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Do You Ship Us? - 50. Looking After Grace

“You’re pregnant?” Jasper’s voice was barely louder than a whisper as his sister pulls the mass of blankets off her stomach and shows him the quite obvious bump, it wasn’t very big, but big enough to at least prove she was pregnant. “Holy shit.”

“He hasn’t let me go to any doctors the whole time, he’s been hoping if I didn’t get medical care it’d just...” Grace stops and wipes away the tears from her cheeks. “But I’ve been feeling movements for weeks, I just didn’t tell him that. I honestly thought if I got pregnant he would change, but he hasn’t and I can’t have this baby anywhere near him, he’ll hurt it. I know he will. He wants the baby to die and this morning when I was lying down he saw the baby move and he freaked out on me and punched me in the stomach three times then started hitting me for not getting rid of it sooner. When he stopped and left the room I ran away and I would have gone to you but I didn’t know where you were so I just drove around for a while, I didn’t want to come here and I knew if I went to the hospital alone they would call Mum and Dad. I’ve been bleeding, not much, but the pain. I’m in so much pain, it’s coming and going so I know I don’t know if it’s contractions.” Grace pauses again as one of the pains she is describing hits again.

“What the fuck?” Jasper gasps, staring confused as he takes in what he’d just heard, his eyes not leaving the baby bump as though he was sure it was going to disappear if he looked away.

“I know. I know it’s a mess.” Grace sobs, the pain having passed fairly quickly.

“A mess! This is more than a mess. I don’t even know what to ask first. Do you know when you’re due? What if you are in labor right now? Has the baby been moving since he hit you?” Jasper asks desperately.

“I don’t know, I don’t think I am due soon. I don’t feel like it’s close enough for labor. I think I felt him move not long ago. Seriously though they should go to bed in a few hours and as soon as they are asleep I’ll call you. Please. Please!” Grace begs.

 

“That’s messed up, she should already be at the hospital!” Ryan gasps as Jasper finishes filling him in on the conversation he’d had with his sister.

“I know, that’s why I want to stay close. I don’t trust her judgement. At all. And frankly I am trying not to be too snappy about this because there’s nothing I can do about it now, but she deliberately got pregnant because she thought that’d stop him from using her as a punching bag. Stupid. Stupid to bring a kid into this mess and stupid to think he’d change at all. I’m so angry about it, but right now she needs me to help her so I am trying to put my feelings aside and do what she wants from me.” Jasper rubs his temples again. “Don’t suppose you have any pain killers, because today has been one massive headache.”

“Glove box.” Ryan points. Jasper opens it and takes out a pill packet, reading it and popping a few into his hand. “So, what’s with your Dad? You guys don’t speak at all?” Ryan asks.

“Last time I saw him we had a bit of a power standoff. I yelled at him for not doing anything about Grace’s dickhead boyfriend and he told me to keep out of it, and shoved me. I told him to take his anger out on the right person for once, that’s the night I got kicked out. Grace and I were so close before I went away and by the time I came back I found out she’d been coming home with bruises and black eyes for a few months and I was just furious that they hadn’t intervened and put a stop to it. My Dad never held back on smacking us as kids, so for him to sit back and let his daughter continually come back from her boyfriend’s place with bruises and not step up and be the man in her life that defended her, made me sick.” Jasper shrugs. “We haven’t spoken a word to each other since.”

“Wow, what is wrong with both of your parents?” Ryan asks, realizing he was being insensitive but Jasper didn’t seem phased. “Sorry.”

“All good. Anyway, do you reckon it’s dark enough for us to make out without anyone seeing yet? Because what you said to my Mum back there deserves one hell of a good kiss, at the very least.” Jasper says in a suggestive tone. Ryan looks at him with a smile then shakes his head.

“Maybe now isn’t the best time.” He replies.

“It’s been a really crap day for both of us, I don’t know about you but I could sure use a distraction.” Jasper pouts at him.

“Ok, so my question is, where is this hotel you booked and will they have room service?” Ryan asks, rubbing Jasper’s knee.

Yes to room service, and the hotel is only like, 5 minutes down the street, but hear me out. When else are we going to be able to hook up in a public area and not get caught? Come on, does it not sound thrilling to you?” Jasper asks with a devious grin.

“If we get caught in your home town, a block from your parents house though, won’t that be a big drama?”

“Stop overthinking and please just kiss me.” Jasper begs.

“You know, for someone who has already been caught up in a photo scandal, I really didn’t expect you to be so willing to be caught again.” Ryan couldn’t help but laugh at Jasper’s lack of concern.

“I am very willing and you are very worth the risk.” Jasper tells him, moving to on top of his lap. “Two options. One; tell me no and I’ll stop. Two; relax and kiss me. Your choice.” Jasper whispers, his lips so close to Ryan’s they were nearly touching, but he was teasingly waiting for Ryan to decide which option he was going to choose.

“You are going to get me in trouble someday.” Ryan whispers back.

Mhm, but we’ll at least have plenty of fun first.” Jasper winks. Ryan had nothing left to say he just leans forward and kisses Jasper hard, choosing to allow themselves to get lost in distraction, Jasper was right, it’d been a hell of a day and they did both need to relax and take their minds off both the interview and their interactions with Jasper’s less than welcoming family.

After a quick make-out session, they head to the hotel to relax and get dinner while waiting for Grace to call. Jasper was very anxious checking his phone every few minutes after it passed 8.30, a time when he thought he could reasonably expect for his parents to go to bed. As time passed and his phone stayed silent he became more and more fidgety.

“Do I need to distract you again?” Ryan asks, rubbing Jasper’s back.

