“Just a little chat General,” Lance said hiding the pleasure in his voice. “Please sit down Mr. President. CK, JT if you would drop your weapons and take a seat.”
Private Giggs snatched Chris’ rifle from his hands and then took Justin's from him before using his own gun to usher them into two empty seats.
“What the fuck’s going on Lance?” Justin demanded.
“I’m sorry that you and CK had to get mixed up in this, really I am but that’s war for you. Who really knows who is fighting for who?”
The President leaned back in his chair. “Just who are you and what do you want?”
Lance smirked nastily. “I’m Lieutenant James Lance Bass and this is Private Jonathan Giggs of the Confederate Forces and I am here to find out which one of you gentlemen is the traitor that has been passing information on to the union.”
“The only traitor in this room is you Bass,” Chris hissed. “I told you we couldn’t trust him,” he snapped his head around to look at Justin his eyes blazing with fury.
“You surprise me Giggsy”. Justin said with disgust. “I would never had put you down as a rebel sympathiser,”
“You were too busy pining for your breeder to notice.” Jonathan said nastily.
“Enough chit chat,” Lance shouted gruffly. “Now Mr. President there is a traitor in this room and I want to know who he is.” Lance pulled a small note book from his inside jacket pocket.
“In this book I have a list of all the undercover confederate agents living and working in the north. If you are all indeed who you say you are then you should be able to list everyone in there. Justin if you would please hand out a pen and paper to everyone.”
“Do your own dirty work Reb,” Justin said snidely.
Lance chuckled. “Okay if that’s how you feel.” Lance handed out sheets of paper. “Gentlemen if you would please write down the names of the agents and their locations. The sooner this unpleasant business is over the better.
Lance walked up and down the room with his hands laced behind his back as he patiently waited for the southern presidential council to complete the task he had set them. He paused as he felt the look of pure hatred being directed at him from the two union soldiers. Ignoring them he lifted the first offered sheet. He read it with a smile before gathering up the rest of them. He compared the sheets, smiling.
He handed one sheet to Chris and dropped the book in front of him. “Aren’t you curious to know who is betraying you in your own country?”
Scowling Chris opened the book. His eyes widened and he flipped though the pages before closing it and passing it over to Justin to look at. Justin reluctantly opened the book and turned page after page then closed it again without saying a word. He pushed it back towards Lance, meeting his eyes.
Lance winked and grinned. “Its very interesting, very interesting indeed.” He walked past Chris and patted him on the shoulder and the older man shrugged off his touch angrily.
“Stand by,” he whispered.
Chris stiffened and looked up to meet Justin's curious gaze.
“Well Mr. President, gentlemen of the council, I thank you. It would have been impossible to get all of these names without your help.”
What the hell?” the General shouted as he jumped back to his feet. Before he could take a step towards Lance he slumped forward on to the floor a bullet in his chest, fired from Giggs’ rifle.
“JT, CK your firearms await you. It would probably be a good idea if we leave now.”
Chris levelled his rifle at Lance. “You better start talking Reb or you’ll join him.”
“Relax CK. I’m on your side but I needed this information. Giggs is the only one that needed to know what was going on. I needed you to be taken by surprise.”
A loud explosion rocked the mansion showering dust and masonry over everyone in the room. “That’s our cue to leave.” Lance strode towards the door. “Goodbye gentlemen thanks again for your help.”
Justin rushed to catch up with him. “What about them?” he asked.
Lance stopped and nodded at Giggs. The young private opened fire killing everyone in the room. “Problem solved,” Lance snapped. “Now we just have to get out of here.”
The north hit hard. Acting on the information that Lance had secured from General Chasez; in a synchronised attack they converged on all the southern strong holds. The south was totally overwhelmed, taken by surprise and one by one the strongholds fell and the forces surrendered. The loss of the President and his entire council wreaked havoc and the southern government began to fight amongst themselves for control.
General Chasez’s capture was well publicised and his trial televised, his capture had thrown the troops on the frontline into chaos and let the north march almost unchallenged through to Charlotte.
Time passed and the south had to give up the fight. Northern soldiers became common place on southern streets and apart from a small amount of resistance peace prevailed.
