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The mark that the island left

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The island had grown on them, but now that they’d finally made contact with someone from the real world nearly two days ago, it was time to pack up and go home. This forsaken rock had been home to numerous misgivings and misfortunes. Including heartache, loss, grief, pain, and at times jealousy. Up until nearly two days ago, Juliet and James were raising three little girls and one more was on the way, thanks to her successful serum that helped avoid the disaster of losing so many mothers and children in the past.

Juliet and James girls were all turning into fine young ladies. Cara being the oldest had just turned 7. She had messy blond curls and blue eyes that mirrored her mother. However, she had a smattering of freckles adorning her cheeks. Juliet couldn’t decide which side of the family she’d gotten them from hers or James. It made her look adorable. But when it came to her temper, that was all James. Then there was Erin. She’d just turned 5.

She had Juliet’s curly blond hair but green eyes. Being the middle child she got most of Cara’s hand-me-down clothes. She was stubborn like Juliet, but she liked to climb trees. She had a birthmark on her forehead right above her right eyebrow that resembled the feather of a barn swallow. The last of the girls was Jessica. She was 3. Her world revolved around eating mangoes, boar meat and playing with an old doll Juliet had found for her from the old plane wreckage down the beach.

Sitting in the sand mere feet from Juliet, she whined and threw her doll down into the sand next to her.

“Mama, Jessi’s tummy hurts.”

Stopping what she was doing, Juliet went over to Jessi and sat down next to her. Frowning she spoke up.

“What happened little bird? Huh? Where does your tummy hurt? Can you show mommy?”

Jessi tensed as her mother found the spot where her stomach hurt.

“Right here?”

Nodding Jessi tried turning away from Juliet.

“No more mangoes…”

Shaking her head, Juliet kissed Jessi’s forehead and pulled her into her lap. Well attempted to anyways.

“You ate too much mango, didn’t you?”

Jessi nodded her head yes and tried to squirm out of Juliet’s arms.

“Mangoes yucky mama.”

Managing to get to her feet again, Juliet took Jessi by the hand towards their tent and led her towards James who was packing what meager belongings he had left.

“What’s gotten into ya little bird?”

Juliet smirked and tried to hide a smile.

“Your middle daughter decidedly ate too many mangoes. She doesn’t want anymore and now she has a stomachache.”

 

James paused on his packing and pulled Jessi into his arms.

“It’s ok little bird. How ‘bout daddy tells ya story and you can take a nap?”

Jessi gave a small smile to James and crawled onto her blanket on the floor. Juliet vacated the tent as James started his story. She had to find Cara and Erin. Shielding her eyes from the harsh island sun, Juliet called down the beach.

“Cara Rene and Erin Rachel Ford-Montero I don’t want you that close to the ocean! It’s time to pack! We’re leaving in an hour! Come on girls!”

The two sisters came running towards Juliet all smiles. Juliet covered her eyes suddenly when the sun became too bright. She felt like she was drowning. Flashing images crossed her mind’s eye of water and her struggling against it. In between the flashes of whatever she was seeing, perhaps a vision, she wasn’t sure what to call it, she saw a very worried Jack come into her line of vision. She could see him, but she couldn’t hear a word he was saying. The edges of her vision were getting white and then darkness overtook her.
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When she regained consciousness, she found she was in a bed somewhere she didn’t recognize. Furrowing her eyebrows, for a moment she began to panic, making the baby in her belly below her give a quick and swift fluttery kick to let her know that she was indeed there.

“Where are we? Are we in the barracks?”

Juliet saw James come into her view of vision and shake his head, running a hand through her messy blond locks.

“We ain’t on the island anymore blondie. We’re on a cruise ship. You’ve been asleep for almost 16 hours. I’ll let the doc explain our situation.”

Juliet was confused in more ways than one. The baby did a summersault and she involuntarily took a sharp intake of breath.

“Oh!”

Seeing Jack clear the room of the crowd of people that had obviously been adorning it, Juliet looked up at Jack.

“I need you to stay very still Juliet. I don’t want to alarm you, but you are in the very early stages of labor. Your contractions have been coming at regular intervals. Since we’re on a cruise ship, I have very limited access to the supplies I would need to prevent a premature birth. So, I need you to stay still. A few days’ rest should resolve the issue. The baby is in no immediate danger right now, but that could change very quickly.”

Swallowing hard, Juliet tried not to let a couple of tears slip down her face, but they were threatening and they were coming too quickly to quell them.

“What’s the rest of situation?”

Jack taking a chair from the other side of the bed, straddled it as he sat down.

“You are four centimeters dilated, your contractions are coming every hour and a half, and your about forty percent effaced. Let’s see if we can slow this down ok?”

Looking to James, Juliet reached for him. Reaching over, he took her in his arms and held her.

“Everything’s gonna be ok baby. I promise. The doc is gonna make everything better.”

Juliet hoped so. The island had done a number on her state of mind. When she pulled away from James embrace she noticed she had a polaroid photo in her left hand. It was a photo she hadn’t seen in years. But it seemed just like yesterday when it was taken.

“Where did you find this?”

James furrowed his eyebrows and looked at the photo.

“Oh that? Found it when I was gettin’ some of yer clothes outta one of the old suitcases. Is that a niece or nephew or somethin’?”

Shaking her head, no, she placed a hand over her belly and blew out a breath.

“No. That’s Hayley. She’s my daughter.”

Juliet watched James reaction and shifted in the bed.

“You have another family?”

Reaching a hand out to him, Juliet tried to wrap it around his left one and explain what happened.

