Crystal's StorySite


Rebecca Anne Stewart's

~Hot Crossings~

by Becky Stewart & RickkiB

Special thanks to BobA.


~Part # 34 Friendships New and Old~


The giant man was trying to rest in the comfortable leather club chair, as he waited for his mistress. She had been in with the doctor an inordinate amount of time he deciphered, as he checked his watch for the umpteenth time that hour. He was very concerned about half an hour ago when he faintly detected the sounds of his charge sobbing uncontrollable in the next room. Somehow he had managed to restrain himself from rushing in there to rescue her from whatever torture she was enduring.

Stephie, Dr. Popes assistant had gone to investigate, and offer assistance. When she returned a few minutes later she assured him with a hand motion and a shake of her pretty head that everything was under control.

Martin reluctantly relaxed back into his chair and tried to wait patiently. He quickly grabbed an ancient copy of People magazine and cursed himself for not remembering to bring his pocket book. He was enjoying reading Lord of the Rings and had devoured The Hobbit, and The Fellowship of the Ring, within the first week after Pip had dragged him to the screening of The Two Towers at the local Cineplex.

After leafing thru the magazine he flipped it back onto the stout table in front of him and stared once again at the post impressionist paintings that dotted the walls. Deciding that he would be here for a bit longer he allowed his mind to drift to a near sleep state while keeping one eye cocked on the door and another ear listening in the next room.

Unexplained movement out of corner of his eye brought the bodyguard back to a high state of alert. He quickly leaped from his position when his brain determined that it was indeed Miss Rebecca coming down the hall towards him. A quick glance around the room to evaluate any potential threats, and he put on his best smile to greet her with.

Martin grabbed Becky's alpaca shawl and she turned allowing him to drape it across her shoulders. She smiled a sad smile at him in appreciation and allowed him to lead her out of the office. Not a word was spoken as the large man went thru the drill in securing his charge in the security and comfort of the large cherry black Mercedes. It wasn't until they had pulled out of the parkade and were winding there way west on Tenth Ave. that he spoke.

"You okay?" He enquired one eye of traffic and the other looking into the rear view mirror.

A slight headshake was his only response.

The concerned friend and chauffeur would have to be content with that for now. Martin lifted the receiver of the in car phone and punched in the code for Xanadu. He then informed Bob that they were inbound, ETA fifteen mikes.

The large car easily slid into the spacious garage and Martin waited until the garage door had closed tightly before he disengaged the door locks on the expensive limo. He quickly jumped out and held the car door open for Becky and then just as quickly closed it and ran ahead to scout out for potential dangers. Becky was used to the routine by now and submitted to the actions by purposely walking slowly so that Martin could do his job properly. He opened the fire door between the building and the garage, peered inside, and then held it ajar for Becky to come thru. All the way back to their apartment the same drill was used. It wasn't until the solid maple door of home had clicked shut; he had bolted it properly, and had made eye contact with Bob ensuring that everything was secure that the large man relaxed.

Becky's lover rushed over to greet her. He silently pulled her in tight and held her for the longest time. He knew she had, had a rough go, just by gazing into the troubled woman's eyes. "Sara's here." He softly said to her after kissing her on the cheek. "You want to say hello?

"Yes." Becky reluctantly said, wishing that Bob were still holding her tight.

Bob directed Becky over to the loveseat, where Sara was now standing smiling at her. Becky fiercely gripped Bobs arm refusing to left go of the security it provided.

"Becky, this is Sara Briton. Sara this is Rebecca Stewart."

"How do you do." The woman enquired in a broad English accent. "I've heard so much about you. It's a pleasure to meet you finally."

Becky looked over at the mid to late twenty's waif. She put on her best ambassador smile and returned the compliment. "How do you do. Prue says some nice things about you as well. Where are you from?"

"Derby. And you?"

"Paisley, although I have been in Canada a fair portion of my life. How long have you been here?"

"Oh since I was a bopper. Me mom and dad moved here when I was fourteen. I guess I just never lost the accent."

Both women sat next to each other on the love seat while Bob excused himself to go make tea. Martin was lurking behind them, and Becky could tell his presence was making Sara a bit uneasy so she introduced him and told him to go help Bob in the kitchen.

"Yes Ma'am." He replied and was off.

"Don't worry about Martin. You'll get used to him. He's Bob's bodyguard, and mine too at the moment I guess. But he is also our friend and a bunch of other things that you will find out." Becky leaned in close to Sara and almost whispered into her ear. "He's actually a big pussy cat and his girlfriend who is smaller than you has him wrapped around her little finger." Becky held up the prerequisite finger to indicate so.

Sara leaned and giggled at the announcement. She was starting to feel a bit more comfortable about the situation and her instincts had begun to kick in. There was an awkward moment for a brief second as Sara stared into Becky's eyes and Becky sensed that this might have been more than just an innocent gaze. Quickly the feeling passed and they were gabbing away like long lost girlfriends by the time Bob had finally managed to make the tea.

Bob had asked Martin to sit in, as this conversation concerned him as well. Bob then continued on explaining what they wanted Sara to do while she was here. He told her exactly how much he would pay her. Very generous by Sara's standards she thought. And he also told her what to expect and when. When they left the house Martin was in charge and we were to follow his orders to the letter, with out deviation. Sara could not for see a problem there but looked confused until Bob had explained to her why all the necessary precautions. He explained that her main duty was to make sure his love wanted for nothing. Sara who was very familiar with treating cancer patients asked a few of her own questions.

