He scooped her up in his arms and covered her with kisses all the while she giggled and squirmed to get out of his grip. As bad as she wanted to tell him, she had to wait for him to open his present. He quickly kissed her cheek and then stared at her. “What’s up?”
“Nothing. We have to hurry; we are going to be late for church.” She said and followed him to get his bags then out to the car.
Once he had put Missa in her seat he shut the door and opened Chloe’s. Before she got in she smiled at him and put both hands to his face. She kissed him deeply, feeling him take in a deep breath as her lips lingered, lost in the warmth of his mouth. She felt his arms rubbing hers bringing her in closer and trying not to mess up her hair. They heard Missa yell “EWWWW!” and laughed breaking the spell of their interment kiss.
He got in the car and looked at her, still in a daze from their kiss. “You really must have missed me.” He laughed starting the car.
“Maybe a little. I just know I got you the best present ever.” She smiled and shook her shoulders a little.
He narrowed his gaze at her. “Better than the Mustang, because that is pretty hard to beat.” He teased her.
“So much better and trust me, I beat it by a mile.” She laughed.
“Missa, what did mommy get me for Christmas?” He laughed.
“I don’t know daddy. Is Santa bringing me a puppy?” She whined from how tired she was.
“We will see in the morning.” Nick answered and headed off to church.
After church and back at their mother’s house, the usual tradition began. Their mother handed out gift bags with match in pajamas for each family except for Kevin and Max s who had the same ones. The kids happily ripped into them, as the boys groaned at the tradition their mother had kept going.
“I thought this was supposed to stop once we had kids?” Nick protested. Kevin laughed.“That was something you boys came up with. I never said it would stop. Now get on the floor with your children so I can take my pictures.” She ordered them.
Gina had wanted the grandkids first and was a little surprised when Claire sat with the boys on her lap. Nick looked at Kevin and knew what she was doing. “Claire I wanted just the kids.” Gina smiled.
“I know that, I though you would want to get the new one in here too.” She smiled and patted her stomach.
Chloe closed her eyes. There went her surprise. Mark had always complained how they got over shadowed by them. Now she couldn’t tell him. She looked at him and forced a smile. He winked knowing that she was upset but not for what he was thinking. She was happy she didn’t put her gift down with the rest of the presents in the garage now.
After the rest of the pictures and the fussing over Claire for the new baby, they all went up to change. Once Missa was in her nightgown, Chloe sent her down the steps and then tried to hide the gift she had for him. Nick walked in just as she stuck it in the back of her suitcase.
“Was that it?” He teased her pulling her pack so he could see.
“Ah yeah, but I’m having second thought. It’s really not that great. And you should open it next week.” She tried to avoid the reaction she knew would happen.
He took it out and stared at the thin narrow package. “What is it?”
She tried to take it back but he moved away from her. “Nick, really I don’t want you to open it.”
“All the more reason to open it. Come on. If we do it now, no one will know and you won’t be embarrassed. I think I know what you did. And if you did, after the way you kissed me today, I have to see it.” He started to open the package.
Chloe sat and watched him and then saw the disappointment on his face. “A picture frame. Wow, honey, ahh, okay the best present every.” He was trying to figure out why she had been so excited about this.
“Nick, take it out of the box.” She told him, waiting for him to see what was so great about it.
He opened it and took out the silver frame that held three slots for picture. “Wow, these are the ones Kevin did. I love this one of Missa. She has that look you get sometimes when something amazes you,” He smiled at her then continued. “And this one of you and me is nice and this one…” He stared at the black and white ultra sound picture and the words, “Merry Christmas Daddy!” He smiled as he looked at it dazed at the image he saw.
“What about that last one? Nothing to say?” She smiled waiting for it to hit him.
He dropped down on his knees in front of her. The sparkle in her eyes said it all. “Really?” He seemed to be in shock. Her smile made his heart melt as it made her face a glow.
She took his hand and kissed it softly then placed it on her stomach. “Really. Looks like I didn’t need you around that much after all. And why I have been so emotional when it came to you leaving.”
He thought about when they were worried she was pregnant with Missa, the scared feeling he had but pushed through it to accept whatever the outcome. Now, he was more relaxed as he let his hand gently rub her stomach and then look again at the picture. Putting down the frame he looked into her bright green eyes. “I don’t know what to say. I love you so much right now.” He laughed a little.
“Say I beat the Mustang?” She hoped.
“Baby, it’s a Mustang, nothing can beat that.” He teased her. She looked at him in shock. “I’m kidding; this beats every present I have ever gotten. I can’t wait to tell Missa.” He got up and before he got to the door he stopped. “Mark and Claire just told everyone about them, damn it!”
“Exactly why I didn’t want to show you right away. I had just decided to wait until we got back from your Uncles.” She explained.