“I don’t have another family James. I have you, the girls, my sister and my nephew Julian. That’s it. I used my serum on myself back on the mainland in Miami. I used it to test my theory to see if whatever was affecting my sister Rachel wasn’t affecting me as well. I got pregnant with the help of my close friend David. He’s not the father, but he did help with the procedure.

Since my theory was still highly untested and not even in clinical trials yet, David and I had to keep it under wraps. My ex, Ed, he thought I’d hit rock bottom and was eating my way through some sort of depression. I wore extremely baggy clothes to try and hide it. Some of my coworkers knew, but they were afraid to say anything. Ed surprisingly never found out.

Nine months went by and I gave birth to a healthy 10 pound and 6-ounce baby girl in the bathroom at work of all places. My sister Rachel has been taking care of her for the past twelve years. She must be getting so big. I never meant to leave her behind. I begged Richard to let me bring her with me. But he told me no family. So, when Hayley was six months old, I left her with my sister. I told my sister I’d only be gone for six months. By then my sister was already pregnant. I often lie awake at night thinking how she could raise two babies by herself. What’s Hayley going to think of me when I show up on their doorstep? She’ll be angry with me.”

Jack put a hand on Juliet’s shoulder to keep her calm.

“Alright Juliet. That’s enough. You should rest. I’ll check on you and the baby in an hour to see how the two of you are doing.”

Jack slipped her a sedative so that she could relax. She needed some rest. It wasn’t an option at this point. It was mandatory. Sleep enveloped her quickly, and it welcomed her like a warm bear hug.

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When she woke, she heard beeping surrounding her. Opening her eyes, she found herself in a different room. Again. Becoming confused, she turned her head and noticed James had fallen asleep in a chair next to the bed.

In his lap was Jessi rolled up and nestled against his chest. Turning her head to the right, she saw that Cara and Erin were sprawled out on the pull-out bed/couch. Her eyes roaming over to the monitor next to the bed, she saw that it was monitoring her and the baby both. So, I’m in a hospital. But where? She tried to move, but she suddenly felt a sharp pain in her abdomen.

“Ouch.”

Sitting up slightly, she found a catheter going out from under the blanket and disappearing underneath the bed somewhere.

“Great just what I need.”

James stirred and opened his eyes.

“Hey blondie. You’re awake. You shouldn’t be sittin’ up yet. Lie back. I’ll get the doc.”

Jessi opened her eyes and her little bottom lip began to quiver. Tears were threatening to come down her pale cheeks.

“Mama?”

James looked at Jessi and shushed her, waking Cara and Erin in the process.

“Shh it’s ok little bird. Go with your sisters. Aunt Rachel’s out in the hallway with your cousin and your sister. Go on.”

Juliet’s eyes widened at the mention of her sister. Now that the kids had left the room, she stared at James in disbelief.

“If my sister is here, does that mean we’re… Home? Are you… Are you being serious or is this some cosmic joke?”

James looked entirely offended for a moment, but quickly quelled it.

“This ain’t a joke blondie. We’re back. On the mainland. We’re in Miami. Everyone’s ok. The doc said you can go home tomorrow. If everything checks out fine.”

Juliet covering her face began to cry. This couldn’t possibly be real, could it? She uncovered her face when the door opened. In came a girl about 12 years old with messy blond curls and blue eyes. Juliet thought she was looking at a mirror of herself. The girl nervously came closer to the bed, shuffling her feet and keeping her eyes on the floor. She stood stock still next to the bed and Juliet reached a hand up to her face.

“Hayley, do you know who I am?”

James sat silently and watched as the mother/daughter interaction unfolded. Hayley nodded her head and spoke, but it was so quiet, Juliet could barely hear her.

“Mama…”

Juliet could see there was a sea of questions ready to come forth from Hayley’s lips, but she would be patient and not pry. Hayley would ask them when she was ready. Right now, all she wanted to do was relish in the moment, she was home and that was all that mattered right now.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

“Mama…”

 

Hayley had spoken the word so softly, Juliet could barely hear it. She had imagined this day every night while she was on the island. She missed the last twelve years of Hayley’s life. She wasn’t sure where exactly she was supposed to start. But this would be a fresh start at life for the both of them. They could get to know each other again, and she would meet the rest of her family. She had sisters now and everything would work out fine. At least that was the picture Juliet had in her head right now. But she knew this wasn’t what reality was like. Reality could be fickle, and the universe was sometimes a pain in the ass.

 

“Yes, it’s really me Hay. You’re beautiful.”

 

Juliet could see Hayley was a mixed bag of emotions this very moment. It was as if time were standing still for the mother/daughter duo. Hayley reminded her so much of her old self. It was uncanny. Hayley eyed the beeping monitor softly going about its business next to the bed her mother lie in. She watched Juliet shift in the bed and part of the blanket fell away, revealing a bit of the band around her stomach.

 

"What's that around your stomach?"

 

Looking down, Juliet smiled and put a hand on top of her belly.

 

"Oh, this? This band around my stomach is monitoring the baby growing inside me. It's keeping track of the heartbeat. It also keeps track of other things to make sure the baby is doing ok."

 

Sitting down heavily in the chair James had only recently vacated, Hayley began playing with her left ear. A habit Juliet knew all too well.

 

"Aunt Rachel told me you were doing some very important work. She said you helped people who didn't have babies. You helped them get better. How come you didn't write to me? When I was old enough to read and write I decided to write you letters. I wrote to you once a week for the last five years. But every time I sent them, they were always returned to me with the stamp: 'return to sender'. I thought you were ignoring me."

