Before Talya could answer, there was a knock on the door. Storm swore under his breath yanking the door open. Lebo rushed into the room closely followed by Mike.
“Is everything okay? Talya, are you alright?” Lebo asked, grabbing Talya’s hand and placing her other hand on Talya’s forehead.
“Boss, everything okay?” Mike asked looking from Talya to Storm.
“I’m fine Lebo.” Talya said as Storm nodded to Mike.
“But Dr Coleman was here for such a long time and Manie wouldn’t say anything and then he left. We just got so scared that we had to come up and see what was wrong.” Lebo rambled.
“Everything is fine. Now can you give us a moment?” Storm demanded.
“No,” Talya said. “I’d like to talk to Lebo.”
Storm realised that she didn’t want to answer his question. His face transformed into a mask on inscrutable indifference. Talya sensed the change but didn’t say anything. Mike saw Jason’s back stiffen a second before he stormed out of the room.
“Jason...” Talya called out, but he ignored her. Mike looked at Talya and Lebo and nodded that he would see to Jason. The minute the room door closed, Talya burst into tears, startling Lebo.
“Oh Talya, what’s wrong? Don’t cry, please. You’re scaring me… you never cry and this week I’ve seen you cry so much. Please Talya, tell me what’s wrong.” Lebo cooed taking Talya into her arms.
“I don’t know what to do.” Talya said.
“About this situation... Jason asked me something and I don’t know what to tell him.”
“What did he ask you?”
“He wants to know if I want to go ahead this way... medically.”
“Oh.” Lebo was overjoyed but hid it. “And what did you say?”
“Nothing. I don’t know....”
“Don’t you want to try the ... natural way?”
“Of course I do... but I can’t...”
“What? Why not?”
“It would hurt too much Lebo.” Talya whispered. “I can’t stand to see Jason pull away from me unsatisfied... still needing release.”
Lebo blushed. This was more information than she needed and this was way too personal.
“Talya, why would it hurt? I don’t understand.” Lebo said, as she tried to remember what they had read up on the internet about ovarian cysts.
Talya took a deep breath and explained how her every sexual experience had been painful and how she eventually stopped having sex. She couldn’t stand the look of accusation in her partners’ eyes every time she pulled away or asked them to stop.
“Talya, I had no idea.” Lebo said hugging Talya close. “Can’t Dr Coleman give you something to ease the pain?”
“She said that some repairs were done during the surgery and the pain should be less if I start trying immediately. But Lebo it could still hurt and I can’t stand to reject Jason.”
“Talya, Storm will be gentle with you if you tell him.” Lebo said.
“No! I can’t. It’s so embarrassing.” Talya said.
“But you have to. You want to make love to him. I can see it in your eyes. You have to try.”
“No, Lebo. Promise me you won’t tell him. Promise me Lebo!” Talya demanded.
“Okay.” Lebo said. I won’t tell Storm, but I can tell someone else and maybe together we can find a way around this problem.
“Okay, now I think you should rest.” Lebo said. “I’m going to make you a soothing up of camomile tea. I’ll be right back.” She kissed Talya’s forehead and left the room.
Mike sat down on the steps that led to the garage. He watched Storm throw his jacket on a workbench, roll up his sleeves and grab a sander. Mike knew Storm enjoyed carpentry in his spare time. But this was the first time he’d ever been present to see exactly what it involved. It was messy.
His pissed about something.
Did Talya change her mind! Mike wondered.
“Boss, you’re going to get that good shirt covered in sawdust,” he said, standing up and heading to the fridge in the corner. He retrieved two Black Labels and moved to stand next to Storm. Storm glared at him before accepting the beer.
“Don’t you have something to do somewhere else?”
“Nope.” he replied. “I can be here all night.... if you need to talk.”
Storm threw the sander down and went to sit on the step where Mike had been earlier. He gulped his beer down in one long swallow.
“Boss, did she change her mind?” Mike decided to just jump in.
“What?” Storm growled.
“Sorry Boss, none of my business.” Mike quickly said.
Storm sighed and ran a hand over his face.
“She didn’t change her mind.” Storm said. I wish she would...
“Okay. Did Dr Coleman bring bad news?” Mike asked, handing Storm a second beer. Storm accepted and swallowed that one too before answering.
“No. Dr Coleman’s running a test. We’ll have the results in the morning.” Storm said.
“So you’re worried about the results?” Mike asked.
Storm looked at Mike, “No, maybe I should be.” Storm stood up and went to his worktable. He retrieved his bottle of Johnny Walker Black and took a long swig from the bottle.
Not good. He’s mixing his liquor. Mike sighed.
“What test did the good Doctor need to run?” Mike asked.
