Tall, Dark and Deadly

by Tara Kerry


"I have a job for you, Connor." John Marshall told the small blond as he handed her a manila folder. He watched as Brooke Connor opened the file and glanced at the information inside. She wasn’t exactly your stereotypical bounty hunter, she was a woman for one thing, and short for another. She was also more pleasant than the other hired hunters out there, but she got results and that’s all he cared about.

Brooke looked up at him. "Give me the low down on the jumper."

"Sydney Jacobson, age 33, arrested and charged with embezzling from her employer. She was released on a $250,000 bond, which she’s apparently jumped out on. Seems Sydney didn’t show up for her court appearance yesterday, and I’m not taking a chance. I want you to find her and bring her in now." The bondsman moved his head side to side cracking his neck.

The bounty hunter nodded. "I’m expecting my usual fee plus expenses."

John agreed. "You bring Jacobson back and you’ll get your money. And if you get her back here before next Thursday, I’ll add a bonus."

"A bonus, huh?" A fair brow lifted skeptically over a green eye. "What’s up, John? What aren’t you telling me here?"

John feigned hurt. "What are you talking about? Maybe I just want to reward you for a job well done."

The woman wasn’t buying it. "Uh huh. How about the truth now, everyone knows your ass is so tight it practically squeaks when you walk."

"Okay, okay, don’t get your jockeys in a bunch. Seems this Jacobson chick’s father really wants his darling daughter back safe and sound. He’s offered to pay a little reward if we can get her here by the deadline."

Brooke shook her head. "I thought so. Okay, so who’d she snake the money from?"

The man shrugged. "The court records have been sealed. But I’ve heard it was some corporation."

The blond stood. All right. I’ll get your jumper. But I want half of what daddy dearest is paying you."

"Half?" The bondsman spat out as he wiped the sweat off his forehead.

"That’s right or we don’t have a deal."

"Fine, you’ll get half upon delivery of the package." The man assured her.

Brooke nodded. "Deal. See you next week."

John watched the woman close the door behind her, before he picked up the phone and hit a button. "Yeah, she’s on the job. Don’t worry she’ll find her." He lit a cigarette and took a deep puff as he listened to the person on the other side. "What? I told you she’s the best. Okay, okay I’ll send another guy out too. Yeah, they’ll have her back before the date. Uh huh. All right. Bye." He hung up the phone and took another puff on his cigarette before he made another call.



Two days later, Brooke was in a rental car driving around Dallas, Texas. It was good to have a large extended family, she conceded. She’d faxed Sydney Jacobson’s photograph to as many relatives as she could, and a day later her cousin Sean had contacted her with the information she was looking for. He’d spotted her target in his apartment complex, a stroke of good luck.

The bounty hunter pulled into her cousin’s apartment complex and parked the car. She opened the trunk and pulled out a weighty duffle bag. Brooke always tried to be prepared for the unpredictable. Glancing around, she walked to Sean’s door and knocked on it.

A man of average height, with sandy blond hair and blue eyes answered the door. "Hey BK, long time no see." He greeted his cousin.

Brooke rolled her eyes, her family had taken to calling her BK when she was a kid, short for Brooke Kathryn. Most had given it up after she refused to answer to it anymore, but Sean knew how much she hated it, so he continued to use it.

"It’s good to see you too." She brushed past him and entered the house. "Now where’s the girl?"

"Okay, so much for reminiscing about the good old days." He teased. "She’s right across from me in 1013." He watched Brooke stand on her tiptoes to look out the peephole in the door. "But she’s not there right now, she usually comes home around five."

The woman glanced at her watch, she had about 2 hours before her prey returned. "Wanna see if I can still kick your ass at Playstation?"

"In your dreams, BK, in your dreams."


An hour and a half later and Brooke had severely beaten Sean in almost every game he owned. The bounty hunter was gloating over her depressed cousin when she heard keys jingling outside the door.

"Guess she’s home early today." Brooke announced as she spied through the small hole in the door. The mug shot in Sydney’s file hadn’t done her justice, the woman was quite attractive, and really tall. But the bounty hunter had brought in bigger.

