Xena, Gabby and Co. belong to MCA/ Universal, yadda yadda... but the originalities of their present decade descendents Dena and Abby belong to me. If you have yet to read the prequal to this one, I suggest you make a stop to read Chapter One first before you attempt this one. All comments, good and kind, to go to yours truly at Do write, feed the bard!!!

Stories are for everyone BUT just a word of caution... this one has HEAVY SUBTEXT so if this irks you out for some absurd reason, there really are other nicer stories out there that would be more to your liking. And as always, there's also bits of VIOLENCE here and there... it ain't a Xena when it ain't there, honey. ;)

One more thing I feel I should include... the style of this particular story is more than a tad different from my usual. It contains sex (yes, my *FIRST* written SEX scene!!) and violence... my darling partner suggested I put a BDSM disclaimer so here it is: BDSM VIOLENCE AHEAD!!! You've been warned. Still wanna read on or are you too chicken? <BG>

For the people whom I may have neglected, this one's for you. And for my partner, Lynn, for being such a wonderful inspiration. :)

Abby walked out of the tiny convenience store of the gas station they were
at. Dena was done with fueling her powerful motor machine, a sleek and fondly
well maintained Honda 1100 A.C.E motocycle fondly called Argo. The day was hot and
even in her short denim skirt and red and brown striped sleeveless blouse, the
young woman felt the blistering heat of the noonday sun.

"Dena, catch!" the 5"3 sunny blonde grinned, her green emerald eyes shining
as she casually tossed one of the two chilled cans of soda pop she got from
the store.

"Thanks," tall, tanned and good looking Dena Ambers reached out a well toned
arm, effortlessly catching the cool can. Leaning against her heavy machine, she
smiled appreciatively at the girl before her. Abby Piers. Long strands of blonde
hair framed her angelic features and Dena could have sworn Abby must have looked
like one of Heaven's cherubs when she was smaller.

Dena was the opposite of Abby's sunshine exterior. She was decked nearly all
in black- a black sleeveless top, leather pants and heavy army boots. A black
leather belt with a silver buckle was strapped around her waist. Her dark hair
was pulled back in a neat braid and her cool blue eyes like priceless saphirre
stones, were hidden behind a pair of sleek looking sunglasses that fitted her face

"Sure is hot today," the smaller woman squinted her eyes under the glare of
the bright sun, the cool can of soda pressed against her neck as she joined the
side of her friend. "Where are we heading to after this?"

"Home," Dena replied simply as she popped her can and guzzed down its
contents. She knew the blonde was watching her curiously but she pretended to be
oblivious. The feeling of the cool drink down her throat refreshed her under the
smouldering heat. She couldn't help but give a contented sigh. "Ahhhhhhh..."

Abby was silent for a beat before tilting her head to a side, her long
blonde locks tumbling down her shoulder. She raised her brows before echoing Dena.

Dena took a few seconds to enjoy the sensations of the chilled sweet liquid
in her warm mouth, moistening her heated tongue before answering Abby's question.
"We're going back to Pier's Chipshop."

Abby was stubborn. She frowned slightly, her small hands on her full, young
woman hips. "But why?"

Dena swirled round to face her friend. Abby wished she would take off those
dark shades. She longed to see those wonderous depths of blue, not her own
reflection in the dark mirrior.

"Because it's been a while now. Your folks must be worried," Dena explained,
looking down at her drink. She knew that explaination was crap but still.

"I could call them. There is no reason why we need to go back." Abby
insisted. She paused for a while, studying her friend. "Dena, is there something
you're not telling me?"

"Don't be silly now," Dena started, shaking her head.

Abby cut her off. "There is more to this huh?" She nodded to herself. "I
thought so. Dena, look- you can tell me."

They've been together for three weeks, visiting towns and helping the good.
Dena had impressed her with her courage. Like for instance, the time when she
wrestled a small child from the arms of a wild and deranged armed madman.
Abby had been so awestruck at her companion's bravo. In fact, so had everyone.

"All right," Dena scrowled a little as she crushed her empty can effortlessly
in her large hand. The mean look slowly dissolved and took on a kindly one that
hoped Abby understood. "I'll be meeting an old friend of mine. Things might get a
little... dangerous. I don't want anything nasty happening to you so I want you to
go to your parents. You'll be safe there."

Abby looked up. She swore she could have pictured Dena's pleading blues
behind those metallic shades. She looked away, chewing on her lower lip, deep in
thought. Finally, she concluded. "All right. But you'll pick me up from there
later, won't you? When you're done?"

"I promise," Dena allowed a slow smile to slide across her smooth face. "I'll
come back for you."


Somewhere in a classy hotel, located in an expensive part of the city, a
flustered man dressed smartly in a dark suit knocked on the door of a roomy
suite. A slight buldge under his jacket was a dead giveaway that he was armed.

Thor was a large man with a head full of thick dark hair. Under his
clothes was a gangster's body full of scars. Medals of good battles fought.
Thor wiped his sweat-beaded forehead hastily with the back of his sleeve as he
pounded on the door again. This time he was greeted by a voice which sounded
pist. Undoubtly in a bad mood caused by his interference.

"Who is it?" the shrill voice came out angrily.

"It's me, Thor," the man shuffled his feet nervously.

"What is it, you pig? Can't you tell that I'm busy?" the strong female voice
carried clear through the door, cutting him off from what he intended to say.

"But Boss, it's important!" Thor swallowed a gulp. He heard the voice curse
then a gush of cold wind from the chilly air-conditioning within as the door was
ferciously yanked open. A pissed woman, her long blonde hair uncombed, her angry
brown eyes flashing and her shapely toned body hastily swabbed by a white robe
greeted him at the door.

"What the fuck is it, Thor?" Keely spat out sorely at her man. "Make it
quick. I'm busy."

Looking past her shoulder, Thor could see a vampy hot looking redhead sitting
naked and provocatively on the wide spread bed. The sheets were messed up and
clothes were on the floor carpet. He gulped at his bad timing. He was in deep
shit now. He quickly focused unto his lady boss. "It's Ambers. She's out."

"She's out?" Keely Stone's harden face slowly evaporated and for a brief
moment, a sudden smile with affectionate eyes took its place. It lasted only for
a while before they hardened again with fury and she grabbed him by the collar
of his jacket.

"What do you mean she's out?" Keely demandeded, her dark eyes fixed onto
his. She yanked him into the room tossed him carelessly unto the bed. The vamp
sighed as she moved to another corner of the wide bed, a sexy pout on her full
lips as she used her lusty green eyes to entice Keely back to business. But
first things first.

"Well?" Keely demanded as she whipped a pistol out from nowhere and pressed
it to Thor's sweating temple. He felt his side then realised she'd swiped his gun
from him. He licked his lips nervously as she pressed the cold metal harder into
his skull. Keely dug it deeper, a sneer of glee showing on her face when she
saw his discomfort. A patch of bruise, its ugly dull green was already forming at
where she was applying the pressure. "She's not due till five more years. Why is
she out?"

"She behaved well in there... they let her out early for good behaviour,"
Thor spluttered as the pain from the pressure throbbed heavily in his head.

"Give me the details, honey. I WANT THE DETAILS," Keely told him as she
smiled affectionately at his pained face. He was wincing from the pain and the
patch of bruise had grown. It was getting darker by the second. She pushed it
harder until she heard him cry. The redhead on the bed moaned as she watched
them with interest, her eyes locked fondly unto Keely's cruelty.

"Our sources say Dena Ambers has been out... for almost a month now," Thor
croaked, his dark scared eyes pleading for her to let him go.

Keely picked up her metallic zippo, playing with it. It had her full name
finely engraved on its shiny surface. She brought it along with her everywhere,
even though she never smoked. She flipped it alight and watched the fire burn and
flicker. She could sit there staring at the flame for hours. It just held her,
intrigued her.

She stared into the orange flame, concentrating on its dance. Their sources
had almost always been reliable. She released the pressure a little. "Why did they
take a month?"

"Apparently she doused them. She came out of prison slick- dressed herself as
a man called Luther so our contacts couldn't spot her. Damned clever bitch," Thor
gasped, thankful for the slight release of pressure against his bruised temple. He
noticed the enticing woman on the bed again and he willed his eyes not to stray

"And we were going to give her such a warm welcome," Keely shook her head
disappointedly as she watched her zippo flame dancing erotically for her. They
meant to greet her release with a nice acid-attack.

"What are we gonna do, Boss?" Thor asked meekly as his eyes travelled up the
redhead's long, naked legs.

Keely abruptly shut her zippo, killing the flame instantly. A sparkle of
insanity lit her eyes briefly as she allowed herself a dreamy smile. "We're going
to give her a fine welcome."


"This is it," Dena told Abby as Argo purred to a pause some yards infront
of the familiar restaurant. "Pier's Chipshop."

"You going in?" Abby asked her friend as she hopped off the powerful
motorcycle. Part of her hated Dena for dumping her back at her parents' but
another bit had to agree with Dena.

"Don't think so," Dena told her softly as she lowered her shades, letting
Abby in full view of her gorgeous blues. Abby found herself mesmerised for a
moment, her mouth slightly agape. Dammit, she scolded when she caught herself.

"Uh, tell you what, I'll leave you my number so you can call," Abby suggested
as she hurriedly scribbled on a piece of her pocket-sized notepad. Abby always
carried that notepad and a pen along with her. She tore of the paper and passed
it to Dena who tucked it carefully into her pocket.

"I won't be long," Dena reassured her friend as she slipped her shades back
on. "Take care now."

"You too," Abby smiled as she touched her arm. Dena gave a nod and a small
smile before kicking Argo back into gear and riding away. Abby watched her as
she disappeared from view. Her heart felt heavy and she suddenly felt like crying
even though she din't know why. Why was she having these thoughts and feelings?

She carried her small bag with her and walked towards the familiar place.
She had spent most of her life there. Either behind the counter or mopping the
tiles till they sparkled clean. Stepping through the door, she could almost smell
the food being prepared in the kitchen.

She suddenly heard a loud exclaimation and her name being called. Abby
suddenly felt someone slam against her, engulfing her in a tight bearhug. She
smiled as tears formed in the corner of her eyes. She knew by the familiar scent
who it was. It was her sixteen year old sister Libby.

"You're home, oh God, you're finally home!" Libby cried into her shoulder
as they embraced for what seemed like forever.

"Yes I am," Abby smiled as she wiped away her younger sister's tears. "And
it is nice to have such a welcome. I missed you, Libby. You even cut your hair!"

