Chapter 2 – A mission in a mission
Annie, from her desk, was watching Auggie. She could tell by his body language that he was a happy camper. If it was not for her having to drag Danielle into her world and play mother the elusive Eyal, she would have welcomed this 'come back' mission.
The last 6 month had been quite an ordeal for Annie: numerous hours of debriefing, trial and error attempts by CIA at resurrecting a 'dead' agent', coming to terms/accepting that her killing Henry was the only solution, getting reacquainted with Auggie as a lover and last but not least, explaining her reappearance to Danielle.
To Annie surprise it was Danielle reaction that had brought her out of the stupor state she was in since having pulled that fatalistic trigger; Danielle had stood in front of her and had just said "Well I'll be dammed" To that Annie had started crying and there had been no stopping her. Danielle had sat on the floor cradling her for what seemed to be a couple of minutes but were more close to couple of hours. Then Danielle had spoken 'Annie, we both have been through hell these last few months and as a result lost the lives we had and cherished. I have gone from an at home dynamic mom to a divorced and very lonely mom and you, from what I can see, have gone from an optimistic and talented CIA agent to a still talented but very troubled 'I don't know' if I want to be an agent anymore. Let's say we go find or redefine ourselves, get reacquainted with the Danielle and Annie that we once were. If we want them back…. well we'll hang on to them and if not, well, we'll get to know/accept the now new us,'
Danielle plan was simple: That they take a 4 week road trip and revisit the best towns/memories they had lived in (US town) while they were kids and just reminist and talk and talk and talk. And that had done it for Annie. Both sisters had decided to keep the old Danielle and Annie but with some changes life experiences had brought about to make them more mature.
From then on the old Annie had slowly resurfaces and this mission was her first step to reclaiming more of what she had lost. All the ingredients were certainly reunited for this next step: Her sister, her lover and her dearest friend.
"Annie, AAAAAnnie, you with us" That call from Auggie got her out of her 'rèverie' and back to earth.
"Yes, Auggie, you seem ready and happy to go. This mission has really lifted your spirits. We headed home or would you like to stop at the tavern for a couple of beers."
"Tavern is good with me if it's good with you. When do you plan on talking to Danielle and would you want some help?"
"Plan on telling her tonight. Auggie, before we leave, would like a word away from eyes and ears. Can we go to your office?"
"Ha…. And you think, there's no eyes and ears there. Come on, let's go see our Berlin wall memorial"
Annie didn't know if Joan would want for Auggie to know about Eyal's problems but she was not going to keep this a secret. She read Auggie in on the 'side' mission Joan had tasked her with.
"Annie this might surprise you but I feel for the guy. I've been there! This spy world is his life and contrary to me, he won't settle for nothing else. Don't know what to think about you helping him but I won't/can't tell you not to do it. You owe him, we both owe him a favor or two. Use your better judgement, Annie and if you need help I'm here. Also if you think he could be a liability for this mission I would appreciate you telling me. Long time I haven't run point on a mission and would really like to succeed at it. You guys are going to need lots of concentration to be able to function in my world and I remember having some major headaches at the beginning so please just be honest with me about his condition."
'I will Auggie, it's a promise" Annie wanting to kiss him on his cheek but as usual he guessed and made it a much more passionate kiss.
Eric was also heading home "Hey you two, could you restrain yourself in front of the single guy... please!"
Auggie smirked at Eric and took Annie's elbow to head out to Alan's tavern. Eric asked to join them.
Annie planned to ask Danielle about Joan 'job' offer tonigt and she preferred to be alone. Knowing Danielle, if Auggie were to be present, a yes would probably be Danielle's answer, her not wanting to disappoint anyone. A mission, any mission, was not a simple walk in the park. Yes Danielle would be more than well surrounded, Eyal was a master spy, she had enough experience with mayhem and Auggie could sense danger in a simple turn of the head. Yet, she was still quite worried about what could go wrong. Annie knew she had a way of attracting trouble and was quite worried Danielle could get caught in something she was not trained to handle. Annie couldn't help but think this mission was more than met the eye. It was not like Joan to put a civilian in danger, especially one she knows. Also they were far from being short-staffed and the cover was not that all complicated to act out. Something was not right, she took a note to talk to Auggie about her nagging feelings.
Another fun evening at the tavern, the guys teasing Eric and Eric bombing out on his tries to ask a girl out. Poor Eric, his reputation followed him, a bit too nerdy for most girls he got his eyes on. Well Annie decided it was time to help Eric instead of teasing him. 'OK Walker put your spy training to good us. Look around, there must be a girl that could withstand Eric clumsiness, bad eating habits and being a tech geek.' Then she spotted her, a nice young and friendly looking girl next door type. Annie looked around, got up, put on her best girlfriend smile and went about to make her approach. Suddenly she felt a hand on her shoulder and was pulled in the small corridor leading up to the bathrooms. Stunned, she found herself facing Eyal.
"Of all the girls in this place, you would have to choose a Mossad spy for a blind date with Eric"
"Annie, she my tail, Rivka sent her to check up on me…. to make sure I behave. I'm being a nice guy and letting her think she's successful in her cover."
