As the morning light slipped through the curtains, Sawyer rolled on the bed, grumbling when he checked the time. It was late, but It was Sunday morning and after a whole weekend of celebrations all he wanted to do was stay in bed longer than he used to.
Sophia’s seventh birthday was great, but having so many kids running around in the house was exhausting. As the girl got older he thought things would be easier, that she would calm down a little, but that was far from reality. She was relentless —something that scared the shit out of him. How would it be when she became a teenager?
However, he loved that she was so outgoing and lively. Sophia was the living image of her mother with the long curls, hazel eyes, and that snotty attitude she used to have too. He couldn’t be prouder of the little lady she was becoming.
Adam, on the other hand, was a pre-teen now, and with all the changes the hormones were doing in his body and mind he had been a bit grouchy for the last few months. Fortunately for them, he was still as honest and laid-back as he always was.
He loved his alone time to read his comics or play video games, and if they were lucky things wouldn’t change much for them even if he started dating girls because as introvert as he could be, he had always been a really cute boy with his dark, dirty blond hair and his deep blue eyes. He was like a mini-version of Matt and Sawyer put together, so he was bound to break a few hearts in the future.
With his eyes closed, Sawyer smiled thinking about his children, laughing and playing together a couple of weeks before at the beach. Life had blessed him with a beautiful and wonderful family.
Then, his mind traveled to Saturday night, when everyone came over. Liam and April with Alex and Corey, the ten months chubby baby. Lauren and Dylan with teenagers Julian and Jasper. Erin and Aaron with the four-year twins. Jim with his new wife and her three-year toddler. Even Ryan joined with his daughter Zoe and Jane, the woman he had been dating for a while but he didn’t acknowledge as a girlfriend until she moved into his house the year before.
The kids played and watched movies while they drank and made some small talk in the backyard after dinner. The barbecue smell and the mint coming from the mojitos wrapping the atmosphere on that twelfth of July.
When his brain finally started functioning right, he realized he was alone in bed. He rubbed his face with both hands and yawned, stretching his back and smiling at the image of the amazing sex he had the previous night.
He got up and walked towards the bathroom, his morning glory aching for more.
He never thought about how he would feel when they were at that stage of their relationship, but in his mind, it always seemed a bit odd. However, she was so beautiful and still so smoking hot he couldn’t help it, not that he could have avoided it anyway, Lizbeth had been quite horny for the last few months.
She would wake him up in the middle of the night and ride him to oblivion. She literally claimed and used his dick to satisfy herself.
At the beginning he was worried, but after talking to the doctor and making sure that there would be no problems in the future, he let her do whatever she wanted and he loved every bit of it.
Her sensitivity had increased so much, she had really long-lasting and intense capital O orgasms, which turned him even more.
That night he had spooned her, penetrating her from behind. The way her hips moved to meet his, and the way her burning and tight walls clenched around him with every thrust was so fucking alluring he thought he would pass out from pure pleasure.
It was a whole new experience for them, but God, they enjoyed it so much.
When he was done, he put on his boxers, a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt that were laying on the bench. It was summer and he used to walk half-naked most of the time, but since April and Liam were in the house with their kids, he didn’t want to walk out just in his underwear.
He went downstairs and as he made his way to the kitchen, where the delicious smell of coffee was coming from, he saw Alex and Corey still asleep in the guest room beside the living room. They were so adorable.
“Good morning!” he greeted Liam when he saw him preparing some sandwiches.
“Did you sleep well?” he asked, worried.
“Yeah. Since the kids wanted to sleep on the air mattress, April and I could enjoy that comfy bed.”
“Enjoy?” Sawyer asked with a smug smile as he grabbed a mug from the cabinet.
“Dude! With the kids in the same room?” he snorted.
“You did it once with me in the same room when we were in college,” he reminded him.
“Aren’t you ever going to forget that?”
“You two traumatized me! Fucking rabbits…” he quipped. He had always been really comfortable about sex and he didn’t even care, not at that time when he was even worse, but he liked teasing Liam about it.
Liam burst out laughing. “Yeah, right…”
“Anyway, where are our wives?”
“Still so weird that you call her wife,” Liam mentioned.
“You should be used to it, it’s been three years since we got married, man.”
“I know, I know, but sometimes it feels like yesterday.”
“I get what you mean...”
Their wedding wasn’t anything fancy or big. Just close friends and family gathered in a resort in Falls Lake, where their story started. They had a huge and dreamy garden with views of the lake, it was perfect.
