“I’m Zane Beaumont.”

“Great.” She smiled at me. “If you want to follow me, you can come and see Lucky now.”

“She’s okay?” I felt my skin start to warm up with hope.

“She’s fine.” She nodded.

“And the babies?”

“Both fine.”

“Oh my God, thank you.” I gave her a huge grin and Noah smiled at me widely. “What took you guys so long?”

“We wanted to run some tests first, make sure everything was okay.”

“And it is?”

“Yes, everything looks good. Lucky fainted from the stress of thinking her friend was dead.”

“He’s not dead though. She knows that right?”

“Yes.” The doctor nodded and stopped outside a door. “You can go in there now, don’t get her too excited, please. We’re going to keep her in overnight for observation, but if everything looks fine, we will release her in the morning.”

“I’m not leaving the hospital until she can go with me.” I looked at her defiantly and she shrugged.

“That’s your prerogative, Mr. Beaumont.”

“Can I go in now?”

“I’m not sure what you’re waiting for.” She smiled at me and I pushed open the door gingerly. I walked into the room slowly and my heart sank as I stared at a pale Lucky lying there hooked up to some tubes.

“Zane,” she smiled and ushered me in. “How is Sidney?”

“Sidney?” I gasped. “What about me? I nearly died Lucky. I nearly died when I thought something had happened to you.”

“Oh darling, I’m fine. I’m sure the doctor told you. Everything is fine. But tell me, how is Sidney, is he okay? He looked so sick and then he collapsed. I thought my heart was going to break in shock and sadness.”

“He’s okay.” I held on to her hand and showered her face with kisses. “He had a stroke. I guess this isn’t the first one he’s had. He’s not talking right now.” My voice broke as I realized what I was saying. Now I was no longer worried about Lucky, my heart was breaking all over again, but this time it was for Sidney.

“Is he going to be okay?”

“I don’t know.” I bit my lip. “He’ll live, but I don’t know if he’s going to talk again. The doctor said he’s paralyzed on one side.”

“I could see.” She nodded, her eyes full of tears. “I knew something was wrong. I just didn’t know what.”

“Yeah, I had noticed things seemed a bit off the last time I saw him as well, but I wasn’t really sure what. But he’s an old man, Lucky. He’s not immortal. He will die at some point.”

“But I want him to see us get married and I want him to see the babies. He’s the only granddad they’ll have.”

“I know.” I sighed as I realized that our kids weren’t going to have grandparents. “And he will get to see them Lucky, I’m sure of it. And our babies will have us and Noah and Skylar and we will all love them with all our hearts. They’ll be surrounded by love.”

“I know.” Her hands clasped mine as I rubbed her belly. “They are going to be so spoilt.”

“Don’t ever scare me like that again, Lucky.”

“I won’t.” She bit her lip. “I was thinking.”

“Uh oh, what?”

“Well, I think you should call your dad. See how he is, reach out to him.”

“What’s the point?”

“I know he hasn’t been a great dad, but I think you’re being hypocritical. How can you expect Noah to talk to his mom, if you’re not willing to give your dad a chance?”

“He doesn’t care about me and Noah.” I sighed. “He didn’t even tell me about my mom.”

“Give him a chance to explain.”

“You really want me to call him?”

“Yes.” She nodded. “I do.”

“Fine. But only because I love you and I would do anything for you.”

“Then get on this bed and give me a good cuddle.”

“What about the tubes?”

“It’ll be fine.” She grinned at me. “Oh and Zane.”

“Yes, dear.”

“Please don’t try and have sex with me, this is one place I definitely don’t want to get caught in.”

“Okay, I’ll try.” I laughed and got up on the bed carefully and held her in my arms. I closed my eyes and buried my face in her hair and just breathed her in.

“Never let me go.” She whispered and I held her to me even tighter.

***

I closed the bedroom door slowly, so that it didn’t slam and then walked down the stairs. I’d never been so thankful in my life before. I walked into the quiet living room and sat on the couch and thought about the last few days. The hospital had kept Lucky in for an extra day because they had wanted to monitor the heartbeat of one of the babies. I had tried as hard as I could to hide my worry, but Lucky had seen through my disguise. I felt a bit pathetic having her comfort me, when I should have been the one comforting her.

“Ruby Lane, will be fine.” She had reassured me over and over. I had wanted to tell her to be quiet. I didn’t want her to use the name we had chosen for the girl. Using the name made her too real in my mind and my heart. If anything happened now, it wouldn’t just be something that had happened to my unborn child; it would be something that had happened to my little girl Ruby Lane. I could already picture her in my mind, she’d have her mothers big brown eyes and long brown curly hair and the boy, well the boy would look like me and he’d take care of his sister like she was the most important person on earth. My heart fluttered as I thought about holding my babies hands for the first time, watching them learn to walk and to talk. I thought about my boy having to live a life without Ruby, his other half and my heart broke. How would he ever be able to live a full life when part of him was gone? I took a deep breath and sat back and said a little prayer of thanks to God.

“Thank you for keeping them safe, please continue to protect and bless my family God. In Jesus Christ’s name, I pray. Amen.” I opened my eyes and almost laughed at myself. I was never really one to pray, but I found that now it comforted me. Finding Lucky had given me reason to believe in a power far greater than myself. I opened my phone and pressed the numbers I knew by heart, even though I never dialed them. The phone rang once and then he picked up.

“Zane.”

“Dad.” There was silence on the line as he waited for me to speak. I didn’t know what to say. I wanted to scream and shout at him. I wanted to tell him how much I hated him. How I wished he wasn’t in my life. How he was a shitty father.

