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He Said, She Said
Casey was cradling the phone between her ear and her shoulder as she pulled off Emily’s clothes in preparation of bedtime. "I understand, Kyle, but I need those reservations made ASAP. Look, if Duncan is in a bad mood, maybe I should talk to him...Yeah, I’ll hold." She frowned. It was awfully late for him to still be in his office.
"What?" Duncan’s voice came on gruffly.
"Hello to you too," she smiled.
"Casey, it’s been a long day. I’m…I'm in the middle of a…crisis…here. What do you want?" He didn’t even try to hide his exasperation.
"Duncan, what’s wrong? Are all the teams okay? Nobody’s in trouble? Do we need to come in?" she asked, immediately in ‘alert mode’.
There was a sigh. "No, nothing like that. It’s just…well…Tessa started her period this afternoon. Again. And she’s not handling it very well. Actually, she’s a mess right now."
Casey closed her eyes. Tessa had been trying for nearly two years now to get pregnant. She had been faithfully taking the shots Dr. Montigue and Dr. Williams had created to help Immortal women become pregnant. It seemed to have worked for everyone, except her. "Oh, Duncan, I’m so sorry. Look, I know this is last minute for you, but we, meaning the team, wanted to go to Langara and do some early Christmas shopping. You haven’t had a vacation in god knows how long, and I think it would help Tessa. Come with us."
She heard a deep sigh. "Casey, I can’t just walk away from here, I have-"
"Kyle to help you," she interjected. "Duncan, you’re going to burn yourself out. I love you, but you are not indispensable, you know. There are others in that mountain capable of doing your job. The place didn’t fall apart when you died for a week, remember? You need a break. Tessa needs a break. For all you know, that could be part of the problem. You’re too tense. She’s too tense. You both need to relax. Go to Langara with us."
There was a pause. "I guess I could think about it. When were you planning on going?"
Another pause. Then a chuckle. "I suppose this call is to get permission for Kyle to contact the visitor’s center on your behalf, right?"
She giggled. "Well, yes actually…Emmie, hold still!" she said as the toddler tried to crawl away from her now that her clothes had been removed.
"Emmie’s there? Let me talk to her!" Duncan demanded excitedly. He adored Emily Rose Jackson.
"Emmie, Uncle Duncan is on the phone, do you want to say hello?" Casey asked with a smile. She knew that as much as Duncan loved her, Emily loved him. In fact, she loved him almost as much as her adored Daddy and beloved Peepaw.
Little hands reached for the phone, went over her mothers fingers as Casey held the receiver to her ear. "‘Unkan!"
"Hi, Emily! How’s my favorite girl?" Duncan asked, a grin on his face.
"‘Kay. I potty now!" she said proudly.
Casey could hear Duncan laugh. "That’s great, sweetie! You’re getting to be a big girl."
"Big ‘irl! Daddee’s ‘autch fwushed," she said, a frown on her little face. It still was impressed in her little mind that her Daddy had been very upset about that incident.
Duncan laughed again. He knew about the flushing incident; was aware that life in the Jackson household was very…interesting …right now. "I know, your Mommy told me. She said your Daddy was very upset."
"Daddee ‘pset. No fwush potty no more," she said firmly, nodding her head. She smiled up at Casey. "Bye-bye ‘Unkan." She blew a kiss, not realizing that the man on the other end of the phone couldn’t see her.
"Guess she’s finished talking," Casey giggled. "By the way, she blew you a kiss."
Duncan was still chuckling. "So how goes the potty training?"
"She’s doing very well. We haven’t had any accidents for almost three days. Of course now I’ve probably jinxed us," she said with a smile. "As long as we keep an eye on her, she stays out of the bathroom. She was in the den with Daniel the other day and managed to find an eraser, which she promptly ran into our bathroom and flushed. He had to plunge it to get it out."
Duncan laughed. He was suddenly very glad that Casey had called. "Bet that thrilled him."
"Oh, yeah. He was thrilled all right. He grumbled for an hour." She managed to catch Emily and get the pajama top on her. "Look about that trip…"
"I’ll have Kyle call right now and make the reservations. Did you want to shop in Kelowna City?"
"Sounds good to me."
"Okay, hun, I’ll get everything set up."
"You’re welcome, Case. And thanks. I needed this."
