Blindsided

By Colleen

 

General Disclaimer: This is an alternate uber story. The physical descriptions of the two lead characters may remind you of two others we all know and love, but all characters in the story are from my own imagination. This story is an original work and is copyrighted by the author. It cannot be sold or used for profit in any way. Copyright 2003-2004

Love/Sex Disclaimer: This story depicts a loving relationship between two consenting, adult women and contains scenes of intimacy, but nothing too explicit. If you are under 18 years of age or if this type of story is illegal in the state or country in which you live, please do not read it. If depictions of this nature disturb you, you may wish to read something other than this story.

Author’s Note: This is the third story in the Jamie and Erin series. You might want to start at the beginning with At First Sight and Seeing You Again for the First Time to get the full impact of this story.

Feedback will be welcomed at coleen30@webtv.net

I have also created a group for discussions of this, past and future stories. Sneak previews as well. Join us at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/colleens_corner

 

 

Chapter 11

A pair of small feet scampered down the carpeted hall, through the open French doors and onto the red-bricked patio. Not stopping among the family filled chairs and food-laden tables, the child made two circles around the cluster of furniture, squealing her innocent delight. After a third round, the precocious girl left the stonework for green lawn and out into possibly dangerous territory. A long arm suddenly swooped down and hooked the giggling girl around the waist, tossing her up and into a protective embrace.

"You know you’re not supposed to run near the pool," the tall woman admonished.

The little, blonde head cocked to one side and threw her dark haired rescuer a properly chagrined look, knowing that if she batted her pretty green eyes there would be no punishment. She threw in a kiss on a tanned cheek to seal her fate.

Jamie smiled and set the girl on her feet, pointing them back in the direction of the rest of her family. She obeyed and ran back to safety, deciding she now desperately needed another piece of the big, chocolate cake that sat prominently in the center of one table. With half of the confection already devoured, the remaining yellow letters spelled out HAP on one line, BIRTH on the next and simply the letter J at the bottom. The mid-April day was pleasantly warm, but the full sun was hard on the eyes, especially where it glared off the shimmering water. Jamie walked back under the protection of the covered pergola and stood, towering over the small girl, who was now stuffing her face with cake. A finger full of chocolate icing was snitched from the child’s plate and the mildly outraged face looked up. A grin quickly transformed the scowl.

"Oh. Happy Birthday Aunt Jamie," she said for about the fifth time that day.

Jamie lovingly ruffled the straw colored curls. "Thank you Caitlin."

The Casey’s had gathered at the palatial estate in Brentwood for a family dinner, as they did once a month. The month of April had brought with it two additional reasons to celebrate. Although it wasn’t the exact date, Jamie’s 31st birthday was honored with presents, the traditional candles and a chorus of the appropriate song. Jeremy wasn’t there on this day. Jamie had convinced her brother to spend the weekend with his girl instead of coming to her party.

Brother.

In some ways it was still difficult to think of him as that. It sounded funny every time she introduced him to someone, but she expected it would become more natural with time. They shared a lot in common and she was becoming fond of him, but more as a friend, like Chad Benson. That sibling connection just hadn’t clicked yet…at least for her.

After the first of the year, Jamie and Jeremy had spent some time together, but his new job had kept him too busy to visit as often as he would have liked. But they tried to talk on the phone at least once a week. More than anything, Jeremy was afraid of losing touch with his new sister, still remembering the rejection Jamie exhibited at their first meeting and her hesitations at times there after. But Jeremy had tried very hard to make the most of the time he could spend with his new sibling. They had spent most of the day together near the beginning of February when the new puppy owners had gotten together for a doggie jamboree. Though the brother and sister bonding time had been a little restricted due to the unexpected presence of Jeremy’s girlfriend, Rachel, the day had been fun…but not totally without its tense moments. Katie had also chosen that unfortunate day to visit her cousin Erin, or more precisely Chad Benson, her self proclaimed boyfriend. Her immediate animosity toward Jeremy McIntyre still bewildered most members of the family. Her attitude upon their second meeting proved just as bitter, if not more. All Erin had to say was, "Family, gotta love’em." And, surprisingly Jamie couldn’t have agreed more.

