Chapter 1: Voicemail
She looked at her watch "late again" she was pulled from her thoughts as the car pulled into the driveway of the luxurious home. The home was in a suburb of Karen in Nairobi.
" Here we are. Almost got you here on time Doc."
"Quite right, not bad considering traffic. Still I do not think she will appreciate my timing." speaking as she exited the car.
" you will smooth it out that I have no doubt in. You must give me some pointers sometime."
"Ha, better not follow my lead when it comes to handling women or relationships, for that matter. Good night and be safe on your way home." Her parting words as she turned and headed for the door
She stood at the door shuffling on her feet as she waited for an answer. Looking at the night sky remembering the phone calls that made her late. "Cameron sounded good and happy. Laughing a little as she remembered hearing Little Bernie in the background. At one he was already into everything. The door opened as Bernie was brought from her thoughts. " You are late and I do not care how good that bottle, you are carrying, is." " I am sorry, I needed to make a few phone calls before it got late." Bernie replied as the door was swung to allow her to step in. Bernie turned to face her girlfriend, Janet Keen. They had been together for a year but have been friends since Bernie came to Nairobi. Janet was a corporate attorney and had been in Nairobi for 5 years. Bernie looked at Janet taking her in from head to toe. 10 years younger, long legs that went all the way to the ground, slim waist, toned body, sleek athletic frame. Her breast firm and full. Slowly she moves her eyes from the cleavage on display to meet amused eyes shining back at her. " Oh my, Doc. You come to my door late again and think you will skip dinner and move directly to dessert?" Janet trying to sound irritated but the smile threatening the corners of her mouth gave the intention away. "Not to sound redundant, I am sorry, please forgive me." Bernie moved toward Janet as she spoke, just has she placed one arm around her girlfriend and was pulling her against her body "I'll just take this and check on dinner. You go make yourself comfortable." Janet moved away and headed down the hall toward the kitchen. She peeked over her shoulder and gave Bernie a wink. Janet knew she would forgive Bernie anything.
They finished dinner and moved to the study, Bernie sat watching the fireplace waiting on Janet to return. Slowly sipping her drink "we will always love each other but we cant be together." Bernie thought it had been three years today. The other call she had made after calling Cameron was to Jason and Greta, to wish them happy anniversary. Smiling as she thought about Gwenevere, Jason had but her on the phone and she babbled away at three she still referred to Bernie as Bebe.
"I would offer to freshen your drink but you seem rather attached to it as it is." Janet had walked back in the room and had stood watch Bernie for a moment. "Well it taste so good I hate to swallow but I sure as hell not going to spit it out." Janet laughed seductively as she eased behind Bernie wrapping her arms around Bernie's waist. "You know we could finish our drinks upstairs." Janet leaned in whispering in Bernie's ear. Janet knew she was in love with Bernie and could see forever with her. A week ago she had asked her to move in which resulted in a heated argument that sent Janet running upstairs and Bernie leaving slamming the door behind her. Bernie sat her glass down on the mantle and turned in Janet's arms. "You know I love a fireplace, the fire burning on cool evenings, the sound of the wood as it burns. The warmth of the fire and soft glow it gives a room... You are beautiful" Bernie spoke and leaned in claiming Janet's lips. It was a soft kiss with no intent other than to have her close. Bernie began to pull back put she was held in place by Janet, who had moved her hands to the back of Bernie's head and demanded more. " Take me to bed Doc. Your kisses are like honey and I want more of you." Janet spoke as she pulled back but what she saw in Bernie's eyes made her hesitate. "she said you taste like chocolate and honeycomb" Bernie remembered how she had helped Serena with her empirical study that night.. Bernie was brought from her memory when she felt Janet pull away from her. " Bernie where are you? You certainly are not here with me, you have been distracted and distant all evening." Janet started to move away. Bernie reached out and held to Janet's hand. "Janet wait, I guess I'm just tired. I had a lot going on today and it has been a long day. I hit the ground running this morning with that bus wreck and I..." "Now it's my turn to apologize Doc. I was not thinking, of course you are exhausted. I know you have been in surgery most of the day and the paperwork that followed all that had to have been a headache." Bernie felt guilty because she is exhausted but her distraction had nothing to do with that. If she did not pull her head from her ass she would lose Janet. "that might not be bad for Janet if they did break up" "Lets go Doc, to bed with you and I promise no funny business." "Well lets not be hasty about that." Bernie spoke, wriggling her eyebrows. As they made their way upstairs, Bernie's phone began to ring. " Come on, they will leave a message." Bernie placed her arm around her girlfriend and they continued upstairs. The call went to voicemail.
" Major Wolfe, Colonel Marks. It has been a while. I am in town for a few days and thought I would check in and see how you was doing and maybe catch up over dinner. Well that and I have proposition for you. Give me a call when you get a moment. Look forward to hearing from you and seeing you again." End of Message
Chapter 2: paperwork, Eddy and Maggie
Bernie walked into her office, still early so it was quiet. The office personnel had not made it in, even Maggie, Bernie's assistant. She liked to get in before anyone else, she would have uninterrupted time for paperwork. BY 8am there would be people in and out demanding her attention for whatever they deemed urgent to them. She moved behind her desk and booted up her computer, retrieving her phone from her pocket. The screen showed one voicemail, " can wait a few more minutes surely". Bernie had always detested paperwork, she looked at her desk the papers and files that had been scattered when she left last night now was neatly stacked and organized. " I need to give her a raise for putting up with my mess" . Her assistant , Maggie, never complained just went about her daily task, one of which was picking up behind Bernie. The computer alerted her she had 20 new messages. Looking between her phone and the computer screen, she decided voicemail first, lesser of two evils, surely.
" Marks here"
"General, Bernie Wolfe. Good morning sir. Hope it is not to early ? Surely you have had your first cup?"
" Ah, Major. Great to hear your voice. I have had two cups. Do not tell Sarah, woman thinks I can function on one cup a day. Ha"
Bernie had known Colonel Matthew Marks for 25 years, most of that time she had spent under his command. Sarah was the colonel's wife and she had taken a shine to Bernie from the moment they met. Sarah was immediately fascinated by the female medic, being Bernie was the first she had met, of course that was years ago. The colonel had taken Bernie under his wing acting as a mentor of sorts.
" Well Sarah is a smart woman, with your best interest at heart."
"oh bloody hell, you to Brutus?"
"How is Mrs Sarah? is she with you? I would love to see her" Bernie had also taken a liken to Sarah. She relied on her for advise with the kids when she was fixing to head home from a tour and something was going on with one of them.
"She will out live us all. She is good but she is back home preparing for the holidays. All the kids will be home this year."
"Great to hear."
"Well major about dinner, tonight good for you?"
" Sounds good"
"About 1900 hours? of course this is your post so you will have to pick the place."
"I know the perfect place."
"Good just shoot me the coordinates. Till tonight major."
Bernie had been working several hours now replying to emails and tackling some paperwork. She heard Maggie stirring in the outer office, she opened her bottom desk drawer to get a folder. When she had picked up the folder she spotted the silver picture frame, Picking it up she carefully turned it over and placed it on her desk. She looked at the smiling faces in the picture, "who had taken the picture" . She was so happy as she rested her chin on Serena's shoulder. She did not remember the last time she was that happy before or maybe even since. " not the right sort of animals" " What the bloody hell does that even mean?" She slammed the drawer shut.
" Doctor Wolfe, is everything o.k. or you alright ?" the noise had brought Maggie to Bernie's door.
" OH Yes, sorry to startle you, Maggie. The drawer was stuck."
"Well I have fresh coffee coming your way. How long have you been here?"
" Well, i'll get you a cup of coffee." as Maggie started out
"Maggie could you set a reminded I have a dinner meeting tonight at seven with a Colonel Marks, also I need reservations at Talisman."
"Consider it done."
Bernie had moved to the couch in her office with paperwork now scattered on the table by the couch.
"Bernie, Bernie, relax I am back and ready to work." Bernie smiled , Edward Little or Eddy to his friends was a junior doctor that had latched onto Bernie as soon as she got to NTC.
"Eddy glad you are back. How was vacation? " Bernie had moved to Eddy to give him a hug and was immediately engulfed by Eddy.
" Oh what can I say, sand, sun and the hottest cabana boys you ever saw. You should have come."
"Well someone had to man the ship."
"I brought you a present, a coffee mug that as you drink the lady strips." Eddy moved behind the desk to set the cup down when he saw the picture setting where Bernie had set it earlier. He picked it up without looking at Bernie. "How long has it been?"
Bernie sat back on the couch and laid her head back. " It has been three years."
"Did you call her?"
" NO I called Jason , call to wish them happy anniversary."
Eddy moved in front of Bernie and placed the picture on the table. Bernie looked down at the picture. " Jason said Beth had moved in with Serena a few weeks ago."
" I see, and how is Ms Keen?"
"She asked me to move in with her."
"Oh, hold on, what? What did you say? "
"I told her no"
" oh and that went over well I take it?"
"We argued but have since made up. I don't know Eddy , I just seem to not be able to move forward. Janet is losing patience, she deserves a commitment."
Eddy picked up the picture. " you know I don't remember seeing you smile like that. You cannot move forward if you are not willing to let go of the past."
Their pagers went, trauma coming in. They both darted for the door.
Chapter 3: It's been a long day
The trauma had not been as bad as some they had worked. Bernie had been in trauma bay 1 for several hours over seeing before heading to theatre for another two hours. She was now heading back to her office, standing toward the back of the lift. She was going over the last few hours in her head, as she glanced at the paperwork she was half listening to two nurses going on and laughing about a patient who had gotten an object impaled. "Oh big macho army medic" she smiled remembering the good natured arm wrestling that ensued. She missed Serena, their friendship had been her port in many storms. Bernie reached in and pulled her phone out and found Serena's number. Her thumb played over the screen as the internal battle raged.
"Doctor Wolfe, your floor?" One of the nurses asked.
" Oh, yes thank you." Bernie slid her phone in her pocket and exited to her floor.
"Doctor Wolfe your mail is on your desk that needs your attention, the rest i took care of. Also Ms Keen is waiting for you in your office."
"Thank you Maggie. If you could give me a few before any calls." Which was habit when Bernie had been in trauma unit for several hours. She just needed a moment to decompress.
Bernie walked in her office "Janet, sweetheart what a pleasant surprise, give me a minute to set this paperwork down and we can go grab some tea."
Janet was standing with her back to the door as Bernie walked in she did not turn around as she spoke, " When was the last time you talk to her?" Still she had not turned around and before Bernie could respond " When was the last time you talked to Serena?" Bernie froze she couldn't move to hear that name spoken by her girlfriend. Bernie feeling as if she had been caught cheating. Finally Janet turned around facing Bernie, Bernie saw the ushed tears in her girlfriend's eyes and then noticed the picture frame that Janet was holding. Still she did not move, the air knocked from her. " Say something, move" Bernie was telling herself.
"Janet, I just.."
" NO Bernie tell me that when you hold me, kiss me and when we make love, who is it that you are holding, kissing and make love to?"
"Janet please you know i love you."
"But lets face it I'm not Serena just a fill in."
"Don't Bernie , "Janet laughed " I'm the one to blame, I knew going in , my eyes were wide open. I knew you was still in love with her. I just thought somewhere in the future you would fall in love with me and forget her. I had time and distance on my side." Janet turned and moved toward the window still holding the picture. She had to put distance between herself and Bernie, she the moth and Bernie her flame.
"I haven't talked to her in 8 months. It was you every time, that i held and made love to but ...there are moments that she is there in my mind and i want her there, here in my arms. I know its done and eventually my heart will catch up to my mind."
" I cant wait any more, i thought i could live with her ghost and maybe i could if she was just that , a ghost but she is a living breathing person who might wake up tomorrow and decide she is a fool for not fighting and she will come for you."
"Janet you know that is not going to happen, she has moved on."
" but you haven't." Janet moved toward Bernie and handed her the picture. Slipping her hand up Bernie's shoulder and she stroked Bernie's cheek. She leaned in and kissed her, pouring every ounce of love and feelings she had into it. Bernie responded , reached around and pulled Janet against her deepening the kiss. When her tongue brushed against Janet's lips asking for permission for entrance Janet denied her. Janet pulled back and eased from the embrace, her hands slowly dropping to her side. She looked at Bernie " I love you Berenice Wolfe and if you ever exorcise that ghost look me up." Janet moved around Bernie and picked up purse from the table and headed for the door.
"Janet I'm sorry." Bernie wanted to stop her , fight for them but everything Janet had said was true and it would be unfair to continue for both of them.
"Goodbye Doc, see you around." Janet mustard enough courage to not look back, to forget about everything and run into Bernie's arms.
Bernie watched as Janet walked out the door and walk out of her life. Would they , could they still be friends, would Janet want that friendship back. Bernie knew this was coming, had seen it coming for a while but she still felt her heartbreaking and the anger at herself for yet another relationship she has destroyed.
Maggie had come to the door as Janet was walking out, she saw the pain look in Bernie's eyes and the tears now rolling down Janet's face as she passed by.
"Doctor Wolfe, Bernie I'm going to get you some lunch , no arguments and when i get back you will eat it."
Bernie moved around her desk and set the paperwork and picture down. Sitting down she finally looked at Maggie but all she could do was nod her head. "Bernie you know you two have these spats but you love each other and this will work itself out." With that she turned and headed to get lunch.
"I seem to destroy relationships whether I'm with them or thousands of miles away." Bernie lost in thought.
"Hey Bernie i just saw Janet getting on the lift, she was crying." Eddy walked in and took a seat in front of the desk.
"Eddy i need to finish some computer work before i get out of here, can we talk later?" Bernie finally looked up from the computer
" Whoa Doc what's up? And let me stop you before you try to hide anything, i know you and i know that look."
"Nothing, just let it go o.k."
"No its not o.k.! Wait you broke up with her?"
"No she broke up with me. She came in to wait for me and found the picture on the table, she had enough."
" I'm sorry Bernie. How do you feel?"
"Relief, hurt , I don't know. Just let it go for now o.k."
"Alright you know what we need a drink, no several drinks. You buying, for putting me through hell on my first day back off vacation. "
"Sorry Eddy I love to but I'm having dinner with an old RAMC friend tonight, he is only in town a few days."
"Well raincheck it is, i got to go do some post ops." Eddy got up but as he got to the door he turned and looked at his mentor and best friend, her eyes still facing the computer.
"You know what i think Bernie, you are to good for all them bitches." Eddy turned and headed out.
"Language Edward." Maggie scolded Eddy as she came in with Bernie's lunch. Eddy was like her son, Maggie was older than Bernie so she mother hen them on ocassion.
"Sorry Maggie." Eddy tucked his head
"here is your lunch , now eat." Maggie headed out of the office when she got to the door she turned "I do agree with Eddy, if i played for your team i would grab hold of you myself and never let you go."
Bernie got to the restaurant about 15 minutes early. She remember how the colonel hated to be kept waiting. "15 minutes early you right on time Bernie." Bernie smile for the first time all afternoon remembering the colonel saying that many times. She sat nursing her drink "how do I let you go Serena so i can move on." Bernie was lost in her thoughts.
"Well major i see you waited on me"
Bernie immediately stood, you can take the girl out of the army but you cant take the army out of the girl., standing at attention.
"At ease major"
"It's good to see you sir" the colonel moved around the table and embraced his favorite doctor.
"You as well."
"Can i get you something sir?" The waiter interrupted
"Ill have what the lady is having."
"You look great Bernie. You keeping yourself fit."
"Well i have been trying to keep up with my running and just recently started kickboxing."
"Kickboxing, as i remember you kicked a few backsides in basic and through your time."
"Well never know when i might have to again."
Bernie felt comfortable, like being around family. She loved the military life and appreciated all it had given her, so being in the company of Colonel Marks was a breathe of fresh air.
They chatted through dinner, telling war stories and about life. They caught up with family matters.
"So colonel what is this proposition you have for me?" Bernie had no idea what could be on the colonel's mind. She had been out of uniform for about 5 years.
"Well, you remember Colonel Stephens?"
"He headed up the training for the medics. Good man, I served several tours under him , good doctor as well."
"He is retiring, actually he is already gone.Well since they combined the army, Air Force and navy medical, The Joint Military-National Health Service. The main hospital facility is now the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. We are looking for a replacement to head it up."
"Colonel, surely there are plenty of candidates that are still in uniform?"
"There are but we want you. I have followed the work you having been doing, Kiev Holby City and here at NTC. YOU are perfect for this. You come from a hospital under NHS, have worked through the politics of civilian medicine in setting up trauma units and you are military.."
"I have been"
Colonel held his hand up to stop her " now now Major you are military and have been on the front lines , doing surgery and putting the troops together while under fire."
"I don't know...its been so long since i was in that life. I just.."
"Wait a minute major. it was bred in you more than anyone i know for that military life. All I ask is you think about it."
"When would you need an answer?"
"Ideal would be for you to have boots on the ground in the morning. I leave tomorrow evening, I would need an answer by then. Of course the sooner the better, i know you need time here to build or mend bridges. We have our first class heading to train with the marines at Chivenor's Marine base. You would need to have your staff in place and a plan of attack. Of course you could hand pick your own staff military and some civilian."
They were walking out of the restaurant as the colonel spoke his final campaign bid. "We will need to move your rank to Lt Colonel but Major regardless what you decide it has been good seeing you again and there will be no hard feelings if your answer is no."
"Goodnight Colonel, I will talk to you tomorrow."
Bernie stared out the window of the cab her mind in several different directions. Not much sleep tonight, Its been a long day.
Chapter 4: mending, building and crossing bridges
Bernie sat on the plane thinking about the whirlwind it had been the last ten days. When she left the colonel just as she had suspected, she did not get much sleep that night. She played the scenario out in her head, listed the pros and cons all the what ifs but when it came down to it there was only one answer. If she was honest with herself she knew that night before she left the restaurant she would take it.
She met with Mr. Lakelyn at NTC first thing the next morning and handed in her resignation for the final time. MR. Lakelyn was sorry to hear and offered her more money. He assured her if it did not work out she had a home at NTC always. Then of course her second notification was Eddy and Maggie, remembering how that played out.
"o.k. Bernie what is going on? You got me worried and I really do not need anymore worry lines." Eddy was pacing which was normal for Eddy when he got nervous.
"Yeah Doctor Wolfe i'm with Eddy on that, worry lines and all."
"You two are my closest friends and I wanted to let you know first, well after Mr. Lakelyn. I have tendered my resignation and …"
"What?" Eddy stopped pacing and froze in his spot
"What?" Maggie had spoke the same time, coming out of her seat.
"Wait Wait now please let me finish."
"I knew that bitc…"
"Stop Eddy, just let me finish." Bernie told them what was going on. they both interrupted several times with questions.
"So that brings me to what I want to ask both of you. I will be putting my staff together to include several civilians."
"Yes!" Eddy spoke before Bernie could get the question out.
"O.K. you don't know what I was going to ask." Bernie was laughing but touched he was willing to follow her.
"Yes I will be a member of your staff. Shape and mold young medical minds not to mention all those men in uniform. My mom as always wanted to visit Great Britain." Eddy rattled on , he was American and his family was from California, he rarely got to see them and other than an occasion when Eddy was skyping on his phone, Bernie had not met them.
"Well I guess that leaves you Maggie. I will need an assistant and I would love you to continue in that role. It's a lot to ask, you have friends here and this has been your home for 10 years, Take some time, I leave in 10 days if you can let me know. I will understand if you want to stay, NTC is your home as well." Bernie knew it would not be a decision Maggie would rush into. She was afraid that Maggie would stay at NTC.
Bernie laughed at that last thought.
"Care to share Doctor Wolfe?" Maggie broke Bernie from her thoughts. Maggie had been watching the Doctor who was seated next to her on the plane.
"NO Maggie , just remembered something."
Bernie leaned back in her seat and settled for a long plane ride resting her head on the headrest. Colonel said build and mend bridges, she only had one bridge that needed mending.
She stood at the door waiting. "Hello Doc, Come in." Janet tried to smile.
"I'm sorry for showing up without calling, I guess I was worried you would not see me." It had been a week since Janet had walked out of her office. She had not attempted to call her nor had she heard from Janet.
"Bernie I will always take your call and see you." Janet said sincerely.
"Baby who is it?" Bernie and Janet both turned toward the voice. Bernie recognized the woman coming up the hall in just a robe, Zara. Bernie realized why Janet had answered the door in just a robe this early in the afternoon.
"Sorry to interrupt, I just needed to talk to you. I see you have company i'll just give you a call tomorrow." Bernie had turned back to Janet as she went to leave.
"NO Bernie wait, give me a minute, wait in the study please."
Bernie started for the study as Janet headed down the hall.
"Janet you do not owe me an explanation." Bernie had spoke as Janet entered the room.
"Bernie I ran into Zara last night and we started drinking, I was hurting. I..."
"Don't Janet you don't..."
"I wanted to feel, I wanted to be wanted and well you know Zara, she has wanted me for so long. It means nothing." Janet had moved to Bernie
"Janet it hurts but we are no longer together so you have a right to see whoever you want. I love you and always will but everything you said was true. You deserve to be happy but I could never give you what you need to be happy." Bernie stroked Janet's cheek and softly kissed her cheek. " The reason I came is to tell you i'm leaving Nairobe."
"What? Bernie you...what about NTC?" Janet moved back a little.
" I resigned. I'm going back to RAMC, i'm going back to Holby."
"You are going back to her." The tears that had been threatening when she first saw Bernie at her door were now tracing a path down her cheek as they were following Bernie's fingers.
"Janet I don't know if our paths will cross. Holby is a small town and we still have mutual friends, chances are I will see her. I wanted to let you know, i'm hoping we can stay in touch..as friends." Bernie wanted to steer the conversation away from Serena.
"We will always be friends Doc. I might even surprise you and come for vacation some time. You can show me the sights. I am glad for you Bernie, I know your first love was the RAMC." Janet try to sound sincere but her heart was completely broken in two now.
Bernie moved toward the door. "I'll let you get back to your guest." Bernie smiled at her. Janet trailed behind her.
" Doc I will always love you and what I said that day in your office, look me up, still goes." Janet hugged Bernie, closing her eyes wanting to hold on wishing that Bernie wanted her as much. In another life Bernie, her Doc, would be all hers. She wanted to stay in Bernie's arms when the moment was broken by a clearing of the throat.
"I love you Janet, take care and if you ever need me just call." Bernie turned and was gone, bridge mended.
Bernie did not have much that needed to be shipped, even thou she had been in Nairobi for over three years she had not accumulated a lot of belongings, most of it expendable. She was able to fit most of her clothes in several suitcases the rest to be shipped with keepsakes and gifts that had been given to her by Janet or friends. Bernie laughed to herself, she still lived like a soldier, one knapsack ready to go at moments notice.
"Do you think Eddy will enjoy New York?" Maggie asked breaking Bernie from her thoughts.
"He will love it, I just hope he doesn't want to stay. Bernie had gotten Eddy a spot to intern at New York Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell. He would be learning head trauma from one of the world's best trauma neurosurgeons.
"I guess you will be happy to be home." Maggie said more of a statement than a question.
" Bernie considered this, yes she would be happy but home, is Holby her home anymore. Sure her family is there, she will be back in the military but to Bernie home had always been defined by people rather than a place. Serena had been her home but that home to include a swing set, bins and slippers was not hers anymore.
"Yes I am happy , it will be could to be close to the kids and grandkids. Charlotte will be getting married in about 6 months and Cam and Morven are expecting their second in 4 months." Bernie contemplated the home part, no , not her home. She knows eventually she would see Serena but she thought, "that is a bridge I will cross when I get to it."
Chapter 5: Serena
It's quiet on AAU today, but she dare not speak those words out loud. Serena sat behind her desk working on paperwork. She looked out her office toward the nurses station where Fletch was speaking with Cameron, they were laughing as Fletch was being very animated in his story. Serena smiled as she thought how Cameron had come a long way, his mom would be so proud of him. He reminded her of Bernie " he is a fine young man" Serena thought. Just the thought of Bernie, she closed her eyes, she can see her so clearly, time had not diminished the picture of her one true love from her mind.
" Serena I found this is in the closet. I have not seen you wear it." Serena broken from her thoughts, startled by her girlfriend's voice.
" oh, Beth sorry, closed my eyes for a minute to rest them. What did you say?"
"Yes, this hoodie, who is it for? You do not seem like the hoodie type, who does it belong to?" Beth holding the item out as if she was offended by it and clearly irritated she had to be bothered to ask the question twice.
Serena finally saw what Beth was going on about, Bernie's hoodie. "Yes where did you find it?" Serena standing up and immediately took the hoodie.
" On the shelf in the back of the closet. You didn't answer me, who does it belong to?" Beth clearly not pleased at the way Serena held onto the hoodie and she knew it could not have been Serena's.
"It is mine, I had forgot it was there. I'll leave it here for when it gets chilly on AAU." Serena clung to the hoodie like it was her lifeline. She had to fight the urge to smell it on front of Beth. She simply tucked it in her bottom drawer. "Why was you in my closet?" Serena did not like the idea of Beth digging through her belongings.
"Well since you insist on separate living arrangements I thought I would clean some space for a couple of my outfits. Hope you don't mind." Beth had now taken one of Serena's hands pulling her closer.
"Of course a couple of things will be fine." Serena had put off having Beth move in although Beth had been pushing for it for the last couple of months, Serena was not ready to take that step even thou they did spend a few nights a week at her place.
"Rena, Rena elp me." the little voice shouted as the little sandy hair boy came running in and ran right into Serena's legs.
"Well hello there." Serena backed away from Beth and picked the toddler up
"Sorry Serena, Oh hello Beth." Morven spoke as she came in after her son." He wanted to see his Rena and well he bolted as soon we made it up to AAU." Morven sounding out of breath. " Who knew a one year old who just learned to walk could move so fast. Bernie said Cam walked early and she said she was running before she could walk." Morven realized she was rambling, her heart swelled when she saw how Serena held Little Bernie, her forehead resting against his, one hand playing with his curls.
"it is quit alright, I always have time for my favorite little man." Serena spoke not moving her head . Serena melted every time she looked into those big brown eyes.
"Well I need to run, remember Serena i'm going out with my sister tonight." Beth spoke up headed for the door. She did not attempt to give Serena a kiss goodbye. Beth did not likes kids, her two were grown and out of her hair. She felt uncomfortable around little kids but especially the one Serena was currently holding. The little bastard was a part of that bloody Berenice Wolfe. Serena would not talk about her, what Beth knew of her she had gotten from the people that worked at the hospital mainly Jason and Greta, what did Greta call her, the one true love of Serena's life. Jason would go on about Auntie Bernie, she would sense a shift in Serena when someone would talk about Bernie, she would get distant toward Beth.
"O.K. have a good time." Serena responded without moving her attention from the little boy now sitting in her lap.
" I am sorry I interrupted Serena." Morven did not like Beth which could be said about most of the people who knew Serena and cared for her.
"NO it is quit alright."
