Author: Teresa Mummert
"Maybe save that for another day." I put the car in drive and made my way out onto the main road. "It will be shocking enough to let them know we eloped." He smiled as he looked down at the white gold band wrapped around his finger as he gripped the wheel.
"One crazy piece of news at a time. Got it."
I leaned over and kissed my wife on the lips, brushing her hair back from her face.
"I love you so much."
"I Love you, too."
November 15, 2010, Baby Shower
"Don't be such a baby." Shane teased me and I poked him in his ribs.
"I hate parties," I wined.
"This isn't a party. It's a baby shower. May and Gail went through a lot of trouble to set this up."
"Are you trying to guilt trip me? I asked as I folded my arms over my chest, resting them on my belly.
"Is it working?" He reached out and rubbed my stomach.
Shane smiled and opened the door to May's house. My mother and sister yelled surprise as they clapped. May came running from the hallway.
"I missed the surprise!" She came to meet me in the living room and gave me a hug.
"I hate surprises."
"Not all surprises are bad," May laughed.
"That is what I always tell her," Shane chimed in. I turned around and glared at him as he put his hand on the door handle.
"Where are you going?" I asked.
"This is for the ladies. I am meeting the guys over at Hannigan's for a beer." He winked at me before slipping out of the door quickly.
"All right." May put her hands on my shoulders and guided me to the couch. "Let the fun begin."
We played all sorts of ridiculous games as those who had kids shared their labor stories. By the time they were done, I was convinced there was no way I was giving birth. They made all of my favorite foods, and we talked about marriage and love and all of the things in between. I was thankful to have so many people who supported me and loved me. It takes a little longer for some of us to realize how lucky we were to have each other in our lives, but better late than never. I wondered if Shane would be able to develop a relationship with his father now that he knew the circumstances of him leaving.
As the night ended, I was more than ready to go back to my apartment and cuddle up with my husband. My lease was up in a few months, so we put an ad in the newspaper to find someone to rent it in the meantime. Our request was answered from someone I least expected. Gail had finally had enough of the long, lonely nights without her husband and filed for divorce. She would move in as soon as Shane and I left for North Carolina.
November 25, 2010, Thanksgiving Day
Listening to all of my family and friends tell each other what they were thankful for was something I would never take for granted. I knew how easy it was to lose everything.
"This turkey looks amazing, Jenn!" Jake reached out to grab a piece of skin from the turkey, and May slapped his hand away.
"I learned from the best." Jenn smiled at May, who gave her a wink.
"I am a lucky man." I laughed as I scooped mash potatoes onto my plate before passing it around the table.
"You won't be if you don't save some of those for me," Jenn joked as she shot me a dirty look.
"Easy. We don't want our son to be as big as this turkey," I shot back.
Jenn reached her hand under the table and slipped her fingers between mine, giving them a gentle squeeze.
November 27, 2010, Back to North Carolina
"It's too soon!" May hugged me for the fourth time.
"We will be back for Christmas. It's only a few days." I laughed as I rubbed over my stomach. My son was kicking and it was incredibly uncomfortable.
"Little guy hurting you again?" Shane asked as he placed his hand over mine. I nodded and he rubbed small circles over my stomach until the baby stilled.
"You have a magical touch." I stood on my tiptoes and kissed him on the lips.
"So do you, Mrs. Tudor."
I waited for Roxy to jump in the car before lowering myself in.
"I feel like a house."
Shane laughed as he got in but quickly stopped when I glared at him.
"You are amazingly beautiful, Jenn."
"I don't know how many more times I can make this trip." I adjusted myself in my seat, my hips already aching.
"A few more weeks and you will be done. I promise to make it as easy on you as possible."
"Really?" I raised an eyebrow and ran my hand over his thigh. He adjusted in his seat and cleared his throat.
"This is going to be a long trip."
December 19, 2010
"Did you sign out?" I asked as Shane walked in the front door.
"All set to go." He leaned in to kiss me, his fingertips trailing along my jaw. "Are you sure you're up for this?" he asked as he pulled me against him.
"It will be nice to see everyone. I'd like to have the baby with lots of family around." My fingers spread over his chest.
"I'm not ready to go yet." His fingers ran down my spine.
"I already packed." I smiled, proud that I was able to get everything together while he was signing out for Christmas block leave.
"Just one thing left to do then," he said as he picked me up and carried me into our bedroom.
He lowered me onto our bed, holding his body over mine as he slipped the strap of my tank top off my shoulder.
"You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen." He kissed my shoulder. I let my eyes flutter closed as I relished in his touched. He leaned back so he could pull his T-shirt over his head, tossing it beside our bed. I ran my fingers over his abs, tracing the lines with my fingertips. He shivered and his muscles tensed
"Are you ticklish?" I asked, smiling widely.
"No," he lied as he grabbed my hand and held it at the wrist above my head.
