A Life Begins… by Stephanie

Challenger: Tamara
Rating(s) of the fic you want: MA (Mature 17+)
Which brother do you want your story to be about?: Taylor
Genre you want your story to be: Comedy or Drama

Three specific things you want your fic to include:

  • dancing in the rain
  • sky diving
  • pregnancy

Three things you do not want your fic to include:

  • drug use
  • sex
  • death

“There’s no chance that you might be pregnant, is there miss?”

I froze…. How did he…. I felt the blush creep up my neck.

“Oh, there’s no worry about that with our girl here. She’s got her legs locked up tighter then Ford Knox. Our boy Taylor’s got a major case of blue balls after a few years with her!” Zac slung his arm around my shoulders. The blush crept up onto my cheeks until it felt like my face was on fire. Zac laughed, gave me a squeeze and then sauntered over to his friends who were laughing uproariously over at the side of the room.

Taylor winked at me from the opposite side of the room. He smiled as he started to walk over to me. He gave me a quick peek on the cheek and whispered in my ear “Don’t listen to him beautiful.” I grabbed his fingers and gave them a quick squeeze before he headed back to where he had been standing with Isaac.

“Miss?” Our jump instructor had stopped checking the parachute in front of him and was looking at me expectantly. “This is a serious question, there is a lot of trauma to your body with skydiving and especially early in a pregnancy…” he trailed off raising an eyebrow at me. “It’s not that you can’t go, but we would want to know so that we can take extra precautions with you.”

I felt the blush come screaming back. “No worries about that, promise.” I told him then scurried over to Taylor’s side to bury my face in his shoulder. “Ugh, can I jump out of a plane now? I’d really prefer that!”

Taylor and Isaac laughed. “Oh Cees, don’t listen to Zac, he’s just jealous he doesn’t have someone as wonderful as you burying her head in his shoulder.” Ike said as he ruffled my hair. “Hope you meant that bit about jumping out of a plane though, cause I think our jump instructor is done with the final equipment check.”

I looked over to where Steve, our instructor, was standing up. “All right, listen up everyone!” he clapped his hands together and looked over at Zac who was talking with the two friends he’d brought along. They all chuckled at something he said then turned to Steve. “Okay, the final check is done, let’s just go through everything one more time.” With that Steve launched into a quick run through all the safety tips and rules we had been through earlier that morning.

I leaned into Taylor and started chewing on my fingers. They were already a bloody mess from this morning. How had the guys talked me into this? I didn’t even like flying INSIDE a plane, I didn’t think jumping out of one would improve my feelings about it. As I moved from one finger to another Taylor’s hand reached up to push my hand down.

“Fingers not food.” He whispered in my ear.

“If you’re making me jump out of an airplane I need those fingers.” I whispered back trying to reclaim my hand but he had it tight. He just shook his head at me, smiling.

Suddenly everyone around us was moving and before I knew it I had a man strapped to my back, a parachute strapped to his (he assured me), and we were in a plane with 5 similarly strapped up couples heading up to 15,000 feet. We were all tandem jumping as it was our first time throwing ourselves out of a plane. Having a stranger lashed to me wasn’t the most comfortable thing ever but I had a feeling I’d be happy to have him when we were plummeting towards Earth and I had no idea where the parachute rip cord was.

Oh god, plummeting?? Why am I doing this? Why am I here? I hate flying, I hate falling, why combine the two?? And what did Steve say? There was risk involved, especially during the early part of a pregnancy and… NO! I’m not going there. I don’t know anything for sure yet. I’ve got enough to worry about right here…

“Fingers no food.” I whipped my fingers out of my mouth and looked over at Taylor. He gave me a smile that reached right up to his eyes. God, how is he so calm? There was not a trace of panic in those beautiful blue eyes, just excitement and a trace of amusement at my panic. I grabbed his hand and took a couple of deep calming breaths letting myself absorb some of his calm.

This was why this man next to me was so perfect for me. Not only did he push me to do things that I never would have otherwise, he then held my hands to support me through it all. He, as cheesy and crazy as it sounded, made me a better person. Oh plus he was gorgeous, had an amazing voice, owned his own company and did I mention he was gorgeous?

“You ready?” I was shaken out of my Taylor trance by the man behind me. Aaron? Alan? Bob? I couldn’t remember but suddenly I noticed the plane door was open and we had lost some of our strange couples. Before I had a chance to fully take this all in I felt myself nod, felt Taylor squeeze my hand and felt the plan fall away … or I suppose I fell away from the plane.

