Getting the approval to go back home, hadn’t only made Angie and Jesse’s day, but a pep in the little one’s kick. Literally! It seemed like after the words you are free to go back to PV passed Dr. Clarks lips the baby started having a party. Angie told this to Jesse and he laughed. “Guess she’s saying there’s no place like home. Probably also saying we need to get home so daddy can finish her room.”
“We have a whole month left to do that.”
“The next thirty days will just fly by. Before you know it we’ll be rushing you to the hospital and helping you bring Peanut into the world.”
Angie smiled. Hearing the nickname they’d given their little one had given her the cue to talk to Jesse about something. Something very important. “You know… I think it’s time we gave her a name.”
“What? What’s wrong with Peanut Hubbard?”
“You’re cute!” She chuckled. “But seriously, we need to name her. You know I’ve been thinking a lot about her name and for the longest Lee has stuck with me. Whatever we name her I know for sure it has to have Lee in it. Or something like it.” She scrunched up her face in deep thought. “Ailee, Calie, Lillie, Leslie, Rylee, Haley…”
Angie turned her nose up. “… … … Ellie!”
Jesse eased his foot on the brake and looked over at his wife when the car came to a halt. “Ellie?”
“Yea… Ellie Hubbard.”
“My mother’s name,” he whispered in awe.
“Yes, it is.” Angie reached over and felt for his hand, when she connected with it she pulled it over and rested it on top of her stomach. “Ellie Patricia Hubbard,” she concluded.
“Angela, you don’t have to do that. We already have one that’s named after somebody on my side family… I think we should–”
“No… Ellie will be her name. I remember reading somewhere awhile back, way before I was even pregnant, that the name meant light… And Jesse, through the hell we’ve been through. I feel she is the light of our life. She’s that light at the end of this dark, scary tunnel we’ve gone through.”
“Wow!” Jesse had pulled Cass car into a parking lot and cut the engine. “I- I don’t know what to say.”
Jesse looked over at her and the smile on her face made him lean over. He cupped her cheeks and put their foreheads together. “I love you. I love you so much!”
Blushing like a high school girl, Angie raised her hands and wrapped them around each of his wrists. “And I love you. Baby I love with everything in me.”
“Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Hubbard welcome into this beautiful world Ellie Patricia Hubbard, the light of our life. Our noble one… You know Patricia means Noble.”
“I do,” she said with a giggle. “Kiss me.”
“With pleasure,” he whispered kissing the tip of her nose and then moving to her lips where he captured her into a slow, passionate kiss. Angie gripped his wrists and moaned. “You don’t know how bad I want to be one with you right now.” His voice was raspy as he tried to contain the beast in him.
Cass stood in her mother’s embrace and tried not to cry. “I really wish you weren’t leaving me so soon.”
“Honey, I’ve been here for a month. You ought to be sick to death of looking at me,” Angie teased rubbing her back, trying to comfort her. “You know… Part of me think this is a front. You and Zia are probably happy Jesse and I are leaving. That way you can have that party you girls have been secretly planning.”
Cassandra laughed into her mother’s shoulder. She always knew what to say to make her laugh. “Not even! Zia still has to prep for her big test and I have my art to get to. That gallery I was telling you about… Well they would like to buy more of my work and…”
Angie squealed. “My baby girl! Baby that’s wonderful! I am so happy for you.”
Jesse came up behind Cass and squeezed her shoulders. “You alright?” He whispered.
“As good as I can be with you taking my mommy away from me.” She looked at him and gave him a pout.
“Chile!” Angie shook her head just as she felt Zia wrap her arms around her and lay her head on her shoulder. “You girls know you are more than welcome to come up whenever you want. Jesse and I will be more than happy to put you both to work with this little one.” She gave her belly a little pat.
“And I know for one I will be more than ready for it,” Cass said as she reached over and placed both hands on her mother’s stomach. “You be good to mommy, got it munchkin?”
Angie was laughing when the baby gave her a swift kick or a elbowed her. “She doesn’t like being told what to do.”
