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[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/gb7q260.jpg]] Jobe nodded towards Justin as he spoke. It was clear that not knowing about her pregnancy made this harder to tell with. Losing something you never knew you had always seemed to be harder to deal with although he was sure Willow hadn’t kept it from him on purpose. She was probably waiting for the right time to tell him.
[b “You both need time...take it. Don’t worry about anything else.”] He said as he watched him move back towards his room. What awful news. He took a deep breath and sighed before entering the room. There was no way he could mask what he was feeling and the devastation of the news. [b “Willow...”] How did he tell his wife that her friend, sister even, had lost a baby on the very same day that she had given birth to two. [b “Please don’t get upset...Willow was pregnant...but the fire...”]
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/R9bcGpC.jpg]] Willow slept for several hours. She barely even stirred. Her body had been screaming out for some rest to cope with the trauma that she had been through. Her eyes flickered open and when she didn’t she Justin straight away she started to panic. She sat up instantly and allowed her eyes to dart around the room and found her sat next to her near the bed rather than on it. She sighed and seemed to relax a little know that he was there. [b “Please tell me it was all a dream?”] She knew that it wasn’t.
She looked down at her stomach, the soft swell still evident and she blinked back tears, not wanting to cry again. [b “Anastasia...her baby...”] It was painful to ask but she needed to know that they were okay. [b “Is she angry that I wasn’t there with her?”] Her priorities were all wrong but she cared about her friend and she was still so confused by everything.
Justin watched Jobe and honestly he didn’t know if he would need anything.
“She didn’t tell me I-“ he cut off. Now was not the time when Jobe had his wife and two beautiful babies inside waiting for him.
“Willow needs.... time. I don’t know.” He said and offered a rather pitiful smile of gratitude.
“Thanks. I gotta- with willow.” He murmured. It was clear his mind was going a million miles an hour and he wasn’t sure how to cope.
He scurried back to Willows side and just sat at her side in the bed. He wouldn’t sleep. Not until he knew Willow was alright. He sighed and stroked her hair gently, just being with her. He wasn’t sure how they would get through this but he just prayed they would.
Anastasia was worried because something was definitely wrong. She glanced to the door and then back to her children. There had been a fire? She was glad she hadn’t been out there but poor Willow. What if she was dead?
Anastasia struggled to sit up again and was close to getting out of bed when she heard Justin leave and she sighed. She was always irritated with being left out, even though she didn’t know why. Right then she just wanted to know that she was alright. Something was very wrong.
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/R9bcGpC.jpg]] If Willow didn’t have Justin in that moment she knew that she would never make it through any of this and she knew that in a couple of days time she would feel awful that she didn’t allow him the chance to grieve with her because she was so broken. But this is what was promised when they made vows to each other over a year ago. They promised that they would be there for each other regardless of the situation and they would be each other’s rock. Right now he was hers.
She had heard Justin telling her that they would get through it and they would, but right now it seemed impossible. Willow leaned in to Justin until the tears subsided once more and before she knew it, the tea had taken effect and the fatigue from the accident and the miscarriage carried her into a sleep. It would hardly be a restful day or evening for either off them but for now she was peaceful and she was getting some much needed rest, giving Justin the chance to be alone.
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/gb7q260.jpg]] Jobe shook his head and shrugged his shoulders ready to part his lips in response but there was a knock at the door. Justin appeared around it and honestly he looked awful. It was clear that something bad had happened and his mind instantly went to the worse case scenario. Perhaps something terrible had happened to Willow, perhaps she had not made it. He looked back to Anastasia for a moment as if asking for permission to leave her and when she granted it he did not hesitate to leave the room.
He closed the door behind him to give Justin the privacy he obviously needed and looked at him with concern. Something bad [i had] happened. Hearing the words [i was pregnant] already told him everything he needed to know. The accident had caused Willow to miscarry, he was sure of it and he didn’t know how to react. If that had been Anastasia he would have been devastated. He reached out an arm and placed it on his shoulder. [b “Justin...I’m so sorry...I...”] Who knew the right words to say in this situation. [b “Of course, take all the time you need.”] He said. It would be a difficult time in this house. One couple celebrating the birth of two beautiful children while the other mourned the loss of their unborn child. [b “Is there anything you need...is Willow...? Of course not...if you need anything please do not hesitate to ask.”]
