Maria pulled up to the group home she once resided in, putting her car in park. It’d been a few months since she had paid her former place of residence a visit, not because she didn’t want to, but because her life was much more hectic with Amelia now being in it. However, Lacey had made it known that this was an urgent situation, so she had to make time for this visit. She took her keys out of the ignition, turning her head to the backseat, where the four-year-old was dozing off in her car seat. How this girl could fall asleep during a three minute car ride was beyond her. She reached back and gently wiggled the toddler’s foot to wake her up. “We’re here, kiddo.”
Ria took Amy out of the car, holding her hand as they walked up to the house. The young girl looked around the property with a curious expression. She was still getting used to suburban life and how large the houses were. Maria knocked on the door, hoping Lacey, or anyone, for that matter, would answer the door hastily. Maria was not fond of the July heat, and it didn’t help that her car’s AC was broken, so she was dripping in sweat and very much disgruntled about it.
(This series is set during
Amelia’s 5th month of pregnancy – and possibly a bit beyond.
Each story can stand alone, but you can also read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6. My sincere apologies to Evelyn Hunt for killing her off in a previous fic. I’ve never regretted anything more. =) So I take it back! She’s alive.
I’ve been desperate to write this one about #Everolyn for nearly a month. As
always, I hope you enjoy it as I do.)
love never happens the same way twice. Sometimes it starts slow and gentle as a
trickle of pebbles rolling down a hillside. Other times the earth shakes and
cracks in an avalanche, and we fall fast and hard. Our stomachs drop, and our
breath is taken. However it happens, falling is always unexpected and intense. We
can fall in love with passion and tenderness as a lover, with nurturing and
protectiveness as a parent, and with fullness and devotion as a friend. Any
time we open ourselves to love, we fall. Falling comes with a risk of great sorrow
and pain. That is the price of love. But to fall is a divine gift. It changes us and
takes us somewhere new - to a place we’re meant to be. If we want to fall - if
we’re brave enough to take the risk, then all we need to do is climb. For a
landslide only happens on the mountain.
“I took my love, I took it down
Climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
‘Til the landslide brought me down…”
dawned peacefully for Amelia. Her ultrasound showed normal development and
confirmed that the baby was indeed a girl, as the cell free fetal DNA testing
had indicated weeks prior. Amelia’s bloodwork was normal, except for slight
anemia, which may have contributed to her fainting. Although the OB suggested
it was likely due to a perfect storm of low blood sugar from skipping lunch, dilated
blood vessels from high progesterone levels, and a sudden drop in blood
pressure from standing quickly.
hadn’t left her side in three days. She stayed close to him, because she
knew how much he needed it. He sat on the sofa, and she lay beside him with her
feet in his lap. The baby was moving a lot today. “She’s excited about
something,” Amelia said with her hand on her stomach. The movements we’re so
strong now, they hardly felt like flutters anymore. Amelia thought about how
quickly things can change.
her gaze out the window. The sky was alive with metallic silver and gold as the
clouds played games with the sun. A small beam of light shone into the room, fading
as quickly as it arrived, only to be replaced by another and then another. Owen
felt one of the beams on his hands, warming him, willing him to play too.
He held the
slippers that covered Amelia’s feet. He glanced intently at her fair skin over the
tiny bones in her ankles and then further up the curve of her leg. Her loose pajamas
had pushed themselves up around her knees. He felt a tightness in his chest as
he imagined touching the curves of her.
For the past
few days, Owen had been nervous to touch her too much. It had been hard for him
to let go of the image of her lying unconscious on the hospital floor. Even
though he knew her strength, she had appeared so fragile in that moment. Now
here in the sunshine she looked so vital. He wanted his hands on her skin.
his fingers slip into the valleys of her ankles. His hands were warm, but the touch made her shiver. She turned her gaze to look at him, and his eyes were
already on her. He held her with them as he took her slippers off one at a
time. His touch was light at first, with the fullness of both hands on her bare
foot. It felt so good. She wanted to let her eyes close but she didn’t, keeping
herself open to more sensation. His thumbs moved back and forth across her
arch with increasing pressure and insistency. He was so good at this. She knew
how good he was, and she knew what would come next.
to her other foot, giving it the same attention as the first. He watched
pleasure spread across her face like the sunbeams. He slid his hands up her
ankles slowly, savoring the feel of her. He played over her calves like the
clouds to the sun, keeping the pressure gentle. The smoothness of her skin
called him higher, and he answered. He paused at the hem of her
pajamas, rubbing the soft fabric between his fingertips. He loved Amelia in plaid.
