Author: EHfan PM
Jacob and Rachel travel to Oregon to discover the cause of a rare blood disorder in three infants.Rated: Fiction T - English - Mystery/Friendship - Chapters: 3 - Words: 18,291 - Reviews: 9 - Favs: 3 - Published: 05-20-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7007263
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The rest of the afternoon passed slowly. Rachel tried prying information out of Hood, but he refused to be drawn. He would only repeat that his hypothesis was rather extreme and that he would prefer to wait for more data.
His data finally showed up around dinner time. The FBI courier from Portland brought the results from the lab.
"Ok, Hood, here's your damn data." Rachel practically threw the envelopes at Hood.
Jacob took them with a smile. He knew his refusal to answer her questions had tried her patience. He was soon absorbed in the reports from the lab. Rachel watched him curiously as he studied the papers. She could see what he was reading disturbed him. She settled back to wait for him to finish, to be ready to share his thoughts with her.
Rachel was lost in a day dream when her attention was wrenched back to the present by Hood swearing loudly. She blinked at the angry look on his face. "I take it your wild idea wasn't so wild after all? What did the test results tell you?"
"That something very wrong is going on here." Jacob looked at her grimly, "and Hadfield is most likely at the bottom of it."
"Why, what did you find out?" Rachel went to stand beside the desk where Hood had spread out his papers.
"The DNA results on the infants and their parents. They don't match up."
Rachel's jaw dropped. "You mean the husbands aren't the fathers? Shit, Jimmy Danvers probably will beat the crap out of me if we ask his wife who she was having an affair with."
"I highly doubt any of these women were having an affair. Not only doesn't the paternal DNA match any of the putative fathers, but it's all the same. These infants were all fathered by the same man."
"Maybe they were all having an affair with the same man." Rachel offered. "It's a small town. Maybe some local Lothario."
Jacob shot her a skeptical look. "I doubt it. Think about it Rachel, these women were all actively trying to become pregnant. Do you honestly think they would be having an affair, having unprotected sex with another man, under those circumstances?"
She nodded reluctantly. "But how else can you explain what happened? I mean, some guy's sperm didn't get inside them accidentally. And what does Hadfield have to do with this?"
"That's why I said my hypothesis is so extreme." Jacob took a deep breath. "I think that Hadfield aborted their original pregnancies and then artificially inseminated them with another man's sperm. "
Rachel looked at him in horror. "No, no, that can't be. That's like something out of a bad movie. What put that idea into your head?"
"A lot of things. There's Hadfield's attitude toward people marrying beneath them. From what we can see all of the women involved here have done that. From their teenage years these women have been leaders, people expected them to succeed.
They all have advanced degrees and hold professional positions here in the community. Their husbands, on the other hand, seem to lack academic credentials and perform manual labor. You told me yourself that Hadfield had a problem with that."
Rachel nodded, acknowledging Hood's point.
"Then there's her attitude that people in subservient positions must be stupid. Again, that would be a generalized description of the men these women married.
Hadfield would consider that they had thrown away their potential. For her, any success they may have achieved has been tainted by their choice of husbands. They all married men who seem to be their intellectual inferiors."
Jacob continued. "Finally, there's the incontrovertible fact that each of these women, after miscarrying, became pregnant with another man's child while under Hadfield's care."
"The sex schedules." Rachel blurted out. "They were for the exact opposite reason than what she told them."
Jacob nodded. "Exactly, she would inseminate the women, but she would want to make sure that they didn't have sex with their husbands during a fertile period, risk the chance of them conceiving naturally. She probably thought she was doing these women a favor, giving their offspring a better genetic heritage."
"How could she think she could get away with this?"
Jacob shrugged. "Easy. No one would have noticed if it wasn't for the protein deficiency. Children don't always physically resemble their parents. It's Hadfield's bad luck that the sperm she selected wasn't screened properly for genetic defects"
Rachel considered what Hood had said. In a scary, sci-fi-ish way, it made sense. A sick sense, but sense.
"Ok, even if you are right, how can we prove it? Hadfield will point the finger at the women, claim that they had affairs. It might destroy their marriages, their lives here in Crawford."
