10 Reasons to Love Black Cats

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  1. They are adorable fluffballs when they are born.
  2. They have magnificent green, yellow, or bi-colored eyes.
  3. They are especially adorable when they are being mischievous.
  4. They are skilled hunters.
  5. They are excellent climbers.
  6. They are affectionate and loving.
  7. They have unique personalities.
  8. They are fearless
  9. They are so soft and silky.
  10.  They are sleek and beautiful like their much bigger Panther cousins.

Black Cats Are Awesome!

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Today is Black Cat Appreciation Day! I can’t let the day pass without celebrating the life of my current fur-baby, Mystical Spiritchaser. She is feisty and spirited, loving and cuddly, and she doesn’t let anyone but me touch her or hold her.

She loves to play, eat her treats, bathe in the sunlight, and take naps with me.

She is a protective as a dog, is wary of anyone coming into our house, snarls and hisses and growls at people she doesn’t like, annoy, or alarms her.

Aeryn’s Encounter With Santa Claus

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A Farscape Fanfic

Aeryn’s Encounter with Santa Claus

Aeryn Sun Crichton walked down Moya’s corridors toward the quarters she shared with her husband John, and infant son D’Argo. She smiled at the idea of having a little downtime to spend with both of them. Maybe if D’Argo was already taking his nap, John and her would have some grown up time with one another.

Those times were fewer than she liked. Between caring for the needs of D’Argo, doing routine maintenance work on John’s shuttle and her Prowler, helping to keep things on Moya running smoothly, occasionally doing jobs in order for them to accumulate the items they needed. Most of all they spent a lot of time trying to keep themselves out of trouble, which they weren’t always successful doing.

She wasn’t complaining though. Her life was pretty good right now and she knew how fortunate she was. A few months ago, all hell was breaking loose. The Peacekeepers War was in full swing, they had lost Jool and D’Argo, Sizoku turned out to be a traitor, and John had nearly died.

The smile faded from her face for a microt as she remembered the long arns by John’s bedside, waiting for him to wake from his catatonic state. She had never been so afraid in her entire life.

But that time was past and her family was intact. John still had intense headaches from when he had used the Wormhole Machine to stop the massive wormhole from annihilating them all, and from Einstein stripping the wormhole know how from his mind.

He had had one earlier when D’Argo became fussy and opted to put him down for his nap. She had nodded, promising to join him once she finished welding a part onto her Prowler. Her step quickened as she neared their quarters.

She started to step inside her and John’s quarters, when she suddenly came to an abrupt halt. Eyes wide, she ducked back into the corridor, pressing her back to Moya’s wall, and drew her pulse pistol.

Her heart thundered and her mind raced as she peeked cautiously around the doorway at the odd shaped creature standing in the middle of her and John’s quarters.

It had four oddly shaped appendages, two of which appeared to be holding it upright. White billowy fur sprouted out of its head in all directions. A bright red skin of some sort clung to its misshapen form and there was a wide black strip of leathers cinched around its bulbous waist.

Aeryn glanced frantically around for any signs of her husband, but didn’t see him. She did, however, see D’Argo. He was sleeping soundly in his little bed at the end of her and John’s.

She stepped slowly into the room, assuming a defensive shooting stance and barked, “Who are you and what have you done with my husband?”

The figure whirled around to face her, and Aeryn had to fight to keep from pressing the trigger, in response to the creature’s sudden movement. How very easy it would be to kill the creature, but not until she found out what it had done to John.

Aeryn’s mouth dropped open in surprise as she caught sight of two familiar blue eyes peering at her from a face practically covered in more of the white fur that was on the creature’s head.

As she stared at it, the creature threw up its arms in a recognizable defensive stance, and she heard John’s voice call out, “Aeryn Don’t shoot!”

“John?”

“Yeah Babe, it’s me.”

Aeryn watched in continued surprise as her husband began to emerge from within the white fur and red skin. Piece by piece it landed in a heap around John’s feet until he stood before her clad in a black t shirt and leathers.

“What the frell is all of that?” Aeryn demanded as she holstered her weapon.

“It’s my Santa costume.” John explained as he began gathering it all up in his arms.

