♥”–if it’s any consolation, I would’ve let you take me there and then.”♥
The way she stood, with her arms tightly folded over her chest and her entire posture tense and on edge, radiated her worry and anxiety. She was upset, and angry, not forgetting worried – and I had no clue why.
Excusing herself to retrieve a new bib for Scarlett almost twenty minutes ago, she still hadn’t returned – After changing the soiled diaper of our baby girl, I went searching for Selena, expecting to find her asleep on the bed or putting fresh laundry in the washing machine. Instead I found her staring out our bedroom window into thin air. The white, flowery bib was firmly wedged in her closed hand and tucked to her side.
Laying Scarlett in her adorable pink bassinet, I smiled down at the squirming child before sauntering towards the frozen woman. She was oblivious to my presence until I lightly rested both hands on her petite waist, drowned in a oversized tee. She flinched, finally noticing my arrival. She breathed out shakily as I nudged my nose against her exposed collarbone, creating soothing circles with my thumbs.
“You okay?” I murmured into her strawberry smelling skin. I heard her gulp and felt her nod, but her voice remained muted. “I thought you had ran off. It’s been over twenty minutes.”
“Sorry.” She croaked, her voice was weak and quiet. “Where’s Scarlett?”
“In her bassinet.” I replied, “What were you thinking about?”
She licked her dry lips and shrugged, “Nothing.”
“I know that’s not true.” I muttered into her ear, kissing her earlobe and finding her relax in my arms. Her earlobe, or the back of her neck, was the two spots that triggered Selena to instantly relax. “Please tell me?”
A brief sigh escaped her chapped lips as her shoulders slumped, her arms falling limp by her side and her head dropping downwards. Whatever was on her mind, was really tormenting her. Taking a step forward, I stood chest-to-chest – or, chest-to-face – with her. Nipping her dimple chin, I tilted her head upwards and saw the faint outline of redness.
“Have you been crying?” I questioned, “And tell me the truth, no lies or trying to avoid it.”
After a few seconds, she caved and nodded.
“Why? What’s wrong, babe?”
Her dimple appear as her lip quivered. “I just keep thinking about the court case next week.” the reason soon hit me at full force. “What if Hayley and Maria win? What if you and Hayley need to raise Scarlett and I’m not allowed contact with her like the contract said? That’ll kill me Justin.”
Clear droplets trickled down her already stained cheeks as she refused to look up. Her hands were shaking, her lip quivering as the racket of sobs being held inside – she was broken.
“That won’t happen, Selena.” I assured quietly, “My lawyer won’t allow it, my family won’t allow it and I won’t allow it. I promise. You, me and Scarlett are a family and we always will be. Nothing will break us.”
“You don’t know that.” She whimpered.
“Yes I do.” I interrupted strongly and sternly. Cupping her face in both hands, I forced her to look at me with her glassy gaze. My heart wrenched as I gulped back the rising lump and licking my lips. “As long as I breathe, Scarlett will always be apart of your life. She will always know her mother, she will always love her mother and no other woman will ever take your place.”
More tears cascaded down her soft cheeks, dripping from her chin as her thin arms flung around my neck, her sobs stifling into the crook of my neck. She stood on her the tips of her toes but still her small figure barely reached my shoulders. With both arms securely holding her waist, I hauled her petite body into my arms and carried her to our shared bed. Still clinging to my body like a monkey, I shuffled us both backwards and propped myself against the oak, carved headboard.
“If I could take away the pain, and put a smile on your face, baby I would, baby I would..”
Her sobs subsided as I sung quietly in her ear in hope to calm her – and slowly, my plan was working.
“If I could make a better way, so you could see a better day, baby I would, baby I would..”
Sniffling, she raised her head and fluttered her watery gaze to mine. Her expression changed, instead of the previous frown, her lips had now uplifted into a small smile. The small glint still sparkled in her beautiful hazel irises.
“What’s that song?” She murmured, “I’ve never heard it before..”
“That’s because I wrote it when you were in labour, well, while you were dozing in and out of consciousness.” I said, tucking a piece of her straight hair that had slipped from the high ponytail, behind her ear. “It’s not finished yet, I still have a few more lines to write..”
