Leonie was still sobbing, looking expectantly back and forth between her mother, the doctor and the nurse, all of them looking uncomfortable but not yet speaking. Finally Leonie realized the weight of her stomach, in a reflex her hands reached there. Still large and taunt. Even a little kick. She closed her eyes and leaned back.
But then, why the gloominess?
The doctor began to speak.
“Mrs. Cameron. Leonie … you had a terrible accident. You have been unconscious for several days. Luckily nobody else got hurt, and all things considered, you came out as unscathed as one could only hope for. However, this has put a lot of stress on your body, the wounds you did sustain have to heal, and hence we have placed you on bedrest for the remainder of the pregnancy.”
Not great news, but not that bad, Leonie thought to herself. But why in the world did they still look so gloomy? she thought, still gently stroking her baby belly.
Oh my God! I cannot walk anymore! That must be it! Leonie thought and panicked, trying to wiggle her toes and feet, lifting her legs. It worked. Strange.
“There is one more thing, Mrs. Hanson, would you like to be the one to tell your daughter?” the doctor addressed Leonie’s mother directly.
Leonie looked at her mom, who nodded, swallowed hard and then looked at Leonie, taking her hand into hers, gently rubbing it, before placing a soft kiss on it.
“The news … of your accident … and when we did not know about you … and the baby … it put a strain on your father’s heart … he was already in such bad shape … so … he … didn’t… couldn’t. Daddy passed away, honey.”
Leonie gasped for air.
While her last encounter with her father was less than pleasant, the fact that it should have been the last one ever hit her hard. And why did the news of her accident affect him so much? Did he actually care about her after all?
She was sobbing again, so much so that the nurse administered a sedative, which would soon make her drowsy. Leonie fell asleep just when she heard her mother tell her that she loved her.
When Leonie woke, now in a new room, no longer in the ICU, she tried to get out of bed, to search for her cell phone. The nurse came in, immediately dragging her back into bed.
“No, you do not understand, I need my phone … I HAVE to call my husband. Please!”
“Here honey, take my phone.”
Leonie thanked her, greedily grabbed the offered phone and dialed, her hands shaking. Hopefully Liam would even answer. He was a celebrity after all and he would not recognize this number.
“Hello?” she heard. Definitely his voice. A single tear stole away from her eye.
“Liam! Liam – it’s me!”
“Leonie! Are you all right?!” Liam’s voice was a lot more animated now.
“Yes. Liam, I am in a hospital ..”
“I know baby, they called. I know everything. Calm down please.” he told her gently.
“I want to see you! I need to see you! Please Liam … ” she sobbed hard, the nurse looked worried, rubbing Leonie’s arm.
“Sorry to interrupt, but we could put you in a wheelchair and have you two meet out front for a little while…” the nurse offered.
“Liam!” Leonie wanted to repeat it but could not for crying, her emotions getting the best of her, so the nurse took the phone from her, introduced herself and explained the plan to Liam.
When she hung up, Leonie had finally calmed down, but was about to cry again when she realized the call was over.
“Nooo, I need to speak to him .. I need him … please…”
“Shhhh, there there … he will be right here. And in person, meaning you can even hug him. Isn’t that much better than a call? Now stop crying, hun, you want to look pretty for your hubby, right? He didn’t sound like he would care, but you know how we girls are, huh?”
Leonie nodded, hugging the nurse, thanking her repeatedly.
The air felt cold when the nurse wheeled her outside, it was late Winter almost Spring now. She did not see Liam and began to worry.
“Are we by the right door? Maybe he is on the other side? Should we go over there?”
“Could that be him?” the nurse pointed at the parking lot where now a tall, dark-haired man was running towards them.
“LIAM!” Leonie nearly yelped the name, trying to jump up when the nurse held her in place. When Liam reached her he kissed her.
Then fell to his knees next to her, kissing her again and again.
In the meantime Blaine and I had made our way over to them but stayed in the background with the nurse, watching them.
“That will take a while, want us to call you when they are done or something?” Blaine smirked at the nurse, who winked at him.
“Nah, I see so much sadness, this actually reminds me why I love this job. Your son and daughter-in-law are a breath of fresh air. How sweet.”
“How did you know he’s my son?”
