Chapter Twenty Six

Start from the beginning

“Who says it will?”

Lindsey’s eyes slowly met hers again; they were swimming in vulnerability and uncertainty, but there was also a twinkle of hope there, and that was when Stevie realised the position he was in.

“Lindsey…” she began, leaning forward and taking his chin in her hand. “You have been more than I could ever have wished for in the past few weeks. Do you really think I’m going to let you get away from us now?”

Her breathy laugh, still full of its morning huskiness, and her irresistible smile made him melt and he had never been more grateful that they had so many years of experience behind them of how to handle one another.

“Brenda’s coming for her second post-placement visit tomorrow afternoon, and I want you to be here.”

“Really?!” he almost shrieked. “But Steph – won’t it just complicate the process now, especially when things are so close to being finalised?”

“As far as I’m concerned, nothing is finalised until both of our names are on that adoption certificate,” Stevie said sincerely, losing herself in the depths of his ocean blue eyes. “She’s your little girl too, Linds.”

Overcome with a pang of guilt for having doubted that she would ever deny him that and choked with emotion, Lindsey could not bring himself to speak. He had been hoping that she would say something like that, but he also knew that they had only been back together for a short period of time and did not want to get his hopes too high.

“Linds? You okay, honey?”

“Mhmm,” he choked out, fighting back his tears of happiness. “I’m just – thank you.”

Stevie could see the relief in his eyes and she stroked the side of his face affectionately as he knelt up and took her lips in his, showing her just how much he appreciated her.

Unfortunately, the moment was brutally interrupted by a strong smell that loitered into Stevie’s nostrils and turned her as pale as a ghost.

“Uh ohhh, I think it’s Daddy duty time…” she chuckled, scrunching up her nose and holding the baby out at arm’s length for Lindsey to take upstairs to change.

“Oh, what an honour!” he laughed, taking the baby from her and animatedly breathing through his mouth.

“I’ll start the coffee.”

Stevie stole a quick kiss before she made her way into the kitchen and refilled the percolator. She soon realised that Karen must have come over a lot earlier that morning, as the fridge was full of groceries and there was also a stack of tabloids sitting at one end of the island. Stevie walked over and spread them out across the counter, scanning over the front pages and headlines in bewilderment.

Lindsey soon reappeared downstairs and he sat Lily in her bouncer chair, before making his way into the kitchen to find Stevie poring over the spread of tabloids, deep in thought. He walked up behind her and glanced at the headlines over her shoulder, sighing heavily at what they read.

Stevie Nicks Back With Ex-Lover,” she read the headlines monotonously. “Not-So-Happy Families For Nicks And Buckingham...”

Lindsey scanned over the photos spread across that last tabloid in particular, obviously taken by the paparazzi that had pursued them the day before. As clear as day, Lindsey could be seen in the front of the car, Stevie in the back with her arm trying to cover her face and the pink blanket draped over Lily’s car seat.

“Well, I guess we can’t deny it any longer,” he sighed. “We should prepare ourselves for a barrage of visitors and phone calls…”

Stevie did not reply, so Lindsey followed her line of sight until he suddenly saw what had caught her attention.

“Don’t pay any attention to them, Steph. They’re just gossip mongering…”

Stevie Nicks’ Baby Blues,” she murmured coldly, opening the tabloid up to the feature page and reading the first few lines aloud. “Stevie Nicks was spotted leaving Cedars-Sinai Hospital yesterday afternoon with her new baby, who had been admitted to the paediatric unit for an unspecified illness. Judging by the pictures, it seems as though Nicks is having trouble adapting to her life as a new mother, which is hardly surprising after years of a lifestyle that entailed drugs, rock ‘n roll partying and sexual escapades, all of which had her in the headlines for very different reasons…”

Lindsey winced at each cruel blow they unfairly dealt to her.

“Steph, stop reading them, they don’t know what they’re talking about.”

“Everyone’s going to think I’m a bad mother, Lindsey!” she wailed sadly, dropping her head in exasperation and closing her eyes against her tears.

“Steph look at me,” Lindsey took her face in his hands gently and wiped away her tears with his thumbs. “It doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks. Anyone who knows you knows that you are a wonderful mother, I know that you are a wonderful mother, and so does Lily. That’s all that matters.”

She calmed somewhat and was grateful that he was so close, when she was able to wrap her arms around his middle and rest her head against his chest.

“I’m going to ask Karen to stop bringing these over and you’re not going to pay any attention to them anymore, okay?”

Lindsey felt her nod against his chest and he rubbed her back soothingly.

“We’re going to be fine. From tomorrow, everything’s going to be different.”

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A/N: Here we go again, I hope you all continue to enjoy what's to come!

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