As soon as the bell’s sounds drifted away the tears came. Jake was surprised that she held on so long and pulled her close and kissed the side of her head as they walked to the car. They made it to the car and noticed that she was not the only mom crying and giggled a little.
“Baby, you know she is going to be fine right? That she’s got this right?”
“I know,” she sniffed, “She just had so many friends at the preschool and always had Emma by her side. I just worry that she won’t have any friends!”
“Baby, she is one of the friendliest people I’ve ever met! She talked to me in the store and didn’t know me from Adam! She will be fine and I know she will have friends when I pick her up.”
Sammy nodded again and rested her head on his chest hugging him for a few minutes then he helped her in the car, “Come on Baby, Let’s go for coffee.”
They went to a favorite shop close by the house and sat outside for over an hour relaxing in the shade, just holding hands and talking. They both were incredibly sad over the child they lost and talked about how much it hurt. They talked about the future and how much they wanted to be together and how hard they were going to work to keep it.
“So are you going to tell me what you told Gracie to get her to calm down?”
Jake smirked, “Well I promised ice cream when I picked her up and a new doll and I may have told her that she was the smartest in the class.”
“Jake! You can’t tell her that! We don’t know that! What if she goes around telling other kids that?!”
He chuckled, “That’s why I told her not to tell anyone. Bragging isn’t polite and that’s something we talk about at home, but as long as she knows that she is the smartest that all I care about!”
Sammy groaned, “You are creating a monster, you know that right? The spoiling, the gifts, pumping up her ego! The teenage years are going to be miserable!”
“Baby, I can’t help that she is more like me than you realized. It’s all on how you work it. I’ll teach you!”
Sammy just shook her head at his cockiness, “You will regret this one day. How your Dad survived you as a teenager is beyond me!”
“Funny, Abby said that when they visited me a few weeks ago! How about you get the next kid to mess up?”
Sammy laughed and finished the iced coffee she was drinking and they went off to the mall so Jake could get the promised doll for his little girl. Picking out one with long red hair like Gracie, he got several dressed to go with it and headed home. Sammy was beat and took a nap. Jake was finalizing things for his trip home that night and studying his playbook.
Ashley came back after meeting with their realtor and doing the inspection. Everything looked perfect and they were set to move in over Labor Day weekend. Jake felt bad because that was the weekend that Sammy, Gracie, his dad and Abby were coming out for their first home game and the Super Bowl ring presentation so they wouldn’t be there to help.
Kevin had a couple of the rookies coming over to help and assured them that they would be just fine. Sammy promised to be there to help unpack as soon as they got back.
Sammy woke up to a quiet house, checking the time and realizing that Jake was getting Gracie form school. Sammy started dinner for the five of them before Kevin took him to the airport. Ashley came in from her afternoon walk in the woods with Fish and helped make a salad and they talked.
“So I know that you finding out you were pregnant was a total shock, but do you and Jake want more kids?”
“I’ve always wanted more kids, I never thought it would be with Jake, but I did want more. Jake and I have talked a lot over the last few weeks since I told him. He wants more kids and even mentioned like seven or eight! I won’t go that far, but I think we are going to have more. It will make it harder living in two different states, so we will have to make the most out of the time we do have.”
“And you are feeling good about where you guys are?”
“I really do. Him seeing that therapist really has given him some clarity and a maturity that he was lacking before. Abby mentioned how she liked the way he was approaching things and his outlook was different then when she first met him and I agree.”
“I do too. The difference is real with him. You and Gracie are really good for him. And with Smitty and Lexi still there watching over him, I think you guys are together for good.”
Sammy hugged her as Gracie came running in and yelling about her day. Sammy had her go change out of the uniform and she came barreling back down to sit on the counter and talk with Ashley and Sammy about her first day.
“…Oh and no one else in my class can read as good as I can Aunt Ashley! One boy named Oscar can read little chapter books, but not Harry Potter! And one girl named Bianca can do multiplercation like me, but I’m not gonna let her beat me!”
“Not like her father at all is she,” Ashley asked with a roll of her eyes, making Jake grin at the women.
“And I did make a friend Mommy! Tara was at camp with me and Emma and we played at recess! And I had a drumstick for lunch! It was yummy! I have homework tonight too. Can I do it after dinner?”
“Yes Sweetie, and remember, Uncle Kevin is taking Daddy to the airport after you are in bed. He has to go back to Texas,” Sammy gently reminded her.
“I know, that’s why I have to do my homework right after dinner! I have to tell about my family and I need pictures of us all!”
Sammy nodded and helped her down to go run with Fish. They watched her through the window as they finished up and Kevin came barreling in just in time. They ate together while Gracie filled them in on more of her day and then had to call Grampy to tell him and Abby about it right after. Then a call to Derek and Lynn was in order. Finally her homework was out and she filled in all the important people in her life and Ashley printed off photos of everyone for her to take in.
“Do you know Aunt Ashley that kids are going to be so jealous of all my family? I have the best family! I have you and Uncle Kevin, Mommy, Daddy, Grampy, Abby, Uncle Derek, Auntie Lynn, Matthew, your baby and Fish!”
Sammy’s eyes teared up as she looked at the other adults who felt the same swelling in their hearts. Ashely cleared her throat as she hugged the sweet little girl and said, “Yes they are Love…So jealous!”
Jake helped his daughter get ready for bed and tucked her in, “Ok Baby girl, you go to sleep and have a great day at school tomorrow. Remember you, Mommy, Grampy and Abby are coming to Texas to see my house and come to the big party for our Super Bowl win. It’s only two weeks away and we will talk every night on the IPad ok?”
“Ok Daddy. I love you and am gonna miss you!!” she said and hugged him tightly around the neck and kissed his cheek.
“I love you too Gracie…Sleep well my sweet girl…” He whispered back hugging her back and planting kisses on her cheeks.
He turned the light off and closed the door and went back downstairs. Jake hugged Ashley and promised to see her soon. He rubbed Fish behind the ears, then took Sammy’s hand and walked out to Kevin’s car.
He pulled her close and rested his forehead on hers, “Oh Baby, Are you sure that you are ok enough for me to go? I will stay if you need me too…”
“Jake, I’m ok. Sad, but physically I’m ok. I go to my doctor tomorrow and will let you know what she says. I will be just fine…I will miss you like crazy, but it’s only a few weeks until we come out.”
“Ok…Promise me if anything changes you will tell me and I will be out in a heartbeat...Ok?”
“I love you Samantha so much,” he whispered.
“I love you too Jacob,” she whispered back.
He took her face in his hands and kissed her gently, savoring the feeling of her lips on his. They deepened the kiss, pulling each other closer and finally pulled away panting.
“I better stop while I can, you are driving me crazy Baby!” Jake chuckled.
She smirked at him and ran her hands up and down his arms not saying a word. Kevin said it was time to go and with one last kiss, he climbed in the passenger and they waved to each other as until he was out of sight. She sighed as she went back in and bid her good friend goodnight and climbed into bed, finding it lonely to be without the man she loved.