A Special Delivery
[This story follows a day in the life of John and Evangeline at this special time of year. As the couple celebrates the Christmas season, they patiently await the greatest gift the season can bring them, the miracle of life.]
"You’re doing it again," Evangeline said, cradling a mug of cocoa with one hand as she messed with the tree for the umpteenth time.
Their living room was hosting the largest tree John had ever seen, laced with brilliant crystal lights, oversized ornaments, bright trimming and an impressive collection of presents.
John cocked his head to one side from where he was stretched out on the recliner, "Doing what?"
John watched from where he sat, as Evangeline milled about the tree. The house constantly smelled…well…sweet, a sugary smell floated through every room, as a result of his wife’s new hobby, baking. He was glad that they were going out tonight, Evangeline needed a distraction, they both did. They had been working hard, keeping busy at work and at the new house, to speed up the time as they waited for the greatest gift the season would give them.
"You know what, you’re staring again," she said turning to him. She was pouting and he was amused. She was so adorable.
"I can’t help it, you’re so beautiful."
"No, I’m not," she sighed in turn, "Look at me; I’m fat and cranky and tired..."
He was looking at her and she WAS beautiful. Her hair was pulled back in a loose ponytail. The long sleeveless cotton dress she wore draped over her belly before it fell to her ankles.
"Come here," he said firmly, sitting up as she walked towards him. John took the steaming mug from her hand, placing it on a side table. Guided by his hands, Evangeline sank slowly into his lap, her body lightly supported by his. Stretching her legs out she matched his length, with her head resting softly in the arc of his neck.
"What’s wrong?" with one hand John brushed loose strands behind her ear, before lightly tracing his way along the side of her body.
"I don’t know. I guess I AM a little worried. Its been over a week" she answered honestly. Lifting his other hand, Evangeline traced circles around the golden band on his finger. She rested their hands on her belly, and instantly she shifted as one of the babies kicked. John was silent for a moment, he was worried too, but he had to be strong for her, for them, for his family. The power of his gaze on her face forced her to look up. Evangeline felt his lips touch hers. She melted under his softness as her husband’s hands softly drew her closer, holding her there as he brushed his nose over hers, before reluctantly pulling away.
"They’ll be fine. They’ll be strong and beautiful, just like their mother."
She smiled and leaned in closer, thankful for his presence.
"C’mon we better get going," He said as he started to get up.
"Noooo," she moaned her protest as he lifted her to get ready for Nora Buchanan’s Christmas Eve Party.
"Oh you two are just disgusting!"
Evangeline watched their host take her seat at the opposite end of the couch, "Merry Christmas to you, too," she laughed from where she sat seemingly welded to John McBain.
"You’re definitely one to talk," John cocked his head towards Bo, who blushed slightly.
All of Llanview seemed to be at the party, enjoying the festive season. There was enough food and drink to feed an army. Nora had seen to it that her first party after she re-married Bo would be a great success, and a success it was. Everyone had exchanged gifts and even managed some civility for most of the evening.
"Just think," Blair Manning handed John the warm glass of milk he had requested, "This time next year you guys will be laden with twins!"
"It can’t come soon enough," Evangeline wrinkled her nose at the glass her husband placed in front of her, "I’m almost a week overdue."
"Ah, that’s nothing," Blair cooed, "that just means they love their mama and..." Just then she looked up to see Starr and Matthew running towards them through the crowd of guests.
"Whoa there, where’s the fire?" Nora caught her son as he came to a screeching halt next to Starr Manning.
"Sorry," Starr panted, "but we had a question for Evangeline."
"Ok," all the adults looked amused, "Shoot."
"Well..." Matthew seemed nervous, "Starr says you’re having twins. Is that true?"
"Yep," Evangeline smiled, "a boy and a girl."
"See I told you!" Starr clapped instantly.
"Wow!" Matthew stared wide eyed. "Boys and girls are always fighting, like Starr and Jack; I mean how do those two get along in there?"
"Smart kid," John shot a mocking smile at the Police Commissioner who merely shrugged. "You know what Matthew, you’re probably right. That explains why they kick so much."
"They do?" Even Starr seemed instantly intrigued.
"Here," Evangeline took Matthew’s hand and placed it lightly over her stomach, everyone laughed as the boy’s eyes almost popped out of his head.
"Can I?" Starr was immediately beside them. John stood up, leaving room for Starr to sit closer to Evangeline as she felt the McBain twins kick.
"When are they due?" Starr sat back, clearly amazed.
"Well I’m actually passed due. The day after tomorrow the doctors get to umm...help me induce labor." Everyone smiled at the confused look on Matthew’s face.
