Tobin was lying awake, tracing the patterns of shadows that were cast across the ceiling of the bedroom with her eyes, the dim sidewalk lights outside the window illuminating the dark room just slightly.
She was wired.
It had been over an hour since she shut the lights off and crawled into bed, but sleep still hadn’t found her. So she just laid there, slowly counting each line that was projected into the darkness. She hoped that maybe if she counted the shadows enough times, she’d drift off into unconsciousness.
Sure, she could get up and close the curtain a little tighter, to make the room pitch black, but honestly, she didn’t mind how the shadows were keeping her mind occupied.
It was either that or go crazy with thoughts.
Tobin was never like this. She never had a hard time sleeping. Usually, she was out as soon as her head hit the pillow. She almost prided herself on that quality, making Christen envious of her ability most of the time.
But tonight, it was like every thought she’d ever had about life was circling around in her brain.
She had stayed up late, putting the finishing touches on her wedding vows that she would be delivering tomorrow, feeling like she’d never get them just right. What do you say to the love of your life, on your wedding day, that will ever convey how much you love them?
It was one of the questions rolling around in her mind over and over again.
When she had finally been content with her vows, she wrote everything else that she was thinking down in her journal, just trying to free her mind of its restlessness before she got ready for bed.
All of that didn’t seem to matter now though. When it came down to it, she was just too excited.
The couple had rented a house for themselves and their wedding party to use for the night before the wedding, right on the property of Saddlerock Ranch in Malibu; where they were getting married. The house and surrounding area were part of the Malibu Wine Estate, and it had been one of Christen’s ideal wedding locations for as long as she could remember. It was an easy choice for both of them to make in the end.
The house was big enough that Tobin and Christen could have their own rooms for the night, with everyone else sharing with one or two others; and the fact that it was close to where the ceremony was being held made it perfect.
Everything was set and ready to go. They’d spent almost a year planning every last detail, and now all the day had to do was get here.
The brown haired woman let out a long, drawn-out sigh and flipped over in bed, burying her face in the pillow. Willing her mind to shut off and go to sleep.
Tomorrow was a big day, the biggest day, and she couldn’t wait for it to arrive. All she wanted to do was pass out, hoping it would make the time go faster.
Just as Tobin shut her eyes and concentrated on her breathing, she thought she heard the handle on her bedroom door turn the slightest amount. She figured it was just her tired imagination, not bothering to even lift her head and see if that’s what the noise actually was.
Maybe it was just someone in the hallway who hadn’t gone to bed yet.
A moment later, she heard another click, like her door was shutting again.
This time, Tobin rolled back over and lifted her head, spotting a familiar figure tiptoeing towards the bed through the darkness.
“Chris?” Tobin whispered out, sitting up more so she could see clearly.
“Sorry..” Christen whispered back, taking the last two steps towards where Tobin was lying. “Hi.”
Tobin pulled her covers back a bit without question, scooting into the middle of the bed enough so Christen had room to climb in next to her.
“Hi..” Tobin returned, opening her arms up so Christen could snuggle into her. “What are you doing, babe?”
“I couldn’t sleep.” Christen murmured, wrapping her arms around Tobin’s midsection and moving down into her.
“Me neither.” Tobin admitted quickly.
“Really.. did you miss me that much?” Christen questioned playfully.
Tobin just started to laugh softly, falling back against the bed. “If I remember correctly, spending the night apart was your idea..”
“Yeah, I know..” Christen grinned back.
“So you can’t even stick to your own rules for more than two hours, huh?” Tobin teased.
“Shhhh.” Christen hummed. “I won’t stay long, I just needed you to hold me for a bit.”
“Yeah, come here.” Tobin urged, pulling Christen into herself tightly.
She flung the blankets back over her and Christen so they were cozy under them again. Christen nuzzled in a little closer without speaking, finding her usual sleeping position mostly on top of Tobin, her face tucked into Tobin’s neck.
Tobin rubbed her back as they laid there for a few minutes, listening to each other’s breathing without saying anything else.
Just wanting to be close to each other.
Christen was the one to finally break the silence a bit later, hoping she hadn’t lost Tobin to sleep yet.
“Are you nervous?”
She asked the question as though she was scared to hear Tobin’s answer; like she’d have to answer the same question in return, once she did.
“Yeah..” Tobin breathed, stilling her hand on Christen’s back.
“Me too.” Christen let out a slow breath of her own.
She really hadn’t been expecting Tobin to be nervous, or to admit it, even if she was. Tobin’s admission calmed her though, making Christen feel okay about her own feelings and emotions.
“What are you nervous about?” Christen questioned into the quietness again, this time lifting her head off of Tobin’s chest so she could look at her face.
“Just the usual.” Tobin shrugged. “Falling on my face, or using up all my good dance moves too quickly... that would suck.” She paused with a grin. “..Or looking way worse than you will..”
Christen smiled and shook her head, just enough for Tobin to notice in the dark room.
“Those are silly things to be worried about, baby.” Christen sighed at Tobin’s typical goofiness.
She rested her head back down on Tobin’s chest, realizing now how calm Tobin actually was about it all. She was right the first time to assume that’s how Tobin would be. It how she always was. Steady and calm and sure of everything.
Ever since day one.
Tobin chuckled a little underneath Christen. But it was the truth. She was nervous about walking down the aisle in heels, knowing it’d be hard to concentrate on anything other than how stunning Christen was surely going to look. Or messing up during their first dance after the ceremony, knowing dancing was never her strong suit. She just wanted it all to go perfectly. It was going to be the most important day of their lives.
“Well, what are you nervous about?” Tobin asked instead of continuing, knowing Christen meant that question on a deeper level.
“I’m just..” Christen tailed off. She hugged Tobin tighter before speaking again, her voice a little more pensive. “Everything..”
“I mean, we’re getting married tomorrow. It’s really wild to think about.”
Tobin kissed the top of Christen’s head and started to rub her back again, trying to ease her nerves the best way she knew how.
“Yeah, it is.” Tobin hummed. “But I’m so excited. I can’t wait for you to be my wife.”
Christen smiled at that, lifting her head again and leaning in enough so she could kiss Tobin’s lips. All of her unnecessary worries and thoughts about the future falling away at Tobin’s words.
“Your wife.” Christen almost swooned when she said it in return, her lips still ghosting over Tobin’s. “I am going to love being called that.”
“Good.” Tobin chuckled and pecked her lips again. “Cause I’m sure gonna try and wear it out.”
Christen let herself get lost in kissing Tobin for a few minutes, sitting up to straddle her waist as their tongues explored until the brown eyed woman’s hands started to wander a little too much.
It was classic Tobin to push the boundaries as far as Christen would let her.
“Honey..” Christen lightly scolded, pulling Tobin’s hand out from where it had dipped into the waistband of Christen’s sleep shorts. “Not tonight.”
“Ughh.” Tobin pretended to whine, not able to stifle her smile for long.
“You know how seriously I take my No Sex Before Marriage rule.” Christen teased, moving up and leaning back more so she could put enough distance between her and Tobin’s chests, to make it less tempting.
“You and your rules..” Tobin smiled lovingly.
She reached out and cupped Christen’s breasts over her t-shirt, just to see if she could get a reaction out of Christen.
“Babe.. you know I’m a rebel who lives for breaking the rules.” Tobin husked out in her sexiest voice.
She had used that trick one too many times though, only making Christen laugh in return as she slowly removed Tobin’s hands from herself again.
“Well, parenting with you is going to be quite a challenge then.”
She pulled Tobin’s hands up to her lips and kissed her knuckles lovingly, before letting both of their interlocked fingers drop back to Tobin’s stomach.
“Nah, we’re going to be great at it.” Tobin responded. “We make an awesome team.”
Tobin sat up enough so that she could kiss Christen again, sweeter this time, not trying to take it any further.
Christen sighed into the kiss and held Tobin’s face close when they pulled back, getting a little more serious.
“Are you sure you want to marry me tomorrow?” Christen asked.
The whole reason she couldn’t sleep tonight finally coming out.
“I’m absolutely positive.” Tobin nodded, slowly but so surely.
Christen kissed her lips again. “Promise you’ll still love me in thirty years?” She asked then.
“Promise.” Tobin nodded again. “I can’t even imagine how much I’ll love you then.”
“You better.” Christen relented and smiled. “Cause I’d never survive without you.”
“You won’t ever have to.” Tobin hummed, running her hand through Christen’s curls.
Christen smiled softly at the dopey grin on Tobin’s face. Her heart feeling like it was going to burst with how happy she was.
She trusted Tobin with her whole life, and if Tobin said they’d make it forever, Christen believed her without a doubt.
She believed in them.
“I’m so excited.” Christen said then, kissing Tobin another time. “Let’s do this forever thing.”
“Oh, we’re doing it.” Tobin agreed, both of them laughing softly for a moment.
“I suppose I should go back to my own bed.” Christen conceded softly after she released Tobin’s lips again.
“You can stay in here with me.” Tobin offered, running her hand down to Christen’s cheek. “The best thing about it being our wedding weekend is that we can do whatever we want.”
