Standing on The Edge Of Goodbye (13 page)

I
f it weren’t for her history, Denny would probably have written these latest symptoms off as normal late term pregnancy, but there was nothing normal about Kate’s medical. She was high risk and that had Denny worried.

“Any unusual symptoms I need to know about?”
he asked as casually as he could. “Headaches, dizziness, nausea?”

“No.” Kate hesitated. “Well, just a little dizziness whenever I stand up too quickly. And sometimes I have headaches.” She stopped. “What aren’t you telling me
, Denny?”

He dropped the pen and clipboard on the desk.
“Why don’t you let me do the worrying? I’m just being cautious. There’s nothing for you to be concerned about, yet. Just keep an eye on your body’s symptoms over the next few days and if anything significant changes, you call me. Did you and Matt finish the baby’s room? He told me you’d gone to Denver to do some shopping for the nursery. You still working on it?”

Since their
marriage, Matt hadn’t missed a single appointment. Today he’d had to make an unexpected trip to the Denver office because of one particularly challenging client.

Denny
tried to dismiss his uneasiness. He was just letting his analytical mind take over. He’d have the results of the test back soon enough and then he’d know the truth. No need worrying anyone yet.

“Almost, but I’ve had the hardest time convincing Matt this baby is going to be a girl.” Kate patted her stomach.
She’d insisted on using feminine colors for the baby’s nursery, confident she was having a girl.

“If you’re so sure, woman, why won’t you let Denny do the
sonogram and settle the matter for good?” Matt had challenged one afternoon while they were working on the nursery.

She was sure. She just didn’t want to tempt fate.

“Well, you know, I can have the truth in nothing flat and put him in his place once and for all.” Denny said. He only wished he could dispel the uneasiness. He’d talk to Matt about his concerns, if necessary. He didn’t want to worry Kate.

They’d both been through so much heartache. He hoped he’d have nothing but good news for them by Sunday.

 

****

 

On the drive home, K
ate couldn’t stop the uneasy feeling growing in the pit of her stomach. There'd been something in Denny’s tone that worried her. He hadn’t been completely straight with her. She decided to take the rest of the day off after the appointment and rest. She'd go home, take a long bath, and then take it easy.

Matt wouldn’t be home for hours yet, so she’d have time. He been working long days and he’d been so preoccupied with work lately that she didn’t have the heart to tell him about all the little aches and pains. After
she'd seen Denny’s reaction she'd become frightened. She hadn’t told Denny everything. Not about the sharp pain in her abdomen, the blood, or the persistent dizziness that was always close by.

She’d planned to make dinner for Matt, but she was so tired and blue that she decided to stretch out in front of the fire in his office.
The papers scattered all around his desk told her he'd been rushed when he left. The newspaper that she’d been reading the day before when she’d drifted off to sleep was still lying where it had fallen from her hands. She’d awakened hours later to find Matt sitting at his desk watching her sleep.

“What? Why are you
staring at me like that? Was I snoring?” Kate was becoming more self-conscious around him with each passing day.

After the
night she spent in his bed their relationship had changed. They were both being so careful with each other that it seemed impossible to go back to being just friends.

Kate
was beginning to feel the weight of each of her eight months of pregnancy. She was clumsy, her ankles and hands were always swelling, and she cried at the drop of a hat.

“Nothing.” Matt answered
and grinned at her. Then he’d knelt and touched her face. “You are so beautiful. I’m amazed at how pretty you are. I could sit here and watch you for hours.”

Matt never talked to her like this. He was always so careful to keep to the boundaries of their marriage.
His honesty had shocked her.

“You’re a terrible liar, Matt Stevens. There’s nothing pretty about being eight months pregnant. It’s sheer torture.”

He hadn’t answered. He’d only shaken his head, but there had been a certain longing in his eyes.

He was attracted to her
—he hadn’t denied that. Matt might want her physically, but Kate wasn’t sure that would ever be enough.

She’d been trying to ignore her feelings. She wanted him to see just how much God loved him and wanted him back
, yet she was finding it hard to keep her true feelings for him separate from that desire.

She loved him.

She loved him with all her heart, but she couldn't let him know it and that was sheer torture.

 

****

 

“Kate?” Matt unlocked the door and stepped inside the dark house. She didn’t answer. He dropped his briefcase and coat and went to where he was certain she would be. “Kate?” He opened the door to his office where the small fire in the fireplace allowed him to see her stretched out on the sofa. He let go of a breath in relief.

She was
okay. He sank down to his knees and brushed away a strand of blonde hair that had fallen across her face. She was so beautiful, so sweet, and he was so much in love with her that it hurt at times.

When he hadn’t been able to reach her all the way home he’d become frantic, imagining all sorts of horrifying possibilities.
Now, as he watched her slowly open her eyes, he tried to control the love and longing he had for her.

“Hi
, I didn’t hear you come in. What time is it?” She sounded sleepy. She tried to stifle a yawn.

She wasn’t yet aware that his hand still rested against her hair, or that he was taking in every little detail of her face. Taking advantage of her drowsiness to remain close for just a second longer.

“It’s almost seven. I tried calling, but you didn’t answer. I was scared to death that something had happened to you—”

An u
neasiness showed in her expression. She struggled to sit up and reach for his hand. “You called? Oh, Matt, I’m sorry. I must have been really out of it. I didn’t even hear the phone and it’s so late. I was going to have dinner ready for you when you got home.”

