So here it is. The official ending. Once again I would like to thank everyone who read and especially those of you who shared your thoughts with me. I appreciated each and every review. The last 7+ months have been much like this story..an emotional rollercoaster and I am so glad I decided to not listen to the negativity and post this story here. I have met some great people and made some wonderful friends.
So Thank You :)
Without further ado...I bring to you..the longest chapter in the history of fanfiction. Grab a snack!
I hope you enjoy the last ride.
For the last time...I own nothing but my imagination.
"Ashley, what's going on? Are they going to be okay?"
I didn't know the answer. I wish I did. She was freaking out more than me at the moment. I think I was just in shock.
"I don't know anything Miranda. All I know is that there was an accident. They brought them in a couple hours ago. Spence looked okay. I was in the room talking to her and then something went wrong. They kicked me out of the room." I stared straight ahead. At the wall, at nothing.
All I remember seeing was blood and the look of sheer panic on her face.
All I remember hearing was her screaming my name as they pushed me out of the room.
"Ash she's going to be okay. They both will." She sat down and put an arm around me. I leaned into her.
My thoughts drifted back….
7 years ago...
"Ash this is the 23rd house we have looked at. Why are you being so picky?" She was sitting on the porch of the latest house that I decided against and refused to get up.
"Spence this house is.."
"Perfect." She smiled her breathtaking Spencer smile.
I scrunched my nose and she laughed.
"Ashley I am tired of looking at houses. I just want to find one and move in so we can be together in our new house." She whined.
I sat down next to her and slid my hand in between hers. Pulling one up to my lips I kissed it gently.
"I want that too baby. But I want the perfect house for my perfect girlfriend and I to live in. This house is not it Spence."
She shifted so that she was facing me and looked at me questioningly.
"This house is beautiful Spence. There is no doubt about that. But when I walked into it I just didn't feel it."
"Feel what Ash."
"It just didn't feel right. I couldn't picture myself living here with you. I couldn't picture us being happy here. I couldn't picture our kids running down the hall or playing in the backyard. Did you see how small the backyard was Spence?"
She smiled at me like she does when she sees little puppies and I shook my head.
"Stop it. I'm just saying. This house is not us Spence." I stood up and walked towards the car. She followed me and when she got in she looked over at me again.
"Why do you have to be so damn adorable?" She laughed.
I glared at her and pinched her side.
"Take that back." She knew how much I hated that.
She shook her head.
"Take it back." I warned her.
I leaned towards her so my lips were inches from hers.
"This is your last chance."
I was nearly in the passenger's seat. Moving my hand down I pushed the lever on the side of her seat and it started moving backwards. I climbed out of my seat and straddled her.
"Ashley. What are you doing?"
"Shhh." I whispered in her ear as I reclined the seat back.
She closed her eyes when I grinded into her.
"Ash." She moaned.
"You know that I don't like being called adorable." I whispered as I moved my mouth to her ear and licked the lobe slowly.
"I know baby." Her voice was low. She was trying to keep in control.
"Then take it back and say you're sorry." I whispered again before finding her pulse point and sucking gently.
"I can't do that. It's true."
"So you're not going to take it back and say you're sorry?" I asked looking directly into her lust filled eyes. I licked her bottom lip and sucked it into my mouth.
"Not a chance." She moaned out.
One last time I grinded into her and she gasped into my mouth. She leaned forward to kiss me and I backed away and slid off of her and back to my seat.
I put my seatbelt on and started the car.
"Ash what are you doing? No, wait."
I laughed. "Too late Spence."
The look on her face was priceless. Open mouth and now squinted eyes that were glaring at me.
"I can't believe you did that." She crossed her arms in front of her.
"I can't believe you wouldn't say sorry." I moved my hand to put the car in drive and she put hers over mine.
Suddenly she was on top of me and scooting my chair back.
"I take it back okay."
She kissed me softly.
She kissed my cheek.
She kissed my temple.
Then my forehead.
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry."
She made her way back to my lips.
My God she looked so beautiful.
"Mmmm. I do."
Looking back at the simpler times I couldn't help but smile.
We finally found a house a week later. It was the 35th house we looked at. But it was perfect. It was a two story, stone house right off our own private lake. The property itself was rather large and Spencer's eyes lit up the moment she stepped out of the car.
It didn't take long after that to sign the papers and move in. Our life together had officially begun.
"Ashley? Ashley? Ash?" I was taken away from my thoughts by Miranda shaking my shoulder.
"Do you want me to get you anything to eat or drink? I was gonna get some coffee."
"Yeah Miranda, coffee sound good." I leaned my head back and closed my eyes as a tear dropped from my eye.
I didn't open them as Miranda pulled me into her arms and held me.
"Everything is going to be fine. They are going to be fine. You have to believe that Ash." She whispered as she pulled away and rubbed my arms.
"I know." Is all I said.
I didn't know. I was so scared. But I knew I had to be strong.
Miranda left to get some coffee and I made my way over to the window. It was dark now and the stars shone over the city so brightly making me think of Alyssa.
My thoughts drifted again…..
6 years ago…..
"Are you ready gorgeous?" I wasn't even close to being ready. I was so nervous.
"I'm so nervous Spence." My hands were sweaty and I couldn't stop pacing.
"Awe baby don't be. I'll be up there right next to you holding your hand."
She always found a way to calm me down.
"I have stood in front of thousands of people and poured my heart to them and yet I am nervous about standing in front of 20 or so people to do a little speech."
"Ash it isn't just a little speech and you're nervous because you want it to be perfect. I understand that baby but what you wrote is beautiful and they are both going to love it. I'm sure of it."
She put her arms around me from behind and kissed my shoulder.
"You just go up there and be you Ash."
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.
"I can do this. I am Ashley Fucking Davies. I got this!"
Spencer laughed and kissed my shoulder again.
"There she is. My gorgeous and… cocky girlfriend."
I spun around and pulled her into me.
"Am I wrong to be cocky?" I looked into her eyes seductively.
"Not at all baby."
She kissed my cheek and fixed my hair.
"Now come on. You have a speech to give."
Standing up on that small stage in front of a couple dozen people was nerve wracking. Especially with my dad and my new mom standing not 10ft in front of me. My new mom. That felt so weird to say. But I liked it.
I had nothing to be nervous about though. They turned to look at each other and the look of love in their eyes and the smile on their faces took all my nerves away. Not to mention the feel of Spencer's hand in mine. Warmth, love, security.
I stepped up to the front of the stage pulling Spencer with me.
Here goes nothing.
"Dad, I love you and I stand up here today wishing you the best of everything. I had hoped for so long that you would find someone like Janet. Someone who would take care of you, laugh with you, love you and most of all deal with your stubbornness and of course your cockiness."
Everyone laughed and Spencer squeezed my hand and snickered under her breath. I knew what she was thinking.
"Janet, I love you and I stand up here today thanking you. Thank you for loving him and making him so incredibly happy. I have never seen the look in his eyes that I see when he looks at you. He finally got what he deserved when he found you." I paused and cleared my throat. Memories of Alyssa flowing through my thoughts.