“What is a Santa?” Aeryn inquired.

“Santa is someone that human children look forward to seeing around this time on Earth. “ John told her. ‘He brings them presents to open on Christmas.”

“Christmas?”

“The holiday means different things to different people. My family has always celebrated it as a time to be together, to gift one another with presents, eat good food, and remember how lucky we were to have one another.”

“And you wish to celebrate it on Moya?”

“Yes.” John stowed the Santa costume away and then moved to stand before her. “There are a lot of human things I’m not going to get to do with D’Argo. So the ones that I can, are all the more important to me. Christmas being at the top of the list.”

Aeryn heard the emotion in his voice and felt a pang of guilt sweep over her. John had given up so much to stay with her.

“John, I…” Aeryn began, but John pressed a finger to her lips.

“I will never regret choosing to be with you Aeryn. Or for closing the wormhole to keep the Scarrans from reaching Earth.” John told her, pulling her into his arms. “Yes, I miss my Dad and my sisters, Pizza, Coney Dogs, and NASA, but I don’t belong on Earth anymore. I belong with you and Little D.”

Aeryn kissed him. John reciprocated.

“Well then, you’ll have to teach me about Christmas too.” Aeryn said when their lips parted.

“I will. “John promised leading her toward their bed. “After we have a little alone time while D’Argo sleeps.”

Aeryn smiled. “I like the way you think.”

John flashed her a grin as he stretched out on their bed and pulled her down beside him. Santa Claus was the last think on either of their minds as their passion ignited.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sleepy Reflections

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A Farscape Fanfic

John Crichton awoke to the alarming realization he was being observed. His blue eyes flew open and he anxiously scanned the membranous ceiling and upper walls of his and Aeryn’s private quarters aboard Moya. At the same time, he listened intently for any unfamiliar sounds that would indicate there was a possible threat to his wife, child, or fellow shipmates. When a few moments had passed, and nothing seemed amiss, he breathed a sigh of relief.

He felt the tension drain out of his body as he closed his eyes. He was just beginning to drift back to sleep, when the sensation of being watched, flooded over him again. Simultaneously, he felt something strike the right side of his head and heard a soft gurgling sound in his ear.

John turned his head to his right and found himself face to face with his infant son. D’Argo Sun Crichton lay upon the silky sheets between his mother and father. A smile curved John’s lips as he caught sight of Aeryn’s exquisite features composed in a serene expression as she slept.

It did his heart good to see such an expression on his wife’s face. There hadn’t been many moments in their life together for her to be able to sleep so soundly or feel such peace within her. Motherhood had taken Aeryn by surprised. She had been plagued with worries that she was too hard or cold hearted due to her Peacekeeper conditioning to be the kind of mother their son deserved, but once he was born, all those worries had faded away. She had taken to motherhood as if she was born to it.

Finding their son in their bed with them, meant that he must have slept through a feeding during the night. Instead of settling into the chair in the corner of their room, Aeryn must have climbed back into their bed to nurse D’argo, and fallen asleep while he was still eating. John hated missing even the littlest moments with his son, but there were times when it couldn’t be helped.

While he was mostly recovered from the dual effects of using the wormhole machine and Einsten forcibly stripping the wormhole technology from his mind, he still occasionally suffered from crippling migraines, followed often by a nearly paralyzing lethargy that lasted anywhere from a few arns to a couple of solar days.

The evening before he had felt one of those headaches coming on and he had sought out Noranti. She had fixed him one of her infamous pain concoctions to drink. He’d warily eyeballed the bubbling greenish-gray liquid for several microts before tossing it down. He had reflexively gagged and almost spewed it, and the rest of the contents of his stomach, all over Noranti.

He grimaced in remembrance of the vile tasting stuff. His tongue had gone numb, his vision had clouded over, and he was hit with an overpowering wave of inertia. His knees had folded underneath him and the last thing he remembered hearing was Noranti screaming for Aeryn and Chiana, and then everything went black.

Obviously, Aeryn had gotten him back to their quarters, and tucked him into bed. By the feel of the silky sheets against his flesh, his wife had taken the trouble to undress him as well. He regretted not being aware enough to participate more fully in the undressing. He would simply have to make up for that when they had their next few microts alone.