Donning her dark glasses, the rancher looked out over the inviting, cool water of the luxurious swimming pool at the Casey estate. The sun shimmered on the calm surface, the tranquility almost hypnotic. Then a breeze stirred up tiny ripples, disturbing the serenity, but after a few seconds the water returned to a peaceful state. The biggest part of Jamie’s life had been spent in turmoil of every kind, with the placid moments few and far between. But now, thankfully those odds had reversed. But even the stormy times were easier to endure with Erin beside her to help navigate those waves. Jamie now understood that’s how life worked and accepted that no matter how hard the times might get, it wouldn’t last forever. She glanced up at the bright, blue sky and smiled, knowing that the best part of her life was still ahead, storms and all. Suddenly, Jamie longed to be with her own personal sunshine. She found the love of her life, looking awfully lonely all by herself in a two-person swing. Erin was avidly engaged in a conversation with her father and as Jamie approached, the businessman said something to light a big smile across his daughter’s face. It was a beautiful thing and Jamie stopped to just soak in the sight. A few minutes later, Tim excused himself and left Erin, patting her leg affectionately as he went. The author removed her glasses, setting them aside then rubbed her eyes. Jamie pushed off the post she was leaning against and quickly headed for her spouse. She slid smoothly into the cushioned seat beside Erin.

"You okay Rin?" she asked, slipping an arm around the woman’s shoulder.

A pair of dull jade eyes looked at her, but immediately perked up. "I’m fine. My eyes just burn a little." Jamie brought her hand up and massaged the muscles at the back of her lover’s neck while placing a kiss to her temple. A lazy smile slowly lifted the corners of Erin’s mouth. "Mmmm, that feels good. I didn’t get much sleep last night," she explained. Erin continued to enjoy the attention as a pair of soft lips touched the shell of her ear.

"I thought that only happened when we make love," Jamie said, adding a nibble to a tasty earlobe.

Erin chuckled with a bit of a sensual tone. "Usually, yes. But I got an idea for my book and once I got started writing, it was hard to stop."

Jamie continued the massage, moving down onto her tight shoulder. "Good to hear it, but I’m sorry too. I’ll make sure you get to bed nice and early tonight."

"I can’t wait. I’m glad we stopped by the beach house this morning, to get it ready." Erin finished the thought with a kiss. They sat back, hands clasped as the swing gently swayed under Jamie’s leg power. The family activities surrounding them gave them plenty to watch. Grandma and grandpa played with Conner and Caitlin with Tim passing on some pointers to mastering the game of croquet. The older child sent a striped ball rolling across the lawn, just missing the wire target. Nearly entranced, Conner watched his burly granddad smack a green ball nearly ten feet and right between the small posts. The boy cheered. Waiting her turn, Danielle knelt on the carpet of green, straightening the bright yellow sundress her granddaughter wore. She said a few words to the little girl and promptly received a big hug. She held onto the little body for a long time, her smile never fading.

"Mom really looks happy, doesn’t she?" Jamie observed.

"She’s always happy when she’s with her grandchildren." Erin paused and smiled as her mother laughed at Caitlin’s sudden antics. "But I know what you mean," she added. "She’s more content with herself. Getting back into art was just what she needed. Mom told me she has three requests for paintings, including one from her church." Danielle’s very first paid commission had come from her daughter. Once Erin had seen her mother’s natural talent, she wanted something very special for her partner. On Christmas morning, Jamie had been presented with a Danielle Casey original. The painting was of a dark haired rider, dressed in full western garb, surrounded by a spectacular herd of horses, fronted by the very steeds that permanently occupied the Sheridan Stables. The handsomely framed art piece was waiting patiently to be hung in the den of Jamie and Erin’s new home, which was progressing in a steady order. The land had been cleared and all underground work completed. The foundation was to be poured within the next few weeks and then their dream house would start to take shape. It would be a home easily warmed by love and a house with five bedrooms that needed to be filled with toys and children’s laughter.

Besides the birthday, the Casey’s April get together was the perfect setting for one couple to make a special announcement. Late in the day, after all the food and dessert was gone and a rousing game of Monopoly had been played, the two joined hands and walked to the front of the room. They smiled, almost giggling with anticipation as they looked upon the anxious family members knowing what a shock their words would be. Their secret was just that, but now they were ready to share. The smaller woman looked up at her spouse and receiving a wink she declared, "We’re pregnant!"

