Dedicated to YOU
Thank you for reading this story.
And don't forget to check the bottom for news on what's next.
WRITTEN IN THE RAIN
Of Endings and Beginnings
Sunlight streamed though the windows of the master suite of the house Robert had leased for their stay in Florence. It was getting late, and they really should get out of bed already, but Kate was perfectly content where she was: lying in Robert's arms, her face buried in his chest as he stroked her hair and they both tried to catch their breaths after their last bout of lovemaking. And all the while, the Italian sun bathed their bed with warmth.
Kate couldn't recall for how long they had traveled. At first their trip was supposed to last only one more or two months, maybe three at most, but it had ended up taking the better part of their first year of marriage. They had been traveling around Tuscany alone for more than a month before deciding to settle in Florence for a little while. Kate had thought it would be a long stay, but life had other plans.
"Robert," Kate said softly.
"Mmm-hmm?" He said, still stroking her hair
Kate rose in her elbows and gazed up at him. "I think its time for us to go home."
"I thought you were enjoying it here…"
"I am, of course I am. I love being here with you… it's just that…"
Kate looked down, not sure how to impart the news. They had never really talked about it but they hadn't been taking precautions since they had been married, and without said precautions it was only matter of time before this happened.
"I want our baby to be born home." She said and her voice dropping to a whisper.
"What did you say?"
"I'm pregnant." Kate said again. "I've suspected for a little while but now I know for certain."
In a flurry of movement, Robert rolled Kate to her back and examined her carefully –they were naked so it was easy to see every little last detail of her body. He hadn't notice any changes, but he hadn't been looking. To him Kate always looked perfect and desirable, no matter what she was wearing or if her body was changing.
He could see now, her stomach was no longer perfectly flat; now it held a slight curve that was easily concealed when she was dressed. He placed his hand over her abdomen and felt the warmth and softness of her skin.
"Y-You're happy, right?" Kate asked, getting a little nervous at the intense look on Robert's face.
He surprised her by dropping a kiss right bellow her belly button. "Of course I'm happy." He said, looking at her with such an unguarded expression of joy that Kate almost felt tears coming to her eyes. Happy tears of course. "And we'll go home immediately."
"Well," Kate said with a smile. "Not immediately, I hope."
Sara loved the perks of being pregnant.
She got to eat whatever she wanted, John cuddled her more than ever and she could get him to do anything she wanted. Like right now, she was all cozy and warm, sitting on a rocking chair by the fire, with her feet up on John's lap as he gave her through feet massage.
Sara wiggled her toes a little, she had been feeling a little weird all day and her back had been aching – John was to giving her a back rub after he was done with her feet – but just now she felt very content.
It had begun to rain, a gentle drizzle for now though in the distance you could hear thunders that promised a storm.
Lighting lit the sky for a moment and John looked up from his task.
"I better go secure the windows, darling, before the storm starts."
"But… you've only done one foot! You can't leave it like that." Sara whined.
"I'll be back in just a moment, my darling tyrant." John said, dropping a kiss on Sara's lips.
Sara sat up a little as she felt pain. She didn't know how else describe it but her stomach had begun to hurt. She placed her hands over it, trying to feel if they were baby-kicks. She had felt her share of baby-kicks in the last few months but this was a different sort of pain. A thunder rolled in the sky and she felt the pain more acute, and then it began to fade… just to start again a few minutes later.
When John returned from securing the windows, Sara was leaning forward, both hands clutching her stomach in the middle of another contraction, she was sweaty already.
"Sara! What is it?!" John said, dropping to his knees in front of her.
"The baby… is coming, right now!" Sara breathed out as a new contraction started. "BLOODY HELL!" She screamed at the top of her lungs…
And that's when the door burst open to reveal Kate and Robert, still dressed in their traveling clothes and looking as if they had just jumped off their carriage –which they had.
"We heard screaming," Kate explained.
"What are you doing here?" Sara asked between pants as her contraction faded.
"We wanted to give you a surprise." Robert said. "But it looks like we are the ones in for a surprise."
"Oh, this," Sara groaned and then began to scream again. "Hurts!"
"Alright, Sara, calm down," Kate said coming forward. "John, take her upstairs so she's more comfortable. Robert, send for the doctor, the midwife and anyone else who can be of assistance, and we are going to need lots of clean linens, so ask Mrs. Sowerby to get them from the house, alright?. Now, everybody move!"
