Belize Survivor, part 47

The next day Alexis thanked her hosts and boarded the bus. She'd made good time with her purchasing and would be arriving back a day earlier than expected. Once arriving in Key West, she decided to walk the few blocks from the bus station. Her leg was improving, and the load was not that heavy. As she rounded the corner of Grinnell Street heading home, she saw Max embracing a tall shapely woman with strawberry-honey hair. Hidden in the shadows of the tropical exotics that bordered the street, Alexis watched them kiss. His hand slid from her trim waist to her tapered buttocks. Her touring bus was parked around the corner; it had never left. She waited for Max to part company with Katrina and enter the cottage before she walked in and made known her arrival. A few minutes later, all hell broke loose.

"What do you mean it was nothing?" Alexis screamed, righteously. "Did you sleep her or not?"

"Okay, okay. Yes, I did. I admit it. The band was supposed to leave but they ended up staying over for another three shows. It didn't mean anything, I swear. I just really dug her singing. She was foxy; I was high. After it was over, it just made me want you more anyway."

“What a crock! So what does that mean? You were comparing us? What were you doing, thinking of me while you were screwing her? Does that mean you'll be thinking of her while you're screwing me?"

"Calm down. You're hysterical."

"You're damn right. This time I am hysterical. Tell you what – this weekend in Miami, I had my chance too. But did I take it? No. A gorgeous man with brains, talent, and class – he begged me to go to bed with him. But I refused him because I take our relationship seriously. What an ass I am. There I was saying no, while you were getting it on with Katrina. How was it afterward? Do you love her now?"

"Of course not. I love you. After it was over, it was over. It was only sex."

"That's the most shallow, callous attitude I've ever heard. There I was, buying all these supplies for our new business venture and...I don't know, Max. Maybe getting back together was a huge mistake. I thought we were making a new start. Maybe we should just call it quits."

"I really do care…," he began. Then he paused and sighed. "But maybe you're right."

The relationship maintained a stiff awkwardness for the next two months. Neither of them spoke much, although Max was again as good as gold. Alexis went ahead and began work on the handicrafts; it was too late to stop what they’d already put into motion. But then something unexpected happened one day as the result of a routine office visit at the doctor’s.

“A baby," Max said, incredulous at the thought. "That's wonderful! That’s really great!"

He and Alexis were sitting in the open doorway of Rondavel, when she told him the news. He’d been busy organizing her supplies and wares, making a work desk for her, and hanging the finished artwork and jewelry displays.

"Is it wonderful?” she asked him. “Is it great?"

"Oh yes, honey,” Max said sincerely. There were actually tears in his eyes, the first time she’d ever seen them. “To me this is a sign that we have to stay together. I was starting to think that it wasn't meant to be, that maybe we should end it like you said. But we can work out anything. I swear, what happened with Katrina will never happen again. I do love you, Alexis. I swear to God I do. We'll make it work. I'll take care of you; we'll have a family. Wow, my own son."

"Child," she corrected mildly. "Maybe it will be a girl."

"You can have a girl next time,” he jibed, testing the waters for a little light-hearted banter. “First, I want a son. You know, a man and his son – carry on the family name, and all that."

"Oh no! You're not planning on calling him Augustus, Jr., are you?” The tension broken, they both laughed.

"Heck no, I wouldn't stick that on the poor little guy."

"Or on a girl. No little Augustina, either."

"Okay, I promise. Actually, come to think of it, maybe you should have a girl instead. Girls would be more profitable," Max teased. "I get eleven head of cattle for a daughter.”

"You're nuts," Alexis said. He was plucking at her heartstrings again.

"Yeah, nuts about you," he said. "You're going to be a beautiful pregnant woman, and I'm going to stand by your side, and provide for my family."

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