John rolled over onto his side so he could see D’Argo better. In the sixty solar days since his son was born, D’argo had grown two inches, gained at least three pounds, and the downy fuzz that had covered his little head at birth, was darkening to brown.

D’Argo’s eyes had changed as well. Instead of the cobalt blue they had been at birth, they were now an equal mix of blue and brown. John wondered if they would remain hazel or darken into the same beautiful coffee brown of his mother’s.

He ran a hand gently over D’Argo’s head, watching as tiny eyelids fluttered at his touch. He traced a finger across his son’s brow, over the slightly upturned nose, and along D’argo’s jawline. The tiny lips quivered, and then opened. John pressed the tip of his index finger to his son’s mouth and smiled when D’Argo immediately began to suckle on it.

Hazel eyes opened to meet his and John felt the familiar tug on his heart. He had the odd sense that D’Argo was more aware of him than he should be at only sixty solar days old. He wasn’t an expert on babies or their developmental patterns, but he was pretty sure it wasn’t normal.

John smiled at his foolishness. Nothing that had happened to him in the past four cycles was normal. He had been shot through a wormhole in his module, during a routine flight, and found himself trapped into a galaxy he had never known existed. He had met all manner of strange creatures, traveled to countless planets, saw many unusual things, made friends with a Nebari, Hynerian, Delvian, Leviathon, Traskan, Interion, Stykera, and Luxan; and fallen madly in love with a beautiful Sebacean woman.

His son would never be normal. D’Argo was conceived in love by a human father and Sebacean mother. He was born in the middle of chaos and violence, during a galaxy wide war being waged between Scarrens and Peacekeepers.

D’Argo would grow up to be as strong and courageous as the brave Luxan warrior he was named for. Ka D’Argo. Grief slammed into him with an intensity that stole his breath and filled his eyes with salty moisture. He missed his Luxan friend terribly.

The two of them had been thick as thieves and would have done anything for the other.

It hadn’t been that way in the beginning, but after they had learned they could trust and depend on the other, their friendship had developed into a bond that not even death could break.

D’Argo had been mortally wounded during a firefight and chose to sacrifice his life so that the rest of them could live. He and Aeryn had chosen to name their son after D’Argo  because they wanted to honor their brave and loyal friend. Though he would never know him personally, their son would learn of his Luxan uncle through the memories his parents shared with him.

John blinked several times to clear the moisture from his eyes, and when he could see clearly again, he saw that his son had fallen back to sleep. When he saw that Aeryn was still out as well, John closed his eyes and allowed the combined breathing of his wife and child to lull him back into slumber.

 

A Welcomed Sound

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A Farscape Fanfic

A Welcomed Sound

“You did it John. All fighting has stopped. There’s no more dying. And all of a sudden, three is not such a scary number. But no matter how wonderful this is, I will not accept it as a trade off for losing you.”

Aeryn Sun Crichton sat in a chair beside her and John’s bed, cradling their infant son, in her arms. As yet unnamed, she had taken to calling their precious gift, Sunny. He was a bit of sunshine amid all the chaos.

Her gaze drifted off his peaceful, angelic features onto the prone figure lying on the bed. Her smile faded and she felt emotion well up within her. She immediately tried to snuff it out, but fought against it. For a microt her Peacekeeper training warred with what John had taught her over the four cycles they had known each other. John had taught her that showing emotion wasn’t a sign of weakness, but of strength. His teaching won out in the end.

‘You need to wake up John. You’ve had enough time to rest up. Your son needs you. I need you.” Tears glittered in Aeryn’s eyes when there was no response.

Four solar days had passed since John had collapsed after using the wormhole machine to destroy the massive wormhole threatening to annihilate them all. Her heart had nearly stopped when she couldn’t wake John. She and Chiana had carried John to their quarters, and here he had laid since.

Nothing Noranti had tried to revive him with had worked. Nor had their son’s crying or her shouting with him to wake up and come back to her. Nothing.

She was beginning to lose hope that he ever would. Tears spilled onto her cheeks. She brushed them away with the back of her hand. She couldn’t give in to her fears of losing him. She just couldn’t.

