The First Hello © 2015 (Rough Draft Version) By: J.L. Jacobs *Sequel to: "The Final Goodbye"*

Fate has given Sophia Lancaster a second chance. As she wakes up from what seems to be an overly vivid dream, Sophia soon realizes that it was no dream at all, rather, she had been brought back from death's embrace to the very day she is set to marry Dr. Jeremy Thompson.

From the knowledge and perspective she had gained in her former life, she decides to make better decisions and choices that could potentially alter her life, the lives of her loved ones, and history as she once knew it. In this exciting sequel to: "The Final Goodbye," follow Sophia's new journey as she takes the chance in which Fate has bestowed upon her to find out who her soulmate really is and what the consequences of her actions will be.

*Please be sure to read The Final Goodbye first! This is a only a rough draft and may contain grammatical errors. It is formatted just as a hard-copy full-length book should be. I love to hear your feedback, and your votes and shares are greatly appreciated!

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23. Chapter Twenty-Three: Surprise, Surprise!

Chapter Twenty-Three: Surprise, Surprise!

 

 

     "Hells fire Jeremy, can you please stop poking me with that thing? I am trying to get some sleep here! Ugh!" Sophia grumbled as she rolled over and moved herself away from her husband who was feeling rather randy this morning. "Aw come on Soph, it's been two months since out little Joshua has been born. I need to bury myself deep inside of you before I go mad with desire." he whispered with a small chuckle after he moved himself closer to her again. She was lying with her back facing him and there was no more room for her to move away from him since she was so close to the edge of their bed now. "Why don't you go draw yourself a warm bath and take care of your needs in there? I need some sleep dammit!" Sophia protested sleepily as she tried to pull the thin white sheet up over her head. Jeremy stopped her from doing so and pulled the sheet away from her hand and back down. He put his arm around her and began to fondle her breast. After their son was born, her breasts had grown even larger and it was such big a turn-on for him. "Ugh Jeremy, please, stop! I am not in the mood for your advances on my person right now. Let me get some sleep. Joshua kept me up last night because he was gassy. I'm so tired!" she muttered. Her grumpiness didn't deter him in the least bit though. He pulled down the thin strap of her nightgown so that her right breast was exposed. His hand softly played with her nipple while he kissed the back of her neck in the spot he knew was sensitive and made her get just the right type of goosebumps. "I don't have any patients to see today so I can get up with the baby when he wakes." he whispered in her ear. Sophia rolled over and tried to smack his arm away from her but he only chuckled and took the opportunity to kiss her full on the mouth as he rolled himself on top of her. She responded to his kiss even though she was truly exhausted from lack of sleep. Jeremy began to pull up the bottom of her nightgown but she moved his hand away, "D-don't do that. I am fat and ugly." she murmured feeling both frumpy and grumpy in that moment. "You just had a baby not that long ago." Jeremy argued, "To me you are the most beautiful woman in the world." She hesitantly opened her eyes and peered into his own, "Don't you dare lie to me Jeremy Michael Thompson! I have a fat and flabby stomach now all thanks to you. I would prefer it if you did not touch me there. It makes me feel gross!" He gave her an impish smile and continued to kiss her anyway. His manhood was pressing against her hip as he began to raise her nightgown up again. "I won't expose your fat and flabby stomach. I promise." he laughed at her in jest. His hand untied the silky ribbon of her pantaloons just as her own smacked him hard on his rump, "Only I get to call myself fat!" Sophia cried out in mock outrage. She couldn't help but giggle when he tickled her playfully just under her armpit. "Oh for the love of God Jeremy, if you want to have me then I highly suggest you stop annoying me in the process or I will never allow you to dip your so-called wick in me again." she laughed. He pulled down her pantaloons and pressed his manhood inside of her core, unable to make himself wait any longer. She was already moist down there and ready for him. 

