Big girls do it pregnant, p.12
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       Big Girls Do It Pregnant, p.12

         Part #10 of Big Girls Do It series by Jasinda Wilder
 
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  Kelly leaned down to give me a hug. "Congratulations, Jay. You did so amazing, honey, I'm so proud of you. I've got to get back to the ER, but I'll come up on my break and see you and my granddaughter." Then she was bustling away, checking her pager.

  And then we were alone once more. Chase sat on the edge of the bed and traced my face with a forefinger, and I in turn touched the miniature footprint on his forearm.

  "I'm gonna get that tattooed on, right there," Chase said, touching the dried ink.

  It would make an awesome tattoo. Maybe I'd get one to match.

  A nurse brought a tray of food, which I devoured faster than I should have, probably. Exhaustion was washing over me then, tugging me under, drowning me. I'd been fighting it, knowing I needed to eat and wanting to see Samantha again before I slept, but it was futile. Chase stroked my hair and my back with a tender hand, his fingers eventually moving to thread into mine, and I let myself go, feeling complete and safe under his watchful gaze.

  I fell asleep, and the last thought before descending into the drowsing depths of sleep was, I'm a mommy.

  Chapter 7: ANNA

  I heard my phone ringing. It was distant, hazy. I struggled up through the fog of sleep, reaching for it even as I felt Jeff stir next to me, nudging me with his foot and mumbling, "Phone's ringing."

  I snagged it off the nightstand and brought it to my ear. I'd forgotten it was plugged in, though, so the cord jerked it out of my hands to fall, still ringing, between the nightstand and the bed. I cursed floridly, reaching for it, unable to quite grasp it. Still swearing, I finally managed to grab it with my thumb and forefinger, swiping the "answer" tab immediately.

  "Hello?" I sounded out of breath and frustrated. The clock on the nightstand read eight-oh-six in the morning.

  "Uh, hi, Anna. It's Chase." He sounded exhausted and exhilarated.

  "Hi, Chase. How's Jamie?" I felt Jeff sit up next to me.

  "She had the baby about an hour ago."

  "An hour ago?" I shrieked. "She was supposed to call me first so I could be there! God, we're so fighting!"

  Chase laughed. "I'll tell her you said that. Things happened really suddenly, though. We were in a holding pattern for a long time, just waiting. Then her water broke and she had the baby within, like, fifteen minutes."

  "Gotcha. We'll be there in a few minutes. Congrats, Chase! You're a daddy! How does it feel?"

  "It's amazing. It was, no lie, the most incredible experience of my entire life." I heard him sigh, holding the phone away from his mouth. "She's actually sleeping right now, but they're going to move us to a recovery room soon. Well, soon in hospital terms."

  "So, like, four hours?" I said.

  "Exactly. Have some breakfast before you come up. There's no rush. We'll be here."

  "Okay. What room are you in?" I asked.

  "I'll text you the room number when we get moved."

  "Okay." I paused. "Chase? I'm happy for you. You'll be a great daddy."

  "Thanks, Anna." He hung up, and I flopped back on the bed.

  "She had the baby an hour ago," I said.

  "Well, let's get our asses up and showered, have some breakfast, and go see them." Jeff suited action to words, moving into the bathroom and starting the shower.

  Instead of getting in himself, though, he returned to the bed and dragged me out, pushing me to the bathroom, stripping me of my nightshirt and panties in the process. I had been laughing up until he pushed my panties off and knelt in front of me on the bathroom tile, a hungry look on his face. I leaned back against the sink, staring down at Jeff's blazing brown eyes. He ran his hands up from my ankles to my knees, up the backs of my thighs, carving hot trails around between them in a teasing brush along my folds.

  My breath caught, and I closed my eyes in anticipation. I felt his fingers close around my ankle and lift. I cooperated, setting my foot on the closed lid of the toilet, holding the edge of the sink with both hands for balance. His fingers slid up the inside of my thigh, sliced through my folds, and swiped through the slick heat deep inside me. I gasped and felt my knees weaken, then buckle when his tongue slid against my clit and began slow circles around it. I let go of the sink with one hand to run my fingers through his soft, brown, close-cropped hair, pulling him against me as the fire began to boil in my core. Two fingers slipped inside me and curled against my G-spot, buckling my knees again and sending lances of lightning through me.

