Maybe... Baby?

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Chapter 3

Lebo entered the waiting room, three coffees balanced in her hands. She looked at her exhausted colleagues and wished there was something more she could do for her team. Well she could share what the Head nurse of the ward had just told her.

“Talya is out of surgery.” She said, handing Mike and Ted a cup of coffee.

Mike raised an eyebrow expectantly.

“Lebo,” Ted asked. “Is she okay?”

“I don’t know. The nurse said she would come and get us once Talya was settled in the ICU. Manie and Storm are with her.” Lebo said stepping forward and into Mike’s arms. “She can’t have cancer and she has to be able to have babies. She just has to.”

Ted sighed as he stared at his laptop screen.

“What is it Teddy?” Mike demanded. Ted had been driving him crazy, clicking a few keys on his laptop and then sighing or gasping.

“What? Oh… nothing.” Ted replied distractedly.

“Don’t nothing me. What are you looking at?” Mike demanded, spinning the laptop around and looking at the screen.

“Whoa, gross!” Mike gagged. “What the hell is this?”

“It’s a picture of multiple cysts on an ovary. Polycystic Ovary syndrome” Lebo said, shutting down the page, only to find six more open.

“Yikes… that’s what Talya has been dealing with! What is that one?” Mike asked when Lebo revealed a picture of a dark brown ball.

“A chocolate cyst.” Lebo read. “These are cysts that form when endometrial tissue (the type that lines the inside of the uterus) invades an ovary. It is responsive to monthly hormonal changes, which causes the cyst to fill with blood. It’s called a ‘chocolate cyst’ because the blood is a dark, reddish-brown colour. Multiple endometriomas are found in the condition called "endometriosis". Although often asymptomatic, chocolate cysts can be painful, especially during your period or during intercourse.”

“Too much information. Too, damn much information. Why the hell are you looking these things up anyway, Teddy?” Mike demanded. He was anxious and irritated. Talya was out of surgery but they didn’t know how bad things were. He wanted to help her but he didn’t know how. And he wanted to help Storm but he didn’t know how to do that either. For a seasoned and astute investigator, he sure was coming up empty.

“I thought that if I could understand what Talya has … had and how it is likely to affect her, then I may be able to come up with some way to help her.” Ted replied frustration evident in his voice.

“Oh Teddy,” Lebo reached out and hugged him, “that’s so sweet of you.”

“Okay, so how do we help her?” Mike asked. He couldn’t help Talya and Storm right now, but he could help the rest of the team get through this. And keeping them occupied was the way to do that.

Teddy looked at Mike. “You’re serious?”

“What does it look like?” Mike replied.

“Time to do more research then boys,” Lebo said taking a seat between them. They flipped through search engines and web pages, taking turns reading all the treatment and support advice given.

Talya twisted her hands into Storm’s shirt, terror clenching her heart.

“Tell me!” She whispered. Storm’s arms around her offered a measure of support. The pain pinched and twisted in various parts of her abdomen. She felt like they had removed everything, shuffled it around and shoved it back in the wrong order inside her.

Oh, God… it’s bad… I can see it in her eyes… Talya thought, staring at the doctor.

“Well, Dr Coleman?” Storm growled. Talya could feel the tension from his body merging with her own. Then she remembered that he had forced her to go through with this. She loosed her grip on his shirt and pulled away from him to recline on the bed.

His gazed snapped to her face, a question visible in his eyes.

“I’d like you to leave.” She said it. Storm recoiled as if she’d slapped him.

“Talya?” He reached for her. She stopped his hand mid air and pushed it aside.

“Please, leave. This doesn’t affect you … or the team. I need to discuss my … my condition with my doctor… privately.” She said, her voice closing up with unshed tears.

It’s bad news… and if I’m less than a fully functioning woman, he wouldn't want me anyway… Talya was convinced of it.

“Jason,” Manie moved to Storm’s side. Storm stared at her, his expression inscrutable now. He stood up and left the room without a backwards glance. Manie followed a moment later, shaking his head. As he closed the door, a sob of anguish left Talya’s lips. He looked back at her, but she waved that he should leave as a torrent of tears made their way down her face.

“Talya, you need to calm down so that I can explain your situation.” Dr Coleman said stepping around the bed and taking a seat on the edge of the bed.

