Kellie and Brad Ch. 07bydrteetho©
AUTHOR`S NOTE: This is the seventh chapter of a multi-part story. Please read the first six chapters before this one to understand the whole story. Please enjoy.
Excitement and chaos were defining this evening.
But it was a happy chaos, Brad thought, so that made it not as bad as it could have been. He quickly drew a deep breath as he recounted the events of the last couple of hours.
His parents, Marilyn and Al. Kellie's Aunt Linda and Uncle Vic. Jennifer, Heather, Sandra and Amber. And, a short while later, his friend Russ. All of them had showed up to the hospital and each took their turn visiting with Brad, Kellie and baby E.J., ooh-ing and ah-ing and doting over the newest member of the Galenchuk family. The nurses and hospital staff were gracious in handling the influx of visitors, only occasionally feeling the need to remind everyone to tone the noise down as a courtesy to the other patients. Meanwhile, other than the odd moments when he twitched and fussed, the baby had slept through the whole evening, which Brad found to be nothing short of amazing.
He sighed as he went to the lounge to get some coffee. Even with the chaos being happy, he needed a break from it. He didn't always function well in larger, loud gatherings within tightly confined spaces. When Kellie asked him how he could stand being in massive crowds stuffed inside arenas watching her compete in major curling tournaments, he shrugged and said he could justify it to show how he would do anything for her. Depending on the context, this either earned him an eye roll and a sarcastic comment, or the scoring of major points in his favour. He also was quick to point out that even large curling crowds were rarely boisterous. Similar to how the players were (usually) polite and sportsmanlike on the ice, curling fans were (usually) well-mannered and respectful from the stands.
Brad sipped from his cup of coffee. It tasted lousy, but it was helping to calm his nerves, a little bit at least. He closed his eyes and started mentally preparing for what he would have to do when the time came to take his new family home.
"Thought I might find you here."
With a start, Brad opened his eyes to see Sandra had joined him. He smiled at her gently. He genuinely liked all of Kellie's teammates and friends, but he got along best with Sandra because she seemed to understand him in a way the others couldn't quite match.
"Yeah. Just needed to take a quick breather," he replied. "This is all a little..."
"Overwhelming?" Sandra suggested.
Brad nodded. "Exactly."
Sandra got a cup of coffee for herself. "You and Kellie will be fine. You'll have lots of love and support from all of us, that's for sure."
"I think we'll need every bit of it. I know I will."
"You and Kellie are good, loving people. You'll both be great parents."
"I wish I shared your confidence. Even with talking to Kellie I'm still so nervous. I'm worried about how I'm going to deal with fatherhood."
"Brad, you'll figure it out. You'll do it just the same way we all deal with everything in life. One day at a time."
"That's such a cliché, Sandra."
"Yes, I know. It also happens to be true."
Brad sighed and nodded again, not knowing what else to say.
"Anyway," Sandra said, "I really came down here to tell you that we have to go now; visiting hours are over. And Kellie wants you back with her."
"OK." Brad tossed out the rest of his lukewarm coffee and gave Sandra a friendly hug. "Thank you. For everything."
"Anytime," Sandra replied. She patted him on the back before they went their separate ways.
Brad went back to the delivery room to see the nurse giving baby E.J. a sponge bath while Kellie carefully watched.
Brad took hold of Kellie's hand. They watched the nurse wash E.J. in comfortable silence. When she was finished the nurse carefully wrapped the baby in a blanket and handed him back to Kellie. She held him softly to her chest while Brad protectively looked on, alternating his caresses of Kellie and E.J.
It was the perfect tableau of a new, young, loving family.
Two days later, mother and baby were discharged from the hospital.
Both Kellie and E.J. were deemed healthy enough to go home early on the morning of November 27th. She and Brad met with the pediatrician, who gave the first-time parents some supplies and reading material to help them deal with what to do if the baby became ill or experienced some health problems, and otherwise keep track of their baby's progress. The doctor also scheduled appointments to see E.J. during his first year to perform checkups and ensure he was growing at the proper rate and was otherwise healthy and normal in every respect.
