Crystal's StorySite

Or: Right. Let's get you sorted.

*NOTE: This chapter is a definitely a real feeling tugger. I wanted you, the reader to truly experience what it was like to sit there and watch a young child suffer from the ravages of cancer. I cried many tears reliving the experience so that I could present it to you. Please do not fast forward this chapter. Thank you. Becky.


Hot Crossings

By Rebecca Anne Stewart, Christy Lake, & Misty Dawn


~ Part # 12 Fitting in~

Rebecca slept quite soundly despite all the sleep she'd had during the previous day. And she dreamed. She dreamed of a romantic, even a bit erotic, adventure with Bob. During the night, if there had been a camera present one would have observed a most happy woman hugging her pillow. While she rolled in different directions, one would have also observed a slight smile accompany the whimpering mewls and moans of pleasure that played with her most of the night.

The winsome wench woke to find that it was raining, but did not allow it to dampen her spirit. For some unexplained reason she was deliriously happy and, she was not going to allow any thing to ruin her day. Becky smiled, sung a little lullaby her mother had taught her when she was 'just a wee tumfy' and gaily put on a kettle and danced about the room to some unheard romantic waltz.

"Oh, what shall I do today? I have nothing to do and all day to do it." Then, suddenly, she was smitten with an idea so strong she could not resist it. The force was so intense she was up and heading to the bath even before she had talked herself into it. She bent to activate the plug and then suddenly decided, "No. Today I will have a shower." The Dancer sprung to her dresser and extracted clean bikini panties and a lacey bra before returning to the shower. About to turn the luscious looking thing on, the kettle reminded her that it was once again being neglected with a shrill squeal.

"Right tea first!" She returned to the crying stainless steel device and reduced it's screams to a mere whimper by removing it from the heat and adding the steaming water to a cup with a bag of PG Tips ready to burst into it's splendour. While the tea was brewing, Becky returned to the bath, padded thru to the laundry room. Removing the towels she had put in the dryer the night before, she folded them and put them away in the cupboard.

Finally, she returned to the kitchen, sat down at the table there, drinking her tea, and gazing out the wide window into the grey morning, watched the driving rain pummel the earth. "Yuck!" Oh well, it is Vancouver. And it is late October! And that is what it does in Vancouver in October! It rains... So I guess I really have no right to complain. Then, rising from her seat and with a sprightly flourish, rinsed her cup out and turned it upside down in the sink.


The now more alert lass all but skipped into the bath to have the shower she was so looking forward to. Turning on the water, the Lady of The Manor adjusted the spray so that it was just going to not quite peel, like bark on a tree, the skin off her body but would make sure that she was, in fact, as clean as she possibly could be. Shielding her delicate breasts from the driving water, the lissom lovely soaped up using her favourite scented soap and carefully washed everywhere, without getting her hair wet, well not too wet anyway.

Finally steamed to a turn, she stepped out of the refreshing deluge and patted herself dry with a fresh clean bath sheet. Becky smiled at the scent of the towel. There is nothing like the scent of a freshly laundered towel. "Hmmmm!"

Powdered and perfumed, Rebecca berated herself for not checking her legs before she showered. "Note to self: Tonight! Without fail! Shave!" she said marking a mental note on the evening schedule.

Donning the clean bikini panties and lacey bra, the mistress of the manor began brushing out her slightly tangled curled locks quite briskly. A mere twenty minutes later she was made up, and her 'mop' carefully pulled back and pinned into a very presentable "The Respectable Lady" bun she preferred when she didn't wear her signature ponytail. Gathering up the soiled towels and unders, tossing them in the handy hamper for the laundry, the freshly made up damsel moved saucily into the bedroom to get dressed.

For today's outing Becky selected a pair of knee-hi nylon stockings and put them on under a pair of medium brown high waisted checked slacks, which defined her shapely hips. She tucked the tail of her cinnamon colour sweater into her panties before smoothing the slacks over her inviting bottom looking for VPL, and fastening them snugly closed about her trim tummy. Rebecca was proud of her pear shaped figure and was positive that her butt did not look "offered" in this outfit, just tastefully displayed.

The perky wench made her way to the kitchen for the weekly task of sorting her meds. Every Thursday she HAD to sort the medications that she was required to take in order to live. Each had to be sorted into the proper 'doses of the day'. There were time sensitive anti-rejection drugs; they had to be taken at the same times every day. There were pills to reduce the ulcers in her stomach the harsh chemicals she was required to take every day caused. There were diuretics that had to be taken at certain times of the day as well.

All told there were twenty-four different prescription medications that she consumed in a twenty-four hour period, and that did not include the dalauid and sometimes morphine that she had to take, at every six hours or so for pain.

Over the period of time the sorting had become routine, she had been doing it since the early summer, right after the liver transplant and removal of her gallbladder and spleen. She would be taking these life-sustaining medications for the rest of her life and accepted it now as a fact of life. She filled her dispenser, checked off the remaining quantities that were left, and then plotted how long they would last. She was good for another two weeks yet, but on Monday she would phone the hospital and get another 'load' ready for pickup.

Finished with the sorting, opening the first little tub on her daily dispenser, she selected the Tacrolimus. With a wishful sigh of resignation, she poured a glass of chilled water from the fridge and continued the daily ingestion of life-giving chemicals. Becky knew she had to wait a minimum of a half an hour before the next dosage, the big one for the day, followed by another in four hours and another dose four hours after that, and finally, in twelve hours, the exact same procedure all over again.

Returning to the bedroom, the palace princess selected nail polish and began to apply while she waited. The polish, a nice soft-rust color, highlighted the bit of reddish brown in her slacks. She applied three coats and a clear coat over the topcoat. The alarm in her wristwatch chimed as she flipped off the switch on the nail dryer. "Perfect timing! As always," she congratulated cheerfully and made her way towards the kitchen.

