Ben stared blankly at Leslie because she definitely didn’t say what he thought she just said. That’s impossible.
She took a deep breath. “I asked if you’d be the father of my child. I know it’s a huge request and a little weird, but you know how much I’ve wanted kids, and I don’t think that I’ll ever find someone to have them with. I could go to a sperm bank, but it’s not the same. You don’t have to answer now, and if you say no, I won’t hold it against you or anything.
“It’s just–you’re my best friend. I know you better than anyone else on the planet and you are an excellent candidate. My time is running short and my doctor says that this might be my only chance. You could be as involved as you want. If you want to be this child’s father in every sense of the word, that’s great. If you want to just be the cool uncle that shows up and Christmas and birthdays, that’s great, too.”
Ben’s mouth was dry and his tongue felt like it weighed a ton. “You–you really think I’m the best choice?”
“I do. But again, please don’t feel pressured. Just think about it. You–” she sighed again, and god, if she only knew how much he loved her. “You’re the only one I trust to do this.”
The word was out of his mouth before his brain could even catch up. Leslie’s eyes went wide with shock that probably mirrored what he was feeling inside.
“Wait, yes? You don’t have to answer now. If you want to think about this–”
“Yes, I want to do it. I know how much this means to you, and if I can help make that happen, I want to do it.”
Shit, what was he doing? This could ruin everything. Having a child with the women you’re too afraid to admit you love more than life itself only complicates things. Was he even ready to be a father? Did she really want him to be an active father?
But he loved her, and this was what she wanted.
He held her when she rushed into his arms and started crying happy tears against his shirt. “Thank you. Thank you so much. You have no idea how much this means to me.”
“I think I do,” he mumbled into her hair, pressing a light kiss there.
“Wow, okay,” she said a few seconds later, pulling away from him and wiping at her eyes. “There’s still a lot to do beforehand and stuff before they do the actual insemination. I know my doctor will want to talk to you and everything, and they’ll have to do a full medical exam.”
“No problem. Whatever it takes. Everything will work out just fine.”
Ben wasn’t sure if even he believed that, but he’d say and do anything to make her happy.