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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.
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/R9bcGpC.jpg]] Willow smiled softly towards the two of them and glanced down at the baby boy in Anastasia’s arms and then moved her gaze to the little girl. She didn’t even ask their names and she felt awful for that. [b “What are their names?”] She asked quietly and when she got her reply she smiled. Willow already knew what they would name their children but she didn’t want to tell them that.
She looked up towards Justin as he started to lead her outside. It was nice to get some fresh air again and the cold air felt refreshing. It was exactly what she needed to start getting herself back to normal...whatever that might be now.
[b “I think so.”] She said honestly. She envied them for what they had but seeing her friends happy seemed to counter that feeling. [b “It’s a very confusing situation to be in. Jealousy and happiness all in one...it’s strange.”] She said as she leaned her head against his shoulder. [b “Are you alright?”] Willow needed him to know that she was just as concerned about him.
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/gb7q260.jpg]] Jobe was surprised by Willow’s question. It was so strange that their children had been born a week ago and they had not yet learnt their names but it was completely understandable. [b “Fletcher and Juliet.”] He said simply, knowing that the sentiment would mean a lot to them. He smiled as he watched the two leave and turned his attention back to Anastasia.
He shrugged his shoulders gently while he glanced out in the same direction as her. [b “I think they are getting better. The fact that they are out of their room is a good sign alone. I hope they join us for some tea just so they can do something normal. Even if it’s for a little while.”] He missed them both and wanted things to go back to how they were between them. He hoped that they hadn’t lost them.
Justin looked to them and then back to Willow.
“Thanks.” He said to them as he gave Willow’s hand a gentle squeeze and headed outside, breathing in the fresh, crisp air.
“Are you alright?” He asked her quietly, hoping the experience hadn’t shaken her up too much.
At least the air was clean and fresh and honestly it was a relief to be out in the fresh air and with her. He just hoped she was alright because seeing newborn babies would be enough to shake him up for sure. He didn’t resent them. He couldn’t possibly blame them but he was jealous and it hurt honestly to see them so joyous and he and Willow were still shaken by tragedy.
Anastasia watched them and she looked and felt crestfallen but she didn’t say anything as they left. She looked to Jobe and smiled a little, brushing it off as she took Fletcher to give him a feed. She cradled her little boy, giving him a feed before settling him in his cot.
“Do you think they are okay?” She asked Jobe quietly and looked to her babies.
She knew that Justin and Willow would mean them no ill-will but she just hoped that eventually they would come around because she did miss Willow, especially, and two babies were a real handful so when Jobe went back to work, she as going to struggle to balance her time. She sighed softly and relaxed in the chair, looking to Jobe and then out to the garden seeing Justin and Willow walking.
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/R9bcGpC.jpg]] The entire time they walked down the stairs she found herself being pulled into Justin’s side. He was so protective of her lately and there was no way that he was going to let any harm come to her, even if it was emotional. A part of her wondered if he would ever leave her again after what had happened.
When they got to the bottom of the stairs she glanced around and noticed that Jobe and Anastasia where in their usual spot in the conservatory. For a minute everything around her froze. It was as though she was being reminded of the future they had lost but she shook off the feeling. The last thing she wanted was to become bitter rather than happy for her friends and she looked up at Justin when he spoke and nodded her head.
She forced herself to look back towards Jobe and Anastasia and noticed that they had noticed them both. Anastasia’s smile was so comforting and regardless of how she might have been feeling she could not help but return it. [b “I actually need to get some fresh air...but maybe after if we are feeling up to it.”] Willow looked up to Justin and took his hand.
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/gb7q260.jpg]] Jobe noticed that Anastasia smiled towards someone outside of the conservatory and he spun around to see Willow and Justin. He too found a smile to offer them some comfort and let them know they were thinking of them both. Willow was looking as though she might have been sick but that could have been the grief because he knew it could affect everyone differently.
He hope they would join them for tea. [b “The offer is there. You just enjoy your walk and feel free to join us when you are done.”] He said with a smile, handing Fletcher back over to Anastasia since her seemed to be fussing and he figured he was getting hungry.
“No we can’t avoid them.” Justin agreed and rubbed his face as he followed her and braved himself for what this could escalate to. He was more worried for Willow than anyone else. He sighed quietly and escorted her downstairs, not wanting her to overdo anything just in case. He sighed quietly and kept close to her as they went down to the main house.
It felt nice to be out and he caught sight of Jobe with his child in his arms and he swallowed thickly as he looked to Anastasia who was sitting with Juliet in the cot.
“Are you okay?” He said to Willow quietly as he put an arm around her, not wanting her to be overwhelmed.
Anastasia heard the movement and looked to Jobe.
“Maybe?” She hoped it was them. Not because she wanted to show off her children but because it meant Willow was on the mend from the trauma. She kept quiet as they came downstairs and looked to Justin and Willow. She offered a small smile but mostly kept quiet, not wanting to make a big deal out of it because she knew they were already going through so much right then.
She placed a blanket over Juliet and watched them both.
“Would you like to join us for tea?” She asked quietly and it was a small offer, she knew anything else might be too much for Willow and Justin right that moment and if the children were unsettling to them she was sure Jobe would look after Willow and Justin if Anastasia looked after the twins.
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/R9bcGpC.jpg]] Willow knew what she might have been committing to if they left the room and Justin seemed to be concerned with the matter. She moved the book from her lap and placed it on the bedside table and turned her body around to face him. [b “If you are not ready yet…it’s okay. I just feel like I can’t sit here and avoid them forever.”] She said softly, knowing that it was going to hurt to see them with their children, but they lived in the same house and she needed to start getting herself back together. She couldn’t be this weak version of herself anymore.
