A Night to Remember

A Night to Remember

A Story by Lynaelee

The backstory for a NEW BOOK!!! Coming soon.

"Deep breaths," I ordered myself as I pulled my car off the interstate and held onto my belly. "This is normal." I lowered my head and wept on the steering wheel. After 20 minutes of straight crying, I finally regained my composure. "Come on! Ben's waiting for you; don't let him down," I berated myself as I took several deep breaths. I still had about half an hour drive time left. It was the weekend, college was out, and I was going to the one place I always felt safe: Ben's arms. I released a final deep breath before merging back onto the highway and made my way home. I pulled into our driveway and let out a sigh of relief. "Finally. That has got to be the longest four hours in my life," I murmured as I collected my things and headed inside. 

As soon as the door opened, Ben greeted me, "hey, beautiful! I missed you!" I fell into his open arms after putting my bags down and cried again. "Nikki, look at me baby," he pleaded as he rubbed my back tenderly. I looked up and he kissed my nose. "What's going on, beautiful?"

"I felt the baby move," I cried. He wrapped both arms around my shoulders and just held me. When I had calmed down, I pulled back and dried my eyes. "I'm sorry. I missed you too, darling. I love you."

"I love you," came his soft and sincere reply as he guided me to the couch so we could sit down. "How far along are you, like 14 weeks?" I nodded. He cupped my jaw and pushed it up gently. I met his eye and he gave me a small smile. "This is normal, love. Why does the baby moving scare you?" 

"Because it makes it a reality. I'm really pregnant, but it's not your's," I wept. He smiled and pulled me in for another hug. 

"It wasn't your fault. The little person growing in your womb is going to take after you: stunning, smart, creative, and fun. I'm sorry this happened to you. I know you don't want the baby, and will carry it out until term, but if you decide you want to keep the baby, I will love it as I love you. I will treat this child like my own and love him or her inside and out," he vowed. I nodded. We went over this conversation for the past eight weeks since I first found out I was carrying a child from the night I was raped. Ben grabbed my left hand and stroked the ring on my finger. "Beautiful, when I gave you this ring, I had already made the commitment for better or worse, I would love you for eternity. Next September cannot come soon enough for me. My place is forever by your side. I feel horrible that I was here working while that was happening to you; it's something I will never forgive myself for." I sobbed on his shoulder again. He gently rubbed my back and kissed my forehead. 

"It's not your fault either," I whispered. 

"I know, love. I know. The doctors said you don't have to make a decision one way or the other until next week so they can get you the right information," he replied softly. I nodded again and looked at the engagement ring on my hand as my fingers drummed on his lap. It was a beautiful solitaire on a white gold ring. The stone was about the same size of the band, but I found it to be perfect in everyway.

"Ben, do you want me to keep the baby?" I hesitantly asked.

"Sweetheart, I want you to do what makes you happy and I will support you 100% either way. I know you would be a great mother, but I also know it would tear you apart to give the baby away and never see him or her again. This baby already has a piece of your heart and it would be ripping that away," he murmured. I sobbed again. 

"I always wanted to be a mother, but not like this! I wanted the baby to be made in love, not fear. He took the part of me that I wanted to give you," I wept. 

"Shhh. Shhh. You still gave me your heart. You still come home to my arms. You have given me you. I don't need to have sex with you to know that," he replied. I smiled. He knew just what to say to give me the reassurances I needed. I sat up and kissed his cheek.

"Benjamin Moss, you are an amazing man. I don't know what I did to deserve you. I love you," I whispered. He grinned and turned his head towards mine. I met his lips halfway and closed my eyes as he cupped my jaw and rubbed my right hip. "If I have you by my side, we can show this baby love. You'll be an excellent father," I praised. His eyes lit up at my announcement; it was then I knew no how much this terrified me, I couldn't give the baby up for adoption. 

"Nicole Christofferson, I love you," he whispered as he pressed his lips against mine again. I snuggled onto his shoulder as he asked about how my classes were going. He questioned if I felt comfortable living alone in my small two bedroom apartment. 