This was only the third time that they would have ever been intimate with each other. The first time, he had taken advantage of her body last summer after giving her a higher than normal dose of laudanum. She had gotten pregnant with Joshua after just that one time. Then, the second time was the night her water had broke while he was making love to her. She had delivered their son the next day. Now, Joshua was just a day over two months old and they had not been intimate since he'd been born. Martha told both her and Jeremy that they were not to be intimate until at least after a full month so that Sophia could allow her body to heal. Somehow, Sophia had been able to delay his... his affections until now. Even though she really did not want him to make love to her, he was her husband and he did have the right to do so. Besides, she did ache for the act itself. She just wished it was with Travis instead. Jeremy pushed himself inside until he was buried to the hilt of his cock. She moaned in pleasure as her eyes closed. She pictured Travis's face as Jeremy pumped himself in and out of her. Somehow it made this lovemaking session much easier for her to deal with on an emotional level. "Oh you feel so damned good Sophia!" Jeremy said in a hoarse whisper. She grabbed his bare buttocks in her hands and pressed him closer to her. Her bud was swollen and so sensitive right now that she could already feel her climax beginning to build. She moved her hips to match his rhythm so that her bud was being pressed against him each time he thrust himself inside of her. Her body hadn't felt this good in a long time now. She cried out feeling such bliss in that moment which was hard for her to contain, "Oh yes! That feels so good." Her light screams made Jeremy's own level of pleasure even more enjoyable. He thrust into her faster and harder. As her climax reached it's peak, she dug her nails into his buttocks and whimpered softly. Only after he knew she had her orgasm did Jeremy allow his own climax to build and fulminate. His seed poured into her with an explosion of a long-repressed level of pure ecstasy. He slumped over onto his now sweaty back after his manhood had grown slack and slipped out of her, leaving traces of his seed trailing behind. Both of them were breathing hard and temporarily lost in their own little worlds. Several minutes later, Jeremy sat up and looked over at his wife only to find that she had fallen back to sleep with a tiny smile on satisfaction her face. "I love you Sophia. Always have and always will." he whispered softly as he gently placed a kiss on her forehead.

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     "Sophia!" Rachel called eagerly out when she finally spotted her sister amongst the crowd of people gathered for the Wellington's annual Fourth-of-July parade and celebration. It was a warm and humid day. The sunshine was bright and there were only a few white puffy clouds that dotted the perfectly light blue shade of the sky above. Sophia heard her name being called and looked around her. Rachel milled her way around the maze of people until she was able to reach her sister's side. "You look positively radiant!" Rachel said as she openly complimented Sophia after looking her up and down. Sophia was wearing what appeared to be a new dress, since she had never seen her wear it before. It was a very soft shade of light peach which complimented Sophia's dark chestnut colored hair to perfection, as well as making her flawless milky white skin look slightly tanned. The dress was accented with a wide band of white lace just under her large bosoms, giving her empire waist a slimmer effect. For having only given birth a little over two months ago, Sophia sure did look wonderful. There was a certain glow about her that Rachel slightly envied. Sophia always had been much prettier than herself, but now she was just down right beautiful. Motherhood certainly suited her older sister. "My, you look so slim in that dress. I must admit that I am somewhat jealous of you right now. It's been six months since Jocelyn was born and I am still trying to lose the weight I gained." Rachel said by way of a greeting. Sophia gave her sister a slightly shocked look, "Oh goodness Rach, I only look this slim because I am tied up tightly in a corset! It was the only way I was able to fit into this dress that Jeremy had bought for me. Nothing else I had in my wardrobe fit me except for the clothing I wore later in my pregnancy. I feel so fat still and my breasts are so full of milk that I have to wear cotton padding over my nipples just to keep the milk from leaking out of them onto my dress. But as for you, you've lost most of your weight and look great to me. Heck, you look more than great! I wouldn't be surprised one bit if Joseph took you home later and ravished you!" Sophia beamed as she leaned over to give Jocelyn a kiss on her little cheek. Rachel was holding her on her hip and she was wearing an adorable little white dress with a matching white bonnet. There were red ribbons that adorned each which had white and blue stars on them.  "Jocelyn looks so patriotic!" Sophia smiled after giving her very adorable niece another kiss. Jocelyn giggled and gave Sophia a big smile that showed off her two bottom teeth. She had a rattle in one of her pudgy little hands that she waved around excitedly. "Thank you. Joseph's mother is in town from Grafton for the events today and she bought that dress especially for Jocelyn to wear today. Where is Jeremy and Joshua?" Rachel asked as she had just noticed that they were not with Sophia. "Oh, he's around here somewhere. His sister Josephine is in town today for the festival and parade. They went off to fetch some lemonade I believe." Sophia responded. The two sisters started strolling around as they conversed with one another. "Have you seen Maybelle yet?" Rachel wondered out loud. "No, not yet. I think they are here somewhere though. I do know that Hank is going to be driving a wagon in the parade since his boss got injured somehow last week and unable to drive the wagon himself." 

