Title:  Start Spreading the News

By: tayryn

Rating: darlings… this is me. Think about it.

Disclaimer: If they were mine… we’d have more than six bloody episodes!

Notes:  just another installment in MY Sam and Julie universe

Summary:  news




“Could I ask you something?”


Sam nodded and shrugged.  “Sure.”


“If… Burt Reynolds had played you instead of Uncle Smiley, would it have made any difference?”


“Of course not,” Sam shook his head with a bemused grin on his face.  “But Burt would have been a step in the right direction.”  His voice grew quiet as he held her eyes.  “What am I saying?  He would have been perfect.”


“I love you,” Julie told him with a smile as she swayed a little closer.


“I love you,” Sam replied.


And then they were in each other’s arms; their mouths coming together in a passionate kiss.  Their bodies pressed closer and their arms tightened around each other as their kiss deepened.  Acceptance, forgiveness and love flowed between and through the oral connection. 


“Mmm…” Julie sighed happily as the kiss came to an end.  She smiled up at her husband as he continued to hold her close.


“Maybe Clint Eastwood,” Sam said with a mock serious face.


“Oh, come here…” Julie growled against his lips as she pulled him into another hungry kiss; delighting in Sam’s surprised, “Oooh!”


“Oh no… Mel Gibson,” Sam said against her lips.


Julie burst into laughter and buried her face in Sam’s shoulder.


Sam nuzzled her temple.  “Jules…”


“Mmm?”  Julie murmured as she nibbled at his neck then gasped when she felt Sam’s hands slide down her back and grasp her thighs.


“Hang on,” Sam whispered as he hoisted her up into his arms and guided her legs around his waist.  He caught her lips again in an ardent kiss as he turned and walked towards the back stairs.


“Sam…” Julie broke off the kiss as he began to climb the stairs.  “…Sam, we can’t…”


“Yes, we can…” Sam replied as he reached the top of the stairs and moved quickly down the hall.  “I know it was my fault,” he entered their bedroom and kicked the door shut.  “But I really missed you last night.”


“I missed you too…” Julie said as Sam let her down at the side of the bed.  She cupped his face.  “It was a silly fight, Sam.”


“Yes, it was,” Sam agreed as he kept his arms around her, resting his hands on the swell of her rear.  “And it probably won’t be our last one.”


“No,” Julie smiled.  “Probably not.  We’re both too stubborn.”


Sam chuckled and brought his hands up and pushed her cardigan off of her shoulders.  “Yes we are.”


“You do realize that we shouldn’t be doing this,” Julie commented as her fingers began to work on undoing the buttons on his shirt.  “At least… not right now.”


“Mmhmm,” Sam murmured as he tugged her blouse out of waistband of her slacks and pulled it up over her head.  He reached behind her and released the catches on her bra.  “But if this marriage is going to work, we have to be able to make up.”


Julie dropped her head to his chest, and her hands paused at his belt buckle as she laughed.  She lifted her head and flashed him a brilliant smile.  “Yes, we do,” Julie agreed and before Sam knew it, his jeans were being pushed down his hips.


He quickly toed off his boots, and as Julie let her bra slip down her arms, Sam shucked his jeans off then resumed removing his wife’s clothes.  Within moments, they were both naked and tumbling back onto the bed.  They kissed hungrily as their hands began to stroke each other’s bodies.


“Mmm…” Julie moaned as Sam’s fingers pulled gently at her nipples, teasing them into hard aching points.  “Sam!”  She gasped and her fingers clenched on his shoulders, the nails digging into his skin as he dipped his head and pulled a pebbled tip into his mouth.


Sam swirled his tongue around her nipple for long moments then blazed a hot trail of kisses between her breasts to capture the other nipple.  He suckled hungrily, pulling the hard point deep into his mouth.


All of a sudden, Sam found himself on his back with Julie looming over him.  She gave him a sly smile then began to lick, kiss and nip her way down his chest.  “Jules…” Sam moaned.  “Oh…”




“…god, Jules!”


Wooley and Bernie looked up then at each other.


“Kids, why don’t you grab your coats,” Bernie said.


“What about breakfast?”  Adam asked.


“We’ll go out for breakfast,” Wooley said as a loud creak of the bed sounded.  “My treat.  So hurry up!  Get your coats, and let’s get going.”


Wooley followed the kids into the kitchen, found a piece of paper and quickly scribbled out a note for Sam and Julie.  He dropped it on the table then looked at Bernie and the kids.  “Ready?”


“I know I am,” Bernie replied.


“Me too,” Adam answered as he yanked his zipper up.  “But what about dad and Jules?  They might want to come with us.”


“I don’t think so, Adam.” Wooley said and bit back the sudden grin that threatened to break out over his face as another moan floated down from upstairs.


Allie’s face screwed up as she glanced up towards the ceiling.  “Oh… eeeewww!”


Bernie and Wooley shared a look then ushered the kids out of the house.






Julie smiled inwardly as she took more of him into her mouth.  One hand stroked him up and down in time with the motion of her mouth while the other gently rolled his balls.  She lifted her eyes and found Sam staring down at her, watching her work his shaft in and out of her mouth.  Julie winked at him and gave an extra hard suck on the plumy head.


“…Jul… oh shit…” Sam groaned and his head fell back to the pillow.  He closed his eyes.  His every sense was attuned to the woman kneeling between his legs; his wife who was loving him so thoroughly with her mouth.


Julie swirled her tongue around him as she released his sacs and snaked her hand up his belly.  She gently raked her fingers through the soft hair, reaching as far up as she could to rub his chest.


Sam’s hands fisted in the quilt and he fought to keep from thrusting into her mouth.  The sensations were incredible.  The moist heat of her mouth surrounding him… the sweet suction with every pull… Sam groaned again.  It was almost as heavenly as being buried deep inside her welcoming body.


The low sound sent a thrill through Julie.  She could feel the growing tension in Sam’s body.  Knew he was close, and so she increased her efforts.


His eyes flew open when Julie began to hum.  Sam raised his head to look at her, as he somehow, in his pleasure soaked brain, recognized the tune.  Fever.  He couldn’t help the small chuckle that escaped him when she pulled his member from between her lips to flash him a brilliant smile before taking him back into her mouth.  He groaned appreciatively as she resumed humming and began to once more, move him in and out of her mouth.


“Jules… sweetheart… I’m so close,” Sam told her as he finally gave into the urge to slip a hand into her hair.  “Julie…” he tugged on her hair.  The sensations surged through his body and he could feel his juices rising.  “Oh sh… oh god, honey…”


Julie pulled him from her mouth.  “Come for me, Sam…” she whispered in a breathless voice then slipped him back between her lips.  Cmmm…”




“Sam…” Julie purred his name as she drew hard on his shaft while her hand continued to stroke him.  Her other hand returned to his balls and she gently squeezed them.


JuJu…” Sam’s hips rose up off the bed as he came.  “Julie!”


Sam’s cry of her name echoed in Julie’s ears as his orgasm washed over him and he erupted.  She groaned as the warm sticky fluid flooded her mouth and consumed his release with relish.


Sam fell back on the bed, his body shaking and his hips still jerking as Julie continued to suck and stroke him; milking him for every drop.  “Jules…” he called to her in a husky voice as his hand tightened in her hair.  “I’m done… I…”


Julie let him slip from her mouth and raised her head to smile at him.  She licked her lips then slowly crawled up over him.  Without touching his body with hers, she lowered her mouth to his and kissed him hungrily.


Sam reached up to grab her waist and pulled her down onto him.  They moaned into each other’s mouths as their bodies came into full contact.


“You realize,” Sam broke off the kiss to nibble at her chin, “I’m going to be useless for the next twenty minutes or so…”


Julie laughed and circled her hips over him, rubbing her curls against his semi-flaccid member.  “Mmhmm… but it was so worth it.  I’ve wanted to do that to you… for you, since Vegas,” she told him as she dipped her head and brushed her lips over his.  “And… I know it won’t take long before you’re… UP…” Julie flashed him a large smile, “to playing some more.”


Sam laughed.  “No… I don’t think it will be long,” he agreed.  “I never seem to have a problem in that area where you’re concerned.”


“I am SO glad to hear that,” Julie said and gave him a quick kiss.  “But until then,” she pushed herself up so that she was straddling him.  “I get to play with you.”


“Is that so?”  Sam’s eyebrows rose questioningly.


“It is,” Julie nodded as she combed her fingers through his chest hair.


Sam placed his hands on her hips.  “But,” his fingers slowly trailed up her sides and he grinned at her as she whispered, “That tickles!” and flinched slightly.  “But, what if *I* want to play with you?”


Julie grinned down at him then moaned when his fingers began to lightly trace her breasts in ever smaller circles.  She arched her back, silently begging for more.  A small whimper of frustration escaped her as Sam continued to tease her breasts; caressing everywhere except her nipples, which were aching for his touch.


Saaam…” she groaned when he bypassed her nipples yet again to lift and squeeze her breasts.


Sam chuckled then with a knowing smile; he cupped her breasts and lightly pinched her nipples between his fingers.


“Mmm… yes…” Julie moaned and pressed her chest more fully into his hands; pleased when he increased the pressure; pulling and tugging on the berried tips until she squirmed wantonly above him.


The heat and moisture from her centre was unmistakable against his member and Sam felt an uncontrollable urge to taste her.  He dropped his hands to her waist and began to pull her higher up his body.


“Sam?”  Julie began at the feel of his chest hair tickling her thighs.


“I told you,” Sam said as he clenched his fingers on her waist, “*I* want to play with you…” he circled his thumbs along the edges of her curls then looked up to meet her eyes.  “It’s my turn…”


Julie’s eyes widened as she realized his intention then shook her head.  “Oh no, Sam…”


“Why not?”  Sam asked her as gripped her hips and urged her higher.  “It’s not like I haven’t done this to you before,” he said and, for emphasis, licked his lips.  “Several times.”


Julie flushed at the memories of those several times.  “But this… it’s so…”


“So what?”  Sam asked as he guided her legs around his shoulders, bringing her damp curls closer to his watering mouth.


“So… ” Julie began then faltered when she felt his warm breath wash over her.  “Sam, I feel so exposed…”


“It’s only us in here, Jules.”  Sam told her and turned his head to nip her inner thigh.