John quickly pulled Sara into his arms and carried her upstairs with Kate trailing behind him, and Robert went to send the coachman to fetch the doctor and the midwife and anyone else that might be of help.
About half an hour later the doctor, the midwife, Mrs. Sowerby and Fred arrived at the house. Sara's contractions were coming faster but the doctor and midwife assured her that she still had some way to go. They tried to banish John from the room, but he refused and Sara said that she felt better when he was holding her – apart from the fact that she got to yell at him when the pain hit her and remind him that it was all his fault – and Kate and Mrs. Sowerby were helping.
But then the midwife noticed Kate's rounded belly – she was just beginning to show – and promptly kicked her out from the room telling her that she shouldn't be on her feet for long and that she had to rest and sent her downstairs to wait with Robert and Fred.
The waiting was killing everyone. Well, everyone who was awake, Kate –who lately had been falling asleep all over the place – had fallen asleep lying on the couch with her head on Robert's lap as he stroked her hair. Fred was sitting next to his father and they were doing nothing more than straining their ears hopping to catch some information about what was going upstairs.
But it was impossible to hear anything other than Sara's occasional screams, which called quite vehemently for John's demise.
"So," Fred said sometime around two in the morning. "You and Kate are having a baby?"
"Yes," Robert said, looking down at his young wife.
"That's good." Fred said and there was a lengthy pause. Sara screamed again, and then Fred added. "I'm going to ask Vicky to marry me."
"That's good." Robert said and was about to elaborate when a high pitched wail filled the air.
Kate came awake with a start and the three of them raced upstairs to John and Sara's bedroom.
Sara was sting up in the bed, resting against the pillows. She looked pale, and tired and a little bit sweaty, but beautiful all the same. In her arms she was cradling a little scrap of a baby wrapped in a purple blanket.
John was sitting on the bed next to her, his arms about both his wife and newly born…
"What is it?" Kate asked eagerly if a little groggy still.
"A girl," John said proudly.
"She's adorable!" Kate said coming closer to look at her new niece. "Do you know what you're going to name her?"
"Rebecca. Becky, after your mom." Sara said with a happy sigh as she looked down at her baby daughter.
Kate – pregnant, hormonal woman that she was – teared up in immediately "Mom would have loved that."
Now, newly born little Becky was having a hard time not wailing her head off. There were all these people around her and they were all smiling and laughing; and she was tired – she had just been BORN – she need to sleep, but these people wouldn't let her.
John and Sara looked down at their daughter, all pink and wrinkly and wearing an expression of rightful indignation, she was less than three seconds away from breaking into full out crying. Apparently people understood because they all quickly cleared the room, leaving Sara and John alone.
Sara blinked sleepily and repositioned Becky so her head was just above Sara's heart. Becky stopped fidgeting immediately, and instead began to suck on her fist; she recognized that heartbeat, she had heard it all her life, it was her Mommy's heart.
"Go to sleep, love." John said softly, kissing Sara and then his little daughter.
And the voice, she recognized the man's voice too.
It was Daddy.
Becky closed her eyes and settled in, deciding not to cry and sleep instead.
"We love you so much, Becky." Mommy said.
Becky blinked at Sara and John, and thought. "Yes, sure. I love you too." And then Becky fell asleep. And then Sara fell asleep.
And John laid awake in the dark, and thought how lucky he was… and thought that as long as he had these two girls to run his life, he would be fine. Sometimes life was just perfect and he was thankful for that.
End of the Epilogue.
End of Written in the Rain.
Well, this is the end.. kind of.
I'm currently working on the third and last part of the Zephyr's Trilogy (A Sweet Inducement, Trouble with High Heels) which focuses around Mark Devane (son of Stella and John) and Nathalie Sadler (daughter of Lauren and Jason), It's called THE PURSUIT OF CHOCOLATE and it will see the light very very soon (Like by this weekend or Monday). Though is part of the Zephyr stories, you guys could read it on it's own.
And I'm also working on something that revolves around Stephen, Lord Westman (Kate's former fiancé) and his wife Charlotte. The story is tentatively called UNBREAK MY HEART (yes, like the Toni Braxton song) (Yes, I know, totally nineties, but hey, i'm and old crone) and it's based on an idea by the ever genial Kris, She-Who-Writes-The-Parody (Likes to be called her Majesty, Queen of the Parody), because I couldn't decide if I wanted to kill Stephen or have him reform. I'm very excited about it and I hope you guys check it out (It should be out in a couple of weeks).
Thanks so much for the wonderful ride of Written in the Rain.
I love you so.