Lindsay woke up the next morning to bright sunshine coming through the window. Reaching out she realized that Jon was already up. Remembering their discussion from last night, and the way he had serenaded them to sleep she smiled, and realized that she felt better than she had in weeks. Her marriage was back on track, they were having twins, and the entire family was coming to share Thanksgiving today. TODAY! Her eyes flew open and she lifted her head to see the clock. TEN THIRTY?!! I can’t believe I slept this late! I’m never going to have dinner ready on time now! Throwing back the covers she jumped out of bed – and grabbed the bedpost to keep from falling as a wave of dizziness hit her. Whoa…moved too fast there Linds...can’t do that anymore!
She had a quick shower, got dressed and rushed downstairs – taking the stairs slowly. Entering the kitchen, she found Carol preparing the yams, Desiree making the cranberry sauce, Joyce chopping up cabbage for coleslaw….and Jon, wearing an apron, peeling potatoes and basting the turkey under his mother’s watchful eye.
“Good morning.” She greeted them.
“Hi sweetie, how are you feeling?” Her mother-in-law asked.
“Fine thanks. In fact I feel better than I have in weeks.”
Jon walked over to kiss her. “Did you sleep well honey?” He stroked her belly and smiled knowingly.
Carol and Joyce exchanged a look.
“Yes, I did thanks to you. By the way, did you turn off the alarm this morning by any chance?” She crooked a brow at him.
“Yes I did. You said yourself the doctor said you need to get plenty of rest, so I decided to let you sleep.” He replied.
“And you stuffed the turkey and put it in the oven by yourself?”
“Well, not exactly. I called Mom and she walked me through it.” He admitted.
“You called your mother at that hour?!”
“It’s okay. I had to go to the bathroom anyway.” Carol assured her. They all laughed.
“Hmmpf, well, thank you honey. I appreciate it.” Lindsay kissed him and smirked. “And I really love the apron.”
He shrugged and blushed. Clearing his throat, he pulled a stool up to one side of the island and urged her onto it. “Sit and I’ll make you some breakfast.”
All four women stared at him. “What? I’m perfectly capable of scrambling a couple eggs and putting bread in the toaster.” He grumbled. “Besides, I’m supposed to be more involved and take better care of my pregnant wife aren’t I? Or did I misunderstand the lecture?” He looked at his mother.
Lindsay hid a smile and picked up the paring knife and a potato from the counter in front of her and started to peel it. Apparently she’d missed more this morning than just Jon learning new domestic skills. Half standing, she reached to pick up the pot holding the peeled potatoes in order to move it closer to her.
“Drop it!” Jon barked.
Startled, she did, the pan clanging on the counter as she pressed one hand over her heart. “Jesus Jon, you scared the hell out of me!”
“That makes us even then. That pot is too heavy. You shouldn’t be lifting anything heavy.” Placing her breakfast in front of her, he moved the pot closer for her.
“Are you going to mother hen me for the next four months?”
“Cluck, cluck. Now eat.” He ordered.
Glancing down at her plate her eyes widened. There was enough food on it for three people. “Good lord Jon, I can’t eat all that!”
“You’re eating for three now. Try.” He caught her eye and winked.
“But the other two are only this big.” She reminded him measuring with her fingers. Locking eyes they waited for the reaction.
“Three? THREE?” Carol exclaimed. Joyce and Desiree just stared, stunned.
Coming around the island Jon stood behind Lindsay and wrapped his arms around her. They both smiled at Carol. “Yes Mom, we’re having twins.”
“Oh my! Do you feel okay? What did the doctor say? Oh this is wonderful!” A teary Carol hugged them both.
His ears were still ringing with feminine squeals of delight when the security system signaled that the gate was opening. Hoping for masculine company, he left the women animatedly discussing how to set up the nursery and what extra items needed to be purchased, and went to answer the door.
“Happy Thanksgiving!” He greeted his father, uncle and brothers. He was about to close the door when he saw Dorothea’s car coming up the drive. Asking the men to wait in the foyer, he ran outside.
“Hi Daddy! Happy Tanksgibing!” Romeo greeted him.
“Hi buddy. Happy ‘Tanksgibing’ to you too.” Jon chuckled, reaching in the car to undo his son’s car seat. “Dot can you come in for a few minutes?”
“Sure, what’s up?”
“Lindsay wants to talk to you.”
When they were all gathered in the foyer Jon called out to the kitchen. “Lindsay! Could you come here for a minute please?”
“What’s going on Jon? The game’s about to start.” Matt grumbled.
