By: Rosa Swann
When your family may be in a little bit more trouble than you thought…
Our visit to the doctor ends a little differently than expected when I get a message from my younger brother Wes that he’s going into labour.
And when I reach the hospital, I don’t find the people there that I’d expect to find. Where is everyone?
First the proposal this morning, then the visit at the doctors’, and then driving for hours to get to Wes in the hospital. Today isn’t really going according to plan. Both on the fun and the not so fun surprises.
But, as older brothers, what else are we supposed to do than trying to help when we feel like one of our siblings is in trouble?
I may have only had a day or two to plan this proposal, but I still think it worked out pretty well. Of course, I had to get Zeke in on it and I had some help from other people.
But in the end, it came down to just the two of us, me and Aiden. And just looking at him, at his huge smile, I’m so glad I did this.
Because I want to keep doing that. I want to keep making him smile. I feel like the man has had way too little to smile about lately. But this is definitely a good reason to smile.
I take Aiden’s hand as I sit down next to him in the booth. I finished handing out the pieces of pie and Zeke is bringing around coffee and tea, so I get to spend at least some time with Aiden alone.
He leans against me a little, his head on my shoulder. “So this is why you couldn’t spend the night.”
“Ah, yeah, sorry. If I’d stayed, I wouldn’t have been able to set this all up.” I squeeze his hand softly. “I wanted to make it special, but I also wanted to do this now.”
I take a deep breath. “I also got you a key to my current apartment, and to the city-apartment.”
This feels almost more intimate than proposing or even the things we’ve done in the bedroom. Probably because I haven’t really shared any of my spaces with anyone since college.
I reach into my pocket and pull out a key ring with four keys on it. “Here they are.”
Aiden’s mouth falls open a little as he takes them. “Thank you.”
“You should have them, if you’re going to be my husband.”
“Husband.” Aiden’s voice is a little airy. “I like the sound of that, husband.”
“Yes. Husband.” I grin, enjoying watching Aiden think about what this all means for him. He looks happy, he looks really happy.
“And, if you would let me, I’d like you to come to my apartment this evening, or this afternoon after the appointment with your doctor, and I’d like to cook for you. I know we’ve been having a lot of take away and such, but I can cook and I’d like to do that.”
“I’d love that.” If possible, Aiden’s smile just got bigger. “Though, I may have to go home for a bit for things for Seb, between the doctor and your house.”
“That’s fine. We can do that on our way back.” I slide my arm around Aiden’s shoulders and pull him close. “I’m so happy you said yes. And I really do want to spend as much time with you as I can.”
“Me too.” Aiden pushes in closer, his body warm against mine.
Then Zeke comes over to our table, looking at us, smiling. Though, as he reaches the table, he rolls his eyes a little. “I do hope you’re not going to be all stuck to each other all the time now, are you?”
“And why wouldn’t we?” I raise my eyebrows at him.
“Maybe because you still need to actually work.” He shakes his head, laughing. “Well, I guess that this is a little more important. But still.” He lets out a breath. “More drinks?”
“Yes, please.” Aiden’s voice is slow, low, and sweet. I can’t help the way I pull him closer.
I’m just glad that I got to do this. Propose to him and all.
Because I want to do this right.
I want to do the right things for our future.
Aiden’s hand is clammy in mine as we walk into the doctor’s office. The man looks at me and holds out his hand. “I’m Stephen.”
I take his hand. “Clay. Aiden’s mate.”
Stephen inclines his head and sits down, looking at Aiden. “You came here for the test?”
Aiden nods. “Yeah.”
“Have there been any changes? Physically?”
Aiden shakes his head and I think I can see a little bit of panic in his eyes.
“That’s normal at this point still. Don’t worry.” Stephen stands up. “If you’d follow me, I’ll need to take a little bit of your blood.”
I stand up and together with Aiden, follow Stephen to a small curtained off area in the back.
Aiden takes off his jacket and his sweater and then sits down on a chair, reaching out to me with one hand.
I step closer, taking his hand and I feel him shake a little.
He’s scared. He doesn’t show it much, but he’s really scared and I wish I could do something about it. But right now, we can only wait.
“Okay. This will sting just a little.” Stephen slides closer and wraps a band around Aiden’s arm, pulling it tight. But just as he starts to prepare to take Aiden’s blood, Seb starts crying in the carrier in the main part of the office and I step back to the chairs we were previously.
I can’t distract the poor doctor. That wouldn’t be right.
“Hey, little man. What’s wrong?” I try to look at him, but he just really seems unhappy.
I try to think back if he may be hungry or something, but I can’t really remember, so I don’t know what to do now.
