Chapter Notes: Written for the schmoop_bingo prompt "Family celebration ".

Chapter 10 :: Mother's Day
By A. Magiluna Stormwriter

++ Dana ++


The aroma of orange rolls wafts into the bedroom, pulling me from a deep sleep. Rolling over onto my back, I stretch out languidly and enjoy the push and pull of my muscles elongating and contracting. Part of me wants to roll back over and fall into the lovely dream I was having. Part of me knows that they'd allow me that opportunity if I really want it, but I've slept in far later than normal as it is. More importantly, I also know that they're out in the kitchen, planning some sort of lovely surprise for me today. Not that I don't appreciate what they're doing, but I don't know that it's necessary. A soft knock at the door pulls my attention from my speculations. For a moment, I consider not answering, letting them think I'm still asleep, just to see what they'll do

"Come in," I call out, shifting back to sit up more against the headboard.

The door rattles a little before the knob turns and it's pushed open into the room. A small head of brassy strawberry blonde hair sticking out in all directions peers around the door. The blue eyes that so closely match mine come into view next and I smile broadly.

"Mama up?"

"Yes, handsome, Mama's up," I reply warmly, laughing as he hesitates only briefly, until Monica urges him in, before running to climb on the bed and crawl up to me. Without the slightest hint of hesitation, I wrap my arms around my son, holding him close enough to feel his little heart beating against my own chest. We snuggle together for a moment or two in companionable silence, and I'm struck once again by the depths of my love for this little boy. "Have you been a good boy for your Mami this morning?" I finally ask.

"Made food. Mama hun'ry?"

The scent of the orange rolls is stronger now, mingling with the unmistakable bouquet of roses, and I can also detect the heady aroma of coffee in the blend. My stomach grumbles in response, and I blush at the reaction. Monica's delighted laughter filters over from the doorway, where she stands with the breakfast tray in her hands. As she moves closer, I begin to inspect the tray's contents: cup of coffee, glass of cranberry juice, a large orange roll, bacon and eggs, and a vase with one white and one red rose each.

"Mama is very hungry," is my ready admission.

William shifts to sit next to me as Monica sets the tray across my lap. I am not surprised by the fact that there's more food than I can possibly eat on the tray. I have no issues sharing with my family. When Monica doesn't immediately join us on the bed, I glance up at her curiously. She smiles and leans over to offer me a heady good morning kiss before finally settling on the bed on William's other side.

William decides that he's done with patiently waiting for me to eat and picks up a piece of bacon. "Mama's bac'n," he says proudly as he hands it to me.

I dutifully take a bite, surprised that Monica was able to cook it exactly the way I like it. Normally her attempts end up on the more done and crisply end of the spectrum, like she and William like it. Narrowing my eyes at her, I chew slowly and swallow before speaking. "Who did you get to cook the bacon, Mon?"

She chuckles and shakes her head. "Nobody. Mi hijo and I did it all ourselves. We didn't even make any of it the way we like it either. Today is all about you, Mama, so eat up. We have plans for you."

William's giggle is muffled by his little hands over his mouth, but his delight is still infectious and I end up laughing with him. The three of us eat our way through the food on the tray until the only thing left is the half-full cup of coffee and a few drips of the icing from the orange roll. Rubbing my stomach happily, I smile at my dearest loves.

"That was an excellent breakfast. Thank you both for that. So let's go get the dishes done, so we can do whatever it is you have planned today." I start to get out of the bed, but William grabs my arm to stop me. "What's up, handsome?"

"No dishes, Mama. Pea'sants! Right, Mami?"

Once again I narrow my eyes at Monica. I really hate it when she resorts to spoiling me with things. I don't want things; I want the two of them and the memories of our life together. She shrugs sheepishly, sets the roses on my nightstand, and offers me my coffee before taking the tray back to the kitchen. I sit there for several moments, cuddling with William and sipping at my coffee, before Monica comes back in. Oh, I know she's getting the dishes in the dishwasher and doing a last minute clean up of the kitchen before she returns with these mysterious presents that she and William have gotten for me.

"Do you know what today is, William?" I ask curiously. "Or why Mami is making such a big deal of it?"

"Mami said is Mama's Day."

"That's right. This is the day that good girls and boys honor their mamas for taking care of them all year long."

"S'pos, Mama," he says, wrapping his arms around my neck in a tight hug. I'm still amused that this boy knows more languages already -- or parts of them -- than I do, and he's not quite two years old yet.

"I love you, too, my handsome boy."

I lean in to brush the tip of my nose against his, delighted in his unfettered enjoyment of such a simple little expression of love. My heart clenches in my chest at the thought of anything ever happening to this miracle baby of mine. He means so damned much to me, and I don't ever want to lose him.

Finally Monica wanders back in with a medium sized box in her hands. Returning to her place on William's other side, she offers me the box. The first thing that catches my eye is the large envelope with "Mama" scrawled almost illegibly on the front in orange crayon. Smiling, I open the envelope to find a homemade card with a picture of the three of us the day William was born, surrounded by the words "Happy Third Mother's Day!" Scowling slightly at Monica's weird insistence that my first Mother's Day was while I was still heavily pregnant with William, I open the card to see a series of bright scribbles on the left side of the card. On the right side, however, is Monica's distinctive angular handwriting.

