William Jefferson Clinton was leaving Oxford University the same year that Quinton Chamberlain, then known as Sean Ryan, began his graduate archaeological training. The two young Oxford men, destined for greatness, briefly crossed paths in 1970, not to meet again for thirty-five years in another part of the world.
At the Springfield Towers penthouse suite, our favorite couple, with their wedding vows freshly renewed, enjoyed a romantic tribute to their original wedding night consummation. The next day, they tearfully said goodbye to all visiting friends and family before traveling to Chicago for the first leg of their repeat honeymoon. Anastasia gave her father the much desired news that she and Seamus decided to postpone their cohabitation. It was especially difficult for them to leave their young daughter who that night was flying, almost four thousand miles, back to Oxford. Since she would be unable to fly again until after the new baby was born, Nola hoped that Anastasia could soon get away from school for another visit home.
At first, it was small solace that Quinton reserved their favorite suite at the Four Seasons, but once Nola settled into the luxurious rooms and took in a spa treatment, she couldn't help but be swept away by the pampering. Vanessa promptly took Nola shopping on Michigan Avenue in search of a fabulous gown for the most sought after invite in town. There was no fashion opinion that Nola trusted more than her sister-in-law's for such an exciting, once-in-a-lifetime occasion. They purposefully surveyed the various shops of the Bloomingdale's Building, before they located a slimming, black Dolce & Gabbana gown.
Nola posed before the dressing room mirror, gently tugging at the neckline, "Vanessa, are you sure about this dress? I don't usually wear something so low cut."
"Darling, you need to accentuate your assets, and these days your assets are north," Vanessa gestured to Nola's bosom, "if you know what I mean."
Nola giggled and adjusted herself into the top of the gown, "My boobs always get so nice when I'm pregnant."
"Show it off, darling. The neckline will draw the eye away from your middle."
Nola continued to turn in front of the mirror, trying to get comfortable in the dress. "Should we go up to the eight? It's really too snug in the bodice."
"That might be a good idea, and then we can have some alterations made on the rest of the dress. It will be a rush to have it ready by tomorrow night, but anything can be done."
"Thanks so much, Vanessa, for coming out with me. This is so exciting."
"It's the least I can do."
"I also wanted to thank you for offering AJ that job."
"I'm certain that they're going to love him, and that he'll do a wonderful job." Vanessa sang, "That young man is certainly charming."
"When he wants to, my son has charm for days."
"AJ could be such a bratty kid, but he actually reminded me of his father these last couple of days."
"I know what you mean," Nola noted with pride.
"What jewels were you planning on wearing?"
"I was going to wear the emerald and diamond necklace that Quinton gave me for our tenth anniversary?"
"The Harry Winston piece?"
"Yes," Nola nodded.
"Those are stunning jewels and will go perfectly with this dress." One more time, Vanessa inspected Nola in the dress, "This is the one. You should try on the eight, but I'm certain."
"As usual, you're right, Vanessa."
Anastasia and Seamus packed all their bags. And Effie arranged for the driver to take them to O'Hare for their direct flight to Heathrow. Seamus had said his final farewells and was loading the luggage into the car.
Anastasia hugged Effie, "Thanks for everything."
"Anastasia, it was wonderful to finally see you after all these years. Have a safe flight. Give my regards to London."
"Now, you take care of Mom, okay? Don't let her do too much, no matter what she says. Everything has to go perfectly with my baby sister."
"I will; don't you worry. I know how to handle your mother. Nola and I go way back."
"Hey, sis," AJ exclaimed as he ran down the steps into the foyer.
"I'll let you two say your goodbyes," Effie commented. She hugged Anastasia again and disappeared up the stairs.
"You sure you have everything?" AJ queried.
"I think so, but if I forgot anything, I'll just have to fly back to get it."
"You're dedicated to take classes over the summer."
"I enjoy school, but I also want to get through it, so I can start working in my field."
"Stace, I love you, but you being so perfect, makes it awfully hard on me."
"Come on, Daddy and Mom are so proud of you."
"I guess, but you becoming an archaeologist is Dad's lifelong dream."
"AJ, please don't do anything crazy, while they're out of town."
"Don't worry, Stace, I won't burn down the house or anything. And I don't even know enough people here to throw blow out parties like the infamous ones in Santa Barbara."
"I know. You've grown up a lot."
"I'll take that as a complement coming from you."
"You should," she feigned haughtiness. "Good luck with the job interview on Monday."
