A/N: Thank you to those who continue to ask about the sequel. While, I was at work today this came to mind so I thought I would post it as a preview/teaser/epilogue, what have you. Hope you all enjoy and please know that the sequel will be posted in a few weeks if not sooner. I'm just hoping to get some of my other stories completed first.
Meredith Brody sucked in a deep breath as she entered the offices of Adult Mental Health Services with a large bouquet of purple tulips in her hands. Purple tulips were Savannah Kelly's favorite flowers or so she had been told by her partner and father of her unborn child, Chris LaSalle.
It had been nearly a month since Brody unintentionally, shattered any hope that Savannah may have had about a having future with Chris LaSalle and she felt guilty. Announcing that she was pregnant in the middle of Jackson Square probably wasn't the smartest thing she'd ever done. She certainly hadn't meant for Savannah to be hurt by it.
Or had she? She'd been well aware that Chris was dating Savannah that night he'd shown up on her doorstep looking lost and heartbroken after Cade's funeral. But somehow it didn't dawn on her to say no when he starting kissing her. She'd just let things happen, fully aware that he had been acting out of grief.
What kind of person does that? She wondered as she stepped up to the door of Savannah's office and gently knocked.
"Come in," Savannah was sitting at her desk, going over the case files for the week when the tall slender agent appeared in front her. What in the hell?
"Hi, I know this is uh…a little weird," Brody stammered setting the flowers on the desk as Savannah rose to her feet.
Savannah just looked at the new mother-to-be. Weird wasn't the word for it. It was downright awkward. The other woman had just showed up offering her flowers. Who in the hell does that?
"I um…wanted to apologize, "Brody started watching as the red head leaned over to smell the bouquet.
Savannah closed her eyes, inhaling deeply. "Apologize for what? Sleepin' with Chris or gettin' caught by having to admit that you're pregnant?"
Brody's chest tightened. She was unsure of how to respond. "I never meant for you to be hurt."
"Yet, you slept with Chris anyway?"
Brody's eyes fell to the floor. Things were going badly. Taking a step back, she began her exit from the room. "You know, I think I'm just going to go. I'm sorry that I bothered you."
Savannah purposely waited until Brody's hand was on the door before voicing her final thought. "Do you love him?"
"What?" Brody whirled around her face contorted. She didn't know what to say.
"It's a simple question." Savannah returned, sensing that she had the upper hand. "You either do or you don't."
Brody suddenly felt very small, almost shameful for not being able to being able to give the woman a definite answer. The woman was a shrink. For all Brody knew she was playing some sort of mind game, trying to goad her into feeling guilty.
"That is none of your business," Brody swallowed turning back into the door. She was half way down the hall when she suddenly had the biggest urge to go back and deck flippant red head. That was until her alter ego kicked in.
Can you blame her? She only wanted to take a shot at you because she had been hurt Brody told herself. Questioning her love for Chris was…
What was it?
Brody couldn't deny she was unsure about how she felt about partner. Though the sex was great and while she was certain that she cared for him she wasn't quite ready to blurt out those three little words that would seal the deal. As if being pregnant wasn't enough, admitting that she loved him would make it too real.
She could barely comprehend that she was carrying a child, let alone think about making any kind of commitment.
When she thought of her unborn child, Emily Cadence, she thought about herself as a mom and a provider. She didn't necessarily think of the three of them as a family. Not that it couldn't happen, it just hadn't really crossed her mind yet.
Anger continued to bubble up in her chest as she mentally continued to debate. She didn't like feeling unsure and insecure. She was a full grown confident woman, but this made her feel inadequate. Like a scared child, or someone who didn't feel worthy of being loved.
If she told Chris that she loved him would he say it back? If he did, would he really mean it? There was no doubt in her mind that he wouldn't be the perfect father to Emily Cadence. That would never be an issue this she was certain.
Her heart was starting to hammer. She needed to get out of here and put her mind at ease. She was almost to the exit when she remembered that she had left her car keys on Savannah's desk when she had set down the flowers.
Damn it! As if this wasn't adding insult to injury. The last thing she wanted was to have to go back and face the redheaded she-devil.
She didn't bother knocking this time, she barged right in, unprepared for what came next. A man nearing his sixties was standing in front of Savannah yielding a 22. Harold Richmond was his name.