"C'mon, Mom and Dad are in the kitchen," Libby grinned as she pulled her
along. "You've got to see them. Mom was worried sick."

Abby felt a tad embrassed by the stares the few customers were giving them
but followed her sister in anyway. They pushed open the swinging doors of the
steamy kitchen and ventured in.

Mrs Piers was cutting some tomatoes when the two sisters walked in. She
paused at Abby then it finally registered. "My God! Abby! Baby!" She ran and
engulfed her eldest child in a big protective mother-hug.

"Oh Mom," Abby smiled as she returned the hug. "Where's Dad?"

A gruff voice at the fryer answered her. Mr Piers was a gruff man, slight
in frame with hair greying at the temples. His wife was quite the opposite. Jolly
and slightly plump, her long hair was as dark as night.

"Abby, honey, where have you been?" Mrs Piers asked.

"What is this about you running away with some man?" Mr Piers questioned, his
frown heavy and the lines on his face deep. "Abby?"

"Sis did call home twice," Libby said defensively as she took her sister's
arm in hers. "And it isn't like that, Dad."

"Rubbish," Mr Piers silenced his daughter. "I bet he dumped her and that's
why she came back. I won't have any daughter of mine running back home with a
swollen tummy." He squinted at her suspiciously. "You're not pregnant are you?"

"Dad!" Libby opened her mouth, shell-shocked at his attitude.

"No I'm not, Dad," Abby answered, keeping her cool. She was regreting coming
back already. "And I'm not with some man... her name's Dena."

Abby saw Libby's eyebrows shoot up. I'll tell you about it later, Abby
promised her sister with her eyes. "We've been travelling... and fighting for the
greater good."

Mr Piers spat out. "Don't give me that shit! What crap is that? 'Fighting for
the greater good'?" He shook his head bitterly, his face sour and disbelieveing.
"I won't have it."

"George," Mrs Piers softly chided her husband. But he had always been the
dominator, she herself the submiser. She knew she had no say in this.

"It's the truth," Abby gritted her teeth, both hands clutched on the handle
of her bag. she was missing Dena already. She willed the hot tears forming not
to spill right now.

"C'mon," Libby said suddenly, pulling her out of the hot kitchen.

"We're not finished yet, young lady!" Mr Piers called out but the doors shut
disobediently against him.

They went upstairs, to the room they had shared since they were kids. It
was a cramp bedroom with two beds. Libby's posters wallpapered the plastered walls
and a polaroid snapshot of the two of them was stuck onto the mirror they shared.
In their safe retreat, Abby allowed her tears to fall.

"It's all right, Abby," Libby comforted her sister as she put her arm around
her shoulders. "You can tell me. I'm not like Dad."

"Remember Luther?" Abby said as she looked at her sister with damp eyes.
"The guy who came in the last time?"

"'Course I do," Libby smiled. "I wouldn't forget."

"Well, Luther's actually a woman," Abby smiled as she gave a tiny chuckle.

"No way," Libby stared, her eyes large and mouth wide open. "The way he
punched up those men? He can't be one."

"Oh believe me, 'he' is," Abby smiled as she dried away her tears. "We've
been travelling together. 'Luther' has periods."

Libby stared back at her sister, amusement in her wide eyes. Then she giggled
and Abby joined her. She shook her head, wiping away tears of laughter. "Wow...
who would've know?" Abby just grinned.

"This is just a visit, Libby," Abby told her sister when the fit of giggles
died. "I'll be leaving once Dena comes for me."

"Dena? That's her name?" Libby looked at her sister. "As in like Dena Ambers
of ex-mafia aide fame? Wow, you sure don't get to know much people named 'Dena'

"Yeah, exactly like that one," Abby grinned.

"You're not telling me SHE's Dena AMBERS are you?" Libby froze. "Tell me that
you're pulling my leg."

"She is," Abby smiled. "But she isn't like what they say. Dena's been great
to me. Travelling with her has been an experience... something I felt I wanted so
much. I know I was destined for things greater than frying patties."

"What do you do with her?" Libby asked awkardly.

"We've saved innocent lives, helped the good against the bad... basically
fighting for the greater good," Abby smiled.

"Dad said that's crap," Libby frowned.

"It isn't. It's my destiny." Abby gave her sister's hand a warm squeeze.


[at the dimly lit Noah's Pub...]

"Herb, great to see you again," Dena smiled as she gave her buddy Herb
Coules, special FBI agent, a firm handshake. Herb returned the shake warmly, with
equal sincerity and enthuasism.

"It's been awhile, Dena," Herb smiled. He was a large man, with a well-toned
oiled machine beneathe the expensive suits he wore. He wore his blonde hair long
and layered, to his strong tanned jawline.

"Who's your friend?" Dena nodded towards the shorter, rounder man in a ratty
business suit beside him. She thought him to be some sort of salesman. He gave
her a quick earnest-looking grin which told her right away that he was afraid of

"Dena, meet Sal... he sells," Herb chuckled at the pun.

"Pleasure," Dena smiled as she shook his hand firmly. The businessman winced
under the pressure. They all settled down at their table and Herb called for the

"Well, here's my name card," Sal passed the smart-looking white card to her.
"I sell, I peddle. If you ever need anything, don't hesitate to give me a tinkle.
We deliver fast too."

"I'll keep that in mind," Dena drawled lazily as she pocketed the card. Sal
just sat there, grinning like a fat Chesire cat.

"So how's life been for you, Herb? Still with your partner Irwin?" Dena
teased after the waitress came with their beer.

"Life's been the same... and it's is *Irving*," Herb replied good-naturedly.
"...still battling the dark forces and aiding the needy good."

Sal cleared his throat suddenly. "Uh, Herb?"

"Wha-- oh yes, sorry Sal, forgot about it there," Herb apologised as he put
down his heavy mug of beer. "Dena, Sal our salesman has somethings he wants you
to have-"

"...for a small, almost nominal fee," Sal grinned at her as he expertly
popped open his briefcase with jaded ease. He took out a few sheets of paper.
Printed on them were pictures of impressive sophisicated weapons.

Dena cocked an eyebrow. "What do I need these for?"

"Since you've joined our side, you might find things easier if you had one
of these," Herb shrugged as he downed more beer. "You'll need more than just a
gun to stand up against the mafia and his gang."

"You've got a point," Dena said sourly. She of all people ought to know it.
She had been with the Mafia before. But that was the past now. She had a new
life instored for her now. And she wasn't about to blow it.

"So may I present to you... the chakram-glove," Sal said on cue. "He ruffled
through his pile of papers before pushing a detailed picture of it in her face.

"You fit the 'glove' like a braclet around your lower arm so it's hidden
under your sleeve. There are three magnetic premium metallic discs attached. Upon
command, they will shoot out and hit target. A hundred percent accuracy. Man, they
are lethal things, those babies."

"Uh-huh," Dena nodded listlessly. She wasn't one for shopping but these things
did sound interesting.

"Or check out our new and improved cleavage-boot dagger instead," Sal pushed
more papers eagerly into her face.

Dena grimmaced. At this rate, give him ten minutes and he'd be pushing her
to purchase a metal breastplate. What the hell. "Tell you what buddy, I'll get
that chakram."

"It's called a chakram-glove," Sal told her, his wide face all smiles as he
stuffed his paperwork inside his briefcase.

"Whatever. " Dena shrugged.

"This is for you," Herb said suddenly, as he passed her a gold card with
her name on it. "Compliments from the Agency. It grants you unlimited cash so
you'll never get a cash-flow problem. For business ...and pleasure."

"Thank you Herb, that's very kind of you," Dena grinned as she accepted the
handy piece of plastic. It would more than come in handy.

"You're very welcomed," Herb told her as he finished his beer. "Thank you
for your services, Agent Ambers."

"So anyway, I will have your order ready within 24 hours." Sal told her.
"Will you pay by cash or check?"

Dena smiled coyly, an exquisite eyebrow raised as she waved the piece of
plastic. "Card."


[at the Mafia's office...]

Keely flung the heavy oak door open, making her way boldly into the spacious
office, her eyes bright and glittering. She stopped infront of the wide desk before
her. "Ambers is out."

The Mafia had his back facing her. He was reclined on his big chair,
calming smoking an expensive Cuban cigar. The room was still and Keely could
hear her own excited breathing. She leaned forward and rudely thumped her hand
on his desk irritatedly. "Did you hear me? I just said that-"

"Ambers is out," the Mafia said suddenly as he turned around to face her.
Keely watched intriguedly as the end of his stogie lit a brillant orange glow
when the dark brooding man puffed on it. "I know, I heard you."

"You seem quite cool about it," Keely retorted as the Mafia removed the dry
piece from his lips and stared up at her. He was handsome , in the dangerous and
rugged sort of way. He wore his dark hair long and stylish and sported a Satanic
looking goatee beard on his strong chin. He was well-built with nicely toned
muscles buldging against the fabric of his expensive branded clothing.

"What is it you want, Keely?" the Mafia questioned as he replaced his Cuban
smoking stick, his heavy gaze fixed on her. She was dressed in a tight black
leather top which exposed her bare shoulders and showed off her proud bossom. She
had on black slinky pants that seemed stray painted onto her long slender legs.
She had on black knee-high boots to go along with the outfit. Her beautiful fair
hair casaded down perfectly, framing her face.

"I want her," Keely whispered huskily, locking her deep brown eyes unto his.
"So don't you do anything to her. Let me handle Ambers myself."

"She made you, ...if you remember," the Mafia raised his thick eyebrows
mockingly. He'd interpreted it that she wanted to kill her. "Shouldn't you give
her credit for that?"

Keely leaned towards him, her face barely inches away from his. "What I'm
saying is that I've got plans for her."

"I've got plans for her too," the Mafia grunted. Keely could feel the heat
from the glowing end inches away from her skin. "I'm not gonna let you mess
things up. Don't be foolish, Stone."

"We'll see about that," Keely sneered before leaving the room, slamming the
heavy oak door behind her. The Mafia narrowed his eyes as he watched her leave,
grittin his teeth against his cigar. When she was gone, he reclined in his chair
and pulled out his top drawer. He pulled out a picture of the ex-gangster Dena
had been.

"I've missed you, Dena," He whispered as he stared into her sky blue eyes.


[back to Abby...]

When Abby came down for dinner, she was pleased to see Peter there. She
grinned and rushed towards him. He already had his arms apread out. "Peter!"

"Abby, boy is it great to see you again," Peter gushed. His face was
flushed with eager happiness. "I missed you so much and we were all so worried!"

