“I can’t, man. I hate leaving Sophie right now. She just reached the eighth-month mark, and the doctor said she could go into labor any time. Her doctor’s appointments have moved to every week. They’re concerned because she’s already begun to dilate.”
“We could really use you right now.”
“I told you before—Sophie’s my priority,” I remind him. When this whole thing started, I told everyone that I’m not going to start working until after the babies are born and I know Sophie will be okay on her own with them.
“I know. I just thought you would relax some after you moved,” he confesses.
“I can’t relax. I still have no clue who was after her or if they still are. Now, with her due date getting closer, I’ve gotten even more nervous. I swear I feel like I’m constantly on edge. I know something’s going to happen. I just don’t know when or how to prepare for it.”
“Has anything happened?”
“No, nothing.” I rub my hand over my face.
“You’re probably just nervous about becoming a dad. When Jenna had Lynn, I was a nervous wreck.”
I’m not nervous about becoming a dad; that’s the one thing I never really worry about. I know that, with Sophie as my kids’ mother, the rest will fall into place. Plus, I have a shitload experience with kids now. I’m not nervous about having my own; I’m ready for that, even knowing how much work it will be.
“How are Jenna and Lynn?” I forgot all about his fiancée and daughter because he never talks about them.
“Jenna is a bitch and Lynn is beautiful.”
“What? I thought you guys were getting married.”
“Yeah, I thought we were getting married too until I found out she was sleeping with her high school sweetheart behind my back,” he growls into the phone.
“Shut the f**k up. She did that?” I knew Jenna had a tendency to act like my old neighbor Deb, but I never imagined her cheating.
“She did. And had been doing it for about six months when I found out.”
“Why didn’t you ever say anything?”
“You mean why didn’t I tell everyone my ex-fiancée was having an affair when she was supposed to be at work? I felt like an idiot, and when I caught on to what was happening, she blamed me and my job, saying I wasn’t around when she needed me.”
“Shit. I’m sorry,” I tell him, rubbing the back of my neck.
“I’m not. I’m glad I found that shit out before I gave her my last name.”
“True, man. How are things with Lynn? She’s what, three now?”
“Perfect. If it wasn’t for her, I would be pissed I wasted so much time on her mother. That’s why I’m tellin’ you Sophie’s safe. You’re just nervous about having not only one, but two kids.”
“It’s not that, man. You’re a cop. You know that feeling you get in your gut when something is off. That’s what I feel. It’s not nerves.” I shake my head.
“You want me to do anything?”
“I don’t think there is anything anyone can do right now. That’s the f**ked-up part. I have done all I can to make sure she is safe and that, even if I’m not around, she will be okay.”
“Well, you know if you need me I’m here.”
“Thanks. As soon as I know when I can start, I’ll let you know.”
“Looking forward to it. Everyone’s excited to have Nico Mayson on board. Cap’ wanted me to see about Kenton joining the team too, but I told him that shit was not gonna happen.” He chuckles.
“Yeah, not happening, especially not right now.”
“Why? What’s going on right now?”
“Nothing. Kenton just doesn’t like red tape.”
“Your cousin’s crazy.”
He’s not wrong; Kenton does his own thing and doesn’t like anyone telling him when or how it should be done.
“All right, man. We’ll talk soon.”
“Yeah, man. Talk to you soon.” I hang up, watching Daisy and Goose for a few more minutes before heading inside to check on Sophie. I still have that feeling in my gut, and I have no idea what I’m going to do to get rid of it, but I want it gone before my kids are born.
“Goose, what the f**k?” I yell, chasing him up the stairs to where Sophie is supposed to be taking a nap. The moment I get to the second floor and look down the hall towards our bedroom, I see the giant dog scraping the door, trying to get inside. “What the hell?”
I run to the door, swinging it open. Sophie’s on the floor, her body wrapped around her belly. Her face is red and sweaty, and tears are running down her face onto the hardwood floors.
“Baby.” I get down on my knees in front of her, running a hand over her head.
“Something’s wrong!” she cries out, wrapping herself tighter around her belly.
“Are you having contractions?”
“Yes, but I think there’s something wrong,” she cries harder, her body trembling. My first instinct is to pick her up and get her to the car, but something is off, and I don’t want to make this worse for her.
“I don’t think I should move you,” I tell her, grabbing the phone off the nightstand and dialing 911.
Once the dispatcher answers, I tell her what’s going on. She tells me that I need to check Sophie over, so I lift the bottom of her nightgown up to her waist before helping her onto her back and pulling off her panties. I spread her legs and don’t see the babies, so I take that as a good sign. I tell the woman on the phone that there is no blood or anything else I can see just as I hear sirens outside.
“Oh God!” Sophie screams, shoving her face into my lap, and then, without warning, I feel her teeth sink into the skin of my thigh. I grit my teeth, running a hand down her hair. Whatever pain I’m feeling right now is nothing compared to what she’s feeling.
“I gotta get the door, babe,” I tell her becoming more concerned.
Her face has paled, her breathing is more shallow, and her skin is now cool and damp. She doesn’t say anything, but she whimpers when I stand to leave.
“I’ll be right back. Goose, come.” I point to the floor where Sophie is. He whines, laying his head on top of her arms still wrapped around her waist.
I run down the stairs and throw the door open, not even bothering to make sure they’re following before I run back up the stairs. “My wife is eight months pregnant and was laying down for a nap. I found her on the floor of our room, and she said she’s having contractions, but something’s wrong.”