Thursday, September 29, 2011

Chapter 40

While they got Tori cleaned up, and the baby fed, Dorothea went to get Jon. They returned to find Richie taking pictures of the baby with his phone.

“Lord help us.” Jon groaned when he got a good look at his newest nephew.

“What’s wrong?” Tori frowned at him in concern.

“He looks even more like his old man than Stevie.”

“So? As far as I’m concerned that’s a good thing.”

Jon shrugged and grimaced. “No accounting for some people’s taste I guess.”

Richie flipped him off. “Don’t listen to your Uncle Jon, Zack, he’s just jealous of our dark good looks.”

“Pfft.” Jon snorted scornfully and would have retorted, but the looks he was getting from his wife and his sister warned him that whatever short term pleasure that would give him wouldn’t be worth the long term pain they would make him endure. He sighed and moved to the side of the bed to kiss the new mother. “How’re you feeling?”

“Tired and starving.”

That statement snapped Richie’s head up to look at his wife with a knowing smile. “Big Mac, fries and a chocolate milkshake?” Her usual post-partem meal request.

“Mmmmm. Who do I have to kill to get it?”

Richie chuckled and leaned down. “No one. It’s only going to cost you a kiss.”

“Okay, I guess it’s worth that much.” Blue eyes twinkled as she leaned up to press her lips to his. “Hurry please.”

“Yes dear.”

After Richie left, Tori turned to her brother. “Did you call your mother?”

“Yeah. And yours and Joan. Just to tell them you were in labour. I figured you’d want to call them yourself to tell them about their new grandson.”

“Thanks. I’ll call them after I eat.”

The door opened and the nurse walked in. There was something vaguely familiar about the big chested blonde, but Tori couldn’t quite put her finger on it. She was pretty sure she’d never seen her before, but she reminded her of someone.

“I’m going off shift and just wanted to see how everyone was doing and if you needed anything.” She glanced around, her gaze pausing briefly on Jon before quickly continuing on. “Daddy’s not here?”

“No, he went to get me something to eat.” Tori answered, noting the disappointment colouring the nurse’s voice.

“Oh.” Her glance fell on the baby in Dorothea’s arms. “How’s the little man doing?”

“Good. He hasn’t woken up yet.”

“Do you need anything?”

“No, we’re good thanks.”

“Okay, well, I’ll see you tomorrow. Have a good night.”

“Thanks, you too.”

When the door closed behind her, Jon looked at Tori and crooked a brow. Tori grimaced. “I think she’s a fan.”

“A Richie girl?” Jon guessed since she didn’t seem all that interested in him. If she was a fan it would explain why he thought there was something familiar about her – he’d probably seen her at a few shows.

“I think so.”

Dr. Crandall stopped in on her way home. “Everybody doing okay?” She glanced around. “Richie take off?”

Chuckling, Tori shook her head. “He went to get me something to eat – something with more flavour than hospital food.”

“Don’t blame you there. How’s little Zachary doing? Has he eaten again?”

“No, just the once. I’m hoping that means he’s got his father’s temperament.” At the surprised looks directed her way, she grimaced. “One with the Bongiovi temper is enough.”

“I hear you!” Dorothea agreed.

Jon frowned, but wisely kept silent.

Dr. Crandall chuckled and patted Tori’s shoulder. “Well, barring any complications overnight, you’ll be able to go home tomorrow. My nurse will call you with your next appointment. If you have any questions or need anything before then, give me a call.”

“Thanks, I will.”

When Richie returned with enough food for all of them, it was all she could do not to inhale it.

“Slow down angel. Chew your food.” Richie advised. When she wrinkled her nose at him he just grinned and reached to take the baby from Dorothea. “So, I called all the mothers and Charlie. I sent them pictures and told them you’d call them tomorrow, after you got some rest.”

“Thanks honey.”  She yawned around the straw.

Jon and Dorothea exchanged a look and stood. “We’re going to head back to your place and let you get some rest.” Jon turned to Richie. “We’ll take a cab and leave the Hummer here for you.”

“Ok.” Tori smiled tiredly. “Thanks for being here.”

“Wouldn’t be anywhere else.” Jon assured her as he bent to kiss her cheek. “Congratulations again. We’ll see you tomorrow.”


After they left, the baby decided it was his dinner time too. Tori fed him, handed him back to his father and was about to settle in for a nap when the door flew open.

“Mama! Daddy!” Stevie ran into the room and skidded to a halt in front of his father. He peered in curiosity at the baby. “Who dat?”

