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  1. Liadan's Avatar
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    #1

    Default Kayleigh's Flight

    Kayleigh rubbed her belly as she stepped onto the plane. The young stewardess eyed her and smiled.

    “Ma'am, I need to see a note from your doctor stating it's all right for you to be flying.”

    Kayleigh dug in her bag and pulled out the note her friend Stephen had written for her. “Of course, my doctor told me I'd need one.”

    The stewardess smiled again. “How close are you to your due date?”

    “About three weeks away. I just want to be home for the birth. My husband is on deployment and I'd like to have family around me for the birth of my first child.”

    “Congratulations. If you'll follow me, I'll show you to your seat and help you get situated.”

    Kayleigh followed the stewardess and as she passed the rows, she noticed the other passengers staring at her stomach. She smiled and placed her hand on her extended belly. This was not how it was supposed to be. Malcolm should have been with her. He should still be alive and anxiously awaiting the birth of their son. But he wasn't. His brother had gotten him involved in something horrible and now the men who'd killed Malcolm were after her.

    It was hard to believe that it was just yesterday morning she'd come home from shopping and found Malcolm dead in the kitchen. She'd known deep down it had something to do with his brother and whatever it was they'd been 'working' on.

    She'd wasted no time. Packing a single suitcase with her clothes and clothes for her son, she'd fled.
    She didn't go to the closest airport, but had driven five hours to the next one and abandoned her car there. It was registered in Malcolm's name and she knew the police would find him when they went searching for the owner. She couldn't get involved with anything Jimmy was doing, if he were still alive.

    She settled in her seat as the stewardess placed her carry on bag in the overhead compartment. “Miss, is there anything I can get you?”

    “No thank you. I'm fine.”

    Kayleigh's gaze locked on a man sitting a row ahead of her and in the middle section of seats. He smiled and she caught her breath. His blue eyes were warm and friendly. She smiled back. His brown hair was wavy and just brushed the top of his collar. The stylish suit he was wearing made him look like a doctor or a lawyer. Yeah, just the type of man who would really notice her. He was probably scared to death she'd go into labor on the flight and get his shoes dirty.

    She leaned her head back and waited for the flight to take off. She hadn't really noticed where she was heading. All she knew was that she'd chosen the first available flight to nowhere.

    Simon turned around and smiled at the pregnant woman. She shouldn't be flying and he knew that. Though he was only a year out of his residency, he was well versed on what a pregnant woman could and could not do. If he weren't he wouldn't be a good OB/GYN. He turned around and leaned over to whisper in his mentor's ear. “Mike, I'm worried about this lady. She has to be close to her due date. Why the hell would her doctor let her fly?”

    Mike laughed. “Not all OB/GYN's are as careful as you. But you don't know her story. Perhaps she's had a death in the family or someone is gravely ill. It could be that she's alone and wants family with her. If you're worried, just keep an eye on her.”

    Simon returned his thoughts to the notes he was making on the conference they'd just attended. He made a note on his legal pad to discuss with his staff the dangers of a pregnant woman flying so late in pregnancy except in extreme cases. He was happy this was a short flight. It would be no longer than two hours from the Washington to Charlotte airports. Still though, he'd watch her carefully for any signs of trouble.

    As the flight took off, Simon turned in his seat and saw that the woman was already asleep. He smiled. Asleep she looked even more like an angel. Her husband was one lucky man. The moment Simon had heard her voice, his interest had piqued. But then he'd noticed how far along she was and the doctor had come forth. He shook his head. Her husband must be crazy to let her fly now or either he didn't care.

    ~*~

    Forty-five minutes from landing and everything was fine. Simon and Mike had both kept an eye on the expectant mother. So far, all was well with her. She'd eaten two bags of peanuts and had a bottle of water on her tray. She was reading a book or at least pretending to read. Simon noticed she hadn't turned a single page. She just kept staring at the book.

    “Mike, I'm not sure everything is okay with her. She grimaces every..." he looked at his watch, "fifteen minutes or so. She's squirming in her seat too. I think she may be going into labor and she just doesn't know it.”

    Mike turned around and watched her for a few moments. “I agree. Keep a close eye on her.”

    Simon tried to concentrate on the report he was writing but a noise drew his attention away. He turned his head and saw the woman grab her stomach and a look of pain cross her face.

    “Shit. This isn't good.”

    Mike looked at him. “What isn't good?”

    “The pregnant woman. She's in pain. Rather, I think she's in labor.”

