Thanks for all the reviews/favorites/alerts for this and my other stories.
For afrozenheart412 - at times I thought you were reading my mind. Thanks for the invaluable support and encouragement…and the yummy pics. :D
"I take it you had a good day?" Mac said as he closed the door and turned back to Stella.
Stella smiled as she walked into his embrace. "Yeah, we did. I was terrified when Lindsay asked me to pick up Lucy, though."
"Why?" Mac asked with a slight chuckle.
"I don't know. I mean, I've been around her a good bit, but you, Danny, or Lindsay were always there, too. That makes a difference. I was worried I'd do something wrong."
"Oh, give yourself some credit, Stell. I've seen how you interact with her," he encouraged, hugging her tighter.
Stella laughed. "She cried and I bought her ice cream."
"Yeah, but I saw from the plates in the kitchen that you also got her to eat a fruit and a vegetable--broccoli at that. How many kids do you know who willingly eat broccoli?"
Stella pulled back and smiled at him. "I guess I am pretty good…"
"Better than pretty good."
"Are we still talking about the same thing?" she smirked, looking at him through playfully squinted eyes.
Mac chuckled and kissed her forehead. "Probably not."
Stella sighed happily but slowly pushed away from him. "You really didn't have to clean up the kitchen, but thank you."
"Well, I knew you had a hard day. It was the least I could do."
"Not as hard as yours. Rough day with all the bad guys?" she said as she made her way across the room toward the hallway.
"To say the least. Sometimes I think people just enjoy committing crimes."
"Yeah, but not as much as we enjoy catching them," Stella countered. "Criminals keep us employed!"
"True," he agreed, nodding his head and following her.
"Do you want me to fix you something to eat?"
"No, I ate."
"When?" Stella asked, knowing Mac had a habit of forgetting to eat when he was busy--as he always was--with work. Unless Stella was there to remind him.
"Fine," Mac said in mock-protest. "It was lunch."
"I'm just not hungry. All I want to do is take a shower then enjoy the company of my wife."
"Flattery," she said, turning and grinning, "will actually get you everywhere, Mac Taylor," she said, kissing him quickly.
She could hear him laughing as she headed down the hall and into the bedroom where Lucy and she had napped. As she finished straightening the bedcovers, she heard the shower start. Smoothing her hand over the comforter one last time, a smile came to her lips. She had really enjoyed the afternoon with Lucy.
Ten minutes later, changed into pajamas, Stella flopped down on the couch and picked up the remote. Just as she powered on the TV, Mac, wearing only pajama pants, joined her.
She tracked his movement, her grin only fading when she noticed the angry red mark on the skin covering the right side of his ribcage. "Is that from…?"
"…your 'elbows of death?' Yeah."
"Oh, Mac, I'm so sorry," she told him as he sat down next to her. "It's kind of your fault though. You know how ticklish I am."
"Yeah, but I didn't know you were susceptible to everyone's tickling!"
"I am! If it makes you feel better, I've got a bruise or two from today's escapades."
"No, Stell, it doesn't make me feel better knowing that you've got bruises. What happened?"
"You know when you announced your presence to Lucy, and she left me in the dust to get to you? Well, let's just say that little girl elbows--and feet, for that matter--don't feel so great either. But it's okay. I'm a big girl," she finished with a smile.
Mac smiled too, then noticed something on the table. "I hope that sandwich is for you," he said, shooting a glance in her direction.
"I already ate dinner," she said saccharinely. "Dinos and trees. Oh, and pineapple."
"Mac, just eat it," she told him seriously.
"Fine," he agreed with a tiny eye roll. "But only because you already made it." He picked up the sandwich and took a bite. "What's this?" he asked as he picked up the piece of construction paper with his free hand.
"Another of Lucy's drawings."
"Let me guess which one's you," Mac teased.
"I sure stand out, don't I?" Stella said lightly, sitting up so she could get another look at the picture. "She wanted to draw all of us, but she said she got too tired. I believe her exact words were, 'I got a lot of uncles!'"
"And one totally awesome aunt," Mac said, taking another bite of the sandwich.
"Mac!" Stella giggled and elbowed him playfully. "Never ever say 'totally awesome' again. Please."
"Okay, fine," Mac laughed. "I'll never again say that if you promise to tone it down with the 'elbows of death.'"
"Deal," Stella agreed. "And I have other weapons besides my elbows, just so you know," she smirked.
"Yes, I remember." He glanced at the drawing again. "What's the pink thing you've got?"
"Our baby," Stella told him simply.
"Oh, really?" he asked amused. "Something you'd like to share?"
"Lucy's under the impression that every time two people love each other, they should have a baby."
Mac caught Stella's eye. "Maybe Lucy's right, Stell."
Stella's forehead wrinkled in momentary confusion, and she looked away as the meaning of his words sunk in. "I don't know, Mac…"
The phone rang and Mac cursed under his breath as Stella--obviously grateful for the interruption--got up to answer it.
"Hey, guys!" Stella said cheerfully, as though the uncomfortable baby conversation hadn't just taken place.
On their end of the line, Danny and Lindsay were on speakerphone. "Hey, Stell," Danny said. "We were just wonderin'…what are 'dino trees?'"
"Lucy can't hear you, right?" Stella asked cautiously.
"No, she's asleep," Lindsay affirmed. "She was out like a light before we even left the parking lot at your place."
"No way!" Danny exclaimed. "I mean, I knew you said you bought it, but I didn't think there was any way you'd actually get her to eat it. What'd you do, cover it in ice cream?"
"Danny!" Lindsay scolded.
Danny grunted, signaling to Stella that Lindsay had landed a blow of her own. "What? I was just kiddin'! Stella knows that!"
"So how'd you do it?" Lindsay continued.
Stella filled them in on her conversation with Lucy. "I'm sorry. I know you probably don't let her play with her food…"
"I don't even care about that, now!" Lindsay exclaimed, voice full of excitement. "I'm just ecstatic that she ate a vegetable! I think we should make this a weekly thing--you know, dino trees with Aunt Stella."
"I'd love to have her anytime, guys," Stella said honestly. "Hey, um, while I've got you two on the line, Lucy said something to me that I think you might need to be aware of."
"Okay, what is it?" Danny asked.
"Well, it's something about how Danny always has an appetite for good food and good lovin'," she said, unable to keep the laughter from her voice.
Lindsay groaned then all Stella heard was silence.
"Anybody there? Lindsay? Danny? Guys?"
Thanks for reading!
Fret not, my friends! While this is the end of 'Lucy Goosey,' we've not seen the last of Stella and Lucy's interaction. I've so enjoyed writing this, and because many of you suggested/requested additional chapters and/or stories, I've decided to make 'Lucy Goosey' into a series. I hope everyone will join me!