TITLE: She Eagles
GENRE: Adult Fiction
Cate was eight weeks pregnant and four weeks terrified. Even though she hadn’t gained any weight, only fears, her body had changed and her clothes felt snug. Simply unhooking her bra had it leaping off her body like a frog, and the only sure-fire way to fill her lungs with air was to unbutton her jeans. “Phew,” she whispered, rubbing the patch of skin-dents left around her waist after sliding, no pushing, the jeans downward and leaving them, accordion-like, on the floor.
The circle of sweat beads left from her watch made her skin itch and so did the spaghetti-strap nightgown that she wished was a size large and not a medium. For the second time that night she looked up at the ceiling fan; the thick air was being stubborn, refusing to mingle with the swirling blades.
Definitely hot enough for the air conditioner, but Cate was being stubborn too. The idea of closing all the windows in her three-story townhouse made the muggy air a bit more bearable. If Frank were home, though, the windows would be closed and the fan would be on low. Cooler air always seemed more cooperative. But her husband, the Executive Chef at the White House, wasn’t home. Instead, he was at work, planning the following weeks’ meals for Barbara and President Bush and their children.
Normally Cate would be thrilled that the DC weathermen were calling September of 1990 the hottest one on record because normally she loved the ease of wearing sundresses, sleeveless blouses, tank tops and cotton jersey pull-overs. But her normal-self was gone so enjoying or even caring about the weather seemed ridiculous.
Her new-normal was trapped in a web of fear spun by two different spiders, and both were hunting her. She had foolishly forgotten the spider from her past so when it roared its ugly head, it was too late to escape. The other spider, the more menacing one, had just been discovered and it had the slyness to destroy her and her unborn baby.
After brushing and flossing her teeth and moisturizing her skin, Cate was finally in bed, sitting up and trying to put together a to-do list. The opening of her Georgetown Bakery, Back to the Bakery, next year, and her weekend getaway with Renee and Julie in six days should have been enough to make her list a mile-long; yet Cate no longer cared about either of them.
“Forget it.” She said, slapping the blank pad on the night stand and pulling the lamp’s chain. Then after punching, her pillows more than necessary, she rolled onto her side and grabbed Frank’s down-filled substitute.
Her body wanted sleep but her mind was in control, harboring thoughts from a time when she believed growing up motherless was her burden to bear and worrying about her mother’s killer seemed pointless. Then, without warning, her thoughts jumped two decades to the discovery of a breast cancer gene mutation. Her mother’s killer was alive and stalking.