     "Oh look, there's Mother standing over by the cotton candy cart. She's talking to someon-" Sophia stopped talking in mid-sentence when she realized just whom her Mother was conversing with. All the blood drained from her face leaving her pallor white as a ghost as her aqua colored eyes grew wide with shock. Rachel saw Sophia's sudden change in demeanor and quickly glanced over to peer in the direction her sister was looking. "Oh my dear Lord!" Rachel gasped out after a few seconds, "Is that who I think it is?" Sophia was rooted in place, unable to move nary an inch. She looked over at Rachel and felt as if she was about to faint but she managed to croak out in a quiet voice, "Hells fire! What is he doing here?" "I don't know but his visit is going to cause a shit storm that's for sure! Should we go over there and greet him?" Rachel wondered in a low voice. Before Sophia had a chance to respond to Rachel, Jeremy approached the two women with a grin on his face, and his sister Josephine followed right behind him as she pushed the buggy that had Joshua inside of it. "There you are. I had trouble finding you. There are so many people here this year." Jeremy said nonchalantly. From his demeanor and the way he was talking, it was more than obvious to Sophia that he was unaware of the visitor who was in town. "Hello Rachel. It's so good to see you again." Josephine said with a smile on her face, "My, is that your little Jocelyn? How big she is! She's so pretty too! Looks just like you only with Joseph's darker hair." Rachel gave Josephine a fond smile in return, "Yes, this is my Jocelyn. She's six months old already. Well, six months old tomorrow. I cannot believe how quickly time flies. It seems just like yesterday when she was born. How have you been doing? I haven't seen you for quite some time now." Rachel was purposefully trying to keep Jeremy and Josephine's attention away from Sophia long enough so that her sister could properly compose herself. Just as Josephine was about to reply back, the town's mayor, Mr. George Couch, used a megaphone to begin speaking to the crowd from a stage that had been setup near the large white gazebo located in front of the town hall. "Attention everyone! Please begin to clear the roads and line up as the parade will begin in fifteen minutes. Again, please clear the roads and line up as the parade will begin in fifteen minutes!" "I have to go find your Father Soph. He's requested that Joseph and I ride in the back of his float to throw out the salt water candies along the parade route." Jeremy said as he placed a quick kiss on her cheek, "I will meet you over by the town hall doors when the parade is over ." Then he quickly ran off in search of Louis Lancaster. "Let's head over towards the intersection and find a place to sit. I've brought a fairly large quilt for us to sit on." Rachel said as casually as she possibly could under the circumstances. Sophia stole a quick glance over to where her Mother had been previously standing, but she was no longer there and neither was the visitor she had been talking to. Sophia silently wondered where the two of them had went off to and was internally fretting over it. She desperately longed to talk to Rachel about it but that was impossible to do with Josephine there. 