Christen shook her head no. “We can survive one more night apart.”
She wasn’t sure why, but she liked the tradition of spending the last night before marriage separately and getting ready the next day apart from each other. It was going to make it that much more special when they saw each other before the ceremony.
“Fine.” Tobin nodded, leaning in again and stealing another kiss. “I love you.”
“I love you too.” Christen murmured, landing one last kiss on Tobin’s bottom lip.
Christen slid off the bed and walked back towards the bedroom door, turning around as she reached for the door handle.
“I’ll see you at the altar, my love.”
Tobin felt the butterflies in her stomach as she smiled widely. “See you at the altar.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my absolute honor to introduce to you - for the first time as a married couple - Tobin and Christen Heath!
Christen barely registered the announcement as her lips connected with Tobin’s again. The second, and much quicker, kiss they were sharing after Pastor Jones finally told them they could kiss their bride.
As of thirty seconds ago, they were officially married; and Christen was too happy and exhilarated not to kiss Tobin again, almost as soon as they pulled away from the first one.
The nearly three hundred wedding guests were sitting in white chairs across the grass landscape behind them, taking in the incredible views of rock formations and vineyards that surrounded the ceremony.
Everyone let out loud cheers and hollers and whistles at the Pastor’s words.
“I love you.” Tobin beamed as they pulled back again, looking her wife right in the eyes. Her hands still on Christen’s waist, gripping the tight lace fabric of Christen’s wedding dress to keep her close.
“I love you. So much.” Christen grinned back, loud enough for Tobin to hear over the chorus of wedding guests. She ran her hands down Tobin’s bare arms as they slowly stepped back from each other again.
The couple found each other’s hand and linked their fingers together, before turning to face the congregation of their family and friends, both of them laughing happily at the excitement of it all.
Tobin gave Christen’s hand one more squeeze, and the newly married couple stepped forward from under the canopy where they and the pastor had been standing, ready to make their grand exit past all the guests and down the aisle of green grass in front of them.
They received a series of high-fives (Tobin) and gentle arm squeeze’s (Christen) as they made their way past the everyone, never breaking their hold on each other.
When they got to the back of the crowd, Tobin wasted no time kicking off her heels, before Christen shrugged with a smile and did the same. When they were both on easier footing, Christen wrapped her arms around Tobin’s shoulders and pulled her in for a tight hug.
Taking a moment for just the two of them, before the wedding guests started to file out of their seats and join the procession line to greet the wedding party.
Tobin spun her around happily, Christen’s legs swaying as they moved in a circle.
“We’re married, honey!” Christen almost shrieked in excitement, tightening her arms even more around Tobin’s shoulders. “Oh my gosh!”
“I can’t believe it.” Tobin grinned, setting Christen back down and letting her face rest in the base of Christen’s neck just slightly. Not wanting to mess up her makeup too much. “I am so lucky.”
Christen placed another kiss to Tobin’s lips, just quick enough before Tyler and Perry made it down the aisle to where Christen and Tobin were waiting. Both sisters serving as respective Matrons of Honor for the couple.
“Perry! I have a wife!” Tobin basically shouted in amazed excitement as soon as her sister got close enough. Already putting that term to good use.
She felt like she needed to keep saying it, in order to actually believe that it was true.
“Congrats you two beautiful brides!” Perry laughed in return, hugging Tobin and then her new Sister-in-law.
“You two are the most gorgeous couple.” Tyler added, moving opposite of Perry to hug them both as well.
“Welcome to the family, Tobin.”
“Tobin, it’s so great to see you again.”
Their realtor, Susan, who they’d spent more than their fair share of time with recently greeted her with a firm handshake as soon as she’d stepped through the door of the house.
Tobin greeted her back with a big smile of her own. “Yeah, thanks for meeting us.”
“This is Jeremy, the Closing Agent I told you about.” She introduced the pair. “He’s gonna help us get every wrapped up today.”
“Hi, Tobin, it's nice to meet you.” The young guy greeted her kindly. “Is it just you signing all the documents today?”
“Ah, nope.” Tobin looked at the time on her phone quickly before answering Jeremy completely. “My wife should be here any minute. I guess she’s running a little late. Sorry about that.”
Tobin had waited in her car for a few minutes hoping Christen would show up before she had to walk in alone, but after it got later than their scheduled meeting time, she gave in and greeted them by herself, not wanting to be rude.
The three of them were standing in the empty kitchen of the five bedroom house in the West Hills neighborhood of Northwest Portland that Tobin and Christen had toured a couple of times, finalizing the purchase of it this afternoon.
That is, if Christen ever showed up.
Tobin had come right from the stadium and Christen was coming right from the airport, after spending a quick 24 hours in LA for a couple meetings. They didn’t have time to meet up and ride together, but Christen had let Tobin know she’d landed safely an hour ago.
The dark haired woman was now about ten minutes late and Tobin was getting slightly concerned.
Christen was never late. Especially not when it was for something this important.
Tobin shot her a short text as the three of them made small talk, getting a response back quickly. She was only a couple blocks away.
Not more than a minute later, Tobin saw Christen’s SUV pull into the driveway from out of the large bay window in the living room.
She could see Zoey’s head sticking out of the passenger side window that was halfway rolled down. The dog's tongue hanging out of her mouth happily.
Tobin shook her head to herself, now realizing why Christen was late.
She walked out of the front door and down the short sidewalk to the driveway, moving around the front of Christen’s new car that they had just bought, looking at her wife questioningly.
“Is everything okay?” She asked as Christen opened her door.
Tobin leaned in and kissed Christen’s lips without thinking as Christen answered her question.
“Yeah. Sorry, traffic sucked..” Christen smiled. “I had to stop and get Zoey and it took longer than I thought it would getting into downtown.”
“I can see that.” Tobin nodded as she looked at their dog, trying to keep up. They didn’t have any plans after this that Tobin could remember so she wasn’t sure why Zoey needed to come. “Why is she here?”
“Because we’re signing for our house today.” Christen said like it was obvious.
“Babe...” Tobin sighed hesitantly.
“What?” Christen wondered as she slid out of the front seat and let Zoey jump down after her. “It’s gonna be her home too, she deserves to be here.”
She really shouldn’t have been surprised about this.
“That’s great but we’re kinda running late now.” Tobin pointed out gently.
“Honey, it’s fine.” Christen shrugged. “We’re paying these people a lot of money, they can afford to wait for a couple minutes.”
“Alright...” Tobin just sighed again, deciding not to argue when it was already done with.
She grabbed Zoey’s leash out of Christen’s hand and then laced her fingers with Christen’s, leading them both towards the house without wasting any more time.
Christen stepped into their soon-to-be new home first, her heels clicking against the hardwood floor as she confidently strode towards the kitchen.
Tobin stepped inside with Zoey after her, following Christen and giving both their Realtor and the Closing Agent an apologetic smile as if to say ‘Wives, am I right?’
Christen being soft and bringing Zoey along didn’t matter one bit though as she quickly kicked into business mode, shaking both of their hands seriously and getting right down to it.
Tobin let Zoey out into the fenced-in backyard and then just stood back and smiled as Christen did the talking, making sure everything was complete before they signed all the paperwork.
Loving how sexy her wife was when she meant business. It was a side of her that Tobin didn’t get to see often enough for her own liking.
An hour later after the final inspector had come and gone and all the paperwork had been signed, Tobin palmed the new set of keys that Susan had dropped into her hands.
“It’s officially ours?” Tobin wondered with a big smile.
“All yours.” The realtor nodded to both of them. “Congratulations you two, and of course, Zoey.”
Tobin and Christen looked at each other and smiled happily.
They had just bought their first home together.
Portland was now all but permanent and they couldn’t have been more excited about building their lives here together.
Susan left after a while and Tobin popped the bottle of champagne she had picked up to celebrate with, giving Christen the bottle to take a swig from first.
“I can’t wait to make this house our home. There is nobody I’d rather do it with than you, my hot and amazing wife.” Christen hummed as she raised the bottle, handing it over to Tobin, along with a kiss, after she took a drink.
“And to being one step closer to buying that The Heath’s sign we’ve always wanted.” Tobin laughed, taking her own big pull from the bottle.
They ordered Chinese food delivery and drank the rest of the champagne right from the bottle and ended the evening by having sex on the empty living room floor, just as a way to officially break in the place before they went back to their downtown apartment for one final night.
Knowing quickly that they were going to settle in here just fine.
Tobin and Zoey were lying on the couch in the living room, watching and rewinding some game film from the Thorns loss the night before. Letting the fireplace warm the room against the chilly, rainy evening.
Tobin was jotting down some training notes when the faint sound of the garage door registered in her ear.
Zoey heard it too, sitting up from her spot on the couch quickly and wagging her tail in excitement.
It was later than Tobin had been expecting, finally hearing the soft click of Christen’s heels against the linoleum floor of the laundry room and then hearing her keys dropping onto the small table next to the door.
She pushed herself up enough to look over the back of the couch, waiting for Christen to come around the corner and into view.