“It’s about me?”
I smiled at her sudden shyness, the blush on her cheeks and the faint dimples carving the corners of her mouth as she looked down timidly. Chuckling, I nudged my nose against hers. “Yes it’s about you.”
A tiny smile etched across her soft lips as she withheld a grin and twisted her fingers between our close torsos. Grinning, I strained my neck forward and brushing my lips over hers, capturing a sweet kiss. I felt her smile and my heart race as the palm of her hands slowly ran over my chest and to my shoulders, interlocking around the back of my neck as her lips slowly moved against my own.
Suddenly, she hissed. Drawing back with my brows furrowed in concern.
“Sorry, I’m uh, I’m still getting lightning crotch from labour..” She blushed, her face flushing crimson as her teeth hooked on her lower lip. She slid from my lap, the warmth leaving my thighs as she stood upright.
“Do you get that all the time?”
“Not all the time..”
Again, her face flushed. “Uh, well, it was only a day or two after giving birth then it disappeared but now, it appears when I, uhm–” her voice trailed off in an embarrassed stammer. Her entire face brightening as she walked to Scarlett’s bassinet, overlooking our daughter.
“It appears when?” I asked, still clearly confused.
“Nothing, it doesn’t matter..”
“Selena, tell me.”
“No it’s too embarrassing!” She muttered, her eyes widening.
“I won’t let it go until you tell me.” I smirked, “I’ll just sit here and pesture you..” crossing my arms and ankles, I lay back on the bed and watched her redden more.
“I get it when I’m turned-on, okay!” She exclaimed. Her lips squishing into a firm line as she averted her gaze to the floor, shuffling awkwardly on the spot. “Now please, stop. I’m embarrassed enough.”
Crawling across our bed, the silky sheets crumpling beneath my weight as I climbed of the bed. Standing toe-to-toe with her, she continued to bow her head and nervously twist at the hem of her shirt. Her demeanor was shy and rigid, cowering in embarrassment as I stood tall. Nudging her chin with my finger, I pulled her head up and watched as her eyes slowly fluttered to meet mine.
“Why are you so embarrassed about that?” I asked, “I mean look at me, who wouldn’t get turned on?”
She rolled her eyes and picked up my humour, slapping feebly at my chest and shaking her head gently.
“I’m kidding but babe, you don’t need to be so embarrassed.” I assured her.
Again, she gave a sarcastic eyeroll. “That’s okay for you to say. You didn’t carry a child for nine months, feeling all hot and flustered with no man to take care of my needs. Now, I’m still feel like I’m pregnant.” her lips formed in a small pout as she huffed a breath.
“You were horny when you were pregnant?”
“Don’t say that!” She groaned, leaning her forehead against my chest. “But yes, you can’t blame me though! I was pregnant, my hormones were off balance and all I wanted was to grab the first man I saw and take him there and then.”
I laughed aloud, slipping my arms around her shoulders and kissing the top of her head.
“Was I one of those men?” I teased,
“Not to boost that incredibly large ego of yours,” She retorted, “But yes, yes you were.”
Inside, the cheeky teenager was smirking and giving the cool guy nod to the more mature me. It made an unknown feeling spread through my veins, causing a beaming and slightly obnoxious smile coat my lips. “Well, if it’s any consolation, I would’ve let you take me there and then.”
She giggled giddly, removing her forehead and looking upwards with a grin. “You don’t mean that. Most times I felt hormonal, you were engaged. You wouldn’t have cheated on Hayley, would you?”
“I’ve never cheated on anyone in my life, I don’t believe in it and even though I may hate Hayley, I wouldn’t have cheated on her even if I found out those terrible things she committed before that day.” I grumbled. I hated reminding myself of how close I was to marrying a manipulated woman. “But maybe for you, I would have reconsidered my beliefs.”
“Shut up.” She mumbled, blushing silently. “We should start getting ready, your mom is expecting us in an hour.”
“You go for a shower first, it takes women longer to get ready than me.”
She slapped my chest, “Sexist.”
I chuckled, “I’m kidding. But seriously, you go and get showered first, I’ll get Scar’ ready then I can go. Deal? Oh, and by the way, I have a present for you; it’s nothing big, promise.”
