Description: Nothing, not even 10 years of love and life with Julie Taylor, and two years with Julie Riggins, could ever have prepared him for the joy, for the love, for the bliss of holding his child in his arms.
Disclaimer: I own nothing but my words.
When Tim was 16, he thought his life had peaked. He thought that playing ball, drinking with Street and sleeping his way through their small little town was better than he could ever hope for. Until the Taylor's moved to Dillon. Everything changed with their arrival. Street ended up paralysed and every vision for the future Tim had ever had died. When they won State that year he figured that was his moment of greatness. And when he ended up homeless because his brother was sleeping with his ex, he knew that the best days of his life had already passed him by. But then, Coach Taylor took him into his home, and he found out what a real family looked like. It wasn't perfect, far from it, but it was filled with love, trust and loyalty. Things Tim's life had been devoid of for the majority of it. When Coach had kicked him out, he hadn't been surprised. He'd always figured that it was a matter of time, after all, the best days of his life had already passed, the small reprieve living with the Taylor's had offered him was a mere oasis, fleeting and surreal. But then, things changed, the way they always do. And he found himself hoping. How could he not, when he held Julie Taylor in his arms? When he kissed her full lips and felt his heart explode with the love he had for her.
But what amazed him most, was the love he felt from her. He'd always known she loved him. Never doubted it for a second. Because she spent every moment they were together showing him. Tim had found himself wishing, hoping and praying for a future that included Julie Taylor, and the best days of his life seemed to be waiting for him rather than passing him by. When he graduated from college, he had a moment, an epiphany where he realised that every day he spent with Julie was the best day of his life. That each one became better and better, and his hopes changed again. He wanted a career, a marriage, a family, and wanted it all with her. He knew his life hadn't peaked. He knew without a doubt, the best was yet to come.
But nothing, not even 10 years of love and life with Julie Taylor, and two years with Julie Riggins, could ever have prepared him for the joy, for the love, for the bliss of holding his child in his arms. Of breathing in that distinctive baby scent as he kissed Peyton's forehead. Watching her take her first wobbly steps. The heartbreak of hearing her cry. The joy of watching Julie 'help' her blow out the candle on her first birthday cake. The love that engulfed him when she whispered her first words 'Dada' or the first time she whispered 'Love you dadda'. Nothing could have prepared him for Peyton Lily Riggins. And not even she could have prepared him for Emerson Rose Riggins.
Emerson was born 2 years and 11 months after Peyton. She was a gorgeous little pink, chubby cherub. And though he knew it wasn't possible, Tim could have sworn that she smiled at him the first time she looked up at him when she was a mere 20 minutes old. But that was their little secret. Daddy and his Emmie. The day she was born had been the most perfect day since Peyton came into the world. He was thrilled to be having another girl, despite the jokes of the guys on the team, Street and Jack, he couldn't imagine having anyone but her. He loved Peyton so much, more than he ever thought anyone could love another person that when they were told that their new baby would be another girl he was so happy to have another little Princess he almost cried. His girls, his princesses, they are his life, his world. Tim Riggins was the luckiest man in the world, because he had the love of the three most beautiful women in the world. Julie, who was still his last thought at night, and his first in the morning. Peyton and Emmie, his beautiful little girls who were the perfect mix of himself and their mother, that they were exquisite. Life couldn't possibly get any better. It couldn't.
Playing in his third super bowl the year before Emmie was born had been great; losing the game wasn't so great. But it hadn't stung like the first time. He'd looked up into the crowd at the end of the game and he'd found himself smiling. Julie and Peyton were in that crowd. They were waiting for him. They were the best things in his life; a game meant nothing, because he had them. He'd already won the best game, the best prize, and the best ring sat permanently on his left ring finger, he didn't need another.
