A Hold on a Cartwright's Heart

I do not own Bonanza or any of the characters, except for Amanda and Mason, they are mine. Adam is 32, Hoss is 27, and Joe is 20. No copyright infringement is intended this is just written for fun and pure enjoyment of the reader.

Chapter Fifteen: It's Time

It was now September, and the baby was due any day.

Adam and Amanda had gotten married two months ago, it was a joyous occasion. Almost everyone in Virginia City had come to congratulate the new couple. Adam was working on building a house, but they had had a very early snow storm, so they were stuck living with his father until winter was over.

Mason's birthday had come and gone, he was now five and had started school

The name that Mason gave the baby had not remained permanent. Over the months the name change everyday, until finally Adam had told Mason that when the baby was born we would know exactly what to call it, Mason agreed.

It just so happened to be September 23, Ben's birthday, and they had a party at the Ponderosa. The last of the guests were just leaving.

"Thanks again Paul," Ben was saying to Doc Martin, who was climbing up into his buggy next to his wife, "have a safe ride back."

"We will Ben, thanks," Doc said, "see you around." The four Cartwrights plus two new Cartwrights waved good bye as the buggy disappeared around the barn.

"Well let's get back inside, where it's warmer." Adam said taking Amanda by the elbow.

"I need a little fresh air," Amanda said, "I'll be along in a moment." Adam looked at her concerned, but Amanda just gave him a little push towards the door.

"I'll be fine, Adam," Amanda said, "go on." Adam smiled then gave her a kiss.

"Don't be too long," Adam said, and then he followed his brothers into the house, Mason holding his hand.

Amanda sighed and placed her hand on her very large stomach. She had been having pains the whole night, but she didn't want to spoil everyone's fun, so she had kept quiet. She knew that the baby was close to coming, for these were the same pains she had got before she had Mason.

Restless she walked across the yard and into the barn. Cloud greeted her with a nicker, he had gotten so big in the last few months but Mason was almost an expert rider on Cloud, even if Cloud was still green broke.

She reached out to pet Cloud, but stopped short when she got a stabbing pain in her lower back. She gasped when she felt hot liquid run down her legs.

"Here we go." She said to herself, she tried walking back towards the door but it hurt to move. She knelt down and caught her breathe. When she was sure the pain had past she stood up again but was greeted with a dizzy spell, she grabbed onto on of the stalls. She needed Adam and the doctor, she took a deep breathe and screamed for Adam.

oOo

Adam and the other Cartwrights were laughing at how Mason had pulled Joe's own tricks on him while they were playing checkers, when they heard the scream. Adam jumped up and ran outside, his father and brothers on his heels. Amanda was no where in sight, then they heard a strangled cry from the barn and they all took off towards it.

When they went through the barn doors they saw Amanda holding onto one of the stalls with one hand and the other clutching her stomach. Adam rushed up to her and wrapped his arms around her.

"Honey, is the baby coming?" Adam asked even though he already knew the answer. Amanda nodded sharply. Ben came around to Amanda's other side to help Adam bring her to the house.

"No don't move me," Amanda said painfully, "it hurts to move."

"Mama, are you going to be ok?" Mason asked from behind Joe's leg that he was holding onto. And with the best smile she could manage she said.

"Of course I will honey, pretty soon you'll have a new brother or sister." She then looked at Joe and Joe understood, Mason needed to go to the house.

"Come on Mason," Joe said lets go boil some water for your mama." As Joe and Mason left the barn Ben and Adam helped Amanda onto a heap of straw.

"Pa, I bet the Doc ain't too far down the road," Hoss said, "I bet I can catch him."

"Go then son," Ben said, "ride swiftly."

"I'm sorry to cause all this trouble." Amanda said gripping Ben and Adam's hands, which were knelt down on either side of her.

"Trouble," Ben said with a slight chuckle, "you're no trouble at all."

"Are you sure?" Amanda asked looking at Adam now.

