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Inside My Love.

<a href=http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/500/80885205/Kiah+Victoria+KV1.jpg>I</a> pulled up in front of the large building, adorned with dark LED lights. The parking lot was being swept by a young boy in Jordan's. He couldn't have been much older than me. I tightened the strap on my purse and walked towards the door apprehensively. It had come down to this. I didn't have another option. I knocked softly on the door at first... only for it not to be answered. The boy that was sweeping approached and hit the door loudly with his hand flat. I jumped, startled and looked at him. He tossed me a smirk and went back to sweeping. The door opened and <a href=http://img2.timeinc.net/people/i/2009/stylewatch/blog/090928/nelly-300x400.jpg>he</a> stood there, looking me up and down.

"...Who referred you?" He asked.

I put my hair behind my ear and parted my lips to say something but nothing came out. I shrugged. He studied me once more and looked me dead in the eye.

"Name?" He asked.

"Veronica... I go by Ronnie." I said softly.

He opened the door wider for me to come in, so I did. I hadn't ever been to one of these places, I'd only heard about them... saw them in movies. I looked around wondrously, and heard the giggles of females arriving and leaving, all of them carrying gym bags. I studied their curves and looked down at myself.

"What you here for..." He asked, dismissively. His eyes didn't dance in my direction, as he strolled casually beside me, checking out everything on the floor - making sure nothing was out of place.

He stopped suddenly and I did too.

"...I need a job," I said, searching his face.

He snickered. "So go to the mall and fill out applications, sweetheart. This isn't something for your resume,"

"I understand that," I said, shaking my head. "I wouldn't be here if I didn't need to be. I need a job," I said, pleading with my eyes.

He scratched his face, as he ruminated. He pointed to the bar. "You start there," He said, before he began to walk.

"I was hoping to dance!" I called after him.

He shook his head, "We'll see,"

I exhaled, and dropped my bag on the floor before the DJ put on some music. I looked around and sat down on one of the bar stools. Well... at least I had a job.

Comments

Drake insisted that I call him Aubrey. It was his way of distinguishing our relationship from his relationship with everyone else in his world. He pulled out a picture of himself and handed it to me. I smiled and ran my finger along his little cheeks before I looked over at him.

"You were adorable," I said, putting the picture on the table and leaning back onto the couch before I glanced at my watch once more.

He took a sip of his wine, "Are you pressed for time?" He asked.

"I just left Cayden at home with a babysitter... I can get a little antsy about that." I said.

Truth, Cayden was at home with Carter. I didn't want Carter to witness my being out too late.

"I completely understand. Maybe you can bring her along next time," He said, reading my face.

I nodded, "Yeah maybe," I said.

He grabbed my hand and kissed it before he looked shyly at me. I smiled.

"How many women, on average, throw themselves at you daily?" I asked.

"Hundreds." He responded.

"And you're blushing right now?" I asked.

"But this is different. I'm just Aubrey. It's like I'm back in high school again, trying to woo a girl with my corny ass." He said, laughing a little.

"You're not corny." I responded.

"So what's the deal? You seeing anybody?" <a href=http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2011/11/20/arts/20DRAKE/20DRAKE-articleLarge.jpg>He</a> asked.

I shook my head and took his hat off of his head, revealing his head of curls before I ran my fingers through his hair and put his hat on my head, smiling. He blushed again, hiding his face in his hands.

"I feel like a child." He said, his face buried in his hands.

<a href=http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m9up3g9KCD1rya1eoo1_500.png>I</a> stood up, carrying my glass of wine with me and went to the mantel, looking at the pictures that he had up there. There were a lot of his mom.

"You love your mom," I said.

He nodded, "I do. What about you?" He asked, his voice soft.

I shrugged, "Yeah I do." I said, turning and looking at him. "But there are no photos of her at my house,"

I went back and sat on my knees on the couch, taking a gulp of my wine.

