Part 4

by planet-solin

For disclaimers: see part one

Chapter Seven

Several hours later the women finally made it out of the hotel room, but only after their bodies had been completely sated. Rather than go out they had ordered dinner delivered to their suite, moving from the bed only when it was absolutely necessary. Cammy was at her usual spot behind the bar which made both women happy for the bartender seemed to be a valuable source of information.

"Hey, I didn't think I'd see you two again," the bartender greeted them with a genuine smile that turned to a frown when she noticed the bruises on their faces. "What happened?"

"We ran into some local thugs last night," Alex replied nonchalantly as she eased her lanky frame against the bar counter.

"You okay?" the woman was genuinely concerned.

"Yeah, just a few bruises," Sydney replied before lying the photograph she carried on top of the bar where the woman could see. "Is there anyone, besides Leanne Meyers, in this photograph that you recognize?"

"Yeah," Cammy pointed to a man and a woman. "That's Stuart Frost, and her name is Joanne. She
used to come in here often enough, why who is she?"

"Meyer's sister-in-law," Alex said.

"No shit," the bartender seemed plainly surprised. "That's hard to believe, I mean, there were nights when I'm sure they were in here at the same time but I can't ever remember them talking. I didn't think they knew each other. I can't believe that they were related. Doesn't that seem strange?"

"Yeah," both detectives nodded glancing at one another. "It is strange. You don't know if Joanne was seeing someone, do you?"

"She was," Cammy said thoughtfully. "A Michelle something or other. They had been going out for about four years but they broke up about three months ago. It was pretty ugly, something about another woman being involved. Or at least that's what the rumours said."

Both detectives looked at each other with the same thought on their minds. Neither wanted to hope that the case was finally falling into place. They waited until the bartender moved to the other side of the counter before voicing their thoughts.

"You don't you?" Sydney said and Alex nodded grimly, her blue eyes roving around the dimly lit room.

"That would explain a few things," the tall woman said thoughtfully. They were silent as they individually contemplated the ramifications of what they had just learned.

Sydney had little experience with family but there was something about the idea of the two sister-in-laws being together that made her cringe. She glanced at her partner who was busy gazing around the room. She wondered what her thoughts were on the subject.


"What?" blue eyes swivelled around to look at the smaller woman.

"Would you ever..." she was unable to finish asking her question, embarrassed by even thinking in that direction.

"No," was the emphatic answer as blue eyes narrowed. Alex somehow knew what the other woman was asking.

"Were you never interested in any of the women your brothers brought home?" the smaller woman was curious thinking of the close relationship she shared with her sister-in-law Christie.

"No," was the quiet response as the tall woman thought about the girlfriends her brothers had introduced to her over the years. Many were good looking women but the thought of pursuing them, even after they had broken up with her siblings had never entered her head. "That was never an option."

"Why?" the smaller woman was curious.

"Because there are certain rules I never break," Alex said solemnly. "I don't date women my brothers have, and I don't pursue straight women or my friends."

There was silence again and for a long moment blue and green eyes met and held.

"But you asked me out?" Sydney said softly and in response Alex reached out and tenderly stroked long fingers over the silky smooth texture of the smaller woman's face.

"You are the only exception," came the solemn reply, a large hand dropped down to cover a smaller one which was resting on the bar. She gave it a gentle squeeze and Sydney felt an overwhelming surge of emotion flood through her body. She realized again why she loved this woman so much.

"What's next?" she asked swallowing the lump that caught in her throat. She knew it was time to change the subject before she ended up doing something that would totally embarrass them both.

"We speak with Joanne Frost and then find this Michelle woman," the Captain mused out loud relieved that her companion had changed the topic of discussion. Her breathing had begun to grow ragged.

"We will have to find out where Joanne docks her boat and if she was out this past weekend. I think we better check that first," Sydney reasoned. "But what about motive? Why would she kill Leanne?"

"That's a tough one," Alex conceded. "Could be for a number of reasons. Maybe Leanne wanted to admit the affair..."

"Or end it?"

"Or end it," the tall woman agreed. "Or it could have been the other way around. You have to know that Leanne had more riding on her secret then the sister-in-law."

"Then why get involved in the first place?" Sydney wanted to know.

"Who knows, maybe lust or excitement," the older woman repeated. "All I know is that it's looking more and more suspicious."

"Cammy, do you know where we can find this Michelle?" the younger detective asked the bartender when the woman returned to their end of the bar.

"I don't know where she lives but I know she works over at Gilden's. It's a fancy clothing store on Robson St. I think she's a part owner, she's there everyday, short red head, freckles across her face."

"Thanks," the two detectives appreciated the woman's help, which had been invaluable. Sometimes in a case they just got lucky and stumbled onto someone who knew more than they realized. It was a detectives dream to have a case solved through seemingly idle conversation. They pushed themselves away from the bar.

"You're not leaving already are you?" the bartender said. "The fun is just beginning."

"Fun?" both women said in unison.

"Yeah, tonight's karoke night, it's very popular," Cammy grinned. "I know you sing Seattle because I've seen you," she paused and eyed the tall, dark woman. "And I'd hazard a guess after the other nights performance you guys could probably do a pretty good duet."

The two women looked at each other.

"You sing?" they asked each other in unison and then smiled.

"I'm not very good," the blond woman admitted shyly. Alex remembered the numerous times she had come back to the condo to find her companion stretched out on the couch, the earphones on her head, her voice warbling away over some tune that was playing on the CD.

"I don't know about that," the taller woman smiled seductively and winked. "I think I'd like to see you up there singing."

"Come on I thought you wanted an early night," Sydney baulked at the thought of singing in front of her lover, remembering how embarrassed she felt everytime her lover had caught her singing along with one of her favourite songs.

"Nope, I want to hear you sing," the taller woman smiled and then turning to the bartender ordered two beers. Cammy smiled broadly. She liked the pair, they seemed to compliment each other, and it was obvious the affection between them was real. It was a natural thing that she rarely had the pleasure of seeing.

It was after nine o'clock when the DJ came out to start the karoke session and Alex and Sydney stayed at the bar, sipping their drinks and listening as the patrons took their turns getting up and singing, many trying to mimic their idols.

They were quite enjoying themselves and had not yet put in any requests, though Sydney had paged through the song book several times. Thus it was a surprise when their names were called. They looked at each other with eyebrows raised when Cammy appeared at the bar where they stood, a twinkle in her eyes.

"Hell, the evening would have been over before either one of you decided," the woman explained rolling her eyes. "Some one had to do something."

The emcee called their names again and reluctantly Alex allowed herself to be dragged up front. Silently she prayed that she knew the song and was privately pleased when she saw that it was a duet between two very popular singers. It was still currently playing on the radio. She was familiar with the tune for it was on a CD that Sydney was constantly playing at the condo.

That was another thing she had learned about her lover. While her own taste of music ran along the more classical lines with New Age thrown in, Sydney was more into the popular music that currently filled the airwaves. Though she had been aware of the music she had rarely listened to it, now after months of being forced to listen she was finding she enjoyed it.

"Are you the man or the woman?" Sydney whispered as they received their microphones.

"I guess lately, I've been a bit of both," Alex replied with a twinkle in her eyes and the smaller woman
blushed before swatting her playfully on the arm.

"I'll sing the male part, I can't sing that high," the younger woman decided as the music began to play, but Alex only smiled.

Cammy had been right in her estimation. The two women not only complimented each other in appearance and characteristics, but their voices seemed to blend together perfectly and the crowded room listened silently as the two women sang.

Neither Alex or Sydney noticed, for they only had eyes for each other. By the chorus, their free hands automatically sought each other out, linking as they recited the words from memory. Finally the music ended and as it died Alex naturally leaned over and kissed her partner. Sydney responded filling her kiss with all the love she felt for her companion.

It was the loud and raucous applause that suddenly reminded them that they weren't alone. With some embarrassment they bowed before exiting the stage, making their way back to the bar. Alex made a mental note that once they got home to Seattle they would do more of the stuff they had been doing here.

