Judgment day was here. That's what Sam was thinking as she quietly showered in the wee hours. She and Jason had to report to the hospital at five a.m. for surgery-prep to begin. She was terrified for her baby all over again, terrified of losing another child.
Her hand found her ever-growing belly and she smoothed her fingers down the soapy mound. Tears burned her eyes. The last few days she had been doing great. She had been able to relax a bit and even enjoy the sights and sounds of Los Angeles, but now the fear had returned full-force.
Tears spilled over and she didn't know where they ended and the spray of water began. She trembled and used her hand to brace herself against the wall, crashing her back hard against it. Just as she felt a sob burble up and threaten to escape, the door to the shower opened. Jason stood there, completely naked. He took one look at her and stepped inside, pulling her against his hard chest.
"I heard you crying so—" He began but stopped and just kissed her temple, holding her against him, his arms cinching around her waist.
"I am scared, Jason. For a few days I was able to push aside the fear a little and try to be this happy, shiny person giving everyone advice about … whatever … But that's a façade. I am dying inside."
"You are scared too?"
He nodded. "I know Addison is the best but just the thought of you going under the knife…"
"I know," she murmured and more tears fell down her face. Jason reached out and stroked her cheek.
"We'll get through this," he said. She knew that he wanted to believe that as much as she did. He was such a good man.
He gently released her and reached for the shampoo bottle. He uncapped it and turned her around so her back was to him. He began to lather her hair with the jasmine-scented liquid. She clasped her hands over her mouth as he worked the thick solution through her long locks.
As she stepped under the faucet to rinse her hair, she offered him a teary smile. "Thanks."
He shrugged. "I just washed your hair."
"It was sweet too, but I mean… Thanks for loving me. Better than anyone ever has."
"It's as easy as breathing," Jason said and tugged her close again.
They didn't make love in the shower, not this time, but they were as close as two people could possibly be.
Alexis joined them downstairs and they all road to the hospital in silence. Alexis looked jumpy on the whole ride over to St. Ambrose's, as jumpy as Sam felt. Truthfully, Alexis had been acting really strange since the night of the party. Sam wanted to know so badly what was upsetting her mother but every time she broached the subject, Alexis shifted focus to something else, anything else. But right then, her mother's eccentricities were the least of her worries.
Her hand remained on her belly the whole ride to the hospital. Jason remained silent, stoic and brave sitting beside her in the limo. Looking into his eyes, she could see a storm of emotion there and knew he was suffering too. As soon as this was over, she would focus on what he needed. Sure, he said he only needed her to be okay, but once she was, she wanted to take care of him for a change. He shouldn't always have to be so strong for her.
They were soon checked into a hospital room and Addison was coming in with a team of three nurses. "Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Morgan," she greeted them. Noticing the apprehensive look on Sam's face, she offered a smile. "Would you like me to go over the steps of the procedure with you again?"
Sam nodded emphatically. "Yes, please."
Addison explained the details of the procedure down to the letter once more and Sam tried not to be so scared. She knew she was in very capable hands; it was just her kid… She was never going to stop being scared until these damn bands were gone. No, not until she was actually holding her daughter in her arms for real.
Sam was prepped for the procedure by seven-forty-five and Addison said she would give her a few minutes with her family before having her brought upstairs. Sam needed that and appreciated that Addison knew she needed that.
Sam shifted on the bed and looked between her husband and her mother. Alexis spoke up first. "My granddaughter is a fighter," she said. "Don't forget that okay, Sam."
"I – I won't," Sam said, tears falling anew. Her hand remained firmly on her belly. "How did you handle it though? When Kristina was in the hospital, fighting for her life?"
"I prayed – a lot – and I fought hard for her. Just the way you are for this girl."
"I don't want to lose her."
"I have to believe that you won't," Alexis said, closing the distance between them and kissing Sam's moist cheek. "I don't think Fate could be so cruel as to-"
"Snatch away two kids?" Sam guessed.
"Yes." Alexis looked anxious again. "I am sure your baby Lila is up there, being a fierce guardian angel to this new little one."
"I like that thought."
"Me too." Alexis kissed Sam's forehead this time and rested her head against Sam's own for a moment. "I love you, Sam. I want you to know that I could not be more proud of you or the woman you are today. This baby is lucky to have you as her mother."
"Oh, Mom," Sam murmured as tears gushed down her face. "Thanks for saying that."
"It's all true."
Alexis stepped back and swiped at her own tears. "I'll let you and Jason talk. I'll be back here waiting for you when the procedure is over. Love you, honey."
"Love you, Mom," Sam said and waved to Alexis as she slipped out the door.
Sam turned to look at Jason. "Hey, babe," she greeted him, trying to put some cheer into her voice. She failed but she did try.
Jason moved to her side, grabbing for her hand in his and giving it a firm squeeze. "Hey," he said, leaning over to kiss her forehead. "How are you doing?"
"I know," Jason said. "Just know … I'm going to be waiting right outside the OR the whole time you're in there. I'll be at your side when you wake up."
"Jase, you're so good to me," Sam said, fresh tears percolating in her eyes.
"You deserve it. What you're doing… it's amazing, one of the bravest things I've ever seen you do."
"Our baby is going to be alright," Sam said, trying to convince herself. "I know that she is."
"I know that too," Jason said, sounding more confident than she had. "She's going to be just fine, and grow up strong and amazing, just like her mom."
"Don't make me cry – again."
Jason smoothed back an errant lock of her hair. "It's true."
"She's going to grow up," Sam said. "You're right. She's going to be just fine, perfect even. Maybe she'll even have your eyes and that soft, sweet smile you only show me."
Jason shrugged sheepishly. "Maybe."
"She's going to thrive," Sam said. "And she's going to be the apple of her daddy's eye."
Jason nodded. "We've been through the worst, now there's just this to get past and then … In a few months, we'll be holding our baby." Jason paused for a moment and when he spoke again; his voice was thick with emotion. "This is a gift, Sam, you can't know how much this means to me – that you want to share this baby with me, that you want to share your life with me."
"Of course. I can't imagine it any other way, Jason," she said, squeezing his hand in return just as the door opened again. Addison and the team of nurses were back. Sam knew it was time to face her fears.
"Are you ready?" Addison asked.
"Ready as I'll ever be," Sam murmured. She looked up at Jason. "See you soon."
"See you soon," he said quietly and she saw the storm of emotion in his eyes. He ducked his head so that no one else could see what she had.
Jason cleared his throat and then pressed his soft lips to her forehead again. "I love you, Sam," he whispered in her ear.
She nodded and mouthed the words back to him. Then she found herself being wheeled down the hall with Jason jogging at her side. She kept her eyes firmly riveted on him until she was wheeled into the OR and the door shut. She couldn't see him anymore but she felt his presence so strong and told herself she could get through this – she could get through anything because Jason loved her.
TO BE CONTINUED.
Only a little left to go in this story. The next chapter will be up soon. Thanks for reading! I will say one thing: Pete learns he's Sam's father in the next chapter. Stay tuned.