Author's Note:A loud chorus of shouting can be heard, "Its finally over . . . no more opening our mail to see another part of Voodoo." Anyway, I'd like to thank everyone for allowing me the opportunity to post my crude attempt at writing. A very sincere thank you goes out to everyone who actually read it and commented on it. A dozen roses to my proofreaders and two dozen roses to the ladies who believed in me when I didn't.
Warnings: Netiquette violations: language and adult situations
Further warnings: If you are a Rachel Quest fan read no further - delete now.
Disclaimer: (See Prologue)
Vaguely as if from a great distance, I hear someone tell Benton that the baby and I are both going to be fine. I smile as I move my hand to my stomach. Yes, the gentle fluttering feeling is still there. The darkness crashes down on me again.
The song THE LOVE OF YOUR LOVE from "Xena, the Warrior Princess: THE BITTER SUITE" is playing through my mind. Will Benton forgive me?
"Yes, I lied
Thought I could protect you from the truth
Deliver you from evil
Spare your innocence and youth
That I could simply will it
Was the real untruth
I was wrong
I wore a mask to cover my deceit
But underneath it all
I couldn't keep away my doubt
Now I'm left without a mask
And one question left to ask
I'm sorry, please help me, forgive me
Don't hate me, don't leave me, forgive me
Forgive me, my debt as only you could
Forgive me the hate
Replace evil with good
Forgive me and find out that you will be able to
Forgive yourself too."
The feel of a gentle caress over my abdomen and a kiss on my lips brings me to the upper levels of consciousness, but not fully awake. Sleepily, I mumble, "I love you Benton."
"Hush, rest." Benton Quest's words brush across my lips. I surrender to the darkness again safe in the knowledge that, yes, Benton has forgiven me.
I stretch and yawn as my eyes flutter open to find a room full of people staring at me. Both sets of my grandparents, the Quest Team and the FBI agents are there. Blushingly I stammer, "Hi."
Mulder puts his hand on my shoulder. "I don't even want to know. I think I understand now why you always thought my interest in the paranormal was so funny. Take care and congratulations on the baby." On that last part he looks from Race to Benton and then back at me. Bannon and Doctor Quest are looking at him as if they are the most innocent people in the world and haven't a clue what questions his look is silently asking. I receive congratulations from Scully on my pregnancy. The FBI agents leave softly talking to themselves. How are they going to write the report up for this case?
The Harkness family is the next to take their leave. Tiberius Harkness kisses my cheek, as he tells me he has to get back to Charleston. Benton receives a handshake and a stern warning that they expect to see their great-grandchild after she is born. After all, it's going to be interesting to see if she has her mother's arcane powers or her father's intellect. Then he roars with laughter at a thought that has just occurred. "What will happen if she inherits both?" My grandparents and I laugh at this idea. Benton goes pale at that thought of science and magic combined.
Agatha Harkness kisses and hugs everyone. She smiles at Benton. "Don't worry; you and Wilhelmina will have to decide, if she has the power, whether or not she receives instructions on how to use it."
Chantalle La Croix can only cry as she takes her leave of everyone, kissing them all on the cheek. Armand La Croix has no words for me; he is to overcome by his tears. He does have a few things to say to Benton. "Take care of her, Sir, or you will have to deal with me." He hugs Benton as he says this and leaves with his arm around his sobbing wife.
"How are you feeling?" Jonny asks.
I wave him close and hug him receiving a shocked looked from Benton. "Tired," I reply, weakly signaling to Hadji. Hadji joins the hug. Race sends the teenagers off for a snack.
Once the three of us are alone I ask, "Angelique?" Benton Quest and Race Bannon exchange looks.
Benton sits on the edge of the bed taking my hands in his. "I am sorry Will, but your sister is dead."
I burst into tears. "I never meant to kill her; I only wanted to stop her."
"No. Rag Doll, you didn't kill her. She was alive when they brought you both into the hospital. She was in better physical shape than you were. The doctors had no concerns about her condition; she was fine and in no danger." Benton takes me in his arms.
"What happened then if she was alive? How did she die?" I whisper against Benton's chest.
The men exchange worried looks again. This time Race Bannon speaks. "She disappeared from the hospital; they found her decapitated body in the City Park the following morning."
I shiver against Benton; he continues to hold and rock me. "When . . . when will the services be for her?" I speak through broken sobs.
Benton kisses my forehead. "They were yesterday, Love."
"Were my parents here?" I ask, looking slightly sick.
Benton laughs. "You have a very unusual family, Rag Doll. "
I smile weakly. "Unusual is an understatement when you are talking about my family, Ben. That is one of the reasons I have been so reluctant to tell you about them. I thought you would find them weird after meeting them." He chuckles at that remark.
"I want to go home." I whisper faintly against his chest.
"To Wilmington? To North Carolina?" He asks.
"No. I want to go to your home, our home in Maine." My eyes flutter closed in sleep.
"Yes, Love, I will take you home," the Doctor replies against my lips as he lays me back in the hospital bed.
The following morning the Quest Team arrives at the hospital. A woman approaches us dressed all in black, including a black hat with a heavy black veil over her face. "Your work is complete for now, L'Ange Noir (Black Angel)."
"I know, but if ever you need me," I start to respond.
A silvery laugh from the woman in black stops me. "I know how to summons you, petite sorcière (little witch)." With that the figure seems to melt away in the daylight.
Jonny blinks rubbing his eyes. "Who was that?"
I laugh. "Marie Laveau," I reply. In stunned silence everyone gapes at me. "Let's go home."
A short flight later we are disembarking from the DragonFly in Maine. I muse to no one in particular that the cold of the Maine evening feels wonderful. On the way back to the compound the group begins to discuss their ideas on how we should spend the upcoming holidays. My only comment is that I hope they are less exciting than our trip to New Orleans. Everyone in the group echoes this sentiment.
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