Waiting had never been Sarah’s favorite thing to do. Add to not liking to wait a crowded waiting room, a doctor who was running thirty minutes late, women fawning all over AJ, the inability to get comfortable, and her husband’s absence and you had a very irritable expectant mother. AJ watched Sarah with amusement as he talked to several of the younger patients and felt sorry for her. She kept shifting trying to get comfortable and when she was still, she fidgeted with her rings or bounced her foot. Politely excusing himself, AJ rejoined her.
Putting his hand on her knee, he said, "You’re gonna bounce the twins right out of you."
Sarah looked up to see the playful glint in his eyes and made a face at him. Knowing AJ was right, she put her head on his shoulder and began to trace the Chinese characters on his arm and pouted, "I hate waiting."
"Nah, you don’t say," teased AJ feigning shock.
"Oh…BITE ME, Alex!"
"You’d enjoy it too much." Looking at his watch, he realized that Jesse would be getting out of school in fifteen minutes. "What do you want me to do about Jesse?"
"Crap!" mumbled Sarah. "I’ll call the school and tell them to hold her and you call Becca to go get her."
The two took care of their calls quickly and as they hung up, Sharon, Dr. Johnson’s nurse came to the door.
"Sarah…we’re ready for you."
Looking at AJ, she asked, "Coming with me?"
"Are you sure?"
Helping her up, AJ followed Sarah but at the door, Sharon said, "I’m sorry, Sarah, but only husbands are allowed."
"Sharon, please. Howie’s not here and Alex is gonna be one of my coaches with Howie."
Looking at the two and seeing the look in Sarah’s eyes, Sharon gave in. "Okay, but you DO know what the exam involves?"
"And I’m completely comfortable with Alex being there," replied Sarah crossing her heart.
Sharon ushered Sarah to the nurses’ area where she went through the standard procedures; blood pressure check, weight check, and all the other standards for a pregnant woman. AJ stood off to the side watching with fascination and when Sarah was led to the examining room, he hesitated.
Sarah looked back and laughed. Taking his hand, she whispered, "Come on. It’s not like you haven’t seen me without clothes before."
AJ blushed. "Yeah, but things have changed."
"You know….these could very easily have been yours. Now come on!!" she insisted batting her eyes at him.
AJ groaned because he had the same problem Howie had. He simply could not resist Sarah especially when she did this. He let her lead him into the room and when the nurse left, he discreetly looked elsewhere while Sarah stripped and pulled on the gown. When she was ready and on the table, he moved beside her.
As AJ stood with Sarah, he played with her hair and tried to keep from looking at her exposed body. “Your hair has gotten so long,” he admired as he ran his fingers through her long tresses.
“The benefits of being pregnant. With Jess, my hair was down to my butt.” Sarah took his free hand. “Alex, why are you so nervous? You’ve seen me in a lot less.”
“All that was in private…before you were married. This isn’t normal…your husband’s best friend with you for your checkup. What is he going to do anyway?”
“Check to see how much the babies have grown, check to see if I’ve dilated more…”
“Whoa!! How is he gonna do THAT?”
Sarah laughed, “Well, that’s why I’m undressed. He’s gonna…”
“NO!! STOP…DO NOT tell me. So what does ‘D’ do when he’s with you on these visits?”
“Basically what you’re doing…keeps me distracted, plays with my hair, talks or sings to the babies.”
“Do you two know what you’re having?”
Sarah knew what he meant but she couldn’t resist teasing him. “Uh, yeah…babies…two of them.”
AJ smirked. “I asked for that, didn’t I?”
“Uh huh. Relax, Alex. I’m perfectly comfortable with you being here.”
There was a knock at the door and Dr. Johnson stuck his head in. “Sarah, are you ready?”
“Sure am!!” smiled Sarah as Dr. Johnson joined them. “Dr. Johnson, this is Alex, one of my other coaches.”
The two men shook hands and then Dr. Johnson proceeded with the exam. AJ watched quietly, admiring the changes that Sarah had gone through carrying these twins. He couldn’t help but let his mind wander. What if things had turned out differently? What if he’d been the one she had chosen to be with? What if these had been his twins? He loved her so much but not nearly as much as Howie and he respected that. He would walk on fire to protect her, for Howie and because he loved her. His thoughts were interrupted by the ringing of a cell phone.
“Alex…hey! That’s my cell,” said Sarah as Dr. Johnson was putting some liquid gel on her stomach.
Looking around, he spotted her pocketbook and pulled out her cell. Looking at the caller id, he grinned. “It’s Mr. Romance himself,” he said as he handed it to her.
“Hey, ‘D’,” greeted Sarah happily.
“Hey yourself! How did the doctor’s appointment go?”
“We’re still here. Dr. Johnson is getting to the best part.”
“He’s listening to the heartbeats?”
“Uh huh. Wanna listen?”
“As much as I want to take my next breath.”
Handing her phone to AJ, she said, “Here, hold this so Howie can hear the heartbeats.”
AJ just shook his head and did as Sarah requested. As he held the phone for Howie to hear, he listened too. It was truly amazing to hear the little freight trains.
Sarah grinned seeing the look on AJ’s face and Dr. Johnson winked at her. “Hey, Alex…hand me the phone…..did you hear them?”
“Yeah, I did,” smiled Howie on the other end. “What was AJ’s reaction?”
“Worse than you,” snickered Sarah as Dr. Johnson wiped the gel off her stomach. “Where are you?”
“I’m still in Huntsville, Angel, but Kevin’s trying to get them to wrap this up. Look, I need to get back inside. I’ll call as soon as we get out of here.”
“I love you, ‘D’.”
“I love you too, Angel. I’ll come get you and Jesse at AJ’s when I get back, okay?”
“Sounds good. Be careful.”
Hanging up, Sarah took AJ’s hand and he helped her up. “So, what’s the verdict, Dr. Johnson?”
“You’ve been behaving. Tell you what…stick to the bed rest until the first of February and then you can go back to your normal activities until the babies are born.”
“Cool!! Thank you, Dr. Johnson.”
“I’ll see you next week. Be sure to make your appointment before you leave.”
“I’ll go do that for you, ‘Tigger’, while you get dressed.”
“Take my date book.”
Fifteen minutes later, Sarah and AJ were headed through town to get Jesse from Becca’s and then back to AJ’s house to wait for Howie. It had been a really good day all the way around and Sarah’s mood was definitely improved.
Chapter 29 Index