"Lets go B.J." Morven reached out for the little boy, Little Bernie, B.J., his full name was Bernard Arthur Dunn but B.J. was what everyone called him.
" NO Rena you elp me, my coat." B.J. was adamant Serena put his coat on him.
"Well of course I will help you." She stood him in front of her that's when she saw his little shirt. "GiGi's Little Soldier"
" you ike my shirt, Gigi gave me." B.J. beamed very proud of his present from his Gigi, his title for Bernie. To the dismay of his parents Gigi was the first word he spoke not mama or dada He was talking with her via skype when he blurted it out.
"It is a fine shirt for a fine little man." Serena responded holding back a tear threatening and a lump in her throat.
" NO, I oldier." B.J. broken word for soldier
"Of course I misspoke." Serena corrected herself." Gigi is a lucky woman to have you." Serena finished putting his coat on and picked him up for one final hug.
" How is Gwenevere ? Jason and Greta doing alright?" Morven sensed the sadness in Serena and decided to change the subject from Bernie.
"They are fine, matter of fact I am babysitting this evening for them." Serena would watch Gwen any chance she got although at almost 4 Gwen was all over the place and Serena would be worn out after.
"Well tell them hello for me. Goodbye. Tell Auntie Serena bye."
"Bye bye Auntie Rena, wov you."
"Bye my little man." Serena leaned and gave him a peek on the cheek.
"See you later Morven."
Left alone again Serena moved back to her chair opening the drawer she pulled out the hoodie, pulling it to her chest and inhaled, her big macho army medic, it still held Bernie's odor. "do I really taste like honeycomb and chocolate?" Serena remembered Bernie's kisses, still no one has been able to do to her what one of Bernie's kisses did. She looked at the inbox on her computer, she had not heard from Bernie in over 6 months. She knew Jason still talked with her, Gwenevere would mention Bebe on occasion, Serena knew the last time she had been in communication with her was the same time she started seeing Beth. She assumed Jason had told Bernie about Beth. She laid the hoodie across her lap and typed the email.
I am sorry I have not attempted to reach out to you. There is no excuse to justify this, I have been busy. We were due another inspection on AAU and well you know how it gets around here with that and makes me crazy. I just wanted to check to see how you are. When you get a moment give me a call, anytime is good.
Sincerely, Serena XX
Serena thought a second then hit the send button. She looked up and Fletch was by himself now. Cameron had walked over to a patient as she watched Cameron, she wondered not for the first time what would be her life if she had fought for Bernie, fought for them. She has gone over it a million times, watch it unfold in her mind like a poorly scripted play. She was not in control , a demented puppet master was putting the words in her mouth and pulling her strings to control her actions. She had blamed the loneliness, menopause and even Bernie for not communicating. Bernie had even tried to take some of the blame "I wasn't here'" Serena believed all of it had a part, now she realizes she does not need the gossiping, swing sets and slippers. Brought from her thoughts by the computer alerting she had mail. "Oh, she is getting quick at this communicating. " Serena hurried to get the computer screen back on when she read it.
"Message undelievable , the address provided is no longer valid. Please verify you have the right email address and resend."
Serena verified the email address , it is the correct one you bloody machine. Serena picked her cell phone up and found Bernie's number but she could not bring herself to call . She got up ad headed out to AAU, she would talk to Cameron.
Chapter 6: liaison
" Yes ma'am we are going to draw some bloods and do an ultrasound, we will get you fixed up in no time." Cam spoke to the patient, people who knew his mom would say " you got your hair from your mom but not your bedside manner." Cam wrote down the orders and passed them to the F1 as he looked up he watched as Serena exit her office and approach. He was beginning to forgive her for his mom leaving. He remembered his mom telling him she was coming home, she wanted to do this proper with Serena. She had resigned her dream job to be with Serena, then he remembered taking her to the airport the day after Jason's wedding over three years ago. She seemed broken, he knew she was hurting but all she would say ,is it was mutual decision, she couldn't stay and Serena couldn't go. Then he heard the rumors of Serena having an affair with her F1. Morven and B.J. loved Serena and he had to work with her, so he would let his mom fight her own battles but it still hurts to remember the look in his mom's eyes. He wondered how many times had his mom faced the hurt, her hurt alone over the years. How she had soldiered on despite the lonely days and the cold shoulder she had received from her own family.
"What do we have?" Serena spoke when she finally reached him at the nurses station.
"Possible kidney stones, waiting on x-ray now, having bloods and an ultra sound set up in case x-ray does not show anything." Cameron responded.
"Good, that's good." Serena now at a loss, she set out determined to ask Cameron about the email but now she stood before Bernie's son, she lost the determination. "Just saw Morven and that sweet baby boy." Serena smiled thinking of Little Bernie.
"Yeah , he is a handful." Cameron started around the desk.
"He is very proud of his shirt his Gigi sent him."
Cameron laughed ," Yes he is, he loves his Gigi. He thinks every time the phone rings it is Gigi."
Serena laughed, " How is your mom?" Still a little hesitant about asking. She knew Cameron partially blamed her for his mom going back to Nairobi. Serena is not deaf and has heard the rumors of her and Dr. Faulkner so she knows he would have heard the same rumors. Always the gentleman, truly his mom's son, he would never ask her or demand to know if she had cheated on his mother.
"She is good, we talked last night. She wanted to make sure B.J. had gotten his shirt." Cameron did not say where she had called from. Bernie had not told him to keep it from Serena but he did not want to be the one to tell Serena his mom had a new job and was home.
"i'm glad , well I'll let you get back to it." Serena hesitated a second then turned to leave.
"She asked about you, if you was doing o.k. she always ask about you." Cameron spoke before he turned and headed down the hall.
Serena couldn't say anything, what would she say, she nodded. Serena sensed Cameron was holding something back but she has no right to push or demand answers. When she got to her office she looked at the computer again, hoping the previous message was a mistake and there she would find a message from Bernie but it is not. Startled from her thoughts by her phone.
"Hello, yes Jason I will be there in an hour. No, it's better I sit with her at you and Greta's place. Of course Jason I think I can figure out how to operate a sippy cup, o.k.' see you soon." Serena laughed, she would never have imagine Jason would make such a good father or Greta a good mother. They had managed very well with a little help from her and a few others. She needed to head home," her leafy detach" she smiled remembering Bernie describe her home. She wanted to see what Beth had done or looked through.
"oh Henrik what brings you to the trenches?" Serena spoke as she ran into Mr. Hansen.
"Well, I must keep in touch with my people on the front line. Actually I came down to meet an liaison officer from the military."
"Oh, don't tell me you giving all this up for the military life." Serena joked, Henrik had been doing better in the last few years with everything that had gone on with Roxanne.
" Oh no, has something to do with the new military medical corp. new commanding officer reaching out. Looking into maybe cross train doctors, it sounded interesting."
"It does at that." Serena interest peaked at the mention of this. " Will be good to work with, train and learn from military doctors." Serena first thought was Bernie, Bernie would have been in her element.
"Quit right, I kind of wish Ms Wolfe was here to help act as a buffer , translate, you know military procedure and language." Henrik realized Serena had grown quiet. " Well I hope you have a pleasant evening." Henrik had decided to drop the subject of Ms Wolfe and military.
"Excuse me, I'm looking for a Mr. Hansen." A lady approached and interrupted.
"Yes, That would be me. Can I help you?"
"Yes my name is Magdalien Kimper, the liaison from the medical corps." She spoke as she pulled an envelope from her briefcase.
" Oh, well not quite what I expected, no uniform?" Henrik taken back by the well dressed woman standing before him.
"oh no sir, i'm the colonel's civilian assistant. I leave that part of military for the real soldiers."
"Well Ms Kimper you seem fit ..I mean fit enough. Well what I mean is..." Henrik all of sudden unable to find his words.
"Excuse me I think he means we expected someone a little more military in posture." Serena decided to save Henrik, giving him a side ways glance and smirk. "My name is Serena Campbell and its a pleasure to meet you." Serena reached out her hand.
"Serena Campbell.. Oh.. well. I, nice to meet you." So this is the lady from the photo, Doctor Wolfe's Serena. "It's a pleasure but please you both may call me Maggie."
"Well Maggie welcome to Holby City." Serena noticed that the woman seemed flustered all of a sudden. " Is everything o.k.?"
" Oh no no just been running here and there, you know Doctor Wo... the colonel keeps me busy." Maggie felt a need to get away from this woman. Surely the doctor knew she might be here. She has seen that face in the picture so many times over the years and has heard her name spoken on occasion.
As the women were talking Henrik was glancing over the cover letter he had been handed with the folder, from The Office of The Commander of The Joint Military Medical Corp, Lt. Colonel Berenice Wolfe. Henrik reread the name again then slowly looked up.
" oh well yes you must be quit busy, if you will follow me we will look things over in my office. Ms Campbell we want hold you up. Right this way Ms Kimper." Henrik started moving toward the lift and away from Serena, he did not want to be the one to tell Serena who was back when it was obvious Serena did not know.
"Right but please its Maggie." Maggie was glad to be moving away from Serena
"Nice to meet you Maggie." Serena nearly shouted as the pair had moved away from her. Serena started out of the hospital, Bernie would have loved to be a part of a joint effort between civilian and military.
Chapter 7: the proposal
They chatted as the rode the lift up to Henrik's office. He was never one for small talk, felt he was not good at it. He was feeling at ease around Maggie, she did most of the chatting, which was fine with him. He participated in the chatting more than he normally did. He assumed it was the easy going nature of this woman , she had put him at ease. There was no pressure to talk and the moments of silence was not uncomfortable.
"Please make yourself comfortable." Henrik spoke as they entered the office.
"Thank you, as you will see everything has been laid out in the folder. Doctor Wolfe figured if you agreed to this proposal there is room for adjusting anything you see fit. It is a rough draft for that fact, everything hinges on your approval." Maggie started " There is no rush on the decision, she would not need an answer immediately, so feel free to look it over and meet with anybody you need to on your end."
" Oh, I have no doubt everything will be in order, having worked with Ms Wolfe I trust her and this could only benefit all parties involved." Henrik was interested in looking at the proposal.
"Well I will leave that with you and if I or Doctor Wolfe can answer any questions please just contact us, both our contact information is there in the folder." Maggie was finding she liked this man. She was one that never felt she needed the company of a man in her life to feel complete and it has been a long time since a man had interested her.
"So Maggie how long have you lived in Holby?"
"Oh, I've only been here 3 months, I was living in Nairobi for the last 10 years. I started working with Doctor Wolfe when she got to NTC, when she accepted the possession with RAMC she asked me to continue in the role as her assistant."
" I see, well that says a lot for you, Ms Wolfe does not give out trust like candy." Henrik trusted Ms Wolfe judgement, their start had been rocky but once she found her footing in civilian life and with NHS it was easier. He considered her a friend and valued her friendship. "So are you and Ms Wolfe partners?" Henrik was dreading the answer that this fascinating lady would be spoken for.
" I don't understand, oh, no , we are just friends well that and she is my boss."
" Oh O.K." Henrik responded with a smile
"Well if you have no questions at this time i'll leave you to it." Maggie stood to leave.
"Of course , no I don't have any at this time but after I read over the proposal i'm sure there will be a few." Henrik walked from around his desktop to escort her out.
"Of course." Maggie was sorry to leave his company
"Well if you are in the area again stop and i'll buy you a cup. I mean , I know you are busy so if not I will understand." Henrik was a little nervous, it had been a while since he asked a woman to coffee or to anything for that matter.
"Sounds good. So see you soon."
"Yes , oh and give Ms Wolfe my regards and tell her I look forward to possibly working with her again."
"oh I will , you know she speaks highly of you. She said you made her transition from military to civilian easier. Goodbye Henrik." Maggie turned and headed out. Bernie had spoke of Henrik Hansen as they prepared the proposal for the hospital.
"Colonel Wolfe's office, NO sir she is in a meeting. Of course I will...right...this evening. Thank you." Maggie was back at her desk, Bernie had been in meetings all day. They leave in the morning for Chivenor's Marine Base to get the first training under way.
"Hello Maggie, where is the boss?" Eddy come strolling in. He had made it back from New York a few weeks ago.
"Oh , oh i'm glad you came in. I was at Holby City today and guess who I met?" Maggie was anxious to tell Eddy since she left the hospital.
"I don't know, Elizabeth Taylor?" Eddy having a go with Maggie which he enjoyed often.
"NO!" Maggie clearly not amused
" uh Queen Elizabeth?"
"No you nit! Serena Campbell." Maggie finally blurted out
" What, the Serena, Bernie's Serena?" Eddy's interest now piqued, he sat on the corner of Maggie's desk. "Do tell, How did she look? was she a bitch? what did you say? does Bernie know you spoke to her?" Eddy rambled on shooting questions before Maggie could answer.
" She looks like the picture except her hair color is different from the picture. She seemed nice enough. It was a shock to finally see her in person. You know I never met her when she had come to Nairobi. And I haven't seen Doctor Wolfe since I got back, she has been in that meeting. Should I tell her, of course she had to know I might run into Serena at Holby City."
" Well I don't know if I would have not told her about herself. Hurt my Bernie like that, I remember when she came back after they broke up, she didn't say what happen but it could not have been good." Eddy's protective nature coming to the surface.
"If Doctor Wolfe asks I will not lie to her, never have and will not start." Maggie did not like to get into Doctor Wolfe's business but that would not prevent her from defending her or protecting her.
"Alright sounds good, see you tomorrow morning Colonel Marks, and remember only one cup. Yes sir." Bernie laughing as she ended her call.
"Doctor Wolfe the mail is done and you have several messages on your desk." Maggie got up to follow Bernie in her office with Eddy in tow.
" Sounds good, hey Eddy, you packed and ready ?" Bernie ask, Eddy and Maggie would be going with her to Chivenor tomorrow but all three would be back and forth throughout the duration of the training but for this first group Bernie wanted to be on post in case any questions came up with the schedule or training.
" Yes ma'am." Eddy gave her his best attempt at saluting.
" Funny man." Bernie laughed as she set the folders down. She stretched her back and neck attempting to ease the ache. It had been 3months of non stop, she had hit the ground running. when their plane landed in Holby. She was exhausted, had not slept much and moved from meeting to meeting. Maggie running behind her trying to get her to eat and rest, She now stood looking out the window, She was back "i'll be back soon enough" Bernie remembered what she had said to Serena but she did not get back in time, time to stop heartbreak.
"Doctor Wolfe, Bernie." Maggie attempted to get her attention
"Bernie" Eddy joined in
" OH, yes i'm sorry , what?" Bernie answered both.
"Are you o.k., i'm going to get you something to eat." Maggie said and was out the door.
"You know if I eat every time that woman tried to feed me I could not get through the bloody door." Bernie said half joking she knew Maggie was just trying to take care of her.
"Well you look tired Bernie. Why don't you call it a day and get some rest for tomorrow." Eddy interjected.
" I just need to sign off on some orders." Bernie had moved back to her desk and was sitting down. "You know I miss theatre but I am enjoying being back at RAMC." Bernie said without looking up.
"Yeah I know, I think when we get settled , I might try to hit a local hospital and do a little assisting." Eddy sat down. " Have seen your kids?"
"Yeah I was there with them over the weekend. Charlotte deep in her wedding plans and Morven starting to show. B.J. had got his shirt I sent him." Bernie smiled as she remembered holding her grandson and playing with him. So much she had missed out on with Cameron and Charlotte. She would make it up with her grandkids.
" He will be a heartbreaker for sure." Eddy smiled as he watched his best friend expression lighten at the mention of her grandson.
"O.K. I got some food ordered." Maggie came back in, Bernie had not looked up, just nodded. Eddy and Maggie exchanged looks and Maggie decided to start.
"Well I went and dropped the packet off at Holby City. Just like you said Mr Hansen was terrific." Maggie caught herself at the use of terrific.
"oh really and how terrific is he?" Eddy jumped on the term right away
"you sure I used the word terrific?" Bernie followed " well did you, I mean was there ...did you meet any of the other staff?"
"Yes I did, I met Serena." Maggie met Bernie's eyes, a flash of love then hurt at the mention of the name. There was silence none of the three said a word for a heartbeat.
"O.K. well, I need to finish this up before I get out of here. " Bernie looked back down.
"Mr Hansen sends his regards and will call to set up a meeting once he goes over the packet."
" Well i'm out, see you tomorrow morning. Get some sleep colonel," Eddy trying to give a serious tone by using Bernie's title.
"o.k," was the only response he got
" I'll bring the food in as soon as it gets here. " Maggie started to the door.
" Maggie just leave the door open and go ahead and go. I'll eat when it gets here, no sense in you staying we have an early day and going to be busy. I'll be out of here soon." Bernie replied
" no, I..."
"NO, seriously Maggie i'll be fine, GO." Bernie spoke before Maggie could protest further.
" o.k. but Doctor Wolfe eat and then out of here." It was clear all she would get is a nod she turned and was gone.
Bernie sat back n her chair, " Serena this is harder than I thought, being this close. I could have got up and gone home to you but I guess not to be. Did you ever really want us?"
Chapter 8: A day in each life
Thank you for your patience, chapter 9 will bring Bernie and Serena face to face as a medical emergency brings Bernie back to AAU.
" Hi mom." Cameron answered his phone. "No , i'm sitting at the nurses station entering some stats. How are you doing?" Cameron had been expecting a call from Bernie, Morven had invited her to dinner the coming weekend in celebration of Cameron's Birthday.
"I'm doing good, it has kind of eased up a little bit, training well under way. I tried to call Morven."
" Yes she in surgery this morning."
" oh o.k. well I will be there this weekend, probably will be a little early, if that is o.k.?"
"Absolutely" Cameron was enjoying his mom being home and a part of their life. Charlotte had even come around, could be she has matured or she needs her mom for wedding prep.
"Good, how is Morven feeling?" Bernie would always ask about Morven and B.J. when she spoke with Cameron.
" She is good, better than me. She decided last night she wanted sardines and chocolate mint ice cream, so I went out and got it and then she decided after a couple of sardines she just wanted the ice cream and hot sauce. How can she eat that mom and what about the baby with the hot sauce?" Bernie was laughing by this point.
"you know how it is, you were running out for odd combinations when she pregnant with B.J."
" But mom , sardines. If that wasn't bad enough, B.J. found the sardines sitting on the coffee table, I only turned my head a second."
"Oh no, he didn't eat them?" Bernie was loving the story and honking with laughter.
" No he dumped them in the fish tank and said fishie swim."
Bernie was laughing so hard she could barely talk.
" Not funny mom, I had to clean out the aquarium last night."
Serena and Donna had walked up in time to hear about the sardines in the tank. They exchanged looks and began to laugh, trying not to let Cameron know they had heard.
" Well you know I remember you turning my dress uniform hat into a terrarium." Bernie remembered Cam must have been 5, she was home on leave when he found her hat.
"Oh mom I don't remember that."
" Well I do , the hat was ruined.. You know I still have that hat, its in storage."
" You kept it? with the dirt in it?" Cameron amazed she had held onto it.
" Yes , well the hat I did, the weeds you had planted in it did not survive. O.K. Cam I got to go, give Morven and B.J. hugs for me and see you this weekend."
"O.K. mom, love you." Cameron hung up smiling, so good to have you home"
"So you have some new fish?" Donna asked as she busted out laughing. "Sorry we walked up and couldn't help but hear the story." Donna still laughing as she apologized.
" O.K. maybe a little funny." Cameron finally started laughing
"So are you naming the new fish?" Serena interjected as she was laughing.
"No. it is far better place they go. You know mom was telling me I did something similar."
"Oh you turn some sardines lose?" Serena suddenly felt a connection to Bernie as Cameron spoke of her.
" NO I turned her military hat into a terrarium."
" How is your mom?" Serena asked as the laughter died down.
"She is good." Cameron was now up and moving around the station.
"When was the last time she was home?" Donna ask "I miss her, working with her."
Before Cameron could answer he was called to a patient.
"Have you heard from Ms Wolfe?" Donna now asked, her attention turned on Serena
"NO, no I haven't in a while." Serena responded as she sat down at the computer and began to type. " I have a surgery this afternoon if would like to scrub in." Serena had decided a change in subject would be good.
"Of course." Donna replied and realized that Serena had wanted to change the subject. She is still in love with Bernie why can't she just quit fighting it and do something about it. Donna thought as she walked off.
" Bernie we are going for drinks tonight and you are buying." Eddy said as he approached Bernie.
"And why am I buying?"
"Colonel , pardon me ma'am , but we need to go if you want to be in the field when the exercise begins."
" Right Sergeant, i'll meet you down at the vehicle." Sergeant Daniel Rogers , a young marine who had been injured while on tour in Iraq. He walks with a slight limp from the injury and had been placed in administrative duty unable to return to combat. To the 3rd generation marine it was a heartbreak. Bernie had served under his father, a good man who Bernie admired.
"Yes ma'am." Daniel turned and was out the door.
Daniel stood at the car door waiting as Colonel Wolfe approached. He had been behind a desk for a couple of years when this assignment came up, aide for Colonel Wolfe. Daniel went immediately to his superior officer and ask to be assigned. He had heard many stories of Bernie Wolfe the heroic doctor. She was everything his father had told him and she had given him the opportunity to take part in the training.
" He is a big guy." Eddy commented to Bernie as they approached the car.
"Who?" Bernie asked as she was looking over some notes.
"Your bodyguard." Eddy teased Bernie
"He is my aide , not my bodyguard." Bernie responded, emphasizing aide as she said it.
" Sergeant we will be heading back to Holby after lunch." Bernie addressed the young marine as she was getting in the vehicle.
"O.k. who is the mystery woman that is with Mr Hansen, she has been seen in his company on several occasions and they are in Pulses as we speak." Fletch approached
"What mystery woman?" Donna ask
" You mean Ms kimper, she is the liaison from the military." Serena knew immediately who Fletch referred. She had been to the hospital a couple times since the initial time. Serena thinks Henrik is smitten.
"Wait, Mr Hansen has a girlfriend in the army?" Donna still trying to catch up to the conversation.
" No she is not in the military, she is the civilian assistant to the new commander of the medical corps." Serena really not wanting to discuss it, she got up and started for her office.
Once back in her office Serena sat down and laid her head back, she had not got much sleep the night before. Beth had came over while Jason was visiting, when Jason and Beth were the same room Serena ended up playing referee. Jason and Beth did not get along, it was especially so when Jason would bring up Auntie Bernie. After Jason left Beth attempted to seduce Serena but Serena just wanted to sleep and cuddle which resulted in an argument and Beth left. Serena had thought about Bernie last night, what was going on with her, if she was happy or if she was with someone. Serena did not hold that thought, she did not like to think of Bernie with someone else " and it would be a lie if I said it didn't hurt" she remembered Bernie's words when they talked about her infidelity. Bernie and Jason seemed to get along right off, " I can't help you there but if he wants to drive a tank I'm your woman" no doubt Bernie would have made it happen, Serena smiled at the thought.
"Well that is a smile I have not seen in a while." Ric Griffin spoke as he entered the office.
"Oh just remembered something."
"Oh do tell, must be a good memory."
"Oh go on with you. I have a surgery to get ready for." Serena moved toward the door.
" O.K. talk to you later." Ric spoke " Yeah I remember the someone who could put that smile on your face, Bernie Wolfe. Ric thought as he watched Serena move across the ward.
Chapter 9: Red Red Wine
Happy New Year!
I do not own the rights to the song.
Red Red wine
Go to my head
make me forget that
I still need her so
Bernie stands looking up at the building, frozen in her spot. Where it all started and ended, of course it should be here that I see her again for the first time in three years. Maybe she is not here, she might be off today. How is it possible to want to see someone so much and still dread the moment you do see her.
I'd have sworn
that with time
thoughts of you
would leave my mind
Bloody song stuck in my head. Daniel had asked Bernie when he started as her aide if he could listen to music in the car. Bernie had told him that would be fine as long as it was just them, Eddy or Maggie. For the most part she would tune it out while on her phone, working or chatting with Eddy and Maggie. Ever once in while she would simply relax and watch out the window and listen to the music and of course on occasion a song would get stuck in her head for the day. How fitting it would be this song at this moment, 30 minutes.
30 minutes in a lifetime but life is made up of moments and minutes. They had been heading back to Holby. She was talking with Eddy when she got the frantic call from Ms. Sarah, Colonel Marks had been rushed to Holby City Hospital after he collapsed. Sarah had asked if she could come, Sarah was worried and just wanted their friend and doctor there. She had assured Sarah that they were in capable hands but she would be there about 30 minutes.
I was wrong
And I find
Just one thing
Makes me forget
Shiraz, bloody red liquid. There has been times over the years she would opt to drink shiraz, her connection to Serena. Its was moments when the memories over whelmed her. She was brought from her thoughts by a gentle hand on her shoulder.
"Bernie, are you o.k.?" Eddy sensing what was troubling his best friend. She had been quiet the rest of the trip even after a second call from Sarah saying the colonel had come around and was feeling better.
"Yeah Im good" Bernie finding it hard to move toward the entrance
"O.K. well I don't buy that. You know my mama use to tell me, we tend to make things bigger in our head then they actually are." Bernie did not respond
"Maybe you will finally get closure. You may see her and realize what you are in love with..." Bernie cut Eddy a look warning him to tread lightly where he was heading with this.
"are in love with" Eddy continued not deterred " is a memory of what you once had and who she was and not now. Then you will be able to move and quit pinning, maybe even move on. Hey maybe you can get back with the viper , with all her faults she was head of heels in love with you." Eddy nudge Bernie's shoulder with a smile, then started walking toward the entrance. "lets go check on the colonel."
Bernie watched him walking away Yeah maybe not so bad as she began to walk " Wolfe Pack!" Daniel spoke up. The soldiers under her had started referring to themselves as the Wolfe Pack, she had on several occasions showed she would not tolerate them messing with her cubs. When she turned Daniel was at attention and saluting. She came to attention and returned the salute and with a wink and smile she was walking toward the entrance.
Red red wine
Stay close to me
Don't let me be alone
It's tearing apart
My blue blue heart
"Well , Colonel Marks, it looks like low blood sugar caused you to pass out." Serena started. " We going to stitch up that cut on your head from the fall. There is no sign of a concussion."
"Your hard head finally proved to be useful." Sarah spoke up from his bedside.
Serena smiled "We will monitor you for a little while and then we should have you back on your feet ready for battle."
"Please do not encourage this man, he will take that as a challenge." Sarah spoke to Serena but smiled to let her know she was joking.
"Did you call her? I did not want to disturb her but I know you did." Colonel Marks ask
"I did , she was on her way back anyway. She is probably almost here if she is not already ."
Serena finished the notes on the chart and instructed Fletcher to do the stitches on the colonel's head where is hit it when he fell.
"I'll be back to check on you shortly but I leave you in the capable hands of Mr Fletcher." Serena turned and headed to the nurses station.
" So Mr Fletcher are you skilled with that needle and thread?" Colonel Marks half joking
" Sir you will never know I was here unlike Zorro." Colonel Marks laughed " Well alright then hup to soldier."
"Oh Matthew leave the man alone,. Do not mind him." Sarah warned Colonel Marks while smiling at the two men.
