By Thomas Mc

Chapter 25 : A Whole New Chapter

Doctor Peterson came running up to the knot of people surrounding the President and his wife. Let me through, I'm a doctor." Harold announced with a strong authoritative voice. The crowd quickly gave way before his assumed authority and Agent Myers, who remembered him from the hospital last winter, passed him through. He stepped up to the small group helping the First Lady and touched Alexander on the shoulder.

Alexander immediately stepped back to give Doctor Peterson clear access to the Firs Lady. Doctor Peterson could see worry clearly showing in his eyes. "She's in far too much pain and the baby is in distress." Alexander reported to his friend and doctor as Harold crouched down before the first Lady,

"Her last labor with Sandra only lasted twenty minutes." Her husband, Jerry, added.

Doctor Peterson glanced into her face and at the reddish stain on the bottom of Alexandra's wedding dress. "We have to get her to the hospital right now." He announced then stood up and turned toward Alexander. "Can you get her to the ambulance, fast?" He asked Alexander. The anxiety on Harold's face now matched Alexander's.

In answer Alexander stepped forward and quickly scooped her up. "Lets go." He called then he raised his voice. "Coming through." And took off at a fast trot towards the theatre where he knew there were two ambulances waiting in case of an emergency. He could have run much faster but he didn't want to out run and worry the President and his escorting agents. As it was they were all having to push themselves to their limits just to keep up with him.

As he ran beside a surprisingly fast President Carlton, Agent Myers was talking to his wrist, between gasps for breath, relaying orders to his men. He glanced over at Doctor Peterson running just behind him and noticed the look of deep worry on his face. Then he spotted the bride pelting along at the back of the group, the pale red stain plainly visible on the bottom front of her wedding dress. "Hell of a way to run a wedding." He thought to himself.

About halfway to the theatre they passed William. He took one quick glance at the running group and called out. "I'll watch over your kids and see that they get to the hospital OK." Then he took off for the area where the children had been gathered for their own little party. Agent Myers was relieved. One less thing to worry about. He assigned two of his agents to wait for William and the children and escort them to the hospital. The rest of the agents he put on escort and support duty. Then he quit talking and just concentrated on keeping up with Alexander who was loping along ahead of him at an easy trot.

As they approached the ambulances, Doctor Peterson noticed a familiar paramedic standing beside one of them. It was Ivan Malenkoski. Gasping for breath he directed Alexander toward that ambulance.

As they loaded Helen into the ambulance Agent Scott Myers tried to direct President Carlton towards the limousine but he shook him off. "No, I'm going with my wife." And stepped into the ambulance with her.

Doctor Peterson entered the ambulance and motioned to Alexander to step in with him. "I need Alexander with me, he can sense the condition of the First Lady and the baby better than any of the instrument's I have handy. Right now that could very well be the critical factor in their survival." He looked at Agent Myers, who was looking very uncomfortable with the situation then he glanced around the interior of the ambulance. "We still have enough room for one Agent to ride in here with us."

Alexandra arrived and leaned against the ambulance door puffing from her run. "I'll wait . . . and ride over . . . with William . . . and the kids." She backed away from the ambulance and leaned against a light pole trying to catch her breath.

Two agents closed the ambulance doors and within seconds the ambulance and it's escorts pulled out. By that time Doctor Peterson had already begun a quick examination of Helen. "It's a breach." He announced. "We don't have much time." He began trying to turn the baby when another painful contraction hit causing Helen to cry out.

Alexander spoke up, panic in his voice. "Harold, I'm loosing the baby, he's fading too fast. You gotta do something now, he's not going to make it."

Doctor Peterson ran a quick check of the portable monitor. The babies heartbeat was definitely slowing down and there was more blood. "Damn, you're right the situation has become critical. If I don't perform an emergency cesarean now I'm going to loose them both before we can arrive at the hospital." He turned to Ivan. "Pull out the emergency surgical pack. Your going to have to assist me." He turned to the President. "I need you to hold her hand and give her your support and love. Keep her calm." To Alexander. "You help support her and keep me apprised of her and the baby's condition. Let me know of anything you detect. Also I need you to help hold me steady against the movement of the ambulance" He took the surgery kit from Ivan then spoke to the First Lady. "I'm going to do an emergency cesarean. Don't worry, I've done this a few times before." He pulled a loaded syringe from the kit and injected the local anesthetic. "This will deaden the pain for the surgery but I'm afraid it won't do much for the contractions. Just hang in there Mrs. Carlton. I promise you everything will be just fine."

Jerry Carlton spoke up worry and fear in his voice. "Do what ever you have to Doctor . . . Please just save my wife and child!" Helen gripped both of their hands tightly as another painful contraction hit.

Alexander spoke. "Harold, I think there is something around the baby's neck."

