Joined: October 17th, 2004, 8:41 pm

October 21st, 2004, 3:47 pm #1



Joined: October 17th, 2004, 8:41 pm

November 24th, 2004, 12:35 pm #2

Tabitha's Fics


Joined: October 17th, 2004, 8:41 pm

November 24th, 2004, 12:36 pm #3

The Disappearance Of Isabella

A Shawn and Belle fanfic. This fic has an overall rating of NC17.

Joined: October 17th, 2004, 8:41 pm

November 24th, 2004, 12:36 pm #4

Prologue - Chapter 11


Shawn Dougles Brady watch, from the door way as his wife Isabella sit at her make, up table getting ready for the dinner party. It was Philip and Mimi Kirakis's 1st Wedding Anniversary that evening. Shawn's grandfather Victor Kirakis was throwing the, party in honor of their 1st Anniversary. Shawn slowly, walk towards his wife with his dress shirt half undone, as he slowly laid his hands on her shoulders and said while, looking at her through the mirror your so beautiful Isabella.

Belle smiled as she was touching up her red lipstick and stood from the table. Shawn watch from the mirror as his wife slip on her red evening dress and then slip in to a pair of red matching high heels. She then sit back down at the make up table and then twist her soft curls in too a tight bun while letting a few fall down at the side's of her face.

Shawn if you dont hurry we are going to be late Belle said as she stood from her make up table and went searching for her matching red coat. The cool breeze from the night air came through the sliding doors of their beach house they brought several years ago.

Isabella and Shawn had married 3 years ago after he had brought out his uncle Mickey now Shawn owned and ran his on law firm. Shawn was standing in front of the mirror trying to fix his tie and sighed heavily Isabella could you please fix my tie? Belle giggled as she stood in front of her husband and fix his tie.

Thank you my darling Shawn said as he leaned forward and softly kiss her lips. I Love You Isabella he said as he stared deep with in her bright blue eyes. As Shawn slip on his coat over his dinner jacket he heard Belle say the limo was here. Shawn helped Belle on with her coat as he reach for the front door and said shall we go?

They arrived a short time later Shawn step out of the limo and held out his hand for Isabella. Shawn push the door bell and waited for his grandfather's butler to answer. Mr and Mrs Brady welcome James the butler said as he held the door open for them Thank you James Shawn said as he handed their coats to him.

Shawn took two glassess of wine from a near by waiter and said grandfather made sure this was going to be a prefect evening for his son and daughter-in-law he glance around the room filled with his grandfather's old and new busniess partners. It would appeard so Belle said as she took a sip of her wine.

They are playing our song Mrs Brady would you care to dance? Shawn said as he wink at her. Why Mr Brady i would love too as she took his hand and he led them out on to the dance floor. From cross the room the guests begin to clapped as Mr and Mrs Philip Kirakis enterd the room.

Chapter 1

Shawn and Isabella turn and started clapping along with the rest of the guests. Mimi Kirakis put on a fake smile as she greeted her guests on the arm of her husband. She wasn't going to let the whole, world know that her marriage to Philip Kirakis, had fallin apart shortly after they return from their honeymoon, and he refuse to grant her a divorce.

She quietly search the room, for the one person who she hope would attend tonight, and she smiled once she spoted him on the dance floor. She quickly excuse herself and headed towards the direction, of the dance floor Shawn felt someone tap him on the, shoulder and he heard the voice say may i cut in? Belle, you wouldn't mind if i steal your husband away for a bit?, but Mimi didn't give her a chance to respond before she took Shawn's hand and led him out on the dance floor.

Isabella spent the rest of the, evening chatting with the guests while her husband and, best friend contiund to dance out on the dance floor. At around midnight Belle was searching the room for her husband she had grown tired and she wanted to leave. She had found him talkin quietly with his grandfather Victor excuse, me Victor Shawn its late and i am tired could we please go home? She said.

Of course Darling Shawn said as he lightly kiss her forehead. Grandfather please give our best to Mimi and Philip Shawn said as he slip his wife's coat over her shoulders and reach for his own. They were silent on the drive home from the dinner, party and as they climb the steps leading in too their, 4 bedroom home Shawn couldn't take the silence any longer.

Isabella what's the matter?, Shawn ask as he laid his evening coat a cross the sofa, and went to pour himself some brandy. Belle was silent as she took off her on coat and laid it a cross a chair did, you enjoy your evening Shawn? Belle said as she sit a cross from the bar. Course i did he said as he went to hand her a glass of brandy.

Did you also enjoy dancing with Mimi Kirakis Belle ask as she watch him from the rim of her glass. So that's what this is all about Shawn said as he, sighed heavily it was only a dance Isabella nothing more, he said as he stood from the sofa. One dance is nothing Shawn but you dance with her the whole evening Belle said as she sit her glass down and said are you having affair with her?

What? are you insane Isabella?, Shawn said as he moved away from the bar answer me, Shawn Dougles Isabella said as she stood No i am not, having affair with Mimi Kirakis he said. Have you ever had affair before? she ask No Isabella i've never had affair with anyone i've always been faithful to you.

I think you've had a little much to drink tonight sweetheart Shawn said as he reach for her glass of brandy. Dont you dare in apply that i've had to much to drink Isabella said as she threw what was left of her drink on him.

Chapter 2 - NC17

Damnit Belle what the hell, are you doing Shawn said as he look down at his suit and, said this is a $500 dollar suit that you just ruin. So its just one little suit its not the end of the world Its not, like you dont have millions of other suits hanging upstairs in your closet Belle said.

Isabella smiled as she turn, around and said can you unzip me? Shawn swore under his, breath but did as she ask thank you she said as she made her, way to the boathouse where she could go for a late night swim. Shawn watch from the sliding door as Belle jump in to the heated pool as she started to swim her normal laps.

As he started to climb the, stairs he undid his tie and threw it a cross the bed he, unbutton his shirt and laid it a cross a chair as he made his in to the bathroom. Shawn laid his arms against the cool shower wall as he let the full blast of the hot water run down his body. Isabella smiled as she reach, their bedroom and heard the water runing she drop her, towel and made her towards the shower.

Shawn felt the cool air of the sliding door of the shower open and he smiled as his wife enterd. In the mood for some company? she said as she, let the hot water soak her body always for you my dear, Shawn said as his lips met hers in a passion filled kiss. Shawn lifted her up so she was leaning agaist the shower wall as his tongue went searching for its mate.

Belle was runing her hands, through her husband's hair as he went about attacking his, wife's neck leaving little bite marks that his tounge, would follow behind and sooth away the pain that he left. Isabella i love you he said as he quickly enterd and started, thrusting in and out while supported his wife's lower back, as she climb up from her high.

Just as the sun begin peek through the curtains of their beach house. You could see their bodies in entwind with one another as they slept peaceful under the sheets which coverd there naked bodies. Shawn groan at the sound of the buzz waking him from his peaceful sleep He smiled as he rolled over and watch his beautiful wife in her sleep.

Isabella woke from the feel of her husband's lips runing a cross her body. Good Morning Beautiful Shawn said just as his lips crash down on to hers for a passion filled kiss. Someone is feeling mightly fine this morning Belle said as she stared deep within her husband's eyes. Maybe its because i held this beautiful, woman in my arms all night long now what was her name again?, he said he laughed when Belle threw a pillow at him, and said i remember now her name was Isabella he said, as his lips came crashing down on hers.

A half hour later found the couple still in bed with Belle laying a cross his chest while she was kissing him. Mmmm Belle Shawn said as he broke, the kiss and said as much as i would enjoy staying in bed, with you but you cant she said as she rolled off of him. We will contiune this tonight he said as he kiss her shoulder and then climb out of bed.

Chapter 3

Around 6pm that evening Shawn arrived home to his front door slightly open. He cautionly push the door open and found his house trash Isabella Shawn called out as he ran up the stairs. He search every room of the house but still his wife was no where to be found. Shawn quickly ran down the stairs and dial 911.

Within minutes Shawn heard the sirens of the police cars outside of his home. Mr Brady? Officer Wilson said as he step inside of the home and, said you reported a break in sir and reported your wife missing? Shawn only nodded. Mr Brady do you know if anything, was taken? Officer Wilson asked Shawn cleard his throat, and said yes what was that Mr Brady? Officer Wilson asked My Wife.

Mr Brady Officer Wilson said as he closed his notepad and said if you will please come down to the station we can file a missing person's report on your wife. Nearly 3 hours later Shawn was still answering the same questions over and over again. I've already told you everything Officer Thompson Shawn sighed heavily Well could we go over it one more time Officer Thompson asked.

Shawn sighed heavily as he yet again went over the details i arrived home around 6pm tonight to find my wife missing and my house torn apart he said. Do you normally arrived at that hour? Officer Thompson, asked no i normally arrive later then that he said and what, made you arrive home early tonight? Officer Thompson, asked i had a long day at the office Shawn said.

Does your wife have any family?, Officer Thompson asked no her parents died several years, ago in a car crash and she was a only child Shawn said. Did you kill your wife Mr Brady? Officer Thompson asked, What are you insane i love my wife i would never hurt her, Shawn said your wife was a very weathly woman Mr Brady, Officer Thompson said maybe she decided to leave you, and take her money with her and maybe you couldn't handle that so you killed her.

I think i've answerd all, of your questions Officer Thompson Shawn said as he, stood am i free to go? for now Officer Thompson said. Mr Brady Officer Thompson said and when Shawn turn his way he said dont leave town. It was nearly midnight when Shawn, walk inside of his home again his cleaning staff had the, house looking spotless as he made his up the stairs for a nice long shower.

Only after he was alone then did Shawn fianlly break down over his missing wife. No one could ever understand the love he felt for his wife. Shawn was having a restless sleep he could hear Belle, calling out to him but he couldn't find her the last, thing he rememberd was sitting up in bed with sweat pouring, down his face as the front door bell rang.

Shawn quickly ran down the stairs and just threw the front door open. Instead of finding his wife he found his two best friends Philip and Mimi Kirakis standing on his front porch.

Chapter 4

Shawn we just heard about Belle Mimi Kirakis said as she leaned in to hug him. How are you holding up buddy? Philip said once they enterd Shawn's, living room Shawn we've brought you some food over, so i am gonna just put in the kitchen Mimi said. Do the police have any leads yet? Philip asked Shawn only shook, his head no as he sit down on the sofa. Have you talk with, Bo Hope yet? Mimi asked as she enterd the living room, Yeah they are on the next plane home he said.

Shawn as you know Belle, was working on alot of fundraisers in honor of her parents, for abuse wives and children making sure they had a safe place go Mimi said. I know Mimi Shawn said well, they wanted to honor her tonight by donating 1 Million dollars, in her name and they would like it if you showed up tonight Shawn. I'll be there Mimi Shawn said as he stared at the window.

Shawn was dress to kill later that evening in his black dress suit. He took a glass of wine from a nearby waiter and down it in one gulp. Ladies and Gentlemen i wanted to personal say thank you tonight for coming so we can honor our dear and wondderful friend Isabella Brady. As you all know Isabella had a very kind and giving heart she will be truely missed.

Shawn turn away from the crowd as he gulp down another glass of wine and said she's not dead. It was a nice turn out dont you think Shawn? Mimi Kirakis said as she walk up behind him and said everyone truly loved Isabella Brady. Stop acting like she's already gone Mimi your suppose to be her best friend Shawn said. I am sorry Shawn i didn't mean Mimi started to say forget it Mimi Shawn said as he grab another glass of wine.

Lighting flash through the windows of Shawn's beachhouse as he sit drinking a glass, of brandy while going through Isabella's Personal Journal, and he noticed as he flip through the pages there was no, entry for the day she went missing. Oh Isabella what, happen on that day Shawn said as he laid his head back, on the chair and took a sip of his brandy.

Suddenly the lights went out and Shawn reach for the nearby lamp and tried to turn on the light. He sighed heavily as he stood and look, out at the rain pouring down outside. Shawn was restless, as he tried to sleep he open his eyes and found Isabella staring down at him. He jerk and said Isabella?

He climbed out of bed and headed towards the stairs when he found his bedroom floor soaking wet. He made his way down the stairs Isabella he called out as he heard her Favorite song playing. He stop when he saw no one in the living room he turn off the music and stop dead in his tracks Isabella's Personal Journal wasn't where he left it.

Chapter 5

Shawn Dougles Brady had this determined look on his face as he walk inside of his law firm the next morning. Is Philip in yet? he asked his personal seceretary No Mr Brady he hasn't arrived yet this morning she said. He turn away and headed towards his office can i get you some coffee? his seceretary asked.

No thank you Sherry i'll get it myself Shawn said as pick up his messages. Has my wife called or stop by or anything he asked while going through his messages no Sir she hasn't and no Philip right? No Sir. Shawn was walkin down the hall when he saw Philip Philip he called out. Philip glance up and headed towards him.

Shawn its so great to have you back Philip said as they were walkin down the hall. Shawn pulled him aside and said someone was in my house last night. Mimi quietly slip off her sunglasses as she walk inside of the building she push the top floor of the elevator. Philip parked his car and both men got out and headed, towards the elevator you know Shawn when my Mom was killed, i thought i would go crazy but those pills the doctor, gave you will help calm you down Philip said.

Philip open the door and saw Mimi standing there waiting for the elevator. Uh Shawn i just remember i've got a meeting a cross town so i'll catch up with you later. Mimi Shawn said as he walk up to her Hi Mimi, said as she leaned in to kiss him on the cheek i was just, on my way up to see Philip why dont you join us for lunch she said. Philip said he had a meeting a cross town Shawn, said Oh ok well he must of called me and i just didn't get, the message Mimi said hey why dont you let me buy you some lunch Shawn said.

Your awful quiet Mimi Shawn, said as they walk through the park eating a corndog its, nothing Shawn Mimi said as she took a bite of her corndog. You've got some mustard on you Shawn said as he went to wipe it off Mimi suddenly pulled away from him. What's the matter? He asked its not you Shawn its me Mimi said as she turn away from him and said Philip is having affair with someone.

Philip barely talks with me anymore he doesn't even touch me Mimi said as she brushes some tears away. I just cant do anything right anymore has he said anything to you? she asked no nothing Shawn said as he shook his head no. I've seen the way you've looked, at Isabella and i got so envy of the love you two share Mimi, said oh here i am telling you about my troubles with, my husband when i should be comforting you she said.

Shawn was sound asleep later that night when he woke from hearing something downstairs. He slowly got out of bed and headed downstairs the noise he heard came from the laundry room. He push the door open and walk towards the dryer which was runing he open the door and found Belle's red evening gown inside.

WHY he screamd WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME he yelled Isabella where are you.

Chapter 6

The next morning had Shawn, walk inside of his law firm Shawn Philip said as he laid, his hand on Shawn's shoulder let's step inside my office. Shawn seated himself a cross from Philip's desk as he said, are you going to explain why you called me down here?, Philip sighed heavily as he said Shawn i know your having, a tough time right now but we are losing Clients and we just cant afford to lose anymore.

From down the hall Philip's secertary watch as two Police Officers were walkin towards her desk. Is Mr Shawn Dougles Brady in that room? yes Officer he is she said as she watch both police officer's walk inside of the room. Shawn Dougles Brady Shawn turned and said you've found my wife? your under arrest for the murder of Isabella Brady. Please around The Officer said what i didn't kill her Shawn said as the police officer cuff him.

We found this dress inside, of your boathouse a strange place for a designer dress, dont you think Mr Brady? Officer Thompson said Where's, the body to go with the dress? Officer Thompson said. Have you even seen this dress before? Officer Thompson asked Yes its my wife's she wore the dress the night before she Disappearanced.

Why were you getting a Divorce? Officer Thompson asked What we weren't getting a Divorce Shawn said. Your wife filed for Divorce the day, before her Disappearance Officer Thompson said, as he showed Shawn the document with her signature on it. Is that your wife's signature? Officer Thompson asked.

Shawn look closely at the document and what he saw broke his heart right there in front of him was Belle's signature Isabella Black-Brady. Officer Thompson his Lawyer's here Mickey Horton, walk right up to Officer Thompson and said you have, no grounds for arresting him save it i am finish with him Officer Thompson said.

Shawn sit next to Philip on a bar stool and said are they trying to drive me crazy or pin me for murder. Shawn you getting arrested is not great for busniess Philip said i dont care about the damn law firm Shawn said as he stared right at Philip. Shawn i just cant take this anymore i dont know whose gonna walk, in our doors next the police or the men carrying a white, coat you need to bury her and let her go Philip said.

Shawn Mimi said as she hurried, up to him the police called they've been trying, to find you what did they find? he asked Umm they found, a body laying in a wooded area i am park right outside Mimi said. Philip come on Mimi said Go Philip said Philip she said i cant do it Mimi he said.

Shawn along with Mimi and Officer Thompson walk inside of the Morgue. The exammer look up and said family? Shawn nodded his head yes they slowly walk down the long hall. Slowly the exammer unzip, the body bag and Shawn turn away quickly cause he was gonna, to be sick after seeing the badly beating body of this, poor young woman who was not his wife.

Chapter 7

Philip was inside his office going over some cases when Shawn walk through the door. Philip glance up and said was it Isabella? Shawn just shook his head as he walk inside of Philip's office where's Mimi? Philip said. She went home Shawn said why dont you grab a drink from the bar Philip said as he laid some files aside.

What's happening with you, and Mimi Philip? Shawn said as he sit down a cross from him, Mimi Mimi Philip said she's hurting man Shawn said. What are you a marriage Counselor now Philip said Shawn Brady, devoted husband spends all his time at work while his, beautiful wife waiting for him at home alone he said.

I got a secert for you and this is between you and me Philip said I wish it was Mimi who had Disappeard. Go home Shawn Philip said as he went back to working on his cases. You've never respected the way, i've ran this company and in fact Shawn said as he stood, in front of Philip your jealous cause my uncle Mickey, sold me his shares of the law firm to me instead of you.

You dont get do you Shawn, Dougles Philip said as he stood if it wasn't for me working, my butt off day and night trying to keep this company from under going. You wanna do me a big favor partner Philip, said just stay the hell out of the office that's, the best thing you can do for me Philip said as he walk out the door.

Shawn was working on his computer, when he came a cross his company's bank account, there was alot of money missing from The Firm's account. Your still working Mr Brady? Shawn's seceretary Sherry said as she, walk inside of his office its your Birthday Mr Brady, go home she said as she handed him a rose.

He sighed heavily as he smelled the rose and went back working the computer. Interesting Shawn said as he came upon more of the Law Firm's account's had been forward somewhere else. Philip wired 2000 dollars within 2 weeks time Shawn said about a hour later on the phone with the bank now i gave you my busniess partner's password.

Now what i need to know, Shawn said who sighed for it? He turn deadly pale when the, bank said Isabella Brady sighed for it.

Chapter 8

Shawn broke in too Philip's, office and started going through his files which had, the firm's bank account on them Philip he said as he pulled a file with his name on it. Shawn found Mimi swimming, in their pool at the Kirakis house oh you scared me Mimi, said as she climbed out of the pool and found Shawn staring at her.

Where's Philip? Shawn said, umm he said he was having dinner with you Mimi said, when's he coming back? he asked i dont know she said. Where does he go every afternoon Mimi he leaves work and, he never comes back Shawn said. I dont know why dont you, tell me Mimi said as she grab a towel and wrap it around herself.

How many accounts do you and Philip have? Shawn asked I dont know 3 or 4 why? Mimi said. This has something to do with Isabella doesn't it?, Isabella and Philip Shawn said. Mimi flip on the light, as her and Shawn walk inside Philip's office at home. There are Philip's password's Mimi said Shawn start working on the computer its not there he said after a few minutes.

What's not? Mimi said there's 2000 dollars forward to another account Shawn said. The account started forward money 2 days after Isabella Disappeard and she sighed for it the account was closed yesterday Shawn said. How much do you have in your joint saves? he asked Umm like 3 or 4 million dollars Mimi said.

Mimi pick up a picture of her, and Philip sitting on his desk she sighed heavily, as she quickly sit down the picture and said Philip, Isabella he told me i was crazy for thinking that he was cheating on me Mimi said. I thought i was going crazy at first but then i always knew Philip was attracted to her Mimi said.

Now i understand the tickets Mimi said what tickets? Shawn said. I was just opening his mail hoping to catch him in a lie Mimi said give me the tickets Shawn said. These tickets are for a Island that's the perfect place for what Mimi asked? to hide money Shawn said. Where do you keep your phone? he asked in the kitchen she said.

What is it? Shawn said as he brought Mimi inside of his beachhouse. This is just creepy Shawn she said as she looked around their house, why you've been here before? Shawn said yeah sure i have, but it was in the day time she said. Isabella's kidnapping happen here Shawn said as he stared around his living, room there must be some clue that we've over looked he said, as he headed upstairs towards his bedroom.

Shawn what's that? Mimi asked while pointing to something laying on the bed. Its Isabella purse he said as he pick it up how did that get in here? Mimi asked someone is watching every move i make Shawn said.

Chapter 9

Oh my god Shawn Mimi said, if Philip is crazy enough to do something like this what, could he do to me Mimi said he could kill me she said. Alright let's call Officer Thompson Shawn said as he grab Mimi's hand and led her down the stairs. He is not going believe you Mimi said as they hurried out the front door then we will have to find Isabella.

Shawn i am scared Mimi said as they reach his car so am i Meems Shawn said as he hug her. Shawn what are you doing? Philip said as he saw him staring out his window look Shawn i am sorry about the other night. I've got a lunch meeting that i cant missed Philip said as he walk out the door. Shawn quickly grab his phone and dial a number Mimi was standing near a payphone when the phone rang.

Hello? Mimi said Mimi he just left Shawn said ok she said as she quickly hang up the phone. Shawn turn towards his office window and pulled the curtains back and he watch as Mimi step inside of a cab and said good girl Meems. Shawn was sitting at a bar playing with his wedding ring when Mimi walk through the door and said Shawn.

Shawn pulled his car to a stop when Mimi said there it is the 4th floor. How long was he up there? He asked he went just after 12:30 and came out just after 2pm she said was anyone with him? Shawn asked no he was alone Mimi said. Shawn gave the hotel clerk 20, dollars for Information the clerk looked around and then, went to his computer It was a couple they took this hotel, room for about 2 and half months he said.

He signed in June the clerk said as he went through his books right there. What did the woman look like? Shawn asked him i am sorry i dont, remember the clerk said Shawn pulled out a picture, of Isabella and said is this the woman you saw? the clerk, looked at the picture and said yes that's her a very pretty woman.

Shawn unlock the hotel, room and search the room. He search the bathroom and, found some of Belle's things inside. Shawn silde the door open and step out on to the porch of the hotel as he stared out at the sea. Mimi had tears in her eyes as she followed him outside they stood on this very spot and made plans he said.

How could they do that, to us Mimi said how could they have affair with someone, in the afternoon and then come home to someone else at night she said. Shawn Mimi said they think they've fooled you they cant hurt us anymore she said. They left the hotel and walk back to Shawn's car

They walk inside Shawn's beachhouse he flip on some lights and said you want something to drink? Mimi found Belle's red evening gown laying on the sofa and she held it up against her body. When Shawn turn and said what are you doing? dont touch that he said as he grab the dress from her.

Chapter 10

You still love her dont, you Shawn? Mimi said Of course i still love her he said how, can you still love her when she has been cheating on you for months she yelled. What are you doing? Mimi asked i am calling Philip Shawn said as he dial the number dont Mimi said.

Hello Philip said Philip Shawn said what is it Shawn? met me down at the office he said. Its almost midnight Philip said i know about you and, Isabella Shawn said Shawn dont go Mimi beg him dont do this, she said as she got tears in her eyes Shawn please dont, do this i am sorry Mimi Shawn said as he walk away.

Shawn walk inside of his, office building Mr Brady the night guard said i need you, to sign in please Shawn quickly walk over signed his name and walk down the hall. You could see a woman, standing in front of a mirror sliping a red dress on and, then watch as she ran her red lipstick a cross her lips.

The light turn green on the, Elevator and the doors open up Shawn had this determined, look on his face as he spoted Philip why did you, do it man Shawn said as he slammed Philip against the wall. What the hell are you talkin about Shawn Philip said as he push him away like you dont know your having affair with my wife Shawn said as he pouch him.

Why didn't you just kill me, that way you could have my wife and the money Shawn said, as he push Philip on too the roof of their building. Your insane Shawn Philip as he back up slowly once he pulled, a gun on him. Where is she Shawn yelled Shawn just calm, down Philip said as he raised up his hands.

What about your long lunchs and the hotel a cross town Philip Shawn said. Ok Shawn i've been seening someone Philip said you've been, seeing my wife Shawn said as he walk closer to him no way, Shawn Isabella would never cheat on you Philip said. Then who have you been seeing Shawn said a Counselor i've been seeing one since my mother died Philip said.

A woman wearing all red waiting impatient as the elevator went up the top floor of the building. Mr Brady? the night guard said as he saw him with his face all cut up but Shawn never paid him any mind as he walk out the door. The woman in red hurried down the stairs as the police were on their way Shawn was just about to cross the street when the woman in red pulled up along side him and said get in.

Shawn was so stunned to see Mimi Kirakis there that he didn't move untill she yelled Shawn get in the car now. Mimi Kirakis push the passenger side door open for him to get inside.

Chapter 11

You didn't follow Philip, to the hotel today did you? Shawn said you've got, to trust me Mimi said as she races down the road in her car. Your lying to me he said i've taken care of everything she said as she took a quick glance at him. Mr Brady comes out of the elevator with all these cuts on his face the night guard told Officer Thompson.

Then his wife took off a moment before him the night guard told Officer Thompson. His wife Officer Thompson said the night guard showed Officer, Thompson the clip board i go upstairs there's a window, shot out and there's a dead body laying on the ground the night guard says.

Mimi Shawn said as they, walk through her front door we dont have much time she says, what's the matter with you? he says you'll have to trust me she says. They are gonna kill us if we dont get out, of here Mimi says i've forward the money to out of state, bank we will take my car so they cant trace yours. What Shawn said as the phone starts to ring.

How did you do it? Shawn said with Philip's password Mimi said. Why do men think i cant do anything she says. Mrs Kirakis this is Officer Thompson, i need to speak with you about your husband Shawn walks, towards the phone and says why is he calling about Philip? Mimi, sighed heavily as she says i killed him.

You what Shawn said he was, just getting in the way of my plan Mimi said as she says, let's go as she goes to grab his hand. I am not going anywhere with you Shawn said your the one who kidnapped my wife, yeah so what if i did Mimi said Where is my wife Shawn, said as he walks closer to her. You would have never left her as long as she was still in the picture Mimi said as she backs up slowly.

So you stage the whole thing, Shawn said that's right i did Mimi said as she pulls, a gun on him and says if you dont do as i say your sweet, little Isabella will be as good as dead she said. Mimi give me the gun Shawn said as he slowly walks closer to her if you come any closer Shawn i swear i'll shot you Mimi said. I know you dont wanna hurt anyone Meems he said as he stood, in front of her no i dont Shawn Mimi tearfully said, but you've giving me no choice as she pulls the trigger.

Shawn sat on his hospital bed recovery from a bullet to the chest. He looked up as Officer Thompson knock on hospital door i am glad to see you recovery nicely from your wounds Mr Brady Officer Thompson said. We've arrested Mimi Kirakis for the murder, of her husband and but Officer Thompson was cut off, by a beautiful blonde haird blue eyed young woman being wheeled in to Shawn's hospital room.

Isabella he whispers


Joined: October 17th, 2004, 8:41 pm

February 1st, 2005, 2:40 am #5

Trish's Fics


Joined: October 17th, 2004, 8:41 pm

February 1st, 2005, 2:43 am #6

Forever Family

A Shawn and Belle Fanfic. This fic is Rated R.

this is my first fic... hope you like it... i disclaim... (thanks to holly, steph, and megan for their help and inspiration)
Last edited by Mrs.B. on March 26th, 2008, 12:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: October 17th, 2004, 8:41 pm

February 1st, 2005, 2:49 am #7

Prologue - Chapter 7


July 12, 2004

Belle sleepily stretched out of bed and turned to her alarm clock. It read 6:38AM, only a little more than six more hours and she would be Mrs. Shawn Douglas Brady. She sighed at the thought. She had only waited her entire life for this day, and now it was finally here. Today was the day that her and Shawn would start their lives together as man and wife. Belle always knew that she would end up with Shawn, they were meant to be, but they had to overcome many obstacles in order to get to where they were. One of the first had to deal with the fact that JT was their half-brother and then the revelation that he wasn’t, the whole Jan fiasco, the Colin Murphy murder, the purity rings, and most recently the killings of some of their most beloved friends and relatives in the Salem Serial Killings.


Shawn had risen with the sun. He couldn’t wait to make Belle his Mrs. Shawn Douglas Brady. They were Best Friends since the sandbox and became 2 people that shared the most incredible, inseparable love. No one would be able to stop him from marrying his Belle today. He couldn’t wait to start their own family!

Chapter One

As Belle lie awake in her bed, she reminisced about the day Shawn proposed. It was a night of turmoil when the beloved Alice Horton fought for her life…

After losing two grandfathers, a grandmother, an uncle, a cousin, and aunt, Shawn felt the need to propose to Belle before he lost her too. He realized that he couldn’t bear to lose another person that he loved and that precious time was being wasted. He knew that he would eventually marry Belle, so why not now?

“Shawn, where are we going? Your family needs you. Great-Gran could die!” Belle said as Shawn was pulling her towards the flight of stair. She wondered what he was up to. He had that sly grin smeared across his face, which definitely meant he had other intentions.

“Just follow me. We both need a break. Great-Gran isn’t going anywhere anytime soon so just trust me and follow my lead” He then gave her a wink that made her weak in the knees, one that would make any girl follow him.

They soon reached the top of the stairs and Shawn came to an abrupt halt. “Wait, I want you to close your eyes. I’ve got a surprise for you.” Belle gazed into his deep brown eyes and raised her eyebrow in suspicion, but followed Shawn’s orders saying, “Shawn-D, just what have you got planned?”

“You’ll find out soon enough my Perfect Girl.” And with that Shawn gently placed one of his hands over Belle’s eyes and the other around her waist as he walked behind her onto the rooftop.

“Can I open my eyes now, Tough Guy

“Just a little further,” he took her to the center of the rooftop and dropped his hand that was covering her eyes and joined his hands around her waist, giving her a big squeeze.

Belle wasn’t ready for what she saw…. The rooftop was scattered in various colors of rose petals and what seemed like a hundred candles of various sizes were lit all around her. “Wha..How..When did you do this?” She said as she whipped around from his embrace. Her eyes were expressively huge and a grin spread across her face.

“I take it you like this little break.” Shawn said with a certain gleam in his eye and a smile that would make any woman melt.

“Like it? I love it! Oh my God Shawn, its just what we needed. Its just so…dare I say it,” Belle said with a mischievous grin, “…SWEET!” Shawn winced at the sound of that word, but decided that only Isabella Black could say it in the way that tickled his funny bone. “I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that” he said as he gave her a wink and spun her around.

“Well, with all this death and tragedy around us I wanted to make sure that you knew that I love you SO much,” Shawn explained.

“Shawn, I know you love me. You didn’t have to do all this. You must have had to do a lot to make this possible-“

Shawn cut her off, lifted her chin and stared directly into her deep blue eyes and said, “I wanted to do this. If I have learned anything from all this tragedy, it is making sure those you love know how much you care for them. Belle,” he passionately said, “I LOVE you, with every single fiber of my being. Don’t ever doubt it.”

Then he let go of his hold on her chin and slowly knelt before Belle on one knee. Belle gasped and her hands began to tremble as eyes welled up into tears of joy. She knew it was coming, and he knew that she knew what he was about to do… He was about to change their lives forever by asking those simple words…

Shawn grabbed something out of the pocket of his leather jacket and gazed up at Belle. Blue Eyes connected with Deep Brown ones and the world seemed as if it had stopped moving. It was as if time stood still and they were the only two beings on Earth. Shawn gave a little smirk and firmly took Belle’s left hand. He steadied it, and then he said the words that would remain in Belle’s Heart forever, “Will you make my dreams come true and do the honor of marrying me Isabella Black, my one and only Perfect Girl?”

Belle sighed, and decided to get up before she was going to be late for her own wedding. She wanted plenty of time to get ready… She had a feeling that as she prepared herself for the happiest day of her life, she would be remembering all the events that led up to it… some memories were of joy and others of sadness and tragedy…

Chapter Two

Belle decided that she needed to eat something for breakfast, the last thing that they should have to deal with is Belle fainting because of a lack of food. She looked into the refrigerator of her hotel room and saw that she had some strawberries. And as she ate her strawberries, she remembered the rest of that unforgettable night…

“Will you make my dreams come true and do the honor of marrying me Isabella Black, my one and only Perfect Girl?”

Before Belle started crying tears of joy she replied, “Yes, Yes, Yes!” And with that Shawn placed the wool rings from his Grandpa Shawn on the finger that led right to Belle’s heart. And then rose from his knees, picked up his Belle and spun her around in a circle. And before he set her down he brought her into a deep, mind-blowing kiss. He didn’t break the kiss as he set her down, and he kept his loving arms wrapped around her in order to keep her small frame from completely melting into his own.<br />

When their kiss broke, they touched foreheads and gazed into each other’s eyes. They completed each other and they didn’t have to say anything in order to express their feelings. They knew what the other thought.

The silence was then broken by Belle, “Shawn, you know that it didn’t matter to me what kind of ring you would propose to me with because I would have said yes even if you had a ring from a gumball machine, but I have to ask… Why these rings made out of wool?”

“Well, they actually belonged to my Grandpa.” “Oh my God, Shawn,” Belle whispered. “Yeah, well, when he didn’t have enough money to buy my Grandma Caroline a real ring, he asked his mom if she would make rings out of Irish wool. And so she did, and my Grandpa used these rings to propose to my Grandma, and she said yes. Grandpa wanted me to have them after she died. And since I don’t have that much money myself right now I figured you wouldn’t mind me proposing with these.”

“Wouldn’t mind? Shawn! These rings are even better than any store bought ring! Your grandparents shared an incredible love and it’s an honor to wear it. I can’t believe that I’m wearing this symbol of a truly great love.”

“Well, I’m glad you think so. I still want to get you a real engagement ring…but we’ll keep the wool rings as a remembrance of this night and something that we look to when we need to be reminded of the importance of family.”

“Sounds good to me!”

“Oh my gosh, I almost forgot. I have a little something else to add to the mood.” He quickly looked around in search of something, but never let go of Belle’s hand. As soon as he found the mini cooler, he pulled out a carton of strawberries, champagne, and two glasses.

“You seemed pretty confidant that you would be celebrating tonight.” Belle said with a smile.

“Yeah, well…my girlfriend can’t resist my charm.” Shawn said with a huge grin across his face.

“Oh yeah?!?” Belle said as she lovingly hit Shawn. “Well, that girlfriend of yours is now your fiancé, so I would watch what you say mister!”

“Ok, ok… I got it. How about we make a toast?” he said as he poured a glass of champagne for the both of them, “To spending our lives together, growing old with each other, and loving each other more and more everyday.” And they clinked their glasses and took a sip… they then proceeded to feed each other strawberries, licking every…last…drop off each other’s fingers.

Shawn then turned on his little boom box to a song all too familiar to the couple. He took her hand and said, “May I have this dance mi’lady?” “Yes you may” Belle said rising to her feet and into Shawn’s arms. Shawn held her close and softly led the movements of their bodies to the song… and as the introductory notes filled the air, memories of a high school dance and a rather steamy night swim in Puerto Rico flooded back to the young couple’s minds…

The strands in your eyes that color them wonderful
Stop me and steal my breath
And emeralds from mountains thrust towards the sky
Never revealing their depth

And Tell me that we belong together
Dress it up with the trappings of love
I'll be captivated, I'll hang from your lips
Instead of the gallows of heartache that hang from above

And I'll be your cryin' shoulder
I'll be loves suicide
And I'll be better when I'm older
I'll be the greatest fan of your life

And rain falls angry on the tin roof
As we lie awake in my bed
And you're my survival, you're my living proof
My love is alive and not dead

And tell me that we belong together
Dress it up with the trappings of love
I'll be captivated, I'll hang from your lips
Instead of the gallows of heartache that hang from above

And I'll be your cryin' shoulder
I'll be loves suicide
And I'll be better when I'm older
I'll be the greatest fan of your life

And I dropped out, I burned up, I fought my way back from the dead
I’m tuned in, I turned on, remembered the thing that you said

And I'll be your cryin' shoulder
I'll be loves suicide
And I'll be better when I'm older
I'll be the greatest fan of your

And as the last chorus repeated, Shawn looked into Belle’s eyes and mouthed the words to her as a promise,

I'll be your cryin' shoulder
I'll be loves suicide
And I'll be better when I'm older
I'll be the greatest fan of your life

The greatest fan of your life

Belle sighed as she finished her breakfast… those were the best strawberries she had ever had…

“Oh my gosh, its already almost 7:30 and I haven’t done much… At this rate, I’ll never get ready in time…”

Song Credit: I'll Be
By: Edwin McCain

Chapter Three

Its 8:15AM and Shawn is alone in his own room waiting for his buddies to arrive when he decides to handwrite a note to his love and send it with flowers. He grabs a pen and piece of paper and sits down to write… He plans to send it with a dozen of roses in order to calm Belle down. Knowing her all too well, he knows that she is freaking out at the very same moment…

Belle is losing a battle between herself and her curling iron as she hears a knock on her hotel room door. “Mimi! Thank God you’re here! I’m beginning to lose it, I’m never gonna get ready in time…” Mimi stepped inside and set down all her stuff and the turned around to look at Belle. She was a mess…her hair was only half done, she had one eye complete, and her face looked frazzled.