That summer he won his second Espy. Sure, that had been pretty damn great. Julie had looked so damn beautiful. Peyton was two, and they had avoided any events that weren't completely necessary in favour of spending every moment with their gorgeous little girl. It was the first time since she was born that Tim saw Julie in formal attire. And when she walked out of the bedroom of their hotel suite in LA in the most beautiful purple dress he'd been floored. Her beauty never failed to take his breath away. She amazed him, and in so many ways. She walked the red carpet with him like a pro. And though they had done this before, it was an experience to watch Julie shed her usual shy persona and play the role of NFL wife. She easily answered every reporter that asked about her dress and her shoes and her jewellery. Tim never could figure out why it mattered that a woman named Vera made her dress, or some guy named Valentino her shoes, or that she wore Neil Lane jewellery. She looked stunning, what did it matter whose name was on the tag? But she answered every time with a smile and any other questions the reporters asked. She had an incredible instinct, like a sixth sense, that told her when to jump in and save him, when to squeeze his hand extra tight, when to smile encouragingly. She knew just what to do and when. Winning that night had been amazing. Making Emie two months later had been better.
The day they brought Emmie home from the hospital had probably been the best day of Tim's life. The labour had been quick and Julie had delivered without any complications or problems and was remarkably cleared to leave the hospital after only 24 hours. So they had decided together to wait to introduce Peyton to her little sister. Mom and Dad had been staying at the house with Gracie, the three of them looking after a delighted Peyton. She loved to be doted on by her Gammie, Gampa and Aunt Gracie. When Tim had pulled the truck up to the house, and after helping Julie out before reaching in to the back to remove the baby carrier from its holder, he couldn't help but laugh as he heard the very familiar sound of his daughter's happy squeal from behind the closed front door. When Tami had opened the door Tim had quickly intercepted his daughter as she ran full ball at Julie, prepared to leap into her mother's arms completely ignorant of the fact that Mommy couldn't handle that right now. Tim had one arm around Peyton's tiny waist and lifted her off the ground as the other still held the baby capsule. Gently and with a whispered warning to be careful with Momma, Tim handed Peyton to Julie.
"Hi baby, you miss me?" Julie asked, the smile nearly splitting Peyton's face as she nodded, her curly hair bobbing around her head at the action.
"Where's baby Momma?" Peyton asked in her cute little broken English that was so common for toddlers.
"Daddy's got her honey. You can see her in a minute, once we get inside. Would you like that?" Julie's only answer was the same accentuated head bobbing.
"Dadda, cuddle?" Peyton asked from Julie's arms and Tim couldn't help but smile at his gorgeous girl.
"Yes baby." Tim answered thankful that Eric had come out to greet them and could take the capsule from his hands. Tim reached out and took Peyton from a thankful Julie as she was still tired and weak from the delivery. "Come on darlin. Let's go see Emmie." Tim whispered to his daughter who smiled brilliantly at her daddy before wrapping her arms around his neck.
They entered the house and followed Eric and Tami into the family room. Eric placed the capsule down on the coffee table and the grandparents fawned all over baby Emmie. Tim offered Julie his hand and helped her lower herself into the armchair gently; she was still tender and probably would be for a few more days at least. When Tim sat down on the sofa with Peyton to introduce her to her little sister, his little girl suddenly went very shy.
"What's wrong darlin?" Tim asked as Peyton buried her face in his neck.
"The baby is there." Peyton's words were mumbled against his neck and Tim threw a smile to Julie. Peyton was nervous to meet her little sister.
"Yes she is honey. Her name is Emmie and she really wants to meet her big sister." Tim said as he rubbed Peyton's back.
"Really." Tim smiled as Peyton finally relaxed her hold on his neck and peaked at the capsule. Once she caught a glimpse of the baby, all her nervousness vanished and she jumped out of Tim's lap to stand in front of the capsule and stare down at baby Emerson. Tim smiled as he watched her, she didn't move, didn't try to touch Emmie, just stared at her baby sister in awe.