"Could you leave me finish, I meant 'What are you doing here?"
"What's a guy to do when alone in Washington, this place is a known spot for spooks. Just wanted a fun evening out, grab a beer or two with friends"
"Eyal Lavin, you are lying through your teeth. Let me give you your type of evening: 'A classy and sexy girl, an expensive car, a concert or opera, a drink at The Parchment and a proposition for a night cap with some very expensive wine – at your hotel and the rest …. is also a classic'"
"Well, since you have me figured all out, would you care to join me? I'd be glad to walk you through that kind of evening!"
"Eyal, stop, what are you doing here, really?"
"Like I told you Neshema, just want a beer, relax, talk to friends and have a little fun with Rivka's nark . By the way, she's way over Eric's league. He wouldn't see what hit him. Best you not match those two together."
"How did you know what I was up to?"
"Annie when are you going to accept that I'm good at this game. My turn to describe you to yourself. 'You putting you hand under your chin, looking at Eric with those beautiful puppy eye, pulling on the 'I'm going to do this' determined look, scouting the women in this room…. and as usual picking the worst candidate for the guy…..and the conclusion would be… trouble….. and I having to intervene to save Eric from being humiliate or worst physically hurt' did I forget something?"
"Only to turn off your arrogance, Mr. "
Eyal put his arm around her shoulder, pointed her to her table and they joined the rest of the gang.
Auggie, as always, was the first to notice Eyal.
"Eyal, you're not the beer and tavern type, what's up?"
Eyal shook his head and Annie busted out laughing "I just told him the same thing, poor Eyal, think we branded you as a Slicker, a Cosmopolite man of the world"
"Look, can a guy just want to have fun and put my Mossad tail through hell. I know for a fact that she hates taverns."
Auggie turned to Eyal and asked "Mossad is having you tailed, why? What did you do? Planning on becoming a US citizen?"
"No, last mission I pissed Rivka off so it's her way of showing me that she's still my boss."
Auggie knew all too well what was the problem and chose not to pursue it. Annie would surely find a way to convince Eyal to get some help. Those two always had a very special relationship. He didn't like it but knew he had to let Annie come to terms with her feelings for Eyal. These past six month had been hell for Annie and he couldn't add to it by becoming a jealous boyfriend. Even if he did, he knew it could put a permanent dent in their relationship. As he saw it the only option he had was to let Annie and Eyal's relationship run its course. He had a feeling Annie was going to want to come to term with her feelings, sort things out. The 'roots' she wanted to put down might not be the ones she though she wanted. Her off the grid time had left her with a desire to put things strait in her life and Auggie guessed the Eyal issue was now one of the few left on her list.
"Auggie we should be going, I have a sister to sister talk to get to."
"Yup, and I'm guessing I get to pass the night alone." Auggie putting on a defeated look.
"Well there's Eyal colleague that's going to be looking for company." She turned to Eyal and continued
"Eyal, please take that girl out of her misery. If you don't I will, no fun being in Washington and following the invisible man""
Eyal shrug and bided his farewells to Annie, Auggie and Eric. They saw him approach his Mossad colleague and surprised them by escorting her out and winking at Annie!
"Eyal talking to you in code" Eric noticing the wink and Auggie head shot up quickly.
Annie laughing "No, it's just Eyal way of telling me I've been duped by the best…. Again!"
Annie drove Eric home and left Auggie at their apartment. Danielle was expecting her. Annie stopped by the convenient store to get her sister's favorite ice cream. Her way of sugar coating her unsual demand.
Danielle was glad Annie was coming over. Michael and her were now divorce and she had the kids most of the time. Michael was in California and they had agreed that it would be best for the girls to continue their schooling in Washington. Danielle was counting a bit on Annie to get reacquainted with the dating circuit but it had not been a good time for her to rely on Annie's charm since her sister was barely holding her own for the past months. But the last weeks she had seen more and more the Annie she knew and love coming back. So tonight when Annie had announce she wanted to spend some sister bounding time, Danielle was more that delighted. Hell, maybe they could even check out the bar scene…..
Seeing Annie come in with that little brown bag and two plastic spoons made Danielle sighed….well guess no bar scene ….Putting on her best 'I will support you' sister smile she asked "Annie are you OK, something bothering you, you want to talk?"
"Danielle I'm OK, I have something to ask you and think you're going to need something to sugar coat the news. Heck, I need to sugar coat it myself."
"Annie… what is it, what is wrong?"
Annie felt bad, Danielle seemed terrified. Putting both her hands on Danielle face to calm her rapidly "Danielle, no no, sorry it's nothing bad promise. Just a very very strange request from my boss"
"Danielle, the CIA would like for you to help in a mission that needs your knowledge of catering and organic foods. You wanted to know what I really do for a living well now is your chance. If you don't want to, it's no biggy, there are people at the agency that can act as caterers. You could even be their coach."
