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Mildred Thompson, wasn't about to let well enough alone and was up to devilment that could create an international incident not to mention endangering the lives of her own family. She had sent a telegraph to the French Parisian newspaper Le Figaro suggesting a scandal had taken place involving Pierre Rosenberg and the Thompson family in Australia. She was claiming Pierre had defiled her niece. She had enclosed information on how to contact her.
The telegram had been intercepted by the Australian authorities and sent directly to England's Queen Mother. The Queen Mother, had made arrangements with the Australian government to have all communications from Mildred Thompson diverted directly to her. The Queen Mother had also done her research on Mildred Thompson and believed she would attempt to create problems not only for her own family, but could also unknowingly create an international incident between the European Royal families and the Rosenberg's.
The Queen contacted Lord Robert Helmsley alerting him to Mildred Thompson's telegram and what she had attempted to do. She explained that if he couldn't put a stop to what she considered an endangerment to the royal family as well as others, Mildred Thompson would have to be eliminated. There was no question in Lord Helmsley's mind that the Queen Mother meant every word of her threat.
A telegram was sent to Michael telling his son the he would arrive in Sydney the following day, and adding that a crisis had arisen due to Mildred Thompson's betrayal of Eve and her son.
It was rare to have anything rattle Michael, but he was severely rattled after reading his father's message. Ian walked in as Michael stood with the telegram in hand his face was white as a sheet. Ian grabbed Michael's arms and shook him, "Michael what's wrong, has something happened to your mother and father."
Michael's eyes focused on Ian..."No Ian, mother and father are fine, but I'm afraid your aunt has crossed a line that may have put all of us in danger by attempting to reach the Rosenberg family with news of the birth of your nephew, Pierre's son."
Ian was shocked even more than Michael. "How could Aunt Mildred be so evil as to try and have the Rosenberg's take Eve's child from her knowing that would destroy Eve?"
"I'm afraid it's much worse than that Ian. The danger extends to all of the Royal Families throughout Europe if Mildred has in anyway succeeded in reaching the Rosenberg family."
"What are we going to do Michael?"
"The first thing we need to do is calm down, this telegram was sent yesterday which means father is arriving late this afternoon, and we need to be there when he lands. Let's wait and see what he has to say and then he'll be able to guide us in what steps are needed. Right now we need to find Peter and fill him in.
Peter was just saddling a horse getting ready to leave; he said he was heading out to work with Martin and Quinn. Michael filled Peter in on the telegram and saw the color drain from his face as the danger of the situation hit him. He said he would ride out and get Martin and Quinn. We'll meet back here at the house.
Michael turned to Ian and said, "Ian, we also need to reach Emerson and explain what has happened and tell him we'll pick him up on our way to meet father. We need to have Peter, Martin and Quinn bring Eve and Ian Michael out here; they shouldn't be left alone since we aren't aware of how much information, if any, may have reached the Rosenberg's we can't take a chance of something happening to Eve and the baby."
"Michael you're scaring the hell out of me."
"You're no more frightened than I am Ian."
They heard the sound of horses galloping toward the house. Martin, Quinn and Peter came rushing through the front door not yet aware of what was wrong. Martin turned to Peter and said, "Peter, what has happened, Quinn and I came as fast as we could when I sensed something was wrong."
"You sensed something was wrong."
Quinn said, "Yes, it was the oddest thing, Martin suddenly stopped what he was doing and said, Quinn, something's wrong we have to get back home. We were on our way when we met you riding towards us.
Michael quickly gave a short explanation of what happened for Martin and Quinn's benefit telling them that Ian's aunt had tried to contact the Rosenberg's and in the process may have stirred up a dangerous situation all over Europe. My father is landing in Sydney this evening, Ian and I need to be there to meet him, we're going to take Emerson with us since it's his sister that has created the problem.
Peter, you Martin and Quinn, need you go to Eve and bring her and the baby here and keep an eye out for anyone who might be attempting to grab Ian Michael or harm Eve.
Quinn asked, "Michael do you think things have gone that far? If anyone tries to harm Eve or the baby they'll have to go through me first."
"Quinn, I hope not, but we won't know until I talk with father, we just want to play it safe for now."
Michael asked Martin if he was alright, he was still holding onto Peter like he wasn't sure what to do next.
Martin said he was okay and asked Michael if he thought he and Ian would be safe.
"We'll be fine Martin; no one knows we're aware of anything other than my father and we'll be on the road most of the time. Peter, we'll stay in touch by phone as we learn more about what going on. I know this has all of us keyed up and I'm sorry for that, there may be no reason for all of this caution, and I pray there is not, I'm just trying to be prepared for anything that might happen."
Michael and Ian headed out to pick up Emerson after calling and giving him a short version of what was going on. Peter, Martin and Quinn put shotguns behind the seats in the Martin's pickup and followed Michael and Ian to the house.