Seeing that Sunny had fallen asleep, she rose from her chair, and started to place him in the bed she had fashioned out of a crate. A sudden idea had her laying her sleeping son in the crook of his father’s arm instead.

John hadn’t responded to any of her tactics to bring him out of his catatonic state. Maybe, just maybe, he would respond to having their son so close.

She hovered by the bed, watching, waiting, hoping…and nothing happened. Despair rose rapidly, lightning quick within her, until she was clapping her hand over her mouth to keep from screaming out her anguish.

The weight of the emotion exploding within her, buckled her knees. She fell to the ground beside the bed and leaned her head against it fighting for control of her turbulent emotions.

“NO!”

With that one uttered word, the Peacekeeper in her swam to the surface. She wasn’t going to do this. She wasn’t giving up hope. John would return to her. He was only taking his sweet time in doing so.

She swept the moisture from her face and rose to her feet. Sunny would sleep for awhile nestled in the crook of his dad’s arm. She would use that time to compose her feelings.

She spent the next arn working on her prowler and John’s shuttle. Doing menial work always had a way of calming her; of helping her to clear her mind of anything, but the task at hand. It was exactly what she needed to get her turbulent emotions under control.

After a quick shower in her former quarters, Aeryn strolled down Moya’s corridor back to the ones she shared with her husband and son. As she neared it, she could hear the distinct sound of Sunny beginning to fuss. He wasn’t full out crying, but she quickened her step anyways.

She had just reached their quarters when another sound froze her in her tracks. She held her breath, her heart racing, and ears straining to make sense of the sound she was hearing. Was it? Could it be? She didn’t dare to hope, yet couldn’t stop herself.

The sweetest sound she had heard in four solar days reached her ears: John was crooning softly to soothe their son’s fussing. Slowly, Sunny’s fussing ceased, and then she heard John say hoarsely,

“Where’s your mother?”

“I’m here John.”

Aeryn stepped into the room and crossed quickly to the bed. She sat down on the edge of it, being careful not to disturb their son, who had fallen back to sleep. She reached out a hand to John and felt  his take hold.

Tears welled up in her eyes and slipped onto her face. John squeezed her hand, his blue eyes held pain in them, but now held concern and love for her in them as well.

“Honey.”

John’s endearment was her undoing. She felt the dam burst on her turbulent emotions. She lowered her head, and wept. John’s hand tightened on hers, and she was oblivious to the movement of the bed, as her husband rolled gingerly onto his side, so he could reach her with his other hand as well.

John ignored his pounding headache, his blurry vision, and fought back the bile that rose up in his throat. His wife needed him and he would worry about how he was feeling once had comforted her.

“Aeryn.”

She didn’t know whether it was her name spoken so closely to her ear or the feel of a hand stroking gently over her head, that brought her back to herself. Slowly she lifted her head and gazed with watery eyes at her husband.

“I’m fine.” Aeryn hurriedly wiped her tears from her face, using both of her hands.

‘No, you aren’t.:” John’s voice was gentle, but firm.

“No, I’m not, but I will be now that you are awake.” Aeryn told him.

“How long was I out?”

“Four solar days.”

John closed his eyes. He could only imagine the worry and fear Aeryn must have felt while he was unconscious. He opened his eyes and thankfully found them less blurry than what they were a few microts before. His head still pounded though.

“I’m so sorry.” He raised her hand that he was holding, and kissed her knuckles.

“You scared the frell out of me.” Aeryn told him. “Don’t do it again.”

John almost smiled at the slight edge he heard in Aeryn’s voice. He would rather have her angry at him, than so emotionally overwhelmed.

“I won’t.” He didn’t add ‘I promise’ because they both knew with their luck, anything was possible. “The war?”

“Over. The Peacekeepers and Scarrans signed a Peace Treaty. All fighting has stopped.”

“Chiana?”

“Grieving. Jothee too.”

“Jothee still on Moya?”

“No. He left two solar days ago.”

John lifted a hand to rub his brow. His head was killing him. He felt grief, sharp and instantaneously rise within him. Jool. D’Argo. Both had been casualties of the war. Jool as an innocent bystander. D’Argo, in the heat of battle.