Justin watched her as tears fell from her eyes and it crushed him to see her like this but he had to be so strong right now. For her.
“Shh.” He said and got into bed beside her, lying on top of the covers with her as he wrapped his arms around her. He wanted to cry too but he couldn’t. He had to be strong. He watched her as he just held her tightly to him. They would get through this.
“We can get through this, Willow.” He whispered to her softly, stroking her back softly and just soothing her until the tea took effect.
Once she was settled, he left her for a moment to step outside as he leant against the wall. Then his own tears came, his hand over his mouth as he drew in shaky breaths and desperately tried to keep himself together. After several minutes, he straightened up and wiped her face. He had to tell Jobe.
He quietly walked to the door and knocked on it before entering.
“Sorry-“ he didn’t even look at the babies because how could he?
“Jobe... a word. Quickly I won’t take up your time.” He said flatly.
He looked to Jobe when they were outside.
“Willow- She was pregnant. I didn’t know she...” he drew in a breath.
“The baby came away, the smoke and fire-“ he cut off. He wasn’t being clear.
“We lost the baby. She’ll need some time and I think I do, too? I don’t know.” He explained.
Anastasia listened and stared at Jobe.
“Are they alright? Is Willow okay-“ she cut off as the door opened and she looked at Justin. He looked like Hell and she was worried. She noticed how flat he was and how he ignored her children.
“Go.” She said to Jobe quietly. She sat up slightly and rubbed her face. Something must have happened because Justin’s bloodshot eyes hinted at his tears.
Anastasia looked to her two beautiful children as they slept. Fletcher was squirming and soon was crying and she lifted him out,
“You will wake your sister.” She whispered softly. She let him settle in her arms as he fussed and squirmed. She gave him a feed before settling him back down with his sister and watching them both.
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/R9bcGpC.jpg]] She watched as he placed some towels down on the bed in hope that they might be able to avoid ruining more sheets. Justin helped her towards the bed and she hated herself for not being stronger. She was not the only one going through this and she was so used to being the strong one and now...she was weak.
Willow lowered herself onto the bed and sat still for a moment. It was clear that Justin wanted her to sleep but she was so unsure that she would be able to. Still she allowed him to push her back slightly so that she was lying down and she took the tea from him, knowing that he would just keep giving it to her if she didn’t have any. To appease him she drank the tea, sipping on it slowly at first before finishing it off. She didn’t know it yet but it would help calm her and it would help her sleep.
Willow placed the empty cup next to the bed and stared up at the ceiling for a moment before a wave of unexpected tears started to fall once more. All she wanted was for Justin to hold her and tell her that she had imagined it all, that she had not lost their baby.
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/gb7q260.jpg]] Jobe sighed at her insistence. He didn’t want to lie to her, nor did he want to upset her so he was stuck between the right and the wrong thing to do. He looked over to the twins, both seeming to have fallen asleep in the comfort for their cot. He made a mental note to send into town for another the very next day.
[b “Very well but you cannot get upset. You need to rest so we can take care of our children and I don’t want the mother of our children stressed.”] He looked at her expectantly, hoping that she would be able to cope with this.
[b “There was a fire in the stables. Willow was in there at the time and ... I think she got stuck in there. I went out to find them...I was so frustrated that they were taking too long...and when I got out there Willow was unconscious laying in the snow and Justin was cradling her.”] He shook his head as he remembered the scene and now he couldn’t help but wonder how they were both doing. They didn’t even know if Willow was hurt.
Justin sighed softly.
“I know.” He said as he put some towels on the bed.
“But please, just lie down.” He soothes softly as he pushed her to gently lie back and he watched her. He was worried honestly, he was grieving for something he never even knew he had. He stroked some hair back from her face and sighed.
“I’ll sit with you. I’m not going anywhere.” He assured him. He watched her and offered her the tea.
“Please, Willow.” He said to her. If she would sleep, they may well sleep through most of the miscarriage if he was lucky. He hadn’t even known she was carrying his baby! They’d lost a child together, how had that happened. He knew Willow was going to have some bruises in time but hopefully the hot bath had helped.
“Jobe I know that tone.” Anastasia said softly as she looked to the twins with soft eyes.