    Simon placed his notepad in his bag and stood. He knew what needed to be done as he walked across the aisle and knelt beside her. “Miss, I'm an OB/GYN. My name is Simon Mitchell. How far apart are your contractions?”

    Kayleigh stared at him. “Contractions? I'm not due for three weeks. I'm not in labor. I think he's moving wrong is all. Honest, I'm fine.”

    He laughed. “This is your first child I take it?”

    “Yes. Am I that obvious?”

    “Let's just say that they tend to surprise their parents by coming early.”

    “But he can't be. I'm not due for three weeks. I promise, it's false contractions that's all.”

    Simon placed his hands on either side of her stomach. When she grimaced again, he felt her stomach tighten at the same time. “Well, I hate to tell you this but you're in labor. We may have enough time before we land.”
  2. CharmedGirl's Avatar
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    #2

    Default

    Kayleigh cuddled her pregnant belly to comfort herself before she spoke again. “He can’t come now. He just can’t.”


    “Why can’t he? And how do you know it’s a boy?” Simon enquired calmly, hoping to keep the beautiful woman before him relaxed instead of becoming more hysterical because her baby wasn't due to arrive for another three weeks.

    She glanced up at him through lowered lashes and said “I don’t really know.” Then she grimaced again before she continued. “I just assumed since the baby is sitting so low.”

    “And what does the baby sitting low have to do with anything?” He asked with enthusiasm as he continued to time her contractions. He was intrigued to hear her reason, to learn what he could about his patient, but afraid to ask. As he waited for her response, he noted her contractions were getting closer together, which was good. Hopefully, he’d have just enough time to deliver her baby before the flight touched down.

    “It’s a tale my mother once told me. Something she always believed. She used to say if a baby was sitting high in a woman's stomach that it was a girl. And since my baby is sitting low that makes me believe it is going to be a boy.”

    “You didn’t want to find out?”

    “No. I’ve always liked surprises.”

    ___________________________
    BEC
  3. CharmedGirl's Avatar
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    Default

    "Well then I guess you liked me coming over here to make sure you were okay." Simon said jokingly to make his patient feel comfortable with him.

    Kayleigh blushed. "Yeah I did."

    "So, what's your name?"

    "Kayleigh." She said with slight hesitation, for she was uncertain if she could trust the ruggedly handsome man attending to her, though her instincts told her she could. So she told him the truth. "Kayleigh Ryan."

    "Why the hesitation? Don't trust easily huh?" Simon feigned hurt but knew he failed miserably when Kayleigh smiled at him.

    "It's not that. It's just I've had a lot go on in my life lately." Kayleigh bit her bottom lip, scared to admit how much her life had changed in such a short while. Scared that if she revealed her sudden need to get away from Washington that the person or people responsible for her husband's murder would overhear their private conversation and endeavour to hurt her and her unborn child.

    "Like what? And does it have anything to do with why you're travelling alone and so close to your due date?"

    "I can't tell you." Her voice quivered.

    "You can trust me Kayleigh." Simon said encouragingly, desperate to know why she'd boarded this flight when her baby was almost due. Simon slipped his hand across hers where they rested on her belly, and added "I won't betray your confidence Kayleigh. We doctors take patient confidentiality very seriously."

    ___________________________
    BEC
  4. tree220's Avatar
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    #4

    Default

    Kayleigh looked around nervously at the other passengers and kept quiet. "I’m sorry, I can’t . . ."

    Simon looked around and saw the nearby passengers watching interestedly at what was transpiring and realized her reluctance to speak in front of an audience. Of course the way her contractions were going she was about to give birth in front of an audience. Simon looked around for the nearest flight attendant who was hovering nearby. "Hi, I’m Dr. Simon Mitchell and this woman is about to give birth." He waited while she the blood drained from her face.

    "But she can’t, she had a doctor’s note saying she was okay to fly!"

    "Well they forgot to consult with the baby and it’s decided it’s ready," he told her. "Now is there somewhere private where we can put her so she doesn’t have to do this in front of an audience?"

    The flight attendant looked around nervously. "Ummm . . . yes . . . no . . . I’m sorry this is my first week on the job!" She grabbed a male flight attendant who had come down the aisle. "Hank she’s about to give birth and I can’t remember what our training said to do in this situation."

    Hank assessed the situation. "Are you a doctor?"

    "Yes, I’m an OB/GYN."