 

Juliet felt helpless by what Hayley had just revealed to her. It was hard enough seeing her almost grown, but to hear the words coming out of Hayley's mouth, it tore Juliet apart.

 

"I wasn't ignoring you, baby. There was no way for me to contact you."

 

Hayley looked down at her hands and then back up at her mother.

 

"Are those three girls in the hallway with Aunt Rachel my sisters?"

 

Juliet smiled and wanted to take Hayley’s right hand on her own, but gave her some space instead. She noticed something shiny around her neck.

 

“That’s a very pretty necklace Hayley. Who gave that to you?”

 

Hayley fiddled with it and held it out for Juliet to see.

 

“I found it. In an old box in Aunt Rachel’s attic. It belonged to great-grandma Isabel.”

 

What Juliet saw in Hayley was an uncertainty, one emotion she was very familiar with during the days when she was still with Ed. She turned over the thought in her mind about what if he'd found out about Hayley. If he were still here, and alive today, he would do everything in his power to have control over the both of them. Juliet would be his own personal guinea pig.

 

“That necklace is very special.”

 

Juliet squeezed her eyes shut and gripped the bed sheet with her left hand for a brief few seconds before letting go. The pain in her belly was strange, and she felt oddly sick to her stomach. Opening her eyes, she saw a tearful Hayley staring back at her.

 

“Mama?”

 

She could see everything, including Hayley, but she couldn’t hear anything. Something was wrong. She tried not to look frightened as a gaggle of nurses and doctors flooded the room. Tears began to cascade down her cheeks when she saw her longtime friend David Jacobson enter the room. She could barely hear him as he spoke to her.

 

“Jules?”

 

She didn’t know what was going on, and it frightened her. David took another step closer to the bed and looked her straight in the eye.

 

“Can you tell me what’s going on?”

 

Juliet could see Hayley in her line of vision and tried to speak, but Hayley crossed her arms and set her lips in a thin grim line. She gets that from me.

 

“Somebody please tell me what’s wrong with my mom. Please? Mama?”

 

Juliet could see Hayley trying to come towards her but David was ushering her out of the room.

 

“Go out in the hall with your Aunt Rachel Hay. Everything’s going to be just fine.”

 

Seeing the look on Hayley’s face didn’t make Juliet feel any better. Quite the opposite. Juliet hadn’t seen David in years, and to see him now was nice but not under these
circumstances.

 

“Jules stay with me.”

 

She suddenly felt like she wasn’t drowning anymore. But the pain and the nausea were still present. David was quick to get something for Juliet to lose whatever was in her stomach.

 

“David, what’s going on?”

 

Putting a hand on Juliet’s shoulder, David watched the machine she was attached to and saw the numbers on the screen go up and down.

 

“The baby’s heart rate is elevated slightly, we’ll have to keep an eye on it. I can give you something for nausea. You need to rest Jules. Let’s have a look at this baby, shall we?”

 

Juliet only stared at David, he’d aged somewhat, his glasses were different from the one’s he’d had twelve years ago, and he was beginning to gray. She was still trying to figure out how she’d gotten here in the first place. Lying back, Juliet gazed at the ultrasound machine in front of her in awe.

 

“You know the drill, Jules. This is cold. Sorry. Good respiratory movements, strong and steady heartbeat. Hold on a second, what’s going on here?”

 

Juliet could hear the concern in David’s voice. Her eyes went from the screen to the wand moving about over her ever-expanding stomach. Then back to David again.

 

“Please tell me it’s not an abruption. Is it?”

 

David creased his eyebrows together and pressed a few buttons on the screen. His frown deepened as he turned off the machine and rolled it away. Quickly wiping the excess gel from her stomach, he looked her straight in the eye.

 

“I want to check for something. Let me know if anything is bothering you ok?”

 

Juliet stayed still as David moved his hands over her stomach.

 

“Here’s the head. There are the hands and the arms. Oh, felt a foot there. How many weeks are you?”

 

Juliet quickly did the math in her head and ran a left index finger over where she felt a tiny foot connect with her ribcage.

 

“25 weeks. You have no idea how hard this has been David.”

 

David, finishing his exam put the blanket back over her and sat for a second, taking in her features.

 

“I don’t understand a lot of what happened to you. Where have you been?”

 

Juliet could no long hide her emotions. She’d been good at hiding them while living on the island, but here, with David, she wanted to let them air out so to speak.

 

“David, that company that offered me a job in Portland. It wasn’t real. The man who approached me, it was all a ruse. He put horse tranquilizer in my orange juice and knocked me unconscious. When I woke, I was on a submarine and we were docked on some island.”

 

David bristled at Juliet’s last two sentences and took her hand in his.

 

“Wait, did they… Did they hurt you?”

 

Juliet shook her head no and continued with her story.

 

“No. I would’ve known if that happened. I’m positive nothing like that happened. Apparently, this island that I was brought to, was to help the women who were having fertility problems. For some reason, they couldn’t have babies. So, I was brought in to help with that problem. It took me years to solve it. I lost 18 patients. Nine women and nine babies. All the women never made it past their second trimester. I didn’t become successful with my serum until a woman named Kate. I modified my serum, I had to. It’s what kept her alive during the later stages of her pregnancy. She gave birth to a healthy little girl named Megan on August 6th, 2006. Then on September 22nd, 2009, she gave birth to another little girl named Gracie. The last child she gave birth to on the island was Cody and he was born on October 7th, 2011. The second woman to have several successful pregnancies because of my serum was me. I gave birth to Cara on December 14th, 2006. Erin was born January 9th, 2008. Then there is Jessica. She was born March 16th, 2010.”

