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Illusions of the island

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water droplets Illusions of the island2

 

 

It’d been a hectic few days since the incident at the swan hatch, and James and Juliet were both settling into a semi-normal routine back on the beach. Juliet paused with washing the soap out of her shirt and twisted it in knots for a minute. I should just tell James. He’s going to find out sooner rather than later.

“You making an escape ladder to go somewhere blondie?”

She averted her eyes up to James with a confused and blank expression on her face.

“Huh?”

Looking down at the long pile of shirts all knotted and tied together, she put a hand up to her face and sighed.

“Now I’m going to have to wash these all over again. Forgive me James, I don’t know where my head is. Is that mango for me?”

James nodded and tossed it to her. Catching the fruit, she looked at it and tossed it back.

“Thanks, but I’m actually not that hungry James. You can have it.”

James narrowed his eyes at Juliet as he caught the seemingly offending fruit.

“You need to eat sweetheart. Think about the baby.”

Juliet’s eyes softened more as she looked up at him with an invisible question mark lining her face.

“How… How did you know? I was just going to tell you.”

Smirking, James sat down in the sand next to Juliet and helped her begin unknotting the pile of shirts and pants she’d made into a rope.

“I saw it in your eyes when you said you weren’t hungry. Does the doc know?”

Nodding, she continued unknotting the pile.

“Yes. He said he wants to do an ultrasound later to make sure the baby is healthy. Are you ok with this? I mean us having a baby?”

She felt unsure of herself at the moment and very self-conscious. James put a hand up to her cheek and she leaned into it.

“Course I am darlin’. Besides, my bets on a boy.”

Juliet tried not to scoff at James, but it came out anyways.

“Really? A couple of years ago if I’d told you we were having a baby you would have bolted for the door and never looked back. You’ve changed.”

James stopped and pulled her in for a kiss. When they came up for air; he smiled.

“Your worth changin’ for blondie.”
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“Moment of truth here Juliet. You ready?”

Juliet nodded towards Jack and watched the black and white screen in front of her. It seemed like every other ultrasound she’d seen while
doing it for the women she tried to help on the island. James was sitting next to her and squeezed her hand. A smile graced her lips when she began to hear a heartbeat. Tears sprung from her eyes, happiness was the top layer, and sadness was just beneath.

“This island makes it so easy to get pregnant. But it also makes the chances of losing them greater. To be honest, I’m a little scared.”

Jack’s eyes softened and he put a hand on Juliet’s.

“You have every right to be scared Juliet. Remember how scared Kate was right before Megan was born? You said all the right words to keep her calm. Everything is going to be just fine. Look how Megan turned out, healthy. Now she’s an active 2-year-old who’s probably driving her mother crazy by now getting into everything.”

Juliet managed a little laugh.

“Yeah an active 2-year-old going through their terrible 2’s. Jack, Megan wasn’t entirely healthy. Remember we fixed that left ventricle in her heart that was almost closed? She would’ve died had we not fixed it. Desmond said he’d bring back help, but didn’t say when he’d be back.”

Juliet was certain that everything was going to be better now. She’d survived jumping through time, living three years in the Dharma Initiative, which translated into 6 years on the island, and now she was having a baby. James ran a hand through her blond locks.

“Don’t you worry. He’ll be back with help. With any luck, our baby will be born in a hospital. Away from this awful rock.”

With a confident nod, she turned back to Jack who explained his findings.

“Everything looks good. The baby’s got a strong heartbeat and is healthy.”

Her smile remained, even though she knew the injections of her serum were coming and it wasn’t going to be a picnic. She couldn’t let fear dominate her, she had to be strong, for the both of them.

“I like the names Cara or Isabel. What do you think James?”

James looked at her and smirked.

“Don’t count your votes for a girl just yet blondie. My bets on that it’ll one hundred percent be a boy.”

Juliet shook her head and continued to listen to the baby’s heartbeat. Somehow it made her feel like everything was going to be alright.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

“Whoa. You’re ok. I’ve got ya. I’ve got ya.”

 

The day had been filled with on and off nausea. James was holding her hair back as she emptied what little food she had in her stomach. When Juliet finished she looked up into his eyes and groaned, leaning against a palm tree.

 

“I’m never looking at another mango or papaya again.”

 

James rubbed his hands up and down her arms.

 

“You want me to ask the doc for something for your stomach?”

 

Wincing, Juliet swallowed and nodded her head.

 

“Anything that would help my stomach stop its violent storm would be appreciated right now James. Thank-you.”

 

Placing a kiss to her forehead, James left her to rest against the shade of the palm tree.

 

“I’ll see what I can get from the doc.”

 

Juliet only kept her eyes closed and sighed. Maybe the morning sickness is passing. A shadow cast over her and she opened up her eyes to see Kate and Megan.

 

“You should try putting something damp over your face.”

 

Megan was squirming in Kate’s arms, becoming fussier.

 

“Mama down.”

 

Juliet smiled at Megan who then reached her arms out for her.

 

“Julet…”

 

Kate gave a soft laugh and set Megan in Juliet’s lap.

 

“I’ve been teaching her how to say your name. She really likes being with you.”

 

Megan smiled up at Juliet and tried to use her as something to climb on. Kate shook her head and spoke to her daughter.

 

“Oh no baby. We don’t climb on Aunt Juliet.”

 

Scooping Megan into her arms, Kate apologized to Juliet.

 

“Juliet I’m sorry. She’s been finding anything she could climb on lately. I blame her dad for that. Jack lets her do whatever she wants.”

 

Juliet managed a laugh before a wave of nausea side-swiped her.

 

“Well, sounds like Megan is already a daddy’s girl. I have a good feeling this baby is going to be a girl. James doesn’t think so, but my gut feeling says it’s a girl.”

 

Taking a deep breath to reign in the nausea, Juliet gave a tight-lipped smile.

 

“Morning sickness that bad huh?”

 

Juliet nodded and took another breath trying to control the waves that were coming at her with the ferocity of a hurricane. Kate bounced
Megan on her hip as she started to cry.

 

“Well, maybe Jack can give you something to make you feel better. I’m going to put Megan down for an N-A-P. She’s really tired today.”

 

Juliet only smiled at Megan and rubbed the top of her foot with her thumb. Megan shook her head and kept reaching for Juliet.

 

“No! No! Julet! Julet!?”

 

Kate frowned and bounced her some more.

 

“Baby girl, how about I make you some mango juice? Mmm, that sounds good doesn’t it?”

 

But Megan wasn’t having it. She was instead having a rather large meltdown. Juliet held her arms out for Megan.

 

“She can stay with me for a little while, you look like you could use a little rest yourself. Go on, you deserve it.”

 

Kate paused for a moment and gave Juliet a sympathetic gaze.

 

“Are you sure? She’s become a real handful lately.”

 

Juliet waved Kate off.

 

“We’ll be fine. Besides, this will give me some practice for when Cara comes.”

 

Kate gave a snort and then laughed.

 

“James is really gonna love you for that one. He’s really convinced it’ll be a boy huh?”

 

Juliet nodded as Kate handed Megan to her.

 

“Yup.”

 

As soon as Megan was sitting in Juliet’s lap, she stopped crying and yawned. Soon, she could hardly keep her eyes open and snuggled against Juliet. Kate kissed Megan’s forehead and started walking away. Leaning her head back, Juliet closed her eyes and wrapped her arms around Megan. She woke when she felt a pinch in her left arm.

 

“Jack.”

 

Jack smiled at her and looked at Megan who was nestled against her.

 

“What I gave you should make you feel better. Megan just feel asleep with you huh?”

 

Juliet smiled a little and nodded trying to stay still and not wake Megan.

 

“She had a meltdown and didn’t want to go with Kate. She almost always takes her nap when I watch her.”

 

Megan whimpered in her sleep and spoke.

 

“Julet…”

 

Juliet rubbed Megan’s back and tried to get her to go back to sleep.

 

“Hey, it’s ok. Just go back to sleep. I’m right here.”

 

Megan stuck her thumb in her mouth and closed her eyes again. Jack shook his head and took Megan’s hand away from her mouth.

 

“I’ve got to break her of that bad habit.”

 

James looked at her a little unsure where his place was in all this. Juliet looked up at him and gestured towards Megan.

 

“You want to hold her?”

 

His eyes grew wide and he held his hands up.

 

“What? Me? She’s always been a screamer with me.”

 

Juliet held in a laugh.

 

“Well this’ll just give you some practice. We’re both in this together.”

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

Juliet yawned and then stretched. That was the best rest I’ve had in a while. Megan was still sound asleep next to her. Taking a look outside the tent, she realized the sun would be setting in twenty minutes. I should wake her up. She’ll be up all night if I let her sleep any longer.

“Megan sweetie, it’s time to wake up. Come on. Let’s get you back to daddy.”

Megan didn’t budge from her spot. This made Juliet very nervous and she swallowed it down trying and hide it. James walked into the tent all smiles, but it slid right off his face when he saw the worried looked on his fiancé’s face.

“Megan’s still asleep? WOW. Ain’t you gonna wake her up? The doc and Kate won’t be too happy that she’ll be up all night.”

Biting her lip, Juliet shook her head. Panic was starting to rise. Her emotions were getting the best of her.

“James I can’t wake her up. Go and get Jack. GO!”

Exiting the tent, Juliet watched as James yelled to Jack down the beach.

“Doc! Juliet needs your help!”

Jack came running as fast as his feet could carry him across the sand. Entering James and Juliet’s tent, he frowned.

“Juliet what’s wrong?”

Looking up, Jack noticed she had tears in her eyes.

“Jack, it’s Megan. I couldn’t wake her.”

Juliet felt like she was overreacting, but she knew it was her hormones getting the best of her. Her emotions weren’t in check right now. Jack
knelt beside the cot Megan was lying on and spoke to her.

“Megan, it’s daddy. It’s time to wake up now.”

Megan still didn’t budge, which was beginning to worry Jack now. Putting an ear up to her tiny chest, he listened for a moment.

“She’s breathing. Juliet hand me that stethoscope over there.”

Juliet handed Jack the instrument and stood off to the side with James by her side.

“Irregular heartbeat. I’ll have to give her something so it’ll go back into a normal rhythm. Do an ultrasound of her heart to make sure there isn’t anything blocked again.”

Juliet ran a hand through her hair and gave Jack and apologetic stare.

“Jack I’m sorry. I didn’t think to check…”

Jack only shook his head and scooped Megan up into his arms.

“You did the right thing Juliet. You have enough to worry about right now with the baby coming. Let’s get her to the medical station. The sooner we get this fixed; The better.”

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“It looks like there’s some scar tissue here.”

Jack zoomed in on the black and white screen so that Juliet could see. Juliet was trying to put the puzzle pieces together.

“Jack this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. How does a two year-old have scar tissue?”

 

Shaking his head, Jack examined the areas where he’d seen the scar tissue and looked for more evidence.

 

“Her heart could’ve been that way to begin with, it’s just taken awhile to surface. She’ll need a new heart once we’re off the island.”

 

Juliet nodded and ran a hand through Megan’s dark locks.

 

“She’s been through a lot in the last year. The last thing she needs right now is something else pinned against her.”

Jack nodded and turned off the machine.

 

“Megan has always been a fighter. I’ve never given up on her, and she’s never given up either.”

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“How is she blondie? Megan?”

Sighing, Juliet sunk heavily onto the cot next to James and frowned.

“She needs a new heart. But that would require us getting off the island.”

James pulled her into his arms and rocked her for a moment.

“Is this really about Megan? Or is it about the baby?”

Juliet let a few tears fall down her cheeks before she spoke.

“Both I suppose. What if something’s wrong with our baby? What if she gets sick?”

James kissed her hair and closed his eyes. He hated seeing her worried or scared, it broke his heart.

“Don’t you worry now blondie. Everything’s gonna be alright. You’ll see.”

Juliet hoped so, this island had already done enough damage to last her six lifetimes.

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

“Hey now blondie, don’t go hurtin’ yourself now. I got it. You just sit down and relax. Remember what the doc said? No heavy liftin’.”

 

Juliet rolled her eyes at James. I am not an invalid. I can move a crate filled with laundry 20 feet for crying out loud!

 

“I’m perfectly capable of moving the laundry James. You don’t have to do everything for me!”

 

Sometimes he was infuriating. Still sweet, but infuriating nonetheless. She barely had a visible baby bump and he was already treating her like she couldn’t even lift a finger. If she was honest with herself, she had a bit of a temper, when she let it show. Taking a breath, she sat down on a rock under one of the palm trees and shook her head.

 

“I’m sorry James. I don’t want to fight with you. All this sometimes is just frustrating. I can’t lift heavy things; I’m not supposed to run… I’m barely showing and you treat me like this.”

 

James felt like Juliet was being irrational. But it was all part of the process. He stopped for a moment and dropped a pair of pants into the water trough.

 

“Come on blondie, I’m just trying to make sure the two of you stay safe. Why don’t you just sit and relax? I’ll tell ya what, you look like you could use a foot massage. How does that sound?”

 

Smiling, Juliet got up from the rock and sat down under the shade of a palm tree.

 

“Sounds like heaven. My feet are absolutely killing me.”

 

Leaning up against the palm tree, Juliet smiled and sighed as James began to give her right foot the much-needed massage.

 

“Maybe I should get you somethin’ to soak your feet in too while I’m at it.”

 

Juliet was only half-listening to James and answered him.

 

“That sounds nice James. Keep the massage coming. You really think we’re having a boy?”

 

Opening up her eyes to look at James, she gave him a sideways glance and then a small smile.

 

“Yup. He’ll be a strong boy. Maybe the next one will be a girl. That way Max will have a little sister.”

 

Max? Juliet couldn’t help but laugh a little. Her hunches were almost always correct. Her smile turned into a frown as her mind wandered to her nine failures.

 

“Nine women. Nine children. Five girls and four boys, make nine. Add the nine women into it all and that makes eighteen. This island has caused more casualties than miracles. I don’t want to be one of those casualties James.”

 

James stopped massaging Juliet’s feet and gave her a sympathetic look.

 

“Hey, it’s not your fault blondie. It’s this damned island. You are the smartest woman I know. So far, everything has worked on you. I’d say that was a miracle in itself. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Look at Megan and Kate. They both owe you their lives. They are alive because of you.”

 

She nodded and reached for James hands in a gesture of comfort.

 

“Thank-you for always believing in me James. I couldn’t be stronger without you.”

 

James nodded and continued massaging her feet.

 

“You are my stroke of good luck blondie. I will always have your back sweetheart. We’re still in this together. Now and always.”

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

“Smooth sailing blondie. We made it to the 6-month mark. You felt him kickin’ yet?”

 

Shaking her head, no, Juliet placed her hands on either side of her stomach.

 

“No. Give her some time James. She might be a little shy. This baby is definitely a girl. You wanna know why?”

 

Managing to get to her feet, Juliet stood in front of James.

 

“Look at me, I’m carrying high. Girls carry high. Boys carry low. This isn’t a boy James. Sorry to burst your bubble.”

 

James started to laugh a Juliet, shaking his head.

 

“That’s an old wives’ tale and you know it blondie!”

 

Juliet put her hands on her hips and kept her temper in check. This time she didn’t know why she was getting mad. A sharp kick in the ribs startled her out of her thoughts.

 

“James come here! I felt a kick!”

 

James face lit up and he moved closer to Juliet.

 

“Where?”

 

Reaching for his hand, she placed it where she’d felt the kick. James’ smile grew more when he felt a strong thump against his hand.

 

“That boy’s got a strong kick. He could be a good quarterback when he gets to high school.”

 

Juliet continued to laugh as the little fluttering of feet kept coming.

=======================================================================================

 

“Well you two, another milestone and moment of truth here. Sawyer I know you think it’s a boy, what do you think Juliet?”

 

Juliet smiled as Jack got everything ready and turned on the ultrasound machine.

 

“I know in my gut it’s a girl.”

 

Jack smiled and poured the conducting gel onto her stomach.

 

“Sorry, I know that’s cold. Well let’s see what we can find out here.”

 

Jack moved the wand slowly over her stomach and mentally made some notations before he spoke up again.

 

“Ok, let’s see if I can get a good look here… Looks like you’re having a little girl.”

 

Juliet smiled and watched the black and white image of her little girl for a moment or two in awe. She burst out laughing all of a sudden and
blurted out a first and middle name.

 

“Hello Cara Rene…”

 

James looked upset at first, but then relented and gave Juliet a big smile.

 

“Would ya look at that? Looks like our girl is wavin’ at us.”

 

Juliet laughed through her tears and fingered the screen. Three more months to go. We can do this.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

Juliet turned over and shook James awake.

 

“James wake up. I think it’s time.”

 

Shooting out of bed, James looked at Juliet wide eyed.

 

“Can you stand blondie? Does it hurt?”

 

What a stupid question to ask. Of course it hurts! Barely managing to stand on her two feet, she blew out a breath. Helping her walk out of their tent, both James and Juliet came face to face with Jack just outside.

 

“This is going to be a long-haul Juliet. You think you can make it to the medical station?”

 

Juliet nodded and pushed forward. As they made it to the tree line, Jack continued his thought.

 

“How many contractions have you had? How far apart are they?”

 

Juliet swallowed before answering, sweat was starting to get into her eyes.

 

“I don’t know. But I’ve been having contractions since yesterday. Yesterday they were really spaced out. One every three or four hours.”

 

Jack was trying to put the puzzle pieces together. It would take them at least twenty-five minutes to reach The Staff.

 

“Has your water broken?”

 

Juliet shook her head no.

 

“No. Not yet. But I think I’m close.”

 

Every few minutes they would have to stop as another contraction came barreling through. Soon they found themselves in front of a strange looking tree with twisted roots. Juliet recognized it right away and stopped.

 

“Jack, James, stop. I can’t go any farther.”

 

James turned to her with a question mark on his face.

 

“Sure you can blondie. I’ve got ya. Why not?”

 

Shaking her head no, she blindly grabbed for one of the twisted roots and held on.

 

“I’ll tell you why not James, your daughter is coming like a freight train. She’s between my legs. You want to tell her to wait until we get to the medical station? Here is good.”

 

Juliet felt her entire body tense as the familiar roar of the black smoke sounded in the distance. If she could’ve, she would’ve dove into the
tree with the twisted roots. With the help of Jack and James, she squeezed under it. She could see James was starting to panic. Somehow, she felt calm.

“What do ya mean here is good!? You really wanna have our daughter here in the dirt?”

 

Jack looked to Juliet but spoke to James.

 

“Sawyer, move behind Juliet.”

 

James nervously got behind Juliet and helped her sit down. Helping her lean against him, he swallowed his nervousness. Juliet listened as Jack spoke.

 

“Juliet put your feet on these tree roots. There you go.”

 

Juliet didn’t have time to think, the pain was mounting again. She wasn’t about to go against the grain. The roar of the black smoke monster was getting closer every minute. Please don’t let it find us! She tried holding in a scream but it was about to bubble out.

 

“Please don’t let the Black smoke take us! Please!”

 

James ran a hand through Juliet’s hair.

 

“Shh. Everything’s gonna be ok sweetheart.”

 

The black smoke came rumbling through the jungle and seemed to be right on top of the tree. James quickly took his belt and gave it to Juliet. She stuffed a piece of it in her mouth to silence her scream. Jack whispered so that only the three of them could hear.

 

“Juliet I’m going to need you to push alright?”

 

Juliet nodded and did exactly what Jack told her. She tried curling her toes around the tree roots her feet were resting on, but they were too
big around. The clicking noise died down and the shaking stopped. Taking a shaking breath in, Juliet found her voice.

 

“That was a close one. God it feels like a ten-ton weight is making its way through me! Do either of you want to do this for me!?”

 

James swallowed and shook his head no, removing a strand of stray hair from her face. Jack looked at her and smiled.

 

“Another ten seconds Juliet and then we’ll rest ok? You’re doing great.”

 

Ten seconds? Why not two hours or five days!? Juliet was already becoming flustered.

 

“I don’t know if I have another ten seconds in me!?”

 

Jack gave her a sympathetic look.

 

“Ok, take a breath and relax Juliet. You rest.”

 

James wiped the tears from her eyes and kissed her forehead. Juliet closed her eyes and took a few breaths.

 

“I’m just going to rest my eyes for a few…”

 

James looked over at Jack and spoke.

 

“Doc, shouldn’t we move her?”

 

Jack shook his head no.

 

“No, I’m afraid it’s too late for that.”

 

His eyes darkened as he looked at Jack.

 

“Why not? You want her to have this baby in the dirt?”

 

Jack shook his head again and frowned.

 

“Sawyer we don’t really have a choice here. Juliet can’t control when the baby comes. She’s coming right now. There’s nothing we can do to stop it.”

 

Sighing, James wiped some sweat from Juliet’s forehead.

 

“You gotta promise me doc that nothin’ is gonna happen to either of them.”

 

Jack knew what he was doing.

 

“You have my word Sawyer that nothing will happen to them. You have nothing to worry about. Juliet is doing very well.”

 

Looking over at Juliet, Jack saw her open up her eyes. Juliet cried out as another contraction bit through her.

 

“Get Hayley out please!”

 

Both Jack and James looked at Juliet confused. But it was James who spoke first.

 

“Who’s Hayley blondie? I thought we decided on Cara?”

 

Juliet nodded and blew through the last of the contraction. She knew Jack would ask her to start pushing again.

 

“We did… Look inside my shirt pocket. There’s a picture in there…”

 

James fished a photo out of Juliet’s shirt pocket. It was worn and crumpled but he could clearly see Juliet sitting in a hospital bed holding a
newborn.

 

“Who’s this?”

 

Juliet gave James a watery smile and glanced at the picture.

 

“She’s my daughter. That’s Hayley. She must be getting so big by now. I was only supposed to be here six months, but I’ve been away from her for six years. She’s living with my sister.”

 

James stayed quiet for a moment. Jack was the one to break the awkward silence.

 

“Juliet, I want you to give me another push now. That’s it.”

 

Grunting, Juliet put her chin to her chest and used what strength she had left to push. She felt like she wasn’t getting anywhere when
suddenly she heard Jack’s voice.

 

“You’re doing great Juliet; I can see the head! Keep going, your almost over the hard part.”

 

Juliet shook her head no and kept her grip on James’ hands.

 

“I can’t do this! We are not having a second kid do you understand me James!?”

 

Everything happened so fast after that and soon a baby’s crying filled the space of the strange tree with the twisted roots.

 

“You have a beautiful little girl.”

 

Juliet wasn’t even registering what was going on around, she was zoned in on the beautiful baby that was now lying on her stomach. She knew that she was safe for now. She was alive.

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

“So blondie, what’s your other girl’s story? You got a whole other family I don’t know about?”

 

James seemed hurt by what Juliet had said back at the strange tree during labor. Swallowing, she shook her head and played with Cara’s tiny feet for a minute.

 

“I don’t have another family James. I just have you, Cara, Hayley, my sister Rachel and my nephew Julian. That’s it. My mom and dad are both gone.”

 

James felt a little more relieved after Juliet’s little admission.

 

“Ok, I’m listenin’.”

 

Juliet took a breath and made sure Cara was settled and eating before she began her story.

 

“Remember when I told you I helped my sister Rachel get pregnant? That my injections I’d developed worked? She wasn’t the first guinea pig. I was. I had to make sure they worked before trying it out on my sister. So I tested it out on myself and it worked. The science field would have had a heyday if they’d known about my injections and my research. My ex-husband Ed never found out about Hayley. I don’t know how, but he didn’t. I hid her from him. I didn’t want him to find out about her, it meant I would never see her again. He already looked at me like I was a tool. If he’d found out that I was pregnant with Hayley, he would’ve never let me out of his sight. I would’ve been poked and prodded until he figured out how she was conceived. Ed only saw me as a means to an end.”

 

James sat on the edge of the bed. Speechless. Finding his voice, he spoke up.

 

“Could ya run that by me one more time?”

 

Juliet knew that some of the stuff she’d done went way over James’ head.

 

“I used my research on myself James. That’s where Hayley came from.”

 

He crossed his arms and huffed.

 

“Who’s her father?”

 

Juliet only shrugged her shoulders and looked into James eyes.

 

“Don’t know. Anonymous donor.”

 

Sighing, James rubbed Juliet’s back between her shoulder blades.

 

“Yer complicated sometimes, do ya know that blondie?”

 

He continued his thought as he watched Cara nurse.

 

“So what happened to that ass of an ex-husband?”

 

Juliet closed her eyes and swallowed. Opening them, she let a shaky breath out.

 

“He was hit by a bus.”

 

James only stared at her.

 

“How’d that happen?”

 

Juliet felt her throat become tight with nervousness. Somehow she felt like she couldn’t breathe. She found her voice though.

 

“When Richard ‘interviewed’ me I told him I wished Ed were hit by a bus. Then I could get the opportunity to do my work some place special. I never meant for it to happen James. Ed was a manipulative and cruel man, but he didn’t deserve to be hit by that bus back in Miami.”

 

James looked at her and sighed for a moment.

 

“Sounds like karma got him.”

 

Looking down at Cara, Juliet brushed a hand lightly over her tiny red head.

 

“I will never let anyone hurt you little one. Someday we’ll get home and you’ll meet your big sister. But she doesn’t even remember mommy.”

 

Juliet was afraid of what it would be like to get home and see Hayley again. Would she scream at her and ask her why she hadn’t been there
for her for six years? Or run into her arms and cry, never letting her go? She just wasn’t sure, and right now her stomach was doing little flip flops, which were making her nauseous.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

Juliet stared up at the horizon for a minute and noticed the sun was pale white, after all it was dawn, but she’d never seen the sun look like this before. The tide was unusually high and she heard thunder in the distance. She heard Cara whimper from inside the tent. Taking a few steps from her spot in the sand just outside the tent, she made her way inside and to the now squirming and screaming infant inside the makeshift cradle.

 

“Cara baby girl, you’re going to wake daddy. Are you hungry?”

 

Sniffing the air, Juliet decided on a no.

 

“Ok, you need to be changed.”

 

As Juliet changed a screaming Cara, James leaned over the edge of the bed and grimaced slightly.

 

“This girl has a set of pipes on her. She hungry?”

 

Juliet shook her head and finished putting a fresh cloth on Cara.

 

“No, she was wet. There’s a storm coming in. I think she’s scared.”

 

Managing to get to her feet with Cara in her arms, Juliet sat down on the bed. James helped her lean back against the bed and watched as his
two girls bonded. He listened as Juliet spoke to their daughter.

 

“Hey, it’s ok. Mommy’s got you. It’s just a storm. It’ll pass.”

 

Juliet watched as Cara’s tiny red fingers flexed against her shirt. Her screaming had turned into whimpers and Juliet knew hiccups were coming. It happened when she got really upset.

 

“The sun is strange isn’t it? It kind of looks like paper.”

 

Cara stuck her fingers in her mouth and sucked on them. Juliet spoke down to her.

 

“You only do that when you’re hungry.”

 

Juliet smiled down at Cara and ran a finger over her tiny hand and gave a kiss to her forehead. James handed her a blanket and sat down on
the edge of the bed. Fixing the blanket, Juliet watched as rain came pelting down on the sand outside the tent. Cara coughed and grew upset as thunder rumbled overhead. The storm had come, now Juliet had to figure out a way to calm her. The storm would only get worse before it got better. She kept talking to Cara trying to get her to calm down.

 

“Hey sweet girl, it’s alright. Mommy and daddy are right here. Nothing is going to get you. Your safe ok? Just close your eyes and go to sleep.”

 

She’d said the last part in a sing-song voice. James smiled and spoke.

 

“Huh. Didn’t know you could sing too blondie. What else can you do?”

 

A mysterious smile crossed her face and then faded as she winced. James noticed and put a hand on her shoulder.

 

“You ok?”

 

Nodding Juliet sat back on the bed and blew out a breath.

 

“I’m ok. Just a little sore. Your daughter is a barracuda sometimes.”

 

James looked up when he heard a huge clap of thunder just above their heads. Cara stopped eating once again and started screaming. Juliet had to yell over all the noise.

 

“There’s a hurricane coming in. It’s going to dump a lot of rain on us! The best place to ride this storm out is to take shelter in the medical station! But there’s no way we’ll make it there before the brunt of this storm hits! We’ll have to hunker down here!”

 

Rain began to pour into their shelter and James tried his best to shield his fiancé and daughter. The pelting rain was heavy. Cara’s screaming got louder as Juliet became drenched in driving ran. It felt like she was on a schooner out on the ocean. James yelled over the noise.

 

“I’ve never seen a storm like this before blondie! Somethin’ ain’t right about all this!?”

 

The driving rain suddenly stopped and Juliet looked up, Cara was still screaming. They were both soaking wet. It didn’t help that Cara was congested. Juliet got up from the bed and went to the entrance of their shelter. Pushing back the blanket that served as a barrier of privacy, she found Jack standing outside.

 

“Is everyone alright in here?”

 

Juliet nodded but was shivering. It may have well been warm, but, she’d gotten used to the island. It wasn’t hot anymore.

 

“Nothing some dry clothes for each of us won’t cure. Cara’s just scared. Once we’re dry I’ll feed her and she’ll probably just go back to sleep.”

 

Jack took a peek at Cara’s screaming form under the soaking blanket.

 

“She still sounds a little congested.”

 

Juliet nodded in agreement.

 

“It’ll go away with time. She’s only two weeks old Jack. She’s still learning how to breathe the air out here.”

 

Jack knew not to argue with Juliet on these kinds of issues. That was her area of expertise. He wondered what else this island would throw at
them next.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

Her teeth were chattering and she was shivering. She knew she had a fever. Juliet managed to come out of her and James tent without tripping for some air. She felt like she was suffocating in there. She suddenly felt dizzy. Then the ground came up to meet her and everything went dark.

 

Jack had seen the whole ordeal and had already been on his way to check on her and the baby. Leaning down in the sand, Jack looked her over and assessed the situation. Carefully turning her onto her back, Jack saw the sheen of sweat covering her forehead and frowned. He called out to her.

 

“Juliet its Jack. If you can hear me, open your eyes.”

 

In response he heard her give a groan. He ran through all the possible diseases he could think of she may have come down with, but something told him it wasn’t any of the things he was thinking. Then he put two and two together and he had his answer. He said his thoughts aloud, more for himself than for Juliet to hear.

 

“Mastitis. Why didn’t I think of that before? You said you were having a little trouble getting Cara to nurse. Where am I going to find antibiotics for that?”

 

Juliet opened her eyes and squinted up at Jack. She wasn’t really seeing clearly.

 

“Tell Hayley I’m sorry…”

 

Jack wasn’t sure how to respond to her pleading. So he tried reassuring her instead.

 

“Shh. It’s alright Juliet. Just rest now.”

 

He had to get something to bring her fever down. Come to think of it, he had a few things of Acetametaphin in his and Kate’s tent. Jack could get her to take those and once her fever broke he could ask Juliet if the medical station had any antibiotics. Carefully lifting her up in his arms, he carried her towards the tent she shared with James. James came out of the tent with Cara and a worried expression was planted on his face.

 

“Doc, what happened?”

 

Jack carried her inside the tent and set her on the now semi-dry cot. Her teeth were still chattering and more sweat covered her forehead.

 

“She passed out just outside your tent. Get her to take these Tylenol and once her fever breaks we need to get her some antibiotics.”

 

James now had a concerned look in his face.

 

“What’s wrong with her? What’s she need the antibiotics for?”

 

Jack took Juliet’s pulse and explained the situation.

 

“She has an infection. She said Cara wasn’t nursing as much.”

 

James put a hand up to stop Jack from talking.

 

“I understand doc. Can you make her better?”

 

Jack nodded and watched Juliet breathe for a few minutes.

 

“Labored breathing. Not surprising since her body is fighting an infection. For now, you can give Cara the formula. She’s not going to know that much of a difference between that and Juliet. It’s just until Juliet’s better ok?”

 

James nodded and set Cara back inside the cradle. Jack started a new thought.

 

“So how’s our newest member of the club?”

 

Cara had opened up her eyes and was flailing her arms around. Her eyes were kind of a gray color right now, but James knew they would change color later. Jack smiled down at her.

 

“Still a little congested, but she’s three weeks old. Her umbilical stump should fall off in another couple of weeks. Healing nicely. Other than recently, she’s been eating and going to the bathroom?”

 

James made a face and nodded his head.

 

“Yeah, a lot. Sometimes while she eats.”

 

Jack gave a slight dry chuckle.

 

“Yeah, well, she’s still learning. Besides, babies go through a lot of diapers. Your laundry is twice as much now. Her reflexes look good. You’ve got a strong girl Sawyer. And you wanted a boy…”

 

Jack said that last part to see how James would react. He only smirked and gave a chuckle.

 

“I’m countin’ on the next one being a boy doc. Besides, Cara probably will just ‘want to be one of the boys.’”

 

Shaking his head, Jack smirked.

 

“You’re really dead-set on a boy aren’t you?”

 

James held his head high and nodded.

 

“Course I am doc. Didn’t smokey say you were having a boy down the road?”

 

Jack had thought on what the black smoke monster had told him. But something told him that wasn’t going to happen. It was just a feeling.

 

“Yes, but who believes anything he has to say James?”

 

James didn’t like it when Jack called him by his real name. But it was just him.

 

“Don’t call me that doc. I’ve got most of our stuff cleaned up in here. How’s Kate and Megan?”

 

Jack let Cara grab ahold of his index finger and let her play for a minute.

 

“Megan was a little scared. But we were both there with her. So she knew she was ok.”

 

James sat back for a moment and watched as Cara flexed her fingers against Jack’s index finger.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“What’s going on?”

 

James leaned over Juliet and smiled.

 

“Good blondie, your awake. You gave me a scare earlier when Jack found ya passed out in the sand just outside the tent. Yer gonna be ok though now. The doc fixed ya up. A few days’ rest and you’ll be as right as rain.”

 

Rain? The last thing Juliet remembered was the storm. Cara.

 

“James? Where’s Cara?”

 

James only smiled and brought a squirming Cara to Juliet.

 

“Right here darlin’. The doc said to bottle feed her for a few days. Just until yer better. Ya got a nasty infection.”

 

It dawned on Juliet what was going on.

 

“Why didn’t I think of that? I’ve had Mastitis before with Hayley at least 3 times. A couple of weeks of antibiotics and I should be ok. Right now I feel like I’m wearing a pair of rocks. Do you need any help cleaning up?”

 

James shook his head no.

 

“No blondie. I got it. Most of the stuff dried while you were asleep. Everything’s gonna be ok.”

 

Juliet hoped so. But she couldn’t help but let her mind wander to Hayley. She thought about her quite often now, and it sometimes haunted
her dreams.

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

Flashback:

 

Miami Medical Research Facility

 

Miami, Florida

 

March 2000

 

“Are you sure you’re ready for this? Juliet I’m being serious.”

 

Juliet gazed up at Doctor David Jacobson, her coworker and very close friend with a fierce seriousness in her blue eyes. Scooting her computer chair closer to him, she lowered her voice so that no one but them could hear.

 

“Absolutely David. I have been working on this serum for almost 6 years now. I think I’ve finally got the right sequences. Besides, I have to give my sister a chance at having a baby. She’s wanted one her whole life, and right now she can’t. I have to help her out. So will you help me do this? Or not?”

 

David sat back in his chair for a minute, looked around the room and then back at Juliet.

 

“What if Doctor Burke finds out?”

 

Slight worry crossed Juliet’s features.

 

“Ed’s not going to find out.”

 

David only nodded and discreetly stuck his hand in the refrigeration unit next to Juliet’s desk, taking out two vials. Juliet followed him out of the lab and down a carpeted hallway. The good thing about the research lab at the university was that there was a clinic within those very same halls. Taking a look around the office to make sure no one was looking, David and Juliet entered one of the exam rooms and shut the door. Taking a seat on the exam table, Juliet looked at David with a nervous smile.

 

“If this works, we can’t tell anyone. If Ed ever finds out, he’ll lock me away somewhere until I give birth and then I’ll be his own personal guinea pig.”

 

David grimaced at the thought.

 

“I won’t let that happen Jules. Can you lift up your shirt for me?”

 

Complying, Juliet did as she was told and lifted her shirt slightly.

 

“Remind me to put a warning label on this when it goes to clinical trials. This stuff stings worse than a snake bite. I know, I’ve been bitten by a snake before. So how long until we know this is working?”

 

David did a quick calculation in his head and came up with his answer.

 

“We’ll know in four weeks. We’ll need to take a blood sample though to measure your HCG levels.”

 

Nodding, Juliet hopped off the exam table and smiled.

 

“I have a very good feeling about this David. Call it a gut feeling.”

 

To Be Continued...

Chapter Text

Multitasking with a baby was a lot harder than Juliet thought. Cara was getting bigger every day and she found herself doing laundry with one hand. She cradled Cara in the other arm under the blanket while she nursed. After a while, her arm was feeling a little like lead. But she decided to give Cara a little longer time to eat. A voice startled her out of her thoughts.

 

“You want me to hold her for a bit?”

 

Smiling at Jack Juliet took a quick peek under the blanket. Cara was still happily eating away.

 

“I’d love to Jack but Cara’s still nursing. She seems to be eating non-stop lately. This girl’s got an appetite.”

 

Sitting back down, Juliet adjusted the sling that Cara was in and continued washing her yellow shirt. Stopping for a brief moment, something
in her gut told her that she should look at Cara. Dropping her shirt into the water trough, she looked under the blanket and her heart dropped. Jack had been helping her sort laundry when he saw the look on her face.

 

“What’s wrong?”

 

Juliet didn’t make eye contact with Jack at first and managed to take Cara away from her comfortable eating spot. Straightening herself out, she got rid of the blanket.

 

“Come on baby girl. Take a breath for mommy.”

 

Jack placed his left index finger on her right foot and tickled it.

 

“Sometimes, when they fall into a deep sleep they get too comfortable and stop breathing.”

 

The two waited with bated breath as Cara took a breath and started screaming.

 

“That’s what I want to hear sweetie.”

 

Jack ran a hand over Cara’s head and she calmed considerably. Only slight whimpers came this time and her gray eyes looked up at Juliet.

 

“Keep her in the shade. How long has she been nursing for usually?”

 

Juliet looked at Cara and ran a finger down her cheek.

 

“Forty-five minutes. But lately she’s been nursing for more than an hour. Do you think she’s falling asleep and then waking herself up to eat? I know this is my field of expertise here, but I’m not quite sure how to handle this one.”

 

Jack only gave Juliet a small smile.

 

“I think you’re doing a wonderful job considering what you’ve gone through on this island in the last six years. So what’s the rest of the story with Hayley?”

 

Juliet swallowed and led Jack to a shaded palm tree and began her story.

 

“Well, we’ll have to start way back in March of 2000. I’d made a breakthrough with my research and I had a good friend Doctor David Jacobson…”

 

Jack listened intently as Juliet told the details of her story. She was a very gifted woman.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

Flashback:

Miami Medical Research Facility

Miami, Florida

May 2000

 

Juliet fanned herself as she worked on some numbers on her computer. Why is it so boiling in here? David was a few desks down and noticed. Striding over to her, he whispered in her ear.

 

“It already feels like the North Pole in here. Do you really need the fan too?”

 

Chuckling, she got up from her desk and walked with David out of the lab. For the last couple of months, they’d been using their ‘coffee’ break to administer the injections. Juliet felt butterflies crowd her stomach as they entered an exam room. Rolling up her left sleeve on her sweater once she was sitting on the exam table, Juliet held out her arm.

 

“Moment of truth. My blood won’t lie. My HCG levels will either be where they should be at, or they’ll be below average. Let’s hope they are within the range we’re expecting. We’ll go from there.”

 

To be honest, Juliet was nervous. She knew what was coming next. Smiling through her nervousness, Juliet knew she had to follow her gut.

 

“I’ll put a rush on this. I’ll have Kelly run this first. I won’t put a label on it. I’ll tell her it’s from a woman who doesn’t want to be identified.”

 

Way to be discreet about it David. Thanks.

 

“Thanks for helping me David. I really appreciate it.”

 

David wheeled himself forward and put a hand on Juliet’s.

 

“If it does turn out that your levels are where they are supposed to be, we’ll schedule the procedure. I’ll handle everything. I’ll make sure everything goes smoothly ok?”

 

Juliet wanted to laugh, but instead she only smiled.

 

“Let me guess, you want to do the procedure yourself? You’ll have to make sure to cover your tracks David. Ed watches everything like a hawk around here.”

 

Deep down, doing this scared her. But another part of her wanted to get satisfaction that she was actually going through with this. She was doing this for her sister.

 

“I’ll take care of it Jules. You have my word. I’ll drop off the results of your blood test on your desk along with the date of your procedure.”

======================================================================================

Juliet had been so immersed in her work on the computer screen, she barely noticed David by her left shoulder. Until he whispered in her ear.

 

“Test results are back. You wanna open it or should I?”

 

Butterflies once again crowded her stomach and she carefully opened the piece of paper in her hands as if she were unwrapping new china from a set she’d just bought. Her eyes lit up as she read the results.

 

“HCG levels exceed normal target range. Oh my god. David do you know what this means? It worked!”

 

She found a few people staring in her direction and lowered her voice.

 

“May 16th. That’s next Thursday. I have some time scheduled off. Will you make sure that everything is set up for the procedure?”

 

David wanted to roll his eyes at Juliet playfully.

 

“I said you had my word. Everything will be set up. I will watch everything like a hawk. I promise to watch your heart rate, blood and pressure. Everything. You’re in good hands Jules. I promise.”

 

Juliet felt her heart swell. She was never more proud of herself than that moment.

======================================================================================

May 16th, 2000

 

“You doing ok Jules?”

 

Juliet nodded. She wasn’t nervous anymore. Not with the sedative in her system. David put a mask over her face.

 

“Just a little something so you can go to sleep. When you wake up, you’ll be in your own private room.”

 

David added to his thought.

 

“Don’t worry, wouldn’t dream of using anything from Doctor Burke’s gene pool. Anonymous donor.”

 

Juliet nodded and darkness was starting to swallow her up. Sleep sounds so nice right now.

======================================================================================

When she woke, the first thing she heard was the beeping of a heart monitor to the left of the bed. The room was dark. The oxygen from the
nasal cannula in her nose felt strange, but she managed. Taking a breath, she averted her eyes towards the chair next to the bed. Smiling, she saw that David had curled up in it and was fast asleep. She decided to wake him up.

 

“Hey sleepy head, how’d it go?”

 

She wondered how they’d let him stay with her. She wasn’t married to him.

 

“Everything went well. We should know in a couple of weeks. If not sooner. I kind of had to lie to the nurse to stay with you. I said that you were my wife. I said that you had the procedure done because we were having some trouble. This was our last option. You rest now Jules. You deserve it. With any luck the next nine months will go by without so much as a hiccup.”

 

Juliet wished his words were cement and true. But she knew anything could happen with a baby while still inside its mother. She just had to hope for the best.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

“The miracle of life Juliet. I don’t know how you do it. I used to not believe in miracles, but this island’s changed me. You know, now your work could change the way we look at medicine. But the thing is, finding someone who won’t take advantage of you because of that. You could help so many women back on the mainland become mother’s. Why didn’t you take the offer at the university? You would’ve had enough to take care of yourself and Hayley. You wouldn’t have come to the island…”

 

Tears sprang to Juliet’s eyes as Jack stopped speaking for a minute or two.

 

“If I had taken Ed’s place as head of medical research and development at the university, I would’ve never met any of you Jack. You would still be on this island, and I would be home. With my sister and Julian. Hayley. James and I would’ve never met. I don’t think I could live with that. My life for now is here, on the island. With James, Cara and all of you. Even with all the horrors. I may need professional help later, but for now, I’ll deal with what the deck has given me. What about you Jack, do you ever regret coming here?”

 

Frowning Jack threw a twig towards the roaring waves of the ocean.

 

“I didn’t really have a choice in the matter did I? I was kind of forced here. Of course not on purpose. Desmond forgot to push the button in the hatch. Then everything just went to hell. I don’t know what my life would’ve been like had I not met Kate. Together we made Megan. She’s got more of her mother than me. God knows I spoil her.”

 

He looked up when he heard Kate speak.

 

“Megan wanted to come and see Juliet and the baby. I brought you some water.”

 

Jack smiled at Megan and pulled her into his lap.

 

“Hey tumble bug. What are you doing up? You are supposed to be taking a nap.”

