of Pierce in his facial feature but there was no denying that Natalie and Nicholas were related. Natalie awed at him as she began to tear up. She wasn’t there for the birth of Kylie so this moment meant a lot to her.
Pierce smiled and leaned down to gently pick his son up. He supported his head and smiled at us. “Ladies, this is Nicholas Michael Hudson-Brogen. Nick, this is your sister Natalie and her girlfriend Beck” he introduced.
Nicholas’s eyes wandered towards Natalie and tears welled in her eyes when Pierce handed him gently over towards her. She held him in her arms as his hand reached out to grab her hair.
“I know buddy. It’s really red, isn’t it?” I teased. Natalie stuck her tongue out at me and I laughed. She sat down in the corner with him and Pierce and I watched as Natalie let him hold her pinky.
“Do you want to hold him too, Beck?” Pierce asked. “Um, I don’t want to intrude” I replied, shyly. “Nonsense. You’re as much apart of this family as he is now,” he said.
Natalie beamed at me and nodded her head. I gulped nervously and sat down next to her as she instructed me on where to place my arms and how to support him.
She carefully laid him against me and I watched as he examined me. His small eyes taking in my features and surprisingly, he smiled. “He’s smiling at me!” I exclaimed happily.
“Hmm, I guess he likes you too Beck. You might wanna keep an eye on your girlfriend Natalie” Pierce teased. Natalie playfully shoved him and I couldn’t tear my eyes away from him.
From that moment on, Nicholas and I had some type of understanding. He understood that I was Beck and I was going to be around for a while, and I understood that loving someone, means loving everything about them as well.
“I love you Natalie and I guess I love you too, Nick."