Episode 537: Merry Christmas BabyPaul sat at the crowded table, doing his best to pretend he had an appetite for Christmas Eve dinner. His mother and Aunts spent days preparing the meal, wealthy as they were, it was one of the few times a year many of them didn’t leave the cooking to the help, thus mandatory that all offspring feast with appreciation.
And it wasn’t as if they were terrible cooks, everyone’s mouths watered long before they reached the table. If you refused to eat, they’d wonder what was wrong.
So Paul ate. He didn’t want to wonder what was wrong. He tried to focus on any of the half dozen conversations firing across the table but none held his interest. His ears and his eyes kept going to his cousin’s son, seated in a highchair, and frequently the cause of fussing, and smiles, and praise.
As had so often happened in recent months, whenever he saw a child, his thoughts went to her. He didn’t even know her name. He’d desperately wanted to ask Lucy but at the same time, he didn’t want to know.
Having her in his head was hard enough. It let him picture her at the table, those big brown eyes drinking in everything. His family making a fuss of her, and smiling at her. Praising her.
Only they wouldn’t.
He wasn’t married. He wasn’t finished with school. He wasn’t established in his career. He wasn’t settled in his life yet. Never mind that Curran Gable had threatened to destroy him.
His parents wouldn’t praise her.
They’d look at her as if she were a monumental mistake. Hell, he would, too, wouldn’t he?