“I know…”


“Do you know what the sight of you above me like this does to me?”  Sam interrupted her.  “To see your arousal glistening on the curls before me… to see your breasts rising and falling with every breath you take,” he paused and inhaled deeply.  “To smell your arousal… god, Jules… I love seeing you like this.”


“Oh, Sam…” Julie moaned at his words.  She watched his arms curl around her thighs and inhaled sharply when his fingers stretched out to pull her open.  Julie gasped when Sam lifted his head and covered her sex with his mouth.  “…Sa… am…”


Sam groaned as her unique, and now familiar flavour, burst over his tongue.  He dipped the muscle inside her, thrusting it in and out of her moist heat several times before he circled her clit.  Sam sucked the sensitive pearl of flesh into his mouth; grinning inwardly at Julie’s loud gasp of his name.


Julie’s hands reached out to grasp the headboard as a myriad of sensations shot up through her body.  She fought the urge to rock her pelvis, afraid of what would happen to Sam if she did.


“Go ahead, sweetheart.” Sam told her as if he had read her mind.  “Move all you want… show me that you’re enjoying this as much as I am.”


“I… mmm…” she moaned as he sucked harder on her clit and swirled his tongue around the hard nub.  “I don’t want to hurt you…” even as she said the words, Julie found herself rocking her hips in time with the thrusting of his tongue.


“You won’t!” Sam told her in between flicks and plunges of his tongue.  He could tell by the tension in her body… the catching of her breath as she panted for air… that she was close to orgasm.  “Come for me, Jules…”


Julie groaned and her hands clenched harder on the headboard at the incredible feelings Sam’s talented tongue was creating in her body.  Each plunge into her sheath, every circle of clit brought her closer and closer to her release.


“…Sam… oh god… I…” Julie shook her head in an effort to fight the rising swells within her.


“Don’t fight it,” Sam murmured against her quivering flesh.  “Give in… come for me, Jules.”  He stroked his thumbs under her thighs and began to hum, the sound vibrating up within her.


“I… mmm…” Julie’s body bent backwards, and she cried out his name as the storm within her suddenly broke.  “Sam!  Oh god, Saaamm!”


Sam groaned as Julie’s essence flowed into his mouth.  He lapped at her greedily, consuming every drop with the hunger of a man dying of thirst.  Sam’s eyes widened when he heard Julie gasp his name and felt her body quake with a second orgasm.


With a final deep kiss to her still quivering flesh, Sam unwrapped his arms from around Julie’s thighs and grasped her hips.  “Jules…” he began as he urged her still-humming body down his.  “Honey… I need to be inside you.  I need to feel you around me.”


“Oh yes…” Julie nodded when she kneeling over his hips.  She reached down between them to take his hardened shaft in her hand.  She stroked him gently.  “I need you too, Sam…” Julie said as she slowly drew the head of his shaft up and down her slick folds before positioning him at her waiting entrance.


“…Jules…” Sam’s voice was strangled, and his hands tightened on her hips as she began to lower herself down on him.  His eyes held hers as, inch by hard, throbbing inch; Julie took him into her body.


“Yes…” Julie hissed once they were joined completely.  She drew in slow measured breaths as she held herself still above him and felt him grow longer, harder and thicker within her.  A soft smile came to her lips as she watched Sam’s eyes darken even more with his desire.  “I love you,” she whispered.


“I love you,” Sam whispered back as he reached up to cup her cheek.  He trailed his fingers along her jaw then down her throat to cup her breast. 


“Sam!”  Julie gasped his name as he circled his thumb over her pointed nipple; the sensation shooting straight to their point of joining.  She moaned as he trailed his other hand up her side to cup her other breast.  His fingers teased and pulled at her nipples.


Her hiss of pleasure sent a thrill through his body and he increased the pressure of his fingers on her nipples.  At the feel of her quivering around him, Sam began to thrust up into her.


“Yes…” their voices filled the room.


They rocked together; Sam sliding in and out of her slick heat with long, measured strokes.  With every plunge, Julie clenched her inner muscles around him, increasing the friction as well as the pleasure.


The tension coiled tightly within each of them; the need for release becoming almost unbearable.  The need… the desire and passion and the love they saw in each other’s eyes only increased that need.






Sam bent his legs and dropped his hands to her hips as he began to drive his hips up harder inside her.  He smiled at Julie’s sharp inhalation and continued to move within her. 


Julie’s head fell back.  Her breath came out in pants; her breasts bouncing with every thrust Sam made into her.  She reached back behind her and grasped his balls in her hand; rolling them gently then with just a little more pressure.


“Oh… shit… Jules…” Sam groaned as she squeezed him again; his shaft in her body and his balls in her hand.  He gripped her hips tighter. 


Julie smiled down at him.  “I’m close, Sam…” she told him in a husky voice, her body beginning to shake with her oncoming release.


Me too, honey…”


In and out, over and over; Sam continued to move inside her.  Harder, faster… until both Sam and Julie were crying out their need to each other; their bodies slick and glistening with a sheen of perspiration.


“…Sam… oh, Sam… please…” Julie ground herself against him with each press of her pelvis against his.


“Yes…” Sam’s fingers dug into her hips and he thrust up into her with all his might.  He held on to what little control he had left in order to insure his wife’s pleasure.  “Come for me, Julie…”


Julie shook her head wildly as wave after wave of sensation began to swell through her.  “Not without you…” she panted and gripped him tightly within her sheath.


“You won’t be…” Sam responded with a groan.


“…mmm… Sam… oh, Sam…” Julie began to ride him harder.  “Sam…”


“Julie… I… oh sh…” Sam came with a groan.  His hips jerking beneath her as his juices flew from his staff to bathe her insides.


“Yes!  Sam!” Julie cried out as an incredible climax consumed her.


She collapsed onto his chest; their bodies shaking with their shared release.  Sam wrapped his arms around Julie and held her close as the waves of pleasure continued to wash over them.


“I think we’ve got the making up part down,” Julie whispered breathlessly against his chest.


“Definitely…” Sam agreed.  “But practice makes perfect.”


Julie laughed and pressed a kiss to his chest.




Sam stepped out of the bathroom and stopped.  He smiled at the sight of Julie curled up around his pillow in the middle of the bed… still asleep.


After they had made love, they’d cuddled together talking quietly.  Sharing soft, loving kisses, until they’d fallen into a comfortable silence while they held each other and…


‘…my wife fell asleep on me,’ Sam thought with a silent chuckle as he quietly moved into the bedroom and picked up their scattered clothing.  He put Julie’s clothes on the cedar chest then pulled his jeans on as he decided to head downstairs for a cup of coffee, and to check on the kids.


He debated on waking Julie but in the end, he decided to let her continue to sleep.  ‘She didn’t get much sleep last night,’ he thought ruefully as he leaned over his sleeping beauty and feathered a kiss against her cheek.


Sam straightened up with a smile on his face as Julie murmured his name on a sigh and hugged his pillow tighter.  He drew the blanket up around her bare shoulder then crept silently out of the bedroom; closing the door quietly behind him.


He made his way down stairs into the living room, and not seeing Bernie, Wooley or the kids, he moved into the kitchen.  ‘Perhaps Bernie took the kids out,’ Sam thought to himself.  He noticed the paper lying on the table, picked it up and began to read.


We decided to take the kids out for brunch…


“Oh good,” Sam said out loud.  His face suddenly began to turn red, even as his mouth turned up in a big grin.


And hearing how you’re both obviously busy…


Sam couldn’t help but chuckle.  ‘Yeah… we were pretty vocal,’ he thought as he finished reading the note and placed it back on the table.  He moved across to the coffee pot, and deciding it was still drinkable, he poured himself a mug then left the kitchen.


As he passed through the living room, Sam spotted the newspaper on the coffee table. Deciding to give Julie a little more time to rest; he sat down on the couch, set his mug on the end table then reached for the paper.




Sam dropped the sports section back to the table and was about to pick up the classifieds when he caught movement out of the corner of his eye.


“Hey, sweetheart.” Sam smiled at the sight of his wife walking towards him, wrapped in his bathrobe. 


“I woke up… you weren’t there…”


“I’m sorry, honey.” He said as he reached out to grab her hand and pulled her into his lap.  “I came down to check on the kids.  Did you have a nice nap?”


Julie gave him a soft kiss then snuggled into his embrace.  She laid her head on his shoulder.  “Yes,” she replied with a yawn.  “So, how are the kids?”


“Fine I guess.  Bernie and Wooley took them out for brunch.”


“Bernie and Wooley took… why did they do that?”


Sam leaned his head back and reached up to tilt her chin up.  “Seems we were a little… vocal in our making up.”


“Oh…” Julie’s eyes grew wide as a deep blush crept up her neck and face.  She buried her face in his neck. 


“It’s all right, Jules.” Sam rubbed her arm.  “It was bound to happen sooner or later.”


They had both agreed, on their wedding night two and a half months earlier, to make an effort to keep their lovemaking a little quieter than it had been when they were in Vegas.  For the most part… they’d been successful.


“I know,” Julie murmured against his neck.  “It’s just…”


“A little embarrassing.”




“Well, it’s something they will need to get used to,” Sam told her and slipped his fingers beneath her chin and tilted her head back so he could look into her eyes.  “I love you, Julie, and I will not hide this.  Not even from my kids.”


Julie smiled at her husband then snuggled closer.  “Did the note say when they would be bringing the kids back?”


“Just later this afternoon,” Sam answered.  “Why?  What would you like to do?”


“Hmm… simply spend some time with my husband,” Julie answered and laid her hand on his chest.  “We could have that date we were supposed to have two weeks ago.”


“Yeah, we could… couldn’t we? Sam grinned.  “Are you up for a hike?”


“Sure.  I would love to, but not a long one.”


“Then a picnic lunch…”


“And then a make out session in the backseat of the Chevy,” Julie finished with a laughing smile.




“Sounds good to me.”


“Me too,” Julie agreed.


“Good,” Sam said and slipped his arms beneath her then stood up.  “Hang on, sweetheart!”


Julie wrapped her arms around his neck and laughed as Sam carried her quickly up the stairs.




