1.39: Making the Most of It

 

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“What made you want another baby so soon? Are you sure that’s what you want?” Shane rubbed a hand across his jaw. “Not that I mind all the extra sex or anything,” he added, quite seriously.

“Of course you wouldn’t!” Lilith swatted at him. “I’m ready, and I don’t want to wait, that’s all.” The hour was late. Moonlight through the window twisted with the soft light of the lone candle, flickering in the occasional drafts. She’d wasted no time dragging her ever-willing husband into the bed, where they now lay curled together, spent and drowsing.

“So… was there a reason behind that decision?”

She looked up at him, her eyes wandering over the contours of his face in the dim, flickering light. “Do you not want another baby? We don’t have to try if you’re happy with our family the way it is.”

“Of course I’m happy with our children. I love them all, and I will have just as much love for another baby. I was just wondering why you seem to want another one so much.”

Lilith paused, her face taking on a sad expression. He tipped her chin up to look at him. “What is it?”

“Well, Daniel looking so …old. It made me realize we don’t have as much time left as we’d like. I want to make the most of it…while we still can.”

He pulled her tight against him, wrapping his arms and legs around her. “It was a bit jolting to see him aged so much, and realizing we’re not all that younger than him.” He kissed her hair. “However much time we’re blessed to have together is more than I deserve. But I agree. Let’s make the most of it. Besides, I can’t argue against more sex.”

Lilith jabbed him in the ribs, then laughed. “Well, neither can I. It’s a wonderful feeling to be connected to you so deeply.”

 

 

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She squealed when he rolled on top of her, pushing open the shirt she’d slipped into after their earlier lovemaking. Surprised at his sudden ardor, she threw her arms back and gave herself over to it. It was such a turn on when he got like this. His hand cupped under the side her hip, and lifted her up to meet him for that closest of embraces.

“Making the most of it, deeply” he whispered, as he began to move in her again.

 

 

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It took longer than she’d have liked, but a year later, Lilith did indeed conceive. When she was sure of it, she found Shane in the orchard to give him the news, crying tears of happiness. She’d wanted this pregnancy so badly. Daniel’s aging had reminded her that life was finite, that ‘forever’ didn’t apply to humans or the love they had for each other. Another baby would affirm both life and love.

 

 

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“I know you’re crying because you’re happy but I still hate seeing you cry,” Shane said gruffly, pulling her head onto his shoulder. He sighed. This felt good–his wife in his arms, the sun on his back, even her tears on his shoulder. Knowing she was again carrying his child was such a powerful feeling. He hugged her tightly, then pulled back to wipe the tears off her face. “Thank you,” he said.

“For what?”

“For loving me the way you do and for this wonderful life we’ve built together.”

 

 

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“Mom’s gonna have another baby,” Ayala announced to Carrick one weekend morning. Shane had left for the orchard, and Lilith was still in bed resting.

Carrick placed another block on top of his carefully arranged pyramid. “How do you know?” he asked absently.

“Because I heard her and Daddy talking about it. And plus, she’s getting fat!”

“Dad would put you in so much trouble if he heard you say that about Mom!”

“Would not! It’s true!” Ayala took aim, and chucked a block right in the center of Carrick’s pyramid, bringing it toppling across the table and ground.

Exasperated, he just gave her a look and then stood up from the play table. He wasn’t about to let her get him in trouble too by dragging him into an argument. Sometimes Ayala just didn’t know when to keep her mouth shut.

 

 

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Ayala felt like pouting since Carrick was ignoring her, but whatever! The clouds broke up and the sun felt good, so she put on a  pretty dress Mom had made her, and went to play at the Community Center. When she saw Dustin Swift there, she felt a prick of ire at him for calling her a little girl last year, but decided she would be nice to him.

“Hi Dustin!” She gave him her brightest smile. “Lovely day, isn’t it?”

He looked down at her, amused at her obvious attempt to sound like an adult. “Yes Ayala, it is.”

“Look what I can do!” She spun into a pirouette that she’d learned from dance class. It was her best move and she’d won an award for it; Dustin would surely be impressed.

 

 

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And he was! Oh, he really was! She giggled when he clapped and cheered.

“Nice moves. Well, I’m going to go–”

“Will you push me in the swing? I want to play.”

“Well, alright, just for a few minutes.”

 

 

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“Higher!” she squealed. He laughed and pushed her even higher. Dustin was so much fun. And then he stopped pushing her.

“Well this was fun kiddo, but I need to get back to camp.” He waved goodbye to her.

“Not so fast, buster!” She hopped off the swing and skidded to a stop in front of him, hands planted on her hips. “I”m not some KIDDO that you can call KIDDO! I’m a young lady, and don’t you forget it!”

 

 

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“Uh, ok, I’m sorry. But I do have to get back to camp.”

“Gah, Dustin we were having fun, then you call me KIDDO and leave. You’re not very nice!” She pirouetted on her heel and climbed up into the tree house with her nose in the air, refusing to look at him. Which was probably a good thing, because Dustin had started walking back to his camp, shaking his head slightly.

She’s worse than my sisters, he thought.

 

 

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When Ayala got back to camp that evening, Lilith could quickly see the girl’s temper.

“Ayala, what’s wrong?” she asked, taking her daughter by the hand to stop her as she walked by.

“Oh Momma, it’s nothing. Dustin Swift was mean to me today. Again.”

“Again?” Lilith hadn’t heard of or seen any squabbles, and Dustin seemed gentler than his brothers. She’d never seen him be ‘mean’, come to think of it.

“He’s always calling me a kid, and I’m not a kid, I told him, I’m a young lady!” Her sharply emphasized little speech almost made Lilith smile. Ayala told her all about the ‘incident’ at the Community Center, which sounded pretty well blown out of proportion–not that Lilith would have said so.

“I agree, you are a young lady,” Lilith began. Ayala brightened at the confirmation. “However,” she continued, “if you want others to recognize that and treat you accordingly, you must learn to control your anger better. A young lady wouldn’t have yelled at Dustin, would she?”

Ayala’s head drooped ever so slightly, then she stuck her chin out stubbornly. “But he was wrong, you said so!”

“Yes honey, but I also said you need to show others your character by how you behave–especially to boys you like.”

 

 

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“Moo-oooooommmm!” Ayala screeched, stamping a foot on the ground. “I do NOT. LIKE. DUSTIN. He’s a stupid boy. And he smells!”

Lilith just smiled, and returned to the cook fire, leaving Ayala to stew over the conversation. Ayala flounced onto a stump by the fire, huffing and muttering.

 

 

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Who on earth would like a boy like Dustin Swift, anyway? Hmph. 

 

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