Bud Makes Good
Bud nearly took down a nurse as he hurried into the hospital. His partner, Zack Grant, had dropped him off at the entrance. He apologized and hurried on toward the maternity ward.
He saw it as he flew by the gift shop and backed up a step. There it was; the peace offering. He purchased it quickly and had them put a big pink bow on it before he took off down the hallway in an almost full out lope.
Bud had been gone too long. Marie had just had their baby girl less than 24 hours ago. Her cousin Ashley and her husband Lachlan were staying with Marie when he left to ‘drop by the house and the office quickly.’ Quickly had turned into hours when a call that required follow up came into the station.
He figured all of them should be pretty pissed off at him by this time. Hell, he was pissed off that he’d been away so long. Bud worried about Marie and now was worried about his brand new baby girl too. This was where he belonged right now.
Bud sprinted around the corner into his wife’s room and collided this time with Curry who was exiting.
"Whoa, Mate. I understand the hurry, but it won’t do Marie or Ash any good if we’re both out on the floor." He grabbed Bud’s shoulders to steady them both as he grinned. "I was just about to call Jessica and Egan to see how they’re doing with Katie Marie. By this time they should be ready to swear off kids for life." Lachlan chuckled out loud as he eyed the huge present under Bud’s arm.
"Sorry it took so long, Curry. Thanks for staying with Marie."
"No worries. You and Marie helped to bring my ankle biter safely into this world. And now we’ve got another redheaded beauty in the family." Lachlan thumped Bud on the back and gently propelled him through the door.
Bud stood in the doorway watching his wife with their baby. Was it possible for your heart to swell too fucking big for your chest? Surely it had to bust out. Ashley was perched on the hospital bed next to Marie giving her tips on breast feeding. Marie was a nurse, but Ashley had the real life experience. The breast feeding was why Curry had left the room.
His daughter…yeah, his daughter, Eliza, was taking hearty sucks from her mother’s nipple. Bud almost had to slap himself to believe that he really had a baby daughter. He walked into the room as The Princess was giving animated detail to Marie about how necessary it was to massage the nipples to help prevent soreness and breakdown until they were used to breast feeding. Bud stopped in his tracks. He wasn’t sure he should be in the room during this conversation. But Ashley had caught sight of him and motioned him over.
"Bud, look at how beautiful she is. She and Katie Marie are going to be best friends. It’ll be just like Marie and I." Ashley grinned at him and hurried over to usher him to Marie’s bedside as she played hostess.
He leaned over to kiss Marie’s cheek. "Yeah, Hon. You really are beautiful." He looked down in awe at the baby. "And she looks like you. That’s good." He held out the huge stuffed brown bear with the pink bow around its neck he’d purchased in the gift shop. "Something for her to play with, uh, later. Sorry it took me so long." Bud didn’t meet her eyes.
"Is everything okay? And Zack is fine?" Marie searched for his eyes.
He met her warm brown eyes that were so full of concern. She took his breath away on a daily basis. He wondered again what the hell she was doing with him.
"Yeah, it’ll be okay. Grant’s good." The sucking sound had stopped. Bud’s eyes shifted focus to his new baby who was looking up at him. His face softened instantly.
"Would you look at that? She’s looking at me." His rugged face broke into a grin.
Ashley interrupted. "Of course she is. She’s thinking look at how handsome my Daddy is. There’s only one man more handsome in my life and that’s Uncle Lachlan." She giggled.
Marie laughed. "There are definitely women who’d dispute that order of handsomeness, Ashley."
"Yeah? You know any of those women, Hon?" Bud grinned at her until his focus shifted to the resumption of the sucking sounds coming from his other girl.
"I do, Bud. I know one for certain and I’d bet on the other too." Marie watched her baby with a mixture of love and awe in her gaze.
Bud pulled a chair up next to the bed so he didn’t disturb his daughter’s meal by sitting on the bed. His hand slipped across the sheet next to Marie’s. In moments their fingers were laced together as they watched their new baby.
Ashley observed the newly expanded family. Finally Marie and Bud had a sweet healthy baby after going through so much tragedy. Everything was how it should be. A secret smile crossed her face and her hand smoothed over her flat stomach. If Ashley was right there was even more amazing news. It could wait a little while longer.