All It Took Was You

by

Ali Vali

 

Part 9

The resident could feel it. If she kept looking at him, he was going to break out into a sweat. His contemporaries were praying silently that Bruce would come up with the answer to Harry’s question before the blue fierce stare was turned on them. They were standing around an unconscious Diana and while reviewing her file, Harry had asked some obscure question that had nothing to do with the patient’s case.

"Dr. Butcher, do you know the answer, or are you waiting for Ms. Lagrie to wake up and whisper it into your ear?" Harry started writing in the chart not looking up to see the first beads of moisture appear on Bruce’s lip.

"I don’t know the answer, Dr. Basantes, I’m sorry." The groan from the other five was audible in the quiet room.

"Care to try another one?" Harry read over her orders concerning Diana’s care before initialing the bottom of the page. When she looked up again she could almost sense that the others wanted to take a step away from Bruce so there would be no chance of them getting caught in the crossfire.

"Do I have a choice?"

"No, doctor, you don’t."

"Then please, ask away, doctor." The kid’s got moxy, I give him that, too bad he doesn’t read enough. Harry tried to tame down the smile that wanted to escape after the young man’s answer.

"Why does a person with the last name of Butcher, want to become an orthopedic surgeon?" If Harry hadn’t cocked her head to the side as a genuine sign she wanted to know, Bruce would have laughed.

"My father thought it would make me memorable."

"He’s right, so my one piece of advice to you doctor is that you always try and be prepared to answer questions. Juries in New Orleans love to bring in large settlements." It was Bruce’s turn to cock his head, only he did it as a sign he didn’t understand her comment. "With a name like Butcher, the plaintiff will be half way home before the trial begins." On a prescription pad Harry wrote the mane of the book and chapter where Bruce would find the answer to her question. Another resident brought his hand up trying to hide his smile over their exchange. "Since you find so much humor in this Dr. Shaw, perhaps you know the answer?"

"Ah, no, ma’am, I don’t." Residents on other rotations knew why the Basantes students never showed emotion unless they were out of the hospital. Harry reminded them of a large shark that stirred not with the scent of blood, but with the scent of fear. And the only reason to fear her was if you didn’t know the answer to her questions.

"What do you know, Dr. Shaw?"

"That our patients is awake," the resident left the statement hanging almost like a question so that Harry would turn around. He had never felt like kissing someone so much in his life, like he did Diana Lagrie at this very moment.

"Welcome back, Diana, try not to move around too much until you’ve had some more time to heal. How do you feel?" Harry leaned over the bed a little and took the woman’s hand to comfort her. The searching brown eyes scanned the room looking for the one person that had been on her mind since she had been wheeled into surgery.

"Thirsty." Her voice sounded raspy from under use.

"How about you guys go find Ms. Lagrie some juice?" Harry hoped her students got the message, leaving her alone with Diana. The last thing she wanted was Diana’s pain, and her personal life being new fodder for hospital gossip.

Dianna watched all the young people in white lab coats file out of the room before looking at Harry. "He’s back in, isn’t he?"

"Yes, but listen to what I have to say before you get upset. Tyrell traded his freedom to save my family, Diana, and if it takes me calling in every favor owed me, I will get him out. Your brother is an honorable man and there is nothing that I can do to repay him for what he’s done for me. Working to see that he gets justice is where I intend to start." Harry told Diana what had occurred in the three days she had been in a medicated sleep. The drug induced coma had been to keep Diana comfortable and still as her body started the process of trying to mend itself.

"I’ve been asleep for three days?"

"Yes, but you were that way on purpose, not because there was something wrong. Now that the surgery is over we begin the rebuilding phase, which should leave you stronger and pain free. Is there anything I can get you?" Harry squeezed Diana’s hand and smiled. The surgeon was going to stop by as much as possible to sit with Diana as she convalesced so she wouldn’t feel so alone.

"No, I’m ok."

"You certainly will be, I promise you."

Harry’s cell phone buzzed in her pocket as she stood at the nurse’s station writing orders. "Basantes."

"I’m not bothering you, am I?" Desi adjusted Jack to a more comfortable position as he ate breakfast, wishing she could drive to the hospital and see what was wrong with Harry. She could tell that there was something wrong just by the way Harry had answered the phone.

"Never."

"What’s wrong, honey?" Desi looked down at her miniature version of Harry as he paused a moment as if taking a break.

"Nothing a long vacation couldn’t cure, or a loaded shotgun if someone would be so kind as to draw targets on my residents for me." The nurse on the other side of the counter smiled at Harry’s comment. The one thing Harry’s students did leave her rotation knowing, was how to treat the nursing staff.

"If you want, come home and I’ll kiss it and make it better."

"Tempting as that offer is, I can’t. We have to finish rounds and then head into some afternoon surgeries. What do you have on tap for today?" The nurse took the few charts Harry handed over, sighing as the tall woman moved toward the elevators. I wonder what it would be like to spend the night with a woman like that? The nurse mulled over the question and turned her attention back to what she had been doing. I’m sure my husband wouldn’t mind.

"Stephen and crew should be at the house finishing up with the roof repairs, so I’ll check on that while Tony helps me with the movers who are due late this morning. Stephen said whenever we have time, he’d like to sit and discuss the changes to the house since he wants to start that before we tackle the studio." Jack looked annoyed when the soft finger running along his brow woke him up. "You can’t go to sleep in that position, son, trust me your mother has tried it on more than one occasion." The ‘pop’ breaking the suction let Harry know what Desi was talking about.

"You have to give him points for trying, baby. All I get, is my hair pulled."

"You’ll get your hair pulled for a whole lot more than that if you don’t behave. Your son on the other hand will get to go and take his morning siesta. As much of a hassle as moving for only a couple of months is going to be, I’m looking forward to it going back to just being us. I’m sure Rachel is getting tired of having us around all the time. Though we might have to take Butch home with us."

"If you want, we can stay in the house, sweetheart. You don’t need any more hassles than we’ve had lately. I can live with sawdust." The seven of them rode to the ground floor together, and the residents couldn’t help but listen in as Harry spoke in a soft compassionate voice. Dr. Butcher looked at the idly spinning fan in the ceiling of the elevator, slowed from years of dust accumulation, and wondered if he had blonde hair and green eyes if Harry would like him better. Ms. Clairol and colored contacts are sounding better and better.

"No, I’m just whining. I just feel bad this is costing so much, but I don’t want Jack around that all day. I miss you, so get back to work. The sooner you finish, the sooner I get you back." Desi was already thinking of getting reacquainted with Harry in the new master bedroom.

"Bye, love you." Slipping the phone back in her pocket, Harry led her ducklings toward the back of the hospital. Their next stop was in the prison building where Mike was being kept after his surgery.

The burly male nurse handed over Mike’s chart and gave the group a run down on the man’s vitals. "He’s been resting comfortably and started a semi-solid diet this morning. So far, no nausea and his fluid consumption and expulsion are good."

"Dr. Butcher, go check on our good work and let me know what you think." The younger doctor had assisted her and seemed to perk up at the opportunity to take over rounds for Harry. She watched them go, laughing at the fact Mike was about to get the most extensive examination of his life.

"Do you have any idea, how much I hate you?" The wound in his abdomen kept the volume of his voice low, but Harry still recognized it. She turned around and looked at him, this being the first time Harry could study him without there being an physical altercation involved. The cuff encircling his wrist would guarantee that.

"You’re wrong, I can imagine how much that would be. I have everything you think you want, and it’s just eating away at you isn’t it?" Harry walked over and sat in the chair near the bed. The others in the room were so focused on Mike; they were oblivious to the low conversation.

"What you stole from me, don’t you mean? Desi and that baby belong to me." Bryon’s eyes looked dull from the pain and their color reminded Harry of muddy water.

