They approached the house in the cliffs with trepidation, Miranda felt that something was off.
“We need to let Inés know where we are”.
Max nodded and fired off a text as Miranda shot the lock off the door to the house.
She walked in and Max followed.
The house wasn’t a normal house. It was more warehouse than anything. Large and going back for longer than they realised.
It had floors and doors that were concealed by bookcases.
Miranda pulled out a few books and a door revealed itself.
Max followed, keeping his gun close.
They had just reached the third floor when Miranda froze.
Miranda turned her head slowly, “don’t move”.
She pointed to a thin silver line. Almost invisible to the naked eye.
“Palmer wanted Max dead” Donne laughed from behind.
Max looked as he toyed with the string.
“So do I”.
Max threw himself at Miranda as the room exploded. They went crashing through a floor. Miranda groaned as they fell down, “Max?” she wheezed, coughing and spluttering as the flames and smoke quickly overwhelmed them.
Donne really had wanted this place to go up.
“Max” she cried out and shook his body, screaming his name until he groaned. Coughing and groaning to life.
Max looked at her, she looked dazed but she was alive.
Miranda touched his head, wiping the blood there away.
“We have to get out” she said, “quickly”.
Max nodded and crawled back as the ceiling crumbled, breaking above them.
“It’s going to fall” Miranda whispered in horror, “n-no we can’t die. Not like this no!”
She gripped Max’s hand and pulled him up, “come on Winter my love. Let’s go”.
Max groaned and coughed, “can’t...breathe”.
Miranda pulled him close and placed her lips over his, breathing into them.
Max smiled at her and stroked her face, “come on”.
Miranda moved forwards and cried out as she fell through the floor.
He looked up at the ceiling, it was going to come through, he looked through the hole in the floor and saw Miranda lying on the floor unconscious.
“Get her out Winter”
Max turned and saw Donne coughing in the doorway, “Get Mini out. I only want you dead. Not her. Never ever her”.
Max nodded and felt the floorboards creak under him he moved to step and fell down. He curled his body as he fell, being careful to not hit Miranda as he landed. He moved to her, pulling her body to his, “Miranda?”
He saw her head was bleeding but she wasn’t moving.
“n-No” he said, “no” before coughing, he lifted her close and looked around for an exit.
“Donne?! Donne you have to help us!”
“Max? Max! Have you got her?!”
“I have. She’s not moving!”
Donne appeared at the edge, “get to the door, I’ll help get the main door opened”.
Max nodded and tried to see through the smoke. The flames were crushingly hot. He looked up at the hole he had fallen through but only saw darkness. He pushed on, moving slowly and hoping he wouldn’t bump into anything.
“M…max” Miranda groaned against him.
“Hey” Max said softly, “stick your arm out and tell me what you’re feeling…need to know Schatz. Looking for a door”.
Miranda groaned and did that. She whimpered, “ow…door….hot”.
Max backed them up, “DONNE! Donne we’ve-“ he coughed, “we’re at a door but it’s hot”.
Miranda looked at him, “Max…need to tell you something”.
Miranda groaned, “yeah…get us out please…don’t want to die”.
“We won’t my love I won’t let us”.
“I can walk” she grimaced, “just about…please”.
Max slowly put her down and she whimpered, “ow”.
He wrapped his arm around her waist and kicked at the door, “Donne!”
A door behind them opened.
Max turned and saw light. Freedom.
At the added oxygen the flames appeared above them. Max pushed on, lifting Miranda over his shoulder as he stumbled to the light. For once, Miranda didn’t protest, merely let him.
She groaned and coughed as they got to the fresh air, he nearly collapsed as he saw Inés and her team.
He put Miranda down and she gripped him, “Donne. I-I can’t let him die….not not like that” she replied and looked at the flaming building they had escaped from.
“Miranda it’s too dangerous” he breathed.
“I have to” Miranda said, moving towards it now. Max looked frantically at Rico, “please” he begged. Rico grabbed Miranda’s arms, holding her back with Davíd’s help.
“NO! MAX NO! PLEASE” Miranda begged, struggling in the men’s arms. Max glanced at her once before he darted into the flames and as he did, the building exploded.
