"But Auntie Sam…" the little girl with beautiful blonde curls looked up at me with equally beautiful blue eyes.
"Your mommy said that you couldn't have any sweets because you were a bad girl today." I said.
Heidi started to tear up. I wanted my kid to be cute but I hoped she or he wasn't as adorable as the three year old Heidi was.
"Heidi lets go and get your bath ready." Rock said, reaching for the little girl's hand.
Rock and I had decided to take Heidi overnight so that Roxy and Warren could get a night off. Thayer was already seven and was being a big help to them but Heidi was jealous.
"I don't want a bath."
"Well that's just too bad." Rock picked her up carried her upside down toward the stairs.
"Rock…" Came his mother's voice from the living room. "What are you doing to that poor girl?"
"She's fine mom." He laughed and I followed him up the stairs to the master bathroom.
"Roxy is really appreciative that we took her for the night." Rock said and he started to undress the little girl for her bath.
"I told her that we have our next kid that she better return the favour." He laughed and I didn't. Next kid? Oh… we hadn't even talked about more children. He saw my face and he went serious. "Don't you want another baby after this one?"
"I don't know. I hadn't really thought about anything beyond just making sure this one survives."
"I know you weren't planning on having kids yet but well… I do want one of my own."
"Noah will be your own."
"It's Noah now?" he raised an eyebrow.
"I don't know what it is so I just keep alternating the names."
"There isn't any pressure right now…"
"But there will be is what you're saying."
"We can talk about in a year."
"A year? I don't want to be pregnant again in a year."
He turned off the water and helped Heidi get in. She giggled and started to play with the toys.
"We're both not getting any younger Sam."
"I'm twenty-six and your twenty-nine… it's not like we're old and decrepit."
"But if you were to get pregnant in a year, then by the time that baby was born, then Noah or Stephanie would be 2."
"Well 2 years between kids is good."
"I don't know if I want anymore kids Rock."
Suddenly Bernie was in the doorway. "Go, I'll watch Heidi." He said sternly. Rock ushered me toward his room. I took a seat in a worn easy chair.
"How can you not want at least one more? One that's mine…"
"This baby will be yours."
"I want one genetically related to me. Is that so wrong?"
"No, I'm not saying it is."
"Well, you have to look at it from my perspective."
"But you didn't even ask me how I felt about it."
"Well guess I know now." He sat down on his bed and his hands went to his hair.
"I just said I didn't know what I wanted."
"I have to know Sam. I don't want to go through with this only to find out after that we want different things."
"Well then I guess that's the answer then." I stood and reached for my overnight bag in the process.
"About the marriage. We obviously want different things so getting married and moving in together is just not going to work is it?"
"I'm not going to keep doing this Rock. Why bother going through with all this if we're just going to keep arguing because you want certain things and I don't. What can I say; it was fun while it lasted right?"
"Samantha!" he roared and it shocked me into sitting. "Maybe we should just break up since you've been trying to break away from me ever since we met."
"No I haven't."
"First you kept putting yourself down so that I wouldn't think you were good enough. Then you tried to dissuade me by the number of partners you've had. Then there was using my wife as an excuse and now this, maybe… I don't know. If you really don't' love me and don't want to be with me than just say so and leave. Don't say that you love me but make up all these excuses for not staying in a relationship."
"What are you so damn afraid of?"
What was I afraid of? He was right of course, although I would never admit it out loud. I did always make excuses for why my relationship at the time couldn't last. Dan had been the exception since he had dumped me before I could dump him. Maybe I needed to see a therapist or something.
"I'm not staying for this." I said, letting my anger talk for me. Bag in hand I walked out to my Dad's car and got behind the wheel. Took me a little longer to get home than it usually did because the tears blurred my vision a little.
"How long were you with Rockland?" she asked, looking up from her pad and paper.
"A little over two months." I said.
She started to write something down. "And how long did your relationship before that last?"
"Did you love this man?"
"Then why were you with him for so long?"
"I don't know. The sex was good."
I always get a little un-nerved at people who have no sense of humour. Therapists never did. She wrote down some more things.
"And Dan is the father of the baby?"
"And how does that make you feel? Knowing that you never loved the father of your child?"
"I don't know…" and I didn't.
"You don't wish you had been in love when you conceived the baby?"
"No I wish I hadn't been drunk out of mind and insist that the guy wear a condom."
"So you regret the baby then?"
Big internal sigh.
"No. I've wanted the baby since I found out I was pregnant. If you want to know if I wish the baby had a different father, then yes, I do."
"And if you could choose anybody to be this baby's father, who would you pick?"