He loved her in anything - and nothing.
goose bumps as he slipped his hands up inside her pant legs. He massaged lightly
behind her knees and up the backs of her thighs. Amelia held her breath as he
wrapped his caress around the front. The
feeling was intense - almost too much. It was that feeling that happens just
before it’s too much.
started, uncertain how to continue. This moment was incandescent torture. And
still he looked into her eyes, seeing her vulnerable, seeing her want him.
All of a
sudden the doorbell rang.
Amelia exhaled slowly.
plan,” he teased, stroking all the way to the top of her thighs, “Let’s ignore
them. They’ll go away.”
was quick and shallow. She lay as still as possible, absorbing the sensations
of Owen’s touch and willing the person at the door to leave.
bell rang again. Then knocking started. Then they heard a voice. “Hello-o-o-o!
Anyone home? Amelia, I know you’re not at the hospital.”
Amelia muttered again.
“Who is it?”
Owen asked, his hands still caressing her.
be my mother.”
as quickly as he ever had in his life, as if he was dodging grenades. He untangled
himself from Amelia and stood up from the couch. He adjusted his clothing,
trying to make himself look presentable, or at least trying to make himself look
as if he hadn’t just been about to have sex with Carolyn Shepherd’s daughter.
hell is your mom doing here?!” his voice was low and agitated.
crept over Amelia’s face, revealing the dimple in her cheek. She tried to
contain her laughter, but it erupted nevertheless. Then suddenly she was
laughing hysterically, watching Owen smooth the wrinkles out of his pants.
And the knocking
carefully. “Coming…” she hollered toward the door. Then quietly for Owen she
whispered, “…Almost.” She winked at him as she ran her hands up his chest. Her
lips were moist and open as she kissed him, showing him how it would have been.
muttered softly as Amelia reached for the door.
“…Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
And can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
I don’t know, I don’t know…”
opened the door, and Carolyn swept in as a silver gale.
You’re… here. What a… surprise,” Amelia tried to muster enthusiasm into her
voice, but she had always been better at real than fake.
reached a single hand to Amelia’s cheek, running her thumb over the dimple her
daughter had managed to summon along with the false enthusiasm. She settled her
brown eyes deep into Amelia’s blue, and Amelia’s smile softened into something
real. She knew a façade wouldn’t work today with Carolyn, not that it ever had.
The truth of the matter was that Amelia was glad to see her. Looking into her
mother’s eyes always felt like coming home. Even when home had been a hard
place to be.
girl,” Carolyn said simply, sliding her hand down from Amelia’s cheek to her
shoulder, giving it a squeeze. Carolyn wasn’t a hugger, but Amelia had been –
once upon a time. Her arms went around her mom as she remembered. And Carolyn
held her for a moment remembering too – the joy and the sorrow.
stepped back and looked at Amelia from head to toe. “I had to see you for
myself. I figured if I told you I was coming, you might schedule a dozen back
to back surgeries.”
her mom was right.
turned her gaze to Owen, who was standing there feeling conspicuous in his own
house. She reached out for his hand, and he held hers in a single shake. Carolyn
covered the back of his hand with her other one. She held it for a long time as
she spoke, “Owen Hunt. It’s very good to see you.”
Shepherd. It’s good to see you too,” Owen was better at false enthusiasm than
Amelia, but his smile was genuine regardless. “It’s been a long time. Please
call me Carolyn. Seems a more fitting name coming from the father of my future
grandchild.” Carolyn Shepherd was never one to mince words.
uh…” Owen shared a confused glanced with Amelia. He didn’t think she had told
her mom yet about the pregnancy. Amelia shrugged her shoulders. Indeed she
hadn’t told her. Although clearly somebody had.
while Carolyn still held Owen’s hand in both of hers. He looked a little pekid,
and she dropped it now so he could recover.
