The Survivor: part 9
by lynka


Please see part 1 for all disclaimers.

"So what do you think? Does any of this look familiar to you at all?" Corey asked the younger woman as they studied the pictures of the campfire and surrounding area where they thought Johna had taken her.

"I’m sorry Corey, I just can’t remember." Rachel shook her head

"Its not surprising consider the drug that was in your system. The majority of it's victims can’t even remember there own name let alone any information about what they’ve gone through." Corey extended a long arm over her lover’s shoulders.

"But I remembered bits and pieces; granted small ones but none of this is familiar. Are you sure this was the place?" Rachel continued to study the photographs.

"Yeah, this is it. Not only did they find a gold ring just like what the other women had on, they also took blood samples from the soil. They match yours."

Rachel sat back and looked at the investigator as the horror of what had almost happened to her sank in for the first time. She had thought about it before but it just never hit her from every direction like this moment in time was. She sat there for several moments before she finally felt warm hands on her cheeks. "Hey…" Corey knelt down beside her seeing that far away look in her eyes. A look that almost scared the taller woman until she felt her companion respond to her touch and finally blink at her. "You okay?"

"Yeah, sorry, just went out of it for a moment." Rachel responded placing her hands on top of the larger ones.

"Want to tell me where?" Serious blue eyes studied hers.

"I just got caught up in all of this I guess. I was seeing myself laying there," she pointed to the picture of the campfire, "and wondered why I was the one that got away."

"I really can’t answer that but I’m glad you did." Corey whispered into the nearby ear as she pulled Rachel into a heart felt hug. She felt it returned without hesitation and began to relax.

"I don’t know what I would of done without you in all of this. You have been a great source of strength for me. You’ve always been there for me…thank you." Rachel finished touching the taller woman’s cheek with her lips.

"I’ll always be there for you."

"I know." They looked at each other for a very long moment until finally Corey broke the silence.

"How about a walk? I’ll show you a place I like to go up here." That got a shake of her companion’s head and a broad smile.

They had followed the trail behind the cabin for less then a quarter hour when Corey pointed to the left. "Its up this way." She said still clutching the hand she held in her own.

"Off the trail?" Rachel asked thinking that was odd but she had never been out in the wilderness like this before so she silently followed her partner’s lead.

"Yeah, all the best places are away from the trails. But don’t worry, I’ve been coming up here for a long time now." She spread her hands out indicating the mountain. She turned them around before they started up the trail. "See that rock formation over there and that twisted tree?"

Rachel followed where Corey’s finger pointed. "Yeah."

"That’s how I know where to head off the trail at. The first time I came up here I got lost. Walked around for hours before I finally found the main road and walked back to the cabin. After that I was always sure to find myself a landmark." She chuckled. "You see at the top of the mountain that lone tree surrounded by the rocks?" She pointed to the top.

Rachel was silent absorbing the information and enjoying the enthusiastic descriptions of the mountain.

"Just beyond that. You can’t see it from here, well…you’ll see." Corey said tugging a little on the hand still nestled in hers.

"Not going to tell me huh?" Rachel asked amusement coloring her tone.

"Nope…but I think you’ll like it." She turned and smiled at her companion as they proceeded up the trail.

"Careful here…it gets a little steep." Corey pointed out the obvious.

Fifteen minutes later Rachel was breathing harder then she thought she should. "Can we take a break?"

"Sure, how about over there?" Corey pointed to a nearby rock that looked like it would be big enough for them both to sit on.

Rachel sat down taking a long, slow, deep breath and fanning her face with her hand.

"You okay?" Corey looked at her concerned. "Here, have some water." She pulled the backpack off her back offering her lover the water and a small snack. "Here, eat this apple. It’ll help."

Rachel took the offered items, first downing a good gulp of water. "Sorry, I’m just not used to climbing mountains."

"No, I should have realized. You want to go back?" She asked moving a lock of blonde hair out of her lover’s eyes.

"Oh…no…I really want to see this place." She took another deep breath, another long swallow and nibbled on her apple for several minutes. Slapping the taller woman on the thigh, "You ready to pull me the rest of the way up there?"