“I have eyes, that’s how. Don’t need a DNA test to know that the mailman was not involved here.” she joked.
“It’s what I have been telling you for years, Blaine!” I continued the joke.
“Well, you haven’t seen our mailman.” Blaine added, we all laughed, while Liam and Leonie were still all over one another.
“Thank you. For this.” I told the nurse, pointing at Liam and Leonie.
I meant it. Liam had been a mess, the only reason he managed to keep it together were his kids.
“Did they tell you that she will need to stay on bedrest until the baby comes?”
“No. Does that need to be in here?”
“Oh no, once she is stable enough, she can be released. I saw in her file that they do not live around here. She will not be able to travel.”
“That won’t be a problem.” Blaine promised.
I was not so convinced. There were still several weeks left in Leonie’s pregnancy, and I doubted that Liam would be able to be absent for that long.
Liam and the grandkids had already set up shop at our beachhouse, the tiny little beachhouse, even though Vitto had offered up his house several times.
Liam told us he felt grounded at his old home. So we squeezed him in, squeezed his kids in, we’d find a way to squeeze delicate little Leonie in. The children had Liam’s old room, Liam was in our master bedroom, Vivian still had her old coffin downstairs with us. It was all doable, albeit extra-cozy. As long as all were ok.
“All right, I hate to be that way, but I need to take her back now.” the nurse called over to the couple, wheelchair in tow.
The nurse faced the rejection and complaints in stride and within minutes had Leonie back in the chair and was wheeling her towards the door, nearly dragging our son along, as he could not seem to let go.
“I need to take lessons with her. For all the times I cannot get you to listen to me.” I joked at Blaine.
“Not needed. Just have to offer me the right bribe.” he smirked back.
Liam just stood there, looking lost and heartbroken. It did not take a mind reader to figure out that he cursed being a vampire right this moment.
“Come on, boy. Off we go. I do not trust your sister watching those kids of yours these days. She has other things on her brain right now. More like making babies than watching them.”
“Blaine! Quit being so crude! I am sure she is not thinking about babies already!”
“May not be thinking it, but does not always mean it ain’t happenin’ anyway.”
“Oh shut up!”
“I am so glad she is ok. I want her home with me.” Liam said, completely ignoring Blaine and my interaction.
“Soon son. They are giving her another once over and in a couple days you’ll have her back.”
“Umm Liam. Nurse told us that she cannot travel until the birth. Can you start working on that with your agency and all?”
“I don’t care. I will not leave her side. Any of them got a problem with that, they can go fuck themselves.”
“Yup. Definitely my boy.” Blaine grinned.
“Get us home, Blaine.” I shook my head.
Three days later Leonie was released, overjoyed to be with Liam and her children, but still saddened that she had not been able to attend her father’s funeral and despite her begging, Liam firmly stood his gound on keeping her on the prescribed bedrest, spending most of his time with her, while Blaine and I ended up running after Natty and Everett.
Since evidently rules do not apply to celebrities, Liam was able to take Everett out of school for the time being and instead do some sort of long distance online schooling. Sounded great, but getting Rett to focus on that was hard.
Vitto came over often and helped a great deal. He had been taking care of kids since he was one himself, it came natural to him. And Natty adored him! I mean head over heels adored him.
“Liam, only just outside the door. Please? The sun is out and it looks so pretty … pleeeeease…” Leonie begged. Liam was carrying her into the living room to spend time with us, but he was unmovable about her staying on the couch.
“Nope. You and baby will stay right here, with me. I’ll keep you entertained.”
“But the sun looks soooooo inviting…” Leonie smiled, trying to melt away Liam’s toughness, an effort he smothered in kisses, her still in his arms.
“If you ever choose to get turned, you won’t be able to enjoy it anymore either.” Vitto interjected, causing everybody to look at him.
“Thank you, Vitto.” Liam grimaced, annoyed.
“No, he has a point. I know it has come up and will come up and I still know way too little about it all. Since all of you can be out during the day, it’s easy to forget that was not always the case. But I do remember early on, when we were teens, you couldn’t do a lot of things, Liam. So does that come with age?” Leonie asked.
“No, I still can’t withstand the sun.” Vitto said.
“You can’t because you do not want to put in the effort!” Vivian accused him.
Vitto frowned and looked at his shoes.
