Team Knight Rider - Season Two
Chapter Four - Valley Of Eden
The two darkly clad figures sneaked soundlessly through the darkened bank towards the vault behind the teller’s booths. Both carried flashlights and large canvass bags slung over their shoulders. The taller individual went to the vault and started turning the lock, dialing the combination. His partner waiting patiently by his side. As soon as the vault was open, the two thieves went in and started loading up the bags with cash.
Suddenly the front doors to the bank burst open and a squad of armed policemen rushed in, spreading out through the large room. Three of them rushed right over to the vault and held their firearms on the two robbers inside.
"Freeze!" one of them commanded, "Drop the bags and put your hands in the air!"
The two people stopped what they were doing instantly and complied. Two of the policemen went in and hauled them out into the open while the other kept his gun trained on them.
"It’s OK," one of the officers said, "They’re unarmed."
They pulled the hoods off the two criminals, revealing a middle-aged couple in their forties. The woman was of medium height, with short curly blonde hair. The man was skinny and pale and had balding black hair. Both had blank expressions on their faces.
More officers hurried inside, accompanied by a short plump man in his thirties, obviously an employee at the bank. As soon as he saw the two perpetrators, his eyes widened in shock.
"Mr. Spiel?" he asked incredulously.
"You know these two?" the officer in charge asked.
The man nodded.
"Yes," he said, "Mr. Spiel and his wife. He’s the assistant vice president. He’s been here for 21 years."
They all looked at the couple with frowns on their faces. The employee was certainly puzzled. The Spiel couple just stared ahead of them, blank faces never changing or acknowledging a word that was spoken.
* * *
Kyle and Jenny walked through the plush SkyOne corridor side-by-side, both carrying manila folders in one hand. They strode with a purpose and matched each other's steps almost perfectly. When they reached the situation room, Kyle allowed Jenny to go in first before he followed.
The others were all seated around the console. Trek had his feet up on the console and was playing with a new Sony GamePro. Erica was eyeing herself critically in a small compact mirror, and Duke was doing arm and neck stretches in his seat. He was still wearing his workout uniform.
"You guys gotta start giving us more warning about these meetings," Duke told them as they sat down.
"Yeah," Trek said, "I'm right in the middle of a game."
"I don't know what you're talking about," Dante said, "Us cars are always ready on a second's notice."
"That's different," Erica said.
"Oh?" Dante asked, "How so?"
"Well, you cars have no lives."
"Oh, really?" Kat asked, "And I suppose all the work we do for Team Knight Rider doesn't count."
"All right, guys," Kyle told them, "We have work to do."
"Another assignment from FLAG?" Erica asked.
"What is it this time?" Duke asked, "And please don't tell me I have to do anything undercover."
Jenny smiled and turned to Kyle.
"Tell them, Kyle," she said.
Kyle glanced at her and nodded.
"FLAG wants us to check out a guy named Dr. Leo Fritsch," Kyle told them, "He's a German psychologist who was discredited six years ago because he was using inhumane methods to treat his patients."
"I think I heard of him," Trek said, "He used some sort of drug induced hypnosis to block out peoples' memories and create new ones for them. His patients complained of abnormal behavior and memory loss. It's actually very interesting."
They all stared at him. Trek looked up from his game to meet their gaze.
"But very, very bad, of course," he added.
"Dr. Fritsch left Germany after he was discovered to set up his own practice here in the States," Jenny told them, "FLAG found out he's running his own marriage counseling retreat near Chicago. A couple from Illinois was caught trying to rob a bank that the husband worked for just over a week ago. They were both patients of Dr. Fritsch. Neither of them admitted to committing the crime, nor remember it even happening, supposedly. FLAG thinks he may be using hypnosis to get them to do it, but they need someone to go in and find some proof."
"Let me guess," Duke said, "That's us."
"Exactly," Kyle said, "We need to send in a couple people undercover to check the place out and see if he's up to his old tricks."
"Sounds like a real cheesy assignment," Trek commented.
"By a couple, do you mean, like, a married couple?" Erica asked skeptically.
Kyle and Jenny glanced at each other.
