H - Home
Georgia was discharged from the hospital early the following morning. Bo and Billie bundled her up in her little mauve overcoat and walked to Billie's car together. Georgia was resting on Bo's hip and she looked so much more animated than she had over the past few days. Pinkness was in her cheeks but it was her natural ruddiness shining through.
"Thanks, Bo," Billie said as she watched Bo tuck a squirming Georgia into her car seat and carefully fit the straps over her little body.
Bo looked over at Billie. "Anytime."
"You've been wonderful," Billie said. "I don't know if I could have made it through all of this without you."
"You could have because you are strong, but you don't have to. I'll be there for you and Georgia any way I can, just like I promised." He kissed Georgia's cheek and the little girl smiled brightly. "I'll follow in my Jeep."
"Are you sure you want to come over?"
"If you'll let me," Bo said.
Billie nodded. "Alright, yes."
"I will. I've got precious cargo with me after all," Billie said. She climbed behind the steering wheel and put her seatbelt on. She looked at Georgia in the rearview mirror. Her little girl looked so much better now. She was actually smiling, probably so glad to be free of this place.
"Here we go," Billie said and turned on the engine. She felt Bo staring after them as they pulled out of the parking lot.
They reached Billie's house in less than ten minutes' time. Billie parked the car in the driveway, making sure to leave room for Bo's Jeep. She hopped out and walked around to the back of the car. She reached for Georgia, carefully pulling off her restraints, and started for the front door just as Bo pulled up in front of the house.
Bo climbed out of his Jeep and met them on the porch steps. Billie felt her heart flutter involuntarily as he turned his eyes on her and Georgia. He offered her a smile and then took the keys from her hand, sliding them into the lock.
"Home sweet home, Georgia," Billie said as they walked inside and looked around. Everything looked just the same but for some reason, everythingfelt so different. She had no idea what had changed but something had. The air was charged with possibility.
Bo slipped his hand onto her shoulder and she shivered. "Everything okay?" He asked.
"Yes, of course. How can it not be? Our daughter is okay, Bo. Thank god."
Georgia started to squirm in her arms so she set her down on her two little feet. The toddler immediately moved for her stack of toys sitting beside the sofa. She picked up a little cloth ball and held it up triumphantly, looking at Bo expectantly.
"I think she wants to play," Billie said.
"I think so too." He squeezed Billie's shoulder and then moved over to their daughter.
"Don't get her too worked up," Billie said. "Even though Lexie and Mike said that she is better-"
"You're still worried."
"I can't help it. If we would have lost her-"
Bo nodded. "I understand. I admit it. I was scared there for a bit myself."
"I couldn't tell."
He sighed softly. "I hide my feelings well, I guess."
He picked up the little ball Georgia dropped at his feet and they began to playfully toss it back and forth. Georgia couldn't catch the ball but Bo was so patient with her. It was incredible how attentive he was. It made Billie happy to see her daughter's bright smile.
Billie wandered into the kitchen after announcing that she would fix Georgia's morning snack. She fixed Georgia a little plate of soft veggies and crackers and then moved back into the living room. She found Georgia clapping her little hands in excitement as Bo carried her around the room on his shoulders.
Billie laughed at the expressions on their faces. They looked so contented together.
Bo set Georgia down and she ran to Billie, eagerly reaching for her snack. Billie sat down beside the toddler and watched her eat with a wonderous feeling in her heart. This little miracle was hers, all hers, and she had Bo to thank for this amazing gift in her life.
Bo sat on the other side of Georgia. She held out a cracker pointedly to him and he took a bite, murmuring "mmmm." Georgia giggled. It was a melodic and welcome sound to Billie's ears.
"She loves that you're here, Bo," Billie said.
Bo's eyes locked on Billie's. "And what about you? Are you okay with me being here?"
Billie nodded. Their gazes held for a long moment. "Yes," she said. She was actually more than okay with this. Truthfully, she could so easily get used to having him back here.