LATER THAT EVENING

Jonathan came into the study with two glasses of milk to find Jennifer pacing nervously. She hadn't been still all day except when he forced her to take a nap after lunch. He worried so much for her and the baby as well as for Stephen. He felt helpless for the first time. He didn't want to leave Jennifer but he felt like he could do more trying to rescue Stephen.

"Darling, please sit down." He said walking over to her and handing her a glass of milk

"Jonathan, I can't sit still." She replied, "I have to know he's alright."

"Connie said they would call when they knew something." He reminded her, "You're not doing yourself any good or the baby. Please sit down."

She sighed heavily and sat down on the sofa, taking a drink of milk, "I'm so afraid for him."

He sat next to her and put his arm around her, "I know you are, Sweetheart, but they're doing everything they can to get him out. Olbermann and his son are ticking time bombs so they have to be careful."

She rested her hand on her abdomen, "He's so excited about the baby and I want him to see his first grandchild born."

Jonathan placed his hand over hers, "He will see our little peanut make his or her entrance into the world, I promise."

The baby kicked and they both smiled, "I guess that's his way of saying everything will be alright, huh?" Jennifer replied

"His?" Jonathan asked

"Or her." She added, "You still like the name Joshua if it's a boy?"

"Yeah I think so." He replied, "What about you?"

"I'd like for his middle name to be Stephen." She said

Jonathan kissed her cheek, "I think that's a wonderful idea." He agreed, "Joshua Stephen Hart."

She looked at him, her tired eyes unable to hide her vulnerability, "I love you."

"I love you too." He said, "Do you think you can get some sleep now?"

She shook her head, "No, I have to be awake in case…"

"Darling, you cannot stay up forever. You and peanut need your rest."

"Okay but I want to stay down here." She insisted

"Alright, I'll get you a pillow and blanket." As he headed to the hall closet he heard a knock at the door

A few minutes later Jennifer joined him and when she saw who was at the door a mix of joy and relief washed over her.

She ran into his arms, "Pa!"

Stephen embraced her but it was clear he was tired and weak, "I'm alright, Darling."

She pulled back and looked at him, "I was so afraid…" she trailed off and hugged him again

"I know, I know." He said, "But I'm home now."

She pulled back again and wiped the tears away, "Are you hungry? Would you like a sandwich?"

"Actually, my dear girl, all I want is to sleep."

She hugged him once again, "I love you." She whispered

"And I you. Very much." He said and headed upstairs

She watched him slowly climb the stairs and turned back smiling gratefully at Wainwright, "Connie, I don't know how to thank you."

"No need." He insisted

"Connie, did you get Olbermann or his son?" Jonathan asked

"No, the only way we could get Stephen out was when neither of them was looking. Christian had finally gone out and when we felt he was a safe distance away we went in."

"So we're still in danger?"

"Jansen and Rush are waiting for him to return. They will get him." Wainwright assured them, "I need to get going. We'll be in touch."

"Thank you again." Jennifer repeated

Jonathan closed the door behind Wainwright and turned back to Jennifer, seeing the relief in her whiskey colored eyes, "Why don't we go to bed?" He said resting his hands on her shoulders, "I'm beat."

She leaned in and their foreheads touched, "Me too." She said with a sleepy smile

/

The next morning Jennifer knocked on Stephen's door with breakfast tray in hand. If ever anyone deserved breakfast in bed it was Stephen.

"Pa." She called out

"Come on in, Darling."

She walked in to find him dressed and ready for the day, "Pa! What are you doing?"

"Getting dressed, my dear." He answered checking his appearance in the mirror, "What does it look like?"

"You should be resting." She admonished, "After all you've been through." She sat the tray down on the bench at the end of the bed

Stephen turned away from the mirror and smiled, "Darling, a few bumps and bruises aren't enough to stop an Edwards."

"You are as stubborn as a mule." She chided him with a playful grin

He walked over to her and playfully tweaked her chin, "Where do you think you got it from?"

"Clearly you are mistaken." She joked, "I inherited my mother's charm and grace."

"You little minx." He bantered back with a wink, "I hope you realize that if this child is a girl she will be doubly stubborn." He gestured to her swollen belly

"A little karma, huh?" She asked, "Besides I thought little girls were sugar and spice and everything nice?"

"Now it's you who are mistaken." He quipped

She looked into his eyes and grew serious, "I love you, very much."

"And I love you." He replied, "Now, no more of this sappiness. I'm here and I'm fine and I plan to stay that way for a good long while."

"Alright, alright." She replied, "But remember I'm a bit hormonal these days. I cried the other night when Jonathan surprised me with my favorite pizza."

Stephen laughed and sat down to eat his breakfast, "Just like your mother. She went on one crying jag after another with you."

She smiled thinking about Suzanne and briefly thought how much she would have loved being here for the baby, "Well, if you're alright, I'll go on downstairs and see if Walter needs any help."

"I'm fine, Darling." He said, "In fact I think I'll take this downstairs and eat with you."

She smiled, knowing it was useless to argue with him and they headed downstairs.

Downstairs Jonathan was getting off the phone when Jennifer and Steven entered the kitchen.

"Who was that, Darling?" She asked casually

"That was Wainwright." He paused and she and Steven looked at him with apprehension and hope, "They got him."

Both sighed a huge sigh of relief and Jennifer went to Jonathan and hugged him, "Thanks God." She pulled back, "So it's over?"

"Yes, Darling it's over." He whispered

"Well this calls for a celebration." Stephen announced, "We'll have Walter put out his finest spread tonight."

Jennifer went to Stephen and took his hands in hers, "All I need is right here in this room." She said her eyes moist with tears, "You, Jonathan and Peanut here."

"Well, then we'll celebrate the joy of life." He said patting her belly

/

Max and Stephen waited anxiously in the waiting area for news from the delivery room. Stephen had insisted on coming for a visit so he could be here to see his first grandchild born. Jennifer had been in labor several hours when Jonathan finally came out beaming from ear to ear.

"Well?" Stephen got up from his seat, "Do we have a baby?"

"Yes, a beautiful baby boy." Jonathan said, "8 lbs 4 oz and 20 inches long. He's perfect!"

"Congratulations, my boy." Stephen embraced his son-in-law

"That's fantastic, Mr. H." Max put his arm around him, "How is Mrs. H?"

"Tired but just fine." He replied, "They will be putting her in a room soon and taking him to the nursery."

"Wait a minute." Stephen interjected, "Does this young man have a name?"

Jonathan smiled, "I think I'll let Jennifer tell you. It shouldn't be too long before you can see her."

A couple of hours later the nurse brought the baby down to Jennifer to show her how to breast feed and after her lesson Max and Stephen came in to see them. Stephen had never seen his daughter looking so lovely holding her newborn son.

She looked up at them and smiled, "How lucky can a girl get to have all her favorite men in the room with her at the same time." She looked down at her son, "Pa, Max, I'd like you to meet young Master Stephen Maxwell Hart."

Both men were speechless then Stephen was the first to find his voice, "Darling, you didn't have to do that. But I am truly honored and touched."

"Me too, Mrs. H." Max replied, "What happened to Joshua?" Max asked

"Well, considering everything that has happened we really wanted to name him after the two most important people in our lives."

"Exactly and I never was one to want a namesake." Jonathan explained, "So Jonathan Jr. was out."

Stephen looked down at his grandson and smiled, "Welcome to the world, my boy. We've been waiting for you."

THE END