Return of the Warrior

© by Archangel

Chapter One

It was an average early afternoon in Marietta, Georgia, hot but not too hot, sunny, but not too bright and for a January in Georgia it was kinda nice.

'Yep, just your average day and I am going buggy.' Dylan sat, thinking and staring out the window; this was the fourth Welcome Home ceremony she had attended in as many weeks.

'You'd think the country would be tired of hearing my name.' She turned and stared at the cream colored room that they had been given to rest in. It was huge; a beautiful cherry wood table graced the center of the room it claw toed legs seemed to clutch at the thick blood red carpet. Tall ladder-back matching chairs were scattered in strategic locations against the walls. The normal patriot prints were displayed in matching imitation cherry wood frames. It was all a bit heavy but over all the county courthouse was really quite nice. Unable to sit still Dylan turned again to stare out the window. She and Lura had arrived earlier that morning and reporters had surrounded them immediately, bombarding them with questions and the flashing lights of cameras. The limo that had been assigned to them for the duration of their visit now stood patiently outside and Dylan sorely wished they were in it now. With a deep sigh she turned to glance at her roommate, slash fellow captive in all this confusion. Lura sat staring at her folded hands, a dazed look on her face; exhaustion evident in the slump of her shoulders. Dylan smiled gently at the small blonde; Lura had stuck by her through all the stress and strain of the physical rehab and the mental anguish of reliving and retelling the events in the debriefing session. As she watched her lover she began to notice the dark circles under her eyes and the slight pallor of her cheeks.

"This was the last one Lura, no more. We're going home."

Lura lifted exhausted but smiling eyes and sighed. "We will do whatever it takes Dylan, but to tell ya the truth home sounds really, really good right now. I think I could use the break." Slowly she stood stretching her tired body and walked to Dylan, wrapping her arms around the slim waist of the soldier.

Dylan raised her dark blue uniform-clad arms and placed them on the shoulder of her soul mate. Smiling gently down into the soft green eyes, she felt herself relax. "How do you do it Lura? Just a touch, just a sigh and I turn into a neatly pressed and starched, dress blue uniformed wuss?"

"Humm, must be love sweetheart." Came the warm, muffled reply from deep in the front of her blue jacket. Lura pulled back far enough to glance up at the beautiful soldier she held in her embrace. Her Hawk looked incredibly regal in her dress blue uniform, the brass buttons glittered against the dark blue jacket and three rows of multi colored ribbons gracing her left breast. The incredible star-studded, deep blue ribbon of the Medal of Honor lay gently nestled against the stark white of her uniform blouse. The medal had been awarded the day she had arrived back in the United States. Frowning, Lura still remembered the ceremony.

They had arrived at the White House in the early morning. It was still gray outside and the security lights around the huge building glittered off the dew on the lawn. A police escort, sirens blasting, had taken them straight to the front door of the palatial estate. Their doors were opened by their assigned security. They were assisted out of the car and through the front doors into the home of the leader of the most powerful nation on earth.

Lura was concerned about her partner, the injuries that they had both suffer had not quite healed and they were exhausted. Dylan even more so, having withstood a grueling debriefing the day before. She had been through so much already, to include months of rehabilitation just to reach the point where she could move under her own power again. Though the tall soldier had healed quickly, the injuries had taken a lot out of her. But what really concerned Lura was that through it all Dylan had not shed a single tear.

Inside the main foyer a Secret Service Agent stood with a wheel chair at the ready. She quickly rolled it forward towards Dylan, but stopped when her eyes met the icy daggers of the woman in blue. It had taken Lura a good ten minutes of arguing to talk the damn stubborn woman into sitting in the chair even though it was obvious she was ready to pass out on her feet. Dylan finally agreed to the chair but only if Lura offered to push it.

With a tired smile she had settled into the padded`chair and, motioning forward, had ordered, "Onward McDuff."

Lura had leaned forward and whispered into one creamy ear. "Now I'm McDuff? Damn, close your eyes for a nap in a military hospital and see what happens. That's the last time I do that." Her comment was answered by a gentle rumbling chuckle from the chair.

Lura rolled them towards an indicated door they exited the building and entered the plush grandeur of the South Lawn. A flag draped metal platform, with a set of stairs and a wheelchair ramp, stood at the edge of the manicure grass, the podium on it bearing the brightly painted seal of the President of the United States.

