Chapter 25-a Family Matters

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 This is the first half of 25.  I have a lot going on at work and just haven't been able to set aside the time to write this past week.  But everyone is anxious and I appreciate your patience so I am uploading what I have.  It may be modified a bit when the complete chapter is available so be forewarned but most likely nothing too major. Thank so much for reading as always and hopefully the upcoming holiday weekend will get my writing back on track!

Chapter 25-a

Dane woke the next morning to find Berkley curled up next to his side.  It felt right to wake up this way and even though she had shared his bed more than a few times it was rare to wake up with her.  Her concern for Ethan always sent her across the hall to her room before sunrise.  She often worried about causing him confusion and didn't want him to see them as a couple when they technically weren't supposed to be. But with the pregnancy the contract was out the window for her now.  Dane chuckled a little at the thought, knowing the contract that kept Berkley in check for the first couple of months was never of any significance to him or even Cybil now.  Berkley had won his mother over first and foremost.  He just went along with her crazy notion to humor her.  It seemed to work at the time but now it was pointless.  He intended to marry her and raise Ethan and his baby girl with her.

He needed to talk to Garrett about possibly helping him move forward with the construction of what would be their new home.  He wanted to build the house that he and Ethan had designed before he left for Afghanistan.  He had a lot to do to prepare for the arrival of their child.  He was anxious to find out if his hunch was right.  The name Lily came to mind when he studied the ultra sound.  The little peanut in the picture just looked dainty and girly.  It was too soon to tell of course but he just felt it.  He smiled quietly and stared at the ceiling.

"What has you smiling so big this morning?"  Berkley asked studying him with her sleepy eyes.

"I was just thinking."  He smiled and kissed her forehead.

"About?" She pushed.

"Things, I have a lot to do.  We need to get in for a second opinion first and foremost.  Then I need to meet with Garrett.  I want him on board with construction and I need to give him Ethan's blueprints."

"Dane, you don't have to rush everything.  The baby is fine and I'm taking those vitamins.  As far as Garrett goes maybe we should tell him about the baby first but then maybe we should discuss your parents.  Your family isn't going to be happy about this and maybe you should consider their reaction before you go crazy building a new house."

"I'm pushing thirty, baby.  I love my parents but I don't care what they think nor do I need their permission."  Dane cut his words short.  He almost mentioned marriage but didn't want to slip up and propose to her like this.  It needed to be special and he wanted it to be perfect.  He smiled at the thought of taking her shopping and letting her pick out a ring but then he remembered her unwillingness to spend his money, he decided it was best to surprise her.  He would take Grace along for help with that.

"Dane, I care what they think of you, of me and us.  I will not come between you."

"You're not coming between anyone."  He said kissing her on the nose before crawling out of bed and into a pair of pajama pants.  "Do you feel like joining me for breakfast or do you want me to bring you something?"  He said considering the fact that she was pregnant now and might be feeling sick.

"Go ahead.  I'll join you in a little bit."  She said burying her face in her pillow.  He wanted to crawl back into bed with her and stay in her arms all day but she was in her first trimester and if she was staying in bed it was because she needed the rest, not him.  He turned back to face her and leaned down.

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