BabyGame14


Thirty Nine

"What time is it babe?" His voice came out in a breathy tone as they shuffled through the front door, him going first with his bags and her bringing up the rear, making sure to close the door to the humid air in the garage.

She was mid-yawn when he asked for the time so it took her a moment to recover.  "Hmmm.  It's around three in the morning."

She'd been feeling more and more tired during the past few days.  Her pregnancy wore on and now that she was almost seven months pregnant she was feeling the wear and tear that her twins were putting on her.  She wouldn't have normally been awake at that time of morning, but after spending the last few weeks away from him while he toured Europe she had wanted to be there to collect him up and bring him home from the airport. 

His eyes squinted shut and a pained look washed over his face as if the realisation of the hour made it even earlier in the morning than it had been a few moments before.  He dropped the bags that he had been into the floor.  "Holy mother of--"

"I know sweetie."  Her expression showed her sympathy for him.  He'd just gotten off a plane from London and was probably working on only a few uncomfortable, unrestful hours of sleep.

"Bed," he mumbled.

As much as she would love to go upstairs and get to bed she was hesistant to be in their bedroom.  She had made the room her own over the last few weeks of them being apart and she felt like she'd forgotten how it would be to sleep next to him.  Her pregnancy was also a problem for her.  She didn't sleep very soundly and she didn't want to keep him up all night too if he didn't have to be.

"You want anything to eat before you go?"

He nodded no like a little kid and began to rub his eyes.  He kicked his shoes off leaving them near the breakfast bar in the kitchen then shuffled over to where she was getting a glass of water and leaned against her.  "I love you."

"I love you too," she said.  She stepped away from him when his weight got too much for her.  "Don't push me honey or I'll fall over and I won't be able to get up."

"You need the clapper," he said with a yawn.

"What?"

"The clapper," he repeated, again yawning.  "That whole thing <i>I've fallen and I can't get up</i>."

"Oh," she said.

"No wait."  He rubbed the highest point on his forhead which made his hair stick out in a little horn shape when he pulled his hand away.  His eyes squinted again.  "That's Life Alert or something like that."  He shook his head and stood up straight then stretched his back and arms and looked at her.  "I'm not making sense am I?"

"A little bit, but a little bit no."  She leaned her hip against the counter and tried not to think about the way her feet weren't fitting in her shoes right.  If she could see her feet she knew that she would have been disappointed. Everything beyond her belly button was now a mystery to her.  She'd gained so much weight from her pregnancy that she really wasn't able to do much, even the simplest thing like tying her shoes had become a chore so she'd resorted to wearing sandals and other forms of slipp on shoes. 

Being pregnant was the worst catch 22 she'd ever been in.  On the one hand she was glad that her children were going to be born, but on the other hand she was so big that she was starting to feel a little more than depressed about the idea of actually having her body be in a pregnant state all the time.

It was funny how things like that were becoming more and more important to her.  She was at the point of almost not fitting into maternity clothes.  She seemed to go to the mall every third day to buy a new pair of pants to wear and she'd finally just decided to wear sweats all the time.  It wasn't very fashionable, really ironic considering that she was designing clothes for FuMan still, but it was going to have to work since her belly didn't seem to fit in anything else.

Normally if she got a little depressed she'd try to dress up or do something nice for herself.  She'd gone to the spa in downtown Orlando, but it had been mostly out of neccessity rather than for pampering.  She'd tried to shave her legs since Lance was coming home, but ended up going and getting them waxed because she couldn't reach due to her big belly.

He looked her up and down once then smiled.  "I need sleep."

"I know you do," she said.

"You probably do too."  He yawned and looked at her. She wasn't sure if she liked the way his eyes were looking over every part of her.  He hadn't seen her in a while and maybe it was just that.  She was becoming more and more paranoid about her appearance because of her weight gain.  "I should have had the guys bring me home.  You and the kids don't need to be up like this in the middle of the night."