Danielle eye went from worried to wide eye …enlarge…. and incredulous
"Annie…..are you serious?" Danielle was whispering
"Danielle why are you whispering?"
"You always do it when you talk to me about you're work, though it was a spy thing"
Annie had to laugh. She filled in Danielle with what she knew of the mission and asked
"Danielle, don't want to push but CIA isn't good at the waiting game… I need your answer tonight."
"YES….YES….I'll do it"
"Danielle are you sure? You know this could, not saying it will, but could be dangerous"
"Annie, in the last months I've been through the death of a marriage, your death, your resurrection, two kids hitting the teenage years in advance, the high in my days now consist of Oprah and Dr Phil ….and my nights are filled with catering to rich people who sometimes seem to forget their manners at home. So if you think I'm going to pass a chance to be partnered with one of the sexiest guy on earth and to finally experience what can possibly be so captivating of the spy world that you literally 'died' for it… Sister, push aside, I'm coming in from the dark!"
"Well Joan will be glad. Danielle I must admit I'm a bit insecure about all of this. Things could go wrong. The gun I carry is real Danielle, real bullets in it too."
'Annie, that sexy guy, Eyal also has a gun and you told me he was the best of the best, Auggie, even blind is a genius anyone can see that and you are my dotting little sister. My guess is that I'll be very well surrounded if not smothered. I promise if I ever feel scared or over in my head I will talk to you. Annie I need a little fun in my life at the moment, please don't worry. When do I start?"
Annie laugh at Danielle enthusiasm. Danielle was right it could be a welcome change for her. She just hope the mission stayed a simple intel gathering one. Well if not there was always time to pull Danielle out. To that Annie phone rang, it was Eyal.
"Look you don't know me, I'm from Mossad, my name is Ashira. I was at the tavern tonight and I have a problem. Rivka told me to contact you that you would know what to do. Can we talk?"
"Yes, we both have encrypted phones, tell me what's your problem? Is it Eyal?" Annie was worried and Danielle was also, Annie having mentioned Eyal.
"Yes it's Eyal. We had a wonderful evening and he asked me at his hotel for a nightcap. He such a gentlemen… Well he's not feeling well, seems to have quite a headache. He vomited twice and I'm not sure, because he is such a proud man that he won't admit it, I think he can't see. He doesn't want to go to the hospital. Look I only have basic first aid training, really don't know what to do."
Annie had to laugh at Eyal evening plans.. just as she had imagine but now was not the time for 'I told you so'.
"Ashira, were are you. OK, I'll be there in ½ hour or less. Stay with him." Hanging up she turned to Danielle.
"Well sister, since you are now part of my world, we are going to try and help that proud and arrogant partner of yours"
Again Danielle eye grew wide. Annie just took her hand and pulled her out of the cottage. They got in the car and Annie explained Eyal situation to Danielle. Annie decided that her sister had to know what was up with Eyal. One thing about her off the grid experience was that she now took the decision that she though were right for her situation. It's working her agency Eyal had told her, it comes with maturity!
"Annie slow down, Eyal is not the only one that is going to be sick. Look I can call you ex-boyfriend Dr. Scot Weiss, he should be able to help us."
"Good idea, look Danielle, we should bring Eyal back to the cottage. He would be more comfortable and I can corner him or trick him into seeing that specialist tomorrow."
"Yes sure. OK Annie, Scott will be at the house in about an hour. He just said 'another incident off books' what does that mean?"
Annie laughed. She and Scott had broken up but had stayed close. He had helped her with a couple of situation that needed his medical expertise. He had guessed in the beginning of them dating that there was more to her work that met the eye. He kept quiet about it.
Arriving at the hotel room, Annie and Danielle were quit to get to Eyal's room and knocked at the door.
Ashira answered. "Thank you for coming, Mrs Walker. I didn't know what to do, he doesn't want me to call for help and I'm sure now he's having problem with his eyes"
"Call me Annie, please. Where is he?"
"Resting on the bed and doesn't want to be bothered, gave me money to take a cab."
"Like hell I won't bother him…" and to that Annie busted in his room.
What she saw pulled at her heart. Eyal must be in great pain because the body lying in that bed was not the Eyal she knew. In a foetal position, he was holding his head with his hands, covering his eyes and humming faintly. Annie carefully approached him and whispered
"Eyal, it's Annie, what is going on?
He barely manage to answer her, "It's OK Annie, … it will pass, go home, please"
"No way I'm going home. You need help Eyal and you're going to get it. Danielle is with me and we are taking you to her place. Are you OK to walk?
"Annie, get out of here, told you it will go away. It looks worse than it really is. Please take Danielle with you, she shouldn't be here."
"No can do. I'll be back in a minute"
Ashira and Danielle were talking in the kitchen, Annie joined them
"Eyal will not be able to walk out of here, Ashira you were right I think he's quite blind. He's good at hiding it but my boyfriend is blind and I recognised some jerky head movement and that blank stare just put a knife through my heart. What do we do now? I'd prefer to get him to the cottage so we can keep an eye on him. Also it might be easier to get him to his doctor appointment tomorrow if he's on unfamiliar territory."
