Until The Last Breath
Snowflakes gathered on the windowsill and Lindsay seemed charmed by the white winter. Connor learned just a couple of days earlier that winter was Lindsay's favorite season and that there was an extremely warm spot for Christmas in her heart. They've been a couple for the past three and a half month, since he kissed her at the travelling fair and Lindsay was completely oblivious to the fact that it was going to end so soon. He loved seeing her eyes sparkle with happiness and he couldn't find the strength in him to tell her the bad news. He wasn't sure how she'd react. Their relationship was very calm and they didn't have a single fight and not even an argument since they became a couple and he didn't want to spoil everything. But deep inside he knew that sooner or later she will have to find out, one way or another.
She was standing in the kitchen of his apartment and watching at the snow falling gracefully with the eyes of a child. He touched her shoulder gently and she turned her head to look at him. Her grey eyes glistened and he overcame the need to pull her into his arms and kiss her.
"You look so serious." She said and wrapped her arms around his waist. He drew backwards.
"Lindsay, we need to talk." He said. She noticed the uneasiness that crept into his eyes, into his voice and into his movements.
"Sure, we'll talk." She said. She followed him to the living room and it was impossible for her not to notice the way he was trying to avoid touching her. She wondered if something happened.
"Take a seat." He said and she did as he said. He remained standing. "There's something that I need to tell you." Every word he said was hurting him and he found it hard to breath.
"You're not breaking up with me, are you?" She grinned in an effort to ease the tension that built up in the room and was almost unbearable. She wasn't sure how she'd react if he said that he is.
"No." He replied. "I'm not breaking up with you." She let out a sigh of relief, but from the look on his face it seemed that she shouldn't have. "Lindsay, I don't have much time left to live."He couldn't keep it inside anymore and the words just came out of his mouth and hung in the air. Lindsay looked at him with disbelief. It seemed like she would rather to be dumped.
"You don't have much time to live?" She repeated his words. He nodded slowly. "Are you sick?" She asked. "Oh, God, that's a stupid question." She said to herself.
"No, it isn't a stupid question. And no, I'm not sick." He said.
"If you're not sick how can it be that you're dying?" Lindsay seemed confused.
"I didn't say I was dying." He replied. It occured to him that it was much easier for him to talk about after he broke the news to her.
"So what is happening exactly?" She asked. "Are you suicidal?" She seemed to be very nervous.
"I'm not suicidal." He replied. "But I am going to die soon."
"I don't understand." She said with frustration and entwined her arms on her chest. After thinking for a few minutes, Connor told her about Magda the fortune teller and her prophecy that he would die in Siberia during an investigation. "This is downright stupid, Connor." Lindsay replied.
"You might see this prophecy as the ramble of a crazy carnie-lady, but I'm telling you – after all my years in the O.S.I.R. I know how to recognize a true clairvoyant when I come across one." Connor said. "I wish that it wasn't true. I wish there was a way to change it, but there isn't."
"So say that I believe this, how much time do you have to live?" Lindsay asked.
"Two weeks." Connor replied. Lindsay's gaze was pinned on his face for several seconds. Her bottom jaw dropped and she was completely dumbstruck. Connor could see her eyes slowly filling up with tears as the realization of what was happening sank in her mind. Tears started rolling down her cheeks slowly and she buried her face in her palms. Connor took a seat next to her and put his palm on her knee. "Talk to me. Tell me what's going through your head." He said gently. He wanted to hug her but something made him hold back.
"No!" She broke down. "No, no, no, no!" She collapsed into his arms. He was relieved that she finally broke down.
"I know it's not a lot, Lindsay, but we can make the most out of those two weeks. We will have such a great time together and then we will go to Russia together and we'll face this situation with bravery." He heard Lindsay's quiet sobbing. "I know this sounds insensitive, but I'd rather spending the time we have together doing things we love." He gently put his hands on her shoulders and pulled her away from his body. He used the end of his sleeve to wipe her tears and gently drew closer to her and captured her lips between his. Her tears were still rolling down her face, but she made an effort to kiss him back. Slowly, his fingers crawled under her sweater and caressed the skin of her stomach. Her skin was so silky and touching it calmed him down.
"No," She uttered softly, throughout her tears. "Not tonight, please." She said. She wrapped her arms around his torso and put her ear to his chest, listening to his heartbeat.
"Listen, let's just go to bed and snuggle." He said and lifted her in arms, carrying her to his bedroom. She lied next to him and sobbed quietly, until she eventually fell asleep with tearful eyes. Connor looked at her in the dark. Her sleep was disturbed and he longed to hold her close to him, but was afraid to wake her up. He wasn't sure he could deal with another sobbing session. For a reason that was behind his grasp, he expected the evening to end differently. He expected to tell her the news and then open a bottle of wine, have a toast for life and make love to her and the way it turned out was a little disappointing.
