Fire Within

Part Eight

by Anita Louise

(c) copyright 1/02

Anita's web site

Chapter Twenty Two

The room looked like a tornado had been through, leaving everything an upheaval in its wake. Stepping inside, they listened for any sound that would mean whoever did this was still in the cabin. Sky took one side of the room and Bobbie took the other, each stepping carefully, their hands and bodies ready for combat.  Searching the entire cabin, didn't take long. There wasn't any sign of the intruder or intruders.

Stepping back into the main room, Bobie sighed, as her eyes surveyed the devastation. "It's ruined. Some things I have had for a long time and I will never be able to replace."  At this time she noticed Sky walking around the area.  "Sky!  Your work!  Is it all right?"

Sky shook her head and replied, "All gone. Instruments, specimens, maps, itinerary, my case studies, gun, everything is gone."

Bobie walked toward her, a look of dismay crossing her face. "I'm sorry Sky. I know how hard you've been working on this. Who would do such a thing?"

Sky glanced around the room then set her eyes on Bobie. "Someone that does not want either one of us to get any closer to solving the murder or murders.  Let's get this place cleaned up."

Bobie reached out picking up a chair, pointed and said, "You go sit and I'll do it."

"Fraid not. I'm helping. With the two of us, we can get this place shipshape in no time."

Bobie shook her head in disbelief as Sky went about picking things up and setting them straight.  "Never cease to amaze me, woman, go lie down and rest.  You are not well and I'm fine   If you drift to sleep, I'll wake you after I fix something to eat."

Sky was on her knees scraping up broken pieces of glass with the dustpan. She looked up and replied, "I'm fine. What say we argue later and get this mess cleaned up."

Realizing there was no arguing with her, Bobie pitched in.  Whoever had ransacked the cabin did a bang up job. It took the two women most of what was left in the day to turn it into some sort of semblance. Once finished, Bobie sat and murmured, "If I wasn't tired before, I sure am now.  You must be exhausted."

Sky walked toward the kitchen table, pulled out a chair and sat. "The shot for pain has been trying to kick in for sometime. I keep fighting it. Should never have let him give me that injection. He told me it would be long lasting."

Bobie walked into the area, went through the cupboards looking for the coffee. "I'm going to make a pot, might make you feel better. Then I will look in the freezer and find something to fix for supper."

Bobie Parker moved with such ease, it didn't take her long to have the coffee perking. She set two cups on the table and said, "What do you feel like having?"

Sky sit back, reached out and touched Bobie's right-hand replying, "I feel like having a good night rest. I want you to relax.  I don't want some big meal fixed. I'll have some coffee, and maybe a slice of that apple pie, if it is still in the refrigerator."

"Still there. I think I will join you. Pie and coffee sound like it will hit the spot just fine."  Leaning forward, her hands on the table, Bobie stared at the salt and pepper shakers. "Would you like some help with the shower?"

Sky cleared her throat and Bobie looked up. She gazed at the woman and asked, "What?  Skylar Richmond, what did I do now?"

Sky grinned. "You haven't done anything. I just want you to promise me something."


"That you will think about yourself first and foremost. That you will take care of yourself. As lovely as you helping me with the shower sounds right now, I think I can manage this on my own. Quit treating me like I am some sort of invalid. I appreciate the concern but as you said, 'I am a grown woman.' I can take care of myself."

She barely got the words out and Bobie's face fell. "I didn't realize I was upsetting you. I thought I might wrap your wound with cellophane. That way it won't get wet."

"Cellophane is quite the wonder. It can be used for so many things. You don't understand Deputy. I am not saying things right. Let me start again. I am worried about you. I think you have taken to much on your shoulders. And I don't want you to think you need to take care of me. Damn, I still am not saying it right. I think it is time I  take care of you, do for you."

The coffee was ready and Bobie started to get up. Sky reached out touched her shoulder. "Let me. I can pour a mean cup of java."

Smiling, she sat back down. "I'm all yours, Miss Richmond."