Ashira looked at Annie 'Hey, when Eyal escorted me to his room, we came across this old couple who were arguing about taking or not taking the hotel's wheelchair. If the hotel has one, we might be able to get him to your car. Just have to put a blanket over him and I'll tell the front desk that my father drank a bit too much and that I'm scare that he hurts himself.. him being 92 years old and all."
Ashira was a spy and it showed. Annie felt at ease with her and her fast thinking was a god sent. "Yes Ashira, good idea. Danielle call the front desk. Me and Ashira are going to help our petit ami get dressed.
Danielle put on a disappointed face.. "You know I can help getting him dressed, Ashira can call the front desk"
"OK, OK, don't shoot me, I'll call."
There was a wheelchair and Ashira went down to get it. Annie went with her to let off some steam…. Eyal was not cooperating, they could not get him dressed, he wanted to be alone and he was not going to give in. Annie was torn, seeing Eyal like this was hard for her. She couldn't find the words to get through that tick skull of his and it infuriated her but at the same time pulled at her heart.
Re-entering the room, Annie was taken aback by what she saw … There was Danielle giving Eyal a neck massage. Eyal was sitting on the living room floor.
"Danielle what happened, did he fall, is he OK?"
"I'm OK Annie" Eyal said in a faint voice.
Danielle put her hand on Annie shoulder "Don't worry Annie, he got up while I was on the phone to warn Scott that we would be a little late. He tried to take a couple of steps, stumbled and was going to fall but I pushed the ottoman at him that softened his fall. Make him as comfortable as possible and asked if he like a neck massage, he didn't answer so I just gave him one."
Annie kneeled down at Eyal level, put her hand to gently lift up his chin, looked him in the eye and said "Eyal…. I'm taking you to Danielle house, I have a friend that will treat you, no questions asked. You need help, you're hurting and it's bad. So stop being a baby and help us help you."
Annie was surprised but he nodded and got himself in the wheelchair. Annie though… he must be hurting bad … real bad.
They decided to take Eyal's car, bigger and a lot more comfortable. Danielle sat in the back with Eyal. With Annie's driving it didn't take long for her to arrive at the cottage. Scott was waiting for them. Danielle had called and explained Eyal condition.
Scott helped Eyal get settle and gave him a painkiller and anticonvulsant.
"Annie, I gave him some pretty strong medicine, the painkiller is morphine base. He going to be out for the night no worry. From what I could see, he doesn't have any damage to his eyes. His blindness must be the result of his migraine. That guy has some tolerance to pain. Look, he should get himself checked out. Concussions can leed to dangerous after-effects especially if not treated."
"Thanks Scott, I owe you. He has an appointment with a doctor Longstrong tomorrow…. That is if I can convince him to go. He's kind of pigheaded."
"Well, don't know who he knows but Dr. Longstrong is one of the best. It normally takes over a year to get an appointment with him. Your friend must be in your field of work Annie." Scott gave Annie a partner in crime look!
"I know, I know, no questions, well you know how to reach me if he needs me. I'm on duty at midnight, no cells allowed, so call me at the hospital, I'll do my best to get here. He should be lightheaded tomorrow so watch him closely and the only place he should be going is to his medical appointment and this bed. Well it was nice seeing you Annie and now it's goodbye again….. You now owe me at least 5 rock climbing dates"
"I'll pay my dues Scott promise…"
To that Scott was off. Anne called Ashina to reassure her that Eyal had taken some painkillers and was now sleeping.
It was close to midnight but Annie had to put together a plan to get Eyal to seek treatment.
"Danielle you should get to bed. I'm going to try and find a way to get Eyal to accept to see this Dr. Longstrong."
"Annie I not a spy and you might laugh at my plan but here goes: It was Scott words that tip me off - Eyal seems to be a women man, I'm also guessing he has the knight and shining armour attitude.
Yes and yes" Annie sitting on the couch near her sister
"Let's say you go to work with his car but you are supposed to be back and hold my hand at an important doctor's appointment. You call and tell me you can't come with me because of an urgent meeting, sounds familiar"
Annie nodded and smiled
"I call a taxi, hang up and loose it….big times. I get mad at you, at Michael, at the world in general. You know how emotional I can get…..sitting next to him and crying my little heart out... Think it might softened his heart just a bit for him to offer himself to come with me."
"Danielle are you sure you haven't done this spy thing before? Your plan could very well work, you read Eyal pretty well. The only thing is the timing. His appointment is at 3. Knowing Eyal, if he feel better he's going to be out of here even if I take his car. He must have a million places to be and he'll just call a cab or even rent another car!"
"Well we could tie him to the bed, remember the film Misery with Kathy Bates and James Caan, creepy but … it could work. I would tell him it's because you wanted him to stay in bed and that you knew he was not going to listen to reason so you decided to help him out … so to speak."
Annie just busted out laughing "Oh Danielle, you're priceless. That will more than do. It will even make him remember quite a little escape we had. It's perfect believe me, more than perfect."
