"Guess who's out of the hospital!" Marti's voice rang out.
Chloe gasped and looked at Savannah, smacking her mother in the face with her blonde pigtails and earning a small laugh. "Mawti! Mommy, Mawti here!"
"I hear that, go get her," Savannah said with a laugh, helping her out of her lap.
Savannah called in to work today because Chloe was still sick. It had been three days since she'd thrown up at the hospital, but for some reason her flu was lasting longer than usual. Today was the first day she hadn't been throwing up. Thankfully, she just had a fever and runny nose. So today, even though it was Sunday and they usually went to church, Savannah decided to stay at home with the kids and stay in their jammies, which consisted of feeties for the kids and the sluttiest tank top and boyshorts underwear for Savannah you could think of. She and the kids had been in Seth's nursery all morning, playing and reading books, and Seth's violent puke fest.
"Let's go see Auntie, Bubs," Savannah said as she stood up, picking Seth up with her.
"Mom," Seth said.
"Yeah, I'm Mom," she said, walking out of the room. She walked into the living room and laughed a little at the sight of Marti on the couch, being smothered in kisses by Chloe. "Chloe, Honey, you've been sick. No kisses on the face."
"Aw, it's alright, Mom," Marti said. "I could go for being sick for a couple days in bed. Lay around with nothing to do. It'll be awesome."
"You just got out of the hospital from doing that."
Marti shrugged. "I could go longer."
"You look like a whore, gimme my boy," she said, holding her arms out.
"I do not look like a whore, don't use that language in front of my daughter," Savannah said, handing Seth to Marti. "Be careful, no airplane games. He puked his guts out earlier."
"You say worse than that in the bedroom, Savannah," Marti said, kissing Seth's cheek. "Huh, Seffers? Mommy says a lot worse in the bedroom. You know, the bedroom is the whole reason you and your sister were born."
"No, he and his sister were born being I wanted to prove the world wrong that I'd never have kids."
"Yeah, I kinda want to talk to you about that whole thing."
"Well, the thing is, you're able to carry. You just have trouble getting pregnant."
"I had no problems getting pregnant. I just can't carry."
Savannah looked at Marti for a few seconds. "Okay… Still not getting it."
"Because I haven't asked it yet."
"Then ask it."
"Would you be willing to be a surrogate for me and Julian?"
Savannah's eyes widened a little and she stayed quiet for a few seconds. How the hell was she supposed to answer that? "Um…"
"If you don't want to, that's perfectly fine. I just wanted to ask before we went on some wild goose chase search," Marti said.
"No, no," Savannah said. "It's not that I don't want to, I just… That's something I need to talk to Dan about, so I can't give you a straight answer right now."
"I can take that. But seriously, if you don't feel comfortable about it, just tell me. It's not going to break my heart, I promise."
"Marti, whatever is going to get you guys that baby, I'll help with as best as I can."
"That really means a lot, Savannah."
"When Dan gets home I'll talk to him about it. I'll let you know what he says."
Savannah and Marti both looked at Seth when he let out a loud squeal.
"What is your problem, Mister?" Savannah asked.
Seth's hand went straight to his mouth and he held his other arm out to Savannah, earning a sigh. "I just fed you, dude," Savannah said, taking him from Marti.
"Good going, Seth, now I'm leaking," Marti said, pulling her shirt away from her chest.
"You wanna feed him, then? You're gonna be in pain in about ten minutes."
"Why am I gonna be in pain?"
"Because your tits are gonna be engorged and stretched out to the max."
"Well, fuck… Give him back, then. I hate this."
Savannah handed Seth to Marti and she looked over to Chloe. "Hey. Stop tearing the fuzzies off of the carpet. Your brother will find them and put them in his mouth. He'll choke."
"No he won't," Chloe said.
"Yes he will. Pick the fuzzies up and throw them away. Now."
"Ugh," Chloe scoffed. "Otayyy."
Savannah watched Chloe prance out of the room and she looked at Marti. "Did you see that? Did you hear that? She scoffed at me, and it's all because of you."
"You're welcome. Help me, Monroe, this kid isn't having it today," Marti said.
Savannah laughed and she leaned over the back of the couch, turning Seth's head towards Marti's breast, and she stood baack up once he latched on a few seconds later. "It's magic."
"Mommy magic. You're a genius."
"Yeah. It's a Monroe trait."
"I wish I was a Monroe."
"Don't they all?"
Savannah's jaw dropped. Dan had never been that blunt with her before. "Did you just tell me no?" she asked, crossing her arms, staring at him from across the room.
Dan raised an eyebrow and nodded. "Yeah. I said 'no'. You're not doing it."
"And, why not?"