Miranda woke up in hospital and remembered.
Max is dead.
She opened her eyes slowly and saw Inés watching her.
She looked at Miranda and raised an eyebrow, “do you have something to tell me?”
“Hello?” She whispered.
“No. The fact that you are pregnant”.
Miranda’s eyes went wide, “I-I’m i-I what?!”
“Dios. Do you two ever use a condom?!”
“Yeah… sometimes” Miranda said and moved to sit up.
“No no stay lying down.. you still need to rest”.
“I want to get out” she replied and sat up, “I want to see Max”.
“I know he’s dead” she snapped, “I know that Inés. But I need to see his body”.
“No bodies have been recovered” Inés said.
Miranda slumped back, “oh”.
“I-I’m sorry Miranda” Inés said softly and placed a hand on hers, “Max was a good-“
“He was my world” Miranda snapped, “and now I’ve got nothing-“
“You have a baby” Inés reminded her, “that will be part Max and part you… out of all of this… surely that is good?”
Miranda wiped her eyes, “I don’t want it. I can’t have it. I just I -I want Max” she said hoarsely and sniffed.
“I want Max back” she cried.
Inés moved close to Miranda’s side and pulled her into her arms, “I know novio, dios I know”.
Miranda glared at the Doctors as Inés held her hand.
“This will feel a little cold” he said and placed the device on her stomach. She shuddered and gripped Inés hand.
“There.. you see that there” the doctor smiled, pointing to the screen.
She looked at the screen and nodded.
“That there is your baby”.
Miranda’s face softened instantly, “I-it is? But it’s… that’s -“
“I’d say you’re about four months gone. When was your last period?”
“Uhm I can’t remember… I’ve been busy at work”.
“Dios you two” Inés muttered.
“At your next scan you’ll be able to find out the sex”.
Miranda nodded and touched the screen, “hi” she whispered softly, a small smile appearing on her face.
Inés smiled at Miranda, “she’ll need some prints of that”.
The Doctor nodded, “I shall leave you both alone”.
Miranda looked between her stomach and the screen and smiled.
Inés watched Miranda go quiet before she looked slowly at Inés, “I don’t for one second believe the DoMinidas has finished. He had a network. It needs to be broken. I-“
“You are going on desk duty Blake. You are pregnant. Four months. You are going to have a baby in half a years time. Max would want you to rest”.
“Max would be having sex with me until it was very nearly here and you know it”.
“Sí I do” Inés agreed, “you need a lesson on safe sex Miranda. You know when a man is wanting sex you haven’t got to-“
“Oh please kill me now. I don’t want to have this conversation”.
“And you know a condom is worn on a man-“
“Please Inés I beg you do. Not. Finish”.
“What’s the matter? Don’t like talking about sex? You did it enough to get that” she said and pointed to her stomach, “don’t be shy Miranda. You know where’s it’s coming out of”.
“Yes yes I know and I know childbirth is going to be painful and I know-“ she sighed softly, “Max really wanted a kid. I told him we could wait till we’d been going out a year before that sort of talk b-but it’s going to be born just after our anniversary a-and I -I m-max would he’d-“ Miranda sniffed, “it’s my fault he’s dead. My fault. I shouldn’t of cared about Donne. I should’ve let him burn a-and now I’ve lost them both”.
Inés gripped Miranda’s face in her hands.
“You both have tested my patience on Many occasions Miranda. But you are strong. And you have to be. You are pregnant. With Max’s baby. You keep stressing out like this and you could lose it. Do you want that?”
Miranda shook her head, eyes wide in fear, “I can’t lose it”.
“There” Inés smiled, “now get dressed. I’ll have Christian drive you home”.
Miranda looked at the bump and rubbed it, “y-yeah”.
“You’re not going to be alone throughout this” Inés stated, “you have a family here”.
Christian smiled sadly at Miranda, “I-i know you are pregnant so I won’t suggest a drink. But let’s raise a glass to him anyway”.
Miranda nodded and placed a protective hand against her stomach.
“He’s been gone two months and yet it hurts more and more”.
