His eyes searched her face, looking for clues. She wouldn’t meet his eye, afraid her glance would betray her.
“You aren’t sick, are you? I know you’ve not been feeling your best lately.”
“No, I’m fine, really. Absolutely marvelous, in fact.” A quick glance up into his face, blushing, she lowered her eyes once more.
“What are you trying to tell me?”
“You know I’ve been saying I have been on this emotional roller coaster, and feeling rather off color?”
“Yes, so?” He was anxious now, worried about her.
“I got curious…I bought the little test thing, just to see…. Oh, Deacon, I’m pregnant!”
He forced his mouth shut with concerted effort, eyes dancing, glittering as they met hers. “You’re sure?”
“I bought the test and it was positive, so I went to see Dr. Cooper today and had another test run. He said perhaps a month to five weeks along.”
He touched her abdomen gently, hardly knowing what to do or say. Joy like he had never experienced before, coursed through him and he started to grin like a village idiot.
“A baby! Damn! Kacy, this is fantastic!” He kissed her softly, handling her as if she were made of spun glass.
Her giggling brought him to his senses. “I’m pregnant, not fragile, you goof!”
“Not a goof, my love, a buffoon. Oh, my God, I’m going to be a father!” He sat up, the thought somewhat sobering.
“You’ll have to grow up and be responsible now. Can you manage?” she teased, but part of what she said hit home.
“Kacy, I don’t want to try to raise a child in New York. The City is no place for children.”
“Who said anything about New York? We can live anywhere.”
“I know, but obviously I was thinking of the business. I still want to plan to move here, that is if you want to.”
Her smile softened, she kissed him tenderly. “Deacon, I want to be wherever you are. I could be happy in Timbuktu, as long as we were together.”
He held her gently, tenderly, savoring every curve of her body, caressing her softly as they made love. Unlike their usual impassioned encounters, this one was full of their love for one another, and their unborn child.
Later, Kacy slept in his arms and he lay awake planning for the future. He wanted everything to be perfect, or as close as he could make it. The first thing he wanted to do after their wedding, was meet his birth mother, maybe find his father too. They had the right to know they were going to be grandparents, and the child deserved to know who they were.
Like a black cloud, thoughts of the theater shoved their way into the perimeter of his awareness. Something was wrong. Someone was trying to force a sale, and he still hadn’t the least idea who. The fire had been set with the deliberate intention of trapping people inside it. It was only blind luck that it had not gone off earlier in the evening when the actors were there.
Why would anyone do such a thing? Was this the reason the plans had been stolen? What about the blueprints? Why steal those? He sat up suddenly in bed, startling Kacy. She muttered and mumbled incoherently, lying back down, snuggling into the pillows.
Why would anyone steal blueprints, unless there was something important in them? Something that made having them essential, like somewhere to hide while the theater was being searched. Somewhere no one would think to look because, as far as they knew, it didn’t exist. He’d have a look at those plans tomorrow. Dino had a set in his office. That had to hold the key to how they did what they did, but it didn’t solve who was doing it. Perhaps if they knew how, they could figure out who.
“Can’t solve it tonight,” he said softly, as he curled up beside Kacy, falling into a fitful sleep.
His dreams were full of burning buildings, black smoke and ghostly figures, specters from his past. Foremost of these, a tall, lanky man with blond hair and smiling blue eyes. He strode purposefully forward from the flames, his hand extended to Deacon in friendship.
“Take care of her well, little brother. Don’t ever let her go, like I did. Hold on forever, you’ll never find another girl like her. She was meant for you.”
The man shook Deacon’s hand, he could almost feel the touch on his palm. Turning, Pete walked away, receding until he disappeared all at once.
“Wait! Pete, wait!” his voice sounded strange in his ears, muffled, distant.
Waking with a start, he realized he’d been shouting in his sleep. Kacy sat up next to him, frowzy headed and staring in alarm.
“Deacon? You were shouting, are you all right?”
“Just a strange dream, Kacy.” He told her what he had seen, what Pete had said.
She shuddered, clutching his arms. “I had a similar dream a few weeks ago, only he told me to love you, and never let you go. Oh, Deacon, he’s gone from us forever, isn’t he?”
Deacon gathered her into his embrace. “He can’t ever really be gone, unless we forget him.”
“You’re right. There just is this little feeling of emptiness, you know?”
He nodded, holding her close to his heart. “It will be all right, Kacy.”
They lay near one another, her head on his chest, his arms around her protectively and they slept.
©2021 Dellani Oakes