“You promised after Missa that you would never keep anything like this from me again. I don’t think you could have kept it anyway; we have wanted this for a while. But with the way Mark has been lately, its better just keep it to ourselves right now. It’s killing me, but I don’t need the looks and attitude from him.” He was a little disappointed that he couldn’t share this amazing news, but for now, it was their secret, and he was happy with that. He put his hand out to her and she slowly went into his arms smiling. He kissed her nose as she looked up into his eyes.
She smiled at him and touched his face, running her hand threw his short curly dark hair. “Are you happy?”
He kissed her like she had kissed him earlier, this time with no one to interrupt. “You’re having my baby, of course I’m happy. Now if I could just remember what those promises I made all those years ago. Hmmm.” He pretended to think about them.
She laughed and rested her head on his chest, feeling his chin on her head. “You promised to hold my hair back as I puke, which you did in New York.”
“Ah, yes I did do that. Midnight craving but it’s only 9 so we are good right now.” He added with a smile.
“Dr Appointments and holding my hand as I curse you out when the baby comes.” She giggled.
He thought about that last one. “Only if I approve what you yell at me. I need a list so I can think of some really good comebacks.”
“Hmm, You bastard, this is your fault! How’s that!” She giggled and looked up at him as he thought of an answer.
He smirked. “Honey, you’re absolutely right. It is all my fault. I should have never made you dress that sexy and drink all that wine that night. And what was I thinking to actually think you would not want me to have my way with you. But in my defense, you were screaming at the height of climax, “Harder, I want to have your baby!”
“Nicholas Robert Allen, if you say that in the delivery room…” He stopped her with a kiss.
“What, you did say that, maybe not that night but I do remember you screaming that one night. And it seemed to work. God your eyes are so beautiful, you are glowing baby.” He lovely touched her cheek.
“I love you Nicholas Allen.” She smiled and kissed him.
He laughed remembering that game. “I love you Chloe Allen. Let’s go find our daughter.”
After the painful tradition of watching the Christmas videos and then putting the kids to bed, the guys put together they toys for the morning and Max watched the two puppies that waited the kids. For the boys, their mother had gotten them the Husky or snow dog as they put it and for Missa she had picked out a cute little brown and white King Charles spaniel. Nick watched the puppy and wondered if this was a good idea now that Chloe was pregnant. But seeing how it pulled at the little ribbons on Missa’s presents, he knew Chloe would love it just as much. He reached over and rubbed its little head and the puppy yawned at him. “Yeah, I’m tired too. I had a 4 hour flight, what’s your excuse.”
“She’s 8 weeks old and has been playing nonstop with Max. You do realize you were just talking to a dog, right?” Kevin laughed snapping the castle bridge on to the front of the pink palace.
“How unfair is this, Mom and Dad would never let us have a pet and she bought our kids puppies?” Mark asked as he watched the Husky sleeping by the tree.
“Why is that? We would have had so much so much fun with a dog.” Max asked them.
“We did have one, way before you were born, but Kevin thought he could ride it like a horse.” Nick answered.
“It was a huge dog, and I would have been fine if you didn’t try to offer free pony rides.” Kevin shot at him.
“Kevin you ruin everything.” Max laughed.
Kevin looked at him. “Yep Max, I do ruin everything. Remember that when you want to go snowboarding.”
Nick laughed. “With that being said, I’m out of here. I haven’t gotten to sleep with my wife in over a week and the thought of snuggling up next to her is better than sitting here with you guys.”
“Eww, are you talking about sex, because mom will so kill you if you do it in this house.” Max said to him.
Kevin snickered. “Ah Max he has had sex with Chloe in this house more than you know.”
“I have not! Well maybe but not tonight, she’s asleep and I’m too tired.” Nick laughed and went up to bed.
He had checked on Missa first and then went into their room and sat on the side of the bed watching Chloe as she slept. She had first fallen asleep during the videos while the one of their first Christmas with Missa played. Now she was lying on her back, a hand on the side of her face and the other gently resting on her stomach. He got in next to her and slowly unbuttoned her shirt a little. She moved and he waited for her to settle back into the sleep she was in. Slowly he placed his hand on her bare stomach and leaned in and kissed it. “Hey in there, it’s daddy. Merry Christmas, I can’t wait to meet you.” He whispered softly. He felt her hand as she started to run her fingers through his hair.
“I love you.” She said in just above a whisper.
He came up to her and kissed her lightly. “I love you too my beautiful angel.” She rested her head against him and drifted back to sleep. He kept his hand on her stomach and thought about when she had been carrying Missa. The long nights they had been apart and how uncertain things had been. Even in the beginning, they had not known the first test they took was wrong. He had missed this time. Then he had to go on that stupid trip to Guatemala and all hell broke loose. It wasn’t until towards the end she finally let him near her again. This time it was different. He was here and she was his wife. They didn’t have to worry about what their parents would say or school. Their life was complete now. These were his thoughts as he too drifted off to sleep and thought of the joys the morning would bring as he watched his daughter play with her puppy and rested his hand on his wife’s stomach touching his baby as it grew inside of her.