Tim couldn't help but think of the day 5 months earlier, when they sat Peyton down and told her she would be a big sister. She'd looked at them confused at first. Her little face scrunched up in thought as she considered the news. When she finally spoke, it was to ask a question that had Tim smiling so big it almost hurt his face, it was just so damn cute.
"Will it be a boy baby or a girl baby?" Peyton had asked with all the seriousness a 2 year old could muster.
"A girl honey." Julie had answered as she ran her hand over her hair and rubbed her back.
"Good, I don't like boys." Peyton had stated firmly.
"Good girl, you keep it that way." Tim laughed as he looked at her scrunched up nose.
"Tim!" Julie scolded before turning back to Peyton. "But Daddy's a boy honey, you like daddy."
"Daddy's not a boy." She stated with perfect certainty and Tim looked at her with a mixture of shock and confusion. Maybe they'd need to have a little chat with her about the differences between boys and girls. That was a chat he'd hoped to never have with her, especially not when she was only two.
"No?" Julie asked before looking at Tim worriedly.
"He's a daddy." Peyton stated nodding her head emphatically. Tim and Julie burst out laughing. It was the cutest thing they'd ever seen or heard in their whole lives and they wished more than anything that they'd been videoing it. It was so gorgeous. Tim lifted Peyton into his lap and placed little kisses all over her giggling face. It was a cherished memory, one Tim would carry all his life, and he was sure that it would never cease to bring a smile to his face.
It wasn't until a few days later when they broke the news that she'd have to move out of the nursery and into her own room that Peyton threw a full blown tantrum. Her first one. Suddenly she didn't want the new baby anymore. It was her room, her crib. Julie had to bribe her with a big girl room, one where she could pick the colour and her big girl bed. It had become the 'Pink Palace' as Tim called it. They'd pretty much caved and given her nearly everything she wanted. Nearly. But it worked, she loved her room and moved out of the nursery without any more fuss. Anything to keep the peace.
Tim and Julie had been really careful to prepare Peyton for the new baby. They'd heard horror stories about children being jealous and angry that they'd been 'replaced'. So they'd done everything they could to make sure Peyton new she wasn't being 'replaced', that they loved her more than anything in the world. Peyton was even excited about the new baby. She loved to rub Julie's belly and feel the baby kick. It had been amazing watching her face lit up as she felt the baby kick her hand. Watching her now, she had the same expression on her face. Tim and Julie had no need to worry, Peyton was already madly in love with her baby sister.
Eric and Tami stayed for a week after Emerson was born, and their help had been a god send. By the time they had to leave to go back to Dillon, Tim and Julie had a routine down and were well prepared to look after two little girls. In fact, they discovered they had an unexpected little helper. Peyton loved to dote on her sister and would always jump at the chance to help. Whether it was as simple as opening a door for Momma, or running into the other room to grab something. She was a little cutie and did whatever she could to help look after her baby sister.
After a couple of months Tim decided there was a particular gift he wanted to get Julie. When Peyton was born he bought her an eternity ring. A beautiful band of pink and white diamonds. The day Emerson was born he'd given her another piece of jewellery, another band of simple white diamonds that stacked atop the previous ring. But there was something else he wanted to do. So after practice he drove to a place he hadn't been in years.
That night as they were getting ready for bed, Tim removed his shirt and Julie gasped. He'd been expecting to get a reaction, he wasn't sure what kind and he wasn't sure if he should be scared. But when he looked up into her face, her hand covering her mouth and her eyes wide he knew he'd better start talking.
"Jules." He began only to be cut off by Julie.
"Did I see what I think I saw?"
Tim nodded slowly, he'd wanted to play with her a little but decided it probably wasn't the best idea right now so simply walked towards her and took her hands in his.
"Are you mad?" He asked with a puppy dog expression that Julie could never resist. She shook her head at him slowly, her mouth still hanging open in shock.
