So stunned by the incident, she lay there trying to collect herself. She mentally went over every part of her body, trying to figure out if she was hurt. It seemed everything hurt.

She cautiously moved her arms and legs but when she tried to maneuver herself upward, pain surged through her back and abdomen. She froze, panic flooding her mind.


The baby.

Oh God, what if the baby was hurt? What if this caused her to miscarry? She was scared to death to even move.

She reached for the phone that thank God she’d kept in her pocket. She should’ve dialed 911 but her first thought was to call her friends. Joss didn’t answer so she called Kylie next.

“Hey girlfriend, what’s up?” Kylie’s cheerful voice rang in Chessy’s ear.

“Kylie, I need help,” Chessy said painfully. “I fell and I’m scared to get up. I’m worried about the baby.”

She broke down into tears as she said the last.

“Stay where you are,” Kylie commanded. “Jensen and I will be there in ten minutes.”

Chessy closed her eyes in relief and then brought the phone to her side. Her very first instinct had been to call Tate. He was her lifeline. But she wouldn’t do that to him today of all days. She refused to make him choose between her and a potential client who could set his firm up for years to come.

She could do this.

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The wait seemed interminable but then she heard the front door fly open and Kylie’s voice on its heels.

“Chessy! Where are you?”

“I’m in the kitchen,” Chessy called out.

Kylie, followed quickly by Jensen, rushed into the kitchen where Chessy still lay on the floor. Jensen crouched down, his eyes full of concern.

“Where do you hurt, honey?”

“I’m not sure,” Chessy admitted. “I tried to get up but it hurt so bad that I just laid back down. I’m so worried about the baby. Kylie, am I bleeding?”

Jensen looked away while Kylie gently pulled Chessy’s pants down to examine her for any bleeding.

“You’re spotting,” Kylie said quietly.

Tears welled in Chessy’s eyes. God, no. Anything but this.

“It’s not a lot,” Kylie soothed. “We’ll take you to the ER and get you checked out. Make sure nothing is broken and that the baby is okay. Have you called Tate?”

Chessy shook her head emphatically. “No. He has a very important presentation today. This could make or break his business. I won’t make him choose between me and such an important meeting.”

Kylie didn’t look placated by her explanation but didn’t argue.

“Okay, honey, I’m going to pick you up. I’ll try not to hurt you,” Jensen said in a gentle voice.

Chessy tensed as Jensen curled his arms underneath her and lifted her effortlessly into his arms. She winced, her back protesting the movement. Jensen looked worried as he carried her outside to his car. He laid her in the backseat with instructions for her not to move. Kylie slid into the passenger seat and Jensen got behind the wheel and immediately pulled out of the drive, accelerating sharply out of the neighborhood.

Oh God, please, please let her baby be okay. In the short time since she’d discovered she was pregnant she’d bonded with her child. It was already a son or a daughter to her and she already dreamed of a future with a toddler running around, making her crazy. And she wanted other children. She didn’t want an only child. She wanted a large family filled with love, all the things she’d never had growing up.

Her children would know how very much they were loved and wanted.

Ten minutes later, Jensen roared up to the ambulance bay at the ER and jumped out, yelling at one of the techs who was taking a smoke break.

“We need a stretcher. She’s pregnant and she’s hurt. I don’t want to jostle her unnecessarily.”

In a few minutes she was carefully loaded onto a stretcher and hustled into a cubicle in the ER where a nurse immediately began to ask her what happened and examined her for possible injuries.

“I’m just a few weeks pregnant,” Chessy said tearfully. “And I’m spotting. Does that mean I’m losing her?”

The nurse patted her hand reassuringly. “Spotting is normal in the first weeks of pregnancy. But we’ll do a sonogram and do blood work to check your HCG levels. I’m sure your baby will be just fine. It’s you we need to worry about. Your left arm looks to be broken or at least severely bruised. We’ll have to take X-rays and of course we’ll take the necessary precautions to protect your baby.”

Chessy heaved a sigh of relief. She didn’t care about herself. She just wanted her baby to be all right.

Kylie and Jensen crowded in on either side of Chessy. Kylie put her hand on Chessy’s shoulder while Jensen held her right hand. Kylie was careful not to touch her left arm.

For the first time, Chessy looked down at her arm and her mouth dropped open. It did indeed look broken. It was swollen and already bruising was evident.

A few minutes later, the tech came in and wheeled her down the hall to the X-ray room. It only took a few moments for him to X-ray her arm, but he also did ones of her ribs and her abdomen.

When he wheeled her back into the room, Joss and Dash were there waiting with Kylie and Jensen. Chessy teared up again. She loved her friends dearly but what she really wanted was her husband. She needed his strength and his reassurance but she couldn’t ask him to sacrifice such an important opportunity for his firm.