“Please. What’s happened? You wouldn’t be like this if there wasn’t something.” She whispered to him and sat up a little. Her body was still sore and she was tired but all of her instincts were telling her to watch her babies and see to their every need.
“Talk to me. I can’t go anywhere or do anything for tonight, I’m stuck, too sore.” She explained to him and watched him. She sighed quietly and guessed he didn’t want her to worry but she would worry more that it was something she didn’t know about.
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/R9bcGpC.jpg]] She just stood staring for a moment and barely noticed that Justin had left her for a minute to get someone to change the sheets. When her bath was ready he helped her undress and climb in. It was a strange feeling…almost as though she was completely numb to everything around her. She was almost robotic. Willow was lucky to have Justin be there for her and act strong for her because she was sure that she was falling apart.
She looked up at him through sore eyes and shrugged. [b “I don’t know. Everything feels numb.”] She said honestly, not knowing whether she had been cut or bruised in any way. She barely even looked up at the woman entered the room with some tea for her. Tea would not bring her baby back.
She barely spoke as Justin helped clean away the remnants of blood and soot but allowed him to help her out of the bath and towards the bed. [b “The bleeding won’t be over…”] She said quietly as she placed a hand on her stomach feeling another sharp pain. Losing a baby was painful in more than one way.
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/gb7q260.jpg]] Jobe smiled with her as the marvelled over their children for a moment. [b “And you did wonderfully bringing them into the world.”] He said. There was something amazing about childbirth that he would never understand but he knew that she was strong for being able to get through it. Jobe handed her Juliet as she started to place them in the cot and he shook his head. The last thing he wanted to do was upset Anastasia now.
[b “Oh…don’t worry yourself about it dear. It was nothing.”] He said, purposely ignoring the question about Justin and Willow because he honestly didn’t know how to answer, and he certainly did not know what they were going through while they were being graced with the blessing of parenthood. [b “How are you feeling?”] His attempt at changing the topic of conversation.
Justin fetched a servant and asked them to bring clean sheets and not speak a word to Anastasia or Jobe about as he started to draw a bath for her. He made sure it was warm enough and he had no thoughts of the sexual nature as he helped her undress quietly and let her get into the bath tub. It was different in this time but a bath was a bath.
“Shh...” he said quietly as he sat beside the bath and let the servants change the bed sheets and take her dress to be washed. He poured some water over her gently to help rid her of soot and blood.
“Are you hurt?” He asked her quietly. If she was then she would need medical attention. He stood for a moment and looked to the older servant lady.
“Tea with some herbs to calm her. I’m sorry, Master Gallway.” She said quietly before taking her leave and he nodded to her as he got a night dress out for Willow.
When she was done, he helped her small frame out the bath and dried her off. He walked her to the bed as he settled her.
“Twins.” Anastasia breathes quietly as if in disbelief. She looked to Jobe and smiled a little. She returned his kiss softly and looked to their children as she settled in bed. They were marvellous and she couldn’t believe it.
“Fletcher and Juliet Hughes.” She repeated quietly as if completely astounded they had created these little beings.
“Where are Willow and Justin?” She asked to him, a little surprised. It came back to her,
“Wait, what was the sound? The smoke?” She asked him as she cleared her mind and drew her son close, as if worried something bad was still going to happen. The little infants cooed and squirmed and Anastasia set her son in the cot by the bed, the little ones could share for now until she got around to getting another.
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/R9bcGpC.jpg]] Willow hadn’t thought about the fact that she could have lost her own life…she only cared about the one she had inside of her and the fact that she had lost it. She had played over the moment she told him over and over again and it was supposed to be a happy moment. None of this was supposed to happen. If she had stayed away from the stable…
It took her some time to finally allow the crying to subside but that was more because she was completely exhausted, and she had no energy remaining to allow herself to cry. She closed her eyes as Justin pressed a kissed against her forehead, nodding when he suggested that she needed to bathe. She pushed against him so that she could use him to help her up and looked around the room, almost as though she had forgotten what she was supposed to be doing and looked back at the bed. There was so much blood.
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/gb7q260.jpg]] Jobe lowered himself onto the bed next to her so he could get a better look at both children and he was ecstatic. [b “They are both so beautiful, just like their mother.”] He said, this time leaning in to kiss her lips. He smiled and carefully manoeuvred as she swapped their children, so he could get a better look at his daughter.