A few moments later Aiden also comes to us. “I’ll take him. I think he needs a bottle.” He takes Seb out of the carrier and rummages through the baby bag with his other hand.
Then he takes the bottle and sits down, letting Seb drink. He’s so focused on Seb that I’m sure he’s just trying to distract himself. But I let him, because I know that he’s scared. Scared of what happens if he lets himself think.
Stephen comes back. “We’ll just have to wait a few minutes. Are there any questions you want to ask? Anything you want to know?”
Aiden shakes his head.
But I have one. “Are all Alpha and Omega matings true matings?”
“As far as I know, yes. If they’re done naturally. Of course, there are black market ways that may or may not work to mate an Alpha and an Omega who aren’t fated mates, but barring that. Yes, all matings are true matings.”
Hmm. “Does a true mating mean that…” How am I even supposed to ask this? Do I even want to put to words the things that have been going through my mind lately? “Eh… Does that mean that they have to be perfect together? That there won’t be problems?”
“Every relationship can have problems. But perfect mating doesn’t mean that people can’t act in ways that hurts someone. Does that answer your question?” Stephen looks at me.
“Yeah. Yeah, that answers it.”
Perfect mating or not, not every person is perfect. And people can still be bad to others, even when they’re supposed to be ‘perfect’ together.
A pinging sound comes from the back and Stephen stands up. “That will be the results.”
I sit down next to Aiden, who looks at me, his eyebrows furrowed. But I shake my head.
“I’ll explain later.” I don’t want to think about this now. I don’t want to share my suspicion until I know more.
Stephen comes back, a folded piece of paper in his hand. “I’ll let you do the honours.” He hands it to Aiden who takes the piece, as I quickly take over Seb’s bottle so the little man can keep drinking.
I look away for a single moment, and that’s the moment Aiden lets out a loud gasp. All my senses are immediately on high alert.
Then Aiden lets out a deep breath and I can see him relax. “I suspected this would be the result.” I’m not sure if I can read his voice, or his face, he seems conflicted. Then he hands me the paper.
I scan the page with my eyes, until I find the line ‘Pregnancy hormones found: yes’. Wow. Oh, wow.
A laugh bubbles up inside me and I can’t help the smile.
I’m going to be a father!
Then I look at Aiden, who now also smiles, but I still see the worry too.
“Congratulations.” I lean over and give him a kiss. His body relaxes more under my touch.
“Thank you. You too.” Aiden’s voice is breathy.
I nod. Just then, my phone buzzes and I grab it, looking at who sent me a message. Wes.
Right on time!
I open the message, all excited to tell him the good news, as my breath stops for a moment. Because I was not expecting this message, at least not yet.
‘I’m going into labour.’
It takes me a few moments to really understand what he’s saying.
“What is it?” Aiden touches my shoulder.
“Wes is going into labour. Like, now.” I’ll be an uncle, again, but this feels different. This is the first time I’m actually aware of what is going on. Especially right after knowing that I’m going to become a father myself.
“Oh. Congratulate him for me.” Aiden’s laughing and it feels weird. It feels like I’m somehow outside of myself, like this isn’t really happening.
“Will do.” Just as I’m about to send a message back, I get another one from Wes.
‘Jas is bringing me to the hospital. But I would really like for you to be here.’
‘I’m coming.’ I have to, there is no other way. I don’t know how I’m going to make this work. But my little brother needs me. And I’m not turning him away again.
I look at the message, it’s so simple. But I know that there is so much more behind it.
“Clay?” Aiden’s voice sounds worried.
“I’m sorry. I need to be there for him.” I stand up, a little unsure of how to proceed. Fuck.
“Of course.” Aiden stands up too, pulling at me until he’s put a now very content Seb in the carrier. “I will make a follow-up appointment at the front desk. When would that need to be?”
I can hear Aiden, but it’s not really registering.
“In seven or eight weeks would be fine,” Stephen answers.
“Will do.” Aiden grabs his bag and such and then starts steering me out of the room, towards the front desk.
When we’re halfway down the hallway, I stop, taking Aiden in my arms. “I love you.”
“I love you too.” Aiden sounds surprised.
“I’m really happy about the baby.” Because I am.
But these past weeks, something has been eating away at me, something Wes said that at the wedding. And now he’s going into labour and I can’t get this bad feeling out of my heart.
“I know.” Aiden pulls away a little and looks at me closely. “But you’re worried about Wes.”
“Can I come with you when you go visit him?”
“Yes. Yes, please.” I take his hands. “I’m going to need you.”
Because I can’t do this on my own.
I need Aiden at my side, especially now that we’ll become parents.