“John?”

“I’m fine.”

Aeryn smiled. “Now who’s lying?”

John lowered his hand and grinned at her. “I am. My head is frelling killing me.”

“Rest and I’ll get Noranti.”

Aeryn was out of their quarters before John could stop her. When she returned with the old one, he was laying on his back with his eyes closed. He heard Aeryn’s sharp intake of breath and quickly opened them, catching sight of the brief look of fear that was on his wife’s beautiful face before she quickly masked it.

Noranti rounded the bed, and began to poke and prod at him,before he had a chance to protest.

Her examination of him ended abruptly after John threatened to shoot her, if her ‘examination’ got anymore evasive. She shrugged and left the Crichtons alone to go mix up a concoction for John to take for his aching head.

“Why don’t you join me and Little D on here for a nap?” John suggested.

It was an invitation Aeryn couldn’t refuse. She had slept little since John had collapsed, and now felt as if she could sleep for a cycle. She pulled off her boots, and walked around the bed. She slid onto it and into John’s welcoming arms. Tears threatened again, as she felt an overwhelming wave of security and comfort wash over her. John’s arms had always made her feel this way.

John wrapped his arms around Aeryn, drawing her lithe, but ultra feminine body down beside him. Holding her close felt so good. He breathed in her unique scent and felt the pain in his head lessen.

“Little D?”

Aeryn’s question made John smile. “Everything went all to hell before we could talk about names again. I’d like to name him for D’Argo.”

“D’Argo would be honored.” Aeryn said, thinking of their fallen friend. “I have been calling him Sunny…because he’s brought such sunshine into my life, not because of my last name.”

“D’Argo Sun Crichton. “John smiled. “It has a nice ring to it.”

“Yes it does.”

 

 

 

Moments in Time Series

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A Collection of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman Stories

On His Knees

Byron Sully is brought to his knees with the deaths of his wife and daughter. This is the first story in my “Moments in Time” series.

Sorrow

Loren and Maude Bray are grief stricken over the loss of their beloved daughter. This is the 2nd story in my “Moments in Time” series.

Regrets

Charlotte Cooper grieves over the deaths of Abigail and Hannah Sully, and regrets not having had the skills needed to save their lives. This is the 3rd story in my ‘Moments in Time’ series.

Frail Emotions

Sometimes even a strong woman’s emotions get the best of her, as Charlotte Cooper learns. This is story #4 in my “Moments in Time” series.

What To Do

Colleen Cooper struggles to find something to do to help her ma. This is story #5 in my “Moments in Time” series.

Let Me

Colleen Cooper convinces her Ma to rest, while she handles supper. This is #6 in my ‘Moments in Time’ series.

Leaving

Sully’s grief over the loss of his wife and daughter, prompts him to leave Colorado Springs. This is story #7 in my ‘Moments in Time’ series.

Man Of The House

Matthew Cooper feels the need to help his ma take care of the family more, if only he could make his Ma understand. This is Story #8 in my “Moments in Time” series.

A Talk With Ma

Matthew has a late night talk with his Ma. This is story #9 in my “Moments in Time” series.

Haunted Memories

Sully is haunted by memories of his dead wife. Story #10 in my ‘Moments in Time’ series.

Soldier

Sully hopes to lose himself in the Civil War. Story #11 in my “Moments in Time” series.

Sniper

Completing the orders assigned to him by his commanding officer, leaves Sully feeling guilty. Story #12 in my “Moments in Time” series.

First Encounter

Sully meets Cloud Dancing for the first time. Story#13 in my “Moments in Time” series

Vision of the Future

Sully shares details of the dreams he’s been having with Cloud Dancing. Story#14 in my “Moments in Time” series.

Sully Returns to Colorado Springs

Sully returns to Colorado Springs a different man than he was a year earlier. Story #15 in my “Moments in Time” series.

Numb

The death of her father, leaves Michaela Quinn feeling all alone. This is story #16 in my “Moments in Time” series.

An Advertisement

Dr. Michaela Quinn answers an advertisement that changes her life forever. Story #17 in my ‘Moments in Time’ series.