"Time to get to work." She announced as she grabbed her bag and headed for the bathroom. "Keep an eye out and let me know if she goes out again or if anyone shows up, okay?"

"Yeah, yeah. Sure." Sean replied distracted by the scantily clad women battling on the television. Suddenly the image vanished, replaced by a blue screen. "Hey!" He complained as he looked up and saw his cousin standing there with the Playstation’s power cord in her hand.

"I mean it Sean." She warned.

"All right. Just don’t do that again. Do you know how much these suckers cost?" He questioned.

Brooke rolled her eyes as she dropped the power cord and retreated from the room before she’d have to explain to Aunt Bridgit why she’d beaten the crap out of her son.

Five minutes later, the woman exited the bathroom with a look of disgust on her face. "When was the last time you cleaned that room?"

"Hey, it’s not that bad." Sean countered.

"Sure, fine, whatever." She walked over to the door. "So anything happen across the hall?"

"Nah. No one in, no one out." He informed his cousin. "Can I get back to my game now or do you need anything else."

"Play away." She approached him and placed a few bills in his hand. "Thanks for your help Sean, buy yourself a game on me."

He smiled. "No problem, now go get your man…uh woman, BK. Kick some ass."

Brooke hoped this would go easily and there wouldn’t be a need for "ass kicking", but things don’t always turn out the way you hope.


"Okay, here we go." She told herself as she knocked on the door. A moment later, the door opened and Brooke found she didn’t have to force a smile on her face when she gazed up at the woman answering the door.

"Yes?" The tall brunette questioned.

"Hi, I live upstairs." Brooke poured on the charm. " I was making dinner and realized I don’t have any eggs. Do you happen to have any I can borrow?"

Sydney seemed distracted. "Uh, no I just ran out, sorry." She began to shut the door.

Brooke took a step forward, stopping the door fro closing. This was the time. "Sydney Jacobson. I’m here to bring you back to California."

The taller woman’s eyes opened in mild amusement. "You are, huh. And exactly why would you want to do that?"

"I believe there are a few people who would like to see you. Something about some money you took."

Sydney’s tone became a bit darker. "Okay, kid. I don’t know what they told you, but believe me it’d be better if you just turn around and forget you ever saw me."

"Sorry, I can’t do that. I have a job to do." Brooke explained.

The wanted woman sighed. This was a complication she really didn’t need right then. "Fine. Whatever Billy is paying you, I’ll double it. Just tell me how much it’s going to take."

Brooke frowned she hadn’t expected this. "Uh, I don’t know who Billy is, but don’t think I’m going to let you buy your way out of your debt to society."

"My debt to society?" Sydney repeated. "What the hell are you talking about?"

Before the bounty hunter had a chance to answer, a man’s voice interrupted her. "Don’t act stupid, sister. You know what the lady’s talking about."

The blond cringed when she heard the voice. Jack Brown, a so-called second string bounty hunter who was a thorn in her side.

This change of events spooked the prey and Sydney pushed Brooke into the newcomer and slammed the door shut.

"Shit!" The smaller woman swore. She tried using her shoulder as a battering ram to gain entry into the apartment, but only succeeded in jarring the hell out of her body. "Are you just going to stand there?" She angrily asked Jack.

"Keep your pants on, kid." He pulled a small leather pouch out of his jacket and removed a couple of sharp, metal tools. He knelt in front of the lock and proceeded to pick it. He then stood, turned the door handle and swung the door open. "Voila."

Brooke pushed past him. "I’ll voila you later." She cautiously moved around the apartment, not sure if Sydney had armed herself or not. She found the woman in the bedroom, trying to get a window open.

"Okay, Ms. Jacobson. Game’s up, just come quietly and we won’t have anymore trouble." The blond took a step forward, cuffs now in hand.

"Like I said. I can’t do that." Sydney warned the bounty hunter. "Now if you don’t want to get hurt, you’ll just step aside."

"The hell we will." Jack announced from the doorway. "You’re outnumbered, lady, so how about you let the kid cuff you and end this, okay."

