‘I had the most awful dream.’ Her voice choked and her throat closed. She’d dreamed about Annelise—something she hadn’t done in a very long time. ‘It was so terrible—’
‘It was just a dream, Margo,’ Leo said, his voice soft and steady. ‘It wasn’t real. Everything’s all right. The baby’s all right.’
She nodded and gulped, wanting, needing to believe him and yet not quite able to do so. The dream had been real once upon a time. She’d relived the worst memory she had in her nightmare, and she was so afraid of it happening again. But Leo couldn’t understand that because she hadn’t told him.
‘Don’t leave me,’ she whispered, and he squeezed her hand.
But she needed more than just his reassurance; she craved the comfort of his touch. ‘Leo...’ she began, and then, thrusting any awkwardness aside, she blurted, ‘Would you hold me?’
Leo didn’t answer, and Margo braced herself for his refusal—because they didn’t have that kind of relationship. That kind of marriage.
Then wordlessly he rose from the chair and peeled back the covers on her bed. He kicked off his shoes and slid into the narrow bed next to her, pulled her carefully into his arms.
Margo wrapped herself around him, burying her face in his neck, breathing in the clean, comforting scent of him. She’d needed this—needed him—more than she could ever have put into words.
He didn’t say anything, just held her, one hand stroking her hair, until she felt the icy panic that had frozen her insides start to recede, the nightmare begin to fade. Her breathing evened out and her body relaxed into his embrace.
Lying there, safe in his arms, she felt a creeping sense of guilt for how much she’d kept from him. He’d been her rock since she’d fallen in the olive grove—he’d never left her, never wavered for an instant, offering her unconditional encouragement and support.
The realisation brought a lump to Margo’s throat and she pressed her face more snugly against the hollow of his neck, breathing him in more deeply...
She must have fallen asleep again, for when she woke up the pale grey light of early dawn was filtering through the curtains and Leo was still in her bed.
Margo eased back to look at him. His eyes were closed, his thick, dark lashes fanned out on his cheeks. His jaw was rough with morning stubble, which made his lips look all the more lush and mobile and eminently kissable.
He was still in his clothes from yesterday, his shirt unbuttoned at the throat, his tie tossed on a chair. Margo felt as if a fist had wrapped around her heart and squeezed.
Then the door to the room opened and a nurse wheeled a machine in. ‘Time to take your vitals,’ she said cheerfully, and Margo blinked in surprise.
‘You speak English?’
‘Yes, Kyrie Marakaios requested that someone who could speak English attend to you. Or French, he said. But no one spoke good enough French.’ She gave a little smile and a shrug, and then took out a blood pressure cuff and wrapped it around Margo’s arm.
Leo had woken up and was now easing himself to a sitting position, wincing slightly at the stiffness in his body from spending a night fully clothed on a hospital bed. His hair was rumpled and he blinked sleep out of his eyes before turning to Margo.
‘Are you all right?’ he asked quietly.
She nodded. The fear that had gripped her so tightly yesterday had now eased a little, thanks to Leo.
He rose from the bed and while the nurse took Margo’s blood pressure and temperature he left the room in search of coffee and a shave.
‘The doctor will visit in a little while, for another ultrasound,’ the nurse told her. ‘And in the meantime you can have breakfast.’
Margo nodded, and a few minutes later Leo returned with two cups—one of coffee and another of ginger tea.
‘Where on earth did you get that?’ Margo asked as he handed her the cup.
‘I make sure to always have some on me. Just in case.’
‘You’re so thoughtful,’ she said, almost wonderingly.
Leo laughed ruefully. ‘Don’t sound so surprised!’
‘I am surprised,’ she admitted. ‘There haven’t...there haven’t been that many people in my life who have been thoughtful.’
Leo frowned and Margo looked away. She wasn’t ready to tell him any more than that, but she could tell he had questions. Questions he wanted answers to.
Before he could ask anything the door opened again, and a smiling woman brought in a breakfast tray.
After breakfast the doctor came with the ultrasound machine, and they both silently held their breath as she set it up—until the image of their baby came onto the screen, still kicking up a storm.