To that Eyal was…. again… tie wrapped by Annie.
"Annie, he's out cold, we could make him more comfortable. I still have a pair of Micheal PJ. Ah they're here. He would be much more confortable with them. I've seen a man in boxers before."
Too late Danielle had already pulled down his trousers "Annieeeeeeeeeeeee... he doesn't have underwears" Danielle just threw the PJ on Eyal!
"That's what I wanted to warn you about... he tends to do that."
"How would you know... ?"
"Never mind.. let's get these PJ's on him, Danielle...stop. That is called bad spying or gazing !"
Danielle face went as red as a cherrie!
The sisters talked for another couple of hours putting their plan together. Annie would meet them at Dr. Longstrong. While Annie would opened the cabby's door a surprise Eyal would look at her while Danielle put cuffs on him: One tied to Eyal wrist and one to Danielle. Eyal would turn towards Danielle as Annie would slip on the other cuffs. Eyal would be sandwich between Annie and Danielle with cuffs. No way he could get out of that one.
Annie was really appreciating this time with Danielle. Her panic stricken and nervous Danielle seemed gone. She couldn't explained what changed in Danielle but something for the better had occurred during Annie's off the grid period. Her six sense was alerted with this mission and now it was Danielle that was also awakening that six sense. 'Something is definitely up, must speak to Auggie, he might know something but not now, I have a master spy to practice my deceptive training on.'
Well hooray for the girls because everything went as planned. Annie and Danielle now had a surprised Eyal cuffed between them.
"Annie take those cuffs off of me. What in the hell are you up to?"
"Eyal it's for your own good"
"I heard that before and I ended up getting shot in the shoulder…..remember? Cut the small talk and tell me what you are up to. I might be a bit under the weather but I can still cause quite a a bit of damage here….start taking Mrs. Walker"
"Eyal just follow us or we will scream bloody murder. By now you know how well my sister can act..."
Annie put a sly smile on her face. Eyal looked at her and then at Danielle.
"OK ladies I'm putting myself in your hands. Ah... by the way, which one of you two took my trousers off yesterday?"
Both girls went cherrie red!
"OK, got my answer... my luck I get stuck with two perverts and I'm knocked out!
It didn't take Eyal long to figure out where he was and what those two lovely ladies had tricked him into capitalising to. He was mad, Annie could sense it. .
"Eyal, you do know I understand Hebrew"
"I know so why don't you repeat what I just said to you sister"
"That won't be necessary Annie, I don't understand but I'm guessing they were swear words."
Danielle was feeling a little uncomfortable with Eyal coldness.
They were now at the doctor's door. Eyal was not a happy camper. The receptionist looked at the special trio and laugh slightly, she showed them into the doctor's office.
"Eyal I'm going to take the cuffs off now. Do you promise to behave?"
"I'm not promising you anything"
"Well suit yourself, you stay tied up till the doctor gets here"
To that the doctor walked in.
"'Mr. Eyal Lavin, what can I do for you today?"
Noticing that Eyal was cuffed, the doctor sat down, looked at the trio
"Ok, this is a first…. I know I'm going to regret this but… why the cuffs?
"Seem these lovely ladies couldn't stay away from me, it must be my natural charm"
Annie stepped in and explain Eyal stubbornness.
"No need Rivka explained the situation to me. Untie him, I'll take it from here. Can't examine him with both of you tied up to him. That must feel better Mr. Lavin… Just step in my examination room, take off your shirt and wait for me, I'll be there in no time. Just have to talk to these lovely ladies."
Annie was surprise, no retort of any kind from Eyal, not even a glance at Annie. He must be really mad…Hope he'll get over it. It really is for his own good.
"You two really went out of your way to get our big boy in. Rivka called this morning and told me Mr. Lavin had some problems yesterday. I'd like to know what happened."
Annie gave him a summary of what had happened and also gave him the note Scott had given her. The meds were strong and Scott had told Annie that it was better that Dr. Longstrong knew Eyal had taken them.
"Well Mr. Lavin should be here for at least 2 1/2 hours. Guessing you are going to want to "escort" him out and back to his bed, where he should stay for another day or so with the meds that he has taken. I trust you two can manage that." To that a laughing Dr. Longstrong joined Eyal in the examining room.
As soon as the doctor joined Eyal, Danielle pulled Annie aside and whispered "Annie, I got him here, we blackmailed him into agreeing to see the doctor but now he needs some comforting and not my mommy type comforting. He need a friend at this time Annie, a very good friend. Look at the way he's wrapping his arm on his chess and shoulder. That's just what Chloe does when she nervous and scare. Doesn't your spy training give you lessons in reading people? From what I can see we have a very unsecure and scared boy that needs some TLC"
"Danielle, Eyal is a fully grown man and he's been through worst take my word on that. He doesn't need me to hold his hand"
"Annie you of all people should be able to relate with what it feels like to 'maybe' loose your way of living. He may be able to face bombs and bullets but this is something that might end his career. I don't need to be a spy to figure that he needs someone to hold his hand right now. God if I could, I'd do it in a flash, he sooooooo good looking but I'm not blind…it's not me he wishing for….. Get in there" Danielle took Annie by the shoulder and was pushing her in the examining room.