     The townspeople lined up all along the main street and the parade began a very short while later. It had been impossible for Sophia to talk to Rachel alone since Josephine was there. Then shortly after the parade had ended, Maybelle located Sophia and Rachel among the crowd of people. "I thought I would find you guys here since this is the spot you always liked to sit at. The parade was so wonderful this year. It seems to get a little bit bigger and better every time. Tyler was giggling and laughing. I didn't think he'd pay any attention but he seemed quite riveted by all the colors and sounds. I thought he might be scared but he loved it. How did Jocelyn fare?" Maybelle rambled on and had asked. Rachel smiled at Maybelle, "She fell asleep actually. We were looking for you earlier. It seems like more and more people come to this event each year. I don't know if that's a blessing or a curse." "Hello Maybelle. It's good to see you." Josephine spoke up by way of a polite greeting. Maybelle never did get on very well with Josephine in the past but she gave a cordial smile and replied, "Likewise. I hope you have been well?" Josephine nodded her head and said, "Yes actually. I have missed my dear baby brother though. I was telling him earlier that he needs to come to Grafton soon with his new family for a visit. He hasn't been there for a visit in well over a year now." She gave Sophia a strange look as if it were her fault as to why Jeremy hadn't visited his older sister. Sophia turned around and rolled her eyes as she grabbed onto the handle of the baby buggy, "I am going to find a private spot to nurse Joshua. He will be needing his feeding. Rachel, would you care to join me so that you can feed Jocelyn as well?" "Yes, actually that's a good idea. She will be needing to feed soon." Rachel replied, sensing that her sister needed so privacy so that the two of them could talk alone. "Please excuse us for a little while." Sophia said demurely to Josephine and Maybelle. Maybelle, not wanting to be left alone with Josephine replied, "I will find you gals later. Hank is most likely looking for me so I will try to find him." "Josephine, why don't you track down Jeremy. He said he'd be by the town hall entrance." Sophia said to her sister-in-law. Then Rachel and Sophia waved goodbye to their close friend, Maybelle, as she strolled away and pushed her own buggy in the opposite direction. Josephine was left on her own not looking at all happy about the situation, but Sophia honestly didn't care. She needed to get away from the crowds of people swarming around her which began to suddenly make her feel claustrophobic.

     Less than ten minutes later, Sophia and Rachel had found a secluded spot in the church of all places which had been Rachel's brilliant idea. It was quiet, empty, and refreshingly much, much cooler in there. Sophia smiled after they had settled themselves in one of the pews of the church saying, "Ahhh. It feels great to get out of that blazing hot sun and away from all those people even if it's only for a short while." She had Rachel help her unbutton the back of her dress and pulled the top of it down so that she could release one of her breasts from her tight corset in order to feed Joshua who was just now starting to fuss. The timing couldn't have been more perfect. He clenched on to her exposed nipple as soon as he felt it touch his lips. Sophia placed a thin blanket over him in case someone happened to come inside the church. Rachel put Jocelyn to her own breast only moments later. "Good God almighty," Rachel cried out with a half-wince, half-laugh, "now that she has her two bottom teeth it hurts. She kind of bites it." Sophia could sympathize with Rachel's predicament, as she had the same issues with Madeline in her past life. "Now that we are alone, you must tell me... why do you think he is here and talking to our Mother of all people?" Sophia said in a hushed whisper. Rachel looked over at her sister and sighed, "I don't honestly know Soph. Perhaps he came here looking for you? That would be the only reason I could think of that makes sense to me." 

     Soft footsteps could be heard from behind them which echoed in the cavernous church. Before either of the women could react properly, a familiar deep voice with that southern drawl of his interrupted their conversation, "Your sister is correct Sophia. I did come here looking for you." There was no need for Sophia to turn around to see who it was that had come in the church. She already knew. He sat down in the pew directly in front of the sisters and took off his cowboy hat as he turned around to face them, looking directly into Sophia's eyes. "Hells fire Travis, what are you doing here? Are you trying to get yourself killed? My Father is at this event and if he see's you, well, I don't even need to explain what he'd do to you since you already know!" Sophia declared passionately in a loud whisper as she espied a glance towards the back doors of the church to make sure they were still closed and no one else was in there with them. "I know full well what your Father has threatened. I've come prepared so no worries my love. " he said with a seductively sly grin as he looked towards her chest. The baby was fully covered so Travis was unable to see him with the exception of his tiny little feet. "Is it a boy or a girl?" he asked curiously. Despite Travis's apparent happiness right now, Sophia could see the tired and drawn look on his face. His forehead and hairline was beaded with sweat. He had shorter hair since the last time she had seen him and the shorter style looked quite becoming on him even if it was mussed up from the hat he had been wearing. He was still the most handsome man she had ever laid her eyes upon. Sophia suddenly felt quite apprehensive. She had honestly felt as if she would never see this man again. It took so long to get over her melancholy and now here he was, drumming up all her suppressed feelings once again. That sort of made her mad as she knew there would be no future for them. Her Father had gone to great lengths and expense to make sure of that. Travis's presence here, right now, made her feel like a fisherman who had brought the wrong bait to fish with. A fisherman who would never catch the fish he wanted and had to settle with whatever else he caught. "It's a boy. His name is Joshua David. Thompson." she replied a bit tersely.  Travis seemed a bit taken aback from the terse tone of her voice. Rachel, who sat there feeling quite uncomfortable being in the middle of this situation, removed Jocelyn from her breast then buttoned up the front of her dress as quickly as she possibly could. Standing up with Jocelyn still in her arms she said, "I will finish feeding Joc in that room in the back so you two can have your privacy. Sophia, if you need anything, you know where to find me for the next twenty minutes or so. After that, I will have to go back outside as I am sure Joseph is wondering where I am at. I am also assuming that Jeremy will be wondering where you are at soon." Sophia gave Rachel a pleading look as she silently begged her sister to stay and not leave her alone with Travis. Rachel gave Sophia a weak smile, then waved goodbye as she put Jocelyn in her buggy and wheeled it to the small room in the back of the church. Only after he heard the door to that little room open and close did Travis speak up.

