Disclaimer: See previous chapters.
Stiles had one last surprise for Terri.
"We have the boat for the rest of the weekend. I brought our swimsuits and fishing poles, but I wouldn't mind if we didn't use them!" Stiles said as he winked at his bride.
"Oh, and my parents are coming to the house for the weekend."
"They are?" Terri asked confused about why her in-laws were joining them on their long awaited honeymoon.
"Yeah, along with your parents and Jack and Ava."
"Really?" When Terri asked "really" she had a big smile on her face.
"I know you miss the munchkins already and I thought it would be nice for our families to see the house. And your mother wants to see where 'her baby' was for four years. I think it will be nice for them to celebrate with us."
Terri hugged Stiles tightly. "Oh thank you so much. When did you get so wonderful?"
"What, you mean I haven't always been?" Stiles asked with mock disappointment.
Terri didn't answer him. Instead, she leaned in and gave him a very long, passionate kiss.
"Hmmm, that was nice."
"I was just sharing the joy!"
Their "joy" spread all the way down the stairs into the yacht's living quarters, onto the couch, and into the bedroom.
Terri couldn't have imagined a more perfect evening as she made love to her husband on a private yacht under the stars In the Bahamas. She sighed contentedly as she lay in bed with Stiles' arm around her waist, their fingers intertwined.
After several moments of contented silence, Terri turned over to face Stiles, "I love you. I still can't believe you did all of this."
Stiles lifted his head slightly and kissed Terri's neck before nuzzling in her hair. "You're worth it. We're worth it. I want you to know, without a doubt, how I feel about us. I love you. I don't want you ever to forget that, even when I say or do something stupid. And let's face it; that's bound to happen sooner or later."
Terri had to laugh. She was happy that he could now laugh about his "foot- in-mouth" disease, as she called it; counseling was helping him too.
"Thank you for tonight and thank you for being so understanding the past couple of months."
"You're welcome." Stiles kissed her hungrily; it had been a long time since they had been alone. "Let's not talk anymore. Why don't you show me again how much you appreciated tonight?" He added as he pulled her closer.
After a romantic dinner, surprise wedding and an evening making love to her husband, Terri fell asleep in the arms of her lover and best friend feeling safe and secure in their future.
SIX MONTHS LATER
To Terri's delight, Lynn and Max moved back to D.C. Their son would start school in the September and they wanted to be back in the States. And Lyn and Terri had kept their business together and it would be much easier if they were in the same city.
June 30, 2009 (one year later)
Terri got home from the airport at 11 p.m. She was so exhausted when she arrived that she kissed her sleeping husband and children and went to bed.
The Gap hadn't been happy with its print advertising for BabyGap and GapKids so their in-house marketing department decided to shop that medium to hire outside company.
Terri and Lyn were ready to expand and this was the perfect opportunity. Terri had officially resigned from the CIA three months earlier at the same time Stiles agreed to become the new liaison to Home Land Security. Added to Stiles' and Terri's career changes, Lyn and Max were ready to move back home to D.C.; landing such a high-profile client would more than quadruple Terri and Lyn's bottom line and keep Terri from having to travel so much.
Terri was pretty sure things went well, but she wouldn't know until ChiatDay made its decision at the end of the week at the earliest. She hadn't had much sleep for the past week and rehashing her presentation wasn't helping; Terri really wanted this job and she was tossing and turned all night thinking about it.
"Stiles, it's your turn," Terri mumbled as she pulled the sheet over her head.
Stiles looked at the clock; it was 6:30 a.m. and he'd been asleep for exactly 45 minutes. He did not want to move.
"I just fell asleep. I'll go twice tomorrow, just let me go back to sleep, please," he whined. "I have to work today."
Terri wasn't the least bit sympathetic. "Oh, poor baby," she threw in before shoving him toward the edge of the bed. Stiles caught himself before falling, then got up in a huff and stumbled into the next room to see his 3 month old son lying in his crib, exercising his small lungs.
"Hey there little guy, what's all the fuss? I know, you were hoping for mommy, but she's being stubborn." In a slightly louder voice he added, "And might I add lazy this morning. I think she should have come too, but what can we do?" Stiles had a good time taking out his frustrations by talking to the baby—Jack and Ava would have told on him.
"I heard that!" Stiles jumped when he heard Terri's voice; he'd forgotten that the baby monitor was on. He walked over to the monitor with the still whimpering infant in his arms and turned it off.
"Uh oh Connor, daddy's in trouble. We better go downstairs before mommy gets up!"
With that, Stiles went downstairs to fix a bottle.
Terri, who couldn't go back to sleep, was rounding the corner when the two "boys" left the kitchen. She was impressed with the way Stiles was able to take care of Connor. He had been so excited and nervous before he was born.
Stiles wanted everything to be perfect for Terri and the baby. He doted on Terri from the minute she told him she was pregnant to the minute she came home from the hospital; Terri had more foot rubs and massages in nine months than she'd had her entire life. Stiles measured her belly with a tape measure to keep track of the baby's growth; he bought headphones made to put on a pregnant woman's abdomen for classical music hour; and he read to him when Terri would let him. He was trying to make up for missing Terri's first pregnancy. Though Terri at times felt smothered by her mother and husband she was thrilled that they both were there to share the pregnancy with her. When she'd had too much she would go to work to escape.
