Read Firstborn Online

Authors: Carrigan Fox

Firstborn (16 page)

“I dabbled a bit, too, with engineering and computer sciences.  I thought it was a good idea given that I was being groomed for my father’s business.”
  She turned her attention to his parents to explain, “MaCall Securities prides itself on having the most up-to-date technology when it comes to security for its clients.”

“And the philosophy and quantum physics?” he
pressed.

“Well that’s my passion of course.”  When he still appeared unclear, she explained, “Quantum physics is a theoretical study not of matter, but the power of the mind, essentially.  It’s the study of energy and how our observations dictate how that energy behaves.  Our consciousness is the basis for reality.  But we only observe a small portion of the world with our conscious mind.  Our subconscious is much more observant, but most of us are unaware of how to will
ingly tap into the subconscious, which allows us a stronger influence on the world and events around us.”

Having suddenly realized
that everyone was watching her, she paused.

“And studying the power of the mind and tapping into your subconscious is definitely your specialty.”  Will looked up at his parents, “Jac has visions.”

His dad immediately looked skeptical, his mother curious.  “Premonitions?” she asked.

Jac shrugged, not wanting to make a big deal of it when his father was already uncomfortable.  “Not always.  Sometimes I can tap into the energy of a room where something has already happened.  Other times I get a vision of something that has not yet happened.”

“That’s actually how we met.  I have a bit of a situation, and I wanted to keep you out of it.  But security is also one of Jac’s specialties.”  He smiled at her and took her hand.  “Who knew that I was going to marry a genius with such diverse talents and interests.”

“Marry?” his mother perked up even more.

“I think it’s best if we explain everything to you.  From the beginning,” he added.  “Jac has urged me to do so, for your own safety if nothing else.  I told her that your scientific minds would struggle with it, but she’s certain that you’ll be just fine, given that you’ve raised such a fine son.”

“From the beginning, Will,” his father ordered.  “And bear in mind that your mom is a bit sensitive to discussions about your safety.”

“I don’t know,” Jac disagreed.  “We women tend to be stronger than you men give us credit for.”  She smiled at Meredith across the table.  She loved Will more than anything, but she desperately wanted this woman’s support and friendship.

“Well, I suppose it all started when this militant group learned that my firstborn child wo
uld some day save the world,” Will began seriously.

His parents gawked at him and Jaclyn burst into a fit of giggles.

“Jesus, Will.  And you guys say that women are dramatic.  You could kind of ease into the story.”

He pouted a bit.  “Then you tell it,” he challenged.

And so she did.

***

The following evening, Jac convinced Will to take her to an outdoor concert in the park.  She argued that nobody would dare attack him in such a public place.  They enjoyed hamburgers on the grill and visiting with various customers of Jac and patients of Will. 

Jac had left the engagement ring at her home, still unwilling to publicly announce the engagement
to bring on the attention of the men who wanted Will and his unborn child dead.  Nevertheless, she was perfectly aware of the attention she was receiving.  Every man who eyed her drew her focus and her scrutiny as she made a mental note of their physical description, asked others for their names, and made plans to compare her mental list to the list from Detective Wilson.

The detective, in the meantime, was focusing on the fire investigation.  They had determined that it was definitely arson, but they had no evidence that would point to a particular person. 
Wilson was quietly following and investigating Holt, but did not yet have any conclusive evidence of his involvement.  Even Aislin had admitted that he seemed to be lying low, his weekly poker games now a thing of the past.

The truth was that Jac was getting tired of living in fear.  She wanted to draw out these enemies so that she could go on the offense, rather than living every day on the defense, waiting for them to come after them again.  Her pregnancy was early enough that nobody could tell so far.  But she also was hesitant to even get confirmation from her doctor for fear that word would somehow get to the militia. 

So if the concert in the park was too public for an attack, great.  And if they wanted to come after her here, then let them come.  She shrugged her shoulders and adjusted her cropped jacket to make sure that her shoulder holster was hidden. 

“Is that really necessary?” Will had asked as she slipped her gun into the holster
that afternoon at his house.

“It certainly can’t hurt, can it?”

Will now tapped his fingers on her leg in time to the music and sipped from his bottle of beer, the gun against her ribs forgotten for the moment.  He turned to her and grinned, enjoying himself more than he had when he’d had to tell his parents that someone wanted him dead. 

The Drs. Archer
had handled it very well, all things considered.  And they’d been thrilled to learn that their son was engaged to marry Jaclyn MaCall and that she was pregnant with their grandchild.  Nevertheless, both Will and Jac had been exhausted when they had finally arrived at his house, too exhausted to do much more than turn out the light and collapse into his bed.

The morning after the concert, Jac was lying in bed and listening to Will brew his coffee.  Inspired by Meredith, Jac had spent hours after the concert Googling the various men on the list from Detective Wilson.  She had printed pictures and information that she could find, including addresses and phone numbers.  If they wouldn’t come to her, she would go to them. 
Even the threat of exposure would be enough to make most of them back down, she hoped.  The reality was that it probably wouldn’t be that easy.  Will had heard her come to bed after two o’clock in the morning and decided to let her sleep while he wandered downstairs to make coffee.

She heard him opening and closing cabinets and running the cold water for the coffee maker.  The sounds of pots and pans banging
brought a smile to her face as she said a small prayer for bacon and eggs.

Then she saw him as clearly as if she had been standing on the front porch, watching him walk down the driveway to his black SUV.  He didn’t turn to say goodbye, assuming she was still up in bed asleep.  Instead, he pressed the button on his keyless entry and lifted the door handle.  Before climbing into the vehicle, she saw him lift his shoe to examine the bottom and heard him curse the wad of gum stuck on his heel.  As if in slow motion, the entire vehicle suddenly transformed into a fireball, consuming both the SUV and the doctor
who stood in the open doorway.

