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Deep Blue Sea - Chapter 7
DEEP BLUE SEA
Rating and Disclaimer: see chapter 1
CHAPTER SEVEN: A Whale of a Time
Sailing Day Fifteen
At last, on the brisk morning of the fifteenth day of their voyage the island of Maui appeared above the horizon ahead. Mr. Tucker had manual control of the skipper wheel. They approached the west-most lighthouse of the island, off the coast of the Pailolo Channel. Their sail would continue along the coast line of West Maui to their destination, the harbor of the charming seaside town of Lahaina. The Admiral had a portside house that they would be able to dock in front of. Lahaina Town was a historical whaling port, but with the recent ban on all whaling activities, it had become one of the more secluded ports for the wealthy to live.
Trip was on deck, taking photos of the beautiful coastal scenery and rainbows in the early morning skies. T’Pol was on the aft deck, meditating while Mrs. Tucker was preparing some breakfast.
“Smile skipper!” Trip snapped a shot of his father at the wheel.
“Would you just look at this place? It’s a paradise!” Mr. Tucker waved out towards the shore line.
“Wow, it sure is, dad. I better let T’Pol know ta’ get ready soon.” Trip ran off to find T’Pol.
It took a half hour to finally arrive and dock outside the Admiral’s port-side house. They were all in the captain station.
“We should secure the perimeter.” T’Pol declared. Trip nodded and reached for their pistols in the cabinet.
“Well, be careful, you two!” Mrs. Tucker said. Trip handed a gun over to T’Pol and they both hid them inside their jackets.
“Don’t worry mom, this is just a precaution. Everythin’ will be fine. Just give us a few.”
They stepped down to the boardwalk and cautiously made their way to the front door. Trip looked at T’Pol for instruction before entering in the security code. She drew her gun and motioned for him to do the same.
“Ready?” Trip asked before punching in the code.
“Go.” She whispered.
The door unlocked. T’Pol quickly opened the door with her gun pointing ahead, as she visually scanned the entrance way for intruders. Trip followed. There was no one in sight and they heard no noises. The house seemed empty. It was a large entry way with a stair well that led up to the second floor. T’Pol looked upstairs.
“We should split up.” T’Pol commanded in a whisper. Trip nodded and they began their search.
The house had four large bedrooms. Two on the second floor and one on the first floor. There was a gym room and a game room on the first floor, in addition to the main lounging and dining rooms, the Admiral’s den, and a huge kitchen Mrs. Tucker would, no doubt, get acquainted with. About ten minutes later, T’Pol walked down the stairwell as Trip was making his way back down the hall of the entrance way.
“All clear down here! Find anythin’ upstairs?”
“The house appears to be unoccupied.”
“Guess what I found on the patio? A Hot Tub! Ya’ know, we didn’t get ta’ spend nearly enough time together in the one on Twilight!” He moved closer to her, grabbing around her waist, looking at her lips as he was about to kiss them.
“Perhaps not.” She raised an eyebrow before he pulled her in for a kiss.
It was their second week in Maui. In their time since arriving, they discretely filled each day with outdoor activities. They scuba dived at Black Rock Beach. They saw an abundance of coral and tropical fish. The only time they could go, however, was in the early misty morning hours, since T’Pol was unable to wear her wig underwater. His parents spent most of their time touring the island by foot and ground transport; and mostly shopping. His mother was a shopping pro. One activity they put off that Trip really wanted to do most of all was whale watching.
By now Mike and Melissa would have returned from sea. Trip couldn’t wait another minute to go whale watching. After seeing one breach with its baby calf from Lahaina Beach, he was eager to get up close in the kayaking tour Mike offered. Strangely, he was comforted watching the mother whale with her baby. T’Pol still didn’t know for sure if she was pregnant. She wasn’t having any symptoms a normal Vulcan or Human pregnancy would involve. But, suddenly Trip wanted to learn more about the subject. Knowing how the humpback whales migrated thousands of miles from Alaska in order to make song, mate, and give birth, he couldn’t help but compare their struggle with his and T’Pol’s to have a child. He overheard one of the locals saying that February was the best month to see new born calves playing in the warm waters off the coast of Kaanapali Beach; and that this was the best place to see them. He was in their room with T’Pol. While she sat on the floor in the center of the room meditating, he was entering in the address from Mike’s business card into the comm panel. After a moment, Melissa appeared onscreen.