"The umbilical, Damn-it. That's what I was afraid of and the contractions are causing it to get tighter."

"What can I do." Agent Myers asked. He was feeling just a little out of his depth right now.

"Just do what you normally do and pray for a smooth ride." Doctor Harold Peterson replied as he began the operation.

* * * * *

Doctor Peterson had just removed the still living baby boy and was putting temporary stitches over the incision as the ambulance arrived at the hospital. Harold and Ivan rushed Helen to the emergency OR while President Jerry Carlton, escorted by Agent Myers and Alexander, along with two other Secret Service agents, carried his newborn son up to the second floor maternity ward. There the doctors and nurses quickly and professionally, processed, cleaned and dressed the newborn.

As they were handing the newborn back to Jerry Carlton, William and Alexandra rushed up bringing the President's children. "How is she?" Alexandra asked. She paused as she looked at the newborn in Jerry Carlton's arms, curiously.

"She is going to be just fine." Doctor Peterson announced as he entered the waiting room. "She's in recovery and as soon as she wakes up she can have visitors." He faced Alexander. "Thanks to your quick actions, at the park and your help in the ambulance, mother and son are both alive and doing well." He glanced at the baby and smiled before continuing. "There's a good chance we would have lost both otherwise." He gave Alexander's shoulder a friendly clout. "Thanks for your help."

Alexander and Alexandra embraced then he looked at Harold. "I'm just glad she's OK, Doc." He replied.

Doctor Peterson turned to President Carlton and Agent Myers. "If you will follow me, I'll take you to Mrs. Carlton's room." Then he led them out.

Sandra, and her eight year old brother Justin, approached the newlyweds. Justin spoke for them. "I wanted to thank you for saving my mom and my new brother."

"You're welcome." Alexander replied with a smile.

"You really do have fangs." Justin remarked in surprise.

"Told-ja so, silly." Sandra piped up.

William and the two Secret service agents assigned to the children proceeded to entertain and comfort the two worried children. Alexander and Alexandra collapsed into a nearby sofa, physically and emotionally drained. For a while, they just sat there, quietly holding hands and watching the two children play.

A couple of reporters rushed in to the waiting room at that point. As one was taking pictures, the other started asking questions.

William held up his hands calling for order as two more Secret Service agents came in behind the reporters. Alexander stood up and stepped forward. "Mrs. Carlton and her new son are both doing just fine. If you want any more information, I'm sure President Carlton will issue a press release as soon as he gets a chance." He glanced over at the two children who were observing this latest disturbance. "I think it would be best if we allowed the President's children a little peace and privacy right now." He then sat back down wearily as the two reporters were escorted out.

Alexandra took his hand. "That was very well done, husband." She blushed as a smile spread across his face.

Alexander reached up and touched her cheek. "Why thank-you, Wife." His grin grew wider. "Hell of a way to top off a wedding, huh."

She nodded and giggled in response. Then she looked down at the bottom of her dress and frowned as she looked over at William. "I'm so sorry; I think I've ruined this wonderful old dress."

William had come over and shook his head. "Don't worry about it. It was in a good cause. That dress has survived more than its fair share of wedding day mishaps and I have no doubt that it will survive this one as well. I'm sure they can find a way to fix it again. They are very handy at things like that you know." He glanced over at the two agents that were trying desperately to hold on to their professional dignity against the onslaught of the two determined youngsters, and loosing. "I think we need an intervention here." Then he headed over to help.

Soon Alexander and Alexandra joined William and for the next hour they entertained the children while they waited, giving the two beleaguered agents a respite.

They all looked up as Agent Myers entered the waiting room. A fleeting smile flashed across his face at the sight of the two children and Alexandra wrestling Alexander to the floor. William was standing back and laughing at the show. The two agents were desperately trying to maintain their composure as they watched. "Good you're still here. The First Lady is awake and doing well. I was sent to bring the rest of their children to them." He motioned to the other two agents to bring the children. "You three don't go away just yet. The President and The First Lady both want to see you right after they have seen their kids." Then he left, taking the children and their guards with him.

William went over and turned on the waiting room video to see what the media was saying about the First Lady. In the upper half of the right side of the screen was a still picture of Alexander and Alexandra sitting together in the waiting room holding hands, the reddish stain clearly visible on the bottom of her dress. The lower right quadrant of the screen was showing video of the President and his wife talking to the bride and groom just as the second labor pain hit causing Helen to collapse. "On the left half of the screen the news man was reporting. ". . . gain Alex n Alex were there to save the day when the First Lady went into labor in the middle of their wedding reception." The lower right quarter was now showing Alexander sprinting across the field carrying the First Lady and being followed by the rest of the group. The bride, clearly visible in her white dress was running along near the back of the pack. "The report is that there was a serious complication but, thanks to the quick action of the groom, The First Lady and her new son are alive and doing well." The reporter stopped speaking as the lower right quadrant showed video with sound of Alexander's short response to the reporters that had entered the waiting room. "And there you have it, straight from the groom's mouth." The announcer concluded. "Now on the President's world wide war on terror . . ." He went on to report on the current state of the world war on terror. Troops had moved into one of the states that were caught in a civil war and several high ranking terrorist leaders had been captured.