“Don’t worry I’ve go everything under control Belle. Take a deep breath,” Mimi grabbed her best friend by the shoulders and looked her straight in the eye, “As your Maid of Honor, I will not let you go into spaz like this. It is my job to keep you sane, and beautiful on your happiest day of your life. Now listen to me, I know you are little Miss Perfect and everything needs to be done exactly the way you want it, but admit it, even if you walked down the aisle in a white sweat set and your hair up in a brisk ponytail, Shawn would still think you would be the most beautiful girl there and marry you. But since I know you, I know that you want to knock his socks off, so just relax, because Mimi is here to save you and make you even more gorgeous than you already are.”

“Thank you so much Mimi, you’re a lifesaver! You have no idea how much I’m loving you right now!”

“Not as much as you love Shawn!” Mimi said giving her a wink and a smile while taking charge of the curling iron. And Belle giggled as she looked at herself in the vanity mirror while whispering to herself, “Yup, definitely not as much as I love Shawn.”

knock, knock, knock

Belle almost got up, nearly burning herself with the curling iron but Mimi pushed her back into her seat and said, “Belle, just sit tight, I got it.” And with that Mimi went to the door where she found a man with a bouquet of twelve of the loveliest red roses she had ever seen.

“Delivery for a Isabella Black?” the man said.

“I can take it from here, she is in the middle of getting ready for her wedding day.” And Mimi proceeded to sign for it. She took the bouquet of flowers and thanked the young man then proceeded to walk over to Belle. “Hey, Belle, you’ve got a secret admirer.”

As Belle turned around in her chair she let out a gasp. “Aww… Oh my God, Shawn sent me flowers? How sweet! He always knows how to cheer me up. “ She inhaled the sweet fragrance and then noticed a card with the name ‘Belle’ written on the envelope in Shawn’s familiar scratch. She removed the card from the bouquet and opened the little message inside.

My Dearest Isabella,

I woke up this morning as the happiest man on earth because I knew that today you would become my wife and my lifetime partner as Mrs. Shawn Douglas Brady. We’ve been through a lot to get where we are, but I know in my heart that we share a love that binds us together forever. I never thought I could love you anymore than I did when you said yes to my proposal, but I was wrong because I know a whole new kind of better love will start when we say our vows in front of our family and friends later today.

See you at the altar; I’ll be the one in the tux. I love you.

Always The Greatest Fan of Your Life,

Belle read the note a few times over and then realized that she didn’t need anyone else anymore. After today, Shawn was the family that she could ever need. But she greatly missed one very important person in their lives. And that was Alice Horton. Alice knew before her and Shawn knew, that her and Shawn would live a long, happy life together and that they shared an inseparable love.

But now, she was gone.

Belle could still remember how it all happened like it was yesterday. The night of Shawn’s proposal would have been absolutely perfect, but as Shawn and Belle’s life together began, another one ended.

After Belle and Shawn danced to a few songs and simply enjoyed each other’s company without a care in the world. They soon realized they had to snap back to reality because several floors below them, a fragile lady who meant the world to both of them, was fighting for her life. They were so happy coming down the stairs, it felt as if they were floating in thin air. But as soon as they entered the waiting room where it seemed as if half of Salem was, reality hit them like a thunderstorm. Shawn searched for his mom, who was being comforted her his dad in a corner. He was at his mom’s side in an instant, tugging Belle along with him.

“Mom. Dad. Whats the latest on Great-Gran?” he looked at his mom, but she was obviously in a disheveled state so his frantic eyes met those of his father’s.

With a deep sigh Bo said, “Its not looking too good son. I think you should go in there and be with her.”

“Yeah, sure thing Dad. You sure Mom is gonna be okay?” Shawn said in a concerning tone.

“Don’t worry about her, just go in and be with Great-Gran.” That was Shawn’s cue. He took Belle by the hand and led her to Great-Gran’s hospital bed. The sight of his fragile, dear old great-grandmother hooked up to all sorts of machines fighting for her life, overwhelmed him. Belle felt him cringe and put her arms around his waist and nestled her head under his right arm. She held onto his right hand as he began to slowly approach the hospital bed. With his left arm, he grabbed the hand of his dearly beloved great-grandmother and said, “Hi Gran, its Shawn and Belle. Come on Great-Gran, we need you. Keep fighting, don’t ever give up. We haven’t told anyone else yet, but we would like you to be the first to know that we’re engaged. We know you always knew we would end up together, and so this probably doesn’t shock you.”

“Great-Gran, you and Tom Horton shared an incredible, undying love for one another. Shawn and I can only hope that we can have half of the love you two shared. And we would like to keep your traditions strong and build a loving family by your example.” Belle began to choke and her eyes began to well up, “You can’t leave yet, you just can’t.” And then Belle started to breakdown. Shawn gave her a big squeeze and then felt a tiny squeeze in his left hand, “Gran?” he looked over at her and he could see her eyes fluttering to open. He saw her mouth begin to open and he said, “No, Gran save your energy… you don’t need to talk.”

But being the stubborn lady that she was, she slowly opened her mouth and said, “Family is everything. I know you two will have a long, happy life together. But it’s my time now… Just like you need to be with Belle, I’ve waited too long to be with my Tom. “

And with that she passed on to do just that, be with her Tom.

Tears were about to fall down Belle’s face but she remembered that she had to continue getting ready. She missed Gran soo much, but knew that her and Tom would be there today.

Chapter Four

Mimi finished applying Belle’s make-up on, it was subtle and elegant, just like the woman Belle had become. Mimi and Rex had decided to start a make-up line that was called Meems. Rex used his brains to take care of all the business aspects while Mimi did what she did best, and that was create tasteful make-up for every kind of woman. It was an instant hit and Mimi and Rex were well on their way to making a living for themselves. The business was doing so well that the week before, Rex took Mimi to Lookout Point and proposed to her. Of course Mimi willingly agreed and they were in the process of making the arrangements for their big day.

“Belle, you look absolutely stunning! Oh my God, Shawn will be blown away!”

“Aww, Meems you’re so sweet! But I don’t know what I would have done without you. Thanks for being my best friend and my Maid of Honor. I love you so much!” and Belle got up and gave Mimi a big squeeze.

“Belle, could I ask you a question?”

“Sure, Meems, anything. You know that.” Belle looked straight into her eyes.

“Will you be my Maid of Honor?”

“Oh my God, of course I will! Like you need to even ask! So Rex finally did it, huh?”

“Yeah, he took me to Lookout Point and proposed there. It was soo cute. Wanna see the ring he got me?”
“Of course I do!” and Mimi lifted her necklace from under her dress revealing a simple, half carat, princess cut diamond ring. Belle gasped, “Oh, Meems its beautiful!”

“Yeah, he told me that the business was doing really well and that he was sure that it was the right time.”

“I’m soo happy for you! As soon as this wedding is done and Shawn and I come back from our honeymoon, we are getting a jumpstart on these wedding plans!” said Belle, already so enthusiastic for her best friend.

“Oh my gosh Belle, I’m being totally selfish. Here I am talking about Rex and me when today is your wedding day. We better get you all set because game time is fastly approaching.”

They got up and walked over to Belle’s closet. Inside was a dress that Belle had designed herself as the Fashion Director at Basic Black. It was made with the finest off-white satin and silk. It was strapless with a fading pearl bead accent on the upper half and along the bottom edges of her dress. She had a train, nothing too long, just simple and absolutely gorgeous. She carefully took it out and laid it across her bed and then proceeded to change into it. Mimi helped her secure the back zipper and then helped Belle put her veil on. Belle’s veil was medium-length and when it was attached to her head, it was concealed by Belle’s curls. Belle’s hair was in long, big curls, and Mimi had took the front left and right sections and pinned it up at the top of Belle’s head in order to showcase Belle’s beautiful face and reveal the diamond earrings that her Dad had gotten her as a wedding gift.

Mimi stepped back and admired Belle. Belle slowly spun around and she bit her lower lip as she asked, “What do you think?”

“Well, umm…lets see…,” Mimi pretended to think very deeply about her words with a little smile across her face. “Shawn won’t be able to stand when he sees you walk down that aisle!”

Belle giggled and said, “So I guess you like it.”

“Like it? I LOVE it!” Its gonna be hard for me to top this!”

“Oh stop that Meems. I’ll make you a fabulous dress and you will look INCREDIBLE on your day!”

“If you say so.” And the two girls gave each other a big hug.

There was an awkward silence for a few seconds, and a slight tension was felt throughout the room… Mimi broke the hug and gave her a serious look and said, “Belle, are you sure you don’t want your Mom to be here today? I mean your Soon-To-Be- In-Laws are the heads of the Police Department, I’m sure they could have pulled a string to let her come see her daughter get married. ”

Belle looked away and fidgeted with her hands, “Mimi,” she looked up at her friend, “I need to do this without her. I don’t think I can ever forgive her for what she did to all those people. This is something that I can’t just forgive and forget. I’ve realized now that Shawn is all the family I need now and will ever need in the future, as long as I’m with him I know everything will be okay. It breaks my heart that she won’t be here today because after all she is my mom, but I have to do this without her today. Seeing her just sparks my anger towards her and I don’t want any of that today. Today is supposed to be the happiest day of my life and I don’t want anything to interfere with that. Can you understand that Meems?”

“I get it. I understand where you’re coming from. And as your Maid of Honor I will make it my duty that you are the happiest woman in Salem today! Although I know that just having Shawn there will make you ecstatic!” Mimi said with a laugh.

“I can’t wait to be Mrs. Shawn Douglas Brady!” Belle said with a little squeal.

knock, knock, knock

“Ooo, that must be Chloe! She said she would come straight here from the Airport!” Belle said as her and Mimi went to open the door. And sure enough Chloe was there to complete the trio.

“I’m soo happy you could make it Chloe!” said Belle as she gave her a bug, warm hug.

“Me too! Step back though, I wanna see how pretty you look,” they broke their hug and Belle took a couple steps back and slowly twirled around for Chloe to see, “Oh my gosh Belle, that absolutely beautiful! You designed that?”

“Yea… I’m glad you like it!” Belle said with a big smile.

“I’ve already got her commissioned to make my dress.” Mimi said with an adoring smile.

“You’re getting married?!?” Chloe suddenly turned to Mimi.

“Yup, to Rex. We just got engaged last week.” Mimi said with a glowing smile.

“Well, congrats! Geesh, now I feel left out. I’m the only one who hasn’t gotten married among us.” Chloe said sounding just a little jealous.

“Aww Chloe, I’m sure that your day will come soon enough. I know how much Brady loves you. Besides, you’re doing so well with your whole Opera singing career. There’s nothing to be ashamed of there.” said Belle trying to reassure her friend.

“Very true. I love what I do. I just hope I can come back to Salem one day and sing at the new Opera House that Mr. Kiriakis had built before he died.”

“Oh my God, that would be soo awesome! We would all be together again, except married.” Mimi said with a laugh.

“Well, lets get you all ready, I’ve got your dress hanging in my closet,” and Belle tugged Chloe’s hand and led her to the bedroom closet.

Meanwhile in the guy’s room, Rex, Brady and Shawn were all spiffed up in their suits. Even if the wedding colors were pale pink, the three men didn’t have to wear pink accents on their outfits, instead, they each wore a white silk tie and then just had a pale pink rose as their boutonnière. The three of them together could make any breathing female weak-in-the-knees. They all were freshly showered, clean shaven and ready to knock-em-dead. But with Brady still in a relationship with Chloe, it was a shame they were all taken…

“Can you believe that Belle and I are finally getting married today? I can’t get over how lucky I am.” Shawn said while adjusting his tie.

“Belle is definitely a lucky, lucky girl.” Rex quickly agreed.

“But you are the luckier one man, because you are getting the best girl there is in Salem. I know you’ll take care of my little Tink. And Shawn,” Brady made sure he got his attention and looked him straight in the eye as he said, “if I ever hear from my sister that you mistreat her, you better run as far as those legs can carry you because you’ll never hear the end of it from me.” Brady said, with a wink and a smile.

“Thanks….I think.” Shawn said with slight smile, but inside Shawn felt just a little intimidated by him. He knew that he loved Belle and would do anything to protect his little sister. “You don’t have to worry, it’s my duty to make her happy. I would give my life to protect her.”

“Damn straight, Shawn.” And with that the guys proceeded to gather their belongings in order to leave for St. Luke’s.

“Rex, you got the rings?” Shawn asked.

“Oh my god!” Rex felt his jacket frantically.

“Rex, I swear to God if you lose those rings-“

“Relax buddy. I got them inside my jacket. They are safe and sound.”

“Ugh, Rex,” as Shawn gave him a punch in the arm, “Don’t ever do that to me again! I’m already a mess as it is!”

“Well, as your Best Man, you’ve got nothing to worry about. Lets just get you to that chapel so you can start your life with Belle as soon as you can!”

Chapter Five

Shawn arrived at St. Luke’s at about noon and he, Rex, and Brady went inside the church in order to check that everything was running smoothly. After they made their rounds, everything was going along perfectly; thank God he had such an organized fiancée. Many people criticized her and called her a perfectionist, and his nickname for her also poked slight fun at her personality, but her efforts paid off in wedding plans. Shawn basically left it all up to her, and so far the church was gorgeous, and everything was ready for the ceremony. Now all he needed was his bride and they would be set.

Belle arrived at St. Luke’s at about 12:30 with Mimi, Chloe, Sami, Hope, Jennifer, and Abby, and they all went to the bride’s room in order to prevent Shawn from seeing Belle. As soon as they got inside Hope said, “Oh my God Belle, do you have something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue?”

“Oh my God I knew I was forgetting something…oh my god, what do I do?” with all the plans Belle had made she totally forgot that one detail.

“Well, ok… your earrings can be your something new-“ Hope said while frantically searching the room.

“My garter has some blue in it so that’ll be my something blue, and Caroline’s cross can be my something old…” Belle said with a slight panic in her voice.

Hope went rummaging through her purse and pulled out a small jewelry bag. And she proceeded to open it and remove a dainty and delicate diamond bracelet.

“Ohh, my God, Hope. Those are beautiful… but I can’t possibly wear that.”

“Belle, they were my mother’s and I wouldn’t let anyone else borrow them but you. You’ve always been and will be like a daughter to me and I love you as if you were one of my own. I want you to wear this today and there isn’t anything you can do about it.” And with that Belle was left speechless and teary-eyed, she wouldn’t dare try to refuse Hope Brady. Hope took her trembling hand and gently placed it on her wrist.

“Thanks…Mom,” Belle said with a smile. They then shared a loving embrace as everyone else in the room watched them.

“Hey, lemme get a piece of this.” John said opening the door of the bride’s room.

Belle quickly turned around and ran to her father’s arms, “I love you Daddy.”

“And I love you too Izzy. Lemme get a good look at you,” and John twirled his little princess around taking in the beauty she had grown up to be. “My little girl is all grown-up, this is going to be the hardest thing I’ll ever have to do, and now I have to realize that I won’t me the top man on your priority list anymore. That honor goes to a very lucky, Shawn Brady.” And John let out a soft sigh and took his precious girl into his arms one last time before the beginning of the ceremony. “Well, Izzy… its time.” Belle sighed and took her father’s arm and followed his lead. The rest of the girls followed them and they all got into line at the back of the chapel.

The first to walk down the aisle were Abby and Will, and then Chloe and Brady, followed by Rex and Sami, followed by Eric and Jennifer, and finally Bo and Hope. Then the wedding march began and everyone rose to their feet. They all looked towards the back of the church to see the final group. Eric’s little girl, Melody, in a miniature version of Belle’s dress, scattered pink and yellow rose petals, while Zach and JT, followed as the ring bearers. Next was Mimi, who was in a strapless pale pink satin dress and carrying a bouquet of pink and yellow roses. And when John and Belle finally emerged from the doors, John gave Belle’s hand one more squeeze before leading her down the aisle.

On the opposite side of the church, Will, Brady, Rex, and Eric all stood in their matching suits, while Abby, Chloe, Sami, and Jennifer all wore pale pink spaghetti strapped dresses and held small bouquets of pale pink roses. On the end of each of the pews were variations of pink, red, yellow, and white roses surrounded by big white satin bows.

As the wedding march began, Shawn shifted his position at the altar. He knew that Belle would look incredible but he wasn’t prepared for what he saw. As soon as he saw her walk through the doors, he felt his knees buckle, and was afraid he would melt right then and there. She took his breath away and he couldn’t believe that within an hour she would be his forever.

As Belle walked down the aisle, the sight of Shawn made her weak, and if it wasn’t for her holding onto her Dad’s arm, she might have not been able to make it to the altar. She always imagined her wedding day, but nothing compared to this. This was beyond comparison and was so much more than Belle’s dream could ever be. Every single person in that church could feel the love of this young couple.

Belle’s blue eyes connected with Shawn’s brown ones and it was as if they could communicate through their eyes alone. Belle smiled radiantly and Shawn was in awe of her beauty. As Belle and John neared the front of the church, the wedding march came to an end and Shawn stepped closer to John as to receive his bride.

John leaned over to kiss his Izzy and then gave her hand a squeeze before shaking Shawn’s hand and placing it with his daughter’s. John held their hands together and squeezed them tightly into one as he said, “Take good care of her son, she’s yours now.” Shawn nodded and said, “I promise, I’ll take care of her.”

Then Shawn gave Belle his signature wink and smile, and led her to the altar where Father Jansen stood. Father then started the ceremony with the classic words, “Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here in the sign God to join this man” nodding to Shawn, “and this woman,” nodding to Belle, “in holy matrimony. If any person can show just cause as to why they may not be joined together, let them speak now or forever hold their peace.”

Belle and Shawn slightly flinched in nervousness that someone would come barging in to destroy their wedding… but nothing happened. There was pure, dead silence and they all let out a deep sigh.

The ceremony continued and before they knew it, Father Jansen said, “Who gives this woman in marriage to this man?” And at that time, John proudly stood up and stepped to the center of the aisle to say, “I do.”

Belle handed Mimi her bouquet and turned to face Shawn, and soon enough it was time for Shawn and Belle to recite their vows. They had previously decided that Belle would go first, she knew that if she didn’t go first she might not be able to get through her lines after Shawn’s vows. But what she wasn’t expecting was for Shawn to shed a few tears of his own as she said these words…

“Shawn Douglas Brady, it scares me sometimes of how much I love you. I think that if I could really feel how much I love you, it would be strong enough to kill me,” she said with a slight smile on her face, “but its because of that love that I know we can get through anything if we’re together,” she stared intently into his eyes making sure he understood each and every word she said, “God knows we’ve been through plenty of rough times, but we have always found our way back to each other. Many people doubted our love and tried to test it when we were in high school but I knew in my heart you were the only one I would ever love. Not that many people meet their soulmate that young, but I had the opportunity to have known mine my whole life, and I want to keep on loving you for the rest of my life.” She paused, gulped, and squeezed Shawn’s hands as she looked into his deep brown eyes and said, “ When I’m with you and in your arms,” her voice started to break and her eyes welled up, “I’m home and I feel safe. I love you with every single beat of my heart, and I want you to know that you are my soulmate and my one and only love.”

Shawn wanted nothing more than to take her into his arms right then and there and kiss her tears away, but he held her hand and gently squeezed it, reassuring her to hold her head up high and keep her composure.

“Isabella Black…Belle, I love you sooo much right now, more than I ever thought I could. And when I sat down to write my vows, and I couldn’t find the right words to say, I thought to myself that even if I did come up with something, the moment I would see you it would all just disappear. So, I decided that I would express my feelings in the moment since it’s so easy to describe my love for you because it is so easy to love you.” He let out a soft sigh and stared into her blue eyes, “The moment I came back from boarding school and I laid eyes on you, I realized how much I had missed out on. You had blossomed into a beautiful young lady and one that had captured my heart instantly. I may not have shown my feelings initially,” Shawn chose that time to flash his trademark grin and give Belle a wink and Belle let out a soft giggle, “but I knew that I wouldn’t let you out of my life ever again. We had our rough times, but I always knew we would find our ways back to each other’s arms. You complete me Belle. And there is nothing in the world than I want more than to be your husband. I love you.”

Belle quickly wiped her tears and then mouthed those three small words back to the love of her life. Father Jansen then said, “Do you Shawn Douglas Brady take Isabella Black to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, all the days of your lives?”

Shawn looked deeply into Belle’s eyes and said, “I do.”

“And do you Isabella Black take Shawn Douglas Brady to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, all the days of your lives?”

Belle looked straight into Shawn’s eyes and confidently said “I do

“May I have the rings?” and at that point JT and Zach went up together and presented their pillows, each having one ring attached. The rings were given to Father Jansen and he said, “These rings are a blessed symbol of this affectionate unity between two lives that are now joined in one unbroken circle. Wherever they go – may they always return to one another. May these two find in each other the love that all men and women desire. May they grow in passion and understanding. May the home in which they establish together, be a place where many will go to find a fiend and may these rings on their fingers symbolize the touch of the spirit of love in their hearts.” He paused to give Shawn the ring he would offer to Belle and then proceeded to say, “Shawn, repeat after me – Take this ring,”

Shawn, “Take this ring-“

“As a sign of my love and fidelity-“

“As a sign of my love and fidelity-“ And Shawn tenderly slipped the ring onto Belle’s finger, and sealed it with a kiss.

“In the name of the father, and of the son, and of the holy spirit.”

“In the name of the father, and of the son, and of the holy spirit.”

Father Jansen then took the other ring and gave it to Belle and said, “Isabella, repeat after me – Take this ring,”

Belle, “Take this ring-“

“As a sign of my love and fidelity-“

“As a sign of my love and fidelity-“ And Belle gently slipped the ring onto Shawn’s with her trembling hands.

“In the name of the father, and of the son, and of the holy spirit.”

“In the name of the father, and of the son, and of the holy spirit.”

Father Jansen then said, “May you always share with each other the gifts of love – be one in heart and mind – may you always create a home together that puts in your hearts – love – generosity and kindness.” Father then looked to the rest of the congregation and said, “Shawn Douglas Brady and Isabella Black have pledged their marriage before the company of their family and friends. They have declared their unity by giving and receiving a ring and are now joined together in holy matrimony.” He then looked back to Shawn and Belle and said, “You have pronounced yourselves husband and wife but remember to always be each other’s best friend. And so, by the power vested in me by the State of Illinois and Almighty God, I now pronounce you man and wife – and may your days be good and long upon earth. You may kiss your bride.”

And as soon as those words were said Shawn captured Belle’s face in his hands and pulled her into a long, deep kiss that expressed the volume of love that was shared between the both of them. And when they parted, their foreheads met and they stared into each others eyes and whispered to the other saying, “I love you Mrs. Brady.” And, “And I love you, too, Mr. Brady.”

“Ladies and Gentlemen, I now give you Mr. And Mrs. Shawn Douglas Brady!” And roar of cheers and applause erupted as Shawn and Belle made their way down the aisle and outside to the awaiting photographer.

Hope turned to Bo with a tear in her eye, “Our Sailor Man is all grown-up and married.”

And Bo hugged his wife and answered in a reassuring tone, “Yes, but our Sailor Man has grown-up to be a very fine man.” Then they the walked out hand in hand to go to the reception.

John sighed to himself silently wishing his Doc were standing next to him to witness the wedding of their daughter. He still loved her very deeply but knew that Belle had made the right decision in not letting her be present. John then walked out of St. Luke’s with a single tear running down his face for two reasons. One because he was immensely happy that his daughter had found a true, great love, and the other because he felt as if he had completely lost his love, Doc.

As Shawn and Belle exited St. Luke’s they took a few photos together and then y posed twith their whole entourage before heading into their own private limo.

“Finally I get the new Mrs. Brady all to myself.” Shawn said with a mischievous grin smeared across his face. He then kissed his wife - his wife, he liked the sound of that – with a new found passion.

“Shaaawn,” Belle whimpered, “the reception is a Tuscany and we’ll be there in like a few minutes. We don’t have time to get all settled in here.” Shawn’s lips had wandered to the back of her ear and down her neck. He moaned but eventually he sat up to where his eyes connected with hers. “I guess I can wait…but tonight, no interruptions, ok?”

“You got it Tough Guy. Tonight, I’m all yours.” And Belle gave him a sweet, soft kiss on the lips as a preview of the night to come.

Chapter Six - PG-13/mild R rating

They entered Tuscany and even though it hurt for them to be apart for a few minutes, Belle went into a changing room in the back to change into her dress for the reception. It was less fancy and something that Belle could do lots of dancing in. Her and Shawn always had this connection on the dance floor and there was no way she was gonna hold back on her wedding day. She had also designed this dress, it was also made of the same off-white satin and silk of her wedding dress, but it was a halter type dress that emphasized her figure and even revealed quite a bit of back – an aspect she designed with Shawn in mind. It flowed to just past her knees and it was made so that when she twirled, it rippled around her legs. She also decided to remove her veil, just in case it might interfere with those crazy dance moves. She changed and was quickly out the door to be at Shawn’s side when the guests came trickling in. She looked over at him and noticed that he had removed his tie and opted for the-open-collar look, it looked as if he as ready to party all night long.

They hugged and thanked all their friends and family for coming and when that was done they proceeded to go to their own straight table at the front of Tuscany. On the raised, straight table at the front of Tuscany sat Shawn, Belle, Rex, Mimi, Brady, and Chloe. They all sat down and then ate a light meal; it wasn’t exactly dinner since it was only 3:30 in the afternoon. Desert followed, with the revelation of a beautiful triple tiered vanilla cake with butter cream filling. Shawn and Belle cut the first slice together and did the tradition of intertwining their hands to eat a bite, and then taking another piece and feeding it to each other. Cake was then served to everyone and Champagne was then brought out for those over 21, while the young ones received sparkling apple-pear cider.

Rex then clinked his glass and stood up to say his “Best Man Toast”, “Could I get everyone’s attention please?” Everyone quieted down and listened intently. “We are all gathered here today to celebrate a one of a kind love. A love shared by Shawn and Belle.” Shawn and Belle squeezed each other’s hand and smiled lovingly at one another, only to defer their attention again to Rex. “Having only known them for a couple years now, I’ve witnessed how great their love is for one another. When my twin sister and I first arrived here, Belle and Shawn were the only ones who took care of us and protected us, and for that, I will be eternally grateful. When I saw the kind of love they shared, I envied so much and longed for someone to love me the same way they loved each other, and that was unconditionally. We all have gone through some incredibly tough times in thes past eight months, but in spite of all this tragedy, they remained together and eventually emerged stronger as a couple because of it. And so my toast is a wish that they have all the happiness in the world. Congratulations Shawn and Belle!” And with that everyone lifted their glasses and toasted to the couple.

Shawn the stood up and clinked his glass to say a few words, “I’d like to thank you all for coming out today for our wedding. Being surrounded by our family and friends made this day the happiest of our lives…so far” and a little chuckle came out, “but before we let this party go into full swing I would like to ask my wife,” he turned to Belle and offered his hand, “for our first dance as man and wife.” He grinned from ear to ear and took Belle’s hand as the band played the first few notes of the song they picked as their wedding song. “May I have this dance, Mrs. Brady?” and Belle nodded as she rose from her chair. Shawn then took her hand and led her to the dance floor. And as they danced a montage, put together by Rex and Mimi as a gift, played on a screen and the of Shawn and Belle’s family could experience their beautiful relationship…

Right Click and SAVE TARGET AS HERE to SEE the montage… (please make sure you unzip it and view it in Windows Media Player)

If I had to live my life without you near me
The days would all be empty
The nights would seem so long
With you I see forever
Oh, so clearly I might have been in love before
But it never felt this strong
Our dreams are young and we both know
They'll take us where we want to go
Hold me now
Touch me now
I don't want to live without you

(CHORUS) Nothing's gonna change my love for you
You ought to know by now how much I love you
One thing you can be sure of
I'll never ask for more than your love
Nothing's gonna change my love for you
You ought to know by now how much I love you

If the road ahead is not so easy
Our love will lead the way for us
Like a guiding star
I'll be there for you if you should need me
You don't have to change a thing
I love you just the way you are
So come with me and share the view
I'll help you see forever too
Hold me now
Touch me now
I don't want to live without you

(CHORUS) Nothing's gonna change my love for you
You ought to know by now how much I love you
One thing you can be sure of
I'll never ask for more than your love
Nothing's gonna change my love for you
You ought to know by now how much I love you

(Song Credit: Nothings Gonna Change My Love For You
By: Glen Medeiros)

Towards the end of the song Shawn and Belle embraced and watched the final scenes together. They turned to thank Rex and Mimi and turned to see John standing in the corner…

As soon as the last notes of the song played John stood up and took his chance before his opportunity to dance with his only daughter passed. He had already made a request to the band for his dance with his daughter and now all he had to do was go up to the couple and ask. He walked up to Shawn and Belle, but before he could get the words out Shawn said, “She’s all yours, John.” And with that John sighed and took his precious Izzy into his arms as the introduction to Bob Carlisle’s Butterfly Kisses started to play…

There's two things I know for sure:
She was sent here from heaven and she's
daddy's little girl.
As I drop to my knees by her bed at night
She talks to Jesus and I close my eyes and
I thank god for all the joy in my life
Oh, but most of all
For butterfly kisses after bedtime prayer;
sticking little white flowers all up in her
hair; "Walk beside the pony, Daddy, it's my first ride."
"I know the cake looks funny, Daddy, but I sure tried."
In all that I've done wrong I know I must
have done something right to deserve a hug
every morning and butterfly kisses at night.
Sweet 16 today
She's looking like her mama a little more everyday
One part woman, the other part girl.
To perfume and make-up from ribbons and curls
Trying her wings out in a great big world.
But I remember
Butterfly kisses after bedtime prayer; sticking
little white flowers all up in her hair.
"You know how much I love you, Daddy, But if you
don't mind I'm only gonna kiss you on the cheek this time."
With all that I've done wrong I must have done
something right to deserve her love every morning
and butterfly kisses at night.
All the precious time
Like the wind, the years go by.
Precious butterfly.
Spread your wings and fly.
She'll change her name today.
She'll make a promise and I'll give her away.
Standing in the bride-room just staring at her.
She asked me what I'm thinking and I said "I'm not
sure-I just feel like I'm losing my baby girl."
She leaned over…gave me butterfly kisses with her mama there,
Sticking little white flowers all up in her hair
"Walk my down the aisle, Daddy-it's just about time."
"Does my wedding gown look pretty, Daddy? Daddy, don't cry!"
Oh, with all that I've done wrong I must have
done something right.
To deserve your love every morning and butterfly
kisses-I couldn't ask God for more, man this is what love is.
I know I gotta let her go, but I'll always remember
every hug in the morning and butterfly kisses.

(Song Credit: Butterfly Kisses
By: Bob Carlisle)

The audience was practically in tears as they watched John and Belle dance their Father-Daughter dance. Everyone knew that they carried the heaviest hearts in light of the revelation that Marlena was the killer. Both of them couldn’t even comprehend that the woman they loved could be capable for committing such acts. Everyone knew that they were both missing Marlena and that Belle especially having been incredibly close to her mom, was probably breaking down deep inside, but they all just watched in awe of the sense of family that could be felt around the room. And Shawn watched from a distance at the corner of the dance floor, hoping that one day he would share a similar bond with a daughter of his own.

As soon as the song ended, everyone clapped as John gave Belle a big squeeze. Then the DJ announced, “Its time to PARTY!” and soon everyone was dancing and enjoying each other’s company. About half way through the night, as the crowds got a little tired, Shawn and Belle decided to lighten the mood with a little by performing a dance number for everyone. They danced to Ain’t No Mountain High Enough. A choice of song that reminded them of when they painted Belle’s loft and Shawn decided to break out in song and dance. The two of them were the center of attention as they graced the dance floor. Every sway of their hips, every twirl, and every dip became one with the music and soon enough everyone was singing along and dancing in place. As soon as the song ended the life was back in the party and they partied hard all night long…

During the course of the night Hope pulled Belle aside. They sat down at a couple vacant chairs and Hope said, “Honey, I know I let you borrow that bracelet of my mother’s earlier today, but I’ve been thinking, I’m not planning on giving it to any of my sons, and since you’ve always been like a daughter to me and always will be, I’ve decided that I want you to keep the bracelet.”

“Oh, Hope. I can’t do that. It means so much to you. Besides you can always give it to a possible granddaughter in the future.”

“I know that Belle, but I want you to have it. It doesn’t do any good just sitting around. I know you’ll take care of it, and that way you can give it to your daughter whenever that day may be.”

Belle reached over to give Hope a big hug and said, “Thank you so much! I promise I’ll treasure it forever.”

“Oh I know you will, Belle, just like you’ll take care of Shawn.” And with that said, they shared another hug and then went back to the dance floor to dance with their husbands.

At the end of the night, Shawn and Belle made an exit, but not before Belle tossed a replica of her own bouquet out to the single women in the crowd. To much surprise, a very pregnant Jenn caught it.

The next afternoon they were off to Puerto Rico for their honeymoon, where they first expressed their feelings for each other. But first they were headed to the hotel for a night to remember. When they arrived there, Shawn carried Belle through the doors and set Belle down on the bed covered in rose petals. When Belle looked around there were candles lit all over the room. Shawn lied down next to her and then reached over the side of his bed to pull out a bag for her.

“I’ve got a present for you, my wedding gift actually.” Shawn then gave it to Belle for her to open. Belle opened the bag and found a tiny box inside. Belle excitedly opened the box and found a beautiful necklace. There were two gold hearts with the initials ‘S’ and ‘B’ on them, and on the back of the two hearts July 12, 2004 was engraved, symbolizing their wedding day.

“Shawn, I love it! Can you put it on me?”

“Like I would let anyone else put it on you!” he said with a cute grin. He then took the necklace and undid the clasp and gently put it around Belle’s neck and she lifted her hair of the way. He clasped it and then kissed her neck. She rolled around and gave him a kiss, “Thank You.”

“You’re very welcome. But there is more to your gift. Look again.”

Belle rummaged through the tissue paper and she found

“Well I’ve got my own little presents for you too Mr. Brady,” and she got up and disappeared into the bathroom.

“Whoa – where are you going?” Shawn said impatiently.

“Patience is a virtue. I’ll be right back.” She said in very sly tone.

Belle then found a little bag that held a lingerie number she had also designed. This one was a little harder to explain when she was having I made since she worked with her Dad and brother. But she made a whole line of lingerie in order to conceal the one outfit she made especially for Shawn. It was a simple white nightgown that was held by very tiny straps on her shoulders and went down to her thighs. The only catch was that is was practically see-through, leaving very little to Shawn’s imagination. It also came with a small a thong that was practically made with any material. She put the ensemble on and then reached for another bag that held her other gift to Shawn, something that he could actually show to other people.

Belle tousled her hair so that it just flowed down to her shoulders and then proceeded to walk out of the bathroom to he waiting husband. When she came out she was surprised that Shawn was already down to his boxers and eagerly awaiting her in their bed. When he saw her his jaw literally dropped . “Oh my G-awd Belle. You expect me to be patient when you’re wearing that?”

Belle smiled and said, “Well I thought you might like a little private fashion show. I needed your opinion on a piece from my latest lingerie line. You like?”

Shawn nodded eagerly and gulped, “Oh yeah.”

“Well I got a little something for you besides this.” And she walked over to the bed, with Shawn watching her every move. When Belle sat on the bed she gave him a small gift bag. He opened it up and found

“Now can I love you Mrs. Brady?…properly?”

“Umm..lemme think-“ but Shawn didn’t wait for her reply, he just captured her mouth and kissed her with an incredible passion. He wanted to take these moments slow in order to savor each and every move. They had both waited for this night for so long. He loved every single part of her delicate, feminine, beautiful body with his kisses and then it was Belle’s turn to satisfy Shawn to her best ability. She was unsure of herself at first, but after seeing Shawn’s eyes burning with desire all her nerves disappeared. When she finished she kissed Shawn on the lips and moaned, “Shawn, I need you right now,” she pleaded, “love me right now.”

Shawn set her down gently and kissed her, pressing her body into the center of the bed. He positioned himself and then slowly entered her. He could feel the tension in Belle and he told Belle, “Belle, just relax and look into my eyes, and remember I love you.” Belle’s breathing quickened and she replied, “I love you too Shawn, I’m ready.” And with those words Shawn thrust himself into Belle. He quickly captured her mouth to ease the pain of the barrier that broke, a barrier that she had held so dear and had saved just for him. A single tear trickled down Belle’s face and Shawn kissed the tears away. Then the pain soon faded and Shawn buried himself deeper into her, wanting to be completely one with her.

“Oh my GOOD, Shawn!” And Belle soon felt as if she couldn’t breathe anymore, then she and Shawn released simultaneously into each other. It was the closest thing to heaven there was.

Shawn then lied down next to Belle and then stared into Belle’s eyes, “I love you sooo much.” And Belle replied, “I love you, too. Thanks for waiting for me.” And Shawn said, “Belle, you were worth the wait, and if I had the chance to go back in time, I wouldn’t have it any other way.” And he sealed his words with a kiss. They drifted into a short slumber in order to recover, but that night, they loved each other in every sense of the word.

Chapter Seven

It was the morning after, and Shawn and Belle still hadn’t floated back from cloud nine. They decided to have breakfast brought to them and then they ate it in bed. While sipping coffee Belle turned to Shawn with a serious look, “Shawn, I think I need to do something today.”

“Belle we’ve got a whole week in Puerto Rico but I’m sure we can squeeze in some loving before we leave –“

“No, Shawn that’s not what I mean,” Shawn looked at her confused, “Shawn don’t get me wrong, last night was incredible but there’s something else I have to do today… and I don’t think you’re gonna like it.”

“Well, enlighten me…I’m listening.” Shawn then looked at her, giving her his undivided attention.

