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Therapy Sessions - Ch 2 - Anger

Disclaimer : See Chapter 1
Rating: PG-13
Beta: Very special thanks to Obsidian Jade for suggestions and a great deal of hand holding, when I had doubts.
Previous Chapter : Denial

Therapy Sessions





By Lattelady


Ch 2 - Anger
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


I reached a place where every light is muted, which bellows like the sea beneath a tempest, when it is battered by opposing winds. The hellish hurricane, which never rests, drives on the spirits with its violence; wheeling and pounding, it harasses them. - From The Divine Comedy Of Dante Alighieri – Inferno – Canto V

....................................


April 5, 2009 – 1:55 AM (CDT)

…The gentle touch of Rachel’s mouth against his hand had unlocked the door of the cage where he’d successfully hidden his temper, but it was her sleeping tear that ripped it off its hinges. It took all his effort to keep from howling as he stalked from her room, never stopping to acknowledge Felix Lee, waiting in the hall.

“Dr. Hood, what happened?” The tall agent had to scramble to keep up with the older man.

“Not now,” Hood hissed over his shoulder. Seconds later he pushed open the door to the stairs, knowing he lacked the patience to wait for an elevator. His footsteps echoed throughout the stairwell, as his downward speed increased. He embraced his anger and let it flow. It was his shield and his protection against all the other feelings that were threatening to boil up inside of him.

“Take it easy, Doc. If you take a tumble and break something, Agent Young will…”

“No!” Jacob turned suddenly, fury radiating off his body. “No. You will not use her like that,” he snarled at the big man three feet behind him. “If you can’t keep up, fine, but don’t hide behind her.”

“I’m not…I wouldn’t do that.” Felix pulled back, shocked at the usually unflappable doctor’s display of temper. “Just slow down, before you get hurt.”

“I can’t. Not now.” Hood turned and headed back down the steps at the same breakneck pace. When he hit the lobby he rushed past the deserted information desk and sleepy security guard at the door. His speed propelled him out into the night with Lee trailing relentlessly behind.

Jacob retraced his trip from hours ago, down the sidewalk and around the corner of the building. He looked around frantically, suddenly perplexed, his forward momentum slowed to a stop. Getting there…getting to the place where he’d parked the old truck had been all he’d focused on, as he’d run from Rachel’s room, but the vehicle was gone.

“What…where?” he wondered in confusion. Finally giving up, he folded at the waist, with his hands pressed against his knees, too tired to remain upright. “Where’d…it…go?” he took in quick, shallow gasps of chilly night air between each word.

“Take deep easy breathes, Dr. Hood. You’re hyperventilating.” Felix ignored the stormy glare he was given and reached judiciously for the scientist’s shoulder, hoping his training was enough to cope with the brilliant man, Rachel Young usually cared for with such skill and ease. “If you’re asking about that old heap you left parked on the sidewalk, Director Fuller had it impounded as evidence.”

“Evidence?” Jacob shook his head unsure he heard correctly.

“Not sure if it was to help build a case against Ray Wynne, Sofia Lyons, or both of ‘em.” Lee shrugged. “Ya gotta ask yourself, who’s to blame for the train wreck, the car that’s on the tracks, or the person who pushed it there.”

“You’ll excuse me if I don’t appreciate the finer points of legal theory, at the moment.” Hood shivered and leaned his head against his bent elbow. The memory of blood squirting from Rachel’s thigh, with each beat of her heart, was still fresh in his mind. He believed Wynne and Lyons were equally to blame.

“Got ya.” The agent wasn’t so keen on it himself, even under better circumstances. Unlike Agent Young and a lot of his colleagues, he had an MBA in Supply Chain Management, not a law degree. “My car is over there.” He pointed to a silver sedan parked fifty feet away in the dark lot. “Anytime you’re ready.”

Hood finally straightened, when he was sure he had at least marginal control over the rage that had sent him into an emotional tailspin. He blinked and took a good look at his companion. He saw panic in Felix’s eyes that the young man’s voice had hidden. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to be so hard on you.”

“It’s okay, Doc, you don’t have to say anything.” Lee pursed his lips. “We both…well, she’d hate to know it, but we worry about her.”

“Yes, we do.” Hood nodded, relieved that he wasn’t alone in his fears for Rachel.

“But this isn’t one of those times, when we need to worry about her, I mean. She’s in the hospital, getting good care…” Felix stuttered, unable to ask what he really wanted to know: was Agent Young going to be all right.