The noise was like nothing I could have prepared for. The wind rushing past my face pushed my cheeks unnaturally and filled my ears with white noise. I didn’t feel like I was falling, I felt like I was floating. The freedom of it, the power, the complete and absolutely joy. It was absolutely amazing. I had always hated flying – now I realized it was because I had been doing it wrong, I shouldn’t have been using those pesky airplanes! This was the only way to fly!

I saw Adam’s (Ashton’s?) hands come into my sight line letting me know he was going to be pulling the chute. I reveled in the sensation of free fall for my last few seconds and then the chute opened with a “whoosh” and our speed cut in half in a second. Akron steered us over towards Isaac, who looked decidedly paler then he had last time I saw him, but thoroughly pumped none the less.

“Holy fuck Ike! That was un-fuckin-believable!!”

“Hell yeah! You ready to go again?”

“Anytime, any place baby! Whooooooooo!!”

The guy strapped to Isaac’s back gave me a huge smile and shouted “Looks like we’ve got some more converts to the cause Aiden!” Aiden! That was his name! Aiden, Aiden, Aiden – must remember his name! Aiden’s hands came into my field of vision again giving me two huge thumbs up.

We touched back down to earth pretty well, I remembered to bend my knees and didn’t crash land on my face, all in all a good thing. Zac and his friends had all detached themselves from their tandem masters and were running around screaming, in joy I hoped. Just to my right Taylor landed, along with his tandem master who quickly detached himself when he saw me coming.

I launched myself at Taylor, one leg going around his waist, the other dangling a good five inches off the ground as he caught me and held me up. Our lips met in a crush of teeth and tongues and he gave a small growl/chuckle in the back of his throat. I backed off enough to keep our teeth from being knocked loose but let my tongue continue it’s eager mission. My hands tangled into his hair which was well beyond “wind-blown” but I didn’t care if I never got them back as long as I had him.

“Yeow! Yeah baby!”

“That’s hot.”

“Sexy!”

The cat calls took a second to sink in.

“Looks like all you needed to do was drop her from a great height to get some action Tay!”

“Ouch, maybe I was wrong about you Cees, maybe Taylor is getting’ some lovin’ outta you after all! If not before, definitely tonight!” Zac called out from where he stood with his friends. I rolled my eyes but let our kiss linger for another few seconds. “Free falling equals great aphrodisiac… I’m making a note right now.” Zac’s friends burst into laughter as Zac pantomimed writing something down and Taylor set me back on the ground.

“You enjoyed it?”

I couldn’t keep the huge smile off my face for even a second to try and pull his leg. “Oh my god! It was amazing! That is definitely the only way to fly!!”

Taylor gave a whoop of laughter. “I told you you would love it! You should trust me more by now instead of fighting my suggestions for a month before agreeing.” A smile kept his face lit up as he said this letting me know he was only teasing.

“I make no guarantees but if you ever suggest this again you’ll get no fight from me!” I stood up on my tiptoes to plant another kiss on his lips.

“Alright lovebirds, let’s go get some food! I was so nervous I couldn’t eat all morning, now I’m starved!” Ike yelled from across the field. Taylor and I smiled at each other and locked hands before taking off across the field at top speed.

Later that night I found myself locked in the bathroom in my apartment. Taylor and I had finished dinner an hour or so ago and he was in the kitchen finishing the dishes. I was staring at the blue box in my hands. How did I end up here? This has got to be some sort of bad dream.

I thought back on just how I had ended up here. I mean, it was all kind of a dream. Well I was aware of the band Hanson, who could have missed MmmBop when it first came out? I hadn’t kept up with the band after that. My musical tasted ran more towards the classic rock bands of the 70′s and the “indie rock” of today. Mostly I listened to established bands who I could count on for new material or who’s material was all out there for me, current music changed too fast for me to keep up with most of it. How did I end up in sound editing then? Some friends of mine made movies in their spare time and needed a sound person… me. And it turned out I was good at it and really enjoyed it. I studied hard in college and was hired at a recording studio right after graduation. When someone rented studio space they could include my time with their rental or bring their own sound techs. Bigger groups usually brought their own personnel as they had the resources and had usually found someone they liked working with. And that’s how it went the first few weeks Hanson was working in my studio – they brought their own people, their own instruments and I never saw them.

