Episode 889: Forever And Always“What are you doing?” Sebastian quietly asked, approaching Ava in the children’s section before the store was due to open that morning.
Ava was nestled on one knee pulling books from the shelf. He so rarely engaged her in conversation these days that she wanted to meet his eyes now that he had spoken to her, but she didn’t bother, she just kept on with what she was doing, it was easier to not look at him, his face pretty much held only two expressions of late, glum or accusing and she wanted no part of either. “I thought I’d make a display of really fun entertaining reads, with school starting it’s good to remind kids that books aren’t a chore.”
“Hmm. Well, do you want some help?” Sebastian offered. “I don’t know one kids book from the next, I’m a couple of decades out of the loop on them, but if I can help somehow, with the display maybe, sort your selections by genre or the colors on the covers, something like that?”
The last thing Ava wanted was to spend even more time around him where it felt like he wasn’t even really there, she had enough of that at home. “You don’t have to-”
“I want to.” He kissed her cheek.
Ava blinked wildly, stunned. That small kiss was the most affection he’d shown towards her since they’d found out Xavier is Jesse’s biological father. She smiled though caution quickly chased it away. It could just be a set up to again question whether she’d choose him. He’d been so distant from everyone ever since, even now that they’d learned there was another donor. It seemed silly to get her hopes up that things would finally be back to normal between them when she thought about just how long his parents had shut out Justine, the level of stubbornness that coursed through his genes.
“Okay,” she said with some hesitation. “Sorting by color would be good, it will draw eyes.”
They worked side by side with only the quiet music she’d switched on earlier. He said nothing.
She had to say something. She couldn’t just stay in limbo like this, no clue where they stood. “Are you back?” She asked. “Are you finally done being mad at me about Xavier?”
“I haven’t been mad at you.”
Ava raised an eyebrow at that.
“I haven’t. I’ve just, I’ve been scared about what he means for us, I couldn’t think about anything else, I’ve been distracted and I’m sorry if it came off as mad, I’m not mad at you. I’ve been terrified, so much so that even after another donor appeared, it’s still taken me time to absorb what that means and calm down.”
“I told you we’re solid, I told you we’re forever,” Ava said. “I told you that the minute you suggested I’d choose him over you.”
“I know, it’s just hard for me to believe, you’re smart and kind and hardworking and a lot of the time I have been any of those things, I’ve just royally screwed up a whole bunch of times in my life, I’m such a gamble, I-”
“You’re you, my husband, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”