Chapter 4.84 – Advice

“Ryan, I can’t believe we’re going to be grandparents at the same time!” said Reagan excitedly, her phone on speaker so Evan could listen.

“What the fuck are you talking about?” asked her brother.

“Oh crap, you don’t know, Tyler and Veronica haven’t told you yet?”

“Told me what Reagan?” he growled.

Reagan looked up at Evan and he shrugged. “Um … Veronica’s pregnant Ryan,” she said and braced herself for the explosion to come.

That’s ridiculous, Tyler’s a fucking kid! He can’t be having a baby, I taught him better than that anyway. You must mean Sam, right?

“Calm down Ryan,” said Reagan, “and no, not Sam, Veronica. Cassie and Cris came by to tell us their special news and mentioned they saw Tyler and Veronica at the OB-GYN also waiting to see the doctor. Cassie confronted her and Veronica admitted she’s also pregnant. And um, they moved up their wedding date and are getting married this weekend at the J.P. Sam and Walker are coming in this weekend so they can stand up for them, along with Cassie and Cris.”

“Wait … let me get this shit straight … Tyler and Veronica are getting married – THIS FUCKING WEEKEND, and both Veronica and Cassie are fucking pregnant. Damn, this shit just gets better and better. Reagan, what about any of this are you okay with? Cassie’s the same fucking age as Tyler and Veronica. Tyler’s still immature and Veronica …. yes, she’s smart as fuck, but equally as ditzy. They’re all too young and inexperienced to be married and saddled with kids.”

“Just a Goddamn minute Ryan!” interjected Evan, “just because Maribel is a bitch and we both made stupid mistakes the first time around doesn’t mean our kids are making the same mistakes. Cris and Cassie are very much in love – you should see them together. In fact, you have at the grand opening of THEIR wine bar, the one they worked hard together to make happen. My Cassie is happy Ryan, and she deserves to be. I had to watch her fall into a self-destructive depression after we lost Alex and not until Cris have I seen that girl smile so much. She glows Ryan. Fucking glows! So keep your righteous judgements to yourself. And FYI, she’s having twins, twins who are supposed to be joined at the hip and have each other’s back, like you should be doing for your twin sister right now.”

“Reagan? Are you still there?” asked Ryan softly, clearly affected by Evan’s words.

“I am,” she said, her voice gentle, yet firm, “but Ryan, I have nothing to say to you if you can’t support your son in this. I know Cris is older and more grounded than Tyler. He took Cassie under his wing and she’s grown leaps and bounds. That poor girl’s been through a lot of heartache in her young life, so she’s an old soul even though she’s young. And yes, Tyler and Veronica are still figuring things out, so they’re going to need your help and guidance even more. But you have to admit, Veronica’s been good for Ty, he’s come out of his shell and blossomed. You don’t want to alienate them now and have them wind up like we did, hating our parents and making really bad choices. Be there for them Ryan, please, they need you now more than ever. This isn’t something that’s going to go away just because you’re pissed off. Don’t let them know you’re angry, or god forbid, try to stop it.”

Ryan let out a breath she could hear through the phone. “Since you seem to be in the know, when were they going to tell us?”

“Now that I think about it, I’m not so sure they were, at least not until after they were married. Cris and Cassie never said you didn’t know so this was probably their way of cluing you in. I’m sorry Ryan.”

“Oh, hell no, I’m not missing my son’s wedding even if it is at the J.P. and I don’t agree with it, and dammit, if Sam is here, I want to see her too.” He pulled the phone away and Reagan heard him calling for Taysia. “I’m putting Taysia on, tell her what the fuck is going on while I get a drink so I can calm down before we call the little shit.”

“Ryan Murdock! You take that back, Tyler’s the sweetest person I know.”

“Fine, you’re right Rea, just talk to Taysia.”

**************************************************

“Fuck,” said Tyler, and ran his hand through his hair while trying to apologize to Veronica with his eyes, “that was Dad, he and Taysia are on the way over, I guess good news travels fast.”

“Oh crapcakes, what are you going to tell him?” asked Veronica, suddenly very nervous.

“That nothing they say can change our minds, millions of people do this every day, that we love each other and want this,” he continued ticking off things to say without taking a breath, “we’re already living together, sort of anyway, I only go to my apartment to work, and the lease is going to be up in a month, then we can just move everything here.”