[b “I do not know why we had not discussed names until now.”] He said, partly amused. [b “Do you have any ideas what to call these little beauties?”] He asked, looking over them once more, unable to get enough of them and when she mentioned two names he couldn’t think of anything more perfect.
[b” Fletcher and Juliet.”] He said with a firm nod as he placed a kiss on his daughter’s head.
Justin held her close,
“Shhh, you don’t have to. You don’t need to.” He assured her. Seeing newborns didn’t seem like much fun right then and it wouldn’t be fair for Anastasia and Jobe to have their moment lost in grief. Besides, he just wanted to hold Willow until she slept peacefully no matter how long it took. He’d hold her all night if he could.
He watched her with soft eyes,
“Don’t apologise. Don’t. I’m just glad that you’re alive, Willow you could have died.” He whispered and cupped her face, kissing her forehead gently and just kept her company with soft comforts.
“You should bathe, and you need to drink.” He whispered to her. He knew this was hard and honestly he was a wreck but he needed to make sure Willow was alright.
“Hey.” Anastasia greeted him and the sight of Jobe with their son in his arms was enough to melt the coldest of hearts. She felt his kiss and heard his words.
“We have two, a son and a daughter.” She whispered quietly to him.
“You’re a father, Jobe. We’re parents.” She murmured, looking to their children. She could hardly believe it and all the pain and suffering she had gone through was forgotten in an instant.
She seemed to forget everything else.
“Hey, little girl, meet your father.” She whispered softly as she took her son and passed over their daughter.
“We haven’t even thought of names.” She laughed a little as she watched her son squirming in the blankets.
“Jobe-“ She looked to him and smiled softly.
“What about Fletcher and Juliet.” She suggested and looked to the little boy in her arms. They seemed like the perfect names and a fitting tribute to their friends.
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/R9bcGpC.jpg]] Willow was full of sorrow. She was sure that nothing would be able to console her and when she heard the sound of Justin’s voice, confused she sobbed harder. She had not even had the chance to share the news with him and this was not how she imagined things to happen. [b “I’m so sorry Justin.”] She said through her tears. [b “I’m so sorry.”] Even though Justin held her and comforted her, the apologies didn’t stop. She had not protected their child and she knew that she had lost the baby and the next day or so would be rough on her body. None of that mattered though. She was distraught.
The sound of crying only added to her distress. Willow had not been there for Anastasia and now she would never be able to make up for missing the birth of their child because she had lost her own and regardless of the irrationality of her emotions, she felt guilty. [b “I can’t…I can’t.”]
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/gb7q260.jpg]] The sound of cries alerted Jobe to the fact that their baby had arrived and while he was still concerned for Willow, he had no time to think about that now. He spun around when the door opened, and the doctor appeared, holding a baby boy. His heart hammered against his chest and he smiled widely upon seeing the small infant. [b “I have a son…”] He said as he looked down at the new-born in his arms and entered the room. He could barely tear his eyes away until the woman mentioned his daughter. [b “Wait…we have two?”] He asked, searching Anastasia’s arms for his daughter.
He smiled once more, a tear forming in the corner of his eye as he saw his wife holding their daughter. He leaned down to kiss forehead. [b “I am so proud of you.”] He said as he looked over his daughter. There was no way he could ruin this moment by telling Anastasia why Willow had not been here.
Anastasia was beside herself with worry but her instinct kicked in and she had a job to do, as a mother. It was the most painful and emotional moments of her life. It seemed like it would never come to an end.
By the end of her ordeal, there was not one, but two tiny infants. The squealing of their cries a relief to her as they were alright because they were crying. She leant her head back, tears down her face as the lady made sure everything was cleaned away and tidy. She adjusted Anastasia in bed and set her any girl in her arms.
[i “Let’s introduce you to your father, little boy.”] The woman said and opened the door. She smiled to Jobe, she wasn’t sure what had happened.
[i “Mr Hughes, perhaps you would like to meet your son.”] She smiled to him and murmured a congratulations as she set the little newborn boy in his arms.
[i “And your daughter is with your wife, all are doing fine. A little rest for her.”] The woman said before taking her leave.
Anastasia stares at the little newborn girl in her arms and gently touched her face, she was perfect. She kissed her forehead and honestly she was exhausted but how could sleep?
