The growing knot at the pit of her stomach was from the baby’s latest round of bladder kickball. At least that was what Marie hoped to convince herself of. It was a lot better than the voice in her head attempting to tell her that Logan was in trouble. That something awful had happened to him. Marie refused to believe that so she spent the morning telling herself that Logan was fine and that the baby was merely using her bladder as a soccer ball. Kurt and Kitty provided welcomed distractions. Marie had always been able to count on her brother to keep her distracted and this morning was no exception.
“I still think you should name the kid after me,” Kurt insisted just like he always did when they spoke on the phone. Kurtis Michael Fraser II. Or how ‘bout Kurtina Michelle Fraser? For a girl, I mean.”
Marie rolled her eyes, glancing over at Kitty who looked equally amused. “Ah hate t’ break it t’ ya, Kurt, but Logan an’ Ah have already decided on names. If it’s a boy it’ll be Brenden Daniel Hunters. An’ if it’s a girl, it’ll be Alexandra Marie Hunters.”
“Oh sure! You’ll name the kid after Mom and Dad, but what about me?” Kurt demanded, with a faked sob. “I’m just you brother. Nothing special there. I don’t deserve my name anywhere.”
If he had been sitting closer to her, Marie would have smacked him over the head. “That’s why you get Kitty pregnant. Then she can have babies and you can name them whatever you want.”
“Who said anything about me having kids with him?” Kitty cried, holding her hands up in front of her. “I don’t want to be responsible for releasing more Kurts on the world. There’s no way I’m gonna be responsible for bringing about the end of the world.”
Neither woman could keep a straight face at the wounded puppy look that appeared on Kurt’s face.
“Kurt, ya look like an over-grown rat terrier,” Marie snickered moments before bursting out into full blown laughter.
It didn’t help matters much when Kitty started laughing as well.
“Oh don’t pout, Kurt. Ya look like a--” Marie’s voice cut off suddenly as a sinister, ark feeling overtook her.
Something was wrong.
Something was very, very wrong.
It wasn’t the baby that was in trouble. No, the child growing inside her stomach was moving around and happily enjoying another round of bladder kickball.
If it wasn’t the baby, that left only one person to which Marie was so completely intuned that she would be able to sense any danger that threatened them.
Something awful had happened to Logan.
Had there been an accident at the shop? Had he been hurt in some way. Marie didn’t know what was wrong and that worried her even more. Marie’s earlier uneasiness flared to life once again When it didn’t diminish as she had hoped it would, Marie began to panic.
“Marie, what’s wrong? Talk to me, Reez. Is it the baby? Do you want me to call Logan?” Kurt demanded, rushing towards her. He knelt before her, cupping her face in his hands. “You’re starting to scare me, Reez. Come on, you should be yelling at me by now. You hate it when I call you Reez.”
“Ah have a bad feelin’, Kurt,” Marie murmured, her hand drifting down to her stomach where the baby was oddly still.
Kurt looked confused. “I though morning sickness was only supposed to last the first couple months.”
“It’s not mornin’ sickness,” Marie whimpered, staring at her brother with tear-filled eyes. “Ah think somethin’ is wrong with Logan.”
Kurt pressed a kiss to the top of her head. “Logan’s fine, Marie. Sure he’s probably a little red in the face ‘cause Kit-Kat and I saw his dick, but he’ll be fine by the time he gets home tonight. It’s just your hormones acting up.”
Marie shook her head, a few tears sliding silently down her cheeks. “No, it’s not mah hormones. Somethin’ is wrong with Logan. Ah know it. Ah’ve had this awful feelin’ all mornin’ long an’ now it’s gotten worse. Suddenly Ah just got this awful feelin’ in the pit o’ mah stomach like somethin’ terrible had happened t’ Logan an’ Ah don’t want ya tellin’ me it’s nothin’ ‘cause it’s not!”
Marie was getting more and more worked up by the moment and nothing Kurt did seemed to calm her down until he mentioned the baby.
“Marie, all this excitement probably isn’t good for the baby. You need to calm down. Breathe deep.... That’s a good girl. Nice and deep, Marie, just like that,” Kurt said soothingly, running his hands up and down over her arms. “How about you go get dressed then the three of us will take a ride into down. We’ll make a stop at the shop Logan works at so you can see for yourself that he’s all right.”
