'Castle, it's Javi.'
'I know, we have this new fangled thing called 'Caller ID. Where are you, anyways, I thought you were going to be over for poker tonight?'
'Yeah, slight change of plans. Lili went into labour this afternoon.' Esposito glanced over to where Meredeth, Tessi and Rosie were lounging together on the couch of the hospital's waiting room sofa watching cartoons while his father read a chapter out of a Ken Follet novel. 'We're here waiting to get the word from the doctor if it's going to be another C-section like Rosie or if she'll push.'
'Oh, hey that's fantastic. Keep us updated, okay?'
Esposito ended the call, slumped into the chair beside his wife. She glanced over at him with a sympathetic smile. 'You know as well as anyone, babe, the babies come when they decide.'
'I know, I'm just hoping that when our next one arrives it does so in a punctual way.'
'I late baby,' Tessi said with a nod.
'Yes you were, princess.' Esposito scooped Tessi up into his lap, cuddled her close. She was already getting so big; she'd be two on her next birthday. 'And you were a kicker, you loved to squirm around in Mami's belly.'
'Very squirmy like a fishy.' He kissed the top of her head, saw her yawn widely. 'It's late, Tessi-boo, why don't you and Crush try to sleep.'
'Tia Merry, where is Daddy?' Rosie asked. 'Where is baby?'
'Daddy's in with your mommy, and the baby is on its way.'
'Too slow,' the soon-to-be big sister pouted. 'He is too slow.'
The little family waited and waited as ten minutes turned into twenty, then forty, then sixty. The little Esposito cousins finally nodded off, Rosie in her aunt's lap and Tessi in her daddy's arms while Alejandro simply leaned his backward against the wall and folded his dinner-plate sized hands across his chest.
It was how Rosalita found them around eleven pm when she'd made it there from her daughter's birthing room. She sighed contentedly, if tiredly at all of them: her boy, her firstborn with his little girl in his arms while his beautiful wife cuddled the oldest grandchild, and of course, her beautiful husband with whom she'd made and raised her own babies. Being in the hospital to add another branch to their family tree always made her sentimental, and as she sat down beside Alejandro she sniffled a little.
The soft noise of it had her son stirring, and he blinked rapidly. 'Mami? Everything alright?'
'Javi?' Now it was Mere who stirred at the sound of her husband's voice. 'Rosalita, everything okay?'
'They've taken Lili down to the birthing room. She isn't needing any surgery, they've decided and already have her pushing. Our grandson, your nephew, will be here before midnight.' She smiled, swiped at her eyes. 'The doctor is letting Cameron assist in the delivery, just like with the last one.'
'Rosa,' Alejandro muttered, looped his arm around her slender body. 'We have another grandbaby already?'
'I like that name,' Meredeth murmured to Esposito. 'Alejo? If we have a boy the next time, I think we should put that on the table.'
'Maximillian Alejo Jimeno. I like that too.' He kissed her, then glanced over when he saw Cam at the door in his scrubs and the tilted sneakers he wore so he didn't need his cane at work. 'Cam? The baby's here?'
He nodded excitedly, and the Espositos, one and all, stood up to embrace him cheering him on and giving him tight squeezing hugs. When Rosie wrapped her arms around his legs, he bent to pick her up and gave her a noisy kiss on the cheek.
'It was a hard push and the doctor wants her to get as much rest as possible so he said no visitors until tomorrow morning,' he confessed with a little guilt - he wanted his family there to see his son. 'Only Rosie and I are allowed in to see Duncan and Lili. We're using his middle name to avoid confusion with mine.'
'Good plan.' Esposito gave his brother-in-law a hearty slap on the back and grinned. 'Congrats again, bro, tell Lili we'll be in to see her tomorrow, okay?'
'You got it.'
'Baby here?' Tessi mumbled as she nestled against her mother's shoulder. 'Rosie big sis?'
'Yes, honey, she's a big sister now.'
'Wan' be big sis.'
'Soon, my princess,' Meredeth said with a loving look at her husband. 'Very soon.'
It was just past midnight when they got to Chelsea, and Meredeth was groaning. At least the next day was Saturday and she didn't have to be at the studios downtown working on the production of the miniseries, just keeping an eye on Tessi and Dell. And yet as she watched her husband tuck Tessi into bed, she felt that rush she always got when she looked at him with their baby.
A thought occurred to her and she went into the bedroom, fished the toy-box out of the bottom of her night-stand. They'd had to find a new spot for it after Tessi had wandered in and thought the little bottles of colourful massage oils were finger-paints. She found the Kama-Sutra playing cards the girls had all gotten in their gift-bags from Lanie's bachelorette party and began to shuffle them.
The little flutters she'd felt when she'd watched Esposito that night grew as he walked into the bedroom and she gabbled a string of incoherent at him when he reached for his belt.