She could recognize the tired but happy look on Christen’s face as soon as she saw her.
“Hi, baby.” Tobin smiled, watching as Christen walked into the room and around the couch to sit down right in her lap.
“Hi.” Christen returned, leaning down to kiss Tobin’s lips, before nestling her face into her neck.
Tobin paused the game and hugged Christen tightly. “How’d your first day go?”
“So well.” Christen hummed happily.
Tobin could feel Christen's smile against her neck, breaking out into a grin of her own.
“Yeah?” Tobin asked again. “That’s awesome.”
“It was a lot to process but yeah, it was really good.” Christen added, lifting her head to make eye contact with Tobin again.
It was her first day with the Oregon Adoption Agency as a Case Manager for Infant and Toddler Family Adoptions. She had accepted the job after she and Tobin made the decision to move to Portland full time. No longer wanting to do the traveling that was required to stay with UNICEF out of LA.
They wanted to be together all the time, outside of Tobin’s away games and knew that it was the best thing for their family as they moved towards the future. It wasn’t an easy decision but Christen’s bosses at UNICEF willingly kept the door open for her down the line and she left on great terms with everyone there.
Now she would get to be local and work in Portland and the surrounding metro area exclusively, getting back to the work that she started with out of college. Finding loving and suitable homes for children in need.
“I’m really glad you had a good day.” Tobin kissed her again.
“Me too.” Christen nodded, pushing herself up from Tobin’s lap. “I’m gonna go change and get comfy.”
Christen changed into a t-shirt and some yoga pants and she and Tobin stood in the kitchen making a late dinner together before they sat down on the couch to eat while the tv played quietly in the background.
“So tell me about your day.” Tobin questioned between bites of food.
“Well I got to go to my first group home today, it’s one of the main locations I’ll be working, so I’ll be there pretty regularly. They just wanted me to meet everyone and introduce myself to the kids.” Christen explained.
“I met the two cutest little girls there.” She smiled as she set her fork down and looked over at Tobin. “They are one and a half and ten months old, and they are literally so adorable. My heart just melted the whole time watching them.”
“Awwww” Tobin hummed as she listened. “What were their names?”
“Oliva is the older one and Lainey is the younger one.” Christen spoke again. “I guess they’ve been inseparable since they were brought into the home only a few days apart from each other. They’ve been there for a couple months now.”
“So you’ll get to see them a lot then?” Tobin wondered.
“Yeah, at least until they are adopted by their forever families.” She nodded, picking her fork back up to keep eating. “I can’t imagine them being separated though. I hope it isn’t too long until we get them placed, so they don’t get too dependant on each other only to be split apart again.”
“Well, I’m sure you’ll look after them well until they are.” Tobin smiled, giving Christen’s leg a squeeze.
And Christen did. At least twice a week for the next six months, she would visit Oliva and Lainey’s foster home to check up on them. Drawing out their time together longer and longer with each visit.
She even got Tobin to meet them at a meet and greet event that the Adoption agency sponsored for prospective parents. It was a way for families that were looking to adopt to spend time with the children and see if any connections or bonds were formed in the process. Hoping to place children as a result of the afternoon.
One look at Christen and the girls playing together and Tobin was pretty hooked too.
After that, she would meet Christen for lunch once a week or so, and then they would spend the afternoon at Olivia and Lainey’s foster family’s home or they would all go to a park and play for a few hours just to spend time together.
Christen didn’t acknowledge it too much at first, but Tobin could tell she was getting attached to the girls. Tobin was too when she really thought about it.
It didn’t take long before they could notice it from both Olivia and Lainey as well. All of them feeling a strong bond with each other rather quickly.
So Tobin wasn’t all that surprised when Christen rolled over one night after they had gone to bed and gave her an audible sigh like she wanted to talk about something. Tobin just rolled over into her and smiled, silently telling her to go ahead. Knowing so easily that something was on Christen’s mind.
“How soon do you see us being parents?” Christen practically whispered into the darkness.
They’d only been married for a little over a year and Christen used to think they’d at least have a few years of newly wedded bliss before they expanded their family.
Now she wasn’t so sure.
Tobin let out her own sigh, trying to think over her answer very carefully, knowing her response mattered a lot to both of them.
Christen took Tobin’s pause as a bad sign, continuing her thoughts before Tobin could respond.
“I know it’s crazy to think about right now, but baby, I can’t stop thinking about it.” She almost sounded like she was wishing it would go away.
Tobin smiled at her, calming Christen’s anxious thoughts quickly.
“It’s not that crazy.” Tobin shrugged, pulling Christen in closer to her. “Not really when I think about those two little girls.”
She knew which kids Christen was thinking of. It wouldn’t have been anyone else. She was thinking of them too.
“I love them.” Christen murmured quietly, looking over at Tobin after a moment.
“I know you do.” Tobin nodded seriously. “I do too.”
“They need to grow up together.” Christen said again as the thoughts of their situation continued to stress her out. “They’re sisters in every sense of the word, except for who gave birth to them. They’re all each other has.”
There was a long moment of silence before Tobin let out another breath and spoke again.
“We could be who they have.” Tobin suggested. “We could be their family.”
She was echoing Christen’s thoughts of the past few months out loud. Finally.
Christen’s eyes were tearing up as she moved over onto Tobin, lifting herself up on her elbows on top of her wife and looking down at her eagerly.
“I’m being serious, Tobs.” Christen said with an urgent voice, needing her to know this wasn’t a joke or a hypothetical conversation.
She was pretty sure Tobin was being serious too, but she needed to double check.
“I am too, Chris.” Tobin returned softly.
She pulled Christen down into her chest fully, hugging her tightly and rubbing her back as she spoke again.
“Baby, we love them and they trust us and you know we’d give them a good, loving home.” Tobin continued to soothe her with the only words she could think of.
“Are we ready to be parents, though?” Christen asked almost rhetorically.
Tobin thought on it for a moment before answering.
“Well, I mean.. We’re married and there is no doubt in either of our minds that we are gonna have kids together eventually...” Tobin shrugged easily. “As for being ready now, well, I’m sure nobody is ever completely ready. But we’ve always wanted this together and we would make it work. I know us and I know how much love there is in this house; so yeah, I guess I’m pretty damn confident in that. I’m confident in us.”
Tobin’s small speech moved Christen. How amazing her wife was, one hundred percent of the time. She’d never get over how lucky she was that Tobin was hers.
“I am confident in us too.” Christen admitted, looking Tobin right in the eyes as she did. “And I really want us to be their moms.”
“Me too.” Tobin smiled. “So, let’s start that process and make it happen.”
“I love you so much.” Christen grinned into Tobin’s lips. “You’re my whole world. I don’t know what I would do without you.”
“I love you too.” Tobin swallowed, wiping a tear that was about to run down Christen’s cheek.
It took them eight months of paperwork and home visits and background checks and countless hours of unknowns about whether Olivia and Lainey could be adopted together; but in the end, with the help of Christen’s coworkers and her having a vast knowledge of how the system worked, they finally got to bring their girls home.
Together. For good. To stay forever.
And soon enough, their lives were infinitely more hectic and chaotic and so much more full of love from now having a one-and-a-half-year-old daughter and a two-year-old daughter.
Luckily, Zoey was there to watch over both of them like the good big sister she was.
Christen only lasted another month at work, before she and Tobin made the decision together that she should stay home with their daughters full time. At least until they were old enough to go to school.
Between the National Team, the Thorns, her Development Academy coaching and all of her sponsorships, Tobin made more than enough money to support their family; and neither of them wanted the girls to have to go to daycare when Christen could be home with them.
Tobin’s favorite thing in the world quickly became coming home to her full, loud, messy house at the end of each day. Kissing her daughters and tucking them in before bed and falling asleep next to her perfect wife every night.
She never knew she could be so in love.
Tobin looked up from where she was bent down in front of her locker, dropping her cleats in the bottom of it, so they’d be ready for practice come Monday morning.
“Yo?” Tobin yelled back, turning around to face Kelley a few lockers down.
“We’re heading to the bar, you coming?” Kelley wondered as she picked up her bag and slung it over her shoulder.
Tobin just smiled. Kelley knew better, but she was just being nice. It was the same conversation they’d had after almost every game, home or away, since Kelley had been traded to Portland at the start of the season.
“Nah, I’m good.” Tobin responded. “My beautiful, and very pregnant, wife would literally murder me if I went to the bar instead of going home after being gone for the last few nights.”
They both laughed, knowing it was true. Not that Kelley actually expected Tobin to say yes anyway. She knew Christen had her hands full with two little kids on her own when the team was out of town.
“You’re more blessed than the rest of us." Kelley agreed. "Chris is super hot, even when she’s about to pop.”
“Thank you?” Tobin responded with another small laugh.
Kelley wasn’t finished with her teasing.
“Honestly, it still blows my mind. The Tobin I met when we were like, 12, I would have never guessed she’d have a bangin’ wife and two adorable kids, with another on the way. Who even are you?”