Serena looked up and watched the older couple , obviously they have been together a long time. The colonel in charge of all those men and her in charge of him. The woman behind the soldier, what would it have been like if she had met Bernie when they were young. She would have followed her from post to post , maybe two or three kids.
"Nice couple." Donna spoke breaking Serena from her mussing.
"Yes, yes they are." Serena agreed finally moving her eyes back to her work.
" Hey, you think they know Ms Wolfe?" Donna questioned excitedly at the prospect they did.
" Well they say it is a small world." Serena said as she left to check on another patient. I wondered if they do
Bernie entered AAU, her eyes moved around the ward, she spotted familiar faces and some new ones. The sounds and sights were the same as she had last saw it, like the last three years was no more than a coffee at Pulses. She stopped to take it all in, she had missed the place and the people. Standing by the nurses station, Colonel Marks aide, Major Kindle and a Captain she had met once but could not remember his name. As if sensing her thoughts, Maggie appeared at her side " Capt. Steven Temple."
Startled but did not flinch, Bernie responded without looking at Maggie, "Thank you, I use to be good at names."
"If you was good with names then you wouldn't need me." Maggie smiled at Bernie
"Me not need you, that would be impossible." Bernie finally looked at Maggie and smiled. They started toward the nurses station.
Donna looked up, no it couldn't be, that female soldier looks just like Ms Wolfe, wait that is "Ms Wolfe" the last part Donna said out loud. The men standing there looked up to see Bernie approach, immediately all 3 men came to attention, the colonel's aide saluted. Bernie saluted the aide "At ease gentlemen." The men relaxed and the aide stepped back a few paces.
" Colonel Wolfe , the old man gave us a scare." Capt, Temple spoke
"Yes he did, any word?" Bernie asked concern evident in her voice but her eyes scanned the ward. Is she here, what do I say. Bernie's thoughts wondered.
"They tell us he is doing good." The major spoke up. "You just getting back from Chivenor?"
"Bernie, Ms Wolfe. Oh my god, you look .. uh you look great." Donna had came around the desk. As soon as Bernie turned to Donna's voice, she was embraced by Donna.
"Oh Donna it is good to see. How are you? How are the girls?" Bernie excited to see Donna as well.
"Bernie , hey ! wow look at you." Fletch had come up before Donna could respond. Fletch hugged his friend as Donna stepped back.
"It's been to long time Fletch." Bernie spoke as Fletch pulled back
" So you are the new head of medical corps?" Fletch asked
"Really you are in charge of all that?" Donna clearly shocked but the it dawned on her, the uniform. "Wow, congratulations." Donna hugged her again "Wait till Serena finds out or does she know?" Donna rattled on
Bernie looked down then back up " She doesn't know you are back?" Donna realized as she asked.
" NO, I've ...I" Bernie stuttered but was interrupted when Sarah approached
"Berenice, glad you are here, maybe you can talk sense into that man." Sarah had walked up and took Bernie by the arm. Gentlemen and ladies excuse us." Sarah continued as she pulled Bernie toward the colonel's area. Maggie fast on their heels.
Donna and Fletch stood watching as Bernie walked off and around the corner both still shocked. The gentlemen began to talk amongst themselves again.
"Fletch did you get the colonel stitched up?" Serena asked as she approached from behind them. She did not see the figure disappearing around the corner.
"Oh right, yes I did, took 6 stitches." Fletch turned around. " Serena look before you go in.." Fletch started to tell her.
"Ms Campbell can you look at this Ct scan for me." An F1had approached and interrupted. Serena started walking in the direction of the colonel as she spoke with F1
"Serena , look Fletch wanted to tell you..." Donna attempted to stop her. Fletch and Donna started behind her.
"I tell you it must come with the rank, to be hard headed." Eddy was arguing with the colonel as Bernie, Sarah and Maggie walked up.
"Oh good Colonel Wolfe tell this butcher that my head is fine." Colonel Marks was pushing Eddy's hands away from him.
"Well I see you are being a good patient as always." Bernie spoke
"I believe you brought this head hunter on board just to torture me." IN the short time Colonel Marks and Eddy have known each other they had become friends. Eddy found a father figure in the older man and respected him. An unlikely pair but their common ground, Bernie, had gave their friendship a solid foundation. Bernie and Sarah watched the pair and they could not help but smile.
"Well Colonel looks like everything checks out and we can get you out of here." Serena speaking as she came up writing orders on the chart for the discharge, she had not looked up.
Bernie froze, her back toward Serena but she knew that voice. Her heart now racing up to her throat. Eddy looked at his friend then to Serena, immediately recognized her from the picture.
"Oh I see we have company." Serena continued , Bernie's back to her, standing opposite side from Eddy and Sarah. Serena felt something change in the air, a familiar , comfortable feeling. Bernie turned around and for the first time in over three years her eyes locked on the woman that still held her heart. It was not just a memory she loved but the flesh blood woman now before her. Serena watched as the woman turned around, sticking her hand out ready to make introduction. She froze unable to say anything as her eyes locked on the woman who as occupied her thoughts and dreams for the last 6 years since their first kiss on the theater floor. Neither woman moved nor spoke , they stood eyes locked as the rest of the world faded. Each lost in their own memories and thoughts, they dare not speak or move their eyes for it might be a dream and they would wake up.
"Yes Dr Campbell this is Colonel Berenice Wolfe, she is in charge of the joint medical corps." Colonel Marks spoke up.
They both spoke at the same time
"Serena I" Bernie started
"You are back... In the" Serena trying to find her voice and the words. Her heart beating so loud in her ears. Her thoughts were a jumble of confusion, excitement, love. God she looks good uniform
Bernie who commanded troops, operated under fire and who has held meeting with colonels and generals had suddenly lost the ability of speech.
"Colonel Wolfe, sorry to interrupt ma'am but the general needs you to call as soon as possible." Daniel had received a radio call from Chivenor for Bernie. Colonel Marks, Sarah, Eddy and Maggie had not said anything as they watched the scene unfold in front of them. They noticed the change in their friend as she met DR Campbell. Eddy knew that his friend's heart was breaking, he could see the look in her eyes, the love that she held for this woman was unmistakable. No mama sometimes what we make out in our head is not as big as it really is.
"Right well Colonel Marks you be a good boy. I'll walk you out Bernie, Ms Sarah see you soon." Eddy spoke when it did not appear Bernie was going to.
" Colonel Marks you listen to the ladies, Ms Sarah I will come by later tonight but call if you need anything. Bernie finally spoke and turned toward the colonel and Sarah.
"Ms Campbell we need you." an F1 came up before Bernie could turn back to Serena.
Bernie started to walk out, Serena reached out and touched Bernie's arm. The action caused both their bodies to react to the familiar touch. " Serena I...." Bernie could not find the words. She slowly turned and followed Eddy.
"Ms Campbell." The F1 spoke again
"Right, yes." Serena turned back to the colonel " MR Fletcher will go over the discharge instructions and if you need anything let me know." Serena walked to the next patient as she watched Bernie walk out. When Bernie stopped and looked back as if to come back, Serena had to stop herself from running into Bernie's arms.
When Bernie and Eddy made it outside Bernie stopped and took a deep breath. "I wish I had a cigarette." Bernie finally spoke
"You don't smoke anymore, come on not good to keep the general waiting." Eddy pulled Bernie toward the car.
But memories won't go
No, memories won't go
Chapter 10: Purge
Serena had been sitting at her desk since she finished with the patients. How long has she been back? why didn't she reach out? is she with someone? That last thought hurt, just to think of someone else in Bernie's arms. She looked good in uniform, it suited her even more then the scrubs. Serena was lost in thoughts so she did not hear when Ric Griffin entered the office.
" I hear the new commander of the joint medical corps paid AAU a visit today." Ric spoke
"Oh, what?..I'm sorry Ric, what was that?" Serena startled from her thoughts but she did not look up.
"Well by your state of mind, I see the rumors are true, our Ms. Wolfe is back." Ric watched Serena as she pretended not to be bothered by the visitor on AAU.
"Right, she does like surprise visits, that has not changed." Serena had not looked up, afraid Ric would see the unshed tears in her eyes.
"How are you doing?" Ric knew that this was hard on Serena. He had watched her try to move on after Bernie left. He also knew she was still struggling with guilt over her infidelity.
"I'm fine." Serena finally looked up and attempted a smile.
"Yeah, well I would say otherwise." Ric not letting her off the hook. He had been there when she needed a shoulder for the times she succumbed to the memories of Bernie.
Serena looked out at AAU " I realized something" Serena looked back at Ric " I have never been good at being alone but I know im strong enough to be alone. Edward always tried to control me and I let him. Robbie, well he just wanted me but no baggage as he said. I do not believe I have ever felt truly loved completely until Bernie. It has been three years four months and three weeks since she walked out of Albies with a salute and wink, and I still compare past and present lovers to her."
"How did you feel when you saw her today?"
"I don't know , I felt so much I could not speak. There is so many questions and things I want to say. Do I even have the right to ask?" Serena still trying to get her emotions under control.
"And Beth what do you think her reaction will be to Bernie being back in town?" Ric did not like Beth and he also knew Beth did not like Bernie. Beth had on several occasions tried to get information from Ric about Bernie, referring to her as Bloody Bernie Wolfe.
"Oh I suspect it will not go over well. She does not like when Bernie's name is even mentioned and believe me Jason makes sure it comes up." Serena laughed sarcastically and shook her head. " I've realized the man was right when he wrote "my life is an empty stage where Bernie loved and Bernie played"
Bernie had come by to check on Colonel marks, they were talking when he drifted off to sleep.
"Come on Berenice i'll fix us a cup of tea and before you say coffee , tea is better for you and will help relax you. " Sarah patted Bernie on the shoulder.
"Tea will be fine." Bernie did not have it in her to get in a discussion about the evils of coffee tonight.
They had been sitting there for several minutes, Bernie lost in her thoughts as she looked at the cup of tea in her hands. Serena looked good, she had always like animal prints on Serena, her hair color had changed but that was all that had changed.
Sarah sat watching Bernie she could tell she was deep in thoughts and not really here, she had not taken a sip of her tea.
"how long were you together?" Sarah finally decided to jump in.
"What?" Bernie brought from her thoughts, she looked up " I'm Sorry Ms Sarah I'm not very good company tonight." Bernie said when she saw Sarah smiling at her.
"It is alright, I know you have been non stop since you got back to Holby."
" Yes its been a busy couple months but that is no excuse for bad manners. " Bernie smiled
"I had asked , how long were you together? .. Dr Campbell?" Sarah continued when Bernie looked confused.
"It is obvious?" Bernie ask, Sarah just laughed and nodded her head
" three years , well off and on. I left for the Ukraine when fear got the best of me. you know fight or flight and all that." Bernie waved her hand.
"I don't believe it, Berenice Wolfe afraid?"
Bernie laughed "Yeah well that woman scares the hell out of me. Anyway I came back and begged for forgiveness." Bernie smiled remembering the kiss that followed in the office. " She did and we gave it go, things were great well maybe except the kids. They were not happy about the relationship at least Charlotte and Elinor, Serena's daughter and only child. Cam had figured it out before I even knew."
"So Charlotte was not happy about your new lifestyle?"
" Charlotte, at that point was not happy with me period." Bernie remembering that first Christmas, it was a toss up who took it worse Charlotte or Elinor. "Elinor was not at all pleased with her mom's new lifestyle either."
Sarah smiled and nodded encouraging her friend to continued.
"We were good, happy then the fates once again stepped in. Elinor was hurt in an accident in the parking lot at the hospital and later died."
"Oh no" Sarah's hand had went to her mouth to think of a parent losing their only child or A child for that matter.
"Serena had a hard time with it , she ended up taking a sabbatical." Bernie remembered their conversation after she found Serena on the roof, will there be room for me, I hope so. Bernie was brought back from her memory when Sarah touched her hand. "She left that time, then the new ceo of the hospital did away with the trauma unit and offered me a position fixing hips." Bernie cringed at the thought.
Sarah laughed " You, no I do not see that."
"So I went to visit with Serena before my next job. We went to Nairobi together but once again fates intervened, Serena came back to help a friend who needed her to step in at the hospital while he was off." I knew I had lost you when you got on that airplane "WE tried to make a go of it then three years ago she was going through a rough time, I was not there and not communicating very well. She , well she had... anyway she couldn't go and I couldn't stay, here we are." Bernie could not bring herself to say cheated or had an affair. I still have that bayonet . Bernie closed here eyes and ran her hand through her hair. Taking a deep breath she opened her eyes. Sarah watched Bernie and knew what it was she would not say or could not say. When those eyes opened again the hurt unmistakable.
"Did you know the person?" Sarah trying to tread lightly
"Who is not as important as the act, at least that is what I told myself." Bernie still feeling some guilt.
" Berenice Wolfe you are not going to sit there and tell me you feel guilty for her infidelity?"
"Sarah you don't understand everything that was going on, I had not been in touch with her for three weeks, emails unanswered and phone calls not answered or returned. I wanted to surprise her but I knew if I talked to her I would not be able to lie to her." The emotions were beginning to surface for Bernie, after three years everything held in , tucked away and pushed down was boiling to the top, pain, hurt, anger and love, all fighting to come out. "I just wanted to surprise her and she goes TO BED WITH AN F1" the last words nearly shouted. "for so long I would close my eyes and see them, her in Serena's arms , her kissing Serena, Serena kissing her, making love." The tears were slowly going down Bernie's cheeks.
Sarah sat and watched the strong woman crumble before here eyes. The walls down and she is exposed, Sarah felt the trust Bernie had for her, to let her witness this. Sarah moved to the chair next to Bernie and reached for her hand again.
"I promised her eternity and when I looked in her eyes today I knew that eternity is what she had." Bernie finally looked at Sarah. "I need to go I have a meeting with the general in the morning and I have taken enough of your time, you have..."
"non sense" Sarah had stooped Bernie before she could continue " I would be sitting here alone drinking tea and worrying unnecessarily."
"Well I have enjoyed the company but I do need to get going." Bernie stood up. Sarah walked Bernie to the door. "If you need anything or the colonel, just call." Bernie said as she put her coat on "Thank you Sarah for listening."
Sarah waved her off " I'm afraid I was no help."
"Yes , you listened, I needed to purge."
Sarah leaned in and gave Bernie a hug. "Good night Berenice"
Sarah watched her friend walk out maybe I need to pay a visit to Holby City and show the fates how to intervene properly.
Chapter 11: Woman on a mission
Thank you for following along with this story. Next chapter Bernie and Serena finally have a heart to heart discussion.
Sarah strolled onto AAU the next morning, a woman on a mission. She knew if Berenice or Matthew found out she would be in trouble. She had thought it through last night after Berenice left. Her friend was hurting and she wanted to help, she did not know if this would help but if nothing else she would let this woman know about herself.
"Excuse me, I'm looking for Dr. Campbell, Serena Campbell." Sarah spoke as reached the nurses station where several people had gathered, one she recognized from yesterday.
Donna stood talking to a couple of F1's. "Yes ma'am " Donna spoke " oh, MS Marks, the colonel's wife?' Donna asked thinking she recognized the lady but was not sure, they had got busy yesterday and so many people in and out.
"Yes, Sarah Marks." Sarah responded. "Good memory." Donna had come around the desk to show Sarah to Serena's office. "Just remember you and your husband, lovely couple." Donna responded as they started toward Serena's office.
"Beth I told you I am not ready for you to move in." Serena was on the phone in her office. When she got home last night Jason had come over, he was excited he had heard Bernie was back. " Auntie Serena they said she is a colonel, in charge of all those men."
"Yes Jason I know." Serena not wanting to talk about it , especially with Beth right there and hearing every word growing more angry with each word.
"So when was you going to tell me she was back?" Beth finally asked reacting just as Serena suspected she would.
"I have not had a chance to tell you anything being that I just walked in the door." Serena fired back clearly tired and not wanting to get into this with Beth tonight, her feelings still raw from seeing Bernie this morning. she was back, Bernie Wolfe on AAU in front of her, just the brief contact as she touched Bernie's arm was enough to sending her body reeling and her heart was still racing.
" I cannot wait to see her, I have so many questions, I am going to call her. You should call her also Auntie Serena. Gwenevere will be so excited." Jason not deterred by the two women clearly angry and standing facing off.
After Jason left, the argument between the two escalated and Serena kicked Beth out.
"Beth I accepted your apology about last night and I am sorry I over reacted as well but this does not change that I am not ready." "no this has nothing to do with her." Serena decided it was time to end the call." I have to go, good bye Beth , we will talk tonight." Serena looked at the phone and then she reached into her bottom desk drawer and pulled out the hoodie. She hugged it to her chest , closing her eyes she could see Bernie wearing this hoodie, her holding Serena while she wore this hoodie. A knock on the door , Serena opened her eyes and placed the hoodie back in it's spot. "Yes"
"Ms Campbell, someone here to see you." Donna said as she was opening the door.
Serena's heart began to race a little , maybe Bernie had come to see her. Serena immediately stood up adjusting her blouse and hair. " Yes of course let her in." When Donna stepped aside it was not Bernie but the colonel's wife, Serena could not hide the disappointment.
"OH, huh Ms..." Serena started
"Sarah Marks" Sarah stepped in and shook Serena's hand. "Hope I am not bothering I know you are a busy woman."
"Of course not, how is the colonel? Everything o.k.?" Serena not sure what would bring Ms Marks to her office, surely not a complaint.
"oh he is fine, stubborn but fine. He likes to kick up his heels every once in a while to keep me on my toes." Sarah joked as Donna left the two women alone.
"I hope there was not a problem with the service or treatment by any the staff?" Serena was not sure where this was going.
"OH of course not , great staff. Of course I knew we were in good hands I was assured of that on our way here." Sarah then continued as she saw the confused look on Serena's face. " Berenice Wolfe had assured me there is no other place she would want to be treated."
"Well as far Colonel Marks, I have no doubt you give as good as you get. You know Bernie?" The picture becoming a little clearer to Serena, this has to do Bernie maybe.
"Well I reckon you are curious as to why I am here? Berenice Wolfe." Sarah spoke as if reading Serena's mind
"What about her? Is she o.k." Serena could not hide the worry in her questions.
"She is a good friend, I have known her for a very long time, I love her and I do not like to see her hurting." Sarah spoke to make it clear no matter what else comes out this visit , Bernie's best interest will be met.
"I see and what about your husband?" Serena misunderstanding the direction Sarah was going in and becoming jealous at the thought her mind was taking her with the mention of her love for Bernie. " And why are you talking to me about this?"
"Oh no, I love my friend, Berenice but just as a friend. However if women did do it for me then she would be the woman for me, well maybe also that blonde off that DR Who show, Kate or something." Sarah laughed having a little fun with Serena.
"I'm sorry but I don't understand why you are here and what I have to do with anything you are saying." Serena was at loss.
" I am a woman who does not mix her words, so to the point." Sarah stated as she started to sit down. " May I have a sit?"
"Of course, im sorry, please make yourself comfortable."
"Berenice Wolfe, I have always known her as a strong , confidant woman. She operated on my husband, put him back together for me while under enemy fire. While she was saving his life I was thousands of miles away giving birth to my youngest child, a daughter, who carries the name Berenice. Last night this strong confidant woman crumpled before my eyes because she saw you." Sarah paused , Serena could not say anything, to imagine Bernie, her Bernie crying. She had never seen her cry. "Now I do not know what is going on in your life but if there is a chance , no matter how slight, that you can see a future with her you need to make a move but if not you need to forgive her and release her from her promise."
"I I , I don't understand, forgive her? release her from her promise?" Serena's mind going all over the place. still a chance, was it up to her , a future with Bernie, can they, she is home.
"Think about it and you will figure it out, you are a smart woman." Sarah stood up and gathered her purse, straightening her coat " Now I will leave you with it but before I go, Berenice does not know I came here today or she would have not liked it at all. I did not like to see tears in her eyes and being you are the one who put them there, I warn you I do not want you to be the one to cause anymore. Well i'm off and thank you again for your time and for helping my husband. I believe we can be very good friends and allies." Sarah began to walk out the door when she turned " If you need any help with your colonel" Sarah said with a wink" you know they can be hard headed, you just let me know." Sarah was gone
Serena did not get up or say anything. still lost in her thoughts, "what promise?"
Serena had thought of nothing all day but what Sarah had told her. She had decided it was time to take the bull by the horns, she would call Bernie and see if they could talk. When She got home she could call her , this is where she was, holding her phone, finger hovering over the send button.
"Hey Serena, hey babe where are you?" Beth had hollered as she entered the house. Serena turned to the voice as Beth entered the kitchen. "hey there, you didn't hear me calling for you?" Beth approached and put her arms around Serena.
"Beth we need to talk ." Serena spoke quietly as she stepped out of the embrace.
"Im going to talk to Bernie but this has nothing to do what I want say?" Serena continued "This, we are not going anywhere"
"You are breaking up with me?" Beth getting angry and not hiding the biting tone of her question"
"Look Beth we both have seen this coming. You want to move in and move forward but I don't see that for us and you want more than I give you." Serena continue
"NO, all of sudden you want to break up the day after you find out that bitch is back in town." Beth now angry and getting loud.
"Stop right there Beth, she has nothing to do with my feelings for you or my decision." Serena knew that was not completely the truth, maybe seeing Bernie sparked her to do what she had been thinking about for a while. " you think I don't know about you and your ex?" Serena now beginning to angry as well, how dare her call Bernie a bitch, Bernie had never cheated on her or lied to her.
"You know about her?" Beth calming down a little being caught and now moving toward Serena " it means nothing and I will not see her again."
"Don't Beth, I can not cast stones when it comes to cheating. The thing is, Beth I realized I know you are cheating on me but it does not hurt. I know this break up was coming." Serena laughed to herself, at the irony of this. "I would be lying if I said it didn't hurt" Bernie had told her. " Beth I do care about you but I don't love you." Serena started walking by Beth going toward the hall to walk Beth out.
"Serena I don't believe you would be ending us if it was not for her." Beth grabbed Serena's wrist and pulled her around and to her. She roughly brought their lips together.
Serena pulled away." Don't Beth just go." Beth let her go , turned and started out the door. "She will run out on you again, you will see what we have she cannot come close to."
"I'll have your belongings sent to you." Serena said as Beth out and shut the door.
Beth stopped on the doorstep that bitch cannot come back and take what is mine, ill show her.
Chapter 12: If i could go back
"Ouch! watch those sharp weapons you call shoes." Eddy jerked his leg back, grabbing for his foot.
" WEll if you would not have insisted on us hiding at the smallest table in the place behind this lattice work." Maggie huffed trying to get comfortable.
"She looks nervous. Yep she is nervous." Eddy observed from behind their hiding spot.
"You know if she catches us spying on her, we are both dead, I mean the woman has an army at her disposal." Maggie clearly agitated.
"SSh, Hold your voice down, its not to busy so she might hear us."
"How do you even know who she is meeting?"
"I overheard her make the plans over the phone and I know who she was talking to." Eddy said trying to get a better look through the lattice work.
"Overheard, you mean eaves dropped. Why are we even doing this?" Maggie ready to leave and would have if she was not afraid that she would be seen.
"I told you if it does not go well, she will need someone to get drunk with, that's where I come in. We will then need a designated driver, that's where you come in." Eddy chuckled
"Ouch! Shit between my mama and you its a wonder I don't have brain damage. Don't hit me in the head, as a neurosurgeon I can tell you how dangerous that can be." Eddy rubbed the back of his head and ducking the next swing.
"Language Edward and you are be a little dramatic and being your a brain surgeon you would know if you had brain damage although after this I am beginning to wonder myself." Maggie started trying to see through the lattice work.
"Ssh, here she is." Eddy looked at the entrance. "Oh, she looks nervous also."
Bernie sat looking between the gold liquid in her glass and the door. She down the first in one shot to try and steady her nerves but she had yet to take a sip of the second. She had taken Serena's call on the first ring "anxious much" she laughed thinking.
It had been three years five months since she had been here, the place she walked away from Serena and the life they could have had. Since she had come back she had avoided Albies till now. She had played that scene out in her mind a million times and all of them had her scooping Serena up in her arms and never letting go but those bloody writers of her life or fates, whatever they call themselves, enjoyed screwing with her. She was still in love with Serena, who was she kidding, her soulmate. She looked up to see Serena had just come in and was approaching her.
Bernie stood up as Serena neared the table "Hi" Bernie said at the same time as Serena
"Hi" Serena spoke feeling all her nerves come on in full force
Bernie slid a chair out for Serena. " I hope you don't mind I ordered you a glass of shiraz?" Bernie started, she was nervous and didn't k now what to say.
"Of course this is just what I need, you still know me well. Then you had me figured out from the first moment." Serena smiled and stated as took her first sip
"Oh I don't know about that, took me a while." Bernie laughed, her nerves calming a little
"Oh how I missed that laugh" Serena smiled , she was trying to calm her nerves, she had not realized how nervous she would be and now that she was actually sitting with the woman that has occupied her mind and heart.
Both seemed to relax a little as the easy banter they had always had came back.
"someone new" Bernie remembered Cam asking her before she had even realized it herself.
"she still makes my pulse race and flustered, how does she turn me into a bashful teenager" Serena was lost in her own thoughts
After a few moments of silence between the two they started.
"The reason" Serena started
"Serena I" Bernie started as they spoke at the same time.
"You go" once again they both spoke "Sorry , go ahead you are the one who called." Bernie continued with a smile and nod.
Serena loved Bernie's smile , hell she loved everything about this woman. All of a sudden she was losing her nerve for this conversation. Bernie here in front of her, she was close enough to touch. She needed a moment to calm herself , starting to doubt calling Bernie. "Bernie please bare with me this is hard for me." Serena reached across and touched Bernie's hand, she didnt pull away Serena thought good sign.
"Of course, take your time." Bernie gave her a reassuring smile " words come hard but thoughts fast and easy. May I ask you question?" Bernie continued
"You just did?" both women laughed as Serena gave her a little smirk which seem to ease Serena's nerves. Bernie had always been good at calming her. "yes you may."
" Does Beth know you are here, with me?" Bernie did not know why the answer should matter to her but it did. She did not want to be the cause of tension or trouble in Serena's life or did she want to be a secret in any form, the thought she would be, hurt.
"Yes she knows, I told her last night before I called you."
"I know she does not care for me much." Bernie stated with a shrug and smirk
"No she does not ." Serena offered Bernie a slight smile
" Serena I do not want my presence here, to be uncomfortable for you. I will" Bernie started
"No don't Bernie" Serena stopped her and waved it off " We broke up yesterday and before you say anything or blame yourself, this had been coming for a while, we both knew it." whether Beth will admit it or face it is another thing Serena thought
"I'm sorry." Bernie's words betrayed what she was feeling , she was glad. Maybe no don't go there Berenice, it means nothing Bernie thought
Serena smiled at Bernie "You know you haven't changed, Im glad." Both women blushing now.