“Discover Maui Adventures, this is…oh Peter! How are you?”
“Great! Never thought I’d say it, but this place is more beautiful than my favorite place in the whole world; Florida. And this weather…it’s been perfect since we got here!”
“Well, you’re lucky. The weather isn’t always so beautiful in the winter months. Knock on wood. So, I hope your callin’ to take us up on our offer!”
“Yes ma’am, I am. We’d really like to go kayaking in Kaanapali to do some whale watchin’!”
“Oh, well fortunately for you honey, this is the peak time for a whalin’ tour!”
“So I hear. How soon might we be able to get a tour?”
“Well we might be able to fit ya’ in this afternoon; let me see our bookings here…yes, here we are; we have an opening at 2 o’clock. Will it be all four of you?”
“Actually, ma’ parent will be skippin’ the tour, just me an’ ma’ wife, Mary.”
“Oh, okay. Well, if they’re interested in any of the tours we offer, you just have them give us a ring honey. A lot of our older tourist like the guided tours of West Maui. I’ll give Mike some of our brochures for you all. Mike will be on the location to give you a personal tour. Where are ya’ staying honey?”
T’Pol opened her eyes at that question. It would not be wise to reveal our location, she thought. Trip felt her concern through the bond and agreed.
“Were staying south of Kaanapali beach.”
“Oh, well then the easiest way for you to get there would be to take the local land transport to Kaanapali beach and just follow the signs to kayaking tours. You’ll see our sign, “Discover Maui Adventures” along the way. You can’t miss us!”
“We have a mini bike that will get us around pretty good an’ we been up that way a couple times already.”
“Well that’s even better darlin’! You’ll have a great time; Mike is an expert whale guide. You’ll see.” She winked at him.
“Thank ya’ ma’am. We really do appreciate this!”
“It’s nothing! After what you did for us, it’s the least we can do to repay you. You give us a call anytime, Peter.”
“Will do.” With that they ended the transmission. He turned to face T’Pol’s direction. “Well darlin’, we have a couple hours. You better get ready to go under cover.” Trip was already wearing his glasses, hat, and mustache. T’Pol nodded and as she got up, Trip suddenly grabbed her arm to assist her.
“Trip, I am capable of standing without your assistance.”
“I’m sorry, I can’t help myself!” Ever since her Pon Farr, Trip had been overly cautious with T’Pol, treating her as though she were already pregnant.
“T’hyla, it may be wise for us to remain here. We will be placing ourselves at greater risk of being identified by traveling on the roads during the peak hours of the day.”
True, but I really think we’ll be fine, darlin’. Just keep your wig on in the kayak an’ follow ma’ lead. Nothin’ to it.”
T’Pol was not as interested in whale watching as Trip. She saw it as a good opportunity to observe one of the more fascinating species on Earth, but nothing more. Not worth risking their exposure. She put on her disguise: long, black-haired wig, sunglasses, and a vail to keep her wig on during her open air travels on the mini bike ride to Kaanapali.
“Pleased ta’ meet you Mary, and might I say, you look an awful lot like the Goddess of Pele!” Mike extended his hand to shake hers and she hesitantly returned the gesture.
“Goddess of Pele? I am unfamiliar with this figure.” T’Pol inquired.
“Oh, well Pele is the fire goddess, according to the Hawaiian natives. She is a savage and wrathful divinity who is said to reside in the crater of the volcano Kilauea. Natives believe she is responsible for all the eruptions that take place in Hawaii. They say she is by nature jealous, unpredictable, and capable of sudden fury and great violence; but, she can also be gentle, loving, and as serene as her forests of ferns and flowering trees.”
“Well that sure sounds like ma’ wife!” Trip teased at her. Mike chuckled. T’Pol shot Trip a warning look of amusement.
“Well, you two look like you’re ready for a great time! Com’on, follow me. We need to get you suited up.”
Once they were all geared up and in their kayaks, Mike led the way as they each were paddling slowly at his side; T’Pol on his left and Trip on his right. He was eager to get underway.
