Jean DeBois stood off from the crowd, sipped the flute of champagne, and tugged at the chaffing collar of his tuxedo shirt, quietly observed the fuss the art critics made over the latest exhibition of Su’s work. He smirked over their attempt to interpret the different meanings of the paintings. Ninety-five percent of their interpretations were as far off base as anyone could be. It mystified him how any of them achieved the fame they claimed as their own.
Jean turned his attention to Su. She stood quietly among a group of admirers, and politely answered their questions. Her honey brown long hair swept beautifully upon her head encompassed her face in soft curls. There was a pleasant smile on her countenance. However, Jean knew she was at the limit of her endurance. They should have declined an appearance, however; fifty percent of the proceeds were going to the children’s home in Romania. She made the appearance for their sake, in spite of the warning from her doctor. The curator of the Corinthian gallery promoted she would be there to boost the attendance of the upper class.
Jean caught the tiny change in her stance to stand a little more comfortable and keep a pleasant countenance as the babies started stirring. He would give her another fifteen minutes then he would sweep her away to their hotel for a massage to help her relax and settle the babies down from their combat for premium space in Su’s womb.
He reminisced the dressing down she gave the specialist in his office when they found out she was pregnant.
Dr. Rider sent her to the specialist seven months ago when Su could not keep anything down for two weeks. After doing several tests, the specialist issued them solemnly
into his office for a consolation pointing to the two chairs in front of the mahogany desk. He sat down and plopped her case file down. He opened it examining the test results once more before he addressed them.
The specialist gave a disgusting sigh, he glared over at Jean sitting across the desk, “You know by not bothering to restrain your sexual appetite with a condom you placed your wife’s life in jeopardy. You had no consideration for her delicate medical condition. You don’t comprehend how rare it is for someone with marasmus to survive as long as she has, most died in infancy.” He glowered over his small square shaped lenses.
“We need to schedule the abortion today so her condition doesn’t deteriorate any further. I will also schedule you for a vasectomy. I can fit the abortion in this afternoon at two and the vasectomy tomorrow at eight…” He flipped open his appointment book.
“Excuse me? Just what makes you think I would allow you ever again to come within a mile of me let alone, allow you to murder my child? If you made your position known about this before we took the time to come all the way here, it would saved everyone a lot of time and money.” Su launched halfway across his desk which caused the doctor to jerk back so quickly he toppled backward and crashed onto the floor.
“As for my husband forcing his will on me, you are very much mistaken.” Her eyes slid to slits at the doctor lying there. “In our marriage, we discuss our decisions and seek the Lord’s guidance in them. We have an equal say and respect each other’s opinion.”
The specialist lay there stunned for a second as Jean calmly took Su by the waist, lift her off the desk. Jean kept her at bay while he helped the specialist up.
After the initial shock wore off, the specialist straightened his jacket, his mouth pulled down in a pucker, “I’m not a murderer.”
“If you surgically tear away or chemically kill a helpless innocent infant in their mother’s womb, you are no better than any other murderer who sheds innocent blood and do not bother trying to tell me it is not a baby; it’s a fetus because fetus is Latin for little one. Neither is trying to justify an abortion as legal. Hitler made extermination of the Jewish legal, also. That did not make it any less murder because someone deemed someone else no longer human. Just because a law is passed, does not make the truth any less the truth like or not.” Su spat out the words as she tried to get around Jean to get back in the specialist’s face.
Jean held Su by the waist while he moved toward the door.
The specialist adjusted his glasses, his body ridged with indignity over her analogy of him. He shook a warning accusing finger at Jean. “If you’re fool hardy enough to allow her to continue with this suicide pregnancy, you better be prepared for an slew of medical conditions to strike like toxemia, eclampsia, hypertension, stroke, renal failure, and anemia before she miscarriage. There’s a real possibility, you’ll bury her by the end of the year if not sooner.”
“Whether or not our child or I die, will not be your decision to make. I will do whatever I need to bring our baby safely into this world, Lord willing. It will ultimately be His will in this matter and no one else! May God have more mercy on your soul than you do to the unborn children you murder.” Su’s voice waffled through the slit as the door slammed shut.
Jean escorted Su out of the building quickly so there would not be more of an incident. He waited they were in the car before he said anything.
“I know it upset you to find out he performs abortions, but Su, did you have to call him a murderer and compare him to Hitler?” he asked her gently.
Her response was not as gentle her eyes sparked with righteous contempt, “The evil that was within Hitler did not die with him. It was upon the earth long before his manifestation. It spreads throughout the world, planting its evil wherever someone allows it access to their heart and mind, corrupting their soul with its foul poison. I did not say anything untrue and you know it. He is as much of a murderer as any serial killer you go after in your job. You know it and so does he.” She grabbed the seatbelt and drew it across clicking it securely. Her mouth pursed over the distasteful encounter.
“Su, there’s a difference.” He tried to hold her hand.
Her head whipped around, “Not in the eyes of the Lord. Whoever sheds innocent blood is a murderer and who is more innocent than an unborn child? We are to view the world as the Lord does, speaking out against the evil which has the world in its grasp with the truth of God.” She jerked her hand away in frustration.
“Do you really think he heard anything after you blasted him? You need to be more tolerable when it comes to the faults of other adults, like you are with children.” He leaned his arm on the steering wheel and twisted in the seat toward her.
“There is a difference between someone’s faults and their sins. We are not to tolerate sin in our lives, but to confront it, so its cancerous evil does not spread.” She turned away from him and stared out the window.
“Su, you need to calm down. You’re working yourself up making yourself sick,” Jean reminded her as he started the car and headed for home.
She did not answer him, just sat there in cold stony silence all the way home. The more he tried to calm her down, the more aggravated she got. Her countenance was a mask of mixed emotions all jumbled together. Su got out of the car and slammed the door in Jean’s face.
He cornered her in the kitchen as Su was putting the crystal away out of their packing crate.
“Su, you need to stop being hysterical about this.”
“You want to see hysterical? I will show you what hysterical really is,” she cried and lobbed a glass at him. It shattered against the wall behind him.
“Su, don’t…” was all Jean got out before he ducked behind the counter preventing a barrage of glasses from impacting into his cranium as Su rifled glass after glass at the wall, “You know, this is nothing but a childish temper tantrum? You’re not only going to have to clean all this up, but I ought to make you glue each and every one of these glasses back together,” he called out from safety, “It’s a good thing the children are on a field trip and can’t see their mother behaving like this. I don’t think I could handle ten spoiled little brats breaking things.”
