Chapter 60

Slowly, her senses began to awaken and the first thing she became aware of was the aching of her entire body.  She felt like she’d been run over by a truck and the cramps….she couldn’t remember them ever being this bad but then again, she’d never given birth to twins either.  The ache began to lessen as she realized the warmth she felt was Howie’s body next to hers.  He was like a heating pad wrapping around her. 

She giggled softly causing him to stir slightly as she thought, “How romantic!  I’m comparing him to a heating pad.” 

Opening her eyes, Sarah was greeted to the sight of roses…lots and lots of roses…red roses, yellow roses, white roses.  There had to be….one, two, three….FOURTEEN dozen roses.  No, one arrangement had more than a dozen roses in it and that arrangement was the closest to her so she reached for the card. 

Reading it, she sniffled as her tears started.  She wiped them away as she turned to kiss him.  Whispering, “You are the amazing one.” 

Her movement had woken him and when she kissed him, he moved his hand to run his fingers through her hair.  “There’s a rose for every hour you were in labor but if the florist had had them, I’d have sent you a dozen for every hour.” 

Looking around the room, Sarah said, “Howie, there’s thirteen dozen arrangements not counting this one.” 

“Mmm, nine of them are from me….a dozen for each month you were pregnant,” breathed Howie against her skin as his fingers caressed her skin.  “Not sure who the others are from.” 

A soft whimper escaped.  His warm breath on her skin sent shivers through her body and she craved more.  Turning to face him, their lips met and her tongue darted out to tease him.  As their tongues played a happy game of tag, her fingers were playing with his chest, tweaking his nipples before dashing away to find other places to play. It wasn’t long before she’d found her way to the downy trail and like a little girl skipping happily, she followed it under the waistband of the scrubs he was wearing.  She grasped his hardening cock and began to stroke.  Her reward for finding the ‘treasure’ was a groan as he pulled out of the kiss. 

“God, your hand feels so good.  I don’t want you to stop.” 

“I don’t have to, ‘D’.  I want to make you feel as good as I felt when I woke in your arms,” she purred. 

Putting his hand on hers to stop her, he said, “As much as I want this, ‘Angel’, we can’t.  Someone might walk in on us.”  As he said that, the phone rang and he answered it, speaking only for a minute.  Hanging up, he got up to pull on a shirt as he asked, “You ready to see our babies?” 

“Are they bringing them down?” 

“It’s lunchtime for them.” 

Sarah struggled to change positions and Howie gave her a hand.  “You are going to help me, aren’t you?” 

“With whatever you need, ‘Angel’,” he reassured as he pushed her hair behind her ear.  “Why are you nervous?  You nursed Jesse.” 

“I know but I’m not sure if this is gonna work with twins, ‘D’.  I mean, I’ve read all the articles and talked to other mothers of twins about it but actually doing it is completely different. “ 

“Don’t stress yourself over it, Sarah.  You know that stress will affect your milk production and Caroline and DJ will pick up on you being nervous.  If it doesn’t work, then we can go to plan b…when one isn’t nursing, I’ll give it a bottle,” he reminded her as the door opened.  Looking up, he smiled as Sheena helped Sandy bring the twins in.  “Now, you’ve got two extra people to help you.  Sarah, this is Sandy, the nursery nurse who is taking care of Caroline and DJ.” 

“Hi, Sandy,” greeted Sarah as she took Caroline in her arms.  Pulling the blanket back, she was greeted by the wide-awake infant.  “Hey there ‘Little One’….are you ready to eat?” 

Howie had moved to take DJ who was making it known to the world that he was hungry.  “Hey…what’s all this fuss for?  You sound like Uncle Nicky when he doesn’t get food,” soothed Howie as he rocked the infant in his arms.  “Mama is gonna feed you just as soon as she gets your sister settled.” 

Sheena and Sandy had helped Sarah get settled to nurse both twins and when she was comfortable with Caroline, Howie brought DJ to her.  He watched so he’d know how to help later as Sandy gave Sarah a hand getting DJ started and then the two slipped out unnoticed.  With both infants nursing contentedly, Howie sat beside Sarah and watched, occasionally reaching out to hold a tiny fist in his hand.   

“They’re so tiny,” whispered Howie as he gazed lovingly at the two.  “I’m still amazed that your body nourished them both.” 

“Me too,” whispered Sarah as she watched the infants nursing.  “They’re so perfect.” 

“Like their mother.”  Howie had to stop to regain his composure.  Silent tears rolled down his cheeks falling onto DJ’s blanket. 

“’D’, please,” begged Sarah as her own tears threatened to fall.  “I can’t handle your tears.”

“I can’t help it, Angel.  Ever since we got together, I have tried so hard to find a way to tell you….show you….just how much I love you….what you mean to me.  It’s not that I can’t say ‘no’ to you….it’s that I don’t want to say ‘no’.  The roses, the gifts, dinner last night, the songs….none of them are enough.  Watching you now, holding our babies and last night, when you were so scared, it was…..well, it was like the song says, I’m drowning in your love.  You’ve given me every dream I ever had or been a part of it.  You’re my best friend, my partner, my life and I don’t ever want to be without you.” 

By now, Howie and Sarah were both in tears but the babies had stopped nursing and needed to be taken care of.  Taking DJ, Howie stood up, put him on his shoulder and began patting his back firmly while Sarah did the same with Caroline.  He watched her, not because he was worried about her but because he loved her and wanted to hold her.  As soon as both babies had been burped and diapers changed, Howie put them back in their bassinets and took his place beside Sarah again. 