Jacob bit his lip and titled his head. "Well, I do have an idea, but it depends on you."
"Uh-huh. How good an actress are you?"
Rachel looked at Hood apprehensively. "Why, what do you want me to do?"
"You did such an excellent job of convincing her that we were, uh, involved."
"I already apologized..."
Jacob cut her off. "No, I need you to take it a step further." His cheeks turned pink. "I need you to tell her that you're pregnant."
"You want me to what?" Rachel's voice scaled up a notch or two.
"I need you to tell her that you're pregnant. And, uh," Jacob added, coloring up even more, "that we're very happy about it."
"Happy?" Rachel asked faintly. "Why?"
"We know she considers you an unsuitable person for me to be having a relationship with. I'd like to know what she would do if faced with the fact that you were pregnant with my child."
Rachel and Jacob starred at each other as his words hung in the air between them. Pregnant with my child.
Rachel recovered first. "Ok, but why is it important that she think we're happy that I'm pregnant?
Jacob swallowed. "Uh, well." He collected his thoughts. "I want to see if she offers to prescribe anything for you. If I'm right, she may give you something to make you miscarry. I don't want her to claim later that you came to her hoping for a discreet abortion."
"She could still claim that," Rachel pointed out. "It would my word against hers. She'd say that we set her up."
"Not if you recorded your conversation."
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Rachel discovered by checking with Hadfield's answering service that the doctor was holding early office hours that morning. Parking their rental car down the block; she prepared for her meeting with the not-so-good doctor.
"Remember," Jacob said suddenly. "Don't ask her to prescribe anything. Let her take the lead."
Rachel huffed impatiently. "I think I can handle this Hood. I know how to lead a conversation so that I don't entrap a suspect." She raised her eyebrows as Hood unbuckled his seat belt. "Where do you think you're going?"
"I still say I should go with you."
"No." Rachel shook her head decisively. "I told you. This will work best if you're nowhere near her office. " She held up her hand as Hood opened his mouth to protest. "Yes, it's important that she thinks we're happy about this pregnancy, but for her to buy the story I'm going to spin her, I have to be on my own."
Giving Hood a grin, Rachel got out of the car. "Be right back daddy."
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By flashing her badge and invoking Hood's name, Rachel had managed to get past the receptionist and in to see Hadfield. Looking at the woman, Rachel had to force herself to smile, to act naturally. If what Hood suspected was true, she would enjoy putting this bitch away.
Hadfield regarded Rachel coldly. "Yes, Agent Young. What can I do for you today?"
Rachel took a deep breath and rushed into conversation. "Uh, I was wondering. You seemed so sure that this genetic defect was natural, that nothing in the environment caused it. Are you still sure? You're positive there's nothing here in Crawford that caused the mutation?"
"I'd stake my professional reputation on it. I know that Dr. Hood feels differently, but, frankly, I'm more familiar with these cases. The syndrome isn't that well known, well documented, but I've studied it extensively. Everything I've seen makes me sure that this is just an act of God."
Rachel closed her eyes and gave a sigh of relief. "Good, could you please tell Jacob that? He can't find anything to contradict you, but he hates to give up without finding a definite explanation." She leaned forward to whisper "you see, he's something of an atheist, he doesn't believe in acts of god."
Rachel sat back with a look of satisfaction on her face. "But I know he respects you. He thinks you're an excellent doctor. If anyone could convince him that Crawford is safe, it would be you."
"Safe?" Hadfield looked at Rachel curiously. "That's an odd term to use, why would you worry about Crawford being safe?"
"Well, it's just, I'm, well, I'm pregnant."
Hadfield looked shocked. "You're pregnant? Are you sure?"
Rachel nodded and smiled softly. She let her hand drift down to her belly. "Umhm. We've been trying for a few months now and I just took the test this morning." She gave Hadfield a worried look. "Normally, I'd have told Jacob like a shot, he'll be so thrilled." She bit her lip. "But I'm afraid that once he knows he'll want me to leave, go back to D.C."
"Why?" Hadfield was trying hard to absorb this news.
