When Storm got back to the office later that day, he worked on their current case. Talya’s condition had distracted him from it, but Director Malone was on his back to get it done. Storm had convinced her to give Talya the next week off, so that she could recover. He had also refused a replacement agent. He could feel the speculative looks his two junior agents were giving him.
Hell they know...
“DeLuca, your report better be on my desk in the next twenty minutes.” He ordered. “Teddy, get copies of the lab report from Lebo, now.”
A few minutes after Teddy left, Mike approached Storm’s desk and handed him the report. Storm took it without looking up. Mike remained standing in front of his desk waiting.
“Something you need DeLuca?”
“Boss... About Talya...”
“Are you ... Have you ...”
“DeLuca?” Storm stood up and leaned forward, forcing Mike to take a step back.
“I just wanted to say,” Mike tried again. “What you’re doing for Talya...”
“What about it?”
“I think it’s amazing and if you need any help with it... well not with ‘it’ ... but with it, I’m here for you two.” Mike blushed.
Storm held back the smile that threatened to appear across his face. He thought it must have cost DeLuca quite a bit to come up to him and say, what he said.
“There is something you can do.”
“When Teddy gets back, go over to Talya’s place and pack up her stuff. Take them to my place.” He knew he was being presumptuous. Talya said she needed to think about it but she would agree. She had to.
“O...k...a...y!” Mike replied and then he grinned. “I knew you wouldn’t do it in a test tube.”
“DeLuca!” Storm growled.
“Sorry Boss. I’m out of here.” Mike raced to the elevator.
With all the reports done and submitted, Storm headed back to the hospital. Manie met him when he entered Talya’s room. Talya was asleep. She looked beautiful, his little Indian spitfire.
“Join me for an early supper, Jason.” Manie suggested.
As they walked to the hospital cafeteria Storm asked, “How is she?”
“Talya’s doing very well. She’ll be discharged at around 10 tomorrow. Dr Coleman wants to make sure she gets at least two doses of IV antibiotics in the morning before she leaves. Once home, she’ll need a few days rest and she’ll have to finish another course or two of antibiotics.”
“Jason, she told me about your offer to help her.” Manie said as they entered the cafeteria.
“I think it’s very noble of you. But when are you going to admit your true feelings to her?”
Storm looked at his old friend as they headed out onto the balcony. “Can’t hide anything from you can I, Manie?”
“You did once Jason. You didn’t tell me about your kidnapping and how Rachel, your first wife and Kylie, your three year old daughter were murdered.” Manie said. The hurt from that was still evident in Manie’s voice.
“I know. You apologised and we have put that behind us. But I have one question to ask.”
Storm nodded for him to proceed.
“You didn’t have children during your second marriage to Abigail. Why?”
Storm sighed. This was something he didn’t want to go into right now.
“Jason, the answer to this question is very important and will most certainly impact yours, Talya’s and your child’s future.”
“I didn’t think I deserved another child.”Storm finally said.
He leaned forward over the rail of the balcony and watched the sun set. Manie moved to stand next to him.
“I betrayed Kylie. I was not there for her and she died.” Tears threatened to blur his vision. It hurt so much and he missed her so much.
“That was not your fault.” Manie said.
Waving his hand in the air to discount Manie’s words, Storm continued, “When I got married after Rachel died, I made sure to keep that place in my heart where she was, tightly wrapped and I never let any other woman get in. Maybe that’s why my second marriage failed. I don’t know! But with a child, how could I do that?”He paced the length of the balcony, his movements agitated.
“How could I be true to Kylie’s memory and still be fair and love another child at the same time?”
“Jason,” Manie exclaimed. “Have you resolved this in your mind and heart now that you have offered to have a child with Talya?”
“I see.” Disapproval was evident in Manie voice.
“No you don’t!” Storm growled.
“Jason, I don’t mean to judge you.” Manie tried to placate him with a hand on his shoulder. Storm shook it off and moved to the far end of the balcony.