“The surgery went well, but we knew that from talking to one of her doctors hours ago. She should be fine.” Jacob repeated the four words that had become his mantra, as he’d been unable to rid himself of the image of Rachel weak and vulnerable from lack of care, after being shot. Though he couldn’t share that fear with the young agent. She wouldn’t want him to. She’d probably be angry if she knew he’d seen her in that condition.

“But…” Lee knew there was a hell of a lot more going on. He’d been the one to answer Hood’s sudden call for help. He’d been the one who’d run to the nurses’ station and then been forced to watch from the door, as an odd drama had played out in the injured woman’s room.

“There’s nothing more I can tell you. I’ll call the hospital in the morning, but until then…” Hood shrugged, feeling exhaustion in every cell in his body. His head dropped back until he could see the stars that seemed so much brighter away from city lights. His mind still on the fifth floor of the hospital behind them, he whispered, “She said she would be dancing in the galaxies among the stars.” It was a quote from a book on grieving that he’d read while Maggie had been dying. When he’d been terrified he’d never get Rachel back alive, the words had returned to haunt him.

“Come on Doc, let’s head back to DC.”

“No, wait.” He pulled his cell phone from his pocket and hit speed dial 2, never taking his eyes off the sky. All Felix could do was standby in the dark parking lot.

“Alex, it’s me,” Jacob’s voice was a low rumble into the phone, his eyes drifting from constellation to constellation. “Sorry to wake you, but we need…

“…Yeah we’re about an hour away

“…Thanks, see ya soon.”

“Where we going?” The young agent watched the older man who was carefully studying the stars.

“Ah…my sister’s.” He tucked his cell in his pocket beside an FBI badge and ID that didn’t belong to him.

“Look up there, just above the tree line.” Hood pointed toward the dark forest behind the hospital. “That’s Saturn...setting in the west. It’s the bright one with a bit of an orangish cast…just to its right is Leo. Another hour or so and we’d have missed them.” The doctor let himself be guided to the car. “It’s all about timing,” he mused.

“So, where to?” Felix slid behind the wheel and buckled his seat belt as he looked across at the man who was gazing out the window, still concentrating on the heavens. “Dr. Hood, how do I get to your sister’s?”

“Oh…sorry. She lives on the Bay, east of Deale, Maryland. Take 301 north to the 4 and then 258 to Deale. I’ll have to guide you in from there.
....................................

When they arrived at Alexandra Hood’s home, the front light was on. She met them on the wide front porch of the old house, wearing a long green wool robe to keep her warm while she waited.

“Alex, this is Special Agent Felix Lee. Felix, my sister, Alex.” Jacob introduced them. His voice was rough and deep, each word forced to sound normal, but never quite achieving it. “Sorry, I should have warned you I was bringing company.” His hazel eyes were stormy as they met his sister’s.

“You did say ‘we’ in your call. I made up your old room and a guest room.” She smiled gently to hide her worry. She’d fully expected him to show up with Rachel Young. Watching his odd stiff movements and the pain etched on his face, she didn’t want to ask why he hadn’t. “Are either of you hungry?”

“All I really want is some sleep. I appreciate the hospitality, Ma’am.” Felix stood slightly behind Hood’s left shoulder. He met the woman’s eyes, which were so much like the Doc’s. When he was sure he had her attention, he tipped his head slightly in the older man’s direction and frowned discreetly.

“Agent Lee, I’ll show you to your room.” She took his arm and led him to the stairs.

“Call me Felix, Ma’am.” He asked quietly. He needed to tell this woman what had happened, but he couldn’t do it in front of Hood, who was silently studying the slate floor of the entryway as if it held the secrets to the universe.

“Only if you call me Alex.” She peeked over her shoulder at her brother, as she climbed the steps. His hands were stuffed in his pockets, and he was frozen in place in the middle of the hall. “What the hell happened to him and where’s Rachel?” she hissed as soon as they reached the landing and were well out of sight.

“Ah…well…Agent Young was…ah…shot---”

“Oh God, when? Is she going to be all right?” Alex knew this was the source of Jacob’s unusual behavior. It was why he’d arrived at the house in the middle of the night and it was the cause of his haunted expression and barely contained anger. She’d suspected for a long time that he and the pretty blonde had far more than the professional relationship, Jake claimed. Though, knowing him the way she did, it was possible that he was only realizing it now.