    "Oh good, that makes this a lot simpler than if we had to try and deliver it ourselves." He replied. "Amy, there’s only one passenger in first class, move him back here and then we can move her up there. Then get the medical kit and gather blankets." He looked at Simon. "Is there anything else you need?"

    "No, I think my friend and I can handle this once we get her moved." He nodded to Mike who stood up to join them. "Kayleigh do you think you can walk?" Simon watched her as she struggled through another contraction. "No, I’ll carry you," he said as he picked her up. "Don’t worry, you’re going to be fine."

    "Just relax, you’re in the hands . . . and arms of the best OB/GYN in hundreds of miles," Mike told her, smiling reassuringly.
  5. CharmedGirl's Avatar
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    Kayleigh did exactly what the second doctor suggested and relaxed into the warmth of Simon's strong arms as he walked down the narrow aisle to the front of the plane where first class was. She had her arms wrapped around his neck and her head lolled on his broad shoulder, to guarantee he wouldn't drop her, though she knew he wouldn't.

    "Okay Kayleigh. Here's what we're going to do." Simon said soothingly, determined to help ease the trepidation he felt radiating from her like the rays of the sun warming his skin on a hot summers day. "First I'm going to put you down in one of these chairs..." He nodded to the midnight black leather chairs "..and what I want you to do is recline back in it for me. Can you do that?"

    When Kayleigh nodded affirmatively, Simon placed her gently as possible into the closest leather recliner. As soon as she was seated, she winced and doubled over.

    "What's wrong?" Simon asked, concerned.

    "Nothing." She gnawed her bottom lip between her teeth, scared to say too much. "I just don't think I can do this alone."

    "You're not alone sweetheart. You have Mike and me."

    "But for how long?" She whispered, then began the breathing exercises the instructor from her birthing classes had taught her.

    "As long as you need us."

    If only that were true, Kayleigh thought, since she could use all the help she could get if she were to protect the life of her soon to be born child.

    ___________________________
    BEC
  6. Shelley Munro's Avatar
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    Kayleigh tried not to think about the handsome stranger looking under her dress, then a labor pain knocked the stuffing out of her.

    "It's all right. Everything looks good."

    Easy for him to say. She wanted drugs. And she wanted Malcom so she could box his ears. True, their marriage hadn't worked for a while and this baby had been a last ditch attempt to cement their relationship. A mistake. And now he'd dragged her and the baby into an even bigger mess. The message she'd listened to on the answer phone, the one that had sent her running in fear...the man had sounded as if he meant business. He wanted the key to the safety deposit box. Kayleigh had no idea what the man was talking about.

    Then Malcom's brother had rang, babbling so much she could hardly understand him. One thing had come through. Fear.

    A violent pain dragged her back to the future. She groaned.

    "Let's take a look. Looks like we'll make it to the hospital after all," Simon said cheerfully.

    "No!" Kayleigh lurched upward and grabbed Simon's shoulders. "I can't go to the hospital. I won't." The men had killed Malcolm. They'd have no compunction about killing her. There would be insurance papers, identification...all sorts of red tape and hoops to jump through at the hospital. A paper trail. They'd find her. She shook Simon hard. "I'm not having this baby today. You tell him. Fix it. I can't have this baby today!"
    Are you up to PAR?
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  7. #7

    Default

    Kayleigh hated trusting anyone and between the contractions, she tried to reason with herself as to whether she could trust this handsome young doctor. His amber eyes pleaded with her to give him at least something so he could help her. Trusting others is partly what got her into trouble with Malcolm; his explanations of his late whereabouts never sounded legit but she'd loved him, so trusted him too.

    Another contraction gripped her and she breathed through it with her eyes shut and gripped the safety bars on the bed. She squeezed and released the bars as she breathed and eventually the pain passed, but she knew it would only be for a few minutes.

    Opening her eyes, Simon reached out his hand to her and she accepted. "I need to know who to contact for you so they can be here for you."

    "There is no one at this point. My parents live too far away to get here on time...and..." She nearly got lost in his eyes; the compassion he conveyed with only a look almost stole her heart. "...and my husband can't be with me. He was in some sort of trouble and I'm afraid the people he associated with are now after me. Promise me my real name won't be listed anywhere. Our lives depend on it."

    "I have to know what we're up against so I can do what I have to in order to protect you. No one knew you boarded the plane did they?"

    "I don't think so. I left in a hurry and bought the first flight out. I doubt I'll be followed. At least not for a few more hours anyway. What if they find out I was put in the ambulance and brought here? I just can't take that chance, Simon! Please don't leave me alone in here."