“How bad is it?” Talya asked once she was able to get her emotions under control.

“First I’d like to ask you a few questions.”

Talya nodded and Dr Coleman proceeded, “Who is your gynaecologist and when last did you see him or her?”

“I don’t have one.”

“Okay,” Dr Coleman didn’t do a good job hiding her surprise. Talya knew that she should have taken the time to find and visit a Gynae but she just didn’t like to think that there could be anything wrong with her on the inside.

“Did you suffer from any gynaecological problems that led you to use over the counter medication?”

“No.”

“Talya, you have to be honest with me.”

“Okay.” Damn it. “Candida and menstrual cramps sometimes.”

“How often do you engage in sexual intercourse?”

Talya blushed as she replied, “It’s been a few months since I’ve been with anyone.”

“Why?”

“What do you mean why?” Talya growled.

“Sorry, I don’t mean to be insensitive. Did you refrain from having sex because it was unpleasant, painful?”

“Maybe… I don’t know. I’ve just been too busy with work and didn’t have time to and the last time I tried to have sex … I had to throw the guy off me because it hurt like a…”

“Like?” Dr Coleman pushed.

“It hurt like a bitch.”

“I see.” Coleman sighed.

“No more questions. Just tell me how bad it is!”

“You have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. We found multiple endometriomas or chocolate cysts, in layman terms. Now the very large one ruptured and released infected blood into your pelvic cavity. In addition, you had another four cysts, two on each ovary. We removed all the cysts but were forced to remove some ovarian tissue on your right side.”

No.” Talya gasped.

“Talya both of your ovaries are still intact. The lab results should be out tomorrow, but from a preliminary examination, we do not think that the cysts were malignant. Due to the infected blood, we have you on a cocktail of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory meds, but I do not expect any complication.”

“My ovaries… they’re fine?” Talya asked hope blossoming in her heart.

Dr Coleman replied, “The left one should be in perfect working condition but the right may be compromised. Also given the fact that you do have PCOS, you are likely to have more cysts in the future. In addition to the cysts, we found endometriosis. This is inter uterine scarring and affects the embryo’s ability to implant successfully.”

“So I have maybe a 50 % change of conceiving and 0% chance of actually carrying the pregnancy forward.” Talya whispered, throwing her hand across her eyes to hide her tears.

“No, Talya.” Dr Coleman said.

Talya looked at her through her tears.

“We can’t say exactly what your chances are. But if you really want to have a baby you have to start trying immediately. We removed the endometriosis and the cysts. We just need you to have one menstrual bleed and we will do a few scans to clear you 100%, but then you can start trying to fall pregnant.”

“What. But I’m not even seeing anyone and even if I was I don’t think we would be ready to take it to that level just yet.” Talya’s mind was in a whirl.

There is a chance… Small or big doesn’t matter… It is a chance!

“The time is now,” Dr Coleman said. “The longer you wait the worse your chances will become. By the way intercourse should not hurt as much now, so I suggest you find a man and start trying, that is if having a baby is really what you want.”

“Of course I want to have a baby! But...”

“No buts. Rest now and we’ll talk more tomorrow. If you don’t have a partner in mind, we could try artificial insemination or in-vitro fertilization. I would be a bit hesitant to stimulate your ovaries as it could lead to more cysts, but we can discuss this tomorrow.” Dr Coleman said. She stood up, pressed the morphine pump and administered another doze of meds via Talya’s IV line.

Talya settled back and thought, find a man and start trying…

Find a man… and start trying…

Find … a … man … and … start … trying …

As she drifted off to sleep, the face of a silver haired angel entered her mind…

Storm…

Storm literally stormed out of the hospital and headed to the parking lot, ignoring the cold of the mid-winters night.

“Jason,” Manie rushed to keep up with him.

“Leave me alone, Manie.” Storm growled pacing.

How could she push me away like that?

“Because, you forced her to have surgery,” his mind shouted. “Damn it, she could have died without surgery.”

But now she might not be able to have children and that is a type of death isn’t it?

“No… God damn it NO!”He slammed his fist through his car window just as Manie caught up to him again.

“Jason!” Manie admonished.