Mom,” Amelia told her, “You’re going to be a grandma - for the nineteenth time.”
heard,” Carolyn said, “Lizzie called me. She has a friend who’s a scrub nurse
at Grey Sloan. They’ve kept in touch since Lizzie donated the nerve for Derek.
The nurse told her about you fainting.”
Lizzie!” Amelia exclaimed with more false enthusiasm, “Always making friends.”
have been nice to hear it from you though,” Carolyn said matter-of-factly,
without judgement, just because it’s how she felt.
always been difficult for Amelia to talk to Carolyn about the big things - the
things that might eventually lead to the words ‘I’m sorry.’ Hearing those words
from her mom broke Amelia every time. She had been putting off the conversation
for a while longer, just in case the baby wasn’t going to be okay after all.
that’s water under the bridge now,” Carolyn emphasized, “You’re going to have a
baby. We should celebrate.”
Amelia willed herself to believe it, “I’m going to go change.”
with his eyes for her not to leave him alone with her mother, “Do you… uh… need
that offer is, how about you keep my mom company?” Amelia said mischievously.
He knew she was leaving him alone with Carolyn on purpose.
Carolyn said, “I’ve been cooped up on a planes and buses for the past 7 hours. Why don’t we take a walk around the yard? I’d love to have a chance to
smell those roses.”
Shep… uh… Carolyn,” Owen opened the door, and she stepped outside. He glanced
back at Amelia who stood there in her pajamas waving at him with four fingers
and a dimple on her cheek. He would find a way to pay her back later.
Well, I’ve been afraid of changing
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Children get older and I’m getting older too
The clouds and
the sun still played their games, casting the yard in an ethereal mix of light
and shadow. Carolyn walked in silence for a while, taking in the color and
assessing the man beside her. She noticed he seemed more comfortable here outside.
Owen could in fact breathe more easily now. In this bigger space, Carolyn
seemed less formidable.
going to beat around the bush - no pun intended,” she said with a flourish toward
the roses, “Owen, what are your intentions with my daughter?”
until Carolyn’s eyes met his. Then he knew she was serious.
you know about the baby, I assumed you’d understand about us… I love Amelia.
I’ve loved her for a long time. I loved her before I knew it. This is all for
her – for us,” he said, looking around them.
bought a house before. You’ve loved before. How can you be sure?”
spoke the truth, and she deserved an answer. Owen felt her gaze directly upon
him and found it easier to look at the roses. He took his time answering, “Amelia
lights me up. She excites me. But it’s more than that. I feel myself in her
when she moves. She speaks the words I feel inside myself. Being with her doesn’t
change me, it just makes me more. She fills me in. She fills my life with
possibility. I was lost, and she showed me the way to myself. She keeps
showing me the way. She made me want to stop running. I feel hope again with
her. I want everything for her. I want to give everything, and I want her to
take it. She has my heart. And that’s not changing.”
rested her hand on his shoulder. “You’re a good man, Owen. You’re good for
Amelia. She’s not easy…” Carolyn’s voice trailed off in memory.
things never are,” he said.
“…I’ve been afraid of changing
'Cause I built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Children get older
And I’m getting older too
I’m getting older too…”
continued back inside the house. Owen and Amelia sat together on the sofa again,
with Carolyn in a chair beside them. Amelia was working through the awkwardness
of having her mother in her home when the doorbell rang. “Does anyone use a
phone anymore?” she wondered, and then realized she had said it out loud.
the door to find Evelyn Hunt standing on the porch, holding an enormous
let me get that.”
I’m fine! I’ve been carrying things for 67 years. I brought a pot roast.
Just clear me a path to the kitchen.”
thanks…” Owen’s brow furrowed in confusion as he held the door open for Evelyn
to come in.
A sense of
relief washed over Amelia as she felt Carolyn’s attention shift away from her onto
the new arrival. Amelia liked Evelyn tremendously. She always had.
rose from the couch to escort her to the kitchen, “Today is just full of
“For me too,
dear,” Evelyn hugged her as soon as her hands were free, “I’m sorry. I hadn’t
thought that you might already have company.”
looked to Carolyn and the two women moved toward each other.