"I'll need it."
"You're going to blow them away," Anastasia couldn't hold back her emotions.
"Don't do that, Stace," AJ requested, uncomfortable with his sister's tears.
"I can't help it. I'll miss you so much. I'm going to come back later this summer, but I want you to come and see me too."
AJ hugged his sister, "I promise I will."
"You're the best little brother ever. I love you."
"I love you too. Be careful over there, okay? And if anyone gives you a hard time let me know, and I will fly over there and kick their ass."
"I will," Anastasia laughed. "Please don't give Daddy a hard time. And I told Effie, and I will tell you, make sure Mom doesn't do anything she shouldn't."
"I'll wait on her hand and foot."
"And take it slow with Charlotte?"
"I don't know if I can promise that, but I'll be the perfect son."
"Okay, you'll always be my horny, girl-crazy brother. Just use protection, and go get her. I should go. Seamus is waiting in the car for me."
AJ nodded. The siblings gave each other one final hug and kiss. Anastasia left Thornway Road.
Later that evening, AJ was making his preparations to go out for the evening with Charlotte. AJ knew that his mom had instructed Effie to watch carefully over the house and particularly over him while they were gone, but he had it all planned out. He liked Effie a lot, but she could be a little flaky so his plan would not be difficult to execute. AJ made a dinner reservation for the date at a restaurant that was a favorite of his parents, and he purchased a bouquet of roses that he planned to present to Charlotte when he picked her up. AJ was thrilled when she agreed to go to dinner with him and decided to pull out all the stops with this girl. Although, AJ was used to getting what he wanted with girls, so was quite confident that the night would go like he hoped.
AJ dressed casually chic for the night out. He drove his car next door to pick up his date. One of the housekeepers answered the door and led him to their sitting room to wait for Charlotte.
"AJ Chamberlain, you stud muffin," a high-pitched voice chirped. "I figured it was you driving up in that flashy Beamer."
"Hi Megan," AJ answered, trying not to groan.
"Your parents let you out looking so dangerously hot."
"Remember? My parents are in Chicago this weekend going to that big event with the Clintons."
"How could I forget? You gotta love the randy Bubba. If Hill would make herself scarce, I would be on that like white on rice." Megan conspicuously checked out AJ from head to toe. "Exactly how tall are you?"
"That's it? You seem so much taller. Must be all those long, lean muscles."
"I guess so," AJ smiled.
"Where are you taking my little Charlotte?"
"Montrachet and roses, you must have something in mind," Megan chuckled.
"I like to treat a girl like a lady."
"Learned that from Daddy Dearest, did you?"
"I suppose so," AJ remarked, relieved to finally see Charlotte enter the room, dressed in a girlish, lacy, white slip dress that accentuated her curves.
"AJ," she gushed.
"Charlotte, you look beautiful as always." AJ gently pecked her cheek and presented the flowers to his pleased date.
"Ah, young lust," Megan quipped. "Now you two kids, don't do anything that I wouldn't do."
They both shot her a dubious look.
Megan corrected, "Well actually, since there's nothing I wouldn't do, don't do anything that I would do, or something like that. Oh, just forget it, you're young and you're gorgeous, have a great time."
After their dinner reservation, AJ drove Charlotte back to Megan's house. They quietly slipped through the back way to the Chamberlain pool.
"AJ, I don't want to get you into any trouble," Charlotte whispered.
"Don't worry about it. My parents are out of town, my sister is flying back to London, and Effie will think we're still out when she doesn't hear my car pull up."
"If you say it's ok."
"It's more than okay."
"Thanks for taking me out to dinner. I was totally impressed when you ordered the entire meal in French."
"I need to put my French to some use. During high school, I spent a year abroad in Paris and Provence, and my father and sister speak it so . . . ."
"I took a few years of Spanish in high school, but I'm terrible at it."
"I speak Spanish too. We spent a lot of time in South America when I was a kid, and the nanny spoke it to us. Mom insisted that everyone in the family always try to speak Spanish to the locals."
"You're filled with surprises," she coquettishly batted her eyes.
"You haven't seen anything yet," Not able to wait one more moment, AJ approached Charlotte. He ran his fingers through her silky, blonde hair and leaned down to give her a kiss. To assure he was correctly reading her signals, AJ began gently and hesitantly. As he felt her respond, he reciprocated with more intensity, letting the intimate tongue kiss last for several minutes. She willingly permitted each of his well-trained advances. Pressing herself hard against him, she could feel his growing stiffness against her belly.