"I thought you guys would sound good together," the bartender greeted them with a chuckle and both women rolled their eyes.the shower being turned on. Of course, her companion, the woman who had engrained herself into her life and who lived solidly in her heart. She opened her eyes again and stared out at the darkness. She wanted to do something special for her companion before they left this foreign city. She wanted to rekindle the romance that had been lost in the last months.

Her eyes settled briefly on the small outline of a boat as it slowly made it's way across the harbour. It seemed too idly meander as if those on board were enjoying themselves, not wanting their journey to end. It was while watching this mysterious craft that she had a sudden inspiration. A smile etched its way across her face as she reached for the phone.

They would be leaving on Saturday morning and she had every intention of making this trip a memory that her companion would enjoy. She had so many ideas but there was only one that stood out in her mind. Something that she had wanted to do for her lover for a long time.

"Who were you talking to on the phone?" Sydney asked wandering back into the bedroom just as her lover was replacing the phone.

She had been hoping that the taller woman would join her in the shower and had been disappointed when the woman hadn't appeared. The dark haired woman glanced at her companion idly, thinking that the beauty of the woman far outshone any other splendour that she had viewed. Sydney was only wearing a towel wrapped around her slender body with another towel wrapped around her hair.

"The Sheriff," Alex answered lazily.


"Yeah, I told him to send the plane down on Saturday," the Captain continued. "I think tomorrow will be the decisive day. Other then the two women I don't think there will be much more we can learn."

"Then you think that Joanne Frost and this Michelle woman are somehow involved?" Sydney said sitting down on the bed and beginning to dry her long blond hair. "You know I have a gut instinct that they are."

"Yeah," Alex nodded. Sometimes their instinct was the only thing they had to go on. Besides she had the same feeling. She stretched out her tall body popping a few joints before struggling to her feet. "I'm going to have a shower now."

"You could have joined me," Sydney said plaintively as blue and green eyes met.

"Yeah, but then we would still be in the shower now and as much as I like running my soapy hands over your body I'm just to tired to do anything about it," the older woman was honest and the blond woman smiled.

"That's okay, I think we covered everything earlier," Sydney said.

"Yeah and what we missed we can cover tomorrow," Alex sighed and then strolled towards the bathroom. By the time she returned to the bedroom, her companion was nestled under the covers, sound asleep.

A smile came to her lips as she settled gently on the edge of the bed and studied the sleeping woman. Her heart clutched with a pleasurable pain as she tenderly reached over and combed damp strands of blonde hair away from a bruised cheek. She allowed her fingers to linger, caressing the smooth, soft skin, feeling the warmth of her companion seep into her body.

It didn't take much for her to wonder what her life would be like without this woman. She had lived thirty four years without experiencing the pleasure of companionship as she knew it now and she had no desire to return to that state. She would move mountains if that was what it took for them to stay together. She would never give the other woman a reason to leave.

With that in mind she slipped out of her towel and into a long t-shirt before sliding into bed. Almost automatically the smaller woman turned and nestled herself against the additional warm body and Alex wrapped her long arms around the slender frame and held her close. It was only thus contented that she closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep.

By the time they arrived at the Police Headquarters the next morning Det. Smith had accomplished the task Alex had requested of her. The woman had even gone so far as to speak with several of the marina operators to see which boats had been out that weekend.

"I checked all the marine operators and they gave me a list of persons who were out this previous weekend," Sherry informed them handing the tall woman a sheet of paper. "As you can see it isn't very long."

No, Alex thought glancing at the short list, her blue eyes honing instantly on one name. At the same
instant she felt her gut clench in anticipation. She looked her partner, handing over the paper so that she could take a look. She saw the expression on her companion's face when she recognized the familiar name.

"Well, what next?" the local woman wanted to know glancing from one woman to the other, aware of an eerily silent communication that was passing between the two women.

"We need to talk to Joanne Frost," Alex said and saw immediately by the expression on the woman's face that she didn't understand.

"But haven't you already spoken to her?" the red haired detective was surprised, assuming that the interview had already been done.

"We have new information that might lead her to shed more light onto the situation," the Captain admitted reluctantly and watched at the detectives eyes narrowed thoughtfully. "Last night Sydney and I were back at the Pink Room and we learned that Joanne Frost was also a regular."

"Then..." the red haired woman began and then stopped as she tried to formulate a reasonable response.

"Then she would have known about Leanne's sexuality," Sydney finished and the detective nodded.

"Yes," Alex continued. "We expect to find out much more about Leanne's life from her and why she thought she could keep it a secret."

It didn't come as a surprise to any of the detectives that Joanne Frost worked for a prestigious Law firm whose offices were located in a downtown office tower. They were almost surprised when their request to see the lawyer was instantly honoured. The women looked at each other as they were escorted through a labrinyth of corridors to an office on the far side of the floor.

"Detectives," the woman greeted them formally not bothering to rise from her chair behind a desk as she motioned to several empty chairs across from her.

"You don't seem surprised to see us?" Alex commented as she settled her frame into the plush leather seat.

"I was actually waiting for your visit," the lawyer replied calmly, her brown eyes surveying the trio of detectives before settling back on the taller woman. There was something she recognized in these women. "After you outed Leanne, I knew it wouldn't be long before you found out I was also part of the family."

"I take it your family doesn't know?" the Captain said and the woman shook her head.

"No," Joanne was honest. "I came out to my parents along time ago. The only thing they asked of me was to keep it quiet. You see they are prominent members of society here in the city and don't wish to have any type of scandal linked to their names. I'm sure if you were in a similar situation you would understand."

"Actually, Ms. Frost, I am in a similar situation," Alex retorted, irritated by the woman's seemingly arrogant attitude. "My father is a very prominent lawyer in the States. They have never asked me to hide my lifestyle."

The lawyer was silent as she studied the tall woman. She could feel a certain energy radiate off the woman and if she had been in a different time and place in her life she would have been interested. She kept her eyes intently focused on the woman.

"What is it you want to know?"

"Were you having an affair with your sister-in-law Leanne Meyers?" Alex was blunt. She had been willing to be gentle but this woman's attitude made her testy so that she no longer cared. There was a long silence as the lawyer contemplated her response.

"Perhaps you would like to call your own lawyer before saying anything," Sydney suggested, speaking up for the first time.

"No," Joanne rejected the offer, briefly glancing at the blond police woman before turning dark brown eyes on the tall woman, receiving a physical shock as they came into contact with piercing blue orbs. She swallowed losing some of her defiance.

"What exactly was your relationship with Leanne?" Alex wanted to know not breaking eye contact.

"I have been in love with Leanne since the moment my brother introduced us to her," the lawyer admitted without emotion.

"And?" the Captain prompted when the woman fell silent.

"And nothing came of it until about six months ago," the woman confessed, her voice cracking a little, as she showed emotion for the first time. She glanced from one detective to the other expecting to see condemnation on their faces but their expressions were neutral. "Stuart was on a business trip and Leanne had gotten herself into a bit of trouble. She was drunk and needed to be bailed out of a situation. She called me and unfortunately one thing led to another."

"Was it a one night stand or an affair?" Sydney asked.

"An affair," Joanne admitted reluctantly. "I knew Leanne wasn't in love with me, but still I couldn't help myself."

"When did your partner find out about your affair?" Alex wanted to know.

"I suppose you are talking about Michelle," the lawyer smiled but it was without amusement. She looked down at the papers on the desk as she rolled her pen with her fingers. "She didn't find out for two months and when she did she left me. It wasn't much later that Leanne suddenly decided to end our relationship." The woman looked up at both detectives. "So in essence my lapse of judgement destroyed my world."

"Enough to want to take revenge?" Alex asked bluntly.

"No," Joanne shook her head. "In spite of the way Leanne treated me, I never stopped loving her. I could never have killed her. I would have killed myself first."

"What was your former partners reaction?" Sydney wondered out loud.

"She was upset," the lawyer shrugged. "It was expected."

"Upset enough to hurt Leanne?"

"She did have a temper but I don't think she would have done anything," the other woman replied.

"When was the last time you saw Michelle?"

