Talya scanned through the potential sperm donors’ files on the laptop Dr Coleman had given her. The records were impressive, and they matched more or less, what she was looking for. The three that were blond, she put aside. Her baby would have dark hair and blue or brown eyes at least.
She still couldn’t believe that it had come down to this. She went through the files again and thought this is like choosing from a menu. The dish sounds good. But how can I be sure without seeing it, smelling it, touching it and tasting it.
The door to her room shot open then. She looked up and slammed the laptop shut as the man who perfectly matched her profile stalked towards her. She drank up the sight of him. He was furious and that made him look sexy. He was dangerous, but that only made her heart beat faster in a kind of forbidden need. His stormy blue eyes bore into her and she wondered if he could see to her soul.
And then she remembered, he won’t be interested... not in me... not in my baby... So why is he so upset.
She looked him over as he came to stand next to the bed.
“Your hand? What did you do?” She asked ignoring the glare he sent her way.
“You sure you know what you’re doing?” He demanded.
So he knows.
“Storm this is a private matter....”
“The hell it is. You are one of mine and I take care of my own. This will affect you and the rest of us. How can you think that we will let you do this, that I will stand aside and let you make the biggest mistake of your life?”
“What?” She gasped. “You see my trying to have a baby as a big mistake! They were right about you. You are a bastard. Get away from me!”
“No.” He leaned into her personal space. “Someone has to talk some sense into you.”
“What do you expect me to do? My chances are limited. I have to start trying right away. And I don’t have a string of men waiting at my doorstep willing to have a baby with me.”
“But to do it this way! Will you be satisfied with not knowing who he is? What will you tell your child? Oh I just had to get pregnant, so I chose a nameless, faceless man’s DNA to get that done...”
“Shut up and leave me alone. You could never know how hard this is for me.” Tears rolled down her distraught face.
“Talya...” he reached out to wrap his arms around her but she hit his hand away.
“I am dying inside. The thought of never feeling my baby growing inside me is the worst kind of torture. Never knowing the joy of holding my baby in my arms, can you imagine what that feels like? It’s a nightmare, I never expected to face. And you know what, it could come true. If I can’t have a child, then what meaning is there left to my being alive”
“Talya...” His tone was soft.
“No! Stay away from me.” She said, swiping the tears away. “I need to have this baby and I’m going to. So what if I have to do it this way, with a nameless, faceless man, as you say. I’ll do it. There is no one else and it’s not like you’re offering to help, is it?”
Talya gasped, shocked at what she had just said.
Storm stared at her.
“What if I am?”
What if I am? Storm mentally gasped. Yes, he cared very deeply for Talya. Hell, who was he kidding, he loved her! And now he had just offered to make a baby with her.
Make a baby with Talya. The more he thought about it, the more relieved and ... excited and if he was honest... terrified he felt. He looked at her. She was stunned. Maybe she didn’t want his help. What if she didn’t want him? Damn it!
“Think it over and let me know.” He said heading for the door. I’m such a God Damn fool. Of course, she wouldn’t want me that way! Who would want a grouchy bastard to father their child? And... Why does this hurt so damn much!
“Wait!” she shouted stopping him at the door. “Storm ... are you serious?”
He didn’t turn to look at her.
“What do you think?” he asked.
“You are serious. You’re willing to help me fall pregnant.” Talya said it like as if she was trying to process it.
I would do anything... anything for you, Talya...Storm vowed.
“Thank you,” she whispered. “I ... I can’t imagine my child having a better father then you.”
He closed his eyes, his heart filled with immeasurable joy. She had just said yes.
But wait. If they were going to do this, he would need to make sure she understood exactly how involved he meant to be. He turned back to her and she smiled warmly, shyly.
“Talya, there are a few conditions to my offer.”
“Conditions?” she tensed again.
“You will move in with me immediately and I will be involved in every step of the treatment."
"Storm... no. I can't impose..." but he cut her off with a raised hand.
"You will stay with me throughout the pregnancy and you will let me take care of you in whatever manner I feel necessary. I will be with you when you give birth and I will be involved in my child’s life and upbringing.”
“Is there anything else?” She asked her tone unexpectedly calm.
“Nothing I can think of right now.”
“Well, I need to think this over." She said.
"And ... maybe you should speak to Dr Coleman so that she can explain what will... I mean, you will need to ... that is ... oh, she will tell you what needs to be done.” Talya blushed.
Storm nodded and left the room.
Mike collided with him just outside Talya's door.
He doesn’t look mad. He’s actually smiling... Something must be wrong! Mike deduced.
“You okay, Boss?” Mike said falling into step with him.
“Never better DeLuca.” Storm replied.
Mike placed his hand on Storm’s forehead. Storm stopped and stared at him, an eyebrow raised.
“You don’t look so good. You’ve got a grin on your face and your steps got a bit of a swagger. I want to make sure you’re not running a fever as a result of the wounds on your hand. Maybe we should get the doctor to have a look at it to make sure it's not festering ...”
“DeLuca.” Storm warned.
“And you didn’t think you could get away without taking your meds this morning, did you?” Mike asked, extending his hand and giving Storm two pills.
