Author's Note: I'm so sorry about the wait, I've tried posting this last chapter about a billion times and it kept not letting me. Grr! But FINALLY, here it is. I thank you all for the feedback, and hope you have enjoyed this story! This is dedicated to my friend Maggie who just had a (thankfully) healthy baby boy last week! -grins-
Casey smiled down at her son as he finished his bottle and began to contently fall back to sleep. It was early in the morning, much too early for anybody to be up in the house, and yet Casey was cheerfully awake, sitting on a chair in the living room, holding her perfectly-healthy baby boy in her arms.
"Did he drink it all?" a voice surprised her, and she glanced up to see Derek standing in the doorway watching her. She wondered just how long he had been there.
"Every drop," Casey whispered back so as not to wake the infant, and smiled up at Derek.
"Good boy," Derek smiled at the baby, walking in closer to the two of them. He studied the peaceful infant sleeping in its mother's arms. Tyler looked great—he had gained weight, gotten back his baby pudge, and was beginning to smile a lot.
"I should put him back in his crib," Casey said, standing up. Derek nodded, not speaking as he followed her back upstairs. She padded into her bedroom with her fluffy pink slippers on, and gently placed their sleeping son in his crib. She looked over, feeling eyes on her, and noticed that Derek was in the doorway, still quietly observing.
"He's asleep; you can go back to bed," Casey gave him a soft smile. Not that it had been his turn to get up with Tyler, anyway. She cocked her head to the side, suddenly curious. "Why are you up, anyway?"
"I heard you and Tyler get up and go downstairs," Derek shrugged. "Just thought I'd come out and see you two."
Casey's smile widened. "You do realise that it's an ungodly hour on a Saturday morning, don't you?" she teased, walking closer to him.
"I know," the corners of his lips tugged upward into an amused smile. His eyes drifted downward, drinking in the sight of her, and Casey immediately crossed her arms over her chest shyly.
"Derek…" she began, her cheeks pinking. He was clearly checking her out. "I'm in my pajamas…" They were not exactly the sexiest things in the world—pink flannel pants with white clouds on them and a matching top that buttoned up, revealing only a tiny sliver of skin at the top. She imagined that her hair was a mess, too, frizzy and untidy in a poor attempt of making a bun with one hand while heating up Tyler's bottle with the other.
"I know," Derek continued, the smile still playing on his lips as he advanced her. "You still look hot to me."
Casey laughed at that. "Oh, please," she rolled her eyes good-naturedly at him.
"Please what?" he arched one eyebrow teasingly, reaching out and sliding one hand under her baggy shirt to rest at her hip.
She shuttered at the contact he made with her bare skin. "Uh…" she realised she didn't have a good comeback as all thoughts flew out of her mind. All she could feel was his hand against her hip.
He smirked inwardly, knowing exactly what he was doing as he rested his other hand on her other hip, and drew her in closer to him.
"Derek…" she began to protest, but it came out more breathy than she would have liked.
"Shh…" he whispered to her, leaning in so now their lips were just millimetres away. "Did you mean what you said the other day?" he then asked softly. "About loving me?"
Casey slowly nodded, capturing her lower-lip between her teeth self-consciously.
A full-out smile then broke across Derek's face, and in one swift move, he pressed his lips against hers. Their first kiss in about a year. Their first kiss since Tyler had come into the picture.
"Derek…" Casey moaned his name this time, snaking her arm up his back and burying one hand in his hair, losing herself in the kiss. She had forgotten what it was like—how Derek's kisses made her feel. How perfectly their lips moved together. How her knees nearly buckled when his tongue slipped easily into her mouth, deepening the kiss until she felt like she was flying off to some other galaxy far, far away.
Derek pushed her gently backward until she felt the back of her legs hit the bed and then the two of them fell onto the bed, their lips not detaching even once.
It felt like old times, with the two of them making out, hurrying to get each other's clothes off. But this time, something was different. Because as soon as Derek got Casey's top off and Casey had slipped Derek's pants down to reveal yellow smily-face boxers, there came a noise from across the room.
Both Casey and Derek completely froze, their heads turning in synchrony at where the noise had come from—the crib.
Scurrying up, Casey hurried across the room, Derek not far behind her. They peered into the crib, and were surprised to see that Tyler was up, his eyes wide as he smiled up at the mobile above his bed, his hands reaching upward as if he could touch it.
"Was that you, little guy?" Derek asked, puzzled. He spun the mobile around for him and Tyler grinned, opening his mouth. And they heard that noise again.
It was Tyler laughing.
"Are you laughing at us?" Casey asked, smiling brightly as she heard her son laugh for the first time.
"I don't know whether to be offended or not," Derek whispered over at her, and Casey laughed despite herself.
"Come here, my little man," Derek beamed down at his son, gently pulling him out of the crib. Tyler gave a little squeal of laughter again, and Derek and Casey shared a look of pure joy.
Casey watched as Derek cradled their son against him, pressing a kiss against the baby's still practically-bare head.
"When are you gonna grow some hair like your old man?" Derek chuckled at the baby, running his hand through the few wispy strands of dark hair that the baby did have.
Tyler squealed again, and Derek practically lit up at the sound. Casey had never seen Derek look so completely… blissful before.
"You're happy, Derek," Casey blurted out her observation, and Derek looked over at her, meeting her eyes, a surprised look coming over his face.
"Why wouldn't I be?" he asked, pressing another kiss against Tyler's head and then reaching out for Casey, pulling her towards him and placing a loving kiss against her lips. When he pulled back, he gave her a very meaningful look.
Which Tyler interrupted with another laugh.
"No more laughing for you," Casey chided, a smile on her face. "You should be sleeping, young man."
Tyler grinned up at his mother, and Casey could see the infamous Derek Venturi smirk hidden in that innocent grin of his.
"Oh boy, I can already tell that you're going to be handful," Casey shook her head, and looked up to see an identical grin on Tyler's daddy's face.
Sighing, Casey shook her head again. "Ohhh boy…"
The kitchen was alive and bustling as Nora made a Saturday morning breakfast of waffles for the MacDonald-Venturi clan. Lizzie and Edwin were talking, while Marti was under the table as George pleaded with her to come eat breakfast at the table in a chair like a normal kid.
Nora looked around, noticing that a portion of the family was missing. The louder, more volatile portion.
"Lizzie, where's your sister? And Derek?" Nora questioned her youngest as she poured in more waffle mixture into the waffle iron.
"I don't know," Lizzie shrugged. "I didn't see them this morning."
That wasn't like them to oversleep. Not when they had a little baby alarm in the form of Tyler now.
"Go get them," Nora waved Lizzie off. "Tell them breakfast is almost ready."
"Okay," Lizzie sighed, hopping off the chair and going upstairs in search of her sister and stepbrother.
"Casey?" Lizzie called softly, giving a little knock on the door that had been left slightly open. She always left it cracked a bit so Derek could come help with Tyler during the night, Lizzie knew that.
Peering into the room, Lizzie raised her eyebrows in utter shock at what she saw. Casey and Derek were both lying in bed together—each fully dressed, to her relief—and they were sleeping, Casey's head resting on Derek's shoulder. And, on top of Derek's chest, lay an equally peaceful sleeping Tyler, cradled by one of Derek's arms.
Lizzie hurried back to her room and grabbed her new favourite thing—something that the family had gotten her for her recent birthday. Then she ran back and walked into her sister's bedroom again, as quietly as she could.
And the camera flashed as Lizzie preserved a beautiful memory on film. She would frame it and give it to them someday.
Maybe… on their wedding day.