“Shawn, I need to visit my mom,” Shawn sighed and turned away and Belle quickly said, “Shawn, before you get mad I need to at least tell her I got married yesterday, she deserves to know that.”

“Well, all those people didn’t get a another chance, and neither should she. Belle do you really have to do this? Especially today?” he tried to plead with her.

“Shawn, yesterday was the happiest day of my life, and I knew that I couldn’t have her there to remind me but she is still my mom. I need to do this…please?” She looked at Shawn and jutted out her lip.

“I can’t believe I’m going to let you do this.” Shawn ran his fingers through his hair, “But I guess we can stop by the police station before we go to the airport.”

Belle hugged Shawn saying, “Thank you soo much Shawn, I know this is hard for you, but I need to do this in order to enjoy our honeymoon to the fullest. I don’t want it sitting in the back of my head while we are there.”

“But I’m not going to see her with you. I refuse. After what she did, it’s hard to ever look her in the eyes again. I’m sorry Belle but you’re gonna have to do this on your own.”

“That’s fine. I think it might be better that way. Thank you so much!”

“Well I can’t exactly say no to you, can I?” Shawn said with a half smile. And Belle laughed and gave him a big kiss and hug.

Later that afternoon they stopped by the loft to pick up their luggage and then they proceeded to drive to the police station. While Belle went to go talk to Marlena, Shawn decided to go talk with his parents.

“Shawn, I thought you’d be on your way to Puerto Rico by now.” Hope said as she gave her son a warm hug.

“Yeah, me too. But Belle wanted to see her mom before we left. She felt as if she at least owed it to her to tell her we got married.”

“Poor girl, she must be feeling so conflicted right now.” Hope said as she rubbed the back of her son.

As Belle walked the halls that led to the visiting area she contemplated what she was going to say to her mother. She was still very puzzled how her mom was able to kill all those family and friends in cold-blood murder. Everything didn’t seem to make sense. She was such a loving and devoted mother and wife. What made her suddenly pull a Jekyl and Hyde? Part of Belle wanted to believe that her mom couldn’t have done all those crimes but most of her knew that she had to face the reality and the truth.

Belle recalled how she lied even to protect her mom. It was an action that Belle regretted from the moment it slipped out of her mouth. Like trying to hold sand, Belle tried to keep it in her hands as long as possible, but eventually the sand slipped. She remembered how angry Shawn was at her when she revealed she had lied to him. It was a couple days after she had accepted Shawn’s proposal and they were at her loft trying to relax on the couch with the latest tragedies…

“Earth to Belle?!? Belle, hey!” Shawn softly said.

“hmm?” Belle turned around and looked at Shawn. She had been in a daze staring out into space.

“What are you thinking Belle? You seemed so distant just now.”

“Oh…umm,” Belle hesitated, “its nothing really, I’ve just got a lot on my mind, that’s all…” Belle wondered if now would be the right time to tell Shawn the truth.
“You know Belle you can tell me anything. Remember our promise to always tell each other everything?”

“Yes.” Belle realized that is was now or never, she had to tell Shawn because the longer she waited the more angry he would become when he found out, “Shawn actually there is something we need to talk about. It’s really serious and I don’t know how its going to affect us. I did something terrible, something that you could hate me for.”

“Whoa, slow down. Hate you? I could never hate you Belle. Just tell me.”

Belle stared directly in his eyes and took a deep breath before saying, “I lied Shawn. I lied and I knew I what I was doing and I kept looking into your eyes and lying to you-I-I” her eyes started tearing and she started to tremble.

“You lied to me about what, Belle?” Shawn looked at her and had this unsettling feeling in the bottom of his gut. He knew he wasn’t going to like what he heard next.

“I lied when I told you I was with my mom when your grandfather was killed.” She saw the look in Shawn’s eyes, a look of disbelief and part disgust. She quickly then said, “I swear Shawn, I just wanted to protect my mom, I never meant to hurt you. I’m so sorry.” At this point Belle was sobbing she could feel the tension between her and Shawn. They were in a sweet cuddle before but now Belle sat up straight and Shawn took his arm away from holding Belle. He rubbed his face with his hands and then ran his fingers through his hair in frustration. He wasn’t saying anything, there was just a dead silence and only Belle’s quiet sobs could be heard.

“Shawn-Shawn, I need you to say something. I need you to say-”

But she was cut off, “Say what Belle?!? That its OKAY?!? That I FORGIVE you?!? I can’t believe this.” He shook his head in disbelief.

Belle had never seen Shawn get so angry with her like this. She felt so alone…so cold and so…numb. She sat curled up in a ball on the couch silently crying. “No, Shawn-I didn’t expect you to forgive me right away-”

“Jesus, Belle! People told me that Marlena couldn’t be the killer when I made my theories, and I stuck to my theory until I heard from you that you were her alibi for my Grandfather’s murder. I knew that I could trust you and that you would never lie to me and so I automatically changed my theory on your mom. Belle, I even swore to my parents that you would never lie to me and that’s why your mom couldn’t be the killer. God, Belle, how could you do this to me? You know what happened when we last lied to each other. I thought we were done for good then, but now-”

“But now, what-Shawn?”

“My Great-Gran would still be here if you hadn’t lied to me Belle!” Shawn paced the room and took off his wool ring and set it on the counter, “I can’t do this right now… I need to think.” He got up, got his things and went for the door, “Don’t try and follow me Belle. Right now I’m not the person you want to be around and I don’t wanna regret anything I might say or do.”

And with that Belle watched as Shawn slammed the door shut and left her alone in her loft. For the first time, Belle felt really alone. She felt that they were over for good this time. Shawn didn’t speak with her for a week, even if she wanted so bad to call him she stopped herself.

However at Alice’s funeral, Shawn approached her and told her that he needed to talk to her.

“Belle, could I speak with you for a minute?”

“Yeah, Shawn.”

“Belle, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking this past week and even though I don’t know if I can fully forgive you for what you did to me, I’m willing to begin to work things through.” Shawn saw a slight glimmer in Belle’s eye and continued to say, “Belle, I can’t just turn off my love for you, its too hard because I love you too much.”

Belle smiled slightly and replied with a sigh of relief, “I swear Shawn, I’ll make it up to you, you have no idea how much I regret lying to you. And you’re right, our love isn’t something we can just switch off and that’s one reason why I think our love is strong enough to pull us through. We need each other Shawn.”

Shawn then took her into a deep hug and said, “I’ve missed holding you like this.”

“I missed being held by you even more.” Belle said with a tear in her eye.

As Belle opened the door to the visiting room she recalled how she gave Shawn their ring to wear later that day as she played with her wedding ring. Then Belle entered a guarded room to speak with her mom. She was scared out of her mind, but she knew she had to do this. She saw her mom and then sat down.

“Belle,” Marlena said in a motherly tone, “I’m so glad you decided to pay me a visit. I just wanted to say how sorry I am for everything that I’ve done – “ but she was cut off by Belle who was now enraged.

“Sorry for killing my husband’s Grandma, cousin, Grandfather, Aunt, Uncle, and Great-Gran? Gee, Mom do you expect me to just accept that apology and forgive you after all that you’ve done? If you thought it was gonna be that easy, you’re wrong! I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forgive you and neither will Shawn.” Belle couldn’t believe she just told off her mom like that, but it felt as if a huge burden had been lifted from her shoulders.

“Belle, is that the way you speak to your mother? And did you say husband? Since when are you two married?”

Now Belle was fuming, she had the nerve to say that – well her mom was going to see a side of Belle she had never seen. “Yes, for your information Shawn is now my husband.” She flashed her wedding ring and then said, “We got married yesterday in a perfect ceremony.” She said rather matter-of-factly, but as soon as she said those words she could see the hurt in her mom’s eyes. But she wasn’t going to let it get to her, she was going to get this over with. “Shawn and I are leaving for Puerto Rico our honeymoon today, and I thought that I might mention that we’re married, but now I come to think of it, and I guess I should’ve never even come here. Shawn was right, you don’t deserve any courtesy… you didn’t give your victims any, so why should I? I just wanted to let you know that as of now, my family is Shawn. I used to proud to be your daughter, but now all I feel is shame. And don’t you dare try and turn the tables on me and tell me that Gran’s death was my fault and that I brought my own trouble because I lied to Shawn, because guess what? It’s not my fault at all. It’s all yours! I don’t know what I thought I would see in you today, but now I all I see is a killer!”

Belle’s words pierced Marlena’s heart like a sword and she tried to plead with Belle and touch her hand, “My Sweet Girl-“

“Don’t My Sweet Girl me, Marlena!” Belle said as she quickly moved her hand. “I hate you.”

“Belle, I did it for my family, you have to understand…” Belle scoffed and laughed, “HA! Family? You killed all those people to show your love for our family? Well, I’m sorry to break it to you, but killing those people has just cost you your family.” And with that Belle got up and quickly left before Marlena could see her tears streaming down her face.

Belle went to the office, knowing she would find Shawn there and as soon as Shawn saw her weeping he rushed to Belle’s side and brought her into his embrace kissing her head and comforting her.

“Shhh, its ok. I’m right here, Belle. I’m right here.”

“Shawn, I can’t believe I thought I could to her. Can we just go now?”

“Yeah, come on let’s go.” He held his wife in his arms while signaling to his parents that he was leaving. They slowly walked out to their car and Shawn got her inside. He went to his side and then he said, “Are you okay?”

Belle whimpered, wiped her tears, and sighed, “Shawn can we just go? I don’t really wanna talk about it right now. Not when we are about to leave for our honeymoon.”

“Ok, that’s fine with me. Just promise you’ll tell me what happened, eventually.”

“I promise, eventually.” And with that, they left for the airport.

John met them there and had the jet all ready for them. The transportation was his wedding gift to the both of them. When he saw them he knew his daughter had been crying but avoided asking what had happened, since he knew it has nothing to do with Shawn since she was in his arms.

“Hi, Daddy! Thanks for letting us use the jet.”

“Its no problem, I hope you both enjoy your honeymoon. You deserve a break from this place. Umm, Shawn could you come here for a sec, I jut wanna explain something to you.”

“You gonna be ok, Belle?” Shawn asked his wife.

“Yea, just go.”

Shawn went to John’s side and they walked away. John asked, “What happened? Why was Belle crying?”

Shawn sighed and said, “She wanted to see Marlena before we left. But I’m guessing it was a bust because she came out weeping. She hasn’t told me exactly what happened yet though.”

“Damn, I never wanted Belle to see Marlena like this. She’s not the woman she used to be. I’m betting Belle and Marlena won’t be speaking to each other. Shawn I want you to take her mind off all of this. This is supposed to be a happy time for her and it breaks my heart that she has to deal with her mom being a serial killer.”

“You got it, John. I promise I’ll keep her happy. You don’t have to worry.”

“Thanks, son. Now you have a safe trip and call me when you get there or if you need anything.”

“We will. Thanks again!” and Shawn walked up to Belle. Belle gave her Dad a hug before following Shawn onto the plane.

They got buckled in and were on their way to Puerto Rico. Shawn an Belle were hand-in-hand as the plane took off, and for the first time Belle felt a sort of closure with her mom. She turned to Shawn and said, “I love you.” Shawn was taken by surprise but smiled back and said, “I love you, too.”

Joined: October 17th, 2004, 8:41 pm

February 1st, 2005, 2:52 am #8

A Shawn and Belle Fanfic. This fic is Rated R.

this is my first fic... hope you like it... i disclaim... (thanks to holly, steph, and megan for their help and inspiration)
Chapters 8 - 14

Chapter Eight

After joining the mile high club on their way to Puerto Rico, Shawn and Belle enjoyed a week full of relaxing, sight-seeing, eating, and of course countless hours enjoying each other’s love. They re-visited the exact spot where they shared their first kiss and even went to the spot where they almost made love, but this time they actually did it. Belle couldn’t have asked for a better honeymoon. As they recovered from their last activity in the mile high club, they prepared for going back to reality and Salem.

When they got down from the plane, their friends and family were waiting for them ready to welcome them back home.

After greeting the family, Belle ran to Mimi and gave her a hug. “I missed you Mimi! I don’t know what I would do without you!”

“Ready to prepare for my wedding? Rex and I want it to be in November, a fall wedding.”

“Oh my gosh, I can already see it…” said Belle excitedly. And they walked off going non-stop with their ideas.

“Hey man!” Rex gave his cousin a welcome punch in the arm. “Hey Rex. Its good to be home.”

“You can say that again, we’ve missed you both. Let’s have dinner at our place tonight.”

“Sounds good to me, I’m exhausted.” And they walked off to their cars.

November rolls by and the memories of the year past flood the minds of so many people in Salem. The death anniversaries of Abe, Jack, and Maggie pass by and their loved ones mourn for their losses, but everyone bands together to draw in strength from one another. A week before the death anniversary of Caroline, it was time for Rex and Mimi’s wedding. It was nice to have something to look forward to amongst all the sadness and pain. Mimi looked gorgeous in a three-quarter sleeved, square-neck dress and Rex looked drop dead handsome in a tux with a burnt orange cumber bun. All the ladies looked gorgeous in their iridescent burnt orange dresses and sheer shawls. Rex and Mimi chose to have an outdoor wedding, and it was really beautiful with the changing colors of the trees surrounding them.

It was a lovely ceremony with Belle as the Maid of Honor and Shawn as the Best Man. Even though Rex and Shawn had a rough relationship in the past, they had become the best of friends in the past few months. It was weird, but everyone had been overcome with this immense feeling for sticking with family. It was a harsh reality but tragedy brought people together, especially family.

After the reception had faded Shawn turned to Belle and said, “You know all this marital bliss is making me remember our happy day. What do you say we have a little re-enactment at home, Mrs. Brady?”

“I’m game if you are.” And she gave him a wink and led him to their car…

…A few weeks pass by …

The Brady’s remember the beloved Caroline Brady and Cassie Brady in a lovely service at St. Luke’s. Their death anniversaries brought much sorrow especially to Bo, Rex, and Grandpa Shawn, men who had lost very important women in their lives.

Thanksgiving arrives and Shawn and Belle spend their first one as a couple with family at the Brady residence. Bo, Hope, John, Shawn Sr., Julie, Mickey, Lexie, Theo, Jennifer, Abby, and the newest addition to the family- Trevor, Rex and Mimi were all there to celebrate family and be thankful for all their blessings. They all went around the table each stating what they were thankful for and when it came time for Shawn and Belle to express their own blessings, Shawn said, “I’m thankful for the chance to spend time with family and friends because life is really too short and it shouldn’t be wasted. I’m also thankful for finally marrying the love of my life, Belle Black.” He had his arm around her and he chose that time to lean over and give her a sweet kiss. “Your turn, Honey.”

Belle sighed and said, “This morning, I really thought about what I had to be thankful for. In this past year we’ve all suffered dearly with the loss of soo many loved ones, but I too am soo thankful for the family I have now. I’m incredibly thankful for my husband, Shawn,” she looked at him lovingly and then turned to everyone else, “and I’m thankful for all these healthy people in this room because I’ve never felt so loved by so many people in my whole life.”

Everyone took their turns and soon they stuffed their stomachs with turkey, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie. Everything was soo delicious! And that night Shawn and Belle showed each other just how thankful they were for each other…

A Month Rolls By…

Its December 21 and with only 4 more days until Christmas Belle is just about done with her Christmas shopping at Salem Place when she sits down on a bench. She was so tired from running all over the place trying to get the perfect gifts for everyone. These holidays were so tough on everyone. She constantly saw items that she thought would be perfect gifts for deceased relatives and it brought memories flooding back like crazy. As she sat on the bench she contemplated how her mother had the character to kill all those people. She had been one of the most respected women of Salem. It still baffled Belle and it was something that she had accepted she would never understand. Marlena was going to receive the death penalty but Belle pleaded for her to just receive life in prison, not as a softer punishment, but so that Marlena could live each and every day of the rest of her life thinking about how she ruined her family. Death would be too easy, she would be told the exact time of her death with the chance to say goodbye to loved ones. Belle wasn’t going to allow her to have this luxury; Marlena didn’t give her victims enough time to say good-bye so why should she be given that privilege? No, she was going to live everyday knowing that her family lives on without her just perfectly fine. Belle didn’t have any intention of going to see her… not after the fallout before her departure with Shawn to Puerto Rico for their honeymoon.

But Belle shook her head, this was not a good way to spend a perfectly good morning to get errands done. She quickly got up, but had to steady herself, “I guess I was sitting there longer than I thought and I got up too fast.” She let out a sigh and continued her shopping spree. She still wasn’t sure what to get Shawn…

When she got home she had finished getting presents for everyone except Shawn. She had run out of ideas. She yawned and said to herself, “A good nap will prolly help me to think better. I’ll just lay down on the couch and catch a little shut-eye…”

Belle woke up to the smell of something cooking in the kitchen. She had to look twice but it was Shawn, he was cooking. She looked at the time at noticed she had slept for almost 3 hours…she sighed and said to herself, “Guess I was more tired than I thought.” She walked over to Shawn and looked over his shoulder to see what he was cooking.

“Hey beautiful,” Shawn said as he turned around and kissed his wife, “you seemed pretty tired when I walked in earlier form work. You get lots of Christmas shopping done?”

“Yup, all done.” She said, holding back the minor detail that she had yet to find a gift for him.

“You’re amazing, you know that?” he said as he finished cook up their dinner. Belle just smiled back in return.

They ate dinner and then headed up to bed. They watched some TV and then just cuddled with each other. Belle asked how Shawn’s day at the law office was and he proceeded to tell her about his latest case, but it must have bored her to tears because when Shawn asked for her opinion she was asleep. He then decided to juts turn out the lights and get some rest himself.

The next morning Belle woke up to find a hand-written note from Shawn on his pillow.


I didn’t want to wake you. I’ll call you later…

I love you,

Bell smiled and then suddenly had this urge to throw-up. After she had finished her business in the bathroom she figured it might have been something she ate yesterday. She opened the refrigerator but then glanced at the calendar one more time. She missed something very important a couple weeks ago…she said to herself, “Could I be-?…Oh my God, what if I am?” She quickly closed the door of the fridge and went back upstairs to put on some sweats and grab her car keys. She was going to the nearest drugstore.

When she came back she took the test and waited impatiently for the results. Thank goodness she had taken these few days off from work. She heard the timer ring and then she ran to the bathroom to see the results…

With a newfound joy she smiled and giggled to herself saying, “I know exactly what to give Shawn for Christmas!”

She ran a couple more errands that day at Salem Place and went to the grocery store, she had to start eating good now. The rest of the day she spent wrapping presents, she was glowing with a huge grin across her face as she wrapped all her presents up. “Oh, I can’t wait to tell Shawn!” and she let out a little squeal.

On Christmas Day, Shawn and Belle woke up a little late. They had been up all night enjoying the holiday spirit. Then they went down the stairs, with Belle riding Shawn’s back wearing one of his old shirts.

As soon as they got down they started exchanging gifts. Belle was so excited when she handed Shawn an envelope. He raised his eyebrow and asked, “Whats this?”

Belle said with a big smile plastered on her face, “Just open it.”

Thinking it was some kind of certificate or something Shawn opened the envelope and took out the card, it read ‘Merry Christmas Daddy’. Shawn looked up at Belle, “Belle, does this mean what I think it does?” And when Belle nodded eagerly Shawn picked her up and swung her around, “I’m gonna be a Daddy? You’re pregnant?!? Oh my God, Belle! How?!? When?!? Acutally I know how but… When?”

“Well, if I’m right it probably happened when we re-enacted our wedding night the night of Rex and Mimi’s wedding.”

“Oh my God! This is soo crazy! This is the best Christmas present ever Belle!”

“So you’re okay with all of this?” Belle knew Shawn wanted to have kids eventually, but she never asked him how soon they would start so she was a little nervous with what his reaction would be.

“Of course I am, Belle! I know we haven’t really discussed having kids yet, but there’s nothing I would want to do more than to have kids with you.” He went up to her and kissed her, “I love you,” and then he bent down and kissed Belle’s tummy saying, “Daddy loves you, too.”

Belle’s heart melted right then and there. She knew she had nothing to worry about. Everything was going to be just fine now that they would have a family of their own.

Chapter Nine

“Shawn its frickin’ HOT in here!” Belle was lying on the couch trying to get comfortable but she wasn’t successful, her belly had gotten really big in the past six months.

“Honey, the air conditioner is at 55 degrees. I’m getting kinda cold actually…” Shawn tried to say it in the gentlest tone in order to save himself from getting yelled at.

“Well, I don’t see you carrying 20 extra pounds, do you?” Belle knew Shawn was trying to do everything possible do meet her every need, but she was so frustrated already. She wanted to have the baby already! She changed attitudes and then looked at Shawn with her big blue eyes, “Look, Shawn I’m sorry I just snapped at you. I really didn’t mean it. I just feel so…bleck!” She added a flail with her arms and her tongue stuck out in disgust.

“I know babe,” He thought it was safe to go near her again so he sat down beside her and hugged his beautiful wife. “I love you, you know that right? And I just love the fact that inside that tummy,” Shawn rubbed Belle’s stomach, “is a beautiful baby who will be loved more than anything in this world.”

Suddenly Belle’s heart began to melt and she softened her expression and said, “Awww, Shawn that’s so sweet. I love you, too.” The heat was forgotten and Shawn and Belle cuddled with each other with one of Shawn’s arms embracing his wife the other gently patted the tummy that held his baby.

Suddenly Shawn felt a little pressure on Belle’s tummy. “Shawn, that baby is kicking! Did you feel that?” The baby had been kicking for a few weeks now but Shawn had always seemed to miss it.

“Oh my gosh! That’s soo cool, and kinda weird feeling in a way… good weird.” He rested his hand and watched in awe as their little baby made its presence known.

The next day, Belle was scheduled for an appointment with Dr. Bader at the hospital, just a check-up to see how the baby was doing.

Dr. Bader entered the examining room and cheerfully said, “Good Morning Shawn, Good Morning Belle! Let’s see how things are going with Baby Brady, shall we?”

Shawn leaned over holding Belle’s hand with one of his own and embracing her head with the other, “Yeah, let’s see how this baby is doing.”

Belle smiled lovingly at Shawn and they watched Dr. Bader prepare for a sonogram. After the gel was applied on Belle’s tummy, Dr. Bader started to feel around for the baby.

“And there’s your baby Shawn and Belle.” Shawn and Belle were intently watching the screen at the sight of their baby. During the first a couple visits Belle would sometimes go home in tears because she wouldn’t be able to locate the fetus on the sonogram as quick as Shawn. She envied Shawn at first but then after Shawn patiently showed her how to find it, she never questioned where her baby was again. In fact, Belle could almost immediately locate all the physical features of the baby.

“I know I’ve asked you this before but would you like to know if it’s a boy or a girl?”

Belle looked up at Shawn and they both smiled and shook their heads. Shawn said, “With all due respect Dr. Bader, we would like to find out when the baby comes. We don’t want to have any expectations or anything, all we want is a healthy baby.”

“I completely understand. And don’t worry Baby Brady is doing just fine. Belle, I’m just gonna do a couple more check-ups and then you’ll be free to go.”

“Ok, sounds good to me.” Dr. Bader finished up her duties and then said, “See you in a month Belle!”

“Thanks Doctor!” Shawn graciously said as he helped his wife to the exit door.

“You know, Belle… we haven’t really thought of names yet.”

Belle looked up at him with a twinkle in her eye and Shawn quickly said, “Oh my gosh, are you trying to imply that you’ve already got the names of our first six children?”

“Now what would make you think I would do that?” Belle said innocently.

“Well, you plan everything, Belle.”

Belle giggled and replied, “Actually there were times that I thought of names for my kids, but then I knew that one day I would have kids with you and I wanted to pick out names with you. I didn’t want to set my mind into thinking my first child’s name was gonna be this and my second child’s name is gonna be that… I wanted it to be our decision.”

“Really, Belle?”

“Really, really Shawn.” She said smiling.

“Well, Baby Brady is kinda growing on me, we could call him or her B.B. for short. How’s that?” Shawn said with a huge grin across his face.

Belle playfully punched him in the chest and said, “I can’t believe you said that after my whole big thing about wanting to include you. You’re a jerk you know that?” Belle said as she pinched him.

“A jerk, eh?”

“Yup, but you’re my jerk,” she gave him a wink and then got on her toes and kissed him. Once she dropped down she said, “But if you think for one second that I’m gonna name our kid Baby Brady, you’re input will be immediately terminated, got it mister?”

“Yes, ma’am.” They then walked out with Shawn’s loving arms embracing Belle’s shoulders.

They went to the pub for lunch and started discussing names and it was becoming quote the discussion…

“Shawn, I want the names to be significant. I don’t just want any old plain name that we thought sounded nice. I want one that has deep meaning.”

“I know, I know, you’re all about tradition.”


They both sat there for a few moments in silence and then suddenly Shawn looked up and said, “I got it! You’re gonna love them Belle.”

“Well? Don’t leave me hanging… what has Shawn-D, the genius come up with?” Belle silently feared that Shawn had somehow put together a couple of their relatives’ names, thinking it was an awesome idea. But Belle didn’t want a name like that.

Shawn leaned over and whispered his idea into her ears… Belle, shocked, looked at her husband.

“What? You don’t like them, huh?”

“Oh my God Shawn, No! They are PERFECT! I can’t believe you came up with those!”

Shawn breathed a sigh of relief and then said, “Oh good, for a moment there I thought you were gonna hate them.”

“No, I LOVE them!”

“Well, once I started thinking of tradition, I immediately thought of those names.”

“Well, we still have to come up with middle names but I think that we are prepared for either a boy or a girl! And Shawn…?”


“Can we just hold off on telling people what the names might be until after the baby is born? I just don’t want to tell everyone just yet.”

“That’s fine. I think we should hold off on the names too.” And with that he kissed his wife on her forehead and then sipped the last of his iced tea.

“You ready to go?” Shawn asked Belle.

“Yeah, I think I need to lie down…getting more and more tired lately.” Shawn then helped his wife up and they left the pub and went home.

3 months later on August 8, 2004…

Shawn and Belle went to Bo and Hope’s for dinner. They had been going there a little more often lately because Belle couldn’t work her way around the kitchen, she was due any day now. And Shawn sometimes was exhausted from a day at the office. They still lived at the loft, they decided that they would find a bigger place later on, but for now, their little family unit would be cozy there.

“Mom, Dad? We’re here!” Shawn came inside with Belle in his arms.

“Hey! How’s our Sailor Man doing?” Bo said as he gave his son a big manly hug.

“Pretty good.”

“And how about you Belle, everything doing okay with our first grandchild?”

“Oh yes, he or she is definitely keeping Mommy busy.”

“Hi Belle!” Hope came rushing through the kitchen doors to give Belle a hug, “How are you? Looks like you might have the baby any day now, huh?”

“Yup. I’m ready, too. I think Shawn is too. He’s probably had enough of my whining and weird cravings.” She looked at Shawn with a smile.

Shawn replied, “Oh Mom, Belle is just like you… Beautiful and feisty.”

Hope with her famous expression of lifting one of her eyebrows then said, “Oh really? Well then, Belle, you nag this one right here,” Hope grabbed Shawn’s forearm tightly, “to your heart’s content.”

“You got it, Mom.” Belle said with a mischievous gleam in her eye.

“You better watch what you say Shawn, never underestimate the power of a Brady woman!” Bo then nudged his son.

“Well, I bet you’re both hungry so why don’t you get your brother Shawn, he’s playing outside. Take him in and wash his hands so that we can eat. Belle you come with me and make yourself comfortable.” Hope then led Belle, with Bo following, to the kitchen where she had set up the table for dinner.

Shawn went to their backyard and found Zach playing with his fire truck. “Hey, buddy!”

“Shawn!” Zach got up and ran to hug his older brother. Shawn really missed his little brother, he was getting so big.

“I missed you big guy.” Shawn said giving Zach a big squeeze and a kiss on the cheek.

“I miss you, too Shawn.”

“You hungry, big guy?” Zach nodded his head, “Okay lets go inside and wash our hands so we can eat.” He then dropped Zach to the ground so that they could walk hand-in-hand into the house. Shawn then realized it wouldn’t be long until one day he would be able to play with a son or daughter of his own.

When Shawn and Zach entered the kitchen, Shawn was carrying a giggling Zach like an airplane and was saying, “Zoom! Zoom! The Zach plane has arrived and he needs lots of fuel!”

Belle laughed as she watched Shawn with Zach. She knew he would be a great father, she never doubted that he would love their kids to death.

“But wait, he must land over in Belle-ville before eating.” He brought Zach to Belle’s side and then said, “Zach, give Belle a big hug.”

“Hi Zach!” Zach then gave Belle a big squeeze while Belle gave him a kiss to the forehead.

Shawn put Zach down in a chair where he would have his brother on one side and his wife on the other. “Ready, to eat bud?”

Zach nodded and said, “Uh huh!”

They all sat down to dinner and ate to their heart’s content. They were soon eating dessert when Belle got up to use the bathroom. On her way back she stopped in the doorway saying, “Shawn… umm, could you come here a minute?”

Shawn looked at Belle and could see that her face was pale. He got up quickly and went to Belle’s side. “What happened sweetie? Is it time?”

Belle looked at Shawn straight in the eyes and said, “My water just broke, its time.”

Shawn kissed Belle and said, “It gonna be ok, I’ll tell Mom and Dad and we’ll go over to the hospital right away.” Belle nodded without saying anything.

“Mom, Dad, Belle’s in labor we have to go to the hospital.”

“Why don’t I take you to the hospital, son. That way you can calm Belle down. And I’ll feel more safe because you’re not in the right state of mind to be driving.”

“Actually that sounds good Dad. But can we take our car? Belle’s stuff is inside and that way later, if I need to get something from home I can go an get it.”

“Sure that’s fine. Your Mom will follow in a little bit, she’ll probably take Zach over to Julie’s.” He sighed and then said, “You ready son?”

Shawn ran his fingers through his hair and took a deep breath. Hope then went over to her son and gave him a hug. He looked at his mom and said, “I’m gonna be a Daddy tonight.”

Hope looked at her son and said, “Yup, and a fine one at that. Now go and calm Belle down, she’s probably just as scared as you are.”

Shawn nodded his head and said, “Ok. Thanks Mom. I’ll see you at the hospital, right?”

“Definitely.” And then Shawn went out the kitchen doors to help his Dad who was helping Belle get to the car.

“I got her Dad.”

Bo then looked at his son and said, “Let’s Roll! The Brady family is just about to get a little bigger!”

Chapter Ten

When Bo, Shawn, and Belle arrived at the hospital, Belle was immediately taken into a room. She was hooked up to all the necessary monitors, while Shawn held her hand as her contractions became closer together. Belle had heard stories of being in labor for hours on end and was really hoping she wouldn’t be like that. But the doctors said that according to the way Belle’s contractions were coming along, her wishes were going to come true. Hopefully they would see their baby in a few hours.

Belle felt a contraction and squeezed Shawn’s hand really tightly. Shawn winced at how tightly Belle squeezed but knew better than to show his pain. He knew that she was in a far worse position. “Belle, remember what we learned in Lamaze class? Breathe…” Belle nodded but let out a small scream.

When the contraction passed she looked at Shawn and said, “Shawn, it really hurts!” She threw her head back on the pillow in frustration.

Shawn brushed the hair out of Belle’s face and kissed her saying, “You’re doing great honey, I know you can do this. Just remember I love you, ok?” Belle nodded her head and then felt a strong pain again.

In about an hour, Belle was going through ice chips like crazy and fortunately Shawn had managed to switch the hand he offered to Belle, otherwise he feared he wouldn’t be able to open his fist for days. On one of Shawn’s trips to the ice machine he stopped by the waiting room and saw that a small crowd had formed in the waiting area. Bo, Hope, John, Sami, Lucas, Brady, Chloe, Rex and Mimi were all waiting anxiously. When John saw Shawn, he went up to him and asked, “How’s my baby girl? How’s Izzy doing?”

“She’s just fine John. The doctors say she’s doing great. Maybe another hour or so.” John breathed a sigh of relief and then Shawn turned to everyone in the waiting room.

“Thanks for coming out everyone. I know I really appreciate it and Belle does too. Belle is doing great, the doctors say that maybe in an hour she’ll be ready to have the baby. I’ll come and give you updates when I can.” And then Shawn disappeared to find Belle.

In a little while Belle was in a tremendous amount of pain. When offered the epidural, Belle jumped on it. She was going to take the opportunity and use it to her advantage. It really helped and for Shawn and Belle’s own sanity, everything was just a little bit calmer.

In between contractions Shawn looked into Belle’s eyes and said, “Can you believe it Belle? We’re gonna be parents in a short while.”

Belle looked up at Shawn and he could see tears forming in her eyes, “What, Babe? Why are you crying?”

“Shawn, what if I’m not a good mother? What happens when I don’t know what to do? I mean I’ve babysat but I’ve always just given the kids back to their parents at the end of he day. Shawn, what if-“ Shawn silenced her with a kiss to her lips.

“Belle, you’re going to be a great mom, I know it. I’ve never thought twice about it. And Belle, no one is perfect, even though you get pretty close, I’m sure that you’ll learn as time goes along. And sometimes you just have to follow what you think is best.”

“But Shawn, I thought my Mom was a GREAT mother, but look what happened to her. I’m her daughter Shawn, what if I become like her?”

Suddenly Shawn realized what Belle was afraid of. He tried to calm her with his words, “Belle, you’re not-“ His comment was interrupted by another contraction.

“You’re doing great, Belle.” She squeezed his hand, “Almost there… There you go, all done.” Belle took a deep breath and then looked at Shawn.

He continued by saying, “You’re a completely different person Belle. You got all of her good traits and you will be a wonderful mother.”

At that moment the Dr. Bader came in and said, “Lemme see how you’re progressing Belle.” She examined Belle and then said, “You’re fully dilated, Belle. We’re going to transfer you to the delivery room. You ready?”

Belle nodded as Shawn kissed her forehead. He looked at her and said, “This is it honey.”

Belle was wheeled out on her bed to the delivery room and then Shawn quickly ran to tell everyone in the waiting room that it was time.

He ran back to Belle’s side and held her hand. They were in the delivery room and then Belle prepared to begin the final process in bringing their child into their lives.

“Okay Belle, I need you to start pushing.” The doctor said.

Belle tried with all her might with each push and Shawn held her, whispering words of encouragement.

“Good Job Belle, you’re doing great.” And after a little while he doctor said, “The baby is crowning so a few more pushes and you’ll have your baby.”

Belle breathed deeply, she looked at Shawn and the tears started coming down her face, “Its too hard Shawn, I don’t know if I can do it. I need your help.”

“Belle, honey, look me in my eyes,” he tilted her head so that he was looking straight into her, “Belle, I know you can do this. You’re one of the strongest people I know. I love so much. Come on, you can do this, just think of how much this a baby is going to be loved. You can do this, Belle. I’m right here, just take my hand and bring this baby to our world.”

“Are you ready Belle?” the doctor asked.

Belle nodded and then she took a deep breath and pushed with every last bit of strength that she had. And soon a baby’s cry could be heard.

“Congratulations Shawn and Belle, you have a beautiful baby girl!”

Shawn saw his baby for the first time and was in awe of both his wife and daughter. Shawn softly said that word to himself, Daughter - he had his little girl. He was in a daze when a soft touch to his face brought him back to reality.

“Shawn, she’s beautiful. Thank you.” And she leaned up and kissed Shawn.

“No, thank you Belle. You made me the happiest man on earth when you married me but this is just-“ Shawn was at a loss for words, “I love you.”

The nurse brought their daughter to them and then gave their baby girl to Belle.

Belle rocked her daughter in her arms and then said, “Hey precious. I’m your Mommy and this is your Daddy. And we love you soo much.”

Shawn, with one arm around Belle, took his other arms and touched his daughter, “Hey little one, I think your Mommy has just met her biggest competition because you are the best thing that ever happened to me.” He looked over to Belle and said, “She’s perfect.”

After the family of three shared a few moments together, Baby Girl Brady was taken to the nursery. After Shawn escorted his daughter he went back to check up on his wife but found that she was sound asleep. So he decided to break the news to the family in the waiting room.

He walked out to meet the family and everyone got up to their feet as they saw Shawn walk in with a huge grin across his face.

John asked, “So?”

“We have a perfect little girl!” everyone erupted in cheers and everyone started congratulating Shawn. Shawn then gave a few more details, “She’s a beautiful, seven and a half pound, twenty inch long, baby girl. And Belle was amazing, too. She is resting right now but our baby is in the nursery. She’s got my hair color but she’s got Belle’s eyes.”

Then everyone in the waiting room, a few at a time, went to see the baby. Soon Belle woke up, and gave their baby her first feeding. When they were done, Shawn wheeled her out with the baby in her arms to formally introduce their daughter to everyone.

As soon as they came out Shawn said, “Everyone we have someone we would like you to meet.” He looked at Belle and gave her the honors to tell everyone her name.

“Everybody, this is Allissa Kaylynn.” Belle proceeded to explain the significance of the name they chose, “Shawn and I are both big fans of tradition and we wanted to name our child after people who are very dear to us, but we also wanted to change it ever so slightly in order to give it its own uniqueness. Allissa comes from Alice and Kaylynn was inspired by Caroline’s name.”

The story touched the hearts of all who were there and even brought a tear to Hope’s eye. “I love it.” Then she went up to her granddaughter and picked her up. Shawn and Belle watched as Hope lovingly held her and whispered, “Hi, you know you’ve got quite a reputation to hold with that name little one, but you just made your Mommy and Daddy the happiest people on earth so you’ve already got a head start.”

A couple days later Shawn prepared to take his two favorite girls home. As they left the hospital they thanked the doctors and nurses and then baby Allissa was prepared to go home. They got into the car with Belle in the backseat next the car seat that held their daughter; this is how it would be for a while.

