Monday, December 14, 2009

A New Hope?

Sorry y'all... This chapter is kinda disjointed and not overly long... Apologies...


Marc and I sat in the back of the locker room, watching Sidney as he gave an uplifting speech to the team who just watched their dreams trickle out of their hands. I rested my hand on my belly, rubbing lightly as the boys shifted anxiously. My other hand squeezed Marc’s tightly; resting my head on his shoulder. It was weird he seemed so calm about the situation. I knew he was upset that he wasn’t able to play with his team, and I knew he didn’t talk losses as hard as others; but this was the Stanley Cup, and that was the biggest prize of all, wasn’t it? I sighed gently as Sidney came towards us, still wiping tears from his eyes.

“Don't worry, Flower. I remember how hard it was to miss the third period last year, to watch you guys fight without me. Next year though... next year we'll get her back and you can feed the two little monsters Cheerios from the cup.” I held my breath and tensed as Marc nodded, patting Sidney on the shoulder. We sat in silence for a few minutes, his hand joining mine on my bump as my mind wondered to what our life, and our family, would look like a year from now.

“C'mon, Abby...” Marc whispered, slowly rising to his feet. “Let's go home.” I nodded slowly, letting him pull me to mine before walking out of the quiet room.

We sat in the crowed waiting room, hand in hand, waiting for my name to be called. I glanced around seeing women in varying degrees of pregnancy; some not showing at all, while still others looking ready to give birth any second. Some women had a gaggle of children around them, while others, like me, had just their spouse, and others still were there completely on their own.

“Tout va être bien.” Marc whispered in my ear as an other woman was taken back.

“I know...” I sighed resting against him gently. “I'm just... Marc, what if every thing's not fine? What if? I mean... I don't think I can survive if he dies!” I sobbed gently as Marc folded his arms around me.

“Aberleigh Michaels?” A voice called out. I lifted my head off Marc's shoulder and wiped my tears quickly before following the pretty brunette into an examining room. “Alright, my name is Mandy and I'll be your nurse today.” She smiled softly at me. I stole a glance at Marc as he blushed gently. What was that about? “If you could hop up on the table and we'll get a look at your babies. Sound good?” I nodded easily, climbing onto the covered table, lifting my shirt over my bump. Mandy, the nurse, gooped the gel onto the wand and began moving slowly across my stomach adding an occasional hmmm... or oh! After about five minutes she set the apparatus down and smiled at us. “I'll be right back, there's just something here Dr. Cashman should see.” I clutched Marc's hand tighter as she disappeared through the door.

“Oh my god, there's more wrong!” I exclaimed tears spilling over onto my cheeks. “I can't do this, Marc. I can't here more bad news!” I turned towards him, finding him wiping his own tears quickly, hoping I wouldn't see them.

“Maybe it's good news, Abby.” He whispered, trying to smile down at me. “Maybe... just maybe Andre-Benoit's lungs have caught up to Dominic's. Maybe they're both fine now!” I sighed deeply as he kissed the top on my head gently. “We just have to think positively.” I nodded as Dr. Cashman walked back through the doors, and directly to the ultrasound machine, and my side.

“Okay!” He started authoritatively. “Let's take a look at these little miracles.” He took the wand in his hand adding more goop before sliding it over my bump. Marc's grip on my hand tightened as Dr. Cashman hummed thoughtfully, twisting the wand around my stomach before sitting back, wiping his hands and handing me a towel. “Well...” He started taking us both in as I sat up on the table, Marc taking a seat next to me, still clutching my hand in a vice like grip. “Sometimes we don't know what happens to children with developmental problems...” I inhaled sharply and held my breath, preparing myself for the news Dr. Cashman was about to give me. My baby didn't make it... “But little Baby 'A'-”

“Andre-Benoit.” Marc interrupted him, placing his hand protectively over my stomach. Died... I closed my eyes against the next words.

“Andre-Benoit,” Dr. Cashman corrected, “has completely caught up to his brother. His outcome looks very promising at this point. He should be just fine.” My eyes shot open as my mind digested the news. I turned to Marc slowly, feeling the warm trails of fresh tears falling from my eyes. We stared at each other for a moment, letting giddy grins creep onto our faces before turning back to Dr. Cashman.

“He's okay?” I whispered not wanting this to be a trick, or just false hope.

“Physically...” the doctor smiled, as Marc pulled me into a one armed hug by my shoulders, kissing the top of my head, “he's perfectly fine. But we'll still need to watch him closely. And I still want you resting all the time. Aberleigh, I'm not joking. You should be lying down for 80% of your day, got it?” Marc and I both nodded as the doctor finally stood from the stool. “Then congratulations. Go home. I'm sure you both have a lot to think about.” We nodded as Marc hopped off the table, shaking Dr. Cashman's hand before lifting me down from the table.

“Thank you...” I whispered to Dr. Cashman. He briefly nodded before leaving out the door that Mandy, the nurse, stood, almost forgotten.

“Come on, Abby... We've got to tell Cooper.” Marc whispered excitedly as he led me towards the door.

“Umm... Marc?” Mandy's voice cut in tentatively. “Could I just ask you a quick question?” Marc sighed loudly, causing me to look between them slowly, confused. Who was this woman? “He hasn't... asked about me.... has he?”

“Look... Mandy?” He sighed, letting go of me briefly to touch this woman on the tops of her arms. “Forget about Max. He's... Well... He's not really attainable right now. He's just looking for a good time.” I stared at him, shocked! He couldn't say those things to her! I jabbed him in the side, causing him to move out of the way.

“Mandy, I know you don't know Max well. He's a good guy with the attention span of a gnat. There are plenty of good guys out there. And you're going to find him. But trust me... It's been well over a week, Max isn't going to call. I'm sorry.” I gave her a quick pat on the arm, apologetically, before walking out the door with Marc.

I sighed gently, closing the door behind me, rubbing Cooper's head as he followed me up the stairs, Marc closely behind me. I uncomfortably slid onto the bed, on my side. Oh what I wouldn't give to be able to lie on my stomach! I groaned deeply as Marc began to massage my shoulders, slowly moving his magical hands down my back, his perfect lips finding my earlobe as I felt his breath gently on my cheek.

“Marc...” I moaned as his hands found the sorest part on my back. I could feel his grin as he moved his hand around my back and stomach, up my shirt and traced the base of my bra. I slowly turned over to face him; his eyes were so dark I couldn’t distinguish between his pupil and his iris. “Marc…” I whispered as he brushed the hair off of my forehead before pressing his lips roughly against my own, the hand he had placed under my shirt, now sliding underneath the cup and rolling my hardening nipple between his fingers. I sighed softly into his kiss as I felt him move away from my breasts to pull my shirt over my head, my bra following seconds later, before his hands roamed their way across my torso.

“Abby...” His whisper held something more than just my name. I forced my eyes open to look into his, his beautiful eyes that held more love and concern then I ever thought possible.

“Yah, Marc?” I breathed, my breath catching as his fingers danced across the stretched skin of my belly.

“Do you think... Now that... I mean...” He sighed, his eyelids hiding his gorgeous eyes from me. I placed my hand gently on his cheek, forcing his eyes open again.

“Marc... I don't know.” I sighed, running the fingers of my other hand through his hair, resting lightly on the back of his neck. “All I know is he's healthy, and that I love you.” I watched as a small grin began to play on his lips; allowing my own smile to form.

“Yah... but... Should we...?” I sighed as the question bounced around in my head.

“Well...” I started, moving my hands from his hair, down his arms. “We could wait and call Dr. Cashman's office tomorrow... Get a professional's advice.” He nodded thoughtfully, twining his legs around mine, and pulling me as close as possible with my bump, quickly turning into a beach ball, got between us.

“You're right...” His grin grew as fluttering hit my stomach, fluttering I was pretty sure wasn't the boys. “I love you Aberleigh Kay Michaels.”

“I love you too, Marc-Andre.” I smiled into the kiss he lightly placed against my lips, a bark ringing out beside us. “Cooper!” I admonished as the dog dipped his head lightly. I pulled away from Marc slowly to, sit up and turn towards my overgrown puppy. “What's wrong, Coop? It's just Daddy... He's not hurting me, or the babies. I promise...” I rested my forehead against the top of the dog's head, stroking his neck gently; giggling as he licked the underside of my jaw. “Oh, Cooper, what are we going to do with you?” I sighed, lifting myself off the dog and resting against Marc's shoulder, his arm wrapped tightly around me.

