I sent a pamper package consisting of beer, chocolate and Amazon gift cards to Roger’s home address, hoping that by doing so, I made mine and Spencer gratitude crystal clear. He’d replied to last night’s text with a simple Yes. followed swiftly by, I’ll call as soon as I have anything. My boxes from home arrived shortly after and now, whilst mid-way through sorting through some items, I listened to song after song on the radio, wondering where on earth I would put all of my belongings.
How much stuff can one person accumulate?
“Baby, I made us some tea,” announced Spencer, breaking through a pop number.
“Oh, you’re the best!” I gushed, meeting him in the kitchen.
I took the steaming mug from his outstretched hand and inhaled the heavenly scents, sipping thereafter.
“Gorgeous, thank you.”
“It’s the least I can do,” he replied, kissing my forehead.
He felt useless knowing I was unpacking in the next room and he couldn’t do anything to help. It didn’t matter that I’d insisted I was fine or that I would be done in a matter of hours, he still felt like a spare part.
“Baby, you’ve more than helped. Thank you.”
Last night, between the sheets, we made the promise to keep all talk of Alister Dawson to an absolute minimum. We wanted today to be special and remembered for all the right reasons. Under no circumstances did we want him taking over moving-in day.
“If you say so.”
“I do, actually. People who insist on helping out all the time annoy me. You know me, I like doing things my own way.”
He smiled. “That’s true.”
I nudged his side and drank from my mug, pinching him playfully on the bottom. “How about we press pause on unpacking boxes…”
He smirked. “And do what?”
My god, that smirk!
“Test out my new bedding?”
The laugh I was gifted was raw and sexy, melting what little resolve I had left. Following that, he swatted my behind and chased me up the stairs, bumping into a few things along the way. He muttered his displeasure when stubbing his toe and outright laughed when flying face first into a wall.
“I’m at an disadvantage here, baby,” he accused, finally finding me and wrapping an arm around my waist.
“I admire your efforts, Mr. Michaels.”
My light teasing came as quite the surprise and only seemed to spur him on even further. Though, unfortunately for us, his house phone had other ideas.
“Let’s ignore it,” I dared, kissing him tenderly.
We did exactly that and giggled as his mum proceeded to leave a voicemail as a result of our naughtiness.
“Spencer, sweetheart, when you get this, call me back. Rosalie’s gone into labour.”
“We’re heading to the hospital now-”
Before Catherine could finish her sentence, Spencer was over by the phone, snatching it from the receiver.
“Mum? How is she? Is she alright?”
His urgency met mine. She was early. Too early.
“Okay, We’re coming now. Jessica will drive.”
He hung up in an instant and found my gaze from across the room, miraculously so. “She’s okay. The midwife is with her now.”
I had my coat on within seconds, encouraging Spencer out the door with nothing but a “Be back soon!” thrown to Gatto. We were flustered and unprepared, making our actions clumsy and disorientated.
“Shit! The keys!” I cried, having forgotten to pick them up in my rush to get going.
Spencer just laughed. “Calm down, baby. You’re not the one giving birth.”
“I might as well be with how nervous I am. Rosalie likes to plan. I bet she’s losing her shit at him coming early.”
“It’s not dangerously early though. That’s the important thing. And Scott’s with her. She’ll be fine.”
I knew he was right but I couldn’t stop worrying. She was my best friend and labour was an ordeal for anyone.
“Scott must be shitting himself!” I laughed and Spencer followed, gesturing for me to quickly grab the keys from inside. Once done and ready to go, he held the car door open for me and swiftly rounded the bonnet to access the thing himself.
“I shouldn’t laugh at my baby brother. I remember feeling petrified when Leila was coming. I had nine months to prepare myself for parenthood, yet I still didn’t feel ready.”
I offered up a smile and rested my hand on his arm, letting him know in my own way how much I understood. We were both parents and whilst our circumstances turned out very differently, that didn’t mean we were any less in tune. A parents’ love for their child was bounding and it started the second they began to grow.
“I’m worried about her,” he sighed, deflating in his seat. “About Isabelle. Does that make you hate me?”
God, no!” I insisted, caressing his forearm. “I’m worried about her too. You still care about her and I respect that. I meant what I said. I don’t want you to feel as though you ever have to hide those feelings out of fear of upsetting me. Isabelle is your ex and I know you hold no romantic feelings for her anymore. I don’t see her as a threat.” I allowed my fingers to glide through his. “And I know you’re loyal to met.”
“I just wish she’d call,” he expressed, kissing each of my knuckles.
“You and me both. But let’s not worry about that right now. You’re about to become an uncle. Today’s a good day.”
He smiled a nodded, seemingly in agreement. “You’re right. Today’s a good day.”
By the time we arrived, Catherine and James were already waiting, along with Lauren and Craig.
“Perfect,” replied Catherine, tears in her eyes. “She’s perfect.”
“She’s had it already?”
“That’s right, Son,” beamed James, wrapping Catherine up in a happy hug. “Another Granddaughter for us.”
I laughed, thinking how thoroughly we’d all been duped. We were all so certain it would be a boy.
“Can we see her?” I asked, desperate for a glimpse.
“They’re waiting for you now,” smiled Lauren, grinning from ear to ear.
Spencer and I followed the corridor down to Rosalie’s room and cautiously knocked before entering.
