Michael stood at the window, staring out at the harbor, tensely drumming his fingers on the windowsill. He turned to face her. "Is there something you want to tell me, Sara?" His voice was soft but his gaze was intense.
Sara looked up from setting the table and glanced over at him. She lowered her head in an attempt to evade the blue searchlight of his eyes. "What do you mean?"
"Lincoln said that-" He stopped abruptly, his voice sounding as if it were coming from far away rather than from across the room.
Baffled, Sara bit her lip.
Michael looked back out the window, waiting. When it was obvious nothing more was coming from her end, he turned toward her again. "Okay, then..." he started. He looked down at the floor, as if struggling to express himself. "Lincoln told me...he says you're pregnant." He paused to let those words float in the air between them. "Is it true?"
Sara moved over to the sofa and sank down hard onto it, shocked and wide-eyed. "Lincoln told you that?" She sighed. "I... I took one of those at-home pregnancy tests...and it came out positive," she confessed quietly. "But..."
"Then it is true." He considered her admission, furrowing his brows. "Your belly, your breasts...you haven't had a period. I should have figured it out myself."
She looked up at him, stunned, then bent forward and wrapped her arms around herself. The blush that rose to her cheeks gave away her chagrin. She hadn't thought her belly or her breasts looked any different. Nothing got past Michael.
He took a step toward her and then stopped. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"Maybe... because I was worried about your reaction?" she answered pointedly.
Michael realized he was scowling and consciously relaxed his face. "I'm... reacting like this because of the way I found out. From my brother! That's hardly the way I'd have expected to hear-" He took a deep breath and forced himself to calm down. "Were you going to tell me?"
"Yes, of course I was!"
"Then, would you please explain why you didn't?"
Sara lifted her head and stared out the window at the boats bobbing at anchor in the harbor. "I only found out a few days ago. I wanted to talk to you about it, but...there never seemed to be a good time. I ..." She looked at him again, a silent plea for understanding written across her face. "I didn't tell anyone, Michael."
"Then how would Lincoln know?"
Sara thought for a minute, nervously twisting a strand of hair around her finger. She replied slowly, "It might have been your mother...she must have said something to him."
"My mother? How the hell would she know about it?"
Sara sucked in a breath. "She kind of guessed it, from my body language? Or so she claimed. She told me I was 'being protective' or something. I didn't admit it to her. But I didn't deny it, either."
Michael bent his head, shaking it in frustration. "So. I am the third to know."
"This isn't the way I...I didn't mean for you to find out like this, Michael." Sara was close to tears.
Michael crossed the room to Sara. "Okay, then...so. You're pregnant." He sat down next to her on the sofa. "This is... Sara, I'm sorry." All of his anger had suddenly dissipated.
In a voice mixed with sorrow and resentment, she replied, "You're sorry? For what, Michael? Are you sorry for being angry at me, or are you sorry I'm pregnant?" Her tears spilled out and she wiped them away with the back of her hand, unwilling to meet his eyes.
Michael covered his mouth with his hand. "No! I mean...I apologize for upsetting you. Please don't cry." His voice was gentle. "I'm not angry." He reached out to put a hand on her shoulder and then thought the better of it. "Look, I'm ...what matters is how you feel about this...what you want to do."
"What I want to do..." Sara repeated blankly, staring at the floor.
"Yes. I mean, are you... still thinking about it, or have you...come to a decision?"
Sara stood up abruptly, then spun around past him and strode toward the door. "I'm going out. I need some air."
Michael was right behind her. "You can't go out there! It's not safe!" he exclaimed, taking hold of her arm. She shook his hand off and veered toward the bathroom, slamming the door shut behind her. The sounds of retching and crying followed. Michael approached the bathroom door and knocked softly. "Sara, are you alright?" He was met with silence. He tried again."Can I get you anything?"
Sara replied, "No. Just...I need to be alone."