No more were the words out of his mouth when a plate crashed down on his head. Su leaned over the counter and dropped another one on him. In a flash, Jean was up and wrapped her up in one arm, and took yet another plate away from Su with the other hand. She was small and petite, nevertheless, once her emotions took control she was a live wire. Jean set the plate down on the counter as he encircled her up in his massive arms.
“It’s one thing to take your frustrations out on an inanimate object, however; when you start dropping plates on my head that’s spousal abuse. Why don’t you use the weight bag downstairs in the gym instead of taking it out on the glassware?” He gave Su a quirky smile. “It’s a good thing I’m back to work. You broke six months worth of wages in less than five minutes. You need to throw the Libby glasses from Wal-Mart next time.”
“Take it out of my allowance.” Su turned her face from his as she struggled against his strong warm embrace.
“What allowance? I’m the one who should be getting the allowance here. You make more in one month than I do in six,” Jean laughed at her as he turned her face back kissing her.
“Oh, is that how you want it, to be a kept man?” Su purred, her rage giving way to Jean’s charm.
“As long as it’s you doing the keeping, I’m at your beckon call. Why don’t you go upstairs and slip into that dress I gave you for Mother’s Day, last year, while I clean up the after mass down here?” Jean rested his forehead on hers and peered deeply into Su’s eyes.
“That dress, if you remember is what got us in this situation on our anniversary in the first place.” She tapped Jean’s nose with the tip of her finger.
“I know and I feel like dancing,” Jean murmured then delivered a deep sensual kiss.
Jean was jolted back to the present from a couple of men approached him. They inquired how he liked Su’s newest exhibit.
“She’s truly an exquisite artist. This new exhibit is her best work yet, don’t you think, sir?” one of them inquired of Jean as they sipped on their drink. Jean ran his hand across the forelock of the sculpture of Su’s horse Storm Chaser.
“Yes, each time she applies a brush to canvas it’s better than the last,” Jean agreed, his face taunt.
“Is this your first time to attend her exhibition here? I go to all of her openings so I recognize all the regulars, however; you seem to be new to the circuit this year,” the other one said, scrutinizing the painting near him.
Jean started to move away from their company, “This is my first time in London,”
“Would you like to meet her? I’m one of her closest and most intimate friends,” the first man smiled sinisterly.
That statement made Jean stop in his tracks, “You know Mrs. DeBois on an intimate level, do you?”
“Oh yes my good fellow, quite intimately. Matter of fact, she’s quite the party animal. Yes, quite a little tiger, in spite of the condition she’s in, ha, ha, ha, she was at my flat just last night for a rousing game of bump and grind.”
In one swift move, Jean had him by the throat, swinging two feet in the air in a death grip, “Allow me to introduce myself chap. I am Jean DeBois, husband of the lady you just slandered,” Jean hissed as he set his flute down beside a statue. “My wife was asleep beside me all night long, last night. Since I know you were nowhere near my bed, you’re the most blatant liar I ever met.” Jean’s tempter churned souring his stomach, “It sickening how a scum sucking maggot tries to elevate himself up out of the mire, by maligning a true lady, such as my wife by trying to shove her down in the quagmire.”
The man weakly struggled prying at the steel vice that compressed his larynx, trying to preserve the oxygen left in his lungs, spilling the content of his glass.
His associate stepped back with a shocked expression. Their glasses shattered in unison upon the marble floor.
Jean lowered him and drew him close to Jean’s face. Jean’s eyes turned deadly cold.
“Now I want you to listen and listen well. If you ever so much as even think of coming anywhere near my wife or one of her exhibits ever again, Mr.” Jean growled through a ridged jaw, fished in the man’s pocket for his ID., “Mr. Sanders of 174th. Loft 47b, I will personally come back and finish the job I just started here.”
“You can’t threaten him. It’s against the law and if you don’t let go, you’re going to have assault charges brought up against you,” the other man recovered from his shock as the man’s face turned crimson.
Jean’s expression was an immense peril toward the men. His head turn toward the other man, “That wasn’t a threat. It was a promise and I am a man of my word.” He swung the man toward the other, “Therefore, when I release you, you and your slime ball mate here are going leave and not have the remotest thing to do with my wife. If you do, you’ll find yourselves behind bars for stalking and breaking the no contact order I’m going to have served on you. Now slither out of here like the scum sucking worms you are before I forget my manners and grind you out of existence under my heel,” Jean warned, released Sanders’ throat, and allowed him to fall to the floor with a thud.
Jean picked up his flute, standing over him. The security guard noticed the commotion and came over to investigate.
“Mr. DeBois, is there something wrong?” He stood by the fallen man.
“These two degenerates are leaving. Please make sure they find their way out and never allowed into another one of my wife’s exhibits again,” Jean turned his attention back to Su.
He walked away and left the security guard to deal with the after mass. Jean pushed through the growing crowd of spectators, freeing his wife from her fans. He could see Su’s smile was now just a grin, which meant she was in a lot of pain. He set his champagne flute on a passing waiter’s tray, slid his arm protectively around Su as the curator came up to them.
“I’m very sorry they were allowed in, Mr. and Mrs. DeBois. It’ll bloody well never happen again.” He wrung his hands. “We can’t understand how security passed them
through without an invitation. I hope you enjoyed yourselves in spite of what happen.” His face was crimson over the breach in security.
“We had a lovely time, however; we need to leave for the hotel so we may get some rest. I suffer from jet lag easily so we will thank you for all your hard work. Once again thank you,” Jean made a path through the people for Su.
When they reached the door the maitre d’ asked, “May I flag down a taxi for you?”
Su glanced up at the night sky, “No thank you. We will walk. It is only six or seven blocks away and I love to walk under a starry night sky.”
Jean looked at her, “Are you sure?”
She smiled up at the night skyline, “Yes, the fresh night air will feel nice.”
Jean gave a small sigh, “Okay, one midnight stroll in the moonlight coming up,” he opened the door for her.
Su linked her arm in Jean’s arm and leaned her head against it as they journeyed toward their destination. The starry night shed a soft light on them strolling along the avenue.