“Let me start off with some interesting facts ya’ll should know before we hit the main channel where we’ll be doing the up close an’ personal whale watchin’. Humpback whales are among the largest animals on earth. Mature adults typically grow to more than ten meters in length and can weigh over 35 metric tons. Scientists estimate the average life span of humpbacks today to be well over 130 years!” T’Pol was already knowledgeable of these facts, but put on a face of intrigue, not to look out of place. Trip was intently listening to Mike’s each and every word, curious to learn even more. Mike began to paddle a little faster as he concluded his general description of the humpback whale. “Okay, now we’ll be coming up to an area mothers and their young visit frequently. Be on the look out beneath us, you’ll likely see one swimin’ right below you. Also, be prepared to get a little wet. A humpbacks blowhole can exhale a spray of sea water at a speed almost 300 mph straight into the air.” T’Pol shot an I told you so eyebrow at Trip.
“Ah, I don’t think ma’ wife’s too keen on the idea of getting’ her pretty hair all wet, Mike…she just got it done. Is there any way you can try ta’ avoid the blowhole?”
“Well, no, I can’t guarantee ya’ that Peter, but I can try to keep us at a distance from the whales I do see. Like I said, they can approach from below ya’ at times, so there’s really no avoidin’ them then.”
T’Pol shot Trip another raised eyebrow. This was indeed an unwise idea, she thought. They could also get a great view of the whales from McGregor Point west of Ma'alaea; but, Trip wanted to experience them up close. But, for sake of avoiding an incident, now he was considering going there instead. Just when Trip was about to call the whole thing off, a mother whale and her calf arched their backs and raised their tail flukes above the water right next to T’Pol’s boat. Two sprays of water shot straight out of their blowholes; and the sprays of water fell over her. She quickly pulled her vail over her hair as the sprays fell, but enough water already fell that her wig was soaked. She tied it around her hair in hopes that it would all stay on and covered her ears fully.
“Too late! See? I think they like doing that to people, I really do.” Mike said with a chuckle. “I can’t tell you how many times that’s happened. They come to our coast not only for breeding and mating, but also for play and song. Ya’ know they are quite intelligent?”
It was mere luck that Mike happened to be focusing all of his attention onto Trip as he spoke, because T’Pol’s left ear was exposed. Trip noticed it as Mike was speaking and he slyly moved his fingers through his hair and tapped on his ear. She knew exactly what he was indicating…it wasn’t the first time her devilish ears would find their way out of her wig. She quickly fixed her vail to cover the exposed ear. Mike turned to her to continue speaking.
“Heck, some say they even have telepathic abilities! Makes ya’ wonder, doesn’t it?” He said to T’Pol, who didn’t miss a beat.
“Fascinating. Have any scientists ever tested this theory?” While Mike pondered and began to answer her question, she sent Trip calming signals through the bond to let him know they could continue their tour. Suddenly, she was even more intrigued in learning about the humpback whales than him. He was amused by her sudden interest.
“Well, yes actually, but no scientists have ever been able to prove this theory through studies and with them being such a protected animal, gaining close access to them for study can be quite challenging! The outcome of most of these studies only resulted in further evidence of their intelligence, but none have been able to concretely prove that they have any telepathic abilities. But, if ya’ ask me, they’re more than just intelligent!”
“I bet there’s somethin’ to it!” Trip agreed.
As he spoke, suddenly, the mother and her calf slowly moved closer to T’Pol.
“Now, Mary, bring in your paddles. By law, when your approach by a whale, all boating must stop.”
She quickly pulled in her paddles. The gentile giants were a beautiful site to see. Both moved sideways towards her, the mother on the side closest to T’Pol’s boat. Simultaneously, both mother and baby rolled onto their side and slowly slapped the water's surface with their massive fins. Almost in a waving motion directed at T’Pol.
“Wow! Would you look at that?” Trip looked in awe.
“What your looking at is the humpback's pectoral fin. It is longer than that of all other species of whales, measuring one-third the whale's body length, or approximately three to four meters. This slapping motion is believed to serve as a communication signal to other whales. This is extraordinary! I’ve never seen one direct it at a human before!”
“Maybe they’re just tryin’ ta’ apologize for gettin’ ma’ wife all wet!” Trip chuckled and shot T’Pol a teasing smile.
Suddenly, both whales rounded out back to their arched humped backs above the water. The mother moved in ever so closely to T’Pol’s boat; so close that she could look her in the eye and pet her hand on its head.
“I believe she wants you to touch her, Mary!” Mike said enthusiastically.
