Grace sat back on the couch while Ben rubbed her feet. “Three more weeks and I won’t have to lay around like a beached whale anymore and we will finally meet our son!”
Ben smirked at her. “You’re the sexiest whale I’ve ever seen,” he said and earned a playful swat on the arm from his sexy whale-wife. “What? I said you were sexy!”
“You also agreed that I was a whale!” she said laughing.
Ben had grown to love Grace more over the course of the past few months than he ever thought he could love anyone. The last four weeks had been especially tough on her, both physically and mentally, but she rarely complained. She was simply amazing. His amazing wife.
They both looked up when the door opened and Emma and Rachael came in. “Oh, I’m so jealous!” said Rachael, “Nick never rubs my feet.”
“Maybe I’ll loan you Ben after the baby is born,” offered Grace.
Rachael scrunched up her face. “No offense Grace, but I’ll pass.”
“We brought dinner,” said Emma cheerfully, “Rachael made pasta primavera.”
“Mmmmm. That sounds wonderful. I’m going to owe you two big time,” said Grace.
“Just let us babysit!” exclaimed Emma.
Grace looked over her shoulder at Emma. “Sounds like you are getting the short end of that deal, but you are on!”
Someone knocked on the door. “That’s probably Nick,” said Rachael as she was setting the table, “I must have his key.”
“I’ll let him in,” said Ben and went to answer the door. It wasn’t Nick but two men he didn’t recognize. “Can I help you?” he asked.
“Ben Murdock?” asked the one wearing sunglasses while the one with the beanie looked over Ben’s shoulder into the apartment.
Ben started to get nervous. “Who wants to know?” he asked.
Beanie glared at Ben. “You might want to step out here and close the door, if you don’t want the little ladies to hear.”
Ben didn’t like the way he was leering at the girls so did as he said.
As soon as the door closed, Sunglasses flashed a gun and pushed Ben up against the wall.
“What the hell?” asked Ben mad, confused and more than just a little scared.
“The boss wants to know who your supplier is.” Ben felt the barrel of the gun move under his arm and stopped resisting.
Sunglasses pushed the gun harder into Ben’s side. “We aren’t playing games Murdock. I’ll ask you one more time, who are you getting the weed from?”
“I – I grow it myself,” stuttered Ben, now sweating.
Glasses gave another shove with the gun into Ben’s side.
“I swear! I grow it here,” said Ben quickly.
“YES! Here, in the apartment.” said Ben desperate for them to believe him.
Sunglasses finally lowered his gun. “Well, I’ll be dipped. You little shit. You’re cutting into our fucking profits. Stop selling – orders of the Boss. We’ll be watching. I don’t have to tell you what might happen to those cute little fillies in there if you do anything stupid.”
Ben breathed a sigh of relief as he put away the gun.
“We’ll be in touch after we report back to the Boss. And let’s keep this between us for now. Okay?” Sunglasses and Beanie turned and made their way to the elevator just as Nick got off.
Beanie and Sunglasses nodded their heads in a cursory greeting to Nick. Nick looked at Ben and then back at the closed elevator.
“Who the hell was that? Ben…are you okay man?”
Ben took a deep breath, “Let’s go into Rachael’s apartment.” He needed to talk to Nick.
Ben sat down and explained what happened, leaving out the part about the gun.
“I don’t know what to do. I need the income, but I can’t leave Grace alone. She needs someone there with her full time until she delivers.”
“What if you sell to them,” suggested Nick, “You’ll have to reduce your price, but it gets you both what you want.”
Ben thought about that for a minute. “That might work. When they come back, and I have no doubt they will, maybe I can make a deal.” Ben took a deep breath and blew it out slow. “Grab a bottle of wine. I need a fucking drink, and besides we need a reason we were gone so long. And Nick … there is no way anyone else needs to know about this. Please. Don’t tell Rachael.”
“Ben, you are going to have to tell Grace. Secrets don’t make a good marriage.”
“I may not have to. I can do this until she is back on her feet, and then get a normal job. I can’t tell her before the baby is born. She doesn’t need the added stress. She already knows I am selling to Austin. She’s known that for a long time. I’ll let her think he’s still buying the extra.”
“This has escalated and is getting out of control. Maybe you should just dump the plants and ask your Dad or Mom for help.”
“Grab the wine and let’s go. Rachael made dinner,” he said, effectively ending the conversation.