“I feel like these half-compliments you always give me are really just you finding ways to tell me how hot my wife is..” Tobin returned. “I definitely agree, but you don’t have to be so jealous.”
“Oh, I’m not jealous." Kelley refuted. "She’s basically my wife too, with how much time I spend at your house. I guess the only downside is no sexy times, but what can you do… Plus, I’m your kids’ favorite person, AND, I still get to go to the bar after games. It’s a Win-Win-Win for me.”
Tobin just rolled her eyes, picking up her bag and fishing her car keys out of it. “You’re crazy Aunt Kelley and my kids are onto you. Liv told me to tell you, ‘three presents next time. Otherwise, Allie is back in the lead for favorite Auntie’.”
“Three!” Kelley fake gasped. “Dammit, that kid is tough to please..”
She was having an internal battle with herself for a moment before she made up her mind without Tobin even asking.
“Ugh, fine. I’ll be over tomorrow. Send me some ideas though, it’s getting harder and harder to think of things to buy them.”
“No way.” Tobin chuckled, walking towards the locker room door. “Stop bribing my children. They don’t need any more presents.”
“I’m doing it.” Kelley insisted. Her voice raising enough so Tobin could hear her.
Tobin just shook her head without looking back.
“Tell our wife I love her!” Kelley yelled again as Tobin pushed the door open, disappearing out of it without another word.
Twenty-five minutes later, Tobin was stepping inside the door from the garage to walk into her house, happy to be home after three nights on the road for a game in Orlando.
She hated away games now. She hated being away from Christen and her daughters even for one night, not to mention she was actually worried about leaving Christen alone right now since it was getting so close to her due date.
After they had adopted Olivia and Lainey and settled into their lives as Mothers, Christen got an overwhelming desire to experience a pregnancy of her own.
They decided they’d try In Vitro Fertilization a couple times, and if it didn’t work, well then they’d be content with what they were already blessed with. Two beautiful daughters and a loyal and happy dog to round out their family.
Really, it worked too easily.
Christen got pregnant the first time they tried.
It had caught them both off guard a little bit, and to be honest, they hadn’t been expecting it to be so simple.
Now Christen was due while Tobin was still in season, instead of during the offseason like they had kind of tried to plan for. It was making their lives more hectic than ever, but they couldn’t be happier.
Tobin put her bags down in the laundry room and kicked her shoes off, before making her way further into the house. It was quiet, which Tobin had been expecting, with it being past the girls’ bedtime, but she at least expected a little noise from Christen or Zoey.
She found Christen asleep on the couch in the living room, curled up as best as she could with her belly in the way. Zoey was snoring softly on the couch at her feet.
The kids' toys were scattered in various parts of the room, obviously not having been cleaned up before they went to bed. It made Tobin’s heart ache just a little to think of them playing together without her being there to join in on the fun. After dinner play time was always their thing.
She hated away games now.
Tobin sat down on the edge of the couch and leaned into Christen, kissing her temple softly, trying to wake her up.
Christen’s eyes quickly fluttered open. She was surprised to see Tobin sitting there, with not having heard her come in the door. She must have been more worn out than normal.
“Hi, beautiful.” Tobin hummed out, smiling down at her wife.
“Hi, baby.” Christen smiled tiredly. “I didn’t hear you come in.”
“Yeah, I noticed.” Tobin grinned. “How are you feeling?”
“Pretty tired, I guess.” Christen yawned, speaking slowly as she did. “Otherwise I still feel pretty normal.”
She turned her head enough to look up at Tobin fully, puckering her lips, asking for a kiss. Tobin leaned down and pressed a kiss to Christen’s lips without question.
“I missed you so much.” Tobin sighed when she pulled back.
“We missed you too.” Christen nodded, her eyes drifting quickly to the living room floor and everything scattered across it. “Sorry the house is a mess, I was going to pick up after I got them to bed, but I sat down for a few minutes and I guess I just drifted off.”
Tobin waited for her to finish before she just leaned down and kissed her again. “Babe, you know I couldn’t care less. You’re the one who loves a clean house. I’m usually just the one messing it up.”
Christen grinned slowly. “Oh yeah.”
“I’ll get it cleaned up, okay.” Tobin insisted. “Don’t worry about it.”
“Okay.” Christen nodded with a soft smile. “There is leftover dinner in the fridge, if you’re hungry.”
Tobin’s stomach growled lightly just then as if on cue, making them both smile.
“Go kiss your daughters, they made me promise I’d send you up when you got home.” Christen instructed, sitting up so she was eye to eye with Tobin. “I’ll warm up a plate of food for you.”
Tobin just held eye contact with Christen for a moment, not standing up yet. She reached out and cupped Christen’s cheeks softly with her hands, running her thumb over her bottom lip, before kissing her again.
“You take such good care of me.” Tobin whispered into Christen’s lips. “I love you.”
“I love you too.” Christen smiled against Tobin’s lips and then pushed her shoulder back lightly, “and I really have to pee.”
Tobin chuckled and stood up, offering a hand to pull Christen up off the couch.
“Honey, look at how tight this shirt is on my belly.” Christen mused as she started to walk towards the bathroom, turning back towards Tobin as she was fixing the shirt enough so it wasn’t bunched up over her baby bump. “Your t-shirts barely fit me anymore.”
Tobin laughed a little harder as she watched Christen, before shrugging. “You still look hot in them..”
“I’m not trying to look hot.” Christen yelled from the bathroom, not bothering to shut the door as she peed. “I just wanna be comfy.”
“Yeah, I suppose that would help.” Tobin agreed. “I’ll get you some bigger shirts, babe.”
Tobin didn’t wait for Christen to respond again, instead jogging upstairs quickly to change her own clothes that were gross from traveling all day and then quickly kissing Olivia and Lainey good night.
After she had successfully made it out of both of their bedrooms without waking either of the girls, she made her way back down to the kitchen, finding Christen leaning against the sink, watching the microwave reheat Tobin’s dinner. She was holding a tub of chocolate ice cream in her hands, with a spoon digging right into the container.
Tobin mosied up to her and leaned in for another kiss, not even waiting for Christen to swallow her mouthful of ice cream, getting some of the chocolate on her own lips in return.
“Yummy.” Tobin licked her lips when she stepped away. “That ice cream tastes almost as good as you do.”
Christen took one more spoonful before she put the lid back on the container and put it back in the freezer, as Tobin took her plate out of the microwave.
“Did they go down for you okay?” Tobin wondered as she sat down on one of the stools at the kitchen island, blowing on her plate of food to cool it down a bit.
Whenever Tobin had away games, she would always FaceTime with the kids and Christen before bed, to ask about their day and say goodnight. Since the team was flying across the country, she didn’t get a chance to do that tonight.
“Ah, Liv did.” Christen nodded. “Lainey was a little more work, like usual. She actually cried tonight.”
“Like a real cry?” Tobin wondered as she chewed.
Their youngest daughter had been difficult to put to bed almost every night since about the time she was two-and-a-half. She just didn’t want to go bed ever, no matter how insistent and stern Tobin and Christen were with her.
They had started joking about how their toddler had Baby Fomo, like she hated to sleep for fear of missing out on something important.
Putting her to bed was usually a job best handled by two people now.
“Yeah.” Christen answered. “I don’t think she was feeling the best and she didn’t want me to leave the room. Different than her usual pouting though.”
“Huh.” Tobin hummed. “Well, hopefully she feels better in the morning and we won’t have to worry about it.”
“Yeah, I hope so too.”
Christen made her way around the island to stand behind where Tobin was sitting, wrapping her arms around Tobin’s stomach and leaning forward so she could rest her chin on Tobin’s shoulder from behind.
She whispered in Tobin’s ear, hugging her tightly before she sighed. “I’m so glad you’re home.”
“Me too.” Tobin nodded, setting her fork down and turning her head to kiss Christen at an awkward angle.
Christen released her grip on Tobin to let her finish eating. “I’m gonna go upstairs. You gonna stay up for a while?”
“No.” Tobin shook her head. “I’ll be up as soon as I’m done.”
Christen kissed Tobin one more time and then left the kitchen and made her way upstairs to their bedroom. Tobin finished her food and put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, before letting Zoey out to pee and making sure the house was locked up.
When she made it up to their room, she found Christen in their bathroom, putting lotion on her freshly washed face. Her hair tied up in a tight bun on top of her head.
Tobin wrapped her arms around Christen from behind and kissed her shoulder a couple times, before letting her face rest in the crook of Christen’s neck, inhaling her scent.
“You’re so beautiful.” Tobin whispered, lifting her head so they could make eye contact in the mirror, not releasing her grip on Christen.
“No, I’m not.” Christen sighed, leaning in closer to the mirror so she could make sure she got all the lotion rubbed in on her face. Tobin loosened her grip just enough so she could move.
“Yes, you are.” Tobin insisted. “You’re the most beautiful.”
“I’m your wife... You have to say that.” Christen returned, wiggling out of Tobin’s grip and heading out of the bathroom again.
Tobin stood planted in place for a moment, trying not to let Christen’s reaction frustrate her.