"Actually the kids are usually up all night long so walking around like this has been good for me."  She moved a protective hand over her bulging belly and looked at him with a smile, "I don't know if these kids have a stereo in there or if Wade is pulling some Vodoo Mind Shit on them, but they definitley like to dance around all night long."

"You haven't been hanging with Joey," Lance said with a laugh, "He's usually the one to be dancing all night long."

"Yeah right Mr. Steps," she said, "I saw that article that they wrote about you from when you were in London two weeks ago."

He put his hands up defensively.  "Is it my fault that I like to hang with Joey all the time?" he asked, "I'm just the innocent one out there making sure that he gets home at night."

"Like you're some priest or something."  She smiled at him and moved her hand to fix his hair.  "Well I'm glad you made it home tonight."

"I missed you."

"I missed you too."  Her eyes widened as the babies seemed to kick both at once.

He was only a foot away from her, but when he saw her expression he put his hands out towards her as if he was waiting for her to fall.  "What?"

"It's ok honey."  She smiled.  "I think they missed you too."

Lance's eyes went wide.  "They can hear me?"

"It's only been a few weeks," she said, "They could hear you a few weeks ago."

"Really?"

"Yeah," she said, "I've been trying to watch some old tapes of interviews with you so they can hear your voice.  Thank God for those On The Line ones or they'd think that you sounded like Justin."

Lance laughed a little.  "He's an interview hog isn't he?"

"Lance let's go up and go to bed.  You're dead on your feet."

He yawned again when she spoke again.  "I wanna hang out with you."

"You have the next month or so off," she said, "You're gonna get sick of me.  Go up and go to bed and we'll talk tomorrow."

"Are you sure?" he asked.

She nodded. "Come on."

^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^

Lance opened his eyes and stared across the bed to where the other pillow was being occupied.  Serena was lying on her back staring up at the ceiling.  She'd moved so that his arm was across her lower stomach, almost low enough to touch her thigh and her hip, and she was breathing deeply and looking everything like a person who was asleep.  Her eyes blinked and she sighed.  She wasn't asleep and from the look on her face she didn't seem like she'd be going to sleep any time soon.

He could have kicked himself for letting her get up and come get him at the airport.  She was never one to complain about her pregnancy, but she did seem to have troubles sleeping.  He could hear it in her voice and when he'd called accidently in the middle of the night a few times to talk to her she'd sounded wide awake even though the time would have been somewhere between midnight and six in the morning when they'd spoken.

He moved his hand a little and scooted closer to her.  "Serena?"

She jumped a little and turned her head towards him.  "I didn't wake you up did I?" she asked.

"No," he said instantly when worry clouded her eyes.  "What's wrong?"

"Nothing," she said.

He could feel the babies move a little and he patted her stomach a little.  "Are the kids keeping you up?"

"Yeah," she said, "A little."  She sat up a little and moved her hand to rub her back a little.  "They keep kicking my kidneys and making me have to pee."  She moved away from him and he watched her walk across the room and disappear into the bathroom.

He moved to lay on his back and stared at the ceiling.  Something was wrong.  He knew that they'd never been perfect together, but this was a new kind of trouble.  They'd dealt with their families, the press, and the issues that had come between them figuring out their relationship, but he felt now that there was something new that was bothering her.  He just wished that he could figure it out.

"Sorry about that," she said coming to lay back in bed.  She moved her pillows around and took a deep breath.  "What are you doing awake?"

"Nothing," he said.  He pushed himself up and looked at the clock.  He'd only slept about four hours, but he didn't feel like closing his eyes again.  "I'm tired of being tired."  He turned on his side and looked at her.  "Besides I missed you."

He didn't let it get by him that she seemed stressed when she spoke next, nor did he miss the way she was staring at their comforter, picking at the seam instead of looking at him, "I missed you to."

"Serena?" He watched her pick at the seam and finally got frustrated with her not looking at him and put his hand over hers.  "Serena what's wrong?"

