Pulse, стр. 75

He was gone…

No more stolen breaths before a kiss…

No more racing hearts from a simple look…

No more tingling skin without a touch…

He was… gone.


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He’s gone…

“Emily,” the voice called louder.

With a gasp hurdling up her throat, Emily’s eyes flew open, as she tried to adjust to the bright lights above her. Drenched in sweat and coughing, she sat up, kicking off the sheets. The sound of quickened footsteps grew nearer.

“Jesus, baby. Are you okay?”

Emily’s eyes darted to the voice and her heart dropped when her gaze locked on Gavin. She rushed a hand to her mouth as she broke into hysterics. Body shaking like a leaf, and tears falling from her eyes in waves, Emily jumped from the bed and fell into Gavin’s warm embrace.

“You were dead,” she cried, smoothing her hands along his confused face. She needed to make sure he was real, make sure he was breathing, living. Her fingertips melted under the feel of his slight stubble as a painful contraction hit her, nearly knocking the breath from her lungs. She dragged her trembling hands along his bare chest as she feverishly kissed his lips, the words tumbling from her mouth between her panicked breaths. “Oh my God, Gavin. You died. You went for milk. The motorcycle.”

Gavin cupped Emily’s flushed cheeks and wiped her tears away with his thumbs. Staring into her eyes, a small smile touched his lips. “I’m here, sweets. Nothing happened. It was just a dream.”

“It wasn’t a dream,” Emily cried, hunching over. Holding her midsection, another contraction zipped across her stomach. “Oh, God.” She straightened, clinging to Gavin’s shoulders as she kissed him repeatedly. Not wanting to close her eyes, she stared into his as her mouth moved over his soft lips. “It was a nightmare. You were dead.” Another contraction followed by a kiss. “They shocked you. You wouldn’t breathe. I begged you to keep fighting, and you couldn’t. Your body gave up. Your mother’s face. Your father. Your brother. Everyone was devastated.”

Gavin gathered her tighter to his chest. Cradling her head, he ran his hands through her dampened hair. “Emily, calm down. I’m here, baby. I’m here.”

Still frantic, she couldn’t relax. Was he nuts? It was impossible. Visions of his lifeless body hung in her mind as clear as a cloudless sky. She pulled Gavin down to her lips as she continued to cry. “I love you. God, I love you so much, Gavin. I haven’t told you enough.” Another kiss, and another contraction. Zip. A deeper, shooting pain rippled through her stomach. These weren’t Braxton Hicks contractions. Nope. Slowly backing away, Emily looked at Gavin, her voice a whisper. “I love you, Gavin Blake,” she paused, wiping her hair from her forehead, “and we’re about to have this baby.”

Gavin swallowed and felt his eyes grow wide. “You’re in labor?” he questioned, unable to keep his voice from cracking as if he was a teenage boy going through puberty. “You’re not due for another three weeks.”

She was the one in labor, but Emily could tell Gavin looked as though he was about to lose his shit. Pulling in a slow, cleansing breath, Emily nodded. “Yes, but I need you calm, okay?”

Gavin cocked his head back, convinced she had really lost her mind. Two seconds ago she was bugging about him dying, but now she was about to bring their child into the world and she’d become freakishly relaxed. “The bag!” he blurted out, turning toward the closet. He flung open the door and stopped. Spinning around, his eyes went wider. “Fuck, we didn’t bring the bag. How are we supposed to do this without the bag?”

Though in slight physical discomfort, Emily felt mentally amazing. She stared at Gavin’s scared face, wanting to drown in his eyes. It seemed so unreal he was standing in the room with her. She moved toward him, and touched his cheek, cradling it in her hand. “The baby’s coming whether or not we have the maternity bag.”

“Right,” Gavin croaked, grabbing a pair of sweat pants and T-shirt. He slipped them on, trying his hardest to relax, but her calmness was making him nervous.

A subdued knock came at the door, followed by Olivia walking in. Sporting a pair of silk pajamas and furry bunny slippers, she squinted against the light. “You whackos do realize it’s almost three in the morning, right?” She yawned and rubbed a tired hand over her face. “Considering Jude and I are right next door, is it possible you two could, I don’t know, keep it down a little? You know I’m a light sleeper.”

“Emily’s in labor,” Gavin answered, searching for his keys on top of the dresser.

Olivia’s eyes went wide right about the same time another unwelcomed contraction started working its way through Emily’s stomach. Hunched over, she tried to breathe through the pain.

Olivia and Gavin rushed to her side, each grabbing her arm. Olivia’s mouth dropped open. “Holy shit, Em. We’re all the way in the Hamptons. What the hell are you going to do? Drive back to the city? I mean, your doctor’s there, not here.”

Emily shook her head, her eyes drifting between Gavin and Olivia. “What’s wrong with everyone?” she bit out, her voice not as sweet or calm as before. “I might be wrong, but women give birth all the time without maternity bags and without doctors they follow throughout their pregnancies. Right?”

“Right,” Gavin and Olivia answered in unison.

“Thank you,” Emily said, sinking onto the bed as she began to cry again. Between the pain and the nightmare, she was a mess.

Gavin glanced at Olivia, his voice feigning calm. “Can you get her out something to wear?”

Olivia nodded, and Gavin kneeled in front of Emily. Hands on her knees, he looked up into her eyes, thankful for everything she had and was about to give him. “I love you,” he whispered. Emily ran her fingers through his hair, a weak smile touching her lips. “Scared together, sweets. Remember that. I’m here.”

“Scared together,” Emily softly repeated, accepting a shirt and maternity leggings from Olivia.

“I’m going to wake everyone up.” Olivia popped a kiss on Emily’s cheek and another on Gavin’s head. “They need to know little Noah Olivia Alexander Blake will be here soon. Eek!” With that, she disappeared into the darkened hall.

Once again trying for the “I’m cool as a cat” act, when he was truly freaked the fuck out, Gavin helped Emily out of her pajamas and into her clothes. By the time they made it downstairs, the kitchen was awake with excited friends and family. Emily took a steeling breath as she stared at their smiling faces, her nightmare rushing back with full force. She couldn’t help it; she broke down, tears exploding from her eyes.

Gavin wrapped his arm around her shoulder. He had a pretty good idea why she was crying.

Frowning, Lillian pulled Emily into her embrace. “You can get meds at the hospital for the pain, sweetie.” She held her against her soft, black robe.

Taking in Lillian’s concerned but happy demeanor, given she was about to meet her third grandchild, Emily pulled herself from the nightmare and stopped crying.

“How far apart are the contractions?” Lillian asked. “You’ve been timing them, right?”

Gavin shook his head, his throat suddenly dry. Damn. He was fucking this all up. He hadn’t timed shit. He felt as if everything he’d learned in the many Lamaze classes he and Emily attended had flown right out the window.

“Just start timing them now,” Fallon offered, pulling a chair from the table. She tossed her silver and green-streaked hair into a pony tail and sipped her coffee. “I read if they’re closer than five minutes apart, the baby’s coming soon.”

Olivia shot her and Trevor a look. “You two are trying to have a kid, aren’t you?”