Dilemma Continued Ch. 03bynorthlander©
This chapter does not stand alone, and should not be read without reading the preceding chapters including Dilemma and Dilemma Lorelei's story by Joesephus. In keeping with the original story, there is no active sex, it just deals with the wrong done to Lorelei and Chris.
Chris and Lorelei Meet Again
By going through Cindy's address book, I found Lorelei's address (another Cindy secret), I mailed the letter. Of course Sandy who had been a rock since Cindy died, had to go back to her own family or as she put it, her husband and children would be divorcing her. Since Cindy's letter, our relationship had undergone a subtle change, no more brother and sister in law, but more brother and sister, closer and more trusting. I would miss her being around to help and would have to at least hire a housekeeper and nanny. "Cindy, as always you have given me a tremendous challenge and I hope I can handle it in a way worthy of you, I miss you so much honey."
I had put back a number of the projects that I had been working on after Cindy died and now had to play catch up. As I would have to travel on some of them, I really needed help so I gave Mom a call and asked if she would like to come to Philly and spoil her grandkids for a few weeks. She was at the airport two days later, and soon had the house and all those in it firmly under her rule, dad had come with her to help, and I welcomed the chance to try and put things right a little more.
I had just got back from a trip to Chicago when Mom told me that there was a letter from Lorelei on my desk. She had recognized the handwriting My heart sank and my first thought was that Lorelei would have changed her mind about being Cindy's surrogate. I opened it and found this letter.
First let me express my sympathy to you and your children in your loss of Cindy, I know that she was a vital force in your lives and you must miss her tremendously. I know that I will because she had become such a friend to me.
I find it really strange writing to you, when our lives were once so entwined. I really don't know what to say, as I don't want to upset you. I did that years ago and have never let myself forget it.
Why do I want to carry yours and Cindy's children? I have asked myself that question many times. The only way that I can explain it, is that when we were married I wanted your child so badly then suddenly because of something I still can't explain, I forfeited the right to do that. I felt that being a surrogate for Cindy was one way that I could help her, and also give you more of a family. I still feel that way, because I feel that Cindy will know and approve, and you deserve to see your family completed.
I have arranged with my partners to cover my workload for several weeks next month, and if it is suitable to you, I can be in Philadelphia for the procedure on the first of the month. I will stay at a hotel until we know whether the procedure is successful then return to Austin until a month before the birth is due. Then I will return to Philadelphia for the birth. Luckily I have understanding partners, and I have already checked out doctors in Philadelphia.
As far as your other question is concerned. I have checked with the other two women who had problems with King, you are welcome to use our information in any way that you wish, we all hate the man and anything that befalls him we cheer.
Mom looked at me, and I could see the questions in her eyes so I handed her the letter. As she read it, I could see the tears beginning to run down her cheeks. She had always had a soft spot for Lorelei. I warned her, "Mom, don't read anything into the letter that isn't there. I know that I was nothing but a coward running away, and that you and Dad were totally right when you told me that I should talk to Lorelei, but a lot of water has gone under the bridges since then. Lorelei is being great to do this but let's leave it at that for the present time. It's just too close to Cindy's death to think of anything further".
She asked what the last paragraph of the letter was about, and I explained to her that both Cindy and I thought that there was more to King's actions than appeared and that I wanted to do a more in depth investigation if I could. Her answer was "finally you are doing what you should have done then, my prayers have been answered. Thank heaven for Cindy, her influence changed you, I am so proud that you have come forward this way".
Next day, Allan Jerome made some time to see me, I let him read Lorelei's letter about King, and the material that she had given Cindy about the other two girls. He asked what had gotten my attention about it. I replied "two things, first Lorelei's insistence that in spite of the fact she didn't want King to touch her, she couldn't resist him. Sounds as if there was something else involved".
"The second thing is the statement from the girl saying that her fiancé had to attend an extra class. That is exactly what happened with Lorelei and I, that was how King got to be alone with her". Allan thought for a minute and said, "not a lot when you think of each thing, but when you look at it overall, there could be something. Just leave it with me, I'll make some calls and get back to you".