"Everything," she broke out into tears and began to shake a little.

"What?"

"I found out the other day--" She pulled a deep breath of air into her lungs.  "I found out the other day that the twins--"

His shoulders tensed and he moved and put his arms around her.  He brought her up so he could hug her against him, but barely could get his arms around her.  He moved to kiss her temple and squeezed her against him.  "Tell me honey."

"One of the babies is sick Lance."

"What?"  His heart stopped for a moment.  He could hear the ticking of the alarm clock on her side of the bed and must have counted to ten ticks before he felt his heartbeat start up again.  "What happened?"

"I wanted to wait until you got home.  I knew that Europe was important and I knew that--"  She sniffed.  "I don't know what happened.  I've been going to my appointments and I've been doing everything that the doctor said, but now they think that one of them is going to be--"

"What?" he asked, "Serena just tell me."

"They think that our little boy is going to be de-"

"Boy?" he asked.  They hadn't asked the doctor about the sex of the kids yet.  They'd decided to wait and make it a surprise.  They'd been calling them Baby A and B instead.

"Yeah," she said with a smile.  "I know we didn't want to know, but when I had my last appointment the doctor was explaining things and it just came out in conversation.  Our little girl is going to be--"

"Girl?" he asked.

"You didn't think I was having puppies did you?" she asked.

"I'm sorry," he said, "It's just all--"

"Anyway the doctor is saying that our little boy--"

"James," he said, "James and Roselynn."  He nodded for effect using the names that they'd been going over the last few weeks.

"Ja-james," she said, "Is suddenly not growing as fast as Roselynn.  They didn't know what was going on with him all of a sudden so they did a test and they think that he has a slight form of DownSyndrome."

"DownSyndrome?"  He couldn't believe the words coming out ofo his mouth.  He sounded like an idiot when it came to this stuff.  He knew what Down Syndrome was, or at least had seen people who had the condition before, but he never thought, like any normal person, that he would be associating that with one of his children or his family.

"Dr. Armazada gave me all her numbers.  She knew that you'd probably have some questions about it so--"

"Are you ok?" he asked, "I mean are you ok and is James going to be ok?"  He felt panic rise in his throat and he wanted to scream or something, but he didn't want to worry her.

"Lance."

He listened to the blood rush to his head and he could hear his heartbeat in his ears.

"Lance."  She shook him a little.  "Honey we're going to be fine.  The doctor said that James and I will be ok."

"Are you sure?" he asked, "Maybe you should see a Specialist.  Maybe I should call up to Children's--"

"Lance don't freak out on me ok?" she said with teary eyes.  "I didn't mean to throw this on you."

He shook his head and looked her over.  Somehow she looked different even though she looked exactly the same as she did moments before.  He understood now why she had been hesistant with him earlier.  At the airport she'd put on a good show, but being alone with him didn't give her any distractions to keep herself from talking to him.


Forty:

The computer screen in front of him blurred then cleared. His hand reached towards his eyes and tried to rub away the sleepiness that was starting to cloud his vision. He should have remembered to grab his galsses, but he hadn't thought of it when he'd been leaving bed that morning to do more research. He'd left bed when she'd fallen asleep and hadn't moved since. Only the squeak of leather from him moving his weight around in his chair had joined the sound of the computer's cooling fan in the room.

It had been weeks since he'd been able to sit down in the room and work, but he found himself sinking right into the chair as if he never left. His sweats and sweatshirt left him hotter than hell in the Florida weather, but he'd been feeling a chilll since she'd told him the news so he wasn't ready to take off the protective layer of clothing.

His eyes searched screen upon screen for information on downsyndrome instead of reading page upon page of lawyer contracts like he had when he'd been more involved in Meredith's career and had been trying to work out a deal for Jack Defeo. He'd dealt with difficult language in his reading for more than a few years, but this topic and these conditions and circumstances were making it hard for him to even understand the laymen's versions of the diseases that were posted on the internet.

