For disclaimers, see Part 1

Part 24

 

Chapter Twenty-Four

"Do you want me to wait with you until Alex gets here?" Sandy placed the last of the patient files into the five-drawer file cabinet.

"No, Alex said she would call if she was going to be late." Regina looked up from washing her hands and shook her head.

Sandy slipped her jacket on and regarded Regina dubiously. "I donít like leaving you here alone."

"Donít worry." Regina dried her hands off on a paper towel and then tossed it into a waste container. "Iím going across the street to talk with Todd."

"Whoís Todd?"

"Heís the fireman we met here a few weeks ago," Regina explained.

"All right." Sandy locked the door to the file cabinet and then walked to the door. "Iíll see you tomorrow then."

"Well, hold up. Iíll walk out with you." Regina grabbed her coat and followed Sandy out of the clinic.

They parted at the sidewalk. Regina looked up and down the street for Alexís Jeep. When she didnít see her she trotted across the road. She shivered in the damp air. Her thoughts wandered to TJ and she hoped he was safe.

The lights from inside the firehouse cast the misshapen shadows from the trucks outward onto the pavement. She could hear raucous laughter and voices from inside and she called out. "Hello."

"Hi there." A tall, burly looking man with a goatee and moustache walked towards the front of the garage.

"Iím looking for Todd. Is he around?"

"Yeah, heís upstairs." He tilted his head and let out a piercing whistle. "Yo, Todd. Youíve got a visitor."

A few moments later, a door towards the rear of the garage opened and claws scrabbled across the concrete floor. "Lucky, heel." The large German Shepard stopped lunging ahead against his leash and fell into step along side his master. Toddís face brightened when he saw Regina standing beside his friend. "I havenít seen you in a while. What brings you here?"

Regina reached down and scratched between Luckyís pointed ears. "I worked at the clinic today and figured Iíd stop by to say hi and ask you a question." She glanced down as the dog grumbled and pressed against her. "Heís a pleasure hound."

"Always. You have a friend for life there. Why donít you come inside?" Todd motioned with his hand.

"Iím waiting for Alex to pick me up."

"No problem. This is Moose by the way." Todd jabbed his thumb at the taller man.

Regina smiled up at him. "Why Moose?"

Todd chuckled. "Besides being incredibly hard-headed, heís the strongest guy on the unit."

Moose puffed his chest out proudly at the compliment.

"Regina is a doctor at the Medical Center." Todd continued his introductions.

"Oh. What department do you work in?"

"Pediatrics," Regina replied.

Moose nodded tersely. "Well, Iíve got to get back and finish cleaning our gear. Nice talking with you."

Todd watched him leave and then looked back at Regina. "His ex-girlfriend works at the hospital. Itís still a pretty sore subject for him. So what do you want to ask me?"

Regina laughed as Lucky nudged her hand and leaned against her. "Thereís a patient that disappeared out of the medical center on Saturday and no one can find him. He has a traumatic brain injury. I just wanted to know if you can keep an eye out for him in your travels."

"What does he look like?" Toddís brow creased in concern.

"Heís approximately fifteen years old. His head was shaved about ten days ago and he has a half-moon scar on the left side of his head," Regina said.

"Whatís the kidís name?"

"Iím not even sure itís his real one. He told me it was TJ."

"Iíll let the guys know." Todd looked over Reginaís shoulder. "Any idea why he ran off?"

"I think he was trying to avoid going into another foster home."

"Thatís tough." His eyes followed a pair of headlights as they grew closer and came to a stop in front of the clinic across the street. "Is that your ride?"

Regina turned just as Alex stepped out of the Jeep and shut the door. "Alex. Iím over here." She waved at the taller woman.

The doctor glanced at the darkened windows of the clinic and then walked across the street. "Hey. What are you doing over here?" Alex asked as she walked up beside Regina.

"I was just telling Todd about that pediatric patient. I thought maybe it would help since heís downtown and we have absolutely no idea where this kid ran off to."

"It couldnít hurt. Alex nodded and gave Todd a reserved smile. "Heís gotten big since the last time we saw him." Alex stooped down and ruffled the coarse hair around the dogís neck.

Todd laughed. "Tell me about it. I pay his food bills."

"Speaking of food," Alex jumped in, grateful for the excuse to end the conversation. "You ready to go home?"

"Yeah, Iím starving." Regina replied. She turned to the fireman and smiled. "Thanks, Todd. Let me know if you hear or see anything about our friend."

"I will." He nodded and waved his hand as the two women turned and walked back across the street.

******

"Youíre awfully quiet." Alex cast a glance at her companion, wondering why she was being so quiet on the ride home. She slowed the Jeep and turned into the driveway of her condo.

