Second in a series. Troy takes his young daughter out to buy a cake for her mother.
Pressing on the gas pedal as the light turned green, Troy ran down everything in his mind that he had to do today before Gabriella got back from her and Taylor's 'All-Girl Day' which consisted of maxing his credit cards on shoes and clothes and maybe some lingerie, if she wanted. But not only was it 'All-Girl Day', it was also Gabriella's birthday weekend. She would be turning 29 and he knew for a fact that she was nervous on the big 3-0 creeping up on her. It hadn't phased him any, but yet, he was also a guy and she reminded him of it everytime the subject came up in their room after Cassidy was asleep. Gabriella had this whole thing on how the 40th was bigger for the guy and the 30th was bigger for the girl. He didn't even want to get into her reasoning behind it.
But there were flowers, a card, balloons and the ever important cake - which was why Cassidy was with him in the first place. He had started their own tradition for Gabriella's birthday ever since Cassidy was born. Troy would take her out to Zeke's bakery in downtown Albuquerque and they would make her cake together. When Cassidy was 6 months old, the cake didn't turn out too well, but ever since then, Gabriella had loved them and this year would be no different. Slowing down as Troy approached the next red light on Main Street, Cassidy startled him out of his to-do list in his head.
"Are we at Uncle Zeke's yet Daddy?"
"Not yet, Cassie," he answered back, "but almost. Are you excited?"
"Yeah!" Her hands rose up in the air. Laughing at her excitement, Troy pulled into the only blank spot in front of Zeke's shop and shut the engine off which made Cassidy even more excited. "We here Daddy! We here! Look!"
"I see," he didn't think it was possible for his grin to bigger but it did. This was always his favorite part of the whole day. "Ready Cassie?" By now, Troy was getting her out of her car seat in the back of his Navigator and reached for her outstretched arms. Placing her on the sidewalk for a brief moment while he took hold of the blanket she didn't leave home without and shutting the door firmly, Troy bent down and took hold of her hand and was surprised at the tug she gave him towards the door. "Cassie, we've got all day," he reminded the tiny tot.
"But this Mommy's cake, Daddy," she stated as he opened the door wide open.
"It is," he agreed, watching her flee towards the displays of pastries, muffins and cakes that Zeke had probably created this very morning. "What do we want on Mommy's cake this year, Cassie?" He bent down next to her as she pressed her nose on the cool glass.
"Mommy likes carrots!" Cassie said excitedly, moving around him and over to the other display case just as Zeke came out to see them.
"She does like carrots, but not on her cake."
"Carrot cake? The only time Gabby ate carrot cake was when she was almost here," Zeke stood beside Troy and pointed to his favorite and only niece that he spoiled rotten. "Is she?"
"No," Troy snapped and answered a bit too quickly. Zeke held up his hands and went to take down what Cassie wanted. "Is she is, she hasn't told me. But why wouldn't she tell me?" He said aloud, smiling over at an older couple who were now staring at him. Walking over to his friend and daughter, Troy clasped the blanket in his hands and overheard Zeke playing twenty questions with Cassidy.
"Okay, Sugar Cane," Zeke started out, calling out his pet name for the toddler, "what color?"
"Green! Mommy loves green!"
"Mrs. Gabriella Bolton," her doctor, Dr. Evan Fitzgerald, strode into the room with a huge smile on his face. "How are we today?"
"I'm doing fine, Dr. Fitzgerald. What's with the smile?" she asked. Evan had been her doctor ever since Cassidy was born and she was quite content with his services. He always asked about the family and about her life, unlike any other physicians she had gone to see. Gabriella considered him a good friend, so it was normal for her to ask him about the smile and to call him by his first name.
"Well, it's not every day that I get to call a perfectly healthy and glowing woman back into the office for this type of news. It's usually Peter that does that," Dr. Fitzgerald pointed to the closed door, referring to his brother that he shared the practice with.