"Danielle I can't…"
Danielle turning Annie to face her "Annie, look at me, do you have feelings for this guy? Oh my god… oh my geese god. You do don't you?"
"Danielle, shuuuuuu, keep your voice down. Please don't push this, we will talk later, OK, I'll go but I'm pretty sure he's going to usher me out. He doesn't need me meddling with his medical problems."
"The Annie that has to go in there is the one I just saw. If he's as good a spy as I heard he is, he needs to see what I just saw in your eyes or else you are right he's just going to boot you out."
"Danielle, we'll talk more tonight but I love Auggie. Eyal is a special and dear friend and yes we have a very very special bound but I assure you it is not love."
"Ya whatever, get in there and put that special bond or something look on your face. I don't want my partner to be pulled out on me. For once in my life, I get to be with the gorgeous and sexy one and you are with the nerdy specimen. If you think I'm going to let you ruin it for me, you are gravely mistaken little sister…again get in there. Do what you have to do, but I WANT him as a partner"
Annie had to laugh at Danielle so true remark. Danielle had always been a mother figure and with that came the very mature … and dull…. boyfriends. And she, on the other hand, had always been portrayed as the cute energic blond and the most popular boys seem to go her way. She knew Danielle had always resented this pattern but there was nothing she could do about.
'OK Annie, you are going to do this, you have been trained to hide your emotions, just take this as another polygraph. Eyal is a gentlemen and he would never take advantage of you. Danielle is right, he needs a friend at this time. I own him so much, girl it's time for you to be there for him.'
Danielle smiled softly as she saw Annie becoming 'Her Annie': Teenager loving smile, I care deeply eyes and that carefree and spirited strut', Danielle was now on her way to pick up her girls at the airport.
Eyal was discussing with the doctor when Annie appeared in front of him.
"Hey, I'm not going nowhere, you and Danielle won. I'm getting this exam. You don't have to chaperon me, I won't disappear, scout honors."
"Can't picture you as a scout but nevertheless I believe you. I'm staying that is if the doctor lets me (the doctor nodded positively)."
Sitting beside him, she pulled the hand that was settled on his shoulder and put it on her lap with a light squeeze and he surprised her by responding. Danielle was more than right, he seemed anxious about this exam. Looking at him she saw the same look she had witness when he had been shot in the shoulder while taking down Cardinal, the terrorist that had murdered his sister. She now hated herself for not staying by his side then, she had let them take him to the hospital alone. Maybe if she would have been as observing as her big sister, then, their relationship might have evolve differently. She remembered having returned to the bar and waited for him to return. Now she knew why he hadn't returned…. When he needed her, she had not been there for him. Joan might be right ….. Danielle did have a 'je ne sais quoi' that could make her a good spy … be it in certain circumstances.
'Girl get a grip don't do this to yourself, don't think of the past, you can't change it. You're here now and if he needs you, you'll be there. Auggie will understand, he knows you love him but that you have a special bond with Eyal.'
"Annie, Dr. Longstrong said these exams could take a while. Go back to the cottage with Danielle. I'll be OK, meet you there when I'm done. I like to get to know Danielle a little more since we are going to be working together, especialy now that we have all been intimate!"
"No can do. Danielle is preparing for her special get together with her girls since they are going back to California with Micheal for the duration of our special assignment. I called Auggie and he's taking tonight to finalise detail of our investment. So you, Mr. Lavin, are stuck me."
"Dr. Longstrong seems you'll have to explain what you are going to put me through to Annie as well."
"It's all the same for me Mr. Lavin, explaining the procedure to one or two. But like to know a bit more how you sustained your injury. And don't hide most of it, I know who you are and what you do. I was also informed about Mrs. Walker's work. I'm what you can call a normal neurosurgeon by day and Spook doctor by night. Been doing it for more than 10 years now. But knowing spies and their active imagination, I just arrange for Joan Campbell and Rivka Singer to send you their blessings."
Dr. Longstrong briefly raised his head, smiled at them just as both of their phones rang. Reading their respective messages, they had to laugh, Dr. Longstrom was the real thing!
"So Mr. Lavin what happened?"
"Please drop the Mr. It's Eyal."
"Well, I'm Mike, again what happened?"
"A bomb went off a bit too close for comfort and sent me flying directly on a cement wall. Tried landing on my side but my head finished by hitting the wall with quite a bang. Was out for a while and when I regained consciousness I couldn't hear or see a thing. They got me out and in hospital in less than an hour. I recovered my hearing and sight in less than two. You must have all of this in the file."
"Yes but wanted to hear it from you. Eyal, I read that you had some medical training so what I'd like to know is how your body reacted. Where did you feel the pain, everything you can tell me is important. Head injuries and especially concussions after effects are hard to diagnose and treat. I find I can get a better picture by having the patient relive the hit his body took. You spies are especially good at this exercise. In a way you guys are building my reputation. So Eyal, think you're up to it?"