“Shawn?” Belle asked as she fastened her seatbelt.

“Yes?” Shawn looked back in response to Belle.

“Could we pass by St. Luke’s before we go home? I want to take Allissa there before we go home.”

“Sure, we’ll pass by there and we can pass by the cemetery, too.”

They drove off and soon arrived at St. Luke’s. Shawn got out of his car and opened the door to help Belle out and then reached to get the removable baby carrier that held his daughter. The three of them walked into the church and then sat down in the second pew of the church.

They sat in silent prayer and then Belle said, “God, we would like to present to you our beautiful daughter Allissa Kaylynn. We would like to thank you for blessing us with this wonderful gift and we hope that you will continue to guide us as we bring her up into this world.” She looked at Shawn and he said, “We ask that you guide her and help her to make the right decisions in life and please keep her safe from all harm. Amen.” They both made the sign of the cross and then lit a candle near the side of the altar for their daughter.

They left St. Luke’s and then went to the cemetery to present Allissa to her namesake, Alice, and to her great-great-grandfather, Tom. When they arrived to the tombstones, Belle offered a few flowers she had picked and then said, “Hi Great-Gran. We just wanted to share with you our new bundle of joy. We know that you will guide her and take care of her, especially when we can’t. And we pray that we can pass down your traditions in our own family.” Belle leaned next to Shawn who was holding the baby carrier.

He said, “Yea, we wish that you were both here so that you could hold her but we trust that you will hold her when she needs help.” And just then a slight breeze passed by, as if in response to Shawn and Belle’s requests. They both got the shivers but instantly knew that the great Tom and Alice were right there with them assuring that they would watch over Allissa.

They soon left and then went home. To their surprise, a little welcome party was waiting for them. Hope was the mastermind and had decorated the house for Belle and Allissa’s homecoming.

After all the hugs and everyone had admired Allissa, Belle began yawning on the couch.

“Belle, honey why don’t you lie down for a while. I’ll take care of Allissa, don’t worry about her. Maybe I’ll even teach Shawn a thing or two.” Hope said this with a wink and loving pat on Belle’s back.

“Are you sure Hope? I can take Allissa with me. We can both lie down.”

“No,” Hope shook her head, “I insist. You better get used to his because Allissa is going to get tons of attention from her Grandma, especially since I never got the privilege of having a little girl.”

Belle giggled and then said, “Alright, but wake me up if you need anything. If she’s hungry I made a couple bottles earlier, they’re in the diaper bag.”

“Ok, you just go get some rest. I’ve got everything under control.” Hope led Belle to the stairs and watched as she made her way to the bedroom. Shawn approached his mom and asked, “Is Belle okay?”

“She’s fine Shawn. Just a little tired. You however, are coming with me. There are a few things I need to teach you.” Hope started talking to her son as she led him to get Allissa from her baby carrier which was the center of everyone’s attention in the middle of the living room.

“Ok, everyone, Belle is upstairs trying to get some rest and this little one is due for a bottle so I think its time that everyone start heading home.” Everyone heeded Hope’s suggestion and started to gather their things. Before they all left, they all congratulated Shawn again and they all made arrangements to come by and visit at another time.

After everyone left, Bo started to help put things away as Hope took her granddaughter into her arms with a blanket. Shawn walked up to his mom’s side and observed her very carefully.

“Okay, Shawn. I know you know the basics of supporting the head, how to feed, burp, change the diapers, because I’m sure you remember lots of things from when JT was a really young baby. But now, when this little girl cries, you can’t just hand her over to Belle. Now you’re the Daddy and people will be handing her to you. This one already loves you so much, and all you have to do is be extremely comfortable and gentle with her. Babies can sense when someone is stiff by the way you hold them. When you don’t know what to do, just follow your instincts. And if you make a mistake, don’t sweat it. It’s ok, just learn from every experience and savor every single moment.” Hope rocked Allissa back and forth and then grabbed for the bottle.

Shawn stepped in and said, “Mom can I do it?”

Hope smiled and said, “Of course you can. Here you go,” Hope gently transferred Allissa to Shawn’s arms and watched as he carefully held her in his arms. Hope couldn’t believe that her son was now holding a daughter of his own, but what scared her the most was that she knew that he would make a great Dad and that he probably wouldn’t need that much of her help. She handed him the bottle as he sat down on the couch to feed Allissa.

When Shawn offered the bottle Allissa’s little mouth eagerly sucked on the offered nipple. And as she drank her bottle Shawn just watched her in awe. He even kissed her tiny forehead while breathing in her soft, sweet smell. If it was even possible, she smelled better than any other baby Shawn had held. He sighed and said, “Shh, don’t tell Mommy but I think Daddy’s got a new girl in his life… you. You are my Princess. You’re Daddy’s Little Princess, and you better get used to it.” He looked up at his Mom and said, “Mom, how is it possible that you can love someone enough to die for them and you’ve been with them for a few days?”

Hope smiled and said, “That’s one of the greatest things about being parents Shawn. The moment you hold or even see your children you right away are filled with this incredible feeling to love.”

Shan looked back down to his Princess and as Allissa’s bottle finished, her eyes began to droop and her breathing started to steady.

“Shawn, make sure you burp her before she goes to sleep. She just drank a lot of milk.”

“Ok, Mom.” Shawn then lifted Allissa to burp her even though he didn’t want to disrupt her dozing off. In a couple minutes Shawn heard a soft burp and then positioned his daughter on his chest. Her head rested right on top of his heart and soon she drifted off to sleep.

The scene nearly melted Hope’s heart and she grabbed Bo and very quietly snuck out of the loft as they saw that Shawn was beginning to drift off to sleep.


And so about an hour later, that was the scene that Belle saw as she walked downstairs. Her husband was in a deep sleep and their daughter was sound asleep on her father’s chest. Belle’s heart nearly melted, but she quickly thought to take a picture, for it truly was a Kodak moment. After she took the picture she sat down next to Shawn and cuddled with him. Shawn sleepily opened his eyes and kissed Belle’s head. She looked up at him and said, “I love you.” And Shawn said, “I love you, too.”

Chapter Eleven

A couple months go by…

Shawn lay awake in their bed while Belle tried to calm a crying Alli. It was around midnight…

“Shh, its ok Alli, Mommy’s right here.” Belle was rocking Alli in her arms but nothing seemed to work. Alli was crying and her cries pierced Belle’s heart. She turned to Shawn saying, “Shawn, how come she isn’t stopping? I don’t think she’s sick, we already checked. And I know she’s not hungry, she spits up the milk that I try to give to her.”

“I don’t know Belle.” He sat up in their bed and ran his fingers through his hair. “Lemme try Belle.” He got up and Belle gave Alli to Shawn. Now it was Shawn’s turn to try and calm Alli down. They knew about the midnight and early morning feedings but they weren’t prepared for this. Shawn was silently praying and wishing that Alli would calm down, he and Alli had this special connection. Usually Alli liked being held by her Dad, but now she was still screaming.

“Shawn, what do we do now? Did we do something wrong?” Belle started to become teary-eyed as she sat on the bed.

“Hey, hey, hey… Stop that Belle,” Shawn said softly, “We are doing just fine. Why don’t we just go to the hospital and let the doctors check her. They’re not going to tell us things we already know.”

“Ok. I’ll get her bag together and we can head over there.”

“Ok. I’ll put her in her carrier and we’ll leave as soon as I get some clothes on.” And in about 5 minutes they were heading down the elevator to their car.

They arrived at the hospital and then went in to see a doctor after waiting for about 20 minutes. Alli would sometimes stop crying for a few moments only to start again. Shawn and Belle were desperate and tried to do everything they could in order to satisfy their daughter but nothing worked.

They went into the doctor’s office and as Alli was examined in Shawn’s arms, Dr. Johnson said to them, “Well she doesn’t have a virus or anything like that.” Shawn and Belle breathed a sigh of relief. And then Belle said, “I sense a but coming.” And the doctor smiled and said, “Yes, there is a but. Alli here, seems to be a colicky baby. It means that she will be crying a lot during the night. It happens to some babies, but not as a result of something done wrong by the parents, it is just something that applies to random babies.”

“What can we do?” Shawn asked.

“Well for now… there’s not really much you can do. Sometimes rocking her will calm her down for a short while, sometimes a pacifier might soothe her for little bit, and sometimes talking to her in a soothing voice might help. You will just have to be very patient with her. There’s not really a medicine that I can prescribe for this, but maybe you could give her a little Tylenol to help her go to sleep once in a while. You did good bringing her in. Concern, is a sign of very good parenting.”

“Well thank you doctor.” Belle said in reply.

“This usually will last a few months. Bring her back in about a month and then we’ll see how she’s doing.”

“Ok, we will.” And with that Shawn helped Belle out of the door. Alli had then chose that time to drift off to sleep and on the ride home Belle fell asleep too. By the time they got home Shawn had about two and a half hours of sleep before he had to head off to work. He was exhausted but knew that he would do anything for his girls…

Alli stopped being colicky in a couple months and the three of them began to sleep a little easier. Belle had decided when she was about seven months pregnant that she would stop working and become a stay home Mom. She wasn’t about to miss the joys of being a Mom.

Her and Alli would go on daily walks to the park, watch a little Sesame Street in the morning, and sometimes Belle would just talk to Alli. They would go around the loft and Belle would describe things to her and then sometimes after a nap they would play peek-a-boo. And around five o’clock, when Belle was up to it, she would put Alli in her swing and place her by the kitchen in order to cook dinner. And the whole time Belle would cook, she would tell Alli exactly what she was doing. Belle and Alli had an inseparable bond, but when Shawn came home, Belle knew better than to take away from their time together.

“Honey, I’m home!” One day Shawn came home and decided to find out what it felt like to say those words. He heard Belle’s giggles from the kitchen and dodged Alli’s swing to kiss his wife from behind as she slaved away on the stove. But as soon as he kissed her he put his briefcase on the counter and went to his little girl.

“And how’s my Princess doing?” Shawn picked her up and blew raspberries into her cheeks. Alli immediately was giggling and smiling, happy to have her Daddy home. As Shawn played with her he asked Belle, “So honey, what did you girls do today?”

“Oh well the usual, we woke up, ate, took a bath, went for our daily walk, came home and watched Sesame Street, ate, went down for a nap, played a little and then we started cooking dinner. How was your day?”

“Sounds like fun. Busy day at the office, we’ve got this new case, its pretty big. But I won’t bore you with all the details.”

“Well, dinner’s ready. Can you two set the table?”

“Sure!” and with one arm carrying Alli, Shawn got all the necessary items for them to have dinner, including a jar of baby food for Alli and a bib. They all sat down to dinner, with Shawn holding Alli in one arm and eating with the other and with Belle feeding Alli in between her bites of dinner.

“You know, Christmas is just right around the corner, I better start shopping and decorating for the holidays.” Belle said.

“It will be Alli’s first Christmas!”

“Shawn, are we going to be okay, money wise for the holidays?”

“Don’t worry hun, I’ve got it covered. We’ll have enough. It has to be special this year, and if it means I have to work a little overtime, then so be it.”

And the holidays were just as Shawn said they would be, special. They got a smaller Christmas tree than usual but at least they had one, they bought gifts for everyone but just watched their spending a little more carefully, they had each other and that’s what really mattered.

The ornaments were hung at Bo and Hope’s house in order to keep tradition, and a yellow and silver ornament with Alli’s name on it was added to the tree. There were lots of tears when ornaments of deceased loved ones were hung, but everyone knew that they too were there with them in spirit.

They spent Christmas Eve as family at the loft but agreed to spend Christmas Day at Bo and Hope’s. A group similar to the Thanksgiving before Alli arrived had gathered. There, Alli was showered with gifts by her adoring grandparents, and other family members. It was truly a day to be thankful family.

New Year’s Eve came and went… and yet another year had dawned upon Shawn and Belle. Alli was growing quickly and before they knew it, her first birthday rolled around in August …

Shawn had taken the day off from work in order to spend it with his wife and Princess. Shawn and Belle woke up a little earlier and just cuddled with each other.

“Shawn can you believe it? Our little Alli is turning one today!”

Shawn kissed her on her forehead, “I know, it’s so hard to believe that a year ago today we were at my parent’s house having dinner when we took you to the hospital.”

“Remember her first words Shawn? You know after the Da-yee and the Ma-mah” Belle smiled and looked up at him.

“Yup, she wanted to watch Sesame Street but it was late at night and she kept pointing to the TV saying ‘Bird! Bird! Da-yee, Bird!’” Shawn chuckled, “She wanted to see Big Bird so bad that after that night we bought Sesame Street tapes so that we could just pop them in whenever.”

“Yea…” Belle sighed, “It’s been a great year. Oooo and she took her first steps last week! I was soo excited that you were there too!”

“Yeah, me too. We were at the park and just playing when she got up to get the ball that had rolled away. It totally blew me away!”

“Well, now there’s no stopping her now. She already babbles a lot, I can tell she’s going to be a talkative one like her Aunt Mimi.”

“Oh I hope not too much like Meems,” Shawn laughed, “I love Meems, but sometimes she can talk your head off.”

“Well let’s not hope she talks that much. However, she does have a stubborn head like you!” Belle poked Shawn in the chest.

“Hey! That can be a good thing!” Shawn answered. Just then they good hear a noise coming from Alli’s crib. Shawn and Belle both got up and walked over to their daughter.

“Good Morning, Princess!” Shawn picked her up and kissed her forehead.

“Happy 1st Birthday, sweetie!” Belle said as she tickled Alli’s chin. Shawn and Belle took turns giving All their love and then gave her a bath and dressed her up to go to the park.

They spent the day, just the three of them enjoying each other’s company. That weekend there was a big party at Bo and Hope’s house for Alli it felt like half of Salem was there. Alli was the star of the show and was wobbling her way around the house, experimenting with her newfound ability to walk.

John walked up to his daughter to give her a hug and said, “She’s beautiful, Belle. Kinda reminds me of you when you were a little girl.”

“Aww, that’s so sweet Daddy. She’s my life. I would do anything for her. And she’s got Shawn wrapped around her little finger, too.”

“Oh yes, you see us Dad’s have a soft spot for our little girls. And no matter how big they get, they will always be Daddy’s Little Girl.”

“Oh yeah, Alli’s got a little outfit that says Daddy’s Little Girl written on it. Shawn feels so proud whenever she’s got that on. He loves her so much.”

“Izzy, I really hate to bring this up, especially now, but I just have to know, what are you going to tell her about her other grandma. I know you and your Mom, aren’t on speaking terms but how are you going to deal with this?”

Belle sighed and ran her finger through her hair, “Dad, not having Mom around has been one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in my life. Alli deserves to know all four of her grandparents, but Shawn and I have decided to hold off on telling her the complete truth until she’s older. For now, she will learn all the good that Marlena stood for. I want her to know that she was a great person. When she’s old enough we’ll tell her everything.”

“Fair enough. Why don’t we cut that cake, huh?”

“Sounds like a deal to me! Shawn!” Belle got his attention, “Can you help me bring out the cake?”

“Sure, honey.” And he motioned to Abby to keep an eye on Alli as they went to prepare the cake.

When the cake was ready they placed Alli oh her high chair and gave a mini cake to her to demolish. The candle was lit and everyone gathered to sing to the birthday girl.

“Happy Birthday to you… Happy Birthday to you… Happy Birthday dear ALLI! Happy Birthday to you!” Cameras went flashing as a Shawn and Belle tried to help Alli blow her cake, but she looked at them, confused. Finally, Shawn and Belle decided to blow the candle out together. They posed for a quick picture and left Alli to discover her cake. Belle cut slices of the bigger cake for everyone while Abby helped to pass them out. Alli had become quite the mess with frosting all over her face, and soon Shawn whisked her away to clean her up.

Later when most of the guests had left, Shawn placed a sleeping Alli in her car seat and helped Belle, Hope, Bo, and John clean up. Soon they all went home, for they were exhausted from celebrating.

Chapter Twelve

In the Spring of 2006, the Opera House was completed and Chloe came back to Salem to stay. And that June Brady and Chloe were married in a small, intimate wedding. It was a very lovely ceremony and was exactly what they both wanted. And after a honeymoon in Milan they came back and moved into a newly bought house on the outskirts of Salem.

Rex and Mimi were doing great with their business and also purchased a small home. They were happy with all their accomplishments and were seriously thinking about having kids in the next couple years.

December approached once again and Alli had grown to be an active 18-month-old girl. She tried to talk, but it all came out in broken sentences. Belle had baby-proofed the house because Alli was just curious about EVERYTHING. Belle loved her to death but a day with Alli was exhausting!

Another Christmas was on the horizon and in the back of Belle’s mind she envied Mimi and Chloe who were happily married and living in their own homes. Belle loved the loft but she never thought she would raise her kids there. She always had this fantasy that her and Shawn would buy a house with a yard where she could watch Alli play from inside the kitchen window. But with just Shawn’s salary and little money saved, they were in no position to splurge on something like a house.

However, on December 24, after Belle and Shawn had finished their breakfast, Shawn said, “I was planning to go to work today but I think I’ll just call in sick. I’ve been working in the office a lot lately and I just want to stay home with my girls.”

“Shawn, you know how much I would love for you to do that, but are you sure we’re going to be okay? You know financially? We are already in a very tight position. I’m thinking about going to work part-time again. Maybe I can work on something from here, that way I can still be with Alli.”

“Belle, trust me. We will be fine. In fact I think we should go for a drive today. Both of you are always trapped in here. Why don’t we just go out as a family?”

“Shawn, it’s freezing! What if Alli gets a cold!”

“Belle, I know this place that we can go to. We’ll be fine. Just bundle up and we’ll go. Okay?”

Belle looked at Shawn who was pleading with her, and his smile finally made her cave in, “Oh alright. I do love this time of year. The snow makes everything so magical. And it always reminds me of when you told me you loved me.”

“Best thing I’ve ever done!” Shawn then kissed her and said, “I love you Isabella Brady.”

“I love you too Shawn Douglas Brady.”

Then Shawn helped pack a bag for Alli while Belle struggled to keep Alli still while she put on all the necessary gear.

“Geesh, Belle how many jackets did you put on her? She looks so…,” Shawn tried to search for the word.

“Soo… what? Shawn? Warm?” She shot him a smile and a glare that made him say, “Beautiful.”

“Yeah right, Shawn. I know what you were thinking. You’ll thank me when we don’t end up next week with a sick baby.”

Shawn laughed as she gave him a loving punch to the abs. He then picked up Alli saying, “Come here Princess. Let’s go in the car. We’re going ‘bye-bye’!”

Alli’s eyes lit up. She loved going places. “Bye-Bye?”

Shawn watched her reaction and said while nodding his head, “Yup, we going bye-bye! But first Alli has to give Daddy a kiss.”

Alli took her tiny hands and put them on her Daddy’s face and gave Shawn a BIG, WET one. She still hadn’t mastered the whole smacking effect so it was more like an open mouth contact, a kind of kiss that caused most people to wipe all the extra saliva away. But to Shawn they were the best kisses on earth because they came from his little Princess. Alli then pointed to the door saying, “Go! Go! Daddy go!” She looked behind and searched for Belle, “Mommy, go!” And so Belle locked the door behind her and they all disappeared into the elevator.

As they were driving Shawn and Belle were singing nursery rhymes with Alli. Alli loved to sing, but Shawn and Belle had to sing with her, otherwise she got fussy.

After a round of Humpty Dumpty, Shawn slowed down to a residential area and pulled up to a driveway.

“Shawn, what are we doing here?”

“Honey, I just have to pick up something from a co-worker. I want you to come inside with me though. His name is Peter and he has a lovely wife named Irene, they don’t have any kids and have been dying to see Alli.”

“So this is your idea of an outing Shawn? Going to your co-worker’s house to pick something up? Honestly Shawn, sometimes I don’t know what to do with you.”

“Please?” He flashed her his smile in hopes that she would cave.

“Ugh, how can I say no to that. Alright, we’ll go in.” So he helped Belle out of the car and then carried Alli to the front door. An older man, around his fifties, welcomed them into the house and immediately Belle fell in love with him. He was so caring and when is wife came to the door, she could see that they were still very much in love by the way he held her and introduced her by saying, “Shawn, Belle I’d like you to meet the love of my life, Irene.”

Irene then stepped in and gave Shawn and Belle a warm hug. “Why don’t you sit-down. There’s some snacks in the living room.”

“Oh, you really didn’t have to. I hope we’re not imposing.” Belle softly said.

“Oh nonsense. We love company, it gets kind of lonely sometimes around here, especially during the holidays.” Irene then led Belle into the living room.

“Belle I’m going to go with Peter really fast, can you get Alli?”

“Yeah sure. Come here sweetie.” And Shawn gently put Alli down and she walked up to Belle with her thumb in her mouth. Belle picked her up and Alli placed her head on Belle’s shoulder.

“Well, aren’t you precious!” Irene said as she touched Alli’s arm.

“Alli say Hi…She’s usually not this quiet, I don’t know what’s gotten into her. She’s very talkative.”

“Oh its probably because she doesn’t recognize me. That’s fine. Why don’t you sit down.”

Belle walked into the living room and immediately fell in love with the place. The spacious living room opened up to a gorgeous kitchen with an informal dining area in between, giving a wide space for plenty of people to gather. And from the living room there were these beautiful French doors that opened to a big yard.

“I love your house. Its always what I dreamed to have.” Belle said as she sat down with Alli in her lap.

“Thank you. And don’t worry about getting the house of your dreams sweetie. You and your husband remind me a lot of my husband when we were your age, young, in love, successful, and wanting a family. The only difference is that we never were able to have kids, and you already have that.” She said gesturing to Alli.

“Pardon me for asking, but did you ever think of adoption?” This fascinated Belle because having a family was always a priority and to hear Irene talk like this, it broke her heart.

“Well, after plenty of attempts and three miscarriages, time got the best of us. We were already much older and we feared that we wouldn’t be able to fully provide for kids anymore so we decided to just stop trying. We knew how long adoption would take and we decided to just host foreign exchange students instead.”

“I’m so sorry to hear that. I can’t imagine what that must feel like, not being to have your own children.” She hugged Alli and kissed her on her forehead.

“Oh its ok. We’ve had quite the life anyway. Why don’t you come with me and you can see the rest of the house.”

“Ok, come on Alli.” They both got up and Belle held Alli’s hand as they followed Irene.

The house was bigger than it seemed. There was a den/office downstairs and then three bedrooms upstairs. The two extra rooms upstairs were used as a guest room and a craft/sewing room for Irene.

“Peter has his office downstairs and I have my own get-away up here.” They then turned around to see Shawn and Peter coming up the stairs.

“Isn’t it a nice house, Belle?” Shawn said as he came up to hug his wife.

“Its gorgeous. I love it! Its what I always dreamed of.”

He spun Belle around and made it so that she was looking into his eyes. Then he broke the news to her, “Well, it seems that your dreams are going to come true tonight because this house is yours!”

Belle, still shocked said, “Shawn- did I just hear that right? This is ours!?!”

“Yes, Belle its all ours.”

“But- How? When? Shawn Peter and Irene seem like they are very much still living here. And Shawn we don’t have enough money-“

“Whoa Belle slow down. This is part one of the surprise.”

“There’s more?”

“Oh yea, Uncle Mickey decided to officially retire from the firm last month and he put me in charge.”

“Oh my God Shawn! Are you joking?”

Shawn shook his head smiling, “Nope.”

Belle jumped into his arms and screamed, “Oh my God! We’re really getting this house?”

“Yup. We are. And if you want we can move in on New Year’s Day”



“Oh my god I can’t believe it!” She gave Shawn big kiss and then Shawn said, “So I guess that’s an Yes!”

“Oh yeah! Definitely!”

“Merry Christmas Belle.”

Belle sighed in Shawn’s arms and said, “Merry Christmas!” Their moment was interrupted by a tug on Shawn’s pants when a little voice said, “Me too. Me too.”

Shawn knelt down to pick Alli up and then said, “Of course you too!” Belle giggled and then said with tears in her eyes, “Hey baby, guess what? Mommy, Daddy, and you are going to live here! You like that?”

Alli looked at them, a little puzzled and decided to give Shawn a big hug. “I guess that’s a Yes.”

“We’ll leave you three alone.” Peter said as he led Irene downstairs.

“Oh, thank you soo much!” Belle ran to both of them to give them big hugs. “You have no idea what this means to me!” Peter and Irene were taken aback by Belle’s gesture but returned the embrace saying, “Your welcome.”

Belle then ran back to Shawn and Alli and they shared a few moments as a family exploring the upstairs, already making plans. They even thought about expanding the family in order to fill the vacant rooms…

The next day they shared he news to Bo and Hope, who were obviously very happy for them.

“So when are you moving in?” Bo asked.

“Hopefully on New Year’s Day. We want to start off the New Year in our house.” Shawn said.

“Well we’ve got a little present for you.” Bo and Hope handed Shawn and Belle an envelope.

Shawn opened it to find reservations for a two-night stay at a newly opened resort, and it included a free baby-sitting service.

“Oh my gosh, Mom and Dad you really didn’t have to do this.” Belle said on the verge of tears.

“No, you both deserve it. And this way you won’t have to worry about Alli since she’ll be with us.” Hope said.

“Thanks Mom and Dad.” And Shawn and Belle gave Bo and Hope big hugs.

New Year’s Eve came and Shawn, Belle, and Alli spent the night at the loft counting down along with their boxes of stuff. The next day they moved in with the help of Bo, Hope, John, Mimi, and Rex. Unfortunately Chloe had a performance at the opera House and Brady was there supporting his wife. Afterwards they were going out to a nice dinner and so they weren’t able to help that day.

At around 4 o’clock in the afternoon Belle prepared Alli’s things, Shawn and Belle decided that after a week of packing they could use the rest and the pampering. Plus it would be nice not to have to deal with all their belongings right away. Alli would go home with Bo and Hope and then they would go to the resort soon after.

After everyone left, Shawn found Belle in the kitchen taking out some dishes and placing them in the cupboards.

“Hey, hey… I thought we agreed to do that when we got back from our little get-away.” Shawn crept up behind Belle and kissed her neck and held her around her waist.

Belle was a little startled at first but said, “I know, I just wanted to get a head start.”

“Well…” he spun her around and took the items out of her hand, “What about this?” And then he gave her a mind-blowing kiss that made so weak in the knees that she thought she would collapse right then and there. Belle eagerly responded, she had forgotten how good those felt. When Shawn stopped Belle said, “Whoa, don’t stop there Tough Guy.”

“Well, we are all alone in this big house, what do you say we christen this new house, Perfect Girl?” and Shawn gave her a naughty smile as he led her to the stairs.

“Ooo I like the way you think.” Belle raised her eyebrow and giggled as Shawn stopped to carry her in his arms. He carried her up the stairs, into their bedroom and dropped her on their bed, Shawn had managed to set it up, and began to love her the best way he knew how.

Chapter Thirteen

By the time summer rolled around, Belle found herself, once again, pregnant. All thanks to the night they shared on New Year’s Day. She was on her 6 month of her pregnancy and her and Shawn were on their way home after a positive check-up with Dr. Bader.

They passed by the Penthouse to pick up Alli, who had spent the day with John. At almost two, her vocabulary was quickly expanding. And as soon as Shawn and Belle walked in the door, she ran to Shawns’s arms saying, “Daddy!”

Shawn swooped her up into his arms and gave her a big hug and smothered her in kisses. Alli’s giggles filled the room, and Belle softly giggled in the same way as she watched her daughter in Shawn’s arms.

“So did my Princess have fun?”

Alli’s eyes got really big and she said, “Yea! I color wif Granpa John. I show you.” She wriggled in Shawn’s arms until Shawn put her down and then ran to the kitchen to fetch her drawing.

John walked to meet Shawn and Belle at the door, “So how was the appointment?” John asked curiously.

“Everything is doing great. Belle is right on schedule and should have the baby around Labor Day weekend.”

“That’s great news, Izzy!” And he gave his daughter a big hug, careful to avoid lots of pressure on Belle’s tummy.

“Thanks Dad. Was Alli good today? I hope she didn’t give you too much trouble.”

“Ohh, of course she was good. She was an angel, except she’s got so much energy! She talks a lot, almost like you when you were that age!” John chuckled.

“Oh yeah, she definitely has Belle’s personality. But I’m not complaining.” They then turned to the sound of little footsteps approaching them. Shawn knelt down to an excited Alli holding her masterpiece.

“Yook, Daddy.” She ran to Shawn and leaned up against one of Shawn’s bent knees. She pointed to her picture and said, “Dats You,” pointing to a large blob, “dats Mommy,” she pointed to a slighty smaller blob with longer ‘hair’, “dats Alli,” she pointed to a much smaller blob in between ‘Shawn’ and ‘Belle’, and then she pointed to a dark oval shape in the middle of ‘Belle’ saying, “and dats Baby.” She looked at Shawn very proud of herself.

“That’s beautiful Alli!” Shawn gave her a big hug and a kiss on the forehead. “We’ll put it on the refrigerator at home, ok?” And Alli nodded her head, “Yea.”

Shawn showed Belle the masterpiece and it touched Belle right to her heart. Her daughter’s picture was just about the cutest thing she had ever seen.

“Yeah, she wanted draw picture of all four of you.” John said, “It took her a while and you should have seen her. She was so determined to finish it.”

“Aww…well I love it Alli!” Belle said. Alli ran to her mom’s legs and hugged them with all her might. “I wuv you Mommy!”

Belle had a hard time kneeling but she knelt down anyway and said, “I love you too Alli.”

Then Alli touched Belle’s tummy and said, “I wuv you too Baby.” Shawn, John, and Belle all watched her as she kissed Belle’s tummy at the same time.

After the tender moment Shawn said, “Well, we better head home. Thanks for watching her today Dad.” And he stooped down to grab Alli.

“Yes, thank you Daddy.”

“It was my pleasure. I love spending time with her.” He got Alli’s bag and handed it to Shawn, “Drive carefully.”

“We will.” Belle said as she gave her Dad a kiss on the cheek.

Later that night, before they all went to bed, Shawn and Belle sat in Alli’s toddler bed that was next to theirs and read Alli a bedtime story. It was their daily routine, a little after dinner Shawn would clear up the table while Belle took Alli upstairs to change into her pajamas. Then Belle and Alli would brush their teeth, with Alli sitting on the countertop. Once they were done they would go to the room and lie down until Shawn came up. Once Shawn was up with them, Alli would pick a book and Shawn would read it aloud to her. After that Alli was kissed goodnight and then Shawn and Belle would finish getting ready for bed and then go to sleep.

But at about midnight something happened that would drastically change their lives. Belle felt a sharp pain in her lower stomach and immediately thinking of her baby, she woke Shawn, “Shawn – oww!” She started breathing heavily, “Shawn – something’s wrong.”

Shawn was awake right away, “Where does it hurt Belle?”

Belle winced in pain and then pointed to her stomach. Shawn panicked and said, “Oh my god, hold on Belle. Lemme put on some clothes and get the car keys, we’re going to the hospital.”

“Shawn, what about Alli?”

“I’ll call my parents and we’ll swing by their house or they can get her at the hospital.”


“Yes, baby?”

“Hurry, it hurts!” Shawn quickly put on a pair of sweats over his boxers and grabbed the first jacket he saw. Then he gently picked up his little girl and with his other hand he helped Belle up by putting her arm over his shoulder. Once they got to the stairs, he said, “Belle lemme go into the garage and put Alli in her car seat. Then I’ll come back for you and help you, ok?” Belle nodded while cradling the bottom of her stomach.

Shawn raced downstairs and placed Alli in her seat positioning her carefully in order to keep her from waking up. She opened her eyes slightly and Shawn said, “Shh, go back to sleep Princess. Daddy has to take Mommy to the doctor. Everything will be ok.” As he said those last words, they were more of a comfort for him than to her. He kissed her forehead and then went back upstairs to get Belle.

He found Belle sitting on the top stair in a lot of pain. “Shawn, Dr. Bader said I wasn’t due until September. What’s wrong-OWW!”

“Belle its ok, I got you. I’m not going to let anything happen to you, ok?” She nodded as Shawn carried her into his arms and took her downstairs into the garage. He placed her in the backseat with Alli and then went to the driver’s seat. As he pulled out of the driveway he put his earpiece in and dialed an all too familiar phone number.

A sleepy Bo answered the phone, “Hello?”

“Dad! I’m on my way to the hospital. Belle is in severe pain and I think it’s the baby. Could you take care of Alli?”

Bo sat up right away and said, “Yeah sure. Shawn, are you driving?” Hope then looked over to see Bo’s worried face. She knew something wasn’t right.

“Yes, I’m driving. Should I stop by the house or meet you at the Emergency Room?”

“I’ll meet you there, stopping by here will only take more time. I’ll be ready to leave in a minute.”

“Ok. Thanks Dad.”

“Anytime Sailor Man. And Shawn?”

“Yea, Dad?”

“Don’t worry everything will be fine. Just keep praying. We’ll get through this.”

“Okay. I’ll see you in a bit.”

“Bye.” Bo turned to Hope and said, “Belle is feeling pain in her stomach and she thinks it’s the baby. They are on the way to the Emergency Room right now. I’m going to meet him there and get Alli.”

“Oh my God, Bo. Belle is only about 6 months along, she could miscarry, or have the bab as a premie-“

“Hope, lets just pray for the best. I have to go. Stay here and I’ll be back in a while with Alli.” He kissed Hope and then was out the door.

After Shawn hung up the phone, he checked on Belle, “Belle, honey? How are you feeling?”

“It still hurts Shawn. Oh my god, it hurts.”

“Ok, just a little bit more hun, we’re almost there. I’m not going to let anything happen to you or our baby.”

Inside Shawn was a mess and doubted his own words. He quietly said, “Dear God, please don’t do this. I need them in my life, don’t take them both away from me.”

In about 10 minutes they pulled up to the Emergency and Shawn was able to get someone to wheel Belle into the hospital. He grabbed Alli and then escorted Belle to the room. But Shawn was pulled aside to fill out paper work.

Before he separated from Belle he kissed her hand and said, “I love you, Belle.”

“I love you too Shawn.” And Shawn watched as she was wheeled away.

He went to the front desk to finish filling out the paper work and there he met Bo.

“Dad!” Shawn breathed a sigh of relief, “Thank God you’re here.”

“Anytime son. Hey is that your car outside?”

“Oh shit! Yeah, that’s my car. I totally forgot to move it after they took Belle in.”

“Its ok, just give me the keys and I’ll park it.”

“Thanks Dad.” He reached into his back pocket and gave the keys to Bo.

Bo disappeared while he finished filling out the necessary papers, with Alli still in his arms. He turned in the papers as he saw his Dad coming back inside.

“Shawn, why don’t you give Alli to me and go with Belle. I’ll take her home with me and you make sure you call me with any news.”

“I will. Oh and could you call John, too?”

“Sure thing.”

“Thanks so much, Dad you have no idea how much I appreciate this.” He ran his finger through his hair and his eyes frantically searched the area. “The doctor said she was fine earlier, Dad. What happened?”

“I don’t know, son. But just keep your faith strong.”

“Ok. I better get back to Belle, I’ll call you later.” He hugged his Dad and then turned to go find his wife.

He found her and went to her side. Belle was in tears saying, “Shawn, I might lose the baby.”

Shawn kissed her and tried to comfort her by saying, “Belle, listen to me,” he made her look straight into his eyes, “I will do everything I can to keep you both. I’m not losing anyone tonight, you got that?”

“Okay.” Belle said softly. The doctor then came at that moment and asked Shawn if he could take him aside. Shawn was about to get up when he felt a tight squeeze from Belle’s hand. He instantly knew that Belle wanted to know whatever he had to say. Shawn looked at Belle and then looked at the doctor, “I’m sorry Dr-?”

“It’s Dr. Benzon.”

“Dr. Benzon, whatever you were going to say to me, I would like you to say to my wife as well. We both want to know the situation that we are in. And please tell us straightforward, give us the straight truth.” Shawn held onto Belle’s hand firmly and they both looked at Dr. Benzon.

“Well Shawn and Belle, I’m afraid there isn’t much good news. Belle, it looks like you might have to deliver the baby tonight. And if the baby is delivered successfully, I’m afraid the chances of survival are not the best. The baby will be born premature, and the baby might need certain medications that might have side effects that result in disabilities. The baby will most likely have to stay in the NICU for several weeks so that his/her growth can be monitored.”

“Are there chances that our baby will be born normal?” Shawn asked in desperation.

“Yes, there is a small chance the steroids given won’t have any effects on your baby. But right now, my concern is to deliver this baby before Belle miscarries and we risk losing her as well.”

“Fine. We’ll take those odds on delivering the baby today.” He looked at Belle and said, “You can do this. I know you can. Our baby will be just fine.”

“Well in that case, Belle, we are going to have to perform a C-section and deliver this baby as soon as possible.”

While Belle was prepped for delivery, she pulled Shawn closer to her and said, “Shawn, I’m scared.”

“I know baby, I’m scared too.” He kissed her hand and then she said, “But, I can feel that this baby is a fighter and we will be okay.”

“I know, Belle. I can feel it, too. We’re going to be parents again.” Shawn tried to force a little smile and for a few moments Belle knew that everything was going to be ok.

Before Belle went into delivery he quickly ran to the pay phone to call his Dad, it was now about 3 o’clock in the morning.

Bo answered the phone after the first ring, “Shawn?”

“Yea, Dad it’s me.”

“Is Belle okay?”

“Well, the doctors say that she has to deliver the baby tonight. The doctors say that if the baby is delivered fine then he/she has a good chance of surviving, but there are high risks of disabilities as side effects to the medication that will be administered.”

“Okay. Not soo bad. How’s Belle?”