"Do you want to go in the pool house?" he said between urgent, raspy breaths, squeezing her bottom, and pulling her tighter.
She demurely acquiesced.
He smiled and led her into the pool house. He turned on a light in order to get the full visual of her. AJ backed her onto the couch and undid the zipper of her dress. She wiggled out of the dress. She fell back on the furniture, wantonly pulling him on top of her. He ran his finger tauntingly under her thong and along her smooth bikini line. Infatuated with each others' body, they both quickly stripped down nude, while their fervent kissing and petting escalated.
"God, your body is so . . . sexy." He sucked and fondled each large breast. He tantalizingly allowed his penis to gently graze her slim thighs.
"You have a condom?" she purred in his ear.
"I do." He grappled for his pants that had fallen to the floor and successfully retrieved the convenient, small packets.
As he tore the wrapper of one with his teeth and rolled the condom into place, she admired his tanned, muscular body and fully hard erection that stood tight against his ripped abdomen. "As expected, you're beautifully endowed everywhere, AJ Chamberlain." She parted her legs, enticingly touched herself, and then reached for him.
Mesmerized, he crawled on top and entered her. They vigorously and unrelentingly satisfied all the cravings that had been building up between them the last couple of days. With the marathon sex completed, they showered off and took a quiet dip in the pool. Then totally unnoticed by Effie, they slipped back to AJ's car parked next door.
The Next Day, Chicago
Nola was in a tizzy getting ready for the fundraiser dinner. Just barely in time, the dress with alterations had been delivered to the hotel. Her hair appointment had run late, and it seemed that everything that could go wrong did. She had to send Quint out, already dressed in his tuxedo, to pick up a fresh pair of hose for her when she badly snagged the ones she planned to wear. And the heels that she wanted to wear felt too snug, thus she had to settle on her second choice. Once Quinton arrived back with the stockings, everything started to work out, and they both looked elegant and put together for the event. Quint showered his wife with complements when she revealed herself in the dress with the uncharacteristically low décolletage, not forgetting to make toying comments about how the President, particularly, would appreciate the view.
The limousine picked them up right on time and whisked them over to the venue where the gala event was being held. As they approached the location, security was extremely tight and limousine gridlock developed. Once inside the exquisitely decorated ballroom, they heard the buzz that Oprah Winfrey and several other celebrities would be present. Until one brought her a cranberry juice with club soda, Nola had to keep turning away the eager waiters who attempted to serve her champagne and cocktails. The Chamberlains recognized a few of the guests milling around as friends and colleagues of Quint's father, Henry. Many of them had not seen Quint and Nola since Henry's funeral and wanted to know how the family was doing. Random small talk ruled. Nola nudged Quint when she spotted Ellen DeGeneres and her girlfriend mingling. Quint discreetly pointed out the young governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich and his wife, as well as Senator Barack Obama and his wife. Soon a small crowd gathered, and they realized that Oprah Winfrey had arrived with her best friend, Gayle King. The room filled, as the select guests waited with great anticipation for the arrival of the forty-second President and First Lady of the United States, and if rumors were correct, their daughter Chelsea would also accompany them. The waiters continued to circulate with drinks and hors d'oeuvres, but advised the guests to begin taking their seats for dinner and the arrival of the Clintons. Once everyone was finally seated, the Clintons were announced. First, a stylish Chelsea entered the grand room, and then Bill and Hillary, looking glamorous. Their mere presence electrified the room.
"Quinton, look who's sitting next to Chelsea Clinton."
"That small, blonde woman? Who is she?"
"Quinton, have you been living under a rock? That's Madonna."
"Madonna? You went to see her concert with Gracie last year? "
"Yes, I've been a fan for years. She's a huge celebrity, an icon."
"I think I know some of her songs."
"Holiday, Express Yourself, Vogue, Hollywood," Nola listed excitedly by rote. "We have the same birthday."
"Ah, August 16th?"
"Yes, she's a Leo too, and so is Bill Clinton. Look at her chatting with Chelsea. Chelsea's such a lovely, young woman. Stace said she had seen her several times at Stanford, and then once when she came back to visit at Oxford. Chelsea is two years older than Stacey."
"I know," Quinton smiled, taken by his wife's enthusiasm.
"And you were at Oxford around the same time with the President. It's not even close to six degrees of separation. It's more like parallel lives."
"Except for Monica Lewinsky," Quinton joked in hushed voice.