"I'm not going to lie, darling. I would love to have you there with me. I feel horrible that I'm not working and you're paying to support me over there. I want to be with you all the time. I've learned to shoot a .45 colt; I'm not a bad shot. I haven't had any visitors for the past three months, so that's encouraging. Sam won't talk to me; she thinks I set it up so her boyfriend would-"

"-say no more," Ben interrupted. I looked up at him. He pressed his lips against my forehead again. "Love, you did nothing wrong. Sam can't hold that over you. Now as for me helping you secure a place so you can finish school, don't worry about it. What's mine is your's, even if we aren't married yet. You said yes and until the day you say no, I'm going to provide for you. So a .45, huh?" I nodded. 

"Mike gave it to me with a few boxes of ammo," I replied sheepishly. Ben grinned.  

"He's a great friend and he worries about you as much as I do," he confirmed. I smiled and ducked my head.

"Speaking of! I haven't seen him around! He is still rooming with us, right?" 

"He is. He's been working at the bar. Apparently he's quite the entertaining barkeep," Ben replied around a chuckle. I grinned. 

"I could see that. Mike's always been an entertainer. So just dinner for you and me tonight then?" I inquired. Ben kissed my cheek. 

"Already in the oven, love," he whispered. I looked at him in surprise. "I know a thing or two," he chuckled. "Pot roast, potatoes, and carrots. It'll be ready at seven. I can't believe with your sensitive nose that you haven't picked up on that yet." I smiled.

"Sounds delightful. Thanks," I replied as I turned perpendicular to him, stretching my feet across the couch as my back nestled into his chest. He wrapped his arms around my waist and rubbed my belly tenderly. "I'll keep the baby," I whispered. Ben kissed my shoulder. We conversed comfortably about everything under the moon. "So the hotel is still standing; you're not a bad manager," I praised. His chest shook behind me.

"I've got a knack for it," he remarked as the buzzer went off for dinner. "My lady, your table awaits," he teased as he offered me his hand. I took it and followed him into the kitchen, pulling out place settings for both of us as he pulled dinner out of the oven. The smell hit me and the baby moved again. I gasped and put the dishes on the counter before holding onto the small bulge on my abdomen. Ben came up behind me and wrapped his hands over mine. "Are you okay, Nikki?" I nodded and put his hand where the baby was moving. 

"The baby already likes Daddy's cooking. It smells delicious and my mouth is watering," I praised. He grinned and kissed my cheek as the baby finally stopped moving. I don't know if he could feel the baby kick, but his grin told me he was on top of the world. I gave Ben the plates as he began cutting up the meat and I took the remaining dishes to the table. I moved to the fridge and pulled out the milk. "Will this work for you tonight or do you want a beer?"

"Milk is just fine, love. Thank you. How hungry are you?"

"Ummm. Give me about half of your portion," I replied as I filled up both our glasses, left the milk in the center of the table, and sat down. He came over with two plates, sat on my left and grabbed my hand. I smiled and began eating. "Darling! I'm so proud of you! This is delicious, tender, and cooked perfectly! What a wonderful surprise to come home to!" He gave my hand a gently squeeze and began eating his food. I liked the fact that he was a lefty and I wasn't; I enjoyed touching him anytime we were near each other. I cleaned up the kitchen while he took my bags to our room. By the time I had finished cleaning up the kitchen and turned off all the lights, he had a movie playing and my favorite blanket to snuggle under on the couch. "You are too good for me," I whispered as I kissed him and snuggled under his left arm. He extended the leg rest, draped the blanket over me, and held onto me as we watched the movie. I curled up in a ball and found myself yawning and fighting back sleep. 

"Friday night, love. Do you want to play pinochle? Alexis and George just messaged me," Ben murmured in my hair. I sat up and grinned; I had missed visiting with our neighbors. Ben chuckled and lowered his leg rest and turned off the tv. Hand in hand, we walked next door and played a few hands of the card game with our friends. When baby Penny called for Alexis, Ben and I bid our farewells. Alexis stood up and embraced me.