Then, their third week in the studio, their sound tech went out for dinner at a local restaurant and ended up in the hospital with food poisoning along with half of his fellow patrons that evening. And well they might have put recording off for a day or two waiting for him, he was supposed to be out for at least a week. So they asked to have me step in so they wouldn’t fall too far behind. And that’s how I met Hanson.

Well specifically I met them while I was dancing around the studio to Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” and setting things up the way I like them. Umm, yeah, not my best intro ever – I might – maybe – possibly have been singing along also. Definitely a bad first impression, I’ve actually had friends offer to pay me to stop singing before. I had been told they never showed up before noon, they decided to come in early to get the chance to meet me and talk before starting for the day. They swear that they only stood in the door for half a minute, tops, but I overheard them laughing about it once and I think they stood there for at least half the song. The fact that they even agreed to work with me at all after that is kind of amazing.

We worked together for a week and when their sound tech returned they asked to stay on and keep working with them. Steve and I worked together sometimes, switched off days, or one came in early while the other worked late. It was a great time, they were working with some amazing people, they worked really loose and had a great time while getting a lot done. It was some of the most amazing weeks of my professional life … and as I got to know the guys better, my personal life too. No, Taylor and I didn’t jump right into a relationship. But we did get along right from go. That’s what he said when he asked me out – he thought I could be something good in what was otherwise looking like a very shitty time in his life. The romantic in me loved it.

So that’s how it started. They gave up on recording at my studio soon after Taylor and I started dating. Their record company rejected everything they passed along and they couldn’t keep “wasting” studio time. I held Taylor’s hand as they fought with Def Jam, while they figured out how to break out of their contract, as they put together their own record label. I was there when recording started again at their own studio, and yes, I got to be the sound tech for them once again. I was with Taylor when they released Underneath Acoustic and toured, freaked out that no one would be there. When they released Underneath and shot videos, rejoicing as they hit the top of the indie charts. I hopped on the tour bus for the Underneath tour and saw parts of the country I never dreamed of going to.

My time with Taylor has been amazing. Wonderful. Inspiring. And yes, Zac is right, virginal. I was raised in the church, so was Tay. While sex after marriage may not have been totally important to me, sex after love was. I didn’t want to just jump into bed with anyone, I wanted to be in LOVE with that person. And after three years together I was in LOVE with Taylor. And a tour bus doesn’t leave you much room, physically, to get away from somebody. So recently our relationship had become … well not virginal.

And that’s how I ended up here. Locked in a bathroom, staring at a blue box, wondering if I had the courage to actually open it…

“Hey, you gonna be in here forever? I’ve been calling you…” Ok, not locked in. Taylor trailed off, standing in the quite unlocked bathroom doorway he had just swung open. His blue eyes were open wide, starting at the blue box in my hand, comprehension passing slowly over his face. “Oh…”

I snored lightly. “Yeah, oh…”

“Fingers, not food.” Taylor said, grabbing my empty hand that I had been chewing at absently. “Come with me.” He grabbed the blue box with his other hand and threw it in the sink, pulling me to my feet.

“Taylor I’m kinda in the middle of something …”

“You haven’t even opened the box yet, please come with me? Ten minutes. Fifteen tops, I promise.” His lower lip stuck out in the slightest pout. “Please?”

I looked into his eyes, I could never really say no to him, it was those gorgeous blue eyes that did me in everytime. Finally I nodded my assent and smiled at the huge smile that stole across his face. He gave me a quick peck and pulled me out of the bathroom.

We crossed through my bedroom, through the living room, to the front hallway and right out the apartment’s front door.

“Taylor…”

“I’ve got keys, don’t worry.”

“My shoes…”

“You’ll be fine, we won’t go far.”

“It’s raining out Taylor!”

“And it’s 80 degrees, you’ll be fine!” He kept pulling me down the building hallway towards the side door of the apartment building. “Come on Cees, a little rain never hurt anyone!” And with that we were outside, in the pouring rain.

Taylor ran out into the building parking lot, arms out, face tipped up to the sky, eyes sparkling and a huge smile on his face. I hugged myself and tried to stay under the small eave above the door. I watched him twirling in the parking lot like a small child and I had to laugh. “You’re crazy!”

“Cees, get out here! Come on! It’s just water.” He held his hands out to me, sticking his lower lip out just enough to get to me. I sighed and looked up at the sky. Huge black storm clouds blocked any bit of sky and the rain came down in sheets, soaking everything in seconds. I looked back at Taylor still standing there in the rain, his hair plastered to the sides of his face and his clothes clinging to him in a not altogether unappealing way. Sighing again I stepped out from under the eave and headed out to Taylor.

