Johnattan’s driver blares the horn warning the other drivers as we zoom through the busy California roads.
We were late... She’ll be in labour soon...
I grab Johnattan’s hand in a vice grip as my heart hammers against my chest. He tightens his arms around me, holding me close as the car swerves and we slide a little to the right side of the vehicle.
“It’s okay Christina. She’s going to be alright...” Johnattan whispers in my ear and I shake my head grabbing unto him as the car takes a right.
“Why didn’t she tell me...?” I ask as my mind runs through a million ways this night could go wrong.
My thoughts drift to the conversation we’d had two hours ago on the plane with Chev and I fight back the dread creeping into my thoughts.
“Lexi’s in the hospital but they say something’s wrong... because of the hit she suffered, I don’t know how but the baby shifted and now there’s a problem... One of them might not make it.”
“I don’t know baby, but you need to calm down... We’ll be there soon,” Johnattan whispers softly in my ear before pecking my temple.
I nod my head mutely cuddling onto my man and a few minutes later we pull up to the hospital.
Wasting no time, we make our way to the receptionist and demand to know where Lexi’s room is. The poor woman is scared to death by my attitude but she points me in the direction of the room and tell me which room she’s in.
I race down the hall Johnattan hot on my heels. A25, A26... A27!
I burst through the door and shocked eyes land on me. I see Shan, Chev and Dr Hyll but my eyes zone in on the one person that matters right now, Lexi.
“Christina,” she calls my name through clenched teeth as she hisses.
I make my way towards her grabbing her hand and I look at her with a stern stare.
“You’re so lucky you’re in pain or I’d be biting off your head right now,” I stare through clenched teeth.
She gives me a hesitant laugh. “It’s,” – hiss– “nice to see you too Chrissie.”
She starts to pant resting her free hand on her stomach, groaning in pain. Her forehead is drowned in sweat and she’s in a hospital gown, her legs bent and spread on the bed.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” I ask softly as I caress her hand staring down at her hyperventilating figure.
“I didn’t want you to worry,” she says quickly before crying out squeezing the life out of my hand.
I grunt in pain and Lexi cries again tightening her hold. She calms a little releasing my hand and we both breathe out in relief.
“You should have told me,” I gritted out.
“I know!” she hisses clutching her bump and grabs hold of my hand once more causing us both to grunt in anguish.
“Isn’t it time yet?!” Lexi growls to Dr Hyll, who’s busy pulling on some latex gloves.
Shan, Chev and Johnattan stand behind us observing our interaction but don’t make a move towards us. They know Lexi’s in pain because of the contractions and I’m emotionally unstable right now so they keep their distance.
“I’ll going to check,” Dr Hyll calmly states lifting the sheets covering Lexi’s legs.
He spends a few minutes under there and Lexi hisses as another contraction grips her. “Aren’t you done poking around down there? Haven’t you found what the hell you’re looking for? Get this damn kid out of me!”
Dr Hyll raises his head to look at her with an unaffected look. I guess he’s used to the hostility.
“You’ve just reached the 10 cm mark Lexi so now it’s time to push,” he states staring at her intensively. “The baby is shifted so I’m going to try and turn it. It’s not easy and it’ll be painful but I need you to push gently. It’s the only way to get him or her out safely.”
Lexi nods her head in acknowledgement gritting her teeth as another jut of pain takes her.
“Christina,” I look over at the doctor as he calls out for me. “I’m going to need you to keep her calm for me. Talk to her and try to get her mind off the pain.”
I nod my head looking down at Lexi and she squeezes my hand reassuringly before crying out and clutching it in a death grip.
“The rest of you need to leave,” he says turning to the guys. “This is very delicate and life threatening and I need no distractions so you have to wait in the hall.”
They nod in understanding and Johnattan pecks my sweaty forehead – wishing us luck – before leading out with the others. Dr Hyll turns to me with a nod as the door closes before going between Lexi’s legs. The door suddenly reopens to allow entry to Trisha, who nods politely before taking her place beside the doctor.
“Alexis. This is all you... Now push gently,” he says to Lexi and she grips my hand as she cries out pushing.
I grunt as pain shoots through my fingers and rub her shoulder soothingly. “It’s okay babe you got this.”