When it was all decided that they had an arrangement that was compatible for all parties, Sara announced, "If you will excuse us. I would like to examine my patient. Becky, if you please we can do this in your bedroom." She then rose up from the chintz love seat and retrieved a blue nylon satchel with a large red cross blazoned across the front of it.

Later on in bed that night Becky told her lover that, Sara had given her a very through examination from top to bottom. "She even made me pee in a cup." Becky quietly giggled. "And, she marked everything on a chart."

"Well she is a nurse." Bob explained. "Nurses do those sort of things. They like to keep track of trends, especially in your case. So far I'm impressed with her."

Becky giggled. "Me too. I like her. She has a bit of a playful nature about her. A bit of a flirt."



Friday morning arrived and as usual the early morning chaos was in full swing. Martin only noticed Sara's arrival, as he had to let her in. She was in the kitchen trying to make some food for Becky before they had to leave this morning, and her charge was doing her very best to be late enough so she wouldn't have to eat it.

"Why would I want to eat something? I'm only going to bring it back up in an hour or so from now." She thought as she adjusted the beret for the third time, trying desperately to hide the thinning hair on her head.

The foursome left the building Martin leading the way with Sara and Bob escorting a protesting Becky as she held a protein shake that she had been directed to finish, before they made it into the car.

"She's a tough one." Bob teased his lover as they descended the oak spiral staircase down to the foyer.




"Good morning Jenna."

"Good morning Sara. What brings you around here I thought you were on sabbatical? Taking a bit of a vacation to work on your drawings?"

"I am. I mean I was. I can still do that, but an opportunity came up and I saw a chance to make a bit of extra money."

Sara was moments ahead of the rest of the crew. She had said that she would go ahead of them to make sure that they were ready for them while Bob and Martin helped Becky in.

"Good morning Sweetie." Jenna cooed at Becky when she finally appeared with her two escorts. She gave the frightened woman a small motherly like kiss on the fore head and carefully directed her to the dreaded chair.

Sara quickly and efficiently ordered Bob and Martin out. She directed them to the cafeteria where they could stay until she called for them in about an hour. Both giants accepted their fate as the five foot five caregiver ushered them out the door.

Bob announced that he would go and drop in on his buddy 'Huggy' and told Sara that, "If anyone was looking for him he would be in Koos Baer's office."

Sara had no idea why he would go there. Mr. Baer was not a man she had known to be sociable. From the rumours she had head, 'The Bear' was appropriately named, if the stories she heard about him were true. Needless to say that did not concern her at present, her attention needed to be focused on the business at hand, caring for her patient.

"How have you been doing Sweetie?" Jenna asked Becky in her motherly way. "It's been some time since your last visit. I was getting worried about you. Is everything okay?"

"Ya I guess so. I sorta had a bad experience. Some evil man attacked me and my friend and I got stabbed." Becky replied as she let her self-slip into the child like role that Jenna had so easily allowed her to do.

"Oh my poor baby." She remarked as she hugged Becky tight. "Oh my goodness. I hope you are all right now."

"Uh huh. I'm okay now."

"Well I hope you get all better real soon."

Jenna reached behind Becky and turned on a small ghetto blaster. It immediately started to play soft light classical music mixed with lullabies and little silly ditties. It would have been the perfect mix for a small toddlers bedroom if you wanted your child to relax.

"Now you just sit back and relax and I'll take care of everything." Nurse Hitch directed.

Sara stood off to the side ready to help if needed. She quietly observed the practiced movements of Jenna, hoping that she might learn something of the way she performed her job. Jenna Hitch was a legend in this facility. It was rumoured that she could almost make chemotherapy a pleasant experience.

Jenna quickly found the vein and started Becky's IV. She expertly applied the foam rest that kept her forearm and wrist at the same angle to help the flow of the chemicals. All the time she comforted her patient in a very motherly like fashion. Convinced that everything was going properly she handed Becky a small cup of water and the little pill dispenser that held the medication that would help settle her stomach when they began the drip. Her patient gave an involuntary shiver, knowing what was about to happen.

"Are you cold Sweetie?" The motherly nurse enquired

"Un huh." The childlike voice responded.

"Oh you poor baby. I've got just the thing for you right here." Jenna then reached behind Becky and grabbed a fluffy cotton blanket and quickly had her patient snuggled inside it. Sara was quick to note that the blanket had kittens printed on it in various forms of play. She also detected the faint scent of baby powder, as she caught a scent of the wind as it sailed passed her.

All too soon Jenna announced that it was time and with a simple nod from Becky she started the drip from the glass cocktail hanging from the IV pole.

Instantly Becky shuddered as her stomach violently reacted to the harsh chemicals entering her blood stream. She swore she could feel it killing each and every one of her white blood cells as it went.

"You okay Sweetie?" The motherly nurse asked.

"Uh huh." Becky moaned.

"That's such a good girl. You are doing just fine." Jenna cooed as she carefully patted Becky's forehead with the soft cool facecloth. I'm going to speed it up just a bit Sweetie. You let me know when it's fast enough okay."


