"We can't call for backup," Secret Service agent Derek Mendel said ruefully. "She must have stomped on our cell phones before she kicked them aside…Your weapon is also missing, Collins,"
"Damn it," Collins swore, and winced as agent Harrington applied a tourniquet to help stop the bleeding.
"Sorry," she muttered.
"Are you done yet?" he growled.
"The bullet is lodged in there, Collins," Harrington observed dryly, "which means you need to get your sorry hind end to a hospital ASAP."
"I don't give a bloody damn about myself right now," Collins snapped, "and I don't care if you're the only one here with any actual medical training, Harrington! I want you and Ashton to retrieve your weapons and go find that woman!"
"They crossed the road and entered the woods there," Ashton said, pointing to the area they had all last seen Henry and Sunday disappear into.
"Remember that woman is armed and dangerous," Collins said, fighting a new wave of dizziness and nausea. "I urge you to exercise extreme caution."
Harrington and Ashton nodded gravely and began their pursuit.
"I suggest we drive up to the Britland's home," Collins said to Mendel.
"Negative," Mendel replied sternly, "I'm getting you to a hospital now. We stop at the first phone and call for back-up, okay?"
Gritting his teeth against the pain, Collins nodded, and climbed into the passenger seat, trying to shake the feeling that this time, he had indeed failed Henry and Sunday.
Henry squeezed his eyes shut and exhaled heavily when he saw Sunday fall. The woman pulled him to her again and planted her lips on his. His revulsion was intense, but he knew he had to continue to make her believe he loved her. Still feeling the barrel of Collins' gun pressed against him, Henry dared not act. She at last pulled away from him and smiled. "I knew you could do it, Henry…We're free! Now, let's go home!" She made Henry take the lead, still prodding him along with Collins' gun.
Henry thought it odd that she did not demand he return her weapon to her, which he recognized to be a Smith and Wesson revolver. His mind raced. If he had the chance, would he use it against her?
Her words echoed in his mind. Let's go home. She must think I'll take her to Drumdoe, Henry realised. How long can I delay her by taking a circuitous route before she suspects I have no intention of taking her there? I don't need to put Sims or any of the rest of my staff in harm's way…
I have to get her to put Collins' gun down, somehow, Henry thought desperately. I have to try to use her crazy affection for me to my advantage; make her trust me enough to drop the gun. He walked on for several minutes in silence, contemplating his next move carefully.
"You know," Henry said soothingly, "I do so want to love you more. I want to know more about you. What name should I call my new beloved?"
"I know, Henry," came her reply, "that living with that other woman made you forget everything. She was wicked for what she did to you, but it's over now and I forgive you. My name is from a very special song. It was given to me by my father before he left me."
"What was the song?" Henry asked, hoping his voice sounded as if he were genuinely interested.
"It was from the Beatles' song, 'Michelle'. I know you must have heard of it, Henry,"
"I know it," Henry said.
She stopped walking. No longer hearing her footsteps behind him, Henry paused and glanced cautiously over his shoulder.
"Sing it, Henry," she commanded. "Look at me, and sing it."
Turning to face her, Henry took a deep breath and started in his mellow baritone voice:
These are words that go together well, my Michelle…"
nodded and smiled. "Keep going, Henry, you sing so well."
Sont les mots qui vont tres bien ensemble, tres bien ensemble."
just a repeat of the first part in French, Henry remembered telling himself the
first time he'd heard the song. So simple, yet so lovely. His thoughts suddenly
drifted to the Christmas he and Sunday had an unexpected little guest – a child
recently arrived from France who had managed to escape his incompetent
abductor. Sunday had made Henry speak only French in an attempt to get him to
open up to them, a ploy which had been disappointingly unsuccessful. 'Little'
Jacques would be a teenager in a few short years, Henry realised.
love you, I love you, I love you. That's all I want to say.
Until I find a way, I will say the only words I know that you'll understand."
Henry forced himself to concentrate on the lyrics and staying in tune. He thought he noticed her closing her eyes, as if mesmerized by his singing. If he could use that to his advantage…
"Michelle, ma belle.
Sont les mots qui vont tres bien ensemble, tres bien ensemble."
Was she lowering Collins' gun? Henry saw her arm wavering. He gripped the weapon she had handed him tightly in his hand. One moment of distraction was all he needed…
"I need you, I need you, I need you. I need to make you
oh, what you mean to me. Until I do I'm hoping you will know what I mean. I love you."
I need you Sunday, and only you, Henry thought. And I know you know that. I will not allow this woman to destroy what we have.
"I want you, I want you, I want you. I think you know
I'll get to you somehow. Until I do I'm telling you so you'll understand."
Henry tried to put as much passion as he could muster into the words, hoping Michelle would give him an opportunity to catch her off-guard and disarm her…
"Michelle, ma belle.
Sont les mots qui vont tres bien ensemble, tres bien ensemble. I will say the only words I know, that you'll understand, my Michelle."
With the last phrase, he softened his voice in a manner he hoped was appealing to her.