"I have missed you so very much my love." he said to Sophia as he got up and sat down next to her in the pew seat that Rachel had just vacated. He placed a hand on her left thigh and leaned in to kiss her cheek. She draw away from him before the kiss could land though, "Travis, are you crazy? You shouldn't be here! When my Father finds out you are here, he will be so upset with both of us and I am positive he will take your visit out on me somehow! You need to leave and go back to the ranch!" she cried out which startled Joshua and made the baby lose his grip on her nipple and start to cry. She removed the blanket so that she could put him on her other nipple. She could feel Travis's gaze on her the entire time. When Josh started suckling her left nipple, she placed the blanket over him once again. Travis was mesmerized, "He's so small. When was he born?" "On May second. Travis, you need to know that this baby is Jeremy's. I must have already been with child when I came down to Texas." she confessed, needing to get that off of her chest before Travis started to become attached to a baby that wasn't his like he had thought. Like they both had thought. He sat there looking obviously confused for a few moments. "What makes you think that isn't my child?" he asked her quietly, "I just did the calculations in my mind. The dates match up to him being my child Sophia. When did you have relations with Jeremy?" She had to think back on it for a few minutes. "Sometime in July I think. It was after my surgery, that I do know because it happened the night when Angelique assaulted me. I had been in so much pain after that whole mess went down that I asked Jeremy to give me a dose of laudanum. He did, but double what I had normally been given. That was the night he had brought me back to his house and, well, you already know the rest of that story." Travis's eyebrows furrowed, "And we had relations in August just before we got married. Sophia, my math works out. According to when the baby was born, it's mine. If it had been Jeremy's he would have been born in April." Sophia looked at him with sorrow in her eyes, "Travis, he looks just like Jeremy. Brown hair and brown eyes. It has to be his." Travis chuckled, "That doesn't mean the baby is his just because he happens to have brown eyes. I have brown hair. Children do not necessarily take after their parents you know. I have a cousin who was born with red hair and brown eyes. No one in our immediate family has red hair and only a couple have brown eyes. My cousin didn't resemble any of my family members and yet that baby was certainly his. That's my child and I think we both know that." Sophia sighed out of frustration; she had no energy left in her to argue a moot point. It didn't really matter whom Joshua's father really was from a biological standpoint. She was legally married to Jeremy and therefore, the baby was his. Besides, Joshua really did take after Jeremy in looks. 