 

Megan grew cross with Jack.

 

“No daddy. NO NAP.”

 

Her face lit up when she saw Juliet.

 

“Julet. Cawa.”

 

Megan tried climbing into Juliet’s lap but Kate stopped her.

 

“Sweetie, we can’t climb in Aunt Juliet’s lap while she has Cara ok?”

 

Looking confused Megan began to fuss.

 

“No mama. Want Julet. Pease?”

 

Kate couldn’t resist Megan’s pleas. Juliet handed Cara over to Jack and took Megan into her lap.

 

“Did you come over here to say hi to your cousin?”

 

Megan nodded her head and looked wide-eyed over at Jack and was running an index finger along her right arm.

 

“Baby?”

 

Juliet smiled at Megan and kissed her forehead, rocking her a bit.

 

“Do you want to say hi to Cara? Be really careful with her ok?”

 

Megan smiled as Jack leaned over toward Juliet with Cara.

 

“Pinger!”

 

Juliet was confused at first and then she saw that Cara had grabbed ahold of Megan’s finger.

 

“Oh, she grabbed your finger huh? She likes you.”

 

Megan pretended to be shy and hid her face in Juliet’s shirt.

 

“Julet.”

 

Juliet giggled and watched as Megan settled against her chest. She yawned and closed her eyes.

 

“Night. Night.”

 

Kate smirked at Juliet and then gaped at her.

 

“Juliet how do you do that? With you she just knocks right out. She fights a nap every time I try to put her down.”

 

Juliet carefully shift against the palm tree.

 

“All about how you approach it.”

 

Juliet could clearly see a hint of jealously below Kate’s pretty features, but it disappeared.

 

“Well I’ll have to keep that in mind.”

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

Flashback:

Miami Medical Research Facility

Miami, Florida

June 2000

“Ready to find out if you’re a mother or not?”

 

Juliet unintentionally held her breath. Shaking hands opened up the piece of paper in front of her.

 

‘Test results: Positive.’

 

Putting a hand over her mouth, Juliet held in her tears. David took that as their queue to leave the lab so they could talk.

 

“Coffee break?”

 

Nodding, Juliet got to her feet and stuffed the paper in her skirt pocket. Making their way to the usual exam room, Juliet let her tears go as soon as David shut the door.

 

“Oh my god, it worked! It worked, it worked, it worked!”

 

David could see the excitement in Juliet’s eyes. He’d never seen her this happy before.

 

“We’re not through the woods yet Jules. You still have to carry to term for this to go through to clinical human trials.”

 

Juliet knew the risks, and she was happy with the outcome of all this. Her research really worked.

 

“I know that. Don’t worry, I’ll stay off my feet when I need to. Take breaks more often, get eight hours of sleep, eat better and have the baby when it’s time. Anything else you’d like to add to the list?”

 

David pulled her into a hug.

 

“I’m there for you every step of the way Jules. Just know that.”

 

Juliet gave a happy watery smile and spoke into his shoulder.

 

“Thank you for believing in me. I couldn’t have done this without you.”

 

David gave a sigh and looked into her eyes when he pulled away.

 

“We’ll have to schedule a sonogram next week. I’ll take care of everything.”

 

Juliet felt the butterflies in her stomach again. Wiping the tears away from her face and making sure it wasn’t red, she walked out of the exam room and towards the break room. It was only 20 feet away. Walking in and then out again, she felt her heart sink as Ed came arrogantly striding down the hallway.

 

“Do you have a minute Juliet? We need to discuss something.”

 

Juliet felt her heart clench and her hands begin to shake. He knows. He knows! He’s going to lock me up somewhere and never let me out of his sight! Following Ed back to his office, she fidgeted as she sat down in one of the overly expensive chairs.

 

“How far along are you?”

 

She felt heat in her cheeks but she took a breath to calm herself.

 

“I’m sorry?”

 

Swallowing, she listened to Ed repeat himself as he sat down in the chair behind his desk.

 

“How far along are you with testing your injections on that male field mouse?”

 

Sighing and closing her eyes, she opened them and told her findings.

 

“Unfortunately Ed, the field mouse died yesterday at 24 weeks and 3 days. I’m not quite ready to test it again until I know exactly what happened.”

 

Surprisingly, Ed found her explanation satisfactory and waved her off. Sighing as if annoyed he poured himself a glass of scotch.

 

“Very well Jules. But I expect a full report from you in the next three weeks.”

 

Rising from the chair Juliet exited Ed’s office and went towards the break room. A wave of dizziness swept over her and the air seemed to leave her lungs. The edges of her vision were beginning to go dark and then she saw nothing.

 

“Juliet?”

 

David had become worried when he couldn’t find her and went looking. He hadn’t expected to find her unconscious in the break room. Making his way over to her he called her name one more time.

 

“Juliet? Can you hear me?”

 

Another coworker came into the room and took in the situation. David didn’t have to tell her what was going on.

 

“I’ll get some help.”

 

David placed her head on his lap and took her pulse. It was strong and regular. But he had to wait for the paramedics. It was just a precaution after all. There was no such thing as being too careful. Especially not in her condition. They were lucky that a hospital was so close to the university. A couple of paramedics came in a few minutes later. One with brown hair and green eyes spoke first.

 

“Sir, can you tell me what happened?”

 

As the paramedic opened up his bag, David told him exactly what he knew happened.

 

“I don’t know. I just found her like this unconscious. Her name is Juliet.”

 

The other paramedic on the left with blond hair and gray eyes then spoke.

 

“Does she have any medical conditions?”

 

David shook his head, but then lowered his voice so that only the paramedics could hear him.

 

“No. But she’s pregnant.”

 

Both the paramedics were nodding their heads in agreement and went about checking Juliet out. The one with green eyes looked at the other and spoke directly to him.

 

“Ok, let’s get a blood pressure and get her on some oxygen.”

 

David watched helplessly as the green eyed paramedic placed a nasal cannula in Juliet’s nose. While the other placed the blood pressure cuff on her left arm. He lowered his voice once more and directed his words at both paramedics.

 

“This stays between us. No one here knows she’s pregnant but me. It needs to stay that way.”

 

The blond haired gray eyed paramedic looked slightly annoyed.

 

“By state law sir we cannot breech privacy. We cannot tell anyone who doesn’t have permission to know her condition.”

 

Of course David knew that, he had to make sure only because now there was a crowd gathering around the door to the break room. Closing his eyes, he spoke to the crowd.

 

“There’s nothing to see here everyone. Give Juliet some space.”

 

The crowd dispersed from the doorway except for Ed who feigned concern for his ex-wife.

 

“What’s going on here Doctor Jacobson?”

 

David wanted to yell at Ed, but he knew better.

 

“Juliet passed out. Nora called 9-1-1.”

 

The green-eyed paramedic eyed Ed for a moment.

 

“Doctor Burke, you know her?”

 

Ed waved the paramedic off and stepped closer. David wanted to glare. He was drunk.

 

“She’s my ex-wife. Make sure she gets the best care. Get her back on her feet again.”

 

David knew the real reason why he was extending every available resource to Juliet, it was because he wanted her to expedite her research for his own gain. He wanted to curl his fists and deck him one.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

Juliet felt like she was drowning. When she surfaced for air, she realized she was in the ocean. How’d I end up here? All around her was ocean and she couldn’t see the island anywhere. A wave pulled her under and when she surfaced again she had trouble staying above water, the waves were so rough. She screamed hoping someone would hear her.

 

“HELP!?”

 

Maybe if she got to a shipping lane, someone would see her. She felt tiny feet below her and suddenly knew she had to keep swimming. The next wave was coming at her fast. She dove under the wave and swam faster. Surfacing, she saw something floating in the water. ‘A piece of wood!’ Grabbing for the piece of wood she floated on it for a while. She felt like she was falling asleep. The next time she woke, she heard a large boat whistle. Opening her eyes, she barely had the strength to speak.

 

“HELP…”

 

A person onboard the ship saw her floating and yelled for help.

 

“There’s someone in the water! Tell the captain to stop the ship!”

 

Juliet didn’t remember much after that; other than the fact someone was pulling her up with a rope ladder. Once she was pulled aboard the ship, she realized she was on an aircraft carrier. A navy ship of all things. She frantically looked around at the people surrounding her. One put a couple of blankets around her.

 

“Where did you come from?”

 

She felt a kick just below her ribs again and her hand went to the spot she’d felt it. The weight of her wet clothes plus the combined weight of the baby was making it difficult to step forward. Stumbling, she felt four sets of strong arms catch her, and four sets of unfamiliar but friendly faces. All of them in uniform. One spoke up.

 

“Lowell, leave the poor pregnant woman alone. She probably just wants to rest. You can ask her where she came from later. What’s your name miss?”

 

Juliet wanted to laugh. Am I still young enough to be called ‘miss’? Managing to stand up a bit with the help of the men at her side, she spoke up.

 

“Juliet. Juliet Burke.”

 

One of the men stuck his hand out for her to shake.

 

“Lieutenant Michael Richardson. It’s a pleasure to meet you Juliet Burke. You look like you could use a hot meal, some clean clothes and a shower. Then we’ll escort you to our medical bay so that our doctor can have a look at you and your baby.”

 

Juliet suddenly felt very subconscious. Somehow she felt completely naked even though she was still wearing her sopping wet clothes. She
suddenly became suspicious and planted her bare feet on the deck below her.

 

“What are you going to do to me?”

 

Lieutenant Richardson’s gaze softened and he did his best to reassure her.

 

“You’re safe here. The doctor is just going to make sure you’re ok.”

 

Juliet could hear that Lieutenant Richardson’s remarks were sincere, but she didn’t trust, after all the things she’d been through on the island. This was a bit of a shock to her. The first place she was escorted to was somewhere she could sleep. Some clothes had been set out for her. She was then left alone to change. Changing out of her wet clothes, she got into the shower. Once she was clean, she put on the fresh clothes and opened up the door to her room.

 

“Are you ready to see the doc miss?”

 

Juliet was wary of the man standing in front of her. But she knew she should see a doctor. She’d been out on the water for far too long. She
didn’t know how detrimental it was to the baby growing inside her.

 

“Yes thank-you.”

 

Lieutenant Richardson had joined them as they walked down the hallway. She was led into a room with at least 50 beds. A man in a white lab coat looked up and smiled.

 

“You must be our rescued survivor. What’s your name?”

 

Juliet took a seat on the edge of one of the beds and wrapped her arms around her belly. She suddenly felt afraid, but she didn’t know why.
This man had kind eyes.

 

“Juliet Burke.”

 

The doctor in front of her nodded and came closer.

 

“Pleasure to meet you Juliet. I’m Doctor Carlington. What I would like you to do is lie back on the bed for a few minutes. I just want to see how your baby is doing.”

 

Juliet began to panic. She needed to find James and Cara.

 

“We have to find my husband and my daughter Cara.”

 

Doctor Carlington looked at Juliet with sad eyes.

 

“They didn’t tell you?”

 

Juliet almost felt like her throat was going to close on her, depriving her of oxygen.

 

“Tell me what?”

Her emotional state was already fragile; she didn’t need something else to push it completely over the edge.

 

“Your husband is dead and we found no trace of your daughter.”

 

How was that even possible?

 

“No. I refuse to believe my husband is dead. My daughter is out there somewhere!”

 

Doctor Carlington looked at her.

 

“Don’t you look at me like that! I’m going to find my daughter!”

 

Juliet found herself in the tent. Strong arms wrapped around her waist. She felt James voice vibrate against her back.

 

“Blondie, your shaking. I’ve got ya.”

 

She had a haunted look in eyes.

 

“I don’t think you’ll ever leave this island James.”

 

She was still shaking and continued her thought.

 

“Just shut up and hold me James.”

 

She didn’t know why she’d gotten cross with him, only that she had. What had this dream puzzle given her this time? Was she going to float out to sea and be rescued? Her alone though?

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

“Blondie, you’re shakin’. I’ve got ya.”

 

She had a haunted look in her eyes.

 

“I don’t think you’ll ever leave this island James.”

 

She was still shaking and continued her thought.

 

“Just shut up and hold me James.”

 

She didn’t know why she’d gotten cross with him, only that she had. What had this dream puzzle given her this time? Was she going to float out to sea and be rescued? Her alone though? Her mind was still in panic mode and she got out of bed, reaching for Cara. Swallowing down a gasp, she looked over every inch of Cara. She was now screaming at the top of her lungs.

 

“James, Cara has hives.”

 

Juliet didn’t give James time to form a response and was out of the tent within less than a minute. Stomping down the beach towards Jack’s tent, she knew the whole camp could hear Cara howling by now. A few of the survivors curiously looked outside their tents, while other’s gave pity. Juliet didn’t need pity, she needed them to understand. She found Jack yawning as he filled up his water. He looked up when he saw Juliet come towards him.

 

“Little early for her to be having colic yet isn’t it?”

 

Juliet felt her stony expression fall away and the tears were beginning.

 

“Jack she has hives.”

 

Jack taking wide strides led Juliet back to her tent.

 

“Are you sure? Could be heat rash.”

 

Juliet shook her head no at Jack and felt a couple of tears drop against her cheeks.

 

“I know what heat rash looks like Jack. This isn’t it. Heat rashes don’t have defining characteristics really. But hives do.”

 

Entering her and James tent, Juliet felt the panic wrapping around her throat and cutting off her oxygen supply.

 

“Is she having any trouble breathing?”

 

Juliet shook her head and swayed a bit on her feet. Jack took Cara from her arms and James held her steady.

 

“I don’t know.”

 

Jack looked her over carefully with the light from the rising sun. He frowned as she grew quieter.

 

“She’s having a reaction to something. But I can’t pinpoint its source. Is there any kind of plant she could’ve been next to while you were doing laundry the other day?”

 

Juliet sat on the edge of the bed she shared with James and looked at her daughter who’d gone quiet.

 

“No. I keep her away from the plants at the edge of the tree line. Do you think…? Do you think I gave her something?”

 

Jack grew very concerned and looked Juliet dead in the eye.

 

“I’ll need a blood sample from you and a small sample of your breast milk to test for any sort of bacteria or contaminants.”

 

Now it was Juliet’s turn to worry. Could she be sick and not even know it? This island really did have it in for her. Just like it always had.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

Flashback:

Miami, Florida

October 2000

 

“You should tell Rachel. Juliet she’s going to find out sooner rather than later.”

 

Juliet nodded and stared at her computer screen.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

“Hey, how was work?”

 

Juliet twisted the hem of her shirt and sat down heavily on the couch next to her sister.

 

“I have something I need to tell you. I’m pregnant.”

 

Rachel gaped at Juliet and raised an eyebrow.

 

“Wait, but you’re not even seeing a guy. Are you dating David? Is it his kid?”

 

Juliet closed her eyes and then opened them.

 

“No. I’m not seeing David. I used my research on myself.”

 

Rachel still gaped at Juliet.

 

“You did what?”

 

Juliet got up and began to pace.

 

“I used my research on myself. Anonymous donor.”

 

Rachel stared at Juliet.

 

“Why?”

 

Juliet got tears in her eyes.

 

“I’m doing this for you Rach. I had to make sure that what’s affecting you, isn’t doing the same for me too.”

 

Rachel’s face lit up and she scooted closer to her sister.

 

“So, do you have the bump? Lemme see.”

 

Juliet sighed and lifted her shirt a little.

 

“Yes.”

 

Rachel froze and her eyes widened.

 

“That bump’s a little bigger than a grapefruit. How far are you anyways?”

 

Juliet cleared her throat and spoke up.

 

“Four months. I’ve known since June.”

 

Rachel’s smile grew more.

 

“Well, I’m happy for you. Now that we know it works, it’s someone else’s turn. I also have some good news. My cancer is gone.”

 

Juliet’s facial expression dropped in shock.

 

“Your positive the doctor said it was gone?”

 

Rachel nodded and smiled.

 

“Yup. Now I just need to get healthy again. I’m here to see this little one come into the world. Besides, I kind of suspected you were pregnant anyways. You have a little waddle. Does Ed know?”

 

Juliet looked horrified for a moment.

 

“Absolutely not Rach. God if he ever found out, he’d lock me away somewhere until this baby was born and then take them away.”

 

Rachel made a face at Juliet’s clothes.

 

“We need to make a shopping trip. Some baby clothes and new clothes for you. Why are you wearing baggy clothes anyways?”

 

Juliet again began playing with the hem of her shirt.

 

“I’m hiding it from Ed. David is the only one who knows about this besides you. He’s helping me through this.”

 

Rachel’s face grew red.

 

“Really, he’s your doctor? Why is it that you get all the cute guys?”

 

Juliet rolled her eyes and put her shirt down. Her sister was taking this better than she thought.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

“Ok Jules, close your eyes and pick anything that comes from this rack. Whatever you pick, is what the sex of the baby will be.”

 

Juliet shook her head at her sister’s reasoning. She knew her sister was just playing a game with her.

 

“This is silly Rach.”

 

Rachel playfully nudged Juliet and she stuck her hand out and picked an outfit. Opening her eyes, they landed on the yellow sundress in her hands.

 

“A yellow sundress. Huh. Guess it’s a girl.”

 

Rachel snorted behind her cup of tea in the cardboard cup in her hands.

 

“It’s definitely going to be a boy Jules. I’ve got a nose for these things.”

 

Juliet wanted to laugh at her.

 

“Yeah, and I remember you saying that about your hamster. She ended up having all girls.”

 

Rachel only shrugged her shoulders.

 

“Ok, well we still need, a car seat, stroller, a crib, diapers… There’s so many things we still need to get Jules. Five months is not that long if you think about it. Oh, let’s stop over at Barnes and Noble on the way home. We need to get you some books.”

 

Juliet sat on a comfortable couch inside a local Barnes and Noble. Rachel chose to sit on the floor. She was flipping through a book on Natural childbirth when she stopped on a page in the middle of the book.

 

“Ah ha. You should do this Jules.”

 

Juliet looked down at the page her sister had been reading and was looking at the picture that accompanied it.

 

“The only way I’m going through that Rach is if they give me an epidural. No way.”

 

Rachel stared at Juliet and crossed her arms, setting the book in her lap.

 

“Come on Jules. Besides, water births are supposed to be easier on the body and it helps with the pain. You’ve helped a lot of women have babies. You said you even helped with a water birth not that long ago.”

 

It was true, Juliet had helped a woman with a water birth not that long ago. It just happened that the clinic was short on doctors, so they pulled a few from the lab.

 

“Every woman is different Rach. I don’t know if this’ll work for me or not.”

 

Rachel frowned and flipped through to another page and pointed to it. Juliet knew what the standard looked like.

 

“You already know what this looks like. I suppose you’re going to do things the traditional way, in a hospital bed. Just know I’m going to be right there by your side. Me and ‘Mr. good-looking’ David.”

 

Juliet shook her head and snorted.

 

“Actually, you’ll be the one by my side Rachel. David already agreed he was going to help me deliver this baby.”

 

Rachel felt her jaw drop.

 

“You ask him to do everything don’t you? You’d swear the two of you were married.”

 

Juliet gave a little laugh.

 

“No, he actually thinks of me like his sister.”

 

Rachel returned to the book and flipped to the next page.

 

“Ok, what about this one?”

 

Juliet shook her head no and made sure no one was watching her.

 

“I don’t think I can hold my legs like that.”

 

The two sisters burst out laughing and Rachel closed the book, placing it back onto the large pile they were getting.

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

Flashback:

Miami Medical Research Facility

Miami, Florida

January 2001

 

Thanks for lunch David. Do you know how much I love Arroz Moro? It’s not as good as my grandmother’s but it’s up there. Hey do you want to grab some coffee?”

 

David nodded and helped Juliet to her feet. Her feet screamed at her to sit back down. But she managed to walk out of the lab and into the break room. Planting herself in the chair at the table, she watched as David poured himself a cup of coffee.

 

“How are you feeling Jules?”

 

J uliet was about to respond to David’s question when she felt a quick thump in the ribs.

 

“Oh!”

 

David turning back to her took two wide strides to reach her side.

 

What is it?”

 

Shocked, she looked down at her stomach and put a shaking hand on top of it.

 

“The baby just kicked.”

 

A wide smile crossed David’s face and he looked outside the break room to make sure no one was coming or looking. Placing a gentle hand on her stomach his smile grew.

 

“Someone in there has a strong kick. This one’s already got a little attitude.”

 

J uliet’s eyes widened and she lowered her voice.

 

“You don’t think her attitude comes from her father?”

 

David smirked and then took his hand away from her still-growing stomach, crossing his arms as he did so.

 

“Well, it could be anything really. Since it was an anonymous donor. Are you sure you don’t want to know if you are having a boy or a girl?”

 

J uliet shook her head and smiled.

 

“I want it to be a surprise.”

 

D avid nodded and sat down next to her.

 

“With this baby, you know it’ll be a surprise. They’ll probably come in the most unexpected place.”

 

Juliet suddenly got a mental picture in her head.

 

I’m fine if this baby surprises me. I just hope they’ll be able to fit. Rachel was a big baby.”

 

Juliet was inadvertently jinxing herself. David gave her a smirk and spoke.

 

“You think this baby will be big? My bets on a 7-pound girl.”

 

As Juliet got up from her chair a dizzy spell took over her whole body and she felt David behind her lowering her to the carpet.

 

Whoa. Take it easy now. Just relax and take slow deep breaths. That’s it.”

 

She could see he was worried but brushed it off.

 

David I’m fine. It’s just hot.”

 

David pursed his lips at Juliet and shook his head as he took her pulse.

 

“Juliet it’s the middle of winter. It’s only 85 outside. It’s not really hot. Tell me the truth. What have you eaten today? Your pulse is thready.”

 

He knew that she was having heat flashes, but this was a bit extreme, even for Juliet.

 

“I had a salad. You know me, when I’m concentrating on my work, I zone in on it and forget to eat sometimes.”

 

David threw her a serious look.

 

“Not acceptable Juliet and you know it. It wasn’t the salad and it couldn’t have been the rice and beans you had with it. What else have you done today?”

 

J uliet furrowed her eyebrows. She’d done everything she was supposed to. This one wasn’t fitting the puzzle correctly.

 

“I don’t know. Could be my blood sugar bottoming out. I hadn’t thought about checking for gestational diabetes. Anemia maybe?”

 

David’s eyes widened and he thought for a moment.

 

“Could be anything. Let’s wait this out for a few minutes. Sorry but I gotta ask this: have you had any bleeding?”

 

Shaking her head no, Juliet looked David straight in the eye.

 

“No. But I have been more tired lately.”

 

Juliet turned away when she saw Nora enter the room. She was trying to hide the heat that was beginning to form in her cheeks. Nora smirked at the two on the floor.

 

“Well, aren’t you two cozy? I honestly was wondering about you two. You’ve been disappearing into one of the exam rooms for months. So the two of you are together. Is the kid his?”

 

She knew. Nora knew. Juliet looked her straight in the eye and was about to speak. David stepped in.

 

“Nora, I really think that’s none of your business. Come all the way in here and shut the door.”

 

Nora shut the door and came closer to the pair. Juliet could only stare at Nora.

 

“Great. The last thing I want to become is the lab chisme. You want to gossip about something, Find something else. You can’t tell Ed.”

 

Smirking still, Nora crossed her arms over her chest and huffed at both David and Juliet.

 

“Why not? What’s in it for me if I don’t?”

 

David shook his head at Juliet and spoke up.

 

“This is really none of your business. This is personal. Maybe I should bring up with Doctor Burke what you did with that blood sample the other day?”

 

Nora paled and backed up towards the door.

 

“You wouldn’t dare.”

 

David smirked and then looked Juliet in the eye before looking back up at Nora.

 

“What? Not tell him how instead of disposing of it in the bio-hazard container in the corner of the room you threw it directly in the garbage? If word got out that you did that, we could be sued. You’re a doctor, you know what you have to do.”

 

Juliet rolled her eyes at Nora. She was such a snake. Then she pointed to her. Nora got down to Juliet’s level and gave her a twisted grin.

 

Well, now I know who you really are Juliet. You were ready to hop into bed with Romeo here.”

 

Growing angry, Juliet slapped Nora.

 

I’m with someone, but its not David. Get out.”

 

Nora holding her stinging cheek opened up the break room door and walked out. Taking in a breath to calm herself, Juliet froze when a ripple of pain ripped across her abdomen.

 

“Ah!”

 

With frightened eyes, she looked up at David.

 

“David I need your help.”

 

Looking up at the ceiling, Juliet let out another breath and let a few tears go. ‘It’s not time for you to come out yet.’

 

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

“Coconuts?”

 

Jack nodded his head at Juliet and ran a hand over Cara’s tiny forehead.

 

“The good thing is, we caught this allergy early. The best thing for you to do Juliet is to stop eating coconuts.”

 

It seemed easy enough of a request. Juliet kissed Cara’s forehead and picked her up.

 

“Baby I am so sorry.”

 

Cara gurgled and grabbed for pieces of Juliet’s shirt. Fear for a brief few seconds seized Juliet’s gut and took over her entire body. She would have to lay off the coconuts for as long as Cara needed her. Turning to Jack, Juliet voiced her concerns.

 

“So, remnants of the coconut somehow got into my milk supply?”

 

Nodding, Jack tested Cara’s reflexes.

 

“The nutrients from it absorbed into your body. If she has another reaction, it might be worse than the hives. Next time her throat could swell shut.”

 

Cara was now looking up at Juliet intently and she realized she had hazel eyes.

 

“She has hazel eyes. I really thought her eyes were going to be blue like mine. Huh. So coconuts could kill her?”

 

Jack nodded his head seriously.

 

“Yes. I’m sorry this happened to her. Other than the allergy to coconut, she’s relatively healthy. She has no other health issues to speak of.”

 

Juliet was definitely grateful for everything Jack was doing for them. He’d done a lot of things to help her out. She’d known what to expect, but some things were out of her control.

 

“Thank you for catching this Jack. I’m glad you found the source of her hives. Some allergies are harder to pinpoint than others. I was afraid she’d gotten poison oak. But the island doesn’t have any of that.”

 

Jack sympathized with Juliet, he had to get his family off the island as well. But it was just going to take some more time.

 

“She’s got a good appetite. Her reflexes are good. She responds to sound. Cara is a perfectly healthy little girl. Despite the coconut allergy. What I’d like to do is keep her here overnight. You can stay with her. A night in a real bed will do you some good. I’ll keep an eye on her.”

 

Juliet nodded and stroked Cara’s head. She was becoming fussy. It wouldn’t be long until she would start screaming.

 

“I know that look. You’re getting hungry.”

 

Jack observed for a moment as Juliet got Cara settled and then grabbed for a blanket.

 

“Did you finish all the antibiotics I gave you? We don’t want another relapse.”

 

Juliet nodded and stuck her head under the blanket. Cara was playing with her hands as she ate.

 

“Finished them last night. I’d forgotten how much that kind of infection hurt. Give me some credit, the last time I had this infection was 6 years ago.”

 

Jack nodded and sat on the stool next to Juliet. James had gone to get her a tray with food.

 

“I understand. Were there any other things you experienced with Hayley that you haven’t with Cara?”

 

Juliet looked up at the ceiling and thought for a split second or two.

 

“Hayley got colic early. I was up at all hours of the night trying to figure out how to get her to stop crying. I eventually figured out what I was doing. But it took time and a lot of patience. Along the way, my sister helped me.”

 

Jack looked to Juliet and smiled.

 

“Well I hope to meet your sister someday Juliet. She sounds like a very nice woman.”

 

Shifting uncomfortably on the stool, Juliet glanced under the blanket one last time. Cara had fallen asleep, but was still trying to suckle. Pulling her away, she waited to see if Cara would wake up and start crying. When that didn’t happen, Juliet sighed and straightened herself out.

 

“Rachel is my sister and she’s been through lots of stuff no one should have to go through. I helped her have a baby. That baby, my nephew Julian, he’s a miracle. I just wish that I’d been there when he was born. Did you know I was the one that was supposed to deliver him?”

 

Jack looked down at Cara and then over at Juliet.

 

“Your sister would’ve been in a good hands. You’re an excellent fertility doctor. You’re intelligent. Like I said, your research could help a lot of women. Don’t sell yourself short.”

 

Nodding Juliet turned her attention back to the sleeping baby in her arms.

 

“She’s alive and I have you to thank for it Jack.”

 

Jack sighed. If only we could get off this island.

 

To Be Continued...

Chapter Text

Flashback:

 

Miami Medical Research Facility

 

Miami, Florida

 

March 2001

 

Juliet knew that inverted numbers didn’t fix themselves. She needed print-outs and she would go home and fix them by hand. Then fax them back to work. Have David put them in the computer. She knew by now her coworkers had noticed her waddle when she walked. The hire-ups above Ed eventually found out that Nora had made a critical mistake and she was let go. So Juliet didn’t have to worry about her anymore. The rest of her coworkers knew about her condition now, but they kept quiet about it. It was strange, the mood in the lab was almost eerily calm. Reaching her desk, she found the papers she was looking for. David approached her and placed a hand on her shoulder, nearly startling her.

 

“Hey Jules. You should really be off your feet. I don’t like the looks of those ankles. You want me to walk you back to your car? Or better yet, I can take you home?”

 

Juliet shook her head and smiled.

“That’s sweet of you David, but I’m ok. Oh not again. This is the 47th time today I’ve had to pee.”

 

David watched as she gathered up her papers with the inverted numbers and left the lab. He wasn’t going to let her just leave by herself. Juliet made her way to the bathroom and locked herself in. Making her way to the counter she gripped it and took a breath.

 

“Not here baby.”

 

She heard a knock on the door and then David’s voice.

 

“Juliet it’s David. Is everything alright in there?”

 

Shutting her eyes and then opening them, she strode over to the door and opened it up, letting David it and shutting it. Locking it up tight she sighed.

 

“David I’m in labor.”

 

David’s eyes widened, but he somehow knew she’d been like that for a while.

 

“Ok. Let’s get you comfortable. Here. Use my jacket as a pillow.”

 

His brain kicked into overdrive and he went over to the emergency kit attached to the wall. Opening it up, he found a pair of surgical scissors, some gauze, a scalpel, gloves, antibiotic ointment and some peroxide. The only things of use to David were the surgical scissors, gauze, scalpel and gloves. Everything else he set aside on the counter. Unlocking the door and peeking his head out, he found one of the cleaning ladies had parked the restroom cart just outside. She was busy cleaning the single men’s restroom. Grabbing for a handful of towels, David went back to Juliet, shutting and locking the door.

 

“Here, this ought to help out a lot.”

 

Helping Juliet settle on the bathroom floor, David went about organizing everything he needed. Juliet looked up at him with wide eyes.

 

“By surprise, I didn’t mean I wanted this baby to be born on a bathroom floor of where I work.”

 

Placing gentle hands atop her stomach she stroked it and continued her thought.

 

“Please don’t hurt me on the way out ok?”

 

David shot her a sympathetic look and got up once more to turn on the tap in the sink. This was the only way he could make it drown out her screaming.

 

“There, that should drown out your screams.”

 

Juliet shook her head and pointed to something on the ceiling.

 

“Not if that camera has anything to say about it. Look, the little red blinking light.”

 

David swore under his breath and looked up at the camera mounted by the door and aimed at the sink.

 

“Damn it. Doctor Burke had security camera’s installed in all the restrooms. Extra security measure. I swear he’s getting more paranoid. How are you doing Jules?”

 

Swallowing, Juliet gave a weak smile and shifted uncomfortably.

 

“Other than a baby making its way through me and my ankles feeling like they are gonna burst, not half bad actually.”

 

David continued another thought as he put a pair of towels under her.

 

“Do you feel like you have to go to the bathroom still? Here, let me put these towels under you. This is gonna get really messy.”

 

Juliet nodded and looked down at what she could see of her feet.

 

“Yes, a little. God my feet look horrible!”

 

David only shook his head and reorganized his supplies. Another stack of unused towels sat next to him. He would need it once he got the baby out.

 

“Your waters about to break. That’s the messiest part of birth. The swelling in your ankles will go down too. Now comes your least favorite part.”

 

Giving a frustrated and almost defeated sigh, Juliet closed her eyes for a moment and then opened them again.

 

“Just get it over with David. Remember: Don’t check too much. It could introduce an infection.”

David nodded and disappeared behind the towel covering Juliet. Wincing, Juliet distracted herself with staring at the ceiling. She’d been holding her breath apparently, and now she was hoping for some good news.

 

“You’re doing good Juliet. Seven centimeters. Three more to go.”

 

Juliet plopped her head against his jacket on the floor.

 

“You wouldn’t happen to have an epidural on you now would you?”

 

Hope spread across Juliet’s pretty features, but then abruptly fell away when David shook his head no.

 

“Sorry, don’t have any on hand. I could get one from one of the exam rooms in the clinic.”

 

Juliet shook her head and tried to sit up.

 

“They don’t keep them in the exam rooms anymore. They keep them in drug lockup. We don’t have access to it. You’ll have to ask a nurse.”

 

Still trying to sit up, Juliet looked David straight in the eye.

 

“If I ask a nurse, she’ll suspect something is up. I can’t just spout a random name, take the dosage that we need and give it to you. Besides once I give you the epidural, you won’t know when to push. I’ll have to give you directions.”

 

Juliet sighed and squirmed a bit.

 

“I don’t know how we’ll do pain management then. We’ll just have to make do. Besides, I really don’t think this baby is going to wait much longer.”

 

David frowned and looked at his watch.

 

“We’ll have to keep an eye on your contractions.”

 

Gasping, Juliet looked down by her feet.

 

“My water broke.”

 

David had a concerned look on his face.

 

“Won’t be long now Jules. Just keep breathing and relax.”

 

She became irritated and stared at David.

 

“Is that all you can say David? I feel like your bedside manner is lacking severely… Ah!”

All the breath in her lungs had suddenly left her and she felt like she was suffocating. The pain was mounting and was somewhere between red hot poker and perhaps a brand. She wasn’t sure which. David came into her line of vision with a very worried expression planted on his face.

 

“Hey. Hey. Look at me Jules. Breathe.”

 

By now, Juliet’s face was beet red and filled with pouring sweat. She looked like she was concentrating.

 

“This is it David!”

 

Swallowing, David resumed his place on the floor in front of Juliet and gave her some encouragement.

 

“Ok. Juliet I want you to start pushing. Not too hard. Just until I get the baby’s head clear, then push as hard as you can.”

 

Juliet wanted to roll her eyes at David. She’d told the woman who’d had a water birth only three months ago the same thing. Determination
lined Juliet’s pretty face now, but just below it lay a deep seated fear. Gathering her strength, she started pushing. David continued his thought as he heard a knock on the door.

 

“Another ten seconds Jules. Just keep pushing.”

 

The knock sounded again, this time sharper.

 

“Doctor Jacobson it’s security. Please open up the door.”

 

David concentrated on Juliet but directed his voice towards the locked bathroom door.

 

“I kind of have my hands full at the moment gentlemen.”

 

Juliet felt her heart begin to race as the door lock clicked and opened up, revealing the two security guards just behind it. She saw David appear for a brief second, his face cracking into a smile.

 

“I can see the head! Keep going!”

 

She felt embarrassment creep up on her but there was no time to wallow in it. Everything seemed to happen in a blur after that, and soon she had a squirming and squalling pink and wrinkly baby on top of her stomach. David smiled and put a clean towel over them to serve as a kind of blanket.

 

“It’s a girl! You have a beautiful little girl! Congratulations Juliet.”

 

Juliet felt herself begin to cry, her tears mixing with the little girl’s tears in her arms.

 

“Hi Hayley. I’m your mommy.”

 

Hayley stopped crying for a moment and whimpered. Juliet managed to see the two security guards standing in the door. One she noticed was watching her with wide eyes, and only now did he speak up.

 

“Doctor Burke? I thought you were a patient from the clinic. I already called for help. It’s on the way. Congratulations.”

 

Juliet knew he was nervous, but whatever embarrassment she had been feeling a few minutes ago, had completely disappeared. She was completely in love with the little girl lying atop her stomach.

 

“Thanks Bob. There’s just one thing. Ed can never find out. Go and hunt down that video tape and erase it.”

 

She knew that what she’d just asked Bob to do would cost him his job. But she had to keep Hayley safe and out of Ed’s hands.

 

To Be Continued...

Chapter Text

Flashback:

University of Florida

Miami, Florida

March 18th, 2001

 

Juliet was dog-tired and she’d only been in the hospital less than a day. She’d been taken to the hospital part of the university. Every part of her below the waist was sore. She didn’t want to move an inch. She’d just fed Hayley for the first time. Interesting experience to say the least. Hayley was asleep in her arms. She watched as she took each breath and sighed.

 

“I can’t believe I gave birth to a 10 pound 6-ounce girl, and 23 inches long. Mommy thought you would be at least 6 pounds. Wait until Aunt Rachel sees you.”

 

The door came bursting open and in came Rachel. Wide eyes and smiles.

 

“Oh my god Jules! Look at that big baby! She’s beautiful! Lemme hold her!”

 

Juliet gave Rachel a tired smile as she took Hayley from her arms.

 

“She’s heavy. How much does she weigh anyways?”

 

Feeling a little overwhelmed, Juliet put a hand to her forehead.

 

“Don’t choke when I tell you this: 10 pounds and 6 ounces. She’s 23 inches long.”

 

Juliet saw Rachel’s jaw drop.

 

“You’ve got to be kidding me Jules. Talk about ouch. So what happened? I want all the details.”

 

Shifting uncomfortably in the bed, Juliet was about to speak when David entered the room.

 

“You sure you want all the gory details Rach? If you say so. Your sister came into work to fix a little mistake she made with some numbers from her computer. I told her she should go home and get off her swollen feet. I offered to give her a ride home, she declined. I followed her to the bathroom. She locked herself inside. She let me in and told me she was in labor. I’d suspected she’d been like that all day. I rummaged through the first aid kit on the wall and found some supplies. Then I raided the restroom cart parked just outside the bathroom and found some towels. Juliet asked me for an epidural. But there was no time to go and get it from drug lockup. Hayley was born on the floor of the women’s single restroom. She took one large breath when she came out of your sister and started screaming. Juliet was so disoriented by that point I don’t think she knew what was going on exactly. Security had showed up and a few minutes later so had the paramedics. I just feel bad for the ladies who had to stay and clean up our mess. She screamed so much I had to turn the tap on so that it would drown it out. Everything went smoothly, except for the fact that your sister needed six stitches.”

 

Juliet stared at the fussy baby in Rachel’s arms and sighed.

 

“Yeah, well it’s a price to pay for my research actually working. I got a beautiful little girl out of it.”

 

Rachel carefully handed Juliet Hayley and took a disposable camera from her purse.

 

“Picture time.”

 

Gaping at Rachel, Juliet shook her head.

 

“Look at me Rachel. I’m a mess. I’ve got dark circles under my eyes, I haven’t slept, my hair is absolutely disgusting and I feel like my whole body has been squeezed through a juice press.”

 

Rachel laughed a little and held the camera up.

 

“Pfft. Please. You look beautiful. Besides, don’t you want a memory for her baby book?”

 

Relenting, Juliet held Hayley a little closer to her and smiled almost timidly. What Juliet didn’t realize was that this photo would haunt her years later when she got stuck on the island.

 

“Let’s see how you feel Rach only six hours after giving birth. You want a baby Rach, I’ll help you achieve that once I’m on my feet again. You have my word. I’ll be there for you every step of the way.”

 

The day had turned out alright. The best part was, Ed had been out sick with the flu. He didn’t know a thing about what had went on at
work. Juliet just hoped it would stay that way.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

When Juliet woke up, the other side of the bed was cold. She wasn’t sure if it was from a bad nightmare she was having or the sound of a seagull just outside her tent. Her eyes wandered to the empty space next to her. James sometimes was an early riser and went fishing with Jin. But that didn’t explain why Cara wasn’t there. She felt sick to her stomach, knots beginning to form. Taking a breath, she rose to her feet and stepped outside her tent. She spotted Kate a few tents down sitting in the sand and bouncing Megan on her left knee. She smiled and waved at Juliet.

 

“Morning Juliet. Would you like to join us for some breakfast?”

 

Shaking her head, she stomped towards her as Jack sat down next to Kate and handed her a papaya.

 

“Maybe later. Have either of you seen Cara? Did James take her with him when he went fishing with Jin?”

 

Jack furrowed his eyebrows at Juliet and shook his head no.

 

“Jin and Sawyer left about an hour ago, but Cara wasn’t with them. Let’s just take this one step at a time Juliet. When was the last time you saw her?”

 

Chewing on her bottom lip, she stared at Jack and then her eyes wandered to the rolling waves just a few hundred feet behind her.

 

“She was asleep next to me in our tent and then I woke up and she was just gone. Oh my god Jack, do you think she could’ve wandered off towards the water?”

 

She felt the breath leave her lungs and she lowered herself into the sand next to Kate. She couldn’t just sit here and do nothing though. Pushing the dizziness she was feeling aside, she pushed herself to her feet and followed Jack a few feet towards the water. Her heart clenched when Jack surfaced and there was nothing in his arms. It was almost twenty minutes later when he came back onshore and frowned at her.

 

“She’s not out there Juliet. If she did go out there, the current would’ve carried her away. She has to be on the island somewhere.”

 

She felt her knees become weak, but she managed to hold herself up and walk towards the tree line.

 

“What about the jungle? She could’ve wandered in there.”

 

Jack looked at Juliet warily and nodded making his way through the bushes and into the thick jungle. She followed, nearly holding her breath as she did so. We were a few hundred feet into the jungle when a voice sounded behind her.

 

“Hello Juliet.”

 

Turning on her heel, her eyes widened and she stared right into Ben’s eyes.

 

“Where the hell is my daughter Ben? Tell me!”

 

Ben smirked at her and took a step forward.

 

“Don’t worry Juliet, Cara is perfectly safe. I’m sure you would like to see her again. Wouldn’t you? But first, you have to do something for me.”

 

She narrowed her eyes at Ben and folded her arms over my chest.

 

“What might that be Ben? Bargaining with you is never good odds. I always lose.”

 

She could see the strange look in Ben’s eyes.

 

“Come back to the barracks and stay with me. You can have your next child in the infirmary and everything will be taken care of. I promise it will be very comfortable for you. Once the child is born you will be free to leave the island. The only thing is, you’ll have to leave her with me. You and Cara are free to leave though.”

 

She narrowed her eyes even further and set her jaw.

 

“I’m sorry you lost Alex, Ben, but I am not leaving any child of mine with you. Hypothetical or not. Bring me my daughter. NOW!”

 

Ben sat and watched Juliet unflinchingly. His expression in a thin grim line on his face.

 

“Your serum works Juliet. You’ve proven it with Kate and yourself.”

 

She balled her fists, she was ready to hit him.

 

“Who said anything about me having another child just so you could replace Alex?”

 

Ben smirked once more at her and got a step closer.

 

“Besides, who said anything about me being this child’s father? That’s all you and James.”

 

She gave Ben a disgusted look.

 

“You’re sick Ben. If we were back on the mainland, you’d be locked up in the nut house. I’m not kidding. Now bring me my daughter.”

 

Ben looked bored and indifferent to her begging.

 

“You take care of three more women and you can have Cara back.”

 

She lost her nerve and got close enough to slap him. Breathing heavily, Juliet took three steps back and glared at Ben. Ben held his stinging cheek and shook his head.

 

“I wish it wouldn’t have had to come to this Juliet. But you’ve given me no choice. You help me and all this will go away. You can Cara can be together again.”

 

She really didn’t have a choice, it was either go with Ben, or she’d never see her baby again. Jack grabbed for her hand.

 

“We can find another way to do this Juliet. You don’t have to go with him.”

 

Tears nearly flooding down her cheeks, she shook her head no at Jack.

 

“You don’t understand Jack; I don’t have any other choice. I’ll never see my baby again if I don’t go with him.”

 

Jack stood steadfast and the grip on her wrist grew tighter.

 

“I think I know a little something about this. Remember? It happened to Megan too.”

 

She frowned and finally let the tears go.

 

“I have to Jack. She needs me. It’s the only way.”

 

Ben wasn’t about to ruin Juliet’s life by taking Cara away.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

“Robert and I, we started having trouble trying to have a baby about a year ago. I thought maybe my cycles were a bit off. I don’t understand.”

Juliet sat on a stool in front of Alecia Larsons and listened intently, with patience and sympathy. Writing notes as she did so. Holding back for a moment, Juliet puts a hand on Alecia’s shoulder and then handed her the box of tissues from the counter.

