Sybil groaned, cradling her stomach as she slowly, carefully, began to ease herself back into bed. Tom was already there, having just slipped under the covers before her. He had the sheets pulled back, and he waited patiently for her to get herself settled, though at the same time he was watching expectantly…ready to help if the need arose again, and she had to rush back to the loo.
She looked at him and gave a sheepish smile. “Sorry,” she mumbled.
He quickly shook his head. “You don’t need to apologize, love; never apologize for feeling ill.”
"But I’ve kept you awake, and you have to go to the office earlier than usual tomorrow—or should I say today,” she corrected, groaning again.
"Don’t worry about me," he dismissed, his arm already moving gently around her shoulders to help ease her against him.
Sybil wanted to protest; of course she would worry, he barely got enough sleep as it was, helping her with the baby, on top of his new position as junior editor. Yet how could she argue with him when he was being so comforting and sweet?
It was her own fault. She wanted to surprise Tom and cook for him this recipe that Mrs. Patmore had sent her in her last letter, a dish she remembered him speaking fondly of, back when he was a chauffeur. However, when Tom took a bite, Sybil noticed the face he was making—one that looked troubled.
"Are you sure you cooked the meat thoroughly?"
Sybil could not deny, she was affronted by the question. Tom saw the hurt in her eyes and quickly tried to explain he didn’t mean to insult, but Sybil, in a moment of weakness, let her stubborn, wounded pride get the better of her, and proceeded to take his plate and eat the dish herself, ignoring the rather “gamey” taste of the meat, and muttering that he could just have bread and cheese for his supper.
An hour later, Sybil was regretting her actions.
Tom stood behind her in the loo, running his hand up and down her spine, while at the same time holding her hair back. Sybil knew what was ailing her, and knew she was in for a long night as a result.
But through it all, Tom remained at her side, only leaving to help with the baby when she began to wail for her parents. Now, well past midnight, Sybil prayed that the ordeal was finally over (really, there wasn’t anything left!)
"I can’t even begin to imagine how I smell…" she moaned, feeling so disgusted with herself. But Tom wouldn’t hear any of it, he pressed his nose to her air and breathed in its scent.
"Beautiful," he murmured.
Sybil made a face, though her heart melted at his voice. “You’re horribly biased.”
He chuckled and kissed the top of her head as she settled against him at his insistence. “Sybil Branson, nothing, even what’s happened to you tonight, will ever convince me otherwise.”
Sybil felt her cheeks flush. I don’t deserve him— to call him “wonderful” is a terrible understatement.
"I don’t want to get sick on you," she protested as he helped her lean against him, though at the same time, after the night she had had, she couldn’t deny how desperately she wanted to feel her husband’s arms around her.
"I’ve got a bin here if we need it," he assured. "But in all honesty, love, I care more about your comfort right now than whether you get sick on me or not…so just try to relax as best you can…close your eyes…and if you need to rush back, I’ll do everything I can to help."
Oh Lord, she truly, TRULY, didn’t deserve him. “You’re too good to me, Tom Branson.”
A somewhat cheeky smile spread across his face. “I rather like to think that I’m perfect for you, actually.”
Sybil smiled and settled her head over his heart. “Indeed you are,” she whispered.