Part Two

Aimee walked to the fourth floor, and asked Ms. Rusk if Colonel McQueen was having physical therapy now. The nurse frowned.

"Yes he is...but..."

"Thanks. of my clients wants his autograph."

Ms. Rusk's face softened. She nodded.

McQueen was coming along nicely, learning to put his weight on the prosthetic, learning to trust that the prosthetic would support him, learning to bend the knee, straighten it out, not to mention that Sally Jones, the tall, dark skinned, blonde physical therapist was very encourageing. When he looked up and saw Aimee in the room, smiling at him, he frowned.

"Enjoying the show?"

"Are you almost finished?"

He looked at Sally, she nodded, then she turned to Aimee. "Take the man outside, he needs some sun, don't you think?" she said in her crisp Carribian accent.

"Yes, I do," Aimee said.

McQueen, sweating, in black sweat pants and sweatshirt, draped the towel around his shoulders. "Two against one, guess I'm outnumbered."

Outside it was an unusually non humid day. The sun was out, the sky was blue, and hospital employees, paitents and their loved ones, sat, talked, ate in the spacious garden, that had tables and chairs and benches.

McQueen and Aimee found a table under a large oak tree. He did not want to look at her, but couldn't help himself. He was curious why she wanted to see him, since he hadn't seen her since she ran out of his room that day.

"I guess you're wondering what I want."

"Yeah. I don't want your fiancee comming after me."

"He won't. I wanted to apologize for bursting into your room that day Tyrus. I...I don't know what got into me..."

He shrugged. "Guess you were curious...wanted to see what I looked like..."

"That's only part of it.." Aimee realized *she* wasn't looking at him, so she did. "I'm going crazy, I can't stop thinking about you the truth is, I've never stopped thinking about you...I always thought...he's moved on, probably doesn't think about me at all..."

"That's not true."

Aimee's eyes widdened.

"I used to wonder what happened to you. If you were married, happy."

Aimee took his hand. He took hers, they looked into each other's eyes and smiled.

And then they talked, about everything they could think of, McQueen talked about his kids, she talked about her work, about Chantel and her mother going back to Cuba. They even talked about Omicron Draconis, the terrible weather, the working condtions. Both of them realized their feelings for each other went beyond a teenage crush, or raging hormones. Aimee liked McQueen and McQueen truly liked Aimee. There were no boundries of "Natural Born" and InVitro." They were simply frirends, two people who found the same things funny, who found the same things tragic.

Aimee's eyes widened as she saw her sister come up the walkway.


"No, it's my sister."

McQueen laughed. "That's trouble."

They both laughed. Chantel turned many heads as the made her way towards them. She wore a suit the color of a robin's egg, her hair was still very short, her make up, light and her nails much too long.

Chantel stared at McQueen. "Weren't you on....Draconis?" She stared at Aimee, who smiled and nodded. "Oh my God, I don't believe it." Chantel patted her sister's shoulder.

"Chantel, this is Lt. Colonel Tyrus Cassius McQueen," Aimee said proudly.

"The famous, the infamous," Chantel grinned.

"Right," McQueen said.

She pulled up a chair. "Well now, nice to see you again, you sure turned out well..." she turned to her sister. "I saw your car, in the parking lot, and I figured you were with, what's his name..."


"Whatever. So I came in, and this black, blonde chick says: Dr. Stern's fiancee is with my paitent." Chantel immitated her Carribian accent. "I'm here because I need to pick up some stuff from the house, I'm on my way to Paris, don't ask my why, maybe we're going to kill the Chigs with wine, or French food, but hey, Aerotech's paying the bill. How is the war Colonel?"

"Still fightin' it."

"I'll tell you how to end the war, send them a virus. Something that when they sneeze, they blow their brains out."

McQueen and Aimee laughed together.

"So, Colonel, like your new leg, probably an Aerotech model, but I don't design 'em, I just market 'em. You're walking fine now?"

"Trying to. This place wants to kick me out soon."

Chantel smiled. "Really? Then it's back to the war?"

"Not yet. Got to prove myself physically fit for duty."

"You have a place to stay?" Chantel half smiled.

"I was thinking of renting an apartment on post."

Chantel sucked her teeth. "Nonsense...I...we have a guest house," she looked at Aimee.

