Angel took a deep breath, willing the tears to stay inside, wondering how soon it would be until her hormones reached something resembling a state of normalcy. "Carmella, she's Charli's mother."
"Leave the girl alone, Carmella," Jim's father settled himself into the olive green chair in the corner.
Jim sat on the edge of the bed and put his arm around his wife. "Besides, Mom, the hospital's a pubic place. It's not as though they can refuse to let Marita in."
Carmella huffed. "Well, they should at least have the courtesy to see if the patient wants to see the visitor instead of just letting any type of riff raff wander the halls."
"Marita called first," Angel said.
Jim raised his eyebrows. "She did?"
Angel nodded. "She wanted to make sure it was a good time -- that I wasn't too tired." And that you weren't here.
"Wow," Jim said. "That was uncharacteristically considerate."
"Hmph," Carmella chucked Adam under his chin, which made him cry.
Jim reached for the baby, but Carmella shook her head.
Nurse Ramona bustled into the room. "How are we all all doing in here?"
Angel suppressed a grin. Her Angel of Mercy had impeccable timing.
Ramona tucked the bedcovers around Angel. "I thought I heard the little man crying."
Carmella wrinkled her nose. "Perfect timing. He smells wet."
"Well, now, I doubt that," Ramona said. "That sounds like his hungry cry. Have you nursed him yet, Miss Angel?"
She shook her head. "Not since before my visitors arrived."
"Well, then I guess he's overdue. Would you all mind clearing out so Miss Angel can nurse in peace?"
"I most certainly would mind," Carmella began, but her husband was already at her elbow.
"Come along, Carmella," he said. "I saw a coffee cart on the way in." He turned back to Jim and Angel. "Can we bring anything back for anyone?"
Carmella pulled her elbow from her husband's gently cupped hand. "I'll take a black coffee."
"That sounds great," Jim said. "Except I'd like cream and sugar."
Nurse Ramona raised her eyebrows at Angel, who was already shaking her head. "Nothing for me, thanks."
Carmella picked up her purse and heaved a put-upon sigh. "I suppose you're going to need a hand carrying things back."
Her husband smiled at her. "I'd appreciate the company."
"I'm sure Miss Angel won't need more than an hour," Nurse Ramona said.
"Half an hour will be fine," Angel said quickly, but the black look had already begun to cross her mother-in-law's face.
"An hour to feed a baby," Carmella muttered. "Never heard of such a thing."
"You take your time," Jim's father said, following his wife out of the room, his leisurely stride contrasting sharply with her firmly planted quick steps.
Angel took Adam from Jim, then turned to Nurse Ramona. "Can we take you home with us?"