  I felt myself riding the edge, teetering on the brink of climax. Instead of letting him bring me over the edge, I tugged him up, tilting his face away from my core. "I need you. I want you inside me. I want us to come together."

  He stood up slowly, and I felt the tip of his cock nudge against me. I wrapped my leg around his hip, and he held it there, lifting up on his toes to enter me. As he slid into me, he leaned in to kiss me, his tongue spearing into my mouth. My belly was in the way, though, so he had to lean back to thrust into me. I still had one hand gripping the sink for balance, and I put my other hand on his shoulder, pulling myself up and sliding down to meet his thrust. He leaned away from me, stretching his cock as far as it would comfortably go, and we both watched as he drew out and slid back in, setting a slow rhythm. I watched my folds stretch around him, watched his thick length driving in and sliding out, finding something erotic in the play of skin against skin, against the wet glistening of his cock and the way we fit together so perfectly.

  Jeff's free hand slipped between our bodies to touch the hypersensitive nub of my clit, barely touching it, brushing it with a feather-light caress that had me jerking and arching my back, needing more, wanting all he could give me.

  The only sound was our bodies meeting, wet sliding, slick sucking, mouths kissing and breath gasping, fingers scratching and scraping. Then the heat billowed through me and stirred me hotter, and Jeff's strokes grew frantic and his fingers on my clit circled rough and pushed against me and made me wild and touched me so perfectly. He lifted up on his toes and jerked me closer by the leg, fingers clutching my thigh and pulling me behind the knee, and each thrust of his cock had me gasping, sent my body to trembling and spasming and gasping. My head lolled back on my shoulders and I felt my breasts bouncing with each thrust, and I knew he was still holding himself back, still forcing himself into a measure of gentility, and I loved him all the more for it.

  I careened over the edge into climax without warning, digging my fingers into his bicep and whispering his name in a breathless prayer. I felt him release in that moment, at the exact instant of my orgasm. I knew he'd been keeping it back, holding, waiting until I came. God, the man always, always knew how to give me exactly what I needed.

  Is it bad that one of the things I loved most about my relationship with Jeff was our sex life? I mean, don't get me wrong, that's the only thing, and it's not the thing I love the most about Jeff as a man, but our sexual relationship never failed to leave me breathless. Even when it was plain old vanilla missionary in the dark on a Sunday night, it was perfect. He was perfect. Slow and sweet when I needed him tender, rough and ready fucking when I needed him powerful and erotic.

  And this? Standing up in the bathroom, thirty-four weeks pregnant? God, so amazing.

  If you'd told me yesterday that I'd be fucking Jeff like this, I'd have laughed at you. I'd have told you there was no way I could manage standing sex at this stage of my pregnancy. Yet here I was, coming so hard I could barely breathe, clutching Jeff for dear life as my entire body convulsed, my leg slipping from his grip and driving him deeper inside me, his cock still spasming and thrusting, our mouths crashing together in a rough and raw kiss of desperate love, furious expression of need.

  We breathed together for long minutes as we regained our bearings.

  And then the contractions struck. The first one hit me like a ton of bricks, my womb clamping down with enough force to leave me doubled over, gasping for breath.

  "Anna? Shit, Anna?"

  I pulled myself upright, clinging to Jeff with both hands
as another contraction hit me hard on heels of the first. "It should pass," I gasped. "Sex can cause contractions, but it rarely induces labor. Just...just give me a minute."

  I felt Jeff's worried gaze on me, and but I ignored it, resting my cheek on his chest and breathing through the pain. Finally the contraction left me, and I was able to straighten and stand on my own.

  "See?" I said, "It's gone."

  "Maybe we shouldn't--" Jeff started.

  "Oh, hell no," I interrupted. "Unless the doctor tells us we can't, you're not taking away my orgasms. Especially since I'll be without them for six weeks after the birth. I read on some Internet mommy's chat-board that these contractions are actually good somehow. They soften the cervix or something."

  Jeff frowned. "It looked painful."

  I shrugged. "It was. It's worth it to me, though." I pushed him toward the shower, which was still running. "Now get in before we don't have any hot water left."