“You owe me a hike.”


Sam laughed at the breathless comment as he crawled up over his wife’s body.  “Is that so?”  He asked as he slid effortlessly into her.  He groaned at the feel of her quivering around him.


“It is,” Julie replied then moaned as he circled his hips against her.  “And a picnic lunch… mmm…” she gasped as he withdrew then sank back into her, “and a make… oooh… out session in the Chevy… oh god, Sam…”




“Good night, Dad!  Night, Julie!”  


“Good night, kids.”  Sam called back as he shut the bedroom door.  He turned around then stopped.  His hand came up to scratch his beard.  “Oh boy.”


“Oh boy is right.”


“We certainly made a mess.”


“Yes, we did.”  Julie nodded as she met his eyes.  She smiled.  “But it was fun!”


Sam grinned at her and reached out to pull her into his arms.  “I also think this was good for us as a family.”


“I was thinking the same thing,” Julie said as she snuggled into his embrace.


“Jules?”  Sam murmured several minutes later.




“Where are we going to sleep?”


“In our bed.”


“Our bed is covered with feathers.”


“And whose fault is that?”


Sam heard the smile in her voice and slid his hands down to her waist.  “Yours,” he said as his fingers danced over her sides.


“Sam!”  Julie gasped and flinched away from his fingers.


Sam chuckled and slid his hands slid down to cup her bottom.  He held her close and nuzzled her temple.  “I suppose we should clean up in here before we go to bed…”


Julie shook her head.  “Let’s just leave it for tomorrow,” she said against his chest then yawned.  “I am suddenly very tired.”


“Okay,” Sam said and with a last, quick brush of his lips against her forehead, he released her.


They moved over to the bed and within minutes, they had all the feathers off of it and were cuddled in each other’s arms beneath the blankets.






There was no answer.


“Jules… wake up.”


“Mmm…?”  Julie’s eyes fluttered open and she found herself looking up into Wooley’s concerned face.  “Wooley?  What’s wrong?”


“That was going to be my question,” Wooley said.  “I’ve been trying to wake you for the last five minutes.  Late night last night?”


“No,” Julie yawned as she sat up on the sofa in the dressing room.  “In fact, Sam and I were in bed by nine.”


Wooley arched an eyebrow.


“No,” Julie made a face then tempered it with a smile.  “I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.”


“What time did you get up?”


“Six thirty,” Julie answered with a yawn.  “I don’t know what’s wrong with me.  Maybe I’m catching a cold or something.  I’ve been feeling off for a little while now.”


“Maybe it was the sudden move… the change in the environment…” Wooley said.


“That’s what I was thinking too,” Julie nodded.  “Things are just finally starting to settle down…”


“And it’s all catching up to you.”


“Mmhmm…” Julie nodded as she suddenly yawned again.  “Oh my… forgive me.”


At that moment, Joy entered the communal dressing room, a scowl on her usually smiling face.  She shot a look at Wooley before brushing past him to the washroom, slamming the door behind her.


“Uhm… right.”  Wooley said as he inched his way towards the door.  “I’ll wait for you on stage so we can block out Thursday’s skit.”


“All right,” Julie replied with a small smile as her friend retreated.  She got up from the couch and moved to sit in front of the mirror to check her face.  As she ran her fingers through her hair, the washroom door opened, and Joy came out.  “Is everything all right, Joy?  You don’t seem your usual bubbly self.”


Joy sighed as she walked around Julie and sank down onto the couch.  “I’m all right, Julie.”  She said in a tired voice as she laid her head back and closed her eyes.  “It’s just that time of the month.”


“Ah,” Julie said in an understanding voice.


What woman didn’t understand?!


“It doesn’t usually hit me this bad,” Joy told her quietly.  “But every so often, I get hit with very bad cramps, and all the rest too.  It’s nothing a large tub of chocolate ice cream won’t cure when I get home.”


Julie chuckled.  “I am the same way.”


Joy turned her head and slowly opened her eyes.  She regarded Julie for a moment or two.  “What about you, Julie?  Are you all right?  There’s something… I don’t know… there’s just something different about you.”


Julie waved off Joy’s concern.  “I’m just a little tired, that’s all.  I think a lot of it has to do with rushing to move here and be with Sam… and then the quick wedding.  I think it’s just finally all catching up with me.”


“If you say so,” Joy shrugged then turned her attention towards the door.  “Mister Woolstein is on his way back.”


The door opened and Wooley stuck his head in the room.  “Jules, come on!”


“Coming, Wooley.”




Julie looked down at the list in her hand, mentally checking off the items she’d already grabbed and put in her basket.  Seeing that she had everything, she turned to head for the checkout.  Julie was halfway down the aisle when she stopped; another conversation she’d had with Joy, later in the day; once again about the joys of being a woman, coming back to her. 


Julie turned on her heel and headed back towards the pharmacy.




Julie finished her entry in her journal, closed the book, capped her pen then laid them in her lap.  She looked over at Sam reclining beside her in the bed, reading a book.




“Yeah, honey?”  Sam answered distractedly, his attention on his book.


“Have you…” Julie bit her bottom lip.  “What are your thoughts on having more children?”


“I haven’t really given it any thought.”


“Oh,” Julie said and looked down at her hands laying on her journal.


Sam lowered his book and removed his glasses.  He looked at Julie.  “Jules?  What is it?”


“Sam…” Julie began in a whisper.  “I think I might be pregnant.”




Julie lifted her head to meet his eyes.  “I… I think I might be pregnant,” she repeated.


“How?  When?”  Sam’s eyes were wide.  “Well, I know the how,” he said suddenly with a grin.  “But when?”


“I think, if I really am pregnant, that it happened in Vegas,” Julie said.  “If you recall, we weren’t exactly concerned about protection.”


Sam nodded as his grin grew at the memories.  He turned serious.  “Have you taken a pregnancy test or been to the doctor?”


Julie shook her head.  “Not yet.”  She turned in the bed, placed her journal on the nightstand then opened the drawer.  She pulled a small box out then shifted so that she was once again facing Sam. 


Julie placed the box, a home pregnancy test, on the quilt between them.  Sam looked down at the box then up at Julie.


“There is also another possibility,” Julie said.


“And that is?”


“I could be in the beginning stages of menopause.”


Sam’s eyebrows arched.    “Already?  Aren’t you still too young for that?”


Julie smiled.  “Thank you!  But no, I’m not too young.  My mother began her change in her mid forties, so I am really leaning towards it being that.”


“But you bought the pregnancy test,” Sam pointed out.


“Mmhmm.  I… I guess a small part of me is hoping…” Julie shrugged.


Sam pulled his glasses back on then reached for the box.  He opened it, pulled out the leaflet and read it over.  “Well, this doesn’t seem too complicated,” he said.  “We should be able to do this.”


“We?”  A bemused smile touched Julie’s lips.


“Well… you know,” Sam said, a hint of pink creeping up onto his cheeks.


Julie laughed.  “Yes, I know.”  She took a deep breath then reached for the box but Sam held it out of her reach.


“According to this,” Sam shook the paper.  “The best time to take the test is in the morning.”


“The morning?”  Julie frowned.  “Are you certain?”


“Yep,” Sam said and held out the pamphlet for her to read.


Julie’s eyes scanned the paper.  She sighed and fell back against the pillows.  “It’s going to be a long night.


“I know,” Sam said.  He grabbed the pregnancy test and put it on the nightstand along with his book and glasses.  He shut the light off.  “Come here, sweetheart.”


Julie pulled her glasses off and placed them on her book on her nightstand and turned her lamp off as well then slid across the bed into Sam’s arms.


“Jules,” Sam said after a few moments.  “You know it doesn’t matter one way or the other, right?”


“I know,” Julie replied and snuggled deeper into his embrace.  She slipped her hand up inside his pyjama top.  Her fingers combed through the soft curls for a moment before she laid her hand over his heart.  “I know…”




Feeling the bed dip, Sam opened his eyes to see Julie walk around to his side and grab the pregnancy test from his nightstand.


Seeing that he was awake, Julie leaned over to brush a quick kiss on his lips.  “Good morning, darling.”


“Morning,” Sam replied in a sleepy voice.


Julie straightened up then gave him a nervous smile as she held up the pregnancy test.  “Well, here goes…”


“Remember what we discussed last night,” Sam said.  “No matter what that test says, we confirm it with Doctor Finegarten.”


Julie nodded then turned and went into the bathroom, closing the door behind her.


Sam lay in bed.  He closed his eyes again and waited.  When he heard the water running, he sat up and leaned against the headboard.  Moments later, the door opened and Julie walked back into the bedroom, and stood at the foot of the bed.


“Now we wait,” Julie said.


“Yep,” Sam said and gave her a look.


Without saying a word, Julie moved around the bed and slipped into his arms.


“NOW we wait,” Sam repeated and held her close.


With her head on his chest, Julie counted off the minutes in time with every beat of his heart.  After several minutes, she lifted her head and met his eyes.


Sam sat them up.  “Let’s go.”


Julie nodded, and together they climbed off the bed and made their way into the bathroom.  They stopped in the doorway.


Their eyes fell on the white stick lying on the empty box on the counter.


Sam squeezed her hand.  “Remember…”


“I know.”


“No matter what the results…”


“Mmhmm,” Julie nodded.  She took a deep breath then stepped over to the counter.  She picked up the white stick and looked down at it.


“Well?”  Sam asked after several moments of silence.


Julie turned to look at him, her eyes wide with unshed tears.




Julie moved into his arms and buried her face in his chest.  “It’s positive,” she whispered into his pyjama top.  “Sam… I’m pregnant.”




Julie looked around the small office, her fingers twisting nervously in her lap.  “How did you manage to get us in so quickly?”


Irving is an old friend of mine,” Sam answered.  “We went to school together.”




At that moment, the office door opened and a tall bald man walked into the room.  He smiled when he saw Sam.  “Sam!  Good to see you.”


Irving,” Sam stood and reached out to shake the other man’s hand.  “Good to see you too,” he said.  “Thank you for seeing us so quickly.”


“Not a problem,” Irving said then turned to Julie.  “And you must be Julie.  I’ve been looking forward to meeting you.”