Nola lovingly poked Quint, "I sure hope not."
"Never, you're all I need and want," Quint reassuringly kissed his wife on the cheek.
The introductory speaker wrapped up and then presented Hillary Rodham Clinton, speaking about the status of the countries affected by the Tsunami. Next, Bill Clinton spoke about the fundraising efforts for the victims. One could hear a pin drop when he spoke. No one could deny his charisma and eloquence.
After the elaborate seven course meal was served, the guests hobnobbed again. Bill and Hillary Clinton were personally going up to thank each of the guests that had donated money to the relief efforts. While they waited for their chance to speak with the Clintons, Nola and Quint did a few spins around the dance floor. As Quinton was leading his wife from the dance floor, Nola felt a gentle tap on her shoulder. She turned, only to be face to face with Madonna.
"I'm sorry to bother you," Madonna politely apologized.
"Madonna," Nola stammered.
"Yes, but I prefer to be called Esther."
"Right, Kabbalah, Esther. My name is Nola Chamberlain."
"Hi Nola Chamberlain. I hate to be so forward, but I couldn't help, but notice you were pregnant," Madonna interrupted herself. "Please tell me that you're pregnant, and I have not just made a disastrous faux pas."
Nola rubbed her bump, "Oh, this is definitely a baby."
"Great, and I hope it isn't presumptuous to assume that we're about the same age?"
"Not at all, we have the same birthday, but I was born in '57 and you're in '58 . ." Nola stopped herself, embarrassed that she exposed herself as a fan.
"You must have a fabulous memory for detail. Anyway, I'm trying to have another baby with no success. I was wondering who your doctor was?"
Madonna attempted discretion, "No, your fertility specialist, I need to find one that can get me pregnant without a surrogate."
"Oh, I get it." Nola leaned over and whispered to her, "You're not going to believe it, but I didn't see a doctor." Nola motioned to Quint, "He's my baby maker, and I'm afraid I won't share him."
"Very nice," Madonna nodded, shooting a knowing look in Quinton's direction. "So this is your potent paramour?"
"He's my husband too," Nola happily added.
"I never assume," Madonna declared.
A little embarrassed, Quinton shot out his hand, "Quinton Chamberlain."
"Quinton's such a nice, strong name," Madonna commented. "Congratulations on the good work," she suggestively winked. "Congratulations to both of you. Sorry to bother you. Fabulous necklace, by the way." She briskly moved around the crowd back to relative seclusion with Chelsea.
"I can't believe that Madonna was talking to me," Nola beamed. "Did you see how good she looks?"
Quinton grasped Nola's hand, "Get ready for another thrill. Here come the Clintons, the secret service and their advisors."
Bill Clinton looked even more tall and handsome in person than he looked on television. When he introduced himself to Quinton and Nola, he firmly, yet welcomingly shook their hands and looked them squarely in the eyes. Hillary Clinton was elegantly dressed and coiffed. She carried herself with extreme confidence and poise. She articulated her words in an almost hypnotizing way. It was evident to anyone in their presence why they were both such hugely successful and brilliant individuals.
"Mr. and Mrs. Chamberlain, thank you so much for your extremely generous gift to the relief effort," Hillary Rodham Clinton shook their hands.
"President and Senator Clinton, it's an honor to be here. My wife and I have traveled and worked extensively in that part of the world, and it's a cause very close to our hearts."
"Yes, Mr. Chamberlain, we understand that you are quite a well-known archaeologist."
"I don't know about well-known, but I am an archaeologist. My wife and I work together."
Bill Clinton genuinely exclaimed, "That's wonderful. I understand that you were a student at Oxford around the time I was?"
Quinton nodded, "Yes, we may have crossed paths back then. I believe you were leaving when I was coming in. Also our eldest daughter is currently at Oxford and was at Stanford two years behind your daughter."
"That's quite a coincidence; isn't it Hillary?" President Clinton gregariously added. "I do have an interesting offer for you about an upcoming project in Borneo."
Quinton commented, "Borneo? We've never been there before."
"This is a project that few know about. Because the country is politically sensitive right now, we are handpicking various scientists to go over and study the vanishing indigenous people still living there."
"I would love to hear more about it, but I must tell you that I can not travel until January. My wife and I are expecting a baby."
"That's wonderful news," President Clinton proclaimed. "But actually, that timing works perfectly. We wouldn't need you to go for several months. We want to get all the appropriate people on board first and then take the next steps."