"I wanna see your place," He said, watching me closely.

I nodded and put the glass down, "Sure," I said, smiling at him.

He ran his finger down my cheek and kissed my forehead, "I'm trying to be friendly."

"I'm glad you're respecting the boundary." I said softly.

"...that's why I asked earlier if you were seeing someone." He said.

I shook my head, "No... and I don't want you to feel like I'm projecting this onto you but...Cayden's dad hurt me and...I'm finding it really hard to crawl back from the place that that put me in."

"What if I told you that you wouldn't have to do it alone?" He said.

"I'd say that you were optimistic." I responded.

"And that's a bad thing?" He asked.

I shook my head and looked him in the eye, "I long for optimism most days...but I'm a realist. You're Drake, you tour the world and make music to reach people. I'm a single mother, who had to strip to get through tough times. Our worlds collided at a strip club. That doesn't...feel weird to you?" I asked.

"No." He responded quickly. "Because I didn't see you as a bartender, or a stripper. s*** happens and I learned a long time ago not to question things... so I won't question why I met you there. But I did meet you there. And while you might have some s*** going on inside that I can't help you with, I can try to be there for you... the best way that I can. And I'm not always gonna be here physically, but it's my hope that our friendship can transcend this."

I smiled and nodded, "We'll see," I said softly.

"Just respond to my texts." He said. "We'll start there." He said, a small smile on his face.

"I can deal with that," I responded.

so ready for an update :D

How'd I know that was gone happen...Drake was just too intrigued by her. And carter has waited a little too late

Cayden's reaction to Carter being her father was better than I thought it would be and Im glad Carter is stepping up to the plate and being a man about the situation but Im sorry you had your chance with Ronnie and you f***ed up soooo let someone else make her happy...FOR CAYDEN:)))
RUN IT!!!

Children are very smart, yo.
It broke my heart when the teacher told
Ronnie about why Cayden was crying.
I'm glad that Carter is so proactive in his child's life; Cayden really needs
the support.
Drake is cute. I'm not really sure whether his relationship with Ronnie is gonna last, but he's cute.
Prediction:
Ronnie is gonna sleep with Carter.

Run it.

That was heartbreaking about Cayden crying cause she didnt have a daddy to make a carf for at school. Im proud of Carter for stepping up as a parent. I was shocked when Ronnie told Cayden he was her father but Im glad she did. She was too excited when he showed up to there house, couldnt wait to call him daddy. And he seems to have fallen head over heels for his daughter.
Aww snap Drake done got her number and called her hpmh, guess he was liking chillin with Ronnie huh. Now he wants to take her and Cayden out aww. go for it like Cay said YOLO lol. Swear kids say the darndest things esp Cayden talking you and daddyloves you like I do so he should be sleeping in here too lol. I really likes this Carmen. RUN IT!!!

Wow, I love babies/toddlers/children. They're so innocent in this crazy world, it's so beautiful!
RUN IT!

I like Carter, but I would like to see where things with Drake and Ronnie would go

I'm glad Ronnie told Cayden that Carter was her dad. He might not have been around before, but now he is and that's all that matters. I think Ronnie should take things slow with Carter if she decides to let her heart get involved though, just so she doesn't get hurt. And I still like Aubrey. He seems to have genuine intentions to me. It will be interesting to see what happens between Ronnie and Aubrey if anything, since she might choose to give Carter another chance. RUN IT!!

carter is cute (; drake obviously sees her as more than just a stripper , unlike maliah . when cayden said yolo i about peed myself laughing . carter may be late , but atleast he's there . i don't blame her for her having her guard up around him . been there , done that . i feel her pain . i wonder if drake sees her as a potential gf ? i'm curious to see what he has up his sleeve . she's out of money ? meaning back to the club ? or drake will help with that ?

Run It so i can get some questions answered . & i enjoy your stories , whether you finish or not . your writing is amazing .