"You're glowing," she whispered. I grinned and squeezed her again. She rubbed my belly and smiled at me. "You'll be a wonderful mom, Nic."

"Thanks, Lex. Kiss little Miss Jeni for me. I'll come help you tomorrow," I promised. She smiled and walked through their dark house. George and Ben were standing by the door and laughing loudly. I tucked myself under Ben's arm and shook George's hand. "As always, it's been a pleasure! I love our Friday night card games."

"You know there's no rule that says it only has to be Friday," he teased. Ben and I chuckled as we headed out. George locked the door behind us. I looked down and scrunched my nose. 

"Ben, darling, you're limping. Is your back acting up again?" I asked as I wrapped my arm around his waist.

"I'll be okay, love. It doesn't hurt any more than usual. That and my neck feels stiff. I'll take some advil tonight and be right as rain in the morning," he promised with a smile. I grinned and kissed his jaw. He pulled me under the porch awning, leaned me against the house, and kissed my jaw. I closed my eyes and sighed, melting into his arms. "I love you Nicole," he whispered before kissing me passionately. I wrapped my arms around his neck and pulled him closer.

"Ahem!" I jumped and looked around Ben. Mike stood there with a grin on his face. "You could've given a guy warning," he teased. Ben chuckled.

"Here's your warning: it's Friday. Nic's last class gets done at one; she's usually Johnny-on-the-spot on getting on the road. My fiancèe is back in my arms, chances are, I'm going to hold her and kiss her nonstop to make up for the past week of not being able to," Ben remarked. Mike held up his hands defensively.

"All good. Welcome home, Nic. Does this mean you're cooking breakfast tomorrow?"

"Thanks, Mike. It's a good possibility," I confirmed as we followed him inside. I stood on my toes and kissed Ben's cheek again. "I'll meet you in bed. Love you," I whispered. He gave me a warm embrace and kissed my cheek. I walked past Mike only for him to wrap me up in a bear hug too. 

"We missed you, kid," he remarked.

"Mike!" Ben warned as Mike began to swing me around. "That's the mother of my child you're swinging around there!" Mike put me down and grinned. 

"Really?" I blushed and nodded; this baby would be Ben's. I loved how he was possessive of it already. "Does that mean I get to be an uncle after all?" Mike asked in a shocked tone.

"We'll see, Mike. Let her go please," Ben begged. I smiled warmly at him and danced away from Mike's arms.

"Oh! Hey, Nic! Quinn's coming by tomorrow too. Will we have enough food for her to eat or do I need to go shopping?" Mike asked as I ducked down the hall. I paused and poked my head out again.

"I don't know. Ben cooked tonight. I don't mind cooking for her too. Good night, boys!" I walked into the bedroom I shared with Ben and got ready for bed. I heard him in the hallway as I finished washing my face and brushed my teeth. I walked into the bedroom and grinned. Ben was laying there waiting for me. Tonight, he turned on the lava lamp. The dark blue water was separated by purple globs that drifted up before pulling away again. Filled with silver glitter, the flecks caught my eye and I was mesmerized. "The lava lamp?" I asked in surprise as I climbed in next to him. He kissed my neck as he tucked the blanket around me and held me securely in his arms. His right arm was over my shoulder, his left cradled my stomach.

"Yes, love, the lava lamp. You tell me that it relaxes you. You said that you're carrying my child now, that you don't want to give it away. I love you and only want the best for you and the baby. So if you need a calming vice, more than just me holding you, that's what I'll find for you," he whispered in my ear. I smiled and closed my eyes.

"Thank you, dear. I love it, but not as much as I love you. You do realise that I don't need a nightlight when I have you, right?" He chuckled and kissed my neck again as he moved his left hand up by my shoulder. I rested my hand on his thigh as he scooted closer.

"You can have both tonight, beautiful. Get some rest. I love you, Nikki," he murmured as he pressed his lips against mine one more time before he rested his chin on the top of my head and pulled me closer to him. I grinned again and curled my arms around his as I brought my knees up and out. 

