THEORA'S CHILD

Chapter 02: The Truth

Ted held Theora in his arms after a night of gentle lovemaking. He had been seeing her for a couple of months now and while he wasn't ready to settle down with a family, he found the relationship to be at least more stable than the one he'd had with his last girlfriend Alice.

He ran his hand over her baby bump and felt the little one inside her kick.

"She's very active for being so early along," he said, thoughtfully.

Theora murmured sleepily into her pillow and drifted off.

A nagging thought gripped Ted.

~It's not yours~

He lay there gazing at her as she slept, wondering who the actual father might be. Wondering if he should leave her then and there. Let her wake up alone if she wasn't going to be honest with him. But he wouldn't do that to her. He would at least wait until she woke up. Get her side of the story. There must, he decided, be a reason she didn't want anyone to know who the real father was. Maybe it was Edison? No, she had said flat out that she would never date her operative.

Theora woke and climbed out of bed. She went to the bathroom. When she came back out, Ted was sitting up, his expression concerned.

"Theora," he said, his voice firm but not angry. "I've already figured out that it's not my baby. You can't be only two months along and look like that. Even with twins."

"Tedů " Theora began.

"Just tell me the truth, Theora. If you want me to pretend the baby is mine we both have to be on the same page. Who's the father?"

"The baby was conceived on the night of the Security Systems incident."

"The night Carter ended up in that thermal testing chamber," Ted recalled. "But you said it wasn'tů"

"Edison Carter wasn't the only one who ended up in that chamber," Theora reminded him.

Ted thought about it for a moment. Then the truth came to him.

"Lynch," he said, hardly daring to believe it. "Why in God's name did you sleep with him? He's not even legal in at least three of the countries we broadcast to!"

"That's why I need a cover story for the baby," Theora told him. "Look, I don't care what people think of me. I grew up rough. But Bryce and the baby need to be protected."

"Are you going to tell Bryce?"

"No," Theora said. "He's got a whole life ahead of him. One day he'll meet a nice girl and have a family with her. He doesn't need this burden."

"Alright," Ted said. "I think he has the right to know. But I understand your reasons so I won't tell him. Let the world think it's mine."

"Thank you, Ted." Theora said, gratefully.

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