As Sky approached the coffee pot, she murmured, "Smells divine."  Before long she was pouring two cups of coffee.

Bobie looked up, Sky was doing her best to ignore the way she was feeling. But it was evident she was not as well as she pretended. "Thanks. I needed this. Hows bout I get the pie?"

"Nope. I will do this. Then we can sit, talk, eat and relax."

"If you don't fall asleep first."  Bobie grinned as she watched Skylar weave her way to the refrigerator.

The pie was good and the coffee gave them a few more hours of awake time.

The two were standing in Sky's room. Most of the items had been put back where they were. The clock setting on the night table was now ticking away  "Never realized a mattress was so heavy. Had the hardest time putting this back." Sky stretched and yawned.

"Well at least your mattress wasn't cut to shreds.  Whoever was in my room, took a knife or something sharp to the mattress and left me little in return.  There wasn't anything hidden to find, but a loss of sleep for me."

Sky stood, gazed down at the woman and said, "Nothing wrong with mine. If you promise not to take all the covers, you can share the bed."

"That's nice of you Sky.  But I don't want to bother you.  I can sleep on the divan. Get a new mattress tomorrow."

Sky's emerald greens reached out caressing Bobie as she said,  "It's no bother. I would feel better knowing you were sleeping comfortably than tossing and turning on the divan."

A look between wanting and uncertainty crossed Bobie's face as she stuttered,  "Ca--Dream . . . "

Sky was totally confused and stared at the woman with a determined look on her face. "Are you saying you can't dream because of me?  If so, I'll sleep on the divan, you take the bed."

Feeling completely lost for several minutes Bobie finally replied,  "I had this dream. It was so real."

Sky noticed the different shades of red that were brushing the woman like a second skin. Her eyes never left Bobie Parker as she asked,  "Since it had to do with me, I am guessing, what did I do that has you in such a state?"

"Nothing. I'm just used to sleeping alone. Has nothing to do with you. So don't go getting all knowing with me Skylar

"I know one thing and that is for some reason you are . . ."

"All right! Bobie spurted even surprising herself.  I had this dream where we were in bed together."

Smiling, Sky tipped her head to the side and asked, "Sounds like a lovely dream. So there, if  we can sleep in the same bed in a dream we should be able to do it in real life."


Sky yawned. "I am tired, you are tired, we can stand here all night arguing. I don't move around and with this pain injection kicking in, doubt  I will all night. Don't tell me Deputy you are afraid you might ravish me during the night?"  It was meant to be a joke but by the look on Bobie Parker's face she had taken it seriously.

Stepping away and backing into the living room Bobie walked to the closet and took out a pillow and blanket. She held them and said, "I don't ravish, Skylar Richmond. I sleep on my side and I don't move. I'm sleeping on the divan, end of discussion."

"Look Deputy, I was only teasing. I never thought  you would. We have been through a lot and humor is definitely not fitting. I apologize.  I do wish you would reconsider the sleeping arrangements."

Bobie was sitting on the divan removing her boots. "No need to apologize. I think I am just on edge what with so many things happening. I am tired, nothing like bringing a dream into a conversation."

Sky approached the woman, looked down and said, "I think perhaps we were doing more than just sleeping in this dream Deputy. I'm going to go take a shower. I'll be careful. When I'm done, do you think you might put some lotion on my back?"

"Su--re. Can we just forget the dream?"

"Gone."  She turned and left the room.

The birds were singing their morning wake up call.  Their melodic sounds from outside the window had made their way into the cabin. Bobie opened one eye then the other. Fresh perked coffee had invaded her psyche as if it were tapping her nostrils and beckoning at the same time. She glanced toward the kitchen and could see that Sky was already awake.