“I don’t want to be rude or insulting but I don’t think literally anything will take my mind of how stressed I am now.” Jasper sighs, looking up at Ryan with an apologetic smile.

“I’m not insulted.” Ryan replies. “No harm in a massage though.” He suggests. Jasper tilts his head forward inviting Ryan to give him a massage.

“What’d I do to deserve you?” Jasper asks.

“Existed, in general.” Ryan answers, trying to help Jasper relax. Jasper’s phone buzzes and he grabs it urgently, only to sigh and drop it back beside him on the bed.

“Simon.” Jasper shrugs. “Apparently we’re all meeting at his tomorrow afternoon for whatever it is he’s planning on doing for his ‘inspiration’ week.”

“Oh shit, that’s right. Will we be back by then?”

“I really want to know, but I guess I’ll just have to wait and see. If Grace isn’t ok then I’m pretty sure I can get out of it with a family emergency. I’d really rather keep this all private for her sake though. I won’t tell people if I don’t need to.” Jasper answers then grabs his phone again as it goes off. “That’s her. Lets go.” Jasper gets up and pulls his shirt back on, Ryan holds his hand and pulls him close before they rush out the door.

“Hey, whatever goes on and however this all turns out, I want you to know I’m here to support you ok? I am hoping she will be fine and the baby will be fine, but if anything isn’t ok, I’m here for you.” Ryan holds him tight.

So you’ll bail me out of jail if the baby isn’t ok and I murder her asshole of an ex?” Jasper asks in a joking way, but it was clear he was seriously worried about the baby.

“Hey I’ll dig the grave and marry you so I cannot testify against you in a trial, don’t worry. I’ve got your back.” Ryan promises. They smile at each other then without another word, head off to pick up Jasper’s sister.

 

They arrive across the road from the house, where Grace was already standing waiting for them. Jasper had chosen to sit in the back so he could be beside her on the drive to the hospital, so as they pull up he opens the door for her. With one hand on her bump, Grace carefully climbs in the car.

“Are you ok?” Jasper asks, watching her grimace in pain.

“I don’t know.” Grace answers.

“I’m going to call the hospital now so they can get you in right away, ok?” Jasper asks and Grace gives a nod. Ryan pulls back onto the road, following the instructions on his GPS while Jasper holds his sister’s hand and calls the emergency department at the hospital. He gives them a brief description of what was going on then his sister’s details, ‘Grace Evelyn Ried, birth date February 29.’

“Are you seriously twins?” Ryan asks when Jasper gets off the phone.

“Triplets actually, we have another brother.” Jasper answers.

“What? Really?” Ryan gasps.

“No.” Jasper laughs.

“He says that to everyone that asks, don’t worry.” Grace chimes in. “Back in school he had people convinced we had an evil brother named James and would pretend to be James whenever he got in trouble so that he wouldn’t get bad marks on his record. Lovely to meet you by the way. Thank you so much for this, I know this isn’t your drama to get involved in.”

“This is weird, I feel like I’ve kidnapped you.” Ryan calls out to them.

“I’d let you.” Grace replies with a flirty tone.

“Ok can you not hit on my boyfriend.” Jasper laughs.

“Mum and Dad told me they’d like me with Ryan. They like Ryan, by the way.” Grace replies and for a moment there is silence before she lets out another pained groan.

“We’re nearly there.” Ryan calls back to her, checking the time on the GPS to see they were only a minute away.

“There will be doctors waiting to escort you in.” Jasper tells her, rubbing her arm.

“You’ll stay with me won’t you. I don’t want to be alone. I’m so scared.” Grace starts crying in a panic.

“I’ll be there, I’m not going anywhere, don’t worry. Until I know what’s going on with you, I won’t be going anywhere.” Jasper assures her, Ryan turns into the carpark of the hospital and makes his way to the emergency entrance where there was a hospital bed, two doctors and a nurse waiting. Ryan flashes his lights and pulls up right beside them. Jasper gets out first and makes sure they were waiting for Grace, before he helps her out of the car, rattling off all the information he knew to the nurse that was quickly marking down notes.

“I’ll park the car and come in.” Ryan states, mostly talking to himself though because Jasper was walking beside the bed Grace was being wheeled in on and was obviously more concerned about her. It only takes Ryan a minute to find a car park, then he walks back to the emergency entrance. He could feel the events of the day catching up to him now that he had a moment to himself where he wasn’t needing to stay confident and strong for Jasper, knowing he’d done his part in taking care of the situation with Grace, he allows himself a few moments of solitude to take deep breaths, preparing himself to be there for Jasper, like he promised. He’d never really had a chance to be the support person for anyone before, because he’d for years now been the one that was falling apart and needing the extra time and love. Jasper had been fantastic in Ryan’s lowest times, so right now he felt very afraid that he wouldn’t be good enough at taking care of Jasper if things inside weren’t going well. With one more deep breath Ryan walks inside the hospital, hoping for good news but assuming the worst.

Claire Rosalind
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I feel bad for Grace as she is dealing with the possibility that she’s going to lose the baby, she’s lucky to have Jasper right there with her. Ryan knows that Jasper is going to be with Grace every moment that he can be while she’s in the hospital. I hope that she doesn’t lose the baby although I really think she needs to divorce her husband so she and possibly her baby can live in peace away from the abuse of her husband. I think this way after he saw the baby move and he punches her in the stomach to cause her to lose the baby since he didn’t even want it anyway, as abusive as he is towards her she needs to get away from him for good. 

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Grace is so lucky to have Jasper and Ryan with her. Ryan knows that Jasper will be spending most of his time with Grace whilst she's at the hospital.

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I’m so sorry for what Grace is going through and wish they’d get her the help she surely needs. Jasper and Ryan will be great uncles.

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