That got a chuckle from the dark headed woman. "Sure, lets go." She said standing up and putting the back pack in place.

Forty-five minutes later they were cresting the top of the mountain. "Look over there." Corey pointed to the east as Rachel followed her finger.

"It’s beautiful," Rachel whispered in awe. The mountains rolled on as far as the eye could see. A little to the left was a large waterfall cascading over a mountain. Pine trees covered the landscape. "I see why you like to come up here." She moved closer to her lover as she felt a long arm drape over her shoulders and she circled her partner's waist with her own arm.

"Yeah, it always helps clear my head and…" She paused. "You might think this sounds silly but it rejuvenates my spirit. For some odd reason I feel like I should be out here. Doing what, I don’t know but…" She looked into intense green eyes.

"I can feel it too…I’m not sure I can describe it either."

"You don’t have to." Corey said engulfing the younger woman in a hug. They stood like that for what seemed an eternity but in reality was only a few minutes. Both women let their thoughts wander as they felt their souls bind tighter. Blue looked into green, love shining brightly in each. Corey ducked her head to capture waiting lips. Lost in the moment the lovers took their time, neither wanting the feelings to fade. Finally Corey pulled back to breathe. "I love you Rachel Woods."

That earned her a broad smile from the smaller woman. "I love you too." Rachel said laying her head on the broad shoulder and feeling the arms that circled her tighten. Finally Rachel patted her lover’s side. "How about lunch?"

Corey reluctantly released her hold pulling the backpack off and kneeling beside it. She unzipped it, pulling out a small blanket and spreading it on the ground. Then she reached in and removed a plastic container full of cookies. "I see you brought the necessities." That earned a genuine laugh from the tall woman. Reaching back in she also removed two ham and cheese sandwiches, potato chips, a few pieces of fruit and finally two cokes wrapped in freezer ice packs and a towel. Corey looked up at her lover waiting for her approval. "Looks good sweetheart, thank you for sharing all this with me." Rachel said as she started to sit down. "Hum…" she looked around for a moment. "I…hum" Rachel tried to continue. Corey grinned reaching in and handing her a half roll of toilet paper.

"There’s a bush or over there’s a rock." Corey chuckled. "Don’t sit on any poison ivy."

Rachel eyes got round as she looked around the ground. "What…what does it look like?" Corey chuckled again standing up and looking at a blonde headed woman who now had her hands on her hips. "I’m a city girl, remember?" As hard as she tried to hold what she thought was an intimidating stance she thought about the absurdity of the situation and broke down laughing. "Would you mind looking to be sure?" She got out between breaths.

When the laughter wound down Corey stepped behind the bush and looked at the ground then looked over behind the rock. She pointed to the smaller rock. "Use the rock," she indicated. Rachel looked over at the taller bush then at the rock that was only knee high and shrugged her shoulders.

When she returned to the grinning investigator and sat back down on the blanket she found her lunch placed in front of her. The taller woman stood, grabbed the roll of toilet paper and stepped behind the bush to take care of things. When she returned to the blanket the smaller woman looked at her with her head turned to one side.

"I thought there was poison ivy around the bush?" She furrowed her brows.

"Nope, never said that." The taller woman said taking a bite out of her sandwich.

"Bugs?" Rachel questioned.

"Nope." Corey said picking up a chip and crunching it between neat white teeth.

Rachel raised her eyebrows. "Then what?"

"Just wanted to see that cute little rear end of yours when you pulled your pants down."

Outraged eyes looked at her. "You are so bad!" Rachel said slapping at her arm playfully then lunged at her companion ending up sitting across Corey’s hips. "Now I've got you."

"Think so huh…" The grin widened. "And what are you going to do with me?" Corey raised her brows in a suggestive manner.

