Creation of Desire:Reassuring Rachel

By: Leah Brooke

More Desire, Oklahoma 3

Chapter One

Rachel Jackson patted her daughter’s back and glanced bleary-eyed at the clock, knowing that she’d never get ready for work on time. “I know, baby. Momma knows.”

Her daughter had been teething for the last several days, and on top of that, had somehow caught a cold and started running a fever. The combination had meant several sleepless nights in a row, and worn Rachel to a frazzle.

Beyond tired, she dropped into one of the kitchen chairs, rubbing Theresa Rose’s back as she rocked her. “Yes, baby. I know.”

The baby let out another cry, shoving her hand into her mouth and kicking her feet, making it harder for Rachel’s tired arms to hold onto her.

“Easy, sweetheart. I know those teeth hurt. Poor baby. That medicine should be working soon, baby.”

“Hey!” Her husband, Chase, came into the room, his hair still damp from his shower. He looked and smelled delicious, while she looked and smelled terrible. With a frown, he reached for his daughter, who stopped crying instantly and raised her arms. “What’s all this?” Holding her against his shoulder, he turned to smile at Rachel. “Hey, did I see a tooth?”

Once again enthralled by the sight of Theresa, who looked even tinier and more fragile in her daddy’s arms, Rachel smiled tiredly and nodded. “Yes. It finally came through last night, but I think we’re still waiting for another one.”

Theresa let out another small whimper, gripping a tiny fistful of her daddy’s T-shirt and laying her head trustingly on his wide shoulder. With a yawn, she closed her eyes and was asleep almost immediately.

Dressed in pink pajamas with white bunnies on the front, and with her soft curls mussed, she looked adorable as she slept trustingly against her daddy’s chest.

Chase bent forward, his overlong hair brushing against Theresa’s as he bent to touch his lips to her soft hair. He eyed Rachel, his eyes narrowing with concern. “And you’ve been up with her for hours, haven’t you?”

Rachel shrugged, her eyes burning with the effort to keep them open. “I’m fine.”

“Uh-huh.” Dressed in a plain white T-shirt and jeans that hugged his narrow hips and tight ass, he moved easily around the kitchen, pouring himself a cup of coffee as he rocked their daughter. “Do you think she should see the doctor again, or will she be all right now?”

Rising to her feet, Rachel bit back a moan as she went to get another cup of coffee, waving away Chase’s attempt to pour it for her. “Her fever finally broke about five thirty this morning. She should be feeling better now.” Leaning back against the counter, she sipped at the fresh brew, hoping it would help her wake up. “She’ll probably sleep all day.”

Rachel wished she could do the same. Just the thought of facing the day made her want to cry.

She was just so damned tired.

Chase set his cup aside, frowning as he wrapped an arm around her. Pulling her close, he bent to touch his lips to her forehead. “And be wide awake again tonight while you’re trying to sleep.” He stared down at her, his eyes narrowed as they searched hers. “I think it’s time for you to realize that you can’t do this alone. I know I’m sick and tired of seeing you do this to yourself. You’re exhausted. I’ll take over tonight. I’ll sleep in the sofa with her, and you can sleep with Boone.”

Shaking her head, Rachel moved away. “No. You and Boone work with a lot of power tools and I don’t want either one of you sleep deprived. Give her to me. You’ve already showered and I’m still covered with apple juice, the medicine that she spit back at me, and spit-up.” Running a hand through her hair, she grimaced at the tangles she encountered, knowing she must look a mess.

She also smelled awful.

“No. I don’t know what your problem is with accepting our help with our daughter, but it’s over.” Chase shook his head, his features hardening. “You’ve got to stop thinking you can do it all yourself. We let you have your way because we know you’ve been worried about her, but enough is enough. I’ve got her. She’s half-asleep. Why don’t you go ahead and take your shower while Theresa and I have a little chat?”