"Well, we have to send two people in posing as a married couple," Jenny told them, "It's the only way. Fritsch doesn't hire new people."
"You can count me out," Duke told them decisively.
Kyle and Jenny turned towards Trek and Erica.
"Oh, no," Erica told them, shaking her head, "Absolutely no way. There's no way I'm going to pretend to be Trek's wife. That's just going way too far."
"She's right, Kyle," Domino spoke up, "No one's gonna believe Trek and Erica are married."
"Then what do you suggest?" Kyle asked.
"Well, now that you mention it," Domino said suggestively.
Kyle and Jenny glanced at each other in realization.
"Yeah," Duke said, "Why don't you two go in. You'd be the perfect couple."
"I agree totally," Erica agreed.
Trek just smiled devilishly.
"Duke's right," Domino said, "Come on, you two, you know you're dying for a little practice."
"Domino!" Jenny objected.
"Oh, come on, Jenny," Dante said, "Don't play coy. I know you and Domino probably set this whole thing up so you'd be partnered with Kyle."
"Dante!" Kyle warned.
"That's absurd!" Jenny exclaimed.
"Really, Dante," Domino said, "How could you believe Jenny could actually be so underhanded."
"Yeah," Beast said, "Watch it Dante. That's my Jenny you're talking about."
"Sorry," Dante said semi-sincerely.
"Anyway," Domino said, "Kyle's the one who accepted the mission."
"Excuse-me, Domino?" Kyle asked.
"I don't think I like this idea," Beast told them, "Jenny deserves much better. No offense, Kyle."
"Uh, none taken, Beast," Kyle replied.
"So it's decided," Erica said, "You two are going in, and the rest of us will stay here and dig up info on Fritsch."
"Did we decide that already?" Kyle asked.
"I'll go ahead and make your reservation for this weekend," Dante told them.
"Plato and I can take care of the marriage license and paperwork," Trek offered.
"I'll go pick out a ring," Erica told them.
Kyle gave her a look, and Erica shrugged.
"It's got to look natural," Erica reasoned, "You go in as a married couple you have to have these things."
"I can put together some wedding pictures," Kat spoke up, "Just in case anyone asks."
"I can't wait to see what those look like," Erica said.
They all turned to Kyle.
"Well?" Duke asked, "Aren't you going to tell us to get to work?"
Kyle just looked around at them. His mouth opened to speak, but Erica interrupted.
"Great!" she said, jumping out of her seat.
She walked past Jenny and Kyle and left. Duke also got up, patted Kyle on the shoulder, and followed. Trek arose quietly and kept his eyes glued to his game as he passed by their leader.
Kyle shook his head.
"Did that just happen?" he asked, glancing at Jenny.
"Oh, I think it did," Domino said wickedly.
"Hurry up, you two," Dante told them, "You have some packing to do. You're to report at the retreat tomorrow morning. You're lucky I was able to get you a reservation so soon. The couple who had it before decided to get divorced this weekend instead."
Kyle and Jenny exchanged glances.
"That's great, Dante."
* * *
"I don't see why Dante gets to go," Domino complained, "I'd be much more fun."
"We're on a mission, Domino," Dante told her, "We're not supposed to have fun."
Team Knight Rider was fully assembled in the garage the following morning. Kyle and Jenny were loading overnight bags into Dante's back seat.
"We're taking Dante," Kyle said decidedly, "He has better sensor equipment."
"Why does he get better equipment?" Domino asked.
"Don't feel bad, Domino," Trek told her, "You look much sexier than Dante."
"Why thank-you, Trek," Domino said coyly, "Finally, someone with real taste."
"Yes, I'm sure it was a real compliment," Dante said, "Coming from someone who still watches Flintstones every weekend."
"I still say I should go," Beast said, "I want to be there to protect Jenny in case Kyle gets any ideas."
"That's OK, Beast," Jenny assured him, "I'm sure Kyle will behave himself."
She gave her leader a smile. Kyle just rolled his eyes.
Erica walked up to Jenny and handed her something.
"Here's your ring," she said, "And the photos from Kat."