“DeLuca.” Storm growled a warning before taking another swig from the bottle.
“Boss, that’s enough.” Mike said his hand on the bottle as Storm tried to take another swallow.
“You want to keep that arm?” Storm growled.
Mike removed his hand and moved back.
“What time does Talya need to be at the Doctor’s rooms for the results?” Mike asked.
“7am, why?” Storm demanded. He was drinking on an empty stomach and he could feel the whiskey taking effect, making him tipsy.
“Because, I’ll have to take her, seeing as you’re working your way to the mother of all hangovers.”
“DeLuca!” Storm growled.
“Good night Boss.” Mike said, standing up and heading back to the living room.
Storm stared at him before sitting down on the floor, against the wall. He pulled the bottle back to his lips but didn’t swallow.
Closing his eyes, he remembered how Talya had kissed him.
The feel of her hands in his hair, his hands on her arms, his fingers against the sides of her breasts, her arching to his touch, his throbbing flesh against her butt....
You know I want you... you could feel me...
And you responded to me Talya.... I felt it... heard it... tasted it...
So why go ahead this way...
God.... I want to make love to you!
“I want to make love to you...Talya...,” he whispered before taking a deep swallow from the whiskey bottle.
Sunlight streaked through the garage, waking Storm.
“Ah Hell!” he swore instantly closing his eyes against the glare. DeLuca was right. I do have the mother of all hangovers now!
Holding his head, Storm stumbled up the garage steps. He almost tripped when he reached the top because Mike lay asleep in the middle of the doorway. Storm shook him awake as he stepped over him.
“Mmm, aha.” Mike groaned as he rubbed his stiff neck.
Storm put the coffee machine on in the kitchen and smirked when he saw Matthews sprawled out on the couch. He headed up the stairs and opened the door to his room. Lebo and Talya lay side by side asleep. He took in Talya’s hair spread across the pillow, her palms pressed together below her cheek, her lips parted....
You are beautiful!
His head pounding, he closed the door and headed to the other bathroom. Swallowing two Panados, he stripped and got into the shower. Ten minutes later he was dressed in jeans and a SIU t-shirt and once again standing outside his bedroom door.
He knocked before entering. Talya and Lebo stirred.
“Talya, we need to leave in 30 minutes.” He said before leaving the room.
The drive to the surgery was quiet and strained. Talya kept glancing at Storm but he ignored her. It was a relief to get out of the car when they arrived at the hospital.
Dr Coleman was bright and cheery. She asked Talya to go into the examination room and remove her lower garments. Talya did as required. All the while, she thought of Storm, and about how angry he was with her.
How do I fix this?
Dr Coleman arrived in the room moments later and closed the door.
“Where’s Storm?” Talya asked feeling abandoned.
“He had to take a call. He suggested we carry on.” Dr Coleman said.
“Oh.” Talya’s heart broke.
He doesn’t want to be a part of this.
Talya winced as Dr Coleman once again inserted various instruments and collected a sample of semen and vaginal mucus from deep inside her body. When she was done, she told Talya to get dressed. Dr Coleman smeared the sample on a strip of clear glass and placed it under a microscope.
“Excellent.” Dr Coleman smiled as she switched on the overhead plasma screen. At the same moment, the door to the examination room opened and Storm stepped in.
On the screen were a hundred wiggling, moving, racing sperm... very much alive and healthy.
“This means that your chances have taken a giant leap. As you can see the sperm cells are still alive and swimming healthily.” Dr Coleman said turning to look as Talya and Storm. Talya turned to Storm and blushed.
“Talya, we start you on the pill tomorrow.” Dr Coleman continued. “You will have a period in about 6 days time and then we start the fertility drug treatment that is unless you want to try naturally for the next month or two.”
Talya looked at Storm. He stared back at her.
His angry now... but he will be even angrier if I lead him on and then ask him to stop.
I can’t do that to him.
I love him too much.
And if I stop him we will have lost a month and then he might change his mind....
“Give me the prescription. I’ll start the pill tomorrow.” Talya said, turning back to Dr Coleman.
“Okay,” Dr Coleman said before heading back to her office to write the script.
Talya turned to Storm. He stared at her.
“Don’t say it, Talya. I promised to help you and I will... in whichever way you want me to. But I won’t stop kissing you, holding you and... wanting you!”
That said he left the room.
The next few days passed in a blur. Storm would leave the house before Talya awoke and he would return after she was asleep. Four days later, Talya headed in to the office and Storm just stared at her. She moved to her desk and started going through her e-mails. She realized that Storm and the rest of the team had been working two cases, back to back.
That’s why his been away…
He isn’t ignoring or avoiding me…
He can’t be… She consoled herself.