"Well…first." She said popping one of the buttons loose on Corey’s shirt. "I’m going to…" another button came loose. "Then I’m going..." another button. "But first..." the last of the six buttons came loose. She looked down at the bare chest under her hands and realized for the first time that Corey wasn’t wearing a bra. Not that she needed to with her chest being solid muscle. Rachel circled the nipples with her fore fingers watching in fascination as they hardened. She scooted down farther and sat on Corey’s thighs bending over as she ran her hands up the bare sides and finally cupped a willing breast. She leaned over and whispered "I’m going to make love to you right here, right now."

Corey’s breathing stopped as she heard the raw passion in her lover’s voice. ‘God…I love this woman!’ She thought to herself as she felt warm hands explore the bare skin of her chest and stomach. Slowly the welcome touch popped the button on her jeans and she felt the zipper slowly being drawn down. The younger woman captured a willing nipple in her warm mouth as she stretched out along the length of Corey’s longer body.

The stronger woman pulled the polo shirt out of her lover’s jeans. Feeling her raise up she quickly pulled it over her head letting it lay on the blanket beside her. Next came the bra; with one easy twist of the clasp it to joined the shirt. Corey coaxed her lover into a sitting position so she was straddling her hips once again. With a small tug of her body Rachel responded knowing what her lover wanted. She lowered her breast to the warm waiting mouth. She closed her eyes at the contact then found herself looking into blue eyes as the taller woman lovingly suckled first one nipple then the other. Rachel’s gaze slowly left the eyes and moved down until she watched a warm tongue slowly run over her taut peaks as they disappeared into her lover's mouth. Rachel could only arch her back at the sensation. Slowly she pulled free only to feel herself rolled over onto her back. She reached up to cup two willing mounds and gently pulled them towards her as Corey leaned down resting herself on her elbows. It was Corey’s turn to watch her breasts being lovingly suckled and feeling the warm tongue on her enlarged nipples. Corey groaned at the sight. With all the lovers she had had in her life not one had ever brought out such feelings in her, such passion, and certainly such love.

"I need to touch you…please let me touch you." Rachel growled feeling Corey slide to the side of her. Corey unbuttoned the one button on Rachel’s jeans and pulled the zipper down. It didn’t take long and both were playing in a triangle of hair. Corey scooted up to accommodate her lover’s shorter reach and immediately felt a nipple slide into a warm place. It added fuel to the already out of control fire that seemed to burn in both women. They lay on the blanket facing each other with one leg bent to let the other in. Rachel felt Corey’s hand moving down under her panties to feel the sweet wetness that waited for her. The blonde headed woman followed suit. Stroke for stroke they matched each other’s movements. What one felt so did the other. Rachel had never before experienced what she did to her lover being immediately returned to her. She decided she liked it…a lot. Two sets of hips began moving in the same rhythm as hands explored what the other was willing to give. Both sets of hips began to move faster as strokes moved deeper. "Come with me." Corey growled into the nearby ear. "Please!" She begged.

Rachel clutched her back pulling her closer "Yesss…oh yesss." She felt her hips rise off the ground at the same time Corey’s did. Both bodies went stiff as fingers continued to move. They clutched at each other with their free hands as their bodies trembled, neither wanting to let go. They both tried to hang onto the edge of ecstasy as long as possible until they tumbled over together. Finally resting back on the blanket neither woman moved the hand they had buried in the other's jeans. Rachel had found out the first night they made loved that Corey wanted to keep the contact until she came back to reality and only then gave it up grudgingly. Since that night Rachel had learned how good it felt and didn’t give it up until she had to.

Finally after long moments Corey was the first to break the intimate contact and brought her soaked fingers to her mouth licking off every drop. Rachel watched with what could be considered a silly grin on her face as her eyes followed every stroke Corey’s tongue was making. "God…that’s a turn on Corey." That earned her a dazzling smile and a solid kiss. The taller woman scooted down and Rachel had no choice but to break the contact she had on her companion.

"I think we should get ourselves together." Corey whispered into the ear she was nuzzling. "I don’t want to be out here when it gets dark."

Rachel ran her finger down the side of her lover’s cheek and over her lips only to feel it captured and the tip sucked gently. "How come? Afraid you won’t find your way back?" She teased gently.