"She told me to make sure you were taken care of. It was all she wanted." I was looking directly at her, she knew who I was talking about. Her eyes instantly teared up and my dad gently wrapped an arm around her.
"I know she is watching us now. I know she is smiling because she got her wish."
My words caught in my throat and I wiped the tears that begun to fall. Another squeeze from Spencer's hand. Thank God she was up here with me.
"I only hope that you two spend the rest of your lives loving each other and taking care of each other like you both deserve. That you cherish and respect each other with every day the passes. I love you both so much."
Spencer handed me a glass of wine and I raised it into the air.
"To Mr. and Mrs. Raife Davies."
They enjoyed a 2 month honeymoon and then came home to the beach house where they decided to stay for good. 8 months after that they drove to a foster home in L.A. and 2 weeks later they had officially adopted an 11 year old girl and her 7 year old brother. Cassidy and Joshua were accepted into our little family fast and I couldn't have been happier to finally have siblings. I only wished we didn't live so far from each other. That didn't stop me from spoiling them. Oh no. They loved their big sis Ashley.
The Star Foundation finally took off and Janet was housing 3-4 children at a time. It had become well known in California and soon the foundation had spread to Chicago, New York and Houston. She had won several awards for her charity work.
Alyssa would have been so proud of her mom. I know we all were.
Especially my dad. He was happy to just sit back and watch her work. He was happy to just sit back and let her shine. Most days he did just that and some days he worked at his record label. Even after all these years he still has that look in his eye when he is watching her or talking to her. They were so happy and in love.
"Here Ash. Black just the way you like it." Miranda handed me my coffee but I just set it on the table next to the window. I didn't want to drink or eat or do much of anything. My stomach was in knots. I was so worried about Spencer.
"Arthur should be here any minute. He couldn't get ahold of Paula. I guess she's still in New York but he said he would keep trying."
I just nodded and sat back down. I pulled my feet up onto the chair and hugged my knees to my chest.
The images just wouldn't stop…..
5 years ago….
"Uh, I know you're not open yet but I saw the Help Wanted sign in the window."
That voice sounded familiar. I whipped around to see him wearing a shy grin.
"Chris? What are you doing here?" I hadn't seen him in nearly 2 years.
"I'm here to get my girl back. But I, I sorta need some help." He put his head down and stared at his feet.
I was happy to see him. Miranda missed him so much.
"So you need a job? Cause I could definitely use the help." I asked him. I really was desperate.
"With the club or with the guitar and piano lessons?" He looked up at me excitingly.
"Both?" I really did need help with the club and I was guessing he needed the money.
"Cool. When do I start?"
So yeah I opened up my own club. I named it Blue. I am sure you can guess where I got the name. It was small and cozy and every night was Open Mic Night. I played once or twice a week. Sometimes more if I needed to fill in a spot or someone cancelled. On the side of the club was another entrance. That door led to the Music Room. In addition to teaching kids at our home in my spare time I had opened the Music Room to teach anyone who wanted to learn. Between that, taking classes, and running my own club I had worn myself down. I was in desperate need for help. Chris couldn't have come at a better time.
When Miranda graduated she chose to come to Michigan as well. Chris was going to come with her but his new band was slated to tour small gigs all of California and he went on the road instead.
Unlike Spencer and my relationship, theirs did not make it. She said a tearful goodbye to him over the phone after 7 emotionally exhausting months and I held her for hours afterwards as she sobbed.
Eventually she moved on but she never went past the first date with anyone. She was still in love with him, even though she denied it. She threw herself into her studies and at the rate she was going she was going to be the youngest Psychologist in history.
Yep a Psychologist.
What a surprise right?
Chris helped out at the club and took over with the lessons at the Music Room while I studied and kept my lessons with the kids. He lived in the office at the club which was actually more like a small apartment. Hey it was Spencer's idea. She joked and said I needed a place to stay when she kicked me out of the house after a fight. Of course it was a joke. Spencer and I barely fought and when we did it was usually because of my stubbornness. We would make up minutes later in more ways than one. Which of course made her believe I started fights on purpose.
Would I do something like that?
Uh, I plead the Fifth.
Miranda stayed with us but when she was at school she stayed in a dorm. Chris came home with me one Saturday night and surprised her. She was confused at first but after the two of them talked for an hour or so I found her in his lap kissing him. I may or may not have been spying a bit. Spencer pulled me out of the house and we took off for the night. Needless to say the two of them were a couple again the next morning. Miranda was so happy. She gave me a big hug and thanked me. She cooked us all dinner that night to show her appreciation. I didn't need a thank you dinner. Just seeing her smile and actually mean it again was enough.
"Hey sweetheart, Miranda filled me in on the details. Everything is going to be alright Ashley. My daughter is strong. She'll be okay."
He held out his arms and I crashed into them. My dad was off in Europe with Janet and the kids and I wished he were here. But Arthur had become my second father. I felt so safe and comfortable with him. I don't know what Spencer and I would have done without him over the years. Or Paula for that matter.
We sat down and he held on tight to me.
"They had to do an emergency surgery on her. I don't understand what happened. I just wish they would let me know what's going on." I cried into his shoulder. I had been strong and quiet up until that point. I knew I didn't have to with Mr. C.
"I don't know Ash. But I am sure she is being taken care of. This is a good hospital with good doctors. They are both going to be fine."
Just like his daughter, he always knew how to calm me down.
With my head buried in his neck I went back again…
4 years ago….
"Hi Ashley. What brings you by?"
He was in the kitchen preparing dinner like usual. And like usual it smelled delicious.
"I uh, I wanted to talk to you, Paula and Gram."
He was slicing tomatoes but quickly stopped and looked up at me.
"Is everything okay?"
"Everything is great. Are they home?" I was so nervous.
"They should be home any minute. They went shopping for Little Jack's birthday party." He went back to slicing the tomatoes.
"I can't believe he is going to be 4 already. Time sure does fly. I remember when he was just a baby crawling around everywhere."
"Yeah, seems like just yesterday doesn't it?"
Glen had married Jack's mom a little over 8 months ago. He was promoted to Store Manager and got a big enough raise that he was able to buy a small house for them to live in. It was about 5 minutes from the Carlin home. Glen officially became Jack's father a couple months after the wedding. It was a rather large wedding and so beautiful. I had stood up alongside Spencer, Miranda and 2 other girls as a bridesmaid. Glen and I had become very close over the years. He was like the brother that I never knew I wanted, along with one of my best friends.
"So do you need any help?" Maybe he would let me sample the finished meal if I helped him out.
"Nope. Almost done but thanks." He smirked. He knew what my intentions were.
"You can stay for dinner if you would like Ash. I know Spence went out with some friends tonight. We would love for you to stay."
"Thanks Pops." I took a seat on the stool with a giant smile on my face.
He laughed. "You're always welcome Ash."
We sat down to a delicious meal and chatted about Paula's job and Little Jack's birthday party and finally Spencer and I.