He swept me up in a hug, picking me up off my feet and spinning us around in circles. I clung to his neck and buried my head in his shoulder. He kept going until I squealed at him to stop. He stopped spinning and gave me a heart stopping kiss before setting me down. Once my feet were back on the ground he grabbed my hands, he put one on his shoulder and kept ahold of the other. He wrapped his arm around me pulling me close and started us in slow circles.

“Taylor… what are you doing?”

“Dancing with you.”

“In the rain?”

“In the rain.” He smiled at me and pushed me out, spinning me around and then pulling me back. “Dancing with a beautiful woman, whom I love, in the rain.” He leaned in to give me a kiss then pulled back and looked me in the eye. “Don’t think I don’t know what that box was you were holding onto in the bathroom there. What were you doing with that, alone in the bathroom? You were just going to sit there freaking out on your own while I was in the next room clueless?”

“Umm…” I looked down but he used a finger to lift my chin back up until we were eye to eye again. “I was going to wait until you left to freak out on my own while you were somewhere else.”

“Tisk, tisk, tisk. You should know better then that. Something like that is for two people to deal with together, not one person alone, never one person alone. Could you get into a situation like that alone?” He spun me around, raising his eyebrows waiting for an answer.

“No…”

“No, exactly right. So why would you be in that bathroom all alone?”

“I was freaking out.”

He gave a small laugh. “Right, of course you were. That’s what you do. And I calm you down when that happens, that’s why we work. But I can’t calm you down if you’re hiding your freak out from me. We can’t work if you don’t help us work.”

“Taylor,” I stopped dancing and stepped out of his arms. “Please don’t think I’m trying to sabotage us, you are the best thing in my life.”

“That’s not what I…”

I held up my hands to stop him. “I know you didn’t mean that I did it on purpose. But you probably think I did it unintentionally and I didn’t. Yes I was freaking out though hopefully you can see the why there. You’ve got that big meeting tomorrow, I thought I’d freak out tonight alone, find out if it’s justified and then tell you tomorrow, either way. That way you get a clear head through your meeting and you can calm me down, as you do so very well, tomorrow night.”

“My turn?”

I smiled and nodded. Taylor stepped forward and held my hands. “I love you. And as far as excuses go, that is a good one but I’m still upset. You could have ruined all my careful plans.” I gave him a puzzled look. “I know how you feel about pregnancy and marriage. Just like sex before marriage is ok in love. A baby isn’t a good reason for a marriage, only love. And I agree completely. Guess that’ll teach me to try to plan big romantic gestures.”

He knelt down in front of me, keeping my hands in one of his and reaching into his pants pocket with the other.

“Taylor…” a choked whisper was all I could manage.

“I was going to do this this weekend, our anniversary, but I’ve wanted to do this for a long time. I am not doing this because I found you in the bathroom with that little blue box. You are the most amazing woman I have ever known, you are the best thing going in my life. You are strong and independent and talented, beautiful, smart – you make me a better person.” He held up the small black box he had gotten out of his pocket. He opened the box and held up a beautiful diamond solitare. “Cecelia Thomas, will you marry me?”

I stared at the ring, speechless. I reached up and pushed his sodden hair out of his face so I could see his eyes looking up at me, completely open, full of love. “Taylor…”
“I’ve had this for almost three months, please don’t make me put it back in my pocket.”

“Yes – of course yes!” He jumped up from his knee and swooped me up into a bear hug, spinning us around again. He whooped and then kissed me – a heart stopping, movie ending, life changing kind of kiss. When it finally ended he put me back on the ground and spun me around, dancing around and hopping in puddles. He finally stopped his dancing, the smile on his face stretching from ear to ear. He reach for my left hand and took the ring out of it’s box. He paused with the ring at the tip of my finger and looked at me, he started to say something, stopped, shook his head and smiled. Then he looked back at my hand and pushed the ring onto my finger.

“It’s perfect.”

Taylor pulled me into a hug, pressing me close to him and kissed the top of my head. He kept me pressed right to him so I tilted my head up, resting my chin on his chest. “You have just made me a very happy man.” He smiled and leaned down to brush his lips gently against mine. “Now let’s go back inside and face that blue box together.” He smiled and took my hand, leading me back inside.

“Can we dry off first?” I asked. He laughed and picked up his pace.

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