"Mr. Simoneaux, let me explain something to you so ever your simple little pea brain will understand. Desi isn’t a pack of pork chops you can buy. She is a smart woman with a life and a mind of her own that doesn’t belong to anyone, especially you. On top of that, our son has nothing to do with you. He is a Basantes, just like his mother." Harry folded her hands across her chest to quash the urge to hit this man more than she had the night she had found him in their bedroom.

"The little bitch can change her name and her looks, but she will always carry my scent on her. There ain’t nothing you can do about that, dyke. This is only a temporary set back." Byron lifted his hand and jingled the cuff to let Harry see what he meant. "I will be back to get what’s mine, and nothing will make me happier than to gut you like a fish."

"That’s rich, Simoneaux. The way I see it, you and the two missing links you call family would still be wandering around in the muck if it hadn’t been for Tyrell, so get used to those prison whites. If by some miracle you do get out, your fingers, broken arm, nutria itch and abdomen will be some of your fondest memories of this whole experience.

I didn’t kill you because you were standing in the room I share with my wife. You were in her house and I wasn’t going to make her move away from a place she loves because of your scent, as you so fondly call it. To me it’s more of a stench that Desi gladly washed off her the first chance she got. It’s time you wake up to your reality, Mr. Simoneaux. Maybe you will find it as amusing as the rest of us do." The residents and the nurse standing with them wanted to applaud what Harry had said. They all loved Desi and didn’t care for anyone talking about her that way.

"You don’t scare me, bitch." Byron leaned toward her as much as his confinement would allow. His time would come, he was sure of it, and the next time he would hurt this woman that Desi loved. He would take Harry away from his ex-wife just like she had taken his life away from him.

"I don’t mean to scare you, what I want to tell you is that if you ever speak of my wife in a disrespectful way again in my presence, I will forget my oath to take care of the sick and do no harm. What I will do is break you in half and deal with the consequences later. No one is going to miss your sorry carcass sir, just like no one but your brother is crying over the fact your father is dead."

What bothered him the most about Harry was the tone she spoke to him in. Byron had been trying to get a rise out of her since she had walked into the ward, but the cool façade stayed in place no matter what pictures of him and Desi he painted for her. What did she just say about daddy?

"He gets the last laugh because he still out there, nothing happened to him." He wanted to sound as sure as he could, but there was no doubt in her eyes. Harry wasn’t kidding with him telling him something just to hurt him. It was just the truth.

"No, Mr. Simoneaux, he attacked some police officers and they, unlike your mother, hit back. Only a 9mm weapon carries a bit more of a punch than your father did. I’m sorry for your loss, and I’m sorry you let him loose on innocent people. The best ending to this whole thing, will be for that couple to get back to as close to normal as they can." Harry got up and left, suddenly feeling the urge to go out and get some fresh air.

When Harry left her students filled the space she had occupied. They finished with Mike and walked over and surrounded his older brother’s bed. The guard on duty went back to the magazine he was reading figuring it was just time for Byron’s checkup. Trying to sound as intimidating as his boss, Bruce took the splintered fingers in his hand and introduced himself. "Good morning, Mr. Simoneaux, my name is Dr. Butcher. Why don’t you let me take a look at these for you." The slight squeeze got him the desired response. "Still sore, are they?"

"Oww, watch it stupid."

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"You hurt me and you will have Dr. Basantes to deal with."

"Sorry, ma’am, we didn’t notice the small bump on the walkway." The service Harry had hired to bring Mona home had been entertained by the older woman all the way to the new house. Harry had given her the choice of recovering in her new room or at Mercy hospital.

"What do you think, bonehead? I have had enough of this lying around here. If it ain’t going to kill me, I want to go home and help Desi get the house set up."

"Let’s get something straight before we leave this room, young lady. Either you relax at Mercy, or you do it at home. There will be no getting anything ready, so don’t even think to argue with me. You get a nurse and a nice view of the yard, and you have to do everything the nurse tells you. Promise me you’ll listen?" Harry stood by the bed with her arms crossed looking very much like the person the residents were used to dealing with.

"I’ve been alive.." Mona started before Desi slipped her hand over the woman’s mouth.

"She promises," Desi answered for Mona. The fact Mona was recovering rapidly was comforting to Desi, but she still had some weeks of rest to get back on her feet after the attack by Bryon and the surgery to fix it.

"One wrong move, Mona, and back to the hospital you go." Harry still hadn’t changed her posture, and still wasn’t smiling.

"I said, I promise."

"No, Desi said it, not you."

"The things we do for love."

"I’m sorry, ma’am, did you say something?" The paramedic followed Desi through the house to a bright room that had all Mona’s things in it. Mona’s daughter was busy putting things in drawers and out of boxes when they arrived.

"No I didn’t say anything, I’m just glad to be home." Mona looked around the neat room appreciating the fact that her daughter and Desi had taken the time to set it up first. "Where are my grand babies?"

"Momma, you better get in that bed and not say another word. The first move you make to pick up anybody smaller than you, Harry will have you back in the hospital so fast, you won’t know what hit you." Sherry, Mona’s daughter, said with her hands on her hips. She and her siblings weren’t thrilled that Mona was home so soon, but it was easier than listening to the older woman complain about her confinement.

"Uh huh, where’s Jack?" Mona asked looking at Desi.

"You are one stubborn old goat, woman. Get into bed and I’ll go see if he’s awake yet. Oh, and Harry has a surprise for you," said Desi. The laughter coming from both Desi and Sherry worried Mona, especially if Harry was involved.

Mona was expecting Desi and the baby, so a completely pink attired Tony was a definite surprise. He was carrying a tray with a light lunch on it for his patient, and Moan was trying to figure out what the tune he was whistling was. She noticed that even the rose bud in the small crystal vase on the tray matched his outfit.

"Fabulous news, honey. Harry said I could be your private nurse during the day while you are recovering, and I’m over here helping Desi. If there is anything you need, you just ask me."

"Oh my God, I know the day would come when Harry would take revenge on a poor old woman for all the things I’ve called her over the years. Desi, you have to call her and take up for me." Mona kidded with the returning young mother. Joking because she knew Tony really was a registered nurse more than capable of taking care of her.

"Nope, you get a private nurse, and two doctors who make house calls so sit back and get better. Now quit complaining and say hi to the most handsome boy in New Orleans." Desi had Jack dressed in his new set of scrubs his grandfather had bought him, since he had outgrown his first set.

Tony put his hands on his hips, and in the most indignant voice he could muster asked her, "I thought I was the most handsome boy in New Orleans?" They all laughed at Tony’s statement getting Jack to smile as well.

"No way, look at that smile," said Desi holding the baby up.

"She’s right, Tony, so suck it up." Bobbie walked in carrying Harry’s medical bag. The only way Harry had agreed to let Mona out so quickly after her surgery was because Bobbie had volunteered to do regular checkups during the day. Mona was a little out of her specialty, but Bobbie didn’t mind helping while Harry was at work. June and Maria spent the day baby-sitting while Desi worked on the various projects they had going on. Both sets of grandparents were staying on for a few more weeks spending their nights at the house next door in the bedrooms that weren’t undergoing renovations.

It was almost nine by the time Harry pulled up to their new temporary home, exhausted from the day at Charity. The conversation she had had earlier with Byron kept playing itself over in her mind, making her dark mood that much worse. It just irked her that she had been without Desi all those years because Clyde had found that asshole at the hospital more acceptable. "Clyde, I hope there is a seventh level of hell you bastard, and you are up to your tonsils in pig shit as you enjoy it."

Harry looked over the fence and saw that there was now scaffolding set up around their house that was going to be used by Stephan’s crew for repairs and the painting crew afterward. She smiled thinking of all the times she had kidded Desi about making her paint the house. The new white paint with black trim Desi and Tony had picked out was going to give the old place a new look, or so they promised. So far it was the only thing the two had agreed on. Harry was just glad she was brought in only when it seemed like the two were going to start singing rumble songs from "Westside Story" and the switch blades came out.

"Don’t tell me you hate it already?"