"Well actually, I'll only be here for a-"

"Abby!" Mr Piers called out suddenly from behind, cutting her short of her
sentence. "I've been looking for you. Well, now since the three of us are
together, shouldn't we discuss about your wedding?"

"Sure!" Peter grinned widely as he placed his arm around her shoulders.

"W-w-wedding?" Abby croaked. What wedding? She isn't going to have one anytime
soon. No way. Then what about Dena?

"You are marrying Peter," Mr Piers said matter-of-factly. Abby meant to argue
but he silenced her with his strong glare. "So, now, shall we proceed? I've spoken
to Bob, the minister at the church..." Bob, Abby remembered, was her Dad's drunk
buddy who was a poker regular and always dressing in flashy Hawaiian shirts.

Abby cursed as her father droned on and on. It shouldn't be this way. She
didn't love Peter the way married people should feel towards one another. She
didn't have that affection for him. Unconsciously, her mind drifted towards Dena...


"It's a beauty," Dena grinned as she fitted the new toy snugly up her arm.
Sal had the chakram ready in less than a day and she was trying it on already.

"You could test it," Sal grinned at his customer's satisfaction.

"Right, I will," Dena nodded. She looked around Sal's crampy hotel room.
Then, without warning, she let it loose and a small metallic disc about one and
a half inches in diameter flew out at top speed.

Dena watched anticipatingly while Sal hit the floor for cover as it bounced
off plastered walls before slicing off the mouth of the Pierrier glass bottle set
she'd set on the table. It then travelled obidently back with a slight "whoosh".

"All clear Sal," Dena chuckled as the little man sat up from his crouched
position on the floor. She picked up the freshly opened Pierrier bottle and drank
from it. The chakram had made a clean cut through the glass so her lips wouldn't
get cut from the sharp edges. "This baby is remarkable."

"Yes, yes it is," Sal nodded as he adjusted his crooked tie after wiping
the sweat off his damp forehead.

"Well, I'll be going then," Dena slapped him on the back as she took her
jacket. "See you around."

As she headed out of the door, she checked the time. Time to call her.


Abby frowned as she sat in the middle of the discussion. She held her head
in her hands as the men spoke. Dinner was being prepared in the kitchen and she
heard a dull ringing in her aching head.

"Phone for you, Abby," her mother called out suddenly from the kitchen.

Abby's head jerked up suddenly. Could it be her? "I'll get it in my room,
give me a sec." She pulled out of her chair and raced back upstairs to the
privacy of her bedroom. She picked up the phone, relishing the feeling of her
rapidly thumping heart against her breast.

She spoke tentatively into the phone. "Hello?"

"Hey, it's me," a familiar husky voice said over the other line. "How's

"Dena?" Abby whispered into the phone, her free hand unconsciously gripping
the cord of the phone. "Is that you?"

"Yeah, it's me," Abby could picture her friend smile warmly at the other end
of the line. One of those gushing warm smiles that could be so infectious that they
found their way to her face whenever she bothered to smile.

"Dena, boy am I so glad to hear you!" Abby's voice wobbled with emotion.
She found warm tears forming in her eyes, blurring her vision like a mist. She
trembled again. "Oh Dena..."

"Abby, what's wrong?" Dena's voice was wrought with concern. "Are you okay?"

Abby shook her head, her green emeralds shiny with tears. "No, I'm not okay
Dena. I... I miss you."

Dena was silent for a brief moment and Abby was afraid she'd lost her. She
then suddenly cleared her throat. "Uhm Abby, if you're free, maybe you could take
the bus and meet me? I'll be at the Starbucks at Finley's Avenue. I'll meet you

"Now?" Abby whispered into the phone. She glanced at her wrist-watch. It was
nearly seven. What the heck, she'll meet her. She's been dying to see her anyway.
She HAD to see her. "All right... I'll see you there Dena." She hung up.

She picked up her sweater and purse before heading out of the door. She
clambered down the old stairs. "I'm not staying for dinner. I'm meeting a friend.
See you guys later."

She hardly cared when she breezed out of the place, her shocked family
behind her. She'd had too much from them already. She wanted to see Dena again.
She wanted to be with her. But why she had no idea. What she knew was that
every part of her being was telling her to.


Dena gave out a long exhale after ending her chat with Abby on her new
cellphone. She was just outside Sal's crummy hotel located some distance away from
Finley's Avenue. It would be a ten minute bus ride for Abby and a twenty minute
ride for Dena.

Striding over Argo with familiar ease, Dena tucked the small black mobile
phone inside her back pocket before kicking into gear. She couldn't wait to see
Abby. Something had upset her. And she had to find out what was wrong.

As Dena rode away, three heavy-duty motorcycles came into view. There were
two men armed, on each machine and they followed Dena's trail like a pack of
hounds after a rabbit.


During the bus ride, Abby sat quietly by herself and thought things through.
She hated her father for being so over-domineering. He was making decisions for
her. And she wasn't a kid anymore. She wasn't prepared to marry Peter. Not yet

She knew she loved being with Dena. Those three weeks had been the high
points of her life. Being so close to danger, yet the excitment and happiness it
brought afterwards was worth it all. One thing she was sure of right now was
that Dena made her happy and she liked her company.

Abby thought back about the time where she had ran out after Dena in the
restaurant after being so impressed by her bravo as Luther the mysterious handsome
hero, beating those trouble-kicking bastards to a pulp. Then how they met at
Paolo's and her misadventures with Cyclopses there. It had all been so beautiful.
She was beautiful.

"Shit, not again," Abby shut her eyes. What the hell was wrong with her?
There was something from Dena she craved. If only she were a man...


Dena was going down three blocks when she realised she was being followed by
six buff men armed on three Harleys. She squinted into the rearview mirror closely.
Undoubtly Keely Stone's people. They probably learnt that she was out. Damn.

The Harleys were behind her in close range now. In the corner of her eye,
she noticed the pillion rider of the bike closest to hers whip out a mean
looking gun.

"Shit," Dena cursed as she increased speed. Argo roared loudly and shot up
ahead. The three Harleys behind her followed stubbornly behind, determined and

Looking behind her, Dena saw the thug attempt to take aim. She made a
sudden left turn and narrowly missed his bullet. The metal slug hit the windscreen
of a parked car and the glass shattered into a million pieces. Dena drove on.

The first Harley was catching up on her now. Dena frowned as she saw the
pillion rider take aim again. This time he missed and hit the road. But she might
not be lucky the next time, Dena realised.

The four of them were travelling at top speed, the situation tense and
dangerous. Dena turned her head back from behind just in time to see a car
infront of her. Lifting Argo up with whatever strength she had, she somehow
managed to lift the both of them up the vehicle and ride down it, bumping down
to the road and speeding off again. The Harley behind was too slow to react to
the sudden situation and promptly crashed into the car. One down, two to go.

Dena speeded down the lane, her stomach still churning from heavy pumping
andrenaline. She still had four more bastards on her trail. She glanced at her
watch. She was going to be late.

They were shooting at her again, she realised, when she heard the sounds of
their guns and the metal slugs hitting the road, inches away from Argo's tyres.
She suddenly felt a bullet hit her, right smack on her right butt. She grimmaced
at the impact but keep her focus. She increased speed, her brow wet and frowning.
Then she saw the huge container truck moving in suddenly infront of her.

"Shit!" Dena swore as she gave Argo a sudden, abrupt turn to the right,
barely missing the side of the heavy vehicle by centimeters. The second Harley,
closest to her promptly crashed headlong into the container truck, the brains of
the two men spilling unto the dusty road.

Wiping the cold sweat from her flushed face on the back of her hand, Dena
willed herself to focus on the road again. She checked her rear-view mirror and
saw the last Harley. She shook her head and grunted. "Don't they ever learn?"

She decided to use her new toy. Might as well put it to good use. She
unleased her baby promptly and two blade-like discs whizzed out. Riding forward,
Dena watched from the mirror as they hit the rubber tires of the speeding Harley,
ripping open the thick tires as if they were like balloons. The heavy machine
skided badly and Dena was sure they didn't have a clue how or why. The two discs
flew back obediently to their places and Dena watched the men fall.

"They did come in handy afterall," Dena smiled as she headed towards Finley's
Avenue. She was already fifteen minutes late.


"Where is she?" Abby fumed as she sat at her table, stirring her drink.
Her tummy gave an embrassingly loud rumble suddenly, as if attempting to answer
her last question. Abby tossed her blonde hair and checked her watch. Dena was
never late. Something must be up.

She dropped some money on the table before hurrying out to give her friend
a call at the phonebooth. At least she had her new cellphone number. Abby dialled
but recieved no reply. Strange.

Abby hung up dejectedly, her stomach calling out for food. It was late. She
was about to walk back to Starbucks to give it a final try when she heard the
familiar faint rumble of the engine she knew so well. she paused and cocked her
ear to one side. "Dena?"

She jogged towards the sound and saw her friend getting off her bike. Dena
looked slightly dishievlled, her hair damp and skin wet with sweat. Her breathing
was a little heavy and her movement a little staggered.

"Dena!" Abby called out as she went up to her friend. She placed her hands
delicatedly on the sides of Dena's cool face, her eyes revealing concern. "Dena,
are you okay?"

"I'm fine," Dena assured her as she gently removed her small hands. "Sorry
about being late. I got caught up in a jam."

"I called your cellphone but you didn't answer," Abby took back her hands
and placed them against her stomach, willing it not to growl anytime soon.

"My cellphone huh?" Dena winced a little as she took the small black object
from her back pocket. She produced it infront of her and Abby uttered a gasp.

There was a gaping hole in it that could only be made by a travelling
bullet. The black phone had the hole right in the middle of it and the sides
had long cracks and the numberpad completely destroyed. It was definately beyond
use. Dena tossed it to one side, her voice cool and steady. "It saved me from
a bullet."

"My God... you were shot at?" Abby touched her friend's arm, her eyes
wide in shock. "Dena, are you all right? Should we go find a doctor?"

"I'm all right, Abby," Dena smiled as she gave her friend a reassuring
squeeze. "Just a slight bruise on the butt where the bullet hit the phone, that's

Abby was about to speak again when her stomach grumbled. Dena grinned.

"Something tells me you're hungry. C'mon, it's my treat," Dena gave her
famished companion a brief smile before ushering her into the restaurant.


"So you tackled them all single-handedly," Abby breathed as she stuffed food
in her mouth. "Wow! That's a story to write... I bet-"

"Abby, slow down," Dena smiled from her plate. "At the rate you're going, you
might just choke on your food."