     "Travis, you must go. It isn't safe for either of us with you here. I saw you talking with my Mother a while ago. She must have warned you of this. Please, go back. Please!" Sophia cried out in a hushed whisper. "I'm not going anywhere without you little darlin'.  You needn't fret over my safety either. Like I mentioned before, I've come quite prepared." he smiled back as his hand rested on her left thigh while he absentmindedly rubbed it gently. She refused to meet his gaze but could feel his eyes on her as if they were burning a hole through her. She just wanted him to leave already! He never should have come here in the first place! "I don't want you here Travis." she mumbled as her heart ached painfully. "That's a blatant lie and we both know it." he said in that low drawl of his. That voice was so deep. So masculine. So... sexy. "That is not a lie. I really don't! I am a married woman! This is highly improper! You know, if we lived in England, Jeremy could call you out for pistols at dawn. Duels are done over matters such as this!" she retorted bitterly. She could smell the slightly sweat- infused musky scent of him and wanted nothing more than to melt in his arms right then and there. "Yes you are a married woman. My married woman! As for pistols at dawn, Jeremy should be so lucky that we don't live in England. I am a pretty good shot if I do say so myself." he said charmingly. She looked over at him and saw that he was giving her a grin that could melt any woman's heart. She felt like smacking him for it! How dare he show up here after all this time and claim she is his wife? How dare he look so devilishly handsome? Damn it all to hell! She needed to be far away from him before all her resolve left her. He had waited too long! Now she was with Jeremy and actually had some feelings for him. How dare Travis come back here now and try to disrupt the life she had been forced to make with the man she had no other choice than to be with! "I no longer love you Travis Ewing!" she said a bit louder this time, as if she were trying to force herself to believe that statement if she said it passionately enough. Her voice echoed throughout the cavernous church. Her electrified blue-green eyes snapped with a mixture of anger and anguish. The dolt actually chuckled at her! This time, she used her free arm to smack away the hand he had placed on her thigh. His response to her anger was to out right laugh at her. "I can see it in your eyes Sophia. You love me. We both know it. Your Father may have won the battle but I shall win the war and you best not forget that! He took you away from me and I have come to bring you back to where you belong which is with me. In our home with our children. With you in our bed and me ravishing you until you grow ripe with my seed once again! Make no mistake Sophia, I will be taking back what is mine!" The pout on her lips turned into a surprised look as a little squeak escaped them. She instantly felt a warmth of desire for this man in her womanly core just imagining him inside her once again. That there was a dangerous thought. "I am not some war to win!" she said after a moment as she feigned anger. "Love is a battlefield, darlin'." he said huskily, "And I won't fight fair!" She could see a storm brewing in the depths of his light blue eyes and it sent shivers running down her spine. If only their situation was one worth fighting for. No, she mustn't give in! The lives of him and his children depended upon her resolve in this matter. She would not give in! "Travis, what we used to have between us is over now. I have moved on. With Jeremy." she said bitterly. "Like hell you have woman!" he spat out through gritted teeth as he began to feel heated with a boiling anger of his own. All these months he had spent without her, missing out on her pregnancy and the birth of their son... all the lost time and memories they could have shared. All the pain that had been caused to the people back at the ranch who truly loved and cared for Sophia. Well, it had taken it's toll on him and he was downright furious about it all. There was no way in hell he'd be leaving this god forsaken town without his family!

     They sat there in a mutual silence as they each pondered on their own thoughts. Once Joshua had gotten his fill of her breast milk, Sophia took the blanket that covered him and draped it over her right shoulder, the one that was furthest away from Travis. She pulled the small baby off of her breast and positioned him over her shoulder so she could begin burping him with her left hand and used her right one to put her exposed breast back in the corset and re-button her dress. Not long after, the door to the little room at the back of the church opened and they could hear Jocelyn's little murmurs of happiness as Rachel placed her in the buggy and wheeled it down the aisle towards them. "Are you two almost finished?" she directed her question at Sophia. Sophia looked at Rachel with misery in her eyes and her sister gave an empathetic smile in return, "We must get back now. We've been gone long enough. Our husbands will come searching for us soon if we don't show our faces." Sophia nodded her head in acknowledgement, "Yes, I am fully aware of that. Travis and I are, indeed, done here. I am just waiting on Joshua to burp and then we can go. Travis, you heard Rachel. Her and I must get back. You need to leave now. I mean it! Go!" He looked over at Rachel who was sympathetic to his cause, but even she nodded her head so that he had no other choice but to stand up. Before he did so, he leaned over and kissed Sophia's left cheek. She almost lost the very last fiber of the resolve she had left in her but forced herself to take a deep breath as he walked away. His boot-steps could be heard walking down the aisle towards the back doors of the church. One of the doors opened, then a few seconds later, closed. Only then did Sophia allow her tears to come pouring out. "Damn it all to hell!" she swore vehemently, "Why did he have to come back here like this!"

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(This concludes the chapter. Please vote and comment. Thank you!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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