“So when are you going to enlighten me on what occurred in the gallery to cause such a commotion? The excuse of being jetlagged might work on the curator, however, you never suffer from it so as Scott says, okay spill the beans and do not try to con me.” She stopped several blocks away causing him to halt abruptly so he did not knock her over.
Jean avoided her eyes, starring across the parkway instead.
She took her hand and placed it upon his cheek to draw his attention back to her.
Jean gently withdrew her hand enclosed it in his and kissed Su lightly upon the cheek before he answered her.
“It isn’t important. I just straightened out a couple of overly exuberant admirers, reminding them of their proper place.”
She shook her head in non belief of his answer; however, she allowed it to drop for his countenance relayed an end to this line of questioning. They continued on hand in hand, Su humming a tune softly as they went.
Jean loved to listen to Su sing. The music she produced always entranced him in its delicate strands of melody weaving itself deep within his soul, there it intertwined their souls together for eternity.
Three blocks away from the hotel, Jean became aware of the movement in the shadows. One was in front of them approximately fifty feet and the other twenty feet behind them. His body tensed in anticipation of the pending attack. His mind contemplated how to protect Su from the danger. His ears picked up the subtle click of a switchblade knife from the attacker behind them as they walked toward the other.
Su felt Jean’s muscles tense, stopped humming as she looked up at him. One look at his countenance alerted her to the danger also. She immediately matched his body movements with her own. Jean signaled there were two assailants. Su nonchalantly slipped off her high heels as they walked slowly forward. Jean slipped out of his tuxedo jacket laid it across his arm. He placed his arm around Su’s shoulders. The closer they came to the frontal danger, the tighter Jean’s muscles rippled with anticipation. Ten feet in front of them, the bloke from the art gallery stepped out from the shadows. A twelve-inch survival knife glistened in the reflection of the night sky.
“Well lookie here, Smitty. It’s the big bad Yank and his little skank of a wife who thinks she’s something special. Well Yank, you’re on our turf now. We didn’t think we
would catch such a big prize tonight.” His face twisted with as a sinister gleam flashed in his eyes.
“What’s a matter Yank? Yah got nothing to say now you don’t have security to back you up. We’ll not mess yah up too much if yah hand over everything,” Sanders sneered as he passed the knife from hand-to-hand.
Smitt came out of the shadows from behind them and circled them with Sanders, reminding Jean of a school of sharks that smelled wounded prey. Jean slid in front of Su at every turn, keeping him in between them and her.
An evil plan itself spawned in Smitt’s twisted mind, “Screw this penny ante crap, Sand. Let’s just make short work of the bloke and when we’re done having fun with her, we can ransom her back to the gallery, if she survives.”
“That’s a good idea Smitty. I wouldn’t mind a couple of games of darts with my blade at her myself and then have a nice vacation,” Sanders sneered with an oily grin.
“There’s only one thing wrong with your plan,” Jean quietly said.
“And what would that be?” Smitt let loose with a raunchy laugh.
“You both will be in the morgue before your plan comes to light.”
Smitt’s laughter died in mid chuckle as he lunged at Jean. Jean sidestepped Smitt’s lunge, grabbed the wrist twisting it and slammed his elbow into Smitt’s face. There was a sickening crunch sound as Jean’s elbow sunk into Smitt’s nose. Jean ripped Smitt’s arm out of the socket in one swift movement.
He drove a foot into Smitt’s ribs. As Smitt crumpled to the ground, Jean caught the slightest movement, ducked the survival knife as it swept over his head. He gave Sanders a kick to the stomach and drove Sanders backward. Sanders recovered and lunged at Su. Jean
intercepted Sanders with a body block to the ribs. They landed in the bushes. The knife clattered noisily to the pavement and slid fifteen feet away.
Su peered into the darkness trying to make out Jean in the shadows as he took Sanders on hand-to-hand. She could hear the punches and kicks as Jean rained them on Sanders. Sanders was almost Jean’s size and weight, however, Jean out matched him when it came down to hand-to-hand combat. Jean had been a combat trained Special Opts. Commander in the service and now was the commander of an elite unit in the U.S. Federal Marshal Division, something few men achieved by the age of thirty-two.
Sanders’ punches landed rare compared to the beating he took from Jean. Su heard each sickening thud as other part of Sanders’ body crumpled under the inertia of Jean’s sledgehammer fists and kicks. Suddenly, Sanders’ limp body hurled out of the darkness as Jean’s roundhouse kick impacted with Sanders’ face.
Jean stepped out a second later, in time to stop Smitt as he staggered toward Su with his arm hanging limply at his side. Smitt held the switchblade weakly in his left hand raised above his head poised for the attack. Jean blocked the thrust with his left arm and drove his fist into Smitt’s throat.
Smitt crumbled at Jean’s feet. They heard the whistle of a Bobbie. Jean turned as two Bobbies came running to them. He went over to Su, picked up his jacket and placed it around her trembling shoulders. The owner of the whistle knelt down to check the unconscious crumbled forms after he ordered Jean and Su to stand back. The Bobbie got on the walkie-talkie and called for an ambulance as his partner sized up the situation.
The Bobbie went over quietly talked to his partner before they approached Jean and Su who stood at the edge of the bushes. He gave the unconscious men one last look and then started in with the questioning, “I need to see your identification, sir, and ma’am, then
you can tell me your side of the story,” he informed them in a thick cockney accent . He took the information Jean handed him, “Yanks. I will need to see your passports, Mr. DeBois. You seem to be able to handle yourself all right by the looks of things, nevertheless, why are you out so late walking alone. You know it’s the quickest way to invite trouble. It doesn’t seem to be the brightest thing to do with your wife in the condition she’s in.” He cocked his head and scribbled down the information before returning it.
“We’re on our way to our hotel from an art exhibition a few blocks away from here when we were attacked,” Jean answered him, and kept an eye on Su.
The Bobbie glowered, “An art exhibition? Why didn’t you take a taxi so you didn’t place her in this danger? Why did this escalate as far as it did? This isn’t their usual MO. They usually are a snatch and run operation. What made you so special they would change their mode of heist?” The Bobbie tilted his head glancing at them with a suspicious eye.
“They were at the art exhibition, scouting for potential victims when I had a run in with the one who calls himself Sanders over the wisecrack he made about my wife.” Jean returned the look with one of his own.
“So this is some sort of retaliation for an insult to your wife?” The Bobbie scribbled something in his notebook.