"Lance?"

The most common complications noticed in newborns with Down syndrome include: Heart problems. Because heart defects are common among children with Down syndrome, all babies with Down syndrome need to be checked soon after birth to see if they have any heart conditions. If a heart defect is not treated early, the baby may develop heart failure.

His mouth went dry and he licked his lips and leaned back in the chair. Heart failure. Serena had said that the doctors were saying that Jame might have a slight case of it, but the idea that his son might die from something like this still scared him. He had just gotten used to the idea that he was really going to be a father and now they might take that away from him before he got to enjoy it really brought a sour taste to his mouth.

"Lance?"

His eyes continued to scan the page as his hand absentmindedly rubbed at his chest. He felt a pain there somehow and wondered if he was going to have sympathy pains for everything that he read that night.

Eye problems. Clouding of the lens of the eye (cataract) is present in about 3% of the babies with Down syndrome. Dense cataracts from birth (congenital) that cause significant vision loss need to be removed to prevent permanent loss of sight in the affected eye.

Lance was suddenly picturing himself with a blind child. He knew it wouldn't be impossible to adapt to having a child that wasn't like other kids, but at this point in the evening he had so much information in his head that he couldn't decide if he should take any of this seriously or not. He'd been looking all over the internet and had landed at WebMD.com and figured at least they should know what they were talking about.

"Lance?" She moved around the room and his eyes caught the movement. "What are you doing awake?"

"Yeah?" His eyes never left the screen in front of him. He looked over the information then closed the window and looked up at her. "I'm sorry, what did you say?"

"What are you doing up?" she asked. Her arms crossed across her chest, resting on the upper part of her belly and she gave him a scowl. She looked like a mother. He'd seen his own mother stand exactly like that when she was about to rip into him about something.

His hands moved from where they were resting near the keyboard to reach up and run through his hair. He'd gotten it cut about a week before, but suddenly felt it needed another trim. "Nothing." He stared at the computer screen for an instant making sure to close all the windows. If her doctor was telling her that everything was going to be ok then he wasn't about to tell her all the things that he'd read that night. It would scare her and definitely cause her more stess than she already had. I was checking email and stuff because I couldn't sleep."

"You should go back to bed." She sounded stressed. Her whole body screamed out her fatigue, but her voice gave away the emotions that she seemed to be having more than a hard time holding back. "I know you haven't slept enough in the last few weeks and this isn't the way to be starting your vacation. You're going to get sick."

His lips twisted. He wanted to tell her to leave him alone and let him digest the information he'd just found, but he knew he couldn't be mean about this. She was in a motherly mode and she wanted to take care of him, even though he should have been the one there caring for her those last few months. He bit his tongue. Blame was a hard thing to deal with. He'd never try to blame either of them directly for what had happened. Down Syndrome was a condition that sometimes doctors couldn't even detect so there was no use in trying to blame her or him for the luck they were having. Somehow though he had a feeling that if he'd been there with her things might have been easier for them. He was trying hard to keep his chin up, but staring at her across the room wrapped in the hotel robe that he'd gotten from the Atlantis Resort in Mexico made him not be able to stay mad at her.

Who would have thought that at his age he'd be so in love with someone. His pregnant fiance was standing there with her hair in all directions, no make up, with a worried look on her face and circles under her eyes and she looked gorgeous.

"What?" she asked and began to give him a shy look. His staring had finally been noticed. She moved her hand to hear hair then to her face then moved the other one over her belly. "Do my socks not match or something?" she asked, "I can't see my toes to tell."

"No baby," he said. He hadn't noticed before, but she was wearing a pair of his sweat socks. The pair had been given to him for the last CFTC event. He'd been on the Daze team and had worn a blue and white, this pair had three stripes at the top that were way more than crooked across her shins, "You're socks are fine."