“I’ll be here for you both. Whenever you need okay? It’s what Max would have wanted and let’s be real he’d sooo haunt my ass if I didn’t”.
Miranda chuckled, “yeah he would” she stroked a photo of the two of them.
She rubbed her stomach, “Mmm that’s your papa” she chuckled, “mm I know. He’d spoil you rotten”.
Christian gathered the dirty cutlery as Miranda yawned.
“Why don’t you go lie down? I’ll go clear up. You need sleep”.
Miranda nodded, “good idea. Sorry I’ve not been much company…”
“You’ve been Miranda. That’s good enough company for me” Christian smiled.
Miranda awoke with a start. Their flat- her home was dark. She rubbed the bump and breathed slowly, “it’s okay. It’s okay sweetheart. Mami just had a bad dream” she breathed and kissed her fingers and then the bump.
She was coming up to seven months pregnant now and was showing more than she wanted to. She felt like a beached whale most days and it didn’t help that she didn’t have Max to cuddle.
She padded over to the bathroom and looked at herself in the mirror.
She screamed as she saw writing on the mirror.
Christian stumbled in with a frying pan.
Miranda backed to the wall, ducked and kneed him in the crotch quickly before she realised who it was.
“Shit. Christian. I-I-I’m so sorry”.
Christian groaned, “s’fine… what happened?”
Miranda looked at the mirror.
She breathed slowly and rubbed her stomach, “someone broke in”.
Christian looked at the mirror, “that?”
“Yep… Christian, you said you’d help me. Help us?”
“I need you to find where the DoMinidas is. I have files and locations to use. But I can’t get there. Inés will get suspicious and I need to stay calm for the baby. I can’t lose it”.
“I can’t stay here. They know where I am and they’ll hurt me if they know I’m pregnant. I need to stay somewhere they won’t expect. Somewhere I can still get info”.
“Rico?” Christian offered.
Miranda looked out at the harbour and rubbed the bump that was steadily becoming bigger by the day.
She smiled, “your Mami used to live over there” she said, “back when she first came over here…before she fell in love with your Papa”.
She sniffed, “he would’ve loved you…so much. He was like that. He loved people so fiercely. Brought me out of my shell…” she kissed her fingers and placed them on her stomach.
Miranda turned and smiled softly at Rico and Carmen.
She nodded, “y-yeah…thank you. For letting us stay with you. I really appreciate it”.
Rico shrugged, “it’s no problem for us. Max would’ve wanted us to look after you”.
Carmen picked up Miranda’s bag, “how are you coping?”
Miranda half smiled, “coping?” she laughed slightly and looked at the bump before letting the tears fall, “how can I raise this baby without Max? h-He would’ve been so happy. Such a good Papa a-and and he’s never going to get that chance now”.
Carmen pulled her close and rubbed her back, “it’s okay…it’s okay Miranda…he’s with us in spirit and you know that”.
“We need to get you into the car” Rico said, “as the head of the DoMinidas you’ll have enemies”.
Miranda nodded, “you guys are putting your lives at risk for me…for us” she said.
“You’re our friend” Rico said, “it’s not a risk”.
“How many months are you gone?” Carmen asked as Miranda got into the car.
Rico eyed her, but he nodded, “you will have to have a homebirth”.
Miranda nodded, “that’s fine…as long as she’s safe”.
“I will do my best” Rico said.
“We both will” Carmen added.
Max is alive
Miranda looked at the text and felt her body shake.
She moved to the door of her room and whimpered suddenly falling to her knees.
“Ow” she cried out and gripped her stomach, “n-no too early cariad. No” she breathed and looked at the text, “no no I know he’s alive I know but we need to stay healthy- okay okay stubborn. Just like me. T’rffic” she muttered and grimaced, “RICO!”
Rico darted in, “you yell- oh Dios Miranda what’s happened?!”
“Max. Alive. Me. Labour” she breathed.
“Shit. Carmen just left for her shift- I-I “
“Rico I-I don’t think she wants to wait she’s owwwwww” Miranda whimpered, tears springing to her eyes as she gripped her phone tightly.
“Max is alive” she said, “Christian found out. He’s being kept somewhere. M-max he- he’s alive” she smiled and stroked her stomach, “and Ida knows it”.
