Just One of Many Pt. 02byMoonlessNight©
I'm so glad everyone is enjoying the story. Here's another dose!
It shocked them both. Catherine dropped the bag and the towel. It sounded like a bomb in the silence of the room. Chris nearly dropped Megan had she not been clinging to his neck, he would've.
"Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!" She screamed with delight, smiling happily.
Catherine was the first to respond. She grabbed Megan from Chris's arms and got out her coloring book and crayons. She sat her on the bed and gave it to her. Catherine and Chris stood there staring at each other for a long time until a knock on the door broke through. John appeared, telling them dinner was ready. They followed him back upstairs and sat at the table in the middle of the kitchen. Chris sat across from John, beside Catherine and Megan sat beside her. Mashed Potatoes, gravy, corn, green beans, bread, and pork chops occupied the table. All in matching blue and white bowls. Catherine raised her eyebrows. Since when did men care about dishes?
"I do have a wife. I have her leave when there are....visitors." John answered her question without knowing it. Cat nodded and fixed Megan and herself a plate.
"So..." Cat broke the silence a few minutes later. "Why do you do this?"
"Do what?" John asked.
"This. Helping the witnesses."
"You answered your own question Ms. Kelly." He answered.
"You can call me Catherine."
Catherine? So he was the only one allowed to call her Cat? What was that supposed to mean? Maybe she felt the same way as him. Maybe she just figured he should call her Cat since it was a mouth full like Catherine. He should have liked a mouth full of 'Cat'. He still couldn't believe Megan had called him Daddy. It was understandable though, in a sense. She had never really had a father figure, or had she? Had there been men in Cat's life? Sure she hadn't been with a man before, but of course she had dates. What teenage girl doesn't date? A girl who grew up too fast.
At the end of dinner, they retreated back to the basement. Cat got her pad and pen, flopped down on the bed and started writing. Chris sat at the desk and wrote in his own green hard covered book. When Catherine noticed this, she closed her book and laid it down on the nightstand table. She got up quietly and walked up behind him. She shrieked as he grabbed her by the arms and pinned them at her sides. Their eyes met.
"You shouldn't sneak up on people. It could get you hurt some day." Cat merely nodded and he let her go. She rubbed at her wrists. "Did I hurt you?"
"I'm sorry, didn't mean to." She nodded again.
She pulled up another chair on the other side of Chris and looked at him.
"What do you write?" He smiled.
"Wouldn't you like to know."
"Yeah, I would."
"I keep a journal." Cat smiled.
"Yep." He noticed her book on the table. "What do you write?"
Catherine got up and went to the table. She picked up her tablet and brought it back. She turned the page she had written that night at the first house. With reluctance she handed it over. Chris took it.
I sit here looking out at the moon, the garden is full of color I wish in my heart that is over soon, But I know that this is for the better.
I know I will make it, but I still feel the fear
He didn't read the rest of it. Chris looked at Cat sitting in the chair in front of him. Without thinking twice about it, he pulled her into his lap and wrapped his arms around her. She buried her head in his neck and the sobs rocked her body against him.
"You're gonna get through this, Cat, I promise. I won't let anything happen to either one of you." He whispered into her hair.
Chris pulled her up to look at him. He cupped her face in his hand. Tears rolled down her face and her cheeks were a rosy red. Snot trickled out of her nose. He got a clean white handkerchief and wiped the tears from her face. Putting it at her nose he said 'blow' and she did. He cleaned her up and hugged her again.
To Catherine, that was the best thing she had heard in years.
The next morning, they left early. They had to be in Concord by nine that night. If they weren't there, the operator was to call the station back in Mainsville immediately and they were to think the worst. Megan was still asleep in the back seat, Catherine was in sweats in the passenger seat and Chris sipped at a hot cup of coffee.
"What music do you listen to?" Chris asked, looking over at Cat. She looked up from dragging eyelids.
"Country and rap."
"Odd combo. I think I got some rap in here."
He pulled the visor down in front of him and pulled out a CD then stuck it in the player. He put it on the third track and turned it down. Bass rocked the speakers and Cat knew the artist instantly.
"Like fifty cent?" Cat nodded, lipping the words as she stared out the wind shield.
