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His Lover's Little Secret Andrea Laurence 2022/8/3 13:54:45

“And I love you,” she said.

“More than Spider-Man?” Gavin asked.

“Oh, yeah,” she replied, leaning in to kiss him and prove her point.

Sabine was exhausted. There wasn’t really ??? another word to describe the state a woman was in immediately following ??? childbirth. The messy business was over. The doctors and nurses had cleared out ??? and the family went home. Now it was just Sabine and Gavin in a quiet hospital ??? suite.

Well, make that just Sabine, Gavin and the brand-new Miss Elizabeth Anne Brooks in a quiet hospital ??? suite.

Beth made her arrival at 4:53 p.m., weighing seven pounds, two ??? ounces and shrieking with the finest set of lungs to ever debut at St. Luke’s ??? Hospital. They named her after Gavin’s private plane—Beth—and Sabine’s mother, with whom she’d recently reconciled.

Gavin’s parents, siblings and the housekeeper had left a few ??? hours ago with Jared in tow. Their son had been very excited to see his new ??? sister, but the novelty wore off pretty quickly when she didn’t do anything but ??? sleep. He insisted that Grandpa and Grandma take him for ice cream and when ??? visiting hours ended, they relented.

It had been a long day filled with excitement, nerves, joy and ??? pain. And now, she was enjoying a private moment she would remember for her ??? whole life.

Gavin was beside her in the reclining chair. Beth was bundled ??? up in a white blanket with pastel stripes. She was perfect, tiny and pink with ??? Sabine’s nose. The nurses had put a hat on to keep her head warm. It hid away ??? the wild mohawk of dark hair she’d been born with. Gavin said her crazy hair was ??? from Sabine, too. Beth had fallen asleep with her small hand clutching his pinky ??? finger, content, warm and safe in her daddy’s arms.

But the best part was watching Gavin.

The past nine months had been an adventure for her husband. ??? Since he’d missed out on her first pregnancy, Gavin wanted to be a part of every ??? moment from sonograms to Lamaze classes. Sometimes she wondered if he regretted ??? getting so immersed in the details of the process.

He could handle running shipping empires and flying jets, but ??? preparing for the arrival of a new baby—and a girl at that—nearly did him in. ??? During labor, he was wide-eyed and panicked. Occasionally even a little green ??? around the gills. It was pretty adorable.

Then she was born, shouting her displeasure to everyone in the ??? maternity ward. Of course, Sabine looked at her baby first, cataloging fingers ??? and toes and noting how beautiful and perfect she was. But the moment Beth was ??? laid on her chest, Sabine’s eyes went to Gavin. The expression on his face was ??? priceless. It was quite literally love at first sight.

And now, while he held her, a marching band could parade ??? through the room and Gavin probably wouldn’t notice. He couldn’t tear his gaze ??? away from his daughter. It was as though the answers to all the questions in the ??? universe were wrapped up in that blanket. It was the most precious thing Sabine ??? had ever seen.

Sabine didn’t realize Gavin was looking at her until he spoke. ??? “Your hero?”

“Absolutely. You were amazing today.” Gavin stood slowly so he ??? didn’t wake their daughter and carried Beth over to her.

Sabine accepted the bundle and smiled up at him. “Eh, piece of ??? cake. I think I only threatened your life once.”

“Twice, but who’s counting?” Gavin eased down to sit on the ??? edge of the bed and put his arm around her shoulders. “Seriously, though, I ??? don’t know how you did it. Before. With Jared. I ??? mean, I knew that I had missed a lot, but one thing ??? I never really considered was how it was for you. To do this all alone...”

It certainly was different this time. Before, one of her ??? gallery friends came by the next day. That was it. This time, she had an entire ??? cheering squad waiting in the next room, a crew in Nebraska staying up to date ??? on Facebook and a husband holding her hand. What a difference a few years could ??? make.