As if on cue, Abby swallowed wrong and started choking. Dena hurriedly gave
her a few thumps on the back. Abby started spluttering out, coughing.

"Are you all right?" Dena asked. Abby nodded briefly before reaching out for
the water. She couldn't help but notice the I-told-you-so look on her friend's face.

"I'm all right, dammit," Abby coughed one last time before replacing her
glass of water.

"Really?" Dena lifted an eyebrow. "Then why were you crying over the phone?"

Abby swallowed at studied the contents on her plate. She pushed the green
peas around with her fork. She could feel Dena's gaze on her. She sighed. "Yeah,
I'm not totally okay."

"What's wrong?," Dena said kindly. Abby looked at her. She was right. There
was a bond they shared. A special one which she didn't know how to explain.

"It's... them," Abby began. "My father, he's forcing me to marry Peter." Dena
expected more and waited. But it never came.

Dena cleared her throat. "Do you love him?"

"I do," Abby nodded. "...but only as my friend. I can't-"

"Abby," Dena pushed away her plate and gazed into her young friend's green
oceans. "...listen to me. Your life's your own's. Don't let anybody, no one, decide
things for you. Your old man will go one day and then what? This is your life-
you call your own shots. Don't let him push you around."

"It's hard," Abby whispered as she felt her eyeballs moisten and warm up.
"You won't understand. My father... he's a goddamned--"

"...jerk," Dena finished for her.

"Yeah," Abby stared at her friend, dumbfounded. "how did you know?"

"I just... know," Dena shrugged nonchantly. Most men were bastards in their own
sickening ways anyway.

"How?" Abby enquired. "Was your Dad like that too?"

"Nah, never really knew him," Dena replied quickly as she relished her coffee.
"He left us when I was young. Hardly know the man."

"But Dena, thanks for listening," Abby smiled warmly and her sunshine touched
Dena. She squeezed her hand. "I'm lucky to be your friend."

"Pleasure's all mine, Abby," Dena smiled.

Above them, Celine Dion's crystal voice rang clearly via the speakers. Abby
reconigsed it as one of her personal favourites. It was a French one called Pour
Que Tu M'Aimes Encore.

"J'ai compris tous les mots, j'ai bien compris, merci
Rasionnable et nouveau, c'est ainsi par ici
Que les choses ont changé, que les fleurs ont fané
Que le temps d'avant, c'était le temps davant
Que si tout zappe et lasse, les amours aussi passent

Il faut que tu saches
J'irai chercher ton coeur si tu l'emportes ailleurs
Même si dans tes danses d'autres dansent tes heures
J'irai chercher ton âme dans les froids dans les flammes
Je te jetterai des sorts pour que tu m'aimes encore

Fallait pas commencer m'attirer me toucher
Fallait pas tant donner moi je sais pas jouer
On me dit qu'aujourd'hui, on me dit que les autres font ainsi
Je ne suis pas les autres
Avant que l'on s'attache, avant que l'on se gâche."

Abby smiled as she sang along softly, an unconscious smile playing on her
soft, pink lips as she pushed her peas around her plate with her silver fork.
Dena looked on at her, a fond amused expression on her tanned face.

"Je veux que tu saches
J'irai chercher ton coeur si tu l'emportes ailleurs
Même si dans tes danses d'autres dansent tes heures
J'irai chercher ton âme dans les froids dans les flammes
Je te jetterai des sorts pour que tu m'aimes encore

Je trouverai des langages pour chanter tes louanges
Je ferai nos bagages pour d'infinies vendanges
Les formules magiques des marabouts d'afrique
J'les dirai sans remords pour que tu m'aimes encore

Je m'inventerai reine pour que tu me retiennes
Je me ferai nouvelle pour que le feu reprenne
Je deviendrai ces autres qui te donnent du plaisir
Vos jeux seront les nôtres si tel est ton desir
Plus brillante plus belle pour une autre étincelle
Je me changerai en or pour que tu m'aimes encore."

Abby sighed as the beautiful music died away. She suddenly noticed Dena
looking at her, a smile on her lips. She cleared her throat, embrassed. "Sorry."

"For?" Dena asked amusedly as she forked a piece of her steak and brought
it to her mouth. "I think you sang rather well."

"It's one of my personal favourites," Abby told her bashfully.

"You've got a gift of gab... French wasn't exactly my forte," Dena told her.
She suddenly dipped her hand under her leather jacket and pulled something out.
Her hand went past the concealed breast dagger and brought out a slim package
wrapped in a small black plastic bag. "Which reminds me, I got you a little

Abby rubbed her hands ruefully, like a child about to open her Christmas
present. She took the gift from Dena, their warm hands brushing slightly during
the exchange. She grinned as she unwrapped the plastic. "What is it?"

"Open it and you will see," Dena advised wisely as she sat back to watch.
The blonde girl was beautiful, she decided. The way those bangs fell over her
green eyes... with those luscious thick lashes. And the way her smile or laughter
managed to melt her insides...

"Curious Wine, a novel by Katherine V. Forrest?" Abby smiled as she flipped
through the slim paperback. "'s a lesbian novel?"

"One of the finest," Dena declared, glad that her friend appreciated the gift
she'd gotten hours at the Borders bookshop before meeting Sal. "I trust you haven't
read it?"

Abby tossed her head, signalling a 'no' as she replaced Katherine V. Forrest's
novel back into the plastic. "But I'm pretty sure I'll love it."

"It certainly is one of my personal favourites," Dena confessed as she picked
up her glass of water. "Let me know how you find it when you're done."

Abby grinned and brushed her long fringe away from her eyes. "Absolutely."


The night ended so quickly, Abby could hardly believe. It was almost eleven
when they reached her place. Abby felt a twinge of regret as she hopped off
Argo. "Won't you even come in?"

"'Fraid not," Dena apologised. "I've got some important issues to attend to."

Abby remembered the wrecked cellphone and nodded seriously. She looked at her
friend, taking in her striking jawline and awesome blue eyes in the dim light. She
felt a strong urge to kiss her. Should she?

"If there's nothing else, I think we both better get going... it's late.
Don't want your folks getting worried," Dena told her.

"Yeah, it's late," Abby stepped backwards. She looked at her shoes before
looking back at the enticing figure on the heavy machine. "Goodnight Dena... and
please be careful."

She headed towards her door, her soul tearing apart. Half of her was
screaming at her for not kissing her. The other half was glad she didn't.

"Abby, wait," Dena called out suddenly, causing Abby's heart to freeze. She
turned around and looked expectantly at her friend. Dena seemed to want to say
something. "I... I'll call ya as soon as I can. Meantime, you take care."

"I gotcha," Abby smiled as she waved, the slim paperback held cherishly in
her small hand.

"I'll see you then," Dena gunned the engine before roaring off into the

"Yeah," Abby whispered to no one in particular before entering her house.
"I'll see you."


Dena cursed herself as she rode through the night, the night wind breezing
through her long dark hair. Why hadn't she told Abby? Why didn't she say it out?
Why couldn't she tell the girl how much she liked her? Why?

"Ambers, you are fucked," she scolded herself. Damned. She liked the kid so
much, it was driving her crazy. But thing was... did she feel the same way too?

She was just pondering about that when she haulled Argo to a sudden,
screeching stop. A familiar black sedan pulled up infront of her and three men
in smart suites, obviously armed stepped out of it. It was only then that another
figure, a beautiful woman dressed in leather stepped out from the back.

Dena scrowled as she narrowed her eyes. "Keely."

"It's been awhile, Dena," Keely Stone purred seductively, eyeing her with
affection in her insane hazel eyes. "I've missed you."

"That is crap shit and you know that," Dena informed her from her bike,
the chilly evening wind blowing through her dark mane of hair. "What is it you

Keely Stone grinned and her insane hazel eyes lit up. "You."

The lanky blonde stepped back and almost immediately, the three men went up
towards Dena, mean masks on their cruel faces. Dena wasted no time. She leapt off
Argo and slammed the heel of her boot into the stomach of one guy, sending him
reeling to the floor.

She did a graceful spinkick at her other attacker and got him where she
wanted- in the chin. He fell down slack. His partner lunged for her but Dena
ducked and he crashed into a heap over his two beaten partners.

"C'mon," Dena jeered. "Is that all you can do? Give me a REAL workout!" She
danced around them, her fists cletched and ready for action.

The three men clambered up unsteadily, encircling her with their fists balled
up before them. Dena smiled, an eyebrow raised as she expected action. Keely was
resting cooly against the car, watching them, especially Dena, with arousing interest.
She flipped open her zippo again, playing with its flame. The orange glow from the
small fire lit up her face, giving an insane and dangerous effect.

"C'mon boys," Dena coaxed, urging them to hit her. She smiled mockingly. "Hit
me with your best shot."

Two of them came charging full-force at her from opposite directions. She
leapt out of the way, just in time as they knocked against each other. She made
use of their daze to swing upon them so she knocked the other guy out cold with
her full weight. All three toppled down and Dena wasn't even the least bit

"Is that all you've got?" Dena sneered as she brushed her hands together,
looking disgustedly over at the useless trio in a heap. She heard hastily
poundering footsteps of someone running towards her from behind. She swirled around.
It was Thor.

"Yaaaah!" Thor hollered as he ran towards her with a fist raised. Before he
could even land the first blow, he felt a sharp right hook which drew blood on
his face. Dena had hit him before he'd even managed to throw the first punch.

"You again, Thor?" Dena grunted as she ran her strong elbow against his ribs.
He yelped and stumbled back. Dena advanced. She kicked him square in his
unprotected family jewels and he stumbled forwards, forcing his legs together and
gripping the area in raw agony and pain.

She gave him a strong blow on the back of his bent neck, using her body
weight and he fell down unconscious. She kicked him in the ribs and he emitted
a low groan but never stood up. Dena hissed at him. "Useless fool."

She suddenly heard a smart click of a revolver and swerved around to meet
Keely. She was pointing the gun at her while her left hand held her zippo.

"You going to shoot me?" Dena asked as she looked straight at Keely.

"Maybe," she gave her a short reply as her left hand played with the small

"What is it that you want, Keely?" Dena gruffily repeated, weary from the

"Like I said, it's-"

Keely didn't have the time to say what she meant to say. A sharp slice of
pain hit the hand carrying the gun and she dropped it on the ground as she
knelt, reeling in agonsing pain. she looked back at Dena, furiously. She could've
sworn she saw something fly towards her. She glanced at her right hand. It was
gushing with blood. The straight wound was cut deep and she could see her meat
and bone.

