Chloe flopped down on the couch next to Luke, she had never been so happy to have new clothes in her life. She would never take clean underwear for granted again. She rolled her neck trying to get the kinks out. “How Sofia doing?”
“She says she’s fine, but I think we can expect those babies anytime now.” He leaned back on the couch tossing his arms along the back. An awkward moment of silence passed.
Chloe leaned forward elbows on her knees, twirling a wet lock of hair. Her mind kept flashing to that woman in the storeroom and what she’d said about Roy’s gang. “Do you think Roy and the good ol’ boys really killed that woman’s family?”
“I don’t know. This is a new world, what we saw out there…” He trailed off and she felt a hand on her shoulder. “Come here.”
She didn’t resist as he wrapped his arm around her, pulling her into a comforting embrace. Chloe curled into him needing the solace after everything that had happened. Her mind whirled as she tried to work through all the craziness she’d seen today.
“Hey,” Luke tipped her chin so she was looking up at him. “Everything’s going to be all right.”
She flashed back to their kiss in the drugstore, and without thinking she wrapped her arms around his neck. Her eye’s fluttered close as their lips met and Luke wrapped his arms around her waist, tugging her on to his lap. Chloe’s mind finally quieted as she gave into the sensations of the kiss and Luke pressed against her.
The door burst open, they jerked apart staring at the doorway as RJ barreled in, gasping “Mom’s water just broke.”
Chloe jumped up rushing to shove on some shoes and grabbed her coat. Luke followed a little slower, muttering, “Go on, I’ll be there in a minute.”
Nodding in understanding Chloe dashed out the door and a crossed the yard with RJ right beside her. Entering through the kitchen door, Chloe made her way to the downstairs guest room they had set up as a birthing room slash nursery. Sofia lay on the bed sweat beaded her forehead, her eyes scrunched shut in clear pain. Robin sat on the edge of the bed, holding Sofia’s hand and murmuring softly to her. He glanced toward Chole with a look that read help me. Sofia exhaled and sank back on the mound of pillows behind her. Her eyes opened and she looked at Rob then Chloe giving them a wan smile, she said, “What I wouldn’t give for an epidural right now.”
Chloe grinned, shrugging off her coat and handing it to RJ who was hovering near by. “RJ I need you to do me a huge favor, go take care of Maria. I need you to keep her out from under foot. This is super important, sweetie, can you do that?”
He nodded and turned for the living room, without any argument. Luke passed him, coming toward her down the hall. “You I need you to put a big pot of water on the stove and bring it to a boil. On the counter there is a box with hemostats and scissors in it, put them in the boiling water to sterilize them. We’ll need those to cut the umbilical cords.”
“Got it.” His eyes lingered on her lips for a moment, then he turned and headed back down the hall.
Chloe rolled up her sleeves turning back to Sofia and Rob. Another contraction wracked Sofia’s body. Closing her eyes, Chloe drew in a deep breath, then let it out slowly. She was no midwife, but she had to see what was going on. Stepping to the side of the bed, she spoke softly. “Sofia I have to look and see if the baby’s crowning.”
Sofia just nodded, gritting her teeth. Moving to the foot of the bed, Chloe tried to remember how things had gone with Sally. Her sister-in-law had asked her to be there when the kids were born as Benny fainted at the sight of blood. Mostly she remembered the grunting, pushing, and then a crying wriggling slime covered little person appeared. Bracing herself, Chloe gasped. “Ok Sofia, I see the head. You need to push.”
“What the hell do you think I’ve been doing?” Sofia growled.
Ignoring the other womans outburst, Chloe pulled a pair of rubber gloves from a box on the dresser and snapped them on. Moving back to the end of the bed she proceed to coax Sofia.
“Rob we need towels and the stuff Luke was sterilizing.”
Reluctantly he got up and left the room, she heard him bark something down the hall as he did, returning a moment later with a stack of clean towels. Taking one she laid it on the bed, just as the baby slid free. Rob handed her a still warm hemostat and she clamped the umbilical cord before cutting it with the scissors. The baby began to scream as Chloe wrapped the towel around the wriggling mass and handed it to Rob.
Sofia looked up at the little bundle, panting, “One down, one to go.”
Author's Note: Unedited Version