"Just as long as it’s not pink. What are you doing out here, it’s cold?" Harry opened her coat and pulled Desi close to her to keep her warm.

"I could ask the same thing, lover, what are you doing out here in the cold when there’s a warm, mostly unpacked house, waiting for you?"

"God you smell good."

"Don’t change the subject, what’s wrong?" Desi looked up at the tired face and the rumpled scrubs and didn’t push. "Never mind, don’t answer that. Come with me, Dr. Basantes."

Desi had a warm bath waiting for her along with a cold diet Coke, one of Harry’s favorite beverages. During the week the surgeon seldom drank because of those late night calls that took her out of bed and to the hospital. Harry sat back in the water as her partner fed her dinner. After she was finished her dinner and bath, Harry went to check on Mona.

"You are the first doctor that makes house calls in a nice robe."

"Don’t tell Desi, but I strip naked once I leave the house and do my rounds in just my lab coat." Harry teased Mona as she checked her incision and vitals. "You look better than I do, sweetheart."

"It’s a wonder more people don’t throw themselves in front of cars just to get a look at you like that," said Desi. Jack had his eyes open when she looked in his bassinet, so they had both gone in search of Harry.

"You weren’t supposed to hear that." Harry tapped Desi on the nose before taking Jack from her. "You, old woman, get some sleep and I’ll be in later to see if you need anything."

"Don’t wake me up to take my temperature, or any other silly nonsense," Mona warned. Harry waved Jack’s small hand at her and stepped out of the room.

"Can you take care of Jack while I get ready for bed?" Desi wrapped an arm around Harry’s waist and dropped her head on her chest. Despite all that had happened, it was nice to get a taste of what life was going to be like when it was just the four of them.

"Sure, did they bring the rocker over?" They had found it on one of their weekends in the French Quarter. The chair was big enough to accommodate Harry’s long legs and with a foot stool Desi loved it just as much. Before Jack’s arrival, Harry spent some afternoons rocking Desi to sleep for her nap.

"I wouldn’t do that to you, honey, it’s in the den."

Harry sat and looked at their son. His hair had started to curl at the ends, and his eyes had gotten a paler green than his mother’s. Jack was also starting to coo more, and discover more of the world around him. They both took turns reading to him, enjoying the way he seemed to be concentrating on the sound of their voices. Harry laughed as she studied the footed pajamas Desi had dressed him in. The light blue fleece had hula girls all over it and Harry wondered where her partner had found it. "We won’t get to torment you in front of your dates if you continue to wear cool stuff like this."

Jack looked at Harry and waved his hand in the air in front of her nose. "Ca."

"Yeah, buddy, cool. How about a story?" Harry pulled him closer so he could touch her face, enjoying their time together.

"Ca."

"I’ll take that as a yes. Once upon a time there was a beautiful girl." Harry took his hand and kissed the small fingers. "You know, buddy, I don’t really care who you fall in love with, as long as they are good to you, but let me tell you, watch out for those pretty girls with blonde hair and green eyes. I wasn’t much older than you are when I met mine and my life was forever changed."

"Ca."

"Tell me about it. I did all the things I thought were old fashioned, you know what I mean?"

"Ahi."

"Yeah, you got it. Stuff like, I carried her books home from school and got all tongue-tied when she batted those pretty eyes at me. Know what? All these years later, she still can do that to me. Don’t tell her, but there isn’t anything in this world, short of leaving the two of you, that I wouldn’t do for her. You’ll see, buddy, your mommy will make you so happy. She’ll do things and get you things to let you know how special you are. She gave me you, and you have been the best present I ever got. How’d you like that story?" The baby was sleeping and Harry almost dropped him because of the unexpected answer.

"I loved it, almost as much as I love you." Desi picked Jack up and laid him on his activity blanket by the fire. He was too young to enjoy it, but the thick colorful blanket had served as his bed that afternoon as the movers set up the bedroom. When Desi was sure he wasn’t going to cry, she moved back to Harry and sat on her lap. "Want to tell me a story?"

"What fairytale do you want to hear, little girl?" Harry pulled Desi closer and kissed her softly on the lips. Her bad mood that Byron had brought on that morning was starting to melt under Desi’s tender care.

"I live a fairytale, honey, you don’t have to spin any tales for me. What’s got you in such a bad mood tonight?" The cut on Harry’s brow had healed nicely and all that was left was a small bump and scar that went through the brow. Desi liked to run her fingers over it to remind her of the false alarm that with time had turned out to be Jack.

"During rounds today I took the brood over to the prison infirmary to check on Mike, and I had a talk with Byron." Harry held Desi in place when she tried to move off her lap. The one thing Harry hoped for was the resolution to all of it and soon. "I didn’t tell you that so you would blame yourself because I’m in a bad mood, I told you because I don’t want there to be secrets between us. Why do want to go?"

"It’s embarrassing that my past keeps haunting us like this. I can only imagine what he told you today. You forget that I am familiar with Byron’s tactics on how to worm into your brain to get a rise out of a person. Hell, he perfected his technique on me." Desi was almost angry with herself because of the tears running down her face. It was time to be stronger as proof she belonged in Harry’s life.

"Can I ask you something? You don’t have to answer if you don’t want to." Putting two fingers under Desi’s chin, Harry gently lifted her head up so that she could look directly into Desi’s eyes.

"You know that you don’t have to preface your questions to me with that. There isn’t anything you can’t ask me, Harry."

"If you had had a choice way back when, would you have married Byron?"

"At the expense of breaking your heart you mean?"

"Forget about me for a minute. If it had been your choice, free and clear, would you have married him?"

"No, you know that. I thought you understood why I did what I did. I loved you more than anything when I was barely eighteen honey, and it wasn’t because you were my way out of that house. It’s just that I was stronger than Rachel was, and I couldn’t just leave her there. For the longest time I wanted you to just come driving up in that small car of yours and take me away from the nightmare that had become my life. Once daddy found out what my preferences were, that’s what my life became, a nightmare that you just don’t wake up from. If I had known about my mother and Bobbie it would have all made sense to me, but I didn’t, and you didn’t come back."

"But I did come back. You weren’t the only one that didn’t understand what happened baby. It’s important to me that you know I tried. The fact that I didn’t try hard enough is plainly evident now, but I did keep coming back until I knew you had gotten married. I figured I owed you the chance to be happy if that’s what you wanted." It was Desi’s turn to lift Harry’s face so she could look into the eyes that had haunted her dreams for years. She always wondered if she would have just jumped into Harry’s car if she had shown up after getting a taste of life with just her father and Rachel.

"He told me you did."

"What? Who told you I came back?" Harry couldn’t believe that it had been Byron, unless he had used it to torment Desi more than he already had.

"Daddy, he told me about that talk you two had on the swing outside the house. He told me that you were happy in school and had just come by to say hi. Later when he was working on getting me married off to Byron, he told me he had seen you at one of the restaurants where he tended bar. Clyde told me that you were with a girl and the two of you were making spectacles of yourselves in public. I guess he wanted to show me what he was saving me from. So if I had had a choice, no, honey, I would have stayed with you. Who knows, maybe we would have had a gaggle of kids by now and you would have other regrets." Desi felt the body under hers tense and stand up still holding her close. Harry walked them over to where Jack was sleeping and kneeled down putting Desi next to him.

"How could I ever regret this?" Harry lay down with them and put a protective arm over both of them. "I didn’t ask you that question to make you think I have regrets with how my life turned out, but to show you that sometimes when you are a loving person that cares more for other people, then people take advantage of that. They strip you of the power to change the things, or people in your life that are wrong. What I want more than anything for you and our boy Jackson, is that you always hold the power to mold your life into something that you find fulfilling and happy. To share your life with only those people that are there to make it better and enrich it more than you could alone."

"Did he upset you much?"

"Not really. I think that fact upset him more than anything. After our little talk, my goonies went in and roughed him up a little for hurting my feeling and for talking bad about my girl. You my, little pixie, are ruining my reputation around the hospital."

