Honeymoon from hell iv, p.1
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       Honeymoon from Hell IV, p.1
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         Part #4 of Honeymoon from Hell series by R. L. Mathewson
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  Prologue

  (Just in case you forgot where we left off…)

  Three months later…..

  “You spoil him,” Mrs. Brown pointed out with a smile as she carefully placed another apple pie on the table to cool.

  “He deserves to be spoiled,” Elizabeth said, easily returning the older woman’s smile as she looked over the pies she’d made to surprise her husband.

  For the past four months Robert had been working day and night, taking any job that he could get his hands on to make sure that they were well prepared for the coming winter. They’d heard that winters in New England could be especially harsh, so he was making sure that they were well prepared. When he wasn’t working on a job trying to earn more money for the coming winter, he was chopping wood, building a shed, fixing the barn for their horses, checking the roof, windows and fireplaces to make sure that they were properly secured, building shelves in the root cellar to make sure that they had plenty of space for their food. He was making sure that she and the baby had everything they were going to need.

  He was working himself into exhaustion. Every time she pointed that out, he smiled and gave her a kiss as he told her that she was well worth it. He promised her that things would slow down in the winter and he would rest then, but she knew that he was lying. He already had enough orders for furniture, chests and a hundred other things to keep him busy during the winter.

  “He’s going to be upset when he finds out that you were working,” Mrs. Brown said as she pulled another pie out of the oven.

  “He’s not going to be upset,” Elizabeth said, knowing that was true.

  Robert wouldn’t be upset when he found out that she hadn’t stayed in bed like the doctor had ordered, he would be furious, which was why she also made him some apple pastries so that he would be too busy eating to yell at her. He was such a hypocrite, she thought as she loaded a small tray with the pastries with the hopes that they would be enough to soften him up enough to take her for a walk.

  It was okay for him to work himself to death, but it wasn’t okay for her to do anything more strenuous than to turn over in bed. She appreciated that he was concerned for her, really she did, but if she had to stay in that bed for one more day she was pretty sure that she was going to scream. She needed to move around, to work, to go for walks, anything that would take her mind off her huge stomach, the cramps that had started yesterday and wouldn’t leave her alone and the fact that she was bored out of her mind.

  Taking a deep breath and praying that the walk would help ease her cramps, she picked up the tray and, unfortunately for her, waddled to the doors. It took her longer than she would have liked, but she eventually made it to the door and with Mrs. Brown’s help, managed to step outside. Murmuring her thanks to the older woman, Elizabeth started the long process of walking to the barn where her husband was hard at work building a chest for the Fairchild family.

  It really was a beautiful day. The weather had cooled considerably over the past couple of weeks, making it the perfect weather for enjoying the outdoors. She hoped to be able to enjoy it before the baby came, along with the snow that was sure to keep them trapped inside for most of the winter.

  A few steps later she was forced to stop as a cramp tore through her back and stomach, proving her point that lying around for the past month had done her absolutely no good. She needed fresh air, sunshine and a bit of exercise. Once the cramp had dulled down enough for her to move, she took a deep breath and continued towards the barn, but she didn’t make it five steps before another cramp tore through her back and stomach, robbing her of the ability to breathe.

  “Elizabeth?” a familiar voice said, drawing her attention to the very handsome man walking towards her, appearing surprised and pleased to see her. “Is that really you?” James asked, placing his satchel on a bench by the rose bushes as he walked past it on his way to her.

  She opened her mouth to answer him, but a choked sob escaped her as she lost her grip on the tray. She bit back a cry as she cradled her arms around her stomach and leaned forward, praying that she wasn’t about to lose the baby. It was too early for the baby.

  “Elizabeth?” James asked, sounding worried as he rushed over to her and wrapped his arms around her as best as he could, but she was rather large now, making the job nearly impossible. “What’s wrong?”

  She didn’t get a chance to answer him before she felt a rush of liquid pour down her legs. It was quickly followed by another one of those vicious cramps that left her barely able to breathe. She reached up and grabbed onto James’ arms as cramp after cramp tore through her body until all she could do was scream the one thing that she knew would make it all better.

  “Robert!”

  *-*-*-*

  “It’s beautiful,” Mr. Fairchild said in a reverent whisper as he ran his fingertips over the intricate design of the bassinet. “How much do you want for it?”

  Robert chuckled as he placed the sheet back over the bassinet to keep it protected. “Thank you, but it’s not for sale.”

  Mr. Fairchild smiled. “Fair enough. For your child?”

  “Yes,” Robert said proudly as his gaze shifted to the other covered furniture that he’d built for their baby.

  “The baby will be here soon enough,” Mr, Fairfield said with a chuckle as he moved to kneel in front of the chest that Robert made for the man’s future daughter-in-law.

