She wasn't tossing and turning, so it couldn't be a nightmare. She knew it was a dream, had to wake up, yet she wasn't so sure; it all seemed so real…
"Daddy!" Four-year-old Sophie ran towards the man who had just exited the terminal. Several people turned to look at what the commotion was about, and they looked on as he stumbled backwards, because of the force of which Sophie collided with him. Sophie's long auburn hair was held back in a ponytail, and it bounced behind her.
She watched on as the oldest finally let him go, and the middle one stepped forward. Two-and-a-half Tanya was the shyest of the lot, although she took a lot after her father, once she warmed up.
"Daddy," she said and hugged her father tightly. He stood up with Tanya still clinging to him.
"Miss me?" he asked and Tanya nodded. She pressed a small kiss to his cheek, before slipping down to stand next to her sister.
"Da-da!" Cayla reached out with her chubby arms to her dad. He took her over from her mother and she held on close to him. The one-year-old's sparkling green eyes were looking up at him, and he smiled, pressing a kiss to her forehead.
"How's my baby girl Cayla?" He bounced her a little, and the girl squealed and giggled.
Wayne Rigsby had never missed his family so much. The six-day conference that he'd had to attend was the longest he'd ever been away from his girls, and it certainly showed.
"Sophie!" his wife said loudly, and the girl stopped in her tracks, turning back to them. "Hi."
He stepped forward and pressed a firm kiss on Grace Van Pelt's lips.
"Love you," he whispered, his lips lingering near hers. Her eyes sparkled as she looked up at him.
"Love you too."
"Let's go home."
"Night mommy," Sophie said, and went to hug Grace, who was sitting on the couch.
"Good night Sophie." The eldest daughter got a kiss on the forehead from her mother, before walking to her room, Wayne following.
Five minutes later, Wayne joined Grace on the couch. She turned her head, and was met by his lips, coaxing hers into a deep, passionate kiss.
"God I missed you," he breathed, and she moved to sit on his lap. One of his hands was buried in her hair, loving the soft silkiness of it.
"All three asleep?" she asked and he nodded. "Good." She leaned down and kissed him back with fervor.
"I missed you so much," Grace said softly, and he brushed a strand of red away from her face to kiss her nose.
"I missed you too, all four of you." He ran a hand through her hair and kissed her. When he stood up, she wrapped her legs around him, and he carried her to the bedroom, closing the door behind them, before tumbling onto the bed...
Strangely enough, he wasn't tossing and turning either. He, too, was having a dream, though he didn't know it; it seemed so real...
The sunshine that was filtered by the curtains shone in the room, and onto the two occupants of the bed. They were lying together. Her back was pressed firmly against his bare chest, and the arm around her waist kept her unyieldingly in place. So naturally, when she tried to turn, she couldn't. She did her best to get the stubborn arm to relent, but alas, it didn't. She softly whimpered, and it had the desired effect. His eyes fluttered open, and looked down at her.
"Good morning," he said and pressed a kiss to the back of her head. She shook her head and pouted. "Why not?" He held his hands up and she smiled contently, turning in his embrace to bury her face in the crook of his neck. He pressed a small kiss to her temple.
The door creaked open, and both adults looked as the girl in Strawberry Shortcake pajamas closed the door behind her and walked to the bed, her blanket trailing behind her. Grace turned and lifted Tanya on the bed. The toddler crawled on the bed and nestled up against Grace, who had turned back.
A cry broke the stillness in the room. Wayne turned the volume on the baby monitor down.
"I'll go get her," he said and got out of bed, leaving the room. Tanya got under the covers and curled up where Wayne had slept, basking in his warmth.
When he returned five minutes later, with Cayla changed, he encountered not two, but three people in his bed. Cayla cooed softly. When he put her down on the bed she crawled over to her mom, who picked her up and threw her a little in the air. She squealed loudly. She was put back down and crawled over to a now-in bed Wayne. She settled herself on his chest and closed her eyes. He slowly stroked her head and back, and soon the girl was fast asleep.
Sophie had curled up against her father and was also on the brink of sleep. Tanya, however was far away. Grace leaned forward, so she could whisper into the girl's ear.
"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy, when skies are grey," she softly sang to her, and Wayne turned his head to look at the scene unfolding next to him. Her soft voice had the intended reaction, as Tanya's eyes drooped and she, too, fell asleep. Grace smiled and ran a hand through the girl's hair.
"I love you," he whispered to her; smiled when she looked up at him, eyes sparkling with love.
"I love you too." He reached out and cupped her cheek with his palm; let his thumb roll over her lips. His hand left her face and passed through her hair, massaging her scalp. Her breathing became deep and her eyes fluttered close as she lost her battle against consciousness, and in that moment, Wayne Rigsby wouldn't have it any other way.
He watched over his family and then slowly fell asleep...
Two naked bodies lay together, tangled in the sheets and each other. Both lost to their dreams. The lovers wouldn't find out their dreams were on the mark until years later, when Wayne Rigsby and Grace Van Pelt had three daughters named Sophie, Tanya and Cayla.