After about a half hour Agent Scott Myers came back. "The President wishes to see you three now."

As they entered the hospital room, they saw the First Lady with the bed adjusted to a sitting position and the new baby was nestled in her arms. Both of her children were standing next to the bed and studying their new brother. President Carlton sat on the other side of the bed a satisfied smile on his face.

Helen spoke first. "I just wanted to thank you for all you've done for us." Her brows furrowed as she noticed the stain on the wedding dress. "Oh my dear, your beautiful dress. It's been ruined."

Alexander responded. "It's no big deal. My father said that this is not the first wedding accident this dress has survived and the family has always found a way to repair it. I suspect it has many more wedding disasters looming in its future before it is finally retired." He smiled.

Alexandra jumped in enthusiastically. "This has been a wonderful wedding. I finally got Alex and I got to top it off by witnessing the birth of a new life." Her smile widened as she gazed at the newborn then she looked the first Lady in the eye and there was a definite impish gleam in her eye. "And whenever my friends start talking about their wedding adventures, I will always be able to top them."

Jerry and Helen both laughed at her pronouncement. Helen looked up at her husband. "It certainly beats our wedding cake disaster."

President Carlton chuckled then he became serious. "There is another reason why I wanted to see you besides to thank you three." He faced Agent Myers. "Scott?"

Agent Scott Myers cleared his throat. "My superiors would like to offer you a position on the Secret Service Executive Guard Detail."

Alexander, Alexandra and William all stared at him stunned speechless.

He continued. "Your natural speed, strength and agility, combined with your ability to sense hostility and think fast on your feet would make you an excellent agent." He smiled. "My superiors have been analyzing the videos from both of the previous incident's you have been involved in, as well as studying the reports from myself and my agents. They feel you belong with us." He became more serious. "Of course you will have to pass the entrance physical and go through the standard training program." He chuckled. "Which you could do in your sleep." He was serious again. "When I heard about the intention to make the offer, I specifically asked that you be assigned to my group as soon as you finished training and they granted my request."

Alexander spoke up. "I think I would like that. It would be an honor to work with you." He thought a moment. "Alex begins this semester in two weeks. When would I have to be there?"

Scott smiled. "Don't worry you have plenty of time for your honeymoon. You could come to DC for the physical and preliminary training in October and November. That's when they evaluate the new recruits. Alexandra can come down to join you as soon as she finishes this semester . . . Speaking of which . . ." Scott pulled an envelope out of his inside pocket. It had the Smithsonian Institute emblem on the upper left corner. "This is for you." He handed it to Alexandra.

William stood there trying to absorb what was happening to his impetuous son who's future he had always worried about.

With shaky hands, Alexandra opened the envelope and read the letter she pulled out. After about four and a half seconds, she squealed and threw her arms around Alexander's neck. "It's a letter from The Smithsonian. They want me to come and serve a one year internship, worth 25 hours of class credit, in the anthropology department of the museum."

Alexander could feel the happiness bubbling up inside her. "That sounds like just what you would love to do."

She continued as she held the letter up behind him and read over his shoulder. "It also says, 'After the completion of the internship if you are willing you can work in a part time capacity here while you finish up your degree. The institute will also make a scholarship available to you if you need it. If all parties are agreeable there is the potential of a full time position after you have received your degree.' Isn't that great? It's the kind of job I always dreamed of."

Alexander grinned. "I guess our future is going to end up being completely different than anything we ever expected."

William approached, a suspicious glimmer in his eyes. "I can't tell you how proud I am of you both . . . At your naming day ceremony, Vincent told me that Alexander was a conqueror's name. He then asked what worlds you would one day conquer." He paused. "I wish Catherine and Vincent and your grandparents could have seen this day. It is the culmination of their most cherished dream."

President Carlton was now grinning from ear to ear. "You two kids better get started on your honeymoon," He looked over at his wife. "And we'll see you when you get back." He turned to Agent Myers who's eyes also seemed suspiciously bright. "Scott, why don't you escort our two young lovers down to one of the limo's and help them get started on that honeymoon that we have delayed long enough."

The End

'Beauty and the Beast' and its characters are owned by Witt-Thomas Productions and Republic Pictures. No infringement on copyrights is intended. This story is presented merely for the enjoyment of fans. Original concepts and story elements may be used by other authors as long as appropriate credit is given.