"It sounds exciting," Nola chimed in. "Once the baby is born, Quinton and I would love to go. We just renewed our wedding vows and were supposed to go on a honeymoon to the Seychelles Islands, until we found out about our little, late-in-life, surprise arrival," Nola patted her belly, "but my doctor said I shouldn't fly, so we're taking the train down to Florida instead."
The Clintons congratulated them on the vow renewal.
Hillary Clinton commented, "Praslin and La Digue are gorgeous. You must get there as soon as you can."
Nola continued,"We were planning on island hopping. We love to travel. We've spent a lot of time around Kuala Lumpur, but never made it to Borneo. I would really like to see the orangutans. And the nice warm weather . . ."
"You don't think it would be too much for you with a newborn?" Senator Clinton thoughtfully inquired.
Nola quickly responded, "Oh no, we live for new adventures. This would be perfect for us, and the baby will have to get used to traveling. And we'll have to get used to traveling again with a baby. Our grown children adapted to it fine the first time around. And a good nanny always helps"
"Aha, I see," Senator Clinton remarked with a delighted smile.
"Quite courageous of you to do another round of children," Bill Clinton affably remarked.
"We don't know about another round," Nola glanced up at Quinton who was enjoying his wife's endearing repartee. "We think just this one baby girl, and then I'm finished, for sure."
"You seem like a lovely couple, and you will be contacted once we have more specific information about the Borneo project." Bill Clinton warmly took Nola's hand. "Mr. and Mrs. Chamberlain, thank you again for such a generous donation. Best of luck with your new family member." The Clintons moved on to speak with other guests.
"Oh my God, Quinton, they're so impressive. And Borneo . . ."
"I'm intrigued to find out more. We haven't traveled like that in some time, although, it seems like odd timing."
"No, Quinton, it's perfect. It's just like when we went away to Tanquir with the babies. Now they're all grown up, and we'll go with Ava. She can learn English, and we can hire a Malaysian nanny there, so she can learn Malay at the same time. Remember how easily Stacey and AJ learned the languages of the countries we visited, while we struggled?"
"Of course I do. I hate to remind you, but we're almost twice the age we were then."
"That's okay; we'll have half the babies. It'll be perfect." Nola rambled on excitedly, "I'm terrible with the Asian languages, but I'll have plenty of time to work on it over the next few months, when the doctor won't let me leave my bed. So they speak Malay and probably Cantonese, Tamil . . ."
Quint kindly interrupted Nola's enthusiastic digressions,"Slow down, English is widely spoken there, and I'm sure they'll have a translator for us. Besides, what are you going to do? Learn all the various languages and dialects of the tribes there?"
"I'm sure going to try," Nola asserted. "Translators are for wimps, and speaking English in places like Borneo is lame. Oh, and we can scuba dive there. Borneo, here we come."
The gala progressed, as Nola and Quint made their way out to the terrace to take in some fresh air and get away from the crowd. It was a cooler night than most that time of year, and the wind off the lake could be particularly bracing. As they both admired the view of Lake Michigan, Quinton held Nola tightly in his arms.
"You know that you're really something," Quinton muttered in her ear.
"Why do you say that?"
"You just have a way of making everyone feel comfortable. People seem to be able to relax around you. It's a wonderful quality."
"That's a nice thing for you to say, but I guess I just like meeting and talking to new people."
"Well, the Clintons didn't know about Nola Chamberlain, they wanted to speak with Quinton Chamberlain, the well-known archaeologist and author. I'm so proud of you and proud to be your wife."
"I suppose I take that for granted. But your way with people has always impressed me."
"That's one of the reasons why we go so well together."
"We certainly do go well together," he nuzzled her ear and cheek. "Are you cold?"
"Not with you holding me."
"Nola, do you have any idea how happy I am right now?"
"I think so."
"Standing with you in the gazebo the other day, and reaffirming my commitment and love to you, and to our family, meant so much to me. I want everyone in the world to know how happy you've made me, and that there's nothing in the world I wouldn't do for you."
Nola took Quinton's hand and kissed it. "God, I love you so much. You've made me happier than I ever thought possible."
Content to just hold each other, they both gazed out at the view.
Quint broke the relaxed silence, "Are you looking forward to Florida?"
"I am. I can't wait to see the villa that you rented."
"I hope it's up to your standards, dear."
"If I know you, it'll be above and beyond. You always spoil me."
"That's my absolute pleasure."