Kids are the cutest and everything is just sooo pure to them. I'm honestly glad ronnie isn't holding a grudge against Carter. In the end cayden needs her dad. I hate parents who let their hurt, pain, and bitter feelings towards their children's other parent come in between their relationship with their child. Like that's the worst thing you could do and it causes so much resentment. So i'm really happy she did that and saw what was best for her child and Carter.

Cayden is the sweetest lil girl. I think she's right about ronnie and carter. They still have something their, and I want them to explore it. I don't know what Drake wants but its way more than friendship!! run it!!

Been silently reading smh the dark side lol but I loved all of your stories. For the record everyone was upset that you didn't finish your other stories because you're the best writer on here. But any whoooo, I love Cayden!! She's so precious. I'm not mad at Carter for not being in her life at first. His mom manipulated him. This happens to boys everywhere. I just hope oneday his mom can come around and be a grandmother to her.
I'm not sure if I want her and drake together tho. I just feel like its gonna end badly since he's a celeb and all. But I want Ronnie to work on her relationship with Carter. I think theres something still there and it can blossom.

Run it

I was up watching Scandal on the DVR when my phone vibrated from the nightstand. I grabbed it to see an unfamiliar number calling, so I pressed ignore and continued to watch. My phone vibrated again. Whoever this was, they were persistent. I pressed send on the phone and put it to my ear.

"Hello?" I answered.

"Ronnie," A voice called.

I could hear some noise in the background. "...Who's calling?" I asked.

"It's Aubrey - or Drake, sorry." He said.

I frowned a little, "How'd you get my number?" I asked.

"From Lauren, at the club. I uh...was hoping that that day on the street wasn't the last time I'd get to see you." He said.

I blushed, "Well no... I guess it doesn't have to be. Cayden is my daughter, however. You are aware of that, right?"

"I wanna see Cayden again too!" He said, laughing a little. "You've got a beautiful baby girl. I'm not tryna marry you, I'd just like to see you... maybe take you to dinner or something."

"...and Maliah?" I asked.

"What about her?" He asked.

"You're still attached to her?" I responded.

"Define attached," He said.

I smirked, "Well I guess it doesn't really matter, since this will be a <em>friendly</em> dinner."

"Absolutely. The friendliest." He responded.

I smiled, "Fine. We can do dinner."

"Great. Well I have your number now and you have mine so we'll make arrangements then." He said.

"Great," I said.

"Goodnight, Ronnie." He said.

"Night," I said before I hung up the phone to see Cayden at my door carrying her blanket.

I patted the bed next to me, "Come on."

She came and got on my bed and got beneath the cover. She slept in her room most nights, but sometimes she just wanted to be next to me. She lied in the bed and looked up at me, with her wide eyes. I looked down at her.

"You should be asleep," I said, rubbing her head.

"Are you and my daddy gonna be married?" She asked.

"Why do you ask?" I responded.

"Katie's mommy and daddy are married and they live together and bring her to school in the morning. Why don't you and daddy live together?" She asked.

"It's a lot more complicated than that, Cay." I said. "Your daddy and I don't really love each other like we used to,"

"...Do you think you can again?" She asked, getting sleepy.

"I don't know Cay... I can't predict things like that." I said.

She snuggled up against me. "Well daddy loves you... like I do. So he should sleep in here too."

"Goodnight, Cayden." I said softly.

She was out like a light and I was up, with a head full of thoughts.

The ice cream had Cayden tapped out, so she was napping on the couch when <a href=http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m6515eKIIR1qg42dro1_500.jpg>Carter</a> arrived, carrying a bag full of gifts for Cayden. I opened the door for him and he smiled when he saw her asleep on the couch. He took off his shoes and looked over at me. I stood by the door with my arms folded.

"You still haven't let your wall down," He said softly, sitting the bags down on the floor.

"Because you're here for Cayden," I said.