“Come in.” Scott’s soft voice sounded from the other side, reminding us to be quiet.
We quietly pushed open the door and stepped inside, smiling like idiots the entire time.
“Oh my God, she’s here. She’s really here,” I sang, approaching Rosalie’s bedside.
In her arms was the most content looking baby, nuzzled tightly to her mother’s chest. Her eyes remained tightly concealed and her pretty pink lips settled into a natural pout. Just gorgeous.
“I can hardly believe it myself,” she shared, shooting me a smile. “It all happened so fast.”
“Twenty minutes,” confirmed Scott, sat at the other side of Rosalie on a poorly cushioned chair.
He looked fucking exhausted.
“That fast?” gasped Spencer, landing a hand on his brother’s shoulder.
“The little madam was impatient.”
We all shared a laugh and suddenly paused when the baby stirred.
“She’s gorgeous. She looks like you both.”
“Do you really think?” Rosalie looked to Scott with pride in her eyes, overjoyed by my compliment.
“Absolutely. She’s definingly carrying the Michaels gene.”
“Lucky thing,” imputed Spencer, gifting the room his larger than life smile.
I giggled in response. “I can’t believe you had a girl.”
At this, Scott and Rosalie shared a smile. “We can’t either but we couldn’t be happier.”
From her blanket, the new addition wriggled a little, expressing her need for us to be quiet.
“Would you like to hold her?” asked Rosalie, a little cautiously.
She was concerned over my well-being and had absolutely no reason to be. Charlotte was gone and as sad as that was, it didn’t make me bitter towards this moment in the slightest.
I sat on the edge of the bed and settled my hands into a cradle position, smiling as the small bundle was handed over. Instinct caused her arms to swing out but she soon relaxed, happy to have another chest to snuggle into.
I felt myself tearing up and caught Rosalie crying at our interaction. She grabbed my free hand and squeezed it, conveying her true appreciation.
“Thank you for coming.”
“Don’t be silly. There’s nowhere I’d rather be. I’m so proud of you, both of you.”
I glanced at Scott, offering him my praise too.
“How are you feeling? Sore?”
“I’m exhausted, truth be told,” she admitted. “I also feel as though I’ll never be the same down there ever again.”
I giggled once more, knowing that feeling well.
“You will be, trust me.”
Spencer came over to offer Rosalie a big brotherly kiss and proceeded to sit down on the bed next to her. “She’s beautiful, Rosalie. I can’t see but I know it.”
Rosalie captured Spencer’s cheek in her hand and began to uncontrollable sob.
“I wish you could see,” she expressed, sounding truly broken. “I wish I could fix everything for you.”
Spencer smiled at her emotional display and landed a soft kiss to her forehead. Then, with a grin on his face, he took hold of her free hand and held it tightly in his own.
“Don’t you dare cry for me when I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.”
I looked up and locked eyes with his in an instant.
“I don’t need my sight to be happy and I don’t need to see to know your daughter is beautiful.”
Cue the waterworks!
Before I knew it, I was shedding tears alongside Rosalie and noticed even Scott was choking up. My man always knew how to take sympathy and turn it into something positive. He never once pitied himself and that amazed me more than anything. Given his situation, I wouldn’t blame him.
“I think someone wants a cuddle from their favourite uncle,” I shared, smiling through my emotional meltdown.
Spencer’s grin grew to extreme amounts, overjoyed at the thought of getting to hold his baby niece for the first time. I suggested he move closer to the window to maximise seeing ability and gently made the switch. He stared down at the little beauty in his arms and smiled, welling up.
“Hello, princess,” he said, grabbing hold of her chubby hand. “Aren’t you just the sweetest?”
“Is Mum still here?” asked Scott, taking a seat next to Spencer by the window and looking down.
He couldn’t stop staring at his daughter.
“Yeah. Good luck getting rid of her.”
“She’s set up camp in the waiting room,” I interrupted, giggling with Rosalie.
He shook his head but smiled nevertheless, no doubt amused by his mother’s antics. Catherine was never shy of expressing her emotions and didn’t dare let being in tune with them interfere with her everyday life. She was delighted to be an grandmother again and would likely remain by Rosalie’s side until the woman herself told her to bugger off. Not that she would. Rosalie was far too kind for that.
“Have you got any names in mind?” questioned Spencer, kissing his niece gently on the forehead.
“Well, we liked Nathan but I suppose that’s not an option now,” replied Scott, shooting his fiancée a wink.
Rosalie acknowledged his statement with a small smile and brought her attention back to me when my phone started ringing in my pocket.
“Oh, sorry. I should’ve turned this off.”
I grabbed hold of the device and quickly answered it, keen to stop the insistent ringtone.
“Hello?” I gifted Scott and Rosalie two of my fingers in what I hoped was an indication of my absence. I then gently slipped into the empty hallway and checked to see who was actually calling.
Moments away from hanging up, I tried one last time. “Hello? Can you hear me?”
“Jessica?” The voice finally spoke, stabbing me with fierce brutality.
I wasn’t overly familiar with it but I knew it enough to know exactly who it was and what it wanted. Spencer and I had been waiting weeks for this call and now that it was finally here, I found myself unprepared.
“It’s Isabelle,” she informed. “Can we talk?”