When they had settled into their assigned spaces on the platform the doors opened again to admit the press and the viewing public, those that had been invited specifically for the ceremony. Lura saw the man from the cave again, the one who claimed to by her mates father. She felt Dylan stiffen as their eyes met. Senator Cameron assisted his wife to her seat then turned and climbed the stairs to his daughter. Dylan began to struggle in her chair to rise and face her father but was stopped by a gentle hand on her arm. She turned and looked into a pair of pleading green eyes. Resigned to having to stay seated she sat up straighter and leaned forward, her white knuckled hands gripping the arms of the chair. Lura expected a low growl to emanate for the tight throat and was genuinely surprised when it did not.

Dylan waited for the man to speak. He stopped directly in front of her chair and stared down into eyes that mirrored his own. Kneeling in front of the injured woman he lowered his head as if in deep thought then raised his head and spoke. "Dylan, when your unit was attacked and you were reported lost three years, I made a promise to God." He paused catching his breath. "I promised that if he were to give me another chance, just one, to have my daughter back I would do everything in my power to work things out. When we couldn't find you, when you were reported dead..." he stopped, his eyes filled with tears and he reached out blindly for her hands. Grasping them in his as if to draw strength and reassure himself of her existence. Clearing his throat he continued. "When you were reported dead, I made it my life's work to understand your lifestyle and try to find a way to come to terms with it. I did a lot of reading, I attended meetings and most importantly I spoke with your Grandfather. I am still not real sure of it all, but I can understand that love comes in a lot of different forms and you don't always have choices about who you love or why. I understand that there is no shame in love and most of all; I understand that God does not make mistakes. He made you the way you are for a reason, and that is good enough for me. There is something I want to tell you and something I have to ask you. First and foremost I love you, no if ands or buts, just the way you are. I realize what an ass I have been to you and your mother. There is no excuse for my behavior, but I have tried with your mother and Grandfather to make amends. They have forgiven me and for that I will always be grateful. Sweetheart there is one thing that I have been waiting and praying for and now thank God I have the chance. He stopped here and looked deep into confused blue eyes. "Please, please, can you forgive me?"

Dylan stared into the tear-streaked face of her father, then lowered her head and shook it side to side. "I don't know, I don't know." She mumbled, "I need time to think, please, give me time." Dylan choked unaware of the tears streaming down her face. Her hands gently pulled away from her fathers as she unconsciously reached back with one hand to her soul mate for comfort, using the other to angrily brush away the tears.

The Senator stood and drew in a deep breath, "I understand honey, I have waited three years for an answer and no matter what it is or how long it takes, I can wait. Thank you for coming home. I love you Dylan." Then he turned and walked away.

After he left Dylan turned as her gaze settled on the figure of her mother. She looked beautiful if not distraught. They had spoken at length on the phone from her recovery room in the hospital, and this was their first face to face in six years. There was a bit more gray in her hair but her features were still stunning. She loved her mother but was disappointed in the lack of support she had gotten from her as a child. Turning her head she caught the dark eyed gaze of her Grandfather. Her cocked an eyebrow at her making her smile. Then he nodded towards Lura and gave her a jaunty thumbs up. Dylan almost choked in surprise as she blushed and dropped her eyes in confusion to the deep laughter coming from the old man.

Lura glanced at her partner in surprise when she heard the sharp quick in take of breath coming from the woman in the chair. She frowned as she noticed the blush in her cheeks and reached over to feel Dylan's forehead. "Are you alright honey? You seem a bit flushed. Do you need a glass of water or anything?"

"Um, no. Uh no, I'm fine, just fine." The soldier stuttered not raising her head. Lura could have sworn she heard something like, "I'm gonna have to kill that old man." in a low murmur coming from the chair. Glancing up to see what had caused this reaction in Dylan, Lura was stunned by the face of the beautiful tiny woman seated next to the senator. It was very apparent where Dylan had gotten her incredible looks. The woman was a delicate version of the warrior, with gentle brown eyes, high cheekbones and the same beautiful long black hair streaked now with silver. But it was the figure beside the woman that had her eye now. A tall steel gray haired warrior was seated beside the woman and her husband. The copper skin tones enhanced by the buckskin shirt and pants. Dylan's Grandfather, Gray Hawk, War Chief of the Cherokee nation had come to witness the ceremony in full traditional regalia. His thick gray hair had been combed back into two heavy braids that were tied off with leather wraps, a single eagle feather had been braided into one that lay on his chest like a badge of honor. The bone and stone beads that adorned the shirt formed a screaming hawk talons outstretched. His decorated buckskin pants and leather moccasins glittered the early morning light.

