Cindy (cindyanne1) wrote,

The Standish Legacy


Generation Four:  Hope:  Part Four
Warnings: partial nudity, implied sex

Ben did, after more gentle urging from Hope, finally consent to see a urologist, and came home with a prescription for some medication the doctor assured him would help. 


That night, he was able to make love to his wife for the first time, to Hope’s absolute relief. Although it might be off by a few weeks or so, it was still feasible for Ben to believe he was the father of her unborn child, which was all Hope wanted.

Luckily so.

Making love with Ben wasn’t at all like it had been with Ripp, and although Hope knew it wasn’t right to compare the two, she couldn’t help it. 

The simple fact was, in spite of all his talk about stud stallions and the like, sex with Ben after sleeping with Ripp was like taking a quiet canoe ride on a mill pond after being on a journey through miles of white rapids. 

No comparison whatsoever. 

Added to it all was the fact the medication gave Ben terrible side effects. He had a headache that confined him to bed the entire next day, and his blood pressure skyrocketed. It appeared as though the one time they were able to complete the marital act was going to be the only time. However, Hope wasn’t too upset; one time was all she needed.

“Darling, I have wonderful news,” she told Ben excitedly one early morning approximately two weeks after they had made love. “I’m pregnant!”

“Hope, that’s amazing!” Ben cheered. “Are you sure?”

“Very sure,” Hope replied, grimacing as she held her stomach. At least she could overtly display her morning sickness and fatigue now, because hiding all her symptoms up to this point had been completely hellish.

Ben hugged her tightly.  He was absolutely thrilled she was getting the baby he knew she wanted so badly. What were the odds that the one time he was able to perform for her, he would get her pregnant? It was a relief to him, because as much as he wanted to please his wife, he simply could not tolerate the medication for impotence and had resigned himself to never being able to completely satisfy Hope again. 


He was, however, very happy she was getting a child. At least he was able to do that much for her... he hoped it would be enough.

It wasn’t.

Night after night, as the weeks passed, Hope lay, awake and frustrated, beside Ben’s heavily snoring form,  her hands caressing the growing bulge in her belly, and she remembered Ripp’s touch and how it had been between them.  


Hope hadn’t spoken to Ripp since the day she had conceived their baby, and she knew he was letting her think about what to do. She also knew that he wouldn’t give up on her, no matter what, and it was only a matter of time before he showed up on her doorstep once again, which brought Hope’s thoughts to her pregnancy.

Hope sighed as she lightly stroked her abdomen. Of course, Ripp still didn’t know about the baby, and she wasn’t sure how she was going to tell him. As far as Ripp knew, even if he did see she was pregnant, the baby could just as easily be Ben’s.   

However, looking back, Hope was almost certain Ripp had been able to tell she had never been with another man before him, married or not. 


After all, something like that wasn’t easy to hide, and if he knew how to count at all, Ripp would be able to figure out there was a strong likelihood the baby was his.

Well, that doesn’t mean I can’t tell him it isn’t, Hope thought to herself. Whether Ripp knew he was her first lover or not, it didn’t matter. She had been with Ben since then, even if it was only once, and as far as anyone knew, the baby was Ben’s, plain and simple.

Except it wasn’t, and Hope sighed and turned over, her back to Ben, curling her body around the small innocent life she carried while tears fell on her pillow. 

It wasn’t fair for the baby to grow up in the midst of a lie, never knowing the man who called himself Daddy truly was not. It wasn’t fair for Ripp to be a father and never have the opportunity to know his child, and it wasn’t fair for Ben to raise a baby that wasn’t his. 

about the situation was fair, and Hope knew it was all her fault. 

What she didn’t know was how to make things right.



“Hope, is this baby mine?” Ripp asked softly, reaching out to gently touch Hope’s belly.   “It is, isn’t it?”

Hope looked away, unable to answer. Ripp had come to her, just like she’d known he would, and as she was beginning her third trimester when he did, she was completely unable to hide her pregnancy. Ripp’s eyes fell to her rounded abdomen; his breath caught in his throat, and his dark blue eyes grew wide with shock. 


Any ideas Hope had about trying to convince Ripp the baby was Ben’s dissolved instantly. He knows, Hope thought, Ripp knows it’s his, and there’s no reason to try to pretend otherwise.

“Hope?” Ripp prompted gently.

Without a word, Hope nodded.

“Oh, Hope...” Ripp breathed. “Why didn’t you tell me before now? Why?”

“I don’t know, Ripp...” Hope said, her hand covering her eyes. “I just... I don’t know. Things are... complicated.”

“They’re not!” Ripp insisted. “They’re as clear as day to me! We’ve loved each other for years… Years!   And now I find out you’re having my baby?  You’re more married to me already than you are to that old man, and you know it, Hope! Just divorce him and we’ll…”

“I told you!” Hope cried. “I can’t divorce him, Ripp! Don’t you understand? I have to stay married to him, and I have to let him believe this child is his!” 