"Humm…yeah, I’ll find our way back okay…I was just thinking about mountain lions." She felt the finger pull out of her reach then Rachel sat up with a start.

"Mountain lions? What do you mean mountain lions? She questioned looking around at the rough terrain and across to the waterfall.

Corey realized she had scared the smaller woman. "Hey, its alright. We have plenty of time. Mountain lions are generally a nocturnal animal."

Rachel visibly relaxed. "Sorry, I’m not used to all this nature stuff."

"It’s okay sweetheart. I would never put you in harms way. There is only one rule for nature and if you follow that then you're generally okay." Corey finished as she buttoned her shirt and watched the smaller woman pull her shirt over her head.

"What rule is that?" Rachel asked genuinely interested.

"You need to respect nature because it doesn’t respect you." She paused. "I love being out like this but there is so much that can harm you. Anything from a tree falling on you to being some animal’s dinner. When I first started coming out here I bought a couple of books about Arizona. The animals, bugs, snakes, spiders, scorpions. And do you know what I found out?" She watched as her lover shook her head from side to side. "If it’s poisonous or deadly it lives here in this state. Granted some things are desert dwellers and some are mountain dwellers but if you just watch your steps and keep yourself aware of the surroundings you’re pretty safe. If you suspect an animal is around you if you make some noise they’re more then likely to leave you alone. And if they don’t. She paused. "then they're hungry and you're about to become dinner."

Calmly Rachel asked. "Is it true what they say if you're attacked you should just play dead and they’ll leave you alone?"

Corey took a breath before answering as she folded up the blanket and stuffed it into the backpack. "If it’s a bear attacking you I’ve always heard stories of people who have done that and survived, so I guess in that case yeah…but if it’s a mountain lion or a coyote like what’s around here, I would say fight." She paused again lifting the pack on her back and circling the smaller woman’s shoulders as they looked out over the mountain one last time. Then continued. "If either one of them attack it means they're hungry. Personally I wouldn’t let them nibble on me unless they won the battle."

‘Is that the reason you brought your gun with you?"

A soft chuckle "Well, no…" She thought about what she was saying. "I would definitely bring a gun with me out here but you have to realize sweetheart as an FBI Agent it’s just a part of the wardrobe." She thought about that for a minute then asked, "Does it bother you?"

Rachel circled her arms around her lover's waist squeezing her tight "No, it just didn’t seem we were in any danger up here but you always have your gun within reach."

"Habit." She said casually. "Ready to head back?" Her lips turned into a smile when she felt the smaller woman nod against her breast. She stepped back kissing the blonde as Rachel placed her smaller hand in the larger one tangling their fingers together.


Johna looked at the piece of paper in her hand as she parked her car and waited. She had circled the parking lot several times looking for the Ford Explorer she had seen the investigator drive. There was no sign of it anywhere. "Well, she could be driving something else," She said to her steering wheel, "or she’s just not here. I’ll wait a while longer." She continued drumming her fingers on the steering wheel trying to figure out what she was going to do. After all, she couldn’t just knock on the door and say she was here for Lacey. But then again why not? After all she did have those other FBI Agent's guns. "Why can’t I find you?" Johna hit the palm of her hand on the steering wheel angry that her Lacey was taken away from her by that woman. She scowled. That woman who works for the FBI. "Don’t worry sweetheart, I’ll get you back." She said with a determined nod of her head.

"Guess I better get outta here for awhile before some busy body notices me hanging around." She reasoned with herself as she started her dark green car and drove out onto the street.

It was after midnight when Johna returned to the condo. She parked her car in the back corner of the parking lot. Closing her door quietly she threaded herself between the parked cars. Eyes darted in every direction watching for anybody sitting in a car or anybody walking around the complex. It was quiet she mused to herself. ‘Wonder where everybody is? Probably still in the bars.’ She continued to think ‘after all it is Friday night.’ Johna continued up the sidewalk leading to Corey’s condo. It was dark inside she noticed peering at the window with the drapes closed. No light showed around the edges. She rang the doorbell listening for any movement. She rang it again still listening. Satisfied there was no one in the condo she thought she would find the back entrance. She stood back and counted the doors from the corner to be sure she would be at the right one. As she disappeared around the corner she placed her hand on the wood fence as she walked counting the gates. Reaching the forth one she reached over the top of it to find the clasp. It wouldn’t move. Standing on her tiptoes she ran her hand farther down the clasp finding a pad lock holding the gate securely in place.

