A Fresh Start

Chapter Sixty

After Jeffrey gets back to his office, Stacey isn't at her desk so he walks in, leaving the door to his office open. Sitting down at his desk, he picks up the phone and dials Noah's cell, after a couple ring's he picks up. "Hello." He says, putting the chart that he was looking at down.

"Noah, its Jeffrey."

"So, how are you surviving domesticated life?"

"I love every minute of it. Richard came by to see me today."

"Yeah, he told me about the position you gave him."

"I didn't give it to him. He's well qualified for the position. He's a natural diplomat."

"He was born to it." Noah replies. "So, he came by to see you. What did he want?"

"He wants to get in contact with his brother's family in Chicago. Can you arrange that?"

"I haven't spoken with his brother's wife since right after the funeral. I can check into it, but the last I heard after the funeral and her mother-in-law died, she packed up the kids and moved to Chicago. I don't know where?"

"But you can find them?"

"I have to get the okay from the director, but I'm sure we can look into it."

"Okay."

"Did he say why he wants to see them?"

"I don't think it's for a specific reason. He had a brother all those years that he never knew about and never will now. I think he wants to see what he was like and he also what's to know about his mother."

"Alright, I'll speak with the director and I'll be in touch."

"Thank you, Noah."

They hang up, as Stacey walks into the office. "Sir, I've got the first draft of the proposal for the City council meeting."

"I'll take it home and look it over, over the weekend. Do we have any more meetings for this afternoon?"

"No Sir."

"Okay, I'm headed home, so you can go on home."

"Yes sir." Stacey says, handing him the proposal before she turns to leave.

Picking up a couple of other folders, he grabs his jacket from the back of his chair as he stands up. Grabbing his keys, he leaves a few minutes later.

Simmons is coming in from a trip to Springfield for supplies when his cell phone starts to ring. "Aw, damn. Why can't they call when I'm in town? Not out here where the reception sucks." He asks, as he puts the bags in his hand on the table before pulling his cell phone out of his pocket, hitting talk as he walks back out the door. "Yeah."

"Hey, it's D'boy what's up?"

"Where have you been? You was supposed to call me two days ago, man."

"I've been a little busy, but hey look, I got a meeting set up for later tonight at the pier in Queens."

"Are you sure this guy's legit? I can't afford extra hassles right now. My boss…."

"He's legit. His brother is Biggie from the east side. He's cool."

"Alright, let me know something man. This is the final piece."

"I'll call you tomorrow."

"Alright."

They hang up as Jeffrey is walking into the loft. "Sam." He calls when he walks into the living room and doesn't see her.

"Yeah, I'm up here." Sam calls from their bedroom.

Jeffrey heads upstairs. As he's walking up the stairs he reaches up and pulls his tie loose. "Sam." He says, as he walks into their bedroom.

"I'm in the closet." She says as he walks across the room.

Stopping in the door way, he stares at the chaos surrounding her. "What are you doing?"

"Going through stuff, did you know you still had this?" She says picking up a paper airplane he'd made while they were on a stake out in Barcelona."

"Yes. I…."

"You couldn't throw it away." Sam says, as she looks in the box between her legs. "I can't believe you kept some of this stuff." She says, as he sits down and she looks up.

"All of this stuff helped me cope when you left." He says, picking up a replica of a mosque in Turkey. "Do you remember this?" He asks as she reaches for it.

"Yeah, we were headed to Croatia for the NATO Summit." She says, holding the mosque.

"And we stopped in Turkey for a layover and you insisted…."

"I insisted..., you..."

"Okay, so we both wanted to explore the city."

"We were walking through that tiny neighborhood towards this, even though we were ordered not to leave the airport."

"But you were curious."

"Yes, well religion has always been a part of me." She says, reaching into a box.

"I know." Jeffrey says, reaching over and wiping some dirt off her cheek. "Anyway, we toured that mosque and we were almost late catching our flight to Croatia. The Colonel was livid." He says as she pulls out a picture of the two of them in Rio.

"Oh my god! You kept this." She says, holding up the picture.

