She was back in the same spot again. The exact chair and exact section of the restaurant she had been when she had said goodbye to Connor. She didn’t think she had done it on purpose, but now that she was here, she enjoyed the symmetry of it. She didn’t want to wait at the door like everyone else. She didn’t know what she wanted in all honesty, she was pretty certain that she didn’t want to see him yet, but the same pull that had her sitting there when he had left, was the same thing that had her sitting there now.
“So your plan is to sit here looking shady until he comes in?” Daniela asked, joining her at the table.
“There’s nothing shady about it,” Christiana said. “I’m just going to drink this cup of coffee and then make my way casually back to my room, as if it were any other day.”
“Except it isn’t,” Daniela said. “In about an hour’s time, the two men that for some reason have us going all gooey, are going to walk through those doors.”
“Perhaps,” Christiana said, a deep twisting pain suddenly in her stomach. “Maybe he won’t come back at all.”
“No chance of that, I’m afraid.” Jason said, sitting down with them both. “I just saw him on the monitors, leading the group and looking incredibly sorry for himself.”
Christiana breathed a sigh of relief at the sound of Jason’s words and a weight she hadn’t even been aware of carrying, seemed to lift from her shoulders.
“Any sign of Duncan?” Daniela asked.
“Sorry babes,” Jason said. “I only got a quick peek before I was thrown out for spying.”
Daniela chewed on her lip apprehensively and Christiana noticed her hand drop instinctively to her stomach.
“Hey,” she said and Daniela turned to her. “It’s going to be okay. He said he would come back, he’ll be here.”
Daniela smiled her thanks at Christiana but the smile was weak and unconvinced. Christiana was about to throw in another bout of reassurance when there was a sudden cheer from the middle of the restaurant.
“What’s going on?” Jason asked.
“Are they back, already?” Daniela asked.
“No, the doors to The Bubble are still well and truly shut.” Jason reported.
People continued to cheer and Christiana couldn’t help but move from her hiding place to get a better look. Daniela and Jason followed her to the middle of the room. People started to move away and Christiana found Robin in the centre of the crowd, looking very happy with herself.
“I’m just so happy.” She said.
“Of course you are,” Amy said. “You’re glowing, isn’t she glowing?” She addressed the rest of the group.
It was met with murmurs of agreement. Robin gushed at the attention and her hand fell to rest protectively over her stomach, giving it a little pat.
“No freaking way.” Daniela said, her voice low next to Christiana. “That bitch has stolen my thunder.”
“You’re pregnant?” Christiana asked loudly enough for Robin to hear.
Robin’s smile seemed to widen at the sight of Christiana. Christiana wasn’t sure but there almost seemed to be a level of smugness in her look.
“Yes I am.” She said, patting her stomach again. “I did the test this morning. I am so blessed.”
“I was beginning to think the sperm banks were a bust.” Christiana said.
“Oh, they were.” Robin said. “I gave up on that a couple of months back.” She threw a smug smile to those around her. “I decided it was just better to do things the old fashioned way.”
“Someone actually had sex with her?” Jason said, his voice low so that only Christiana and Daniela could hear. It was met with grins from both ladies.
“So who’s the lucky man?” Daniela asked, her voice mimicking Robin’s sweet tone.
“Oh, but didn’t he tell you?” Robin said. “I would have thought that, well, given how close you all are.” She gave a little content sigh. “Ah, my dear sweet man, of course he wouldn’t have. He didn’t want to betray my trust.”
“Who the hell is she talking about?” Daniela asked.
But for Christiana, the penny had already dropped and from the sound of Jason’s intake of breath, he had also figured it out. Christiana shook her head in disbelief.
“Surely not.” Christiana said.
“Ummm, guys, who is it?” Daniela asked.
“Adam.” Christiana said, her voice a whisper of shock.
Robin’s smile grew and she sighed once again.
“I know, it was a shock to me at first too, but when you’re in love, you’re in love.”
Jason laughed at that.
“I think you may need to look into the difference between ‘love’ and ‘drunken one night stand.’” He said.
“Oh, I did.” Robin said and held out her hand, in it was a key. “Does asking me to move in with him count?”
“Shut up.” Daniela said. “No way would he ever ask you that.”