For several minutes, Michael paced anxiously back and forth in front of the windows, glancing at the bathroom door periodically. Finally he could tolerate the tension no longer. "Sara, I'm sorry! Please, open the door. Talk to me!" he pleaded.
After a moment of silence, Michael heard the sound of water running and Sara brushing her teeth. When she opened the bathroom door, the sight of her pale, tear-stained face wrenched his heart. "Come here," he said in a voice full of apology, beckoning her into his arms.
Sara went to him and put her arms gingerly around him. "I'm sorry, too, Michael," she told him, laying her head against his shoulder.
"Shhh," he whispered into her ear, stroking her hair. "You have nothing to be sorry for."
"I wanted to tell you..." she sighed, still sniffling.
"Sara...it's okay, sweetheart. I know you did." He rubbed her back gently. "You would have, too, if I hadn't been such a..." his voice trailed off. He began again, "This is not your fault. If I'd been...less selfish and inconsiderate, and more careful-"
"Don't be like that, Michael!" Sara cried. "It's not your fault either!"
"But... I didn't take precautions."
"Neither did I! It just happened. Your guilt isn't helping." She looked at him and softened her tone. "For the record, you have not been selfish or inconsiderate."
Michael was quiet for a long time. "Sara," he began cautiously, feeling his way, "if my opinion counts for anything... I am not sorry about this." He looked at her, gauging her reaction. "To tell you the truth... I'm happy you're pregnant."
She studied the smile on his face. "Honestly? You mean that?"
"Yes, I do... why does that surprise you?"
"Oh, I don't know..." her lips curved into a wan smile, "maybe it's because we've known each other for about fifteen minutes, and our lives are in constant danger? And because you're married to another woman?"
Michael laughed a little nervously. "Okay...granted, the timing isn't ideal. I had hoped we'd... someday in the future. You know what I want. But right now, what I need to know is... how do you feel about it? It's your body. At the end of the day, the choice has to be yours."
"There isn't any 'choice' to make." She looked into his eyes, searching them. "I love you, Michael. I want this baby." Her tears started again. "I am going to have it, no matter what."
Michael smiled broadly at her, relief written all over his face. "Then... we're good?" His own eyes filled with tears.
"I won't lie to you...I'm scared. But yes, I'm good with it," she replied with a shaky laugh.
Michael hugged her to him tightly and shut his eyes. "Thank god, Sara! I was afraid you hadn't told me... because you weren't happy about it. And maybe you...didn't want..."
Sara ignored his insinuation. "Well, I was worried it might feel like a burden to you. With all you have on your shoulders." She looked at him and added, "It really is not the best time."
"I want you to be able to tell me anything."
"I wanted to tell you. I tried to. Every time I started to, we had to leave, or your cellphone rang, or there was some new crisis-"
Just then, Michael's cellphone rang. He immediately shut it off. "Well, of course I'll be worried about you, even more than usual. Nothing's going to change that." He held her at arms length and looked deep into her eyes. His voice was solemn. "Okay, Sara. We're agreed, and this is happening?" She nodded back at him, half smiling, half crying. Michael's reply was almost giddy. "Then we'll have the baby! We'll make it work!" He held her close and kissed the top of her head. "I love you," he told her tenderly, "and I really am thrilled about it!"
Sara wrapped her arms around him and sighed contentedly. "You have no idea what a relief it is to hear you say that!"
"It's a relief for me too. I've been through the wringer for the past several hours, excited, worried sick..."
"You want to hear something funny?" Sara raised her head and grinned at him. "Your mother guessed that I hadn't told you yet. She said I should, and that you'd be happy about it."
Michael stared at her. "How the hell...? Until two days ago, I hadn't seen that woman in twenty-five years. How could she possibly know how I'd feel?"
Sara shrugged. "She's got incredible powers of perception. Like you do." Her tone changed and she asked in a concerned voice, "Michael... do you really think my belly looks different?"