Willow smiled up at him as he handed her the overcoat and placed it around her shoulders. The kiss was a nice gesture, as if to prove that their love hadn’t dwindled as a result of their trauma. She took a deep breath before she left the room, almost as if she was about to go underwater but she kept her head high and tried to show a version of herself that wasn’t trying to mend.
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/gb7q260.jpg]] Jobe smiled as he watched Anastasia with all the love he could manage. He leaned down to take Fletcher from Anastasia, not just to give her a break but because he loved having any of his children near him and he wanted the bonding time he had missed because he had been working in the study. He smiled down at him and bounced the boy gently in his arms before touching Fletcher’s nose with his.
[b “God I love you.”] He said down to the boy in his arms as he replied in some baby gibberish. He told himself it was his way of returning his affection and he smiled up at Anastasia as though he was filled with all the pride in the world. He heard movement on the floor above and glanced up slightly. [b “Do you think that’s them?”] He asked. He had not seen Willow since she had seen her lying on the floor in the snow, but he had seen Justin for minutes at a time as he came to get food and water. They had barely talked but he hoped they were both doing better.
Anastasia smiled to Jobe and felt his kiss spread warmth through her very being. She passed Fletcher to his father,
“He’s getting to look more like you everyday.” She said softly as she sat beside Juliet’s cot. Juliet was the quieter of the two for sure and it was exciting to try and figure out what their children would be like as they grew.
Her delicate fingers traced Juliet’s own tiny fingers and she smiled to Jobe softly. What a sight he was with his children and she would never get tired of it and they had many years with them to teach them all of the things they needed to know. She was excited for it, honestly.
Justin looked to Willow.
“Jobe and Anastasia are downstairs with the twins...” he mumbled and was worried Willow would have a breakdown upon seeing two newborns. If she wanted to go outside he could maybe steer her clear of them. If he was lucky. He sighed out a little and got her overcoat,
“It’s cold out.” He said and placed a gentle kiss to her forehead. He was worried what her reaction would be upon seeing Anastasia and Jobe, they had avoided them and their children for close to a week now.
“Come on then.” Fresh Air and getting out of the room would do her good in the end he supposed, and it was a small step in the right direction if she wanted to start facing the world again.
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/gb7q260.jpg]] Around about a week and passed since the birth of Juliet and Fletcher. It seemed as though the days and nights were blurring into one with how often they were waking up with their children, but he wouldn’t have it any other way. He was really enjoying being a father to both of his children and he knew that it would only get better as they grew older.
What pleased him more now, was the fact that Anastasia was no longer cooped up in the bedroom. She had healed nicely from giving birth and was now actively moving around the house as though nothing had happened. He stood in his study checking over some paperwork from the factory that morning. He hadn’t been into work and he wasn’t planning on going into work, but there was still some things he could do at home.
However Jobe only seemed to be able to cope with spending small amounts of time away from his wife and children and as soon as he signed a piece of paper he was making his way back to the conservatory. As soon as his eyes fell upon them he was filled with the same rush of emotion that he felt every time he saw Anastasia holding one of the children. This time she seem to be trying to settle Fletcher by looking at the snow. He laughed to himself softly as he walked into the room.
[b “I don’t think I will ever get used to the feeling I get when I see you together.”] He said as he moved towards her to place a kiss on her head.
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/R9bcGpC.jpg]] Willow placed the book she had been reading flat on her stomach and looked up to see that Justin was letting some of the fresh air into the room. She hated the fact that they had both shut themselves away in this room but it had been what they both needed to help them process, grieve and heal. She no longer needed Justin to help her around the room but she was still pale and slightly weakened. Her appetite was all over the place but she tried to eat whenever Justin brought her some food.
Willow sighed softly and held out her hand towards Justin to coax him towards her. She was beginning to think that it was time for them to get out of the room and at least enjoy some fresh air. It will be good for them and the moment they step out of the room she knew that they were on the right path to healing. Willow sighed softly and held out her hand towards Justin to coax him towards her. She was beginning to think that it was time for them to get out of the room and at least enjoy some fresh air. It would be good for them and the moment they stepped out of the room she knew that they would be on the right path to healing.
[b “What do you think about taking a walk? It’s really not healthy for us to shut ourselves away for much longer. Some fresh air will do us both good and will help us start to get things back to normal.”]
The days past and Anastasia’s strength returned. She was able to move more freely around now and it was a relief to her that she wasn’t cooped up in the room. The twins were doing fine, unsettled at night but nothing out of the ordinary.
Anastasia sat in the conservatory that afternoon with both twins in their cots. She stood and lifted the fussing Fletcher up and smiled,
“You love a fuss, little man.” She giggled a bit and looked out at the snow, keeping Fletcher wrapped up and warm.
“Look at this, eh?” She smiled to him as he set his eyes around from his mothers arms.
“There, now.” She cooed softly and watched him, kissing his forehead.
“It’s not that bad.”
Justin has been keeping a close eye on Willow, fetching food and drink and helping her with whatever she needed. She was healing from the miscarriage and physically, she was alright but he knew that her emotions and mental state would suffer more than her body. And he couldn’t help. He didn’t know how to. They’d barely been out of their room in the past, was it nearly a week?
He sighed as he opened a window to let some fresh air in and took a drink of water as he watched outside. It was still snowy and if things had been different they would all be celebrating the birth of Jobe and Anastasia’s children and looking forwards the meeting their own. Alas, it wasn’t to be this time. And all he could do was be patient and wait for Willow to be ready.
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