Chapter Twenty-Three (Part Two)

Danny was lost.  Time?  Time for what? “I don’t follow.”

“It’s time.”  When he still looked confused she pointed to her belly, “For the baby.  It’s TIME.”

Danny felt the bottom go out of his stomach.  “It’s time?  Okay you wait here I’ll go get the suitcase and call the doctor.”  He practically ran out of the room.

Michelle heard a crash and him curse softly.  She couldn’t help but laugh.  Danny was always so solid.  Guess just like her each time is like the first time, a mixture of pleasure and panic.  She picked up her cell phone and dialed, “Tony?  Sorry to ruin your alone time but just thought I’d let you know that the baby’s coming.”

***

Tony rolled over and nudged Marah awake, “Babe?  Michelle’s gone into labor.  We need to meet them at Cedars.”

Marah groaned but got up and got and started getting dressed as quickly as possible.  After that was done she stood in front of the mirror trying to tame her bed head, “How do I look? Does it look like I just rolled out of bed after sexy time with my gorgeous boyfriend?”

Tony looked up from putting on his shoes, “You look deliciously disheveled.  If Danny and Michelle weren’t waiting I’d like to ravish you some more baby.”  Tony stood up and held out his hand, “Another rain check?”

She grabbed her purse and joined him at the door, “Anytime.”

***

Three hours later and Tony was wondering if he would ever have circulation in his legs again.  But he was reluctant to move into a more comfortable position.  Marah lay against him sleeping soundly and he didn’t want to wake her.  Rick sat with Robbie and Hope trying to keep them entertained while they waited for news.   And Ed was pacing the hallway, his shoes squeaking on the polished tile.  He didn’t know how Marah could sleep through this but she’d had a long day…and a long night he thought with a wicked grin.

Just then the door burst open and there stood Danny with the largest smile on his face, “The next Santos has arrived!!”

Within moments he was surrounded and congratulations were given.

“They are cleaning Michelle and the baby up now but I know she’ll want to see all of you.”

Fifteen minutes later they were all gathered in the small hospital room.  Michelle looked tired but blissful at the same time.

Hope sat in her father’s lap as she held her new baby sister, “What’s her name?” She whispered as if in awe, after all she had been the baby up till that moment.

Michelle answered as a tear fell from her eye, “Danielle Maureen Santos.”

Ed had a sad sort of smile on his face, “Your mother would have loved that sweetie.”

Robbie looked down at the baby thoughtfully, “We’re outnumbered Dad.  We need another one, this time a boy.”

Michelle’s response was just to laugh, “Let’s get this one get through potty training before discussing another baby.”

The baby was passed gingerly around those gathered.  When she ended up in Marah’s arms she looked at her friend and laughed, “It’s a good thing I threw you that baby shower when I did Michelle.  Looks like we got it in just under the wire.”

***

Two days later Tony and Danny sat on the living room floor looking at directions that made no sense whatsoever.

Tony tossed down the screwdriver he was holding, “Can’t we hire someone to do this?”

“Consider it practice for when you and Marah have kids.”

Danny may have been jumping the gun a bit but Tony had to admit that the thought thrilled him. “If or when that time comes I’m going to hire someone to do it for me because these instructions read like they’re written in Greek.”

Danny had to agree.  They’d been at this for over an hour and he wasn’t sure they were making much progress. “Almost forgot to tell you, Ray said that we can do the baptism before your trip so you don’t miss it.  Besides Michelle and I were talking and we want to know if you and Marah would consider being Danielle’s godparents.”

“Oh.  Thanks Danny.  I’d be honored and I’m sure Marah feels the same way.”  Tony looked back down at the directions with a frown.

“What’s got you looking like someone kicked your puppy.”

“What if we get there and she decides that’s where she belongs?”  He’d been agonizing over that very thought since Marah had said she wanted to go back to Paris.  It was a lot to give up just for him.

“Not going to happen.” Danny attached a wheel and whooped in joy. “I think I finally got it!”

“Why do you say it won’t happen?  It could.”

Danny looked up from attaching the final wheel, “Because I’ve seen the way she looks at you, and the way you look at her.  Even if she did change her mind I know you’d be right there with her.  But I think it’s a moot point.  You didn’t see her when she first got here.  Trust me, you make her happy.”  He stood the stroller up, “Alright let’s check out our hard work.”

He gave it a gentle push…as the wheels promptly rolled off.

Danny bowed his head in defeat, “Damn.”

Tony laughed, “Like I said, pay someone to put this thing together.  Heck call Rafael, I’m beginning to see there’s not much that man can’t do.  Robbie and Hope are probably better at this than we are.”

Soon they were both laughing so hard they had tears in their eyes. “You may be right.”

***

The sounds of laughter downstairs caught Michelle’s attention  “So what do you think those two are doing down there?”

Marah looked up from gazing at Danielle’s slumbering form.  Wondered what it was about a sleeping baby that was so mesmerizing, “If I had to guess I’d say the stroller assembly was a bust.”  She looked back down at the newborn, “She’s so peaceful.”

“For right now.  In a few hours she will scream for her supper.  She sure has a set of lungs on her.”

“Can’t believe how much she looks like Danny.” Marah finally tore herself away from Danielle and sat by Michelle’s bedside, “Do you need anything while I’m here?  Since the guys are busy not putting a stroller together?”

“Actually yes.  Danny and I were talking and we’d like to know if you’d be interested in becoming Danielle’s godmother.”

Marah was surprised, “I’d be honored. ”

“Now that that’s settled.  Ray says he can perform the ceremony before you leave for Paris.  Are you excited?”

“I actually am.  I thought it would be sad to close that chapter of my life but instead I am actually happy about it.  By closing that chapter I get to start a new one here in Springfield.”

Michelle grinned, “With Tony.”

“With Tony.   This past month has been great, I can’t wait to see what comes next.”

Michelle looked over at Danielle.  The life they had now with each other and their kids was worth all the obstacles they’d had to overcome. “One thing you can always count on.  Being with a Santos is always interesting.”

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