He leaned up against the wall, staring at me. "Stop." I said, looking at the floor. He walked towards me and wrapped his arms around me. "Carter..." He kissed my forehead repeatedly, then my cheek. He grabbed my face and made me look at him.

"I'm here for you too," He said.

I shook my head, "You're not supposed to be." I said, letting go of him.

He shoved his hands in his pockets, bit his lip and walked over to Cayden. He kneeled down in front of her and pinched her nose. She swatted him, and rolled over onto her back, opening her eyes. He smiled a little. She wiped her eyes and looked over at him. She smiled and sat up.

"Hi daddy," She said, hopping into his arms.

Shocked, he looked over at me to see tears rolling down my face. I wiped them away quickly and walked into the kitchen. Carter hugged Cayden tightly and she let go and pointed at the bags.

"What's in the bags?" She asked.

"Go find out," He responded.

She ran over to the bags and began pulling things out. "Oooooh! Mommy come see!"

I came out of the kitchen and sat down on the floor, watching as she revealed her things. He'd bought her a bunch of summer clothes because I asked him to. I didn't have any extra cash to buy her any new things, and she'd grown out of everything so fast... it was hard to keep up. Carter came and sat next to me. He looked over at me.

"You told her?" He whispered.

I nodded and looked at him, "Are you okay?" I asked.

He smiled, "I'm great. That's my daughter," He said, looking at Cayden and shaking his head, "...that's my daughter."

I stood in the parking lot, checking my emails when the school bells rang and the doors to the school opened. A band of children came running out of the school building into the arms of their loved ones. Cayden came out wearing a paper crown, with her teacher next to her. Her teacher smiled at me and I looked down at Cayden to see her looking back at me, her face red from crying. I kneeled down and kissed her lips.

"What's the matter, baby?" I asked.

I looked up at her teacher, concern sewn into my brow. She put her hand softly on Cayden's head.

"We made father's day cards today and... she's been upset since lunch. I had her write you a card, but I figured I'd come out and explain to you what happened before she left for the summer." She said.

Cayden hugged me closely and I smiled at her teacher, but I was embarrassed.

"Well thank you!" I said.

"Have a great summer Cayden," She said.

Cayden waved at her, her face still buried in my side. I opened the car door and she got in. She was quiet the entire ride, so I decided to make a stop before we went home. I pulled up in front of Jeni's ice cream and her eyes got big, a small smile on her face.

"Is this my prize for my last day of school?" She asked.

I laughed a little, "Sure is! Come on." I said, opening the back door.

She hopped out of the car and grabbed my hand. I shut the door and hit the alarm before we went in to get ice cream. She ordered cotton candy, with a s***load of sprinkles on top, whipped cream and chocolate chips. I didn't say anything. I let her get what she wanted. We went and sat at a table and she dug in.

"...Carter's coming over for dinner." I said softly, waiting for her reaction.

She smiled, nodding her head, "It's been 6 days," She said, sticking out her fingers.

"Cayden baby..." I said.

She looked up at me and looking her in the face almost made me afraid to tell her what I knew I had to.

"...Carter's your dad," I damn near whispered.

Cayden sat there for a moment before she took another spoonful of ice cream. She looked at me, her spoon in her mouth.

"...For how long?" She asked.

I laughed. That lightened the moment for me.

"Since you were born, silly. He lived far away from us." I said, lying to save her from the truth.

"Oh! Do I have to call him Carter?" She asked.

"You'll have to ask him that," I said.

She continued to eat her ice cream. "I almost forgot," She said, grabbing a folded piece of paper from her pocket and handing it to me.

I took it and unfolded it, reading the card she'd written to me.

<strong>TO MOMMY, I LOVE YOU BECAUSE YOU CARE</strong>

I teared up and folded the card, "I love you back," I said softly.

She smiled and took another bite of ice cream before I could see on her face that she was sick of it.

"You finished?" I asked.