  *

  I was getting worried. I hadn't said anything to Jeff, but the contractions hadn't actually stopped completely. I'd read that they could last on and off all day after sex, but that they should be irregular. Mine were spaced about ten minutes apart like clockwork, and they had been all throughout the shower, breakfast, and the drive to the hospital. I managed to keep my reactions down to a wince every now and again. Jeff noticed, I think, but didn't say anything.

  Jamie was awake by the time we got to the hospital around ten-thirty. She was eating and talking with Chase when we entered the room, looking alert, although both she and Chase wore rather subdued expressions. I hugged Jamie, sitting on the edge of her bed.

  "Hey, hooker. How are you feeling?"

  "Like I just shit a bowling ball," she joked. "Actually, I feel okay. Tender, tired, and happy."

  I examined her closely, and the tension lines around her mouth and eyes didn't escape me. "What aren't you telling me?"

  She shrugged. "Samantha is a preemie, Anna. There's complications. She's having trouble breathing on her own. She's at risk for RSV. I haven't even seen or held her since she came out, except for literally a minute when I first had her." Jamie sniffed, and I could tell she was barely holding herself together, which made sense of the angst I could feel radiating off Chase from across the room.

  "Why don't you give us a minute, guys," I said.

  "I'm not gonna--" Chase began.

  "I'm fine, Chase. Just go. Give me a minute with Anna." The guys both left, reluctantly, and Jamie threw her arms around me. "I'm scared for her, Anna. I mean, she's not in critical condition or anything, but I'm just...I just hate this."

  "She'll be okay, Jay. You know she will. She'll be out of here and home with you and Chase before you know it." I held her tight. "I'm proud of you, Mama."

  Jamie sniffled again and then pushed me away playfully. "What about you? When are you getting induced?"

  "Supposed to be next week." I touched my belly as another contraction rippled through me, right on time, ten minutes from the last one.

  Jamie didn't miss my reaction. "But it might be sooner, huh?"

  I grimaced as the contraction blistered through me. When it passed, I shrugged, shaking my head. "I don't know. Jeff and I had sex this morning, and it started these contractions. They're supposedly normal, and they're supposed to go away eventually."

  "But?"

  "They haven't gone away. They're coming every ten minutes, and they're freaking strong."

  "Have you told Jeff?" Jamie asked.

  "Not yet. I don't want to worry him unless I have to. I keep hoping they'll go away. I've been moving around, walking, all that." I stood up and walked the few steps across the room and back.

  "I think you probably should ask someone about it. What if you're in labor? I mean, you don't want the babies to just fall out, you know?"

  I snorted, sitting down on the bed next to Jamie again, giving her shoulder a playful shove. "You're such an idiot, Jay."

  "Yeah, but you love me." She rubbed my belly. "You really should get checked out, though."

  Jeff, Chase, and a nurse pushing a mobile bassinet entered the room. The nurse brought the cart with the clear plastic cradle to a stop at the foot of the bed and lifted up a tiny bundle wrapped in the blue and white hospital swaddling blanket. She settled the baby into Jamie's arms and stepped away.

  "She's been doing a lot better for the last few hours," the nurse said. "Her O-two levels have been pretty stable on her own, so Dr. Mansour thought you might like to spend some time with her."

  The transformation that came over Jamie was immediate, and shocking. She cradled her daughter against her chest, a blissful smile on her lips, her eyes wide and shining and happier than I'd ever seen her. "Oh, my god, hi," Jamie said, her voice pitched high in that tone of voice we instinctively use with babies. "Hi there, beautiful. Look at you, oh, you're awake. And you look just like Daddy, such dark hair and beautiful brown eyes."

  Chase circled to the other side of the bed and stared down at his wife and daughter. Surreptitiously, I watched Chase as he gazed at his family. I may not have been in love with him, but I still cared for him, and to see him so happy made me happy.

  I turned to look at Jeff, who was watching the whole thing with an expression of rapt interest. This is going to be us soon, his expression said.

  At that moment, of course, another contraction hit me, harder than ever and less than ten minutes since the previous one. I couldn't stop a hiss from escaping, my hand covering my belly, the other braced on the bed. Before, they'd only lasted maybe twenty or thirty seconds total, but this one had me in its grip for nearly a minute.

