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Luckiest Bastard

By:J. L. Perry

Chapter One


Two years later …


Carter

The past two years I’ve spent with my soulmate, and my boys … my family … no words. Indiana is the most amazing wife and mother any man could ask for. She’s my best friend, my world, my absolute everything.

Then there’s my two sons, Jaxson and Levi. They are, without a doubt, the most miraculous gift. Being a father is fucking incredible. I love my boys … my family, so hard.

My life was perfect. I was in a state of complete bliss. To be honest, it almost felt too good to be true. Sure we’d had more than our fair share of shit in the beginning, and if anyone deserved a break, it was us. That thought still didn’t seem to stop the foreboding that churned deep within me.

There was heartache looming around the corner, I could feel it. I worried for my wife. I guess that’s natural considering everything we went through with the tumour. Even though all her tests continue to come back negative, it’s something that will always be in the back of my mind. They were scary times.

Then something happened six weeks ago. All those inner fears I’d been fighting the past few months, came to a head. My worst nightmare. I was right about Indiana, but it had nothing to do with her cancer. We had a totally different fight on our hands.

It brought me to my fucking knees …



Four weeks before Indi was due to give birth to our daughter, Eve, is a day I won’t forget in a hurry. We named her after my grandmother, Evelyn. Like the other two pregnancies, everything was going great, until suddenly it wasn’t.

The moment Indiana came into my shop in the middle of the day to say things didn’t feel right with the baby, I panicked. “Something’s up, but I’m not sure what,” were her exact words. In my heart I knew she was right—it was those damn feelings I’d been having. Thankfully, I was already on edge, so I didn’t hesitate in getting her to the hospital.

Luckily, the boys were with our parents. They ended up moving to Newcastle a year ago. We used to try and get to Sydney as much as possible to visit, but for them the occasional trips weren’t enough. They felt like they were missing out on seeing Jaxson and Levi growing up, and all their milestones, so they sold up and moved here. My grandma joined them a few months later. She sold her unit and moved in with my parents.

They now look after the boys during the day while Indi and I are at work. It’s a win-win for all of us, I guess.

After arriving at the hospital, the nurse hooked Indi up to the monitors straight away. That’s when we were informed the baby was in distress. I can’t tell you what hearing those words did to me. They almost sent me over the edge. Little did I know, what was to come would be far worse. It was something I know will stick with me for the rest of my days.

I’m not sure I’ll ever completely get over the desperation and utter helplessness I felt in the hours that followed.

The doctor performed an ultrasound immediately, and found the umbilical cord was wrapped around Eve’s neck. Commence operation meltdown. The birth of both our boys had gone so smoothly—I was in no way prepared for this.

I watched on in horror as my wife was rushed into surgery, and my idyllic world, the one I simultaneously lived, loved and feared, started to crumble around me.

“Everything’s going to be okay, baby,” I whispered against her lips. I’m not sure if I was trying to convince her, or myself. “I love you … I love you both,” my voice cracked as I spoke. No matter how I was feeling inside, I needed to try and keep it together for Indi. My hand instinctively moved to her stomach as I said a silent prayer for Eve … and for my wife. All the time I was thinking, this can’t be fucking happening.

The look of desperation in Indi’s eyes as they wheeled her away will haunt me forever. For-fucking-ever. Both their lives were on the line here. The devastation and worry I felt for my girls consumed me.

The nurse guided me to a room where I could sit and await my fate. There would be no damn sitting. Just a lot of pacing. I was numb. I was devastated. I was on the verge of losing it. I’d never felt so completely helpless in my life.

I’m not sure how long I was alone in there, but eventually Ross turned up. I can’t tell you how relieved I was to see him. My mum stayed home with the boys. As much as I wanted them with me, this was no place for them right now.

“Dad,” I murmured when he walked through the door. I needed him. I couldn’t face this shit on my own. Not when it came to something as serious as this—my wife … my child. When he pulled me into his arms, I clung to him as though my life depended on it. I needed to draw from some of his strength, because the truth was, I was a fucking mess. The possibility of losing either one of them was unfathomable.

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