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Chapter 23

"It's a girl."

The newborn cried softly as the doctor cleansed her, wrapping a light pink blanket around her, then carefully handed her to Sara.

The baby shifted in the blanket at first, still adjusting to the change, crying only once before cooing softly as she rested her head against her mother. She opened her dark brown eyes that nearly matched her hair, looking as though there was a film over them, and looked directly at her father.

And then, that's when it hit Jake.

It was overpowering; his daughter gazed into his soul as though she already knew everything about him. He knew, in that instant, that he would do anything to protect her. Anything for her.

It was instant. Already, there was a bond between them, barely a minute after she was born. A connection only a father and daughter could have. Everything else paled in comparison to the love he felt for her, though it was different than any other love he had felt before. He loved Sara, and he loved Emily, but this love was completely different than the ones he felt for either of them. It was truly unconditional.

The feeling was indescribable; no words could do it justice, it was feeling that would only be truly understood by someone who had felt the same thing. Pure, unadulterated joy coursed through him as everything else was put into perspective. Things that used to anger him, or that used to cause him satisfaction or gratification - like changing the archive password just to make his sister angry - were now minor. Nothing could compare to this.

"Do you want to hold her?" Sara asked him softly.

Jake nodded, temporarily unable to speak, and carefully took their daughter in his arms as Sara gave her to him.

"The doctor said that we don't have to name her right now, but I was thinking, what about.... Rebecca?"

Rebecca. That was her name. It made sense, neither of them could imagine her with any other.

Jake nodded again, smiling. "Definitely. Rebecca Clarke." He said her full name as he stroked what little hair she had.

"Clarke?" Sara asked, laughing quietly. "We're not married, Jake." she scoffed.

Not yet. Jake thought, contemplating the possibility. He smiled again.

Sara shook her head. "Anyway, I'm really tired, so I think I'll go to sleep. Are you going to be okay holding her?"

"Of course. She is my daughter, you know."

"I know."

She turned around, laying on her side, and Jake held his now quiet daughter as both of the loves of his life fell asleep.

This chapter is dedicated to my father, who I couldn't have written this chapter without. You're the best father a girl could ask for. I love you forever and for always.

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