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Going Back, by Kasey

**Disclaimer** I am in no way affiliated with NBC, Corday Productions, Inc, Days of Our Lives or it’s characters, Christie Clark, and Roark Critchlow. This is simply a story by an obsessed fan LOL! I wish it really would happen this way! J©

Chapter 1
Mike looked over at Carrie, who was trying to sleep next to him. She looked absolutely beautiful. He couldn’t believe they were flying back to Salem. It seemed like only days ago when they were flying on a plane to Israel to start their new lives together. But, Marlena had called and invited them to the Annual Brady/Horton Picnic they held every Fourth of July. Except for last year. With the sexual harassment suit and Ali, nobody had time for a party. Mike didn’t think Carrie should be flying in her condition, but she was persistent. Besides, he couldn’t resist after staring into her angelic face.
Carrie shifted positions again, and looked up into his eyes with half a smile.
“What’s wrong Princess?” he asked.
“I can’t seem to get comfortable. I barely fit in the seat!” she replied.
“Would you like me to ask the flight attendant for another pillow?” he asked as he laughed.
“No, thanks! My stomach already sticks out a lot. I can’t believe how big I am! I don’t even remember the last time I saw my feet!”
“Ah, the glories of being pregnant! I can’t believe you’re already 8 ½ months! I still remember the night we created our child!”
“Me too! How could I forget? Once we got to your house in Israel, the first room I saw was the bedroom!”
Carrie and Mike both smiled and laughed.
“You are so romantic, Mike.”
“I know! Listen Carrie,” he paused, “are you sure you feel okay? You know it’s not the best thing to fly now that you’re so close to your due date.”
“I’m fine Mike. Don’t worry! Ohhh!” she exclaimed.
“What? What’s wrong?” Mike asked, worringly.
“Nothing’s wrong. The babies are kicking!” she excitingly replied. “Feel!” she said as she grabbed Mike’s hand and gently placed it on her stomach.
“Wow! They’re really active. Are you sure we did the right thing not telling anyone you’re pregnant?”
“Positive. I told them we’d have a surprise for everyone.”
“They’ll definitely be surprised, alright! No one could miss it!”
Carrie jokingly hit Mike over the head.
“That reminds me. Did you bring the pictures of the twins?”
“Yes, I sure did.”
“How about the pictures from the wedding, and our new house?”
“I have them in my bag.”
“Okay, I’m going to try to get some sleep before we land. I love you.”
“I love you too,” Mike replied as he leaned over to give her a kiss.
He smiled as he settled back into his seat. He closed his eyes and remembered the small wedding ceremony that was held a couple of miles outside of the Israely village. February 14. Valentine’s Day. Their wedding day. It was also the same exact day Carrie discovered she was pregnant with their first child. It was the happiest day of their lives.
“Mike? You were a million miles away just now, and you had a smile that went across one end of your adorable face to the other! What were you thinking about?”
“The day I married the most beautiful woman in the world!”
A voice came over the PA.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we are approaching Salem as I speak. Please take your seats and buckle your seatbelts. Also, put all luggage under your seat or in the overhead compartment. Thank you for choosing to fly with International Airlines, and we hoped you enjoyed your flight.”
“Want me to help you with your seatbelt?” Mike asked.
“Please. I’m surprised the seatbelt still buckles!”
“Carrie, I think you are the most beautiful woman on this earth. And, I love you more everyday for carrying our beautiful children inside of you. The children that were created out of our love.”
“I love you, too. And, I’m happy that I am carrying our children. It’s such a wonderful thing. I’m so excited about giving birth. But, I’m also scared about what can go wrong.”
“Don’t worry. Everything will be fine. Trust me!”
“I do. And, I believe you.”
She leaned over to kiss Mike. Then, she grabbed hold of his hand.
Marlena looked up as Roman walked over.
“Their plane just landed,” he said.
“Good,” Marlena replied. “I can’t wait to see them!”
“Me too,” Sami added. “I wonder what the surprise is!”
“Well, I’m just glad that they decided to come back for the picnic,” Eric mentioned. “I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye before they left last year.”
“I think that’s them,” Roman interrupted.
Carrie and Mike walked over to the family.
“Oh my gosh!” Marlena and Sami exclaimed simultaneously.
“Surprise!” Carrie and Mike shouted.
“Wow!” Roman said, stunned.
“I can’t believe you’re pregnant!” Eric added.
“Yes, I sure am!” Carrie responded.
“Should we tell them the rest of the surprise, Princess?” Mike asked as he looked over at her.
“I suppose we should,” she replied.
“What’s the rest of the surprise?” Marlena asked.
“Well,” Carrie started, “Mike and I are having twins!”
“Twins?!” Sami exclaimed. “That’s so wonderful!”
“Carrie always wanted a big family,” Eric mentioned.
“Do you know what you’re having?” Roman asked.
“We’re having a boy and a girl,” Mike answered.
“That’s so great!” Marlena said. “I can’t believe you didn’t tell us! How far along are you?”
“Eight and a half months,” Carrie answered.
“Oh my!” Marlena exclaimed. “I’m so happy for you!” she added as tears streamed down her face.
She gave Carrie a big hug, as did Roman, Eric, and Sami.
“I’m so happy you came back,” Sami said. “I’ve missed you.”
“I’ve missed you, too,” Carrie replied.
“So,” Roman started, “how’s the dad to be?”
“Fine,” Mike replied. “Anxious.”
“Well, Mike,” Roman paused, “I will tell you from personal experience that seeing your children being born is the best experience of your life.”
“I can’t wait,” Mike added. “So, Eric, how’s everything been going?”
“Fine, thanks. Greta and I have decided to go to the Bahamas next week for a photo shoot. I convinced her to start modeling.”
“Wait a minute,” Carrie interrupted, “how long have you and Greta been together?”
“About 5 months,” Eric answered.
“Wow!” Carrie said. “What about you Sami? How’s everything going with Austin?”
“Um,” Sami started, “Austin and I-“
“Well,” Marlena interrupted, “I think we should get going. It’s getting late. Why don’t you guys get the luggage, and Sami and I will help Carrie get her stuff to the car.”
“Alright,” Mike said. He, Roman, and Eric went to the baggage claim.
“I’ll take this to the car,” Sami said as she walked off.
“Okay, thanks,” Carrie replied. “Marlena, what happened between Sami and Austin?”
“It’s a long story,” Marlena answered. “And I think it’s best if Sami told you in private when we get to Mrs. Horton’s house.”
“Okay,” Carrie said. “Let’s go.”

To be continued...