“Just hold on a minute…and it’s just the pre-game, you as….jerk” He finished glancing at the kids.
“Uh oh, Daddy was going to call Uncle Matt a bad word!” Jake announced.
“Yes he was….and he deserved it.” Desiree commented from the doorway.
Jon grinned. Matt looked chagrined.
“Okay Jon, we’re all here, now what’s going on?” His father asked.
Holding his hand out to Lindsay, he waited for her to take it, then pulled her close to his side. Smiling gently into her eyes, he raised his head and looked around at his assembled family. “Well, you know that Lindsay had an ultra-sound yesterday.”
“What’s that?” Jake asked.
“It’s a machine that lets the doctor see the baby inside its mommy’s tummy.” His mother explained. Jake nodded his understanding.
“And that machine showed the doctor a little surprise.” Jon glanced at Lindsay again. “There’s two babies in Lindsay’s tummy.”
“Twins! Way to go big brother!” Tony commented. Lindsay rolled her eyes.
John Sr. gave Lindsay a gentle hug. “Congratulations sweetie!”
“Everything’s okay?” Dorothea asked, giving Lindsay a hug.
Lindsay nodded. “We’re all fine. At least now we know why I’m so big…and so tired.”
“Just make sure you take care of yourself.” Dorothea admonished her shooting a glance at Jon.
“I know, I know, I know!” He put one hand over his heart and raised the other as though he was swearing an oath. “I promise to go with her to all of her appointments, make sure she eats properly, gets plenty of rest and generally see to all of her needs.” His glance traveled back and forth between his ex-wife and his mother. “Satisfied?”
“Not lately.” Lindsay muttered under her breath, but Jon heard her. The heat in his eyes when he looked at her caused her blood to warm in response.
Kissing her temple he murmured. “I’ll take care of that too. Later.”
“Just keep Lindsay and my grandbabies healthy and happy and I’ll be satisfied.” Carol stated.
“Can we go watch the game now?” Jesse asked. Matt immediately looked at them, a similar hopeful expression on his face.
Lindsay laughed. “Yes, go! We’ll bring in the snacks in a bit.”
There was a mass exodus of the males, except Jon….and Romeo who stood frowning at Lindsay’s stomach. The adults held their breath wondering what was going on in his mind – and what question would come out of his mouth!
Jon crouched down and bit the bullet. “Hey buddy, what’s wrong?”
“There’s two babies in there?”
“Remember, we talked about how the baby got in Lindsay’s tummy?” Dorothea tried to head off a potentially embarrassing line of questions.
He nodded solemnly.
“Then what are you frowning about?” Jon asked.
“I feel bad for them.”
“They have to share a room. I don’t like to share a room. Jake’s tansfomers keep shooting my dinosaurs!”
The rest of the day was all about family – and football. The cousins arrived just before kick off and Lindsay was kept busy running snacks into the large den – when she was allowed to. By mid-afternoon she was about ready to scream at everyone’s good intentions.
Giving up, she walked into the den to check the score. Jon was sprawled in a chair, his feet propped on a large footstool in front of him. Glancing up as she approached him, he sat up, dropped his feet to the floor on either side of the footstool, and tugged her down to sit on it. Wrapping his arms around her he pulled her back against him and kissed her neck. “What’s wrong?” He murmured in her ear.
“They won’t let me do anything!” She huffed. “They’ve even got Stephanie in on it! I went to check on the boys and she was in the theatre with them watching movies, when I know that she’d rather be in here watching football with you. When I suggested I could watch the boys, she told me not to worry about it, she’d keep an eye on them and I should just go relax! I’m pregnant, I’m not an invalid!” She sighed. “You know that I love your mother, but she’s driving me crazy today!”
He chuckled and gave her a squeeze. “Tell me about it. She’s in full on Italian grandmother mode today. You can’t win, so just let them do it. Sit here with me for awhile and relax.”
“Hmmpf. I’m beginning to hate that word.” She grumbled, but did as he suggested.
It wasn’t long before he felt her leaning more heavily against him. Glancing down he saw that she was asleep. Smiling gently, he settled himself and her more comfortably, making sure that the footstool was anchored and wouldn’t move. A few minutes later, Carol came in and looked around the room. Seeing Lindsay asleep in Jon’s arms she met Jon’s gaze. He crooked a brow at her. She just smiled and nodded.