"Yes." Jeffrey says taking the picture and looking down at the two of them smiling as they looked up at each other.

"But I was a mess. I was dirty, my hair was mess. I had no make-up on. And look at my clothes, I don't even match."

"I was relieved, and I thought you look absolutely stunning when you walked into that hotel, dirty, no make-up and not matching, just as stunning as you look now." He says, leaning over and kissing her softly.

"Umm, you're crazy. The picture of us in London, just before we went to Belfast will always be my favorite. Now, in that picture, even I'll say it. I looked good."

"Yes, you did. But I like this one because it's just you, working hard. You did what you had to do. We, well you stopped the Colombians from getting that shipment of machine guns from Iran and saved the American streets once again." Jeffrey says, as she starts to get up. "Where are you going?"

"I've got to get up. I've been sitting here since I came back from Dr. Sedgwick's office and I've got to change…." She sways slightly and Jeffrey is there, holding her steady.

"Okay, here let me help you."

"I'm..." Looking up she falls silent from the look in his eyes. He helps her into the bedroom and to the bed. Helping her sit down, he sits down beside her. Brushing her hair back, watching her. "Really, I'm fine. I just had a dizzy spell."

"Have you eaten anything?" He asks, still watching her.

"Will you stop staring at me, I'm fine."

"I'm going to go get us something to eat." Jeffrey says, getting up.

"I can…."

"No, you stay right here and I'll be right back." He says, leaning over to kiss her quickly before he leaves the room.

Grabbing his keys off the counter, he walks out of the loft. Returning about thirty minutes later, he's surprised to see Sam coming out of the kitchen. "I wanted you…."

"I know, but I really am fine. Maybe a little hungry but getting dizzy is part of being pregnant. I'm fine. So what did you get?" She asks, taking the bag from his hand and walking over to the table. "Ooo, lasagna." She says when she opens the containers.
"Yes, I was at Company waiting to order and the strangest thing happened. I had this intense craving for lasagna. I didn't think about the garlic, are you…?" he stops talking as she turns and walks into the kitchen.

Opening the silverware drawer and getting a fork, she walks back into the dining room while he watches her. Sitting down she starts to eat from the container. "Okay, so the garlic isn't affecting you. Sam, darlin." He says, sitting down beside her as she looks up. "Can I have some too?" He asks, looking at the container.

"Oh, sorry." She says, starting to get up.

"No, stay there." He says, getting back up.

"You said you started craving lasagna while you were at Company." She says as he goes into the kitchen.

Getting a couple of plates and some silverware he walks back into the dining room. Sam is waiting patiently for him to return. "Yes. It was weird." He says sitting down again. Looking up, he catches the look in her eyes. "What?"

"That's your first symptom."

"My first symptom, of what?"

"Pregnancy."

"I'm not pregnant, you are."

"I know. But a lot of men have the same symptoms of pregnancy that a woman has."

"You mean I can look forward to the morning sickness and nausea and the mood swings."

"Hey, my mood hasn't changed, but yes."

He just stares at her for a few seconds before he reaches for the container and gets some lasagna before he hands it back to her and begins to eat "So, besides going through my old boxes, what else did you do after you got back from Dr. Sedgwick's office?" He asks taking a drink of the tea he'd just gotten from the kitchen.

"I called Ava."

"You did, did you get to talk?"

"For a few moments, she was between meetings with Alexandria and Alan's lawyers. This trial is really working her."

"Too much?" Jeffrey asks, looking up at her.

"She says no, but she sounded stressed today. Anyway I called to tell her what time to be over here tomorrow."

"Alright, when is she coming?"

"Around six."

"So, we have all day?"

"Yes, why?"

"Because I thought I would invite the guys over and maybe work on some new material. We haven't really gotten together since before I went to San Cristobel to talk to Cassie and William. Would you mind if…."

"No, go ahead. I have to say the music is a different side of you."

"Yes, well I've always played around with it, but it wasn't a fitting cover for our work."

"Well I like it and I think it would have worked well with the work we did. Who would expect a rock star to be a secret agent?"