"So you wanted to talk to us about something?" Arthur said as he brought a tray filled with coffee out to the patio. We had moved outside after dinner. It was a beautiful night.
He handed me a cup and I set it down in front of me and wiped my now sweaty hands on my jeans. The nervousness was back.
I turned to face them all and felt Gram slide her hand on top of mine. Her eyes told me it was okay. She knew.
"You all know how much I love Spencer. I just want to take care of her and make her feel safe and happy and…" I took a deep breath.
"I want to marry her. I think we are ready for that. I know I am. I want to her to be my wife and I want to start a family."
Paula's eyes lit up, Arthur smiled like a proud dad and Gram squeezed my hand and had a smile that matched Arthur's.
"So I guess I just wanted to run it by you all first. I am hoping you approve but no matter what I plan on asking her. For real this time."
Arthur spoke first.
"Ashley I know I can speak for all of us when we say we want nothing more than happiness for Spencer and for you. I know my daughter and I know you make her happy. And I know you enough to know that you will always do everything and anything to make her happy. You have my approval. You always have."
"Thanks Pops." We stood up and he hugged me.
"I am going to go see if the pie is ready. It seems we have some celebrating to do." He let go and walked back into the house. I turned to see Gram at my side.
She took both of my hands and kissed my cheek.
"Well it's about time pumpkin. I was hoping I would get to see my Spencer walk down the aisle before I croaked."
"Gram!" Paula and I shouted at the same time.
"What?" She shrugged. "Spencer is one lucky girl. I love you both and I can't wait to go pick out my maid of honor dress." I laughed and she winked.
"Now where's that pie?" It was her turn to walk into the house and I was left there alone with the dragon lady.
That really isn't fair to call her that anymore. Paula and I had become close as well. She treated me like a member of the family. I no longer felt like she wished Spencer had found another man instead of me. I no longer felt the need to bring my tire iron with me for protection.
I sat down next to her.
"I really wish you would say something." Her silence was scaring me.
She looked over at me and I saw her watery eyes.
"Are you upset?" I looked down at my hands and then back up at her.
She shook her head no.
"Are you crying because you're happy? Please say yes."
She laughed softly and wiped her face before scooting over and putting her arm around me.
"Relax Ashley. I'm crying because I am happy."
I sighed in relief and she laughed again.
"Of course I approve of you asking Spence to marry you. Where have you been the last few years? I want nothing more than to witness you two pledge your love to each other and make it official."
She pulled me closer to her and gave me a reassuring smile.
"You don't have to worry about me Ashley. I have come a long way. I saw the way you two loved each other so unconditionally and effortlessly and I realized that love is love. It doesn't matter who you find it with as long as you can make each other happy in every way. And you do. I've never seen a love like you have with Spence. The way you two complete each other, that's destiny. If it weren't for seeing that with my own eyes I may have never believed it. I may never have found it in myself to work things out with Arthur. We may have never found our way back to each other. Your love for my daughter and her love for you inspired me and gave me something to believe in. I'm happy Ashley. I'm happy that Spence met you and took that huge risk to be with you. I'm happy that you changed your life around for her. I'm happy that you are here looking for approval. I think I can stand by my husband when I say you have always had it."
I sat there stunned, trying to take in everything she just said.
"I really wish you would say something." She repeated my words from earlier.
I turned to face her. Her eyes were still watery as were mine now.
A month later we were vacationing in a villa right off of a beach in Fiji. It was a much needed vacation for the both of us. The first night we were there we took a walk down the beautiful, moonlit shore. We walked for miles taking in the nearly serene summer night. When we got back to our villa we plopped down on the sand and I held her in front of me.
"It's so beautiful here Ash."
"It is. We should move here don't ya think?"
She laughed. I was serious.
"What? I'm sure you could find somewhere to teach and I could find a place to play music and we'd live in a hut."
She tilted her head back and kissed my chin.
"A hut?" She asked followed by a giggle.
"Well yeah, cause there really isn't anywhere to teach around here for miles Spence and I don't think I would get paid much to play my music so we would be broke in a matter of months and would have to move into a hut."
"Oooookay. So I guess moving to Fiji is out of the question."
"What? So you wouldn't want to live in a hut with me?" I fake pouted. She turned her face to kiss me.
"If you were living in a hut Ash, I would obviously be living in a hut too."
"Good. Cause I kinda can't live without you." She leaned back and I kissed her softly. My insides were all a flutter at the touch of her lips on mine. It was amazing that she still made me feel this way every time she touched me.
Being with her in this moment, on this beautiful beach, under the gorgeous night sky with the moon shining down on us couldn't have been more perfect. I honestly didn't think there could ever be a more perfect moment than this.
I scooted out from behind Spencer and stood up.
"Where are you going? Are you ready to go in?"
"No. Just stay there and look straight ahead. Don't look back."
"Why? What are you up to?"
"Don't worry about it. Just look ahead. Promise you won't look back until I say so."
"Okay I promise."
I made sure she wasn't looking before I started. It only took me a couple minutes and when I finished I took a deep breath and walked back to Spencer.
I stood in front of her and pulled her to her feet.
"Should I be scared?" She asked with a laugh.
"No baby, not at all."
I slowly turned her around and when she saw it she gasped.
In big letters written in the sand were the words I had been asking Spencer for years.
Will you marry me?
Only this time I meant it.
By the time she turned around to face me I was on one knee. I didn't have the ring on me because I hadn't planned on asking her yet.
I grabbed her hand as she wiped some tears with the other.
"You're serious this time?" She asked through her tears.
"I am. I mean it with all my heart. Marry me Spence. Be my wife. I promise I will spend every day for the rest of my life doing everything I can to make you happy. Fishing, bowling, plays, Disney movies, you name it. I love you Spencer Ann Carlin. Say yes, say you'll be my wife."
She pulled me up and onto my feet. Her lips met mine in a soft yet passionate kiss.
"Is that a yes?" I asked with my eyes still closed as she pulled away.
"I have said yes every time. What makes you think I wouldn't say yes this time? When you actually mean it."
"I meant it every time I asked you Spence." My hand reached for her face on its own caressing her cheek and smoothing her lip with my thumb.
"I know you did. And as for the answer to your question…it's the same as it always is. Yes. Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes I will marry you Ashley Marie Davies. I want nothing more than to be your wife and call you mine."
I took a sip from the barely warm coffee, my hands were shaking and I nearly spilled it.
"Ashley have you eaten anything?" Miranda asked as she next on the other side of me. Mr. C. hadn't left my side since a nurse came in and told us that Spencer was still in surgery. She explained to us a little of what was going on and after she left the room I realized I needed to keep it together. For Spencer and for my family.
"Uh, no. I , I don't remember." I don't remember anything that happened before I got the phone call.
"How about I get you some food? I know you don't feel like eating but you have to eat something." Miranda was always taking care of me.
"Yeah that's fine. Just something small."
"Okay. I'll be right back." She kissed my forehead before standing up to leave.
"Miranda!" She turned just outside the door.
She smiled and nodded.
I took another sip from the now cold coffee and leaned my head back. It hit the wall softly as I closed my eyes.
