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Trio of Blessings
Chapter 11: Eighth Month
The yard was filled with family and friends. Their eighth anniversary barbecue was in full swing. Casey was sitting in a lounge chair on the deck, talking with her best friends. She glanced over to where Daniel was standing with Jack and Duncan. He caught her look, and winked at her. Her pulse raced, and she smiled back at him.
She shifted in her seat. "I am so ready for this baby to be born," she said, running her hands over her swollen belly.
"I hear that, and I have another month to go," Sam agreed. "You could pop any time."
"I just don’t think that’s fair," said Tessa. She too was shifting, trying to find a more comfortable position. "Richie refuses to stay put, and he keeps putting a foot under my rib cage and pushing!"
"Oh, god, so does Nicholas! I swear, if the boy doesn’t knock it off, I’m going to send him to his room until he’s thirty the day he’s born!" Casey declared.
"I’ve noticed you’re not calling him Nick or Nicky," Sam commented.
She scrunched up her nose. "Nicholas just sounds better. Daniel even calls him Nicholas. When he’s not calling him ‘son’."
Tessa giggled. "Duncan does the same thing."
Sam smiled. "Evvie is her Daddy’s ‘Pumpkin’, and Amber is his ‘Sweetpea’."
"That is so cute!" Casey exclaimed. She shifted again. "Daniel!"
"Please come calm your son down."
With a wide grin, Daniel hurried to the deck. He crouched down beside his very pregnant wife, began to caress her belly. "Take it easy, son," he said softly.
Casey laid back and closed her eyes, a small smile pulling up the corners of her mouth. The gentle touch of his hands was soothing her as well. She reached out and cupped his cheek with her hand. "Love you," she whispered.
He turned his face and kissed her palm. "Love you, too, Angel," he whispered in reply. The baby had stopped moving for awhile. He stood, dropped a kiss on her forehead, and returned to his friends.
"Case, I have a question for you. Feel free to not answer it, but, you explained about ‘My Star’. I get the ‘babe’. Where did ‘Angel’ come from?" Sam asked.
"Wait a minute, I don’t know about ‘My Star’," Tessa said.
She smiled. "Daniel has called me ‘My Star’ since we…well since we got together. He told me that a star is the brightest thing in the heavens, and that I’m the brightest thing in his world… universe is actually what he said. So, I’m his 'star'. As for the ‘Angel’…well…I gave him…we had…a…well, a fantasy night. I became his Slave for the night. It was…unbelievable…absolutely fantastic. I had seen a woman in the grocery store who looked like…her…and it brought back all of the fear and the guilt and the pain, and the next day I sort of fell apart. Daniel held me while I cried, helped me to realize that I’m not any kind of slut or whore…and then when I was feeling…guilty, I guess, about what we had done the night before, he said I was his Fantasy Angel. And he’s called me ‘Angel’ ever since."
"That is so sweet," Sam said softly. "Casey, I don’t know how you managed to survive that…that…person" She shook her head. Casey’s family had met her adoptive mother, and all of them were amazed that Casey had become such a kind, loving woman in spite of Helen Webster. "I kinda thought he called you his Angel because you had saved him from his loneliness. I mean, we’ve always been good friends, but I could see it in his eyes. We’d all be out somewhere, and he’d see a couple walk by, and the pain was just there, you know? It was worse when Sha’re was still alive…but even afterward, I could tell he was…lonely."
Casey smiled. "I saw that pain a time or two myself. Remember the night we got back from my boot camp training, and Jack took us all out for pizza?"
Sam nodded. "I remember."
"I saw it that night. Which totally broke my heart…I had thought we were…you know…sort of getting together. I realized right then that he was still…making up his mind, I guess."
Sam giggled. "Oh, yeah, he was! The next day he asked me what I thought about you. He tried to make it seem casual, did I think you were going to be an asset to the team, to the SGC, that sort of thing. But I had been watching him, I saw the way he was looking at you."
"How was that?" Casey asked, intrigued.
"Like a starving man looking at a banquet table loaded with food," Sam replied.
"Really?" She glanced at her husband, a smile on her face.
Tessa smiled. "And how was Casey looking at Daniel?"
Sam grinned. "Like a woman in love. It was so funny, they would try so hard not to let each other know that they were looking. Daniel was the funniest. He wanted her so badly, but he told me he couldn’t love another woman. I thought at first it was because he loved Sha’re so much…but he let it slip one night…he honestly believed he was cursed. He loved Sha’re, she was taken by the Goa’uld. He had loved Sarah, she was taken by the Goa’uld. He had convinced himself that if he fell in love with Casey, she would be taken by the Goa’uld. The thing of it was, which I pointed out to him, was that he already loved her. I think he fell in love with her the minute she fell into his arms. I know for sure he was in love with her when she was unconscious in the infirmary, right after we brought her back. He never left her side. Held her hand the entire time."
"I knew the first time I looked into those blue eyes that I loved him," Casey admitted quietly.
"So, Sam, when did you know that you loved Jack?" Tessa asked.
"From the first time I saw him…of course I didn’t admit it, even to myself," she giggled. "He told me that I had him when I informed him that just because my reproductive organs are on the inside and not the outside didn’t mean that I couldn’t handle anything he could. He said right then he knew I was the woman for him. He wouldn’t admit it either."
"The whole Air Force no fraternization thing?" Casey asked.
"Yep." Sam turned to Tessa. "Okay, when did you and Duncan know?"