Storm gave him a long-suffering look before taking the pills and heading to a water dispenser. He downed the pills in one swallow and continued to the nurse’s station.
What’s gotten into him, taking his meds like a good little boy? That man can’t be my Boss, Mike mused.
“Happy?” Storm asked Mike before heading to the nurse’s station.
“Can you page Dr Coleman for me?” Storm asked the nurse on duty.
“Dr Coleman? Is Talya okay? What did you do to her?” Mike questioned.
“She’s fine, Mike. Now stop hovering around me like a mother hen. I swear you’re as bad as Manie!” Storm said, still smiling.
“I was getting a bit carried away there, like Dr Jack McNeil from Chicago Hope. By the way did you know that you look a lot like him?” Mike mused. Storm ignored Mike’s comment.
“Sir,” the nurse said. “Dr Coleman will see you in her office now. It’s on the 3rd floor, room number 314.”
“Thank you.” Storm replied heading to the elevator. When Mike followed him, he ordered, “Get back to work. Take Matthews with you and tell Lebo to stay with Talya.”
“Right away, Boss.” Mike turned and headed for the elevator. He is up to something and I’m going to find out what, Mike decided.
Lebo knocked on Talya’s door, before stepping inside.
“Lebo...” Talya smiled.
“Talya!” Lebo exclaimed, rushing to the bed to hug her.
“Are you okay? You know that I didn’t mean to, right. It just kind of came out. I tried not to say anything. Okay, maybe I didn’t try hard enough. But Talya, I was so worried about you and I didn’t ... no ... I couldn’t let you do it. Storm wasn’t too hard on you. I know he can be a bully but he really cares about you, me, all of us. Oh, please tell me, he didn’t upset you too much.”
“Lebo calm down.” Talya said pulling out of her embrace.
“What did he do?”
“He spoke to me and explained how things could get complicated in the future.” Talya said.
“Good, so he was able to talk you out of using a sperm donor’s sperm to make my God child. And I know you never asked me, but I will be this child’s God Mother and it was killing me to know that I would not know who her daddy is.”
“You don’t have to worry about that anymore, Lebo.”
“Good! I knew he could talk you out of it.”
“What do you mean, Talya?” Lebo demanded.
Talya smiled and then laughed.
“He offered to help me, Lebo.”
“Help you... You mean... oh... Oh... OH!”
“Yes, Lebo. He’s going to help me get pregnant.” Talya replied and laughed again as a hundred expressions flirted across Lebo’s face. Then a mischievous gleam came into her eyes.
“Storm and you... Papa and Mama ... to my Godchild. Yeah!” Lebo shrieked hugging Talya again.
They spend the next hour speculating on how the rest of the team would react to Talya’s news and Storm’s involvement in her future. When a nurse came in to check on Talya and suggested that she should rest, Lebo gave her a tight hug and once again told her how happy she was for her.
Heading out of Talya’s room, Lebo decided to head back to the office to get some work done. On her way through the hospital foyer, she bumped into Manie.
“You seem very happy, Abigail.” Manie commented. “Did something interesting happen while I was away?”
“Yes it did,” Lebo smiled. “Storm is going to help Talya.”
“Well, I expected that much. Jason takes care of all of you in his own way, all the time.”
“No, no, no Manie.” Lebo leaned in and whispered into Manie’s ear, “He is going to do a lot more for Talya.”
Manie raised an eyebrow and stared at her. “You can’t mean what I think you mean.”
Throwing her hands in the air, Lebo said, “That depends on what you think I think I mean.”
“Jason’s going to...”
“Make a baby with Talya!” Lebo squealed in delight.
“Oh my, that’s wonderful news.” Manie grinned. “So Jason’s finally admitted to his feelings and Talya’s reciprocating those feelings.”
Lebo stared at him a moment as realization dawned. “Oh, oh, oh... I thought there were feelings between them. But I didn’t dare to hope. But now that you mention it, it’s as clear as day. Those two are crazy about each other and they’ve been hiding it... no, they’ve been fighting it. They are so much alike, it was bound to happen.”
“Yes, Abigail. But this is their private matter and we should not speculate about them and their feelings. I’m just relieved that they’ve admitted to it.” Manie said.
“They haven’t Manie. Not the way you think.”
“But you just said...”
“Yes, I said they’re going to make a baby, but they’re doing it ‘medically’ and not ‘naturally’ if you get my meaning.” Lebo said.
Manie processed this bit of news. Then he smiled.
“What are you thinking you naughty little man?” Lebo asked.
“Exactly what you are thinking. This is going to be very interesting and Talya and Jason are going to need all the support and understanding we can give them.”
“Aha. But you are imagining Storm going through all the medical stuff and hoping that he won’t kill someone in the process.”
“Lebo, now we shouldn’t be thinking about the very private and in some cases, embarrassing procedures Jason and Talya will need to endure as they go through with this.” Manie admonished.
“Okay. I won’t think about it. But Mike’s going to think of nothing else... that is when we tell him.”
“Yes, we should warn both Mike and Teddy. We wouldn’t want them agitating Jason at a time like this.”