“Tyler, this place is a cracker box,” she replied only focusing on the last thing he said, “we need at least 3 bedrooms so you can make one of them an office.”

“We’ll figure it out,” he said, trying his best to sound confident to ease her concerns, and his too. He kissed her forehead. “Feeling better?”

“Much,” she said and let out a soft sigh, “Tyler, thank you, I couldn’t do this without you.”

Tyler cupped her face gently. “If not for me you wouldn’t be having a baby, so no, you’ll never be doing this without me.”

“Oh God, we’re having a baby,” she said and started to cry uncontrollably.

“Angel baby why are you crying now?” he asked confused. I thought we were past this.

“I don’t know!” she bit out in frustration, “I’m happy and scared and horny and sick and confused,” she began pounding his chest as she spoke emphasizing each word, “and all at the same time! It’s overwhelming.” Tyler finally grabbed her wrists so she’d stop hitting him and she melted into him. “Please, just hold me or something,” she begged.

His heart was breaking for her as he tugged her close. “I’m here for you Ronnie, just try not to beat me up too much.”

“It’s not funny,” she cried into his chest at the same time the doorbell rang.

“Fuck, they’re here,” he said, “You up for this? If not, I can make them leave.”

“I’m good,” she said and swiped at her face, “let’s just get it over with.”

Tyler answered the door, Veronica his hesitant shadow. “Hi Dad, Taysia,” he said and stepped aside to let them in. His father looked all kinds of pissed, making Tyler wish Veronica weren’t here to see the ensuing conversation. He suddenly had a weird feeling in his chest, and his hand went there of its own accord. He could feel his heart racing wildly as the adrenaline pumped through his body, his fight or flight response kicking in with his need to protect Ronnie and their baby. He knew right then, without a shadow of a doubt, just exactly how important they were to him.

“Why aren’t you at work?” asked his father rather than hugging him or acknowledging Veronica.

“I took a sick day, if it’s any of your business. So, if you’re here to judge us and tell us we’re screwing up our lives, you can leave now.” He had to take a breath to calm his breathing, unaccustomed to talking to his father that way.

“Ryan,” scolded Taysia, then turned to Tyler, “that’s not why we’re here sweetheart, we’re here to offer whatever help and support you need. Right Ryan?”

His dad nodded so Taysia raised an eyebrow at him in silent communication. “Right,” he ground out, “to help you make the right choices.”

“The choices have already been made,” said Tyler with a finality that he didn’t know where came from. He could feel his hands involuntarily clench into fists as he continued. “We’re getting married this weekend and I suppose you also know Sam and Walker are coming?”

“Hmph” he grunted, “so you weren’t going to let us come to your wedding?” It was more of a statement than a question. Tyler couldn’t tell if he was pissed or hurt, probably a little of both, he realized.

“I’m sorry Mr. Murdock,” said Veronica quickly, her voice small, “I was the one pushing for a quickie wedding, and well we didn’t want anything – or anyone – to stop it. It’s all my fault.”

Tyler put his arm around her, tucking her protectively into his side and shot daggers with his eyes at his dad. “This is not her fault.”

“Why don’t we all calm down and stop trying to place blame,” said Taysia with the authority of someone in charge, “this isn’t helping, and we truly are here to help,” she paused and looked pointedly at her husband, “let’s all go in the kitchen, and I’ll make coffee.”

“NO!” shouted Tyler and Veronica simultaneously, both looking mortified.

Taysia stopped in her tracks, confused at first, then smiled as it hit her why they both said no. “Okay then,” she said with a smile in her voice, “ginger ale and soda crackers?”

“I’m good,” said Veronica, “but please, don’t make coffee, just thinking about it turns my stomach.”

“Sounds like you’re good and pregnant, all those hormones going crazy. We’ll just sit in here and perhaps you two can fill us in on your plans, and we’ll see how we can help.”

“Fine,” said Tyler, still feeling the need to guard Veronica even though his stepmother made him feel somewhat better.

His dad looked him up and down, weirdly studying him. “It’s okay son,” he said, “we just don’t want to be left out.” He forced a smile that looked more like a grimace. “That’s our grandchild and soon to be daughter-in-law you’re fiercely guarding; we mean no harm.”