The lawyer shrugged. "About a month ago. I ran into her at the bar and she told me she was seeing someone else. There was nothing more to say."

"Did you take your boat out this past weekend?" The Captain changed the line of questioning and
watched through narrowed eyes as the expression on the other woman's face turned grim.

"No," Joanne said in barely civil voice. "Regardless what my brother says, I only co-own the boat. Michelle and I bought it when we were together and part of our separation agreement is that we share it. We have it on alternating weekends."

"Then Michelle had it this last weekend?"

"It was her weekend," the lawyer confirmed and then shrugged. "But I don't know whether or not she took it out."

"Did Michelle and Leanne know each other?" Alex wanted to know.

"They knew about each other," Joanne shook her head. "But I don't think they ever met."

"Thank you for your cooperation," the Captain said rising to her feet. Alex had all the information she needed. If she followed her instinct then she knew that this woman was telling the truth. The lawyer watched with some trepidation as the detectives rose to leave.

"Officers," her soft voice halted their progress and they turned their heads to look at her. "My brother doesn't need to know about this does he? I'm not proud of what I did and given the chance I would change the past. I know that he was devastated to find out that Leanne was interested in women."

"Don't worry Ms. Frost," Alex said coolly. "We have no intention of divulging anything of your affair unless it becomes necessary. We're police officers not news reporters for gossip magazines."

"Sometimes they go hand in hand," the lawyer said off handedly.

Sydney immediately felt her partner tense and automatically a hand went to her companions back. She didn't like the comment any more then her lover but she knew it would do no good to say anything.

"You better hope then that you aren't involved," Alex said tersely before turning and strolling purposefully out the door.

"Do you think she was lying?" Sydney asked once they were out of the building and standing on the
sidewalk. Sherry watched as the tall woman paused to take a few deep breaths. She noticed the way
the smaller woman's hand automatically went to her companion's back and began to rub it in tiny circles.

"No," Alex shook her head not hiding her puzzlement. "She was obviously sincere in her affection."

"But you think Michelle was involved?"

"I don't know," the Captain shook her head trying to get everything straight in her mind. She started walking down the street leaving the other two detectives to fall into step beside her.


"What sweetheart?" the taller woman used the term of endearment without thinking as she looked down at her companion seeing the serious expression on the smaller woman's face. Once again the Canadian detective had the impression that they had forgotten that she was there with them.

"Can you promise me something?"

"What?" Alex felt her body tense aware that her partner was going to say something she wouldn't like.

"Promise me that if you find someone else you will tell me first and not go behind my back," Sydney said looking down at her feet. Her heart trembled at the thought that Alex might someday find someone to replace her. "I would rather have the pain of knowing the truth up front then finding out later."

"Sydney," the tall woman stopped walking and demanded her partners attention.

"What?" the blond detective looked anxiously up at her companion unconsciously biting down on her lower lip.

"There will never be anyone else," Alex breathed tapping her chest lightly, ignoring the curious glances they were receiving from people who walked passed. "You own my heart, all of it. If anything I worry that you might someone day find someone else."

"No!" Sydney gasp and in a rush wrapped her arms around the taller woman. "You're more then I ever expected to have," she confessed burying her face in the other woman's chest. "Some mornings I wake up and see you lying there and I think that I must still be dreaming. I have to pinch myself to realize that it's real. I love you Alex, more then I thought it possible to love anyone."

"Good," the Captain breathed a sigh of relief. "Because I have no intention of going anywhere for a very long time."

It surprised Alex to realize that her partner felt so insecure but then realized it was only a mirror image of her own insecurity. She had never been this happy and was half afraid that some disaster, like what almost took Sydney away, was lerking just around the corner. She realized then that this mutual insecurity was still part of the aftermath of the tragedy that they had gone through.

Sherry was surprised by the affection that the women displayed towards each other in public. It was obvious that neither of them cared what anyone thought. She thought of her own relationships and realized how closeted they were in comparison to these women. She cleared her throat to remind the other women that they were not alone.

"Sorry," Sydney apologized blushing as she disengaged her tall companion. She grinned sheepishly. "We tend to get carried away sometimes."

"It's all right," the red haired detective smiled softly, wishing once again that things had turned out differently between the blond woman and herself. "What next?"

"A visit to Gilden's," Alex announced recovering her composure.

Gilden's was a small but elegantly decorated shop located on Robson's Street. It was a shop that catered to the cities elite and Alex recognized a variety of designer gowns displayed in the front window. The prices on the dresses were enough to make both her companion's blanche.

From the moment they stepped into the place, their every movement was tracked by an older woman with dark hair who was standing behind the sales counter. The clerks eyes narrowed perceptively as she surveyed their wardrobe, finding it obviously lacking and suspicious.

"May I help you with something?" the older woman asked in a sacerine voice.

"No, we're just looking," Alex replied just as sweetly deciding that she didn't like the clerk's attitude.

"As you can see the items in this store are rather exclusive," the woman said in a haunty voice as she approached them. "Perhaps if you went further down the street you might find something better suited to your price range."

Alex despised people who made instant judgement on others solely because of their appearance. Sydney felt the temperature of her partner rise and knew that the Captain was struggling to maintain control of her anger. She watched as her tall partner took a deep breath and began to count to ten. She immediately stepped forward aware that an ugly incident was about to occur. She knew of Alex's dislike for snobs and the way people were treated because of that. She had learned to accept that as part of society a long time ago. She smiled politely at the older woman.

"My name is Sydney Davis," she said withdrawing her badge from her pocket and flashing it for the other woman to see, "and along with my colleagues, I am here to speak with Michelle in regards to a mutual friend of her's who recently died."

The smaller woman smiled pleasantly keeping her green eyes on the older woman, seeing the way her eyes widened for a moment while her skin grew slightly pale.

"Of course," the woman bobbed her head glancing briefly at the other detectives before turning her gaze back on the smaller woman. "Michelle is just in the back, if you would like to follow me."

The detectives did as requested and were led to an office at the back of the shop. There in a room cluttered with paperwork was a younger woman, of about thirty five, seated behind a desk. Brown eyes glanced up with a question in their depths as the older woman and her companions appeared in the doorway.

"These are detectives from the States who would like to speak with you?" the clerk said by way of
explanation and the policemen noticed the way the red haired woman behind the desk straightened in her chair.

"Thank you," came a brisk voice as the younger woman dismissed her colleague.

The older woman glanced suspiciously at the detectives before edging out the door and returning to her post at the sales counter. The woman behind the desk made no attempt to welcome the detectives.

"How can I help you?" she asked abruptly and her manner was enough to stir the Captain's instinct.

"Did you know Leanne Meyers?" Alex was blunt, deciding not to beat around the bush.

"Everyone knew who Leanne Meyers was," came the automatic response.

"That's not what I asked," came the brisk retort.

"What do you want to know?" Brown eyes met blue and Alex felt a shiver run up her spine. She knew then that she was looking into the eyes of a killer. Yet she was smart enough to know that instinct would do nothing to bring this murderer to justice.

"Did you know that your ex-partner was having an affair with Leanne Meyers?" Sydney asked, speaking for the first time.

"If you are referring to Joanne Frost, yes, I found out about it," the woman answered in a clipped voice. There was no expression on her face. "It's a subject I don't like to discuss. It's been almost six months but it is still very painful to me."

"By the tone of your voice I take it you didn't much like Ms. Meyers."

"She screwed up my relationship," Michelle snorted with barely concealed anger. "Why would I like her?"

"When did you find out that Joanne was in love with Leanne?" this question came from Sydney and Sherry marvelled at the way the two women worked in tandem, firing questions and not letting their query a chance to control the conversation.

"Almost from the beginning," the other woman confided. "The first time I met the family. I could see it in Joanne's every action."

"Why didn't you confront her with it then?" the Captain wanted to know.

"Because I thought with time and patience she would come to love me in the same way," Michelle replied bluntly. "But it didn't happen. That was painfully obvious because as soon as Leanne showed her some attention she was after her."

"You sound like you blame Ms. Meyers for what happened?"