Turning onto her side, she watched the woman. Skylar Richmond was taller than most of the women she knew, her flaming red hair tossed about her shoulders merrily as she moved. A pair of black leather pants fit the woman so well, they were a second skin. Though the pants were tight, the light-blue blouse she wore was not. It was loose, with puffed long sleeves that gathered at the wrist. When she turned to check the toaster, Bobie could see the blouse was riding low on the woman's bounteous breasts.  There seemed to be leather ties crisscrossing the front, holding it together. It had to be quite a job keeping them in, She thought.  The woman was mesmerizing and to that day, Bobie Parker wondered why someone like her would have anything to do with a small-town deputy sheriff.

"Up early aren't you Richmond?"  Bobie called out all the while smiling.

Sky was buttering toast as she turned to gaze toward her. "Going to be a beautiful day Deputy. Couldn't sleep any longer. I still feel terrible at you sleeping there. So I thought the least I could do was fix you a nice breakfast. Even bring it to you."

Sitting on the edge of the divan, Bobie looked for her clothes. "I could swear I put my clothes right here.  Don't tell me some- one crept into the cabin last night and took them too."

Sky was walking toward her, carrying a tray of heavenly smelling food. "You are looking at the culprit. I thought they needed to be washed as well as mine. The clothes didn't mind going  in the washer together, I might add."

Bobie grasped the blanket and wrapped it around herself as she said, "Smells wonderful. But I can eat at the table. Give me a sec to go put on a robe."

Sky watched the woman scurrying from the room. Even in her tussled look, Bobie Parker was breathtaking. The woman was dressed in a pair of blue silk boxer shorts and a white tanktop. "You look wonderful. No need to grab a robe."  She found herself talking to the air, Bobie had disappeared.

The two just finished breakfast and were drinking another cup of coffee when Sky finally spoke, "Probably need to call the Sheriff, report the break-in. Course you already know this."

Sitting her cup down, Bobie turned in the chair and faced the woman. "No. He would just get all over me again. Besides it is no longer a crime scene. Things have been tossed and put up. I don't want to have Sheriff Burgess and his team poking around. Hope this does not surprise you.  Besides you know he is looking for you.  "

"Actually no this does not surprise me.  But you being a deputy sheriff and all, I wasn't sure.  Sheriff can look all he wants, doesn't mean he will find me."

Bobie stood, walked to the sink and said, "I am sorry about all of this."

It was Sky's turn to be surprised, she stood, and approached the woman.  "Sorry about what?"

"I am sure your time is valuable and you have spent quite awhile here gathering materials on the Kiva incident. Now it is all lost.
So maybe you going back with Bernie Herbella is not such a bad idea."

For the first time, Sky seemed unsure of herself as she replied, "You think my having been here, was a bad idea? Is a bad idea? It has been an experience I would never trade. Well except for what happened with Trenton.  Don't you get it, Parker, I came for one reason, now I have a better one to stay."

Bobie was wearing an Indian print robe, the blue seemed to match her eyes and as she fidgeted with the collar she said,  "I don't understand."

Sky reached out, gently took her left hand and said, "Come sit."

Once both were back at the table facing one another she smiled. "Do I seem like the type of person that would throw all my eggs in one basket as they might say out here?"

Bobie shook her head. "You are a very smart woman. The 'eggs in one basket' is cute."

"Thanks. Whoever did this may have thought they got everything. They did get the equipment but not everything. I have a good friend that works for the FBI and she has a copy of all my work. I thought it would be a good idea to have her keep this. As well, she is running some tests for me."

Bobie's eyes widened as an amazed look covered her face. "Wow! That is wonderful!"

Smiling, Sky asked, "I take it you like?"

Standing, Bobie swirled around the kitchen.  "I like, I like."

"Good, then we can stop this talk about sending me packing with Bernie, I hope."

Bobie stopped, looked toward the floor then back to Sky. "I apologize. I just meant, if everything was gone and what you have been going through, I would not blame you if you did decide to go back."

"Unless you are ready to kick me to the wind, then I have no intention of going anywhere Deputy.  You dance wonderfully, ever take lessons?"

Bobie raised an eyebrow and said, "This isn't funning me, is it?"

"No. I am serious. And we still have the specimen I took from the Trenton home."

