THE BRASS RING
By Mavis Applewater
For Disclaimers see part one.
Thanks to my beta reader Joanne.
As Always For Heather
Jamie collapsed against the door and began to sob hysterically. "Why would she say those things?" she cried out to no one. "What if its true?" The tears fell harder; nothing made sense. She couldnt think. She was tired from lack of sleep over the past week. Her body ached from her hangover and she couldnt recall the last time she had anything to eat. All she knew for certain was that last night, for a few short hours, shed found herself in CCs arms.
Her mind argued that it was the last place she should find herself, but her heart disagreed. It felt right. It felt more than right. It felt like it had twelve years ago. It seemed like a lifetime ago, but the pain was still as fresh as the first night she sat up waiting for the phone call that never came. "Could what CC told me be the truth?" she cried out in the emptiness.
The angry pounding on the door rattled through her tired body. "Its her," she said quickly as she pulled herself to her feet. She wiped her nose on her shirt before opening the door. CC wasnt standing on the other side. Instead she found a very angry Stevie holding a crying infant.
"Crying?" Stevie asked bitterly. "Good, because so is my sister."
Jamie backed away fearfully from the doorway. The baby cried harder. "You have no idea how hard it was for her to come over here and face you," Stevie continued as she kicked the door close. For the first time in years, Jamie suddenly feared for her life. The infant continued to cry. Jamie looked at the baby. At first she had assumed that it was her mothers yelling that caused her discomfort. Now her trained eye led her to believe that there was something wrong.
"My sister worshiped the ground that you walked on," Stevie continued. "You broke her heart."
"Whats wrong with the baby?" Jamie asked her quickly.
Stevie just shook her head and stared at her blankly. "Whats wrong with the baby?" Jamie repeated, her professionalism kicking in. Stevie seemed uncertain what to do. "Look," Jamie offered in a calm tone, "you can keep telling me off. Im a bitch, okay? Now we all agree. Whats wrong with the baby?"
"I dont know," Stevie choked out. "Im waiting for her pediatrician to call, but he hasnt yet."
"Can I take a look at her?" Jamie held out her arms. Seeing the indecision on Stevies face, she said, "You can still tell me what a complete jackass I am."
"Deal," Stevie agreed as she handed her daughter over to Jamie.
Jamie pulled a comforter down off the back of the sofa before laying the crying child down. "Hey there, peanut," Jamie cooed to the child. "Not feeling good?"
"CC calls her that," Stevie commented absently.
"My bag is in the kitchen. Would you grab it for me?" Jamie asked.
Stevie returned quickly with the black bag in hand. "How long has she been like this?" Jamie inquired as she began a careful exam.
"She woke up early and was a little fussy," Stevie explained as Jamie continued her exam.
"Whats her name?" Jamie asked as she took the babys temperature. "I know. No one likes that part of the exam," she reassured the infant.
"Emma," Stevie informed her. "And youre still a jerk."
"Hey Emma." Jamie tickled the child. "She has a slight fever. Is CC telling me the truth?"
Jamie peeked into Emmas ear and her suspicions were confirmed. "How long have you been waiting for her doctor to call?" Jamie inquired.
"All morning," Stevie offered. "And yes, CC told you the truth. She was shot by a guy who was about to rat out a bunch of cops, FBI agents and a certain Southie mob boss. You know the one - elderly gentleman, likes to where a Red Soxs baseball cap, and no one knows where the hell he is."
Jamie continued a careful exam of Emmas tired little body. She checked her bag to see if she had her prescription pad and then wrote out a prescription before redressing Emma and handing her back to her mother. "Emma has an ear infection. Its very common at her age."
"Really?" Stevie relaxed as she cradled her daughter.
"Here this should help." Jamie handed the prescription to Stevie. "I think you should see a pediatrician, I know someone. I could call her if youd like?"
"Thank you," Stevie said sincerely.
Jamie felt the tears building as she dialed her friends number. "She was all alone?" Jamie asked. "At the hospital?" Jamie choked at the thought of CC lying helpless with no one there for her.
"Yes," Stevie responded coldly.
"Sandy, Jamie Jameson . . . ," she spoke into the telephone. She explained about Emma and Sandy agreed to see the infant immediately. Jamie then relayed the information to Stevie.
"Thank you for Emma," Stevie said.
"But Im still a total jackass." Jamie sniffed as her heart shattered. "I didnt know. Why didnt someone tell me?"
"No one knew about you," Stevie explained softly. "By the time she found you, it was too late. The day she did find you, you were sucking face with some girl."
"The things I said to her." Jamie whimpered as she brushed the tears out of her eyes. "Do you have a car?"
"Yes, and I know where to go," Stevie confirmed. "What are you going to do?"
"I need to talk to CC," Jamie confessed as she grabbed up her sneakers.
"No kidding." Stevie laughed.
"One question, Stevie," Jamie started carefully. "Whos little Emmas Daddy?"
"Long story." Stevie smirked as they started out the front door. "If the two of you havent killed one another by the time I get back, Ill tell you."
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