Jenna increased the drip very slowly until she saw her patient wince. "You okay?"

Becky shook her head in the negative, as she closed her eyes allowing the tears to roll down her cheeks.

"Okay, I'm going to turn it down just a bit, that should make you feel a bit better."

Another head shake this one positive.

Jenna looked at her watch and announced. "Doing good Sweetie. We are almost half done."

The mother continued to baby her charge through out the entire time that she had Becky in her care. At one point when her 'baby' began to shake from the chills, Jenna returned with a warm blanket she had pulled from the enclave moments before. She snuggled the warm cotton material all around Becky and cooed the entire time telling her that she was all safe and snugly warm. Her charge just let Jenna mother her. She found the extra care very soothing and relaxing, and if it were under different circumstances she might have enjoyed the special care that was being heaped upon her.

Seventeen minutes later, to the minute. Jenna and Sara were quickly bundling up Becky and ushering her out the door. Sara wheeled her charge down the corridor into the giant mans open arms and awaiting ride back to Xanadu. Sara was quick to lead the way up the spiral staircase back to the secure apartment, and held the door open after Bob had unlocked it for her. Martin rushed thru the open door and swiftly and gently laid his now very sick bundle on the bed, leaving Bob to 'secure the fort'.

"Bob I will need that pile of things that is on the end of the kitchen counter. I also want the phone unplugged in this room and all the drapes closed." Sara ordered as she ushered both the men from the master suite. She then quickly turned her attention to Becky and with time practiced movements quickly had her patient out of her street clothes and into a soft cotton nightgown. There was another awkward moment when Sara once again confirmed Becky's most private secret. And the uncertainty in her mind quickly disappeared as her professionalism quickly restored itself. Sara had relieved Bob of his load and was busy wiping Becky's forehead with a soft damp washcloth when Bob clicked the door shut behind him as he left.

"How is your pain Becky?" Sara enquired when she saw her patient wince, while she was undressing her.

"It's okay. It's my stomach that's bothering me."

"Okay. You let me know when it gets to be too much. There are no prizes in my books for martyrs. I like to practice good pain management techniques. And I will get upset if I think you are not."

Becky understood. She wasn't sure that she agreed with her new nurse. She had tried to fight the pain as much as possible. A little discomfort was not a bad thing if it meant taking less morphine and dialaudid.

"Okay now close your eyes, and try and get some rest. Here is the bowl, for when you feel the need. Okay? I have to go check up on something and I'll be right back." The efficient nurse smiled as she patted her patient's small hand.

The door had been left slightly ajar as Sara made her way into the kitchen. She opened up the cupboard where all of Becky's meds were kept and looked at the schedule that was taped to the back of the door. She quickly consulted her watch and noted that Becky's next dosage would be in less than ten minutes. She would likely need some pain relief as well at that time. She then quickly laid out the appropriated medications in a small plastic pill cup and went to the fridge to retrieve a large glass of chilled water from the Brita dispenser.

As she performed her task her mind was in turmoil. "It's true. The story I heard about her is true. This woman really is a transsexual. How could I be so foolish? Good thing you never let your sexual preferences be known." Sara silently argued with herself. "You have to admit, she is a good looking woman though. I don't suppose she would be interested in me really though. Judging by things around here I'm sure that she is a one-lover woman, and that lover happens to be a man. Too bad, I'll bet she could show me a thing or two in the sack." She giggled as she made her way back to the bedroom.

Becky had just finished heaving what was left of her mornings protein shake. The tears were streaming down her face as she cried into the foul smelling bowl. Sara quickly wiped her face and lowered her back down on her pillows. She carefully dabbed at Becky's face neck and hands to remove all traces, real or imagined of the now expelled liquid. She tried her best to comfort the violently ill woman and finally after some time she got Becky to swallow all her meds, including some Dalaudid.

"I want you to lay back and go to sleep for a while. It's the best way to get this to pass. If you are asleep you wont be able to feel the effects of the treatment, so, lay back and close your eyes."

Her patient didn't resist the ministrations. Becky complied with the request and soon she was lightly dozing away. Sara allowed her self to slump into the adjacent wingback chair as her mind drifted out the window.

Sara awoke an hour or so after she had let herself relax. There was a bunch of clanging and clanking going on followed by a loud crash. She swore it sounded like china breaking and quickly came to her senses. She knew that Becky was in need of some sound rest, and she did not want her still sleeping patient to awake just yet. She quickly and quietly rushed to investigate the source of the insistent distraction. Her temper almost got the better of her when she discovered that Bob and Martin were in the kitchen trying to put together some lunch. They had decided that some soup would be a good idea to take away the chill of the cool December day, and maybe Becky just might be able to have some as well.

"WHAT THE…." Sara stopped in mid sentence and cleared her throat before continuing. "Excuse me. But I wish you two would please keep the noise down a bit. Rebecca is finally getting some rest, and I don't want to see her awoke just yet, so could you please keep things as quiet as possible."

"Sorry Sara. We just thought we'd try and do something nice for you and Becky and make some lunch." Bob explained. "We thought it might cheer her up a bit, and take a bit of a load off of you. I'm sorry if we disturbed her. We were just, ahh, well we…"

Sara smiled when she saw Bob floundering for excuses. She thought how he looked like an irritant schoolboy who had just been caught doing something he knew he wasn't supposed to. "What are you trying to make for lunch?" She snickered.

