Chapter 39: Names

I woke to the sound of Taylor in the shower the next morning. I climbed out of bed, picking up laundry, and remaking the bed.

I wandered downstairs, feeling as if I hadn’t eaten in days. I opened the fridge, and before I could even glance at any of the contents, the first word that screamed to mind was pancakes.

I closed the fridge door and went to the pantry. It took very little time for me to find the pancake mix and was soon pouring a perfectly round dollop of the batter onto a frying pan.

I heard Taylor stomp down the stairs, whistling to himself.

“Hey, what smells so good… ooh, pancakes!” He grinned hugely, dipping his index finger into the raw batter.

I playfully swatted his hand. “Don’t eat that, you’ll get sick!” I pointed to the fresh made stack on the other side of the stove.

He grinned, and leaned over my shoulder, kissing my cheek.

I felt my face immediately break into a huge grin.

I finished flipping the last two pancakes and found that Taylor had set out two place settings and was already working on his second pancake.

“Hey,” He said suddenly. “Do you remember the first time you tried to make these on your own?”

I rolled my eyes. “Oh, god. Don’t remind me!” I gasped.

He chuckled softly. “Sorry.”

I sat next to him. He sat in his usual spot at the head of the table and I sat on his right, in my usual place.

He dropped his fork and put his hands on my stomach. I smiled and moved my housecoat aside.

“Sorry. My hands are probably sticky.” He apologized.

“No, it’s okay.”

“You’re probably sick of people touching your stomach…”

I laughed softly. “Yes, but I don’t mind when you do it. It’s soothing. Almost like you’re bonding with your babies.”

He grinned, bending and kissing my stomach.

I laughed. “Your hands aren’t sticky, but your lips are.” I picked up a napkin and dotted his mouth with it. The paper stuck to his lips.

“You know, maybe I should stay home today. I could call in sick today and help you bake.” He offered.

“I’ll be okay. I haven’t sent the house on fire yet… oh.” I frowned. “Give me your hands.”

He automatically offered me his hands without question.

I put his hands on my stomach. “Feel it?”

Taylor grinned hugely. “I’m never going to get sick of that.” He beamed.

I laughed. “Me either.”

“Do they really kick more when I’m around?” He asked lightly.

“Yes.” I answered, picking at one of my pancakes. “It’s weird, I can’t completely explain it. I think they know you already.”

He chuckled.

I saw the clock on the microwave. “Oh! You’re going to be late for work!”

“Oh, crap!” He pushed himself up and leaned over to press a sticky kiss to my lips. “I’ll call you at lunch. Take it easy, sweetie.”

I laughed. “Just go. I’ll eat and clean up here.”

He grabbed the pancake sitting on top of his plate. He put it in his mouth and left the kitchen.

I sighed and ate in silence.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I was finishing cleaning up the kitchen and putting away the cookies, cupcakes and various other deserts I had made for the holidays when Taylor came in.

“Emma? Sweetie?” He called.

“In the kitchen!” I called.

“Oh, man does it ever smell good in here.” He groaned, coming into the kitchen. He wrenched loose his tie.

I smiled. “Thank you.”

“Do I get to sample anything?” He asked, dropping his laptop bag on the kitchen table with a stack of papers.

I picked up a container of cookies. “Yes, but only if you promise to stay out of them until Christmas.”

“Cross my heart.” He promised.

I lifted the lid and he reached out a handful of cookies. I put the container on the counter. “How was your day?” I asked him, eager to hear about his day.

“Okay. Busy… I guess the last guy wasn’t too good at his job… because I think I’ve got most of the stuff he didn’t do dumped on my desk.” He sighed. “But that’s okay. The money is good.” He carefully adjusted his arms around me.

“How was your day?” He asked me gently.

“Good. I’ve got all the baking done… That’s a huge responsibility.”

“Wow.” He breathed, following my gaze to the stacks of containers filled with baking. “Is that all you’ve done today?”

“Well, no. I went through this book that my grandmother dropped off.” I pointed to a large hardcover book sitting on the counter.

He picked it up. “The Big Book of Baby Names?” He asked. “Seventy-five-thousand names… you went through this entire thing?” He raised his eyebrows.

I nodded. “I hi-lighted the names. Pink are the names I like for girls. Blue are the names I like for boys…”

He opened the book and fanned through the pages quickly. “And yellow?”

“The names I absolutely hate.” I answered.

He stopped at a random page. “Eclipse? That’s a baby name? Is it a boy’s name or a girl’s name?” He frowned.

“There are worse names than that.” I answered.

He sighed and put the book down. “I’ll look at it later… but I… I don’t know about this whole picking the names in advance thing. You know? I mean, we don’t even know what we’re having yet… I mean I guess I’m kind of old fashioned, but what if we pick names and then when we have the babies and hold them… and the names aren’t right?”

“So, you’re saying you think we should wait until they’re born before we pick names?” I guessed.

He nodded. “I don’t know… that’s just what my gut says. If you want to pick names though, we can…”

I smiled. “What you’re saying makes sense. I get it.”

“Okay. Great.” He picked up a cookie from the stack in his hand and chewed it. “Wow. These are so good!”

I laughed softly. “I think I’m learning. Your mother and my gran are good teachers.”

He moved toward me and lightly kissed my temple.

I felt myself blush slightly. “Dinner isn’t quite ready, I hope that’s okay… I’ve got a chicken in the oven, but I still need to do a vegetable, and maybe rice?”

He smiled. “That sounds good. Do you want help or can I go up and shower?”

“Go and have your shower.” I replied.

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