“It’s a nice day in LA today.” He spoke as if I were one of his employees.

“I want to know about my mother.”

“They say no rain for the next couple of days.”

“I want to know about my real mother.”

“She’s in France.”

“I want to know about my mother, the one that died in childbirth.”

“How did you know?” His tone changed and I could tell he was surprised.

“No thanks to you.”

“I didn’t want you to know. I didn’t want you to blame yourself.”

“Why, aren’t you a caring father.” I said sarcastically

“You hate me.” It was a statement and not a question.

“What do you think?”

“I loved her, you know.”

“No, I don’t know.” I felt anger building up in my voice. “I don’t want to argue. I just want to know about her. I want to know about the woman who gave birth to me and died.”

“She was beautiful. She loved me for me. She loved you as well. She loved you even more than she loved me.”

“Is that why you hate me? Because she died giving birth to me?”

“I don’t hate you, Zane.” He sighed. “I know I haven’t been a good father. I’ve failed you and Noah.”

“We made it okay without you.”

“I love you both.”

“You never came back when you found out Noah was alive. That’s how much you love us. We haven’t seen you in months. You haven’t even met my fiancé. Oh yeah, did you know dad? I have a fiancé and I’m getting married. And we’re pregnant.”

“I knew that Noah never died.”

“What?” My eyes bulged open. “You what?”

“Noah was never the sort of kid that was going to commit suicide. As soon as I heard about that kid Braydon being involved with drugs I went to the FBI.”

“And they told you?”

“Let’s just say, I had something on Special Agent Waldron that convinced him to confirm my suspicions.”

“I can’t believe you knew.”

“I’ve been in the business a long time, Zane. I’ve seen all sorts.”

“I can’t believe you didn’t tell me.”

“I figured your brother risked his life to disappear so you could help with this case. Who was I to interfere?”

“Thanks for looking out for me dad.”

“It all worked out well, though. Didn’t it? You have Lucky now.”

“How did you know her name?” I gasped. “I never said her name.”

“You’re my son, Zane. I keep up with everything in your life.”

“Yet, you don’t call or come visit.”

“I was hoping for an invitation. I wasn’t sure how welcome I would be if I just showed up.”

“You don’t even call, dad.” I shook my head. “Don’t try and turn this around on me. I’m not going to take the blame for you being a shitty father.”

“There’s nothing I can say to make this better.” He sighed. “I don’t know what to say, Zane.”

“Why don’t you start with I’m sorry. Why don’t you tell me about my mom?”

“I miss her every single day of my life. Getting with Noah’s mom was a mistake. I never loved her, she knew that. And when she left I was happy because then I didn’t feel like I had to fake it. I never let myself grieve and I never let you boys grieve and I think my heart is still broken to this day.”

“Oh, dad.” My heart went out to him. After what I had just gone through with Lucky, I understood where he was coming from. If Lucky wasn’t upstairs sleeping in our bed, I may very well have cut myself off as well. “Do you want to come over for dinner?”

“I can’t.”

“Okay.”

“It’s not because I don’t want to.” His words rushed out. “I’m flying to Singapore tonight. But I’ll be back in two weeks. I’d like to come round and meet everyone then.”

I paused for a moment and then laughed. “This is going to sound crazy, but how would you like to come to my wedding?”

“What?”

“I’m getting married in two weeks. It’s going to be a surprise for Lucky. I’m getting everything ready for her. Maybe that can be our reunion.”

“Are you sure?” His voice sounded hopeful. “I’d love to come, if you want me to.”

“Yeah, I do. Lucky will be happy as well.” I smiled as I imagined the shock she was going to feel when she realized I had set up a wedding and my dad was there. “She’ll love it.”

“Well text me the info and I’ll be there.”

“Okay.”

“Oh and Zane.”

“Yeah?”

“Thanks for reaching out. I missed out on your life growing up, I don’t want to miss out on anything else.”

“No worries.” I hung up the phone and sat on the couch in shock. What had just happened? Had that conversation really happened? I stood up and walked into the kitchen and then back to the living room. The house felt lonely without Noah and Skylar in it. I couldn’t believe that just a year ago, I had lived here all by myself and thinking that I had everything I ever needed. When I thought back to the days when my most meaningful relationship was with women who meant nothing to me, I felt sorry for myself. How could I have ever thought that was a life I wanted to live?

I decided to go into my study while I waited for Noah and Skylar to come home. They had gone to visit Sidney in the hospital with Robin and I had seen them arriving as Lucky and I had left. We all still had heavy hearts, even though everything was fine with Lucky and the babies. Sidney was also physically okay for now, but he couldn’t walk, without help, and the doctors weren’t sure if he would ever be able to talk again.

It was with a heavy heart that I started making phone calls to different vineyards to see if they had a field I could rent out for the wedding. Part of me wasn’t sure if I should continue making the plans for the wedding, but I knew that this was the sort of occasion that could bring us all together and make our lives happy again. I only hoped that Sidney and Betty would be able to be a part of our special day, or I knew it would feel incomplete.

Chapter 11

Noah

“Thank you, Noah.” Betty hugged me as we got to my car door. “Sidney didn’t want to me to tell the kids and scare them so I’ve been all alone dealing with him. You don’t know what a help you’ve been to me this last week.”

“Betty, I look at you and Sidney as my pseudo parents. I hope you know that there is nothing I wouldn’t do for both of you.”


Tags: J.S. Cooper Forever Love Romance
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