"Because it's not our problem."
"She's your bestfriend. You should want to help her."
"Savannah, you're talking about carrying somebody else's baby. You're not doing it."
"First of all, Daniel, I did not ask you if I could do this. I told you I'm doing it," Savannah said, pulling her shirt up and over her head as she made her way to her dresser.
"No, you're not! You don't know how hard it's going to be to give that baby away!"
"It's not going to be our baby, Dan! It's theirs! I'm just carrying for them!"
"You're not doing it."
Savannah got into a drawer and pulled a shirt over her head, slamming the drawer shut. "I am. I'm doing this for a friend. She's my best friend. I'm doing it. I don't care what you say. I wasn't asking you if I could do it, I told you I'm doing it, and I am."
"If you do, we're getting a divorce."
Savannah turned around, her hair whipped to one side. "Are you threatening me?"
"I'm promising you, Savannah."
Savannah's eyes filled with tears and she stared at Dan for a few seconds. "I was in love with you until about two seconds ago," she said as her voice cracked.
"I've never been in love with you."
Savannah let out a sob and she walked out of the bedroom, slamming the door behind her. She sighed the second Seth started crying and she ran her hand through her hair, making her way to his nursery and taking him out of the crib.
"You're not leaving, Savannah," Dan said.
"Yeah. I am. You're a jerk. I don't know what the fuck I ever saw in you. I used to tell myself, I used to tell the world that you were the love of my life and that nothing would ever go wrong between us. It's absolutely ridiculous that the one thing tearing us apart is helping our friend finally achieve her dream of being a mother because she can't make that dream happen herself," Savannah said as she put Seth in his carseat.
"Where do you plan on going?"
"She hates you, she won't let you go back home."
"No, you hate me. My mother loves me too much. I'd rather be overprotected and loved out of control than hated by my own husband."
"Don't worry about that anymore, because you're not my wife anymore."
Savannah looked up from feeding Seth and she looked at Layne, who was standing at the doorway. "Yeah?"
"Dan's on the phone," Layne said, wiggling the phone a little.
Savannah stared at the phone for a few seconds. "Fuck him. I came here to get away from him," she said.
Layne put the phone to her ear. "I'm sorry Dan, she's not feeling very well right now… Yes, I know that, but I'm not going to make her talk to someone she doesn't want to talk to… I will. Goodbye." Layne hung the phone up and she laid it on a side table before walking over to Savannah's bed and sitting down. "Since I didn't get an explanation through all the tears when you came over, can I have one now?"
Savannah stayed quiet for a few seconds. "…He wants a divorce."
"What? Why? Not that I'm not happy about it."
"Because Marti can't carry a baby, and I agreed to be a surrogate for her. He doesn't like it."
"That's an amazing thing to do for a friend."
"You're an amazing person, Savannah. I'm more proud of you than I express and show."
Layne nodded. "Savannah, you and your sister mean the world to me. I know I don't show it like I should. I'm sorry for that. But I try. I really do. I'm sorry that I wasn't there for Seth's birth. I'm sorry that I wasn't there for you when you got pregnant and through your pregnancies. I'm very sorry that I don't visit you like I should, even when I know I have the time."
Savannah looked at Seth for a few seconds before looking at Layne. "But you try. That's all that matters. You do your best, even if others can't see it. I know how you work, Mom. I know it's hard for you to express your feelings. I'm not mad at you for that. I used to be, but I'm older now. I understand."
"Don't ever think that I'm not proud of you or the kids. You and Charlotte, and Joseph, Chloe and Seth mean everything to me. I love all of you to death. Especially the kids. I know I haven't been the grandmother I should be to them, but that's going to change. I promise."
Savannah smiled. "Mom, you've always been a good grandmother."
"By buying them stuff to keep it fair? That's not fair at all."
"But, you spoil them. That's what grandmas are supposed to do. You do a damn good job of it, too."
"Savannah, I just want to apologize for my harsh behavior in the past. I know I've been an insensitive rhymes with witch, but–"
"You can say 'bitch', Mom. I'm not ten anymore."
"It's not a nice word."
"Neither are the words you use at night with Dad, but that doesn't stop you."
Layne looked at Savannah for a few seconds. "I have no clue what you're talking about, Savannah."
"I know you two still have sex, Charlotte told me."
"And why does she know this?"
"…Because she sleeps down the hall? Tell me, Mom; am I gonna be hearing your begs of mercy tonight? Maybe a few shout outs to God?" Savannah said with a grin.
"You stop that. I'm starting dinner. Be ready at seven."
Savannah watched Layne walk out of the room and she looked at Seth. "Grandma's getting luckyyy tonight."
"Savannah Ruth Monroe!"