My eyes blinked open from my third nap of the afternoon. Still tired, I glanced slowly around the room, finding that Marc wasn't there. Groaning from stiffness, I pulled myself off the bed and slowly headed downstairs.

The house was quiet... Too quiet for Marc to be home. I checked the kitchen for a note, anything to tell me where he'd gone, but there was nothing. He must have gone for a walk with Cooper... I smiled before settling on the couch to watch a movie to pass the time.

Ten minutes into my movie Cooper came in from behind the couch, laying his head on my knee. I pat his head gently looking over the couch for Marc, no where to be found.

“Cooper... Where did Daddy go?” I mused to the dog, now starting to get worried, this wasn't like Marc to just disappear. I moved towards the kitchen wall, picking up the phone and dialing familiar numbers.

“Talk to me!” Max's voice flooded the line as I breathed in relief.

“Max! Please tell me you've seen Marc.” I pleaded with his best friend. “He didn't leave a note, and I know I'm sounding paranoid, but Max... I just need to know where he is.”

“Mon Dieu, maintenant je dois garder les enfants Flower aussi?” He muttered softly in French before sighing deeply. “Abbs... Last I heard he went down to the Igloo. Something about getting his leg in shape for the season.”

“Max... It's July... Why is he so worried about this now?”

“Je ne sais pas, Abbs... but that's the last place I heard.” I sighed before thanking him and hanging up the phone. I moved quickly through the kitchen as I gathered my cell phone, my wallet, keys and purse.

“C'mon Coop, lets go get Daddy,” I called, Cooper pulled himself off the floor and followed me towards the door. “I just don't get it, Cooper... Why would he -” I swung the door open to step out and almost ran into the person on the other side.

“Oh... Miss Aberleigh! We almost collided.” A familiar voice flooded my consciousness. I swung my eyes up to be met with the warm brown eyes of my dear sweet, Lucy!

“Lucy, what are you doing here?!” I exclaimed pulling her into a tight hug.

“Your Momma and Daddy wanted someone watching out for you and the babies, so I came out.” She shrugged easily, letting me go. “You're looking good, Miss Aberleigh. And getting big.” I laughed uneasily, rubbing my bludgeoning stomach. “Where is your man, anyways?” She questioned peering around me into the front room.

“I was just going to get him, would you like to come with me?” I asked shyly, feeling much like a 4 year old trying to convince her mother to go to the store with her.

“Of course, hunny, lead the way.” She smiled, wrapping her arm around my shoulders and pulling me out the door further.

“Cooper, come!” I called, the big black fluff ball charging after us.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Next Year

Sorry about the shortness and jumpiness… I guess I’m just getting back into the feel of this story lol. Hope you still like it =D!!

Aberleigh’s legs were wrapped around my body, pulling me into her, encouraging me on. I thrusted in powerfully, unable to do anything but moan contentedly against the feel of her body surrounding me. “I love you so much baby…” I moaned into her ear, breathing in the sweet smell of vanilla shampoo she always used. I pulled back and looked down at her.

She smiled up at me as her perfect full lips opened and she began to beg. “Fuck me harder Max…”

I sat bolt right up; breathing hard as I glanced beside me at Aberleigh. She was resting peacefully, laying on her side with her mouth slightly opened; the same mouth that had just called me Max. What the hell kind of dream was that?
I took a deep breath, trying to calm myself as flopped back down on the bed. “Max!” A woman screamed, causing me to sit up again. Ok… that I did not dream.

Abby stirred beside me, her eyes opening with a sigh. “Marc? What’s going on?”

I let out an angry huff as I threw my legs - and cast - over the side of the bed. “Max took someone home with him.” I spat, grabbing my crutches off the floor and heading for the guest room.

I stopped outside the slightly closed door; rolling my eyes as I heard the repeated thumping of headboard against wall. “Ugh! Yes… yes… YES!” The girls voice sounded through the crack.

“Comme ca?” I heard Max’s voice replied; husky from exertion.

“MAX!“ I yelled, not wanting to open the door any more than it already was.

“… merde…” He sighed. I heard the room fall quiet as someone’s feet planted on the ground. “Salut Flower…” Max said, giving me a sheepish grin as he pulled the door open fully.
The brunette laid out on the bed, didn’t even have the decency to cover herself up. She turned her head to glare from me as I turned my attention back to Max.

“Êtes-vous sérieux?” I spat, unable to believe this was happening.

Max sighed deeply and stepped out into the hall, his pants barely staying up around his hips. “Flower, look. I love you and I love Abby… but I haven’t had sex in three days… my dick is about to fall off. I need a dick to play for the Stanley Cup Flower… if I don‘t have one, we‘ll loose. Do you want us to loose?”

“… please don’t even try to make this seem like it’s my fault. You can’t take some random girl back to my house Max!”

He reached out and put his hands on my shoulders; I tried not to think what they’d been touching minutes before. “You’re upset… I can see that. I’ll take her home when we’re done.” I continued to stare at him, teetering on my crutches. “Ugh! Fine! Hey Candy…” He called over his shoulder, “get dressed, we’re leaving.”

“My name’s Mandy!” She shot back, sounding more amused than upset.

“Sorry!” He said again, holding up his hands in truce as he headed back into the guest room; this time, closing the door.

I sat in the doctor’s office beside Abby, waiting for the man with the saw to come in and finally cut off my damn cast. I glanced over at her as she started to giggle again. “I really don’t see what’s so funny about this.” I snapped, causing her to laugh harder.

“I’m sorry… I’m sorry… I know you’re tired but, my emotions are so messed up right now and, that’s just hilarious.”

I exhaled loudly, not bothering to argue with her; at least one of us was in a good mood.
Tomorrow night the guys would be playing against the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup finals. Without my cast on I had no excuse left not to play, but I knew they still wouldn’t put me in. I had missed too much time, was too rusty.
It was going to be hell watching that game.

Once I was given the ok; the crazy hack-saw man went to work on my cast, pulling it apart piece by piece.
I shuddered as each tiny increment of skin became viable; I had lost so much muscle, it was going to take forever to get back in shape.
The upside was that I’d be able to start helping more around the house, and Max would finally be able to go home. It wasn’t that I wasn’t grateful for everything that he’d done, I was just never going to be able to trust him again with a key to the house. Ever.

The worse part was, I felt slightly relived as Jonathan Toews hoisted the Stanley Cup up above his head; the sea of red and white fans screaming thunderously around Abby and I, as she gently squeezed my hand.
It wasn’t that I wanted us to loose, I obviously didn’t feel that way. With or without me I wanted my friends, my team-mates to win; they deserved it.
I didn’t want to allow that small sigh to escape my lips, the one that threatened to betray almost everyone I trusted.

Of course I wanted Johnson to do good; but I wasn’t a good enough person that I wanted him to do better than me.
I had really begun to come out from under all the critics after we won the cup last year, and I didn’t want to go back to being an inconsistent player. I didn’t want them to assume; if the back-up goalie can win, maybe the Pens did’t need Marc-Andre Fleury, don’t need Marc-Andre Fleury.

Abby followed me down the back hallway; one hand secured in mine, the other wrapped tightly around her tiny baby bump - protecting it from the crazy people running around us.
I took a deep breath before pushing open the door to the visitor’s room. It was a completely different feeling than the world that was echoing around us.
Where the streets of Chicago were erupting with celebration, the black and white locker-room was deafeningly silent. I shivered slightly as I caught sight of Sidney’s face.
No one took losses harder than Sid, not even me. He looked like he was doing everything he could to keep from crying; every now and then running a shaky hand across his eyes. “We’ve been here before.” He said quietly, but even so, it echoed loudly across the room. “We’ve also been there before…” He continued, his eyes glancing at the door Abby and I had just come through.
“Remember this, but also remember that. We are champions. This year wasn’t our time, we all saw that… but it doesn’t mean the time of the Penguins is over.
I believe that we are worthy enough, good enough, strong enough to fight again, and to win again.
This game doesn’t mean that they’re better than us… no matter who’s got our cup right now… I don’t believe that. I’ve seen what’s inside each and everyone of you… and I wouldn’t trade a single person in here… not for anyone.
We’re a team. We play as a team, we loose as a team and next year, we will win as a team.”