The muscles twitched along Jean’s jaw. “No. This was not any retaliation on my part. My wife needed some fresh air so we decided to walk to our hotel when we were confronted by these thugs who decided to branch out into kidnapping, only they chose to attack the wrong couple.
Jean pointed behind him. “You’ll find the knife Sanders had on the ground about fifteen feet in back of you in the edge of the bushes. It’s a twelve-inch survival knife.
There’s a switchblade under Smitt so be careful.” He warned the other officer who examined Smitt.
“If there isn’t anything else, I’ll take my wife to our hotel to take care of her. This has been over taxing for her, which isn’t good for her.” Jean started to move away with Su.
The Bobbie quickly stepped in front of them and placed a firm hand upon Jean’s chest. “I’ll need you to stay put until the ambulance arrives so I can escort you the rest of the way,” the Bobbie ordered as he inquired on his walkie-talkie the e.t.a. of the ambulance.
The answer came back twenty minutes. Jean glanced at Su. The color drained completely away from her demeanor. She looked up at him, a second later, her eyes rolled back into her head collapsing into unconsciousness. Jean swept her up into his arms and ran to the street. He signaled to an approaching taxi to stop. The cabbie took one glance at the situation, and decided he did not want to get involved. The taxi started moving into the other lane to pass them by. Jean stepped out into the roadway as the taxi passed by and landed his size thirteen shoe into the rear door of the taxi. It made a gigantic thud as the metal buckled under the inertia of the blow.
The cabbie screeched the taxi to a halt. He jumped out cursing as he came, “You bloody bloke! Are you out of your bloody mind, kicking my door in? You’re going to pay for this!”
Jean yanked the rear door open and laid Su on the seat. He started telling the driver to take them to the nearest hospital when the cabbie grabbed him by the shirt.
“Just where do you think you’re going? I’m not a bleeding ambulance. Get her out of there!” he sneered.
The Bobbie came up just in time to save the cabbie from Jean’s wrath, “Listen here now. You’ll be taking them to the nearest hospital as he said. The nearest ambulance is a
good twenty minutes away. Therefore, we choose you to be a Good Samaritan and get her medical help. Mr. DeBois will be paying for the damages done to the taxi. In addition, he’ll give you a nice big tip if you get them there safely within the next ten minutes. Isn’t that right Mr. DeBois,” his brow drew sharply down over one eye, “because I’d hate to have to keep you here filling out police reports on the damage to the taxi while your misses is in dire straits.” His tone reinforced Jean’s understanding of the underline meaning.
“I’ll buy him a brand new cab if you stop your yakking and he starts driving,” Jean snapped and got in the cab slamming the door shut.
Fifteen minutes later, Jean sat in the overly crowded dimly lit waiting room filling out the information forms while the doctors examine Su. True to his word, Jean wrote out a personal check for sixty thousand dollars to the cabbie and gave him the phone number of the bank so the cabbie could validate the check was good. He made a mental note to transfer the money from his personal saving account into the household account after he made sure Su was all right.
They set up individual saving accounts beside the joint account with each other being the benefactor so each could have some mad money. They decided to divide their income into thirds, one third in the household account, one third in the joint saving account, and one third in their individual accounts. Even combining his income with the farm profits it was not even half of Su’s. With the profit from her art work and royalties from her music CDs combined with her salary at Upon Eagle’s Wings, Malachi Inc. her salary was in upward toward two million dollars a year to which she would usually give half away to those who were in need if not more.
It bothered him at first how loosely Su’s concern about money was, however; after they were married, he saw how great of a steward she was with money. To her, money was
something never hoarded but a tool to help her fellow man out in their time of need. Now, he marveled as he watched her meet others needs as the Lord brought their needs to light. There was always much prayer and consideration in each request that she met. She had even started a nonprofit relief organization by the name of ‘Cup of Water’ where she was the CEO.
Jean had her take a leave of absence from both companies within a month of them finding out she was pregnant. The jetting back and forth from Iowa to New York took too much of a toll on her. They compromised. Su could keep in touch via the internet for two hours a day as long as she spent the rest of the day with the children and plenty of bed rest. Penny Foster and Mrs. Frans made sure she complied with the doctor’s orders.
Penny had been Jean’s downstairs neighbor back in New York. She had taken upon herself to be Jean’s unit’s Dutch Auntie. The rest of the division in the Marshal’s office was jealous over her continually fussing over the members of the unit. The unit was angry at Jean over her coming out to Iowa to visit after the mission, which brought Michelin Hogan and one of the largest drug cartels down with the help of Su. There Penny met Ken Foster, Jean’s foreman, who been a widower the past ten years. When she went back to New York, it was to sell her apartment pack up to move out to Iowa to become Ken’s wife.
Jean finished the information. He took it up to the desk and handed it across the faded worn tile counter to the stout nurse shuffling files from the counter to the standing rack. “Ma’am, here’s the information. May I see my wife now?” he asked concerned over the time lapse on the lack of information forth coming from her.
She took the clipboard and went over to the computer terminal, “Go ahead and have a seat, Mr. … err DeBois. The nurse will come and get you once the doctor gets her stabilized. It shouldn’t be too much longer, honestly. It just seems like it when you’re
worried about a loved one,” she answered him in a motherly voice, typing the information in the computer before she took it back to the doctor.
Jean went back and plopped down on the thread worn chair in total frustration. If they would just allow him access to Su, he knew he would be able to help calm her and the babies down. He was the one who could calm the babies when they struggled for more space. All he had to do was softly hum gently and massage Su’s abdomen and they would quiet down in less than ten minutes then he would give Su a massage. Within a half an hour, both mother and babies would be fast asleep. Out here in the waiting room he was useless. He wanted to burst through those doors and through anyone that got between him and Su. As the minutes ticked by, the more frustrating it became for him. Just as it became unbearable for him and his frustrations now turned to anger, the Bobbies came walking through the entrance.
Just great, two more obstacles to go through.
They surveyed the waiting room and locked on Jean. They came over and sat down on each side of him. Jean tensed up in anticipation of the upcoming event.
The eldest of the two, slightly portly approximately forty, started the conversation, “Mr. DeBois, this isn’t an official visit so you may relax some. We’re off duty now and are on our own time. We’re concerned about your wife’s condition. She’s such a small fragile little thing. We couldn’t get her out of our minds. Therefore, we ran down the taxi finding out where exactly he took you.