"Joanne was also at fault, but once Leanne knew that she liked her, she played Joanne for everything she was worth. She used her."

"And you resented that."

"Of course I did," the woman almost spat.

"Enough to kill her?" Alex wanted to know and for a moment there was a long silence as blue and brown eyes met in a titanic struggle.

"I wanted to hurt Leanne Meyers for destroying my life," Michelle admitted. "But I didn't kill her. Why would I? I had broken up with Joanne six months ago, both of us had moved on."

"But you still hated her?"

"Yes, I suppose I was one of the few people who weren't charmed by her friendly presence and smile," the woman could not disguise the bitterness she still felt over the episode.

"Did you ever entertain ideas of revenge?" Alex asked astutely drawing the woman along but the store owner was sharp, aware of what the detective was attempting to do.

"I'm sure everyone at some time entertains ideas of revenge," the other woman answered smoothly, regaining the composure that she had momentarily lost. "However detectives as you are quite aware, thinking and doing are two very different things."

Not all the time, the detectives thought in unison though neither of them voiced their opinions. They glanced at each other, both trying to discern how they could get the woman to admit to what both of them believed was the truth. Suddenly an idea came to Alex. She looked down at the seated woman, reminded then that they had not been invited to sit.

"Were you having an affair with Leanne Meyers?" The Captain was blunt.


"Do you know anyone who would want to kill Leanne Meyers?"

"No," was the one word response yet there was something in the woman's voice and in her facial expression that told the detectives that she was lying. "Now unless you have anything else to say I am busy and wish to get back to work."

"Yes, thank you for giving us your time," Sydney said with a polite smile before looking up at her partner.

Alex felt her temper rise yet she felt the comforting hand on her lover on her back and without another word she turned and led them out of the store. She paused only once they had walked halfway down the block.

"She's lying," the Captain announced bluntly.

"Yeah," the smaller woman nodded, unconsciously rubbing the side of her nose in thought. It was a gesture that had become all to familiar. "But you know if we had pressed her any more she would have clammed up and called for a lawyer."

"Yeah," Alex reluctantly agreed. Taking a deep breath she allowed the tension to flow out of her body. She glanced down at her companion, wondering if her lover was as tired as she was. She just wanted to go home, to pick up their normal lives. She glanced sideways at their companion. "How long would it take for you to get a search warrant and a team of detectives together?"

"That would depend upon the urgency," the red haired woman was honest. "What have you got in mind?"

"I'd like to have that boat searched," the Captain said succinctly. "If Leanne was on that boat then maybe there is some evidence."

"I could talk to the Lieutenant," Sherry mused thoughtfully, figuring out what was needed to be done. She looked up at the taller woman. "I'm sure he could help us get everything we need."

"Good," Alex nodded her head promptly including both women in her gaze. "I want the two of you to go back to the headquarters and start work on getting us a search warrant and a team of forensic experts together. I would like to have a peek at this boat before we leave."

"And what will you be doing?" Sydney wondered out loud eyeing her companion critically.

"There is something I need to do, I won't be far behind you," her partner smiled reassuringly. "I'll see you later."

Sydney nodded and then watched as the other woman retreated back down the street and disappeared into the shop. She wondered what her partner was up too and could not stifle the frown that found it's way across her brow. She was tempted to follow the Captain but knew that she had to trust her lover.

"What do you think she's up too?" Sherry asked breaking the silence, her own eyes following the other woman.

"With Alex you never know," the blonde woman conceded with a faint smile. "Come on let's get going, because what I do know is that if she gives you a task and you haven't started on it by the time she joins us, she will be perturbed."

There was silence as the two women started walking. Sherry glanced covertly at her smaller companion and marvelled at the way the woman conceded to the other detective, knowing that it had nothing to do with the fact that the tall woman was a Captain and effectively her boss. The Sydney she had known had never allowed anyone to rule her life. She had always been the one in command of every situation.

"You really love her don't you?" it was a blunt question and Sydney turned to look at her companion.

"With everything I am," came the honest reply as the Seattle detective saw no reason to lie.

Sherry didn't know what else to say and so shoved her hands into her pockets and turned to glance at the stream of traffic that was clogging the road at this time of the day. She had her answer and unexpectedly it hurt, yet she needed to ask.

"Did you care for me at all?" she knew the answer would probably hurt but she needed to know the truth.

"Yes," Sydney was honest not wanting to have this conversation and wishing her companion was there to avoid it. "We went out for a couple of months I couldn't do that with someone I didn't care about."

"But you never loved me."

"No," the smaller woman expelled a deep breath. "I never told you I did."

"No you didn't," the red headed woman agreed. "You were always so very careful with your emotions, so hesitant to give them away, that's why it surprisies me to see the two of you together."

"There is something about Alex that just draws everything out of me," Sydney confessed and then shrugged. "What can I say, she means everything to me."

The other woman remained silent. She had the answers to all the questions she had and briefly she wondered what was so different about the tall dark haired woman. She realized that she would probably never know.

The sales clerk was surprised when the tall woman stepped back into the shop. She glanced uneasily at her boss, Michelle, who had come to the front from the back and tension once again filled the room.

"Was there something you forgot?" the younger woman asked in a tense voice and Alex smiled seductively, like she had a secret that she was not about to divluge.

"No," the tall woman shook her head and strolled casually over to a rack of dresses that she had noticed earlier. She had special plans for that evening and one of them included dressing up for her lover. She knew that she could have gone someplace else to shop but she knew from experience that her presence would unnerve the other woman. "You do sell clothes here don't you?"

"Yes, and not to sound arrogant, Detective, but I hardly think you can afford any of the items we stock," the red haired woman did not hide her animosity. "I don't know what you get paid but I do know it's not enought to include designer gowns in your wardrobe."

"You're right, we don't get paid very well," Alex conceded selecting a short blue dress off the rack. It had caught her eye. "But unlike ordinary police officers I have other sources of income." She strolled towards the women, smiling sweetly, trying not to let her anger get the best of her, and acknowledging that her presence was bothering the woman they had just finished interveiwing. "Do you have a change room where I might be able to try this on?"

The woman looked like she would have liked to tell the police detective no but she was a businesswoman first and nodded to the sales clerk before turning on her heel and strolling back towards her office.

"Nadia will help you," Michelle said over her shoulder before disappearing and Alex turned to the older woman and raised her eyebrows expectantly.

"This way," the clerk said before ushering her towards a changeroom.

By ten o'clock that morning the two women were back at the Police Headquarters. They spoke first to the Lieutenant, who after a moment of consideration, agreed to their request by calling the local magistrate for a search warrant. By the time Alex came strolling nonchalantly into the busy squad room a forensic team was being assembled. Though Sydney was curious about what she had been up to she refrained from asking, trusting that her companion would tell her when the time was right.

"Hey, get everything done?" she asked vaguely when the tall woman approached the desk where Sherry and her were working.

"Yep, how's it coming with the search warrant?" the Captain wanted to know glad that her purchase was small enough to stuff into the pocket of her jacket.

"Secured," Sherry announced triumphantly, replacing the phone into which she had been speaking. "One of my colleagues is on his way right now to pick it up and will meet us at the docks where the vessel is moored. Copies are also being dispatched to Miss Armstrong and MIss Frost."

Alex nodded pleased by what had been accomplished. She glanced at her smaller partner. "Are you ready to go?"

They met the male detective and a team of forensic experts from the department at the pier where the boat was tied. The security guard on duty was quickly convinced to give them access to the property where they began a thorough search of the premises. They had only been at it for a short while when both owners of the vessel arrived. Alex looked from one woman to the other seeing the undisguised tension between them.

"We have the appropriate paperwork," Sydney said greeting them on the dock, producing the legal document that gave them permission to search.

"I know, I read the paper," Joanne replied succinctly glancing passed her to the tall dark haired woman on the boat. "What I would like to know is what you hope to find?"

"Blood, hair samples, fingerprints..." Alex shrugged casually. "Anything that might place Leanne on the boat."

"Well, that shouldn't be difficult," Michelle interjected tersely, casting her former partner an icy glance. "I believe Joanne took her out on the boat on numerous occasions."

