It was their one year wedding anniversary. One year ago today, they had gotten married after moving to Paris and leaving Salem behind. It was just the two of them and their ten year old son, Nicholas. Finally, they had found a little happiness in their lives and everything was just as it should be.
"Where would you like to go on our anniversary trip?" Lawrence had asked her.
"Anywhere," she answered. "As long as it's with you."
Their son was at summer camp, so it would be an excellent opportunity for the two of them to spend some romantic time alone. "Let's go to my estate in Italy then. You always liked it there," Lawrence said with a grin.
"I like that idea," she told him as she slipped her arms around him. "Let's leave tonight."
"Anything for you, Katerina," he said as he kissed her softly on the lips. "You know I'd do anything for you..."
They had arrived at Lawrence's villa in Italy as they stood on the balcony together, enjoying the cool, evening air. "It's beautiful here, but you are far more beautiful," Lawrence said to her.
"Remember when you said you'd do anything for me?" she asked him.
"Yes... and I meant it, Katerina."
"Then give me a baby," she said as she caressed his cheek and stared into his hazel eyes. "I want to have another child with you, Lawrence."
A slow smile came to his face. "You're ready to have another baby, Katerina?" he asked.
"Yes, I started the fertility treatments... and I'm ready."
"You know this may not work. You know what the doctor said..."
"I know, but I still want to try. It's worth a try to have a child with you. One we will raise together from the start. One that will not be taken from us."
"Yes, we deserve that," he said as he lifted her up in his arms and carried her inside to the bedroom.
They woke up that morning with lot of presents under the tree. Together with their son, they headed downstairs to open all the presents. Now Nicholas was attending one of the best boarding schools in Europe, but he was with them on weekends and holidays. They wanted their son to have the best education money could provide, but even so, they cherished every moment they had with him.
"Look Dad, this one's for you!" Nicky said as he brought his father a small wrapped package.
"Open it," Carly encouraged him.
"Alright," he said as he looked at the tag.
"It's from the woman I love," Lawrence announced as he tore into the wrapping paper. Minutes later, he had unwrapped the gift. A look of shock registered across his face.
"Katerina, is this-?" he asked in a gasp as he lifted it from the box.
"Yes, it is," she responded as he withdrew the tiny white stick.
Nicholas looked at his parents questioningly, seeing his father's joyous smile and his mother's tears. "What's going on?" he asked them.
"You're going to be a big brother, Nicholas," Lawrence said in a voice that shook with his emotion.
Carly stared into his eyes as he reached for her. He held her so tightly as he told her, "You've made me the happiest man alive, Katerina. This is the best Christmas present you EVER could have given me."
"I love you, Lawrence," she said as she hugged him.
Her health was fragile. She was in her second trimester when she heard the news. Due to having high blood pressure and placenta previa, along with her past pregnancy issues with her son, her doctor had advised that she should consider terminating her pregnancy. Being a physician herself, Carly knew all the risks. The only way her child was going to be able to survive was if she went on complete bedrest, followed doctor's orders, and did everything in her power to avoid stress. IF she carried to term, 24 weeks remained of her extremely high-risk pregnancy.
"I'm not terminating my pregnancy," Carly said adamantly to Dr. Moreau . "I'm seeing it through, no matter what the outcome."
Lawrence hadn't said much as he listened to the doctor's warnings that the pregnancy may end in tragedy. "I'll let you two talk about this for a moment," Dr. Moreau said as she stepped out of the room.
"Katerina, listen to me," Lawrence said as he took both of her hands into his. "I know we both want this baby... so much. But I couldn't bear it if something happened to you. I think we should consider-."
"No, don't even say it," Carly said insistently. "I'm having this baby, Lawrence... whether you like it or not."
She pulled away from him in frustration and anger as huge tears filled up her sapphire eyes. "Katerina, look at me," Lawrence encouraged.
She looked at him with wounded eyes. "Are you sure?" he asked her tenderly.
"Yes," she answered as she went into his arms for comfort. He held her as she softly cried. There was no other choice for her; no other decision. She loved their baby and she was having it. End of story.
She spent the majority of her pregnancy within their bed. Lawrence often remained by her side. His work kept him away at times. But she lived for the moments when they were together, when she was entanged in his embrace. He gave her peace and contentment. His touch was all she ever needed.
"Lawrence, you need to go on with your life. You can't stay here trapped in this room day after day. You have your business to worry about," she said one day as he held her.
"You are my life," he told her. "You, Nicholas, and this baby. This may be our last chance to have a child together. Do you know how much this means to me?" he questioned.
She softly caressed his cheek, gazing into those amazing of eyes of his. "We'll get through this together," she assured him. "When it's over, I can't wait to hold our baby."
"Do you think it will be a girl or a boy?" he asked her.
"I dunno. With Nicholas, I had this feeling I was having a boy, but this time... I'm just not sure."
Lawrence placed his hand over her tummy where their child was starting to grow. "It's a girl," he told her with a smile.
"Well, alright, Dr. Alamain," she said to him with a laugh. "I thought that I was the doctor in this family."
"You are. I am just speaking from father's intuition," he responded as he gently kissed her.
They curled up in each other, needing nothing more than comfort of love's embrace.
Her friends had deserted her. No one stopped by anymore. They had all gone on with their own lives. She lay in the bed, feeling imprisoned a great deal of the time. The baby in her stomach gave her comfort. When she was all alone, she'd talk to the little one she carried. She told the unborn baby about her love for Lawrence and what a wonderful life they'd all have together.
When Nicky was home, they'd have chess competitions. Nicholas usually won. He'd become a master at chess, just like his father. "When will the baby be here, Mom?" he asked one day.
They were lounging on the bed, watching movies. Lawrence had been away on a business trip. Carly missed him with all her heart and soul. "Well, Nicky, it's going to be at least 4 more months," Carly responded as she gently rubbed her rounded belly.
"I miss all the things we used to do. You, me, and Dad... We'd go on trips, stay in the mountains, and we'd go skiing," Nicholas said to his mother.
"I miss all the family times, too. But we'll do them again... once our baby is safely here," Carly promised.
Nicky smiled and gave his mother a hug. "I love you, Mom," he said as he hugged her close.
"And I love you," she stated.
Just then, Lawrence walked in. Carly almost bounded out of bed when she saw him. She was so excited as he approached the bed and took her into his embrace. "I missed you," she said as she wrapped her arms around him so tightly.
"I missed you, Nicky, and our baby," he said as he held her close. She realized then that although her friends had deserted her, she had so much. The little family she and Lawrence had created would have to be enough for the time being.