An evil glint appeared in Sydney’s blue eyes, she liked a challenge. "I don’t think one and a half against one is really considered outnumbered."

What happened next seemed to go in slow motion for Brooke. Sydney charged straight at her and she just barely got out of the way. Jack took a position to block the doorway and did manage to slow the woman down a little as she paused to administer a kick to his groin. Jack collapsed and caused enough distraction that Brooke had time to get behind Sydney and give her a jolt from her stun gun. The dark hared beauty crumpled, Brooke managed to catch the woman and ease her tall body to the ground.


After some sweet talking, Brooke was able to convince Jack to help put Sydney in her car. He informed her he’d follow her to the airport with his car. She learned John had also hired Jack to find the bail jumper, and the man had followed her to Dallas. She was going to have a talk with the bondsman when she got back to LA. And who the heck was this Billy person Sydney talked about?

The bounty hunter looked over at her captive. She was handcuffed and seatbelted into the passenger seat. Brooke knew the woman was gonna be pretty pissed when she woke up, she just hoped she’d be able to reason with her. She drove the vehicle into the parking lot of the Dallas Fort Worth airport and pulled into an empty space.

Brooke took some guilty pleasure at watching the woman sleep while she waited for Jack to catch up, her face was so peaceful and beautiful, the blond wished their meeting was under better circumstances. A low moan alerted her that Sleeping Beauty was waking up. Brooke tried to prepare for the storm that was sure to blow up.

Sydney’s eyes slowly blinked open, what the hell had hit her? Her head was throbbing painfully, and her heart beat faster when she realized she wasn’t in her apartment. She lurched forward, only to find she was restrained. She turned her head and saw the blond sitting next to her. The brunette leaned her head back against the headrest in defeat.

"Who the hell are you and where are we?" She asked, her throat dry from her forced nap.

Sensing her discomfort, Brooke twisted the cap off a bottle of water and offered the water to Sydney along with a couple ibuprofen tablets. "Brooke Connor and we’re at the DFW airport." The sound of jet engines rumbling by overhead confirmed this.

The outlaw swallowed the pills down with a mouthful of water and removed the bottle from her lips. "Airport? What are we doing at the airport?"

"I don’t know about you. But I usually get on a plane and fly somewhere when I go to an airport."

"I can’t get on a plane, Brooke." Sydney informed her keeper matter of factly.

Brooke sighed and scrubbed her face with her hands. "Please don’t start. You made a mistake and now you have to pay for it."

"I don’t know what you think I’ve done, but there’s no way you’re getting me on one of those flying pieces of tin."

"Afraid to fly? You know, statistically flying is actually safer than driving." The smaller woman announced.

Sydney shook her head. "No, I’m not afraid of the flying part, per se. I’m claustrophobic, it’s the being held captive at 50, 000 feet in a cramped little area that I don’t like."

"So you’d rather spend 2 days cramped in a car than a few hours on a plane?" Her captive nodded. Brooke could see the anxiety on the other woman’s face.

Jack pulled his SUV into the spot next to Brooke and climbed into the back seat of her car. "So what’s going on? We getting on a plane or not."

"Not." Brooke informed the man.

Jack laughed sarcastically. "Yeah, yeah. Really funny Connor, and everyone says you have no sense of humor."

The female bounty hunter shrugged. "I’m not kidding, Jack. She’s claustrophobic, guess it’s a road trip." She could just imagine her boss’ face when he got the rental car bill.

"Oh no freaking way, man. Do you know how far it is from Dallas to LA? Can’t we just drug her or something?" Jack whined, he didn’t care how cute the jumper was, he didn’t want to spend that much time on the road.

Brooke saw Sydney clench and unclench her fists. "If you want to fly back, go ahead Jack, I’ll drive there with Sydney." She silently hoped the man would take her up on the offer.

Jack thought this over for a moment and shook his head. "No, where she goes I go. I don’t trust her."

"Fine. Then you follow behind us. And try to keep up this time." Brooke jabbed.

"Screw you." Jack hissed as he got out of the car. "You ran that light."