A couple of days later, Allan called me, "I've been in contact with the new U of T police chief. He seems to be a new broom, sweeping clean and when I told him what I was calling about, he got rather excited. Apparently he has been going through a bunch of cold cases, specifically sexual assaults, date rapes, party rapes and he thinks that the information that you have supplied might well give him a way into what was happening during the time period. His name is Peter Jenkins, and he would appreciate it if you gave him a call at your convenience" Allan gave me the number and I decided to call the chief the next day. His name seemed really familiar but I couldn't place it then.
I called the number at U of T that Allan had given to me. It really felt strange, I was contacting the school that I had left under such disastrous conditions years ago, after I swore I would never have anything to do with the place again. A cheerful voice answered, "Peter Jenkins here, how can I help you". I told him who I was and he replied "Hi Chris, I bet you don't remember me. Just think of the U of T soccer team when you started here. I was two years ahead of you, in my last year here". Then I remembered him, a law student and a really good fast striker, we really missed him after he graduated.
We chatted for a minute, then Peter said "Chris what the situation is here, is that we have had a bunch of retirements in the senior faculty, so now we have a number of younger, more progressive people in the seat of power. One of the things that they have focused on is making the campus safer for the younger female students and cutting the sexual offences, making sure that all understand that "No" means "No" not try a little harder or use force or drugs.
What happened with Lorelei and the girls she found, was only the tip of the iceberg. So much was swept under the rug by the good old boys network that really it was just criminal. No matter what the campus police wanted to do, they were hampered bu those who didn't want the publicity. What I want to ask, is could you possibly come to Austin at your convenience and give us some assistance in the investigation that is going on?. Hopefully it would just be for a few days, I don't want to take up too much of your time. I understand you are in the field of computer security and that would help us as well".
I explained that I was going to be busy for a few weeks but I would be able to make it to Austin then. I wanted to help because my curiosity had been roused and I would like to see the investigation completed. As well I wanted to be in Philly when Lorelei came to go to the clinic. She would be here for a couple of weeks till we knew if the in vitro procedure had worked, so I was going to book a hotel for her. I figured it was the least I could do, considering what she was doing for me.
One night, the inevitable happened. The phone rang and when I picked it up and answered, a voice that I knew so well echoed in my ear. "Chris", she said, I almost couldn't answer, until my mind took over and I felt a warm little feeling in my body, we spoke for a couple of minutes, mostly generalities, I can't even guess at what we said.
Eventually Lorelei said "I called to let you know that I will be arriving in Philly on March 1st. If you let me know the name of the hotel I will go directly there, I don't want to force myself on you as I know the way you have felt about me. I will contact the clinic and make the arrangements for the procedure".
I replied "Lorelei, just let me know when your plane arrives. I'll be there at the airport. I'll be honest, I don't know how I will feel when I meet you again, but I wouldn't be the person that I like to think I am now, if I wasn't to meet you and be there to help, especially considering the tremendous thing that you are going to do for Cindy's memory and for her family. The past is the past and I hope that we can keep it that way"
A week later, I was waiting as the flight from Austin unloaded. Then I saw that familiar slim figure and walk as Lorelei walked out of the arrivals area. I half expected to feel really upset when I saw her, but time heals most wounds I guess. Other than my pulse racing a little, I didn't feel badly at all.
Lorelei had lost a little weight, and her face had matured. It had taken on planes and character, where before it had been the curves of youth. She looked really well. She said "you look a little older but it looks good on you, more dignified and less boyish. The thought of us meeting has been a bit of a strain for me too! Lets just go sit for a few minutes and have a coffee and get reacquainted a little".
We went to the restaurant and she found a table while I got the coffee. "Sorry" I said, "This is an airport after all and coffee is pretty well the same horrible brew as other airports, at least it is wet and warm which is more than I can say for the temperature outside. I hope you brought a good coat with you". She smiled and said, "Do you have any idea how hard it is to find coats meant for Philly in March, in Texas" "It's almost impossible".