Annie got up from her chair, sat on the bed near Eyal and gently wrapped her arm around his shoulders. He took her hand and placed it near his heart and started talking.
"Well the hit my body took against the wall didn't hurt that much, the karate training turned to be quite useful. But the blow to my head shot a burning pain down my spine and right arm. Think it's the pain and not the impact that knocked me out. When I came to I had a throbbing headache, the burning pain was gone but I couldn't see or hear nothing."
"Stay there Eyal, this might be a bit painful but I need you to stay in touch with your body, think where does it hurt, how did they pick you up?"
Annie held him a little tighter knowing this might be painful for him.
"I can't see or hear a thing but something I can't explain is happening, physically I'm hurting like hell but my emotions seem to be numbed. I'm not nervous, I'm not mad, I can't seem to emotionally feel something. Even though it was what it felt like to die" Eyal notice Annie shiver, patted her hand and shot her his best 'comfort Annie' smile and continued
"Then the burning pain came back with a vengeance, somebody was moving me"
"Eyal this is important, did they pull you, push you or carry you out"
"I was pushed by the shoulders, then rolled on a makeshift gurney and helicoptered out. All in a day's work."
"Think you just gave me what I was looking for but now I'd like you to tell me why have you been avoiding these exams?"
Annie looking cross-eyed at Eyal "Yes Rambo Lavin, I'd also like to know why, you, a medically trained person, avoiding such important medical exams?"
"Having some medical training, the symptoms I was experiencing scared the hell out of me. Concussions are career killers and the headaches, the light flashes and the vomiting spelled major problems. I needed to come to terms with these symptoms and consequences before having a doctor spell it out for me. That was as much for the doctor sake as mine! Don't know what my temper would have done hearing the verdict and not being prepare to accept it."
"So Eyal, you have already established a diagnostic. Could we hear it Dr. Lavin."
Eyal heard Annie try to smother a giggle "Go ahead Neshema, laugh, think I asked for it."
It was Dr. Longstrong turn to laugh and he did not try to conceal his amusement at Eyal. "You just did what all doctors do, they diagnose themselves. Seems you had enough training to acquire that bad habit of our profession. But luckily 9 times out of 10, we are wrong. You, Eyal, are no exception"
"Mike would like to agree with you but the symptoms are there"
Dr. Longstrong now seemed really amuse. "Yes, you had a grade 3 concussion and yes you may be right about your symptoms: Worsening post-concussion signs persistent longer than 7 to 10 days may equal to a chronic subdural hematoma or neurobehavioral dysfunction. But you are missing a couple of things that could give you another option. Think Eyal: You being PUSHED on the gurney, the burning pains, the no emotion sensations, the flashes of light, no lost of coordination, no speech difficulties and the fact that you scored a 15 on the Glasgow Coma Scale in the hospital only an hour and 1/2 after your injury… all of this ring a bell, Dr. Rambo"
To that Annie who was actively trying to practice the art of silent laughter since Dr. Langstrong first smart alex remark, couldn't help but let it all out … the doctor last stab had hit the bull eyes on her funny bone.
Eyal was processing what Dr. Longstrong had said and something seemed to click… putting his head down and shaking it sideways he whispered…. "Cervicobrachial neuralgia"
Annie looked at Eyal and said 'What?
"In simple terms, Neshema, cervicobrachial neuralgia is a neck pain radiating to the arm because of compression to the nerve roots in the cervical spinal cord. My best bet is the damage was done when I hit the wall sideways, my spine took most of the hit and they finished it up when they pushed me on the gurney, Compressing an already damage spine."
"Very good, couldn't have explained it any better. You really should have continued your doctor's training, you're a natural. Now get yourself ready for an MRI. An MRI is more appropriate than a CT (cat scan) since it has been more than 48 hours after your injury. Concussions are injuries no one can see and don't show up on most magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exams or CT scans but this exam will at least rule out intracranial structural injury and confirm the neuralgia. Also Mossad is going to spring for some NEMECTON electrotherapy procedures They are proven to have: analgesics effects – (I know you spies won't take regular pain killers or if you do you get addicted to them), anti-inflammatory effects –(will eliminating joint and muscle inflammation that I guessed are causing your migraines), and eliminate contractures. Plus this treatment will bring on muscle relaxation effects, anti-swelling effects and eliminate swelling resulting from infiltration of serous fluid in tissue skin cell. Its uses diadynamic currents, interferential currents and application of ultrasound plus laser and ultra-short waves. Does wonders on the body and very expensive. I just love to punish agencies in this way for exposing their agents to such hazardous situations, they need to pay for their actions. Poetic justice as I call it!
Eyal and Annie were staring at Dr. Longstong in amazement.
"Eyal though you had a sick sense of humor but Dr. Longstrong is now number one in my book"
"No offence taken, Neshema, he's now definitely first in mine also. I've been out mastered! Mike, what is your prescription for me getting back in the swing of thing workwise."