Brad carefully drove his wife and baby son home. They spent most of that first day at home taking turns holding him, keeping him close and safe in their arms. Kellie fed him when he got hungry, otherwise he slept most of the time. When they felt themselves get tired later at night they placed E.J. in his crib and went to bed.
For a little while, anyway.
The couple soon learned what all new parents think they know in theory, but REALLY learn in practice; newborns operate on their own schedule. E.J. awoke every two or three hours overnight, and it was a struggle for Kellie and Brad to cope.
The month of December, including the Christmas season, was a blur. Trying to get used to E.J.'s needs and the frequency with which he woke up in the middle of the night completely messed up their own sleep cycle. They counted themselves very fortunate to have plenty of help from their friends, his parents and her aunt and uncle; without that they didn't know what they would have done.
As it was, Kellie did suffer from a case of the "baby blues", experiencing periods of anxiety, mood swings and crying spells. Brad did his best to help her through these feelings, assisting with the housecleaning and caring for E.J. to give her some relief, and being a shoulder to cry on and giving encouraging words of love. After doing some research, consulting with their doctor and sharing her experiences with her mother-in-law, the only person in her immediate circle she knew that also had a child, Kellie felt very lucky that what she was going through was rather commonplace and not nearly as bad as the more serious condition of postpartum depression. All the same she was relieved when these "blues" were over.
Through it all, Brad and Kellie's love for E.J. increased, and they marvelled at how he physically grew and changed even in that short period of time. They were very grateful to see that, all along, E.J. developed properly and was in all respects a completely healthy baby. When the calendar turned to the new year, they found themselves more accustomed and attuned to their son's needs, and felt a sense of settling in to a "new normal".
Before long, Kellie had recovered and healed well enough from the birthing process to think about competing again. She called for a team meeting the week after New Year's Day, and Jennifer, Sandra, Amber and Heather gathered that day at Brad and Kellie's house. Kellie held court while holding a peacefully sleeping E.J.
"You sure you girls won't mind being handicapped by a rusty skip not at the top of her game?" she asked half-jokingly.
"Don't be ridiculous, skip. There's no one we'd rather have leading the way than you," replied Jennifer.
"We know you won't quite be where you normally are with your game... not because you're not a great player, but for excellent reasons you haven't been able to put in the practice time like you usually do," added Sandra.
"I'll get as much practice time in as I can between now and the start of nationals, girls. Brad's offered to help watch little E.J. here so that will help me focus on that."
"That's so wonderful, what a great guy!" Heather exclaimed, and all the girls including Kellie nodded in agreement. Brad, observing the conversation quietly in the corner, blushed and said nothing.
"I think we're going to have a lot of fun, girls!" Amber chirped. "Sure, we'll be the target of everyone since we won the last two, and it won't be easy for us to win again, but let's just play our best, have fun and see what happens!" She turned her head to Kellie and added, "That means you too skip, and no being too critical of yourself because you're not perfect like you usually are!"
Kellie just shrugged and said, "I'll try my best."
So it was decided. There were six weeks from that meeting until the start of the Canadian championships, and Kellie and her team were determined to not waste any precious time. During the week, Kellie stayed home to care for E.J. while Brad went to work at the curling club. In the evenings, Kellie brought the baby to the club for Brad to watch over while she worked out and practiced; sometimes with her teammates, sometimes just on her own.
Saturdays, where possible, Brad and Kellie got help from his parents or her aunt and uncle to babysit while Kellie and her team worked on their game some more. They even managed to find a local bonspiel to get some actual competition under their belts, and even though they were at less than their best they enjoyed the process of competing and slipping back into their traditional team roles.
The rush to get ready reminded Kellie in some ways of cramming for final exams in school. She really wanted to win again; as an athlete and competitor, few things she had experienced in life felt better than the thrill of ultimate victory. But with everything that she had going on this year, she thought she would be satisfied if she didn't embarrass herself.