“She’s scared, and that’s expected but I think it’s going to be ok.”

“Alright son, I’ll relay the message to everyone. We’re all praying for you.”

“Thanks Dad, I’ll call back later.”

“Bye, take care.”

Shawn hung up the phone and then decided to head to the chapel before heading back to Belle’s side. When he entered the familiar room, he remembered the last time he was there. It was before he proposed to Belle. He had come there to pray for his Great-Gran. The memories started flooding back to his memory and he felt anger and pain once again.

He knelt down, made the sign of the cross, and prayed, “Dear God, I really need you right now. Belle and I have just began our family, I can’t lose our baby, and especially not Belle. God if I lost Belle, I wouldn’t know what to do with the rest of my life. Alli would probably save me from completely losing it, but still I don’t even want to think of a life without Belle.” Shawn paused for a moment, regained his composure and then continued his prayer, “Great-Gran, you always believed in the love that Belle and I shared, even when people, including us, doubted it. Please don’t take her away from me and furthermore, please don’t take our baby away. If we were to lose the baby, I don’t think Belle would ever be the same. She wants a family so badly. Please, please protect her and our baby tonight. Amen.”

Shawn got up and lit two candles before making his way back to Belle. Hoping that in a few hours he would be rejoicing in the birth of his second child and not weeping the loss of yet another loved one.

Chapter Fourteen

When Shawn found Belle, she was getting ready to for a C-section. The doctors had decided that, that would be a quicker way for Belle to have the baby. Everything was still very risky considering Belle was only six months pregnant but everyone silently prayed that all would go well.

Dr. Benzon explained what he was going to do and put up a sheet in front of Belle to block her view. Shawn held Belle’s hand and embraced her head as everything played out.

“Just keep looking in my eyes, Belle.” And they locked in a gaze as they heard the commotion of the doctors and nurses trying to save their baby. Belle was tightly holding Shawn’s hand and their foreheads touched as they both prayed for the best. After what seemed like eternity, a very faint cry was heard. Both Shawn and Belle let out a deep sigh and happily hugged each other as Dr. Benzon said, “Congratulations you have a baby boy!”

Shawn then looked up to the heavens and whispered, “Thank You!” and then he turned to Belle and said, “Did you hear that? We have a son, Belle!”

Careful precautions were taken in order to prepare the baby for the NICU. Since all of his bodily organs weren’t fully developed yet Baby Boy Brady would have to stay in an incubator for a while. The saddest part of this situation was that because their baby was so frail, they weren’t allowed to hold their son just yet. They saw a glimpse of him but that was it. But in that glance they saw their tough little fighter. The next 24 hours would be critical, and the weeks following would also be very important to their baby’s health.

As soon as Belle gave Shawn the ok, he rushed outside to call Bo and tell him the great news.

“Hello, Shawn?” Bo answered again.

“Dad, its me. Belle is doing just fine, and we have a baby boy!”

“Thank goodness! Oh, that’s such good news to hear Shawn. Didn’t I tell you everything was going to be alright?”

Shawn was smiling to himself as he said, “Yes you did. Thank you so much Dad, for everything.”

“Never lose faith in family Shawn, they are forever. You’ve got quite a few angels working double-time for you up there, so you better thank them.”

“I will. Oh, how’s Alli doing?”

“Alli is great, she just woke up about 20 minutes ago. She eating breakfast with us right now.”

“Ok, tell her I’ll be by in a couple hours to pick her up and take her back to the house to prepare her to see her new baby brother.”

“I will. Take care Shawn, and give our love to Belle.”

“Sure thing. Bye”

“Bye.” And with that goodbye from his father he rushed back to his wife.

Once Belle was cleaned up and feeling a lot better, her and Shawn went to the NICU to see their baby boy. Shawn was pushing her in a wheelchair when they stopped at the entrance to the NICU. Everyone who entered had to put on a smock, if they weren’t already wearing one, and also had to thoroughly wash their hands.

When they were ready, Shawn wheeled Belle to an incubator labeled “Baby Boy Brady”. They took in the sight of their four-pound baby boy. He was hooked up to so many monitors that it was almost too painful to see. Belle searched to hold Shawn’s hand and when she found it, she squeezed it tightly. She then placed her hand through one of the holes of the incubator to touch her baby. He was so tiny. Belle touched her baby’s foot and his foot was just a little bigger that her thumb, his head just slightly bigger than Belle’s fist. Tears strolled down Belle’s cheeks as she her son’s tiny lungs expand with each breath.

Shawn was in his own trance, he’d never seen anything so tiny before. The machines that were hooked up secretly scared the hell out of Shawn. How were they going to handle this?

Belle then turned around to look at Shawn, surprisingly she was smiling, “He’s perfect Shawn.”

Shawn was relieved that Belle was optimistic. He hoped for the best but deep inside he was scared that his son wouldn’t be able to grow up like all the other little boys his age. He feared he would never get to play ball with him-


His thoughts were interrupted by Belle’s voice, “Yes?”

“What were you thinking Shawn? You looked so distant.”

“Oh, um-,” Shawn didn’t want to tell Belle his fears right away so instead he quickly thought to say, “Oh I was just thinking that we don’t have a name for him yet.”

“Of course we do, Shawn.”

Shawn now looked at Belle confused, “We do?”

“Yeah, remember we came up with a boy’s and girl’s name before Alli was born?”

Suddenly Shawn remembered and realized it was a perfect name, just like their first-born’s. He softly said, “Thomas.”

“Yup. But I was thinking that we could add in your name too, it’ll be kind of like our version of a ‘Junior’. His name could be Shawn Thomas. But we can call him by his middle name, Tommy because I mean with Grandpa Shawn and you, I think we’ve got enough Shawn’s around.”

Shawn chuckled at the way Belle was handling all of this. She was so calm and collected. It was like nothing was wrong and that the incubator held a normal, healthy baby. He smiled and said, “I love it, Belle.”

Belle smiled and turned to look at her son, “Well, Tommy I can already tell you’re a stubborn one just like your Dad. You just couldn’t wait to be born, huh?”


Later that day, Shawn brought Alli to the hospital and picked up Belle so that they could all go see Tommy together. After getting prepped the three of them went to Tommy’s incubator. Shawn was holding Alli in his arms and leaned over so that Alli could see better into the incubator where her brother lay.

“Alli, that’s your little brother, Tommy. You’re a big sister!” Shawn pointed to the baby and watched as Alli pressed her hands against the plastic saying, “Hi, baby!” Her eyes were twinkling and she had the biggest smile across her face.

“His name is Tommy, Alli. Can you say Tom-my?” Belle tried to emphasize how to say Tommy’s name so that Alli would catch on.

Alli tried it and said, “Tom-my,” moving her head up and down with each syllable.

“Good Job!” Belle gave her little girl a kiss on the cheek. “Why don’t you sing him a song, Alli? How about Baa Baa Black Sheep?”

Alli eagerly nodded her head and started reciting her rhyme. And so all four of them just bonded like that, as one big family, for the rest of the day…

After a couple days, Belle was allowed to hold Tommy for the first time. He was the mirror image of his Mom, but seemed to act like his Dad. She watched and learned how the nurses took care of her son, but saw that when the nurses bathed and changed him, his heart rate would increase and he would cry incessantly. Belle’s touch was the one thing that would bring him back to normal, even if it just involved Belle offering her finger for him to hold. He would grab with all his might and hold on like his life depended on it. She wanted to eventually do all the tasks by herself. After all, that would be precious time she could be spending with her little Tommy.

Soon Belle was changing his tiny diapers, bathing him, and feeding him. The nurses found it so amazing that Belle diligently took care of her son. She applied lotion to his tiny body everyday and massaged the little boys limbs frequently, it always seemed to relax Tommy.

Shawn on the other hand still hadn’t held Tommy after ten days, he was so scared that Tommy would ‘break’ or that he would get fussy. Belle tried to reassure him, but Shawn felt fine just offering his hand and touching Tommy’s tiny body.

About two weeks after Tommy had been born Shawn and Belle lay awake in their bed at home when Shawn rolled over to Belle before she drifted off to sleep. “Belle?”

Belle slowly turned around and said, “Yes Shawn?”

“How do you keep such a positive outlook on life?”

Belle giggled a little and said, “What do you mean?”

Belle saw a serious Shawn reply, “I mean, after what he heard in the doctor’s office today, how is it that you still are so optimistic?” Earlier that day they doctors broke the news to them that Tommy had the chance of being handicapped for the rest of his life. The worst case would be that little Tommy would have bad eyesight, might have to wear hearing aids due to hearing loss, and he might not even have the ability to walk. The doctors doubted that Tommy would even be crawling at four years old.

Suddenly Belle realized the root of Shawn’s recent behavior. He was scared for their son. “Oh, Shawn. The doctors told us the worst case scenario. They failed to mention that Tommy is doing just fine right now. Shawn, I know all the possibilities, but I pray every night that everything will be fine.”

“Yeah but how do you know everything is going to be ok?” Belle saw that his eyes were on the verge of tears and it broke her heart.

“I don’t Shawn. It’s something that I call faith. Shawn, I’ve never known you to be worried about matters like this. Remember when I was so scared the night I had Tommy? You were the one who told me that everything was going to be ok. You were the one who gave me faith. I’ve heard that God doesn’t put you through things that you can’t handle, he gives you situations that strengthen your faith. Just trust that everything will fine. I mean Alice, Tom, Maggie, Roman, Doug, and maybe Cassie are all your family members that watch over us and our kids.”

“I know that Belle, but I’m his Dad, I’m supposed to teach him how to throw a ball, and how to sail, and I should be coaching whatever sport he wants to play. What if he won’t be able to be like other kids his age? I couldn’t stand to see the amount of disappointment in his eyes when he realizes that his disabilities prevent him from being like his friends.” Shawn had tears rolling down his face at this point and Belle tried to kiss them all away.

“Shawn, you don’t know that will happen. Tommy might be able to do all those things.”

“Yeah, Belle but what if he can’t?”

“Well, he won’t really know the difference right? How can he miss something that he has never been able to do? I’m 100% sure that he will find other passions and succeed in different ways, and whatever that is, we’re going to support him all the way, right?”

Shawn sighed and realized that his wife was right - big surprise - and he said, “Right.” He leaned over to give Belle a kiss and they exchanged ‘good nights’ before going to sleep.

Joined: October 17th, 2004, 8:41 pm

February 1st, 2005, 2:56 am #9

A Shawn and Belle Fanfic. This fic is Rated R.

this is my first fic... hope you like it... i disclaim... (thanks to holly, steph, and megan for their help and inspiration)
Chapters 15 - 21

Chapter Fifteen
just a sidenote, I accidentally typed the wrong year in chapter twelve, the house was bought in 2006, not 2005…making little Tommy born in 2007…
The day after Shawn and Belle had that late night talk, Shawn held Tommy in his arms for the first time. Belle had wrapped him up in a bunch of blankets and had gently transferred the bundle of joy from her arms to Shawn’s.

Shawn was a little scared, not because he didn’t know how to carry his baby, but because he was unsure if the baby would cry in the arms of a new person. But as soon as Belle gave Tommy to him, nothing happened. Tommy was perfectly fine and was actually sucking on a small pacifier contently.

Shawn eased up and just admired his son. Gone were the feelings of fear and doubt and instead they were filled with hope, faith, and possibilities. He silently made a vow that he would everything possible to help Tommy realize that he could achieve goals if he really put his whole heart and mind into it.

Shawn looked up to see Belle intently watching their “bond”. “See Shawn? Doesn’t every doubt just disappear when you hold him in your arms? It’s like he’s the one the one telling us that everything will be alright.”

“Yeah,” he turned and looked at little Tommy, “Hey Bud. Sorry Daddy hasn’t been holding you too much, its just that Daddy loves you so much that he’s already worried sick about you,” Shawn sighed, “But now I look in your eyes, and everything seems to be okay. Its like all my troubles are gone when I see you.” He looked up at Belle and said, “He’s got your eyes, Belle. He looks so much like you.”

Belle giggled but said, “Yeah he may look like me but he sure is a fighter like his Dad. I think you’ve met your match Shawn.”

“I know! I’m in deep trouble! We both love a beautiful, blonde, blue-eyed woman very much.” He smiled and winked at Belle, it had been the first time he had done so since Tommy had been born.

Belle laughed and said, “Hey there’s plenty to go around. Remember boys, sharing is caring!”

Shawn then lifted his free arm and pulled Belle in for a big kiss that spoke volumes of what they meant to each other. When Shawn stopped the kiss Belle blissfully gazed into his warm brown eyes and said in a low whisper, “What was that for?”

Shawn replied nonchalantly, “Oh just for being you, and for giving me the best family a guy could ask for.”

They stayed at the NICU for most of the day while Alli was with Bo and Hope. Throughout the day Belle taught Shawn how to care for Tommy and Shawn became an active participant right away. In fact after that day, he looked forward to going to visit his son any chance he got.


Tommy was born on June 23, 2007 and spent 60 days in the NICU before he was ready to go home. But before they went home, they stopped by St. Luke's and the cemetery to present Tommy to the church, Alice, and Tom. This had become their own little tradition after taking Alli there on the way home from the hospital.

They got out of their car and as Shawn went to get Tommy, Belle opened the door to let Alli out. Shawn held Tommy in one arm and wrapped his other one around Belle, while Belle held Alli's hand, and the four of them walked in the church hand in hand.

Before they entered the main part of the church, Belle looked at Alli and knelt down to say, "Ok, Alli, I want you to be extra quiet, ok? Promise?"

Alli nodded and said, "I promise Mommy,"

They picked a pew and sat down. Belle knelt as Shawn sat and held Tommy in his arms. Alli was next to Belle and chose to kneel down just like her Mommy, and even though she couldn't see very high, she looked at her Mommy in the corner of her eye and mimicked Belle by clasping her hands and bowing in prayer.

Belle made the sign of the cross and then said, "Dear God, we would like to thank you soo much for giving us another little one. You really tested us with this one, but we knew that Tommy would always be safe in your hands. We ask that you continue to guide him through his childhood and help him to always make the right decisions. We pray that he will grow to be a healthy little boy and that he finds acceptance in his life wherever he goes." Belle turned to Shawn and he said, "We know you've got a plan for this little guy and we pray that he has every opportunity he can to be successfully independent. And Great-Gran and Great Grandpa Tom, I know you will watch over Tommy just like you watch over Alli. Amen."

They were about to get up and light a candle when Belle felt a tiny hand touch her. "Mommy, my turn." Alli said as she pointed to herself.

Belle looked at Shawn, smiled and then looked at Alli and said, "I'm sorry sweetie. Go ahead, what would you like to say?"

Alli bowed her head down and tightly shut her eyes as she said, "Tank you for my baby broder. I wuv him verwy much.” She paused, looked up at Belle and said, “I done Mommy.”

Belle nodded her head once and then said, “Good job sweetie, say Amen now.” Belle patted Alli’s back as she let out a definitive “Amen.”

They got up and the four of them went to light one candle for Tommy and then proceeded to walk outside to the cemetery to visit Tom and Alice. As they approached the tombstones, Shawn hugged Belle as he held little Tommy, and Alli skipped along side the both of them. As soon as they got there Alli ran up to the tombstones and said, “Hi Granma Awice! Hi Granpa Tom!” She hugged each stone and then happily sat, Indian-style, next to them as Belle and Shawn walked to the edge with Tommy.

Belle giggled as she watched her daughter’s antics and then said, “Hi Great Gran, hi Great Grandpa Tom. Our Alli here is growing up pretty fast, as you can see. She’s become quite the talkative one and she keeps us on our toes everyday.”

“Yup, she’s definitely got your spunk, Great Gran.” Shawn added.

“But the reason we are here today is to show you the newest addition to our little family,” she turned to Shawn and lowered the blanket revealing Tommy sound asleep in Shawn’s arms. “We know that you were there when he was born and you helped him get through those tough times, and we just wanted to thank you so much for everything.” Belle looked up at Shawn with a slight tear in her eye, giving him the silent signal for him to say something because her tears stopped her from continuing.

Shawn stroked Belle’s back as he said, “There were times that I prayed so hard for you to come through for us. And you didn’t fail us Great Gran and Great Grandpa. You always told us to trust in God and family and as always, you were right. The one way we thought we could thank you for everything you’ve done for us was to name our children after you. So in my arms I hold Shawn Thomas, your namesake Great Grandpa Tom. We hope that we can raise both him and Alli in yours and Great Gran’s example. We strive to be half the role models that you both were, and we hope that we can live up to the high standards you both set.”

“Thank you so much. We promise we’ll come visit more often so that you can see them grow up, even though we have no doubt that you both watch over them everyday of their lives.” Belle knelt down and touched Alli, “Alli its time to go home now, say goodbye.”

Alli got up and said, “Bye-bye Granma Awice, Bye-bye Granpa Tom!” and she blew kisses with both of her hands before running along to Shawn’s side. The four of them then walked back to their car and went home.

Tommy was out of the hospital by August, in time for his big sister’s 2nd birthday. There was a huge get-together at Shawn and Belle’s home for Tommy’s homecoming and Alli’s 2nd birthday, there was plenty to celebrate. This was also the first time they held a big party at their new house so it was extra special.

Not only had Tommy grown to be a pretty healthy baby, he was exceeding the expectations of all of his doctors. There was still a small chance he would still have disabilities but Shawn and Belle refused to settle for that, and so they did everything they could to helping the growth of their son. Tommy was their miracle baby and they were going to do everything in their power to better his life. And so far all the special attention was paying off…

Some might have expected Alli to be slightly jealous of all the attention her brother was getting, but oddly she was very doting on her little brother. Shawn and Belle worried that she would have a hard time adjusting to sharing everything, including her Mommy and Daddy, but it turned out to be the exact opposite. Alli, who used to be very dependent on her parents, soon became a very independent little girl. She had become quite a talkative little one and would talk to all the guests about her new baby brother. She played with Tommy and even helped Belle with the very little things, like picking up blankets or bottles if they fell on the floor.

Shawn walked over to Tomm’ys crib and picked him up and said, “So Buddy, we gotta introduce you to your big, warped family!” He carried him and walked around to show the guests at the party his little “Buddy”.

After a while Belle came up to Shawn and whispered in his ear, “Shawn, he needs to eat and then get some rest. This should be enough socializing for the day, I really don’t want him catching anything from the germs floating around.”

Shawn turned to Belle and said, “Ok, hun. Do you want to feed him or should I?”

“Umm, I’ll do it. I’ll take him and why don’t you set up the piñata for Alli so that most of the kids will be outside while I try to put down Tommy for a nap.”

“Alright, I can do that. Here you go,” and he transferred Tommy to Belle, kissed them both and then said, “Love you.”

“We love you too.” And with that they went their ways to keep the party going.

After the goodie bags were given out, the piñata had been broken, the cake had been cut, and the gifts had been opened, very slowly the guests started to go home. The party was a huge success and at the end of the day, everyone was so exhausted. Alli had fallen asleep on the couch after watching her new DVD and Tommy had fallen asleep hours before his sister. Shawn and Belle were cleaning the house just a little bit before they went to sleep with the help of Bo and Hope.

“Peter and Irene are very nice people Shawn.” Hope said as she finished wiping the kitchen counters.

“Yeah, Peter is kind of my advisor at the firm now, ever since Uncle Mickey retired. Him and Irene just adore Alli and Tommy. They come over every once in awhile to visit with the kids.” Shawn replied as he took out a big bag of trash.

“Irene is so sweet. She treats us like family, she tells us that we’re basically her only family that’s nearby since they don’t have any kids and her and Peter’s family have either passed away or live in California.” Belle said as she gently picked up a sleeping Alli, “I’m just going to put the birthday girl up to bed. She’s all pooped out.”

“Well, we’ll be heading out soon Belle. Just as soon as Hope finishes up we’ll be on our way. We don’t want to keep you awake, it’s been quite a day.” Bo said as he picked up the last pieces of trash in the living room.

“Oh ok, thanks for coming, we’ll probably stop by this weekend or something.” And Belle gave Bo and Hope warm hugs.

“You take care honey.” Hope said.

Shawn came back from throwing trash and saw the exchange of hugs in the living room and assumed that his parents were on their way out, “You guys are leaving now?”

“Yup, Sailor Man, we gotta head home. We’re tired and so we know both of you are exhausted.” Bo said as he gave Shawn a big many hug.

“Ok well, we’ll drop by later in the week or you guys can come over for dinner or something. We can even invite Peter and Irene, you know…whatever.” Shawn replied.

“Sounds good to me. Goodnight Sweetheart.” Hope said as she hugged her son and gave him a kiss to the cheek.

“G’nite Mom.” And then he led them to the door and watched them as they drove away.

As soon as they were gone, Shawn closed and locked the door. He turned around at Belle looked at him form the bottom of the stairs with Alli in her arms and said, “Shawn, I’m going to put Alli down. Do you think you can finish up in the kitchen? Don’t worry about all the gifts and everything, we can put those away tomorrow. Just check everything in the kitchen and make sure we’re all locked up for the night. I’m so tired I could fall asleep standing up. I’ll see you upstairs, ok?”

“Definitely, hun.” And he disappeared into the kitchen as Belle walked up the stairs with Alli in her arms.

When Shawn finished he went upstairs hoping to cuddle with his wife a little before going to sleep, but when he entered the room he walked up to her and found her sound asleep. He sighed, and then fixed the covers so that she was all tucked in and he sealed his gestures with a kiss to her forehead. Belle stirred and sleepily said, “Love you Shawn, G’nite.” And then drifted off to sleep again as Shawn whispered back, “I’ll love you always

He got ready for bed but before he got into bed with Belle he decided to visit with his children. Shawn walked up to Tommy's crib and looked down at his son who was peacefully sleeping. Shawn watched as he took in each breath, his tiny lungs lifted and fell with each one. Shawn softly stroked his tiny head and traced his little spine and rubbed his back. He sighed and realized that this was his little miracle. Tommy was his little fighter, his little "Buddy". He leaned over and dropped the side of the crib and then leaned over to kiss little Tommy. He whispered as he kissed him, "G'nite Buddy. Daddy loves you." He inhaled his baby scent and smiled as he put back up the side of his crib and walked out the door to the room adjacent to theirs.

Ever since the baby came home Shawn and Belle tried to get Alli to sleep in her own "big girl" room. It took a little while but she would sleep there once in awhile. Sometimes in the middle of the night she would sneak into their room and insist on sleeping right in between Shawn and Belle and of course Shawn would always give in. But tonight since Belle brought her up she was contently sleeping in her toddler bed.

Shawn walked up to her bedside and knelt down beside her. He saw her gorgeous face as she slept, her eyes were ever so slightly open as she slept and her mouth opened just a little at the center. One of her arms was under her face while the other was draped along the side of the bed. As Shawn watched her sleep, he gently stroked his fingers through her long dark brown curls. Her hair was so soft and went down to around her shoulders and curled ever so slightly all around her perfect head. Shawn whispered, as he adored his little girl, "My little precious princess." He kissed her forehead and softly said to himself, "Time just goes by so fast, huh Alli? It seems like yesterday you would fall asleep right here," he patted his chest, "on my chest. It was the best feeling in the world and from the first time it happened the day you came home, you had me wrapped around your tiny finger. Daddy loves you soo much."

Shawn fixed her sheets again and kissed her one more time before saying, "G'nite Princess. I love you." He then went outside her door, paused in the doorway, looked back at his sleeping angel and slightly closed the door. He then walked back into his and Belle's room and laid on his bed thinking to himself what a life he had, as he drifted off to sleep. A beautiful wife, two gorgeous children, a home, a good job.... life was just as he always dreamed it would be with Belle... perfect.

Chapter Sixteen

As Tommy’s first birthday quickly approached the Doctor’s were almost certain that little Tommy would have to wear glasses at an early age. Luckily his hearing seemed to be unscathed, and his motor skills seemed to be developing only slightly behind the normal rate. He was still very tiny for his age but all in all, things were looking great for little Tommy.

One day, Belle called Shawn asking him if he could take an extra long lunch break so that he could meet her and the kids at the Park. Belle prepared a picnic lunch and dressed Alli and Tommy appropriately before heading out the door. She drove down to the park, unloaded the double stroller from the trunk before she placed Alli in the front part and Tommy in the back.

“Mommy, I wanna pway ober dare!” Alli protested as Belle put her in the stroller. She pointed at the playground and gave Belle the “sad face”.

Belle stooped down to Alli’s level and looked at her eyes as she strapped her in, “No, baby, Mommy can’t take you there right now, you have to stay with me because Daddy isn’t here yet and I have to get Tommy, too. But when Daddy is here you can go play, ok?”

“Ok.” Alli said a little sad that she had to stay in the confinements of the stroller.

“Alright Buddy, let’s get you in the stroller with your sister.” Belle said as she transferred Tommy from his car seat to the stroller. As soon as he was buckled in, Belle made sure the diaper bag was under the stroller and then she grabbed the picnic basket and was off to find a cozy spot for the four of them.

Belle struggled to lug everything with her but was able to find a place near the car. As soon as she began to set everything up, she felt someone grab her waist. Startled, she jumped and was about to go into self-defense mode when she spun around and her blue eyes met the chocolate eyes of her husband.

“Whoa, there… hey, beautiful!” Shawn said in a low voice.

“Oh my God, Shawn!” Belle had a huge grin plastered across her face as she punched him in the chest with each word, “Don’t – ever- do – that – again! You scared me to death!”

Shawn kissed her and said with a big smile, “Hey, that’s what I get for coming here to spend time with my beautiful wife and kids?”

“Yes!” Belle said matter-of –factly.

“Daddy, Daddy!” Alli finally noticed her Dad was around and stretched out her arms with pumping fists indicating she wanted to be picked up.

“Hey! There’s my Princess!” Shawn unbuckled her and tossed her in the air. He smothered her in kisses on her cheeks, making her laugh so loud.

“Daddy, I wanna pway ober dare!” She pointed at the playground several yards away.

Shawn looked at Belle, silently asking for her permission to take Alli there. “Oh, go ahead you two. I’ll set up lunch and then we can all eat, ok?”

“Ok, Alli, Mommy says yes, let’s go!” Shawn dropped Alli from his arms and she ran with Shawn closely following her, to the playground swings.

Belle giggled as she heard Shawn saying, “Hurry, Daddy’s gonna beat you.” as she watched a giggling Alli run as fast as she could to beat her Dad’s big strides.

Belle finished setting up their picnic lunch. And in about 20 minutes Belle picked up Tommy and took him over to the playground to fetch Shawn and Alli. Belle walked up to Shawn who was standing next to the top of the slide waiting for Alli to make her way to the top and said, “Lunch is ready.”

“You’re amazing, you know that?” Shawn said as he kissed her neck.

“Actually I do.” Belle said with a twinkle in her eye.

“Belle, you gotta watch Alli. She climbs those steps all by herself and then slides down too. I tried helping her at first but she just kept telling me, ‘I do it, Daddy. I do it.’ She’s so independent now.”

“I know. She’s getting big.” Belle sighed and then said, “Time goes by pretty fast huh?”

“Yup.” Shawn glanced at his watch, “Speaking of time we better get started on that incredible lunch you prepared otherwise I wont be able to enjoy it.”

“Yup. That’s exactly why Tommy and I came here.”

“Hey Buddy!” Shawn took a wide-eyed Tommy from Belle’s arms as Belle turned to hear Alli say, “Mommy, Mommy! Yook! I go down da swide!”

Belle turned and watched as Alli giggled her way down the slide. Belle was at the bottom of the slide to pick Alli up and said, “We gotta eat sweetie. You can come back and play in a little bit. You hungry?”

Alli nodded and then the four of them went to their spot to eat lunch. After some bonding time, and more playing at the playground, Shawn had to return to work. He helped Belle put all the things back in their car and then helped buckle in Tommy and Alli.

As Belle rounded the side of the car he said, “I gotta go, hun. I’ll be home later.”

“Okay. Why don’t you invite Peter and Irene for dinner tomorrow night and maybe your parents and my Dad can join too.”

“Alright. I’ll ask them. I’m sure they would love to come over. See you later, bye, love you.” He kissed her three times on the lips and then opened the door behind Belle’s and kissed Alli good-bye.

“Bye Princess.” Shawn said as he kissed her forehead.

“Bye Daddy.” Alli replied. Shawn was about to go over to the other side to kiss Tommy goodbye but saw that he was fast asleep.

“Looks like Tommy is knocked out for the rest of the afternoon.”

“Oh yeah.” said Belle.

“Bye” he kissed her once more and then left to drive back to work as Belle started her car to head back home.

Tommy’s first birthday came on June 23, 2008 and it was a huge celebration. It felt as though half of Salem was at the Brady residence to rejoice that this little miracle baby was turning one. Contrary to what Doctors had expected, Tommy was beginning to crawl, slowly but surely. Every single head lift, scoot, and roll over was a big accomplishment. Even though the doctors told Shawn and Belle he might not be able to walk until the age of six, they refused to settle for that. Belle worked with Tommy everyday and was determined to prove the Doctors wrong. And Belle’s patience was working, even though she ached to go back to work, she kept it inside because she knew her kids needed her.

When it was time to cut the cake and sing Happy Birthday, Tommy was put in his highchair and given a mini cake with one candle. Shawn and Belle stood on both sides of the high chair, with Shawn lowering Alli so that she was eyelevel with her brother. After the birthday song was sung, Alli said, “C’mon Tommy, blow like dis.” She puffed her cheeks and blew in front of her, demonstrating for her brother. But Tommy just looked at her with his big blue eyes and smiled at what his sister was doing.

“Alli, sweetie, why don’t you help your brother.” Belle encouraged. And then with one big breath Alli blew the candle out.

Tommy then clasped his hands together, giggled, and gurgled. Tommy was then left to discover his cake while Belle cut the main cake, and Abby helped Alli serve the cake to guests.

As the party dwindled down Shawn took Belle aside to talk with her. “Follow me,” Shawn said as he grabbed Belle’s arms and led her up the stairs.

“But- Shawn- what about-” she was caught off guard when Shawn stopped and kissed her deeply.

“Just follow me. Don’t worry, Tommy and Alli are safe with my parents. They can stand to be alone for 5 minutes.” He winked at her and then dragged her to their room and motioned her to sit on the bed.

“Ok, fine. You win. What do you want Shawn-D?” Belle said as she sat down.

“What makes you think I want something? What if I just wanna spend some time with my beautiful wife?”

“Shawn, if you’re thinking about-doing-, our parents are right downstairs!”

“So?” Shawn said as he shrugged his shoulders.

“What do you mean ‘So?’ Shawn! I’m going downstairs right now, I refuse to do this while we still have guests in this house.”

But as she got up Shawn caught her arm and said, “Relax, Belle. I wasn’t thinking about that. Although now that you’ve mentioned it maybe we continue this later on…” he said lifting his eyebrows with a sly grin on his face.

“Shawn!” Belle sat down and lovingly hit him on the shoulder.

“Ok, seriously. I just wanted to let you know that I want to do something extra special for our fourth wedding anniversary. Seeing that on our first one you were really pregnant with Alli, and we were still very attached to her before her first birthday, and then we had Tommy, we haven’t really gotten a chance to do something big for our anniversary. So I’ve something special planned the week of, and we are going to leave Tommy and Alli with my parents.”

“But-” Belle was about to protest but was silenced by Shawn’s fingers to her lips. “All the arrangements have been made and I won’t take no for an answer. I’m not asking for your permission, I’m telling you that we are going somewhere. Got it? You and I both know that we deserve this little break. So what do you say?” He looked at her with a pleading face.

Belle was quiet for a moment with a small pouting expression on her face. This would be a huge step for her, leaving her kids for more than one night. But then she realized how much fun she would have. “I guess, its ok…” Then a small smile started to form as she said, “Alright. Let’s do it! Where are you taking me?”

“Oh that, my dear, is the surprise!” Shawn said with a gleam in his eye.

Belle pouted and stuck out her lower lip, “Won’t you please tell me, pretty please with sugar on top?”

“Uh-huh. Sorry my lips are sealed, and they will remain sealed until we get there. All you need to know is that you need to pack for a week.”

“What kind of clothes do I need?” Belle hoped he wouldn’t notice how she was trying to get the location out of him.

“Uh-huh, little girl. I’m not that clueless. Just bring a little something of everything, but considering its July, and we aren’t going near any icebergs, don’t pack anything heavy. Besides, we can always get something there. I know you’ll go shopping anywhere we go.”

“Oh you know me all too well Shawn Brady.”

“Well I am your husband, Mrs. Brady.” He kissed her but she wriggled away before it got out of hand.

“Two can play this game Shawn. You ain’t getting any unless you spill…” Belle raised her eyebrow at her innuendo, but said, “…where we’re going.” And she nonchalantly walked out the walked towards the door and stopped there to see Shawn’s face.

He said, “Hey! That’s not fair! My secret doesn’t put you in physical pain!” Shawn said as he pleaded with her from their bed.

“Uh-huh,” Belle said as she shook her head.

“Well maybe I change your mind.” And he quickly got up and pulled her into a deep kiss at the doorway, forcing Belle into the wall. They came out of the kiss dazed, and Belle said, “I’ll think about it Tough Guy.” And she got away to go downstairs to put her kids to bed, silently looking forward to the coming weeks.

Chapter Seventeen (rated R for some stuff towards the end...)

“Bye Alli. Be good for Grandma Hope, ok?” Belle stooped down to Alli’s level and spoke these words as she stroked Alli’s hair and made sure her clothes were all set. Alli nodded her head and then Belle gave her a big squeeze and a kiss. “I love you baby.”
“I love you Mommy” Alli replied. But before she could get away Shawn scooped her up and blew raspberries in her cheeks causing her to giggle incessantly.

“Love you Princess. Help take care of your baby brother, ok? Mommy and I are just going on a short trip. We’ll be back soon, ok?”

“Alli stay wif Granma?”

“Yes, Alli will stay with Grandma Hope and Grandpa Bo. You be good, promise?”

“Promise.” Alli said definitively. Shawn and her had been recently working on the concept of “pinky promises”, and when Shawn lifted his pinky she raised hers as well and they locked fingers. Shawn set her down and she rushed off to play, as Belle watched with a tear in her eye.

“Come on honey we gotta go.” Shawn patted Belle’s back as he reached for the carrier that carried a content Tommy.

“Can’t we just-” Belle spun around and started to protest.

“Uh-huh, you’re not backing out now. Come on and say your goodbyes.”

Hope watched Belle and Shawn and she smiled at the parents that they had become. She suddenly wished Bo didn’t have to go to work today so that he could have witnessed it all too. She stepped forward and said, “Belle, honey, its ok. You go ahead and have fun. Everything will be fine. You deserve this break, and I know you’ll love your surprise. Now, I’ll take little Tommy here and you two get a move on.” Shawn handed her Tommy in his carrier but they both turned when Belle suddenly said, “Wait. Shawn told you where he’s taking me?”

For a moment Belle forgot her troubles and once again was the inquisitive, fun-loving character Shawn loved. Shawn and Hope laughed. Hope smiled and said, “Yes I do know, and I know that you’ll love it.” She gave Belle a warm hug a kss to he cheek and hen moved onto her son and did the same.

“Bye Mom. We’ll call when we get there.” Shawn said as he kissed ad hugged his Mom. He motioned to Belle and said, “We better get going.”

“Okay.” Belle said hesitantly. “Bye baby.” She leaned over to kiss Tommy and Shawn did the same saying, “Bye Buddy. Be good for Grandma.”

“Have fun you two!” Hope cried as Belle and Shawn made their way to the driveway.

“We’ll see you next Sunday Mom!”

“Bye! Take Care!”

Shawn opened the car door for Belle and helped her as she silently got settled in. He closed the door and wet to his own side and strapped himself in. And as soon as hey were off Shawn turned Belle who was staring aimlessly out her window. “Honey, they’re going to be fine. Don’t worry, you can call whenever you like, but I hope that you take this time to relax. Come on, cheer up, don’t you wanna spend some quality time with your incredible husband?” he glanced over and winked at her and flashed his signature smile.

His face cause Belle to let out a small giggle. “Theres the woman I married!” He reached over to grab Belle’s hand and they interlocked fingers.

“I’m sorry Shawn, I can’t help it, I miss the kids so much already.” She shook her head and then smiled at Shawn, “But I’m not going to let that ruin our vacation. I’ll just imagine myself with the most gorgeous man in all of Salem.”

“That better be me!” Shawn smiled back.

“If you’re Shawn Douglas Brady, then… Yes, it is you!” she said with a giggle.

Like they did for their honeymoon, Shawn once again asked John if they could use the Jet. And John readily agreed and made the appropriate accommodations. John didn’t want Shawn to pay for the Jet but Shawn insisted that this vacation was his present to Belle and that with all due respect he wanted to take care of all the expenses. John was reluctant to accept the money but because he admired Shawn’s tenacity he decided to let Shawn pay. John figured he would find another way to give the money back to them. Afterall, his life became his children and grandchildren after Marlena was sent to prison. He really didn’t have anyone else to spoil…

“Thanks John for letting us use the jet again.” Shawn approached John and shook his hand firmly.

“You know you are welcome to use it anytime, and you don’t have to pay every time you use it.”

“I know, but I don’t to impose.”

“I know, and I admire that Shawn.”

“Hi, Daddy!” Belle went and hugged her Dad.

“Hi sweetheart. Enjoy your vacation, everyone needs a little relaxation once in awhile. I know by the look on your face you’re worried abut your kids, but I’m sure that once you get to your destination you will have a blast.”

“Does everyone know where you’re taking me except me, Shawn?” Belle said and she looked back at him.

Shawn tried to play innocent and said, “Well, kinda.” He stepped back a little a slightly quailed waiting for what Belle might do to him. And sure enough she lovingly punched him in the abs but stood on her tip toes to give him a loving kiss.