Bobie noticed Sky had grasped the arms of her chair, fingers reddened from the grip. "Sky, I am so insensitive. You are not well and I have been indulging your kindness. How do you feel this morning?"

Sky's left cheek twitched several times before she replied, "Been better. Actually in a lot of pain at the moment."

Bobie jumped to her feet and said, "I'll dress and we can go into town. See Doc, get your prescriptions."

Sky stood, the sparkle in her eyes had dimmed. "No. I'm tired of going into to see Doctor Taylor.  He will insist this time I be admitted to the hospital. I can't.  Hate them."

"Then what do you suggest we do?  I am worried."  Bobie gazed at the woman, her own eyes misting up.

"I am going to go lie down. When you are dressed, come get me. I will feel better.  Don't look so worried Deputy, I am sure you have tended to sick animals before so having me around should be easy."

Bobie watched the woman walk from the room. Skylar  stood tall and took each step carefully but it was obvious, she was trying to ease her fears. Mumbling to herself, Bobie headed to the bathroom. She wanted to give Sky time to rest, so took longer in the shower.  Stepping out, she felt refreshed. There was nothing like a warm shower to ease a person's aches.

Dressing in Levi's and a warm pullover sweater, she headed to the main room and the washing machine. Taking the clothes out, she tossed them in the dryer and returned to the main area.  Finding her boots she quickly put them on. Went to peek in on Sky who was laying on her left side, sleeping. The woman looked so peaceful, she decided not to wake her and went to the kitchen instead.  The dishes needed to be washed and a few things put up. Bobie was relieved to be doing something. She didn't want to admit it but she was more than just worried about Skylar Richmond.

It seemed the thing that was bothering her the most was the bite Trenton had given Sky.  It certainly didn't look good. She had seen many things as Deputy but this took the cake. Why would a man bite a beautiful woman like that? Why did he choose Skylar to beat instead of her?  Not that she wanted to be beat, but she still blamed herself for this happening. Sighing as she washed the last dish and set it to dry, Bobie decided to call Doctor Taylor.

Chapter Twenty Three

She was elated when she heard the man's cheery voice. "Doc Taylor here."

"Doc. This is Bobie Parker."

"Bobie, what can I do for you this early morning?"

"It's about Skylar Richmond."

It took a few moments before the man asked, "Is she worse?"

"Look Doc. I appreciate the patient doctor confidentiality thing. It's just, she doesn't seem to be getting any better."

"Did Miss Richmond confide in you?"

"She told me she was a mess. But she did not go into detail. I feel there is something I am not being told.  I can hardly take care of her or know what is happening if someone doesn't fill me in."

He tapped a pencil on the receiver to a catchy tune in the background, before he replied, "She needs to be in the hospital. I have already told her this. There is nothing more I can do. The shots, the pills I gave her to take, should have kicked in by now. You say there is no change. This doesn't sound good.  I suggest you talk to her, get the woman to understand she needs to be admitted today.  The sooner the better."

"Doc, it's bad, isn't  it?"  .

"Yes, it is. See she gets here as soon as possible."

"Thanks Doc. I'll talk to her."

"You'll talk to who Deputy?"

Bobie turned to see Sky gazing at her, arms cross her chest.  Setting the receiver down, she replied, "That was Doc. He wants you to be admitted today.  Thinks I can talk some sense into you."

Skylar walked to the front door and replied, "I have a hard head Deputy. I don't do what most want. You certainly can try to talk me into it but should save your breath.  I told you I hate hospitals and the only way you will get me there is if I am comatose.  Looks like a nice day out. I think it's a day for you to drive me to this reservation you talk about."

Bobie stood and walked up to the woman. "I have my own reasons for not liking to go to hospitals but they do save lives."

Sky turned and stared at her. "Sometimes. And sometimes they also lose lives."

"I have a feeling Skylar Richmond somewhere in your past there is a reason why you feel this way."

"Just as you Bobie Parker, you also have a reason in your past that gives way to certain feelings in regard to hospitals."