"Rock." I answered without thinking. Isn't that what you're supposed to do in therapy?
She started writing again.
"Do you love Rock?"
"So what's the problem? Why did you leave him?"
"Because we're arguing all the time."
"That's a normal part of a relationship."
"He can't say he loves me back."
"You're still new in your relationship. Perhaps you should give it time."
"He asked me to marry him and move in with him."
"Maybe he knows what he wants."
"Yes, I think he does but he doesn't bother to ask me what I want."
"And what do you want?"
She started writing again.
"Well I hope I can help you get to the bottom of the reason why no relationship lasts for you."
"Well that's why I'm here."
Those kinds of questions went on for another 40 minutes and then the session was over. She wanted to see me twice a week. My Dad was paying for it. I hated that he was but he said there had to be something wrong with me for not wanting the same things as Rock. Maybe it would be okay, you know. I could get to the bottom of my issues and then the next relationship could be a healthy one, as long as he didn't mind having a step-kid.
I walked out of the building and got into my Dad's car. My cell phone started to ring and I answered it without looking.
"Sam…" I had missed hearing his voice. 2 weeks was the longest we had gone without speaking.
"You haven't been answering my calls."
"Why would I? The only reason I answered this time is because I thought you might be Quinn."
"Be reasonable. If you don't want to have any more kids then we can work that out. I want you to be with me. You and the baby."
"It's a little too late."
"Have you already started seeing someone else?"
I thought about lying, but it would kill him. I still loved him and even as mad as I was at him, I couldn't hurt him.
"Sam, you have no idea how much I miss you. How much I miss both of you."
I wiped away a tear with my free hand.
"I miss you too." And then the sobbing couldn't be helped. Damn third trimester hormones.
"Then why are we doing this? If you don't want to marry me, fine. I can live with that. If you don't want to move in with me, that's fine too. I don't want to lose you from my life."
"Then we should just stay good friends." God that felt like a stab in my already injured heart.
"I'm not ready for this. I have to do what's right for me and the baby and that means I have to try and do this on my own. I'm seeing a therapist."
"I'm sorry that I hurt you so bad Rock. I never wanted to hurt you."
"Don't do this."
"I have to."
"You don't have to punish yourself. I just want to be with you."
"And I want you to be the baby's father but we can't all have what we want."
And I clicked off the phone. He would never be satisfied with my answer. The phone rang again, but I didn't answer. I just hoped that he was able to move on.
It didn't take long for me to get to my house. Tired… no exhausted was more like it. I was planning on taking a long nap. For the last day or so I had been having some pains but they came and went so I knew they were Braxton hicks. I pushed open the door and was startled when many voices yelled, "SURPRISE!"
Something stirred inside me. They must have startled the baby too.
Everyone was there, including 6 Jones women all with different expressions on their faces. Quinn was the first to approach me.
"I wanted to do it before things got too hectic." She said with a great big grin.
"Thanks Quinnie." I hugged her and Ricki caught my eye.
I started to feel a little warm. Actually it was getting really warm down my legs and into my shoes.
I looked down and so did Ricki. My pants were darker coloured.
"Oh Shit." I said.
Ricki and Reba rushed to me. "You have to get to the hospital Sam." Ricki was saying as she pushed me toward the door.
"Any chance this could just be that my bladder exploded?" I knew it was stupid but god I was scared. I was only 29 weeks.
"Sam. It's okay." Ricki started propelling me toward her own car when Reba grabbed my other arm.
"Your car's a little small darling. Let's take Rock's car."
And Reba was pulling me toward a black SUV that was parked across the street from my parents. I had been so upset that I hadn't even noticed it there. I guess Reba had borrowed it to take a few of the women together. Quinn and my mother were running from the house to get a seat in the car with us.
I couldn't help but start to cry.
Reba was rubbing my arm as my mom and Quinn got settled in the backseat. "Everything is going to be okay."
Every Doctor or nurse that checked on me had the same look on their face. I just wanted to know that my baby was going to be okay. I was a bad mother.
How could Rock even think about wanting more kids with me? I was defective. I didn't want anymore kids because I didn't want this to happen again.
No one was in the room with me at this moment. Quinn and mom had gone to get some coffee. Ricki and Reba were talking with the other nurses. I still hadn't seen any of the other Jones women except for briefly at the shower. I'm sure Lana was having a heart attack. I'd have to ask her to call Judy. She'd be mad that I was having the baby before she got back but well… tough shit.
I closed my eyes while another mild contraction started. They had been manageable and I'd refused drugs. I had done enough to cause my kid trouble, wasn't going to dope him up too. I heard some rustling and then a large warm hand on my own. I opened my eyes and was greeted with a half smile of sorts.