Veronica smiled lovingly up at Tyler, seeming to relax as well at his words. “Ty’s been so supportive since we found out, I couldn’t ask for a better man to be my husband or father to our baby.”

“That may be,” said Ryan, the grimace back on his face, “but right now, it’s all just one big fucking fantasy. Once the baby comes, that’s when shit gets real.”

“Ryan,” scolded Taysia.

“What?” he asked feigning innocence, “I’m just telling them like it is.”

“Is that how you view our marriage?” she asked while looking down her nose at her him, one eyebrow practically reaching her hairline.

His dad had a pained look on his face as he attempted to formulate a response. “Well, no, no of course not, ours is different.

“How so Ryan?” she challenged.

His face visibly softened as he answered her question. “We got married because, for some insane reason, you love me as much as I love you and we couldn’t keep apart, even though we tried.”

“Exactly,” she agreed and smiled.

“Right,” he agreed, “exactly,” then his face changed as he turned to Tyler and continued his rant, his jaw clenching again, “but when I married someone because they were pregnant, it didn’t work out so well, in case you don’t recall Tyler.”

“Dad!” shot out Tyler, “we’ve been engaged for a few months, got that way before we found out Ronnie was pregnant. We love each other, very much, and I’ve been practically living here for the past six months. We’re happy about the baby and want to get married now instead of later only because it makes things less complicated if we’re already married, then we can focus on us for a bit before shifting to the baby.” God, he’s pissing me off, thought Tyler when he stopped to breathe. He glanced at Veronica to be sure she was okay, only to see her furiously nodding her head in agreement. She’s mine and I’m hers, he thought, and his heart warmed, we’re a team, there could never be anyone else for me.

“See Ryan,” said Taysia, gently rubbing her hand up and down his arm, “the right reasons baby, not something forced, I told you they’d be fine.” She turned to the two of them with a smile and continued, “Now, what can we help you with? And don’t say nothing, because we’ve been there, done that and can most definitely help with advice, money, the delivery, finding a bigger house, helping after the baby comes, even the quickie wedding. We’re here for you both, and just so you know, your father loves you very much and only wants what’s best – that’s why he’s so freaked out.”

Ryan shot Taysia a look then turned to Tyler. “Ty, can we have a word, privately?”

“I guess,” said Tyler and looked at Veronica for approval.

“Go ahead,” she said, “I have some questions for Mrs. -“

“Taysia,” corrected Taysia, “please call me Taysia, Mrs. Murdock is way too formal. And Ryan, be nice.”

Ryan saluted his wife, then followed Tyler into the kitchen leaving Taysia with Veronica. Tyler felt good that she and Taysia were going to talk but prepared himself for a fight with his dad.

“Tyler,” started Ryan as soon as they were seated, “I’m sorry you didn’t feel like you could come to us.”

“Why would I Dad? I knew you would act exactly like this and try to stop us, and Veronica was already freaking out, I didn’t need to add you to the mix and stress her more.”

“I was wrong, okay? I can clearly see how much you care about her and how much she depends on you. It’s actually kinda weird because I always thought she was the one with the backbone in this relationship.”

Tyler was pissed. No one was going to talk about her like that, not even his father, especially not his father. “Stop right there,” he ground out, “she does have a backbone, and if you ever cross her, you’ll learn words you never knew existed. Ronnie’s smart as hell and driven, already got a huge promotion at work. She taught me how to ski – among other things – and now it’s my turn to take care of her. This pregnancy threw her for a loop, she’s never been around babies before and it scares her, and nothing scares her, at least I have some experience with Paige. What are you smiling at?” He asked as his dad’s scowl turned into a smirk.

“You grew up while I wasn’t looking,” said his father hoarsely, “I’m incredibly proud of how you’re handling this, but son, know it’s going to get harder rather than easier. Children change people. What if Veronica suddenly seems to care more about the baby than you? Cuts you out of their life?”

“This is about Mom, isn’t it?” asked Tyler, suddenly seeing the parallels his dad had been drawing since they arrived.

Ryan ran his hands through his hair, chuffed out a sigh and leaned back. “Maybe, I mean Maribel and I were good in the beginning, she helped me make Total Mind & Body what it is. But I don’t think we were really in love, we just had common goals. But once the gym was up and running and you were born, well, things changed. You were a handful, and your mother didn’t deal with it very well, plus she was bored of the gym, and I suppose with me, so she took Sam and immersed her in beauty contests, dance lessons and anything else she could until there was only you and I left. She took Sam away from us Tyler, and I don’t want to see that happen to you. It leaves a big nasty empty space in your chest that you can never fill.”