She nodded, pushing her stomach out and patting it.

"Look what I learned at school! I'm pregnant!" She shrieked, laughing.

"Come on goofy." I said, standing up and throwing her cup away. She grabbed my hand and skipped alongside me as we left.

Cayden is a doll baby, when she met Drake and said "YOLO" was too cute.Drakes gone pop up again im sure. Ats a damn shame Carters mom reacted like that and that he ler her manipulate him like that, he really hurt Ronnie by abandoning her and there baby and basically treating her like some random hoe instead of his girlfriend. Caydens a sweetheart and he truly missed out on a bright kid, Im just glad Ronnie isnt being spiteful and is letting him get to know his kid. Hope he stay around this time, Cayden seems to like him. RUN IT!!!

Awwwww, RUN IT!!

Thanks!

Carter and his mom are some b****es. How dare you disrespect her like that? Carter should've manned up and told his mon to shut the f*** up. But I guess its good that he's there now.
Run it

I just...ugh...I despise him man.....

I know Ronnie had to feel horrible that Carter wasn't there, because
she went through the same thing as a child..smh
Carter was f***ed up for what he did, and I'm glad that he's moving forward and doing the RIGHT thing. Now, he really needs to get through to
Ronnie; get her more invested in her feelings towards the situation.

His mother is a Punk Ass b**** and he's an even bigger one for just abandoning Ronnie like that..

Carter's mom was so dirty for that

Carter's mom was so dirty for that

Damn man what Carter did to Ronnie was f***ed up and now I know why she was kinda angry at him and claimed that Cayden didn't have a dad because his was basically disowning his own child knowing damn well Ronnie wouldn't cheat on him!!!!!
RUN IT:)))

After Cayden had gone to bed, Carter stayed over for a little while and we watched the Ohio State basketball game. I handed him a beer and he opened it and took a swig. During one of the commercials, he looked over at me.

"I knew that day at the park," He said.

My eyes fell upon him and I looked him in the eye, "...how?" I asked softly.

"I smiled at her and she...smiled back and I saw myself looking back at me." He said, looking over at me. "I never wanted any of this to play out this way. I went home after you told me and...I was upset, I won't lie. I thought that we were responsible and protected ourselves, so I was confused." He said.

I let him continue. I hadn't ever heard this, and I was interested to hear what he had to say.

"But I knew that if you were pregnant, I'd have to step up to the plate. When I told my mom, I thought she'd give me some words of advice and try to support us, but she really tried to manipulate me, at a time where I felt vulnerable. She was feeding me all of this bulls*** that I took heed of at the time, but I know now, looking back, that none of that could've ever been true. It's you, Veronica. We were in love. You wouldn't lie about our child. I apologize for taking so long to come around and tell you this...I just wanted to make sure that I was ready to face you, and all of the hurt that I put you through." He said, looking at me, waiting for a response.

I didn't really have much to say. I'd grown to be so self-sufficent...and so removed from anyone's love, other than Cayden's, that what he said felt good...but it didn't matter anymore.

"Well I'm just glad that you're here for Cayden. I'll have the conversation with her soon...I know it's coming." I said, looking him in the eye.

"...thanks for letting me be here, 'cause you didn't have to." He said.

I nodded, "Yes I did."

"How?" He asked.

"I'd be hurting Cayden if I didn't..." I responded.

<strong>Present</strong>

Carter knocked lightly on the door and I pulled it open and smiled a little.

"Hi," I said.

"Hey," He said, kissing my cheek.

Cayden ran into the living room and hugged Carter. "Mommy can I show Carter my new shoes?"

I nodded and watched as she tugged him toward her room. I followed and stood by the door, like I always did when he was in here. He sat on the floor with his knees up. I laughed when she put her pink cowboy hat on his head. He looked at me and smiled. She went into her closet and pulled her shoes out.

"And when you're finished, you're gonna put them back." I warned her.

