This photo reminded me of a scene I deleted from Playing At Love. It took place toward the end, after Conor has come back from New York and he and Gavin had their heart to heart after going for a run together:
Sophie was in the kitchen making breakfast when Gavin and Conor got back from their run. She had thrown her hair up into a messy bun and dressed in leggings and slouchy sweater once the waves of morning sickness left her. She was six weeks and four days pregnant and had every expectation that all would go smoothly. It was such a wonderful thing to be able to have a chance at a family again that it was almost hard to believe it was true. She touched her still flat belly with one hand while she stirred the slow cooking scrambled eggs with the other.
“We’re back, darlin’,” Gavin said softly.
“Oh, good,” she said. She realized she had been in her own world, a dreamy smile on her face, and now she leaned in for a kiss from her husband. “Hi Conor.”
“How are you, Sophie?” Conor asked.
“I’m good, thanks. How was your run?”
“Conor nearly killed me with how fast he was going,” Gavin said as he filled two large glasses with water.
“You must be hungry then. I’m almost ready for you guys.”
“I should go,” Conor said.
“Stay for breakfast,” Gavin said.
Sophie watched the way the two men locked eyes for a silent moment and wondered what had happened on this run.
“Thanks, I will. I’ll use the jax first,” Conor said.
The eggs were done and Sophie turned off the heat. She had made a half dozen Belgian waffles, crisped a package of bacon and cut up fruit so it was just a matter of plating everything.
“How are you feeling?” Gavin asked as he came up behind her. He wrapped his arms around her waist and kissed her on the back of the neck.
She squeezed his hand. “Better, baby.”
“Hope this part eases off soon so you can enjoy.” He trailed little kisses along her neck, purposely tickling her so that she laughed and turned around to face him. “That’s what I wanted,” he said. “That smile.”
“I love you, Gavin.”
“I love you, darlin’. Always have done.”
Conor returned, shuffling his feet to be heard.
“Sit down,” Sophie told him, gesturing to the table. “Juice? Coffee?”
He took his glass of water, downed it in several large gulps and set it back on the counter. “Yes, both, thanks.”
Sophie and Gavin joined him at the table, each with plates of food.
“Looks gorgeous. Thanks so much,” Conor said. He piled eggs on top of a waffle along with several pieces of bacon. He doused the whole thing with syrup, then picked it up and curled it together like a taco, taking a big bite.
Sophie tentatively took a bite of dry waffle, still not entirely sure her morning sickness was over but this first attempt at eating seemed to settle. Looking across the table at Gavin and Conor, she watched for a moment as both men ate ravenously. It made her so happy and content to have come to this point where she had both the love of her life and her good friend back. It hadn’t been easy to get here, but she was truly grateful because these men were everything to her.
“Tell Sophie what you told me. Get her take.”
Conor looked up from his plate. “Her take?”
“Well, em, just tell her the main part.”
Now Sophie watched them with an amused smile. “What is it?”
“Guess you could say I took your advice,” Conor said. He drained half his glass of orange juice before continuing. “Colette and I aren’t going to get married. It’s all off.”
“Oh wow. I didn’t think you’d do it.”
“I probably would have let it all happen if I hadn’t . . . .”
Sophie raised her eyebrows. “Yes?”
“Let’s just say I had extra motivation.”
She looked at Gavin for more information but he just shrugged. She’d get it out of him later.
“How did Colette take it?”
He sighed and then busied himself with eating a few more bites. “Well, she’s keeping the ring, so you can imagine it wasn’t all that amicable.”
“That ring must have cost you a couple hundred thousand.” Her own ring was modest by celebrity standards. It was just under four karats, a solitaire on a platinum band. Her wedding band was a series of small diamonds all the way around. The set was of the highest quality and though it was simple, she loved it.
“Seriously?” Gavin asked.
“Better than a multi-million-dollar divorce down the line,” Gavin said.
“Fuck off, Gav,” Conor said and smiled despite himself.
“Aye, you know me. Always looking on the bright side of life.” He sang the last part to mirror the tone from the classic Monty Python movie, “The Life of Brian,” and they laughed.
* * *
“I’m thrilled for you, you know,” Conor said.
He was helping Sophie with the dishes while Gavin showered.
She glanced at him as she rinsed the soap off a plate. “And why is that?”
“Well, I hope I’m right in saying anything. It’s just I’ve seen Celia go through this three times now. And it I noticed you didn’t drink any wine the other day at my place, then you—the perpetual early riser―slept late today. And when we came back I saw you touching your belly.”
Tears sprang to her eyes. Conor had always made such a close study of her, so it wasn't surprising that he had figured this out. His knowing once more about her early stage of pregnancy was bound to have an effect after all the heartache that went with the first time. As she blinked away the reflexive tears, she realized it was comforting that he knew. It felt good and right that he would be there again. He would always be, in some way, the other man in her life.
“I wish you all the best, honey.”
She leaned her shoulder against him and he gave her a quick one-arm hug.
“It’s early, so we don’t want to say anything.”
“Of course. I won’t say a thing.”
Sophie looked at him and smiled.
“You’ll be an amazing mother.”
“You’ll be a fantastic uncle,” she returned and he laughed.
© Lara Ward Cosio
PLAYING AT LOVE