“She was wounded and then…then…” Felix gulped remembering how events had spiraled out of control once Wynne had taken charge. “It took the Doc almost 24 hours to get her back. It was bad…the Bureau wouldn’t listen to him…he did it on his own, mostly…I helped toward the end, but…He’s not doing so well. I tried, but Ma’am, I just don’t know. Something happened in Agent Young’s room tonight. I’m not sure if it’s her or him or…ah…well I’m just not sure.”

“Thank you for making sure he got here safely,” Alex sighed and leaned against the wall. “I’ll see to him, now. You get some rest.”

“My pleasure, Ma’am. If there’s anything I can do, just call out.”

“Thanks.” She smiled realizing her usually introverted brother had gained another very loyal friend.
....................................

Alex found Jacob in the dining room, filling a double old-fashioned glass with scotch. He drank it down quickly and poured another.

“Jake, what are you doing?”

“Drinking,” he rasped and took a large gulp, letting the amber liquid burn his throat until he shuddered. “I’d think that would be obvious.”

“It isn’t like you to abuse your scotch or for that matter alcohol of any kind.” She’d given him the eighteen-year old Bowmore Single Malt for his birthday, and didn’t give a damn if he poured it down the sink. She thought it tasted like dirt. But she hated to see him do something so contrary to his character.

“Dammit, stay out of this, Alexandra.” He grabbed the bottle and his glass from the sideboard, turned and headed toward the back of the house. Every muscle in his body was clenched tightly, as he pulled his temper warm around him to keep from feeling anything else.

“Jacob, talk to me,” Alex demanded as he brushed past her. In exasperation, she followed quickly behind and found him sitting on the back porch swing, staring out at the Chesapeake Bay on the other side of the small wooded area that bordered her yard. He was leaning forward, elbows on his knees, the glass gripped in both hands and the bottle on the floor at his feet.

“Jake,” Alex sighed as she sat beside him and gently rubbed her hand up and down his back. She’d only seen him this lost once before. It had been over four years ago in Palo Alto, California. She’d been visiting, and he’d just learned that Maggie’s tumor wasn’t responding to chemo.

If something had happened to Rachel Young, she wasn’t sure her brother would survive it. Alex had sat back and watched as a friendship had grown between the two of them. She strongly suspected Jake had allowed himself to care for the FBI agent under the mistaken belief that the woman was indestructible and therefore safe. “Is Rachel going to be all right?”

“How did you know about...?” He didn’t bother to finish the question. The answer was obvious, Felix had told her. “Damn!” he exploded and threw his glass with all his might. “Can’t a man have any privacy anymore?” For one small moment his wrath burned clean and clear, allowing him to breathe easily. Then he heard the tinkle of fine crystal shattering in the distance. It left his emotions splintered and painful, many of them hardly recognizable, making him long for the familiarity of anger.

“I hope that made you feel better. You know the rule: you break it, you buy it.”

“I thought that only applied to Owen?” He glared into the dark woods, which were caught between the lighter black of the Chesapeake, and shadows cast into the yard from a lighted room on the floor above. He was confused and lost, feeling very much akin to those shadows.

“When you act like my eight year-old son, you get treated like him.” Alex wrapped her arm around his stiff body and pulled him closer. “You’ve got to be freezing. Where’s your coat?”

“I threw it away. It was covered in blood.” He knew it was an exaggeration, but he also knew that he’d never be able to wear that jacket again.

“What! You’re not…no one said you were hurt, too.” She looked him over carefully for injuries.

“It wasn’t mine.” He finally turned and met his sister’s eyes. “It was Rachel’s,” her name caught in his throat. “It was close…too close. She was bleeding and there was nothing I could do. Nothing to use as a tourniquet…nothing.” He shook, resenting every second he’d lost in a furtive search for a belt or a piece of rope, anything to tie above the gaping wound that bled freely once Sofia had yanked out the bolt, as a final act of anger on her way out the door. “One of us is gonna have to start wearing a belt,” he muttered. “That is if…” he shrugged unwilling to take that thought to its final conclusion.

“But she’s all right now?” Alex dug for the information she needed.

“They operated on her for five hours tonight. I left her sleeping. She’s pale and has a fever, but…” He needed desperately to talk to someone about what had happened and was sure Alex would understand. She was family, not FBI; surely it would be all right for her to know. He realized that was why he’d come here in the middle of the night. “I need to tell you something, but it can’t go any further.”