3 and a half years ago….
"You look so beautiful Ash." Miranda said so proudly. She was standing behind me as we both looked in the full length mirror in front of us.
"Are you nervous?"
"Not one bit. I have been waiting for this moment for years. If anything I am excited."
"Good. That makes one of us." She gave me a nervous smile.
I turned around and hugged her.
"Why are you so nervous? I am the one who has to speak in front of like a hundred people."
"I still have to stand up there in front of them." Spencer and I had fought over who Miranda was going to stand next to. We both wanted her by our side. I eventually gave in and told her she could have her. But then she surprised me and chose Carrie. Carrie had been Spencer's best friend growing up and when she moved back to Michigan they became very close again. I knew she would rather have Miranda but she knew how much I needed her by my side.
"You'll be alright Miranda. Just stand there and look beautiful. It won't be very hard." She smiled at me.
"And if you get nervous you always have Chris. He'll be standing right next to you."
Since our ceremony would already be 'non-traditional' we decided to change it up even more. We would both have guys and girls standing up by our sides. I had Miranda, Chris, Madi, Casey and Mark (hey, I promised the big oaf). Spencer had Carrie, Glen, Stacey, Kat and Little Jack. The girls wore short, strapless, light lilac dresses and the guys wore white pants with longs sleeved, light lilac dress shirts. Spencer and I both wore white dresses. I wore a white, silk chiffon dress that was just below the knees. My hair was down in curls (like Spencer wanted) and had a white stephanotis flower in it. Spencer wore a…..well you'll just have to wait and see.
The setting was beautiful. It was just before 7pm. The sun was low in the sky. It was a beautiful California night. Not too warm but not a chill in the air. The altar stood just before the shore and was decorated with a white arch, with thick white roses and ivy. The sandy aisle was decorated with purple and white rose pedals. 50 white chairs on each side of it. A white luminary was set up at the beginning of each row waiting to be lit. The day couldn't have been more perfect.
At 7:30 I stepped barefoot into the sand. Everyone stood up as I walked towards them. The minister stood at the altar, my dad just before him, my bridesmaids and groomsman lined up behind him, all 50 chairs occupied by a smiling face, luminaries lit, piano playing.
I walked down the aisle with Miranda just behind me. I won't lie I did get nervous with all of the stares and smiles. My dad met me half way and took my hand and hooked my arm around his. I whispered 'Thank You' and he whispered back 'You're welcome beautiful". He looked so proud and out of the corner of my eye I saw him wipe his eyes with his other hand.
We stopped just before the altar and he turned to face me. Tears slowly trickling down his face.
"Wow Ash. You have always been my princess and tonight you look like exactly that. You look so beautiful and happy. I am so proud of you. You didn't have an easy upbringing and I will always blame myself for that. But here you stand, about to marry a very special, beautiful, smart young lady. You have done so well for yourself and I truly couldn't feel more blessed than I do at this very moment." Tears steadily lined his cheeks and I could feel mine start to form behind my eyes. I did my best to hold them back. I knew for sure they would be bursting out later.
"I love you Ashley." He leaned down to hug me and I wrapped my arms around his back.
"I love you too Daddy."
I walked up to the altar with Miranda close beside me. I felt her right hand slide into mine and I felt an instant calm. I squeezed her hand softly and she squeezed it back. I was so thankful to have her by my side. The minister gave me a nod and I smiled. Years ago marrying Spencer would not have been legal. We were lucky enough to say goodbye to that law here in California a few years ago. We both wanted to get married here where it all started. Well we got our wish.
The white grand piano that sat at the back of the ceremony stopped briefly and then began playing softly. Keeping up with the 'non-traditional' ceremony it didn't play the bridal march. The beautiful music flowing from it was a song called Feather Theme by Alan Silvestri. Of course Spencer chose it. It was always one of her favorite songs and she wanted to feel at ease walking down the aisle.
My eyes were on the piano when I felt another squeeze from Miranda and a low gasp from our guests. My eyes darted for the aisle and I saw her.
And cue the tears.
I swallowed hard and wiped the few that slid down my cheeks.
Our eyes met and I could see a few tears in hers as well.
To say she was beautiful wouldn't give her justice.
I couldn't even begin to describe to you in words because those words didn't exist.
She walked down the aisle slowly between the rows of guests who couldn't take their eyes off of her if they wanted.
Her white silk chiffon, strapless, floor length gown fit her body so well as she glided over the sand and pedals towards me. The strapless dress showed off her sun-kissed shoulders, her hair was partially up with curls and also had a white flower in it. Long diamond earrings hung from her ears and a short white gold necklace with a blue sapphire heart surrounded by diamonds in the center.
I remember Gram telling me she had something old, blue and borrowed to give Spencer. I also remember her telling me that she was actually Rose from Titanic and she had the Heart of the Ocean. I snickered a bit to myself seeing it now. It really did look like the necklace from Titanic.
Gotta love Gram.
Mr. C.'s face resembled my dad's as he escorted my soon to be bride down the aisle. I only looked at him for a quick moment before my eyes found hers once again. I winked and she smiled that beautiful Spencer Carlin smile and her tanned cheeks showed a bit of pink. Of course I had to make her blush on our wedding day. They stopped just before me and turned towards each other. Mr. C. said a few words that only she could hear before kissing her forehead and hugging her briefly but tightly. He sat down next to a sobbing Paula and grabbed her hand.
I reached my hand out to her and she slid hers into it without hesitation. I pulled her towards me and it took every ounce of strength in me to not kiss her right there and then.
We faced each other hand in hand as the minister began his speech. What he said I had no clue. Once her hands were in mine and she was close enough to touch the outside world just…disappeared.
It was just the two of us.
We just stood there smiling at each other, our eyes saying a million words.
"Ash?" She whispered breaking me out of my trance and then giggled clearly amused.
"Do you want me to go first?" She whispered again.
"I once wrote a poem for you. It was here on this beach nearly 4 and a half years ago. I want you to hear it again…today. I want you to hear again from my lips, from my voice, from my heart."
She paused and closed her eyes.
My God she looked so beautiful.
When she opened them she looked directly into mine.
"You walked into my life,
And took me by surprise,
You made me feel so loved,
You made me feel alive.
You moved me with your words,
They hit me like a train,
You held me in your arms,
And you took away the pain.
You opened my mind,
I see everything so clear,
You took me by the hand,
And you chased away the fear.
You looked into my eyes,
And saw straight to my soul,
You took what was left of my heart,
And you made it whole."
Again I swallowed hard and held the tears back.
She was fighting to keep hers at bay as well.
"I love you Ashley." Her voice cracked and she dabbed her eyes with a white cloth.
"I knew the day I met you that you would have some sort of effect on my life. I knew I was in trouble." She quietly laughed and so did a few others.
I just smirked of course.
"You were so beautiful and sweet and extremely cocky." She laughed again.
"And before I knew it I wanted to be in your world. I wanted to be in your arms and in your heart. And I wanted you in mine. Now I have that and I get to spend the rest of my life right where I want to be. The only place I belong."
