Page 15 of Happy Ending (Fisher Brothers 4)

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She laughed instead of answering as we walked through the doors, knowing when we walked back out, our lives would be changed forever.

Apple Stem

Sofia

“I’m going to kill you, Ryan,” I screamed through the pain, and I meant it. “I can’t believe I let you do this to me.”

I looked into his stupid perfect face and wanted to hit it. Those blue eyes that I usually loved so much? I now wanted to gouge them out.

Fine. I was being a bit dramatic and I knew it, but you try pushing a bowling ball out of your vagina with no epidural and see how kind and loving you feel.

Why on earth had I wanted to have this baby naturally? It didn’t make me any more or less of a mom to give birth with no pain meds, but for whatever reason, I’d convinced myself that it would be a nice thing to experience.

A nice thing to experience? It was funny how quickly we forgot the pain of childbirth, considering many of us continued to put ourselves in this position over and over again.

“I love you, angel,” Ryan said, his voice so sugary sweet that he was lucky I didn’t puke on his shoes.

“I might love you after this thing is out of me,” I growled, and Ryan laughed.

He actually had the nerve to laugh. I narrowed my eyes at him.

“This isn’t funny, Ryan. You have no idea what this feels like.” Scowling, I squeezed his hand as hard as I could.

“I could never do what you’re doing. I’m not laughing at you, angel. I’m in fucking awe of you.”

I started to cry. Whether it was from his words, the way he was looking at me like I was a goddess, or the intense pain, I couldn’t be sure. But as my tears fell, Ryan wiped them away and kissed my cheek.

“You are literally the most beautiful woman

I’ve ever seen in my life.”

“Shut . . . up.”

He smiled again. My stupid boyfriend was clueless.

“I need you to start pushing, Sofia.”

The doctor’s voice cut through the rest of the noise, and I became hyperfocused on her. I listened to her count me down.

Ryan’s hand was in my grip, like it had been for the last five hours. I was certain at one point that I’d broken at least two of his fingers, but he was smart to not mention it. I might have threatened to break the rest if he had.

“Almost there,” the doctor said with a lilt to her voice that gave me a brief reprieve. When the slicing pain became my focus again, she ordered, “Keep pushing,” and I did.

I pushed with all my strength and every muscle until I felt a slight sense of relief. The hard part of delivery was over as the baby’s shoulders moved through. My entire body sagged, and I waited to hear the sweet sound of a newborn baby’s cry fill the air. When it did, I sucked in a breath of my own.

“You did so good.” Ryan looked at me with tears rolling down his face. “That was amazing. You’re amazing.”

I stared into the eyes that only moments ago I wanted to stab from his face, and I fell in love with him all over again.

Having a child together bonded you, made the love between you grow in ways you never thought possible. I had never realized that until now. I’d missed that kind of connection the first time around with Matson. There was no man by my side holding my hand then, telling me I was amazing and looking at me like I’d hung the moon. There was no one telling me he loved me and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.

I’d been alone then. But I wasn’t alone anymore.

“Ryan, Sofia, meet your daughter.” The nurse handed the baby, who had been cleaned and swaddled, over to my waiting arms.

I looked into her perfect tiny face and openly wept. She was perfect.

“She looks like you,” I said, meeting Ryan’s blue eyes that were now bright with tears.


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