see part 1 for warnings, disclaimer
This is another Zechs interlude. I decided to make it a chapter because
I felt it was imporant to the story line. Enjoy.
of Obsession + Chapter 26
Finding Truth: Zechs
There wasn't a waking moment
when I didn't worry about Duo, but I wasn't sure which one I feared the
most--what someone else might do to him, and what he might get up to when
he was left to his own devices.
The seemingly harmless note lying next to the telephone caused me to hesitate
for a brief moment. I picked it up and looked at it closely. Duo's childish
chicken scrawl announced his departure for the mall and promised that
he would be returning soon. The note looked and sounded like him . . .
But so much for returning soon, because now it was 5:36, and the apartment
was way too quiet for him to be here. Unless he was sleeping?
I did a quick check of the bedroom and the other rooms, but there was
no sign of him. His keys, cell phone and wallet were no where to be found
Duo knew how much I worried. If he said soon, then he would be back soon.
Two hours wasn't soon enough.
I grabbed the phone and dialed Duo's cell. No answer. I tried three more
times and still nothing. This time I tried Quatre's cell phone number
and the young man answered right away. "Is Duo with you?" I asked abruptly.
He hesitated. "No. Why?"
"He left me a note at 3:30 saying that he was going to the mall and that
he'd be back soon. And the word soon has been underlined six times and
is in very bold print. But he's not here."
" . . . he shouldn't have been there more than five minutes . . ." Winner
muttered to himself.
I didn't like the sound of his voice, or the fact that he obviously knew
what was going on while I was still in the dark. "So you didn't go with
"No. Did you call his cell phone?" was his sharp reply.
My eyes narrowed. "He didn't answer. What's going on?"
In a rare display of frustration, Quatre swore loudly. "Call Alex right
now and tell him to meet us at the mall. He'll explain everything to you."
"What--" But the line was already dead.
Now it was my turn to curse out loud. What had Duo gotten himself into
now? And what did Alex have to do with it?
I raced downstairs to my car and called the former detective. When he
answered, I barked out, "Do you mind telling me what the hell is going
on with Duo?"
" . . . what on earth are you talking about Merquise?"
I tore out of the parking deck and onto the city streets. "Duo said he
was going to go to the mall today at 3:30, but he hasn't returned yet.
Winner said that I should call you and have you meet us at the mall. What
is going on?"
"Damn . . . look, you're not going to like this at all. You have to remember
that he was just looking out for your best interests--"
"What the hell is going on!"I bellowed.
The truth came from the man's mouth in a rush, so fast that I almost missed
it. "Duo found a drug in Noin's baby bag that is usually given to children
who have had genetic work so he suspected that the baby may not be yours
and secretly had a paternity test done and today he went to go pick up
My hands gripped the steering wheel so tightly that it felt like my bones
would pop out of their joints. All I could manage to utter out was a low,
deep and dangerous "Excuse me?" But the other man continued on as if I
hadn't said a word.
"And we think that someone else knows about this test and maybe he ran
into some trouble at the mall. You're headed there now?"
"Yes! What the hell was he thinking? I--"
"You can bitch about him later once we know that he's safe," the former
detective said tersely. "I'll meet you at the mall."
The rest of the drive to the mall was a blur. The idea that Duo would--I
couldn't begin to fathom what would make him do something as ridiculous
as giving Mill a paternity test. Hadn't we talked about this? Hadn't I
reassured him enough that I didn't want to have anything to do with Lu
There was a nasty feeling of rage and anger welling up in my stomach.
I had never wanted to feel this way about Duo, not the man who I had taken
a risk on and finally opened my heart to, not the man that I would die
for, not the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. But the betrayal
and the pain that I felt from not being trusted was so overwhelmingly
strong. I pushed back those ill thoughts--now wasn't the time.
I pulled into the mall parking lot and immediately spotted Alex, Quatre
and the others hovering near the entrance. I quickly joined them, and
before I could even ask any questions, Yuy began speaking.
"I've already checked the parking lot. His car isn't here."
Which was the first thing that I was going to ask.
"And," Alex said, "I've gotten mall security to cooperate with us. They
have today's surveillance tapes and they've given us permission to search
through them. There's also a BOLO on Duo's car--if any police officer
comes across it, they know to call me."
I nodded sharply. Maybe the man was good for something other than hitting
up on my lover after all. "Good."
"Trowa, Heero, Wufei and I can search the area in our cars," Quatre suggested.
After agreeing to the plans, Alex and I set out for the mall's security
room, where we sat down with hours of tapes from various areas of the
"Where were they supposed to meet?" I asked, eyeing the stack warily.
The sooner we found out what happened to Duo, the sooner we could find
"The food court."
We started there, and after a few minutes of playback we spotted Duo,
making his way through the crowds of people and to a table. Later he was
joined by a man, confirmed by Alex to be the lab technician, and then
he got up and left.
That established one thing. He'd gotten and seen the results of the test.
For a moment I sat there, staring blankly at the screen, wondering what
was in that folder. I had never even considered the fact that Mill may
not be mine. I'd been so eager to assume . . . I had no reason to doubt
what Lucrezia said. Creeping up the back of my neck was the fear that
Duo had been right all along, but I stored it in the back of my mind along
with the terrible anger that I felt. Finding Duo was the first priority.
There were two exits in the mall--Alex took the tapes from one and I from
the other, scanning the people who were leaving and entering, looking
for Duo and any other familiar faces.
"There," Alex said, pausing his tape. "Apparently he did leave the mall
. . ."
"Is there any footage of the parking lot?"
My phone rang and quickly I snatched it up. It was Winner.
"Trowa and I found his car abandoned on the side of the road. I . . .
That had been one of the last things that I wanted to hear. I had hoped
that the results of the test hadn't gone the way that he'd wished and
that he was just off sulking somewhere, but now there was a clear indication
of foul play.
By the time the former detective and I reached the car, the cops were
already there with their crime scene tools, and the first thing I wanted
to know was whether or not that folder was somewhere in the car.
"It's not," Trowa said warily. "We already asked."
The look on Winner's face was dangerous and his body language indicated
the level of his fury and fear. This must've been how he looked in battle,
a far cry from his normally docile demeanor. It was almost impressive.
Fists clenched at his side, he said firmly, "It had to be Noin who did
this. Her life would be over if those results ever got out--"
Despite it all I still hung on to some distant hope that Duo had been
wrong. "We don't know what was in the folder," I responded calmly, enduring
the heated gaze of the blond angry man.
"I can find out," was Alex's grim answer, and within minutes he had the
lab technician on the phone.
I wanted to snatch that phone out of his hand and throw it into the traffic
driving by. Some part of me felt deeply ashamed--my boyfriend was missing,
his disappearance was most certainly suspicious and knowing the outcome
of those results just may be crucial to finding him. But Mill . . . I
wanted the boy to be mine.
Was there not enough room in my heart for both of them? This tug of emotions
between my concern for Duo and my love for my son was difficult to bear.
And then Alex delivered the blow. "He's not your son."
The truth came like a swift kick in the ribs, a simple short statement
as if it were nothing. Something inside of me died, leaving behind a hollow
Around me they continued to talk and plan out the next course of action.
I wasn't listening. In a matter of hours my life had been turned upside
down--my lover had vanished, the baby that I'd once considered to be mine
wasn't, the woman that I'd once felt so much for had betrayed me . . .
As my world swirled out of control in front of my very eyes, I couldn't
help but wonder--where did things go from here?
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