Chapter 2

A car horn beeped loudly outside.
“Oh!” Maggie exclaimed. “They’re here!”
“I can’t wait to see what the surprise is!” Mickey added. “Let’s go mom!”
“Just a second,” Alice said. “I have to put the finishing touches on my donuts. Okay, let’s go.”
They opened the door and headed outside as Mike stepped out of the car. Eric, Roman, and Marlena followed.
“Michael!” Alice exclaimed.
“Grandma!” Mike replied as he gave her a big hug. “I’ve missed you so much!”
“I’ve missed you too, dear,” she added. “Where’s Carrie?”
“She’s in the car. Sami’s helping her out.”
“Helping her? Why?” Alice asked.
She looked up as Carrie got out of the car and walked towards her.
“Oh dear!” Alice shouted.
“Oh my!” Maggie added.
“Surprise!” Carrie shouted.
“Oh, Carrie!” Alice replied. “I can’t believe you’re pregnant!”
“I know!” Maggie added. “It’s so wonderful!”
“Yes, it is,” Mickey said. “How far are you?”
“Eight and a half months,” Carrie answered. “And, we’re having twins!”
“Why didn’t you tell us?” Alice asked.
“Don’t worry. They did the same thing to us!” Marlena said.
“Well, I’m so happy that you two decided to come home for the picnic,” Alice added.
“And we’re glad to be back,” Mike replied.
“We sure are,” Carrie added.
“Give me a hug!” Alice exclaimed.
Carrie and Mike joyfully hugged Alice, Maggie, and Mickey while Eric, Roman, Marlena, and Sami got the luggage out of the car.
“Well,” Alice started, “why don’t you come in and get settled. Then, we can talk about everything while we eat some fresh donuts!”
“Mmm!” Carrie said.
“We could smell them all the way from the car!” Mike added. “You haven’t lost your touch, grandma!”
“Why thank you, dear,” Alice said. “Come on in!”
“I’ll get those bags, Marlena,” Mickey said.
“Thanks Mickey,” Marlena replied.
“Thank you for helping us with our bags,” Carrie said.
“No problem, Pumpkin,” Roman replied. “You two can start unpacking. We’ll all be downstairs eating Mrs. H’s donuts!”
“Okay, see you soon.” Carrie mentioned as she closed the door, and walked over to help Mike.
“Are you tired Princess?” Mike asked.
“Not really. I’m too excited.”
“I know what you mean. Listen, sweetie, if you need some rest, you go right ahead and sleep. I can unpack myself.”
“I’m okay. Besides, I want to talk to Sami before she leaves.”
“Yeah, she seemed kind of sad. Any idea what’s wrong with her?”
“Nope. I hope she’s doing okay.”
“Me too.”
There was a knock at the door.
“May I come in?” Sami asked as she opened the door.
“You sure may,” Carrie replied.
“I’m going to go downstairs and get a donut so you two can talk,” Mike said.
“Okay thanks,” Carrie replied. “I’ll be down soon.”
“I love you,” Mike said as he leaned over to give her a kiss.
“I love you too,” Carrie replied.
Mike closed the door and headed downstairs.
“I’m really happy for you two,” Sami said.
“Thanks,” Carrie replied. “I can’t believe how wonderful everything has been for us."
“I’m glad. You deserve to be happy.”
“So do you. So, tell me, what happened between you and Austin? When I left it seemed like you two were going to start a new life together.”
“We did. But, as usual I messed everything up between us.”
“Sami, what exactly did you do?”
“Well, a couple of months after you left town with Mike, Austin started acting different.”
“He started talking about all the things that the two of you used to do together, and all the place you went to.”
“I’m not sure. But I got the feeling that he missed you. And once, when we were cleaning the apartment, I caught him staring at your wedding photo.”
“Did you ask him why?”
“No, I forgot it. But, a couple of weeks after that, I got upset when he called me ‘Carrie.’ When I asked him why he called me by your name, he accidentally blurted out that he still loves you.”
“Oh my gosh! I had no idea!”
“It gets worse. A few days later, Austin went to tell me that he was sorry and that he wanted to start over, but instead he found Brandon and me kissing.”
“Wait. You and Brandon? I didn’t know you had feelings for one another.”
“We don’t. It was just something that shouldn’t have happened, but it did. Anyway, Austin and I finally sat down and talked about everything. He said that even though a part of him will always love you, he wanted to be with me.”
“And what did you say?”
“I said that I wasn’t sure if I could accept that.”
“Sami, a part of me will always love Austin because of everything we went through together. But, I love Mike. He makes me happy and complete. I can’t imagine my life without him. Austin and I will never be together.”
“I know. And I know I made a mistake telling Austin I couldn’t accept that a part of him still loves you. But, I’m not sure that he really is ready to move past you.”
“He is. He knows we can never be together.”
“But, he still loves you. And I don’t want to be with him until he is 100% ready to commit to me.”
“I understand.”
“Listen, do me a favor? Tomorrow at the picnic, don’t mention that I told you all this, okay?”
“Okay. I’m done unpacking. Let’s go downstairs and get some donuts!”
“So, Mike,” Maggie started, “how is Carrie doing?”
“She’s doing fine,” Mike answered. “We’re both real anxious about the birth.”
“So, are you her doctor?” Marlena asked.
“Most of the time,” he replied. “But once a month we go to an obstetrician in the city.”
“Have you thought of any names yet?” Alice asked.
“Some. We haven’t really had time. I’ve been building new rooms for the babies.”
“I just had a wonderful idea!” Alice exclaimed. “Why don’t we make tomorrow’s Brady/Horton picnic a welcome home/baby shower for Mike and Carrie!”
“That’s a wonderful idea!” Marlena agreed.
“It sure is!” Carrie added as she walked in the kitchen.
“Did you get everything unpacked, Pumpkin?” Roman asked.
“Sure did, dad,” Carrie answered.
“Well,” Mickey started as he looked over at Maggie, “we better get going.”
“Yes,” Maggie agreed. “I need to make a cake for the baby shower.”
“Thanks Maggie,” Carrie said.
“Goodbye!” Maggie and Mickey said.
“Bye!” everyone shouted.
“Would you like a donut, Carrie?” Alice asked.
“Yes, thank you,” she replied.
“How about you, Sami?”
“No thanks, Mrs. Horton.”
“You know,” Mike started, “they don’t make donuts like this in Israel.”
“No, they do not!” Carrie agreed.
“Well,” Alice paused, “I’ll just have to make you a dozen to take back with you. When are you leaving?”
“We’re not sure yet,” Mike replied.
“We’d like to stay a couple of days so we can spend time with everyone,” Carrie mentioned.
“I think that’s a wonderful idea,” Roman said.
“So do I,” Marlena agreed.
“Well,” Alice started, “you two are welcome to stay here as long as you want!”
“Thank you,” Carrie and Mike both said.
“If you’ll excuse me,” Alice paused, “it’s getting late and I’m going to go to bed. We have a big day tomorrow.”
“Goodnight Alice,” Marlena said.
“Goodnight Mrs. Horton,” Sami and Carrie added.
“Have a good sleep,” Roman replied.
“I’ll help you upstairs grandma.”
“Thank you Michael. Goodnight.”
Mike took Alice upstairs.
“So Carrie,” Marlena started, “are you excited about the birth?”
“Yes,” Carrie replied. “I’m real nervous. But, Mike’s helped me out a lot. He finished building their rooms last week.”
“That’s good,” Roman replied. “So, hon, how’s the clinic that you and Mike started doing?”
“It’s going great!” Carrie answered. “We’ve helped so many people.”
“You and Mike always did work well together,” Marlena commented.
Mike walked back in the kitchen.
“Grandma is sound asleep and ready for tomorrow!”
“That’s good,” Sami said.
“Well,” Roman replied, “we better get going. We have to get up early and come help set up.”
“Okay,” Marlena said. “We’ll see you guys tomorrow.” She gave them a hug.
“Bye,” Sami mentioned.
“Bye!” Carrie and Mike said. “Thanks for everything,” Mike added.
“Goodnight,” Roman said as he closed the door behind him.
“Well, Mrs. Horton,” Mike paused as he smiled, “are you ready for bed?”
“I sure am!”
“Okay, let’s go!”
Mike and Carrie went upstairs to their room.
“Goodnight, Carrie, I love you.”
“I love you too,” Carrie replied. She leaned over and gave him a passionate kiss.
Mike looked up at her and smiled. They settled in and feel asleep wrapped in each other’s arms.