"Well you might not like this but it's going to be another 3 to 6 month of nonphysical work, if there is such a thing in you line of work!. Can't have you flying in the air or on the ground with that condition. I'm recommending you stay in the US for the duration of your treatments that should take 3 to 4 months. Rivka is not going to like it but again she never likes anything I 'dump' on her."
"She doesn't like most of what I dish at her either, don't worry she barks louder than she bites"
"I know Eyal, been working with Rivka for most of my career and she my favorite Mossad suit to tinker with!"
Annie looked at both men with a surprised expressions. Could it be that Rivka Singer was a decent human being when caring for her agents? This was not the impression she had of her but she was not at her first surprise with the Mossad but now was not the time to get to know Rivka better!
Eyal exam confirmed the neuralgia. He wasn't all to glad at having to wear a cervical collar but it was 'MANDATORY' so he complied with it.
Dr. Longstrong had suggested a soft BodySport Cervical Collar when working and the rigid Aspen collar to stabilize his neck while he was on down time. Wearing these collars would help relieve his headaches and nausea.
"Annie I can show you how to put the Aspen collar on. It's one of the best for his type of injury but must admit a bitch to put on. And Eyal you are going to leave this office with it. It will be my parting gift to you. I'll see you in two weeks for the start of your NEMECTON electrotherapy"
"Mike, you mentioned the soft collar"
"Well technically no, not at this moment but…"
"You haven't listened to my instruction then. "When working the soft collar, when not working the rigid one, we clear Rambo!"
Annie was wiping her tears and holding her sides. "He's got your number Mr. Lavin. Think I haven't laugh this much in the last year or two! Dr. Longstrong I'll see that he abides by your instructions."
To that the Dr instructed Annie on how to place the cervical collar on Eyal, which she did effortlessly and Eyal was now as Dr. Longstrong last stab at Eyal "and elegant waking penguin in an expensive pinstriped suit"
Coming out of the doctor's office they decided to take a stroll in a small park near the office.
Just before getting into his car Eyal took Annie by her shoulder and kissed her for what he intended to be a gentle and thank-you kiss but it turned out a bit too passionate She surprised him by responding but both of them rapidly broke it off.
"Annie I'm sorry, I didn't mean to go this far. My intentions were to give you a friendly thank-you for tricking me into doing this. My emotions got the best of me, I admit being scare to hell for the last month and now the relief I'm feeling outpoured itself in that kiss. By now you know my feeling for you but I will never … never interfere with you present relationship."
"Eyal, what just happened was not only of your doing, it takes two to tango remember. These last six months have been quite a roller coaster emotion wise. It took a lot of patching up but Auggie and I finally sorted things out and I know I love him. But I can't/won't ignore these feelings I have for you. I need to be able to explain/understand them: is it love…. is it deep friendship. I've got to sort them out. It wouldn't be fair to Auggie or you if I don't get a handle on them. I trust you fully, always have, I know you didn't mean for what just happened to go as far…I can't say the same about myself. You are the one that broke of the kiss….."
Eyal shot Annie a surprise eyes "Look I can talk to Rivka and get myself off this assignment. She surely has many more rookie brush passes to punish me with. She knows just what ticks me off and it will be a pleasure for her to give me those jobs"
"No Eyal, if there is something I learned from my last mission is that the best way to solve a dilemma is to face it head first. If you don't, fate will do it for you and not always to your liking but since you didn't act on it, it become your destiny. Better I be in control of my findings than fate. I trust you Eyal, I know that you will never twist my hand in any way. I love that 'politically correct' trait of yours, it's endearing and make you a wonderful and caring person."
"Thanks for the vote of confidence. Must say your words spark a small light of hope but no worry, I will not in any way play with your feelings, you have my word. But I'm not going to take the celibate route waiting for you. You know you hold a piece of my heart and if you ever act on your feelings, I'll be there but I won't sideline myself on the breechers while you do."
Annie just smiled at him and added "I don't expect you to be celibate while I make up my mind, you're definably not the type. OH…. I just remembered, Danielle wanted me to give her some news. She is going to be relieve, she looking forward to being partnered with the handsome and sexy one for a change. She getting quite a kick of me being with the nerd … a good looking nerd but nevertheless Auggie is a computer GEEK."
Eyal, even if it pinched his heart just a bit he had to laugh at Annie's last words "Now you and your sister deserve a medal for what you just accomplished. Dangerous mission especially for an untrained operative like your sister. Call Danielle get her up to speed on the good news. I plan on treating you and your sister to the most wonderful night any girl can dream of. You can call Auggie, we could double date, so to speak, Mossad will be paying...we can sum it up to getting to know each other for work related purpose… that way I can wear the soft collar. I not only look like a stiff pinstriped suited penguin, I feel like one too."
"Do you have a migraine or feel nausea coming on"
'No' Eyal looked at Annie with a quizzical eye stare
"Well that mean the collar is working, and don't even think about taking it off. I get to decide when you are truly working, remember Dr. Longstrong lecture"
"And it's now that you decide to follow orders..!"
To be continued