‹ Prequel: Heartlines
Status: Part two


O n e

“Ready,” Erin said, watching the hands on her watch. Jonathan was sitting on the couch, watching her as she stood in the kitchen. She had a cup of water in her hands as she watched the minute hands. When they hit the twelve, she tilted the cup of water so that it poured off of the lip, hitting the tile of the kitchen and splattering. “Go!”

Jonathan jumped off the couch as Erin leaned against the counter, watching as he dashed to the bedroom. She began moving around the kitchen, sliding her shoes on, grabbing her purse and Jonathan’s keys, while glancing at her watch. Jonathan came out with a duffle bag, a baby carrier and another small backpack thrown over his shoulder, skidding into the kitchen.

With a phone in hand, Jonathan took the keys from Erin and took her hand carefully. “Keys,” she listed. He nodded. “Phone, overnight bag, clothes, things for the baby, papers, credit cards and money, emergency clothes.”

“Got it all.”

“Let’s go.”

With care, Jonathan led Erin through the house and out of the door. He locked the door behind him as he helped her down the drive to the car, opening the card door for her and picking her up easily to place her in, careful of her swollen belly when moving her. He grinned at her and shut the door before opening the back seat of the SUV and placing everything in his arms in the back seat.

Rushing around the front of the car he jumped into the drivers seat. He leaned over the center console and grabbed the seatbelt she was trying to pull over her stomach. With gentle precision, he pulled it and clicked it safely over her and retracted his hand, though not before brushing his fingers across the shirt that stood between his finger tips and her skin.

“Time?” he asked, never turning the car on. “Under five, right?”

Erin looked at her watch and grinned happily. “Three minutes, ten seconds.”

“Score, baby!” He gave her a high five, both of them laughing. “Okay so we have getting to the car in under five seconds. Now we have to do surprise rounds that I’m not ready for. You can do those this week, right?”


Jonathan smiled happily. He reached over and put his hand behind her neck, massaging the coiled muscles there. Her neck was tense and she rolled her head to the side, letting Jonathan’s fingers workout the tough kink under her skin. “I want to meet Rosie more than anything.”

“I know you do.” Erin cast her green eyes in his direction. He had been amazing, the past few months. Any craving Erin had, he gave it to her. Any tear she shed, he whipped it. Every time she yelled, groaned, cried, laughed, or did anything at all, Jonathan took it with grace. “I know she wants to meet you too.”

Jonathan Toews was perhaps the best husband Erin had ever heard of. Having a pregnant wife was one thing on it’s own, but having a pregnant wife while you were a traveling athlete was another entirely, but some how, they made it work. Jonathan flew her to games, made sure that she was taken care of at all times. He had not missed a single doctors appointment, checkup, or even miss making a decision on decorating the room.

And Erin loved him that much more for it. She knew there was no way it was easy for him. He was tired too. Playing games and then getting up in the middle of the night to hold her hair when she was throwing up- because morning sickness should have been called 24 hour sickness- was taking a toll on him. But not once did a complaint slip past his lips, despite the urge for her to want him to yell at her in a pregnancy-induced mood swing.

Pregnancy was a bitch. That was the best way Erin could put it when Catalina had asked her with fear in her eyes what it was like. Her feet hurt all of the time, her back felt as though it were bending and breaking, god only knew what was happening to her nipples and having to deal with lactation, and she felt like at any moment she could go from a giggling laugh to a sobbing mess.

But it was worth it. That was the biggest part. Erin often found herself sitting on the couch with her hand on her stomach, as though she could reach her daughter. She already felt the life thrumming inside of her, sometimes when Rosie would kick or even just knowing that her unborn child was there, waiting. Erin also liked to read to her, getting her approval for a book she wanted the kids in her class to read before taking them to class. (Rosie kicked if she didn’t like a book but stayed silent if she did.)

Motherhood did wonders for Erin, so far. Her skin glowed, her hair was shinier than ever, and despite the pain that it put her body through, she was made for it- literally and through the kind of person she was. Erin was of course, made to bare children. But she felt like she was thriving off of being a mother already. She felt in tune with the unborn baby the second she had known she was pregnant to the second she was informed it was a girl.

The instinct came naturally to her. Erin ate well, still did yoga safely, and she made sure to keep her interests around her. The only thing that had changed was her routine, slight alterations of health, large alterations on body, and small alterations of aspects of her relationship. Like getting frustrated at Jonathan because he was absolutely terrified to touch her for a week straight because he was scared of ‘touching the embryo if sex is too deep.’ To which she often replied with a growl or frustrated tears, depending on how she was feeling that day.

“We have pickles, right?”

Jonathan chuckled as he undid her seatbelt for her. He got out of the car and opened her door before helping her out. He then took out everything from the back seat. “Bought more yesterday on the way home.”

“Worlds best husband award.”

“Funny, Kaner said ‘worlds okayest husband’ when I did.”

“In relation to me or Patrick himself?”

