Chapter Twelve: Flashback
"Roads are slick tonight."
Sian pulled her wrap more tightly
around her against the chill wind as she watched her husband unlock the
"Rob, it's getting late and it's
freezing - are we gonna head home or are you still set on calling by
your Mom's? Because if I'm honest, I'm kinda beat."
"Then we'll go home." Robin pulled
open the driver's side, climbing across to release the stiff lock on
the passenger door and shoving it open. "There. Get in, Sian. We can
always drop by Mom's place tomorrow morning - she'll likely be in bed
anyhow, since it's gone eleven and you know what she is. She's not
gonna thank us droppin' in at this hour - I just didn't realise we
would be out as late as we have been."
"Work overran." Sian stifled a
shiver, coming to get in the car with a grateful grin. "I'm sorry about
that, but Alan had noone to cover the shift."
"Well, he had you." Robin leant over
to kiss his wife gently on the forehead. "For which I'm sure he was
He strapped himself in, casting a
glance at the traffic then putting the car in gear. "Though I'm
honestly not sure that I'm happy with you working in the
bar...especially when it's late and dark and there are...unpleasant
"You mean Calvin?" Sian pursed her
lips. "He's no threat to you, Robin. I have no time for him, drunk or
sober. If he comes into the bar, I get someone else to serve him...and
if he speaks to me I keep it to small talk and then I make an excuse to
go do something else. He's not going to abduct me or anything crazy
like that. Honestly, I think he's just a sad alcoholic and that's the
end of it. Words is all he is. Nothing more."
"Perhaps, but I don't like him
harassing you. I never have." Robin shrugged his shoulders. A smile
played around the corners of Sian's mouth.
"I can't believe we've been married
nearly a year and you're still jealous of his attentions toward me."
She teased. "Robin Sheppard, when are you going to realise that it's
you I've pledged my life to, not some drunk with too much lip? I love
you. If you don't know that by now, you never will."
"I know it." Robin assured her. "It's
not that. I don't think you'd go off with him - or anyone else. Not for
one moment. I'm more worried that he'll try something else. Or cause
trouble in the bar one night. I don't want you hurt, Sian. That's the
"And you should know that growing up
in the Mulhavy family means I can take care of my own." Sian reassured
him. "My Dad wouldn't have had it any other day. We learnt it almost as
soon as we learnt to walk and talk. I'm a big girl. I can more than
protect myself against a drunk gropin' me. Do you think I'd sit back
and just let him?"
"No I don't." Robin admitted,
amusement crossing his own expression. "I'm sorry. I guess it's
something of the alpha male complex. You're my woman...I don't like it."
"Well, you don't need to worry." Sian
told him softly. "Besides, there's something else I wanted to talk to
you about tonight, Rob. Something far more worthwhile than Calvin
Reynolds and his capacity for alcohol. Something...special."
"Hrm?" Robin negotiated a bank of
parked cars, casting her a fleeting glance. Sian's cheeks were pink
"Listen to me." She instructed. "An'
for God's sake, focus on the road while I tell you! I don't want to be
meeting the hedgerow and this road's tight."
"I'm a better driver than that."
Robin bantered back. "So what is it? I can take it, Sian - what's so
"Well..." Sian paused, then, "You
know that I've been a bit, well, funny lately? Off my food and the
"Yeah...I know. So...?"
"So I dropped by Dr Sheridan's office
before work this afternoon." Sian said softly. "An' he did some tests,
checked me over and such. Guess what he said, Rob!"
"What did he say?"
"Can you guess?"
"Sian, tell me, okay?" Robin laughed.
"I'm not good at guessing games."
"Rob, I'm pregnant." Sian's eyes
glowed as she related her news. "Isn't it fabulous? Finally, we're
gonna have the family that we keep talking about having. So you gotta
stop worrying about Calvin, you got me? We're gonna be Mama and Papa!
Isn't it exciting?"
"For real?" Robin's eyes widened and
it was with some effort that he kept his attention on his steering. "I
"Doctor's pretty sure." Sian nodded.
"He said it all adds up. He took some further tests but yeah, he thinks
so...and so do I, Rob. I didn't tell you before, but Mary Jane got a
pregnancy test and I, well, did it while you were at work yesterday. It
came up the same way...but I didn't want to say anything to you until
I'd seen the doctor. I didn't want to get your hopes up and all...I
know it's something we've both been wanting for a while."
"It is." Robin grinned. "Did he give
you any idea how far gone you are?"
"He thinks about eight or nine
weeks." Sian responded. "Just goin' by what I told him. But I knew
you'd be excited!"
"So Mary Jane knows - did you tell
your family yet?"
"I wanted to tell you first." Sian
shook her head. "I'll tell them tomorrow...Mary Jane swore she'd keep
it quiet till you knew."
She giggled. "Sometimes I think your
sister is more like one of my own, I swear."
"I wish I could kiss you and
congratulate you." Robin said. "But it'll haveta wait till we get
home...okay? So take it as done?"
"I already did." Sian pulled her wrap
more snugly around her. "I think...Robin! That car!"
"I see him." Robin's expression
darkened and he put his foot to the brake, slowing his vehicle as a red
mustang wheeled out of the darkness, straying across the road in a
weaving, uneven pattern. "Someone's been hitting the whisky too hard
"Pull over!" Sian's eyes became big.
"Pull over, Rob, and let him past!"
"I'm gonna." Robin nodded grimly,
turning his wheel hard to the right and pulling up onto the pavement as
the car sped past them. As it did so, Robin cursed.
"Reynolds." He muttered. "Who the
hell let him keep his license?"
"Well, he's gone now." Sian's face
was white but she spoke bravely. "Let's just get home, Rob...no doubt
the sheriff will pick him up if he carries on like that."
"No doubt." Robin agreed, putting his
car in gear and pulling back onto the main road towards the turning for
their road. As he did so, however, the red mustang came bombing back
out of the blackness, the horn sounding frantically as Calvin steered
his car wildly across the road. Robin let out an exclamation, putting
his foot on the accelerator pedal as he tried to bring the car back
onto the pavement but the other vehicle was moving too fast.
With a terrible, grinding crunch, the
mustang swung up behind Robin's car, ramming it firmly off the road and
into the solid brick wall that flanked someone's drive. As dust, smoke
and pain began to dull Robin's senses, he was vaguely aware of screams
and people hurrying towards the scene.
Then, in an instant, everything was