After having a bowl of porridge oats for breakfast, plus the numerous meds, the vital vixen headed to the washroom to brush her teeth and make a last minute check for any flaws. "Perfect."

Picking up the miniature phone she selected a different cab company today to deliver her to her destination. Making sure that all the essentials for the day were in her purse, she applied lipstick, walked thru her scent of the day, and slipped on a water-resistant, but quite fashionable Gortex jacket. Securing the fort, the delicious damsel grabbed her gloves, a scarf, and her 'brolly' on the way out the door to meet her taxi.

The wait for the cab was but moments and she was soon on the way to attempt her self-appointed task.

After the cab pulled up in front of the gaily-painted three-story building, and she paid the ride, and thanked the driver for the prompt and courteous service, the young woman handed her a card and said. "Names Sue. I'm an owner operator...please give me a call whenever you need a cab. If I can, I'll come get ya, not a problem."

Thanking Sue for her offer the bold blonde bounced from the cab, dashed up the few steps to the entrance, and shook the excess rain from her jacket and umbrella. With shoulders back and head held high, she walked proudly into the building, as if she owned it.

"Good morning Cathleen." She breezed passed the glass booth and smiled.

"Good morning Miss Stewart," the receptionist said warmly with out thinking. Wait a minute... she isn't scheduled for today. "Ahhh... Miss Stewart...uhhh, Rebecca... you're not scheduled for today... Why are you here?"

Brazenly the blonde stopped and turned round without missing a beat, said easily to the inquisitive Cathleen. "Today, luv, I start contributing to this clinic in any way that I am able. If anyone has any questions, I will be in the children's section." And with that she promptly walked away.

Cathleen was not about to challenge her decision or the reason behind it, just as quickly responded, "Yes Ma'am, Miss Stewart." And reached for the intercom to inform Jan Wytte she was about to have a visitor on her wards.

Entering the locker room and hung up her damp coat, Becky then locked her valuables into the locker. As she emerged from the room she noticed the wide jawed look of Joan who was busy preparing another patient for orientation. With a wink and a smile Becky purposely strode down the corridor, her ox blood, one-inch court shoes clicking all the way. Part way down the hall Joan could hear. "Morning Pickles," as the door closed silencing her passing.

Striding purposefully right up to the Ward Desk, Becky looked Aunt Jan right square in the eye and announced. "I am here. Where do I start?"

With a smile and a tear on her cheek the wise one hugged our hero and told her. "I knew you'd be back, Rebecca."

Becky returned the hug and both woman looked long into each other's eyes before either said a word. "Won't you, at least, call me 'Becky'? Please, Aunt Jan, no one else here ever calls me anything but Miss Stewart or Rebecca…"

"Right, Becky. Let's get you sorted!" Jan pronounced and quickly began looking thru papers and forms for Becky to fill out. For all volunteers on the ward this was a provincial requirement. She handed a sheaf of papers on a "clippie" to her and told her to have a seat in the day room and fill them all out and "I'll be in to see you in just a moment."

Rebecca happily took the offering and with determined stride went into the room and began filling them out as earnestly as she could. Moments later she was joined by Nurse Wytte who presented her with a knee-length white lab coat to wear.

"Here… in case something happens to your outfit. I'd hate to see it ruined."


"I, ah, I took the liberty of pulling your file after you left yesterday. So I know about your slight problem. Believe me no one else in this department need know unless you wish to inform them. As far as I am concerned there is no problem. And let's just leave it at that. Shall we?"

"Thank you. I was wondering about that. That's why I came in here so determined... no one was going to stop me from volunteering to help."

"God I wish half of my nurses had your gumption. We could rule the world with determination like that. Welcome aboard Rebecca Anne Stewart. I hope you do well here."

"Thank you Nurse Wytte. I shall try not to let you down."

"Well, lets get started shall we? Right now, most of the kids are undergoing treatment and it's pretty much one on one at this point. They need constant attention to ensure that they don't choke on their own vomit. The kids are the hardest hit by the chemo, probably because their little bodies are still trying to build up immunities, which can't happen because of cancer." Jan was saying all this as she scooped up the completed forms and was shepherding Rebecca past the desk and into the cubicle of the first child. Just before reaching the tyke she stopped and faced the valuable volunteer. With a deadly serious look in her eye she informed Rebecca.

"I stress safety first here at all times, and that includes yours as well as the patients. You will, at all times wear the necessary protection, and that includes but does not limit you to latex gloves. You will change gloves after touching one patient and before touching another. This helps stop the spread of staph infection and other diseases that plague these wards with a vengeance. If for any reason you feel that you are coming down with an illness, or that you may have been infected, you are required by law to report it to the charge nurse on duty immediately."

Rebecca shook her head at the points Jan was making as she made them... after all they only made sense, especially to a person in her position.

Rounding the corner to the first cubicle she handed Rebecca a pair of gloves and a surgical mask, before doing the same for herself. After Jan showed the new volunteer the proper way of wearing the articles, she introduced Rebecca to her first duty of the day.

"This is Tracy. Hello Tracy, how are you today?"

"Hi Auntie." the little waif croaked.

"Tracy. This is Aunt Becky. She is going to be helping me out." Jan said all the while patting her free hand as the poison was slowly being administered in the other hand by one of the other staff.

"Hello Tracy. My, but those are very pretty eyes you have. I bet you got those from your mommy?'' Becky said as she took over from Aunt Jan. "I know, with eyes so pretty... I'll bet you want to be a movie actress when you grow up?"

A very slight smile came to Tracy's troubled face.

"Ah! See, I knew it. You want to have a big fine house and a chauffeur with a car and wear lots of pretty clothes. You want to know how I know?" she queried, leaning closer to Tracy, so she could whisper a secret in her ear. "Because I wanted to be a movie actress to when I was your age. Honest…" she giggled at the startled expression on the tiny face of the bemused girl, "It's true."