 

David sat for a moment trying to soak in what Juliet had just given him, information wise.

 

“You’ve got four beautiful girls. I’m guessing the one’s standing outside with Rachel and Julian are your girls.”

 

Juliet ran a finger over her belly again and smiled down at it.

 

“Don’t forget Mayra. She’s number five.”

 

David quickly changed the subject as he looked down at her ring finger.

 

“I see you’ve finally settled down Jules. Who’s the lucky man?”

 

Juliet smiled as James came back into the room with a vase of flowers.

 

“I thought you might like these blondie. They're from your sister Rachel. Oh hey. How’s it goin’ doc? How’s my beautiful bride doin’?”

 

David shook hands with James and looked him in the eye. Juliet introduced him.

 

“David Jacobson, I would like you to meet my husband James. James meet David. We used to work in research together before the island.”

 

David got down to business and put on his professional face.

 

“Well, we gave Juliet something to curb the nausea. Haven’t found the cause of her belly pain. Everything seems to be going just fine. There’s no bleeding and the baby is perfectly healthy. I got her something for the pain, it won’t harm the baby. I’ll come back and check on her in the little while. It was nice meeting you James.”

 

James nodded and watched as David left the room.

 

“So, that’s David huh? Seems like an awesome guy. The girls are gettin’ ants in their pants out in the hallway. So your sister took them down to the vending machine. Hayley is waiting to come back in. Should I get her for you?”

 

Juliet nodded and watched as James went towards the door. Opening it, he let Hayley in. Hayley took a seat next to Juliet. She noticed her mother’s eyes were getting heavy.

 

“Mama? Are you ok? What did Uncle David give you?”

 

She tried smiling to prove to Hayley that she was ok. She felt like she was floating now, and she wasn’t in anymore pain.

 

“Don’t cry Hay. Uncle David just gave me something to help me feel better. Both your little sister and I are doing just fine.”

 

Juliet didn’t understand the gravity of her words right now. Hayley was vulnerable emotionally. She wasn’t sure how to cope now that her mother was back in her life.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

Juliet had been home from the hospital a few days and was visiting Rachel and Julian. She’d left James at home with the girls so that she could have some time with Hayley. Knocking on the door of Rachel’s house, Juliet prepared herself. She heard laughter behind the door. The door swung open and she came face to face with Hayley.

 

“Hayley. How are you? Aunt Rachel invited me over to catch up.”

 

Hayley shifted uncomfortably and then moved aside so that her mother could enter the house. She watched as Juliet waddled into the house.

 

“I’m fine. Do you want to sit down?”

 

Juliet smiled and took a seat on the couch in the living room.

 

“Thanks, Hay. Could I get a glass of water?”

 

Hayley still nervous, went out of the living room and into the kitchen. Juliet let her eyes linger on some of the photos on the mantle and she felt tears come to her eyes. There on the mantle was a photo of her and Hayley she’d never seen before. Juliet turned her attention back to Hayley when she came back with the glass of cold water.

 

“Hayley, do you know who took that picture of us and David?”

 

Hayley stiffened and glanced at the photo on the mantle.

 

“Uncle David took that picture. It’s from the same day you had me.”

 

Juliet could still see Hayley had so many questions she wanted answering. She could see it in her eyes.

 

“Why did you leave me, mama?”

 

Those words came tumbling out of Hayley’s mouth broke Juliet. Taking a breath, Juliet scooted a tad closer to Hayley and tried to explain to her the situation.

 

“Baby I didn’t want to leave you behind. I left you with Aunt Rachel because I knew that would be your best chance. I couldn’t take you with me. The people I was with wouldn’t let me have a family.”

 

Hayley’s eyes got wide as tires and she was on the verge of tears yet again.

 

“You mean the island? Why couldn’t you have tried harder to take me with you?”

 

Now it was Juliet’s turn to stiffen at Hayley’s response.

 

“How do you know about that place?”

 

Hayley’s eyes grew dark for a moment as she stared at her mother.

 

“I heard you and Aunt Rachel. What is that place? Where were you, mama?”

 

Juliet wasn’t sure where Hayley got her little attitude, but it sounded familiar. A lot like someone who was watching the girls at home.

 

“I can’t explain it, it’s very far away and I hope you never go there.”

 

Hayley threw out another question for Juliet to try and answer.

 

“Who’s my dad?”

 

Juliet’s heart sank. What was she supposed to tell Hayley?

 

“That’s kind of a hard one to explain baby. You were a miracle. You know I help women who can’t have babies. You remember the medicine I gave your Aunt Rachel? I gave it to
myself first to test it out. That and with the help of Uncle David, you came into the picture.”

 

Hayley looked almost horrified.

 

“Are you saying Uncle David is actually my dad?”

 

Juliet shook her head no.

 

“No. Uncle David is not your dad. But he did bring you into the world. That’s what the picture of us on the mantle is.”

 

Hayley shifted a little and her eyes grew wider when she thought she saw movement coming from her mother’s stomach.

 

“Is that my little sister moving around?”

 

Juliet grinned at Hayley reaching for her hand.

 

“Do you want to feel?”

 

Hayley nodded shyly and her eyes widened more as she felt the rhythmic moving under her left hand.

 

“Whoa. What is that?”

 

Giggling, Juliet watched Hayley’s reaction.

 

“That is your sister’s foot connecting with the bottom of my ribcage. Why don’t you get your Aunt Rachel for me?”