“Then don’t. What I’m doing is helping Talya... If this works..., Talya, and I do have a ... a baby... I’ll find a way to deal with it. But I won’t let Talya fall pregnant with another man’s child!” Storm replied as me stormed back into the cafeteria.
“My dear friend, having a child with the woman you now love, might be exactly what is needed to help you resolve all these old feelings of guilt.” Manie said to the empty room.
Three strong cups of coffee later, Storm was able to put his feelings back into check. He stepped into Talya’s room and found her sitting up in bed. Her dinner plate was still full and she seemed uncomfortable.
“How are you doing?” He asked.
“Okay.” She replied.
“You want me to get you something else to eat?” He nodded towards her plate.
“No. I’m a bit nauseous.”
“Should I call the nurse? Are you in pain?” he moved closer and looked her over intently.
“No. We need to talk... about your offer and the conditions.”
“Okay.” Your answer had better be yes.
“I accept all of your conditions but I have a few of my own.” She said.
“Okay.” Relief and apprehension filled his heart. What conditions could you have come up with? He wondered.
“If I am going to live with you...”
“It will be purely platonic, you will have your own room and your own space and you won’t...”
“Storm, let me finish.”
“Okay.” He moved to stand against the window and waited for her to continue.
“If I’m going to live with you, I will take care of fifty percent of all the chores and expenses.”
“Yes. I will also continue to work as an agent and will only stop working or move to desk duty when my Doctor advises me to.”
“And on the job, you will not give me any special treatment.”
Storm just stared at her. Woman, if you fall pregnant you will get special treatment whether you want it or not!
“You have to promise to always love and be there for our child, no matter what happens between us. If you can accept these conditions, I will move in with you.” Talya said with finality.
Storm moved back to the bed and took her hand. She looked up at him with wide eyes.
“I accept your conditions, Talya.” He whispered. He knew that his emotions were fragile at the moment and he had to get out of there quickly. “I’ll pick you up at 10am tomorrow and take you home.” He lifted her hand and kissed her knuckles, unable to stop himself. Without looking back at her face, he left her room.
Reaching his car, he sat in the dark for what seemed like hours.
She is going to move in with me... We’re going to make a baby together...
This time it will be different...
Rachel... Kylie... I’ll always love you... But it’s time to move on...
And I feel I finally can ... with Talya...
That night as he slept, Storm dreamt of Rachel and Kylie. They were happy, smiling and laughing.
“Jason...” Rachel kissed him deeply. “Be happy my love...”
“Shh... Go to her, be with her, be happy with her... with Talya...”
“Daddy....” Kylie called, making him spin around to face her. “I love you. I want you to be happy...” Kylie tugged on his arm and made him crouch next to her.
“I love you Daddy.” She repeated and kissed his cheek.
“Goodbye daddy... love you... love her too... because she makes you happy...” Kylie smiled.
“Kylie...” Storm sobbed, tossing and turning as Kylie and Rachel disappeared.
“Jason... come to me...” Her words broke through to him.
“Talya...?” She appeared surrounded by fog...
“Come to us...”
Moving closer he saw her more clearly.
She was heavily pregnant, one hand on her stomach and the other reaching out to him. He went to her, his tears drying, a sense of amazement and wonder filling his heart...
“We’re here, love...” She wrapped him in her embrace.
“Talya...” Storm sighed as his sleep turned restful and calm.
Talya relaxed in the shower in her hospital room. The nurse had checked on her wounds and dressed them with waterproof dressings. At ten forty five, her IV line had been removed. She knew that Storm was probably on his way to pick her up, but she couldn’t resist the urge to take a shower and wash her hair. Her stomach still felt like unset jelly and every step she took seemed to set her slightly off balance. There wasn’t pain anymore, but intense discomfort. As the warm water, cascaded down her back, she looked at the dressings on her lower abdomen. She imagined what it would look like and feel like to have a child growing inside her. Then she imagined what it would be like to have Jason holding her from behind, his hands on her extended belly, his lips against her ear as he whispered, “I love you...”