Lizbeth didn’t even wear a long wedding gown. It was a knee-high, pencil skirt white dress. The three-quarter, white lace sleeves, and the V neck and back gave the dress that romantic look that made her look like an angel when she walked to the aisle.
Her hair was combed to the side with stunning waves and small white flowers decorating it. Her beautiful honey eyes were glowing with bliss as her gorgeous smile illuminated everything. It was as if everything around her slowed down and vanished.
He could still remember how his heart tightened in his chest when he saw her walking towards him on her father’s arm. The way his breath hitched and the nervousness that invaded his body. The day he promised to be hers and she promised to be his forever. He would never forget it.
“You’re finally up!” April’s voice snapped him back to the real world again.
“I was tired. Leave me alone, woman!”
“Yeah, so much action in the bedroom yesterday?” She wiggled her eyebrows.
“April!” Liam protested.
“What? It’s not like she’s Virgin Mary, you know?”
“You heard us?” Sawyer asked, feeling a bit embarrassed all of a sudden —just a bit.
“No, but I know how it is, and as much as this guy wants to act innocent, he knows too,” she simply stated. “She’s on the porch with Noah and Sophia, by the way. I just came back in to wake up the kids. They went to bed so late yesterday I didn’t want to wake them up yet, but it’s already ten.”
“Can you wake up Adam too, please?”
“Yes, sir!” April said as she left the kitchen.
“You coming?” Sawyer asked Liam.
“Gonna help April pack our stuff, we should get going before lunch or my mom will have a heart attack.”
“Okay.” Sawyer nodded before stepping into the porch they had on the back of the house.
They had lots of plants there, a white metal table surrounded by chairs with comfy cushions and a hanging bench. It looked like an oasis with the light wooden structure, the glass walls, and the ceiling.
Lizbeth was sitting in a chair beside Sophia, who was already drawing something. This girl will be a famous artist someday. She was holding a cup of tea in a hand while she was petting Noah with the other, lost in thought.
As soon as the black dog saw him, she barked and ran to him. Her face was covered in grey hair now that she was older, but her eyes still beamed like those of a puppy. Round, big and brown. “Hey, Girl…” Sawyer muttered as he petted her.
“Good morning, Babe.” Lizbeth turned to face him.
“Good morning, Kitten. Hey, Baby girl,” he sweetly said as he leaned to kiss his daughter.
“Morning, Daddy,” she responded without taking her eyes off of her picture.
“How are you feeling?” he asked Lizbeth as he kissed her, caressing her thirty-six weeks baby belly and loving how it moved every time he did so.
“We’re good,” she smiled. “I mean my back hurts like hell, but other than that everything’s fine.”
“But you cried before because it hurt a lot… Aunt April had to hold your hand,” Sophia noted, looking at her with a confused expression on her face.
“What?” Sawyer asked.
“She said something about you having contractions,” Sophia said before going back to her painting.
“But that’s probably the baby getting ready for the next few weeks, don’t worry about it.” She caressed Sophia’s hair.
“Are you sure?” Sawyer asked worriedly. “We could go to the hospital.”
“There’s no need,” Lizbeth told him, trying to shrug it off. “The doctor said it was normal and that we didn’t need to freak out.”
He knew she was worried too but she wouldn’t show it as she was trying to keep her nerves at bay.
After she found out she would have a hard time getting pregnant, she wrapped her mind around the idea of never having a baby of her own, but then her instincts kicked in.
They had a long talk about it, and he told her he would support her, whatever decision she made. Their economy was more than stable so it wouldn’t be a problem bringing another life into their home. He was fine the way they were, they had a good life, but if having another child was what she wanted, he would go to the end with her.
Even though he loved that his obligations were to have sex with that woman he worshiped, it was a hard and frustrating process. She was about to give up, but after almost two years and several treatments, she finally got pregnant.
In the first few months she was paranoid about everything she did or eat that could affect the baby. And it was like that until the doctor told her to relax because the stress could be worse than anything else.
She started going to yoga classes and drinking relaxing teas, which seemed to help. After the first quarter, and when her belly started to show, she stopped thinking about it every second and just went with the flow, letting her hormones guide her path, making them have a happy, crying, angry and horny Lizbeth twenty-four seven. He loved it because she had never been that out of control and she would get angry at herself because of it. He didn’t know how she did it but she was as hot as cute.
