Chapter 1: Relief

The air in the Salem hospital was tense. John's feet were glued to the spot right outside Marlena's room. His fear was paralyzing him.

Would Marlena be all right? Would the baby live? Would their love bring them past their separate indiscretions? These questions were racing through his mind when he saw Lexie exiting Marlena's room. "Lexie, how's Doc?" he asked breathlessly.

Lexie smiled, glancing at each of Marlena's loved ones in turn. "Actually, I've got some good news. She's got a slight concussion from the fall, but she and the baby are stable, and she's asking for both you and Roman."

John tensed a bit. "Together?" he asked through clenched teeth.

Lexie nodded. "And please, try not to fight. That's the last thing Marlena and the baby need right now."

John and Roman nodded in agreement, and Roman let John precede him as they entered Marlena's room.

"Doc, we're here," John said softly.

"John, Roman, I'm so glad you came in together," Marlena told them with a smile.

"Anything for you, Doc," John told her.

Marlena smiled again. "How are we?" she asked, patting her stomach.

John came to Marlena's side and squeezed her hand. "Lexie just gave us the good news. You've got a concussion from the fall, but you and the baby are stable."

"The baby made it through?" Marlena asked, beginning to feel as if she were floating.

John nodded. "She was lucky, and so were you, Doc."

Marlena smiled again before glancing toward the corner of the room. "Roman, you can come closer," she said with a laugh. "John won't bite."

Roman laughed, too, as he came toward John and Marlena. "I'm not so sure about that, Doc."

"Come on, you two, we all need to pull together for this baby and for the rest of our family, because like it or not, the Bradys and the Blacks are connected again." Marlena patted her stomach for emphasis.

"I guess you're right, Doc," John agreed, and Roman simply nodded.

Marlena smiled again, hoping that this truce would last, for her sake and the baby's.