"Thank you. I love you too, Ben," I whispered as sleep overtook me quickly. He made me feel safe and I didn't have to worry about anything when I was in his arms. When I woke up, the room was bright and his arms were still securely around me. I smiled and kissed his forearm, knowing I wouldn't be able to leave his arms until he woke up; not that I wanted to leave this position. "Morning, darling," I whispered as I pressed my back into him; then I froze. His chest wasn't moving at all. "BEN!" I yelled as I tried to roll him over. "MIKE! MIKE!" 

"What's with all the yelling?" Mike said sleepily from the hallway.

"Mike! Get in here now! Please!" I begged. The door opened and Mike smirked at me.

"You wanted me to watch you guys canoodle?" He teased. 

"Not funny. Ben's not a joker. He's not breathing. I can't move. Please!" My breathing became shorter and tears spilled over the rim onto my cheek. "We have to do CPR. We have to. We. We," I trailed off as Mike rushed over and pried Ben's arms off me. I had no more words.

"QUINN! Call 9-1-1," Mike ordered as she ducked her head around the corner. If she was here, it was after nine; that meant we had been sleeping for at least nine or ten hours. I gasped as I did the math; Ben never slept more than seven. Untangled, I sat up and moved to the edge of the bed. Ben's entire right shoulder was purple. I gasped and blinked back my tears. This isn't happening. I covered my mouth with my hand. "Breathe, Nikki," Mike ordered as he looked at me sadly. Three tears fell down my face. I shook my head. This wasn't right. Shouldn't there be movement? Mike shouldn't just be standing there! He knew what to do. Move! Help him! 

"Why aren't you doing CPR?" I wept. He walked over and gave me a hug, pulling me to my feet. "No! You need to help him. Please."

"Stop, Nikki. Stop," he whispered as his voice cracked. "You see his shoulder?" I nodded. "He's been gone for at least two hours. CPR wouldn't help." I wailed as I fell to my knees. He fell with me and held onto me as I cried on his shoulder, gasping for air. 

"No! Please. No!" 

"Nikki," Mike cried. My whole body shook and I wept openly.

"He can't be gone! His arms were warm! I was right there! He can't be gone," I repeated. Mike rubbed my back.

"He is, Nikki. I wish it were a joke," he whispered. "His body is cold. His arms must have been absorbing your body heat. We'll get a medic to confirm." This caused another sob to escape. I sat back and began pinching my arms. Come on. Wake up. This is just a bad dream. Come on! Wake up! I looked back at Ben. His face seemed so peaceful. I shook my head and cried. 

"They're on the way," Quinn whispered from the door, choking on tears herself. I laid on the ground and cried. Mike sat down and rested his arms on his knees. "What do you guys need?" Need? I need Ben. I took several deep breaths, but it wasn't helping. 

"I don't know," Mike murmured as he stood up. He leaned over and grabbed me. "Come on, Nikki. You shouldn't be laying on the floor." I nodded and leaned into him, unable to stop the tears.

"This isn't real," I sobbed, pinching my arms again. Mike grabbed both my hands, and led me to the living room. Once I was sitting on the couch, I curled up in a ball, rested my arms on my knees and sobbed. I didn't hear when the cops and medics showed up. I was startled by a hand on my shoulder. I looked up and met an officer's eye. "Please tell me this is a horrible joke," I begged. He looked at me sympathetically and shook his head. 

"I'm sorry, miss. I have some questions for you," he said softly. Questions? I began panting and looked down again. "Cooperate or I'm taking you downtown," he threatened.

"Back off!" Mike snapped. "She just lost her fiance. She's pregnant. She's not a suspect! She's bruising her arms trying to snap out of it; anyone can tell she can't believe this. Hell! I hardly believe it! So tell me why you would think someone in shock is your best bet? Run your damn tests! Run 'em twice! He wasn't murdered!" My eyes shot up and I looked at Mike.

"You think I killed him?" I accused meeting the officer's eye again. "I LOVED him! I was going to marry him. I wanted to grow old with him. Not once did I consider losing him," I spat. I stood up and began pacing the room, only to collapse once I reached the kitchen. Quinn and someone I've never met was by my side and pulling me upright again. 