"How about if your little pixie puts you two to bed?" Desi rolled over so that she was lying on top of Harry giving her the perfect opening for a kiss.

"That’s the best offer I’ve had all day." Harry pulled her head up and kissed Desi again, feeling her partner’s rib cage expand when she took a deep breath. It was their first official night in their house and Harry wanted to make it special.

"If you want to counter offer, that would be ok too." Desi ran her tongue along Harry’s mouth as she made her suggestion.

"Really, so your offer isn’t written in stone?"

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"Taking into consideration what has happened, no I’m open to offers."

"Any new charges against my client are off the table to begin with. I think he has proven himself to be an honorable person."

"This is not saint Tyrell sitting next to you, Jerry, let’s be reasonable. The D.A. can live with ten, and I think it’s a good deal, considering there are two police officers still in the hospital recovering from injuries resulting from the escape." David Gauthier sat back in his chair and put his hands behind his head. One more year of dealing with these dirt bags and I’m out of here. It was beginning to be his mantra every time he sat down at a plea session. The District Attorney was planning on another run, but David was planning on retiring to his small bass boat in less than twelve months. There, the only decisions he would have to make would be which ones to throw back.

"Come on, Davey, you aren’t going to pin that one on Tyrell, are you? The Simoneauxs were responsible for their own actions out of jail, Tyrell took the chance for humanitarian reasons." Jerry leaned forward, putting his elbows on the table trying to make David concede to the extra charges. It was the only way to make the reduction of the first set of charges make any sense time wise for his client.

"I know you usually only deal with contract negotiations and civil matters, so I’ll take it easy on you. The actions of the one, impact the future of the whole list of defendants in this case. Another way to look at it is, the escape is the poisonous tree, and any fruit that sprung from that tree will be shared by all that are left alive." David leaned back further and put his feet on the table. He liked Jerry but the man was out of his element in this arena. The one thing that had kept the assistant awake for the whole proceeding was how a convicted killer, who had been incarcerated for years, could afford someone like Jerry Castle? He and his firm weren’t known for their pro bono work.

"Does that mean you will show leniency to Byron for breaking into the Basantes home, since it was my client that kept the family safe?" David’s feet dropped to the floor as Jerry’s right brow arched upward.

"Ah, no. Come on, Jerry, the D.A. could have asked for another twenty. If you look at it that way, ten doesn’t sound all that bad," said David spreading his hands out.

"We will concede to no extra time. Tyrell helped keep Desi and Harry safe from Byron. He kept Mona safe from any further injuries, and his arrival helped Desi’s sister escape with the Basantes baby." Jerry ticked off the good things Tyrell had done on his fingers. His counterpart looked fully engaged in the debate now that he realized Jerry would not be an easy rollover.

"Mr. Lagrie helped the group navigate through the swamp getting three other inmates killed, he provided transportation back to the city and he provided the three Simoneaux family members with clothes. Seems to me if he were only interested in saving his sister, then he would have left all the others behind. I’m convinced they would have made it nowhere near New Orleans if he hadn’t helped." David did some ticking of his own leaning across the table to match Jerry’s aggressive posture.

"I’m sure a jury will be sympathetic to the three drug dealers that perished in the swamps surrounding Angola. But that’s not what’s going to help my client out."

"Really? Do tell, is it going to be the testimony of his sister that you think is going to set Mr. Lagrie free? Please, it didn’t work the last time and it isn’t going to now," said David.

"How naïve do you think I am? Not Diana Lagrie, but Harry and Desi Basantes will testify on his behalf. Picture it," started Jerry putting his hands up as if framing a shot. "Dr. Basantes on the stand talking about walking into her house and Byron Simoneaux is in there threatening her partner with a big knife. The only thing keeping him from killing Desiree Basantes is my client. That’s not the best part though."

"What would that be, no let me guess, you have a videotape of the whole thing?" asked David.

"No, the best part is Desi sitting in the gallery holding their son Jackson."

"God it could be a movie of the week when you describe it like that. Five years, Mr. Lagrie, that’s my final offer." David pushed away from the table and stood up. The meeting had taken longer than he had expected and he would have to skip lunch to make it to court on time.

"We’ll take our chances in court thank you." Tyrell kept silent, like Jerry had instructed him to, though the ease in which the man was willing to take chances with his fate unnerved him a little. This was so far removed from his first experience in the criminal justice system when the court appointed defender assigned to his case had been almost afraid to question anything the prosecutor said. At least Harry is getting her money’s worth out of this guy if she’s paying by the word.

The door of the small room slammed shut as David made his way back to his office. Jerry patted Tyrell on the hand trying to reassure him he had things under control. The situation wasn’t funny but Tyrell had observed the whole meeting like he was watching a tennis match, looking from one man to the other.

"Tyrell, how do you feel about all this?"

"I guess I have to trust you to do right by me. One thing I got going for me, is that you’re a much better talker than the first time around."

"I’m glad you think so, and I’m glad you trust me. That’s important now because I want you to go back to your cell and not talk to anyone unless it’s Harry or me. Let the good doctor work her miracles on your behalf and you’ll be fine." Jerry snapped his briefcase closed and shook hands with Tyrell.

"Do you think, I can be saved?" Tyrell asked with a laugh.

"That’s not for me to say, but by keeping a baby and a small blonde woman from harm, you my friend have inherited a powerful guardian angel."

"She’s powerful all right. Harry snapped that boy’s fingers and his arm like they were match sticks, but even so, I think Byron got off light. Though it will not improve his looks any with those two missing front teeth. I don’t think the prison system does great dental."

"Is there anything I can get you?"

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"No, I’m fine thank you."

Yes, yes you are. "Please let me know if you do." The server walked off leaving Harry sipping a glass of water. She could see the blonde at the bar still staring at the seated woman in her station of tables. Not that she could blame her; the woman was incredibly good looking.

"She’s hot, isn’t she?"

"I hadn’t noticed." The blonde turned her attention to her drink sitting on the bar when the restaurant worker addressed her. She tried to hide the smile at having been caught looking, and the smirk on the waitress’s face told her how believable her answer had been.

"Would you like a table?"

"No thank you, I’m waiting for someone." The blonde looked toward table five again and sighed.

"Think she’s single?" The waitress thought she had found a comrade in the woman seated at the bar and kept on talking.

"I don’t know, is she waiting for someone?"

"I don’t think so, but she hasn’t ordered yet. Think I can get her to give me her phone number?" She whispered the question as she wiped down the bar. They were both looking at Harry now as she squeezed a piece of lemon into the glass of water sitting in front of her.

"Tell you what, let me try and if I strike out she’s fair game. Deal?" The blonde stuck her hand out and the waitress shook it to seal their bargain. Maybe the lunch shift won’t be so boring after all.

The waitress stayed near the bar as the woman she had been talking to slid off the barstool, picked up her stuff and headed toward the unsuspecting Harry’s table. There’s no way, the waitress thought as the woman neared the table. She pulled out her pen and a slip of paper getting ready for her turn knowing the other woman would be back in no time.

"Excuse me."

"Yes, is there something I can do for you?" asked Harry.

"Would you mind holding my stuff while I go to the bathroom?" When Harry looked skeptical, the blonde ignored it and just kept talking. "Come on, it will only take me a couple of minutes."

Harry looked toward the waitress before answering and shot a smile her way. "Ok, if you’ll only be a couple of minutes."

"Thanks." She handed Harry the baby and walked toward the restrooms. Along the way she winked at the waitress and never looked back, she didn’t need to, to know Harry was watching the sway of her hips. After all, how could the woman resist?

"That was incredibly trustworthy of her," commented the waitress as she poured more water into the glass Harry had been sipping from.

"Yeah, but he’s a cute little guy isn’t he?"

"Adorable." If all it takes is a kid to break the ice with someone like this, I got to get me one. She moved back to the bar to see how the blonde played it next.