Christen made it to their walk-in closet and took her t-shirt and bra off, before pulling her yoga pants down and tossing them into the hamper. She started to look for a bigger t-shirt to put on, trying to find one that was more comfortable to sleep in. Before she found one that would be baggy enough for her liking, she gave up and decided to just sleep naked. Walking back towards the bed, before Tobin tried again.
“Come here, babe.” Tobin requested, this time standing in front of Christen and wrapping her arms around Christen’s shoulders.
Christen let Tobin pull her in as much as possible, standing still while Tobin started to kiss down her neck. Her hands found Christen’s baby bump and she looked down at her pregnant wife.
“How’s our baby boy doing tonight?” Tobin wondered as if her unborn son could respond.
“He’s too big and over-active, and he keeps kicking into my bladder.” Christen responded, knowing that’s actually what Tobin was wondering.
She felt bad instantly at how annoyed her voice sounded out of nowhere.
Tobin let her hand rest there on Christen’s stomach for a long moment, until Christen reached down and grabbed her wrist, moving it up and to the left just slightly, until Tobin felt the baby kicking where Christen had placed her hand.
“That was a big one.” Tobin smiled happily when she felt the baby’s movement.
Christen just nodded. They stayed like that for a few minutes, until the baby calmed down again.
Tobin leaned in and kissed Christen’s lips as they stood there, letting her hand wander from the top of Christen’s stomach, down over her bump, on path down between her legs.
Just before Tobin reached the place she was trying to get to, Christen pulled back from the kiss.
“Don’t, Tobs.” She spoke, stopping Tobin’s hand before it could go any further south.
“I can’t touch my wife?” Tobin asked softly without accusation. Her tone was understanding but curious.
Christen shook her head no, her eyes looking up to find Tobin’s.
“Are you okay?” Tobin questioned, noticing the worn out look on Christen's face.
“Yeah.” Christen nodded, making it too obvious that she wasn’t.
“What’s wrong, baby?” Tobin wondered, the concern evident in her voice. She could tell Christen wasn’t being completely honest and that something was bothering her.
“Nothing.” Christen lied. She let out a breath and then dropped her forehead to Tobin’s shoulder, suddenly fighting back tears that had come out of nowhere.
“Hey..” Tobin wrapped an arm around her shoulders, holding her close. “Talk to me.”
“I just..” Christen started. “I”m so gross and uncomfortable and I promise you don’t want to touch me right now.”
“You are not gross, Christen.” Tobin sighed. “Don’t say that.”
Christen was without a doubt the fittest pregnant person Tobin had ever seen. And she didn’t just think that because Christen was her wife that she was in love with.
The dark haired woman barely had an excess amount of fat on her anywhere. If you saw her from behind, you wouldn’t even be able to tell she was eight months pregnant.
She just had a giant baby bump sticking out front and she was a cup size bigger in her boobs.
“Yes, I am. I’m huge.” Christen spoke again. “I hate that I don’t feel sexy for you anymore. I’m so over lamely getting you off with a hand between your legs and not being able to have the fun sex we used to have.”
“Okay, first of all.” Tobin stopped her. “I am definitely not complaining about you ‘getting me off’ - if that’s what we're apparently calling it now -anyway that it happens.”
She was trying not to get upset about Christen’s words. She really did feel like it was a declaration of love every time they had sex.
It had meant so much more to her now, ever since they were married, even if she couldn’t put into words why.
“I love and appreciate it every time you touch me.”
She paused for a moment.
“And second of all. You are incredibly sexy to me. You’re my wife and the mother of my children and I want you all of the time. You’re so hot and beautiful and perfect, Chris.”
Tobin’s tone had almost turned begging, like she needed Christen to believe her.
“Baby, I’ve seen every part of you over the last four years and I love every single piece of you. You would never be unwanted or gross to me.”
Christen lifted her head to look Tobin in the eyes again, softening at her words.
“Plus, you do yoga every day and your ass is in the best shape it’s ever been in.” Tobin smiled softly. “And that’s really saying something, because it’s always been amazing. And your boobs are so big now, look at them. I love them.”
Tobin was trying to lighten the mood and it was working, a small but believable smile spreading across Christen’s face.
“I know, feel them. They seem even bigger when you actually touch them.” Christen grinned, grabbing Tobin’s hands and bringing them to her breasts, almost as if she was showing off a surprising trait.
“I know.” Tobin laughed as she palmed them, obviously already having realized how great they were every time she copped a feel. “I really love them.”
Christen placed her hands over Tobin’s hands on her breasts and then let out a long breath, looking at Tobin in the eyes again.
“Thank you, honey.” Christen murmured. “Sorry I’m so up and down. You never make me feel bad about myself, I didn’t mean it like that. I can’t wait to meet our little boy and I really have loved being pregnant, it’s crazy and amazing.”
“It’s been amazing to watch you every day.” Tobin nodded. “You’ve done so well.”
“We’ve done well. I couldn’t do any of this without you. But as great as it’s been, I also can’t wait to be done with it. Then we can have all the crazy fun sex we used to have again. I miss being so adventurous with you.”
Tobin laughed a little more. “We will get back there, babe. And in the meantime, we can still have boring old regular sex. That’s still important too. And it still feels really good.” Tobin winked at that last part.
Christen just bit her bottom lip.
“The kids are in bed and we have all night.” Tobin hummed. “How about we go take a bath? I want to hold you and make you feel good. I’ve been dying without you the last three nights.”
“I’m sure those naked pictures you took of me on your phone have held you over.” Christen teased. “You probably look at them all the time and remember back to when I was actually hot..”
Tobin chuckled with a shrug. “Well, I’m not gonna lie and say I never look at them. They are really nice. But you’re still just as hot now, too.”
“Tobs..” Christen narrowed her eyes, leaning in to press a quick kiss to Tobin’s lips to keep the mood light. “Please don’t undermine my actual hotness by saying I look just as good now. My non-pregnant self would be offended by that.”
Tobin laughed into Christen’s lips.
“Okay, maybe like a tenth of a percent hotter before, but only because you could do that thing where you could put your leg up in the air..” Tobin joked, before trailing off on that thought. “You’re probably not as flexible right now..”
“I definitely am not.” Christen agreed.
“Remember how the doctor said it was healthy and encouraged to have sex while pregnant?” Tobin wiggled her eyebrows a little, trying another angle.
“She did say that.” Christen laughed and nodded.
“So we should probably take her advice, right?” Tobin suggested, smiling even wider.
“I suppose so.” Christen laughed.
Tobin grabbed her hand and drug her back towards the bathroom, filling the tub while Christen decided which bubble bath to use. Both of them climbing in slowly once the tub was full and bubbly.
Christen fell asleep that night feeling more relaxed and loved up than she had been in too long.
Tobin squatted down in front of her daughters in the hospital waiting room, pulling them both into her arms so she could talk to them without them being distracted.
Lainey sat down on her knee and Olivia wrapped her arm around Tobin’s neck, all three of them huddling close together.
“Mommy awake?” Lainey asked in her tiny voice, looking up at Tobin with hopeful eyes.
The two little girls had been asking their Grandparents that over and over again for the last hour, eager to see Christen again after almost two days of being apart from their Mom.
“Yeah, she is, sweetheart.” Tobin nodded with a big smile.
“And our brother is here now?” Olivia asked next, making sure she understood what was going on.
“He is.” Tobin grinned and nodded again. “Would you like to meet him?”
“Yeah!” Both little girls clapped their hands together quickly, leaning their weight fully into Tobin in excitement.
“Okay, we can go in there but you have to be careful, okay? Mommy is really sore and tired and your brother is brand new, so we have to be gentle.”
“Is he small like my baby?” Olivia asked again, referring to her toy doll.
“Kind of.” Tobin responded. “But he’s a real baby, so we have to be extra careful with him.”
“Okay!” Lainey smiled excitedly.
The two-year-old and three-year-old had been practicing for a month now, playing House in their toy room with Olivia’s baby doll, who they pretended was their brother, just so it felt real.
Now it was real.
Christen gave birth to a baby boy, Luca John Heath, at 3:57 am, after close to twenty hours of labor.
Tobin didn’t leave her wife’s side once until their son was born, sleeping on the small roll away cot next to Christen’s hospital bed. Holding her hand through the contractions and trying to help her relax in between; until it was time to push.
Kelley had been watching the girls since Christen’s water broke when she got up to pee in the middle of the night two nights ago, and she stayed with them until Cody and Stacy and Jeff and Cindy could get flights to Portland.
Both sets of parents were here now and they were all in the hospital waiting room this morning, ready to meet the newest addition to the family.
Tobin scooped both girls up in her arms and carried them to the door of Christen’s hospital room, pushing the door open slowly as they entered.
Lainey’s eyes went wide in shock when she saw all the machines around the bed, noticing the IV in Christen’s arm and the medical bracelet around her wrist.
“Mommy?” Her voice started to waver like she was upset or scared.
“Hi, my loves.” Christen smiled tiredly, sitting up more so Tobin could set them down on the edge of her bed.
