3412 Abby Ln
“Um.” Amy groaned, slipping a hand over her belly, as a slow gurgle rumbled its way through her abdomen. She’d had some minor queasiness over the past few days, but she’d been hoping the worst of her morning sickness was passed. It seemed she’d been wrong.
“Goddammit, not again….” she trailed off and closed her eyes. “I think I need the bathroom.”
“Uh, sure.” Ashley said, her brows furrowed and she gestured across the room. “It’s right across the hall.”
Amy lurched to her feet, hand still clasped over her stomach and sprinted toward the door. She swung it open and was through the one on the opposite side of the hallway in seconds. Without preamble, she fell to her knees in front of the toilet and hurled her guts out. When she finished, she collapsed atop the seat, panting and chest heaving for breath.
Ashley rushed into the bathroom after her at the sound of retching and stopped outside the door, arm resting on the frame peering in. “Amy, are you all right?”
Amelia collected loose hairs from her face, sighed and peered back at her friend. “I’m fine, it’s because… I’m pregnant.”
“Oh,” Ashley stared back, eyes widening. “I had no idea.”
“Sapphira and I were going to tell everyone after I got back. If you spill the beans…”
“Say no more,” Ashley mimed turning a key in her mouth. “Your secret’s safe with me.”
Amy stood and shook her head. “If Sapphira doesn’t wake up, I don’t know what I’ll do. I can’t raise a child by myself. I don’t have any idea what to do. Never once in a million years, did I ever let myself hope I’d get pregnant an—”
A dull thud sounded from the hallway and Ashley peered back. Amelia’s heart leapt into her throat on catching the blond’s wide-eyed grimace.
“Uh, Mrs. Van den Broeke, I didn’t see you there,” Ashley spun away from the doorway and Amelia’s mother appeared lugging a plastic storage container in her arms.
Serena van den Broeke turned, regarding her eldest child, eyes wide. “I-I wasn’t trying to eavesdrop I was just bring up some—”
“Oh hell.” Amelia groaned placing both palms on the vanity.
“There’s no way I heard that right. You can’t be pregnant, that’s not how it wor—”
Amelia glanced back at her, interrupting her elder. “No, it’s not, but regardless I am pregnant. Look, it’s hard to explain, but sometimes strange things happen to AEGIS personnel in the field. A while back something happened to me and well let’s say… it changed a lot of things.”
Serena stood there, mouth agape. “That’s… not—”
Amy gritted her teeth, a scathing reply on the tip of her tongue, but Ashley interjected. “It sounds unbelievable, but she’s telling the truth. I was there, and… she’s not the only one who experienced changes.”
Serena lowered her head and sighed. “I didn’t mean to, I mean I wasn’t say—”
“Forget it,” Amy waved her hand lips curled into a snarl. “We have bigger concerns, like trying to help my fucking brother.”
“Ashley dear, would you take these?” Serena asked holding the plastic container out to the younger woman. “You can take them down to the room at the end of the hall. Amelia and I need to speak alone.”
Ashley bit her lip, glanced at Amy, who nodded. She took the tote out of the elder Van den Broeke’s hands and disappeared down the corridor. Serena watched her depart before slipping inside the bathroom and closing the door behind her.
“Amelia, I…” She bowed her head and reached up cupping her daughter’s face. The agent flinched, but didn’t back away as her mother continued. “For years, I imagined what I would say to you if I ever had the chance to see you again and that day when you were in the hospital, I realized how unprepared I was. All those speeches, all the imagined conversations flew right out the window.”
Amelia brought both hands up and pulled her mother’s arm down. “This is hard for me.” Hot tears cascaded down her face. “I never thought I’d see any of you again. I’d put that part of my life behind me, but the wounds still cut deep and every time I look at your face… I’m so very angry.”
“You have every right to be. I was a terrible mother, if I could take back—”
“Can we not do this right now?” Amelia asked a sob racking her body. “We’re not out of the woods yet… not by a long shot.”