"We thought some soup and sandwiches would be good, but we can make anything you want as soon as I find the cookbook." He explained as he continued his search for the book, abet a lot quieter.

Sara had suddenly made a realization. "Robert, does either of you two know how to cook? Can either of you make soup, or for that matter boil a pan of water?"

"Hey! I make KD all the time!" Martin shot back defensively.

"Oh really? What else can you create there Mister Master Chef?"

"Well, um ahh, I can make lots of things."

"Right! Just as I suspected, looks like I'm also head cook on this ship as well. Ok you two out of the kitchen. I'll make some soup and some sandwiches. Do you think you can set the table over here without breaking anything? Oh, and get a brush and shovel and clean up this mess."

Martin and Bob looked at each other for a brief moment unsure of why they would need a shovel to clean up a broken bowl. Sara finally cleared up the confusion with a quick translation. "Broom and dust pan, and make sure you get it all, even better yet, get the Hoover, and run over it after you sweep up the bits and put them in the bin."

Bob being quick off the mark, figured out what Sara meant as he was quickly expanding his domestic knowledge. "Martin, grab the dust buster out of the laundry room and Ill sweep this mess up."

"Right!" The giant replied as he bounded out of the room to complete his mission.

Sara quickly had a hot nutritious meal on the go. It was simple fare, even by British standards, but it was meant to fill a hole, and that's what it would do. She kept careening her ear towards the master bedroom listening for signs of Becky's awaking. Bob noticed her leaning and listening and directed Martin to retrieve the baby monitor from his and Pip's bedroom.

"Here you may find this a bit easier than leaning over like the tower of Pisa every five minutes."

"Thank you." Sara smiled as she intently listened to Becky's soft even snores. "Good still deeply sleeping, maybe she will keep that up for another hour or so."


Sara continued to administer her nursing for the rest of that day and well into the next before she had to go home for some rest. When her patient was asleep Sara dozed in the chair. When Becky was being violently ill, Sara was there holding her and cleaning up the mess as fast and as efficiently as she could.

"Ok I'll be back at oh six hundred, see that she remains in bed as much as possible, and keep pushing the liquids and the soft food at her as much as possible, especially the liquids. She hasn't been sick since late this afternoon, so I think the worst is over for now, but that doesn't meant that it won't happen again. So make sure that you are close by her side the entire time Robert, no dallying in front of the telly watching punch ups."

Bob's head was shaking up and down the entire time she was administering his directions. He would comply with each and every one of them and more to make sure his Princess got better.

"And keep the ruddy racket down to a dull roar." Sara demanded as she strutted towards the large maple door. "Rebecca needs rest right now, and she needs peace and quiet to do that."

Martin accompanied Sara down to the garage and watched her slip into her new Morris Mini Cooper and drive away. He made sure each and every door clicked shut on his way back to the suite, and finally let go with an expulsion of air when at last the heavy maple door was secured tight.




By Monday noon Becky had insisted she was just fine, and that she would like to get some fresh air. "Sara please?" She pleaded. "I have been cooped up in here since Friday. I need to get out, just for a few minutes."

"Rebecca its pouring rain out there. Take a look out the window and see for yourself. If you were to go out in that you could catch your death. I don't think it would be wise to be going out today. And besides which I don't remember seeing a 'Mac' or any 'Wellie's' in that closet of yours."

"Sara please?"

"I strongly advise against it. It's only been three days. Give it another day or two, or at least until the rain let's up." The prudent nurse cautioned.

"Oh ya, that will be what, April by then?" A very snotty nosed Becky relied back. Thinking of a solution she decided to present it to her concerned caregiver hoping that it would get past her. "What about if I go down thru the garage. Martin puts me in the back of the car, then he delivers us to the mall, and we get out in the underground parking right by the doors. That way I won't get wet at all. How about that? Can we do that?"

Sara shook her head; it was like trying to reason with a little kid. It just wasn't working. "You are insistent to go out side on such a foul day aren't you?"

"Yes." Becky cooed.

"Against my better judgement…" Sara never got to finish her statement. Becky was all over her hugging and squeezing her tight.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you."

"I swear if you so much as sniffle. I am going to direct that hulk over there to physically pick you up and put you back in the car. Do you hear me?"

"Yes I promise." Becky the schoolgirl giggled.

"If you get a cold, I promise you will not like the treatment for getting rid of it. I guarantee it."

"I promise Sara. I won't get a cold."

"Well get yourself ready then, and make sure its something warm and covers you completely. I'll go tell Robert what we are doing and then I'll be back to help you get ready."

Becky had already turned on her heels and was making her way towards the large walk-in closet to select the perfect outfit for a rainy day at the mall. She had decided on a cream coloured fisherman knit sweater with a tall turtleneck collar, a pair of worsted wood lined tweed slacks, in a dark burnt brown, and to keep her safe from the elements her car-coat length chocolate brown suede jacket. As an after thought she grabbed not only a pair of high top shoes, that faintly resembled the 'Beatle boots' of the early 1060's but also her mid thigh leather boots. She quickly deposited them on the bed and grabbed for a clean pair of panties and a cotton t-top and all but skipped into the ensuite to put on her face and try and do something with her hair.