“You can say anything to me, Jake. That’s what sisters are for.”

“Yeah, well right now I wish I hadn’t sent that glass flying.” He picked up the bottle and ran his thumb over the bold lettering on the label. If there was ever a time for Dutch courage, it was now.

“You can always drink straight from the bottle.” Alex bumped his shoulder with hers and grinned at him. He was stalling and they both knew it. She understood her brother and waited, giving him all the time and space he needed. Thoughts and ideas were Jacob Hood’s forte, but emotions, especially putting those emotions into words, were much more difficult.

“No…no…I’m not that desperate.” He raised his brow at his little sister. “Good Single Malt is a long way from that stuff you drink, when you get together with your friends.” It was a reference from seven years earlier. Jake had flown it to be with Alex the week her divorce was final. One night he’d discovered her in the living room with two girl friends. They’d been just the sober side of drunk, dancing to rock music and passing a bottle of wine between them.

“I wasn’t suggesting you dance.” She chuckled at the thought. “Though I’d pay good money to see it.”

“Please, that’s a girl thing…what do you call it, dancing it out?” A memory, sharp and clear caught him by surprise. “Ah...Rachel…ah…does…” his words ground to a halt and his smile faded. He could still taste the terror from that night. They’d solved the smallpox virus case hours earlier. Both he and Rachel had gone to bed exhausted, but he’d been unable to sleep. Needing to check on her one last time, he’d moved silently to the partially opened door between their rooms. Instead of the sleeping woman he’d expected to see, she was up dancing. The flood of moonlight that illuminated her room, washed though her hair until it was almost silver and played against the hollows of her cheeks. Squinting, he was able to make out her iPod buds in her ears. Her eyes were closed as she’d moved to music only she could hear. The small bottle of red wine dangling from her fingers was almost black against the white of her robe.

Silence stretched between them as the memory flowed over Jacob, making him shiver. “I…ah…thought she was going to die that time, too,” he whispered and then finally he began to speak. “You know how Rachel is, strong, dedicated, determined and stubborn as they come?”

All Alex could do was nod, afraid that if she interrupted his thought process, his words would cease.

“Twice, first in the emergency room and then again in her room, she passed out. I was holding her and one second she was there and the next she wasn’t. It was like she…”

“Jake,” his sister demanded. “She didn’t die. She isn’t Maggie.”

“I know. She survived this time, but death brushed so close to her, I could smell it in the air.” He straightened his spine and glared out into the night. A cynical voice deep inside of him wondered if death kept score. He’d already lost once, before he’d started with the FBI, was It trying to even things a bit for all the lives he and Rachel had saved in the last year?

“Jake--”

“Wait, there’s more.” He turned to his sister, hoping she would understand. “She’s this tough FBI Agent, who can kick in doors, and fight like a man. She thinks there is nothing she can’t do but tonight that was all gone. I’m not sure if it was the drugs, or the pain, or the fever, or some combination of it all…but… Alex, she was in pieces. She cried, she broke down and cried.” He closed his eyes remembering her tears wetting his neck and his body absorbing the sobs she’d been too weak to suppress. “I held on to her so Felix wouldn’t hear or see anything from the door. She wouldn’t want anyone to know. But I know. I saw and heard it all,” his voice was husky, hardly above a whisper as he wondered why he’d been given the information and how the hell he was supposed to live with it.

“You’re a good man, Jacob.” Alex smiled gently at her brother, hearing all the feelings that were buried in his words. She understood what he was refusing to see. He had needed to hold onto Rachel, as much as the injured woman had needed to be held.

“If I’m so good, why am I so angry at every one and everything involved, including her?”

“Because, as brilliant as you are, you’ve still managed to maintain your humanity and with that, comes all those pesky human emotions.” She watched his face smooth out as he carefully composed himself. “You don’t like to admit they are there, you never have, but, big brother, you’ve got ‘em.”

“I’m not sure I can do this anymore,” he sighed, facing the truth for the first time. “It’s too much. It’s asking too much.”

“You’re quitting? You’re going back to the university?” Alex’s brows rose in surprise. She thought he really enjoyed what he was doing as Special Science Advisor for the FBI, even if it meant working for the establishment.

“Hardly. Publications are how one’s worth is measured in the academic world. Patents give you clout with the administration. I haven’t written or done research in over three years.” He thought of the registered letter on his desk from Tom Burton, Chairman of the Science Department at Stanford, advising him that he’d used up all of his family leave and that they couldn’t grant him further Sabbatical Time. “As intriguing as pure research is, I get much more satisfaction out of seeing first hand the difference my ideas can make in people’s lives.”