“I’m sorry Chrissie,” she pants before crying out in pain. “I should have told you–”
Lexi grinds her teeth as she pushes again and my stomach knots as tears fall from her eyes.
“It’s alright babe. It doesn’t matter now, you and this baby will be alright,” I say optimistically.
“Fuck!” she hisses before a scream tears from her lips.
Lexi complies, panting painfully as she pushes for both her life and her baby’s. A few minutes pass and the room is littered with the cries and wails as Lexi pushes towards the finish line. My hand’s getting a bit numb but I take the pain allowing my best friend to focus on the task at hand.
“You’ll be a great mom Lexi,” I say encouragingly and she nods frantically pushing.
“Almost there Alexis just keep pushing,” Dr Hyll advises his hands working to save Lexi’s child.
“It fucking hurts!” she wails breaking my fingers with her grip. “I’ll kill him! He put me through this! Charlie, you son of a bitch I’ll kill you!”
Her back arches off the bed, her body soaking in sweat. I place my hand on her chest gently pressing her back onto the mattress and she releases a sound so heart wrenching it nearly brings tears to my eyes.
“I see the head,” Dr Hyll says in relief. “One big push now Alexis!”
She grabs onto the mattress sinking her nails into it as she shoots forward pushing with all her might.
A shrilling cry cuts through the air and Lexi falls onto the pillow breathing harshly as her stomach drops slightly in size. Dr Hyll pulls back from between her legs, taking a small, fragile and crying baby covered in juices and attached to a chord with him. Trisha hands Dr Hyll the scissors and he cuts the baby’s chord before handing him or her over to Trisha.
I pet Lexi’s hair as she lays back panting her body shaking painfully.
“You’ve done it babe,” I say happily. “The baby’s okay...”
She sighs with a relieved laugh before wincing and I caress her face placing a kiss on her sweaty forehead. “You did it.”
A few minutes pass and Lexi releases my hand. We both rest against each other catching our breaths listening to the angelic cry of the new-born and are soon interrupted by the nurse.
“Congratulations,” Trisha says holding a small whining baby in her arms as she makes her way towards Lexi. “It’s a beautiful baby boy.”
Lexi takes the baby wrapped in a soft, blue blanket carefully into her arms and tears fall down her cheeks as she looks down at him.
“He’s healthy thank god... even though he came a little early. He weighs a little under six pounds but that’s okay at this stage and everything else seems to be okay so far...” Trisha smiles.
Lexi nods but her eyes don’t leave the new-born who stops crying and produce a little yawn.
He’s so cute...
Lexi’s baby boy has a head of curly brown hair atop his head, a cute button nose and red chubby cheeks. His eyes are closed as he moves his little fisted hand against his face and Lexi smiles through tears basking in the sight of her baby.
My vision becomes blurry and it finally dawns on me that I’m crying. “He’s so beautiful.”
The room door opens and Dr Hyll calls our friends in telling them it’s okay to enter. One by one they walk in, Dimitri and Edward now in the group and they all crowd around Lexi peeking at the baby.
Johnattan stands behind me rubbing my shoulders soothingly and I smile staring at my best friend. Shan is on Lexi’s other side with Dimitri’s arms around her and she’s fighting back tears with a happy smile. Chev stands two feet away from her with Edward at her side, an arm around her shoulder as she stares at the baby with an elated and affectionate smile.
“It’s a boy,” Lexi whispers in tears and Edward’s face lights up.
“You owe me fifty bucks De’ Santos,” he states and Chev hits him upside his head.
“Not now Eddie,” she scolds and he mutters a sorry with a sheepish smile.
We all laugh at their banter and Lexi gently pushes the blanket from her baby’s face as she notices him fighting with it. Her finger tickles his face and he scrunches his nose those small eyes opening up enticing a gasp from us all.
His eyes are big, bright, and wondrous and are the most mesmerizing and familiar mix of forest green and ocean blue. His eyes sparkle as he stares up at his mother and she weeps at the sight.
“He has... he has...” she hiccups and I rest my hand on her shoulder comfortingly.
“Momma Jacobs. He has her eyes,” I finish and she nods lowering her head to kiss his forehead.