“Here, here.” Max said loudly, earning echoing responses from the players and family surrounding us.

I watched as everyone went back into their own worlds. Some talking to each other, some sitting in quiet contemplation.
Sidney was heading towards us. “Don’t worry Flower. I remember how hard it was to miss the third period last year, to watch you guys fight without me. Next year though… next year we’ll get her back and you can feed the two little monsters Cheerio’s from the cup.” I nodded in agreement, giving Sidney a small pat on the shoulder.

Next year…I thought, my mind wandering off into the future. As long as they’re both still here next year…

Friday, November 20, 2009

What's in a Name

I am a horrible mother.

My babies weren't even born and one of them was dying. I couldn't take care of them before they were born, how was I going to take care of them afterwards?

Everyone was being much sweeter than I deserved. Especially, Marc... I smiled softly as his arm twitched subconsciously over my stomach as he slept. I gasped lightly as a feathery-light tickle danced across my stomach. Oh my god.. Was that?

“Marc...” I whispered shaking his arm. “Marc..” He blinked his eyes open, still half asleep.

“Wha?” He mumbled his eyes starting to close again.

“Feel this...” I smiled, placing his hand were I had felt it before; once again the bubbles danced across my skin, I grinned as Marc's eyes widened in surprise.

“Was that-?”

“Baby 'A'...” I giggled, wiping away falling tears with my thumb. Marc took over, moving my hands from my face and kissing tears off of my cheeks. “He's kicking...”

“Hey baby...” He cooed after kissing me quickly and moving his face closer to my bulging stomach. “I'm your daddy, remember. We talked once before.” I chuckled, running my fingers through his hair as he continued to talk to the boys; his soft voice allowing me to drift peacefully to sleep.

I woke the next morning to the smell of coffee and bacon lingering together. Opening my eyes, I found Max sitting in an arm chair next to the bed chuckling at the cartoon he was playing on TV, munching on a crispy piece of bacon.

“Morning...” He grinned through his mouthful of food. “Breakfast?” I moved to sit up in bed as Max held out a full plate of food to me. I stopped as I felt a weight pressing down just below my breasts; I glanced down to find Marc still lost in sleep.

“Maybe later.” I smiled, gently threading my fingers through Marc's hair; Max shrugged before turning back to the TV. We stayed there together for a moment; Max on the chair, me lying in bed, Marc lying between my babies and my breasts and Cooper curled up on his bed by the door. I chuckled softly as Max threw a piece of bread at Marc's head; Marc groaned softly pushing his head into my chest.

“Marc,” I groaned as he hit my sternum, “get up!”

“Sorry...” He mumbled, shifting position so he was curled right up against me; allowing me to accept the plate from Max. “'S that bacon?” Marc muttered lifting his head as I placed the plate on my tummy, using it as a handy table; I nodded offering him a piece, laughing as he took it right out of my fingers. “'S good...” He nodded, sounding a little more awake, as he began to pull himself up. I slapped at his hand as he moved to steal more of my bacon.

“I'm eating for three here.” Max chuckled before handing Marc his own plate over me.

“Don't worry, Flower, I feed all of my invalids.” He grinned turning back to the loud cartoon plastered on my TV. Marc grumbled slightly, taking the plate from Max before sitting back and mindlessly watching the TV with is friend. After another 5 minutes of this I finally snatched the remote control out of Max’s hands and turned the channel to the News. Both boys around me groaned through full mouths, causing me to glare at them both.

“The pregnant woman trapped to the bed controls this TV. You guys can go downstairs if you so choose.” I nodded, laughing as both men took their plates and started towards the stairs. “You two are stuck sorry...” I grinned rubbing large circles around my stomach.

I stood in my sons' room staring between the cribs, back and forth, back and forth. My heart ached, I mean, my heart literally hurt. I sunk to my knees as sobs began to rack my body, stealing any ounce of breath my lungs held at any point. I didn't hear the steps on the floor, or Cooper's barking, or growling as a pair of arms wrapped tightly around me as I struggled through sobs and gasps.

“O...t” I choked gasping in another ragged breath as I clutched onto the body clutching me.

“Abby...” Marc's smooth, calm voice finally broke through the thick fog of hurt and pain in my head. “Baby... talk to me... please.”

“O...t!” I screamed, pounding on his chest fruitlessly before breaking into sobs again, this time breaking into a coughing fit.

“MAX!” He called out of the room. “Grab a paper bag! HURRY!” I stopped fighting against him as my throat began to burn from the exertion. “It's ok, Abby... It's going to be ok...” He soothed into my hair, rubbing my back gently. “Here, baby... breathe into this.” He cooed placing the bag in front of my face as I took a few deep breaths, feeling my heart rate slowly start to lower.

“Out...” I whispered curling against him. “I need the doubles out.”

“What is she-” Max stopped, I assumed with a sharp glance from Marc. I pulled back to stare at Marc in the eyes.

“I can't have them in here, Marc. I need... I can't... Not two... No more.” I shook my head rapidly until he caught my chin in his hands and stopped me.

“Ok, Abby. I'll get rid of them. It's ok...” He kissed my forehead, pulling me tighter to him. “What were you doing in here anyways?”

“I just needed to be and it overwhelmed me...” I closed my eyes tightly against my next words. “He's not going to make it, Marc. My baby's going to die...” I whispered. He shook his head against me, holding me tighter to him.

“No... He's surviving, Abby. He's a fighter, just like his mommy.” He atoned before kissing my hair lightly. I bit my lip, refusing to argue with him. I already knew I was right, why cause more trouble then it was worth?

After lying in bed for a full three weeks, Dr. Cashman finally agreed to let me out of the house for small amounts of time. No strenuous activity, no work, no walking Cooper. Just out of the room, or house if I needed to go. I relished in this!

I started taking walks as often as I could escape from my captors; which wasn't often. I stood near the top of the stairs, leading to the basement, and heard Max shout.

“2-1 FLOWER! Battez-moi maintenant!” I chuckled not waiting for Marc's response as I tiptoed out of the back door, shushing Cooper with my finger against my lips as he whined from his spot near the island.

I breathed the fresh air deeply as I closed the gate behind me, stealing around the side of the house. I felt... sneaky... like I was fifteen again, trying to avoid going to yet another débutante thing my mother had tried to make me do. But it was delicious!

The air was warm as a breeze picked up, rushing through my air, as I headed towards my favourite place on our block. I had found, in my many walks with Cooper, the most beautiful cozy church. This was were I wanted to marry Marc; I just needed to go inside. I couldn't bring myself to enter it, as if going in would ruin the outside beauty. I took my normal seat on the bench across the street, staring at the magnificent stone and glass work that made up the front of the building.

“You know, it won't bite...” A voice caused me to tear my gaze away from the building's beauty and to a beauty of a different kind. “It's just a church.” He grinned easily, his teeth were so white, he could have modeled toothpaste.

“It's more than that...” I smiled back. “It's hope...” I sighed, moving my hand over my bludgeoning stomach.

“It's truth.” the beauty returned, running his hand through his slightly shaggy blond hair. Was this my angel I had prayed every night for?

“I don't think I'll be welcome...” I shrugged waving my bandless left hand at him. He chuckled his green eyes dancing at me.

“My boyfriend and I thought the same thing for the first few weeks. But we actually fit in very well. Come on. I'll introduce you to him.” He offered me a hand, that I took cautiously. “I'm Michael.” HA! I knew it! This was my angel.

“Abberleigh.” I smiled softly following my angel into the church; where the insides were even more magnificent then the outside. The stain glass painting gorgeous colours onto the floor and walls. The high vaulted ceilings providing a enlightened view out the skylight to the beauty of the sky.

“Abberleigh, this is my boyfriend, Gabriel.” Michael grinned pulling another beauty towards me. Gabriel's jet black hair flopped over his startling blue eyes; like ice with no impurities to be found.

“Let me guess... You're a musician.” I smiled softly, taking Gabriel's offered hand.

“I am, trumpet. How did you know that?” Gabriel glanced at me with astonishment. Were these guys seriously that... naive?

