Stay With Me
Disclaimer: I do not own anything. Songs are the property of the writers/singers. Glee characters are the property of Glee.
Finn Hudson was just finishing his most recent interview with the anchor of ESPN. "And, that's it ladies and gentlemen. As we say goodbye to Finn Hudson, starting quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, who recently re-signed with a very lucrative contract," said the anchor into the camera.
"And...fade and... cut! That's it guys. Thanks a lot, Finn," shouted the director. Finn stood up, removing the clip-on mic from his lapel.
"So, Finn," said the sportscaster, "That's a pretty good deal you got with the Panthers for resigning. $110 mil over 5 years?" Finn nodded. "Wow! Man! Congrats."
"Thanks," Finn smiled, modestly. As he stood to the side of the studio talking with several of the sportscasters and cameramen, a little brown-haired girl ran up to them and stood in the middle of the men, looking up.
One of the cameramen looked down at her and asked, "Aren't you a cute little thing. What's your name?"
She looked at him with a serious look on her face, "My name is Emily LeeAnne Hudson." She then turned to her father, grabbing his leg.
Finn bent down and picked her up. "Hi, Em. What are you doing here? Where's Mommy?" He then kissed her on the cheek.
She looked at him with her amber eyes. "She's over there talking to that lady," Emily said, pointing towards the corridor.
"Sweetheart, does she know..." At this time, Rachel appeared in the doorway.
"Hi guys," Rachel said, smiling at the group of men. "Emily Hudson, who told you to run off?"
"I wanted to see Daddy." She then turned to Finn, "Daddy, I saw you on television."
"You did?" asked Finn, rubbing his nose against hers, making a pair of dimples appear on her cheeks as she laughed.
"Yes, Daddy. In that room over there."
Finn then turned to the other guys who were standing, smiling at his daughter. "Well, tell these gentlemen 'bye.' It's time to go, sweetheart." Finn said his goodbyes and walked toward Rachel. He bent down to kiss her and they headed out of the studio and to the parking lot.
"Sorry about that, babe," Rachel apologized. "Emily just took off when she saw you in the studio."
"That's fine. I love when she visits me," said Finn as he strapped his daughter into her car seat. He then stood in front of his wife, pressing her against the car door. He bent down and kissed her passionately, which she returned.
"Finn," Rachel whined, pushing on his chest lightly, "we are outside and in front of your daughter."
"I don't care. I can kiss my wife whenever, wherever I want to." He pecked her on the lips and then continued. "Anyway, I'll meet you two at Marlo's. Did you hear back from Puck and Kayla?"
"Yeah, they will be there with Elijah" Finn rolls his eyes.
Emily overhears her Mom and says, "Eli is bad. He throw dirt on me."
"I know honey," Rachel said, "but he said he was sorry, didn't he?" Rachel then looked at Finn. Emily was totally a Daddy's girl and Finn was very protective of both of them.
"Well," Finn spoke up, "you will sit with Mommy and Daddy and Elijah's parents will take care of him. Okay, baby?" Emily nodded her head. Finn reached in the car and kissed his daughter on the cheek then tousled her dark brown hair. He then waved as Rachel pulled out of the lot.
As Rachel listened to Emily softly singing her new favorite children's song from her seat, she smiled at how wonderful her life was. She loved Finn and Emily so much, much more than she thought was possible. She had earned her PhD in Sports Rehab while 7 months pregnant with Emily. She went back to work part-time after Emily turned one because she wanted to dedicate most of her time being a wife and mother.
Returning to his own vehicle, Finn headed toward the restaurant in Lake Norman. He put in his favorite pop rock CD and relaxed. Finn was pretty proud of his accomplishments. He and Rachel had worked hard to get where they were.
After moving to Charlotte, they had found a modest 2-bedroom apartment downtown. They had remained in that apartment up until a few months ago. That's when they moved into their new 8000 sq ft home in Ballantyne, a southern secluded section of Charlotte.
With his sign-on check from the Panthers when they first arrived, he had immediately gone out and bought Rachel the most perfect engagement ring and proposed to her that night. They were married the following Valentine's Day.
For 3 years he was the backup quarterback for the Panthers until last season. The starting quarterback suddenly retired due to chronic injuries. So, Finn became the starting quarterback and led them to the playoffs and their best run in 10 years.