Into The Wilderness

Dr. Michaela Quinn leaves Boston and heads West to Colorado Springs. Story #18 in my ‘Moments in Time’ series.

 

 

 

 

Daddy’s Girls

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A Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman Fanfic

‘Daddy’s Girls’ is a sequel to ‘Blessed Gifts’.

 

Daddy’s Girls

“Katydid, wake up.”

Seven-year-old Katie Sully opened her large doe eyes and gazed sleepily up into her pa’s face. Her small lips curved into a crooked smile like her ma’s. It tugged at Sully’s  heart strings to see it.

“Mornin’ Pa.” Katie yawned, and then closed her eyes, starting to drift back to sleep, much to Sully’s amusement.

“I thought you might like to go see your Ma. She’s at the clinic. The new baby came while you were sleeping last night. But if you’re too tired, I’ll let you go back to sleep.” Sully rose from his place on the edge of her bed, and started toward the door.

He didn’t get far before Katie let out a hurried, “No Pa, I’m up.”

Sully chuckled as he turned to see Katie hastily climbing out of bed. “I’ll be waiting for you downstairs.”

Katie didn’t answer, but instead rushed over to her wardrobe and began pulling out clothing for the from within its depths.

Sully went back downstairs where found Brian at the stove, cooking a simple breakfast of scrambled eggs and toasted bread for the three of them. He glanced around. “Cloud Dancing leave?”

“Yes. He went home. He told me to tell you that he and Miss Dorothy will stop by to visit once Ma is settled back at home.” Brian told him.

“Alright.”

Sully set the table with three plates, utensils, and cups. He poured coffee for him and Brian, and filled Katie’s cup with milk. By the time Katie joined them downstairs, breakfast was ready.

“Did you see ma Brian? Do you know if we have a brother or a sister?” Katie asked around a mouth full of eggs.

“Don’t talk with your mouth full.” Sully corrected her.

“Yes Pa.” Katie dutifully chewed up, then swallowed her mouth full of eggs. “Did you Brian?”

Brian grinned at her. “Yes, I saw Ma and the baby.”

He assumed their pa hadn’t told Katie that their ma had given birth to twins by the way she kept referring to them as ‘the baby’. He supposed Sully wanted her to be surprised like the rest of them had been when they learned that there were two babies, instead of one.

“What is it?” Katie asked excitedly. “Do we have a baby brother or a baby sister?”

“You’ll find out soon enough.” Sully told her. ‘Quit talkin’ and finish your breakfast.”

“Yes Pa.”

Soon all three were headed into town. Sully reined in Smoky and Lightning outside the clinic. He set the brake on the wagon, then climbed down. He turned to help Katie down, but found her scrambling down the other side behind her older brother.

Sully chuckled and went to join her and Brian at the door. Katie was ready to burst into the clinic, but Brian had caught her by the elbow and had halted her movement.

“Let me go Brian! I want to see Ma and our new baby brother or sister!” Katie exclaimed, trying to jerk free of her brother’s hold on her arm.

“Katherine Sully behave yourself!” Sully scolded as he joined them.

“But Pa-,” Katie started to protest, but wisely ceased under her pa’s stern gaze.

Katie hung her head. Her pa didn’t scold her often, but when he did, she hated it.

Sully exchanged smiles with Brian. He reached out, gently cupped Katie’s chin, and lifted her head so he could see her face.

“If you had given Brian a chance to explain why he stopped you from entering the clinic at your usual stampede, he would have told you it’s not good to startle new babies. It upsets them.” Sully told her softly.

“Oh…”Katie said. “I’m sorry Pa. “

“Don’t apologize to me. Apologize to your brother for behaving the way you did.” Sully told her.

Katie’s chin trembled as she looked at her older brother. “I’m sorry Brian for not waiting to listen.”

“Thank you.” Brian grinned at her.

Katie grinned back at him. She turned back to her pa. “Now can we see Ma and our new baby?”

“Yes.” Sully smiled at her.

Sully opened the door and went inside. Brian and Katie followed him. Andrew was at his desk in the enlarged office. Michaela had used a small portion of the money her mother had bequeathed her for a proper hospital in Colorado Springs, to remodel the clinic.