“Lucky guess...” I shrugged as Michael offered his arm to me, leading me towards the front of the church. “I really should go home. My fiancé's a little paranoid right now.”

“Did you tell him you were leaving?” Gabriel asked, causing me to nod, remembering the note left on the table.

“Does he know how much you love this church?” Michael was next as the three of us sat on the very front pew; me as the centerpiece. Again I nodded slightly, causing Gabriel and Michael to exchange knowing glances. “Then there's no problem, stop worrying. We'll take care of you.” Michael soothed, causing me to sigh softly as the pastor started towards the front of the church; pausing directly in front of us.

“Michael, you brought someone new with you today.” The older man smiled sweetly at me.

“Yes, Pastor Raphael, I did. This is Aberleigh.” Michael nodded at me as I furrowed my brow in concentration. It was just coincidence that the last three people I'd met, the only three people I've met surrounding this church, just happen to have the names of arch angels... Right?

“Hello, Aberleigh. It's a pleasure having you and your babies at Mount Zion Alliance.” Pastor Raphael smiled sincerely.

“Thank you, Pastor Raphael. You have a beautiful church here.” I sighed in awe of my surroundings.

“We pray, God hears our prayers. We are but blessed few to hear His response.” He smiled staring at a spot just above my head. He seemed nice enough, even if he was a little... off.

The service was short, but beautifully poignant. I mean how simple was it to know that you are loved. And yet not one of us believes we're worthy of that love. I shook Pastor Raphael's hand as we started to leave, thanking him for his message.

“Don't thank me, Aberleigh, thank God. Bring your fiancé. I would love to talk to you both about your wedding.” I nodded dumbfounded as I headed out of the church with Michael and Gabriel flanking me protectively.

“Thank you guys for letting me join you today.” I gave both of my angels' arms a squeeze as we bounced down the stairs to find a frantic Marc running towards us.

“Abby!” He yelled as I pulled away from my angels before Marc engulfed me in his arms. “I didn't know where you were! I was so worried. I thought something happened... Are you? Are they...?” He pressed, smoothing my hair down with his hand as if that was the only thing keeping him together.

“Marc... I'm fine. I was at the church.” I motioned behind me and laughed as Michael and Gabriel waved at us. “The babies are find, Marc. We're all good.” I chuckled as I audibly heard him sigh in relief. “Come here, I want to introduce you to my two new friends.” I pulled him towards the boys, stopping and turning first to Michael. “Marc, this is Michael. He was the one to encourage me to go.” I watched as Marc sized the larger man up before shaking his hand. “And this... is Michael's boyfriend Gabriel.”

“B-boyfriend?” Marc choked on his words as I glanced at him incredulously. “As in... gay?”

“Yah... Gabriel and I have been together for about three years now.” Michael smiled at Gabriel, as the other man pulled him in close for a sweet kiss, causing my eyes to well with tears.

“Aww..” I sniffed, letting Marc pull me into his chest. “You guys are just so cute.” The three men around me laughed as I wiped escaping tears from my cheeks.

“Abby... Why are you crying?” Marc pondered kissing the top of my head lightly.

“It's your fault,” I accused, playfully hitting his chest. “Your babies reek havoc on my emotions.” I mumbled against him, breathing in the soapy scent of his shirt, crossed with the spicy scent of him. Divine. “We should go home, Marc... I want to lay down for a bit...” I turned my face to look up at him. His brow furrowed in worry as he brushed hair from my face.

“Is everything ok, Abby? Babies? Are you hurting anywhere?” His concern was palpable as he placed a hand to my stomach, our boys responding my shoving an elbow or knee in that general direction.

“Minus the fact that your kids are trying to kick the crap out of me.” I laughed through a groan. “My back's a little sore from standing so long. I just want to lay down. Maybe... get a massage?” I pouted hopefully as he chuckled nodding.

“It was nice meeting you guys. Michael, Gabriel... Thanks for taking good care of my Abby.” Marc nodded at them, shaking their hands once more.

“Any time, Marc-Andre.” Gabriel smiled softly at both of us. “You both should come to service next week. Pastor Raphael I'm sure would love to see you both there.”

“We'll definitely keep that in mind, Gabriel, thanks.” I smiled, waving at the two men as Marc and I headed back towards our house.

Sighing contentedly I leaned back against Marc's strong chest as he dragged a wash cloth over my stomach. This was honestly the best way to spend an afternoon. Just me and Marc in a tub full of bubbles.

“You know...” Marc murmured into my neck, the vibrations making me shiver gently. “We still need names...”

“Ok... what are you thinking of...?” I sighed softly as he massaged my lower back gently.

“Andre for sure...” He mused. “It's kinda tradition. You know?” I tilted my head up to him. “But we need a name to put with it.”

“Benoit...” I whispered into the air. “It means blessed.” He smiled and nodded as I stared up at the ceiling. “Dominic John...” I sighed into thin air.

“Dominic...” He whispered, leaning over my shoulder. “Hi Andre-Benoit... Salut Dominic...” My smile grew as I felt his lips brush my collarbone.

Coming Soon

There is a post coming. I SWEAR! It's 85% written... Hopefully tomorrow.... Well today....

I promise before the weekend is over there will be an OTI post. Just hold on a little bit longer.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


**Just an advance note: I'm sorry about how short this one is... I struggled with it alot and just want to apologise for it... better updates coming your way soon lol**

“Marc...” I felt someone gently shaking my arm, causing me to open my eyes; blinking against the light. Abby was snuggled up in the hospital bed, giving me a weak smile. “Morning...”

“Hey...” I said, stretching my soar body out; trying to work out the kinks from last night. “Did the doctor come in yet?” She started to shake her head as the door opened.

“Good morning...” Dr. Cashman said, taking the seat across from me, I reached out and grabbed Abby‘s hand as he rifled through some paperwork. “I have your lab results back. Baby B seems to be a very healthy baby boy... Baby A however...” Abby grabbed my hand tightly as she inhaled sharply, the doctor looked at me and I nodded for him to keep going. “Baby A seems to have DiGeorge's Syndrome. It's a genetic disorder that causes a lot of havoc on young children. In this case, it's his lungs. They're about half the developmental stage as his brother's.” Genetic? Genetic disorder… oh my god… I did this to him… my son could die, and it’s all my fault.

My guilt became unbearable as I looked over at Abby; who was on the verge of tears. “What do we do?” I asked, trying to keep my voice steady.

“Well, we can abort Baby A... but there's a chance of loosing Baby B as well in that.”

“No... no abortions. No surgeries. He's a fighter. We'll pull through.” Emotion began to choke me at her proclamation, forming a lump in the middle of my throat; making it hard to draw a full breath. “I need to go home. I want to at home.”

“Aberleigh...” The doctor and I sighed at the same time.

I locked eyes with her as Dr. Cashman continued. “You need to be on strict bed rest. Bathroom only.” She nodded slowly, our faces both mirroring masks of complete devastation.

Genetic. Disorder. Abortion. I tried to focus on something concrete, something that made sense; something I could concentrate on. “We'll have to call off the wedding...” I said numbly, unable to think of anything else to say.

Abby didn’t protest when I lifted her out of the SUV; nor when I carried her through the front door and into the living room. I set her down gently on the couch and headed into the kitchen.
I wanted to hold her, kiss her, protect her; but I couldn’t - I was a coward. I disappeared around the corner, praying that she wouldn’t come looking for me. I dropped down onto the floor.

Why was this happening? I wasn’t a religious man, not by any means; but my mother had always said that god never gave us more than we could handle… It didn’t feel that way though. Why does there always have to be something? Why can’t we just have healthy, happy babies?

Sons. I grinned through me tears, resting my chin in my hands as I sat on the floor. My two boys… “Sons…” I whispered out loud, unable to hold it in any longer.
I sighed, pushing myself off the floor and wiping the tears off my face. I took a few deep breaths, trying to erase the sadness from my face before I made my way back to Abby.

When I came back around the corner I saw Abby sitting on the couch, Cooper’s head laying in her lap. She took a deep breath and then bent forward; her face nuzzling into Coop’s neck. I heard her begin to sob and watched as her body started to shake with the force of her pain. “Oh Abby…” I moaned, fresh tears beginning to pool in my eyes again.
I took off towards her, sitting beside her and pulling her towards me. “It’s gonna be ok baby… you're right; he’s a fighter, we’ll get through this.”

