–He hates me! I have ruined everything! Stupid, stupid, STUPID! The tape of personal accusations kept playing over and over again in her head as she stumbled through the vegetation. She really did not have a plan of where she was going. Just that she needed to get away. But the only one she really wanted to get away from was herself and that turned out to be a little harder. She only stopped when the pain in the lower part of her body that had been there all day did shake her body.
She saw her almost immediately as she past the last branches of the covered tunnel and out in the clearing. An elderly woman, with long grey hair that looked so familiar that Emma could have sworn she knew her from somewhere. But she also knew that she had never met the woman before.
–Did you know I was coming? Emma had a hard time hiding her surprise.
–Of course I did child. The ravens have not been chatting about anything else the last couple of days. And when they get talking there is no stopping of them. They can besuch a bunch of chatter-boxes don’t you think? Anyway, I am happy that I get a few days heads up. It is not every day you get a visit from your long lost granddaughter is it…?
–Say w-w-w-wh-aaaaa- nggggh!?! The contraction came hard this time and was so intense that Emma felt a deep urge to claw at the walls of the cabin.
Emma nodded silently. The elderly woman gently bent down and touched Emma’s belly with her fingertips. First on her left side, then on the right, then coninuing doing the same gentle pattern vertically. She did it slowly, only stopping when the intense pain rode Emma’s body again and again. More painful and longer for each time.
–Dear child, the woman said. I fear you are in labour.
–What? No? That can not be! I am not due in sev…….. (Nggggggh!!!!!) Emma had to stop since the contractions that now came regularily stopped her from speaking.
–Well, Children are not known to come on our schedule child. They come when they decide to come. Apprently, this little one have decided to come today. Now I truly know why the birds were so exited! Here, let me help you get back to the the campingground so that we can get you to a hospital!
They walked slowly, very slowly back to civilization again. Emma leaning on the elderly woman that just broke the news that she apparently were her grandmother. The woman herself, apparently totally unaware of what a huge news this was, leaned on her cane. When they arrived to the basecamp the contractions came very close and Emma was in such a terrible pain that she litterally saw stars in front of her eyes each contraction. Strangely enough, the pain did not seem as severe when she was holding on to her grandmothers hand.
The ambulancehelicopter and paramedics stood ready when they arrived to base-camp and although it felt like she would deliver her baby there and then in the helicopter, arriving at the hospital the baby was still a no-show. The same went for Ashton. He had not flown with Emma in the helicopter and deep down she knew what that meant. He was gone. Over and over she could hear him saying:
-I do not want to be your boyfreind!
That realisation hurt even more than the contractions.
But then, as she was rolled in to the delivery room he came running. The doors to the room was flung open and despite the nurses protesting loudly he ran directly to Emma’s bed.
-Ash… I thought you were gone. You said…. After all I did…?
-Sssssshh Princess, do not talk. Save your strenght. That can wait for now. Right now you need to concentrate on having this baby!
And concentrate she did and just an hour and a half after she had arrived to WC General she gave birth to a little baby boy. All the way through the birth-process Ashton was at her side. He wiped her forhead with a cool cloth, talked soothingly when she wanted to give up, did not flinch a bit when she cursed at him for almost a half minute. He let her squeeze his hand hard when a contraction surprised her and he did not even flinch even though it must have hurt really badly. When the baby was making hir way out in this world via her body, all of a sudden Emma was filled with this overshadowing love. For the baby of course, but mostly for this amazing man sitting at her side. That had been there with her no matter what. Who was willing to sacrifice so much for a child that was not even his. A man that was pretty ruggedly handsome too. Why had she not seen that before?
–I love you! Her lips formed the word, but no sound came over them more than a whisper as the first child of generation 3 Bastian Granite was born.
The day after, she was allready up and walking around and decided it was time to check herself out. Ashton came with some clothes for her, some for Bastian and a big flower bouqet.
–Thank you! Emma said sincerly and kissed him on the cheek. Thank you for EVERYTHING!
-Of course Princess, I would do anything for you, did you not know that?
Back at home Emma went in into her own little bubble together with Bastian. Everything started to be focused around him, it had to be since he was just a baby. At the beginning, she anxiously started to look for signs of his father in his baby features. But his hair was sun-blonde like hers not red and his face, well it was his own for now. So she soon let those worries go and the love and bond between grew.
Time flew by without any of the little family even noticing. After a few months though the routines as parents had finally started to set in and Emma and Ashton could manage to squeeze some adult-time for a few hours some rare evenings when Bastian was finally asleep in his cot upstairs. It felt strange at first for Emma sitting there with Ash pretending like it was raining and everything was just fine. But she realized soon that the more she was faking it – the more she was making it. After a while she started to feel really comfortable in his presence. And after yet a while a sort of common ground had developed between them built on respect and shared daily life this time.
And there it was, Emma’s laughter. The same laughter that he had fallen in love with so many months ago. When he heard it he knew that things were gonna work out just fine. They were going to be fine. As long as he could keep his true feelings for her hidden everything would be OK. Because he still remembered the harsh words from her that fatal day at the cabin: -You are not my boyfreind! And he did not want her to know the truth, for risking to scare her away. So although he wanted nothing more, he kept his mouth shut.
-I guess I could blame it all on my pregnancy hormones. But truth is, you totally caught To be honest I thought many times it was too good to be true. That I would wake up any second. And I did not want to be hurt. Not again….
-Don’t you worry Princess, Ash said with a soft voice. I am not going anywhere soon. We are freinds, remember? Best freinds. I intend to stick around for some time more!
-Yes, good. Freinds….. Emma thought that the disappointment in her voice must hav been obvious. But Ashton seemed totally unware.