to be continued...
Chapter 3
The next morning…
“Good morning sweetheart,” Mike said as Carrie opened her beautiful green eyes and stared up at him.
“Good morning,” she replied as she leaned over and gave Mike a kiss.
“Did you sleep well?”
“I always sleep well in your arms.”
“Same here. You know what? It feels kind of strange being back here in Salem.”
“I know what you mean. It feels like we never left.”
“Exactly. So, I was thinking. What if we stay here until after the babies are born. Spend time with our family. Let everyone get to see the twins.”
“I think that’s a wonderful idea Mike! Everyone will be so happy. But, what about the clinic in Israel?”
“I’ll call the other doctors later today. I’m sure they won’t mind.”
“I don’t think they will,” Carrie said as she yawned. “I better get up and get dressed. Sami’s coming over to help us set everything up.”
“Carrie, did you get a chance to talk to Sami?”
“So, what happened between her and Austin?”
“You’re not going to believe this. Austin started talking about me and even called Sami by my name.”
“Ouch. I bet Sami wasn’t happy.”
“No, she wasn’t. And when she confronted him about it, he blurted out that he still loved me.”
“What?” Mike asked. “He still loves you? Even though we’re together?”
“Yes, it’s ridiculous. Anyway, Austin went to apologize and saw Sami and Brandon kissing.”
“Wait. Sami and Brandon aren’t together, are they?”
“No. It was just a spur of the moment thing. Anyway, Sami and Austin talked and Sami told him that she couldn’t be with him if he still loved me. And now, she regrets it.”
“Wow. I hope they can work things out.”
“Me too. They deserve to be happy.”
“Are you ready to go downstairs?”
“Yep. And I’m starving!”
“Well, let’s go raid grandma’s fridge,” Mike said as he laughed. He opened the door and they went downstairs.
“Good morning grandma,” Mike said as he and Carrie walked into the kitchen.
“Good morning, dear, and Carrie.”
“Good morning, Mrs. Horton.”
“And how are you feeling today?” Alice asked.
“Perfectly fine,” Carrie replied.
“Did you sleep well?”
“We slept like a rock!” Mike answered. “It feels so good to be back in Salem.”
“I’m glad,” Alice said. “I wish the two of you could stay longer.”
“Should we tell her?” Carrie asked Mike.
“Tell me what?” Alice asked suspiciously.
“Well, grandma, Carrie and I have decided to stay in Salem until after the twins are born.”
“That’s terrific!” Alice exclaimed. “I’m so happy!” She gave them both a hug.”
“Listen, gran,” Mike started, “can you do us a favor?”
“Sure, dear. Anything you need.”
“Well, Carrie and I would greatly appreciate it if you wouldn’t tell anyone yet. We’re going to make the announcement later on.”
“No problem,” Alice replied.
“Thanks Mrs. Horton,” Carrie said.
“Listen,” Alice paused, “I’m going to head over to Maggie’s to help her bring over the desserts. You two sit down and eat breakfast. I made fresh donuts and omelets. There’s coffee on the stove and orange juice in the fridge.”
“Mmm, sounds delicious!” Carrie added. “Thank you.”
“Thanks grandma,” Mike mentioned.
“No problem! Enjoy!” Alice opened the door and walked out.
“It’s so nice of her to let us stay here,” Carrie mentioned.
“Yeah it is,” Mike replied. He and Carrie sat down and ate breakfast. There was a knock at the door.
“I’ll get that,” Carrie said as she got up to answer the door.
“Hi Sami,” Mike said as he put the dishes in the sink.
“Hi Mike,” Sami replied. “How are you doing Carrie?”
“I’m fine thanks,” she said. “I thought you were bringing Will over.”
“I was, but Lucas decided to take him to the park.”
“I’m so glad you and Lucas are friends now,” Carrie said.
“Yeah, me too. It’s really the best thing for Will.”
“Well,” Mike interrupted, “if you two will excuse me, I have some things to take care of.”
“Where are you off to?” Carrie asked suspiciously.
“I have to pick up the balloons and flowers. And I have a surprise for you!”
“A surprise! What is it?” Carrie asked.
“Well, that’s for me to know and for you to find out!”
“You’re cruel!” Carrie playfully said. “I guess I’ll wait and see. Bye. I love you.”
“I love you too,” Mike replied as he leaned over to give her a kiss. “Bye!”
“Bye,” Carrie said. She looked over at Sami and smiled. “Well, we better get started. We have a ton of work to do.”
“Alright, let’s go.”

