Taking the Risk Ch. 21byshandal©
To expose your feelings is to risk exposing your true self. I hope you have enjoyed Misha and Froo's journey of love.
For me this has been a labour of love, and thank you for all your kind comments and feedback. Your encouragement has been a blessing.
The first sound he heard as he woke up later the next week was Froo throwing up in the en suite bathroom in his apartment. Rushing into where she knelt, her head over the bowl of the toilet, he hunkered down beside her, worried, "You OK babe, what's wrong?"
Heaving she didn't answer, and holding back her hair, he grabbed a flannel from the side of the bath and wet it, holding it to her forehead as her body seemed to try to eject nothing from it in violent dry heaves.
"Froo, what is it? Are you ill? Was it the fish last night?"
Exhausted from the bout of throwing up, she rested her head on her arms against the side of the bowl, shaking her head slowly. Misha sat there worried, unsure what to do, just watching her as she knelt there, her body language telling him she was shattered and scared. Slowly she raised her face, flushed with a shine of perspiration covering it, and looked up at him, tears in her eyes, a look of worry on her face.
"I'm sorry Misha, I'm so sorry."
"Sorry babe? Don't be silly, it's not your fault if you ate something that has disagreed with you."
"I don't think that's it. It's a little more complicated than that."
"What do you mean?"
Taking a deep breath she grasped her shaking hands together, knowing she had to say what she was about to tell him, and scared of his reaction.
"Misha I think I'm pregnant."
Watching his shocked face in the silence, she waited for the explosion to occur. Over the last week she and Jace had settled into his apartment, moving lots of stuff down from her place. They had all enjoyed making the two homes into one, and especially going out buying some extra stuff for Jace to make one of the spare rooms more of a child's bedroom, but a couple of days ago she had started to throw up, and gradually she had realised what it might mean.
"Pregnant? But how?"
Giving a weak smile she answered his question, "In the usual way."
Smiling back he told her, "I thought you said you had a coil fitted."
"I have, it obviously hasn't worked."
"Wow. You're sure? Pregnant...wow."
"I'm sorry Misha. So sorry....."
Grabbing the woman to him and hugging her, Misha kissed her, "Sorry! You're kidding. This is great. I'm going to be a dad.... Fan-bloody-tastic... A daddy....You're sure?"
"Not until I take a pregnancy test. But this is what happened last time."
Misha got up and gave a whoop of delight, doing a kind of victory salute, "A daddy, My God, wait until I tell my mom, she is going to be so happy."
Froo sat there on the black granite tiles, staring up at her lover, it sinking in that he wasn't angry and was happy about the baby. "Are you sure Misha, a baby is a big step, one we didn't plan."
Stopping in his tracks he looked down at her, still kneeling by the toilet, and getting down to sit in front of her, asked her, his heart beating in his chest with fear, "What do you mean Froo, don't you want a baby? What are you saying?"
"Of course I want the baby, it's just that we're on a trial live-in together, nothing is set, and this changes everything. A baby is a big thing Misha, it's a lifetime commitment and not something we had planned."
Misha looked her in the eye, holding her chin up so she couldn't avoid his stare. "Froo I love you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Your right, we didn't plan this, but it's happened and it's a miracle of life. I know you don't love me, but I promise you what ever you decide I will be there, to support you. You and Jace and the baby are my family, and you will never have to worry about my side of things."
Getting up and walking into the bedroom he stood looking out of the window, onto the field and the early morning joggers, his emotions churning inside of him. After a while he felt her arms slip around him from behind, and her body lean up against his back.
"Misha, I adore you."
Turning around and circling her with his arms, pulling her into his body, he whispered, "I'll take what ever you offer, Froo. I love you, and I'm not going anywhere. With you I have no choice."
A couple of days later Froo sat at the kitchen table with her mother, telling her the news about the baby.
"Haven't you heard of contraception Francesca? What is your father going to say, and what about Gary, he's not going to be too happy about this. What are you going to do? You've only known the father for just a couple of months."
Froo looked across at her mother, seeing her for the first time as she really was. Hearing Misha's voice in her head, she lifted up her head, proud and unashamed.
"Firstly we did use contraception, it didn't work. But both of us are glad. We are happy about the baby."
"Happy now, but what about when it's born and your boyfriend wants to continue with his lifestyle as he is now. How can you be so sure he will still want you and the baby?"