Regina rubbed her face and stifled a yawn. "Iím just tired. Sandy and I treated thirty patients today."

Alex regarded her thoughtfully and then caressed Reginaís face with her hand. "Letís go inside and get something to eat."

"Sounds good to me," Regina said, as she stepped out of the vehicle. She followed Alex up to the door and leaned against the taller woman as she unlocked the door.

"Hey. What are you doing back there?" Alex asked, over her shoulder.

"Mmph. Nothing, you feel good thatís all," Regina replied in a sleepy voice.

Alex smiled and stepped inside. She closed the door and turned to Regina. "Come here." She wrapped her arms around the smaller woman and hugged her tightly. Alex closed her eyes and pressed the full length of her body into Regina, marveling at how well they fit together. "Wait here," she guided Regina to the leather couch and nudged her back onto the cushions. "Iíll see what I can scrounge up for us in the kitchen."

One green eye opened and regarded her skeptically.

"Tch. Have more faith." Alex swiped her hand across Reginaís knee and walked away.

She opened the refrigerator and cringed at its meager contents. Alex made a mental note to stop at the grocery store before she invited Regina over again. "Okay." She rubbed her hands together and then reached for the eggs. "Looks like weíre having breakfast for dinner."

"Are you talking to yourself?"

Alex turned around to see Regina leaning against the doorframe with her arms folded across her chest. "I thought you were tired."

Regina shrugged and pushed off the wall. "Not anymore. Do you want some help?"

Alex gave her a sheepish look and held up the carton of eggs. "Itís not like weíre having anything lavish."

"Letís see what else you have hidden away in here." Regina rummaged through the refrigerator, pulling out several items, while Alex set a pan on the stove.

"I talked to Cassandra today," Alex offered, as she cut off a pat of butter and dropped it into the frying pan.

"How did it go?" Regina looked at her and then pulled a knife out of a drawer.

"Not good." Alex shook her head. "Do you want four or six eggs in the omelet?"

"Four," Regina said, as she cut up a pepper. "What did she say?"

Alex cracked the eggs and drained them into a bowl. "I walked in on a phone call that she obviously didnít want anyone hearing. From what I overheard, she and whoever else is involved has no intention of stopping any of the drug trials that might questionable."

"What did you say to her?" Regina turned the burner on and scraped the chopped pepper into the frying pan.

Alex didnít answer and her brow furrowed as she stirred the eggs with a fork. "I played along with her.

Reginaís eyes widened and she grasped Alexís forearm. "What do you mean, Ďyou played along with herí?"

Alex leaned on the counter. "She wanted to know if I was still on the team. I told her I was."

"Have you lost your mind?" Reginaís eyes widened in disbelief.

"Maybe." Alex cringed before she told her the rest. "I also called the Office of the Inspector General today."

Regina pulled a spatula out of a drawer and fussed with the mixture of egg and green pepper. "Is there anything else I need to know about?" She closed her eyes and shook her head. "If there is, Iím going to need a Valium, right now."

"The guy I talked to is going to page me tonight so we can set up a time and a place to meet."

"Sweet Jesus. Youíve already made up your mind to do this." Regina turned off the burner and pulled two plates out of a cabinet.

"Yes I have."

"Why didnít you tell me you were going to do this?" Regina stared down at the counter, trying not to get angry with Alex. Her heart fluttered in her chest and she forced down a wave of nausea.

"Reg, I didnít know what I was going to do right up until I was talking to Cassandra. She told me I would be expected at a black tie affair to kick off the fundraising for the new cardiac wing."

"Wait a minute. I thought that idea got canned when they were six million in the hole at the end of last year."

"It was, but apparently they found a way to fund it."

"Alex, donít be the one to do this." Regina stepped in, wrapped her arms around her waist and rested her head on Alexís shoulder.

Alex linked her arms around the smaller womanís waist. "Reg, my gut tells me Iím too close to whatís going on, not to get involved. I donít want to be on the wrong side of this battle when the game is finally up."

"Iím scared for you." Regina tilted her head up and looked at Alex.

Alex kissed her forehead and hugged her. "Letís eat before the eggs get cold."

*******

It was ten oíclock and Alex was stretched out on the leather couch with Regina tucked in against her side. They spent the last couple of hours debating what Alex was about to do and they were both exhausted.

Regina sighed and rubbed her hand over Alexís shirt. Her fist clenched and she grabbed a fistful of fabric and tugged it several times. "I hate it when youíre right," she grumbled.