    "The nurses station is right outside your door. I'll make sure no visitors are allowed into your room." Another spasm to her breath away. Simon bent and kissed her forhead. "We got to get you to the operating room. It'll soon be over, Kayleigh."
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    Over soon.

    Kayleigh wished.

    Five and a half hours of pushing, seventeen cups of ice chips, enough profanities to burn off a sailor’s ears, and way too many screams to count in one lifetime later, she was the proud mother of a baby girl with chubby cheeks and great lungs.

    "How are you feeling," Simon asked once the nurses took the baby to nursery to be cleaned up.

    "Exhausted, exhilarated," Kayleigh looked at the open door, and said softly, "terrified." She met his eyes. "I can’t put her name down and file the paperwork for her. We’ve got to get out of here."

    "What’s her name?" Simon took her hand, running his thumb over her trembling knuckles.

    "I don’t know yet." She’d thought the baby was going to be a boy. She hadn’t really looked into girl names. "I’ll figure that out later. After I figure out who killed my husband, and why, and what safety desposite box they were talking about, and if they’re after me, too."

    She’d told him everything between contractions. Strange how quickly a helping hand and a warm bedside manner won her trust. She blamed her blabbermouth on the drugs.

    "You need to talk to the police." His warm blue eyes were hard and serious. "They can protect you."

    "I don't th..."

    "Excuse me," a young nurse said, knocking on the open door lightly. "Dr. Mitchell, there’s a young man at admitting who’s asking for a Kayleigh Ryan."

    "WHAT!" Kayleigh bit down on her shriek. "I thought you didn’t put me in the system."

    "I didn’t," Simon said.

    "The man said he wasn’t sure if you were here," the nurse said, "but he knew you landed in this city and he saw online that a pregnant woman was rushed off a plane after going into labor. He says he’s your brother in law, Jimmy Ryan, and that he really needs to talk to you. Should I tell him I checked and there’s no Kayleigh Ryan here, or should I let him up?"
  9. CharmedGirl's Avatar
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    "Do not let him come back here, please Simon." Kayleigh said, her voice laced with panic while her hands shook uncontrollably. Just the thought of facing Jimmy Ryan right now scared her, since he and Malcolm were twins. Or was it had been twins? God, she hated grammatical tenses. They had always bamboozled her.

    "Okay sweetheart, if that's what you want." Simon told her with a sympathetic smile as he could understand seeing her husband's brother so soon after everything that had happened would be traumatic.

    Kayleigh sighed, releasing a breath she didn't know she'd been holding. "It's what I want for now, though I know I need answers only Jimmy can give me."

    Simon nodded and looked directly at the nurse to give her instructions. "Tell him there's no patient here under the name Kayleigh Ryan and if he doesn't leave after you've told him, call security and have him escorted out." The twenty-something nurse with long auburn curls nodded and walked out, heading back to the nurse's station.

    "And what if he doesn't leave? What if he pulls a gun?" Kayleigh asked without looking at Simon and instead focusing all her attention on the little bundle of joy she held in her arms.

    Simon spun on his heel to face Kayleigh, his face blazing with anger, for he hated violence. "What did you say?"

    "She said what if he pulls a gun." A gruff voice said menacingly, seconds before cocking a gun, readying it for action. "Hello Kayleigh."

    "Put the gun away Jimmy. It's not necessary." Jimmy raised a dark brow at his sister-in-law, surprised by her cool, calm and collected attitude. Usually she had a problem with guns.

    "But it is necessary sweetheart. It's necessary to get you to co-operate."

    Kayleigh cowered, her body sinking down in the bed as if she were hoping it would swallow her whole. Then she looked up at Jimmy, her eyes darkened with anger. "Don't call me sweetheart." She snarled and snuggled the baby tight to her chest. "And what's do you mean by it's necessary to get me to co-operate?"

    "It means you either come with me willingly now or I shoot the good doctor and kidnap you and the kid."

    Kayleigh stared at her brother-in-law in disbelief, wondering how he could act so coolly and utter such things as if he were having a normal conversation with someone.

    ___________________________
    BEC
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    Jimmy closed the door behind them, giving Kayleigh a congenial smile.

    "She just had a baby," Simon said, his voice so cold and calm Kayleigh wondered if he’d faced down guns before or was just an exceptional actor. It had to be the latter; he was fired up not one minute ago. "She can’t just get up and leave. She’s still numb from the medication, and her and the baby have to be monitored."