 

****

 

When she looked into his eyes, she stopped talking. Something stilled in her. It reminded her of the things she’d been thinking before she’d fallen asleep. She wished their marriage were real in every way. She could feel his breath, gentle and warm, against her skin.

She loved him.

His hand holding hers was restless. He released her, his fingers cupping her cheek. He was so close.

“Kate.”

Her name sounded so tender on his lips that instinctively she closed her eyes. She loved him, and that was all that mattered surely?

Matt lowered his head, his lips brushing against hers. So soft, so slow
, and so amazingly gentle that she believed nothing could be more right than this. She responded to him with all the love that she’d kept buried deep inside her heart.

H
is warm kisses left her lips and moved slowly across her skin, coming to rest against her forehead. The room and all its reality slipped back into focus.

Somehow,
she was in his arms, sitting on his lap. She couldn’t remember either of them moving. There were questions in his eyes that she was too frightened to act upon.

This was her husband, but he didn’t love her. He was her friend, but he was lost and searching for hope and he needed her.

She didn’t have any of those things to give him right now.

He didn’t love her.

Kate struggled out of his arms and got to his feet. She wanted to cry. She stumbled away from him.

“Kate
, wait. Please.”

Dizziness washed over her
. She was crying. And then the first mind-numbing cramp sliced through her abdomen, tearing words from her that she would never have had the courage to say to him otherwise.

“No
, Matt. I-I can’t do this. I don’t think I can do this anymore. I can’t pretend any longer. I love you, but I can’t save you and I’m no good for you. I can’t be just your friend anymore. I know I promised and I know you need that from me desperately, and I’m sorry. This is wrong, this is not what you want—it’s not what I promised you, but I can’t help it. I can’t do this anymore. I should never have married you—” Her voice swept away in a rush of pain as another cramp more powerful than the last, made her cry out in pain. Her hands instinctively went to her stomach. Her baby.
Please God, let the baby be okay.

Chapter Twelve

 

“Denny, it’s Matt
. Please come. I need you to come. I think...I think Kate’s gone into labor.”

Denny’s worst fear became reality in a
n instant.

“What happened? Matt
, calm down for a moment, and tell me what happened.”

Beyond the sound of Matt’s frantic voice, he heard Kate scream, and he turned quickly to Melissa.

“Get the air emergency service on their way to Matt’s now, Lissa. Don’t let them give you any argument. This is serious. Tell them I’ll meet them there. It’s Kate. Tell them to hurry. It might just mean the difference between life and death.”

Denny threw on his coat, grabbed his medical bag, and headed for the door. He was still listening to the frantic sound of Matt’s voice on his cell phone as he tried to help Kate.

“Matt, tell me what’s going on. I’m on my way now, but you need to focus on what I’m saying. What are Kate’s symptoms?”

“She’s...” His voice
broke and there was another minute of silence before he could answer. “She’s in so much pain, and she’s bleeding.”

Denny begin to pray with all his heart.
Please, Lord, let her be okay. Please help her. Help Matt.


Okay, now listen to me. I’ll be there in fifteen minutes, but I need you to keep her as quiet as possible during that time. I have air emergency on the way. They’ll be there from Denver as soon as possible. Just hang on and try to stay calm for Kate. I’m going to hang up to keep the line open in case the emergency personnel need to reach me. If anything happens you call, but I’m on my way. Just hang on.”

Fifteen minutes later as Denny ran toward the front door of the house, he could hear the sounds of the emergency helicopter somewhere in the distance.

He opened the door to Matt’s office and froze. Kate was unconscious. Matt knelt next to her on the floor, tears running down his face. Denny couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen his friend cry. He feared the worst.

“How long has she been unconscious?” he asked while he tried to find Kate’s pulse.

Fear was etched in his friend’s expression. “Just now. Just a moment before you arrived. Denny, help her. She’s bleeding—”

“She’s going into labor. I need to focus on Kat, and I need you to help me. Go outside and wait for the paramedics. They’ll be here soon.” Denny gave him a push toward the door, before
he opened his bag and tried to save Kate's life.

Matt turned back to him, his shattered expression full of pain. “What can I do to help her? There must be something.
Tell me what I can do?”

Denny’s gaze locked with Matt’s for a moment and then lowered to the woman who was his only concern now.

“If she stays unconscious we’re going to take the baby by Caesarean birth. Pray, Matt. If you’ve ever believed in God, then pray.”              

 

****

 

“I need you to wait outside. You can’t go into the operating room. I’m sorry, I’ll make sure you know everything that’s taking place in there, but I can’t have you with her right now. I don’t believe it would be what’s best for Kate.” Denny didn’t wait for Matt to answer. He walked into the operating room to his unconscious patient.

The OR was teaming with people. Kate was prepped and ready for surgery. Even before she’d been
anesthetized, she hadn’t ever regained consciousness, not once on the flight from Silver Mountain. Denny’s fear had worsened.

That she had slipped into a coma. That she might never regain consciousness again.
That she might die. How on earth could he ever bear to tell his friend that he’d lost yet another person he loved, if that happened?

Matt had
n't said a word throughout the short flight. He'd been too scared to ask questions. He’d seen the truth Denny couldn't hide.

This was more than just premature labor.

This was bad.

 

****

 

Matt paced the waiting room floor. He desperately wanted to be close to Kate. Not knowing what was happening was sheer torment.

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