Well, my new hardware is on its way… somewhere… and I’m thinking about how the new covers of the series will look. I hope you are enjoying the scenes that I’m showing you but they are, of course, only a small part of what is a massive novel. I am getting excited (and nervous) that I’ll be able to share it with you properly because I have stood by Aeron and her story and I only hope you will love the book as much.
About this scene:
I really enjoyed building this book up slowly as there was a lot of story and, as always, I wanted you to be able to read and re-read over and over. As you probably don’t need me to say, I put in lots of detail and, of course, it is meant to be read as a book not in scenes online! Still, Renee is getting closer to finding our little Missourian and I got to update you on some old friends, place some wonderful characters together in this scene, and show you that the closer Renee is getting to finding Aeron, the more she’s letting you, the reader, in. Hope you enjoy!
Full Circle exclusive.
Copyright © 2018 Jody Klaire.
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any means, electronic or mechanical without permission in writing from the author and publisher.
Please note: all scenes are the intellectual property of the author and that online exclusive scenes may differ from the published version.
Renee fiddled with the St. Christopher’s around her neck as Stosur landed the chopper at the Eis estate. The grounds were so beautiful. Yes, it was like a slave owner’s home in appearance: a mountain, a huge estate in a forest, but this one had kids all playing football or swimming in the lake.
“Aeron would be smiling at that,” Frei whispered watching the exact same scene with a smile.
“Yeah, she’d want to check on Miranda and her new peanut, as she calls them.” Renee smiled as Jed——now a father at all of seventeen——football tackled one of the Eis house servants and both of them crunched to the floor…Aunt Bess had given them coaching sessions before she went home it seemed.
“Jessie said that Susan told the sideboard, not Jed, that Miranda had a girl.” Frei let out a long breath. “They have nicknamed her peanut.”
“I guess breaking it to them that Jed Jr. should only really be used if she was a boy isn’t going to work?” Renee smiled and stretched off her legs. It had been a long flight over from Europe and then another to get to the estate.
Stosur climbed out of the cockpit with a tired smile. “It’s just lovely to know she has a name and freedom.”
Renee nodded. “Yeah——”
“Renee, I’m okay…”
Renee gripped her head as pain shot through it. Aeron…? Yes, Aeron’s voice. “It’s her!”
Frei held onto her arms. “She say where she is?”
“Aeron… where are you?” Her brain flickered and flashed like she was about to have some kind of seizure.
“Ah, not sure if she can hear me. Renee, I’m okay… I… calm.”
“Keep breathing through it,” Frei urged, gripping onto her hand. “You can do this.”
Renee gripped her hand back, sure she was going to pass out. How did Aeron and Lilia do this? “Aeron, I hear you. I hear you. We’re here.”
The rotor blade above them whirred like it would start up again.
“I… clothes talking to me… I… calm…”
Renee’s vision flickered but then steadied like she was recovering from really bad headrush. “Ow.”
Frei rubbed at her shoulders. “Did she hear you?”
“Think so.” Renee met her eyes. “She’s okay. She said something about calm.”
Frei grunted. “We’d be a lot calmer if we knew where she was.”
“Maybe I didn’t hear her properly. I swear she said talking clothes.” Renee rubbed her head and Stosur caught her shoulder before she lurched into the nearby seat. “I need something sugary.”
And someone to give her all the blood back she felt had drained away.
“I’ll go find Susan,” Stosur hurried ahead of them and Frei hoisted Renee up into her arms. She strode out across the grounds to the Eis family home with the kids all turning and waving like it was parade.
“Aren’t you carrying the wrong doctor,” Renee mumbled, holding on.
Jed grinned and waved and thumped his chest. “I got a peanut.”
“A wrinkly peanut,” one of the Eis kids shot back.
Both cheered and gave each other a high-five. “Go peanuts.”
“Congratulations,” Renee yelled back and waved then met Frei’s eyes. “What do the Loreleis do to people?”
“I don’t know but I’m still trying to understand why they like nuts so much.” Frei waved and gave Jed the curtest of nods.
Jed blushed enough the Eis kid next to him guffawed and slapped him across the back yet no one seemed at all shocked Renee was being carried over the threshold.
“Mom!” Jessie skidded to a halt on the marble floor like she wanted to help and didn’t know how. “What happened?”
“I heard Aeron,” Renee managed as Frei was too busy flexing her neck. Jessie calling her mom seemed to cause that. “And Urs is attempting stoic.”
Frei kept her face straight but her eyes glimmered as she checked over Jessie visually. “You grew.”
Jessie raised her eyebrows then looked down at herself. “I did? I guess so.”
“If you put me somewhere comfortable, you could try one of those hugs kids love so much these days,” Renee mumbled. Somewhere comfortable, yes, and where she could groan and find painkillers for her throbbing head. How did Lilia cope?