T’Pol was usually hesitant to touch anything foreign to her body, but was so completely curious with the mother whale’s intentions that she passively placed her hand on its leathery head, to the right of its great eye. Immediately upon contact, she jolted slightly, as her mind formed a link with the mother whale. She intensely looked into the mother whale’s eye.
In her mind, she began to see images of two slightly different embryos forming inside her womb; each evolving, and then fusing together into one embryo. It began to rapidly form into a fetus and then an infant baby. Its heart, a Vulcan heart, beat very low-toned thumps. Thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump.
Then, in a flash she was in the sickbay on Enterprise. The room and everything around her was in black and white, like the old Frankenstein film her and Trip once watched on movie night. In front of her was an incubator, similar to the one Elizabeth rested in, but it was full of green blood. She continued to hear the heart beats… Thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump. She moved closer to it and suddenly became sick to her stomach when she saw floating body parts; an infant-sized arm and then a foot. As she closed in, a facial structure banged into the glass and appeared to be Elizabeth’s face! T’Pol jumped backwards in shock. Never before had she felt so horrified.
Suddenly, in another flash, she was on Vulcan watching over her future self sitting in the garden of her mother’s house breast feeding an infant baby. She was singing an ancient Vulcan song to the infant, while running her fingers through its soft blondish brown hair. She abruptly came out of her meld with the mother whale.
The entire meld lasted only a split second. In that moment, she had seen within herself; her present, past, and future self. She pulled her hand from the mother whale as it dove below the surface.
Mike hadn’t noticed any change in her demeanor, but Trip felt her frightened thoughts, as they began to overwhelm her. She stared at the water, watching the mother and baby whale descend deep into the dark channel waters.
“Wow! Mary, I’ve never seen a wild humpback behave so friendly towards a human before! Especially, with her baby so near.” T’Pol did not respond. She was still staring at the water, almost zoned out completely; lost in her thoughts.
“Darlin’, are you all right?” Trip was very concerned.
“No. I wish to return home, now.” She gave him a disturbed look. He hadn’t seen a look like that since their time in the Expanse when she was dealing with the, then believed, death of Captain Archer.
“Oh, there’s nothing to fear dear, humpbacks are extremely peaceful, they would never hurt ya’.”
“It’s okay Mike, we’d like ta’ head back now, if it’s already with ya’.”
“It’s no problem with me, Peter, I just hope you’ve enjoyed yourself. It’s not everyday you get to pet a mother humpback. You should consider yourself lucky Mary!”
“I appreciate your courtesy Mike, but I am feeling unwell and wish to lie down.”
“Oh, well in that case, don’t let me keep you another minute.”
With that, he led the way back at a more hurried pace. He was a little disappointed that he couldn’t finish their tour, sensing that they both had more interest. They reached shore in no time. Trip helped T’Pol out of her kayak. Mike could see she really was sick, as she held onto Trip, weak in the knees from dizziness.
“I’m sure sorry we had to cut your tour short, Peter, but you both are always welcome to come back anytime.” They shook hands as T’Pol held onto Trip’s left side.
“We appreciate that Mike. We’ll be keepin’ in touch for sure. And thanks again for takin’ us out.”
Trip gently escorted her to their mini bike. She did not look well at all. Her eyes watered and she held her stomach.
“Trip, I am nauseous… I need a rest room, now!”
There was a public facility to the right of them. He led her there, entering the room with her. Lucky for him, there were no women in the small, two-stall rest room. He locked the door behind them and walked her to the first stall.
“Here we are.” He led her into the stall.
She quickly released from his hold and lowered herself to vomit in the toilette. Trip pulled her vail, wig, and sunglasses off so it wouldn’t get messy and he then began to softly rub her back as she hurled. She stood back up, eyes closed, and then she fell forward into Trip’s embracing arms; nearly fainting.
“Com’on, lets get you cleaned up.” He helped her out to the sink area. T’Pol rinsed her mouth out several times and cleaned her face. She was already looking and feeling much better, resting her back and head against the wall as she breathed more calmly.
“I hope this means what I think it means.”
“Indeed.” She said emphatically.
“Are you sure? How do you know?”
“I am Vulcan.” Remember, Commander? She raised an eyebrow, eliciting a knowing smile from Trip.
“So…you feel the baby, like our bond?”
“Not exactly. I’m connected to the embryo; however, at this stage it has not formed a connection with me.”