Sara returned some five minutes later to hear and see Becky bawling her eyes out as she looked up at the ceiling. She held her hairbrush in one hand, and in the other she held a considerable amount of her own hair. The nurse knew this was coming, for the past two days she had been secretly and quickly sweeping away from the pillows, any hair that had fallen from her patients head, now it was coming out by the hand-fulls and there was no way to avoid the truth. Sara made Becky drop the hairbrush and the clump of dead hair she held in her hand. She quickly pulled Becky in close to her and just held her there until Becky had cried all the tears away.

"Come on Luv. Lets get you into bed." The nurse suggested

Her patient resisted, but only for a moment. The realization of what was happening to her had hit home and hit home hard. She didn't resist Sara anymore now. She meekly submitted as if the fight had left her.

Sara quickly moved the clothes off the bed and pulled back the covers so her patient would be more comfortable. Becky sat on the edge of the huge bed staring at the floor. Her mind was numb, she just couldn't think anymore. The attentive nurse, now friend, quickly drew a cotton nightie over Becky's head and pulled her arms thru each of the holes. It was as if she were dressing a little kid. Becky just let her do whatever she wanted to her. She softly manipulated her patient into a lying position, pulled the blankets up, and tucked them in. As Sara went to stand up to hang up Becky's clothes, a hand shot out from under the covers and latched onto her forearm. The startled nurse looked into the fear filled face, sat down on the bed and ran the back of her free hand across Becky's now soaked cheek.

"It's gonna get better. You'll see." She knew her words were little comfort, but she offered them for what they were worth. "You just rest right now, and in a bit I'll make us a cup of tea, okay?"

With Sara's attentive care Becky felt her eyes involuntarily closing. The concerned nurse waited until the breathing was deep and regular before she even attempted to move. She softly clicked the door shut and tiptoed away. Sara needed her own healing right at this moment. Without saying a word to the stunned men she determinedly walked into the kitchen and collapsed into one of the bistro chairs.




Becky was the first to wake that next morning. She quietly tiptoed passed a sleeping Sara, curled up in a ball on the wingback chair sitting next to her bed, and softly padded her way into the ensuite to relieve nature's call. She silently closed the double French doors that separated the two suites and when about her business. Wiping and then washing, she then sat at the vanity and made an executive decision. With great reluctance she opened one of the drawers and extracted her hair dressing scissors. With shaky hands and misty eyes she began what she knew had to be done. Becky grabbed a large lock of her golden tresses, as much as she could in both hands the pulled t tight above her head. Convinced that she had a sufficient amount of hair in her hand she proceeded to cut it off as close to her scalp as possible following the contours of her head. Without looking in the mirror she carefully arranged her cutting and quickly but delicately wrapped a white laced trim pink ribbon around the middle of it and created a big fluffy bow. She cut the trailing ends of the ribbon so that looked finished and with all the strength she could muster looked up at herself in the mirror. Shivering slightly from the anticipation of the deed she knew she must do, she gathered up her resolve and with blurred vision, started cutting off the rest of her remaining hair. Within a few minute's she had reduced what was once a sometimes, unmanageable expanse of wavy honey blonde hair to a fine inch or so of stubble. She then brushed straight back what was left of her hair and proceed to remove all the hair from her brush and what was laying all over the counter. She carefully laid her keepsake bundle, off to one side and went to the linen closet to select a robe to wear. Becky was looking for a particular one she had bought for going to the beach last summer and for lounging around the pool. She found the long terry hooded peach coloured garment, quickly slipped it over her shoulder, and flipped the hood up half covering her face. She then cinched up the sash, slid both of her hands back thru the sleeves, and bent forward slightly as she made her way out of the large bath. She thought she looked like some medieval monk as she made her way to the kitchen to put on the kettle and take some dialaudid for her now protesting abdomen.

"Good morning." Sara brightly said to her as Becky was filling the kettle. She looked around to see her caregiver standing behind her in the doorway.

"Good morning." Becky replied as she held one hand tight against her and tried to fill the kettle with the other.

Sara rushed over and quickly relieved Becky of her burden, when they made eye contact Sara knew exactly what Becky had been up to. She set the kettle down on the counter, turned off the tap, and quickly hugged her now shaky friend. Despite the difference on height between the two, Becky's head somehow was snuggled in against Sara's shoulder and the newly found friend was holding her as tight as possible and sharing tears right along with her.

By the time Bob had entered the kitchen they had pulled themselves into some resemblance of order. "Good morning ladies." He stated as chipper as possible.

"Good morning Robert." Came the crisp reply for Sara.

"Hi." Was all Becky could muster.

Bob sensed that there was something wrong, by the way Becky was holding herself. He quickly slid over to her, wrapped his beefy arms around her, kissed her lightly on her cheek, and whispered into her ear. "I love you."

It was almost too much for Becky to bear. A calliope of emotions streaked thru her brain. Happy that her lover had said those all-important words, her paranoia kept her from enjoying them completely, when she thought of how she now looked. She vowed then and there that Bob would never again see her without her wig on and at least a bit of makeup to cover the deep black racoon eyes she knew she had.

Trying hard to make sure the hood of her robe did not come off, she stood and returned the embrace as much as her strength allowed. "Thank you. I love you too. Very, very much." She sniffled.