"Here, Nic, drink some water," Quinn requested as she got me a glass after they had sat me down again. I nodded and took it from her. Tears streamed silently down my face, but I was numb now. A medic came over and checked me out. His mouth moved, but I heard no sound. Mike and the officer were both yelling at each other - based on their body language. It wasn't until I watched them wheel Ben's body away that I heard noise again. I sobbed and shook my head, my whole body trembled. "We'll make sure she sticks around. She didn't do that," Quinn insisted. 

"How do you know?" The officer sneered. Mike crossed his arms and glared at him.

"It's like she said, she loved him. I've never seen a love so strong and true. She was pinned in his arms. How could she have killed him and then got back in that position?" Mike spat. The officer narrowed his gaze.

"You're right. Maybe it was the roommate," the officer snarled.

"Enough!" A second officer bellowed. All eyes turned to him and I pulled my legs up to my chest so I could bury my head in my knees. "Liver temp put TOD about three hours ago, but if he was holding her, well, it could mess with the reading. The three of you are under surveillance until we're done with the autopsy. We're not accusing anyone of anything - like Officer Larson is insinuating. We're just trying to follow protocol. It could just be a total fluke, but we have to make sure it wasn't murder first." I hoped Mike nodded, everyone needed answers. "I'll rush the autopsy and get you guys answers as quick as I can. You all obviously cared about him. He's young and healthy looking. I'll shoot for the end of the day, but you probably won't hear from me until tomorrow morning at the earliest," he explained.

"Thank you. That's all we ask," Mike murmured. I heard the door shut, then I felt a presence in front me; I didn't move. "Nikki," Mike whispered, his voice cracking again. I blinked back more silent tears but didn't look up. "Nicole." This time he put his hand on my shin. I sat up in shock and looked at him. "Are you okay?" I shook my head. 

"I was right there. I didn't do anything. It's just like I killed him. I didn't save him," I whispered. Mike shook his head.

"You didn't kill him. He looked happy. He was doing his favorite thing in the world: holding you. There was no pain in his features. Whatever happened, happened quick," he explained. I sobbed again and rubbed my belly. Could I still do this if I didn't have him beside me? The baby moved against my hand. I covered my left hand with my right and imagined it was his hand. I sobbed as the baby moved again; it was almost like the baby was telling me I could - just like Ben would be telling me. "Nikki, talk to me," Mike begged. I met his eye, but I had no words. His cheeks were wet and pain was in his eyes.

"You lost a brother. Why are you worried about me?"

"He was my brother by proximity, not blood. I'm worried about you because your love was stronger and you're not talking. The cops were here for over an hour, yet you barely responded to anything," he whispered. I shook my head. He pulled me in for a hug and let me cry on his shoulder. "We're here for you, Nic. Don't shut us out." I nodded and pushed myself away as I walked down the hallway to the bathroom. I splashed cool water on my face after taking care of my needs. I wanted to go back to bed, but I couldn't go back in there. I leaned against the counter and wept. This nightmare had to end soon. I slowly made my way back out to the living room, curled up in a ball on the couch, and cried myself to sleep. When I woke up, I was draped in my snuggle blanket. I grinned and looked around before reality crashed down upon me again. I cried and threw it on the floor as I faced the couch. Mike and Quinn kept trying to get me to eat or drink something, but I wanted nothing. To keep them from bugging me, I sipped on the water. I was numb. I was nauseous. I had a headache. I was alone. Quinn played with my hair as I sat there. Mike kept trying to get me to open up. When I couldn't cry any more, I slept. When I wasn't sleeping, I was crying. The couch was my sanctuary, I couldn't be anywhere else in this house. I was completely on autopilot. I had no executive thought into my actions, I just did it. Before I knew it, the officer was back. "Nikki," Mike murmured sitting in front of me. "I need to know you're here. The officer has answers for us." I nodded and gave the officer my attention. He sighed and pulled up a chair in front of me.

