Protecting Her
Author:Allie Everhart

“Yes. She, uh…” I choke up just saying it. “She lost a lot of blood and her blood pressure dropped rapidly. The doctor said she could have died.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” my mother says softly. “But she’s doing better?”

“Yes. They gave her some blood and now they’re monitoring her.” I check my watch. “I need to call her. Would you excuse me?”

“Of course. Go ahead.”

I get up to go to my office to call her, but then the baby monitor goes off.

“I’ll check on him,” my mother says.

I nod and continue to my office. I call Rachel’s hospital room, and after several rings, she answers.

“Rachel, did I wake you?”

“Yes, but it’s fine. I was waiting for your call and I just dozed off.”

“Sweetheart, if you want to talk to me, just call.”

“I didn’t want to wake the baby. How is he?”

“He’s good. He’s sleeping. He doesn’t seem to care for his crib though. He prefers to be held.”

“He gets that from me. You know how much I like to be hugged.”

I smile. “I hadn’t considered that to be a genetic trait, but it makes sense now. He is like you that way.”

“I already miss him. I miss both of you. Are you doing okay with him? I’m worried about you there alone without any help.”

“I have some help. I called my mother.”

“You did?”

“Yes. She’s here now.”

“Pearce, what happened? What did she say?”

“I called and told her we had a child, and before I could ask her for help, she volunteered. She was here within the hour. And she’s staying the night. She’s actually been quite helpful. She knows more about babies than I thought she did.”

“What about your father?”

“My mother is no longer speaking to him. Apparently, they’ve been arguing for months about his refusal to allow me back into the family. My mother claims she’s going to convince him to end this feud, and if he doesn’t, I don’t know what will happen.”

“Do you think they’d divorce?”

“No. She wouldn’t divorce him.”

I can’t tell Rachel this, but the truth is my mother is not allowed to divorce my father. It’s against the rules of the organization. Only in rare cases does Dunamis allow divorces. I’m still surprised they allowed me to divorce Kristina, my first wife.

“Well, I’m glad that she’s there for you. And spending time with her grandson. Maybe the baby will help bring us all back together as a family. It would be nice if Garret could have his grandparents in his life, or at least his grandmother.”

It surprises me that Rachel would want my parents to be in Garret’s life. My mother and father have either ignored Rachel or treated her horribly, and yet she chooses to forgive them and welcome them back into our lives.

“I don’t know if my father will ever come around,” I tell her, “but my mother seems committed to being part of our lives again.”

“I’m happy to hear that, Pearce. I think it’s good.”

“Are you okay there? Do you need anything?”

“No. I’m fine. The nurses are taking good care of me.”

“Maybe I should come by and see you before you go to sleep.”

“You need to be home with the baby. I’ll see you both tomorrow.”

“That’s not soon enough. I’m not used to being apart from you. I didn’t sleep at all last night without you here, and I’m sure I won’t sleep tonight either.”

She laughs a little. “Our son will make sure of that. He’ll probably be up every hour or two.”

“Yes, I suppose you’re right.”

“Oh, I keep forgetting to ask, did you call Shelby?”

“No. Sorry. With everything going on, I haven’t had time.”

“That’s okay. I’ll call her. Maybe she could stop by when you’re here with the baby tomorrow.”

“Isn’t she out of town?” I ask.

Shelby’s mother won a trip to Las Vegas, so the two of them have been there all week.

“She should be back now. I think she got back last night.”

Rachel is still friends with Shelby, despite my constant reminders to Shelby that she cannot be friends with my wife. They don’t see each other as much as they used to, but they still talk on the phone.

At least Shelby finally broke up with Logan, but she dated him for over a year before she did it. They broke up last January, but they still talk to each other. Logan isn’t giving up on her. I had lunch with him just a few weeks ago and asked him if he was dating anyone. He said he hasn’t because he can’t get over Shelby.

Rachel keeps trying to get Shelby to date Logan again. I keep telling Rachel to stop getting in the middle of it, but she won’t. She thinks those two belong together, and I hate to admit it, but she’s right. It doesn’t make sense because Shelby and Logan are complete opposites. He’s quiet, calm, and serious, and she’s always joking around and talking and full of energy. I guess opposites really do attract sometimes.