“Then what are you planning? If you’re not leaving, what’re you talking about?”

“I don’t want to have this conversation tonight.” He shook his head, unable to say out loud that he was contemplating having Rachel transferred off his detail.

“No…wait…” his sister gasped when she realized what he was thinking. “You weren’t referring to yourself. This is about Agent Young. You’re planning to get rid of her.” Alex recognized the steely expression in her brother’s eyes and she hurt for him. He’d always excelled at building emotional walls, but she didn’t realize this one existed.

He glared at her refusing to confirm or deny anything.

“You can’t.”

“I can do whatever I please.” He had to put an end to this before he crumpled. “Part of the deal I cut with Frank Fuller, when I agreed to a protection detail, was that I’d try anyone he provided, but if things didn’t work out, he or she would be sent packing. The decision was up to me.”

“But you like working with Rachel. You like spending time with her and she’s very good at her job.” Alex argued.

“Do you think this is easy for me? We get along and my job goes smoother when she’s there.” He glared at her and tried one last attempt to make her understand. “Did you know that members of the FBI Executive Protection Detail are nicknamed bullet catchers?” He stood up, and handed the bottle of scotch to his sister while he let her absorb that choice piece of trivia.

“Oh, God,” she whispered.

“Exactly.” He turned and had his hand on the door before Alex could think of anything to say.

“Jake, give the matter more thought.” She looked at him with pleading eyes. “If you’re still determined to go through with it, please promise me you’ll talk it over with Rachel first. She deserves to know the truth.” Though she doubted her brother understood the truth, so there was little hope he’d share it with the woman who had so unexpectedly become an important part of his life.

“I…all I can promise is that I’ll sleep on it.” He smiled and ignored the pain that felt like ground glass tearing through his lungs when he contemplated a life without Rachel Young to keep him on his toes.
....................................

April 6, 2009 – 10:30 (CDT)

Rachel was tired and cranky. Dinner trays had long since come and gone. She hadn’t eaten much and wasn’t sure if that was a comment on hospital food or her appetite.

She was frustrated by how quickly she tired. The small amount of energy she’d woken with had been used up that morning when Hood had come by for a visit. It had been a smart move on her part to draw heavily on her reserves and act naturally. The man had suggested replacing her as his handler and protection detail, just because of an itty-bitty wound. If he’d seen her look the least bit weak, she was sure she would have found herself with a new assignment. No matter what argument she’d given him.

Damn, him anyhow! They were a team. How dare he decide her job was too dangerous? He hadn’t used exactly those words, but that’s what he’d meant. She put up with his silly antics, he could damn well put up with her.

In irritation, she pushed against the mattress with her left foot and pulled on the trapeze that had been added to her bed to facilitate turning and getting out of bed. It took her a few minutes, but by carefully guiding her right leg with her free hand, she was able to change position with almost no pain. It helped that the injured leg was encased in a blue padded brace from the top of her thigh to her ankle.

Once she was comfortable, her eyes slipped closed. The lights were dimmed in her room and the head of her bed was propped up to almost sitting height. For the moment she let go of the anger that had been building all-day and simply relaxed and allowed the hospital noises to drift around her.
....................................

Forty-five minutes later, Carl Swenson was settling his patients for the night when he saw a tall familiar curly-haired man sneak out of the stairwell. He couldn’t really say he hadn’t expected his appearance, not after what he’d seen the night before. With a shake of his head, he walked quickly to intercept him.

“Mr. Young, visiting hours have been over for quite a while.” Swenson’s voice was tinged with reproach, though he spoke softly so as not to wake any sleeping patients.

Hood froze. There it was again, the name thing. He knew he had to come clean about it soon, but it wasn’t going to be tonight. He wanted to see Rachel, if only for a few minutes, but it was very late. He’d spent all afternoon and most of the evening being deposed by FBI lawyers and they weren’t through with him yet.

“Ah…yes, I know, but she asked me to bring her some things from home.” Jacob held Rachel’s small back travel bag in front of him as proof of his statement.

“I’ll give it to her.” Carl was irritated. His patient had had a rough day. She’d needed family around but from the information he’d gotten in report, this man had only paid one short visit that morning. There had been no other visitors, though her room looked like a florist was about to set up shop in there.