Miranda nodded and whimpered in pain, “Ma-max- he I-I owwwww Rico” she cried in pain, “will you stop asking me questions and help me?!”
Rico nodded, “I will. I-I’ll help you to the bed and then get some towels and warm water okay? It’ll take me a few minutes but I’m going to be back okay? Dios which idiot told you Max was alive ey?”
“Christian… he’s been working for me… for m-my part of the DoMinidas”.
Rico nodded and helped her to the bed.
Miranda whimpered and gripped Rico’s hand tightly, “it’s hurting. It really hurts”.
“I know. I know but I’m here. Okay? We’ll need to get you to hospital but I’m helping you every step”.
Miranda nodded, “h-help me get my shorts off. Please”.
Rico nodded and turned Miranda so she was resting on her back.
“Dios. There’s a lot of blood” he breathed, “I need to get you to hospital b-but I don’t think she’s going to wait”.
Miranda nodded and whimpered in pain as Rico pulled her shorts off.
“Shit…are you sure you’ve not been in labour all morning?”
“I-I Don’t know. I felt pain all last night but I thought that was normal. Oh god Rico it’s killing me”.
“I won’t be long. I’ll be right back I promise”.
As Rico ran around the apartment looking for towels and warm water, Miranda felt a sudden need to push, “Ida please” Miranda moaned, “no stay please. We’ll find your Papa. I promise we will but I need you to help me I-I need. I-I owwwwww RICOOO”.
Rico burst in and thanked every God to man he had. The baby’s head was crowning and Miranda was looking like she wanted to murder someone. Possibly him.
He sprang into action and got his hands near the baby’s head, “Dios. Okay. Keep pushing Miranda, that’s it. I’m sorry it’s painful but you’re doing great. You really are. And soon you’ll have Max back. You and Ida, you’ll have Max and god help anyone who upsets you”.
Miranda chuckled and cried, “Rico I-it hurts”.
“I know I know. But you’re a strong woman. Okay? Tell me what you’re going to do to Max when you see him?”
“Kick him for making me think he was dead”.
Rico nodded, “one more push. She’s here okay? I’ve got her shoulders and her hips. Just her legs. You got this one more that’s it!”
He smiled and held her up for Miranda, “she’s here” he said as she cried.
“She’s she’s here” Miranda breathed and smiled.
“Take your shirt off- skin to skin” Rico said softly and cut the umbilical cord as Miranda wordlessly removed her shirt.
He placed the baby into her arms and smiled at her.
Miranda cried softly as she looked at the baby, “Max should’ve been here. He should’ve… but oh Ida I love you. Ida my sweet love… Mami’s going to tear the world apart for you and your Papi. I promise, I’ll give you the world”.
Rico smiled at the pair and got out a blanket to wrap them in.
“And we’ll help”
Max glared at Donne, “she’ll realise…she will. Miranda’s not stupid. She’s going to know there’s something wrong…she will”.
Donne laughed, “I knew keeping you alive would be in my best interests…my sister isn’t stupid no…but, she’s a psycho. A killer. And killers don’t care. So, ask yourself this Max…” he smirked, “if Miranda cared so much about you, why hasn’t she found you yet?”
Max clenched his fists and looked away.
“You see…she doesn’t care”.
“Oh I do”
Donne turned, “m-Min-“
“Ohh big mistake Donne. Giant big mistake. You see I am soooo not in the mood for any excuse you have to say. Especially because I just got her to sleep. So really, piss me off I dare you. I’m working on two hours sleep and I really haven’t the time”.
“W-who to sleep?”
Miranda smirked and took off her coat, revealing a small baby pressed against her chest. Held close to her body by linen and one arm.
“y-You-“ Donne breathed.
Max looked at Miranda and his eyes went wide, “Miranda?”
She smiled at Max, “oh my love. You and I are going to have words about how to use a condom. This one was a wonderful surprise to find out about; right beside Inés as well, oh that was a great lecture. Dios Miranda do you not know your own body?! Do you have-” she cut off and gently bobbed up and down attention drawn to the baby, “ah ah ah sweetie sleepytimes now...your Papa is here well done”.
