By Carol Sandford


Chapter 06


Deanna yelped, causing the child in her arms to react with a tiny squawk, as Will gently began to massage her stomach, but moments later she was surprised to feel another contraction coming and another large object fall free of her loins.

Will tenderly spoke to her. "It’s all over now, Deanna. The afterbirth is out and I’m just going to clean you up and then you can sleep, okay?"

Deanna drowsily watched him as he fussed around, oblivious to her intent gaze. A tidal wave of emotions went through her as he went through the act of washing her, and removing all the soiled cloths that only a short while ago made her lounge look like a bloody battle zone. She was even more surprised when he suddenly disappeared, reappearing a moment later with a pair of her panties and towelling, then deftly slipped them on her as though he’d done it a hundred times before.

Deanna thought Will was going to leave her where she was, but once he’d squared everything away, he leant down and scooped her and the baby up into his arms, as though she weighed nothing at all, and carried her into her bedroom.

He lay her gently onto the bed, its covers already pulled down, ready and waiting. Being laid down finally allowed Deanna to succumb to the fatigue that had been with her for weeks, if she allowed herself to admit that fact. She was tired. Not just from giving birth, but from the days and nights of worrying about everything and anything.

But now her saviour had come, seemingly from the heavens themselves. Her baby had been born alive, and she knew without a shadow of a doubt that her loneliness was over, too, because there was no way in this universe that Will would leave her again.

Will watched Deanna’s eyes flitter down, her exhaustion finally taking over her beat and battered mind and body. Will marvelled at how strong she had been, and still was. They both knew that if she’d have wanted to, she could have called Earth anytime, and the Enterprise would have come running. HE would have come running.

But she’d wanted to prove to not only herself, but to everyone else that she wasn’t a quitter, and she had excelled. Will was so proud of her and smiled, watching her cradle her newborn protectively against her breast, her breathing slow, shallow and peaceful as she slept.

Reluctantly, though, Will had to disturb her. He hated to do it, more than aware of how tired she was, but she needed to get some nourishment into the little one, quickly. Gently Will stroked Deanna’s peachy cheek with the back of his index finger, but she was oblivious to everything.

Will chewed his lip for a moment as he watched her. Then, decision made, he made his way to the other side of the bed, so that he could manoeuvre Deanna and the baby easier.

Reaching forward, Will undid the few buttons upon her nightgown until enough were undone for him to push the fabric aside and bare one full breast, its nipple already engorged from the months of preparation. Not so long ago, Will would have been beside himself with need if this had been a different time and a different circumstance. But knowing that her body had nurtured a child, and her breast were now a continued source of this, sexual need hadn’t even entered his mind. How times had changed.

Freeing the tiny infant enough for it to nurse, he gently lifted and guided the minute bud lips to the nipple, stroking its cheek softly with his fingertip, whilst guiding the rosy tip into its mouth with his other hand.

Cooing quietly, Will coaxed the baby to open wide enough to take in the impossibly large nipple, "Come on, baby," he coaxed. The baby fussed as it struggled against the intrusion, until suddenly it seemed to know that somehow this was what was supposed to happen, and it began to suckle noisily, earning a tender chuckle from Will. "Atta...Hey!" A sudden thought occurred to him. "We don’t even know what you are yet!"

Gently pulling aside the towel enough to see its nether regions, Will grinned stupidly at the still dozing Deanna, whispering, "Congratulations, mommy, you’ve got a beautiful baby boy."

Will watched the scene for a few minutes longer as he waited for the baby to stop suckling, then gently reaching in, he disconnected him from Deanna’s breast, lifted him away from her arms and wrapped him snuggly back into the fluffy towel. Deanna whimpered in her sleep, reaching out for her child, obviously registering the loss but too tired to waken from the heavy, healing rest.

Smiling, Will stood, leant over and covered her exposed body tucking the baby back into her arms. He pulled the coverlet back up before leaning in and kissing her now dry brow. His tender "Sleep well, mommy," went unheard as he quietly slipped from the room.

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