Jonathan raised a brow. “Good question. I did forget a snickers for him when I got back in the car.”

“He’s going to be a mess when Catalina is pregnant.”

Back inside of the house, Jonathan sent Erin to the couch as he went into the kitchen and got pickles. She sat down, heaving a sigh and arching her back. Her muscles hurt there. Though she loved that she was having a child, she wanted to give birth and have full use of her body again. It was taking a toll on her and as much as it was worth it, she was counting down the days.

Technically speaking, her due date was the next day. She didn’t feel like she was ready yet, though. She didn’t feel like she was right on the edge of pushing out a child. For some reason, she thought that she would. She was sure that there would be some sort of sign or energy pulsing through her that would make her think this is it, today is the day.

When she told Catalina this, Catalina had rolled her eyes and told her that there was no such thing as pregnancy spidey-sense.

Nonetheless, Erin was sure she would know when it was going to happen. And when Jonathan joined her on the couch, offering her a pickle, she knew that it wasn’t going to be that night. She might feel it tomorrow, that spark of knowing when her daughter was going to arrive. Until then, she leaned against Jonathan- who had, if almost subconsciously, put his hand on her stomach- and watched sports center.


Reaching across the counter, Catalina slipped chamomile tea over to Erin. The tan brunette was standing in Catalina’s massive kitchen. Even though Erin mostly felt large in her delicate state, standing in Catalina’s house always made her feel exceptionally small. The multi-million dollar home was massive and luxurious, making Erin hardly seem very large, pregnant or not.

Wooden floors were cold beneath her feet as she sipped the warm tea Catalina made. They were both staying home for the night, prepared to watch the game. Erin had no desire to sit in the arena full of people to watch the Blackhawks play, especially in her state. So Catalina offered to stay home with her and watch the game in the home theater in the Kane residence (though Catalina rarely referred to herself as Kane) and watch their husbands play.

As Catalina said something about her brother back in Miami, Erin glanced around the kitchen. It was massive with high ceilings and the biggest marble counter-top in the middle that Erin had ever seen. Erin had spent several days baking in the kitchen just because she could and because Catalina always asked for Erin’s baking abilities on special occasions.

“He said he’s free for thanksgiving, so I guess that means that we really will have all four clans here.” Catalina seemed to think about it. Her brown hair was tied on top of her head in a knot and her face was free of makeup. “Do you have any idea how stressful it’s going to be to have all of us in one place? Thankfully Andre doesn’t have a girlfriend but lord knows that Patrick’s three sisters also have to bring their men and…”

“You’re giving yourself a headache, Cat.”

“I am in fact.”

“Come on,” Erin said, picking up her mug. “Think about it later. Let’s watch the game.”

“Oh, first though, I wanted your opinion on a room in the house I’ve been wanting to redecorate.”

Linking her arm through Erin’s, Catalina pulled her from the kitchen through the foyer and up the stairs. Catalina watched Erin carefully which made her laugh, knowing that her best friend was simply being careful with a pregnant woman. It was odd to see Catalina go from poking and jumping on Erin to hovering around her with wary eyes and gentle fingers. Completely unlike the Catalina she had known for years.

Upstairs, Catalina took Erin to the study. It was a spacious room with a large window letting in the afternoon light. The wood floors were polished and clean, a desk and book shelves taking up one side of the room while couches and a coffee table took up the other. It looked the same as it always had and Erin wasn’t exactly sure why on earth Catalina wanted to redecorate a study, of all things.

“We don’t use the study much,” Catalina said, leaning against the wall. Her eyes were following every trace of the room. Erin still wasn’t quite following. “I do all of my work in the actual office and we all know Patrick doesn’t really do much besides help me file taxes and go over bills.”

“So what?” Erin asked. “Do you want to turn it into something else?”

Erin couldn’t fathom what kind of room they didn’t have. The entire basement was a home bar and game room, fully stocked and underground with Patrick’s touches all over it. Erin had never pegged him for interior design but he had treated that portion of the house like his baby.

“It looks about the right size for a nursery, right?”

Erin examined it. “Yeah, it’s not too large or too small. I think that-" Erin paused, stopping and looking at Catalina. She was stiff against the wall, not as casual as she was a moment ago. She was looking directly at Erin, no diversion in her eyes, which were the color of the ocean in that moment. “Catalina? Are you?”

Catalina chewed the corner of her lip. “Yeah.”

“Oh my god!” Erin burst forward and grabbed Catalina into a hug. At first, Catalina didn’t move. Then she melted into Erin’s embrace, hugging her tightly back and burying her face in Erin’s neck. “That’s so amazing, Cat! Congratulations, I’m so happy for you.” Catalina mumbled something in Erin’s neck. “What?”

When Catalina pulled away, she was startled to see tears in her eyes. “I haven’t told Patrick yet.” Erin gave her a sympathetic look and grabbed Catalina’s hand, squeezing it. “I’m terrified too. I mean, we’ve talked about it once before but…”

“He’s going to be the happiest person in the world, Catalina.”