Now he had just re-signed for a very lucrative contract. He and Rachel have always lived modestly no matter how much their income increased. Besides their new home and a few investments, they only had a few indulgences. He had his fully loaded F-150 and his boat, 'The Deacon 5'. Rachel drove herLexus LX SUV, which she mainly chose for it's high safety rating and she occasionally bought a costly outfit for public appearances.
Finn pulled into the parking lot of the restaurant just as Puck was getting his family out of their SUV. He caught up with them as they entered the restaurant.
Rachel was just helping Emily into her booster seat as Finn and Puck and his family came toward their reserved table. She saw a few ladies look up as the guys went by their table. They usually could eat undisturbed at this restaurant. Management did not allow customers to disturb their private time. As a 'thank you,' sometimes Finn and Puck would sign autographs and take pictures with the staff and some of the fans in the parking lot.
"Hi, babe," Rachel said as Finn came over and gave her a kiss on the cheek. He then sat on the other side of Emily, kissing her on the forehead. After they were all seated and ordered, Rachel spoke up. "So, I can't believe we still get to meet once a month to catch up after all these years."
"I know," said Kayla. Rachel and Kayla saw each other often at games and at team gatherings. They also vacationed together during the guys' off season. But it was at their monthly dinners that they really got the opportunity to relax and talk. The two women chatted about their recent charity work, kids, husbands, and their jobs.
Puck and Kayla had moved, a few years ago, into a large home at Lake Norman which was on the northern end of Charlotte. Kayla had her Master's in Nursing and worked as a nurse manager at the large hospital near their home. She had gone back to work full time after her maternity leave ended after having Elijah James, who was 6 months older than Emily.
Finn and Puck were busy talking about their latest fishing trip where they took Puck's boat out all day with Finn returning home quite red and quite sunburned.
"So Hudson," said Puck, "we've got to plan another golf weekend soon."
"You sure, Puck?" smiled Finn. "Last time we went to Pinehurst, Tobacco Road kicked your butt."
"Damn, Hudson, that's a tough course," complained Puck.
"Yeah and I'll never forget when we went back in April. You had balls flying everywhere. You were all over that course looking for your balls," Finn laughed. He turned and put a spoonful of spaghetti in Emily's mouth. "How many balls did you lose, anyway?"
"Hah, hah," mocked Puck. "Anyway. So I want to go again before preseason camp starts in 2 months."
"Sounds good," replied Finn. Rachel and Kayla then stood, headed to the bathroom to clean the kids up. Finn and Puck waited to pay the check.
"So," Puck said, "I hate things didn't work out for Matt and Keisha. He said they just drifted apart. She traveled all the time and they just decided to go their separate ways."
"Yeah, I know. I think he has a new girl he's been dating for a while now. Speaking of which. He's bringing her when he meets us next week for the camping trip," said Finn.
"Oh, hell. I forgot about that. 4 days in the mountains. Yes! Stream fishing, pool parties, boating. No children. My wife in a string bikini. Me and my lady are gonna make a new one!"
Finn rolled his eyes as he signed his receipt. "Well, Rachel is really looking forward to it. All adult fun. But, gotta warn you, she's already got an agenda and a 'road trip playlist'."
"Oh, hell, Hudson! 2 hours of Berry's damn weird ass elevator music? Ahhhh!I might end up throwing myself over a mountain." Finn and Puck laughed.
Just then, Kayla and Rachel came back to the table with the children. "What did you call me, Noah? Did you say 'Berry'?" Rachel then pointed at him. "What did I tell you, Puckerman? It's Hudson, Rachel Hudson, you imbecile. Do I need to tattoo that on your forehead with this fork?" Puck sat there with his mouth open.
"Rachel," warned Finn, "the kids." She glared at Puck, said goodbye to Kayla and Elijah then turned and walked out of the restaurant.
Kayla turned and rolled her eyes at Puck and then walked out of the restaurant with her son.
Puck then walked out with Finn, stopping to sign a few autographs. They then both walked over to Rachel's car as she was snapping her seatbelt. Finn gave her a kiss and winked. "I'll see you in a few minutes at home, babe. Be careful."
Then Puck bent down carefully and kissed Rachel on the forehead, waved and said, "See you Wednesday, Mrs. Hudson." Rachel smiled and drove off.
A/N: Thanks to all who read, reviewed and followed this story. It was really a pleasure. Please stay tuned for my next story in a few weeks. Taking some time off to read your fanfics. Charlotte