Her foot lifted and rubbed against the opposite leg. "My toes were cold and these were--"

"I like you in my socks."

"Is it bad that I wish I could curl up on the sand in Hawaii in a string bikini instead of hauling these guys around?"

"No," he said, "We'll have to do that when the kids are born. I'll have to teach them to surf."

She moved towards him and leaned against the desk. "You surf?"

"Yeah," he said, "You know those surfboards in the garage. They aren't just there for decoration." His hand snaked out and touched her leg. "I'm not a pro, but I've gotten to the point where I can handle a few big waves every now and then."

"I always wondered how people do that sport. Those shots that they have in magazines of people durfing hundred foot waves scares me to death. Hell, that Poweraide commercial they have with the typhoon and the guy surfing scares me."

"I'll protect you," he said.

Her eyes began to water. "What are we going to do Lance?"

He took a deep breath and leaned back in the chair then sat up again. "Deal with it," he said, "Day at a time and all that inspirational stuff. We'll be ok. Most people would have to struggle with stuff like this, but you and I have enough money and if it takes one of us not working or one of us working more it's going to be ok. We've got my parents and Billy and the guys and Johnny behind us. that's like fifty extra people if you figure in all the family members and staff members that work around the two of us."

"You think we'll be ok?" she asked.

"Definitley."

^V^V^V^V^V^V^V^

It was well passed five before the two of them got dressed and ventured downstairs.  They weren't dressed in more than pajamas, but they'd made it to the first floor.  Serena started to clean up the kitchen a little and plan all the things that needed to be done.  She thought that she'd be able to let Lance relax for a while, but after he grabbed a snack he sat at the breakfast bar staring at her.

She remembered when she liked him watching her.  On the plane those first few days she'd been uncomfortable with his eyes bearing into her.  His eyes on her the night before when he'd been sleepy and cuddling and again that morning when he'd been concerned for them, and again those tired eyes when she'd found him staring at the computer.  She didn't know what he'd been looking at, but when he looked at her she'd seen that it hadn't been something good.  Now definitely wasn't the time that she needed him to be watching her.

To get away from him she collected up his bags and pulled them onto the kitchen table, opening them up and flipping the clothes out onto the floor in three piles.  She had the whites, the colors, and his jeans organised before he seemed to notice and watch her across the room, still from his seat at the breakfast bar.

Knowing that she had more than a few loads to do she started to go up to their bedroom to get her things.  There was something about doing laundry with his things that made her feel more at home.  She liked the idea of them being that close that they'd share laundry loads, but she soon found that she wasn't sure that she liked Lance being home when Lance started to follow her around the house.

When he bumped into her when she went out to make sure that she had enough laundry detergent left she turned around and glared at him.  "What are you doing?"

"Helping."  He shrugged.

She pushed him a little with her hand and moved him out of the way so that she could lean down to open up the dryer door.

"I'll get it," he said pushing her hands away.

"No."  Her hands slid to her hips and she rolled her eyes.  "You're not helping."

He moved the drawer for her then walked back into the kitchen.  He came back carrying a huge armful of clothes.  "Yes I am."

"No," she stated, "You're following me around and making me paranoid."

His eyebrows scrunched together.  He looked at her with a confused look.  He didn't understand that his helping wasn't helping.  "You're--?"

"Honey," She put a hand to his cheek and leaned over the pile of clothes in his arms.  "I don't want to be mean but you following me around like a lost puppy isn't helping me."

"Fine."  His arms let go of the clothes and they fell at their feet.  He closed his eyes for a moment then turned and walked away. " I'll be out back if you need anything."

She watched his back disappear into the house and sighed.  It took her a moment to get all the clothes off the floor and onto the top of the washer.  She put her hands over his pants pockets and five minutes later she had all the clothes into the washer and had almost ten dollars worth of change and dollar bills to show for it.  In one pocket of the jeans she found a note.  She knew she shouldn't really go through his things, but she was curious so she unfolded the folded piece of paper

Her eyes opened wide as she read the note and tears came to her eyes.  She almost dropped it twice, but she finally got a good hold of the paper.  This was something she would have never expected.

