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Subject: Chapter 317 - Part 2 (16 and above) (end of chapter 317)

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Date Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 07:15:58am
In reply to: KatherineG. 's message, "Chapter 307 - Part 1 (16 and above)" on Monday, October 22, 07:10:11am

She was simply smiling at him now, adoring him every bit as much in return--savoring the fact that he was here. But apparently their temporary silence made him think that he should speak again--bringing up a subject which made her anything but proud. "Our son is beautiful, Nikita." He kissed her hand, as she swallowed back her shame heavily. "You did such a wonderful job of bringing him into the world."

Oh. She couldn't look at him anymore, turning her head away from his touch--leaving him to wonder. Still, she left him like that, taking a moment to fight back the tears which stung at her eyes, knowing that would show in her voice--hating that she would have to disillusion him. "Haven't they told you?"

Her sudden change in mood was nothing he had expected, leaving him mightily confused, uncertain what he might have done to bring this on. Certainly, he had already had an in-depth discussion with her doctor, had demanded a fairly detailed, moment-by-moment description of the birth out of Adrian, as well. He had even seen their tiny, pink son--the boy sometimes crying but utterly beautiful, nonetheless; he still ached for his first chance to hold him. "What?" he asked, too confused to understand. How she could see the boy's birth as anything but a victory--especially considering the state of despair she had been in at the time--was a mystery he couldn't begin to comprehend.

Christ. It was too much. He didn't know; no one had told him. Her lower lip was trembling, her teeth biting it hard to try to hold herself together--her head turned far away in her shame. She had once thought that she was too modern a woman to apologize to her husband for her failures in childbirth, but she was proving herself wrong; it took a very long, shaky breath to be able to speak again, the sound barely audible. "His hip," she murmured. But she couldn't force herself any further along in her explanation than that.

Ah--he understood at last, saw her foolish fears, having already been told about the terrible trials of the birth. Apparently, their son had been breach, had needed to be removed with forceps--dangerous as that instrument so often was; the damage their child's hip had suffered would cause him more pain than a baby should know, but--like his father's wound--it wouldn't be permanent, he was certain. He and his beloved one would definitely see to that.

He knew they could help their son, knew that nothing could possibly stop them. Still, it was only partly this fact he focused on--he and his child not the only ones to have suffered. The excruciating pain his beloved must have endured couldn't even be imagined--the guilt of forcing her through it, of not being there beside her all the while, far too much. Of course, they wouldn't have willingly allowed him into the delivery room anyway, but his mental recreation of the scene played differently. Had he been here in time, he would have beaten up *anyone* who had tried to stand in between himself and his support of his wife. No customs or rules could ever have stopped him for a second.

It wasn't this fantasy he answered with, however, soothing his wife truthfully, stroking along her shoulder under her gown. "He'll get better, Nikita. We'll make him better." She looked back over to him tentatively, the guilt and pain in her gaze so deep and unwarranted that it made him physically ache. "Our son *will* walk." His hand reached for her face again. "We'll see to it together."

This vow to face the future steadily, on two strong legs, actually applied to both father and son--and the adoring couple knew it, their devotion complete. "I love you, Michael," the man's wife sighed, letting go of the last of her guilt. With him beside her, there would be no reason for pain anymore.

Her husband clearly agreed with her, their affection total. The couple themselves weren't the only ones who were thankful, however. As the older Adrian watched from outside the door, she gave a brief sigh of relief. At some point, she would have to break in, to tell them how many ways they had been made lucky today--Murrin having passed along the news of Jones's suicide only a few minutes ago. With it, the couple and their child were finally free to face the future on their own terms; her smile went deep. And, as long as God was willing to let her stay, she would be nearby to watch them finally gain all the happiness they deserved.

Extra note: Remember that this was the era when husbands were forced to stay in the waiting room, while their wives delivered their children with the hospital staff alone. While this was probably a happy situation for some men--who would undoubtedly have paid *not* to be present--even those who dearly wanted to be with their wives at this momentous time would never have been allowed to. Couples' Lamaze classes are still a relatively new idea.

[End of Part 317]

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Chapter 318 - Part 1 (16 and above)KatherineG.Monday, December 03, 07:08:07am

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