|Paint Me a Dream, Sequel to Draw Me a Picture
Author: MeredithGreeneWriter PM
Sequel to 'Draw Me a Picture'. The continued story of William and Michelle Montgomery. Learning to live and love as a married couple and raise young children. Reviews welcome.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Chapters: 8 - Words: 35,472 - Reviews: 111 - Favs: 75 - Follows: 69 - Updated: 07-28-10 - Published: 12-26-07 - Status: Complete - id: 2455068
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Draw Me a Picture - Book Two
Bright sunshine illuminated Hyde Park, deep in the heart of London; not many days of sun existing this late in Autumn and the populace was out in full force. Mothers with small children walked happily upon the well-kept paths; older children ran over the green, clipped grass and dogs barked as they chased frisbees and caught sticks. The cheerful shouts of young people and adults alike filled the air, inviting outside observers to join in the fun. Businesspeople, who'd found some way to get off work early, strolled about in the warm sunshine, their briefcases and cares momentarily abated.
In the north-east end of the vast park, off the busy path, a large maple tree spread out it's web of branches, it's leaves nearly all bright red; beneath the veil of leaves a woman in pale pink sat serenely on a blanket, next to a portable playpen. The young woman held a sketch pad in her hands, her dark red-brown hair spilling over her shoulders; every few seconds, her green-gold eyes darted up, observing a family picnicking not far away. A small smile hovered over her mouth. Nearby, a tiny toddler peered at the young woman over the edge of the playpen.
At the corner of the blanket, a small, brown thrush landed; it hopped up and down, picking at a wayward bit of thread. The little boy's eyes widened at the sight of it.
"Ber!", he said, pointing a tiny finger at the bird; his arm stretched a little ways over the playpen rail. Michelle looked at her son with a smile, then glanced at the thrush.
"Bird.", she said, softly; she lowered the sketch pad and leaned closer to the little boy. "Ethan... say 'bird'." The boy watched the little thrush with avid interest as it hopped around, valiantly wrestling with the thread.
"Ber.", Ethan said, pointing again. Michelle laughed, quietly; the thrush eventually gave up the struggle and flew off. Seeing the bird was not going to entertain him further, the little boy sat back down and picked up a toy truck. Smiling, Michelle returned to her drawing.
The family she was sketching began to pack their things. Capping her pen, Michelle waved and got the attention of the mother. The woman came over, an uncertain look on her matronly face.
"Can I help you?", she asked, primly, eying the young woman whom sat with a sketch pad on her lap. Michelle gave her an encouraging smile. Having grown up in America, in a rather more friendly environment, she was still not used to the indigenous, British propriety that seemed to make it's presence felt at every turn. Holding up the single page to the woman, Michelle kept her smile.
"Please forgive the interruption, Ma'am," she said, pleasantly. "... but your family made such a lovely picture. I hope you don't mind." The mother took the picture, looked at it and smiled; her face transformed into the sort one would put on a cookbook, fairly radiating kindness.
"Oh, that is lovely.", said she, looking at the drawing at arm's length. "How kind of you! You made my Amanda looks so sweet... she rarely is, you know." The two mothers laughed, lightly. Michelle moved her sketch pad aside, revealing her pregnant belly; her middle was made all the more obvious by her stretchy, knit dress. "Oh, my... when are you due?", the lady asked, kindly; she glanced over at Ethan in his playpen. "... and with a young man already, too."
Michelle laughed, softly.
"February.", she said. "And don't worry... this little man is less trouble than he looks." The woman seemed to find this amusing.
"You have good luck then.", she said. She looked at the sketch again. "Thank you for this; it's very well done."
"You're most welcome.", Michelle returned. "I enjoyed drawing it; you're family is delightful to watch." The woman smiled and walked back to her own, lifting her hand in farewell. Michelle waved back and sighed, happily.
Closing her sketch pad, she reached for her tote bag and slipped it inside; Michelle felt on top of her head then looked around trying to locate her sunglasses. "Where did I...", she began, then stopped. Narrowing her eyes, she glanced over at the playpen; her little son was sitting in the furthest corner away from her, his little hands manipulating some kind of plastic object. So enamored was he with the mechanics of the hinged earpiece that the little thief did not notice the stealing shadow of his mum as she hovered over the playpen.
"Boo!", Michelle said, suddenly.
Surprised, Ethan dropped the sunglasses, his eyes wide; recovering quickly, he smiled up at his mother with an angelic face, his four, little teeth showing. "Did you take mommy's glasses little man?", his mother asked, smiling. Ethan looked down to recover what he'd dropped but the coveted item was gone. Ethan looked back up at his mother, astonished. Wiggling the glasses in her hand, Michelle chuckled at her son's crestfallen expression. "Who's the quickest?", she said, victoriously placing them back on the top of her head. "Mommy's the quickest."