Catherine sighed but still sang and wiggled around in her seat. Chris misunderstood that for nervousness. He put his hand over hers and gave it a squeeze. She smiled the best she could.
"We need to stop." She blurted out.
"You just used the bathroom. We're on a tight schedule."
"Why when you get in a car with a guy, do they think they have full control over your bladder? Is there a consent form I signed and just don't remember it?" Chris laughed.
"I don't know, did you?"
"I don't think I do. But hey, if you say so. But you really need to stop."
"For what?" He asked, the aggravation in the voice.
"Do you want pee on your seats?
The tires squealed as he gunned it to the gas station across the road. Cat had to laugh. Once everything was taken care of, they got back on the road. Catherine and Chris sang along some more to the CDs he had. Eventually though, sleep overcame Cat and she fell asleep.
Chris watched Cat. Her head would loll to one side and she'd snap back awake. The last time though, she simply slumped against the door and slept. Her facial expression was relaxed and unconcerned. Once, she whispered his name. He knew he exaggerated it. Why would she say his name? It was well after noon before she woke. When she did, she sat up with a very weird expression.
"What the hell is this?" She asked indicating the radio. Chris laughed. "Is this like a CD of old people songs?"
"Hey! This is good music, alright. Don't make me pull this car over."
"And just what would you do if I made you pull the car over?" She gave him a smile and he cleared his throat, shifting in his seat.
"Peachy." Cat smiled.
"Yeah, you look just peachy to me." Chris's lips broke out in a smile.
It was eighty forty-five when they arrived at the next operator's house. It was like the first. Woods surrounded it, a small pond in the back and it was an old two story house. They were given a small room on the top floor of the house. It contained a twin bed, a full bed, a dresser and a desk. Pretty much the same as the last house. The both beds had quilts folded on the foot and clean white sheets. Megan fell asleep in the small bed while Catherine was in the shower.
"Well...let me go get some quilts and I'll make a pallet on the floor." He headed for the door.
"Wait." He paused and turned to look at her. "Why don't you just sleep in the bed with me?"
Chris raised his eyebrows. "You sure?"
"What side do you want?"
"The one opiate of the door." She stated, making Chris smile.
"I should've guessed."
He pulled out the sheet, helped her pull the quilt over the bed, and then got under the covers. Cat did the same. He shut the light off and they were left in the dark.
"You don't kick or anything when you sleep, do you?" Chris asked.
"I don't think so. I'm not gonna promise though." Chris chuckled. "We're gonna make it, aren't we?"
"Yes. You're gonna make it to the safe house. We're gonna catch Tyler. Then you can go back to your life again." And I'll lose you.
"How can you be so sure?" She whispered.
"Because I know. I don't make mistakes. They end up costing someone their live. I'm not going to let that end be you or Megan."
"Why do you care so much? You don't even know anything about me. Or Megan."
"I care about you Catherine, that's all that should matter."
"Because I do!" He nearly shouted. "Go to sleep."
Chris rolled over, putting his back to her. Why did she have to be so damn pushy? He was saving her ass, keeping her safe, that's all that should matter.
"You like me, don't you?" The question made his chest tight. For a moment, he didn't breathe. When he didn't answer, she answered for him. "You do."
"You're my witness. And you're still a teenager."
"I won't always be your witness. I grew up faster than a lot of teenagers do. I don't think you can use my age as an excuse."
"Why would you ever care if I did like you?" He turned over and looked at her. "I'm twenty-four years old. You're nineteen. That's-"
"Four years Chris. Four years." She sighed. "Not that big of deal."
"Ok, but still, you're my witness."
"And? I'm not going to be your witness forever."
"You have a kid." That's where Catherine clamped her mouth shut.
"You don't like kids?"
"Yes, I do. But you keep getting pushy I'm gonna make up some excuses."
"You'd make up excuses so you can keep denying it's possible a relationship would work."
"No..I didn't mean it that way."
"That's the way you said it."
"It didn't come out right."
"Well, why don't you tell me what you did mean?"
"Cat...I do like you. I want to be with you. What kind of man would I be if I did that though? You...you have enough to worry about. You don't need some guy like me to add to it."
"Maybe I need something to keep my mind off of it." Cat whispered in return. He swallowed and looked over at her.