Storm stared at his hand, surprised by the burning pain that radiated up his arm. He saw the jagged pieces of glass sticking out on his hand and the blood bubbling up and coating his hand. The pain, it felt good… better than the numbness that seemed to be spreading through the rest of his body.

Manie took his hand and he let him. Flexing it gently Manie seemed to do a quick examination. Lifting his hand above his heart, Manie loosely wrapped a handkerchief around it.

“Let’s get you back inside.” Manie said.

“It’s just a scratch.”

“A scratch filled with numerous shards of glass that will need to be removed.”

“Leave it be, Manie.”

“Jason, don’t make me call the Director and ….”

“Okay!” Storm growled.

He let Manie lead him back into the hospital and into the ER. Pain sizzled and throbbed through his fingers, hand and forearm. The amount of blood staining the handkerchief and the ground should have worried him, but his thoughts had returned to Talya.

She doesn’t know that I have feelings for her. Would it make a difference, if I told her?

Probably not, seeing as she hates me now.

I’ve killed her hopes of becoming a mother and there is no way I can fix this.

But what the hell did she expect me to do? Let her die?

Women! They’re not worth the trouble they cause…

Doesn’t she understand that I lo…

“Hey!” He grimaced as a doctor probed his wounds.

“Sorry, Agent Storm. What happened?”

“A window got in my way.” Storm hissed, the pain increasing tenfold now that he paid it some attention.

“Well, you’re in for more discomfort.” The doctor said before turning to a nurse and instructing her to administer a local anaesthetic so that he could fish out the tiny shards of glass. The nurse forced Storm to lie down. She lifted his arm onto a portable tray and told him to relax as she walked away. Moments later she returned with a tray containing a large syringe filled with a murky liquid, tweezers, pincers, cotton wool, disinfectant and a silver kidney dish.

“This is going to hurt.” She said plunging the syringe into his injured hand. He swore as an ice-cold liquid spread through his throbbing limb. She repeated the action five more times, plunging the needle into the sensitive skin between his fingers. Soon his hand felt frozen and numb.

The doctor returned and went to work on removing the glass. Despite the anaesthesia, the shards that were deeply imbedded hurt like hell as they were wrenched out of his flesh. Sighing… it was either that or growling, Storm tried to relax. That was when he heard Manie’s, one-sided conversation.

“Mike, could you come down to the ER.”

“No nothing serious. And there is no need to alarm Lebo or Teddy.”

“Yes, we are in cubicle 2.”

“We, that is Jason and I. Please just hurry and I will explain everything.” Manie said as he hung up.

“You didn’t have to call him.” Storm growled.

“Well someone has to drive you home and get the window fixed.”

“I’ll drive myself and I’ll get the damn window fixed.” Storm growled, jerking his hand just as the doctor prepared to remove a piece of glass. Storm’s action led to the glass and tweezers being shoved deeper into his hand.

“Hey, watch it!”

“Agent Storm, if you don’t calm down, I’m going to sedate you.” The doctor warned.

Storm glared at him, but the doctor ignored him reaching for the syringe and plunging it none too gently, deeper into his hand. The cold liquid spread like a slithering snake through the rest of his hand.

“Damn, I hate that.”

“Manie… Storm!” Mike gasped as he entered the cubicle. “What happened?”

“Nothing. You can leave.” Storm ordered.

“Mike, Jason will need a ride home in a few minutes. Oh and the passenger side window of his sedan will need to be replaced.” Manie said.

“What? How did the window…” Mike caught the look in Storm’s eyes and stopped himself from asking anything more.

“Did you see Talya?” Storm asked. He needed to know that she was going to be all right.

“Yes. She was asleep. The doctor said that both her … mmm … her …”

Oh God… No! Jason felt the world tilt. She can’t have lost both ovaries!

He jerked again and the nurse placed a firm hand on his upper arm to keep him still.

“Ovaries?” Manie said when Mike seemed unable to.

“Yeah, those… They’re both kind of okay.”

Storm closed his eyes. The tension left his body, leaving him giddy with delight, disbelief, hope! She’s going to be okay and … She’ll still be able to have a baby… Thank God…

“Cancer is likely to be ruled out but due to the internal bleeding,” Mike continued, his voice letting Storm know that he was fully aware of and stunned by Storm’s display of emotion. “Talya’s on antibiotics and she’ll have to remain in the hospital for the next 2 days.”