to be continued...
Chapter 4

A couple of hours later….
“Wow, this place looks great!” Mike said as he walked into the backyard.
“Thank you,” Sami said.
“Thanks,” Carrie added. “Did you get the balloons and flowers?’
“Yes, I did.”
“And what about my surprise?”
“Well, okay. Here!” Mike handed her a box. “Open it!”
Carrie opened the box and was shocked to see what was in it. “Three dizzy burgers and shakes! That’s so sweet!”
“Well, I thought you might like some lunch.”
“Thank you!” She reached over and hugged him.
“Excuse me,” Sami interrupted. “If I may ask, why are three Dizzy burgers so special?”
“Dizzy’s Diner is the last place Mike and I ate at before we left to Israel,” Carrie explained.
“Oh,” Sami replied.
“Well,” Mike added, “you two go in the kitchen and enjoy. I’ll be there in 5 minutes. I have to set up the balloons and flowers.”
“Okay,” Carrie said. Her and Sami walked into the kitchen. Mike set up the balloons and flowers, then walked in for lunch. The three of them sat down to eat. Then, there was a honk outside. They went to see who it was, and when they saw it was Alice, Maggie, and Mickey, they went outside.
“Hi!” Mickey said.
“Hi, Uncle Mickey,” Mike replied.
“Do you need some help?” Sami asked.
“Yes, that would be nice,” Maggie answered.
“This place looks great,” Alice said as she looked around.
“Thanks, Mrs. Horton,” Carrie replied. “Well, it’s getting late. We better start setting up the food.”
“Good idea Princess,” Mike said. “Uncle Mickey and I will fire up the grill and start cooking.” They walked into the kitchen while the women started setting up.
A few hours later, everyone started showing up.
Marlena and John walked up to Carrie and Mike.
“Hi sweetie,” Marlena said as she gave Carrie a hug.
“Hi Marlena,” Carrie replied. “Hi John!”
“Hey Carrie,” John said as he gave her a hug also. “I’m sorry I couldn’t meet you at the airport last night. But, congratulations!”
“Thanks,” Carrie said.
“Hey John. How’s it going?” Mike asked.
“Everything’s going great,” John replied. “How’s the dad to be?”
“Fine. I’m real anxious.”
“That’s normal. Listen, I’m going to get a beer, but I’ll talk to you later.”
“Okay. Bye!” Carrie and Mike both replied.
“See ya later honey,” Marlena added.
Eric and Greta walked up to them.
“Hi everyone,” Eric said.
“Hey brother,” Carrie said. “Hi Greta. How are you doing?”
“Fine thanks,” she replied. “Congratulations! Eric told me the good news.”
“As if you couldn’t tell!” Mike joked. Carrie leaned over and hit him playfully.
“Thanks,” Carrie said. “Eric also mentioned that you’re modeling now. And you two are going to the Bahamas next week.”
“Yes, we are,” Greta replied.
“It’s so beautiful,” Carrie continued. “Mike and I went for my birthday this year.”
“That’s great!” Greta added.
“Well, I’m going to get a drink,” Eric interrupted.
“I’ll go with you,” Mike added.
“I’ll join you too,” Greta said. “Bye Carrie.”
“See you later! I’m so glad Eric and Greta are together. They seem really happy,” she said to Marlena.
“They are,” Marlena replied as she glanced over Carrie’s shoulder. Lucas, Nicole, and Will walked over to them.
“Hi Carrie!” Lucas said as he gave her a big hug. “Wow! You look great! Sami said you and Mike were back in town, and the wonderful news. Congratulations!”
“Thanks Lucas,” she said. “Hey Nicole. How’s it going?” <
“Fine Carrie. Congratulations.”
“Thanks. Hi will! How are you sweetie?”
“Fine,” Will whispered. “Hi grandma,” he said to Marlena.
“Hi honey,” Marlena replied as she picked him up. “I bet you would like some apple juice, wouldn’t you?”
“Yeah,” Will replied.
“Okay,” Marlena said. “Well, let’s go get you some. We’ll be right back!” she said as she left.
Mike was walking towards them. “Hey!” he said as he passed by. He walked up to Carrie and handed her a soda.”
“Thanks honey,” she said.
“Hey brother,” Mike said as he gave Lucas a hug. “How’s it going?”
“Fine bro,” he replied. “How about you? You’re married and expecting twins!”
“It’s great!” Mike answered. “Life couldn’t’ be better.”
“That’s wonderful,” Lucas mentioned. “There’s gran. If you’ll excuse us, Nicole and I are going to say hi to her.”
“Sure,” Mike said. “Talk to you later!” He looked over at Carrie and gently kissed her.
“Mmm, what was that for?”
“Just felt like doing it. Mickey just finished some hot dogs. Are you hungry?”
“A little bit.”
“Well, I’ll go and fix you a plate. Be right back!”
“Thanks sweetheart,” she said as Mike walked off. She turned around to put down her drink.
“Hi Carrie,” she heard a familiar voice say. She turned around and looked up.