 

Hayley stood up and walked out of the room looking for Rachel. Juliet got to her feet when she felt like she was drowning again, the sick feeling in her stomach returned. The room this time began to spin. The next thing she knew, she was falling to the carpet. Instead of Rachel just following Hayley back into the living room, it was her Hayley and David.

 

“Jules!”

 

David was the first to approach Juliet’s fallen form and examining her without touching her.

 

“Juliet, it’s David. Can you hear me?”

 

Alarm bells went off in his head and something made him look down at her feet. He noticed the carpeting was wet not just by her feet, but underneath her legs too. David put a hand to his forehead and closed his eyes. Opening them again, he turned to Rachel with a serious look on his face.

 

“Go call 9-1-1. Go! Hayley go with Julian upstairs.”

 

Hayley began to protest David.

 

“But Uncle David, I want to stay here with you and mama.”

 

David didn’t have time to argue with Hayley and shook his head.

 

“No Hay. I’ll stay with her. Now go.”

 

Hayley left the room, shoulders slightly slumped and a few tears in her eyes. David turned his attention back to Juliet.

 

“Not the best time to be going into labor Jules. You know you’re in a dangerous situation, right?”

 

His brain was working in overdrive. She needed an exam. But not here. He knew she couldn’t be moved until the paramedics came. So, he sat with her and waited. He looked her over again and when he didn’t find any visible injuries, he sighed.

 

“You came back with a bang Jules.”

 

A harsh knock on the door wafted through to the living room. David heard Rachel’s hurried footsteps enter the hallway and the front door opened.

 

“She’s over here in the living room.”

 

Two paramedics came in wheeling a stretcher with them. They both stared at David when they got to the living room.

 

“Doctor Jacobson?”

 

David sighed and ushered them over to Juliet.

 

“She’s a friend. I found her unconscious on the living room floor. Her water broke. I haven’t been able to rouse her from her unconscious state.”

 

The paramedic to the left seemed star-struck.

 

“Jerry, do you know who this woman is? This is Doctor Juliet Burke. One of the best Fertility specialists in the country. She disappeared twelve years ago, and no one knew what happened to her. Small world.”

 

Hayley had been listening at the top of the stair and came down just as the front door opened again. Stopping the paramedics at the door, Hayley took her necklace from around her neck and put it around her mother.

 

“To protect you and keep you safe.”
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She felt a strong but gentle hand across her left cheek before she opened her eyes. When she finally could open them, she realized that James was sitting next to the bed running a hand through her messy curls.

 

“Hey blondie. How are ya feelin’?”

 

Juliet looked around the room.

 

“Why am I back in the hospital?”

 

James ran a thumb across her left cheek and frowned.

 

“Your buddy David found you on the floor of your sister’s living room. What happened?”

 

Juliet stared hard at the wall for a brief few moments and spoke.

 

“I don’t know. I felt like I was drowning again. I was sick to my stomach.”

 

Juliet started to rise from the bed. He knew that she didn’t like sitting still. David entered the room and came straight to Juliet.

 

“Whoa. Where do you think, you’re going Jules?”

 

Rolling her eyes at David, Juliet went for the closet.

 

“Don’t start with me David. Where are my clothes?”

 

David put a hand on her shoulder.

 

“Jules listen to me. I need you to get back into bed. You shouldn’t be up and about. You’ve been in labor for a while. We’re doing the best we can, but we could be looking at the baby coming by tomorrow morning.”

 

Juliet almost felt her feet come out from under her.

 

“It doesn’t matter where I go James, the island is still trying to punish me.”

 

James clenched his jaw and helped her back to the bed.

 

“Not if I can help it blondie.”

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

“Where is she?”

    

 

When Sawyer had called Jack, and told him what happened to Juliet, he naturally panicked. He loved Juliet like a sister and would do everything to make sure she was taken care of. The nurse gave Jack a confused expression.

 

 

“Where’s who Doctor Shepard?”

    

 

Jack didn’t have time for this.

 

 

 

“Juliet Burke. What room is she in?”

    

 

The nurse could tell Jack was agitated and a little exasperated, but getting mad at her wasn’t doing him any good.

 

 

“Room 325 maternity ward.”

    

 

Jack nodded and headed for the elevator. He had a gut-feeling something was wrong.

 

  


  

 

James wasn’t sure how much more of Juliet’s screaming he could take. He was never one to beg or plead for someone, or himself, but she was in pain.

 

 

“Doc can’t you give her more?”

    

 

David shook his head at James and tried to remedy the situation.

 

 

“I’m sorry Mr. Ford, but Juliet’s already had the amount she’s legally allowed. We can’t give her anymore.”

    

 

James turned when he heard Jack behind him.

 

 

“He’s right. She’s maxed out on the medication used for pain. She can’t have anymore, it would just harm the baby.”

    

 

David sympathized with Juliet. He remembered how much pain she was in before when she was giving birth to Hayley. He went up by her head and explained her situation.

 

 

“Jules. I wish there was another option for us to try here, but the best thing for both of you is to sedate you and do a C-section. I can have Mayra out in under sixty seconds.”

    

 

Despite the pain, David saw the look of uncertainty in Juliet’s pretty features.

 

 

“David she’s too small. She won’t survive.”

    

 

David held a look of determination and hope in his eyes.

 

 

“Not if I can help it Jules. Just relax. You’re going to start feeling sleepy in a few minutes. I want you to take a deep breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. There we go. That’s it.”