"Of course, my love." Adam said stroking a lock of hair out of her face. Labor pains washed over Amanda and she squeezed Adam's and Ben's hands.

"I hope Hoss hurries with the doctor." Amanda said through clenched teeth.

oOo

Hoss had just come up over a little rise in the road when he saw the doc's buggy a few feet down the road.

"Hey Doc!" Hoss hollered. He saw the doc and his wife turn in their seats and then the doc pulling on the reins, bringing the buggy to a stop. Hoss caught up to them in no time.

"What seems to be the trouble?" Doc asked when Hoss was next to him.

"It's Amanda," Hoss said, "the baby is coming." Doc got both an excited and worried look in his eyes.

"Well let me get this buggy turned around and we'll be back there lickity split." Doc said snapping the reins over the horse's back. Hoss waited until they were turned around and then he spoke.

"I'm going to ride ahead to tell them you're on your way." Hoss said, getting ready to kick Chubb.

"I'll be along," Doc said, "don't you worry any." Hoss nodded and kicked Chubb back into a gallop.

oOo

Meanwhile back in the house with Joe and Mason, Mason had begun to get restless. Hop Sing had already been in and out to the barn bringing all his supplies and water, several times.

"Mason will you sit still." Joe said for the tenth time, catching Mason trying to sneak out of the house again.

"But I want to see my mama." Mason whined. Joe sighed and picked Mason up bringing him to the settee.

"Well you're just going to have to wait," Joe said, after he and Mason were sitting on the settee he picked up one of Adam's books, "do you want me to read to you?" Mason nodded and Joe smiled,

'At least he will be quiet for a while,' Joe thought, 'was I like this when I was younger.' Joe laughed out at the thought and Mason just looked at him funny. Joe opened the book and began reading.

oOo

Hoss came in the yard and just about jumped off his horse in his hurry to get to the barn. Hoss walked into the barn and saw that when he was gone a little makeshift room had been made with blankets and one of the stalls it was big enough for even him to stand up in.

"The doc is on his way." Hoss said. Ben peeked through a small opening in the blankets and then came out.

"Thank you, Hoss," Ben said patting him on the shoulder, "the baby is almost here." They heard the buggy pull in and the both ran to the barn door.

"In here, Paul." Ben said, stepping out of the barn. Paul and his wife quickly got down from the buggy and rushed into the barn, past Ben and Hoss.

"Come on, Son," Ben said, heading for the house, "everything is taken care of now." Hoss nodded and then followed his father to the house.

oOo

It had been several hours that they had waited in the house, Mason had fallen asleep and now Hoss, Ben, and Joe were talking, about nothing really, just talking.

Finally they heard the baby's first wail, which made Mason jump awake. Everyone was smiles as they stood up.

"Come on, Mason," Joe said grabbing his hand let's go meet your new brother or sister." Mason took his hand and they all walked out to the barn.

oOo

"What is her name going to be?" Doc asked, handing the newborn to Amanda, after he had cleaned it up.

"A girl." Amanda said, looking down and her baby pouring all her love she could onto the baby. Amanda looked up at Adam, who was smiling.

"What do you think?" Amanda asked. Adam was thoughtful for a few seconds before answering.

"Could the middle name be Elizabeth, after my mother?" Adam asked hopeful.

"Of course it can, honey," Amanda said, "now we just need something that fits, but I can't think of any." Just then everyone came into the barn; the blankets had been taken down to let in some fresh air. Joe was the last one to come in with Mason holding his hand.

"That's it," Amanda said, "I know what her name is." Everyone looked at Amanda, waiting. Amanda looked down at the precious bundle in her arms and said.

"Josephine Elizabeth Cartwright."

To Be Continued….

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A/N: so sorry about the long wait been busy and I've had major writer's block on this chapter hope you enjoyed this story there is more to come with these character's but for now I will give them a rest and maybe write a different bonanza story. Thank you everyone who read and reviewed it means a lot