Justin stared at Willow,
“Our baby?” He breathed. Was she serious? He realised what had happened.
“Oh, Willow.” He said and hugged her tightly. He could have wept in that moment if he wasn’t so shocked as he rocked her gently.
“Shh....” he comforted quietly and just held her. He couldn’t believe it. They had lost a baby? It didn’t seem real. He stroked her hair gently and just breathed in her scent. She was alive at least.
Some time later, there was a babies cry. Then another? Or was that the same child? He just held her tighter.
“It’s alright.” He said quietly. He found it difficult to be happy for Jobe and Anastasia given what had happened right then.
“Rest, Willow. You gotta- you need to rest.” He whispered to her softly.
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/R9bcGpC.jpg]] As if she could hear his voice, her body started to respond now that she wasn’t in the toxic environment of smoke inhalation. She coughed aggressively as if trying to clear out her lungs and her body was forced into an upright position as her body purged itself of the toxicity that had made its way into her. It took her a few minutes before her coughing started to calm down so that she could take in her environment. She was no longer in the barn and Justin was with her.
Her eyes darted around the room in panic as she registered that they were in their own bedroom. Then the sharp pain in her stomach became prominent above all else and she looked down to see the blood stain on her dress. Her hand instantly went to severe the swelling of her belly had begun and she shook her head. [b “No.”] Her voice was barely ever as whisper. She repeated herself a couple of times before the tears finally found her. [b “Not our baby...please.”]
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/gb7q260.jpg]] Jobe nodded, feeling useless twice over. He couldn’t help his wife, nor could he help Justin or Willow with whatever had happened. He called some of his staff to help him put of the remaining fire and gather the horses and when he was satisfied they were all doing their jobs he ran back inside and made his way back to their room where he could hear Anastasia’s painful cries. He wished that he could be there with her. He knew that she would be concerned and worried. She had wanted Willow there and she had no idea that Willow had been in an accident.
He ran his hand through his hair nervously as he tried to come to terms with what was happening. A miracle and a tragedy all at once.
Anastasia didn’t know what was going on, she heard the crash and smelled the smoke and she started to panic.
[i “Now, now dear. Focus on what’s happening now. Right, I think we are just about ready to start getting this lovely angel out now... with each pain you need to push.”] The woman said and Anastasia didn’t want to. She wanted to know what was going on!
What had happened?! Was Jobe alright? Where was Willow? She felt a very strong contraction and let out a surprised scream of pain.
Justin stares at Jobe.
“Wh-“ he looked to the snow. Had he not been quick enough? He looked her over.
“No- she’s not cut, she’s not-“ wait- this wasn’t what he thought it was, was it?
He scooped Willow up and held her close,
“I’ll get her to bed.” He murmured. He didn’t want to believe what every part of him was saying. He carried her to her room and he could hear Anastasia’s painful sounds as she tried to bring life into the world. He set Willow down,
“Willow- please wake up, what is going on!” He whispered and kissed her forehead, his hands were shaking horribly and he was so terrified.
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/R9bcGpC.jpg]] Willow didn’t remain conscious for much longer as her body lay trapped under the beam of wood. She was totally oblivious to everything that was going on around her. She had no idea that Justin had forced his way into the flames or that he had freed her from the stables that had now collapsed in on itself as she lay against the snow.
Her lungs were full of smoke and her body had no longer been able to protect her child from the damage of the fire. The blood might have been unnoticeable against the dark black of her dress, but she would know that she had lost their baby if she survived this.
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/gb7q260.jpg]] Jobe was getting inpatient and he noticed that Willow and Justin had not yet returned. [b “What on earth is taking them so long?”] He asked himself aloud before taking it upon himself to go and look for them since he was secluded to the hallway and his wife was running out of time. Willow needed to be there with her.
When his eyes caught sight of the smoke his eyes widened, and he started to run and saw Justin cradling Willow on the ground. It did not take a genius to figure out what had happened. He stopped next to the two of them, looking them over as if checking they were both alright. It was clear very quickly that Willow wasn’t. [b “Dear God is that blood?”] He asked as he caught sight of the red liquid staining the snow beneath them. [b “Justin is she hurt?”] He asked as he dipped down next to them, wondering if he could do anything to help them.
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