Camren's constant good mood continued, so much so that he was often inspired to paint a masterpiece or two. Camren was very much in love, and soon he would ask Cora to be his girlfriend. He would have asked her days ago, but with Cora he knew he had to pace himself or he risked scaring her off. Commitment after all, was not her cup of tea. Camren however, was absolutely positive Cora would settle down if the right person came along, and Camren could be nothing but the right person.
"I'm really sorry about your sister..." Camren said to Cora later that day. "I know you two were very close."
"Thank you, and yes...she was more than a sister, she was a parent to me as well. As you know, there was a rather big age difference between my sister and me, I was a teen when she was an elder...I suppose it really was just a matter of time..." Cora said sadly. She had loved her sister dearly and she didn't know how she'd go on without her. She had been her one anchor.
"Listen, if you want...you could stay here a few days. If you don't want to be alone." Camren said concerned about her.
Cora looked at him surprised, "Here? In your house? Wold your parents be ok with that?"
"We have plenty of room, you could have your own room of course. And my parents will understand, don't worry." Camren said reassuringly.
"I feel like you skipped a step or two." She said with a small smile. "You strike me as the kind of guy that would ask a girl to be his girlfriend first, before inviting her to stay over."
"Well, I usually am. And I would have, I just...didn't think this was the best of timing. It occurred to me you might need a friend more than a boyfriend." Camren said quietly.
"That's very sweet, and very generous of you Camren. It's one of the reasons I like you so much, you're such a kind and giving person." Cora said warmly. "If you want, you can ask and I won't be offended. I'm sure my sister wouldn't have minded either."
Camren was surprised, but pleasantly so. "Alright...if you're sure." He said uncertainly. He was happy she was open to the idea of a steady relationship, he just wasn't positive this was the best time for her to make such a decision...what if she regretted it later when she got past her grief? Camren still remembered how much his mother had changed due to grief, then gone back to being herself afterwards. Still, he did not want to disappoint her, or hurt her. "Cora, we've spent a lot of time together and...well I care about you a lot, I love you and if you agree, I would very much like for you to be my girlfriend, but only if you want to. Please know that I will still be with you even if you say no, I do understand this is not the best of times, and you tend to be a free sprite." He said then stopped realizing he was rambling on like a moron.
Cora chuckled, "You are the cutest thing to watch when you're nervous. And yes, I would like very much to be your girlfriend."
Camren smiled happily. "Great!" He said excitedly, though a part of him was still worried he had gone about this all wrong. He decided it was something he'd figure out when and if it came up.
"I don't think dad entirely approves of Camren's uh...romance. Or rather,, the way he's going about it." Clare said to her mother one afternoon.
Blythe smiled, "Well, your father hides it well but he can be a bit old fashioned... He's used to a man and woman not living together under the same roof until they're married."
"They're only living together for a few days...." Clare said with a sigh.
"Oh I know sweetheart. So does your father, he's just worried about Camren. It's difficult you know, seeing one's children growing up and moving on before our very eyes. We love you all very much, we don't want to see any of you hurt in any way. Yet, pain is just as much a part of life as is happiness. If it were up to us, we might be tempted to keep you at home forever so that nothing would ever harm you. That wouldn't really be living though, would it?" Blythe said gently.
Clare smiled at her mother, though it was more a sad smile than a happy one. Her mother had lost her mother, and one day, Clare would lose her own mother. She tried hard not to think of that day. She could not imagine life without her mother.
Camren however, continued to be blissfully happy and completely unaware of any concerns his family might have about him and Cora.
"Good morning, Cora." Said Blythe cheerfully.
"Good morning, Mrs. Montgomery." Replied Cora pleasantly.
Blythe smiled, "Cora, it's Blythe. Really, just Blythe. Mrs. Montgomery is so...formal. Your my son's girlfriend, you're like family to us."
Cora focused on her breakfast, "Yes, Mrs. Montgomery." She said quietly then winced. "I'm sorry, I just...it will take some getting used to. You have all been lovely to me, I don't wish to cause any offense or disrespect." She said quickly. She wasn't sure to a big family, or a family in the traditional sense at all. Most of her life it had been just her and her sister. The Montgomery Family was a big family, and very close...
Blythe smiled watching Cora. "You know, Ben also was partially raised by his older brother. When he and I were a couple and he started spending time over at our place, it was hard for him to. To take in the whole family scene, and I was an only child, mind you. So I understand that for you it must be difficult as well, and we are a bigger family now. So, just take your time Cora. Don't feel like anyone is pressuring you into anything."
Cora smiled but said nothing else. She had grown to really admire and care for the Montgomery family, but she wasn't entirely at ease yet. It didn't help that it seemed she was coming down with something. The breakfast was excellent yet she felt like she was about to hurl.
It occurred to Cora that perhaps she and Camren had been having a little too much fun with each other and not had been very careful about it. Sure enough, a pregnancy test confirmed why she didn't seem to be able to keep Mrs. Montgomery's excellent food down. She was pregnant. She wasn't sure whether to be happy or upset. She realized she was in a bit of shock.
It wasn't exactly reassuring that she was now pregnant with the child of a man that was often a child himself. She cared for Camren dearly, but his one downfall was his childish nature. It was endearing and annoying at the same time. He loved her despite her shortcomings however, and so she accepted him despite his.
Cora took in a deep breath then slowly released it, well she would just have to make the best of it. "Camren..."
"Hmm?" Said Camren distractedly. He was busy playing with Clare's childhood dollhouse. He had found a few of the towns that went with it and had lost track of time playing.
"Camren, I'm pregnant." Cora said patiently.
"Almost done..." Camren said as he placed the last toy in just the right position then stopped suddenly. "Wait...what?"
Cora smiled nervously, "I'm pregnant..."
Camren smiled happily, "Really?! That's awesome! Wait till I tell mom and dad!" he said excitedly.
"You're...ok?" Cora said puzzled.
"Of course! We love each other, oh wait!" Camren said with a smile. "Now, I'm not saying this just because you're pregnant. I really do love you Cora. I have since the day we met. Would you marry me?"
"Camren, this isn't the time. Please, I just found out I'm pregnant. I need a bit of time to adjust to all of this. Please...could we talk about that later?" She said struggling not to give into a panic attack.
"Of course...I'm sorry. Hey, hey, it's ok. We don't have to talk about that now." Camren said as he hugged Cora who was obviously still in shock. "Listen, Cora. I love you, no matter what. We don't have to get married. We don't have to do anything, we'll do whatever you want. Please don't worry about anything."
Cora smiled, calming down a little. "You're the best person I have ever met, Camren Montgomery."