Disclaimer: JE owns them. I do not.
Dinner at Midnight
I'd had a long week. There'd been problems with multiple accounts, several nights of long, tedious surveillance, and Steph was on bed rest now that she was about eight months along in her pregnancy with the triplets. We were temporarily living at RangeMan so there would always be someone close by until the babies were born. It was nearly midnight, but I was starving. I picked up the phone and speed dialed number nine.
"Hello, Ranger. What can I do for you?" Ella's soft voice was sweet and polite, even in the middle of the night.
"I hate to ask this of you, but I just got back, and I'm starving. Could I get something light to eat? I didn't think to stop on the way home and grab something."
"No problem, sobrino," she said. "Give me twenty minutes. I'd be happy to bring something up for Stephanie too in case she wakes up now or is hungry tomorrow."
"That would be terrific, Ella. Thanks," I said, hanging up the phone.
I headed into the bedroom to change clothes and found Steph wide awake and watching the doorway. "Babe. You need to be asleep. You okay?"
She sighed. "Yeah, I guess. I couldn't sleep. I'm glad you're home. How'd it go?"
"It went. Got Binkie and Junior on surveillance for the rest of the night," I said. "Ella's bringing me up some food. Want to come lie on the couch beside me while I eat? We can talk about the babies' room or watch a movie. We can do whatever you want."
Steph nodded. "That would be great, Carlos. Thanks."
She started to stand up, but I put my hand up to stop her. "Babe, you know what the doctor said. I'll carry you in there. Let me get my sweats on."
After dressing, I walked to her and gently picked her up in my arms, then I headed to the living room and set her carefully on the couch. We were just getting settled when there was a quiet knock on the door. Ella walked in wheeling a cart with delicious smells coming out from under the cover.
"Thanks, Ella. You're a gem."
She smiled and said, "Just put the extra in the fridge for Steph when she's ready for it."
I looked over at Steph and realized her eyes were already closed and she was breathing deeply.
"I will." I smiled and then turned back to Ella. "Thanks again."
"Anytime, Ranger," she said quietly before heading back out the door.