to be continued...
Chapter 5

“Hi Austin,” she replied. “How are you doing?”
“Fine, thanks. How about you?" I heard about the twins. Congratulations.”
“Thanks. I’m doing pretty good. Mike and I are counting down the days until their birth. We’re real excited.”
“That’s great. So, how’s everything in Israel?”
“Fantastic. Mike and I bought a new house and opened up a clinic.”
“That’s terrific.”
“Carrie,” Sami interrupted as she walked up to them. “Oh, sorry. Hi Austin.”
“Hi Sami,” Austin said as he looked down.
“Carrie, mom wants to know where you put the wedding pictures.”
“They’re on the kitchen table.”
“Thanks,” Sami said as she walked off.
“Wedding pictures?” Austin asked.
“Yeah. Mike and I got married this past Valentine’s Day.”
“Oh, I had no idea,” he stammered out. “Congratulations.”
“Thanks.” Carrie could tell that he was upset. “It was actually pretty ironic.”
“Well, it was the same day I discovered I was pregnant.”
“That’s really amazing.”
“Yeah, it was very exhilarating. But, what about you? Are you still boxing?”
“I’ve been in the ring a few times. But, uh, nothing serious. I’ve been working back at Titan. And, uh, I finally moved out of my mom’s and back into our – I mean, my apartment.”
“Yeah, Sami told me what happened between the two of you,” Carrie mentioned, careful to say she also told her about his feelings.
“She did?”
“Yes, she did. She feels really bad about it. Her and Brandon don’t have feelings for each other.”
“And you actually believe her?”
“Well, yes. Why shouldn’t I believe her?”
“Well, it’s just that you never believed anything Sami’s ever said before.”
“Yeah, but I’ve changed. I mean, living in Israel with Mike and seeing different people in the clinic has helped me see that family is very important.”
“Well, that’s great. But, I still don’t believe Sami.”
“But, Aust-“
“Hey Princess,” Mike interrupted as he walked up to Carrie and handed her a plate.
“Hi honey,” she replied.
“Hey Austin,” Mike said.
“How are you?”
“Fine, thanks. Congratulations on the twins.”
“Thanks.” Mike could tell that he was uncomfortable. “Carrie and I are counting down the days.”
Nicole and Lucas, who was holding Will, walked up to them.
“Hi!” Mike and Carrie said simultaneously.
“Hi,” Lucas said. “Look who it is Will. It’s Aunt Carrie and Uncle Mike. Can you say hi?”
“Hi,” Will whispered.
“Hi Will,” Mike said as he grabbed him from Lucas’ arms. “How are you?”
“You know, Carrie and I missed you. We thought about you everyday.”
“Hi everyone,” Sami interrupted.
“Hey Sami,” Lucas replied. “Hey Will look, it’s mommy!”
“Mommy!” Will exclaimed as Sami took him from Mike’s arms.
“Wow!” Mike said. “He is really getting big.”
“Yeah he is,” Austin said.
“Well,” Sami started, “I think we are going to get something to eat. See you later.” She walked off with Will.
“You know that sounds like a good idea,” Lucas mentioned. “Nicole and I are going to get something too.” They left towards Mickey and Alice.
“Well,” Austin replied, “I’m going to get a beer.”
“Bye,” Carrie said.
“So,” Mike said as he leaned over and gave her a kiss, “you and Austin looked pretty serious earlier. What were you talking about?”
“We were talking about Sami. He was sur4prised that I believed her.”
“He seemed pretty uncomfortable while we were talking.”
“Yeah, he was. Maybe Sami was right about him.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, when I left for Israel, Austin said that he forgave me for what happened. But, I still remember all those months that he was so angry and bitter.”
“Me too. But Carrie, I don’t really understand your point.”
“My points is that he never stopped loving me during those months. And now that he’s calmed down about the affair, maybe he realized that he’s still in love with me.”
“But Carrie, that’s insane! We’re married and expecting twins!”
“I know. Which is why I need to talk to him about this. There is no way we will ever get back together, and he needs to move on.”
“I agree. That’s exactly why I love you so much Carrie Horton. You are the most caring, unselfish person I know.” He leaned down and gently gave Carrie a kiss.
“I love you, too,” she replied.
“Hey Cuz!” a voice interrupted. Carrie and Mike turned around.
“Bo! Hope!!” Carrie and Mike exclaimed. They joyfully gave them a hug.
“And who’s this sweet angel?” Carrie asked, referring to the little girl in Hope’s arms.”
“This is the newest addition to our family, Katelyn Addie Brady,” Bo explained.
“Congratulations, man. She’s beautiful,” Mike said.
“John and Marlena filled us in on everything,” Carrie mentioned. “You guys are truly amazing and inspiring. After everything that you’ve been through, it’s so wonderful that you’ve managed to stay together! Your love is magical!”
“Yours is too,” Bo added as he hugged Carrie again. “I always knew you and Mike would win in the end.”
“Congratulations. It won’t be long before the two of you are holding your children,” Hope added.
“Thank you, Hope,” Carrie said.
“So, how has everything been since you two returned to Salem?” Mike asked.
“Perfectly smooth,” Bo answered.
“We’ve been really busy with Kate,” Hope added.
“Hey sweetie,” Mike said as he took Katelyn from Hope’s arms.
“Hi Kate,” Carrie said as she touched her head. Katelyn cooed at the attention.
“Look at that,” Bo said. “You two are going to be wonderful parents.”
“Thanks,” Carrie and Mike said as Mike handed Katelyn to Bo.
“Here’s daddy,” he said.
“Well, I’m starving! Let’s get something to eat!” Bo said.
“I’m with you!” Hope added. “See you later!”
“Bye!” Carrie and Mike said. Mike leaned over and kissed Carrie.
“Sorry to interrupt,” another voice said. Carrie and Mike turned around.
“Belle!” Carrie exclaimed as she gave her a hug. “How are you doing?”
“I’m doing pretty good,” Belle answered. “Hey Mike,” she added as she gave him a hug. “I heard you two were back in town.”
“Yes we are,” Carrie said.
“And I also heard about the twins. Congratulations!”
“Thanks!” Carrie and Mike both replied.
“You two are going to be great parents,” Belle added. “Well, I’m going to find Shawn. But, I will talk to you later.”
“Bye!” they both said.
“Carrie, what’s up with Belle and Shawn?”
“Oh, I forgot to tell you! They’ve been dating for a couple of months.”
“They have?”
“Yes, they have.”
“Wow! That’s terrific.”
“Excuse me,” Alice shouted over everyone a little while later. “Can I have your attention please? I would like to thank everyone for coming today to celebrate with us. And I would also like to propose a toast to Carrie and Mike. May they have everything they’ve dreamed of, and so much more.”
“To Carrie and Mike!” everyone exclaimed. Carrie and Mike walked up in front of everyone.
“Thank you all for everything,” Mike replied. “Since my beautiful wife is an expert public relations spokeswoman, I’m going to let her give the speech!”
“Thanks,” Carrie said as she kissed Mike. “Well, Mike and I would like to thank all of our family and friends for welcoming us back. Especially for this event. You know, it was two years ago at this barbecue that Mike and I shared our first kiss. We’ve missed all of you. It’s great to be back, and it’s great to celebrate everything with the ones we love. Thank you for all your support. And I’ll let Mike announce our surprise!”
“Well,” Mike started. “As all of you know by now, Carrie and I are expecting our first children, a boy and a girl anytime soon. Anyway, we were talking earlier. And we decided that we are going to stay in Salem until after the twins are born.”
“That’s terrific!” they heard Maggie yell. Everybody else started applauding and cheering. “Great!!!”
“Well,” Alice interrupted, “I’m so happy! And I have a surprise for you two!”
“A surprise for us?” Mike asked.
“Yes, a surprise dear. If everyone would please clear the middle of the yard, and you and Carrie go out there."
“Okay, grandma. You’re the boss!” Mike replied as he grabbed Carrie’s hand and led her to the middle of the crowd.
“Carrie and Mike” Alice continued, “you two have been through so much to be together. But, your love is so strong that you’ve gotten through everything without letting go of one another. I know you two have true love, just like Tom and I have. You two remind me so much of us. I hope your life together is as happy as ours was. So, I would be honored if you would share this dance, the first dance of the first Brady/Horton picnic of the Millenium.”
Everyone clapped as Mike took Carrie into his arms. “Of course grandma,” he added. Then ‘How Do I Live’ started playing. When the song was over, Mike and Carrie bowed to the crowd. Then, everyone joined them to dance.
Mike and Carrie walked off from everyone and secretly shared a kiss.
When the song ended, everyone clapped. Suddenly, there was a scream.
“Oh my God, CARRIE!” they heard Mike yell. Everyone ran over to the table where Carrie was laying on the ground in pain.