Cat rolled over, resting a hand on his chest. He took her in his arms. She looked at him, then slowly leant down, tasting his lips with her own. His tongue searched out hers between their lips. Only when they heard a cry from the corner did they break apart. When cat looked over, she saw Megan in the fetal position, crying in her sleep. Cat got up, going to her. She stroked her hair, cooing soothing words for her. When she had calmed and was in pleasant dreams again, she returned to Chris.
Chris really couldn't believe Cat would want to be with him. When she came back to bed, she cuddled up against him and he held her close to his side. Her head rested on his shoulder.
"I like you too, you know." Chris smiled.
"No, I figured you French kissed all of your friends." Cat punched his arm "Ow!"
"Oh, go to sleep."
"Why don't you?"
"I am." She whispered, closing her eyes. A few minutes later, she was breathing softer.
When Catherine woke, she heard the sound of the shower running. The sun shone bright through the window in front of the window. She rubbed at her eyes and groaned. Chris walked out in a towel, tied around his waist. He smiled at her and she smiled back. She got up from the bed. Her hands found his face and she gave him a good morning kiss. He smiled again and kissed her cheek.
"Morning sleepy head." She smiled and sat on the dresser.
"What time is it?"
"Around eleven I'd guess. We gotta get going pretty soon." Cat nodded and got up. She grabbed a pair of jeans and t-shirt, going to the bathroom.
A few minutes after she got in, she heard the door open. She poked her head out the curtain to see who it was. Chris smiled at her from the sink.
"I gotta shave, you mind?" She shook her head and went back to her shower.
"Hey!" She called out a few minutes later.
"Can you go out so I can get dressed?" In response, she heard the door open, then close.
She stepped out, dried off then got dressed. When she came out, Chris went in and continued shaving. Cat woke up Megan and got her dressed then took her downstairs. Chris came down and they ate together then got a cup of coffee, and hit the road again.
"How much longer do we have to do this?" Cat asked after three hours. Chris smiled.
"We get to Indianapolis, Indiana, which will be in three days. There, we go to an operator, who will take up to an airport. We get on, fly to place we're going. Another operator picks us up, takes us to a check point where a FBI agent with escort us to the safe house. We stay there for a limited time of six weeks. If it takes longer to get this thing straightened out, we go to another safe house."
Cat stared at him. "I could end up living for years in safe houses all over the country, Chris. What kind of life is that for a two year old?"
Chris took her hand. "It won't be that long. I know we'll catch him. Don't worry about that, Cat. You should worry about keeping Megan occupied and doing your best to occupy yourself with something, like your poetry. Let us worry about everything else."
"Easy for you to say." She mumbled.
"I'm the one who is going to be taking the bullet for you if it comes down to it, think that's easy?" Cat turned her head away from him. Of course it wasn't easy.
"What's the safe house going to be like?"
"You have a lot of questions, don't you?" Cat smiled.
"Sure do." Chris smile, kissing her hand.
"Well, this one, is like a log cabin. Has the main floor with a small living room, a kitchen and a bedroom. Then there's stairs in the living room that go upstairs. It's completely open. And that's the other bedroom."
"Does it have a fireplace?"
Chris laughed. "Yeah, there's one in the living room."
"What about the FBI agents and all that?"
"Well, there's gonna be twenty agents there at all times. Some just watched the outside from a long distance away from the cabin. There'll be me, always there with you. They'll be two agents that run into town or where ever for groceries and stuff like that, the others are outside details, and others will be in the house too."
"So basically, I'm gonna be surrounded by guys that I've never met before that will be with us all the time?"
"Pretty much. I'm sure they're all look a lot better than me. So, shouldn't be too bad." He gave her a wink and she smiled.
"Are you going to be sleeping with me?" The coffee he took a drink of came back at him, making his cough and sputter.
"At the safe house, are you going to be sleeping in the same room as me?"
"Oh, I guess. There are only those two bedrooms. The agents will probably take the upstairs room to share, it's pretty big. I'll stay downstairs with you."
"Why'd you ask?" Cat shrugged.
"Just wondering." Chris nodded. They sat in silence for the next hour.
