Chapter 110

Kate was on her fifth try to get the basketball in...And Doug was on his last few dollars. He saw Anna come up behind him and decided to finish this off. "Here sweetie let me try." Kate handed him the basketball and Doug shot it, making it in and winning her a small bear. "Yeah daddy!" both girls yelled. Doug turned around and rolled his eyes. "Its all skill" he said sarcastically to Anna. "Well..." he said to her."It's your turn to pick a ride Anna. Then its time to go home."

Anna smiled, "I want to go on the Ferris wheel, please." She said as she batted her eyes at him.

Doug gave her a wink. He was glad she chose that. It was something they could be alone on for at least a few minutes. "Ok...ready girls?" he asked as he walked them all over. After buying some tickets he got Kate and Tess situated in a seat. Its was a good thing that they wanted to be 'big girls' and be by themselves because Doug was dying for some adult time. Once the wheel moved a little it was Doug and Anna's turn to get in. Doug climbed in the seat and waited for Anna to follow. She had to know how happy he was about all of this. She had really made his day.

Anna slid in next to him. This was nice, even it would be for just a few minutes, she could sneak a quiet alone minute with him. She felt them start to move, as she let out a soft sigh to enjoy the ride.

Doug relaxed into the seat and put his arm behind Anna. He tilted his head and rested it on her shoulder. "Nice to be alone." he said with a sigh. "How can i show you how much tonight mean to me?"

"Just letting me be with you has." She said as she kissed the top of his head, "it's all in the little things baby."

Doug smiled as they got to the top. All he could see were the stars and the city. Since he knew the girls were below them and no one else could see the two of them he brought his head up and pulled Anna into a kiss. It had been something he had wanted to do all day, ever since he had left in the morning. He took her hand in his free one and looked into her eyes. "You know I'm glad i changed my mind...i don't want to be friends with you, i want to be much more...and i think love is enough for us. It's enough for me to be happy; i hope its enough for you."

"It is Doug, it is." She said smiling at him, "I love you with everything that I am." She leaned into him to kiss him again before that ride started to move.

It didn't take long until they were back down with Kate and Tess waiting for them. Doug sighed as the ride came to a stop. He was almost exhausted. "Ok...let's head for the car guys. Its getting late." both of the girls looked tired and Kate pulled on Doug to carry her. He slung her over his shoulder as a small pop came from his back. H winced for a second before starting to walk again. After the walk to the car both girls were tired and quiet as Doug put them in the car. He got in and started up his jeep. "So where are you staying tonight?" Doug whispered low enough for the girls not to hear.

She smiled and let out a soft giggle, "what time do the girls get up? I can sneak out before they know I was there all night if you want me to stay." She couldn't believe that she had just said that, but part of her wanted to stay with him, but she wasn't sure if she wanted the barrage of questions from the two that were almost out behind them. And she wasn't sure what Doug wanted, she figured though that he wouldn't ask if he didn't want her to stay.

"We could always do that." he said with a smile. "They don't usually get up that early. I get up for work before they do for school so we should be ok..." Doug pulled into his driveway and tried his best to be quiet as he pulled the two of them out of the car. They weren't quiet asleep but pretty close to it. "You two go get ready for bed and i will be in there in five minutes to tuck you in."

Kate nodded and headed in. Tess was on her heels when she turned around. "Are you going to read to us tonight daddy?"

Doug sighed and nodded. "Yeah just get ready ok?" Tess gave a weak smile and waved at Anna. "Goodnight Anna..." she said with a yawn before going into their room.

Doug turned to Anna and looked at the clock. It was only eight thirty and he was already pretty tired. "Ah well i better get ready for bed too. Once i read to them we can hang out a little bit." he said walking over closer to her and putting his hands on her waist.

She smiled, "you look tired baby, why don't you read to them and let me work out those knots in your back." She had noticed the grimaces when he was carrying the girls, but knew that even if it hurt he wasn't going to say anything. "Have fun reading to them."

Doug nodded and kissed her forehead. "Ill be right back." he said walking into their room. Doug jumped on Tess's bed and they climbed all over him. He pulled a book off their nightstand and started to read. "I will not eat them with a mouse; i will not eat them in a house. I don't not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them Sam I am." Doug didn't even get through the whole book before they were both pretty much out. Doug moved Kate into her own bed and tucked her in. he went to do the same for Tess when she asked him a question.