Dinner was a noisy affair, with several conversations going on at once. Lindsay loved these large family gatherings. Seated at the opposite end of the long table from his wife, Jon watched her. He’d always thought that it was just a myth or an old wives tale, but she really did glow. He’d never noticed it with Dorothea. Maybe it was the difference in their skin tone, maybe it was the twins, maybe he just never looked, whatever, Lindsay appeared lit from within.
He thought back to his ‘discussion’ with his mother that morning when she accused him of not paying enough attention to Lindsay and her needs. While he didn’t appreciate being scolded like a child, he knew she had a point. He knew that Lindsay would never admit that she needed help – at least not to him. She was convinced that any sign of dependency on her part would push him away. In the past he would have agreed with her. But now, with her, he found himself wishing she would she would lean on him a little more. He needed to feel needed. So he’d have to watch closely for the little signs she couldn’t conceal.
As he watched he became aware of two things. First, he could tell when one or both of the twins moved by the soft, dreamy expression that came over her face. Second, her glow dimmed and her face tightened slightly whenever the subject of the move to the city came up. He frowned.
“Dad. Dad! You’re not listening!” Jesse complained.
“Sorry Jess, what were you saying?”
Much later, after everyone had left and Jon had delivered the kids back to Dorothea’s, he walked through the house, making sure the lights were all off and everything was buttoned up for the night before heading upstairs.
Lindsay was in their bedroom waiting for him. She stood by the balcony door staring out over the grounds and up at the stars. I won’t be able to see the stars in the city. But there’ll be lots of lights to look at. I like to look at the city lights too. Shivering slightly she pulled her robe – one of Jon’s, it’s all that would fit – closer around her. The robe was warm and cozy, but all it covered was a thin t-shirt – also Jon’s – that was all she ever wore for a nightgown when Jon was home, even in the dead of a New Jersey winter. Sharing a bed with him was like sleeping next to a furnace. If she wore anything warmer, she woke up in the middle of the night sweating.
She was still standing there when Jon entered the room. Quietly stripping off his clothes he watched her and remembered what he’d noticed at dinner. Walking up behind her he slid his arms around her and hugged her close. “What are you looking at?”
She shrugged. “The grounds, the stars, the moon.”
He rested his chin on her shoulder. “You really love this house don’t you?”
“You don’t want to move, do you?” It wasn’t really a question.
“I’ll go wherever you need to go.” She answered quickly.
“That doesn’t answer my question.”
“Yes it does. Do I want to leave this house? No.” She replied honestly. “But as much as I love this house, I love you more, and if New York is where you need to be, then that’s where I’ll go. I’ll miss all this…” She waved at the window. “..but I can live without it. I can’t live without you.”
He was silent for a long moment. “Tell you what. We won’t sell this place right away. We’ll give New York a year. If we don’t like it – both of us – we’ll come back. Deal?”
“Jon, you don’t have to do that. I know that you’ve been restless and need something new, a change of scenery to feed your creativity. I get that. I can appreciate that. And I know I’ll love whatever that creativity produces. I always have. And I won’t stand in the way of it. I couldn’t live with myself if I did.”
She turned to face him, placing her fingers over his lips to stop him. “But nothing. You are my husband. I love you and I would follow you to the ends of the earth if that’s where you needed to go.”
“Oh, honey! I love you!” Burying his face in her hair, he held her tight. “I don’t know what I did to deserve such devotion.” His answer was a kick in the belly. He chuckled. “Ok, that might have something to do with it.” Leaning back he tilted her face up to his and dropped a kiss on her lips. “And we’re keeping the house.”
Reaching up she threaded her fingers in his hair, preventing him from moving away. Running her tongue along his upper lip she pressed her mouth briefly to his. “I believe there was something mentioned about you taking care of my needs.” Her voice was a low purr in her throat.
His body reacted immediately and forcefully. “Anytime sweetheart. I’m at your disposal.” His voice had dropped an octave and his eyes had become glowing sapphires. Bending, he scooped her up in his arms, ignoring her protests and carried her to the bed. “Hush. You still don’t weigh much more than that turkey I manhandled this morning – although you’re much more tender and juicy.”
“I thought you did very well with your first foray into the culinary arts.” She chuckled. “I wish I’d taken a picture of you in your apron. I bet the fans would love to see that!”
He snorted. “Not to mention the guys! I’d never hear the end of it!” He laid her gently on the bed. “If it’s all the same to you, I’ll leave the cooking to you – at least in the kitchen.”
“And how about here in the bedroom?”
He grinned. “Here, I’m the master chef. Wanna see what I can cook up?”
“Mmmm, I can hardly wait.”
