A RINGING TELEPHONE BROUGHT Vanessa Hudson out of the world of deep sleep she'd found in her husband Martin's arms. Irritated, she opened her eyes and freed herself from his embrace. A place she'd grown accustomed to each night since they'd married. She reached over to the night stand next to the bed for the phone. Martin rolled over to his side trying to avoid the unwelcome intrusion.
"Hello," she said. She was still groggy, hardly in the mood for this early invasion. "Hello, Vanessa?" The European accent told her immediately who her caller was and she sat upright in the bed.
"Yes Dr. Stevens."
Dr. Stevens, in his late sixties, was a Board Certified plastic surgeon, certified urologist and gynaecologist He'd done her surgery.
"I must apologize for this ungodly hour I've chosen to call," he said. "But, it's vital."
"That's fine," she replied. "I'm sure it's important."
"I think so. You are scheduled to see me a month from today, are you not?"
"I believe so. I'm not sure at this hour."
"Is there any possibility at all that you can make it sooner? I've got some very important news I think concerns you a great deal. Something I don't think should be discussed over the telephone."
"Oh." She was intrigued to a point where she wanted to know the nature of the call immediately. "Doctor, may I call you back from the downstairs phone where we can talk more privately? If it's that important I'd rather know right away."
"No!" he responded abruptly. "Vanessa believe me, this is something that should not be discussed over the telephone. Especially under the circumstances if you know what I mean."
"Does it concern my health?"
"I can assure you it has nothing to do with your health. Nevertheless, it does concern you to a degree. Please understand and take my word for it. You are in perfect health. So there is no need to worry yourself over it. This has to do with me, but you also. Please don't fight me."
"Okay. When would you like to see me?"
"How soon can you make it?"
"Well," she paused for a few seconds trying to sort out her thoughts and schedule for the next two weeks. "I really don't want to leave in the middle of Martin's campaign. Perhaps in a couple of weeks?"
"That's not soon enough. I need to see you sooner than that. A definite date in the very near future would be advisable."
"Doctor," she said, pausing again while she glanced to her side at Martin who had rolled over on his back with a curious look on his face. "Let me check my schedule and call you back sometime this morning. I'll let you know. I'll rearrange things."
"Fine. Just try to make it soon. I'll be waiting."
"Okay. Bye." She was still listening as the dial tone came through.
She sat with the receiver to her head for a moment or so trying to piece together their conversation which made no sense to her. If she was healthy in every way, what in the world could concern her of such great importance that she would have to fly half way around the world to find out?
Stevens was well aware of Vanessa's marriage and Martin's position, also of the grave necessity to maintain her secret life. It was against his ethics to reveal such vital information to anyone. Through the years he had grown close to her as an individual and had established a tight friendship and bond with her.
Martin sat up in bed placing his hand on her shoulder. He was more than curious about the call, but never would he invade her privacy. As usual he merely waited for her to speak at her own convenience.
Martin was Colorado Attorney General now running for U.S. Senate. He'd announced his Independent candidacy months ago, stunning her, although he'd spoken of his future plans with her prior to their marriage. The first debate had been held earlier this month with more to come. The final debate lay ahead. His campaign ads began in May, as so did his opponents. He'd been endorsed by a few groups such as 'The Gay Legal Defence Group' and 'No Justice No Peace' and roundly criticized by many others like the Dobson's and the Bauer's. His passion was politics. His first love was her.
She hung up the receiver, snuggling to his side where she remained silent for a few moments before she spoke.
"That was Dr. Stevens," she said. "He said he needs to see me as soon as possible, but didn't say why, only that it was urgent."
"Are you ill?" he asked, sitting up halfway, concerned about his wife's health.
"I'm fine. He said it had nothing to do with my health but yet concerned me. I just don't know what to think. I just hate to fly to Europe when there's so much to do here."
"Listen, I think if your doctor says he needs to see you and it's vital you should leave as soon as possible. I'll even go with you if you want. In fact it would be my preference that I accompany you. I'll cancel whatever is on my calendar for now."
That she could do without. She knew if Martin should ever come face to face with Stevens he'd run circles around him with more questions than Stevens could handle. She had no intention of allowing that to happen. Should that ever happen it could prove to be a disaster to everything she'd built with Martin, to everything he'd built for himself.
"You're right," she finally said after moments of silent debate. "I'll leave as soon as I'm able. I'll leave the jet here for you in case you need it. But for now there must be something you could do for me to help calm my nerves." No sooner had she said that was she in his arms embraced in a kiss. She knew could make everything seem okay as it always did.
Moments later the sheets were tossed onto the floor while the early morning shadows spoke of love and passion against the walls. Melodies came from the treetops as birds saluted the sun while she rose. A ritual they enacted each spring, summer and fall morning for the golden couple. During the winter months others would take their place and serenade them with winter melodies. As if they all new of the love which dwelled within the Hudson home.
That night over dinner she sat and observed him while he ate. It had been nearly a year since she'd exchanged vows with him and still she grew to love him more as the days went by. She recalled when she'd first laid eyes on him in the courtroom how she'd taken an instant admiration to his confidence, yet a dislike to what she thought was arrogance but which she now knew was born leadership. She remembered while she sat across from him, she'd known he was for her beyond a doubt. She was captured by his masculinity, his jet black hair and cool, blue eyes.