“Thank you.” She said as she gazed into his eyes.

“Ahem, well, I better get going and so should you two.” John saud as he raised his eyebrow and smiled at the two of them.

“You’ll be here when we come back right Dad?”

“Of course.”

“Okay. Bye!” Belle gave him a big hug and a kiss and then Shawn gave him a hug right before they parted ways.

As Belle and Shawn entered the Jet, Shawn whispered into Belle’s ears, “Are you up for a little pre-vacation activities?”

Belle spun around, lifted an eyebrow, and said in a lower voice, “I think the question is are you up to it?”

“Baby, nothing take me higher than you.” He said as he winked at her and led her to her seat, making Belle weak in the needs.

In a matter of 30 minutes the plane was airborne and it was safe to remove their seatbelts. Belle got up and walked over to sit in Shawn’s lap, but as she kissed him a deep growl from her stomach broke the silence.

They stopped kissing but stared into each other’s eyes as their foreheads met. Shawn asked, “You want something to eat?”

Belle giggled, “I’m sorry I ruined the moment but I was too nervous to eat earlier when we were getting Alli and Tommy ready, and now I’m starving!”

“No worries, I made sure that there was plenty of food here. I know how you have a sweet tooth.” He helped her get up and led her over to the “snack bar” area where he pulled out some chocolate covered strawberries that he had brought.

“Ohhh, Shawn you remembered!” She suddenly felt touched that he remembered that these were the exact same chocolate strawberries that they had eaten when he had proposed to her on the rooftop.

“Of course I did…” but inside Shawn was trying to think about what Belle was referring to. Being a typical guy he didn’t remember every little detail in their relationship, but he did know that he loved Belle with everything that he was, so he decided to just go along hoping he would figure it out eventually…he usually did.

Suddenly Belle said, “I know your Great-Gran died that night Shawn, but that was one of the best nights of my life.” Now the switch turned on in Shawn’s brain that she was referring to the night he proposed. How could he have forgotten that he had brought with him chocolate covered strawberries the night he asked Belle to make him the happiest man on Earth? I must keep remembering that.

She started eating a strawberry and said, “Oh my God Shawn. You have to eat one of these, they are soo good.” In the middle of her bite she took another strawberry and handfed Shawn a big one. As soon as Shawn bit into it, the juices started dripping down Belle’s fingers and Shawn lifted his hands to hold Belle’s hand right in front of his mouth. He then started to slowly, suck the strawberry juice off each…and…every…finger on Belle’s hand, causing Belle to cringe and melt all at the same time. His tongue swirled each of her fingers and Belle could have sworn she might have fallen right then and there if it weren’t for her leaning on a counter.

As Belle watched Shawn take in her fingers she thought to herself - how does he do this to me every time? How does he make me weak with each stare? How does he make me weak with every wink? How does he make me weak with a smile? How is it that he makes me melt?

There was a counter separating the two of them but soon Belle slowly closed the gap and said with a jutted lip, “Hey, that’s not fair, you’re getting a head start.”

But Shawn went from her last finger to her mouth and satisfied her by taking her into a gentle, loving, and mind-blowing kiss. Then Shawn said, “How’s that for the consolation?”

Belle looked back at him, dazed, and said, “We’ll see, Tough Guy.” Then she got up and led him to the bedroom. As soon as they were inside, Shawn had her pinned to the wall, nearly devouring her in a kiss. They didn’t even come up for air as they slowly moved to the bed, leaving a trial of clothing on their way.

“We haven’t had a chance to really do this right in a long time, hun.” Shawn said as he threw her onto the bed. “Is it alright if we do this a little slow and take our time?”

Belle was under his frame but flipped so that she was straddling him. He was left in his boxers and she was just left in a red matching lace bra and thong. “Uh-huh. We’ve got time to go slow later. Right now I need you Shawn.” She started softly kissing his chest, making a trail of her own, causing Shawn to respond right away.

“But-” He was silenced with Belle’s lips on his as she gently nipped at his lower lip. “Nope, you got a head start out there so that means I get to start things off here. And if you don’t mind,” she picked up Shawn’s arms behind his head and said, “and no hands for you mister.” Shawn opened his mouth to talk but Belle placed a finger to his mouth, as she said, “No objections taken.”

After Belle slowly loved every inch of Shawn’s body and when the last articles of clothing were finally lost and when she herself couldn’t take it anymore, she straddled herself directly above and lowered herself for what seemed like forever to Shawn.

Shawn pleaded with heavy breathing, “Belle- please? Can’t-I-just-” But his protests were met by Belle’s mouth and as they began a rhythm, their tongues danced to a music of their own. And when Shawn couldn’t take it anymore he flipped her so that he could deepen every single thrust, bringing them both to an edge worth falling into.

They broke their kiss long enough for Shawn to say, “I love you Belle. I really, really love you. I don’t think I say it as often as I should and I just wanted to make sure you knew that my life would be nothing without you and I’m so thankful that you are my wife. Happy Anniversary.” Belle met his eyes and could see the reflection of how much he loved her, and it brought a tear to her eye as she responded by saying, “Oh, Happy Anniversary, too. I love you Shawn. I love you, I love you, I love you-” Her words got softer and softer as she held his face with her two hands and kissed him with everything that she was.

And after Shawn got his turn to caress and love his wife, they both drifted off to a deep slumber and slept wrapped in each other’s arms. Several hours later, Belle woke to a grinning Shawn. He had his head propped up by his fist and had been contently watching Belle.

“Hey, beautiful. Did you know you look so cute when you’re sleeping?”

Belle slowly opened her eyelids and said, “How long have you been watching me like this?”

“Oh, it doesn’t matter. We both slept for a long time. In fact we are almost there.”

“Almost where?”

“You’ll find out soon enough Perfect Girl.” He leaned over and gently kissed her, “Why don’t you get ready and fix your hair and all that girly stuff and I’ll meet you outside the room, ok?”

“Ok.” And then Shawn got up and left the room. He was already dressed so Belle figured that he had been up a lot longer than she had thought. She lay back in her bed and sighed - I love my life.

When she came out of the bedroom Shawn has prepared a lovely meal. There were baguettes, croissants, jam, orange juice and coffee.

“Merci beaucoup, Monsieur” Belle said as she walked closer to the spread that Shawn had prepared. “You really didn’t have to set this up all fancy Shawn. I mean you said it yourself that we are almost there.”

“Yeah, but I thought this might be a little prep before we land. You might have to get used to this kind of breakfast since the place that we’re going is known for some of these foods.” He was behind her with his arms wrapped around her waist when she spun around to see a he grin plastered across his face.

“Does this mean we’re going to Paris?”

“The woman has beauty and brains!” And at that point Belle jumped up into his arms and hugged him with all her might. Then Shawn swung her around and set her down. “I know you’ve been here before, but last time you were here it was to work and to keep you safe. And you said it yourself from the phone the last time that you felt bad not being with me because it was such a romantic city, the city of love, in fact. So…”

Belle interrupted him and said, “So you brought me to Paris! Oh my God, Shawn you’re gonna love it! Ohh I can’t wait to show you around!”

Shawn listened as Belle started naming off places she wanted to go to and things she wanted to do and Shawn just watched as her blue eyes danced with excitement. He smiled as he thought to himself - its moments like these that you thank God for having Belle as your family. Its moments like these that remind you that life is about spending time with those you love and doing things that make them happy.

Chapter Eighteen

September 2010 - Two years have passed by for the Brady’s and there are two new additions to their family…

“Okay Shawn, you change Andy’s diaper and I’ll do Anne’s.” They were in the room adjacent to theirs and Belle took Andy out of his crib and handed him to Shawn. She then walked over and picked up Anne from her crib and joined Shawn at the dual changing table. The twins were a lasting memory of their anniversary in Paris in 2008. Belle gave birth to healthy twins, Andrew Douglas and Annabelle Grace on April 12, 2009 and from that point on if their life hadn't already gotten busy, it became pretty close to chaotic.

As soon as Shawn was handed Andy he tossed his one-year-old son in the air and said, “Good morning, Sport! Let’s get you two all dressed up because today is a big day for your big sister, Alli! She gets to go to kindergarten today! Woohoo!” Shawn got Andy giggling and then he set him down on the table at the same time Belle reached the table with Anne.

Shawn and Belle worked like an assembly line. The diapers were directly below the table in a shelf and the baby powder, lotion, wipes, and rash cream (just in case) were all neatly placed in a plastic basket that separated the two changing areas. They were both coaxing and talking to their children as they quickly discarded the soiled diapers and replaced them with fresh ones. In a couple minutes both babies were all set and then it was time to get them both dressed.

“Shawn, I’ll get these two dressed up. Go to the next room and wake up Tommy. Then just check to make sure Alli is getting ready in her room. Just don’t help her get ready. She made it clear to me last night that she wanted to dress herself. I laid her clothes out on her bed so she should be fine. I’ll fix her hair later at breakfast. And then help Tommy get washed up and dressed.” Belle said this frantically as she placed Anne back in her crib and took a smiling Andy from Shawn’s arms.

“Yes ma’am.” Shawn said, causing Belle to smile. He then left the room to fulfill his duties, while Belle turned to Andy and said, “Alright Andy, we gotta get you all handsome because we are all going to go see your sister go off to school today. It’s a big day for her and for Mommy.” She set him down in his crib and proceeded to pick a denim blue jumper and a blue and white striped shirt that brought out his eye color. Compared to his brother Tommy who had light blonde hair and dark blue eyes, Andy had dark blonde hair with eyes that were sky blue in the center and were outlined in navy blue. He had his Dad’s signature grin but Shawn was still yet to have a son with his skin tones. He wasn’t worried though because his oldest Alli, was a spitting image of her Dad and all he wanted were healthy, happy kids.

As soon as Belle finished with Tommy she let him play in his crib as she moved on the crib adjacent to his and said to baby Anne, “Your turn!”

She picked out a pale blue outfit for Anne. The top was similar to a baby doll dress but there were matching bottoms that covered her diaper. Anne had really light blonde hair, it was almost platinum, and eyes like her twin brother. Anne looked just like Belle but had a temper flare once in awhile that replicated her father’s. But like Alli, Anne had her Dad wrapped around his little finger and she was his “Sunshine”.

When she finished getting the twins ready she picked them up and had each one on her hip as she walked over to Alli’s room to check on her. She slowed down as she passed Tommy’s room to make sure Shawn was getting him all ready and she was thankful that he had picked a matching outfit. Luckily Shawn had picked a pair of jeans for Tommy, and looked like he was picking out a red shirt with a truck on the front. Unlike Belle, Shawn didn’t really have a great fashion sense. He was fine picking out his own clothes but for some reason when it came to dressing his kids he struggled a little bit. So far dressing Tommy hasn’t been too bad but sometimes when Alli was younger he would mix match the flowered shirts with the plaid bottoms, thinking that since they both had “pink” that they would right away qualify as matching pieces. Once she realized he had everything under control she made her way to the doorway of her daughter’s room.

She stood in the doorway and admired the pink walls and the ballet paraphernalia all over the room. Alli had started ballet last year and was quite the dancer, but of course Belle and Shawn would be the proud parents in anything their daughter chose to do. She watched from the doorframe as Alli slipped on her brand-new dress. It was yellow and had dainty extensions on the shoulders as sleeves. The neckline was square cut and there was a bow that tied in the back. It went down to about her knees and Alli had chosen some bike shorts to match for her to wear underneath.

Belle sighed and then said, “Alli, sweetie. Are you almost ready?” She set down the twins and let them play on the carpet floor as she walked up to Alli and straightened out her dress.

“Yes, Mommy. I have to put on my shoes.” She reached down to put on her new shoes and then got her hairbrush.

“Mommy, can you fix my hair?”

“How about I just brush it first and then I’ll fix it when you’re eating downstairs. You have to eat a good breakfast, okay?”

“Okay Mommy.” Then she skipped out the door and went down the stairs. Belle picked up the twins and then followed Alli.

The table was already made and the pancakes were stacked in the center. There were glasses of milk and there were freshly cut apples as well. As Alli sat down in her chair, Belle placed the twins in the high chairs. By the time Belle had them both strapped in, Shawn appeared with Tommy and placed him in his booster seat.

Once everyone was ready they sat and ate breakfast. Belle and Shawn cut up pancakes and refilled milk cups and barely got to eat themselves before it was almost time to go.

“Shawn can you take Tommy and the twins and brush their teeth while I finish with Alli?” She said frantically as she simultaneously tried to clear the table.

“Yup, I got it, babe.” She scooted out from his chair and then said, “C’mon Tommy lets go brush our teeth.” And at the same time Belle helped Shawn to carry the twins with both hands. As Shawn walked out of the kitchen and to the stairs, little Tommy followed closely behind.

“Okay, big girl. How would you like your hair today? Pigtails? Braids?” Belle picked up the hairbrush from the counter and then proceeded to brush through Alli’s long, soft curls.

“Umm…” she swung her legs back and forth, “Can you put it up in pigtails, please?”

“Of course. Pigtails coming right up!” Belle fixed Alli’s hair in two low pigtails and tied both sides with matching yellow ribbons. And when she was done she said, “Okay Alli, go brush your teeth and then make sure your backpack is all ready. Its by the stairs.”

“Okay Mommy.” She scooted off the other chair and then ran to the downstairs bathroom where Shawn was, along with her three siblings.

Belle sighed as she finished clearing up the table and decided that she would wash the dishes later so that she could keep herself occupied – not that her three other children wouldn’t – but just in case she got them to take a nap at the same time, she would have something to do to keep her from thinking about Alli. In a way this was more of a step for Belle instead of Alli. Her little girl was very excited to attend kindergarten and didn’t show any signs of insecurity. Instead, Belle was the one having a hard time letting her go. Belle thought to herself – Once she starts school its going to be 13 years of daily school and then she would be off to college… Couldn’t I just bottle up her little girl and keep her forever?

Her thoughts were interrupted by Shawn, “Honey, we better go if we’re gonna get there on time.” He was shouting from the hallway by the bathroom.

Belle glanced at the time on the microwave and it flashed 8:28. Belle realized that they should better get going since school started at 9AM. She grabbed the lunch she prepared for Alli and as she made her way to the garage she checked to make sure Alli had gotten her bag. When she saw that the bag was no longer by the stairs she quickly went to the garage, anxious to see how Shawn would be handling trying to get all four kids all strapped in the van. She entered and found Alli contently sitting in her spot, while Shawn was frantically trying to figure out how to the other three in their respective places.

“Belle I don’t know how you do it.” He had Tommy standing by the door, as he held Anne on one side and had Andy sitting on the seat. He had no idea how to put the twins in their car eats simultaneously. Belle giggled in the doorway and then said, “Here give me Anne and put Andy in his car seat.” She went up to him and got Anne from Shawn and then motioned to a quiet Tommy, “Come here, Tommy. Let’s get you in your seat.” With Anne on her hip and Tommy’s tiny hand in hers, she walked to her side of the car and opened the door. In the middle row were the two car seats of the twins and in the back row sat Alli and an empty booster seat for Tommy.

“Alli help Tommy get into his seat.” She helped Tommy up to the seats and then placed Anne in her seat as Shawn finished strapping in Andy. Belle then glanced to the back to make sure that Alli and Tommy were correctly buckled in and then went to her seat and sat down.

“Okay, let’s roll.” Shawn said as he winked at Belle and pulled out of the driveway.

They arrived at the school and then got the stroller and placed Andy and Anne in it. Shawn pushed the twins as Belle carried Tommy and held Alli’s hand. As soon as they got to the classroom Belle noticed that the energetic Alli had suddenly become very quiet.. She stooped down to talk to her and set Tommy down so that he stood next to them. She said, “Alli, sweetie its time to go to school.”

Allie looked up with her big expressive eyes and replied, “I don’t wanna go to school anymore Mommy. I want to stay home with you and Tommy and Andy and Anne.”

Belle’s heart broke but she said, “Honey, you were so excited to go to school yesterday.” She lovingly stroked Alli’s hair and then said, “You’re going to meet some new friends and play games and sing songs. I know you’ll have lots of fun. And before you know it, Mommy will be right here waiting for you with Tommy, and Andy, and Anne. Ok?”

Alli looked at the class and then back at Belle, “You’ll be right here?”

“Yes, baby. Right here, I promise. C’mon give me a big hug.” Alli leaned in and hugged Belle with all her might.

“Hey, what about me?” Shawn chirped in. Alli ran over to her Dad and Shawn scooped her up, squeezed her, and smothered her with kisses.

“I love you Princess. Have fun, ok? You tell all about you day later, deal?”

“Deal.” Alli nodded her head and then continued, “I love you, too.” Shawn put her down and she went up to the stroller and said, “Bye Andy! Bye Anne! I see you later!”

Belle helped Alli get to the door and then helped her get settled in her spot on the carpet and then slowly walked away. She smiled and waved to her daughter to give Alli reassurance but inside Belle was falling apart. And as soon as she was out of her daughter’s sight and next to Shawn, big tears started streaming down her face.

“Hey..hey…” Shawn whispered as he held Belle in his arms, “Its ok. Shhh…”

“Our little girl is growing up.” Belle managed to say in between her cries.

“I know, I know…You’ll be fine and she’ll be fine. C’mon lets go home.” Shawn had been holding Tommy but then gave Tommy to Belle as he pushed the stroller to their car.

That day morning was probably the longest morning Belle had experienced, and at time it looked as if 1:00 would never come. But when it did, she was right where she promised to be, waiting outside the door for Alli. As the children filed out of the classroom, Belle spotted a beaming Alli and extended her arms as Alli ran into them.

“Hi, big girl!” Alli gave Belle a big squeeze and then they parted and Alli said, “School is soo much fun Mommy! We sang songs, and then painted…and THEN,” her eyes got really big, “we got to play in the BIG playground.”

“Really?” Belle asked.

“Yup! I like school.”

“Well, why don’t you tell me more about it but save some stuff for when Daddy comes home because I’m sure he would love to hear about school, ok?”

“Ok Mommy.” Belle scooped Tommy and then started to push the stroller with one hand when she said, “Well its time to go home, sweetie. Hold on to the stroller and then you can tell me what other fun things you did today.”

As they walked to the car, Alli chatted non-stop about her day was quite the ball of energy at the dinner table that night re-telling everything that happened to Shawn. But it seemed that all that fun exhausted her because she was out at 7:30 on the couch after dinner. She had been reading a book but had fell asleep with it in her lap. The twins were independently playing their own playpens and Tommy was playing with blacks on the living room floor. All could be seen as Shawn and Belle cleared up the table.

When they finished they walked over to the couch to find Alli sound asleep. “Looks like the school girl has turned in for the day.” Shawn said as he approached her.

“Why don’t you take her up and tuck her in and I’ll try and get these ones started on getting to bed, too.”

“Ok, I’ll come down and take Tommy and we can put all three of them down.”

“It’s a date.” Belle said with a giggle.

“Definitely.” As Shawn leaned down to carry his precious daughter to her room.

A little while later, after Alli was tucked in, after Tommy’s, Andy’s, and Anne’s teeth were all brushed, after Tommy was read a book and tucked in, and after Belle and Shawn rocked the twins to sleep, Bella and Shawn got themselves ready for bed, too.

And as they lay in their bed, Shawn looked over at Belle who looked a little distant. “Belle, what are you thinking about?”

Belle rolled over to meet Shawn’s eyes, “Well, today while the twins were sleeping and I was playing with Tommy, and missing Alli… I thought about going back to work.”

“Really? Like full-time?” Shawn questioned with a shocked expression on his face.

“Well, sort of… I wonder if I can work something out where I can work from home. I mean Alli is obviously fine in school, and Tommy is getting bigger its only a couple years before he’s in school too… and I don’t know, if I could work out of the house I wouldn’t have to worry about leaving the twins with anyone. I wanna be here for all the big events but I feel as if I can finally start attempting to work again. And I know we haven’t really discussed it but face it Shawn, with four kids, this house, the van, your car, we’ve got a lot on our hands and I don’t think we can keep surviving on your paycheck.”

Shawn sighed, “You really thought about this, huh?”

“Yeah, I did.”

“Well, I didn’t want to bring it up but I did want to talk to you about our finances. We are doing fine but I agree. I don’t think we can keep on like this. Are you sure you wanna start working again?”

“Yeah. I’m sure if I talk to my Dad and Kate they can have something arranged where I can design stuff here at home and then maybe meet them either here in the house or at Basic Black to discuss things.”

“Ok, well how soon do you want to do this?”

“By the end of the year.”

Shawn was taken aback by Belle’s response and raised his eyebrows. But he said, “Alright then, we’ll start making the arrangements as soon as possible. I support you all the way.”

Belle leaned over, hugged Shawn, and kissed him with everything she was before saying, “Thank you, Shawn. I really needed this. I love you.”

“I love you, too.” Belle cuddled in Shawn’s arms and nestled her head on his chest.

She was about to drift off to sleep when Shawn suddenly said, “Does this mean you’ve had enough kids?”

Belle looked up at him and then said, “Yeah, I think so. I’ve got two beautiful girls, two handsome boys, and you. What more could I ask for?”

Chapter Nineteen

Sixteen years have rolled by for the Brady family and it is now a warm August day in 2026… Belle is driving home after going to the grocery store to pick up some last minute things for Alli’s 21st birthday. Alli would be stopping by later that evening to have dinner with her brothers and sisters, and then would go off the following day on a trip with her friends. Belle couldn’t believe that today, her little Alli, would turn 21…its as if the years just flew past her and Alli just blossomed right before her into a beautiful woman. She graduated Salem High as Salutatorian, like her Mom, and went on to study dancing in New York. Ballet or any kind of dancing was her passion and she even danced in various venues in New York City, including Radio City Music Hall. Belle smiled at that certain memory because of the hassle it had been to take the whole family to see Alli perform, but all the chaos was worth it to see Alli grace the stage. And now she was back for a short time before her classes would return in the fall.

The realization that Alli had grown up so fast caused her to then think of her Tommy. At the age of four he had to wear glasses and had a speech delay but he was incredibly smart. He learned to play the violin and he played it all throughout high school as an extracurricular activity. However, he shocked the family when he announced he wanted to be a Doctor after he graduated from Salem High at the top of his class. He would be following in the footsteps of his Great-Great-Grandfather, his namesake. And so far, after his first year at college, he was doing very well. But even with killer blue eyes and curly blonde hair, at 19 years old he had yet to have a girlfriend. But he was fine with it, and so were Belle and Shawn. He usually was a homebody throughout high school, but he would go to any lengths to protect his little sister and even his big sister. He was just a fine gentleman and Belle hoped that he would one day find a woman to make him even happier.

The twins on the other hand always kept Belle and Shawn on their toes. When they started school they had a tendency to stick together and cause trouble. Eventually they had to separate them into different classes and they learned to be a little more independent. Andy became really into soccer and was quite the athlete. He played recreational soccer and Shawn even gave coaching a shot. Anne loved gymnastics and she excelled in it, with a specialty in the parallel bars. And for every soccer game and for every gymnastic meet, they could count on Belle being there to cheer them on.

Suddenly Belle remembered that she had to finish up on her designs for her latest line with Basic Black. She then remembered how she had gone back to working for Basic Black after she told Shawn she wanted to. From that point, it was only a matter of months before Belle was working out of the house. She created clothing lines right out of their home and even came up with children’s clothing. But by the time Andy and Alli were settled in the 1st grade, she gradually went back to working in the office. And now she was a “Working Mama”, as Alli put it. Shawn on the other hand stuck to law and now was the head of a very prestigious law firm.

But the past sixteen years hadn’t always been smooth sailing. In fact there were some pretty rough times. In 2016, twelve years after Marlena was put behind bars, John passed away in his sleep in the Black penthouse. The doctors never gave a definite reason for his death but they gathered that he had become so heartbroken and depressed in the years following Marlena’s conviction that his health just deteriorated to the point where his body and heart couldn’t take it anymore. John’s death was one of the hardest things Belle had to go through and after losing the one parent she still had in her life, Belle went into a funk herself. She hid it from her kids, and relatives, and only Shawn knew of her sorrows. She ended up taking anti-depressants for almost year until she finally came to terms with her father’s death. It was only after endless night of tears, that she accepted it.

A single tear dropped from her eyes as she neared her driveway, but as she got closer she turned up the volume on the radio and this is what she heard…

Back when I was a child, before life removed all the innocence
My father would lift me high and dance with my mother and me and then
Spin me around ‘til I fell asleep
Then up the stairs he would carry me
And I knew for sure I was loved
If I could get another chance, another walk, another dance with him
I’d play a song that would never, ever end
How I’d love, love, love
To dance with my father again
When I and my mother would disagree
To get my way, I would run from her to him
He’d make me laugh just to comfort me
Then finally make me do just what my mama said
Later that night when I was asleep
He left a dollar under my sheet
Never dreamed that he would be gone from me
If I could steal one final glance, one final step, one final dance with him
I’d play a song that would never, ever end
‘Cause I’d love, love, love
To dance with my father again
Sometimes I’d listen outside her door
And I’d hear how my mother cried for him
I pray for her even more than me
I pray for her even more than me
I know I’m praying for much too much
But could you send back the only man she loved
I know you don’t do it usually
But dear Lord she’s dying
To dance with my father again
Every night I fall asleep and this is all I ever dream

(Song Credit: Dance With My Father
By: Luther Vandross)

She had already pulled into the driveway but she had to wait until the song finished to get out of the car. Tears were just streaming down her face as she listened to this song, as she remembered her deceased Dad. She missed her Dad so much.

But as the song faded, 7-year-old JJ came running through the garage. “Mommy, Mommy! You’re home!”

Belle quickly wiped her tears and opened the car door to welcome an embrace from her youngest child. He had been a blessing in disguise for their family. A couple years following John’s death, Belle found out that she was once again pregnant. It shocked the whole family but it was just the thing Belle needed in order to help her move on after her Dad’s death. And it helped that Mimi finally got pregnant, after having some difficulties, right around the same time. They were able to bond and when they both had little boys, Belle and Mimi made it so that they were with each other constantly. Belle and Shawn decided to name their little miracle Jacob Jonathan, after John but he was a bundle of brown hair and brown eyes, just like Shawn.

“Hi, baby.” Belle loved getting hugs from her children and since all of her other kids weren’t very cuddly anymore she looked forward to seeing her little JJ at the end of a hard day at work. “What did you do today?”

“Well Andy and I went to the park. He played soccer with his friends while I played on the playground. And then we came back and we made grilled cheese sandwiches. They were almost as good as yours!”

Belle laughed, “Well, I’m glad that Andy took you out and didn’t let you watch cartoons all day. It was a nice day to go out. Why don’t you help me with some of the groceries, I have to start cooking for dinner tonight. We have to make it extra special because its your big sister’s 21st birthday.”

“Alli is old.” JJ said with a wrinkle of his nose.

Belle laughed and said, “Well not too old, but she is quite the woman. And she loves being around all of you.”

“Yeah, I miss when she used to take me for ice cream.” His eyes looked down and his shoulders collapsed at the memory. But then he looked up with a gleam in his eyes and said, “But she always takes me when she comes home. And she usually brings me something form New York, too!”

“Yup, she does doesn’t she? Well, why don’t you help me make the dinner extra special tonight? How about that?” Belle raised her eyebrow at her suggestion.

“Okay!” And JJ ran to the trunk to help unload the groceries.

The table was set, with Andy and JJ’s help, and dinner was ready with Anne helping Belle when the doorbell rang.

“I’ll get it!” JJ said as he put down the napkins on the table to run to the door.

“JJ, make sure you check who it is before you open it!” Belle shouted form the kitchen.

JJ peeked from the window by the door and saw both Alli and Tommy waiting in front of the door and he excitedly exclaimed, “Its Tommy and Alli!” He opened the door and ran into the arms of his big sister Alli.

“Alli! I missed you so much! You haven’t been home in a long time!” JJ squeezed Alli with all his might and Alli crouched down to give him a loving hug in return. “I missed you, too, JJ.”

“Hey what about me little buddy?” Tommy said as he extended his arms to JJ.

JJ turned and ran to Tommy and Tommy picked him up and tickled JJ until his laughs could be heard from the kitchen. By that time Andy and Anne had reached the door, and Belle wasn’t far behind.

At the sight of Andy and Anne, Alli said, “Oh my gosh, look at you two! Andy you must have grown like a foot since last spring when I came down. Come here and give me a hug!” Andy walked up to Alli and at 5’10” he towered over Alli who was 5’5”.

“We missed you Alli.” Andy said. He may not have said much to Alli but Alli could feel it in his hug that he had missed her greatly, as did she. “And my little sister Anne, come here and give me a big hug.”

Anne quickly went up to Alli and hugged her with all her might. They were roughly the same height, but Anne was slightly shorter. “I miss talking with you Alli.”

“Me too. But you know you can always call me in New York.”

“Yeah, I know. But it’s not the same.”

“I know what you mean. Well tonight, I’m all yours. You better give me all the latest happenings. Deal?”

“Okay.” Anne said with a smile. Then it was Belle’s turn to greet her daughter. She ran up to Alli and tip toed a little to kiss and hug her baby. “Ooo, I’ve missed you so much Alli.”

“Me, too, Mom. Its so nice to come home.”

“Lemme get a good look at you.” She took a step back and held onto Alli’s arms as she looked at Alli. “Beautiful, as always, but you need some more meat on those bones, you’re so skinny. Well, I made all your favorite foods so you better eat up.”<br />

Alli laughed and said, “Mmm, I can’t wait. The food up in New York just isn’t the same and I really miss your cooking Mom.”

“Well why don’t we all go inside. You’re Dad should be home soon. And you can put all your things up in Anne’s room and wash up.”

“I love coming home!” Alli said as she walked in the door following her brothers and sister and in the arms of her Mom.

“And we love you coming home!” JJ exclaimed.

“Oh, I almost forgot. JJ, I have something for you.” Alli reached into her bag and pulled out a “snowglobe” with Central Park inside.

“Wow, that’s soo cool!” JJ shook it and watched as different colored leaves fell on fell on the park scene. He gave Alli a big hug and said, “Thank you! I love it! I can bring it to school when it starts and show my new classmates!”

Alli smiled and said, “You’re welcome. Hopefully I can take you there the next time you’re in New York. When you came to watch me last time I didn’t really have time to show you around so I promise, next time we’ll go, ok?”

“Ok!” And JJ ran off to go put it in his room as the garage door opened and they heard Shawn pull in. In a few minutes Shawn was inside and Alli walked up to her Dad and gave him a big hug.

“Hi, Dad.” She kissed his cheek and then gave him a loving hug.

“Hey there Princess!” Alli giggled and said, “Dad, I can’t believe you still call me that!”

Shawn replied with a grin, “Why wouldn’t I? No matter how old you get, you’ll always be my Princess.”

“Dad’s right,” Anne spoke up, “he still chooses to call me Sunshine everywhere I go. At first I tried to get him to stop but now I’ve realized that I can’t.”

“You bet. You two are my girls, my Princess and my Sunshine!”

“Well, why don’t we all eat and celebrate?” Belle said as she clasped her hands together.

“Sounds great!” Shawn said. And they all went to their respective places at the table with Shawn at the head. They said grace and then dug into all the delicious food. And after Alli was pretty much done with her update. Everyone took their turn updating Alli on their lives and soon everyone was laughing and enjoying their cake.

“I love you, all. I’m so glad I got to spend by birthday with my family, there’s nothing like family love.”

“You got that right.” Shawn spoke up.

“Mommy…Daddy?” JJ looked up from his cake with a serious look on his face, “If being with family is so much fun…then how come I’ve never seen Grandma Marlena, even if she is still alive?”

Everyone else gulped down and looked frantically at each other. It was the question that Shawn and Belle feared each of their children would ask…someday. Beginning with Alli, they had come up with this long tong talk trying to explain the person that Marlena became, but only if they both thought that their child was ready to hear it.

Belle finished what was in her mouth and said, “JJ, sweetie. Do you really wanna know right now? Or can we talk about this in the morning?”

“Umm…I guess we can talk about it in the morning.” JJ said softly.

“We’ll talk about this tomorrow okay, son? I promise.” Shawn said as he looked at JJ.

JJ silently nodded his head and even thought he was only seven, he knew that whatever his parents weren’t telling him, the story would be hard to tell…

Chapter Twenty

The next morning after breakfast was eaten, Alli and Anne went out shopping while Tommy and Andy went to the basketball courts for a little one on one. JJ was watching TV when Shawn and Belle approached JJ with a book filled with articles and aids that would help them explain why he never saw his Grandma Marlena.

Shawn and Belle took a deep breath before sitting on both sides of JJ. Shawn took the remote and turned off the TV.

“Hey my little Tough Guy.” Shawn said as he nudged his son.

Belle smiled at the name that Shawn used, that name had come around after Shawn finally got a boy who was his exact replica. Down to the brown eyes, dark hair, killer chocolate eyes, and that adorable smile he was his Daddy’s boy. A lot of his behaviors were a lot like Shawn’s and one day Belle started calling him her “little Tough Guy” and thus his family pet name was born.

“Are you gonna tell me about Grandma Marlena?” JJ asked as he looked at both of his parents.

“Yes, sweetie. We think that you are old enough to know why and that you are old enough to understand some of why your Grandma Marlena is different than most grandmas you’ll ever meet.” Belle said as she lovingly rubbed her son’s leg.

Shawn took another deep breath and started by saying, “Your Grandma Marlena was an amazing woman. She was a doctor at the hospital and helped so many people by talking with them about their problems. She was a wonderful wife, and an excellent mother.”

“Like Mommy?” JJ asked with wide eyes.

Shawn and Belle smiled and Shawn continued by saying, “Yes, just like Mommy. But about 22 years ago, looong before you were born, or your big sister was born, or even before your Mom and I got married, your Grandma Marlena got very sick.”

JJ’s shoulders fell and his eyes were sad as he asked, “Was she dying?”

Belle took over by saying, “No sweetie, its not that kind of sick. Something happened to her and she couldn’t think right up here,” Belle pointed to her head, “She wasn’t able to make good decisions about the people she loved anymore.”

Belle continued, “And right about this time, many of our relatives were dying. Your Great-Grandma Caroline, Aunt Lexie’s husband and Theo’s dad, Abby’s dad and Aunt Jennifer’s husband, your dad’s cousin Cassie, your dad’s Aunt Maggie, your Great-Great Grandma Alice, and a few other loved ones passed away and no one knew what was happening.” As Belle named off all the names, her heart broke with the mention of every name as she recalled the feelings she felt when she found out when each of them died. She was about to shed a tear when Shawn took over for her.

“It was all happening so fast and it was a very sad time for many people in Salem.” Shawn took the book that he and Belle had put together. Inside were articles remembering all the deceased after their deaths.

“They were all very good people and everyone was sad to see them die. See, JJ? Look at all the good things about your relatives and family friends.”

JJ was silent as he flipped the pages and saw page after page of happy pictures of those who had died and many articles on the good things about these people.

“Why did they die?” JJ asked as he looked up from the book.

Belle took her turn again and said, “Because it was their time sweetie. It was their turn and unfortunately for everyone else, their time was too soon.”

“How did they die?” JJ asked.

Belle took a deep breath and said, “The details are still very hard for grown-ups like your Dad and I to hear, but I will say that the days all these people died were very, very sad days in Salem.”

“I thought you were going to tell me more about Grandma Marlena? How come you’re telling me all this?” JJ asked, a little confused.

Shawn looked at JJ and said, “JJ, what we are about to say might be hard to understand but remember how we said that Grandma Marlena was sick? The kind of sick where you can’t think correctly?” JJ nodded his head and then Shawn went on by saying, “Well, while she was sick she did some very bad things.” Shawn paused before saying, “The reason why we showed you the pictures of everyone who was dying is because, they all died because of Marlena.”

“Grandma Marlena killed all of these people when she was sick?” JJ asked after hearing this news.

Belle came in saying, “Yes, and you don’t see her because she is in jail.”

“But why Mommy? Wasn’t she sorry that she killed all those people.”

“Well she was sorry in the end, but she needed to be punished for what she did. She was able to get some medicine that helped her get better but she is still fulfilling her punishment in jail.”

“Is that why we can’t see her?” JJ asked.

“Yes, sweetie. But I don’t know maybe one day I can take you and your brothers and sisters to see her. Even though she did some very bad things towards the end of her life, she was an amazing woman and I want you and your brothers and sisters to see that.”

Giggles interrupted to solemn atmosphere as Shawn, Belle, and JJ all turned to see Alli and Anne coming in from their shopping trip with a few bags in hand. But as soon as they saw that they had an audience Alli and Anne got very quiet. They slowly approached the living room where their little brother and parents were seated and left their bags at the feet of the stairs.

Alli was the first to break the silence by saying, “Hey little buddy. You okay?”

JJ looked at everyone individually. He wasn’t really sure what to think of the whole situation. He was a little confused, a little sad, and even a little angry. This was a huge thing for a seven-year-old to understand but JJ seemed like he was beginning to comprehend the reason why he never saw his Grandma Marlena.

After a long pause JJ looked at Alli and finally said, “I think so.”

“How about you and me go out for our ice cream right now? If you wanna talk about this then we can and if not, then we can talk about something else. It’ll be our time, ok? How’s that sound?”

JJ’s spirits looked like they were brightening up, but everyone knew that deep inside this news was a lot to handle, and his sudden change in personality was perfectly normal. Belle thought back to when her and Shawn told Alli, and then Tommy, and then Andy and Anne, it never got easier, and her and Shawn knew that their children would be forever changed with this knowledge. In a sense, each child lot just a little of their innocence when they found out the truth about their other Grandma. But this also helped them to mature earlier.

JJ got up a little slower than usual and went to go put on his shoes. When he left the room Alli turned to her parents and asked, “How did he react?”