  “Not soon enough,” Robert said, leaning back to give the man some space to look over the chest.

  Only a month more to go before he was holding their baby in his arms, their miracle child and he couldn’t wait. There were no words to describe how he felt about this child. They were getting a second chance to be parents to this child and he wasn’t going to waste it. He was going to-

  “Robert!”

  -have a heart attack, he realized as Elizabeth’s blood-curdling scream reached his ears. Before he realized what he was doing, he was running out the door, barely aware of Mr. Fairchild following him or demanding to know what was wrong. The only thing that he cared about at that moment was getting to Elizabeth and killing whoever was hurting her.

  When he ran out of the barn and into the yard, terror shot through him as he watched a man hover over Elizabeth as she curled up on her side as she screamed his name over and over until he found himself running towards her and tackling the bastard.

  “What the hell did you do to my wife?” he demanded as he shoved the smaller man to the ground and raised his fist, ready to kill him with his bare hands when recognition hit hard. “James? What the hell are you doing here?”

  “Besides getting my ass kicked and having your wife scare the living hell out of me?” James demanded as he shoved Robert away and got to his feet. “I came to talk to you.”

  Elizabeth’s screams brought his attention back to where it belonged. As happy as he was to see his brother again and that he was speaking to him again, James was going to have to wait.

  “Minx?” Robert asked as he crawled over to where his wife lay, curled up into a ball and panting. “What’s wrong?”

  Instead of answering him, she squeezed her eyes shut and shook her head.

  “Is it the baby?” he asked, praying that the answer was no. It was too soon for the baby. They had another month before the baby was supposed to be born.

  Reluctantly, she nodded as a sob escaped her.

  Please don’t let us lose the baby, he prayed as he carefully picked her up and carried her into the house, because he didn’t think that either one of them would be able to survive the loss this time.

  *-*-*-*

  “He’s coming to,” he vaguely heard James say.

  “Huh?” was his only response as he struggled to figure out how he’d e
nded up lying face down on his bedroom floor.

  “I did tell him not to come in here,” James said, sounding amused as he helped roll Robert over onto his back.

  “This is why men don’t belong in the labor room,” Mrs. Brown said, sounding putout as she tossed a wet cloth at him. It hit him in the face before falling off and landing on the floor, leaving Robert even more confused.

  “What happened?” he asked numbly as he struggled to sit up, but a wave of dizziness had him lying right back down.

  His answer was the beautiful cry of a baby. Actually, it sounded more like-

  “Twins,” James said with a huge grin as he helped Robert sit up.

  “Twins?” Robert repeated, not understanding what James was saying.

  “Twin boys,” James said, chuckling as he reached down and dragged Robert to his feet. “That’s why your wife was so huge.”

  “I was not huge!” Elizabeth said, not sounding very mad at all as she drew his attention towards the bed where she was curled up on her side, smiling down at two wiggling, but healthy looking, babies.

  “W-what happened?” he asked, struggling to remember what the hell happened.

  “What do you remember?” James asked, dragging him over to the bed where his family was waiting for him and helping him carefully lie down next to the most beautiful babies that he’d ever seen.

  “Not much,” he admitted, trying to shake his head clear.

  “Well, after you carried Elizabeth in here and sent for the doctor, your formidable maid Mrs. Brown kicked us both out. While we waited for the doctor, you and I had a long overdue discussion where you apologized profusely for being a selfish bastard and begged my forgiveness,” James said, sounding amused and drawing Robert’s glare.

  With a roll of his eyes and a few muttered words, James carefully sat down at the end of the bed and reached over so that the baby nearest him could grab onto his finger. “Fine. I apologized for being a bastard and not saying goodbye to you.”

  “That’s all?” Robert asked with a frown as he reached down and softly caressed his son’s head.

  “Well, you did apologize for everything,” James said, sending him a smile.

  “I’m sorry for not realizing that you were in love with her, Robert. Our parents are sorry as well. They should be here in a few weeks to tell you themselves. I should have realized that something was going on.”

  “There’s nothing to apologize for,” Robert said, giving him a reassuring smile before he returned his attention to the baby who was pulling his finger to his mouth.

  “Oh, yes there is!” Mrs. Brown said, stepping up the side of the bed to smile down at the babies. “You gave the doctor and me heart failure when you came running in here like that!”

  “I ran in here?” Robert asked, wracking his brain, trying to remember, but it was all a bit fuzzy.

  James chuckled. “As soon as Elizabeth started screaming you broke free, ran into the room, caught one look at your wife giving birth and promptly passed out.”

  “I don’t remember any of that.”

