July 25, 2012

Landrys - Round 24

"Crap," Amanda said when she realized that she was late.  "What am I going to tell Ben?"  Although they were in a serious relationship, they hadn't really discussed marriage or kids.

"I'm going to be a Father?" Ben said as he rubbed her belly.  "That's amazing!"

A weight felt like it was lifted from Amanda's chest.  "Oh thank God," she sighed.  "I thought you'd be mad!"

Ben squeezed her hand.  "No way.  We made this baby together and we'll see it through together."

Amanda frowned.  "I don't want you to feel obligated..." she started to argue.

"Shhh..." Ben comforted her.  "I do! I love you, Amanda.  I can't wait to raise a baby with you!"

Later that afternoon, they laid out in the sun, cuddling and dreaming about their baby... their family..

"Hey look at that cloud up there that looks like a ring," Ben said suddenly, pointing. 

Amanda looked up.  "Where?" she asked.

Rolling to his knees, Ben pulled out a ring and smiled.  "No cloud, but there is a beautiful ring right here."

"Beeeeeeeeeen," Amanda squealed.  "You tricked me!"

Ben laughed as he slipped the ring on her finger.  "You're beautiful, soon to be Mrs. Landry!"

"I love you, Ben!" she said happily, all her dreams coming true.

***

Ben was alittle nervous as his family and friends gathered for his wedding.  Nervously he paced in his room, glancing up at the knock.

"Ben?" Katherine asked quietly.  "Can I come in?"

"Yeah," Ben said as he resumed pacing.

"Ben! You're not even dressed yet!" Katherine said, shocked.  "Everyone's waiting!"

"I know Katherine. I just... I don't know if I'm ready for this... for marriage... for a baby!"

Katherine patted his shoulder.  "Of course you are!  It's what you've always dreamed up."

Ben smiled ruefully. "But I always imagined it would be you..."

Katherine smiled sadly.  "I know. But that ship has sailed.  We didn't want it enough to work for it.  But, what you do have right in front of you is a wonderful lady who is having your child and is madly in love with you.   So I guess you need to decide if you're madly in love with her, too," Katherine said kindly.  "We'll see you outside."

Ben walked down the aisle and stood by Amanda.  His cold feet had disappeared. Clinging to any childish dreams to avoid marrying the love of his life was ridiculous!  Katherine was right!  He didn't love her enough to work for it. 

His heart melted when Amanda looked up at him and smiled, rubbing a hand unconsiously over her pregnant belly.

He loved Amanda enough to work for it!

It was a beautiful wedding with not a dry eye in the house. Not that Ben or Amanda noticed.  Tonight was all about them!


"I can't believe she's gone," Dean said sadly, slightly shocked.  "She was so young!"

"I know, Dad. I know," Ben replied.

Amanda reached out and squeezed Ben's hand.  "At least she had the wedding.  It makes me happy that she was here for that."

Ben touched his wife's belly.  "I wish she would've gotten to meet our baby. The due date is so close... if only..."
 
But regrets didn't bring Jade back to them.

Welcome to the family little Deacon!

Despite his aching knees and the multiple stairs, Dean still loved caring for his grandson.  It was nice to have a child in the home again!

"I want you to meet my grandson, Deacon," Dean said proudly to his brothers Ryder & Quinn.

"He's beautiful!" Jasmine said proudly, cuddling with her little nephew.  "I'm going to spoil you!  If you ever need anything - a fake id, an excuse to get our of trouble, anything - you come see Auntie Jasmine!"

Amanda laughed.  "Remind me not to let him have sleepovers at your house!" she joked.   "Isn't that right, Deacon? Isn't that right?" she cooed to her son.

Happy Birthday Deacon!

"So you're happy with Lincoln?" Dean tentatively asked Jasmine as they sat outside.  His daughter had begun to come over more since her Mom passed away. 

Jasmine flicked a glance at her Dad.  "Yeah, why?"

Dean shrugged.  "Just wondering."  Tracing the condensation on his glass, he paused.  "So, you think he'll take care of you? ... After I'm gone?"

Jasmine set her glass down and whirled on her father.  "Don't talk like that Daddy! You're not going anywhere!"

Dean hugged Jasmine.  "Ah, sweetheart, you know I won't be alive forever.  Your Mom's passing away made me realize it might be sooner rather than later for me.  I just want to know that you have someone in your life that will treat you the way you deserve to be treated."

"Lincoln will, Dad!" she reassured him.  "I love him!"  But, Jasmine had her doubts.  Lincoln was all about fun.  Who could blame him after his parents had raised him to party.  Sometimes she worried that he'd decide he could do better one day. 

Dean noticed her hesitation and patted her back. "If you need anything, you come back home.  You always have a home here," he said, squeezing her tight. 

"I don't know what will happen after I'm gone, but I want you to take care of your sister, do you hear?" Dean said over dinner.  "Promise me."

"Dad, yeah! I promise! She knows if she needs me I'll be there for her. Why? Is something wrong?"

"No. No.  I just don't want her to feel like she has to settle."  He'd never say it out loud, but he thought his baby girl could do much better than Lincoln!  That boy was all flash - no substance!

Dean promised again before he headed upstairs to spend some time with his son...

...never knowing it would be the last thing he said to his Dad....

Dean went to bed early, feeling the weight of the world on his shoulders.  Losing his parents was devastating.  In some ways, he wished that time could just stop for a minute...


...but time is a funny thing...

...it keeps marching on no matter what....

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