Happy Mother's Day, Dana.

I know that you think I'm crazy to count the year you were pregnant with William as your first Mother's Day, but I do. You became a mother the minute William was conceived, if not the minute you agreed to get pregnant with him. You have done something that is beautiful and wonderful, and I am constantly thankful for the sacrifices you made during your pregnancy to bring us this beautiful little boy.

You are an incredible mother, and I learn something new from you and your interactions with William every single day. If we should ever have another child, I hope that child will feel just as loved and adored as William is.

I love you more and more with every passing day, Dana.

Yours always,
Monica and William


Blinking back tears at the words she's written, I lean over to pull Monica into a tight embrace and whisper, "I love you, too." When William squirms between us, I pull back enough to include him in a group hug and kiss the top of his head. "I love you, too, William."

"I meant every word of it," Monica finally replies, her voice strangely husky. She clears her throat and pulls back to motion to the box. "Go ahead and open it."

Offering her a watery smile, I do just that. The paper is covered in William's handprints and footprints in all of my favorite colors. "Am I going to find paint on your little fingers and toes, handsome?" I ask, tickling at his side until he giggles and shakes his head.

"No, Mama! All clean."

"Good boy."

Feeling oddly sentimental, I carefully unwrap the box and set the paper aside to put into the scrapbook we started for William. Lifting the lid off the box, I find all sorts of little things inside, including pictures colored or finger-painted by William, and a small box made of popsicle sticks that I have a sneaking suspicion I saw him working on with Alexis and Tory a few days ago. The item that tugs most at my heart is the photo cube, filled with images of William and Monica, to put on my desk. There are even pictures of William and me in there that I never knew were taken. Hugging them both tightly, I don't bother to hide the tears now, and I thank them profusely. I continue to hold them, unable to let them go just yet.

"There are two more things in there, mi corazon."

Curious, I lean back and look in the box again. Under a bit of the tissue paper, I find a small jewelry box. "Monica…"

"Just open it."

Doing as she's requested, I flip back the top of the box to see a small sterling silver charm of a train engine. Chuckling, I press a kiss to William's cheek. "Another charm for Mama's necklace? Did Mami tell you about this?"

"I buyed it."

"You did? Thank you, William. That was very sweet of you," I say, looking curiously at Monica.

"I took him shopping with me, and we stopped in the jewelry store so I could see if there was a nice charm to add to your necklace. I was leaning toward a rose, even though nothing really jumped out at me, and suddenly William just started going crazy and trying to leap out of my arms right there at the counter. Turns out, he spotted the charm and wanted to make sure I saw it. So we snatched it up immediately and he's been nearly beside himself with the secret for the last four days now."

"Is that true?" I ask, lifting William up into my lap. "Did you find the little Thomas for Mama? And keep it a secret for four whole days?" When he nods proudly, I nuzzle him closer. "You were a very good boy, sweetheart, and a big boy, too. Mama is so proud of you."

I reach up to take the necklace off, handing it to Monica so she can add the new charm, and reach for the envelope still in the box. Upon opening it, I see a redeemable coupon for a day for two at an exclusive new spa that opened up at the Bellagio, all expenses paid. Pursing my lips to combat the tears, I glare at Monica.

"Before you say anything, this was an agreement made with Anastasia," Monica explains. "I'd mentioned that I wanted to get you a day at a spa, but couldn't find any places that really seemed nice enough and not too touristy. She immediately told me about this new place coming in and that she'd been given a pair of comp tickets to try out the facilities with the hopes that the House of Hearts would enter into a contract with the spa. Neither she nor Tessa really wanted to try this one, as they have their favorite places, so she asked me if this would help me with my decision. She said she'll take our recommendation without hesitation as to whether she'll negotiate that contract or not."

"That's too much responsibility for us, Monica!"

She grins and strokes my cheek. "Yeah, I told Anastasia you'd say that, too. She said that she wanted the opinion of someone who doesn't normally do this kind of thing, because she and Tessa are really hyper critical of places like this. And she's right. We don't do this kind of thing all that often, and I really wanted something nice for you for Mother's Day."

"This certainly fits the bill," I reply, clearing my throat partway through when my voice cracks. "Thank you, amante. This was wonderful."

"You're welcome. It was the least I could do for the mother of our son."

"Mami? Park?"

"Shh!" she lightly admonishes him, grinning the whole time. "That was gonna be a secret for a little longer, Billy-Bear!"

William's eyes widen for a moment before he dissolves into giggles as Monica tickles him. "I sorry, Mami."

"The park, you say?" I ask, stroking his hair gently. "Are we going to ride on the swings and the merry-go-round?"

"Oh yes!"

"Then we better get dressed and ready to go, hunh?"

William presses a sloppy kiss to my cheek, then dashes off toward his bedroom. I start to get up to follow him, but Monica stops him. "You take your time getting dressed, baby. I've got William."

"You're spoiling me, Monica Reyes."

"I know. Happy Mother's Day, Dana."