"I'm not a rock star."

She leans over to kiss him. "I don't care if you have the guys over, but they need to be gone before four, so I can get this place cleaned up." She says, looking around the loft.

"Okay, but it looks…." He looks at her and then stops talking. "I'll have them out of here before three." He says, as she stands up, taking her plate and glass to the kitchen with him following behind her.

"I'm going to go take a shower." He says, as she starts to load the dishwasher.

"Okay." She says, putting their plates in.

Jeffrey leaves as Sam finishes loading the dishwasher and putting the food away before she walks into the living room. Picking up the remote, she turns the news on as Jeffrey comes downstairs. Walking into the living room, he says. "You put the box away?"

"Yeah, there was no need to keep it out. I was just going through stuff."

"I wanted you to relax when I left you up there."

"I was a little dizzy, it comes with being pregnant. I was fine a few moments after you left and I couldn't just lay there."

"I'm gong to go get a shower."

Sam watches him as he walks into the bathroom and then shakes her head before she turns back to the TV.

Reva is coming downstairs from putting some laundry away when Cassie walks into Cross Creek. "Hi." She says, as Reva looks up.

"Hi, what are you doing here?" She asks, slightly surprised

"I need to talk to you about some things." Cassie says, walking over to the bar and sitting down.

"Alright, are you and…."

"No, Richard and I are fine. This is about you and me."

"Do you want something to drink?" Reva asks, walking over to the refrigerator.

"Ah, tea will be fine." Cassie replies, watching as she pours them each a glass of tea.

Bringing it to her, Reva asks. "So, you want to talk here or do you want to go in the living room?"

"The living room is fine." Cassie says, getting up from the bar and following Reva into the living room.

"Alright, you said we need to talk." Reva says, sitting down on couch.

For a few moments, Cassie paces in front of the fireplace before she stops to look up and realizes that Waldo is missing. "You took Waldo down?"

"Yes, it's in Josh's study, but I don't think that's why you came over here, to discuss home interior."

"No, it's not. I have something I need to say to you. I just don't know how to say it?"

"Straight to the point has always worked for me." Reva says, taking a sip of tea.

"Alright." Cassie says, walking over to the couch and sitting down on the other end of it "This is about Josh…."

"Josh, what about…?"
"I'm sorry." Cassie says, interrupting her.

"You're sorry."

"Yes, for stealing Josh away from you. I don't think I ever told you that. The whole thing with Josh should never have happened. I knew it then. I knew it before it ever happened."

"Then why did it?"

"Honestly, I don't know Reva." Cassie says, looking at her sister. "I know that's no reason. I know that I've felt hollow inside, before Josh, with Jeffrey and Edmund. A piece of me was missing and I went looking for a way to fill the hole."

"By taking my husband when I needed him the most."

"You didn't exactly tell us that did you."

"Would it have made a difference?"

"Maybe, it might have taken my mind off what was going on with me."

"You should have…."

"Known, you're right we should have realized something was going on with you."

"Did you ever realize how much it hurt to see you two together? I was fighting for my life and I watched as you and Josh grew closer and closer."

"I can't imagine that. It was hard enough watching you, Harley and Blake after Richard died."

"What do you mean, watching me, Harley and Blake?"

"After the accident, you had Josh, Harley had Gus and Blake had Ross and I was right back where I was three years before, mourning for a man that I still loved. I didn't realize he was still alive because I was focused on him leaving me. So I turned to Edmund and I tried to convince myself that he had changed and that I could see Richard in him, and well you know how that turned out. And then Jeffrey, and if I ever felt close to Richard it was when I was with Jeffrey, but then all the stuff that happened in San Cristobel came out and I wouldn't allow myself to forgive him, so I turned to Josh." Cassie says, looking at Reva.

"You turned to Josh, he was married Cassie, to me. He was my husband."