"what about you? Did, what is her name? Janet?" Serena swallowed the lump in her throat, afraid what the answer would be. The woman she did not know but was jealous of, she laughed to herself I guess I know how Beth feels about a woman she never met
"She called it off before I got the job offer" Bernie wanted to completely open and honest with Serena, she had always tried to be and when they became a couple she had been completely open with Serena, which she never had done before, she always kept a little piece of herself closed off but not with this woman. "She wanted more from me than I was capable of giving her. She deserved better than to settle." Bernie looked own at he drink remembering the hurt in Janet's eyes that day in her office.
"Well I disagree being with you would never be settling. She was lucky as was I but I was fool." Serena said the last part before she could stop herself.
Bernie blushed and smiled at Serena looking through the blonde fringe. "she had a good reason, I blame her for nothing as I do not blame you, we both played our parts."
There was an opening for Serena, onward and upward
" If I could go back, I would enjoy the moments I had with you and not worry about the moments I did not. If I could go back I would hold you closer when we embraced. If I could go back I would treat each kiss like it was our last and not worry if it was our last." Serena gaining her confidence with each word, watching Bernie closely for any sign of how she was taking this. " I know a lot of water has passed under the bridge but the bridge clearly still standing, if it wasn't we would not be sitting here talking.
"Serena you will always be able to talk to me. Our friendship was never in jeopardy." Bernie trying not to get her hopes up as to where Serena was going with this.
"It's not our friendship that I'm talking about. I guess what I am saying or asking , is it too late for us? Can we go back? Do you want to go back? Serena searched in Bernie's face for the answer.
Chapter 13: promise sealed with a kiss
"its not our friendship that I'm talking about. I guess what I am saying or asking is it to late for us? Can we go back? DO you want to go back?"
"No" Bernie finally responded.
Serena's heart dropped, it was over truly over. "Oh, o.k., I" Serena trying to find the words as her heart began to crumble and she was trying to hold back tears. " I can Understand ."
"Serena I don't want to go back but I want to move forward , with you." Bernie reached across and took Serena's hands, hands that were trembling.
"What ?, I don't understand." Serena looking at Bernie, deja vu, Serena thinking this conversation seems to be taking a familiar tone. "you will wait? for eternity"
"I think we should move forward Serena a future with you has been my dream since we started. We have been through a lot, it always seemed things were working against us but we managed to battle through it together. We are strong together , what did your friend say, we work well together. I just want to go slow, do it right."
"So you see a future for us?" Serena's tears slowly falling as a small smile started to break into a full blown smile.
Bernie reached up and slowly rubbed away the tears with the back of her fingers. "Yes I do, swing sets, bins and slippers included" Bernie spoke as both ladies laughed.
"I know we have a lot to talk about and we will go slow." Bernie continued "We don't have to settle it all now or" Bernie was cut off
"Or figure it all out today" Serena finished Bernie's sentence. Bernie smiled and nodded.
" Serena I am home for good, I mean I might have to go away on occasion but for just a few days or couple weeks. I live on base, Whittington Barracks in Staffordshire."
"Is that where you work as well? I mean, I guess it is." Serena still elated and fighting through all of her emotions and trying to keep from jumping across the table into Bernie's arms, her Bernie, she was her Bernie again.
" I have an office there as well as one at Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham where we do some training. Then we have some training classes at the marine base in Chivenor a couple times a year, which I normally spend time there when the classes are going on."
"Wow you must spent a lot of time in your car." Serena still trying to process.
Bernie laughed " It's not to bad, I leave most of the driving to my aide." Bernie laughed harder at the look on Serena's face.
"you have an aide? I don't believe it , Bernie Wolfe retired that little sportster?"
"Well it would be a tight fit with my aide, Eddy and Maggie on occasion." Bernie still laughing a little.
"So driving Ms Wolfe?" Serena could not help but have a little fun with Bernie
"Serena I just want you to know it will not be like when I worked at Holby City with you but I pretty much have set hours and go home every evening." Bernie wanted it clear to Serena that her no mad life was behind her, behind them. "No more running here and there setting up trauma units at the far corners of the world, no more running." After those last words were out, both leaned in, closer as the rest of the world faded. their eyes locked , then with a quick glance at each others lips and then back. For first time in three years their lips touched, it was a hunger that neither could fill. Both wanted to stay, continue, more. So soft, a cloud Bernie thought oh how I missed her kisses.
Like chocolate and honeycomb Serena thought
Two halves of a single soul finally reunited once again in that gentle kiss that promised so much more. AS they parted Bernie opened her eyes and moved back a little, she could see Serena's eyes just opening. They sat looking at one another.
"Finally whole again" Serena thought
"home now, I'm home" Bernie thought
"Huh, I.... we need to keep it slow and steady." Bernie said more to herself than to Serena.
"Wow, yeah slow and steady" Serena said as she leaned in for one more taste. Bernie again met her halfway.. Each wanting more but knowing they needed to talk
"yes chocolate and honeycomb" Serena spoke as she pulled back trying to catch her breath
Bernie laughed before she could respond her phone alerted her she had a text message. "excuse me." Bernie reached for her phone " Its Cam, I'm having dinner with them tonight"
" That's great and I know a certain little guy who is probably glad his Gigi is home." Serena smiled thinking of that cute little Bernie Jr
"Oh yes , guite, we tend to get into mischief when we are together. He seems to lead me into trouble." Bernie said as she sent a quick response to Cam
"Oh I bet you have been the leader of a few of those trips into mischief." Serena was laughing as Bernie tried to give her an innocent look.
"Now, now I believe I have heard a few adventures Auntie Rena and B.J. have been on." Bernie replied shaking her head.
"I should let you get to it and I promised Jason and Greta I would come by." Serena spoke not really wanting to leave Bernie
"Yes and I need to run, I need to go back home before going to Cam's" Bernie hating to leave she said as her smile faded, " Serena I would like " Bernie started
" can we" Serena said at the same time, both laughed. Serena reached out and took Bernie's hand again. "can I call you later?" Serena asked
"yes, yes that would be great, of course call me any time." Bernie sounded anxious
"I have been working on my communication skills over the last few years" Bernie said with a smile and wink.
Serena smiled "Well then that's that, I will call you tonight."
As both women began to stand a commotion stopped them.
"Oh, oh they are kissing again." Eddy said, clapping his hands silently
"What, oh I am happy for Doctor Wolfe. She looks happy." Maggie responded
"I think they are getting ready to leave" Eddy said
"Well does not look like you will need to get drunk."
"I am happy for her." Eddy said "Ouch! watch the feet." Eddy jerked his foot back from where Maggie had stepped on it as she leaned to get a better look. When Eddy jerked back he slipped from his chair as it slid, the chair hit the waiter walking by with a tray of drinks. Eddy landed on the floor and the drink landed all around him. All Maggie could do was hold her hands over her mouth and watch it unfold.
"Son of b... oh hey Bernie, wow fancy meeting you here." Eddy looked up to see Bernie and Serena watching him. "look Maggie, look who is here." Eddy continued , he decided he would not go down alone.
"Oh hey Doctor Wolfe and Ms Campbell, its a small world." Maggie stated trying to sound surprised to see them.
"Serena I believe you know my assistant , Maggie?" Bernie said
"Yes, hello Maggie." Serena gave Maggie a smile and nod
"and this is Edward Little, one of the civilian doctors heading up the training with me, you might remember him from the day at the hospital with Colonel Marks." Bernie giving Eddy a smirk
"Hello Mr Little or is it Doctor Little?" Serena asked but before Eddy could respond Bernie spoke up
" To look at him now , laid out on the floor in a pool of drinks, you would never know he is one of the best neurosurgeons i've worked with." Bernie trying to keep a straight face at the picture in front of her.
"well that is saying a lot, coming from Ms Wolfe, pleasure to meet you Dr Little." Serena also trying not to laugh
" The pleasure is mine and call me Eddy." Eddy said as he finally made his way to his feet.
" Well if you will excuse us we was just leaving." Serena spoke and then looked to Bernie
" Right and I am sure there are places you need to be considering you both have a meeting first thing in the morning with me." Bernie turned to walk Serena out but then turned and gave them a smile and thumbs up. They both smiled and could not help but notice the way Bernie's hand slid to the small of Serena's back as they exited allowing Serena to go first. They looked at each other then the mess and back to the pair walking out. The colonel always the gentleman and then they both laughed.
Bernie and Serena made it to the car park, Bernie insisted on walking Serena to her car. The sun was starting to set casting shadows but Serena could clearly see Bernie's face as the light fell on it. Serena leaned in and gave Bernie a kiss, as they parted their hands linked until Bernie was to far away to keep contact, neither wanting the contact to end. "Call me later tonight" Bernie spoke
"I will" Serena said as she got in her car.
Both had smiles plastered on their faces but neither saw the figure in the car across the street watching.
Chapter 14: Plans
Serena sat at her desk, a smile that has become a permanent fixture for a week, a week since they reconnected. They had talked on the phone everyday since, several times a day even texting. They had supper a couple times as well.
"How is the Werewolfe?" Fran asked as she walked in. Serena looked up at Fran and shook her head with an eye roll. "Good morning Fran and she is fine. Word travels fast around here."
"What about the other one." Fran had met Beth and like the rest of Serena's friends she did not like Beth.
"We broke up and no it had nothing to do with Bernie being back." Serena replied as she moved to a filing cabinet.
Fran gave her a smirk " Well I know I don't have to worry about Beth trying anything with that temper of hers, the werewolfe got 13 ways to kill her with her bare hands." Fran finished with a smile
Serena laughed and shook her head. Fran had told Serena about the 13 ways speech. "Oh with that smile you have you little vixen I bet she has other talents with those hands. " Fran smiled and wriggled her eye brows.
"I am sure that there is a baby that needs to be delivered right now?" Serena smiled at Fran. They had become good friends and teased each other to no end.
"Well considering you went through menopause, I know it will not be you unless the werewolfe is better than I thought. You know you could maybe let me do a study on that hand theory." Fran had to give Serena a parting shot.
"No, get on with you." Serena could not help but laugh
"Seriously, watch yourself with Beth, I don't trust her." Fran said as she walked out. Serena had met Beth through one of Fran's friends and Fran had warned her from the beginning and all she would ever say is be careful. One time she had walked in when she heard Fran warning Beth to watch her step with Serena, not to mess her around. Taking it as Fran being protective. Serena interrupted from her thoughts by her ringing phone. She could not stop the enormous smile when she saw the caller I.D.
"Good morning Colonel" Serena trying not to sound anxious but failing.
"Hello Ms Campbell" Bernie spoke and you could hear her smile "I hope you are having a good morning."
"Oh as mornings go, it is better than some and a lot better now. And how is your morning?" Serena sitting down pulling the hoodie from its drawer and holding it close
"I am fine. Hope I did not keep you up to late last night." Bernie smiling remembering their phone conversation last night.
"No, Not at all." Serena quickly answered
"Well glad to hear ." Bernie responded. They had been speaking on the phone every night for the last week , long into the night. It seemed neither wanted to end the call or the connection.
"So tonight" Serena spoke
"My place" Bernie remembering their plans from years ago that never happened because she ran.
"O.K." Serena also remembering those plans
"Serena I, there is so much I need to say to you." Bernie taking a deep breath and letting it out slow.
"No, we both have things we need to say, I still owe you an apology for..." Serena was cut off before she could say anything further
" Don't Serena we will talk tonight. Is six o'clock still good for you? Pick you up at work?" Bernie ask
"Perfect, ill be ready." Serena was blushing Get it together Campbell you are acting like a teenage girl on her first date Serena tried to calm herself.
"Well I can't wait. See you at six." Bernie spoke but still had not hung up
"O.k. " was all Serena could squeak out. Serena smiled , Bernie had been courting her this week, Serena enjoying every minute, it had been so long since she had been courted and even then it was nothing like how Bernie was making her feel.
"You want her back you are not going to get her by sitting here flirting with anything in a skirt." a woman said as she approached Beth
"Who the hell are you? How is it any of your fucking business?" Beth feeling her liquor, spit the questions out angrily
"Serena would not appreciate your potty mouth."
"Ill ask again, who the fuck are you" and how do you know Serena?" Beth moved to stand up but before she could a hand reached out and pushed her back down.
"I'm a friend and I think we can be of help to one another."
"You are not my type." Beth laughed
"And you are not mine. I do know Serena is your type well one of your types."
"I'm losing my patience here. What do you know about me and Serena and what our types are?" Beth reached out and grabbed the woman's wrist.
"Do you want Serena back?"
"Yes but that is not happening, that bitch Wolfe is back." The hate for Bernie evident in her voice and in Beth's eyes as she spoke the name.
"I can help you, I have a plan if you are interested."
"Why do you want to help? what do you care if I get back with Serena?" The woman had Beth's full attention now as Beth quit drinking and slid the glass away. A plan
"Bernie Wolfe. I want Bernie Wolfe, I have for a long time. I have put some time into her and waited for an opportunity to claim what should be mine. I was close a few years ago but my plan backfired and instead she left the country. She is finally back and I will not lose her this time, with your help of course."
"So you can get Bernie Wolfe away from Serena?"
"Working together , you get Serena and I get the colonel."
"You said you failed last time... how do you know.. how do I know your plan will work." Beth still not trusting this woman fully.
"I tried to get her by going through Serena, putting a wedge between them, it worked the cracks were shown in their relationship but before I could work my plan any further they made up as friends and Bernie was gone again. I will not fail this time, I have wanted her and worked toward getting her for a long time, she is the reason I originally came to Holby City. I. Will. NOT. FAIL." the woman leaned forward making sure that Beth knew she was serious.
Beth reached her hand out to shake the woman's hand " I'm in" the two ladies shook on it
"Lets get out of here , we have work to do."
"Wait what is your name?" Beth stood to follow the woman
"Leah, Leah Faulkner" The blonde turned and started for the door with a smile.
Chapter 15: One Soul
too at lah femm duh mey rhev = you are the woman of my dreams
" Dr Wolfe you are going to be late." Maggie said as she stepped in the office. "Oh , you are not going to have time to change, let Danny go pick her up and you go get changed and ready." Maggie started around Bernie's desk , straightening paperwork on the desk and removing a file from Bernie's hand.
"No I will not have her picked up and delivered to me. I will just go like this, besides she said she liked me in uniform as much as my scrubs." Bernie stood up, straightening her uniform. She walked around her desk and left Maggie sorting the files that had been in front of her. Finding it more difficult to stand still or keep from fooling with her uniform.
"Will you settle down, the woman is madly in love with you , it will be fine." Maggie spoke and moved back around to Bernie. " You look fine, that woman would love you if you showed up in burlap." Maggie said knocking Bernie's hands from the collar where they had been fooling with the brass. Maggie adjusted the collar " Now go get your girl. You don't want to be late." She handed Bernie her hat and briefcase.
"Wow, Bernie does not stand a chance." Ric spook as he came in the office. Serena stood with her back to the door. The dress might be a little more revealing Serena mussed, with a swoop back and show off her cleavage which she knew Bernie loved but revealing more than Serena was normally comfortable with. She intended to take no prisoners tonight and wanted Bernie to have no doubt she is open for however far Bernie felt comfortable going. "Oh huh" Serena turned around
"Wow" Ric stated as he got a view of the front " she does not stand a chance"
"Ric what brings you by besides to harass me?"
"Well what do you expect dressed like that but to get harassed." Ric laughed "So you two doing o.k.?"
"Yes we are" Serena smiling
"Oh do tell" Ric wriggling his eyebrows
Serena looked up through moist eyes all her feelings threatening to come out at once, love and fear at the top. "I'm scared Ric. I don't , I cant lose her again, my heart would not survive it again."
"I don't understand, you said you two are good."
"It's ...I don't know ,it seems our lives, hers and mine are being played with by some egotistical psycho who likes to dangle happiness in front of us just to pull it back. I have been happy this past week and I can clearly see a future that just a few short years ago I had let go of."
"Look , I know you two have had some bad breaks in the past so that's why I know you two are due some luck and happiness. Serena don't look for trouble where there is none. Enjoy yourself and I have faith because of what you have been through no matter what happens you two will only be stronger for it." Ric stood up and turned to go "I will leave you to finish getting ready Tiger."
"Thank you Ric for being such a good friend to both if us." Serena leaned in and gave him a hug and a peck on the cheek.
Ric opened the door and turned to walk out when he spotted Bernie in her camouflage uniform." Ah speaking of, I belief your prey is heading this way." Ric laughed as he started in Bernie's direction.
Serena spotted Bernie through the open blind, she did not respond to Ric, she was trying to compose herself, swallowing hard, taking in the colonel from head to toe who is the prey tonight, god she looks good. oh Serena you are in so much trouble tonight, Serena thought.
"Hello Ric" Bernie hugged Ric
"Well I don't have to ask how you are doing. You look great." Ric spoke as they pulled back from the hug.
"Thank you and I am doing great."
"We need to do drinks at Albies soon."
"Absolutely i'll buy first round." Bernie responded
"Well I believe someone is waiting for you." Ric started to walk off. "Call when you get time for that drink or let Serena know"
"will do" Bernie smiled
"oh and I am happy for both of you. I had faith in you two all alone."
"I always pegged you for an old softie." Bernie smiled and gave him a wink. Ric gave her a sideways glance with a dip of his head and he turned and walked off.
"Wow" Bernie stepped in the open door "Serena you... the dress.. wow" was all Bernie could form in speech as her eyes took in Serena.
"Well thank you , I believe "wow" seems to be the word everyone as agreed on. Might I add you cut quit the figure in uniform colonel. Should I salute?" Serena teased as she picked up her purse and stepped toward Bernie.
"HUh...you..yes..no, I mean " all thoughts but one had left Bernie's mind and words seemed to get in the way. Bernie stepped up and pulled Serena in and kissed her. Serena's hand went into Bernie's hair and neck. AS the kiss deepened both women moaned at the feelings the kiss was stirring up. Remembering where they were both pulled back "huh...yeah , you ready?" Bernie finally managed to control her breath enough to ask.
" Yes, yes all set." Serena flushed and trying to get her breath back. Both stood there looking at each other , the love and all their feelings poured out of the look they each held . Serena's hand slowly moved from the back of Bernie's neck around her shoulder across the breast pocket, smoothing the lapel her hand came to rest. "I just need to grab my coat"
Bernie slowly moved her hand from around Serena's back, gently laying it on Serena's hip with a slight pull she leaned in and kissed Serena's cheek moved her hand and lifted Serena's chin " I was going to wait to say this at... but I, Serena Wendy Campbell I love You." Bernie lightly kissed her on the lips then moved around Serena and retrieved the coat for Serena. She came up behind her lightly draping the coat over Serena's shoulders and whispered in Serena's ear " too at lah femm duh mey rhiev"
Serena felt the warm breath and the sweet words spoken in her ear, closing her eyes she reached up and held Bernie's hands as they rested where the coat had been placed on Serena's shoulders. Serena sunk back against Bernie. " I love you" was all Serena could get out , she was truly swept off here feet, forever ruined for anyone else with that one sentence from her soulmate.
The drive was spent in some comfortable silence broken by moments of discussing things that had been going on during the day with some laughter. They shared glances throughout the ride, Serena would occasionally reach over and rub Bernie's arm or thigh with each touch the fire that had started in Serena's office was stroked and the flame was growing.
"Good evening colonel." A young soldier at the guard shack at the gate as he came to attention and saluted.
"How are you private?" Bernie responded with a quick snap of her hand to the eyebrow.
"I have one guest, Serena Campbell, she should be on the exception list." Bernie instructed
"Oh yes, Colonel, Ms Campbell, right here." He retreated to the guard shack and retrieved a small package." Here you are Colonel"
"Thank you soldier, hope your evening is quiet." Bernie spoke as she retrieved the package , as she began to pull away the young soldier gave a salute "Wolfe Pack"
"Wolfe Pack?" Serena eyed Bernie with a smirk. Bernie looked and just shrugged. Serena watched out the window taking in the military base, thinking of the interaction between Bernie and the young soldier. She glanced at Bernie " Oh the extent of what you command, the weight on those shoulders, the power that voice yields with a command. oh my love I will be here for you if you allow
Serena brought form her thoughts as they pulled into a driveway , not at all what Serena was expecting, although she did not know what she was expecting.
"You was expecting a castle or a long building with a sign in the yard marked barracks" Bernie smiled as if reading Serena's thoughts. Bernie looked over at Serena " It's not much but it is home" Bernie continued as her and Serena looked out the window at the rather large majestic looking home.
"Oh no, it is... it is beautiful Bernie but you are right not what I expected." Serena reached out and laid her hand on Bernie's as she looked over at her.
"Shall we." Bernie quickly exited and made her way around to Serena's side where Serena was already getting out.
Serena looked around as they entered the home, she was pleasantly surprised. It was not the stiff military décor she was expecting. It was spacious but had a warm cozy feel to it which Serena felt at home immediately. " Ill show you to the lounge , you can get comfortable while I change." Bernie began to pull Serena into a room off the foyer when Serena stopped her and held Bernie's hand as she stepped to her." NO, I like the uniform" she then leaned in and kissed Bernie.
" Well then shall we have dinner?" Bernie spoke as they broke from the kiss. "I cannot take credit for the meal, Ms Sarah took care of the meal, if I remember correctly she said " You will not feed that lady take out or trays from the mess hall. " Bernie said as they entered the dining room. Plates already on the table with a beautiful center piece with candlelight illuminating the table and room.
"Oh Bernie its lovely. You...planned all this for me?" Serena looking at Bernie through unshed tears.
"Well I do agree with her, you are worth so much more, deserve so much more." Bernie blushed as she held the chair out for Serena. Bernie picked up an open bottle of shiraz and poured the red liquid in a wine glass and placed it in front of Serena. "I believe red is good for you." Bernie flashed a smile at Serena that melted her. They chatted through dinner , catching up with each other about family, mainly B.J. and Gwenenvere. They laughed and talked of work colleagues , gossiping . "slippers, bins and gossiping is not yours" Serena laughed to herself remembering their talk that night at Albies yet here they sit gossiping "so wrong, I was wrong"
They had moved to the lounge where Bernie had brought another bottle of shiraz.
"So do I get the grand tour." Serena ask with a smile as she took a slow sip of her drink.
"Of...huh of course" Bernie suddenly felt nervous her ,mouth gone dry, she took a sip of her wine.
The last room they came to , was at the end of the hall. They reached it Bernie opened the door " and this is my bedroom."
Serena stepped past Bernie, oh this was so her Bernie, less is more. Serena walked further in and as she stood in the center at the foot of the bed " Bernie this is a beautiful room" Serena spotted the picture, heir picture on the nightstand.
"I cannot take all the credit, Maggie and Ms Sarah, even Eddy had an opinion in the décor."
"I see you did contribute to some" Serena responded , Bernie saw where Serena's head was turned. "Oh yeah, the picture. Serena I've." Bernie had moved closer to Serena, Serena turned and placed a finger to Bernie's lips. "Later , we will talk later." Serena slid her hands around the back of Bernie's neck into her hair pulling her down till their lips met. There would be no stopping this time. All the stroking of the flame it would not be extinguished, not this time, not ever. The two halves of the soul merged. Their clothes removed and discarded on the floor , their bodies came together.
"Stay the night." Bernie moaned into he kiss as she laid on her lover.
"Absolutely, for eternity." Serena responded. This dance their bodies knew well, as if no time had passed. Every touch, kiss and move was matched. Bernie spoke " for eternity" as she claimed Serena's lips and body which they would do several times that night.
Chapter 16: The Plan
Serena was trying to concentrate on the paperwork in front of her, I thought by now we would have gone paperless. Serena mused but she knew it did not help her mind was not in the game, had not been for a couple of weeks. Every night since their first dinner at Bernie's , she had fallen asleep in Bernie's arms and woke up in those same arms. She wrapped her arms around herself. They had spent those nights getting reacquainted with each other, talking and making love. Bernie was a great lover, the best she has ever had, knew her body, knew what she liked and seemed to know what Serena wanted or needed before she even knew. She had woken every morning sated. A warm feeling came over her as she pulled a note from her bag.
I did not have the heart to wake you, you was sleeping so sound and looked so peaceful. Hope you will not be to upset that I left without waking you. There is coffee made and warm danish in the oven when you are ready.
Serena then looked down at the rose she had pulled out with the note, pulling it to her nose and smelling it. The rose had been laid across the note on Bernie's pillow.
When you get a chance call me. I will miss you terribly, I know, as we said last night, it's just a week but as I write this note with just a floor separating us, I am already missing you. I love you my sweetheart.
Serena sighed then she kissed the note and placed it back in her bag and placed the rose in a cup on her desk. She reached for her phone and with smile answered
"Hello you" Bernie cheerful answer made Serena's heart race.
"and how is your day going colonel?"
"Oh not bad, I hope I did not catch you at a bad time. I guess ...I mean...well I just wanted to hear your voice." Bernie spoke as she blushed, still not use to opening herself up this much even to her soulmate.
"OH no that is absolutely fine, I will never be to busy for you well maybe in surgery." Serena replied "I am so glad to hear your voice , I was just thinking about you."
"I hope good thoughts."
"Oh yes, very good thoughts." Serena said making herself blush. Serena heard someone speaking to Bernie.
"Sorry love duty calls. Call me tonight?"
"Yes I will , I miss you my darlin, be careful and Bernie...I love you"
"I love you"
"Hello Ms Campbell." Donna greeted Serena as she came around the corner and fell in step next to Serena. "How did it go?" Donna continued , a patient Serena had done surgery on, a sweet elderly lady who Donna had warmed to.
"She is resting in recovery, everything went well. She should have full range of motion in the shoulder." Serena replied
"Hey Serena we all are going to Albies tonight, you coming?" Fletch stepped up asking as they reached the nurses station.
"Yeah she is coming, Xander is buying the first round." Donna answered for Serena
"Wait, I did not say I was buying, I said I would be in." Xander spoke up.
"Same thing." Fletch responded with a shrug.
"What? No im not buying"
Serena lost in thoughts about the last time she had been to Albies, a few weeks ago to meet Bernie.
"Hello... Ms Campbell?" Xander asked
" Serena you o.k.?" Fletch touched Serena's shoulder
"Oh, What? right Albies, yes I will go, I am in for one round of shiraz since Xander is buying." Serena spoke as she walked away from the trio.
"What? NO im not buying." Xander protest went without acknowledgement by the others.
"Hey you have the mobile number?"
"Stop worrying, I have"
"Leah we have a chance tonight, she will be at Albies. I'm not worried I just ..we have an opportunity tonight." Beth responeded
"I know Bernie is in Chivenor, so she will not be there. Make sure your sister gets some good pictures, several."
"She will, just send me the number so I can get the number to her. Hope this works, if Serena finds out it will be done whether Bernie stays with her or not." Beth stated
"It will work, stay close to Serena, she will need a shoulder to cry on." Leah laughed
"What about you, how will you get to the colonel?"
"Don't worry I will be there. Matter of fact I have an interview with a certain colonel in the morning." Leah smiled thinking about how that will go.
" In the morning, oh, she will have seen the pictures and will be ripe for the picking by then." Beth laughed
"My thoughts exactly. You do your part and make it look good. Both are very intelligent women." Leah said as she hung the phone.