The room was suddenly filled with surprised gasps and one high-pitched squeal. Tim and his wife were totally thrilled at the idea of a new grandchild. Danielle jumped to her feet and enveloped the couple in a great bear hug. She pulled back from the embrace, barely able to speak with such emotion. "I didn’t even…I thought…" She finally just gave in and said, "Congratulations Bridget. And you my favorite son-in-law."

The pregnant red head was pulled close to her mother again and over her shoulder, she locked eyes with her sister. Erin was stunned, frozen in expression and stance. Her heart had dropped to her feet at hearing the announcement and only now did the emotions register. She burst into anguished tears and quickly backed out of the room. Jamie had taken her lover’s hand knowing the sadness would rise in Erin’s soul, but she wasn’t prepared for that hand to be wrenched away. The blue eyes saddened as Jamie watched Erin flee up the grand set of stairs. She started to run after her, but Bridget was headed her way.

"What’s wrong with Erin?" the red head inquired. Her mother immediately joined them, asking the same thing.

Jamie didn’t quite now what to say. Their own secret plans were now in jeopardy. "She’ll be fine. Just let me go and talk to her. Give us a little time alone," she gently pleaded.

The rancher took several deep breaths before entering her wife’s childhood bedroom. The room was darkened, with dusk just peeking through the open curtains, but Jamie could clearly see Erin on the double bed, constricted into a fetal position, her arms curled around a beloved, old stuffed bear. The sounds of sobbing gripped Jamie’s heart. She slipped in behind and drew the smaller woman into her arms, just cuddling her while the emotions played down. After some very long moments, filled only with the silent sounds of tears, Jamie finally began to speak. "Sweetheart…" Jamie was shocked as Erin violently pulled away and jumped from the bed.

"It’s not fair!" Erin yelled. "Five months Jamie. We’ve been trying to have a baby for five months." She stopped to take an almost disgusted sigh. "Bridget didn’t even want another child, she told me they were stopping at two and now she’s pregnant. It’s just not fair!"

Jamie walked around the bed and pulled her into a hug, knowing she wouldn’t be rejected. "Honey," she said softly, "it has nothing to do with fair. You’re not in competition. I know five months feels like a long time because we are the ones waiting. But logically you know that it’s a very short time with inseminations. Even if it wasn’t planned, you know it was easier for Bridget and Brad to get pregnant since I’m pretty sure they did it the old fashioned way." Her humor didn’t play well to the disgruntled audience of one.

Erin pulled away again and moved to stand by the window. "You’re making jokes?" she spat. "I’m hurting and you think it’s funny."

"Of course I don’t think it’s funny, but I don’t know what else to say. We know the odds; it just takes time."

Erin stared at the rustling tree right outside, its long fingered branches almost touching the glass pane. She remembered a time when she was about eight and she would sit on the built in bench below the window with her arms on the sill and her chin planted firmly on both fists. She would stare intently, boring her vision in and around the leafy branches to find it. There was a bird’s nest cradled tightly against the tree’s trunk. The mother bird had taken great care to construct a safe haven for her babies. There were two. Erin would giggle as she watched each baby squawk and open its tiny beak, vying for the food mother bird brought back. One morning Erin stepped out the front door, getting ready to leave for school. There was a big truck in drive and four big men milling around the yard. They wore hard hats and gloves and were busy working with some heavy ropes. Little Erin wondered what was going on, what were they going to do. Her mother tried to hurry her into the car so they wouldn’t be late. Just then a chain saw started up, the noise startling her. But what she saw next really scared her. The man with the loud tool headed right for her tree. Erin dropped her books and ran across the lawn, yelling at the top of her lungs for him to stop. He didn’t hear her and narrowly missed hitting her as she ran past him. She threw her tiny arms around the massive trunk, crying and screaming, causing the workers to back away immediately. Once Danielle finally got her calmed down, Erin explained about the baby birds in the tree and they went to see Erin’s father. The young blonde’s hysterics started once again and only after an hour of her anguish did Tim relent, even though it ruined his plans to add on a grand room where he could host parties for his important business clients. Allowed to stay home for the rest of the day, Erin sat and watched as the mother bird fed her offspring when they were hungry, sang to them when they were bored and protected them when a squirrel tried to invade her territory. They were all happy and safe. Erin ran in from school the next day and the first thing she did was check on the little family. She did this every day until one Saturday morning she watched as the young ones flew away, now old enough to be on their own. The mother bird had done a wonderful job, her parenting skills a resounding success. That was the moment that had sparked Erin’s anticipation to become a mother. Those feelings had been simmering inside of her since that day. Now the need was intense. But she could never give it words. It just was. Was she alone in feeling this way? Erin turned, revealing her full, shadowed profile to her partner. "Sometimes I don’t think having a baby means as much to you," she said, her voice dull and graveled.