 

“I recognize this is very frustrating for you and I totally understand. This place can get kind of crazy sometimes. What I’m going to do is take a blood sample from you. One from you and one from your husband.”

 

Alecia nodded at Juliet and held out her left arm.

 

“Anything you need from me, you can have.”

 

Pulling on a pair of gloves, Juliet got out tubing and attached needle setting it aside on the counter. Grabbing for two big tubes, she came a little closer to Alecia. Alecia continued her thought as Juliet organized her supplies.

 

“You may have to put something hot on my arm. It’s sort of tough to see my veins.”

 

Nodding, Juliet probed Alecia’s forearm with her index finger, trying to cause a vein to pop upward. A couple of minutes went by and she shook her head.

 

“You're right. Need something hot on that. Give me a minute.”

 

Alecia waited patiently for Juliet as she grabbed for a hot pack out of the warmer in the corner of the room. As Juliet procured the hot pack, she gently put it atop Alecia’s left forearm and listened as Alecia spoke up one time more.

 

“Are you the lone doctor on this island?”

 

Juliet’s thoughts went to Jack. But she didn’t need to tell these people there were two of them. It would be utterly pointless. Unless either one of them needed a spinal surgeon. It was all they needed to know.

 

“The only one of my expertise on this island. Let’s see if we’ve got a vein. Well, there we go. We have a winner. Little poke here. Relax your arm.”

 

Alecia looked away and Juliet filled the two tubes with blood. Putting a label on both she placed them inside the centrifuge. Juliet looked at Alecia for a moment and a frown pasted itself on her face.

 

“You’re looking a little pale. Have some orange juice and a cookie. Relax for a few minutes. Once you feel up to it, I’ll need a urine sample.”

 

Alecia just nodded and got up leaving the room. Juliet looked to Robert who now sat on a chair in front of her.

 

“Alecia and I, we only started trying to have a baby last year. But we’d thought about starting a family for at least a few years now. We just hadn’t decided it was the right time yet. Can you help us?”

 

Juliet nodded and looked Robert straight in the eye.

 

“You have my word Robert that I will do everything I can to help the two of you get pregnant. I will do my best.”

 

Robert shook hands with Juliet and nodded with sympathy.

 

“Thank-you.”

 

Everything had to work, she knew it would. But sometimes things didn’t always come out the way they were supposed to. This was the island after all, and it could rip just about anyone away that it wanted to.

 

“It’s my pleasure Robert. I know how these situations can be. They are frustrating and sometimes heartbreaking. I want you to know that my success rate with this is 95 percent accurate.”

 

The smile slid right off Robert’s face.

 

“The other five percent?”

 

Juliet frowned and looked down at herself and then back up to Robert again.

 

“I was almost the other five percent. The other five percent is there is a risk of Alecia going into labor early, shortness of breath, and then she’ll slip into a coma and die. I don’t want you to fall into that group. I’m here for you every step of the way. Don’t hesitate to come and see me if you need anything. Ok?”

 

Running a hand through her hair, Juliet closed the second file of the next couple she was tasked to help. She’d get on track with them tomorrow. The third file she opened up, she narrowed her eyes at. She felt hot breath on the back of her neck.

 

“Why me Ben?”

 

Perusing her file, Juliet found every last piece of medical evidence leading back to her pregnancy with Hayley. Turning to Ben, she heard him speak.

 

“Yes, we know about Hayley too. Did you think you could keep her out of your medical file? She does exist.”

 

Juliet wanted to scoff at Ben. He’d manipulated her to do so many things in the past. She wasn’t surprised he was still doing it now. It was simply just his nature.

 

“I ask you again Ben, why me?”

 

Ben got mere inches from her face and looked deep into her eyes.

 

“The one child that you have given birth to is very special. She could do great things on this island if she chose to. Who’s to say that the next one won’t be just as special as Cara?”

 

Juliet scooted farther away from Ben.

 

“I told you before Ben, I am not getting pregnant just so you can have another daughter. Do I look like a baby mill to you?”

 

Ben looked at her as if in shock for a moment or two and then shook his head no.

 

“No of course not Juliet. My apologies. I just want to make sure your happy.”

 

That did it for Juliet, balling her fists she was ready to deck him a good one.

 

“Make sure I’m HAPPY!? Who do you think you are Ben? Huh? I’ve been trying to get off this island for almost 8 years now, and you just keep me from doing that. What’s so wrong with me being able to go home?”

 

Ben shook his head and became serious.

 

“Why would I do that? I can give you all the comforts of home right here. If not more.”

 

Losing her nerve, Juliet let her left hand connect with his right cheek.

 

“I’m not doing this for you Ben, I’m doing this for Cara. The answer is no.”

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

Juliet was frustrated, but rightfully so. She hadn’t seen Cara for more than 2 weeks. Her mood was slowly starting to slip. She stifled a sob as she looked at a blood sample under the microscope. Sitting back on the stool, she glared at Ben as he came into the room.

 

“I’ve done what you’ve asked me to do Ben. Where’s my baby?”

 

She could feel her voice beginning to crack, but she dared not show it in front of Ben.

 

“She’s somewhere safe and being taken care of. I promise you’ll get to see her soon.”

 

But Juliet knew not to trust Ben’s assurances, as they were frequently hollow and deceptive. Shaking her head, Juliet puts her hands on her hips.

 

“NO. She’s been away from me too long. Bring her to me right NOW. I don’t want her to forget about me. I’m her mother!”

 

Ben smirked at Juliet. She didn’t like the way he was looking at her.

 

“What’s so amusing Ben?”

 

Letting out a strange laugh, Ben reached for Juliet’s hand.

 

“It’s a secret. You’ll know when the time is right. Where are we at with the Jacobson’s?”

 

Juliet raised her head and then shook it.

 

“I’m not sure where to begin with Jessie. She’s definitely having problems, but I’m having trouble finding the source of it.”

 

Ben nodded, trying to understand what Juliet was conveying to him.

 

“There’s someone who wants to see you Juliet. I’ll send him in.”

 

Juliet became confused as Ben opened up the door leading outside. She felt her jaw drop when a tall man with glasses and brown hair walked in.

 

“David?”

 

He looked just as confused as Juliet did and he stepped closer.

 

“Oh my god, Juliet. Where have you been?”

 

Ben looked Juliet straight in the eye and then excused himself.

 

“I’ll give you two some privacy.”

 

Waiting until she heard the door close and Ben was out of earshot, Juliet pulled David into a hug and held on tight.

 

“David, how did you get here? I don’t understand.”

 

David looked around warily, suspiciously.

 

“I don’t know. I was knocked unconscious. Jessie is my sister. What the hell is this place Jules?”

 

Letting go of David, she looked deep into his eyes. David could see something there. Something familiar. He wasn’t even sure if Juliet was aware of it yet.

 

“I can’t explain it David. But this is where I’ve been for the past 8 years. All I’ve ever wanted to do is leave this godforsaken rock. This place has caused me more grief than joy.”

 

Juliet started organizing things on the countertop. David shook his head. She did that when she was worried or anxious about something. He
took her hands in his to stop her from putting everything in its place.

 

“Is there something you want to tell me Jules? There’s something you’re not telling me.”

 

Juliet had no idea what David was even talking about.

 

“I’m just tired David. Ben has me working long hours. I’ll do everything in my power to help your sister. It’s the least I can do. You helped me through everything with Hayley, and I helped my sister. I only wish I could’ve been there.”

 

David smiled and gestured towards the electron microscope in front of Juliet.

 

“May I?”

 

Juliet scooted her stool over so that David could have a look. His eyes widened as he looked at the blood sample.

 

“What’s going on here?”

 

Shrugging her shoulders, Juliet stared at the microscope.

 

“I run into that same anomaly every time I take a blood sample from a patient. I can’t explain it.”

 

David glanced up at Juliet and then to an unmarked tube sitting inside the centrifuge.

 

“What about this one? There’s no name on it.”

 

Shaking her head, Juliet after turning off the centrifuge picked up the tube of blood with a gloved hand.

 

“Where did this come from? I have labels on every one of these samples.”

 

Furrowing his eyebrows, David took the tube from her and moved the microscope up a little.

 

“Is there another doctor on this island that could’ve taken this?”

 

Juliet’s mind wandered back to Jack. But he didn’t have access to any of this. Not on the beach at least.

 

“No. You and I are it David.”

 

She’d missed David, but then her mind continued with another thought.

 

“You came here to support your sister didn’t you David?”

 

David nodded and looked up from the microscope.

 

“Yes, but I wouldn’t say the two of us chose to come here. We thought we were going to a large clinic up in Portland. I was told that was where you were at Juliet.”

 

Juliet shook her head.

 

“That’s just it David. I never got there. I think Ben brought you here to help me.”

 

David gave a blank stare to Juliet for a brief few seconds.

 

“Wait you’re not having problems are you?”

 

Juliet shook her head no.

 

“Actually, with my serum, I think I’ve corrected the problem here on the island. One of my theories is that the radiation on the island is causing them not to carry to term. But I haven’t made that exact connection yet. Nine months ago I gave birth to a healthy little girl named Cara. Ben promised me I’d get her back. But I’ve been on this island long enough to know his word isn’t worth much.”

 

David sat back on the stool and tried to take in everything Juliet had just explained to him. She would tell him more of the story later.

 

To Be Continued...

Chapter Text

“This is for you Jules.”

 

Looking up, Juliet gingerly took the photo from David and glanced at it.

 

“Is this my sister and Julian? Oh my god. He’s beautiful.”

 

David took her hand and squeezed it.

 

“That’s not all Jules. I have something else for you. Someone you haven’t seen in a few years.”

 

Procuring a small photo in his left hand, David placed it into her hands. Juliet stared at the photo, and staring back at her were a set of sparkling blue eyes and a tangled mess of blonde curls. Feeling herself lose her balance for just a moment, Juliet felt the weight of David’s hands at her elbows, steadying her.

 

“Whoa. Here. Let’s sit down.”

 

David led her over to a stool and helped her sit down.

 

“I’m sorry David. It’s just been a really long time since I’ve seen Hayley. My baby is growing up.”

 

Clutching the photo closer to her, Juliet fingered it with a delicate touch.

 

“You know, Rachel has been asking me if I had your phone number, so she could call. I told her I didn’t know it. Of course, why would I? I had no idea where you were or even how to contact you.”

 

Juliet kept fingering the picture of her miniature mirror and gave a watery smile.

 

“She’s getting so big. Does she know anything about me?”

 

David nodded his head and sat down next to her on another stool.

 

“Rachel tells her stories about you all the time. You should see her dance. She’s beautiful.”

 

Juliet dried her tears and put her lips to the picture and kissed it.

 

“Baby, your beautiful. I just wish I could be there to watch you grow up.”

 

Grabbing for a tissue, Juliet wiped her eyes and then threw it in the garbage. Walking over to the sink, Juliet turned the tap on. Putting her head down, she let the steam from the hot water hit her face. David placed a hand on her shoulder and looked concerned again.

 

“Maybe you should sit down again. Clearly this is affecting you.”

 

Shaking her head no, Juliet planted her feet where she was and kept her head in the steam and breathed it in.

 

“No it’s not about Hayley. I’m actually feeling kind of dizzy.”

 

Juliet could feel David’s larger hand on her left shoulder.

 

“Here, sit down. You have been working non-stop lately Juliet. You need rest. Doesn’t Ben realize that?”

 

Turning her gaze to David, Juliet felt her shoulders slump.

 

“Will you help me come up with a plan to get out of here David?”

 

David hadn’t been on the island long, but he was starting to get the feeling that this place had some strange effect on Juliet.

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

Juliet smiled for the first time in days when Ben personally came in with Cara tucked away in his arms. Her heart instantly climbed into her throat and pounded with the ferocity of a roaring lion.

 

“You give me my baby this instant Ben. I'm through playing games with you. NOW.”

 

Cara started to whimper in Ben’s arms and flailed.

 

“Of course, Juliet. Anything for you.”

 

Handing Cara off to Juliet, Ben made himself at home at the microscope station and had a look at the results she’d been analyzing.

 

“You’ve been making excellent progress with Alecia. She’s shown no signs of distress. What was your diagnosis? Is she stable and healthy?”

 

Juliet nodded and managed a small smile.

 

“22 weeks and everything is going as smoothly as possible. But Alecia isn’t who I’m worried about. It’s Jessie. 16 weeks in and she’s already showing signs of constant nausea. She could fall into a coma in as little as two more weeks. My serum doesn’t seem to be having the same effect on her as it does Alecia. I'll keep working on it, though. It's going to take some more time. Science can’t be rushed Ben.”

 

Frowning, Juliet knew that Ben was going to disapprove of her explanation given for Jessie.

 

“You have an extremely intelligent mind Juliet, try harder.”

 

Insulted, Juliet could no longer contain her pent-up anger and slapped Ben across the cheek.

 

“If you’d give me access to more resources Ben, then I can complete my work.”

 

Ben resisting the sting in his left cheek, nodded towards Juliet and replied.

 

“You’ll have more help within the next forty-eight hours.”

 

Slinking out of the room, Ben shut the door, leaving Juliet and David to their work. Looking up, Juliet heard static coming from a radio somewhere in the room.

 

“David? Do you hear that?”

 

David looking in the direction of the sound went about trying to find its source.

 

“It sounds like it’s coming from over here somewhere.”

 

Juliet’s face lit up as she began to hear voices over it.

 

“Mayday, mayday, this is Arelia Titanius… Anyone receiving this transmission?”

 

Scrambling to find the radio, Juliet found it in a cupboard. Reaching for the receiver, she went about trying to answer them.

 

“This is Doctor Juliet Burke from the Staff medical station. Do you copy?”

 

Butterflies began to form in her stomach and she wondered if they’d heard her.

 

“Mayday, mayday this is Arelia Titanius… Anyone receiving this transmission?”

 

Frowning Juliet tried one more time.

 

“This is Doctor Juliet Burke from the Staff medical station. Do you copy?”

 

Her heart sank as the transmission faded out and her knees became weak. David broke the ice and spoke first.

 

“I don’t think they can hear you Jules.”

 

Juliet dropping the receiver felt lightheaded. The room began to spin. Her body became a ten-ton weight and black was beginning to seep into her vision. David managed to break her fall before she could connect with the concrete floor below her.

 

“Juliet?”

 

David didn’t panic when she didn’t answer. He remembered when something similar had happened three months before Hayley was born. It was stress related. Juliet was a strong woman, he found her stronger than other women he’d met in many ways, but this was her at her weakest. He’d never seen her so heartbroken before. What had this place done to her?

 

“What kind of mess have I gotten myself into?”

 

Juliet had to know a way off this island, but how? David hadn’t any bright ideas now, he was more concerned about her unconscious form now lying on the bed a few feet away.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

Her eyes were two lead weights. Weight’s she was certain couldn’t be lifted by her alone. She needed help. A blinding light came across her vision and she braced herself.

 

“Juliet it’s me David. Can you open your eyes for me?”

 

There it was again, that blinding light. Trying again, Juliet slowly opened her eyes and squinted.

 

“David, that’s too bright.”

 

The face of a very concerned/worried David appeared in her line of vision.

 

“There you are. Here have some water.”

 

Shaking her head, no, Juliet pushed at David’s hands in protest.

 

“David I’m fine. I’ll make a deal with you: if I can stand for a full minute without losing my balance, you let me get back to work. If I last less than that and my knees buckle, you can give me an order to stay lying down for a bit. Do we have deal?”

 

David stood by as Juliet slowly pushed herself into a sitting position. She knew that her work wasn’t going to complete itself. She had lives to save. Four at the moment. Two were
in jeopardy.

 

“David, I would like you to go back to the barracks and bring your sister back here. I want to get another blood sample from her.”

 

“Jessie, how long have you had shortness of breath?”

 

Jessie sat down on the bed and tried catching her breath.

 

“Three or four… Days…”

 

Juliet now occupying the stool next to the bed turned on the oxygen and gave her the mask.

 

“Just lie back and relax Jessie. I’m going to take a little blood and then run an ultrasound on you ok?”

 

Jessie lie back and closed her eyes for a few minutes. David meanwhile sat right by her side.

 

“It wouldn’t be the same here with your big brother, now would it?”

 

Opening her eyes, Jessie wanted to play swat her hand at him.

 

“I’m… a big girl…”

 

David shook his head at his sister as Juliet set everything up on the machine.

 

“Are you in any pain Jessie?”

 

Jessie nodded her head at Juliet and grabbed for David’s hand.

 

“A… little…”

 

Rifling through a drawer, Juliet pulled out something to ease Jessie’s pain. Swallowing hard, she took a moment to collect her thoughts. This was the hardest part about her job. But she was going to make everything right.

 

“Hey look at me Jessie. Listen. I’m doing everything in my power to help the both of you.”

 

Jessie sat very still as Juliet multi-tasked with moving the wand over her stomach and looking at the machine.

 

“How’s my baby?”

 

Juliet tried to give her a brave smile but it was almost faltering.

 

“Your baby is doing just fine. I’m going to give you something to help you relax ok? It won’t hurt the baby I promise.”

 

Juliet could see that Jessie was beginning to panic, which wasn’t going to do her any good. Taking her own breath, she looked Jessie in the eye.

 

“Jessie look at me. Try to breathe normally. The oxygen I gave you should help. It won’t be long before what I’ve given you will help you relax. Ok?”

 

David stayed by his sister’s side and watched the screen in front of him.

 

“Everything’s going to be alright Jessie. Just relax now. I’m right here.”

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6 months later

 

The Staff medical station

 

“You’re doing great Jessie, keep pushing.”

 

Juliet had felt she found a glimmer of hope in all the misery she’d seen in all the different women she’d treated. She knew Jessie was getting tired, but she wasn’t giving up on her.

 

“I don’t know if I can’t keep doing this…”

 

Juliet shaking her head looked Jessie in the eye and then resumed her task.

 

“You’re doing just fine Jessie. We’re almost there. One more push for me. One more push.”

 

David wiped the sweat from Jessie’s forehead and gave her a smile.

 

“Almost there Jess. You are going to have a beautiful and healthy little girl. That’s it. It’s a girl!”

 

Juliet’s moment of joy was suddenly shattered by the sound of the heart monitor that Jessie was attached to flatlined. David felt his whole world crumble beneath him and the
shrill cry of his brand-new niece cemented it.

 

Feeling herself begin to shake, Juliet tried to reign in all the emotions she was feeling right now and bottled them back up. But the cork in the bottle didn’t stay put for long. She felt herself drop to her knees before long, and a scream issued forth from her throat.

 

“WHY!?”

 

David stared back at the screaming bundle that was his niece and let his tears flow. He wanted nothing more than to shut everyone and everything out right now.

 

“David I’m really sorry. I can give you a few minutes.”

 

Staring up at Juliet, he sat silently. When he was angry, he didn’t speak much, which its volume was louder than words itself. He was now left alone with his niece, which he named Erica, appropriately after him and Jessie’s mother.

 

To Be Continued...

Chapter Text

“David, you don’t know how sorry I am. I did my best. Here let me help you with that.”

 

Shaking his head, he could only glare at Juliet. He held away the shovel and tried not to look at his sister.

 

“You’ve done enough Juliet.”

 

Creasing her left brow, Juliet could only stare at David.

 

“David I know your angry right now. What’s gotten into you? This isn’t you.”

 

She’d noticed a change in David over the last few days, and it wasn’t the good kind either.

 

“I put my faith in you Juliet. I thought you could save Erica and my sister. You always know what to do. What the hell kind of nightmare is this!?”

 

Staying quiet, Juliet let David scream to his heart’s content at the island. Distracting herself with Cara in the sling/baby carrier made from one of the old airline blankets, she
listened to her cooing in it.

 

“I did everything humanly possible to keep you alive. Erica and I need you Jess.”

 

This was a very different side of David Juliet had never seen before. She’d considered him her best friend and he helped her with a personal and private experience. The birth of her first daughter Hayley. She felt she needed to air out her feelings towards the situation all while trying to keep both Cara and Erica steady in her arms.

 

“The blame is inevitably on me David. Feel free to scream. As far as I’m concerned, I did fail you. I was supposed to take care of Jessie and she slipped right out of my hands. I did everything I could. You knew the risks, and so did Jessie. This island can be very unforgiving sometimes. This is one of those situations which you cannot change David. Here. Let me help you.”

 

David shaking his head, held the shovel away again.

 

“No. I need to do this.”

 

Cara and Erica began to whimper from the comfortable spot in the blankets they were securely in. David stopped digging and looked up at Juliet.

 

“I don’t have a bottle warmed for her. Can you feed her?”

 

Juliet sat silent for a moment and then slowly nodded her head.

 

“You want me to feed her? David, I’m not her mother.”

 

For only a fraction of a moment, David seemed to relent on his sour attitude towards Juliet and saw his niece stick a hand out of the blanket.

“You know what they say: ‘mother’s milk is better.’ Besides, she’ll be stronger that way.”

 

Nodding, Juliet set herself against a palm tree and sat down.

 

“Ok. But just this once. I don’t know how much she’ll get though. My supplies kind of running a little dry. Besides. I’m trying to wean Cara anyways. I want her on solid foods.”

 

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When Juliet and David got back to the house, he took Erica from her and gave her a small smile.

 

“Thank-you for taking care of her Juliet. I know I was asking a lot of you to feed Erica for me. You don’t look so good. Maybe you should have a nap. I’ll watch the girls for a little while.”

 

Juliet gave a warm smile to David and went towards her room.

 

“Don’t let me sleep too long.”

 

It was a couple of days later that David noticed he hadn’t seen Juliet come out of her house. A strange feeling settled into his stomach and it wouldn’t leave him alone. Going along the path to Juliet’s house next door, he knocked. When he heard crying behind it, he knew he had to go in. Juliet didn’t lock her door because she didn’t see the need to. Opening the door, David saw Cara sitting on the floor next to Juliet’s crumpled form. She was crying. He took note of the situation and noticed that Juliet had a large gash on her forehead.

 

“She must’ve hit the corner of the coffee table on the way down.”

 

Setting Erica in the basinet over in the corner of the room, David went back to Juliet and leaned over her fallen form. Holding his breath, he took her pulse.

 

“Good. You’re alive.”

 

David could see Cara trying to climb on top of Juliet and lie on her chest, but she wasn’t succeeding because she was too upset. Picking Cara up, David tried bouncing her to try and get her to calm down.

 

“Hey Cara-bean. Uncle David’s going to make mommy all better ok? Where’s your pooh bear? Here.”

 

Picking up the stuffed bear, David gave it to Cara and her tears came to an abrupt halt, and soon she was only hiccupping. Leaning back down over Juliet, David pushed back her eyelids to check her pupil response.

 

“You knocked yourself in the head pretty bad Juliet. We should clean up that gash on your forehead.”

 

David going over towards the sink found a wash cloth and got it wet with warm water. Coming back to Juliet, he began wiping away the now drying blood that was on her forehead. As he examined it further, he noticed she was beginning to stir.

 

“David, what happened?”

 

As she tried to get into a sitting position, David placed his hands on her shoulders to keep her still.

 

“Lie back Juliet. You took a bad spill. You hit your head on the edge of the coffee table when you lost consciousness. Are you dizzy? Do you feel nauseous?”

 

Juliet wasn’t worried about her state of being at the moment, she was more worried about where Cara was.

 

“Where’s Cara?”

 

She was trying to keep a level head here, but it was slipping slightly.

 

“She’s fine. She’s playing with her Winnie the pooh. Look at me Juliet. How many fingers am I holding up?”

 

Squinting, Juliet had trouble focusing on David’s hand and fingers.

 

“Four?”

 

David shook his head no and gently pressed his index and middle finger up against her left temple.

 

“You have a mild concussion. Here, let’s get you up onto the couch. Easy now.”

 

Juliet wobbled a bit and sat down heavily on the couch. Her head lulled to the side for a brief minute, causing David to become more concerned for Juliet’s state of being.

 

“Something wrong with your neck Juliet?”

 

Confused and still blurry-eyed, Juliet tried to focus on David while trying to speak at the same time.

 

“I have to fed the baby.”

 

David’s eyes widened and he took Juliet’s face in his hands to look her in the eye.

 

“Juliet repeat that again.”

 

Leaning back on the sofa, she tried not to groan.

 

“My tomach…”

 

David became very serious and tried to get her to keep looking at him.

 

“Where does your stomach hurt?”

 

Juliet tried to shrug her shoulders and speak at the same time but she was getting frustrated.

 

“Dunno. Stop it.”

 

He saw her eyes flutter and begin to shut, he had to think of something to keep her awake.

 

“No. Juliet you can’t go to sleep right now. I need you to open your eyes and stay awake for me.”

 

She was in an altered state right now, and he wasn’t sure if she would remember what’d she’d said to him later when she was more lucid.

 

“Hurts too mush… Too tired…”

 

David knew that reasoning with her wouldn’t do him any good. It would only make the situation before him that much more difficult.

 

“May I get a look at where your stomach hurts? Please?”

 

Clumsily, Juliet did as David asked and she saw his eyebrows furrow together to almost become one.

 

“Where did all these bruises come from?”

 

Juliet’s eyes widened in fear and she wrapped her hand around his right wrist.

 

“Something bad threw me.”

 

David got a puzzled look on his face and he directed his attention to Juliet.

 

“Like what?”

 

Fear seized her gut and she tried to hold her tears back.

 

“Black smoke monster.”

 

David giggled a moment and shook his head.

 

“You’re kidding right? There’s no such thing as monsters. Especially a black smoke monster.”

 

He stopped giggling when he saw the dead-serious expression on her face and it was as pale as a sheet.

 

“It’s real.”

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

Flashback:

4 hours ago

Dharma Barracks

She'd gone to David's house with the intent on convincing him to come with her back to the beach. She couldn't find him anywhere. He would never leave her behind. But she couldn't chance to look for him further without Ben finding out she was trying to escape. She had to leave with Cara now. She could always sneak David and Erica out later.

"I'll come back for you soon David. I promise."

With that, she hiked towards the sonic fence, praying and hoping that Ben wouldn't find and follow her, only to bring her back to the barracks. Cara squirmed in the makeshift carrier that Juliet made for her out of a blanket. She was now in front of the sonic fence and took a deep breath. Entering in the code, she stepped through.

"Mommy will feed you in a few minutes' sweet girl. I promise. We'll be back on the beach with daddy in a few hours."

She couldn't have been more than 100 feet outside the sonic fence when the familiar sound of the black smoke monster filled the air just behind her.

"Great, just what I need."

Juliet needed a place to hide. The black smoke came rumbling through the trees, most Juliet noticed were too small for her to fit under or too high for her to climb, or too difficult. But she had to at least try. The ticking and roaring grew louder as the minutes ticked by. There was seemingly nowhere for her to go. There was a tree maybe twenty feet from her that she couldn't fit under, but Cara could. Getting down on her hands and knees, she placed Cara under it. She'd be safe there. The black smoke wouldn't hurt her. She was attempting to climb a tree across from the one that she stuck Cara under but the black smoke came barreling at her, and before she knew what was going on, she felt as if a humongous hand had taken hold of her. She couldn't fight against a force that was fifty to one hundred times stronger than she was, and black smoke. She felt her entire body collide with the tree just behind her.

Disoriented and her lungs screaming at her to take a breath, she found she had double vision when she tried to focus on getting away from the black smoke. The black smoke came back for round two. Her body felt limp when it picked her up and threw her against the tree one more time. When she fell back down to the ground, she had to force herself to get to Cara. Barely managing to crawl over to the tree Cara was under she scooped her up into her arms. Things were a fog now, and before she knew she had gotten back to the barracks, she found herself in her house. Exhausted and hurt Juliet barely made it to the living room before collapsing next to the coffee table. All the while, Cara screaming by her side.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

Flashback:

Juliet’s apartment

Miami, Florida

June 3rd, 2001

“Ew, Hay! You spit up again! This is the third time today mommy has had to change her shirt…”

     Juliet heard keys jiggling in the lock to her apartment door and in came her sister with David following right behind her.

“Wow, it smells like sour milk in here. Oh.”

     Shaking her head, Juliet let David take Hayley from her who became whiny for a few brief seconds.

“Come on Hay, come with Uncle David. Let mommy change really quick.”

     Hayley squirmed in David’s arms and then settled, smiling up at him, giving a small gurgle. A sneeze came forth and David smiled at her.

“Bless you little one.”

     Juliet had left her door open slightly so that she could keep an eye on Hayley even though David was watching her.

“David? Is she coughing or sneezing again?”

     David sighed at Juliet as she came out of the room with a new shirt on, it was backwards.

“Jules, you might want to turn your shirt around.”

     Slightly confused, Juliet looked down at herself and rolled her eyes.

“David, I’m this close to snapping at you. I’ve had less than 8 hours of sleep this week, everything I seem to wear either gets spit up on, smells like sour milk or has stains on them, and to top it all off, Hayley eats like a barracuda.”

     David led her over to the couch and had her sit next to him.

“And… There it is. You are going through Post-partum depression. You need to take care of that. It’ll only get worse in the coming weeks. Just know that I’m here for you Jules. Rach and I. We’re here to help you. She’s going to need a changing soon, you want to rest? I’ll watch over her for a while.”

     David watched for Juliet’s reaction she seemed a bit frazzled, but she shook her head.

“David, you’ve been good to me too much already. I really appreciate the support, I really do, but I can’t come running to you every time I need help with something.”

     Shaking his head, David sighed again. Juliet wasn’t having the best day here.

“Jules, you might want to change your shirt again.”

     Looking down, Juliet shut her eyes and then opened them again.

“Sometimes David, I wish you were in my shoes, just to experience this.”

     David held a sympathetic gaze towards Juliet as she went back to her room to change her shirt a second time.

“I know you need your mom kiddo, but she needs rest too.”

     Hayley was starting to get blinky and her eyes soon closed and she was fast asleep. David himself was getting sleepy. Stifling a yawn, he felt his eyes beginning to droop. Soon he had nodded off. He didn’t wake until Juliet gently shook his shoulder.

“David, you fell asleep. Maybe you should go on home. I’ve got this.”

     Shaking his head, David sat up straighter and regained his composure.

“No. You need help Jules. I’m willing to help as long as it takes. First thing tomorrow, you are going to see your doctor about your Post-Partum depression. You’re not alone in this Jules. We’re here to help you.”

     Juliet was stubborn though. She liked to think she was fine, even when she wasn’t.

“Alright David. But just until I can get back on my feet again. You are going to make some girl a very lucky husband one day David. I really mean that.”

    

To Be Continued…     

Chapter Text

“David come on. Let’s go.”

 

Juliet had Cara safely tucked away against her chest with the blanket around her. David had a similar one with Erica in it.

 

“What if they find us Jules? We’re not exactly armed to the teeth.”

 

Smirking, Juliet patted the back of her pants.

 

“That’s where they have the disadvantage.”

 

David stopped them just outside the fence.

 

“You know how to use that?”

 

Juliet nodded seriously and kept walking, talking along the way.

 

“I’m not the shy, mousy, timid woman you used to know David. I’ve learned to control my emotions and shut them off.”

 

David stopped her just past the fence and tugged on her arm.

 

“Turning off your emotions Jules doesn’t solve anything. You just bury it. I don’t know what you’ve been through in this place, but it’s apparent that its left a lasting impact on you, that affects you deeply.”

 

Juliet stopped when they got to the strange tree with the twisted roots.

 

“This is the tree I gave birth to Cara under. See the roots? I tried to curl my toes around them for support. Strange since I didn’t make it to the medical station, and that’s only ten minutes away from here.”

 

David eyed her curiously as they kept walking.

 

“You had Cara under that tree?”

 

Juliet nodded and tried to hide her smirk.

 

“Well yes. By the time, I made it to this tree here, Cara felt like she was between my knees. My husband made a big deal about me giving birth to her in the dirt. We should keep moving.”

 

David kept up with Juliet. As they traveled deeper into the jungle, Juliet thought she saw something like gleaming metal.

 

“Hey. Look over there. I think I see something.”

 

Her hopes were dashed as they came face to face with a small plane that had crash-landed in the middle of the jungle. Getting closer to it, she was naturally curious to see if there were any survivors inside.

 

“Hello? If anyone is alive and there and can hear me, we’re here to help.”

 

Juliet thought she heard a groan from inside. The door to the side of the plane was pretty banged up. If she could just get it open. Finally managing to get the door pried open, Juliet took in the form of a man slumped over in the cockpit. David taking Cara from Juliet saw her squeeze into the tiny cockpit to assess the damage that the man sustained.

 

“If you can hear me sir, open your eyes.”

 

The injured man that lie halfway out of the seat opened his eyes and stared at Juliet.

 

“Oh, it hurts… Where am I?”

 

Juliet trying to keep the man calm, went about checking his pupil response.

 

“Can you tell me where you’re hurt?”

 

The man was confused and tried looking around himself.

 

“Wha.. What?”

 

Juliet changing gears, found a first aid kit which surprisingly survived the crash and got the supplies in it.

 

“It’s ok. I’m a doctor. Where are, you hurt?”

 

She didn’t want to chance moving the man, so she waited for his reply.

 

“My chest…”

 

Juliet probed the man’s chest with her fingers as gently as she could. She was having trouble finding the source of his pain. So, she asked another question.

 

“Are you having any chest pain? Like someone is squeezing your heart?”

 

The man nodded again and shut his eyes. He was having difficulty breathing.

 

“Yes. I feel like there’s a thousand-pound weight on it…”

 

Juliet became worried, and then went through the first-aid kit.

 

“Sir, I need you to stay with me. You are having a major MI. A heart attack. Put this under your tongue.”

 

Juliet handed the man an aspirin and waited for it to dissolve under this tongue.

 

“Stay with me. What’s your name?”

 

The man opened his mouth and could barely speak.

 

“Martin.”

 

She kept her emotions off and continued to examine him.

 

“Looks like you’ve got a broken rib and a partially collapsed lung.”

 

Martin looked up at Juliet with a glossed over stare.

 

“Do I know you?”

 

Juliet put a hand on Martin’s shoulder and kept him still.

 

“I don’t recall seeing you before.”

 

Martin was insistent.

 

“Didn’t you work in the hospital at the University of Florida?”

 

Juliet swallowed hard and tried to wrack her brain of where she might have seen this man before.

 

“I worked in the emergency department for a short while. You came in with a large piece of sheet glass stuck in your chest. We didn’t think you were going to make it.”

 

Martin coughed and then groaned.

 

“Nice to see ya again doc. So, they needed a doc in this place huh?”

 

Juliet fidgeted and looked again in the first-aid kit.

 

“Emergency medicine isn’t my specialty. I hope you don’t mind a Fertility doctor treating your wounds.”

 

She heard David’s voice outside the downed plane.

 

“Do you need some help in there?”

 

Juliet called out to David.

 

“David, we can’t move him. He’s having a major MI. I gave him some aspirin. But I don’t think it’s helping. He’s also got a broken rib and a partially collapsed lung. It’s not like we can get a helicopter in here to life flight him out.”

 

Martin’s eyes grew wide as he looked at Juliet.

 

“Where are we?”

 

Juliet sympathized with Martin, but she wasn’t sure how to explain where they were at.

 

“I can’t exactly tell you, because I don’t know where we are or what this place is. We are on an island.”

 

Martin was unsure of what was happening, but he wasn’t feeling too well. Juliet had a bad feeling.

 

“Martin, how are you feeling?”

 

By the time, Juliet finished speaking, Martin had slumped over in the seat again. She repeated herself again.

 

“Martin, how are you feeling? Can you open your eyes for me?”

 

Putting a couple of fingers up to Martin’s carotid, Juliet took his pulse.

 

“I’m sorry Martin.”

 

Slowly coming out of the downed plane, Juliet wiped her eyes and looked at David.

 

“There wasn’t anything else I could do for him. Will you help me bury him?”

 

David nodded and looked at Juliet.

 

“Ok.”
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Juliet was quiet as they made it farther towards the beach. She had wished she could’ve saved Martin. But she knew that the island took him as another penny for its jar.

 

“Jules, it’s not your fault he’s dead. He was too injured to be saved.”

 

David was trying to be reassuring, but Juliet wasn’t having it.

 

“David, you have no idea, what this island’s done to me. I’ve witnessed death first hand more than I’ve witnessed successful births. This island seems to revel in taking lives. I almost died before I had Cara. But my serum saved me. There are things here that you could never imagine in the real world.”

 

David looked at Juliet as if she’d lost her mind.

 

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

 

Juliet stared, and tried not to be judgmental of David, but he hadn’t a clue.

 

“You haven’t seen the worst thing on this island yet. Trust me.”

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

The sound of the ocean never sounded better to Juliet. When her and David came through the jungle brush and foliage, her eyes fell on James who was filling his old water bottle with water from the trough. Something made him look in the direction of the people half jogging towards the tree line. His face went from worried to elated when he saw Juliet emerge from the jungle.

 

“Juliet?”

 

All her pent-up worry came barreling out and she wanted to throw herself into James’ arms, but she had Cara with her. James got to Juliet as quickly as the sand would allow and
pulled her in for a kiss. When they broke for air, they got lost in each other’s gazes.

 

“I thought I’d lost you blondie.”

 

Juliet felt a blush coming on.

 

“You haven’t lost me James. Cara and I came back in one piece. I have a lot to tell you though.”

 

James eyed the bag slung over her shoulder.

 

“What’s in the bag?”

 

Shifting Cara, Juliet pulled her bag in front of her and opened it up.

 

“A plane transceiver, from a downed plane David and I found out in the jungle.”

 

James eyed the man with the glasses and the graying hairline behind Juliet.

 

“Who’s that behind ya?”

 

Juliet turned to him and smiled.

 

“That’s David. We used to work together in the research lab back in Miami. Ben brought him here.”

 

James still eyed David suspiciously.

 

“So why did Benny-boy bring you here?”

 

David stepped forward and frowned.

 

“It’s personal. I’m David Jacobson, and this is my niece Erica. You must be James. It’s nice to meet you.”

 

James tried not to flinch and took a step back.

 

“How do you know my name?”

 

Juliet put a hand on James forearm.

 

“James, take a breath and relax. David is stuck here just like the rest of us.”

 

James relented and shook hands with David.

 

“Welcome to crap-hole-island, doc.”

 

David turned his attention to Erica who was squirming in his arms.

 

“Oh, it’s time for her to eat. Juliet?”

 

Turning back to David, she frowned.

 

“Sorry David. No can do. Afraid the kitchen is permanently closed for her. I don’t have anything to give her.”

 

While balancing Cara in her arms, she pulled out a bottle of water and a can of formula for David.

 

“Oh right. Sorry Jules. Thanks.”

 

David walked away with Erica and formula in tow, sitting down under a shaded palm tree to feed her. James took her by the arm and led her towards their tent.

 

“You fed his niece?”

 

Juliet set Cara down in her makeshift crib and made sure she was sleeping before she responded to James.

 

“It was only a couple of times. Besides, she’d just lost her mother and I felt that formula right after she was born wasn’t going to cut it. Besides its good for her immune system.”

 

James clenched his jaw and raised his voice.

 

“It’s not your job Juliet to take care of everyone else’s kid! You’ve got your own family to take care of!”

 

Juliet felt her anger beginning to bubble up, into her throat and belted out of her mouth.

 

“The mothers on this island need me James! I won’t turn my back on them! My job isn’t easy, especially in this place. You have no idea what I’ve had to go through in the last seven years to try and save all these women! You make it sound as if it were simple, but it’s not! Your just angry because I fed someone else’s child that wasn’t mine!”

 

Picking Cara up from her crib, she walked out of their tent. She realized she had several pairs of eyes staring at her as she walked down the beach. When she was far enough away, she felt like collapsing under one of the palm trees. She spied Jack coming towards her and shook her head trying to calm Cara.

 

“What was that all about Juliet?”

 

Jack planted himself down on the sand next to Juliet and took Cara from her.

 

“James and I got into a fight.”

 

Jack nodded and played with Cara’s feet.

 

“I can see that. What happened?”

 

Running a hand through her long golden curls, Juliet shook them trying to reign in her thoughts.

 

“James got upset because of my friend David over there. His sister died a couple of months ago, and when we were burying her he asked if I could feed Erica. I told him I’d only do it once. Then he was on his own. I ended up doing it a second time. It was only two times. James blew his top because he didn’t like the fact that I was breastfeeding someone else’s kid. He said that I had my own family and that I should take care of my own. I told him it was my job to help the women of this island, their lives and their babies came first. I love James with everything I’ve got, but sometimes I don’t think it’s enough. I feel like we’re turning into my mom and dad.”

 

Jack put a hand on her shoulder and gave his advice.

 

“Give him another chance Juliet. Give him some time to cool off. He’ll have to face the reality of the situation sooner rather than later.”

 

Juliet shut her eyes and then opened them again.

 

“This is one of those times where he’s acting like the same man I met years ago. They are two different people. I just wish I could help him see that I was doing it for her benefit.”

 

Juliet stretched and Jack spotted a large bruise on her side.

 

“Juliet? Where’d you get that bruise?”

 

Pulling her shirt down over her side, Juliet wrapped her arms around herself protectively.

 

“Nothing.”

 

Jack knew it wasn’t ‘nothing’.

 

“You didn’t get that from falling down. What happened?”

 

Juliet relented and lifted her shirt a little to examine the bruise further.

 

“Alright. Two weeks ago, Cara and I, we were leaving the barracks and we were a few feet outside the sonic fence. The Black Smoke came charging through the jungle and threw me against a tree several times. I don’t even remember going back to the barracks. The next thing I know, David is standing over me in my living room.”

 

Jack prodded her for more.

 

“Then what happened?”

 

Sighing, Juliet continued her story.

 

“I panicked when I couldn’t find Cara, slurred my speech and said I needed to feed her. David asked me how many fingers he was holding up and I told him six. That’s when I realized I had a concussion. I fought hard to stay awake, but I passed out because of the pain. My stomach’s still bothering me.”

 

Jack looked alarmed now, and it was making Juliet uncomfortable.

 

“You could have a slow blood leak somewhere inside your body. You and I should go to the medical station to determine that.”

 

Juliet was certain this wasn’t going to bear good news.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

“I’m sorry. Does that hurt?”

 

Juliet nodded at Jack slightly and watched as he continued what he was doing.

 

“A little. What did you find?”

 

Jack gestured towards the screen in front of him and frowned.

 

“I need you to stay still. You have a laceration to your liver. I can repair it, but you’ll need time to recover.”

 

Swallowing, Juliet watched the black and white image on the screen.

 

“Knowing the island, it won’t take long for me to heal. So, when are you going to do the surgery?”

 

Jack turned off the ultrasound machine and helped Juliet clean up.

 

“Right away. I can have everything ready within the hour.”

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“Ok Juliet take a few nice deep breaths for me. There you go.”

 

God I hate anesthesia, makes me sicker than a dog. Juliet felt her eyelids become heavy with drowsiness. Soon she could barely keep her eyes open and she drifted into a dreamless sleep. Jack was about forty minutes into the surgery when he saw Juliet’s left hand begin to twitch. His eyes roved over the monitors, checking each carefully. He soon found that it had spread and her head was moving left and right. Jack ripping off his blood-soaked gloves, went through a couple of drawers. Finally finding the medication he was looking for, he went back to Juliet with a fresh pair of gloves.

 

“Hold on Juliet. Come back to me.”

 

After giving Juliet the medication, he breathed a sigh of relief when her vitals evened out and she relaxed.

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Two years and five months later

 

“This is the U.S.S Carson. If there is anyone there, please respond.”

 

Juliet’s eyes lit up. She’d forgotten about a radio that was in a hidden Dharma station not far from where the Swan hatch used to be. Her and James had gone there to get supplies. It was called The North Star station. Juliet had always thought it was a strange name for a station, but today she thanked her lucky stars she remembered it was here. Scrambling for the radio, she picked up its receiver.

 

“Hello? This is Doctor Juliet Burke calling in from The North Star Dharma station.”

 

She heard the man’s voice over the radio and listened.

 

“This is Lieutenant Michael Richardson. I have your coordinates at 305-46-34-22 is that correct?”

 

James looked at Juliet like the man on the radio had four heads.

 

“Yes, that’s correct.”

 

Goodbyes are bittersweet. Especially when they were for the island. Juliet had dreamed of this day for years and now today it had come true. Cara tugged on Juliet’s hand and gazed into her deep blue eyes.