“Like I said earlier Dad,” he said softly, wondering why he was just now seeing this vulnerable side of his father, “we were already planning to get married, but you and Mom weren’t even dating until you found out she was pregnant, at least that’s the rumor. Is it true?”

His dad looked down at his hands. “Yeah, because I was irresponsible and maybe Maribel tricked me into unprotected sex. It sounds like you two were also irresponsible.”

It was Tyler’s turn to study his hands. “It was my fault for not being cautious and using a condom as a backup, then she missed her appointment for her birth control shot.”

“On purpose? To trap you?” Ryan was incredulous.

“God no. She’s freaking out.”

“Maybe it’s an act,” suggested Ryan, not convinced.

Tyler stood up so fast he nearly knocked over the chair. “Out, now!”

“Whoa son, sit down, I’m sorry, I guess Veronica does seem more scatter brained than malicious.”

Tyler plopped back into the chair. “She doesn’t have a fucking malicious bone in her body Dad, and she’s not scatter brained either, just super busy.”

A small grin formed on his dad’s face. “Okay son, got it. I just want you going into this with your eyes open. You’re both so young and are barely established in your jobs. I don’t want to see you struggle with money. You know, if you want, you can come to work for me. Start to learn the ropes better so you can take over when I retire. You’ll be paid better than what you are now and have flexible work arrangements.”

What? thought Tyler, I’ve never thought about the gym anymore since graduation. “I’m not sure that’s what I want,” he finally said, “I work from home now, I’d have to go into the gym.”

“You don’t have to decide now, in fact, talk it over with Veronica. Decisions like this are best worked out as a couple. You have more to think about now than just yourself. Every decision you make affects Veronica and your child, she should have a say.”

Tyler hadn’t thought of it that way, but his dad was right, it was no longer just him and Ronnie, but a baby too. Damn. “Thanks Dad, I’ll talk it over with her.”

“Can I give you a few more pieces of fatherly advice? Will you indulge me please?” Tyler nodded so Ryan began ticking each thing off on his fingers. “First, don’t ever lie to her, even about little things just to avoid a disagreement, little white lies foster mistrust, always be honest. Two, tell her every single day that you love her, you never know if that’s the last time you’ll see her. Three, no matter what, don’t let the sun go down on an argument, do your best to reach a compromise. Arguments fester and grow when not resolved and resentment wedges in. And finally, Tyler, I sincerely hope that Veronica makes you as happy as Taysia makes me. Oh, and one last thing, can we please attend the wedding ceremony? Maybe even have it at our house instead of the courthouse?”

Tyler was speechless. Who is this man, he wondered, and what has he done with my dad? He had to work hard to swallow the huge lump that formed in his throat.

“I guess that’s a no,” said his father with a sad sigh when Tyler didn’t respond.

“No, I mean yes, I’ll ask her,” he said, his voice cracking a little, “thanks, Dad, for the offer and the advice. I know it’s not going to be walk in the park, but Ronnie’s awesome, she doesn’t quit or give up on anything ever, and she loves me Dad, me.” He had to swallow that damn lump again before he could finish. “I’m very lucky to have her.”

Ryan stood up and walked to where Tyler was sitting and clapped him on the back. “No son, you’re wrong, she’s lucky to have you. Your Aunt Rea reminded me of something today, she said you were the sweetest person she knew, and she’s right and fuck that made me proud to be your father,” he paused apparently swallowing down the same lump. “I love you son.”

When Tyler stood, Ryan used the hand that was still on his shoulder to pull him into a warm hug, he swore he heard his dad sniff back his emotions, which only made that pesky lump rise back into his throat.