Sara had conveniently left the table to put on coffee, so that she could give the pair a resemblance of privacy, however token it may be.

Martin quickly joined the rest of the house, and proved that he was much more organized then everyone else. He was showered and dressed for the day. He looked rather 'natty' Bob remarked as he had chosen a ribbed wheat coloured turtleneck sweater tucked into a pair of black poly wool slacks. His oversize black lambskin leather sport jacket was quickly draped over the back of the chair as he slid into the slightly too small bistro chairs and made his acquaintances. Everyone knew he had been up for sometime because Martin always works out first thing in the morning before he has his morning shower.

Feeling a bit self-conscious, the rest of the group stared into the respective cups for moments before excusing themselves to go get prepared for the day.

Bob was coming out of the shower when he noticed Becky's new hair do. Unsure of what to do or say, he quietly walked up behind her so that she could see him approach her in the mirror of her vanity. He smiled a forced smile, wrapped his arms around her tight, and kissed the top of Becky's head. It was his way of showing her that, he loved her, and it didn't matter how much hair she had. "I love you Rebecca Stewart." He said loudly and strongly, as if he didn't care who heard him. "I want to spend the rest of my life with you. This little set back will pass my love and we will get over it. I promise."

"Oh Bob." Becky began to blubber. "I just don't…"

She never finished her sentence. "Shhh." He quietly instructed. Her lover's lips had covered hers and were now kissing her. He then kissed all of her tears as then rolled down her cheeks, as he knelt before her. They sat there for a long time just holding each other.

Sara popped into the room, and recognizing the tender moment, quickly and silently left the room. She returned to the kitchen and was mildly amused by watching Martin make some toast and jam for himself. She sat there smiling at his antics as she sipped on her tea.

Bob had decided that today would be a good day to go out for lunch. The weather was cooperating somewhat, and it would be nice just to get out and get a bit of fresh air. Sara knew that this was actually Becky's idea, but she never fought it. Today was a lot nicer weather wise than yesterday, and a bit of an outing just may do her patient a world of good.

The big man announced that he had to stop by the new office to check on progress, and asked if Becky would like to see how it was coming along. Of course she had jumped at the chance. She wanted to see how her renovation was progressing.

So after a few hours of primping and preening, and a lot of help from Sara fitting Becky's wig exactly the same as when Marcie had last week, she was pronounced ready. Of course everyone else was waiting for her for some time, but good manners would never let on that they were waiting for The Princess.

On Bob's advice, Sara had been instructed to bring over several changes of clothes, which were stored in the hall closet in the wing where the work out room and Pip's and Martins bedroom were. He also had arranged for her to be able to purchase anything she required for social, or any other events from Mona's. Today the pert little Brit was attired in a crisp silk blouse with a small satin tie done up at the throat, a box pleat skirt, and, a severely tailored waist coat also in black to match her skirt. Sensible rubber soled court shoes. And her hair pulled back into a tight bun, she looked like the proverbial schoolmistress, she completed her outfit with a Croyden all weather trench coat and was ready to go.

Becky was almost attired in the same outfit as she had chosen yesterday, except she opted for her knee length tweed skirt and boots when she knew that Sara would be wearing a skirt as well.

Bob of course was dress casual with a salmon coloured golf shirt under his medium brown Armani suit.

The suite was secured and Bob had offered to carry the two extra bags that Sara had insisted they bring with them. One of them was obvious as to what it was by the large red cross on the bright blue satchel, the other Bob could only guess at, as it resembled a doctors bag, large black and opening wide at the top.

Martin, a few steps ahead of everyone ensured that everything was as it should be on their trip to the garage. He bade them to pause behind the secured door of the garage while he went ahead to open the doors of the car, and check for signs of tampering. He was being extra cautious today because of what he had heard on this morning's news. He didn't reveal it anyone yet about what he had heard but he knew it would only be a matter of time before Becky found out that Frank Myers had be released from custody. The big man doubted that Myers would be foolish enough to attempt anything, but he still wasn't taking any chances.

Bob and Becky stood behind the door wondering why Martin was being so particular today. The billionaire whispered in his lover's ear that he was probably showing off for Sara, which got him a little giggle.

Convinced the place was secure Martin returned and quickly ushered the trio into the waiting limo and hastily clicked the doors shut sealing them inside. He then got in secured this own door and opened the large garage door before starting the large Mercedes. Moments later they were making their way to the new headquarters of 'Anwar Communications Concepts'.

"Sounds impressive, doesn't it?" Bob boasted as the slid in and out of the mid morning traffic.

"It sounds pretty neat Bob. You can call it ACC for short. Just like one of them big conglomerates like 3M.

"My. Who's getting industrious now? That's a bit presumptuous to think we will ever be a large as them. I'll be happy with IBM." Bob joked.

The small delegation entered the front entrance and gingerly stepped over the painters' tarps that seem to be everywhere. They cautiously avoided touching anything, just in case.

Lori was busy instructing a workman holding a reel of fibre optics cable that it had to be run directly from the control panel to the relay stations she had set up and in what order. Bob didn't even pretend to understand what she was talking about to the workman. He had full confidence on Lori's abilities. This was her ball game and she was in charge of her end of it.

"Looking pretty good there Madam President." Bob yelled over the din of a drill someone had started right behind him.

