No matter how many times he saw them, Lorenzo could never get over it. He was sitting with Skye in the exam room, his eyes glued to the sonogram monitor and the image of his son and daughter.
Skye squeezed Lorenzo’s hand, her eyes on him a moment before turning her attention back to the screen. “So they’re okay?” she asked Dr. Lee.
Dr. Lee smiled and nodded. “They are doing wonderfully,” she said. “Everything is progressing nicely.”
Tearing his eyes from the screen, Lorenzo turned his attention to the doctor. “So you’re saying that Skye will be able to carry them to term?” Throughout her pregnancy, that was a concern Lorenzo had always had. He didn’t want anything to happen to the babies or Skye. He would never be able to forgive himself.
“Well, this is your first pregnancy, Skye, and first pregnancies can be early or later, rarely on time,” Dr. Lee said. “And with twins . . . I wouldn’t be surprised if you went into labor at least a week or two early.”
“Would the babies be okay if I did?” Skye asked, concern lacing her voice.
“They would be a little small, but they would be fine,” Dr. Lee assured her.
After receiving instructions to continue to take it easy, Skye and Lorenzo prepared to leave and head home. “Lorenzo, Dr. Lee just said everything was going to be fine,” Skye said. “You’re worried.”
“Of course I’m worried, Skye,” Lorenzo said, shaking his head. “These two babies are a miracle for us . . . I don’t want anything to go wrong.”
Skye took Lorenzo’s hands in hers. “Nothing is going to go wrong,” she said firmly. “Dr. Lee said they were fine, and even my blood pressure is stable. Let’s just enjoy them and celebrate in them and not worry so much.”
She was right. He was making himself crazy for nothing. “Okay,” he said with a smile, pulling her into his arms. “I’ll try to relax.”
“Good. Now, you promised me a late breakfast at Kelly’s and I am holding you to it. We’re starving!”
Lorenzo raised an eyebrow as they stepped onto the elevator. “A late breakfast? Don’t you mean a second breakfast? I saw you wolf down those pancakes and bacon my mother made this morning.”
“Hey!” Skye exclaimed hitting him on the arm. “I am eating for three and your children are hungry.”
Lorenzo laughed and rubbed his hand over her large belly. “Well, as long as my children are hungry . . . how can I deny them?”
Skye smiled as the doors slid open and they stepped out into the lobby. “I could go for a cheese omelet with mushrooms and peppers, sausage, pancakes, a double helping of maple syrup and a bagel slathered in cream cheese and honey.”
His eyebrow shooting up, Lorenzo wisely kept his mouth shut. The last time he had questioned her food choices, he had to dodge a flying half a bagel with cream cheese and honey. He wasn’t going to make that mistake again – a mistake his mother and Jason had found hilarious.
“Daddy! Daddy! I done!” Elaina called from the bathroom as she sat in her bath, the bubbles diminishing around her.
Jason walked into the bathroom and kneeled by the tub. “Ready to have your hair washed?” he asked, filling a plastic cup with water and reaching for the shampoo.
Elaina nodded. “Daddy, where Mommy Sam?” she asked, titling her head back as her daddy applied the shampoo to her hair and began gently working it in.
“She’s taking her own bath,” Jason said. “Remember, we’re going out for a special dinner tonight.”
“Where we go Daddy?” Elaina asked, squeezing her eyes shut, not wanting any stray shampoo to find its way into her eyes. She hated how it stung and burned.
“The Metro-Court,” Jason said, picking up the plastic cup and rinsing the soap out of her hair, being careful to make sure none of the soap got into her eyes.
“Can I wear my dwess?” Elaina asked excitedly. Her Mommy Sam had bought her a new dress the day before and she couldn’t wait to wear it.
“Of course,” Jason said, finishing her hair. “Alright, time to get dry.”
Elaina stood in the tub and held out her arms to be wrapped in the big fluffy towel. “And Mommy Sam do my hair?”
Jason nodded, lifting his daughter out of the tub and carrying her into the bedroom. He and Sam had decided to celebrate their engagement with dinner out with Elaina. They were going to tell Elaina about it as well.
Sam walked into the bedroom at the moment. “Okay, no Daddies allowed while us girls get ready,” she said with a smile to the little girl.
“Out Daddy!” Elaina exclaimed, jumping up and down while holding her towel around her. “Me and Mommy Sam get rweady!”
Shaking his head, Jason left the girls to get ready together. He knew Sam had been looking forward to tonight. Not wanting to take any chances with their safety, Jason went to check on the guard detail for tonight before getting dressed. This was a special night and he wanted to keep it that way.