Justin had regained consciousness to find himself once more in himself in St Charles. He wandered through the hospital corridors knowing Chris was in there somewhere although no one seemed to know where the tough northerner was. He had been lucky; the bullet that hit him passed harmlessly though his side. Chris hadn’t fared quite so well having taken a bullet to his chest, sheer luck alone stopped him from being killed. He knew that Lance was also somewhere in the building he had seen him being loaded into the ambulance.
He slumped against the wall his hand pressed to his side as he rested.
Justin turned towards the voice and gave a grin. “Captain Fatone, it’s good to see you sir. How is Lance I haven’t been able to track him down?”
“My husband is fine thanks to you. He told me how you dragged him to safety.”
Justin rubbed his hand over his head. “I was tempted to leave him there after the stunt he pulled on me and CK.”
“He told me about it. He feels bad having to cut you out of the loop but he needed to look believable.” Joe slapped Justin affectionately on his shoulder. “Any way,” he said. “Why aren’t you down in the maternity unit?”
Justin screwed up his nose puzzled.
“You do know that Joshua is down there in labour don’t you?”
“What!” Justin set off running in the direction of the elevators.
“Justin,” Joey shouted after him. “That way,” he said pointing in the other direction.
Joshua lay on the delivery bed, pillows propping him in a sitting position and his forehead covered in sweat.
“Try to breathe the gas and air dear,” the Deliverer said kindly as he held the mask over Joshua's nose and mouth once more. Another pain gripped the teenager and he pushed the breathing aid away and cried out.
“You are doing just fine sweetie,”
The Deliverer placed a hand on Joshua's tightening belly and timed the contraction. “I know it hurts sweetie but you have along way to go yet.”
Joshua screamed again. “Justin, I want Justin.” He gripped the Deliverer’s hand. “I’m frightened.”
The young doctor stroked Joshua's hair. “I won’t let anything happen to you sweetie, I promise. Try to breathe the gas and air it will help.”
The doors to the delivery suite burst open. “Where is he?” Justin demanded.
“Sir you can’t come in here.” A middle aged nurse tried to usher him back out into the corridor.
Justin shrugged off the nurse and threw himself at the pregnant teen reaching out for him. “Baby, oh baby I’m here darling.”
Joshua cried out again and pushed his face up against Justin's chest as he tried to ride out yet another agonising contraction.
“Can’t you give him something for the pain?” Justin asked worriedly.
“If he would just take the gas and air he would feel better but he keeps taking the mask off.”
“Give it me,” Justin demanded. “Baby I want you to breathe this.” He held the mask over Joshua's nose and mouth, holding the younger mans wrists with his right hand to stop him tearing the breathing apparatus away again. Forced to take in the drug Joshua relaxed as it infiltrated its way through his body and to his brain.
“You’re here,” Joshua said breathily clutching Justin's hand as his wrists were released.
“Yes baby I’m here and I won’t leave you ever again.”
Joshua whimpered and squeezed Justin's hand hard as another contraction gripped him. He sank back against the pillows, sweat beading on his brow and licked at his parched lips.
Justin took the mask away and lifted a cup of clear cold water for him to drink, careful only to let the laboured man take little sips. “How long has he been like this?” he demanded to know.
The deliverer looked at Joshua's charts and then at the wall clock. “6 hours,” he said. “He was already in labour and here when I started my shift at 2.”
Justin looked at his husband with sympathy. “Isn’t there anything you can do to help him?”
“I’m afraid baby will come when he is good and ready and not a minute before. Just try to keep him calm, help him to breathe through the worse of the contractions. I’ll come back and check on him in about 30 minutes and I’ll be just down the hall if you need me.”
“You can’t leave him!” Justin exclaimed slightly panicked.
“I have to; there is a breeder in the next room who is much further along than Joshua and has had no medical treatment at all during his pregnancy,” the Deliverer said sympathetically.
Joshua lifted his head from the pillows. “From the breeding farms?” he asked weakly.
“I’m afraid so Poppet. He’s terrified poor love, he’s no older than you are but he has suffered terribly.”
“Go to him,” Joshua panted as another pain began to build in his lower abdomen and back. Justin looked at Joshua questioningly amazed that his teenage husband could show such courage.
“It could be me Justin,” Joshua said in way of explanation. “If you hadn’t taken me, saved me, I would be that boy in there.”
Justin leaned down and kissed Joshua's mouth hard and when they broke apart there was pride in Justin's eyes.
“I love you so much Joshua.” Justin said wincing as the teen dug his nails into his hand once more riding out yet another pain.