    

 

It wasn’t long before Juliet felt her eyelids become heavy with drowsiness. She was about to say something when darkness greeted her with open arms.

 


 

“Mr. Ford, I can’t allow you in the OR without the proper attire.”

    

 

James ground his teeth together and followed the nurse’s instructions. Twenty minutes later, now dressed in the proper clothing, James sat up by Juliet’s head and ran a hand through her curly hair.

 

 

“Everything’s gonna be alright blondie. Our girl’s gonna come out just fine. You’ll see.”

    

 

He stared at a nurse that put a cap over his hair.

 

 

“What’s this for?”

    

 

The nurse explained on her way towards David.

 

 

“Sterile environment Mr. Ford. Both of you need one.”

    

 

James nodded and looked David in the eye.

 

 

“You get our girl out Davy. You owe Juliet.”

    

 

David nodded and ignored the fact that James had just called him ‘Davy’. Only his dad called him that. James could see nothing behind the barrier that was separating Juliet’s head from the rest of her body. It was a tense minute or two before he finally heard the tiny cries of his fifth little girl. David held Mayra over the top of the barrier so that James could get a look at her. His face fell.

 

 

“She’s tiny.”

    

 

David nodded seriously and cut the umbilical cord.

 

 

“She’ll need to stay in the nicu for the next month and a half. Just until she is big enough to go home.”

    

 

James nodded and leaned in to kiss Juliet’s cheek.

 

 

“You did great mama. Wait till you see this girl. She’s already got my smirk.”

    

 

The crisis hadn’t been averted, and now James and Juliet were in an uphill battle to regain control again.

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

James had fallen asleep in the chair next to the bed Juliet was in. He hadn’t left her side except to use the restroom. He watched her breathing and ran a hand over her left cheek and through her hair.

 

“You should see our girl blondie. She’s beautiful. The doc said you can go and see her when you’re up to it.”

 

Turning his attention towards the door, he saw David had entered the room.

 

“How are you doing today James? Have you been up to see Mayra?”

 

James nodded and shook hands with David.

 

“Doin’ good doc. I was just tellin’ Juliet about our girl.”

 

David saw movement in the bed and slowly approached it. A frightened Juliet grabbed at the sheets a horrified expression pasted on her face.

 

“Why is there so much blood by my feet?”

 

Grabbing for her hands, David tried to bring Juliet’s attention to him.

“Look at me Jules. There is nothing by your feet. Here. Let me show you. See? All you see is a little bit of oozing from your stitches.”

 

Juliet seemed to calm considerably, but then her face became devoid of color.

 

“I think I’m going to be sick…”

 

Before James could move, Juliet got sick on him. An apologetic expression now lined her face.

 

“James I’m sorry.”

 

James shook his head and put a hand on her back.

 

“Don’t you worry now blondie. It’s just a shirt. I can change it.”

 

She felt embarrassed and looked away. David put the covers back over Juliet and pressed the button behind her bed. A nurse came in.

 

“Janie, could you get housekeeping in here?”

 

James glanced over at David and put a hand on his shoulder.

 

“Doc, why is she gettin’ sick?”

 

David took another stool and sat down next to James.

 

“Sometimes when people wake up from anesthesia, it makes them ill. It’ll dissipate. I can give her some Compazine. That should help.”
James giving his consent watched David go over to a drawer and pull something out of it. Directing the medication into the iv bag, David waited for results.

 

“There we go Jules. How do you feel?”

 

Taking a breath, Juliet gave a tired smile.

 

“Better. Thank-you David. How’s my baby?”

 

David gave a smile and pulled up a stool next to the bed.

 

“Mayra’s doing surprisingly well. She’s eating and she’s making urine. We had to mature her lungs a little. You must know Jules, a baby born at 25 weeks is on the line of no return. At this point, she could go either way. But that little girl in there is fighting for her life right now. I’ll have a nurse take you up to see her when you’re able to walk.”

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

“Who made this?”

 

James smiled and fingered the decoration above Mayra’s open and warmed bassinet.

 

“The girls did.”

 

Juliet took a seat in the rocking chair in front of Mayra’s bassinet.

 

“You know James, it’s so much more different when it’s not you that’s going through all this. I used to give advice and comfort to the women I helped. They put their complete trust in me.”

 

A nurse smiled at Juliet as she came over to the pair.

 

“Would you like to hold your daughter?”

 

Juliet nodded and held her outstretched arms for Mayra. She felt the waterworks coming on, but tried to hold them back as she looked over Mayra’s every feature.

 

“Hello little one. I’m your mommy.”

 

Her arms seemed too big for holding Mayra’s tiny body. She traced Mayra’s tiny nose and fingered the tube going into her mouth and into her lungs. Another nurse came by and
smiled at mother and daughter.

 

“Would you like to feed her Juliet?”

 

Juliet wanted to have time to bond with her youngest, but she was too small right now to share a moment with her.

 

“She’s too young to suckle yet. So, that means I can’t breastfeed her yet.”

 

The nurse saw the sadness in Juliet’s pretty baby blues, and put a hand on her shoulder.

 

“For now. I’ll tell you what, you can still have some time with her. I can get you a blanket and you can set her on your chest. She really just needs to feel close to you right now.”

 

The nurse handed Juliet a blanket after she’d helped place Mayra against her chest. The baby against her chest gave tiny squealing sounds. Juliet wasn’t sure what to make of them.

 

“Are you trying to tell mommy you’re here?”

 

The tiny squealing continued and Juliet thought she felt her miniature hands moving against her skin. She moved the rocking chair slightly and listened to Mayra’s
cooing/squealing.