Aimee's eyes widened, her mouth opened. "I...I..."

"It's a few feet, or yards away from the main house, where we live, and it's nice, and quiet and the area is beautiful." Chantel stared at her sister. "Don't tell me you didn't offer the place, you champion of civil rights for InVitros?"

"Chantel...what about Daniel..."

"Oh, fuck. I mean, it's not like he's living with you or anything. Look, tell him that McQueen's a friend from Draconis, I mean that's true, or tell him that some IV judge asked you to do it, say it's politically correct or something lame like that..."

Aimee stared at her sister, then she stared at McQueen. "Chantel's right...there's no reason for you to have to pay for an apartment ...since we do have an extra house...Besides, they always charge InVitros more rent than they do Natural Borns."

McQueen stared at Aimee, felt the heat, felt himself losing control, knew what could happen.

"Are you sure?"

"Yes," Aimee said, "I'm sure."

Chantel grinned devilishly. "See, little sister knows best."

The next day, the cleaning crew Chantel hired came to clean up the guest house, though it was only a one story cottage, it hadn't been lived in for years and had built up its share of mold and mildew.

McQueen was scheduled to be released in October, Aimee gave Daniel the excuse about the judge suggesting that Aimee house the colonel, that it looked good politically if Aimee ever wanted to persue a polital career, since after all Colonel McQueen was a war hero. A few days before McQueen was to be released, Daniel's uncle, in New York, died of a heart attack. Daniel asked Aimee to go with him, since he was close to his uncle and had to go, first to arrange the funeral, then to sort out his numerous financial affairs, but Aimee couldn't. She had a tough case, a young InVitro accused of rape, even though the girl, who was fifteen consented to the act. It made Aimee remember Omicron Draconis.

"Couldn't they get someone else?" Daniel asked, as he packed his suitcase.

Aimee was stunned. Daniel knew how important her work was. "No, the kid trusts me."

Daniel sucked his teeth. "Sometimes I think you care more about those tanks than you do me..." as soon as he said the "t" word, he bit his lip.

They were in Daniel's bedroom. Aimee was in bed, wearing a pink chemise that Daniel bought for her.

"What did you say? Did you say tank?"

"I'm sorry, it just slipped out."

"Well, I hope nigger never just slips out..."

"Aimee, I'm upset that's all. My uncle's dead, you're not going with me and Colonel McQueen's moving into your house."

"He's not moving into my house, he's moving into the guest house. Look Daniel, McQueen doesn't have a family, okay, he's just got out the hospital, he gave his leg to this fucking war, now the least you can do is respect that, and stop acting silly!"

"Silly! I heard you've been visiting him!"

Aimee knew that word would get around. "Yes, I have, only because some of my clients are interested in him. That's all."

"He's a good looking man."

Aimee lay back on the bed. "Daniel, stop bitching, I'm engaged to you, remember."

He smiled at Aimee, nodded, then continued packing.

Sally had perscribed a strict workout schedule for McQueen.

"You'll be back to duty in no time," she promised.

He ran six miles a day, did fifty push ups, fifty sit ups and twenty pull ups. There was a bar in the garage of the guest house, so he used that for the pull ups. Aimee wasn't home much during the day, she was either in court, or in the library, or somewhere, she only went home to sleep. Aimee remembered Daniel's face when he left for New York, he looked like a lost boy and no matter how much she loved McQueen, she couldn't find it in her to break his heart.

On a cloudy Sunday, Aimee sat on the porch reading. Daniel was still in New York, Chantel in Paris, drinking, partying and spending Aerotech's money. She looked up and saw McQueen running his six miles. He was getting better, a person wouldn't even realize he had a prothesis. Aimee poured herself a glass of water, and when she looked up, she saw McQueen in front of her. Aimee looked up and realized it had started to rain. He wore camoflauge pants and a white tee shirt and he was breathing hard. Aimee poured another glass of water and handed it to him.

"Try this, it's better than rain water."

McQueen hesitated, then walked onto the porch, dripping, took the glass and drank it down slowly. When he finished, he put it down and sighed.

"Maybe you should take a break," Aimee said.

"Easy for you to say."

"That's why I'm saying it."

He smiled, but didn't sit down since he was soaking wet. "What are you reading?"