“This is your little brother. His name is Zachary.” Richie introduced them, shifting the baby so that Stevie could see his face.

Ava entered the room with Lauren, Heather trailing behind.

“Ava wanted to come see you and the baby, so I swung by and picked up the other two. I hope that’s alright.”

“That’s great Heather, thanks.” Tori assured her.

Lauren looked from her father to the baby and back again, a frown creasing her small brow.

Stevie reached out to touch the tiny cheek with one finger. “Hi Zackry.”  When he didn’t get a response, he turned to climb on the bed and give his mother a hug. “Hi Mama.”

“Hi Peanut.” Tori hugged him back.

Ava set Lauren down and held out her hands. “Can I hold him?”

When Richie handed the baby over, Lauren immediately began to climb into his lap, squealing until he picked her up. Having gained the position she wanted, she leaned against her father’s chest and shot the baby a smug, triumphant look.

The adults exchanged glances and smiled, although inwardly Tori groaned at the thought of refereeing three kids.

“He’s beautiful.” Heather commented, gazing at the baby in Ava’s arms. “Congratulations.”

“Thank you.”

“He looks just like Dad.” Ava noted.

“Yeah.” Tori agreed.

“Me?” Stevie was confused.

Tori smiled. “Yes, you look like Daddy, and so does Zachary. So I guess that means Zachary looks like you.”

“Except the eyes.” Richie reminded them. “You got Mommy’s eyes. I don’t think Zachary did.”

“Dark side won?” Ava grinned.

“I think so.” Richie grinned back and puffed out his chest.

Tori and Heather looked at each other and rolled their eyes.

“When you tomin home Mama?” Stevie brought her attention back to him.

“Tomorrow. And Daddy’s going to stay here with me tonight. Uncle Jon and Aunt Dot are staying with you and Sweetpea.”

“Oh, okay.” 

When it was time for them to leave, Lauren threw a bit of a fit at being taken away from her father.

“Hey hey Sweetpea.” He admonished her. “You be a good girl and I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Thanks again for bringing them Heather.” Tori hugged them all.

“No problem.” Heather assured her.

When the door closed behind them, Richie looked at his wife, leaned over and kissed her. “Get some sleep angel. You’ve had a tiring day.”

She snorted at his understatement, but followed his suggestion.

The next morning the nurse came in, her face lighting up when she saw Richie sprawled in the chair beside Tori’s bed, the baby in his arms.

“Good morning! How did everyone sleep?”

After a peaceful, bonding night, just the three of them, Tori was feeling happy and generous, and nodded at Richie to answer.

“Not too bad, actually.” He stood, handed the baby to Tori and stretched. “He slept three to four hours at a time.”

“If you’re ready, I’ll show you where you can bathe him.” The nurse shot a fleeting glance at Tori, her attention focussed on Richie.

Taking back the baby, Richie used his free arm to help Tori rise from the bed. She dug a few items out of her suitcase, took his arm and followed the nurse.

By now they had the routine down pat and worked together like a well oiled machine. Tori bathed the baby and Richie diapered and dressed him in the new yellow sleeper Tori handed him.

“So you’re a hands on father.” The nurse commented with an approving smile.

“As much as I can.”

Back in the room, Tori got dressed and they sat and waited for the word that she and the baby had been discharged. When it came, Richie stood and picked up her suitcase.

“I’ll go get the car and bring up the car seat.”


Richie had been gone about five minutes when the nurse came back in with the discharge papers.

“So you’re all set to go home. Is there anything you need?”

“Just my husband to hurry up before I have an accident.” Tori crossed her legs and grimaced.

Realizing what she meant, the nurse laughed and nodded towards the bathroom. “You can go ahead, I’ll stay here with the baby until either you’re finished or Daddy gets back.”

“Thanks.” Tori gratefully stood and rushed into the bathroom.

When she returned she found the room – and the bassinet –empty.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Chapter 39

Tori turned and smiled wryly at her very perceptive sister-in-law. “About an hour ago.”

“Let me know when you’re ready to tell the men.”

That plan worked until lunch. She fed Lauren, but stuck to juice and water for herself. Jon was oblivious, but Richie noticed she wasn’t eating. Even then she probably could have made some excuse, but right in the middle of a sentence a strong contraction hit and she winced and had to stop talking for a moment.

“Are you in labour?” Richie frowned at her.

Tori sighed, but wouldn’t lie to him. “Yes.” When he shoved back from the table, she held up a restraining hand. “Relax. It’s hardly started. Sit down and finish your lunch.”

“But we should get your suitcase and get ready to go to the hospital.”