“It’s nice to meet you, Doctor Finegarten.”  Julie shook his hand.


“Please, call me Irving.”


Julie smiled and nodded.


“So, what can I do for you?”  Irving asked as he gestured for them to take their seats again.  He moved around his desk and sat down behind it.


Sam looked at Julie, who indicated that he should tell the doctor.  He nodded and turned back.  “We think we’re pregnant.”


Irving nodded in understanding.  “And you would like to be tested.”


“Yes,” Julie answered.  “I took a home test this morning,” she told him.  “But… I know those tests are not one hundred percent accurate.  And… with my age, I am still half convinced the test was wrong, and that I’m starting menopause.”


“Well, why don’t we get started right away?”  Irving said.  “We’ll start with the blood work.  Once we get the results, we’ll proceed from there.”


Julie nodded.


“How long will it take before we get the results?”  Sam asked.


“Well, it usually takes a day, but I will put a rush on the tests, so hopefully we’ll have them back by this afternoon.”


“Thank you,” Julie said.


Irving stood and moved to the door.  “Shall we?”


Sam and Julie stood as well, and followed the doctor out of the office.




“Julie, you have a call on line two.  A Doctor Finegarten.”


“Thank you, Joy.”  Julie said and dropped the sheet music she was holding to the top of the piano.


“Doctor?”  Wooley asked.  “Is something wrong?  You’re not sick are you?”


“No, chum.  I’m not sick,” Julie said as she turned to leave the stage.  “I just went in for a check up this morning… nothing to be concerned about.”


Wooley frowned and followed her back into the press room.  He watched as Julie picked up the phone and pressed the waiting line.


“This is Julie,” she said.  “Mmhmm… yes.  Oh no, really?  Damn.  Well, yes, I do understand.  Yes.  Yes, I do.  All right.  Yes, I’ll tell him.  Thank you, Irving.”  Julie hung up the phone with a sigh.


“Bad news?”


“Sort of,” Julie replied.  “Just a delay in some test results.”


“Tests?  What tests?  What aren’t you telling me, Jules?”


“It’s nothing, Wooley.”  Julie said as she picked up the phone again.  “Hello, Nancy.  It’s Julie McGuire.”


“Hello, Mrs. McGuire.”


“Is Sam busy?”


“Not at the moment.  I’ll get him for you.”


“Thank you,” Julie said.


“What tests?”  Wooley asked again, realizing that Julie was on hold.


“Just some blood work, Wooley.”  Julie told him then turned her attention to the phone.  “Hi, Sam.”


“Hey, sweetheart, what’s up?”


“I just got a call from Irving.”






“What do you mean nothing?”


“There are only three techs in the clinic.  One is on vacation.  One is off because of a death in the family, and the third one called in sick.”




Julie chuckled.  “I said the same thing.”


“Did Irving say when any of them should be back?”


“Tomorrow,” Julie answered.  “However, because of this, there will be a delay in getting the results.”


“How long of a delay?”




“That’s two days from now.”


“I know.”


“Damn.  I guess there’s nothing we can do but wait.”




“How are YOU doing, honey?”


Julie smiled at the concern in his voice.  “I’m doing okay.”


“You sure?”


“Yes,” Julie answered.


“All right.”


“I should let you get back to work,” Julie told him.  “I will see you when I get home.”


“I love you.”


“I love you too,” Julie said and hung up.


“Well?”  Wooley asked.


“Well what?”


“Are you going to tell me what’s going on?”


Julie opened her mouth to speak then stopped.  “I can’t just yet, Wooley.  But I promise, you will be one of the first people to know.”


Wooley scowled, but realizing he was not going to get any other information out of her, merely nodded.  “Fine.  Now, how about we get back to the rehearsal?  We have a show to tape tonight.”


Julie smiled and nodded.  “Let’s go.”




“What do you think of the name Aileen?”


Sam looked up from his book and turned his head to look at his wife.  “What?”


“I asked what you thought about the name Aileen?


“Oh.  It’s not bad.”


“In other words, you don’t like it.”


“I didn’t say that.”


“You didn’t have to,” Julie smiled.  “I can see it on your face.”


“It’s not that I don’t like the name, honey.  It’s just…”


“You want to wait to hear the test results from the doctor before…” she paused, “you get your hopes up.”


“Yeah,” Sam said.  He tossed his book aside and reached out to pull Julie into his arms.  “But like you, sweetheart…” Sam’s hand slid down between them to rest on her belly.  “I already have.”


Julie smiled at him and covered his hand with hers.  “I know.”


They shared a gentle kiss then settled back against the pillows.






Julie hesitated.  “Never mind.”


“It’s all right, sweetheart.” Sam said in a quiet voice.  “I told you… no matter what… we’ll deal with it together.”


Julie smiled and tightened her arms around him.




Sam glanced at his watch and groaned.


“Sam,” Julie reached over and covered his watch.  “We’ve only been waiting for five minutes.”


“I know,” Sam sighed.


“I’m anxious too, Sam.”  Julie said.


Sam nodded and turned his hand under hers then laced their fingers together.  He squeezed her hand gently in apology.


Julie gave him a small smile.


The last two days had been very hard on both of them.  The anxious waiting had made them both snappish with each other and the children, but mostly with each other.


With Julie’s show now in hiatus for the holidays, and the children off on holidays, Sam had taken Thursday off, and it was decided that they would put up their Christmas tree.  An activity that had resulted in several petty arguments about what decorations should be hung, and where everything went and who would put what up.


Once they’d all sat down, eaten lunch and had a good talk, the rest of the afternoon had passed with little incident.


Julie shook her head.


“What are you thinking about?”


Sam’s voice broke into her thoughts.


Julie turned to look at him.  “Yesterday.”




“It wasn’t all bad, Sam.”  Julie chuckled.


Sam was about to comment when Doctor Finegarten came out into the waiting room.  “Sam.  Julie.  Come on in.”


They stood and followed him back to his office.


“Have a seat,” Irving said and moved around to sit behind his desk.  “First, let me apologize for the delay in the test results,” he said as he took his seat.  “And also for making you wait tonight.  I had an emergency.”


“Don’t worry about it,” Sam waved away Irving’s apology.


“Well, why don’t we get right down to it,” Irving said as he flipped through the small pile of folders on his desk.  “Let’s find out if you are indeed pregnant.”


Julie reached out to grab Sam’s hand.


“Here it is,” Finegarten said as he finally found Julie’s folder.  “I’m not usually this disorganized,” he told them.  “But with the delay in test results… my folders have piled up.”


“Understandable,” Julie said.


“Well, let’s see.”  Irving opened the folder.


Julie chewed her lower lip as the doctor perused the results.


A few moments later, Irving closed the file and looked up at them.


“Well, Irv?  Are we pregnant?”  Sam asked.


Irving shook his head.  “No.  I’m sorry.  The test results have come back negative.”


The only indication Julie gave of her response to the news was to tighten her grip on Sam’s hand.


“But the test we took at home,” Sam said, “came back positive.  It said she was pregnant.”


“It was a false positive,” Irving told him.  “According to these results,” he tapped the folder, “there are no hCGs in Julie’s system.”  Irving folded his hands on his desk.  “I truly am sorry.”


Julie shook her head.  “It’s okay,” she said.  “I… I’m too busy, and too old for a baby right now anyway.”  She paused.  “So, I guess this means I’m in the beginning stages of menopause then.”


“That’s the way I’m leaning, yes.”  Irving nodded.  “After the new year, we’ll run some more tests just to make sure.”


“All right,” Julie said in a quiet voice.


“Is there anything more?” Sam asked Irving, sensing that his wife needed to get out of the doctor’s office now.


Irving shook his head and stood along with Julie and Sam.  He moved around to the door and opened it for them.  “I am sorry,” he told them again.


Julie gave him a small smile.  “Thank you, Irving.”


“Yeah, thanks, Irv.”  Sam shook his hand then he and Julie made their way out of the doctor’s office.


The ride in the elevator was quiet and as well as the walk through the parking lot to the truck.  Despite her brave face, Sam could tell that Julie was heartbroken about the news.  Frankly, so was he.


‘We need some time alone to deal with this,’ Sam thought to himself.


When they reached the truck, Sam unlocked and opened Julie’s door for her.  He gave her hand a gentle squeeze as she climbed in then shut the door.  As he walked around the truck to the driver’s side, Sam was hit with an idea.  He got into the truck and turned to Julie.


“Have you got your cellphone with you?”


Julie nodded.


“Can I have it for a moment?”


Julie dug her phone out of her purse and handed it to him.


Sam flipped it open and dialed.  “Bernie?  It’s Sam.  Listen, we’re gonna need for you to watch the kids tonight.  Julie and I need the night for ourselves.”


Julie looked over at Sam and she gave him a questioning look which he ignored as he continued to talk with Bernie.


“Yeah.  Yeah, we’ll be back in the morning.  Great.  Thanks, Bernie.”  Sam hung up then dialed again.  “Nancy, it’s Sam.  Look, something’s come up, so I won’t be available for the rest of the day or night.  That’s right.  If there’s an emergency, tell Clem to call on Doctor Webber.  Thanks, Nancy.”


Sam hung up and shut off her cellphone then handed it back to her.  He slipped the key into the ignition and started the truck.


“Are you going to tell me what you’re doing?”  Julie asked him as he pulled out of the parking lot.


“You and I need some time to deal with this.  Time to ourselves,” Sam answered.


“Sam… I’m fine,” Julie told him.


Sam glanced at her, and gave her a look that told her he did not believe her.  “Do you honestly think I can’t tell that the test results upset you?  I’m your husband, you can’t hide it from me,” he said then reached out across the seat to lay his hand over hers where it lay on her leg.  “I’m upset too, Jules.”


“I…” Julie’s eyes filled with tears and she blinked rapidly to keep them from spilling down her cheeks.  “I know, Sam.”


“We need this,” Sam said and squeezed her hand.


Julie nodded.




Sam dropped his jacket on the couch and took a moment to look at his wife.  Julie was standing in front of the large window in the hotel suite, her arms wrapped tightly around her body.  And despite the brevity of their marriage, Sam knew… could see, and more importantly, sense and feel his wife’s pain. 