Standing up, little Ethan reached out over the top of his playpen, holding out his truck. Michelle laughed. "No, I'm not trading you for the truck.", she said, fondly. Ethan dropped the truck over the side of the playpen; it landed on the blanket at Michelle's feet."No, Ethan... don't toss your toys.", Michelle reprimanded, leaning down to pick up the toy. As she did, she felt a little hand in her hair and a swift movement; the glasses her gone again. Squeezing her eyes shut, Michelle did her best not to burst out laughing. "You little turkey...", she said, matching her son's gaze. Ethan smiled at her from the playpen, clutching the forbidden item tightly.
"My!" he said, joyously. Michelle held out her hand; it was very difficult not to smile.
"Give to Mommy.", she said, trying to look severe. Ethan made a face and put them squarely in his mother's outstretched hand. "Good boy... thank you, little man.", Michelle said, smiling. She gave Ethan a kiss on his cheek, which he did not like. Chuckling, Michelle sat back down on the blanket. "Oh, my... you are so much like your daddy." Her son lifted his golden head at her words.
"Dada?" he said, tilting his head a little to one side. Smiling, Michelle reached into her tote bag and brought out a graham cracker. With keen eyes Ethan watched the sweet cracker like a hawk, his truck forgotten. Michelle balanced it on the playpen top and pretended not to look at it. In a flash, the cracker was gone and little munching sounds emanated from the playpen. Smiling, Michelle leaned back against the tree trunk taking a bite of cracker herself; sighing, she ran her hand thoughtfully over her belly. "Just a few more months." she said, softly. "Then you'll have a little brother."
The playpen creaked; looking over, Michelle saw her son standing against the rail, pointing out over the top.
"Dada!", he yelled, in his tiny voice. Turning her head, Michelle saw a tall, handsome man in a suit ambling over the grass towards them. The man's blue eyes were fixed on her, his smile calming. Delight filled Michelle's eyes and spilled out onto her face. "That's right, Ethan.", she said. "Daddy's here."
"Now, there's a sight for sore eyes.", William said, walking closer to his family. He spied them all the way from the park entrance, though it helped that he knew where they'd be. Michelle favored this maple tree to sit under; even on rainy days she'd bundle up Ethan in the stroller and sit in the fresh air under the thick, leafy canopy. Now, however, it was sunny and almost warm, for October; warm enough for half his office to suddenly 'feel ill' and need a half-day. Smiling, William sat down by his lovely wife, feeling the radiance of her smile keenly.
"I'm so glad you got out early.", Michelle told him, in her sweet way. "Not many days like this left."
"Correct.", her husband agreed. "Hence the principle of the half-day. Hello there my boy." William reached out his hand and rubbed his son's golden head. Ethan wrinkled his nose at his father, causing William a deep chuckle. "He gets that from you, love."
"He gets the wily mischievousness from you.", Michelle returned. William turned his eyes to his wife, his eyebrows raised.
"Ah? What's he done now?", he asked, already smiling. Nothing amused William more than the antics of his highly intelligent little boy. He'd already been dubbed 'the Clever Rascal' by his affectionate grandmother, whom believed the baby was far more calculating and savvy than most adults. Michelle related the sunglasses incident to her husband, inciting no small amount of laughter.
"You little ripper...", William said, fondly ruffling the baby's head again. "You ambushed your mummy with a toy." Turning towards Michelle, he grinned. "You've got admit that was clever."
"Too clever.", Michelle said , with conviction. "We've got to teach him restraint, rules and honor... or he'll turn into one of those super-villains whom wreak horrible mayhem on the planet."
William laughed at his wife for several seconds.
"My dear, really...", he said, kissing her cheek. "Don't worry about him so. He'll be a good boy. With me around, he'd better mind himself." With this, William glanced narrowly at his son; the little head suddenly disappeared below the playpen rail; the little, bright eyes looking out cautiously through the netting.
William tweaked his son's nose and turned back to Michelle. His wife leaned back comfortably against the sturdy tree trunk, her glowing skin further illuminated by the afternoon sun; her pale-pink, knit dress hugged her growing stomach tightly, and her breast as well, he noticed. "You look very well, my love.", her remarked, favoring her with a warm glance. William never got tired of seeing his wife blush; the smile it produced was always sweet.
"Thank you, sir.", Michelle replied, glancing up at her loving man. She recognized that look in his cobalt eyes; he'd be wanting some personal attention when they got home. The thought rather appealed. When William looked at her like that, it did not matter that her body was a little misshapen with pregnancy; with him around she felt like the most alluring woman on earth.
A few minutes later William handed a wiggling Ethan to his mother, after tossing the tyke in the air a few times; the baby's delighted squeals always lifted his mood. Together they folded the play pen and blanket, stowing them in the stroller's storage compartment. Ethan did not struggle against being strapped into the rolling baby 'carriage'; his expression seemed to say he enjoyed being pushed places in it, able to watch the scenery at his leisure. Chuckling, William pushed his son in the blue and grey stroller, though a little slowly so Michelle could keep pace.
