Read Firstborn Online

Authors: Carrigan Fox

Firstborn (4 page)

He imagined bringing Jac MaCall to his home to meet his parents.  He wondered what the four of them would possibly discuss at the dinner table.
  He imagined it would resemble an old
Dharma and Greg
episode, the hippy and the attorney.

“Dr. Archer?”

He shook off the daydream and focused on the other MaCall sister’s soothing voice.  “I’m sorry.  What were you saying, Ms. MaCall?”

“I was saying that Jaclyn indicated
that she made a modification to the contract I had drawn up.”

“Yes.  She has reason to believe that the two men who broke in to my office were searching for some information and might try to kill me after they find it.  She is certain that they will come back.”

“And did she mention what gave her cause to believe these things?”

He could hear the tension in her voice, as though she
were angry with her sister.

“She seemed to have some sort of premonition or something.  I’m a behavioral scientist, Ms. MaCall.  And to be honest, I don’t believe in psychics or premonitions.  I suspect that I would have no use for any of the merchandise that your sister sells in her shop.  Nevertheless, her recommendations were compelling.  And regardless of my own personal beliefs, I trust that your sister is a professional and knows the business.  I defer to her recommendations.”

“Of course.  And you can absolutely trust Jaclyn’s business acumen where security is concerned.  I do apologize if she made you uncomfortable.”

“I wasn’t uncomfortable. 
It was just a new experience for me.”

“I understand.  Jac
can be a bit imposing at times.”

“Imposing?  It’s hard to be imposing in yoga pants and a belly button ring,” he laughed to cover his admiration.

“Excuse me?”

Again, the chill was back in her voice…but it was colder than it had been previously. 

“She had rushed over to make our appointment.”  Why was he making excuses for her?  Because he was aroused even now, thinking of her.  He wasn’t sure that he’d ever wanted another woman more than he wanted Jac MaCall.

“I cannot apologize enough for my sister’s unprofessionalism, Dr. Archer.  My father, too, would be mortified at her behavior and her attire.”

“Except that she doesn’t actually work for MSC any longer.  So there’s no reason to apologize.  And to be perfectly honest, I felt at ease with her.”  After his initial shock.  “And she clearly knew what she was doing and left me feeling confident that she was only interested in my safety and the privacy and security of my patients.  I assure you that I am very pleased with my consultation with your sister, Ms. MaCall.”  He might have been more pleased if he could have had just a small taste of her wide mouth.

There was a moment of silence
as Taryn contemplated how to respond.  “Well thank you for your understanding, Dr. Archer.  I do have your contract here and have already processed your work order.  The team has you scheduled for an install on Thursday of this week.”

“That will be fine.”  He suddenly felt embarrassed, as though he might have given away his attraction to the magnetically eccentric MaCall sister.  “I will be here to let them in when they arrive.”

“Wonderful.  I will give you a call when they are on their way.  And of course I will schedule a follow-up consult with you at that time so that you can give us your feedback and ask any questions that arise.”

“Very good.”

The two wrapped up the conversation quickly, though not quickly enough for Taryn.  She no sooner disconnected the call than she pressed her sister’s speed dial number. 

As soon as she heard her sister’s voice, she accused, “I can’t believe you went to a consult wearing yoga pants.  Dad would hit the roof if he knew about this, Jac!”

“Did the good doctor complain about my informal attire?” she asked cheekily.  She couldn’t imagine that he had, given that he’d hardly disguised his appreciation of her shape.  Every time she turned to speak to him, he was staring at her legs or her belly.  As intelligent as he was, he wasn’t very smart about subtlety with the opposite sex.

“Not exactly.  And I noticed the change in the agreement.  Dr. Archer indicated that you were suddenly inspired to make some modifications.  You had a vision, didn’t you?”

“I did.”

“For cripes sake, Jaclyn.  You can’t do that in front of clients.”

“I don’t control when they happen.  You know that.”

“What I know is that you have more control than you admit.”

“I have no control.  I can sometimes prompt a vision.  And in this case, I’m glad that I was able to capture something.  Taryn, we were blessed with the gift of being able to perceive the essence and energy of the world around us.  And that particular blessing may end up saving Dr. Archer’s life.”

“Did he seem uncomfortable?”

“Only when I dared to suggest that honing a person’s intuition wasn’t much different than what he does with his patients.”

“Jac,” she groaned.

Jaclyn chuckled.  “He didn’t like that very much.  Dr. PhD.  That’s what he said to me, you know.  ‘
have a PhD.’”  She exaggerated the pompousness in his voice and laughed again, remembering the hint of disdain she had heard.

“About the vision, Jac, what happened?”

Jaclyn relived the moment and explained what she had seen and heard.  Her sister agreed that the men sounded like professionals who posed a threat to Dr. Archer. 

“What girl are they looking for?”

“I can only assume it’s a patient,” Jaclyn speculated.  “But they couldn’t find her files.”

“Did you get the impression that Dr. Archer was being less-than-truthful with you?”

“Not at all.  He seemed as perplexed as I was.  But there was one thing.”


“The men who ransacked the place, one had a military buzz cut.  The other talked about moving on someone.  Their mannerisms were stiff and formal.  Both of them struck me as law enforcement types.  Maybe even military guys.”

“Dr. Archer doesn’t strike me as the type of man who would be in trouble with the law.”

Jac laughed in response at the neat and tidy image of Dr. Archer that came to mind.  “No.  He’s not a rule breaker.  The reality is that I simply don’t know who can be trusted.  It’s possible that Dr. Archer isn’t sharing everything with us.  But I trust him.  I think it’s more likely that the good doctor has unknowingly stumbled into a hornet’s nest.  And even as he’s on the verge of being stung, he is oblivious.”

“We’ll stay on top of it and keep a close eye on him.”