“Agent Storm,” the Doctor interrupted. “We’re going to prescribe antibiotics and pain killers and then you are free to leave.”

Storm looked at his hand all bandaged up. At the same time, the icy cold anaesthetic started to wear off and pain sliced through his hand. The nurse returned at that point and rolled up his shirtsleeve. She smiled apologetically as she administered two shots into his bicep in rapid succession.

“Pain killers and anti-inflammatory meds.” She said by way of explanation. “We would like to take a look at your hand in two days time, but if it starts festering, please come back immediately. You may have a slight fever for a day or two. This is normal. If it persists for more than 3 days you should come back and let us take a look.”

“Let’s get you home, Jason.” Manie said, helping Storm off the bed.

“Mike, take care of the window.” Storm said. Instead of walking out of the hospital, he moved towards the elevator.

Manie and Mike exchanged a look.

“I’ll get his prescription filled. And I’ll keep an eye on him and Talya.” Manie said moving towards the pharmacy.

“I’ll get the window fixed and be right back.” Mike said as elevator door close behind Storm.

Storm entered Talya's room quietly. He pulled a chair close to her bed and sat down. He hesitated a moment before taking her hand into his. She looked pale, but, none the less, beautiful. Her thick, auburn hair stood out in stark contrast to the white pillow. Her lips were pink and soft and he longed to taste them. But now was not the place or the time.

“You’re going to be okay, my love...” He whispered. Leaning forward he kissed her hand and heard her sigh in her sleep.

Everything’s going to be okay…

He settled back, his uninjured hand wrapped around hers as he drifted off to sleep.

Talya sighed as awareness returned. Her mouth was dry, her body tense and uncomfortable. The smells and the sounds of the hospital invaded her mind, bringing back the horror of what she had almost lost and could still loose. She felt a warm breeze caress her hand. That was the only warmth in the cold clinical room. Curious, she turned towards it.

Storm?

He was asleep, his hair rumpled, a lock falling forward and caressing his eyebrow. His face was relaxed, more so than she had ever seen. His fingertips rested on hers and his head was cradled on his wrist. He was simply adorable in this unguarded and somewhat intimate moment.

Why are you here?

She remembered pushing him away. She knew that there could never be anything between them... or could there? Find a man and start trying... The doctor’s words echoed through her thoughts.

She stared at Storm and dared to imagine...

He would be a skilled lover. He would be the one man who could tame her, force her to give her all... because she trusted him. He would demand as good as he gave, but would she be able to meet his needs and satisfy them... What would she do if it hurt too much?

“No... No, it can never be... not that way. Oh Storm…” she sighed.

A nurse arrived and took her vital signs. Wordlessly, she administered a dose of meds through Talya’s IV line before leaving. Talya looked back at Storm and allowed a lone tear to roll down her cheek.

It can never be.

Manie stood in the far corner of the room, watching Talya caress Storm’s head. Their feelings are mutual if hidden, he mused.

When he was sure Talya was asleep, he approached the bed. Gently he shook Jason’s shoulder, waking him.

“Talya?” Storm demanded his voice sharp.

“She’s asleep,” Manie whispered as he helped him to his feet. Storm looked at Talya, leaned forward and placed a delicate kiss on her brow. When she sighed, he smiled.

“She is stable and comfortable now,” Manie, said taking Storm by the arm and leading him out of the room. “Mike will drive you home,” Manie continued nodding at Mike who was striding towards them. Storm looked from Manie to Mike, before turning to the window that looked into Talya’s room.

“I’ll stay with her.” Manie reassured him.

Storm nodded turned away and wordlessly followed Mike out of the hospital to the waiting car.

Mike glanced at Storm as he drove through the now quiet streets of the up market Johannesburg suburb. Storm’s eyes were close as he reclined in the passenger seat of the SUV. The window was fixed thanks to a friend of a friend would owed Mike one. Arriving at Storm’s house Mike walked ahead of him into the house. Storm looked at him but said nothing.

Mike headed into the kitchen and opened the fridge. Grabbing a few ingredients, he called out, “Boss I’ll have something whipped up to eat in a few minutes. You can take a shower and relax until then, but don’t go to sleep yet.”