"Because," Rachel explained patiently. "He'll be afraid that something bad might happen to our baby." She smiled. "He's been so excited about being a father I know he'll want to protect us. But I don't want to leave him. That's why I thought I'd ask for your help. I'm sure that if you tell him we'll be fine, he'll let me stay."
She looked at Hadfield seriously. "I wouldn't stay if I agreed with Jacob. I'd never do anything to put our baby at risk. But he can't find anything and you know the situation so well….." Rachel took a deep breath. "I think that if you tell him it's perfectly safe for me here and I promise to take care of myself, take my vitamins and stuff then maybe he won't worry so much."
Hadfield sat very still and looked at Rachel. Rachel, for her part, was afraid that Hadfield wouldn't rise to the bait. Finally, Hadfield seemed to come to some kind of decision.
"Yes, that's an excellent plan, I'd be glad to speak to Dr. Hood for you." The woman paused. "You do know that you need special vitamins don't you? Prenatal vitamins."
Rachel nodded vigorously. "Yeah, I was going to stop at the drugstore after I left here."
"Oh, no need for that." Hadfield got smoothly to her feet and went to a cabinet in the corner of her office. "I have a sample pack here that a drug rep left with me. They're the latest thing. Why don't I give them to you?"
It took all of Rachel's training to keep from pumping her fist in the air and cheering. Hadfield had taken the bait. Instead she smiled at the doctor and took a proffered blister pack of pills.
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Rachel hung over Hood's shoulder as he peered into his microscope. "So, what are they? Don't tell me they're really vitamins?"
After leaving Hadfield's office, Rachel and Hood had gone straight to the hospital. Rachel had no trouble commandeering lab space for Hood. It didn't take him long to determine the chemical composition of the pills.
"No, they're hardly vitamins." Hood's flat tone and the look on his face told Rachel that he had been right in his assumptions about what Hadfield had been doing. "They're misoprostol and prostaglandin mixed in with some inert sugar pills. If you had been pregnant you wouldn't have been for long after taking them."
At Rachel's blank look he elaborated. "They're the drugs given to induce an abortion. They're taken in two steps. The prostaglandin thins the lining of the uterus, weakening the attachment of the fetus. Then the misoprostol causes cramping, causes the uterus to expel the fetus."
Rachel's brow creased. "But what's with the sugar pills? Why did she include them?"
"To make it look normal. You would expect to be taking a vitamin daily."
"But that, that's…" Rachel looked at Hood in shock.
"It's murder Rachel, as far as I'm concerned she's nothing but a cold-blooded murderer. Those women, their husbands, they never asked for, they never wanted an abortion. She murdered their children."
"Maybe." Rachel looked at Hood thoughtfully. "I'm not sure where Oregon stands on this issue, but it could be the most be could get her on in performing illegal abortions, maybe criminal assault."
Jacob shook his head stubbornly. "No, it's murder. She deliberately killed those fetuses for her own purposes." He looked at Rachel. "Doesn't that tape give you enough to arrest her? Now?"
This was always the hard part. Hood might be a brilliant biophysicist, but he was impatient with the details needed to nail down a case. Just because something was clear to him didn't mean that it would hold up in a court of law.
"Yes, the tape shows that she's performing illegal abortions, maybe even criminal assault. But they could only charge her on one count, for me. And it would be a weak case, since I'm not really pregnant. We don't have any evidence that she did this with the other women."
"That's ridiculous," Jacob sputtered. "What about the miscarriages? The DNA panels? The fact that all of those infants have the same father?"
"Yes, that's strong circumstantial evidence." Rachel explained patiently. "But we need more. We need to question those women. Find out if Hadfield did give them those vitamin packs. And," she raised her eyebrows at Hood. "We need to find out where the hell she got the sperm. I mean, that's not the kind of thing you can order off the Internet is it?"
Jacob's shoulders slumped and he looked at Rachel sadly. "We have to tell them, don't we? You know that this is going to devastate them. They trusted her and she betrayed them.
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Jacob and Rachel argued as to what would be the best way to proceed. Jacob was in favor of full disclosure; he wanted to inform the women and their husbands immediately what Hadfield had done to them. Rachel wasn't so sure. She felt that they should question the women first, try to nail down the case a bit more.