"Daddy...do you love Anna?"

Doug was surprised and a little thrown off. "Yes i do." he said softly, taking a seat on her bed.

"Like you loved mommy?" she asked again.

Doug didn't want to get into a long conversation quite yet about all this so he decided to end it rather quickly. "I still love mommy darlin. I will always love her because she gave me you." he kissed the top of her head. "Now go to sleep." Doug stood up and closed their door. After getting changed into an undershirt and his pj pants he walked back into the living room, unsure of what Anna had overheard he decided not to say anything about it. "All done"

"Green eggs is one of my favorites," she said smiling as she walked over to where he was standing, and wrapped her arms around him. She ran her hands up and down his back, pressing against the knots that she could feel under her hand, "your back pretty sore baby?"

Doug took a deep breath as she pressed right on a sore spot. "Yeah it hurts." he said tightening up.

She took his hand and pulled him into the bedroom so that she could get him to lie down. She straddled his back and started to work gently on the knots. "Are you seeing anyone for it?" She asked softly as she rubbed firmly but keeping the pressure so that she didn't put him into any pain.

Doug winced as she touched his back. "No...It'll be ok." he said trying not to let her see how much that hurt. As she hit a spot right by his spine Doug's whole body jumped. "Ahh" he yelled into the pillow he was laying his head on.

"Sorry baby, but you are all in knots." She said feeling bad that he was hurting so bad. "Does it hurt all the time?" Distraction with her hands might get him to open up a little bit to her, if not maybe having the girls today might have loosened him up that he might talk a little bit. She wasn't expecting a lot out of him, but she figured she'd give it a shot anyway.

Doug let a breath out and tried to relax. "No...Well, it bothers me most of the time yeah. It's really not too bad. I just like being taken care of." he joked with a grin as he closed his eyes.

She ran her hand up and down again before leaning down and kissing his neck as she continued to rub, "mmm, glad to be of service." She said softly in his ear. Before moving back to the knots.

"You're too good to me. You'll have me under your finger soon." he said trying to joke as he moved to get more comfortable. His back was starting to work out and his body was starting to settle down. He breathed in deeply again as he let go of the tension he still held.

She could feel his back relaxing under her hands. He seemed to be a little more open now that she had him relaxed and putty in her hands. "Are you sleeping at all?" She asked softly, "and are you taking anything for your back still?" She hoped he wouldn't clam up on her so she continued rubbing moving across his shoulders and his neck.

"Yeah I'm still taking my meds for my back...they don't work as well as they use to though." he said softly as he let out a sigh. "They use to help me sleep too but i haven't gotten anything but a few hours every night for the past few weeks."

She didn't even flinch as he said that. She just kept rubbing but it started her thinking. Thinking things that she didn't want to think. "I'm sorry baby." She said as she ran her hands down his back all the way down so that she was now rubbing the back of his legs. "Are you taking those more often then?" Her mind drifted back to when they were in the car. He had taken more than a couple of them while she was heading them back into town.

Doug didn't even think about the line of questioning. He was almost relaxed for once in a long time. "Yeah...only when I'm hurting...routine gets messed up working and all you know? Kind of need it for prevention so i can work.

"Yeah I know all about that." She said softly. She wasn't going to take it any further. She'd deal with it later. But it explained a little as to why he was so upset when he seen her doing it. She trailed kisses up his back to his neck, "feel better now?" She asked sliding off him to lie on the bed next to him. It wouldn't surprise her if she had put him to sleep.

"Mmm" he mumbled almost drifting into sleep. His eyes fluttered only for a moment before his body gave into the fatigue and he fell into a light sleep.

She lay back on the bed. She needed to think, this wasn't good, not good at all. How could she have let something like this happen? How could she cause this to happen? She reached over and pulled a blanket up over him before lying out on her stomach. Letting her mind go, getting lost into her own thoughts. She couldn't let this go on, but she didn't know how to put a stop to it either.