"I just know."
"Well your first marriage didn't work, did it, and who's to say that this person is going to stay at your side. Francesca you're a fool. He's from a different world, a different country. Why would he want to stay with you and take on another mans child as well as his own?"
Taking a deep breath and looking her mother in her eye, she decided it was time to tell her the truth about her first marriage and Gary.
"My marriage to Gary ended because I was fed up being used as a punching bag every time he lost his temper. I walked out, it was not the other way around. I never told you about the abuse because I was ashamed. But I'm not ashamed anymore. Misha found me a councillor and I have met with her, and I know it was not my fault, but Gary's. All the times I thought it was something wrong with me, I know now it was his problem and with Mikhail's support I am finding myself, my inner strength and the self confidence I had lost."
Looking at her mothers shocked face she continued, "Mikhail loves me. He is a good man, the best. If he asked me to move to the ends of the earth, I would go." Suddenly realising what she had said, and that she really meant it, she continued, her voice rising up, "If you don't like it, I don't care. But I am really happy. I have a man who loves me for who I am, not what everyone thinks I should be. He loves me because of who I am, and not in spite of who I am."
Standing up, she looked down at her mother, "And we are both very happy that we are to become parents, and I hope that you look forward to being a Grandmother again, because you are very welcome to come to our home in Guildford and be part of our family. If not, as in the words of my man......tough."
Picking up her bag, she walked out and got in her car, heart beating fast. She had really stood up to her mother for the first time, and it felt good.
Misha arrived home, he could smell the food that Froo was cooking for supper wafting out at him, and the sound of laughter coming from Jace as he sat watching a cartoon on the television. Life was very good; coming home from a hard day at the office was now a pleasure.
Throwing his jacket over the back of the couch where Jace lay sprawled, he walked into the kitchen and encircling Froo as she stood at the sink washing up some pots and pans, kissed the back of her neck, his hands rubbing up and down her belly, "How is my favourite little incubator feeling today? Much throwing up?"
"Mmm a little. Go wash up, supper will be on the table in ten minutes."
Wandering into their bedroom, Misha changed into a pair of jeans and sweatshirt, before going back to the kitchen where Froo was serving up.
"Smells good, what is it?"
"Chicken cooked in cider. I found the recipe on the internet. Hope it works. Can you grab Jace for me."
Later as they lay in bed, Froo climbed on top of Misha, straddling his hips, her body exposed to his view, while he ran his hands up her torso, until he reached her lovely full breasts, which he cupped, his thumbs rubbing back and forth over the hard dark nubs.
"I guess these are going to get a little bigger. Something extra to enjoy with the pregnancy." His eyebrows rising and a big grin on his face.
"Just telling it like it is babe."
Smiling down at him, she said, "Mikhail, there is something I really have to tell you before we go any further."
"What babe?" distracted by her body, he was only half listening.
"I love you Mikhail."
Suddenly his hands stilled, and his eyes flew up to hers.
"What did you say?"
"I said I love you, you big idiot." Grabbing his hands in hers, she held them, moving them away from where they were, holding her breasts, "I love you. I love the way you are with me, you make me feel safe and protected, you make me laugh, and you make me feel alive. I love the way you make me take risks that stretch me and help me to grow, and most of all I love you because you are the nicest man I have ever met, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you."
Misha swept up, sitting with her on his lap, her legs each side of his, his body and arms holding her tight as he kissed her, a deep and sweet kiss that told her how he felt without words. As they pulled apart he had tears in his eyes. Froo looked at the gorgeous, strong and virile man and saw his vulnerability and emotions, and loved that he wasn't ashamed to show it to her.
"Mikhail, will you marry me?"
"Francesca, I never thought you'd get around to asking me!" and giving her one of his big wide smiles, "Of course babe, just name the day."
Misha looked down at her. Never did he believe in his wildest dreams that he could fall in love at first sight a second time.
But he had.
The moment he had set eyes on her, her fluffy black hair and rosebud lips, his heart had been taken.
His lovely daughter, and just like her mother, she had his heart.
Smiling at Froo as she lay there, hair sticky with the effort of giving birth, face mottled red from exertion, and a shapeless hospital gown encasing her, she had never looked so lovely to him.
He was a man who knew the importance of taking a risk in life.
Because to love is to risk not being loved in return, and only a person who risks is really free.