 

“Mommy? What does my new home look like?”

 

Juliet leaned down to Cara’s level and smiled, putting a hand up to her cheek.

 

“It’s beautiful baby girl. There are palm trees just like here. You’ll even get to go to school.”

 

Cara’s eyes lit up.

 

“School? You mean, I’ll make friends? Do they know about this place? The island?”

 

Juliet shook her head no and pulled her daughter into a hug.

 

“No baby. No one knows where this place is. You have to promise me that you will never tell them where we were. Ok?”

 

Cara didn’t quite understand but she nodded her head. She knew not to argue with Juliet.

 

“Ok mama.”

 

Cara looked out from the boat and towards the island. She was afraid of what was coming next. But Juliet wasn’t going to let her be afraid. Things were going to be just fine when they got home.

 

“Baby, I know that you’re afraid, but daddy and I won’t let anything happen to you ok? You’ll get to meet your Aunt Rachel and your cousin Julian.”

 

Juliet wiped a smudge of dirt from Cara’s forehead with the hem of her shirt.

 

“Don’t forget Hayley mama.”

 

How could Juliet forget her oldest? Hayley was a complicated story. One that Cara begged Juliet to tell her about.

 

“Yes, Hayley too. She’s going to love you baby girl.”

 

Cara clung to Juliet as they reached the navy ship. She’d never seen such a big thing in her life before. She watched as James went up the rope ladder first with fearful eyes. As
Juliet began to hand Cara up to James, she got board-stiff.

 

“No! No! No! Mama don’t go!”

 

Then it occurred to Juliet that Cara had never been away from her before. She only needed a little reassurance.

 

“Baby, it’s alright. You go with daddy. Mommy is right behind you. Ok? You have nothing to worry about.”

 

This did nothing of course to put Cara’s fears to rest though.

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Juliet woke later that night only to find something was wrong. Trying to focus her eyes in the dark, she found Cara struggling for air. She wasn’t sure if she was choking on something or if something was blocking her airway.

 

“Cara baby, look at mommy. What’s wrong?”

 

Cara could only look at Juliet with wild and frightened eyes. She couldn’t speak. Juliet knew where she had to take Cara. To the infirmary. There was always a doctor on-call all the time. Lifting her into the safety of her arms, Juliet made her way towards the infirmary. She half-ran/half-jogged her way there, passing navy crewmembers on the way. When she got to the infirmary she yelled for help.

 

“I need some help! Please! My daughter!”

 

A doctor took Cara from Juliet’s arms and placed her on a bed.

 

“What happened?”

 

Juliet shook her head and tried to stay calm.

 

“I don’t know. I just woke up and found her like this. I can’t tell if she’s got something blocking her airway or she’s having some sort of an attack.”

 

The doctor in front of her eyed her for a moment.

 

“You’re a doctor?”

 

Juliet nodded and held Cara’s hands.

 

“Yes, I’m Juliet Burke. I’m a Fertility doctor.”

 

The doctor looked serious and shook his head.

 

“I’ll have to open up her airway. I’m not seeing the cause of her respiratory distress. I’ll have to trach her.”

 

Juliet shook her head no and continued to hold Cara’s tiny hands.

 

“No. Traching her should be a last resort. Look for an allergic reaction. Anything.”

 

Scared eyes stared back at Juliet and she held Cara’s hands a little tighter.

 

“If you do have to trach her, give her something for the pain and to help her sleep.”

 

The doctor in front of Juliet nodded seriously and rifled through a drawer to find what he was looking for. Cara looked into Juliet’s eyes and she looked as if she were almost pleading.

 

“It’s ok baby. This nice doctor is going to give you something to go to sleep and make you feel better ok. Just close your eyes and listen to mommy ok? I’m right here.”

 

Juliet sat in a chair next to the bed with her head in her hands. She was exhausted, but she felt she had to stay awake for Cara. Feeling a hand on her shoulder, she uncovered her face to find Jack standing over her.

 

“Hey. Thought you could use something warm to drink.”

 

Accepting the paper cup from Jack, she took a sip of the hot liquid. Coffee?

 

“Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve had coffee Jack?”

 

Jack nodded and took another chair, sitting down next to her.

 

“How is she?”

 

Juliet watched Cara’s tiny form breathe in and out.

 

“She’s stable. The ship’s doctor said she should make a full recovery once we reach the mainland and get her into a hospital. Someone in the kitchen gave her a bowl of fruit. Whomever cut the fruit had used the same knife to cut up a coconut beforehand. I’ve never seen Cara react to coconut the way she did today. Honestly, it really scares me.”

 

Jack put a hand on Juliet’s shoulder and squeezed it gently.

 

“You have every right to be afraid Juliet. After everything we’ve all been through on the island, I’d be worried if you weren’t having that emotion at all.”

 

Juliet put her head on the bed next to Cara’s and sighed closing her eyes. Taking the tiny child’s hand in her own she didn’t let go.

 

“We’re going home baby. You’ll be as good as new. You’ll see.”

 

To be Continued…

Chapter Text

"Come on in you guys."

Juliet's sister Rachel ushered them into the house. Juliet leaned down and greeted her nephew.

"You must be Julian. I'm your Aunt Juliet. This is your Uncle James and your cousin Cara."

Julian shyly waved at them all.

"Hi."

She stopped short in the hallway when she heard someone singing.

"Rach, that sounds like abuelita."

Rachel smiled and led her down the hallway.

"Actually that's your daughter. She inherited abuelita's singing voice."

They came to a room at the end of the hall and Juliet stopped in her tracks in the doorway, her breath left her lungs and she sat watching Hayley dancing.

"No! Not that way! This way!"

Hayley became frustrated and tapped her foot watching the boy in front of her.

"Usted no entiendes."

(You don't understand.)

The boy she was dancing with looked a bit flustered himself. Juliet hid behind the doorframe as Rachel stepped into the room.

"Aunt Rachel, the competition is in a week. We can't stop practicing now."

Juliet listened from her hiding place as Rachel spoke to Hayley.

"I think you've had enough practice for today. There's someone here to see you. Go on home Jamie. You are more than welcome to come over tomorrow."

Juliet smiled at the boy who came into the hallway. The boy only smiled shyly and walked past them. She heard Hayley speak to Rachel again.

"Whoever they are, they can come in. Can I keep dancing?"

Sighing, Rachel nodded and turned the stereo back on. Hayley started her dance routine again. Juliet stepped out from her hiding place behind the door frame and into the room. Hayley stopped twirling and let the music keep playing. Taking in Hayley's every feature, Juliet saw that she was an exact copy of her. Down to her eyes and golden ringlets. She couldn't place the nose though. Over the loud music, Juliet heard Hayley speak, and it took her breath away. That's not possible. I'm seeing things.

"Mama?"

Juliet let the dam of tears go and stepped forward. Hayley however took a step backwards towards the window.

"It's ok baby. Nothing is going to hurt you. I'm really here."

She could see a sort of fire in Hayley's eyes for a moment and then it was gone. At first Juliet thought Hayley would get angry and throw a fit, but instead, she wiped her tears and started dancing again. Juliet decided to join her.

"Do you ever wonder where you get your rhythm from? Your love of dancing comes from your great-grandfather. He could Salsa dance like no tomorrow. When I was a little younger than you, maybe six I learned to Salsa dance from him. By the time I was nine, I was dancing almost like a professional. So you love dancing?"

Hayley gave Juliet a small smile and stepped closer to her.

"Dancing is fun. I've been dancing since I was four. Aunt Rachel takes me to classes twice a week. I tried to get Julian to dance with me. But he can't dance."

Juliet looked over at Rachel and shook her head.

"What can I say? He got my two left feet."

Juliet motioned for James and Cara to come into the room.

"Hayley, this is James and your sister Cara. Do you want to keep dancing?"

Hayley's face lit up and she nodded. Juliet sighed. I suppose this is the only way for right now that I'll get her to open up to me.

"You know I remember when this song came out. You were just a baby. They were playing it in all the nightclubs. Today is the first time I've heard it in 9 years."

 

Hayley wasn't sure what to think of her mother suddenly being thrown into her life, and it honestly scared her. Her mother had never been there, and now she was just here?

 

To Be Continued...

Chapter Text

The lights of Miami didn’t comfort Juliet in the least. She thought she’d be so happy to be back home. It was strange waking up in a bed again. She couldn’t sleep and found herself in the spacious living room in the new house her and James had just bought with the money from the settlement Oceanic airlines had given to them. It was barely sunrise, and she saw the sun was a strange color, dawn was supposed to be the most beautiful time of day, but the sun was the color of pale white paper. She turned when she heard sniffling just behind her.

 

“Mama? I had a bad dream.”

 

Juliet sympathized with a 3-year-old Cara who stood in the doorway to the living room. Scooping her daughter up into her arms, she asked her what her dream was about.

 

“You can tell mommy about your dream. What was it about?”

 

Cara curled into Juliet on the couch and tried hiding her face. “You were hiding under a really big and scary tree. You had owies and you were crying. Then there was a baby.”

 

Eyes widening, Juliet looked deep into Cara’s hazel eyes and frowned.

 

“It’s ok baby. Mommy’s safe. Oh baby your shaking. It’s ok. Nothing is going to hurt you here. Your safe.”

 

Cara buried her head in Juliet’s chest and stayed there. Juliet rocked her for a bit and listened as her breathing evened out. She then knew that Cara had fallen asleep. She couldn’t say anything. She’d been having nightmares herself. Some were memories of her time on the island, others were something else. She wasn’t quite sure what to make of them. Being here in the real world was almost scary. She’d been ‘missing’ for 6 years. Her sister Rachel had almost given up hope that Juliet would ever come back to Miami.

 

Then she realized that the island would always have some kind of hold on them. Whether it be in the form of nightmares or waking memories. It wasn’t going to be that easy forgetting about the one place that had nearly ruined her life for six years. But it also gave her a blessing. A blessing that was lying in her lap, fast asleep, oblivious to what her mother was feeling at the moment.

 

To Be Continued...

Chapter Text

Juliet sat in a nicely decorated office in a high rise building in downtown Miami. If there was one thing she didn’t like, it was therapists. Before she’d thought nothing of them. They helped people. They helped them get over a loss of a loved one, helped them deal with messy divorces that cause emotional pain, and baggage. Then she met Harper on the island. She hadn’t trusted her from day one. Things had spiraled so out of control after that it became the rabbit hole and she was Alice wandering through Wonderland. A woman with round-rimmed glasses looked at Juliet and brought her out of her thoughts, asking her the one question that was painful to talk about.

 

“Tell me about your daughter Hayley?”

 

Juliet fidgeted in her seat and then froze. She felt hot tears stinging her eyes. Picking at the fabric of the pillow, Juliet spoke, but her words were soft.

 

“Hayley was a miracle. Before I went to the island I worked in the research facility at the university. I was developing new drugs to help women get pregnant. One day I made a breakthrough in my research. My sister had wanted a baby her whole life, but because she had cancer, it left her unable to bear children. I decided to test a theory I had. I would give my sister the injections of my serum, but I had to make sure they worked first. So I decided to try it on myself first. It worked…”

 

The therapist stopped writing and tilted her glasses down on the bridge of her nose.

 

“What did your ex-husband Ed think about all this? That you were pregnant?”

 

Juliet looked up at the ceiling and then the woman in front of her.

 

“He uh, never found out. I don’t know why or how, he just didn’t. He’d figured I was depressed about something and was eating my way through it.”

 

The therapist continued writing on her white pad of paper. Juliet glanced out the window at the pale looking sun that looked like dawn and then turned her attention back to the therapist.

 

“What happened after that?”

 

Juliet took a breath and let it out slowly.

 

“I had morning sickness at night up until I was almost five months pregnant. I think some of my coworkers knew, but they never said anything. They were afraid of Ed. Everything seems to be a blur after that. I do remember the day I gave birth to her though. I was at work. Ed had been out sick that day. There was another doctor out on the floor I was good friends with, and the only one that knew my secret. I had only come into work to get a few print-outs of some numbers I was working on. I decided to make a trip to the restroom to wash my face. I remember thinking: I need to find some water. Doctor Jacobson, my good friend, David, he must have followed me to the bathroom. It was just a single restroom. I went inside and barricaded myself inside. A minute later, I heard a knock and then David’s voice. By then I was in so much pain I was in tears. Unlocking the door, I let him in. Let’s just say Hayley didn’t wait to be born in a hospital. I ended up having her on that bathroom floor.”

 

The therapist stopped writing once more and stared at Juliet.

 

“How did it make you feel? Giving birth to Hayley in that bathroom?”

 

Juliet’s face turned a slight shade of red.

 

“I felt exposed, scared something would happen to me, or the baby. Everything else happened so fast and was a blur. Next thing I knew was David placing a screaming baby on my stomach.”

 

The therapist switched gears and asked another painful question.

 

“How does it feel to see your daughter again after 9 years?”

 

The tears were now flowing down Juliet’s cheeks and she grabbed for a wad of tissues.

 

“I feel ashamed of myself for leaving her with my sister. I should’ve never agreed to go to the island.”

 

The therapist put down her pad of paper and took her glasses off setting them down on top of it.

 

“I think we’ve made some real progress today Juliet. Let’s continue tomorrow.”

 

To Be Continued...

Chapter Text

“So she’s mine?”

 

Juliet looked at James and let out a somewhat sarcastic laugh.

 

“DNA doesn’t lie James. Of course Hayley’s our daughter. I know these things. I’m a doctor and I do work in a research facility.”

 

James wrapped his arms around Juliet’s waist and kissed the back of her neck.

 

“No, my beautiful wife works as the head of the research facility at the University of Florida. You know, you could just stay home, you don’t need to work…”

 

Rolling her eyes at James, Juliet slapped his chest playfully and shook her head.

 

“Sounds tempting, but I’ve got new breakthroughs to discover and lots of babies to bring into the world. My plate is full. Besides, today isn’t about me. Mother’s Day already came and went. It’s your day James. Go and play hide and seek with Hayley. She loves to play.”

 

Opening up the den door, Juliet watched as Hayley fell over. She’d been listening at the door.

 

“I’m an experiment?”

 

Juliet felt a horrified expression flash across her face.

 

“No baby. Come here. You are not an experiment. Listen to me, Aunt Rachel was having some problems having a baby, so mommy helped her out.”

 

Hayley furrowed her eyebrows, Juliet wanted to laugh. That was all her.

 

“Was it because Aunt Rachel was sick?”

 

Juliet nodded and hid her tears from her daughter.

 

“Yes. But Aunt Rachel is all better. That was a very long time ago. Before you were born. I have an idea, what don’t you and daddy go play a game of tag in the backyard?”

 

Hayley nodded a little unsure of herself and filed out of the den, James following just behind her. Juliet brought up the rear. When James and Hayley got outside Juliet sat and watched from the door frame. Hayley stopped chasing James for a moment and called out to her mother.

 

“How come Cara isn’t playing with us?”

 

Juliet frowned and shook her head.

 

“She has a really bad cold. She can’t play outside right now. Right now she has to stay in bed and eat soup.”

 

Hayley took a breath and nodded seriously.

 

“Ok.”

 

Juliet knew that was all her. She watched as James and Hayley raced around the backyard. Then she saw James tag Hayley and she howled with laughter when he picked her up, swinging her around.

 

“Gotcha little genius! Ok. Daddy needs to rest for a minute. He’s outta shape.”

 

Giggling, Juliet watched as James playfully collapsed onto the grass and stared up at the sky.

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“…And the prince and princess lived happily ever after. The end…”

 

Cara sat straighter in her bed, and squirmed a bit.

 

“Another story daddy.”

 

James shook his head no.

 

“Not tonight sweet girl. You need some sleep. Sleepin’ will help you get better.”

 

His mind wandered to his own parents. He’d never had a loving set of parents growing up. Now that he had his own family, he felt that sometimes he couldn’t give them everything. He felt like a failure. But the three words Hayley said next made him think differently.

 

“Happy Father’s day daddy.”

 

To Be Continued...

Chapter Text

“James? What are we doing here? We don’t need to steal an experimental drug that may or may not cure our daughter. If we get arrested, it’s your fault. Besides, stealing is wrong.

 

We can get Cara into a drug trial study. The two of us should be at home, with our baby. Not here trying to steal something that we could just ask for. Come on, she’s probably wondering where we are anyways.”

 

James tugged on Juliet’s arm and shook his head.

 

“I ain’t leaving here without that drug blondie. My baby girl is hurtin’ and I can’t do a damn thing to make it go away. With that drug, it’ll make it all go away. Come on.”

 

Standing steadfast, Juliet planted her feet on the sidewalk, not budging a single inch.

 

“No James. I refuse to do this. We can go to her doctor tomorrow and ask what trial studies are open right now. I know you want what’s best for Cara, but this isn’t it.”

 

Turning back to Juliet, James held his frustration at bay, only by a thread.

 

“Ok tell me somethin’ blondie, how is this any different than what you did for your sister?”

 

Now Juliet was angry. Nose flaring, she pointed a finger in James direction.

 

“That’s not fair James. That was different. She needed my help to get her pregnant. Cara is four years-old. We don’t even know what’s wrong with her.”

 

Noise down the pathway startled the two, and they both dove into a nearby bush.

 

“Hey Derek, I heard something. It sounded like it came from over here.”

 

Juliet about let out a yelp when James covered her mouth. Two security guards passed the bush they were hiding in and went inside the building. Quickly uncovering her mouth,
Juliet glared at James and spoke.

 

“Ow! Your stepping on my hand!”

 

James quickly moved his left foot and apologized.

 

“Sorry. Come here. We’ll figure something out. Let’s go home to our baby girl.”

 

The trip home in the car was quiet. The only thing making noise was the air conditioning. Juliet had forgotten about the wet heat of Miami. The sticky heat was the worse here than on the island. Finally pulling into the driveway of their two-story house, Juliet sighed. Even though they had plenty of money from the settlement Oceanic Airlines gave them, Juliet still insisted on getting a house in a middle-class neighborhood. Opening the front door Juliet walked in.

 

“I’m going to check on Cara. Would you call her doctor?”

 

James nodded and went into the kitchen. Juliet slowly made her way up the stairs. Cara’s room was at the end of the hallway. Entering her room, Juliet smiled and glanced at all the Hello Kitty decorations adorning her wall. Sitting on the edge of the bed, Juliet watched her daughter sleep. Cara suddenly stirred and opened up her eyes.

 

“Mommy?”

 

A watery smile came to her lips as she leaned forward and kissed Cara’s tiny head.

 

“Hi baby. Do you want something to eat?”

 

Cara shook her head.

 

“I’m not hungry mama. Where’s daddy? I want him to read me a story. I’m tired of being on my back.”

 

The watery smile still stayed on Juliet’s face. She only held it there because she didn’t want to cry in front of Cara.

 

“It’s ok baby. Mommy’s just going to roll you onto your side ok?”

 

Juliet didn’t understand any of this. No one knew what was going on. The entire time they’d been on the island, she never got sick. They’d only been home a year and Cara had come home one day with something that resembled a cold. When the cold disappeared, Cara complained that she couldn’t move her legs at first. Then as the weeks went by, it spread. She’d consulted Jack on the matter, but he couldn’t find anything. Shaking her head, she listened as Cara spoke once again.

 

“Mommy? Is daddy coming in to tuck me in soon? He promised he’d read Hello Kitty goes to the zoo.”

 

Juliet wanted so much more for her daughter. She and James had sacrificed a lot for her over the last year alone. Her mind wandered back to what she’d told him earlier that night:

 

‘If we get arrested, it’s your fault.’ There had to be much more to all that was happening than this. Cara was their miracle. Stealing an experimental drug was not the answer. Some things just never changed with James. She would just have to work a little harder with him on that particular ‘bad habit’.

 

To Be Continued...

Chapter Text

Juliet heard blaring music coming from above her head. What in the world? She’d been mopping up the floor in the kitchen when she heard a crash coming from Hayley’s room. Taking the steps by twos, Juliet quickened her pace and got to her room just as Hayley was completely disassembling it.

 

“Hayley Isabel Montero-Ford! ¿Qué estás haciendo?”

 

(What do you think you’re doing?)

 

Juliet was having a hard time hearing over the blaring music coming from Hayley’s stereo.

 

Stepping over towards Hayley’s stereo, Juliet stopped the music and took the CD out of the machine and held it up.

 

“What is this?”

 

Hayley completely ignored Juliet at the moment and tore a picture from the wall. She burst and started yelling in her direction.

 

“Why weren’t you there for me!? WHY!? I used to imagine that you would come back and we’d be one big happy family! Estoy perdido mama! I’m lost! No quiero gastar tiempo buscando más.”

 

(I don’t want to spend time looking anymore.)

 

Juliet was sure that Hayley was done with her little tirade, but then she threw more stuff around the room. It was a complete mess in there. Grabbing for her arms, Juliet tried to pull Hayley closer to her, but she pushed away.

 

“You didn’t answer my question young lady. Where did you get this CD?”

 

Hayley lay eyes on Juliet for a moment, her nose still flaring.

 

“Jaime’s cousin Canelo gave it to me.”

 

Juliet tried not to scoff and stay neutral with her attitude.

 

“Canelo is 16, you are 11. I don’t think your old enough to listen to that music yet. I want you to give it back. When you come back, I want you to clean up this mess. Tomorrow your going to come to my therapy session with me.”

 

Hayley started to cry.

 

“Mama, I don’t need therapy. I’m fine.”

 

Juliet pulled Hayley into a hug.

 

“We’ll get through this together baby. I promise. You have to trust what’s in front of you.”

 

To Be Continued...

Chapter Text

“Jack? Do you know what’s wrong with Cara?”

 

Juliet was trying not to wring her hands in wrought nervousness, but it was coming through anyways. Jack sat behind his desk in his office, hands flat on the top of it, frowning.

 

“There’s nothing impinging upon her spinal column. According to her
x-rays at least. There doesn’t seem to be any kind of swelling either. I can run further tests on her, but I don’t know what good that’ll do other than put more stress on her.”

 

Sighing in defeat, Juliet looked to James. James was trying not to ball his fists, but he felt his anger welling up.

 

“Can’t you do anything for her doc?”

 

Jack shook his head no and looked back at Cara’s x-rays.

 

“Like I said James, I can run some more tests, but I don’t know what good that’ll do, other than put more stress on her.”
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Two years later

“Hey squirt, can you hand me those nails right there?”

 

Hayley handed James a couple of nails and then put her hands on her hips. Hammering the nails into the board, James hit his thumb. Damn hammer!

 

“I’m thirteen daddy. I’m not a little girl anymore. I’m becoming a woman.”

 

James chuckled at Hayley and then turned his gaze towards Juliet’s approaching form.

 

“You sound like your mama.”

 

Hayley’s face lit up as she saw Jack just behind Juliet.

 

“Uncle Jack! Are you still coming to my dance competition this weekend?”

 

He nodded and looked up at the tree house under construction.

 

“Well at least this tree isn’t too high. Your aunt tried to climb a really tall palm tree right before Megan was born while we were still on the island.”

 

Hayley sat and stared at Jack for a moment, then crossed her arms.

 

“So, does that mean Megan doesn’t have a birth certificate?”

 

Jack nodded and sat down in the lawn chair next to hers.

 

“Yes, and neither does your sister.”

 

Hayley sat cross-legged in her chair and furrowed her eyebrows. Her blond curls fell in her face. Juliet sat on the other side of her.

 

“I have a little confession to make Hayley. You don’t have one either. Do you know where you were born?”

 

Nodding, Hayley told her mother what she’d been told for the last four years.

 

“Mama I already know. At the hospital, across from the university. You told me. Doesn’t the hospital keep birth certificates?”

 

Juliet shook her head no and looked like she was in pain for a second or two.

 

“Baby, you weren’t born in the hospital across from the university. You were born inside the Medical research facility at the university. I couldn’t make it to the hospital. I had you in the bathroom. Not a glamorous entrance I’ll tell you. Thank Uncle David for bringing you into the world.”

 

Hayley balled her fists for a moment.

 

“What about daddy? Where was he?”

 

Taking a breath, Juliet would have a hard time explaining this to her 13-year-old daughter.

 

“Baby, we didn’t know each other then.”

 

Hayley got tears in her eyes. Mirror image of Juliet she held them in and started pacing when she got up.

 

“But you always said you and daddy were together. He wasn’t there because he was on a business trip. You lied to me! Why?”

 

Juliet flinched a little. Hayley sounded just like her when she’d gotten angry at Ben. She would have to play her sister’s card for a few minutes.

 

“Your Aunt Rachel was having trouble having a baby so I helped her out.”

 

Hayley became confused.

 

“So, you had me for her? So, you’re not my mother?”

 

Getting up, Juliet took Hayley’s hands and held onto them.

 

“No. I had to make sure what was happening to her wasn’t happening to me too. You are a miracle. I’m your mother and James is your dad. I promise. Our DNA matches.”

 

Hayley nodded and wiped her tears. Looking up at James she put her hands on her hips.

 

“Daddy, are you done building our hangout treehouse yet? I want a clubhouse to bring my friends in. And I guess Cara can play in it too.”

 

Closing her eyes, Hayley shook her head and looked at her sister over in the chair on the other side of Jack.

 

“I forgot. She can’t walk very good yet. Uncle Jack, are you sure you don’t know what’s wrong with her?”

 

A somber look crossed his face and he shook his head no.

 

“No. I can’t see the source of the problem. It’s there, I just can’t find it.”

 

Cara glared at her sister and pushed herself up from the lawn chair next to Jack. Jack quickly vacated his seat and was by her side.

 

“Easy. One step at a time Cara.”

 

Looking up at Jack, Cara tried pushing his hands away.

 

“I’ve got it Uncle Jack. I’m not a baby.”

 

Losing her balance, she felt Jack’s arms behind her.

 

“Whoa. The grass is a little harder to walk on than the kitchen floor. Do you want me to get Sparky for you?”

 

Cara held onto the arm rests of the lawn chair while Jack went to get Sparky her service dog. Sparky was an obedient Golden retriever who listened to everything Cara said to him.

She watched as James hammered a nail into the board in the palm tree.

 

“Daddy? How am I going to get up there?”

 

James stopped hammering and looked to Cara.

 

“No worries princess. Daddy will build ya a swing. We’ll pull you up.”

 

Cara shook her head and watched as her dog came towards her.

 

“No daddy. I’m going to get up in the tree house just like Hayley. I’m a big girl.”

 

She stared up at the tree house and smiled. Juliet pulled her into her arms and picked her up.

 

“You will get up there with your sister. I promise.”

 

James smiled and pulled Cara from Juliet’s arms, hoisting her to the now finished treehouse.

 

“Wow! You can see everything from up here!”

 

Hayley gave Cara an annoyed look.

 

“Hey, I thought I was supposed to go up first!”

 

Juliet knew everything would get better soon. Maybe a tree house wasn’t exactly the answer, but it was a start.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

“I have to go Hay. I promise I will help you with your dance uniform when I get back ok?”

 

Hayley sighed at Juliet and then looked down at the colorful red, white and blue fabric in her hands.

 

“I hope that baby is safe mama.”

 

Juliet nodded at Hayley and headed out the door.

 

“Me too baby girl.”

 

On her way to the hospital, Juliet ran over in her head the dozens of scenarios that could possibly crop up during this delivery. When she arrived at the hospital, she took a breath and headed toward the admit desk.

 

“Good. Doctor Burke. Laura Carrolson has been asking for you.”

 

Juliet took a chart and went down the hallway towards the room Laura Carrolson was in. Opening the door, she entered.

 

“Hi Laura. How are you feeling?”

 

A woman with dark hair and green eyes stared back at Juliet and blew out a breath.

 

“What do you think Doctor Burke? I want this baby out of me!”

 

Juliet put a hand on Laura’s and gave her a warm smile.

 

“I’ll call for an anesthesiologist to come and give you an epidural. But first I’m going to need you to scoot down.”

 

Laura sighed and looked up at the ceiling trying to distract herself. Juliet made small talk to help keep Laura focused on something else.

 

“Where’s Jeremy?”

 

Laura playing with her wedding ring winced and blew out a breath.

 

“Ow. He’s stuck in traffic. He said he feels terrible he isn’t here yet.”

 

Juliet gave Laura an apologetic look and helped her lie back on her side.

 

“I know. I’m sorry. I promise it won’t be so uncomfortable once the epidural is onboard ok? Just relax and have a rest. The good news, already dilated to 6 centimeters. I can get the anesthesiologist down here right away.”

 

Laura took Juliet’s hand and squeezed it in her own.

 

“Thank-you so much Doctor Burke. I really appreciate everything you’ve done for Jeremy and me.”

 

Juliet sympathized with Laura, just like she did with every other mother she helped deliver their children. Something told her this one was going to be different though. She
couldn’t put her finger on how though.

 

“I’ll be back to check on you in half an hour. You rest.”

 

Laura nodded and closed her eyes. Noting Laura’s vitals along with the baby’s in her chart, Juliet set it back on the end of the bed and left the room. She had a full plate today.

 

Seven babies to deliver and it wasn’t even noon. The next room she entered, there was a woman in her mid-twenties named Allison Garson.

 

“Hi Allison. How are you feeling?”

 

Allison looked surprised/alarmed and held onto her husband’s hands.

 

“I need to push.”

 

As Juliet went for a pair of gloves, she motioned for one of the nurses to approach her.

 

“Ann, how far is she dilated?”

 

Ann looked at Juliet and then back to Allison.

 

“While you were next door with Laura Carrolson, Doctor Jacobson came in and checked her progress: 9 centimeters. She’s already had an epidural but she’s still in a lot of pain. Should we give her more local?”

 

Juliet knew she had to make a judgment call. On the island, it had been much more surreal for her. But all her patients had been in comas and on an operating table.

 

“No. She’s already maxed out on pain medication. We’ll have to make-do.”

 

Turning around, Juliet put on a smile and sat down in front of Allison.

 

“Ok Allison. I want you to listen to me very carefully. I want you to blow through the pain like your blowing out candles on a cake. In through your nose and out through your mouth. Nice and easy now. That’s it. Relax. I want you to give me a push. Not too hard and not too fast ok?”

 

Allison stayed focused on her husband and held his hands so tight she thought they’d break. She let out a scream and gave another push. Then another and another. Juliet put a hand up to stop Allison.

 

“Ok. Let’s take a little break. A couple of minutes and we’ll start again.”

 

Allison plopped her head back against the pillow and let a few tears flow. Her husband kissed her forehead and gave her some encouragement.

 

“You’re doing great honey. This baby will be out before you know it. I promise.”

 

Two minutes went by and Juliet resumed her seat in front of Allison.

 

“Ok Allison. Are we ready to start again?”

 

Nodding, Allison put her chin to her chest and gave another push. It was another fifteen minutes before a baby’s wailing filled the room. Allison let out a sob of happiness.

 

“That’s my Lyn!”
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It was well after midnight when Juliet got home. Tip-toeing inside, she carried her shoes with her into the front entryway. All the lights were off except for a lamp in the living room. Setting her shoes inside the hallway closet, she went into the living room only to find Hayley fast asleep on the couch. Her heart sank. Pulling a blanket off the back of the couch, she draped it over her. Hayley stirred and woke.

 

“Mama?”

 

Juliet sat on the edge of the couch.

 

“Hay its really late. What are you doing up?”

 

Hayley wiped the sleep from her eyes and sat up.

 

“I wanted to wait for you. We were supposed to finish my new costume for my next dance competition.”

 

Juliet frowned and tucked a piece of Hayley’s unkempt curly blond locks behind her left ear.

 

“I’m sorry baby girl. The last baby I helped come into the world was having some trouble. So, I had to stay later and help make sure that baby was ok. Work is very important. But so are you and your sister. I promise, tomorrow after I’ve gotten a little bit of rest, we’ll work on your costume ok?”

 

Hayley got up and gave a frustrated sigh.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

Juliet felt terrible that she’d had to stay late at work, but that baby needed her, and Laura had almost bled out. She was dog-tired, but she knew she couldn’t sleep until she at least talked to Hayley first. Making her way down the hallway, she knocked on Hayley’s door.

 

“Hay, it’s me baby girl. Can I come in?”

 

She heard movement behind the door and then it quickly opened, revealing the contents of the room. Juliet was amazed at all the things Hayley had in her room. She had redecorated several times, but this time it was elaborate. Juliet frowned when she saw what was draped around her shoulders.

 

“Hayley where did you find that flag?”

 

Hayley kept it around her and sat back down on her bed.

 

“Grandma Isabel’s flag? Found it in a box in the attic. I thought it would be neat to have it. Besides, I feel closer to her when I have it close to me.”

 

Juliet motioned for Hayley to hand her the flag and she handed it to her mother without complaint.

 

“This is not a toy Hay. This is a national symbol. Your great-grandma made a lot of sacrifices when she came to this country. This was in a hand-carved trunk, wasn’t it?”

 

Hayley nodded and fingered the delicate fabric.

 

“Yes. You always said be proud of who you are mama. Can we go and visit where grandma was born?”

 

Juliet shook her head no and sat down on the edge of Hayley’s bed.

 

“Sorry Hay. Unfortunately, at the moment, we can’t go to Cuba. Someday we will. But not now. I’m sorry.”

 

Sighing, Hayley looked down at the old and frayed Cuban flag in her mother’s hands.

 

“I wonder what it must have been like for grandma before she came here.”

 

Juliet smiled and kissed Hayley’s forehead.

 

“I’ll tell you what Hay, tomorrow while we’re making your dance costume, I’ll tell you some stories grandma told me growing up. About the island. How does that sound?”

 

Hayley nodded and got under the covers.

 

“I’d like that mama. Cara and I were talking while you were at work and she said she wants a little sister. She’s tired of being the baby. She wants to be the big sister for a change.”

 

Juliet smiled and ran a hand over Hayley’s forehead.

 

“We’ll have to talk about it with your dad ok? In the meantime, it’s time for bed. It’s really late.”

 

Hayley nodded and shut her lamp off. Juliet closed Hayley’s door and went to check on Cara. She was fast sleep with her door open slightly. Finally entering the room she shared with James, she got undressed and climbed into bed. She trailed a finger down his left ear and James opened his eyes. A quiet smile spread over his face.

 

“Hey gorgeous. What took ya so long?”

 

Juliet’s eyes were half-closed when she answered.

 

“Had a problem with the last woman who went into labor. The baby’s leg got tangled in the umbilical cord, hell of a time getting her unstuck, but they’re both going to make it. Hayley told me Cara wants a little sister. What do you think James? You think we can handle another little one in the house?”

 

James chuckled and pulled Juliet closer.

 

“Let’s talk about it tomorrow…”

 

James pulling Juliet into a kiss didn’t let go of her for a minute or two.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

The next day Hayley was sitting down to a late breakfast with Cara while she looked through a magazine for different costume ideas. She was letting Juliet sleep since they’d both gone to bed very late. A bowl of cheerios sat in front of her and as she took another bite, she turned the page on a fashion magazine. Cara made faces and poked at the picture on the page Hayley was looking at.

 

“Ew! She wears her sunglasses all wrong! Who wears sunglasses upside down?”

 

Hayley rolled her eyes at Cara and turned the page.

 

“It’s called a fashion statement genius.”

 

Juliet wiped the sleep from her eyes as she came into the kitchen. Reaching for a coffee mug in the cupboard, she poured some coffee in it. A little milk, two creams and one sugar and she was set.

 

“Hey you two, I don’t want to hear you talking like that. Play nice.”

 

Cara threw a piece of bacon at her dog Sparky and he caught it from the edge of the table.

 

“Good catch boy!”

 

Juliet frowned at Cara.

 

“Cara, we talked about that, no feeding the dog from the table honey.”

 

Cara looked up at Juliet and then her eyes landed on her mid-section.

 

“Mama, are you having a baby yet?”

 

Juliet shook her head no and pulled Cara into her lap, kissing her forehead.

 

“No not yet Cara-bean. Hayley told me you wanted a little sister. So, that you wouldn’t be the baby anymore.”

 

Cara smiled as James came up next to them and started tickling her.

 

“Daddy! Stop it!”

 

The doorbell rang and Juliet placed Cara back in her spot so she could finish her breakfast.

 

“Finish your breakfast sweet girl.”

 

Cara giggled and began again with her battle of getting the spoon into her mouth. A minute later, a smile spread across Hayley’s face.

 

“Uncle Jack!”

 

Jack smiled at Hayley and ruffled her hair.

 

“How’s it going Hayley?”

 

Hayley proudly held up the magazine to show Jack what she had planned for the day.

 

“Mama and I are going to make my dance costume for my dance competition next weekend.”

 

Jack nodded and spoke.

 

“That sounds like fun.”

 

He then turned his attention to Cara who had just made a little mess of cheerios on the kitchen table. Sitting down in a chair next to her, he helped her put the spoon of cheerios in her mouth. He watched her for a moment as she chewed and swallowed. Furrowing his eyebrows, he saw her posture and frowned some more. Taking Juliet by the crook of her elbow, led her out into the hallway.

 

“Juliet, how long has Cara been hunched over like that?”

 

Juliet sighed and her gaze wandered back to the kitchen.

 

“A couple of days. What’s going on Jack?”

 

Jack putting a hand on Juliet’s shoulder, gave it a quick squeeze.

 

“I’d like you to bring her in so I can get some more x-rays. Her condition seems to be deteriorating very fast and her motor skills aren’t so great.”

 

A crashing noise came from the kitchen and the sound of glass breaking. Then James voice carried out into the hallway.

 

“Juliet!?”

 

Juliet and Jack came scrambling into the kitchen. Juliet took in the situation but it was Jack who spoke up.

 

“What happened?”

 

James stood back and stock-still as a worried expression crossed his face.

 

“I dunno. I asked if she was choking on something and then she just fell. What’s wrong with her doc?”

 

Jack moving the fallen chair aside, looked Cara over and put an ear up to her mouth.

 

“She’s not breathing.”

 

Hayley piped up from her spot at the table.

 

“She’s faking it mama, just so she can get attention.”

 

Juliet turned to Hayley quickly and shook her head.

 

“Not now Hay. Let Uncle Jack listen.”

 

Jack shook his head and looked up at Juliet, who’d taken Cara’s tiny hand in her own.

 

“Something’s blocking her airway.”

 

Juliet swallowed hard and tried to see if she could find whatever was blocking Cara’s air passage.

 

“Jack, I see it! It looks like a piece of bacon. Can you get it?”

 

Jack did his best to try and reach for the piece of food, but only managed to make it go down further.

 

“Damn it. I can’t get to it. Where’s your emergency kit?”

 

Juliet’s heart sank. She knew what Jack was asking of her. Quickly getting up, she went to the hall closet and opened it. Grabbing the kit, she went back into the kitchen. She tried
turning her emotions off as she handed Jack the kit.

 

“Juliet, can I get your permission to open up her airway?”

 

Juliet nodded and grabbed for Cara’s hand.

 

“Save the baby Jack.”

 

A sharp knock at the door startled Juliet, but then James went out of the kitchen to open the front door. Hayley watched wide-eyed from the table as Jack inserted the tubing.

 

“Uncle Jack, what are you doing?”

 

Jack managed to answer as he looked for the piece of bacon.

 

“Saving your sister’s life and protecting her airway.”

 

James came back in the kitchen with an alarmed looking David trailing behind him.

 

“Jules what’s going on? Jack, why are you Traching her?”

 

Jack turned his attention to David and motioned for him to come towards him.

 

“I had to open up her airway. Can you see if you can get that piece of bacon stuck in her throat? She should pink back up once we get it out.”

 

David pulled on a pair of gloves and managed to get the rather large piece of bacon out. He watched as Cara coughed and sputtered at first, then she let out a cry. Juliet squeezed her hand and told her to keep her eyes on her.

 

“It’s ok baby. Breathe. Keep your eyes on mommy. Everything’s going to be ok.”

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“Mama, I’m sorry I thought Cara was faking it. Is she going to be ok?”

 

Hayley was sitting in a chair next to Cara’s hospital bed. As the mother and daughter stayed by her side, they worked on Hayley’s costume.

 

“Your sister just needs time to rest. Uncle Jack is working on making her all better.”

 

The two turned towards the door and Jack entered the room.

 

“How’s she doing?”

 

Juliet looked up at the monitors and a sleeping Cara.

 

“About the same as the last time you asked Jack. She opens her eyes for a couple of minutes and then goes back to sleep. I don’t think she knows exactly where she is.”

 

Looking worried, Juliet looked Jack in the eye and added to her thought.

 

“Jack, I’m worried, push back the blanket. I want to show you something.”

 

Jack went to the foot of the bed and pushed back the blanket.

 

“Her left foot is dropping. She wasn’t doing that this morning. What’s going on here?”

 

Now it was Jack’s turn to worry. But Juliet spoke up.

 

“Please tell me you found a cause for this in her x-rays Jack.”

 

Jack nodded and sat down in another chair.

 

“Yes, I did find something. But maybe you should bring James in here. You both need to hear this.”

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

“Please tell me you found a cause for this in her x-rays Jack.”

 

Jack nodded and sat down in another chair.

 

“Yes, I did find something. But maybe you should bring James in here. You both need to hear this.”

 

Juliet stopped sewing a bunch of sequins on Hayley’s dance costume and looked up at Jack.

 

“He went for a cup of coffee.”

 

Jack nodded and put the blanket back over Cara’s feet. His hands landed on the manila folder on the table top next to the bed. The two looked up when James entered the room.

 

“Hey doc. You got any news on my girl?”

 

James fidgeted in his seat and Juliet put a hand on his to still him. Jack opened the file and pulled out a set of Cara’s x-rays. Turning on the lightbox on the wall, he pointed out a long radiolucent line on her spine.

 

“I found this radiolucent line along her spine yesterday. This is the one I took this morning. It seems to have tripled in size here.”

 

James eyes grew wide and he was ready to pounce on Jack. But he had to remember, this was the real world, it wasn’t like on the island where he could get into a fight with
someone and not get into trouble.

 

“Are you saying my little girl has cancer Jack?”

 

Jack frowned deeper and looked James straight in the eye.

 

“I didn’t say that James. Cara has a bacterial infection. That’s all. Now how it entered her spine, I don’t know. I’m still trying to figure that out. I can start her on some medication to eradicate the infection. It should eliminate the swelling and she should be able to have her motor skills back. She’ll be able to chew and swallow easily and we can take the breathing tube out.”

 

Juliet couldn’t hold her emotions in any longer and let out a sob. Pulling Jack into a hug, she let her tears go.

 

“Thank-you Jack. I don’t know how much I can thank-you enough. You saved my baby.”

 

Jack gave a small smile and checked the machine Cara was hooked up to. Cara opened her eyes and saw Jack. She gave a smile and opened her mouth. Jack stopped her.

 

“Don’t talk sweetheart. You’re going to be ok now. Uncle Jack is going to make you all better.”

 

Cara tried reaching for water, but Jack got it for her instead. Jack watched as she tried to take a sip from the straw in the cup. He listened to a strange sound coming from her
throat and saw the tubing going from her to the machine change color. Cara looked very scared and Juliet swallowed hard as Jack slammed his hand against the emergency button behind the bed.

 

“Jack, what’s going on?”

 

Jack shook his head as a gaggle of nurses flooded the room. He inspected the tubing and shook his head.

 

“Who put this tube in?”

 

A nurse came up next to Jack and shifted her eyes back and forth.

 

“Doctor Patterson did Doctor Shephard.”

 

Jack shook his head and stared at the nurse just as David came in.

 

“Thought you could use my help Doctor Shephard.”

 

Hayley sat in a corner clutching at her dance uniform trying not to cry. Juliet stood in James arms and hugged him tight. James reciprocated and held on.

 

“Everything’s gonna be all right blondie. The doc and David are gonna make Cara all better ok?”

 

Juliet nodded but was having a hard time trying to process what was going on. Everything was a flurry of instruments and frantic words. But soon they had everything replaced and

Cara was breathing easier. Juliet wasn’t sure what made her feel the way she was feeling suddenly, but her legs felt like two lead weights and she was being lowered into a chair next to the bed. James had a hand on her cheek and his own blue orbs were staring into hers.

 

“You alright blondie?”

 

Juliet nodded and sat for a minute, taking a breath.

 

“I’m fine. I guess when it’s your baby it’s not easy to see all the blood.”

 

James almost scoffed.

 

“Well, well blondie. I guess there is something that makes you squeamish.”