“What’s his name?” Dimitri asks softly after a few seconds and Lexi looks at him with a smile.
“Dylan Cristiano Jacobs,” she states wagging her finger at her baby playfully and he smiles a toothless smile capturing her finger in his fist.
“I think he likes it,” I say leaning over towards the baby and he stares at me with those beautiful eyes as he tries to put her finger in his mouth.
“I know,” she whispers pulling her finger away and he places his fist inside his mouth instead.
“Thank you for being here guys,” Lexi says happily. “Especially you Chrissie.”
“You know I’ve always got you babe,” I grin. “Best friends now.”
“Best friends forever,” she whispers close to tears.
“Through good times,” I say wrapping my arms around her shoulders.
“Through bad times,” she whispers tears flowing once more and I hug her tightly as we whisper the last line together.
“And through the tantrums of that bitch called life.”
The room of people groan and erupt in a chorus of distaste as they say. “Language!”
“Peekaboo,” Chev says as she covers her eyes with her hands only to pull them away seconds later enticing a wondrous coo from the little baby boy.
“Peeka–” she repeats the action. “–boo!” she finishes grinning like a Cheshire cat.
Little Dylan gives her a gappy quirk of his lips and a look of curiosity as he gurgles incoherent things. Lexi looks down at the baby boy wrapped in her arms and grins as his little hands reach out slightly to Chev.
Chev sees this and pulls on her best puppy eyes as she stares at Lexi. “Can I hold him now? Please.”
It’s been approximately five days since Dylan was born and Lexi had banded us all from holding him. She was afraid that one of us would hold him wrong so she decided that we could hold him a few days after he’s been thoroughly seen to.
“I don’t...” Lexi starts to say.
“Come on Mamma d’oca,” Vini whines to Lexi as he leans back on the chair at the far corner of the room. “It’s been five days. I think it’s okay to give us the little bambino.”
Lexi looks around the room studying us. I’m seated on Johnattan’s lap in a button up, blue dress while he’s in a black t-shirt and khaki shorts. We’re both on a chair next to Lexi’s bed while Shan and Dimitri are beside Vini, all three of them are in jeans pants but Shan is in a green v-neck top while the boys are in blue and white shirts respectively. Edward is not here as yet which means Chev is the only other person here. She’s in a jeans romper with a blue sleeved mini top and her hair is braided in neat pineapple cornrows to the side, falling on her right shoulder.
We all look at Lexi expectantly and she rolls her eyes before huffing. “Fine you can but get your hands sanitized.”
We all breathe out a relieved yes and each walk into the small bathroom to the left and wash our hands.
Johnattan had upgraded Lexi to a better hospital room so now she had a proper bathroom and her baby’s hospital cot was in her room next to her bed. Lexi’s been under observation since the baby’s birth, they say that the possibility of one of them not surviving was too high to release them both without a thorough check-up. This check-up which will last for a week so in the next two days we can bring them home.
“Okay,” Chev grins as she anxiously stands before Lexi with extended hands. “Gimme the baby...”
Lexi raises a brow at her before shaking her head. “Chrissie’s first.”
Chev’s mouth open in disbelief and her bottom lip trembles as she stutters. “B-B-B-But... I asked first!”
She folds her arms like a spoiled child and Lexi narrows her eyes like a scolding parent. “I know but Chrissie was in one here holding my hand as I squeezed the life out of her while I was pushing this kid’s big ass head through my–”
“Okay, okay,” Chev says holding up her hands in defeat. “I get it. Izzy can go first.”
I slowly make my way towards the bed and Lexi smiles as she hands me her little bundle of joy cautiously.
“Okay, hold his back and cradle his head,” she instructs helping me to position my hands the right way. “That’s it.”
She removes her hands as I finally hold little Dylan rightly and I look down at the little new-born with a smile.
He’s now in a red pin-under with the words ‘Who’s adorable’ in bold, white, script writing and a baby owl placed beside the text. His little feet are covered with white cotton socks and a matching bib lies in his chest.
“Hello there, little D,” I coo as I rock him slowly in my arms. “I’m your Aunty Christina.”
He looks up at me with those bright and mesmerizing eyes and my heart flutters as his lips quirk into a smile. His hands reach out to me as he coos and my smile brightens.