The verbal slap knocked Jamie for a loop and it took her a few seconds to really believe what she had heard. "Having a baby doesn’t mean as much to me?" The very words tasted vile on her tongue. It hurt, but she had to explain what she thought Erin already knew. "I know that any baby we have won’t be physically related to me. You’ll always have that connection that I never will. I accept that. But please don’t ever tell me that it’s not as important to me." Jamie took another few seconds to organize her thoughts, trying to shake the bands of pain that constricted her chest. She had to make Erin understand, but she wouldn’t let the anger escalate. She inhaled a shaky breath before continuing. "I smiled and laughed all day long when we found out you were pregnant on New Year’s Day. It was one of the happiest moments of my life. And later, when you…miscarried, I held you all day while you cried. I had to be strong for you. But when you had finally cried yourself to sleep, I stayed up all night, because then it was my turn to cry." Her voice cracked. "It was my baby too."

The tears broke free again and Erin turned in the dark and ran into Jamie’s arms. "I’m sorry," she gasped. "I shouldn’t have said that. I know it’s not true. I’m sorry. I’m sorry." Her apologetic chant continued as she clung to her life support.

Jamie administered her healing touch, kissing the golden head and wrapping her in comfort. "Easy honey. Shhh, it’s okay. It’s okay. I love you. We’ll get through his. We get through everything…together."

The blonde head nodded rapidly, but she wouldn’t let go. Erin just kept crying, now angry with herself. Her fingers clenched around handfuls of Jamie’s shirt as she declared, "I didn’t mean it; it was just the frustration. I love you so much. I do."

Jamie lifted the drooping chin with two fingers and smiled softly. Her loving gestures continued as she brushed away the last tears with a gentle swipe of her thumbs. She then soothingly kissed the red rimmed, puffy eyes and continued wicking away the remaining wetness on Erin’s cheeks with more kisses, finally landing on the lips, which trembled slightly beneath hers. "Come on," she whispered. Jamie led her over to the bed and sat back against the headboard. Erin snuggled down sideways in the v of the long legs, with her head on Jamie’s chest. They spent just a few quiet moments, catching their breath…and touching. Always touching. Jamie flipped on the small, bedside lamp as she combed through the soft, yellow strands on her partner’s head. Erin relaxed against her, but Jamie could still feel the tense muscles bunching beneath the blonde’s warm skin. She didn’t know if her words would be enough to soothe and reassure her troubled spouse, but right now it was all she had to offer. Only time would do the rest. "We will have a child Erin," she stated, "one way or the other. But we won’t give up on you getting pregnant. We won’t give up hope. We can never do that. That’s what you taught me."

Erin entwined her fingers with Jamie’s, playing with the long, but strong digits and clinging to her words. "Yeah." Her response was physically weak, but emotionally confident.

"I know something else," the rancher said. A silent pause drew the green eyes up. Jamie’s returning gaze shone with the brilliance of the love she had for this woman. With her lover’s full attention, Jamie finished her thought. "Your heart is so big and you are so deserving. You are going to be a wonderful mother and God will not let your arms go empty forever." Erin gave her a tiny, tired smile, but a fierce hug full of gratitude and devotion. Jamie spent just a few more lazy minutes calmly rubbing her lover’s arm and dropping more protective kisses to her head. She knew there was a concerned family waiting downstairs and she didn’t want to subject Erin to any more stress, but they wouldn’t wait forever. "Are we okay now?" she asked.

Erin looked up again, this time into genuinely concerned eyes. "Always Jamie, always," she affirmed. Erin initiated the next kiss, which lingered with indescribable tenderness. The cherished caress bonded them not only in body, but in soul and time as well.

The kiss ended and Erin’s head dropped back onto Jamie’s breast. The ache behind her eyes increased and began to spread, aggravated by the fatigue that had assaulted her earlier. She was no longer despondent, but a touch of melancholy remained. She buried it in a place deep inside and vowed to only let it out in the privacy the night allowed. For Jamie’s eyes she would only be positive and cheerful.