  “And I doubt that any of us will ever forget,” James said with a wink that had Elizabeth laughing softly as she leaned down and pressed a kiss against the squirming baby’s foot that kept lightly kicking at her.

  He looked at Elizabeth, noting the exhaustion and pure joy in her eyes as she looked down at their boys. She looked so damn beautiful, and he couldn’t help losing his heart to her all over again.

  “Twins, minx,” he said, gently pulling his hand away from his son so that he could push a damp strand of hair behind Elizabeth’s ear.

  “Twins,” she repeated with a pleased smile.

  He leaned in, careful of the baby now trying to grab onto his shirt, and brushed a kiss against his beautiful wife’s lips. “I love you, Beth,” he said, using the name that she hated to tease another smile out of her.

  “And I love you, Robert Lemonade.”

  The Start of Their Happily Ever After Before We Rewind Just a Bit and Get to Where Things Went Wrong...

  Four and a half years later…..

  “Did you bring it?” Robert demanded as soon as the coach door opened.

  James chuckled as he stepped out, his eyes dancing with amusement as he held up a dark grey rock. “You mean this rock that you so kindly asked for? The one that I had to travel to London for in the middle of the night and search the park for six hours in the freezing rain, because it was a matter of life and death?” he asked dryly as he tossed the rock to Robert.

  “Thank God,” Robert sighed, catching the rock and barely sparing his brother a glance as he headed for his shop.

  “What? No, thank you, James? I missed you, James?” James asked, veering off to go greet Elizabeth and the children, who were playing by the garden.

  “Keep Elizabeth busy for an hour or two,” was all he said as he pulled his shop door closed behind him, praying that he didn’t accidentally break this one as well.

  *-*-*-*

  Elizabeth released a sigh as she leaned against the tree and watched as James played with her babies. He was such a wonderful uncle and from what she’d heard from the rest of the family, a wonderful father as well.

  He was so kind and sweet, she thought, laughing when the twins tackled him to the ground so that they could show him how to give a proper bear hug. Her lips twitched with amusement when James pretended to turn into a bear and chased the twins all while cradling her youngest giggling son carefully in his arms. Her smile turned watery as she looked down at the folded parchment in her hands.

  James had turned her dreams into a reality.

  About a year ago, he’d been looking through the estates old ledgers and had come across her plans. Not sure what to make of them at first, he’d questioned Mary and Anthony who were only too happy to finally tell him what they thought about Heather burning through the fortune that was meant to help the poor.

  Shocked, he’d taken another look at her plans. Then he took a look at his wife’s outrageous spending and what he saw had him finally putting his foot down and limiting her spending to a modest monthly allowance. As a result, Heather was no longer speaking to him, but he didn’t seem to care. Elizabeth suspected that when Heather discovered that James had taken half of her inheritance and created a charity with it, that Heather would probably never speak to him again. Then again, that would probably make James the happiest man alive.

  She wished that he’d reconsider and move to America. She knew that he would love it here. He probably would have made the move years ago if it hadn’t been for Heather. Her sister refused to even consider it, never mind visit, which meant that James visited once a year just to get a break from her. Next year James was bringing his girls along with their parents for a visit whether Heather liked it or not. Elizabeth suspected that she probably wouldn’t like it.

  “It’s good to see him,” the deep voice that she adored said as a strong arm was carefully wrapped around her waist and she was pulled back against the man that she loved more than anything.

  “It is,” she murmured her agreement as she turned herself in his arms so that she could wrap her arms around his shoulders, “but it’s even better to see you.”

  “Missed me?” he teased as he leaned down and brushed his lips against hers.

  “Terribly,” she said, smiling against his lips. “When I came back from feeding the baby you were already gone.”

  “I’m sorry, minx. I had some work that I needed to finish so that I could spend tonight focusing on you,” he said, kissing her again.

  “I have you for the whole night?”

  “The whole night,” he promised as he leaned in to kiss her.

  “What about James?” she asked, feeling bad that he’d traveled all the way from England to visit and they were abandoning him on his first night.

  “Can entertain himself for one night,” he said, brushing his lips against hers one last time before he stepped away.

  “This is for you,” Robe
rt said as he held out a small beautifully carved box.

  She didn’t have to ask him to know that he’d made the box himself. It was absolutely beautiful and something that he would no doubt be able to get some of the merchants in town to buy. He could probably have a very lucrative business if he focused on making furniture and trinkets, but that would mean spending long hours away from her and the children and she knew that he didn’t want that. Instead, he settled for making the things that he loved in his spare time and focused on supporting them by building and fixing homes. He was very good at what he did and was in high demand.

  They would never be rich, but as long as they were able to keep their children safe and happy then neither one of them cared.

 
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