He moved across the suite and slipped his arms around her from behind.  He slid his hands under hers where they rested on her belly.


“I was so certain,” Julie whispered.  “I know I kept saying it was probably menopause… but I was so sure I was pregnant.  I…” her voice trailed off as she fought to swallow back her tears.


“I know, sweetheart.”  Sam told her quietly as his hands began to softly rub over her stomach.


“The first time we made love,” Julie continued in a soft voice.  “The moment I felt you come inside me, I wanted to have your child.”  Her hands tightened over his.  “I had never felt that way before.  But with you… oh, Sam… I so wanted to have your baby.”


Unable to hold it in any longer, Julie began to cry.


“Oh, Sam… I’m sorry… I’m so sorry…” With tears streaming down her cheeks, Julie struggled to get out of his arms.


Sam tightened his arms around her and pulled her back hard against his chest; refusing to let her go.  He buried his face in her hair, his own tears rolling over his cheeks into his beard.  “You have nothing to be sorry for… it’s not your fault, Jules.”


Julie, having given up trying to escape his embrace, turned in Sam’s arms.  She buried her face in his neck and wrapped her arms around his waist; holding him tightly as both gave into their tears.


“I… I loved it already,” Julie cried against his chest.  “I loved our baby… I still… even knowing now that it wasn’t really there… I still love…” she broke off again as another; stronger wave of sobs consumed her.


“I know… I did too,” Sam held her close; his heart breaking for his wife and for the loss of the child that never even existed.  He moved his hands up Julie’s back and threaded his fingers in her hair.  Gently, Sam pulled her head back and kissed the tears from her cheeks.


Julie turned her face so that his lips landed on hers.  He kissed her softly, his mouth barely touching hers.  “Kiss me…”


Sam pressed his lips more firmly to hers and when he felt her tongue press for entrance, he pulled back.


Julie whimpered and reached up to grasp his face in her hands.  “Sam… ” she whispered in a husky voice as she drew his face close once again.  “Kiss me… make love to me… help me to forget… even for a little while.”  Julie pressed her body against his.  “Please, Sam… I need you…”


Sam looked into her eyes, and seeing her need, nodded.  He covered her mouth with his and slipped his tongue into the warm cavern of hers.  His hands slid down to cup her bottom and pull her up tight against his growing erection.  A soft moan sounded deep in Julie’s throat and she ground her centre against him in response.


As they continued to kiss, they slowly began to make their way across the room to the bed; quickly and methodically stripping each other’s clothes off.  When they reached the bed, both were naked.  They sank down onto the mattress, Sam covering Julie’s body with his.


Sam trailed his lips away from Julie’s mouth and kissed his way to her ear.  He pulled the lobe into his mouth then whispered his love before continuing his trek down her body.  He licked and nipped his way to her breasts.  Sam sucked one taut tip into his mouth, laving it with his tongue before moving to do the same with her other nipple.


Julie arched beneath him in an effort to push more of her breast into his mouth and whimpered when he released her nipple.  “Sam…” she gasped as his lips blazed a fiery trail of hot kisses down her torso.


When Sam reached her belly, he stopped and buried his face in the soft roundness.


Julie lifted her head from the pillow when she felt Sam nuzzle her stomach.  Her eyes met his and she was surprised to see them filled with tears.  “Oh, Sam…” she whispered as the tears fell from his eyes to land on her belly. 


Sam once again buried his face in her stomach, his tears falling copiously to her skin.  He felt her hands reach out to cradle his head and knew instinctively that Julie was crying again too.


Needing him more than ever, Julie tugged on his hair.  “Sam… be with me…” she implored him.


Sam went willingly as she pulled him to her; once more covering her body with his.  As their lips sought each other and they kissed hungrily, Sam settled his body in the cradle of her thighs and joined his body with hers, sliding his length deep inside her with one smooth stroke.


Julie gasped into his mouth then moaned as he began to slowly move within her.  In spite of their tears, Sam and Julie continued to kiss; pouring all of their heartbreak, all their pain into their movements.


They communicated with their bodies.  Every thrust of Sam’s length into her, every thrust of their tongues was another step in their attempt to heal their souls.  Their hearts beat in cadence as they danced closer and closer to the edge… to that moment where they would become one, and hopefully begin to heal each other.


“Sam…” Julie broke out of the kiss to gasp his name as she raked her nails down his back to grab his butt.  “Sam, please…”


Wanting to help his wife… to ease her pain… to make her forget, even for a few moments, Sam began to drive himself harder and faster into her.  He ground his pelvis against her with each thrust, putting just the right amount of pressure on her clit.


Julie moaned and wrapped her legs around him as she met his thrusts.  With every stroke of his length inside her, Julie felt the tension of her oncoming release grow tighter and tighter.  And with every wound coil, the tears began once again.


“That’s it, sweetheart.” Sam said, seeing the fresh wave of tears roll down the sides of her face.  “Let it out…” he thrust hard and deep inside her.  “Let it all out…”


“I…” Julie began then stopped as her orgasm suddenly consumed her.  She cried out his name both in exultation and in desperation for him to join her… to join his soul to hers… to heal the hurt they both felt.


In answer to her plea, Sam drove into her one last time, and with a loud shout of her name, he came; spilling his seed within her.  His tears spilled from his eyes to fall onto her face, mixing with hers.


For one glorious moment, in the sweet rapture of their shared release, Sam and Julie’s souls met and wrapped around each other in an intimate merging.


The pain… the loss… the emptiness and the grief… were all muted by the happiness they found in this one moment outside of space and time.  A moment of pure, intense pleasure where their hearts and souls met… entwined… then began to heal.


Sam sank deep into Julie’s embrace.  He slid his arms beneath her and curled his hands around her shoulders as he buried his face in her neck.  The scent of her, the feel of her in his arms brought Sam a sense of peace.


Julie wrapped her arms tightly around him, and held him close; relishing his weight on top of her.  In the shelter of Sam’s arms and body, his scent surrounding her, Julie found her peace.


Several minutes later, Sam rose up on his elbows and gazed down at her.  He threaded his hands in her hair and stroked the sides of her face with his thumbs; rubbing away the streaks left by her tears.  Without speaking, he lowered his head and brushed his lips over hers in a soft kiss.


“I love you,” they whispered into each other’s mouths.


They smiled at each other then as they shared another loving kiss, Sam and Julie rolled so that they were lying on their sides; their bodies still joined.  Their hands gently stroked each other, not to arouse but to comfort and sooth.


Neither one was aware of how much time passed as they lay in each other’s arms.  They talked in whispers about everything and nothing.


“If you want, Jules…” Sam said after a few minutes of silence.  “We can still have a baby.”


Julie shook her head.  “I’m forty-three years old, Sam. I’m starting to go through menopause.  My chances of conceiving now are…” she shrugged, even as her eyes filled with fresh tears.


“We’ll do whatever it takes to have our baby.  We’ll go see a fertility specialist… see what our options are,” Sam told her.  “If that is what you want, sweetheart… we’ll do it.”


“Do you really mean that?”  Julie asked him in between sniffles.


“Of course, I do.”


“What about you?  What do you want?  Do you really want another child?  I know you said you hadn’t given it any thought…”


“And I hadn’t,” Sam told her as his thumbs moved over her cheeks, wiping away her tears.  “But the moment you told me there was a chance you might be… the thought of you having my baby filled me with such… joy.”  He gave her a small smile.  “And I am serious… if you want to try… we will everything and anything we have to, to have OUR baby.”


Julie returned his small smile, albeit a bit watery.  “I…” she shook her head.  “I don’t know… I…” she shrugged.


“Why don’t we just play it by ear for now?”  Sam suggested.  “We don’t have to decide right this moment.”


“Okay,” Julie said then buried her face in his chest as she was overtaken with a yawn.


“I think we should try to get some sleep,” Sam suggested.


Julie nodded her agreement and the two quickly maneuvered themselves under the blankets.  Once she was back in his arms, Julie laid her head on Sam’s chest and wrapped her arm around his waist.  Their legs tangled together loosely.


Mutual contented sighs filled the hotel room, and within moments, both were sound asleep.




Sam’s eyes flew open.  Unsure of what woke him, Sam was momentarily confused as to his whereabouts, but within seconds it came back to him.


The test results.


Bringing Julie to the hotel.


The two of them working to heal their hurt through their love… both physically and emotionally.


At that moment, the sound of soft crying reached his ears, and Sam realized what it was that had woken him up.  He turned his head, and in the moon light shining in from the window, he could see Julie’s body shaking with suppressed sobs on the far side of the bed.


Without speaking, Sam rolled onto his side and slid across the bed so that he was spooned up behind her.  He felt her body stiffen slightly then relax again as he slipped one arm beneath her head and wrapped the other around her body. 


Their fingers laced together over her belly.


“…Sam…” Julie whispered brokenly.


Sshh…” Sam whispered back.  “Just let it out, honey… just let it out.”


Julie nestled back into Sam’s arms as her tears began to flow, unchecked, down her cheeks and into the pillow.


Sam’s tears fell into her hair.




Julie stared out the truck’s window as Sam drove through the city towards home.  Her eyes were on the passing scenery, but Julie didn’t see a thing.  Her thoughts were turned inward… remembering the conversation she and Sam had had at the hotel that morning.


“I was thinking,” Sam said as he walked into the bathroom carrying the two toothbrushes and tube of toothpaste he’d run down and bought from the store in the lobby. 


“About what?”  Julie asked as she stepped out of the shower.


“Damn!  I was hoping to be back before you got out,” Sam commented as he raked his eyes over Julie’s wet, naked body.


“What were you thinking about, Sam?”  Julie asked him.  A smile pulled at her mouth as she reached for the towel.  “Other than what you’re thinking now, of course?”


Sam grinned then moved over the sink and opened one of the toothbrushes.  “What do you think about adoption?”


Julie stopped toweling and met Sam’s eyes in the mirror.  “Are you serious?”


Sam nodded.  “I wouldn’t have mentioned it if I wasn’t,” he answered as he squeezed some toothpaste out onto his toothbrush then began to brush his teeth.