“I was tied up at work, or I would have been here sooner.” Hood ran one hand through his already unruly hair, wishing he had someone to cut through all the red tape and bullshit for him. “She was so much better this morning. I want to be sure she still is.”

“Agent Young is a lot better than last night, though she’s been tired and her mood hasn’t been the most cooperative.” Carl shook his head, seeing again, what he’d seen the night before. This man clearly cared about the injured woman and just as clearly lived in a very different world from the average person.

“She can be stubborn.” Hood acknowledged with a knowing grin.

“And then some.” The nurse agreed. He’d had two conversations with her, since coming on duty. In his professional opinion she was angry, but he knew it was a normal response when a person was hurt.

“But she is all right?”

“She’s doing pretty much as expected. Her temperature has been elevated all day and then spiked this evening.” The nurse took pity on the worried man and gave him a full report. “Day shift indicated she didn’t eat as well as they would have liked, but that should improve once PT gets her up and moving, tomorrow. A tech from The Brace Shop was by and immobilized her right leg from her hip to her ankle. It’ll make getting around easier and less painful. I was supposed to pull her IV, but she choked on her antibiotics in pill form and didn’t take kindly to the suggestion of grinding them up and eating them in apple sauce.” He grinned at the memory. That had definitely been a display of anger. “Your lady has a colorful vocabulary when she’s pissed.”

“That she does,” Hood laughed quietly. “Try orange juice.”

“Pardon?”

“Orange juice, it’s how she gets her vitamins down. She has trouble with anything larger than an aspirin.” He had a strong memory of Rachel, with a frown on her face, standing in any number of hotel rooms. She had a small bottle of orange juice in one hand and was gulping down pill after pill with the other. He’d seen it so often; it wasn’t something he thought about anymore.

“Thanks, I’ll make a note of it.”

“Look, I know it’s late, but can I see her for just a few minutes.” Hood pushed.

“All right, I guess I owe you for the tip on the o.j.” Carl sighed, wondering if anyone was ever able to say ‘no’ to this man. “You’ve got half-an-hour, but keep it down. Everyone else is sleeping. I’m gonna grab a cup of coffee, while I finish the charting on the rest of my patients, then I’m heading down to Agent Young’s room to settle her in for the night.”

Jacob stood in the doorway watching Rachel sleep. The head of her bed was raised like it had been when he’d seen her earlier in the day. She had one pillow wedged under her right side and another tucked under her left arm. The pillows supported her at an angle with her left leg bent at the knee and the one encased in a long blue contraption with numerous Velcro straps, was thrust out straight. He grinned when he looked down the length of her injured leg. Her slim foot sported shiny red toenail polish. Who would have thought?

As he moved closer to her bed, he saw that she was dreaming. Her eyes, under closed lids, moved quickly back and forth in active REM sleep. She looked vulnerable and unprotected. Usually she was awake in an instant if anyone unexpected entered a room when she was sleeping. He knew she’d gotten used to him moving around their various hotel rooms and suites, but this was different. She had no way of knowing he was there.

“Rachel,” he spoke softly and ran his hand gently along her arm.

“Jacob?” She frowned in confusion, trying to open her eyes. Her lids felt as if they weighed a ton, so she gave up the battle.

“Yeah, it’s me. Go back to sleep.” He smiled and pulled the blankets over her shoulders. “I brought your things and left you a note.”

“‘K…” she sighed, doubting he was really there.

He reached for his pen and the note in his pocket. He’d written it incase they wouldn’t let him in tonight. After quickly scribbling a few added lines, he read it through and hesitated. What the hell was he doing? He’d spent most of the night before convinced that he needed to break up their team. Was it really fair to either of them to give her added reassurance that he’d changed his mind, when he still had doubts?

Realizing he was too tired and had been through too much in the last few days to make a determination of that magnitude, he decided to revisit the issue later, when all the data was in. Until then, he’d do everything in his power to make Rachel’s recovery as smooth as possible.
....................................

“Jacob…” Rachel muttered as she felt a man’s hand gently touch her arm, again.

“No, ma’am, it’s Carl, your nurse. I need to give you your antibiotics.” He’d carefully recorded her vitals from her monitor and was rubbing the cap to her IV with an alcohol swab.

