Chapter 49

As Justus neared his penthouse, he wasn't surprised to see AJ waiting for him. From where he stood, AJ looked pissed. He'd have to think of something fast because he didnít have much time before the rescue mission began.

"Well?" AJ asked, impatiently as Justus unlocked his door.

Justus motioned for AJ to enter and he followed him in. Justus removed his jacket and tie and threw them onto the sofa. He then moved to his favorite chair and plopped down. Looking at AJ, he said, "I met with Jason."

"I gathered that. What happened? What's the plan?" AJ asked, sitting on the sofa. He leaned forward, so that his elbows rested on his knees.

"Well, we have a plan," Justus replied, hedging. He had to tell AJ something, so he decided to keep what he said as close to the truth as possible with a few lies here and there.

"Yeah? Come on, Justus. I know Jason doesn't want me involved, but Keesha is my life. I can't not be involved. Tell me what the plan is," he said.

"Okay. We're going after her."

"When? Tonight? I'm ready now if that's the case," AJ said.

"No, not tonight. Tomorrow night," Justus replied. He said the lie smoothly and he was certain that AJ didn't pick up on it.

"Why tomorrow night? Anything could happen in twenty-four hours," AJ said, with a frown.

"Tomorrow night would be better because we would have more time to set things in motion. Going tonight would only rush things," Justus replied. His eyes watched AJ closely, as AJ processed his words.

"I guess that makes sense, but the thought of Keesha being in that place one more nightÖ" his voice trailed off, as he thought about the love of his life.

"I understand and know exactly how you feel, but I think this is the best way. We don't want to move too fast and jeopardize her life," Justus replied. He hoped that his last words would be the clincher.

They were. AJ stood and headed for the door. He turned back to Justus and said, "Thanks, Justus. If anything changes, let me know."

"Sure thing," Justus answered. He felt a little twinge of guilt for lying to AJ to his face, but he had other things to worry about.

He rose from the chair. He had plenty of things to do to prepare for the night's activities. As he headed up the steps, he said a silent prayer that everything would go right tonight.

~*~

Robin's mind was miles away as Benny opened the door for her. After leaving the docks, she had spent most of her time alone. She had thought about the distance between her and Jason. She didn't want to lose him again. After thinking it over, she decided that there was something she could do to keep him and save their relationship.

She went to the drugstore and bought several necessary items. Her purse was heavy with the tube of spermicide which contained nonoxynol-9, and the package of latex condoms. Their first time around, Jason had been willing to have sex with her, but she had told him no because of her viral load. Now that her viral load was lower, maybe now would be a good time for them to consummate their relationship. She didn't want to lose him and she believed that sex would ease some of the tension that was between them.

Robin smiled when she saw Jason asleep on the sofa. He seemed so relaxed and at peace. She removed the contraceptive items from her purse and placed the purse on the desk by the door. She quietly tiptoed to Jason and set the contraceptives on the sofa beside him. She slipped off her shoes and then straddled him. Her hands roamed over his massive chest as she leaned over him and began to kiss his neck.

Jason shifted in his sleep. He brought his arms around her and pulled her closer to him. He moved his head, and his lips covered hers in a passionate kiss which woke him from his dream. Opening his eyes, Jason was surprised to see Robin's face staring back at him. He pushed her from him and rose from the sofa.

"Jason?"

He felt the beginning of another headache and with a shaking hand, he grabbed the bottle of aspirin. He shook two pills into his hand and swallowed them dry. He poured a glass of water and swallowed it down in one gulp.

Robin watched him and immediately became concerned. She forgot how he pushed her from him and within seconds, she was at his side. She put her hand on his arm and asked, "Are you okay?"

"I'm fine," he said, moving away from her.

"But the aspirin-"

"I said I was fine," he replied, cutting her off. He heard her sharp intake of breath at his sharp tone and he felt guilty for lashing out at her. In a softer voice, he said, "Really. I'm okay."

"Okay," she said quietly, her eyes watching him as he moved further away from her. "How did your meeting with Justus go?"

"Fine," he replied. He glanced at his watch. What was taking Johnny so long, he wondered.

"Seems like everything's just fine," Robin replied sarcastically.

"Excuse me?" he asked.

"You heard me. Every time I ask you a question, you say it's fine. Why won't you talk to me?" Robin asked.

"We are talking," Jason replied.

"No we're not. I'm saying words, but you're not listening to me. What's happened between us, Jason?" she asked, her voice pleading with him to respond.

"I am listening to you, but if you want to argue, now isn't the right time," he answered. He knew the tension between had grown, but he didn't want to deal with it. Not tonight.

"Argue? That's not what I want. I want a response from you. You responded to me a few minutes ago on the sofa. What happened in those few moments that made you pull away from me?"

I woke up and you weren't the woman I thought you were, he thought. He would never say the words, but they were there. Deep inside him. Lately, things had been coming back to him. Bits and pieces of memories that had been buried deep inside. The trip to Paris to visit her had been the catalyst. They had been surprised when the French came so easily from his lips. Later, that night he had his first excruciating headache. Since then the headaches came more often and with them came the memories. The memories of a woman he loved so deeply that only now, when she was in danger could he allow himself to remember that love and to say her name, but only inside himself. Keesha.

"I don't know what you mean," he said quietly.

"I was kissing you just now and you were kissing me back. Then, all of sudden you pushed me away. Why? Is it Carly? Are you in love with her?" Robin asked, her eyes shined with unshed tears.

"No, of course not! Carly? No, Robin. I am not in love with Carly," Jason answered.

"Then, what is it, Jason? Why do you pull away from me? Is it the HIV?" she asked.

"No, of course not," Jason said, but was prevented from answering further when a light knock at the door interrupted him. He turned toward the door as Johnny arrived with the ammunition and the other supplies. Johnny felt the tension in the room and after placing everything on the dining room table, he quickly left.

Jason moved to the table and went through the supplies. As he checked the weapons, he felt Robin come over to stare at everything. He felt her eyes on him as he placed the gun back onto the table and picked up another one.

"What's going on?" she asked, frowning.

"Business," he replied, as he moved through the guns.

"What kind of business? Are you selling these?" she asked, indicating the wide array of weapons which covered the table.

"No."

"Well, why are they here? You've never brought guns into the penthouse before. Not like this," she said.

"Robin, something is going down and I can't talk about it," Jason answered.

"What's going down?" she asked, determined to get some answers.

"Robin, drop it," he said, his voice was cold and emotionless.

Robin sensed the change in him and decided to let things be. She moved away from him to pick up her purse that was on the desk.

"Good-night, Jason. I'll be at Brenda's if you decide you want to talk," she said quietly before she left.

Jason barely moved as he listened to her words. He knew she was right. They needed to talk, but now wasn't the right time. Later, when everything was over, he'd tell her how he felt. Then he'd tell her good-bye.

Chapter 50

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