Smiling at the memory, he spoke again. “How often have you had contractions?”
“I’ve had several since five in the morning, six in the last couple of hours...”
“That’s not normal at this stage of the pregnancy, Kitten… Not if they’re actually painful.”
“April said she should keep an eye on it,” Sophia barged in again, her eyes still on the paper.
“But I’m feeling good, no need to worry so much about it.”
Sawyer looked at her. “... Okay.” He paused. “I’m gonna go for a walk with Noah, keep me updated, okay?” he said before drinking the last sip of coffee. He wanted to stay calm but for what they had told them those could be the contractions of the baby ready to come to the world.
“Sure.” Lizbeth nodded. “But before you go, can you help me to get up, please?”
“Of course.” He chuckled.
“Don’t laugh at me!” she spat.
“I’m not laughing at you!”
“You should try walking with this in front of you, carrying it around everywhere. I can’t even put on my shoes alone anymore because I don’t see my feet!”
“I love you and I’m so proud of you,” he whispered before kissing her lips.
“You better because this is all your fault!” she exclaimed as she kissed him back, trying to hold a grin.
“How is it my fault? It’s not like I did it alone,” he quipped.
“Whatever,” she mumbled.
He softly laughed before kissing her again. “Okay, I’m going. Soph, get ready for when I’m back so I can take you to granny’s?”
“Right!” She raised her head with a huge grin on her face and ran out of the porch.
“What’s got into her?” Sawyer asked.
“I think she likes the neighbor,” Lizbeth giggled.
“What? But she’s barely turned seven!”
Lizbeth laughed. “Don’t worry so much about it, they’re still super innocent. And they’re definitely adorable together. It’s not like we all didn’t have a crush on someone from school at that age or something...”
“Ugh!” Sawyer protested as they walked out of the kitchen, not ready at all for her baby growing so fast.
“Fuck, fuck, fuck!” Lizbeth growled as she stopped, gripping her hand to the stair banister and leaning over slightly.
“Hey, hey, Kitten…” Sawyer whispered as he approached her. She grabbed his hand and squeezed it tight as she kept huffing and trembling with her eyes shut.
“What’s wrong?” April asked as she walked down the stairs, followed by a sleepy Adam.
“Contractions,” Sawyer simply said as he looked at Lizbeth. He knew it was normal but he didn’t like seeing her like that and not being able to help her.
“Again?” the blonde asked.
“Yeah…” Sawyer sighed.
“Maybe we should go to the hospital, Liz…” April suggested.
“I told her so, but she keeps saying she can wait...” Sawyer told April, looking at her. He was starting to feel the adrenaline running through his veins. Was the baby really on the way?
“I know you think you still have a few weeks but you’ve been having contractions very often since this morning. And they’re already lasting more than a minute, honey...” She tried to convince Lizbeth.
Liam walked towards them. “Why don’t you two go to the hospital?”
“But the kids, and Noah—”
“We’ll take care of everything. Don’t worry.” It was the first time in the whole weekend he acted like an adult and not like a fangirl losing his shit, which Sawyer mentally thanked for.
“But I wanna go with them,” Adam protested.
“It’s better if you go later, Buddy, “ April told him. “With the doctors and nurses and all it’ll be crazy over there.”
“But I don’t want to be far when she’s born.”
“I promise I’ll make them bring you to the hospital when she’s ready, okay?” Sawyer smiled at him with an apologetic look in his eyes. Those kids have been the best during the pregnancy, pampering Lizbeth and taking care of her all the time.
“Of Course, Buddy.” He nodded. “Can you go get me the bag we let in the baby’s room?” he asked the boy.
“Thanks, Buddy!” Lizbeth seemed to start feeling better. “Kitten, keep breathing, we’re going to the hospital, okay?” he tried to sound reassuring as he walked her out of the house, but he was a bundle of nerves and excitement.
“Okay…” Her voice quivered.
“You might need this,” April told him before he could get his wife into the car. “If she breaks water you’ll want to have some protection…” she trailed off as she folded a towel on the passenger’s seat. “Okay, ready.” She looked at them. “I’m so proud of you, guys!” He hugged them and kissed them both on the cheek. “I’ll see you later, okay?”
“Sure, thanks, guys!” Sawyer told her after closing the passenger’s door and running to the driver’s side.
The ride to the hospital was short, but the contractions she was having were already pretty strong. As excited and happy as he was, Sawyer tried to keep it together because the last thing she needed was a creepy-ass husband jumping up and down when she actually broke water.