Finally a tear fell and she let it go. I reached up and wiped it away letting my fingers linger on her cheek. She held my hand to her face and closed her eyes.
With her eyes closed she continued. "Thank you for being you. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for making me fall in love with you every day. Thank you for giving me your heart and taking such good care of mine. You make me so happy. I only hope that I can give you everything that you have given me and that I can spend the rest of our lives finding ways to say Thank You and I love you."
When her eyes opened back up I whispered back. "I love you too."
I was so moved by her vows.
"Wow, I have to follow that? Maybe I should've gone first." I chuckled, Spencer shook her head and smiled and the guests laughed.
It was my turn. Shit!
Her hands still in mine I lifted them to my mouth and kissed them.
"I have always been good with words. They have always come natural to me. But standing up here with you in this moment…" I got choked up and my voice cracked.
Spencer whispered.. "It's okay."
This was going to be harder than I thought. I shut out the world again. Only her in my vision.
"I never thought that someday I would be standing up at an altar about to marry an amazing woman who I loved more than anything. I never dreamed about this day until the day I met you. The first moment I saw you something changed in me. Like the universe came to a standstill the moment our eyes met. You were so beautiful, confident and smart and I was instantly mesmerized by you. I didn't stand a chance. I had never been in love. I didn't even know the meaning. You showed me the meaning. You saw something in me that I didn't even know was there. Nobody did. You believed in me. When nobody did. And you gave me a reason to believe in myself. You loved me and by doing that I found a reason to love myself as well."
In that moment I let go. The tears started to fall and I didn't try to stop them.
"I stand up here today promising to spend the rest of our lives giving you more reasons to love me and believe in me. I promise to do everything and anything to make you smile, to make you laugh, to make you happy. I promise to feed you soup when you're ill and hold you when your sad. I'll be beside you even when you're wrong and I'll be your strength when you have none. I promise to never give up on you, there's not a chance of that. You taught me so many things Spencer. Love, understanding, forgiveness...how to fish." She giggled through her tears.
"Well that last one you weren't very good at. We were out there all day and I didn't catch a thing." She was full on laughing now along with everyone else.
What? I couldn't have it be a complete sappy, love fest.
"I have never been happier, felt more loved, and been more in love than I am in this moment. You look too beautiful for words and there is no-one luckier than me right now or forever for that matter. I still can't believe that I get to spend the rest of my life with you and I am going to make damn sure that never changes. I love Spencer. With everything I am and everything I have. I will always take care of you and your heart.
In the words of the wise E.E. Cummings…. 'I carry your heart with me, I carry it in my heart.'
In the words of the even wiser Ashley Davies… 'You made me fall in love with you, I am so whipped, there I said it. Say you'll be my wife Spence, and I promise you will never regret it.'"
She tilted her head to the side, her eyes watery, tears on her cheeks and a huge smile.
"I said yes then. I say yes now."
"Does that mean I can kiss you now?" She giggled again and looked towards the minister.
He asked for the rings. We slid them onto each other's fingers while repeating his words.
And then finally… "You may now kiss your bride."
Our smiles matched each other's as we leaned forward. I took her face in my hands and pressed my lips to hers. I felt her arms reach around my back and she pulled me in closer. This kiss was slow and passionate and full of fire. I could taste her tears and feel her heart beating fast against me. Mine was doing the same thing. Our lips glided smoothly together and at the last moment I felt her tongue slip into my mouth briefly. I had to use every amount of my strength to stop myself.
We pulled away slowly and stopped inches from each other's face. I leaned in to give her one more kiss and I heard the clapping and cheering. I wondered if they had been doing that the entire time.
"Ladies and gentleman I would like to introduce you to Mrs. and Mrs. Ashley Davies."
Spencer took my name but she kept hers as well. She was now Spencer Carlin-Davies. I was okay with that. I respected that because I respected and loved the Carlins.
The after party was amazing of course. We ate, had drinks and danced. We danced our first dance as wife and wife to To Make You Feel My Love by Adele. So fitting considering I sang it to Spencer the very first time we danced on my 18th birthday.
It was a couple hours into the reception when I realized that my wife and I hadn't really had a moment alone. I found her near the cake table with Glen and a few of their friends.
"My wife and I need a moment alone." I said with a smile while dragging her away. I loved calling her my wife. I couldn't get enough of it.
I pulled her out of the party and over to the piano that still stood behind where the ceremony took place.
Backing her up into the piano I leaned in and kissed her. The kiss deepened instantly and suddenly I wished she wasn't wearing a long dress.
"I've wanted to do that all night Spence."
"Me too baby."
"You think anyone will notice we're gone?"
"Nah, we've fed them all quite a few drinks." She smiled and her nose crinkled.
"Well I would definitely notice if you weren't in the room."
"My wife, always the charmer."
"Only with you beautiful." I kissed her softly.
I let go of her and took a seat at the piano.
"Sit with me. I want to sing my wife a song on our wedding day."
"What are you going to sing?" She asked while taking a seat next to me.
"Well I didn't plan this so I guess I am gonna have to wing it. But I think I have the perfect song."
"In this moment anything you sing to me will be perfect."
"I think my cheesiness has rubbed off on you Spence." I said with a chuckle.
"I think so too Ash." She admitted.
My fingers started dancing over the keys. She looked at me and smiled. Oh God I loved her smile. Looking directly into her eyes I began the song.
"Some day when I'm awfully low,
When the world is cold,
I will feel a glow just thinking of you,
And the way you look tonight.
You're lovely, with your smile so warm,
And your cheeks so soft.
There is nothing for me but to love you,
And the way you look tonight.
With each word your tenderness grows,
Tearing my fears apart.
And that laugh that wrinkles your nose,
It touches my foolish heart.
Lovely, never, ever change.
Keep that breathless charm.
Won't you please arrange it?
'Cause I love you,
Just the way you look tonight.
With each word your tenderness grows,
Tearing my fears apart.
And that laugh that wrinkles your nose,
It touches my foolish heart.
Lovely, never, ever change.
Keep that breathless charm.
Won't you please arrange it?
'Cause I love you,
Just the way you look tonight.
The way you look tonight.
"That was so beautiful Ashley. I love you."
It was the best day of my life.
I opened my eyes and stood up. I hated not being able to do anything. The words in my vows replaying over and over in my head.
I promise to do everything and anything to make you smile, to make you laugh, to make you happy.
I'll be your strength.
I still can't believe that I get to spend the rest of my life with you and I am going to make damn sure that never changes.
I know he was concerned but that was a stupid question to ask.
"I will be alright when I know Spencer is alright." I snapped back.
"Sorry." I said right away.
"It's okay. I know you are scared. I am too." He knew not to say anything else. We didn't know that Spencer was going to be fine. But she had to be. I couldn't live without her. I needed her. Our family needed her.
As strong as I needed to be I just couldn't do it. I felt completely helpless and I hated that. I walked over to a wall and slid down it. My head in my hands I went back to the day everything changed.