“Honey, there’s no rush. I’ve called Dr. Crandall to let her know it’s started, but that was the first strong one. They’re not anywhere near being regular. We’ve got a long way to go yet.”

Richie moved to her side and knelt, taking her hands in his. “What do you need?” He hadn’t been around for this part for either Peanut or Sweetpea, and wasn’t sure what she needed him to do.

Tori smiled and squeezed his hands. “Right now, I just need you to stay calm and relax. Go write with Jon or something. I’ll let you know when you can help me.”

Not liking it, but not having an alternative, Richie stood and kissed her gently. “See that you do.”

For the next few hours, Tori sat in the living room with Dorothea, reading to her children or watching them play, Taffy by her side.  The slight stiffening of her spine and pause in her reading were the only signs of the spasms gripping her body.  About every ten minutes Richie would come in to check on her.

“Doing okay angel? Need anything?”

“I’m okay honey.” When he turned to go back to the studio, Tori looked at her sister-in-law and rolled her eyes. His concern was appreciated, but he was going to drive her nuts if he didn’t calm down.  However, she did understand that he felt helpless and was looking for something to do, so she held her tongue.

Dorothea put the kids down for a nap and returned to find Tori standing looking out at the back yard, pulling on a jacket.

“I need to walk.”

“Do you need me to go with you?”

“No.” Tori shook her head. “I just need to move around and get some fresh air.” Taffy whined when she opened the door. “Okay, you can come with me.”

When Richie came in for his next check, he found Dorothea alone in the living room. “Where is she?”

Dorothea pointed out the window to where Tori and Taffy could be seen wandering around the pool, stopping periodically when the contractions hit.

“Should she be alone?” He frowned. “What if she falls or....something?”

“I’m watching her and timing the contractions. The last one was ten minutes, but they’re not real regular yet.” At that moment, Tori stumbled, bent over and grabbed a nearby chair. Dorothea glanced at her watch and studied her sister-in-law for a moment before waving him towards his wife. “Okay, go walk with her. She needs help now.”

Richie didn’t need any further encouragement. He was out the door like a shot and by his wife’s side in an instant, his arm sliding around her waist to help support her. “Do you want to sit down or keep walking?”

“Keep walking.” Tori blew out a breath and gripped his free hand. “This reminds me of the hospital after my surgery.” She smiled. “Seems like a lifetime ago. If anyone had told me then that five years later we’d be married and expecting child number four, I would have said they were dreaming.” She looked up at him. “I’m not am I?”

Before he could reassure her, another contraction gripped her body and she stopped, grimaced and breathed through it. When the spasm passed, she resumed her perambulations. “Nevermind.”

Richie laughed and gave her a squeeze. “It’s been a hell of a ride hasn’t it? I’m just glad the roller coaster has calmed down to more normal, manageable ups and downs.”

“Yeah. I just hope it stays that way.” Tori stopped again and gasped. “Oh!”

“What’s the matter?”

“My water just broke.”

He took a deep breath and prayed he’d get the answer he was looking for. “Now is it time to go to the hospital?”   

“Yes, but I need to change my clothes first.”

“Can you walk or do you want me to carry you?”

“I can walk...but I might need some help up the stairs.”

“Why don’t you just tell me what you want and I’ll go get it.”

“Okay, that might be the better way.”

Dressed in clean clothes, Tori let Richie help her into the Hummer. Jon and Dorothea climbed into the back and they headed for the hospital. Glancing at his wife, Richie saw her tapping on her phone.

“What are you doing?”

“Texting Bean and Karin to tell them what’s happening.” Cathy and Rosa were staying with the little ones. Her hands clenched and she grimaced.

“Breathe through it angel. We’re almost there.”

At the hospital they had barely gotten Tori settled in her room before Dr. Crandall appeared.

“So, is everyone holding up okay?” Seeing nods all around she took a seat at the end of the bed. “Okay Tori, let’s have a look and see where we’re at.”

“That’s my cue to leave.” Jon started for the door. “I’ll go call the mothers.”

“Everything’s progressing well.” Dr. Crandall sat back and pulled the sheet down over Tori’s legs. “Is there anyone you’re waiting for this time?”

“No.” Tori chuckled. “Everyone I need is here.” She squeezed Richie’s hand. He bent over and kissed her.

“So, there won’t be any fighting me or the process?”

“No fighting. I promise.” She could barely get out the last word before another contraction hit.

“Breathe with me angel.” Richie switched into coaching mode.

“Good.” Dr. Crandall smiled at him in approval. “I’ll be back to check on you in a bit.”

