Shane sat down carefully beside Angela on the porch swing. “How’s your dad doing today?” he asked, putting an arm around her shoulders and pulling her close.
“Good apparently,” Angela answered. “Bess said he was out walking Asgard when I called. Sasha is going to swing by there tomorrow to check on him before she heads up this way.”
“That’s great. I wonder if he and Bess have a little something going on?”
Angela smiled. “Maybe. He’s improved so much the last few years I wouldn’t put it past him.”
“Where’s Cassie?” Shane asked, looking around. “I thought she was out here with you.”
Angela smiled and pointed down the hill. “She’s at the pond with her Nanny and Papa.”
Shane laughed. “She sure keeps them on their toes, doesn’t she? I’ve never seen my parents so happy. They think the suns rises and sets on that child.”
“You mean it doesn’t?” Angela asked wryly.
He stood up and walked over to the porch railing. “Here they come through the pasture now. Look at those three. Wish I had my camera with me.”
Valerie and Lloyd trudged slowly up the hill, between them a little three-year-old girl with a head full of long, ringlets. She was holding something carefully in both hands.
Shane suddenly felt like the most blessed man alive with his heart filled to overflowing. Surrounded by people who loved him; his parents, Angela, Cassie and now a new baby boy on the way. He couldn’t imagine what he’d ever done to be so lucky.
“Look Daddy!” Cassie yelled as they reached the porch. “It’s a little baby duck. Papa said I could name him. I’m going to call him George. Does he look like a George, Daddy?”
Shane grinned and moved closer to take a peek. Sure enough, snuggled in Cassie’s hands was a fluffy yellow duck with big blue eyes. “Oh, definitely a George. Why don’t you take him over there for your Mama to see?” he said. ‘I’m not sure she can get up.”
Angela laughed and rubbed her big pregnant belly. “You may be right.”
Cassie hurried over and plopped down beside her mother. Angela reached up to pluck a tiny down feather out of her hair. “Now you know Cassie, George’s Mama is probably looking for him.”
“I know, Mommy,” Cassie replied. “He has lots of brothers and sisters too. I wanted you to see him before you have to go to the hospital. I’ll go take him back now.”
Angela reached over and kissed her hair. “You be a good girl while your baby brother is being born, okay? Nanny and Papa will bring you to the hospital to see him when he’s ready.”
“I promise I’ll be good, Mommy.” Cassie jumped off the swing and grabbed hold of her Papa’s hand. “We got to take the baby duck back to his Mommy now, Papa.”
“Okay, baby girl,” Lloyd said. “Let’s go.”
“It’s a good thing the pond is not too far away,” Valerie remarked with a hearty laugh. “I have a feeling they’re going to be making the trip quite a bit.”
Angela grabbed hold of the chain attached to the swing and slowly pulled herself to a standing position. “Valerie, would you mind getting my hospital bag? It’s on the bed.”
Shane whirled around from his spot at the porch railing. “What? Now? The baby’s coming? He’s not due for a few more days.”
“Well nobody must’ve told him,” Angela said, wincing as another contraction hit.
“For God’s sake, help her to the car, Shane,” Valerie said, already running for the door. “I’ll grab her bag and call the hospital to let them know she’s coming.”
Shane helped Angela to the Porsche and carefully strapped her in. After throwing the hospital bag in the backseat and yelling a promise to Valerie that he’d call, he carefully pulled out of the driveway and started down the highway at a safe speed.
After a few moments on the road, Angela yelped and grabbed her stomach again.
“Breathe honey,” Shane reminded calmly. “Don’t forget to breathe.”
“Fuck breathing, Shane!” Angela yelled. “We need to hurry,” Angela panted out. “He’s coming fast. I’m afraid we’re not going to make it in time.”
Shane stepped on the clutch and changed gears on the Porsche once, then again. The speedometer needle swung to the right and kept climbing.
“Hang on sweetheart,” he said. “Don’t worry. I will get you there. Our son is not being born in a car or on the side of the road because you know why?”
“Why?” she gasped.
“Because his Daddy can...DRIVE.”