"Just a few questions first," he looked down at her thin chart in front of him, "Any cravings?"
"You know - an instant urge for something sweet or drink?"
"I know what they are. Um...I've been on a carrot surge lately."
"Carrots? Okay," he jotted it down on her chart and proceeded to the next question on his short list. "Have you been getting sick or nauseous?"
"No," she shook her head and answered just as quickly as he asked. "What's going on?"
"You think a Stanford graduate like yourself would be able to figure this out..."
"Congratulations Mrs. Bolton, you are 10 weeks pregnant," he told her, waiting for something from her.
"Wha...wha...excuse me?" she rhetorically asked and surprised even herself when she kept on rambling. "How would this happen? I mean, I know how it could happen but how? When?"
"Where were you 10 weeks ago?" Dr. Fitzgerald sat back in the rolling chair available for him and watched her pace in front of him.
"Home. We were home and Cassidy..." Gabriella's hands flew to her wide open mouth and she knew exactly what happened and how and when. It was one of those nights when Cassidy actually wanted to stay overnight with her in-laws and she wasn't going to argue with that. It was just her and Troy and after a cheesy movie and a quick popcorn fight, they were upstairs in their room. It had ended up an uninterrupted, wonderful evening. Placing her hand on her stomach, Gabriella smiled, finally taking in that she was pregnant with another Bolton and turned back to Dr. Fitzgerald, who returned her smile. In turn, he handed her two scripts to fill and an appointment card.
"I'll see you in two weeks," he winked at her, "Congratulations Gabby and tell Troy the same."
There were ten more minutes before her prescriptions were filled and Gabriella was trying to figure out the best way to tell Troy. When she found out about Cassidy, it had been in June and the Father's Day cards were over abundant, so it was easy. But it was August and 'Happy Labor Day' just didn't scream 'You're gonna be a Dad again!' to her. Swinging her wedding bands around her finger, she headed for the candy aisle feeling a craving for chocolate. "I'm gonna kill Evan," she muttered to herself just as she saw Taylor stocking up on the stuff. "Lemme guess - Chad's got his annual sweet tooth?" she asked, slipping in beside her.
"I have no clue why he gets like this. Every year, just before the week that Tommy's school starts, he gets it," Taylor flew her arms up in the air with the candy bags in her hands and Gabriella ducked to avoid the hit.
"Maybe it's a brother thing?"
"God, I hope so. What's up with you, didn't get enough shopping in yesterday?" Taylor asked, grabbing one bag of Rainbow Twizzlers for herself. "They are definitely not getting these."
"Actually, I just came from the doctor's. And Troy is going to kill me...." Gabriella said the latter hushed.
"You went to see Evan? And why is Troy going to kill you?"
"Yes and he'll kill me because I'm going to tell you something that is important before him. But I'm desperate and need ideas," Gabriella said, catching Taylor's full attention now. "I'm pregnant."
"Oh my God! Really!" her friend beamed into a wide smile and leaped up and down, grabbing Gabriella's hands in the process. "Oh my God! Gabriella this is so awesome!"
"Taylor, pregnant," Gabriella reminded her and they stopped jumping long enough for Taylor to pull her into a giant hug. "Yea, pregnant."
"We've gotta top Cassidy's, don't we?" Taylor pulled back and looked at her.
"This is why you're my best friend," she laughed as Taylor kicked the full candy basket down the aisle, not attempting to pick it up again. "Any good ones in that Ph.D. brain of yours?"
"Um...should we go with a sports theme?"
"Don't know the gender and his 29th was all sports."
"Okay," Taylor nodded and started to think as Gabriella went to get her prescriptions from the pharmacy. She quickly paid for them and turned back to see Taylor staring at the condoms.
"I don't think I'm going to need any of those," she said, laughing next to her friend.
"No, Troy's probably got a stash and I know Chad does, but this Ph.D. brain of mine just got you your idea."