They decided that since it was lunchtime they would check out the NICU. They knew that the women were in the habit of going to the hospital at mid-day to breast-feed their children. With luck, they would find one or more of them in the nursery.
They were in luck. As they arrived at the NICU, they met all three of the women leaving. Jacob told them that it was imperative that he speak with them and Jill Siddons immediately. Preferably away from the hospital. One glance at the grim looks on his and Rachel's faces convinced the women that they should postpone their afternoon appointments in favor of this meeting. They agreed to meet at Tracey's library.
On the way to the library, Rachel had convinced Hood to let her begin the questioning. They needed to know if Hadfield had prescribed any special meds for the women. After all, if she hadn't, this would prove to be a very large hole in Hood's hypothesis. They would then have to reconsider their approach.
Rachel began her questioning carefully; she didn't want to be accused later of suggesting answers to the women. "What Dr. Hood and I need to know is if Dr. Hadfield ever gave you anything; well, not unusual, but different."
The women looked at Rachel in bewilderment. "Different, what do you mean?"
Rachel chewed her lip thoughtfully. "Yesterday you told us that Dr. Hadfield monitored you all pretty closely. I, we were wondering what that meant."
Claudia shrugged. "Mostly it meant she had us in for weekly visits. Blood and urine tests weekly…"
Jill made a face. "Weekly internal exams. I hated that part."
Rachel framed her next question carefully. "You mentioned something about nutritional counseling?"
Jill answered immediately, "When I got pregnant the first two times, she gave me some sample packs of vitamins, the kind the drug reps give the doctors to try out. Is that the kind of thing you mean?"
Jacob and Rachel looked at each other in triumph. "Yeah," Rachel replied. "That's exactly the kind of thing I mean." She looked at the others. "How about any of you? Did Hadfield give you any samples?"
The women confirmed that all of them had received sample vitamins from Hadfield. Jacob's lips tightened, while he was pleased to see his hypothesis proven correct, he couldn't believe what had happened to these women.
"There's one more thing," Rachel hesitated. She knew her next question would tip the women off that they suspected Hadfield of wrongdoing. "The vitamins? I know it's been a while, but did any of you save the packaging?"
Jacob's eyes widened in surprise. He hadn't considered the matter but Rachel was right. If he could analyze any of the packaging, find traces of the drugs, it would be damning evidence against Hadfield.
"Why?" Claudia asked sharply. "What the hell are you getting at? Why do you need the packs the vitamins came in?" The other women murmured their agreement, looking at Jacob and Rachel suspiciously. "What aren't you telling us?"
Jacob looked at Rachel; she shrugged and raised her eyebrows. Clearly it was time for him to take over. He slowly outlined his hypothesis. The women looked at him, stunned. When they expressed their disbelief, he had Rachel play the tape of her conversation with Hadfield.
"I analyzed the pills she gave Rachel," Jacob explained. "They're drugs used to induce abortions. That's why we wanted to know what, if anything, she had prescribed for you."
"That's why you wanted the packaging – to see if there were any traces of the drugs." Barbara said.
Rachel nodded. "It would help bolster the case against her." She shrugged. "Just because she gave them to me, doesn't prove what she did to you. So if any of you still had the packs…."
The four women looked at each other doubtfully. Finally, Tracey said quietly. "I might."
With tears in her eyes, she explained that she and her husband had been so thrilled when the home pregnancy test was positive, they had immediate bought a few baby things. A pair of booties, a blanket, a sleeper set. When she had miscarried, she had swept everything that reminded her of the pregnancy into a box and stored it in her garage. She was sure that included the medications Hadfield had given her.
Jacob insisted they go to Tracey's house immediately. After searching through her garage for some minutes they finally found the box. Rachel was relieved when a pack similar to the one she had been given by Hadfield turned up. Jacob and Rachel promised the women that they would return as soon as Jacob had analyzed the package. They left as the women were preparing to call their husbands.
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It didn't take long for Jacob to run a test on the packaging Tracey had given them. It tested positive for traces of both the prostaglandin and misoprostol. Rachel inhaled sharply at the look on Hood's face; she had rarely seen him so angry.
"There's your proof Rachel, she's a murderer. We need to arrest her and we need to do it now. Before she can abort another woman's baby."