"Wish me luck," was all the woman said as she walked back to retrieve her baby.

"Yeah, sure."

"Do you mind if I sit with you a minute?"

"Sure, but my wife should be here any minute, so you have to get up once she gets here." Harry never looked up from the little guy she had sitting on her placemat on the table.

"So, you’re married?"

"Yes, ma’am, I am. She’s a beautiful woman that I’ve known since grade school."

"Can’t be too devoted to you, if she keeps you waiting around in restaurants."

"Just because she can’t keep track of time, doesn’t mean she isn’t devoted. I don’t mind waiting, she’s worth it."

"What does she do, your wife I mean?"

"She’s an artist, or should I say, an incredibly talented artist."

"She must be very trusting, this artist of yours." The blonde leaned forward and put her elbows on the table. She smiled when Harry’s eyes strayed to her cleavage for just a split second before returning to the baby.

"Would you like to order now?" The waitress had her pad out ready to write something down. At the moment the order wasn’t as important as breaking up the chummy conversation going on before her chances were shot.

"No, but those people are," said Harry pointing to three tables over. "I’m sorry, why would you think my wife is trusting? I am by the way, but what about me screams that?"

"No ring on your finger. The fact you don’t wear one makes another interested party assume you aren’t attached." The blonde making air quotes for the word attached made Harry laugh.

"I think it would be presumptuous of me to go out and get myself a ring."

"She hasn’t given you one? If I were you, I’d rethink that whole devotion thing."

"Maybe you’re right. I did give her one after all, but then again, that’s a petty way to think. That whole tit for tat mindset." Harry’s eyes betrayed her again as the woman leaned forward.

"I’ll give you one."

"One what?" asked Harry.

"A ring."

"You will? Does that mean I get the kid too?"

"Absolutely, we come as a package deal."

"Ok, let’s see it." Harry smiled at her waitress, who was at the moment about to do a backbend trying to eavesdrop on their conversation.

"You want to see the ring now, before you give me an answer?"

"Hell yes. You want me to leave my wife, who I’m madly in love with, for you and this kid for a ring. I want to see it."

"Look in his front pants pocket." Harry shifted the baby to her lap and reached into the tiny khakis he had on. The small black velvet bag felt heavy in her hand. "Let me." Desi pulled it open and let the ring fall to her waiting palm. "Will you have us?" she asked holding up the gold band.

"Yes." The answer was simple, but it went beyond the question, it was an agreement to everything Desi had to offer. Before Desi slipped it onto Harry’s finger, she read the inscription.

"We love you." When Harry looked down, she saw the simple gold band was part of a set. She took the other one and slipped it onto Desi’s finger letting it come to rest next to the ring she had given her before. Neither of them heard the elderly woman at the table next to them sigh as they shared a kiss. The woman leaned over and pecked her husband on the cheek. It’s wonderful to see that there is still love left in the world.

"Happy birthday, honey."

"Thanks, could I interest you in going home with me instead of lunch?" Desi could feel Harry’s lips against her own as she asked the question. Jack had his hand wrapped in Harry’s hair and was pulling as hard as he could as if trying to hurry his parents into leaving the restaurant.

"Don’t you want to eat before you unwrap your other present?" teased Desi. The waitress couldn’t help one more interruption.

"I take it you two know each other?"

"No, we just met," answered Harry.

"Yeah right."

"I’m telling you, it’s true. I was sitting here all lonely, and this nice lady walked over here and asked me to marry her. She’s so cute, how could I resist? Right Miss…"

"Desi. Mrs. Desi Basantes." Desi stuck her hand out and shook Harry’s hand. "See why I wanted to go first, I had a good feeling about this."

"Harry." She shook Desi’s hand and held Jack closer and laughed at the confused look Desi was giving her. "My name, it’s Harry."

"Congratulations, would you like to order lunch to celebrate?"

"No thanks, we want to get a jump on the honeymoon, right, Barry?"

"Harry, and yes, I’m ready." Harry got up with Jack, shouldered his diaper bag and walked out leaving Desi to deal with the miffed waitress. Shaking her head, Desi reached for her wallet and pulled out a hundred dollar bill.

"Thanks for being so nice."

"Be happy," said the now happier worker.

"Thanks, I already am." Desi followed the path Harry and Jack had taken, smiling at the elderly couple now holding hands at the next table. "How long do I have you for?" Desi asked Harry when she stepped outside.

"Forever if you can stand me that long." Desi found it sweet that Harry kept looking at her finger. It wasn’t meant to be a leash, but it couldn’t hurt letting women like their waitress know Harry was indeed taken.

"I know that, goofus, you aren’t shaking us now. I meant for the rest of the day."

"Would it disappoint you to know Irma rescheduled the rest of my appointments for the day?"

"When was the last time you gave Irma a raise?" Desi stepped closer to Harry and slipped two fingers into the front of her pants.

"Am I going to get lucky when I get home?"

"You, lover, most certainly are." Harry nodded after Desi’s answer then unclipped her cell phone pushing one of the memory keys then handed it to Desi.

"Dr. Basantes’s office."

"Irma, hi, it’s Desi."

"Hey girl, sorry the big guy left for lunch already, try her on the cell."

"The big guy is standing right in front of me, and she tells me you gave her the rest of the day off. Tell me that’s true?"

"It’s true, it’s her birthday after all."

"Yes it is, but we wanted to give you a gift." Desi paused and raised her brow to see if it was all right to continue. Harry nodded her head and waved her hand, curious to see how generous Desi was willing to be.

"Thanks, but it’s really not necessary."

"You take such good care of her, I insist. Take the rest of the day off, but before you leave, go into your personnel file and give yourself a twenty percent raise." Desi laughed then handed the phone to Harry.

"Of course I approve, you heard the boss, take yourself out to lunch will all your new found wealth."

"Too much?" Desi asked when Harry clipped her phone back.

"Nah, she makes more than I do now, but I have a wife that takes good care of me so I’m not complaining."

"Good thing, are you ready?" asked Desi.

"For so many things."

"Then let the fun begin then."

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"Would you like a tour?"

"It’s not like I haven’t done this before, only last time it was under much cleaner conditions."

"Try and look past that and do the best you can. Once you become familiar with the layout, you’ll come to love it here." The older nurse walked around the ward with their new night shift employee. The young dour looking woman had come from Mercy, and that was all she was willing to say on the subject. When Catherine, the nursing supervisor, had called Mercy to check her references, she had been told Mitzy had been fired, but not for lack of ability.

Catherine had taken a liking to the girl after she found out she had been let go because of her involvement with one of the staff doctors. Pompous asses, they screw around and it’s always the low man on the totem pole that gets cut. Mitzy’s supervisor wouldn’t tell her who the doctor was but that it was the only reason for her being let go.

"Is there any place around here to eat that’s any good?" asked Mitzy. The fact Charity was willing to hire her had been fortunate since she didn’t want to leave the city. She had sat in her apartment for a couple of days cursing the day she had laid eyes on Harry Basantes, not having the energy to do much else. Mitzy was sure the doctor knew nothing of the hospital hiring her, though working nights on one of the wards would make it unlikely that she would run into Harry often.

"It’s best to go with someone, dear. You don’t want to be walking the campus alone at night. If you want, once your shift is over, call security and they will walk you to your car."

"Thanks, Catherine, I appreciate your giving me this chance. If you don’t mind, I’ll start checking patients and getting familiar with their med schedules." Catherine smiled at her enthusiasm and nodded her agreement.

"Great, I’ll be in my office if you need anything."

"Thanks, I’ll let you know ." Mitzy stuck her hands in her pockets and watched her boss walk toward the elevators. She picked up her charts and headed for the first of five rooms she was responsible for, already anxious for the sun to rise signaling the end of her shift.

Unlike Mercy, Charity had at least three people per room with only a thin curtain as privacy between the beds. Mitzy moved from bed to bed doing vital checks and administering medications. Once she finished her first circuit she sat behind the nurses’ station and skimmed through the other two nurses’ charts while they were in with their patients.