Bernie stood looking over the water watching as the sun was setting. Her mind on her love, her soulmate. Serena would love this view Bernie thought and laughed a little as her thought continued she would love this view with a glass of shiraz she would bring Serena here one day soon maybe a long weekend.
"Colonel we are ready."
"Right, thank you sgt." Bernie turned and returned the salute.
"Dr Wolfe here are the doctors you will interview tomorrow, there are 3." Maggie handed Bernie 3 files as she walked up and they began walking toward the training field. Bernie flipped through the first two files when she got to the third file she stopped and pulled it out and placed it on top. "Dr Wolfe is everything alright?" Maggie stopped next to her.
"Maggie who recommended these doctors?"
"I don't know, I thought they volunteered " Maggie asked confused, Bernie had never question the previous candidates " Is everything alright?" Maggie continued
"No, no its fine, just I know one of them and it just surprised me she would be interested is all" Bernie stumbled over her words as shock turned to confusion and a little anger. Bernie finally looked at Maggie. "Its good, so lets go see if these doctors are ready for a war zone." They started walking again. I still have that bayonet Bernie remembered the last time she had saw Leah Faulkner i guess will see what you are up to tomorrow Bernie thought. She would tell Serena about it when she talked to her tonight.
"Come on you two , I don't want to be here all night." Eddy came up to them .
Chapter 17: The Plan part 2
Bernie stood looking over the water watching as the sun was setting. Her mind on her love, her soulmate. " Serena would love this view" Bernie thought and laughed a little continuing her thought," she would love to sip on a glass of shiraz with this view" She would bring Serena here one weekend soon.
" Colonel we are ready"
"Right , thank you sergeant." Bernie turned and returned the salute.
"DR Wolfe here are the files on the doctors you will interview in the morning, there are three." Maggie handed Bernie the files as she walked up and they begin to walk toward the training field. Bernie flipped through the first two when she got to the last one she stopped and pulled it out and placed it on top. " Dr. Wolfe is everything alright?" Maggie had stopped a few paces ahead and turned back when she realized Bernie had stopped. "Maggie who recommended these doctors?" Bernie asked
"I don't know I thought they volunteered." Maggie asked confused, Bernie had never question previous candidates. "Is everything alright?" Maggie asked again
"No , no it's fine, just I know one of them and it just surprised me that she would be interested in trauma." Bernie stumbled over her words as shock turned to confusion and curiosity. Bernie finally looked at Maggie. " It's good, so let's go see if these doctors are ready for the field." They started walking again.
Bernie's thoughts went back a few years "I still have that bayonet" She remembered the last time she had saw or spoke to Leah Faulkner " I guess i will see you tomorrow morning DR. Faulkner" Bernie put her mind back on the task at hand " I'll let Serena know tonight when I talk to her"
"Come on you two, I don't want to be here all night." Eddy hollered at them.
" You going to keep your eyes on that phone all night?" Ric spoke across the table at Serena.
"Oh, Hush" Serena was smiling looking at the picture Maggie had taken and sent her, Bernie was standing over the training field as the sun was going down over the water. Serena could not take her eyes off her soldier. " Fletch can you print out a picture from your phone?" Serena asked not fully tech knowledgeable.
"Sure, get with me tomorrow and we can get it printed out." Serena has showed Fletch as she asked him. Fletch was so happy for both his friends, they found their way back to one another and he only hoped he would find what they have. Serena sent a quick thank you to Maggie for the picture. She then sent a text to Bernie. " Well Colonel I must say you are giving the sunset a run for its money" Serena hit send
"How is Bernie? " Ric asked
"She is great, we are great." Serena responded as her phone buzzed
" Are you sexting?" Donna asked " that is so cute"
"We are not sexting and I believe women of a certain age is beyond the term cute." Serena responded as she read Bernie's text and could not help but laugh.
"I have sent Maggie on her way , no more photos for you tonight."
"What?, is that a real thing? sexting?" Ric looking at Serena then at Donna. Donna laughed at Ric's reaction.
"It is real and no we are not sexting." Serena said as she responded to Bernie's text "Well I have the picture so that's that. I cannot wait to see the real thing." Serena hit send
"Come on Ric you never sexted?" Donna having a go at Ric
Ric just looked up at her before he could answer, Serena laughed " Oh Ric does not go for that kind of kinky stuff."
"And how would you know?" Ric looking at Serena
"Oh but what about you Ms. Campbell?" Donna asked
"Yes, yes what about you?" Ric glad to turn the question to Serena
"Well , Bernie and I have done a long distant relationship, so you do what you have to." Serena responded and took a sip with a smile, remembering those messages, Bernie knew how to use her words.
"Hello Serena." The table got quiet, Serena knew the voice. " Hi Beth"
"You look good as always. Hello everyone." Beth looked at the group but no one made eye contact with her, a few hellos were spoken.
"Well, huh Serena I was wondering... I mean I know you are with friends but can we talk? Just a few minutes." Beth asked nervously
" Well Beth I just don't.."
"Just a few minutes is all." Beth cut her off
" O.K. excuse me ." Serena began to get up from her seat to follow Beth. Ric reached up and took Serena's hand " You don't owe her anything."
Serena smiled and patted his hand "It's alright Ric i'll only be a minute." Serena reassured Ric.
"Beth was it necessary to come out here? You could have talked to me inside." Serena feeling uncomfortable all of a sudden
"Serena I just want to ask one more time"
" Just hear me out Serena." Beth cut Serena off." I know I messed up but what we had was not all bad or we would not have been together for a year. I also know I messed up but if I got one thing right in my life it was being with you. I just, I love Serena."
"No Beth, it's not going to work no matter what you say, I don't love you and I realized I never did. I am sorry if that is harsh but I want to be honest with you."
" I just... if that bit..."
"Stop Beth do not speak about her like that." Serena going in protective mode when it comes to Bernie.
"Let's just say good night." Serena wanted to end this conversation but before she could turn Beth grabbed her hand and pulled Serena to her and wrapped both arms around her and began to kiss her forcefully. Serena pulled back and struggled to break free. " Beth stop this Beth let me go!" Serena began to struggle more as Beth attempted to kiss her again. When Beth's phone buzzed, her signal from her sister that she had the pictures.
"I'm sorry Serena." She let her go and stepped away. " Please forgive me."
Serena a little shocked wanted to slap Beth but just turned on her heels and got away from her.
"this better work Leah" Beth thought as she watched Serena hurry away.
" Hello sweetheart" Bernie answered Serena's call on the first ring. Serena was doing good to keep her emotions in check until she heard Bernie's voice. Serena had held it together, the anger and fear as she excused herself when she got back in Albies after Beth. Now here in her leafy detach, the voice that always calmed and grounded her. She was on the verge of the emotions coming out.
"Serena sweetheart are you o.k.?" Bernie could hear the quiet sniffles, muffled sobs.
"Yes, I am now, to hear your voice, God I wish I was in your arms." Serena finally got out.
"Sweetheart what happen? are you o.k.?"
"Yes, yes its just ." Serena went on to explain what had happen with Beth.
"I will kill her. Are you sure you are o.k.?" Bernie fuming spoke thinking of those 13 ways.
"Yes love just to hear your voice." Serena begin to calm down, settling back against her pillows, snuggling down in the covers imagining Bernie's arms around her. Bernie would always be her safe place.
" Do I need to come home?" Bernie realized what she said as soon as the word came out , home, Serena was her home.
"No love, Oh I would love you to but you have important things to do. I will be fine."
"nothing as important as you."
"I will be fine." Serena answered , they talked for another hour about their day, Serena brought up the topic they discussed at Albies of sexting.
"Oh would you like to give it another go. I might be a little rusty." Bernie asked with a little laugh.
"Oh i'm sure you could manage quit well colonel." Serena laughed then she could not help but yawn. " Sorry love it's been a long day."
"Well I will let you get some rest, Oh I wanted to tell you, I have an interview with some civilian doctors tomorrow. One of them you know." Bernie said
"What? She is interested in cross training?" Serena taken aback , she had not thought of Leah Faulkner since she left Holby City other than to remember a mistake in her life.
"Bernie , I am so sorry.."
"Don't Serena it's done. I just wanted to let you know. I love you and will speak to you in the morning.
"Good night colonel, I love you." Serena hung up
"Dr. Wolfe, Dr. Faulkner is here. Should I show her in?" Maggie had entered Bernie's office, Just as Bernie's mobile alerted of a text message. Bernie reached for the phone assuming it was Serena but she did not recognize the number. She opened the text which had several pictures. She pulled up the first one and her stomach went to her throat.
"Dr. Wolfe are you o.k.?" Maggie looked at Bernie and saw the color drain from her face.
"Bernie" Maggie spoke again moving toward Bernie.
"What, yes , yes give me few minutes and then send her in." Bernie spoke again without looking up. There were 3 photos, the first was an intimate embrace, the second full on kiss and the third still embracing. Bernie studied the pictures and noticed the look on Serena's face, her body seemed tense, like she was not enjoying it. Bernie looked at the number she did not recognize. This is not what it seems, someone is playing a game but who.
"DR. Wolfe, Leah Faulkner." Maggie spoke as she entered with Leah right behind her.
Bernie set her phone down and looked at Leah " Yes, yes hello Dr. Faulkner, it has been a while." Bernie came around her desk and shook Leah's hand.
"Well seems you two know each other, I will leave you to it." Maggie began to leave
"Maggie will you let Daniel know I will beheading to Holby City when im done here. Just a quick trip." Bernie moved back around her desk.
"of course" Maggie said as she closed the door behind her
" DR. Wolfe or should I address you as colonel?" Leah ask flirtatiously as she took a seat in front of the desk.
Bernie raised an eye brow slightly at the obvious flirty way Leah spoke to her. Not wanting to play any games and to make sure she set the tone quickly " You may address me as DR. Wolfe or Colonel." Bernie sat behind her desk sliding her phone to the side and pulling Leah's file on front of her.
"Oh, o.k. colonel." Leah taken back by Bernie's tone but not deterred
" So you are interested in trauma surgery? I didn't realize you took to it when we worked together at Holby." Bernie started
"Oh well sadly we didn't have long to work together but I realize in that short time you made an impression on me. When I left Holby City I worked in a trauma unit and realized I enjoyed the pace of it."
"I see you worked with a Margaret Zoern?"
"Yes, I learned a lot from her, she said she knew you, worked with you" Leah trying to pass it off as a coincidence she found herself in the same hospital as a friend of Bernie. " Small world " Leah chuckled.
"mm-mm" Bernie was looking through the file and glancing at the letters of recommendations in Leah's file. Her mind still wondering back to the pictures when her phone went off alerting text message " excuse me" Bernie picked up the phone from same number "seems she is back to her old tricks, faithfulness not her strong point"
Leah could tell by the look on Bernie's face that Beth was doing her part of the plan.
"Are you o.k colonel?" Leah spoke up
"What? yes sorry. As you were saying." Bernie interviewed with Leah took about an hour , an hour that Leah enjoyed in the company of the woman that has occupied her thoughts and dreams for several years. Normally it would not take so long but Bernie's thoughts about the pictures and text kept interfering with her concentration and Leah seemed to get off course with questions about Bernie's career and travels. If Bernie was not pre-occupied she would have caught the fact Leah seemed to know a lot about Bernie's life.
"Well that about does it, I see no problem with you joining Doctors and Soldiers." Bernie stood and moved around the desk.
"oh she looks so good in uniform, the power, so in control." Leah thought as she looked Bernier up and down. Bernie reached out to shake Leah's hand and walked her to the door.
" so maybe I can buy you lunch and we can catch up." Leah stumbled over the invitation suddenly nervous
"I'm sorry I need to take care of something" Bernie declined " Maggie can you let Daniel know to bring the car around I need to run to Holby."
"Of Course" Maggie reached for the phone
"Well the maybe a drink tonight" Leah not given up
" Sorry I really have a tonight schedule this week with the end of training class."
"Of course , so you will contact me."
"Yes , so we can get started."
"It was great seeing you again colonel. I look forward to working close with you." Leah stepped out and headed to the elevators
once in the elevator Leah called Beth " Beth she got the pictures, she is on her way to Holby."
"Alright well im heading there now. How did it go with your colonel?"
"Good but it will take a little work but I love a challenge."
sorry for the delay, hope to have next chapter up by the end of week , maybe the next two chapters up.
Chapter 19: to smart to fall for games
Serena was deep in thought and elbow deep in paperwork, she did not hear when Beth entered her office.
"You work to hard" Beth spoke
Serena jumped in hearing Beth "What ? Beth what are you doing here?" Serena asked as she stood up and moved around Beth to open the office door that Beth had shut when she came in.
"I'm sorry to startle you. I just wanted to come by and apologize again in person."
"No need , you apologized last night. It's over and done, let's just move on." Serena spoke as she stood by the door.
"O.K well can I buy you a coffee just as a friend? We are still friends I hope." Beth reached out and took Serena's hand.
"Beth I really have a lot of work to do." Serena took her hand back and thought "I don't think we were ever really friends"
With Serena's back to the open door she did not see Bernie approaching. Beth however saw the woman in uniform approach and knew from seeing pictures who it was, she moved closer to Serena and softly spoke." I will let you get back to work she leaned and kissed Serena on the side of the lips. She moved back " So another time for that coffee." Beth spoke. She looked up and saw Bernie had stopped just outside the door and was grateful they were in public because no doubt with the look in Bernie's eyes, she would be in trouble.
"Am I interrupting?" Bernie finally reached the door and spoke.
Startled Serena jumped and spun around "Oh , Bernie not at all." Serena could not hide the relief that her Bernie was there. She quickly moved to Bernie and hugged her. Bernie returned the hug but looked over Serena's shoulder at Beth recognizing her from the photos. She gave Beth a look that said it all "you have messed up"
" Bernie this is Beth" Serena slightly pulled away and turned toward Beth. Then she turned back to Bernie giving her a knowing look. "Beth this Bernice Wolfe."
"Oh this is Beth" Bernie looked at Beth "Will finally be able to put a name to the face. I mean pictures don't always tell the truth."
Serena looked from Beth to Bernie with a raise of her eyebrows. "Pictures, when did she see pictures of Beth" Serena silently questioned. "Beth if you will excuse us." Bernie decided she had seen enough of this woman in pictures and in person. "It was nice to meet you."
Beth still had not said anything since Bernie walked in, seeing how Serena and Bernie clung to one another. Serena had never hung on her like that even in private.
"Oh of course, Serena I will stop by later and we will do that coffee, I know how you need it to get going in the morning." Beth finally spoke as she looked at Serena and winked , stepping past Bernie. "It was nice to finally meet Serena's ex." Beth wanted a parting shot at Bernie, Bernie rolled her eyes , fighting the urge to strangle this woman.
"She is my girlfriend , not my ex." Serena spoke up. When Beth was gone Serena turned to Bernie and fell into her embrace. The weight of last night coming to surface. She clung to Bernie, her life line.
Serena pulled back enough to place a kiss on Bernie's lips, chaste at first. Bernie responded by pulling Serena tightly to her and swiped her tongue across Serena's bottom lip where Serean permitted her entrance when she opened her mouth. Bernie responded with a slight moan as Serena's hands went to back of Bernie's neck. They became lost in each other as they often did forgetting the world, it only consisted of them at the moment. Bernie's kiss became demanding but gentle, slowly moving her hands down Serena's body to her butt. She was fixing to move them to the sofa when she realized , office, blinds open, people. She pulled back " Sor...sorry Serena, I've ...I missed you and forgot where we were. You...feel so good." Bernie struggled to catch her breath and fixing her with a look. Serena looked into those dark eyes that were nearly black from the Desire. She saw in them which she knew reflected what Bernie could see in her eyes.
"So that is the president of my fan club?" Bernie asking giving Serena a knowing smirk.
"Yeah" Serena responded laughing. "So this is a great surprise, did something happen to bring you here to Holby City?" Serena continued concerned all of a sudden that Bernie showed up.
"Oh no, i wanted"
"You wanted to see me" Serena interrupted
"Well i did terribly but i think someone is playing games with us." Bernie said as she was pulling her phone out. Serena stepped back and looked at Bernie puzzled. Bernie scrolled through to the texts she received, the pictures and message. "Here , a picture is worth a thousand words." Bernie handed her phone to Serena. Serena scrolled through the pictures. "What?, but how, who would? These are from last night." Serena was shocked then she looked at Bernie, looked into those eyes that she expected to see anger, mistrust, judgement but all she saw was the love that Bernie had for her.
Bernie reached out and took the phone" Do you recognize the number?" Bernie asked
"No, NO I just don't understand who...wait of course Beth probably but I don't know who would help her. Possibly one of her friends, maybe their number." Serena's emotions beginning to go all over anger, confusion and worry. She looked at Bernie but before she could speak " Don't worry darlin we will figure it out but I do not believe that you would do this. I trust you and I trust what we have." Bernie had been taken her at the corner of Serena's desk and Serena sat down. She leaned down and gave Serena a kiss and as she pulled back she slowly ran the back of her hand down Serena's cheek. "Do you know who might have taken the pictures? Who would have conspired with her? Maybe someone that works here, someone you might not be on good terms with?"
"Well probably any one of her friends , oh wait her sister works here in gynoas a nurse. I do not know her well but I did have a few runs with her. I just don't know." Serena said as she shook her head, angry and frustrated that someone would help Beth try to come between her and Bernie " Whoever had to know how to get my know. It is not like it is public information or written on the ladies room wall." Bernie winked at Serena as she spoke the last part.
"oh how do you think I first got it. They were right you are a great time." Serena spoke as she wriggled her eyebrows, Bernie threw her head back in laughter, her famous honk. Serena broke form her laugh "WEll they have messed with the wrong couple. You have time for lunch or coffee?"
" Sorry I wish I could but I have a meeting with Colonel Marks in an hour. I just wanted to talk to you face to face about this. I'm wondering if Leah Faulkner reappearing as anything to do with this?" Bernie ask'
"Leah, why would she? I mean anything is possible."
"Do Beth and Leah know each other? Have they met?"
"Not that I'm aware of, I have never spoken to Beth about Leah but again her sister works here. I am sure she heard the rumor mill when everything happen."
"So the sister comes up again."
"Seems so, I'll check the roar and see when she works again and talk with her." Bernie got up from her perch on Serena's desk and with Serena's hand gently pulled her up and to her. "Be careful we do not know who is involved or what their endgame is or the price they are willing to pay for it." Bernie spoke as she payed a kiss to each corner of Serena's mouth. They exchanged looks, looking deep in each other's eyes. Bernie pulled Serena into her arms, neither in a hurry to let go of one another.
"I need to get going before I am unable too leave you." Bernie spoke as she released her.
"Call me tonight?" Serena ask as she stepped bacjk
"Absolutely" Bernie said with her signature grin. Then she walked out their hands slowly pulled apart. Serena stood as she watched her soldier walk away.
"Beth what are you up to?" Serena thought as she made her way out to see if Jill, Beth's sister was on.
Bernie was sitting in the car deep i thought "Is it a coincidence that Leah Faulkner appears when I get the pictures." Bernie did not believe in coincidence."what are you up to Leah Faulkner"
Chapter 20: The Birthday Party
Bernie was standing in Cam and Morven's kitchen drinking a cup of coffee, it had been a week since she had received the photos and text from the unknown number. Serena had told her that she tried to talk to Jill, Beth's sister but she said she did not know anything about any photos or text message. Leah had tried several times over the last week to get Bernie to go for a drink or dinner but Bernie had declined any offer. She had decided she would have a talk with Leah about this before the training of the civilian doctors started, she did not want anything causing any problems during training. Bernie was broken from her thoughts when a excited 2 year came barreling in the kitchen and ran right into Bernie's legs.
" Gigi Gigi we wing, you wing me." Bernie scooped the toddler up and looked him in those dark eyes , that everybody said was her eyes. "Well i hear someone has birthday today, you do not know who that might be?" Bernie asked as she begin to tickle BJ under his chin and to his belly. "Me, its me." BJ answered as he giggled and squirmed in his Gigi's arms. "Oh thats right." Bernie answered in a sing song voice. "Come we wing, you push me"
"O.k. But first tell me how old are you, how many years?" Bernie asked smiling at the toddler. She saw so much of Cam in him, so much time she had missed when BJ's dad was his age and growing up. She made a promise the day BJ was born, she would more than make up for her time she was an absent parent, she would make sure her grandchildren had their grandmother. Bj looked at his little hand as he was attempting to hold up fingers, then he looked at his grandmother and grin. Bernie took his hand in hers and helped him hold up 2. "This many Gigi"
"Oh you are getting to be a big boy" as Bernie placed the toddler back on the floor " Well then Little Prince lead the way to the swings." "No Gigi, i a Lil Soldier not a prince." He placed his hands on his hips as he looked up at her. Bernie laughed at this look and she had seen Morven give Cam that same look on numerous occasions when they first started working together. "Right you are, lead on Soldier. To the swings." The Bj grabbed Bernie's hand and was heading out the door.
Cam and Morven had wandered into the kitchen right behind their 2 year old and watched the interaction with his grandmother. When the pair had went out the door, Morven and Cam moved to the door and was watching. " Its hard to believe that pampering grandmother commands entire army." Morven spoke smiling at the pair playing outside without a care in the world.
" Watching her reminds me when i was a kid and mom would come home on leave, she would spend hours outside with Charlotte and me. I use to get her to swing me so high. Then she would be gone again."
Morven looked at Cam " Baby you have your mother now and cherish what you have and do not think about the time you missed." Before Cam could respond the door bell chimed. " That could be only one person this early for the party since mom is already here. Serena"
"Serena" Morven spoke the name same time as Cam.
Serena stood at the door after ringing the bell. Gwen stood beside her, swirling the little dress she had on, humming to herself happy birthday song. "Auntie Serena this is the birthday party for BJ?" " Thats right sweety, and you look beautiful for the party." Serena smiled down at her niece. "We are a little early but you can play with BJ, is that o.k.?" "It is good to be early to a party huh Auntie Serena?" Serena smiled but before she answer the door opened.
"Hello Serena." Cam smiled as he answered the door and then leaned and hugged Serena. "So this must be the princess" Cam bowed and reached his hand out taking Gwen's hand as she giggled.
" Hi Uncle Cam can i play with BJ, we have a present for his birthday. Auntie Serena said he is 2 years old." Cam and Serena smiled at each other as the little girl babbled on as she walked by Cam.
"Excuse me young lady we have not been invited in." Serena spoke and Gwen stopped in her steps and turned to Serena. "I sorry Auntie Serena and Uncle Cam." Gwen stood with her little head down. Serena smiled , she was so much like her father when she got corrected.
"It's o.k. Sweety we know next time want we?" Serena gently touched the little girl under the chin and when she looked up Serena smiled to let her know everything was o.k.
" You come right in and BJ will be glad to see you. He is outside with his Gigi." Cam had ushered both in and was closing the door as he told Gwen.
"Bernie is already here? Oh thats right she told me this morning she would be over to help set up if needed." Serena could not stop the giant smile that threaten to split her face at the mention of her love. This did not go unnoticed by Cam who replied
" Yes she got here about an hour ago but it was not long before her attention was demanded by an excited 2 year old." Serena laughed and at the mention of Bernie's name Gwen spoke up "Bebe is here! Where is Bebe? I want to see Bebe!" Gwen got to jumping up and down
"Go ahead" Serena answered her
"Come on ill show where they are" Cam spoke as he directed the two toward the kitchen.
"Hey Serena" Morven spoke as Serena entered the kitchen and moved to hug her and Gwen " Gwen, Bj and Bernie are in the backyard at the swingset. Come on." Morven held her hand out to the little girl and lead her to back door.
"Would you like something to drink Serena? Tea or coffee ?" Cam asked and moved to the counter
"Coffee would be good" Serena responded as she move to the back door as Morven stepped back in. Serena watched as Gwen ran as fast as her little legs would care her. Hollering for Bebe the whole way. When Bernie spotted the little girl she stopped the swing that Bj was in and collected the little girl just as she was leaping into Bernie's arms and hugged her. Serena watched as Gwen was exited as she was telling Bernie something. Bernie spoke to her then placed her in the swing next to BJ and secured her in. Bernie then began to take turns pushing each swing. The toddlers laughed and was hollering higher as Bernie pushed them. Then it hit Serena , just about knocked the air out of her lungs, the conversation coming back to her as she watched Bernie at the swingset " you are not the swingset, slippers or bin type". She had lost so much time, she should have been with Bernie all this time. She stood there in Albies as Bernie walked out of her life, when all she wanted was Bernie, she knew it then and she knows it now. Her eyes were beginning to get moist from unshed tears. There Bernie was pushing her grandson and Serena's niece on a swingset and appeared to be as natural as when she is in the operating room. Serena was so lost in her thoughts and watching the scene in the backyard she did not hear Cam or Morven speaking to her.
"Serena, Serena your coffee" Morven had stepped up behind her
"What , oh yes coffee. Thank you" She finally turned from the door and looked at Morven.
"Serena are you o.k." Morven seeing the unshed tears in Serena's eyes.
Cam stepped up " Serena is something wrong?"
"Yes, yes I'm sorry was just watching, i didnt hear you." Serena smiled and shook her hea
"Are you sure." Morven laid her hand on Serena's arm "Why don't you go out there with them" Serena started to protest but Morven continued " Now if you don't she will be in here soon to look for you, she knows if Gwen is here you are as well. Go on"
"Yes i guess you are right." Serena smiled and then went out the door
"How long before they make a permanent move on that relationship?" Morven spoke after Serena was out the door.
"What? Serena already stays with mom on base." Can looked at Morven confused
" NO i mean you know, a commitment , ring, vows and ceremony" Morven looking in the backyard
"Oh, why do you think one of them is knocked up?" Cam trying to sound serious but the smile threatening on the corners of his mouth.
" What oh ... You are not funny. Go check on the party favors." Morven swatted Cam as he ducked and headed out the kitchen laughing.
"Can i play?" Serena asked as she got close enough to the trio.
Bernie looked up and watched as Serena swayed toward her, their eyes locked and neither looked away. Bernie's thoughts were now somewhere they should not be at this time. "Of course you can always play with me... huh with us." Bernie blushed at the slip of her tongue. Serena smiled and winked at Bernie.
"Rena , Rena you can swing with me!" Bj shouted from his swing. Bernie Stopped the swing BJ was in and let the toddler out, once on the ground he ran to Serena and reached up to her. Serena picked him and they hugged. Bernie looking on smiled as she watched their foreheads touch. Serena walked over to Bernie and leaned in and gave her a chaste kiss that was returned by Bernie. Serena reached for Bernie's hand with her free hand.
"Bebe i want off" Gwen spoke. Bernie went over got the little girl out of the swing. Serena sat Bj down on the ground and the two ran over to his other toys in the yard. Serena moved toward the swing and sat down in one of them, Bernie moved behind her and held Serena's hands which were wrapped around the chains of the swing.
"So Colonel you want to give me a push?" Serena using her seductive voice.