“Thanks, Taryn.”  She paused for a moment, more serious than usual, before saying, “He’s fairly adorable, and I want him to be okay.”


She smiled into the phone, remembering.  “He’s got these little curls around the edge of his blond hair.  And his glasses are sexy.  And his green eyes are…dreamy.  Marcia Brady would definitely say he was dreamy.”

“Does he collect bugs?  Like Herbert Something, I think.”

Jaclyn grinned at her sister’s quick reference to one of their favorite Brady episodes. “Harvey Klinger,” she corrected.  “He was Marcia’s first boyfriend and a notorious bug collector.”

“I can always count on you for random useless facts, Jac.  And for the record, I’m now a little p-ed off that I gave that consult to you.  I was stuck standing in the rain and dealing with an obnoxious and offensive egomaniacal tow truck driver.”

Three negative adjectives?  That wasn’t typical for Taryn.  When she was especially angry or frustrated, she would begin throwing around adjectives and insults and G-rated profanity in a tone that clearly resonated R-rated thoughts.  Taryn dealt with rude people on a daily basis.  This tow truck driver must have been extraordinarily hard to handle.  “He was hot, wasn’t he?” Jac guessed.

“I could have fried eggs on his biceps and

The two of them laughed together, enjoying a moment of reflection on their evenings in the company of two deliciously dreamy men.



hapter 4

The chimes above the door tinkled
melodiously, announcing the arrival of a new potential customer.  Jaclyn looked up from where she was standing and sorting her new arrival of crystals in the display drawers and smiled at the pretty young woman who entered.

“Good morning, Aislin.  How are you this morning?”

Aislin Kearney brushed her black curls off of her forehead and glanced around the shop with obvious appraisal.  “Did you get a new order in this morning?”

Jac smiled at the Irish lilt in her voice and nodded at the box at her feet.  “Mostly crystal stock.  We also got some new reading material and aromatherapy.  Are you lookin
g for anything in particular?”

Since opening her shop, Jac had become well-acquainted with the County
Cork transplant.  She was a beautiful young woman who possessed an extraordinary amount of insecurity.  Like Jac MaCall, she had lost her mother at a young age and struggled with the understanding that her mother was fey.  For most of her adolescence, Aislin had tried everything to invoke a premonition, but had few positive results.  Since becoming a regular customer at Triskele, she relied on the knowledge and talents of Jac MaCall and had been blessed with her first vision only a couple of weeks before.

“I need some lapis lazuli and magnesite.  I was also thinking of some new sandalwood incense.”

“I can appreciate a woman on a mission.”  She pulled open an appropriately labeled drawer and held up a couple of different sizes of the lapis lazuli crystals.  “What’s new with you?”

pointed at the larger crystal and fiddled with a silver charm bracelet around her wrist.  “I’ve been seeing someone,” she confided with a blush. 

“No kidding?  Who is he?”

“His name is Adam.  He’s a bank manager and is attractive and successful.”

Attractive and successful were gold to many of the women in town.  But Jac had always dreamed of something more.  She wanted a partner and passion and loyalty.  Taryn had once teased her that she described a puppy, not a man; but Jac knew better.  One of her most extraordinary visions had occurred when she was only fifteen, and it wasn’t so much a vision as an overwhelming flood of emotion.  She had felt love and pride and passion, and she felt the need to protect that love at any cost.  And since then, she had been unwilling to settle for anything less.  She had had a few boyfriends over the years, but none of them had ever been serious. 

“He works for Midwest Bank.  Don’t you do your banking there?” Aislin asked, clearly wanting to extend the conversation.

“On occasion,” she answered without commitment.  “Lapis and magnesite.  Have you had
more luck with tapping into your own powers of sight?”

She blushed, always timid about these discussions with Jaclyn MaCall.  She had turned to the former security consultant for advice a couple of months before.  Her mother had assured her that she would also have the sight.  But until a few weeks ago, she had not been convinced.  “I’ve had some results recently.”

“About your love life?” Jac teased.

She laughed musically, “That’s what I’d been hoping for.  But unfortunately, that was not the case.  You’re the first to say that you can’t always control what you see.”

Not at first, anyway.  Having been receiving visions for more than half of her life, Jac had fine-tuned her skills to provoke certain kinds of visions, on occasion.  The image that she saw in Dr. Archer’s office was a perfect example of her tuning into a particular region and tapping into the essence of a particular energy.  But most of her success in that field stemmed from tapping into events that had already happened.  When attempting to see into the future, she had not been nearly as successful.

“What have you been trying?”

“The last time, I tried meditation with the lapis lazuli and magnesite, and I definitely felt the energy vibrations prior to the visions.”

“I appreciate your business, Aislin, but you do realize that more crystals don’t necessarily mean more power.  If you already have the lapis and magnesite, you probably don’t need more,” Jaclyn advised.

Aislin closed her fingers around the bold blue stone, feeling the warmth from the energy of the stone course through her palm.  She closed her eyes and breathed in the power that the stone made her feel.  When she took the white chunk of magnesite from Jac’s hand, she didn’t feel an increase in power.  Nor did the feeling of power diminish.

Jaclyn saw a look of power flash in her customer’s eyes, and she turned her back to hide her smile.  Taryn had never embraced their gift, and nothing gave Jac more pleasure than watching her customers relish in the glory of their power. 
And while she sincerely believed that anyone had the capability to tap into the power of the subconscious mind, she also knew first hand that some didn’t have to try as hard as others.

“I’m so proud of you, Aislin, for sticking with this.”

She shrugged, “It was important to my mum.”  She admired that Jaclyn MaCall could offer this praise without sounding even a little condescending.  She walked back to her home, only four blocks from The Triskele.  She wanted to give the visions another shot before Adam came to pick her up for their date.

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