Doug slowly fell into a deeper sleep. It had been the first time he had been relaxed in awhile which allowed his mind to slow down before he tried to rest. He didn't have any dreams...any nightmares...just sleep.

She noticed him slip into a deeper sleep. She looked at the clock it was getting late. She slipped off the bed, silently so as to not wake him. She couldn't get her mind to slow down. It was going way too fast; there was no way that she was going to get to sleep now. She didn't know what she was going to do now. This was her fault, this was all her fault. She was beating herself up. She pulled the blanket off the back of the couch and wrapped it around her as she lay back against the couch. She needed to find a way to help him get thru this with out it getting out in the open. She didn't want anything to happen to his job or with the girls. There was too much riding on this. There had to be something that she could do, but she didn't know what. She knew that if she hadn't said anything to Kerry she would still be working her full shifts in the ER, now whether Doug would have let her that was a different story. 'Come on Anna think' she said to herself. She wasn't getting anywhere and the hours were slowly passing by. She was going to be exhausted tomorrow.

Doug's alarm clock switched on at five and he quickly turned it off. Reaching over and not finding Anna he got up and walked into the bathroom. After taking his meds he washed his face and started to get ready for work. After getting dressed he walked into the living room where he saw Anna on the couch wrapped up in a blanket. He quietly walked over and sat down next to her. She looked like something was seriously bothering her. Although they didn't have a whole lot of time to talk Doug could always ask. "Hey babe." he said kissing her cheek as he sat down. "What's going on?"

"Hi honey, nothing really, I just couldn't get to sleep. I'm just a little tired now." She said answering him. She wasn't going to get into it with him right now, not when she was going to have to slip out the door to leave before the girls got up. She still wasn't sure how she was going to handle it. She knew that she wasn't going to let him go down. She wasn't going to watch another man that she loved do that to themselves, especially not because of her. She wouldn't let him do anything that could come between him and those girls who were sleeping upstairs. The three of them needed each other too much. She knew she needed to come up with a plan; she had to have something in her bag of tricks for dealing with this. After all this wasn't the first time she was faced with this. She tried to smile and make a joke, "I might need a caffeine injection when I get to work." She rubbed her face trying to get rid of any worry that might be on it and to try to stay awake. It had been a long night for her now and she was running out of gas fast.

At least she only had a half shift, a few more hours and she could go back to her apartment and try to sleep a little bit, if that was possible. She knew that her body would shut down on her if she didn't sleep soon, it always did. Her bathtub was calling her for a nice long soak. "I'd better get going so that you can get the girls up and ready for school, that way you won't have to answer any questions from them about why I was here all night." She reached for her purse that she had laid on the coffee table. She wanted to change the subject and give him something else to focus on, rather than her. "Here baby." She said handing him her spare key. "So you don't have to pick my locks or wait for Audrey to let you in. She thinks that you are just the sweetest young man she's ever seen. I think you've made that old woman's year. If I don't let you come over she'd be heartbroken not getting to see," Anna tilted her head to the side and tried to mimic her neighbor, "that mighty fine young man you're seeing Anna dear, he's a keeper, that he is. We need to see more of him around here." She touched his arm, "why don't you come by after you get off, maybe we can do something."

Doug smiled at her as he took her key. Having that meant more than she knew. "Yeah, i will." he said standing up. He let out a sigh as he rested his arms on her shoulders. "Sorry i fell asleep on ya last night. I was kind of tired..." he whispered giving her a small kiss. "I'm sorry you didn't sleep though..." Doug glanced at the clock on the wall. "See ya in a few hours." he said with a grin. Poor Anna did seem tired. He wished she had woken him up if she couldn't sleep. He might have been able to do something to help. He stepped back from her and pulled his keys out of his pocket as he walked up the stairs. He slid her key on along with the rest of his and smiled to himself. He pushed open the girl's door. "Wake up guys! Friday morning...and its school time!"

Anna walked out of the house and headed back to her apartment. She got changed and tried to hide the dark circles that were under her eyes. She drove down to the star bucks to get coffee before heading into work. She just hoped the morning went by fast cause she really wanted to go to sleep now. She put her things in her locker as she downed her quad latte. There should have been enough caffeine in there to kick her into gear as she headed out to triage patients.