Bernie swallowed hard trying to answer but no words would come out so she simply started pushing Serena, slow and not hard. The back of Serena's body would lightly make contact with Bernie's body which was close behind the swing.
"That all you got colonel?' Serena still in seductive voice, she knew the kids were out of ear shot and busy.
"Oh you want to play huh Campbell. O.k." Bernie spoke low and forceful. She began to push a little harder each time a little higher. A smile now played on her face. She loved this playful side of Serena and she feed into it. The two women laughed and was lost in their on little world until two little ones demanded their attention. "Gigi , Rena come play with us" Bj shouted as he and Gwen were digging in the sand box.
" Come colonel you are be summoned." Serena stopped the swing and begin to stand up, slipping slightly but before she could fall Bernie quickly caught her and held her. Serena turned in Bernie's arms " My hero but you have been since the moment we met." Serena spoke sincerely. Bernie reached down and kissed Serena then pulled back staring in Serena's eyes she was about to speak when another voice interrupted her " Auntie Serena come on quit kissing and come play."
"Now i think it is you being summoned." The two women laughed and walked toward the sand box. Bernie leaned in and whispered in Serena's ear " Don't worry if you get any sand anywhere i will be more than glad to help you wash it out." Then she quickly strolled past Serena.
"oh you" Serena blushed and shook her head trying to catch up to Bernie. Serena's mind then started thinking "oh yeah Berenice you will help me wash it out." She just laughed as she approached the trio in the sand box.
"They still on the swingset?" Cam asked as he entered with a couple of guest in tow.
"No, they moved.. OH Mr Hansen and Maggie." Morven realized they had entered with Cam.
"Hello Morven, how are you feeling? You look great." Maggie had ask as she approached and hugged Maggie.
"Thank you but i feel like a beached whale. I do not have ankles anymore well I don't think i do, i cannot see my feet.' Morven responded rubbing her belly.
"You look great love." Cam spoke as he approached Morven from the back and wrapped his arms around her and held his hand over hers on her belly. "Our little girl is growing and will be here soon. " Cam beaming from ear to ear.
"Well if she is anything like her brother she will be a gem, speaking of the birthday boy, where is he and his Gigi?" Maggie asked looking around not hearing the sounds of the toddler of his grandmother.
"Come see" Morven motioned Maggie and Henri to the back door.
Maggie busted out laughing "Oh Edward would get a kick out this, our colonel less than soldiery. Oh i got to get pictures of this" Maggie scrambled for her phone
"Oh and look at MS Campbell they do make a sight" Henri spoke as he smiled and shook his head at the image before them
Bernie and Serena had sat down on the little bench seats on the sandbox and with their shovels were digging n the sand and making a sandcastle or attempting to make a sandcastle. The two children had abandoned the sandbox and moved on to the next toy.
"Do you think they realize that the children are not in the sandbox anymore?" Henrik ask as Maggie returned with her cell phone.
"Oh this will be worth money." Maggie began to snap pictures as they laughed the door bell chimed again.
"Ill get it this time, you might want to gather the kids in the backyard and i mean all 4 of them." Morven kissed Cam on the cheek as she exited the kitchen.
"Mom you don't have to help clean up, ill take care of it." Cam stated as he watched his mom start picking up plates and cups.
"No i will not leave this to you, Morven need to be off her feet, she has been on them all day." Bernie said in a tone that left no room for argument.
"I start washing the dishes, between the three of us we will have it back in tip top shape." Serena added as she headed to the kitchen.
The party had went off with no problem well, a few squabbles from a couple of toddlers and a scraped knee and a few spilled drinks and dumped cake in the fish bowl was all. The three had it cleaned up within an hour the house was back to normal, Morven a sleep in the recliner with her legs up and BJ tucked under her arm sleeping with a present in his arm.
"Cam we going to head home, i think that takes care of everything." Bernie headed to the living room looking down at BJ in his mom's arms. She carefully leaned down kissed the boy on his cheek and brushed a few strands of hair from his forehead and rubbed Morven's head.
"Mom and Serena thank you for all the help today. It was great." Cam walked them to the door and hugged his mom and then SErena. "Be careful going home."
"Will do, give me a call tomorrow." Bernie responded as she and Serena walked out and to Serena's car.
The door shut and just the street lights lighting the car, the two ladies stood outside Serena's car holding hands. "You going to follow me?" Bernie had asked Serena. Gwen had gone home with her mom and dad so it was just the two of them.
"To the ends of the world my soldier." Serena responded as she leaned in and gave Bernie a kiss " You have to wash the sand off me, remember?" Serena smiling
Bernie laughed her signature honk "oh i would not forget that." She returned Serena' kiss and open the door and helped Serena in the car. The two ladies drove away from the party unaware of the watching eyes that had witnessed the exchange at the car with jealousy and anger.
Chapter 21: lunch meeting
sorry its been a while
"As I live and breath, Colonel Wolfe, I knew you were real. I mean after all I hired you." General Marks started as he entered Bernie's office.
" General Marks, good day sir." Bernie answered as she stood from her desk chair.
"At ease Colonel, you know you got me in trouble last night so I thought I would pass on the butt chewing. However I wish Ms Marks was here since she is so much better at it." Colonel Marks continued as he came in and met Bernie at her desk as she came around.
"I am at a loss has to how I got you in trouble General."
"You also General? She is always getting me trouble." Eddy spoke from his spot on the couch. "I would love to see the butt chewing coming but I will leave you two some privacy." Eddy rose and started for the door.
"Do not leave on my account, hope I was not interrupting ." General Marks commented as he turned and reached out to shake hands with Eddy. " Good to see you Eddy, how are you?"
"Good sir, you are not interrupting. Bernie give me a call later today." Eddy exited as Maggie came in carrying a cup of tea." Maggie see ya."
"Be good Edward, see ya later. General seen you walk in , thought you might want a cup." Maggie offered the cup.
"Oh great" the general was excited at a cup of coffee until he realized it was tea. " What is it with women, what do you all have against coffee?" General Marks gave a pouty look. " Thank you Maggie." Maggie just smiled at the little pout the general was giving her.
"You are welcome and I have my orders from a higher rank as to what you get when you visit." Maggie smiled then exited
"Sarah Marks , you would think she was in charge of this base." General spoke, sitting the cup on the desk.
"She ii in charge of you, so technically she is in charge." Bernie said as she was laughing, " SO what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?"
" AS I was saying , it seems our schedules have kept us from meeting face to face. Mrs Marks was remarking similar last night so part of my visit is to extend a dinner invitation for one night this week and I am not to go home without a yes."
" of course that would be wonderful." Bernie spoke as she smiled at the general shaking her head. Bernie and anyone that knew the couple knew who was in charge.
"Good, you can call her after you have checked with that lovely lady of yours, to get the details straight. As for me, I go and do what I am told as a good soldier." The general stated with a wink.
Bernie laughed " AS do I sir, as do I."
"Now that is out of the way, the other reason that brings me to see you. You have the tongues wagging in Andover, so much, the defense secretary and chief of defense staff have requested an audience with you and your staff, of course when I say requested its an order. After speaking with them they decided a visit at the next class coming in would be a perfect time to visit. They would like to see " the wolfe Pack" in action." General Marks winked as he placed air quotation around Wolfe Pack and smiled.
Bernie did not say anything, she had frozen at the mention of the second and third in command of the entire United Kingdom military. Bernie had never been one to bring attention to herself, she did not like being on the spot or limelight. She just wanted to do her job , train young medics so the soldiers had a fighting chance in battle. The term Wolfe Pack had started by a few , had spread like wildfire in that first class. She had tried to put a stop to it but it had got a life of its own. Many times she had to speak in front of a group or her superiors but never that high up, all that is missing is the Queen herself. Bernie had got up and began to pace unaware she had moved at all, her head was spinning.
General Marks sensing her thoughts "The queen will not be here, this time." General Marks stood and walked over to Bernie.
"Bernie I have known you a long time and I know the soldier you are and you constantly amaze me at what you are capable of. You will be fine, you have never let me or the Queen down. By the time you work your magic they will be naming a ship after you."
Bernie had stopped and turned to face the General. "Yes sir, its just its been a while since I had pomp and stance. I will soldier up General."
" I have no doubt, I will be by your side the whole time. Now I need to get going when time draws close we will meet and do final prep as far as scheduling and who will be coming."
"Yes sir and I will talk to Serena and give Ms Marks a call about dinner. Will give me a chance to pick your brain about the defense secretary." Bernie spoke as she walked the general out.
"OH, no , no shop talk at dinner or you will get a first hand view of butt chewing Commander Sarah is capable of. Goodbye Colonel." he exited
"Goodbye General. Maggie give me 5 minutes then come in my office." Bernie went back in and shut her office door leaning against the door and taking a deep breath. " Bloody hell Wolfe" Pushing herself off the door and moving to her desk, she needed to call Serena.
"Good morning Colonel" Serena could not help the sultry way she answered when she saw who was calling. She had been thinking of Bernie all morning, They had spent several hours last night satisfying one another and then again this morning when they shared a shower,
"Hello, how is your morning going?" Bernie was smiling so big hearing Serena's voice she had no doubt Serena could hear the smile through the phone.
"It is fabulous now I have heard your voice. Although I did enjoy the way you sent me off to work, I could get use to that."
"Well then I will make it happen."
"AS far as the rest of this morning, the new F1's are going to have me climbing the walls. I hope I did not have these kind of growing pains as an F1 but I might need to call an apologize to a few of my teachers." Serena laughed as she shook her head at the thought of some of the trying days as an F1.
"But I have no doubt you will whip them into shape in no time."
"How is your day going?" Serena feeling more relaxed every second that past talking with Bernie.
"WEll, General Marks paid me a visit this morning, the jest of why I will fill you in tonight but I need you to check your schedule when you get a moment. A night you are free, we have been summoned to dinner at General Marks and MS Sarah's, I do mean summoned." Bernie laughed " whatever night is good this week, you call me later or shoot me a text."
"Oh that would be nice. How is the General doing or maybe I should ask how Sarah is." Serena remembering how stubborn the general seemed to be as a patient
"They are good people, Sarah just wants to catch up."
"Oh that would be nice, I like both of them." Serena had grown fond of the couple the short time she has known them. She has spoken with Sarah several times since Sarah come to visit her that first time about her intentions with Bernie. Serena smiled at the love the older couple have for Bernie much like a parents love. "It will be good to see them both again and have a little visit. I do believe they probably have a few stories they could tell me about he illustrious Colonel Wolfe." Serena laughed
"Oh what have I agreed to." Bernie laughed
"WEll I will let you get back to your F1's, go easy on them dear, remember we was that young once and knew everything."
"Speak for yourself Colonel, I am feeling quite young these days." Serena quickly responded
"OH, of course , of course...I should have said I was young once" Serena laughed as Bernie began to stumble over her words "It's alright Colonel, you can make it up to me tonight."
" That I will. Talk to you later love." Bernie said as she disconnected
"Alright my big macho army medic, Ill text what night will be good for supper with the Marks'. Love you." Serena slowly placed the phone down.
"Oh, and how is the lovely Ms Campbell?" Maggie who had walked in when Bernie was hanging up .
" Maggie was you eaves dropping?" Bernie tried to say without smiling.
"With that look on your face , there is only one person that can put it there, and that is Ms Campbell." Maggie laughed " now how is the lovely doctor today?"
Bernie laughed at her friend" She is great, Maggie I wanted to go over the schedule for next month, if you have time?"
"You the boss but you have that lunch meeting in 30 minutes. So you want to start when you get back, your schedule is clear after that."
" Lunch meeting, I am not aware of having a meeting today." Bernie looked up at Maggie confused
"Oh well it is on my calendar. I did not remember scheduling for you but it is penciled in on my desk calendar." Maggie now wondering where the mix up came in. She knew she had not done it and thought it out of character that Bernie would write a meeting or anything in on the calendar and not let her know.
"Who is the lunch with?" Bernie responded sensing Maggie was confused as well. Before Maggie could respond, the ladies were interrupted by a light knock on the door
" Excuse me , hope I am not interrupting, wanted to make sure the Colonel did not forget about our lunch."
At the sound of the voice Bernie looked at the door and there stood Leah Faulkner. "well guess we know who wrote on the calendar" Bernie thought.
Maggie stood up " Dr Faulkner we was just discussing that very topic." Maggie did not know why or could not put a finger on it but she did not like this Faulkner person.
"I know how busy the Colonel and her staff get so I did not want time to get away from her." Leah Faulkner continued smiling to herself at the little victory, you cannot dodge me forever Colonel Leah thought as a smuck look came across her face.
"OH the meeting is with you, Dr Faulkner?" Bernie realizing that Leah must have managed to sneak the lunch appointment on the calendar when no one was around. She di not remember setting it up and especially not a lunch meeting. What is your game? Bernie thought
"Yes maam wanted to ask you a few questions and go over the schedule. Of course your are so busy I knew you might forget."
Bernie decided it was time once and for all to put a stop to what Leah was [laying at. "Well we might as well head out now, so it will give me a minute Ill meet you down by the reception desk." Bernie stood and began to move around her desk.
"Alrighty Colonel, see you downstairs." Leah turned and left.
"I'm sorry Colonel, I can always call down and tell her something came up." Maggie realizing the colonel was not comfortable with this woman.
"It's alright Maggie this will not take long" and besides I need to figure out what she is up to and put a stop to it. Bernie did not speak the last part out loud. " Now I gess we know who put teh date on the calendar."
" Oh my goodness, you mean... DR Faulkner wrote that lunch meeting on the calendar? but why, well of all the nerve. You be careful Colonel I don't trust that woman." Maggie started toward the door.
Bernie headed to the elevator, " Call Danny tell him to meet me around front, Thank you Maggie." Bernie spoke over her shoulder. While in the elevator Bernie sent Serena a text explaining what happen and her suspicions. She had not received a reply by the time she approached Leah but figured Serena was running behind F1's, she smiled remembering the conversation earlier.
AS Bernie approached Leah , before either could speak Danny walked in " Colonel, I will be out front when you are ready ma'am."
"Thank you Danny, we will walk out with you." Bernie started to follow Danny outside.
"Oh, we are going in your car?" with your driver?" Leah had not planned on this, she wanted to drive to get all the time she could alone with Bernie. Bernie had to smile to herself. "Yes if you like I can meet you at the mess hall?"
"oh, no I have planned off the base lunch if that is o.k.. I really would like you to try this place I picked out and I promise Ill get you back before the troops start looking for you." Leah smiled trying to give Bernie her best and most charming look " and if your driver wants to sit this one out i'll drive." she finished
" No that's o.k., Danny will drive." If Bernie was suspicious before she was now. what is she up to, why is trying to get me alone after all she slept with Serena not me, Bernie let the thought eneter her mind before she could stop it.
Once Leah had told Danny where they were going the ride was quiet. Each seemed to be lost in thought. Bernie was grateful that Leah had not try to start conversation in the car. "I will be out here Ma'am." Danny spoke as he held the door for Bernie and Leah to get out.
"That will be fine Danny. We shall not be long." Bernie spoke as she followed Leah into the restaurant.
Serena had been running from patient to patient with F1's following behind her. She had just sat down at the nurses station with her head in her hands resting trying to get a moment.
"Here you go Ms Campbell, you look like you need this." Donna said as she sat a cup of
"coffee down in front of Serena.
"OH, you are my favorite person." Serena reached for the cup, smelling it before taking her first sip.
" Now you know you should not lie to the person that just brought you a cup of java." Donna laughed as she began wlaking at a omputer next to Serena. " Your favorite person happens to be a soldier we all know it."
"Well, you are my favorite right here at this moment." Serena began to reach for her phone. She had not had time to check it. " Speaking of favorite people. I have a text." Serena smiled as she open and began to read , the smile fading as she read Bernie having lunch meeting with Leah Faulkner and Bernie suspicious."
"Is everything o.k.?" Donna had turned around to ask SErena a question when she saw the look on Serena's face. With no response Donna started again " Serena are you o.k,?"
"What? ...oh yes, yes its fine. What was you saying" Serena put the phone in her pocket as she stood up.
"o.k. the chart for Mr Lyle , the first patient, you need to sign off on his labs." Donna handed Serena the chart. " You know you should never pplay poker because you do not have a poker face."
"Oh we playing cards, deal me in, I am feeling lucky." Ric spoke as he stepped up tot he desk " What's wrong?" When rick noticed the look on Serena's face.
"You two play cards I have work to do." Serena said as she finished signing the chart, handed it off to Donna and turned on a heal and headed toward her F1's.
"How about a bottle of shiraz?" Leah asked as their waiter approached
"NO, you go ahead I don't drink on duty." Bernie did not want to share a bottle of wine especially shiraz with Leah or anything else. It was bad enough she had shared Serena with this bloody woman. The thought entered her mind again before she knew it. " Look Leah thank you for inviting me for lunch but if we could just order and you ask your questions you need to ask, I need to get back." Bernie's patience wearing thin., the endless request of her time by Leah and invitations to drinks and lunch. The bloody woman cannot take a hint.
"Oh I'm sorry its just there is so much I want to know, learn from you." Leah taken aback by Bernie's directness
" I understand and I will help you however I can but my time..."
" I know and understand. I guess you might have noticed that I have a little crush on you. The stories I've heard and what I know about you." Leah feeling confident reached across and laid her hand on Bernie's but Bernie pulled her hand back.
"Leah you know I am with Serena SO I hope I am reading this all wrong." Bernie was feeling a little annoyed
" You are not, I know you are with Serena but she is an amateur. A woman of your caliber needs an equal, someone who knows how to take care of your wants and needs."
"STop" Bernie looked around when she realized she had spoke louder than she intended. " I will not have you talk about Serena, matter of fact I do not want to hear you utter her name in my presence."
"I did not mean..." Leah try to cut Bernie off.
"No, I know what you meant. I am in love with Serena and she is all I want or need . If this meeting.. " Bernie placed air quotes around meeting. " was about you trying to add as a notch on your bedpost, it is not happening even if I was not with Serena." Bernie pulled her phone from her pocket to call Danny.
" Wait Bernie I'm sorry, I just. Look I will not say another word about this, if we can forget it happen and enjoy a nice lunch and discuss training?" Leah trying to keep Bernie from leaving.
"No, I really should not have come, no offense DR Faulkner but I have a lot of work and need to get back." Bernie called Danny as she was speaking. "Yes, pull the car around we will be out in a minute." Bernie laid money on the table and stood up.
"I am sorry, I hope this has not set our friendship back. I still want to be friends." Leah trying to keep her feelings inside.
"Of course but I think we need to keep our meetings in formal settings. And Dr Faulkner I mean what I say about Serena, she is off limits of topics of discussion. ARe we clear?"
Leah looked up into Bernie's eyes and realized she had messed up. "Yes of course."
Once again the ride was done in silence except for Bernie on the phone with Maggie. Once back base , Leah try to speak again with Bernie but all she gat was a quick nod as Bernie headed inside.
"Hey, yeah its me. I was wondering if we are good for this afternoon. NO my plans fell through. I really would like to get in some target practice." Leah smiled as she hung up her phone.
Chapter 22: Dinner and dessert
"Good evening ladies, come right in." General Marks greeted Bernie and Serena at the door.
"General how are you feeling? Sarah tells me you are behaving yourself." Serena was the first to speak as they stepped in.
"oh i'm doing great, fit as a fiddle."
"dont believe a word he is saying." Sarah spoke as she came up the hall. Leaning in she gave each lady a peck on the cheek. " General dont just stand there like a door stop, show our guest into the sitting roon." Sarah looked at Bernie and Serena gave them a wink. "Dinner will be ready shortly."
" Is there something i can help with?" Serena offered "
"I believe I have all in hand but I dont mind the company. Besides these two will put you to sleep with their endless stories. We can open this bottle and have a glass." Sarah grabbed Serena's hand and down the hall they went. Serena looked overher shoulder and blew Bernie a kiss. Bernie ducked her head to hide her red cheeks.
"Dont worry Colonel, that Ms Marks has caught me several times speechless and exposed." The two old friends laughed and headed in the sitting room.
" So how is it going? The Colonel treating you good?" Sarah started as they entered the kitchen.
"Oh ,its wonderful, I mean im not foolish enough to think we will never argue or disagree but all couples do. At the moment we are still on our honeymoon, so to speak." Serena blushed a little but at her use of the term honeymoon.
"Dont worry I know what you mean." Sarah stopped and looked at Serena as Serena as Serena's last words got low. She saw her blushing and decided to save her.
"Thank you and it is wonderful." Serena added
" Well, I see a smile on Bernie's face that I have not seen in a long time,I know it is you that put that smile there."
"Idont know what Bernie has told you about our past but i would like.."
"You do not need to explain to me as long as Bernie is happy we are good." Sarah patted Serena's hand.
"You know I would as soon cut my heart out to even hurt her again." Serena swallowed hard trying to keep the tears at bay. Sarah said nothing she gave a warm smile and nod to let her know she would listen if she wanted to continue.
"I was in a deep hole then, you know, going through the change." Serena spoke those words as if they left a bad taste in her mouth. She never liked the term but she so understood it. It change you ir it changed her. "I was missing her so much and we had not talked in several weeks. I was angry and hurt." Serena remembered the phone calls unanswered and not returned. Gripping the wine glass a little tighter and taking a big sip. Sarah wanted to stop her. Let her know she did not need to go over it again but she felt as thou Serena needed to tell her, to purge, so she let her go uninterrupted. " I am not making excuses , believe me there is no excuse for what i did. I was ,my ex husband chested on me., I know the hurt it can cause, the insecurities it can cause. I dont know how much you know" Serena finally looked up at Sarah.
"Bernie did not tell me any of it, well other than her feelings but not what happen. I mean i put 2 and 2 together. I asked if she knew the person but she didnt answer."
" She took the blame.." Serena said more of a statement than a question. She remembered their talk in her office that day. Sarsh shook her head. " there was this F1 that had atarted flirting with me the minute she walked in the door. She made me feel desirable and at that stage or time in my life..."
"You enjoyed it, it made you feel wanted and that excited you." Sarah apoke before Serena could continue. " Made you feel alive."
"Yes all of that" Serena gave Sarah a questioning look.
" No i have never strayed but over the many years with Matt has been depliyed there have been those who have tried." Sarah smiled and shook her head. " It can get lonely and temptations are everywhere but go ahead snd continue." Serena shook her head and took another sip " Well anyway she came to tell me about a patient of ours while i was s in the on call room, I know sounds like a bad scripted soap. It just , i let her in the room and." Tears began to slowly fall down Serena's cheek. Sarah reached across and took Serena's hand
"let it go, the guilt , the hurt and the past. You are here with her now and truly in love with one another." Sarsh eased around and placed her arm around Serena's shoulders. " Now go down the hall to the ladies room and fredhen up if thst colonel comes in here and sees you crying I am going to have one angry soldier on my hands." Serena stood and started down rhe hall but turned in the door " Thank you Sarah for listening."
"Well Colonel getting close to the graduation if the first class. How are you feeling about it, about all if it?" General Marks haf handed Bernie a glass of his fonest bourbon.
" Oh i feel pretty good, its a good class coming out. A lot of good medics, very proud of them."
" You mean the Wolfe Pack." General remarked with a smile as he put his glass to his mouth. Bernie nearly choked
"Oh ,you know how these young pups can be General. Tgey latch on to something and drive it in the ground."
" No harm, I rather like it. You have earned their respect and admiration. Here here, to the first class of medics under your command " General Marks held his class up to toasy. Bernie quickly come to her feet and the glasses tipped.
" I thought there would be no shop talk tonight General, per orders" Bernie said as she took the final sip.
" Oh they not in the room, between us. Regill?" General poured Bernie some more.
"Bernice do you remember that time we were stationed in that little town during Troubles, oh what was the name"
" Outside Derry, Northern Irland. " Bernie responded
" Right you are, in 96 i believe the year was. Reason I bring it up, I came across a picture the other day thought you might like." General laughed as he left the room. Bernie stood there and wstch the General retreat wondering what it could be. Her thoughts took her to that time. It wax pretty bad, Bloody Sunday was what it was referred, was the worse. She shook her head at the thought. "Well here we have it." The General brought Bernie from her thoughts as he reentered the room. He handed Bernie the picture and immediately Bernie began to laugh her signature honk.
" I believe the wet behind the ears lieutenants fresh on the g ett ound bet young Captain that she couldnt catch a jackass and ride it." Genersl began his story and began to laugh.
" Now General I believe we had all had a few gkasses of th as t homemade liquor from that farmer." Bernie still laughing but attempting to defend her actions. "They wete surprised when you managed to wrangle that animak , the look on their faces when you ride across that field. Hollering tally ho" Both Bernie and the General were laughing at the memory, Bernue thought there were few times that she can look back at during deployement with battle that she could laugh at but that moment was one. Looking at the picture, one of the captains had taken it while she sat on the mule and the rest standing around her trying to strike a serious pose. It was in front of an old barn. "How much did you win? " General composed homself enough to ask.
"My question, how did you get the picture?" Bernie looked up at her mentor and friend.
"Oh come now Colonel you have known me long enough to know, i have my sources." The general laughed and gave Bernie a wink. Bernie went to hand the picture back"no, no its yours, you leep it." General held up his hand. Bernie and the General shared a look then began to laugh again.
"Well ,well what are you two up to?" Sarah asked as her and Serena walked in. Serena and Sarsh had heard the laughter. Bernie and genersl startled by the ladies quickly regrouping. The two ladies approached ,Serena noticing Bernie quickly placing something in her pockey, appeared to be a picture Bernie looked at Serena as she stepped up next to her. Bernie could see Serena appeared to have been crying. Bernie smile faded but before she could ask
" Im fine." Serena smiled as she spoke.
" so are you two going to share the joke? " Sarah asked looking at her husband.
" oh you know just remembering something that happen long time ago." General Marks replied
" Well dinner is served, if you two can stop laughing long enough to eat." The group headed to the dining room. The couples enjoyed their meal and light hearted conversation. Serena was able to get a few stories about Bernie from Marks.
" i reallt like Sarah and the general." Serena was the first to speak as they drove away.
"They like you, i can tell." Bernoe glanced over at Serena and smiled.
" so what is that picture you are trying to hide?" Serena looked at Bernie smiling
"What ,what picture?" Bernie did not take her eyes off the riad.
"Mm mm, well I believe you had placed in one of your pockets" Serena slipped her hand on Bernie's leg and then turned in her seat a little and with her other hand she began to play with the collar of Bernies jacket. Bernie began to squirm at the touches Serena was applying.
" you know i am trying to drive. Behave." Bernie still not looking at Serena.
"What , I am not doing anything." Serena begsn to move her hand around the front of Bernies chest. She slowly placed her hand in Bernies jacket...
"it was in one of these pockets,I know its somewhere around, oh wait I just need to get a littke more." "Serena ,you are going to wreck us." Bernie grabbed Serena's hand on her chest.
" how ? Im not driving ,if you would just cooperate." Serena tried again to move her hand slowly up Bernie's leg. " oh, huh Serena." Bernie jumped in her seat when Serena's hand brushed against her center. " oh no thats not a pocket." Serena was leaning closer,undoing her seatbelt.