More space had been added onto the back part of the old boarding house. There was now a proper surgical area, two large examining rooms, a waiting area, and enlarged office space downstairs. Upstairs were two private suites, a bathing room, storage area, and more recovery rooms.

Beside the expansion, new furnishings, medical supplies, and equipment had been purchased., This new clinic would better serve the citizens of Colorado Springs until the hospital completed.

Land had been purchased. The foundation was nearly completed, but it would take close to two years before it was completely finished.

“Morning.” Andrew was at his desk, working on updating files when Sully, Katie, and Brian entered the office he now shared with his mother-in-law and wife.

“Mornin’. “ Sully replied. “Michaela awake yet?”

“Yes. Colleen just helped her wash up and change.” Andrew told him.

Katie bounded over to his desk. “Pa says Ma got the baby last night. Did you help her get it?”

“Yes, I did.” Andrew grinned at her.

“What is it?” Katie asked excitedly. “Pa and Brian won’t tell me.”

‘”You’ll find that out in a couple of minutes.” Sully steered her toward the door that led into the inner hallway and staircase that led up to the second floor.

Just as Sully opened the door to the hallway, the office door opened, and Matthew entered. His eyes lighted on his pa and younger siblings. “You going to see Ma?”

“Yes.” Katie ran over and hugged him. “You can come with us.”

“That’s why I’m here.” Matthew told her.

Katie took him by the hand and led him over to where Sully and Brian stood waiting. Together the foursome headed upstairs.

Michaela had just finished nursing Josie, when she heard footsteps approaching the room she was in. She heard the distinct sound of Katie chattering with Sully as she they neared.

“Will you put Josie in bed?” She asked Colleen.

“Yes Ma.” Colleen took her infant sister and placed her beside a sleeping Annie. ‘Bed’ was a large crate filled with bedding. It was large enough for the twins to both sleep in, and it would do for now. At home, they would sleep in Katie’s old cradle, until their pa could fashion another one.

She had barely placed Josie in bed, than the door opened. Quickly she stepped in front of the crate, shielding her twin sisters from view. She knew her ma wanted to surprised Katie with the twins just as the rest of them had been by their arrival.

“Mama!” Katie exclaimed, running over to the bed before Sully could stop her.

“Katie-,” Sully started to scold her, but abruptly stopped when he caught the slight shake of Michaela’s head.

Michaela welcome Katie eagerly into her arms, wincing slightly as her daughter’s head connected with her chest, and the motion sent reverberating movement arcing downward into muscles still sore and aching from the hard work of labor. She paid no mind to the pain, instead focusing her attention on Katie.

Katie had been her baby for so long, it was hard to think she no longer was. She hoped the transition from youngest daughter to big sister was an easy one for Katie. She and Sully had been talking to Katie throughout her pregnancy, hoping to ease any fears or insecurities their daughter might have at no longer being their baby.

Sully, Brian, and Matthew joined the women in their family around the bed, as Andrew entered the room. Sully greeted his wife with a kiss, while Brian and Matthew greeted their ma and sister with hugs.

“Ma, where’s the baby? Is it a baby brother or sister?” Katie asked her ma excitedly.

On cue, as if they had understood their older sister’s question, Josie and Annie began to fuss a little. Colleen turned around and lifted Josie out of the bed. She passed her into Matthew’s waiting arms, before picking up Annie.

Katie’s eyes widened as she took in the two tiny bundles in her older siblings’ arms. “Two babies? Ma you brought us two babies?”

“Yes.” Michaela smiled at the delighted look on Katie’s face.

“Are they brothers or sisters?” Katie extricated herself out of her ma’s arms and moved around the bed so she could get a better look at the two bundles.

“Sisters.” Colleen told her. “Matthew is holding Josie, and I’m holding Annie.”

Katie reached out a hand to tentatively touch the blanket around Josie.

“So tiny. Just like my dollies.” Katie murmured.

“Josie and Annie and are tiny.” Sully agreed, “But they aren’t dolls. If you drop a doll, it doesn’t get hurt. If you drop Annie or Josie, it could hurt them really bad. You have to be real careful with your baby sisters.”

“Can I hold ‘em?” Katie asked.

