Nigel could not control the flutter of emotions relentlessly assaulting him in wave after merciless wave. What was this thing he was feeling? Was it hurt, anger, betrayal, or grief? Quite possibly all of the above. He couldnít breathe... He couldnít see two inches in front of his own nose, or even speak. Oh God, it was true. He was going to be a father, and the babyís mother didnít feel it important enough to include him. Oh, but she had seen fit to tell Aaron Deleany! That was just like Sydney, trusting the other guy when she should be trusting in him! Closing his eyes he blinked back the first few tears and released Sydney from his grasp, afraid if he didnít he might try strangling her instead. Buckling his legs beneath him he fell to his knees in the snow, his head bowed and shoulders slack. This was all so surreal.
"Nigel, please... donít be angry." Sydney dropped to her own knees and crouched down to see his face. "I was going to tell you when we got back home. I had my reasons."
"Do not..." His voice was serious, yet alarmingly calm. "Do not patronise me Sydney."
"Iím not! Listen, if itís any consolation, Iíve only known since right before we left for Turkey. I fully intended on telling you soon!"
He lifted his head and glared at this outrageous woman, this beautiful, amazing, fiery woman who claimed to love him... someone he loved and trusted more than anything on this earth. He thought she felt the same way and would surely never lie to him. "You bloody well knew before we left?" He snapped at her, a great burning sensation in the pit of his stomach overtaking him. "And why would you let Aaron in on this little secret before me? I donít know whatís worse, the insult, or, or the injury!" He literally shrieked right in her face. "I am the babyís father! SYDNEY, how, how COULD you?!?!"
"Did Aaron tell you about the baby?" She asked, trying not to lose her composure. She had to stand tall here, not be intimidated... Focus.
Nigelís eyes widened in disbelief... "NO! I was forced to play charades with you!" Nigel allowed himself to fall unavailingly backwards into the snowdrift with a soft thump, and stared up into a brilliant sapphire sky, framed by tall cedars and sweeping white clouds. "How did you manage to convince yourself that keeping me in the dark about this was a good thing, aside from the fact I would have demanded we sit this adventure out?" Yelling up into a faceless sky just made more sense to him that looking at her right now, he just couldnít.
"I know youíre angry right now, just give yourself some time to adjust. Please, try to see past this... Look at the big picture here."
"Past this? The big picture? Youíre pregnant Sydney! Itís not just me, myself and I anymore! Weíre in the middle of 9021-NOWHERE! What if something happens to you? What then? You could get sick, fall and break something, uh, eat something bad, get too cold...And what about the damn Kurdish rebels? What about them Syd, they could shoot and kill us all before this trip is done! Our cell phones donít work up here, thereís no hospital, nothing! Iím not a doctor Syd! Do you even realise what kind of danger youíve put yourself in, let alone our child?"
Our child... the words stranded his thoughts in time, but it was Sydneyís voice that brought him back into the nightmare.
"Yes! Of course I do, but this was important, Nigel...itís Noahís Ark!" The moment the words left her mouth, she wished she could take them back. His face fell, and what looked like anger before had been a mere cake walk...He was down right scary now.
Nigel immediately sat up and grabbing her roughly by her fore arms, took her by complete surprise. He wanted to shake the living daylights out of her until the real, thinking Sydney Fox emerged triumphant, but he knew it wouldnít do him any good. She really did think she was doing the right thing, and that only infuriated poor Nigel more so. What could be more important than your own child.... he'd been taught that lesson at an early age bu his own doting mother. "So is the life growing inside of you for God sake!" He damned near choked on those words. Was it because he was its father that she didn't want to say anything? "The problem here is you have no idea what is really important in life, you think running all over hellís half acre is all there is to having a good life... well let me tell you something, Professor Fox!"
Sydney cringed at his accusing choice of words, knowing she deserved every one of them and more. She hated the betrayed look in those hazel eyes...the same eyes she would gaze adoringly into each time they made love. She just broke his heart.
"Thereís a hell of a lot more to life than finding a bunch of old junk that isnít worth the materials used to craft them in the first place...nothing even comes close to the value of what you hold within you right now." He pushed himself up from the perma-frost and sat just behind her, easing her body onto his lap. With his chin resting on her shoulder and his arm wrapped around her chest, he placed his open palm across her tummy, cupping her and gently rubbed back and forth trying to make her understand what she had purposely excluded him from. "You have something very special right there," he stilled his hand over the spot and held her, his anger slowly retreating from him, "itís our job to protect this little person. We are responsible for him or her. What we want is secondary. Donít you get it yet Syd?"
Sydney swallowed hard. The feel of his hand touching her there stirred something primitive inside her, something she had never ever felt before, and turning her face towards him, she covered his hand with hers. It was a maternal thing she could only imagine, and never thought she would ever experience for herself...That was a luxury Sydney would never have permitted herself before now. Of course she understood. "Iím, Iím really sorry...I was wrong not to tell you right away Nigel, I know that. I always knew that. Will you ever be able to forgive me?"
Forgiveness...he wasn't sure he could right now, maybe not ever.
Go to Part Twenty Three.