Sydney gazed straight ahead as Brooke backed out of the parking spot. "Thanks." She said softly, actually meaning it.

"No problem, we all have things we don’t like."


The sun was beginning to set when Brooke’s cell phone rang breaking the silence of the past few hours. She picked it up and pressed a button. "Yeah?"

"Hey Brooke." The person on the other phone replied. "When are we gonna stop? My bladder and stomach are competing to see which one can be the bigger pain in the ass."

Brooke rolled her eyes. "Jack, we’ve only been on the road a few hours. You should have gone before we left." She pulled the phone away from her ear to save herself from having to listen to Jack’s whining. The blond glanced over at Sydney. "Are you hungry, thirsty or anything?"

Sydney considered ignoring the woman and keep staring out the window in silence. But she did need to use the bathroom, and her throat was still dry, even after drinking the bottle of water Brooke had given her. "Sure."

Brooke returned the phone to her ear, Jack was complaining about being lucky he could even consider peeing after the blow Sydney had given him. "All right, Jack. We’ll take the next exit that has food places, okay?"

"Okay, now that’s what I’m talking about. I knew you’d see it my way." Jack began a speech about his superiority, but Brooke hung up.

The cars parked in front of the burger joint and Jack hurried into the building. Brooke looked over at Sydney, concern showed on her face. She knew the woman could be trouble if she wanted to be, but there was something about her. "I’m probably making a mistake, but I’ll remove your cuffs if you give me your word you won’t try anything."

"And why should I do that?" Sydney asked angrily. "You’ve basically kidnapped me against my will. Why shouldn’t I try to get away?"

"Fine, then maybe you’d like to eat in the car and we can find a nice gas station for you to use the restroom."

Sydney weighed her options, she really hated those dirty gas station bathrooms, and she wanted the cuffs off. Besides, she could just promise Brooke she wouldn’t try to escape now, it didn’t mean she couldn’t try something later. "All right, you have my word. I’ll behave myself."

Brooke looked at her skeptically, but still took the handcuff key from her pocket and unlocked the cuffs. "Are you ready to dine upon the fine cuisine of Burger World? I’ll even spring for a hot cherry pie if you want."

"Geez, thanks. I think I’m getting all choked up here." Sydney announced sarcastically. "Can I play on the equipment too?"

"Come on, smartass, before Jack comes back out here."

After a trip to the restroom, the women got in an order line. Jack walked over to them. "What the hell are you thinking?" He asked Brooke in a stage whisper. "You took her cuffs off."

The blond shrugged. "Yeah, I did. Get over it." She stepped up to the counter where a teenager in a paper hat stood waiting to take their order.

"Welcome to Burger World, may I take your order?" He droned on.

"I’d like a number 2 meal with a Dr. Pepper, please." Brooke stepped aside so Sydney could order. "Umm, number one, no pickle or onion. And a Coke."

"We only have Pepsi." The employee explained.

The tall woman didn’t care much for the sweeter tasting Pepsi. "Okay, give me a root beer then."

Jack made a show of clearing his throat. Brooke looked over at him. "No way. You’re on your own, Jack."

"Oh come on. I’ll pay you back." The man pleaded.

Brooke sighed. "Fine."

"Okay. Now let’s see. Give me a number three with cheese, giganto size and an extra cheeseburger."

"I don’t think so." The bounty hunter interrupted. "He’ll have a cheeseburger Kid Meal with a lemonade." She smirked at Jack.

The trio walked out to the cars after eating, Jack was still bitching about the kid meal. Brooke continued ignoring the man. "And when are we stopping for the night?"

"I thought you were in a hurry to get back." Brooke replied.

"Yeah, well I was up early today." He complained.

"Can we at least get out of Texas before we stop?" The blond inquired, quickly losing patience with the man.

"I don’t know, how long will that take?"

"It’ll take longer if we keep standing here arguing about it." Sydney announced.

Jack turned to the woman. "Hey, sister. I don’t think anyone asked for your opinion."

Brooke stepped in before things got ugly. "We’re driving for a few more hours. If you want to stop, Jack. Go ahead, no one’s stopping you." She motioned to Sydney. "Come on let’s go."