"I wanted to ask you, and you can say no, but since we're going down there for a few weeks, I thought that maybe we could go down and visit with Kelly, or he and Victor could come and visit us?"
"Did I know that he lived in Florida?"
"I don't know. They have a beachfront condo in South Beach. Can we find some time to see them?"
"Of course, we can."
"Well, I know how you usually react about Kelly."
"I just like to tease you."
"They wanted to come to the wedding and were all set with the original date, but then Victor was working on a big case and couldn't get away. Victor's a big criminal defense attorney."
"Yes, I think I remember you telling me that. Whatever happened to Kelly's ex-wife, Morgan?"
"Last I heard, she was taking like her fourth rich husband to the cleaners in an ugly divorce. I know everyone blamed all that Kelly stuff on me, but she was not nearly as nice as everyone thought."
Quint fished, "So ever have any regrets that you married me and not Kelly?"
Nola turned around and glared at him in shock, "You're kidding, right?"
"Yes, I am, my love."
"You better be," Nola settled back into the warmth of her husband's arms. "It'll be nice, though, to see Kelly. You should've heard how excited he was when he heard about Ava. And he's been so supportive with all the Floyd dramas. He really wants us to meet Victor. Kelly said that Victor's a great cook and will fix us this delicious gourmet meal. He also mentioned that he and Victor were planning a commitment ceremony in a few months, and I'm pretty sure I won't be able to travel then, so I would feel better, if we could at least see them now."
"Then we shall," Quint affected a pirate accent, "but one false move toward my fair maiden, and I'll challenge the contemptuous interloper to a duel."
"Sure, Errol Flynn," Nola giggled in amusement. She affectionately snuggled in her husband's arms, as their attentions once again were drawn out to the magnificent view.
Nola sighed, "I'm glad that our Stacey is safe back in Oxford, but I'm going to miss her."
"Me too. It was nice having both the kids in the house."
"I doubt that will happen too much more. And I should be happy that AJ shows so much interest in the girl next door to make him stay in Springfield."
"Yes, I noticed them together. Her name is Charlotte?"
Quint snickered, "Well, I can certainly see why he would be attracted to her."
Nola playfully admonished her husband, "What's that supposed to mean?"
"Nola, I would have to be dead to not recognize that girl's charms."
Nola faked jealousy, "She's all right."
"But she can't hold a candle to you."
"You're so sweet and so full of it," Nola teased. "I'm happy AJ will be staying in Springfield, but I bet he wants to move out soon and get his own place."
"Once he gets a job, that would be a good thing for him," Quint remarked.
"I hope the job with Vanessa works out, but I don't know. Did you know anything about AJ's writing?
"A little, but he never showed me anything, so I never pressed him about it. You know how AJ gets defensive with me. I try not to push, and I pick my battles."
"I hate that he gives you such a hard time."
"Father and son relationships can be complicated. But we had a nice and open talk before the ceremony. I felt really good about it."
"That makes me feel better. I know how much you love him, and I'd love to see him let down that wall."
"I think it's already happening."
"Stace was telling me that he's a really talented writer. I'd love to see something he wrote and encourage him to do more."
"When he's ready, I'm sure he'll share it with you. Then please try to talk him into showing me."
"He reminded me so much of you these past few days." Nola sighed, "He seemed like a grown man. I even think he looks like you now."
"Funny, several people mentioned that to me this past week, but everyone always said he looked like you when he was younger."
"Hmmm, sometimes I just wish they were babies again. I can't believe the time went so fast."
Again, they both fell quiet in thoughtful contemplation, until Nola reacted with a jolt. "Oooh, speaking of our children."
"What's the matter?"
"I think I felt the baby move a little."
"You did? So early?"
"I guess by a fourth pregnancy you're more in tune with these things." Nola took Quint's hand, "If you put your hand right here, maybe she'll do it again."
They patiently waited a few moments, hoping to feel the quickening again.
"I felt it," Quint gasped. "That will never cease to amaze me."
They remained still, both of Quint's hands firmly planted on her tummy, anxiously waiting for their baby daughter to assert her existence again.
When it started getting too cold, they went back inside and met almost everyone at the fundraiser. It was an amazing event, and they later learned that several million had been raised for Tsunami Relief. Nola had a hard time winding down after the evening. Quinton gave his wife his special full body massage to help her relax and fall asleep. They were up early the next morning to catch the train down to Florida for their third (or fourth or fifth or . .) romantic honeymoon.
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