"Who’s this special person?" Mitzy whispered the question to no one in particular after seeing the lone chart for the room at the end of the hall. "I thought there were no private rooms in this place?"

"There isn’t, this is just a special case and we aren’t busting at the seams as usual. Dr. Basantes asked if we could keep her comfortable if it was possible, and she’s such a sweetie, how could we say no?"

"The patient?" Mitzy asked the other nurse who seemed too happy for her taste, considering what time it was.

"No silly, Dr. Basantes. Do you know her? Isn’t she the greatest?"

"I know her, and no, I think she’s way overrated. Who does she have stashed in there alone?" Mitzy took a deep breath to calm down before she scared her coworker into not saying anything else.

"Diana Lagrie, she had surgery about a week ago to fix some damage from an old injury." Celia looked at the numerous expressions that crossed the new woman’s face and they all looked like some varying degree of hate.

"That isn’t the escaped convict’s sister, is it?"

"Does it matter? Ms. Lagrie is really nice and has had a hard time. My job is to make sure her nights are restful and pain free."

"She’s lucky to have you. Well round two has begun." Mitzy headed back toward her own set of rooms with a sudden urge to meet Diana Lagrie. As angry as she still was with Harry, Diana might be a way to get back into the doctor’s good graces. I just know if you give me a chance, I can make you happy Harry.

"Hurry back." Not! Celia watched Mitzy walk away and shuttered. The woman was throwing off some weird vibes and Celia wanted nothing to do with her.

Mitzy looked down at her first patient seeing tears in the woman’s eyes. The chart informed her the woman had undergone a hysterectomy that morning. "Are you in pain?"

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"Oh yeah, give a minute."

"You want me to rub it?"

"That’s what got me in this position in the first place, but what the hell, go for it." Harry had been enjoying Desi’s roaming hands when her partner hit a sensitive spot by surprise causing a cramp in the muscles in one side of Harry’s butt.

"I zigged when I should have zagged huh?" Desi asked as she massaged Harry’s backside trying to get the muscles to relax.

"It’s only the one side that hurts, baby."

"I’m taking precautionary measures here so relax. Don’t worry, I’m married to a doctor, I know what I’m doing." Desi’s massage was becoming more of a caress as the sight of Harry’s naked butt was starting to do things to her own center.

Harry rolled over to her back and pulled Desi up so that the smaller woman could sit on her abdomen. The black silk teddy Desi had given her for her birthday was draped over a lamp along with a pair of matching silk boxers.

When they had gotten home, June had taken Jack to the other end of the house and Tony had made no comment when Desi had gone into the bedroom alone. Harry had checked on Mona thinking Desi had changed her mind on the way they were going to spend their afternoon. She thought that until Tony handed her a box with instructions to change before going to look for Desi.

In the guestroom where Tony walked her to, Harry found her robe on the bed and a hanger for what she had on. "Just leave your stuff on the bed and I’ll take care of it later," Tony had instructed.

"I find it a tad disconcerting that everyone in the house knows what my girl has planned." Harry opened the box finding only a pair of boxers, so she sat on the bed and took her shoes off.

"She loves you and she wants to make you happy. If it works out that she gets to be happy at the same time, more power to her. Have fun and happy birthday." Tony wiggled his fingers at Harry and closed the door.

Harry knocked softly on their bedroom door and waited for an invitation to enter. When she did, Desi was sitting on the bed wearing her present for Harry, and was inordinately pleased when she saw Harry smacking her lips together like she was trying to return moisture to her mouth. "Happy birthday, lover."

It had been three hours since she had unwrapped her ‘gift’ and the sight of Desi sitting on top of her was making Harry forget about her cramp. "I don’t think I can again, honey." Desi tried to protest but the big soft hands running along her legs were making her body have different thoughts.

"I just want to touch you, baby." Harry’s hands stayed away from all the tender spots, concentrating only on Desi’s legs and abdomen. When Harry bent her knees, Desi leaned back and slumped against them enjoying the gently touch.

Harry smiled seeing her partner’s posture. When Desi leaned back it had tipped her center up a little and Harry could see it glistening with the candlelight in the room. Desi moaned when Harry ran her hands up past just the sides of her breasts to the top of her arms before starting their decent.

They had stopped playing for a while to pump Desi’s breasts, but Harry could see a little moisture just at the tips of her nipples. That combined with the fact they were hard again drove Harry’s hands for another run.

"I hope you know how beautiful I find you. How absolutely perfect you are to me." Harry spoke softly and her hands never stopped moving. Desi moaned as the hands went down her arms then detoured back up through the valley of her breasts but didn’t touch them.

"Harry, I need you to touch me honey."

"I am touching you, sweetheart." Harry’s hands dropped back to the legs straddling her and she pushed up off the bed a bit to reach all the way to Desi’s feet.

"No, I want you to touch me here." Desi put her own hands under her breasts and lifted them to entice Harry into action. Any soreness from making love all afternoon was fading fast.

"Happy birthday to me," was all Harry could mutter as she watched Desi’s nipples get harder.

"Come on, they are all for you." Desi leaned forward trying to find some relief for the throbbing between her legs against Harry’s abs. Her hand continued to hold the weight of her breasts, but her fingers had migrated to her nipples. Without warning Harry sat up enough to take one into her mouth making Desi’s hips rock forward. "Oh yea, just like that."

With her lips wrapped around Desi’s breast, Harry squeezed her hand between them and snaked it down to the wet spot along her midsection. When her fingers found the slick hard little nub, Desi let go of her breasts and grabbed onto Harry’s hair.

The suction at her chest and the stroking down below was too much for Desi. She pulled hard on the hair her fingers were tangled in wanting to feel the touch of Harry’s lips on hers. When Harry got the message and sucked Desi’s tongue into her mouth, the smaller woman could feel it between her legs. Desi pressed herself closer to Harry when she felt the beginning of her orgasm. When she went over the edge of the cliff Harry had elevated her to, Harry swallowed the screams in a kiss.

Desi couldn’t move and was grateful that Harry was content to just hold her close as she eased them back to the bed. With a grunt Harry pulled her hand out of its warm haven getting Desi to finally look up when she laughed.

"What’s so funny?"

"I was just wondering what medical explanation I could put on my disability papers when you finally manage to break my fingers and I can’t work for awhile." Harry ran her fingers down Desi’s back pulling her partner closer.

"If that happens, I’ll support you until you are ready for duty." Desi kissed along Harry’s neck stopping to suck in a bit of skin when the mood hit. The strong body she was laying on was shaking with laughter.

"Don’t you mean, ready for work?"

"No, I’m talking about your marital duties, doc, and let me tell you, I can be a hard taskmaster. I expect the best so I have to keep you in tiptop shape." Desi slid down to new territory as they continued their talk.

"Don’t I know it." Harry jumped when Desi bit down on one of her nipples before doing the same to the other one.

"Careful, that’s how you got a cramp last time," Desi warned before going back and biting it again.

"That’s not what you bit last time that gave me a cramp."

"You’re right, honey. Are you well enough to continue?" Desi slid further down the long body, the friction her body was causing was turning Harry on even more.

"I’m burning for you, baby, wanna blow me out?"

"That was some kind of corny, honey, but there will blowing involved don’t you worry," was the last thing Desi said before she settled between Harry’s legs. She looked up and saw that Harry had one hand tangled in the sheet and her other arm was thrown over her eyes.

Desi never could figure out what about tasting Harry like this she liked the best. Was it the sight of the long legs bent a little at the knees? Was it the sight of all that wet skin that attested to how attractive Harry found her? Or was it the reassuring weight of Harry’s hand that had moved to the back of her head urging her on? Maybe it’s just a combination of all of the above.