"Oooohh...," Keely breathed out in pain as she held her wounded hand in the
other, trying her best to stand. She tried to repress a smile at the searing
pain. She was such a masochistic sadist. She looked up at Dena with lustful eyes,
aroused by pain. Her breathing eccelarated as she stared hard at the vision before
her. Dena Ambers. Those piercing blue eyes, the strong jawline, the broad shoulders,
firm big breasts swelling proudly against a tight black tank top... Keely gritted
her teeth and smiled as the throbbing pain from her destroyed right hand reached
her brain.

"Have fun, Keely," Dena said coldly as she turned to her bike. "Don't stay
out too late."

"Fuck you, Dena," Keely swore, but her glazed eyes made passionate, furious
love to the stunning woman before her.

"Oh, and one more thing Keely," Dena told her familiar nemesis as she
stradled Argo. She nodded to the tyre beside the floored woman. "Your car's got
a puncture."

Keely looked at the wheel and narrowed her eyes. It was cut flat. It had
sunk so much, there was hardly much air left in it. With her hand like that,
she couldn't possibly change the wheel even if there was a spare in the boot.

She realised all her men were down, leaving her like this. She was losing
blood and if she didn't get help soon, they just might have to amputate her hand
off. She turned a pleading face with deep brown puppy dog eyes to Dena. "You
can't just leave me here."

"See you around Stone," Dena gave a bitter smirk before roaring off into
the night, leaving her blonde nemesis screaming into the night.


Abby woke up the next morning feeling worn like a pair of old socks. She
didn't sleep very well last night. Her bed was too comfortable and soft. She
missed the hard backing of outside living.

"You're awake," Libby smiled as Abby sat up in bed and rubbed her eyes.
"Dad's downstairs with Peter. They've been meaning to talk to you. Where have you
been last night?"

Abby groaned as she plodded over to the tiny bathroom to brush her teeth.
She felt worse than worn, old socks. She felt terrible all over. After dressing,
Abby went downstairs. By then, it was almost noon.

"Abby honey," Peter greeted her as she pulled a chair to join them. "Slept

"No," Abby replied grumpily as she rubbed her eyes again.

Peter didn't seem to hear it. He chuckled. "Your Dad's been planning our
wedding. Tell her, Uncle George. She'd be pleased to know, won't you, Abby?"

"My buddy Bob, who's the goddamned minister of the church down the street
has agreed to marry the two of you lovebirds off... thursday afternoon," Mr Piers
said heartily, his ruddy face looking pleased as punch.

"Thursday? That's next week!" Abby started.

"Uh honey, what your father meant was tomorrow," Peter explained patiently,
earnestly patting her hand.

"Tomorrow?" Abby stood up abruptly. "What?"

"The sooner, the better," Mr Piers stuck to his guns.

"But what about the wedding dress, and the cake and the invitations?" Abby
went on frantically. Gods, no, they had to be joking.

"Heck with 'em," Mr Piers waved it off. "You can use your Mom's wedding
dress. Peter can use mine. They're all in the attic upstairs."

"Peter?" Abby raised her eyebrows. She meant to ask if he was all right about
it. And she realised he was. Gods, no! She moaned inwardly. She had to contact
Dena but how?


"I shot her all right," Dena told Herb and his gay partner over drinks at
their lavishly decorated home. Irving had a small interior design company in which
he was boss. Dena was quite impressed at his work.

"Did you kill her?" Irving asked Dena as he refilled her wine glass. He was
a short man but despite his lack of height, he possessed a fine body. His face
was kindly and Dena could tell he was a sunny person who smiled alot. No wonder
he was so important in Herb's life.

"It's not her style," Herb shook a finger at Dena as he affectionately
ruffled his partner's blonde locks. "My guess is that she just shot to wound. Am
I right, Dena?"

"Absoultely," Dena grinned as she toasted to him.

"It was just as I figured... Keely Stone would be after you," Herb sighed
as he downed his whiskey, a buff arm swung comfortably across his lover's shoulders.

Dena stared down at her drink, swirling it against the glass. "I expected
it, really. After what I did to her?... I created her."

"The fire at the Stone's hardware store was not your fault," Herb reminded
her again. "Quit blaming yourself. You didn't mean for it to happen."

"But it did," Dena replied surly, her cold blue eyes concentrated on her
drink. "And there are things that can never change, Herb. Even if I did time for

"You can make up for it," Irving offered, as he adjusted his glasses. He
smiled broadly. "The scars will always be there but you can, to a certain extent,
ease the guilt."

"Well said, Irving," Herb said fondly as he smiled at him.

"Well, yeah, thanks," Dena gave a smile as she toasted him. It wouldn't be
easy but it was worth a shot. If he only knew the guilt she had. And the blood
on her hands.


"What do you mean that's all you can do?" Keely screamed unmercifully into
the ear of the doctor. She grabbed him by his flabby neck with her good hand.
"I'm paying you good money and you're tell me you are sorry?"

The unfortuneate man trembled, his flabby cheeks vibrating as he shook his
head. "Your nerves have been completely servered... you just came too late. There's
nothing I can do about it... If only you'd arrived earlier... it wouldn't have to
be amputated."

Keely screamed as she hit him hard on the side of his face. It drew warm
blood across the hapless man's face. She was mad. Furious. Her right hand was gone
and now all that was left was a bandaged stump. She might have lost quite a bit
of blood but she was on a roll now.

"The Organisation is paying you good money, doctor," Keely cooed dangerously
into the frightened man's ear as he fumbled with his thick glasses. "I don't care
how you do it but I want my hand BACK."

"Miss Stone... ," he pleaded meekly, shrinking away when she raised her
left hand to hit him. "Please... give me some time and let me see what I can do."

Keely narrowed her eyes then slowly lowered her hand. "All right I'll give
you three days. That's all you've got. Otherwise..." She gave him a sudden upper-
fist in the gut and he doubled over in pain and shock. She smiled at him sweetly.
" don't want to know, doctor."

She calmly left his office, her toned arms swaying by her sides. All would
have been complete if only her right hand still existed. All that was left now,
was a stump, cut off at the wrist and swabbed in white bandage.


"Your cooking's great, Irving," Dena grinned as she pushed away her empty
plate. Herb's partner was a fantastic cook. Something she knew she would never be.

"Thank you," Irving smiled before picking up the plates and heading to the

"I'll join you in a minute, honey," Herb told his partner who was going to
do the dishes.

"You are one lucky man," Dena remarked as she played with a toothpick. "I'm
sure he feeds you well."

Herb smiled broadly. It was true. "What about you Dena? Anyone speacial in
your life currently?"

Abby. Dena shrugged non-commitedly, mindless tossing the toothpick aside. "Nahh,
not really."

The FBI agent raised his eyebrows. He knew better. "Really?"

"I'd love to talk to you all day, but," Dena pulled out from her chair.
"I'll have to get going soon. You've been a doll to put me up all day at your
place. I'll have to be going soon."

"All right Dena, take care," Hern stood up and shook her hand. "Remember, if
you ever need anything, don't hesitate to give us a call."

Irving came out of the kitchen suddenly, wiping his wet hands hastily on his
apron. "Leaving so soon? But it's only two in the afternoon."

"'Fraid so, Irving," Dena smiled as she gave the smaller man a warm squeeze
on the shoulder. "Thanks for the hospitality and for everything. But I've got some
business to do. I'll see you guys around."

"Be well, Dena," Herb told her as he showed his friend out. "And one more

Dena turned at the door, an eyebrow propped up. "What would that be?"

"If you've found that special someone, never let her go," Herb told her
wisely. "...or you'll live to regret."

Dena froze for a second, a smile on her lips. She gave a quick nodd before
heading out of the door. "I'll remember that."


"It's a perfect fit, Abby," Mrs Piers told her daughter encouragingly as she
studied her daughter in her wedding dress. The one she wore twenty years ago. Her
nineteen year old looked so beautiful in it. "You look fantastic."

"Thanks Mom," Abby said dully as she stared at her reflection in the full-
length mirror before her. A pretty young woman in a figure hugging white gown
greeted her. The soft fabric wrapped perfectly against her body, especially around
her firm young breasts and her full hips. But the only thing Abby noticed then
was the sadness in her emerald green eyes. They showed disappointment and neglect.

"My baby... getting married tomorrow," Mrs Piers wiped away tears as she took
in the pretty image of her eldest daughter before her.

Libby suddenly entered the room. She grinned at her sister in their mother's
wedding dress then halted. She'd seen the pain in Abby's eyes. She fumbled. "You
look great."

"Thanks," Abby repeated dully as she sat on the edge of her mother's bed,
the edge of her long gown sweeping the floor. She stared at something in front of
her but her eyes were not focused.

"Mom, Dad's downstairs... he's calling for you," Libby told her mother and
she hurried out of the door, leaving the two siblings in privacy. Libby crossed
the room and sat beside her elder sister, placing her hand against Abby's own.

"What's wrong Abby?" she pressed her hand warmly. She could see tears
starting to prickle in her sister's brillant green eyes. But those eyes looked so
sad and dull now. What was the cause of her pain and misery? "Is it about

"Oh Libby," Abby turned suddenly and hugged her sister, resting her head on
the girl's shoulder, tears trickling down her face. Libby soothed her, stroking
her back smoothly, wishing she could take away her sister's pain with each touch.

"Shhh, don't cry now," Libby stroked her tangled blonde hair.

Abby pulled away, wiping away her streaked tears. She blew her nose on the
tissue Libby handed her. "It's about tomorrow."

"You're not ready?" Libby guessed. She handed the whole box of kleenex to
her sister.

"I don't even love Peter enough to marry 'im," Abby sniffled a brawl as she
pulled out more tissues. "I'm scared, Libby... Dad is such a jerk."

"But what are you going to do about it?" Libby asked as she ran her
slender fingers through her dark hair. She chewed on her lip. "...You're not going
to run away again, are you?"

Abby didn't answer immediately, she just shook her head as she stared up right
ahead. In a whisper that could barely be heard, she smiled tightly. "Not yet."


Dena rode on Argo through the streets, her mind preoccupied with what Herb
had told her. There was something special about Abby. There was something about her
innocence, her smile, her sunny laughter... every single detail about her.