"Damn." She sighed. "Cops" She grumbled. Stepping back to look around she spotted a large plastic trashcan. The sturdy kind the Department of Waste Management used. Smiling she walked over to it keeping her eyes roaming around the area. She started to pull it over and decided it made way too much noise for that time of morning. So she tried to pick it up. "Ugggh!" She grunted. Lifting the lid she could see it was almost full. "Damn, why can’t they pick up the trash everyday?" She grumbled. She decided someone coming down this way would notice trash on the pavement so she gritted her teeth, bent her knees, grasped it around the middle and lifted. ‘Glad its only a few feet.’ She thought finally putting it down gently making as little noise as possible. She straightened herself up. Grasping the top edge of the fence she jumped on top of the trashcan and vaulted over the edge tumbling to the ground on the other side. "Shit…damn fence." She whispered feeling the tear in her shirt.

Silently she stepped up to the sliding glass door. She leaned over placing her ear against the door and listening for a few moments until she was satisfied there was no noise on the other side. Reaching into her back pocket she pulled a large screwdriver out. ‘Glad I brought this.’ She turned it and watched the light shimmer off the shaft. Jamming the end into the doorframe beside the lock she pulled back with all her strength. It gave under the pressure and the door slid open. Johna froze cocking her head to one side listening. Letting out a long slow breath she silently opened the door enough for her to slip inside and closed it behind her.

Cautiously she walked from room to room checking for occupants. Finding none she returned to the living room checking to be sure the drapes were closed tight. She turned on a small table lamp near the desk. She stood in one spot taking in the room. Everything was neatly put away. Not so much as a pencil sat on the desk or an empty coaster on the coffee table. She did notice however that no one had been here in the last few days. A thin layer of dust covered everything. That was one of the bad things about living in the desert; the dust storms came through on a regular basis. No matter how tight you thought your windows and doors were the dust always worked its way through.

Johna sat down at the desk opening the drawers trying to find some hint of where Lacey was. She pulled out papers briefly looked at them and let them fall to the floor. Finding nothing that would even so much as give her a hint she stood in front of the neatly organized file cabinet. "Ain’t that cute?" She muttered looking at the tabs on the front of the drawers marking the contents. She let her eyes wander down the tabs. 'Household' the bottom one said. Johna pulled the drawer open and began pulling out the papers a hand full at a time. Sitting back in the chair she took the first stack. "Booklets?" She said. "Refrigerator, stove, dishwasher." She rolled her eyes. "Nobody saves all this stuff." She tossed each one on the floor. Reaching in she pulled out another hand full of papers. "Oh great…toaster…vacuum cleaner." Her eyes rolled again and she tossed them over her shoulder. "Oh…what’s this?" She stood looking at the wall over the desk. "My Cabin" The caption read. "A cabin." Johna said to the picture. Her interest returned in the file cabinet drawer marked ‘household.’ Humm…" She mumbled rifling through another stack of papers and letting the discarded ones rest on the floor with the other papers. "She must keep every receipt she ever got. Damn!" Johna said to the next handful. "Property records…now we’re getting somewhere." Slowly she looked at each piece of paper until she finally found what she was looking for. It was a copy of a deed to a property. It had the legal description of the land printed on it. Johna stared at it as if it was going to change. "What in the hell is that supposed to mean?" She ran her finger under each line of it trying to understand what it said. Finally she placed the folder on the desk and pulled out another one that had a tab marked ‘Cabin’. She grinned at the folder. Opening it she shook her head, "Every receipt!" as she tossed paper after paper on the floor she finally looked at one receipt for delivery of a load of wood from Home Depot. ‘RR 3’ Payson, Arizona it read. Smiling she stuffed the receipt into her pocket.