Medical Info Lance was reading comes from here:  
The information Lance reads is from...WebMD


Forty One:

Who would have thought that after so many weeks of traveling all over Europe that he'd be perfectly content lying on his back in  the middle of the grass staring up at the sky?  It was heaven to sit still and stare up at the clouds like a little kid.  He knew that these moments were far and few between and he loved all of them, but that day he felt a little lonely too.  He wanted to be in love and share moments like this, but it was clear that Serena wasn't as into sharing as he was.  He'd left her alone to her cleaning and had gone outside to lay down for a while.  The muggy heat of the south took some getting used to for most people, but for him he felt almost hugged by the weather as if it was extra humid just to welcome him home.

The weeks away had been hard on him.  Physically touring in Europe had been a non-stop barrage of activities, but emotionally his life had been put on hold.  During the United States portion of the tour, he'd gotten used to having Serena with him and over the last few months things had quieted down for them.  His parents hadn't been so pushy and she'd been more secure in how things were going to go for them that when the time came for her to go home to Orlando while he flew to England he found himself extremely sad to see her go.

There was only one thing on his mind now that he was back in Orlando.  He'd thought about it over the last few weeks and he was determined to get them married before their babies came into the world.  It was one thing to talk about waiting until after they were born, so that they could have the fairytale looking romantic wedding, but he knew that he wanted the kids to be his and hers and being married was the only way that was going to happen. He didn't want anyone to put the label bastard on his children.  They'd said so many hurtful things in the past that he didn't want to drag out the roll of bad publicity onto his children.

He was lying on his back staring up at the sky, watching a cloud that had blown overhead, letting his eyes drift shut when they wanted to when she appeared above him.  The look on her face scared him for a moment.  There were tears in her eyes which put him into panic mode immediately.  "Are you ok?"  He pushed himself up as she made her way to sit in the grass.

"I'm fine," she said pushing away the tears.  She took a deep breath and smiled at him.  "I found this--"  She held out a piece of paper to him.  "I found this in your pocket and I didn't think that you'd want me to wash it in with the rest of your clothes."

Lance's hand shook as he reached for the piece of paper.  He wasn't at all sure what it could be, but if she was crying he suspected that it might bea phone number that someone had slipped in there a few nights ago when they'd been partying in London, but he took the paper anyway.  "Did you look at this?"

"Yes."

He sighed.  They'd been having a good few hours home and he didn't want to ruin that.  Yes, he had been a little over protective, following her around the house, but that situation had been remedied.  "I can explain.  Really I can explain.  See Joey and I went--"

"I love you," she said and new tears came to her eyes.

Lance was definitely confused by her reaction.  His fingers pressed the folded paper together and his eyes glared at it, as if the action of him staring at it like that might make it burst into flames and disappear from their lives.

Finally, curious to find out what she was crying about, he opened up the piece of paper.  Inside was a London Tabloid.  The name sent shivers down his spine and again he found himself wanting the piece of paper to burst into flames.  They were the worst for starting rumors and he didn't think that they needed more drama that day.  They already had the babies to worry
about.

His eyes focused on the picture and he found himself smiling.  He didn't know where the picture had come from, but Serena must have thought that he had done this and put it in his pocket.  If only he'd been clever enough to find a picture of the two of them together in New York as they were leaving for London and put it in his pocket.

The picture had a heart drawn over it in red marker and the word LOVE was written at the bottom, crossed through all the words that came along with the short article that had been printed.

"We should get our pictures taken together," she said.  "I just realized that we don't really have any pictures of the two of us."

Lance was so used to getting his picture taken that making excuses to do a photo shoot with her didn't seem like the right thing to do.  "You really want to do that?"

"I'm not making it sound like I want a Teen People spread am I?"