Mediation. He used to be mocked for using meditation, but he had always found it to be beneficial. The quiet within himself helped him to find solutions to his problems. And right now he had a major problem to work through – how to destroy Jason Morgan and Lorenzo Alcazar. Sure, he had a lot of ideas on that, ways it could be done, but he needed to find a way the would destroy them and ensure he and his brother survived in the end.
Finding his place of calm through his breathing, Mateo focused on what was important. There were many weak spots in the personal lives of these to formidable men – the women and children in their lives – but going after their families would only make them angrier and stronger. Manny had already tried it and failed on more than one occasion. No, he needed to go straight at the two men. No through their families, and not through the business – their organization was iron clad; there was no one they would be able to turn in order to gain access. No, Mateo knew that in order to destroy them, he was going to have to get up close – in their face practically, and he was going to have to do it himself.
Breathing deeply Mateo let the plans flow through his mind. He hadn’t survived as long as he had by being impulsive and stupid.
“I thought you were going out with Sam and Elaina,” Lorenzo said when Jason walked into his office.
“I am,” Jason said, adjusting his shirt and sports jacket. “Sam and Elaina are getting ready, so I have a few minutes.”
Lorenzo chuckled and nodded. “Okay, so did you have something you wanted to discuss specifically?” he asked, sitting on the leather sofa.
Jason joined him. “Mateo Ruiz,” he said. “From what Spinelli has uncovered about him, he’s the more dangerous of the two and we have to focus on him.”
“Agreed,” Lorenzo said. “What are you thinking?”
The one thing that was different between working for Sonny and working with Lorenzo was that Lorenzo respected his decisions and hunches. He treated Jason as a partner, not just used the word as a useless title – as Sonny had. Lorenzo never treated Jason as an employee and then turned his back on him the moment it suited him. “I’m thinking that he’ll work differently than Manny has. Manny has gone after family, even targeted you – he could have killed you, but he didn’t. He played with you instead. Allowed time for us to find you and rescue you. Mateo won’t work that way.”
Lorenzo sat back, nodding his head. “Mateo will come for us without using our loved ones to pull us in. And it’ll be big.”
Jason nodded and sighed. “We need to figure out where and how he is going to hit.”
“Increase your guards when you go out tonight. I wouldn’t put it past Mateo to try and attack with Sam and Elaina as witnesses – maybe even as collateral damage. In the meantime, I’ll have Max and Diego begin working on ways we can make the first move and get rid of them before things get really bad.”
Sam laughed as she watched Elaina trying to be all lady-like. “Honey, can you reach the table?” she asked.
Elaina craned her head so her eyes cleared the top of the table. “I see!” she said.
“Yes, you can see, but will you be able to reach your food?” Jason asked his daughter, shaking his head. “I’d like to see more than my little girl’s eyes over the top of the table.”
Sighing, Elaina climbed onto her knees. “Now see me Daddy?” she asked.
“Perfectly,” Jason said with a nod, picking up his water glass.
Sam had sat there watching them, her heart swelling with love for the man and little girl who were such a large part of her life. To cover the tears springing to her eyes, Sam reached for her own water glass, taking a sip.
Jason had seen Sam’s reaction and reached over to take Sam’s hand. “You okay?” he asked quietly, looking at her.
“I’m fine,” Sam said with a soft smile. “There are moments when it hits me . . . that you and Elaina are my family . . . my life . . . and my heart just swells with loved and even pride."
Jason squeezed her fingers. “I know what you mean,” he said. “I love you Sam.”
Leaning over, Sam kissed him gently. “And I love you.”
Elaina watched her father and Sam with interest. “Daddy, are you and Mommy Sam gonna have a baby like Poppi and Sye?” she asked.
Choking a moment on his water, Jason looked at his daughter. “A baby? Why would you ask that?”
“Because Poppi say he wuv Sye and then he kiss her and she have babies,” Elaina explained.
Biting her lip a moment, Sam swallowed her laugh before answering. “Well, I do love your Daddy,” she began. “And when you love someone like your Daddy and I love each other, you kiss them a lot . . . but that doesn’t always mean they are going to have a baby.”
Sam looked over at Jason with a raised eyebrow and he nodded, turning his attention to his daughter. “Sweetie, there is something I wanted to talk to you about,” he began.
Elaina looked at her father expectantly.
“Sam and I are going to get married,” Jason said.
Her eyes widening, Elaina’s mouth dropped. “Mommy Sam is going to be my for real Mommy?” she asked.
Jason nodded. “Yes. It that okay with you?”
Squealing happily, Elaina jumped off her chair and into her father’s lap. “YAY!”
“Lorenzo, it’s good to see you,” Father Coates said as the other man stepped into his office.
Lorenzo shook hands with the priest. “I wish I could say I was here for a positive reason, Father . . .”
“I understand,” Father Coates said. “You want information on Father Mateo Ruiz.”