"Humm…guess I’ll see what else I can find while I’m at it." Johna went into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator. Chuckling, "Wow, this is worse then mine!" The only things in the refrigerator were items that wouldn’t spoil for quite some time like salad dressings, ketchup, mustard. No real food except a couple of items in the freezer. A frozen pizza. Corey always kept one. She called it her emergency food. For the times she dragged herself home after a long day and hadn’t thought about getting anything on the way home. There of course were more of those days then she cared to count. The occasional frozen dinner she kept always came in handy for just these times.

"Wonder what a frozen pizza looks like after a couple of hours in the microwave?" She said pushing the button on the oven and placing the pizza wrapper and all in the microwave and forcing the door shut. She then punched in 2 hours and hit the start button. Laughing to herself ‘that should make a nice mess. How about some ketchup and mustard to go with that?’ She opened both bottles dumping the contents around the condo then rubbing it into the carpet with her foot. Johna went from room to room destroying everything. Tearing pictures out of frames, cutting the furniture and in some cases spreading some of its contents around the room. She shredded the mattress, sheets and comforter with a butcher knife she took from the kitchen. She was careful however not to break any glass. She didn’t know how thick the walls where and didn’t want to take any chances of someone hearing her. When she was finally satisfied with the mess she made she peered out of the corner of the front drapes. To her pleasant surprise not a soul was around. She slipped out the door leaving it unlocked and headed to her car.

"Guess I’ll go back to that hole I rented for the week and wait until daylight." She said to herself as she pulled out of the parking lot and onto the street. "I’d never be able to find this place," She patted her left breast pocket "at night." she finished as she steered the car onto Highway 51 heading towards south Phoenix.


"I love you so much." Corey whispered into a nearby ear she nuzzled as the lover's where snuggling together. Rachel found it impossible to keep her body still. She wanted nothing more then to feel Corey’s touch. Warm hands roamed over her body as her thoughts turned to her lover.

"I love you too. More then I can ever explain." Rachel felt her heart skip a beat. When she laid next to her tall lover she felt like her heart would explode. It was a curious feeling but at the same time a wonderful feeling. One she knew she would never get tired of experiencing.

Rachel felt a yawn coming on and tried to suppress it. Corey chuckled gently and traced her lips with her finger. "Wore you out huh?" She teased.

"Sorry." The younger blonde woman said yawning and burying her face in Corey’s chest. The taller woman put her hands behind her head and chuckled.

"You going to sleep there?" An amused Corey asked looking down the length of Rachel’s body that was sprawled on top of hers. "Humm?" An eyebrow raised.

"Problem with that?" Innocent green eyes locked with her own.

"Nope." She wrapped long arms around her lover and squeezed her to her.


"Oh sorry." Corey apologized, letting up on the pressure. "I like the way you feel right there." She ran her hands up the younger woman’s sides and across her back. "I really like the way you feel there." She repeated herself in a much softer tone.

"I have never felt like this about anyone before." Rachel confessed. "Does it bother you?"

"No." Corey paused picking her words carefully. "I thought I was in love before but now I know I wasn’t. The love I feel for you is just so strong. I never want you away from my side. My every waking moment is filled with you and when I close my eyes at night and go to sleep my dreams are dominated by you." She paused "Saying I love you never seems like enough but I don’t know what else to say." She paused again "You…are…everything…to…me." She said running her finger slowly down her lover's cheek.

"You have such a way with words." A soft whisper and a knowing touch. Rachel lowered her head capturing waiting lips. The soft kiss quickly turned to passion as needs in both woman rose to the level they felt earlier.

"I thought you were tired."

"I think I just got a second wind," Rachel mumbled sliding down the sleek body beneath her and capturing a willing nipple into her warm mouth. She felt her lover arch into the sensation and smiled.


Exhausted, Corey reached down for the comforter and covered them both. Holding her lover in her arms they both drifted off into a contented sleep. Their dreams filled with not only love and passion but also a sense of belonging to the other.