“Yes.” Frei headed left, down a long grand corridor filled with full detailed artwork recounting how Frei, Renee and Aeron had broken out the kids from Caprock.
Although Renee was sure she hadn’t zip lined off the tower with a sword in her hand but she was happy to call it artistic interpretation even if she needed to have a word with Jed because her bust was not that large.
Frei raised her eyebrow it the depiction of herself in a revealing version of a CIG ops suit with a gap to show off her cleavage, which again was not that size.
“How does Aeron get to look rough and tough,” Renee mumbled trying to ignore the very detailed portrait of Aeron’s rippling bare midriff as she roared along on a motorcycle.
“Jed said you’d like that one.” Jessie sniggered then showed them to three large rooms as if they’d never been there before. “Susan’s in here.”
“I don’t really need a doctor,” Renee said as Frei took her and placed her on a “ward bed” which was in reality a single bed pulled from one of the umpteen rooms. She pushed Frei’s butt with her foot. “Try communicating.”
“You are nearly as tall as I am.” Frei wrapped Jessie in a hug. In fact, it could well have been an Aeron cwtch.
Jessie gripped on, a smile twinkling through her eyes, then grinned. “I will try and grow some more.”
Frei let out a contented sigh.
“Hello?” Susan, in her white doctor’s coat and bearing a misted-eyed smile, hovered in the doorway. “Mrs. Huber said that you have an ailment?”
Frei put Jessie down, strode to Susan, and kissed her. “You haven’t grown at all.”
“No, that would be medically unsound.” Susan blinked a few times. “But I am very glad you’re delighted about it.”
Jessie mumbled a “yes,” under her breath and shook her fist with a nod and a smile. Oh, so Jessie preferred the eccentric Doctor Gossett to Theo then?
Renee cocked her head as Jessie caught her looking.
“I’m glad Mom hasn’t grown too.” She shrugged as Frei yanked Susan into a cwtch. Susan hugged Frei back then furrowed her brow.
“I…” Frei’s shoulders started to shake so Susan stroked the back of Frei’s hair and murmured to her. Frei’s knees buckled and Susan helped her to one of the beds, still holding on.
“It’s okay, you’re home now,” Susan said like she wasn’t worried. “Did someone attack?”
“No.” Frei whimpered it, shook her head then wiped at her eyes. “I blame Aeron.”
“Aeron?” Susan rubbed at her forehead then pulled out her scope and peered in Frei’s eyes. “We like Aeron, don’t we?”
“We love her, Pickles,” Jessie said with an emphatic nod.
“Pickles?” Frei turned over her shoulder, her face streaked with tears.
“I don’t like them,” Susan said wagging a mock fierce finger at Jessie. “Or they don’t like me really. Mini-Medic over there thinks it’s hilarious that I spout nonsense if I’ve ingested one.”
Jessie waved her off. “You don’t spout nonsense. You just remember stuff and that makes you giggle for some reason and you’re kinda infectious when you giggle.”
Frei looked from one to the other. Yes, Mom-Frei didn’t know how to cope with her girlfriend having friendly banter with her daughter.
“I do giggle, I think it could be the insanity.” Susan nodded like that settled it and turned back to Frei. “Do you need whiskey or are they happy tears?”
“Renee heard Aeron,” Frei said, gazing up at her and tapped a finger to herself. “She heard her in her head.”
“You connected to her network?” Jessie strode over and high-fived Renee. “I knew you could.”
Renee shrugged. “I think it was more the case of Aeron doing all the work.”
Susan furrowed her brow, still examining Frei’s eyes. “I’m not sure if Renee is allowed to be insane. She carries a gun, doesn’t she?” Susan shook her head and pulled a wooden tongue depressor from her breast pocket. “I don’t think that’s ethical.”
“It’s freaky,” Renee said, helping herself to the water jug on the side. “And painful.”
Nurse. Drip. Knife. Water. Nan flicking water. Intruder, nurses, Aeron wrestling with a gun. Showers.
Renee dropped the glass, water splashed everywhere, and gripped her head. Ow.
Thump, thump. Too fast. Chest tight.
Susan hurried over and pushed her onto her back. She raised up Renee’s legs and handed them to Frei who held them while Susan checked Renee’s pulse. “Two hundred BPM.”
Felt like it too.
Susan strapped the blood pressure monitor around her arm. “Eighty over forty. Too low.”
Renee groaned in agreement.
Showers. Aeron below her, ribs broken. So many wounds. She ran her hands over each one, each injury with her hands and then her lips. Aeron murmured and sighed.
“It’s cranial. Let me help you.” She relished the warmth of Aeron’s skin, the feel of her taut muscles. Her calmness.