"I'm not that pregnant, William.", his wife said, quietly. "I can walk like a normal person." William flashed her a grin which said that, yet again, he'd have his way. Smiling, Michelle hid her laughter; she loved him. He took very good care of her, despite her protests. The family of three ambled out of the park amid the other families, pedestrians, cyclists and pets, all out enjoying the rare warmth of a sunny Fall afternoon in London.
"I had a call today from your esteemed uncle, love.", William announced, as they rode the lift up to their apartment. Michelle smiled. Calls from her eccentric uncle Oscar usually meant an impromptu visit from the man.
"When does he arrive?", she said, smiling. William's chuckle sounded deep in his throat.
"You know him well.", he said, smiling. "Tomorrow around seven, he said. I'll help you make up the spare room for him."
"I can make the bed myself, my dear sir.", Michelle said, her voice slightly mocking a proper, English accent. William narrowed his eyes at her, his smile turning into a sly grin.
"I must give you some more lessons, I see.", her husband said, leaning down to kiss her.
In the stroller, Ethan seemed to sense that his parents were busy; regarding the elevator operator with innocent eyes, her let fall a stuffed bear onto the floor. The aging lift-man eyed the baby right back, having fallen for the trap before.
"Knowt this time, young master.", the aged Englishman said, screwing up his face into a grimace. The baby smiled, giving an especially adorable hiccup. William rescued the bear from the floor, smiling.
"I see you're wise to his plans, Liam.", he said, affably. The lift man cracked a grin and nodded.
"Aye. He won't get me twice.", he said, his scowl returning. "No laddie ever got mah keys afore." Michelle giggled softly.
"Don't worry, we won't let him rule the world.", she promised, amused. "He'll be a good, upstanding member of society." The aging Liam smiled at her.
"Av course he'll be; he's a lovely mother." he said, opening the lift doors and standing aside. "And you'll be giving him a firm hand, wont'cha Mr. Montgomery?"
"Absolutely.", William said, gravely. "Take care, Liam."
"Aye.", the older man replied, going back into the lift. Michel hid her grin and waved briefly at the man before rolling the stroller to their door. William put in the code and let his family inside.
"All else aside," he said, setting down his briefcase on a side table, "We know he'll do well at University."
"Or, he'll do well at dodging his studies.", Michelle said, unstrapping the small tyrant and taking him into her arms. Her little son leaned on her shoulder and put his little arm around her neck. William looked at them both, his eyes soft; he reached out, touching the little golden head.
"He's apparently a carbon copy of me.", he said. "I turned out well." his wife turned to look at him; something in them sparked with fun.
"True.", she said. Smiling, she walked through the entry hall, carrying her baby boy to his room. With habitual swiftness, she bathed and changed him, putting fresh pajamas on him before laying him on his sailboat sheet. Tucking the soft blanket under his chin, she stroked Ethan's downy hair until he fell asleep. He looked so adorable sleeping, his eyes demurely closed, his bottom lip in s slight pout.
"I know you'll be a good boy.", Michelle whispered. "My little one." Shutting off the light, she closed the door behind her, leaving it cracked a little.
Going back to the entry, Michelle smiled at the sight of William wrestling the folded stroller into the hall closet. Giggling softly, she aided him in slipping back a wheel that had popped out from it's proper place.
"Thank you, love.", William said, finally closing the closet door. "Bit of a pain, that contraption."
"Yes, but handy for transporting his highness.", Michelle said, giving her man an amused look. "It's always fun watching you try to put it away..." William heard the last part of her sentence as he was reached down for his briefcase.
"See here..." he said, whirling around; he picked up his wife in one movement and carried her down the hall. "You little minx. And you think he gets it from me? Bloody hell..."
Michelle laughed, holding onto her husband's shoulder.
"Oh he gets the keen mind from me and you both.", she said, smiling. "But the outlandish, brazen, must-have-my-own-way brilliance he gets from none other than you." Chuckling, William grinned down at her. Michelle shivered a little, in a good way. Her man's eyes were full of fun and held a bit of a challenge.
"Oh?", he said. "Let's test that theory, shall we?" Michelle looked up at him through her lashes.
"Do I have a choice?", she asked, coyly. Her look made her man's heart flutter. William opened their bedroom door with a small kick.
"None at all.", he said, smiling knowingly at her. "You'd choose me every time."
"You know me well.", Michelle answered, nuzzling her husband's neck. William cleared his throat and set her down.
"Indeed, love." he said, smiling. "I'm very glad our little rascal still takes naps." The door closed behind them with a firm sound, as if to punctuate his words.
Like the chapter? Let me know via review; it helps me write more, faster. Cheers! First book is Draw Me a Picture: read it on my website in full: www dot belatorbooks dot com