Laying down beside her he gathered her in his arms, kissing her teasingly, rubbing his hands over her body until he was sure she was warm enough to bare her. His hand reached for the tie of her robe, working the knot loose, spreading the halves wide and easing it off her shoulders and down her arms. Lifting her, he pulled the robe out from under her and dropped it over the side of the bed onto the floor.
Noticing her t-shirt he smirked as he reached for the hem. “Been raiding my closet again I see.”
“Don’t you remember our marriage vows? All your worldly goods you me endowed. Besides pretty soon even your clothes won’t fit me anymore.” She admitted ruefully, obediently raising her shoulders and arms so that he could remove the shirt.
“Mmmm….” Propping his head on one hand, with the other he caressed her, pausing for a moment on her swollen abdomen, enjoying the feel of the firm, warm flesh that was currently nurturing his children. Moving on he stroked and weighed her breasts that seemed to be growing on an almost daily basis, smiling when they firmed beneath his hand, the nipples hardening to taut peaks.
Moaning softly, back arching, she closed her eyes at the sensations coursing through her in the wake of his calloused hands. Since she’d become pregnant, her senses seemed to have become much more acute – especially her sense of touch. At the moment her skin was on fire, and she needed him to put out the flames. “Please.” She whispered.
At her plea he bent to replace his hand with his mouth, laving her nipples with his tongue, then blowing lightly to dry the wetness, before finally taking one between his lips to suckle – lightly in deference to her increased sensitivity.
Crying out at the feel of his mouth tugging on her, she fisted her hands in his hair and pulled him closer, her lower body melting at the bolts of electricity shooting through her with every pull of his lips.
Feeling her hips lifting against him, he slid a hand back over her belly to bury between her thighs. Threading his fingers through her curls he found what he was searching for, stroking her nub with a fingertip.
She screamed. Her body was so primed and aroused even a light touch was almost too much for her to bear. “Jon, now! PLEASE!”
He slid one finger deep inside her to check her readiness to take him. Lifting his head he watched her undulate beneath him. When her nails dug into his shoulders and she growled in frustration, he chuckled. He started to spread her thighs, then stopped. She tried to tug him over her, but he shook his head. “I don’t want to hurt the babies.”
He sat up and leaned against the headboard. “Come here.”
She sat up and eyed him speculatively for a moment, then grinned and moved to straddle him, impaling herself on his hard shaft with a sigh.
Hearing her, he chuckled. “Feel better?”
“I’m working on it.” Panting, she rocked her hips against him. She placed her hands on his shoulders, then spreading them wide, slid them down his chest, pausing over his pecs to dig her fingers into the wide muscles and tease the nailheads of his nipples, before continuing down over his abs to his waist – well as much as she could with her belly in the way. Hearing his groan, she smiled and raised her lips to his, moaning as he took her up on her invitation, thrusting deeply with his tongue.
He ran his hands up and down her back, gripping her hips occasionally to guide her movements. Breaking the kiss, he leaned back to watch. To watch her body move. To watch their bodies move together. Reaching out he cupped her breasts, kneading them in time with their movements. Seeing her flushed face and fevered eyes, her body accepting his, deeply, rhythmically, feeling her intimate grip on him tighten, his breath shortened, his pulse raced, and he grasped her hips and flexed beneath her driving more forcefully into her. “Oh God Lindsay!”
“Yes, Jon, Yes!”
On the verge of losing control, determined that she lose it first, he slid his hands up to her shoulders and tipped her back. He alternated licking and kissing down her neck and over her upper chest.
Her arms came up to cradle his head as his mouth cruised over her breast and swallowed her nipple. Her hips moved faster, augmenting his thrusts, taking him deeper.
Knowing she was on the edge he lowered one hand to her hip, holding her still while he thrust harder and deeper into her. Swirling his tongue around her hard peak, he suckled hard, grinning inwardly in satisfaction as her orgasmic scream reverberated around the room. As her walls squeezed him tightly he let out his own throttled cry as he let go and followed her into ecstasy, cradling her as she collapsed on top of him.
It was long minutes before Lindsay had the strength to move, and even then she needed Jon’s help to lift off of him and settle on the bed at his side.
Sliding down in the bed, still panting, he shoved a pillow under his head and with a gentle kiss, gathered her into his arms, stroking her hip absently.
Catching her breath she idly toyed with the hair on his chest. “We really do have a lot to be thankful for don’t we.”
Hugging her tighter he agreed. “That we do sweetheart, that we do.”