"Yes," the brown haired woman didn't deny the truth.

"And if we find some blood?" Alex asked leaving the rest of the question unasked.

"You won't find any," Joanne replied and for some reason Sydney hoped that it was the truth but she
could see by the look on her partners face that she didn't hold the same opinion. She knew
instinctively that Alex thought that both these women were involved to some degree in the death of the anchor woman.

"For your sake, I hope not," the Captain replied and ignoring them turned to rejoin the other officers who were slowly going through the craft in search of any evidence.

It was late in the afternoon before the detectives were finished combing through the cabin cruiser. Alex watched sombrely as the team of officers carried their collection of goodies off in plastic bags and containers. They had lifted a variety of prints off the furnishings and she was confident that Leanne Meyer's would be amongst them. However, considering the maritial connection between the deceased and one of the boat owners, it would be hard for them to prove when they were made.

They returned directly to the Police Headquarters. It was busy with an assortment of officers rushing around in all directions. It took Sherry a while to track down her Lieutenant. Less then ten minutes later the three of them were seated in the homicide chief's office discussing the case. Alex took responsibility for outlining what they had learned. There was a long silence as Don Bailey leaned back in his chair, mulling over the situation.

"So you honestly suspect that this Michelle Armstrong killed Leanne Meyers?" he directed his question at the Captain.

"Yes," Alex was blunt. "But I think it's going to be pretty hard to prove for the various reason's that we have outlined and unfortunately we can't stay in the city forever to prove it."

"No, I suppose not," the Lieutenant sounded as if he wished otherwise. He glanced at the two women aware that he was about to commit himself to getting more involved in the case then he wanted his department to be. "What do you need us to do?"

"I don't know if there is anything more for you to do," Alex admitted racking her brains for any detail that they may have forgotten. They had only one chance at this. When they left the city and returned to Lopez Island, they would be turning the case over to Sheriff Ford and his deputies. It was unlikely that his department would think to cover any territory she had forgotten.

"Perhaps, you could have someone check the local gun shops," Sydney injected, remembering something her colleague had not yet thought about. "It should be easy for you to track, don't you have a gun registry here?"

"Yeah, but criminals can get guns just as illegally in Canada as they do in the States," the Lieutenant
remarked dryly. He glanced at his younger detective glad that the woman was taking notes. It would become her responsibility to pursue once these women left the city. He turned his attention back on the Americans. "Anything else?"

"Michelle Armstrong stated that she did not have an affair with Leanne Meyer's but I had the feeling that she was lying," Alex continued after another moment of thought. "You might want to get a search warrant and do a check on her apartment. If you can establish that Leanne Meyer's indeed was in her apartment, then we might be able to establish the fact that she lied, which might help further down the line. It's likely that because of Leanne's high profile they probably didn't go out much in which case they had to meet someplace, which was probably the woman's apartment."

"Good idea," the Lieutenant nodded his head and jotted something down on the notepad in front of him on his desk. "I will have my people get on it as soon as possible."

It was more then an hour later before the two detectives were finally able to leave the station house. They bade the Homicide Chief farewell and walked quietly towards the front entrance, Det. Smith tagging along close behind. It was an awkward moment.

"You're leaving tonight then?"

"No, tomorrow morning," Sydney spoke for the both of them.

"Listen, we haven't had a chance to get together and catch up on things," Sherry said aware of the tall woman looking at her from behind narrowed eyes. "I thought perhaps, if you weren't doing anything tonight I could take you both to dinner."

"Thank you but we already have plans for the evening," Alex said hastily before her smaller companion could speak. She had no intention of sitting through a long awkward dinner with one of her partner's former lover's. There was only so much she could tolerate.

"Yeah, sorry," Sydney agreed with a weak smile. She glanced briefly at her tall lover and knew how uneasy the whole situation had been for her. She had no intention of making it any more difficult. Alex had been professional about the whole situation. "Maybe next time."

"Yeah," Sherry agreed, aware that there would be no next time. "It was great seeing you again Syd."

"You too, take care," the blonde woman nodded and watched as the red haired woman retreated back into the station house. There was silence for a long minute as the two women stood silently on the steps.

"You okay?" Blue and green eyes met and they asked in unison.

"Yeah," they responded in unison again and matching smiles crept over their faces.

"Come on let's get back to the hotel, I'm beat," Alex said and then lead the way down to the parking lot where their rental car was parked.

The ride back to the hotel was done in almost absolute silence as both women dwelt in their own thoughts. Neither were anxious to leave the city with the case unsolved but both knew that it could be weeks and even months before the evidence needed to tie the woman to the murder was found. That was the way it worked in homicide. Both knew that they had to let the case go and turn it over to some one else. They had done all they could.

"Sherry is a good detective," Sydney said once they had parked the rental car and started walking towards the foyer.

"Yeah, I know," Alex nodded, despite her personal dislike for the woman, she was fair enough to acknowledge that they were leaving the case in good hands.

The moment they entered their room Alex put a phone call into Sheriff Ford, passing along all the information that they had gathered. The man listened intently and there was silence for a long moment when the Captain was finished speaking.

"I suspect then I should be getting in touch with this police officer up there then?" Lucas was resigned to the inevitable. He knew that he couldn't keep the women indefinitely as much as he wanted to.

"Yeah, I left them your name and phone number," Alex had supplied the homicide detective with all the relative information needed to pursue the case, including those whom they needed to be in contact with down on Lopez Island.

"All right, I'll be seeing you back tomorrow then," the Sheriff said before ringing off. Alex hung up the phone and turning her head looked right at her companion who was sitting on the edge of the bed.

"What now?" Sydney wanted to know, feeling incredibly let down. The exhaustion of the long days they had put in were starting to catch up on them.

"I don't know about you but I would like to have a nap," Alex said, rising to her feet and crossing the room to where her companion was sitting.

"That sounds like a good idea," the blonde woman agreed, kicking off her shoes and lying back on the bed. She was rewarded instantly by the presence of her tall companion who settled on the bed next to her, long arms automatically wrapping themselves around the smaller woman.

Sydney was aware of a tingling sensation spreading from the base of her spine all the way through her body. Instinctively she moaned, her subconscious giving in to the pleasure that was being aroused in her when they touched.

"You like that?" a soft voice whispered in her ear as a warm breath of air caressed her skin.

"Oh, yeah," the smaller woman sighed with contentment. She wriggled around so that she could face her companion. Her green eyes were heavy with lust and it was an intoxicating sight for the older woman who inhaled a deep breath. "I love when you touch me."

"I love to touch you," Alex admitted expelling her breath, as she allowed her hands to roam along the bare skin of her partners arms. "You cannot believe the difficult time that I have at work."

"I don't think it's any more difficult a time then I have," the blonde haired woman allowed a lazy smile to spread across her lips and she was rewarded with a brief kiss. "That was nice."

"Aha," the taller woman agreed leaning in to caress the smaller woman's mouth once more with another kiss. This time she allowed her lips to linger and she felt her companion's immediate response as the blonde woman closed the space between them.

"You want something?" Alex asked raising an amused eyebrow.

"Ahem," Sydney nodded her blonde head and leaned forward to capture her partners lips in another long passionate embrace which stirred their mutual desires.

The Captain rolled over so that she was laying upon the smaller woman, her long frame pressing the girl's body deeper into the mattress. Her hands continued to wander as their lips continued to devour each other.

"Too many clothes," Sydney managed to gasp when they finally broke the embrace.

"You have that right," the dark haired woman agreed with a thick voice and then cocked a mischievous eye at her lover. "Are you going to do something about it?"

"Absolutely," the smaller woman giggled and immediately proceeded to rip the clothes off her taller companion.

Alex laughed at the way the other woman so recklessly tore her clothes from her body. One of the things that delighted her so much about her lover was the way the younger woman acted with such abandon in their love making. There was never a dull moment in bed and today was the same.

Once both their clothes were discarded, they allowed their hands and mouths to roam at will, stroking and caressing the smooth, velvety skin of their companion. Tongues circled erect nipples before white teeth nipped and pinched the tender skin, illiciting exquisite moans and gasps from both women.