Shawn and Belle sighed and Shawn spoke up first saying, “Well, pretty good for a seven-year-old. I think he still doesn’t really understand it all, and frankly I prefer it that way. At least he knows a little about your Grandma Marlena, I don’t want him to know everything yet.”

Belle jumped in by saying, “He took it as well as the rest of you took it. Like all of you were, he’s pretty quiet. He’s still processing it in his head.”

“Well, hopefully this ice cream outing is just the thing to lighten up this day for him.” Alli said with a little smile, similar to Shawn’s.

“Thank you for doing this Alli. This is exactly what he needs right now, he needs to just remember that he can think about things every other seven-year-old does.” Belle said as she gave her eldest a big hug.

“Oh its no problem Mom. We do this every time I come home. Its practically a ritual.”

“And you have no idea what this means Alli. He looks forward to your visits because of your little outings and its something he always remembers you by when you are gone. I thought that it might be harder for you two to bond because of you being 14 years apart and you going to school in New York, but when you’re not here Alli, he misses you like crazy.”

“I miss you all, too.” Just then little footsteps could be heard and JJ appeared.

“You ready, pal?” Alli said as she stooped down to JJ’s eye level. He nodded and then turned around to head out the door.

Alli turned to a quiet Anne and said, “Hey little sis, sorry to cut our day short but we can hang out more later, ok?”

“Oh, no problem. JJ needs you right now and I’m kinda getting tired of you.” Anne said sarcastically and smiled her mischievous grin as she hugged her sister.

“Alright, well we’ll be back in an hour or so. Bye!” Alli said as she waved with one hand and grabbed JJ’s hand with the other.

“Bye!” Shawn, Belle, and Anne simultaneously said.

In the car on the way to Salem Place, JJ was very quiet. He just stared blankly out the window and Alli felt a little sorry for her brother. He had just been hit with news that drastically changed his image of his Grandma. It wasn’t until they were in the Ice Cream Shop that he told Alli he wanted Cookies N’ Cream Ice Cream in a waffle cone. Alli got her Mud Pie Ice Cream in a cup and they both sat down to enjoy their treats.

After JJ took his first bite, he said, “Alli, how old were you when you found about Grandma Marlena?”

“I was about your age, too.”

“And what did you think?” JJ asked in between bites.

“Well, I really didn’t get it at first. But after a while I was able to understand it.”


“JJ, this is big stuff, and we don’t expect you to understand it all yet. But we all think that you should know the truth. Can you do me a favor?”

JJ looked at his sister and nodded as he said, “Sure.”

“Ok, listen carefully. I don’t want you to think about this too much. It’s not good for you and it isn’t what seven-year-olds should be thinking of. Soon enough it will make more sense, but you just have to give it time. So don’t worry about all of this anymore. I want you to focus on your favorite book, or cartoon, or sport, or maybe school. Can you do that for me?”

JJ nodded his head and said, “I can do that.”

“Good! So…what book are you reading right now? You still love to read right?”

Suddenly JJ’s eyes got big and he said, “Yup! I’m reading some of Tommy’s old Great Illustrated Classics chapter books and I just finished Tom Sawyer!”

“Wow! Really?”

“Yeah, and it was soo good!” JJ continued to tell Alli his favorite parts and she smiled at his animated storytelling – and she smiled at the fact that his charisma was slowly coming back, despite the fact that he just learned one of the biggest news he’d ever hear.

Chapter Twenty One

While Alli and JJ were out eating ice cream, Tom (as he now preferred to be called) and Andy were out doing some “male-bonding”, as they liked to call it.

They were out at the basketball courts playing a little one-on-one when they decided to take a breather and drink some water.

“So you looking forward to your Senior year Andy?” Tom asked his little brother.

“I guess so. Junior year was as stressful as it was all hyped up to be and then some. But now I’m ready to be a Senior and get all those privileges and celebrations. I think its gonna be a great year.” Andy said in between sips from his water bottle.

“And it doesn’t hurt that you’ve got a beautiful girlfriend, doesn’t it?” Tom said as he nudged his little brother with a wink.

Andy blushed a little but then said, “Yeah, well. Kaitlynn is special. I never saw myself as someone who would do well in school sports, and then have a great girlfriend, but I don’t know…it all just came to me and I’m very happy. I can’t say that Kaitlynn is the one yet, but I don’t know. What about you? You find a girlfriend, yet?”

It was Tom’s turn to bow his head and turn a few shades of red as he admitted, “Nope. I don’t know, I guess it’s not my kinda thing. I’d rather do other things. But I’m sure that if I met someone, I wouldn’t hesitate to try dating.”

“Trust me bro, at first I told myself I wouldn’t turn into one of those guys who does romantic stuff for their girlfriends or ends up spending time watching movies with a girl instead of hanging with the guys, but I don’t know…I think if it’s the right person you choose to do those things because you enjoy each other’s company.”

“Sounds like someone has been getting Dad’s sensitive genes.” Tom said with a smile, “Geez, look at how pathetic I am. I’m listening to my 17 year old little brother give me advice on my love-life, or lack there of. How sad is this?” Tom said as he looked at Andy.

Andy reached over and patted his big brother on the back, “I have to admit, pretty sad.” And with those words, Tom nudged Andy to the point where he almost fell over.

“Oh, shut up, little brother and let’s play some ball.” Tom got up and wrinkled Andy’s hair as he lent a hand to help Andy up.

That night, after everyone else in the house made their way to bed, Alli and Anne were wide awake chatting with each other. They had soo much to catch up on and Anne always enjoyed these “girl talks” every time her big sister came home.

“So how are you and Caleb? You two still going out, right?” Alli asked her little sister.

“Yeah, coming up on six months already.” There was a slight pause before Anne continued and asked, “Alli, how do you know when you’re really in love, or when you’ve found the person you want to be with for the rest of your life?”

Alli let out a sigh and said, “Well, I don’t know if I’m the best person to be asking this seeing that I’ve kind of only really had one solid relationship in my life. And even now, with my job and career and school, its hard for me to really think if Matt and I are meant to be… Sometimes I really don’t know how Mom and Dad figured it out. But I do know they always told me that the right person would come along and that you’ll know in your heart if that person is who you want to be with for the rest of your life. Do you love Caleb?”

“I think so… I just don’t know yet. Do you think this is early to be thinking that way?”

“Honestly, I think it depends on the situation. There is not really a time for you to decide when your heart chooses to love someone I think it just happens. But it has to come from you and not him or any other people. You have to be the one who feels the love, don’t let anyone else interfere with those feelings. And don’t do anything that you aren’t ready for.”

“Alli, I know all of that stuff. Trust me, I’m not about to have sex with Caleb just because. You of all people should know that I’ve grown up with parents who believed that waiting until marriage to consummate a relationship is not a bad thing to do and in fact it is very respected. Believe me, I’m not ready for that kind of relationship.”

“Well, good. I think that what Mom and Dad did was very hard in the society they lived in and now it’s not exactly any easier. But I have taken that concept to heart and want to wait, too.”

“Yeah, I wanna do that too.” There was another pause before Anne continued, “It’s just that…”

“It’s just that, what?” Alli asked her younger sister.

“Oh, I don’t know. Do you think I’m too young?” Anne asked softly.

“Well, Anne…I know you’re a responsible teen, and Mom and Dad trust your judgment. You know everything you need to know, especially how to be safe. It’s ultimately your decision. I just have one thing to say.” Alli took hold of Anne’s hands and looked her straight in the eye as she said, “Anne, you’re a very special young woman and your virginity is something that once its given away it can never be taken back. Its like a gift and one that you want to be able to give someone who can offer it back as well as a huge commitment. A relationship is never the same afterwards, and you can never go back to the way things used to be. Just make sure the person you are sharing this with feels the same way and makes it a special memory and one that you can look back and smile upon.”

Anne was about to shed a tear at her sister’s words, but decided to hug her instead, “Thanks Alli. You’re the best.” She broke the embrace and looked Alli in the eyes as she said, “I love you.”

“I love you, too.” Alli said in return.

“Ok, enough of the serious, sappy stuff. I wanna hear all about you and New York!”

Alli giggled and said, “You got it dude!”

And the two young women chatted into the wee hours of the next morning about their love lives, school, and the latest happenings in Salem and New York City.

In a few days, Alli was once again leaving but this time she was off to Miami, Florida to spend some time with her friends before the start of school. It was kind of their “End-of-Summer/ Alli’s 21st birthday Celebration”.

After all of Alli’s things were put into Tom’s car Alli said her good-byes inside the house. First she went up to Andy and Anne, “Bye Andy, I’ll miss you. I know you’ll be good for Mom and Dad,” she said with a wink, “And watch out for your sister and little brother while I’m gone.”

“I will Alli. Take care.” And then Alli and Andy shared a warm embrace. Next was Anne and Alli approached her and said, “Call me, ok? I know the phone isn’t the same as in person but know that I’ll always be your big sister and I’ll always be there for you. Never hesitate to call me, it doesn’t matter what time it is. Deal?”

“Deal!” Anne said and she nodded her head and hugged her sister, “I’ll miss you Alli.”

“I’ll miss you, too, Anne.” Before Alli could shed a tear a hand could be felt tugging on Alli’s pants.

“My turn, my turn.” JJ said, looking at Alli with his deep brown eyes.

“Of course, how could I forget my little buddy.” Alli said as she knelt down to meet JJ’s eye level. “I want you to help out around here, ok? Be good for Mommy and Daddy, alright?” JJ nodded his head and Alli pulled him in for a big hug as she said, “I’m gonna miss you soo much.” She broke the hug so that she could look into his eyes as she said, “Give me a call and I wanna hear all about school and what you’re up to, got it?”

“Got it. I’ll miss you too, Alli. I love you.”

“I love you too.” Alli hugged him once more before getting up and moving along to her parents. Belle looked like she was going to cry, she always shed a few tears when it was time for Alli to go.

“Bye Mom. Thanks for everything. I’ll call as soon as I land in Miami.” She leaned into to give Belle a big hug and kiss.

“You better. You may be 21 but you’ll always be my first baby. Take care sweetie.”

“I will, and don’t worry I’ll be home for Thanksgiving and hopefully Christmas, too.”

“Definitely.” Shawn chimed in. “Come here Princess.” Alli giggled as she walked over to her Dad who wrapped his big arms around her and squeezed her to death. “Be safe. And have fun, ok?”

“I will. Love you Daddy.”

“Love you, too.” And with that Alli picked up her shoulder bag and then headed out the door as the rest of the family walked toward it.

“You ready, sis?” Tom said as he waited by his car, he was taking her to the airport.

“Yup,” Alli turned around and waved to everyone, “I love you!”

A bunch of “Bye’s!”, “I love you’s” and, “I miss you’s” melded all together as Shawn, Belle, Andy, Anne, and JJ all said good-bye to Alli. As Alli got into the car she kept waving and as she and Tom drive away and stuck her hand out of the window, waving to everyone. JJ went as far as running along side the car for was long as he could keep up waving to his big sister, but when the car turned off at the end of the street JJ quietly went back inside the house and joined his brother, sister and parents in being sad that Alli had left. It was like the house was just a little emptier and a little lonelier.

Joined: October 17th, 2004, 8:41 pm

February 1st, 2005, 3:00 am #10

A Shawn and Belle Fanfic. This fic is Rated R.

this is my first fic... hope you like it... i disclaim... (thanks to holly, steph, and megan for their help and inspiration)
Chapters 22 - 28

Chapter Twenty-Two

May rolled around and it was time for Andy’s and Anne’s Senior Prom. Andy and Anne decided to go with two other couples in order to split the cost of the limo ride, Andy was still going out with Kaitlynn and Anne had Caleb as her date.

All four couples were in the Brady family living room posing for pictures for the six sets of parents who could be there…

“God, you’d think they’d have enough pictures already.” Andy said through his teeth as he held his smile for the cameras.

“Seriously, I don’t think I can smile any longer.” Anne said through her teeth.

“Alright! I think the photo shoot inside the house is done people.” Shawn announced.

“What do you mean inside of the house, Dad?” Anne asked, slightly fearing the answer.

“Well, Sunshine we gotta take one of you outside the house and then getting in the limo.” Shawn said with a wink and a smile.

“Oh God.” Anne said as she walked to the door with Caleb. “I could never be a model or a celebrity, all those pictures, man! Now I feel bad for Barbie because she has to constantly be in a smile.”

Caleb laughed and said, “C’mon lighten up a little. At least your parents want to savor each and every moment. Unlike mine, who could care less, especially my Dad.”

“Oh I’m so sorry Caleb. I didn’t mean to imply that or anything. I’m sorry.” Anne said as she leaned over to give her boyfriend a kiss on the cheek.

“No, it’s not your fault. Just be thankful you have the kinds of parents that you do have.” Caleb said with a smile. They walked out the door to hear…

“Alright let’s do this quickly. The limo will be here in 10 minutes!” Belle the ever-organized Mom shouted. She arranged them all in front of the house and then the cameras went into a frenzy. There were couple pictures, “just the girls” pictures, “just the guys” pictures, funny, silly, everything! And before they knew it, the limo pulled up and then the cameras continued to go off as everyone got inside.

As the limo drove off and the other parents left as well, Belle clung onto Shawn’s arm and leaned against him as she said, “Two more of our babies are going to Prom. There’s only one left. And technically this was the last time I would have to fuss over dresses.” Belle looked up at Shawn, her eyes started to well up.

Shawn sighed, “They’re all growing up Belle, and there’s no way to stop them now. They are practically adults now.”

“I know, and that’s the scary part.” There was a pause before Belle jerked and looked at Shawn saying, “Shawn, did you have a talk with Andy last night about being responsible

“Belle, relax. Andy knows all this stuff, we had that talk a few years ago, but yes, I did remind him last night to just be safe.” Shawn said in a reassuring voice.

“Safe Shawn? Did he tell you he was ready for that with Katilynn? Or is he already active?” Belle started to panic and wasn’t sure if she could handle her little Andy growing up that fast.

“Belle, its ok. I’m almost completely sure nothing that serious has happened yet, but if it has he knows what is safe. And if something happens tonight, then he is prepared. I trust him, don’t you?”

Belle started to look uneasy and so Shawn said, “Belle, listen… He and Kaitlynn are in love. Can’t you see it? He looks at her the way I used to look at you and Kaitlynn is the exact same way. And they’re teenagers, don’t you remember how much we wanted to be together at their age?”

Belle hung her head at the realization that Shawn was right, “Oh fine. You win.”

“Belle, we taught our kids right. I trust them and I know that deep down inside you do too. Now Mimi is going to be stopping by soon to pick up JJ so that he and Cameron can have a sleepover and so that you and I can have a date of our own. How’s that sound?” Shawn said with a huge grin.

A small smile started to appear on Belle’s face, “Sounds great, honey.” And they walked hand in hand into their home.

Andy, Kaitlynn, Anne, Caleb, and their other friends all had a blast in the limo, eating dinner, and especially at Prom. The hotel ballroom had been setup to perfection with rose petals on the tables with glass fishbowls and floating candles as the centerpieces. There were delicious desserts and an endless amount of drinks the whole night through. After Prom it had all been decided that he guys would crash at one place and the girls in another, making sure that they checked in with all of their parents.

And so the next day at around lunchtime Andy and Anne finally got home, both still exhausted from the past nights activities. And after they gave their parents the 411 on the whole night they went to their prospective rooms and rested a little more before finishing whatever homework they had that afternoon for the upcoming school week.

It was now the 4th of July and Alli was once again home to visit. Only this time she brought her boyfriend of a couple years, Matt. Belle and Shawn had met him briefly in New York once but this was the first time they would actually have time to get to know him. Matt was a fairly tall guy, about 5’11, he had tan skin with dark dirty blonde hair and hazel eyes, very handsome. He was an Accountant in New York and was a couple years older than Alli. They had met through friends at a party and had been together ever since.

Matt and Shawn were firing burgers and making conversation when Matt said, “I know that this is kinda weird since you don’t know me that well yet, but Mr. Brady-”

Shawn interrupted, “Please call me Shawn, Mr. Brady just makes me feel really old.” He said with a smile.

Matt continued, “Sorry, Shawn- I know you don’t’ know me very well, but I would like to say I love your daughter very much. We’ve been together for a while now and I’m a firm believer in seizing the day. I truly believe that your daughter is the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with. And before you say anything, Alli doesn’t know anything about this yet, and I wanted to ask her today, but only after I had asked permission from you. Alli always talks about you and how much family means to her and so I thought you should know that I want to make Alli my family.” Matt gulped and waited for Shawn to answer.

There was an awkward silence before Shawn looked at Matt. He knew inside that the moment he saw Matt and Alli together, that they would have a strong relationship. He saw how he could make Alli smile and giggle, and the way Alli held his arm - just because - that they were very much in love with each other. Finally he spoke up, “Matt, there is only one thing I must ask, will you make her feel like the incredible woman that she is and be there for her always?”

Matt sighed and nodded as he said, “With all my being, sir. I love Alli with all my heart and would never do anything to hurt her. I promise that she will be treated with the all the respect that she deserves.”

“Then there is really nothing else I can do than to give you my blessing. But you better take care of her. She’s my first little girl, my Princess, and I’m sure you know that. I only want what’s best for her, and Matt, I think you’re just the kind of guy who can make my daughter happy, maybe almost as happy as I can make her.” Shawn said with a wink and a smile as he reached to shake Matt’s hand and pull it into an embrace.

Across the lawn Alli, Anne, and Belle saw this and Alli said, “Wow, this is going better than I thought. I thought for sure Dad would give Matt the full on interrogation first.”

“Oh sweetie, your Dad may seem like a Tough Guy, but he’s got a soft spot, especially when it comes to his daughter’s. And I’m sure that before he reached in and hugged Matt that he might have intimidated Matt just a little.” Belle said.

Alli and Anne giggled before Anne said, “Man, Alli you should have seen when Dad first met Caleb. Caleb was shaking so bad he was soo nervous. But by the end of the night they were talking about Baseball. Go figure.”

“Well I gotta use the bathroom Mom, I’ll be right back.” Alli stood up and left as Belle went to go find Shawn and Anne went to go visit with Caleb, Andy and Kaitlynn.

“So I see that you two are getting along.” Belle said as she approached Shawn and Matt, she leaned in to give Shawn a kiss and then stepped over to Matt to give him a big squeeze.

“Its so nice that you could come down with Alli for the 4th of July. Alli always talks about you and it’s so nice to finally get to know you more.”

“Well, Alli talks non-stop about how she misses Salem and her family. She’s been dying to take me here for a while and I finally got the time, so it all worked out.”

“Well, we’re glad to have you here.” Belle said warmly. “Shawn, lemme just wash up before dinner starts.”

“Ok, you can start telling everyone they can grab a plate so that they can get the burgers wile they’re still hot.” Shawn said.

“Alright!” Belle shouted as she entered the back doors to their house in use the bathroom.

Later that night everyone sat in a blanket to watch as the fireworks went up and everyone was in awe of the spectacular show. All the couples were cozy and the littler ones were on their stomachs, feet in the air, heads on their raised elbows, with glowing eyes as they watched.

Matt chose the finale of the show to wrap his arms around Alli who was sitting between his legs to say, “I love you.”

Alli a little surprised at his sentiment turned her head around and said, “I love you, too.”

“Alli, could you do me a favor?”


“Will you make me a very happy man by becoming my wife? Will you marry me?”


Matt nodded, “These past couple of years couldn’t have been better and I can’t see me living a life without you. So will you grow old with me and be my family?”

“Of course I will!” She got up to turn around and give him a huge kiss before she wrapped her arms around him in a deep hug. When she broke the hug Matt reached into his pocket and pulled out a small box and opened it, revealing a single carat Princess cut ring with a white gold band.

Matt took the ring out of the box and grabbed a hold of Alli’s trembling hand, “I know you’ve always been Princess to your Dad, but now I want to make you my Princess.”

“Oh my god, I love it!” Alli said as a couple tears fell from her eyes. She was glowing and grinning form ear to ear.

By this time the fireworks had ended and everyone happened to drift their eyes towards Matt and Alli. They finally realized that they were being watched and they announced to everyone, “We’re engaged!”

A big scream was heard from all the ladies and a round of applause could be heard before several people stood up to congratulate Alli and Matt.

Belle and Shawn got up. “You knew about this, huh?” Belle asked Shawn.

“Yeah, how could you tell?”

“Cuz’ you didn’t look so surprised, and this is Alli we’re talking about. You’re first little girl.”

“Yeah, well Matt asked me earlier and to be honest, I kinda saw it coming and he truly loves her Belle.”

Belle raised her eyebrow, “You? You saw it coming? Since when can you read the signs?”

Shawn laughed, “Since I‘ve been protective my girls.”

Anne finally got up to congratulate Alli and said, “I’m so happy for you Alli!” She wrapped her arms around her sister and squeezed her tight.

“Thanks, Anne.” They broke the embrace and Alli said, “You know what this means though, right?”

Anne’s face started to fall as she said quietly, “You’ll be staying in New York?”

“Oh my gosh, I didn’t mean that. I mean I don’t know where we’ll live but I meant to imply that this means you get to be my Maid of Honor!”

Anne looked up with a gleam in her eye, “Are you serious?”

“Well, who else would I pick?”

“Oh, I don’t know. I just figured that you would choose one of your friends or something.”

“No way. You’re my little sister, there’s no one else who I’d want right next to me on my wedding day. My friends can be bridesmaids.” Alli said with a smile.

Anne was about to shed a tear when she said, “Aww, you’re gonna make me cry! I love you!”

“I love you, too!”

“Well, you’ve got a line of people who want to congratulate you, and I have to go wash up because you’ve made me cry and I can’t exactly go back to Caleb looking like this.” Anne said with a little giggle and she went into the house by herself.

Earlier that night ~

She checked to make sure that no one was in the house as she crept up the stairs to retrieve a brown paper bag from her purse. She took it to the bathroom and took out the contents. A home pregnancy test.

She whispered, “90% more effective than leading brands….faster results, 3 days earlier..”

She looked at herself in the mirror and said to herself, “Oh god, what if I’m pregnant? What will they say?” She paused and then continued, “I’ll just take it and see what it says.”

A little later…

Her face turned pale as she saw the indication… and she whispered, “I am.”

The end of the night

After the guests started to trickle home Shawn was washing his hands in the bathroom when he noticed a brown paper bag in the trashcan. Curious, he picked it up and was shocked to see what he had found, “A pregnancy test?” He opened the box and found that it had been taken. He started to breathe hard and was scared to see what he might find….

“Oh my God. I don’t believe it.”

Chapter Twenty-Three

Shawn picked up the pregnancy test and saw that she was pregnant. His head started to spin and he felt as though he was going to pass out. How could this have happened? How could Belle have gotten pregnant and not have told me about it? Was it because she didn’t want to ruin Alli’s night? Or was it maybe because she thinks that since we had already decided to stop having kids that I might not like the idea of one more?

Shawn’s head was spinning with all the possible excuses Belle might have to explain why she hadn’t told him. When could this have happened? But his thought was interrupted by the memory of the night he spent with Belle while Andy and Anne were out at Prom and JJ was at Mimi’s house. He couldn’t believe that after all these years, just once was all it took.

He walked out of the bathroom to see who was left. All the guests were already gone and Belle was cleaning the kitchen counters when Shawn pulled up a bar stool next to her.

“Shawn, can you pass me those dishes in front of you?”

Shawn reached over and picked up the stack of plates and brought them to her as she placed them in the sink.

“Belle, is there something you need to tell me?” He was watching her as she paused what she was doing and turned around.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean do you have any news to share?”

“Umm…Shawn I have no idea what you’re talking about. Besides I always tell you everything.”

“Belle, its ok. I know

“What do you KNOW, Shawn?”

“C’mon Belle, its ok if you might feel awkward because you’re a little older than most…”

“Wait a minute. What the heck are you talking about?”

Shawn looked around and saw that there was no one around and so he softly said, “I know you’re pregnant.”

“WHAT?!?” Belle shouted.

“Belle, its ok. I know you’re pregnant, I found the pregnancy test in the bathroom-”

“Shawn! Stop! What pregnancy test?”

“The one you took in the bathroom downstairs earlier when you went to the bathroom. I just feel a little sad that you didn’t tell me right away-”

“Shawn! Just stop talking!” Shawn looked at Belle, suddenly fearing that he had made the wrong assumption.

“Will you just let me talk? I didn’t take a pregnancy test earlier. I’m not pregnant.”

“Are you sure?”

“Shawn!” She punched him in the arm and Shawn looked at the counter, confused.

“Then who does this test belong to?” But before Belle could try and guess, a giggling Alli walked through the door, with Matt trailing not too far behind her.

Shawn and Belle looked at each other and suddenly silently spoke with their eyes that they knew the test belonged to Alli. They sat there in silence when Alli came up to the counter.

“Mom, Dad. Are you okay?” She was still giggling but suddenly concerned with what her parents had been discussing, both of their faces were pale.

Belle was the first to speak up, “Yeah. Your Dad and I are fine. We’re just tired.”

Shawn jumped in by saying, “Yeah. It’s been a long day.”

“Okaay…” Alli looked at her parents a little strangely but then said, “Well we’re gonna check out for the night. The party was great. Good night.” She went over to hug and kiss her parents and then went to grab Matt’s hand.

“G’nite!” Matt said right before leaving the room with Alli.

It took a couple minutes before Shawn and Belle said something. Shawn was the first to say, “I can’t believe that guy. He made up all this crap about him wanting to make sure that I approved before they he would ask Alli to marry him. When in fact they are secretly hiding that they are having a child together. I should have known something was up when he suddenly brought this up. I mean we’ve only seen this guy like twice! I can’t believe this.”

Belle sighed as she said, “Shawn, before you jump to conclusions, maybe we should step back a little bit.”

“Step back?”

“Wait, before you go on, hear me out ok?” Belle paused and then continued, “What if Matt doesn’t know yet? What if he has no idea that Alli is pregnant? What if he really wanted your approval and he wasn’t trying to rush a wedding?”

“Are you saying you’re okay with all of this?” Shawn raised his eyebrows.

“Well, I can’t say I’m jumping for joy but I think we should at least give them a chance to say something before we do. But think about it, we could be grandparents.” Belle looked at him and gave him a half-smile. “And come on, we know that Alli would make a great mother. She always dreamed of having a family and weren’t you the one who said that you could tell they would eventually get married. You know that Matt loves her and even if she was pregnant he would never leave her.”

There was silence before Shawn spoke up and said, “I hate how you’re right.” He gave her a grin and Belle sighed with relief.

“C’mon Tough Guy let’s go to bed.” And she pulled him off of his bar stool and led him to their room for a good nights sleep so that the next morning they could face what lied ahead of them…

The next morning everyone was happily eating breakfast. Alli noticed that her parents were a little quieter than usual but she shrugged it off her shoulders, thinking that maybe they were still a little uncomfortable with Matt around.

“So, are there any plans for today?” Shawn asked not really to anyone in particular. He just said it in order to start some kind of a conversation.

Tom, who had made a late return last night from a party with some friends spoke up and said, “Eh… not really. Hey Andy wanna shoot some hoops later?”

Between bites of his pancakes Andy answered, “Yeah, sure. Sounds good to me. Hey, Matt, you like basketball? You can join us if you want.”

Matt finished his bite and said, “Well, I used to play with friends when I was in high school. I never was that good, but if you’re sure you want me to come along I’d love to hang out with you and Tom.”

“Ah, its ok. Tom and I are okay, and if Dad comes we can play two-on-two. He’s not that great either.” Andy said with a wicked smile.

“What do you mean I play ok?” Tom spat back.

“Yeah, and what do you mean by saying I’m not that great either young man. I’d like to say I was quite the basketball player in high school. You’d be surprised how good your old man is. You better watch out, you can count me in.” Shawn said from across the table.

Belle jumped in, “Oh yeah your Dad was an all-star player, but it was probably because he was trying to impress a certain cheerleader.”

“Oh really? Well, it worked didn’t it?” Shawn said with a huge grin as he lovingly looked over at Belle.

“Yup, sure did. You swept me off my feet.” She smiled long enough for Shawn to look away but when he got back to eating Belle mouthed - Yeah right! - to Anne and Alli who had a clear view of her facial expressions as she finished cooking breakfast.

The three ladies were giggling when a sleepy JJ came walking into the kitchen. “Good Morning my little Tough Guy.” Belle said as she put down what was in her hands to hug her little boy.

“Morning Mommy.” JJ said as he sleepily wiped his eyes and slowly walked over to the table to pull out his chair. “Good Morning Daddy, Alli, Matt, Tommy, Andy and Anne.”

“Wow, that was pretty good for the firs thing in the morning, JJ. I’m surprised you got all those names out.” Matt said.

“Yeah, he’s pretty used to it. That’s what happens when you’re the baby.” Anne said.

Everyone continued to eat their breakfast and soon enough JJ was on the couch watching his morning cartoons, Anne and Alli were helping Belle clear the table, and Andy, Matt, and Shawn were talking about Basketball. When the girls were done they sat down with the guys and talked about the plans for the day.

Suddenly there was an awkward silence amongst everyone on the table. Neither Matt nor Alli had mentioned anything about a baby and Shawn was almost at his end. He had been able to contain himself the rest of previous night and during breakfast, but now he was anxious to find out if his suspicions were right. He spoke up and said, “So Alli do you have anything new you’d like share with us?”

Belle nudged Shawn’s foot under the table because she knew what he was getting at but he ignored it. Alli looked confused, “Umm…no not really Dad.” She smiled a little saying, “I think the engagement is the biggest news I have.” She looked over at Matt and they exchanged smiles.

“Are you sure? You don’t have anything that you need to tell us?” Belle was now trying to get eye contact with Shawn but it wasn’t working since his eyes were focused on Alli.

“Yeah, I’m sure Dad.” Alli now was just a little annoyed. Why wasn’t her Dad believing her? “Why is there something you’d like to share? Do you know something I don’t know?” Alli looked at Shawn with her eyebrow raised.

“Alli, can we just get this over with?”

“Get what over?” Alli was really irritated now.

Belle spoke up, “Shawn, could we do this later?” She looked at him with pleading eyes, but Alli interrupted.

“Do what later, Mom? What is going on?” Alli was now raising her voice.

Andy and Anne just sat there quietly as they saw their parents and oldest sister get into an argument. They had a feeling something was very wrong.

“Alli, just say it. I already know.” Shawn said in a tone of voice all the kids feared as a child.

“Know what?!?”

“You’re pregnant! That’s what.” Shawn finally spat out.

Matt was sipping his coffee and almost spit it right out as his eyes became huge as he connected with Alli’s.

“What?!? What are you talking about Dad?” Alli remarked.

“I’m talking about the positive pregnancy test I found in the bathroom last night. God, Alli. I thought you’d be safer than this. I never thought I would have to deal with this with you, you of all people, Alli. I just can’t believe it. And then you try and hide it from your parents. Did you think you could just go back to New York and hide it from us? And you Matt, that whole thing about you wanting my approval for Alli’s hand in marriage, that was all part of the plan for a quickie wedding, huh?” Shawn was really getting into it.

Belle was scared now, she feared that Shawn would lose his temper about this. She knew he would react this way. “Shawn, can’t we just try and talk this out later, maybe in a more calm matter?”

“Well, we wouldn’t be in this situation if-” Shawn was cut off by Alli.

“Um, excuse me, but what gives you the right to just make all these assumptions? Who told you that what you think is always right?” Alli was fuming. She had her father’s temper and right now they were clashing like lightening. Matt sat there quietly, not knowing what to say.

“Aren’t I right? Aren’t you pregnant?” Shawn asked matter-of-factly.

“If I told you I was, what would be so wrong about it? Do you not think I’m capable of being a mother? Do you think Matt would leave me? Why in the he..” She thought about how her little brother was not too far away and so she said, “HECK are you making such a big deal out of this?”

“Because you’re getting married for all the wrong reasons. I mean you’re going to get married just because you’re having a baby? That’s not right Alli, and you know that.”

After hearing this Matt caught Belle’s eyes and both of them could see the anger building inside of the other at what Shawn had just said. Matt finally spoke up by saying, “I’m sorry, but first of all, you don’t know for a fact that we’re getting married because Alli is pregnant. I love Alli with my whole heart and I want her to be my family, and that’s why I’m marrying her.”

“See, Dad? That’s why I’m marrying him. And just because you assume we’re getting married for what you think are the ‘wrong’ reasons, doesn’t mean we are. And just because you seem to know how my life works and why I do everything I do, I’m not going to tell you if I am really pregnant. Maybe I don’t want my kid to grow up in a family that thinks he or she is a mistake. I thought you’re family meant everything to you, no matter what the circumstances. I guess that obviously is a joke, we’re only family if we do everything you expect us to do. Come on Matt, let’s go. I want to go back home because apparently this one is broken. Bye Mom, I’ll call you later. Bye Alli, Bye Andy.” She got up out of her chair and took Matt’s hand as they walked out of the kitchen. She stopped by the couch to say goodbye to JJ when suddenly a voice spoke up…

“Alli, don’t go!” Alli stopped and looked behind her.

Anne stood up and said, “Don’t go. Please.”

“Anne, sweetie. It’s ok, I’ll call you later. I have to go now.” Alli said reassuringly.

But Anne spoke up again, “No, please don’t leave, because…because…I’m pregnant

Chapter Twenty-Four

…Pregnant…. Anne was pregnant…..

No one said anything for a few moments as they all looked at Anne. She was standing beside the table and her eyes were locked on Alli’s. Her eyes pleading Alli to help her and save her from what might happen. Both Shawn and Belle looked at each other with shocked expressions, as Andy and Tom glanced around the room. Matt just stood beside Alli, and walked up beside his fiancée to hold her around her shoulders.

Finally Alli spoke up as she slowly walked toward the table, “Are you sure?”

Anne slowly nodded her head and looked down as she softly said, “It was my test that Dad found in the bathroom.”

Shawn ran his fingers through his hair and let out a big exhale, “I’m sorry Alli for blowing up at you, I should have never made that assumption as quickly as I did.”

Alli looked at her Dad and said sternly, “Dad. Could we not go there? We have bigger issues now, we can settle our argument another time.” She was now able to walk over to Anne and wrap her little sister in her arms. As soon as Anne’s head hit Alli’s shoulders tears streamed down Anne’s face and she sobbed in the security of her older sister’s arms.

Between sobs Anne managed to say, “I’m sorry…I’m sorry…I’m sorry.”

“Shh, its ok. We’ll figure this out. Its ok, Anne. Everything will be ok.” Alli said as she reassured Anne.

Shawn was afraid he might say something he would later regret so her got up and left the dining area. Belle knew that she wouldn’t be able to stop him and so she walked over to Alli and Anne and wrapped her arms around her two daughters.

“Anne, come here. Look at me.” Belle said in the softest, sweetest tone. Alli slowly let go of her sister and went into the arms of her Mom. Belle stroked her hair as she cried into Belle’s shoulder.

“I’m sorry, Mom. I’m so sorry.”

“Shh, it going to be okay. We’ll figure this out okay?” Belle could feel a slight nod from Anne, and then she heard her say, “But what about Dad? He probably can’t even look at me right now. That’s probably why he left, he’s so ashamed of me.” She lifted her head and looked into Belle’s eyes, “What am I going to do?”

Belle almost started to cry right on the spot but she composed herself and said, “Your Dad is not ashamed Anne. He is just having a hard time digesting this information. Just give him some time and it will be fine.” Belle patted Anne’s head and brushed her cheek and said, “You Dad and I love you soo much, no matter what.” And then Anne rested her head back on Belle’s shoulder as Belle patted her back and she cried in Belle’s arms.

Alli looked at Matt, and with their eyes they realized that they had a very tough road ahead. Alli knew that her Dad would have such a hard time coming to terms with this. But she knew that eventually he would have to. She just hoped he wouldn’t blow up at Anne like he did with her. If she was the one pregnant, and Shawn reacted this way, it would be easy for her to leave with Matt, but for Anne, it would be a different situation. Anne would have to see Shawn everyday, and Alli hoped that it would never come to the point where Anne would get fed up and run away. Because she knew that her family, especially her Mom, would not be able to handle 17-year-old Anne out by herself with nowhere to go.

Tom and Andy had been silent this whole time but Andy finally spoke up saying, “Anne, it’s going to be okay. We’re not going to let you go through this alone. You’re a part of this family and Mom and Dad, no matter what he says or does, have taught us that you never bail out on your family because families are forever.”

Anne lifted her head and looked over at her twin brother, “Thanks Andy. You always know what to say.” She gave a half-smile and wiped the tears from her face.

Matt had gone to the kitchen and gotten Anne a glass of water and gave it to her saying, “Here, drink this. I know it may not seem like a lot but it really does make you feel better.”

“Thanks Matt.” She gulped down the water and then looked at him as he said, “I know I’m not officially part of the family yet but I just want you to know that I’m here for you, too. We’ll get through this.”

Anne nodded and said, “Thanks.”

Finally Tom spoke up and he said, “And you know I’m always here for you little sis. Its going to be hard for me to see you grow-up this fast but I know that you’ll be able to handle it. Plus you have all of us.” He gestured to everyone in the room.

“But one question, Anne…Does Caleb know yet? It is Caleb’s right?” Tom asked with his eyebrow raised.

Anne looked down and said, “Yes, its Caleb’s baby. But he doesn’t know yet. I’m going to tell him tomorrow.”

“Well, you let him know that if he leave my little sister then he ahs hell to pay.” Tom said trying to lighten up the mood. And it worked because it put a smile on everyone’s face. “Tell him, I’m watching.”

Anne smiled and said, “I will. Thanks Tom. And thank you everybody. I love you all.”

And everyone responded with their own “I love you, too”… Suddenly JJ walked in, he had been watching cartoons in the den and was just now coming out.