"Some stupid law book. So I can beat the pants off the prosecutor who will probably be some racist bastard. Doesn't look like it's going to stop raining."

He looked out and shook his head.

The wind started to shift, and it suddenly felt cool. "You know, you could catch cold if you stand there like that."

McQueen nodded. "I better get back."

The rain got heavier. Aimee looked at the rain, then returned to her book. "Not a good idea. Go inside. Second floor, third door on the left is a guest room, got its own bathroom. Take a shower and I'll put your clothes in the dryer."

McQueen looked at Aimee, unsure, confused, not sure if she really said what she said.

"Okay," he finally said and went inside the house.

Aimee read for about five minutes, then she closed the book and looked out as the rain got heavier and heavier. She stood up, sighed and went into the house.

The guest room shower had one of those massage heads. McQueen let the hot water cascade all over his face and body. His right leg ached slightly, but Sally told him that was normal, all he had to do was let hot water run on it for a few minutes after a workout, he saw that she was right.

Through the frosted glass, McQueen saw the figure enter the bathroom. He immediately could tell that the figure was naked. He opened the glass door to see Aimee standing before him, their eyes met, their pupils dialated, then he pulled her into the shower, sliding the door shut. They were in their own world now. McQueen pulled Aimee to him and she gasped, saying his name over and over again. She ran her hand slowly up and down his penis, then with the other hand stroked his navel. He pushed her against the tile, under the shower head, raised her hips and entered her. The second, he was inside her, Aimee nearly screamed. She was still tight, McQueen remarked, but he knew he wasn't hurting her, as she wrapped her arms tightly around him, taking all of him into her body. McQueen braced himself against the tiles with one hand and his other arm was wrapped around Aimee's waist. The hot water continued to caress them, the steam filling the room as they moved in unison, thrusting, pounding, longing to savor the feelings, but at the same time, driving towards release. Aimee climaxed first, crying, sobbing and laughing at the same time, McQueen immediately followed her, finding Aimee's mouth in the steam filled room, and sucking her tongue furiously.

They fell against each other, against the tiles, shuddered, despite the heat. Then, McQueen turned off the water.

"That was one hell of a workout," he breathed.

Aimee laughed and kissed his face again and again.

They tried drying each other off, but found even that too intoxicating, that McQueen threw a laughing Aimee over his shoulder and rushed into the guest bedroom. Still dripping, they fell on the bed and made love so furiously, that it was over in seconds.

For the next few hours, McQueen and Aimee ran through the house like two love craized newlyweds. They made love whenever and where ever they felt the need, including the laundry room and on the steps leading to the second floor. McQueen was stunned at Aimee's stamina.

"Are you sure you're not an InVitro?" he said.

"Maybe it's catching." she responded.

They ended up in Aimee's bed, finally exhausted at two in the morning.

"Did we eat today?" she said.

"You mean besides...." he winked.

"You're know what I mean."

"Yeah, we did, I'm not hungry."

Aimee gently touched the scars on his chest. "I'm not starting anything I don't have the strength."

McQueen took her hand and kissed it. His eyes were serious. "Are you okay?"

"Yes, I've never been happier."

McQueen knew he should have stopped himself, pushed her away in the shower, but he didn't want to, he couldn't, and now he was going to have to pay the price. "Aimee, I don't know what you want, but I don't think I can give it to you. I don't have anything to offer you, not like Daniel. I'm a tank Aimee, I can't have kids at least not the normal way..."

"What you're saying is that we shouldn't get married."

"I put one Natural Born woman through that once, I don't want to put another through it."

Aimee laughed. She took McQueen's hand and kissed it. "Tyrus Cassius McQueen, sometimes you really need to get over yourself. I've never dreamed of white wedding gowns, maybe because of my parents, but I've always dreamed of someone loving me forever. I love you...and I don't want to be with anyone else, married or not."

"When I go back to the war...anything could happen."

"Anything could happen walking down the street or driving to work. If you die...I....I'd live with it..."

McQueen touched her face with both hands. "I love you Aimee. I've never, ever felt this way about any woman, even Anne, than I feel about you. If you die...I'd...I'd live with it too."

They kissed, but were both too exhausted to make love, so they fell asleep.