Suddenly the half smile that Tracy had on her face disappeared and she suddenly croaked for Aunt Jan. The seasoned veteran knew exactly why the six-year-old had called. She was going to be sick. Jan grabbed the basin and held it below Tracy's chin and held the little girl's head up so that she could clear her throat of the bile and poison. Tracy did not disappoint anyone. With a mighty heave, she voided the contents of what was left of her stomach into the pan the nurse held before her as she convulsed violently again and again.

Both Aunt Jan and Cynthia, the other nurse administering the copper based poison instinctively held Tracy's shoulder down so the she could not move, thereby doing further injury to herself. From past experience, Rebecca knew that if the 'IV' were broken the liquid they were injecting into the child would burn her skin leaving permanent scarring. Instinctively grabbing a facecloth, dampening it in a bowl of water nearby, the new volunteer softly dabbed it to the girl's forehead. She reassured her that everything was going to be just fine.

Miserably Tracy groaned and the other end let go and the small waif really cried in earnest, half because of pain, the other half because of embarrassment. Rebecca kept up the steady reassuring talk to let her know that it was okay, "Everything is going to be okay... Ssshhh. Now, everything is just fine," she said as softly as she could. Half way to tears caused by empathy, Rebecca refused to let it go, because little Tracy needed her at that very moment. "And I am NOT going to let this wonderful little girl down!"

Very quickly Tracy was changed; cleaned, and getting the last of her tears wiped by a warm, wet cloth. Rebecca maternally ran her fingers thru what was left of the little girl's hair and all but froze in horror at what was in her hand when she finished the soft, gentle stroke. A fair amount of Tracy's blonde locks were in Rebecca's hand. With out thinking she hid her arm away from Tracy's sight, and a second or so later felt Aunt Jan relieve her of her burden. Recovering as fast as possible Becky began the comforting talk once again to Tracy.

"My girl, you sure are pretty." She intoned a Bostonian drawl. "Why, I'll bet with just a little bit of lipstick you would be just marvellous," she gestured as if she were a fashion queen dispensing beauty advice.

The look on the little child's face and the giggle that erupted from her touched Rebecca's heart in a place that no one had ever been to before. Becky fought back tears in order to continue helping her little friend.

After a few more minutes the IV had been completed and Tracy was mercifully slipping into a deep and restful sleep. Jan and Cynthia cleaned up the mess and moved on to where they could best help someone else out. Rebecca barely noted their exit as she laid her head down on the little tyke's hand and silently sobbed for her new friend. "Oh god! This is so unfair. Please let me help this child. She doesn't deserve the pain and misery... she is so small...What could she have possibly don't to anger you so? If you must have a soul, take mine... PLEASE. Let this one live... Please make her whole again." Rebecca ended her prayer with a sniffle and a very soft "Amen."

She watched the little child sleep for quite some time until she felt the gentle pressure of Jan's hands on her shoulders. "Come on... you need a break."

Reluctant to leave the helpless child, Rebecca resisted the pressure until Jan applied it just a bit harder to break the spell. The experienced nurse directed Rebecca to the day room where she placed her on the couch.

"Would you like a cup of tea?" Jan asked.

Still somewhat caught up in the experience, Becky only nodded her head in acknowledgement. She sat stunned for several minutes until Jan had returned with two cups of tea in paper cups. "Watch them... They are very hot." The nurse said as she handed one to her 'patient.' Yes indeed her patient, for Rebecca was in need of nursing at that very moment in order to deal with what she had just been through. Jan began explaining her own very first day on the ward. How she was a complete basket case. She said that she had tried to wash floors as soon as the patients were soiling them, while the tears flowed down her face. Anything to help fix the awful mess that was being created. She also explained that back in those days the survival rate for cancer was very slight and if a patient had been diagnosed with it, you could almost be sure of the outcome. Today, things are different now. With the strides that they were making in research, almost on a daily basis, the survival rate had gone thru the roof. Now only the very sick succumb to the ravages of the dreaded disease.

"So you see Rebecca, little children will get better. They will go on to lead happy, healthy lives... And you will know that you were able to help them get back on the path to recovery... and that my dear is the greatest gift you can ever give another living soul. Today you were able to offer comfort and reassurance when they were at the bottom, and with your future help a child will learn to grow and become whole once again."

She let the words sink in for a few minutes and did not say anything until Rebecca looked up from her now cool tea and uttered a very small. "Thank you."

"Now come on. Let's get you fixed up. The best part is next ... and I don't want to miss it for the world."

Becky rose from the seat and with a weak smile followed the august caregiver in to the staff washroom to repair what she could of her face. The now rejuvenated Rebecca presented herself back at the nurses station had learned from Jan that it was what she referred to as "Story Time." What it entailed was the children resting as comfortably as they could, talking with each other, and listening to Auntie Jan tell jokes and little fables. All told with a lesson to be learned.

Within moments Rebecca, just as involved as the kids, giggled and gushed along with the majority of them. The sensation she had felt yesterday returned, and she once again experienced incredible joy. After several minutes of giddy laughter Jan asked of they would like to hear a story. To a chorus of "Ya's!" Jan asked Rebecca if she would like to take over for a bit.

Hesitantly Rebecca traded seats with Nurse Wytte. Quickly getting in to the spirit of the adventure she introduced her self and asked the attentive audience what they would like to hear. The boys shouted for an action adventure yarn, while the young ladies all wanted to hear a nice story with a happy ending. The ever-willing-to-pleasing woman compromised with a fairy tale about a young dragon slaying knight and a fairy princess he rescues from the terribly wicked witch who kept her locked away in a smelly old dungeon.

Near the end of the tale Rebecca sensed the nodding off of little heads and by the end; all but a few of the most stubborn hangers on were lulled into sleep. An army of nursing staff appeared from nowhere and within seconds all the children were safely in bed asleep and under the watchful eyes of the staff. As the last one left for bed, Aunt Jan looked over at Rebecca and gave her the thumbs up sign while she mouthed the word 'perfect'. You could have lit downtown Vancouver on the amount of light the beaming smile that Rebecca generated.

