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Justin knee Jobe was right and that they were trying to find some sort of reason or rhyme in everything that had happened but he supposed Jobe was right, it had been a terrible accident. No one was to blame. He sighed and gave a smile to Jobe.
“I’ll talk, do not worry.” He assured him and headed back out to see Willow and Anastasia cooing over the little ones.
“Well then, who’s this?” He asked as he sat by Willow and looked to Juliet. They were so tiny and so perfect. He looked to Anastasia as she placed Fletcher in his arms and laughed,
“Oh well, this is a handsome little man if I ever did see one.” He murmured and looked over the boy.
“Wait me?” He seemed slightly shocked. He and Willow hasn’t been there for their friends and yet they still wanted him to be a Godfather!
Anastasia watched Willow and smiled,
“That’s great. Because twins really takes a toll.” She said with a smile. She wouldn’t ever have it differently and she was grateful to be blessed with two little babies. She looked up as Jobe and Justin returned and she watched Justin. Men weren’t as good at sharing their emotions and she carefully placed Fletcher in his arms,
“There we are, you can have some uncle and nephew bonding.” She smiled and relaxed a little.
Of course it was hard work being a parent and the extra help was always something she was grateful for. She looked to Jobe and smiled a little, sorting out the cord and making them proper for later one
“Well it seems we have a Godmother for the little ones.” She said and smiled,
“Now we just need a godfather.” She looked to Justin and giggled at his reaction.
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/R9bcGpC.jpg]] Willow didn’t want to cry but her emotions had been all over the place this last week and now that she finally met the twins she was overjoyed that they were healthy and that Jobe and Anastasia were happy. She wanted the same thing and maybe some day soon they would. She smiled down at Juliet in her arms and took hold of her tiny hand in hers. She was so small and she found herself already excited by the prospect of seeing them grow up.
[b “I promise we will be there for them... and you. We will help you in any way we can.”] She said sincerely. Of course it wasn’t going to be easy at first but time would heal their wounds and see her friend so happy went some way to helping her return to her normal state of mind. She laughed and nodded in agreement. [b “They will definitely be a handful. I still can’t believe you had twins!”] She said just as Juliet started to fuss a little. She shifted her in her arms slightly and started to rock her gently. [b “Shhh it’s okay little one.”]
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/gb7q260.jpg]] Jobe listened to Justin carefully. [b “It sounds like you are both blaming yourselves. What happened to you was a tragedy that no one could foresee. You both need to stop blaming yourselves because you are never going to heal if you keep thinking about what you might have changed if you had the chance.”] He took a sip of his scotch and shook his head. [b “Don’t dwell on the things you can’t change. Now you just need to work through it and make sure you don’t bottle everything up. You need to talk to someone about you feel whether that is to me or Willow...when you are ready.”] He said taking a look at the clock.
He didn’t want to keep Justin from Willow for too long, knowing that both of them were probably anxious without the other right now so he rose from his chair and downed the rest of his scotch and placed a hand on his shoulder. [b “Anastasia will be done with the feed now. Come. Let’s go back and try to fix things...get back to normal.”]
Justin was relieved at the sight of the scotch and he took it gratefully as he listened to Jobe’s questions and he thought answer over carefully.
“Willow is.... putting on a brave face. She’s trying, I know she is. She blames herself and all of the emotions that go along with that.” He murmured to Jobe and took a drink of the scotch, the liquid helping to see together his tattered nerves.
“As for me... I’m not sure. I don’t know how to feel. Everything just merges together. He said to Jobe.
“It’s just time. That’s all. And maybe now that Anastasia and Willow are talking once more it might help Willow heal in some way.” He said and looked to Jobe.
“I just keep thinking that if I had been quicker, if I had found her earlier or stopped her going to the damn stables we might not be in this situation.” He muttered and ran a hand through his hair. His emotions were natural of course, he felt guilt, shame, anger and grief all at once and he had been so strong for Willow.
Anastasia looked to Willow and smiled a little,
“Hey- Oh, please don’t cry.” She said softly and watched Willow carefully.
“I understand. But I know that you’ll be there for our children.” She soothed her apologies quietly and shook her head. She had no reason to apologise.
“Besides, Juliet is going to need an aunt to go to for all her fashion advice. And Fletcher will need an uncle to go to with all his mischief.” She laughed a little.
“I want you to play a part in them growing up. You can teach them things, you’re great as a teacher.” She pointed out and looked to little Juliet before looking back to Fletcher. She gave Willow’s hand a squeeze gently and looked to the little ones.
