Chapter Ten

Do You Admire the View?

Figuring out how everything would fit took less time than Woody imagined it would.

That day, four years ago, when he had taken Jordan back to the morgue, he had assumed the conversation had been tabled until closer to the birth of their daughter. He had been the one most surprised when she showed up that evening at his apartment.

"Hey," he said when he had opened the door. He knew surprise tinged his words as well as shown on his face.

"Am I interrupting something?" She had nervously pushed a strand of hair behind her ear.

"No…no…come on in…"

She had entered his tiny apartment and aimlessly circled the living room a few times before she said, "I can't do this alone, Woody." Her still-nervous hands ran over her expanding belly.

"No one expects you to, Jor." He had nearly gone to her then, to try to soothe her, but she was wound tight and Woody was desperately afraid that any contact would make her run. It was better to let her take control of this situation. "I promise you, I'll be there for you. For the birth, for support, both financial and otherwise."

She shook her head. "That's not what I mean. I mean I can't to this…do any of this…alone. I don't know anything about babies. I mean, I never paid a whole lot of attention to kids, and even when I got pregnant, I didn't do a whole lot of reading up on raising a child. I was supposed to give her to Bug and Lily…and now…" She stopped and looked at him with wide eyes.

And said in a small voice, "I'm scared, Woody."

He crossed the room and ran his hands down her arms. "I know. I am, too."

"I mean I really can't do this alone…"

The hands on her arms drew her to him and for a long while they just stood in the middle of his living room as he held her, rubbed her back in comforting circles, and swayed slightly.

"Tell me I don't have to," she said with a slight hiccup in her voice.

"You don't have to. You never did."

From then on, she never did. Woody didn't move in with Jordan right away, nor Jordan with him, but after three months of sleeping on her couch when Jillian was born, the tiny apartment began to take its toll. It wasn't long afterwards they decided to put a joint down payment on a townhouse with three bedrooms – one for a nursery, one for Jordan, and one for Woody.

Six months of semi-sleepless nights with colic and teething later, they found they depended on each other more than ever—and now that dependency wasn't just at work. It extended to their little family.

Woody had gulped and swallowed hard when Jordan had referred to them as that…a family. And she wanted a family portrait made when Jillian turned one. They had gone to the photographer and had one taken. Later they went out to eat, as a family, then returned home, and both parents put the baby to bed.

That was the night Jordan had paused outside the door of her bedroom and invited Woody in. Jillian had slept peacefully through the night. If Woody remembered correctly, he and Jordan got little sleep, seemingly hell-bent on making up for lost time.

That was four years ago.

Now as he pulled into the driveway of their new home…a four bedroom Cape Cod with a fenced in backyard purchased that spring, he had to chuckle. There were birthday streamers and balloons….a cake and a half a dozen little girls playing in the kiddie pool Jordan had filled earlier in the day. It was Jillian's birthday. And it was a party.

Aside from the four-year old girls, Woody noticed the front porch was filled with friends…Nigel. Garret. Renee'. Even Bug, who watched his almost-daughter with wonderment. Shortly after Jillian's birth, Bug had signed the papers needed for Jordan and Woody to "legally" have their daughter. In response, Bug was made Jillian's godfather, a role he had taken very seriously since his return to Boston.

But one person was missing. As Woody got out of his car, a tub of ice cream in hand, he looked vainly for Jordan, at last catching a glimpse of her at the side of the house, beginning to grill hot dogs. On her left hand sparkled a diamond engagement ring, a concession she had at last agreed to only in the past couple of months.

As her belly swelled with their second child. A boy.

This time conceived without the benefit of modern technology, only with the blessings of love. Woody's chuckle turned into a laugh. From where he was standing, the view was great.