“We’re both married so we know what it feels like to be helpless when the one you love the most needs help beyond what you can do.”
“If you’d allow us, we’d like to make a prayer circle with you for her. We know this probably seems weird, nevertheless; the Lord laid it on our hearts to be here with you to
help you through this valley. So may we continue? You don’t have to do anything. We’ll do all the prayers if you like,” the younger, tall willowy one offered.
Prayer! Why hadn’t he thought of going to the Lord immediately instead of trying to handle this on his own? He knew trying to handle it himself would only bring disaster. He tried to do that very thing most of his life before the Lord brought Su into his life to show him there was a better way, the Lord’s way. Pride crept back into his life lately over the need Su had in him since she became pregnant. Now, he knew what he must do.
He silently slid his six-five frame to its knees in prayer. There he begged the Lord to forgive his arrogance and pride. A second later, he felt a hand on each of his shoulders as his fellow brothers in Christ joined him there on the floor. They took turns praying for Su and strength for Jean to endure it in the loving arms of the Lord.
They offered prayer after prayer up unashamed in the middle of the waiting room. Soon a mother whose child came in with a cold joined them, then another and another joined them.
Twelve hours later, when the doctor came out to get Jean there was a small group of bowed heads and bended knees all in prayer for those sick. There were people from all lifestyles and occupations. They were one in Christ praying for a common goal.
It took the doctor five minutes to get Jean’s attention. Jean got up thanking those around him for their prayers making his way through the group of believers. He looked back to thank the Bobbies again only to find them gone. As the doctor took him back to see Su, the Bible passage about entertaining angels unaware came to mind. Whether they were angels or not did not matter to Jean for his heart overflowed with the joy of the Lord praising the Lord for sending them in their time of need.
The doctor opened the door to reveal Su standing there ready to leave. Her peaches and cream glowed once more, waiting impatiently for them to release her. Jean came over immediately enveloped her in a strong embrace then gave her a deep passionate kiss as he thanked the Lord.
He reluctantly released her, and looked over at the doctor, “Thank you for everything you have done for us. Is Su well enough to leave or does she have to stay for observation?”
“Don’t thank me. No matter what we did to try to help her, it failed. She was in a grand mal seizure from stroke-height blood pressure, and then it suddenly dropped to nothing. We worked for nearly an hour trying to revive her when it happened, nevertheless, as I said nothing we did worked. We finally gave up turning to leave when the EKG started reading a pulse, blood pressure, respiration, and all normal.” He shook his head still in amazement.
”We turn to find her sitting up trying to unhook the equipment we had on her. We spent the rest of the time checking her and the fetuses out to make sure everything was all right. They passed with excellence. We would like to keep Su over night for observation .There isn’t any medical reason to keep her here though. I’d caution you to take it easy from here on out. “He held out the release forms for Jean to sign.
“Last night, she used up all her nine lives and then some,” the doctor informed them holding the door open for them.
They hailed a cab and within twenty minutes, Jean had Su tucked safe in bed. His nerves still wired over the ordeal kept him from relaxing. He went out into the living room to contemplate on what the Lord done for them when he noticed the light on the phone blinking.
Jean sat down and picked up the receiver punching the number to retrieve the message. It was from Eric, their ten-year-old son at the farm in Iowa. Su adopted Eric and Ben, his twin brother when they were five. When Jean and Su married, Eric gave Jean the most trouble of Su’s eight adopted children, which ranging in age from sixteen to a month old. Jean’s four-year-old daughter came to live with them also after the murder of her mother by a hit and run driver within two weeks of their marriage so that brought the total up to nine children.
He went from a carefree life to father of nine children overnight. It nearly overwhelmed him, however; Su took the fact of another child as a gift from the Lord. Eric on the other hand saw Jean a competitor for the title of head of the family even though Ben was the older of the twins.
Eric set his mission to get rid of Jean from his mother’s life along with the rest of the elder children. Six months after they married, Jean adopted the children and Su adopted Jean’s little girl, Angelique.
Eric only went along with the adoption to please his mother. He let Jean know; he never had been nor never would be Jean’s son. He would do anything within his power to rid the family of Jean.
There was always sassing back, dirty tricks from the start and the coup de’ gra was when Eric rigged explosives in the volcano with Ben and Angelique. They entered it in the science fair, resulting in the kidnapping of Angelique by the assassin who was after Su.
Jean gave a low sigh praying for wisdom on how to handle this latest scenario about to unfold with Eric, as he dialed Ken’s phone number so not to wake the children with the ringing phone.
Ken answered on the second ring, “Hello, you have reached the Foster’s residents. This is Ken. How may I help you?” The response groggily came.
“Ken this is Jean. Sorry to be calling you so late, however, we just got in and there’s an urgent message from Eric for Su to call him. What’s up now with Eric? Su had a rough night and is finally asleep.”
Ken sat up wiping the sleep out of his eyes as he turned the lamp beside the bed on, which woke Penny.
“Ken who’s on the phone?” she asked, leaning up on one elbow.
“It seems somehow Eric was able to get his hands on the phone and placed a call to his mother. It’s Jean.”
Penny snatched the phone from Ken before he could object. “Jean? Here let me talk to him. Jean? Do you know what time it is, my boy? You’re not just getting home with Su, are you? You know she’s to be getting plenty of rest and be off her feet for a good fifteen hours a day?”
“The answer’s yes to all the above questions, Penny.” Jean answered knowing full well, what was to come next.
True to form, Penny’s Italian temper got the best of her, “Whatayamean keeping her out so late? You gone and lost all your senses God gave you, boy. You’re lucky I can’t get my hands on you right now. I’d give you such a slap on the back of the head your ears would ring for a month. You so dense you think you don’t have to follow the doctor’s orders. Rules aren’t good enough for you. You think you can do whatever you please without any consequences, uh? Whatsamatter? You don’t have a tongue now? God strike you mute. No wonder Eric misbehaves so with you being his role model, behaving as if rules don’t exist for you. Speak up boy. Don’t you have anything to say for yourself?”
“I was waiting until the tongue lashing was over, so I could explain,” was all Jean was able to get out.