"Serena what? Please put your seatbelt back on. Serena you going to cause me to...huh thats..." Bernie protest dying on her lips as Serena began to kiss her neck and play with her ear. Serena's tongue sliding arounfd the ear lope. " Did you say something colonel?" Serena seductively asked. "You know if you just let me see the picture i will gladly put my sestbelt back on."
" huh" Bernie was fighting her own body. Squirming in her seat. Bernie pulled in Serena's driveway put the car in park, released her seatbelt and this done all in less than a second as she turned and claimed Serena's lips. The battle was on when their tongues met. Bernie slid her hand under Serena's dress. Serena head was spinning, she could not remember ever being kissed the way Bernie kisses her. Her heart was about to beat out of her chest. Her mind was short circuiting. Bernie's hand moved Serena's undergarments aside and began to circle her clit. Bernie mived from Serena's lips down her jaw and diwn her neck leaving a trail of kisses lined with her tongue. Serena could not rememver what started this now, picture or any thought gone. She spread her legs givong Bernie more access and Bernie took what Serena gave her. Bernie could feel the heat and wetness as she moved her long fingers down Serena's center and then when she knew Serena was ready she slid inside her while her mouth reclaimed Serena's lips. Bernie started slow motion and her thumb still circling Serena's clit. She increased the pace as Serena began to move back and forth in the seat. She moved her mouth to Serena's ear " you wanted something love? I believe you was looking for something " Bernie whispered " mmm. Mm huh uh? " Serena could not think " Tell me what you want." Bernie continued . Serena could only think 13 ways, oh god. Serena grabbed Bernie and held her tight as the orgasm began to take over.
" I got you love, let go." Bernie soothed her while temoving her hand once Serena relaxed around her fingers. Serena held on to Bernie tightly never wanting to let go. When Bernie could feel Serena coming down and relaxing, her breathing slowing" wait right here." Bernie got out of the vehicle and went atound the passenger side. She opened the door " you ready?"
Serena stood ,straightened her dress out and ran her hand down the back of her hair thinking, oh yeah 13 ways and we just getting started.
" You Colonel ate in so much trouble when i get you inside." Seren straightened her dress one more time and got her balance and started for the door.
Serena was lounging with a cup of coffee,holding a picture she talked Bernie out of after they got home. Bernie had left early ,she was needed on base for problems with preparations for the graduation. Serena was off but was waiting for Jado. To pick up Gwenivere. She has been babysitting.
"Thats Bebe" Gwen excited pointed to Bernie in the picture.
Yes baby thats Bebe"
" we can go see her on the base?"
" Not today sweety another time.o.k. lets pick up your tous , your dad will be here soon." Serena got up with Gwen right behind helping pick up toys. Jason came through the door about that time.
" Auntie Serena"
"In here Jason"
"Daddy in here" Gwen headed for the front door.
" Where Auntie Bernie, I have a question for her about a documentary I saw." Jason came into the room carrying Gwen.
"OH she had to go to the base but if you like I will have her call you. Im going over tonight." Serena smiled at Jason holding Gwen, she was proud of the dad he turned into. She also was warmed by the still close relationship and bond he had with Bernie.
Alright , do not forget."
"Of course. Bye Gwenivere: Serena leaned and gave her a kiss.
" bye Auntie Serena"
Serena was heading up to get a shower when her phone began to buzx.
"Serena ,Serena is mom with you? I have tried to call her but there was no answe, I have not heard from her." Cam began to ramble excitedly
"Slow down Cam, no she is not here. She had to go to the base. What's wrong? Is Morcen ok? Is BJ ok?" Serena hearing the worry in Cam's voice.
"Morven, we going to the hospital ,the baby the baby is coming. We are in the ambulance." Even tho this was their second Can was still very nervous and excited.
Serena smiled " Cam calm down you are going to get Morven upset. Take a deep breath. Where is BJ?"
" He is with friends, he is ok"
"Ok I will get in touch with your mom and I will meet you at the hospital." Serena had gotten Cam calm down some what.
"Ok see you there." Cam hung up
Serena rushed upstairs to get dressed while dialing Bernie. The phone began to ring and went to voicemail.
" look Captain, I want this settled by 0600 in the morning. Do I make myself cmear?" Bernie was done playing and did not like to micro-manage. She had gotten the call before sun up this morning and had been noj stop since. Considering she had not git much sleep the night before.
"Yes maam it will be straight or I will have heads rolling." Captain realized the colonel's patience was running thin.
"Nothing that we will have to fix medically Captain." Bernie try to lighten up the tone.
"Quite right Colonel.will that be all?"
" yes, dismissed."
Once back in her office ,she retrieved her phone and realized it had not been charged. She decided it had been a long enough day. " well, I am done, the rest can keep till tomorrow." Bernie thought to herself as she looked at the paperwork on her desk. She exited the building looking for Danny when she remembered she had driven Serena's car . Laughing to herself " you are tired colonel" Bernie thought. Bernie drove through the gates as the guard came to attebtion and saluted. Bernie saluted back and headed toward Serena's.
" Hey what is going on? I have not heard from you." Beth was aggravated with Leah. " You know you the one that started this bloody plan."
" Look ive been busy besides I decided its time to move to plan B. Leah responded
"What ? I did not know we had another plan."
" well I had to have a back up but dont worry I woll take care of everything." Leah smiling to herself as she got set up.
" I hope this works better than the last plan."
"Look it will, I got to go" Leah did not wait for a response, she hing up. Sorry but there is always collateral damage in love and war. Leah spoke out loud but there was no one around to hear. Looking through the scope she spotted her target. Leah had chose this spot because it was most secluded spor between Holby City and Serena's.
Bernie checked her phone to see if it was charged enough to call Serena. Remembering lady night and how Serena talked her out of the picture. Bernie smiled when all of a sudden her driver side window shattered. Bernie felt the impact to her head. The car swerved and slid to a rest against a tree. Bernie felt the warm liquid come down her forehead. Bernie could only thing and say " Serena". Then her world went dark.
Chapter 24: Back to the beginning
it started with Major wolfe in the emergency room of holby city years ago and now here we are again
"No no" Leah had recognized the blonde head a second to late to stop the trigger pull. Bernie was not suppose to be in that car. Leah hurried up and loaded her car and pulled off.
"Have you heard from her?" Cam asked as Serena approached the expectant father. "No but she will call. She would not miss the birth of her grandchild." Serena reassured Cam.
"Well maybe you can calm this young father down before he upsets my little mother." Fleur spoke as she came out of Morven's room. "Look go in there and stay calm. Do you understand me?" Serena used her boss tone to get through to Cameron.
"How is she doing?" Serena turned her attention to Fleur as Cam walked back in with Morven. "Great, A little over 4 centimeters." Fleur looked up from the chart to see Serena fooling with her phone. "Don't you start ,the Werewolfe will get here in plenty of time." Serena just looked up at Fleur and gave her a disapproving look at the nickname.
"What we got?" Ric walked onto the unit as an ambulance was bringing a patient in. "Female possible gunshot wound to the head, has been unconscious since. We have not found an entrance or exit wound." Ambulance crew spoke as they were coming in along with several police officers. "Also she is military, appears high rank, RAMC" At that went to the bed quickly as the crew moved the patient from the gurney to the bed. "No , Bernie"
"What?" Donna had been walking in when she heard Ric. Ric began to bark out orders, the staff began to move double time. Ric scanned her head "I don't see anything, lets get this cleaned up, so we can see what we have."Donna had started cleaning.
"There, see a graze but also nice size goose egg on the forehead." Ric could feel relief going through his body. To have his friend here like this. "lets get a scan, I want a compete scan, head to toe" Donna walked off to get the orders in. "Hey you got to wake up now. Serena sees you like this and it will not be good. Bernie you need to wake up, snap to soldier." Ric talking to his friend
"Bernie" Fletch had walked up. He had been in Pulses when he saw the commotion and came up to see if he could help unaware it was Bernie. "Fletch, she is going to be o.k." Ric saw the concern on Fletch's face.
"What , what happen?"
"We don't know yet, came in has a gunshot wound to the head but its just a graze"
Before Ric could finish ,Bernie was coming around. Ric turned and moved to her side along with Fletch. "That's it , fight it. ITs Ric, Bernie you are at Holby ." Ric tried to talk to her. "Serena" Bernie was starting to fall back asleep. "you need to stay awake, I will get Serena for you." Ric then turned to Fletch " Can you wait with her I need to get to Serena before word spreads and she finds out through the grapevine."
"Of course,... wait Serena is not on rotor today." Fletch stopped Ric "She is up in maternity, she came in with Cameron and Morven" before Fletch could respond Ric made his way off the ward.
Serena had just walked out of Morven's room with Fleur. " I thought the second was suppose to move faster." Serena laughed and shook her head, remembering the conversation about baby girls, she had been sitting with Bernie on this very floor. " You know as well as I, they have minds of their own and do not know how to tell time just yet." Fleur responded.
Serena laughed but before she could respond she saw Ric getting off the elevator. She noticed the look on his face as he was approaching her. Her heart began to race "No NO its nothing, it cannot be" Serena's head began to spin. She knew something was wrong. "Serena , Serena its o.k., she is going to be o.k." Ric had made it to where Serena and Fleur was standing. Fleur looking from Ric to Serena, realizing Serena suddenly looked pale. "What is going on?" Fleur looked at Ric
"Ric, what, what happen?" Serena finally found her voice "She is downstairs, come with me, there as been an accident" Ric started pulling Serena toward the elevator. "Wait ,what is going on?" Fleur started following "Fleur just tell Cam I had an emergency and will be back. Its Bernie, something happen but don't tell him anything." Serena and Ric was gone as the elevator shut. "what would I tell him, I don't know anything." Fleur spoke to no one, concern on her face as she left the elevator.
"Ric what happen? and don't tell me she will be alright , WHAT HAPPEN?" Serena trying not to holla at her friend but she was about to lose it. "She came in as a gunshot wound to the head, wait wait, breath Serena , come on now. You have to remain calm if you want me to tell you." Ric grabbed Serena as she was beginning to fall as she slumped against the wall of the elevator and the color drained from her face once again. " Im, I'm o.k. keep going" Serena gathered herself and gave Ric a nod. "we checked it was just a graze with a nasty bump on her head, possibly when her head hit the steering wheel when the car slid off the road. That is all I know right now. She was coming around when I came to find you." Serena started to object , Ric knew is friend long enough to know " Fletch is with her and there was no room left around the bed when I left." Ric finished as the elevator stopped and the doors open.
Serena was greeted with a room full of activity she saw a couple of police officers talking to Donna and a soldier , she recognized from seeing at the gate a couple of times. The noise of all the activity slowly faded to Serena as the Ric guided her through the ward.
"Oh, the police would like to speak to you." Donna looking at Ric as she approached them " Mrs Campbell she was brought to scan." Donna had turned toward Serena. "She was asking for you" Donna gave Serena a smile. " Will you be o.k. here while I go talk to the police?" Ric asked Serena as she leaned against the nurses station.
"Yes, yes I'll be fine, I think I will go find her." Serena patted Ric's hand and smiled for the first time since Ric had approached her, although it was weak smile." Thank you Ric" Ric smiled at her and turned heading to the police waiting in his office.
Serena eased in the observation area of the scan room. Fletch looked up and gave her a smile and thumbs up. "They are finishing up now"
Serena looked through the glass at her one true love stretched out on the table. Serena could not help but smile as Bernie seemed to be giving the orders in the room. When Bernie started to sit up Serena figured it was time to save her staff before they get the full force of Colonel Wolfe.
The lab tech looked up as Serena walked in "WE are finished, she is ready to go back." the tech spoke to Serena , knowing her as DR Campbell but not aware of her relationship to the patient. Serena approached the bed, Bernie had her eyes closed. Serena looked her over before touching Bernie's hand. She needed any kind of contact just for reassurance. As soon as the contact was made Bernie's eyes came open and fell on Serena.
"I'm o.k. love" Bernie smiled at her and Serena finally let the tears come down. Bernie raised up on her elbow and leaned over as Serena wrapped her arms around Bernie's neck. "it's o.k., take more than a bump on the head to take me out." Bernie spoke. Serena straightened up and looked into Bernie's eyes as her hand played with the blonde hair. Bernie rubbed Serena's cheek with the back of her hand then she slowly laid back down. Her head still hurting and the action to sit up made her a little dizzy. "Easy there my macho army medic. From the size of the knot on your head I am thinking a concussion." Serena rubbed Bernie's arm."
" You ready to take a ride Colonel, Sir?" Fletch tried to do a military stance. " NO thank you I have had a ride today" Bernie replied without opening her eyes her hand clutching tightly to Serena's hand. "Yes we are ready Fletch, don't mind the colonel. You know they say doctors make the worse patients." Serena responded and began to help Fletch get Bernie on the stretcher from the table.
Bernie back down on the ward, Serena was perched on her bedside holding Bernie's hand. " Well everything looks good, I would like to keep you over night for observation." Ric had barely got the words out when Bernie started to object "Wait, I said I would like to but I know that will not happen. So with that said." Ric turned his attention to Serena "You know the routine, she can not be left alone for the next 12 hours, no decisions,no signing documents or working heavy equipment or driving. Will you be with her?"
"Absolutely and she will follow doctor's orders. Heavy equipment means tanks as well soldier. Now I believe I need to give her some news." Serena smiled at Ric, Ric realized Serena was talking about Bernie's grandchild is on the way.
"I wish you two would quit talking around me. I am an adult." Bernie spoke as she crossed her arms in front of herself. "I also want to get out of this cloth you call a gown and back in my clothes."
"Your chariot awaits my lady." Dom spoke as he pushed a wheel chair up. "That's not for me. I am not riding in a wheel chair. " Bernie spoke as she sat up in bed.
"Will you gentlemen and lady excuse us." Serena spoke to their group of friend., Fletch, Dom and Donna smiled and gave a look at Bernie and then to each other as if saying ,someone is in trouble, they left shutting the door behind them.
Serena pulled the curtain to cover the windows so Bernie could change. She then retrieved Bernie's uniform. She walked over where Bernie sat on the side of the bed. When Serena looked up with unshed tears in her eyes any fight or argument Bernie had was gone . Serena swallowed and then "I could have lost you today, I don't know what happen still. A bullet grazed your head and you wrecked. I know the police will find who or what happen but all I know is that moment Ric came to get me, when I saw him and up till he told me you were here and hurt my world stopped spinning. I was ready to go with you. I do not want a life with out you so whatever it takes, whatever the doctor orders will be done. Now get dressed and get in that wheelchair so we can go check and see of your granddaughter was born while you have been arguing with my staff. Hop to soldier, double time."
Bernie reached and took the clothes and laid them on the bed. She cupped Serena's face in her hands and lightly kissed her. She placed her hand forehead gingerly against Serena's "I love you Serena Wendy Campbell. Whatever you say...wait, what did you say?" The part about granddaughter finally registered and Bernie pulled back looking at Serena. "Did you say granddaughter is coming?" Serena smiled and shook her head. "Yes they are in labor as we speak." "What are we waiting on, drive on." Bernie had quickly changed and took a seat in the wheelchair.
Chapter 25: the Wolfe pup is here
"How is the patient?" The first officer asked as Ric walked in.
"She is fine.." Before Ric could finish there was a tap on the office door. " Well look what the cat drug in" Ric looked up and spoke as he recognized the gentleman at the door. "That will be Senior Special Investigator to you mate." The plain clothes police officer spoke, then shook Ric's hand. "I'll take it from here chaps." He directed at the 2 officers. "How are you old friend?"
"Doug i'm fine and you? Senior Special Investigator?" Ric responded to his old friend.
"yeah well its a job and someone has to do it. Why not me? So how is the patient?"
"Concussion, bump on the head and a graze along the hairline. She is fine, she has been discharged."
"Oh, I need to speak with her."
"What happen? I ask not only as a doctor but her friend."
"A bullet went through the driver side window and after grazing your friend it lodged in the inside frame of the passenger window."
Ric shook his head and took a seat as the reality of how close he came to losing his friend. "So you know her? She was in a car registered to a Serena Campbell, do you know her?" The investigator continued
"Yes, she is also a doctor here, they are both still here at the hospital. After I discharged Bernie they went up to see her son and daughter in law who are in maternity fixing to have a baby. They were both heading up there when I came to get with the officers."
"I will not interrupt their time. If you could give my card to them and advise Colonel Wolfe I will get out to the base tomorrow to speak with her."
"Of course and thank you Doug for this consideration." Ric continued " Doug do you think this was an accident or intentional? To hurt one of them?"
"To early to say but it's close to the base so I suspect there would be no one playing with guns. Do you know of any enemies either lady would have?"
"No, not at all." Ric followed his friend out
"WE need to get together some time, catch up." The inspector spoke as he shook Ric's hand.
"Absolutely, I believe you still owe me a chance to get my money back on the links."
"Well i'm a little rusty have not picked up a club in a few years but you just give me a buzz." He handed Ric another card "My private number is on the back. Don't worry about your friend I will not stop till I find the responsible party. I just hope after I speak with the Colonel I might get a clue into what happen and who is responsible."
"Mom what happened? Are you o.k.? " Cam came out of Morven's room as Serena and Bernie came up with Dom pushing the wheel chair.
" I'm fine." Bernie stood up and hugged Cam "How is Morven?" Bernie asked as she released Cam, trying not to let on that her standing up to quickly made her a little dizzy.
"She is great, I think it is about time. Your granddaughter should be making an appearance, Are you sure you are o.k.?" Cam asked not believing his mom.
"I'm fine get back in there. Give Morven our love "
Eddie and Maggie spoke at the same time as they approached. Concern etched in their voice. Both came up and began to hug Bernie. Eddy pulled back and began to look at the head wound. "Did they do full work up? What did it show? I want to see the labs." Eddie rambled
"Would you two take it easy , if I was not injured before I will be. Ric Has the scans, everything checked out."
"She has a concussion." Serena interjected
"When we heard we thought, we was so worried." Maggie beginning to wipe tears from her eyes.
"I'm fine I promise" Bernie looked at Maggie and squeezed her hand.
"Well hello, DR Edward Little, friends call me Eddie." Eddie had noticed Dom standing there and reached his hand out.
"Dominic, friends call me Dom."
"Well hello Dom." Eddie still shaking Dom's hand.
"Dom do not let first impressions fool you, Eddie is one of the top neuro surgeons in Europe." Bernie added and smiled at Dom with a quick wink. Dom could not help but remember the first talk he had with Bernie. She was struggling with coming out. He thought it seems like a life time ago but he could only hope to find what Bernie and Serena had found, their forever.
"You know I hear there is a coffee shop around here that I need to try , how about I buy you a cup?" Eddie still holding Dom's hand
"Go ahead she will be in capable hands." Serena said not sure if she was helping or making it worse for Dom.
"If you are sure. I could use a cup been a rough day." Dom started walking with Eddie.
The 3 ladies just laughed at the animated way Eddie was telling Dom about something.
"How are you? really?" Maggie knelt down next to Bernie who had put her head down and rested it on her hands. Maggie softly touched Bernie's elbow.
Bernie looked up and smiled "I fine, I will be alright. You know my head is hard."
Maggie stood up and looked at Serena who had taken a seat in chair by Bernie, Serena gave Maggie a smile and gave her nod that she will be o.k.
"Well I will be here if you need anything. Danny is on his way to give you two a ride also I notified the General and Ms Sarah. Might of fact I need to go give them a call."
"Oh I need you to call Captain..."Bernie started but was quickly cut off.
"I know, the arrangements, I will handle it also I cancelled your appointments for tomorrow " Maggie was beginning to walk off with her phone in hand.
"Wait... I can make the appointments tomorrow." Bernie spoke
"Maggie go ahead and reschedule the appointments." Serena spoke up
"Wait..." Bernie tried to speak but Maggie was already walking away on her phone. "Serena I am not an invalid and might I remind you I am a colonel in her majesties army. I am quite capable of over seeing my duties with a bump on my head." Bernie was tired and hurting and anxious to see her granddaughter. She knew the last part came out more hostile then she wanted " I'm sorry" Bernie reached for Serena's hand.
"It's o.k. I understand and I know you are not one to be fussed over but I will do it. Do you need anything?" Serena squeezed Bernie's hand
"you, I just need you"
"well you have me, all of me" Their foreheads touched.
The moment broken by a loud cry. "Oh, that is definitely a Wolfe howl there Colonel." Serena pulled back and smiled seeing the tears in Bernie's eyes and the smile on her face. She fell in love all over again.
"Add one healthy loud pup to the Wolfe pack." Fleur had come out of the room. "you two can go in and meet the newest grandchild. She is quite cute." Fleur moved off to the desk as Bernie and Serena headed in the room.
Chapter 26: making plans and covering tracks
"Hey did you hear? Better question did you have anything to do with it?" Beth a little concerned that what she was thinking was true, her co-conspirator had gone to far.
"What are you talking about?" Leah still shaken from what she had done, try to calm her voice.
"You haven't heard?" Beth sounding irritated
"Look I'm busy ,what are you talking about?"
"Bernie Wolfe was shot today. Now what did you do?" Beth almost hollering "I did not want things to go this far. So if you..."
"Look I did not have anything to do with anyone being shot." There was silence on both ends of the line. " Have ...do you know how she is doing? I mean what happen?' Leah continued
"She was treated and released but the police have been all over the hospital. For the last time, did you play any part in this?" Beth screamed at Leah
" No, look I got to go." Leah hung up
"So Dom how long have you known Bernie?" Eddie and Dom had been enjoying each others company over a cup of coffee.
"Since the first time she came to Holby, when she was a patient, then a doctor, over six years." Dom was enjoying Eddie's company and it scared him, his feelings. He had been burned so many times. He relaxed a little knowing how close Bernie was to Eddie and he trusted Bernie's judgement
"She is very special to me. We met in Nairobi and to be honest that was the first time for me being that far from home. The first time we met I started in trauma unit my first day and they had a lot going on and I was beginning to wonder what I signed up for. NO familiar faces and several different languages going at one time and through the chaos I saw a blonde head and she was barking orders and seemed to be so at home and she was the calm in the chaos. I went up and introduced myself and she said glad to meet you now get scrubbed you are assisting me in surgery. She was an artist in the operating room. After things settled down we went for coffee and the rest is history." Eddie motioned with his hands.
"So you came here with Bernie,.. I mean she brought you... " Dom was beginning to stumble. His feelings for this man was scaring him, he felt like he could be open with him and he did not want to this soon.
Eddie laughed as Dom blushed "Yes, Bernie was told she could appoint her own staff ,civil and military, so she offered me a job." Eddie decided to give Dom some slack.
Dom begin to relax a little with each passing second with Eddie's easy manner and warm personality. "SO have you heard anything on Bernie's accident today?"
"No, just someone shot through the driver side . One of the guards at the gate said he had came along right after it happen. He did not see the shot fired or who shot but came after her car had already gone off the road."
"Hope it was just an accident ,someone out skeet shooting or something. I do not like to think someone would intentionally shoot at Bernie or want to hurt her." Dom shuttered at the thought
"They will get to the facts and accident or not someone will answer." Eddie knew the RAMC would not let it go. "So you know I could always use an extra paddle some times. What I mean is I like to kayak , if you are game. I mean if you are not seeing anyone, I mean it would be just...you know not a …" Eddie was beginning to stutter thinking to himself come on Eddie you never get nervous about asking someone out
Dom smiled at the self assured doctor trying to put a sentence together " No, im not seeing anyone, I am just recently out of a relationship. Kayaking sounds like fun and its been a while since I did anything just for fun. So here is my number, just call." Dom jotted down his number and slid it over to Eddie.
"Oh, great ,so what about this Saturday, you off?"
"I am off so Saturday would be good." Dom smiled
" Well let me get back to the colonel." Both men stood up and leaned in for a quick hug. Eddie thought as he walked off at least he would make a good friend.
"Hey Tommy, look I want to make sure we are on the same page. You have not seen me in a couple years" Leaf talking to her friend who helped her learn to shoot.
"hey Mate, yeah, yeah we good. Hey I don't want to know nothing about nothing" Tommy responded
"Alright good enough. I might not see or talk to you for a while at least till things cool off."
"Cool, I got you mate."
"Tommy I mean it, nothing to no one." Leah trusted Tommy but sometimes his head was not screwed on right. They had known each other since high school and if not for her love of medicine she would have gone down the same path as Tommy, in and out of jail. He was like a brother to her and she knew he had her back. She also knew when things cool down she would need his help again.
"I take it your plan did not work out"
"no, I left a package for you at the spot, can you take care of it?"
"Yeah, ill go by tonight"
"Look get rid of it for me, its trash." Leah not giving to much, she was a on public phone but Tommy was on his cell phone. She figured with his background it would not be far fetched for someone to montor his calls or have a reason to go back and check his calls.
"Hey you o.k.?" Tommy concerned for his friend
"Yeah look I don't want to talk to long, Ill give you a call later. Thank you Tommy."
"You bet mate" Tommy was about to hang up
"Oh I also left you a little something with that package. You know for helping me." Leah than disconnected
Leah released a breath she felt like she had been holding since she saw the blonde hair slump over in the car. I'm sorry Bernie, my love, I would never hurt you and this is not over, I promise we will be together.
" Beth what the hell?" Beth sister asked as they were standing outside the hospital.
"Look what happen to her had nothing to do with those pictures I had you take." Beth responded "You need to lower your voice"
"Beth I do not want to be involved any further with anything to do with Serena Campbell, are we clear?"
"O.k. alright. I'm beginning to think I do not want anything to do with her either. I just, I don't know." Beth sat down on the bench in the garden
"Do you love her?"
Berth did not answer she just stared off.
"Look, its doesn't matter, she clearly doe snot love you, just let it go and move on. WE both know you have other women. I got to get back in there" with that Beth's sister turned and headed back to the hospital.
Beth stood up and looked at the retreating figure of her sister, I need a drink Beth thought. she had no idea what to do about Serena or Leah.
Ric stood by his car watching the two ladies in the garden area in what seemed like a heated discussion "I wonder" Ric thought to himself. He might need to give Beth;s name to his friend the inspector.
Chapter 27: Questions and Doubts
Serena scanned thru the pictures she had taken with her phone. When she found the one she had been looking for, Bernie holding her new granddaughter with Little BJ perched on one arm of the chair looking at his new sister and Bernie smiling down at the bundle in her arms. Serena's heart swelling as a smile that went from ear to ear , as she wiped a tear of joy from her eyes. She looked over at Bernie ,who was curled up next to her ,where she had been sleeping since Daniel dropped them off earlier at Bernie's. Serena had woke her briefly just to check for the concussion. When they find out who done this my soldier they will pay. Serena gently wiped a blonde hair from Bernie's eyes.
"What time is it?" Bernie asked without opening her eyes
"you are suppose to be asleep. It is a little after 2." Serena sat her phone down and gave Bernie her undivided attention. "How are you feeling? You need anything?"
"NO, except I need you to get some sleep you have to get up in a couple of hours to go to work.
