Noah and Sharlee’s landlord agreed to free them from their lease without penalty if they gave him their furniture. Then he would be able to rent out the house furnished. Since they still had several months left on their lease, they agreed. They were also selling the car because they needed the money.
“Babe, I’m going to Bridgeport Saturday to pack up our personal stuff and bring it back here. Mom is letting me take her SUV.”
“Bridgeport is just a long car ride. It’s not like I’ll be driving. We can take a lot of rest stops. The flight to Isla Paradiso isn’t that long. It’s just a two hour flight. I talked to my Dad and he said that I’ll be fifteen weeks along when we go to Isla Paradiso. So Dr. Hutchens will probably say it’s alright as long as I’m careful.”
“I still don’t think it’s a good idea for you to go to Bridgeport. I think it’s pushing things unnecessarily. Shawn and Cara are going with me, and we’ll have everything packed in no time. I’ll call you, and you can tell me exactly what you want to keep.”
Sharlee was sad that she wasn’t going to have a chance to see the house one last time. It was hers and Noah’s first place together, and it would always be special to her.
“The baby’s heartbeat is nice and strong, and you seem to be healing well.”
He took an ultrasound. Noah and Sharlee looked at their baby in awe. They had decided to wait until after the baby is born to learn the baby’s sex.
“Sharlee you still need to take great care to bring your pregnancy to full term. Take frequent periods of rest and don’t stay on your feet for long periods of time. However, as long as your participation in the Harley campaign is minimal; and you use good judgement, then you and the baby should be alright.”
He okayed the trip to Isla Paradiso, but agreed with Noah about the trip to Bridgeport. He also suggested that when they returned from Isla Paradiso Sharlee not travel anymore until after the baby’s birth. Harley would have to come to Santa Fe for Sharlee’s part in the campaign. He also suggested a very limited schedule of photo shoots, interviews and commercials because of the added stress on Sharlee.
“What are you doing? The doctor released me from bedrest.”
They helped each other undress as they kissed. They made love passionately, satisfying the longing and desire that they’d been holding inside. It was even more intense, more meaningful for them because they had come so close to losing each other for good.
Noah touched Sharlee in just the ways he knew would give her the most pleasure, in the places that drove her senses wild, and she did the same for him. They were careful though because of Sharlee’s condition.
Sharlee wondered to herself how could Kristian possibly believe that she’d want anyone other than her Noah. Any attraction Sharlee felt for Kristian was completely eclipsed by the electrifying sensations that Noah aroused just by looking at her. The feeling of Noah’s barest touch on her skin was almost indescribable. She never wanted anyone to come between them.
“Well, I never got it.”
“So, are you okay, Squirt?”
Noah walked warily over to join them. He wasn’t sure of how Crystal was going to react.
Sharlee wrapped her arms around his neck, and he held her tightly. She didn’t want him to feel guilty anymore!
“Yep, in less than six months now.”
“So am I having a niece or a nephew?”
They continued talking together.
“Alissa, since all the children are spending the week in Florida with my father during their school break, why don’t we go with Noah and Sharlee to Isla Paradiso. Then while Noah is at the seminar, Sharlee won’t be alone, and we can be there in case something happens.”
“What! They might not want us tagging along.”
“I’ll talk with Noah about it. I guarantee you, he’ll feel better about the trip if we go with them. They can take other trips alone after the baby is older.”
“Okay. It doesn’t hurt to see what they think.”
Dale mentioned it to Noah. Noah was relieved that he wouldn’t have to worry about Sharlee during the trip, not only because Dale was her Dad, but he was also a doctor!
Crystal stayed a few days and then went back home to Oakwood City.
“Yes, we’re finished and heading back home now. We should be back late tonight. Are you resting?”
“Noah, I’m sick of resting, but I have been sitting a lot. Mom and Dad are as bad as you are!”
“I love you too and be careful driving home.”
Noah looked around the house one last time. It had mostly good memories for him, but in a way he was glad they wouldn’t be living there anymore. It was because he’d never forget the horrible way that he’d behaved their last night together in the house. Now he was being given a second chance to be the kind of husband Sharlee deserved, and he was determined not to blow it!
“Thanks for helping me pack up. I owe you two big time.”
“Shouldn’t you be sleeping?”
“Now get some sleep for our baby.”
Sharlee smiled and snuggled against him. “I can now.” It wasn’t long before they were both asleep.
Her family and the audience watched in awe and pride as she and fellow dancers presented an almost flawless performance. At the end of the show, she was presented with roses with no card showing who had sent them. Alissa was also presented with roses. Her card said that both bouquets were from a secret admirer. She and Dale felt uneasy. The studio frequently received flowers and gifts for Alissa from fans, but this was the first time that she’d received them otherwise.
“I wonder how they knew about Joy’s performance. I’ve been very careful to keep the children out of the spotlight. I’ve very seldom allowed their pictures to be taken and only occasionally have they made special appearances with me and Dad over the years.”
“I don’t know, but I don’t like it.” Dale looked around, but he didn’t see anyone who appeared to be paying any special attention to Alissa or the rest of the family. It was one of the benefits of living in Santa Fe that Alissa and Matthew were able to live their day to day lives freely without being pestered by the press or the paparazzi. “I’ll go to the dressing rooms now and wait for her to finish changing.”
“I’m tired, Daddy. Can we go home now?”
Dale was surprised. Joy was always an energy powerhouse. They teased her that she was like the Energizer bunny. She kept going and going. She was always especially hyped up after a performance. Her tiredness was very unusual for her.
Dale frowned. “You haven’t driven since you were hurt. I don’t think your first time driving should be when you’re alone just in case it’s too much for you. I’ll take you both home and then come back to the bowling alley.”
“Are you sure it’s just that you’re tired?”
Joy was already half asleep and so Dale carried her out to the car. He didn’t understand why she was so tired. He decided to start keeping a closer eye on her for a while. Maybe she was coming down with something. After they arrived at home, Dale put Joy to bed and then headed back to the bowling alley to join the rest of the family.