Antonio arrived in Mesa Valley on the day that Cillay and Jim were expected to return from Shang Sim La. It was such a small town that he had no difficulty in finding the house. He intended to give them a welcome home party they would never forget.
From the time he had received the pictures and the newspaper article of Cillay dancing with all those men, he had been seething with rage and jealousy.
He intended to teach that pretty boy she had hooked up with, a lesson he would never forget. Over the years, he had had to teach that lesson to other guys who dared to look at Cillay.
After he was through with pretty boy Jim, he debated which to do first. Should he punish Cillay for disrespecting him, or should he take her to bed first.
He pictured her soft, creamy skin and her perfect body. Remembering how her body felt beneath his, made his body burn with lust for her. He decided that definitely the bed first. It had been too long.
“That was too easy.”, he said to himself as he disabled the alarm system. The private investigator had been able to get him the alarm master code. That way pretty boy Jim would not know the surprise he had waiting for him.
Tony found a place to hide and wait until they arrived.
When Jim and Cillay arrived home they were very tired and went straight to the bedroom. Richard was still with Terrance and they were to pick him up in the morning.
Cillay began to get dressed for bed, while Jim called Terrance to let him know that they were back in town.
“Hi, Terrance. We just got home. I’ll come and get Richard at about 9:00, if that’s okay?”, he told him.
Meanwhile, as Cillay was moving away from the dresser, she saw an arm with a knife raised to stab Jim. “Jim!”, she screamed.
She jumped in front of the blade, and the knife stabbed her in the back!
Antonio had been waiting for the perfect time to strike. When he heard Jim talking on the phone, just outside the door, he rushed out , intending to plunge the knife into him. After it was too late to stop, he realized he had stabbed Cillay and not Jim!
“Oh no, Cillay!”, Jim cried!, dropping to his knees beside her. ” Not for me! Not for me!”, he told her.
Antonio ran from the room. Antonio loved Cillay in his own twisted way. Although he was devastated over stabbing Cillay, his sense of self preservation was strong. He ran to where he had hidden his car and fled from Mesa Valley.
Jim grabbed his cell phone and called 911. The paramedics came and rushed Cillay to the hospital. She was taken directly to surgery. Jim sat in the waiting room consumed with worry. He felt so helpless.
He got up stood waiting closer to the operating room doors. He had been there three hours when Terrance came to find him.
“Jim”, Terrance said,”She lost a lot of blood, but they were able to repair the damage. She’s going to be okay. The baby seems to be okay too.”
Jim closed his eyes in relief. Then he realized what Terrance had said.
“Baby!”, Jim repeated. “What Baby?”
“One of the tests revealed that her hormones were out of balance. So, we did a new type of pregnancy test that detects early pregnancy. She is just in the beginning stages. She probably hasn’t shown any symptoms yet. I’m sure she herself doesn’t know. I noticed that big engagement ring on her finger. I guess congratulations are in order.”, he told Jim, smiling.
Jim was stunned. Then it sunk in. They had used birth control, but their baby must have been determined to be conceived.
“I’m going to be a father again!” , he said, ecstatically.
He smiled at Terrance. “Thank you so much!”, he told him. He gave Terrance a big hug.
“When can I see her?”, he asked.
“They should be moving her to a private room anytime now. The nurse will get you when she’s ready. She’s still asleep from surgery. Let me know if you need anything.”, he told Jim. Then he walked over to speak with the nurse.
Jim was sitting beside Cillay’s bed, praying that she would wake up soon. He still couldn’t believe that she had stepped in front of that knife to save him!
There were no words to describe how he felt. Guilt, sorrow, rage, fear of her death. Those words were not enough. He was just so thankful that she had survived. That their baby had not been harmed. He still was getting used to the fact that they were pregnant!
Cillay began to stir in the bed. She opened her eyes and saw Jim sitting beside her bed.
“Jim, she said weakly. “What happened? Why am I here?”, she asked looking around the hospital room.
Jim jerked his head up and looked at Cillay. He got up and leaned over and gently kissed her lips. The nurse had warned him that she might not remember what had happened.
He gave her a brief account of what had occurred.
“Was it Antonio?”, she asked.
“I don’t know for sure Cillay, but I think it was. He wore a mask. Please don’t ever do anything like that again for me Cillay.”, he told her.
“I can’t promise you that, Jim. I love you too much.”, she said. “Besides, you’d have done it for me.”
Jim didn’t know how to argue that because what she said was true.
“Cillay. I have some good news to tell you.”, he said smiling warmly.
“What is it?”, Cillay said smiling.
“We’re pregnant!”, he told her.
“What? How?”, she asked stunned.
“Well, when a man and woman love each other they_ _.”, Jim said teasingly before she cut him off.
“I know that, silly.”,Cillay said.
“They used a new test that shows early pregnancy. You are just in the beginning stages. It happened while we were on vacation. Terrance said that the baby appears to be fine.”, he told her. He was beaming from ear to ear, and Cillay was ecstatic too.
One week later, Cillay was released from the hospital. The doctor’s were pleased with the speed of her recovery. Jim was very happy to have her back home.
The police had finally finished collecting what little evidence was left, and allowed Jim to have the bedroom professionally cleaned for Cillay’s return.
Because of Jim’s political position in town, the case was given high priority,
but the authorities said that because there was no forensic evidence, they could not charge Antonio with the crime. Antonio had an alibi. Once again he had gotten away with hurting Cillay.
Jim consulted with the same attorney that he had talked with after Cillay first came to town. The attorney said that just as before, it was her word against Tony’s. Since Antonio had worn a mask, Jim himself could not say for sure that it was him who stabbed her. There was nothing they could do.
Cillay rested on the bed looking around the room. Her memories of that night had returned.
Jim also looked around the room. His eyes stopped on the spot where Cillay had lain on the floor, her life’s blood puddling on the floor beneath her. He looked at Cillay’s face.
“We’re moving!”, he told her. He knew that she would never feel safe and comfortable in that house again.
Cillay did not even try to argue. “Thank you!”, she told him.
Jim started searching for a new place that same afternoon.