“Adoption…” Julie repeated quietly as she resumed drying off.  “I… I never really thought about it,” she told him honestly then quickly toweled off hair.  She wrapped the towel around her body, stepped up beside him and picked up the second toothbrush.


“I know it wouldn’t be a child of ours,” Sam said after he’d spit his toothpaste into the sink.  He quickly rinsed then met her eyes in the mirror again as she began to brush her teeth.  “But it would be our child.”


Julie mulled over his words as she brushed her teeth.  She quickly spit out the toothpaste and rinsed her mouth.  “There are lots of kids out there who could use a good home,” Julie said thoughtfully.


“Yes there are,” Sam nodded.  “We don’t have to decide right now, sweetheart.  Let’s wait for the new year as we talked about last night.  We’ll talk with Irving… see what our options are.”


Julie nodded and gave him a small smile.  She felt the towel start to slip and brought her hand up to clutch the ends together.  “I think we should get dressed and go…”




Julie shook her head.


“Jules?  Did you hear me?  We’re home.”


Julie blinked and looking out the window, she realized that they were indeed home.


“Are you okay?”


Julie gave him a small smile.  “Yes,” she said quietly.


Sam reached out to grasp Julie’s hand.  “You sure?  You were awfully quiet, and you seemed so far away just now.”


Julie’s smile grew and she gave his hand a squeeze.  “Yes.  I’m sure.  I was just thinking about what we talked about this morning.”


“Ah,” Sam said.  “Ready to go inside?”


Julie nodded then opened her door and climbed out of the truck.  She made her way around the truck to where Sam was waiting for her and slipped her hand into his.


Together, they walked along the back to the kitchen door.


“We’re home!”  Sam called out as they entered the house.


“DAD!”  Allie and Adam cried out at the same time and came running in from the living room.


Allie reached them first and headed straight for Sam.  In a move that caught both Julie and Sam by surprise, Adam bypassed his father completely and wrapped his arms around his step-mother.  “Welcome home, Jules.”


Sam met Julie’s eyes over the kids’ heads and gave her a smile.


“Thanks, Adam.”  Julie replied as she returned his hug.


Adam smiled at her as he stepped out of her arms then turned to give his father a quick, “manly” hug.


“Welcome home, Julie.”  Allie said with a small smile.


“Thank you, Allie.”  Julie said.




“Yeah, Adam?”


“Can I talk to you in private?”


“Sure thing,” Sam said.  “Let’s go into the den,” he flashed Julie a quick smile then followed his son out of the kitchen.


Julie watched the men leave then turned to see Allie standing before her with an uncertain look on her face.  “Allie… are you all right?”


“Yeah…” Allie began.  “I uh… I’m watching ‘A Christmas Carol’ in the living room… if you would like watch it with me… that’d be… cool, I guess.  If you wanna that is… you don’t have to… if you’re busy or something…”


“I would love to watch with you,” Julie said.


Allie smiled then spun on her heels and walked into the living room, Julie right behind her.




“So, what did you want to talk about?”  Sam asked his son as he sat on the sofa in the small room.


Adam dropped to the couch beside his father.  “It’s about Jules’ Christmas present.  I thought of something else I would like to get her.”


“And what would that be?”


Adam hesitated a moment then began to talk very fast, and very animatedly.  When he was finished, he looked at his father expectantly.  “So… do you think it’s a good idea?”


“I think it’s a great idea, and I think Julie will love it,” Sam answered his son as he gazed at him with pride.






“What about you, dad?  Are you okay about it?”


Sam thought about what Adam had told him, and considered it from every possible angle then slowly nodded.  “Yes, Adam… I am okay with it.”




“Yeah,” Sam nodded.


Adam sank back against the couch.  “Good.  So then, how do we do this?”


Sam gave his son a thoughtful look then climbed to his feet and moved over to his desk.  Adam followed and stood behind him as Sam turned on the computer.


“I have an idea,” Sam said as he opened a particular program and then began to type away.


Twenty minutes later, Adam held a printed sheet of paper in his hands.  “This is great, dad.”


Sam smiled.


“Do you really think Julie will like it?”


“Yes,” Sam nodded.  “I really think Julie will like it.”


Adam smiled then rolled the paper up.




The door opened and the McGuire family plus Bernie and Wooley hurried into the house.


“That was a lovely service,” Julie said as she brushed the snow off her jacket before she unbuttoned and removed it.


“Yes it was,” Sam agreed as he took Julie’s coat and hung it up then removed his, and hung it up as well.


“I thought the Christmas tree looked very nice,” Bernie said as she headed into the kitchen.


“So did I,” Allie agreed as she hung her coat up.


“I liked the candle part,” Adam commented as he flopped down onto the couch, having already hung up his coat.  “And I like that it wasn’t a real long service.”


Wooley nodded his agreement as he sat down in the wicker chair.


Sam slipped his arm around Julie’s waist and pulled her close.  “I simply enjoyed the fact that we were all there together as a family.”


“Me too,” Julie smiled and leaned up to give Sam a quick kiss.


“Can we open our presents now?”  Adam asked suddenly.


“No,” Sam replied.  “It’s only,” he glanced at his watch, “eight o’clock.  Besides, it’s Christmas Eve, not Christmas Day.  The gifts don’t get opened until Christmas Day.”


“Jules was telling us that when she was a girl, they opened gifts on Christmas Eve,” Adam pointed out.


“One gift,” Julie said.  “We only opened one gift Christmas Eve, and that was right before we went to bed.”


“Well then… can we open one gift?”  Allie asked.


“Yeah, can we, dad?” 


“Tell you what,” Julie began with a quick glance at Sam.  “Why don’t we all get into our pyjamas, then we can watch a Christmas movie and when that’s finished, we’ll all open one small gift before bed.  How’s that sound to everyone?”


Adam and Allie exchanged looks, shrugged then nodded their acceptance.


“Works for me,” Wooley said.  Having no other family, he’d been invited to spend the night with the McGuires.  And while he’d tried to act nonchalant about accepting, everyone had seen just how touched he was to have been included.


“Me too,” Bernie said from the kitchen.


“Well then,” Julie clapped her hands together.  “Let’s go!”


Adam jumped up off the couch and took off up the stairs after Allie who, being closer to the stairs, had a head start.  Wooley shook his head and shared a laugh with Julie and Sam as they slowly followed the children up.  Bernie simply turned and cut through the kitchen to her room in the back.


Twenty minutes later, they were once again in the living room, all of them dressed in their pyjamas.


“So, what movie are we going to watch?”  Sam asked.


“Christmas Vacation!”  Adam suggested.


“No… A Christmas Carol,” Allie countered.


“You watched that this afternoon,” Adam pointed out.


“How about White Christmas?”  Bernie said.


“Oh yes!”  Julie agreed.  “I love White Christmas.”


“It’s okay by me,” Sam said.


Wooley just shrugged.


Julie looked over at the kids.  “I tell you what,” she said to the kids, as she noticed neither one looked too thrilled with the idea of watching the holiday classic.  “Tomorrow, after we open the rest of the gifts, we’ll watch your vacation movie, Adam.  Then after lunch we’ll watch A Christmas Carol.  How’s that sound?”


Allie and Adam looked at each other then turned back to Julie and nodded.  “Okay,” Allie said.  “I guess that’ll work.”


“Good,” Julie smiled.


“Adam, would you go grab the movie, please?”  Sam asked his son.


“Sure thing, dad.”  Adam said and jumped up to fetch it.


“Allie,” Bernie said with a tap on the teen’s arm.  “Come help me make some popcorn.”


“All right,” Allie said and followed the housekeeper into the kitchen.


Within ten minutes, popcorn was made and handed out along with beverages.  Adam popped the tape into the VCR then hurried back to the couch to sit beside his sister.


Julie pulled her legs up beneath her and snuggled into Sam’s side, sighing happily when he wrapped his arm around her.  “This is nice,” she murmured softly for his ears alone.


Sam drew her closer and nuzzled his cheek against the top of Julie’s head.  “Yes it is.”


Sssh!”  Allie shushed them.  “The movie’s starting.”




“…and may all your Christmases be white.” 


Sam pointed the remote at the VCR and stopped the movie then shut off the VCR and television before dropping the remote to the coffee table.


“That was so sweet what they did for the general,” Allie said with a smile.


“Yeah,” Adam agreed then turned to face his father and Julie.  “So… does this mean we can open our gifts now?”


“Yes, can we?”  Allie asked.


“After you help Bernie bring the glasses and bowls into the kitchen,” Sam told them.


Allie and Adam jumped up, gathered up the dishes and carried them into the kitchen, Bernie following.  Several moments later, they rushed back into the living room.


“So, now can we?”  Adam asked as he rocked back and forth on his feet by the end of the couch.


“Yes,” Julie nodded.  “But small ones.”




“Small ones,” Sam told them, “or you can always wait till morning to open them.”


“Do we get to pick which ones we open?”


Julie nodded.


With big grins, the kids jumped up and ran over to the tree, which was standing near to the fireplace.  After rifling through the wrapped packages, Adam and Allie returned to the couch, each with a small box in their hands.


“Are these all right?”  Allie asked.


“Yes,” Julie answered.  “Those are okay to open.”


The adults watched as Adam ripped open his present first. 


“Hey!  A new watch!  Cool!”  He exclaimed and smiled up at his father and Julie.  “Thanks!”


“You’re welcome,” Julie said as she smiled in return.  She bit her lower lip as she turned to watch Allie carefully open her present.


Allie pushed the paper away to reveal a blue jewellery box.  She removed the lid and her eyes grew wide.  “Oh wow…” she whispered and carefully lifted out a large, gold, heart-shaped locket on a chain.


“Oh, that’s lovely,” Bernie said as Allie held the locket up.


“Open it,” Sam told his daughter.


Allie carefully pried the locket open and inhaled sharply as her eyes filled with tears.  Unable to find her voice, she stared at the miniature picture of her mother.  “I… it’s… thank you,” Allie finally spoke as she met her father’s eyes.


“Actually…” Sam began with a quick glance at his wife.  “It was Julie’s idea to give you the locket… and put your mother’s picture inside.”


Allie turned surprised eyes onto her stepmother.  “Your idea?”