Jamie let the peace pass between them and the quiet cradle them. She caught a quick glimpse of the clock and thought she heard someone in the hall, but figured it was the maid. She knew Bridget and Danielle would grant her earlier request, no matter how frustrating it may be for them. "You do realize everybody’s wondering what happened to us," Jamie finally said.

"I’m sure they are."

Okay, Jamie thought, let’s try something else. "I know Bridget may have said they weren’t going to have any more children, but they seemed pretty happy about being pregnant, don’t you think? I know you’d never begrudge your sister that happiness."

The author sighed. "No, of course I wouldn’t." She listened to the heartbeat under her ear, letting it center her and help bring things back into perspective. "I’m just not ready to go back down there and face a lot of questions," Erin said sluggishly. "In fact, I’m getting a headache. Could you explain things to Bridget and send her up here so I can apologize."

"Are you sure you want her to know what we’ve been doing…everything?"

"Yes. I ruined her moment. She deserves the truth."

Jamie extracted her long body from Erin’s grip and stood, but leaned back down for another soft kiss. "I will," she said, taking a second to rub noses with her. "And I’ll get you something for that headache." Jamie stopped at the door and looked back with a twinkle and a happy little grin. "I will bet you that by this time next year, baby Nelson will a have a cousin just a little younger than him…or her." She was pleased with the smile that sent her off on her mission.

Jamie was besieged by three feet of giggling energy when she reached the bottom of the staircase. "Aunt Jamie where did you go?" The child didn’t wait for an answer before she was on to another question. "Did you hear; I’m gonna have a baby sister? I knew before, but it was a secret."

Jamie couldn’t help, but chuckle as she had a seat on the bottom step. "I heard sweetie. But it could be a baby brother. We don’t know yet."

A flash of disappointment hazed the joy in the green eyes. "Really?"

Jamie nodded. "But that’s okay. You like your brother Conner, don’t you?"

Caitlin gave a typical five-year-old answer. "I suppose."

Jamie saw the girl’s mother turn the corner and approach them. Bridget quickly sent her daughter off to play and motioned Jamie into her father’s office where she closed the doors for privacy. From the look on Jamie’s face, she knew something serious was going on and it scared her. "Jamie what is it; is Erin sick? Please tell me."

"No, no Erin is fine." She took the anxious woman’s hands and gave them a reassuring squeeze. "Let’s sit down and I’ll tell you what happened."

Once Jamie had laid it all out, she saw the pain Bridget held for her sister. It was written all over her face and in her furrowed brow. "I’m so sorry," the red head said. "I didn’t know. If I had, I never would have made such a big deal out of today."

"No Bridget, don’t think that. You had every right to make this a celebration. Your sister wasn’t expecting it, but we are happy for you. We’ve been keeping our plans a secret because we wanted to surprise everyone. And we’d still like to keep it secret."

"Of course, of course. I wouldn’t have it any other way." Bridget hugged her sister-in-law and said, "You’re both going to be great parents."

* * *

After a relaxing soak in a hot tub, they climbed into bed and switched off the lamp, which then bathed the room in delightful moonbeams. They kissed goodnight and let the sounds of the evening surf encircle them. The night smelled of brisk seawater and cooling sand. Refreshing breezes pleasantly brushed across a cheek and an arm. It was a lovely night. There had been a difficult few hours, but by day’s end, Erin and Jamie had re-established a positive outlook for the future.

Erin watched the smooth surface of the white ceiling, now gray in the dark. Nothing changed. All the shadows in the room danced across the bedding and the floor. The blankness allowed her to reflect on an idea that had been sparked by something in Jamie’s earlier words. Carefully considering all the possibilities, Erin knew without a doubt it’s what she wanted. It might not necessarily make their quest for a child any easier, but she felt certain it would be the final detail to creating a real family. Would Jamie agree to it though was the big question looming in the forefront of Erin’s brain. All she could do was ask…and a maybe little careful convincing. "Jamie, are you asleep?" she asked, almost shyly.

Two eyes blinked open and Jamie readjusted her head to better see her partner. "No. You want to talk about something?"

"Yeah." Erin gave her a little grin. "How did you know?"

The tall woman flipped to her side and propped her dark head against her palm. She returned the smile. "I could hear the wheels turning," she said as she caressed Erin’s cheek. "And I love you."