Jenny looked them over as Erica handed Kyle his ring.
"Not bad, Kat," she admitted.
"They better be good," Kat said, "I was up all night getting them done."
"Don't forget," Trek told them, "You two were married on June 7th, 1994 at the First United Church in Chicago, at 2PM."
"We got it, Trek," Kyle said, holding up the file containing Kyle and Jenny's cover story.
"Now don't you kids worry about a thing," Duke told them, "I'll hold up the fort here. Ya'll go on and have fun."
This time both Kyle and Jenny shook their heads at him, then started to climb into Dante.
"Don't do anything I wouldn't do!" Erica told them.
Both Jenny and Kyle stopped and turned to look at her.
"Well, you know what I mean," Erica said impishly.
The others watched as Kyle, Jenny and Dante drove out of SkyOne.
"Goin’ to the chapel…!" Plato intoned as they left.
* * *
It took them about an hour to drive to the retreat, which was isolated up in a forest area well outside of Chicago. During their trip, Kyle and Jenny went over their story in detail, with comments and 'helpful' tips from Dante every minute or so. By the time they reached the place, it was mid-morning. They drove up a gravel road to arrive at a very well kept, well laid-out area.
There were many different buildings and a lot of plush grassy area. By the parking lot there was the main building where the sessions were supposed to be held in. Another building held the living quarters of all patients, another held the restaurant and recreational activities, and the last held the offices. Kyle parked Dante with the other vehicles, and the two of them hopped out to collect their bags. Both of them had brought only one piece of luggage.
"Looks OK so far," Kyle commented.
"This is really nice," Jenny approved, looking around.
"You're just saying that because you like the forest," Dante accused.
Jenny ignored him as she and Kyle both saw the young woman wearing a pale green shirt approach them from the main building. She had a smile on her freckled face as she approached.
"Welcome to the Valley of Eden marriage retreat," the woman welcomed them, shaking their hands, "I'm Betty. I'll be your personal host during your visit here. You're the Stewart couple, right?"
"Uh, yeah, that's right," Kyle said, picking up the story, "I'm Kyle, and this is my wife, Jenny."
"Nice to meet you," Jenny said.
"Follow me," Betty told them, "I'll show you to your room."
The two TKR members complied, allowing the lady to lead them through the buildings. She led them right to the living quarters. Each room had its own private entrance leading right outdoors. Kyle and Jenny's room was labeled "Tranquillity".
"Dr. Leo likes to give all his rooms names with positive meanings," Betty explained as she opened the door for them, "It's supposed to help put people in a positive mood. His own room is called 'Hope'."
"Interesting," was all Jenny could some up with as Betty moved aside to let them enter.
The room was modest-sized, with a single double bed, one dresser, two small nightstands and lamps, and a door to the right leading to the bathroom. To the left there was also a large window overlooking the forest. The floor was carpeted in light pink, and the curtains and bedding were colored to match it. Kyle tried to hide the distaste from his face and instead smiled pleasantly.
"I'll give you two a few minutes to unpack," Betty told them, "Then I'll come back to give you a brief tour of the facilities. The first session is at eleven."
"Thank-you," Kyle told her.
Betty smiled at them both, then left. Kyle shut the door after while Jenny set her bag on the bed.
"Pink is definitely your color, Kyle," Dante remarked.
"Funny," Kyle said, then asked, "Can you pinpoint Fritsch?"
"He's in his office right now," Dante told them, "Everything seems dull so far. Wait a minute, I think I found something."
"What is it?" Kyle asked.
"Surveillance cameras," Dante reported.
"They have surveillance cameras posted around the center?" Jenny asked.
"No," Dante replied, "Just in the guest rooms."
"What?" she asked incredulously.
"That's right," Dante said with some amusement, "There are cameras in each of the guest rooms, each remotely controlled from somewhere in the office building. Yours is located in the top right-hand corner, over-looking the whole room."
"Is it on now?" Kyle asked.
Kyle and Jenny then both glanced up at the corner. At first they saw nothing. Then, as they moved closer, they saw a small black speck half the size of a marble.
"That's pretty sick," Jenny commented.