Before anyone knew it, it was mid-February. Jennifer, Heather and Amber had all moved to their home province's largest city, this year's host of the Canadian women's curling championships, some time ago, so the caravan driving up from their small town only consisted of Brad, Kellie, E.J. and their family, as well as Sandra and her parents.
Brad and Kellie pulled into the driveway in front of the large house belonging to Mr. and Mrs. Janik, Jennifer and Amber's parents, where they would be staying during the tournament to avoid paying for a hotel. Everyone smiled as Amber jumped up and down while holding hands with her long-time boyfriend, Jamie. Sandra excitedly told everyone that Marc, her long-distance beau and a very talented curler in his own right, had arranged for vacation time from his full-time job so he could see her and watch her team compete that week. And, Brad thought, of course Jennifer and Heather had each other. He smiled to himself as he thought Kellie and her teammates would soon be all together with their loved ones; their extended team, if you will. It felt wonderful that, one year removed from their greatest triumphs, the whole gang was to be reunited once more.
This year's championship tournament, in terms of the media and fan meet-and greet responsibilities, was set up very similarly to last year's, the organizers obviously deciding if something wasn't broke, don't fix it. The one major change was a special TV ad that the major corporate sponsor wanted to have filmed just in time for this event. The reps from the sponsor wanted a simple commercial to showcase the multiple talents and responsibilities these extraordinary women had, how the joys of the sport of curling were the sportsmanship and camaraderie of its players they displayed while maintaining a sharp competitive spirit, and how proud the company was to be associated with both the athletes and the tournament.
The announcement was made at a dinner hosted by the sponsor on the Wednesday night before the start of the championships, with all the competitors and guests invited. The four women selected for the honour of appearing in the commercial were the lead from the Quebec team, a young grade school teacher, the second from the Manitoba squad, a marketing representative and mother to two "tween" aged children, the third from Nova Scotia, a university student and volunteer for the local branch of the Canadian Cancer Society, and Kellie.
She blushed furiously when she heard her name announced and tried to deny she was deserving, claiming that many others, not the least of which were her teammates, merited the honour more, but Kellie's protests were quickly drowned out by the happy and excited wishes of congratulation from everyone sat at their table.
The filming took place the next day. The concept seemed simple but proved to be deceptively complex in its execution. All four women were to stand in front of a plain black background, at first each of them separately before all four stood together in the last shot; the voice-over narration would be added in later. In any case, the crew filming the commercial were perfectionists, so they fussed over every little detail. Hair, make-up, placement of the sponsor's crest on the women's curling gear, facial expressions, how they stood, where they stood... no detail escaped their eye. It made for an educational yet exhausting experience. At least, Brad thought to himself, he got to meet the husbands and boyfriends of the other three participants, who were just as proud of their respective partners as he was of Kellie, and were good guys to boot. In any case, it was a long day, and Kellie breathed a sigh of relief when the filming was finally complete.
One night, later in the week, Kellie's team had the night off and she and Brad were watching TV while E.J. slept. When the commercial came on, Brad smiled and told her how proud he was of her, and how great she looked. Kellie thought she didn't look her best, but instead of protesting she silently accepted his praise with a gentle kiss.
Kellie, Jennifer, Sandra and Amber (and Heather, in the limited playing time she received) competed as hard as they possibly could in the tournament. Even though they did not expect to win because of the lack of practice and match time leading up to the event, they had a lot of pride and were bound and determined to defend their championship with everything they had. The absence of match sharpness, however, was evident. Their play was inconsistent. They would look like the champions they were one game, while the very next match they would feel they couldn't make a shot for love nor money. They battled to a record of 5 wins and 6 losses, very respectable under the circumstances, but ultimately not enough to qualify for the playoffs.
Kellie and her teammates knew their fate before their last game. They were facing another team who would also miss the playoffs, so in a lot of ways the pressure was off. They curled for the sheer joy of it, and they were all reminded how much they loved this sport. It helped them to win what turned out to be a very entertaining and competitive match, thanks to Kellie's final draw to the button.
Her form, below her usual standard all week, was, in this case, perfect.