As soon as they got there Ian had Emerson jump in the car and they headed for Sydney. Peter, Martin and Quinn moved Eve and Ian Michael's things into the truck as quickly as possible, most of which Eve had already gathered together. Quinn sat in the back seat of the crew-cab with Eve. Her son, Ian Michael slid over to Quinn's lap. Eve was obviously shaken by all of this and she said that she couldn't believe her aunt would do something so cruel as to try and have her son taken from her. Martin turned to face the backseat as he said, "Apparently there are a lot of lives that have been put in danger, not only here but in Europe as well."
Eve said she didn't understand why so many were involved, Peter said, "It seems a lot of important people were working to keep you and Ian Michael safe from the Rosenberg's and your aunt made a mess of everything in her attempt at reaching the Rosenberg's with the news of Pierre's son."
Eve turned to away looking out the window as her tears fell, she was thinking it's entirely my fault if I just hadn't been so stupid and selfish no one would be in danger.
Watching her reflection in the window Quinn could see Eve's pain. He took her hand and kissed it, when she turned to look at him, Quinn said, "Don't worry everything is going to be fine, we'll make sure nothing happens to you and Ian Michael." She gave him a weak smile and leaned against him.
At the airport Michael, Ian, and Emerson stood watching as the Pan Am airliner landed at the Sydney airport. Lord Helmsley came into the terminal and spotted Michael and Ian, they shook hands and Michael introduced Emerson to his father. Ian asked if there was any more information on the situation with his aunt.
Emerson said, "Yes Lord Helmsley, I'm worried about my sister, what exactly has happened to her.
Robert tried to calm everyone down so he could explain how everything took place. It started with the telegram that Mildred had attempted to send to Le Figaro in her quest to inform the Rosenberg family of Pierre's son. He explained that the Queen Mother had alerted the Australian government to watch for any attempt at communication from the Thompson family to the Rosenberg's. Once the entire story was told, all of them were stunned at what Emerson's sister had done and the problems that could arise from it. What Robert did not tell them was that Mildred may have to be eliminated if she is determined to continue trying to reach the Rosenberg's.
Emerson asked if Lord Helmsley knew where his sister was now. Robert said that she was being held at England's Embassy here in Sydney, and was being questioned by the British Secret Service. They're trying to determine whether or not this was her only attempt at reaching the Rosenberg's.
Emerson looked faint; Ian took his father's arm and sat down beside him. "Dad, try not to get overly worried, this may not be as bad as we think." Robert sat in a chair across from Emerson as he said, "Mr. Thompson, your son is right, if your sister has made no other attempts before or since this telegram was sent the crises may well be over. Let's make our way to the Embassy and see where things stand at present."
Arriving at the Embassy Robert asked Michael and Ian to wait until he had a chance to speak with the secret service and see how their interrogation has gone. Robert asked Emerson to come with him, you'll want to know exactly what has been said, and if your sister has agreed to sign a pledge under oath never to make another attempt at contacting the Rosenberg family.
As they came out of the meeting Emerson looked crushed, Ian rushed to his dad to find how what happened.
Michael's dad motioned for him to follow as he went into a private room. Michael was near crying, something his father hadn't seen since Michael was a small child. He wrapped his arms around his son, as he said, "I'm sorry Michael; Emerson's sister has not only refused to cooperate, but said nothing will stop her from reaching the Rosenberg family informing them about Pierre's son."
"Dad, what does this mean?"
"Michael I have never lied to you and I will not lie to you now. Robert looked Michael in the eye and said, "The order to eliminate Emerson's sister has already been given."
Michael paled to a point his father thought he might pass out.
"Dad, is there anything you can do to stop this, couldn't Mildred be put under house arrest or something?"
"Michael, there is nothing I wouldn't do for you and Ian, but you know as well as I that there are things that are beyond my control, and this is one of them."
Michael asked if Emerson knew of this decision and Robert said no Emerson is only aware that his sister refused to cooperate, and I will not tell him. He will be notified sometime tomorrow that his sister has died of a heart attack and that is what the death certificate will state as signed by the Ambassador's doctor.
"I think that will be the best for the family don't you? They'll think the stress was too much for her."
"I wish you hadn't told me, now I'll have to keep that secret the rest of my life or Ian might hate me."
Robert said, "Son you are so wrong about that and in this case I believe you should tell Ian, you're not giving that man enough credit considering how much he loves you."
The minute Michael walked through the door Ian knew something was drastically wrong. Robert said, "We've done all we can, he put his arm around Emerson's shoulders, Emerson I'm so sorry your sister has chosen not to be more cooperative."
Emerson replied, "Lord Helmsley, for you to fly all this way is proof of your concern for our family, thank you for all you have done. Mildred is solely responsible for her actions and whatever happens is on her head and no one else's."
Michael couldn't bring himself to look at Ian; he asked his dad how long he was going to stay. Robert said he would fly back tonight; he had a plane waiting that had been provided by the British Embassy. Michael felt lost; the drive back to the airport was done in silence. Michael and Ian hugged Robert goodbye, Robert whispered to Ian, "Michael needs you and your love now more than he has ever needed anything in his life." There were tears in Roberts's eyes as he turned and boarded the plane.
After dropping Emerson off at his home it was late by the time Michael and Ian pulled into their home. Peter, Martin, Quinn, and Eve were all still up waiting on news from them. Michael walked in and without saying a word headed upstairs straight to their room before he locked himself in the bathroom and cried.