"I'm sure they don't do it for amusement," Dante said, "After all, this is a counseling retreat, not a honeymoon one."
"They're probably there so Fritsch can check up on his patients," Kyle said.
"It's not going to be easy, searching this place with those cameras," Jenny commented.
"Dante," he said, "keep an eye on that camera and let us know whenever it comes on. And call Trek and get him to monitor the camera too, since he seems to know more about Fritsch than any of us."
"I'm on it, Kyle," his car replied.
Minutes later there was a pleasant knock on the door. When Jenny opened it, Betty was standing there smiling broadly on the other side.
"Ready for your tour?" she asked them.
* * *
"This is the Greenhouse," Betty told them, leading them into a large glassed-in building with a plethora of small trees and flowers.
"Dr. Leo thinks it's healthy to have a lot of plants around," Betty explained, "Fresh air and being close to nature helps to clear one's mind. He likes his patients to be at peace with themselves and with nature before he starts his counseling. The Greenhouse helps to do this."
"It's very nice," Jenny commented, letting her gaze fall over the array of plant life.
"This is a nice place to visit during your free time," Betty told them, "We also have a pleasant nature trail if you ever want to go for a relaxing walk."
"That sounds great," Jenny said.
"Jenny's a real outdoor enthusiast," Kyle spoke up to Betty.
"Oh really?" she asked, looking from one to the other, "And what about you?"
"Kyle prefers to be cooped up in his office all day," Jenny supplied.
"I do not," Kyle disagreed, "I only do that because I have work I need to finish."
"Sure," she said, "Half of it is nit-picking details."
Kyle was about to respond when Betty stepped between them.
"Now, now," she told them, "Remember, you're hear to mend your relationship, not make it worse."
Kyle and Jenny glanced at each other, then at Betty, then relaxed.
"You're right," Kyle told her. He and Jenny smiled at one another.
"Good," Betty said, "Now, why don't I show you our recreation facilities?"
They allowed Betty to lead them on, lagging back a bit behind their guide.
"Good work," Kyle whispered to her, "pretending to argue like that."
Jenny gave him a look as she responded.
"I wasn't pretending," she told him, then smiled and walked ahead of him.
Kyle frowned and watched her go, then shook his head and walked faster to catch up.
* * *
At five to eleven Betty brought them to a large room inside the main building that contained about a dozen or so chairs arranged in twos in a circle. Kyle and Jenny sat down side-by-side in one of those couplets. All the other chairs held other married couples ranging in age. To their left was an elderly couple in their sixties. To their right was a couple even younger than they themselves who refused to look at one another.
Each couple had their own personal host, all of whom sat in chairs outside of the circle.
A moment later their target walked in. Dr. Leo Fritsch was a balding man in his late fifties who wore wire-rimmed glasses, gray pants and a white sweater. He appeared to be the grand-fatherly type. His face was square and leathery, and his pale thin lips contained a very wide, sincere-looking smile which he used on all of his guests as he walked into the center of the circle.
"Good morning, everyone," he greeted them warmly, his voice thickly accented with German, "Welcome to the Valley of Eden. My name is Dr. Leo. I will be your host and your doctor during your stay here. I trust you all find your accommodations comfortable, and I hope you enjoy it here for the duration of your visit."
Dr. Leo then went on with a whole speech about how he started Valley of Eden and his dream to help people get along with one another.
"He looks harmless enough," Jenny whispered to Kyle.
"The good ones usually do," he replied.
"And now, our first exercise," Dr. Leo said after his lengthy speech, "I would like to get to know you all better. I would also like it if you got to know each other as well. Perhaps you will remember activities like this from our school days. We will go around the room to each couple and I would like you to say your names, where you live and how many years you have been married. Starting with you." He pointed to one couple in their early forties.
The man and woman looked at one another, then both went to speak at the same time. At this, the man shrugged and nodded to her, indicating for her to talk.
"My name is Leann," she told them, "This is my husband Roy."
Roy, a skinny little man in glasses, waved at them shyly, allowing his wife to call the shots.
"We have a home in Detroit and have been married for thirteen years," she concluded.