A little over 2 years ago….
"Hey baby." Spencer said while coming in the room and sitting on my desk.
She was good for a visit or two during the week. Today was my lucky day.
"So how was your day? You didn't flirt with any of your students did you?"
"Spence that's gross."
Right after graduation I applied to teach music at a nearby elementary school. I got the job and started almost immediately. I loved my job. I loved the look on those kids' faces when they got a note right. I had contemplated opening up my own label but with us just getting married and wanting to start a family I knew I couldn't make that kind of commitment. It would take up too much of my time and I wanted to spend all of my time with Spencer.
I finished up the paperwork I was working on and pushed it aside. I scooted her over so that she was directly in front of me on the desk. Running my hands up her legs and then back down before pulling her onto the chair with me.
"I am so glad you came by. I have been thinking about you all morning." I said before pulling her head towards me and kissing her hard.
"Mmmm. I can't imagine why you would be thinking of me all morning." She joked.
"Mmmm. Me neither." Let's just say I received a picture on my phone this morning that was very 'inappropriate' for school.
"Thanks for that." I said while kissing her neck.
"Well I knew you would be bored out of your mind in that meeting so I figured I would be a nice little wifey and …"
"Get me all worked up in a room full of people." I finished for her.
"Haha. Well I just thought you could use the excitement."
"Well I was definitely excited. You're lucky I didn't have to explain the gasp that I made when I opened my phone."
She laughed, kissed me quickly and then slid off of me. I pouted.
"Actually I had another reason to visit today besides wanting to see my gorgeous wife."
"You did huh?"
She nodded and pulled an envelope out of her purse.
"What's this?" I asked as she handed the envelope to me.
"Pictures for my private collection?" I wiggled my eye brows.
"You have a private collection?" She asked surprised, amused and confused at the same time.
"Uh, no. Nevermind." She put her hand on her hip and gave me that 'you better start explaining look'. Yikes!
"We'll talk about that later. Open the envelope." Once again she sat down on my desk but this time in front of me.
I opened the envelope and pulled out pictures of …an ultrasound. I looked up at her right away and she smiled at me. I looked back down at the pictures and then back up at her again.
"Really?" I asked. It came out almost as a squeal.
She nodded with pursed lips.
"Really?" I asked again this time more calm.
"Yes, really." She giggled.
I stood up and scooped her off the desk, spinning her around. When I stopped she took my face in her hands and kissed me.
"So you're not mad at me?"
"Why would I be mad?" I don't think I could have been happier.
"I thought you might be mad for me waiting to tell you."
The thought hadn't even crossed my mind. How could I be mad right then?
"I'm not mad Spence. I am so happy."
"Good. I just wanted to wait a little longer this time and make sure.."
"Shhhh baby. It's fine. I understand."
Spencer miscarried on our first try. She was 13 weeks along. It was devastating for the both of us. I thought she would want to wait a while to have the procedure done again but we were back at the doctor's office 3 months later for another try.
"So how far along are you?" I asked her sitting back down behind my desk and pulling her onto my lap.
"16 weeks. In a month we can go in for another ultrasound. We can find out the sex if you want."
"I don't want to know. I want to be surprised." As much as planning everything out perfectly sounded I would much rather wait. It would be worth it.
"Good because I don't want to know either."
A month later we sat at the doctor's office waiting to see our baby on the sonogram picture thing. The technician turned on the screen after preparing Spencer and as soon as I heard the heartbeat I got choked up.
We could hear our baby's heartbeat and I was overwhelmed with feelings I had never experienced before. It was starting to feel real now.
The screen was turned towards us and you could see the baby right away. The technician pointed out the head and the body as she moved the device on Spencer's stomach around.
I found Spencer's hand and held it in mine. She looked up at me with watery eyes and an expression much like mine. Overwhelmed with excitement and 'wow this is really happening'.
"There is something that I noticed earlier…riiiight here." The technician pointed to what looked like another head Oh My God!
"Is that what I think it is?" Spencer asked calmly.
"Let's see if I can get a better look." She moved the device around to the side of the belly and said "Ah ha!"
Oh boy! I almost didn't want to look.
"Yes it is exactly what you think it is if you are thinking it is another baby."
"Oh wow!" I said and Spencer laughed.
"So we are having twins?"
"You are having twins. Congratulations."
Can I faint now?
Spencer squeezed my hand and I kissed her forehead. She looked up at me with a big smile.
"Twins Ash." She said proudly.
"Yeah I heard. Is it too late to back out now?" My wife tilted her head to the side and furrowed her brow. What? I was kidding.
"I'm kidding baby."
"Both of the babies look great. Let me print you out some pictures."
Later that night she was lying in our bed reading What to Expect When You're Expecting. I swear she slept with that book.
I crawled onto the bed and laid near her belly.
"So there are two of you in there huh?" I said as I lifted her shirt slightly and rubbed her belly softly. It was something I did nearly every night since I found out she was pregnant.
"Now listen up for a minute. Mommy is already super uncomfortable so no wrestling in there. And no worries, you won't always have to share a room."
Spencer interrupted me by running her hand through my hair.
"I love you Ashley."
I left her belly but not before kissing it and whispering 'good night'.
She took my face in her hands and pulled me to her lips. The kiss was soft and sweet and too short.
"You're going to be such an amazing mother." She said to me after pulling away.
"Our kids are going to have two amazing mothers." I replied then took her lips in mine again.
We made love and afterwards while I was holding her we talked about baby names. We couldn't agree on any of them.
"How about this, you pick out the boy names and I will pick out girl names."
"What if it's 2 boys or 2 girls?" She asked.
"Then pick out 2 boys names and I will pick out 2 girls names. If it is one of each then we just have to both pick out one."
"Okay, sounds like a plan."
The months went by fast. At least for me they did. Spencer had a pretty good pregnancy for the most part. She was eating healthy. I had found a way to add broccoli, carrots, avocados, eggs, nuts or spinach into every meal. I would set her plate down and she would glare at me. Of course she had her cravings. Which is how the midnight clerk at the corner store had become such a good friend. He stocked up extra on the butter pecan ice cream and cool ranch Doritos. At the end of the pregnancy she was happy and healthy and ..huge.
But she was still the most beautiful woman I had ever seen.
She wobbled into the hospital one night around 11 p.m. She was having contractions and they were only a couple minutes apart.
They set us up in a room and made her as comfortable as possible. We just had to wait. I sat on the bed with her and held her hand. She squeezed my hand every time a contraction came and I thought she was going to break every bone. I sucked it up with pursed lips and held in my cries.
After about 2 hours the doctor came in and they set up for the delivery. I never left her side even when she screamed at me to 'shut the fuck up'. It wasn't long before we heard the first set of cries. The doctor held up our baby boy who was screaming his little head off and Spencer let out a small sob. I stood there in shock.
They asked if I wanted to cut the umbilical cord and I shook my head no. I felt like I was about to faint and Spencer was still gripping my hand with all of her strength. They carted our baby boy off to wash him up and not too much longer….our second baby boy was born. Yes, two baby boys.