 

Jack had now left the couple alone to deal with what had just happened. There was a knock on the door and James answered it.

 

“Come in.”

 

Kate entered the room and Megan trailed behind her.

 

“Mommy, where do you want me to put these flowers?”

 

Smiling, Kate pointed to the bed side table.

 

“Over there honey.”

 

Megan place the flowers on the table and waved at James and Juliet.

 

“Hi Uncle James. Hi Aunt Juliet. How’s Cara doing?”

 

Juliet gave Megan a smile.

 

“She’s going to be just fine Megan. Why don’t you and Hayley go down to the vending machine and get something to drink?”

 

Hayley vacated her spot in the chair in the corner and left the room with Megan. Kate took a seat in the now empty chair.

 

“That’s better. I swear, this baby is making it more difficult to walk every day.”

 

Juliet sympathized with Kate and smiled.

 

“Have you felt the baby move yet?”

 

Kate nodded and placed a hand over her belly.

 

“Yes, this morning was the first time. She has been moving around like crazy most of the day.”

 

Juliet kept the smile on her face and spoke.

 

“Don’t forget about your appointment with me tomorrow. Have you and Jack decided whether you want to know if you’re having a girl or a boy?”

 

Kate only shook her head.

 

“We want it to be a surprise. But I’ve got a gut feeling it’s another girl.”

 

The girls by now had come back into the room and Kate reached for Megan’s hand.

 

“Ok, let’s go tumble bug. Let’s give Aunt Juliet and Uncle James some rest.”

 

Hayley had gone out of the room to find Jack, and Cara was fast asleep. Juliet suppressed a low moan as James trailed kisses down her neck.

 

“James, this isn’t the place or the time for that. I do want to give Cara a little sister, but not here.”

 

James sighed and nodded his head in defeat.

 

“You got it blondie.”

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

“I know you’re scared baby. But I promise you. This’ll be quick ok?”

 

Cara held her tears in and kept her eyes on Juliet as Jack and David worked together to take the tubing out of her throat. Juliet tried not to look at the black and purplish hole occupying Cara’s throat. David was the first to speak as a nurse and Jack covered the hole with fresh gauze and tape.

 

“She won’t be able to swallow food for a while by mouth. We’ll have to insert a feeding tube into her side. It’s only temporary though. I promise Jules.”

 

James chuckled at Juliet but then paled himself.

 

“What? I thought blood and guts didn’t scare you?”

 

Juliet snapped her eyes up to him and she frowned, staring.

 

“Delivering babies is different. That’s bringing life into this world. This is putting a hole in someone’s throat so that they can breathe. If you think this is gory, then I’ve got stories for you. Do you know how many gunshot wounds I treated during my third year of residency?”

 

James shrugged his shoulders and gave her a dimpled smile.

 

“How many?”

 

Juliet held onto Cara’s small hand and kept a smile on her face.

 

“’98 was a banner year. 96 people. One man got a bullet lodged in his left lung. It was touch and go for him. But he made it.”

 

James frowned and grimaced.

 

“Ok, I take that back.”

 

Juliet rubbed Cara’s arm and fixed the bracelet around her wrist.

 

“Just keep your eyes on me sweet baby girl. We’re almost done. Just one more minute.”

 

Jack directed a nurse to give Cara something to help her sleep. Juliet squeezed Cara’s hand and watched as her eyes got heavy. Running her other hand through Cara’s blond curls, she kept her calm and stayed with her until her breathing evened out and she knew she was asleep.

 

“Shh. Just close your eyes and go to sleep sweet girl. Mommy’s not going anywhere.”

 

Juliet’s shoulders slumped and she sunk into the chair.

 

“How much longer can we do this James? I can’t keep putting walls up. This is our baby lying in that hospital bed.”

 

James pulled Juliet into his arms and kissed her hair.

 

“Everything’s gonna be fine blondie. Cara’s getting better. Jack said that all she needs is some medicine and she’ll be as good as new.”

 

Juliet slid back into the chair next to the bed and ran a hand through the seemingly tiny child’s blond curls.

 

“I fought so hard to bring Cara into this world, even if it was on the island. I hadn’t intended for her to be born under that weird looking tree. But when you’re giving birth, you can’t control what your body is going through. You are at the disposal of nature.”

 

James took another chair and placed it next to her. Sitting down, he put a hand up to her cheek, and ran across it.

 

“Remember what we said when we were stuck on that rock? ‘We’re in this together.’ Never forget that blondie. I’ve still got your back. Now I don’t know everything that goes on in life, but we gotta stay strong for our girls.”

 

Juliet corked her emotions back up and smiled when Hayley entered the room.

 

“Here mama. I brought you and daddy some coffee.”

 

James smiled and took the steaming cup from Hayley.

 

“Thanks for the coffee little genius.”

 

A nurse came into the room and stood in the doorway, getting Juliet’s attention.

 

“Doctor Burke? Mrs. Ericcson is asking for you.”

 

Juliet straightening out her white lab coat, vacated the chair. Walking towards the door, she gave James a quick peck to the cheek.

 

“Back to the salt mines handsome. Make sure Hayley is in bed at a decent time tonight. Hopefully I’ll be home before 4 a.m.”

 

James frowned at Juliet’s statement but knew it was part of her job. Exiting the room, Juliet made her way towards the elevator. Sucking in a breath and letting it out as she pushed
the number 3 on the elevator, she realized that Mrs. Ericcson was going to be a challenge. She could handle a challenge. This was almost cake compared to what the island used to throw at her. Once on the third floor, she entered the first door just off the elevator.

 

“Hi Stacy. How are we doing in here?”

 

Stacy Ericcson was a petite woman with long brown curls and hazel eyes. A paraplegic at birth, she found most things to be difficult. But starting a family had been something she’d wanted for as long as she could remember.

 

“Everything is just peachy now that I have that epidural. Can you promise me that everything will go smoothly?”

 

Juliet turned back to Stacy as she pulled on a pair of gloves.

 

“I will do my absolute best Stacy. You have my word. Besides, there’s another doctor here that’s going to help me. Doctor Jacobson is the best in this hospital. We’re going to work together to bring your baby safely into the world. Ok? Now I need you to relax.”

 

Stacy took in a breath and looked to her husband Jake.

 

“I can’t believe our baby is coming.”

 

He smoothed back her hair and wiped some sweat away. Juliet turned when she heard David come into the room. Her back to the expectant couple, she lowered her voice and spoke to David in a hushed tone.

 

“Ok David, how do you want to do this? I’m tall, but your taller. I’d still need a ladder to get to her. Should we lower the sling a little more?”

 

David nodded and lowered the sling a few inches and sat down next to Juliet. Juliet was worried, David could tell.

 

“Everything’s going to be just fine. We can get this baby out safely.”

 

Turning her attention back to Stacy, Juliet nodded.

 

“Ok Stacy, are you ready to have this baby?”

 

Stacy stared nervously but swallowed and blinked twice.

 

“Yes.”

 

Juliet was ignoring the sweat that was beginning to collect on her forehead. David was helping her concentrate.

 

“Ok, the head’s out. Looks like we’ll have to rotate the baby slightly. The left shoulder could be problematic.”

 

Juliet blew out her own breath and reigned in her nervousness and traded it for confidence.

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Juliet found the sheets and the covers of the bed she shared with James comforting. James pulled her into his arms and kissed the back of her neck.

 

“Mmm. You smell good blondie. You have a shower?”

 

Nodding, Juliet wiped at her eyes.

 

“Just hold me James.”

 

Opening his eyes, James ran a hand through her curly locks and asked her what was wrong.

 

“Somethin’ happen?”

 

Turning to James, Juliet recounted her story of what happened with Stacy Ericcson.

 

“I lost a patient today and her husband is threatening to sue me, David and hospital. I went over the risks with both of them. Everything might have gone better if I’d done a C-section. But the variables are unpredictable. We’re not on that stupid rock anymore, but I feel like it’s still trying to punish me.”

 

James took Juliet in his arms and kissed her hair. What she needed was reassurance and comfort.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

Hayley climbed the stairs up to the dusty attic. She’d found plenty of her great-grandma’s stuff up here before. She was sure she’d find more. Turning the light on, she trudged over to a trunk covered with a bunch of boxes. Carefully removing the boxes, she grunted as she lifted the lid to the trunk. Her eyes widened as she found lots of black and white photos of various family members she was sure she didn’t know.

She eyed a large wooden box on the right and reached in, fingering it. Opening the lid, she found a large tiara encrusted in diamonds. Gingerly reaching in, she picked it up and placed it on her head. Digging through the box, she found a faded cream-colored looking dress. Removing the tiara, she placed it back inside the box, pulling out the dress. Sliding the dress over her head, she placed the tiara back on her head and found one of her mother’s old mirrors and stared at herself in it. Slowly twirling, she giggled as the dress twirled with her. Her face turned serious when she heard the creaking of the top step.

 

“Hayley Isabel Montero-Ford, what are you doing up here?”

 

Freezing, Hayley turned to find Juliet coming towards her, a stern look on her face.

 

“Nothing.”

 

Juliet had her lips set in a thin grim line and felt her bottom lip twitch.

 

“Nothing huh? If it’s nothing, then why do you have grandma Isabel’s dress and tiara on you?”

 

Hayley slowly took the tiara off her head and placed it back inside the box. Slipping the dress up and over her head, she folded it up nicely and lay it back inside the trunk.

 

“I thought it would look really cool on me. You never told me grandma had a tiara. Can I have it?”

 

Juliet eyed the tiara nestled inside the box and shook her head.

 

“Hayley, that is not a toy. You can wear it for your birthday when you turn 15 next year. I don’t want you playing with it. It’s very old.”

 

Hayley nodded and pulled out the photos she’d found inside.

 

“Look what else I found: Is this where grandma Isabel was born?”

 

Juliet shook her head and looked at Hayley.

 

“Baby what are you doing up here?”

 

Handing the photos to Juliet, Hayley smiled.

 

“I like to look through grandma’s box. You always say be proud of where you come from.”

 

Juliet let out a slight laugh and looked at the photos.

 

“I don’t think I’ve seen some of these. Hmm. 1942. She and grandpa came here in 1959. There are a lot of things here. This must be great-grandma next to her in this one. At home: Isa and Carmen Santiago de Cuba 1940. What else is in here? Letters to grandpa. If you really want to get technical, we can trace our roots back to Spain. On grandpa’s side, at least.”

 

Hayley smiled and took the photos, climbing down the stairs with Juliet.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

“I have a meeting with Cara’s teacher in 15 minutes. Can I take a rain check on lunch Rachel? Ok, love you too. Bye.”

 

Juliet worried about what the situation might be about the whole drive to Cara’s school. What if she’s hurt? What if she can’t walk again? Tears began to well up in her eyes, making it difficult to see the traffic light in front of her. Quickly wiping them away, she heard the car behind her lean on their horn.

 

“Alright, I get it, the light’s green. I’m going.”

 

Juliet definitely hadn’t missed the driving in Miami. But she had missed having a car. Walking across the island got so tiring after a while. Finally pulling into the school, she found
Mrs. Sanchez, Cara’s teacher waiting for her outside the front office.

 

“Thank-you for coming Mrs. Ford. Please come with me.”

 

A pit began to form in Juliet’s stomach.

 

“Cara’s alright isn’t she?”

 

Mrs. Sanchez turned to Juliet and smiled.

 

“Yes of course. She’s at recess. I want to show a drawing she made this morning. It’s quite… Disturbing.”

 

Entering the empty classroom, Juliet listened as Mrs. Sanchez continued her thought.

 

“I gave the children an assignment to draw a picture of the place they were born. Cara decided to draw this.”

 

Pulling a piece of paper from her desk she handed a child’s drawing to Juliet. She swallowed hard and then tried to laugh it off.

 

“Cara has a wild imagination. She was born in Honolulu.”

 

A lie. A lie. A lie. Juliet get a hold of yourself! Mrs. Sanchez frowned and spoke up.

 

“Do you know what she told me? She told me that she was born under a large tree with twisted roots in the middle of a jungle and a thing called ‘The Black Smoke monster’ was after you. I’d say she has a very wild imagination. Now I’m going to have her re-do the assignment again, and this time, she needs to draw where she was really born.”

 

Juliet’s heart sank. But I really did give birth to Cara under that weird tree with twisted roots. The people here on the mainland wouldn’t understand. Nodding, Juliet shook hands
with Mrs. Sanchez.

 

“I’ll have a talk with her Mrs. Sanchez. It won’t happen again.”

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Juliet walked into Cara’s room with some of her folded laundry. Setting it on her bed, she glanced up at her wall above the bed. Her eyes widened and she gasped as she saw at least 30 drawings taped to the wall. All of them were of the island. She took down a drawing that was closest to her bedpost and fingered it. It had a woman with long blond hair, with a big stomach and she guessed the squiggly lines inside were Cara. Behind her was black squiggly lines with an angry looking face. ‘The Black Smoke monster.’ James appeared in the doorway and saw Juliet’s tears.

 

“Hey blondie, what’s the matter?”

 

Looking up, he saw all of Cara’s drawings.

 

“Where’d these come from?”

 

Juliet looked James straight in the eye.

 

“Cara drew these James. Our little girl needs help.”

 

If they were both completely honest, they all needed help. The island had done a real number on them. In a rash action of fear, Juliet began taking all the drawings down from the wall. They all seemed to have the same theme. James could see her chest heaving as she took down the last of the drawings. She stiffened like a board when James wrapped his arms around her waist.

 

“Hey it’s ok blondie. We’re never goin’ back to the island. Cara’s probably just drawin’ what she remembers.”

 

Juliet could feel her bottom lip trembling as she sunk down to the carpeting below her.

 

“James, I don’t want her to remember. I want her to forget. I want her to forget the place that almost killed me on more occasions than one. I want her to forget the place that gives her nightmares, making her wake in the middle of the night screaming and she doesn’t remember why. When I think of the island, I can’t breathe.”

 

Even with four walls around her and locks on her doors to keep her safe, Juliet felt herself always looking over her shoulder to see if there was danger. The island had stolen something from her that she previously hadn’t known about. Pieces of her sanity were gone. Only now was she slowly regaining it back with the help of therapy.

 

“I’m always there to catch ya when you fall blondie. I’ve got ya. We’re never goin’ back to that awful place. I won’t let it ruin what life we’ve made here.”

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“Here Cara, want a cookie?”

 

Hayley handed her little sister a cookie from a plastic baggie she had in her lunch bag.

 

“Is it chocolate chip?”

 

Shaking her head, Hayley spoke.

 

“Peanut butter. Mama won’t mind. It’s just one cookie.”

 

Cara inhaled the cookie and went up to her room to start her homework.

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“Cara honey, I need to talk to you about something.”

 

Juliet knocked and opened the door to her room. She found Cara sitting on her bed coughing.

 

“Baby are you ok?”

 

Cara could only stare at Juliet, at first only shaking her head no. Getting closer to Cara, Juliet looked her over for a minute.

 

“Open your mouth baby.”

 

Furrowing her eyebrows, when she couldn’t find any immediate source of her distress, she sighed. But she wasn’t giving up. A white crumb on her cheek suddenly stood out, putting a finger up to remove it, she smelled it.

 

“Coconut?”

 

No one in this house eats coconuts. But Hayley loved them. She frowned and called Hayley in the next room.

 

“Hayley Isabel! Come to your sister’s room now please!”

 

Hayley’s stereo turned off and she came up to the door frame.

 

“What’s wrong mama?”

 

Hayley’s expectant blue eyes mirrored Juliet’s as she stared back at her mother. Juliet’s voice was soft but stern.

 

“Did you give her anything with coconut in it?”

 

Hayley sighed and let her shoulders slump.

 

“One of my friends traded cookies with me. My peanut butter cookie for her coconut one. I gave it to Cara because she wouldn’t stop bugging me to share my cookies with her. I forgot it was with the peanut butter one’s I had left in the baggie.”

 

Shaking her head, Juliet reached a hand into the refrigeration unit next to Cara’s bed and pulled out a vial and syringe.

 

“Throw all those cookies in the baggie away. I have to give her, her shot.”

 

Hayley felt remorseful. Rightfully so in Juliet’s eyes.

 

“I’m sorry mama.”

 

Sighing, Juliet shook her head and held Cara in her arms for a moment. Whispering in her ear.

 

“Ok baby girl. Little poke here. Hold your breath and look away.”

 

Cara turned her attention to her little flashlight and hat on her dresser. Juliet smoothed some hair away from Cara’s tiny face.

 

“There. All done.”

 

Leaning back into Juliet’s arms, Cara started to doze off. She sat rocking Cara for a while, and soon James appeared in the doorway and took in the situation.

 

“What’s going on in here blondie?”

 

Sighing, Juliet watched as James took a seat in the chair next to the bed watching his two girls.

 

“Your older daughter gave your youngest a coconut cookie by accident. I had to give Cara her shot. Don’t worry, she’ll be fine. She’ll sleep the rest of the affects off.”

 

James still looked a little worried.

 

“As long as she’s alright blondie.”

 

Juliet knew that Cara would be alright. She just needed to have a talk with her about her drawings.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

“What are you drawing baby?”

 

Cara had grabbed for a green crayon and was coloring on a piece of paper.

 

“The island mama.”

 

Juliet frowned and pulled Cara into her lap on top of her bed.

 

“Cara honey, we need to talk about that. What have you been telling people about the island?”

 

Cara shrugged her shoulders and continued coloring.

 

“Just that its far away and you had me under a big scary tree with icky roots.”

 

Juliet was about to respond when her phone buzzed in her pocket. Pulling it out, she answered it.

 

“David? Ok slow down. What’s Mrs. Stevenson’s status? Ok did you try placing her in McRoberts position? Am I sure? David, you and I have used that technique lots of times to successfully deliver a baby. Yes. Is the epidural on board? Alright. Let me know how the baby and Mrs. Stevenson are when you get everything under control.”

 

Hanging up her phone, she saw a worried looked on Cara’s face.

 

“Was that Uncle David? Why do you look scared mama?”

 

Juliet shook her head and kissed Cara’s forehead.

 

“Mommy’s just nervous. There is a very sick baby coming today and mommy just hopes that she’s ok.”

 

Cara continued drawing her palm tree on the piece of paper in front of her. Then she grabbed for a black crayon. As she was beginning to scribble on the piece of paper, Juliet stopped her. Her heart was racing.

 

“Cara, baby girl, we need to talk about this. I know you have bad dreams about the island a lot, and that’s ok. Mommy and daddy have them too. But do you know what mommy and daddy do when we have those bad dreams sweetie? We talk about them, and when we talk about them, it makes us feel better.”

 

Frowning, Cara watched Juliet, a worried expression still planted on her face.

 

“You said your chest hurts when you think about the island huh mama?”

 

Juliet nodded and reigned in what she was beginning to feel. She never liked the feeling when it came on, it was like a large weight crushing her from the inside out. She wasn’t sure what was going on, things were sounding very far away and Cara was hysterical. She heard Cara calling for James.

 

“DADDY!?”

 

There was that image of water and her drowning again. She hadn’t had that ‘vision’ in almost four years. The weight continued to crush her from the inside out. Her lungs were screaming at her to breathe, but she felt like they couldn’t get any air in or out. She could see everything, and she felt like she was in a tunnel. But she couldn’t respond.

 

“Breathe baby. BREATHE!”

 

Juliet tried to get a breath in, but all she was aware of was a slight wheeze in her chest. What’s going on? Soon she heard more voices and a bright light was being shined into her eyes. Then a familiar voice.

 

“Juliet? Can you hear me? It’s Jack.”

 

Jack? What was Jack doing here? Why were all these other people in her house? She could feel oxygen in her nose, but she wasn’t sure she was getting any into her lungs. She heard James voice, but it wasn’t directed at her.

 

“Doc! What’s goin’ on?”

 

When she could finally see again, she found that she wasn’t home at all, but in an emergency room. How’d I get here? She still couldn’t breathe, which didn’t make any sense. A blurry figure entered the room, and Juliet tried moving her head.

 

“Juliet, its David. Can you follow my finger?”

 

David was sounding very far away, and now she couldn’t see him. Panic began to well up inside her. She couldn’t see any of the people surrounding her, but she found she was
somewhere else. Her heart sank when she realized where she was. There were palm trees in every direction. No. NO!? I don’t want to go back!? She could hear waves crashing against the shoreline, so she knew she was close to the beach. She heard David’s voice again, and Juliet had to wonder: What’s going on?

 

“Come back to us Juliet.”

 

Come back? Where was she? Where ever she was, it was disguising itself as the island. She didn’t like it. Staying here in the jungle would afford her no protection. At least on the beach, she could hide in her shelter from the Black Smoke Monster. But then, it never came on the beach. The faraway voices were now frantic.

 

“Turn her onto her side! Where is all this fluid coming from?”

 

Juliet was suddenly in the ocean; the water was pouring over her and she felt like water was filling her lungs. When she resurfaced, she found a coughing fit was taking hold of her and wasn’t about to let go. What kind of nightmare was this? She felt hands on her back, and then something was suctioning the water from her mouth perhaps? Was she losing her grip on reality? The ocean around her disappeared and bright light replaced it. She could see several faces she recognized. There was a sour taste of bile in her mouth. Had she vomited and not known about it? A nurse was wiping away some saliva by her bottom lip. A light was being shined in her eyes again, but it wasn’t Jack who was doing it. She heard David’s voice instead.

 

“Juliet, can you focus on the light?”

 

Blinking and squinting against the light, Juliet looked straight at David. A smile spread across David’s face and he spoke again.

 

“There you are. You gave us a little scare there Jules. We’re just giving you some supplemental oxygen to help you breathe a little easier. Ok?”

 

Either the island was finding another way to punish her, or there was something wrong. Clearing her throat, she looked David square in the eye.

 

“The island will never let us go David. You know that.”

 

David’s eyes grew wide as he watched Juliet’s still form in front of him.

 

“Don’t worry, you’re safe here Jules.”

 

Juliet’s attention wandered to the monitors and she closed her eyes, trying to drown out the memories that haunted her even when she was wide awake.

 

“I wish I could believe you David.”

 

David also knew that things from the island wouldn’t stay buried. But keeping the secrets from them was no easy task. The others in the room look confused at the interlude between Juliet and David. But Jack and James were the only ones who understood.

 

“You can Jules. You really have nothing to be afraid of here.”

 

Juliet trying to rise from the stretcher she was lying on, felt four sets of hands push her back down.

 

“Whoa. We need to keep you here. Just for tonight. We need to monitor your condition. There was a lot of fluid filling your lungs. Until we find out why it happened to you, your not leaving.”

 

Sighing, Juliet lay back and stared at the ceiling.

 

“Alright. But if I get an all clear, I get to go home tomorrow right?”

 

David nodded and squeezed Juliet’s hand.

 

“You have my word. Now get some rest. We’ll figure this out.”

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

“David! That’s cold!”

 

David apologized and finished listening to Juliet’s lungs.

 

“Sorry. Hey, where’d you get this scar? This looks like a brand of some sort.”

 

Stiffening, Juliet turned and looked at David, wrapping her left hand around his wrist.

 

“David, don’t.”

 

Frowning, David placed his stethoscope back behind his neck and gently ran his fingers over the white scar.

 

“Who did this to you?”

 

Closing her eyes and then opening them, she explained herself.

 

“This is what you get for being a traitor to your people David. I committed a crime on the island and my punishment was this. They were going to execute me, but Jack saved me. I wish I could just make it disappear. But it doesn’t work that way. The crime I committed was to save James and Kate’s life.”

 

David furrowed his eyebrows.

 

“What did you do Jules?”

 

Juliet knew this question was coming, and she wasn’t going to incriminate herself any further.

 

“It was the island David, I did anything I had to, to survive. Believe me, you would too if you had lived there as long as I did.”

 

She took a breath and wrapped her hand around David’s wrist tighter.

 

“Could we change the subject?”

 

Juliet got a worried glance from David, and he watched as the machines she was still hooked up to began to beep. David tried to get Juliet to look at him.

 

“Juliet, can you look at me?”

 

She felt her breath hitch and she tried to speak.

 

“I can’t…”

 

The frightening images of water came washing over her again and she couldn’t see or breathe. David was at the far end of the ‘tunnel’ she was in and it was frustrating. She
couldn’t tell him what was going on. She was choking on water again. She felt two sets of hands on her back and… Was she on her side? Her vision returned as quickly as it had gone, and now she could see what was happening. David was very close to her line of vision.

 

“Jules, look at me, stay with me.”

 

David felt at a loss as to assess Juliet’s situation. This was the second time this was happening. Juliet saw James come into the room. A frightened expression crossed his face.

 

“Do something doc! Can’t you see she’s drownin’! Help her!?”

 

James tried to get closer to Juliet, but a nurse advised him not to get any closer.

 

“Mr. Ford, please step back. We need to stabilize your wife. You can see her once we have everything under control.”

 

Standing back, James swallowed and shook his head.

 

“You fix her.”

 

David gave James a sympathetic look.

 

“We’re doing everything we can James. You have my word.”

 

James gave David a death glare.

 

“You’d better Davey-boy. I’ve got my eye on you.”

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“Your second set of chest x-rays came back. There’s nothing wrong with you.”

 

Juliet crossed her arms over her chest.

 

“David, I had salt water pouring out of my lungs. Twice. You can’t seriously stand there and tell me it didn’t happen, because it did. You were there.”

 

David was still trying to rationalize the situation for Juliet.

 

“Look, sometimes the body can do strange things to the mind. It can make it think something is happening to it. When in reality it’s not.”

 

Juliet still had her arms crossed over her chest.

 

“Ok, explain the seizure then.”

 

David sighed and ran a hand through his hair.

 

“That we’re looking into. I’m not sure how else to explain this.”

 

Juliet scoffed at David.

 

“David, where is this really coming from?”

 

Shaking his head with a regretful look on his face, David put a hand on Juliet’s shoulder.

 

“The truth? It’s not me. It’s the hospital’s board of directors. They want to know why we haven’t found anything wrong with you yet.”

 

Juliet let out a humorless laugh.

 

“You’ve got to be kidding me? They just want you to find out what’s wrong with me so you can treat and street me. Apparently, I’m wasting resources. I’m a doctor in this hospital for crying out loud! I’m sorry that I’m wasting people’s tax dollars! All they care about is the money. I’m not in it for the money, I’m in it to make the lives of people around me better. That’s why I got into medicine. To make a difference for everyone.”

 

Juliet rose from the bed and began taking the monitors that were attached to her off.

 

“James, get me my clothes.”

 

David got worried again.

 

“Jules what are you doing?”

 

Juliet grabbed for her clothes and went into the bathroom.

 

“Where is, the board having their meeting? I want to go and give them a piece of my mind.”

 

James shook his head at Juliet.

 

“Blondie, do you think that’s such a good idea? They might fire you.”

 

Scoffing at James, Juliet shook her head.

 

“The hospital can’t fire me. I’m under contract with the university. Only the university can fire me.”

 

Within five minutes Juliet was dressed and down the hallway, on her way to give the board of directors a piece of her mind. She quickly found the conference room they were in
and went inside.

 

“Doctor Burke, we were just going over your case. Please do come in. Have a seat.”

 

Juliet stood her ground and planted her feet by the door.

 

“You want your proof. Here it is.”

 

Plugging a USB into one of the computers, Juliet let the evidence speak for itself.

 

“You see this? It’s saltwater coming out of my mouth. Where’s it coming from? My lungs. You want to explain how that’s happened to me twice and everyone in this room seems to be denying it? You can clearly see that something is happening to me, my body is physically there, but I’m not aware of what’s going on. Would you also like to explain the seizure I had right after the first incident?”

 

A Doctor Brezel raised his pen towards Juliet and spoke.

 

“Going over your file here, it says: you arrived at the hospital with shortness of breath, and you were having hearing and vision problems. Had you ever experienced those symptoms before Doctor Burke?”

 

Juliet shook her head no. Strange thing was, the first symptom seemed to be creeping back up on her. David entered the room and helped her sit down in a chair.

 

“Here. Let’s sit down here Doctor Burke. There we go.”

 

Doctor Brezel look at David and gave a tight-lipped smile.

 

“Ah. Doctor Jacobson. I’d like to know your take on Doctor Burke’s rather unique predicament.”

 

David sighed and spread his hand towards the computer screen.

 

“Sir, I think she should be kept here under observation for at least one more day. I can get to the bottom of this. There’s a reason why this is happening to her.”

 

Doctor Brezel frowned but nodded.

 

“Alright Doctor Jacobson. You have twenty-four hours to find out what’s ailing Doctor Burke. I want to see results from some blood tests, urine sample, and order an MRI.”

 

David helped Juliet out of the room and back down the hallway.

 

“I want you back in bed. I want you to stay there. I don’t want you going to the bathroom by yourself. Something could happen, you could fall and hit your head.”

 

Huffing in frustration, Juliet nodded. She didn’t like the situation she was in, but there had to be a way to distinguish between fact and what the island was making her see. It wasn’t going to be easy. That’s for sure.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

Juliet darted into the closet where her clothes were at and closed the door behind her. She could hear the Black Smoke Monster just outside the door. Blindly grabbing for anything to defend herself with on the floor, she heard the closet door jiggle and it opened. She flung the object in her hand with her eyes shut at the smoky assailant. She felt herself being picked up and she fought with all her might against it. But it was very strong.

 

“Juliet stop! It’s me David.”

 

She could hear someone’s voice, but it was almost garbled. She kept thrashing against the black smoke that disguised itself with… David’s voice? No! Her vision cleared and she found herself back in her hospital room, both James and David were holding her down. She stopped thrashing and became confused. Then a penlight was shone in her eyes, making her squint.

 

“Follow the light Jules. Just follow the light Juliet. There we go. That’s it.”

 

Juliet’s face grew two shades of red when she felt something wet on the bed.

 

“David I’m sorry, I didn’t know…”

 

David shook his head and smiled.

 

“Don’t worry. I’ll have housekeeping in here to change the sheets.”

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“There was a small blood clot in your brain. That’s what the MRI showed. It was restricting blood flow to other parts of your brain, affecting your memory, sense of awareness, even your vision and your hearing. I had Doctor Shephard look at it to make sure it wasn’t a brain tumor. The good thing is, we got the blood clot out. If we wouldn’t have found it, you would’ve been dead inside a month.”

Professional mask on, Juliet reached for the copy of the scan and pulled David in for a hug across his desk.

 

“Thank-you David. You saved my life. I don’t think there is any way I can repay you.”

 

David had a hint of tears behind his eyes, but his voice is what really held his emotion.

 

“You helped my sister get pregnant, and you tried to save her life. The best thing to come out of all that, in that crazy place is my niece Erica. You have my full support with this.”

 

Juliet, taking the copy of her scan, walked out of the room and down the hallway where the board of directors was having their monthly meeting.

 

“Good morning gentlemen. You wanted proof of my unique situation. Well, here it is.”

 

Juliet handed Doctor Brezel her brain scan and waited for him and four other doctors to go over it and give her their full attention. There was some whispering among the other
doctors and then Doctor Brezel looked up at Juliet, his signature tight-lipped smile in place.

 

“Alright Doctor Burke. We the board of directors of this hospital have all agreed that due to the recent circumstances involving your situation, we see that it was caused by an internal clot in your brain. It was blocking off the blood supply to various parts of it. We also find that you were not in control of your actions at the time and have taken the hold off your medical license, therefore you will be allowed to practice medicine in your field of expertise. This case is now closed. Who’s next on the list for today?”

 

Juliet taking her scan back only stared at Doctor Brezel. She never liked the man, he was a weasel. The man had always look at her like a piece of meat. The only reason the hospital kept him, was because he did his job. She was glad she didn’t have to work on the same floor as him. He worked in Oncology on the 8th floor the hospital. As she reached the door, she found he was coming towards her. She kept her calm exterior, even though she felt herself bristle.

 

“I have to say, that dress looks great on you.”

 

Juliet furrowed her eyebrows and kept her back towards him, walking out the door and away from him. Walking back to David’s office, she opened it up and went inside, closing the door behind her. He saw how pale she was and the look on her face.

 

“Jules here, let’s sit down. What’s wrong?”

 

Plunking down heavily into the chair across from his desk, Juliet puffed out her answer.

 

“Doctor Brezel made a pass at me.”

 

David setting the next patient file on his desk looked up at Juliet.

 

“He did what?”

 

Juliet bit her lip and put her hands in her lap.

 

“He made a pass at me.”

 

David stood up and went around to her chair and leaned down next to her.

 

“I’ll talk to him. You should report it to the board. What did he say?”

 

Looking up at David, she tried not to give a hollow stare, but it came anyways.

 

“He said I looked great in this dress. I saw where his eyes were going. I can report him for harassment. But it is my word against his. He’s likely to deny it, and the board might need evidence.”

 

Juliet put that on her to-do list in a growing one of things to do. All she knew right now was, the chains of the island were finally coming off and it couldn’t control her anymore.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

“Maybe you should ease back a little and start off with a light patient load Jules. I mean it. You’re still recovering. You may be able to function, but your brain needs time to heal.

Maybe you should take a few more days to rest.”

 

Juliet wanted to roll her eyes at David, but instead grabbed for a chart.

 

“So, did you ever figure out why saltwater was filling my lungs?”

 

David put a hand on the counter in front of them and lowered his voice.

 

“It wasn’t saltwater that was filling your lungs. It was some other kind of fluid. I sent some off to the lab for it to be analyzed. The smell of it was strange. Like something sweet. I’d say some kind of candy. It smelled kind of like when someone has ketoacidosis. But we checked your sugars, their fine. My point being here is, don’t push yourself too hard Jules. I don’t want your blood pressure sky rocketing and then you losing consciousness right in the delivery room. Would you like me to assist you? It would just be for today to see how you do.”

 

Nodding, she checked her chart.

 

“First on the list: McKena Clarkson. Not too difficult. Hey, why’d you pick an easy one?”

 

David placed a hand on Juliet’s shoulder and she shook her head.

 

“One step at a time Jules. Baby steps.”

 

Stepping into the room, Juliet put on a smile and stuck a hand out to McKena’s husband Tyler.

 

“You must be the daddy. I’m Doctor Burke. I’ll be helping your wife bring your little one into the world today. Is there anything I can get for you?”

 

McKena smiled through the pain and spoke.

 

“An epidural would be nice.”

 

Juliet nodded her head and took a seat in front of McKena.

 

“I’ll call for an anesthesiologist once I’ve checked your progress ok McKena?”

 

McKena sighed and nodded. Wincing, she made small talk about the name she was going to give her little girl.

 

“I’ve always liked the name Morgan. Tyler and I decided on calling her Morgan Alaina. Morgan Alaina Clarkson. So, where are we?”

 

Juliet came back over the sheet and smiled.

 

“Three more centimeters to go. You are at seven right now. You get some rest, you’ll need all your strength.”

 

McKena reached out to Juliet with a left hand.

 

“Please stay. Just for a few minutes. It’s nice to have another woman in the room to talk to. That and I’m afraid of needles.”

 

Juliet took a seat in a chair on the other side of McKena. A couple of minutes later, the Anesthesiologist arrived, and McKena reached for her husband Tyler’s hand and squeezed
Juliet’s at the same time.

 

“Ok McKena, I want you to turn and lie on your left side. Don’t move. What Doctor Amberson is going to do is give you some local to numb the pain, and then give you the epidural ok?”

 

McKena nodded and stayed still. Juliet saw her eyes dart to her back and she tried to shield her face with her right hand.

 

“Don’t look McKena. Keep your eyes on Tyler or me.”

 

Juliet watched the whole procedure play out and nodded towards Doctor Amberson who reciprocated and spoke as he got up to leave.

 

“Let me know when you’re ready for the mother with quads.”

 

Helping McKena ease onto her back in the bed Juliet looked her in the eye.

 

“Is there anything else I can get you? Some ice chips maybe?”

 

McKena smiled tiredly, she was already relaxed.

 

“Ice chips would be nice Doctor Burke. Thank-you.”

 

Juliet came back with a cup filled to the brim with ice chips. Tyler took the cup and handed McKena an ice chip. Juliet put a hand on McKena’s and gave her a warm smile.

 

“Let me know if you need anything else McKena.”

 

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Juliet was just finishing up the last of the paperwork on the chart of a mother who’d just given birth to a pair of quads. As she was putting the chart back inside the rack, David
approached her quickly.

 

“Juliet come quickly. McKena is asking for you.”

 

Following David back to McKena’s room, Juliet gave her a concerned look.

 

“McKena? What’s wrong?”

 

McKena didn’t look good.

 

“Doctor Burke, something’s wrong. I can’t feel anything.”

 

Stepping over to the bed with David, she pulled on a pair of gloves and took a dull instrument from the tray next to her.

 

“I want to try something with you McKena. Tell me if you feel something. Do you feel this? What about this?”

 

McKena shook her head. David went to test her reflexes and found that she had none. His heart sank. Turning his attention to Juliet, he motioned for her to help him turn McKena
over onto her side. When they turned her over, they found the sheet was beginning to turn red and her back was bleeding. David looked closer at the site where the epidural went into her spine. There was clear liquid leaking out. David turning to another nurse gave out instructions.

 

“She’s leaking spinal fluid. Go and get Doctor Shephard. Hurry!”

 

The nurse was out of the room and gone within seconds. Five minutes later, she came back with Jack. He quickly looked at McKena’s back and confirmed what David had seen.

 

“She’s leaking spinal fluid. We need to get her into surgery now.”

 

Juliet looked at Jack.

 

“Jack, we have no time. This baby needs to come out. She needs a C-section.”

 

Jack tried to weigh his options, but he wasn’t coming up with any.

 

“We’re kind of in a bad spot here Juliet. If you deliver that baby, she’ll never walk again. Sometimes you have to make the hard choice.”

 

Juliet felt her nose flare. This was the time when her and Jack butted heads.

 

“Jack, this is a mother and child we’re talking about here. We can’t schedule the surgeries at the same time. There would be too many people in the room and she can’t be on her stomach for at least a month.”
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The breakroom was empty sans Juliet and David when they entered, taking seats at one of the tables.

 

“You did great in there Jules. McKena has a healthy little girl thanks to you.”

 

Juliet felt a pang of guilt run through her entire body.

 

“Yeah, but what if Jack isn’t able to repair her back in time?”

 

David put a hand on hers and took a sip of his coffee.

 

“You’re not at fault for what happened to McKena Jules. Doctor Amberson was the one who put the epidural in not you.”

 

She still felt guilty though.

 

“Yes, but I gave the order. So it’s partially my fault. If I get named in the suit, then it goes on my record.”

 

David shook his head.

 

“McKena already promised you she wasn’t going to name you in the suit. You saved their lives. Doctor Amberson on the other hand, well, he’s on his own. I really don’t want to start work gossip. So, who’s baby are we delivering next?”

 

Juliet looked down at the chart in front of her and flipped it open.

 

“Rosa Sanchez-Dominguez.”

 

David looked at Juliet and nodded but seemed uncertain.

 

“My Spanish is kind of rusty.”

 

Juliet smirked.

 

“Good thing you have me to back you up then. I thank my grandmother.”

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

“That’s pretty! Mama how come I can’t have a tiara too?”

 

Juliet looked at Cara in the mirror and fixed Hayley’s curls under the tiara.

 

“In 6 years when you turn 15. Right now, it’s for your sister’s party. It’s her birthday. You only turn 15 once. Dejar a su hermana sola. Leave her alone.”

 

Cara pouted in front of the mirror and tried to stand on her tippy toes to touch the tiara. Hayley slapped at Cara’s little hands.

 

“Don’t touch it! You’ll mess it up!”

 

Juliet frowned at Hayley and fixed her last curl.

 

“I know it’s your birthday Hayley, but please be nice to your sister.”

 

Hayley ducked her head and apologized.

 

“Lo siento mama. You said you had a couple of surprises for me. What are they?”

(I’m sorry mama.)

 

Juliet only shook her head and put her index finger to her lips.

 

“You’ll see. You know this tiara belonged to your great grandmother. She kept it locked in a wooden chest before she came to the U.S. Then when I turned 15 she gave it to me. Now I’m passing it on to you. Be careful with it. It’s very old. You look beautiful. Are you ready to go?”

 

Hayley nodded and looked at herself in front of the mirror.

 

“Yes. Let’s go.”

 

Cara trailed behind Hayley and her mother. In the hallway, James smiled as they came out.

 

“You look like a real princess.”

 

Hayley turned a shade red.

 

“Daddy don’t embarrass me.”

 

James smirked and held his arm out. Hayley hooked her left arm under his and they walked down to the reception hall they’d rented out. When they entered the room, a DJ started playing music. He spoke over the music.

 

“Please give a warm welcome to the birthday girl Hayley Isabel Ford-Montero! Who would like to give the birthday girl the first dance? Jaime?”

 

Hayley’s friend Jaime Rodriguez had turned into a handsome young man. He turned a few shades red and then appeared on the dance floor. Juliet sat in a folding chair and watched her oldest daughter twirl in her cream-colored dress. She got tears in her eyes as the song ended and the DJ stepped away from his turntables for a few minutes. Getting up from her chair, Juliet walked up to the microphone and spoke into it.

 

“Hayley I have a surprise for you.”

 

Juliet pushed play on a DVD player hooked up to a projector. A video of an older man, presumably in his 70’s appeared on the screen, a large smile on his face. She sat down in another folding chair and watched the video.

 

“Hayley, bienvenido al mundo. Mi niña hermosa. Eres especial. Yo soy tu abuelo. Tu madre es una mujer muy especial. Muy inteligente. Hermosa. Nunca he estado más orgullosa de ella. Quiero hacer una cosa para mí a medida que crece, siempre escucha lo que te dice tu madre. Ella le ama incondicionalmente. Igual lo hago. Siempre te amaré. Recuerde.”

(Hayley, welcome to the world. My beautiful girl. You’re special. I’m your great grandfather. Your mother is a very special woman. Intelligent. Beautiful. I’ve never been more proud of her. I want you to do one thing for me as you grow older, always listen to what your mother tells you. She loves you unconditionally. Just as I do. I will always love you. Remember that.)

 

The video cut out and the room stayed quiet. Hayley put a hand over her mouth and let some tears fall. Juliet went to her and pulled her to the side.

 

“Baby, your great grandfather made that video a week after you were born. He adored you. He passed away just as you were just learning how to crawl. That video is yours. He was saving it for you until today. Now no more tears. You have a party to enjoy! Your other surprise is we pulled some major strings to get Prince Royce to come and sing at your party.”

 

Hayley pulled Juliet into a hug and then squealed.

 

“Thank-you mama. Thank-you!”

 

This day had turned out perfect and the night was still young. There was still food to be served and more dancing to be had. Juliet set a small plastic box on the main table, inside was a little tea set. Smiling, Juliet sat and listened as the song changed and Jack went out on the dance floor with Hayley. Taking James hand, Juliet pulled him out onto the dance floor.

 

“Come dance with me James.”

 

James looked hesitant.

 

“You know I got two left feet blondie. Besides, I ain’t so good at this kinda dancin’. You know that.”

 

Juliet let out an infectious laugh.

 

“Salsa isn’t that difficult. Now Tango is. Just follow my lead.”

 

James shook his head and followed Juliet onto the dance floor.

 

“Ain’t I supposed to lead you?”

 

Letting out another laugh, Juliet started dancing, directing James on the right path.

 

“I was four years-old when I learned how to dance like this. My grandfather taught me. Parties were always big affairs for my grandparents. I get it from my dad’s side. My mom never saw the point in staying up half the night partying. I wore that same tiara. But I had a blue dress. I felt so tall with my cousins, only because they were tiny. I wanted to make today as special for Hayley as possible. Rachel and I, ours were magical. I felt they were at least. I had a blue dress and Rachel had a red one.”

 

The couple kept dancing until the music stopped. Taking James by the hand back to the table, Juliet dug into her plate or Arroz Moro. A smiled planted on her face, she finished chewing and swallowing.

 

“You did good out there James. You pick things up fast. Two left feet? You’re a natural!”

 

Cara came up to the pair and started pulling on Juliet’s hand.

 

“Mama, come dance with me.”

 

Juliet took another bite of food and then swallowed.

 

“Baby, let mommy finish eating first, then I’ll come dance with you ok?”

 

Cara bounced off to look for Jack so she could dance. Hayley came back to the main table and planted herself next to Juliet, a smile on her face.