"Touché.  Skylar?"

She arched her eyebrows and asked, "Yes?"

"Are you serious about the reservation?   If so, how are you feeling now?"

"I am fine.  Let's not let this day waste away."

Chewing on her lower lip, Bobie gazed at the woman.  It was as if she felt her eyes could read something into the woman's words or body language. All she felt was a closeness, a softness. "Ok,  but first we go into town and get your prescriptions."

"Nope. Don't want to waste a moment.  I want to spend the day with you. Visiting a place that meant so much to you at one time. A new adventure with you, is what I want Deputy.  Even a person on death row, gets a dying wish."

A feeling she could not understand took over her body, sorrow, loss, and fear had gripped Bobie Parker. Only her eyes showed her pain as tears formed and fell down her cheeks. "Do-- Don't talk like that."

When Sky saw the tears, the look on the woman's face, she knew she had gone too far. It was evident Bobie Parker had feelings deeper than she let on. "I'm sorry. Please forgive me Bobie."  She reached out and brushed the tears away, the softness of her hands, caressing.

Bobie gazed up at the concerned look on the woman's face and wished she could stay there forever. Sky Richmond, touching, soothing. It had been a long time since she let anyone even close. Suddenly she looked forward to every day, night, just to be able to see this amazing woman. How it happened, she wasn't sure but Skylar Richmond had become a port in her life and she didn't know how she made it through life alone for so long.

Sky reached out and pulled the woman close. "It's all right Deputy to feel closeness. I could kick myself for saying those words. Can you forgive me?"

Snuggling close, inhaling the woman's essence, Bobie knew she was closer to paradise than she had ever been. For so long she had walked away from any type of closeness. After the death of her father, she was going to make it on her own, alone. No more hurt, no more cries in the dark, no more wanting to be held, to be comforted.  Now she clung to this woman, their bodies melding in that moment.

Skylar Richmond swallowed, feeling an ache in her throat. She had not been prepared for Bobie Parker to seem so vulnerable.
They stood like this for several minutes, finally Bobie pulled away. She reached up and brushed tears back off her cheeks and said, "It is I that apologize. Sorry for getting all soft. I am supposed to be the Deputy, the person taking care of you. So I hope you will excuse this little slip."

Managing a smile, Sky replied, "Nothing to excuse Deputy. I hope you know I didn't mean the dying part. There is too much in this life I haven't yet experienced."

Squaring her shoulders, Bobie walked toward the kitchen. "You may try to hide it Skylar Richmond but you don't have to be strong all the time. We both know what has happened. Your pain, the fact that you are not getting better. I don't have blinders on. And yes, I think today would be a great day to visit the reservation. By the way, how did you know I spent time there? That it meant so much to me at one time?"

Sky followed saying, "Doc told me.  He thinks the world of you, you know.  He told me about Don Antone and what happened."

Bobie walked to the refrigerator, reached in and took out a bottle of water. "Doc should keep his nose out of other people's business."

Sky chuckled, "He is a doctor, people are his business. Besides, he thought we were close and wanted me to know something about you and the reservation. I for one can't wait to walk in your shoes, see this glorious area as you have. Wouldn't hurt to meet this Antone person either."

Bobie took a drink, then set the bottle down. "Really Skylar Richmond?  And just what would you do?" Her eyes were wide, and her face held a pixie grin.

Sky never took her eyes off the woman. "I would ask him whatever possessed him to let a beautiful caring woman like you go."

Picking up the bottle Bobbie started for the door. "Then it is a good thing you will not meet the man. He is happily married, and in so far as me, we were just good friends. I don't need a knight to go do battle for me. Grab some water, let's go."

It didn't take Sky long to catch up to the woman and climb into the jeep. As Bobie pulled away from the drive, she turned to look at Sky. "You look better,  I hope this trip is the right thing to do."

Sky looked out the windshield at the road ahead and replied, "Anywhere I am with you, is the right thing to do."