to be continued...
Chapter 6

“Oh my Mike!” Marlena exclaimed as she bent down next to him. “What happened?”
“I’m not sure,” Mike replied with a worried tone. “Carrie? Carrie!? Princess, what’s wrong?”
“It hurts Mike…”
“What hurts sweetie?” he asked.
“My stomach!” she yelled in pain.
Marlena looked her over while Mike grabbed her hand and stroked her hair with his other. Silence filled the air as everyone peeked at them.
“Mike,” Marlena said as she stood up and took him aside, “she’s in labor.”
“WHAT?” Mike yelled.
“But I can’t be in labor! I’m still two and a half weeks early!” Carrie said through her pain.
“I know Princess. And I don’t want you to worry about anything. Everything’s going to be okay.”
“Carrie,” Marlena interrupted, “you’re going to have to go to the hospital now. Can you get up?”
“I’ll try.” Carrie cried.
“Come on honey, you can do it,” Mike said as he put his hands around her to help her get up. Roman and Eric helped him as they walked Carrie to Mike’s car.
“Okay everyone,” Mike continued as he helped Carrie into the backseat, “sorry to spoil the party.”
“We’re coming with you!” Alice and Maggie shouted.
“Me too!” Sami and Austin added.
“Us too!” Lexie mentioned.
Soon everyone was gathering their things and heading towards their cars.
“Roman, would you mind driving?” Mike asked. “I would really like to stay with Carrie in the backseat.”
“Sure, no problem,” Roman replied as he took the keys from Mike.
Sami got in the passenger side. “Mind if I tag along?”
“No,” Carrie painfully answered.
“Carrie,” Marlena started, “John and I will be right behind you. Don’t worry. Everything’s going to be okay. I love you.”
“I love you too Marlena.”
“Bye sweetie.”
Soon everyone was headed to Salem University Hopsital.
At the hospital…
“Dr. Horton?” a nurse asked as Mike and Carrie entered the emergency room.
“Hi.” Mike quickly answered. “I want you to page Dr. Wesley and Dr. Bader NOW! Tell them my wife, Carrie, is in premature labor.”
“Yes Dr. Horton,” the nurse said as she ran towards the phone.
“Can I get a gurney please?” Mike yelled.
Two nurses came running out with a gurney. They all helped Carrie onto it.
“Dr. Horton?” a different nurse asked. “Oh my gosh I had no idea you were back in town!”
“Thanks, but my wife and I are having a problem here. And she needs medical attention.”
“Hey, you’re still the doctor to us so tell us what you need,” the nurse replied.
“Thank you. I need a later of saline in a iv, wide open, bp, temp, pulse, and a fetal monitor.”
“Of course,” one of the nurses answered as she ran outside.
“Where’s Dr. Wesley?” Mike asked.
“Right here,” Craig said as he walked in the room. “Mike? Carrie? Oh my God, Carrie, it’s true!? I didn’t believe it when they said you two were back! Well, I’ll save the welcomes for later. Mike, what happened?”
The nurse walked in and handed some stuff to the other nurses.
“We were at my grandma’s for the barbecue,” Mike explained. “Carrie and I were dancing…then she screamed in pain and fell to the ground…she was in so much pain…then Marlena said she was in labor. But Craig, she’s only 34 weeks along! She’s not due until August 19. So, we came here.”
“Okay, old buddy,” Craig said. “We’re going to do everything we can.”
“I know Craig,” Mike said.
“Carrie,” Craig started, “how far apart are the contractions.”
“About 8 minutes,” Carrie responded in pain. Mike walked over and grabbed her hand.
“Okay,” Craig replied. “The baby’s heart rate is fine.”
“Babies,” Mike corrected.
“You’re having twins?” Craig asked, surprised.
“Yes,” Carrie impatiently said.
“Well, Mike, you really did it this time,” he joked. “Okay, the other baby’s heart rate is also fine.”
“That’s good,” Mike said as he leaned over and kissed Carrie’s forehead.
“Okay Carrie,” Craig said, “I want you to lie back and relax where I examine you.”
“Where’s Dr. Bader?” Carrie asked.
“She got called to an emergency c-section.” Craig replied. “Just relax.”
Carrie looked up into Mike’s eyes and smiled. “Thank you.”
“For what?” Mike asked.
“For always being here for me when I need you. I love you.”
“I love you, too.”
“Okay,” Craig interrupted yet again. “You have barely started dilating, which is good. And your contractions are very far apart. So, I’m going to move you to your own room, start you on a dose of medication to try to stop your labor, and keep you overnight to monitor you. If the medication works, you’ll be out of here tomorrow.”
“What if it doesn’t work?” Carrie asked.
“Your contractions haven’t been going on for that long, so there’s a very good change it will work.” Craig answered. “Can I get a wheel chair to take Mrs. Horton to her room, please?”
“Right away doctor,” a nurse replied as she walked out of the room.
“Okay, I will be back to check on you in a couple of hours.”
“Thanks Craig,” Mike and Carrie replied simultaneously.
“No problem. And hey-“
Mike and Carrie looked up at him.
“Welcome back.”
“So,” Mike said after Craig left, “I’m going to go tell everyone what’s happening before they break down the doors!”
“Okay,” Carrie said. “Bye!”
to be continued...

Chapter 7

“Mike, what happened?” Austin asked.
“Mike, is she okay?” Marlena asked.
“Can I see her?” Roman asked.
“Is she still in labor?” Sami asked.
“Whoa!” Mike answered. “Okay, hold on! I will explain everything. She was in labor. But, she’s barely dilated. So, Craig is giving her some medication to stop the labor, and she needs to stay here overnight. She is being moved to he own room.”
“Oh, thank God!” Marlena exclaimed. “Can we see her?”
“Yes, but can you wait for about 10 minutes? I would like to move her to her room and get her settled in.”
“Sure,” Marlena replied. “I’ll go get some coffee.”
“We’ll come too,” Sami and Eric added.
“Me too,” Roman mentioned.
“Where’s everybody else?” Mike asked Alice once they left.
“They went home, dear. They figured Carrie would need to rest. But, they all said goodbye and good luck."
“Oh. Well, grandma it’s getting late. Maybe you should go home too.”
“I’m pretty tired. Tell Carrie not to worry and I’ll see her tomorrow. I’ll go home with Mickey and Maggie.”
“Okay grandma,” Mike added as he kissed her on the cheek. “Goodnight.”
“Goodnight, dear.”
Mike walked back into the triage section in the ER to see Carrie, and found her sitting in the wheel chair collecting her things.
“Need some help?”
“No thanks, sweetie. I’m ready to go.”
“Okay. Let’s get going.”
Once they were in Carrie’s room, Mike helped her into the bed. The nurse came in and started her iv and medication. Then, there was a knock at the door.
“May we come in?” Marlena asked.
“Of course,” Carrie answered.
“How are you feeling Pumpkin,” Roman asked.
“Fine,” Carrie replied. “Just a little tired. But, I’m not having anymore pain.”
“That’s good,” Sami said.
“Where’s everyone else?” Carrie asked.
“They all went home,” Austin said as he walked through the door. “They wanted to let you rest.”
“Oh,” Carrie said.
“How are you doing?” he asked.
“I’m okay,” she responded.
“Craig gave her some medication to stop the contractions,” Mike added.
“That’s good,” Austin said.
There was a knock on the door.
“Who could that be?” Carrie asked.
“Well, let me see…” Mike said as he walked to the door. “Yep, that would be my surprise!”
“Surprise!? What surprise?” Carrie asked.
“You’ll see!” Mike replied. He opened the door to reveal John standing in the door with a huge bouquet of mixed flowers.
“I think the soon to be father ordered these,” John said as he handed the flowers to Mike.
“Thank you very much,” Mike said as he walked towards Carrie.
“For you, my Princess,” he said as he handed her the flowers.
“Oh Mike! They’re beautiful!” she exclaimed.
“So, that’s what your errand was?” Marlena asked John as she kissed him.
“Yep. Mike asked me for a favor, and I’m a sucker for romance!” John said as he kissed Marlena back.
“Well,” Austin interrupted, “I better get going. I just wanted to check and make sure Carrie was alright.”
“Thanks Austin,” Carrie replied.
“Bye,” everyone answered.
“I’ll go with you,” Sami said. “Bye Carrie.”
“Bye Sami,” Carrie replied.
“So,” Roman started, “I am so glad you two decided to stay in town until after the twins are born.”
“Well, we missed our family and decided that we would enjoy spending time with everyone,” Mike replied.
“Yeah, and we need some vacation time!” Carrie added.
There was another knock on the door.
“Mike?” Carrie asked suspiciously.
“I swear I don’t know who that is!” Mike laughed.
“Sorry to interrupt,” Craig said as he walked through the door, “but I need to examine Carrie.”
“That’s okay,” Marlena said. “We’re going to leave anyway and let her rest. Goodnight sweetie.”
“Goodnight Marlena, and thank you for everything,” Carrie replied.
“Bye,” Mike added.
“Take care,” John mentioned.
“Bye Pumpkin,” Roman said as he bent down and kissed Carrie’s forehead.
“Goodnight dad,” Carrie said.
“See you Roman,” Mike added.
“Bye Mike.”
“Okay,” Craig started, “I need to lay back and just relax again, okay?”
Carrie shook her head yes and Mike walked over and held her hand. A couple of minutes later Craig took off his gloves and placed a fetal monitor on Carrie’s stomach. After another 5 minutes and an ultrasound, he finally spoke.
“Well, I have some good news and some bad news,” he said.
Chapter 8