Go to Chapter 4.85 >>>>>>

Go Back to Chapter 4.83

15 thoughts on “Chapter 4.84 – Advice

  1. Aww, the Ryan explosion was to be expected, especially after the inadvertent tattling by Reagan (kudos to Evan was setting her bro straight), but he really showed he, too, has grown, with the help of Taysia. His advice at the end was solid and once he got over the shock, inviting them to their home for a backyard wedding was a nice gesture too. Loved the chapter and very on-point imagery, showing the intensity of their words.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ryan explosions are just a thing and thankfully he has Taysia who knows exactly how to temper him, and she loves him, hot-headedness and all. I loved that Evan was there to defend Reagan as well as Cassie and put Ryan in his place. And yes, once Ryan calmed down and accepted things and began to notice how Tyler was taking control, he was proud of him and saw his growth as an adult. I loved his advice at the end, it was a great father-son bonding moment. And thank you for noticing the pics. I try hard to make them reflect the mood the words are conveying. It made my day. 💖💖💖 Merry Christmas!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Raegan is always so beautiful and stunning. It was great to see Evan stand up to Ryan too.

    Some lovely moments between Ry and Ty too. A great chapter as usual and the air is now cleared a bit. It would have been a shame for Tyler not to have his parents at the wedding.

    Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays and a great new year.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you as always for your kind words. Reagan is indeed gorgeous. I loved the support Evan gave her standing up to Ryan and putting him in his place.
      The father/son moments were enlightening for both. Ryan has a new respect for his son, and even Tyler gained some insight into his father. I’m glad his parents will be there. It would be sad for them to miss out.

      Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you as well! 🎄🎀🎁

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Chapter 4.83 – Surprise, Surprise, Surprise | New Beginnings

  4. I’m so excited for the impending double wedding. I’m so glad, despite those outbursts of Ryan’s, that he’s truly happy for his son and niece(Cassie, lol!). Those two couples are going to be wonderful parents because they have wonderful parents who helped shape them into the people we see today. Maribel doesn’t count. Taysia is more a mother to Tyler than Mirabel ever was.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It won’t be a double wedding, but almost, they will be very close together. Both small and intimate. At least Ryan is offering his home to Tyler so it will at least be less cold and much more meaningful for them all than a J?P.’s office. And yes, I agree that they will likely be great parents. Taysia definitely was more of a mom to Tyler than Maribel ever thought about being. Thankfully she came into his life when he was still young and helped him a lot through school. ❤️. And Reagan and Evan? The best! Especially Evan right after Alex died. He stepped up big time.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. ❤️ I may have gotten a little watery-eyed as well. It was so needed and I loved that Ryan revealed how broken hearted he was about missing out with Sam. 😭. I hope you guys had a great Christmas. W did, I had all my kids and grandkids come to see us the day after. It’s been awhile since we’ve all been together.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Audrey! Long time no see, I hope you had a wonderful holiday! 🎅🎄🙂

    I finally got around to reading the last few chapters and am finally caught up! Oh. My. Goodness! So much has been happening over time, there are babies on the way like crazy!

    I’m so happy everybody’s doing well, sounds like Cassie is doing more amazing everyday! She went from troubled and depressed to a successful business woman in several years, with a wonderful man by her side.

    I’m super happy for Tyler, Veronica is amazing and I can tell they make each other happy. His father needs to chill out, lol. I know that’s Ryan’s personality to be a bit temperamental. I love how Taysia is always there to swoop in and be the voice of reason when Ryan gets off his hinges. I understand how he feels though, he’s experienced a lot of tough times. He was born to an evil Satan of a mother, and ended up getting caught up with a terrible marriage, so he’s protective.

    Anyways, it is awesome to see you updating again! PS might I add, (of course it’s your choice), but I really hope one of Cassie’s babies ends up with Cris’s eyes. I’ve always thought his eyes were beautiful… Like this amber color.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I loved reading through this. ❤️. You totally get everyone! And yes, so much has happened! Babies! I hope one or both of the twins take after Cris, he’s so nice to look at! 😍. Those eyes. And he’s been such a great influence on Cassie. It’s been satisfying to see her turn her life around and trust him. She’s even embracing becoming a mom.
      Tyler and Veronica just go together. She’s quirky and pushes him out of his comfort zone in good ways and has brought him out of his shell to the point he’s was able to actually take control of their situation.

      And Ryan, yep, he’s protective and tends to go waaaay overboard. Taysia calms him in a way no one else can by not actually challenging him. She makes him listen and he sees what he’s doing. And in the end, he gave Tyler some sound advice. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Chapter 4.85 – 💖 Tyler and Veronica 💖 | New Beginnings

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