It was 4 am when he woke up to find out that Lindsay was not in bed with him. Quickly walking through the house, he found out that she was not there and when he went to check the door, he noticed that her coat was not on the hanger and her car keys were not on the kitchen table, where she usually left them. Grabbing the phone, he dialed her number. Counting 5 rings, he was about to hang up and try again when she answered. "Lindsay, where are you?" He asked.
"I couldn't sleep, I'm sorry. I went for a drive." Although she sounded much calmer than before they went to sleep, he didn't like the sound of her voice.
"When do you think you'll be back here?" He asked.
"I don't know." She replied. She sounded as if she was at the bottom of a well.
"Lindsay, you're not drunk, are you?" He voiced his suspicion. The last thing any of them needed right now was for Lindsay to be driving while intoxicated.
"Connor, you told me a horrible thing tonight and I don't need you to start mothering me. I can take care of myself for one night." Her voice held a clear warning to him.
"Just answer my question." He found himself begging. He was now regretting for even telling her about the prophecy. It just wrecked everything.
"I'm not drunk." She assured him. "I just need some time on my own to process what you told me tonight."
"You know how much I love you, right?" He asked.
"I do." He expected her to say that she loved him too, but she just hung up the phone.
Connor hasn't heard from Lindsay for two days and was very worried. She didn't come to work and she didn't answer her phone and he wondered if he should call the police. He called her for the tenth time that day and he already expected to hear her answering machine, which he did.
"Lindsay, I know that you need some space, but I'm getting really worried about you. You don't have to talk to me if you don't want to, but you have to show up for work. If I won't hear from you until tomorrow morning, I'm gonna call the police." The moment he hung up the phone, he heard a knock on the door and went to open it. She was standing at the door and the moment he opened it, she wrapped her arms around her and started crying. "I… just left you a message." He mumbled. He actually intended to say something else, to ask her where she was and why she wasn't answering his calls.
"I wasn't home." She said after she calmed down a bit.
"Where were you?" He asked.
"I was busy. I had something important to do." She replied.
"Which was?" Connor wondered what could be so important that Lindsay couldn't answer her phone for two days.
"I went to Plumsville." She replied. Connor raised his eyebrow. Lindsay grew up in Plumsville, but as far as he knew Lindsay's father was out of country. He lived in Europe with his new wife and taught in university there. From what Lindsay told him, he knew that William Donner's house in Plumsville stood empty and no one lived in it for the past 11 years, since William sent 16 years old Lindsay to a boarding school in Canada and left with his wife for Europe. He knew that Lindsay was paying a cleaning lady to come and clean the house every week, but he never understood why the Donners never sold it.
"You drove all the way there?" He asked. "Is your father visiting?"
"No, I needed to get something that's stored there." She replied and made a motion to suggest that they move from the doorway to the living room and when Connor stood in front of her, she kneeled down and pulled a little box from her pocket. "Connor, will you marry me?" She asked and opened the box, exposing the simple silver band that was placed inside. Connor seemed genuinely surprised by the action. He was a rather traditional man and he wondered how Lindsay had the courage to be the one who's proposing. He picked up the engagement ring that was inside the box and inspected it for a couple of seconds. It was a simple band with Lindsay and Connor's initials engraved on it. He slid the ring down his finger.
"Of course I will." He replied. He took her hand and pulled her into his arms. Their lips met and Lindsay's arms slid around his neck. "I love you." He said when they drew apart to inhale. "I should have been the one getting you a ring."
"You know, I got all the arrangements done already. I thought we should get married as soon as possible, so I took my mother's wedding dress from the house at Plumsville." She said. "And I thought it would be really romantic to spend our honeymoon in a cabin on the frozen lake, but there was nothing available, so I booked the bridal suite for us at Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City. We have a flight to Quebec the day after tomorrow." Lindsay said. "And I even got a tuxedo for you." Connor didn't even know how Lindsay could get all of this done in two days. "I bribed a few people…" It seemed like she knew what he was thinking.
"What about the guests?" Connor asked.
"I already spoke with my dad. He is busy with work. He said I can send him some photos from the wedding." Lindsay shrugged. Connor knew that Lindsay and her father had a complicated relationship since he married her step-mother. "And your mother is in Australia, so she said that she won't have enough time to get here until tomorrow. Your brother is booked for the entire week, so he won't be able to attend." She replied with disappointment. Connor's brother was a very sought after make-up artist and she hoped he would be able to do her makeup for the wedding. Luckily, she found a beauty salon that had a spot for her. "And I didn't know if you wanted to tell the team about us, so I didn't invite them."