"I know he was. I did try to fight what was happening. I went to San Cristobel. He followed me down there and brought me back. I turned to Jeffrey and he picked me up, put me over his shoulder and took me to his car and locked me in. I'm not trying to excuse my part in what happened with Josh, I know it shouldn't've happened, but I did try to fight it. And I'm sorry we ever went there. I didn't go after Josh to hurt you. I do know that much. It wasn't about you, or our relationship. I wanted to feel safe again. I wanted Richard again, but I thought I couldn't have that."

"So, you went after Josh, to replace Richard. Josh and Richard are nothing alike."

"They are more alike than they want to admit or we want to admit to ourselves. Look the point I'm trying to make, is that I am sorry. I'm sorry I hurt you. I'm sorry that I hurt Richard, even if he won't tell me that I did."

"I thought you and Richard are okay?"

"We are, but I know I hurt him, especially being with Edmund, he can understand Jeffrey and even Josh, but after everything that Edmund did to us while we were in San Cristobel, locking me in the tower, forcing my car off the road and causing the accident that cost us Will…."

"Do you know anything more about Will and what happened?"

"No, William is looking into it. Richard says that he understands about everything that happened while he was away but I know that deep down it bothers him and I'm sorry I hurt him."

"Has he said anything to you?"

"No, he says he understands. But yesterday the boys spent the night at one of their friend's house and we spent the evening together. I made spaghetti like I did the first time he stayed at the farm with me, Tammy and RJ before we were married. And I know he was sad, I was sad that Tammy wasn't there with us. After we finished eating we danced and we talked and then we went out for a walk and we were watching the sun set when Richard suggested that we get married…."

"Get married, you're already married."

"I know, but we both agreed that we need to renew our vows."

"That's probably a good thing."

"What do you mean?"

"Richard was declared legally dead."

"Yes."

"I'm not a lawyer, so you might want to ask Jeffrey, but for you to be entitled to his estate now that he's been found alive, I would think that you would have to be remarried."

"I guess you're right. I hadn't thought about all that."

"It's something you and Richard should look into. So, Richard was suggesting something."

"Oh, right. He suggested that we get married in the barn. We sort of do have a history there. I made him sleep in the barn when he first came to Springfield looking for you."

"But you and Edmund…."

"I know, and I had to tell him."

"How did he react?"

"He was shocked at first and then he said that it didn't matter that the barn was still ours."

"But."

"Well, he led me back to the barn. I could feel his anger and hurt inside him, but I also felt him fighting it."

"What did you do?"

"I told him to do what he needed to do."

"Cassie."

"He wouldn't hurt me Reva, you know that. But he wanted to show me that I was and will always be his."

"So, what happened?"

"We made love and at first I think in a way he did want to hurt me, not like physically hurt me, but I don't know. And then something changed, I felt the anger leave him. He's still hurt, but I don't think he's angry anymore."

"So, what happened afterwards?"

"We sat and talked for a while and then we went back into the house. And he went to his study to check his messages and then he called you and I went upstairs. I fell asleep before he came up."

"And did he say anything this morning?"

"No, he was cheerful and relaxed, we both were."

"So you think he's okay?"

"Yes."

There are a few moments of silence before Cassie looks at Reva. "This feels right. It's been a long time since we've sat down and really talked about what's going on in our lives."

"I know." Reva says, looking out the window.

After a few more moments of silence, Cassie asks. "Are you and Josh okay? I don't know if you want to talk…."

"I've missed talking to you. Josh and I are…. I don't know what Josh and I are." Reva says, looking over at the mantel at the craving.

"Are you having problems?"

"No, yes, I don't know. I don't know what's going on with him right now."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, you know when I came to Washington with Jeffrey."

"Yes."

"Josh didn't want me to go?"

"You guys just got back together a few months ago. I can understand him not wanting…."

"No, it wasn't that he didn't want us to be apart. He didn't want me to go because I was going with Jeffrey."

"Jeffrey, what's Jeffrey got to do with it?"

"I don't know. But he's been acting strangely ever since then. It's like he doesn't want to share me. But he's got nothing to fear with Jeffrey."

"So what has he told you?"

"That we can't trust him, because of what he did to you in San Cristobel."

"San Cristobel! That was a long time ago. Richard and I have both forgiven him."