“Besides, when they’re toddlers they’ll be a handful.” She laughed a little at the thought.
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/R9bcGpC.jpg]] Willow smiled towards Anastasia and shook her head. [b “You have nothing to apologise for. It’s perfectly natural and I wouldn’t be any kind of women if I scoffed at another feeding their child.”] She said, hoping that she would offer the woman some comfort. It was actually quite a wonderful thing to witness in honesty and she was surprised at how quiet Fletcher was since she was sure he was the one she had been hearing in the night.
When Anastasia stood up she thought that she was putting Juliet in her cot but as she neared her she started to realise that she was bringing Juliet to her and she started to place the girl carefully in her arms. [b “Oh…”]. It was not a sound of disappointment or upset, she was just surprised by the action. Willow couldn’t help but feel a rush of emotion come over her as she looked down at the beautiful child in her arms and tears began to form in her eyes. [b “She is beautiful.”] She said softy, before glancing over towards Fletcher in Anastasia’s arms. [b “They both are…”] Her tears were ones of joy and pride, especially now that Anastasia stated their intentions.
[b “We would be honoured.”] She said as she took hold of her hand. [b “I am sorry I wasn’t there for you.”]
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/gb7q260.jpg]] Jobe smiled when he saw the affection shared between the two and looked towards Anastasia. Everything would end up being alright, that much he knew now. He smiled towards Willow before leading Justin to the study and close the door behind them. His lips parted to speak but Justin seemed to get their first with his apology. Jobe was already shaking his head.
[b “You have nothing to apologise for. We totally understand. We are just glad that you are out of your room. We were getting worried about you both.”] He said with a smile as he started to pour a glass of scotch. It was the afternoon and it had been so long since the two had shared one together. [b “How is Willow coping? How are [I you] coping?”] He asked, hoping that he wasn’t overstepping by doing so. He handed Justin the glass of scotch as he lowered himself into a chair so that they could be more comfortable as they gave time to the women.
Justin looked to Jobe and he got the hint. He looked to Willow and smiled a little, kissing her cheek before standing and reluctantly heading to the study with Jobe. He sighed when he entered,
“I’m sorry it’s taken us so long- to speak with you. I just wasn’t sure how Willow would react to the children after everything.” He said to Jobe apologetically. He sighed softly and he felt like he had been drained by everything. He just wanted everything to be back to normal even though he hasn’t sure they ever would be again.
“We didn’t mean to avoid you.” He remarked and he was at least being honest because he really hadn’t meant to avoid either of them or their gorgeous children, he was just very hesitant on putting Willow through anything that might snap her already fragile nerves.
Anastasia took Juliet and smiled to Jobe as he left with Justin and she looked to Willow.
“Sorry-“ She murmured but at least she was with another female. She hesitantly shifted so she wouldn’t be completely on show to the other woman as she gave Juliet a feed as she kept quiet before settling the little girl in her arms. She fixed herself and looked to Willow.
Anastasia decided to take a risk as Juliet settled and she stood. She gently shifted the little girl into Willow’s arms, very carefully and watching Willow’s reaction.
“She’s the quieter of the two, Fletcher likes to make his opinions known.” She laughed a little and sat beside Willow as she gathered Fletcher into her arms and touched his tiny nose gently.
“Jobe and I.... we wanted you and Justin to be Godparents to them. You will of course be their aunt and uncle regardless but if anything ever happened to me or Jobe, we couldn’t think of anyone better to take care of them.”
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/R9bcGpC.jpg]] There was no way for her to ignore the way Justin periodically checked on her to make sure that she was in the right state of mind and honestly it made her love him all the more, just to know that he cared as much as he did. She smiled towards him as he took her hand before glancing back at Jobe and Anastasia, both of whom had once of the babies in their arms. They were so peaceful and beautiful. It was hard to have any ill feelings towards them. She could already tell that when things were better for them, they would be loved so much by both Justin and Willow.
[b “It definitely feels like months pass quicker here.”] She said, echoing what Justin had said. There was a silence for a moment as they all tried to figure out what to say next and when Anastasia broke it she smiled and nodded towards her. [b “I’d like that, especially since we have more people to buy for this year.”] She said, gesturing towards the twins. Willow glanced towards Justin as Jobe spoke and she nodded to let him know that it was okay to leave them. He needed some time with his friend as much as she needed time with her.
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/gb7q260.jpg]] [b “I always find that a white Christmas is best. It’s got a better feeling that’s for sure.”] He looked towards Anastasia as she settled Fletcher and started to hand Juliet over to her. [b “I think she might need a feed.”] He said as he glanced over towards Justin and Willow. He did not want to ask them to leave after inviting them to enjoy tea with them but he figured it might make Anastasia feel more comfortable in Justin was not in the room.