“Like somebody else we know,” Jesse mumbled. The girls started laughing. They were still talking when the announcer called for Angie’s and Jesse train to board. “Looks like it’s that time,” Jesse sighed, giving Cass’s shoulder another squeeze. “You be good, ya hear.”
“Always!” They shared an embrace. And then Jesse moved onto Zia who’d become like another daughter to him. He and Frankie were definitely outnumbered now.
“I want you to call me as soon as you guys get in. No! Better yet, call me every three hours.”
“Cass do you know how long it’s going to take to get to PV on this train.”
Cass smirked. “Like 70 something hours. But that doesn’t mean anything. I still need an update.”
“Fine. But it’ll be every five hours instead of three.”
“You betta,” Cass teased pulling her mother into her arms and hugging her tight. As tight as she could with the belly in the way of course. “I love you.”
“I love you, too… My sweet girl.”
After shedding a few more tears, Angie finally let Jesse lead her away and onto the train. “These people do realize I’m not a size two ,” Angie sighed as Jesse led her down a very small hall. She didn’t have to have her sight to know how small it was.
Jesse chuckled. “Relax baby, we’re almost there.” The whole way to their sleeping car, Angie went on and on about the hall being so small and how she had a mind to write to them and tell they needed to widen it a bit. He heard every word she was saying but he really didn’t pay her too much attention because he knew it was just her hormones talking. “Here we are,” he announced after sometime. “Our home for the next two and half or three days. Come on let’s get you off your feet.”
The minute Jesse got Angie situated, he was helping her back up and to the restroom. While she was in he went about giving the sleeping car an inspection. “I’m sorry,” Angie sighed as she opened the door and literally waddled out and with Jesse’s help went to the sink and washed her hands. Afterwards, Jesse kissed her hair and helped her back down. “Don’t be baby. It’s alright. You are feeling alright though?”
Angie sighed and nodded. “I’m still a little tired.”
“I just bet. You hardly got any sleep last night. You should drifting off to lala land in no time.” He turned her to where her feet were up and then sat down and placed them on his lap. “You lay your pretty head back and let big daddy take care of you.”
Angie giggled as she fixed the pillow behind her head. “I believe big daddy handled his business quite nicely this morning.”
“mhmm. And if you weren’t so tired now and I wasn’t worried about the other riders hearing you, I’d do it again.”
Angie squirmed a bit. “Keep rubbing, keep rubbing.” She giggled.
About an hour later, Jesse got up and pulled a cover over his peacefully sleeping angel. “Rest,” he whispered before kissing her forehead and going to sit by the window. As the train trekked past the beautiful scenery Jesse took it in with careful eyes. When Angie woke up in a few hours he wanted to be able to tell her everything, even down to the very last detail that nobody really cared to pay much attention too.
In the midst of him taking photographs with his eyes and saving them to his brain and heart he began to think about his wife and everything that happened the past month since they’d been in California. They relaxed, they talked, they laughed, something they hadn’t been able to do when they were home in PV. They reconnected in many way without having to touch each other. When they were alone he shared with her his deepest fears and Angie did the very same. They also vowed on that night that, that if they ever feared anything they would sit and talk about it until the other knew that no matter the other was going to be there till the end.
Also in that month, Jesse and Cass had sat down and talked. They sorted out little lingering problems. Like Cass still having a small problem with fully accepting him or Jesse having some trouble with accepting her father. He’d accept her, but her father, his cousin, he was still not yet accepting of. And he needed to accept Jacob at least to a point because he was family. He and Cass talked about all of this and more. Later that day, before they went their separate ways, they vowed that they wouldn’t let anything get in between of their relationship. And that no matter what they were there for each other.
Another thing Jesse did was read. He read more in that month than he did during his senior year of high school. Probably more than the four years of high school. He read up on pregnancy, what to expect in the delivery room, what to expect afterwards and even read a book that helped him prepare for the terrible twos. He was a little afraid, but he was more than ready. He was gamed, he was pumped for what was to come the very next month. “I’m going to be the best father you can ever ask for,” he promised letting his eyes drift over to his wife and then down to her belly.
In a month he would be holding in his arms another gift sent from god.