Ethan reached reverently for the wailing baby, tears glittering in his eyes as well. The three brothers exchanged glances, their eyes full of emotion. Ryan squeezed her in his arms, the rush of love he felt for her so strong it was all he could do to contain himself.
Ethan cut and tied off the cord then wrapped a blanket around the baby. He walked over and gently lowered the bundle into Holly’s outstretched arms.
Ryan got his first glimpse of his son. Holly cradled him in her arms, her fingers lightly exploring his tiny face and fingers.
“He’s beautiful,” she whispered, her voice heavy with emotion.
Ryan sat there, holding them both in his arms. He held everything that mattered right there, close to him, against his heart. Another tear rolled down his cheek and this time he didn’t wipe it away.
“I love you,” he choked out against her hair.
Ethan bent in close to kiss Holly’s temple then he lowered his face to kiss the baby’s brow. “Thank you,” Ethan whispered. “He’s absolutely beautiful.”
Holly turned her face up to beam at both him and Ethan. “Isn’t he though?”
She turned the baby into her breast, offering him her nipple. After a few moments of the baby nuzzling and rooting, Holly managed to get him latched on. Soon he was contentedly feeding.
Footsteps sounding in the hall and a second later the midwife bustled in. She took in the scene then beamed over at Holly. “Well, I’d say you all did just fine without me.”
She hustled over and took control of the situation. She shooed the men away, giving them each a different task, assuring them they could come back just as soon as she’d had a chance to get mother and baby cleaned up and checked over.
Holly lay in a clean bed, a clean gown on and her baby in her arms. The midwife had fussed over her, gotten her and the baby cleaned up and checked over before beaming at her and declaring her and the baby just fine.
She felt tired. Exhausted, really. The midwife had wrapped her ankle and cautioned her to stay off of it for a several days. Not that Holly planned on getting out of bed anytime soon. She might just sleep for a week.
But she’d never been happier than at this moment.
The midwife bustled out, saying she’d be out to check on her and the baby the next day. Immediately afterwards, the guys filed in, all headed to where Holly lay.
They crowded around, easing on to the bed with her but being careful not to jostle her.
They stared in awe at the baby, each taking turns touching his cheek or his tiny fingers.
“He’s beautiful,” Ethan whispered reverently.
Ryan curled an arm around her shoulders and hugged her to him. “Are you all right? How are you feeling?”
“Yes, baby, how are you feeling?” Adam asked, concern darkening his eyes.
Her chest clenched. Tears swam in her eyes as she
surveyed the scene before her. “I’m fine,” she choked out. “I’ve never been better.” And it was the truth. How did life possibly get better than at this moment? It would never be as perfect again.
This picture would be forever locked in her memory. As frightened as she’d been, now that it was over, she couldn’t imagine a better delivery. No sterile hospital environment. No strangers bringing her son into the world. Just the men she loved more than life. Just the way it should be.
She looked up at Ryan who was still studying the baby with an expression akin to rapture. “Do you want to hold him? You’re the only one who hasn’t yet.”
“I’d love it,” he said huskily.
She lifted the bundle up, and Ryan eased his large hands around the tiny baby. He cradled him to his chest and watched in fascination as his son opened his eyes.
“What are we going to name him?” Ethan asked.
“Seth,” Holly replied. “I like the name Seth.”
“Seth Colter. It’s a fine name,” Adam said, his eyes softening when they met Holly’s. “Thank you.”
She cocked her head, smiling up at him. “For what?”
“For our son. For loving us. For understanding us,” he returned.
Her throat tightened, and for a moment she couldn’t have spoken if she wanted. She struggled to process the surge of emotion that built and swelled within her. Suddenly it was too much and not enough all at the same time.
She was safe. She was loved. She loved with all her heart. She was home.