"It means they force the babies out, stupid!"
"Starr, cut it out!" the girl slinked away as she heard her mother speak out.
"Evangeline, won’t it hurt the babies?" the concern in Matthew’s voice touched her heart. Evangeline looked up at John, who had been staring at her this whole time; she could tell the question had touched a nerve in him, too.
"Ok Matthew that’s enough," Bo beckoned his son over as Nora mouthed ‘sorry’ over his head.
"That’s ok," her smile was back, "I’m sure they’ll be fine Matthew. The doctors will take good care of me and the babies and besides, your mom told me you might be willing to baby-sit some time."
"Really?" he chimed, Evangeline merely nodded.
"We’ll see," his mother added, "in the meantime; something tells me its time to open a few more presents." Everyone clapped their appreciation as they gathered round the huge tree.
"You ok?" John whispered in his wife’s ear. She answered by pecking his cheek, then turning towards the door.
"Where are you going?" he watched her walk towards the deck.
"I need some air," she whispered, "while you stay here and ENJOY yourself."
John reluctantly watched her walk away before he felt a tap on his shoulder.
"Something for the new family," Natalie Vega smiled up at him as she handed him a wrapped gift the size of a shoebox.
"Thanks, "he shook it playfully, "Good it’s not ticking."
She smiled with him as she held up the bottle of expensive perfume, "Tell Evangeline I said thanks for the gift."
"Tell her yourself," he nodded to the deck, "she’s getting some air."
Natalie stared at him, slightly suspicious.
"John, are you trying to get me to check on your wife? I thought she warned you about this sort of thing."
"Just get out there, will you?" John ushered her towards the exit as he accepted another gift from Vicki Davidson.
Evangeline stared out into the clear sky as she played with her engagement ring. Everything about this night, this place in time, seemed so beautiful. John was here with her and he loved her more than even she ever thought possible. Their lives had always been work, work, work. But somehow between the two of them they had managed to make THIS work, making time had been hard but worth it.
She looked down at her ring and couldn’t imagine what life would be without him. They had fought for each other so hard and so long. Evangeline remembered the first time he had said he loved her, how she had trembled and had felt her heart explode. She had been afraid to say it for the longest time. Afraid of so much, of Caitlin’s ghost, of Natalie Vega and afraid ultimately of surrendering who she was to something that came with no guarantees. But tonight that seemed a world away. The person she was then and the one she was now were two amazingly different people. In this place in time, all the petty problems of the past seemed to not matter. He had chosen her and she trusted his choice. Evangeline was secure in the fact that come what may, John McBain would always be a constant in her life; he was in everything she did.
Her heart lifted at the realization of just how secure she was in his love, in their love, and in what their love had created.
"You two need to come out some time," she softly whispered lowering her head. Running a hand over them she smiled, it had been unexpected, but never a mistake. When they had gotten married, they had both agreed they wanted children. But they had made no immediate plans, and now they were in for twice the fun. "Your Daddy’s going be a great father; he loves you so much and your not even here yet."
Evangeline looked up again; her heart seemed to explode all over again at the thought of bringing something so beautiful into the world. As they moved inside her, John’s words of assurance echoed in her head as she closed her eyes.
When she opened her eyes again Natalie was standing to the side of her on the deck, staring into the night.
"Thanks for the perfume, its wonderful," Natalie smiled sweetly and Evangeline returned the warmth.
"Natalie, will you get John for me please..." she said calmly, when she suddenly felt something strange. Natalie shook her head knowingly.
"I told John not to send me to check up on you," she shrugged, "but would he listen, no…"
"Please," Evangeline said again, as calmly as possible.
"Yeah...sure," reluctantly Natalie turned back into the house and moments later Evangeline heard foot steps come out onto the deck.
"Look," he began instantly, "I just wanted to make sure you were ok...hey, are you ok?" John knelt beside her when he saw radiant smile on her face.
"John, its time," she said as she held his eyes firmly, his hand on hers.
"What???" his voice lowered as he filtered the words.
"Were having a baby...well babies," she laughed at the shocked look on his face.
"What??? NOW??? "
Evangeline nodded still laughing. "My water just broke," she managed to say finally.
John’s eyes frantically moved from her face to her stomach, and back and forth a few more time. She was still laughing as John’s mouth suddenly crushed hers, probing deeper as her arms snaked around the back of his neck.
"Everything ok out here?" Nora asked playfully from the doorway.
"Perfect," Evangeline grinned as she came up for air. John looked at both women, before realizing what his wife had just said.
"Holy shit," suddenly he was laughing too, "we’re having a baby!"