The knock on the bathroom door, drew her out of her musing.
“Talya, its Dr Coleman. Are you alright?”
“Yes.” She replied, turning the taps off and reaching for the towel. As she didn’t have any of her own clothes, the nurse had left a pair of green scrubs for her to change into. She dried herself, dressed and wrapped her dripping hair in a towel before stepping out of the bathroom.
Looking around she blushed when she realized that Storm was also there.
“Talya.” He greeted.
“Jason.” She greeted earning a raised but amused eyebrow.
You look so good in that red golf shirt and black jacket. And your salt and pepper hair was always a turn on for me, she mused. She wished she could go up to him, wrap her arms around him and give him a deep kiss. Just the thought of being that familiar with him, send a lightning bolt of arousal through her body. Feeling weak kneed she made her way across the room and got back into bed.
“How are you feeling today?” Dr Coleman asked.
“I’m doing better.” Talya replied. She didn’t look at Storm but could feel his intent gaze on her.
“Most women feel a bit shaky and uncomfortable for up to 6 days. Weakness and dizziness are also common, so you need to be careful when you get home. I have your antibiotic prescription here as well as an analgesic. In addition, I want to start you on a pregnancy multivitamin, folic acid and omega oils. These will work to boost your immune system until we do the treatment. I also want you to start taking the pill.”
“The pill... why?” Storm asked before Talya could.
“Like I explained, we want to control the quantity of hormones in your body. Actually, we want to make sure that what we are giving you is doing what it is supposed to be doing. The pill will start regulating your hormones and it will force you to have a menstrual bleed.”
Talya blushed and stared at her hands. Storm moved to the window and looked out, giving her a moment.
“From day three of your cycle, you will self administer a shot every day for the next ten days. This will suppress your body’s natural hormone release. At the same time, you will be put onto a fertility drug regime consisting of pills and shots. On day ten, we will start drawing blood to monitor your hormone levels and you will have to come in for daily scans. When we think the time is right, usually around day fourteen, we will give you a shot to stimulate ovulation. Then for three days after that we will need you in here for the AI treatment.”
“Storm?” Talya asked. She was terrified to do this and she was terrified not to do it. He moved to the bed and took her hand, silently reassuring her. Dr Coleman watched them.
“We’ll handle it.” He whispered.
“By the way, I have the results back on your semen sample, Agent Storm.” Dr Coleman said, opening a file.
It was Storm’s turn to blush. Talya thought he was so adorable in his embarrassment. She squeezed his hand, when he looked like he was getting ready to pull away.
“Your sperm volume is 3.2milliliters and their density is excellent at about 25 million sperm per millilitres of semen.” Storm’s discomfort deepened and Talya felt for him.
Dr Coleman continued reading off the report, “The sperm motility, meaning forward swimming sperm is rated as a four with 65% swimming in a straight line. Most men are rated between 2 and 3.”
Oh, Storm.... This is such good news. And seeing your blush is making me feel... Talya stop it.
“Sperm morphology that is their shape is rated as 60% normal heads and tails and the pH is good at 7.8. All in all this is an excellent sample, Agent Storm.”
Storm didn’t say anything as he looked up and met the Doctor’s gaze. Talya watched as the blush subsided and a ghost of a grin appeared across his face. Male pride puffed out his chest. He looked down at her then, a sensual twinkle in his eye. She blushed and looked up at the Doctor.
Dr Coleman smiled at her and said, “Talya, there is one test that we need to run.”
“What test?” Talya asked, nervousness flooding her system. Storm’s grip on her hand tightened.
“It’s called a Sims Huhner Test or a Post Coitus Test.”
A post intercourse test! We can’t do that!
“Based on the exam and scan I did this morning, you will be ovulating within a day or two. I would like to ....”
“Wait a minute,” Storm interrupted. “What exactly is this test?”