She nodded, removing herself from my arms and walking to the dresser. Sneakily, she grabbed her underwear and tried to hide it from my view before preparing to dash into the ensuite until I grasped her wrist, hauling her back into my chest.
“I think you forgot something.” I murmured, puckering my lips and holding back my smirk. Giggling, she reached up and pressed her lips against mine. Drawing away and moving my lips to her ear, I couldn’t help but smirk as I spoke. “That yellow bra looks very, very sexy.”
Gasping, she shoved her hands against my chest and rushed to the bathroom with her head hanging in embarrassment. My laughter rumbled through the room as the door was flung shut but not loud enough to waken Scarlett. Approaching the bassinet, I smiled at the newly awoken little girl.
“Your mommy gets embarrassed very easily, Scarlett.” I murmured softly, reaching inside and carefully lifting out my daughter. Her little mouth formed in an oval, her beautiful eyes circling in fascination as her tiny hands formed in fists and began thrashing. My heart swelled at her cuteness.
Just over an hour later, six outfit changes, two dirty diapers, one bottle of formulated milk and a crying session for both mother and baby; we all were finally ready.
“I can’t believe I actually fit back in my jeans!” Selena exclaimed, “I actually fit.” her eyes welled with tears as she wafted her hand in front of her face. Her emotions still hadn’t returned to normal – I had been warned about her hormones still being off balance after giving birth, but I never expected her to breakdown after fitting into a pair of size six jeans she had stored away from before pregnancy.
“Of course you fit, babe.” I sighed, tucking Scarlett’s blanket around her body. She had yet to use a pacifier, something both Selena and I had agreed on delaying until one hundred percent necessary. Wandering across to Selena, I grasped her waist and cupped her jaw, smoothing the callous pad of my thumb across her bottom lip and staring into her watery orbs. “Don’t get upset.”
She sniffled, “I’m sorry. I just–I can’t believe that I fit in them. I expected to go out and buy a new wardrobe ‘cause I gained so much weight. You saw me in my pink blouse, I looked like a beach whale! Now, I just look like an elephant.”
“Stop that.” I ordered, “You look perfect in both outfits. You had a baby a week ago, Selena. Nobody expects you to be like Victoria Beckham. Most new mothers would be jumping for joy if they fitted in previous clothes, especially size six.”
“You think so?” She muttered, straightening out her outfit.
“I know so.” I assured, “You’re beautiful, okay? Size six or sixteen, it doesn’t matter.”
Blinking multiple times, she washed away her tears and exhaled deeply. “I’m sorry, I’m still screwed up from pregnancy.”
I chuckled, “It’s fine. Oh, before I forget–” I reached for the small gift wrapped box on the coffee table, handing it out in her direction. “–This is for you.”
Confused, she hesitantly removed it from my hand and neatly tore off the silver paper. I swiped my tongue across my lower lip and watched as she raised her gaze with her jaw slightly ajar.
“You bought me a new phone?” She questioned, grasping the undented box of the customised iphone.
“Well, truthfully your blackberry needs to go in the trash so I got you this yesterday. That way, you can take pictures of Scarlett and won’t take twenty minutes to answer a simple text message.” I joked, “I’ve programed your contacts in, sent pictures of Scarlett and even took a few while you were asleep this morning.”
She ran her fingers over the crystal cover, smiling at the customised print. “You got her name too.” unlocking her new electronic device, she cooed at the screensaver. “Adorable.”
I grinned cheekily. “I know. If you scroll through the photos, you’ll find a lot more.”
Setting down the box and slipping the phone inside her pocket, she walked towards me with her arms stretched wide. Embracing me into a hug, she mumbled a quiet thank you into my shoulder.
“You don’t need to thank me, love.” I told her, releasing from our hug. “But we should get going, there isn’t many paps’ outside. They must’ve got bored and decided to actually get a life.” reaching for Scarlett’s diaper bag, I hung it from my shoulder and picked up her car seat, smiling at the bundle of perfection inside.