“TONGUE-LASHING? Boy, you don’t know what a good tongue-lashing is. If you want a tongue-lashing, I’m just the lady to give you one.” Penny lashed out at Ken. “Ken, what do you think you’re doing? That boy has a good lashing coming to him, keeping that poor little fragile thing out all hours of the night.”
Ken took the phone back. “The tongue-lashing can wait until they’re back at home safe and sound, and then I’ll allow you to chase Jean from one end of the farm to the other end. It’ll make a more lasting impression on him if you do it in person.
“Now you lie back down and get some more sleep. Joshua’ll have you up by five. So you need to calm down and get all the rest you can,” Ken soothed Penny’s ruffled feathers.
Penny gave him a small kiss on the cheek and laid back down, “You’re always too soft on him. I’ll allow it to drop for now, however; you remind him I’ll be here waiting to finish this matter when they get home. Also tell them I love and miss them both,” she said, closing her eyes and turned over going back to sleep.
Ken smiled as he got up and went to the other room so the conversation would not bother Penny.
“Jean, sorry about that, however, you know how Penny gets when she thinks someone she loves is being hurt.”
“That’s all right. Penny’s tongue-lashing isn’t as bad as the one I gave myself over this. Now tell me what’s up with Eric?”
Ken sat down on the couch, “Well, I’m getting all this second hand because I was out in the fields when it happened. It seems to have started when Sarah was getting ready to
go back to school. Eric was arguing with her all day that she didn’t have to go; she could take satellite classes so she could stay home with them instead of leaving. One thing lead to another, and when Sarah took a shower she found out the hard way Eric placed Ritz dye in her shampoo. By the time Sarah realized what happened, her hair was the brightest orange you ever seen and her skin were streaked with orange. When Mother Superior grounded him for it, he told her to shut up she was not his mother or superior to her. This landed him with KP duty, which backfired because Eric made individual dishes of pudding for dessert; placing alum in Mother Superior’s serving. It puckered her up right now. Needless to say, Eric’s under house arrest until you get home. They were able to bleach the dye out of Sarah’s hair at the beauty parlor, however; they weren’t able to do anything about the dye on her skin. Peter took her back to college with streaks running down her face and orange hands. And before you start in on me about allowing Peter to take her back to college, it was that or allow Mother Superior to strangle Eric. When he isn’t in school, he’s doing chores with me so he’s out of Mother Superior’s cross hairs. I sent Angelique and Ben with them to chaperone, which didn’t go over any too good with Eric because they had extra time with Sarah. So I’m not on Eric’s good list right now either.”
Jean stifled a chuckle over Eric’s escapade with the alum. Many of times in the past sixteen months, Jean wanted to do something similar. Jean had his hands full with Sister Anna, the children’s nanny and teacher who turned out to be Su’s biological mother, however; he did not have any idea of the headache he would have when Mother Superior, Karen Kau, took over the duties of Sister Anna after she was murdered.
Sister Anna and she were cousins who were full-blooded Germans. Ninety-five percent of the head butting between Jean and Mother Superior was over how she tried to rule over Su. It grated against him that attitude she took as a teacher disciplining one of her
pupils sent his temper sky rocketing and Jean would find himself splitting wood so he did not lose it with her.
He was never so glad to get off the nine months suspension he received from the top brass for breaking protocol on the case involving Su. He threw himself into helping Ken bring the farm back into full production coaching his unit from the sideline via the internet during this time. Unknown to the top brass, Jean was capable of running his unit from his den in Iowa, thanks to the setup they created while undercover with Su.
He thought for a couple of seconds, and then asked if things settled down. The answer was not encouraging.
“Not really. Eric talked Ben and Angelique into helping him snagging a hold of Sarah’s Nair; you know the stuff that takes off hair.”
Jean groaned holding his head, “Don’t tell me, Mother Superior now has chunks of hair missing.”
“Actually, she’s as bald as a cue ball. She also has no eyebrows left either. Therefore, when you get home, you’ll have three to deal with instead of just one. Angelique didn’t actually have much to do with it; her part was just to keep Mother Superior occupied so I think you could allow her to slide a little more than the boys.”
“No way, she doesn’t get special treatment. She knew something was going down and she needs to learn not to allow the others to talk her into something she knows is wrong.
“You can let everyone know we’ll be home in two to three days. We have to make a stopover in New York for a meeting and then we’ll be home. Hang in there, the Calvary’s on the way and thanks Ken for all you do. We couldn’t do it without you and Penny,” Jean told him.
“No trouble son. That’s what keeps us young. I’ll pass on the information and your love to the others. Hurry home. We all miss you very much. Bye Jean.”
“Bye Ken. I miss you too you old codger,” Jean said and hung up.
He sat there and realized he indeed missed all of them more than he was willing to admit. Home sickness washed over him strongly. He picked up the phone and called the airport.
Su woke to find Jean had not been to bed yet. She looked over at the clock, and read three-thirty. She got up slowly. One of the babies was lying on her bladder. After going to the restroom, the babies started to stir about so she decided to see if Jean had fallen asleep in front of the television again. He gave up a little comfort so Su could have the maximum rest the babies would allow.
She walked into the living room to find Jean snapping the last suitcase shut. He placed it with the rest of the luggage. A smile spread across Jean’s face as she came into the room. He came over and kissed her passionately. The smile finished off his dashing features. The curl fell down on his forehead and washed away her resistance. Su kissed him back longing to stay in his embrace forever.
He received her kisses with joy and drank deeply from the well of love within her soul. They finally broke off when there was a soft rap on the door. Jean stole one more kiss before he went over allowing the bellhop in to pick up the luggage.
“Here’s the luggage, we’ll be ready for the cab to take us to the air terminal within ten minutes,” Jean told him as he handed him a tip.
“Mr. DeBois, if there’s something unpleasant with your accommodations in anyway, the staff’s more than willing to make any changes making your stay more appealing so you don’t have to leave,” the bellhop assured him.
“There’s nothing wrong with the accommodations. I just decided to go home on the Concord instead of the normal airline, that way my wife will only have to endure a three hour flight instead of the usual eight hours of flight time.”
Su waited until the bellhop was gone before she started her inquisition of Jean, “Okay, he is gone, now let’s have the truth and do not try to give me a song and dance story. What do you know that I do not?”
“I know if we want to be on time, you need to get dressed and drink your protein shake and don’t give me the third degree. Here now, take this and drink up while I help you get ready.” He handed her the shake then went to get her clothes.