“Ya’ know what this means, darlin’? We’re gonna’ have a baby!” He said overwhelming joy, removing his glasses. “Obviously.” T’Pol returned dryly, still leaning her head and body against the wall. Her eyes closed as she took in a deep breath. He looked upon her with pride for a long, quiet moment before he moved in slowly to kiss her forehead ever so softly, then down to her lips. Their eyes opened simultaneously as he broke the kiss, but remained jointed to her, head-to-head. He placed his hand on her abdomen and whispered. “Feel any better?”
“Slightly.” She hesitated for a moment, suddenly remembering the memories in her mind. “I’ve made an interesting discovery. I’m now quite certain that the humpback whale possesses some form of extrasensory perception. I had a most disturbing encounter when I touched the mother whale.”
“Disturbing?” He pulled away from her.
“I believe my nausea was caused by a particular vision I experienced.” Trip looked at her with greater interest.
“Trip, it involved Elizabeth…I do not wish to recount the experience…It was… unsettling.”
“I’m sorry. You okay?” He consoled her by rubbing his hands up and down the sides of her arms.
“I wish to rest now.”
“Here, you’ll need to put these back on.” He handed her the wig and vail.
Suddenly, knock, knock, knock, came from the door.
“Hello? Is anyone in there?” A woman’s voice yelled.
“We’ll be out in just a moment.” Trip yelled back. “Com’on, we gotta’ move.” He said under his breath to T’Pol. She hurriedly put on her wig and vail and fitted on her sunglasses, as did Trip. He opened the door and they walked out. The woman gave them a glaring look.
“Get a room! This is a Public Restroom, not some motel!” She shouted at them, as they walked by, ignoring her along the way.
T’Pol held onto Trip very tightly the whole way home. When they finally arrived, his parents were home from their morning walk and shopping. When they walked through the door, T’Pol immediately went to their room to lay down. His parents were in the main lounge room playing cards.
“Hey son, how was the whale watchin’?” Mr. Tucker said as Trip sat down next to them.
“Well, we had a great time, until T’Pol got a little sick. She’s lyin’ down now.” It was too early to reveal their news to his parent. They would do so together when the time was right.
“Oh no, does she need anythin’ darlin’? I could heat up some of that broth soup she likes. Might make her feel better!”
“That would be great mom.” She went off to prepare the soup. Trip thought T’Pol would probably refuse the soup at the moment, but wanted to make sure she got plenty of nutrition, especially after losing her earlier meal.
“Have ya’ heard the news?” Mr. Tucker asked.
“What news?” Trip was suddenly worried.
“Paxton’s tribunal?” That caught Trip’s immediate attention. “They ruled guilty on all accounts. That sonna’ bitch is gonna’ rot in some undisclosed Starfleet Prison for the rest of his life!”
“When did the ruling come in?” Trip thought it was strange no one had contacted them. Even though the captain had said they would only be contacted when they were ready to return to Enterprise, he still thought he would hear something from him on such a major development.
“About an hour ago. Nobody’s called, son.”
“Hmm…which means the investigation must be still ongoin’.” He was starting to think it would be a good time to contact the captain, very soon. It had been several weeks since they left San Francisco. With T’Pol’s current condition, he really wanted to get her under Phlox’s care.
“Well that’s what the news people said. They said Starfleet was followin’ up on some leads…what they called significant leads.”
“Hopefully this’ll be over soon. I haven’t been away from Enterprise this long before an’ this undercover business is gettin’ old real quick!”
“I know son, but there’s really nothin’ you can do but wait it out. Let the captain and the investigators do their jobs.”
“Well, we may not have a choice but to contact the ship real soon.” He said almost in a mumbled voice.
“Why? What’s goin’ on, son?” He knew his son too well to know he was in trouble.
“I can’t tell you right now, but if T’Pol’s condition worsens or if this thing doesn’t blow over within the next week, I’m gonna’ call the Cap’n. Sides, it’s just not right that we be out of contact this long.”
“Is she all right son?”
“Dad, everythin’s fine, I just don’t like bein’ out of contact like this, you know? What if T’Pol is sick, where are we gonna’ get medical help?”
“I’m sure she’ll be fine son, an’ if we really need medical help, we’ll get it and deal with the situation then. Sometimes son, ya’ have ta’ trust fate.”
“I hope your right, dad.” He got up. “I’m gonna’ go get that soup for T’Pol. Thanks for listenin’ dad.” Mr. Tucker nodded, and Trip was off to the kitchen.