"I know. I pointed that out to him last night after I got off the phone with Richard and I told him about Jon and Sarah. And every other time the subject of Jeffrey has come up. I don't know what's going on with him, but he acts like he's jealous of the man and he has no reason to be jealous, at least not were I'm concerned. Jeffrey and I are friends and in some cases colleagues, that's it."

"You don't have to convince me Reva. I know your relationship with Jeffrey is nothing but platonic. So why do you think he believes we can't trust him."

"I don't know, but Sam…."

"Sam?"

"Yes, we talked a couple of times about Josh and she seems to think that there's a reason other than you and what happened in San Cristobel as to why Josh is so adamant about Jeffrey."

"So, why does she believe it is?"

"I don't know. I've never really asked her."

"It can't be anything too serious. Jeffrey's been around here for a while now. I don't think he has any more demons in his past. I think he's been through enough. And Josh, he's probably sees another thing that he's going to have to rescue you from."

"I'm through being rescued. I just want to settle back, with him and live our lives and watch Sarah grow up and talk to Shayne, Dylan and Marah, maybe visit them on occasion and maybe even get them home. Jeffrey is no threat to me and Josh, and eventually I hope that he realizes that."

"I'm sure he will. Listen I've got to go. I've got to go by the Beacon and talk to Olivia about some stuff and then pick up Will from day camp and RJ from Harley's."

"Alright, I'm glad you came by." Reva says, as they stand up.

"It was something I should have done a long time ago. I'm sorry it took so long for…."

"It's over with, and I want to know all the details about this wedding."

"Know. You're going to help me plan it. You weren't there for the last one till the very end. This one, you're going to be right there beside me every step of the way, if you want to." Cassie says, looking over at her.

"Are you asking me to be your matron of honor?"

"Yeah, I am. I know we've had some stuff this last year. But I want you there when we renew our vows. You were at the first one and you have to be at the second one."

"I would be honored to be there and to be up there with you." Reva says, reaching over and hugging her. "I missed you little sister."

"I missed you too." Cassie says, as they hug each other tightly. When Reva releases her, they step back and Cassie asks. "We're good."

"Yes, we're more than good. You'll call me whenever you want to get this thing started."

"It's not going to be like the last one, it's just me and Richard and our friends and family, at the farm." Cassie says, as they walk towards the front of the house and front door.

"Have you set a date yet?"

"Yes, September 20th."

"I'll mark my calendar."

"Good. Call me if you need to talk about Josh or anything."

"I will." Reva says, as Cassie walks towards her car. "Hey Cassie, how's Will."

"He's doing really well. He's made a lot of friend's at day camp and he's settling in really well."

"Has he asked about William?"

"No."

"Are you sure that's okay?"

"I hadn't really thought about it, but I'll talk to him."

"I'll talk to you soon."

"Okay."

Cassie gets in her car. Starting it up, she waves one last time before she pulls away.

When Jeffrey walks into the living room after taking his shower, Sam looks up and asks. "Are you still mad at me?"

"I wasn't…." He looks down at her. "Okay, so maybe I was. I don't want you to over do things."

"I promise you, I won't. I know my limits. I felt fine when you left so I got up and put that stuff away. Listen to me." She says, turning to him. "I'm a doctor. I know what is normal and what's not. Dizziness is part of the pregnancy and sometimes it's going to be more severe than other times, but you have to trust me. I won't do anything to jeopardize this baby."

"Alright, but it's my job to take care of and worry about you, especially now. I won't apologize for that, okay." He says, putting his arm across her shoulders and pulling her to him.

"Okay." She says, laying her head on his shoulder.

Richard was in his office when Cassie gets home, laying her keys on the table by the door along with her purse, she walks to the back of the house. Standing in the doorway to his office, she watches him for a few seconds, before he looks up and says. "Hi, darling."

"Hi." She replies, walking into the room and around his desk. "How was your day?"

"Very busy."

"Did the guys from that new company come in?"

"Yes, they're staying at Towers. And I have to meet them in the morning to show them some property around town."

"Will you be gone all day?"