"I think you are." I used my free hand to run over his ribs and he jerked on top of me. His eyes narrowed and he grabbed my other wrist and pushed it over my head as well. His breathing grew heavy, his mouth just over mine. I could feel how much he wanted me as he pressed against my thigh.
"I'm afraid I'll hurt you."
I raised my hips, pushing against him. He let out a groan as he closed his eyes.
"You're not going to hurt me, Shane. I promise." I lifted my head from the pillow and pressed my lips against his, leaving them parted. His tongue gently licked over my bottom lip before he sucked it into his mouth. I moaned and rocked my hips again. His fingers released my wrists so he could undress me as I undid the zipper to his jeans. He pushed them down over his hips and lifted my skirt.
"Tell me if it is too much." His words spilled into my mouth as we kissed again.
"I could never have too much from you."
December 18, 2010, Due Date
"Will you please stop staring at me like a turkey timer is gonna pop out?" I groaned as I took another bite of my Pop Tart.
"She's right. Twenty bucks says this baby isn't coming on his due date." May smiled as she waved a twenty-dollar bill in the air.
"I'll take that bet." Gail rummaged through her purse for her wallet.
"All right. That's enough. Everyone go home and we will call you when something happens."
"This is my home," Gail smirked.
"Well, it was my home first, so I have seniority." I raised an eyebrow at her as I took another bite.
"I'll sleep on the couch, but only because you're pregnant. No funny stuff in my bed." Gail pointed her finger at Shane, who held up his hands.
"That's okay with me." I pushed off the couch and stood, stretching my back as Gail laid down. "We made this baby right there on that couch."
Gail made a look of disgust as she jumped up.
"That's just gross. I'll have to burn it. I'll sleep on the chair," she said as she plopped down on the recliner, her legs hanging over the edge.
"Sweet dreams, Gail." I laughed as I followed Shane into my old room and he closed the door behind us.
December 25, 2010, Christmas day
"Hand me that big box with the red bow," I called to Zack as he rummaged through the presents and gave me the one I had asked for. "This is for Jake."
Jake smiled and hesitantly took the gift from my hand. He looked over the wrapping before smiling.
"Jenn wrapped this, didn't she?" I couldn't help but chuckle. I was horrible at wrapping presents. I had used duct tape on more than a few occasions.
Jake peeled the paper apart, trying not to rip it.
"You unwrap gifts like Grandma."
"God rest her soul." Jake raised his eyebrow, but I could see he was trying not to smile.
"What is it, Dad?" Tyler asked as he sat down on May's lap. She pulled him into her and wrapped her arms around him. I couldn't wait to be able to do that with my son.
"It's a shirt." He pulled it from the box and held it up to read the writing across the chest. His eyes tearing up as he read World's Best Brother.
"You got him clothes?" Zack laughed.
"It was the only thing I could find that said what I needed it to say." I shrugged as Jake leaned in and wrapped his arms around me, patting me on the back.
"Jenn, this one is from me." May held out a small box and slipped it into Jenn's hands. She slowly peeled the wrapping off.
"Ohhh…" Jenn said as her eyes widened.
"I told you she would love it." May playfully smacked me on the arm.
"Ohh…" Jenn called out again.
"All right that's enough. Who told you May and I bet on which gift you would like more?" I asked as I eyed up the kids.
"I don't think she is talking about the gift." Jake pushed to his feet and panic washed over him.
"The baby!" May jumped up and began flying around the house like a crazy person.
"What are you doing?" Jake called after her as I grabbed hold of Jenn's hands and pulled her from the floor.
"Just breathe," I said calmly in her ear as I rubbed her back. She nodded and looked around at the chaos.
"I'm getting supplies!" May screamed, her hands full of everything from a blanket to a coffee mug.
"This isn't the apocalypse!" Jake yelled as he ran to the bedroom.
"We will meet you guys there," I said calmly as I turned to smile at Jenn. This was it. We were going to be parents. I wondered if our son would have her eyes or her cute little nose that she crinkled whenever she would laugh.
"I'm not sure I am ready for this," she said as I led her out to the car.
"Sure we are, sunshine. We have the overnight bag in the trunk and the car seat is in the back. All we need is our baby."
She looked up at me through scared eyes as she sank down into the passenger seat. I tried my best not to look scared. I pushed her door closed and quickly jogged to the driver's side.
"We don't even have a name," she said as she breathed in deeply through her nose and blew it out heavily from her mouth. I pulled out and headed toward the hospital, hitting play on the CD player. "Fireflies" began to play and Jenn laughed.
"I have an idea."
"Care to share it?" she asked as she readjusted herself.
"It's a surprise."
She looked at me like I had lost my mind.
"I don't like-"
"Not all surprises are bad," I cut her off. She sank back against her seat and sighed. I couldn't see her face, but I knew she was rolling her eyes.