Marie nodded her head slightly, wiping the tears with the backs of her hands. “Okay. Will you help me up? My balance is kinda off.”
“You sure this isn’t gonna throw my back out?” Kurt prodded, grinning broadly.
Still unable to quell her fears, Marie simply put on the façade of happiness. It would keep Kurt from worrying. There was no need for both of them to be worrying. Marie was certainly doing more than enough for both of them even if Kurt didn’t know it.
After removing Logan’s t-shirt, which she had kept on all morning, Marie changed into a dark green knit dress with a hood. Marie would have put on tights, but she could no longer do so on her own and was forced to count on Logan to help her. In fact, she wouldn’t have even worn the dress had Logan not shaved her legs the night before when he had surprised her with a bath by candlelight.
As she was pulling her hair up into a sloppy bun, Marie felt a quick pain in the small of her back. Ignoring it for the moment, Marie headed back towards the stairs. A part of her knew that she was probably overreacting, but Marie couldn’t help but worry about Logan. She was never wrong when she had a bad feeling. The last time she’d had one a few months ago, there had been an accident at the shop and Logan had ended up with a broken wrist. Marie’s stomach had still been small enough then so that she could baby him for the week Cal had let him take off.
“All right, Kurt, let’s get goin’,” Marie said as she descended the stairs. “An’ if Logan has so much as a paper cut, Ah get t’ say Ah told ya so.”
Marie came to an abrupt halt when she turned towards the living room and saw Cal and Ron standing there, talking quietly with Kurt.
Panic overtaking her, Marie began shaking her head, her breath coming out in short gasps. When they turned to her, and Marie saw the pained expressions on their faces, her knees began to feel weak and she sobbed openly. Kurt saw this and rushed to her side to keep her from falling.
“Let’s get you over to the couch before you fall down, Marie,” Kurt whispered soothingly in her ear.
Marie continued to shake her head and pulled away from Kurt. “No! Tell me what’s wrong! Why are Cal and Ron here! What’s wrong with Logan? Someone please tell me what’s wrong with Logan! Please tell me! Ah know that somethin’ is wrong, Ah can feel it with every bone in mah body, so please tell me what’s wrong!” Marie sobbed in hysterics.
With Kurt’s help, Marie was led towards the couch. Despite her weakly attempted protests, he got her to sit down. “Cal, please! What’s wrong with Logan?”
“Marie, something’s happened,” Cal said softly, coming to kneel in front of her.
“No fuckin’ shit!” Marie cried, snaking her fingers back into her hair. “Cal, please tell me what happened.”
Cal was silent for several moments before finally speaking. “There was an accident--”
“Oh Gawd!” Marie cried, more tears falling.
“He’s not dead,” Cal said quickly, cupping her cheeks and raising her head to meet his eyes. “But he is.... Logan is missing. Someone swerved their vehicle, intending to hit Logan broadside, and Logan ran off the road so that he wouldn’t hit it. Only problem is he ran into the ditch and flew into the forest. There’s a set of footprints in the snow leading to and from the road. So whoever ran Logan off the road too him.”
“But ya don’t know that it’s Logan!” Marie whimpered, her voice strained as she attempted to prevent herself from breaking into full blown sobs. “It could be anyone! There’s no way t’ say fer sure that it was Logan’s bike! Lots o’ people have bikes like Logan’s! It coulda been anyone’s!”
“It was Logan’s bike, Marie. I saw it myself,” Ron said quietly.
Marie shook her head. “No. It’s not Logan. Logan’s fine. He promised to call me at noon and Logan never breaks his promises.”
“He’s gonna call! Logan’s gonna call!” Marie insisted, turning her eyes on Ron. “Ah know he is....”
“Marie, you’ve got to face the facts,” Cal said soothingly, squeezing her shoulders. “Logan’s more than likely not in any position to call you at lunch like he normally does.”
Marie shut her eyes tight, willing the tears to go away. “But he’s still alive, right? Logan’s still alive?”
When Cal didn’t answer right away, Marie’s eyes flew open. Her entire body began to tremble and she pushed Cal away, struggling to get to her feet.