 

“Thank you so much for this mama. Daddy, your dancing with me next. Come on!”

 

James still looked a little unsure as Hayley grabbed for his hand.

 

“Are you sure you want me to dance with ya squirt? I might step on your feet.”

 

Hayley rolled her eyes playfully at James.

 

“Come on daddy, besides, it’s your turn to dance with me anyways.”

 

Juliet sat and watched James and Hayley out on the dance floor while she ate. Today had turned out perfect, and for a moment life wasn’t throwing her one crisis after another. Maybe the island was finally letting her go.

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

Juliet was sure Cara would be ecstatic when she told her the news. Hayley was sorting through the mail at the kitchen table when she found an envelope addressed to her. Her eyes lit up and she ripped open the envelope. Reading its contents, she let out a squeal.

 

“Mama I got in! I got accepted for Pre-med at Columbia!”

 

Beaming, Juliet pulled Hayley into a hug.

 

“I’m so proud of you baby girl. Listen, there’s something that we need to talk about as a family. Now if I can just get your sister to come down stairs!”

 

Cara came clamoring down the stairs and zoomed into the kitchen.

 

“Walk please Cara Rene.”

 

Cara stopped and sat down at the kitchen table.

 

“What is it mama?”

 

A smile plastered itself on Juliet’s face as she looked at the three expectant faces across from her.

 

“I’m pregnant.”

 

A bright smile spread over Hayley’s face, but Cara grew angry.

 

“Now you’re having a baby? I wanted another brother or sister like five years ago! Why’d you wait so long? You’re so old!”

 

James piped up from his spot next to Cara.

 

“Cara Rene, I don’t want to hear you talkin’ to your mama like that. Apologize.”

 

Turning red, Cara said she was sorry.

 

“Sorry mama. But seriously, why did you wait so long?”

 

Juliet let out a heavy sigh.

 

“It just wasn’t the right time sweet baby girl. I thought you’d be happy.”

 

Cara thought on it a moment and huffed in frustration. Stomping off to her room, Juliet heard her slam her door shut. James was about to get up and go talk to her, but Juliet
stopped him.

 

“Let her be James. She needs time to process.”

 

The three occupants in the kitchen heard noise on the stairs and Cara crying. Juliet was the first to come out of the kitchen to see Cara sitting on the bottom of the staircase her hand over her forearm.

 

“Cara what’s wrong sweetie?”

 

Cara let Juliet move her hand away from her forearm and gasped.

 

“What did you do? Look at your arm sweetie! Puro sangre.”

 

(It’s covered in blood.)

 

Cara was trying to explain to Juliet what had happened.

 

“I was reaching for a box in my closet with the broom from the cleaning closet. The broom hit my ceiling light while the fan was on and the glass from the light bulb got in my arm.”

 

James now taking in the situation went into the hall closet and got a clean dish towel to wrap around Cara’s arm. Juliet taking the towel from James placed it on Cara’s arm and put
pressure on it.

 

“Ouch! Mama that hurts!”

 

Juliet grimaced slightly and nodded.

 

“I know baby. I’m sorry.”

 

James picked Cara up and carried her towards the door while Juliet kept pressure on Cara’s wound. Hayley was just behind them. Juliet climbed into the back seat with Cara while James and Hayley got in the front. As they got a few blocks from their house, Juliet spoke towards James but kept her eyes on Cara.

 

“Hurry James. She’s losing a lot of blood.”

 

Paling, James went faster, but kept right at the speed limit.

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“There we go. We’re all done baby girl.”

 

Cara broke down in tears. She felt awful about the way she’d treated Juliet.

 

“Mama, I’m sorry for what I said.”

 

Juliet pulled Cara into her arms and kissed her hair.

 

“It’s ok baby. What happened was an accident. It wasn’t on purpose. Now, do you want to help me pick out colors for the new baby’s room?”

 

Cara’s face lit up and she smiled.

 

“We should pick out colors for a girl.”

 

Now it was Juliet’s turn to smile.

 

“So, you think it’s a girl?”

 

Nodding, Cara let out a laugh.

 

“I wouldn’t say no to a brother if one came along.”

 

Juliet kissed Cara’s forehead and rocked her for a few minutes. Cara may have been twelve, but sometimes Juliet still saw her as the frightened three-year-old that had never left the island.

 

“I can’t control what nature gives this family Cara-bean. If I have a girl, I have a girl. If I have a boy, then it’s a boy. That would make your daddy very happy, but our family is filled with girls. We’ll see what happens. Let’s pick a neutral color. How about seafoam green?”

 

Cara made a face.

 

“Ew.”

 

Juliet giggled and continued rocking Cara.

 

“Sorry. I know you’re not a baby anymore, but no matter how old you get you will always be my baby.”

 

Cara rolled her eyes playfully and stayed in her mother’s arms.

 

“Don’t worry mama.”

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

“Mama, I’ve got it. Don’t pick that up.”

 

Hayley took the box from Juliet and set it on the floor.

 

“Hay, you don’t need to do that. I’ve got it.”

 

Shaking her head, she began taking the stuffed animals out of the box and setting them on the dresser.

 

“You’re not supposed to lift anything heavy remember?”

 

Sighing, Juliet nodded and went about arranging the stuffed animals on the dresser.

 

“I know. So, how’s school? What’s it like in New York?”

 

Hayley smiled and finished arranging the stuffed animals.

 

“It’s bigger than Miami, that’s for sure. You should see Central park. It’s really something to see in the Fall. I hear it’s even better when it snows. School is hard, but I’m making it. Coffee is my best friend.”

 

Juliet laughed and rearranged another stuffed animal on the dresser.

 

“Coffee is what got me through medical school Hay. Coffee is about to become your best friend. Buckle up, the next eight years are going to be busy.”

 

Juliet putting on a smile pulled out a grainy black and white photo and handed it to Hayley. Hayley got tears in her eyes and spoke.

 

“Is this her?”

 

Nodding, Juliet fingered the photo and then let her eyes wander to the stuffed animal on the dresser. It was a penguin.

 

“Well, it’s a little early to tell, but I have a gut feeling it’s going to be another girl. Your dad doesn’t seem to think so. But he’s been wanting a boy to add to the family for years.”

 

Hayley’s face fell as she pulled a newspaper clipping from her pocket.

 

“Mama, who’s Ed?”

 

Juliet’s face paled, and her breath caught in her throat. Hayley helped her into the rocking chair in the corner of the room.

 

“He was my first husband. I was still working for him in the research department at the university when I was pregnant with you. He was a manipulative and abusive man. You don’t have to worry about him. He’s dead. You were a secret. Everyone else Uncle David and I worked with suspected that I was pregnant, but were too afraid to say anything. Ed never found out. There were a few times I was sure he knew. He only kept me employed under him so that he could use my research. If he’d found out about you, I don’t know what I would’ve done.”

 

Hayley swallowed and pulled up a chair.

 

“If he found out about me, what would’ve happened to us?”

 

Juliet had the blankest stare on her face, as she stared at something beyond Hayley.

 

“You and I would’ve have been his science projects. Believe me, it’s better if you don’t know what he would’ve done. He can never do anything to either of us.”
Hayley continued to watch her mother and her blank expression.

 

“What happened to him?”

 

Swallowing again, Juliet tried not to make her voice sound so far away.

 

“Karma got him. He was hit by a bus in an intersection right after I told him that Aunt Rachel was pregnant with your cousin Julian.”

 

Hayley furrowed her eyebrows and frowned.

 

“I’m sorry I brought him up mama. This must cause you a lot of pain.”

 

Juliet grabbed for Hayley’s hands and set her lips in a thin grim line for a few seconds.

 

“That is a part of my past that I want to forget about. You are a miracle. Just like the rest of your sisters. I have been blessed with a gift. Knowledge is also a gift. So, tell me more about what you want to do after you graduate medical school?”

 

Hayley smiled. She knew where she was going, and how she was going to achieve her goals.

 

“I’ve decided I want to help you continue your Fertility research. Mama, you’ve helped a lot of women. You brought me into the world as a result of your research actually coming to fruition. Are you sure you’re not a genius mama?”

 

Juliet only shook her head and tucked a piece of curly hair behind Hayley’s left ear.

 

“I can’t completely take the credit for the things I’ve done. Uncle David is partly responsible for helping me.”

 

Hayley looked Juliet in the eye and smiled.

 

“Oh mama, you are being too modest. What about your morning sickness?”

 

 

Sighing, Juliet sat and looked up at the ceiling for a moment.

 

“No point in acting proud. It would make me look pompous, and I don’t want to be seen as someone who only wants the money. As for the morning sickness, it’s gone.”

 

Hayley settled on the floor next to Juliet and looked around the room.

 

“You know, I’m really starting to like this Seafoam green color.”

 

Juliet put a finger up to her lips and smiled.

 

“Dolphins would look really good on these walls. What do you think?”

 

Hayley nodded and grabbed for Juliet’s hand.

 

“I think dolphins would be perfect.”

 

James entered the room and smiled. Walking over to the rocking chair, he pulled Juliet to her feet and wrapped his arms protectively around her growing baby belly.

 

“This room is goin’ to be beautiful blondie. So, how’s my boy doin’ in there?”

 

Juliet giggled a little and put and hand on top of his over her belly.

 

“She is doing just fine. James I’ve got a gut feeling this is going to be another girl. Don’t get your hopes up.”

 

James smirked and looked at the pile of stuffed animals on the dresser.

 

“A stuffed bat? That’s a boy’s toy right there.”

 

Rolling her eyes at James, Juliet leaned back and looked into his eyes.

 

“Girls can like bats too James. I want Mayra to have all kinds of toys. I played with my cousin’s trucks as a kid. But I was more of a tomboy than Rachel.”

 

James watched Juliet for a few moments and then got down on his knees and spoke towards her stomach.

 

“I dunno if ya can hear me in there or not, but you are most definitely a boy.”

 

Juliet shook her head once more and pulled James in for a kiss. When they pulled apart, she grinned and stared at the seafoam green painted walls and planned.

 

“I’m telling you James, this baby is a girl. With our luck, we’ve got all girls.”

 

James sighed but gave a dimpled smile to Juliet.

 

“We’ll see blondie.”

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

A much needed fifteen-minute break was what Juliet needed. Her feet also needed a rest. Sitting down at one of the tables nearest the vending machine, she pulled up a chair and put her head down on her arms closing her eyes. She just needed to rest her eyes. She hadn’t heard Doctor Brezel come into the room, closing the door behind him as he entered. She wasn’t even aware he was in the room until she felt someone’s hand on her stomach. At first, she smiled and thought it was James, but when she opened her eyes to find that it wasn’t the man she loved or she was married to, she found herself staring into the strange hazel eyes of Doctor Brezel. Getting up quickly, she knocked the chair over and backed away from him.

 

“Don’t touch me! Do it again, and I’ll scream.”

 

By now Juliet was by the door, Doctor Brezel was reaching a hand out towards her. Just as she opened her mouth to scream for help, she felt a pain come crashing in the back of her head and then blackness took over her. A faraway voice was soon calling her and she was doing her best to open her eyes.

 

“Oh, my god. Juliet? Can you hear me? If you can hear me, open your eyes.”

 

David? A groan escaped instead of words. When she was finally able to open her eyes, she found David and his bright penlight in her face. Her eyes grew wide, and she desperately tried sitting up, looking around for Doctor Brezel.

 

“Where is he?”

 

David looked confused as he followed her gaze around the room.

 

“Where’s who Jules?”

 

He kept her in place as she tried to sit up again.

 

“Doctor Brezel. He was in here with me. I didn’t even hear him come in here. I was taking a fifteen-minute powernap and I felt someone’s hand over my belly. I must’ve been dreaming it was James, but when I opened my eyes to find that it was Doctor Brezel, I quickly got up, knocking the chair over and backing away from him. He tried to get closer to me. I told him if he touched me again that I would scream. Just as I was about to scream for help, I feel this pain come crashing down against the back of my head. Then it went dark. David, is the baby alright?”

 

David put a hand on her shoulder and nodded seriously.

 

“Just lie back and relax. You are taken care of.”

 

Juliet tensed and winced as David pressed a sore spot on her stomach.

 

“Ouch. David be careful.”

 

David apologized and grabbed for her hand.

 

“I’m sorry. I know that hurts.”

 

She noticed Jack was in the room with them. She didn’t remember seeing him when she first opened her eyes.

 

“Jack?”

 

Jack put a finger to his lips to quiet her.

 

“Shh. I need you to stay quiet for a minute so I can listen to your lungs.”

 

Juliet shivered as she felt the stethoscope on her back. A nurse called his attention towards her.

 

“Doctor Shephard, there’s a large cut on Doctor Burke’s head.”

 

Jack more concerned now, placed himself beside the nurse and examined it.

 

“Looks like it’s still bleeding a little. Put pressure on it. Juliet, are you feeling dizzy at all?”

 

The pain in the back of her head was making it hard to breathe. She nodded her head slowly.

 

“A little. It’s kind of hard to breathe.”

 

Juliet wasn’t surprised they had brought all the emergency supplies they could find just for her. But she knew it wasn’t just for her. It was just standard procedure when there was any kind of code.

 

“Baby’s probably pushing up on your diaphragm, which could be compressing your lungs a little.”

 

David and a nurse helped turn her onto her side and another nurse furrowed her eyebrows and looked to Jack.

 

“Doctor Shephard, take a look at this. She’s got some scarring on her back and there are some bruises.”

 

Juliet felt her mind racing with what-if questions. The scenarios running through her head were completely unfounded. She heard Jack’s voice behind her.

 

“These coincide with a fall. She could’ve fallen over the chair.”

 

There was a crowd forming outside the break room and Juliet felt her cheeks become involuntarily red with embarrassment. Juliet’s eyes locked with Jack’s brown ones for a moment and then she saw him speak.

 

“We need to clear the hallway. Clear the hallway please!”

 

Jack had directed his voice toward the crowd outside. A nurse nodded to the people who were clearing the hallway and shut the door. Her attention now on David, she put her hands up.

 

“Whoa David. Stop. What are you checking for?”

 

David gave a sympathetic sigh to Juliet as he grabbed for a sheet.

 

“You know as well as I do this is just a precaution. We need to make sure there aren’t any obstructions. This’ll be quick. I promise. Try and relax.”

 

Juliet knew David was right. Besides. She had fallen. Things could’ve shifted. David appeared in Juliet’s line of vision again and frowned.

 

“It’s not good news, but it’s not bad either. The thing is this: no obstructions. I’m going to put you on a monitored bed for at least a couple of hours. Just to monitor for contractions. The fall alone could easily cause you to go into labor. It’s better to be safe and put you on a monitored bed to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

 

Now it was Juliet’s turn to frown.

 

“And all this because of Doctor Brezel. I want him found and I want him arrested.”

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

“Blondie? Are you, all right?”

 

James had just entered Juliet’s private room and was crossing towards her bed.

 

“I’m fine James. I just have to sit here and be quiet for a couple of hours.”

 

Juliet was trying to hide her tears, but they were very close to starting their descent down her cheeks. She felt so vulnerable right now.

 

“James, I-I didn’t see him coming…”

 

Pulling Juliet into his arms, he kissed her hair and then trailed kisses down her neck.

 

“It’s ok blondie. Everything will be alright. Do you want me to send Hayley in? She’s worried sick about you.”

 

Smoothing the blanket over her belly, Juliet nodded and James went and opened the door. Hayley came in, a mirror image of Juliet.

 

“Mama? Daddy told me what happened. Did they catch him?”

 

Hayley took a seat in a chair next to the bed.

 

“They haven’t caught him yet. Hospital security is looking for him now. I’m fine Hay. Uncle David just wants me to rest for a couple hours.”

 

Hayley reached for Juliet’s hand.

 

“How’s the baby mama?”

 

Juliet gestured towards the monitors and let out a small sigh.

 

“Heart rate’s normal. Good respiratory movements. She’s fine.”

 

Turning serious, Hayley squeezed Juliet’s hand.

 

“Amniotic fluid’s clear?”

 

Shaking her head, Juliet gave an almost sarcastic laugh.

 

“Absolutely crystal. Since we’re on the topic, what’s your take on the situation Doctor Montero-Ford?”

 

Now it was Hayley’s turn to shake her head.

 

“Mama, I still have seven years to go. But your research is providing valuable insight. You should get plenty of rest and drink lots of water. Are you doing that mama?”

 

Juliet gave a quick nod of her head and smiled.

 

“We’re fine Hay. Your sister and I are doing beautifully. You have nothing to worry about. We’ll be home in a few hours. I promise.”

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There was something over her mouth, and it had a strange odor to it. Something she’d smelled before. She tried opening her eyes, but a sudden stinging pain began to emerge on the back of her neck and soon darkness came.
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“Blondie, I’m sorry I took so long, they made me sign a crap load of papers to bust ya outta here… Juliet?”

 

James found the bed was empty. He went over to the bathroom and peeked inside.

 

“Julie?”

 

His eyes landed on a trail of blood leading towards the door, as he went over he realized what was going on. Opening the door out into the hallway, he yelled out into it.

 

“Anybody seen Juliet?”

 

A couple of doctors looked at James with invisible question marks on their faces. James curled his fists, he knew that she couldn’t have left the room alone, not with the amount of blood on the floor.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

Juliet was groggy and her mouth was dry. What she wanted was a glass of water and something to help her sleep. She felt the baby frantically kicking just below her ribcage. She tensed when she heard Doctor Brezel’s voice.

 

“Good to see your finally awake Juliet. Here are some clean clothes for you, and the showers just in there. Dinner’s on the table when you’re ready.”

 

Doctor Brezel left the room and Juliet quickly barricaded herself in the bathroom. She was trying to look for an escape route. There was a tiny window above the shower stall, but she couldn’t fit through it. Juliet was focused on finding a way out of this predicament. She placed a hand over her belly and she felt a tiny hand press against hers.

 

“Don’t worry baby girl. Mommy will get us out of this and back home to daddy, Cara and Hayley.”

 

The shower felt refreshing, and for a few minutes, she forgot that she was being held hostage by a doctor who admittedly lost his mind. Picking up the clothes sitting on the
countertop, Juliet noticed it was a purple dress.

 

“He wants me to wear this?”

 

Taking the dress, Juliet slipped it over her head and looked at herself in the mirror.

 

“Well, there’s still time to figure a way out of this mess.”

 

Shutting the light off in the bathroom, Juliet found herself exiting the sparsely decorated bedroom and went down a hallway. Wandering a bit, she finally found the kitchen. Doctor Brezel had his back to Juliet and was chopping up carrots. He turned his head slightly and smiled.

 

“Don’t you look beautiful Tracy.”

 

Tracy? She froze when she felt a kiss to the back of her neck. Juliet knew she had to play along. Her and the baby’s life depended on it. Doctor Brezel apologized and spun Juliet
around, taking her hand and leading her to the kitchen table.

 

“I’m sorry sweetheart. I know you find that irritating, especially right now with the baby coming and all. So, have we decided on which names we wanted to use? Our list of girl’s names are longer than the boys.”

 

Juliet pitied Doctor Brezel for a moment, but then remembered he was not in his right frame of mind. She stuck her hand in the pocket of the dress and in her hand, came a piece of folded yellow paper. Unfolding it, she looked at the list of names.

 

“Courtney, Jennifer, Edith, Elisabeth, Eliza, Jane, Alma, Isabella. I like all these names except for Edith. Honey.”

 

The last word tasted bitter in her mouth. She needed to get out of here. Sean Brezel wasn’t a stable person at all. He smiled at Juliet as he set a plate of food down in front of her.

 

“You need your strength Trace. I mean that.”

 

Juliet couldn’t deny that she was hungry. But how can I be sure it’s not laced with drugs? Taking a bite of carrot from her plate, Juliet decided it was ok. The two ate their meal in silence. Juliet all the time inconspicuously looking for a way to escape.
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She made sure the entire house was quiet and made her way out of the bedroom. Juliet was surprised that Brezel had left the room unlocked. She quickly and quietly crept down the hallway, careful not to make a sound as she did so. Now at the front door, she opened it up and went outside. Making her way down the driveway, she didn’t recognize where she was at. She knew she had to get as far away from this house as she could. So, she walked until she found a gas station. Walking inside, she got the clerk’s attention.

 

“Listen to me very carefully, I need you to call the police. There is a man a few blocks away. He’s following me. I think he’s trying to kidnap me.”

 

The clerk was quick to pick up the phone and dial 9-1-1. As sirens began to sound a few minutes later, the clerk took a chair from behind the counter and gave it to Juliet. He stayed with her. The only question he asked was a strange one.

 

“Where’s your shoes?”

 

Cops came into the store a few minutes later and saw Juliet. Taking her work id out from her pocket, she handed it to the cop in charge.

 

“Doctor Burke. Do you need medical assistance?”

 

Juliet nodded and tried not to move in the chair. Another cop asked her a different question.

 

“Where is the man who took you?”

 

She felt the room begin to spin, this was just too much to process at once. A few sets of hands lowered her to the floor and she looked around herself confused. The cop that had taken her id spoke to her, trying to keep her attention on him.

 

“Stay with me Juliet. Help is on the way.”
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“Where is she?”

 

Jack would always see Juliet as a surrogate sister. He had Claire, but he also saw Juliet as a sister. The nurse at the triage desk, looked down the bridge of her nose over her glasses. She sighed.

 

“Room 335 Doctor Shephard.”
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Juliet was frantic when she woke. James was there to take her in his arms.

 

“It’s alright blondie. I’ve got ya. Everything’s all right now. That Psycho is never going to hurt you again.”

 

She felt embarrassed that she was acting so childish, but considering what she’d just been through, she had every right.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

A minute reprieve was a welcome addition to everything Juliet had experienced in the last few days. But the dreams she was having were curious. She called out to a familiar looking man.

 

“Rodrigo! Take my hand!”

 

Waking with a start, she found herself somewhere she shouldn’t be the attic. Staying where she was at, she called for James.

 

“James!”

 

She heard his heavy footfalls emerging up the stairs and he looked concerned when he saw her on the floor.

 

“What are you doin’ up here baby?”

 

Looking around the darkened room, Juliet could barely make out James’s silhouette.

 

“I don’t know. I just woke up in here. I have no idea how I got up here.”

 

James helped her to her feet and guided her down the stairs. Once at the bottom, they took a two-minute break, noticing that she was out of breath.

 

“It’s ok baby. We can take a break. I got ya.”

 

Taking a few minutes to regain her bearings Juliet gave a tiny smile to James.

 

“Thanks, James. I’m sorry to burden you with this.”

 

James put a hand up to her face and shook his head in disagreement.

 

“You ain’t burdenin’ me with nothin’ blondie. We promised to take care of each other in sickness and in health, right? I’ve got ya.”

 

Even though Juliet was back in the real world, there were still some things she was having trouble adapting to. Simple things like an alarm clock and traffic. The noise of Miami felt unfamiliar to her, despite the fact that she knew what it was. It’d just been a few years. She was becoming stronger, a whole person.

 

“Ok. I’m good now James. Let me just check on Cara and then let’s go back to bed.”

 

Slowly climbing to her feet, Juliet made her way down the hallway decorated with an assortment of various picture frames of the last few years. Every time she thought the island was finally letting go of her, something else cropped up. Opening the door to Cara’s room, Juliet crept in and stepped over to the bed. Tucking the covers over Cara’s sleeping form, she placed a kiss to her forehead. Waddling back to their bedroom, Juliet climbed into bed next to James and pulled the covers over herself.

 

“James, are you still awake?”

 

Wrapping his arms around Juliet’s waist, James pressed his nose into her long curly hair.

 

“‘Course I am blondie. Whatcha wanna talk about?”

 

Staring at an invisible crack in the ceiling, Juliet pondered for a few milliseconds, then responded.

 

“I think I was seeing through my grandmother’s eyes. I was calling out for my grandfather Rodrigo. I think I was dreaming about when my grandparents came to Miami.”

 

James kissed the back of Juliet’s neck and nuzzled his nose against it.

 

“It’s just dreams sweetheart. Could be a memory too. Who knows?”

 

Her eyes opened when she felt the patter of tiny feet below her hands.

 

“Time for sleep baby girl. You can play in the morning.”

 

She felt James move behind her and kiss her belly.

 

“Got a strong boy in there.”

 

Juliet giggled and then winced.

 

“Ouch. James, are you still on a tangent this is baby is a boy?”

 

James kissed her stomach again and nodded.

 

“Of course darlin’.”

 

Shaking her head, there was no bringing some sense into him.

 

“Hate to break it to you James, but looking at the last ultrasound, we’re having a girl.”

 

James buried his head back in Juliet’s curly hair and had a little laugh himself.

 

“Wishin’ for a boy ain’t gonna hurt anything blondie. Trust me.”

 

Juliet barely heard him as she fell into a semi-restful and peaceful slumber. After the last few days, things were finally calming down.

 

To Be Continued...

Chapter Text

She could feel the cool tile floor beneath her, but it was dark. Were the lights off in the kitchen? Trying to open her eyes, she noticed she couldn’t. She heard shuffling feet and then a scream come from the entrance to the kitchen.

 

“Mama!”

 

Juliet heard another set of feet enter the kitchen. She knew the sound so well that she could tell that it was James. James held panic in his voice.

 

“Juliet! Come on baby, talk to me.”

 

This dark place she was in, was very strange. There was nothing above her, and nothing around her. She was weightless. Trying to answer, she couldn’t move her mouth. None of
the things she was trying were working.

 

Juliet felt something soft below her back. I must be in a bed. She heard beeping noises. Machines. I’m in the hospital. Then she heard Jack speaking.

 

“…I don’t know what to tell you James. We have tried everything we could possibly think of to get her to regain consciousness. I’d get another MRI scan on her, but because she’s pregnant, that would put the baby at risk. We’ll have to find another alternative.”

 

Bright light momentarily flashed across her eternal darkness, and she wanted to squint her eyes and look away, but she knew she didn’t have control of anything right now. Am I in a coma? She heard James voice, and one of his hands found hers.

 

“Doc I can’t accept that. You know that. Try somethin’ else. What will happen to the baby if she stays like this?”

 

Juliet got nervous, but she couldn’t show any emotion. She was asleep.

 

“When she gets closer to her due date, we’ll induce labor. She’ll have to undergo a C-section. I’d suggest another option, but considering she’s unconscious, I wouldn’t hold my breath.”

 

She felt James hand squeeze hers, but couldn’t reciprocate. It was frustrating. The bright flash of light disappeared, and Juliet was left alone in her eternal darkness. She heard a nurse’s voice next to the bed, and they were talking to her.

 

“Sorry about this Doctor Burke, but I’m going to have to put this catheter in.”

 

Juliet wished she could groan out loud. All she could do though was scream into the darkness.

 

“Nice warning!”

 

Even in the darkness, she could still feel the tiny patter of feet below her ribcage.

 

“Mommy feels your their baby girl. I just can’t tell daddy I hear him.”
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Beeping. It was soft at first, but noticeable. Taking in a breath, she tried opening her eyes. A voice suddenly sounded next to her.

 

“Mama? Daddy she’s waking up.”

 

Juliet heard shuffling of feet and then a door open. She recognized the girl’s voice. No, it was a woman. She heard the door open again and then two sets of feet shuffling into the
room. The man’s voice sounded familiar too.

 

“Do you ever think we should just stop doing this?"

 

Now Juliet heard another man’s voice, one she didn’t recognize.

 

“Your wife has been in a coma for the past four months. Her condition wasn’t improving. Her body wasn’t showing any signs of recovery. Her waking up now is a miracle to say the least.”

 

Juliet was confused. There was a big space in her memory. She’d been asleep for four months? It would explain some of the things she’d heard. The voices at least. She tried
opening her eyes, but found it difficult. Taking another breath in, she noticed a machine beeping off to the left somewhere. She heard the unfamiliar doctor’s voice again.

 

“Don’t try to fight the machine Juliet.”

 

Then there was another familiar voice. Another man.

 

“Juliet. It’s Jack. I want you to open your eyes slowly. Take your time.”

 

Slowly managing to open her eyes, Juliet found it was dark in here. A tall man with wisps of gray hair weaving in with brown and glasses looked back at her. Furrowing her eyebrows, she stared back at the man. A bright pen light was shined in her eyes and she fought the urge to look away.

 

“Good. Your pupil response is normal.”

 

She now stared back at the man with brown hair and eyes and a knowing expression crossed her pretty features as he continued his thought.

 

“We’re going to take the breathing tube out now. Just relax Juliet. Everything will be just fine.”

 

She wasn’t sure how to feel. She felt herself blowing a breath out of her mouth and then a coughing spell take hold of her. The coughing spell shook her whole body and the man with brown eyes and hair spoke to her once more.

 

“Take a deep breath Juliet. Here, have some water.”

 

Holding up a glass of water up to her lips, Jack helped Juliet drink the liquid. Opening her mouth, she tried to speak.

 

“Ja…”

 

Jack shook his head no and cut her off.

 

“No don’t try and talk Juliet.”

 

Juliet clumsily made a gesture for pen and paper. She found even holding a pen was difficult. It took five minutes to write down her question. Jack read the piece of paper and
spoke up.

 

“What happened? Cara and Sawyer found you passed out in your kitchen. You were brought here to the hospital. We’re still in Miami. You’ve been in a coma for four months. The baby was scheduled to come out tomorrow via C-section. Juliet, you have to understand, none of us thought you were ever coming back.”

 

Furrowing her eyebrows once more, Juliet felt a few tears come barreling down her cheeks. She scribbled her next question on the piece of paper.

 

‘Baby ok?’

 

Jack read her next question and nodded.

 

“Yes. She’s perfectly fine. Very healthy. You are right at 38 weeks.”

 

Juliet’s eyes wandered to the man with glasses and graying brown hair. She was sure she’d seen him somewhere before. A flash of light and then someone telling her to keep
pushing. Then a screaming baby? She wasn’t sure if this was a memory or her mind playing tricks on her. A young woman who looked to be about 20 stepped up to the bed. Juliet felt her jaw drop. She looks like a mirror image of me. She managed to get the woman’s name out.

 

“Hayley?”

 

Hayley smiled through her tears.

 

“Yes mama, I’m here. So is Uncle Jack, Uncle David, daddy, and Cara.”

 

Juliet felt her eyes drift closed for a moment and then they opened when she felt a hard thump against the bottom of her ribcage. She was alive, but still very confused. Her eyes roved over to James, who she knew she’d been married to for twelve years. But there were still big gaps that needed to be filled.

 

“I’ve got ya blondie.”

 

James pulled her in for a kiss. She weakly pushed him away when she felt a deep-seated pain rip across her abdomen. The machine off to the left beeped at her and James became
worried and looked to David for help.

 

“Doc what’s goin’ on?”

 

Before David could respond, Juliet filled James in on the situation.

 

“I’m having contractions.”

 

David smiled and squeezed Juliet’s hand.

 

“Well, someone’s got great timing.”

 

Moving slightly, Juliet became irritated.

 

“David, can we take the catheter out?”

 

Putting a hand on her elbow, David shook his head.

 

“You know the drill Jules. The catheter stays in until your water breaks.”

 

Irritation was now leading way to frustration. She knew for a fact that labor made her angry at David and any inanimate object she could see in the room.

 

“David I’m this close to throwing a pillow at you.”

 

David shook his head and tried to hide his amusement.

 

“I’ll go call the Anesthesiologist.”

 

Juliet grabbed for his wrist and frowned.

 

“David, why do you have to joke when your nervous?”

 

David cleared his throat and looked away.

 

“Sorry Jules. I’ll go call the Anesthesiologist. Sit tight. I’ll be back.”

 

Juliet watched as David went to the corner of the room and picked up the phone. Hayley smiled at her mother and took a seat in the chair next to the bed.

 

“Mama could I stay in here with you when you have the baby?”

 

Juliet wanted to put a hand up to her face, but found that her movements were heavy and clumsy. So instead of gesturing and speaking, she jotted down her answer on the piece of paper in front of her.

 

‘Of course.’

 

Hayley grabbed and squeezed her mother’s hand when she heard the monitor beep. Juliet shut her eyes and felt like holding her breath even though she knew she shouldn’t. She
felt a hand on her hair and Hayley looking her straight in the eye with her matching blue orbs.

 

“Sigue respirando mama.”

 

(Keep breathing mama.)

 

Furrowing her eyebrows, Juliet stared at Hayley confused. Her daughter’s voice had the same calming tone to it that hers did. They were more alike than she knew. When the contraction wound down, Juliet managed to speak, in a whispering voice.

 

“You are going to make a great doctor someday sweetie. You have all the makings of a doctor who is compassionate and caring. When it comes time to deliver your first baby, whether it be in the field or in a hospital somewhere, you are going to pass with flying colors.”

 

Hayley smiled and ducked her head.

 

“Well I can’t take all the credit. Some of it I got from you.”

 

Juliet kissed Hayley’s forehead and then leaned back against the pillows. She suddenly looked worried.

 

“Me quede sin aliento”

 

(I’m out of breath.)

 

Hayley squeezed her mother’s hand and gave her a look of sympathy.

 

“Quieres oxigeno?”

 

(Do you want oxygen?)

 

Nodding Juliet looked to David, but Hayley spoke for her.

 

“Uncle David, mama needs oxygen.”

 

David was quick to place a nasal cannula in her nose and waited a moment. He stayed a minute longer to make sure she was ok.

 

“Better?”

 

Juliet nodded and smiled.

 

“Much. Thank you David.”

 

David looked to Hayley seriously and frowned.

 

“Hay, can you help me with your mom in a little while? She doesn’t have a lot of muscle tone right now and she’s going to need help putting her feet up on the stirrups.”

 

Hayley nodded in agreement and stayed seated next to the bed.

 

“Anything to help you and her Uncle David.”

 

She turned her head when she saw Cara standing in the doorway.

 

“Mama?”

 

Juliet smiled and tried to gesture at her to come closer to the bed.

 

“Hi baby.”

 

Cara flashed her own blue eyes at Juliet and reached out for her hand.

 

“The baby is coming, isn’t she?”

 

Juliet nodded and whispered.

 

“Yes. I want you to wait outside with Aunt Rachel ok? You can come back in afterwards.”

 

Cara nodded in agreement and wandered out into the hallway. A stronger contraction came barreling through Juliet and she squeezed Hayley’s hand hard.

 

“Take a breath mama. How about let’s count. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. There we go coming back down. How do you feel mama?”

 

Sighing tiredly, Juliet blinked and whispered again.

 

“Like I’m running a marathon.”

 

James handed her a piece of ice and she let it melt in her mouth.

 

“Thank you, James.”

 

Juliet smiled at Hayley even though she was uncomfortable.

 

“This nasal oxygen isn’t really helping. I’m still out of breath.”

 

Hayley looked up when David approached her. He whispered in her ear.

 

“I need to check her progress. Can you help me lift her a little? Careful with her legs. There we go.”

 

Juliet tensed and looked straight ahead at an invisible crack in the wall. She was trying to distract herself. David however was patient with her, he knew she wasn’t comfortable at all right now.

 

“Try and relax Jules. This’ll just take a minute. I know it’s uncomfortable. I’m sorry.”

 

Becoming irritated once more with David, Juliet huffed and stared at the top of his head.

 

“David if you move that catheter one more time, I’m going to start yelling.”

 

David knew what was coming, and he was trying to avoid a one-way yelling match coming from Juliet right now.

 

“I’m sorry Jules. That wasn’t on purpose. I can work around it.”

 

Hayley tried to give Juliet some words of encouragement.

 

“You’re doing great mama.”

 

She sighed in relief when David came back over the sheet and smiled.

 

“Six centimeters. I’ll go call and see what’s taking the Anesthesiologist so long ok Jules? Sit tight.”

 

David and Hayley helped Juliet get comfortable again and he went to use the phone on the other side of the room. James kissed her forehead and wiped some sweat from it.

 

“Nothing to it blondie. You can do this. You did it with Hayley, and you went through a hell of a lot more with Cara. You had her under a tree and nothing for pain. You’ll get somethin’ for that this time. Take a nap.”

 

Even though Juliet was tired, she was too wound up to sleep. At first, she picked at the blanket and then messed with the nasal cannula in her nose.

 

“Resting isn’t going to help me James. What I want is this baby out.”

 

David hung up the phone when he saw the Anesthesiologist enter the room.

 

“Doctor Carson. I’ve been paging you for half an hour.”

 

Doctor Carson approached Juliet with his tray of instruments. He kept it covered. A contraction chose the wrong time to present itself.

 

“I’m sorry to inconvenience you Doctor Jacobson. But I was assisting with a complicated bowel resection. You don’t give the right dosage and the hospital is liable for a malpractice suit.”

 

David nodded and locked eyes with Juliet. She was having trouble breathing through the contraction.

 

“Juliet look at me. Try and focus on your breathing. Breathe in and out. There we go. Keep going. That’s it. Ok, coming back down.”

 

James looked to Doctor Carson and frowned.

 

“Come on doc, can’t you give her something for the pain?”

 

Doctor Carson shook his head.

 

“No. That wouldn’t be a good idea. I have to wait until her contraction passes. If I give her the local and then the epidural during a contraction, I could accidently stick her or myself. It’s a safety and a bio-hazard.”

 

The contraction finally passed and Juliet took in a lungful of air. She still seemed out of breath, but she was doing better now.

 

“That one was really bad. Just give me the epidural.”

 

David and Hayley helped Juliet turn onto her side. Standing still, Hayley watched as Doctor Carson slid the local into her mother’s back with a 30-gauge syringe. Just as he was placing the 28-gauge syringe of the epidural, he saw the bed become wet. Looking to David, Doctor Carson spoke.

 

“Doctor Jacobson, her water just broke.”

 

Staring at Juliet seriously, David put a hand on Juliet’s shoulder.

 

“Is it clear?”

 

Blinking, Juliet narrowed her eyes and gave an exasperated sigh.

 

“David I don’t know. I didn’t exactly look. Ask Doctor Carson. He saw it.”

 

Turning his attention to Doctor Carson, David asked him.

 

“How was it?”

 

Doctor Carson answered honestly.

 

“Crystal clear Doctor Jacobson. Now if you don’t require my services any longer, I’m needed upstairs in Oncology. Excuse me.”

 

David gave a curt nod as Doctor Carson left the room. Hayley gave Juliet a warm smile as she helped David place her on her back. Closing her eyes, Juliet was finally relaxing a little. She even felt a little sleepy. She realized she was exhausted. She didn’t see how though, she’d been asleep for four months. Just as Juliet was dozing off, a contraction crept back up on her and took her breath away.

 

“David, the pain is still there. I thought you said I wasn’t going to feel anything.”

 

David held pity in his eyes and gave her a sad sort of smile.

 

“Give it a little bit more time to sink in Jules. Just try and relax.”

 

Swallowing Juliet put in her own two cents worth.

 

“Ok, and remember don’t check my progress too much. We don’t want to introduce an infection into my system.”

 

David distracted himself with watching the monitors keeping track of the baby and Juliet.

 

“The baby’s fine. Good respiratory movements and heart rate is looking good. You on the other hand. We’ll need to watch. Your blood pressure is a little high. Just try and relax Jules.”

 

Nodding seriously, Juliet lie back against the pillows and closed her eyes. Maybe a little rest would do her some good and her blood pressure would come down. She must have

 

dozed off for what seemed like an hour before another contraction came about, catching her completely off-guard. A look of knowing and determination crossed her pretty face and she looked to David for help.

 

“David, I think this is it.”

 

David squeezed Juliet’s hand and looked to the nurses that were hurrying about here and there around the room. James ran a hand through her hair and kissed her forehead.

 

“Nothin’ to it blondie. I’m right here.”

 

Juliet squeezed both Hayley and James hands as a couple of nurses and David helped her get comfortable. David organized some instruments on a tray that Juliet couldn’t see on the other side of the sheet.

 

“You know Jules, if this gets difficult, I may have to perform an Episiotomy.”

 

Juliet paled, but nodded her head in agreement.

 

“Do what you have to David. A few stitches are worth getting this baby out healthy and alive.”

 

David was double-checking to see if he had everything he needed with a nurse off to the side.

 

“Do we have a warmer in here? Receiving blankets? Ok, let’s get started.”

 

Taking a breath, Juliet looked David square in the eye.

 

“Ok David, I’m ready.”

 

David took a breath and pulled some gloves on.

 

“Ok Jules, take a deep breath. Let it out slowly. Now I want you to give me a push. That’s it. Good girl. Keep going.”

 

Juliet didn’t remember it being so hard giving birth the first time. It was probably because she didn’t have too much energy. Letting out a grunt, she pushed harder. David put a
hand on her knee to stop her for a moment.

 

“Not too hard Juliet. Let’s take a two-minute break huh? Let you gather your strength.”

 

James gave her another ice chip and Juliet let it melt in her mouth. Two minutes seemed to whiz by and David resumed his spot.

 

“Ok, are we ready for round two?”

 

Juliet nodded and mentally prepared herself. Taking a big breath in and letting it out slowly. Grabbing again for both Hayley and James hands, she squeezed them tight. Hayley tried to give her mother encouragement and ignore her screams of pain.

 

“Almost there mama. Just one more push.”

 

Hayley looked to David for confirmation.

 

“One more big push for me Jules. One more.”

 

Grimacing, Juliet used what little strength she had left to give one more big push. She heard David’s voice on the other side of the sheet.

 

“Ok, the head’s out. Here comes the easy part. Here come the shoulders.”

 

Juliet didn’t know how much strength she had left. But she surprised herself when she found what tiny bit of strength she did have to push twice more. She let her head lull back
up against the pillows when she heard that first scream.

 

“You have a beautiful little girl Juliet. Congratulations.”

 

David held Mayra over the sheet so that Juliet and James could get a look at her. He set Mayra on top of Juliet’s stomach and let her have a few minutes with her.

 

“Hi sweet girl. I’m your mommy. Welcome to Miami.”

 

The tiny infant let out another squawk and was trying to figure out how to move her tiny limbs around. Hayley leaned over to have a look at Mayra.

 

“Welcome to the family little sis. I’m your big sister Hayley.”

 

James seemed a little disappointed for a few minutes, but then he shrugged his shoulders and accepted it.

 

“How did I get so lucky to be surrounded by all these lovely ladies?”

 

Juliet let out a little snort and then placed a hand over Mayra’s squirmy form.

 

“Today turned out perfect.”

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

Juliet was reorganizing the living room and had Mayra inside a blanket tied over her shoulder. She knew maybe she shouldn’t be so worried about things and put her down for a little while. But she had a feeling someone was watching her. She couldn’t shake that feeling. She stopped organizing the picture frames on the mantel, and looked around the room. Someone is watching me. But who? She didn’t see anyone at first, but a minute later she started hearing whispers. The whispers she hadn’t heard since the island. Her eyes widened like dinner plates as the figure of Edmund appeared in front of the mantel. There he was standing before the mantel in the same suit he’d died in.

 

“You think you can escape me Jules? I’m always here.”

 

At first, Juliet could only stare. What’s going on?

 

“What are you doing here Ed?”

 

Ed crept closer to her and gave a twisted smile.

 

“So, this is the child you gave birth to behind my back?”

 

Narrowing her eyes, Juliet frowned and held Mayra closer.

 

“No.”

 

Juliet turned when she heard a plate break behind her. Hayley was standing in the doorway stock still. She could only stare at the image of Ed who was still standing by the mantel.

 

“So, she is the one you gave birth to behind my back. We could’ve done great work together Jules. You and I. We could’ve had Champaign on ice and have four jets, and three houses. I could’ve given you everything if you had just collaborated with me.”

 

But Juliet knew that this was always the Ed she’d known. He’d offer her everything, including money just to shut her up and to weasel his way into her research. She could feel his hot breath against her face, he was now only mere inches from her.

 

“You will always belong to me not matter where you go.”

 

Juliet scoffed at Ed, but he stood where he was and reached for her wrist.

 

“I am not that same woman anymore Ed. You have no control over me.”

 

Letting go of her wrist, Ed stepped away from Juliet and towards Hayley. Juliet tried blocking her from him.

 

“Stay away from her! I won’t let you touch her.”

 

Ed gave a smirk and looked around. Giving a disgusted sort of laugh, he rolled his eyes at his surroundings.

 

“My god Jules, what is this shack your living in?”

 

Juliet stood tall and proud. Ed had no control over her here. She was a completely different woman from what she was nearly 21 years ago.

 

“I am not afraid of you anymore, you have no control over me. Get out!”