Alex ran her hand over Reginaís face, stroking her gently. "Itís not about me being right. Itís about doing the right thing. I canít in good conscience let them continue to do these drug tests. At best theyíre not getting consent from the patients and at worst theyíre falsifying the data to get the drugs out on the market sooner."

Regina jumped as Alexís pager went off. "Son of a bitch," she muttered as her heart raced nervously.

Alex lifted it from her belt and squinted as she read the numbers. She reached behind her and picked up the portable phone that she had set on the table earlier. Silently, she punched in the numbers and waited for a voice.

"Weber."

"Hello, Matthew."

"Good, Iím glad you called me back. Do you know where Hawkeís Nest Reservation is?"

"Yeah, I used to run there all the time."

"Weíll meet at the south entrance in the parking lot at six tomorrow night."

"Iíll be there," Alex replied. Click, the connection cut off and she set the phone down on her stomach and sighed. I might as well get this over with now. "ReginaÖ" She studied the blonde who was looking back at her with a wary, resignation on her face and realized she couldnít expect her not to come with her. "Do you want to be to come with me tomorrow?"

"What?"

Alex chuckled at the perplexed expression on her partnerís face. Not what you were expecting was it? "Do you want to come with me tomorrow?"

Regina studied her for a second and then nodded her head. "Someoneís got to look after your butt. Might as well be me." She settled her head back down on Alexís chest and nuzzled the softness of her breast through her shirt. "So what happens now?"

"I suppose he wants to find out what I know so far and then make a decision to go forward with an investigation or not."

"Can I ask you a question?"

"You just did." Alexís body shook as she stifled her laughter.

"Brat." Regina smacked her on her hip, then, propped up on her elbow to look at Alex. "Do you remember the girl with the tumor in her leg?"

"The same one who called you over the weekend?"

"Yes."

Alex nodded her head slightly. "I know who youíre talking about."

"She wants to shave her head before all her hair falls out."

"Mm. Thatís what Lana did." Alex shifted on the couch so she was lying on her side with Regina pressed up against her. "What did you say to her?"

"I told her to talk to her mom and see if they could agree on something." Regina draped an arm over Alexís hip and slid one of her legs in between the taller womanís thighs.

"Sounds reasonable," Alex replied softly, waiting for Regina to get back to what she really wanted to ask.

"Alex, what happens if the investigation proves there is something illegal going on?"

"I guess itíll go before a grand jury." Alex rubbed her hand over Reginaís back in a reassuring motion.

"No, I mean what will happen to you."

Alex heard the concern in Reginaís voice and looked at the worry-filled green eyes. The realities were there, staring her in the face. Legally, the hospital couldnít do anything, but the fact remained, her decisions were sure to set off a chain of events that once started could never be pulled back. "I donít know, Regina."

The blonde cupped her hand around Alexís cheek and rubbed her thumb across her lips. "Well, whatever happens, weíll get through it together."

Alex smiled and closed her eyes. She leaned her forehead against Reginaís in quiet relief. "Iím glad I have you with me."

"You are. Are you?" Regina worked the top two buttons loose on Alexís shirt and nuzzled the warm skin, inhaling the subtle fragrance of her perfume.

Alex inhaled sharply as Regina nibbled at the base of her neck and felt her shirt being tugged from her pants. She watched as Regina undid another button and moved her lips lower and brushed over her cleavage. She shifted and rolled over, pinning the smaller woman beneath her. Their eyes met and a mischievous smile spread over Alexís face as she leaned closer and then ducked her head to nibble at Reginaís earlobe.

She moved lower and began a slow, leisurely exploration of Reginaís neck, teasing her with soft nips of her teeth. Beneath her, Regina squirmed and moaned softly, her hands urging Alex on as they moved across her back and shoulders.

Slowly, Alex pulled back and smiled down at Regina as she sat back on her heels, straddling her hips. Her body was tingling with a pure animal arousal of their contact and she ran her hands over the front of Reginaís shirt, caressing her breasts through the cotton fabric.

She stared down into unfocused green eyes, tugged playfully at Reginaís belt, and then kissed her chastely on the corner of her mouth. She pushed herself off the couch and stood up.

Alex took Reginaís hand and led her up the stairs into her bedroom. She turned the light on and turned to Regina. "Come here." A wistful smile crossed her lips and she brushed her fingers through Reginaís hair. She trailed them down over her shoulders and then unbuttoned Reginaís shirt the rest of the way.

Reginaís eyes closed and she inhaled sharply as Alexís lips brushed along her neck, down over the swell of her breasts. Her hands clutched at Alexís hips and tilted her head back.

Alex ran her lips along her up turned chin and then captured her lips in a slow, tender kiss. Her hands slid up over Reginaís back and unhooked her bra, which she let fall to the floor between them. "I love to touch you," Alex growled, closing her eyes and rubbing her cheek against Reginaís.