Rachel hesitated; she didn't think they could arrest Hadfield on murder charges. She needed to talk this over with someone who was familiar with the law in Oregon. When she told Hood that it wasn't the right time to arrest Hadfield; Jacob was disgusted. He wanted to confront the woman directly. Rachel disagreed.
"No, if you do that, you'll only give her time to destroy evidence, maybe take off. What I really need to do now is talk to Claudia Hogan and Jimmy Danvers. They'll have the connections we need to wrap this thing up."
Jacob grudgingly agreed to wait, but only until the next day.
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Four angry men confronted Rachel and Hood when they arrived at the Martel home. They refused to believe Jacob's reasoning behind the illegal abortions. They were found it hard to believe that the woman would go to such lengths merely because she disapproved of their choice of jobs.
"You don't understand," Rachel finally interrupted. "According to the gossip I picked up at the hospital, she has a real problem with people who don't marry their intellectual equals, as she defines it. Didn't your wives tell you about the tape of our conversation? How she was prepared to abort my pregnancy because she doesn't consider me worthy of Hood?"
Rachel flushed slightly as she realized how she had worded that last sentence. "Not that I'm really pregnant or we're involved or anything."
"But why in the hell would she think we're stupid? That bitch doesn't even know us." Jimmy Danvers looked at Hood and Rachel through narrowed eyes. "That's why your theory doesn't make sense, she barely spoke to me the whole time Barbara was her patient. Why would she think I'm," he gestured to the other men around them, "that any of us are stupid?"
"Technically, it's not a theory," Jacob began. Rachel cut him off quickly. She didn't think anyone in the room was up for a lecture on the difference between a theory and a hypothesis.
"You're a cop," she stated. "Trust me; I know plenty of intellectuals who think the mere fact that you're a cop means you're stupid." She shot Hood a small grin. "That you're just empty headed gorilla who likes to push people around."
Jacob flushed guiltily. He had used those words about some of his previous handlers.
"The rest of you? You all work with your hands, manual labor. The Hadfields of this world think the only people who do that are illegals and people too stupid to get real jobs."
"We're stupid because we work with our hands?" David Martel was incredulous. "How in the hell could she come to that conclusion? That is the most absurd syllogism I've ever heard of." The other men nodded angrily.
Rachel merely shrugged at David's reaction.
"What can I say? She makes huge assumptions. She's smart so it never occurs to her that she might be wrong. She based her opinion of me strictly on my appearance. She decided I was an appendage of Hood's even though she heard me being introduced as Special Agent Young. She thought I was nothing more than a go-fer."
A small smile tugged at Rachel's lips at the guilty look on Jimmy Danvers' face. It seems Hadfield hadn't been the only one to make assumptions about her role in Hood's work, his life. Obviously the local cops, like the nurses, had been speculating about their relationship.
She briskly returned to the business at hand. "What we need now are warrants. I want to make sure that this is done right; I don't want to give that bitch and her lawyer any loopholes to wiggle out of."
Jacob interrupted. "She should be charged with murder, plain and simple. And the sooner the better. The longer we wait, the greater the chance of her doing this to another woman."
"No," Claudia shook her head. "Not here in Oregon. What she did wouldn't be considered murder." She overrode Jacob's protests. "No, the most we could get her for is criminal assault, fraud, and illegal abortions."
Jimmy Danvers looked at Rachel expectantly. "What do you need from me?"
"We have probable cause to get warrants to search her patient files, her home and work computers, and her personal and business banking records. We need to see if she kept any records of what she did you your wife and the others and where she got the sperm. Plus it would be good if we could get an arrest warrant. Get her contained while we comb through her paper trails. Got a friendly judge?"
Jimmy smiled slowly. "Oh yeah, I've got the perfect judge. Garland Bigley."
The others looked at Jimmy in surprise. "I thought you couldn't stand her," Matt objected. "You always claim that she's a fascist."
"She is." Jimmy looked amused. "She's also fanatically pro-life. If I tell her we suspect Hadfield is performing illegal abortions she'll give us whatever we want."