“Not hungry.” Storm said, heading for the stairs.

“I have strict orders to make sure you eat something and take your meds. And as much as I fear you, I’m not about to disobey Manie’s orders.” Mike replied.

“DeLuca!” Storm reverted to using his agent’s surname, a clear sign that he was short on patience.

“Storm.” Mike returned in a similar tone. Seeing the flash of anger in Storm’ eyes heartened Mike. It was better than the “Step Ford Wife” impersonation Storm had been doing up to now. They stared at each other for a long moment, Mike trying to communicate that he was here if Storm wanted to talk.

But Storm never talked about himself, at least not to anyone of his subordinates. He confided in Manie, purely because they knew each other for years and Manie was the only one who could get through to Storm when he went off into one of his intense moods. But Mike could see that Storm was struggling to keep his emotions about Talya’s condition under wraps. But he didn’t know what to do get his Boss to reveal the real reason for his black mood.

Of course being Agents they’d all been injured at one time or another on the job. Storm had always been, worked up about them, hovering around them until they were back on their feet. But this was different. This was Talya and this was definitely very different.

Mike looked away and busied himself with preparing the meal.

“You better hurry or the food will be cold when you get back.” Mike casually said.

“Don’t forget the coffee.” Storm said, giving in before heading up the stairs to his bedroom to change.

“Three sugars right?” Mike grinned, relief flooding his system.

“DeLuca!”

“That’s 3 sugars in mine.” Mike replied putting the kettle on to boil.

The next morning Talya was moved to a general ward. After breakfast, she asked to see Dr Coleman. Manie decided to give them some privacy as Dr Coleman examined Talya. Dr Coleman called Manie back in and confirmed that everything was in order. Talya’s blood results also revealed that the infection counters were going down and the lab results confirmed that the cysts were benign. Manie left them saying something about having to check on his elderly mother.

Talya was relieved that he had left. She didn’t want him to hear the next part of her conversation with Dr Coleman.

“Tell me what fertility options are open to me.” Talya said.

Dr Coleman sat on the edge of Talya’s bed and said, “Artificial Insemination is the least invasive.”

Talya nodded for her to go on.

“We would wait for your period to begin and then give you fertility drugs by means of pills and injections from day five of your cycle up to day twelve. You would need to come in for regular scans and blood tests so that we can see how many follicles are growing. We would not over stimulate you as we want to prevent the reappearance of cysts.”

“Is it painful?” Talya asked. Her abdomen was bloated and achy.

“Some women experience discomfort and heaviness as the follicles grow. Others feel nothing.”

“What happens next?”

“When the follicles have reached the right size, we will give you a shot to force the follicles to rupture. This can be quiet painful depending on how many rupture.”

“Great.” Talya grimaced.

Dr Coleman smiled sympathetically before saying, “For 3 days after that we will release a prepared sample of semen directly into your uterus and you will have to remain immobile for about 45 minutes after each session.”

“So you will need a sperm sample on those days.” Talya bit her lower lip.

“Yes, if your partner is providing the semen, we will need a sample now to ensure that it is of good quality. Then we would need a fresh sample on each day of planned insemination. We would need to get it, process it and insert it within an hour of ejaculation to maintain the quality of the sample.”

“I don’t have a partner.” Talya said, frustration working its way into her tone.

“You could choose from a sperm bank, that is, if you are ready to start trying to have a baby.”

“Of course I am!” Talya growled. Dr Coleman looked at her as if waiting to her to calm down.

“Sorry,” Talya said. Get a grip! It’s not her fault you’re in this situation.

Dr Coleman nodded her head in understanding.

“What is the success rate of this procedure?” Talya asked.

“Approximately forty percent.”

“That’s not too good.” Talya complained. “What are my other options?”

“IVF or GIFT. These are much more invasive and require going into theatre. With both procedures we would give you drugs to control your cycle and suppress your body’s natural processes.”

“Why?”

