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Chapter 26


“I can’t believe how much he cried. I think he still might break down at any minute.” I said watching Thomas across the room doing the father daughter dance with Tammy, while Alex was doing the same with her father.

“We’ll see smart ass. If we have kids and you have a daughter, you’ll be just as bad.” Cassie said rubbing my arm.

“Nope, because I will never let her get married. I will lock her away in a convent once she turns sixteen.” I said feeling confident.

“Yeah you keep believing in fairy tales.” She said pulling me into a hug.

“Let me dream.” I said hugging her back.

“Are we really living this life?” She asked.

“We are. I don’t know how it happened any more than you do, but we are. Speaking of which, how are our plans coming?” I asked.

“Well you would know if you helped more.” She said with a smile in her face. We both knew that wasn’t happening. Between Cassie and Cindy arranging the wedding, and Mamma Jade and Cassie arranging the reception, there was definitely a no boys allowed sign hanging somewhere.

“Just let me and the boys know where to be that day.” I said laughing.

“Is Thomas still going to be your best man?” Cassie asked me.

“Who else? Mark, and Malcolm are rounding out the groomsmen.”

“That works since I have Cindy, Tammy, and Rhapsody as my bridesmaids.” She said. “I can’t wait for ours.”

“I know baby, me either.” I said.

“I love it when you call me baby. It just feels right.” She said pulling me in close for a kiss. Just then my phone went off. It was a text message. Our wedding present just arrived. This was going to be something.

“They’re here,” I said leading Cassie toward the brides.

“Congratulations Tammy and Alexandra, you two will be awesome together.” I said hugging them both.

They were both wearing white dresses that were almost like party dresses now. Tammy’s curves were accentuated perfectly, and Alex’s slimmer body was showing off her long legs. They were both beautiful in their own way.

“Thanks you two, it won’t be long and we can do this again for you two.” Tammy said.

“That is true. I know you haven’t noticed yet, but mine and Cassie’s gift isn’t on the gift table.” I said.

“Joe, you two do not need to give us anything. You are giving me Tammy. I want nothing else.” Alex said in her no doubt voice that she used.

“Don’t be too sure of that,” Cassie said taking Alex’s hand and pulling her toward the door. I offered Tammy my arm and she took it and we followed. Thomas was watching us closely and I smiled my most evil smile at him. Two could play that game. I waved for him to follow.

We got outside and one of my hockey players was there. Henric Stesson, along with another man, were just waiting inside a room off the main party area. “Hi Henric,” Tammy said then looking at me. “Joe I don’t understand.”

“Henric asked me about your condition once the season was over. It seems his brother here is a very gifted Neurosurgeon. Dominick Stesson, is the head of Neurosurgery at Kinikum Stattgart, a leader in the neurology field. He made the trip here to let you know what he found out from all your tests that you’ve had taken.”

“We didn’t do any tests in Germany,” Tammy said still confused.

“Yeah I know. When Henric approached me, I arranged for all your tests results to be sent to his brother.” I explained. “Doctor Stesson, if you would tell Tammy what you found out please.”

“Yes, of course. You have an infection that is causing your headaches. From your last test results it appears it is still in a dwarf stage, and therefore treatable with the Vagerian Method.” He explained. I can administer the first dose while we are here, after that, your local surgeon will be able to treat you.”

“I don’t understand,” Thomas said looking bewildered.

“In layman’s terms. Somehow Tammy got a bacterial infection, not unlike meningitis. It is what is giving her the headaches. They have identified it and Doctor Stesson has worked out the antibiotic treatments that will treat it. It has still been caught soon enough that treatments should be sufficient.” I explained.

“Joe, what are you saying.” Tammy asked.

“I’m not saying anything. Doctor Stesson is saying that these treatments will work, and even if it never totally cures the infection, it will be enough so that you can lead a normal and full life, isn’t that right Doc.” I asked.

“Yes, that is correct, are we ready for the first treatment?” He asks.

Tammy still looks stunned. Alex has begun crying and Thomas looks confused. Alex reaches out and grabs Tammy’s hands. “You will have a full life. We will have a full life together.”

“Alex, I, can’t believe this. Doctor Stesson, are you sure?” Tammy asks.

“Of course, me and my team worked on your case quite thoroughly. There is no doubt, but we need to start your treatments soon please.” He said getting a little doctor like.

Tammy started crying and Alex was crying they were holding each other. They followed the doctor into another room where he has the antibiotic injection waiting for her. Once they left the room Thomas grabbed me. “Joe?”

“It’s all true Thomas. Our little girl is going to be fine.” I said.

“Henrik, why did you never tell me about your brother?” Thomas asked.

“You are Mr. Updyke, one of the richest men in the country, I knew you had best doctors. I didn’t want to seem, what is the word, my family better than them, no that isn’t right. I just didn’t think I could tell you, I guess, without you not believing me.” Henrik said looking down.

“But you told Joe?”

“Of course, he is Joe, he always listens to us. He was nervous at first but he still sent all the files to Dominik. Dominik happy to help Joe, Joe is giving him use of company plane for him to visit me more often.” Henrik said beaming.

“I don’t understand. I had Tammy see the best neurosurgeons here, and they didn’t know what the diagnosis was. How did Dominik find out?”

“They see a lot more of this in Europe. I won’t go into details, because I’m no doctor, but there are more cases of this kind of bacterial infection there. Thomas, he is an award winning doctor, he knows what he is doing.”

Just then the door opened and Tammy and Alex came back in. She was rubbing her neck, and they both were smiling. Tammy was holding a black case that she was keeping cradled to her chest. “Henrik, thank you. Thank you so much. I can’t tell you what this means to me.”

Henrik blushed and smiled. “Anything for you Miss Tammy. I take my brother back to airport now.” Then he walked out.

“Tammy,” Thomas questioned in a fatherly way.

“He explained it to me while he was giving me the injection. My doctor will have to do it the same way, once a week for the first three months, then I have to fly to Germany and be reevaluated. Daddy, I’m going to be ok.” She said crying again.

Thomas started crying and he hugged her and Alex to him like the most possessive man in the world. He didn’t want to let go, but Alex had more to say. “Tammy, we can make plans now. We can talk about adoption.”

“Oh Alex,” I love you. Tammy said hugging her again. They were hugging and Thomas turned to me and Cassie.

“My girl is going to be ok?” He asked.

Cassie took his hands in hers and looked at him. “She will be just fine, she will have to keep taking her medicine, but she will be fine, and by the sounds of it, you may be a grandfather soon.” Cassie said looking at him again.

“Oh Cassie, my little girl, she will be ok.” Then he cried into the waiting arms of my fiancé.

He was crying, Cassie was crying with him. Tammy and Alex were crying and hugging. Well, I guess this was a good day. Much better than losing to cup to Buffalo in the finals. Take my victories where I could.

“Joe, I owe you and Cassie so much.” Thomas started.

“No,” I said urgently. “No more owing anyone or anybody. You said I am your son, that makes Tammy my sister, like she always has been. Family looks out for one another. We are family Thomas, no more owing.”

He was still balling, but he was nodding his head. Good.

Cassie came back to me while Thomas joined the newly married couple and headed back into the party.

“We did a good thing Mr. Miles.” Cassie said watching them go.

“We did a great thing Mrs. Miles. Yes, I can start saying it. I like the sound of it.” I told her.

“Not as much as I do.” She said kissing me deeply. “Now what?”

“Now we go party. Could I buy you a drink?” I asked.

“Only if it’s an ice cold Pepsi, my dear.” She laughed.

I laughed at her endearment. And walked with her back into the party.

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