Story #25 in the Angel Girl series.

Characters: The Seven, The Angel Gang, Raine, and Casey

Disclaimer: They are not now, nor have they ever been mine. I get nothing from their use except a sense of creative satisfaction and a stroke of the ego when someone sends me feedback.

Acknowledgements: Thanks to MOG for the ATF universe and allowing the use of it.

The air of suppressed excitement that filled the room was almost palpable Chris Larabee decided as he set a bowl of dip and another bowl of chips in the middle of his coffee table then straightened up and looked at his family. The group was scattered around his living room on a lazy Sunday afternoon relaxing together. Getting together on a weekend was nothing new for the group, but this time something was going on. He just didn´t know what it was.

Chris scanned the room again trying to pinpoint exactly what was making his internal radar go off. Vin and his triplets, Austin, Houston, and Dallas, were busy chasing each other around and around the sofa, nothing new there.

Josiah was seated on the sofa with Rhiannon on one side of him and Angel on the other listening to Rhiannon read them a story, again nothing new.

Buck had a giggling Lucas in a pretend headlock on the floor in front of the fireplace giving him pointers on the fine art of wrestling, perfectly normal too.

Chris´ attention shifted to the three remaining couples in the room. That was it. Something was going on with them, he decided. As he watched, he observed the tender glances and gentle touches that passed between Ezra and Kathryn, JD and Casey, and Raine and Nathan. Looks and touches that were more … more … well just more something than was normal he thought.

Never having the patience or temperament to go for the subtle approach, Chris went straight to the heart of the matter with a frontal attack, “Someone want to tell me what´s going on?” he asked glancing from one couple to the next.

Blushing smiles and conspiratorial looks passed between lovers and Chris felt the excitement level rise still more. His words had gotten the attention of Buck, Vin and Josiah as well, who looked at him and the others in the room in confusion.

“Well?” he asked again.

Simultaneously the three exuberantly happy women spoke up and said, “I´m pregnant!” then looked at the others in confusion and surprise.

“What?” Chris looked at each blankly, “Which one?”

“I am,” Kathryn said as she raised her hand in a little wave, a grin starting to peek out as she watched the other women process the startling announcements.

“Umm… well, me too!” Casey started giggling.

“Me three!” Raine laughed too.

“How far along are you,” Kathryn asked and smiled at the other two women.

“Two months,” Casey said returning the smile with a happy one of her own.

“This is unreal,” Raine exclaimed. “I´m two months along too!”

All heads turned to Kathryn who nodded in wonder and replied, “It´s unanimous; two months here also.”

“All of you! At one time!” Buck declared in shock. “Man! There must be something in the water around here.”

Chris watched Nathan and Raine go still at Buck´s words and look at each other in disbelief before cracking up and hooting with laughter.

“No way!” Nathan disavowed, “There´s just no way! It´s just a superstition. It has to be.”

“Empirical evidence would suggest otherwise, dear,” Raine giggled.

“Would the two of you care to enlighten the rest of us as to the cause of such hilarity?” Ezra asked smiling at his lover and then turning to look at his friends.

“So tell me, Ez,” Nathan asked tongue in cheek, “how did you and Kathryn like the waterfall?”

Ezra´s famed poker face slipped and Kathryn held on to his hand tighter as she felt her face blush a deep red.

“What… how did you know…” the usually controlled man stammered in disbelief as Nathan and Raine broke out into a fresh round of laughter.

“It was really beautiful, wasn´t it Casey,” Raine teased, still giggling, causing the younger woman to imitate Kathryn and blush a deep scarlet.

“Would someone please explain to me what is so funny,” Chris growled.

“Oh nothing really, Chris,” Nathan glanced down at Raine and she started laughing again. “I guess you could say we´ve all fallen victim to an old superstition.”

“Oh never a victim, love,” Raine scolded lovingly.

“You´re right. Sorry, sweetheart, bad choice of words. We are the lucky beneficiaries of superstition,” Nathan corrected and Raine bowed her head slightly in agreement.

“You want to try that again, pard,” Vin said, “Your lips are moving but you´re not talking much sense.”

Nathan threw a loving glance down at his wife as he drew her closer and placed a kiss on her forehead before addressing his friends.

“Raine and I decided a couple of months ago that we were finally ready to start our family, but we had waited so long that we wanted to do something special to mark the… event,” Nathan grinned down at his wife.

“Raine had heard from one of her friends at the clinic about this place in the mountains that was supposed to be sacred among the Native Americans in the area. It was supposed to bless a marriage with healthy children. Neither of us believed in the myth of course but we thought it would be a special, romantic kind of way to begin what we hoped would be a new, and …fruitful future.

We were already making plans to take a weekend trip up there when everyone decided it was time for a camping trip to the mountains.”

“You mean that trip we took to Sheppard´s Meadow two months ago?” Chris asked in disbelief.

“The same,” Nathan assured him.

“You´re telling me you talked us all into going there to camp so you and Raine could…could,” JD stammered to an end.

“Do exactly what apparently you and Casey did,” Nathan laughed at his blushing friend.

“Really, my dear Nathan I´m shocked. I would have suspected such behavior of Mr. Wilmington, but you! I never would have guessed it,” Ezra exclaimed.

“Are you going to sit there and try and tell me you didn´t take advantage of that waterfall,” Nathan teased. “I seem to remember several times that a certain southern gentleman and his lady were off ‘walking in the woods´ during that trip and came back with wet hair and dry clothes.”

“That is neither here nor there,” Ezra said, unconsciously straightening his tie.

“So what exactly is this superstition anyway,” Buck interrupted.

Raine looked at Nathan with a smile and said, “The legend goes that if two lovers bathe together under the waterfall at Silver Lake they´ll be blessed with many happy, healthy children, and live long, happy lives together.”

“That is so beautiful,” Kathryn murmured.

“Oh, yes,” Casey said as a slight sheen of tears covered her eyes. “That´s so very special.”

Chris watched in amusement as the three pregnant ladies looked at each other and suddenly burst into tears, causing their respective mates to hurriedly pull them close with worried arms.

“Don´t worry,” Chris said, the experienced veteran of pregnancy mood swings trying to assure the ‘newbies´, “it´s just hormones. They´ll be alright in a minute.”

“I believe congratulations are in order,” Josiah said as he rose from the sofa and approached the closest couple, which happened to be JD and Casey.

He pulled a still sniffling Casey away from JD to plant a kiss on her cheek and wrap his arms around her in a hug.

Within seconds the room was a whirl with the rounds of congratulations and well wishes that passed between the friends and the happy couples.


Author´s note: This story came about because I was trying to decide who to “bless” this time and couldn´t make up my mind. Then suddenly this little imp appeared on my shoulder and kept whispering in my ear saying “Why choose at all?” When he wouldn´t go away I finally gave in and wrote this just to get a bit of peace. I´d be interested in your comments, but if you didn´t like it just remember the devil made me do it! <BG>. - L -

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