"Ya, it's coming along slow but sure." Lori replied as she rolled up the set of blueprints and tucked her mechanical pencil behind one ear. Noticing Becky and Sara standing there she smiled and came over to say hello properly. Introductions were made by Becky, shortly after her and the flustered Tech had exchanged hugs.

"Things are starting to look pretty good." Becky smiled as she noticed how much brighter it seemed with the new additional florescent lighting that Michel and her had agreed upon, were now operational.

Bob had wondered off to another part of the office and Martin was casually keeping an eye on Bob and one on Becky. Both of his charges had decided to co-operate with Martin and always tried to maintain a line of sight with him at all times. It was out of courtesy more than anything else.

Becky had noticed the stacks of new ceiling tiles along the wall and wandered over to inspect them. They had decided to keep the original concept of the early twentieth century decorating design, and Michel had suggested that she could rig up a 'faux copper tile' patterned ceiling instead of the usual boring acoustic tiles that you see in most 't-bar' ceilings and the lighting would shine through it. The concerned woman strained to pick one up to inspect it closely, much to the chagrin of her ever-alert health provider. "These things are really light. They are made out of plastic. I can almost see thru them." She thought as she held one up to the light.

"Pretty cool eh?" The heavy accented voice stated as it surprised her from behind.

"Michel. I didn't know you were here. Is Charlene with you?" She exclaimed forgetting all about the translucent plastic square and tightly hugged the designer.

"No. Not right now. The dear is busy co-ordinating the new fabrics for the chairs, we are going to put in here for the reception area. There was some mix up on the batch of upholstery fabric. The dye lots didn't match and she volunteered to stay and make sure that it was perfect."


"How are you holding up? Bob tells me you had another session last week. Are you okay?"

"I'd be lying if I told you I was okay Michel, but I'll get thru it. Oh by the way, have you met Sara? She is my new companion while Pip is away for the holidays."

"No I don't believe I have." The French Canadian remarked as she relieved Becky of the horrendously expensive twenty four inch square bit of burnished copper coloured plastic.

"Oh okay. Sara this is Michel. She is the designer for the renovation here. And she is the same person that did the makeover on Pip's room."

"OH." Sara perked up. "Please to meet you. You did that fantastic job on that room. I am impressed. I can see why Robert picked you for this project." She then noticed the plastic tile that Michel had in her hand and politely tried to make conversation about it.

"Oh these?" Michel remarked holding it up so Sara could see it better. "These will cover all the florescent lighting you see in the ceiling once the mirrors go up behind them. The light from them will reflect off the mirrors and thru these tiles here and give the room a nice even glow and light the room without you seeing any lighting fixtures."

"Oh." Was all Sara exclaimed as if it made sense to her now.

The three women were busy in conversation and hadn't noticed Bob slip away with Lori to inspect the offices and their progress. Martin quickly moved to a different part of the room still trying to keep everyone in sight. Becky noticed his plight and with a little smile changed her position slightly to help him out. She was rewarded with a wink and a slight smile from the large man.

Soon Bob and Lori had returned. He was very pleased with how things were progressing, and he showed it. He bellowed to Michel that he wanted to show his appreciation to the tradesman and offered to supply pizza and cokes for everyone. He then invited Lori and Michel to join him and the other girls for lunch at Mama Rosa's.

The group quickly looked over at Lori who was wearing a pair of nondescript coveralls. Little did they know that she had worn a pair of slacks and a nice sweater underneath because she had to go to the City Planning Office later on this afternoon to hammer out a few details. "Sounds like a plan to me." She replied. With a sly smile Lori began taking off the garments right in front of everyone. She unzipped the front of the coverall and it slid down to the floor revealing her outfit she had on underneath. "Just let me dash out to my car and change my shoes and grab my purse and jacket and I am good to go."

Becky latched onto Bob's arm and with a bit of coaxing, prodded a rather reluctant Sara to take the other arm, as they made their way out to the car.

Bob was beaming, as he thought he really looked like a sugar daddy with a girl on either arm and another pair bringing up the rear as spares, just in case.

They must have presented quite a sight to the rest of the lunchtime crowd as they made their way into the popular restaurant. Vito met them at the door today. As he quietly ushered them off to the back ahead of a few other patrons that stood in line waiting to be seated, He remarked that it was nice to see them today and such a nice surprise. "Mama will be pleased." He responded as he quickly sat them and returned to the growing line up at the entrance.

"Busy place." Michel noticed to no one in particular. "They have a large crowd for lunch today. Good thing my appointment isn't til two this afternoon this could take a while today."

"Oh don't worry." Bob said. "The service here is excellent. You can be as hurried or as leisure as you like here. The staff always know what your time schedule is like. Trust me."

The newbies were all looking for menus to peruse while they were waiting for the waiter to come and introduce himself to them, but there were none to be found. Bob helped them relax a bit when he began discussing the renovations and the concepts that Lori had suggested in the security aspect of the business. Michel, Lori, and him were quite enthralled with it while Sara and Becky tried to smile and not look bored.

"Oh here comes out waitress now I think." Lori remarked as she saw the portly woman wearing a tweed skirt with a sweater and pearls approach their table. All heads swivelled around instinctively to see what Lori was referring to.