"Let's go get some lunch," Aunt Jan announced. The pair headed out of the ward towards the cafeteria.

Now staff, Rebecca, selected a bowl of cream of cauliflower soup and split a tuna and lettuce sandwich with Jan. The older nurse had the pasta of the day. Both ordered tea, and searched for a seat in the almost bursting eatery. Joan over in the corner motioned for the wandering duo to join her at her table as she had lots of room and would soon be leaving, back on her shift.

The trio sat and consumed their lunch and the conversation changed to the mayhem the staff had planned for tomorrow.

"Wonder who Geoff will be this year? Jan asked with a delicious little giggle.

"Well... I'm not exactly sure... but... I happened to see a website on his computer the other morning…it concerned Sex Goddesses of the 50's and 60's... so I got a feeling it's either Jane, or Marylyn." Joan giggled and added her own little wiggle. "I guess we should let Becky in on what we are talking about." with a nod from her partner in crime she continued.

"Well, Becky, believe it or not, Halloween, as are most of the holidays round here, a big deal. A lot of the staff really gets into the mood and majority of us come to work dressed as some sort of fantasy character. Over the years a sort of unofficial competition has developed and each year the rivalry gets a little bit more aggressive, just to see who devises the best costume. We even have a little contest, which all the participating staff votes. Anyway, each year the good Doctor comes dressed as a woman. One year it was Jane Russell, another Mae West... I think he did Harriet Nelson one year."

Jan shook her head in agreement. "That was a very good year…"

"So we really have a lot of fun and the kids really enjoy it as everyone who can, makes a trip thru the ward just to say hi. It really makes their day."

Rebecca's mind kicked into over drive, then and there, and she began frantically trying to think of something she could come up with by tomorrow so that she would fit in. Sensing the dilemma in Becky's mind, Joan once again changed the subject.

"Well, Miss Stewart. You look very professional in whites, are you sure you don't have latent tendencies as a doctor?" The med student/co-coordinator joked.

"Rebecca performed admirably this morning, Joan…" The young doctor-to-be lifted an inquisitive eyebrow at the older woman. "You know me," Jan shrugged. "I threw her into the deep end, so to speak, and Becky not only proved she could swim, she was soon performing water aerobatics that would amaze Ester Williams," boasted Aunt Jan of her newest trainee/volunteer.

"All I did was hold her hand and wipe her face with a damp cloth." Becky protested.

"No you did not, young lady! You offered comfort and compassion to a very sick little girl; you brought a little bit of joy into a dying child's life. You did much more th..."

Jan stopped short and gazed into the sobbing woman's eyes. "Rebecca what's the matter? Why are you crying?"

"You just said that Tracy was dying. I ... I..." Without finishing Rebecca shot up from the table and ran as fast as she could out of the cafeteria. Amid the shouting of both nurses to wait, come back.

Becky made her way into the changing room and selecting the last stall, and took out her anger on a concrete cinder block wall. When Jan and Joan found her she was laying on the floor her bloodied hands held tight to her face as gigantic sobs erupted from her.

The careful pair quickly had Becky up off the floor and seated on the couch. After fetching the first aid kit; Joan was administering first aid to her bruised hands.

Jan was administering her own brand of aid, seated beside her on the cold tile floor, and holding Rebecca in a bear-like hug. They rocked back and forth. Jan reassured her that things were going to be just fine.

Several minutes after the tears ended, Becky was more stable and Nurse Wytte informed the newbie that she'd quite had enough for the day and was to go home.

Carefully then, she helped the less distraught woman over to the locker and supervised while she repaired her makeup and deposited the white coat in the hamper next to the bank of lockers. Becky reached for her purse and slipped into her jacket listening to Nurse Wytte talk to her.

"Next time when you come back we will have some ID for you. That way you'll look more like you belong here."

"You mean I'm not getting fired? I thought for sure after this last..."

"No! Of course not! You are not, as you say it, being fired. You are a kind and caring person, Rebecca Stewart! You have genuine compassion for those around you. I would fight tooth and nail to ensure that you stayed in this ward, if that is what you truly want?"

All the shocked woman could do was nod her head in acceptance.

"Becky. You are going through a very tough time right now. Not only do you have to deal with your own uncertainties, you have been forced to do it in strange and unfamiliar environments. Then you top that off with having the knowledge that the people you care about are, in most cases, worse off than you are... no dear you are not being fired. You are being commended."

Rebecca dropped her purse and 'brolly' on the floor and rushed into the open arms of Aunt Jan. "I will try harder. I promise. Aunt Jan, I won't let you down again."

"Child, you have not let me down. If anything, you have reaffirmed my own failing faith in the human spirit. It is I, who should be grateful to you... Now go on. Get out of here. You have accomplished a lot today, much more than you realize, I'm sure."

Rebecca was completely at a loss for an understanding of the last statement, but she was not about to debate the issue with the much older and wiser woman. She had, after all, been thru a very emotional time and still had to sort out her feelings about what she had learned.

"Thank you." was all she could say, as she kissed Auntie on the cheek, and bid goodbye until tomorrow.

"Rest well, my child. Tomorrow you will be back here once again, but facing your own trials... Now, SCAT!" The nurse replied as she made pretty good contact with the seat of Rebecca's perky protruding anatomy as she bent over to retrieve her umbrella and purse.

Soon Sue had delivered her fare back where she had picked her up earlier in the day. Rebecca thanked her again and gave the courteous driver another tip to ensure that the service continued.

Dashing through raindrops falling on her head, the dainty damsel made it into the door of the building and let her self thru the first and second levels of security. Deciding then to check her mail, she went round the other side of the vestibule wall and inserted her mailbox key into the slot. "Junk, junk, advertisement, junk, you are a winner...JUNK! Hmmm.... The Bay is having a sale on intimates... Must be Bay Days again."

