Chapter Thirty Two

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Stevie’s head rested against Lindsey’s shoulder sleepily as they sat in the hospital room with their chairs pushed together with Lily soundly asleep against Stevie’s chest. Lindsey had brought her pink fleece blanket with them in the baby bag and he had draped it over her little body, tucking it all around her when she quickly dozed off.

Lindsey still felt guilty about breaking the peaceful silence in the room, also knowing from the weight of Stevie’s head against his shoulder that she had also drifted off to sleep. He slowly lifted his head and glanced over at the time; it was almost six o’clock in the morning.

“Steph?” he whispered, gently stroking her hand that was still wrapped around the baby in her arms. “Steph?”

Her eyes fluttered open and darted around frantically for a second, before they fell upon Lily in her arms and Lindsey by her side.

“Oh…” she sighed heavily in relief. “Thank goodness it wasn’t just a dream…”

Lindsey placed a kiss to her forehead and she smiled at the feeling.

“Steph, I was thinking – maybe it’s time we call Brenda,” he began tentatively. “She should know what’s going on, you know? And that we’re the ones here taking care of Lily when…”

Stevie nodded understandingly before he even had to finish his sentence.

“Yeah, you’re right,” she breathed. “My bag is just over there; Karen’s number is on a piece of paper, call her and ask her to contact Brenda for us.”

“Okay baby, I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

Lindsey obediently went to find a telephone and relayed everything that they knew to Karen, who was quick to reassure him that everything would be okay, sensing the trepidation in his voice.

No more than an hour later, Brenda had made her way into the hospital and was being shown to Lily’s room by an on-call nurse.

When she walked into the room, she did not know what to think. Her first reaction was one of outrage; Stevie was not her legal guardian and she had thought that things had been clear when she last saw her, but apparently they had not been. The second was of surprise; of course Brenda had been aware of the rumours flying around the tabloids that Lindsey Buckingham was back in the picture, but to now see him asleep in the chair next to Stevie with his arm around her shoulders, it all became very real for her. The third was of relief; Brenda was no doctor but she could see how peaceful Lily was and how wonderful the three of them looked together. It could not have been any more different to the scene she had walked in on when she had gone to check in on Louise and Lily the week before.

Uncomfortable in the silence of the room, Brenda cleared her throat loudly, jolting both Lindsey and Stevie awake suddenly.

“Brenda!” Stevie gasped, looking between the woman and Lindsey, who she could sense was very anxious about how things would go. “Brenda, let me explain…”

“It’s okay, Stephanie. Your assistant was very clear with me on the phone about what happened – I understand why they called you.”

Stevie smiled, grateful for her sympathy. She slipped her free hand into Lindsey’s and gave it a squeeze.

“Brenda, this is Lindsey,” she began, watching as Lindsey stood up and shook the woman’s hand politely. “I was going to introduce him to you the day of the second post-placement visit. I was going to tell you just how wonderful he had been to me, and what an amazing father he has been to Lily for the past few months… I couldn’t have done it without him and there’s no one I’d rather have a family with. It’s always been him.”

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