"Nice to meet you, Leann and Roy," Dr. Leo said in his German accent.
They moved in to the next couple. The elderly couple next to Kyle and Jenny was Howie and Judith. They had been married for forty-two years. Then it was Kyle and Jenny's turn.
"And you're next," Dr. Leo told them.
"Uh, I'm Jenny," she introduced her self.
"I'm Kyle," he said, "We're from Chicago."
"And how many years married?" Dr. Leo asked.
Both Kyle and Jenny frowned and looked at one another.
"Um, what we meant is..." Kyle started.
"It just seems like five years," Jenny broke in quickly, "because that's how long we've known each other. We've actually only been married for three years."
"Ah, I see," Dr. Leo nodded. He regarded them for a moment, then turned to the next couple.
Kyle and Jenny glanced at each other in relief.
"Nice save, Jenny," Dante told her, "You wouldn't have had to, though, if you'd gotten the number right."
"Sorry!" Jenny whispered.
"It's all right," Kyle whispered, "Let's just stay focused."
"Very good, then," Dr. Leo spoke up once they'd gone around the circle, "Now we know each other. You have your first counseling session this afternoon, after lunch. Your personal hosts have your schedules for the next five days. They will bring you to each one and make sure you know where you are going. Right now you are all invited to a welcome lunch buffet in our restaurant appropriately titled Lover's Nest. I will see you all shortly."
With that, the doctor left. Each of the Welcomers stood and went to their assigned couples. Betty came up to Kyle and Jenny as they stood up.
"Ready for lunch?" she asked them brightly.
Kyle swept his hand out.
"Lead the way," he said.
Once again, Kyle and Jenny lagged behind a bit as their Welcomer led the way to the buffet.
"Trek," Kyle said, speaking into his watch, "You there?"
"Right with ya, boss," Trek responded.
"How are things going at your end?" Kyle asked.
"Oh, swell," Trek said, "Plato's digging up all the files on Fritsch. Kat managed to get a list of all of Fritsch's previous patients. Duke and Erica went to visit the two jailbirds now."
"Good," Kyle said, "Have Duke and Erica report to me this evening. And try to get into Fritsch's computer files."
"Aye aye, cap'n."
"Are you two coming?" Betty asked them then, noticing them dragging behind.
"Coming!" Jenny told her, then grabbed Kyle's arm and nudged him to go faster.
* * *
"Make yourselves at home."
"Thanks," Duke said, taking a seat across from the orange-clad couple. Erica decided to stand up in the small interrogation room.
"Would you like anything to drink?" Mrs. Spiel asked them.
"Uh, no, we're fine," Duke assured her.
Mrs. Spiel then moved her plastic chair closer to that of her husband. As soon as she did, the two snuggled together cozily. Both were in their mid-forties.
"Mr. and Mrs. Spiel," Duke started.
"Please, call us Marv and Linda," the man insisted.
Duke and Erica exchanged glances.
"OK," Duke said, "Marv and Linda. I understand you're previous patients of Dr. Leo."
At the mention of the German psychiatrist's name, the couple beamed and looked at each other affectionately.
"He was wonderful," Linda told them, "He saved our marriage. Marv and I were on our way to divorce, but after one week at Dr. Leo's, divorce was the last things in our minds. He taught us how to love each other again."
"And how exactly did he do that?" Erica asked, sitting on the edge of the hard steel table.
Marv and Linda glanced at each other quizzically.
"How?" Marv asked.
"What did Dr. Leo do to make you love each other again?" Duke asked.
"Well," Marv replied, "We went to his counseling sessions, and took part in his activities."
"Did any specific thing make you want to get back together?" Duke asked them, "I mean, can you remember anything important?"
Now the couple glanced at one another and frowned.
"I don't really remember what happened," Linda admitted.
"We just woke up one morning," Linda told them, "And Bam! All our differences were no longer important, and we loved each other more than ever."
The two of them then looked at each other lovingly, then moved in for a passionate kiss. Duke and Erica watched for a moment before looking away, trying to remain patient. Erica glanced at her watch.