I couldn't help but let out a sob and Rock was reaching for me across the bed.
"You came. Even though I was a bitch to you, you came."
"Well you did say you wanted to stay friends at least." He said into my ear.
"Fuck that shit. I love you rock and I don't care if you ever say it back." I'm sure he was loving labour hormones now.
He started to laugh. "My sister told me that I shouldn't take anything you say completely seriously."
"Smart woman, this sister of yours."
He brought my hand to his lips and kissed my knuckles. "They say everything is going to be okay. They already have everything set up for the baby when it comes out."
"Hey." He caught my Chin and made me look at him. "Everything is going to be fine. The baby is going to be fine. A little early but my sister and mom said that baby's this far along have a high survival rate. Look at Thayer."
That was right, Roxy's oldest. He was born at 30 weeks and now he was not only bigger than his classmates, he was smarter too.
"I really hope your right."
Even when your baby is early, it still hurts like hell. Really, what if I had carried to term then I would have ended up stretched out forever. I had only been able to hold little Noah for a few minutes before they had to take him to the incubator. He had been so Tiny. 3.5 lbs and 17 inches. He had cried and they were happy to hear that but his lungs were still a little under developed.
They rolled the incubator away and told me that I could come and see him when I was a little more rested. I just couldn't help but sob into Rock's shoulder.
All he did was rub my back and hold me tight. My whole life had been a complete and utter disaster but at least I had Rock, despite how awful I had treated him.
Everyone came to visit me including Dan.
He had gotten plugs to try and replenish his lack of hair and he had lost a little weight around his middle.
"Where's the baby?" he asked. "Where's my son?"
"He's in the neonatal." I said. Rock had just glared at Dan.
"I want him named Mortimer Daniel Lautner after my father." He said.
"His name is Noah." I said.
"Noah? Like in the ark? I won't have it."
"You don't have any say at all Dan. Just like you haven't had any say in my whole pregnancy. Where were you when I went into pre-term labour 3 weeks ago?"
"I wasn't told."
"Tells you how important you are." Rock said.
"This has nothing to do with you." Dan said, pointing a pudgy finger at him. "Do you really think that this guy is going to play Dad to MY son?"
"He's not yours." I said. "He never was. You wanted me to get rid of him and you only really started to show interest when you heard I was seeing someone new."
"He's my son and I have rights."
"He was premature you know." I said.
"What does that mean?" God Dan was beyond clueless.
"He was born two months early dip shit." Rock said and I held my laugh.
"Is he going to die?" Dan asked.
"Probably not, but he could be under weight and small the rest of his life." Rock said for me.
"Lautner men are big."
"Obviously." I said.
Dan thought I had meant his equipment and he smirked but I had been referring to his gut.
"I think you should leave." Rock said, leaving my bed side.
"Not before I see my son… Mortimer…"
"I'm not naming my son Mortimer. His name is Noah Rockland Matthews."
Rock looked at me and smiled.
"Rockland… what kind of name is that?"
"It's my name." Rock said. "Do you have any more problems?"
"I'll sue for custody."
"And you'll loose."
"I have the best lawyer in town."
"Highly doubtful when the best Lawyer is Warren Wright and he's my brother-in-law."
"I pay him a lot of money."
"You really think he's going to defend you when his family is involved?"
"Samantha is not your family."
"She's going to be. Didn't she tell you? We're getting married."
Dan's jaw dropped. Kick-Ass. I had waited over a year to get that kind of reaction out of him.
"I'm not going to just give up."
"You might as well. Sign your rights away. I can give your son everything you were not willing to do in the first place. I may have only met Sam three months ago but I've been there for her when you were not. I love Noah as if he was mine and I fully intend to adopt him. If you really want to make sure he has the best in life than just let Sam live her life. Do you really think you have the time to devote to a pre-mature baby? They need medication and extra care. There might even be mental delays."
I know that Rock was only trying to bring up things to make Dan think twice about his claim to take me to court for custody. But it was true, Noah could have some delays.
"I... didn't know…" Dan stuttered.
"Do the right thing for him and just don't have anything to do with him. When he's older and he wants to know I'll tell him. I'll even bring him to you to meet if you want but I will not let you destroy his life by forcing him to be shuffled between his mom and you all the time when you don't really give a shit. This is all just about saving face."
Dan seemed to consider his words. He must have actually thought that having a kid would make him look better to women but I don't think he could make him more attractive.
"Send the papers to my office. I'll sign." And he left.
"That seemed too easy."