 

James came into the living room when he heard Juliet raise her voice.

 

“How the hell did you get in our house?”

 

He recognized Ed from the various newspaper clippings he’d seen Juliet go through. Ed smirked still and gave one final thought before he disappeared.

 

“Don’t think this is over Jules.”

 

Ed’s seemingly mangled form disappeared and Juliet sunk into the couch, burst into tears. James took a seat on the couch next to her.

 

“It’s alright blondie. I’ve got ya.”

 

Hayley hadn’t moved from her spot from behind the couch, the broken plate still at her feet.

 

“Mama? He’s not coming back for me is he?”

 

Juliet’s eyes grew wide before she looked down at Mayra and then Hayley. Then she looked James in the eye.

 

“James, we have to call the cops. Tell them what happened here.”

 

She knew that was an absolute fruitless idea.

 

“Yeah, and what are we gonna tell them blondie? That a dead man broke into our house, your ex, and he threatened you? They aren’t gonna send two cops to watch over the house for someone matching his description.”

 

Juliet was now starting to question whether Ed had really died or not.

 

“But I saw a body. I identified him. He was dead. What if he’s still alive?”

 

The insane thought crept into her head and wouldn’t leave her alone.

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

A ruse. A lie. Juliet didn’t know which it was, but she was angry that Ed was still alive. How had he faked his own death? Had he gotten a double somehow? She did her best to wrack her brain of the answer, but it wouldn’t come.

 

“Why would he chance his name? Simon Braggens. Heh. Well that seems to suit him. David, are you listening?”

 

David stopped stirring his coffee and looked up at Juliet.

 

“Jules, he can’t hurt you anymore. I won’t let him.”

Juliet wasn’t only worried, she’d been hiding something from David for the last few days. She tugged on her sleeve to cover up her wrist.

 

“When did you start wearing baggy long-sleeved shirts?”

 

Avoiding his gaze only slightly, she distracted herself with looking down at the chart in front of her. She held out her arm, and David pushed back her sleeve to get a look at her wrist.

 

“I noticed this the other day. What’d you do to your wrist?”

 

Fear seized her gut and curled around inside her.

 

“Ed broke into my house the other day, threatened me and grabbed my wrist.”

 

David gently probed her left wrist with his fingers. She could see anger boiling below the surface of his apparently calm exterior. She pulled her hand away when she felt pain
shoot up her hand and into her arm.

 

“Ouch!”

 

Sighing, David shook his head.

 

“You’ll need to get an x-ray on this hand Jules. It feels like you have a small break in your wrist, but we can’ be sure until we get an x-ray.”

 

Juliet held her wrist gingerly and glared down at it.

 

“Ed thinks he can mess with me? I’m not going to be pushed around anymore.”

 

This was another side David had never seen of Juliet before.

 

“Come on Jules. Let’s get that hand looked at.”

 

Relenting, Juliet followed David out of the break room with a bit of confidence in tow.

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It had been a long day and Juliet was tired. As soon as she entered the house, she heard the fire alarm going off, smoke was drifting out of the kitchen and Mayra was crying at the
top of her lungs. Rushing over to the playpen, she picked her up. She felt a breeze coming into the living room, and noticed the windows were open. She heard James curse and come flying into the living room.

 

“I’m sorry darlin’. Daddy has everything under control now. What’re we gonna make for dinner now though? Your mama is gonna be home soon and we got nothin’ on the table.
Oh, blondie you’re home. Don’t worry, I got everything under control.”

 

Juliet was trying to console her crying child as she gave James a hard stare.

 

“What’s going on in here?”

 

James took the crying Mayra from Juliet’s arms and rocked her.

 

“I told ya blondie, I’ve got everything under control. Ok, so I burned the spaghetti. I was tryin’ to do something nice for ya so you didn’t have to cook when you got home.”

 

It was now that James noticed the cast on Juliet’s wrist.

 

“You broke your wrist?”

 

Juliet wanted to grind her teeth. Ed was still out there.

 

“You can blame Ed for that.”

 

James was fuming.

 

“Don’t worry darlin’ I won’t let him touch you again. Once we find him, we can put him away for good.”

 

In theory Juliet knew that sounded like a good plan, but she knew how Ed worked, he was sneakily suspicious of everyone and could manipulate his way out of things when he had to.

 

“Well then, I think it’s time we went down to the police station and file a report.”

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

“I told you I would find you again Jules. No matter where you went. Who is this other girl?”

 

Juliet smiled down at the picture when she saw Ed point at Cara.

 

“That’s my other daughter Cara. She’s thirteen. I gave birth to her while I was ‘missing’ for six years. You know, that’s really none of your business Ed. What do you really want from me?”

 

A strange look Juliet had never seen before in Ed’s eyes appeared. She didn’t like it when he got ideas. They often led to disastrous effects later on.

 

“You would be the perfect candidate for your own research. Don’t you think?”

 

Juliet felt the blood in her veins turn into ice. She couldn’t believe she was hearing this.

 

“Still trying to worm your way into my research, aren’t you?”

 

Ed scoffed at Juliet and got closer to her.

 

“You are very important Jules. You are the key to all your research.”

 

Juliet glared at Ed and took a step or two backwards. She felt herself balling her fists, her posture became rigid and she was disgusted by the way Ed was talking.

 

“I don’t understand your obsession with my research Ed. I’m not your personal guinea pig.”

 

Ed only got closer to her again and reached a left hand towards her.

 

“Your research could make us millions. Don’t you want to move out of that dump?”

 

Juliet let her left fist connect with Ed’s cheek. She’d knocked him back somewhat. Pointing to herself, she felt she had to defend herself. Ed had caused her too much grief in the past. She was absolutely done.

 

“I’m not using my research on myself again. I’ve had success without your sorry, pathetic smart-ass attitude controlling me. I won’t help you. Not for you to provide monetary gains for yourself.”

 

She felt stinging in the back of her neck and then it became dark.

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Voices surrounded her when she was coming to. Juliet tried to figure out just who was helping Ed. She was groggy and everything around her was bright. Even as blurry as her eyesight was, she could see an iv in her hand.

 

“Ed, you can’t do this. I didn’t give consent to any of this.”

 

Ed smirked at Juliet and was mere inches from her face.

 

“Remember Jules, I always get what I want.”

 

Juliet felt a shiver go down her spine and for a brief moment, she was again like the woman who’d been timid before she’d left for the island.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

“Ed, how many more blood samples are you going to take from me?”

 

Juliet rolled her eyes at him. All she saw in his eyes were dollar signs.

 

“As many as you can give us Jules. Look at it this way: your research is helping a lot of women. They will have their families, and I get my millions. I guess I can give you some money for all your trouble. Everybody wins. How hard is that?”

 

She wanted to help all these women who were having trouble getting pregnant, but not at the cost of Ed.

 

“Helping all those women makes me feel like I really accomplished something. But the way you are going about it Ed, isn’t what I envisioned.”

 

Juliet wasn’t frightened by her own research, she was more appalled than anything. Appalled that Ed still thought of it as dollar signs for him to make it into the big leagues. She continued her thought.

 

“I would hope Ed, that if you do go through with this, and use me as a guinea pig, you’re seriously not thinking about using yourself.”

 

Ed looked genuinely disgusted at Juliet’s remark.

 

“Why in god’s name would I put myself into the equation? I have no intentions of becoming a father. I don’t even like children.”

 

Juliet glared at a woman whose face she couldn’t see as she approached Ed.

 

“Here are the test results you asked for Doctor Burke.”

 

Taking the manila folder from the woman, Ed opened it and started reading. Juliet felt her entire body become tight with nervousness.

 

“Ed, is that my medical file?”

 

Now it was Ed’s turn to glare at Juliet. But she didn’t back down.

 

“No. These are the levels of hormones in your blood stream.”

 

Anger was building inside Juliet now, and it was about to explode.

 

“Hormone therapy? I didn’t give you permission to do that Ed.”

 

Ed smirked and continued looking through the folder.

 

“Sure, you did. You signed a contract as soon as you came right through that door. You didn’t have to be awake for it of course. Just have a look at the contract for yourself.”

 

Another woman brought Juliet the contract in question.

 

“What? I never signed any contract… But this is my signature. Ed, you used my hand to write my name, didn’t you? You forced my signature. This is a new low, even for you.”

 

A strange sort of smirk appeared on Ed’s face and Juliet didn’t like where all this was going.

 

“You signed the contract, that means you are bound by it.”

 

All the while, Juliet was thinking of ways to get away from Ed. It occurred to Juliet that Ed was more manipulative now than he’d been before. Crossing her arms, she put them in front of her defensively at first, then wrapped them around herself.

 

“I am not a baby mill Ed. You just want to make your millions, parade me around like someone in a sideshow, show the world that my research actually works and claim it as your own. My research is to help, not for monetary gain.”

 

Ed furrowed his eyebrows in fake concern.

 

“Jules, don’t you want to show the world that we can cure infertility?”

 

Before Juliet could respond, she felt a pinch in her arm and her eyes started to get heavy. The last thing she heard from Ed towards the masked woman was;

 

“Get her ready.”

 

Juliet’s mind screamed at her as the darkness began to swallow her. Get me ready for what?!

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

She heard beeping somewhere next to her head on the left. Things were blurry as she opened her eyes. It was cold in the room she was in. Of the things she could make out, she realized she was in an operating room. Heart sinking, she put two and two together and knew Ed was going with his plan to use her as his personal guinea pig for her research. She heard the nurse who’s face she still couldn’t see speak to Ed.

 

“Doctor Burke, she’s waking up.”

 

Juliet couldn’t see Ed, but she knew he was in the room too.

 

“Put her back under.”

 

Wanting to scream at Ed, but unable to because of the tube going down her throat, Juliet found a scalpel lying on a tray next to her head. Quickly as she could, she reached for it, pointing it towards the nurse whose face was obscured by her mask. The nurse was a tad bit faster than Juliet was at this point and grabbed for the scalpel.

 

“We don’t want you hurting yourself now do we Juliet? Let’s get you something to help you sleep huh?”

 

Before she could protest using hand gestures, her vision started to dim, but her mind still screamed. You can’t do this to me!?

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Juliet woke again to a darkened room. Monitors beeped softly on either side of her. She had iv’s in both of her hands and a catheter went out from under the blanket and under
the bed somewhere. She only glared at Ed as he entered the room.

 

“Ah good. Your awake. I’d like you to meet Brad and Emily Sarson. They wanted to meet you in person.”

 

Before Juliet could protest Ed’s remarks, Emily approached her and shook hands.

 

“It’s so good to meet you Juliet. Brad and I, we’re just so happy that this is happening. We can pay for whatever you need.”

 

Juliet gave a smile that she hoped was as sincere as possible.

 

“Thank you for the offer, but I have a family and a place to live.”

 

Emily reached a hand out and grabbed for Juliet’s right one, squeezing it.

 

“You just gave us a small light of hope. Doctor Burke tells me you’re a Fertility doctor, and that the two of you have been working on a way to ‘cure’ infertility. Is that true?”

 

Juliet was fuming on the inside. Ed just had to take the credit for everything. Clearing her throat and getting comfortable in the bed again, she gave a confident smile.

 

“Consider this the trial phase.”

 

Emily’s smile grew bigger and she pulled her husband Brad into a hug and then kissed him. She shook hands with Juliet again and squeezed her hand.

 

“I’ll let you rest.”

 

Juliet knew she was now stuck between a rock and a hard place. As the expectant couple left the room, Ed shoved David into the room. Covering her mouth, Juliet tried hiding her tears. Uncovering her mouth, she watched as David got closer.

 

“David, you’re helping Ed? How could you?”

 

David shook his head no and took a stool and scooted towards Juliet.

 

“I have no choice Jules. He has Erica. If I don’t help him, he threatened to put her into the system. I can’t let that happen.”

 

Holding out her arm, Juliet had a plan. Determination lined her pretty face and yet she was fuming at the same time.

 

“It won’t come to that David. Get a blood sample from me. It’s the only way to make sure that this is either happening or it isn’t. I’m hoping for the latter.”

 

David rummaged through a drawer or two and found the supplies he was looking for.

 

“Make a fist for me Jules. There we go. I’ll put a rush on this.”

 

Juliet held her breath for a minute making the machine she was hooked up to beep at her. Continuing his thought, David spoke.

 

“Breathe Jules. Everything is going to be ok. I promise.”

 

Letting the breath out, Juliet nodded and took David’s hands.

 

“Don’t let David. Please stay with me.”

 

David looked at Juliet in a new light. She was very vulnerable right now.

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“Blood test just came back. Are you ready?”

 

Juliet nodded, but she felt dizzy. Reigning in her dizzy spell, she closed her eyes and then opened them. Taking the couple of pages from David, the two read the results. Letting
out a breath she didn’t know she was holding, Juliet felt a couple of happy tears fall down her left cheek.

 

“False-positive. I just dodged a bullet David. What Ed doesn’t realize is that I’m not as fertile as I was when I had Hayley. My biological clock is ticking down.”

 

David got a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach.

 

“You know Doctor Burke will try again don’t you? Once you’ve recovered? He’ll keep trying until something takes. He wants his money. You know he’ll do just about anything to get it.”

 

Juliet looked at David with pleading eyes.

 

“Get me the hell out of here David.”

 

David leaned in a kissed her forehead.

 

“We’ll lay low for now. I’ll figure something out.”
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“Doctor Jacobson. I see that you ran a blood test on Juliet. Why is that?”

 

David stood his ground and offered up his medical advice.

 

“I saw something on her ultrasound here.”

 

Pulling up a recorded and doctored image of what was supposed to be Juliet’s womb, David began explaining his findings.

 

“I took this, this morning. She was complaining of belly pain. I can’t tell if there is a clot forming inside or something else completely.”

 

He knew he couldn’t keep fooling Ed. He’d want proof of what was going on.

 

“Doctor Jacobson, I’d like to take another ultrasound. I’ll be present of course. Do you have time right now?”

 

David nodded. He knew he’d have to cooperate. If he didn’t he knew what would happen to his niece. Ed continued his thought.

 

“Go on ahead Doctor Jacobson. I’ll be down momentarily.”

 

Vacating Ed’s office, David hurried back to Juliet’s private room. Closing the door, he tried not to look panicked.

 

“Doctor Burke is on his way down here. I showed him your ultrasound. He bought it. The bad news, he wants me to do another one with him present.”

 

Juliet was already nervous. Ed would find out the truth and everything would hit the fan. Closing her eyes, she practiced calm as Ed came into the room. David had just set up the machine.

 

“Are we ready Doctor Jacobson?”

 

David nodded and turned to Juliet.

 

“This is a little cold Jules.”

 

Juliet shivered and watched as David turned the machine on and began ‘looking’ for what he showed Ed.

 

“Zoom in right here. Huh. What do you think that is Doctor Jacobson?”

 

David squinted at the tiniest of radiopaque lines he was seeing in the top right corner of the ultrasound. Putting is left hand up and shrugging one shoulder he shook his head.

 

“It could be anything. A small tumor. A benign mass…”

 

Juliet was already nervous, but now she got scared. David zoomed in some more and sighed.

 

“Just a strange looking blood vessel Doctor Burke.”

 

David moved the wand around just for good measure. Ed was catching on.

 

“I should be hearing a heartbeat. Why am I not hearing one?”

 

Juliet closed her eyes and looked away as Ed asked another question.

 

“Did you lose the baby?”

 

Shaking her head no, she knew she couldn’t hide anything from Ed.

 

“No. Doctor Jacobson ran a blood test on me and found that my being pregnant was actually a false-positive.”

 

Ed became angry, but he didn’t explode and yell, he was unusually quiet.

 

“Well, you’re going to have to break the news to the Sarson’s then. When you’ve recovered, we’ll try this again. I want my money, and I’ll keep trying until we achieve success.”

 

Juliet still felt like a puppet. She had to figure a way out of this situation.

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“You wanted to see us Juliet?”

 

Juliet creased the blanket draped over her. Looking Emily dead in the eye, she spoke, eliciting tears from her.

 

“Emily, I have some news for you and Brad. Turns out my being pregnant was a false-positive. I’m so very sorry. I know how much you and Brad want a baby. I’ll find a way for you to get pregnant. You have my word. Don’t lose faith.”

 

Emily turned away from Juliet and Brad tried to pull her into a hug. She pushed him away and went out of the room. He looked helpless as he looked between Juliet and the door.

 

“Em wait!”

 

Brad was now out of the room and it was just Ed, Juliet and David. Ed was the first to speak.

 

“I’m not done with you yet Jules. Just know that.”

 

David and Juliet both looked at each other as Ed left the room.

 

“He’s even crazier and power hungry now than he was before. Don’t worry, I’ll figure a way to get us out of here. I won’t let him use you as his guinea pig anymore. You are a human being. Not an animal.”

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

Where had Ed gotten the money for all this equipment? There must’ve been hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of it here. There were at least fourteen electron microscopes sitting on one counter top alone. Juliet looked around the room and then made her way over to a refrigeration unit in the corner. It was only one of six. Opening it, she found a large amount of reserve blood inside.

 

Picking up a bag, she saw her name printed on the label attached to it. Looking through the rest of the bags, she found they were all labeled as her own. Something told her that it wasn’t just her blood that was stored in these refrigeration units. Placing the unit of blood back inside the refrigeration unit, she was compelled to look in the one next to it.

 

Opening the door, she found more of her blood. Until she looked closer at it.

 

“Ed, you son of a bitch.”

 

She knew that with Ed, nothing ever came the easy way. Taking the pack of blood with her, she went out of the lab and stomped down the hallway. She was going to give Ed a piece of her mind. Juliet tried every door she could find, but all were locked. Until she heard Ed’s voice behind one. He sounded irate. Was she ready to endure his wrath? Gulping in a breath, she shoved the door open, throwing the pack of blood at Ed.

 

“What are you going to do with these?”

 

Ed smirked and picked up the pack, glancing down at it.

 

“You gave permission to donate when you signed my contract.”

 

Worry and then anger flashed across the blonde’s pretty face.

 

“I am not a donor Ed! You don’t have any right to take that!”

 

Setting the pack down on the desk in front of him, Ed leaned back in his expensive office chair and put his hands behind his head.

 

“You know me Jules, I will do just about anything to get my money. Besides, you’re still helping a lot of women.”

 

Juliet got closer to Ed across the desk and was now in his face.

 

“I’ve already mapped out the problem. It starts at conception.”

 

The smirk grew wider on Ed’s smug face.

 

“Well Jules, I’ve got big plans for you. This is only a small sample of it.”

 

Juliet grew furious.

 

“Helping these women is what I want, but not so you can gain millions off my hard work. I worked years to get this just right.”

 

The smirk hadn’t left Ed’s face and it made Juliet slightly nervous, but she didn’t show it.

 

“Even more reason to try it on yourself before we go to clinical trials. The results we get alone would put us years ahead of the competition. Think of the rewards. You’d never have to ask for grants from the University.”

 

Reaching across the desk, Juliet swiped up the pack of her ‘blood’ and shook her head, anger dripping from her lips.

 

“The only thing you’ll use that money for will be to drown yourself in a lifetime’s supply of Scotch.”

 

Ed smiled at the thought of a lifetime’s supply of his favorite drink. Juliet just rolled her eyes in disgust. Looking thoughtful, Ed glanced over at Juliet, who had her fists balled and
was trying hard not to deck him.

 

“Ah, but you had your daughter… Hayley, is it? Through your own research, while you were still working for me. My question is this: How did you keep that from me? That’s one thing I don’t like Jules and you know that. It’s secrets. Where was she born?”

 

In a fit of rage, even if it was quiet, and no yelling involved, Juliet spilled everything about Hayley.

 

“Doctor Jacobson and I wanted to test my theory. I started with the hormone therapy and from there we went through all the procedures involved in my ‘hypothetical’ research. He performed the procedure himself. Nine months later I gave birth to Hayley. You were out sick. She was born in the women’s restroom of all places. I would trade anything to have had her in a hospital. My question to you is: Why the camera’s in the restrooms? That is a breach of privacy. You know that.”

 

Ed rolled his eyes at Juliet and stayed put behind the desk.

 

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“Where’s my wife? You said you found her.”

 

James was more than visibly upset. He was agitated. He stared hard at a Sergeant Ralph Morris. Sergeant Morris pointed toward a woman sitting in chairs just on the other side of some glass.

 

“Right their Mr. Ford.”

 

Turning to follow Sergeant Morris’ index finger, James face fell. The glimmer of hope he’d had when the police sergeant called over the phone had now disappeared.

 

“ ‘Scuse me officer, but that ain’t my wife.”

 

Sergeant Morris put his best sympathetic face on, tapping his pen against his desk.

 

“I’m sorry Mr. Ford. She matched the description you gave us.”

 

James pulling out a somewhat recent photo, he handed it to the sergeant.

 

“This is my wife. She’s got long blond curly hair. She’s very smart. She’s a doctor. She gives a good but soft belly laugh. She also has this tic thing with her bottom lip. I think I may have an idea who might have taken her. Her ex-husband Edmund Burke. He’s always wanted to take credit for her work in research.”

 

Sergeant Morris scratched his head with his pen and shook his head.

 

“So, you’re saying this man, her ex, is trying to claim her research. What kind of research is it?”

 

James ran a hand through his hair and shook his head.

 

“Fertility research. My wife is very smart. That man cannot be allowed to use her research. He’s going around under the name Simon Braggens. He will do anything to make money off this.”

 

Sergeant Morris turned his computer screen around to show James a photo of Ed.

 

“Is this the man who took your wife?”

 

James nodded and pointed his finger at the screen accusingly.

 

“I’d know those beady eyes anywhere. He’s a very dangerous man.”

 

Sergeant Morris sighed and tapped his pen against the desk.

 

“Do you know if he would ever hurt her?”

 

James eyes turned dark, and his voice became low with anger.

 

“Believe me, he’s got what’s comin’ to him. He’s a cruel man.”

 

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Three months later…

 

Juliet felt groggy as she opened her eyes. She found herself resting in bed, with a couple of ivs in her hands again which were hydrating her with saline. She was bubbling with
anger once again and her eyes wandered to the monitors she was hooked up to. Her heart sank as Ed entered the room whistling and a smile plastered on his face. There was a young couple just behind him. Closing her eyes, Juliet tried not to grit her teeth. Opening her eyes, she sat and seethed in quiet anger.

 

“Juliet. Now that your awake I’d like you to meet General Stevenson and his wife Angela.”

 

Angela stuck her hand out for Juliet to shake.

 

“It’s nice to meet you Juliet. You don’t know how exciting this is for us. Could we ‘see’ our baby?”

 

Ed gave a smile that seemed by all accounts genuine. But Juliet knew Ed. Motioning for David to approach them, Juliet tried to hold her emotions back. David frowned and leaned in to speak to Juliet.

 

“I’m sorry Juliet.”

 

She whispered in his ear.

 

“Get me the hell out of here David. You promised me.”

 

But with the three other occupants in the room, David could do nothing for Juliet right now. Juliet held her breath for a moment which made the machine beep at her. David spoke up partly for show, and halfway to comfort Juliet.

 

“It’s ok to be nervous Juliet.”

 

Juliet shot invisible daggers at David as he turned the ultrasound machine on. This had better be a false-positive again. Juliet felt her bottom lip begin to tremble as she began to hear the familiar sounds of a heart beating. She heard Angela give out a strained laugh and she let herself cry. Trying to ignore David talking, Juliet looked at anything and everything but the screen in front of her.

 

“There’s your baby. Perfectly healthy.”

 

Angry tears flowed down her face as she gave Ed a stare that spoke volumes. Angela stuck a hand out and squeezed Juliet’s hand.

 

“Everything will be ok Juliet. You have nothing to be scared of.”

 

Nothing to be scared of? Shaking her head, Juliet took her hand away from Angela’s and wiped her tears away.

 

“You have no idea.”

 

Juliet had just been plunged into the deep end. She was barely keeping afloat. Angela and General Stevenson left the room beaming. As soon as they left, Juliet looked straight at David.

 

“David…”

 

Before she could stop herself, her hand landed across his right cheek. Ed stopped her before she could give him one too.

 

“Juliet you be a good girl. If you’re good, I’ll let you have a little bit of freedom so you can roam the halls.”

 

Balling her fists at her side, Juliet tried to calm herself.

 

“I’m not a child Ed. You don’t need to put me in a corner like one. I’m a big girl. I can handle myself.”

 

Ed only looked at her blankly.

 

“You should get some rest Jules. This may be a rocky ride to the end.”

 

David had finished up cleaning the excess gel from her stomach and had left the room. He was giving her some privacy. Juliet let her head sink into her hands and let out a long and loud sob.

 

“We have to get out of here.”

 

It wasn’t going to be easy. Juliet had no idea where she even was, let alone how to get of this place.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

Juliet stared hard at the nurse who gave her a plastic medicine cup with pills in them.

 

“Here’s your vitamins Juliet. Their good for the baby. You need to take them.”

 

Rolling her eyes at the nurse, Juliet swallowed them dry and stuck her tongue out.

 

“I know how this works Jenna. This would be the fourth time I’ve gone through this.”

 

Jenna shook her head and left the room. David and Ed both entered afterwards and approached Juliet. Juliet wasn’t in the mood to deal with Ed. David she could handle.

 

“I don’t want your hands on me Ed. Doctor Jacobson can examine me.”

 

Ed seemingly took her ‘friendly’ advice and backed off.

 

“Fine by me Jules. You’ve always been such a big disappointment to me in the romance department anyways.

 

Only now, with this baby and our research do you live up to my high standards.”

 

Juliet threw invisible daggers at Ed.

 

“You want to get into this Ed? Fine. We’ll get into it. How many women did you cheat on me with when we were married? How many nights I waited up for you.

 

You never came. At one point, I think every week you were with someone new, and younger than the last one. You disgust me to no end Ed.”

 

David put a hand on Juliet’s shoulder and she seemed to calm.

 

“I need you to relax Jules. Your pressure’s up. You’re putting stress on the baby right now. I need you to relax. Can I have a look at those weird welts on your stomach?”

 

Juliet could never say no to David. He was always so kind and gentle with her.

 

“This could be from anything really. Could be an after effect from all the hormone therapy we were giving you. I’ll have to take some more blood to confirm it though.”

 

Ed clapped David on the shoulder and he kind of shrugged it off.

 

“Sounds like you’ve got everything under control Doctor Jacobson. Let me know what her lab results entail when they get back.”

 

David waited until Ed left the room to speak.

 

“In three more months, that couple down the hall is expecting a healthy baby. I’m going to get you out of here. But it’s not easy.”

 

The whole time that Juliet had been there, she never once asked David where they were.

 

“What is this place David?”

 

David avoided eye contact with Juliet for a fraction of a moment.

 

“From what I gather, some sort of secret bunker. There are all sorts of tunnels in here. It’s going to take a while to get out.”

 

Stepping away from the bed, David approached the closet and opened it, taking some clothes out.

 

“Here. Some clothes. Put these on. We’re getting out of here. Get dressed.”

 

David helped take off the monitors hooked up to Juliet and the monitor around her stomach.

 

“David, we need evidence. I know where Ed keeps the contract I signed. It’s in his desk. We’ll need some video evidence too.

 

You know this is going to get ugly, we’ll have to go to court to prove it.”

 

David was ready to take the plunge with Juliet. He had to make sure she was safe.

 

“Here it is. Let me just download all these files onto something. A memory stick.”

 

David kept nervously looking towards the door to the office.

 

“Jules, hurry up. I hear someone coming.”

 

Juliet took the memory stick from the computer and ignored the swift kick to her bottom of her rib cage. The pair spotted another door in which to exit from. Smiling to herself,

 

Juliet opened it and found that it lead to another hallway, she hoped it went to the outside world. There were so many tunnels in here, it was hard to tell which direction they were

 

going. But apparently David knew where he was going.

 

“Follow me Jules. The exit to this place is just down here.”

 

Juliet shivered. If this didn’t remind her of the hatch, she didn’t know what did.

 

“This place gives me the creeps David.”

 

She froze when she found a hatch door similar to the one that was part of the hatch on the island.

 

“I’ll open the door Jules, just follow my lead.”

 

Opening the door, David led Juliet out it and up a set of steps. At the top was an elevator. Quickly getting in, David pressed the ‘1’ button and waited patiently as the numbers

 

ticked up. Juliet started counting floors. When they got down to ‘1’ she spoke.

 

“We were forty stories below ground? How is that possible?”

 

David shrugged his shoulders and ushered Juliet out of the elevator. In front of them was a set of glass door that led to the outside world.

 

Once outside, Juliet breathed in a sigh of relief.

 

“That sigh of relief might be a bit premature Jules. We still have to get away from here first.”

 

Juliet nodded. Taking in her surroundings, she noticed they were in the middle of nowhere. Admittedly in a warehouse district.

 

“This is a strange place to have a bunker don’t you think David?”

 

David ushered her along and spoke.

 

“What? A nice private place in which to conduct private research? It’s the perfect place. No one would ever suspect it was going on in a place like this.”

 

It didn’t look like they could catch a cab there. They didn’t have any phones, so they began to walk. They only had to get far enough away so that Ed couldn’t catch them. It wasn’t

 

until they got to the edge of the warehouse district that Juliet put a hand on David’s arm for him to stop.

 

“David wait. The baby and I need to rest for a few minutes. I hear traffic. Do you think we’re close enough to get a taxi?”

 

David shook his head no.

 

“I don’t have any money Jules. But there is a Publix up ahead. We could get some help in there.”

 

Juliet took a couple of minutes to rest and then got to her feet with David’s help. The two made it to the Publix and managed to find the store manager.

 

“Excuse me sir? We need you to call the police. There is a man who is chasing after us. We were kidnapped.”

 

The store manager raised his eyebrows and headed towards the back office. Juliet wanted to hide from Ed.

 

But she knew when he found out they were missing, he’d come looking for them.

 

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James hurriedly got out of the car and rushed into the store. A police officer led him to the back office, and inside on a desk chair was Juliet, fidgeting with her hands in her lap, a

 

bit unsure of his reaction.

 

“Blondie! I thought I’d never see you again! What did that son of bitch do to you?”

 

Juliet felt her lip twitch as she looked down at herself.

 

“This baby belongs to a general and his wife. This is going to end ugly James. Ed’s going to try and get me back, so he can parade me around like I’m some side-show act.”

 

James frowned and then kissed Juliet’s forehead.

 

“Don’t worry blondie, I won’t let him hurt your anymore. So, Davey-boy here busted ya out huh? Where were the two of you?”

 

Juliet placed a hand over her stomach and then looked into James’ eyes.

 

“We were in some sort of bunker. In the warehouse district. I can’t really explain it. We were forty stories underground.”

 

James needed time to process all that he’d just been told. It wasn’t going to be easy.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

Angela Stevenson knocked on Juliet’s door, a present in her hand. Opening the door, she spoke, hoping to get a response from Juliet.

 

“Juliet, I have something for you…”

 

When Angela entered the room, she found the bed empty, and Juliet was nowhere to be found. Panic began to well up inside and she quickly exited the room and went down the

hallway and towards Ed’s office.

 

“Doctor Burke, Juliet’s gone.”

 

Ed’s office door flew open and he stood in front of Angela quiet anger written all over his face. But he was disguising it with practiced calm.

 

“Don’t worry Mrs. Stevenson. We’ll find her. She wouldn’t just run off and keep that baby for herself. She’s under contract with you.”

 

Angela rubbed her hands up and down her arms.

 

“We are paying her a lot of money. Lawrence and I, we want to be there when she gives birth. We went to see our baby come into the world in person.”

 

Ed stuck his hand out, and his smile grew bigger. His plan was working. He was going to get his millions.

 

“You’ve got a deal.”
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“Blondie, wake up.”

 

Juliet was startled awake, and as she sat up, she ran a hand through her hair.

 

“It was a nightmare. No more ice cream for me before bed. This baby growing inside doesn’t help my sleep patterns either.”

 

James nodded in sympathy and reached a hand over her back and began massaging it.

 

“Oooh. Thank you, James. It seems like this baby puts pressure on everything. I’m much more out of breath with this one, than I have been with Mayra, Hayley or Cara. I have a

 

strong hunch, that since this isn’t our child, it’ll be a boy.”

 

James seemed to sadden a bit at the mention of having a boy.

 

“Like you said blondie, we can’t control nature. It picks for us. ‘Course this time, it didn’t pick for us.”

 

Juliet propped herself up on one elbow in bed and looked at James. Shaking her head, she held back tears she knew were threatening to come at any moment.

 

“How did Ed end up getting his way? Locking me away from you? I’m not a broodmare. But he sees me as one so he can gain his millions and take all the credit for my research.”

 

James ran a hand through Juliet’s blond curls and brought her in for a kiss. A look of pain brushed across her pretty features and she gently pushed James away. Concerned James

looked Juliet up and down.

 

“What’s wrong blondie?”

 

Plopping her head against the pillow, she let her fingers curl around the sheets in a tight ball. She took in a breath to try and reign in her nerves. Letting the breath out, she looked

to James trying to convey confidence.

 

“Contraction. It should go away on its own. But just in case, maybe you should call David.”

 

James gave her a somewhat pointed look before going for his cell. “Every little hiccup and you go to Davey-boy, don’t you?”

 

Juliet rolled her eyes and kept still on the bed.

 

“He’s been taking care of me James. Medically speaking anyways.”

 

Juliet added to her thought.

 

“I agreed on David taking care of me throughout this pregnancy. I wouldn’t let Ed touch me. Besides. He hasn’t so much as got his hands dirty in years.”

 

James smirked and sat on the edge of the bed.

 

“Why’s that blondie?”

 

Juliet shook her head and gave her own small smirk.

 

“He may know all the ins and outs of birth as a technicality, but he always thought it was too messy. He hated cleaning up afterwards. What can I say? The man has a weak spot,

 

and that just happens to be it.”

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“Hey Jules. What’s going on?”

 

James was leading David into their bedroom. Juliet took a breath and looked him dead in the eye.

 

“I’ve had three contractions in the last hour. Give me some good news.”

 

Now it was David’s turn to worry. A deep-seated frown adorned his face and he approached the bed.

 

“No bleeding?”

 

Juliet shook her head.

 

“No.”

 

Juliet stayed perfectly still as David asked another question.

 

“What about your water? Has it broken?”

 

Shaking her head again, Juliet responded.

 

“No. Still intact. The bed is bone dry.”

 

David looked as if he were pondering her situation. But there was something else he wasn’t telling her.

 

“There’s something else I didn’t tell you Jules. Do you remember the first ultrasound I gave you? Four or five months ago? I found that there were two heartbeats. You’re having

 

twins.”

 

Juliet sat back in silence for a few brief moments to soak in the info that David provided.

 

“Twins? David, why didn’t you tell me? Ed’s going to get double his money now.”

 

David cleared his throat and sighed.

 

“Doctor Burke doesn’t know you’re having twins.”

 

Juliet furrowed her eyebrows in confusion.

 

“How does Ed not know?”

 

David looked at Juliet sideways and his frown deepened.

 

“I improvised and used the doctored video from the first time you had the false-positive. He thinks there’s one baby present in your womb. Not two.”

 

Juliet spied the bag over David’s shoulder.

 

“What’s in the bag David?”

 

David set the bag on the bed and took out a portable monitor.

 

“We can monitor your contractions from here. You are going to need to stay still though, and quiet.”

 

Juliet stayed still as David put the monitor over her stomach. James noticed the strange welts and ask a question.

 

“Where’d you get those marks blondie?”

 

David filled James in on the situation.

 

“We think it may be from the hormone therapy she was being given awhile back. We’re not sure yet.”

 

James watched David as he pressed a few buttons and then watched the machine on their side table.

 

“As long as this machine tells me that my wife is alright, I won’t hold nothin’ against ya Davey-boy.”

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

“Well Jules, you haven’t had so much as a hiccup of a contraction in the last hour. But I think you should take it easy. Don’t worry. I will fight for you in court. That couple is going to fight tooth and nail for these two babies.”

 

Juliet was about to respond to David’s reassurances, but stopped short when she felt a hand and a foot connect with the left part of the bottom of her rib cage. David grew concerned again and looked Juliet in the eye.

 

“Do you feel another contraction coming on? I’m not seeing it register on the machine here.”

 

Shaking her head no, Juliet pushed herself up off the pillows behind her back, reaching for both the hands of James and David.

 

“No. I felt a foot and a hand. Right here.”

 

David felt a smile erupt on his face as he felt a hand press against his own.

 

“That is a hand. You still have all the evidence don’t you Jules?”

 

Juliet nodded and pointed towards the side table drawer.

 

“Locked away for safekeeping. Ed’s not going to know what hit him in court.”

 

David nodded in agreement and gave Juliet a confident squeeze of her hand.

 

“That’ll come in handy later on. Now are you sure you’re not in any pain?”

 

Juliet propped herself up against her pillows on the bed.

 

“David look at the machine. It’s not registering any contractions.”

 

David nodded seriously and helped fix the pillows behind Juliet’s head.

 

“David, I have a confession to make. I’m sorry I hit you the other day. I was angry. Angry at you for not helping me when I asked for it. But all the while, you were meticulously finding ways to get me out. It just took a little while longer. It’s like I told James, I’m not a broodmare. I don’t want to be seen as one. But Ed thinks of it that way only because he wants his money. How did I get tangled up in this mess David?”

 

David squeezed Juliet’s hand and tried his best to keep her calm.

 

“You need to rest Jules. I’ll be here for the next couple of days to monitor your progress. Ok?”

 

Juliet nodded and stayed quiet. The next morning, a knock came on her bedroom door and then a girl’s voice behind it.

 

“Mama? Can I come in?”

 

Opening her eyes, Juliet answered Mayra.

 

“Come in sweetheart.”

 

The door opened slowly and in came Mayra, her blond curls falling in her face and her green eyes filled with worry.

 

“I saw Uncle David down the hallway, he’s still asleep. How come he’s staying with us?”

 

Mayra got closer to the bed and Juliet patted the end of it.

 

“Sit down baby girl.”

 

Sitting down on the edge of the bed, Mayra nodded towards her mother.

 

“Why is Uncle David here?”

 

Juliet sighed and looked towards the machine, not a hiccup of a contraction was presenting itself.

 

“He’s here to make sure the babies are ok.”

 

Mayra didn’t know. But neither had Juliet.

 

“Two baby’s mama?”

 

Nodding, Juliet took Mayra’s hand and squeezed it.

 

“Yes baby. Twins.”

 

Mayra furrowed her eyebrows and attentively reached a hand towards Juliet.

 

“Does it feel weird mama? The babies kicking you?”

 

Juliet smiled and placed her hand on the spot where she’d felt a hand last.

 

“See? Someone in there is saying hello.”

 

Mayra’s face clouded over in sadness and her eyes landed on the swell of her mother’s stomach.

 

“Mama, you can’t let that mean man take away my brothers. Please.”

 

Frowning, Juliet put a hand up to Mayra’s face.

 

“Don’t worry baby, Uncle David will protect us. That’s why he’s here.”

 

Mayra kept frowning as she looked up at Juliet.

 

“No mama. I don’t think its that simple.”

 

Juliet looked at Mayra with a strange expression on her face.

 

“What do you mean sweetie?”

 

Mayra only looked beyond her mom at the wall.

 

“I can’t explain it.”

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

“How did you find my address?”

 

Juliet had opened her front door only to find Angela and General Stevenson behind it. Angela tried to smile at Juliet.

 

“Doctor Burke gave it to us. Why did you run away? That baby is ours. Besides, we’re paying you good money.”

 

Juliet narrowed her eyes.

 

“It runs deeper than that Angela. Believe me. I suggest the two of you get a lawyer. We’ll have to settle this. As far as I know, this is my child.”

 

Before Angela could respond, Juliet slammed the door in the couple’s face. David came out of the kitchen and led Juliet over towards the couch.

 

“Who was that at the door?”

 

Juliet frowned and put her head between her knees for a few moments.

 

“Angela and General Stevenson. Ed, that son of a bitch, he gave them my address. I’m not giving up these two. If the belong to Angela and General Stevenson, then fine. I’ll give birth to them and they’ll go to them. But if it turns out that they are mine, then we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”

 

Juliet could see David’s eyebrows raising slightly upward, his thoughts were running deep right now. He was piecing together the puzzle.

 

“Mrs. Stevenson doesn’t have a right to these children. I’m positive that your eggs were used and not hers. I was there for the whole procedure. Doctor Burke insisted that he do the procedure himself. I’ll take some blood and test it. But they are still going to fight this.”

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“All rise for the Honorable Judge Ann Charles.”

 

Juliet was grateful that this judge was a woman. It made things easier for her. Folding her hands in her lap, she was ignoring the movement of both babies in her belly. Her lawyer helped her to her feet, and then as the judge waved her hand for everyone to sit, she lowered herself carefully into the chair again.

 

“We are here today to hear case number 59948021. Juliet Burke-Ford vs. Angela and Lawrence Stevenson. Mr. Carrolson would you please call your first witness to the stand?”

 

Juliet’s lawyer was Jeremy Carrolson, Laura Carrolson’s husband. He was helping Juliet out as a personal favor.

 

“Of course, your honor. I’d like to call to the stand Doctor Hayley Montero-Ford.”

 

Sighing, Juliet knew this was coming. Hayley stood up from the front row of the courtroom and walked up to the stand. The bailiff facing Hayley raised his right hand.

 

“Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth so help you god?”

 

Hayley nodded and held up her right hand, responded.

 

“I do.”

 

Sitting down, Hayley watched as Jeremy Carrolson approached the bench.

 

“Doctor Ford, can you tell me where you were on the night of March 18th?”

 

Hayley sat with her hands in her lap and retold what she remembered.

 

“I was working my shift at Miami General. I had just delivered a healthy baby girl. Then I received a message from the nurse’s station that my father, James Ford, wanted to speak to me. When I was able to get to a phone, he told me, they’d found mama. She’d been missing for nearly six months. Police didn’t know where to look or who had taken her.”

 

Jeremy paced in front of Hayley and nodded.

 

“So, you were working the night your mother was found?”

 

Hayley nodded.

 

“That’s correct sir.”

 

Jeremy nodded once again and spoke.

 

“Ok. That’s all the questions I have for you.”

 

Hayley stepped down from the stand and went back to her seat. Ed smirked towards Juliet as Jeremy called him to the stand.

 

“Your honor, I’d like to call Doctor Edmund Burke to the stand.”

 

Juliet felt her gut begin to twist with nervousness. Ed strode arrogantly up to the stand and sat down after the bailiff made him give the oath. Jeremy approached him and began
his examination.

 

“Can you explain to the jury how you know Juliet? Doctor Burke, can you explain to the jury the procedure that Juliet went through?”

 

The smirk went up to Ed’s eyes and he became more arrogant.

 

“She’s my ex-wife. Ivf is a fairly invasive procedure in which a woman gets pregnant by artificial means. I have been working on a new drug for years to increase a woman’s fertility.”

 

Juliet could feel her nostrils flaring, but she kept quiet. He’s still taking credit for my research! Jeremy continued his examination of his witness.

 

“Doctor Burke, I hope you realize that this is bordering on moral and ethical issues do you not?”

 

Ed waved a hand at Jeremy and spoke.

 

“The whole point of this being that I can help women and their families. This drug that I’ve been working on will revolutionize the various opportunities in the medical world. If I can make a difference for them, what’s the problem?”

 

Juliet sat in silent anger in her seat. She was ready to burst at Ed, but she didn’t want to be escorted out of the courtroom. Jeremy moved to the next order of business.

 

“Doctor Burke, I know that you can’t go into the specifics of the contract that Juliet signed because of doctor/patient confidentiality, but could you give a brief description to the jury?”

 

Ed’s smirk changed, and he had a strange look in his eyes. Juliet knew the look well.

 

“The contract Juliet signed is a standard one I assure you Counselor. Perfectly legal in the State of Florida.”

 

Jeremy began pacing in front of Ed, trying to let the facts sink in.

 

“That’s all I have for you Doctor Burke. You can go back to your seat.”

 

Ed almost looked celebratory as he went back to his seat, making Juliet shake her head in disapproval. Jeremy called up his next witness.

 

“I’d like to call Angela Stevenson up to the stand.”

 

Like before, the bailiff made Angela give the oath. She sat down with her hands clasped in her lap.

 

“Mrs. Stevenson, how do you know Juliet and Doctor Burke?”