"I love you," Sydney moaned when she felt her lover slip down between her legs. She curled her fingers into thick dark strands of hair as her hips began to move of their own accord, the rhythm and pace set by the gentle stroke of her lover's tongue and fingers as they slowly worked her into a frenzy.

Sydney closed her eyes and called out her lover's name as the orgasm ripped through her body and
exploded in her brain. Alex kept her mouth and fingers in place until the spasms had subsided. Only then did she slowly climb back up beside her partner, planting small kisses along the sweat sleeked body during the tantalizing journey back to her partners lips.

"Thank you," the blond woman murmured utterly content. She wanted to return the favour but Alex merely gathered her tightly in her arms.

"Sleep love," the Captain whispered in the smaller woman's ear and the green eyes closed as she surrendered peacefully into slumber.

Alex smiled indulgently at her companion, content to make her partner happy, willing to defer her own pleasure for the sake of the woman she loved. Gently she reached out and combed strands of blond hair off the oval face. She loved to watch her companion sleep, and once again she realized how close she had come to losing it all.

Tenderly she reached out and touched one of the scars that still pocked the slender neck where shell
fragments had entered her body. A wave of pain flooded her senses, and automatically her arms tightened. All she wanted to do was protect and love her companion.

Briefly she thought of the sordid triangle they had uncovered. In her mind she could create the scenario. Intent on revenge Michelle had probably gone after Leanne and if what they had heard was true, then the anchor woman would not have rejected the attention. Seduction, a boat trip and the end result was death. It was all very clear in her head how it had happened, but she wondered if they would ever be able to prove the truth.

She glanced down at her sleeping partner and for a brief moment she could almost sympathize with the woman. She didn't know how she would react if Sydney ever had an affair with someone else. She trusted the smaller woman, yet no one could predict what would happen in the future. She wasn't certain how she would respond if their roles weren't reversed and Sydney and her weren't in the other women's position.

We'll never be in that position, she promised herself firmly. I will make sure that Sydney is never unhappy, that she is always content to be with me. She was smart enough to know that a relationship, any relationship, needed constant work. She would make certain that Sydney never had a reason to look elsewhere.

Chapter Eight

Alex dozed off and when blue eyes finally popped open again it was to see that it was already early in the evening. She knew that they should get going but she was reluctant to move, desiring only to lie there with her companion savouring the warmth of their joined bodies. Yet she had made all the arrangements and did not want them to go to waste.

"Hey, sleepyhead wake up," she whispered softly, nuzzling the bare skin of her companions neck.

"What?" came the sleepy complaint as the smaller woman shifted lanquously in her partners embrace.

"It's time to get up, I've made reservations for dinner," Alex continued unable to stop herself from pressing her lips once more against the soft skin of her companions neck.

"Can't we just order in?" Sydney moaned, still not willing to open her eyes, content to remain in the safe and comfortable warmth of her lover's arms.

"Not tonight," the older woman was insistent and kissed her companion one last time before releasing her hold and climbing out of bed. "This is our last night in Vancouver and I think we should do something special."

Sydney rolled over in time to catch a glimpse of her lover's beautiful backside before she disappeared into the bathroom. She closed her eyes and listened as the familiar sounds drifted out of the next room and she imagined every move her companion made. It was imprinted in her brain and her heart beat a little faster at the sound of the shower as it was turned on.

For a long moment she contemplated jumping out of bed and joining her companion but then thought differently. Alex said she had made reservations and if that was the case then it was in both their best interests that she remain where she was until the tall woman was finished in the shower. If she joined Alex now they wouldn't be going out anytime soon.

She grabbed the nearest pillow and hugged it tightly to her body, burying her face in it's softness and breathing in the scent of her lover, which lingered on the material. If she knew Alex, she knew that she had planned something special. That was one thing she found most endearing about her lover, the woman's romantic nature.

"Hey, are you asleep again?" an impatient voice demanded, interrupting the smaller woman's reverie.
Green eyes instantly popped open to see a rather tall and formable figure framed in the doorway of the bathroom. There was a stern look on the beautiful face.

"I'm up, I'm up," Sydney replied and to prove the point she jumped out of bed and rushed passed her companion into the bathroom. She heard her lover's chuckle follow her into the next room. It was an hour later before they were both finally ready to leave the hotel.

"Where are we going?" Sydney asked as they stepped out into the evening. The sky was still light and the air pleasantly warm.

"It's a surprise," Alex said giving her companion a warm smile before lifting her hand to reveal a red bandanna. "Do you trust me?"

Sydney knew what her companion was asking and an unexpected thrill raced through her slender frame. The Captain had never before done anything like this but she found herself liking the idea very much. She turned her back, submitting herself to her lover.

Alex felt a immense wave of pleasure at the trust that her lover displayed and she tied the bandanna over the smaller woman's eyes, intent on making this a night to remember for the both of them. When the blindfold was secure Alex captured her lovers hand and guided her through the parking lot to where their car was parked.

The Captain helped the smaller woman into the passenger seat before climbing behind the wheel. She was infinitely careful as she manoeuvred the rental out of the lot and onto the busy thoroughfare that passed by their downtown hotel.

"Where are we going?" Sydney asked once they were under way.

She briefly attempted to gauge where they were and even though she was vaguely familiar with the city she was at a complete loss towards the direction they were headed. She caught a whiff of the smell of water and pine on the breeze and guessed that they were headed towards the harbour and Stanley Park, though to her knowledge there were no restaurants in the immediate area.

"Patience dear, we are almost there," the Captain smiled seductively even though she was aware that her companion was unable to see.

"You will let me take the blindfold off to eat won't you?" Sydney asked and the tall woman grinned.

"Maybe," the single word was followed by a laugh and the blond woman was left to imagine all sorts of thoughts, some of which were incredibly erotic.

The small detectives' senses were sharp and alert, her ears listening for any sound that she might recognize, her nose smelling the thick scent of the sea. Her body was suddenly, incredibly sensitive to everything around her and she almost jumped when Alex reached in to help her back out of the car once they had come to a halt.

"I want you to put your hands on my hips and keep them there," Alex instructed once she had locked up the vehicle and guided the smaller woman across the lot to the security gate. She briefly focused her attention on the guard that was manning gate. "My name is Alex Marshall, my companion and I are expected."

"Who are you talking too Alex?" Sydney wanted to know, aware that they were no longer alone.

"Nobody," the Captain dismissed the question easily and smiled at the security guard who was methodically checking the list on the clipboard by the phone in the booth he occupied.

"Here you are," the older man finally said as he checked off her name. He reached back and pressed a button, releasing the gate, giving the tall woman a bright smile.

"Thank you," Alex nodded and then led her companion through the gate and down the gangplank to the docks.

"Alex where are we?" Sydney inquired again, suddenly feeling the ground beneath her feet become a little unsteady.

"It's a surprise," the older woman said, making certain her lover's hands were firmly clasp on her hips before leading the way. "Hang on tight."

Sydney did as she was told and fell silent, enjoying the feel of her companions hips as they swayed as the taller woman walked. Her heart began to beat just a little faster and automatically she pulled the taller woman back so that their bodies touched. Alex yelped at the unexpected gesture and the younger woman chuckled.

"Don't do that," the older detective scolded lightly, though her heart was beating erratically. For a moment the unexpected action had almost caused her to lose her balance and the last thing she wanted at this moment was for either of them to take an unexpected plunge into the cold water.

"Sorry," Sydney apologized though she couldn't subdue the tiny chuckle that escaped from between her lips.

Alex was relieved when they finally reached their destination. The boat she had rented for the night was ready, it's lights were on and from her position on the docks she could see that the rest of her requests that also been attended too.

"You have to be very careful now," the Captain cautioned and then clasped her companion's hands before carefully helping her lover on board the boat. The craft rocked gently and Sydney knew for certain that they were on a boat. A gentle smile tipped the edges of her lips as she allowed her lover to guide her across the deck and into the cabin.