"Can I see?" She whispered and Tim smiled gently at her. He raised first his left arm and then his right to remove the bandages and reveal the tattoos that lay beneath them. On the inside of each bicep he'd had his girls names permanently inked into his skin. Peyton on his left, Emerson on his right. Julie reached up to touch the fresh ink but pulled her hand away before she made contact. "They need to be cleaned." She whispered taking his hand and leading him into their bathroom.
Julie never said a word as she gently cleaned and tended to his tattoos. Her silence started freaking Tim out and finally he reached up, stilling her hand and looking deep into her eyes.
"Say something Jules." He demanded as gently as he could in a deep voice. He watched her shiver at the sound of his deep drawl and fought back the smirk that wanted to etch its way onto his face at the fact that he could still make her quiver with just the sound of his voice.
"Why do you always get tattoos without telling me first?" She asked with a playful glint in her eyes and Tim breathed a sigh of relief.
"You like them?" He asked and watched as Julie bit her lip while she nodded. Oh she liked them alright, that little lip bite just clued him in to just how much she liked them. Julie was more than a little surprised to find that ink on Tim turned her on. Made her hotter than hell. She loved running her fingers and her tongue around the lines of the sun on his shoulder blade, and seeing their children's name on his skin was having the same effect. Their children, the babies they'd made together, were forever printed on his skin. Thank god they could make love again, cause her body was begging for his. Tim practically lunged at Julie, his lips finding hers and mating passionately as he guided her backwards into the bedroom.
They couldn't get their clothes off fast enough, Tim struggling with his belt and zipper before giving up and placing her hand at the fastenings of his jeans. Julie had them undone in no time and was pushing the denim off his hips to pool on the ground at his feet. Tim gathered the skirt of her nightgown in his hands before pulling it over her head and dropping it carelessly on the floor. He stepped out of his jeans and lifted Julie into the air. Her legs wrapped around his hips immediately as Tim carried her to their bed, his lips never leaving hers.
Tim gently placed Julie in the centre of the bed, dropping his boxers and dragging her lace panties down her legs. With a growl Tim crawled up the bed to hover above her. Julie had been self-conscious the first time they had made love after Peyton was born. Nervous that he wouldn't like the changes in her body, however temporary they had proved to be. But Tim had found it a turn on. Her body was different, and it took several months for her to return to the size she was pre-pregnancy but to Tim it was physical proof that she had carried and delivered their child. Something that tugged at his heart and surprisingly his libido. Now Julie knew how much Tim enjoyed the temporary extra softness of her body, knew he loved to nuzzle the soft, yet slight remaining belly she carried. Loved to lave it with kisses and gentle caresses. Knew he was in awe that her body had carried a life they created together. Julie would lose the remaining baby weight just like she had with Peyton, but while it was still there Tim enjoyed it thoroughly. Tonight was no exception. He ran his tongue in teasing circles along her flesh, dropping sucking kisses here and there before moving further down. He teased her most sensitive areas with a well practiced ease that never failed to send her reeling before climbing back up her body to take her mouth in a deep kiss.
When his hips met hers, his body being cradled in-between her thighs as he slipped inside of her they both groaned deep and long. He always felt the same, like he was coming home, like he'd died and gone to heaven, like there was no place as important as being right here, deep inside her body. This was home, this was heaven and as he moved Tim proceeded to show Julie that heaven could be found on earth, right there in the safety of his arms, while their children slept safely and soundly down the hall.
I'm so sorry this took me so long to post. It really kicked my butt. I just couldn't seem to get the tone right. My muse failed me big time. :( I must have re-written it like 5 times. It was horrible. So I'm terribly sorry, but I hope you all like it and think it was worth the wait... maybe...
This fic is actually wrapping up pretty soon. Only a couple more chapters to go. :( It makes me sad, like it's the end of an era or something.
Anyway, see you guys soon, hopefully the next chapter won't be such a pain in the ass for me.
I'll be updating the melting site soon too with more pics. Emerson Rose will be there. :D As well as Julie's new pieces of jewellery and much more. So keep checking the site for the update.
Love you all.