“Baby,” I try to whisper, not knowing if anyone around me can even make out what I’m saying through the chaos. The sound of sirens bleeds into my head, making the pain start to pound even harder.
“Ma’am, you’re going to be okay. Just try not to move,” I hear someone say. The sound is so far away, but I can feel their breath against my ear like they’re leaning in to talk to me.
“Baby.” I try to say the simple word again, still not knowing if the words are leaving my lips. I try to lift my hand to bring it to my stomach.
“Ma’am, please try not to move,” the man says again. His tone is soft but firm.
I am trying, but it doesn’t seem to be working.
“The truck just came out of nowhere and I just grabbed her to pull her out of the way. I didn’t mean for us to come down on the ground so hard,” I hear another man say. “Is she going to be okay?”
“Sir, just step back.”
Voices start to mesh together, and I try to open my eyes again, but everything seems to be slipping away. The voices and the chaos echo as if far away, until blackness falls.
* * *
“That’s my wife!”
The bellow penetrates the darkness, the voice bringing me back.
“That might be the case, sir, but it’s my understanding—”
“If you want to keep your job, I wouldn’t finish that sentence, Doctor. Don’t think I’m not above buying this hospital and anything else just to fire your ass.”
“Phillip, calm down. This isn’t helping anything,” a stern female voice cuts in. She sounds just as familiar as the man…Phillip. The thought of his name sends a sweet warmth through my body, and I feel myself start to drift into the darkness again.
* * *
“God, I’m going to love doing this every day for the rest of our lives.” The man leans down, taking my mouth in a soft kiss. It’s lazy and sweet, like he has all the time in the world to kiss me. He pulls back, and his dark blue eyes scan my face. His coal-dark hair looks like he’s been running his hands through it, or maybe I have. “Still doesn’t feel real that we’re married.” He moves in a little closer, his bare legs tangling with mine.
His hand comes to my face, and I lean into it while his thumb traces my lips. I feel his other hand move under the blanket, coming to settle on my stomach.
“I’m not going to let you leave this bed all weekend. I’m going to enjoy every second of my new wife.” He takes my mouth again, and this time I push my tongue into his. No, I don’t want to leave this bed either.
There’s something about this man who is calling me his wife. He makes me feel safe, pushing away the darkness and filling it with him. I grip him tighter, wanting him closer. Needing to feel him against me. I’m lonely.
He can fix that, a voice whispers in my mind.
He pulls back and starts kissing down my neck. It feels like his mouth is everywhere, not leaving any part of me unkissed as he works his way down my body, stopping at my navel and licking around it. I feel myself smile down at him, and his eyes find mine.
A dimple forms in his cheek, the little bit of scruff on his face doing nothing to hide it. It makes my stomach flutter.
“You know.” His big hands come to my hips, gripping them firmly and holding me in place. Not that I had any intention of trying to get away from this man. He keeps calling me his wife, and I’m on board with that. It feels right. He’s here, pulling me from the darkness. Bringing me back to life. “Maybe I already put my baby inside of you. I lost count how many times I came inside you.”
The word makes heart jump, my eyes flying open.
Soft darkness fills the room, and I go to bring my hand to my stomach, but I stop when I realize I have someone else’s hand in mine. I look down to see a head of dark hair lying next to our joined hands. It’s the man from my dream. He’s even more massive in person, filling up the chair that he has pushed up to the hospital bed.
I can’t remember anything. Just the overwhelming need to know if my baby is okay.
He looks tired. His hair is messy, just like in my dream, but his face looks exhausted even in sleep. Dark circles are under his eyes. I look around the room. It’s clear I’m in a hospital, but it almost looks like a fancy hotel suite. I would think it was one, if not for the monitors beeping beside me.
My eyes snap to one of them, and I feel a lump form in my throat. It’s the baby’s heartbeat. I watch the green lines go up and down while paper spills out of the machine, keeping track of it all. Suddenly, I feel wetness hit my cheeks. The baby is okay.
I look back to the man holding my hand. The one who’s filled my dreams for what feels like forever. Maybe it has been forever, because those dreams are all I remember. And the baby. As if on cue, I feel a little flutter in my stomach, making more tears leak from my eyes.
I place my other hand over the spot where I felt it, wanting to feel it again, but I feel nothing. Rubbing my hand along my belly, I try to remember. What am I, four months or five months along? The bump is noticeable, even with the blanket over me.
I look back to the man still holding my hand and slowly pull mine from his grasp. I bring it to his hair, running my fingers through it. The action seems normal. Like I’ve done it a thousand times. The silky strands glide through my fingers.
“Molly,” he mumbles, a soft smile pulling at his lips, and it makes me wonder if I’m Molly. If he’s like the man in my dreams. If he’s my adoring husband. That’s all I can remember seeing: the perfect man who fills my world and makes the loneliness slip away.