 

Angela sat forward and gave her answer.

 

“Doctor Burke and I met in the local clinic on 16th street. Juliet and I met about a month before the procedure took place.”

 

Jeremy stopped pacing and stood in front of Angela.

 

“So before eight months ago you didn’t know Juliet?”

 

Angela shook her head no and sat back in the chair.

 

“No. Juliet is Lawrence and I’s miracle. This child is a gift.”

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It’d been a long day and they were still in court. Juliet wasn’t feeling well. She hadn’t been since the second break they’d taken. She was feeling very faint. She wasn’t sure if it was the heat getting to her, or the stress of the situation, but she suddenly saw concerned faces surrounding her and she was staring at the high ceiling above her. James was by her side, holding her hand.

 

“Blondie, you ok?”

 

Juliet was confused, something wasn’t right here. Jeremy had come back with David, who was now leaning down over her.

 

“Don’t move Jules.”

 

Staying still Juliet now saw a worried/concerned Angela sprint up to her.

 

“Juliet! Are you ok?”

 

Juliet shot Angela a dark look.

 

“I don’t want your help Angela. Give me some space.”

 

Completely ignoring, Angela, David looked to Jeremy.

 

“What happened?”

 

Jeremy recounted his version of events as he knew it.

 

“We were talking and she just collapsed.”

 

One thing was for sure, they weren’t going back into court until Juliet was better. Life was throwing another curve ball at Juliet, and she wasn’t sure she liked it.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

“A mistrial? David do you know what that means?”

 

David frowned and started giving Juliet’s shoulders a massage.

 

“Jules, we still have a few cards to play here. I’m not sure if the judge is being reasonable or not though. What I need you to do right now though, is to take a nice, deep breath, and let it out slowly. There we go. Just keep breathing. We don’t want either one of these two going into distress. Baby A is curled up by your rib cage, and baby B is resting comfortably facing head down. I want you to put your feet up on a pillow and rest. Anything you want, I’ve got it.”

 

Juliet became irritated with David.

 

“Would you quit calling these two babies A and B? These two boys, are doing just fine. Basta ya!”

 

(Leave me alone!)

 

David knew not to confront Juliet when she was in a bad mood. Especially right now. He helped put her feet up on a pillow on the couch and went into the kitchen to make Juliet a cup of tea. Sighing, Juliet felt awful that she’d lashed out at David. She just wanted all this brew-ha-ha to be done and over with. James came into the living room and moved her feet into his lap.

 

“Heard our whole argument, didn’t you?”

 

James nodded and rubbed her feet.

 

“Yup. Here I thought you only got angry like that with me. I guess Davy-boy isn’t so immune to blondie’s occasional outbursts.”

 

Juliet closed her eyes and sighed.

 

“Wake me for dinner.”

 

James ran a hand through Juliet’s hair and kissed her belly.

 

“Don’t worry, I won’t let that bastard hurt you.”

 

Juliet woke to a hard thump up against her belly, making her sit up and look around her. James took her hand and looked into her eyes.

 

“You alright?”

 

Starting to rise to her feet, she noticed David come back into the living room. Setting her tea down on a coaster on the coffee table, he leaned down in front of her and put his hands on her arms.

 

“Hey, I need you to stay sitting down. You need to rest.”

 

Rolling her eyes at David, she stayed seated on the couch.

 

“David we can’t let Ed win. If we can convince the jury with the evidence I gathered, he’ll go away for life.”

 

Hayley heard the whole conversation and came into the living room. She planted herself on the couch next to her dad.

 

“Mama, I have a feeling you’ll win this. Don’t worry. Besides your research is working beautifully. I’ve delivered nearly 20 babies this year due to it. You have my vote of confidence. Everything is going to work out. You’ll see.”

 

Juliet placed a hand on Hayley’s cheek.

 

“I wish I had the same attitude about this as you do baby girl. I just have a bad feeling about this. That’s all.”

 

David patted Juliet’s shoulder and pointed at her still-hot tea on the coffee table.

 

“I’ll go call the lawyer. Drink your tea Jules. Then I want you to rest. Don’t make me put you back on the monitor.”

 

Rolling her eyes at David again, she threw a pillow at him.

 

“Don’t make me chase you David. You know I will.”

 

Hayley laughed at Juliet and her Uncle David.

 

“Do you guys always joke like this?”

 

Shaking her head, Juliet let her eyes wander to the old picture of her and Hayley the day she was born.

 

“You should have seen Uncle David and I the day you were born. He was cracking jokes as he delivered you. He does that when he’s nervous. I’m still trying to break him of that, even decades later.”

 

Hayley was sure everything was going to work out just fine. She knew that she would have to tell her own story in court. She hadn’t done it yet.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

“I got the test results back on your blood test Jules. But I don’t think your going to like it.”

 

Juliet all but ripped the piece of offending paper from David’s hand and read the results it entailed.

 

“Inconclusive? Do the lab techs down in the lab at the university know how to properly test a blood sample? So what does that mean? Are these my children I’m carrying, or do they belong to Angela and General Stevenson?”

 

David shook his head and sat down next to Juliet on the couch in her living room.

 

“I told them to look for specific genetic markers. I can get another sample from you and test it again. But I don’t know how long it would take to get it back.”

 

Sitting back, Juliet tried to process what she was hearing.

 

“David, I’m giving birth next month, do you think they will have the results back before then?”

 

Nodding, she placed a hand over her enormous belly and sighed.

 

“I want to do what’s best for them. But I keep going over and over in my head what exactly is best for them? Do I keep them? Do I give them to that couple? They aren’t going to be so easy to give up.”

 

David took Juliet’s hand and squeezed it.

 

“I will make sure you are taken care of. These babies will come into the world as safely as possible. I’ll make sure of it. You have my word.”

 

Juliet hadn’t felt this unsure about something since before she’d left Ed. This was a big decision for her. A frantic kick erupted from her belly, making her come back to reality.

 

“I won’t let anyone take you two away from me.”

 

David sighed and squeezed Juliet’s hand again.

 

“Until those blood test results come back again Juliet; I’m not so sure about that.”

 

Juliet was adamant and very stubborn.

 

“But I’m their mother!”

 

Shaking his head no, David tried to remain objective about the unique situation that Juliet was in.

 

“That’s just it Jules, you don’t know that. You could be their mother, or Angela could be their mother. Your just giving birth to them. Doesn’t mean they are your children.”

 

Swallowing, Juliet kept her hands over her belly and looked down at it.

 

“David, you don’t know how hard this decision is for me. Having a living and breathing, moving being growing inside of you.”

 

David sat and listened, he’d seen her at her most vulnerable. But this was a different kind of vulnerable for her.

 

“No. But I do remember how hard it was keeping Hayley a secret from Doctor Burke. Everyone in the lab suspected, but never said a thing. They were afraid. I still don’t know how the both of us pulled it off.”

 

He knew he had to be patient with her. Any little thing lately set her off. She was either agitated and wound-up, or worried. But she had every right to be. Ed was after her, and she was his guinea pig.

 

“David, I have a favor to ask of you; can you stay until after these two are born? I could really use your help. James has been a wonderful help, along with Mayra, Hayley and Cara. They all help out.”

 

David was more than concerned about Juliet. He was worried. Juliet had always called him a worry-wart. Even when she was pregnant with Hayley. Every little hiccup and he was
there. James was right though, the way those two acted, it was as if they were married.

 

“It’s alright to ask for help Jules. I know you like to do things yourself, but right now its best if you let everyone help you out. Don’t worry. We’ll get to the bottom of this. Just because those blood test results were inconclusive, doesn’t mean we won’t find anything. You have my word Jules.”

 

Juliet still had a bad feeling about this. But in her gut, she knew these boys were hers.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

She ignored the pain at first, even though it was deep. But she acted like it was nothing more than a pinch. But as the minutes ticked by, it was becoming worse. David had gone into the kitchen to make Juliet a sandwich and was just coming back into the living room when he noticed Juliet’s form. Nearly dropping the sandwich on the table, he felt her reach for his hand and hang on tight.

 

“Breathe Jules. Breathe.”

 

Irritation written all over her pretty face, Juliet exploded.

 

“I am breathing! JAMES!?”

 

He too had been in the kitchen and came running to her side.

 

“It’s ok blondie. I got ya. Mayra! Come on baby girl! Your mama’s having the babies! Let’s go!”

 

Mayra came clattering down the stairs. The girl had learned to run down the stairs. She never walked. She looked a little apprehensive as she approached her parents and David.

 

“Really?”

 

As quick as lightning, Mayra was at the car. David and James were on either side of Juliet holding her up. Helping her get into the car and situated, James got in the drivers seat
and turned on the car. David was sitting in the back with Mayra. James with one hand on the wheel, held on to Juliet’s hand. Her other hand had reached for David’s just behind her seat. Jame tried to keep her calm as he pulled out of the driveway.

 

“I’m right here blondie. I’ve got ya. Keep breathin’. Just keep breathin’.”

 

Juliet was so irritated with both James and David right now she wanted to explode at them. Every four letter word was ready to come barreling out at each of them, but with Mayra
in the car, she decided it was best to keep a cork in it. Instead, she opted for a less extreme approach.

 

“It hurts!”

 

James threw a sympathetic gaze Juliet’s way.

 

“I know it does baby. Just hold on. We’re almost there.”

 

The pain was becoming so unbearable she was seeing stars, and the color red. Everything was a blur as they got her checked-in. Mayra was staying out in chairs in the hallway
with Miles. She sat frowning and he tried cheering her up.

 

“Don’t worry, your mom’s gonna be ok kid.”

 

Mayra was worried about her brothers. Meanwhile, inside the room, Juliet had just gotten situated in bed and was finally starting to relax a little when another contraction
completely took over her entire body. Rolling onto her right side, she bit into the pillow to silence the scream coming out. She felt someone massaging her back and she groaned/cried into the pillow. She then heard James’ voice.

 

“It’s alright blondie. I’ve got ya. Let it all out. I’m right here. I’ve got ya.”

 

Even when the contraction stopped, Juliet stayed where she was at, not wanting to move. Jack and her sister had entered the room. Juliet smiled at her sister Rachel as she approached her.

 

“Oh yeah. I remember this part well. I distinctly remember you telling me that you would be back before I gave birth. Guess that didn’t work out so well did it? Well don’t worry, I’m here for you.”

 

Juliet watched Rachel tiredly as she pushed a stray strand of hair out of her eyes. Giving a soft laugh, Juliet squeezed her sisters hand.

 

“I’m glad your here Rach. I feel awful that I wasn’t there for you.”

 

Rachel squeezed Juliet’s hand back and smiled.

 

“All water under the bridge little sis. I’m here for ya.”

 

Staying on her side, she gave Jack a sideways look and blew out a breath.

 

“You wouldn’t happen to know where there was some water would you Jack?”

 

Jack furrowed his eyebrows and then frowned.

 

“Juliet your dehydrated. I’ll go get you some ice.”

 

Closing her eyes, Juliet let the machines lull her into a semi-false sleep pattern. James kept rubbing her back in circular motions. He was trying to keep her as relaxed as possible. She felt someone wiping the sweat away from her forehead. Then she heard Jack’s voice again, this time it was coaxing her to take a piece of ice.

 

“Here. Have an ice chip.”

 

Letting it melt on her tongue Juliet groaned and opened her eyes.

 

“Can I have another one please?”

 

Shaking his head no, Jack took a seat next to the bed.

 

“One an hour Juliet. You know the rules. Don’t want you having an accident.”

 

Juliet rolled her eyes and looked down by her feet.

 

“Yeah, not like it matters. I’ve got a catheter in me.”

 

Trying not to grind her teeth as General Stevenson and Angela entered the room, Juliet looked away.

 

“The two of you aren’t going to film all of this are you?”

 

Angela tried grabbing for Juliet’s hand.

 

“Of course we are. We wouldn’t miss this.”

 

Juliet turned her attention to her sister and grabbed for her hand when the monitor over her belly began to beep loudly. Rachel spoke to Juliet in a calming voice.

 

“Hey its ok Jules. Think of somewhere you want to be.”

 

Taking a deep breath in, she closed her eyes and tried to breathe through the pain.

 

“I’m swimming in the ocean. Cara, Hayley and Mayra, their all with me. James is there too.”

 

The beeping of the machine spaced out and soon it went back into a rhythmic pattern of once a minute. Opening her eyes, she found her sister and Jack both smiling at her. But it
was Jack who spoke.

 

“There we go. See? If you had done that with Cara, I’m sure it would’ve been a lot easier.”

 

Juliet wasn’t sure what to say to Jack at this point. Sometimes she wondered if he was slipping back into his old bedside manner. Adjusting the pillow between her knees, she got as comfortable as she could on the bed.

 

“Jack, I did a lot of things in that place. Having Cara without an epidural was a choice I really didn’t have a say in. But here, we’ve got electricity, and pain meds and hospitals filled with instruments that were made in this century.”

 

It wasn’t long before the machine started beeping at Juliet again and she couldn’t hold in her pain any longer.

 

“Son of a bitch! That hurts!?”

 

Her sister and James both were by her side and somehow, she felt very grateful. James began his rhythmic motions of massaging her back once more speaking up to try and calm her down.

 

“Hey now blondie, it’s ok. I’m not goin’ anywhere. I’m right here for ya.”

 

She felt Rachel’s hand moving through her hair and Jack’s hand on her forehead with a damp cloth over it. She managed to open her eyes to find someone’s hand on her left ankle.
That someone was David. Sympathy looked like the ocean in his eyes, and suddenly, Juliet felt very afraid. She was seeing waves crash over her head again. She hadn’t had one of these episodes occur in years. She was down a dark tunnel, much like the one she’d been down before when she was drowning. Blinding light came through the darkness and she resisted the urge to squint at it. She heard faraway voices and she became worried. Her sister Rachel’s voice came through first.

 

“Uh, David look at her arm.”

 

What’s wrong with my arm? The worry was turning into panic, but Juliet had to reign it in. There were two lives in her belly she had to worry about. They came first. Now she heard
David’s voice as the light continued to come through the darkness.

 

“Juliet, can you squeeze my hand?”

 

Why did her arms feel like rubber? The bright light assaulted her vision and this time she had to close her eyes. Jack’s voice came down the tunnel.

 

“Dammit. She’s throwing a blood clot. We need to get her on some TPA.”

 

Juliet felt like a large question mark at the end of a sentence. David’s voice came down the tunnel again as he spoke to Jack.

 

“Doctor Shepard, giving her TPA is only going to make her hemorrhage.”

 

She heard Jack’s frantic voice as she floated in the darkness.

 

“Listen to me David, Juliet is minutes away from having a major stroke. If we don’t do something quickly, all three of them are gonna die. Do you want that on your conscience?”

 

Juliet wasn’t floating anymore, and the water had now disappeared. Her vision had cleared and it wasn’t dark. She found the very concerned faces of James, Rachel, David and Jack all at once. They were all staring at her. She was glad that it was them with her and not General Stevenson and Angela. She found an oxygen mask over her face and she clumsily tried pulling it off. Jack put a hand on her own to stop her.

 

“You gave us quite a scare for a minute Juliet. How are you feeling?”

 

Juliet was fed up with everything that was going on. She just wanted these babies out. Her frown deepened as General Stevenson and Angela re-entered the room.

 

“I’m so glad your alright Juliet.”

 

Juliet was trying to formulate a response when an unintended gasp escaped her mouth and the bed became wet.

 

“David, my water broke.”

 

David disappeared at the foot of the bed for a moment and then reappeared.

 

“Yup. Completely crystal clear too. Give me another minute, I need to check your progress. Just relax.”

 

Juliet bit into the pillow to try and block out how uncomfortable she was feeling. James kept up his massage and placed a kiss to the back of her neck once in a while.

 

“Everything’s gonna be just fine blondie. You’ll see.”

 

A smile lit up Juliet’s face as a tall blonde woman entered the room, her mirror image.

 

“Hay, am I ever glad to see you.”

 

Wincing, Juliet turned back onto her side and curled up as best she could.

 

“Sorry I took so long to join you guys. Breech baby next door.”

 

From the corner of her eye, she saw Angela swallow and get wide-eyed.

 

“Your a doctor too?”

 

It occurred to Juliet that Hayley had never met Angela or General Stevenson. Sticking her hand out, she shook hands with the both of them.

 

“Hi. I’m Hayley. Juliet’s my mother.”

 

Angela seemed taken aback by Hayley’s statement.

 

“Oh, she’s… She’s your mother?”

 

Hayley nodded and fixed her white lab coat.

 

“Yes. I think you’ve already met my other sisters: Cara and Mayra.”

 

Angela still seemed a little confused by Hayley’s statement.

 

“I was the first baby ever conceived using my mother’s research.”

 

Still having questions on her lips Angela asked them.

 

“What about your sisters? Were they born the same way?”

 

Hayley shook her head and looked at her mother.

 

“No. Please don’t ask anymore questions.”

 

James felt Juliet prickle under his touch and looked her straight in the eye.

 

“What is it blondie?”

 

Swallowing, she took the mask away from her face and was staring towards the door.

 

“James, do you see that doctor over there by the door? The one with his face covered?”

 

James followed her stare over to the door and shrugged.

 

“Maybe he’s helpin’ ya.”

 

Shaking her head no, she became board-stiff.

 

“No, David and Jack promised to help me.”

 

No one else seemed to mind the as of yet nameless doctor in the room with them. Everyone was going about their business. David looked concerned and squeezed her hand.

 

“Jules you alright? Would you like that epidural now? Your dilated to 8 centimeters.”

 

Putting the mask back over her face, she nodded, tears filling her eyes.

 

“Yes.”

 

As David got off the phone with the Anesthesiologist, Juliet heard the machine beep next to her and a contraction swept her away. She knew what she had to do next.

 

“David, get over here! I need to push.”

 

Organizing his supplies, David pulled on a pair of gloves.

 

“Ok, here we go with baby number 1. When your ready Jules, I want you to give me a push. Not too hard and not too fast ok? Ready? Push.”

 

Juliet was trying to concentrate on David at the foot of the bed and ignore the fact that General Stevenson had a video camera in his hand.

 

“Your not filming this are you?”

 

General Stevenson looked at Juliet and smiled.

 

“Yes. We want to see our baby come into the world.”

 

Before Juliet could answer General Stevenson again, David tried to get her to regain her focus on him.

 

“I need you to concentrate Jules. Keep pushing. That’s it. Ok, the head is… Out! Now I want you to push as hard as you can. Keep pushing. Keep pushing. There we go, one more. One more.”

 

James chanced a peek behind the sheet and his face lit up. If Juliet weren’t in so much pain right now, she’d laugh at him.

 

“Wow blondie, this kids got a great head of hair.”

 

The pain and the pressure and the weight had now left her and she could hear a squalling baby behind the sheet. Trying to sit up so she could have a look at the baby, she saw
David hold the baby over the sheet so she could have a good look at them.

 

“It’s a boy!”

 

James was beaming with unbridled pride.

 

“Looks like I got a son after all blondie.”

 

Placing the squirming infant atop her stomach, David let them have a few minutes together. This solicited a kind of jealous stare from Angela.

 

“Can we see our son please?”

 

David looked at the couple who were still standing by the foot of the bed, waiting impatiently.

 

“Just give her a few minutes. Let her say goodbye.”

 

Juliet gave David a watery smile, the tears very evident in her eyes.

 

“David I want to breastfeed him. Please?”

 

Angela threw her hands up in almost a jealous rage.

 

“Your seriously going to let her feed him? That wasn’t our agreement Juliet.”

 

General Stevenson was a little more understanding than Angela was.

 

“Honey, let her have some time with him.”

 

Angela was wound up, but relented a little at her husbands insistence. Juliet looked up to Angela as Jack helped put a blanket over her chest so that she could feed the baby.

 

“Ok, I let the two of you stay while I was giving birth, but now I want you OUT of the room. Nursing him is private. I want to have that time alone with him.”

 

Juliet could see Angela arguing with General Stevenson as they exited the room into the hallway.

 

“This is our son Lawrence, she has no right to be feeding him. None at all.”

 

Ignoring the couple as they left, Juliet listened to the sounds of the tiny baby boy enjoying his first meal. She didn’t want to give him up and fate was about to intervene. It was
another hour before another contraction came. The first boy was asleep in the plastic basinet. One of the nurses was going to take him down to the nursery. This time felt much shorter. She felt the need to push sooner than before. David resuming his position at the foot of the bed smiled at Juliet and patted her knee.

 

“Ok Jules, ready for round 2? I want you to do exactly the same thing as you did before. But this time, I want you to grab a hold of the back of your knees and pull your legs as far above your head as you can get them. There we go. This baby’s coming like a freight train. Reminds me of someone.”

 

David had turned his gaze to Hayley for a moment and then turned his attention back to bringing baby number 2 into the world. Juliet concentrated on David, even though from the corner of her eye she could see both James and Jack on either side of her, helping with holding her legs.

 

“Keep pushing. I see the head. There we go. Keep pushing. Almost there. One more push. Just one more. Keep going. It’s another boy!”

 

Just as David was placing this little boy on her stomach, a nurse gave him a slip of paper. He frowned and looked up at Juliet and the bawling baby on her stomach.

 

“Jules I have some news for you. That blood test came back. Finally. These boys are twins. But only one of them is yours. This one belongs to Angela and General Stevenson.”

 

Juliet got a pit in her stomach and she shook her head.

 

“David I’m not separating them.”

 

Juliet hadn’t noticed the couple had now come back into the room. The doctor that had stood in the room the whole time with his face covered finally revealed himself.

 

“Well, twins. I hadn’t expected that.”

 

Closing her eyes, she tried to concentrate on the baby on her stomach who was exploring his new space. Opening her eyes, she watched as General Stevenson pulled out a wad of cash and handed it to Ed. His smile grew as he pocketed it.

 

“Thank you.”

 

As Ed tried to leave, a couple of cops came into the room.

 

“Doctor Edmund Burke, you are under arrest for kidnapping, false representation, forgery, manipulation of the law and money laundering. You have the right to remain silent, anything you say or do will be used against you in a court of law. If you do not have an attorney or cannot afford one, one will be provided to you.”

 

Angela exploded and spit in Ed’s general direction.

 

“How could you do that to her? To us? Why?”

 

He completely ignored Angela and Juliet motioned for the police officers to bring him towards her, handcuffs and all.

 

“This is for you.”

 

He felt a stinging sensation on his left cheek and Juliet’s hand connected with it.

 

“That’s for all the women you cheated on me with while we were still married, and that’s for taking me away from my family. Get him out of here.”

 

The cops took Ed out of the room. Breathing in a sigh of relief Juliet looked to the couple, both were more understanding of the situation now that Ed’s plot had been exposed.

 

“Juliet. I just want to apologize for the way I’ve been acting. If I had known Doctor Burke had done all this to you, Lawrence and I wouldn’t have gone through with it. We want to make it up to you. You can come and see him as much as you want. We want you to be a part of his life.”

 

Nodding, Juliet shed tears as she handed the little boy off to the new parents. Angela leaned over so that Juliet could kiss the boy’s tiny forehead.

 

“I love you baby boy.”

 

Looking away, Juliet turned on her side and put the hand with iv in it over her face and sobbed. This wasn’t going to be easy for her.

 

To Be Continued…

 

A/N: What was your favorite scene from the chapter? If you didn't have one, which scene needed the most improvement?

Chapter Text

Looking away, Juliet turned on her side and put the hand with iv in it over her face and sobbed. This wasn’t going to be easy for her. She felt James pull her into his arms and rock her.

 

“It’s alright blondie. I got ya. Its ok.”

 

Shaking her head, the blonde let out a snort and look down at her hands.

 

“I let our baby go.”

 

James ran a hand through Juliet’s hair and kissed her head.

 

“Blondie, he’s not ours. He belongs to them. Only one is ours.”

 

Juliet tensed and looked at David who was at the foot of the bed.

 

“Ouch! David, please be careful.”

 

David gave Juliet a sympathetic look and apologized.

 

“I’m sorry. I know this doesn’t feel good, but if I don’t do this, you could have complications later.”

 

Juliet nodded and stared at the top of David’s head for a minute. Before looking back at James.

 

“No matter how many times I go through this, it still hurts.”

 

David stopped what he was doing and looked up at Juliet.

 

“If I don’t do this, you might bleed out.”

 

Juliet glared at David and stayed still.

 

“Well, maybe you’d like to trade places with me? If you were me, would you like someone massaging your uterus?”

 

Sighing, David put a gloved hand on her knee.

 

“Do you want something to take the edge off?”

 

Nodding, Juliet looked David straight in the eye.

 

“That would be nice. Thank you David.”

 

James made a face and looked ready to throw up.

 

“Whoa, too much info there blondie.”

 

Juliet wanted to laugh at James, but she was still in pain. She locked eyes with David as he slipped some local into the iv in her hand.

 

“This should help a little. Help you relax too.”

 

James looked at Juliet and tried to distract her.

 

“So, what are we gonna name him?”

 

Wincing, Juliet looked up at the ceiling and thought about it a minute.

 

“I like Toby. What do you think?”

 

James nodded and ran a hand through her messy blonde locks.

 

“Sounds like a good name for a boy blondie. I like it.”

 

David finished what he was doing, and helped Juliet get comfortable, placing the covers back over her.

 

“Ok. All finished. I’ll come back and check-in on you in awhile. You get some rest.”

 

Although she knew in her heart that the other baby belonged to General Stevenson and Angela, it still broke her heart. She’d given birth to him after all, and she felt a connection with him.

 

“David? Can you bring in Toby’s brother in awhile. I would just like to hold him and say goodbye.”

 

Juliet felt the waterworks coming on again. She’d promised herself that she’d be strong through all this, but giving up a child was never easy. Nodding, David opened the door.

 

“I’ll go down to the nursery and check-in with the nurse. She was going to give him a bottle.”

 

James pulled Juliet into his arms again and continued rocking her.

 

“It’s ok blondie. We’ll get through this together. I promise.”

 

The uncertainty that lie ahead was one Juliet wasn’t sure she could pursue. James had his head in her hair, and didn’t see a man in dark clothes watching her over by the door. A

smirk was planted on his face. Juliet’s face fell.

 

“No. Not again.”

 

Juliet went silent and this alerted James. He needed to get help for Juliet. He slammed his hand on the emergency button behind the bed, and a flood of doctors and nurses filled the room. Something was wrong.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

A flood of doctors and nurses filled the room. Something was wrong. Juliet found she couldn’t move. She could see, but the edges of her vision were black. She saw a very worried Jack come into her line of vision.

 

“What happened?”

 

There was that penlight again. James filled Jack in.

 

“I dunno doc. She just stopped talking. She was cryin’ a minute ago.”

 

Everyone in the room was now disappearing, and everything had been replaced with sand and palm trees.

 

“I don’t want to go back to the island!?”

 

Searing pain in her head made her fall to the sandy ground below her. Excruciating pain radiated from her head, and she was trying not to scream. Then the pain in her head disappeared. But the truth was, it hadn’t disappeared, it just went somewhere else. Her hands felt sticky, and when she looked down at them, she found they were covered in blood and so was her midsection.

 

“What? What’s going on?”

 

She mostly asked that of herself because there was no one on the beach with her.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“She’s hemorrhaging! Doctor Jacobson, did you massage her uterus after she gave birth?”

 

David nodded his head at the doctor next to him.

 

“Of course I did. For twenty minutes!”

 

Jack looked at them with a stern look in his eyes.

 

“Knock it off! We need to administer her some TPA. We need to bust this clot in her brain.”

 

David had objections on his tongue, and they were sliding out before he could close his mouth under his mask.

 

“You want her to die Doctor Shepard?”

 

Jack kept the stern look in his eyes as he stared at David.

 

“She’s already dead if we don’t give he that TPA!”

 

David never cared much for Jack’s attitude, but he was taking it in stride. The doctor next to David spoke up, voicing his opinion.

 

“There’s a lot of oozing in here Doctor Jacobson. There is a possibility that we may have to perform a hysterectomy on her.”

 

Shaking his head, David wanted to run a hand through Juliet’s tangled and matted knots of blonde curly hair. He didn’t want it to come to that. Even though Juliet swore to him that these boys were the last two children she’d ever want to have.

 

“No. That is a last resort. Keep transfusing her.”

 

The doctor next to David sighed and kept suctioning blood and other fluids from her insides and looked back.

 

“Another transfusion might put her back into DIC.”

 

David wasn’t going to let her die. Not after everything they’d been through together.

 

Something startled her awake. She wasn’t sure what had woken her, but soft beeping machines greeted her when she opened her eyes. The room was dark and she felt a chill run down her spine like ice water. Panic welled up inside of her and she looked down at her hands and then carefully pushed back the blankets and the sheet covering her. She sighed in relief when she found that she wasn’t drenched in her own blood.

 

“Thank you god. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”

James was sitting in a chair next to the bed and opened his eyes.

 

“Blondie?”

 

Juliet’s eyes clouded over with tears, but she didn’t let them go. Not yet anyways.

 

“James? What’s going on?”

 

James ran a hand through her knotted hair and frowned.

 

“Davy-boy and Jack fixed ya up. You were bleedin’ pretty bad they said.”

 

Juliet sat for a moment and looked back down at her hands.

 

“I thought it was a dream.”

 

The last part came out as a sob. She continued her thought.

 

“Did they…?”

 

James seemed to get her gist and filled in the blanks for her.

 

“Yeah. I’m sorry.”

 

She knew that it had been for the best, and she’d said she hadn’t wanted to have anymore kids after these two, but it still hurt to hear.

 

“Toby must be getting hungry by now.”

 

James knew Juliet was avoiding the real subject at hand right now, how she felt about what had just happened to her.

 

“Yer ignorin’ what happened to ya blondie. Let’s talk about this. I know yer hurtin’.”

 

Frowning, Juliet got comfortable and played with the tape on her left hand.

 

“I know I can’t have anymore children James. It’s not like we planned on having more anyways. I’m too old.”

 

Looking away, Juliet tried to hide her tears.

 

“Come on blondie, let’s talk about this.”

 

Juliet pushed James hands away and painfully turned onto her side.

 

“I’m done talking about this James. Have David bring Toby. I’m sure he’s getting hungry by now.”

 

James left the room and his shoulders were slumped downwards. Juliet let out a sob once the door closed. What she wanted right now, was to have some time with her son.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

Juliet rang the doorbell on Angela and General Stevenson’s house and sighed with anxiety clouding her mind. It had only been a couple of weeks since she’d last seen the little boy she’d given birth to. She didn’t even know his name. Toby deserved to know his brother, and what his name was. But Toby was at home with James and the girls. She heard a baby crying behind the door and it only made her more anxious. When the door opened, she saw Angela holding the small boy in her arms.

 

“Oh! Juliet! Come on in! I was just about to feed him. I’m sorry about the mess. Everything’s just been so crazy and hectic since we brought him home from the hospital.”

 

Taking a look around her, Juliet noticed the walls were lined with photos. She guessed some were General Stevenson’s family, and some were her family. Smiling awkwardly, Juliet stared at the flailing boy in Angela’s arms.

 

“What’s his name?”

 

Juliet traced his tiny pink nose with her index finger. Angela smiled down at him.

 

“Tobias. Tobias Andrew Stevenson.”

 

Juliet got tears in her eyes as the two women went over to the couch and had a seat.

 

“That’s a beautiful name.”

 

Angela got up after she placed Tobias in Juliet’s arms.

 

“Would you like to feed him Juliet?”

 

Juliet smiled and her eyes lit up.

 

“I’d love to. Thank you.”

 

As Angela left for the kitchen Juliet stared down at Tobias, who had now opened his eyes. He had locked his gaze on hers and didn’t let go. He was grabbing bits of her shirt and
stuffing them in his mouth. A piece of her told her she should just go ahead and feed him. The other half told her not to.

 

“This isn’t my house buddy.”

 

Tobias cooed at Juliet and continued munching a piece of her shirt. Angela came back into the living room with a heated bottle and was about to hand it to Juliet when she noticed
the look on her face.

 

“You know if you want to nurse him, that’s fine with me. I know how important breast milk is for babies when their this age.”

 

Juliet broke eye contact with Tobias for a brief moment to look up at Angela.

 

“If your uncomfortable with me doing that, I can just give him the bottle. Really, it’s no trouble.”

 

Angela put a hand on Juliet’s. Shaking her head and smiling, she spoke up.

 

“Juliet, I realize now that my attitude towards you in the hospital was completely unfounded. Tobias deserves to know he has two mommies. Two mommies and a daddy who love him very much. Get to know him.”

 

Juliet decided to strike up some small talk with Angela.

 

“I have worked for years helping women get pregnant. You know if you two wanted to try to have a second child down the road, I may be able to help you get pregnant.”

 

Angela had tears in her eyes.

 

“You mean, I could get pregnant?”

 

Juliet smiled and listened to Tobias eating.

 

“Yes. I just have to isolate the problem. I know I asked this before, but when did you notice you and Lawrence were having trouble conceiving?”

 

Angela played with Tobias’ toe and frowned.

 

“Four years ago. Twice a month we tried. Could you tell if its me, him or both of us?”

 

Juliet looked thoughtful and nodded.

 

“I’d have to run more tests on the both of you to determine what’s causing the problem.”

 

Tobias was getting squirmy under the blanket and Juliet adjusted him so that he was comfortable. Angela had a look in her eye that Juliet hadn’t seen before.

 

“If this works, I want you to know how grateful I am. I love Tobias. I do. But I didn’t give birth to him. You did.”

 

Juliet furrowed her eyebrows and looked serious.

 

“What are you saying Angela?”

 

Juliet had straightened herself out and was trying to piece together Angela’s thought process.

 

“I love Tobias. But he’s not mine. I didn’t give birth to him.”

 

Tobias let out a cry and stuffed a piece of Juliet’s shirt in his mouth. Putting him up to her shoulder, she began to burp him.

 

“Ok Angela listen to me: Tobias is yours. Doctor Jacobson confirmed it. The blood test confirms he is yours.”

 

Angela played with Tobias’ foot and sighed.

 

“I don’t know. Maybe I’m missing something here. He’s a wonderful baby, but I just don’t think I have the same natural maternal instincts as you do.”

 

Juliet shook her head and held Tobias towards Angela.

 

“Angela, look at this baby. He’s got your eyes, and your husband’s nose. He is a perfectly healthy little boy. Don’t sell yourself short.”

 

Angela was holding a lot of self-doubt, Juliet wasn’t exactly trained in this kind of area of help. She wasn’t a therapist.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

Juliet had referred Angela to a local therapist to help her adjust to the idea of Tobias being her son. So far, she was taking things in stride. Juliet continued with her weekly visits with Tobias, and eventually she brought Toby to see his brother. Today was no exception. Toby was dressed in a light blue onesie and a blue cap adorned his head.

 

“That outfit is adorable on him. Where’d you find it?”

 

Playing with Toby’s feet, Juliet smiled down at him.

 

“I found it at Target. Turquoise looks good on Tobias. It brings out his eyes.”

 

Watching Tobias, Juliet noticed his left arm had snaked out of the blanket he was wrapped in. Toby’s right arm had made its way out of his blanket as well. She looked to Angela
momentarily and then back down at both boys.

 

“Look.”

 

Juliet didn’t know if it was intentional, or Toby just wanted to grab a hold of something, but she found he was now grasping hands with his brother. Angela smiled.

 

“This is that twin bonding thing isn’t it?”

 

Angela marveled at the two boys almost holding each others hands.

 

“Twins have a bond that doctors are barely just able to understand. Their already inseparable.”

 

A warm smile adorned Juliet’s face.

 

“I think these two did the same thing while they were still inside me. I think I may still have the sonogram from it.”

 

Digging through her purse, Juliet found the photo under a tube of lipstick. Handing it to Angela, Juliet traced Toby’s left eyebrow and it solicited a squeal from him. Juliet watched

for Angela’s reaction.

 

“Their beautiful!”

 

Tobias let out a startled yelp and then took his hand away from his brothers, sticking it in his mouth. Toby was getting sleepy, this was Juliet’s queue that she should leave.

 

“Thanks for the tea Angela. It was wonderful. Toby and I will get out of your hair so you and Lawrence can have some more time with Tobias. I can get a copy of the sonogram photo for you. Keep going to your therapy sessions. They seem to be working for you. You’ve gotten the coloring back in your cheeks. I think your going to do fine. Call me if you need anything. Ok?”

 

Angela nodded and waved at both Toby and Juliet.

 

“We’ll see you two next week ok?”

 

Nodding, Juliet made her way to her car with Toby in tow.
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“James! I’m home!”

 

James came to the front hall from the living room and smiled.

“There’s my beautiful wife and my handsome boy. You wanna come watch some ball with yer old man?”

 

Juliet giggled as James took Toby from her arms. Then it hit her, by the time Toby got to high school, she would be ancient.

 

“James, you do realize by the time he gets to high school, we’ll be elderly? If we live that long...”

 

Toby had fallen asleep in his father’s arms.

 

“Have a good sleep buddy.”

 

Placing Toby in the playpen, James sighed and shook his head wearily.

 

“Blondie, we will make it to see him graduate. College on the other hand, that might be a different story altogether.”

 

James pulled Juliet into his arms and took in the scent of her strawberry shampoo. She stopped him before he could place another kiss to her neck.

 

“James, sweetheart, as much as that sounds good right now, I’ve still got three weeks before the doctor gives me the all clear.”

 

Pulling out of Juliet’s embrace, James frowned.

 

“No one ever said makin’ out was off the table blondie.”

 

Juliet smirked and looked towards the playpen at Toby.

 

“Ok, give me five minutes. I’ve got to put Toby down in his room.”

 

James had some ideas, but that’s all they were.

 

To Be Continued...

Chapter Text

“Uh uh. It’s your turn to change him. I did it last time.”

 

Juliet chuckled at James and shook her head. “Do you know how many diapers we’ve changed over the years James?”

 

Now it was James turn to shake his head. “Uh, gee I dunno, too many?”

 

Shaking her head and trying not to laugh, Juliet sighed and took a breath. “Love knows no boundaries James. We’ve given all these girls love. They all turned into beautiful young women. I have no doubt Toby will turn into a wonderful young man. But for now, we get to enjoy him while he’s still young. While he still wants us around.”

 

James smiled down at the tiny boy and finished snapping up his onesie. “Just wait until you get a little older little man. I’ll teach ya how to play ball.”

 

Gathering Toby in his arms, he carried him over to the couch and had a seat. Mayra approached Juliet as she was throwing the soiled diaper in the garbage. “Mama? Will you help me practice for my dance competition?”

 

Smiling, Juliet nodded. “Of course. I would love to. Did you pick which music you want to practice to?”

 

Nodding, Mayra pulled on Juliet’s hand. Leading her to her room, she went to her stereo and turned it on. Juliet and Mayra waited for the beat to pick up and started dancing. The two started doing a one-two step back and forth. Then Juliet began to spin Mayra in circles around her. The two had the rhythm going until James entered the room with Toby. He was screaming at the top of his lungs. “Sorry to interrupt ladies; but Toby’s hungry.”

 

Juliet kissed Mayra’s forehead and reached for a screaming Toby. “I’m sorry baby. Your brother is hungry. We’ll dance some more later, OK?”

 

Mayra nodded and kept dancing. Juliet entered the hallway and carried Toby to their bedroom. His screams grew louder. Juliet tried to reassure him. “Toby, it’s OK. Let’s get you settled. There we go.”

 

James took a seat on the bed next to Juliet and traced his son’s tiny pink hand. “We only got one job in this life when it comes to our kids, and that’s protecting them. Lovin’ them is easy when you have a wife puts in every pennies worth. These kids beautiful.”

 

Juliet chuckled and looked down at Toby who was still eating. She enjoyed spending these little moments with her children. Looking back though, she’d wished she’d spent more time with Hayley. She’d missed nine years of her life that she’d never get back. “The only regret I have James, is that I wasn’t there for the first nine years of Hayley’s life. Sometimes I wonder what life would’ve been like had I been there for her.”

 

James put a hand on Juliet’s back. Sighing, he ran a second hand on Toby’s head. “Now Blondie, don’t go blamin’ yerself. It ain’t your fault. Blame Ben. He’s the one who brought you to the island in the first place.”

 

Juliet took Toby away from her chest and straightened herself out before placing him against her shoulder to burp him. “I guess your right. I wouldn’t trade anything in the world for these moments. Love knows no boundaries James. I’ve learned that over the years. It’s also nice to know you’ve still got my back years later.”

 

James gave a low laugh. “Of course, Blondie. I’ve always got yer back. Now and always. Never forget that.”

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

The first thing I did when I got home was look for James and Toby. I’ve heard down the grapevine that Ed has escaped from prison. My heart was racing as I frantically looked around the house for either one of them. “James? Where are you?”

 

James came from the living room. My mind went straight to Toby. “James where’s Toby?”

 

Juliet was sure something was wrong. Toby when he slept made noises. Most of the time he made suckling noises, as if he were eating. When she was home, she always had the baby monitor strapped to her hip. But it was James’ turn. James furrowed his eyebrows at Juliet."He’s asleep upstairs, Blondie. I got the baby-walkie right here. See? Sound asleep.”

 

But Juliet didn’t believe James. Nearly ripping the baby monitor from James’ hands, she rushed up the stairs and into Toby’s room. Her heart leapt into her throat as she approached his crib. It was empty. “James! Where’s Toby?”

 

She was looking for Mayra maybe she had him with her. “Mayra sweetheart. Is your brother with you?”

 

Mayra came scattering into Toby’s room. Juliet swore she heard him screaming somewhere in the house. But where? A horrifying thought crossed her mind.
Ed’s got him!”

 

James got a pit in his stomach. “What do you mean he’s got Toby? He’d better not harm a hair on his little head.”

 

The couple heard noise come from the living room downstairs. A pit began to form in Juliet’s stomach. Ed was downstairs, his signature smirk ready and waiting. “Was wondering when you were going to show up.”

Juliet felt panic begin to well up inside her.“Give me my son Ed. What do you want?”

 

He wasn’t giving up so easily. “You think that I was giving up that easily Jules? I don’t think so.”

 

Hayley and Mayra both stood their ground next to their mother. Ed kept smirking. “It figures the two of you would stick by your mother. The two of you are so much like her. Easy to control.”

 

Hayley balled her fists and grew angry with Ed. “Give my brother back and get out of our house. If grandma knew you were here right now, she’d been spinning in her grave.”

 

Ed only rolled his eyes. “Oh we all know your grandma hated me. She’d spit my direction every time she saw me. I’m glad she’s not here to see me now. Maybe I should just take the two of you. See how your mother likes it.”

 

The pit in Juliet’s stomach remained as Ed reached for Hayley and Mayra. “Let go of us!”

 

It was Hayley who folded. “Listen, you want mama’s research you can have it. All of it. But you have to give her credit. She came up with the idea.”

 

Juliet felt her nose flare. “Hay, we can’t let him have it. He’ll ruin decades of hard work. He can find another way.”

 

Ed smirked and kept holding Toby. “I think I have all I came for right here.”

 

Toby kept screaming as Ed held him away from Juliet. “This boy is a miracle. Him and his brother. The world needs to know about them.”

 

James became angry, and until now he’d been sitting on the sidelines watching quietly, but not anymore. “You give us our boy you bastard.”

 

Ed still wasn’t giving up. “Oh I don’t think so James. This boy is special.”

 

James tried reaching for Toby, who was still screaming. “You want him back, you have to give me an assurance you won’t call the cops on me. You have to let me go free.”

 

Ed shook his head no and started for the door. “You want your son back, you do exactly as I say. I wouldn’t hurt a hair on his little head.”

 

James was in no negotiating mood. He just wanted his son back. “Look, Juliet and I won’t call the cops on you. Just please give us our son back. I promise.”

 

Ed however kept walking towards the door, Toby in his arms. “No, I don’t think so. Toby’s coming with me. Awful name for a boy Jules. You should’ve picked a stronger name”

 

Juliet was in no mood to play games with Ed. “Give me Toby. I promise we won’t call the cops. I promise.”

 

Ed shook his head. “All the begging in the world isn’t going to help you Jules. Besides it doesn’t become you.”

 

Then like that Ed was gone with Toby. Leaving Juliet a sobbing mess. James became angry. “Don’t worry, the cops are on the way, blondie. I won’t let that bastard get away with our boy.”

 

Juliet didn’t believe him thought. It was hard to get past when Toby was with Ed.

 

To Be Continued…