Kayleigh rubbed her belly as she stepped onto the plane. The young stewardess eyed her and smiled.
“Ma'am, I need to see a note from your doctor stating it's all right for you to be flying.”
Kayleigh dug in her bag and pulled out the note her friend Stephen had written for her. “Of course, my doctor told me I'd need one.”
The stewardess smiled again. “How close are you to your due date?”
“About three weeks away. I just want to be home for the birth. My husband is on deployment and I'd like to have family around me for the birth of my first child.”
“Congratulations. If you'll follow me, I'll show you to your seat and help you get situated.”
Kayleigh followed the stewardess and as she passed the rows, she noticed the other passengers staring at her stomach. She smiled and placed her hand on her extended belly. This was not how it was supposed to be. Malcolm should have been with her. He should still be alive and anxiously awaiting the birth of their son. But he wasn't. His brother had gotten him involved in something horrible and now the men who'd killed Malcolm were after her.
It was hard to believe that it was just yesterday morning she'd come home from shopping and found Malcolm dead in the kitchen. She'd known deep down it had something to do with his brother and whatever it was they'd been 'working' on.
She'd wasted no time. Packing a single suitcase with her clothes and clothes for her son, she'd fled.
She didn't go to the closest airport, but had driven five hours to the next one and abandoned her car there. It was registered in Malcolm's name and she knew the police would find him when they went searching for the owner. She couldn't get involved with anything Jimmy was doing, if he were still alive.
She settled in her seat as the stewardess placed her carry on bag in the overhead compartment. “Miss, is there anything I can get you?”
“No thank you. I'm fine.”
Kayleigh's gaze locked on a man sitting a row ahead of her and in the middle section of seats. He smiled and she caught her breath. His blue eyes were warm and friendly. She smiled back. His brown hair was wavy and just brushed the top of his collar. The stylish suit he was wearing made him look like a doctor or a lawyer. Yeah, just the type of man who would really notice her. He was probably scared to death she'd go into labor on the flight and get his shoes dirty.
She leaned her head back and waited for the flight to take off. She hadn't really noticed where she was heading. All she knew was that she'd chosen the first available flight to nowhere.
Simon turned around and smiled at the pregnant woman. She shouldn't be flying and he knew that. Though he was only a year out of his residency, he was well versed on what a pregnant woman could and could not do. If he weren't he wouldn't be a good OB/GYN. He turned around and leaned over to whisper in his mentor's ear. “Mike, I'm worried about this lady. She has to be close to her due date. Why the hell would her doctor let her fly?”
Mike laughed. “Not all OB/GYN's are as careful as you. But you don't know her story. Perhaps she's had a death in the family or someone is gravely ill. It could be that she's alone and wants family with her. If you're worried, just keep an eye on her.”
Simon returned his thoughts to the notes he was making on the conference they'd just attended. He made a note on his legal pad to discuss with his staff the dangers of a pregnant woman flying so late in pregnancy except in extreme cases. He was happy this was a short flight. It would be no longer than two hours from the Washington to Charlotte airports. Still though, he'd watch her carefully for any signs of trouble.
As the flight took off, Simon turned in his seat and saw that the woman was already asleep. He smiled. Asleep she looked even more like an angel. Her husband was one lucky man. The moment Simon had heard her voice, his interest had piqued. But then he'd noticed how far along she was and the doctor had come forth. He shook his head. Her husband must be crazy to let her fly now or either he didn't care.
Forty-five minutes from landing and everything was fine. Simon and Mike had both kept an eye on the expectant mother. So far, all was well with her. She'd eaten two bags of peanuts and had a bottle of water on her tray. She was reading a book or at least pretending to read. Simon noticed she hadn't turned a single page. She just kept staring at the book.
“Mike, I'm not sure everything is okay with her. She grimaces every..." he looked at his watch, "fifteen minutes or so. She's squirming in her seat too. I think she may be going into labor and she just doesn't know it.”
Mike turned around and watched her for a few moments. “I agree. Keep a close eye on her.”
Simon tried to concentrate on the report he was writing but a noise drew his attention away. He turned his head and saw the woman grab her stomach and a look of pain cross her face.
“Shit. This isn't good.”
Mike looked at him. “What isn't good?”
“The pregnant woman. She's in pain. Rather, I think she's in labor.”
Simon placed his notepad in his bag and stood. He knew what needed to be done as he walked across the aisle and knelt beside her. “Miss, I'm an OB/GYN. My name is Simon Mitchell. How far apart are your contractions?”
Kayleigh stared at him. “Contractions? I'm not due for three weeks. I'm not in labor. I think he's moving wrong is all. Honest, I'm fine.”
He laughed. “This is your first child I take it?”
“Yes. Am I that obvious?”
“Let's just say that they tend to surprise their parents by coming early.”
“But he can't be. I'm not due for three weeks. I promise, it's false contractions that's all.”
Simon placed his hands on either side of her stomach. When she grimaced again, he felt her stomach tighten at the same time. “Well, I hate to tell you this but you're in labor. We may have enough time before we land.”