 

“Don’t worry sweetheart, we’ll get through this and you’ll be able to go home soon! You’ve got a big family.”

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

“What happened?”

 

Juliet sat out of the way in the rocking chair as nurses and a couple of doctors tended to Mayra. She was trying to be objective of the situation, but after everything she’d seen on the island, she had every right to be afraid. No one would dare mess with Juliet right now. She was having a hard time keeping her emotions turned off.

 

“What’s going on?”

 

She felt like she was going to fall out of the rocking chair, but James held her back up.

 

“Everything’s gonna be just fine blondie. The doctors are going to make her better. They’re taking care of her.”

 

Juliet nodded, but she felt her bottom lip begin to tremble. It was threatening to spread through her entire body.

 

“Find the person responsible for inserting the iv in her arm and having fluid leak into her brain! NOW!”

 

This was the first-time Juliet felt completely helpless. She’d been powerless against Ed, but she now felt helpless as how to help her youngest. She was slipping away. She’d escaped the island, but she was still being punished. She heard a knock on the window and looked up. Hayley was standing at the window, her face red from crying. A mirror image of her mother. Juliet quickly exited the room and into the hallway.

 

“Mama? What’s wrong?”

 

Juliet wiped a few tears from her eyes and pulled Hayley into a hug.

 

“A nurse put the iv in your sister’s arm wrong and fluid is leaking into her brain. The doctors and nurses are going to make her all better. Don’t you worry now.”

 

Hayley pulled away and went back down the hallway with her Aunt Rachel, her sisters and Julian. Juliet hurriedly went back into the room and sat down in the rocking chair. James watched as nurses scurried about doing everything they could to help Mayra stabilize again. Juliet on the inside was a complete and utter mess. But she had to keep it together. A few minutes later, David came towards the pair with a frown on his face.

 

“Jules. We’ve stabilized Mayra. We’ll just have to wait and see now how she responds to stimuli. Since we don’t know how long that iv was left in her arm there’s no way of telling what kind of damage she may have suffered. If it was there for a less than five minutes or more than half an hour, we could be looking at brain damage.”

 

Juliet’s bottom lip quivered more and a sob escaped her mouth. Grabbing a hold of David, she hugged him tight.

 

“Don’t let my baby die David. Please save her.”

 

Letting go, David leaned down to Juliet’s eye level and nodded with confidence.

 

“Don’t you worry now Jules. I will do everything in my power to keep Mayra healthy. You have my word.”

 

Juliet knew David’s word was good. Unlike Ben. His word was worth absolutely nothing. She could always count on David. David finally walked away to give the couple some time with their little girl. Putting her head and a left hand against the open and heated bassinet, Juliet whispered something that sounded like a prayer.

 

“Please don’t go baby girl. Please stay.”

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

Juliet spent almost every waking moment with Mayra. She knew the girls would be ok with James and Rachel for a while. Running her index finger over her tiny fist, Juliet couldn’t help but watch her form breathing in and out. She’s breathing, so I know she’s alive. Someone should change her diaper. I haven’t seen a nurse for an hour. A nurse came up to

 

Mayra’s bassinet and smiled at Juliet.

 

“How are you holding up Juliet?”

 

Juliet looked up at the nurse and gave a tired smile.

 

“She uh, grabbed a hold of my hand about twenty minutes ago.”

 

Part of Juliet knew it wasn’t exactly possible yet for Mayra to grab ahold of her finger, but she was sure it happened.

 

“Juliet, Mayra doesn’t have the coordination or the strength to grip your finger yet. What you felt was probably just her reflexes.”

 

Sighing, Juliet peered at Mayra as the nurse changed her and adjusted the monitors attached to her. Stopping the nurse as she was walking away, Juliet looked her dead in the eye.

 

“Jessie, you have to understand that where I’ve been for the past twelve years doesn’t hold the same physics as this place. You think you’ve got it tough in this place, think again. I lost a total of 18 patients. It took me years to perfect my research. Ask your brother. He knows.”

 

Jessie was David’s younger sister. She was a nice woman, but she didn’t understand the ramifications the island had on the rest of them. She’d never experienced the terror that it held against them.

 

“The place I was at, it was very easy to get pregnant, however, surviving the pregnancy itself was an uphill battle. I had lots of trials and errors with my research during those years. I myself had three difficult pregnancies. Cara was breech, Erin got her ankle tangled up in her umbilical cord, and then there is my Jessica. Her head was too large and I almost bled to death with her. Jack saved me all three times. That place was a death trap.”

 

Jessie took another rocking chair and sat down next to Juliet.

 

“Where is this place?”

 

Juliet shook her head. She swore she’d never tell where the island was at. She never wanted to set foot on it again.

 

“I can’t tell you that. It’s a secret.”

 

Jessie scoffed lightly at Juliet.

 

“What do you mean it’s a secret? Is it some kind of secret military installation on a small island?”

 

Juliet put her stony, emotionless mask on and stared hard at Jessie.

 

“I can’t tell you. Besides, this place you wouldn’t be able to find anyways.”

 

Closing her eyes, Juliet chastised herself inwardly. She’d said too much already.

 

“Ok. Mayra is doing better today. She’s still making urine and her vitals are up. She’s responding to touch and sound, which is a good thing. Sensitive to light, but most babies who are born early have that sensitivity.”