They had been traveling for thirty minutes before Sky asked, "Mind if I turn the radio on?"

"You don't need to ask. I don't mind. It is kinda quiet."

As the  pleasing sounds of  "Twin Guitars in Love" swept through the vehicle, Sky began to tap on the dash with her fingers. "I love guitar, there is nothing like the rhythm."

Bobbie had been keeping her eyes on the road and glanced sideways for a second. "You are a woman of so many skills Skylar, do you play the guitar also?"

Sky grinned. "Well I play at it. Maybe one day I will actually master it."

"Of this I have no doubt." Bobie smiled.

"Do you play?"

Bobie grinned. "I can make a lot of noise that sends everyone running for earplugs.  Nope can't."

"Perhaps one day we can make beautiful music together deputy."

"Perhaps, never know Skylar. At least one of us will."

They had made several stops along the way. Once to pick up something to snack on and the other were pit stops. Skylar loved to tease Bobie about her lack of kidney control.  Yet when they did stop, Sky was the first one to the rest room. Leaving Bobie following, and grinning at the speed in which she moved.

They had been traveling for an hour and the scenery had changed.  Sky half spoke aloud and half whispered, "Scenery is like you, unpredictable and yet so beautiful."

Bobie was content, her mind on the road, fingers tapping the steering wheel to the beat of the music coming from the radio.  It was then she thought she heard the words like you and beautiful. Wondrous sensations wrapped her in soft velvet wings carrying her body to a place, she had never experienced before Skylar Richmond.

Glancing to the side, she stared at Sky. The woman was beaming. "Sky, what in the world are you up to?  You look like the cat that swallowed the canary and got caught."

"Quite a drive to this reservation of yours. Just commenting on the beauty that surrounds me."

"Uh huh . . ."  Bobie raised an eyebrow adding, "You have that look."

Looking very innocent, Sky asked, "What look?"

"The one that says you were thinking and saying something you don't want me to know about.  The caught in a snare look."

"Ouch!   I hope not, that sounds painful and believe me I am not in that type of pain when I gaze around."

Bobie pulled the jeep into an off the road parking area. After turning the motor off she leaned back in the seat, her hands firmly on the steering wheel and said, "Sky, it warms my heart to know you want to go to a place I loved at one time."

"Loved?  I look at you Deputy and I see a woman that loves this country."

"Love.  You are right. I have many memories of wonderful times here. It was time I felt like the luckiest person to know the people here."

"To know Don Antone?"

Nodding Bobie replied, "Yes, to know Don Antone. To be with my father, his father, two families united in friendship.  I had many enjoyable times."

Sky gazed at the woman and it was obvious Bobie was recalling pleasant times. "It seems this place was a second home to you.  I am happy at one time you had people that loved and cared about you."

Looking the other way, Bobie whispered, "Had."  She turned to face Sky. "I have a good life now.  Friends, a good  job. My time is not idle."

"What time I have spent here, I can see you are not idle, deputy.  Though I still see in your eyes a yearning, the look of a lost child sometimes."

Shifting her shoulders, Bobie turned sideways, her eyes held a fury to them as she spout, "Child!  I am not a child!  Perhaps you need glasses' Skylar Richmond!"

Sky held up her hands in a non confrontational movement. "Hold up Deputy.  I am not calling you a child, just saying the look is one I have seen in a child's eyes at times.  In so far as me 'needing glasses' . . ."  Emerald green eyes reached out, taking the woman into them. "When I look at you, I see a beautiful woman. A woman I am glad to call friend.  I see very well."

"Sorry.  I don't know what brought about that tirade. Peace.  If there is anyone I don't want to upset it is you."

"It's all right. If you didn't blow off steam once in awhile I might wonder what was wrong with you. I understand and know you have been going through a lot.  I don't know that much about your father but what I have heard has been wonderful. The two of you were a great team.  I am sure he showed  you how special you are. He probably watches over you every day and night.  I wish I had known him."

"Me too."  Bobie had the look she was a million miles away.