They brought baby boy Davies #1 back while they carted off baby boy Davies #2 and placed him in Spencer's arms. She looked down at our son still sobbing. Her hair and face was full of sweat and I quickly wiped it with a wash cloth as she talked to him.
"Hi baby. I can't believe you're finally here." She was a little choked up. "You're so beautiful."
His eyes were barely open and his mouth kept opening and shutting. His tiny hands were bunched up under his chin and his little fingers were moving slightly. I took in the sight and all at once it finally hit me.
This was our baby. Our baby boy. Mine and Spencer's.
The nurse came back into the room with our other son and placed him in my arms.
He looked just like his brother of course. Maybe a bit smaller. They had the same nose. His eyes were shut and he let out a small whimper. That was when the tears finally came. And they came fast and hard. I looked down at my wife and smiled.
"I love you so much."
She smiled back through her own tears.
The nurses took the boys to get weighed and bathed and I finally left Spencer's side so they could take care of her.
When I entered the waiting room I lost it again. My Dad, Mr. C, Paula and Miranda were all there.
"Boys." I somehow got out. "Two healthy beautiful boys."
Paula was the first to get to me. She wrapped me up in her arms and congratulated me.
After getting hugs from everyone I sat down next to Miranda.
"Spencer did good. She did really good. And she is okay. We should be able to go back into the room shortly but she does want some time with them alone first."
"That's understandable. I have a lot of phone calls to make anyway." The proud grandma said.
"So what are their names?" Miranda asked beside me.
"I don't know yet. Spencer chose the boy names."
"Wow Ash. You're a mom. How does that feel?"
"Overwhelming, amazing, surreal."
"They are so beautiful Miranda." I was getting choked up again.
"Of course they are Ash."
Before I left the room to go back to Spencer but Dad gave me another bear hug.
"I was so proud of you on your wedding day but today, today I am a very, very proud father and grandfather." He kissed my forehead.
"Go see your family." He smiled and winked.
A few days later we left the hospital with our two beautiful baby boys. 6 lb. 11 oz. Alexander Arthur Carlin Davies….named after Spencer's dad and grandpa, Gram's late husband. And 6 lb. 5 oz. Ashton Raife Carlin Davies… wonder where she came up with that name?
I took my family home and I didn't think I could ever be happier.
"Ash I just talked to Chris and the boys are fine. They're both sleeping."
"Thanks Miranda." I had taken up pacing again.
"I know you are worried Ash. I am too. But.."
"Stop! I have been hearing that for the last couple hours and I don't want to hear it anymore." I snapped at her.
She didn't respond. She knew there was nothing she could say. I walked back over to the window and took a deep breath. I didn't mean to take it out on Miranda but she was right, I was worried. I was making myself sick I was so worried.
She came up beside me and I felt her hand slide into mine.
"I'm sorry I snapped at you."
The door opened and I turned to see Gram.
She walked up to me and threw her arms around me.
"Now you listen hear pumpkin. Our Spencer is going to be just fine. She's a fighter like me and like her father. She's not going anywhere. Why would she? She has got two amazing boys who think the world of her and not to mention an incredible woman who would move heaven and earth to make her happy. She has a lot of love in her life. A lot to fight for. So stop wearing out the carpet, sit down and breathe. Gram always knows best. Don't you forget that."
She nodded and took a seat.
I turned around and looked back out the window.
I looked up at stars.
I still thought of Alyssa every time I saw them. I let a small smile form on my lips thinking of her and thinking of the last time I sat under the night sky.
7 Months Ago...
"Come here little man."
He wobbled over to me still trying to get used to the feeling of the sand beneath his toes.
"Look up at the sky." I pointed to the stars and he responded with a 'wowowhoa'.
Summer had come and it was a comfortable 75 degrees. The night air was calm, just right. We took the boys out to the lake nearly every night. This was the first night we could walk around with no shoes on through the sand and the water.
He sat down on my lap and looked up at me.
"Can you say 'stars'?"
His head tilted up towards the sky.
"Ars Momma." I giggled at his attempt. Close enough.
"Yep, those are stars."
"When you are a little older I am gonna tell you all about those stars. And I am gonna tell you all about your aunt Alyssa. She lives up in those stars and she lights up the entire sky so when it's dark we can always find our way."
I giggled and kissed his head.
"That's right little man. Stars."
"Mommmmmmaaaaaa." I heard from behind us.
Little Alex was calling me from the porch. Spencer had just given him a bath. Let's just say that he got more spaghetti on himself then in his mouth.
They walked down to us and Spencer set him down and he came and sat down on my lap with his brother.
"We're looking up at the stars buddy. Can you say 'stars' Alex?"
"Wada" He said pointing out at the lake.
"It's such a beautiful night." I looked up at her and she looked lost in the moment.
"Yeah it is. I can't wait to take them into the water tomorrow."
She sat down next to me as I held both of our boys. Spencer was home all day with them and I had just gotten home before dinner. They missed their momma.
"It'll be a great day for it. We can spend all day out here. I'll make some sandwiches. We can pitch a tent for nap time."
Sounded like a great idea to me. Spending the day with my wife and my sons. No interruptions, no worries. Just us under the sun and having fun. Sounded perfect.
"Let's go put the boys to bed and spend the night out here." I winked at her. We had spent plenty of nights out here together before they were born. Sometimes we set up a tent, sometimes just sleeping bags.
Making love under the stars was so romantic.
"Wada momma." Alex tapped my arm and pointed out to the water again.
He ran out to the water and Spencer snatched him up.
"Tomorrow baby. It's almost sleep time." She kissed his cheek as I look up at her in awe.
She was so beautiful in the moonlight holding our son. She was such an amazing mother. More amazing than I could have ever imagined. When it was time for her to go back to work she was so upset. She didn't want to leave the boys. Luckily the school year hadn't started and she was able to cut her classes down to 3 a week. She missed teaching but she wanted to be home with the boys as much as possible. Of course I wanted the same thing but I had to continue working. I had to support my family and I was perfectly okay with that.
They were my family.
She sat back down next to me with Alex in her lap. Alex was a spitting image of Spencer. Blonde hair, blue eyes and a killer smile. Spencer must have known that Ashton would look like me. He had blonde hair as well but he had my eyes. Everything about the kid so far was me. He had even taking a liking to my guitar. So of course I had bought him his own and within days all of the strings were broken. Too soon I guess.
"So I think we are going to have to tell Miranda and Chris that they need to find another place to live, or make an addition to the house." Spencer said out of the blue.
Miranda and Chris were staying with us but really they were never home. Miranda stayed on campus most of the time and Chris was always at the club. All that occupied our house was their….stuff. They always came home for Sunday dinners though. Either Miranda or I would cook. Spencer had become quite the cook when she decided to stay home with the boys. Her dad would come over a few times a week to teach her some new recipes. Of course she would make his ravioli dish I liked so much at least once a week. Such a good wife.
"Why, what's up? They're barely here."
"I know. But we are going to need their room back."
"I'm pregnant Ash." She blurted out.