"Don't worry about that, I had Ric take care of my schedule so I am staying right here with you."
Bernie went to object but a finger was placed over her lips "Hush, it is settled. You will be here in bed resting. You are my only patient I am treating today. " Serena laughed and shook her head when that last statement got her an eyebrow raised from Bernie and a smile. "OH, NO nothing like that colonel. You are on bed rest." Serena slid off the bed. "I want to check that bandage and do the concussion protocol with you" Serena went around to Bernie's side of the bed where Bernie sat up.
"I am Berenice Wolfe, oh Colonel Berenice Wolfe and I am currently in bed in my home with my gorgeous girlfriend, doctor." Bernie managed to loop her arm around Serena's waist and pulled her in.
" You colonel are incorrigible, now behave. " Serena laughing as she attempted to get out of Bernie's grasp. Bernie released her as her head reminded her of her injury. When Serena straighten up she saw the look in Bernie's eyes. "HUh huh you are hurting. Bandage looks good, Ill be right back. Im going to get you some water to take your medicine." Serena was off.
The rest of the night went the same, Serena would wake her every couple hours to check.
"Coming" Serena responded to the doorbell as she came out of the kitchen.
:Good morning ,how is your patient?" Sarah Marks ask as she walked in '
"She is doing fine ." Before Serena could say anymore a motion in the hall caused both ladies to turn around.
"Speak of the devil. " Sarah moved to meet Bernie as she walked up. "You are looking better than I thought you would."
"Thank you, I think." Bernie sleepily responded
"Why are you up? You should not have come down those steps by yourself." Serena moved to Bernie. Checking her bandage when she got to her.
AS the ladies had moved to the kitchen and was settling down the doorbell sounded again.
"Ill be right back. you behave yourself and don't move." Serena spoke as she moved past Bernie she slid a hand on Bernie's shoulder and squeezed
"I see your in good hands." Sarah remarked with a slight smile as she looked at Bernie over her cup. "How are you feeling?"
" I really am feeling good, Serena has made sure I followed the doctors' orders and hers , I don't know what I would do without her." Bernie finished as she smiled.
"Yes can I help you?" Serena ask taken aback by the tall gentleman at the door, not military dress as she had supposed before opening the door.
"Yes, good day, I am looking for Colonel Wolfe, the soldier at the gate directed me here. I am Senior Inspector Matts." The inspector said as he flipped his id to show Serena.
"Oh, of course, come in , I am Serena Campbell. I will get Colonel Wolfe , you may make yourself comfortable right in here. "Serena spoke as she showed him in to the lounge area right off the entrance.
"Thank you, how is she doing?" The inspector asked before Serena could answer the doorbell sounded again.
"Excuse me it seems to be busy here this morning." Serena was stopped by the doorbell
"That will be my partner DI Chaney, if you would like I could get it?" The inspector offered
"Of course and I will get Colonel Wolfe." Serena smiled and started down the hall.
"Come on in, I am waiting in here. Ms Campbell has gone to get Colonel Wolfe." Inspector spoke as they reentered the lounge.
"Ms Campbell , Serena Campbell, the owner of the car?" Chaney inquired as she looked around the room.
"Yes I suppose so."
"Good we can speak to both of them while we are here."
"Yes, I would however like this first interview be done separately. So I will speak with the colonel and you can speak with Ms Campbell." The senior inspector instructed as he was looking over his notes in his tablet.
"You mentioned yesterday you think this could be a case of mistaken identity?" Chaney looked at a picture on a shelf. Two ladies one blonde in uniform and the other brunette. She noticed they seemed intimate in the picture. " The ladies are a couple?" She looked at her boss more statement than a question.
"I do not know." The inspector never looked up from his notes.
Bernie and Serena entered the room.
"Inspector " Serena started
"Yes, Colonel Wolfe i presume." The inspector started toward the ladies reaching his hand out to Bernie.
"yes, I figured I, we would be getting a visit from your agency." Bernie responded
"Of course and this is Inspector Chaney." Chaney stepped forward looking at the two ladies.
Bernie and Serena acknowledged the inspector with a greeting.
"I know you are still recuperating so we will not keep you ladies long. If possible I would like to speak with you in private?" The inspector directed at Bernie.
"of course but i have nothing to hide from Serena." Bernie reached out for Serena's hand.
" No, of course it's just procedure." Inspector insured "Well, more my procedure, I have found I get unsolicited answers in a one on one with witnesses. I mean some will feed off the other for answers, unintentionally."
"Of course makes sense. Whatever is necessary ." Bernie responded
"yes, yes so this person can be caught." Serena interjected "Ill be in the kitchen if you need anything."
"If you do not mind Ms Campbell I will go with you." Chaney started out behind Serena.
"Right this way."
"Sarah you leaving?" Serena meeting Sarah in the hall.
"Yes you two need to take care of business, I do not want to be in the way. Tell Bernie I will call later. You two call if you need anything. I will see myself out." She leaned in and gave Serena a hug and headed out.
"Can you tell me what happen?" The inspector started.
"I had just left the base and I heard something hit the window on the driverside. I thought maybe a rock or something. The window shattered , I felt something hit my forehead. I swerved from the momentum of me ducking. When I tred to correct, I lost control and next thing I know I wake up at Holby."
"Why was you in Ms Campbell's car?"
"I had used her car to get back home."
"Did anybody besides yourself and Ms Campbell know you would be in her car?"
" Well, I ...I suppose not . I mean the guard at the gate this morning I had not discussed it with anyone."
"have you had any run in's with anyone?"
"What about Ms Campbell?"
"You mean has she had any problems?"
"That you are aware of? Anyone she mention she has had trouble with?""
For the first time it dawned on Bernie, if this was intentional Serena could have been the target. Bernie stood and began to pace not liking where her thoughts and the inspector was going. Serena could have been in that car.
"You don't believe this was an accident, do you?" Bernie stopped pacing and gave a pointed look at the inspector.
"No ma'am I do not. It's early on ,to early to state with certainty either way but my gut from years of experience tells me this was intentional. Who saw you leaving the base yesterday?"
"I...I don't know other than my assistant, Maggie and of course the guard at the gate." Bernie head beginning tp spoin, the thoughts that Serena might be the target of someone, trying to remember every detail that lead up to the wreck and her wound still bothering her. She took a seat. "I cannot imagine anyone would try and hurt Serena."
" I have never been one to mix words or shy away from a question when it comes to investigating. So sometimes people can get offended but you do not strike me as thin skin. Do you know anyone that has a problem with your relationship with Ms Campbell?" The inspector hope it would not offend the colonel, he had done research , her professional background and was impressed if not a little star struck at the hero medic he was questioning.
"No one that I can think of. I mean we have had out share of looks from strangers and maybe a few comments from some we know when it was still new." Bernie trying to remember anyone or any incident that stood out.
"How about any old flames not quit ready to let the embers die? Your ex, Marcus DUnn?" The inspector glancing at his notes.
Bernie laughed" NO , I do not believe it would be Marcus, he has never been a fan of guns. Of course it did end bad and the divorce was eveb worse but I would stake my career that he had nothing to do with this.
"How about any soldiers under your command that you have had to discipline?"
" No so far I have not had any problems."
"Well colonel I will not keep you any longer. If you can think of anything please give us a call. I will be in touch ,probably with more questions as the investigation goes along." The inspector stood and handed Bernie his card
Bernie stood to show the inspector into the kitchen where she figured SErena was talking with the other inspector. The thought went through Bernie's mind " You know I feel foolish bringing this up and I just thought about it."
"Anything you can add, as trivial as it seems might be the key."
"Well when I first came back Serena 's ex, Beth, did not care for me at all. We had just gotten back together and there was an incident where she was involved, someone sent pictures to my phone."
"With your permission I would like to pull your phone records and retrieve the messages."
"Of course anything to help."
" What's the ex name?"
" Beth, well Elizabeth Welch."
"Can I offer you something to drink, tea or coffee?" Serena asked as they entered the kitchen.
"No thank you ma'am . So how log have you known Colonel Wolfe?" Chaney ask as she took a seat.
" YOu mean how long have we been a couple?" Serena sat at the table with a pointed look at the young inspector. Thinking she reminded her of her daughter
" NO ma'am I most all ways say what I mean ." Chaney replied with a little smile to let Serena know she was not put off by the redirected question.
" I'm sorry we have known each other for almost seven years." Serena smiled back and continued " We have been a couple off and on for most of that time."
"Off and on? So you two have had problems?"
Serena looked at the young inspector over her cup then sat it down. Serena took a deep breath knowing the question had to be asked " Yes but nothing terrible. Just seemed our lifes and careers would come to a crossroads and we would go our separate ways. The last time and I mean the last time, was for three years. When she got the appointment to head up RAMC she moved back and well here we are." Serena smiled
"I see, why was Colonel Wolfe in your car?"
"She drove it to base from my place early yesterday morning. There was no sense in having her driver come to pick her up when I did not need my car yesterday."
"I see does she take your car often?"
" No, I mean there has been occasions where she takes it." SErena praying the young inspector would not say i see again as if she was questioning Serena's voracity.
"I see did anyone know she would be in the car?"
"I don't believe unless they saw her driving it"
" Does Colonel Wolfe have anybody that would wish her harm? That holds a grudge?"
"No... well , no surely. I mean" Serena could not help the thought that passed through her mind of Beth.
"you know someone?" The inspector raised an eyebrow
"Just but she would never do anything like this. My ex , Beth ,she does not like Bernie."
"Dislike enough to see harm come to her?"
"I just can not imagine Beth , I mean she has a temper." Serena was beginning to wonder if Beth was capable of hurting Bernie.
" Your demeanor is contradicting your words Ms Campbell. You have your doubts?"
"I ...I just don't know."
"What is her full name?"
"Is there anyone that you have had a run in with or someone that might not be happy with you? Maybe at work?"
"No, I have had my disagreements but nothing to this extent to cause bodily harm to anyone."
"O.k. that should do it for now if you have or can think of anything else just give me a call." the young inspector handed Serena her card.
"All done? Sure I can't get you something to drink inspector?" Serena asked as Bernie and the senior inspector walked in.
"NO thank you " Senior inspector looked at his jr inspector silent question if she was ready.
"Thank you Ms Campbell. If you think of anything don't hesitate to call." The jr inspector said as she stood up.
"Ill see you to the door." Serena followed them to the door.
When Serena re-entered the kitchen Bernie had taken a seat and had her head and her hands massaging her temples. Serena eased behind her Bernie and slipped her arms around her and rested her head on Bernie's shoulder.
"Come on with you now, back to bed." Bernie turned and kissed Serena on the check the stood up. She turned and placed her hands on Serena's hips. "I...Do you. I mean is it possible" Bernie did not know how to ask Serena if she thinks Beth had something to do with it.
"I do not know, if you had asked me a minute ago I would have said no but I just don't know. I would hope that someone I was close with would not be capable of something like this."
Chapter 28: Senseless
"How is Bernie doing? Ric looked up as Serena walked in Pulses.
"She is doing good, better than me." Serena looking as tired as she felt. It had been a week since the incident. Serena had gotten little sleep ,worried about Bernie and thinking about what could have happen.
"Come on i'll buy you a cup of coffee." Ric placed an arm around Serena with a comforting smile. "The largest one they make."
"Sounds good to me" Serena willingly was lead to the counter.
"You know she has been through a lot worse and came out of it with flying colors and no worse for wear."
"I know but I just cannot help but think... Ric I cannot lose her. All we have been through."
"She is a fighter and you know this. They will catch who is responsible. I know the inspector who is working the case , he is a bulldog when it comes to anything he is working on."
"You know each other?" Serena looked up from her coffee.
"Grew up together what you might call running mates." Ric replied as they exited pulses. " He is a good guy. I have no doubt he is already on the trail of something now." They started in the elevator as Ric gave Serena a reassuring smile.
"You drive yourself to hard." Maggie spoke as she walked in noticing Bernie rubbing her temples. True to form Bernie could not be talked into or ordered into staying home longer than a day.
"NO more than I drive others." Bernie looked up from her desk and removed her glasses.
"Which proves my point." Maggie said with a smile. "Here is your mail, I handled most of it but these items need your attention. Also I was to remind you of an appointment with General Marks this afternoon at:."
"that is hours Maggie." Bernie shaking her head and smiling at her assistant. " NO matter how long you are around this military life you will not catch on to military tiime."
"Why not say 4 pm, it works for everybody else."
Maggie parting shot as she exited Bernie's office.
"I came to check on you, you should feel honored I don't usually make house calls." Eddy came busting in.
"Ha, I remember a certain doctor that you made that..."
"Stop right there , the walls could have ears , you know you military type. Besides that was a special case, he was clearly in need of some hands on therapy." Eddy had cut Bernie off.
"Quit flashing that damn light in my eyes." Bernie ducked when Eddy approached with light in hand.
"Doctors truly are the worst patients." Eddy sat across from Bernie . " You feeling o.k.?" How is the headache?" Eddy's voice filled with concern for his friend and mentor.
" I feel fine , really" Bernie spoke the last part as she looked up and gave him a smile and patted his hand.
"So any word from the Sherlock Holmes? They catch anybody?" Eddy continued
" NO have not heard anything. Eddy ,you know they might not find anything or the one responsible." Bernie stood up and walked to the small conference table
"Hope i'm not interrupting ? I did not see Maggie so i thought, you know the door was open"
Bernie looked up to see Leah Faulkner standing in the door.
"Well, I guess we need to watch leaving the door open, anyone could walk in." Eddy spoke before Bernie could reply.
"Good afternoon Dr Faulkner, how can we assist you?" Bernie sat down behind her desk and looked at Leah over the top of her glasses.
"I was in the neighborhood and well I heard about what happen . I just wanted to check to make sure you are okay. You look great. Well you know what I...I just >>>have they found out anything?"
Bernie took her glasses off and stood up. "Thank you for you concern but i'm fine. AS far as the police ,no they have not said any more to me."
"Well, i'm sure they will find something. Would you like to take a break and maybe grab lunch?"
Bernie moved back to her desk with Eddy had remained seated. Eddy had occupied his mind on his cell phone , he did not like this DR Faulkner and had no time for her outside work.
"Well, I see you later then. Call me if you need anything. I mean anything." Leah gave Bernie wink and smile and headded out.
"That little bitch got nerve." Eddy stood up and walked over and shut the door behind Leah.
Bernie did not let Leah Faulkner bother her , she let it roll off.
"Why do we need her? cut her loose" Eddy spoke as he return to Bernie's desk
" Eddy the soldiers that are injured may need her. You must not take anything she says or does bother you."
"I guess, I just don't trust her. Well I got to go. Call if you need anything and I mean anything." Eddy smiled at Bernie kicking his leg back and laughed . Causing Bernie to honk out in a laugh." Go on with you." Bernie replied. Bernie went back ton her paperwork only for her phone to interrupt her . Smiling as she saw Serena's picture appear on the screen. "Hello love" Bernie leaned back
" How are you feeling?" Serena could feel Bernie's smile through her voice.
"Pretty good, a little tired, been a little busy this morning"
"Is everything o.k.?"
"OH yeah, just people in and out this morning. Have that visit coming up next week. OH, speaking of visits , Leah Faulkner came in a while ago."
"What? What did she want?"
"She said she had heard about the accident and wanted to check on me." Bernie waited for Serena to reply but there was just silence.
Finally Serene spoke" Bernie you don't think ,no, no of course not. Never mind"
"Oh no you don't Campbell, what is going through that gorgeous brain of yours?" Bernie not letting Serena off the hook.
"I just thought or was going to ask if you thought she might have something to do with this?"
"I don't think so, I mean why would she want to hurt either of us?"
"You probably right, just letting my mind find ghost where there are none. So what is the plan for the night? You coming by or should I come there. I am not on rota tomorrow so my day is clear."
"Oh I am sorry baby, I have to go to Schriever. They need me there this evening. I am so sorry." Bernie hated standing Serena up.
"NO, I understand, don't apologize please. I will entertain myself. There are things I need to do around my flat that I have put off."
"Serena, General Marks just walked in."
"OH i'll let you go. I love you."
"I'll call when I get in the air. I love you."
Serena leaned back in her chair as she laid her phone down. She could not shake the idea that Leah Faulkner might be involved. Of course she had nothing to go on just " i'm being silly" Serena had said the last part out loud.
"OH yeah, well tell me I need a laugh." Donna spoke as she stepped in the door.
Serena shook her head " OH nothing , what you got?"
"Patient just came in you might want to take a look at." Donna handed Serena the chart.
"How sad when these overdoses come in. Seems clear what is the problem?" Serena studying the chart again in case she missed what Donna was getting at.
"It's spot, it looks well, there is an injection spot on his neck, back side of his neck"
Serena looked up at Donna" o.k. lets take a look. Do they have an I.D.? Someone we need to call for him?" Serena asked Donna as they entered the room.
" I.D. on him is Thomas Irvin" Donna answered "he also had a tattoo on his arm, Tommy."
"Well lets have a look." Serena examined the spot. "Well I dont believe he did this himself, must have had help from a buddy. Did he come alone?"
" BY ambulance and no one rode in with him , paramedic said he was alone when they got to him."
"No one has inquired about him?"
"I checked before I came to get you, there are bobbies that followed the ambulance in" Donna pointed to the nurses station where 2 officers were standing.
"O.k. finish up here and get him moved downstairs. It will be up to the medical examiner and police. I'll let the police know"
Serena started to walk off but stopped and looked back " So sad anytime someone dies but this is senseless."
"Hello I am Serena Campbell ,lead here ." Serena introduced herself as got to the officers.
"Here you go old man, straight up and hot well now luke warm." Inspector Chaney greeted her mentor as she set the cup of coffee in front of him.
" Thanks kid." the senior inspector looked up reaching for the cup. " What we got?"
" Possible homicide." Chaney responded as the senior inspector rose from his desk.
"Well lead the way, you can fill me in on the way over."
"Alright, you want to go to hospital to view the body or to the scene?"
"Let's go see what the medical examiner has to say. You said possible homicide?" the inspector looked over at his young partner as they got on the elevator. "Interesting"
" So what is your plan now? That did not work so well." Beth sat down at the table with Leah. "Look before this goes any further, I did not know anyone was going to get hurt, physically."
"You knew there were risk, I told you the plan." Leah snapped back.
"Not with weapons and you cannot sit there and tell me that bullet was meant for Bernie. I know you intended to take Serena out." Beth spoke the last part louder then she intended and looked around to see if anyone had heard or was watching.
" Hold it down" Leah looking around as well. " I was not trying to hurt anyone."
"What the hell? YOu shot at her car, what did you think would happen?" Beth cut Leah off. " Look I didn't come here to argue ,just to tell you i'm done. Whatever you do...."
"Look you was all for this to start and I told you it might get tricky." Leah interrupted.
"No, i'm out, whatever you do from here out, don't depend on my help and do not contact me again." Beth started to stand up and Leah reached out and grabbed her wrist.
" That is up to you but you forget about any of this. Do not talk to anyone about what happen or even discuss me. You understand me?" Leah spoke between clenched teeth.
"Ouch, let go of my wrist." Beth jerked away. "You do not scare me Faulkner but don't worry all I want to do is forget you exist."
" I think we understand each other." Leah eased back in her chair as Beth walked away.
"I know how to take of lose ends." Leah spoke under her breath.
"Mm-mm" Inspector Matts responding to a remark his young partner had spoke. He was distracted by the tattoo on the victim's shoulder. "Chaney look at this" Matts stepped back pointing to the tattoo.
"What is that, bulls eye of some kind?"
"Sharp shooter." Matts responded
"Well if it had not been for a little blood along the hair line at the back of the head we would have never spotted the needle mark." the medical examiner continued looking at his chart.
"So we are intelligent people here, there is no way that is self inflicted or he had an accident and fell on the needle?" Chaney looked up at the medical examiner
"Not hardly" the examiner responded without looking up
"Well i've seen enough lets go take a look at the scene. Thank you." Matts said has they exited the examining room
The two inspectors ducked under the police tape. "You have been quiet on the ride over here, you got one of your feelings, don't you?" Chaney trying to figure whats was going on his mind.
"I don't know, just a feeling I cannot shake since see that tattoo."
"Well anything I should be looking for , you know with that feeling of yours?"
"You a detective so detect." Matt responded before entering the bedroom. It was a rundown flat ,just a one bedroom but on the clean side for a junky. Looking at photos on the wall the victim had been a veteran. Matt moved a few things around that laid on top of the dresser. He took a sit in the chair by the dresser to thumb through some photos stacked on the corner. He let his eyes moved from the photos scanning the room when he spotted something that has fallen on the backside of the nightstand. Matts got up and moved over and picked it up. " mmm .. One Stop Pawn.." Matts read the ticket, a pawn ticket. " So you hocked something, maybe it can tell us who was not happy with you living."
" You finally cracked old man? Talking to yourself?" Chaney entered the room.
"Nothing out there , what did you find?" Chaney looking at the ticket stub Matts was holding.
"My be an answer. Come on." Matts stood and started leaving the room
"One Stop Pawn"
"How is Bernie?"
Serena looked up recognizing the voice. " Beth what are you doing here?"
"Look I know I am probably one of the last people you want to see but I ...I I have made mistakes in the past but I truly am sorry what happen to Bernie, "
Serena looked up and realized that there was an emotion in Beth's eyes she had not seen since they had first started dating. She really was concerned. " She is fine, she is a strong person."
"Do you think we will ever be friends again?" Beth asked as she entered in Serena's office
" I think we could be friends, as long as you understand that is all we will ever be. Im all Bernie's and will not lose her."
" I can live with that."
"But I don't think Bernie will be wanting to double date or hang out." Serena continued.
" So how are you doing? Look well." Beth smiled
"No no Serena you want give me that fine when we both know that is a lie." Beth gave Serena a smile
Serena laughed " Really I am, just a little worried you know."
"Is there anything I can do to help?"
"No thank you, like I said Bernie is good and I will be in time." Serena smiled "I hate to rush off but I have a few patients to check in on." Serena stood up from her desk.
"Of course" Beth stood and followed Serena to the door. " I really am sorry for everything Serena." Beth watched Serena disappear around the corner.
" Look Pops I am not here to check your books" Matts spoke with the pawn shop owner behind the desk
"Which probably would not be a bad idea." Chaney whispered toward her partner's ear
" Seems your partner thinks other wise" The clerk watched as Chaney began to wonder around the shop but keeping an eye and ear on her partner's conversation.
"I just want the item that was pawned." Matts holding the ticket in front of the small man's eyes
" Let me see." taking the ticket , the clerk punched in the item number on the computer. when he scanned the screen his eyes finding the item." o.k. looks like it is a gun. Right over here." The clerk began to move to the back of the store.
" wait what, did you say gun?
Both the inspectors looked up and spoke at same time.
"Here it is." the clerk handed the box to the inspector.
Matts opened the box, a rifle with a high power scope. The two inspectors looked up from the box and at each other. " You think one day I will be able to have those gut feelings?" Chaney looking at Matts
" This is a nice place. How did someone from across the pond know about this place?" Dom looking around as the waiter seated them.
" Hey I have you know i'm in the know" Eddy responded
"What can I get you two gentlemen?" The waitress asked
" The gentleman will have" Eddy motioned for Dom to go.
"Your best white wine.
"Be right back" the waitress turned on her heel and walked away
"Bernie told you about this place." Dom gave Eddy a cheeky smile
"WEll she might have mentioned in passing how she and Serena enjoyed coming here."
Eddy knowing he had begged Bernie to find him a special place for his first date with Dom.
They both spoke at the same time. Both wishing the drinks would hurry and arrive. They both laughed "You first" Eddy spoke.
"How long have you known Bernie?" Dom ask as the drinks arrived , he was nervous and for the first time he was finding it hard not to be nervous. This is not the first time he had been on a first date so he was little shocked at how he was acting. He found Eddy charming and handsome and a real gentleman, great sense of humor . Dom was going to go with until the other shoe dropped, as his luck lately with men.
They talked about any and everything and laughed has the night went on. Neither man seemed aware the time was passing , they ate and there were moments of comfortable silence. Dom found himself opening up to Eddy about his past relationships even the abusive one with a certain doctor while Eddy explained his past.
"Wow, look at the time." Eddy brought back to earth as he finally realized they were the last customers in the restaurant.
"OH yeah I guess we need to let the wait staff clean up and go home." Dom started reaching in his pocket.
"You better be reaching for a hanky. This is on me and I will hear nothing on the matter." Eddy spoke up as he reached and collected the bill.
"Dom I really have enjoyed the evening and hate to see it end. How about a night cap?" Eddy ask as they stepped onto the sidewalk.
"I must say I am not ready to leave your company. There is a nice place just around the corner. we can walk if you like?" Dom replied with a smile from ear to ear.
"Lead the way sir." Eddy motioned with his hand as he slightly bent over. Dom laughed and they started walking off continuing to talk and laugh.
"Hello love, how are you?" Bernie ask as Serena answered.
"Could be better of a certain Colonel was here." Serena replied smiling
"Who is it , I know seven ways to kill them with my bare hands." Bernie teasing
"There is only one for me, Colonel Wolfe. I just saw the newest cub of the Wolfe pack."
"Oh , Cam had told me he was going to stop by for a visit. I wish I could have been there. How is Morven doing?" Cam had told her that Morven was having a little trouble with postpartum depression he was concerned, she had not sleeping well.
" We had a nice long talk, you know had it with ..." Serena found herself getting choked up thinking about her daughter.
"Hey its o.k. baby, it's o.k. to let go of the emotions. Wish I was there with you." Bernie decided it was time to get off that topic. She did not like Serena to be upset and she would not be with her tonight. " She will be fine, now how was my granddaughter."
"Oh Bernie she is so pretty, she will be a little heart breaker, much like her grandmother."
"Oh come with you. What about the big brother, he still trying to get them to trade her for a baby brother from what Cam told me." Bernie laughed thinking about it.
Serena laughed " He ask me if we keep extra baby boys at the hospital we could trade her for."
Bernie honked out in laughter. " That boy"
"Just like his Gigi. So how are you feeling?" Serena snuggling down in the covers as she asked.
"Pretty good wishing my favorite doctor was here to take care of me, you examine me?" Bernie snuggled down in the covers. " So what you wearing Campbell?"
Serena laughed "You are incorrigible"
"The ballistics came back on the rifle, its a match." Chaney said has she laid the report on her desk. " So where do we go from here?"
" I gave the phone that was in his flat to a friend of mine with interpol."
"Wait that phone was smashed, I didn't think would could get anything from it."
"The interpol might be able to get something out of it, they sure as hell cannot hurt the damn thing." Matts spoke has he got up from his chair stretching out his back. "Look he will call when he gets something until then lets call it a night , get back on it with fresh eyes." Matts knew they were close to closing both these cases, the homicide and the attempt homicide on the Colonel.
"Hope we can , just the short time we have spend with the colonel and Ms Campbell I like them, good people." Chaney spoke as they walked toward the elevator.
"Yeah you right, how about a drink rookie?"
"Your turn to buy old man, so absobloodylutely."