When the match was over, their opponents congratulated them and showered them with praise. Kellie and the others could hardly believe it when these young ladies referred to them as their role models, even though their words echoed the sentiments of all the other teams they had competed against over the course of the tournament. Furthermore, the capacity crowd gave them a long and rousing standing ovation, showing them how much they appreciated their championship run and the skill, sportsmanship and wonderful personality they put on display.
Kellie, Jennifer, Sandra, Amber and Heather forever remembered and cherished these moments, because it proved beyond doubt they made a positive impact on this great game, and they genuinely tried their best to accept the praise with grace and humility.
All of their closest family members, friends and loved ones were in one corner of the arena, participating in the ovation louder and more passionately than anyone. Among Brad, Marc, Jamie and the others, there wasn't a dry eye among them.
He was feeling particularly amorous that day.
It had been months since Brad made love to Kellie. What with her body healing after giving birth, her rushing back into curling in time to compete at nationals again, and all the changes in lifestyle rhythms and sleep patterns necessitated by E.J.'s presence, the conditions were rarely right for the couple to participate in sexual activity. And during the small number of instances that either his parents or her aunt and uncle agreed to watch over E.J., they either had too many errands to run or not enough energy to do anything but cuddle and nap.
In the intervening period he got close to Kellie however and whenever he could without pushing her for sex. He held hands with her, hugged her and kissed her. The lack of ultimate intimacy, however, had him really bouncing off the walls.
But now, on what was a rainy Friday night in late April, he had a small window of opportunity. E.J. was sleeping. Anything that needed doing around the house was done. They had nowhere they needed to be, and no one needed to visit them.
Brad knew time was of the essence. However, despite being barely able to restrain his rampant horniness, he resolved not to rush this, either. Kellie deserved better than that, so he was determined to do this right.
"Oh Kellie, you're so beautiful," he whispered into her ear. "Will you let me make you feel good, baby?"
"Yes, baby, love me Brad!" she replied, eager to feel his strong hands roam all over her body.
Brad gently pressed on Kellie's chest. She took the hint and lay down on their bed. He wrapped his arm around her body and kissed her deeply and lovingly. Their tongues twirled together in a familiar dance of passion. He licked and kissed the sensitive areas on her neck and ear, and savoured the sounds of her soft moans and whimpers.
Kellie sighed as Brad moved his talented lips and tongue down her neck, over her collarbone before landing in the valley between her breasts. He paused momentarily to drink in the sight of her bare boobs, groaning in appreciation as she willingly offered them up to him. Then, one sudden, swift movement was all it took for him to capture the right one in his hungry mouth.
"Ohhh, god, yes!" Kellie wailed as she arched her back to further increase the contact between her and her sexy stud of a husband.
Brad turned his attention to her left breast, covering it with love, attention and saliva, just as he had done with the right breast. His hands cupped her supple ass. Kellie squirmed and moaned and felt fluids spurt from her pussy over his ministrations. Her breath caught in her throat when she felt one of his hands slide from her rear end to her heated, juicy slit. She whined in disappointment when he pulled off her nipple with an audible pop, but the twisted little grin on his face made her wonder what his kinky mind was thinking of right now.
Kellie watched as Brad made a show of licking two fingers on his right hand, getting them nice and wet. He slid those fingers up and down her love hole, and without any further ceremony plunged them inside.
"Ohmigod!" Kellie squealed with delight. The long period of having to go without sex had her almost as worked up as Brad was. The fact that he was seeing to her needs before satisfying his own reminded her again just how much she loved him.
Brad feasted on her breasts as he continued to pump his digits in and out of her pussy. His cock ached and strained against the fabric of his boxer shorts.
"Yes, Kellie, baby, come for me," he cooed in a soft whisper in her ear.
Kellie screamed loudly, momentarily forgetting about not wanting to make so much noise as to wake E.J. up. She gripped Brad's wrist and held him inside her as her orgasm powered through her body. Brad felt her hot velvety pussy pulse and clamp down over his fingers, and soon the rest of his hand and wrist was warmed by the gush of her female orgasmic juices.