How she'd roll around awhile before she'd finally wake up, the way she'd
make her smile with her own infectious smile, the fine cooking skills she
possessed... Dena sighed at the thought of the young woman. Was she in love

It couldn't be lust, Dena knew for sure. She didn't feel the monster in her
that only wanted Abby for sex. She'd hate herself if she could actually throw the
girl aside after bedding her. No. It was something else.

Dena pondered as she guided her motorcycle through a narrow alley. All of a
sudden, a familiar black limosine stopped infront of her and Dena hit Argo's brake
abruptly, stopping barely two feet away. She widened her eyes at the familarity.
Her grip on the handlebars tightened as she squinted through her dark shades at
the people coming out of it. The last one she reconigzed. It was the Mafia.

"It's been awhile, Dena," he smiled broadly, his grin stretching from ear to
ear. Dena realised he'd done some modifications to his beard and sported his dark
curls longer.

"Not long enough," Dena answered sourly as she took off her shades. She
gutted Argo's engine but didn't move from her seat. She rested her arms over the
broad handles of her motorbike and watched him grimly.

The Mafia gave a familiar finger signal and the man beside him promptly
placed a good quality cigar between his boss' lips while another one lit it up
expertly with his lighter. Dena watched as he puffed on the stick, blowing out
the smoke with a self-satisfied smile.

"I've always admired you, Dena," the Mafia said. "You were an ecceptional
woman, better than any of the man I've had. You've got the skills, the brains...
the looks."

"What is it, Erik?" Dena narrowed her eyes, bored by the talk. The Mafia
adjusted the flap of his collar as he bit down on his blowing stogie. She glared.
"Cut the bullshit, I'm in a hurry."

"What I'm saying Dena," the Mafia waved his stick around, his eyes on her.
" that you're welcomed back to the family anytime. We all miss you."

Dena shook her head as she gave him a sour look. She gunned her engine to
life as she prepared to leave. "Sorry, I'm taken."

"You were meant for me, Dena," he spat out, throwing his cigar to the
ground and smashing it to bits with his expensive Italian shoes. "Join me
again and fulfil your destiny."

She would've spat back at him had he not left then. Dena watched as the
men clammbered back into the car again and drove off. He'd been watching her,
she noticed. She shook her head and rode off. No way was she going down that
road again.


"Miss Stone, allow me to introduce you to Doctor Kelps," the organisation's
doctor spoke fearfully, the slight trembles in his voice giving him away. He still
had a bruise from two days before when she'd hit him. "Doctor Kelps, meet Miss
Keely Stone."

"Cut the crap, doctor," Keely waved him away impatiently. "I'm busy, don't
have the time. What did you call me down for?"

The doctor licked his lips nervously. He turned to the man beside him.
"Kevin? Why don't you show Miss Stone what you've got for her?"

"Sure thing, Wally," the younger doctor replied. He brought up a metallic
case and snapped it open. Inside was a metal glove. He picked it up and pushed
the case to a side. "Come here, Miss Stone."

Keely frowned as she wondered what was going on. She walked up to him
anyway. He took her stumped hand and twisted the metal hand onto it. He then
took two bolts and sealed it snugly on so it fitted her stump. The metal was
surprisingly light yet solid looking.

"Now I want you to try flexing the fingers," Kelps instructed her patiently
as he pressed a small green button on it. She thought it ridiculous at first but
tried anyway. Nothing. Her frown deepened but she tried again. Still nothing. She
was beginning to think it was some kind of joke when the metal fingers on her
artificial right hand actually moved.

"Praise Hestia!" the doctor sang out, wiping the cold sweat off his forehead.

"Very good," Kelps encouraged. "Now I want you to try rotate your wrist."

Keely concentrated and after a while, she learnt how to function it properly.
It still felt awkard but it was better than having nothing there. It was like
a real hand just that it was made of platinum, a light yet durable metal.

She smiled sweetly at Kelps. "Thank you very much doctor." She flexed her
right hand, wriggling the fingers. She whipped out her gun using her left hand
suddenly and cocked it, shooting the older doctor in the head. The dead man had
his eyes wide open as the blood oozed out from the neat gaping hole in his head.
He struggled to speak but only splutters of blood came out from his shocked mouth
before he fell forward then lay there, limp and unbreathing.

"That's what happens to inefficient fools like him," Keely said coldly as she
replaced her silver gun back into its holster. The brains of the dead doctor
littered the floor behind him and blood wa everywhere. It was a gruesome sight.

Kelps turned ashen white and gaped at the awful sight. Keely smiled sweetly
as she turned his face with her cold metallic right hand so that he looked her
straight in the face. She grinned as she stared into his frightened grey eyes.
"...welcome to your new job, Doctor Kelps."


Today. Abby looked unhappily into the mirror at the pretty reflection of a
nicely dolled up young woman. She had known that face for almost twenty years.
Those green eyes stared back dully, misery mirroring in them. The makeup on her
face had done its part to make her shine but the twinkle of the eye and her
cheerful smile was lacking. Abby looked away from her reflection. Today she was
going to marry Peter.

"Hey," Libby greeted as she shut the bedroom door behind her. "Are you okay?
I knocked but you didn't answer."

Abby gave a thin smile and shifted in her other's wedding dress. She took a
glance at the phone. Would Dena even call? She looked back at her younger sister
dressed in her prettiest dress. "Just the butterflies, I suppose."

"You'll be fine," Libby knelt down before her, her palms pressed unto her
sister's. "You look very beautiful."

"Thanks," Abby said hollowly. It meant nothing to her, really.

"It's about time," Libby told her and Abby nodded. She gathered her long
dress and stood up. They'd be heading to the church now, for the small family
ceremony. They went downstairs wordlessly, climbing into Mr Pier's delivery van
before driving off too the church.

Two minutes later, the telephone rang.


Dena frowned as she replaced her new cellphone back into the back of her
pants pocket. She'd rang Abby's place thrice but no one answered. She kicked Argo
into gear and rode off, heading towards their family's restaurant. Maybe Abby might
be there.

Breezing past buildings and cars, Dena whistled a merry tune as she steered
Argo towards Pier's Chipshop. She rode by the church and saw the small crummy
building standing by itself. She caught sight of a proud father dressed in an
old grey suit with his daughter consevertivly dressed in probably her mother's old
wedding dress, on his arm, about to walk through the doors of the church. The
doors swung open and the two walked inside.

She chuckled as she turned her head back to focus unto the road. The bride
had seemed unwilling to venture in there. Dena imagined her forced into marriage...
like Abby. That poor kid, forced into something she wasn't perpared for. Dena
braked suddenly.

"Shit!" Dena cursed as she swerved Argo 180 degrees around and sped back
towards the white building. She'd seen the Piers' van outside and something told
her Abby was there, in the house... as the bride. She gritted her teeth as she
twisted the accelarater. "C'mon Abby, don't do this..."


Everything seemed like a daze to Abby as her father walked her down the
aisle. Only her mother and Libby were there as Peter stood grinning at her in
her father's old grooms' suit before Minister Bob. Her father gave Peter her arm
and they turned to faced Uncle Bob.

Abby could see the red of the minister's eyes. This man had a drinking
problem. Beside her, Peter smiled warmly at her, bright joy evident in his friendly
eyes. Abby cringed a little when Bob opened his mouth to speak. It smelled foul
of stale liquior.

She couldn't really focus through the whole ceremony. She wasn't really paying
attention when Peter said his vows. Then it suddenly shook her and she studied
everything happening around her in slow motion. She stared back at Peter's earnest
face, his mouth moving as he said his vows. She looked at Minister Bob who had
his eyes half glazed and gave a big silent yawn. A fly happened to fly in just
as he closed the flaps. He spluttered and wheezed and it flew out. Her parents
were looking at her, proud and tearing. Libby just smiled at her when their gazes

"Stop," Abby said suddenly before Peter even finished his vows. Her voice rang
clearly and there was a brief silence. She looked around and saw the surprise on
everyone's faces. She couldn't go through this, she realised afterall. It was one
huge mistake.

"Abby, honey- " Peter started as he reached out for her. She ran before he
could catch her. She picked up the helm of her wedding dress and ran down the
aisle, the small bouquet of flower buds still in her hand. Pushing open the doors
of the church, Abby stepped outside into the free sunshine.


Dena had just reached the church when Abby ran down its steps, running for
all she was worth in a frilly looking white wedding dress that covered much of
her wonderful body. She skidded to a stop infront of her. "Abby?"

Abby hopped onto the seat behind her, tucking her dress carefully so it
wouldn't choke Argo's behind. She saw her family running down the steps and
frantically ordered Dena to move. "Ride, dammit, ride!"

Dena twisted the accelarater and Argo sped off, down the streets, leaving Peter
and the Piers at the church. Abby watched as they turned to specks. Mr Pier's
van could never match Argo's speed. If he tried chasing after them, it would just
break down on him.

"What was all that about?" Dena questioned as they rode on, not really caring
where they went. Abby had her arms protectively around her waist. Dena could feel
the girl's warm head resting lightly against her back. "Abby?"

Abby smiled as she breathed in deeply, taking in Dena's light man's colonge.
The sky above them gave a sudden rumble before the clouds parted and rain started
coming down. Abby pressed her lips against her friend's wet ear as they drove
through the rapidly hardening rain. "Let's go get some grub and I'll tell you

Dena flinched a little in her seat when she felt the fresh warmth of Abby's
breath against her cold ear. She gave a nod, thankful that the younger woman was
not in the position to see her face. She rode Argo down the streets, avoiding
the muddy water pools. "Okay."


The rain was still pouring when Dena pulled over at the crummy Hotel Phoenix.
She parked Argo at its dry basement carpark before helping Abby off in her long
white dress. The dress was ruined now, torn and wet. Abby was sure she looked a

Abby shivered as they walked into the cold air-conditioned place, stopping at
its cafe. They sat down at a corner of the room and waited for the waitress to
attend to them. Dena noticed her friend shiver in her damp dress and realised she
was cold. She stripped off her jacket and placed it around her cold, wet shoulders.

"Thanks," Abby grinned as their waitress finally came with their menus.

Dena smiled back warmly, her gaze lingering on Abby's rain-drenched one. Her
golden locks would have been unruly if they hadn't been plaster wet in the rain.
But her green eyes still held their shine and her smile was like a ray of light
that penetrated her heart. "No problem."

"My, looks like someone ran away with the bride," the waitress drawled in a
heavy Southern accent as she chewed gum, clicking her pen against her white
notepad as she waited for their order.

Dena ignored her but gave a wry smile as she handed the menu back. "Give
me a strong coffee- black and piping hot. No sugar."