Ian hugged his sister before turning to the others and saying," Can we wait until tomorrow to talk, I need to be with Michael." It was obvious to all of them that something was seriously wrong. Peter said, "Go to him Ian."
Ian tried the bathroom door and realized it was locked, "Please don't lock me out Michael, I need to be with you." Michael opened the door; Ian wasn't prepared to see him in such a tortured state. He put his arms around Michael and just held him and let Michael cry. He walked Michael to their bed and sat him down, Ian knelt and looked up into Michael's face, he said, "Michael you once said I was breaking your heart when you thought you had hurt me, now you are breaking my heart and I don't know why, you need to talk to me, Michael I'm begging you."
"I can't, you'll hate me."
"Michael, you know I could never hate you, you saved my life remember, I love you more than I love my own life, you have asked me to trust you, now I'm asking you to trust me."
Michael looked at Ian with such a look of fear in his eyes before he blurted out, "Your Aunt Mildred is going to die, and I can't stop it."
Michael, "I know my aunt is going to go to sleep tonight and tomorrow we'll be told my aunt has had a heart attack?"
Michael looked at Ian, "How did you know?"
"Michael my father had surmised as much when my aunt refused to cooperate and told me to prepare myself for that happening. My aunt brought this on herself Michael; none of it is your fault."
"Ian, I'm so sorry, I asked father if there was anything he could do and he said it was out of his hands. Will you ever forgive me?"
Ian pulled Michael up and kissed him all over his face, "You silly man there is nothing to forgive, all you have ever done is protect us, and everyone loves you for being the kind loving man that you are. Michael, I'm the luckiest man in the world to have you in my life and to have someone as wonderful as you to love me back as much as I love you. You are the magic in my life; I love you so much there aren't words to describe it."
Michael looked into Ian's eyes, "Honest?"
Ian just started laughing as he said, "Yes, honest."
"Now I'm getting you undressed and into bed, you need some sleep, but first I'm going to wet a cloth and wipe the tears from your face, it breaks my heart just to see them."
Before falling asleep the last thing Michael said was, "Ian promise me you'll be here when I wake up."
"I promise I'll be right here by your side when you wake up."
When Michael did wake up the next morning he felt Ian's arm holding him tightly, he knew his father had been right when he said Ian would love him no matter what.
He turned to face Ian and found his lover waiting with a huge smile on his handsome face. "Good morning sweetheart, I hope you're feeling better this morning."
Michael kissed Ian tenderly as he ran his fingers through Ian's hair. He said, "Ian, how did I find such a remarkable man, I love you so much."
Ian replied, "I love you just as much, now I want you to promise me something."
"Anything Ian, what is it?"
"Promise me you will never again hide anything from me, and most of all promise me you'll never doubt my love for you."
"You got it Ian, I'm sorry I was in such a mess yesterday."
"Michael you were carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders trying your best to make everything come out so no one would be hurt. That's who you are, and I love you for it but you need to realize that things happen in life that none of us can control."
"You're right Ian, my father tried to explain that to me last night, I guess I was just to broken up to understand what he was saying."
Ian kissed Michael before jumping out of bed, "I have a feeling there are three worried friends who love us waiting downstairs for some explanations. So let's go down and spread the news, we might as well get it over with."
Michael said," I'm so embarrassed about how I acted last night. I hope they'll forgive me."
"Michael, there is nothing to forgive, they'll understand and love you all the more for trying so hard to keep everyone safe and happy."
They showered, dressed and headed downstairs to face Eve, Martin, and Peter, all of which got less sleep then Michael and Ian did since they were worrying about Michael. Reaching the kitchen and dining room where Peter and the others were seated Michael started to apologize for not greeting them last night when Ian interrupted him mid-sentence.
"Excuse me Michael, but I wish to say something first, "Michael was carrying everything that has happened on his shoulders, and blaming himself for not being able to protect all of us from Mildred's traitorous behavior, none of which was Michael's fault. He feels he needs to be forgiven for failing us, I say there is nothing to forgive, and I think all of you will agree.
Before Michael could say anything everyone was all over him, thanking him for all he's done, kissing him, teasing, praising and telling him how much they loved him.
It was one of those very rare occasions when Michael was at a loss for words. Eve handed him a cup of coffee as Quinn pulled a chair out for him. Martin stood behind his chair with his hands on Michael's shoulders. He said, Michael we received a telegram from your father this morning as well as a phone call from Emerson. We are all aware that you have been through hell and if there's anything we don't want to hear it's an apology, all we want is to let you know how much we love and appreciate you.
Eve kissed Michael on the cheek before she said, "We are also aware that Mildred passed away during the night from a possible heart attack, and we know that the heart attack probably wasn't from natural causes. What we do know is the danger to all of us is over and we're free of any possible future threats by that old dragon's mischief, and for that I'll be forever grateful.
Ian said, Michael we're all one happy family and we have you to thank for that. Everyone said, "Here, here" and raised their coffee cups to Michael who was wiping tears away, this time they were tears of relief and happiness.
Chapter 11 will follow: