Jack was leaning against the counter in Jane's kitchen when she walked past. “Morning sleepy head.”

The pendant on her her necklace fell forward as she kissed him. He warned his eyes not to look but they did anyways. Today her bra was ivory. “That was work on the phone. I have to go in early. Is there any possibility you'd be free for lunch?”

“I have an off site meeting I need to go to. Are you free for supper or do you have plans?”

“We have a team meeting tonight. I’m supposed to be one of the people presenting.”

“What are you doing after that?” Jack shrugged and kissed her. He stepped away from the counter and linked his hands behind Jane’s back. “Hanging out with you. We could watch a movie.”

“What do you want for supper?”

“I don’t even have a lunch plan. I haven’t even eaten breakfast. I told Tom I was on my way in but I still have to stop at home and pick up some clean clothes.”

“I’ll pack you a lunch. You need to keep your strength up and breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Start keeping a change of clothes in your car or at work.”

I need to get organized. How do you keep all your shit together?” Jane rested her head on his shoulder and shrugged. “You should get going. I’d offer to let you shower here but your hair would freeze once you got outside.”

“You want to come over to my place tonight?”

“It makes more sense for you to come over here.” She reached behind him for her purse. “I have to go or I’ll be late. Don’t forget to lock the door and Jack?”


“Have a good day.” Her lips covered his, he reached behind her to pull her closer and delayed her departure by a good minute and a half. It was just after nine when Jack met up with Tom again.

“What’s that?”

Jack ate another satisfying bite before replying. “Granola. Jane made it.”

“You’re eating cereal that some woman made for you?”

“She didn’t make it for me. She makes it for herself. Jane told me I should start eating breakfast, granola was all she had.”

“How are things going between you and Jane?”

Jack pushed his empty cereal bowl off to the side and reached for his cup of coffee. “We had a talk. Baby or no baby we decided we could try dating each other again.”

Tom nodded thoughtfully as he leaned against the edge of Jack's desk. “I didn’t know you two had been an item.”

“We weren’t really. We went to the company Christmas party together.”

“You can help everyone out by keeping an eye on her. Her uterus is the talk of the medical department.”

“She told me about that. I don’t think she likes that very much.”

“It’s really an interesting study. We’ve had people come back through the wormhole missing scars they’ve had before but this is the first time someone has come back missing a baby.”

“Does anyone have any theories I should know about?”

“There have been a couple of women who have gone through the wormhole and reported changes in their menstrual cycle. Women who were in the middle of it stopped after they arrived at their destination and women who weren’t supposed to be menstruating were. The data isn’t consistent though. We tried to go back and figure out whether Jane would or would not be ovulating on the day that you guys went back but that’s not an exact science. A lot of factors can alter the menstrual cycle. You may very well be the first man to father a child in a different century than the one you live in.”

“Great. For now the plan is to act like Jane is pregnant and plan accordingly. We’re going out to eat with her parents. Her dad is remarried but her mom is still single. Jane is nervous about it.”

Tom eyed Jack carefully. “What happened after the company Christmas party that you two stopped dating?”

“There was a misunderstanding. Jane thought I asked her because the girl who I asked first backed out. I was seeing someone at the time, at the time the invitations went out that is. I assumed she’d go with me and she broke up with me not long after that. She was clearing her stuff out of my place and Jane met her in the hall. I just found that out last night. If Jane is pregnant, do I have any right to see any of her medical records? I’d like to know what’s going on with the baby if there is one.”

“I’ll do what I can for you buddy. This case is setting a precedent and we have to be careful how we handle it. There is also the additional complication of Jane being pregnant when she went through the wormhole. Honestly I don’t know what rights you may or may not have. Even under normal circumstances you wouldn’t have access to that information. I’d like to see you kept in the communication loop but that’s out of my hands. I have some bad news for you too.”


“You’re going to be demoted for six months. I had to fight to keep you. Jane put in a good word for you too.”

“What’d she say?”