It was late in the morning when Sandra came pounding on Karla’s door. "Hey Karla…" No answer. "Hey…come on open up!" She yelled. After several moments Sandra remembered the key Karla had given her. It was out of necessity considering Karla had locked herself out a couple of times and of course it was always when the managers weren’t home. That’s always one downside to living in a small apartment complex. The managers think they have lives and can do what normal people do like grocery shopping for example. But the up side was it was usually pretty quiet in the complex.

Sandra hesitated before she put the key in the lock and decided to knock one last time. "Karla?" She called then pressed her ear to the door. After all she didn’t want to walk into anything. Karla had called her Friday morning and told her about her new girlfriend. She was so excited every other word was Joanie this, Joanie that. Sandra couldn’t help but be happy for her friend. She knew how lonely Karla had been since her last lover left her. She had been heart broken and blamed herself for the breakup.

A quiet turn of the key and Sandra noticed the door hadn’t been locked. She stopped and nervously swallowed before pushing the door open. A cold shudder ran through her body as she scanned the room from the doorway. She spotted the slumped form of her friend against the wall on the other side of the bed and could see the dried blood on the wall. Sandra turned and stumbled over her own feet falling to her knees on the sidewalk. She tried to call out and nothing would came out of her mouth. She wet her lips with her tongue and tried again. Still no sound. She crawled to the door next to her friend’s apartment and knocked on it with a weak doubled up fist. No answer. Sandra knew she had to get help. She swallowed hard trying to gather up some strength and get to her feet. She staggered around the corner of the complex and into the center by the pool before collapsing. A man was there cleaning the pool with a net. When he saw her he rushed over to her.

"What’s wrong…you okay?" He said anxiousness in his voice. "Hey!" He grabbed her and shook her gently.

"My friend." Sandra got out and pointed in the direction she just came from. "Dead." She also got out and felt the man stiffen as he turned to look in the direction indicated.

"Who’s your friend?"

"Karla…" She mumbled feeling very sick to her stomach and clasping a hand over her mouth.

"Jennie!" The man yelled as his wife popped her head out the door then ran over to him. "Stay here with her." He said standing.

"Wait, what’s…"

"Just stay here!" He told her and rounded the corner. He saw the door standing open and cautiously walked over to it. He looked inside and braced himself on the door jam with both hands. "Oh god" He said unable to take his eyes away from the still form slumped on the floor.

"Robert?" A voice came towards him and he turned his head to see his wife standing there.

"Call the police." He said when he turned to look at her and with a shaky hand ran it through his graying hair.

"Don’t look." He circled his arms around her for a moment. "We need to call the police. She’s been stabbed." He added.

"Are you sure she’s dead?" She asked calmly looking into his eyes.

"Yeah." He said as his wife nodded and went to their apartment to call the police.


"So this is Payson?" Johna said to herself driving down the main road looking around with curiosity 'not bad' she thought. "Ahh…an AM/PM. Somebody in there should know where RR 3 is." She reasoned.

After talking to several people she finally got the directions she was asking about. "Boy," She commented to the steering wheel, "what a bunch of morons." It turned out a tourist took a map out and finally showed her where she needed to go. The guy behind the counter was to busy talking trash with his buddies to be of any help. She just shook her head as she headed north.

"Damn…almost twenty miles." She said watching the small signs along the two-lane road. "RR1." She breathed a sigh as she continued. "RR2." 'Ahh getting closer.' She thought. Finally the small sign displayed prominently on the side of the road. RR3 it read. Johna stopped her car and stared at it for a timeless moment. 'Guess I better find someplace to pull off the road.' She thought as she continued north. Approximately a quarter mile further there was a small pull out where she stopped and looked around. Spotting a large tree with over hanging branches she slowly backed up her car to hide it from traffic.