Terri laughed to herself when she thought back to three prior months:
Stiles couldn't believe how incompetent he felt. 'This shouldn't be that hard: Call the doctor, call the parents, call Jackson to watch the twins; get Terri's bag, help her to the car, and drive to the hospital.' Somehow, he'd gotten stuck at 'call Terri's parents.' Suddenly, he couldn't remember their number. By the time he remembered Terri had called both her parents and his and carried her bag downstairs.
"Sorry honey, I don't know what happened; my brain just froze . . ."
"That's alright, everything will be fine. This is your first time, it's okay to be a little nervous! Jackson will be over in a few minutes to watch the twins."
Stiles somehow managed to get Terri to the hospital. Terri was calm; delivering one baby in a hospital surrounded by her husband and family was nothing compared to delivering twins while alone in a foreign country. Stiles, on the other hand, was a nervous wreck; by the time she was in active labor, everyone was afraid that he was going to faint. They weren't sure he was going to make it, but when Terri really needed him, he pulled himself together.
Patrick O'Connor Stiles was born at 10 am on a bright Saturday morning. Stiles and Terri were both overcome with emotion when they saw their baby boy. Stiles' smile couldn't have been any broader when the doctor let him cut the umbilical cord.
The nurse laid the baby on Terri's chest as Stiles marveled at how tiny he was. He didn't relax until he had counted 10 little fingers and 10 little toes. Terri let Stiles "ohh" and "ahh" over the infant for what seemed like an eternity before she made him move to practical matters.
"I can't wait to tell granddad he's named after him. He'll love it."
"How upset do you think he'll be when we tell them we're calling him Connor?"
"Don't worry; I'll convince them that it's a good idea!
He'd smiled for the next two days. Terri was glad she had that memory now that his smile had turned in to a perpetual frown from being awakened at all hours of the morning and night.
Terri watched for a few minutes as Stiles fed Connor. He'd done it many times before, but she was always a little nervous. About the time she was confident that all was well, she heard her stomach growl.
"Oh, now you're up!" Stiles playfully chided his wife before walking over to kiss her. "It sounds like Connor isn't the only one who's hungry."
"How about some breakfast? I'm sure the other two will be up soon; we haven't had a real breakfast together for a long time."
"That sounds great. I always sleep better on a full stomach," Stiles said with a smile as he ducked; Terri, like her mother, had developed a habit of hitting him when his mouth took over his brain.
Terri cooked a big breakfast for her family. As the twins ate she watched them then looked over at their father and baby brother. Terri was happy. A single tear fell from her eye as she watched; this was her family: her stubborn, but loving husband, her cute and precocious little son who looked like and was beginning to act like his father; her shy, cautious little Ava and sweet baby Connor. They were all hers and she knew they loved her as much as she loved them.
Stiles looked up and saw Terri watching them with a smile on her face. He put the baby in his rocker, stood next to his wife and wrapped his arms around her.
"They're pretty amazing, aren't they?"
Terri just nodded and smiled at him and continued watching.
Stiles left the room and returned less than a minute later with a cream-colored envelope with a red ribbon around it.
When Terri opened the envelope she saw a beautiful card. When she saw what was in the card she was surprised.
"A ticket to Ireland? I thought that after last year we agreed no more big gifts until our tenth." Terri wasn't angry, just concerned that Stiles was taking her to Ireland and the only thing she was planning was a card and a new pair of cuff links for his first official meeting with the President at the end of the week.
"Yeah, I know, but this is really a present for both of us and the kids; I want my grandfather to see them, especially his little namesake." Stiles couldn't tell what Terri was thinking so he added, "I reserved a suite in the castle where we got married.'
"I'd love to see the castle again and take the kids to meet their great-grandfather, but..."
"But now isn't a good time to leave."
"Don't worry; they're open tickets so we can go when you're ready. I just wanted to give them to you now."
Terri smiled. "Thank you. Have I told you lately that I love you?" Before he could answer the doorbell rang.
"Mom, dad, what are you doing here?"
"It's nice to see you too. Whatever happened to 'good morning?" Helen grumbled as she kissed her daughter.
"Hi Helen. I think what she meant to say is that we weren't expecting you until tonight."
Terri scowled at Stiles for "correcting" her.
"I know, but we thought you might like the afternoon to yourselves too. We're here to baby-sit. Now, go get dressed."
"What she really means is that she wanted more time with her grandchildren." Evan Freemont knew his wife which is why he wasn't surprised when she punched him in the arm and said, "Evan!" in mock disapproval. "Where are my little angels anyway?"
Stiles just laughed; he pictured himself bracing for the same punch the next 40 years.
"They're in the kitchen; Jack and Ava are finishing their breakfast and Connor is sleeping in his rocker."
"Mom, it's only 8:30. They only thing I want to do right know is sleep. What time did you guys leave home?"
"Too early." Evan Freemont offered. Helen wasn't amused.
Stiles whispered something in Terri's ear.
"Mom, Dad, will you and dad watch the kids down here?"
Helen's eyebrows went up. "Why?"
Terri and Stiles looked at each other and said simultaneously as they laughed,
"Sleep? Your dad and I drove all the way from Baltimore in rush hour traffic so you could have more free time. . ."
"And we could see our grandchildren" Evan interjected as Helen shot him a look.
". . . And you're going to sleep?"
Terri's dad laughed and said almost to himself, "I guess this means their honeymoon really is over!"
-The End -
Hope you enjoyed it.