“You is okay Mommy?” Lainey asked timidly.
“Yeah, Mommy is okay.” She smiled quickly so her child wasn’t scared.
Tobin walked over to the small bassinet that Luca was sleeping in and picked her son up gently, moving back towards the bed so she could show him to the girls.
He had the sharpest green eyes that Tobin had ever seen.
Just like his Mommy.
She was in love with him the moment she met him. Holding him even before Christen did, right after the delivery.
Mama and Baby were both healthy and everything went smoothly, all things considered, and damn, were they blessed.
“This is your baby brother, Luca.” Tobin grinned, speaking softly to the little girls as she got to the bedside again.
She handed Luca to Christen and both girls’ jaws dropped a little. They both sat up on their knees with their hands resting on Christen’s lap, to get a good look at him in her arms.
“Wow.” Olivia whispered, making both Tobin and Christen laugh softly.
“Our new baby!” Lainey looked up to meet Christen’s eyes like she was looking for confirmation that she was right.
Christen grinned and ran her hand over her youngest daughter’s hair.
Both little girls looked at each other and giggled.
Tobin sat down on the other side of the hospital bed from the girls, putting her arm around Christen and kissing her head as they all stared at the baby.
“Is he going to live with us?” Olivia asked after a moment.
“Yeah, sweetie.” Christen nodded. “Remember when you helped me pick out paint for his new room and we set up his crib? That’s where he is going to sleep now, as soon as we get to go home.”
“I really like him.” Olivia grinned. “He’s really small.”
She then leaned down and kissed his forehead, so softly.
Tobin forced herself to be still, panicking internally until she knew Olivia would be gentle enough with the new baby. Letting her be as affectionate to him as she wanted.
Of course she was gentle, she had been practicing.
After a few minutes, the nurse came in to check on Christen, smiling at them all sitting on the bed together.
“Okay, this is the perfect opportunity!” The nurse, Jackie, insisted on right away. “First complete family picture, right now.”
Tobin handed her phone over to her and then got Olivia and Lainey to turn around on the bed, as everyone smiled for the camera. All five of them huddled together closely.
Jackie beamed as she handed Tobin’s phone back over to her.
“Honestly, you’re without a doubt the cutest family I’ve ever seen.”
“Momma!” Oliva strode around the edge of the couch where Tobin was sitting, just having put her shoes on. The little girls long blonde hair swaying as she ran.
“What’s up, monkey?” Tobin responded, looking up from the phone in her hands to where her daughter had come to a stop in front of her.
Tobin was just about ready to head out for her game, and the rest of her family was getting ready to head to the stadium in a little while. The Thorns had a National TV game on this Saturday afternoon and Tobin had to get there early enough for a pre-game interview before warmups. She was already cutting it close.
“Can I have two braids today?” The four-year-old questioned, holding out two ponytail holders in her tiny hands for her Momma to take. “I wanna look really pretty.”
Christen was currently getting Luca dressed in his bedroom and Oliva didn’t want to wait any longer, deciding she’d ask Tobin to do her hair instead.
“Yeah, of course you can.” Tobin nodded. “But go ask Mommy, okay? I have to leave for my game right now.”
Olivia’s face scrunched up a bit. “Okay..” she put her head down and turned around, walking back out of the room again defeatedly.
Tobin finished typing the text she was sending to Mark about a couple of game tactics she had thought over, not really noticing that her daughter had disappeared again.
Her mind was in pre-game mode for better or worse.
A minute later, Christen yelled down the stairs for her wife.
Tobin’s head lifted from her phone again, quickly realizing that was Christen’s pissed-off tone and having no idea what it was about.
“Yeah?” Tobin hollered back, waiting until Christen came downstairs into view to confirm her suspicions.
Yep, she was upset about something.
“Why can’t Liv have braids?” Christen questioned, wondering what reason Tobin could have given the little girl. “What did you tell her?”
“She can?” Tobin returned. “I told her she could.”
“Why is she crying in our bedroom right now?” Christen asked again. “I couldn’t understand a word she was saying except that ‘Momma said no’...”
Tobin shouldn’t have dismissed Olivia’s question so easily. She knew how over-sensitive their oldest daughter was.
Tobin shrugged. “I didn’t say no. I told her of course she could, and to go ask you to do them.”
Christen rolled her eyes. “You couldn’t have just done them quick? I’m in the middle of getting the other two ready and I’ve got my hands a little full here...”
“Babe, I have to leave right now.” Tobin explained, holding up her phone like Christen could see the time on it. “I’m already probably gonna be late.”
“Big deal. It would take two minutes.” Christen said again as she turned around to walk away. She was clearly more than a little annoyed with Tobin.
“Chris. It takes twenty-five minutes to get to the stadium and I have to be there in twenty. I can’t just be late. It’s my job, you know.”
That one line of condescending over-explanation hit a nerve with Christen, and she was suddenly fuming a little.
“Well, Tobin, sometimes parents have to be late for work when their kids need something.” Christen chided. “You think you're the only parent who’s ever had a job?”
Tobin didn’t know why she wanted to argue back, but something about the way Christen was yelling at her made her want to defend herself.
“It’s just her hair.” Tobin quickly responded, her voice exasperated.
She had no idea why this small thing was suddenly such a big deal today.
Christen turned back around to face Tobin again, her face now completely angry.
“Oh my god, that is not the point at all.”
Tobin just swallowed, now a little taken aback by Christen’s demeanor. “What is the point then? Why are we fighting about this?”
“The point is that when your daughter needs help from you, you give it to her. It doesn’t matter that it’s just her hair. You obviously brushed her off without even trying to help and, of course , you just expect me to take care of it, like usual.”
“Christen, what the fuck?” Tobin had lost her composure now too. “Are you kidding me right now?”
They very rarely fought, and they definitely never fought over their kids. It was always such a conscious effort of both of theirs to be a team and do everything equally when it came to them.
All of this was catching Tobin completely off guard.
Christen just stood there looking at Tobin with her eyebrows raised in anger. She wasn’t kidding at all.
“Fine, I’ll do it.” Tobin yelled again before her wife said anything else. She started to walk towards the stairs before Christen shook her head sternly.
“You know what.. Just go.” Christen waved her off, “But if your job is more important to you than your family, maybe you need to get your priorities in order and figure out what actually matters.”
She turned around and actually left the room this time, leaving Tobin frozen in her spot until she heard their bedroom door shut loudly upstairs.
Tobin was dumbfounded. She felt like this had come out of nowhere and that Christen was being irrational about the whole situation.
“Fuck.” Tobin whispered to herself.
She bent down and picked her phone up from where it had landed on the couch, looking at the clock on it again. She now had fifteen minutes before she was expected at Providence Park.
Without another word, she grabbed her duffle bag from the entryway and made her way out to her car.
She cried the whole way to the stadium.
A quiet stream of tears staining her face that she didn’t even bother to wipe away.
Christen’s words about questioning her priorities replaying over and over in her mind, cutting her deep to the core.
She had to take another few minutes in the parking lot to compose herself before she even went inside, not wanting her teammates to know she was upset.
She played one of the worst games of her career. Every touch was off. Every reaction just a step too slow. She wished right away that she could just forget the whole day had ever happened and wake up and start over again tomorrow.
If Tobin was expecting Olivia to still be upset after the game, she was quickly corrected. The blonde haired girl skipping down the two rows of steps and reaching out for Tobin as soon as she came to the sideline after the team had made their way around the pitch to thank the Providence Park faithful.
“Momma!!” Liv yelled and reached her arms up, asking for Tobin to pick her up.
Tobin bent down and lifted her over the advertising boards, holding her in her arms.
“Hi, sweet girl.” Tobin hummed, kissing her daughter’s cheek and then hugging her close.
It was the most comforted she’d been all afternoon.
“You won, Momma!” Liv said again. “You always win!”
Tobin smiled, kissing her cheek again as some of her other teammates were approaching.
“Love you, monkey.” Tobin whispered for her daughter to hear, quickly before the little girl got distracted.
“I love you too, Momma!” The blonde girl smiled. She then wiggled her legs to get down, wanting to run to where Kelley and Allie were standing on the field.
Tobin set her oldest daughter down and glanced up at Christen, where she and the other two had come to stand at the edge of the advertising boards. Lainey reaching up then too, even though she couldn’t see over the short wall to the field.
Tobin quickly moved to pick up the dark haired girl and kissed her too. “Hey, Lain.”
Lainey was already distracted, wanting to be where her sister and Auntie’s were in the middle of the pitch. So Tobin set her down again and watched her run off, finally turning back to Christen and Luca in her arms.
“Hi, Bubba.” Tobin smiled, taking her ten-month-old son from Christen and holding him close.
She then leaned in and kissed Christen’s cheek quickly, neither of them saying anything to each other, but also not wanting anyone else to know they were fighting.
Christen stood at the edge of the stands and watched her wife and kids run around on the field until Kelley came over to chat for a few minutes. Finally, Tobin was ready to shower, dragging the kids back over to where Christen was patiently waiting. She lifted them up one by one to the other side of the stands again.
