Please, Please Don't Leave Me
Chapter 1Abby gasped for breath and let her body flop down on the other side of the tree. In a moment she would go down to the stream and rinse her mouth out, but right now she just had sit still and wait for her head to stop spinning and her stomach to stop lurching.
What was she going to do? She couldn't hide it forever. It wasn't as if she'd planned it, or been keeping it from him deliberately right from the start. The possibility of being pregnant hadn't even crossed her mind. At least not until Connor happened to mention one night that they could get a better view of the full moon from their new home than from their old one. That was when Abby realised just how long they had been stuck on the wrong side of an anomaly.
Up until yesterday, she had been hoping it was just the stress of being trapped in the cretaceous that had affected her monthly cycle. Then, yesterday morning, mercifully before Connor had woken up, she had had to make a sharp exit from their cave to throw up. She had tried to stay positive, telling herself that she could have picked up any number of stomach bugs in this place and she would probably be fine the next day. Now it was 'the next day' and she definitely wasn't fine.
Rubbing a hand across her abdomen, Abby made the decision that the this morning's bout of morning sickness was over and it was safe to go and clean up. She made her way down to the stream and started splashing cold water over her face, rinsing the last of the vomit out of her mouth and generally trying to make herself look and feel at least slightly more capable of dealing with the diverse range of killing machines prowling the forest and plains.
As cover for being gone so long, she filled a water bottle and poured the water over her head, soaking her hair. It helped get rid of the last feelings of nausea and gave her an excuse for coming back so bedraggled. She filled the water bottle again and got to her feet, making her way back to the cave.
Getting into and out of the cave was an interesting task, especially when she was trying to get out without throwing up on the way. The entrance was a small hole in the rock, just wide enough for Connor to squeeze through, about six feet up a near vertical cliff face. There were enough footholds and hand holds for a human to scramble up and down the cliff face, but no ledges that a small predator could use to hop up. Once through the entrance, the tunnel widened only slightly, making it impossible for larger predators to get to them. At the end of the tunnel was a cavern wide enough to let even the tallest human lie down flat and so high that Abby wasn't sure she could reach the roof if she was standing on Connor's shoulders. It was small, dark and enclosed by modern day standards, but in this world it was a haven of peace and safety. Even Connor's initial panic attacks had now stopped.
They had found the cave about a week after Danny had left them. They had spent the first three days sitting up a tree, waiting for Danny to return or someone else to come and get them. Nobody had turned up.
"What if he didn't manage to stop Helen?" Connor had asked one quiet evening.
"Connor!" Abby had chided him immediately.
"Well," he continued, "I mean, we can't stay up here forever. The supplies in our rucksacks are good, but they won't last forever."
"So what do you suggest?" Abby was tired and hungry, but what irritated her most was that she hadn't spotted that fact before Connor.
"Well, we need to keep out of reach of the raptors," said Connor thoughtfully. Abby wondered just how much though he had been putting into this plan. "The problem with trees, though," he continued, "is that they're not out of reach of the larger predators, and the herbivores for that matter. What we really want is what our ancestors had: a cave."
"Won't the raptors just walk in and corner us?"
"Not if we can find one that it would be difficult for them to get into. One with a river in front of it or a really tight entrance to squeeze past. We could even use some rocks to block the entrance up when we're not using it, like a door."
So on the morning of the fourth day they had gone looking for a cave. Connor was still limping a bit, but, with the help of his stick, he managed. They spent the fourth night up another tree, and then the fifth. On the sixth day they spotted the cliff rising up out of the landscape. They were at the edge of the forest and looking out across a wide prairie. Connor had started out into the open eagerly, but Abby had held back.
"Isn't this how all the extras die in Jurassic Park two?" Abby muttered, catching up with Connor and looking round warily, her own encouter with the titanis springing freshly into her mind.
The first cave they had found was at ground level, barely a crack in the rock to begin with, then gradually opening up inside. They had spent their sixth night there, only discovering the cave they were now in on the seventh day while out foraging. Abby herself had spotted it and clambered up to investigate before Connor could stop her. She had wriggled her way down to the cavern inside and shone the mini penlight from their survival kit around the dry, dark chamber. Connor's face when she emerged had been a picture of mingled hope and worry. His expression hadn't changed much when she announced that she had found their perfect hiding place.
Now she hauled herself back up the rock face and into the entrance tunnel. Her hands, feet and knees were already used to the climb and the crawl. She mentally measured out the distance before dropping and rolling into the cavern, wondering randomly if this was how a badger felt returning to its sett.
"Where've you been?" Connor muttered, his voice still heavy with sleep.
"Just down to the river," Abby replied, finding her way over to her own bundle of dried grass that served as a bed. She had to tell him sometime, of course, but was now the right time? Saying that, she thought, could there ever possibly be a right time to tell him this? She took a swig of the water from the bottle and steeled herself for his reaction. "Connor," she began. "We have a problem."