The women got into their vehicle. The blond’s attention shifted from the handcuffs lying on the center panel to the woman sitting next to her. "How about we take a break from the cuffs?" She asked, hoping Sydney would agree not to run.

"Okay, sounds good. Besides, I don’t really want to practice my tuck and roll maneuver right now."
That brought a small smile to Brooke’s face.

A few miles down the road, the bounty hunter decided she’d like to know a little something about her bounty. "So, Sydney Jacobson. What do you do when you’re not jumping out on a quarter of a million dollar bond?

"Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand? Geez, I thought he’d at least go for half a mill."

The blond took a brief glance at her passenger. "What are you talking about? And who’s ‘he’?"

"Oh, I’m talking about Billy, my ex-boyfriend. He’s the one who hired you, there is no jumped bail, Brooke. You’ve been had."

Brooke frowned visible. "I’m sorry. But you’re saying your ex-boyfriend is paying that much to get you back? Nothing against you or anything, but is he crazy?"

Sydney nodded. "Totally certifiable. He told me I couldn’t get away from him. That’s what I was trying to explain to you before you zapped me in my apartment and what the heck was up with that anyway?"

"I don’t like guns.. And excuse me for being skeptically, but that sounds like the plot of a really bad movie."

Sydney shrugged. "Maybe. But did you actually see these court documents for these crimes I supposedly committed?"

Brooke hesitated before answering. "No. John said they were sealed by the Court."

"Pretty convenient don’t you think?" The brunette questioned.

Brooke didn’t answer, she pretended to concentrate on the road ahead of her.

Half an hour later, Brooke’s cell phone chimed again. She was tempted to throw it out the window when she saw who it was. But she really didn’t want to buy a new one. "What do you want, Jack?"

"Can we pull over yet?" He whined. "My ass is tired of sitting."

Brooke rolled her eyes and sighed, but she had to admit she was having trouble concentrating on the boring road, especially after what Sydney had told her. She decided maybe they should pull over and start out new in the morning. "I think there’s a Days Inn at the next exit. We’ll stop there."

Brooke unlocked the door and swung it open letting Sydney and Jack go in, the hotel was one of those that every room opened to the parking lot instead of an indoor hall.

"Okay, there are two beds and three of us, I guess you girls are bunking together." Jack announced.

"Uh, no." Brooke corrected him as she locked the door behind her. "We get the beds, you get the floor, or maybe you’d like to get your own room?" Not that she would mind sharing a bed with the tall brunette.

Jack grumbled something about people having pms as he grabbed a pillow and comforter off a bed and threw them on the ground. He then stormed into the bathroom and loudly closed the door.

"Which bed do you want?" The blond asked Sydney.

"I don’t care. Either."

"Okay. How about you take that one." She motioned to the one that still had the comforter.

"Fine." She walked over and climbed onto the bed and stretched out.

Brooke tried not to stare. Luckily Jack exited the bathroom and she had something else to focus on.

"You got the cuffs for her?" He asked grumpily.

"I really don’t think they’re necessary." Brooke replied.

"Yeah, well I’ll sleep better knowing she’s cuffed up and not about to drop the tv on my head or anything." He held his hand out for the restraints.

The blond motioned with her head towards the dresser where the handcuffs were setting.

Jack’s eyes moved from the cuffs to the brunette. "Uh. I think it’d be better if you do it."

Brooke lifted a lone eyebrow. "And why would that be?" She knew he was afraid of getting his ass kicked again by the tall woman, and she liked tormenting him.

"Well, uh...cause your both women, of course. I thought she might feel more comfortable having you do it."

"Chicken." Brooke mumbled as she grabbed the cuffs from the dresser. "I’m sorry, Syd."

The other woman shrugged. "Hey, ya gotta do what you gotta do."

The blond locked one of the cuffs around Sydney’s wrist and attached the other one to the lamp that hung from the headboard. She made sure there was a bunch of slack in the restraints.

