“What?” she asked.
“I don’t know. The whole thing with Brandon and Chelsey got me thinking. Do you know we’ve never talked about having kids or getting married?”
“We’ve never had to talk about it,” she answered, her eyes still closed.
“Do you ever think about having kids with me?” he asked meekly.
She raised her head and opened her eyes.
From the scowl on his face, Lauren knew she’d hurt his feelings.
“It’s not you, Bennette. It’s me. I just never thought of myself as the mothering type. I never really saw myself having children.”
“Well, I never really saw myself in a long-term relationship either.”
“So, how do you feel about children?”
“I like children. I love my nieces and nephews. I think Tommy is an amazing child. I think children add value to a couple’s life,” she answered.
“What about having children with me?”
“Nick,” she said with seriousness in her tone, “what are you asking? Just come out with it.”
“I want to know if you love me enough for a bigger commitment.”
“Why? Isn’t what we have enough?”
“It is for now.”
“Why do you feel the need to fix something that isn’t broken?”
“So, you don’t want marriage or kids?”
Lauren sighed. “Like I told you, I haven’t really thought about it. I am very happy with our relationship the way it is. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with what we have with one another, do you?”
He shook his head and looked down at the water.
“No. I guess I just thought that the ultimate way to show you how much I love you and how committed I am to you would be to ask you to marry me.”
“But, you don’t need to. I don’t need that from you. You are a very loyal man. You don’t have to be married to me to prove that.”
“Did you ever think I might need that from you?”
“Because I grew up believing that if you loved someone, you married them. You had kids with them.”
She couldn’t think of anything to say.
He got up and grabbed the towel off of the floor. He dried off, wrapped the towel around his waist, and walked out. Lauren observed his shoulders squared and his head down, which meant she’d angered him.