"Mama!" Becky enthusiastically exclaimed, as she tried to resist the gently pressure applied to her shoulders by the matriarch of the Valenti clan to remain sitting.

Bob was able to get up and quickly came around the table to kiss Rosa once on each cheek. The old woman tilted her head in each direction as if she expected the compliment to be made. Bob quickly introduced everyone at the table, and what their functions in his life were. The old woman looked at each and everyone in the party as they were introduced. When she reached Becky's caregiver, Sara felt as if she had suddenly, been pierced by a giant icicle and she shivered uncontrollably, as a result, of it. The old clairvoyant smiled and mentally told Becky, "This one bears watching."

When she was finished, her attention returned to Bob. Rosa began firing off a stream of Italian at the large man, and it was all he could do to nod and keep up with her. When she was finished, Bob shyly answered. "Yes Mama." And then sat down. Rosa turned back to the crowd after patting Bob on the head like a small child, told everyone to enjoy their meal, and headed back to the kitchen.

Without once seeing a menu, lunch magically appeared before them. This really flummoxed the new comers. They hadn't ordered a thing, but sitting before them was exactly what they would have wanted as if they had.

"I don't remember ordering anything?" A very confused Michel enquired.

Rather than try and explain the gifts that Rosa Valenti had to his guests, Bob simply remarked. "Oh I took the liberty of ordering for you. I hope you like it?"

"Thank you. It looks good." Lori replied without thinking. "But, when?" She then asked. She too was a bit confused.

"When Mama was here talking to us." Bob stated as if it was the most logical thing in the world. "You don't want your minestrone soup?" He asked.

"Um. Ya it's exactly what I wanted, on a day like today, but…" Lori never finished her slight protest. The soup looked too inviting and, it was exactly what she wanted, even if she never told anyone what that was.

"What did you get?" Becky asked Michel.

"Chicken scampi, and it looks very good." She replied as she placed the linen napkin on her lap.

The group looked over to where Martin was sitting discretely placed in front of, and off to one side of Bob. He was tying into the largest bowl of tortellini's and marinara sauce the girls had ever seen.

After they had eaten more than they had intended, the group finally pushed their respective plates away from themselves. All throughout the meal the conversation was light but business like, never straying too far away from the project for any longer than a few sentences.

Suddenly without warning, Becky stood up and said. "Excuse me for a few minutes. There is something I have to do." She delicately placed her napkin on the table and gingerly made her way over towards the double swinging doors that led to the kitchen.

Martin quickly dropped his napkin and followed her, after a quick nod from Bob. He had remembered the last trip here, when Mama Rosa had used her powers to heal Becky's inner spirit. How it had taken so much out of her, she was unable to walk and had to be carried out to the car and put to bed. Martin's presence was there to act as a pack mule more than anything else, but Bob's peace of mind needed to be satisfied as well. Bob also knew that he would be leaving in about ten minutes and that Sara would need to attend to her patient.

He carefully eyed his watch counting off the minutes and trying hard to feel the energy that flowed from Rosa when she used her gifts. He knew that he could feel it when they were in the same room together, but today they were in separate rooms with a lot of interference in the way. Today he would need to rely on more standard ways of telling when they were finished. The girls got the hint that it was time to go and all headed towards the powder room to freshen up.

As if scripted from a movie scene the gaggle of giggling schoolgirls returned from the powder room just in time to see Bob rise from his seat when he noticed Martin carrying a blanketed bundle towards the front door. He calmly and quietly shepherded the women out the door with a discrete word in Sara's ear. She immediately took after Martin and helped secure her patient in the back of the limo. When the rest of the party had reached the curbside, she was frantically tearing apart her bag to retrieve a blood pressure cuff and her stethoscope.

Becky finally came to. When she did there were four pair of eyes staring at her as the powerful Mercedes sped across town on its return trip to Xanadu. "Again?" She groggily asked.

"Fraid so." Bob sighed

"How long this time?"

"Oh, at least a good five, ten minutes." Her lover declared.

Sara was still busy working over her patient. Becky's only reaction was a quick "Ow!" When Sara pricked the end of her finger for a sample, so she could take a blood sugar test.

Michel and Lori were gob smacked. Their collective mouths were open, but nothing was coming out.

Soon the cherry black car had pulled up in front of the massive Georgian home and Martin had quickly jumped out carrying Becky up to the suite. Sara was a step behind the massive man and she opened the doors along the way for him as they went. Bob had shouted over his shoulder for Lori and Michel to wait right here in the limo and Martin would return to take them back to the office.

Martin carefully laid the precious bundle out on her bed and stepped back ready for further instructions. Sara quickly assumed a position along side Becky and told both of the men that she could take it from here.

Bob had dispatched Martin to return Michel and Lori to the site and return here, and he would attempt at making a pot of tea for Sara and his love.

When Sara had finally convinced Becky she needed to rest and made sure she was comfortable she went in search of her next quest. She carefully closed the bedroom door and padded her way into the kitchen to find Bob.

"All right you!" She demanded. "I want some bloody answers and I want them right now! What the hell was that all about? And what the hell happened?"



~Next: # 35 "It's Christmas Time In The City."~

Thank you to those who have written me telling me their thoughts about this project. A writer thrives for feedback for those that see his work, and I appreciate it, both good and bad. Please continue to do so. Thank you. Rickki.




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