Stevie looked over her shoulder as she picked up the phone and dialled the number of Drovers Run.
She had been so foolish to trust Michelle. After all this time what on earth made her think she could trust her sister now? They were all in on it together, Michelle, and those stupid doctors, and the police. It was all a terrible trick to try and kill her baby. She saw it very clearly now.

She thought back to the previous hours. Those doctors and her sister united against her, and trying to convince her to murder an innocent baby. It made her head spin.

"There is no choice. " The Dr had said "To continue with this pregnancy would place your life in jeopardy. You would almost certainly die, in which casse the baby would die also Mrs Ryan. I realise it is distressing, but the only option is to terminate the pregnancy. It's a very simple procedure. Complications are rare. You are young, you will have more children. If you could please sign these consent forms we can get things organised."

At first she had argued with him. What a stupid man, to think she would honestly agree to let them kill her baby. He didn't know anything. She felt fine, better than fine. That doctor knew nothing. And she was determined she would not let him or anyone else hurt her baby.

It was when she realised that her sister was on their side that she begun to panic.

"Please Stevie, you must listen to the Dr. "

"You never cared about me. Never for one minute. You only ever cared about Rose. And now because you know that I wont let you have this baby you want to kill it. You don't care about me or my baby. I don't know how you can live with yourself."

"Stevie how can you say such a thing to me?"

Michelle looked so hurt that for a moment Stevie felt bad, just a brief moment.

"Please Stevie you have to listen to the Dr. You need to look after yourself. There is nothing you can do for the baby if you are dead. And what about Rose? Rose needs you, you can't risk your life like this, its foolish and unfair."

"Rose never needed me. She only ever needed you."

"Stevie that isn't true, I'm sure Rose would disagree with that strongly."

"My pregnancy with Rose was complicated too, not that you would remember since you weren't around. You just showed up to take away my baby girl. You wouldn't have cared if I died then. What if I had taken the easy way out then? Rose would not even be here. Just go away, you don't know wht you are talking about."

"Stevie it's not the same." Michelle tried to protest, having given up for the moment on arguing about whether she did care or had ever.

"Those doctors don't know anything, not about me or my baby, they don't know what they are talking about, we will be fine. It is my choice and my life and my baby and you won't tell me what to do."

Michelle fell silent at that moment, and Stevie almost believed she had convinced her. It was only later when she overheard Michelle and the Dr talking in the corridor that he realised she had been so foolish to believe it.

"She is not in her right mind Doctor." Michelle had explained "Things have been very difficult lately, she is not thinking clearly."

"Yes I can see that." The Dr replied.

"Please you must do whatever you have to in order to save her life." Michelle asked of him.

"Of course, there really is no choice." He replied. "I have taken an oath to save lives. And I agree with you that your sister is in no fit state to make this decision. I will require you as next of kin to sign some papers."

"Of course." Michelle had answered.

In that moment Stevie realised she could trust no one. They were all out to kill her baby. Only one person would help her now and that was Alex. No matter how much he hated her, surely he would not let these people kill his unborn child. He would not. She knew it. Even if it meant she never saw her child again, even if Alex took it away from her and they left her behind forever, at least she would know they were alright. Alex would help her. As she thought about running to him, and him protecting her and her baby, all the bitterness and doubts fell away. She would not ever hold those things against him, she would never hate him again if only he would help them now. And she knew he would. She had no doubt. He would forget all his anger too when he found out about the baby.

Still, ringing him up just like that was not an easy thing to do. She did not know where to start to explain. She did not want him to get angry and hang up. She had to see him in person, to explain, and to make sure he understood. She would ask Grace to come and collect her.

She did not say too much to Grace, not certain she could trust her either. She would trust no one but Alex. He was the only one who would care about their baby. She called as soon as she had snuck away from the hospital, wanting to make sure Grace left to collect her before Michelle figured out she had run away. Michelle would call Drovers, Stevie knew that, and somehow Michelle would convince them all of her horrible lies, just as she had convinced that Dr. Stevie had to get away before that happened.

Grace was pleased and surprised to hear Stevie's voice on the other end of the phone.

"I've been thinking about what you said Grace. You are right. I need to tell Alex about the baby. I'm sure we can work something out. I really need to see him. But I can't call him, I need to see him in person. Could you come and get me?"

"Sure, of course." Grace had answered, not mentioning that it was the middle of the night and that surely it could wait until the morning.

"Thank you Grace. You're a great friend. I won't forget this."

"No problem. I'll be there soon."

As Grace hung up the phone she wondered if she should have mentioned to Stevie that Alex had been gone the last few days. Grace did not know where he had gone, nor why. But she decided to keep quiet. Maybe Alex would be back by tomorrow. And in any case it was the right thing for Stevie to come home to Drovers.

~

That night Alex could not sleep. He had not slept in days. Time was running out so quickly and he would not waste a single second in his search for Stevie. After four days he had begun to realise Michelle may have been lying to him. He cursed himself for not realising sooner. He had been so intent on finding his wife that he had not stopped to think. But he had searched for days the town Michelle had given him. And he hated to admit it, he had been wasting his time. He was so angry at Michelle, how could she do this to him knowing how little time he had left? And why?

He was back to square one and would return home in the morning to start his search again. Perhaps he would hire a private investigator to find his wife. But even that would do him no good if she refused to speak with him. He had to find some way to reach her. Before it was too late.

At that moment his phone rang and he reached for it eagerly hoping to hear his wife on the other end.

"Stevie?" He asked hopefully.

"Mr Ryan, It's Dr …"

"I'm kind of busy.." Alex mumbled. What use was a Dr to him now, he was dying, he had other things to sort out."

"I wont take much of your time. I have some news I think you may be interested in. There is a new treatment for your condition. It's only in the experimental stages mind you, It hasn't been tested…"

"Treatment? " Alex asked in shock. "There is no treatment. You told me there is nothing you can do." Alex replied, not letting himself believe in a treatment that may never happen.

"Yes, as I mentioned it's highly experimental. But the research is promising."

"Great well give it to me!" He demanded

"It isn't cheap, and there may be side effects, it may not work.."

"I can afford it. I don't care about side effects."

'It may not be a cure, you understand, It's a treatment that may or may not improve your condition."

"I'll take my chances. What choice do I have? When can I start?"

"That's the other thing. It is not legal in Australia. The treatment is part of an experimental research program in London. You would have to spend several weeks, possible months, in London participating in the research program. You need to be there by the end of the week."

"No problem." Alex replied "Give me the details and I'll be there."

As he hung up he felt a huge weight lift off his shoulders. All these months he had convinced himself there was no hope. And now there may be. He did not want to get his hopes up, very possibly he would still die, but maybe this would buy him some more time. He had to think positive and give it a chance.

He must find Stevie before he left. How could he leave without speaking to her? What if the treatment did not work and he died over there, never having a chance to explain or say goodbye or tell her how much he loved her? He could not leave without that. But then surely Stevie would want him to. Maybe he would be cured and they could have their lifetime together. Surely he could not give up on that chance, surely Stevie would not want him to. He would find her first, before the end of the week, that was the only solution. It would be easier to tell her now, now that there was some hope. He could not let his mind wonder about what he would do if he did not find her before the end of the week.