-Just under six years ago-
The black-haired woman stared at the sheet of crisp, white, paper in her hand. There was no doubt in her mind now why she had been feeling so off for the past couple of weeks, and it had nothing to do with the cold weather they had been experiencing lately or with the stress of the cases she and her husband had been working. She’d suspected as much, honestly, but it was always good to have confirmation of the truth. “Nat? You alright?”
She glanced up, her grey eyes meeting her husband’s blue ones, and she nodded. “I’m fine, Mal. Just… thinking about things”.
Her husband shrugged off his jacket, hanging it on the coat rack near the door. “Anything in particular that I should know about?” he queried.
Natara grinned in response, holding up the paper she had been looking at. “Is that… Is that what I think it is?”
“Yup. The results came back, Mal. And they’re exactly what we thought they’d be”.
She couldn’t help but laugh at the awestruck look on Mal’s face. “You’re pregnant?”
She smiled, standing and meeting him halfway between the couch and the door. Her husband wrapped his arms around her waist, and she burrowed her face into his neck, breathing in the distinctive scent of his cologne. “Yeah, I am. We’re going to be parents, Mal”.
In response, her husband’s arms fastened tighter around her waist, and she looked up, noticing his wide smile and sparkling blue eyes. “You’re going to be an amazing mother, Nat. You’re kind, loving, dedicated, loyal, and the most amazing person I have ever known. You have so much love to give that it’s impossible for you not to be”.
She felt herself blush. “Thank you. And for the record, I think you’re going to be an absolutely amazing father”.
She had never really thought of herself as the kind of person who would ever be a mother, but ever since she had started to suspect that she was pregnant about five days before, she’d been eagerly awaiting the results. And Mal’s reaction to the news had just sealed the deal for her. She chuckled as her husband placed a light kiss to the top of her forehead, and he pulled away slightly, giving her a questioning look. “What’s so funny?” he queried.
“I just realized. We’re going to need a bigger house”.
Her husband paused, considering this. While the apartment that they currently used was bigger than the one that he had previously lived in, it was still small, possessing only a bedroom, a bathroom that could only be accessed from that bedroom, a lounge, a small hallway, and a couple of small guest rooms, one of which was being used for a study. While it was far from the worst possible place for them to raise their family, it was also far from the best. Mal smiled at her. “I’ll have to do some research, but I think that I might have the perfect place in mind”.
Natara narrowed her eyes. “You’re not going to tell me, are you?”
Mal smirked playfully. “Nope”.
She wasn’t sure what it was that woke her, whether it was the thunderstorm outside the house or the creaking floorboard near the doorway into the master bedroom, but she sat up, blinking as her eyes adjusted to the dimly-lit room. Her grey eyes focused on a figure standing by the doorway that led into the room, and she smiled softly. “Victoria, what are you doing up so late?” she asked softly, careful not to wake her sleeping husband.
“Scared” came her daughter’s whisper from the doorway where she was standing.
Her eyes caught the subtle way in which the young girl’s body was trembling, and she immediately realized what the matter was. “’Toria, did the storm scare you?” she queried.
Her daughter nodded, and the raven-haired woman immediately opened her arms. “Come here”.
Running to her side immediately, the young girl threw herself into her mother’s arms, and Natara caught her breath as her daughter’s weight pressed against her stomach. Immediately, Victoria pulled back, the sapphire eyes she had inherited from her father full of concern. “Mommy? Did I hurt you?”
Shaking her head softly, Natara placed a gentle arm around her daughter’s waist and pressed a kiss to the girl’s forehead. “No, not at all, ‘Toria. My stomach’s just very sensitive at the moment, remember?”
As the girl slipped into the empty space between her parents, burrowing her way under the warm blankets, she nuzzled into her mother’s neck, and the feeling, that sensation of closeness with someone she loved, caused Natara’s heart to skip a beat. Victoria Fallon was a cuddler, just like her father. And really, Natara thought as she rested one hand on the slight swell of her stomach, I can’t think of anything better on a night like tonight. As she drifted off to sleep, her last thoughts were of how amazingly perfect her life had become in the past six years, and how there was absolutely no way she’d ever want to have it any other way.