"Um, excuse me," Erica spoke up.
His words had no reaction. The couple just kept on making out. Duke and Erica glanced at one another.
"Excuse me!" Erica repeated, louder this time.
"Um, sorry, yes?" Marv asked in a husky voice as he moved his head away from his wife's.
"Can you remember why you would want to rob the bank?" Duke asked.
The couple frowned and looked at one another.
"Like we told the policemen," Marv replied, "We don’t even remember the robbery. I’m sure it couldn’t have been us, even though our picture was on the video cameras."
"We would never do such a horrible thing!" Linda assured them, "The police must have it all wrong. They just aren’t listening to us!"
"So you can't remember what exactly happened with Dr. Leo? How he hypnotized you?" Erica asked.
The couple both shook their heads, their arms still wrapped around each other.
"All I remember is how much I was a fool not to realize how much Linda loved me, and how much I love her," Marv said.
The couple looked deeply into each other's eyes.
"Oh, Marv!" Linda said breathily, "I feel the exact same way!"
With that the two of them lunged at the other and started making out noisily. Erica and Duke both watched at first in shock, then in discomfort. Both of them finally stood up at the same time.
"Um, well, thanks for your time," Duke said, "We'll be leaving now."
Neither Marv nor Linda made any move to separate or acknowledge them.
"We'll just show ourselves out," Erica said, then led the way out of the room.
"Well, that was strange," Duke commented moments later as they climbed into their vehicles and started back for SkyOne.
"Not to mention gross," Erica added.
* * *
"So, Jenny," one of Dr. Leo's assistants, Dr. Judy, said to her, "What are your feelings about Kyle?"
Jenny looked at her and hesitated. After lunch, the couples had all split up. The men went with Dr. Travis, and the women went with Dr. Judy. The idea was to express their feelings about their spouse to others of their gender. Jenny had been sitting in her cushioned chair, waiting for her turn with feelings of both apprehension and eagerness. Three women had gone already, and they had all expressed their feelings openly about their husbands. Now it was her turn.
"Well," Jenny spoke up slowly, "I'm not sure where to begin."
All the women smiled knowingly. Dr. Judy nodded.
"It's sometimes hard to get started," she admitted, "Why don't you tell us why you married him?"
"Um," Jenny began, "Well, he was...interesting, and smart, and he was honest."
"And did you find him attractive?" Judy asked.
Jenny looked at her, then nodded.
"Yes, I did," she said.
"And do you still find him attractive?"
Jenny hesitated, then nodded again.
"And what about now?" D. Judy asked her, "Are all those good qualities still there in Kyle?"
"Yes, they are."
Jenny took a deep breath.
"But," she said, "We sometimes argue."
"And what do you argue about?"
"Well, decisions, mostly," Jenny said, starting to get into it, "He'll want to do one thing, and I'll want to do another. Or vice versa. And we can't ever compromise. And he's so stubborn..."
* * *
"She's very stubborn," Kyle was saying in the mens' group, "She always wants to do things I don't want to do..."
* * *
"He's always bossing me around," Jenny said, "Just when I start to get independent and do things my way, he reigns me in…."
* * *
"She always wants to do things her way," Kyle said, "And she hardly ever listens to me..."
* * *
"He just won't listen," Jenny complained, "Even if my idea might be better. It's like, he's the boss."
* * *
"And she's so bossy," Kyle told Dr. Travis, "If I'm trying to do my job, she always tells me how I can do it better."
* * *
"And he's always flirting with other women," Jenny said vehemently, "It's like he can't keep his eyes off them."
* * *
"I keep seeing her with these other men," Kyle complained, "They're flirting with her, and she likes it."
"And how does that make you feel, Kyle?" Dr. Travis asked.
Kyle replied, "Angry, and disappointed. I just don't know what she wants from me."
* * *
"Jenny?" Dr. Judy asked.
"It makes me feel like I'm invisible," Jenny said somberly, "And it makes me upset. I just wish I knew what he wanted me to do, instead of just ignoring me."
* * *
"That was great, Kyle," Dr. Travis approved.
* * *
"You did good, Jenny," Dr. Judy praised her.
