Chapter 11: The Reckoning

Sonia was still looking at the video. She couldnít believe that bitch was that stupid, to actually be bugging her husbandís study and not know she would get caught. Well, she thinks she has the upper hand, does she? RJ would love this, but maybe he doesnít have to know; maybe it is time to neutralize the new Mrs. Gannon without letting the big guy know. He will thank me for it and be very happy I took care of his little problem.

Evangeline had been feeling week and tired, she mostly put it down to the pregnancy and made a point of taking her vitamins, but they didnít seem to be helping. She needed to see a doctor, but who could she trust?

Llanview Hospital 2 weeks prior to the meeting of the Five Families

"Mrs. Gannon," the receptionist said, "Dr. McBain will see you now."

"Michael, thanks for seeing me," she said.

"Good to see you. I just donít understand why you asked to make an appointment with me."

"I need to see someone about my condition, but I have to have everything we say and anything you may have to do kept in strictest confidence. No one can know about this appointment or the results of any tests."

"What is the problem, and by no one you mean your husband?"

"Definitely, not him." She said.

"Well tell me what brings you here besides, the look of tiredness I see. You really look tired."

"I have been, but more so lately. Sometimes I feel as if I can barely get up and just do so by sheer force of will."

"When did you start feeling this way?"

"About a week ago really, I havenít noticed it until then."

"Are there any preexisting medical conditions you have I should be aware of? I have your medical chart and it looks as if you havenít had this type of problem before."

"No, I havenít. That is why Iím here-- could it be my pregnancy?"

"Youíre pregnant?"

"Yes, about six weeks I think."

"Does your husband know; is that why you donít want him to know there is a problem?"

"No, he doesnít and he canít."

"Okay, Evangeline. I have to ask youÖ does my brother know he is going to be a father?"

"Michael, please I canít talk about who the father is or isnít, that is not why Iím here."

"Well, I know that my brother cares for you, in a big way, and if he doesnít know, then he will be a tad bit upset when he finds out."

"Look, for a week now I have been feeling bad, I canít figure out why. I have never felt like this before. I have to know if something is wrong with my baby. Can you help me?"

Look, doctor/patient confidentiality protects you, but donít think that I donít have a vested interest in my brother knowing the truth. You have to know that if this is Johnís baby heaven help you if he finds out from someone other than you."

"I understand. Can you help me?" she pleaded.

"Yep, because I believe I will be helping John. Iíll run some tests, make sure the baby is okay, and check you out too. We will do the test under an assumed name, and you call me back in two days and set up another appointment. We clear?"

"Yes, and Michael thanks, you wonít regret helping me. I promise."

"Yeah, I hope youíre right."

(The Llanview Police Department in the Office of the Chief of Detectives a week later)

<ring> John McBain answered his cell phone, "Hey Bro. Whatís wrong?"

"Why does anything have to be wrong? Canít a guy call just to check up on his only brother?"

"No, whatís wrong?"

"John, we need to talk. There is a problem. I canít give you all the details, but I figure if I donít say something now and something bad happens, I wonít be able to forgive myself."

"What is this about Michael?"

"Van. Man, I think she may be into something deep."

"What about Van? Spill and make it fast." Even though he tried, he couldnít help feeling as if someone had punched him in the gut.

"John, can we meet at your place in say about twenty?"

"Yeah, and make it fifteen. See you then." And he disconnected.

After speaking with his brother, John wasted no time and clocked out, saying he was gone for the night. He made it to his hotel in ten minutes flat. He felt like he was in a cage, and there was no one to let him out.

<knock> John went to the door, knowing it was Michael he opened it and let him in.

"John, look donít get mad, I have to tell you that I saw Van a week ago. I told her to contact me in two days. She said she would."

"So, what is the problem?" John asked.

ĎThe problem is she never got back to me and I canít reach her."

"What do you mean you canít reach her? You call her at work?"

"Yeah, and they say she has cancelled all her appointments and is working from home."

"So did you call her there?"

"Yeah, but they keep saying she is unavailable. When I got insistent, this Sonia woman gets on, and basically tells me to not to bother calling back."

"Why is it so important you get back to Van? Did she see you professionally? And if so is something wrong with her?"

"You know I canít tell you about that." Michael said.

"Look, does she need to see you? Is it a matter of her life?"

"Well, if she doesnít see me soon, yep, she might be at great risk."

"Please donít say that, because then I am really going to have to wonder why you took so long to tell me this."

"John you said, it was over between you. Iím only telling you this much because, I need to reach her. What I have to tell her, she has to know."

"Damn, Iím calling Antonio over. He might be able to help. Sit. Iím getting him on the phone."

John dials Antonio; he picks up. "Antonio here."

"Antonio this is John, I need you at my place ASAP," he hung up without waiting for a response.

"Michael, Antonio should be here any minute."

Twenty minutes laterÖ

<Knock> John opens the door and lets Antonio in.

"Hey, man, where is the fire? Hey Mike."

John cut off Mike and asked Antonio, "Exactly when was the last time you spoke with Van? And tell me something, what did you two talk about when you did?"

"John, you know it is all in the report I file every week. She gave me the information, and then she left."

John walks over closer to Antonio sensing that something has been left out, something he is going to have to find out if he is to sort out this whole mess. Facing Antonio, with his hands on his hips, he asks him again, "Is there something you are not telling me that I should know about that last meet. Now is the time to tell me." He said it looking Antonio in the eye waiting for any change in expression, and he saw a flicker, not fear but subterfuge, and he pounced.

Grabbing Antonio by the collar, keeping an eye on Antonio and giving his brother the eye, as if to say donít even think about getting between him and me, John said very clearly, "I will ask you one last time, then I will start to pound, what do you know about Van that I donít?"

"John, back off," but he wasnít stupid enough to try to get out of the grip, reasoning was all he had left; the truth would get him hurt. Yet, looking in Johnís eyes he knew either way there was going to be a whole lot of pain in this room.

"Antonio, Iím waiting, what do you know?"

"John, Van asked me not to say."

John pushed Antonio up against the wall with his elbow under his chin pressing on his neck. If ever a man was close to seeing his maker, Antonio knew John was totally capable of seeing that he did.

"Hold on, Iíll tell but, it was not my decision. I told her to tell you. She said you couldnít know."

John dropped his elbow, "Know what damn it, what?"

"John, Vanís pregnant, and itís yours."

John backed away from Antonio. He pulled back and punched him hard with a right hook, which connected to Antonioís chin, knocking him out.

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