Face groaned as he felt the shaking of a shoulder, “Go away, Murdock. I’m sleeping. Don’t want no more Tweetie Pie.”
“Don’t worry Kid. You won’t get any. How are you feeling?”
Face extricated himself from under the pillow and looked up in confusion. “Hannibal? What time is it?”
“The next day, Face.”
Face pulled himself up. “I’ve slept right through?”
Hannibal sat on the bed and smiled. “Yeah, you woke a couple of times but went straight back to sleep. How are you feeling now.”
“Fine actually… headache’s gone.”
Hannibal grinned wickedly. “Great, Kid, ’cause we got ourselves another mission.”
Hannibal smiled at Face. “No peace for the wicked, Face. Briefing at 16.00 hrs.”
Face nodded. He jumped off the bed and went to get a shower. He needed to look his best. He wondered briefly where Murdock was, and then he caught sight of his beard in the mirror. ‘Oh dear, I need a shave!’
Murdock looked at the address on the note he’d scribbled down. His face lit up as he saw the cafeteria. He drove down the road looking for a suitable parking space.
Jane sat down at the cafeteria counter and wolfed down the American version of fish and chips. She chuckled as she thought about the shocked look of the waitress when she asked her for vinegar. She looked again at her watch and grumbled. She was wasting time. She hoped to get to Doctor Frederick’s office before it closed and see about the delay in getting her results. ‘My exoneration is more like it,’ she thought grimly. Even though both Murdock and Stephen said they believed her that she was not pregnant, she thought it was more to calm her down. She suspected that they both secretly thought she was. It made her bristle inside. She also wanted to see Face before she went to England. She was worried about him. He sounded like someone trying to hard to seem cheery when they were really bummed as hell. She wondered if it didn’t have something to do with these mysterious ‘errands’ Stephen had been sending them on. She really had a lot of questions about the one they had recently returned on. Jane still steamed over her dad’s nonchalant comment about Face almost falling out of a helicopter. She damn well wanted to know what the two of them had been up to that would call for such a hasty exit that a man would nearly fall out of a flying helicopter. ‘Ellen, would you get your bloody arse out here. You’re late already, and I haven’t got all blooming day.’
She heard the annoying little bell ding on the door. She looked up and was surprised to see her dad walk into the cafeteria. Murdock was equally surprised. It was a pleasant surprise for both of them. Murdock walked over and gave her a big hug, which she eagerly returned.
“What a pleasant surprise, Muchacha. When did you get back into LA?”
Murdock sat down next to Jane at the counter. Jane grinned and winked at Murdock slyly. She ordered him a chocolate milkshake and grinned wickedly at the blush coloring his cheeks. “What? I just ordered you a simple, innocent little milkshake. It couldn’t very well be vanilla. That wouldn’t be proper, would it? If you don’t like it, you can always bring it home for Amy. She always seems to be in the mood for one.”
“Muchacha, you have a dirty mind, and a wicked sense of humor.” They both burst out laughing, totally oblivious to the stares they were receiving from the other patrons.
“Must run in the family.”
“You must have gotten it from your mother. Couldn’t be from moi.”
“Yeah, right. I flew in a few hours ago. I tried your place, but Amy said you were out running errands, but she would give you a message.”
“Oh. I haven’t had time to check in with Amy.” ‘I wonder why Amy didn’t tell me that Jane called. Oh, well, she probably forgot.’ “So what are you doing here? It’s not exactly your usual stomping grounds.”
“Aside from the happy coincidence of bumping into you, this is hardly what I would call a fun visit. I was virtually summoned here from England by Le Grande Dame Ellen. Wonder if the Spaniards sent out summons to the Inquisition.”
“Buck up, Muchacho. It’s not that bad. Ellen is really a nice person once you get to know her. Odd though… I’m here, because Ellen wanted to see me, too. You know, it is beginning to feel odd, like the calm before a storm.”
“That’s because it is,” came a cold, yet decidedly feminine voice from behind them. “I got a table for us in the corner. It’s private, and we should not be disturbed.” The pair got up and followed Ellen to the table, each wondering if the other knew what was going on.
“Jane, I’m going to cut right to the chase. I want an answer. First, are you pregnant? And second, did you ever sleep with my brother?”
Jane was taken aback by Ellen’s questions and was more than a little angry. “Those are pretty personal questions, and I really don’t see why in the bloody hell I should answer you. I will though, if it will get this happy meeting over with any quicker. First, NO! As I have explained to Dad, to Stephen, to the whole bloody friggin’ world, it seems, I am not now nor have I ever been pregnant, nor for the record, a member of the Communist Party. As for the second, it is none of your bloody damn business.”
Murdock took a deep breath and noticed with relief that Jane did not appear any larger. He thought she probably was telling the truth, he prayed she was telling the truth, but he still could not get that night in the motel out of his mind. “Jane, calm down. I believe you, but as your father, I would like to know the answer to the second question.”
“You both are absolutely sick. All right, NO! I NEVER SLEPT WITH YOUR BEST FRIEND, at least not in the way you are implying. Ok, I’ll make it plainer, in a language I am sure you will fully understand. I NEVER FUCKED YOUR BEST FRIEND!!!” The loudly shouted statement got several shocked and interested eyes looking at their table. Murdock could feel his face getting red and hot. He really wished for the moment that the floor would swallow him up. He wondered if he had ever embarrassed Face and the guys like this when he was less than well.