“Ya said that he wasn’t dead! Ya told me he wasn’t dead!” Marie shrieked, her voice filling the entire house. “Take me there! Ah wanna see where it happened! Maybe Logan just stumbled off. Maybe he’s hidin’ so however was lookin’ fer him wouldn’t find him. Maybe he’s just hurt an’ can’t move. Ah hafta go there. Ah hafta be there fer Logan!”
“No, Kurt! Ah’m goin’! Now would someone please help me get mah boots on. Ah’m gonna prove t’ ya that Logan’s still out there,” Marie insisted, scrubbing her tears away with the sleeves of her dress.
“Are you sure this is a good idea?” Kurt asked softly.
Marie looked up at him, her eyes wide. “He’s there, Kurt. Ah know he is. An’ Ah’m gonna find him. Now would ya please get mah boots so we can go.”
There was doubt on all of their faces, but Marie couldn’t believe them. She couldn’t make herself believe that something bad had happened to Logan. Their baby was going to be born in a few weeks and Marie refused to let anyone take Logan away from her. It just wasn’t going to happen. Marie wasn’t going to raise their child by herself. She wasn’t going to let some asshole take Logan away from her. Not when she was finally happen. When he was finally happy. They were going to be a family and Marie wasn’t ready to give that up yet.
“Marie, I’d feel a lot better if you stayed here until the police finish checking the woods,” Cal said as Kurt helped Marie with her boots. “Logan would kill me if he knew I was taking you out there.”
“Then let me deal with Logan when we find him,” Marie said softly, managing a tight smile. “Ah’ll protect ya from him. But Ah’m goin’. An’ that’s final. So take me t’ wherever this accident happened.”
After sharing a look, Cal and Ron finally nodded their heads. They helped Marie to her feet and led her out of the house.
No one said a word as the five of them drove in Cal’s van to the scene of the accident. The first thing that shocked Marie was the fact that it had happened so close to home. Barely a mile from their home they came across police cars and the smashed remains of Logan’s bike being loaded into a flat bed.
Marie screamed in abject horror when she saw the decal on the rear fender of the bike. Three claw marks digging into the metal. It was something that had set Logan’s bike apart from other’s. Moving as quickly as she was able with her large stomach, Marie scrambled out of the van and towards the group of police officers overseeing the transport of Logan’s bike.
“Marie, you shouldn’t be here!” Pete Tomolski cried, jogging towards her.
“Please tell me that ya’ve found Logan an’ that he’s all right,” Marie sobbed, stumbling and nearly falling to the ground in her rush to get to the Logan’s beloved bike.
“This isn’t a place for you, Marie.”
“If there the chance that Logan’s out here, Pete, Ah’m gonna be here!” Marie insisted, bypassing Pete for the exact location Logan’s bike had run off the road.
Despite Pete’s and everyone else’s attempts to stop her, Marie trudged through the snow and into the woods where she could see a cluster of police officers. Something was there and Marie was bound and determined to get there. For all she knew, Logan was there and they were checking him out to make sure he was all right.
“Logan!” Marie cried, pushing her way through the outer edge of officers, making her way towards the centre.
None of them thought to protest and Marie was at the centre of the circle before she couldn’t be stopped.
Marie collapsed in the snow when she realized just what it was she was looking at. She began screaming, tears streaming unheedingly down her cheeks.
So much blood.
“You need to get away from here, Marie,” Pete said softly in her ear, gently pulling Marie to her feet. “It’s not good for the baby for you to get worked up like this.”
“Logan.....” Marie moaned, well aware that the eyes of every police officer were on her yet not caring. “Logan, please....”
“Marie, there’s nothing you can do,” Pete told her, urging her away from the grizzly scene.
The earlier pain she had felt in the small of her back returned with a shocking intensity. Marie’s knees buckled and she collapsed in the snow once again. The screamed when what felt like every muscle in her abdomen clenched. It unclenched a few endless seconds later.
“Marie...? Marie, what’s wrong?” Pete demanded, hovering over her.
“Marie!” Kurt cried, rushing to her side. “What the fuck happened? What did she see?”
Marie felt herself being lifted off the ground, relaxing limply against whoever was carrying her. She kept her hands on her stomach, feeling the baby shift beneath her hands. Suddenly, Marie realized that what she had felt was a contraction. The baby was coming. It was coming two weeks earlier than it should have been, but it was coming nonetheless. Marie attempted to will the contractions away, will the baby into staying inside her until they found Logan.
But the next contraction came just the same.