[b “Would you accompany me to the study for a moment?”] He asked towards Justin, unsure as to whether he would leave Willow behind but she seemed comfortable enough.
Justin kept a close eye on Willow and nodded to Jobe.
“A white Christmas would be lovely to see.” He murmured and he meant it. White christmases were always beautiful and seemed like a fresh start somehow. He smiled softly to Jobe and Anastasia and he couldn’t deny their children were beautiful. He looked to Willow briefly as if to check she was okay and took her hand in his. His main priority was knowing she was alright because if she wasn’t he would excuse them.
“I still can’t believe how much time has passed. It seems like it’s gone by so quickly.” He said, looking to the snow outside and he was honestly surprised by the how quickly time had gone by here. The past week had been a blur of emotions and tragedy mingled with joy at Jobe and Anastasia’s new arrivals and he was just struggling on how to feel about it all.
Anastasia watched Justin and Willow. She had missed their presences so much the past week and she settled Fletcher in his cot, hearing him gurgle and coo a little. She gently made sure he was tucked in nicely before taking a drink of tea.
“The years go by quickly.” She agreed with Justin quietly as she watched the snow coming down. The horses had been moved to a makeshift shelter whilst the stables were repaired and she looked to Willow. She felt so awful for her friend and so helpless. She couldn’t take away that kind of hurt.
Anastasia looked to Jobe quietly as the silence settled and she swallowed slightly. Bringing up how sorry she was wouldn’t do anyone any favours.
“We shall have to do Christmas shopping some time.” She said to Willow.
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/R9bcGpC.jpg]] With that they had decided that they were going to try and do something that they both expected to be really difficult. However, they a had two friends in that house who cared about them and wanted to spend time with them and the least they could do was try. Justin was right, they could always excuse themselves and she was sure that Jobe and Anastasia would understand. She smiled towards Justin as if to confirm that she was ready and took his hand. It was probably good time too since the snow had started to fall at a heavier rate now.
Once inside she smiled towards Anastasia and Jobe and lowered herself into a seat next to Justin. She would never have been able to do this if it weren’t for him so she needed to be close to him because she knew it gave them strength. It was harder to avoid looking at the babies when the two of them were holding them, but avoidance was not going to work, besides they were both so cute she couldn’t help but smile towards them, even if there was a hint of sadness behind it.
Willow accepted the tea and thanked Anastasia for it before glancing back outside. [b “It is probably going to last a couple of days...at least it looks that way.”] She appreciated the fact that she was trying to make conversation and she really was trying. Willow needed her friends back and she didn’t want to keep pushing them away.
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/gb7q260.jpg]] Jobe laughed and nodded. [b “My father was definitely a romantic. Where do you think I got it from?”] He raised an eyebrow and smirked before looking back down at Juliet in his arms. [b “You would have loved him. He would have spoilt you both rotten and showed you so much love.”] He was sad that his father never got to meet his children but he knew that somewhere he was looking down on them and guiding them through their new adventure of parenthood.
He looked up when he heard Justin and Anastasia walk into the room and he exchanged a look with his wife before looking back to the two and offered a smile. [b “We are so glad that you decided to join us.”] He said, noticing that the walk along had put some colour back into Willow’s cheeks. She had looks so pale before and it was clear she hadn’t been eating properly but he had no doubt that Justin had been looking out for her in any way he could.
[b “One of our butler’s said that we might even be able to expect a white Christmas this year. Wouldn’t that be something?”]
Justin watched her carefully as she spoke.
"I'll be right with you, every step of the way." He promised. He held her hand and looked to the house. He took her hand and sighed,
"We can do this. If it's too much, I'll excuse us alright?" He whispered and kissed her lips again as if for good luck. He walked with her back to the house and drew in a deep breath.
He stepped inside and exhaled a little.
"What about that tea, then?" He asked Anastasia and Jobe as he looked to them and squeezed Willow's hand gently as he sat in the conservatory and watched the snow outside. it was coming down heavier now and he did his best to avoid the children. He didn't hate them, he just was very unsure on how to intergrate.
Anastasia smiled to jobe,
"15?!" She giggled a little and looked to Fletcher in his cot,
"Your father was a romantic." She murmured and lifted him up as he fussed and she grinned at him. She was taken aback when Willow and Justin came in, she hadn't expected it honestly and she looked to Jobe.