Aeron lay back and Renee hummed Moonlight Sonata as she worked. Aeron opened her eyes, full of love and more and leaned in to meet her lips——
The blood pressure machine blew.
Susan pursed her lips at it. “Pulse is normal and I’m guessing the BP is now too.” She eyed Renee. “Whoever you are, if you’re going to blow things like Aeron, then I’m going to have to experiment on you.”
Renee raised her eyebrows. Frei and Jessie were with her.
“Water,” Susan said looking at them as if they should catch up already. “If this young lady can blow electrics, she could power water.”
“Young lady?” Jessie snorted. “That’s Renee.”
“Oh.” Susan turned back to Renee like she didn’t recognize her at all. “Nice to meet you, I’ve heard a lot about you.”
“Wait, don’t leave,” Susan called out as she headed to the doorway. “I… thing is. I’m falling in love… with you…” She laughed to herself and fussed with her hair. “You get me drunk far too much and you just leave without saying anything… When you stay over, it feels right. Being with you feels so right. Please, I love you, can’t you see that? I need you to stay.”
Renee winced internally and turned back around. Susan’s memory was muddled up. Renee had never gotten her drunk. They’d only been on one date and that was just a simple cover date so Susan could steal files. Why did she think they were something more?
“Please, say something.” Susan looked at her as if she was completely in love. “I know it means something to you… you——”
“I’ll stay,” Renee whispered, checking her vile was in her bra. She had no idea who Susan was in love with but it was convenient. Renee rolled her eyes to herself. Didn’t she promise herself she wasn’t going to fake anymore relationships?
Renee smiled at Susan. What did she say?—Hi, I was in a serious, very intense with you for a year even though it was a cover for me and you were actually sleeping with my best friend—or should she pretend that she’d never been undercover as Doctor Serena Llys and hope Susan’s memory stayed blank.
“Aeron was injured and in a shower with nurses?” Renee rubbed at her pounding head. “But… well… I helped a bit.”
Frei narrowed her eyes.
Renee hoped she wasn’t blushing but her cheeks felt warm to her hands. “I’m not really sure what it was before you ask but…” She cleared her throat. “It helped.”
Susan tutted. “Well, I could still use you helping me with testing the current when you do whatever it is you do.”
Renee smiled. “Pleasure to help, Susan.”
Nope, Susan still wasn’t registering. What could you do with that?
Frei lowered Renee’s feet to the bed but her eyes were still narrowed. “It’ll take the both of us.”
Jessie cocked her head. “You hear her too, Mom?”
“No, but I heard her just now.” Frei pulled her mouth into a thin line.
Explained the face.
“Come on, Pickles, let’s set up the experiment.” Jessie seemed to read Frei’s look and dragged Susan out of the ward.
“I promise you that I had no idea what that was and it didn’t come from me.” Renee held her hands up.
“I didn’t see anything but you felt like Aeron does when she’s healing.” Frei studied her. “And you’re not allowed because I’ve been drowned enough.”
“She can’t heal herself at the moment.” Although Renee didn’t think she’d healed her. No, it was nothing like the potency when Aeron did it. It was just her usual cranial feeling but on several thousand megawatts more.
“I did see that she was attacked, twice.” Frei folded her arms. “And I don’t know why you’re looking so guilty.”
“Yes, and there were nurses there so she is in a hospital maybe?” She was ignoring the guilty question. She was not divulging that. Had Aeron been thinking that? Nice thought. Concentrate. “I saw a doctor and I have his face in my mind so maybe we can get Jessie to help?”
Frei rolled up her sleeves. “I think we may be electrocuted together first.” She sighed. “I only hope we fare better than the pen did.”
“What pen?” Renee got up and followed her out of the ward.
Frei glanced her way. “The previous test subject.”
Renee stared at her. “Why a pen? There’s metal in a pen.”
“I’m not at liberty to say.” Frei shrugged.
Renee poked her in the arm. “Drooling over a doctor is not classified information, Urs.”
“No, but cranial should be.” Frei stopped, held her gaze, then looked her up and down, and headed into the dining room that Susan and Jessie had made into a laboratory.
Renee smirked, feeling far too much like a soldier. Classified. She smirked more. Aeron was okay… ish. They could get to her and help. Was it the disjointed flash or had Aeron used a CIG takedown?
“Nice move, Lorelei.” She felt her vision wobble and rubbed at her sweaty forehead. “Self-defense taught you something, huh?”
“Stop smirking and get in here,” Frei poked her head back through the doorway. “I don’t want you collapsing before you’re electrocuted.”
“She’s okay,” was all she could manage in response. “Keep going,” she whispered, closing her eyes. “We’ll find you, we’ll get you out. We miss you.”
“Yes, we do.” Frei tugged her by the elbow. “And Renee intends to shoot you.”
Renee nodded and wobbled into the room. “Twice.”