When they got there, the nurses soon got them into a room. They told them they probably would have to wait until her body was ready for the baby to come, but that they call them any time.
After getting checked by the doctor, Lizbeth looked a bit more relaxed. She was leaning forward, with her hands resting on the bed. “How are you feeling, Kitten?” Sawyer asked her as he rubbed her back.
“This hurts so fucking much!” she groaned.
“I know, Babe, but you’re doing great,” he whispered as he kissed her head.
“Am I? ’Cause I’m freaking out, Sawyer!” She looked at him with teary eyes. Then, a throaty sound ripped through her chest and out her mouth.
“You’ve got it, Babe…” he repeated into her ear as he held her hand and kept rubbing her back. She was already having contractions every fifteen minutes, and every time her grip became tighter and tighter, and he was sure that wasn’t half of the pain she was feeling.
“I don’t know if I can do this…” she cried.
“Of course you can, Kitten. You’re the strongest woman I know…”
“Why the hell does this hurt so much? Can’t they give me anything?” she groaned.
“Want me to look for them and see if they can give you something?” He was lost and didn’t even know what to do. He had read a lot about that moment and he had gone with her to the birthing classes, but at that moment it was as if everything flew out of the window.
“No! Don’t leave me alone.”
“Okay, okay… I’m not going anywhere, Kitten,” he said as he kissed her temple. She didn’t like asking for help, she didn’t like showing vulnerability but she couldn’t help it at that moment.
“Did you call my parents?”
“Yeah, I called them when the doctor was checking you.”
“Good,” she sighed.
“Hey, guys!” Emma greeted them as she entered the room.
“Em!” Lizbeth’s face lit a bit, knowing one of the nurses that would be with them in the labor room was a friend made her feel at ease.
“How are you doing, sweetheart?”
“You should have told me this was so horrible!” Lizbeth whimpered.
“And where would have been the fun in that?” she teased her.
“When I get this baby out, I’m gonna kill you, you know?”
Emma laughed. “I’m fine with that as long as you bring this beautiful baby into the world.”
“How long do you think it’s gonna take until she’s ready?” Sawyer asked as he helped Lizbeth up on the bed.
“I don’t know. It could be half an hour, it could be hours. What did the doctor say?”
“That she’s four centimeters dilated.”
“Did they administer the epidural?”
“No,” Lizbeth said.
“Why?” Emma asked.
“She’s afraid of needles,” Sawyer laughed. In all the years they had known each other, that was the only thing he knew that scared her to death. She hated it so much she would avoid blood tests unless completely necessary.
“Oh,” Emma giggled. “You’ll be fine, honey. It’ll hurt for some time but it’ll be worth it. I have to check on other patients. When I’m done, I’ll come back, okay?”
“Okay,” Sawyer nodded.
When Emma was gone, Sawyer sat at the edge of the bed and started drawing circles in Lizbeth’s hand with his thumb.
“Are you okay?” she asked him.
“Huh? Yeah, why wouldn’t I be? You’re the one about to have a baby,” he chuckled.
“You looked lost in thought,” she stated.
“I was just thinking about us—”
“Fucking shit!” Lizbeth screamed.
“Babe, breathe,” Sawyer reminded her. “In and out, slowly… Come one! You can do this…”
It was already late in the evening, the whole family was in the waiting room —kids included. Sawyer was feeling the need to cry himself as hysteria and euphoria took over him, but Lizbeth was doing the hard part of the job of bringing their baby to the world and he needed to do his part.
As she was huffing, trying to listen and do what the midwife was saying, Sawyer held her hand. “Come on, Babe… You’re doing a great job.”
“I can’t!” she cried, throwing her head back. “Hurts so much!”
“I need you to push, Liz. Your body is already asking for it, don’t hold it!” Dr.Thomson told her.
“Liz, honey, you can do it, it’ll be shorter than you think,” Emma said as she wiped the sweat from her forehead.
“Okay…” Lizbeth whimpered. She tightened her hand around Sawyer’s and took a deep breath in.
“I’ve got you, Babe… Come on…” Sawyer encouraged her as he lightly squeezed her hand, caressing her head with the other. Right after that, Lizbeth growled, shutting her eyes as her brows furrowed.
“Great, Girl! We can already see her head!” the nurse said. “Just a bit more…”
“Come on, Liz, you’ve already got this!” the midwife told her.
