"Milly!" Gideon shouted as he knocked on the door. "Milly, open up!" He had been trying to talk to her all day but he could never catch her at the right time. It was getting dark and so he wanted to talk to her before it got too cold. He brought his hand up to knock on the door again when it suddenly opened and was shocked to see Alice on the other side of the doorway.
"What is it, Gideon?" she asked, refusing to meet his eyes.
"Oh…Alice…hi!" He said quickly. For a few moments he completely forgot why he came to the house in the place. "I…uh…I just wanted to talk to Milly, that's all."
"Well," Alice said quickly. "She's pretty tired right now. Maybe you should come back tomorrow." She tried to close the door but Gideon stopped it with his hand.
"Is she ill?" he asked.
"That's why I wanted to come over and see her," he said. "Recently she's been looking really pale and it looked like she was gonna be sick yesterday morning. I just wanted to check and see if she's alright. I'd feel real bad if she's been cooking and cleaning for us while being sick."
Alice stared at him for a few minutes like she was trying to figure out what to say. "You mean…You mean she hasn't told you yet?"
"Told me what?"
"Oh, I thought she was going to tell you yesterday!" Alice said.
"Tell me what?" Gideon asked again.
"Well, I shouldn't be the one to give the news. Milly should be the one to tell you and your brothers. I'll go see if she's feeling better. Wait right here."
And she closed the door before he could get another word out. Now he felt even more confused than before. What was Alice talking about? What was Milly supposed to tell him? And why did Alice look so excited before she ran off to get Milly?
A few minutes later Milly opened the door and looked up at Gideon.
"Milly!" Gideon said. "I'm sorry if I woke you. I was just wondering if you've been feeling alright lately. I was scared that you were getting sick."
"I'm alright, Gideon," she said softly. "And I should have told you earlier. I just couldn't find the right words."
"What are you talking about, Milly?" he asked.
"Gideon, I'm gonna have a baby," she said with a small smile.
"What…I…I," Gideon tried to say something but he couldn't seem to get the right words out.
"I know," Milly said. "That's how I felt too when I found out." Gideon continued to stare at her. "Gideon? Say something, please."
"I gotta go tell Adam!" Gideon nearly shouted and he ran back towards the barn. He could hear Milly yelling at him from behind but he just ran faster. He nearly crashed through the doors of the barn and tried to get everything he needed for the ride.
"What are you doing, Gid?" Ben asked.
"I gotta go get Adam!" Gideon said as grabbed his saddle.
"Right now?" Caleb said. "It's freezing out there Gideon. And you know how bad the wolves are."
"I don't care! He needs to know!"
"Know what?" Frank asked right before Milly ran through the barn doors.
"Gideon, stop it!" she yelled at him. Gideon looked around and realized his brothers had no idea what he and Milly were talking about.
"What's going on?" Daniel asked.
"I'm…I'm pregnant," Milly said. All of Gideon's brothers jumped to their feet.
"How long have you known?"
"When is the baby coming?"
"Boys, calm down," Milly said. "Yes, I am pregnant. I've known for a few weeks and the baby will come sometime in the spring."
"You see," Gideon said not paying attention to anyone else. "We gotta go tell Adam!"
"No!" Milly shouted suddenly. "I am not losing anyone else!"
Gideon looked up at Milly when he heard her outburst. His brother stared at her too. Gideon could now see the tears on Milly's face. She turned around and wiped them away as fast as she could.
"Milly, are you alright?" Ephraim asked.
"Yes, yes I'm fine," she said a little too quickly. "Gideon, promise me you won't leave."
"Please," she said softly.
"Alright," Gideon said after a few minutes. "I'll stay."
"Thank you," Milly said. "Now it's getting late. You all should get ready for bed. Goodnight." She turned around and walked briskly out of the barn. Gideon placed his saddle on the ground, sat down on his cot, and placed his head in his hands. He wasn't sure why he was so emotional over this.
"Are you alright, Gid," Frank asked.
"Adam should know about the baby," Gideon mumbled. "No one should grow up without a father."
"You miss Pa, don't you?" Ben asked.
"I barely even remember him," Gideon said quietly.
"Well, he was real tall. Even taller than Adam." Ben said.
"Really?" Gideon asked. Ben nodded back at him.
"And he was real strong too," Caleb added. "He was as strong as an ox."
"He never complained." Dan said. "It didn't matter how tired or how cold he was. If there was work to do then he would get it done."
"He loved to hunt," said Ephraim. "And he was real good at it. I don't think I ever saw him waste a bullet."
"I don't remember too much about him," Frank said. "But I do remember he used to pick me up and swing me around when I was real little. It felt like I was flying."
Gideon was overwhelmed with the new memories about his father. No one talked too much about him after he died and hearing this made him happy for the first time in a while. "Thank you," he said.
"You're welcome," Ben said. "And don't worry, we'll make sure Adam knows. It just might take some time before he finds out."
The brothers started to get ready for bed but Gideon's mind was still racing. He thought about Adam being alone in that cabin. He thought about Milly trying to take care of six girls with a baby on the way. He also thought about Alice and how he could try to make things right with her. He lied down on his cot and pulled his blanket over him.
"I'm gonna be an uncle," he said to himself and he fell asleep smiling.
Author's Note: Thank you to everyone who has read/reviewed this story. I know I've said it before but it really means a lot to me. This story started off as a one-shot where the brothers learn Milly is pregnant but it ended being a lot longer than I originally thought. I know I'm not super active on this website, but I really do appreciate everyone who has taken the time to read this story. So once again, thank you.