When it was around ten, Chris pulled over and traded with Cat. After she promised no crazy driving. He got comfortable in the passenger seat, resting his feet on the dashboard and leaning the seat back.
"Yeah, make sure you get comfortable over there."
"Hey, I never said you couldn't do this," He mumbled with his eyes closed.
"Good point I guess. Where am I going anyways?"
"Just find a cheap motel."
"I'm capable of driving, you know."
"I know. But it's dark, you might miss a turn off. Just pull over and we can go some more tomorrow."
She swerved and pulled into a Motel 6. Chris went inside and got a room while Cat got Megan and the bags. He opened the door for her, taking the sleeping Megan and laying her in one of the twin beds. When they had changed and took showers, they got in the other twin bed.
"I want the other side. I don't like being this close to the door."
"Ok, scoot over here." He got up and switched her sides.
"Can I scoot closer to you?'
In response, Chris moved up against her, an arm over her waist.
"What do you think?" Cat closed her eyes and smiled.
"Good night sweetie, sweat dreams."
"When's the next safe house?"
"Operator." Chris corrected.
"Whatever it is. When is it?'
"In New York."
"When are we going to get there?"
"About another day. Probably be there by tomorrow night sometime. They don't worry unless it's well back tomorrow. We're actually ahead of schedule."
"What's after NY?" Chris looked over at her.
"You sure do ask a lot of questions, you know that?" Cat smiled.
Cat was in a gray pj's pants and his white button down work shirt. Her knees were up to her chest with a tablet on her lap and feet on the dashboard. Chris had been for a little over thirty minutes and in that time, he had glanced at her over a hundred times. She just looked so damn sexy in his shirt.
"What can I say, I'm curious." Chris smiled.
"When we get to New York, we got on a plane. We fly to Indiana. We got another operator. Then we go to the plane in Indiana, then I already told you that much."
"So, where are we eating tonight?" Chris pointed to the KFC ahead.
"There." He answered as he pulled in the parking lot. More greasy food, great. After they ate, they loaded back up and headed to a motel down the road. They did the usual routine and Cat put Megan to bed.
When Chris got out of the shower dressed in some boxers and sweat pants, Cat was curled up with her tablet in the middle of the bed. What she was curled up in was what got Chris. Besides his shirt that met at the middle of her thigh, only panties covered her. He nearly turned around back to the bathroom if she hadn't looked up and smiled at him. He tried his best to smile back. Cat moved over when he came over and laid down next to her on the bed. They smiled at each other, then looked around everywhere except for the other person. Until Cat finally spoke did it break the silence.
"Chris...." She whispered.
Chris grabbed the tablet, throwing it in the floor. That was the word he needed to hear. He rolled her over onto her back, pinning her hands against the mattress with his, his body pinned her's. Chris's lips parted, his tongue doing the same to hers. During his attack, Chris could feel Cat's hands holding and pulling mercily at his shirt. Her fingernails dug into his shoulder blades as her body withered in need under him. He couldn't go that far with her though. Not in some hotel while she was running for her life, she deserved better than that. She deserved better than this. With that thought in his head, he pulled away from her panting body. She stared at the ceiling with wide eyes.
"Don't. I don't have regrets. Don't treat me like I do." She interrupted. "Why do you defy me? Am I not good enough?"
"What? God, no." He said, shocked. "You deserve better than me. Better than on your back in some crappy hotel."
"Maybe I like being with you. Did you ever think about that? Maybe I want to believe you're more than what I deserve." That stunned him.
When Cat woke in the morning, she completely ignored Chris at the desk. She went about her business. She took a shower, curled her long hair, brushed her teeth and got dressed. A pair of tight jeans and a Steelers' jersey was her choice of appeal. Screw Chris, he could think whatever he wanted. He could defy her all he wanted. She decided she didn't care anymore. The truth though, was in her heart. She cared with all her heart and soul. When she was ready, she focused all of her concentration and energy on Megan. She dressed her, and fixed her hair into two little braids. For a two hair old, she had a lot of hair.
Chris could tell that Cat was upset. She hadn't said one word to him since she got up an hour ago. She did look damn hot though. That jersey looked like it was just dying to be pulled off the way it clung to her curves. When they got in the truck, she turned to the window and her tablet. He was now just the invisible guy driving. Great going.