No Pain No Gain
I hope you enjoy this final chapter. Thanks again for the reviews.
Joseph stood there, unable to speak he felt like he was having a weird dream that just didn't seem real.
"I KNEW it, I knew this was a bad idea, why I thought this was ever a good decision I don't know." Jac's voice was quivering with a mixture of anger, fustration and hurt. She turned and started to walk away. Joseph ran after her. "Jac wait, wait - don't leave, please." He put his hand on her shoulder.
Jac turned to face him again. "I saw the look on your face when you saw us, you couldn't hide the disappointment." Jac shook her head sadly. "This was a mistake I should never have come up here." Joseph felt guilty. "Jac I'm sorry, it's just such a shock." "Look come back to the car and we can talk properly."
"No I don't think so, I may as well take the train back to Holby." Joseph's arm was still gripping her. Emily started to cry, Jac released herself from his hold wrapping both arms protectively around her daughter. Joseph looked at Jac, his eyes silently begging her to stay.
"Please Jac, come back with me." Their eyes locked together. She knew any resistence was futile. Jac nodded slowly, he was the only man who could make her weak at the knees just by looking at her. They walked back to the car. Harry was peering out of the window, his eyes were wide with surprise and wonder as Jac gave him a slight smile, which he returned with a frown. His eyes lit up as soon as he set eyes on his dad, smiling broadly.
"I'm afraid I haven't got a spare car seat." Joseph looked at her apologetically. "Will you be alright in the back with Harry?"
"Yeah sure." Jac got into the back and tried to calm Emily who was growing more restless. Perhaps she was picking up all the tension that was in the air. Harry looked at Jac and his new little sister with bewilderment.
"Hello Harry, you're a big boy now aren't you?" Looking at Harry was like staring at a minature version of Joseph, he had the same pale blue eyes, dark brown hair and even dimples in his rosy cheeks.
"Heyo." He said looking very pleased with himself. Jac smiled as Harry continued to stare at Emily with intent. He still kept his eyes on them as he drank water from his cup.
They arrived at the cottage, about 20 minutes later, Joseph turned into the gravel drive. "Right, here we are then."
"It looks lovely." Jac had been relieved that Joseph hadn't forced the conversation during the drive from the station. She wasn't very good at small talk. Joseph helped Jac carry her luggage into the house. Jac followed them into the living room. It was a large room with a fireplace. Despite it's size it had a cosy feel to it. Jac couldn't help but give a wry smile, which didn't go unoticed by Joseph.
"What are you smiling at?" Joseph asked.
"It just reminds me of what you said when you left, Y'know the log fires, wife, son - I'm guessing you haven't got round to buying a dog yet though?"
Joseph laughed. "No, although I still plan to get one, maybe when Harry gets a little older." "Do you want some tea or coffee?"
"Coffee would be great, thanks." "Do you mind if I feed Emily?" I fed her when we first got on the train, I think she might be getting hungry again."
"No, no of course not, I'll go and make the coffee." Joseph went to the kitchen, promptly followed by Harry who had a habbit of following his father everywhere now he could walk. When he returned with two coffees, Jac was breast feeding Emily. He put the coffees on the table. He was careful to watch Harry, he had got to the age of showing an interested in anything and everything, but was not yet old enough to grasp the full meaning of the word 'no.'
"Can I hold her?" Joseph asked Jac, when she'd finished feeding and winding Emily.
"She's your daughter." Jac replied matter of factly, before handing her over to Joseph. He felt the same flush of love he had felt for Harry when he held him for the first time. "Hello, I'm your Daddy, yes I am." He smiled. "You certainly gave me a surprise." Joseph turned to Jac.
"When was she born?"
"23rd of September 2011, weighing in at 7 pounds 2 ounces. Jac was sipping her coffee and watching Harry play with various toys on the floor.
"Why didn't you tell me about Emily before now Jac, I could have supported you?"
Jac looked at him honestly. "Because by the time I found out that I was pregnant you had already left, besides I didn't think you'd want to know."
Joseph looked at Jac with a mixture of astonishment and dismay.
"How could you possibly even think that, that I'd rather not know that I have a daughter." Jac shrugged.
"Look my mind was all over the place, you'd gone and I was trying to move on, when I found I was expecting..." "I wasn't sure if I could manage being a mother, I had never been a maternal person." The thought of a baby scared the life out of me." "I never envisaged for a second I'd become a mother, it's something that seemed so alien to me. "I'll be totally honest Joseph, adoption did cross my mind." Joseph was still holding Emily, her hand was clamped around his thumb.
"I wish you'd have told me though."Every child should know their father." He lay Emily down on the floor.
"Why didn't you reply to the letter I sent you a few months ago?"
"Yes, I know, I'm sorry -I just didn't know what to say." He started fiddling with the cuffs on his jumper. "I didn't want to rub things in, I didn't want to make things more painful for you."
"No, you just couldn't be bothered because you had a happy new life with your son - you didn't want anything to get in the way."
"That's hardly fair, you know how much I wanted to be with you, I asked you to come with me, remember?"
"I know, but I just couldn't do it, at the time my job was my life."
Harry was trying to climb on to Jac's lap, so she picked him up. He started to pull her hair.
"Oi you little monkey." She started to tickle him, making him explode into giggles. Joseph noticed how at ease with Harry she was. Good with children was not how he would have described Jac, she once said children bought her out in a rash!
"You're a natural you really are."
"Do I detect a note of surprise in your voice?" Jac was now bouncing a delighted Harry up and down.
"Maybe just a little." Joseph admitted, "you've always been so-"
"Selfish?" Jac cut in.
"Er no, actually I was going to say career minded." They both smiled.
Later in the evening when Harry had gone to bed and Emily had dropped off to sleep in her carry cot. Jac and Joseph had finished supper. They were sitting staring at the dancing flames of the fire. Jac was leaning on Joseph.
"It must have been hard handing your resignation to Hanssen?"
"I'm not going to lie, it was hard, but ever since Emily arrived it changed me." "So did you."
"I still can't believe you went through it all on your own." Leaving you behind was so difficult, if I'd known what was going to happen, I would have stayed."
"We're together now, unless of course the thought of spending the rest of your life with me is too much?"
"No way, I always do like a challenge!" I love you."
I love you too." She kissed him. Jac felt the tears run down her face, as Joseph wrapped his arms around her. Finally the dream of being part of a family was her's. That was the one thing she'd secretly hoped for. Now it was all coming true - wife, son, and daughter...