She smiled. "Hug Tessa for me. As in, go home and hug your wife, MacLeod. Hold her. Let her cry. Cry with her. Then tell her we’re going shopping."
She giggled again. "Bye, Duncan."
She turned the phone off, tossed it onto the dresser, then finished putting Emily’s pajamas on her. "Okay, Baby, go find Daddy, tell him it’s snuggle time," she said, putting her daughter’s little feet on the floor.
Emily ran through the door, calling for her father. "Daddee! Daddee! ‘Nuggles time!"
Even though she no longer took a bottle, every night before putting her in her own bed, Casey and Daniel would snuggle with her on their bed, holding her, rocking her to sleep, sometimes Casey would sing, or Daniel would tell her a story. It was precious time with their daughter that neither wanted to give up. Even when Daniel was in the midst of a project, he wouldn’t miss their ‘snuggle time’.
Daniel was already on the bed, Emily jumping up and down beside him, when Casey walked into the bedroom.
"‘Nuggles time!" Emily laughed. She launched herself into Daniel’s arms, hugged his neck tightly.
Casey didn’t miss the shimmer of tears that filled his eyes for one brief second as he held his daughter tightly against his muscular chest. She smiled, settled onto the bed beside him.
"No, Mommee! Here!" Emily tugged at her mother’s arm until she was sitting in front of Daniel, then she tugged and pulled until his arms and legs were around her. Satisfied, Emily plopped down against her. She leaned her head back against her mother’s breast, her finger in her mouth.
"So, shall we have Daddy tell us a story?" Casey asked softly, cuddling her child close. She began to gently brush fine blonde hair from the baby’s face with her hand, the touch a guarantee to help put Emily to sleep.
"A story, huh?" Daniel said softly, a smile on his face. He tightened his arms around Casey, let his hand move over Emily’s little arm. There was no where in the universe better than where he was sitting right now. "Okay, let’s see. A story-"
"A story about a Princess?" He frowned.
Emily nodded. Her eyelids were already beginning to droop, due in part to the gentle caresses from the loving hands of her parents.
"Okay, hmmm…" He looked at Casey and smiled. "Once upon a time there was a beautiful Princess. She had long blonde hair, and beautiful green eyes. She had a soft voice that could charm the birds right out of the trees. She found a poor, sad, lonely man, in a very dark forest. She took him by the hand and led him into the sunshine, and into a beautiful valley. The poor, sad, lonely man was enchanted by the Princess, and fell in love with her. So he gathered up his courage, and asked that beautiful Princess if she would consider marrying him. To his surprise and delight, she said yes. And she kissed the poor, sad lonely man, and made his broken heart whole again. And they got married and lived happily ever after."
Casey was looking down at her daughter, listening to him, her heart fluttering against her ribs. Emily was nearly asleep. "The Princess was in awe of that handsome man, because he was very brave, and had come to rescue her from a wicked monster. He carried her to safety, and she fell in love with him, and they lived happily forever and ever." She looked over her shoulder at Daniel. He smiled and kissed her gently.
"Sing, Mommee," Emily said, barely awake now.
"I’ve got sunshine, on a cloudy day," Casey sang softly, "when it’s cold outside, I’ve got the month of May. I know, you’ll say, what can make me feel this way, my girl, talking ‘bout, my girl..." She stopped, looked down at her sleeping daughter. "I think she’s out." She leaned back against her husband, and they sat there contentedly for just awhile longer.
Daniel finally slid out from behind her and took Emily into his arms. He waited for Casey to climb off of the bed, and then carried the toddler to her room. He put her into the crib, kissed her cheek, then moved so that Casey could kiss her goodnight. They stood watching her for just a few minutes, holding onto one another. He led her into the living room. "Love you, Angel."
"Love you, too, my heart," she replied softly. She started to gather the laundry that filled one chair.
"Leave it, babe. Come to bed." He ran his hands over her hips.
She smiled at him. "I thought we took care of that problem earlier."
He grinned. "That was then. Now I have a new one," he said, taking her hand and pressing it against the growing bulge in his jeans.
"You’re insatiable, you know that," she giggled.
"Only when it comes to you, Angel," he replied.
She allowed him to lead her to the bedroom, then softly, gently took care of his problem.
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