"Of course." She said and balanced Fletcher as she got them both some tea. She was careful of the infant in her arms as she smiled to Willow and Justin.
"It'll be a snow storm tonight." She murmured as she looked outside, perhaps a little overly chatty but she didn't want their to be awkward silences between them.
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/R9bcGpC.jpg]] Willow smiled towards Justin as they parted. She didn’t realise how much she had needed that until now. It made her feel much like herself again and she knew that she was being to heal emotionally. She placed her hand on his cheek and looked into his eyes lovingly for a moment. It was really quite a perfect moment to share. Love and intimacy while the snow fell in perfect rhythm around them. She knew that she would do anything for this man and if he decided her wanted to try again for another baby in the future then she would be more than happy to do so. She had not realised how much she had wanted that with him until she had found out she was pregnant. While she had lost a child, that didn’t mean they had lost their future.
Willow nodded as Justin spoke. [b “I think it’s time. We can’t keep avoiding them and I don’t want them to think that we despise them nor anything. Honestly, I miss them and I want to meet the children that I have read so much about.”] She was not in denial. She knew that it would hurt to begin with but she was not about to deny their children any attention because of something so far out of everyone’s control.
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/gb7q260.jpg]] Jobe looked up with a proud smile as Anastasia moved forward to kiss him. He loved moments like these where his life seemed so perfect. He had a wife he absolutely worshipped and a son and daughter he would treasure. He couldn’t wait for their family to grow and for them to make lots of memories together as they grew up. He had no doubt that they are would turn out to be wonderful children and even better people when they reached adulthood but he could not see a future where Justin and Willow were not a part of it.
[b “I envisioned all of this.”] He said in reply quite honestly. [b “I told myself when I was 15 that I was going to marry you and have a family one day, regardless of what anyone said. It never even occurred to me that you might have said no...of course I am glad you didn’t. I wouldn’t trade this for the world. I love you and our perfect babies.”]
Justin smiled at her and felt her lips on his and he had missed it. He had missed their intimacy together. He had missed her smile and seeing her look more like herself. And who knew? In a few months they could try again and do everything properly. And he wouldn't allow any harm to come to her the second time around.
"Perhaps we should take up the offer of tea with Jobe and Anastasia. Only if you're ready though." He sad to her and watched her carefully. She was right, it was getting easier to deal with everything. It was a slow process but they were getting there. Whatever she wanted, he would oblige her every command because that was what he was there for. He worshipped the ground she walked on because he loved her. If she wasn't ready to face babies and Jobe and Anastasia, then he would support that.
Anastasia watched Jobe with Juliet and smiled,
"Toddler years..." She hadn't even thought that far ahead and she laughed,
"Then I think it will your turn to look after them." She teased and listened to his words regarding Justin and Willow. She knew he was right and if she did hide them away then Justin and Willow may well even be offended at the notion of them doing such a thing. She giggled at Juliet's sound of agreement and smiled a little.
"Wise and stating her opinions already, she's like her father." She said softly as she stood and kissed Jobe's lips softly for a moment.
"I never thought this would ever happen, you know? Us and children. I always imagined it, since I was a little girl. I never told a soul about it." She said quietly and looked to Jobe with a small shy smile. It had happened though, thanks to Jobe and his persistent nature and of course their friends interventions.
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/R9bcGpC.jpg]] Willow laughed as Justin appeared defeated by the prospect of taking a walk, even if it was far too cold for them to be out for too long. She leaned into him as his arm came around her. Whether that was in a protective manner or simply to keep her warm she didn’t know, nor did it matter all that much. It was nice to be able to enjoy moments like this with him. In the last week there had been not intimacy besides the kisses to her cheek and forehead and when he held her as she cried and she could honestly that she had been missing having him near her because they needed to be near each other, not because they were going through a trauma.
She smiled up at Justin. [b “I’m fine my love. It’s getting easier.”] She said in reply and watched as the snow started to get heavier. He pulled Willow close and kissed her on the cheek and she feigned offence. [b “And what exactly is wrong with my lips Mr Gallway?”] She said with her hands on her hips before laughing and leaning in the press a kiss against his lips. [b “I know you love me. Almost as much as I love you.”]
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/gb7q260.jpg]] [b “You won’t be complaining that it’s quiet when you have two toddlers running around. They will definitely keep all four of us busy no doubt!”] Right then, Juliet started to stir and he moved towards her without a second thought and picked her up, holding her close. [b “Good afternoon to you too angel.”] He said with a laugh and looked over towards Anastasia as she spoke, all the while keeping a smile upon his face as he fussed over his daughter.