“What” Carrie asked?
“Craig, what’s wrong?” Mike asked.
“Well, the good news is that the medication is working, and Carrie hasn’t dilated anymore.”
“Thank God!” Carrie exclaimed.
“Craig, what’s the bad news?” Mike asked.
“The bad news is that your son is now in a breach position, and if he doesn’t turn around in the next couple of weeks before the birth, you’re going to have deliver by a c-section.”
“But, he’s okay, right?” Carrie asked.
“Well, other than that, he’s perfectly fine. And so is your daughter.”
“Thanks, Craig,” Mike said.
“No problem, buddy. I’ll be back in the morning with all your paper work. But for tonight, I want you to rest.”
“Okay, thank you.” Carrie said.
“Goodnight. And congratulations.”
“Thanks,” Mike said.
“Goodnight,” Carrie added.
“Well, I am so happy that everything’s okay.” Mike said.
“Me too,” added Carrie. “That was pretty scary.”
“Yeah, it was.”
“I love you.”
“I love you too,” Mike leaned over and gave her a kiss. They were interrupted by another knock on the door.
“Come in!” Carrie yelled.
“Nancy!” Mike exclaimed.
“Hi Nancy!” Carrie added.
“Hi!” Nancy replied. “Craig told me everything! I just had to come and see you two.”
“Well, come on in!” Carrie said.
“So, what have you two been up to?”
“Well,” Carrie answered, “as you can see we’re expecting! And, we got married on Valentine’s Day!”
“And,” Mike added, “we opened a clinic in the village in Israel.”
“That’s wonderful! You two always did make a terrific pair.”
“Thanks,” Carrie said. “And what about you? What have you been doing?”
“You know, same as I’ve always done. Craig and I adopted a child. Her name’s Chloe.”
“That’s wonderful.” Mike said.
“Maybe we’ll get to meet her,” Carrie mentioned.
“I’m sure you will. She volunteers here with Belle and Mimi.”
“That’s good,” Mike added.
“Oh my gosh!” Nancy exclaimed. “I just can’t believe this!”
“What?” Carrie asked.
“Well, it’s just that it’s so wonderful to see you two together and happy.”
“Well thanks,” Mike laughed.
“I mean, after everything the two of you went through last year. I’m so happy the two of you are together.”
“Thanks,” Carrie added.
“Well, I better get going. I just wanted to stop by to see you two.”
“Thanks Nancy,” Carrie said.
“I’ll see both of you soon, I hope. I’d really like to get together before you leave.”
“Okay, that’d be great!” Carrie added.
“Bye!” Nancy said.
“Bye!” Carrie and Mike both replied.
“Well,” Mike started, “You need to get some rest.”
“Yeah, I’m pretty tired. It’s been an exhausting day.”
“It sure has. Is there anything I can get you?”
“No. But, there is something you can do for me.”
“Anything Princess.”
“Stay here with me tonight.”
“Of course Princess. I wouldn’t be anywhere else. I love you, and everything will be okay.”
“I love you, too. And I know everything will work out.”
“Are you sure I can’t get you anything?”
“Well – there is one thing.”
“Name it.”
“Well, Dr. Horton, I don’t plan on sharing this hospital pillow with you. So, I think it may be to your advantage to find your own pillow!”
“Thanks for the warning!” Mike joked as he threw a pillow at Carrie.
“Hey!” she squealed. “Just doing you a favor!”
“Okay, well I’m going to go find myself a pillow.”
“Okay. Hurry back.”
“I will,” Mike said as he left the room.
Carrie rolled over to her other side and stared at the vase of flowers Mike had given her.
“God,” she started, “thank you so much for putting Mike in my life. I love him so much, and I don’t know what I’d do without him. And thank you for blessing us with two wonderful children that were created from our love, and you. Thank you for keeping all of us safe, and please let everything go okay with the birth. And thank you for our wonderful families. Amen.”
A couple of minutes later, Carrie heard the door open.
“It’s about time Horton! I was getting ready to go to sleep without you!” she joked as she turned back over to face Mike.
“Oh – Austin.”
to be continued...
Chapter 9
“Hey Carrie,” Austin replied.
“What are you doing here?” Carrie asked.
“I just wanted to come see how you were doing.”
“I’m fine, thanks.”
“And I wanted to talk to you.”
“About what?”
“Well,” he paused, making it obvious to Carrie that he was nervous, “Carrie I’ve had some time to think.”
“Think about what, Austin?”
“About everything. Carrie, when I saw you earlier at Mrs. Horton’s, then lying in that bed in the emergency room, I realized something. Something that I’ve known deep down inside for a long time. I just couldn’t admit it.”
Carrie knew where this was heading. She knew what he was going to say. And even though she didn’t want to hear it, she knew her and Austin needed to have this talk. So, she decided to let him continue.
“Admit what?” she asked.
“Well, Carrie I-“
“I’m back Princess!” Mike exclaimed as he flew threw the door with two large pillows, and a blanket. He looked over at Austin. “Oh, hey Austin.”
“Hey Mike,” he replied.
“What are you doing here?”
“Just checking to see how Carrie was doing.”
“Well, since she’s fine, I’m sure you two would like to get some rest. So, I’ll be going now.”
“Okay, bye,” Mike replied as Austin got up and headed towards the door.
“Thanks Austin,” Carrie said. “I'll talk to you soon.”
“Goodnight,” Austin said as he left.
“Carrie, I got the feeling that I was interrupting something.” Mike said.
“Well, I think Austin was going to tell me he still loves me when you walked in.”
“Oh. So, is it a good thing or a bad thing that I interrupted you?”
“A good thing. I mean, I know Austin and I are going to have to talk about this soon, but this gives me time to think about what I should say to him.”
“So, I see you found some pillows!”
“Yes I did. I figured these would be more comfortable than those.”
“Thank you.”
Mike opened the blanket and laid it across the bed. Then, he climbed in and wrapped his arms around Carrie.
“I love you Princess, and everything is going to be fine.”
“I love you too, and I know it will be okay.”
And with that, Carrie and Mike drifted off asleep together in each other’s arms.
“Good morning you two!” Craig exclaimed as he rushed through the door.
“Hmmm,” Carrie mumbled.
“What?” Mike yelled as he jumped out of bed. “Oh.”
“What time is it?” Carrie asked as she yawned and stretched simultaneously.
“Really early,” Craig answered. “But, since you’re test results are good and the medication worked, I figured it’s time to kick you two out!”
“Thanks,” Mike joked.
“So, I’m going to examine Carrie one last time before she leaves. Mike, you can go to the admit desk and get all the necessary paper work.”
“Okay. Be right back.”
“Bye,” Carrie said as she leaned back.
Craig walked over and put some gloves on before starting the exam.
“So Carrie, how long are you and Mike planning to stay in Salem?”
“Not that long. We want our family to get a chance to see the twins, so we probably won’t leave for another month or so.”
“Oh, that’s god. How’s everything in Israel?”
“Pretty good. We started a clinic with some other doctors, and it’s going pretty well.”
“That’s wonderful. Okay, we’re done and everything is fine. You shouldn’t have to come back here until you go into labor.”
“Okay, thanks Craig.”
“No problem.”
Mike walked back into the room with some papers in his hands.
“Okay, Princess. All you have to do is sign.”
“Well,” Craig interrupted, “I’ll be going now. Congratulations!”
“Thanks,” Mike replied.
“Bye,” Carrie added.
“No problem. See you in a couple of weeks!”
“Well, I guess I’ll get dressed,” Carrie mentioned.
“Oh yeah, gran brought you some clothes from home.”
“That’s terrific.”
“Yeah. So now, we can go out for breakfast at the Brady Pub.”
“Yum! Sounds delicious, and I’m starving!”
“Okay. Well, just sign these papers and we’ll be on our way.”
“Okay,” Carrie said as she signed the papers. “Here you go!”
“Alright, you finish getting dressed, and I’ll go give these back to the desk clerk.”
“Be right back.”
A couple of minutes later, Mike returned to the room.
“All ready to go?” he asked.
“Yep. One hundred perent ready!”
“Okay,” Mike said with a chuckle. “Let’s go. Everybody’s at the Pub waiting for us.”
“Great!” Carrie added. Her and Mike headed to the Pub for breakfast with her family.
to be continued...
Chapter 10