We chatted for a while about general things, it's hard to talk about important things in an airport, then I took her to a hotel close to where I lived, that had a homey atmosphere, a great restaurant and where I could book long term. I waited in the foyer lounge while she settled in, then we went over to my home, where Mom and Dad eagerly awaited her arrival, and she would meet the twins.
When we got there, Lorelei and Mom immediately hugged as if they hadn't seen each other in years. Mom had tears in her eyes and to tell the truth, so did Pop. The twins, well one would think she had known them all their lives, they were all over her from the first minute they saw her. Mom asked where she was staying, and how the rooms were. Then I saw her eyes kind of light up. "can I talk to you in private she asked"
We went through into my den and she continued "I know that you will think I'm interfering, but can't Lorelei stay here, you have that empty bedroom, it would be so much easier for her, I could help her out while the implant is taking hold, she wouldn't be on her own, Pop could drive her around because you are going to be away on working trips much of the time"
Well I had been married to Cindy long enough to know that when you are well beaten by a woman you just give up. Besides, Mom had trained me from birth to agree with her, not necessarily liking it, but doing it anyway. I had to say something though, "Mom, again I must say I know that you have always loved Lorelei, that's why I was so stupid staying away from you as long as I did. I really don't want you to get your hopes up too high. There is too much of a history. Lorelei is doing Cindy and I a great favour and if we can continue as friends that will be great".
I asked Lorelei if she wanted to stay with us, and she replied, "as long as you are okay with the idea. I don't want to remind you of what happened or put you out in any way. In a sense I am doing this for you, but mainly I am doing it for Cindy. She cared enough to make me a friend and to make me glad for you that you were finding happiness so while they will be your babies they are also Cindy's"
. I said that would be fine and that I could drive her around or if I was away, Dad could take my place. Lorelei told me that she had been in contact with the clinic. They wanted her to stay a couple of weeks after the procedure to make sure everything had taken, but they had also put her in touch with an obstetrician in Austin that they worked with who would look after her after she went home and back to work. She reassured me that all would be fine, and that I should be concentrating on work so we arranged that after the implant was done, I would be back in the office full time.
For a few days I did the tourist thing with Lorelei, taking her to see the sights of Philly. Then it was time for the procedure. I went to the clinic and provided semen and the Doctors then mixed it with the two remaining eggs. On the morning of the second day the Doctor called and told me that of the two eggs, there was one viable egg and asked that I bring Lorelei to the clinic. When we got there, she was taken off to the lab while I settled in for a wait.
A number of cups of coffee later Lorelei was escorted back to the reception area and the Doctor advised me that they would need Lorelei to stay in the area for several weeks so that they could give her the hormones necessary to make sure that the implant was a success. It was even more crucial in this case because the egg was not hers so the possibility of rejection was that much higher.
I was contacted by the company to ask when I could return to work as there was a client who needed my services badly. I talked to Lorelei and she was adamant that I return to work. She would stay with Mum and Dad and the twins until the clinic gave her the go ahead, then she would return to Austin and get back to her practice. She had a number of important cases coming up and didn't want to harm her clients at all. Most of them were in the area of abused and battered women and their families. This area had become her primary interest, representing them in the civil claims courts.
I told Lorelei that if she needed anything, all she had to do was call Mom as she would have my number and location updated as I moved around, and that I would look after any costs that her surrogacy involved. She laughed at me and said "Chris, all of the partners in my practice are female, and the first thing we did when we looked at Health insurance was make sure that we had damn good pregnancy and maternity provisions in the plan, don't worry, it's well covered. "
So my dilemma is continuing, each time that I seem to get something resolved, then it opens up in a different direction. Do I see Peter at U of T or do I let the matter rest. Do I try to be of some help to Lorelei in her quest for justice, or do I just act as the father of the child she is carrying. I really don't know for sure but I will see Peter anyway and consider things from there.
To be continued...