She exhaled softly, tilted her head backwards and closed her eyes, as if she was savouring every the last note. Knowing his chance had come, Henry swiftly cocked the hammer, aimed at her shoulder and pulled the trigger. To his utter dismay, the weapon did not fire.
Michelle's eyes snapped open and blazed at Henry.
"What are you trying to do?!" she cried. "How could you?! I…love you! I care for you! I even helped you get rid of that awful woman!"
Henry stared in disbelief as she reached into her jacket pocket and removed bullets – bullets that should have been in the chamber of the Smith and Wesson he was holding. He gave himself a mental slap. Of course. Those metallic noises he heard before. Michelle had been removing all the bullets. That's why she 'trusted' him with the weapon all along.
"I left you one bullet to take care of her," Michelle said to him, her face a dark mask of bitterness. "I took the rest of them out…and now I'm glad I did."
Henry could feel her anger skyrocketing.
"You betrayed me, Henry. You would have killed me, wouldn't you?!"
"No," Henry tried to placate her.
"You're lying! I trusted you, and now I see how wrong I was to think I could have helped you – to think I could have saved you." Her voice was acid.
"Michelle," Henry said soothingly.
"Shut up!" she cried, her arm now steadily pointing Collins' gun at him. "Your lies won't help you!"
I'm out of options, Henry thought frantically, she's on the verge of shooting me!
Michelle disengaged the safety on Collins' weapon. As if in slow motion, he saw her finger tighten on the trigger. Henry started to squeeze his eyes shut. Then a sudden cry pierced the air, followed by a heavy thunk! and Michelle collapsed to the ground, unconscious. Henry looked up and saw Sunday standing there, clutching a large rock in her hands.
"Darling, what took you so long?" he managed to say, before they finally reached out for each other and embraced, weeping as the tensions of the night's events overwhelmed them.
"At first I couldn't believe Henry was actually pointing that thing at me," Sunday was saying to Jack Collins, who had come through surgery with flying colours and was now resting in the recovery room. "But then I realised what he was attempting."
"My heart stood still when I pulled that trigger," Henry said. "I knew right away that if Sunday didn't make it look good, the game was up. As it is, you did a marvelous job playing 'dead', darling,"
"It was pretty miserable lying on that cold ground, Henry. Next time, you get to play the role of the dummy."
"On the contrary, Sunday," Henry said with amusement in his voice. "In fact, I ask that I never again hear you berate me about the inhumanity of fox hunting. If not for my expert marksmanship skills honed on such excursions, I might not have been able to make our little shooting drama so convincing."
Sunday eyed him warily. "Is that so?"
"In the worst case scenario," Henry said seriously, "I might even actually have hit you…I just thank God I didn't."
"Henry," Collins interjected, "I'm sorry…"
"Jack, this situation was beyond your control," Henry said. "You did everything you could, and even took a bullet in the arm trying to make sure nothing happened to us. But Sunday and I are both alive, and Michelle is in custody."
"I know…" Collins murmured, "but just the thought of the two of you out there at the mercy of that madwoman, I – I thought I had failed."
"But you didn't Jack," Sunday said soothingly, "you didn't. Please, put it out of your mind and concentrate on recovering."
"I will," Jack promised.
Outside in the waiting room Agent Seitz greeted them warmly. "Am I ever glad this is over," he said. "I can't tell you how concerned we were when we walked into that…room…in Ms. Wilson's apartment. When we couldn't reach Collins and your butler informed us you hadn't arrived, we really started to panic."
"I have one question," Sunday said. "Do we have any idea why Michelle made it appear that Regina had written the first letter?"
"Michelle claims Regina 'stole her job'," Seitz answered. "She said she accepted a resume from Regina who was at the time simply handing them out at potential places of employment. The next week Dr. Walsh came to terminate Michelle's position. I guess she somehow thinks it was Regina's fault."
"I suppose Michelle thought she found the opportunity of a lifetime when Sunday walked into that office," Henry mused, "and she used that one visit to her advantage…But perhaps now she'll be able to get the help she needs."
Driving home after leaving the hospital, Sunday turned to Henry. "You didn't really shoot foxes, did you?"
"My father happened to think it was far more humane to shoot them than to let the hounds tear them to pieces," Henry replied.
"Forget I asked," Sunday said with a look of revulsion. "Just promise me that we'll leave the gun and weapon-wielding to our Secret Service detail from now on, okay?"
Henry nodded. "Okay."
"So, does a girl have to threaten you with death before you'll sing for her?" Sunday asked teasingly as they prepared for bed that night.
"I will sing if the lady asks me politely," Henry said in response. "Do you remember when we were first married and everyone started calling you 'Sunday' after that ridiculous tabloid ran their headline?"
"I remember I hated it," Sunday recalled.
"And do you remember what I told you?"
"You said you liked it because it reminded you of the song 'Sunday Kind of Love'."
"Exactly," Henry said, grinning. Taking a breath, he sang softly:
I want a Sunday kind of love
A love that will last past Saturday night
And I've got to know it's more than love at first sight
I want a Sunday kind of love…