“Because we need to know exactly what is happening and when it is happening. Once again using pills and injections, we will stimulate your ovaries to produce a number of follicles. Based on the measurements of your follicles we will take you into theatre. For IVF we will, so call, flush your ovaries to retrieve the eggs vaginally. These will be fertilized in a Petri dish, and monitored for 3 days. On the 3rd or 4th day, you’ll be taken back into theatre so that a maximum of three fertilized embryos can be returned to your uterus. This is done vaginally. More hormones will be given to maintain the walls of your uterus and to aid attachment and growth of the embryos. And then we wait for approximately 2 weeks before a pregnancy can be confirmed.”

“How does GIFT differ?” Talya felt a headache coming on as she contemplated the clinical and ‘unnatural’ medical options of falling pregnant.

“With GIFT, you would have to undergo a laparoscopy. Your ovaries will be flushed to retrieve the eggs. In theatre, three eggs will be introduced into the semen sample and the mix will immediately be returned to your fallopian tubes so that fertilization can take place inside your body. If there are more eggs, they will be added to a second sample of semen. If fertilization takes place and if by the third day the embryos are healthy and viable, they will be frozen. These embryos can be used if a second cycle of treatment is required. The process thereafter is the same as with IVF.”

“Success rates?” Talya asked.

“Up to seventy percent on the first attempt. If frozen embryos are used the percentage drops to around twenty-five percent. But every woman is different and there is no way of accurately predicting who will be successful and during which cycle of treatment.” Dr Coleman said.

“Those are not good odds.” Talya said.

“The alternative is to just start trying.” Dr Coleman said.

Talya glared are her Doctor as she repeated, “I do not have anyone to start trying with. How soon can I go through your sperm bank files?”

“Immediately. You need to give me a spec of the type of person you would like to be the father of your children. Then we’ll do a database search and bring you the options that meet your spec.”

“Okay,” Talya took a deep breath. “Let’s do that.”

Lebo turned away from Talya’s room door, flabbergasted. Manie had met her and Matthews in the waiting room and informed them that Talya was going to be okay and that he needed to head home. Teddy decided to get breakfast and Lebo said that she would keep Talya company. She never expected to eavesdrop on Talya and the Doctor’s conversation. But now she didn’t know what to do.

Talya was going to try to get pregnant with sperm from a sperm donor. That was just so wrong on so, so many levels.

What do I do?

Whom do I tell?

How do we help Talya?

How do we stop her!

These questions rushed through Lebo’s mind as she headed back to the waiting room. She practically ran into Teddy as he stepped off the elevator, holding breakfast.

“Lebo!”

She grabbed his arm and dragged him to the sparely furnished waiting room.

“What’s wrong? Has something happened to Talya?” he asked.

“Yes. She’s losing her mind.” Lebo replied.

“Lebo...”

“I’m serious Teddy. I went to her room after you, and Manie left and the door was ajar. I was about to step in when I heard the doctor talking to her. I didn’t mean to eavesdrop but they were talking about AI and IVF and Gift...”

“AI? Gift? What are you talking about?” he interrupted.

“Matthews,” Lebo growled imitating Storms habit. “That’s what I’m trying to tell you. AI is Artificial Insemination, IVF is In-Vitro Fertilisation, Gift is Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer.”

“I don’t really want to know about this, Lebo.”

“Shh.” Lebo slapped his arm. “The doctor was explaining all these fertility options to Talya and then she told Talya that she needed to start trying right away.”

“Talya ... pregnant. I can’t imagine it. But we knew that was a possibility.” Teddy interjected, removing a Café Latte and sandwich from a paper bag and handing it over to Lebo.

“Yes, but she’s not seeing anyone right now.”

“Oh, so she’ll wait until she’s in a stable relationship then.” Teddy said before biting into his sandwich.

“She’s not planning on waiting. She is putting a spec together of the ideal ‘daddy’ for her baby and she’s reviewing files of potential candidates.”

“What do you mean?” Mike asked stepping into the waiting room. The waiting room door slammed shut. Lebo and Teddy looked behind him to see who else had arrived.

“She’s looking at sperm donors.” Storm growled.

“What!” Mike gasped. “Excuse me. I am ... need to ... that is ... I need to speak to someone pronto.” Mike whispered, rushing out of the room.

“Storm you can’t say anything.” Lebo went up to him. “You can’t let Talya know that I heard them and that I told all of you. She’ll kill me and we’ve only just become such good friends, staying over at each other’s homes, cooking together and watching horrors.” Lebo rambled.