She knew that Harry disciplined herself to keep her legs open and not crush Desi between them. The surgeon was always gentle with her and as urgent as they got for each other, Harry never hurried Desi and let her initiate what she wanted to do. The thought that their bedroom had become a place she cherished coming to do this with Harry, crossed Desi’s mind as she started sucking on the one spot Harry needed her most. Having Harry as a partner made Desi want to try harder to please, to make Harry feel all the things she brought out in her when she touched her. Desi cleared her mind and concentrated on making love to Harry. With the first swipe of her tongue, Harry’s hips came off the bed and the hand in her hair tightened. After all they had just finished doing, Desi was disappointed that this wasn’t going to take long.

When Harry relaxed above her and pulled gently on her hair, Desi climbed back to the head of the bed and kissed her. "I’m so glad you like doing this." Desi kissed Harry again waiting for the blue eyes to open.

"If I had known at eighteen, what I know now, I would have run off with you one night and never let you out of my sight. Don’t get me wrong, our relationship is so much more than just sex, but it’s wonderful to share this with you. Am I not doing anything that you want me to?" Harry’s voice sounded soft and deep against her ear. Desi smiled hoping that their son would learn from Harry how to be romantic and say the right things to make his partner feel as good as she did.

"You cover all the bases, honey, don’t worry about that." Harry could feel Desi’s smile against her neck making her smile as well. She loved making Desi happy in all aspects of their relationship.

"What are you smiling about?"

"I was just thinking that one day your son will find someone that hopefully will make him feel as wonderful as you do me, and I hope before that happens, you will have a long talk with him on how to accomplish that." Desi snuggled under Harry’s chin and almost cooed when the long arms wrapped around her.

"You think my father gave me instructions for this?"

"You mean to tell me you are just naturally gifted in this arena?" Desi pointed to the bed.

"I would like to think there is some natural talent yes, but Papi did pull the short straw on having the talk with me. I’ll have to tell him that you are pleased with his guidance."

"Don’t you dare, I would never be able to face him." The knock on the door stopped Desi from saying anything else as she desperately tried to remember if Harry had locked the door when she came in.

"Yes?" asked Harry.

"Harry, are you decent?" Maria stood on the other side of the door relieved that there was only a soft conversation going on inside.

"Why does everyone keep asking me that?" Harry asked a laughing Desi before turning her attention back to her mother. "Is there a reason, I should be?"

"Yes, your birthday dinner will be ready in twenty minutes and we would like for you to actually show up to share it with us, even if it the last thing you want to do right now."

"I’ll tell you what, if I can find the energy to get out of these handcuffs Desi has me locked in, I’ll be right out." Maria laughed at the outraged huff coming from inside the room followed by a howl of pain coming from Harry.

"We’ll be right out, Mami, and please ignore Harry, she’s insane."

"Ok, dear, but if you need an extra set of keys, I have one in my suitcase." Maria walked back toward the kitchen listening to the roar of Harry’s laughter coming from behind the locked bedroom door.

"She didn’t just say," said Desi in disbelief.

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"I do believe that’s what she said."

"There’s nothing wrong with my hearing, it was more of a rhetorical statement on my part."

"You can take it anyway you like, but just get going. You will find the supplies you need in the closet by the bathroom. Have fun." Celia was enjoying not being the new kid any more, which entitled you to all the grunt work that needed to be done. She had been stuck working the weekend shift with Mitzy and was about to stab the woman with the first sharp object she could find over her attitude.

"Are you sure you don’t want to go? I could cover your patients, after all we’ve been stuck up here for three days." Mitzy tried for the third time since their supervisor had asked her to go to Building 100, to talk Celia into going. If she could convince the younger nurse into going, it would give her the opportunity to go in and see Diana.

"No thanks, I’m expecting a phone call. This will give you the chance to learn the layout of the hospital, and as you said give you the chance to get some fresh air. Call if you get lost." Celia picked up her charts and headed for Diana’s room. Her patient had been depressed for the past week waiting to hear Tyrell’s fate.

Mitzy gathered the supplies she would need to draw blood on the ten patients that needed a work up. Some of the doctors liked to schedule things for the labs when they were the least busy. Building 100 was the place Charity had set up for their HIV positive patients. It was not designed to treat them as outcasts, but as an easier way to sterilize and control their environment cutting down on infections and such. The plain looking building was nestled between the back of the main hospital structure and the Veterans Hospital across the street.

The halls and the elevators were deserted as Mitzy made her way down to the ground floor. She stopped a janitor to ask directions and the man told her about a short cut through the medical school. Mitzy followed the walkway until she came to the building the guy had described turning to go in.

"I thought Celia told me this had more than one floor," muttered Mitzy looking at the small structure. The door opened easily to a stark room with beds lined along two walls. There weren’t that many patients and at the back of the room sat a sleeping security guard. There was no one behind the nurses’ station so Mitzy moved to the first patient and pulled his chart down from the holder on the wall. She was going to check for his name on the list she had when the clank of the handcuff made her take a step back from the bed.

"Who are you, and what do you want?" the man spoke in a low menacing voice and Mitzy had a hard time understanding him because his two front to teeth were missing.

"I’m sorry Mr.," she looked down to the chart in her hand, "Mr. Simoneaux. I took a wrong turn somewhere, I’m sorry to have disturbed you." His name sounded so familiar, it was like she should know who he was.

"It’s all right, gives me something new to look at besides that ugly mother sleeping back there."

"Try and go back to sleep." Mitzy put the chart back and started out of the room. With her hand on the knob it came to her who this guy was. Byron Simoneaux was once married to none other than Harry’s partner, Desi. She had read it in the paper, how he had broken into their house and tried to kill everyone inside.

"Something you forgot?"

"I don’t mean to pry, but weren’t you married to Desi Basantes?" Mitzy put her tray down and pulled up a chair.

"Don’t call her that, her name is Simoneaux. What she is now isn’t natural, so if you are one of those fag lovers, get the fuck out of here now." Byron was angry, but kept his voice down so he wouldn’t wake the guard in the back.

"I’m no fan of her relationship, so don’t worry about that. What I am is curious about why she hooked up with Harry?" Mitzy answered truthfully, she was no fan of Desi in Harry’s life and this Neanderthal could hold the answer to that problem.

"Cause that big evil bitch seduced her into a life she didn’t want. Desi and me, we were in love and happy before her accident. Then she came into the picture and took Desi away from me." If she hadn’t known a little of the story, Mitzy could swear he sounded sincere and believed what he was saying.

"Do you still love her? If you don’t mind my asking that is."

"I just want the chance to just talk to her, that’s why I broke out of jail. The wanting to see her and tell her how much I missed her drove me to it." Bryon looked through the railing of the bed at her and tried to look contrite.

"That’s so sweet."

"Yeah, I just wanted to make her happy and share children with her."

"How long will you be here, Mr. Simoneaux?"

"Please call me Byron and, I don’t know. Will you come back and see me again?" Byron didn’t want the woman to go, seeing her as his last lifeline to the outside world especially if she knew Desi.

"Sure, I’ll be back. I’m off tomorrow night so I’ll see you in a couple of days." Mitzy picked up her supplies and made her way to the door. On her day off she would have to think about how best to proceed. The memory of Desi’s leg was still fresh enough for Mitzy to realize what Byron was capable of so she would have to be careful.

Byron watched her go, proud that he hadn’t pushed too hard. Maybe all wasn’t lost for him. Given another chance he knew he would make it since all he had to worry about was himself. She’ll be back, and when she does, I’ll have a plan. He closed his eyes and tried to forget about the pain in his arm and fingers, concentrating instead on the picture of Desi in his head.

Mitzy returned to her regular ward two hours later to find an even perkier Celia. "What did I miss, the happy wagon?"

"Dr. Basantes jus came by to see Ms. Lagrie, sorry you missed her."

"What was Harry doing here at three in the morning?" Mitzy couldn’t believe she had missed the one person that had been on her mind since her little talk with Byron.