“It is a test to examine the cervical mucus during the time of ovulation, after 8 to 10 hours of having intercourse.” Dr Coleman said.
“Oh.” Storm gulped.
“In your case, you would give us a sample and we would insert it into Talya and then wait the required 8 to 10 hours to do the test... or you could have intercourse and come back the next morning to do the test.” Dr Coleman suggested.
“No! Oh God.” Talya was mortified.
“What!”Storm seemed to experience a physical pain and decided to sit down in the chair next to the bed.
“Ahem, maybe I am being presumptuous.” Dr Coleman shrugged as if to say, well it’s clear you are both interested in the prospect, so why waste time?
“It’s just that…” Talya stated saying.
“We haven’t discussed….” Storm said at the same time.
Dr Coleman lifted her hand to stop them, “Like I was saying you should be ovulating any time now. I could give you a shot right now that will force your ovulation to happen within the next few hours. We could insert a sample of Agent Storm’s semen into your womb tonight and tomorrow morning at 7am you can come in for the test.”
This is so embarrassing... Why didn't you discuss it with me before Storm got here?
“Why do we have to do this test?” Storm asked when he was able to find his voice again.
“Your semen sample is excellent, but we need to make sure that Talya’s cervical mucus doesn’t damage, reject or kill those sperms.” Dr Coleman said matter-of-factly.
“Oh God...” Talya whispered. “This is so hard.”
“Talya, we knew it wouldn’t be easy.” Storm said gently.
“Yes, but it feels like one obstacle after another!” Talya's head dropped forward in dismay.
“Talya, look at me.” Storm’s fingers gently nudged her chin up. When she met his gaze he said, “We’ll get through this... together.”
“Oh Storm.” Talya pulled him close and kissed his cheek. He held her tightly as she got her emotions under control. Dr Coleman gave them a moment.
When Talya finally pulled away, Storm said, “Let’s do the test.”
“Okay. I’ll get the shot ready. Oh and I’ll get you a specimen jar, Agent Storm.” Dr Coleman said as she left the room.
“Jason, are you sure...” Talya asked.
“Shh, Talya. I want to do this.” Storm replied, taking her hand and kissing her knuckles.
“Thank you.” Talya whispered taking his hand and touching her lips to it. “Thank you so much.”
“Shh, my sweet.” Storm whispered as he took her in his arms and held her close again.
When Dr Coleman returned, Storm and Talya pulled apart. Dr Coleman gave Storm the specimen jar and he slipped it into his pocket. She asked Talya to turn to her side as she pushed the scrub pants down revealing the top of Talya’s left butt cheek. Storm made to pull away, but Talya held onto his hand. She communicated with her eyes that she was okay with him being there. His eyes never left her face.
“This is going to burn, Talya.” Dr Coleman ran the sterilization swab over the fleshy part of Talya’s butt. Talya squeezed Storm’s hand. He held her gaze.
“Relax.” Dr Coleman said as she jabbed the needle deep into Talya’s butt.
“Awe!” Talya hissed as the fiery liquid spread through her butt. Storm held her hand and let her squeeze his tightly. Leaning forward he kissed her brow as she squeezed her eyes shut against the sting.
“All done.” Dr Coleman said a moment later. She pulled Talya’s pants up and disposed of the syringe.
“You will feel a heaviness in your left ovary and by this afternoon or early evening you will feel cramps. That’s because of the surgery and the ovulation.”
“What time should we ... I mean...? When will you need the sample?” Storm asked.
“At around 8pm tonight, and no ejaculating before that Agent Storm.”
Storm nodded a deep blush staining his cheeks. It was clear how uncomfortable this situation was for him and Talya regretted putting him through it.
Dr Coleman washed her hands. Turning back she said, “I can come to your home to do the insemination. Actually that will be better, because Talya will need to remain in bed for up to an hour at least after we do it.”
I’m going to have a bit of you inside me as soon as tonight.
Oh God.... Jason!
Storm nodded his head as he gave Dr Coleman his address.