Theresa continued to coach Kat through her breathing, urging her to push periodically and then letting her relax. She looked like she was in incredible pain, and the grip she had on his hand only fortified his thoughts about that. Still, she was a trooper and kept her eyes on his face, matching the breathing sounds he was making, the ones they had learned in classes given by a local birthing coach.
“Okay, we have a crown. It’s time to push. Let’s get baby number one into this world,” Theresa said, talking her through it.
Kat clamped down on his hand even harder, grunting and gasping as she pushed on Theresa’s command. He could see the first small set of feet as she pulled a baby free and clipped a cord, handing it off to Doc’s wife.
“Boy, two-thirty-two,” she told her, turning back quickly to focus on Kat. He could see the doctor’s wife cleaning and weighing a crying baby boy, their firstborn, and placing him in one of the bassinets before returning for another. Behind them, two young girls hurried into the room and joined her.
“Sorry, Mom. We got here as soon as we could.”
“Wash your hands and get on a mask. We’re already one up and expecting five more,” she told them.
Travis marveled that it took a small army to deliver these babies, but once all was said and done, he and Kat would be left alone to care for them unless they hired help. Kat had been looking for a nanny to help until they got a little older but had been unsuccessful so far. They would have to depend on her mother and Mike to provide what assistance they could when available.
He was terrified. Here he was a big bad Alpha and he was terrified of having all these babies who would depend on him, as well as Kat. He could only hope he didn’t let them down.
His nerves were shattered as the assembly line continued until not six, but seven babies were born. Five boys and two girls. The girls who had arrived, the doctor’s daughters, helped their Mom clean up and weighed each one before diapering them and wrapping them in warm blankets with little beanies and booties. Travis wanted to hold them, to touch them, to feel that they were real, but he dared not leave Kat’s side. She was his priority.
Sweaty and exhausted, she smiled weakly in their direction as Theresa finished up with her care and congratulated both of them.
“You did it. You are the proud parents of seven healthy babies. How does it feel?”
“Terrifying,” Travis croaked, causing everyone, including Kat, to laugh.
“It’ll be fine, Dad. We’re all scared to death with our first litter. You’ll get through it without a problem.”
And they did.
A month later, a special stroller with four babies on one side and three on the other rolled down the petal-laden aisle of the lake pavilion that sat on his pack’s land, pushed along by Big Mike. The babies served as both the maids of honor and groomsmen in tiny gowns and tuxedos specially made for them by their grandmother.
Members of both packs gathered to watch as Travis and Kat were wed, cautioned to be aware there were humans among them. Bob and Vivianne sat in the front row, Vivianne looking fragile, but still fighting to stay with her love.
Travis felt like the luckiest man alive. How many men got to marry the love of their life and share it with their entire family? Even his sisters had turned up to celebrate the big day with them, dividing up the babies among themselves after the ceremony, though Kat’s mother and father had managed to snag the oldest, Thomas.
Doc’s daughter had provided the same thing they gave to every baby their father delivered: tiny beaded bracelets with their names on them. Thomas, Michael, Robert, Joshua, and Travis Junior all wore tiny blue and white beads, while Hannah and Vivianne wore pink and white ones.
Retrieving their youngest from one of the sisters, Kat and Travis made their rounds among the guests, but were soon stopped by Bob.
“We’re going to have to get going,” Bob said.
“So soon? The party is only just starting,” Travis told him.
“Yes. We have to limit our time out a bit more these days. I’ve got to take care of my girl,” he said, smiling down at his wife.
The original Vivianne stood, letting her namesake hold onto her finger with her tiny hands. Bob stood beside her, his hand around her waist holding her steady.
“She’s beautiful. I’m so glad she’ll be here to carry on my name. Thank you for that,” she said, tears in her eyes.
“I hope she can live up to the name,” Travis laughed. “Any advice for her?”
“Yes. You tell her never to go into acting and that, if she does, never work for Nathan Parker. He’s a prick.”