"Lindsay, are you kidding? They were practically the main witnesses to our first kiss. They surely know that we're seeing each other." Connor replied.
"Oh, yeah. I forgot about it." Lindsay blushed. "So we're going to invite them." She smiled widely. "Oh my god, I'm so excited!" She called out and captured his lips between hers.
"So wait, if your father isn't coming, who's gonna give you away?" Connor wondered when their lips seperated.
"Ummm… No one, I guess. I'm gonna give myself away." Lindsay replied.
"What about Anton? I think it would mean a lot to him, you know, given the fact that he never had the chance to give his own daughter away." Connor suggested.
"I'd love to give him the option to give someone away at a wedding, but we don't even know if they're free tomorrow." Lindsay said.
"Of course they're free, I'm their boss! They have to come to my wedding." Connor grinned.
"Oh, yeah!" Lindsay smiled widely.
They spend the entire evening making calls to their teammates and inviting them to the wedding. Peter and Claire seemed surprised to hear of the blitz wedding and Anton was very happy and honored to be the person who gives Lindsay away. Connor enlisted Curtis Rollins to be his best man while Lindsay chose to give up a bridesmaid.
"Maybe I should ask Peter to be my bridesmaid." She joked when Connor suggested that she'll choose Claire for the role. They laughed when they thought about Peter walking down the aisle and scattering rose petals.
Lindsay always dreamed of a white wedding with all of her family and friends in a decorated church with three bridesmaids and a ring carrier, and even though this wedding was not even close to what she always imagined, she was happier than any bride in the world. She looked glamorous in her mother's wedding dress. Her parents got married at 1968 and the dress was almost 30 years old, but thanks to her mother's tendency for nostalgia and careful handling, the dress was preserved perfectly. The white was still as white as it was in 68 and the rich bell skirt dress remained flawless. The entire dress was made of thick lace flowers. The dress was strapless and had a matching short sleeved bolero. Lindsay knew that if her mother was alive and saw her in that dress, she would shed tears of happiness. A knock on the door cut her chain of thought.
"Come in." She said and Peter opened the door.
"Wow!" He said when he saw Lindsay. "You're so beautiful." He hugged her. "Everyone is here. Are you ready?" He asked.
"My heart is racing." She admitted and put her hand on her chest.
"Just take a deep breath." Peter said. She nodded and inhaled deeply.
"Okay, I'm ready." She followed him to the door of the wedding hall. Anton was waiting for her. He entwined his arm with hers and as Pachelbel's Cannon in D started playing, they walked down the aisle together. She locked her gaze with Connor's and she could see the happiness that his eyes radiated. When they reached the end of the aisle, Anton gently kissed Lindsay on her cheek and took his sit while she took Connor's hand. As the pastor spoke, they looked into each other's eyes and smiled to each other, until it was time to exchange their vows.
"I, Connor Andrew Doyle, take thee, Lindsay Alexandra Donner to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to cherish and to love until I take my last breath." His voice was shaking and she could see tears rising in his eyes.
"I, Lindsay Alexandra Donner, take thee, Connor Andrew Doyle, to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to cherish and to love until…" She looked into his eyes. "Until I take my last breath." They wrote their vows together, and she was originally supposed to say "Until death do us part." Connor looked at her, slightly shocked. She smiled at him. They exchanged rings and the pastor pronounced them husband and wife and permitted them to kiss each other. As soon as their lips touched, they felt even more uplifted and excited than they were before. It seemed like at the moment, nothing in the world existed but their tremendous love for each other.
Two magical weeks passed swiftly. Lindsay and Connor had a beautiful and enchanting honeymoon in Quebec City, where they could see the frozen Saint Lawrence River from the window of the bridal suite at Le Château Frontenac, the most luxurious hotel in Quebec City that was beautifully decorated for Christmas. They spend Christmas night at home, with a quiet dinner and a kiss under the mistletoe that ended in the bedroom where they kissed each and every part of each other's bodies. They opened their Christmas gifts together on the following morning and snuggled with hot chocolate and marshmallows in front of the fireplace. They cracked a bottle of champagne open in New Year's Eve and kissed at midnight, a kiss that also led them to the bedroom. They spent every free minute they had together, and were happier than ever. Their happiness was so big, that they forgot that their time together was getting shorter.
It was Wednesday evening when Lindsay came back from the gym and found Connor in the bedroom, standing in front of his duffle bag that was placed open on their bed. He took some clothes from their closet, folded them neatly and put inside the duffle bag.
"Connor, what are you doing?" She asked. The team just came back from an investigation in Alberta. He stopped packing and turned to look at her.
"Lindsay," He took her hand. "We have a new investigation." He paused and sighed. "We're going to Russia."