Jac bolted upright in bed and raced down the stairs.  While she had hoped to find Will in the kitchen fixing breakfast, she saw that he had left a note on the counter.

Gone for doughnuts.

She cried his name and sprinted to the front door, the bottom of one of his old t-shirts riding up over her bare legs and hips and she tore open the front door and burst out
onto the front porch.  Will looked up in surprise as he pulled open the car door.  His smile faded to a look of confusion and then fear as Jac launched herself off of the front porch and across the driveway, barely grabbing enough of Will to knock him to the ground as the world exploded around them.

They crawled across the grass together, Jac folding herself in his arms and
calling his name repeatedly.  She feared that he had been scorched a little or even deafened by the sound of the explosion. She touched his face while he watched his burning SUV in disbelief.

“You died,” she cried.

He shook his head and shushed her, hugging her to his chest as hard as he could.  “I’m fine.  We’re fine,” he assured her.

They sat together watching the fire in horror until she was able to suck in a shuddering breath. 

“You can’t save me like that anymore,” he argued.  “You’ve got the baby to think about.”

“He needs his father, too,” she argued.  “He’s strong and he’s fine.  Besides, if Aislin saw the vision, then it’s going to happen.  And she saw me, too.  So
the baby and I will be fine.”

“How did you know?” he asked, not really needing an explanation.

“I saw it.  You opened your door and paused to take the gum off of your shoe, and then it exploded.  You were right there.  You were probably killed by the force of the explosion.”

He shook his head.  “There was no gum.”  He lifted his shoe and was stunned to find the dirty pink piece stuck to his heel.  “But I didn’t know that.  I didn’t take it off.  You distracted me.”

She nodded with relief and gratitude.

“Don’t you see, Jac, you changed the vision.  If that was my destiny, you just changed my destiny.”

“Aislin had a vision of our boy in college, worrying about you not being supportive of his change in majors.  That is our fate, Will.”

“It wasn’t five minutes ago when that SUV was supposed to blow me up.  It just goes to show you that we are constantly creating our own destinies, Jaclyn.”

 

C
hapter 15

A tiny red sports car peeled up the driveway from the road, and Jac watched it from the porch swing
as the sun cast a red hue to the twilight sky.  Detective Wilson had come and gone in search of Adam Holt.  He was finally going to bring him in for questioning.  Jac wasn’t so naïve as to actually believe that getting Adam Holt behind bars would dissolve the entire militant organization to which he belonged.  But she was hoping that the rest of them weren’t fixated on her firstborn child. 

Her sister had also
dropped by to check in after Will’s security detail had called her.  It had taken Jac an exhausting hour to convince her that she and Will were fine.  She had left right behind the tow truck that had taken the remains of Will’s poor SUV.  As for how anyone had gotten close enough to wire the SUV while Will’s security detail sat on duty on the front porch swing, that was anyone’s guess.  Jac couldn’t help but wonder if he had fallen asleep, and she was demanding that her father bring him in for a briefing.

In the meantime,
she had to attend to the unwanted visitor who was driving a bit too fast up Will’s driveway.  The sports car was Aislin’s, and Jac smiled weakly as her friend hopped out of the car and cried out to her as she ran up the front steps. 

“Oh, Jac, are you okay?”

“I’m fine, Aislin.  We’re both fine.”

“I heard about the car bomb.”

“On the news?”  She had already called her own father and Will’s parents to assure them that they were okay.  And now, she didn’t want to move off of the porch unless it was to drag her carcass upstairs to Will’s bed.  It had been an exhausting day, and she couldn’t even blame the baby yet for draining her energy.

“No, it’s not on the news.  I heard Adam on the phone.”

Jac sucked in her breath, anticipating the final break and evidence that would lead to this monster’s conviction.  “Tell me,” she encouraged.

“I woke up in the
wee hours of the morning and heard him on his phone.  He was talking to John again.  I heard him say your name and crept to the doorway of the bedroom so that I could catch more of the conversation.  Adam told him that he was putting an end to this one way or another, starting with a car bomb at Will’s place.  Today.  He then paused and seemed to listen, and I wasn’t sure if John was talking or if he’d heard me get out of bed.  I tiptoed back to bed so that I could pretend to be sleeping if he came in.  But he never came in.  He left my house only minutes later.”

“No more risks, Aislin.  This is not your battle.”

“It’s because of me that you are in danger, Jac.  I can’t sit by and do nothing.”

“You have to break it off with him.”

She shrugged and oddly seemed a bit hurt when she said, “It’s done.  He left.  I went to his house this afternoon and found that he had disappeared.  There was no clothing and were no belongings.  His house was empty.”

“Why didn’t you call me?  Why did you take this long to get here?”

Aislin shook her head, her big blue eyes filling with tears.  “My mother was a strong and honorable woman.  She used her second sight for good.  She always taught me to help others.  Instead, I end up getting suckered by some psycho who tries to kill my closest friend because of something that I told him.  When I realized he had left my house, I lay huddled under the comforter on my bed, cowering like a child and crying over my own misfortune.”

“You are strong, Aislin.  And your mother knew it.”

“Do you know what my name means?”  She paused and allowed Jac to shake her head.  “It means ‘vision.’  She had so much faith in me from the very beginning.  But I simply cannot get it right.  I always mess up everything.”

Jac grabbed her friend’s hand and squeezed it tightly.  “I need your help.  I need your strength.  I’m going to try to prompt a vision and find out where Adam is or who this John character is.  I have to ask you to do the same.  You’ve been connected to this prophecy from the very beginning, Aislin, and I need you to try to get more information to keep Will and I safe.”

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