“I hate these things. They taste horrible and I am not an invalid. I can dress myself. Here you drink this if you think they are delicious,” she made a face at the protein shake as she followed him into the bedroom to continue the conversation.
“No can do, that’s for you, doctor’s orders. Don’t take away my pleasure of caressing you as I help you get dressed?” Jean asked as he untied her nightgown and slid the shoulders down.
“Do not start what you will not have time to finish,” she warned and set the shake down on the dresser. Su allowed the nightgown to flutter to the floor.
Su’s body turned him on even at six months pregnancy. The softness of her silky skin with her glorious thick-knee length hair draped her body in soft flowing waves beckoned him on.
“I’ll have an appetizer here in London and the main course back in Manhattan at my flat where I’ll be able to thoroughly enjoy every moment of your radiant beauty,” he crooned and helped himself. Jean kissed the hollow of her neck as he helped her with her brassier.
“Okay, you may stop with this line. I am beginning to feel like I am talking to a gigolo. You know by the time we get to New York, you are going to spill the beans on the reason we are leaving now instead of the regular flight time,” Su answered as she turned to face him.
“You think so, do you? You think you’ve me wrapped around your little finger, that all you have to do is whistle and I’ll come running like the Pavlovian dog,” Jean taunted her helping her on with her blouse.
He bent slightly to button her blouse, Su stretched up and purred in his ear, “I do not have to think so, I know so.”
She gently blew in his ear as she slid her fingers over his chest across the scar on his shoulder, which got super sensitive when he was aroused. He nearly caved. He had been her first love and she was the quickest pupil on what aroused him the best and deepest. It was true what the Bible taught, only in a covenant marriage with the Lord as the focal point was true sexual intimacy fulfilled and what the world offered was a pale imitation in comparison.
He gathered his wits about him and finished helping her get ready in time. He was not so lucky to get her to drink the shake. By the time, they arrived at the air terminal he had only been able to coax half of it down Su. He let it go. He would have another one for her once they arrived in New York. Jean would make sure every last single drop was ingested.
During the flight, Su and the babies had a hard time getting comfortable. It ended up; Jean kept his arm wrapped around Su and a hand slowly massaged her abdomen so the babies would stay quiet.
In the middle of the flight, an old man came by and glared disgustingly at Jean show of affection.
“Can’t you allow her to sleep in peace without pawing her? You that hard up?” he sneered.
Jean looked lovingly down at Su before he answered him, “I’m doing what’s necessary to allow my wife some rest by keeping my children calm so they don’t kick her. If my show of concern for my family’s so unnerves you, then by all means, you have my permission to close your eyes as you pass by on your way to your throne.”
The old man snorted, “Why I never.”
“Maybe you ought to show some compassion to your fellow man so your outlook on life would be a little brighter,” Jean said quietly.
“Why should I? No one showed me any compassion.” The old man huffed.
“I’m showing you compassion right now; by not tying you up in a neat little package and slam dunk you in the trash. I’m sorry callousness has blinded you to the kindness people show you. Something terrible must have happened in your past that scarred your heart deeply.” Jean glanced first at Su then up at the man. “I’ll pray the Lord removes the scars so you once again may feel the compassion of others and most of all the compassion and mercy the Lord has for you through His Son, Jesus Christ.”
“Keep your stupid prayers and your silly superstition about your religion to yourself. I have no need for such prattle,” he stormed off.
Jean gave a sigh and true to his word, he prayed for the old man’s salvation that the Lord would allow him to feel the love and mercy of others in his life.
Through the rest of the flight, the old man was restless. He glanced back at them. Su slept through it all thanks to Jean’s vigilance. The Concord landed right on time.
Once on the ground, Jean used his cell phone in the plane calling for a taxi so they would not have to wait once disembarking. Jean fielded a path through the crowd for Su in the halls of the terminal to the luggage claim area.
Jean found Su a seat then went for the luggage to make their appearance on the carousel. Jean piled the luggage on top of each other securing them to each other with the strap. He grabbed the handle and made a pathway for Su through the crowd.
He extended his hand to her, “Me lady, are ye ready to cross the multitudes to yond carriage?”
Su smiled sweetly, taking his hand, “Lead on, me squire, for me thinkst this place will only get busier the longer we tarry,” she said as they walked outside toward the taxi stand.
Jean faked a frown as he linked his arm in hers, “What, I’m dubbed a poor lowly squire and not the king of your heart?”
“Nay, dear squire, for ye know there can be only one King worthy of our total obedience and faith and that would be the Lord, sire. So we both be squires of Him, tis it not so?” Su shook her head as she gave him a sly grin.
“Tis so, me sweet angelic creature, tis so true, thank ye for remindin me of me place. Would there be a chance, pray tell, of me gainst the position of knight of the King and champion of ye heart, me lady?” He bowed slightly to her.
“That would depend on whether ye can deliver on thee boast thee made to me in merry old London or not?” She cocked her head and winked.
Jean leaned down and whispered in her ear, “Ye will have to wait on thee boast, me lady, until ye chariot can sweep ye to yonder castle, for surely if me acts on thee boast, the knights of the law would cast me in the dungeons for indecent exposure.”
Su turned crimson. She gave him a small shove, “Jean, you are horrible,” then stopped short as she saw the elderly man from the plane being shoved back and forth by a couple of thugs fifty feet from them.
Jean glanced over his shoulder, “I’m on my way. You stay put.”
Jean traveled the fifty feet. He snagged the thug who started to punch the old man in the face. He whirled him about and the thug received the back of Jean’s fist up side his head. The blow staggered him slightly and he shook his head to clear it as his accomplice shoved the old man to the pavement and came to help, cursing as he came.
“What’s your [blanking] problem? This is between that [blanking] old [blank] and us. Back off, before I mess you up, you dumb [blank].”
“You both need to turn away being on your way before you’re arrested for assault,” Jean warned them.
“And just who’s going to arrest us? There isn’t a cop around here,” the first one sneered.
“You’re looking at a U.S. Federal Marshal so I’m giving you one last warning, leave or spend the night in lockup,” Jean stated flipping out his shield with an underline warning he meant what he said.
They stared at the badge in disbelief. The one who shoved the old man down wanted to continue, however; the one Jean’s fist landed upside his head grabbed him by the sleeve, “No, let’s make tracks. You go up against him and it’s federal, not state. I’m not doing time in a federal jail. The local ones are bad enough.”
