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Thanks for all your amazing reviews for my previous stories , hope you like this one as well .
Thanks so much
This is a sequel to 'First Steps'. If you want to follow what's going on please read that story first.
Megan walked into the office prepared for any eventuality .She knew that in time, the worst would happen, he'd find the weakness.
Walking up to her desk Megan kept her eyes alert. Sweeping the office for any signs of attack, any direction the advance could come from. She carefully walked forward and around her desk. All the while searching her periphery for a trap.
No where was safe.
No where was off limits.
This was a no holds barred attack on her. She had to be prepared.
As she rounded her desk she spied a large, black, hairy spider sitting on her seat.
A large, black, hairy, plastic spider no less. She smiled despite herself. He was getting desperate. Surely running out of ideas. In the background she heard a whistling approach from the kitchen. He walked past as if unaware of the plastic toy Megan was currently eyeing suspiciously.
This was war. Had been for four days now.
Don had finally made it back to work. His father had kept him hostage at the house a little longer than he had anticipated. The Doctors appointment three days ago hadn't quite gone to plan. Don's temperature had been a little high that morning. As much as he had attempted to hide it his flushed face had betrayed him.
"You ok Don?" If only Charlie could ask that in private.
"Yeah Buddy, I'm fine"
"You look like you have a fever"
Alan looked up from his newspaper and eyed Don suspiciously.
"I'm fine Charlie; just had the shower too hot is all"
The three men continued their breakfast. Don's check up was at 11am so there was no need to rush, which worked well for him seeing as he still had one heck of a limp from the dog bite and in all honesty the shower had exhausted him. As much as he tried to deny it he knew he was sporting quite a fever. If only he could make it back to his apartment he could finish getting better and be out from under his father and brother's watchful eyes. If only he could manage to drive. Maybe one more day and he'd be able to use his foot enough to get the hell out of here.
"What time is Amita picking you up Charlie?"
"In about ten minutes Dad, I should be back by 3 though so maybe I can cook dinner?"
"Haven't I suffered enough?"
Charlie glared across the table at Don. He was enjoying having his older brother stay; as much as he pretended he was annoyed by Don's sarcasm they both knew how much fun it was to antagonise each other.
Don unconsciously wiped his brow with the back of his hand; Alan immediately took this as a cry for help and placed his own palm on Don's forehead.
"How long Don?"
Don sighed but knew there was no way out of this. Busted.
"Woke up with it. It's ok though, I'm sure it's just because I'm tired"
"You slept enough last night so it can't be" It was now Don's turn to glare across the table at Charlie.
Alan moved to the kitchen and came back with a thermometer.
"Open" not a request by any means.
Don eyed his father but knew resistance was futile. It wasn't like he could run very fast to avoid the inevitable.
Alan placed the thermometer under Don's tongue and again pressed his palm to Don's forehead .He was definitely too warm.
Charlie was smiling across the table at Don, it was so much fun to see his brother trapped like this, unarmed and defenceless.
"Mmm?" asked Don around the thermometer.
"Nothing, just glad your gun is locked up is all" Before Don could retaliate there was a knock at the door. Charlie sprang up and rushed to let Amita in. Don raised his eyebrows to his father.
"She has him hooked don't you think?"
"Hey guys, how are you feeling Don?" Amita smiled apologetically when she saw Don was unable to answer. He nodded his head to her instead.
Charlie gathered his books and picked up his bag.
"I'll call you later to see how you got on, good luck with Dad"
Charlie left before Alan could question him. Don tried to look innocent but failed. Alan knew his boys had been talking about him last night. Every time he'd entered the living room they had switched their conversation to baseball. Neither knew what the other was talking about and both were discussing different games. Alan had witnessed enough of these conversations throughout his boy's lives to know when a parent was being discussed. He'd assumed they'd been talking about his slight aversion to spiders. He hoped there wasn't a plan being put into action. He'd end them if there was.