She wrapped her arms around my neck, clutching to me as her started to pool against my neck. “My baby Marc… not my baby…”

“Je vous promets, quoi qu'il arrive, nous allons passer à travers cette.” I pulled away from Abby, unable to hid my fear any longer. I gently placed my hands on her tiny baby bump. “S'il vous plaît ne meurent pas… please…” I kissed her stomach before moving up to her face; taking her neck in my hands and kissing her passionately through the salt of tears.

“Are you sure you’re going to be ok?” I nodded slowly, shifting my crutched under my weight as I stood at the front door with Sidney.

“Yah… No… I don’t know…” I took a deep breath, willing myself not to cry.

Sidney gave me a pat on the back. “It’s gonna work out Flower, alright? Anything you need… just give me a shout.” I nodded again, giving him a weak smile as he opened the door to leave. “Max?”

“Hey Sid!” He grinned, carrying a large bag under his arm.

“Umm… what’s that?” I asked Max as he pushed past me, heading for the stairs.

“Oh, I’m moving in… just taking my stuff upstairs to the guest bed… unless you want me to sleep in Abby’s room.” I exhaled loudly, sighing as I slowly followed him up the stairs.

We rounded the corner and continued down the hall. When we reached the guest bedroom he threw his stuff down on the bed and turned around to grin at me. “Why are you moving in, Max?”

He rolled his eyes at me before taking off down the hall towards my room. “Look… you’re a cripple, Abby’s on bed rest and Cooper’s gonna starve to death if you don’t have an able body in this house. I’m your able body!”
He threw open the door to reveal Abby laid up on the bed.

“Max! What are you doing?” She groaned as he flopped down on the bed beside her.

“I’m moving in! Dani told me to… alright well, maybe not exactly but; I can take a hint.” I expected Abby to protest, but she didn’t; sighing she rolled over, pulling the blankets up around her.

“Fine… but you’re not sleeping in here!”

I sat with Max on the couch, watching him flip through the channels while I tried to relax. “So… you’re like… alright?”

I nodded my head, closing my eyes. “I’m fine Max.”

“Alright. Just…. If you wanna have a chick talk… about feelings, and stuff…” I opened my eyes to stare at him, he shrugged in response.

Closing my eyes again, I let out a sigh. “They said it was genetic… what’s wrong with him, I mean. Is this my fault? Did I make him sick? Is this fate’s way of telling me that I don‘t deserve to be a father?”

“Flower… no. No. These things just happen sometimes, it’s not your fault. And hey, if anyone should be a father it’s you… you’re gonna spoil those little flower buds rotten. Both of them.”

“I hope you’re right…” I mumbled softly, keeping my eyes shut tight as tears began to threaten them.

“Marc…” Abby whispered in the darkness, as she laid next to me in our bed. “I’m scared, I don’t… I don’t know what to do…”

“We’ll get through this Abby, I promise… we’ll figure something out. Like you said, we’re fighters, remember?” I rolled onto my side and pulled her against me, hugging her tightly; trying to hide the pain in my voice. “I love you so much.”

“I love you too.” She sobbed; her hands clutching onto my tightly as she nuzzled her face into my neck.

I listened to Abby sleeping; wrapped in my arms; my hand resting protectively on her stomach. My sons were in there, snug and safe - for now - but knowing that might change for one of them, was terrifying.
They were so close to me, so small, so innocent; but I couldn’t defend them. For all the things I had ever worked for in my life, I couldn’t do anything to protect the two little boys that were depending on me - that was my last thought as I fell asleep.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Other Shoe


I paced in front of the coffee table, Cooper pacing at my side, and Marc lying on the couch with his ankle up, as I chewed on my thumb nail.

“Abby... Just call them. Get it over with...” He sighed causing me to stop briefly and look at him.

“Marc, my parents aren't normal parents. Lucy and Emma will be excited, and will probably try to come to Pittsburgh if they can get away from Mum and Daddy. But my parents aren't going to be excited about this.” I sighed, pacing again, Cooper stopped me with a loud bark. I looked down at him as he whined, pushing the portable phone towards me. I sighed deeply as I took the portable phone in my hands and dialed the familiar numbers, holding it to my ear tightly.

“Abby...” Marc groaned. “C'mon, put it on speaker.” I cringed lightly hitting the button for speaker phone, and starting to pace again. It rang again, and again, until finally on the fifth ring the answering machine clicked on.

“You have reached the Michaels' residence,” Lucy's voice softly soaked through the room as I grabbed the phone, taking it off speaker to leave the message. “No one is here to take your call. Leave your name, number and a brief message and someone will return your call as soon as possible.”

“Mum... Daddy... It's Aberleigh. I'm calling...” I took a deep breath and glanced at Marc, who nodded encouragingly. “Well... I'm calling to tell you that we got engaged. So we're getting married. But also... I... Well... I'm pregnant.” I blurted out with an exasperated breath. “So... I guess... I'll talk to you later. Bye...” I disconnected the phone, tossing it on the floor before gently laying on top of Marc, burying my face against his chest.

“There... that wasn't so bad.” He laughed, rubbing my back gently. “What?” He exclaimed as I turned a glare up to him. “You survived. The babies survived... Life is good.” He shrugged easily kissing the top of my head. Cooper came right up to the couch and Marc's face as he began to growl softly.

“Cooper.” I scolded softly, climbing off of Marc carefully. “Down boy. That's Daddy.” I sighed, tapping the dog's nose with my index finger. “What do you want for lunch, Marc?”

“A ham sandwich if we have any ham left would be awesome.” He called after me as the dog trotted into the kitchen.

“And what would you like, Cooper? Some ham?” I laughed as he barked once, sitting nicely by the sink. I pulled open the fridge door and took out a loaf of bread, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and the large ham I had made the day before. I cut a hunk off for Cooper, tossing it easily to him. I threw two sandwiches together quickly, placing them on plates before filling two large glasses with lemonade and carrying my spoils back to the living room.

Marc had pulled himself into a sitting position as I brought in the food, placing it on the table in front of us. I smiled softly as he kissed my cheek in thanks before digging in.

“Abby... Come on! It'll be good for us...” Marc sighed following me and the laundry basket up the stairs towards the bedroom.

“I just don't know, Marc... Maybe we should talk to Dr. Cashman first. I mean... What if-” He stopped my worry with his index finger, causing me to sigh gently.

“No what ifs. No problems, no worries. I was cleared. We can go. You don't see Dr. Ashby for another week and a half, and your appointment with Dr. Cashman is in another two weeks. It's the perfect timing... Please baby...?” He pleaded, bating his long lashes at me. I laughed and shook my head at him as I started to fold the laundry.

“Ok, Marc. We can go to Fiji now... Book the flights.” Marc whooped for joy as he hobbled out of the room on his crutches to find the phone and make the plans. “Your daddy's crazy...” I whispered rubbing the small bump between my hips.

“Abbs let me take that...” Sidney's voice broke through my thoughts as he took a tray full of food from my hands. “Should you even be lifting that?” He asked concerned as we both headed downstairs into the bar.

“I don't know, Sidney... But who else is going to lift these things? Marc?” He laughed gently as we entered the large room where most of the team, and management had gathered. I smiled tiredly at Marc as he leaned against his crutches playing foosball with Jordan, Geno, and Max.

“Ok, you have a point. But Abbs, with everyone here… Let us help.” I smiled, squeezing his forearm in thanks as I made my way over to Marc and the boys.

“Who's winning?” I whispered, kissing the underside of Marc's jaw.

“Jordan and Geno. But not by much.” He grunted, completely infatuated with the game in front of him. I sighed softly, rubbing his back absently as I moved back to some of the others.

“Aberleigh, you look utterly exhausted dear.” Nathalie Lemieux wrapped her arm around my shoulders as I tried to keep in another sigh. “Why don't you go and have a nap? Those babies need you to be healthy.” I smiled softly up at her before nodding.

“I think you're right, Nathalie. A nap does sound good.” I let her lead me to the bottom of the stairs before I glanced back at Marc.

