A Bradford Christmas Eve
“Oh, my god, you’re so sweet!” Charlie said with a watery smile as she pulled the little traitor in her arms and gave him the kiss that should have rightfully been his.
“I know how much you love Christmas, Mommy,” Dustin said with an adorable smile while Devin was forced to stand there, feeling his right eye twitch while he watched as his son grabbed the large cupcake with extra buttercream frosting and Christmas sprinkles and made a show of handing it to Charlie. “I picked this one out just for you, Mommy.”
Since his son had actually been busy licking the large spoonful of frosting that Necie had given him while Devin had taken his time selecting the perfect Christmas treats to surprise his wife, Devin felt completely justified in glaring at his son.
“So much fluffiness!” Abbi said with an excited squeal as she wrapped her arms around Bradford as the large German shepherd happily continued to devour the dog treat slathered with buttercream frosting that she’d given him after he told her not to.
Sighing, Devin said, “Abbi,” putting a world of meaning into that one word as he reached down and decided that Bradford could finish his treat when the large dog narrowed his eyes on him.
“Traitor,” Devin muttered as he shifted his attention back to his son, who was now happily nibbling on one of the large frosted sugar cookies that he’d been planning on eating later when he was stuck on Santa duty.
“I really love you, Mommy,” Dustin said while his eyes locked with Devin’s as his lips pulled up into a devilish little smile that had Devin grinding his jaw.
“Aw, you’re so sweet,” Charlie said with a warm smile, but it was the slight hitch in her voice that had Devin biting back a curse.
“Ben,” was all that Devin said as he leaned over and picked up his wife, careful not to jostle her, knowing just how badly it would end if he did.
“I’m on it,” Ben, who was spending Christmas with them, said, sighing as he picked Dustin up and pulled him out of the way so that Devin could carry Charlie upstairs and-
Okay, downstairs, Devin amended when she squeezed her eyes shut and shook her head once, but that’s all that was needed to let him know that she probably wouldn’t make it that far. Pressing a kiss against her forehead, Devin quickly turned around and headed to the in-law apartment that had been turned into her office after they got married. Before he was done placing her down on the bathroom floor, Charlie was slapping one hand over her mouth and shoving him out of the bathroom with the other.
When the door slammed shut in his face seconds later and he heard the mumbled, “Sorry,” Devin bit back a sigh and dropped down on her desk chair. She was still in the first trimester and he wasn’t sure how much more of this she was going to be able to take.
She was sick morning, noon, and night and nothing was helping her. He’d been hoping the pills that Aidan gave her last week would be enough so that she could enjoy Christmas since it was her favorite holiday, but they weren’t doing anything to help her. He was going to have to call his cousin again or finally break down and call the asshole and risk pissing off his cousin, Kenzie.
Then again, he didn’t really have much of a choice, Devin decided as he pulled his phone out and texted Roger, hoping that he would be able to help. When he received the text a few minutes later, he sighed with relief and made his way back to the bathroom door.
“How are you doing, baby?” Devin asked, glancing down at his watch and realized that if he was going to make it to the pharmacy before it closed that he had to go now.
“Good?” came the weakly mumbled reply that had him reaching for the doorknob only to remember what happened the last time that he went in before she was ready.
It had taken him three hours to convince his wife that he loved her and another five to get her to look him in the eye again and he’d only managed that by lying to her and telling her that he hadn’t seen her hugging the toilet and mumbling incoherently before she’d lost the battle and-
Probably would be for the best if he didn’t think about what came next.
“I have to run to the pharmacy. Do you think you’ll be okay for a few minutes?” he asked, debating asking Ben to run to the pharmacy for him only to quickly dismiss the idea since that probably wouldn’t end well.
“Yes?” came the hesitant reply that had Devin biting back a groan, because he hated leaving her like this.
“Roger called in a prescription to help and if I don’t run out now and get it, then…” Devin said, letting his words trail off.
There was a sniffle and then, a softly mumbled, “Okay.”
“Do you want anything?” he asked, already deciding that it would probably be a good idea to grab more ginger ale while he was out.
“I’d really like this to stop now,” came the mumbled response that had his lips twitching despite the fact that he felt so goddamn helpless right now.
“I know, baby,” Devin said, glancing back down at his watch with a sigh. “I’ll be back as soon as I can.”
“Okay,” came the sniffled mumble.
He hated this, Devin thought as he reluctantly headed back to the living room and grabbed his keys. With one last look toward her office, Devin headed to his truck hoping that this didn’t take all night.
Four hours later, he was finally walking back through his front door, exhausted, and ready to call it a night, but that wasn’t an option. After checking on the kids to find them both passed out, sleeping with Ben on Abbi’s bedroom floor on a pile of blankets with Bradford curled up by Dustin’s side, he checked on his wife to find Charlie curled up in their bed, looking miserable.
Without a word, he got her pills for her along with a bottle of water and made sure that she took them. After he kissed her forehead and tucked her in, Devin headed back downstairs and set to work, putting out the presents they’d wrapped before he headed to the garage to get the present that he’d made for his wife.
Once he was in the garage, Devin found his attention on the crib that he was building for their baby. It was still early in the pregnancy to be doing this, but he hadn’t been able to help himself. When Dustin and Abbi were born, he’d been too damn scared out of his mind to allow himself to simply enjoy being a father. He’d been young, alone, and terrified that he was going to screw up, but now…
God, he couldn’t wait to hold their baby.
Unable to help himself, Devin grabbed a sheet of sandpaper and found himself spending the next two hours working on the crib, smoothing out the rough spots, making adjustments, and-
Found himself smiling when he spotted his wife standing in the doorway.
Without a word, Devin tossed the cloth in his hand on his bench and headed for the door, pausing along the way to shut the light off before he reached his wife.
“How are you feeling?” Devin asked, leaning down to kiss Charlie as he placed his hand on her soft belly.
“Much better,” Charlie promised him with a smile as she took his hand and gave it a gentle tug that had him following her back into the house.
“How much better?” he asked with a teasing smile as he followed her upstairs.
“Enough so that you can properly worship me,” she reassured him with a warm smile.
“Do you need to be worshipped?” Devin asked the woman that he couldn’t imagine his life without.