"And what would the runaway bride like?" the Southern hick asked as she eyed
the two with a twinkle in her eye. "A hot chocolate perhaps?"

"That would be great, thanks," Abby smiled as she passed her the menu and
she walked away, finally leaving the two in their own private moment.

Dena chuckled when she left and shook her head. She suddenly felt Abby's
soft warm hand upon hers and jerked her head up, slightly startled. Abby smiled
at her. "Thanks for saving me."

"Seems like I do that all the time," Dena joked as her heart did flip-flops
at the contact of her hand and the warm gaze of her gorgeous green eyes. She
felt a twinge of regret when Abby pulled her hand back when their waitress came
back with their order.

"I shouldn't have gotten myself pushed into this," Abby shook her head as
she stirred her drink, her eyes on the white foam on her hotchocolate. "Neither
Gabrielle of Janice would have done what I did. It was so silly."

"Look," Dena placed her spoon beside her coffee cup and Abby could smell the
strong dark coffee. "You are Abigail Jewel Piers. NOT Gabrielle of Poteidaia OR
Doctor Janice Covington, of Xena scrolls fame. You are yourself. You're just...
Abby." Silently, to herself, Dena whispered... My Abby.

"And your point is?" Abby sipped her warm drink, her green eyes fixed on
her friend's blue ones.

"Don't blame yourself," Dena told her as she relished her scalding hot coffee.
She loved the way the dark liquid went down, warming her insides. She pressed her
lips together as she settled the cup down on its saucer.

Abby grinned as her tongue played with the soft foam on her hot chocolate.
"Sure is great seeing you again, Dena."

Dena felt her heart lurch just looking at the girl's flexible tongue. Those
trusting green emeralds with its youthful sparkle... the wet bangs of blonde hair
plastered to her pretty face... Thoose soft, kissable lips that said so much...
Those firm young breasts under the wet dress... Dena stopped herself immediately.
She noticed her hand tremble slightly and cleared her throat. "We've got to get
you some clothes."


Keely went back to her hotel suite, a black glove over her artificial right
hand. She twisted open the knob and slammed the door behind her. She hit the
lights and saw Natasha there on her bed again. The redhead sprawled herself on
the newly changed white sheets and her long locks tumbled down to naked breasts.
She pouted her full red lips and blew a kiss to Keely.

Keely narrowed her eyes as her latest plaything slowly got up. She scrowled
as threw aside her holstered gun. The same gun she'd used to blow out some guy's
brains today. Natasha slinked up towards her, pressing her naked body against her.

Keely remained cold. "What do you want, Natasha?"

The redhead kissed her softly, tugging on her lower lip as she rubbed her
center against Keely's thigh. She moaned as she slowly unbuttoned her silk blouse
and let it drift to the floor. Her leather bra went next and so did her short
black skirt. Natasha went down on her knees as she slid of Keely's underwear. She
reached for the glove and gasped when she pulled it off.

"You asked for it," Keely growled, the menacing hunger in her insane brown
eyes showing as she slammed the girl against the bed, using her full body weight
on her. Natasha didn't know if she should be terrified or pleased.

The blonde promtly drew open a drawer and retrieved two pairs of police
handcuffs, taken from two coppers she'd shot down some time ago. She hooked them
on Natasha's wrists, hooking the other end of it to the bed post. The bonded
woman stared back at her alluringly, begging Keely for the sex.

"You are going to enjoy this baby," Keely smiled cruelly as she unleased a
whip before slamming shut the drawer. She cracked it and Natasha's wide eyes went
wider. Keely wrapped it behind the woman's neck and jerked it upwards, bringing
her head towards her for a kiss.

She bit her on the lips and Natasha cried out in pain. It drew blood which
seemed only to turn Keely further on. Keely kissed her hard on the lips again,
licking the blood off. She then pushed her tongue in, causing Natasha to squirm
and moan. Out of the sudden, Keely slammed her fist into her gut, causing her
to double over in pain.

Natasha didn't complain. When she recovered, the hungry passion showed in her
eyes and she smiled devilishly, silently begging for more. Keely moved her head
down and bit the hollow of her throat before advancing to her big, shapely breasts.
Natasha's dark nipples were already erect and were as hard as marbles. Keely
covered a nipple with her mouth, sucking violently on it before biting down on it
with her teeth.

The redhead screamed while Keely used her other hand to tease the other hard
marble, squeezing it as she rolled it with expert fingers. Keely jerked her head
up, her mane of wild hair covering her grinning face. "You enjoying it?"

Natasha just gave a moan as she wrestled with the cuffs that bound her.
"Ohhh Keely, give me moooore."

Keely gave her partner's hot center a sudden thrust with her knee. It came
hard and sudden and erotic pain ripped shuddered down Natasha's spine. Keely did
it again before she could recover, a maddening grin on her devilish face. She
buried her face into the valley of Natasha's chest and ran her wet tongue up and
down. Her knee was still grinding against her warm center, driving the redhead

She released her knee and licked up the wetness, her evillish eyes on the
moaning redhead the whole time. She thrusted her again, this time with her fist
and Natasha gave a huge shudder that went through her being. She begged her for
more. "Don't stop Keely, more..."

Keely buried her nose in Natasha's wet, warm quim, rubbing her nose against
her red enlarged clitoris. She raked her teeth against it and heard Natasha sigh
and moan, instantly widening her legs for easier access.

"Do it Keely," Natasha begged as she tugged at her restraits, want and hunger
showing clearly on her face.

The blonde stuck her tongue inside her partner, causing her to squeal. She
thrusted her organ in deeper, twisting it around for better effect as she ran her
hard nails down her inner thigh. She pulld out then stuck the metallic forefinger
of her right hand in.

Natasha jerked at its contact. Keely figured she must love it. It felt so
cold, so hard... so different. She pushed the finger in deeper and Natasha moaned
erotically. Keely grunted as she pushed in another finger, sliding the two in and
out of the warm, wet place.

"Oooooh Keely..." Natasha wormed in bed as she raised her hips rhymatically
up and down, fighting her restraints. Keely grinned. They were both enjoying
themselves too much to stop. Keely paused suddenly. Natasha was gone. Dena Ambers
took her place in bed.

Her arms were held snug by the restraints, her damp dark locks tumbling down
her wet face. Those majestic blue eyes which she'd always adored staring straight
at her. And those breasts... those heavenly moulds of white flesh, dark erect
nipples staring up at her... and that hot, wet dripping center... Keely screamed,
her eyes filled with passionate fury. She got up and cracked her whip vicously.
She was going to make love to Dena Ambers that night.

Keely rolled out of bed the next morning and walked towards the bathroom.
She stood under the shower, washing away the dried blood from last night. Natasha's
blood. She scrubbed and dressed, drying off her damp locks before brushing it. She
was standing calmly before the misty mirror doing a french braid when Thor entered
the room.

"Thor, good morning," Keely greeted him merrily from the bathroom as she tied
her hair. Natasha was still lying peacefully in bed, restraints still in place.
Keely smiled warmly as she tied her scrungie. "Do me a favour... help me dump
the body."


Dena Ambers smiled as she entered the room, a pile of new clothes in her
arms. Abby was still asleep, her young body curled up comfortably beneath white
sheets. Her tousled blonde hair was spread on the fluffy pillow and her features
peaceful and relaxed. Her soft pink lips were slightly parted and her chest rose
and fell rhythmically with every breath she took.

Dena settled the clothes on the bedside table and sat down beside the
sleeping girl. She smiled fondly as she studied Abby's angelic features. She
yearned so much to taste her lips, to feel their softness... Dena bent forward
slowly, eyes closed, ready to kiss the slumbering girl. Then she paused and drew
back. No, she should be taking advantage like this. It jsut wasn't right.

Just then Abby stirred from her sleep and stretched. Dena froze when she
fluttered her long eyelashes and stared back at her with sleepy green eyes. Abby
grinned as she pulled herself to a sitting position opposite her friend. "Good

"Good mornin' yourself," Dena smiled as she roufled her friend's head of hair.
So soft... she sighed inwardly. She loved her. She did.

"What time is it?" Abby asked suddenly, distracting Dena away from her train
of thought. The noonday sun was already coming up. She glanced at Dena's Tag Huer
watch. "Eleven-thirty? Gosh!"

"Well, I'm glad you slept well," Dena told her as she pointed to the pile
of new clothing. "you might want to try these on. I hope they fit."

Abby had slept in her sports bra and underwear. Her mother's ruined wedding
dress hung in a corner, looking wet and depressing. Abby pulled back the covers
and inspected the pile. Dena willed herself to look away as she tried them on.
She stifled a grin at Abby's choice of underwear under the white frilly dress.

"You've got good taste," Abby grinned and Dena turned to look. "They fit."
Dena had gotten her some fitting tees and khaki skirts. There was also a
free-sized red polo dress with a blue-green collar. She looked sweet in it, Dena

"Nah, you're just beautiful," Dena remarked before she knew what she'd said.
She quickly shut up, hoping Abby didn't notice. Dena got up instantly, her hand
on the doorknob. "C'mon, it's nearly lunchtime... let's go get us some brunch."


They ate at the small empty restaurant downstairs and the same waitress came
up to them again. Dena ordered a coffee and a chicken salad while Abby had a
milkshake, fish and chips, some pancakes and an ice-cream. The Southerner left with
their order and Dena drummed a tune on the table top with her quick, slender
fingers. Abby reconigsed the tune immediately. She leaned over, her eyebrows raised.
"You a Frank Sinatra fan?"

"Lover," Dena corrected, a twinkle in her light blue eyes.

"Great!" Abby grinned. She nodded her head towards the old jukebox tucked in
a corner as she stretched her hand out towards Dena. "Got a dollar?"

Dena dug into her pocket and dropped a coin into Abby's outstretched hand.
Abby smiled before leading her by her wrist to the small space of dance floor.
She paused at the song machine, checking out for Sinatra tunes. They were in luck.
The jukebox contained mostly oldies and there was plently of Sinatra.

"Which is your favourite?" Abby asked as she flipped through the records.

"Fly me to the Moon," Dena answered from behind her.

"Funny," Abby smiled widely as she selected the song. "It's mine too."

The song took a few seconds to start. Abby turned to face the amused woman
before her, taking her big hands into her smaller ones. Her eyes sparkled as she
stared into sky blue ones. "C'mon, let's dance."

Dena gave a simple shrug with her tanned, broad shoulders, a short, bemused
smile playing on her lips. "Okay."

