Chapter 28 - We'll Meet Again

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"Hello, Johnny."

Jonathon paused as took off his coat in front of the front closet, and turned around. "What are you doing downstairs," he said with delight, seeing Helen on a couch in the grand parlor with Douglas bundled up in blankets in her arms. He hung up his coat and closed the closet door so he could go to her.

"The doctor said it was okay. He said I'm healed enough I don't have to stay in bed anymore."

"That's wonderful," he said, smiling as he sat next to her. He kissed her, and then stroked Douglas's head as he slept.

"The doctor said he's healthy too," Helen said, smiling down at him.

"Can I hold him?" Jonathon asked, unable to wait any longer.

"Sure!" She slowly transferred him into Jonathon's arms, not wanting to wake him.

"I've been waiting all day for this," Jonathon said quietly, gazing at his sleeping son, and it was true. The whole time he'd been at work, he'd been anxious for the day to end so he could go home and be with his family.

Before he'd had a child, he'd never thought the simple act of holding a baby would feel so good, or that he'd miss it when he was away from them.

Helen leaned against him with a sigh, and then yawned.

"Tired?" he said.

"A little," she said, and yawned again. "I even had two naps today."

"You didn't try to do too much after the doctor said you could get up, did you?"

"Maybe," she said, her guilty smile letting Jonathon know that's exactly what she'd done. "I couldn't help it. I was sick of lying in bed all day and night. It's been a week, Johnny!"

"I don't want you to push yourself. You can do a little, but Annie can take care of everything else, at least until you're completely recovered. That's why she's here."

Helen was about to reply when Douglas, opened his eyes. "Oh, look, he's awake," she said.

Douglas looked up at Jonathon, his blue eyes that were the exact same shade as Helen's studying him quizzically.

"Good morning, or should I say good evening," Jonathon said. "Did you enjoy your nap?"

Douglas's response was to squeeze his eyes shut and let out a plaintive cry.

"He's right on schedule," Helen said, loosening the ties on her dress.

Jonathon began jiggling Douglas while she worked on getting her dress and slip open, but it didn't calm him. Instead, his cries became more desperate. Finally she was ready for him, and Jonathon handed him to her.

"So hungry," she cooed over his loud crying while she helped him find her breast.

As soon as he latched on, he became quiet, and the only sound in the room was his breathing and swallowing. Watching him peacefully nurse, nestled against Helen's bare skin while she stroked his cheek, Jonathon didn't think his life could get any more full.

~~

Jonathon was at the gravel crusher, yelling instructions to the men running it so they could hear him over the noise. Suddenly they all looked at something behind him and one of them pointed.

Jonathon turned around and immediately became alarmed. James was in the distance hurrying towards them as fast as he could with his feet slipping in the snow. Jonathon didn't have to see his grim expression to know something terrible must have happened. He ran to meet him, nearly slipping himself.

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