“Actually, I want more than information – information I have plenty of and none if it is pleasant. What I want is to know how you could have allowed a man like Mateo Ruiz serve the people of this church? What I want to know if how you could have accepted a killer to spiritually advise.”
Father Coates sat and invited Lorenzo to do the same. “I will admit that I was troubled my Mateo’s past, but he came with a very high recommendation and an assurance that he had changed his ways . . . I was uneasy at first and made sure to keep a close eye on him. He displayed no aggression or gave me any reason to doubt that he was a different man than he once was.”
Leaning forward, Lorenzo leaned his elbows on his knees, rubbing his face. “This man is as bad as they come, Father,” he said, trying to make this man understand what they were dealing with. “Do you have any idea where he could be?”
“No. I was very surprised when I found out he had left . . . after I heard about what happened to you Lorenzo – and I was praying for your safe return – I went to Mateo wanting to get a feeling for what his brother had done.”
Lorenzo sat up with interest. “What was his response?” he asked.
“He was sorry for his brother’s sins. He said he would pray for his brother’s soul, for your safe return, and for your family. He was genuine Lorenzo.”
“When did that change?”
Father Coates shook his head. “I never saw the change in him,” he said. “He was just gone. Then Max and Diego came here to talk to me about his disappearance. I have not heard from him since.”
Standing, Lorenzo adjusting his jacket. “If you do hear from him, you need to let me know, Father Coates. A lot of lives depend on it.”
Nodding, Father Coates watched as Lorenzo Alcazar left the church.
Checking to make sure no one was around, Lulu eased open the door to Spinelli’s domain and slipped inside. She took in the somewhat dim interior, empty bottles of orange soda and crumpled bags of bar-b-que chips. She spotted Spinelli hunched over his lap top, eyes glues to the glowing screen. He apparently hadn’t heard her come in.
Approaching the chair, Lulu reached out and touched his shoulder. “Spinelli.”
Screaming like a banshee on fire, Spinelli flew back from the table, the chair flipping over sending him head over heels.
Lulu had jumped back out of the way and now stood there looking down at him, shaking her head.
“Oh! Beautiful Blonde One!” Spinelli muttered as he attempted to untangle himself from the chair. “My apologies. The Jackal was deep in concentration and did not hear the step of the approaching beauty.”
Lulu couldn’t help smiling. Even though Diego found it annoying, she thought that Spinelli’s crush on her was cute. “Sorry,” she said, scrunching her nose. “I just wanted to see if you’ve made any progress on what I asked you.”
Finally righting himself and the chair, Spinelli dropped himself back into it and repositioned at the computer. “In fact,” he said with a flourish. “The Jackal has secured what the Blonde One desires and she will have it in her . . . delicate . . . perfect hands . . .”
“Oh, yes, right . . .” he sputtered as he hit a few keys. “You will have it in your possession tomorrow afternoon.”
“Excellent! Thank you so much Spinelli!” Lulu exclaimed, hugging him before rushing out of the room leaving Spinelli to marvel over the hug, his cheeks flushed a deep crimson.
“Hey, where were you?” Skye asked when Lorenzo walked into their bedroom, putting down the book she had been looking through.
“I went to see Father Coates,” he said, joining her on the bed. “What are you reading?” He picked up the book and looked at the cover. “Baby names?”
Skye nodded, taking the book back. “I just wanted to see if anything popped out for me,” she said flipping through the pages.
“So, has anything popped out?” he asked, gently caressing his hand over her belly.
“I’m not sure yet. Are there any names you’re interested in using?” she asked, holding the book out to him.
Lorenzo leaned back against the pillows, crossing his arms behind his head. “Hmmm . . . I’m not sure,” he mused. In truth, he hadn’t really thought about it. He figure Skye had that all figured out. “What about you?” he asked.
“Look, you didn’t get a chance to name Diego, and I bet you didn’t really come up with the name Jessica . . . I’m sure there’s a name that you like for a little girl or boy.”
“How about Nadia?” he asked turning his head to look at her.
“It’s pretty,” Skye said with a slow nod. “I like it. Nadia Esmerelda Alcazar.”
“Hope,” Lorenzo said softly.
She looked at him quizzically.
“Nadia means hope,” he elaborated.
“Then it’s perfect. I love it. Now, what about for our son?”
Lorenzo thought about it, but wasn’t sure. “I didn’t realize how hard choosing a boy’s name is,” he commented, still thinking.
“I have one!” Skye said suddenly. When Lorenzo looked at her, she gently cupped his face with her hand. “Lawrence. Lawrence Diego Alcazar – after the two most important men that will be in his life.”
Lorenzo didn’t even bother to push down the tears that sprang to his eyes. “I love it,” he whispered thickly.
“And I love you,” Skye whispered, gently kissing him.
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