The other thug took his advice and quickly followed his partner. Jean turned around and saw Su kneeling beside the elderly man administering first aid. Jean shook his head and knelt down beside them.
“I thought I told you to stay with the luggage I’d handle this? We don’t need a repeat of another hospital visit in one day,” he smiled as he extended his hand to the elderly man to help him up, “Sir, do you need any medical attention?”
“I had a porter watch our luggage so I could administer first aid to this gentleman while you took care of the trash,” Su smiled sweetly at Jean.
“You know, I’m not worried about the luggage. You’re cruising for a time out missy. Sir, would you like us to take you to hospital?” Jena cocked his head with a lowered brow.
“No, I’m fine, just a little roughed up that’s all. Why would you go and stick your neck out for the likes of me after the way I treated you?” He straightened his jacket looking questioning at Jean.
Su looked a little concerned, “Sir, you have not wronged us in anyway. We would come to the aid of any fellow man in need our assistance whether we thought they wronged us or not.”
“Why place yourselves in danger for the likes of me?” The man’s expression was one of shock and disbelief.
“Because the Lord showed us mercy when He did not have to so we follow His example of caring for others,” Su said quietly as they walked back to the taxi stand.
The man stood there for a second with a complex countenance making the comment, “You’re weird.”
Su laughed, “Yes, I guess we are by the world’s standards.”
The porter came over, “Your taxi’s here. Do you want me to place your luggage in the taxi for you?”
“No, we are allowing this gentleman to have the taxi. We will wait for the next one. Thank you for watching our luggage for us. Here is something for your trouble,” Su answered him and then went over to the cabbie speaking quietly to him for a second.
The old man shook his head and got in the taxi. He gave the cabbie the address. The taxi pulled away from the curb into traffic. The old man said, “That was a weird experience,” as he looked back at Su.
The cabbie smiled at him through the rear view mirror, “I know what you mean. Allow me to tell you about my first experience with Mrs. DeBois, only she wasn’t married at the time.”
Jean looked down at Su. Her head drooped slightly. He took no chances and asked for a chair. Jean pulled out his cell phone, dialing, “This is US Deputy Marshal Jean DeBois I need a taxi at the New York airport terminal, stat. Great, thank you.” He looked at his watch and changed it back to Eastern Standard Time, eight o’clock pm. By the time they would get to his apartment in the Bronx, it would be pushing toward midnight.
The taxi showed up ten minutes later. They arrived at the apartment at twelve-thirty. Jean paid for the taxi, carried the luggage in, holding the door open for Su.
“I can hold open a door for myself, Jean. You do not have to show how gallant you are.” Su said.
Jean smiled and gave her a small bow, “Ah, now you went and gone and hurt my feelings.”
Su gave him a seductive smile as she went by, “Once we are settled in, I will give you a soothing backrub allowing nature to take its course.”
“Well, what are we waiting for?” Jean said as he swung the luggage upon his back He bent down and scooped Su up at the knees. They headed up the stairs to his apartment.
At the door, he swung the luggage down, snagged his keys out of his pocket, sliding them in the lock. When he tried to open the door, they found the chain was on the door.
“What the hell?” Jean stormed and rattled the door.
From inside the apartment, Mark’s voice, “Hang on Jean. Don’t tear the door off the hinges! I’m coming.”
Jean set Su down and allowed Mark just long enough to close the door to get the chain off before he burst through knocking Mark flat on his back.
Mark smacked the back of his head on the floor as a young lady came out of the bedroom wearing one of Jean’s silk shirts.
“Man Jean, you didn’t have to burst in like that. I said I’d get the door for you.” Mark whined as he rubbed his head.
“Just what in the hell do you think you’re doing here in my apartment? Moreover, you bring a young lady for a sexual liaison. I ought to arrest you for breaking and entering. Speak up, you little snake before I hang you out the window and accidently drop you on purpose,” Jean gave Mark a severe kick to the derriere sending Mark sprawling once again.
Mark jumped up; making sure the table was between them, “Jean, I got permission to be here from Penny. They’re remodeling my place so there won’t be any water or heat for the next month. She said it’d be all right since you were in London and when you came back you could stay at Su’s condo.”
“Penny doesn’t own this apartment. I do. Moreover, Penny’d never agreed to it if she knew what you had in mind. You’ve exactly one minute to get on the phone calling your date a taxi because this evening is over as of right now!”
“A taxi, I can take her home in my car,” Mark looked puzzled.
“No, you can’t. I’ll be using your car to take Su to the condominium so she may get some rest. You on the other hand, will be making other living arrangements by the time I arrive at the office this morning at eight. My apartment better be the way I left it by that time, including my silk shirt hanging in the closet clean. By the time I arrive at work, you better have been there for over an hour, and having all your reports completed ready for debriefing. You hear me?” Jean glared.
“Yes, the whole neighborhood can hear you,” Mark sulked.
Jean took a threatening step toward him, “What was that?”
“Yes sir, anything you say sir,” Mark slinked back.
Jean held out his hand for the keys and Mark fished awkwardly in his pants pocket for them. Jean clamped down on Mark’s hand. Mark winched in pain, the keys grounded into the palm of his hand.
“I mean what I say Mark, by eight o’clock and not a second later,” Jean said, releasing Mark’s hand, going to the door yanking it back open waiting for Su to go through before slamming it shut rattling all the windows in the apartment.
Su silently followed Jean down to Mark’s sports car. He had trouble making enough room for their luggage and them, but finally succeeded. As he started the car, he looked over at Su.
“What? I suppose you think I was too hard on him.”
“Not really. Mark got what he deserved, however; did you have to kick him so hard?” she tilted her head and glanced out the window.
“He’s lucky his derriere was the only thing I kicked,” Jean took off for the condominium.
It was two-forty-five by the time Jean had Su settled in bed. He decided to take a shower to relax. He allowed the water to beat down on his face standing there to work out the tenseness in his body. He felt a slight breeze then felt Su slide in beside him. He turned the water pressure down as she caressed his chest.
“What are you doing back up? You are supposed to be resting,” he wrapped his arms around her.
“I do not feel like resting. I feel like dancing,” she whispered sensuously and wrapped her arms around his neck.
“Lord have mercy on me,” Jean murmured and obliged his wife.