“Don't worry, I'll tell him where you went.” She reassured me before shooing me up the steps. “Besides the way those boys play, he could be another half an hour.” We both laughed gently as I headed up both sets of stairs and climbed, fully clothed into bed, curling up to my chocolate lab, drifting off to sleep.

I groaned as someone shook me gently, pulling the soft, fluffy pillow closer to me. The shaking just got stronger as I let go of my pillow and rolled over, opening my eyes to find Marc hovering over me.

“Hey...” I whispered, rubbing the sleep out my eyes before sitting up slowly.

“Hey...” He smiled kissing me softly, causing Cooper, my pillow, to growl. “Shut up, Coop.” He mumbled against my lips, rubbing my lower back gently. “You have a visitor at the front door.” He whispered softly letting me go. I looked at him curiously as he took my hands and pulled me off the bed. “Just go.” He grinned leading me to the door, Cooper right behind us.

“Mum?” I gasped as I rounded the corner to find my mother standing in the doorway. Cooper instantly jumped between us, growling at the strange woman. “What are you doing here?”

“I got your message, Aberleigh.” She sneered at Cooper, waving her light driving glove at him, even though she hadn't been driving. “You have a... thing...”

“His name is Cooper. And he's a dog, Mum.” I sighed, placing my hand on the top of Cooper's head. She waved her hand dismissively as her stern eye trained on me.

“You've put on weight.” She observed, causing Marc to groan gently. I took his hand in mine and gave him a reassuring squeeze.

“Mum, I'm pregnant; I should be putting on weight. I'm having twins, so weight is a good thing.” I sighed, motioned for her to come inside. “Why don't you come in, so we can talk? You can meet some of our friends.”

“You have guests? Please, forgive me. I'll come back.” My mother apologized, turning back towards the door. I looked at Marc in utter shock. My mother apologized??

“Please, Veronica, we'd really like for you to meet some of these people. My boss and his wife are here, I'm sure they'd be honoured to meet you.” My mother smoothed her skirt down before handing her jacket, hat and gloves to Marc and marching into the kitchen. Both Marc and I rolled our eyes, Marc placing the items on the couch before following her into the kitchen.

My mother sat awkwardly on a couch downstairs, not talking to anyone, minus Braeden, not eating anything, and taking small sips of her glass of water, which was not sparkling or served from a fancy glass bottle. I finally had seen enough and moved to the other side of her, sitting on the couch, stifling a yawn.

“You’ve gained weight beyond this pregnancy, Aberleigh; I can see it in your face.” She noted, staring at the wall in front of us. I sighed gently before starting my rebuttal.

“I have… Mum, I have bulimia. It’s pretty bad. And it’s taken me a long time to be ok with my weight gain. And I’m trying really hard to stay okay with this weight gain.” I studied my ceiling intently not wanting to see her reaction before I heard it.

“What are you saying, Aberleigh?” Her voice may have been hard as steel but there was definitely a waver in it. I took a deep breath trying to decide my best course of action.

“What she’s saying, Mum.” Braeden’s voice beat me to the punch as my eyes flew open in shock at him. “Is that she needs you to back off and let her be.” I watched mum for her reaction as she sighed softly.

“Okay… I can do that. But Aberleigh, you’re not married, and you’re having children.””We’re going to get married, Mum… The planning was just too much right now. With everything that was happening, Marc and I both just wanted to take some time and do this right.” She began to smile slowly, which wasn’t always a good thing with my mother, a twinkle set softly in her eye.

“Well, if it was the planning that was the issue… Then you don’t mind if I do a little planning myself, do you?” My mouth moved to speak, but no words would come out. My brain was frozen, like no matter how much warm water was poured over it, it wasn't thawing.

“That would be awesome, Veronica. Thanks.” Marc's voice caused me to jerk my head around to face him, glaring. “What? Abby, you're tired all the time now. Nothing's getting done... and if your mom wants to help plan her only daughter's wedding why not?” My eyes narrowed, causing my lips to pucker into a grimace as I vowed to myself to make sure he saw why this was a bad idea. My mother, on the other hand, was radiant.

“Oh good!” She crowed clapping her hands together. “I spoke to Father Edmund at Saint Patrick's, now you know how hard it is to get into that church; but Aberleigh, he was so excited to do your wedding. So I need you and Marc to meet with him on Saturday before mass. And please, dear... wear something... loose... that day. No need to let the priest know why it's a quick engagement.”

“Quick engagement? Mum, we were planning for next summer. Not this year.” I turned towards her slowly, Braeden sending me a look of pure fear over her head.

“Oh pssh, Aberleigh. I will not have my grandchildren come into this world out of wedlock.” She scolded me, pulling out a large filofax and flipping it open to the right page. “Now... plan to be in New York that weekend. We have a lot to do.” I sighed leaning back against the couch and covering my eyes. “Marc, dear, bring your mother. I'm sure she'll want to know what's going on.” I covered my eyes briefly to see Marc nod mutely. Coward. “Aberleigh, we have a dress fitting with Vera early Sunday, and then the caterer, the cake, and we have to choose a spot in central park for the reception. Oh, Aberleigh! The Governor has already RSVP'd!” She squealed excitedly causing me to sigh deeply as I felt a gentle kiss on my forehead.

“It won't be that bad...” Marc whispered into my ear. “Let her have her fun.”

“This means no Fiji, Marc... I guess we have to wait for our honeymoon.” I laughed as he groaned before leaving me in my mother's evil grasp and taking Braeden, my only refuge with him.

New York was exactly how I remembered it. Big, loud, dirty and impersonal. I sighed deeply as we stood on the steps of the imposing Saint Patrick's Cathedral, Marc in complete awe, me? Petrified. I hadn't been back to this church in years. Since I had moved from my parents home.

“Ready?” Marc whispered as he squeezed my hand gently.

“I don't really have a choice in the matter...” I sighed, starting up the steps slowly.

“Little Aberleigh Michaels!” Father Edmund met us just inside the door, pulling me into a brief hug. “It's been too long.”

“It has, Father. How have you been?” I smiled the same smile I gave this man since I was six. He seriously creeped me out.

“All is as well as it can be. The church survives, it's people... survive. So it is not for me to complain in what God has provided.” I nodded piously, before elbowing Marc in the ribs for giggling at the last comment. Honestly, sometimes these boys truly were children. “This must be the infamous Marc your mother was tell me about.”

“Yes, Father Edmund, this is my fiancée Marc-Andre Fleury.” I smiled as the two men shook hands before the priest lead us into a room off of the rectory.

“Now when did you to get engaged?” He began as he sat behind an imposing oak desk, motioning to us to take seats in the smaller chairs across from him.

“Beginning of March...” Marc smiled squeezing my hand gently.

“And Marc were you raised Roman Catholic?” My eyes widened as I glanced over at Marc. Religion was never a topic we discussed. Both of us avoiding it rather successfully. I didn't know if he believed in God.

“High Anglican...” He answered smoothly. “I was an alter boy for a few years until hockey got too busy.” I smiled softly, giving his hand another squeeze as Marc and Father Edmund started into a deep discussion on dogma.

I cringed, hiding myself against Marc as my mother stood from the table in the restaurant 'yoohoo'ing us towards her, France, and Marylene.

“How was mass, Aberleigh?” She smiled softly as I took the seat Marc pulled out for me.

“Refreshing, Mother. How was flower shopping?” I narrowed my eyes at her, wondering how much say she let the other two women have. What was she plotting?

“Abby, we picked out the nicest flowers! You like white, right? I mean of course you do. But it's so nice, and not overpowering and my bouquet is so nice!” Marylene jumbled on faster then a five year old at camp.

“What did you do, feed her coffee?” Marc laughed watching his sister closely.

“Just an espresso...” My mother shrugged before turning back to her drink.

“Have you two discussed your guest lists?” France's voice jolted me out of my wondering what my mother was actually up to.

“Guest lists?” Marc asked looking over at me worried.

“It's easy... The team... Danielle... Vero, Mary, your parents... Braeden, my parents” I shrugged as Marc visibly relaxed. “Who else do we need?”

“Well Governor Paterson and Senators Gillibrand and Schumer will be there with their significant others will be there. As well as the McCallums, and the Montgomerys. Aberleigh, did you honestly think your father and I couldn't invite these people?” She sighed shaking her perfectly coiffed hair at me as my shoulders slumped slightly.