"Huh?" Did she just say she was pregnant?
"I AM PREGNANT. 11 weeks tomorrow."
"Really? That was fast." She had just had the procedure done.
"I guess it was meant to happen."
"Wow…. Wow. I can't believe it. Wow."
I leaned over and kissed her trying my best not to wake up Ashton who was suddenly fast asleep on my lap.
"Yeah, we are definitely gonna need to boot those two out. I will make sure they're coming to dinner on Sunday."
"They are. I already called them."
"Okay so we'll feed them and then tell them to pack up their stuff."
"Ash." She laughed.
"It is my kid right?" I deadpanned.
"I'm kidding, I'm kidding."
She shook her head and rolled her eyes. Wasn't the first time and sure as hell wouldn't be the last.
"You make me so happy Spencer."
I jumped out of my chair at the sound of her voice.
"You can come see your wife now."
"Is everything alright?" Miranda asked the nurse.
"We will know more as the night progresses but everything looks good."
She sighed in relief and gave me a hug.
"Tell her I love her."
"I will." I kissed her cheek and left the room.
"I'll let you know exactly what is going on when I find out. Tell Mr. C. everything is going to be okay when he comes back."
I didn't know what to expect when I opened the door to her room. I just knew that she was okay at the moment and that was enough for me.
I slowly opened it and saw that she was sleeping. Her forehead had a large band aid on it from the crash and she had a breathing tube in her nose. I hated seeing her like that. I hated knowing that she had been in pain.
I walked over to her and leaned down to kiss her forehead. After taking a seat next to the bed I grabbed her hand and kissed it. She opened her eyes and looked over at me. Her eyes were barely open. She looked exhausted.
"Hey baby, God I am so glad you are okay." She squeezed my hand.
"I'm okay Ash." Her eyes shut again and she fell back asleep. A minute or so later the doctor came in.
"Hello Mrs. Davies." He shook my hand.
"What happened? And where is she?"
"I will explain what happened if you'll have a seat." Oh no. I didn't like the sound of that.
"I don't want to sit. Can we talk about this out in the hall? She's exhausted and I don't want to wake her."
We walked into the hallway and he started.
"Your wife suffered from placenta abruption. Basically what that means is her placenta detached from her uterus. This could have been caused by the accident but it's not likely. We did do a caesarean section and had a few complications but everything turned out well. Your baby girl is in the intensive care unit for overnight evaluation but I think she will be just fine."
I sighed and hung my head. A wave of relief washed over me. They were going to be fine.
I went back to the waiting room briefly to grab Miranda and Mr. C. I didn't want Spencer to be alone while I went and saw our daughter. Glen and Spencer's friend Carrie were there now and I gave everyone a hug before explaining what had happened.
I brought Miranda and Mr. C. back with me. They wanted to see Spencer even though she was sleeping. Glen and Carrie stayed in the waiting room. Paula would be here any minute.
I walked down the quiet and empty hallway to the NICU and when I walked in the door I was told to wash my hands thoroughly and put on a long blue hospital gown and hat. I followed the nurse and she stopped in front of little bed with a heater above it. I sighed in relief, thankful she wasn't in an incubator.
"Here she is Mrs. Davies. She has been doing really well. Probably be out of here in the morning."
The nurse gave me a few directions and then left.
She was so small but she weighed more than both of the boys weighed. A healthy 7 lbs. 9 oz. and 21 inches long.
"So beautiful." I said softly as I scooped her up and held her close to my chest.
She yawned and it had to be the cutest thing I had ever seen.
"Hi sweetheart. Momma's got you. Everything is going to be okay and soon you will get to see your mommy. I promise." I sat down on the chair next to her bed and began to rock.
The last few hours had made me an emotional wreck and as I held my daughter in my arms I cried.
"I almost thought I wouldn't get to ever hold you. I love you so much. I have since the moment I found out about you."
I held her tighter to me with one arm and wiped my face with the other.
Leaning down I kissed her head and held my cheek against it.
"My little princess."
Our baby girl was out of the NICU and in Spencer's room by late afternoon the next day. She was perfectly healthy as was her mother. It would take Spencer some time to recover from the caesarean section but she would be okay.
Everyone was in her room. Mr. and Mrs. C. , Glen, his wife and little Jack, Miranda, Chris, two very curious and confused big brothers and my dad and Janet. I couldn't believe it when they showed up at 8 a.m. that morning. I nearly ran into my dad's arms.
Spencer was in her bed with our baby girl in her arms with Ashton on one side of her and Alex on the other. I was in the back of the room just taking it all in.
I went back in time once more…
Over 8 years ago…
We were almost home and I stopped walking and pulled her into me. I kissed her softly and pressed my forehead to hers. Then I took her hand and placed it on my skin right above my heart.
"You feel that? That's all you. You have my heart Spence." I whispered.
Then I took my other hand and caressed her cheek before sliding it down passed her neck and between her breasts. I held my hand just above her heart.
"Please tell me I have yours too." My voice was a little shaky. A little scared.
She took both of her hands and cradled my face. She kissed me gently and then pressed her forehead to mine.
"You do." She whispered back.
Even after that special moment we shared I still had my doubts. If you would have told me back then that 8 years later Spencer and I would be married with 3 kids I would have never believed it. I probably would have died of laughter.
Yet here we were.
She was talking to the boys and they both smiled at her. I couldn't help but smile at the simple gestures.
"Ashley, are you going to tell us the name of our beautiful granddaughter or are we going to just call her Princess for the rest of her life?" Paula joked.
I walked over to the bed and scooped up Ashton, setting him on my lap as I took his place next to Spencer.
She was sleeping soundly. Nuzzled up against Spencer's chest. I knew the moment we found out we were having a girl what her name was. I didn't even have another name chosen because I just knew. Now as I looked down at her I was certain. The name was perfect.
"I would like to formally introduce you all to our beautiful baby girl, Alyssa."
I looked at Spencer as I said it and her eyes got wide briefly and then filled with tears.
"It's perfect Ash." She said taking my hand in hers.
"Alyssa." She whispered to our baby girl.
"It is perfect Ashley. I'm sure Alyssa would be honored. I certainly am." Janet said from across the room.
I looked over at her and nodded. She mouthed a 'thank you' and I smiled through the tears that had suddenly escaped from behind my eyes.
Over the last 24 hours I had relived a lot of good memories from over the last 7 years. I never dreamed my life would turn out this good. I had an amazing family and great friends and more love than I could have ever possibly imagined.
I had the most beautiful and loving wife. Three children that I would give my life for. I had the best friend a girl could ask for. I had a wonderful father, a woman I looked at as a mother, an amazing father and mother in Arthur and Paula. A good friend and brother in Glen. A strange but loving grandmother.
One would say I had it all.
They wouldn't be wrong.
Nicholas Sparks once wrote "Every great love starts with a great story..."
Spencer and I had a great love….
And I'm sure it would make one hell of a story.
Review if you wish :)
The Way You Look Tonight- More than a dozen different versions. My favoirtes are by Sinatra and Michael Buble