The doctor looks between Axel and me before he moves his eyes to the clipboard in his hands.
“Sir, your wife lost a good bit of blood, but we were able to replenish that quickly and she was very lucky that her wounds weren’t deeper than they were. The blade missed two major arteries by a hair. She went into labor in transit, and after delivery, our major concern was blood loss and the wound that she had gotten to her side. I can’t stress enough just how lucky your wife is.”
“She’s okay?” I question.
The doctor looks between us again, and for the first time, I notice the noise around us as the family realizes that she’s alive and going to be fine.
“The baby?” Axel asks.
And just like that, the room is silenced.
“Ah . . .” He looks down at his notes. “You’ll have to excuse me. I was in charge of your wife, and after delivery, she became my sole patient.” He moves a few things before pausing to read some notes. “It says here that the baby is in the NICU at the moment being monitored, but for a thirty-two-week baby, his vitals are strong.”
“His?” I choke out.
“Yes, his. Congratulations. You have a son.”
And then I pass out.
I OPEN MY EYES AND jerk when my last memories hit my like a tsunami.
Mark. The knife. The lamp. And my will to live—to fight.
“She’s waking up, honey.”
I move my head and look at my mom, who is standing on the left side of my bed. My daddy is standing right behind her with his arms wrapped tight around her, their eyes red and swollen. I move my eyes around the room and see Nate, his eyes dripping with tears. I give him a weak smile, and he turns his face from mine as he struggles to take control of his emotions.
I continue my rotation until I look down at the weight pressing against my hip. The dark-brown hair buzzed on the side and overgrown on the top. The strong shoulders heaving with emotion. And I feel his tears wetting my hand he’s holding against his parted lips.
My heart breaks for the pain he’s in, and I know there isn’t anything I can do to ease it until he works out on his own whatever is running through his mind. I squeeze him, anxious to see those dark-brown eyes. I need him to see that I’m okay—I need to see that he’s okay.
“Cohen—” I rasp and clear my throat. “Baby,” I beg, feeling my own tears roll down my cheeks.
His shoulders start to heave when my voice hits his ears. I watch helplessly as the man I love falls apart. I look over to my parents and pray for answers, but I watch as my mom’s own tears cascade down her porcelain skin. My dad has his head bowed and his forehead resting against her shoulder, his body hunched in a way I know can’t be comfortable. I hear the door click and look over to see that Nate has left the room.
Without getting any help, I move my attention back to Cohen and try again. “Baby, please look at me. I need your eyes.”
He struggles to control his emotions, and I watch with my eyes filling with tears as he lifts his head and I get a good look at my handsome man.
His chocolate eyes are filled with pain, and through the red-rimmed swelling around them, his tears continue to fall. His lips are dry from what I’m guessing is the sobbing I felt against my skin.
I reach up and run my fingers across his cheek. “It’s you and me against the world, Cohen. Never goodbye, remember?”
He closes his eyes at my words and gives me a nod. I watch as he struggles again, but he wins against his pain, and when he opens his eyes again, I see my Cohen looking back at me.
“Just see you soon,” he sighs.
“Every time I close my eyes.”
He smiles. It’s slightly wobbly, but it’s a smile nonetheless, and I return it.
“We have a son,” he says in reverence.
“He’s okay?” I study his face for clues, and when the little sadness that was left in his eyes vanishes and he hits me with the full force of his smile, my heart bursts.
“Perfect,” I cry. “Tell me more,” I beg.
“He’s big considering he was preterm. Just under five pounds, but he’s a fighter, Dani-girl. They have him in NICU being monitored, but when I spoke to the nurse, she said she could see him coming home in a month at the most. He looks like me,” he adds with his smile growing. “With your lips.”
I soak it in, the fact that we have a son. Cohen and my baby together. Our little fighter.
Seems fitting that a love we’ve both been fighting to withstand, overcome, and, in the end, fight for would produce a little miracle that was a fighter in his own right.