Kevin and Ashley left early to go to a spa in the mountains for a couples pampering. Sammy went to work to get paychecks ready for Friday. Gracie was playing with Lynn and Matthew at the house while she worked. She was done by noon and Sammy took Gracie for a ride, something they hadn’t done in several weeks and they needed the down time with so much going on.
They started out and headed off to a different direction. Gracie protested about going back to the Meadow. She didn’t want the reminder of the first day that Jake met them there. Sammy went along a trail that went into the foothills. They enjoyed their time together just like before Jake came into their lives.
They were eating a snack when Gracie looked at her mom, “I know he is working, but I really miss my Daddy…”
“I know baby girl, I do too…I do too…” She said kissing her head, fighting back tears.
They rode back a little more sober than when they left. They cleaned and put away Matilda and drove home quietly. They arrived home and let Fish out before he followed her around the yard and they played while Sammy made dinner.
Their house guests arrived at the house feeling refreshed and looking very much in love. They ate dinner on the patio and were finishing dessert when Kevin’s phone rang. He took it and went around to the front of the house. The girls were laughing and talking about going shopping tomorrow with Kate when he came back to the table with a paled look on his face.
“Kevin Baby, what is wrong?”
“That was Coach…I’ve been traded…”
“Wait, what?! Traded? Where?” Ashley asked, panicking slightly.
“Here to Denver…”
“Uncle Kevin are you going to move here?” Gracie asked in confusion.
“It appears that way Sweetie,” Kevin said softly as he set her on his lap and looked at his wife, “I guess I have a new job…”
“Wait, what does that mean? I am new to this whole process,” Sammy asked gently.
“Well do you remember Tuesday when Mike and I were talking about a man named Sawyer on our team that was cut for domestic violence charges? Well they needed a veteran to fill his spot. So they found a guy to fill that spot from Denver’s team. Well Denver needed a veteran wide receiver to start and mentor their new rookies. Looks like I’m the guy. I do get a raise,” he added with a weak smile.
“Wow…ok…I guess I never thought about this end of it,” Sammy admitted.
“When do you have to report Kev?” Ashley asked.
“Training Camp starts in 10 days, but they would like me in meetings in five days…”
“Shit Kevin! We are on vacation!” Ashley yelled.
“I know baby, I know,” He said soothingly.
“You have nowhere to live and we have a house in Texas!” She said, tearing up.
“Can I offer a solution, well at least temporarily?” Sammy asked.
They both stopped and looked at her, waiting for her to continue, “Why don’t you stay here? I have the spare room, Fish is already happy here. You can stay until you find a place and move your stuff up here.”
“Are you serious? I mean you wouldn’t mind having us for at least the summer? Training camp is insane and I don’t want to look at houses without Kev. I mean I would help with Gracie and stuff…”
“Of course I’m serious! I would love to have you here! I think Gracie would like it too!” Sammy assured them.
“Wow…Sammy that is amazing, thank you! Ash, why don’t we fly home Sunday and pack up some clothes. I will fly back early next week and you fly back later. We will get a moving company to pack up the house and hold the furniture and boxes until we find a house here. We can get Smitty and Lexi to help you with the movers.”
Sammy let them talk and figure out their life in private. She took Gracie in and got her bathed and in bed, tucking her in.
“Mommy, are they going to live with us?”
“I think so Sweetie, at least for a little while. Is that ok?”
“I think it’s great!! I love them and this will be so much fun!”
Sammy smiled at her daughter’s excitement, “Now it’s time for bed. No more talking, get some sleep, ok?”
“Ok Mommy, I love you!”
“Love you too Sweetie. Sleep well!”
Sammy closed the door and went down to clean up, seeing Kevin and Ashley still talking and writing some things down. She had just finished up and was going to go upstairs when Ashley came in and hugged her tightly.
“Sammy, I can’t thank you enough! You saved me from a total meltdown and living in a hotel for the next month! You are amazing!!” she gushed to her hostess.
“It’s really no big deal. I’m happy to help…” Sammy replied embarrassed.
Kevin seconded her words and pulled out his laptop getting airline tickets bought and doing some other research.
Sammy bid them goodnight and went to her room to watch TV before she fell asleep.
The next week was a whirlwind! Kevin and Ashley flew back and were packing up. Mike picked Kevin back up late Wednesday night to report for meetings. Lexi and Smitty were integral in helping Ashely get packed up with clothes and back to Colorado by Sunday night. The house was packed and after a tearful goodbye between the friends, Ashley flew back.
She made one stop at Jake’s and apologized for her outburst, blaming the pregnancy hormones and hugged him fiercely, “Jake, don’t make another mistake by leaving them. Gracie misses you deeply and I know that Sammy loves you. Just like you fight for extra yards in a game, fight for more, fight for them!”
He kissed her cheek and said he was taking care of it. She prayed that he was telling the truth and waved as she went to the airport. Jake left shortly after her for his first appointment with a counselor. Coach thought it would be a good idea to talk with someone about all the guilt he felt and how he couldn’t seem to move past it in a healthy way.
He was visibly nervous as he went into the office and met with the older man, Tom Simmons. It was hard to pour your heart out and list the wrongs you had made against the people you love the most. Jake was surprised by how much better he felt after meeting with Tom. He went home and did the homework that he had been given. He was to write a letter to his dad. Tom thought it might be a good place to start since he couldn’t be a good father until he could talk to his own father and clear up the tension between them.
Jake finished relatively quickly and went to study his playbook. He had to figure out a new way to study as he and Kevin used to do it together. The other men on his team were friends, just not as close as he and Kevin were. He was missing him and sent a text to check in and make sure that Ashley made it back safely.
Getting the good news, he pulled out his phone and video messaged his daughter. They talked for several minutes with Gracie filling Jake in on the gossip at camp and how well she was doing with tennis. Jake loved hearing about her life and was now sad that he wasn’t the one that was traded to the Denver team.
Jake signed his new contract a few days after that, for five years and getting $125 million, with $75 million being guaranteed. Jake was set for life and sent some money to Sammy as child support a few days before. He knew his dad was paying for private school, so he sent him money to refund it. He didn’t want someone else paying for his responsibilities. He tried to explain to Tom that it made him feel less of a man, more worthless than he did before. He hoped he could get that through to his dad. Seeing the man two times a week was really paying off and he was learning some things about himself and was pleased with how he was feeling.
Sammy woke for the second time that week, nauseous and more tired than when she went to bed. She noticed that she had been feeling off since after the 4th of July and couldn’t shake whatever was going on. She went into the bathroom hearing Ashley and Gracie laughing in the kitchen. Kevin was already gone at 7:45 and had two workouts that day and wouldn’t be home until later.
Sammy was in the bathroom and pulled off her shirt to get in the shower after turning on the water and noticed a change in her appearance. She stopped dead in her tracks and looked at her breasts.
“Oh no…please oh no…” She whispered and went to her birth control pills and looked at them, then at the calendar in her phone.
She checked and rechecked her math and the calendar knowing that they weren’t lying, “Oh fuck, this really can’t be happening!!” She got in the shower and sat down on the floor letting the water run all over her. She started sobbing as the realization hit her…she was pregnant…with Jake’s baby…again…