"I just don't know what you're thinking.

"I'm thinking like you and me and maybe having someone come in and taking some pictures, like you and me sitting in front of the television or you and me posing--"  She frowned.  "I'm sooo corny these days.  I always hated family photos and that sounds like one of those cheesy Christmas postcard ideas...the ones where you take your picture and send it with like two wor  I think the kids are making me all homely now.  I've been working on apron designs and trying to figure out how I'm going to design the kids rooms."

"Maybe we should wait and have our picture taken with the kids or something."

"I don't know Lance," she said, "From what the doctor says, James probably will need to be in the hospital-"

"We'll deal with it when it comes," he said cutting her off before the thoughts of what he'd read earlier came back to his mind.  He pulled his feet out of the pool and kicked the water off and started back towards the house.

"Lance?"

"I don't want to talk about it," he said, "We'll figure it out later."

^V^V^V^V^V^

Serena watched him stomp back towards the house like a two year old and took a deep breath.  Dr. Armizada had warned her that he might react that way.  It was a normal way to deal with bad news.  They still had a few weeks until the twins would be born and that only gave them time to think about what terrible things might happen when they finally did arrive.

She moved back towards the house, grabbing up the phone she plopped herself on the couch and with a sigh dialed his mother's number.  A few months ago they'd been fighting, but lately, with him on the road and her in the middle of a very delicate time they'd become to depend on each other.  It wasn't exactly to the friendly stages just yet, but important events seemed to cross whatever lines that had been drawn between them.

"Hello?"

"Diane?"

"Serena.  How are the babies?  You aren't--"

"No no," she said with a laugh.  "Nothing like that.  I thought that I'd call.  I'm worried about Lance.  You know how I told you at my last appointment I found out some news about the babies?"

"Yes?"

Serena looked towards the stairs and prayed that Lance wouldn't come down.  He must have diappeared upstairs because he wasn't on the first floor.  "Well the good news is that we're going to be having a baby girl and a baby boy."

"Oh honey that's wonderful news," Diane gushed with grandmotherly pride.  "Have you and my sleeping son picked out names just yet?"

"James and Roselyn," she said, "We haven't picked out nicknames for sure, but I'm sure Lance will think of something soon."

"He's been good with names.  He's had them picked out forever.  He was very specific when he was in high school and we had him take the family planning class.  He named his egg James Donovan and said that he was going to name his son that too."

"That's--That's not the only news though."

"What else?"

"James has a slight case of DownSyndrome."

"What?"

All the air was sucked out of her lungs and Serena could hear his mother trying to catch her breath.

Serena put a hand over her eyes as she listened to his mother suck in air and gasp for breaths that wouldn't come.  She'd done the same thing when she'd heard the news and Dr. Armizada had been very helpful in calming her down after the news had been given.  She didn't know though that she would have to pass on this favor to another person.  If this was how all people were going to react she almost didn't want to tell another soul.  It was too painful to hear the person on the other end of the line be that upset.

"Mrs. Bass?"

The sound of his mother clearing her throat echoed through the line before a weak version of her voice asked.  "What happened?"

"It's a genetic thing," Serena explained.  She turned her voice into the cold medical tone that the doctor had used with her.  It was hard to argue or be emotional with a person and that was completely unemotional.  "It's nothing against any of you.  It just turned out that way and we can't really do anything about it now."

"Anything about it?" Diane said, "You mean abortion don't you?"

Serena couldn't believe that after all this time, all the mending that they'd done, that Mrs. Bass could still be so judgmental."That's not--"

The anger of her voice rang straight through the line and practically hit her upside the head.  "You were going to abort that baby weren't you?"

"You know what?" Serena said angrily, "Yeah.  That was my plan.  Get rid of them, get rid of your son get rid of all of you."

She started to sob and slammed down the phone.  It would have been the best way to deal with the situation if she hadn't looked up to find Lance staring down at her with a clearly dead expression on his face.

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