* * *
Outside, Dante was monitoring the two as they were in their sessions.
"I can't believe Kyle could say all those things," Domino said over com-link, "It was totally wrong!"
"They're just pretending," Dante told her, "And besides, it's not like Jenny was any more generous in her reply."
"I think a lot of what she said is true," Domino said stubbornly.
"And I think that everything Kyle said is true," Dante retorted.
"Easy, guys, easy!" Trek broke in, "Let's all be friends, OK?"
"And since when do you give orders?" Dante asked.
"Since Kyle put me in charge of monitoring their progress?" Trek replied lamely.
"Oh, and that makes you the boss?"
"Look, it wasn't even an order anyway," Trek argued.
"Are you three going to argue all day?" Kat interrupted, "Or are you going to do your jobs?"
"Look, it's Miss Priss," Domino announced.
Kat ignored her.
"If you don't stop arguing, I'm going to tell," Kat warned them.
"Go right ahead," Dante said, "And see what Kyle says when you disturb his dinner."
"Fine, go ahead and fight," Kat gave up, "Why should I care?"
"That's the spirit!" Trek said with mock enthusiasm.
"Why don't you guys shut-up and make sure Jenny is OK?" Beast spoke up irritably.
"Jenny's fine, Beastie," Domino assured him, "Her and Kyle are having dinner right now."
* * *
After dinner, at which Dr. Leo had given all of his guests a toast, Kyle and Jenny joined the others back in the large group room. This time the chairs were gone, and they all stood around.
"As our last exercise for the day," Dr. Leo told them, "You are now going to play a game I call 'Trust'."
Kyle and Jenny exchanged glances.
"I'm sure you've all seen it done before," Dr. Leo said, "First of all, I would like to have the men stand behind their wives, about two feet away."
The men took their positions.
"Now," Dr. Leo said, "I would like the ladies to fall back and let their husbands catch them. Go ahead."
Hesitantly, the women complied. Jenny glanced once at Kyle before allowing herself to fall back. Kyle immediately held out his arms to catch her. He smiled as he lifted her back into a standing position. Jenny glanced at Dr. Leo and could see he was taking notes on a clipboard.
"Very good," Dr. Leo said approvingly, "Now, the men are going to be blindfolded."
An assistant handed out blindfolds to each of the men.
"Once the husbands are blindfolded," Dr. Leo told them, "The wives are going to be responsible for directing them around the room. Each of you is standing in front of a trail of masking tape on the floor. The wives must direct the husbands to follow the tape. You must use words only. Begin at any time."
Jenny was smiling now as Kyle donned the blindfold. The tape in front of him weaved around six pylons and did a U-turn back to the start.
"Go forward," Jenny instructed.
Kyle started moving forward slowly.
"Left, 45 degrees," Jenny said.
"Now right, 90 degrees."
Jenny continued to lead Kyle through the obstacles. She watched his feet closely and did an expert job of guiding him. She didn't even notice the others couples, all of who were having trouble. One guy nearly fell headfirst into the floor after tripping over a pylon. Jenny and Kyle finished well before the others. As soon as he was back beside Jenny, Kyle removed the blindfold.
"Nice directions," he told her.
"Excellent, Kyle and Jenny," Dr. Leo praised them, then turned his attention to the others, all the while taking notes.
"He hasn't done anything out of the ordinary so far," Jenny said almost disappointedly.
"He probably won't," Kyle said, "Not as long as he has witnesses."
"I hope Duke and Erica have something useful for us," Jenny said.
"Aren't you having fun, Jenny?" Dante spoke up.
Jenny gave Kyle and look and shook her head.
Near them, one couple's arguing suddenly got louder.
"I said right, not left!" the woman said loudly.
"I heard you say left!" the man yelled back.
"Well, you must be hearing things then!" the wife shot back.
"Oh yeah?" he asked, "So now I have a hearing problem?"
"Mark, Tessa," Dr. Leo appealed to them calmly, "Please…"
Jenny and Kyle exchanged glances.
"Now aren't you glad you're not like them?" Dante asked.
* * *
On toPart Two