Gathering up all the mess and junk mail, she climbed up the stairs to 'sanctuary'. As she rounded the corner on the home stretch, Rebecca almost tripped over Maggie. She was sitting there quietly hugging her lower legs while her elf like chin rested on her knees.

"Oh, Maggie? What the matter? Why are you sitting out here in the hall?"

The young girl began explaining her dilemma without breathing between sentences. It seemed as thought her words all flowed into one long sentence.

It seems that Mrs. Lennox; Maggie's housekeeper had determined that they were out of milk. She had baked some chocolate chip cookies and noticing the shortage, had dashed out to the shops to pick up a jug. Seconds after the baby sitter had left the apartment the phone had rung and Maggie had answered it. The phone was for Mrs. Lennox. The child dashed out the door running after the housekeeper hoping she could catch up with her. Realizing that the woman had already left the building, Maggie turned back to go back into the apartment. But the door had clicked shut when she ran thru it. She was now locked out. She had left her house key in her school bag, so she had sat down and was now waiting for Mrs. Lennox to return.

Rebecca was almost tired listening to the preteen talk a hundred miles an hour, but invited the young girl inside, telling her, "You can't remain sitting out in the hallway; it just isn't done… nor is it safe."

Young Margarett, all oohs and ahs looked around the opulent "Master's Suite."

"Wow! This place is so KEWL!" she remarked, giving the official seal of approval.

Rebecca called from the kitchen and asked the child if she would like some milk and cookies. "I'm afraid that they are store bought, and most assuredly no where near as good as your Mrs. Lennox makes... but if you would like some they're right here."

After pouring two glasses of milk Becky had placed a wide assortment of Voortman's Creams on a little side plate. Placing them on the little bistro table, she added a couple of napkins and directed the girl to the other seat.

"I bet you don't know who used to live here?" she began. "Would you like a hint?"

Rebecca was getting better at playing games with young people and had decided to jump right in. "Avril Leveign?" She suggested, trying to think of the hottest teen singing sensation at present.

"No! But that would be so kewl if she did... We could like hang out together, and I could go to all her concerts... But that's not her..." Maggie teased.

"Well, I know it's not The Queen of England and I'm sure it's not Mandy Moore, because I think she probably lives in Hollywood... So let me see." She paused, stalling for time.

All the while, Maggie giggled because Rebecca was on the right track. Rebecca had just not guessed the right movie star.

"Well before we continue 'What's My Line' I think you should leave a message telling Mrs. Lennox where you are so she doesn't worry... What do you think? Good idea eh? I have apen and some paper. we can tape a little note on the door."

Maggie swivelled in her seat and hastily scribbled where she was. She then left a message for Mrs. Lennox taped to the outside of their suite indicating her location.

"Good now at least Mrs. Lennox won't be worrying about where you are." Rebecca said trying to sound very mother like as she set a good example for her young friend.

"So Maggie what are you going to be tomorrow for Halloween" Rebecca asked, her mind going back to the clinic, knowing that she had yet to come up with an idea for a costume yet.

"Halloween is for little kids and babies," The pre-teen announced as she put her nose into the air as a sign of her maturity.

"Oh, it is?" Becky countered. "I never knew that... and all these years I've been dressing up for Halloween, thinking it was fun... I sure am glad you told me that," our heroine joked.

"Well it is... Only little kids dress up for Halloween and go out 'trick or treating'. I have grown past that now you know? After all I am twelve… going on thirteen in a few months." The impish adolescent stated rather emphatically.

Becky continued her pursuit to wear down Maggie's resolve, and get her to admit that she did enjoy celebrating All Hallows Eve. "So I guess you wouldn't be interested in helping me pick out something for me to wear tomorrow then?" she asked.

"Well, I guess so... Being as you can't decide for yourself," Maggie replied, all the while trying to maintain her grown up demeanour.

Becky smiled. She knew that Maggie still enjoyed the day, but probably due to peer pressure from her friends she had to maintain the facade that 'Halloween was childish'.

"Come on… I bet you would be a big help," Rebecca urged as she rose from her chair and left the nook on the way to her bedroom. "I was thinking of going as a highland dancer," she invited. "I have everything I need right here I think." As she opened a door to the walk-in closet, she mused, "let me see…Oh yes, I have my kilt right here…and with this blouse…." Becky directed pulling a very fancy white lace blouse with high collar from the closet along with the Dress Stewart Tartan.

"Wow! That's pretty... I like the red it's, it's so, bold ... it's beautiful. I want one just like it,'' Maggie gaa-gaa'ed.

"Well it's not for every day, but it is rather striking, isn't it." Rebecca reminisced as she held the family badge with a passion that few others could understand.

"Oh, and I have a shawl as well, in the same pattern... and I was thinking…if I just fold it… like this... "Becky directed, folding the covering double over in length-wise fashion. "Now, all I need is a broach, and I could wear it as a shoulder sash." She demonstrated. "What do you think?"

"I think you should try it on to see what it would look like." The young woman stated, quickly developing an interest.

Jeesh... this kid is only twelve, and already she's showing signs of becoming a regular experienced little shopper." What an excellent idea... I'll just slip--" Rebecca never got to finish the statement as there was a knock on the door. "I think that is Mrs. Lennox, come looking for you... what do you think?" She asked as she made her way to the door.

"Yup! I think you may be right, you know." The precocious child said with one hand balanced on her out swung hip.

"Hello you must be Mrs. Lennox... Please won't you come in? Maggie is right here." The gracious hostess opened the door to her announced guest.

"Uh... Thank you… Yes, yes I am." The older grandmotherly type stumbled over while looking for her charge. Margaret! Why did you leave the apartment? You know that you are to remain there at all times without my or your mother's permission to do other wise... You gave me such a fright, girl... and I have so precious little left of this life as is, I do not need to lose anymore prematurely."

"I'm sorry Mrs. Lennox but..." Maggie then went on to explain what had happened and why she was there in the Stewart suite.

