Warnings: Netiquette violations: language and adult situations
Further warnings: If you are a Rachel Quest fan read no further - delete now.
Disclaimer: (See Prologue)
It is a good thing that my secret is now common knowledge. Morning sickness is now a constant companion. One moment I will be ravenously hungry, the next the very sight and smell of food will send me bolting for the nearest bathroom. Dry cereal is the best deterrent I have found for the sickness. I thought this particular Hell was reserved for the first trimester. Of course, if I had suffered like this during the first trimester, I wouldn't have been able to deny my pregnancy as long as I did.
If I sit still, I fall asleep. Normally I am a light sleeper; now a bomb could go off next to me and it wouldn't phase me. This concerns me. An inattentive Intelligence-One agent is a dead agent. My body has developed a mind and will of its own. I'm just an unwilling passenger, an observer.
Benton's solicitous concerns should delight me; instead they rub my nerves raw. I could have killed him over the house guest incident. He had invited a colleague for a visit one weekend. Imagine my surprise when during dinner I asked what Doctor Goetzl specialized in, and he replied obstetrics. Race had had to excuse himself from the dinner table. You could hear him laughing in the kitchen.
Innocently, Benton mentioned that I was pregnant and if it was not too much trouble, would Hendrick mind examining me. Doctor Goetzl determined much of what I already knew. I was pregnant. He went on to explain to Benton that whatever difficulties I was experiencing would clear up upon the baby's birth.
When our guest left I was so mad. I locked Benton out of our bedroom; my intention was to keep him locked out for two days. He thought he was so smart because he had a key. Ha, I fooled him by shoving the chest of drawers in front of the door. It did him no good to unlock it. However, my pregnancy was on his side. My resolve only lasted two hours before my hunger drove me from the room.
Benton would turn the heat up high. I would turn it down low. We would do this a dozen or more times during the day. Finally we had a showdown over the thermostat. Bannon walked by chuckling, and muttering something about 14 weeks down, 26 more to go.
We were gathered in the living room watching a movie when I had one of my "spells." You know what I mean. The kind were you lose all color, your body temperature bottoms out, you break out in a cold and clammy sweat, and you start to shake. I gasp out, "Cheerios." Jessie jumps up and runs for the kitchen. Such a sweet girl, I think I may have permanently scared her out of even considering having children. I must remember to tell Race that I don't think he will have to worry about Jessie experimenting with sex.
Benton grabs the phone and begins frantically dialing numbers. "This is Doctor Quest I need to speak to Doctor Lassiter immediately, it's an emergency."
I shoot Race a long-suffering look. "Benton hang up the phone; there is no emergency."
"Rag Doll, look at you! You're trembling, sweating, and pale. This is the cold and flu season. Will, it would be prudent to have the doctor examine you just in case it is the flu." Benton Quest scowls at the phone in impatience for being put on hold.
Jessie returns with the requested item from the kitchen. I look at her; shaking my head sadly and say, "MEN." She giggles. I take hold of the telephone line. "Benton, Love, Heart, are you listening to me?" He responds with an absent nod of his head. "Good, when Doctor Lassiter picks up you're going to tell him that you made a mistake and that you're sorry you troubled him. Then you are going to hang up the phone." He starts to protest. I show him the telephone line that I am holding. "You better or I'm going to rip the phone line out of the wall and strangle you with it. And, Love, you know I am capable of doing this, don't you?" I smile sweetly.
Bannon snickers. "Just think only 25 weeks and 3 days more to go."
I turn an equally sweet smile on Bannon. "Snow, you know you could be the next person on my hit list." Race sobers as Benton mumbles an apology to Doctor Lassiter. Now that I have my Cheerios I again become a normal human being.
The following morning Race and Benton are in the kitchen finishing up breakfast and reading the newspaper. The phone rings. Race Bannon answers, "Yes, he's here just a minute. Doctor, it's for you." I'm drinking a large glass of milk and leaning against the counter top. I have to admit that I'm not really paying attention. I'm daydreaming.
Benton takes the phone. "This is Doctor Quest," Benton is nodding his head at whatever the caller is saying. "A Voodoo uprising? In New Orleans? And you want me there by the 20th." The word Voodoo ends my daydream. The glass of milk shattering on the kitchen floor sounds like the report of a shotgun. Race and Benton both leap to my side. Last night's episode is nothing compared to now.
"NO, No, no, no, no," I chant. "No, we can't go. It's too dangerous."
Benton laughs at me and says, "It's all right, Rag Doll, you and the kids can stay here. Race and I will go by ourselves."
I am afraid and close to panic, "NO, no one can go. You don't understand it's too dangerous. Please Benton, forget you ever got that phone call. PLEASE!"
"It can't be that bad." Benton says as he hugs me.
I pull away. "You don't understand! The phone call was an invitation to you, but it was meant as a challenge for me."
Benton leads me to a chair. "You're right, Will, I don't understand why this has you so upset." I stare deeply into Benton's eyes. He can see the fear and panic. There must be something to this; after all, not even Zin terrorized me. "Tell me Will; I won't laugh."
"Death, I sense death if we go there," I whisper.
Benton hugs me, as he says, "I have to go, I promised that I would come and investigate the situation."
I take a ragged breath. "Then the three of us will go alone. I don't want the kids going to New Orleans; we'll go, but we'll do this my way. Do you understand, Benton? Promise me you'll not question my actions?"
"OK. Will, if it means that much to you, then you're in charge," Benton tells me as he continues to hug me.
"Jess is long over due for a visit with Estella. It looks like now would be a good time." Race interjects as I sit there huddling in Benton's arms, biting my lip over how best to protect the children. "Race, we don't have the time to spare for a long trip: Time is of the essence."
"Don't worry Will. Estella is in Arizona at a Hopi Indian dig." Bannon takes a note with a scribbled phone number on it off the kitchen bulletin board. We have Jessie's' safety secured in less than five minutes.
The boys' safety isn't going to be so easy to secure. We can't leave them with Estella. We need to move now. For some reason October the 20th is important to Benton's caller. There are the Wildeys, but I feel uncomfortable with this idea. I'm sure among the three of us we can protect the boys. I hope. "We will leave at once; I just have to make one phone call to someone who maybe able to assist us." I am still sweating and trembling.
Benton Quest looks at me. "I don't have to be there until the 20th."
I frown and say; "My way, Benton, or we don't go." With that said I pick up the phone and dial a number. A number I remember from so very long ago. "Yes, I wish to schedule an appointment with Madame La Croix on behalf of Doctor Benton Quest." A moment of silence followed by. "The Doctor received a request to investigate the recent Vodun activities that are happening in the area and he is hoping that Madame La Croix will assist him with his investigation." Again another moment of silence followed by, "Yes, tomorrow at 3 will be a most satisfactory time to meet with Madame La Croix. Thank you." I hang up the phone. "Well, why are you two just standing there? Round up the kids. I want to be in Orleans by nightfall."
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