Trip walked into their room, holding the soup on a tray his mother prepared. T’Pol was turned onto her side, facing the door, wide awake.
“Here ya’ go, darlin’. My mom fixed ya’ some Plomeek Broth.” He sat down next to her as she sat up right and brought her legs around to touch the floor. “You feelin’ any better?”
“I am only slightly nauseous.” To his surprise, she did not refuse to eat. Instead, she seemed eager to eat as she grabbed the tray and quickly downed the soup. Trip wondered if her Pon Farr wasn’t coming back.
“I must eat for two now.” She answered in a matter of fact tone. He smiled tenderly, looking upon her abdomen with great pride as she ate. “Trip, we must contact Enterprise soon. I will require nourishments not available on Earth and it would be wise to have Doctor Phlox run full scans on me as soon as possible to ensure there are no complications with the embryo.” It suddenly hit Trip what that meant. They would have to explain their situation to the captain. He wasn’t quite prepared for it all.
“I know….I was thinkin’ the same thing…but, I want to give it another week. My dad said the news reported that Starfleet made some significant finds an’ were followin’ up on them. If we don’t hear anythin’ by then, we’ll contact Malcolm. Remember, there could be greater threats on Enterprise.”
“My dad also said the news reported an hour ago that Paxton was convicted on all accounts. He’ll be spendin’ the rest of his natural life in prison…. I can’t say I’m too happy ‘bout that.” T’Pol gave him a confused look. “I wish the Cap’n would’ve just killed ‘im while he had the chance…if it were me, he’d be dead. Now he’s gonna’ be leadin’ these xenophobes from prison. I have ta’ wonder if we’ll ever be safe! You remember what Paxton said? Terra Prime has supporters everywhere! I doubt that’ll change just because he’s been convicted by the Starfleet Tribunal!”
“Trip, I’ve already considered the possibility that we may never be able to return to Enterprise.”
“How do ya’ mean?”
“Enterprise is hardly a suitable place to care for our child. Have you even considered that we may never be able to, legally, marry on Earth? It is unlikely given the current political climate.”
“Hmmm, well, no…I just thought….I don’t know….ya’ have a point.” He conceded.
“Trip, we should discuss going to Vulcan.”
“Vulcan?” He was both worried and intrigued by the thought of re-visiting Vulcan.
“I own the rights to my parent’s home and all their land. We could all live there freely and without the threat of Terra Prime.”
“But, what about Enterprise?”
“It’s illogical to believe the captain will permit us to serve as the first and second in command while maintaining a publicly known relationship. Our relationship is in direct violation of Starfleet’s fraternization policy amongst officers. And raising a child aboard a Starship is hardly practical.”
“I know…I just thought…it’s just that…I can’t imagine doin’ anythin’ else…you know what I mean?”
“I believe Vulcan will be the safest environment to raise our child.”
“I know, you don’t have ta’ convince me, T’Pol. But, what will I do with myself on Vulcan?”
“You’re a brilliant Engineer, Trip, even by Vulcan standards. You will have many opportunities on Vulcan. You may even find opportunities with Starfleet at Earth’s Embassy on Vulcan. And you need not worry about providing for me, t’hyla.” T’Pol said more softly, sensing his hidden concern through the bond. “I inherited all of my parent’s wealth and prestige. We will live well on Vulcan.”
“What about my parents, T’Pol? I can’t just leave ‘em here if they could be in danger stayin’ behind.”
“Your parents shall live with us on Vulcan, if they so wish. Either way, if they are in any danger, Trip, Starfleet will have to provide them protective services. You are in the greatest danger, t’hyla. You are the father of our child… and my husband. I wish for you to accompany me to Vulcan, with or without your parents.”
“Are you sure about this, darlin’? I mean, are you sure you’d be okay with my parent’s living with us?”
“I have never been more certain. On Vulcan, it is customary for families to live together and for children to take care of their parents. It is considered an honorable act.” She put her hand on his, holding it on his lap. Trip squeezed her hand tightly and took a reassuring deep breath.
“We better have a sit-down with ma’ folks about this.” She nodded in agreement as he led her up by her hand.
Down the stairs they went, with a new determination in mind. As they reached the bottom of the stairwell, their dreams were quickly shattered. There in the family room sat both his parents at gun point.
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