“Aren’t you cute?” I gush leaning down to rub my nose against his tummy.
He gurgles at me, kicking his feet in excitement and everyone chuckles at this. I repeat the action once more but before I can pull away from his tummy, he grabs a few strands of my hair. I wince in pain before laughing and the others chuckle with mirth at my predicament. Soon, Johnattan comes over, seeing my distress and untangles Dylan’s hands from my hair.
“You’re a naughty boy,” I playfully scold and he smiles at me touching my cheeks and nose. “But you’re still adorable.”
Johnattan caresses my arms as I speak to my little nephew for a few minutes, telling him how he’s such a looker and that’ll he break a few hearts in the future. I know he’s not my legitimate nephew but who cares, I’ll treat him like family because that’s what he is and I love him as such.
I look over my shoulder at my beautiful Adonis of a man and he smiles kissing my forehead affectionately.
Over the last five days Johnattan has been packed with work. He has been in New York for the last three days and it’s fortunate that he’s able to be here today. He was as always reluctant to leave me but he had a job and he needs to keep his business afloat. After all it might be our kids’ own someday.
“Want to hold him?” I ask softly as he stares at me with adoration and he nods.
“But I’m next!” Chev huffs and Lexi shoots her a look.
Chev sighs sulking in her chair and Lexi gestures for me to hand Johnattan the baby. Carefully, I place Dylan in his arms and the baby starts to kick and gurgle enthusiastically.
“Looks like he likes you,” Lexi chuckles observing her baby with motherly love.
“I guess he does,” Johnattan nods before looking down at Dylan who reaches out for him frantically. “Hey little man... you good?”
Dylan replies with a squeal and we girls awe at the high level of cuteness he exhibits. The other men in the room start to crowd Johnattan and soon they are talking animatedly to Dylan who just squeals and kicks. Dimitri takes hold of him and whispers promises of teach him how to kickass and pick up chicks, which causes us girls to roll our eyes. Vini is next to hold the new-born and he promises to teach little Dylan how to get the magical touch that he possesses.
Lexis brakes up their conversation saying they should at least wait until he can walk and talk before corrupting his innocent mind.
They laugh her off continuing their baby talk and even Johnattan promises the little rascal a few eye–rollable things.
Shan’s next to hold the baby and she holds him like he’s fragile porcelain and if he falls he might break– which accurately so. She takes her time conserving with the little heartbreaker who caresses her face with fascination and everyone watches with smiles except for Chev who frowns impatiently.
By time Cheverlie gets to hold the baby it’s an hour later and she’s beyond pissed.
“Gimme the little pooper now,” she deadpans holding her hands out to me as I cradle a yawning Dylan.
“He looks a little tired–” I start to say with a frown and she cuts me off.
“I just wanna hold him!” she frowns.
“She has waited long enough,” Lexi states and I sigh handing him carefully to Chev.
Cheverlie smiles brightly as she starts conversing with the blubbering baby who gives her his undivided attention. She has him for approximately ten minutes before he starts to cry. Frowning, Chev hands the baby to Lexi as she hints that it’s his feeding time and we all settle in our seats as Lexi suckles her young.
She hums the tone of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star as she rocks him to sleep and he yawns lazily before falling asleep. Johnattan helps to put him in his cot and soon he’s sound asleep on his stomach.
“He’s so adorable,” I say as I look into the cot.
Johnattan nods, his chin resting on my shoulder and his hands on my bump. Lexi had dosed off minutes after her son and the guys had all left to get food down the street. It is just Johnattan and I now.
“Is this how our babies are going to be like?” I ask hopefully.
“Nah,” Johnattan says and I peer over my shoulder at him.
“Well as a baby I was loud, frantic, and noisy and slept lightly so any sound would wake me. My mom nearly pulled her hair out in frustration one of the times and as soon as I started to walk... I was the devil reincarnated. I pulled things off the dresser, mom’s vanity and my first sentence was, I kid you not, I’m bad,” Johnattan says with a grin and I shake my head with a giggle. “So our babies will little trouble makers naturally.”