"She was called in for an emergency surgery so she came up before heading home. That was nice of her since it’s Monday morning. Whatever she told Ms. Lagrie sure lifted her spirits. Dr. Basantes can do that just by walking in the room though." Celia seemed to be gushing by the end of her explanation amusing Mitzy to no end. The young nurse had a serious case of hero worship going, and Mitzy was sure Harry was doing nothing to quash that in any way.

"I’m sure you, and her partner think she can walk on water."

"You know Desi? I think she’s great, we met a while back. She’s very lucky." Celia rested her chin in her hands and tried to figure out why Mitzy hated Dr. Basantes so much.

"You know Desi?"

"Yeah, we met during my clinicals when she was here visiting Dr. Basantes. They stopped by my apartment during finals and brought me dinner and some cookies Desi had baked. With my parents gone, it made me feel special that they went out of their way like that."

"They are just the golden couple, they are."

"I’m going to get a soda, you want anything?"

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

"Could you check on the baby?"

"Why, is he walking the floor?" Harry dropped to the bed instead of heading to the kitchen to get her drink. Her laugh bubbled out when Desi pinched her before kissing her hello. "I just checked on him, he’s fine. He’s sleeping just like his momma should be, why are you awake?"

"The bed got cold when you left." Desi put her head in Harry’s lap and pulled the drawstring to the scrub pants apart with her teeth.

"That call did come at bad time huh?"

"Not for me, but for you, not so good," said Desi. She kissed the cloth-covered abs and snuggled closer to Harry.

"Come on, hot stuff, I’ll let you off easy tonight and let you go back to sleep. You can do that now that your human electric blanket is home." When Harry stood up her pants fell down to her ankles making it easy to step out of them. She joined Desi when the rest was stripped off and no sooner than she lay down, Jack woke up. "I’m glad I’m too tired to be horny."

"You want to share a drink with him, or you want to sleep?" asked Desi as she moved toward the bassinet. Their bruiser was yelling with no tears in his eyes.

"You think he’ll be willing to share?" Harry asked wiggling her eyebrows.

"I was thinking breast milk for him, and a diet Coke for you." Desi pointed at Harry and winked. "And you, mister, I’m beginning to thing you have learned to scream just so someone will come and pick you up."

"Then his master plan is working." Harry left the room in search of something to drink before Desi could reply, or pinch her somewhere else now that she had more territory exposed.

When Harry returned with two glasses of mild and the brownies Desi had baked early, she found Desi and Jack on the bed. "You do realize once Mona’s back on her feet you are going to have to put something on when you leave the bedroom, don’t you?"

"You really can’t call it home if you can’t walk around naked, can you?"

"Get over here, smart ass, and burp this little guy." Desi held Jack up waiting for Harry to put their snack down.

"Oh, buddy, I think your mother planned that one." Harry turned around so that Desi could see the after effects of Jack’s burp down Harry’s back. "The silver lining here is that I haven’t put on my pajamas yet. If you need us, we’ll be in the bathroom."

Once Harry and Jack were cleaned up and dressed they returned to the bedroom where there was only one brownie left on the plate. "Sorry, breastfeeding is hard work."

"Uh huh," said Harry as she put Jack down. Either the bassinet was getting smaller or the baby was out growing it fast. "We are going to have to start putting him in the baby bed soon." The pout on Desi’s face told her how well received that plan was going to go.

"He likes it in here, honey."

"I like him close too, but you don’t want him to roll out of here do you?" Harry covered Jack up before climbing into her won bed. "He’ll just be next door baby, he’ll be fine. We can try starting tomorrow and see how he does since I have the next three days off."

"You do?" Desi had moved close to Harry once the tall body had relaxed against the headboard.

"You told me you wanted to talk house renovations and that would be hard to do from work, so I took some time off. Hell I never took days off before I met you, I think I’m entitled. How about tomorrow we leave the grandmothers over here with Jack and Mona, and you and I go pick paint colors for next door?" Harry offered Desi her last bite of brownie and a smile.

"You realize that Tony comes as part of the package tomorrow, right?"

"I have done battle with the decorator from hell before, don’t worry about me." Harry turned the lamp on the nightstand off and scooted down on the bed to get more comfortable. The late night call into surgery was beginning to announce itself again now that Desi was pressed up against her. Outside they could hear the wind blowing some of the low tree limbs against the house as the temperature dropped blow twenty right before dawn.

"Can I ask you why Tony is a decorator, if he is a licensed registered nurse?"

"He worked at the hospital for a couple of years and he was excellent with the patients, but there were some who weren’t so great back. Sometimes his enthusiasm was taken as something else and every time someone looked at him with disgust it killed his spirit a little more." Harry pulled Desi closer when she felt the blonde head on her should shake.

"That’s awful, he is so sweet."

"Yes he is. After it was apparent he wasn’t happy anymore, I asked him to spruce up the old house for me. He agreed as a favor to me and took a couple of weeks off to do it right, as he put it. A month and a couple of fistfights with Mona later, he completely transformed the place and himself. The spark was back and so was the drive to do a good job. He still misses his first profession I suspect, but he seems to like what he’s doing now too. Having you back to spend his time with has something to do with that as well."

"I’m sure it could have been anyone, honey."

"Don’t short change yourself, my love. Tony loves you, and now that you have given him a nephew to adore as well, you’ve been elevated to goddess stature I’m sure." Harry drifted off to sleep when there were no more questions, but Desi stayed awake for a while to watch her two loves sleep. She wanted to enjoy the last night with Jack in his bassinet before the process of his growing up took him away.

"Maybe before too long we can have another one that wants to camp out in there for a couple of months. What do you think, Jack?" Desi spoke softly so she wouldn’t wake either one of her brunettes and smiled when Jack grunted in his sleep. "So much like your mom, little man. If you can sew by the time you’re four, I know what your partner will lose some nights to."

The next morning they walked next door to check the house progress being made on the house, trailed by June and Maria. The two grandmothers complained that it was too cold to have Jack outside for the whole short trek. Tony was waiting in the kitchen with coffee, Stephen and a couple of workers from the crew.

The moved from room to room outlining what needed to be done and repaired, Harry just nodding her head as Desi and Tony did all the talking. At one point Desi looked over and found a smiling Maria holding Jack.

"I’m so glad he makes you so happy, Mami."

"That’s not what I’m smiling at, dear, though Jack does make me happy."

"What’s got you so happy then?" asked Desi.

Maria pointed to Harry, who had her head stuck up in the entrance of the attic checking over the repairs. "She is my daughter but she is so much like her father. Without you, the house would have a new roof, all white walls, a refrigerator, a television and a bed."

"Ah she’s not that bad. She can dress herself after all; it is more than I can ask for. Though she did tell me that it is a shame that they don’t make Granimals for adults." Desi and Maria laughed together, getting Harry to look down from the attic to see what they were up to. She climbed down the steps and kissed both her wife and her mother before heading down the main stairs to the ground floor.

"You two stay here and let me give Stephen some directions on some stuff I want done outside."

"Are we doing anything to the outside, honey?" Desi tried to remember if they had talked about having anything done to the outside of the house except the roof repairs and painting the exterior.

"It’s a surprise, you have to trust me." Harry took the steps two at a time getting a reprimand from Desi for doing so before she hit the middle of her trip down. "She’s turning into such a mother."

"I heard that, doc."

Harry and Stephen moved to the brick wall that surrounded the property and talked about what had to be done as the walked to the back studio. As the work crew started arriving neither of them saw the old Honda Accord that drove slowly past the front gates. The driver pulled off and parked so that they could get a better look at what was happening inside. Leaning just outside the gate, it gave the perfect view to see Desi come to the side door and call out for Harry.

They were talking to softly to hear, but words weren’t necessary when Desi came out and wrapped a scarf around Harry’s neck. When it was secure, the smaller woman used it to pull Harry down into a long kiss. Seeing that, the watcher’s mind was set on the next course of action.

"Enjoy it, Desiree, because it won’t last. Harry doesn’t belong to you."

Continued in Part 10

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