'I thought you might like to have a little game of poker.'
'Mere, I'm tired and I was hoping we might take another crack at that whole making-a-bro-or-sis-for-Tessi thing tonight.'
'Consider this foreplay.'
Esposito looked at her, saw the deck of cards she held in her hands. He remembered using them on New Years - each rank had a different sex position and they'd tried out three, ten and the queen suggestions. Cursing himself a fool after a long day, he came over to the bed. 'Five card, fours are wild, wedding rings and glasses are not part of the bet.'
'Deal, and deal.'
Within thirty minutes, Esposito had lost his socks, belt, watch and shirt while his beloved was down to her wedding rings and a smile. Though he felt a little bad that her luck wasn't so hot tonight, he knew she wouldn't stay that way for long. He scooped up the cards and shuffled with a wink and a smile.
'Tell you what, since you're way farther ahead than I am, this will be a sudden death round. High card takes it all.'
'Whaddaya mean, takes it all? I've got nothing left!'
He reached over and wrapped the bedsheet around her shoulders. 'Now you do. Ready?'
They counted it down and flipped over their cards, which had Meredeth letting out a triumphant yell as she looked at her jack while her hubby was staring down a six. 'Finally! Get naked, baby.'
'If you insist.'
He stood up, stripped for his wife as she watched him with unmasked and gleeful lust in her eyes. It never failed to boost his ego when he saw that look in her eyes. He knelt on the bed in front of her, took the sheet from around her shoulders and wrapped himself in it as well so they were effectively in their own little cocoon. His lips found hers as his hands roamed over her back, reaching down to pull her tight against him. The feel of her body, soft and lush and supply against his made his blood swim hotly and he sighed deeply in appreciation for her.
'Mere,' he murmured, 'you are so tasty.'
'I love you Javi.'
'Love you too, Mere.'
Meredeth let her head fall back, gasping when his mouth streaked down her throat, making her pulse pound hard. He had such wonderful lips, they were one of her favourite features of his. Her arms came around him, kneaded his shoulders as she leaned back, tumbling them to the bed so she was underneath her man. That tough, disciplined body, so hard and yet had some very sensitive spots she knew, turning her head so she could kiss the side of his neck in a slow wet trail. She heard him groan in anticipatory delight, felt his grow between her thighs where she was already beginning to dampen for him.
Esposito sighed as he ran his hands over her body, his wife and the mother of his child. She was a dream come true in heart and mind and love. She handled the stress of being a cop's wife in stride because she loved him, and had always accepted him as who he was, and for that Esposito would gladly take a bullet to keep her safe. His hand slid up her ribcage to cup her breast, teasing her nipple with his thumb; the move made her moan deeply, arching her hips against his. The feel of her growing wet for him made his body respond in kind, and when he lowered his mouth to replace his thumb, he heard her swear loudly at the shock-waves he sent through her system.
Five years, Meredeth thought, over five years they'd been together and he could still make her feel like the sexiest woman alive. She pressed her sweat-slicked palms to the back of his head as she stroked the arch of her foot over the back of his leg. 'Javi,' she murmured to him in a voice rusted with desire, 'use your mouth on me, baby.'
'I am,' he replied in the same sex-drenched tone.
Knowing how to make her want it even more, Esposito moved his mouth to the valley between her breasts, kissed the undercurve of one. 'Here?'
He moved down so he was kissing her an inch above her navel. 'Here?'
'Lower,' she said again, the ripple he'd started working into a full blown tidal wave as he tortured her. He was such a tease, she thought absently, until she felt his mouth go even lower to the place where she ached for him. 'There.'
Esposito smiled as he lapped at her, keeping his hands on her thighs to keep them apart. He knew her body well and knew that doing so would make her feel even naughtier. His tongue dipped and swirled over her as her hands kept him in place while her hips began to rock, ripples of pleasure running over her skin from head to foot. As she began to tense and tremble, his hand moved from her thigh to part her heated lips so he could drive his tongue inside her and make her cry out his name at the sudden avalanche of sensation, the orgasm tumbling through her.
'Javi!' She choked it out with whatever air there was left in her lungs, and saw him lift his head from her body, a pleased look on his face. 'Now, baby, please.'
Since he had only the brain power to answer her pleas, Esposito took her hand in his, kissed her palm before he guided it down between them to position him above her entrance. He kept his eyes on hers as he slid deep inside her and smiled when he heard the classic little 'oh!' she made before a smile mirroring his painted her lips. She moved with him, slow at first, then increasing in speed until she was moaning his name in extended syllables as her second orgasm built and exploded through her.
'Mere,' he managed through gritted teeth as she went up again and he felt his own need rise to match hers. 'Mere, I love you, I'm gonna...I...'
'I love you too.'
It was the last thing he heard before his mind went blank and his body slipped off the high-wire into the free-fall of pleasured release.