"He'll probably claim I bullied him into it and try and sue me too but we'll deal with it, and we'll get him to sign over rights eventually. Until then, Noah doesn't need to know I'm not his father." He walked back across the room to sit beside me.
"Thank you." I said.
"For not giving up even when I had given up on myself."
We were silent for a long while. Then Rock looked at me again.
"I guess it was safe of me to assume you were going to marry me right?"
I started to laugh and it felt good to do so. I hadn't really belly laughed in so long. "Yes, you were safe to assume."
"I love you Samantha." He said and I had to do a double take.
"Did you just say…"
"That I love you, yes."
"What took you so damn long?"
It was his turn to laugh.
It was going to be some time before I could bring Noah home. He had to get up to a weight of at least five lbs, eight ounces. He had a ways to go and the doctors had said that it could take up to two months to get there. I was just happy that Reba and Ricki would be there to keep an eye on him.
Reba was already gushing over him as if he were her grandchild. She had been even more ecstatic when Rock told her of his intention to adopt him. I got to go home pretty much twenty-four hours later but I insisted on coming back as soon as I had slept. I wanted to spend as much time with Noah as I could.
"So you were wrong." I said, on the drive back to the hospital. Rock looked at me briefly from the driver's side of his SUV.
"You thought I was having a girl."
"First time for everything."
"I want to get married in September." I said.
Rock had pulled into the hospital parking lot. "You really want to have the wedding that soon?"
"Well when would you like to have it?"
"I was thinking Christmas."
"I don't know, it would just make everything extra special, and the whole family would be together anyway."
"I'm not wearing white." I said. "I am definitely not virginal."
"You can do whatever you want." He kissed my forehead.
"Heidi can be the flower girl and Thayer the ring bearer, since Markus & Noah will both be too young."
Rock just nodded.
"Maybe pointsettia's in the bouquets…" I trailed off.
"Are you regretting asking me now?" I smirked.
"Never. By the way, I forgot to give you something." He reached into his pocket and I recognized the worn ring box. He opened it and took the ring out. "if you have to get it sized that's okay." He took my hand and started to slide the wrong down my finger and it fit perfectly.
"It must be meant to be." I said, barely above a whisper.
"That." He kissed me deeply, "and my grandmother had huge hands."
I slapped him and we made our way to see our son, because that's how I felt. Like he was our son now. Oh there was going to be a multitude of problems with Dan. I knew that but despite it all, Rock was going to be everything to Noah and I couldn't ask for a better father.
"I know it's not finished but I wanted to know what you girls thought."
The house on Danby Street was going to be my dream home, but not until October 23. They had pushed it back yet another month and I was going to be doomed to spend even more time with my parents.
"Well, for a house made of sticks… okay I guess." Quinn commented from the top of the bare steps.
"They had a union strike that I can't help, but they're going to give us some extra's to make up for the time delay."
"So what do we do in the mean time? I'm going to die of boredom at my parents for another 3 months."
"I've bought another house."
"Hear me out. You'll like it I swear. The family that owned it was good to it. Second owners. They have two grown daughters but they've bought a condo to retire in. They just can't handle the upkeep anymore. I got a really good price for it."
"Rock?" Quinn was coming down the stairs. "Are you saying you bought OUR house?"
"Your parents' condo will be finished sooner, which is a bloody miracle considering. We can live there until this place is finished."
"I thought maybe it would be a nice gift for Quinnie." He looked up at her. The shock was unbelievable. Quinn loved our house.
"Are you serious?" she was looking between me and Rock as if we were playing a joke on her.
"Yes. But it's your gift as Maid of honour." Rock said.
"That's a lot of money…" she trailed off.
"I've been saving almost every penny I've made since I started working. I've lived at home and not had to pay rent. I got a scholarship and didn't have any school loans to pay off, besides that, what little I did have to pay out, my parents took care of. I'm a spoiled guy and it's about time I did something back for two of my favourite girls."
Unexpectantly, Quinn jumped off the bottom step and into Rock's arms. I couldn't help but laugh.
"You have no idea how much this means to me." She panted a big wet kiss on his mouth and he sputtered and dropped her to the dusty bare floor. I just laughed harder.
"I think I get the picture."
"Now… do you happen to have a brother hidden away for me?" she asked.
"You better not change your mind again Sam or I may just have to go and marry him." And that made all three of us laugh.
I hugged both of them and I couldn't help but think about how lucky I really was.
As I said in a previous note, I have started writing a sequel to this from Quinn's point of view. I just loved her character and felt she deserved her own screen time as they say. I hope you liked this one and look to see more about Quinn soon.
Thanks to everyone who were avid followers.