"Jason Fisher will help us." Claudia added. At Rachel's look she elaborated. "He's the assistant prosecuting attorney and he owes me a favor. He'll file the applications for the warrants without asking too many questions."
Rachel's smile took on a feral quality. This was exactly what she needed, a co-operative prosecutor, a tame judge, and willing allies on the local force. For once it was going to be a pleasure to work with the local LEOs to bring down the bad guy.
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Things went smoothly. After huddling with Rachel and Claudia, the local prosecutor filled out applications for the warrants Rachel wanted. They decided to arrest Hadfield for providing Rachel with a controlled substance without a proper prescription. That way they could keep what happened to the women confidential, at least for now. Fisher had been shocked by the story they told him; he knew it would be best to keep a sensational tale like that quiet for as long as possible.
As Jimmy Danvers predicted, once the judge heard that a doctor was suspected of performing illegal abortions, she didn't even bother to read the applications. Within an hour of entering the courthouse, Rachel and Hood were ready to go.
Jimmy wanted to be the one to arrest Hadfield, but Rachel managed to convince him to leave it to others. She went so far as to insist that the state police be called in to make the arrest and serve the warrants; she didn't want to have any of the local force involved since the case touched on of their own.
As soon as Hadfield was taken into custody, Jacob and Rachel went to search her home and office.
Jacob wanted to do a thorough search of the office; Rachel vetoed this idea. It would take days if not weeks to do a proper search. She wanted to concentrate on the material they would need to prove the case at hand. The locals could deal with any other wrong-doing on the part of the doctor later.
They only took the files pertaining to the four women and any correspondence they could find between Hadfield and any drug companies or suppliers. Rachel also took Hadfield's office computer.
They were surprised to find so little in her home. A single file drawer contained all of her bank statements, bills, and credit card receipts. There was no record of any correspondence, but there was a laptop which Rachel confiscated. Rachel then made a call to her contacts at the Bureau. Armed with a warrant for Hadfield's Internet service provider, they would be able to gain access to the woman's email and other internet activity.
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Rachel and Jacob had decided that she would go through Hadfield's home files while he would handle the patient files. He needed to compare them to the files she had provided him previously to see if there were any discrepancies. They had been working for about an hour when Rachel lifted her head, puzzled.
"Did we mix-up some of the files?"
Jacob looked up from the files he was reading. "No, I don't think so, why?"
"I've got patient files here, they were tucked in with her bank statements."
Jacob sat forward abruptly. "Let me guess, those are the files on our women."
"Not much of a surprise," Rachel began before Hood cut her off.
"Let me see them." Jacob practically snatched the papers from Rachel's hands.
After glancing through them quickly, Jacob went back and slowly compared them to the files he had been working on. A slow smile spread across his face. "Got her," he breathed.
Jacob quickly explained to Rachel that these were the real records of the four women and their pregnancies. The records they had found at Hadfield's office, and the ones she had provided them in the hospital had been sanitized. The woman couldn't resist, however, having a complete, accurate account of what she had done.
"But why," Rachel asked, puzzled. "Why keep these? Doesn't she realize how damning this evidence is?"
"She's arrogant." Jacob stated simply. "She never dreamed her little social engineering project would be discovered. She wanted to document what she did, keep tabs on what went well, what didn't." He looked at Rachel somberly. "For future reference, for other patients."
His brow creased. "But why keep them with her banking, financial records?"
Rachel flattened out the bank statements that had been attached to each patient file. She noted that each bank statement contained a record of a check made out for the same amount. Rachel silently blessed the fact that the local bank was still providing its customers with cancelled checks.
It didn't take her long to find the four checks in question – all made out to the same man. She looked up at Hood smugly. "Looks like I just found the sperm donor."
Acting on a hunch, Rachel did a quick search on Hadfield's home computer. She found a file that contained the man's name. She opened the file and began to skim it. Jacob became impatient waiting for Rachel to tell him what she had discovered. It was obvious form her face, that what she found disturbed her.
Jacob moved beside her, "What, what did you find?"
Rachel silently handed Hood the laptop. The file turned out to be part of Hadfield's online journal. In it she detailed how she had taken out an ad for sperm donors in the newspaper of the state university. The ad specified that candidates had to be majors in math, engineering, or the sciences and possess a certain grade point average.