A couple of hours later at the Java Café…
Mike pulled out a chair for Carrie as she sat down at a table. They had been shopping at Salem Place all morning. Since they decided to stay in Salem longer than expected and all the twins’ stuff was back home in Israel, they decided to do some shopping for clothes and other stuff.
“Thanks sweetie,” Carrie replied as she sat down.
“No problem. Are you sure you feel okay? You really should be home resting.”
“Mike, I’m fine. We really needed to get this shopping done. And I’m starving! Besides, it’s not like Craig ordered me to stay in bed for 7 weeks!”
“I know. I’m sorry. I’m just being my overprotective self. I just want everything to be perfect.”
“I know. And that’ why I love you so much.” She leaned over and gave him a kiss.
“I love you too,” he replied.
“Now. Let’s order something to eat!”
“As you wish, my Princess,” Mike laughed. He called over to the waitress and they ordered their lunch.
“Mmm, that was delicious,” Carrie said after the waitress had cleared their table an hour later.
“Yes it was. Do you want anything else?”
“No thanks, sweetie. I am stuffed!”
“Well, that’s good. Is there anything else you would like to buy?”
“Um, let me think. We bought clothes, bottles, diapers, we have cribs…I think we got everything. Oh, wait!! There is one thing I saw that I would like to buy!”
“What is it?” Mike asked.
“It’s something for you.”
“For me?”
“Yes, it’s a gift for you. So, if you don’t mind, we can take the bags to the car, and I’ll meet up with you at home in about an hour.”
“Actually, I have something to take care of myself. So, how about I meet you here in an hour?”
“Okay, that sounds good.”
They took the bags to the car.
“I’ll see you in an hour,” Carrie said.
“Okay. I love you.”
“I love you too,” Carrie said as she kissed Mike. “Bye”
“Bye Princess.”
They took off in separate directions.
Carrie walked over to the store and peeked through the window. It was still there. She knew Mike would love it. It was a shiny, silver picture frame with the words ‘World’s Greatest Dad’ engraved all around it. She smiled to herself, then went in and bought it.
“I know he’ll love this!” she exclaimed as she walked out the doors. Staring at the gift in the bag, she accidentally bumped into somebody. “Oh, I’m so sorry.”
“It’s okay, Carrie.”
Started, she looked up. “Oh. Hi Austin. What are you doing here?”
“Actually, I was looking for you,” Austin replied.
“I wanted to talk to you.”
Carrie knew this was going to happen sooner or later. “Okay, let’s sit down.” She replied as she walked over to a park bench.
“So, are you feeling better?” Austin asked.
“Yes, thank you.”
“And how are the twins?”
“The baby girl is doing fine, but the boy is in a breech position. And if he doesn’t turn around before I go into labor, I’m going to have a c-section.”
“Oh. Any names yet?”
“A couple, but nothing concrete.”
“That’s great. Listen Carrie, I need to talk to you about something that’s really important.”
“What is it Austin?”
“Well, there’s no easy way to say this. But, um, I still love you Carrie.”
Carrie sat there stunned. Even though she knew this, it still baffled her to hear him say it.
“I know this might be a surprise to you, but it’s true. I love you, Carrie. I miss you. I think everything can be the way it used to be. Just give me a chance.”
“Austin, I can’t do that.”
“Why not, Carrie? I know you still love me. We went through so much together. We had something deep, something special. You don’t just forget about those kinds of feelings, that kind of love.”
“No, you don’t just forget,” Carrie stated.
“So, you do still love me? I knew it!” Austin exclaimed.
“Austin, wait a minute! I didn’t say that!” she exclaimed, realizing she had raised her voice.
“Austin,” she interrupted. “A part of me will always love you because of everything that we went through together. We spent years together. BUT, I’m not in love with you. I’m in love with Mike. He makes me happy and complete.”
“But Carrie, we could be happy together.”
“No, we couldn’t be. I wasn’t happy when we were married, Austin. You were always with Sami and I was with Mike. I love Mike with all my heart.”
“But Carrie, that night we were on the rooftop, you wanted me back.”
“Austin, I was just lonely. I was so upset when Mike left, and Sami taunting me that I needed someone. Since I was still mad at Sami, that someone was you. I’m sorry, but you told me that we were only friends. You told me that you wanted to move on without me. And that we couldn’t be together.”
“I know Carrie. But I’ve had time to think about this. All those months that I was angry at you were only because I was mad at the thought of losing you to another man, especially Mike. I still loved you during those months.”
“I know. And it wasn’t Mike’s fault. He was in love with me before you and I even got married. He didn’t try to get me away from you. We just fell in love.”
“So I guess there’s nothing left to say.”
“I guess not.”
“Carrie, I know you might not believe this, but I wish you the best. I just want you to be happy. And if that’s with Mike, I’ll accept it. It won’t be easy, but I will.”
“Thank you Austin. I want you to be happy, too. Listen, I’ve got to get going. Mike and I are going to be in town for a while. Would you like to come visit us when you have time?”
“I’d like that. I’d like to keep our friendship.”
“So would I. Okay then, I’ll talk to you soon. Bye.”
And with that, Carrie got up and walked off.
“Bye Carrie,” Austin replied as he got up and walked in the other direction.
Carrie walked over to where she was supposed to meet Mike. He wasn’t there yet.
“I can’t believe that just happened,” she stated.
“What happened?” Mike asked as he put his arms around her and kissed her neck.
“You scared me!” Carrie said as she turned around in his arms and kissed him.
“I’m sorry,” Mike chuckled. “So, are you going to tell me what happened/”
“Yes. I ran into Austin and we started talking. Well, he told me he loved me and that he wanted me back.”
“What did you say?”
“I told him exactly what I told Sami. That a part of me will love him because of everything that we went through together. But, I’m in love with you. And we could only be friends.”
“And he agreed?”
“Yes. He said that we would stay friends.”
“Wow. I’m glad all that is sorted out.”
“Me too. Listen sweetheart, I’m really tired. I would love to go home and take a nap.”
“I think I’ll join you. Come on, let’s go.”
So Carrie and Mike went back home.
to be continued...

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