“Mommy, I don’t feel so good.”
I clasped my hand tighter around his little hand and looked into those piercing blue eyes of his. Dean’s eyes. You could tell right away who his father was. He had my blonde hair, but his eyes left no doubt.
“I know, sweetheart. You’ll feel better soon. The doctor put you on some medicine and said, if you feel better, you can come home tomorrow.”
His beautiful eyes widened a little. “I don’t want you to leave me, Mommy.”
I smiled. “I won’t, sweetheart. I’ll be right here by your side. Your nana and grandpa will be here in a few hours. You’d like that, wouldn’t you?”
He nodded, a smile lighting up his dimples. You could tell he wasn’t well, but he still had the most beautiful eyes and cheekiest of dimples I had ever seen.
“Ah, Jeremy. You’re awake now, I see.”
Turning to the voice, we saw Evan—the new man in my life—standing at the foot of the bed with a big smile and a great big brown teddy in his arms. “I brought you something you can cuddle up with tonight. I’m sure he can help you feel better.” He smiled again and handed Jeremy the teddy.
“Thank you, Evan,” Jeremy said, politely.
Evan tenderly stroked his hair and cupped his chin. “That’s okay, buddy. You just concentrate on getting better.” Evan turned to me and leaned down for a kiss. “Has Doctor Foster been by yet?” I nodded. “What did he say?”
“He said he hoped Jeremy could come home by tomorrow. He just wants to keep him here overnight because of the fluid in his lungs.”
Evan frowned. “Pneumonia is never pleasant, but it’s highly treatable now. He’s in good hands.”
I nodded with a smile and took his hand. “I know. It helps having you here, as well—being a doctor yourself. I know you’ll be honest with me.”
Evan was someone I met when I used to come for my pre-natal appointments. I bumped into him in the halls and we just got to talking. He quickly became aware of my situation and progressively made it known that he wanted to be a part of my life. My parents went ballistic when they found out he was a heart surgeon. Apparently, from the email messages I received from my mother, I had to snatch him up quickly. Evan was a good man with a good heart. He had even asked me to marry him three times and I turned him down each time. He knew I had a shaky past, somehow involving Jeremy’s father but he didn’t know the full picture. I could never bring myself to tell him all of it.
Evan bent down, took my hand, and tenderly kissed my fingers. “I will always be here for you. You know that, don’t you? I just wish I could stay with you two tonight.”
I shook my head with a smile. “Don’t worry. Jeremy is in safe hands. You have work to do and people’s lives to save. Jeremy and I will be fine on our own. Won’t we, Jeremy?” I looked over at my little boy and he nodded, squeezing his teddy tightly. I smiled and looked back at Evan. “Besides, I have my mum and dad coming here soon.”
Evan’s eyes widened. He had never met them. “They’re coming here? I thought you said that was—” He stopped and looked at Jeremy. I knew what he was going to say, though. It was on the tip of his tongue.
“I know. I just panicked. I didn’t know what else to do. It took me back to the hospital all those years ago and I just knew I needed them.” I started to cry. The last few hours had taken its toll.
Evan wrapped his arms around me and kissed my head. “I understand. Please don’t cry.”
Eyes wide, Jeremy looked at me. “Mommy, don’t cry. I feel better now.”
I pulled away from Evan and looked over at Jeremy with a smile. I laughed through my tears and grabbed his hand. “I’m glad you are, sweetheart. Mummy just got a little scared for a moment, but I’m okay now. I’m crying because I’m happy you’re getting better.”
“I don’t like seeing you cry, Mommy.”
His face looked sad, it was so hard not to bawl like a baby. Jeremy melted my heart in the best and worst way imaginable. “I don’t like crying, either. I promise I’ll stop now.”
Evan handed me a tissue and I wiped my eyes. “See, all gone,” I said after wiping all my tears away.
Jeremy gave me a triumphant nod and lazily blinked. “I feel tired now.”
I nodded. “Well, if you’re tired, you sleep. It’s your body telling you that you need to rest so you can get better.”
Evan walked over to Jeremy and planted a kiss on his forehead. “You get better, buddy. I’ll be around the hospital for the next few hours, so I’ll try and come in to see you as much as I can.”