Moments later when they were alone in the bullpen, Storm approached her and said, “You still have two more sick days.”
“Yes.” Talya nodded. “But I missed… everyone.”
She felt his expression soften and relief flooded her system.
“Desk duty, Talya.” He warned before heading to the elevator.
“Desk duty, Jason.” She agreed.
When Mike, Teddy and Jason refuse to give her details of the cases they were working, Talya headed down to the lab to see if Lebo would share the details. Lebo hugged and kissed her and apologized for not visiting. Then her told Talya about the cases. When there was nothing left to say, Lebo folded her arms and stood in front of Talya.
“Are you and Storm… okay?” she asked.
“Yes…” Talya replied. “I don’t know.”
“He has been distant… maybe because of the cases. He makes sure that my meals are ready every day, my laundry is done, but I have not seen him or spoken to him until today.” Talya said.
“We have been busy… and you know how Storm gets when he has a case. I’m sure that things will smooth out in a few days.” Lebo said, giving Talya a hug.
“Thank you Lebo. I’ll see you later.”
“Where are you going?”
“To Dr Coleman’s rooms, to remove the stitches.”
“Does Storm know?”
“No. But he is busy and this is just a routine check-up.” Talya said as she left.
Dr Coleman confirmed that everything looked in order and that Talya could start on a pregnancy vitamin and mineral supplement, to enhance her chances.
“How are things between you and Agent Storm?” Dr Coleman asked.
“Strained,” Talya said.
“You have deep feelings for him.”
“Yes, I do. And I know that he wants us to try naturally. But I’m terrified….” Talya explained her fears.
“You should tell him how you feel. And you should at least try making love. It’s been a while and I think the remembered or imagined pain is worse then what you will actually experience.”
“I don’t want to push him away.”
“But isn’t that exactly what you are doing?”
“Talya, think about it and speak to him.” Dr Coleman said.
“I’ll think about it.” Talya promised as she left Dr Coleman’s rooms.
Later that afternoon, Mike chewed on a slice of pizza and watched Storm. Lebo and he had had a long uncomfortable chat about Talya’s fears.
Who could have imagined the seasoned agent had a fear, and on such a deep and personal level. Now Lebo was hounding him to tell Storm. Mike remembered her logic, “I promised not to tell Storm, so I can’t tell him. But I could tell you or Teddy or Manie. But I chose you because you would be able to get Storm to understand.”
“Are you mad Lebo? I can’t just approach Storm and tell him, ‘Boss, Talya can’t sleep with you because she’s afraid it would hurt too much.’ Argh, I can’t believe we are discussing this. If Storm doesn’t kill me first Talya will.”
“Mike calm down. Storm needs to know and I need you to tell him, please. He loves her and he doesn’t understand her pushing him away. And she loves him and she doesn’t want to hurt him. But they are hurting, both of them and we have to fix it. Now you have until the end of the day to tell them, else…”
“I’m a forensic scientist, Mike DeLuca….”
“Yeah and you could kill me without leaving any evidence behind. Got it.” Mike said.
On a serious note, he said, “We’ll get them through this Lebo.”
“Thank you, Mike.” Lebo hugged him.
Now how do I tell Storm…?
Just then, a call came in and Storm ordered Mike to ride with him.
Ten minutes into the drive, Mike said, “So Talya went to Dr Coleman today to have the stitches removed.”
“What?” Storm’s gaze swung to Mike.
“Oh, you didn’t know. Sorry Boss…” Mike stammered.
Great! You just got him pissed and you still have to tell him the other thing!
Anger and frustration radiated off Storm in waves. He turned his attention back to the road and accelerated.
“Dr Coleman said that everything is fine.”
“You know I used to date this beautiful, busty blonde a few years back. She was so into me but she never let it get as far as the bedroom …. If you know what I mean.”
“Do I look like I care?” Storm growled.
“Anyway … one day I just flat out asked her why. She told me she found it too… mmm …. too painful.”
Storm body language changed subtly.
“She had cysts and making love was painful for her.” Mike said making sure Storm understood what he was trying to say.
“What did you do?” Storm asked, surprising Mike.
“I told her we’d take it slow and she could control what happened and how far it went.” Mike said, improvising
“How far did you go?”
“All the way,” Mike decided that it was important for Storm to know that it was possible to go all the way. “But very slow and easy. She told me that it did hurt but in a good way.” Mike said.
“Any other experiences you want to share with me?”
“No, that was it.” Mike said, knowing that Storm understood what he was saying.
“Thank Lebo for me, but next time she should come straight to me.” Storm said.
“Lebo… how did you know…? Oh never mind ….” Mike grinned.