Doing the only thing she could, Brody drew her own weapon. "NCIS, put the gun down!"
Harold looked at the agent from the corner of his eye. "I can't. She's responsible for my Anna-Beth. Because of her, my wife committed suicide!"
Brody shifted her eyes to Savannah.
"Anna-Beth was sick. She needed more help than what we could give." The redhead swallowed, heartsick over the fact that she hadn't been able to do enough for the poor woman.
"You said, if she came here, she'd be ok!" Harold lamented, thrusting the gun forward.
Brody felt her heart catch. The man was literally trembling. He didn't deserve to be here in this position and neither did Savannah. After watching Chris having to deal with Cade, it was easy to predict what had happened to Harold's wife. Brody felt sorry for the man.
"I'm going to put my gun down," Brody said calmly bending to her knees as she set her weapon on the floor and put her hands up in a show of good faith.
"We can talk about this," she said inching forward.
"Talking ain't gunna do no good!" Harold blasted turning his anger on Brody. "It won't bring Anna-Beth back!"
Fear ripped through Brody as she saw Savannah reach for the vase on the desk. Startled, at the sound of movement from behind him Harold whirled on the redhead, forcing Brody to move for the gun. In one swift movement, Brody reached for his arm and proceeded to throw him downward. Taking an awkward step she lost her footing, turning into the man as the gun went off, sending the bullet straight into her upper abdomen.
Brody heard herself gasp before she felt the pain. Had she really just been shot in the stomach? Pain wasn't an issue as her mind began to flood with fear. The only thing she could think of was losing the baby.
Slowly, she sank to the floor. She barely noticed as Savannah called for help and sank down beside her, applying pressure to her wound.
Chris and Pride were already waiting at the hospital when the ambulance arrived. Chris was calling out to her, but she barely heard him.
In and amongst the confusion, she thought she heard, Pride trying to calm him. But it did no good. He was out his mind with fear, fighting tooth and nail to get to her so much so that Pride and a security guard had to restrain him. She wanted to reach out to him, and tell him that she was sorry, but she couldn't. She was too far gone.
Once thing was certain, though she could feel Emily Cadence slipping away. Closing her eyes, the onset of tears slipped out from beneath her lashes, for the first time since she'd discovered she was pregnant all she could do was think about how much she wanted a life with Chris and this baby.
Please God. She murmured softly as the cannula was placed over her face, putting her life and the life of Emily Cadence in his hands.
Morning was just peeking through the blinds when Brody saw fit to open her eyes. Her lids were still heavy with the effects of anesthesia as she tried to make out Chris' blurry form.
Her hand was clasped tightly between his as he leaned into the bed railing eyes closed, praying. Secretly, she always knew he processed a strong sense of faith due to his strong southern upbringing. He didn't talk about it much. It was just a part of who he was and she like that. A man who wasn't afraid to show a little faith now and then was surely worth keeping around.
Slowly, the fog cleared to the point that she was able to form words.
"Chris?" she croaked softly forcing his head to pop up. She watched as his signature grin spread across his face in LaSalle style fashion. There was just something about it that always made her stomach do flip flops. Even in a moment like this it brought her sense of peace.
Words weren't necessary as he caressed her cheek in time with a heartfelt kiss, the sensation bringing her back to real life. "How's the baby?" she dared to ask,her heart mounting with fear. Could she have really survived a bullet wound to her mother's stomach? The blood lose alone and trauma alone were enough to make her little soul want to give up.
Chris brushed her lips with the pad of his thumb, before kissing her again. "She's hanging in there. Doc, says if she makes it through the next twenty-four hours, she stands a good chance of makin' it full term."
They were lucky. The small caliber bullet had lodged itself underneath Brody's rib cage far from the cocoon of her mother's uterus. At just ten weeks, she was safely tucked away deep in her mother's womb. All they had to worry about was Brody's body rejecting the little miracle due to a need to heal.
Brody felt tears prick at her eyes as Chris handed a small black and white photo. She? The baby girl, she'd been dreaming of was a reality. Pursing her lips, she managed a weak smile as he wiped away the tears from her cheeks. They were really having a girl!
"I love you," she mouthed, too weak for words as he swept his lips over hers one more time.
"I love you, Meredith Brody."