I turn around wrapping my arms around his neck and stare into his beautiful blue eyes. “I see the importance of the Michael Jackson poster in your room now and why you thought it was safe to keep it in the closet.”
He grins shaking his head and soon his lips descend on mine. “I love you mi diosa.”
“And I love you my JBear,” I whisper deepening our kiss.
“Oh Johnattan,” I whisper softly as I stare at the cube like object in my hand.
After returning home, Johnattan and I had gotten busy in the shower, then the bed, the kitchen.... I think got the gist. It was sensual, affectionate, meaningful and compassionate, it was use making love to each other rather than trying to dominate.
Minutes after those sessions of making love, I ran to the bedroom to grab a T-shirt from Johnattan’s drawer, then decided it was getting a little cold and went to grab socks and underpants. When I furrowed around in the drawer a velvet box revealed itself to me and it wasn’t hard for me to figure out what was in it.
A ring. A fucking ring!
A hand cups my mouth as I stare at the black velvet box the idea of marriage entering my mind. I’m tempted to open the box and see the content within but I shake my head, placing right where I found it.
Johnattan wants to propose to me and he wants to do it right so I’ll pretend I’d never found the ring and give him that chance, I owe him that much.
I collect what I’d originally come for, that is, his blue Calvin Klein’s, a T-shirt and a grey pair of ankle socks and make my way to the bed. Slipping, into Johnattan’s stuff I find myself grinning from ear to ear. He wants to marry me... The love I feel for Johnattan is pure and knowing his feelings are as pronounced as mine makes me extremely happy but am I ready for marriage? Or we ready for it?
We’ve know each other for months and then thrown a curve ball when we found out I was pregnant. I have no doubt in my mind that he’s the man I want to spend my life with but I want to take it slow. I’ll promise him my hand — there’s no one else I’d rather give — but we’ll wait a while. We’ll get accustomed to our roles as fiancés and parents before tying that knot.
I just hope he’ll agree to that.
“Where are we going?” I ask with a frown as I tug on his jacket.
“It’s a surprise,” he whispers as he leads me down a stone path – this I can tell by the feel of the ground beneath my feet.
“Do I really have to be blindfolded?” I ask with a pout.
“Yes Christina,” he says mockingly as he slowly leads me forward. “Can you please be quiet and let me do what I’m doing?”
He whispers for me to step up and I slowly climb a three tread step. Where is this man taking me?
“We could be at the hospital right now with Lexi and little D...” he groans in annoyance and I giggle.“...but this is fun and I love being around you so yes I’ll shut up and let you lead me.”
“Thank you,” he says in relief before pecking my cheek. “...and we’re here.”
“We are?” I ask excitedly. “Well take this off let me see!”
Johnattan chuckles before slowly untying the blindfold. As it falls from my eyes I suck in a breath at the gorgeous view in front of me.
It’s a Victorian style building with two floors that stretches across most of the property. There are a few Georgian style influenced features on the house and each with a modern twist. It has a multiple balconies and terraces, columns and panelled, wooden shingle roofing and the building itself is cream with a classical and chic look to it. It’s not too elaborate and it’s modern, big and absolutely beautiful. There is a black marble fountain in the centre of the path with ornamental plants around it, leading to the building and chalk white steps descends before me leading to the water fountain.
The lawn is low cut and surrounds the house and ornamental trees decorate the front of the house. The yellow fluorescent lights shining from it adds to its beauty and lights our path on this dimly lit night.
“I wasn’t sure if you wanted to live here or New York so I looked up real-estate in both,” Johnattan says and turn around to look at him. “Mom helped me with the choices since you both shared a similar taste in designs. We chose the best one in each city and then I decided to surprise you by bringing you here so you could decide whether or not this is somewhere you would want to raise our kids or not.”
“Johnattan, I don’t know what to say,” I reply in awe as my eyes sweep the estate. “It’s beautiful.”
He grins triumphantly as I say this and he moves closer to me, cupping my cheeks and planting a loving kiss on my lips.
“I’m happy you do, Christi and whether we choose to live in NY or Cali we’d be able to keep both the estates,” he advises as he holds me close. “The guys and I had decided that based on which house you choose we’ll use the other as a Vacation house which we’d all pay to maintain. I argued that it’d be no problem for me to do it on my own–”
“...but Dimitri, Vini and Edward have their pride and their money so they wouldn’t take no for an answer,” I finish and he nods with a smile.