The French woman giggled. "The minute he jumped onto a tour boat on the Seine, in Paris. He was running from some bad men, and he literally leapt onto the boat. I was the tour guide, and he immediately started correcting me on some of the historical facts. Of course, I didn’t know at the time that he was right, that he had been there!"
The women laughed.
"His eyes were so warm, so kind…I just…knew. He told me that he knew the minute he saw me smile." Tessa finished.
"Isn’t it amazing, we knew almost instantly that they were "the one"," Casey said. She watched Daniel laughing with the group of men who stood near the brick barbecue grill.
"What’s amazing is that we ever did get together," Tessa joked. "Men don’t always listen to what their hearts tell them."
"Usually listen to their friends, or their brains," Sam giggled.
"They’re just plain old fashioned hard-headed," Casey added.
The giggles that erupted had the men looking over at them.
"Well, we are certainly the topic of that conversation," Duncan said dryly.
"How can you tell?" Daniel asked.
"They keep looking over here and laughing," the Scot replied.
The three men heaved pained sighs.
"I suppose they’re sharing all kinds of secrets they shouldn’t be," Daniel groused.
Jack shook his head. "Probably."
Casey shifted yet again.
"Case, are you all right?" Sam asked, a worried frown on her face.
"I think so," she replied. Her back was hurting, more than it had been. In fact, it was getting down right unbearable. She ran her hand over her belly, just in time to feel it harden. She felt the pain in her lower back, and in her uterus. "Okay, I’m not sure about this, could just be Braxton-Hicks, but we’d better time this. I think I just had a contraction."
"Should we tell Daniel?" Tessa asked.
Casey shook her head. "Not yet. I want to make sure this is the real thing. Okay, Sam, you’re wearing a watch. I’ll tell you when the next one comes, if it does."
The blonde colonel nodded. "Okay. It’s just now seven-thirty."
Fifteen minutes later, Casey alerted her friend. They continued to time the contractions for an hour before the two women were able to convince the young blonde that it was time for Daniel to know that his son’s arrival was imminent.
Sam pulled herself to her feet, hurried to where the men were sitting, drinking beer. "Daniel, I think you’d better see about getting Casey to the hospital. She’s been having contractions for the past hour."
He jumped to his feet. "Why the hell didn’t you tell me sooner?" he demanded to know.
"She said not to bother you until she was sure. We’re sure now."
He shook his head, jogged to her side. "Babe?"
"I think I’m in labor," Casey admitted.
"You couldn’t let me in on this before now?"
"I wanted to make sure."
"Casey, what am I going to do with you?" he asked with a sigh.
He smiled. "Done deal, babe. Okay, Tess, could you and Duncan take Emmie until the Desala’s are back? I’ll have Kyle send a message to them as soon as we get to the hospital."
"Certainly, Daniel. We’ll be happy to take care of Emily for you," Tessa replied.
Daniel turned back to his wife. "Let’s go, Angel. I’ll call Dr. Montigue while you get your shoes." He held out his hand, helped her to her feet. He ran his hands over her belly, felt it harden as a contraction hit. She stayed still, leaned against him, until it passed. He couldn’t help but grin, and his heart was beginning to pound. His son was about to be born.
Jack, Sam, Duncan and Tessa saw them off, then saw to it that the guests knew that Daniel and Casey were on their way to the hospital. Before the two couples left, the house and the yard had been cleaned up, and order returned. Then they hurried to the hospital.
A A A A A A
Dr. Montigue ordered an ultrasound as soon as Casey informed him that the majority of the discomfort from her contractions was in her back. "Well, we have a ‘star-gazer’," he said. "The baby is going to be born face up. Happens quite often, and it’s nothing to worry about. The baby’s face is usually a bit bruised, that’s from Momma’s pelvic bone, but again, nothing to worry about." He patted Casey’s hand. "Dr. Williams reports that you delivered Emily without drugs. I prefer that method myself. But if you want an epidural, we can certainly give you one."
Casey looked at Daniel.
"It’s up to you, babe. You’re the one going through this," he said softly.
"I did it once without," she said, "I can do it again."
Dr. Montigue smiled. "Good girl. You’re at two centimeters, so we have quite awhile to go yet. I’ll check on you in about an hour."
She nodded, blew out a sigh. "I don’t suppose just wishing for this to be over sooner makes a difference."
The doctor laughed. "I don’t think so. Just relax, let nature take its course. Things will be fine." He patted her shoulder, and hurried out of the room, smiling a hello to the newcomers.
Tessa and Duncan came into the room, Emily in Duncan’s arms.
Emily’s eyes were wide. "Mommee sick?"
Daniel took her, hugged her tight. "No, Princess, Mommy isn’t sick. Baby Nicholas is about to be born."
"Baby Nick’owas come out of Mommee’s tummy?"
"That’s right, Princess." Daniel took his daughter over to where his wife was laying. "Give Mommy a kiss, and then you can go and play with Duncan and Tessa," he said.
Emily kissed Casey’s cheek, received a kiss in return, then willingly, and quite happily, went back to Duncan’s arms.
"We’ll be in the waiting room," Duncan said softly.
Daniel nodded. He looked over at Casey. "She wants you to help, when it’s time. Neither Tessa or Sam are going to be able to, this time."
Duncan smiled. "I’d be honored. Just let me know when," he said softly.
The archaeologist nodded again. "Thanks." He walked back over to the bed, took his wife’s hand and lifted it to his lips.
Duncan watched them for a moment. Every once in awhile he still felt a pang of love for the young blonde Immortal that he had loved for forty-five years. Now was on of those times. He shook himself, and went out to join his pregnant wife, and the daughter of the woman he had, and still did, love.
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