What do you think we should call him?’
Isla turned to look at the opposite side of her bed where Dominic and Claire had been monitoring her stats, her eyes filling with tears. There, standing before her with the proudest look she’d seen on any man’s face, was Zach cradling their baby boy in his arms. He was tiny. So small. His eyes were closed tight, his little fists just visible above the blue swaddling, a thick swatch of pitch-black hair making a clear statement as to who his father was.
A warm heat filled Isla’s chest.
Zach had stayed. He had chosen to stay.
‘Got anything in mind, love?’ Zach ran a thumb against his son’s cheek, bringing another rush of tears to Isla’s eyes.
Another, more pointed wash of sensation rushed to her belly.
‘I don’t know, but I think we’re going to have two choices on our hands in a minute!’
‘Less than a minute,’ Robyn riposted. ‘I’m already seeing a curly-strawberry-blonde boy on his way.’
Isla’s eyes flicked between her newborn son and Zach as she bore down, teeth clenched, knowing she had the strength to do anything in the world now that they were a family.
‘…aaaaand here’s little Isla in male form!’ Robyn beamed, holding up a son already in full voice. ‘Let’s get this little guy cleaned up and then…’ she paused, eyes connecting with Isla’s ’…perhaps some alone time for the happy parents?’
She threw Isla and Zach an apologetic look. ‘We’ll give you a few minutes, but because the boys are preemies, we might need to keep them in for a few days of observation.’
‘But they’re okay?’ Isla could barely mouth the words as Zach just looked between his son and the one Robyn now held in her hands.
‘They both look like little fighters. But let’s make sure they’ve got every advantage, shall we?’
As one the new parents nodded before the room, once again, swept into action.
A handful of minutes later it was almost impossible to believe how there had been even the tiniest bit of chaos in the room. Zach had made himself into a ‘bed rest’ for Isla, his long legs flanking hers as, their arms full with babies, they held one another as if their lives depended upon it. A family.
All the sounds in the room were melding and separating. Coos of delight. Murmurs and soft sleepy noises from the boys. They were little soldiers, that was for sure. Just like their father.
‘I can’t believe they were just inside of me,’ Isla finally said.
‘They look so…so complete.’ Isla felt Zach’s head nodding along in agreement, his soft beard shifting alongside her hairline.
She turned so she could look him square in the eye. ‘Would you really have left us?’
‘If I thought it was what you wanted, I would have done anything. Although…’ He reached out a finger, stroking it along the tops of each of his sons’ tiny heads. ‘Now that these little guys are in the picture, you’d have to fight tooth and nail to get me to leave.’
‘What about kissing you until the end of time instead?’ Isla teased, a cheeky grin forming on her lips. She was exhausted, but there was one thing she had been aching for for eight long months.
‘Something like this?’ Zach tipped his head towards hers as one of his index fingers drew her chin closer towards him. He paused a moment. Their eyelashes were so close she thought she felt a butterfly kiss against her cheek before he fully lowered his lips and gave her the most tender kiss she had ever known.
‘You promise you’ll never leave again?’ Isla asked when at long last they came up for air.
‘Wild horses couldn’t keep me away.’ Zach smiled softly, dropping another kiss on his true love’s forehead, knowing he’d spend the rest of his life by Isla’s side. ‘Wild horses.’
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