Once everyone was settled, Brooke turned the light off. She found her mind was in overdrive trying to process what Sydney had told her. She had to admit she felt a little disappointment that Sydney had mentioned an ex-boyfriend, but what if what she said was true and she was dragging her back to LA cause some psycho wanted was obsessed with her. She’d try to get some answers in the morning.


Brooke’s eyes popped open when she heard footsteps stop at their door. Jack was still sleeping soundly on the floor, soft snores escaping his half open mouth. A glance to her right showed Sydney looking back at her. "Expecting company?" The brunette asked quietly.

Brooke shook her head and quickly climbed out of the bed. She rummaged through her bag and removed her 9mm. Sig Sauer. She saw the look of surprise on the fugitive’s face.

"I never said I didn’t know how to use a gun, I just don’t like to." Brooke explained.

The sound of a key entering the door lock shifted her attention back to the problem at hand. She used her foot to gently kick Jack awake.

"Huh, hey what’s the big idea?" The irritated man questioned.

"Jack, there’s someone about to come through that door, I thought you might want to be conscious before you got your butt kicked again."

"Very funny." He replied sarcastically as he got to his feet.

They heard the door handle turn, but the door didn’t open, fortunately Brooke had remembered to put the dead bolt on before going to sleep. There were angry voices coming from outside their room. Brooke thought she heard two men arguing.

Their plan for a sneak attack foiled, the men went for a different tactic. "Let us in and we won’t hurt anyone, we just want the woman. That’s it." The called through the door.

"Uh huh, and I’m the Queen of France." Jack answered.

"Hey. Since I appear to be the person they want." Sydney reasoned. "Don’t you think you should maybe uncuff me so I can help?"

Jack shook his head. "No way, sister. How do we know you didn’t call these people to help bust you out?"

"Uh huh. That’s right. And exactly how did I call them when I’ve been under constant supervision the whole time?"

The argument was halted as the door caved in to the intruders’ blows. Brooke chucked the cuff keys over to Sydney before she confronted one of the men. He leveled his weapon at her, but with great reflexes, Brooke kicked the gun out of her attacker’s hand. The man cried out in pain and anger and launched himself at her. Brooke defended herself with a flurry of kicks and punches, she’d only use the gun as a last resort.

Meanwhile, Jack was attempting to subdue the other stranger. He got a few good blows in before the larger man got his hands on him and threw him across the room, he crashed heavily into the dresser and slumped to the ground.

Sydney was free from the cuffs and was watching the fighting around her as she quickly assessed her options. She could run, she knew she could get away and disappear again, or she could help out and try to reason with Brooke to let her go.

There wasn’t time to make a decision, however, as events unfolded too quickly before her. Brooke threw a cross that floored her opponent. But the blond was so preoccupied with the man she was fighting she wasn’t aware of the other man who was now targeting her with his gun.

"Brooke, look out!" Sydney yelled and watched in horror as the smaller woman turned and the gun discharged. The bullet struck her square in the chest. When Brooke collapsed, Sydney felt something snap in her and she charged the man with the gun, totally catching him off guard. A few moments later, she found herself standing over the beaten and bloody man, he was no longer a threat.

Sydney hurried over to Brooke and knelt beside the injured woman., she was a bit surprised there wasn’t any blood coming from what should have been a fatal wound. She grabbed the flannel shirt the blond was wearing and ripped it open. Underneath, she could see the bullet hole in the gray t-shirt Brooke had on. She tore the hole to make it larger and caught a glimpse of the bullet, it had been stopped by a protective vest.

Brooke moaned and slowly opened her eyes. "Am I dead?" She questioned. Her chest was killing her.

"No, I’m afraid you’re still among the living." Sydney informed her as she helped the smaller woman up to a sitting position. "But I don’t know how long that’ll last if we don’t get out of here soon. Can you move?"

Brooke grimaced. "Yeah. What about Jack?"

Sydney looked over at the still out cold man. "I think he’ll live, he’s playing sleeping beauty right now."

"Okay, let’s grab him and get the hell out of here." She stood slowly and walked towards the fallen man.