“I don’t mind living in either city but how would living here affect you? Your job is in New York so it’ll mean more travelling and work trips for you. That means you won’t be home and your babies will grow up barely seeing their dad. So maybe it’s best if we–”
He cuts off my rant with a kiss and I chuckle pulling away. “Is that your way of telling me to shut up Mr Blake?”
“Yes and obviously it’s not working,” he says with a roll of his eyes. “You’re still able to formulate responses.”
“Maybe you’re not trying hard enough,” I grin cheekily and he takes up my challenge, grabbing my neck pulling me into a bruising yet sweet kiss.
By time we pull away I’m breathless and he grins in accomplishment. “Now, let’s leave that conversation for later and go view our house.”
I nod excitedly and he smiles leading into the majestic house and takes me on a detailed tour of the seven-bedroom double story residential dwelling. The house is unfurnished as expected but the decor is to die for. There’s a living room with a fire place, the kitchen is huge with mahogany cabinets, a large marble top island, a pantry to the left... everything is just classical and state of the art. The tour soon brings us to the rooms and each one is beautifully designed with connecting balconies except for the master bedroom, which we are standing in right now.
“Wow,” I say as I look at the carved skirting and sculpted fireplace on one of the external walls.
“I know but that’s not the best part.” Johnattan states as he holds out his hand to me.
I eye it ruefully before taking it and allowing him to lead me to the balcony. The beautifully sculpted concrete railings and a starry night sky greets me as I step out and I ogle their beauty. He leads me closer to the railings standing behind me, his arms trapping me against them. We stay for a few minute enjoying the view of the estate in starlight. It’s hard to make out most of the features but there’s a shimmering lake to the far-east, a garden to the west and empty lot that can be used as a backyard, a play area for the kids and/or a miniature golf course. There’s a river flowing through the large garden filled with fruit plants, flowering plants, vegetable plants and non-flowering ornamental plants.
“Wow, this place is like a wonderland,” I whisper and Johnattan chuckles kissing my neck.
“It’s our wonderland,” he whispers into my ear and I shiver in delight. He pauses for a minute before speaking once more. “Christina, I have something I want to show you.”
I attempt to turn around and face him but he holds me steady and tell me to look out onto the estate. I comply and one of Johnattan’s hands remove themselves from my shoulder, next I heard a click.
One by one lights of various colours start to flick on illuminating the barren lawn and I shield my eyes slightly as the bright lights blind me. As the clicking stops and lights flicker from one colour to the next I feel Johnattan step back as my eyes gaze out at the sight before me.
My hands cover my mouth and I take a sharp intake of air. There on the lawn that I thought was once barren, lies multiple bulbs of light. Each flickers blue, red, violet and yellow before repeating the pattern creating a beautiful light show before me. It’s absolutely breath taking to watch but that’s not what has me taking sharp intakes of air... it’s what it spells.
As the words flicker before me my thoughts are halted, my heart pounds against my chest and my eyes become blurry. I never would have imagined that he’d propose like this. It’s so... romantic, thoughtful and–and... beautiful.
“Christina?” his voice pulls me from my thoughts and I turn around slowly with tearful eyes and a galloping heart.
There on one knee is the father of my children, the man of my dreams, the Dom to my dominatrix and the man I love with a familiar velvet boxing his hand. He looks up at me with adoring eyes and I gasp tears coming to my eyes.
“Christi, originally I wanted the idea of me to be a surprise to you but obviously since you found the box while snooping through my drawers it wasn’t really a surprise,” he states and I look at him surprised.
“You suck at putting things back exactly where you found them,” he answers and I blush embarrassed. “Anyway I hope the act of my proposal surprised and wooed you because Christina you mean so much to me. You light up my life and you make my days’ worth living. You’re not perfect, no one is but to me you’re the closest thing to perfection. You accept me with all my baggage and I love you with all your scars. You’re the mother to my babies, and the love of my life so, I ask you Christina Isabelle Hase will you do me the honour of marrying me and becoming Mrs Blake?”
I bet you can guess what my answer is...