Mmhmm,” Julie nodded and reached out to finger the locket.  “My mother gave me this locket for Christmas when I was your age,” she explained.  “As I got older, I promised myself that when I had a little girl… I would pass it on to her when she was old enough.”  Julie paused and smiled at Allie.  “You’re the closest I will ever have to a daughter of my own… so, it’s yours.  And, I thought you would like to have a picture of your mother to keep with you.”


“Thank you, Julie.”  Allie said in a soft voice.  She looked down at the locket and touched her finger to her mother’s picture.  “This means a lot to me.”


Wooley, watching quietly from his chair, surreptitiously wiped a tear from his eye.  As he did so, he noticed Bernie doing the same thing.  The two shared wry smiles.


Adam got up and gave Julie and Sam hugs.  “Thanks, guys.”


Allie turned her back to Julie and balanced on the edge of the sofa beside Julie.  She held up the locket.  “Would you… put this on for me?”


“Sure,” Julie smiled.  She took the locket and undid the clasp.  She swung the chain over her head.  “Lift your hair… there we… go.” Julie secured the chain. “All done.”


Allie looked down at the locket and placed her hand on it then turned and gave Julie a hug.  “Thank you, Julie.”  She whispered again in her stepmother’s ear.


“You’re welcome, Allie.”  Julie replied as she returned the hug.


“All right, kids.”  Sam said.  “It’s time for bed.”


“Ah, dad…” Adam moaned.  “Do we have to?”


“Yes, you have to.”  Sam answered.  “It’s late, and you know you’ll be up early in the morning.”


Allie eased out of Julie’s arms, stood then stepped in front of her father and leaned down to hug him as well.  “Thank you, daddy.”


“You’re welcome, sweetheart.”  Sam replied and pressed a kiss to her cheek.  “Now, you two,” he said as she straightened up.  “Upstairs and in bed.”


“Yes, daddy.”  Allie said and began to head for the stairs.  “Good night, Bernie!  Night, Wooley.”


“Yeah, night Bernie!  Night, Wooley!”  Adam called out.


“Night, kids!”  Wooley called back.


“Sweet dreams,” Bernie said then looked at the others.  “I think I’m going to turn in too.  It’s been a long day.”


“Good night, Bernie.”  Julie smiled at the housekeeper.


“Good night, doc.  Mrs. M.”  Bernie nodded to both then smiled over at Wooley.  “Good night, big guy.”


Looking a little uncomfortable with the look Bernie was giving him, Wooley shifted in the chair.  “Good night.”


“I think she has the right idea,” Wooley said, as he watched Bernie disappear into the dark kitchen.  “I think I’m going to follow suit and hit the sack.”  He stood and looked down at Julie and Sam still seated on the couch.  “Thank you again for inviting me to stay.”


Julie quickly got to her feet and gave him a hug.  “You’re very welcome, Chum.  It wouldn’t have been Christmas without you.”


Sam stood as well and nodded to Wooley.  “Yeah, we’re glad you’re here, Wooley.”


“Thanks, Sam.”  Wooley smiled then headed upstairs to the spare room.


“Alone at last,” Julie said as she watched Wooley disappear from view.


“So… what would you like to do, Mrs. McGuire?”  Sam grinned at his wife as he reached out to finger the lapel of her robe.


Julie smiled at her husband and stepped closer so that her body just barely brushed his.  “Well, Doctor McGuire… I would love nothing more than to dance with you.”




Mmhmm,” Julie nodded and laid her hand on his chest.  “We’ve not danced since Vegas, Sam.”


“You’re right.  We haven’t,” Sam agreed.  He lowered his head and brushed a quick kiss over her lips then turned and walked across the room to the stereo.


As Sam turned it on and flipped through the stations, Julie walked over to lock the door.  She turned off the lights, leaving only the fire and the lights from the Christmas tree to illuminate the room.


“Very nice,” Sam remarked as he finally found a station playing quiet instrumental Christmas music.  “How’s th…” Sam’s voice trailed off when he turned around to face Julie.  His eyes grew wide, and he felt a distinct pull in his groin.


Julie smiled at Sam in the low light, seeing the arousal in his eyes, and in the tightening of his body.  “Merry Christmas, Sam.”


“Please tell me you’re the present I get to unwrap tonight?”  Sam asked.


Julie laughed softly.  “So you like the new nightie?”


“Oh yes,” Sam nodded.  “Very much so,” he said as he took in the sight of her.


Julie’s robe hung open and was pushed back on her shoulders to reveal a red nightie that fell to mid thigh.  The top of the nightie was fitted lace which accentuated her full breasts, and as Sam’s eyes moved over her, Julie felt her nipples grow into tight points.


Without saying a word, Julie closed the distance between them.  Sam slid his hands around her, inside her robe and pulled her close to him.  In the flickering light of the fire and Christmas tree, the two began to sway to the soft music.


“Mmm… I’ve missed this,” Julie murmured as she nuzzled her face into his neck.  She pressed several light kisses to his skin.  “I love dancing with you, Sam.”


“And I with you, sweetheart.”  Sam replied and gently rubbed his hands in light circles over her back and bottom. 


They fell into a comfortable silence as they continued to dance to the quiet strains of the holiday music.  Words were not necessary between the two lovers, and after the high emotions of the night before, both were content to simply bask in each other’s love.


“We should do this more often,” Sam said quietly.


“Yes we should,” Julie agreed with a smile as she played with the buttons on his pyjama top.  She released several of them and slipped her hand inside.


“Jules…” Sam growled softly in her ear as her fingers teased his nipples.


“Yes?”  Julie replied with an air of feigned innocence.


“Can I unwrap my present now?”  He asked and for emphasis, he tugged on the hem of her nightie.


“I was wondering when you were going to ask,” Julie said as she lifted her head to meet his eyes.


Sam grinned and lowered his mouth to hers.  He feathered light kisses over her lips for several moments, teasing her until she growled his name and reached up to pull his mouth down onto hers.  They moaned as their lips parted and their tongues met in a dance as intimate as the one the one they would soon be sharing.


“Sam… Sam, let’s go upstairs,” Julie whispered as Sam’s lips moved along her jaw.  She arched her neck to give him better access.  Her hands clenched the front of his pyjama top.  “…Sam…”


“Right here,” Sam murmured against her throat.  “I want to make love to you right here in front of the fire and the Christmas tree.  After all, I am unwrapping my present, so what better place is there?”


Julie laughed.  A deep sexy laugh that shot straight to Sam’s groin.


Sam pulled her body closer to his, and he carefully lowered them to the carpet, stretching out and covering her body with his.  Julie worked her arms out of the sleeves of her robe and slid them inside his to wrap them around his back as they kissed hungrily.


“Sam… help me,” Julie moaned against his lips as she pushed at his pyjama bottoms, managing to get them over his rear then began to use her feet to help pull them down.


Sam shifted, lifting his body to allow her to work them off of him.  As Julie busied herself with his pants, Sam slipped a hand between them and between her thighs.  His eyes widened and his head came up to meet her eyes when his fingers encountered her damp curls.


Julie smiled at him.


“Have you been like this all night?”  Sam asked as he began to stroke his fingers through her curls.


“What?  Without panties or wet?”  Julie replied then inhaled sharply when Sam pressed a finger inside her.


“Both,” Sam answered as he added a second finger and moved them in and out of her.


“I… oooh…” Julie pulled her lower lip between her teeth and lifted her hips to meet his stroking fingers.  “I… I was hoping for this… so no panties…mmm…” she told him and clenched her hands on the firm cheeks of his ass when his thumb brushed against her clit.


“And being wet?”  Sam asked as he lowered his head and captured a lace covered nipple with his mouth.


“…dancing… when we started dancing…” Julie arched beneath him, pressing more of her breast into his mouth.  Saaammm…”


Her hand moved between their bodies and found his length.  She wrapped her fingers around him, the heat from his hardened flesh searing her cool hand immediately.


“Jules…” Sam groaned as she started to stroke him.  Wanting to distract her, Sam yanked the lace top of her nightie down and freed her breasts.  With a low growl, he dipped his head and pulled her nipple into his mouth again.


“Oh god!”  Julie cried out as the sensations shot from her breast to her centre and her fingers clenched unconsciously around his member.  “Sam… Sam… I want you inside me… now.”


Sam released her breast and raised his head.  He could see his need reflected in her eyes.  With a slight nod, Sam withdrew his fingers and wrapped them around her hand still encircling his shaft.  Together they guided his arousal to her waiting entrance.


“Oooh yes…” they moaned together as Sam sank deep inside Julie’s wet heat.


Without speaking, they began to move.  Sam withdrew and sank back inside her; over and over, in and out of her slick passage.  Julie moaned in pleasure and lifted her hips to meet his thrusts.


“Jules…” Sam spoke in a rough voice as he felt his orgasm creeping up fast on him.  “Honey… I’m not going to last long…”


“Me either…” Julie replied and wrapped her legs around his hips.  She clenched his shoulders with her hands and drew him closer.  “Make us come, Sam…” Julie whispered up to him and clenched her inner muscles around him.


“…yes…” Sam growled as he drove his length into her harder and faster; circling and grinding his pelvis against hers with every thrust.


“Mmm… oh yes… oh, Sam…” Julie panted as she felt the tension building with every stroke.  “Sam, please…”


Sam’s body grew tight and with a final, deep thrust he found his release.  He groaned her name as his essence flew from his shaft to bathe her womb.  His orgasm washed over him in pleasurable waves of ecstasy; his hips continuing to pump against her.


Julie inhaled sharply then bit Sam’s shoulder to keep from crying out as she came.  Her body tightened around his; arms and legs clutching him tight to her as she bucked and writhed beneath him with the pulses of her orgasm.


Sam sank into Julie’s embrace.


“Merry Christmas, darling.”  Julie whispered against his ear as she unwrapped her legs from his waist and entangled them loosely with his.


Sam nuzzled her neck then lifted his head to smile at her.  “Merry Christmas, sweetheart.”






“Oh no…” Julie groaned and pulled the blankets up over her face as she burrowed deeper into Sam’s side.


Sam chuckled sleepily.


Whatimisit?”  Julie muttered against his chest, her voice muffled beneath the blanket.


Sam looked over at the clock on his night stand.  “Eight thirty.”