She nodded at me and handed them to Carter.

"Oh these are nice! You gonna take care of them? Your Mom spent a lot of money on these." He said, watching her put them back.

"Yeah I am." She said, before she sat down next to him. She looked curiously at him.

I knew that look...and I was afraid of what was about to come out of her mouth.

"Do you have any kids?" She blurted.

I covered my face with my hands and Carter laughed a little and looked at me, his face red.

"Your mom made cookies," He said.

Cayden's eyes got big and she stood up. I simply pointed toward the kitchen and she ran out of her room toward the kitchen. Carter stood up and looked at me. The conversation would be had eventually. It had been about 2 months since Carter was in Cayden's life and she looked forward to his visits... she even asked for him when he wasn't there. After Cayden forced a tea party upon him, I went and got some studying done in my room. When it was time to make dinner, I went out into the living room to find Cayden and Carter asleep on the couch. Carter had his arm around her and she was asleep against his chest, gripping her teddy bear. I turned off the TV and smiled a little. I'd have to tell her soon. It was getting hard not to.

Honestly....Carter doesn't deserve to be in Cayden's life.....he should've grew a steel pair and told his mom what was up....now you want in?....psh..

<strong>3 Years Earlier</strong>

I picked up a crying Cayden from the sand box and smiled apologetically at the woman with her son across from us. I wiped Cayden's face and kissed her cheek repeatedly.

"What is going on with you today? You're so fussy." I said, walking through the grass and heading towards the picnic tables where I'd left our things.

I slung the bag over my shoulder and headed towards the bus stop, when a car pulled up in front of me, blocking my path. I tossed my hand up and went to walk past when <a href=http://distilleryimage3.s3.amazonaws.com/92ec2dba9ba611e192e91231381b3d7a_6.jpg>he</a> got out of the car. His mouth dropped slightly and I tightened my grip on Cayden and continued walking. He followed us with his eyes and shut the door to the car. I hadn't seen Carter since graduation. Cayden didn't have a father... according to her birth certificate.

"Ronnie!" He called.

I went inside of the bus shelter and sat down. I put Cayden on my lap and gave her the pacifier. She sucked it quietly and tapped her hand on my leg. Carter came into the bus shelter and I didn't glance in his direction. His eyes were on Cayden. He came and sat down on the bench next to us.

"...how old is she?" He asked.

"Don't act like you don't know." I responded lowly.

He smiled at her and she spit her pacifier out and smiled back. His face changed a little and he looked at me and then at her. He stood up finally and left without saying goodbye. I saw his friends pull into the parking lot and they went off to play basketball. It must've been nice... not to have any worries. The bus came and Cayden and I went and got on. I wouldn't see Carter again until he walked into the strip club... 3 years later.

<strong>5 Years Earlier (Cont'd)</strong>

I sat at the living room table writing out checks for the bills when my mom came in carrying groceries. She handed the EBT card to me.

"I didn't know which vitamins to get... so go back and get the ones that your doctor told you to get." She said, looking me in the eye.

I nodded and took the card from her. Things had been different between us since I told her about my pregnancy... but she kept her disapproval hidden well and went to every appointment with me. I stood up and walked into the kitchen, poured myself a glass of orange juice and watched as she began to cut onions. She looked over at me.

"You talked to that boy yet?" She asked.

I shook my head, "...he changed his number." I said softly.

"And at school? Does he ignore you?" She asked, her face sewn with concern.

I nodded, my throat filling with tears.

"Well on the bright side, you've only got a few more weeks before graduation." She said, putting her hands on my protruding stomach.

"And your daughter will make up for all of the love lost." She said.

"How are you so sure?" I asked, searching her face.

She cupped my face with her hands, "Because it happened with you."

She kissed my forehead and went back to the onions. I smiled and rubbed my stomach before I went back into the living room. A letter came in the mail that day from USC. I'd been accepted. I planned to commute in the fall.