Johna started walking back towards the road marked RR3 but stayed away from the main road. She didn’t want to be seen and used the cover of the trees and underbrush to her advantage. She turned east when she finally spotted the dirt road. ‘At least I don’t have to decide what direction to go.’ She mused to herself following the only way the road went. She stayed high enough so as not to be spotted by anyone but close enough to watch the road with the different turns it made. A hour later she squatted on the ground looking down at a cabin, watching for any signs of movement. She was sure she had the right one. She reached into her back pants pocket and pulled out the picture she had taken from the condo. It confirmed it. The SUV parked along side it also looked like the one the FBI Investigator drove that night, however it had been dark, but she was sure she was looking at the right place. Johna sat down in the dirt to wait and figure out how she was going to get her Lacey back.


Corey was at her computer studying the files John had sent her awhile back. "How many times are you going to go through them?" Rachel asked rubbing the shoulders in front of her.

"I don’t know." Corey admitted. "Every time I do though I find something else. Usually some small detail or other but always something. At least now I have all the files from Pete."

"Pete?" Rachel raised an eyebrow.

"Yeah, you remember, the forensic expert who checked out the site she took you to he…" The taller woman stopped in mid sentence. "Umm…I…"

"Hey, its alright." The blonde headed woman rubbed he hand up and down the flustered investigator's arm. "You're in warrior mode, I understand." She finished smiling at her.

"W…warrior mode?" Corey said hesitantly.

"Yeah you know, when you're talking about a case or anything that pertains to work you kinda go into ahh…" she shrugged her shoulders "Warrior mode."

"Warrior mode." Corey repeated then chuckled. "Yeah I guess I do. I tend to get rather focused." She looked at the younger woman for a moment thinking and finally furrowing her brow. "Does it bother you?"

"Nah…wouldn’t want my warrior any other way." Rachel said kissing the warrior on the cheek. "You were saying about Pete?"

"Your warrior." Corey repeated the words Rachel had just said. "I like that." Her eyes twinkled when she looked at her lover sitting beside her. Unable to resist, the taller woman took her lover in her arms and hugged her tight. "I’ll always be your warrior." She whispered before returning her attention to the computer screen.

Rachel returned from the kitchen with two plates of sandwiches, chips, and of course Corey’s favorite, chocolate chip cookies. "Hon…you’ve been at that for a couple of hours how about a break and lunch?" Rachel offered the plate to her companion.

"Yeah, you're right. I just have such a nagging feeling that something isn’t right." She shook her head accepting the offered plate. "I just can’t seem to put my finger on it."

"Maybe if you get away for that," Rachel nodded towards the computer "for a few minutes it’ll help. I know when I get frustrated with something and I walk away for awhile when I get back at it I can usually figure it out."

Corey nodded her head in agreement, stood and steered her lover over to the leather couch in the fire pit. Putting her plate down on the coffee table "I’ll get us something to drink. Anything special you want?"

"Tea." Rachel said sitting herself on the floor behind the table.

The tall woman disappeared into the kitchen retrieving two plastic handled mugs from the cupboard. A shiver traveled down her back. She stopped and leaned against the counter for a moment trying to shake off the feeling. She reached over the counter pulling the small curtain aside peering out side. The feeling she was experiencing only got stronger. Corey had learned long ago to always listen to what her gut was telling her and her gut was telling her something wasn’t right. She walked over to the desk and picked up her gun.

"What’s going on?" Rachel said nervously seeing the sudden shift in her companion’s attitude.

"I don’t know." The investigator said. "Maybe nothing." She added checking the clip. "Stay here and stay down." She ordered in a no nonsense voice pinning her lover with a momentary stare.

Rachel swallowed, nodding her head then resumed her seat on the floor watching as best she could as Corey stood to the side of the door and opened it. Taking a deep breath she stepped out onto the porch.

Corey quickly stepped behind the porch support pole. She scanned the horizon carefully watching for anything out of the ordinary. She couldn’t see anything but the feeling was stronger now. Carefully she turned her hearing into the forest. The usual sounds of the birds were missing. It was quiet, too quiet and it made Corey nervous.

High up on the ridge a stocky woman sat. Her mouth curling into a feral smile as she watched the tall investigator on the porch.



Part 10

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