“I’m gonna shower.” Tobin mentioned to Christen. “You guys wanna wait or should I just see you at home?”
“Momma, let’s get pizza!” Liv yelled before Christen could answer. “Auntie Harry said!”
“Did she?” Tobin smiled down at the little girl, before turning around to watch Allie wave at them suspiciously.
“Uh huh!” Lainey nodded with a big smile.
“If Mommy says it’s okay, then we can.” Tobin responded, leaning down on the ad boards so they were close to eye level, as the girls looked up at Christen.
“Pizza sounds nummy.” Christen smiled for what felt like the first time all afternoon. Not letting her mood affect her kids.
“Okay, but Allie’s buying.” Tobin grinned at the kids too.
Allie and Bati took them out for pizza and hung out for a while before they all went home for the evening. The kids watched a movie when they got home while Christen and Tobin both did their own things around the house before Tobin put the girls to bed and Christen put Luca to bed.
Christen found Tobin on the couch in the basement after that, quietly flipping through channels on tv. She watched Tobin from behind on the stairs for a moment, her heart softly aching at the lack of contact they’d had all day.
Outside of Tobin’s kiss to her cheek after the game, they’d barely even interacted at all.
They were always so affectionate with each other and now Christen craved Tobin’s touch so badly, wanting to just be held by her wife.
Knowing it was her fault in the first place that they hadn’t done that all day.
She overreacted to one bad moment this morning and it had ruined the whole day for both of them.
She knew it was on her to stop being stubborn and give in. Because Tobin could be just as stubborn when she wanted to be, and they only had a little time left before the day was over completely.
Christen wasn’t going to break their rule now, though.
They really only had one to begin with.
Never go to bed mad.
So Christen swallowed her stubborn pride and quietly moved down the last couple steps into the basement, walking around the couch to where Tobin was sitting.
Tobin looked over at her as soon as Christen came into view, uncrossing her leg and sitting up a little at the sight of her.
They peered at each other hesitantly before Christen spoke.
“I’m ready to talk if you are..?” She murmured softly.
Her stomach a small bundle of nerves around the one person who she could say anything to.
“Yeah, I would like that.” The brown eyed woman practically whispered in response.
Christen relaxed a tiny bit and stepped forward, slowly sitting down in Tobin’s lap. Hugging her tightly and burying her face in Tobin’s neck for a moment, feeling Tobin’s arms wrap around her.
Even when they were mad or fighting, the only people who could make them feel better about it was each other.
They were each other’s safe place.
They sat like that for a minute before Christen cleared the lump in her throat and looked up to meet Tobin’s tired eyes.
“I cried for twenty minutes after you left.” Christen whispered, laying her head back down on Tobin’s shoulder for comfort. “I couldn’t stop, even when the girls asked me what was wrong, it just kept coming.”
“I cried the whole way to the stadium.” Tobin returned just as simply. “I skipped my pregame interview because I couldn’t stop.”
They just gave each other sad smiles. Knowing they were both equally as miserable all day long.
“I hate when we fight.” Christen sighed.
“So do I.” Tobin agreed.
“I shouldn’t have gotten so upset with you and I’m sorry.” Christen looked up at her again.
“I know. Me too.” Tobin nodded, kissing Christen’s head before pausing to say what was on her mind.
“Look, Chris... If you think my priorities aren’t where they’re supposed to be, then you’ve got me all wrong. Because I would give it all up in a heartbeat for you and for our kids.”
“I know you would.” Christen shook her head to stop Tobin’s words. “You know that’s not what I think at all.”
She already knew that questioning Tobin’s priorities and commitment to their family was just about the worst thing she could do to her wife, and she felt terrible about it all day.
That was the whole reason she cried after Tobin left in the first place.
“That really hurt me, babe.” Tobin swallowed down the lump in her own throat. “I mean, it kinda killed me.”
“I know. And I’m so sorry.” Christen hummed. “I never should’ve said that to you. It’s not what I believe at all.”
Tobin nodded, forgiving Christen easily before she took her turn to apologize.
“I’m sorry too. For not being more helpful this morning. I don’t know why I did that. I guess I was just too focused on the game and that was my bad. I’ll try and do a better job of keeping my work life at work. When I’m here, I need to be present for you and especially for the kids.”
“Thank you.” Christen murmured, lifting her head enough so she could press a kiss to Tobin’s lips. “For everything, I mean. You are my rock and the foundation of this family and you mean the world to us.”
Tobin kissed her back and they both smiled for real.
“You guys are everything to me.” Tobin shrugged. “I’m serious babe, if you wanted me to, I would call Mark tonight and tell him I quit. Nothing is more important to me than being here for you.”
“Honey, I know, okay…” Christen started to smile at Tobin’s words. “And of course I don’t want that.”
“Okay. Just making sure.” Tobin grinned back, kissing her wife again.
“Plus, you’re the only one who pays our bills now so you can’t quit your job.” Christen added in a lighter tone. “I like our life too much how it is to go back now.”
“I like it too.” Tobin agreed with a laugh. “I just want you to be happy because I love you a lot.”
“I love you a lot too.” Christen hummed. “And I’m hoping you’ll come to bed with me so I can show you just how much I love you.”
Christen’s sultry eyes looking at Tobin with so much want all of the sudden.
Tobin sighed audibly and bit her bottom lip. “You’re so sexy, Mommy.”
They held eye contact for another moment until Christen squealed through a laugh as Tobin stood them up with Christen cradled in her arms.
“I love how strong you are.” Christen husked out. “It's so hot.”
They were both already turned on.
“I’m just trying to be worthy of you.” Tobin grinned sensually.
Christen started to giggle, hanging on tightly with her arm around Tobin’s neck.
Her laughter quieted only by Tobin’s mouth on hers as they made their way to their bedroom.
Working to make up with each other for the rest of the night.
“Grandpa Cody?..” Olivia’s cartoon voice rang out from behind Tobin where she was sitting at the kitchen island, as the little girl ran into the room.
Tobin watched her make her way around to where Christen’s dad was standing at the sink, downing a glass of water.
“Hi, Liv.” Cody beamed at his granddaughter, setting his glass down and bending down to pick her up. “What’s up, princess?”
Olivia smiled suspiciously, looking over at Tobin and then back up at Cody.
Christen’s parents were in Portland to babysit the kids while Christen and Tobin went on vacation to celebrate their five year wedding anniversary. They had arrived the day before and were staying until midweek when Jeff and Cindy were coming to town to take care of the other days.
Splitting the ten days evenly so nobody got too worn out.
Christen walked into the kitchen at the same time, putting an earring in her ear as she came to stand next to where Tobin was sitting.
“Can you get me a new puppy while Mommies are gone?” Olivia asked then, with a big smile on her face. Giving it her best, most adorable shot.
She was a smart kid and knew how much she had Grandpa and Grandma wrapped around her finger.
All the kids did, of course, but Liv was definitely the one to try and take advantage of it the most.
“A puppy?” Cody busted out in a big, gentle laugh, not actually answering her question yet.
Tobin gasped teasingly, letting Olivia know she had heard her.
“Liv, you already have a doggie.” Tobin took the question quickly before Cody had to answer, speaking as she chewed her breakfast. “What’s wrong with Zoey?”
“Yeah, sweetie, what’s wrong with Zoey?” Christen seconded Tobin’s question.
“She’s so old!” Olivia countered like it should have been obvious.
Tobin started to laugh at her child’s bluntness, covering her mouth with her hand to stop herself, looking over at Christen who was trying to not be actually offended by their almost five-year-old's statement.
Zoey was eight or nine now if they guessed correctly with the vet all those years ago, but she was far from an old dog. She still went on morning runs with Christen and easily played with the kids every day and was full of energy.
Christen put her hand over her own heart, looking back at Liv. “I think you just broke Zoey’s heart.”
Zoey came trotting into the kitchen at the mention of her name, wagging her tail happily as Christen bent down to hug her close.
“How come Mommy?” Olivia asked softly.
“Because Zo loves you so much.” Christen explained. “She’s not old. She plays with you and sleeps with you all the time. She doesn’t want to be replaced.”
“But Lainey and Luca always hog her!” Olivia said again. “I want my own puppy, like Madison has.”
Olivia’s best friend, Madison, and her family just got a new puppy who was ten weeks old, and the girls had been playing with him after their soccer game the night before.
That’s obviously where she got the idea from and she had been thinking about it since last night.
“Zoey likes to share her love with all of you.” Tobin said again. “Take turns with your brother and sister, okay?”
Olivia just turned her head in Cody’s arms and hugged him over his shoulder, ignoring her mothers' refusals.
She’d try again after they left.
“Honey, our car will be here in fifteen minutes.” Christen said then, standing back up and walking back through the kitchen.
Tobin nodded and stood up too, discarding her empty plate in the dishwasher and heading upstairs to grab their suitcases and luggage.
They had a mid-morning flight from PDX to JFK for a short layover, before their overnight flight to Rome.
They were going to spend their five year wedding anniversary in the place where it all started.