She slipped past her mother and slipped back into the hallway amidst a torrent of protestations from the other woman. Amelia didn’t glance back, but started down the hall. Stopping about mid-way she put her back to the wall, sank to her knees and wept.
A pair of arms enfolded her and when she looked up, peering into her mother’s eyes. She stiffened, gazing at her elder with wide eyes, then all her resistance crumbled away and she melted into Serena’s arms.
Amelia swallowed, forced back tears and looked Serena in the eyes. In the course of a few days a magical sword had thrown her across a room and landed her in the emergency room, she’d watched a good agent die for no good reason, was betrayed by someone she’d believe was her long-lost brother made over into a sister, learned that her actual brother may have been driven mad by the very same person, and discovered that the love of her life was unconscious in a hospital bed in a ‘not-coma’. Not to mention, she had to contend with her goddamned morning sickness.
“I can’t imagine what you’ve been through.” A sad smile touched Serena’s lips. “But judging from some of the things your friend said it couldn’t have been easy.”
“Damned hormones.” Amelia’s voice quivered. The excuse sounded hollow even to her ears, but her mother only smiled and nodded. “Um… I should probably apolo—”
“No.” Serena cut in shaking her head. “I wasn’t there for you when you needed me the most you have nothing to apologize for.”
“Maybe not then,” Amelia said fresh tears burning her eyes. “But you helped me today and that counts for something.”
Serena smile widened for a second, but then it slithered off her face replaced by a more somber expression. She climbed up and held her hand out. “Come on, let’s get you off the dirty floor. We wouldn’t want you to catch something. You’re expecting, you need to think of the baby.”
Amelia took her mother’s hand and stood with a grunt of effort. She didn’t speak, but pursed her lips tears streaking her cheeks.
“Uh… I should see if there’s something I can do for Brian,” the agent said at last.
Serena face looked stricken, but she nodded. “I tried talking to him, but he’s just not all there. I don’t know if anyone can help him.”
Amelia sighed and placed both hands on her hips. “I have a better chance than most. Remember how I said something strange happened to me in the field? Well, this body isn’t the only thing that was changed.”
Serena’s eyebrows shot up and she peered at her daughter, lips pursed. “What are you saying?”
Amelia flattened her lips together and sealed her eyes, reaching out with her mind. Serena, gasped and peered down at her feet as they rose from the ground. She threw her arms out windmilling them through the air. She remained suspended there for several long moments hovering just a few inches above the ground then Amelia’s eyes snapped back and her feet plopped back onto the hardwood floor with a light thud.
Serena peered at the other Van den Broeke eyes round and eyebrows disappearing into her bangs. “Good lord, how did you do that?”
“Telekinesis.” Amelia shrugged and folded her hands. “I can do a lot more, telepathy, mental projection, and some things I’m not sure have a name. Plus, I have an enhanced healing factor, faster reflexes and… I still have my psychometric retrocognizance.”
Truth be told, she hadn’t done a full test run, but she had a good idea what she was capable of if Sapphira’s power set was any indication. It seemed only logical that the agent would have the same abilities as the one from whom she’d inherited them, but it was not an assumption she had put to the test.
“So you’re going to, what, probe your brother’s mind?”
Amelia nodded. “It may be the only way I can reach him. Someone has done something unnatural to his mind,” she shuddered reflecting on Allison’s retelling of events and her own vision of her brother when she touched Leoffa’s mind. “I don’t believe he can come out of it without some drastic intervention.”
“Unnatural? Sounds like it could be dangerous.” Serena winced. “Are you sure this is something you want to do?”
“No,” Amy admitted. “But it’s something I have to do. Brian became involved in this because of me, I can’t just abandon my brother when he needs my help.”
“Okay,” Serena sighed. “Just be careful, okay? I’d hate for you to get hurt.”
Amelia smiled, tears sliding down her cheeks and lips trembling as she moved down the hallway. Whatever happened, it felt good hearing those words from her mother.