"Sit down and don't move," Alex instructed before moving around the cabin to the front where the controls where.

"Can I take the blindfold off now?" Sydney asked impishly.

"No!" came the hasty response. "Stay right where you are and don't move a muscle."

"Okay," the smaller woman agreed and sat silently while her companion hustled to the front of the craft.

Within moments they were once more on their way, and Sydney sat quietly, listening to the powerful pulse of the engines as Alex patiently guided the boat out from it's mooring and into the bay. It was a quiet night without much water traffic so the Captain was able to take the boat out into the harbour and park it in a place that afforded them the best possible view of the city and its lights.

She shut down the motor and dropped anchor before moving back to the cabin where her companion was patiently waiting. She dimmed the lights on the boat before reaching for her companion, helping her once more to her feet and guiding her to the table that was positioned at the back of the boat which was illuminated now only by the candles that Alex hastily lit once her companion was comfortably settled in a chair that faced the mainland.

"Okay, now we can take off the blindfold," Alex said with a deep breath and stood behind her companion to remove the bandanna.

Sydney blinked for a moment until her eyes focused but it took only a few seconds for the area surrounding them was bathed in a glow of light that radiated from the few candles that were carefully arranged around the back of the boat. The small detective was silent as she allowed her eyes to take in the scene.

She was seated at an oval table set with crystal glasses and fine bone china. There were platters of food, their contents covered by silver lids. But that was only the beginning as her vision widened to take in the scene before her.

The sun had set and before her lay the city, it's colourful lights illuminating the dark horizon, outlining the shoreline and reflecting off the almost glasslike surface of the water of which they were upon. It was a beautiful sight and she turned to her companion who was standing at her side.

Alex smiled gently and then dropped to her knees, drawing a hand from her back to produce a single red rose which she presented to her companion. Green eyes turned misty as the smaller woman accepted the gift.

"This is beautiful, thank you," she whispered hoarsely not knowing what else to say.

"This is only a little of what I would do for you," Alex replied sincerely, her blue eyes filled with the love she felt for the other woman. "I love you Sydney."

The other woman was ready and waiting for the tender kiss that followed the solemn declaration and the electric jolt that resulted from the simple contact of their lips went through her entire body and set her heart beating erratically.

"I love you Alex," she sighed once they finally parted and a gentle smile broke across the taller woman's face as she reached out to caress the other woman's cheek with the back of her long fingers.

"I know," the Captain smiled indulgently and popped back up to her feet, slipping into the chair that she had positioned next to her companion. "We better eat before this stuff gets to cold."

At that moment the small detective didn't care what the food tasted like. Her only desire was to climb across the table and ravish her tall lover but her stomach growled in protest when she was about to enact her thoughts. Her decision to wait until after eating was re-inforced at the sight of food that was unveiled.

"When did you do this?" she wanted to know, her palate delighting in the taste of the food that was dished out onto her plate.

"Yesterday," Alex chuckled, supremely proud of herself at having accomplished this feat. She could tell by her companion's reaction that Sydney was delighted. "I called the hotel concierge and told him what I wanted and he was able to take care of all the arrangements. Remind me to leave him a nice fat tip before we leave tomorrow."

"Don't worry I will remember," Sydney replied and Alex chuckled, feeling almost giddy.

They spent the rest of the meal, conversing quietly as an intimate atmosphere settled quietly over them, the night darkening and swallowing them in it's embrace. For a while they could almost believe that they were completely alone in the world. Just the two of them.

"That was fantastic," Sydney murmured once they had finished eating. She leaned back in her chair and patted her belly gently.

"Would you like to dance?" Alex asked her blue eyes trained on the smaller woman's face.

"I don't know if I can even move Alex," a smile broke across the blonde's face as warm green eyes settled on the taller woman's face.

"Then dancing is the perfect answer to work off food," the Captain chuckled and then jumping to her feet hurried into the forward cabin.

Sydney continued to smile, allowing her eyes to travel out around the horizon before dropping closed as she savoured the feeling of being loved and cherished by her companion. The wave of emotion that filled her that moment was only increased by the faint strains of music that suddenly drifted out of the cabin towards her. It was a romantic ballad by one of the country's premier female singers and the young detective allowed her mind to flow along with the words.

"May I have this dance?" Alex asked appearing in the opening of the cabin. Sydney opened her eyes and stared up at her companion. Alex had changed into a short blue dress that revealed creamy smooth shoulders and long bare legs. Her heart began to pound inside her chest.

"Alex, you look beautiful," the smaller woman managed to squeak and a seductive smile tipped the corners of the taller woman's lips.

"Thank you," the Captain said and held out her hand. "Would you like to dance?"

It was an invitation that the younger woman would not refuse and she rose to her feet and went automatically into her lover's embrace. They clung to each other, allowing their bodies to move to the rhythm of the music, as they gently swayed against each other. Sydney buried her face against her lover's chest, feeling the soft skin of the top of her partially exposed breasts, revelling in the love she felt flowing from her companion.

The music ended only to be replaced by any even more romantic ballad and Sydney felt a tender kiss as her companion gently laid her lips on the top of her golden crown. Sydney tipped her head back and was rewarded with a gentle kiss on her lips. It was an embrace she returned.

"Alex...?" the rest of the question was left unspoken and the taller woman smiled contentedly as she ended the dance by leading her companion into the cabin where one of the sofas had been made up into a bed.

"You thought of everything," the smaller woman looked at her in wonder.

"I try," the Captain replied.

"Alex," Sydney spoke again looking up hesitantly at her companion and briefly wondering what the other woman would say about her request.

"What?" the older woman sensed her companions hesitation and saw the smaller woman blush. "Come on you can say whatever you want?"

"Can we use the blindfold?" the blond said in a rush as a flood of colour flushed her cheeks. Alex laughed, delighted with the request and relieved. Briefly she had worried that this was to much for her lover.

"We can do anything you like," she smiled and retreated to the back of the boat where she had left the bandanna.

"Would you like me to wear it?" she asked once she returned to her companion's side and then laughed when the smaller woman flushed red. "You want to wear it?"

"I love you Alex and I love to watch you when you make love to me but it was kind of neat wearing the bandanna," the younger woman said hastily not wanting her companion to get the wrong impression.

"I understand," was the simple reply as the older woman was only to aware of the heightened senses that resulted from wearing a blindfold. Carefully she wrapped the bandanna around her companions eyes.

What followed next would forever live in Sydney's mind. Alex slowly undressed her companion, following the removal of each piece of clothing with a tender exploration of skin with her hands and mouth. Only once she was completely naked, was the smaller woman lead to the makeshift bed and lowered upon it's soft surface.

"Don't move," the dark haired woman whispered in her companion's ear before kissing her lips soundly before moving away.

Sydney lay there quietly, tiny goosebumps appearing on her skin as she anticipated what her lover was about to do. She listened intently as the other woman moved around the deck. She heard the drop of cloth onto the floor and a shiver raced down her spine as she visiualized in her mind the naked form of her tall lover.

"Alex," she said sensing that her companion had returned to her side.

"Yes?" came the sultry reply and Sydney felt the mattress on which she lay move as the other woman knelt on the bed.

"You smell nice," was the only response that came to the blond woman's head and Alex chuckled replying with a gentle kiss on the smaller woman's mouth.

"Thank you," the Captain said and then picked up the rose she had brought with her to the bed.

Gently she lowered the bloom onto the smaller woman's skin before lightly tracing a path with it's soft pedals across the girl's skin. Sydney gasp at the feathery touch, goosebumps rising off her skin at the contact. Her nipples pebbled and hardened when the velvety flower circled it contour. The smaller woman groaned again.

"Are you cold?" Alex asked when her companion's body shivered.

"No," the blond detective managed to shudder in a heavy breath. Her body was so turned on that she was having a hard time breathing let alone thinking. "I'm hot."

"Oh," the Captain smiled reaching for something from a bucket she had placed beside the bed. "Then I better cool you off."

"Alex," Sydney gasped, her body quivering at the next contact which was cold and sent another shiver racing down her spine.