  "Anna? I thought they'd stopped?" Jeff, from beside me, hand on my back, voice a complex mix of concerned and irritated.

  I blew out a long breath between pursed lips as the contraction finally passed. "Well, they didn't," I said, irritable from the pain. "I thought they would. They're getting stronger and closer together."

  Jeff growled. "Damn it, Anna. You should have told me hours ago."

  "I didn't want to worry you if it was nothing."

  Jeff tugged me to my feet. "Well, now I'm worried and irritated at the same time, which is just super awesome." He pulled me out into the hall, pressed my back against the wall beside the door, and cupped my face in his hands, forcing my gaze to his. "Anna. You're supposed to worry me with this shit. It's my job. Letting me love you means letting me worry about every little thing."

  "Jeff, I--" I tried to look away, but he wouldn't let me, so I brought my eyes back to his. "I'm sorry. I should have told you."

  "Damn right." He touched my lips with his, a caress more than a kiss. "Now, let's go find a doctor for you and see if you're in labor."

  I was in labor.

  Eighty percent effaced and dilated to a seven.

  My doctor was pissed.

  Then came the bad news: Caleb was in a breech position, and if he didn't turn, they'd have to do a C-section.

  BRIDGE

  Jeff paced the hallway, trying to get his breathing under control. The helplessness was a fiery rage in his blood, a dark and angry force shuddering in his blood, his brain. His hands shook, his heart hammered, stuttered, machine-gun pattered.

  She was in pain, contractions ripping through her in relentless waves, pain turning her lovely features into a rictus of agony. Sweat dampened her hair, fine strands sticking to her forehead, lines etched into her brow, mouth set, full lips pressed flat. Fingers clutching the bed rail so hard her knuckles turned white.

  And Jeff could do nothing. Nothing.

  They were only giving her another hour before they did an emergency C-section. Before they cut her open and pulled the babies out. He knew it was normal, but the idea of C-section still freaked him the hell out.

  Jeff found himself at the end of the hallway, fists clenched, head pressed against the cold wall. He felt a hand on his shoulder and turned around.

  "Hey, man. You all right?" It was Chase, of all people.

 
"Do I look okay?" Jeff knew he was being a dick, but he couldn't help it.

  He'd learned to get along with Chase to an extent, but he'd never be best friends with him.

  Chase withdrew his hand and stood a few feet away from Jeff, spinning his cell phone between a thumb and forefinger. "I know you and I aren't, like, best buddies or whatever, Jeff, but...look, I know it's hard, okay? It sucks, not being able to do anything." He shoved his phone in his pocket and moved to stand in front of Jeff. "It's going to be okay. Anna's tough. You and I both know that."

  "She's in pain, and there's nothing I can do. It fucking sucks. I need to do something, help her, I don't know. Not just stand there and hope for the best."

  "I know. How do you think I felt when I found out Jamie was getting induced and I was in fucking Chicago? What if something had happened and I wasn't there? But you gotta know they know what they're doing. They'll take care of her. She'll be fine. Just be there with her. Be there for her." Chase clapped Jeff on the shoulder. "Like I said, I know we're not necessarily friends, Jeff, but I do still care about Anna, in that I want to see her happy and healthy. You make her happy, and I can see you're a good man. If you need a friend, you've got one." Chase turned away then, leaving Jeff stunned.

  He stood watching as Chase slowly walked away, only finding his voice after several heartbeats. "Chase?" he called out, and the other man stopped, turned around. "Thanks. And congratulations. Samantha is beautiful."

  Back in the room with Anna, Jeff found her in the same basic position, clutching the railings, sweating, grimacing through the pain. He sat beside her, soul wrung dry, hands trembling with raw emotion. When the contraction subsided, all he could do was whisper love to her, hold her limp hand, and wait some more.

  Each time a contraction ripped through her, she tried to tough it out in silence but couldn't, and long, groaning, soul-searing screams of pain were drawn from deep within her. Each scream, each moan, each gasp shredded Jeff. Then she went limp when the contraction passed, and her eyes turned to him, fixed on him with such complete adoration that he wanted to weep.

 
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