Taking his hand, Sarah began to run her fingers along the back of it, tracing the veins.  “I remember the day you brought me home after I had the miscarriage.  You put me on the couch and you sat at the other end, my feet in your lap.  I remember watching your hands as you rubbed them.  All I could think about was how strong they are…how it feels to have you touch me.  Your hands remind me of our love…strong.  It holds me…protects me from the world.  Your love took my nightmares and changed them to dreams.  It shields me from the pain of what my father is going through.  It comforted me when I lost my mother and it helped create our family.  I don’t want material things, Howie.  I want the feel of your arms holding me when I sleep….the look in your eyes when we’re making love…the sound of your voice when you say my name.  I simply want your love.” 

Howie pulled her hand to his lips.  “You have that…forever, Angel.” 

Snuggled next to Howie, his arms wrapped around her and her head on his shoulder, Sarah did what most new mothers did, she watched the babies breathing.  Her attention was drawn away from them though when Howie yawned. 

“’D’, how much sleep have you had?” 

Looking at his watch, Howie said, “About 3 hours….I joined you after Jesse left.” 

“That’s not enough, ‘D’,” scolded Sarah lovingly.  “I don’t need you wearing yourself out before we even get home.  Why don’t you go home and get some rest?” 

Howie gave her a pout.  “Are you kicking me out?”

“I’d never do that but you’re tired and I know you….you aren’t going to sleep with our family coming to visit.” 

“I don’t want to leave you, ‘Angel’.” 

“I don’t want you to either but one of us has to be rested.  Besides, I doubt very seriously that I’ll be alone today.  I’m sure Becca and Nick will be here and you KNOW Kevin and Alex are gonna be by….not to mention your mother and sisters.  I’ll be fine, ‘D’.” 

There was a knock at the door and then, “Are you up for visitors?”

“Come on in, Bec,” answered Sarah excited that her best friend was there. 

Seeing the bassinets beside the bed, Becca held the door to keep it from slamming.  She was stopped in her tracks when she saw the flowers in the room.  “WHOA!!  Who bought out the florist….or do I need to ask?” she smiled as Howie gave her a wink.   

“My WONDERFUL husband sent me most of them….a dozen for each month I was pregnant and then a rose for every hour I was in labor.” 

“That’s ten….who are the others from?”

“I haven’t looked at the cards but I figured the rest of you sent them.” 

“Not us….Nick called and ordered balloons just before we left,” answered Becca as she peeked into DJ’s bassinet.  Carefully, she pulled the blanket back and ran her finger over his cheek.   

“Where IS Nicky?” asked Howie watching as Becca moved to do the same with Caroline. 

“Headed to Tampa to do his community service but he’ll be back to pick me up.  They’re so sweet.  How did it go feeding both of them?”

“It was fine.  Sandy and Sheena helped me get started and Howie was here to help me burp them both.  They didn’t nurse long,” asked Sarah. “Where’s Garrett?” 

“Grandma Jane came to get him and insisted that I spend the day here.  She knew Howie wouldn’t go home if someone didn’t make him.”  Becca moved to give Howie and Sarah both a kiss on the cheek and she looked at Howie, “Now, Howie….LEAVE!!!  You look exhausted and Sarah and I are gonna have some girl time.” 

Sarah laughed as Howie pouted. “But it’s Valentine’s Day and my love is here,” he said hugging Sarah tight. 

“You can work on winning your bet with Sarah later….when you’re rested.” 

“HA!!  Don’t HAVE to work on that….she lost it just before they brought Caroline and DJ down,” gloated Howie. 

Sarah groaned, “Crap!!  I forgot all about that.  Can I claim mental lapse and start over?” 

“NO!  You lost it fair and square.  I’ll bring you your checkbook so you can pay me…or you can work it off in trade,” leered Howie suggestively. 

Becca covered her ears as she sang, “Lalalalalalalalala.” 

Sarah laughed.  “Get out of here, Dorough!!” 

Giving her a kiss, Howie said, “I’ll be back by dinnertime and I’ll bring you your favorites from Red Lobster to celebrate.  Don’t overdo it.” 

“Yes, dear!” simpered Sarah. 

“I’m gonna ‘yes dear’ you later,” teased Howie touching the tip of her nose. “I love you.” 

“I love you too.” 

Howie gave Becca a kiss on the cheek.  “Thanks, Bec, and thank Jane for us too.” 

With Howie gone, Becca placed the bag she was carrying on the chair and said, “First thing….let’s find out who these flowers are from.” 

Becca gathered the cards and handed them to Sarah whose tears started all over again.  “They’re from Alex and Kevin….a dozen for each baby.” 

Handing Sarah a tissue, Becca said, “That was so sweet!!!  You know…. Kevin was beside himself last night worrying about you.” 

“I know…. and I hope it didn’t cause problems with Lynne.” 

“None at all.  In fact, she insisted that Kevin stay here even after we knew you and the babies were okay.” 

“He didn’t, did he?”

“No, he left with her.” 

“I really appreciate what you did last night….explaining about my past.  I just didn’t want to have to talk about it.  It was bad enough as it was.” 

“No problem.  Now…have you had a shower?” 

“Not yet and I feel gross!!” 

“Then let’s go, missy!!  You’re personal assistant is here to help you.” 

“Funny….you don’t LOOK like Kryss,” smirked Sarah.  

Becca cut her eyes at Sarah and they both burst out giggling.   

Half an hour later, Sarah was showered, wearing the gown Howie had bought her, and back in bed.  She was leaning forward so that Becca could sit behind her and brush her hair out as the two women talked about ‘stuff’, just like they’d done in college, while the babies slept peacefully.

Chapter 61            Index