“It’s just so…”

“Permanent.” Catalina nodded. “I know that you’re scared of people changing their minds on you, but you’ve been married to Patrick for a little over a year, Catalina. You’ve been dating him for technically four because you don’t count that first year of absolute nonsense. You’ve been romantically involved for five.”

“I know.”

“Then you must also know that he is irreversibly in love with you and I see how much you love him, and that huge mountain of diamonds on your finger just shows that it’s forever. No going back.”

Catalina made a face. “I would never go back. Ever.”

“And he wouldn’t either. You must know that.” Slowly, Catalina nodded her head before giving her a smile. “So you’re excited, right?”

“More than anything.”

“Good.” Erin paused, feeling an odd sensation for a moment. She felt as though something in her had clicked and she instantly began to feel soaked in her jeans. Glancing down, her eyes widened and the color drained from her face. “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god.”

Catalina glanced down, mouth dropping. “Did your water just break in my future nursery?”

Besides the point, Catalina Marie!”

Panic bubbled in Erin’s chest, threatening to explode like a guiser. She felt light headed, realizing that she didn’t have anything with her, Jonathan was about to start a hockey game, and she was thirty minutes away from the hospital. Catalina must have seen her blanch, for the girl was moving in second, her hand around Erin’s shoulder pulling her out of the room and down the stairs. “You’re okay,” Catalina said soothingly as Erin’s hand went to her stomach. “You’re fine, you won’t go into labor instantly okay, just breath if you start having contractions.”


“I know.”


“I know, trainquilo.” Catalina had one hand on her phone, dialing a number. Erin was reeling, tears beginning to well in her eyes. How was she supposed to get ahold of her husband? It was three days after her due date and she hadn’t been prepared at all. There was no way she was going to get a hold of him. “Alice, I need you to immediately go down to the bench and pull Jonathan Toews.”

Erin’s head snapped to Catalina as she got Erin down to the end of the stairs. Erin was beginning to panic. “His wife’s water just broke and I’m going to take her to the hospital., there will be a car at the back entrance for him. Okay.” Catalina hung up the phone and stopped, grabbing Erin by the shoulders and turning the overwhelmed woman to face her. “Alice can get into the box, that isn’t a problem. As PR reps we are allowed full access at all times and she can pull him from the game. I’ll call a car now and the police chief in one of the precincts owes me a favor, I’ll see if I can squeeze and escort.”


“Don’t worry about it. I’ve had a bag here for weeks.” Catalina pressed a kissed to Erin’s forehead and spun around, vanishing into the laundry room towards the garage before coming back out with a large duffle bag. “They’re Patrick’s clothes but they’ll fit John. I’ve got all new clothes in here that are a little larger than your normal size that should fit afterwards.”


“Come on,” Catalina ushered, holding her hand out to Erin. Erin was dazed, her mind still reeling. She was completely freaking out as Catalina pulled out a pair of underwear, loose linen pants and a soft t-shirt. “Change into this so you’re at least dry. I’m calling the car now.”

Taking the clothing in her hand, Erin did as Catalina said. This was not how it was supposed to go at all. Her water was supposed to break when she was at home with Jonathan with all of her things, not standing at Catalina’s house with her husband unreachable and far away from the hospital.

With trembling hands, she changed. Erin tried to steady her breathing, listening to Catalina’s fluid Spanish on the other side of the door. Jonathan would be there in time. He had to be. The thought of him not being there… Erin felt panic sieze her again, forcing tears from her eyes.

Washing her face with cold water, she walked out of the bathroom. Catalina had already gotten off of the phone and grabbed the bag, throwing it over her shoulder. She hit the lights in her house to turn them off and whistled loudly. Somewhere in the house the large lab running to the kitchen where his large crate was. Benny got right inside, sitting on his chubby haunches and watching as Catalina closed the cage after giving him a treat.

“Are you ready?”


“Let’s go.”

Erin clutched Catalina’s hand as she led her through the house to the garage. The garage was opening as Catalina led Erin to the white Range Rover, opening the door and helping Erin in before dialing on her phone. Just as Catalina began to close the door, she heard Catalina say, “Hi, Mrs. Marshall.”

Sitting in the car, Erin was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that her best friend was a public relations crises specialist. Catalina had already planned for an emergency like this. That much was confirmed when Catalina got in the car and started it, finishing the conversation with directions for Erin’s parents to head towards the hospital.

As they began backing out, Erin closed her eyes, breathing deeply. Soon, her little girl would enter the world. Jonathan would be there. That wasn’t an option and Erin tried to push it out of her mind, though her heart was still quaking with fear that she was going to give birth alone. With shaking hands and listening to Catalina begin a new conversation with Jonathan’s mother, she focused all her attention on rubbing her stomach to sooth the child inside of her.
♠ ♠ ♠
So there is that. Erin going into labor. Yikes.

Unlike the first installment that was all smut, this is super family based. Because whatever.