They ended up eating lunch with Bex's brother at some older ladies house who Bex was sure hadn't cooked in a very long time. Who in their right mind would leave skin on a chicken in chicken and dumplings? Bones, too.
It was a frightful meal, but Max took it in stride. Evidently, Bex just wasn't thankful enough.
"You are staying with Mom, aren't you?" She sat there in the hot dining room so in hopes for some fresh air. She felt dangerously malnourished now and ready to pass out. But she hadn't complained.
Max shook his head, no. "I never know where I might end up." He just smiled. "The Brock family put me up last night. I can always sleep at the church if worse comes to worst."
"I see." No way was he coming to live with her. The room she did have was no more than a nursery, and she would never use it for that. It was a place for her laptop and her desk. She didn't have room for her brother.
She drank at the very sweet iced tea. It was the only thing she could manage. She thought she might be sick. What if it was the worst thing possible? Ever. It started to bother her as she kept listening to her brother's travels and adventures being a missionary and the like.
She caught her breath. Bex could not be pregnant, already. Could she? She thought she might go blind just thinking about it. She was starting to have a panic attack. This crazy feeling creeping in that she was not well for a reason.
Bex licked her dry lips.
"Are you sure everything is OK?"Max kept looking at her that any secret she had would be safe with him. "Oliver hasn't done anything to you, has he?"
She almost had tears in her eyes as she took her brother's hand in hers. She told him she was fine but wanted to know about him.
"Never better. And this Oliver, of yours. He's very quiet. Is he always like this?" Her brother stared at her as if he was going to get the inside information or else.
"He's Oliver." She sighed. Although, Oliver was out in the front yard smoking a cigarette near the street. "He's the best. He's everything I've ever wanted." She frowned then as tears edged around her eyes.
"Oh, Bex. I hope you can make it work. I really do." He was going to pray for her. She just knew it. She hoped he prayed that she was not pregnant. Not now. She couldn't have anything left over from Dayton. It just wouldn't work. It would be impossible. Wouldn't it?
"I'm just so happy to see you," Bex managed to say. "I'm glad you're back." She so hoped he thought this was about him and not about her.