What Matters Most~ Chapter Nineteen

Marah waited patiently for Tony to get done making sure the house was locked up for the third time that night.  One would think they were living in Fort Knox instead of Springfield, he was such a worrywort.  But at least her conversation with Michelle the previous day had alleviated a lot of her worries.  Not all of them but a lot of them.  Like Michelle had so helpfully pointed out, Tony and her had already faced so much together why would he hide something when they were in a strong place?

She rubbed her hand on her belly and felt the answering flutter within her womb.  She was tempted to pick up the various baby books on the nightstand and continue her reading but refrained.  When her husband finally made his way upstairs she had some plans for him tonight and they did not include talking about the baby.  She had even purchased something new and slinky for the occasion.  No Marah Santos had seduction on the mind.

“Okay doors are locked and the alarm is set. I think we may need to upgrade…Holy shit.”  Tony stood in the middle of the room with his shirt half off and he couldn’t help b ut stare at the sight before his eyes.   His gorgeous wife lying provocatively on their bed dressed in some sexy, silky number he had never seen before.  He felt like one of those cartoons whose eyes bug out of their heads and their tongues roll out of their mouths.

Marah gestured along  the long line of her body to her leg. “You like?”

Like?  That was an understatement! “Baby I think all the blood in my body had rushed south.  You may have to give me a minute.”  He finished pulling off his shirt and after a quick detour to escort Toby outside their bedroom he moved towards their bed.  Towards Marah. “What did I do to deserve this?  Because I will do it again.”  And again, and again.

Marah just laughed and beckoned him closer with her finger. “You didn’t do anything.  I just wanted to do something special for my husband whom I love.”

Tony captured her lips in a kiss that stole her breath.  And soon they were tangled on the bed, Marah’s negligee thrown somewhere near the door.  Tony broke their kiss briefly to look down at his breathtaking wife.  With her hair all askew Marah resembled a siren and he was caught in her fatal song.  With the final vestige of brain function he paused to glance at her belly where their child lay growing.  “Is it safe?  I never asked Michelle.”

Marah reached up to pull him back down to her waiting lips. “It’s fine.  She’s fine.  Now make love to me.”

But before Tony could move he felt movement between them, like a light tapping from Marah’s stomach to his.  He quickly sat back on his heels his face one of shock as well as wonder.  “Is that her?”

On the bed Marah groaned.  Perfect timing little one.  Sensing that sexy time was over she leveraged herself up on her elbows, “By her you mean the baby than yes.  I have felt these flutterings for a few weeks but until now no one else could feel them.  I guess she just wanted to say hello to her daddy.”

Tony was in awe.  He hesitantly reached out a hand and placed it gently on her belly.   After a few moments he felt it again, that soft tap against the palm of his hand.  A million words ran through his head in that moment but all that he could mutter was a slightly breathless, “Wow.”

Marah looked into Tony’s stunned face and was surprised to see tears in his eyes.  Such a marshmallow underneath that tough exterior he showed to the world.  She reached up and brushed the hair off of his brow. “Babe?  What’s wrong?”

Tony suddenly became very serious, all touches of the man enthralled by the miracle they created washed away by the intense light in his eyes.  “You know much I love you right?  That I would give you the world if I could.”

She smiled serenely. “I don’t want the world Tony, I just want you.  You and our daughter.  And how many other children we have, as long as it isn’t a dozen.  That is what matters to me.  Our family.” She looked at the lingerie laying discarded on the floor and sighed. “I am guessing since sexy time is over, could you hand me a shirt?  Might as well be comfortable.”

Tony winced at the reminder that it had been him who had been pulled from the mood, but he dutifully handed over the cotton shirt he had been wearing earlier.  “I’m sorry Marah.  I would love to take up where we left off but with the baby kicking like that it just kind of hit me you know.  I can feel her.”

“You know the baby can’t feel you right?”

Tony did not look convinced by Marah’s statement. “I may know that, logically.  That’s what the book says anyway.  Doesn’t stop my mind from conjuring up some rather graphic images.  I don’t want to traumatize our daughter before she is even born!”

Marah just rolled her eyes before lying back on the pillows.  “Fine.  You win.” For now, she amended to herself. “You know it is going to be a long couple of months if you can’t get over this right?”

He just laughed before joining her under the covers. “Marah at least give me twenty-four hours to work through it in my head before you have me sitting in some shrink’s chair.”

“Hmm. Okay you got yourself a deal.” Marah curled up along side Tony resting her head on his bare chest.  “So you never said why you are going to be working from home.  Are you having problems at Infierno?  Not with Danny right?”

The fingers Tony had been lightly sifting through Marah’s hair stilled.  How easily he had forgotten about Eden and how her very presence threatened this very thing, this intimacy and love.  “We just figured with the baby coming I would be better off working closer to home.”

Marah lifted her head so that she could look at Tony. “Really?  We still have months to go.  Sure you aren’t going to get bored being away from the guys?”

“You kidding?  I  will probably get much work done away from the distractions.  Danny will probably make me work from home from now on.”  Marah laughed before reaching over and turning out the lights.

In the dark Tony let out a sigh that had nothing to do with contentment.  He felt…heavy.  Like a rock was sitting low in the pit of his stomach.  He hated lying to Marah but he had to protect her.  Who knew what Eden wanted, why she came back to Springfield in the first place.  Until he figured out Eden’s motives he had to keep her away from Marah.  He tightened his hold on Marah, he had too much to lose to risk it all to chance.

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