After a time of touching and caressing Reginaís body, Alex sat her down on the bed. She tugged off her shoes and socks and gently pushed the younger woman onto her back.

She kicked off her own shoes and stepped out of her pants. Alex joined Regina on the bed and kissed her again. Her fingertips traced a lazy pattern across her eyebrows, down her nose and around her mouth, which she punctuated with a kiss before she renewed her tracing around her ears and down her shoulders.

Alex maintained eye contact with Regina the entire time watching her face flush with excitement as her fingers circled around her breasts. She trailed her lips down between her breasts, smiling as she heard Reginaís breath catch in her throat.

Reginaís hands grasped Alexís shoulders and pulled her back up. Ignoring the buttons on her shirt, she pulled Alexís shirt over her head. A mischievous smile touched her lips as she pulled the cloth down over her wrists and left the cuffs buttoned. Her hands roamed unchecked over Alexís naked body.

Alex chuckled and shook her head. "Oh no you donít," she said, deftly undoing the buttons and tossing her shirt to the floor. She leaned over Regina, planting her hands over her head and staring down at her.

Unable to resist the sight of her raised brown nipples surrounded by slightly darker areola Regina lifted her head and pressed her mouth over one breast, breathing warm air over the sensitive flesh. She caressed the other breast with a free hand, enjoying the sensual chemistry between them.

Alexís head fell forward and she moaned softly. She reached down, and worked Reginaís belt loose and undid the button.

Their mouths met in a passionate kiss and Regina arched against Alexís body, seeking more contact. Alex tugged the zipper down and broke off the kiss to pull Reginaís pants off.

Alex reached an arm down and caressed one of Reginaís calves while she rubbed her face over her belly and inhaled the heady scent of her arousal. She ran her hand up the inside of Reginaís leg, intermittently massaging the muscles and teasing with her nails.

Regina lifted her leg over Alexís thigh, pushing her hips up as Alexís fingers finally caressed and glided ever so softly over her swollen lips. "Please," Regina breathed arching her back to push herself onto Alexís fingers. Her hands brushed through Alexís hair and grasped the back of her head, guiding her mouth lower.

Reginaís hips rocked, matching the rhythm of Alexís fingers as they filled her and then her body trembled anew as soft lips enveloped her clitoris. The trembling started in her center and spiraled outwards. Her hands clutched at Alexís shoulders, her fingers clamping and unclamping until she arched her back in orgasm.

Afterwards, Regina lay half on her side with Alex curled up and resting her head on her belly. She ran her fingers through the dark hair, lifting it up and letting fall over Alexís shoulders.

Alex caught her hand and planted a kiss on the soft skin of her palm. "You doing okay?"

Regina smiled and squirmed closer, still feeling tiny aftershocks of pleasure down below. "Wonderful." Her eyes twinkled and she laughed softly at herself.

"What?" Alex lifted her head and studied the changing emotions on Reginaís face.

"I was just thinking."

"Mm. About?" Alex propped her head on her hand in anticipation.

"Wouldnít it be incredible if we could make a baby?"

Alexís eyes widened. "Well, unless I missed a class in medical school I donít think weíre going to have much luck with that."

"Tch." Regina rolled her eyes. "I know that," she replied and ducked her head to hide a blush. "I just think it would really be beautiful if we could, thatís all."

Alex stared at her and swallowed as her heart pounded in her chest. "Did you want to have a baby?"

"I donít know. I think at some point I reconciled myself to never having that be a part of my life, but after seeing Zachary I started thinking about it again." Regina looked up at Alex. "Donít worry itís not like Iím going to go find a donor and get pregnant or anything. I just was thinking about it. Thatís all."

Alex sat up and scooted up to the head of the bed. Okay, breathe, Alex. Sheís just thinking about it. Agh! If sheís thinking about it that meansÖwhat? Does she want to have a baby and sheís afraid to say anything? Crap! A kid! I donít even like them. She stared down at her hands and exhaled. "I never knew you felt that way."

Regina shrugged and curled up on her side. "Will you hold me?"

"Sure." Alex curled around her with her belly pressed up against Reginaís backside and her arm draped over her middle. She rested her head on the pillow and stared at the wall while she listened to Reginaís breathing as it slowed and became deeper as she relaxed and finally fell asleep. Alex rubbed her eyes and snuggled closer realizing that she never considered the possibility that Regina might want to have a baby. It certainly put a different perspective on things.

You can send any feedback to L66n@msn.com. Yep, thatís right the old email addy is back. Hopefully there wonít be any further changes after this.

Chapter 25

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