She glared at Donne, “you made me go through childbirth without my Max by my side. Oh Donne. The DoMinidas ends tonight. With your death”.
“No it won’t” Donne said and raised his gun to Max.
Max watched as Donne suddenly staggered back. The grip on his gun slacked and it fell to the floor as Donne gripped his stomach. Miranda smirked at him, her gun smouldering slightly.
Miranda calmly approached Donne and smiled at the baby.
“Who’s a good girl ey? Yeah that’s right sweet one. You! Sucha brave girl. Gonna meet your Papa. He’s very handsome and Mami might have to kiss him first” she grinned, kicking the gun aside and shooting Donne once more.
Donne fell down as the baby gurgled.
“You can’t be hungry still? I just fed you” she smiled and shot Donne a third time.
“Mini- m-ini please…please stop”.
“Ohhh you like me doing that? Okay baby girl” she smiled at Donne, “just for you”.
She shot Donne in the head, and smirked, “because I love you so”.
Max watched as Miranda went unflinchingly from showing adoration to the baby to him.
“y-You” he breathed.
“I named her Ida after your Mama”.
“Ida Helena Winter”.
Max smiled softly and tried to sit up but found he was too weak to.
Miranda slowly knelt down and smiled at him, “she’s only a week old”.
Max looked at her and then at the baby, “she’s beautiful…Miranda; oh my love I am so sorry I wasn’t there”.
“You are here now” she said softly and kissed his cheek, “even if you do stink”.
Max chuckled and smiled at Ida, “oh she’s so perfect…like her Mami…”
Miranda looked at Donne’s body, and at the unseeing eyes, “did he have the keys to the cuffs?”
“Right then, pull your knees up Papa”.
Max laughed but did as she said. Slowly, Miranda lifted Ida across and rested her against Max’s legs, with his cuffed hands he touched her one hand and smiled as she wrapped her hand around it.
“Oh my love…” he breathed.
Miranda stroked his wrists and uncuffed them, tossing the cuffs to one side she helped Max hold Ida in his arms.
Ida gurgled happily as she looked at Max.
“Hi…i-I’m your Papa…I’m very sorry I wasn’t here for you being born but I am here now. I always going to be here for you and for your Mami”.
Miranda hugged his arm, “come on you. Let’s get you home. My boobs are killing me”.
Max laughed, “why?”
“I’ve been breast feeding and it hurts”.
Max rocked Ida and smiled, “well then Mami” he smiled at her, “I can’t believe that you know…us…we are parents”.
Miranda smiled softly, “I know…uh you probably should know Rico helped me give birth. Carmen was at work at the time and Christian was soon to be dealing with an angry Inés”.
“Why was Iné- actually she is always angry”.
“She was angry because there had been a sighting of Donne and someone had let it slip to me leading me to go into labour….a month early”.
“Which idiot told you?”
“Ahh” Max smiled and cuddled Ida, “I don’t want to move Schatz. I’m in love with our daughter”.
Miranda smiled and adjusted Ida’s foot so it was pressing to Max’s arm, he smiled.
“Come on” she breathed and helped him stand, “you don’t want to mess with me right now Max”.
Max laughed, “I never want to mess with you my love”.
Miranda smiled and kissed him, “I meant…Donne is properly dead. I-I’m the leader of the DoMinidas now”.
“And?” he breathed.
“And I’m going to use it to get Mallorca funding it needs…to save the monuments…the history. To help clean Mallorca up…but maybe slowly, you know so we still have jobs”.
Max laughed and nodded, “good plan”.
She looked as Max approached, eyes full of love at her holding their baby.
“They didn’t have Strawberry flavoured but they had Mint which I know isn’t berry but-“
“It’s fine” she smiled and kissed him before he kissed Ida’s head.
“She’s going to be such a Daddy’s girl isn’t she” Miranda pouted and put Ida down so that she could take the ice-creams off Max so he could hold Ida.
“Ja for sure. You Blake women cannot resist me” he grinned as Ida gurgled.
Miranda rolled her eyes but smiled, “guess we just love you too much”.