Unlike a sperm bank, Hadfield had not bothered to question the young men who answered her ad about their medical history or demand proof that they were healthy. She only asked them about their grades and performed a cursory physical exam herself. Also, unlike the sperm bank, the only test she administered was an IQ test. Of the several candidates who applied, only one had met her criteria. Over the course of six months she had purchased his sperm four times.
Jacob looked at Rachel soberly. "This is enough, isn't it? Enough to put her away for a long time?"
"I think, I hope so. " Rachel shrugged. "If it was up to me, I'd throw her ass in jail and throw away the key."
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Jacob and Rachel carefully packed up their evidence making careful notes of what they found where and the significance of each item. They dropped it off at the local police station where Hadfield was being interrogated. The state officer in charge was grateful for the interruption; he was having a hard time dealing with Hadfield.
"She's totally nuts," the man declared. "There's no way anyone's getting a confession out of her. She's denying she did anything wrong. She claims those women knew all along what she was doing and they're only saying different now to cover their asses."
He added in a disgusted tone, "We even played that tape you made. She said we needed to talk to Hood privately; she did what she did 'cause she knew he'd be relieved that she was taking care of the problem his little blonde bimbo created."
Rachel turned bright red at the muffled snickers from the surrounding cops. "You won't need a confession with the documentary evidence we've found." She handed over the notes she and Hood had made. "You're right about her being nuts, she kept a complete log of what she had done in her journal. You'll find everything you need to get a conviction."
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There was one more thing Jacob wanted to do before they left Crawford. He insisted they go to the hospital for a final check on the infants and their parents. He was relieved to find, when he got there, that the parents were preparing to take their children home. He had been afraid, once the infants' parentage came to light, that the families involved might fall apart.
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Rachel glanced curiously over at Hood. They had left Crawford almost a half hour ago and the man hadn't said a single word since they hit the highway. Normally, Rachel would have blessed the silence but she could see his face reflected in the window of the SUV as he stared out the window. He was clearly brooding about something.
"Ok, out with it."
"Hmm," Jacob pulled his attention to Rachel. "Out with what?"
"Whatever's bothering you. I'm enjoying the silence, but it's a little unnatural. For you to keep quiet this long something has to be bothering you."
"I hardly think I chatter like a magpie," Jacob complained. "You act as if …"
Rachel cut him off. "And now you're trying to change the subject. What's up?"
Jacob smiled ruefully, Rachel knew him to well. "I was thinking about Hadfield. She really is a brilliant doctor you know. What she did was reprehensible, but she had to be an incredibly talented doctor, researcher, to pull it off."
"I don't care how smart she is," Rachel snorted. "She's still a nutcase."
"No," Jacob disagreed. "She's not insane. She knew that what she was doing was wrong; look at how she tried to implicate those women in her actions. She's arrogant. Convinced she's smarter, better, than everyone else." He fell silent.
"And…" Rachel encouraged.
"My other handlers…"
"What about them?"
"I never thought they were stupid or inferior," Jacob began haltingly. "That they were 'empty headed gorillas who liked to push people around.' I hope that you don't think I had problems with them because…"
"You're an arrogant bastard who thinks he's smarter than everyone else?"
"Well, yes. I hope you know that I don't feel, think, that you're … " Jacob hesitated, unsure how to phrase how he felt about their partnership without revealing his growing attraction to her.
Rachel smiled at him reassuringly. "What, you don't imagine I'm beneath you?"
Jacob's lips twitched and he blushed slightly at the double entendre and the image it invoked. He huffed a small laugh. "Of, of course not."
Rachel looked at Hood quizzically, noting his pink cheeks and look of amusement. 'What the hell?' She mentally reviewed their conversation. Her eyes opened wide. 'Oh shit, he couldn't think I meant, that I'm implying …' But then again, after her performance the other night, she couldn't blame him for misinterpreting her remark. She decided not to pursue the matter further, it would only embarrass the both of them.
Instead she flicked on the radio, hoping in vain the music would fill the silence between them. Jacob, for his part, returned his attention to the passing scenery and tried very, very hard not to imagine Rachel beneath him.