This touch was cool and moist and Alex trailed the ice cube down her companions body leaving a watery trail which she followed with her tongue. It was a mindless action that sent her companion's senses spinning.

"Oh God, Alex, please," Sydney begged feeling the moisture between her legs begin to flow. She reached out for where she thought her companion was but only felt her wrist being caught by a larger and stronger hand which then pinned them over her head.

"Not yet," the older woman said thickly, her breathing heavy her heart pounding, her own desire heightened by her companion's reaction.

It seemed like an eternity to Sydney as her lover continued to taunt her body with the ice cube and then her lips. Finally when she thought she would not be able to take anymore Alex lowered herself between her legs and moved her tongue and fingers against her swollen sex.

Sydney groaned unable to stop the orgasm that ripped through her body, her hips bucking wildly as it encompassed her entire body, leaving her more sated and exhausted then she could ever remember being.

Alex stayed with her lover until the last twitch had disappeared only then crawling up to nestle next to her companion. She gently reached out and combed damp strands of blond hair from the smaller woman's forehead before reaching around and removing the blindfold. Blue eyes were greeted by cloudy green orbs.

"I love you Alex," Sydney whispered barely able to move.

"I love you too Sydney," the Captain responded, bending forward to tenderly place their lips together.

"Let me love you," the smaller woman whispered against her warm lips. She wanted to return the favour, to make her companion as delirious as she felt.

"Later," Alex replied and pulled the smaller woman into a tight embrace. "Sleep now."

Green eyes drifted closed and the older woman smiled to herself at the gentle sound of the other woman as her breath evened into a rhythm that said she was sound asleep. Blue eyes closed as arms tightened more securely around the smaller body in her grasp.

It was the sound of a freighters horn as it echoed off the water that finally rousted Alex from her sleep. She opened one bleary eye and stared at the table near the bed, studying the time indicated on the watch she had placed there the previous evening. It was still early so she closed her eyes and settled back into the warm cocoon in which she was resting.

She was laying on her stomach, with a warm weight of her companion, draped over her back with one leg nestled contentedly between her own longer limbs. An arm was flung over her waist and a small hand was curled contentedly around one of her full breasts. A lazy smile came to her lips at the memories of what had passed between the previous night.

They had fallen asleep but it had been only a short nap and she had woken to find the smaller woman on top of her, meticulously repeating her actions. Somehow she ended up wearing the blindfold and it was an erotic experience that she undoubtable knew that they would repeat, often.

She submitted herself totally to the younger woman, revelling in the way her body responded to the loving attention that was bestowed by her lover. By the time Sydney finally took her over the edge she was wetter then she ever remembered being.

The smile on her face continued to grow as the heat of her companion radiated through her own body and she listened contentedly as the freighter blew it's horn again, the sound reflected off the water.

"Shit," she suddenly exploded out of bed.

"What?" a sleepy blond woman muttered having been unceremoniously rousted from her peaceful slumber.

"It's after seven," Alex exclaimed as she hastily began to dress. She turned to see her companion gazing at her with a quizzaled expression. "We are supposed to be at the Abbotsfield airport at ten."

"Oh," Sydney replied and then her eyes widened into round balls as she realized everything they had to do.

"Shit," she mumbled jumping out of bed and scrounging around the floor for her clothes and finding them discarded all around the cabin where Alex had flung them.

Alex didn't bother to do anything more then put her clothes on before hurrying to the forward cabin. After drawing up the anchor she set the powerful engines in motion, silently muttering to herself about falling asleep.

They were only slightly late in getting to their destination, though both of them were the worst for wear due to their hurried departure. It had taken them over an hour to get the boat back to it's berth and then back to the hotel. Sydney had hurried up to their room to pack up their bags while Alex had stayed in the main lobby to settle their bill. She did not forget to give the concierge a healthy tip and the man only managed to hide his smile until the tall woman turned her back and hurried towards the elevator. He knew by her rumpled appearance that the evening had been a bigger success then the woman herself had even imagined.

It wasn't until they had returned the rental car and were walking across the tarmac to the waiting plane that both women allowed themselves a chance to take a breath. The pilot examined them critically for a moment, noticing their appearance for neither woman had the chance to shower or change. There was only slightly harried expressions on their faces.

"Tough day?" he inquired cocking an eyebrow.

"Traffic was a bitch," they responded in unison after flashing each other a glance. They looked at the pilot and a pair of grins broke out over their faces.

"Okay, okay, forget I asked, I'm loaded and ready to go," he muttered and indicated for them to get into the plane.

Before long they were in the air and only then did both woman allow themselves to relax. Sydney glanced at her partner who was sitting silently next to her. She reached over and picked up a larger hand, squeezing it between her own.

"Thank you," she said quietly. "Last night was wonderful."

"You're welcome," Alex smiled and lifted the small hand to her lips to place a tender kiss upon the skin.

The remainder of the trip was done in relative silence and neither of the detectives was surprised to see the Sheriff waiting at the airfield on Lopez Island. He was leaning across the front of his car with his beefy arms folded across his expansive chest. He eyed them critically as they walked slowly up to him.

"Good morning ladies," he greeted them with a nod of his head.

"Good morning Sheriff," they returned the greeting in unison. "I appreciate you coming here to meet us."

"Well, I thought it was the least that I could do," the man replied, his eyes taking in their appearance but he was not of a mind to comment on it.

"Sorry, we couldn't close the case for you," Sydney felt compelled to say when an awkward silence fell over the group.

"You did the best you could do, and more then most I suspect," the man replied straightening. "Come on I'll give you a ride over to your folks place. I had Herman take the bike over there yesterday, suspected that you girl's would probably like at least a day to yourselves before you have to head back to the city."

"Yes, thanks," Alex nodded in appreciation. They had gotten little time to themselves, and last night had left her more exhausted then she cared to admit. They climbed into the car with Alex taking the seat in the front next to the Sheriff while Sydney naturally slipped into the back.

"I really do appreciate your help ladies," the Sheriff said once they were underway. "Don't know that I would have managed to do as much in as little time as you had."

"Like my colleague said, I wish we could have done more," Alex was sincere. She hated leaving a case open but she was intelligent enough to know that it was something that occurred more then she cared to admit in their line of work.

"I'm sorry that it screwed up your little holiday," he commented his eyes darting a glance at the solemn woman in the backseat.

"That's all right," the woman next to him shrugged. "Things happen."

Sydney smiled at the comment but remained silent, her thoughts harkening back to the last twenty-four hours as she conceded to herself that there was nothing ever, going to make her regret that their impromptu holiday had been interrupted.

As callous as it sounded, the murder of Leanne Meyers, had been a godsent for the both of them. If only briefly it had taken them from their everyday lives and forced them together to resolve the issues that plagued their relationship. Nope, neither of them regretted what had happened. An idea came into her head.

"Maybe the Commissioner would let us stay a few more days to wrap things up," she interjected and two pairs of eyes turned to look at her.

"I already tried that sweetheart," Luke acknowledged as he turned the police cruiser into the drive of the summer home. "He wouldn't even give it a second thought. Can't say I blame him, it's been nice having you ladies around."

"It's been a good change," Alex admitted for the both of them.

"You know that we could always use someone of your quality here. It's not a bad place to live."

"I know and the idea is tempting, but face it we're both into the murder business," Sydney was unusually pleased that her partner had included her. "And there ain't much of that going on down here."

"Thank God for that," the Sheriff snorted with a chuckle. "I love the boys that work for me, but one of you are smarter then all of them put together."

"They just haven't been exposed to everything that goes on up in the city," Alex said. "If they were it would be different."

"I suppose," the man nodded reflectively.

"How come you never came to the city to work?" Sydney asked when there was a break in the conversation.

"Don't really know," the Sherrif was honest. "George asked me often enough. Maybe I just didn't think I was smart enough for you city slickers."

"I don't know Luke," Alex interrupted in her drawling voice. "Seems to me you got a pretty good set up here and none of the bullshit that George has to deal with."

The Sheriff chuckled. "Yeah I was never one to put on airs."

conclusion in part five.

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