“No more pills tonight,” she groaned softly. She didn’t think there was anything left in her stomach from her last attempt to gag down her medication. “Too tired…”

“No worries, you get them the easy way tonight.” He injected slowly so the caustic medication wouldn’t hurt as it entered her vein. “Tomorrow morning I’ll give you some orange juice and see if that doesn’t makes the pills easier to swallow.”

“That should work.” She smiled without opening her eyes. “There for a minute I thought you were…” she shook her head slightly. When he’d first touched her, she’d been sure Hood was in the room with her. She’d even heard his voice, “…must be dreaming. At least tonight it wasn’t a nightmare.”

“You didn’t dream him. Your husband was here.”

“Huh?” She blinked slowly, trying to make sense out of what she’d just heard.

“Ms Young, only a spouse or parents of an underage child are allowed in after visiting hours.” He raised his brow in warning. “He left you a note and these.” He handed her an envelope and her reading glasses.

“Oh?” She was being told something important, but she couldn’t make sense of it. “Hood was here?”

“Well, come to think of it, he never really introduced himself.” Swenson grinned at the man’s tactics. “But if you mean the really worried guy from last night, then yeah, he was here. Though tonight he came alone.”

She remembered fragments from her nightmare the night before. She’d been in pain and very cold…she thought she remembered Jacob’s voice. One moment he’d been soothing and the next filled with anger…

“You need to get some sleep.” Carl gathered up his things and handed Rachel a small control box. “The blue button will turn off the light,” he offered so she could read her letter in privacy.

“Thanks you.” She smiled and put on her glasses.

Rachel,
I won’t be in until dinnertime.
Legal at the Bureau has my morning all planned out for me. We had so much fun today that we have another go round tomorrow.
I’ve got a meeting with your Detail Chief, TC McGruder, after lunch. He’s going to introduce me to my temporary handler. If you can dig up any dirt on a guy named Carson Dilworth, it will make my next few months easier.
I’m not looking forward to this.
Take care of yourself,
Jacob

PS: I’ll bring supper. They tell me hospital food isn’t to your taste.
By the way, I really like the toenail polish!


The last two lines were evidently a quick addition and made her laugh for the first time in days.

To Ch 3 - Bargaining - Jacob

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Quotes

The moving finger writes: and having writ Moves on. nor all your piety nor wit Shall lure it back to cancal half a line, Nor all your tears wash out a word of it...The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

If I quiet the voices in my head, I would face the day with nothing to write. - Unknown

I must go down to the seas again the lonely sea and sky...J Masefield

Cinderella walked on broken glass,
Sleeping beauty let a whole lifetime pass.
Belle fell in love with a hideous beast,
Jasmine married a common thief.
Ariel walked on land for love and life,
Snow white barely escaped a knife.
It was all about blood, sweat, and tears.
Because love means facing your biggest fears


The heart has its reasons that reason knows nothing of...French Proverb

I have drempt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after. They've gone through me like wine through water and altered the colour of my mind ...E. Bronte

To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage...Lao Tzu

It takes chaos to give birth to a dancing star ..F. Nietzsche

How many loved your moments of glad grace, and loved your beauty with love false or true? But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you, and loved the sorrows of your changing face...Yeats

Let us go, you and I, when the evening is spread out against the sky...T. S. Eliot

In that book which is my memory, on the first page of the chapter, that is the day when I first met you, appears the words, "here begins a new life".
La Vita Nuova

Midnight courage of the heart...Jen Kirkwood

The three o-clock in the morning courage which Bonaparte thought was the rarest...Thoreau

Did you say it? I love you; I don't ever want to live without you; you changed my life. Did you say it?
Make a plan, set a goal, work toward it, but every now and then, look around, drink it in, 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow. - Meredith Grey

Shakespeare is easy, life is hard...Wheels

Don't try to be a great man, just be a man. Let history make up its own mind...Z.Cochron

I had a job to do and I was unafraid...Jack to John Creighton

For I dipt into the future, as far as the human eye could see. Saw the vision of the world, and the wonders that can be...RWW Hipwell

Without diviation from the norm, progress is impossible...F. Zappa

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea, In a beautiful pea-green boat: They took some honey and plenty of money, Wrapped up in a five-pound note. The Owl looked up to the stars above, and sang to a small guitar...E Lear

Sweet and low, sweet and low, Wind of the western sea, Low, low, breathe and blow, Wind of the western sea! Over the rolling waters go, Come from the dying moon and blow, Blow him again to me;... Tennison

Charmed magic casements, opening on the foam
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn... Keats

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