Author's note: Grab the bread and the peanut butter, because I've got the fluff…
Perhaps it was simply a result of the endorphins. Apparently that odd exuberance one felt after extreme exertion was due to chemicals produced by the brain. Such a profound knowledge of the human body this age possessed. Judging by what she had just endured, however, it did not necessarily follow that possession of such knowledge made life easy. But without the trials, joy was nothing more than ignorant contentment.
And at this moment, what Emily Anderson felt was profound joy.
Her muscles ached and fatigue bit at her bones, as if she had just spent the last ten hours barely outpacing a tyrannosaur, and periodically failing to avoid its clutches. But the medicines had done their job. She was not in outright pain, simply exhausted.
She could not sleep even if she desired to do so. And she did not desire it. Not just yet. She had not quite had her fill of the joy she'd been given. Pure happiness lay in her arms. Her eyes would never drink their fill, her fingers never be sated. Even if her heart were to burst with the bliss of this moment, she would die craving more.
Charlotte Joy Anderson.
The most beautiful three words in the history of the world. Her daughter. The daughter given her by the man she loved. Perfect little fingers and toes. Born with big brown eyes and a mop of fine brown hair. Cherubic, fat cheeks. Skin softer than any luxurious silk Emily had ever touched. A soul that glowed as a small heart pumped blood to warm the tiny body held tight to her breasts swollen with milk.
Soon, she would nurse her infant daughter for the first time.
Emily smiled. Or rather, she continued to smile. Her finger ran over the supple, plump cheek of her daughter's face once more. Look at her. It was beyond her comprehension, how this life had come from her, this tiny person grown inside of her, begun from nothing. Well, not nothing... from an act of love, a communion with a man who possessed her heart and soul.
Finally, she tore her eyes away from the bundle of joy in her arms, to search out the man she had to thank for it. Matt was stood, hovering over her hospital bed. In her preoccupation with the fresh life held to her chest, she had not even noticed. They exchanged a look, filled with the pride of their accomplishment, the adoration for their daughter, and edged with the passion that had created the child.
"She's beautiful, Emily."
Vanity and pride were sins, but in this instance, she could not feel the guilt of them. Emily beamed at Matt. She had done well. She had grown this baby inside of her and then delivered the child, healthy and beautiful into the world. And it was quite beyond obvious in Matt's countenance that he loved Charlotte. Perhaps, even as much as Emily herself did. Yes, she most certainly had done a superb job of it.
"And I'm monopolizing her, aren't I?" Emily said. "Would you like to hold her?"
Granted, Matt had been the first, after the doctor and nurses, to hold Charlotte. And perhaps, Emily would forever be jealous of that fact. Although, one could further argue, that she had held their daughter, inside of her womb, from the very instant the child's cells had begun to divide. And at that time, even though they both knew the baby's presence was the inevitable outcome, Emily had seen it was shock and surprise that dominated her husband's emotions upon first encountering their daughter. It was much the same for Emily, when the baby was laid in her arms after they cleaned them both and stitched Emily up. But she had not released her since, had time to move beyond shock to pure joy. And she wanted to share that bliss with Matt.
Eager to accept, he pulled a chair up to Emily's bedside, and she released her daughter into the tender clutches of the baby girl's father despite her reluctance to be a moment separated from Charlotte. Emily watched, her heart swelling impossibly further, as Matt cradled the newborn close to his chest, stroking the soft cheek with the back of his finger, bending his head to smell her new life scent, to kiss her small forehead.
"God, she's beautiful."
His voice sounded strained. And when he looked up, Emily knew why. His cheeks were wet with tears. There was no doubting he shared the overwhelming joy that warmed Emily to the very center of her soul. She smiled broadly.
It was true, that men from the future could cause a woman to weep. But once in a while, they could be brought to tears as well.
"Come here," she said, kissing him soundly when he leaned in, their little girl becoming fussy and then beginning a hearty wail as she was jostled between her blissfully happy parents.