But Christiana couldn’t hear anymore, she backed away, eager to get out of the crowd. People happily took her place and she managed to find herself out of the circle and back in her quiet corner. She glanced around her, trying to find Adam in amongst all the fuss. At first, he didn’t appear to be in there, but eventually she found him by one of the smaller bars. She had no idea why, but the sight of him made her so angry. How could he do this? Sleeping with her was one thing, but to ask her to move in with him? This was just ridiculous. She marched over to him and grabbed his drink away from him in mid-swig.
“What the-?” Adam said and then clocked who it was. “Oh, it’s you.”
“Yes, it’s me.” Christiana said. “You have had me hating myself for the past couple of weeks over what happened, thinking that I had broken you or something, and all the time you were busy impregnating the world’s most annoying woman?”
“She’s really not that annoying when you get to know her,” Adam said, but the words didn’t seem to correspond with his face.
“Why are you doing this, Adam?” Christiana asked. “Why have you asked her to move in with you?”
“I like her!” Adam said, snatching back his drink.
“Really?” Christiana asked. “And tell me, how interested were you in sharing a room with her prior to finding out that you knocked her up?”
Adam slammed his glass down and threw Christiana an icy stare.
“I don’t see how this is any of your business.”
“Of course it’s my business!” Christiana said. “I thought that we…”
And then she stopped, slamming her mouth shut as she swallowed her words. Truth is, she didn’t know what it was that she was going to say in end to that sentence.
“You thought that we, what?” Adam asked, his voice softer.
“It doesn’t matter.” Christiana said. “Forget I said anything.”
“Christie,” Adam said and suddenly Christiana’s hand was at Adam’s mouth, silencing him. She shut her eyes for a moment and was overwhelmed with a need to see Connor again, no one called her that other than him. She was being selfish, she loved Connor. This was nothing.
“I’m so sorry, Adam.” She said, eventually.
She opened her eyes to meet Adam’s gaze, questioning and confused. She was about to explain when suddenly Robin was there, by his side. Christiana immediately dropped her hand and gave her a weak smile.
“Congratulations to you both,” she said. “I hope you guys can be happy together.” She looked at Adam and gave him her most sincerest look, “I really do.”
And with that, she turned and walked away, finding tears in her eyes that she couldn’t explain. She blinked them away and found Daniela and Jason back at her table. Daniela was ranting about how Robin had taken away the one thing she had managed to build herself up to enjoying, which was being the only pregnant woman and all the attention that entailed.
“Don’t worry,” Jason said. “That kid may be half-Adam but it’s also half-Robin, there’s no chance it will be better than yours.”
“Damn right.” Daniela said, and then acknowledged that Christiana had returned. “Oh my days, did you let him have it?” She asked.
“It wasn’t the right time for that.” Christiana said.
“Did you at least ask him why he felt the need to breed with such a woman?” Jason asked.
Christiana looked at him sadly. “Somehow I don’t think I’m in any position to ask that question.”
“Wait, are you… sad about this?” Jason asked.
Christiana nodded. “And I have no idea why.” She said. “Especially as I have just realised that I’m probably going to take Connor back once again because of that stupid ‘being in love with him’ thing that I keep on insisting on doing.” Christiana sighed. “I don’t know, it’s just…”
“He's Adam Gammon,” Daniela said with a sigh. “It was always going to be a sad day when he got snapped up.”
“And especially by someone like Robin.” Jason said with a sneer.
Christiana laughed at her friends. “Pretty much.” She said.
“Well, if it’s any consolation,” Daniela said. “This is going to be nothing compared to seeing Connor again.”
Christiana grinned. “This is true.” She said. “Even if the relief will only be fleeting before I smack him round the head for once again putting himself in danger.”
Daniela laughed. “I’m just trying to work out how I’m going to stop myself from ripping Duncan’s clothes off there and then.”
Christiana and Jason gave Daniela a shocked look.
“What?” She asked. “I won’t actually do it, but you know… I’m just saying it will be hard.”
Christiana smiled at Daniela then, amazed once again at the progress she had made. There was no way that this would have happened in the time it had in the real world. Her improvement must be Injection related, but she was happy that such a thing existed for her in that moment. And now she was pregnant, perhaps there was hope for her new friend yet.