“What happened? Why are you crying Anne? Did you get hurt?” He walked over to Anne to give her a hug.

“No, I didn’t get hurt JJ. I just love my family, that’s all.”

“You love me, too?” JJ asked.

She stooped down to his level and said, “Of course I love you, too!” Then when she hugged him she whispered in his ear, “I love you the most.”

“I love you, too Anne.”

Everyone watched as the scene unfolded. They all looked around at each other and all silently communicated that they had no idea how they would explain to JJ that Anne would be having a baby, but somehow he would have to learn, hopefully without losing too much of his innocence. He just recently had to deal with learning the truth about his Grandma Marlena and now this. This 7-year-old had so much on his plate already and he just finished second grade.

Anne and JJ broke their hug and he looked around, “Where’s Daddy?”

Anne hesitated to answer and so Belle covered for her by saying, “He had to go run some errands. He’ll be back later.” Belle looked over at Tom, Andy, and Matt, “Why don’t all you boys go out and maybe go to the courts or something. Us girls will find something to do.”

Matt, Andy, and Tom all stood up and went towards JJ who was next to Anne. "C'mon lil tough guy, let's go out and let the girls hang out with each other." Tom said as he offered his hand.

JJ took Tom's hand and said, "Alright, could we go to the park?" his eyes twinkling.

"Sure, whatever you want." Andy pitched in.

"Yay! Bye Mommy! Bye Alli, Bye Anne."

"Bye sweetie. Be careful." Belle shouted back. And with that they were all out the door.

As soon as they heard the car drive off Belle said, "C'mon my girls. Lets talk on the couch." She took one of each of her daughter’s hands and led them to the couch and sat down, placing Anne in the middle.

"Anne, honey how are you really? How do you feel about all of this?" Belle asked as both her and Alli listened attentively for Anne's answer. Even if Belle wasn't completely thrilled with the situation she knew she had to be there for her daughter otherwise she would risk losing her.

Anne took a deep breath and said, "Ummm, I don't know. It’s hard to put into words. I mean I'm so shocked that I'm pregnant and that there really is a baby inside of me, its hard to fully comprehend. At the same time I'm sad because I know that this is disappointing to you and Dad. And then I'm scared at what other people will say. I'm scared because I have no idea what I'm going to do. I'm scared because Caleb doesn't even know yet."

"Are you scared that he might not take his responsibility?" Alli asked.

"Well, sort of. But knowing who he is, he'll stay with me. And he knows Tom and Andy would kill him if he left me." Anne said with a slight smile.

"Anne, we all love you. I want you to never forget that. No matter what happened, we are here to support you." Belle said.

"I know. But Dad doesn't seem to like the idea. Do you think he'll have me have an abortion?"

"Honey, I know your Dad. He may not like the situation, but he'll learn to deal with it. And he would never ask you to have an abortion. Let's just say, I know for a fact that he is completely against abortions. And your father, no matter if he thinks the circumstances aren't right, he would never make you go through something like that. Why, are you thinking of having one?"

"Oh no, Mom. I can't. This is a human being inside of me. And he or she deserves to be loved and welcomed into this world. You and Dad have all taught us that. I've decided I want to raise this child, with your help, because I know he or she could never be in better hands."

"Anne, even if I'm your Mom, I think that keeping the baby may be best as well. You deserve to raise your child, and as Grandma, I insist that my first grandchild grow up in a family that loves him or her." Belle said with a smile.

"Thanks, Mom." They all tilted their heads together and sighed.

"I think I better call Caleb and arrange to meet him somewhere. He deserves to know in person." Anne said as she slowly got up.

"Ok, honey. Just let me know if you need a ride somewhere. I really would rather not have you driving right now." Belle answered.

"Ok, thanks Mom." Anne walked up to her room to call Caleb. She looked back and then said, “Mom?”

“Yes?” Belle looked up.

“I love you.”

“I love you, too.” And with that, they both exchanged smiles and Anne turned around and disappeared up the stairs.

Chapter Twenty-Five

About an hour later Caleb spotted Anne at Salem Park and then walked up to her to give her a kiss and a hug. "You sounded kinda serious on the phone. Is something wrong?"

"Ummm...well, not really." Anne fidgeted with her fingers and then said, "Why don't we sit down." They found a bench and sat, Caleb with one arm around Anne's shoulders.

His mind was spinning and his gut was afraid that Anne was trying to break up with him. He started to think back over the last couple weeks, trying to remember if she had been giving him any hints...but when all he could think were happy memories he was very confused.

"Caleb? Are you okay?" Anne asked. She saw his eyes darting back and forth and his face looking a little worried.

"Umm, yeah I think so." He looked at Anne, he figured if she was going to break up with him he might as well make it easier for her. "Anne, umm...if you're going to break up with me-"

He stopped before he finished because suddenly Anne was giggling, "Why are you laughing? I don't see how this could be funny."

"Caleb, relax. I'm not breaking up with you. In fact, I love you very much."

"Then I don’t get it. What’s wrong? Why did you ask to meet me here today?"

"Okay, well. I need to tell you something, and its something that will change our lives forever. And it’s going to be a challenge but I think we can do it."

"Okay, I'm listening..."

"Alright, I guess I'll just say it. Remember prom night?"

Caleb grinned, "Of course I do. It was a night I'll never forget."

"Okay, well. You know how we - " Anne motioned with her hands trying to intimate what happened that night when they snuck off to be together alone.


"Ok, well...Caleb, its been over a month and I'm late." She looked at his eyes trying to see if he got her hint.

"Late? Late for what?"

"Caleb, think. I'm late. Think health class."

Suddenly Caleb's eyes grew and he looked at Anne and he whispered, "You're pregnant?"

Anne nodded.

"Are you sure?"

Anne nodded again, as Caleb put his hands on his face and bent over trying to collect himself.

"Oh my god, Anne."

"I know."

"When did you find out?"

"Last night." Caleb looked down and then there was silence.

He finally looked up and said, "What are we going to do?"

"Well, we'll figure it out. I told my parents and my Mom seems to be as supportive as you can get, considering her 17 year old daughter is pregnant."

"Oh my god. Your parents know? Your Dad hates me, huh? And oh my god, what did your brothers say?"

"Well, Tom and Andy said that as long as you don’t leave me they will deal with it, but they said the moment you walk out, you better run and hide because they are coming after you." Anne said with a smile.

Caleb took Anne’s hand, “I’m not going to leave you, even if I’m scared as hell, I promise I won’t leave you.”

Anne was touched by his words and then threw herself in his arms, “Thank God. I don’t think I would have been able to do this knowing you left me. I love you.”

“I love you, too.” After a few moments they broke their embrace and Caleb said as he placed his hand over her stomach, “I can’t believe our baby is in there.”

“I know it’s kinda freaky. I mean before we know it, we’ll be parents.”

“Oh man, that’s gonna be crazy.”

“What? Being parents? Yeah-its gonna be really hard but I think we can do it with help.”

“No, I meant its gonna be scary for me seeing you pregnant – you know watching you eat crazy stuff like orange juice and pickles or something like that.”

Anne punched him in the arm, “Well you sure know how to ruin a moment.” They laughed around a little but then sighed as they realized they would have to work this all out.

“Even if your family offers, I want to support this child as much as I can. I’ll have to get a better job though, I can’t exactly provide for a kid bagging groceries, can I?” He took Anne’s hand and looked into her eyes, “I’ll take care of you, Anne. Just promise me you won’t give up all your dreams just because we’re having this baby. I’ve seen lots of teen mothers who are really good to their children but also went for their dreams. Its like the saying goes ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.’ We can do this, even if we have to jump in with our eyes closed, just know that I’m holding your hand all the way.”

Anne was about to cry, “We’ll figure it all out.” She wiped a tear from her eye and then said, “But first we have to figure out a way to tell everyone else.”

Caleb responded, “Well it seems you’ve got your family covered.”

“Yeah, since Mom knows, the whole clan will know pretty quickly.”

“You think your Dad will ease up? Do you think its okay for me to go to your house?”

“Eh. I think you’re safer if you keep distance from my house until my Dad gets more used to the idea. But I’ll hint to him every now and then that you are here for me and you aren’t leaving so that maybe he’ll lighten up a little.”

“Ha! Wishful thinking! You’re Dad won’t forgive me for a looong time!”

Anne smiled, “Well, I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. Let’s think about how we’ll tell your parents.” Anne looked at Caleb as suddenly he looked uneasy at the suggestion. He was fidgeting his hands and looking away.


“C’mon Caleb. I’ve never even met your parents. I have this image in my head of who they are but it’s not really a physical appearance it more like a personality image. It’s all very vague.”

“Yeah, well, my parents are nothing like yours. Like I’ve said, my Dad could care less with who I am. He’s never home and I’d be surprised if he knew my birthday. And my Mom…oh man she’s a nut job.”

“Caleb, they can’t be that bad. A child usually thinks their parents are worse than they really are. I’m sure they are fine.” She tried to smile and sound hopeful but her soft eyes were met with dark ones.

“Anne, you don’t get it. My whole life I’ve had to constantly see them in trouble. Instead of their son, sometimes I’m more like the parent, comforting my Mom when my Dad would get really mad, nursing her when she was ‘sick. No one deserves to grow up like that, Anne. No one.” He paused and then continued, “That’s why I can’t let you meet them, its too embarrassing.”

“Oh, Caleb. I’m so sorry. I didn’t realize it was that bad. I guess now I know the reason why would always suggest my place or avoid going to yours. I just thought…I don’t know…I never thought that was why.”

“Yeah, well don’t be sorry. You didn’t do anything wrong. My childhood has taught me so much. I know everything I don’t to be as a parent. And that’s another reason why I can’t leave you. This child deserves to have two parents that love him or her to pieces and who will care for him or her.”

Anne was speechless. She’d never heard him talk so openly like this. She was shocked at these revelations but then touched that he trusted her enough to tell her everything. She spoke up, “Okay, well your parents at least deserve to know they are going to have a grandchild. Can’t I at least see them once? It can be completely on yours and their terms. I just want to meet them.”

“Alright. I guess so.” Caleb checked his watch, “I gotta go. I have work in an hour and my uniform is still at my house.” Caleb slowly got up.

“Okay. Call me?” Anne asked.

“Of course. I’ll talk to you later.” He kissed her and then said, “Bye.” And walked away.

And with that he was gone and Anne was left on the bench to think - Caleb’s parents will like me, they have to.

Later that night, after Anne had gone to bed, Shawn still hadn’t come home and Belle was starting to get worried - Where is he?. But just as she was reaching for the phone she heard the car pull into the garage. She decided to put on a pot of coffee. She knew they would be up for awhile talking…

Chapter Twenty Six

Belle heard Shawn slowly drag his feet into the kitchen as he plopped down on a dining table chair. He had on his leather jacket and his hair was disheveled, he looked as if he’d been through hell and back. He just kept rubbing his eyes and running his fingers through his hair as he sat quietly.

“Hi Shawn. I was just about to call you when I heard you pull up. I was beginning to worry.”

He looked up, his eyes tired, “Sorry, I know I should have called but I just wasn’t ready to talk.”

“That’s fine. I figured. Are you ready to talk now?” She walked over to the table with two coffee mugs in her hands.

“How could she do this Belle?”

“I guess that would be a yes.” But Shawn didn’t catch Belle’s sarcasm as he continued.

“How could she have been so irresponsible? Didn’t we teach her how to be safe? Actually, didn’t we tell them about waiting?” Shawn looked at Belle with pleading eyes.

“Yes, Shawn, we did but-”

Before Belle could finish Shawn said, “No buts! She should’ve known! Doesn’t she realize how this is going to change her life? Her life and Caleb’s?”

“She knows Shawn. And she told me that Caleb knows, too. They have decided that they can get through this.

“Like they know the first thing about parenting! They’re 17 for crying out loud!”

“Shawn, keep it down, they are all sleeping.”

“Belle,” Shawn said in a quieter voice, “We can’t exactly just pretend its all ok. People will talk, Belle. People will think that we are such hypocrites and bad parents. We made a big deal about waiting until we were married and now we have a pregnant 17 year old daughter.”

“Shawn, believe me I know that people will talk, but this is our daughter we are talking about. We have to support her, it doesn’t matter if we don’t like it very much.”

“Yeah, but what kind of example are we setting? That it’s okay to get pregnant? It’s all ok because we will take care of everything? Belle, we’ve got Andy and JJ who might see this as a mistake that is forgiven and forgotten.”

“Mistake? Shawn, is that how you’re labeling Anne’s baby? Well, Shawn in my eyes and in Anne’s that baby is a person and he or she deserves to be in this family – no matter what the circumstances are. You of all people should understand that ‘Mr. Family-Is-Everything.’”

“Belle I didn’t mean it that way…”

Belle was getting a little irritated because she thought that by now Shawn would have seen that their daughter needed both of their support. She looked at him and firmly said, “Oh no? Well let me just run a concept by you. Did you ever think that if you continue to hold this over your daughter’s head, that you could lose her?”

“Lose her? What do you mean lose her?” Shawn scoffed.

“I mean, as in she leaves, that she sees that her baby won’t be welcomed here so she leaves.”

“Leaves? She has nowhere to go.”

“That’s the scary part Shawn! What if she decides to pack her stuff and run?!?” Maybe Caleb and her will run. What happens then Shawn?”


“Wait, Shawn. I’m not done. I need to get this through your thick, stubborn, proud head. Anne was already distraught when you left. She kept asking me how you would react. Can you imagine what she must be feeling right now? She has a baby and not only did her father walk out on her when she made that announcement, she heard you get all riled up when you assumed it was Alli’s. She knows she disappointed you, both of us, but she wants so badly for you to accept this baby. She’s afraid you’ll make her get rid of it or make her have an abortion.”

“Belle I would never do that.”

“Yeah, but she won’t believe it until you say it. I told her that but she is still doubtful, after all she still doesn’t know about whole Jan situation.”

Shawn was silent.

“Shawn, she loves you very much and she doesn’t want this baby to come in between the two of you but if you continue to act like this I’m afraid that she will give up on you ever accepting her baby.”

Shawn wasn’t sure what to say and so he just stared down and took a sip of coffee.

“Shawn, listen. I know you love her with your whole heart, she’s your other little girl, your Sunshine, but no matter how hard you try you can’t shield her from the world. You can’t always take her hand and lead her down the right path. She has to lead herself and all you can do is be a guide and hold her hand when she needs help. And right now she needs our help.”

Then Shawn finally spoke up, his voice soft and about to break, “But what if I can’t be there for her? What if she’s not he only one scared? God, Belle. This is scaring the crap out of me. She’s still my baby, she’s just 17.” A single tear began to fall from his eyes and he buried his face in his hands.

“Shawn, I’m scared like no other, too. But we have to band together and be strong for Anne. Because I’m even more afraid that if she doesn’t realize that you are here for her that she will think she’s lost you. I’ve lost both of my parents, I know only my Dad has really died, but my Mom has been dead to me ever since she I saw her the day we left for our honeymoon. Losing them has been the hardest things I’ve ever had to deal with, and its something I wouldn’t wish on my deepest enemy. Remember Shawn, you should know what that feeling is like, there were times when you thought you’d lost your Mom. But the only difference is that your Mom came back, and mine never will. Don’t let her believe that she’s lost you Shawn.” She was practically pleading with him

“I won’t.”

“Thank God.” She reached for his hand and gripped it with all her might. “You look tired. Why don’t we go up to bed and get some rest. Tomorrow is a new day and together I know we can face the world.” Belle tried to get a little smile out of Shawn as she pulled his arm to get up.

She was successful as his lips formed a tiny one, “Yeah. Tomorrow is a new day.” He got up and followed Belle up the stairs.

…. A pair of feet just a little earlier had come down to get something to eat. For some reason she had woken up, wanting something to eat. But she stopped on the stairs as she saw that her parents looked as if they were in a deep conversation. She tried to get a little closer and listen on what they were saying and was able to hear bits and pieces of it. She cringed a few times and tears were about to fall as she started thinking of running. But suddenly she could hear her Mom standing up for her and she had to stay and listen. Suddenly she saw her Dad bury his face in his hands and for some reason she knew that everything was going to be okay. But when she saw them getting up she quickly forgot about her stomach and ran upstairs to her bed.

As she lay in her bed she looked to the ceiling and silently said, – “Tomorrow.” Then she sighed and drifted off to sleep.

The next morning was awkward. As everyone came to eat breakfast it was a little more rushed. Yesterday, the day after 4th of July, both Shawn and Belle decided to keep away from their offices. But today, Anne just assumed that they would go back to work. She was surprised when she came down the stairs and they were all sitting down eating breakfast. She hesitated first but then continued to sit down at the table.

A chorus of “Good Morning Anne.” Was heard from her brothers and sisters, Matt, and her Mom, but her Dad remained quiet as he looked down and continued to eat his breakfast.

“Morning.” She replied as she sat down.

“Anne, Matt and I have to leave later today but we’ll be back in forth a little more often. We’ve decided we want to have the wedding here in Salem. Matt’s family is in California anyway, and they would have to travel if we wanted it in New York.”<br />

Matt butted in, “And I’ve fallen in love with this place. Yesterday Alli took me to St. Luke’s and we think it’s a perfect spot.”

“Yeah. We are looking at like a late spring wedding…Maybe next Memorial day weekend or something.”

“That’s great Alli.” Anne tried to give a sincere smile but deep inside of her she realized that by then she would have a little baby to care for.

“Anne, I want you to help me plan it, okay? I don’t want you to be able to help pick the dresses and everything. We can even go and look at stuff to decorate the church and where we have the reception.” Alli at least hoped that maybe her occasional visits would give Anne something to really look forward to while she was pregnant. And at least then, Alli could really be here for her little sister.

“Okay. Thanks.” The look in Anne’s eyes were a little happier now and inside she was excited to be helping out her sister. When they were little they used to pretend they were planning each other’s wedding and now it was really happening.

The rest of breakfast was pretty quiet, once in awhile someone tried to start a conversation but the scenes from the previous day’s breakfast were still fresh on everyone’s minds.

Once everyone was done Belle spoke up, “Alli would you mind taking JJ out to the grocery store to get me some stuff?”

That was Alli’s cue to say, “Yeah, sure Mom. Matt, why don’t you come along, too. We’ll go get JJ and we’ll go out on our traditional ice cream trip, too.”

Matt got up and said, “Sounds good to me.”

There was a weird silence as Tom and Andy caught each other’s eyes. They both knew that Anne and their Dad would be having “the talk” and so Tom spoke up, “Umm…yeah, I gotta run, too. I have to head back to the dorms and do some studying, I’ve got that summer course.”

Andy wasn’t sure what to say because apparently his brother was leaving him in the dust, “Umm, I guess I better go, too. I’ll just be in my room.” He pushed his chair in and got up to leave.

Now Anne was getting scared because she wasn’t sure what was going to unfold. She almost tried to get up but Shawn finally spoke his first words since she had gotten down, “Anne. I want you to stay.” He didn’t sound mad, but then it wasn’t the tone that meant you were getting some reward either. It was just flat.

Anne sank back into her chair as Belle came to sit down too. Shawn was at the head of the table and Belle was directly on his left, while Anne was on the right side of the table but one chair was in between her and her Dad.

“Anne, I’m sure you know why I asked you to stay, so I wont repeat it.”

Anne sat there quietly, not moving or saying anything.

“Anne, I know I walked out yesterday morning, but I needed you to know that it wasn’t out of disgust, I just didn’t want to say anything I would later regret.” When Shawn saw that she was still really quiet he took it as an opportunity to say this, “You Mom and I were talking last night and well let’s just say that no matter how hard this is for the both of us, I would never ask you to have an abortion. I’m just concerned and I know you know that there is a piece of me that wishes the circumstances were different, but well, what’s done is done.”

Anne finally looked up and her blue eyes met his as she said, “I’m sorry, Dad.”

“I know you are. But just bare with me because this isn’t exactly easy for me either.”

Anne nodded. She knew her Dad, and she knew that admitting this to her and talking with her about this was so hard for him. So she got up and walked over to him and before she thought about it for a second time, she bent over and hugged her Dad. Belle watched the two of them and smiled. It took Shawn a little off guard and he froze up for the first few seconds, but as soon as he felt how much his daughter really loved him, he brought his arms around her and gave her a big squeeze. For both of them it was like a burden being lifted from each of their shoulders.

“I love you, Dad.”

“I love you, too…my Sunshine.” They broke the hug and smiled at one another.

Shawn then playfully said, “Caleb, better take care of you. If he leaves you he’s gonna be sorry he ever met you.”

“Daaad.” Anne said as she smiled.

“No I mean it, he better be here for my little girl otherwise – well, I won’t even go there. Just make sure he knows that I’m coming after him if he deserts you.”

“Gosh Dad, you sound like Andy and Tom. They’ve already made their threats too.”

“Well, we can’t help it. You’re a very special girl, Anne. And we love you very much.”

“Oh, yes we do.” Belle chimed in.

Chapter Twenty-Seven

A few nights later Anne had called Caleb saying she was on better terms with her Dad and that she thought it would be a good idea for all of them to have a sit down dinner. She had already run the idea past her parents and her Mom of course readily agreed, and her Dad accepted the idea.

“C’mon Caleb, it’ll be okay…just relax, my Dad won’t lash out on you.” Anne coaxed.

“How do you know? I’m sorry but your Dad freaks me out. Your brothers I think I can handle, but your Dad? Yeah, right.”

“Caleb, trust me, I made him promise to be civil. Besides we will sit you as far away as we can from him but you’ll still be next to me. Please Caleb, pretty please?”

“Annne,” Caleb whined.

“I promise it won’t be so bad. And if you do this for me, I’ll…” her voice trailed off as she thought what she could say to convince Caleb to come.

“You’ll what?” Caleb asked, slightly intrigued.

“I won’t ask you to go baby shopping with me.” Anne finally said.

“What? That’s it? I face your Dad and I’ll I get is a chance to miss out on a shopping trip?”

“Hey, I would have dragged you through countless stores, made you carry my bags…all that stuff guys hate. Plus you would have had to take the risk of being seen in the ‘baby’ area.”

“Oh fine. But its not because I’m embarrassed to be seen with you. Anne, we’re in this together. I’ll go. Besides, how can I say ‘No’ to you. Especially now that I can picture you jutting your lip out, pouting for me to come.”

“Ha! I knew you’d cave in.” Anne said triumphantly.

“Yeah, but only because I love you.”

“I know. I’ve got you whipped.”

“No, you don’t.”

“Oh yes I do.” She teased.

“Alright I guess you do.” He paused, “hey what do you think your parents were like when they were our age?”

“Oh man, my Grandma and Grandpa tell me they were inseparable. They were in it pretty deep. Why?”

“Do you think we’ll end up like that?” Caleb asked nervously.

Anne was squirming inside because for the first time she really thought that Caleb was in it for the long haul, “I don’t know. But it would be really cool if we did. Everyone deserves to have a love like my parents.”


“Okay, well dinner is tomorrow at 7. And Caleb, just relax.”

He gave a nervous laugh and said, “I’ll try.”

“Ok, I’ve gotta go. I’ll talk to you later. Love you.”

“Love you.” Caleb hung up the phone and sighed - I hope you’re right about your Dad, Anne.

The next night Caleb rang the door bell promptly and 7. There was no way he was going to be late, he needed all the points he could muster and he was already so far deep with Mr. Brady.

At the sound of the bell, Anne walked over to the door saying, “I’ll get it.” And when she opened the door she found a very nervous, stiff Caleb. He was all dressed up and looked as if he just got out of the shower. Anne ran up to him, hugged and kissed him - Mmm, he shaved, too.

“Hi!” Anne said enthusiastically.

“Hi!” Caleb replied. His voice was shaking and he gulped down the saliva in his throat. Anne saw how nervous he was when he didn’t hug her like he normally did. As she saw him clasp his hands over and over, she leaned to whisper in his ear as she held his hand form shaking, “Its okay Caleb, just relax. You can hold my hand the whole time.”

Caleb breathed a sigh of relief. He took one more deep, cleansing breath and shook out his arms trying to relax. “Okay, I think I can do this.”

“I know you can.” Anne kissed him and she led him to the dining table where her Dad was seated.

When they entered, Belle said in a welcoming tone, “Oh hi, Caleb. I’m so glad you could join us for dinner.”

“Good evening Mrs. Brady. Thank you for inviting me.” Even though Caleb had eaten dinner there countless times before he was scared to death.

“Caleb, you know you can call me Belle. And trust me, its nothing to add one more place at the table for you.”

Shawn stood up and stuck out his hand. “Hi Caleb, glad you could join us.” They shook hands and Caleb said, “Good evening, Mr. Brady. Thanks for allowing me to come.” But as soon as the words left his mouth Caleb thought - You’re trying to hard man, relax.

Anne led Caleb to his spot at the table and they both sat down. Shawn could sense Caleb was scared out of his mind and so he decided to say, “Caleb, its okay. I won’t bite.” Belle and Anne giggled and Caleb let out a nervous laugh. “I’m not as tough as I seem kid. Why don’t we try to have a nice dinner, huh?”

“Okay.” Caleb tried to force a smile.

“JJ! Time for dinner sweetie!” Belle shouted. And in a couple minutes footsteps could be heard. “Make sure you wash your hands.”

“Okay, Mommy.” He said as he went to the sink.

Belle brought the lasagna to the table and the JJ quickly followed. Tonight it would just be them, Tom was out at the dorms and Andy had a date with Kaitlynn.

“Hi Caleb!” JJ said as he found his place and sat down.

“Hi JJ.” Caleb eased up a little.

The rest of the dinner wasn’t so bad and Shawn even joked around. He knew it must have been hard to be in Caleb’s position. If that were him he would be scared stiff of John Black. They all ate in peace and towards the end Caleb and Shawn started talking about the upcoming baseball season. Anne was silently thanking God that the dinner was going as nicely as it had been.

When it was time to leave Shawn and Belle walked with Anne as she led him to the door. “Umm.. Caleb? Could I have a moment with you?”

Anne felt Caleb stiffen as her Dad called his name. Caleb slowly turned around and said, “Uh, yeah.. sure.”

Both Anne and Belle shot Shawn glances that hinted they wanted him to go easy on Caleb. Shawn just grinned at both of them, trying to tell them not to worry.

Shawn took Caleb aside and said, “Kid, I know this must have been really hard for you but before I tell you what I’m about to say, I’d like to say Thank You.”

Caleb looked at Shawn, confused, “For what?”

“For sticking by Anne. That takes a real man not to leave in a situation like this. But with that being said, this situation isn’t your average, ordinary teenage dilemma. Belle told me that you are willing to help out in any way that you can but I want you to know that we’re here to help, too. Just as long as you promise one thing.”

“And what’s that?” Caleb tensed up.

“That you’ll be a father to this kid and make my Sunshine happy. I know this is sudden but I’d like you to seriously think whether you are in this for the long haul. And I’m talking about marriage and having a family. Now I know that may freak you out, but frankly I’d much rather have my grandchild grow up in a loving family with two parents. And if you can’t promise that you’ll at least try you might as well leave right now, before you break more than one heart, and I can’t risk that.”

Caleb sighed and was silent for a second, “I promise, I’ll take care of them both, you have my word.”

“Good.” Shawn patted him on the back and was about to walk away when Caleb spoke up.

“Umm, may I say something?”

Shawn turned around and smiled, “Sure.”

“I have no intention of leaving Anne and in fact I’ve told her that I’ll support her as much as I can. I want her to continue with school and follow her dreams, And maybe one day I’ll ask her to marry me. I love your daughter with all my heart and it its possible, I may love the baby even more.”

Shawn was relieved to hear that and he smiled, “I’m glad to hear that.”

Belle and Anne watched their men in silence and then Anne said, “They look so serious. I just hope Dad doesn’t make any threats.”

“Sweetie, he’s just looking out for you because he loves you.”

“I know.” They watched as Caleb and Shawn walked towards their ladies. Anne pulled Caleb aside, “What did my Dad tell you?”

Caleb smiled, “That’s between him and me.” He kissed her and said, “I love you, g’nite.”

“Nite. Love you, too.” Anne called out as he went out the door.

“Good night Mr. and Mrs. Brady.” Caleb called.

“Nite Caleb,” called Shawn and Belle as they watched him get into his car and rive away.

Belle turned to Shawn, “You were nice to him, right?”

“Of course. When am I not?” Shawn said with a grin.

The next day, Caleb called Anne…

“Anne, you free tonight?”

“Yeah. Why, do you wanna go out?”

“Um actually, I was wondering if you’d come over tonight and meet my parents.” Caleb finally said.

“Oh my god, of course I would. What time?”

Ummm, how’s 7?”

“Perfect. I’ll see you soon.”

“Ok. Bye.” Anne couldn’t wait to meet Caleb’s parents and was so excited that she started to search for something to wear. She wanted to make a good first impression.

When Anne was about to leave, Shawn asked Anne, “What did you say their names were?”

Anne hesitated, “Oh…umm, actually I don’t know.” Anne let out a small laugh, she never realized she had never even asked for their names.

“That’s okay. Just be home before 10, okay? I don’t want you out late, you need rest.”

Anne smiled at the way her Dad showed her love for her, how did she ever doubt that he didn’t love her, “I will.”

“Drive safe.”

“I will. Bye.” And she reached up to kiss her Dad and left.

Caleb’s house was on the other side of town and when she arrived Caleb welcomed her. He kissed her and said, “Glad you could make it.”

“Are you kidding? I wouldn’t miss this for the world. So, where are they?”

Caleb saw how anxious she was and said, “Umm, in the living room, follow me.” She followed him and saw that there was a couple who looked around the age of her parents sitting on the couch. “Mom, Dad, I’d like you to meet Anne. Anne these are my parents.”

They both got up and went to Anne offering heir hands. “Its so nice to finally meet you both Mr. and Mrs. Everts.”

“Same here, but please call me Steve.” Caleb’s Dad said.

“And call me Jan, Mrs. Everts is way too formal.” Caleb’s Mom replied.

Anne let out a small laugh, “Okay. Thanks Steve and Jan.”

“Why don’t we eat dinner, Caleb has been talking about you the whole afternoon.” And with that Steve and Jan disappeared into the dining room.

Anne suddenly punched Caleb in the gut, causing Caleb to say, “Oww, what was that for?” Anne looked at him with her eyebrow raised, “Your parents are nice!”

“Just wait.” Caleb replied.

“Whatever. I’m starving.” Anne said as she dragged him to follow her into the dining…

Chapter Twenty Eight

Anne sat and ate dinner with Caleb and his parents, who were surprisingly enjoyable. Anne had the feeling though that Caleb may have coaxed them into being extra nice to here – but she didn’t mind, in time she would get to know them better and hopefully they could be more comfortable with her.

However, throughout dinner Anne couldn’t shake off a feeling that Jan familiar - Maybe Mom and Dad know her - or maybe she had seen her in her parents’ yearbook. Either way Anne made a mental note to check later.

When dinner was over Anne decided to head home, she actually was a little restless. Bu before she left she pulled Caleb aside. “Umm, Caleb? I-I have a doctor’s appointment next week-”

“I’ll be there.” Caleb cut her off.

“Wha?” Anne looked up to see her boyfriend’s loving eyes looking down upon her as a smile emerged form his lips. She was amazed at how wonderful he was being.

“Anne, I’m sorry I wasn’t there when you went the first time, but just let me know about every appointment from now on, and I’ll be there.”

“Well, technically m first appointment was the day after 4th of July and you didn’t know yet. But my Mom and my sister went with me.”

“Oh ok. Well just include me from now on okay? I wanna be here for you and the baby, our baby.”

Anne was counting her lucky stars because even with the situation she was in God blessed her with such a caring boyfriend. “Thank You.” And with that they exchanged goodbyes and then Anne drove back across town to her house.

The next morning at breakfast, it was business as usual in the Brady house, both Shawn and Belle were rushing to get to work.

“Anne, make sure JJ doesn’t sit around and watch cartoons all day. Maybe you or Andy can take him out or something.” Belle said.

“Okay. We’ll figure something out.” She sat eating her cereal and then asked Belle, “Mom?”

“Yes, sweetie?”

“Do you know where your high school yearbook is?”

“Of course, its in the den on the shelf next to your father’s desk. Why do you ask?”

“Just curious, I want to see if Caleb’s parents were in your class. I don’t know I think I’ve seen his Mom in it before.”

Shawn spoke up as he sipped his coffee thinking that maybe he knew Caleb’s Dad, “What’s his Dad’s name?”

“Umm… Steve Everts. Maybe Steven Everts.”

Shawn looked up and his eyes went back and forth, he wrinkled his nose and then said, “Nope, I don’t think that name sounds familiar. What about his Mom? I’m sure our Mom will know her.”

“Umm, its Jan something, I think her last name started with an ‘S’.”

Shawn practically spit his coffee and nearly stained his shirt at the sound of that name, “What did you say her name was?”

“Jan. But I can’t remember her last name, although I’m pretty sure it started with an ‘S’.”

“Are-are you sure its Jan?” He was desperately looking at Anne, hoping he had heard wrong but silently fearing the worst as he gulped in anticipation of Anne’s response.

“Dad, are you okay?”

“Anne, just tell me. Are you sure her name is Jan?” Shawn’s voice was raised now and he stared intently at Anne.

Belle caught the tail end of Shawn’s question and she dropped the glass that she was holding. She suddenly froze in her position and was lost in the memories that name brought - Jan…Jan… Memories of the Last Blasts, their Island Adventure, and the events that almost lost her, her soulmate. Flashbacks ensued her and she was lost in a trance.

“Mom? Are you okay? Mom?!? Mom?!!” Belle wasn’t responding to Anne’s shouts, she looked like she was in deep thought. Anne was getting worried at her parents’ reactions and then she saw her Mom just barely mumble something to herself, “Mom, what is it? What did you say? You’re scaring me.”

Belle suddenly turned to her daughter and whispered, “Her name is Jan Spears.”

“Yeah…” Anne looked back and forth between her dumbstruck parents, “Yeah, I think that’s it, Jan spears. Why do you guys know her?”

“Umm, yeah actually we do Anne.” Belle softly said as she realized she needed to clean up the broken glass on the floor.

“Oh we know her alright.” Shawn added.

“Well, great…” Anne said flatly. “Then I guess you guys don’t need formal introductions.” She looked at her parents uneasily, “Okay what’s the deal? Usually at the mention of a high school classmate you two can’t stop talking and now all of a sudden you’re dumbstruck. Is there something I should know?”

“Ye-” Belle started to say something but was cut off by Shawn’s powerful voice.

“No! Umm…Anne can we talk about this later? Your Mom and I have t get to work.”

“Okay that’s fine.” But Anne had this gut feeling that something about Jan hit a weird bone for both of her parents. She would try and see if she could figure out this mystery during the day.

“Andy! Could you take JJ out?” Anne yelled up the stairs.

Andy emerged form the stairs, “Why?”

“Mom doesn’t want him here all day. I would take him but I’m not feeling well.” She partially lied. Truth was she felt sick that morning but now was feeling okay.

Andy could tell she wasn’t telling the whole truth but agreed to take JJ out because he figured she was going through something – something that had to do with her pregnancy and he didn’t wanna make a big deal out of it.

An hour later, Andy and JJ were out and Anne was sitting in the den with her parents’ high school yearbook. She flipped to see Jan Spears…

“She was in their grade. Mom and Dad must know her.” She said to herself as she continued to flip more pages. She saw that Jan had even been in the group picture for the Puerto Rico class trip. “Mom and Dad had their first kiss there! They have to know Jan…” Anne looked down and rubbed the page, “But why did they freak out like that?”

She thought at why she never asked Caleb’s parents about knowing her parents last night, “I might have gotten some answers.” Anne then suddenly decided to call her sister – “I hope she knows something.” And so she picked up the phone and dialed Alli’s cell…



“Hey Anne! How are you?”

“Good. How was your flight back to New York?”

“Great. I’m at a café with Matt now.”

“Oh maybe I’ll call back later.”

“Don’t be silly. I’m here for you Anne, you sound worried, hun.”

“Umm, actually I’m curious, does the name Jan Spears ring a bell to you?”

There was silence on the other side of the line.


“Umm..yeah. I’m here Anne.” She gulped, “Why do you need to know?”

“Because that’s who Caleb’s Mom is and when I asked Mom and Dad if they knew her they wouldn’t tell me anything but I could tell that the name gave them a weird feeling. They just rushed off to work, and now I’m looking at their yearbook. Jan Spears was in their grade and she went to Puerto Rico. Mom and Dad must know her.”

“Umm…yeah actually they do.”

“I knew it! Then why did they act like that earlier?”

“Act like what?”

“Like they were hiding something.”

“Actually, Anne…”

“What, Alli? What are they hiding from me?”

“Anne just hold on, ok?”


Alli covered the phone and softly said to Matt, “Matt, I need to talk with Anne and I might take a while. I’ll meet up with you later okay?”

“Yeah, sure. Is she okay? Is the baby okay?” Matt asked.

“Oh yeah, her and the baby are fine. She just needs someone to talk to. I’ll call you later.”

“Okay, tell her I send my regards. Bye honey. Love you.” He leaned down to kiss Alli.

“Bye, love you too.” And as soon as Matt had left Alli removed her hand from the phone and said, “Anne? Where are you?”

“In the den. Why?”

“I need to tell you a story. Are you by yourself?”

“Umm, yeah.”

“Just make sure you’re sitting down.”

“Alli, you’re scaring me.” Anne said as she leaned back into the chair she sat in. She suddenly wanted her sister right next to her to hold her, she was scared that she wasn’t going to like what she had to say.

“Anne, what I’m about to tell you might be kind of shocking.”

“Okay…what do you mean?”

“Jan Spears almost completely ruined our parents and nearly split them up for good.”