Julie groaned.


“Could be worse,” Sam told her.  “They could have woken us up much earlier.”


Julie flipped the blankets off of her head as she nodded.  “You’re right.  They could have.”  She yawned but did not move from where she was cuddled against his side.  “They also could have slept in a little later.  We’ve only been asleep for a couple of hours.”


“And whose fault is that?”  Sam asked as he pulled her body on top of his.  He smiled when he felt the blush heat her face and chest.  The smile on his face grew into a grin.


After their loving in front of the Christmas tree, Sam and Julie had retired to their room where, they proceeded to make love all night, only falling asleep a couple hours before dawn.


‘She was insatiable,’ Sam thought happily as he remembered how she’d kept him awake for pretty much the whole night.


“It was a fun night, wasn’t it?” 


Sam blinked and found himself looking up into his wife’s smiling face.  “Yes it was,” he agreed as Julie shifted and straddled him.  Sam swallowed as his hardening member nestled between her folds.  “Jules… honey, we can’t…” he grasped her hips and held her close.


As if to lend credence to Sam’s half-hearted protest, there was a loud knock on the bedroom door.  “DAD!  JULIE!  Wake up!”


Julie chuckled.  “We’re up!”  She called out then bit her lip to keep from laughing when she heard Sam whisper, “In more ways than one.”


“Come on, guys!  It’s Christmas morning!”  Adam called through the door.


“We’ll be down in a few minutes, Adam.”  Julie answered.


“Okay!”  Adam replied.  “But hurry.”


“We will.”


When they heard his footsteps running down the stairs, Julie turned back to Sam and leaned closer so that her breasts rubbed his chest.  “We should go…” she whispered against his lips.


“We should…” Sam agreed as he rocked his hips beneath her.


“We… mmm…” Julie moaned.  “Sam…”


“You started it,” Sam murmured against her lips.


Julie laughed and lifted her head.  “You’re right.  I did.”


“Can I have a rain cheque for tonight?”  Sam feathered his fingers up and down her back.


“Mmm… sure thing,” Julie nodded.  She pressed a soft kiss to his lips then levered herself up off his body and rolled out of bed.  “Come on, darling… the children are waiting.”


Sam nodded and watched his wife pad naked into the bathroom.  He remained in the bed until he heard the toilet flush and the water in the sink start to run.  He quickly pulled on his pyjamas and walked into the bathroom.


Julie caught his eye in the mirror as she finished brushing her teeth.  She spit the toothpaste into the sink and smiled at him.  “Don’t be long,” she told him as she moved past him and stopped in the doorway.  “I’ll have your coffee waiting for you when you come down.”


Thanks, honey.” Sam said as he lifted the toilet seat.




Julie spooned the sugar into the cup and began to stir the hot liquid just as she heard Sam’s footsteps on the stairs.


“Is that mine?”  Sam asked as he came up behind her and rested his chin on her shoulder.


“Yes,” Julie said as she tapped the spoon on the edge of the cup then placed it in the sink.  She smiled as he reached around her to grab the mug.


Sam straightened up and took a sip of the hot brew.  “Mmm… this is good,” he sighed happily then leaned over to kiss Julie on the cheek.  “Thank you, sweetheart.”


“You’re welcome,” Julie replied as she reached for her cup.  She slipped her arm around his waist and the two made their way to the living room.


In silent agreement, they stopped in the doorway and watched the kids rifle through the wrapped presents, trying to figure out what was in each package.


“Merry Christmas,” Julie called out.


Allie and Adam looked up at Sam and Julie.  “Merry Christmas!”  They called out together.


Sam and Julie smiled as they stepped further into the room.  Wooley and Bernie stood and moved around the couch to join the family by the tree.


“Wooley!  Bernie!  Stop!”  Allie called out suddenly.


“What?”  Wooley stopped suddenly causing Bernie to run into him.  “What is it?”


“You and Bernie are under the mistletoe!  You’ve got to kiss,” Allie said with a grin.


Wooley’s eyes widened and he looked up. 


Julie bit back the smile that threatened to break out over her face at the look on Wooley’s face.


“She’s right, Wooley.”  Sam said.  “You are under the mistletoe.”


“Pucker up, big guy.”  Bernie told Wooley as she stepped closer and put her hands on his shoulder.


“Ah, what the hell!  It’s Christmas,” Wooley said and slipped his arms around Bernie’s waist then lowered his head to press a soft kiss to her lips.


“Eeewww,” Adam grimaced and turned back to the presents.


“Merry Christmas, Bernie.”  Wooley said as he released her.


“I’ll say,” Bernie fanned herself and followed him over to the tree.


Sam and Julie exchanged smiles before Sam handed Julie his mug.


“Wooley, wanna help me turn the couch around?”  Sam asked.


“Sure thing, Sam.”  Wooley replied.


Within moments, the two men had the sofa turned around facing the Christmas tree.


“Ladies,” Sam gestured for Julie and Bernie to sit.  He perched on the arm of the couch next to Julie.  “Adam, why don’t you play Santa?”


Adam grinned and began to hand out gifts.




“What a mess,” Julie said as she sat back against the couch and surveyed the mess of wrapping paper and boxes strewn all over the floor.


“The joy of Christmas,” Sam chuckled as he slipped his arm around her shoulder.


Julie laughed and reached for her coffee.  She grimaced as she took a sip.


“Would you like a fresh cup, Mrs. M.?”  Bernie asked.


“That would be lovely.  Thank you, Bernie.”  Julie said then turned to look at the kids.  “Well, since all the gifts have been unwrapped, why don’t we start gathering up the wrapping paper?”


“Wait a sec, Jules.”  Adam said.  “There’s one more gift.”


“There is?”


“Yeah,” Adam answered as he scrambled to his feet and moved over to the tree.


Julie watched as he reached a hand into the branches and pulled out what looked to be a piece of rolled paper, secured with a red ribbon.


Adam walked back to Julie and held the scroll out to her.  “Merry Christmas, Jules.” He said in a quiet voce.


Julie took the paper.  She slipped the ribbon off and unrolled the scroll then began to read.  Her eyes filled with tears.  “Oh, Adam… I…” she looked up at the young man standing before her.  “Adam… are you sure about this?”


“Yeah,” Adam nodded with a smile.


“I… I don’t know what to say,” Julie said as she blinked back her tears.  “This is… the most wonderful present I’ve ever received,” she told him then reached out to pull him into a hug.


“What’s it say, Jules?”  Wooley asked.


Julie released Adam and looked over at her friend.  “It’s an unofficial adoption certificate.”


“Unofficial adoption certificate?”


“Yeah,” Adam said with only a mild hint of embarrassment.  “I would like Julie to adopt me… but since nothing can be done until after the holidays… this was my way of asking her.”


“And it was all Adam’s idea,” Sam said with a gentle squeeze to Julie’s shoulder.




Julie turned to see Allie kneeling on the floor before her, a hesitant look on her face.  “Yes, Allie?”


“Can I add my name to that certificate?”


“Allie?  Are you sure?”  Sam asked his daughter.


Allie nodded then met her step-mother’s eyes.  “I know I haven’t made it really easy on you the last few months, and I can’t promise to be the perfect daughter,” she said.  “But I would still like you to be my mother.”


Julie gave the young woman a watery smile.  “I would be proud to have you as my daughter, Allie.”


Allie smiled back.


“Does this mean I can call you mom?”  Adam asked Julie.


“If you want to,” Julie said.  “I will leave that up to you and your sister.”


“Then I will,” Adam grinned.


“Julie…” Allie began.


“Allie… only if you want to.”  Julie told her.  “It’s your decision.”


Allie smiled.


“Well…” Sam clapped his hands.  “Why don’t we get started on cleaning this mess up?”


“Good idea,” Julie agreed.


“I’m going to go into the kitchen and start breakfast,” Bernie said from where she was standing in the archway.  She brought the fresh cup of coffee over to Julie then quickly made her way back into the kitchen.


Wooley pushed himself up from his spot on the couch.  “Well… I think I’m going to go get dressed.”


Julie shot her friend a knowing look and shook her head.  “You’re terrible, Wooley!”


Wooley just smiled at her and continued up the stairs.


Julie laughed and began to help gather up the wrapping paper.  As she was stuffing a handful of paper into the garbage bag Sam had fetched from the kitchen, the phone rang.


“Who on earth could that be?”  Sam asked.


“I don’t know,” Julie answered as she moved to answer the phone.  “Merry Christmas, McGuire residence.”  There was a pause.  “Hello, Irving.  No.  No, you’re not interrupting anything.”


Sam listened with half an ear as he continued to pick up.  When he heard Julie gasp, he dropped the bag he was holding and quickly moved to her side.  “Sweetheart, what is it?”


Julie shook her head, her eyes wide and filling with tears.  “…Sam… I… we…” she shook her head again and pulled in a shaky breath.


Feeling suddenly worried, Sam took the phone.  “Hey, Irving, it’s Sam.”


“Hi, Sam.  Merry Christmas.”


“Merry Christmas to you too,” Sam replied.  “What’s up, Irv?”


“I’m sorry to be calling you Christmas morning, Sam.”  Irving said.


“No problem.”


“I’ve been trying to get a hold of you since Friday, but with the holidays…”


“I understand,” Sam said as he continued to stare at his wife.


“I’ll make this quick,” Irving said.  “I’m anxious to get back to my family too.  There was mix up with the test results, Sam.”


“What do you mean there was a mix up… what are you saying, Irving?”  Sam asked and was surprised when Julie reached out to grab his free hand and lay it on her belly.  His eyes grew wide and hopeful.


“There was a mix up with the test results,” Irving repeated.  “I discovered it Friday when old Mrs. Mainer came in to see me.  It seems the tech mislabeled the files.”


There was a pause.  One that seemed to stretch on to forever before Sam heard the words.


“Sam,” Irving said.  “Julie’s pregnant.”


The phone fell from Sam’s hand as he pulled Julie close.  “We’re pregnant,” he whispered against her lips.


“We’re pregnant,” Julie whispered back in a voice choked with emotion.


As their mouths came together in a passionate kiss, their hands remained clasped together between them on Julie’s belly; covering their most precious gift.


The end.



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