WARNINGS: Don't read if; a) you want a happy ending, b) you're prone to fainting at the mention of blood, babies, death, c) you are too young (must be at least 13 people, and I mean that. This one deals with grown up issues very seriously!) Last chapter, savour it!

The last great act

"Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a
battle, love is a war; love is a growing up."

"I will be back before you know it."

"Jack, its ok, it's not like there aren't things here I can't be getting on with. We will go to Salt Lake City another time. We still have five months before joiner makes an appearance anyway."

"I know, it's just, I was really looking forward to it." He gives me a sulky look. I lift his chin up with my finger and place a kiss on his lips before handing him his over night bag.

"You're gonna be late!" I tease as he takes the bag and lets his hand wander under my shirt for a moment to rub over our child.

"Your mummy is mean!" he says in a hurt voice, but the look on my face makes him take it back and leave quickly.

"Call me when you get there" I call after him as he gets in his truck. "Love ya!"

"I will and ditto!" He calls back before shutting the door and starting the engine.

**

With Jack away giving lectures to new recruits, I decide to finish painting the nursery. We know we are having a girl but we thought we would be safe and go for unisex colours; purple and white.

September has passed and now and the harsh thickness of fall as set in. The weather has turned cold and wet in the last few days, with the river in the back yard beginning to over flow its boundaries just a little.

The almost hypnotic sound of raindrops falling on the skylight is relaxing as I finish painting a stencil of white clouds and step back to admire my work. I wish Jack would call. I hate it knowing he is driving in dangerous conditions. The rain has been falling for over an hour and the traffic guys are saying that a gale-force wind is blowing in, and affecting the downtown area; where Jack was heading.

**

The traffic is hideous, and night falls quickly. The rain beats down so hard on my truck that even with my wipers on full power I struggle to see the road ahead of me. I can feel the strong winds pushing against the sides of my vehicle.

The first rumbles of thunder ring out over the cold, wet night air. I take comfort from the knowledge that I am now only four miles from my destination. My mind wandering for only a second I don't see the animal run out in front of me until the last moment. I swerve, slamming on my breaks as I face the brick-wall at the edge of the small bridge. The only thing that runs through my mind is Sam. This is it, the trucks front smashes into the wall, the sound of breaks screaming in my ears and crumpling metal is all I hear. The impact throws me forward into the windscreen.

**

A flash of lightening almost blinds me as I stare out at the storm. The power went out and I've had to light candles. Something doesn't feel right. He should have been there by now. Maybe the phones are out? I lift up the headset, but there is a dial tone. Still, that doesn't mean that the phones are working in the city.

The baby is restless. I think she knows I am worried. I try not to think about it, to take deep breaths and get back to reading my book on pregnancy, but its no good, I cant stop looking out the window and then at the phone. Any moment now he'll call, he'll tell me I was being silly. He has a four wheel drive, and has been driving for years, of course he's ok. Right?

**

"What have we got?"

"Car accident victim, male, 50's. Hit a brick wall head on. He's DOA but we need you to call it."

"Yeah, you're right. I'm not getting any output. Did you try to resuscitate?" the doctor says.

"For twenty minutes on the scene. He's head injuries are too extensive, but we kept going til we got here, just in case."

She nods, looking at the gushing wounds on his head. "Ok, I'll call it. Time of death 18:07pm. Is there any ID?"

"Driving licence."

"Have the police taken note of he's details?"

"Yeah, they are going to his address tonight."

**

I sigh and put the book down. Its no good, something is wrong. I know it, the baby knows it. I just wish I knew.what the.? Red and blue lights shine through the dark and my heart starts beating so fast I almost can't breathe. I run to the door and get there before the young cop has even knocked. His face says it all, its bad news.

"Mrs O'Neill?" He asks in a solemn tone. I nod and step back allowing him to come in.

"Ma'am, I think you should sit down." I can feel the fear rise in me, making me dizzy and my hands shake. I sit down not taking my eyes off his face.

"What is it?" I ask

"It's about your husband. I'm afraid I have bad news." My eyes close and tears fall from under the lids. "He was involved in an accident, on the highway. I'm very sorry, but the paramedics were unable to revive him. He died on the scene. I'm sorry."

I take a deep breathe and open my eyes, looking up at them. I feel numb for now, but I know any moment now it will seep in.

"Thank you for letting me know." I say calmly, seeing him out. As soon as the car is gone, I lock the door and turn my back to it, letting my body slide down. The quivering starts and I let out an unearthly scream. My body breaks down and I sob, tears soaking my clothing, and pain wrecking my body.

I stay there as the hurting grows more, hurt not only in my heart. I can see the blood between my legs and I don't give a damn. I feel the pain, the contractions, but its nothing compared to what I feel in my heart. The longer I stay there the more I scream as the baby starts to arrive of its own accord; the grief sending me into dangerously early labour.

When the sun rises, it sees only a picture of destruction and death. Fallen trees and power lines. Car crashes from last night, building damage. But the sorriest sight of all is the one right here in front of me. My baby girl, barely more than embryo, lies dead on the floor in a small pile of blood, her cold body grey. She didn't cry, she didn't even try. I couldn't take my eyes off her all night; she was supposed to be our new start, our life. But she's gone, like her father.

With barely enough strength left to stand, I somehow make it to the cabinet in the hall. I know that he planned to get rid of it, but hadn't gotten round to it yet. I reach up and get the key hidden on top of the unit. Placing it the lock, I turn it slowly and open the draw. Inside is the means to an end. A way to be where my husband and daughter now live ceaselessly. What do I have left to live for known now that they have both been taken from me?

I pull out the small metal object and flip open the barrel, placing a golden bullet in one of the chambers before flicking it shut again. I walk into the front room and stare out at the river; I can almost see him standing there, looking out over the fields. I smile. I know exactly what I am doing, and I know why. I always said I would die for him one day.

I place the cold barrel to my head; gently squeezing the trigger. I feel only a quick sharp pinprick of pain as the gun falls from my hands, landing on the floor with a deafeningly loud thump.

**

I step out on too the cold wet grass in bare feet. He's back is too me, but as I walk over to him he turns to face me, one hand in his pocket, the other cradling our baby.

"I didn't expect you so soon." He says kissing me as I take he's arm and smile.

"Hey, we don't leave our people behind, remember?" I say as I pull the white covers back on our girl and smile at her.

"Yeah, sorry about that." He looks away for a moment, sadness on his face.

"Doesn't matter, we have forever now." I smile, kissing him gently once more and savouring his touch.

The early morning sun rays shine right through us, vanishing us to eternity as we stand watching the slow rise of the heart of our universe. Where we stood only seconds before, now three white doves take flight into the watery yellow sky.

THE END!!!

That's it folks! Man, am I glad I got that out of my system, I couldn't sleep last night running over it in my head! I hope that none of you were too shocked and that you don't hate me. I promise I will write a really nice story soon, where no one dies and Jack is funny!

THANK YOU for reading and sticking it out all the way to the end, you will never know how much that means to me! Jackie xxx