"Ah, I don't think so. Why?"

"Because I thought we could take some time and do some planning for the wedding."

"I'll see what I can do. What did you do today?"

"Well, I went to Reva's."

"Did you…?"

"Yes, we talked. I feel really close to her, for the first time in a really long time I don't feel guilty about me and Josh."

"Good, was that the only thing you talked about?"

"No, we talked about Josh and Jeffrey."

"Jeffrey?"

"Yeah, it seems that Josh has a real problem with Reva being around him."

"Did she tell you why?"

"Only that Josh says he can't be trusted because of what he did to you and me in San Cristobel."

"San Cristobel, but we've…."

"I know. I told her that. And she's reminded him of that, but he seems focused on keeping Jeffrey away from her."

"Is he jealous?"

"No! I don't think so. Jeffrey and Reva have always been friends and sometimes she helped him with cases."

"Reva helped him with cases?"

"Yes, you know how Reva has always had this sense about things. Sometimes she used those senses to help Jeffrey solve cases when he was DA."

"Okay."

"Other than that connection there has been no other relationship between them."

"Is Josh jealous of the fact that Jeffrey looks like me?"

"He might be, but I would think that would have been apparent when Jeffrey first came to town and Josh has never been this hard on him. Yeah, he's been critical, but when is Josh not critical when someone doesn't do things exactly like he believes it should be done."

Richard looks up, when she doesn't continue. Seeing the expression in her eyes, he asks. "What?"

"I just realized that. He is really judgmental of anyone that does things different than he does them."

"Josh has always been that way. Maybe he has a legitimate reason for not trusting Jeffrey."

"I don't know. But I told Reva that if she needed to talk, to call me. So what are you doing?"

"I was looking over possible properties to show the executives tomorrow."

"Then I'm going to go get dinner started." Cassie says, turning towards the door. "Where are the boys?"

"Over at the Miller's. I told them to be home by dinner."

"Okay."
Cassie gets up. She turns to leave when Richard reaches out and takes her hand, stopping her. "I love you."

"I love you too." She says, leaning over and kissing him lightly.

Richard watches her leave the room before he goes back to looking at the file he brought home from the office. About ten minutes later, the phone starts to ring. Reaching for the phone in the kitchen, Cassie answers. "Hello."

"Hello Cassie, its Jon."

"Hi, how are you."

"I'm good."
"And Sarah."

"She's good too. She's taking a nap right now. Is my dad around?"

"Yes, he's back in his office. I'll take the phone to him." Cassie says, walking out of the kitchen and back to Richard's office. "Richard, its Jon." She says, walking over to his desk.

"Oh, good." He says taking the phone as Cassie leaves. "Jon."

"Hi."

"Are you and Sarah okay?"

"Yes, we're fine. We got here about 8:00 local time last night."

"Is the house alright?"

"It's fine. It's certainly better than the other places we've stayed in."

"And you had no problems."

"None, I don't think the Spaulding's even know we're on the island and I promised Will... Uncle William that I would stay away from them when they are on the island."

"Can you do that Jon? I know that you haven't really had time to sit down and relax since Tammy's death. Once things get settled, you're going to have a lot of time to think about Tammy, and think about what happened and mourn for her. Will you be able to stay away?"

"I have to stay away. I'll always want to see Alan pay for what he did. But I have a little girl I have to protect from him, and as I told Uncle William, that overrides any need I have for revenge for Tammy's death."

"Alright, well this might make you feel better, Alan's about to stand trial for bribery and other crimes."

"He is, when did this happen?"

"Jeffrey's been investigating his connection to Doris Wolfe and it seems they've got a good case against both of them."

"That takes some pressure off, but it doesn't completely free us." Jon says, as Sarah starts to cry. "Dad, I've got to go. Sarah's crying."

"I'll call Reva and tell her that you're okay, but I suggest you call her yourself."

"I will." Jon says.

"I'll let you go." Richard says, hearing Sarah in the background.

"Thanks, dad."

"Take care and be careful."

"We will, I promise." They hang up as Jon reaches for Sarah.

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