[b “No, they wouldn’t want us to do that. Anastasia, my love...they probably want everything to go back to normal and pretending like we don’t have children and hiding them away isn’t going to help. The fact that they are even out of their room and spoke to us all is a good start. Who knows? They might join us for tea after their walk. But I’m not going to hide Fletcher and Juliet away and nor would they expect us to.”] Juliet made a sound that seemed to agree with what he was saying and he laughed. [b “You will grow to be wise.”] He said towards the young infant in his arms, laughing while he spoke.
Justin looked to Willow with fond eyes and sighed,
"Alright, alright. We'll go for a romantic, freezing cold walk by the lake." He said with a small smile as he walked with her. He kept an arm around her as they walked and was honestly just very glad to see her happy for a change. He had missed her smile. He glanced back at the house, they couldn't avoid Anastasia and Jobe forever, no matter how much they wanted to and he exhaled heavily.
"Are you sure you're alright?" He asked her, wanting to double check. He didn't ant to leave anything up to chance right that moment. He smiled and tilted his head back to look at the sky as the flakes came down a little heavier.
"You know, I love you, right?" He mumbled quietly as he glanced to her and it didn't matter to him right then. He pulled her closer to him and kissed her cheek gently.
Anastasia looked to Jobe and smiled a little. She wasn't really a fan of this feeling of loss. How could they all live together and yet Willow and Justin felt so distant? She of course sympathised with them greatly over their loss.
"I hope you're right. It feels too quiet here sometimes without them around." She said to him and sighed quietly.
Anastasia giggled a little at Fletcher's adorable nature and looked up to Jobe before settling again. Everything just felt very weird right then. Like they had lost their best friends. She forced a smile though and at least hoped they would rekindle their friendship over tea or scotch, for the men. She would take the children upstairs and watch them if it was needed but they at least wanted their friends back.
"Maybe- If I took the children upstairs for a few hours, Justin and Willow might be more inclined to join us?" She suggested but hated the idea of having to hide her children away.
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/R9bcGpC.jpg]] Willow smiled up at Justin and let out a quiet laugh. It had been the first time in a week she had showed anything but sadness. It was a nice change and it showed her that things were on the up. [b “It’s definitely a honour to have them named after us...”] His kiss against her temple roused another smile and she nodded in understanding. It was something they had both felt but things were not feeling as severe as they had a week ago. [b “As long as we are here for each other. That will be enough.”]
When she felt something cold fall on her face she looked up towards the sky and noticed that there was a fresh layer of snow about to join the layer that already covered the floor. [b “I still want to stay out here...”] She said quickly, worried that he might force her back inside so she didn’t get sick. [b “I happen to like the snow and it’s been such a long time since we took a romantic walk around the lake.”] She squeezed his hand gently and started to walk, her feet crunching on the snow as they did.
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/gb7q260.jpg]] Jobe nodded as he placed her hand on Anastasia’s shoulder. [b “I know you do. I miss them both too. Maybe today was the start of getting them back. I know you miss Willow and I know that she misses you too but she had needed Justin to help her get through their loss. She will come back to you. You are sisters remember.”] He said with a smile and he let out a sigh.
[b “I miss Justin too. More than I realised. It’s strange how you miss the small things. Our children will know their God parents. I have no doubt about that. I can’t imagine what is must be like to lose a child just as another...two are born at the same time...”] He smiled at the way Fletcher reacted to his mother’s touch and he squeezed her shoulder. [b “They will love them as much as us. I promise.”]
Justin looked to Willow and smiled a little.
“I feel the same. Fletcher and Juliet though.... good names right?” He laughed a little. It sounded so awkward but he was appreciative of the sentiment behind Anastasia and Jobe naming their first children after them. He was fine, he was holding it together because he knew in time, that they would get back to normal or at least he hoped so.
“I’m alright. It’s just... a lot to take in.” He murmured as he kissed her temple gently and watched as snow began to fall from the sky and he smiled.
“Figures.” He whispered. As soon as they stepped outside it snowed. Maybe it was a good symbol for a fresh start? A fresh coat of snow, a blank canvas. He could only hope.
Anastasia looked to Jobe and nodded.
“I hope so. I miss them, you know?” She said quietly as she watched them.
“I miss having another woman to talk to, I miss how she gave me strength. And their presence....” she wouldn’t lament over it too long though because she would get herself upset and she sighed.
“I want the twins to know their God parents, too. They will be like aunt and uncle to Fletcher and Juliet but they can’t even look at them.” Anastasia said as she stroked Fletcher’s tiny hand as he slept.
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