We get another teaser, Angels.
Are you ready?
WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN'T READ EVEN IN DARKNESS
Deep in the night, my bladder screamed at me, demanding that I get out of bed, even though it felt like I’d done the same thing ten minutes before. Blearily, I pulled off the covers and padded down the hall to our tiny bathroom. The cottage where we lived was originally Sarah MacKinnon’s mother’s home and it was a great size for one person. But the bathroom was minuscule, and felt even smaller now that I had a huge belly. With my eyes still closed, I wedged myself between the sink and the toilet and emptied the thimble that had become my bladder.
The baby shifted and I placed my hand over my stomach instinctively, feeling a bony knee or elbow move underneath my palm. A moment later, a swift kick underneath my ribs had me gasping for air. Damn, that hurt. Groaning, I hurried to finish up, thinking that maybe the baby would settle down if I got back into bed. When I stood to pull on my panties, I felt a pop and then a gush of fluid running down my legs. It felt like I was peeing all over myself, but there was nothing I could do to stop it. I knew what was happening, but I had no idea what to do. Should I stay in the bathroom? Should I call for Aiden?
This is it. Oh my goodness.
My heart rate kicked up with excitement and panic while I waddled sideways, then turned and tried to bend down to get a pad out of the cabinet under the sink. It was impossible. I simply couldn’t bend like that, especially not while I was streaming a river around my feet. I wanted to be self-sufficient and I didn’t want to wake Aiden because it could be hours before labor started, but I couldn’t go back to bed now. Hell, I couldn’t even leave the bathroom. Tears of frustration started to well up and I swallowed hard to keep it together.
“Aiden?” I called softly. His gentle snore told me he was completely out of it. I tried again, with more volume. “Aiden, honey?”
Two heavy footsteps echoed down the hall and then he was there: naked, tousled, his eyes wild and afraid. “What’s happened? Are ye hurt?” He swept his gaze over my body until he saw the puddle on the floor.
“My water broke,” I explained, like that wasn’t obvious.
His eyes snapped up and held mine. Deer in the headlights doesn’t begin to explain it. My confident, assured, strong, and resourceful husband simply stared at me.
All that childbirth preparation we’d done flew out the window as his brain clawed its way back from a dead sleep.
“Um, could you get a pad out for me? I can’t bend down to reach it,” I said, wondering how it was that, even dripping all over the floor, I was the voice of calm here. “And I need some new panties.”
“Right,” he said, then hovered in place for a second, trying to decide which to do first: head to the dresser or squeeze past me to dig through the bathroom cabinet. Before he made up his mind, I put my hand on his arm and gave a shaky laugh.
“Aiden, it’s happening. We’re having a baby.”
His eyes glistened with tears and he grabbed me in a hug. I clung to him, feeling my own eyes water. When he pulled away, he seemed to have come back to himself. He cupped my cheeks in his hands and kissed me lightly.
“I love you,” he said. “Dinna fash. I’m here.”
Grinning, I let the moment linger before I reminded him, “Still need those panties.”
And then he was off, streaking down the hall like he’d been shot out of a cannon