Aimee was supportive the next day when McQueen went through his workout routine, she even lay underneath him when he did his push-ups, making it difficult for him to complete fifty.

"This is what you get when you finish," Aimee laughed.

When he did finish, he grabbed Aimee, but she rolled on top of him and pulled down his sweat pants. He was already hard and groaned. "You're too much for me."

"You've been so good today, just lie back sweetie and enjoy it," Aimee said.

She began to slowly lick his penis while massaging his testicles with hard, skilled fingers. Then, quickly, she took what she could of him, into her mouth. McQueen gasped as she made love to him with her lips, tongue, gums and teeth, he grabbed her head, thrusting into her mouth, pushing her where he wanted her to go.

"Aimee, Aimee, Aimee..." he groaned as he came.

Aimee lifted her head and McQueen smiled, he'd come all over her mouth and face. She laughed.

"They say it's good for the skin."

They cleaned themselves off, straightened themselves out and headed to the main house. As they got closer, walking with their arms around each other, kissing every chance they got, they both noticed the silver Lincoln parked in front of the house, and saw Daniel standing on the porch.

Aimee looked at him, and realized she wasn't wearing his ring. McQueen's arm tightened around her.

"You okay?" he said.


They walked on the porch. Daniel looked at both of them. "Hello Colonel, Aimee," he said.

"Daniel..." Aimee began.

"No, Aimee, don't explain, please, I'm not blind." Daniel looked from McQueen to Aimee, saw their flushed, happy faces and knew.

"Daniel, I lied to you when I said I didn't know Tyrus. He was a....a slave on Omicron Draconis...that's when I first fell in love with him..."

"You could have told me, Aimee," Daniel said.

"I'm sorry."

Daniel looked at McQueen. McQueen wondered if the man was going to challenge him tot a duel, or just shoot them outright, but then his eyes suddenly saddened, resigned was more like it.

"So, sir, I guess the best man won. Congradulatons." Daniel held out his hand.

McQueen shook it. Aimee stared at Daniel. "Daniel, I'll give you back your ring."

"No Aimee, you keep it, it's yours, I gave it to you." He turned to look at McQuen. "You can give it to your *children* some day."

Aimee looked at McQueen, who looked down, then she looked at Daniel. His eyes were mocking, laughing as he looked at them both. Aimee knew then he'd seen McQueen's medical records and knew he couldn't have children.

"Get the hell out of here," Aimee said.

Daniel smiled at both of them. "Have a nice life Aimee." He walked off the porch, got back into his car and drove away.

McQueen took Aimee into his arms and held her for a very long time.

At the airfield, he looked into Aimee's eyes, looking for sadness, misery, finding none.

"This is what you wanted darling, back to the 'Toga," Aimee smiled, "back to your kids."

McQueen thought about Wang, the "kid" who was not there. "Yeah. You're okay with this?"

"Sure. Look, you better go, okay, before I do something that gets us both in trouble," Aimee winked.

McQueen took her in his arms and kissed her long and hard. "I love you Aimee."

It was the first time he'd ever said that, she just smiled. "I love you too Tyrus."

He pushed himself away from her and stared into her eyes. "You know, you're the only one who calls me Tyrus. Most call me Ty."

"Well I'm not most," Aimee said. "Take care, I'll see you soon."

The look in her eyes told McQueen she wasn't just being brave. She believed what she said. "Yeah, I'll see you soon."

As he walked to the ISSCV, Aimee wanted to say more, but realized there was nothing more to say. She got into her car and drove away.

McQueen boarded the transport, feeling something tugging at his heart, knowing it was Aimee. He sat and as he strapped himself in, he pushed the feeling aside and once again regained control.

Two weeks later, Daniel Stern was found shot to death in his office at the hospital. At first, no gun was found, the police were puzzled. When the body was examined, they discovered powder burns on Daniel's hands and fingers, broken teeth, an exit wound in the back of his head. Suicide. Then an InVitro janitor confessed that he'd found the body, but taken the gun to sell. After taking a lie detector test, the janitor was cleared of murder charges, but fired from the hospital. Two days later, Daniel's secretary found a handwritten note in his desk drawer; addressed to no one; it read: "God forgive me for feeling ashamed, that she chose *that* over me."

The secretary threw the letter away.

The End

Karen Evans 7/7/96

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