 

Juliet sighed in relief, but she knew she had to wait for David. He was currently making his rounds, checking on each baby in the room. Her heart clenched at the thought that
some of these babies wouldn’t make it out of the NICU. Some were much sicker than her daughter. She couldn’t think like that though. Was she being selfish? Maybe. Mayra was getting better. It was twenty minutes before David finally arrived at Mayra’s bassinet and Juliet looked up at him with a tearful glance. She quickly quelled it though.

 

“How’s Mayra doing today?”

 

Trying to give a brave smile, Juliet moved her hand out of the bassinet and observed David as he put his too large stethoscope up to Mayra’s tiny chest. Holding her breath, Juliet stayed quiet. Letting out the breath, she heard Mayra’s tiny cries.

 

“It’s ok baby girl. Don’t cry. Uncle David’s just going to check a few things ok?”

 

David was careful as he picked Mayra up out of her bassinet. She looked extra small in his arms. There was a scale a few feet away and David set her on it. Waiting for the electronic scale to beep at him, he smiled as he noted the numbers in her chart.

 

“Well, that’s a positive sign. She’s gaining weight. She’s almost a pound and a half. She’ll be up to speed in no time. She seems to be breathing on her own still.”

 

A thought ran through Juliet’s head and it scared her slightly. She let her eyes follow David as he brought Mayra back to her bassinet.

 

“What if she isn’t getting enough oxygen and positive pressure to her lungs?”

 

David wanted to avoid what she was suggesting altogether.

 

“The barometric chamber is a last resort Jules. She’s doing fine right now.”

 

Juliet ran a hand over Mayra’s tiny head and held in a sob.

 

“David, I don’t know how much longer I can handle this.”

 

David took a stool and sat down next to Juliet.

 

“I’m doing everything I can to help her out Jules. Don’t lose faith now. She’s doing well. She’s getting stronger every day. You have a fighter.”

 

Juliet nodded and kept her hand on Mayra’s head. She kept crying.

 

“Shh. It’s ok baby. Don’t cry. Mommy’s right here.”

 

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

“Ok sweetie. Come here. That’s my good girl.”

 

Mayra was on the mend. She’d gained a considerable amount of weight in the last two months. David approached both Juliet and Mayra with a smile on his face.

 

“How are you two girls doing?”

 

Juliet moved the rocking chair with her left foot and smiled down at Mayra. She cooed and began smacking her lips together. Looking at David, she spoke.

 

“David, do you think she’s ready to start breastfeeding yet?”

 

David got closer to Juliet and smiled.

 

“Do you think she’s ready?”

 

Juliet looked back down at Mayra and nodded.

 

“There’s only one way to find out.”

 

David reached into a cupboard and gave Juliet a blanket to cover herself with. Juliet winced as she fixed the blanket over her and adjusted her shirt so Mayra could get closer to
her. Watching her latch on, Juliet sat and took in Mayra’s tiny movement of her lips as she ate. Snapping her eyes up at David, she let a tear go.

 

“She’s eating.”

David put a hand on Juliet’s shoulder and leaned down to whisper in her ear.

 

“I’ll give you two some time to get to know each other. If you need help, don’t hesitate to have a nurse come and get me.”

 

Juliet sat and marveled at how tiny and delicate Mayra’s hands were. She saw them flex against her skin and watched her suckle. She never got enough of having this time with Cara and Hayley too. On the island, it was different with Cara, only because she was outside all the time. She would feed her under the shade of a palm tree and use a blanket from their tent. With Hayley, she had her apartment and her sister, and David to help her out. She felt a hand on her shoulder and smiled when she found James next to her.

 

“How are my two ladies doing today?”

 

A smile spread across Juliet’s pretty face and she lifted the blanket slightly so he could get a look at Mayra.

 

“I don’t believe it, she’s eatin’. How’d you do that blondie?”

 

Smirking Juliet sighed in contentment and went back to watching Mayra eat.

 

“All about time James. She knows what to do. David said he’d come back in an hour to check on her. He said at this rate if she keeps doing well, we can take her home in another week.”

 

James ran a large hand over Mayra’s tiny head. She cooed and continued eating.

 

“Looks like we’ve got another strong girl on our hands.”

 

A knock on the window made the couple look up. Hayley waved at them. James left the room and went out into the hallway to talk to Hayley. Sticking her head under the blanket, Juliet smiled back down at Mayra. She was falling asleep, but still trying to eat at the same time. Juliet tickled her foot.

 

“Hey baby girl. Finish eating.”

“Welcome to your new home Mayra.”

 

Mayra stuck a hand in her mouth and sucked on it. Juliet knew that was a sign Mayra would want to nurse soon. Hayley leaned down over the car seat and gave a kiss to her little sister’s forehead.

 

“I have a little birthday present for you in my room.”

 

Setting the car seat down Juliet reached around her neck and removed the necklace. Putting it around Hayley’s, she smiled.

 

“There. I believe this belongs to you. Via grandma Isabel.”

 

Hayley ran a couple of fingers over the fine 14k gold necklace.

 

“But mama, I gave this to you.”

 

Juliet kissed Hayley’s forehead.

 

“That one is yours baby. I’ve got my own in my jewelry box upstairs.”

 

Hayley went up the stairs and came back down with a pair of crocheted booties. They were pink.

 

“These are for you Mayra. I wanted you to have these. They’ll keep your feet warm. They were mine, when I was little.”

 

Leaning down to the car seat, Hayley placed the pink booties on Mayra’s feet and then kissed them.

 

“Now you have some style.”

 

Juliet giggled and took Mayra from the car seat, putting her up to her shoulder.

 

“Welcome home baby girl.”

 

To Be Continued...