What Matters Most~ Chapter Twenty-Six

Michelle finished examining Marah and returned the paper sheet to its rightful place. “Everything looks great. The baby is developing right on track and is right where she is supposed to be. You are probably feeling Braxton Hicks contractions which are tightening of your uterine muscles to prepare you for giving birth. I will run some tests to rule out any other possibilities but you are healthy and have had a textbook pregnancy so far so no reason to borrow trouble.” She smiled up at Marah to reassure her but that smile quickly faded when she realized just how distressed her friend was. She turned to Reva but she was no help, she just shrugged her shoulders indicating she had no clue what had her daughter so upset. “Was there anything else you wanted to talk about?”

Marah relaxed back on the exam table and turned to her mother. “Can I talk to Michelle alone for a moment?”

Reva wasn’t offended, she was more concerned for her daughter to be upset by being asked to leave the room. She kissed her daughter’s forehead tenderly. “I will be out in the lobby if you need me.”

“Thanks mom.”

Michelle waited until the door closed until she began her questions. “Marah I know you and Tony have practically every baby book ever published. So I know you know about Braxton Hicks. So you want to tell me why you are really here? And why Reva brought you and not Tony?”

At the mention of Tony’s name tears began to well in Marah’s eyes. “Oh Michelle it was awful. You know how I told you Tony was hiding something from me?” At Michelle’s affirmative nod Marah continued, “Well today I found him at Towers with Eden. And apparently it wasn’t the first time. Everyone warned me that she was after Tony and I kept insisting, insisting, that she had gotten a raw deal and to give her a second chance. All the while she was after my boyfriend. Now she is back and in bed with my husband.”

“Eden? Eden August? Holy shit.” Not exactly the most professional language but that was the best Michelle could come up with that the moment.

Marah nodded. “That is what I thought but it was definitely her. Even with her overprocessed blonde hair.”

Shocked didn’t begin to describe how Michelle felt hearing Marah’s news. Truthfully the news that Tony and Eden had slept together years ago was not all that surprising. Everyone had seen how Eden was after Tony, she herself had warned Marah and Bill numerous times. But Tony cheating now? Something was wrong here. But her main concern was Marah and the baby she carried. “You have every right to be upset, anyone would be, but Marah? Tony loves you. Eden has always envied that and been out to destroy it.” She thought back to when she had been pregnant with Robbie. Danny pushing her away after he thought he killed Carmen, him turning to May for comfort. “Marah when Danny and I were having problems I once told him ‘I would follow you into hell and pull you back out’ and that is what you do for Tony. You always have. Not Eden.”

Marah thought about what Michelle said and she wanted to believe in their authenticity, but the wound was too fresh. Combined with the knowledge that her husband had lied and his things from her, it simply didn’t bode well for the strength of their marriage. It made her doubt herself, Tony, and them as a couple. She felt the need to escape rise within her chest. “I need to go. I am staying with my mom and dad for a couple of days in case you need me.” She slid Michelle a look that conveyed she meant business. “Doctor-Patient confidentiality.”

“I know. And as your doctor I am prescribing a week of bedrest.” At Marah’s look of panic Michelle was quick to reassure her, ” You have had some serious stress thrown your way. Although Braxton Hicks can be alleviated by drinking plenty of fluids I want you to rest and take a mental vacation.”

Marah groaned as she got up from the exam table and reached for her clothes. “Living with my parents and my little brother? And a rambunctious dog? Yeah a real mental vacation.”

***

Reva made a place for Marah to veg out on the couch. She hated to see her daughter looking so miserable, hell even her dog laying by her side looked just as despondent. But the least she could do was make sure Marah was comfortable and relaxed. “You want something to eat? Drink?”

Marah laughed good-naturedly at her mother’s Florence Nightingale routine. “I’m okay mom. Stop fussing.”

Her mom huffed. “I am your mother. I earned the right the fuss when I went through hours of labor bringing you into this world. Just wait a few months and you’ll understand.” She sat opposite Marah in an armchair and thought about how best to broach the subject. Who would have thought the day would come when Reva Shayne would be a loss for words.

Finally Marah couldn’t take it anymore. “Just spit it out mother! You want to know why I am staying here? Because I caught Tony in a hotel room with Eden August. And that is just the beginning.”

Reva opened up her mouth to respond but closed it once again. She tried again. “Did I hear you right? Tony and Eden were in a hotel room? Together?”

“That is what I said. There was Tony wrapped in a comforter and her looking more than satisfied.”

Reva pursed her lips as she contemplated this turn of events. Unlike Joshua she had usually seen good in Tony when he and Marah were young kids in love, and now that they were adults she felt her suspicions about his character had been confirmed. That man loved her daughter it was as plain as the nose on her face. And she had never trusted that wench Eden. She had warned Marah but her forgiving heart tended to give people second chances even when they didn’t deserve them. “Did I ever tell you about the time your father found me in bed with your Uncle Billy?”

Marah look horrified and went to cover her head with the blanket. “No! And I could live the rest of my life without the visuals thank you.”

Reva laughed as she pulled the blanket away from her face. “We were clothed silly. Hell your Uncle Billy had his damn boots on! But let’s just say I consumed copious amounts of alcohol the night before and your Uncle Billy couldn’t fit on the couch. But your daddy could have jumped to the wrong conclusion and called off the wedding. But he knew Billy would not cross that line and neither would I.” She reached over and grasped Marah’s hand in hers. “Just like I know Tony loves you to distraction honey.”

Just then Collin burst into the room his little legs carrying him as swiftly as possible to Marah’s side. “Hey Marah!” He leaned forward and spoke loudly close to her stomach. “Hello baby!”

Marah laughed at his enthusiasm and tousled his downy head. “She just kicked a little. I think she heard you.”

Collin’s eyes grew as large as saucers. “You think so?”

“Oh I know so. I think she already likes her Uncle Collin a whole bunch.” She patted the spot next to her on the couch. “How about we cuddle and watch a movie?”

Reva watched as Collin and Marah cuddled together on the couch watching a movie. For the first time in the last several hours she saw a spark of happiness in her daughter’s eyes. Seeing Joshua hanging back in the kitchen with questions in his eyes she edged herself out of the room.

When she got within earshot he whispered. “Is everything okay?”

Reva shook her head. After relaying the story to Josh she voiced her real concerns. “Something is going on here. I can feel it.”

But Josh was already heading towards the back door. “I’ll be back in an hour.”

Damn that man! Reva followed close on his heels, now was not the time for Josh to unleash his fury. “Bud!” But the stubborn man didn’t even turn around. He was a man on a mission and that mission had Tony Santos’ name written all over it. “Damn stubborn man.”

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