“No need to
be sorry at all. It is lovely to meet you,” Carolyn extended both hands and
Evelyn took them in hers, “I’m Carolyn Shepherd, Amelia’s mom.”
is a fortunate day! I’m Evelyn Hunt and very glad to meet you too.” The two women held hands for a long moment in
Owen glanced at one another cautiously. This day had them both on edge.
“You two look
like you need to sit down,” Evelyn ushered them to the sofa, “Please sit before you faint. We don’t need any more of that!”
mothers moved to sit in the chairs beside them as Amelia and Owen exchanged
another confused look. They hadn’t yet told Evelyn about the pregnancy or the
incident at the hospital.
continued, “Imagine my surprise this morning to hear from John that his
security guard friend at the hospital asked him if he knew how Amelia and the
baby were doing!”
“Mom, I’m so
sorry,” Owen apologized, “We were going to tell you soon.”
grandchild, and I hear about it through a security guard!”
club,” Carolyn added, “I heard through a scrub nurse.”
The two women exchanged a sympathetic look.
wondered if there was anybody in the nation who hadn’t heard about her
pregnancy. She half expected her phone to ring with a call from the president, congratulating Derek Shepherd’s little sister on the good news.
nothing quite like a grandchild,” Carolyn leaned forward and said to Evelyn,
“You’re in for the greatest treat of your life.”
eyes turned glassy. Any animosity that she may have felt toward her son for not
informing her about the baby, flowed out in a single tear. She reached across
the space between them and touched Owen’s arm.
overwhelmed by this room full of powerful women and was trying to move through the
feeling. He could feel pebbles rolling down the hillside.
what he needed. She lifted her hand to his shoulder and ran her fingers up to
the nape of his neck, slowly, as if all the time in the world was only for
feeling. She continued her caress until Owen could breathe again. And still she
continued, with her fingertips softly in his hair.
mothers were absorbed in conversation in the chairs beside them. Owen heard their
words here and there - the important words, “Navy… Vietnam… death… children…
doctors… 30 years…” But mostly he was aware of the feeling of Amelia’s fingers
on his neck. Thinking wasn’t working so well anymore. He rested a hand on her
leg – completely still at first. Then he moved a finger along her inner thigh,
just a square inch of movement. Amelia gasped softly. He repeated that small motion, again and again, using just the tip of his finger. Suddenly thinking wasn’t
working so well for Amelia either.
“…So, take this love,
take it down
Oh, if you climb a mountain and you turn around
If you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well the landslide will bring it down…”
Evelyn said, “Something tells me that you and I could talk forever.”
agree,” Carolyn replied with a smile, “Shall we go out for a cup of coffee and
get started on that?”
“It would be
my pleasure. Besides…” Evelyn glanced at Owen and Amelia, “I think these two
could use some time without us.”
pretty sure it’s more fun to have sex when your mothers are not in the room. So
we’ll leave them to get to that.” Carolyn winked at them.
flushed scarlet red as the roses, and he thought about how the apple never falls too far from the tree. He shuddered to imagine the antics that their daughter would have in store for them. But he didn’t dare think about that now. He had enough
formidable women to deal with at the moment. Let Sara be just a tiny baby -
just a butterfly - for a little longer.
“No need to
get up, you two, we can see ourselves out,” Evelyn said. She linked arms with
Carolyn, and they swept out of the room in a flash of silver, like two clouds
playing games with the sun.
“I feel like I’ve known you all my life…” “How
is it possible that we’ve never met before?…” “Some friendships go beyond this
life, I believe…” Owen and Amelia heard their voices carry through the yard
as they went. It was hard to tell which was which, and it didn’t matter - because
the words in their hearts were the same.
words, Amelia sensed a spark. That spark when you meet a person who is supposed
to be in your life, and you wonder how she hasn’t always been there. You
wonder what you ever did without her. That spark that happens as the pebbles
start rolling. That spark that happens when you fall.
“…And if you see my reflection in the snow
Well, maybe, the landslide will bring it down
Well well, the landslide will bring it down”