"I’ll get Jack, go open the car." Sydney ordered knowing Brooke was in no condition to be much help in moving the unconscious man.

The blond paused a moment before grabbing her bag and car keys and exiting the hotel room. Sydney eyed Jack. "You’re lucky, buddy. If it were up to me, I’d leave your sorry ass here." She hefted the man up in a fireman carry and took him to the car where she unceremoniously dumped him in the back seat. "I’m driving." She told Brooke as she held her hand out for the keys.

"I don’t think so. Get in." The smaller woman replied.

"Look, kid. You might have a death wish, but I don’t. You look like shit and I’m betting your chest hurts like hell right now. So stop arguing and give me the damn keys. You know I could have just taken off and left you and Jackass, but I didn’t."

Brooke did a quick appraisal of how she felt, and had to admit she was feeling pretty crappy, and Sydney was right, the woman could easily have left the two of them and taken off. "Fine. She flipped the keys over to the brunette as she walked over to the passenger side and got in.

"Where are we going?" The bounty hunter inquired as Sydney sped out of the parking lot.

"Don’t worry about it. But it’ll be somewhere our friends won’t find us." Sydney assured the woman.

"Who the hell were those guys?" She touched a spot above her right eye where the heavy she’d fought had gotten in a lucky punch, it was sore, but she’d live.

"My guess is they’re Billy’s boys."

Brooke frowned. "But how did they know where we were? I never told anyone where I was going."

Sydney motioned to the back seat where Jack was still out cold. "What about him?"

The blond paused a moment. "I’m going to kill him." She promised.

"Not if I do it first." The driver announced.

They turned off the highway and drove down some back roads for a while before Sydney spotted the mom and pop hotel and restaurant off the side of the road. "How about we stop for a little while and figure out what we’re doing." Sydney suggested. "Maybe get something to eat?"

"Good idea." Brooke agreed. "Then I can check on Jack, I want him to be awake when I kick the crap out of him."


Sydney dumped Jack on one of the double beds. Brooke examined the bump on the man’s head. "Do you think he’s okay?" She was pissed with the man, but really didn’t want to see him hurt.

Sydney looked at Jack. "Do you have a flashlight in your bag?"

"Yeah." Brooke grabbed the item out of her bag and handed it to the taller woman.


Sydney turned the flashlight on and used it to check Jack’s pupil reaction before turning it off. "Looks okay to me. He should wake up soon, but he’s gonna have a hell of a headache when he does. Now let’s have a look at you."

Brooke took a step back. "I’m fine. Just a few bumps and bruises, nothing too bad."

Sydney wasn’t buying it. "Uh huh. What’s it gonna hurt to let me take a look. I used to be a paramedic you know. So let’s play doctor."

The bounty hunter was helpless in keeping her face from turning red when she saw the roguish grin the brunette was giving her.

Sydney stepped closer to the small blond. "Come on. Besides, you need to change your shirt, this one seems to have a bullet hole in it."

Brooke looked down at the tear in the gray shirt. "I guess you’re right." Her heart began beating a little faster as she went to remove the flannel shirt first. She cringed at the pain the movement caused in her chest.

"Let me help you" Sydney offered as she carefully pulled the shirt off. "Okay, and now the next layer. If it would be better, we could just cut it off. Might hurt less."

"No. I think it’ll be okay." She gritted her teeth a little as she managed to remove the ruined shirt with a little assistance from Sydney, leaving her with just the protective vest and bra.

Sydney smiled and shook her head. "I still can’t believe you wore that vest to bed."

"Yeah." Brooke replied. "My dad always said never take chances when it came to the unknown. And you are tall, dark and deadly." She teased.

The brunette ran a finger over the bullet that protruded slightly from the vest. "I’d say it’s a lucky thing you did wear it. Now let’s get this off and check out the damage."

Brooke looked a bit reluctant, Sydney decided to break the ice a little and suddenly removed her own shirt, leaving her standing there in her black bra and blue jeans. "Now it’s your turn."

Brooke barely noticed Sydney removing the vest as she gazed slack jawed at the woman’s mostly naked torso. "Wow." The word slipped out of her mouth without thinking.