“Maybe this isn’t a good idea..” Selena mumbled as we approached the front doors, leading out into the glowing Manhattan streets. The small group – no more than eight – of men, stood chatting amongst each other, their cameras swinging from their necks. From the corner of my eye, I could see Selena tense. She gulped, her deathly grip tightening on the strap of her bag.
“Don’t worry, just don’t listen to any of them.” I told her, draping a spare yellow blanket over Scarlett’s car seat and shielding her from the view of the public. Pushing open the clean, glass door, the men swooped like vultures and boxed us in tightly. “Guys, back up a bit, please.”
“Let’s see the baby, Justin.” A stranger called, his finger pressing quickly onto the capture button.
“Justin, Selena, over here.”
Selena grasped my arm, tucking herself tightly into my side as I guided her to my awaiting range rover. They scurried in front and beside us, continuing to snap pictures as we arrived at the car.
After securely wrapping the seat belt around Scarlett’s car seat, Selena and I both climbed inside. Driving away, Selena reached backwards and pulled off the blanket and lay it on the seat next. Happening to glance from the corner of my eye, my brows furrowed at her shaking hands.
“Are you okay?”
“Fine.” She muttered, tucking both hands between her locked knees.
“Why are you shaking?”
“I’m not. It’s nothing.”
“Selena, my eyes aren’t deceiving me. I know that I saw them shake, now tell me what’s wrong.” I sternly spoke, keeping my eyes firmly planted on the road in front. “Surely you can’t be cold. If you are, I can always turn up the heat–”
“I’m not cold.”
She licked her lips, a small sigh departing as she hung her head in shame. “I–I don’t like how the paparazzi cramped us in like that. I mean, I don’t like them period but they make me overly anxious when they’re too close.”
I frowned. My inner demons tutting and shaking their heads at my stupidity of missing the clear signals she was sending. Of course I knew she hated fame and the paparazzi – I hated them too most times. – and of course I knew she would rather stay in the background, probably not even being apart if my life if it wasn’t for Scarlett, but I didn’t know that it triggered anxiety issues.
“I’m sorry.” I muttered, gulping back the rising lump and willing the pain burning a hole deep in my chest to disappear.
“What are you sorry for?” She confusingly questioned, her forehead wrinkling and her eyes squinting. Her expression was one I had witnessed Scarlett pulling a few times after waking from her nap; both were incredibly adorable. “You can’t stop them from doing their jobs, you can’t stop them from following you. I don’t mean to sound harsh but, this is your life, Justin and I’m just gonna’ need to learn to deal with it.”
“Exactly.” I grunted, “It’s my life, but it shouldn’t be yours. You didn’t sign up for this, you only signed up to giving me a child, not to be tormented by rude paparazzi.”
“But it’s not, Selena.” I sighed, “You can say it’s okay ‘til the end of time, but it won’t be. I’m sorry for dragging you into my life, I’m sorry for putting you through this mayhem and it won’t get easier.”
“But if you didn’t drag me into your life and into this mayhem, that beautiful little girl wouldn’t be here. We wouldn’t be where we are now– I’d still probably be with Jake and you’d still be with Hayley.”
“And my life would be a lie.” I mumbled.
“Justin, I’m glad that we met even if the situation wasn’t quite normal.” Selena breathy giggled. “If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be as happy or as complete as what I am now. I’d be with Jake and still trapped with Maria, thinking about my lonely future and not being a mother to the most precious little girl. Not forgetting living every females dream of living with Justin Bieber.”
I laughed, the subject lightning from it’s seriousness. “And not a lot of women have been able to say that they’ve kissed Justin Bieber either. Plus, you’ve got one over everyone because you can say you had Justin Bieber’s baby.”
“I feel special.” She giggled, “But seriously though. You have nothing to be sorry for. It will just take me time to adjust to this lifestyle, possibly longer than your past girlfriends, you’ll just need to bear with me.”
Reaching across and laying my hand on her denim knee, I quickly glanced to the side and smiled. “I’ll wait as long as needed, babe.”
A smile graced her painted lips, her hands stopped shaking and her tense posture relaxing into the leather interior. Lacing our fingers together, I lifted her hand and placed a chaste kiss atop of her knuckles. Something needed to be done about our perplexed relationship soon – and I knew exactly what I wanted.