The Greatest Gift
After five years, Alex Stern and Rafe Hazelton have what seems to be the perfect marriage. Alex is entering his last years of residency and Rafe’s veterinary business is busier than ever. For Rafe, all that is missing is a child, but Alex, afraid of ending up to be a man like his father, isn’t as sure. He doesn’t want to make any mistakes. When a new patient enters the hospital, Alex is drawn to the young, desperately ill single mother, who shares her fears for the future of her young son. Rafe worries about the toll on Alex becoming emotionally invested in a patient, yet he too can’t walk away once he meets the little boy, and together they vow to help in any way possible. Families are not always born of blood— love is a gift no one can plan for. And sometimes from the darkest of tragedies, the brightest light will shine.
Rafe squinted into the sun. “Why don’t you wait here and I’ll get us some waters.” He gave Alex a kiss on the cheek and whispered in his ear. “You look happier than I’ve seen in months.”
He contemplated Rafe’s words as he and Dylan waited in line. He was happy. For these few short hours he let the draining world of the hospital fade from his mind and concentrated only on the dreams and wishes of a little boy who unknowingly was about to face the most tragic loss anyone could imagine.
“Are you cold, Dylan?” It was warmish for early November, especially in the sun, but Alex wasn’t sure if the little boy needed a hat. And to have his jacket zipped up all the way.
“Nooo.” Dylan wriggled away from Alex’s fumbling with his zipper. “Don’t.”
“Okay, don’t let go of my hand though. There are too many people and I don’t want you to get lost.”
The woman in line behind him with her two daughters smiled at him with approval. “I wish my youngest would listen to her father the way...