It had been a long day at the office and all Jack O'Neill wanted to do was come home, take off his shoes, relax on his couch and spend time with his family.
Family. Just the word made him smile.
He thanked his lucky stars for making it possible. It had been three years since he had almost blown his chance at happiness. Thinking how he almost had lost that chance to be were he was now, with the woman he loved, made him drive a little faster, wanting to see her face to reassure him that it was real and not a dream, that this life was his.
He pulled up to his driveway and saw that the lights were still on. He smiled, turned off his truck and walked quickly to the door. Sam had waited up for him and he was going to take advantage of their precious time together.
When he opened the door he expected to see his very pregnant wife waddle towards him and give him a kiss. Instead it was his rambunctious daughter Amanda Clarissa O'Neill that let out a squeal and ran towards him almost knocking him over.
He picked her up, held her over his head and brought her down to give her a kiss. She had latched on to his neck and started to kiss his cheek, whispering in his ear that she was so happy that he was home so now she had someone to play with.
He looked over his daughter's shoulder and saw his exhausted wife come into the room. He looked at the clock and noticed that it was 2 hours past her bedtime.
"Young lady why aren't you in bed? It's two hours past your bedtime and by the looks of it you've given your mommy a bad time. So why aren't you sleepy and don't tell me that you were waiting for me because I talked to you earlier when you were visiting Uncle Daniel's and told you I might not be home tonight, that I would see you tomorrow afternoon so we could go to the zoo."
She looked at him with those blue eyes and smiled.
"Daddy I love you, I miss you and I wanted to see you. I knew you'd come home tonight. I'm sorry for not being a good girl but now that you're here I'll behave I promise cross my heart"
Sam rolled her eyes and said, "She gets that from you, not me, and remind me to K – I –L-L Daniel next time I see him. He let her nap longer than she should have and then filled her with cake and ice cream before dropping her off. She's been bouncing off the walls since she's got here. I was at the end of my rope and I was about to call you for help".
Hewalked over to Sam and gave her a kiss, leading her to the couch. He sat down, tried to sit Mandy between them. She was still clinging to his neck and she got comfortable in his lap.
Sam leaned in and let out a yawn. She asked me if I could take over, she was about to collapse, and her back and feet were killing her.
"This child of yours is going to be the death of me, and the one on the way is no help, he hears her and starts to kick, letting me know he wants out. I swear this kid is going to come out running. Remind me how much longer I have to waddle around and look like a beached whale."
Jacklooked at her and took her hand. "Honey did I hear you right you said he? So this week it's a he?"
"I did say he didn't I."
Hesmiled and kissed her cheek and said the kids werehis children only when they acted out and were hers when they were well behaved.
She snorted and closed her eyes. Even tired she was beautiful. Mandy started to act up wanting her father's full attention and Jack came up with a plan to benefitthem all.
"Sam honey, I've got an idea. Why don't I draw you a bath and you can soak in it for as long as you want and I'll put Mandy to bed and afterwards…."
Sam turned, looked at me and smiled. "Think you might get lucky tonight flyboy? Chances are slim to none the way I'm feeling right now."
Mandy started to giggle. "Mommy called daddy flyboy. Daddy what's a flyboy?'
Sam asked with a smirk on her face, "Yeah daddy, what's a flyboy?"
Hestood up with Mandy inhis arms and started towards the bathroom.He told Mandy hewould explain to her when she was bedded down.They went into the bathroom to draw Sam's bath andhe had her helppour Sam's bath oils thatthey knew she liked. Jack remindedMandy tobrush her teeth and get ready for bed. Of course, brushing her teeth had become a threering circus, she was having a balllinger longer then usual.
Sam walked in wearing her robe and nothing else. The bath was almost ready and she smiled at me.
Hepicked up Mandy, went up to Sam and she gave her a kiss and a hug, telling her good night. He put her down, told her to go to her room and pick out a book sotheycould reada story. She said no, that she wantedhim to tell her one ofhis ventures that had mommy, Uncle T, Uncle Daniel and Grandpa Jacob.
Jacksmiled and said okay but she had better be under the covers whenhe got to her room or no story.
She ran to her room and left Sam andhim alone in the bathroom.He took Sam intohis arms and she kissed me.
"You're too good to me Jack; that's why I love you so much."
Jacksmirked and said, "So it isn't for my boyish looks and my pension?"
She laughed and started to take off her robe. She let it dropped andhe was speechless. As long ashe livedhe would never get tired of seeing Sam,his wife naked and her being pregnant again was just a plus.
In a way, she'd never been more attractive, the pregnancy was making her more beautiful. She glowed and even if she said she was fat and awkwardhe secretlyloved her this way.He placedhis hand on her stomach and it still amazedhim that theywere going to be parents again. She put her hand overhis andhe looked up to see her looking at mehim.
Hewas about to give her a kiss whenMandy yell out that she was ready and where was he.
Heshrugged my shoulders and started out the door. Sam whispered to hurry back, she'd save a place forhim in the tub.
He did his best Arnold impressionation and said He'd be back to wash her back and her neck and anything else she needed help with. She got in and leaned back and closed her eyes,whispered to takehis time andthe bath felt wonderful.
Mandy yelled out again andJack rolledhis eyes, walking out mumbling that she was getting as bossy as her mother.
Heheard Sam giggle andturned around.He was a lucky man but stopped when once again thoughts about the ifs that had dangledin their lives those last years. What ifhe had never gone after her in San Diego, what if she had married Pete instead.
Heshookhis head, and tried to forget those dark ideas, what counted was here and now,he was married to the most wonderful woman,he had a beautiful little girl, and a new baby was coming to bringthem more joy.
Jackwalked back into the bathroomand sat next to her in the tub and took her hand.Sam wasstartled she looked intohis eyes and knew whathe was thinking.
Hiseyes were the windows tohis soul, she always would tell him.He could never hide anything from her. All she had to do was look to know whathe was thinking
She caressedhis cheek and said she was here and that askinghim to marry her was one of the best things she's ever done. That thanks tofriends and family they were safe and together.
She kissed him softly and Jackthanked her for her reassurance.He got up before Mandy called out again. Beforehe got to the doorhe turned and asked Sam.
"If you could change our past would you?"
Hewaited to see how she would answer.
"The pain of us being apart for so long would be one thing I'd change and not being able to tell you how I felt and the heartache I put you through those things I wish I could take back. I wanted to retire. I wanted us. I wanted a family and now I have it. Not a day goes by that I don't thank god that we're here today together. No Jack that is one thing I do not regret or ever will. I have you and Mandy; that's all that matters to me, and we have another child on the way. I would have retired a long time ago if I knew this was what I would have to look forward to."
A tear escape from Sam's eye.He told herthey were lucky to have survived all the turmoil and grief inthier lives. Thathe pinchhimself sometimes to make sure it wasreal and right beforehe'd wake up each morning hereached out to make sure she was there and that this was not a dream.
Theydived into each other's eyes. Out of time. Just theirtwo souls, linked. No words were needed. They just knew. Despite allour fears,and all their doubts,they knew thatthey had done the right thing,
Samwas right, there was nothing to regret. Some things are meant to be.
DADDY!!! Mandy screamed.
Hewas snapped out ofhis stupor, blew Sam a kiss and walked intohis daughter's room wherehe would tell her the story of how her mommy and daddy met, ended up falling in love and lived happily ever after.
Thank you for all the reviews and for reading I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I did writing this story.