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|Music of the Soul(Runaway Train #2.5) by Katie Ashley|
I laughed. “You’re terrible.”
“But you love me anyway, right?”
“Oh yes. I think I love you more today than I ever had.”
Jake’s warm lips met mine. “I love you so much, Angel.” He bestowed kisses on both of Jax’s tiny cheeks. “And I love you, sweet, little man.”
“Why don’t you go out and tell everyone the good news?”
“I’d rather stay here with you two.”
“I’ll be fine. They’ll be taking him away to move me to recovery, where I’ll probably snooze until the drugs wear off.”
“Are you sure you don’t want me to stay?” Jake asked.
I shook my head. “I know my parents are scared to death worrying about me and the twins. Go put them out of their misery.”
“Okay.” Jake bent over to kiss me once again. “You are the most amazing woman I know in the whole wide world.”
I couldn’t help laughing at his statement. “I’m not the first woman to give birth, Jake,” I countered.
He shook his head. “You’re the only woman I love who has.”
“You say the sweetest things,” I murmured.
“Only for you.” He kissed me again and then started for the door.
I had only a few more moments of bonding with Jax before they took him away. As they wheeled me into recovery, my eyelids began to flutter, and it wasn’t long before I fell into a contented sleep.
It was the big day—the day that the twins came home from the hospital. I wish I could say I was thrilled beyond belief, but at the very crux of my being, I was f**king terrified. In the hospital, we had a team of nurses and doctors at our disposal in case anything went wrong. At home, we were all on our own to somehow raise these two little lives. Of course, Abby was completely fearless when it came to the twins. She mastered breastfeeding the two of them at the same time, did great changing their diapers and giving them baths.
I was afraid that when I picked them up, I’d forget to support their head, causing them serious trauma. Or when I had to dress them or change their diaper, I feared pulling too hard on their arms or legs and having them fall off.
Oh yeah, I was a f**king basket case.
After what seemed like a small eternity, I got both Jax and Jules’s car seats strapped in our new family-friendly SUV. Thankfully, they snoozed the entire time I cussed and worked up a sweat at getting them in right. They’d conked out shortly after Abby filled them up at feeding time just before we came downstairs.
After they were born, both of them faced a gamut of issues that prevented us from going home immediately. First, Jax turned jaundice. Then Jules had sucking reflex issues, so she started losing weight. This took a while to resolve. I had to give major props to Abby. She handled it all like a trooper as she tried getting Jules back on the breastfeeding train. Me, I would have just said screw it and given Jules a bottle. But Abby was determined to have the same bonding experience with Jules as she did with Jax. Like always, my Angel was amazing. Finally, Jules had hit the regulation five pounds to go home last night. We hadn’t wanted to leave with Jax and not Jules.
I eyed the sleeping little angels, as Abby would call them, warily before I shut the door. I hoped they would continue sleeping this peacefully on the ride home. I didn’t even want to begin to imagine what driving down the interstate with one screaming baby, least of all two, would be like. A thousand horrifying scenarios ran through my mind of me losing my shit in the car with the noise.
While there were all these maternal instincts that had kicked in for Abby the moment the twins were born, I hadn’t experienced any paternal ones. Sure, I worried about them constantly when they were in the NICU, and all I wanted was them to be healthy and happy. But I still had yet to experience some overwhelming protective vibe, and that concerned me. Basically, I was totally f**king clueless when it came to the two little lives I’d helped create.
“Ready?” Abby asked, when I slid into the driver seat.
My hand hovered over the ignition before I glanced over at her. “Um, I don’t think I’ll ever be ready to take those two home with us.”
She grinned. “It’s going to be fine, Jake. We’re going to be fine, and the twins are going to be fine.”
“Deep down I know you’re right. But I can’t help feeling panicky whenever I think about the two of them and how we’re completely responsible for them.” I shook my head. “I can perform in front of fifty thousand people, and it doesn’t scare me at all. But them,” I jerked my thumb to the backseat, “they scare the hell out of me.”
She rubbed my arm. “But we won’t be all alone at first, babe. My mom and dad will be down at the barn if we need them. I mean, that’s the plan of where they’re staying, but if I know them, they’ll be crashing on the couches to be closer to us and the twins.”
“You won’t hear me complaining.”
It took us a little longer to get home considering I refused to go over the speed limit. Abby had fallen asleep when we got out of the city. I didn’t bother waking her because I knew she needed her rest. When I finally turned the SUV into the driveway, I saw several cars lining the driveway. I pulled up to the front of the house and turned the car off. I leaned over to kiss Abby’s cheek. “Wake-up, Angel. We’re home.”
Her eyelids fluttered before she opened them. “Oh no, did I fall asleep?”