“You know how Jane is. She had your file and she said you were a valuable employee for the following ninety reasons. Anyone who wanted to challenge her could read the file. No one challenged her.” Previous meetings and encounters with Jane floated through Jack’s head. He couldn’t help smiling. Watching Jack stretch and smile gave Tom something to smile about as well. “Would you guys get married if there is a baby?”

“Jane said I wasn’t obligated to marry her. Hell, she makes more money than I do.”

“She doesn't make that much more. A bunch of us are going out after the meeting tonight. Are you bringing Jane?”

“She’s going to make me supper. My brother gave me a movie and I thought we could watch that.”

“You could always watch your movie after we go out.”

“Jane doesn’t want to sit in a smoky bar and you don’t kiss like she does either. Thanks for the offer though.”

“Everyone is talking about you and Jane.”

“Everyone is looking at her too.”

“What sort of relationship does she have with the guy who got her pregnant the first time?”

“She was working up to telling him that she was pregnant. He doesn’t seem to remember sleeping with her.”

“I give you credit Jack. You know more about Jane than anyone else I know.”

“All you have to do is talk to her. Just a sec Tom.” The phone on his desk beeped twice. Jane’s extension appeared on the screen. “Hey, can I call you back in a minute or two?”

“I just wanted to say that if you don’t have something to wear when we meet my parents I could pick something up.”

“What are you wearing?”

“Something black. I think I’m going to lose my job.”

“Hang on a second Jane.” The hold button was cool under his sweaty finger. Jack turned to look at Tom. “Is Jane going to get fired for going through the wormhole?”

“She could be. We can’t have members of management disobeying the rules and not getting punished for it. Don’t think you can go back again and erase the trip to Italy because there are already records and off site documentation for it.”

“Fuck. If anyone should lose their job it should be me. I was the one who set up the trip.”

“Jane has been here long enough to know what the rules are Jack. Now she has to deal with the unintended consequences of her actions. If she was anyone else they wouldn’t even be talking about what to do with her.”

“Is there any possibility she could keep her job if I go?”

“Jane is on hold you know.” Quickly Jack picked his headset back up. “Jane, I’ll call you back. I love you.”

“I love you too.”

“Don’t cry. We’re going to find some way for you to keep your job. I’m talking to Tom right now.”

“I can’t help it. Everyone is looking at me and everyone knows what I did.”

“I’ll call you right back. If I don’t call you in ten minutes call me.”

“I have to get ready for my meeting. Call me after lunch.”

“You call me. I won’t know how long your meeting is going to last. Hang in there kiddo.”

“I will. You too.”

“Yeah, see you later.”

“Bye.” Jack hung up the phone and stood up to face Tom. “They can’t fire Jane. If she is pregnant she’s going to need a job with good benefits. She could probably even get the company to pay for everything considering this is a work related incident.”

“If you’d sit down for a minute I would tell you what I was going to say. Jane’s been here for eight years. She’s been a good employee and right now she’s a modern miracle so people are not going to want to let her go. She did break the rules but because she had a head injury people are going to put more of the blame on you which is where it belongs. All of the doctors want to see her and everyone wants to keep an eye on her and any developments with the baby if there is one. Her job is to recruit and interview people and she’s done a great job at finding some good candidates. From a performance standpoint no one can point to anything she’s done wrong. I don’t think her trip through the wormhole will cost her a job but it could. Right now people are more curious than mad.”

“Jane makes good granola. If she is pregnant I wouldn’t mind marrying her.”

“Marriage isn’t something you want to rush into Jack. No matter what might be going on with a baby.”

“I know. Jane said the same thing.”

“I better get ready for that meeting tonight. We still have a couple hours so you have plenty of time to wait until the last minute before you start getting ready.”

“I already have my presentation ready. Prepare to be dazzled by all my great ideas on time management and inventory control.”

“Did Jane help you with that?”

“No. I put it together while I was waiting for her to come over.”

“Huh. Well I have work to do. Catch you later.” The minute Jack was sure Tom was gone he picked up his phone to call Jane.

To be continued, if possible.


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