“So much for my quiet wedding...” I mumbled under my breath, sighing deeply.

“Well we are paying for this Aberleigh. And you do want your daddy to walk you down the aisle, don't you?” She sneered as my eyes snapped up to hers in shock.

“You're serious? Daddy won't walk me down the aisle unless I do this your way?” I pushed my chair back roughly, shaking my head as tears gently hit my cheeks. “Plan it with out me then, Mother. Dress and all. I'll email Vera my measurements. Just tell me when and where. Better yet. Send me an invitation.” I spat, spinning on my heel and starting back the five blocks to the hotel.

“Abby... Abby, wait!” I heard Marc call, causing me to slow my pace slightly as he caught up quickly on his crutches.

“I don't want to talk about it, Marc. I just want to go home. I want to see Cooper again.” I sighed as he tugged on my arm, making me stop.

“Abby, we don't have to do this if you don't want to. We can have it at our place, or even Mario's...” He sighed as I shook my head, curling into his arms.

“Every girl dreams of their daddy walking them down the aisle, Marc. Even me.” He laughed kissing the top of my head. “We'll just give her that day and escape right after. Take me home.” I looked up at him, smiling as his kissed the tip of my nose.

“Your wish is my command.” He atoned as we made our way to the hotel to pack and leave.

The sun beat down on me as I lay on a lawn chair by the pool in the back yard, Cooper sighing lazily beside me.

“It's almost summer, Coop. Marc comes home from Montreal tomorrow with the team. See the doctor about my beautiful babies on Wednesday. Life is just about perfect.” I smiled into the sky as Cooper thumped his tail in agreement. I rubbed my rounding belly softly as I glanced down at it, smiling. “My two perfect babies... with my perfect dog and my perfect fiancée.”

“Abby!” Marc's voice rang through the house as I climbed out of the chair and ran full force at him.

“You're home!” I cried hugging him tightly as he threw a crutch down to hold me. “Why are you home so early?” I looked up at him cautiously.

“I missed you. I didn't want to stay away any longer... The guys won, in regulation, so we caught an earlier flight. Everyone had a somewhere's else to be. And mine was right here with my three favourite people.” He sighed, leaning in to kiss me. Following his lead I tip toed up to meet him half way. “Babe... did you get bigger?” He pulled back, grinning like a fool as he ran his hands down to my ballooning stomach. I bit my lower lip gently as I nodded slightly.

“I had to buy maternity pants with Dani yesterday. I can't fit in any of my suits.” I laughed showing Marc the spandex top of the pants I was wearing. “It's really embarrassing.”

“Nah...” His grin took up his entire face as he leaned down to kiss my stomach. “I think it's awesome.” He moved again to kiss my stomach as Cooper appeared at my side growling loudly.

“Cooper!” I scolded as Marc stepped back slightly.

Marc and I sat in the small examining room, clutching to each other's hands, what had started as something exciting turned into something terrifying in seconds. My ultrasound was done and had been looked at by three different nurses and Dr. Cashman before we were told to wait in this overly sterile room for Dr. Cashman to come back, he wanted to order more tests. More tests for what? What was wrong with my babies?!

“Mr. Fleury... Miss Michaels...” Dr. Cashman nodded at both of us as he came into the room looking serious. “I want to schedule you for an amniocentesis this afternoon, Miss Michaels. To rule out some things.” I nodded slowly as he wrote some notes into my chart before passing it off to an awaiting nurse. “Debbie's going to go with you both to Magee-Women's Hospital. They're going to admit you for the night, Miss Michaels. It's just until we know the results and can make further decisions.” I nodded numbly against Marc as he pulled me tightly against him. “Do either of you have any questions?”

“Are my babies ok?” I whispered, not trust myself to stay strong if I was any louder.

“That's what we're trying to make sure of...” The doctor reassured me, patting my knee gently.

“Marc... Poor Cooper... We should call Braeden...” I looked up at him sadly as Debbie came in and led us down the hallway towards the hospital.

The next morning I woke up with a kink in my back. I stretched, twisting to try and get the kink out. I glanced around the room, trying to remember where I was as I found Marc sleeping in an uncomfortable looking chair.

“Marc...” I reached over and shook his arm gently as he blinked his eyes open. “Morning...”

“Hey...” He whispered, stretching. “Did the doctor come in yet?” I shook my head as the door opened and Dr. Cashman walked through.

“Good morning...” He smiled before sitting in the chair across from Marc. “I have your lab results back.” I looked down at Marc as I clutched his hand tightly in mine. “Baby B seems to be a very healthy baby boy... Baby A however...” My breath caught in my throat as Marc nodded for the doctor to continue. “Baby A seems to have DiGeorge's Syndrome. It's a genetic disorder that causes a lot of havoc on young children. In this case, it's his lungs.” The doctor sighed giving us a chance to disgest the news. My baby's lungs weren't developing? “They're about half the developmental stage as his brother's.”

“What do we do?” Marc asked, as I placed my left hand on my stomach, biting back tears.

“Well, we can abort Baby A.. But there's a chance of loosing Baby B as well in that.”

“No...” I whispered. “No abortions. No surgeries. He's a fighter. We'll pull through.” I looked up at Marc, tears streaming down my cheeks as my eyes hardened. “I need to go home. I want to at home.”

“Aberleigh...” Marc and Dr. Cashman sighed at the same time.

“You need to be on strict bed rest.” Dr. Cashman urged. “Bathroom only.” I nodded still holding Marc's gaze with mine.

“We'll have to call off the wedding...” Marc mused, turning back to the doctor to get the rest of the instructions.

Marc carried me into the house gently placing me on the couch before disappearing into the kitchen. The ride home had been eerily silent, neither of us wanting to break through the thin walls holding the other person together.

Cooper gently rested his snout on my thigh, sighing as I rubbed his head gently, tears falling onto his chestnut-y fur. My mourning of my baby's health finally taking over me as I allowed myself to sob into the dogs soft fur.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Big Announcement

“When did the cribs get finished?” I jumped at the sound of Max’s voice, turning around to see him jogging down the stairs.

“Wha- where- how did you get in here?” I sputtered as he jumped over the back of the couch, landing beside me and kicking his feet up onto the coffee table.

“Backdoor… are you gonna eat that?” I sighed and shook my head, handing over my untouched bowl of Coco Puffs. I watched him shovel a few mouthfuls in before glancing at the stairs.

“So the cribs are done? I asked, wondering when that had happened - wondering why Abby felt the need to do that.

He nodded, “Yep. They look good too… who’d you get to do them?”

“Hey! What makes you think I didn’t do them?”

“I just said- they look good.” I glared at him, smacking the back of his head and causing him to choke on a mouthful of cereal.

“Hey… they do look good…” I nodded, standing in the middle of the make-shift nursery next to Max.

“Wonder if they’re sturdy… Marc… get in it.” He turned around, grabbing onto me and pushing me towards one of the cribs.

“What?” I turned around and swatted his hands away, staring at his in amazement. “You want me to get in my baby’s bed?”

“Yah… you wanna make sure they’re safe, right?”

“That might be the dumbest idea you’ve ever had… and you’ve had a lot…”

He sighed, exuberantly, throwing his hands out to the side. We stood there for a moment longer before a grin spread across his face. “Hey Cooper!”

“No Max! Not the dog!” I groaned as I watched him dash out of the room, chasing the over energetic ‘puppy’ down the hall. He returned a minute later; his arms wrapped around all 70lbs of furry insanity.

“He’s getting pretty big, eh?” He grinned at me, leaning backwards until he could get Cooper in the crib.
Finally manoeuvring him into the crib he stepped back, hands out, ready to grab Cooper if anything went south.
The crib hold steady, causing Max to clap his hands together and grin at me. “See… safe!”

“Umm… what are you doing with my dog?” I laughed out loud as I looked past Max to see Abby standing in the door way. In acknowledgement of her presence, Cooper jumped up - paws on the railing - and begun barking frantically.

Max looked back and forth between Abby and I; both of our looks a mixture of amusement and exasperation. “Seriously… this is the last time I try to do something nice for you people…”

“So… there’s a reason that Cooper’s in the crib?” Abby asked cautiously, walking into the room.

