Chapter 4:

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He let her sleep until 9:30 the next morning; amazed that her own alarm hadn’t woken her bright and early at 5 am like normal. He heard noise from the bedroom and knocked lightly on the door.

“Liv? It’s Elliot, is everything alright?” He opened the door to her bedroom; he thought she was still asleep until a tiny moan escaped from her lips.

“I can’t move without feeling like I’m going to be sick, I can’t get out of bed!” she had lowered her voice to a tentative whisper in the hopes that it wouldn’t jar her roiling stomach.

 “Shh, stay still I’ll be back in a sec”. He grabbed the paper bag full of groceries he had gone out to get that morning while she was still sleeping. He came back with a package of saltines and pressed one into her hand. “God, El I don’t want food right now, I want to die”. “Good, now see your sense of humor is already returning” he joked back.

Cautiously, she ate one cracker, then another and another; she breathed a sigh of relief. “Feeling any better?” “Much thanks” Olivia replied as she walked into the kitchen after her shower. “We’re going to be late for your appointment, let’s go”. Elliot picked up her coat and waited expectantly by the door.

“Uh, Elliot – I, uh, hadn’t really planned on you going to the appointment with me, I’ll be fine now El. Thanks for your help”.

“You really expect me to let you go through this alone?”

 “Exactly El, it shouldn’t be a matter of you LETTING me do anything! This is the problem; I don’t need you permission or approval”

Elliot wasn’t about to make the same mistake twice. “Hear me out Liv; I don’t want you to go through this alone. You shouldn’t have to either. I want to be there for you, for our baby. At least you have to allow me that Olivia”. “El – I don’t want this to ruin what we have, or affect our relationship or…” “Let’s just get through this day by day, starting with the doctors and making sure mother and baby are doing okay”.

Olivia nodded, brown eyes filled with uncertainty. Elliot drove to the appointment at a clinic on the upper east side on 43rd street. As they drove, he glanced over repeatedly at Olivia who didn’t say a word the entire time they were in the car. But as they passed by a couple walking with a stroller near central park, she smiled wistfully at the pair who were so obviously in love and placed her hands over her own stomach. He yearned to pull aside her coat and shirt to see if there were any changes in her body yet made by their baby that lay nestled deep beneath her tender touch.

She barely noticed as he parked the car and jumped slightly as he placed his own hand over hers where it lay over her belly “we’re here Liv”.

She nodded brusquely and got out of the car. Elliot made to guide her by gently cupping her elbow as she walked up the stairs but she shrugged him off; “I’m fine El, I’m not going to break”. He backed off reluctantly and waited while she filled out the registration forms at the front desk.

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