“Yes.” Michaela told her. “Go sit down in that chair by the door.”

Katie did as her ma directed. Sully gestured to Matthew to bring Josie over, and then took his infant daughter from his eldest son.

“Now Katie, you are not allowed to hold Annie or Josie unless your ma and I or your older siblings are in the same with you. That also goes for picking them or carrying them around. Understand?” Sully said as he carefully handed Josie to Katie.

“Yes Pa.”

Sully hovered close, his hands ready to catch Josie if Katie moved and lost her hold on her infant sister. He shouldn’t have worried. Katie was locked into place, so still that he wondered if he needed to remind her to breathe, as she and Josie gazed at each other.

Michaela’s eyes filled with tears at the look of wonder that came over Katie’s face as she studied her baby sister. It was clear to her that Katie was as taken with Josie, as she was with all her children.

“Can I hold Annie now/” Katie asked, her eyes never leaving Josie’s face.

“Sure you can.” Sully took Josie from her as Colleen crossed the room and carefully placed Annie in Katie’s arms.

Sully, in turn, handed Josie to Colleen, and said,”Stay there for a moment.”

“Okay Pa.” Colleen cradled Josie to her breast, imagining again that she was holding her and Andrew’s baby, instead of her little sister.

Sully was overcome with emotion as he gazed upon his four daughters. Colleen, the daughter of his heart, was as brilliant and beautiful as both her mothers. It was easy to see glimpses of Charlotte in Colleen. She had her mother’s strength, compassion, and coloring. Michaela had taken that brilliance and developed it. She had given Colleen the confidence to believe in herself, not only as a woman, but as a doctor too.

Katie was a wonderful mix of both him and Michaela. Her hair was the same shade as her ma’s, but was curly like his. The warm brown of her eyes were the same shade as her ma’s left eye. She had his nose and Michaela’s crooked smile. She had a tender heart, was stubborn, and took to animals with the same ease as he did.

Annie and Josie were beautiful little bundles. He had yet to learn who they would take after most in looks or personalities, but he reckoned whoever they grew up to be, they would be as remarkable as their ma and older sisters.

“Sully?”

Michaela’s soft voice broke through his reverie. He turned watery eyes toward her. He saw that her own eyes were filled with moisture too. He reached out and took her hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. He turned his attention back onto his four girls.

“Pa?” Colleen’s voice was as soft as Michaela’s. When she saw the moisture in his eyes, her own filled with tears as well. “Are you alright?”

Sully cleared his voice and brushed the tears from his eyes. “Yeah, Sweetheart. Was just ponderin’ on how lucky I am. I have a gorgeous wife, three fine sons, and four beautiful daughters.

“Oh Pa.” Colleen, with Josie in her arms, moved to his side.

Sully wrapped both his daughters in his arms and held them tight for several moments. Then Sully moved to crouch down in front of Katie, and engulfed her and Annie in his arms. The embrace was broken when Annie let out a protest at being confined in such a tight space.

Laughter broke out in the emotion laden room. Sully took Annie from Katie, who scampered over to her ma’s side again. Sully gestured for Colleen to take the chair that Katie had vacated, and promptly placed Annie in Andrew’s arms.

He moved back over to Michaela’s side and kissed her. The family visited for awhile longer before Brian left for the Gazette, and Matthew to tend to chores on his homestead. Andrew went back to his files, while Colleen coaxed Katie into coming with her to tell their friends and neighbors that their ma had safely delivered twins the night before.

Michaela yawned and Sully coaxed her into taking a nap. She handed him Josie and closed her eyes. Sully moved cautiously over tot he chair and sat down, with a twin cradled in the crook of each arm.

“Your ma and I are so grateful for your safe arrival. We’ve loved and wanted you from the moment your ma found out she was carrying you. Your older brothers and sisters already adore you, and so do your ma and I.

I am so glad you’re here little ones. I am honored to be your pa. I am going to love watching you grow up, but no matter how old you get, you’re always going to be my little girls.”

Sully kissed each twin on their forehead, and settled more comfortably holding his little girls, his eyes slowly drifting closed along with theirs, until both parents and infants were sound asleep.

 

 

 

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