They’re all so excited, walking out of the doctor’s office – talking all at once and yet somehow getting all of what’s being said, all three gushing at once about what they’ve just seen and heard.
Their baby, and the lovely, life-changing music of her heartbeat.
They’re having a little girl.
Sharon, the young woman who entered their lives as a business arrangement – a means to the end they desperately wanted, a child together – but has now become so intimately involved in their lives that they can’t imagine their friendship ending once their daughter is born – is in tears and laughing at the same time as she steps out into the street to cross it.
One or both of those is the reason why she doesn’t see the car that’s hurtling toward her, heedless of the red light that should block its progress.
Adam shouts her name, grabbing her arm and yanking her back so hard and so fast that she nearly ends up sitting down on the curb, nearly ends up taking Sauli to the ground with her – but instead he manages to catch her and steady her before she completely loses her balance.
They stare at each other in horror and shock for a moment, before bursting into laughter and tears again, though this time born of the terror of that close call. One on either side of her, supporting her, Adam and Sauli get Sharon to a nearby outdoor table on the patio of a little bistro. By the time she’s sitting down, she’s crying in earnest, her unbalanced pregnancy hormones combining with the near miss she just had to suddenly hit her at once with the reality of what could have happened.
Sauli strokes her back gently, murmuring soft words in Finnish. She doesn’t speak the language, but the comfort in his tone needs no interpretation.
Adam is shaking still, too, staring, as if still seeing the image of the mother of their baby, nearly being mowed down by a reckless, probably drunken driver. Sauli’s hand reaching behind Sharon to rest on Adam’s arm draws his attention, and he looks up at him through wide, stricken eyes.
“You protect us,” Sauli says softly, his eyes shining with love and gratitude. “You have just proven to me, Adam – I am right to trust you with our lives.”
Adam doesn’t feel quite so sure, unable to keep himself from thinking of how close that was to devastation and grief – but he reaches out to take Sauli’s hand, squeezing it gently, reassuringly – a silent promise that no matter what happens, he’ll do his best to live up to Sauli’s faith in him.
They’re going to be a family – and he’ll do everything in his power to keep them together and safe.