For the next couple hours Richie and Dot took turns rubbing Tori’s back, feeding her ice chips, coaching her through the ever intensifying contractions and walking around with her – whatever she needed.

Finally, Dr. Crandall was satisfied. “Okay Tori, time to push.”

“Thank God!”

Richie helped brace his wife and took a deep breath. “Okay angel, here we go.”

Twenty minutes later, the baby was born and Richie wondered if his hand would ever be the same.

“It’s a boy!” Dr. Crandall announced as she set him on his mother’s stomach.

Both parents smiled and wiped sweat from their eyes to see their new son.

“Thank you angel.” Richie kissed her deeply. “I love you.”

“I love you too.”

Richie cut the cord and a nurse whisked the baby away to clean him up and check him over. When she brought him back she handed him to Richie with a big smile. “He’s definitely your son.”

It only took a glance to see what she meant. He was a tiny replica of his father, right down to the full bottom lip, cleft in the chin....and eyes that gave every indication that the dark side had won again.

“He’s beautiful.” Dorothea gave both parents a hug and a kiss. “Congratulations.”

“Does mini me have a name?” Dr. Crandall asked.

Tori and Richie exchanged a glance. “Zachary William John Sambora.”

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Chapter 38

A few days later, Tori was sitting on the couch going over her Christmas lists. She’d been trying to get her shopping all done since she wouldn’t have time once the baby came. The few things that were left she was putting on a list for Richie to pick up when the security system signalled the gate opening. “Expecting someone?”

“Nope.” Richie answered as he stood up. “You?”


“Hey man.” Richie greeted the man on the doorstep. “Are you lost?”

Jon snorted. “I must be to be here in La La Land.”

“Oh stop.” Dorothea pushed her husband out of the way. “Hi Rich.”

“Hi Dot.” He leaned down to kiss her cheek. “Come on in. Tori’s in the living room.”

“Hey!” Tori struggled to stand up to hug her sister-in-law. “This is a surprise.”

When Jon stepped forward to hug his sister, he heard a low growl rumbling around his shins. He froze and looked down to see a golden retriever glaring at him, teeth slightly bared. “Umm...hello?”

“Taffy no. Jon’s a friend...sort of.” Tori bent to stroke the silky head and clamped a hand around the dog’s muzzle. “Friend. Stop it.” As the growl subsided, she straightened and stepped forward to greet her brother. “Sorry about that.”

Jon gave her a careful squeeze and kissed her cheek. “No problem.” He crouched down and held his hand out. “So this is Taffy. Hi girl. Are you on guard duty?”

Tori smiled wryly. “Seems the bigger I get the more protective she gets.”

“She must sense your condition.” Dorothea observed. “I’ve heard some dogs are like that.”

“It’s funny though. She only growls at men.” Tori shrugged. “Where are the kids?”

“At home. I thought you might need us more than they do right now.” Dorothea explained giving Tori’s stomach an assessing look. “You’ve dropped.”

“Yeah, a little. Dr. Crandall said everything’s on track and I could go at anytime.”

Dorothea shot Jon a smug look. “Then we came just in time.”

Jon rolled his eyes and turned to Richie. “I brought my guitar. Thought we might get some writing done while we’re here.”

“Good. I’ve got a couple ideas.”

With that the men left to bring in the luggage, then disappeared into the studio.

The women sat in the living room with a cup of tea and a snack.

“Where are your little ones?”

“Napping.” Tori checked her watch. “Probably not for much longer.”

No sooner were the words out of her mouth, than Lauren’s voice came yelling through the monitor. Stevie followed. “Mama! ‘Oren ‘wake!”

“I hear you.” As Tori started to stand up, Cathy passed through the room.

“I’m going upstairs. I’ll get them. You sit and relax.”

“Thanks Cathy.” Tori sank back onto the couch.

A few minutes later, Stevie came running into the living room. His face lit up when he saw his aunt. “Tant Dot!”

“Hi Peanut!” Dorothea picked him up and hugged him. “How are you?”

“I good. Mama gonna have the baby soon.”

“I know! Isn’t that exciting?”

Dark brows drew into a small frown. He looked over at his sister and shrugged.

Taffy came running into the room, Elmo once again in her mouth.

“What’s that?” Dorothea looked closer. “Uh oh. Lauren’s going to be mad.”

“It’s a running battle.” Tori smiled. “Watch, Lauren will come in after her.”

Sure enough a minute or so later, the toddler came in nattering angrily at the dog. Snatching Elmo back, she smiled and went to her aunt, her arms held up commandingly.

