Episode 701: ArmsQuent sat on the cold bathroom tiles beside her and handed over a packet of crackers wrapped in red ribbon.
"I canít say this is the most romantic Valentineís ever," Justine said. "Sorry." She grimaced. "I know youíre trying."
"Donít apologize, when things suck, say so. Be honest, I can take it. Even if itís just to rant over how awful and annoying this morning sickness is. Let me shoulder as much as you need."
"Okay," Justine smiled, "well, thatís kind of romantic."
Paul followed them on to the elevator, his heart pounding with nerves and excitement. "Hey," he said, "this is great, just the people I came to see."
"Oh, hi," Michael Gable said, looking up from digging through her purse with one hand, while Hope squirmed in her other arm.
"I can take her for a minute." Forever, Paul thought as his warm, squishy daughter felt so right in his arms.
Michael found what she needed though and she took back the child. "I swear my bag is a bottomless pit for keys," she said as they stepped off the elevator onto the floor of her publicity agency. "My office is just over here." She led the way. "So what do you need a publicist for- oh!" She stopped dead.
"Youíre Lucyís friend. Is this about her? Is she okay?"
"Yeah, yeah, sheís good. She just wanted me to be the go-between, bring Hope a little something for Valentineís Day." Heíd purposely kept the purchase low-key, he didnít want Michael to think Lucy was overstepping and have actual boundaries put up.
The glittery stickers worked just as well as the expensive doll heíd wanted to buy though, the moment Hope saw them, she leapt from Michaelís arms into his. It was a very happy Valentineís.
Lucy settled cross-legged on the sofa. She had a book to read in her never-ending quest for a degree, but it was the universal day for love, and so she thought of her daughter. And she thought of Paul. She wondered if they would really make a go of things. It seemed so stupid to again fall into the arms of the guy who hadnít stepped up when she needed him. But it made sense, too. Paul could understand her better than any other man. She didnít have to explain how it felt, he knew, he suffered through being apart from their girl, too.