"How much further is it to our destination?"  Sky asked hoping to change the subject. Talking about Bobie Parker's father was bringing the woman down.

"Bout twenty miles and we will come to Tupac which is a community that has broken away from the old beliefs of the tribe.  Twenty-five miles to the south lies Diablo Rio, it is where the old ways are still practiced and where people choose to live like their ancestors. It is here they honor and keep legends of the past alive. They have festivities to honor warriors of war and peace, from past times too now.  I think you may have heard of the famous Code Talkers  from World War Two, it is nice they have now been recognized and decorated. A movie was even made that featured them."

Sky listened intently, taking in every word. When the woman finished, she replied, "Yes, I have heard of the Code Talkers.  And have seen the movie, which by the way is excellent. It seems not only is the area diverse but the people are too.  Some sticking to modern ways and some holding onto the old.  Sounds like a fascinating area, to explore."

"Being a hunter, archeologist of sorts, I guess the first thing you might think of is exploring.  I can think of some nifty places to take you."

Sighing, Sky smiled. "I can't wait to be taken Deputy.  I am yours for the time I have."

Bobie opened the jeep door and said, "Let's get out and stretch our legs. Tupac isn't going anywhere."

Sky followed the woman to a roadside bench and sit beside her. "What's the matter?  I can tell by your actions, the look on your face. Tell me?"

Gazing at the beauty that surrounded them Bobie answered, "Had a leg cramp. Just needed to get out and stretch."

"It is nice out here. I look forward to this trip Deputy, I think it will bring about wondrous possibilities for both of us."

Bobie stood and walked toward a lone tree. "This is not the first time you have mentioned going somewhere and you are not talking about going back to Bernie Herbella and your job. It pains me to hear you speak like this."

Sky was by her side in minutes. "It is just me. I talk before thinking.  What you should have latched onto was 'I am yours.'"

"Sorry, but when someone I care about talks about dying and leaving me, it brings up a red flag. I have been hurt so deeply in life and . . .and I just found you.  Before you go off with the joke, you were never lost, I think after the reservation trip, you should think seriously about going back with Bernie Herbella. The man is handsome, has feelings for you and will take care and love you."

Sky reached out, placing her hands on Bobie's shoulders turning the woman. She cupped Bobie's chin in the palm of her left hand and said, "I feel the fence going back up. The fence that you put there to keep people away from the hurt that can come if you should care again."

Bobie stood for an instant, gazing into the woman's warm eyes, then she stepped back and walked toward the jeep her words trailing behind. "Let's go. We don't have time to dilly dally."

Sky shrugged and watched the woman walk away.  Bobie Parker was a puzzle and one she wasn't having a lot of luck in placing the pieces it seemed.  She hurried to catch up to the woman.

Once they were on the road again, Bobie mumbled, "Hope you are not disappointed in me."

Sky had been looking out the side window and upon hearing the woman's words she turned to look at her. "Never.  There is nothing you can do Deputy that would ever disappoint me. If I was out of place back there . . ."

"Not out of place. It was sweet of you to care about me.  I do care about you Skylar Richmond, never thought I would find myself saying these words. You came out of the pages of history books and entertainment television into my life.  A woman that stood top pyramids, came to my small western town and into my life. I am not a person that shows their feelings openly, I hold them inside. The hurt I have experienced has taught me to be cautious. You however have taken the fence down, there is not even a piece of it left."

Sky was shocked at the woman's outpouring. "I was afraid you were upset with me. Thank you. I may have come out of history books and entertainment television  as well as standing top pyramids but there is no place I would rather be at this moment then sitting beside you Bobie Parker."

Bobie slowed to let several cows cross the road. She turned to smile and asked, "Friends?"

Sky reached out and shook the woman's outreached hand. "Friends."  Their eyes melding for a moment, both feeling the heat from within as Bobie pulled her hand away. "Look, the road winds down, you can get your first view of Tupac. Our adventure begins."

Continued in chapter twenty four

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