Falling.... Hook, Line, and Sinker.

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Ambushed yet again!

His phone intruded yet again, but that was the nature of his being on call. It was the hospital this time.

He swore politely.

It seemed that some greater life force was not going to allow them to relax with each other as they so needed to do. Perhaps he wasn’t praying enough, or supported the right political party.

He answered it, listened for a few moments, nodding, before he spoke.

“And there’s no one else available?” He listened with a sinking heart.

He sighed. “Okay, I’ll come in.”

He turned to Cassie. “They have a problem. My father is not answering his pager, and all of the other doctors on staff are either in the operating theater, are busy in other ways, or have been called out.”

He took her into his arms.

“You’ll have to go in with me, my love if you don’t mind. I don’t want to leave you here, alone. Would you mind going in with me?” He knew she was up to it, and what her answer would be. She wasn’t going to be left here without him.

She shook her head.

“I shouldn’t be long. They just need someone for an hour or so, until my father answers, or until one of the other doctors is free. It’s the weekend, so everyone wants time off.”

He repacked his medical bag to replace what he had used on Cassie. It could sit in the trunk of his car while he was in the hospital.

They were waiting for him as they walked in the door.

“Good, you’re here.” He was met by the older of the nurses on duty; Hermione.

She looked Cassie up and down, obviously approving of the way she was dressed.

“Isn’t that a Gucci? It looks like it.” It was a Gucci. Very high end, and it suited her.

“What’s the problem, Herm? Do I need my bag?”

“I’ll have to show you. Nothing too serious, but very necessary. You won’t need your bag. It’s more of a personal problem, possible hysteria, or worse, that needs handling very carefully. Come with me.”

Cassie held back. “I’ll wait for you here, Malcolm.”

Hermione paused. “You can wait much better down here. It will be quieter, and I promise you, you won’t be in the way.”

There was nothing much down this wing; a few offices, store-rooms, and….

Malcolm had a sudden premonition about where they were going and why. He took Cassie’s arm, leaned in, and spoke.

“Courage, my love. I believe we are about to be pressed into marriage. My mother’s doing.” She looked up at him, startled.

He was being ambushed again. He sensed it. They were being ambushed… by his mother. She had set this up.

Hermione pushed open the doors to the small chapel and held them open as they followed her in.

He was right. There were several people waiting in there for them, including his mother and father, as well as the Chaplain and a few nurses that he knew. They were all looking at them; the expected guests.

“Mother! I should have guessed.”

“Well, what did you think was going to happen? I hadn’t intended that it would have to get to this step so quickly. Maybe in a month or two, once she’d settled in, but… the pair of you became over-eager and forced my hand. New circumstances called for a more decisive approach. Besides, I know it wouldn’t have worked, expecting you two to wait. It would have been like asking the sun not to rise, or to expect Paris not to shag Helen when he got to Troy.” His mother could sometimes be very outspoken.

“Don’t look so surprised dear. You are going to marry, now, in the chapel here, or did I not hear things correctly earlier, after you thought you’d rung off as you continued with the old 'hunka-chunk'.

"It might not have been what a mother needed to hear, but at the same time, it was gratifying to know that you both still had those same libidinous urges and inclinations I saw constant evidence of, all those years ago."

He was lost. What did she know? As though it wasn’t obvious. How the hell did she know? She’d been on the other side of the lake, and hadn’t been at home by the time they got back.

She stepped in and took Cassie into her arms, feeling her embrace returned.

Mrs. Robertson whispered into her ear.

“I should have known what would happen as soon as you two met, face to face. In fact I did know, which was why I constantly tried to head it off.

“If you don’t want to marry this worthless son of mine, my dear, you don’t have to, I’ll understand. I told you he had no finesse. Talk about a bull in a china shop. I thought, after that conversation I heard, that you really wouldn’t object to this… and he’d, better not. I threatened to castrate him once, and I will, if he so much as blinks.”

She chuckled, seeing the look on Cassie’s face.

“That was masterful on your part, leaving the line open like that. I almost died”—Cassie hadn’t done that at all; it had been an accident—“and letting me eavesdrop like that. That was very courageous of you. Hence, this. I was almost beating my brains out wondering how I could get you two together at last, and you did it for me. It was clear that I would have to do something fast, after being privileged to hear that… delicate interchange.

“In this family, my dear, you’ll soon hear things that will make your hair curl and that will make all of that, pale into insignificance, so don’t dwell on it.”

Cassie was blushing crimson. It hadn’t been intentional that the phone line had been left open like that.

Mrs. Robertson stepped back and looked at her. “Yes, just as you should be. Absolutely stunning. No wonder he couldn’t keep his hands off you. A blushing bride. I was hard pushed to get a license in time, and find a minister, but the Chaplain, here, was able to step in and help.”

One of the nurses passed a bouquet into Cassie’s hands. They would have enough witnesses.

She turned to her son and spoke severely to him in a low voice.

“Malcolm, I hope you appreciate what is happening here.”

If he didn’t, he was more than unusually stupid.

He smiled. “I should have expected no less from you, Mother. I think we are both ready.”

“You’d better be.”

Of course they were, but if they thought they were going to run off after this, and pile into one bed or the other, they would be out of luck. There was going to be a party at their house tonight. It wasn’t every day that one’s only son got married to such a prize as this.

“You can tie a knot in it, Malcolm. It won’t kill you for a few hours."

It absolutely would kill him!

“Ten years ago, the pair of you damn near turned my hair gray, fighting to keep you apart, with images of musical bedrooms, and me, constantly hearing showers and intimate conversations, even in my sleep... and all of the other things that kept me awake to head them off from happening, so you’d better not get cold feet now. Not after what I heard going on over there. My nerves would not take it.”

Malcolm looked lost. What was she talking about? What had she heard? Not that it mattered.

Cassie would tell him later.

Cassie took his arm, confidently. Possession was nine tenths…she had him now, and she also had that little voice recorder from his short’s pocket, that he’d forgotten about. She had all she needed. But she wouldn’t need it. She could also be pregnant, too.

Someone started a tape playing on a portable radio, playing the Wedding March.

Mrs. Robertson pressed a ring into her son’s hand.

“Your grandmother’s wedding ring. It already fits Cassie. We found that out, years ago. Your father will give her a ring for you, when he gives her away.

“Now get up there, the pair of you and make me proud.”

She sniffed.

“And don’t you dare hold back from making me a grandmother, after what I heard, or I’ll wash my hands of the pair of you.”

He looked at Cassie and leaned in to kiss her.

He whispered. “Don’t worry, my love. If they become too impossible, and they will, we can always head back across the lake with the kayak and some blankets, and settle ourselves on the jetty for the night. They won’t miss us.”

Like hell they wouldn’t!

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