She thought of his many calls since the two weeks she’d spurned him and told him to go. Sometimes, she picked up and managed a stilted conversation keeping him posted about the pregnancy. Other times, she simply disregarded the call, telling herself not to be softened by his apparent solicitude. Where was he all those months, when he’d left her on her own while he’d tended to his precious company abroad?
Maya had dozed off with all those thoughts swirling, and when she roused from her nap it was to a splitting headache, worse than any of the ones she’d had of late.
She cursed herself for taking the risk of coming out this far out of town on her own. The acute pains that racked her skull almost made it impossible to reach for her phone on her bedside drawer. Finally, she grasped the mobile and pressed the needed number. She felt an almost dizzying relief that almost an instant later, a deep voice came on the line.
“Maya?” The sound of hope in Alain’s voice made her heart churn along with her head. He sounded so glad to hear from her she wanted to cry at all her foolishness. How could she have been so stupid as to let her pride stand in the way, after accusing Alain of making the same mistake?
But just as she readied to pour out her emotions and tell him she was sorry for being so blind and judgmental, she felt her vision blur as her head swam round and round. “Alain, I don’t feel so good,” she worded, and then gasped in pain, the phone slipping out of her fingers. The last sound she was conscious of as she drifted into blackness, was Alain’s voice calling for her. Then, nothing.
In the dim hospital room, the machines beeped softly along with the mounted TV with the weather forecast on, the volume low. Maya felt groggy as she came awake, and looked around unsure for a moment, as to why she was there.
Bit by bit, the events of the last many hours came flying back to her memory. Unable to keep her heavy eyelids up, she let them drift closed again as sleep again took over.
Somehow, Alain had found her. Maya had no clue how, considering she hadn’t told anyone where she’d be. He’d appeared right in her bedroom and carried her limp body up in his arms. She was barely conscious of his soothing voice, tinged with its own worry and fear. She was placed at the back of the car, her head resting on Alain’s laps as they were driven to the hospital.
From there it was a blur of activities. Tests to check if the baby and mother were okay, and then the doctors diagnosing high blood pressure as the culprit for Maya’s collapse. Thankfully it was nothing some rest and proper diet couldn’t fix, and would have no adverse effect on the pregnancy or delivery. Maya had felt relieved to know that, even as she shifted in and out of alertness. One constant thing, was the feeling of a familiar touch of hands, linking with hers and offering warmth and strength even without saying a word.
Maya felt safe just knowing Alain was right there next to her, making sure everything was okay with her and the baby.
When she woke up again, she turned her head to the side and saw the flowers, cards, balloons and even stuffed animals piled there. She turned to the other side, and smiled weakly when she saw Alain seated right next to her bed. His head rested forward on his chest, his arms folded as he nodded in obvious exhaustion. Maya’s smile deepened even as she felt bad for causing him to worry and lose sleep. She lifted a hand to reach out and brush back his dark, silky locks when suddenly, she let out a shocked gasp.
Her outstretched hand was dazzling thanks to the biggest, most fabulous engagement ring she’d ever seen in her life. Her jaw dropped in amazement as she tried to remember where the hell it had come from. It was so beautiful, set in a gorgeous cluster that winked and stunned.
Managing to break out of her daze, Maya again reached for Alain’s lowered head and ran her fingers through his hair, marveling at how the diamonds gleamed against his dark mane.
Roused by her touch he came awake, his head lifting. He looked disoriented for a moment then shook himself alert, before breaking out in a huge, disarming grin. “Never have I been gladder to see those beautiful brown eyes,” he told her huskily. “You know how scared out of my mind I was?”
He leaned forward to drop a tender kiss on her forehead, and Maya’s heart fluttered. Damn, did she love the hell out of this man.
“Would you by any chance, have something to do with this?” she asked in a voice slightly thick, as she wagged her ringed hand under his nose.
Alain smiled, looking unrepentant as he grabbed her hand and kissed each finger. “I was hoping you’d like it.”
“I’d be crazy not to like it – it’s beautiful! But, what does it mean?”