General Chasez slammed the file he had just retrieved from his filing cabernet and glared at Lance. The turncoat had been under his roof for nearly six and a half months and was putting more and more pressure on him to betray the south.
“Give me what I want and I will go.”
The general clenched his fists. “I can’t,” he hissed. “I won’t be a traitor.”
Lance stepped towards him and leaned in till their faces were mere inches apart. “You are already a traitor general. You gave a fresh young virginal breeder to the north, how many years imprisonment does that carry? Oh that’s right the south has the death penalty for traitors.”
“I should tell them who you are.”
Lance laughed. “We can hang together. It would be worth dying to know that I took you with me.”
“You are mad,” General Chasez hissed.
“It’s obligatory for a double agent. Now give me what I need.”
The general’s hand slipped into a drawer under his desk and his fingers closed around the butt of his revolver.
“Now general,” Lance drawled. “Don’t do anything rash. I would just hate for the letter I lodged with my solicitor to be forwarded to the president.”
Chasez left his gun where it lay and took out a book and a handful of passes instead; pretending that it was what he was after all the time. He took a deep breath and held it out to the enemy standing before him. “Now get out of here,” he hissed.
Lance smiled and took the code book. “I want the maps too.”
The general slammed his fists onto his desk. “Impossible!” he yelled. “It would give away the strength and the position of all of our troops. I won’t betray my country.”
“The maps general,” Lance demanded, his green eyes flashing angrily. “Joshua may be north now but he could still find his way into a breeding farm. Maybe I’ll even use him myself.”
The general stomped over to a locked filing cabinet and unlocked it. He wrenched open a drawer and took out a file, flinging it on his desk. “If you touch my boy I’ll kill you myself.”
Lance pushed the code book and the map file into his case. “You have been most helpful general. Thank you.” he turned to leave then paused in the doorway unable to resist one last taunt. “Do you ever think about Joshua's breeder?”
“He died giving birth to my precious.”
“His name was Trystum wasn’t it?”
General Chasez stared shocked that the man standing on the other side of the desk could know that. Breeders were numbered on the farms. There was no way Bass could know the name of Joshua's carrier. “How do you know that?” he hissed. “I never told anyone.”
Lance gave his enemy a lazy self satisfied smile. “Because I have him. He never died giving birth to Joshua,” he said, his accent thickening. “They told you that because they don’t let breeders go. They breed them till they die, like cattle.”
“Where is he?” Chasez asked his voice barely more than a whisper. He hardly dared to believe that Trystum the bearer of his only breeding child was still alive.
“He was in Madison last time I saw him. He was tending to Joshua, helping him to cope with his first pregnancy.” Lance smirked as Chasez slumped down in his high backed chair, staring blankly into the distance.
“Trystum is alive, “he repeated softly. “Pregnancy! My Joshy is with child?”
“He must be nearly eight months into his gestation now.”
Lance left leaving the general to digest the fact that not only was the only man he had ever loved was still alive but he was about to become a grandfather.
Justin threw his boot across the room and cussed loudly.
“Justin calm down.” Chris franticly attempted to calm his friend. “Put a sock in it. Carry on like this and you will find yourself in the brig.”
“That’s the fifth time, the fifth fucking time! What are the assholes that run the department thinking of.” Justin flopped onto his bunk and pushed the heels of his hands into his eyes breathing deeply.
Private Jonathan Giggs sneaked into the room, cowering slightly at the raised voices of the two men.
“If they cancelled the operation then they had good reason. Now don’t make me pull rank on you.”
Justin sat up and glared at his friend. “It’s alright for you; your husband isn’t getting close to giving birth to his first child.”
Chris exhaled sharply. “Shit JT I forgot. How close is he?”
“He can’t have more than thirty days left. I wanted to be with him for the birth, to hold his hand. I miss him so god damn much.”
Chris took the younger man in his arms and squeezed him tightly. “He has Ben and Trystum with him. They are both experienced and they won’t let anything happen to him.”
Justin hiccupped. “But I wanted to be with him. I wanted to see my son born.”
Chris chewed his lip. “Giggsy shut the door.” The young private did as he was told then returned to his place on his bunk. “Okay I shouldn’t be telling you this but I know why the operation has been put back.”
Both Justin and Jonathan snapped to attention.
“We got word from the south. Our operative has got his hands on detailed maps and codes. The powers that be are waiting for him to be recovered before they decide what to do. It could mean the end of the war “
“Are you shitting me?” Justin said hardly daring to believe that the only life he had ever known could be changing forever.
“I kid you not. Both of you swear to keep this to yourselves. If you blab you could be putting our operative at risk.”
Both younger men nodded in agreement. Justin gave a huge sigh. “So basically what you are telling me is forget about Joshua and my child because I’m not going to be there.”
“I’m sorry JT.”
Justin nodded his understanding and curled up on his bunk to sleep, filtering out the sounds of the first missiles of the night.
Lance leaned against a massive trunked maple, he was exhausted. He had spent the last week dodging southern scout parties, travelling by night and resting by day. He checked his map, noting the position of the next southern checkpoint. Once he had passed that he would be back in northern controlled territory. He pressed on masked in the darkness of the moonless night, skimming over the ground like a sleek cat hardly creating a sound.
In the distance he could see the lights from the southern camp gleaming, it wouldn’t be long now and his feet would be on the familiar northern soil. He forced his tired body forward all he wanted to do was get home. Be with Caleb again, be with Joey.