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Open Unknown Road: Part 1

"I hope you understand that I hold you fully responsible for all of 
this!"
Laura stormed through the kitchen, her face red from her tantrum.
Max baulked a little at this, wondering how she could possibly be 
serious.
"Now come on, Laura" he tried, still too inexperienced in the moods of
a pregnant woman, to know to keep his mouth shut.
His words were almost gentle and of little meaning, but Laura turned 
on him like a vulture, secretly glad that he had spoken, so she could 
open fire again.
On seeing her face, he partly regretted saying anything at all, but he 
was still in high dudgeon over her comment.  Moods, or no moods, she 
had gone to far in his opinion, as well as being completely unfair.
Laura was ready to swoop again, steelily she said, "Don't 'come on 
Laura' me Max!  We wouldn't be in this mess, if it weren't for you 
giving me the come on!"  
Max gawked at her perplexed.  She decided to enlighten him,
"Taking me out in that bloody boat-that was the beginning of all this!"
She watched him, waiting for him to dare utter a word against her 
(or for her, she didn't really mind), so she could pounce again.  Her
anticipation had just reached the perfect level when he responded in 
the way she least expected or desired.
He threw up his hands, feeling that she had just unwished their 
entire time together, and walked towards the door much chagrinned.
Laura watched him through the glass panels, as he closed the door 
slowly but deliberately behind him.

Max bumped into Meredith less than 100m down the beach.  It sometimes 
seemed to him that she could sense when someone was upset, since she 
always seemed to appear.  She was definitely a good ear, and she often 
offered Max insights that he never would have thought of himself.  On 
this occasion, however, he knew he couldn't talk to her, for the baby
was still a much guarded secret.
"Hello Max."
He greeted her out of obligation only.  
She was not put off, "Anything the matter?"  He stiffened, knowing 
that a woman's advice would be mighty helpful right now, but unable 
to break Laura's confidance.
"Nothing with you and Laura I hope?"
Concealing his emotions made him over-react, "I am absolutely fine 
Meredith, and Laura and I couldn't be better!"  This sentence required
a smile, to sound sincere, and he was unable to manage that.
Meredith nodded understanding and patted him on the shoulder as she 
passed, her feet now in a direct line to Laura's house.

As Max began to seethe, at the injustice of Laura telling him that his 
most romantic moment ever, had been the start of this pregnancy mess, 
Laura's steam was dissipating.  Meredith found her in a much more 
rational state than the one Max had encountered.
"Awful," answered Laura, when Meredith inquired to her mood.
"Is it Max, Laura?" she asked gently.
Laura nodded dejectedly, "I think I just told him, that saving me 
from Warwick was the worst thing he ever did."  She put her head in 
her hands in anguish.
Meredith winced empathically, "Why did you say that?  It couldn't be 
further from the truth."
Laura nodded in agreement, but before she could begin to conceive a 
possible explanation for her runaway tongue, she was forced to run to
the sink and vomit.
Meredith stood, watching Laura compose herself and rinse the sink.
She smiled, "So that's why."  
Laura sighed, her cover blown.  Meredith put a friendly arm around her, 
"It's not a bad thing Laura, actually it's wonderful!  When's it due?"

She told her.  Meredith led her over to the couch thoughtfully; her 
astounding memory for dates had never betrayed her, and this time was
 no exception.
"But Laura-my god-that must have been before....?"
Laura shook her head quickly, "Oh no, it's definitely Max's."
Meredith rethought it, and a sly smile played on her lips, "Laura, 
you and Max, BEFORE Warwick left!"  Then she burst out in laughter.
"Why are you laughing?" asked Laura embarrassed and stunned that 
someone could discover their secret.
"Oh Laura," she grinned, "You must see the humour, in you, of all 
people, being wrapped up in an affair!"  Laura tried to act offended 
for a second, but pretty soon they were both in peals of laughter.