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Chapter 112: Sixth Sense

Kim was shivering.  She knew she was not ill, and it did not feel like a side-effect of the chemotherapy.  Deep inside herself, she knew why.

Shane.  It was one of those feelings that she knew was connected to him.  Was he hurt or . . . even worse?  Whatever it was, it was bad.

Please, God.  Kim said a silent prayer.  Please let him be all right.


She looked up from her chair and saw Bo watching her carefully.  "Are you okay?" he asked.

"Just a little cold," she said.

"Ah, you Californians.  You don't know the first thing about cold.  Try Salem in February."

"I have, thank you very much," Kim said.  She had spent plenty of frozen winters in Salem, where the arctic winds blew off the lake.

Bo looked at her, and she felt nervous at the degree of scrutiny.  "You're not just cold.  Something's bothering you."

Kim sighed.  She hated that Bo could read her so well.  He would keep pushing her until she relented.  "I just have a bad feeling," she said.  "Like something terrible is happening to someone I care about."

"Anyone in particular?"  He gave her a sly look that told her he was about to start naming names.

"Don't even start," she said.  "If you have to know, it's--"

"It's Shane, I know."  Bo looked at her with a pitying gaze.  "You've told me about that before.  How you felt when he got shot in Stockholm, and some of the other times."

"You'd think after all this time, it would go away," Kim said, bitterly. 

"I've said it before," Bo said, a gleam in his eye.  "You still love that Englishman of yours."

Kim shook her head.  Not this discussion again.  "Shane hasn't been mine for two decades, Bo."

"And you can still feel when he's in danger."  Bo rolled his eyes.  "Yeah, that doesn't mean anything.  Too bad your sixth sense doesn't come with a GPS."

"That's not funny," Kim said, her tone serious.

Bo instantly grew somber.  He looked around the hospital room and then at the machine that was filtering his blood.  They both watched as the blood flowed through the tubes.  After a long silence, Bo asked, "So this is really going to work?"

"The doctor's pretty confident," Kim said.  "But we won't know for a few weeks."

"You've got to . . . . You can't let a little thing like cancer stop you.  Not after everything you've been through."  Bo grinned.  "I have to say that you're handling this real well."

"You mean I haven't broken out with a couple different personalities or turned into a crying mess?"  At his sheepish look, she said, "It took a lot of work, little brother, and a lot of time, but I'm not that person any more."

"I don't know.  Even back then, you were always a survivor."  Bo said that with a touch of admiration.

Kim nodded.  "I was, but when I was younger, I survived by keeping secrets.  That cost me a lot."  She did not have to explain.  Bo knew her well enough. 

Secrets had nearly derailed Kim's life.  They had kept her from telling her parents about Uncle Eric, had caused her to flee Salem for years, and had left her terrified that anyone would find out about her past as a prostitute.  Well, the last secret she still kept.  She told herself it was to spare her children the embarrassment they would suffer if they learned about her sordid past, but she had to admit that it was probably as much to spare her the shame of having to face her children if they ever found out.  Kim would never forget the look on her father's face when he learned that his "best and the brightest" was nothing more than a common whore, and she would do anything to prevent ever having to see a similar look on her children's faces.

The lessons of her childhood had carried over to her relationship with Shane.  How many secrets had she kept from him?  Sleeping with Victor, Andrew's paternity, Eve's prostitution, Jeannie's paternity.  Those were the major ones.  And eventually, they had played their part in losing the one real love she had experienced.

Of course, the irony of her keeping secrets was that the crux of their relationship had been their ability to confide the secrets that they kept from everyone else.  Shane was the first person she ever told about her abuse and she was the first person he had told about Emma's death.

Bo reached over and squeezed Kim's hand.  "Come on, Sis.  Don't be so hard on yourself.  We all made a lot of mistakes back then."

Kim laughed, "Don't say it."

"What?"  Bo gave her an innocent look.

"That we're older and wiser now."

Bo grinned and Kim knew she had walked right into it.  She grimaced as he said, "Okay, I won't.  I was just going to say you're older."