Dorothea picked her up for a hug. “Hi Sweetpea. I see you got Elmo back.”

Lauren grinned and nodded.

Stevie had been looking around, and now he frowned at his aunt and mother. “Where Tunca Jon?”

“In the studio with Daddy.” His mother answered.

At that, Lauren wiggled her way back to the floor and took off down the hallway. Stevie hopped off the couch and followed.

“Don’t knock her over Peanut!” Tori warned just in time. Stevie had been about to push his sister out of the way, but at his mother’s words, he slowed down and eased by her.

Tori sighed. “I must be crazy to have another one.”

“Or just crazy in love with your husband.” Dot argued. “Children are often a result of that. Look at me, I have four!”

“Well, at least I don’t have to worry about it happening again.”

Dot lifted a speculative brow. “He did it?”

Tori nodded. “Yep.  Didn’t even tell me he was going to. Just did it.”

“Good for him! Now you can have the fun without the worry.”

“Speaking from experience?”

“Yep!” Dot grinned and raised her teacup. “And the best part? We didn’t have to go under the knife!”

Tori raised hers and clinked them together. “Hear, hear!”

The next day, Tori was putting laundry away in their dressing room, when she heard the bathroom door open.  Stepping to the doorway, she watched as Jon and Richie emerged, carrying guitars. Richie saw her and opened his mouth to explain. “We were just...”

She held up a hand to stop him. “I really don’t want to know.”

A little while later, Dorothea found Tori in the nursery, washing windows. “So you moved Lauren instead of making up another room into the nursery?”

“Yeah. I like the location of this room best for a baby.” She moved to the dresser and change table, checking their contents.  “And she’s happy with her new Elmo room. It’s a new crib though. I thought we were disrupting Lauren enough without adding a new bed to it. Richie was thrilled when he found out he had to put together another one. He had so much fun with the first one.”

“How many tries did it take?”

“Three. And I had to make sure I kept Peanut away so that he didn’t learn any new words.”

“Where are Richie and Jon anyway? I haven’t seen them for awhile.”

“Last time I saw them they were coming out of our bathroom.”

Dot frowned in confusion. “Both of them? What were they....nevermind. I really don’t want to know.”

“That’s what I said.” Tori shook her head and adjusted the mobile above the crib.

Joining her husband in bed that night, Dorothea warned him. “I think the baby’s about ready to  be born.”

“Why do you say that?” Jon didn’t doubt his wife’s instincts, but he was curious.

“Tori’s nesting.”

“Is that why she’s cleaning everything in sight?” He’d seen Dorothea do the same thing, but never realized what it symbolized.


The next morning after breakfast, the guys had disappeared once again....either into the studio or bathroom, neither of their wives wanted to ask....and Dorothea and Tori were in the living room with Stevie, Lauren and Taffy. The women were sitting on the couch, children and dog were on the floor playing with building blocks.  Well, the kids were building, the dog was more into demolition.

Tori stood up and wandered over to look out the wall of windows into the back yard, one hand pressing on her back.

Dorothea watched her intently for a minute. “When did it start?”

Monday, September 19, 2011

Chapter 37

A few days later, Tori watched in horror as Richie hobbled into the living room, Todd behind him.
“What the hell? Richie! Are you hurt? What happened?”

“I’m not hurt. Well, nothing that a couple days won’t cure.” Richie assured her as he lowered himself gingerly onto the couch.

“What did you do? Do we need to take you to a doctor?”

“I just came from the doctor.”

“RICHIE! What happened?” Frustrated, she looked at Todd. “Do you know what happened?”

“Yes.” Todd answered, but didn’t elaborate. Instead he handed her the bag he was carrying. “Here’s the supplies he’ll need.

Inside the bag was several packages of gauze, a tube of antibiotic ointment, Tylenol.....and a jockstrap.

“Oh, and here’s the doctor’s care instructions.” Todd added as he handed over a sheet of paper.

It was all Tori could do to tear her attention away from her husband, who was obviously in pain. Focussing on the page, she read the instructions, then glanced at the top to see what doctor it was from. Frowning, she stared at Richie. “A urologist? Why did you go to a urologist?”

“Why do you think?”

Her eyes widened. “You had a vasectomy?”

“And that’s my cue to leave.” Todd shuddered. “Let me know if you need anything.”

“Yeah. Thanks again man.” Richie reached up to shake his hand.

“No problem.”

Tori walked Todd to the door and saw him out, then returned to the living room in search of some answers. “You had a vasectomy?”

“Why do you sound so surprised? It’s what you wanted, right?”

“Well, yes, but I didn’t expect you to go alone. I would have gone with you.”

Richie shrugged. “I figured this way it’s done and you still have the time to help me with that,” he nodded towards the bag in her hand, “and I’ll be healed before the baby comes. And it’s not like a week’s abstinence will interfere with anything at this point anyway.”

Tori wrinkled her nose at him, but didn’t argue the point. “Makes sense I guess, but I still feel bad that you went alone.” Seeing him wince when he shifted position, she frowned. “Is the pain bad? What do you need?”

“Some ice would help and some water to take a couple Tylenol if you wouldn’t mind.”

“Sure. Do I need to check your bandages?”

 “Not ‘til later.”

Tori considered him for a moment. “But maybe sweats instead of jeans?”

“Yeah, that might be good.”

She looked down at the dog curled at their feet. “What are we going to do with you?”

“Rosa’s grandson’s going to come and walk her.”

“Oh. Good.”

Tori helped him change and got him settled with painkillers and an ice pack just in time for the kids to wake up from their nap. And of course they wanted their father’s attention. She set them on the couch beside him, and handed him some books.

He smiled, not sure why he was surprised at her understanding and quick solution to the problem. He should be used to it by now. “Thanks angel.”

Returning from putting the kids to bed, Tori brought him a fresh ice pack and curled up beside him, resting her head on his shoulder. “How’re you doing?”

“I’m okay.”

“I’m sorry you’re hurting, but thank you for this.”

“This is nothing compared to what you go through. After all you do for me, it’s the least I can do.”

“I love you.”

“I love you too angel.” He bent his head to kiss her gently.

When they were ready to go to bed, Tori helped him up the stairs then waited expectantly beside the bed. “Okay, drop ‘em and let’s have a look.”

Richie removed his clothing and carefully laid down on the bed. “Be gentle angel.”

“Aren’t I always?” Bending over, she carefully removed the bandages. “Wouldn’t want to damage my favourite toy.” Leaning closer she inspected the incisions. “Looks pretty good.” She reached for the tube of antibiotic ointment and fresh gauze.

“Um...angel.” Richie tensed at her touch.

She glanced up at him in concern. “Does that hurt?”

“Hurt? No, your touch has never hurt me.”

Something in his tone clued her in and she snorted. “Focus on the pain or think of icebergs or rotting corpses or something. I’ll be as quick as I can.” She applied fresh ointment and gauze and patted him lightly. “There, all done.” Completing her own bedtime routine, she climbed in beside him and arranged Bernie on her other side. “Comfortable?”

“I’m good.”

Tori leaned over to kiss him. “You’re more than good, you’re great!”

He snorted. “Just don’t start calling me Tony.”

“Nite tiger. Wake me if you need anything. Love you.”

“Love you too. Nite angel.”

The care and attention Richie got from his wife over the next few days almost made the procedure worth it. She waited on him so he didn’t have to lift anything heavier than a fork, including the kids. She found activities to entertain them and have their ‘Daddy time’ without them crawling all over him and causing injury. All in all, the pain wasn’t that bad and faded after a few days.

A week later Tori awoke to find a healthy feeling erection prodding her ass. She’d done some research and knew he should be healed, but his system needed to be flushed in order to achieve the desired result from the procedure. While her body felt too heavy and tired to accommodate him, there was more than one way to skin this cat. Leaning over Bernie she rooted in the drawer of her bedside table until she found what she was looking for.

A gentle nudge was all it took to get him to roll onto his back. He didn’t even wake up. But that changed at the first touch of her fingers. His eyes flew open and he lifted his head but with her head resting on his stomach he couldn’t see what she was doing. “Angel.....what are you doing?”

She lifted her head to look at him, but didn’t stop stroking lightly. “Does that hurt?”

“No, but...why are you doing it?” He had a feeling it wasn’t for the reason his body hoped.

“The literature says your system needs to be flushed several times to get the desired results.” She smirked. “I thought this would be a good way to flush it. Do you want me to stop?”

“Not on my account.” He waved a hand. “Flush away.”

“Let me know if you feel any pain.”

“Mmmmm.” Lying back, he closed his eyes and focused on enjoying his wife’s ministrations. The touch of something soft on his recently abused scrotum jerked him back to full awareness. “What’s that?”

Tori held up her hand showing him the fur glove that he’d used on her in Boston. “I thought this might be easier on you for the next little while. Does it hurt?”

“No. It feels good.” Chocolate eyes became almost black. “Do you know what would feel even better?”

“Let me guess.” Bending, she took him into her mouth.

“Yeah. That’s it.”

Her bare hand pumped up and down his shaft in a twisting motion while she gently sucked first one ball then the other.


Smiling at his deep moan, she released him, shifting her attention to his shaft, tracing the entire length with the flat of her tongue, from base to throbbing tip. The edge below the head drew her tongue next. She ran the tip around and around before finally opening her mouth wide and taking him in. Savouring his taste, she swallowed him deep, then released him only to swallow him again. “Mmmm.”

The vibration of her hum rippled up and down his length. “Jesus!” His back arched, his breathing became laboured, sweat broke out on his upper lip and along his spine. Long fingers buried in her curls – not to guide her, but rather to anchor himself in the sea of sensation swirling through his body. He knew he wouldn’t last much longer.

Fur covered hand cupping his aching sac, she massaged gently and started to suck....and he almost came out of his skin. She knew just where to touch him and how, and enjoyed using that knowledge. Lucky for him, she wasn’t looking to torture him....this time. She increased the strength and speed of her suction, pushing him steadily, inexorably, towards eruption.

“Fuck angel!” His fingers tightened in her hair, holding her still as he pushed deeper and exploded.

When he was drained, Tori released him and laid down beside him, her head resting on his shoulder, fur covered hand on his chest.

Richie blew out a shaky breath and hugged her close. Lifting her hand, he stroked her palm with his thumb. “This was one of the best purchases I’ve ever made.”

“Mmmm. A very....useful...accessory.” She agreed. “Maybe next time we’ll try that warming lube....or maybe the rabbit.”

He shuddered at the thought. “You know, for an angel, you have a very devilish mind.”

Tori chuckled and leaned up to touch her lips to his. “What can I say? You’ve corrupted me.”

“I’ll happily take responsibility for that.” Cupping the back of her head, he urged closer and captured her mouth with his. The baby kicked him and they broke the kiss. He set his hand on Tori’s stomach and smiled. “Yes Chickpea, I’ll take responsibility for you too, although I had some help from Mommy.”

Tori sighed and laid her head back down on his shoulder. “I wish you could help finish the process.”

Richie squeezed her and kissed her forehead. “I wish I could too. But I’ll be right beside you and I’ll do whatever I can.”

“I know. And knowing that I can depend on you to be there helps more than I can say.”

He rubbed her back. “Anytime, anyway, anything you need angel.”

“Well right now, I’d love to go back to sleep, but since that’s not going to happen, I’ll settle for some breakfast.”

“You got it.”  With one more kiss, he rose from the bed relaxed and content after such a pleasurable start to the day.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Chapter 36

Richie exited the store to find yet another flier on his windshield.

It’s almost Thanksgiving. Time to take stock of your life. Is something missing? The one who will make your life complete is waiting for you. All you have to do is take that first step.

He didn’t need to be reminded that it was Thanksgiving. The list of errands his wife had given him was reminder enough. Once again she insisted on having a big family dinner, even though she could go into labour at any time. No matter how much everyone tried to talk her out of it, she refused to even consider the idea of someone else hosting it this year. Damn Bongiovi stubbornness! At least Gail, Todd and Kate were joining them and Gail promised to come early and help Tori – whether she wanted the help or not.

As for the one who made his life complete waiting for him....he already knew that. And if he didn’t move it and get his ass home, she’d have his balls for dinner. The last week or so her hormone rollercoaster had had more ups and downs than an express elevator – and changed direction faster.

It was going to be a long few weeks.

The start of Thanksgiving Day didn’t bode well either.

“Dammit Richie! This isn’t a hotel and I’m not your maid! Will you please stop leaving your wet towels on the floor!” Tori waddled into the dressing room.

“Sorry angel.”

“I have enough to do today without having to pick up after you too!”

Pulling on a shirt, he closed his eyes and prayed for patience. “I know. I’m sorry.”

He watched in silence while she tried on and discarded several outfits.

“Ugh! Nothing looks decent anymore!” Tori pitched a shirt across the room.

Gathering his courage, he bit the bullet. “Angel, what’s the matter?”

“I’m tired and fat....and I’m tired of being fat!”

“Oh honey.” He stepped up behind her, wrapping her in his arms. “You’re not fat. You’re beautiful.”

But she wasn’t having any of it and pushed him away. “Don’t touch me! That’s how I got in this condition in the first place!”

That snapped his patience. “Don’t get pissy with the rest of us because you insisted on having everyone for dinner. You didn’t have to put all this work on yourself. That was your choice! Everyone tried to talk you out of it and point out that it was too much for you in your condition, but you wouldn’t listen. So you and your hormones will just have to suck it up and deal!”

Stunned, Tori watched him stride from the room. A few seconds later he was back wet towels in hand which he threw in the hamper. “Happy?”

Taking a deep breath, she blew it out. Pull it together Tori. He’s right. Gotta suck it up and deal.

Downstairs, Richie walked into the kitchen to find his mother and Ava already elbow deep in dinner preparations, Taffy eating her breakfast. “Happy Thanksgiving.”

“Happy Thanksgiving Dad. Coffee’s ready.”

“Thanks sweetie.”

Joan studied his face. “Rough morning already?”

“I’m married to a Bongiovi who’s eight and a half months pregnant and insisted on hosting a full on family dinner even though she doesn’t have the energy to do the work. What would make you think it’s a rough morning?” At her look he sighed. “Sorry.”

“Hormonal temper tantrum?” Joan guessed.

“T-Mom or Dad?”Ava smirked.

“Brat.” He sipped his coffee. “Little ones still sleeping?”


“Come on Taffy. Let’s go for a walk before the bear comes downstairs.” He reached for the leash, careful not to trip over the dog dancing around his feet.

“Richie!” Joan admonished him. “Better make it a long walk. Don’t come back until you’re in a better mood.”

My mood isn’t the problem.” He grumbled as he and Taffy headed for the door.

“I hope this baby comes soon.” Joan commented.


“Because I think your Dad’s had enough of dealing with pregnancy hormones and Tori’s had enough of being pregnant.”

While Richie walked around the neighbourhood, his temper cooled and he felt a little guilty for snapping at his wife. He knew she was tired and that pregnancy was hard on her, this one especially so, coming so close after Lauren’s. But he was tired of having to walk on egg shells around her and not knowing what her mood was going to be like from one minute to the rest. Her ‘don’t touch me’ comment today was the icing on the cake. It was also redundant. She’d made it very clear over the last week and a half that she had no interest whatsoever in lovemaking. She preferred cuddling with Bernie than him. He understood. At this stage she was uncomfortable and just wanted the baby out. But she’d never pushed him away and denied him closeness before.

He sighed. Maybe it was just as well that this one be the last. He wasn’t sure either one of them could go through this again. They’d have four beautiful children and God knew they would keep them busy. That was enough. He wanted his wife back – without the hormones.

When Tori entered the kitchen with Stevie and Lauren and saw what Joan and Ava had already done, her eyes filled with tears. “Thank you.”

“Sit down and eat. Everything’s under control.” Joan assured her.

“Where’s Richie?”

“He took Taffy for a walk.”

Tori nodded and set about feeding her children and herself. When Taffy ran in, signalling their return, she rose to meet her husband in the foyer. “Hi.”


Their eyes locked and at the wetness and regret shining in the sapphire depths, Richie sighed and opened his arms. Tori flowed into them, her own wrapping around his waist and holding tight. “I’m sorry.”

“I know.” He squeezed her. “It’s okay. It’s only a few more weeks. We’ll get through this.”

Early afternoon brought the arrival of Gail, Todd and Kate. Everyone was happy to see them...except Taffy. When Todd approached Tori to give her a hug hello, he found his way blocked by a growling canine.

“Taffy no!” Tori scolded her. “Todd’s a friend, remember. Friend.”

Todd crouched down to pet Taffy and let her smell him. “Hi girl. It’s just me. Quite the guard dog aren’t you?”

“Seems to be, the closer it gets to the baby coming.” Tori smiled. “She’s my fierce protector.”

“Then what’s Richie’s job?”

“Errand boy and body servant.” Richie replied dryly.

“Don’t forget dog walker.” Tori added.

Gail laughed. “You don’t sound too upset with your job Rich.”

“Are you kidding? I live to serve that body.”

“Richie!” Tori scolded him.

“Well it’s true angel and you know it. The evidence is right in front of you.”

“Literally.” Tori rubbed her belly. Richie just grinned and waggled his eyebrows.

“Why don’t you men go find something useful to do while we finish dinner preparations?” Gail urged.

“That means they want to talk about us.” Todd advised his host as they watched their wives disappear into the kitchen and the teenagers up the stairs to Ava’s room.

“That’s okay, I have something I want to talk to you about too. I need a favour.”

“Sure. Whatever you need.”

With everyone’s help, dinner went smoothly, and no one walked away from the table hungry. In fact, most could barely walk away. Groans and popping buttons echoed around the living room as everyone settled in to watch TV in a post turkey stupor. Tori couldn’t wish for anything better.