"Oh yes, lets see how high your non-temperature is "Alan frowned at the thermometer in his hands. The mercury was resting comfortably at 99.8; this wasn't resting comfortably with Alan. He went back into the kitchen and swapped the thermometer for a damp towel. Before Don could protest his face was being wiped down, he would have fought his father harder if the cooling sensation hadn't been such a relief.
"I'll get you some Tylenol Don. Then I want you to rest on the couch"
"Dad I'm fine"
"Well, go and be fine over on the couch will you?" Alan's look toward his son wasn't one Don wanted to challenge. He carefully stood and made his way to the couch. He felt a little light headed but told himself that was the fever, not the fear of having to have intravenous antibiotics pumped into him through an obscenely large needle protruding from his vein should his fever prove to be a little more serious than he first thought. He'd gone to sleep last night feeling pretty pleased with himself. He wasn't the only one with hangs ups. Charlie, although not about to rush out and buy one, had managed to take a step toward overcoming his fear of dogs, Alan's fear of spiders had been found out, and his mother, well she had a fear of birds. Yet she'd tried to overcome it. Even though they terrified her, she'd tried to face the fear. Don had felt such a surge of pride when he'd realised how alike Charlie and his mother were in that sense. It brought her a little closer.
When Don came out of the Doctor's office he nearly ran straight into his father.
"Please don't tell me you were listening in?"
"What did the Doctor say?"
Don smiled at his father and handed him a prescription sheet. Alan looked at the print out in his hands.
"He says my hand is healing fine, but I have a slight infection in my ankle. Another course should clear that up and you'll be happy to know that the Tylenol is keeping my temperature down. So I'd say I'm good to go back to my apartment now"
"You don't say?"
The two had reached Alan's car, Don leaned across the top and took his prescription sheet back. Alan raised his eyebrows at his son and got into the car.
As Don was getting himself settled in the passengers seat Alan turned and regarded him with a devious smile.
"Where's your car Don?"
"David left it at the office. Can we stop off to get it?"
Alan put his car in drive and headed off in the direction of the pharmacy store.
"What do you mean 'no'? "Laughed Don, he knew where this was going but boy was he going to fight it all the way.
"No, I mean No by saying no; implying my dear boy that I will not be taking you to get your car and you will be staying with Charlie and me for at least another couple of days."
"Dad I'm fine honestly" at Alan's incredulous look Don added "I have a little fever that's all, my ankle is fine, just a little sore and my hand hardly hurts at all now"
"Really? Then why were you swearing this morning when you knocked it against the door?"
"You'd swear if you knocked your hand, wounded or not"
"Where are your car keys Donnie?"
Now he knew he was in trouble. There had been a tone to his father's question that Don had heard many times in the bull pen. Suspects who knew they had the upper hand at that moment in time. Predator toying with prey.
"Please don't tell me.."
"David dropped the keys off while you were sleeping yesterday, he called and offered to bring the car but I told him that wasn't necessary, just the keys would do"
Don stared at his father. This could be a bluff, although Alan Eppes wasn't known for bluffing without a back up.
"I'll make a deal with you Donnie, stay for at least another night. If your temperature drops enough, and stays dropped then I'll take you to get your car"
Don stared at his father. Surely he hadn't just lost there. Had he?
He'd ended up staying another two nights. His fever had topped 100 and he had to physically fight off his father and his damp cloth's much to Charlie's amusement.
Finally Alan had allowed Don to pick his car up and go home. He made sure Don didn't go into the office by escorting him to his SUV and then following him out of the car park and all the way to his apartment.
Once inside he tut tutted at the mess. He guessed Don inherited his need to save the papers and magazines on the coffee table from him. He began to tidy up while Don went to inventory his food .After a quick run to the store Alan was satisfied his son would survive.
"You're going into the office tomorrow I take it?"
"No field work Dad, not until next week. I'm there to catch up on paperwork and that's it"
"Can you really imagine me attempting to run after a suspect with this limp?"
"I can imagine you trying"