The author turned the bedside lamp back on and scooted herself up against the headboard. Her expression became very serious. "I’m so glad you do," she said as Jamie matched her move. "Ever since my little breakdown this afternoon, I’ve been giving the situation a lot of thought. I really think we haven’t had a successful pregnancy for a reason. It hasn’t been…right yet."

"What do you mean, right?"

Erin took Jamie’s hand. "I think God has been trying to send us a message."

The rancher considered with sincerity. "Okay. Do you know what that message is?"

Erin smiled sweetly and carefully watched her partner’s eyes. "I think our baby is supposed to be…related to both of us."

Jamie released a patient puff of air. "Honey, you know that’s imposs…" She then caught the sparkle in the emerald orbs and the slow nod of the golden head. "You… you want…Jeremy?" Jamie hesitated as a little ripple of something clenched her stomach. She sucked in a huge breath. "You want me to ask the brother I’ve only recently discovered…the brother I at first rejected…the brother I am just beginning to form a friendship with…you want me to ask that brother to be the father of your child?"

Erin tugged on Jamie’s hand, pulling it to her chest. "No," she said gently. "I want you to ask him to be the biological donor for our child."

Jamie’s eyes fell shut as her head sank back into the pillow. She knew Erin was waiting for an answer, but she needed the time to wrap her thoughts around the possibilities. It had certainly never occurred to her, not even for a second. It would require absolute trust. Jamie wasn’t really sure she could have that much faith in anybody, except Erin. But if she agreed to this, maybe that’s exactly what she was doing. She gazed back at her love and truly saw the hope that had been missing earlier. Jamie wouldn’t see that fade again. She smiled her agreement then the breath was knocked from her lungs as the small, but solid body lunged at her, squeezing her with excitement. Jamie hugged back and basked in the praises of love being whispered in her ear. She hesitated to disengage the embrace, but a problem still nagged at her. "What if…?"

Erin had anticipated the questions and had the answers all ready. "Considering the way that Jeremy was conceived, do you really think he’ll have a problem with this?"

Jamie adopted a thoughtful expression. "With the method…probably not. But…with me?"

Erin had to laugh. "Honey, you’ve got to be kidding. He idolizes you. He seems to think you hung the moon."

"No he doesn’t."

Erin gave her a look.

Jamie rolled her eyes and pounced, tickling some very sensitive ribs. Erin squirmed and constricted her body, doing her best to pry off the iron like digits, while she screeched her protests. But even the slightly painful sound of the loud laughter was welcomed to Jamie’s ears. This was her most important job in the world. Making Erin laugh. Making her smile. Healing wounds. Supporting her. Loving her.

Jamie eased off just a bit, but left her fingers in the ready position. "Is he the only one who thinks that?" she asked the disheveled blonde.

Erin looked her straight in the eye and announced very seriously, "Yes." It wasn’t the answer Jamie expected. There was a very prolonged pause as Jamie sought out the depths of the sage colored eyes. The twin lips below the bright orbs twitched once before they declared, "I know you did."

The fingers went wild again, but only for a short time as Jamie soon eased her body down over the giggling woman and let her lips trace a path that quickly turned the torture into pleasure. The session never escalated beyond the kisses, but more than satisfied their needs.

They just needed to love.

The couple finally separated just enough to settle into perfect sleeping positions, but sleep wasn’t quite ready to visit just yet. Erin studied, in detail, the angular planes of her lover’s face, noting, not for the first time, that the bone and muscle structure was very similar to Jeremy and their father, Michael. Wonderful genes. She smiled and brushed back some of the luxurious, ebony hair. "Our baby will be a part of you," Erin said, "but he or she will also carry on your father and your sister too."

"You sound awfully sure that this is the answer."

"I’m positive. I have faith that this was the decision we needed to make. It was just waiting on us."

Jamie kissed her one last time before Erin’s eyes drifted close for the night. "I have faith in you," she whispered. Once she was sure Erin was fast asleep, the rancher turned onto her back. The dark ceiling above her became a view screen for Jamie’s thoughts and feelings.

She was scared.

But she wouldn’t let that stop her from asking Jeremy this tremendous, but most important favor.

Doubtful.

Despite what Erin had said, would he really consent to giving up rights to his own flesh and blood? He never had a father. Would he allow that same fate to befall his child?

Happy.

Having a son or daughter she would love that also shared her blood. It was more than she had ever dreamed for her family. And it was those dreams that carried her until first light.

 

To be continued.

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