"First off, I want to say how terribly sorry I am for your loss," he spoke softly but full of sincerity. I nodded, sniffled, and choked on a sob, but I didn't say a word. Tears fell rapidly down my face. "I do have questions, but you're not in trouble. Do you understand?" Again, I nodded. "Did Ben suffer from high blood pressure?" I shook my head; he was within the normal range. "What about stress? Was there a lot in his life?"

"Unlikely," Mike interrupted before I had a chance to respond. I looked over at him. "Ben was cool, calm, and collected about everything, but the most calm around Nikki. He's been managing the hotel for the past year and excelling at it, but he wasn't stressed." The officer nodded and looked back at me.

"Was he suffering from headaches?"

"Not that I'm aware of," I whispered. I took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "His injuries from when he served in the army bugged him from time to time, but he said it was normal pain last night. No. It wasn't last night."

"It wasn't last night," the officer confirmed. "It's been two days." I gasped and looked around. Mike and Quinn had solemn looks on their faces. When I looked at the officer again, he offered me a small smile. "It took some digging, but Ben died of a brain aneurysm. It looked like he had a partially ruptured one that tried to heal and a fully ruptured one. The ruptured vessel was by the base of his spine; death was instant." I blinked back more tears as I comprehended what he was saying.

"A headache? A flipping headache? He was killed by a headache?" My voice raised with each word. The officer nodded solemnly. I slunk back in my seat while I processed this information. "And I couldn't have helped him if I knew?" I whispered.

"I'm sorry. There was nothing you could've done," the officer confirmed. Again, I buried my head in my knees and let the sobs shake and control my body.  


Mike made me stick around for at least a week after we buried Ben. When he was pleased I was eating again, he wrapped me up in a tight hug. "Don't be a stranger. I know this is hard for you to be here right now. Take care, Nikki," he mumbled. I nodded. 

"I'll behave. Thank you for taking care of all the legalities with this house, and for mailing me up my clothes. Do what you want with everything else," I replied. I looked down at my left hand and blinked back more tears; I had put my ring in Ben's hand before the casket was closed as they gave me a moment alone to say good-bye. "I'll always be your's. This ring was a symbol of our love. My love goes with you. Eternally your's," I whispered as I cried and closed the casket. Mike rubbed my back again, bringing me back to the present, and I gave him a small smile as I loaded up and headed back to my college dwelling. Mike and Quinn joined me for Thanksgiving and I sent him back with his pistol; I wasn't going to possibly endanger anyone because I was on an emotional roller coaster. 

At thirty and a half weeks, I went into premature labor and gave birth to a beautiful, healthy, and strong little girl. "I'm keeping you little one," I whispered. "I love you and will show you what it means to be loved." Much to my dismay, the monster who started this, demanded parental rights. Before she was four months old, I was married to him so he wouldn't be able to take her away from me. I looked up to the sky and wept. "I'm letting you down, Ben," I whispered into the night sky. I closed my eyes and let two tears fall silently. I feel a warmth on my shoulder, but nothing was there when I turned to look.

A little over a decade later, and every day still hurts. Every day I still bleed over a love that once was, but I keep pressing on and accomplish more than the day before. I look at my daughter and smile; I don't see the monster that haunts my nightmares, but I don't see Ben either. I don't get to hear his laugh. I don't get to see his smile. I don't get to feel his embrace. He was right though, in this little girl, I see me. I see courage and strength. I see a love that is not defined by the world's standards. I see her sensitive and caring heart. I see her desire to learn and laugh. And if I'm listening closely, on the breeze, I can hear, "told you. She's an extension of you." So that's how I'll love her.

© 2022 Lynaelee

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Added on June 30, 2020
Last Updated on September 20, 2022



Sometimes I feel like I need an outlet to express myself. I have never been good with verbal communication, but I have always found an out in writing. I hurt. I bleed. I make mistakes. I cry. Yes,.. more..

If only If only

A Book by Lynaelee

1. *Prologue* 1. *Prologue*

A Chapter by Lynaelee