Sydney smiled at the woman’s reaction and she found her own eyes traveling over the smaller woman’s body. She started with the perfect set of abs and moved upwards across the lightly tanned skin. Her eyes stopped when they came to the angry blemish that stood out on the otherwise perfect skin. The area where the bullet had impacted the vest was red with a mix of purple, yellow and green. It hurt her just to look at it.

"You’re gonna feel that for a while." She told Brooke as she touched the skin around the welt. "And it looks like that thug got a punch in as well." She softly caressed the swollen patch of skin above the blond’s eye.

"Uh…yeah." Brooke managed to get out. She felt as though her brain had shut down being so close to this woman. She leaned forward a little and inhaled the woman’s scent, it was intoxicating.

Sydney found she couldn’t keep the emotions she felt in check anymore. She led the smaller woman to the bed and had her sit on the edge. "My mom always kissed my boo boos to make them better." She told Brooke suggestively.

"I like the way your mom thinks." The bounty hunter replied breathily.

The tall woman got down on her knees in front of blond. She leaned over and placed a gentle kiss on the injured area above Brooke’s eye. She then continued placing small kisses on the woman’s face and neck, saving the lips for last. They were both breathing heavier as the women angled their heads and moved closer. Their lips touched softly when a voice made them jump back.

"Holy shit, I’ve died and gone to heaven." Jack announced sleepily as he stared at the two half naked women kissing.

"He’s so dead." Sydney growled as she put her shirt back on and advanced on the man.

"Maybe you could wait until after we eat." Brooke suggested as she dug in her bag for a change of shirts. "I’d hate for you to have to kill on an empty stomach." She gingerly pulled on a short sleeve black t-shirt.

"Food? Alright, I’m starving." Jack told the women.

"Yeah, getting your ass kicked takes a lot of energy." Sydney’s words dripped with sarcasm.


The trio sat in a booth, Jack on one side and Sydney and Brooke on the other. Empty plates and glasses cluttered the tabletop. "We’re going to have to haul ass to get her back before the deadline." Jack announced, seemingly unaware of the change in the women’s relationship.

"There’s a new plan." Brooke began. "To hell with that deadline, something is stinking here, and it’s more than your non-showered ass."

"I don’t care what you do, but I’m not giving up my share of the money." He turned to Sydney. "So get ready to go, sister. You’ve got an appointment to make." He grabbed the car keys off the table before Brooke could.

"Give me the keys, Jack." Brooke warned.

"Or what?" He stood and held the keys over his head, out of the smaller woman’s reach.

Sydney began to move, but Brooke placed a hand on her shoulder as she stood. "Or this." She punched the man squarely in the gut, and he dropped the keys as he grabbed his stomach.

"Let’s get out of here before he pukes." Sydney suggested as she snatched the keys out of the air.

Brooke nodded. "Works for me." She glanced back at Jack. "Thanks for lunch, Jack."



The women cruised South on the highway, plans of going to LA now a thing of the past. Brooke stretched her legs out in front of her as she rested her head on the headrest. "So I’m guessing there’s no Billy?" She questioned, just wanting to know what she was getting into with this woman.

"Oh no, there’s a Billy. He’s not my ex-boyfriend though." An enigmatic smile pulled at her lips.

"Okay." Brooke dragged the word out. "You got me, who’s Billy?"

"William ‘Billy’ Jones is a scumbag who’s going to be in deep shit if he doesn’t get me back by Thursday. You see, Billy launders money for some unsavory people, and I was his accountant of sorts. Let’s just say his business partners, and I use that term loosely, are going to be pretty pissed when they discover he’s ‘misplaced’ about 5 million of their money."

Brooke nodded understanding. "Ahhh and they’ll find this out on Thursday."

"Yep. I wish I could see the look on his face when he finds out I’m not coming back." Sydney smiled evilly. "But I have better things to do. What do you think of running away with me to Mexico? A little sand, a little sun, a lot of me?" The rogue smile returned.

Brooke smiled at the possibilities. "Oh, I think I can manage that."

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