“Boss, what happened to your hand?” Teddy asked trying to change the subject.

“Oh Storm!” Lebo exclaimed reaching for his bandaged hand. Storm shook her away. Ignoring both of them, he left the room.

“Oh boy,” Teddy whispered.

“He’s furious.” Lebo said.

“That’s an understatement,” Teddy said. “And I think his hand has something to do with what’s happened to Talya.”

“Of course it does. He cares about us... all of us,” Lebo said. “He was upset and he must have sent his hand through a wall to deal with his rage. Being a man of few words, he wouldn’t know how to let his feelings out in any other way but to react, physically. And now, I wonder what his going to do. It’s not like he can stop Talya.”

“That’s it.” Teddy grinned. “You wanted him to know so that he could stop her.”

Lebo blushed. “Well he is the only one who can stand up to her. The rest of you are terrified of her.”

“Yeah, and you’re not.”

“No. We’re friends now. She wouldn’t hurt me.”

“Yeah,” Teddy replied sceptically. “By the way, why did Mike rush out like that.”

“Didn’t Mike donate ...?” Lebo gasped.

Lebo and Matthews stared at each other in shocked surprise.

“Ewe. Talya making a baby with Mike’s little soldiers, all in a test tube... Ewe!” Lebo scrunched up her face in distaste.

Mike rushed to the Hospital basement and smiled at the receptionist on duty at the front desk. She smiled back and handed him a form and a specimen jar.

“Hello, I’m Lorraine. You can use room number 4. The latest Private Collection DVD’s are available in that room.” She said.

“No,” Mike blushed. “I’m not here to give an mmm a sample. I want to know if I ... that is, can I ... withdraw my sample.” Mike whispered.

“Oh.” Lorraine turned away and looked through a drawer behind her. Removing a set of forms from the drawer she turned back and said, “You need to complete these forms and give them back to me. It will take 48 hours to confirm whether you sample can be removed or whether it has been selected and used by anyone.”

“No. I need to remove it from the list immediately. Please.” Mike begged. When Lorraine looked like she was about to preached rules and regulations to him, he quickly continued, “You see my ex-wife, she’s trying to get pregnant and she wants to use the child to extort money from me.”

“Oh, that’s terrible.” Lorraine said.

“That’s just the half of it. I can’t let her do that. Not after she’s cheated on me with my best friend.” Mike put his sad, puppy face on and allowed his eyes to glaze over in so-called pain.

“Oh, you poor man.” She cooed. “Complete the forms and I’ll get my friend in the records department to look into this immediately for you.”

“Thank you. This means the world to me.” Mike gasped in real relief. He completed the forms and handed them back to her. She smiled and stepped away from the counter heading to an office in the back. Mike was about to turn away when a file on her desk caught his eye.

Talya Adams

Mike looked around and when he was sure no one was watching he snatched up the file and went into room 4.

“Profile of Potential Sperm Donor,” Mike scanned through the form.

Light stormy blue eyes, brown hair,

Medium built, physically strong,

White Caucasian,

Mature, loyal, disciplined, loving, trustworthy, confident, a leader

Military background, special ops an advantage

“Now who does this remind me of?” Mike smirked. He stood up, peeked out the door and headed back to the front desk. He replaced the file where he had found it just as Lorraine returned.

“I’m glad to report we’ve withdrawn your file. Your 4 samples will be destroyed within the next 24 hours.”

“Thank you. This means the world to me,” Mike said. “By the way, can you tell me how a donor gets chosen?”

“Well, we get a profile from a lady or couple,” Lorraine said. “We load the spec, as we call, it into our database system. The system correlates all the information and issues a report with 10 possible candidates. We upload their details and provide these to the lady or couple. They then choose a donor and we ensure that we have enough sperm to proceed with a treatment. If not, we request more from the donor. The lady or couple have a choice as to whether they want to meet the donor. But they rarely do. And then we wait for the day of treatment and the lab prepares the sample. That’s it.”

“So that file on your desk, you have already provided potential candidates for that person.”

“It’s confidential, but yes. She was quiet particular about her choices so we only found 5 potential candidates for her.” The desk phone rang then. Mike thanked Lorraine and headed back to the waiting room.

Oh damn, Storm’s going to be so pissed!


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