“No, we wouldn’t.” Lebo agreed and kissed Manie’s cheek before leaving the hospital.
Manie continued towards Talya’s room thinking about all that Lebo had told him. The next few weeks were going to be stressful for them all.
“Manie?” Talya greeted when he entered her room.
“You are looking much better, my dear,” he said before looking through her file.
“I feel much better, now.” Talya told him what Storm and she had discussed.
“That is wonderful news.” He smiled.
“But he has a few conditions and I don’t know whether to accept them.”
“What are they?”
“He wants me to move in with him when I leave the hospital.”
Excellent... Manie was thrilled but didn’t show it.
“What else?” he prompted.
“He wants to be with me throughout the procedure and says he wants to take care of me during the pregnancy if there is one.”
“I wouldn’t expect anything less of him. He would naturally want to see to your every comfort.”
“But Manie, how am I going to live with him? Why would he be willing to give up his space, his sanctuary, his privacy and insist that I stay with him? I understand that he will be involved in my... our child’s life. But he doesn’t need to give up so much.”
“Why do you think he wants it this way?” Manie asked.
“I...” Talya thought for a moment and a light blush appeared on her cheeks. “I don’t know.”
“But you do.” Manie had a knowing gleam in his eyes. “My suggestion is do as he asks. That way you will get what you most desire.”
Talya’s blush deepened. Manie could almost see the thoughts racing through her mind. Well my dear Talya, I am relieved to see you do want Jason... and his baby. Do you even realize that you’re falling in love with him? Manie wondered.
“You’re right Manie.” Talya smiled. “I can’t say no to this. And Storm will be a wonderful, protective and involved father.”
“Of that I have no doubt. I’m sure Jason will be overjoyed by your decision to accept his conditions.” Manie smiled, leaned forward and gave Talya a fatherly hug.
“Get some rest my dear. And I’ll be available to assist in whatever way you and Jason may require.” Manie said before leaving.
Less than an hour later at the office, Mike and Teddy walked into Lebo’s lab.
“Hey Lebo,” Teddy asked. “Was Storm still with Talya when you left the hospital?”
“No.” Lebo replied.
“He’s not answering his phone.” Mike stated worry furrowing his brow.
“Ahem.” Lebo smirked.
“What is it?’ Teddy asked looking at her suspiciously.
“Spill it Lebo,” Mike insisted. “We can see that you know something.”
The lab doors swished open at that point to allow Manie in.
“Should we tell them, Mahinder?”
“Tell us what?” Mike demanded.
“If we tell you, you have to promise not to let Storm know who told you.” Lebo said.
“Okay... What is it?” Teddy asked.
“I won’t tell Storm you told us. Now tell us already.” Mike said.
“Talya’s going ahead with the fertility treatment to try to have a baby.” Lebo said.
“But didn’t Boss talk her out of that.” Teddy queried.
“Actually Teddy, Jason will be helping her.” Manie replied.
“What?” Mike exclaimed.
“Storm is going to help Talya fall pregnant.” Lebo smiled.
“How can he help her...?” Mike thought aloud.
“Unless he’s planning to be ...” Teddy dared to voice his thoughts.
“Her sperm donor!” Mike gasped.
Manie and Lebo gave each other a high five, laughing at Mike and Teddy’s expressions of shock.
At that very moment Jason Storm, sat inside a white room equipped with a TV, DVD player, an assortment of X-rated DVD’s, a dozen X-rated magazines, a chair, a pedestal, a basin and a clear specimen jar. He’d been right earlier, when he’d realized that this was not going to be as simple as he was making it out to be. And now he knew just how interesting and... embarrassing some of it was going to be.
Staring at the jar, he went over everything Dr Coleman had told him. After the hour-long discussion on fertility treatments, she had handed him a form.
“Once you’ve filled it in, please go down to the Sperm Bank and provide them with a specimen. They will do the analysis and I should have the results back within 24 hours. I also need you to go to the pathology lab to have these blood tests runs.”
She handed him another form. “This is to rule out any genetic conditions and STD’s as well as HIV and AIDS. It has to be done prior to any procedure. The same tests are being run for Talya. The results will be out in three days time.”
Having the blood samples drawn had been a piece of cake. Heading down to the sperm bank had been another story entirely. He’d blushed when the woman at the reception desk directed him to the room. She’d offered him another specimen jar and he’d taken it too embarrassed to say he had one. She labelled it, ‘Mr. J. Storm” and added the date, before handing it back to him.
“When you’re done, leave the specimen jar and the form on the pedestal, press the buzzer and leave the room. We’ll take care of the rest from there. Good luck.” She’d smiled.
So here he was, in an impersonal, white cubicle. The DVD’s didn’t appeal to him, nor did the magazines. Talya’s image flirted through his mind repeatedly and he finally gave into the temptation of thinking of her. For one thing, thinking about her did arouse him. Imagining being intimate with her helped him get through this. And knowing that he loved her, made it seem okay to think about her that way.
Twenty minutes later, the specimen jar was filled and on the pedestal next to the form. Storm washed his hands, straightened his clothes, rang the buzzer and left.