Saying goodbye to my dad wasn’t as easy as it should be. Having him here helped heal so many hurts. I followed him outside and down the steps. He had his suitcase in his hand and he was headed back to south Florida where he was living on a boat.
“It’s good to see you happy. It’ll be easier to sleep at night knowing you’re taken care of and well loved. I don’t reckon that boy ever expected to be so wrapped around your little finger but he is and I couldn’t be happier.”
“You’ll come back for the wedding and after the baby is born? I want you here.”
Dad nodded. “I wouldn’t miss that for the world.”
I refused to tear up on him. That wasn’t fair. He was already all alone. I didn’t need to let my emotions confuse him. “Be deciding what you’re gonna have him call you. Dean has already said he wants to be Papa Dean. You need to pick a name too.”
Dad grinned. I liked seeing him truly excited about something. “I’ll think about that and get back to you. Needs to be cooler than Dean’s.”
I wrapped my arms around his waist and hugged him. “Thank you for coming. I’ve missed you.”
“I’ve missed you too, Blaire bear, but then that is my fault. I’m thankful Rush called me.”
I was too. Rush was at the center of everything good that happened to me. I believed he always would be. Strange considering how it had started out so differently.
“Have a safe flight and call when you get back to let me know you made it okay.”
Dad nodded and I stepped back away from him. “I love you,” he said with unshed tears glistening in his weary eyes.
“I love you too, Daddy.”
He opened the door to the rental car and I stood there as he drove away. This time I wasn’t heartbroken. I just hoped that he could find happiness again one day. It was time he did.
The door to the house opened and I turned around to see Rush standing on the front porch looking down at me. I could tell he was worried that I was upset about Dad leaving. I started making my way back to him and he came down the stairs to meet me halfway.
“You okay?’ he asked the minute he was close enough to touch me.
“Yes. Thank you again for that. It meant more than you could ever know,” I told him.
“Whenever you want to see him just tell me. I’ll bring him back again. Just say the word.”
“I want him here for the wedding and when the baby is born. I want him to get to meet his grandson. He doesn’t have anyone but me left. Our son will be his family too.”
“Done. I’ll have him a plane ticket purchased and ready for the minute we need it.”
I just stood there and looked up at Rush. When I’d first laid eyes on him I’d been awed at his beauty. Never had I thought that the moody playboy could have a heart the size of his underneath all that swagger. “What changed you? You’re so completely different than that guy I met back in June,” I said, smiling at his confused face.
Rush reached out and slipped his hand into my hair and tangled his fingers around the strands. “This sweet, determined, sexy-as-hell blonde walked into my life and gave me a reason to live.”
My chest got tight and I started to tell him just how much I loved him again when I felt it… the baby.
I reached out and grabbed Rush’s arm. “Rush. He’s kicking me,” I said in amazement. I’d wondered for weeks now if the little flutter in my stomach was him moving. I’d wanted to believe it was. But now I could actually feel him. There was no doubt.
Rush moved his hand from my hair to my stomach. He cradled it with both hands staring down with a look of awe. “I can feel him,” Rush said in a soft whisper as if he was afraid the baby would stop moving. Instead, at the sound of his voice the baby kicked again.
“Talk to him, Rush,” I said, watching the most beautiful sight I’d ever seen. Rush fell down to his knees so that he was closer to my belly.
“Hey you,” he said and the baby immediately moved just under Rush’s hand. He jerked his head up and looked at me with an excited grin. “He hears me,” he said with wonder in his voice.
I nodded. “Yes, he does. Talk to him.”
“So how is it in there? Is mommy’s tummy as cute on the inside as it is on the outside?”
I giggled and he kicked.
“I figured it was. You got lucky. Mommy’s beautiful but you’ll see that soon enough. We’ll be the two luckiest guys on the planet.”
He moved again, this time with less force.
“You be good in there. We’re getting things ready for you out here. Enjoy that cozy spot for now.”
Rush ran his hands over my tummy and then looked up at me. “He’s really in there. He can hear us.”
I laughed and nodded. “I thought I’d been feeling him for awhile now but nothing like this.”
“God, Blaire, that is amazing,” Rush said before pressing a kiss to my stomach and standing up.
“It is, isn’t it?” I replied, still marveling at how this was mine. This man in front of me and the life inside me.
“Tell me when he does it again. I want to feel,” Rush said, reaching down to take my hand in his.
We walked back up the stairs together holding hands.