Lizbeth grunted again, incomprehensible words leaving her mouth. “Come on, Kitten… You can do it, keep pushing, you’ve got it,” Sawyer whispered as he touched his forehead to her head.
“The head is out!” the nurse let them know.
“Now it’s going to be a lot easier, honey… You’re doing great,” Emma reassured her.
“This was the hardest part, Liz. Let’s push just a bit more and we’ll be done!” the doctor repeated.
Lizbeth looked at her, a painful expression in her face, but she nodded, biting down on her lip. Then, she screamed again as she pushed to bring the baby to the world. Her hands sweating and tightened on his and Emma’s, her eyes squeezed shut again.
Unspeakable emotions invaded Sawyer at that moment. They had been through a lot together, good and bad, but that instant was indescribable. The burning love and need that once got them together and bounded them forever since the moment their eyes met had made that possible. The trust, the intimacy, the complicity, the friendship, and the family they had built together.
“You have such a beautiful girl!” the midwife told them after almost an hour in the labor room. The baby’s cries swamped the room. “She has some strong lungs!” the doctor chuckled as she held her.
“Do you want to cut the umbilical cord, Mr.Cox?” the nurse asked him, her eyes showing she was smiling under her mask.
“Sure,” he grinned. He looked at Lizbeth who gave him a weak but gorgeous smile and then let go of her hand to move closer to the midwife and her assistant. He was excited beyond imagination of being able to be part of it all.
The nurse handed him the scissors and then she helped the doctor to hold the cord already clamped. “It doesn’t have any nerves or anything, so don’t worry, you won’t hurt the baby,” the doctor sweetly told him as she saw him hesitating.
Sawyer took a deep breath in and one second later it was done. It could seem like a small thing but for him was one of the most amazing moments of his life.
She was so tiny and so alive, crying and moving her little hands, upset that she wasn’t inside that warm and comfortable home Lizbeth had built for her during all those months.
“She’s beautiful…” he breathed as he felt the tears filling his eyes, his heart tightening in his chest as he looked at her.
“We’re gonna clean her and check that everything’s alright and we’ll be right back, okay?”
“You should go, Sawyer,” Emma told him. “I’ll take care of her.”
“Thanks.” He kissed Lizbeth and caressed her forehead. "Be right back."
He walked out of the room following the doctor and nurse. As soon as they entered the other room, they cleared her nostrils and her skin from all the blood and mucus. Then, they checked her vitals and made sure no liquid had gotten into her little lungs.
Sawyer was a mess, he was so excited he didn't know what to do. Some time later, when she was ready, they wrapped her in a soft pink blanket. “Want to hold her?” the nurse asked him.
With his whole body trembling, he nodded and swallowed hard. He held his arms out and when he finally had her in his arms, he couldn’t hold the tears in anymore. The baby was so tiny and looked so fragile and strong at the same time. She had stopped crying and was making the most adorable baby sounds he had ever heard. After so much time, she was finally there.
She was perfect.
Still feeling overwhelmed with emotions he had never experienced before, he went back to the attached room where Lizbeth was.
Emma and another nurse had already cleaned her, and she was there, waiting for them to come back.
“Look at what we’ve done, Kitten…” Sawyer said in a low voice as he walked towards her. Gently, he leaned down and put the baby on Lizbeth’s chest, following Emma’s instructions.
“S— She’s beautiful… And so small,” Lizbeth whispered as a tear rolled down her face.
“She is,” Sawyer agreed as he leaned forward to kiss her forehead, wiping the tear away with his thumb.
“Welcome to the Cox family, little Bethany Grace.”
The moment they knew it was a girl, Lizbeth didn’t doubt it for a second. Knowing how much his sister meant to him, she wanted to call their daughter after her. Adam, Sophia, and the newborn would all have something from her. Something to honor and remember her forever.
“I love you so much, Kitten.”
“I love you too… So much it hurts right now.” she softly said as she caressed the cheek of the baby. Watching her slowly breathing over her chest.
“You’ve always been the light in my life, and I didn’t think you could make me any happier than you already did… But once again you’ve surprised me in the most amazing way….” he whispered as he brushed his fingers over the back of the baby.
“Thank you…” Lizbeth muttered with a quivering voice.
“For what?” He chuckled as he touched his forehead to hers, loving the warmth of the atmosphere around them.
“For trusting, loving, and supporting me as you’ve done through all this and everything else…”
“Always and forever.”