The elderly woman seemed to except the reasonable excuse, and relaxed when she knew that Maggie's health, or safety was not in jeopardy. "Thank you very much for letting Margarett come stay with you… Mrs.…"

"Actually it's Miss… Miss Stewart… Rebecca Stewart... And I am very pleased to meet you Mrs. Lennox." Becky wore a wide smile upon her pretty face, just in case the situation needed a little lightning up.

"Mary. Please call me Mary." Mrs. Lennox replied while looking over at Maggie, who had found something else to occupy her time while the 'old folks' chatted. "Come along Margarett, we must be on our way... you have your homework to complete and I have a dinner to get on the table for your mother... so come along, child."

Turning back to Rebecca, she thanked her once again for her hospitality.

As the pair left, Maggie turned around and gave Becky a multi fingered flutter, "bye," to which Becky replied with one of her very own.

Securing the door, the delightful 'damsel in distress' continued her search for the perfect costume. Becky returned to the bedroom and slipped on the kilt and draped the folded shawl over her left shoulder. She searched her jewellery box for an appropriate piece of jewellery to join the shawl together in order to form a sash.

Unable to find just the right piece, no broach at any rate, she did find a small thistle stickpin that would look quite well on the front of her sash, if she could only find a way to fasten it. Huummm... I need to join these two ends… but how can I do that? A knot would be too big… huummm… if only I had a small piece of brocade... "WAIT! Ghad girl, you are SUCH a genius!" Becky sped to the living room and relieved one of the library windows of its black tasselled curtain ties.

"Oh yes! Oh, this is going to be perfect!"

She quickly gathered the ends of the sash together, then wound the tie tightly around them and arranged it to show the sash off in its best light. Giggling at her own ingenuity, Becky skipped back to the bedroom to finish choosing her outfit.

"A pair of White knee socks and my black Mary Janes... Oh, this is going to be so great!" she exclaimed excitedly in her very best Scottish brogue. "I wonder if I brought my tam with me... No. That would be hoping for too much. Darn. Oh well it was a good idea."

Her concentration was broken by a timid knock on her apartment door.

Wonder who that can be? So do I answer it or ignore it? Thinking it must be safe she announced, "Just a second," as she scrambled for her cell phone, holding it ready to punch in the panic code to summon immediate aid. "Who's there, please?" Becky inquired, the phone held at the ready.

"Becky. It's me… Maggie." A little voice squeaked from beyond the massive door.

"Okay. Hold on." Rebecca replied as she unlocked the entrance to allow her guest in into her fortress.

"What's up kiddo?" she asked her visitor.

"Here I thought you might need this for your costume." Maggie presented Becky with a black wedge hat, complete with peasant feather and long black ribbons trailing down the back. "If you are going to go dressed as a dancer you might need this. I use it when I dance in the highland games in the summer festival."

"I never knew you and your mother were Scottish." Becky exclaimed.

"Oh, we're not... Actually, Mother is American, and I was born here, but my dance teacher is Scottish and she asks me to dance every year for the festival. So I do, and this is the hat I wear with my outfit."

"Well, thank you, Maggie... What a nice surprise. This is a very nice gesture... Are you sure it's okay? I wouldn't want to get you in trouble?''

"Heck no! Mrs. Lennox said that it was a good idea. Say you will try it... you are already sorta dressed already... so please… try it on and let's see how it looks... Okay?"

"Okay, kiddo. Since you insist." At that both 'girls' began to giggle at the thought of a little bit of a fashion parade.

The pair went into the bathroom and Becky squatted down in front of the vanity, while Maggie placed the cap on her head at a rather jaunty angle.

"Um. I might have to pin it there but I think it will be perfect. What do you think?"

"You know what, kiddo. I think you are right." The pre-teen grinned impishly, eyes a sparkle with merriment.

"It is!" Becky replied, "Perfect!" pulling up the hair at the back of her head to create a bit of an 'up' do. "Thank you, Maggie. I really appreciate this. And, I promise that nothing will happen to it and I will return it safe and sound," she squealed and gave her little friend a big hug.

"I have dance slippers with long ties on them that go with my outfit ... but I don't think they would fit you. Your feet are much bigger than mine." The little imp teased.

"You're right. My feet are a lot bigger than yours, but then, I'm a lot bigger than you in a lot of other places as well." And as she uttered the words Rebecca made a lunge at Maggie. "This means that if I want to, I can tickle you, and there's nothing you can do about it."

Maggie began to scream in delight as Becky, chasing her around the apartment, hands extended, with fingers flexing, tried to keep up with the much faster girl. The chase ended in the gym. On entering the room, Maggie was derailed from the tracks by the display.

"Wow! This is like, really kewl... Are all these machines yours? OH! WOW! A step master... Can I try it? Oh please? I promise I won't hurt myself…honest... I promise. Please?" came the barrage of pleas from little Maggie's rapidly working mouth.

Rebecca was now starting to get used to the way this child talked when excited and was able to decipher most of what she heard as the words flew about her. "Well. Oh dear, I don't think right now would be a good idea... After all, your mom will be home soon… and it's time for your dinner, and you are not exactly dressed for a workout, now are you?" She could see the look of enthusiasm fade quickly from the young girl's face, and hoping to make her feel better, suggested an alternative.

"I tell you what luv. How about on Saturday or Sunday, when your mom is not working and I'm home, you can come over with your workout gear and we will both give them a whirl... How does that sound? That way if your mom wants to, she can play as well. What do you think?"

The child's enthusiasm was back and it radiated across Maggie's face and she began to jump up and down at the 'most excellent plan'.

"Now, come on… Mrs. Lennox is going to be wondering if I kidnapped you, and I know you have homework to do. Right?" Rebecca reasoned with highly charged youth.

"Uh uh. Did it already. It was easy. I just let Mrs. Lennox think that it takes longer than it does, so I can gab on the phone to my friends longer. You won't tell on me will you?"

