Chapter Thirty Eight: Terrified

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"Tell me what's wrong," you whisper.

Tom's head is buried in your shoulder and you feel the wetness from his eyes soak into your shirt.

"Thomas."

"I'm terrified," he sobs.

"Of what?"

"Make me stay. Tell me I can't go away to film."

"Tom. I can't make you stay. We both know you have to go. What are you so afraid of?"

"Everything. What if you go into labor while I'm gone? Or worse yet, what if something goes wrong? I don't want to lose you."

"Tom. What makes you think you're going to lose me?"

His head buries deeper into your shoulder.

"It's okay," you say softly, running your fingers through his curls. "Everything will be okay. Tell me, why are you worrying about this now?"

"I had a dream last night."

"A bad one?"

"Yes. You went into labor while I was gone. You couldn't get to the hospital. I came home and..." he trails off.

"And?" you ask quietly, even though you're sure you know what comes next.

"I lost both of you."

You feel your breath hitch. You pull back and look at your husband. You wipe the tears from his face.

"Everything will be fine. We planned this out a long time ago. You'll only be filming for a few weeks. I'm not due until after you get back. Even if I do go into labor before then, we have people lined up for me to call. It will be okay. Do you believe me?"

There's a pause before he nods his head.

"Okay," you smile halfheartedly.

You lie there for a moment, holding Tom's shaking body in your arms. You feel strange. It's usually the other way around. He's usually the one who has to comfort you. You shut your eyes and feel a tear escape.

"Tom," you whisper, trying to keep your voice steady.

He hears the odd tone it carries and pulls back.

"Promise me something," you say, not looking at him.

"What?" his voice has gotten hard.

"Promise me that if something does go wrong...promise me you'll save the baby. If there's an option, save the baby."

"No," he's shaking his head. "No, no, no. I can't. I can't lose you."

"Tom-"

"No! I can't. I won't lose you."

The tears are flowing down his cheeks. His eyes are red and puffy. Your hands move up to cup his face tenderly, and you kiss his forehead.

"Promise me."

His breath is shaky. He looks you in the eyes and bites his lip.

"I can't."

"I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I knew that I lived and our child didn't."

"I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I knew that our child lived and you didn't. I would never be able to look at the child the same way. I would always think of you, and it would always hurt."

You stare at each other for a long while, neither of you giving in. You sigh and lean your forehead against his.

"Do you love me?" you ask.

"Of course."

"Do you love this baby?"

"Yes."

"Then for me? Please promise me this one thing."

His shaky hand moves to brush the hair out of your face. "Okay," he chokes.

"But Tom, everything is fine. The doctor says there shouldn't be any problems. I'm healthy, the baby is healthy. We really don't have anything to worry about."

"I know. I'm just so scared. And then after the baby is born, we're going to be parents. What if we mess up? What if we do something terribly wrong? We're going to have to take care of another human being."

"Thomas. You're going to be a wonderful father. You have absolutely nothing to worry about. If you get something wrong, I'll be right there beside you, ready to help. And I know that you'll be right there by me when I mess up. Together we'll get through this. There's nothing to worry about."

He sighs. "I love you."

"I love you, too."

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