Cody and Stacy shuffled the kids to the front door as Tobin darted out to the waiting car, handing their luggage off to the driver before they said goodbye.
“Don’t you dare get them a puppy while we’re gone.” Christen whispered in her dad’s ear as they hugged, making him laugh.
“Well, we’ll see, Mo.” Cody shrugged like his mind wasn’t totally made up. “Those kids are hard to say no to when they use their cute faces.”
“Dad, I’m serious.” Christen gave him her best Serious Mom face. “If Tobin and I come home to another member of the family, you’re gonna in trouble.”
Christen turned to her wife with narrowed eyes, giving Tobin the look that said back me up here.
“You heard the boss.” Tobin shrugged to her father-in-law. “No dogs this week.”
She then bent down and pulled all three of her kids into a giant hug at once, making them all giggle.
“I love you all so much. Be good for Grandma and Grandpa and give Zoey lots of kisses every night, okay?” Tobin made eye contact with all of them, getting them all to nod in agreement before she kissed each of them.
Christen hugged and kissed them all too for a long moment until Tobin gently urged her on.
“Babe, we gotta get going.” Tobin hummed with her hand on Christen back as she was setting Lainey back down.
Their kids, Zoey and Grandma and Grandpa all watching from the driveway as the car pulled out of the driveway, heading for the airport.
It was just them for the next ten days.
Once they were on board the airplane, Tobin leaned over into Christen who was sitting in the window seat, pulling her out of her thoughts.
“You okay, babe?” The brown eyed woman questioned after she watched Christen look out the window for a long moment in silence.
Christen wasn’t nearly as used to being away from the kids for extended periods of time as Tobin was. She hadn’t even really spent more than a weekend at a time apart from them since Luca was born a year and a half ago.
It was more normal for Tobin since she traveled with the National Team and the Thorns all the time. She just wanted to make sure Christen wasn’t too anxious about leaving them now, knowing first hand that it wasn’t an easy thing to do.
Christen turned to look over at Tobin sitting in the aisle seat, nodding with a big smile. “I’m great. I’m so excited.”
She grabbed Tobin’s hand and linked their fingers together as they looked at each other.
“I hope you’re ready for ten days of no clothes. I can’t wait to be naked with you.” Christen wiggled her eyebrows.
Tobin started to laugh, leaning in a little closer to Christen’s ear so they could be a little more private with their conversation.
“You mean we won’t have to get up and put clothes on right away after we have sex?” She wondered sarcastically.
She loved having three kids under the age of five, but that meant there was very rarely a night at home where they weren’t woken up at some point in the middle of the night.
They didn’t get a lot of time to enjoy their intimacy before or after sex these days.
Sometimes they woke up in the morning to all five of them, plus Zoey, in their king sized bed.
Those mornings were secretly Tobin’s favorite.
“Nope.” Christen grinned. “I don’t even know why I packed so many clothes.”
Tobin leaned in and kissed her quickly with a happy smile. “Vacation, here we come.”
Christen was staring at her wedding ring as she was running her left hand through Tobin’s long brown hair, lying underneath her wife as they were buried under a heap of covers.
Tobin’s face was pressed into Christen’s neck as she caught her breath on top of Christen. Both of them covered in a light sheen of sweat.
They had landed in Rome earlier that morning and had taken a taxi to The St. Regis hotel. Having booked their stay at the same place they had met at all those years ago.
Knowing they really couldn’t have stayed anywhere else.
It seemed just as familiar as Christen remembered, as soon as they walked into the lobby to check in.
The beautiful chandeliers hanging from the high arching ceilings, completely unchanged.
They had spent most of the day in bed; having sex in between naps, trying to get themselves on Central European time as quickly as possible.
Wasting their day away without it feeling like a waste at all. They were just enjoying the time alone.
Tobin let out a long, content sigh and let her eyes close again, snuggling a little deeper into Christen, as the fingers running through her hair lulled her back towards sleep.
“Are you gonna fall asleep on me again?” Christen whispered softly in Tobin’s ear when she felt Tobin’s breaths getting slower against her skin.
They had just finished round three and Christen couldn’t sleep anymore. Her body almost too restless now after an overnight flight and being in bed all day.
“Mmmm.” Tobin just hummed, not forming any actual words. She was too blissed out to think right now.
“Honey..” Christen whispered through a big smile, pulling her hand out of Tobin’s hair and rubbing her back now instead. “We should shower and go eat somewhere.”
“You wore me out, woman.” Tobin mumbled in her slow, gravelly voice. “I need sleep.”
Christen laughed softly. “You didn’t seem that tired a half hour ago…”
Tobin started to chuckled into Christen’s neck, lifting her face finally to look at her wife with sleepy eyes and a dopey grin.
“You’re the cutest.” Christen murmured, kissing Tobin’s forehead. “But I know you, and I know you need food soon before you get grumpy.”
Tobin smiled and caught Christen’s lips with her own before she nodded.
“Yeah, we should probably go eat soon. I can’t survive off of you alone.”
Christen let another laugh escape from her chest as her mind flashed back to Tobin’s tongue between her legs a few minutes ago.
She felt a surge of butterflies run through her body just from the thought.
Tobin pushed herself up on her elbows so she could breathe a little easier, shaking her head at Christen’s adorable smile.
“Remember when I was the one with all the stamina?” Tobin wondered between kisses. “You put me to shame now.”
Christen shrugged. “It’s not my fault sex feels even better after having a baby. I can’t get enough of you.”
“Don’t worry, I’m not complaining.” Tobin grinned, looking at her wife with so much love.
Christen ran her hand through Tobin’s hair again as she held herself up above Christen.
“You could try it too, ya know…” Christen suggested of her previous thought, mostly as a joke.
“Yeah…” Tobin rolled her eyes playfully. “We don’t need another kid, babe.”
“I know we don’t..” Christen smiled. “But if you wanted to, I wouldn’t say no.”
Tobin fell onto the bed next to Christen, leaning up on her forearm to continue the conversation.
“Does that mean you want another one?”
Sometimes Christen had a roundabout way of telling Tobin what she wanted.
“No, not really.” Christen shook her head easily. “I was just throwing it out there.”
The casual way Christen brought it up made Tobin laugh quietly.
“I’d give you anything you want..” Tobin looked at Christen softly. “But honestly, three is kinda perfect for me.”
“Yeah.” Christen thought of their three kids then, knowing newborn babies and up-all-nights were behind them. “Three is perfect.”
Tobin leaned in and kissed her again and Christen broke into a grin when they pulled back, whispering in Tobin’s ear.
“We could get another puppy though…”
Tobin dropped her forehead to the bed in a fit of laughter, rolling over onto her back in the king sized bed.
Christen had been the one to tell Olivia no yesterday and now, of course, here she was, letting that thought fill her mind.
She was such a softy.
Tobin sat up and looked over at Christen again. “Whatever you want, babe.”
Christen sat up too, moving to crawl over Tobin towards the edge of the bed, kissing her quickly as she did.
“Right now, I want a hot shower.” She murmured against Tobin’s lips, before continuing on her way.
Tobin slapped Christen’s bare ass as she kneeled on the edge of the bed, earning a swat on her arm in return, as Christen slid off the bed.
Christen laughed and padded across the carpet towards the bathroom, waiting for Tobin to follow her. Tobin got out of bed too as soon as she heard the water in the shower running.
Before she could make it to the bathroom, Christen popped back out with the happiest smile on her face.
“What?” Tobin wondered when she noticed her expression.
“There's no shampoo or anything stocked in the shower.” Christen stopped walking and just looked at Tobin a little in shock at the coincidence of it all.
The same hotel in Rome where they met seven years and twenty-two days ago, still giving Christen the same problem.
Some things never change.
“Seriously?” Tobin wondered with an unbelieving laugh, thinking her wife was actually joking.
Christen nodded her head.
“Do we need to go get some?” Tobin asked then, looking down at both of their naked bodies and hoping that wasn’t the case.
“Nope, I brought ours.” Christen smiled, moving over to her largest suitcase and digging through it quickly.
Tobin just watched her, standing in the doorway of the bathroom as the room filled with steam.
“I learned a long time ago to always bring my own.” Christen smiled wickedly when she stood back up with the shampoo and conditioner in her hands. “Traveling without shower products could lead to a whole lifetime of trouble, if you’re not careful…”
They were both laughing as Christen brushed past Tobin in the doorway.
“Oh, I’ll show you trouble..” Tobin husked out, wrapping her arms around Christen from behind and walking them to the shower with their bodies pressed together.
They stepped in and Christen squealed a little as she ducked under the hot water, waiting for Tobin to get under the waterfall with her. Tobin bobbed under it and pulled Christen in close again, whispering in her ear as the water cascaded down over them.
“Giving you my shampoo is the best thing I’ve ever done.” She hummed. “I thank God every day that he gave you that one minor inconvenience.”
Christen pulled back just enough to look at Tobin, seeing her whole world in those brown eyes that were staring back at her lovingly.
“Me too.” Christen nodded adamantly. “Every single day.”