"No Maggie, I won't tell on you, but it still isn't right to deceive people. It can be considered lying, you know, and that is definitely not right. How would you like it if your mom didn't tell you about something you thought was important, just so she could talk to her friends on the phone? You wouldn't like that would you?"

Rebecca paused for a moment to let the now suddenly tongue-tied girl respond to her last revelation. A slight headshake of her head was all it took to acknowledge that the message got home.

"No I didn't think so... It would make you feel kind of sad wouldn't it? Well, Sweetie, that is how other people feel when someone deceives them, especially if that someone is someone they love very much. So it's always better to honest with everyone… all the time, that way you won't have to worry about hurting them."

As Becky wound down, she stood down from her soapbox, and casually placed her arm around the shoulder of the embarrassed Maggie. Finally she pulled the youth closer and slowly made the way towards the door.

"Now. Don't you think you should get out of here before your mom really does think I kidnapped you? Or maybe it's time to finish giving you the rest of your tickle." Becky stated as she began in earnest to bring the bubbly child once again to the surface.

Within seconds the entire matter was forgotten and the pair was once again running down the hall screaming and giggling like they were both the same age. Their merrymaking was once again interrupted by a knock on the door.

"Uh Oh! Busted... It's the sound police. Come to tell us we are making too much noise... . Guess we better answer it eh?" Becky questioned, still playing her role of Maggie's childlike friend.

"It's okay. Mom's a lawyer. She can get us off." Maggie proudly stated back in response.

Opening the door revealed not the noise police, but an overworked mother of one preteen handful who, somehow always managed to get into mischief, no matter where she was.

Seeing her mother, Maggie jumped towards her, gave her a huge hug and began an instant sixty mile an hour spiel retelling the happenings of the last hour or so while playing with Becky. Christy was not sure if she was more confused by the now little girl she knew and loved, who proclaimed just a week ago that she was no longer a child and was now almost an adult, or, the fact that her child had found a friend in the building comprised solely of mature adults.

"'N Becky's going out trick-'r treating, 'n we're gonna come to Becky's gym 'n, work out, 'n we get .to do it this weekend, 'n, ain't it great mom?"

Still dumbstruck from all these various revelations laid before her, the senior Lake could barely crank out. "Yes, dear. That's wonderful... We'll see... If we can… Yes, it is…one does not use ain't, dear."

Rebecca felt as if she should add a little to the conversation remarked. "I hope Mrs. Lennox was not upset with us this afternoon? Christy, she seems like a very wise choice for Maggie. She's kind and understanding. It would be a shame to have her upset."

Giving Rebecca a wink unseen by Maggie her mother responded, "What? That old battleaxe? Her? Kind and understanding? Hah! I hired Mrs. Lennox because she was tough! And knows just how to make wayward kids behave themselves! And, if half the complaints I get from Maggie are true, then she's doing her job properly."

Now it was Christy's turn for a little giggle as she could no longer hold her chilly courtroom composure. "Thank you for allowing Maggie to invade your little spot of paradise again."

Suddenly, Beethoven on speed interrupted the conversation, and both adults looked at each other appalled by the intensity of the offensive sounds. It was Maggie that broke the silence when she said. "Becky. That's your phone. Mom's phone only makes a little chirppy sound."

"Pardon? Oh my PHONE? Oh, it is, isn't it? I have to get that changed! That is a terrible thing to do to a song, especially Fur Elise. Sorry. Hold on just a sec, while I get it, please?" The lady of the manor pleaded, and then began frantically searching for the obnoxious little device that was never to leave her sight. It was Maggie who located it. The blonde vixen had left it on the kitchen counter no more than ten feet away from where they were standing. It was exactly where Becky had left it when she came in the door, dropped there along with her purse over two hours before.

A quick flip and slight press of her thumb and Becky was live. "Hello... Bob! Oh hi. I was wondering when you were going to call." Now it was Rebecca's turn to talk a mile a minute. After only a first few questions she asked Bob to hold for a second please because she had company.

Christy, sensing it was the perfect moment to leave, a woman needed to be alone with her lover when they spoke, quietly worded, "Don't worry about it. I just came to get Maggie for her dinner... You go talk to your Bob… that's more important right now. Stop by later on tonight for tea and we'll chat. Okay?"

"Okay... Thanks Christy. See you later Maggie. Bye for now."

"Bye Becky," the curious girl child replied. With another little finger flutter both play friends waved as Maggie and her mother headed down the hall to have their evening meal.

"Hi." Becky breathed back into the phone receiver. "How did your day go? Did you manage to get everything all done? Are you coming back soon? When will you get here?"

"Becky. If you don't slow down a bit you are going to burn yourself out. At least take a breath between sentences. It's very cute, but we are not high school kids anymore. You could cause yourself some serious medical damage if you keep this up." Bob scolded her while barely holding on to his own composure. Quite a feat, considering that he was also trying to stop from breaking up and laughing right out loud.

Rebecca secured the door and found her way over to the loveseat in the parlour. Without even thinking to kick off her heels, she tucked her feet up under herself and settling in for a major 'gab a thon', shuddered in her anticipation.

Bob was still telling her about his busy day in the world of corporate dot COM. "Becky do you remember Pip from Whistler on the weekend?"

"Oh that cute little pixie kid that sold ice-cream. Sure I liked her. Why?"

"Well, I'll admit that she is a cute little pixie, but I wouldn't be calling her kid. She's sort of sensitive to that... Anyway, I was thinking ... Pip wants to shut the shop down for the winter. Says it's too boring, and I have to agree… not many people want ice cream in the winter at Whistler… even if it is Pip's home made. So, I was thinking she needs to keep herself occupied for the winter months, and you need a companion to drive you around town and such. So, I had this--"

"What! You want to pay someone to be my friend while I'm here in Vancouver? Robert Bartholomew Arnold! I do not need the sort of friendship where loyalty is hinged upon whether the cheque cleared the bank or not. That is not friendship. I have never had a problem striking up a conversation with most anyone in friendship, and I am most certainly capable of looking out for myself." The hot-tempered Scot fired at her lover.