What?” Ripp cried in disbelief. “Hope, why?  Because of some stupid prenuptial agreement? That shouldn’t have anything to do with the baby!”

“It’s not just the prenup, Ripp,” Hope interrupted sadly. “It’s this.” She waved her hands around indiscriminately, indicating the house and grounds. “All this... the whole estate! Don’t you see? The way things are now, this child will inherit everything. He or she will be the next designee to my family's inheritance. But, if I go with you and take our baby away, there would be a good chance that all my great-grandparents worked to create here could be lost!” 


She crossed her arms protectively over her middle and sighed sadly, shaking her head back and forth. “I can’t do that.  I can’t undo everything my family has done... all they’ve built...” 

She began to cry softly while Ripp stood next to her in shock, trying to absorb everything she had just told him. “But...but Hope, I want to be with you. I want our baby.”  


He put his arms around her and a sob escaped from him. “I want us to be a family, Hope.”

Hope looked pleadingly up into Ripp’s dark blue eyes. “Ripp, I want that too.  I see that now.  I know I made some terrible decisions, and I’m so sorry... but I don’t know how to change them.”  She sniffed and wiped her eyes. “Ben has to believe this baby is his.  Only you and I will be able to know the truth, and I promise to let you visit the baby, Ripp, as much as you want...  although you can’t ever let anyone know that you’re the fa...”

“No!” Ripp yelled, tears shining in his eyes. “Listen, Hope, I understand everything you’re trying to tell me, but I just...I can’t...” He gulped. “Hope, we belong together.” 


He pulled her close and kissed her hungrily.  “Please, Hope...let me show you how much I love you... how happy you’d be with me.  Please.”

“Ripp, I...” Hope protested, then, as he kissed her more insistently, she relented, taking him by the hand and quickly leading him through the house.  Ben and her parents were out in the hot tub soaking, and Hope managed to pull Ripp into a spare bedroom and lock the door before anyone saw them. She barely had time to turn around before Ripp was all over her, pulling at her clothing and guiding her to the bed. He knew he would have to be gentle with her, and careful due to her condition, but it didn’t dull his desire in the least. 

Hope gave herself up to the rapture again, wildly thinking, if this is all I can give him, and all I can have of him, then it’s enough! I’ll make it be enough!  She knew it wasn’t, but she didn’t know how to make what she truly wanted possible. Not after she had messed everything up so badly. 


She closed her eyes and held tightly to Ripp,…  matching his desire, pulling him closer… willing him to feel how much she truly loved him, how much she needed him, and how sorry she was for ruining the wonderful life they could have had together before it ever had a chance to begin.


After they were both gratified, Ripp lay in the bed beside Hope, staring at the roundness that was his unborn child in her belly. Without Hope’s clothing, he could see the child’s movements under the skin, and it fascinated him. Gently, he placed one large hand over her abdomen and felt for any motion from within.


“Did you feel that?” Ripp cried with excitement. “Was that the baby?” He placed both hands on Hope’s abdomen and waited expectantly. 

Bump, bump!

Hope giggled. Ripp laughed and rubbed her belly. “Do you already know me, little one?” He looked at Hope. “I think he or she does, don’t you?”

“Yes,” Hope whispered, her voice breaking painfully. “Ripp, I love you so much. I wish we could be together, but I just don’t see how it’s poss--”

“Don’t.” Ripp said, holding up his hand. “I don’t want to hear it, Hope. Anything is possible, we just have to figure out a way.” He got out of the bed and reached for his clothes. “Hope, I do understand what you were telling me out there, about your family’s inheritance and all. I realize those kinds of things have laws and rules that we can’t change.”

He eased his jeans over his hips and sighed. “And I know you’re right.  It would be stupid for us to take all this away from our child, but Hope, there has to be a way for me and you to be together.” He frowned thoughtfully while he continued dressing.

“I’m sorry, Ripp.” Hope said in a small voice. “I just don’t know.”

Ripp sat down on the edge of the bed, leaned over, and kissed Hope deeply. “We’ll think of something,” he told her. “For now, you just take care of my baby... and remember how much I love you.”


He bent down and kissed her belly, whispered good-bye, and then he was gone.

Hope turned onto her side and faced the wall, her heart aching.  When her parents and Ben came in the house an hour or so later, she heard them, but she didn’t move.


She couldn’t face Ben... not now.  Not this soon after being with Ripp. Her feelings were just too strong to hide.

“Hope?” Ben called worriedly. “Are you all right?” He walked into the room where Hope was laying and lightly touched her on the shoulder. “Why are you lying down? Don’t you feel okay?”

“I’m fine,” Hope said tonelessly. “I’m just tired, Ben.” She didn’t turn to look at him, however, and eventually she heard him slowly walk away. Only then did Hope allow the tears to fall.  Tears she could not let her husband see. After all, he could not offer her any comfort. 

Ben wasn’t who she wanted, and he wasn’t who she needed. She pressed a pillow to her face to stifle her sobs.


There has to be a way, Ripp. There just has to be...

To Be Continued.

Tags: standish legacy
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