Near them, the ancient jukebox delievered Frank Sinatra's lovely rendition of
Fly Me To The Moon. The soothing vocals of the singing legend came out crisp and
clear amidst the band's music.

'Fly me to the moon, let me play among the stars
Let me see what Spring is like on... Jupiter and Mars
In other words, hold my hand...
In other words, baby kiss me...'

Dena gracefully twirled Abby around and the slight woman giggled when she
found herself back into Dena's arms a moment later. They continued dancing to
their favourite classic.

'Fill my heart with song and let me sing forevermore,
You are all I long for, all I worship and adore...
In other words, please be true...
In other words, I love you...'

Abby laughed as they glided across the shiny marble floor, comfortably in
step with each other. The music blasted behind them and they sang along with it
as they danced to the jazzy tune. They were simply having so much fun.

'Fill my heart with song, let me sing forevermore,
You are all I long for, all I worship and adore...
In other words, please be true...
In other words, in other words, I love...'

"...You!" the two of them ended harmonously with Sinatra before bursting into
peals of laughter. They had enjoyed themselves tremously. There was a twinge of
regret as they went back to their table.

"That sure was fun," Abby laughed easily as she tucked a bang of stray
blonde hair behind her ear. Her eyes twinkled as she touched Dena's arm. "You
were fantastic."

"You were fantastic yourself," Dena commented. She had never had such a great
dancing partner before. Then again, it had been ages since she last danced with
someone as gorgeous as the young woman before her. "Absolutely fantastic."

Their waitress finally came with their order and they both relished their meal,
soothing their hungry stomaches.


They finished their meal and as Dena wiped her mouth with her paper napkin,
Abby made a suggestion. "I feel like doing something wild today."

Dena raised an eyebrow as she sat the napkin aside, an amused smile on her
lips. "What, you want to get a tatoo? A nose-ring?"

"Well," Abby paused as if actually considering. "Actually, I was suggesting we
go crazy at the hair-dressers... see which of the two of us can come back more...

"From the saloon?" Dena studied her friend wryly.


"Okay, let's do it." Dena grinned, dropping some money on the table before
leaving an enthusiastic Abby out of the door.


They went to separate saloons, to add to the dramatic after-effects.

"We'll meet at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf over there," Abby pointed to her
coffee-loving friend before going in. Dena gave a quick nod and a smile before
walking to the other hairdresser's two blocks away. Anything for Abby.


Abby sat at the table, waiting for Dena. She wore no watch so she had no
idea how much time had passed since they both left to do their hair. All that
she knew, was that Dena had been gone for a helluva long time. She pouted
inconsiously, flipping through the khaki-coloured paper menus.

"Hey gorgeous," a husky voice whispered in her ear. Abby dropped the menu in
surprise and swirled around. Her surprised green eyes widened in surprise when she
saw the lovely woman before her. "D... Dena?"

Dena Ambers grinned as she took the stiff chair opposite her friend. "Like
the new look?"

Like it? Abby blinked, her heart doing strange summersaults and cartwheels in
her chest. I love it. She smiled, willing her voice to go even. "Yeah, looks

Dena had cut her long dark locks. Her usual braid was gone. She now wore
her hair short, cut in layered waves at her strong jawline. Her parting was at a
side and layers of fringe partially covered her face. Her seductive blue eyes
stared out from her tanned face, smiling at her.

"Like your new look too," Dena nodded her head at her as she reached out
for the paper menu Abby had dropped. Her warm fingers brushed against hers, sending
shivers of excitment down her spine. Abby watched as Dena glanced at the menu.
"I think you look more mature with your red hair. Interesting change."

She'd gotten a trim and dyed her blonde hair reddish-blonde. It was almost as
daring as she could've got. It would take some time to cut her hair that short.
Abby fidgeted in her chair, eyeing the que. "What are you planning to get?"

"Something that isn't on the menu," Dena mumbled to herself.

"Come again?"


"Oh." Abby sat back, a tad disappointed. She fixed her eyes upon Dena's
beauty. The nicely layered dark locks hung on the frame of her face. Abby
wondered how it would be like to run her fingers through those wet locks...

"You should try their original ice-blended," Dena said suddenly, taking some
cash from the inside pocket of her black leather jacket. "You a coffee drinker?"

"Not really, actually," Abby confessed. "I get high pretty easily."

"On coffee?"

"Yeah, besides the alcohol," Abby feebly replied.

"Then you'll love their choclate," Dena got up and headed for the counter
before the crowd came again.

With Dena's back towards her, Abby took the opportunity to look at her friend
with friendly eyes. The ends of her short shoulder-length hair brushed gently on
the collar of her jacket, its layers gently moving whenever she turned her head.

Anyone would have known she possessed a fine toned body. Her machine had
finely sculptured curves which Abby felt a pecular longing to stroke. And those
long legs filled with muscle and energy under those black pants... Abby sighed
dreamily, catching herself unware. What was wrong with her?

Dena turned suddenly, noticed her looking and waved playfully. Abby swallowed
the lump and waved back weakly. Dena turned back to the girl at the counter,
waiting for their drinks.

Abby felt a strange warm sensation develop suddenly and swallowed inspite of
herself. She wasn't having a thing for a woman, was she?


"I'm gonna call Libby to collect the dress," Abby told Dena when they
returned to their cramp room. "I'm sure Mother would like it back somehow."

Dena cast a casual glance at the pathetic white gown hanging in the corner
and shrugged her wide shoulders. "Whatever rocks your boat. I'll see you later...
gotta get some supplies."

You rock my boat, Abby said silently as she picked up the phone. "Right,
see you later."

Dena smiled before replacing her sunglasses. She turned her back towards Abby
and snapped something on before wearing her leather jacket over her black singlet.
She paused before the door, her generous palm on the knob. "Don't go anywhere...
just stay in your room 'til I get back."

"Okay," Abby smiled as she pressed the reciever against her ear. She watched
as Dena's impressively sculptured body walked out of the room, evenly toned arms
casually swaying by the sides as long, muscular legs strided out.

"Hello?" Libby's voice called out impatiently. Abby snapped out of her dazed
mood immediately and focused on the call.

"Hey, it's me," She twirled the cord with her index finger. "...Abby."

"Abby!" Libby squealled then dropped her voice to a hushed whisper. "What
took you so long to speak? I said 'hello' thrice!"

"I'm sorry," the blonde apologised as she crossed her slim legs. "How's
things with Mom and Dad?"

"Boy are you gonna get it when you come back," Libby breathed. "Dad is
FURIOUS! Peter's really bummed. And you should know how Mom gets."

"I'm sorry," Abby apologised again. This time with more sincerity. She sighed.
"Libby, I'm not coming home anytime soon. But I'd like to meet you so I can
pass Mom's dress to you. It's kinda ruined but I think she might like it back."

They discussed about it before settling that Libby take the bus and meet her
at the room at the crummy Hotel Phoniex. Abby had just settled the phone back
into its cradel when she heard a loud bang and the door swung open.


Dena came back from Sal's auto-shop five hours later, when it was nearly
dinner time. Argo came back with a few interesting combat moderations like laser
beams and semi-missiles. All for a nominal fee, Dena chuckled at Sal's infamous
lie as she twisted the doorknob.

The room was a mess. Things had been thrown around the room, the obvious
signs of a struggle. Dena felt panic and alarm rise like bile in her throat as
she stepped inside. She immediately felt someone attack her from behind, using his
body weight to bring her down. She wrestled and her attacker came off easily.

Dena lifted the small, dark haired teenager by the collar and pressed her
against the wall. She grunted as she stared the slight girl-woman in the eye.
"What have you done to Abby?"

"I was about to ask you the same thing," the teenager replied defiantly. "I
came here and found the place like that."

Dena released the girl slowly, slight confusion showing in her eyes. "Libby?"

"Yeah," Libby straightened her blouse, relief spread over her face. She wasn't
anything like her elder sister Abby but they had the same accent. She looked up
to Dena's impressive six feet. "You must be her friend Dena."

"Yeah," Dena answered nonchanlantly as she checked the room. Mama Pier's dress
still hang dejectedly in its corner, waiting for redemption. The biker noticed a
note with sickeningly familiar handwriting on it taped to the bathroom door. She
pulled it off.

Libby took her mother's dress off the hanger and folded it over her arm.
She gave a worried glance over at Dena who crumbled the note disgustedly in her
wide palm and stuck her jaw out, a deep frown on her defined features. Libby
swallowed a lump and blinked back worried tears. "Who would have done this?"

"Keely Stone," Dena answered as she threw down the ball of paper. "She's
just out for her revenge."

Libby's eyes widened and she rushed to Dena's side. "Then do something about
it... get Abby back. You owe her that much."

Dena Ambers looked away. Of course she wouldn't. How could she leave the
woman she loved to that fate?

"I got some of Abby's stuff over," Libby said suddenly, passing Dena the
faded brown satchel she carried. "She's got this personal drawer of hers in our
room which she shoves her treasures. I thought she might want them around her when
she's not here... but she's gone now."

"I will get her back, I promise," Dena grunted angrily at herself as she
took Abby's satchel. "I will."

"I've got to go back now, or they'll suspect," Libby tucked a strand of
dark hair behind her ear. "I can't tell them either. They'll kill me if they
know. Just promise you'll get my sister back, okay?"

"Okay," Dena promised as she showed her out. When she left, Dena sat on the
bed dejectedly, frustrated at herself for being so careless with her woman. Wait,
she corrected herself. Abby didn't belong to her. But still, she cared about her.
And it was her fault anway, that Keely abducted her. She sighed as she spread
her long fingers and caressed the rumpled white sheets. Just that morning, she'd
seen her angel sleep in all innocence upon the very bed.

Dena opened Abby's satchel, wondering what it held. She tumbled the contents
on the bed beside her. There weren't many things in there, really. There was
Abby's diary, which Dena sat aside respectfully aside; a packed photo alblum; an
old looking light brown book stuffed with letters in between which might have been
a darker brown in it prime; and the book 'Curious Wine' which Dena had given Abby
just sometime ago. A recipt at a place they'd eaten together was lodged in between,
as a bookmark.

She smootherned the novel's ceased sides, wondering why Abby even bothered
stashing the gift inside her drawer. Dena picked up the thick brown journal and
brought it closer to the light. Her keen eyes spotted a name in faded, cursive
gold letters printed on it faded brown cover. J. Covington.

Dena pressed her lips together determinally, her dark brows knitted together.
By the gods, she will get Abby back.

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