“May I ask why you don’t want to learn that?”
“Cause he hates being a vampire.” Vivian answered for him, as he was busy with Natty.
“I want to be a vampire!” Everett chimed in.
“No you don’t. Be happy you are a mortal.” Vitto told him.
“No. I want to be like my daddy! Big and strong and fearless! And then I will marry mommy!”
“I want to marry Vitto!” Natty added, climbing onto Vitto’s lap, who naturally blushed.
“Wow, competition gets younger and younger … how to compete with a cute blonde chick from my own family?” Vivian joked.
“I am not a chick, I am a princess!” Natty corrected, causing everybody to burst into laughter, including Leonie, who quickly moaned. We all halted and stared at her, laying on the couch in the living room.
“Oh God … oh God … Liam … I have to go…. get the bag … we have to go! Now!”
Liam scooped her up and ran to our new car with her, while Vivian grabbed her go bag from their room.
Blaine jumped into the driver seat to drive Liam and Leonie to the hospital.
Before the door was shut, Leonie shouted “So sorry about your couch” at me.
Blaine hammered on the gas.
It was sad, as this time, Liam would not be able to be with Leonie through the birth, but had to wait outside the hospital with Blaine. Leonie’s mother was with her. Luckily the birth was smooth and comparably speedy.
The rest of us remained at home.
When I walked back in, Vitto was already scrubbing our couch.
‘Dang Vivian, you better marry that boy or I will’, I thought, grinning to myself.
“Granma, where is mommy going?” Everett asked, looking shaken up.
“Oh, mommy and daddy are just excited, they are picking up your baby brother now.”
“Brother? I wanted a sister!” Natty complained.
“I didn’t. Naner, I won!” Rett stuck his tongue out at her, then took off, Natty ran after him through the house. What a circus! Soon plus one more.
“Do you need a coffee?” Vitto asked me.
“Yes, yes I would.”
He walked off, while I looked at Vivian.
“He’s a keeper.”
“I know, Mom.” she blushed.
My daughter blushing? Iiiiiinteresting.
We all stood around the crib, admiring a perfect little baby named Jake. Arrived way earlier than he should have, but was fit as a fiddle and absolutely healthy.
The glowing parents happily reunited, everybody else just in awe.
Leonie looked exhausted, so after a grace period Liam kicked all of us out of the bedroom so she could get some rest, Blaine and I went to tuck the kids in, leaving Vitto and Vivian to their own devices.
“He is perfect.” Vitto swooned on the way to the living room.
“He is.” Vivian agreed.
“Will you ever have another child, Vivian?” Vitto asked a question that had been burning on his mind for a long time as they sat down on the couch together.
“With the right guy, possibly.” she looked straight at Vitto with those big, light green eyes.
“The right guy, huh?” although Vitto blushed deeply, he felt hopeful and smiled.
“He would have to make me an honest woman first, of course.” she winked at him.
“You would get married again?!” Vitto sounded surprised and even more hopeful.
“If the right guy asked me, probably.” she smiled.
“That right guy again, huh.” Vitto began to smile big and kissed her.
“Liam?” Leonie said, laying next to him on their bed back home.
“Thank you. For everything. For being there even when you couldn’t be. And for not yelling at me for the accident. And for being so …”
He pulled her into a hug and muffled her with a long kiss.
“I am the one who should be thanking you. For still being here and for giving me a healthy son. And one day you will understand what soulmate to a vampire really means. Nothing in this world is more important to me than you, Leonie.”
“I have been thinking a lot, too Liam … I am not saying anything, still just thinking, but I would like to sit down with you and really talk about what being turned is like and everything. Just for future reference. Actually no, I am almost kinda sure that I want to do this, but not yet. But I will.” Leonie nervously played with her fingers.
“For one it would mean you would be stuck with me for all eternity, Mrs. Cameron.” he took her hands into his and kissed them, smiling at her, which seemed to calm her down. So much so, that her smile turned into a grin.
“Does it? I mean, if I turn into some hot, young vampire woman who never ages, never dies, I could feel like going out and playing the field once I tire of you…” she teased him, smiling.
“Ah yeah? I guess I’ll have to make sure you do not tire of me then, do I?” he played along, pulling her into a demanding kiss.