“Yah… we wanted to make sure that the cribs were safe!”

“We?” I muttered under my breath as Abby stretched up to kiss my cheek.

Cooper - sick of being contained - jumped out of the crib and onto the floor with a loud thud. He trotted up to Abby, wagging his tail, as she reached down to scratch his ears. “Alright baby, I gotta get going… practice. I’ll see you after ok?”

She nodded, turning her attention from the dog to me; giving me another kiss - this time on the lips. Cooper started to growl suddenly, causing me to pull back from Abby and glance down at him. “What’s wrong Coop?” Abby asked quietly as he continued to growl up at me.

“And it’s Jordan Staal… coming in on the net; ready to score his record breaking 300th goal of the season…” I sighed as I watch Staalsy feint in front of me, before I brought up my glove and stopped the shot easily. “Aww…” he groaned, his brow furrowing as he skated behind the net; shoulders slumped.

“Hey boys… let’s play a game!” Sidney shouted from the other end of the ice as Coach skated off the ice; signalling the end of practice. I nodded along with everyone else. I wanted to get home but it’d been such a long time since I was able to just play hockey for fun.

The guys divided themselves off while I waited - arms slung over the net. Once the teams were picked and the play started; everyone moved off to the other end of the ice, leaving me alone.

I laughed as Geno clotheslined Jordan - laying him flat on his back - before tripping Sidney and scoring for my team. The play moved back to our end of the net; puck leading as the guys punched, tripped and laughed their way towards me. Shaking my head and I tried to focus; praying Geno didn’t clothesline me as well.

I saw Sidney go down first, under Gonchar, who was stumbling off of a trip by TK. What I didn’t see was Sidney’s stick hook Staal on the way down; but I did feel him take my feet out from under me.
At the same time that Jordan was slamming into my legs, McKee’s knee found my shoulder; slamming into me hard enough that my top half flipped over - my ankle still caught under Jordan.

My eyes went wide at the strain on my awkwardly angled ankle; I breathed a sigh of relief that it wasn’t broken - the pain wasn’t that bad. Groaning I tried to get up, chuckling slightly as I turned my head; everyone was apparently taken out in that. “PILE UP!” I heard Max scream from somewhere beyond the bodies.
I heard a grunt and a number of groans as Max jumped on top of heap. The complaints of my team-mates was drowned out though, by the sound of a snap and a scream - my scream.

“I am so sorry… so sorry!” Max groaned for the hundredth time as he paced back and forth in front of the couch, that I was currently held-up on.

“I know Max! It’s ok… we’ve been over this… I know you didn’t do it on purpose.” I sighed, looking away from him. I was mad, pissed, furious; but not at him. I tried to keep my emotions in check; I wasn’t mad at Max, just at the situation. It was broken, and I wasn’t going to be able to finish the season, or go to the playoffs. Abby was out, so she didn’t even know yet - could I be a worse boyfriend?
She has to go through her eat disorder, being pregnant, and now having a gimp as a fiancée.

“Umm… Abby’s home… maybe I should… go.” He shifted uncomfortably on his feet before jogging up to the front door; opening it just as Abby reached out for the doorknob. “See ya!” He chirped before taking off outside.

Abby watched him depart before closing the door and turning around to face me. “What was that ab- oh my god, Marc! Are you ok?” I sighed as she ran over to me, dropping her shopping on the ground.

“Yes… no…” I shook my head and shifted my body over to make room for her. “I’m fine but, it’s broken… I’m done for the rest of the season.”

“Oh Marc! I’m so sorry… what happened?”

After explaining about the morning practice and what had happened to my ankle; I laid beside Abby on the couch, curled up around her. “You know… we’re gonna have to tell our parents at some point… about the engagement, and the babies.” I felt her shudder slightly against me as I held her; she clearly didn’t like that idea. “It won’t be too bad babe… here, I’ll go first.”
I reached over her, grabbing the portable phone off the coffee table. I dialed in my parent’s number; switching it to speaker phone once it started ringing. “Hey mom!” I yelled loudly, causing Abby to let out a nervous laugh as my mom’s voice answered back through the phone.

“Marc! I wasn’t expecting this!”

“I have news… great news and better news… which do you want first?”

“What are you talking about? Where’s Abby?” I laughed at my mom’s lack of concern for me.

“She’s right here mom… we’re getting married…” I said, unable to stop myself from grinning. It was short lived though, and my face fell into a grimace as my mom started screaming into the phone for my father. “Ok listen, calm down. Mom… mom! I have something else to tell you.”

“Shh Marc! This is important, I’m talking to your father!” By the sound of her voice, I was now on speaker phone too.

“How’s it goin Grandpa?” I shouted over mom’s excitement; causing them to both fall silent.

“What?” My dad asked slowly, I could picture the confusion on his face.

I wanted to edge them on, have some fun with it; but I was too excited to finally tell them. “Abby’s pregnant… we’re having twins!”

My mom had screamed about the wedding; but it was nothing compared to this. I set the phone back down on the coffee table, laughing quietly as I pulled Abby against me. “I told you they’d be excited…” I grinned into her neck, kissing her gently as my parents continued to celebrate through the phone.

We both laughed as we collapsed on the bed. “Ok… tomorrow you’re sleeping on the couch.” Abby laughed beside me. I nodded in response; who knew climbing the stairs in a cast could be so much work?
Abby got out of the bed and started undressing, changing into a pair of green cotton briefs and one of my t-shirts. She crawled into bed next to me, snuggling into my side as I draped my arms around her.

I sighed softly into the top of her head, allowing my hands to roam underneath the baggy grey shirt. “Marc…” She whined, shifting her body to look up at me. “You have a broken ankle.”

“And a sexy fiancé.” I countered, earning a grin from her. She pushed herself upwards until we were facing to face; wrapping her arms around my neck and allowing me full access to her face and neck.
I dragged my hand along her stomach, over the tiny baby bump that was starting to form.
She giggled at my touch, kicking her leg over my waist and pulling herself up on top of me. I moaned quietly in satisfaction when I felt her weight press down on my erection; watching her as she shifted her hips in small tight circles.
I grabbed the bottom of her shirt, pulling it off before cupping her breasts in my hands.
She moved off of my waist, shimming herself free of the green cotton before moving back to me. I had already shed my own shirt and was fumbling with the tie of my gym shorts, when she grabbed them in her hands; pulling them down towards my knees.

Climbing back on she positioned herself on top of me once; straddling me just above my hard on. I grabbed onto her hips as she reached for my dick; taking it firmly in her hand and guiding it inside of her. She moaned softly as I pushed upwards, impaling her on me completely before I began to move her up and down.
I grinned up at her as she allowed my hands to control her movement; sweat dripping off of me as she arched her back and tilted her head up.
I felt the burn in my biceps as I rocked her harder; grunting as I came inside of her.

I took one last look at Abby - fast asleep - before I gently placed my lips against her stomach. “Hey little princesses…” I whispered softly, grinning to myself as I tried to imagine with our baby was going to look like. “This is your daddy… I don’t know if you can hear me or not but, I thought maybe I should introduce myself considering we’re gonna be seeing a lot of each other at some point.” I cleared my throat, wondering what else I should say to her. “Ummm… my name’s Marc but, you can call me daddy and… I play hockey. I’m a goalie so… I’m pretty awesome. Alright well, maybe not awesome but… stay away from Max.” I nodded to myself as I felt Abby shift beside me. “He’s one of daddy’s friends but, he tends to break things and… you just not be around hockey players ever - I hope you’re not pretty.”
I laughed to myself as I kissed her stomach again, did I really just tell my little girls that I wanted them to be ugly? “I take that back… I hope you both look like your mommy. Did you know that your mommy is the most beautiful woman in the whole wide world? Maybe you don’t know yet but… you will soon.” I stifled a yawn and turned around to glance at the clock; it was late. “Alright, you need to go back to sleep now… and listen my little angels… I know that we haven’t met yet, but I love you very much.”
I kissed Abby’s stomach twice before I struggled my way back onto the pillow. I kissed Abby’s forehead, pulling her against me before I closed my eyes and fell asleep with the rest of my beautiful, perfect family.