"Hold it Becky. You got it all wrong. I'm only trying to help. Look! Hear me out, for a second okay? You are in a big city that has had a lot of changes over the last few years, some good some bad. Add to that, you do not have transportation, and you need to rely on public conveyance every time you walk out that door. You are also alone. And, more importantly, you are about to undergo a serious cancer treatment. I don't know if they have explained it all to you yet but, honey you will have a hard time just making it out of bed to visit the washroom. Is any of this at all making sense?"

The still a tad miffed Becky replied, "Yes, continue."

"Okay. Now, Pip wants to take the winter off. She is a very nice woman, and has been a good friend for many years. She is a very good driver, she also instructs an awful lot of local paramedic's in her spare time, to maintain a Health Certification Ticket she's won. She knows Vancouver like the back of her hand, and is a perfect suggestion for a companion."

"Bob there's that word again. Companion. You make it sound as if it should be 'babysitter'. The crumbling Becky returned.

"Oh Rebecca, that is not what I meant. Although a friend can also fall into those terms as well. Becky you need someone to look out for you in the next few months. I can't always be here everyday. I travel an awful lot. Pip can do this. She's cool. A nice person, and would go to the ends of the earth for a friend. Okay? What do you say? Just give it a try. I promise you won't regret it."

Bob stared off into the Seattle skyline, listening to the dead air that had been created since he had stopped talking. He knew Becky was in turmoil. He was a man she had met less than a week ago. He was a man who without even trying, managed to turn her neatly orderly little world into complete and utter confusion, brought into it excitement, and he was giving her fairy tale dreams merely talking to her. He knew and accepted the responsibility for all these things, and hoped he hadn't gone too far this time, because, Bob finally admitted to himself, right then and there that "This girl is different. She's not like all the other women I've dated. She isn't impressed by who I am or how much money I have. I'll bet she doesn't even know that I am close to being one of the richest people in North America. I'll bet she doesn't even care. Things like that don't even figure into the equation with her. God I like that!"

"Sorry Bob, what was that? I didn't hear you, you were muttering again," Becky questioned.

"Um uh? Oh! Sorry, I was just thinking out loud. Look, I didn't mean to upset you. I just thought it was a terrific idea, and it's a way for two truly great people to get to know one another, and that, well… it would be perfect for this to happen. That way I could relax, knowing that you're still going to be that beautiful woman that I dream about each night."

"You dream about me at night? Really?" The beautiful woman asked.

"Of course I do. Rebecca, you are like a breath of fresh air. You're so honest and giving! It's refreshing just to be near you." Bob stated as patently matter of fact, irrefutable, undeniable, and totally incontrovertible.

Becky, who had totally forgiven Bob for what she had so foolishly considered as his trying to control her life, was now feeling very warm and fuzzy again. She smiled, a sexy little pout, though he could not see it, and asked Bob about his schedule for tomorrow, and begged to know when she would see him. Her insides churned and became molten with her needs.

"I am going to try and finish most of it off tonight and then in the morning submit the report to the 'Grand Wazoo'. Hopefully by mid-morning, noon at the latest, I should be back across the line. I've made the arrangements for the costumes. And I had Mona schedule you for an appointment to get your hair done as well. So hopefully, I have thought of everything, but I'm sure there's something that needs to be fixed… there always is, isn't there? Anyway, it's going to be great night. You are in for a real treat," Bob teased.

"Who is going to be playing? I assume it's going to be a band or an orchestra. I mean the Commodore Ballroom is not some little local pub."

The master continued with his teasing." Ah... I can't tell you that. That wouldn't be fair, but I will give you a hint."

"Okay. Who? What?" asked the excited pseudo-teen.

"Well... Let me see... Hmm."

"Robert… you are teasing me again."

This time it was Bela Lugosi that answered Rebecca. "But of course I am. You are too delicious a morsel to consume, just like that. Your flavour must be savoured, ever so slowly and very gently."

"Bob. If that line never worked for the count way back then, what makes you think it will work for you now?" Becky quipped.

"Okay. Think of famous jazz musicians from the forties and fifties that are still performing today, someone who played with Duke Ellington, or Louie Armstrong. Someone who has been around as long as Ray Brown... And that's the end of your hint."

"Oh Bob," she wailed, then gasped, "But no, you are serious! Am I right?"

"I told you I was. Why?" He answered back, a smug tone most evident.

"Oh, nothing." his imp teased. "Just thinking."

Shifting back to being practical Bob continued with the planning. "Right! So now tomorrow I will pick you up, or I will make arrangements for you to be picked up, around noon at the clinic. Okay?"

Still trying to figure out Bob's clue, quickly crossing off famous jazz musicians and trying to narrow the list down, Becky barely heard herself agreeing to what Bob was telling her. Her mind was returned to real time quite quickly when the Impressive Mr. Arnold announced that he should get going, that he hadn't had dinner yet, let alone stopping for lunch earlier. This brought on another twenty minutes or so of, "you hang up, no you hang up" before it actually happened.

With a loopy smile pasted on her face, the love sick zombie giggled her way into the bedroom in order to put on something just a bit more relaxing…her teal and white nylon jogging suit with a white t under it was perfect for a relaxing evening at home.

What did I agree to? Oh well guess I will find out soon enough. I hope that stylist is good... Duh! Girl. What are you thinking? He said Mona made the arrangements did he not? Knowing those two, Bob probably paid to have Vidal Sassoon fly in to give my hair a shampoo. "Tee hee... "Wonder what I can whip up for dinner. I must get into a routine here and get some proper meal planning done. I don't see how people cope with making meals this way, having to decide each night as you stare at the refrigerator. Too many decisions. Oh no. Tea with Maggie and her mom after dinner as well... Sheesh. I will need my sleep tonight.


Next: # 13. Halloween Daze




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