    Kayleigh glanced over her shoulder. Simon was just to the side of her bed, hands in the air, face as impassive as his voice. How can he be so calm?

    "You’re not too bright, are ya, Doc?" Jimmy hissed, cool blue eyes locked on Simon’s oh so warm ones as he leveled the gun on the doctor’s chest.

    "I’m not the one threatening to fire a gun next to an oxygen line."

    Jimmy’s confident glower went down a watt, then he sneered. "You’re bluffing. Oxygen lines run under the floors. A gun shot isn’t going to set it off."

    Simon shrugged, nonchalance painted so thickly over his face Kayleigh almost didn’t recognize him under it. Was he bluffing?

    "I’m not bluffing." Simon’s hands were still up by his head. Jimmy’s gun was still trained on him. And they were staring each other down like ten year old boys squaring off over the swings on the playground. "But go ahead. Shoot me and see."

    Kayleigh held her bundled baby girl to her chest a little bit tighter. If something didn’t happen soon, they were both going to die of testosterone poisoning.

    "Jimmy," Kayleigh said slowly, meeting his eyes, "please don’t shoot him." Her eyes filled with tears; it wasn’t hard. She made her voice tiny. "I don’t want to die." His gun went down the barest bit. Good. All she had to do was keep up the damsel act and she could diffuse this insanity. "I know you don’t want to hurt me. And you don’t want to hurt your niece. Now, please, I’ll go with you, just put down th..."

    Simon leapt forward.

    "... No!"

    But it was too late. Simon slammed Jimmy’s cheek in a left hook that’d do a boxer proud, pushing the gun down with his right hand.

    Jimmy rolled with the blow and was on his feet before Kayleigh could take her next breath. Those years in Tae Kwon Do were showing.

    Simon stepped after him and Jimmy had the gun up and aimed within the space of a butterfly’s blink.

    Pop!
    the gun’s silencer called as Jimmy shot Simon straight through the right shoulder.

    "ARGHHHHH!" Simon screamed, crumpling to the ground.

    "Simon!" Kayleigh wanted to leap out of the bed, but was still numb. She was sure her legs wouldn’t work even if she could swing them off.

    "Kayleigh," Jimmy turned to her, eyes far too soft for a man who just shot her doctor, "I have a nurse coming in. She’ll unhook you and get you onto a wheelchair. I have a doctor waiting at my hotel. You don’t need to worry. I’ll take care of you, and I swear I’ll explain everything then." He stepped closer and she shrank back on her pillows. He paused. "I will not hurt you. And I’ll send someone in here for the doctor in a minute. The wound’s a through-and-through, he’ll be fine."

    "Did you kill Malcolm?" She kept her voice strong. The damsel act didn’t work. It was time for tough-as-nails bitch.

    Even though all she wanted to do was sleep.

    "No. But he is dead because of me."

    "Wha..." The nurse walking in cut Kayleigh’s gasp short. It was the young woman with the gorgeous auburn curls.

    And she was holding a needle. Her brown eyes were gentle as they met Kayleigh’s. "Don’t worry. This won’t interact with the epideral." She put the needle in Kayleigh’s IV and Kayleigh’s eyes started dropping almost immediately. She couldn’t even fight as the nurse took her baby from her arms and Jimmy took her hand.

    "I’m not the bad guy, Kayleigh," he whispered through the cotton taking her brain. "I’m CIA."

    She barely had time to think, What? before her brain clicked to the off position.

    # # #

    Kayleigh’s eyes jerked up.

    What...? Where...?
    drifted through the cobwebs coating her brain like dreams of soft silk.

    MY BABY!
    She shot straight up as the day’s memories slammed her like a horse’s hoof. The room was small but comfortable. The window on her left let in sunshine too gentle to be anything but early morning rays. The full sized bed was covered with a spring green comforter and the high backed black chair was hotel quality. Hotel room, right?

    It didn’t really matter where she was, because right next to her bed was a white crib, holding her sleeping baby girl.

    Relief crashed through her like salty waves and she fought the urge to cry as she inched off the bed. Hey, my legs are working!

    She picked her baby up, giving her a soft kiss as she squirmed a bit.

    The door opened and Jimmy walked in.

    And her momentary peace shot to hell.

    "Jimmy," she didn’t know her voice could hold such malice, "what the fuck is going on?"
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