Lura watched as his alert black eyes turned to gaze proudly at his granddaughter, the thick barrel chest inflated as he crossed his arms and waited. As she turned to stare at Dylan she noticed her gazing at her Grandfather and as their eyes locked she felt the shoulder under her hand stiffen, but this time in pride. Dylan seemed to sit up taller; her head raised higher and a bit of the old sparkle appeared in her eyes. In turn the gray haired warrior threw his shoulders back with pride as a smile appeared on the wrinkled face. Lura now knew where her warrior had acquired her courage. They all settled into padded chairs in front of the podium and within minutes the ceremony began.

Lura vaguely remembered the introduction of the Secretary of War who read the citation out loud for the hungry eyes of the nations premier news stations. Her eyes were on the President as she walked to the microphone to address the nation.
She spoke of the boundless courage of a young Captain alone in the desert facing insurmountable odds. Of her battle with a ruthless enemy who had made it his mission in life to destroy for his own benefit. She told of those last days in the cave and the firefight that ended in the death of an enemy and the horrendous injuries suffered by the proud defender. The President had tears in her eyes as she turned and called Captain Dylan Hawke to the podium.

Lura stood to roll the chair forward but was stopped by a raised hand. She looked on as the woman she loved slowly struggled from the chair, her pale shaky features telling of the strain that simple action was taking on her. Lura remembered again, the way the uniform hung loosely on the tall frame and the way the soldier swayed gently when she had valiantly fought to stay on her feet. The warrior stepped forward and bowed her proud head to allow the President to lay the Medal of Honor around her neck, the reward from a grateful nation.

And though she was there in the final days, Lura still had not been able to grasp the full enormity of Dylan's accomplishment until that moment. She had survived for three long grueling years virtually alone in the desert and had cause serious damage to the enemy of the United States and the free world. Lura remembered every moment, every smell, every feel from that day. She would remember it for the rest of her life.

Chapter Two

The cameras loved the tall dark haired warrior and were constantly focusing on the beautiful haggard face and brilliant blue eyes. That face graced the cover of more than one magazine over the last month and the demands on her lover's time were as taxing on Lura as they were on the soldier. Today, Lura noticed the sunken cheeks and shaking hands. Dylan had not quite recovered from the extensive surgery that had removed several bullets from the beautiful body. She occasionally complained of what she called 'twinges' that woke her in the night, forcing her to restlessly pace the floor of the hotels. Lura had watched as Dylan tossed and turned night after night and the journalist knew it wasn't from the injuries. Rather, this came from the deep horrid memories of the last three years.

Lura glanced at the ribbon around Dylan's neck, thinking of the meaning behind the star shaped bit of metal. Only warriors who had sacrificed all for the sake of others were ever awarded the country's highest honor. Most recipients received the award posthumously. She was amazed to notice that even General officers saluted the young Captain first, when they noticed the ribbon around her neck. They would stop, snap to attention and render a sharp salute, which Dylan returned just as sharply. When Lura asked her about it Dylan shyly replied that they were saluting in respect of the ribbon, its recipient and all those who had gone before. Lura felt as if her heart would burst from pride whenever she saw her mate in uniform.

Boy they were right when they said a woman couldn't resist a soldier in uniform. Oh Boy, were ever they right.

Dylan watched the now smiling woman and wondered what had brought on the sudden change in her facial expression. Whatever it was she was grateful, she had been worried that it had all been too much on her soulmate.

Lura, feeling the warmth of the gaze, glanced up. The still pale cheeks and drawn expression told it all. Dylan was barely holding it together and Lura knew it.

Time for a break. I'm gonna get my woman away from all this and let her unwind before the super glue she's using to hold herself together wears off.

Nuzzling back into the deep blue coat, Lura sighed again. "Dylan, I don't know about you, but I really need a break. Is there anyplace we can go and just be, well, normal?"

Dylan looked deeply at her companion, and a slow smile crept across her face, one eyebrow raised and the sparkle returned. "I know just the thing," she said chuckling. Taking her companion's hand, she led her out the door. They had already put in their appearance and were only waiting on their driver to leave. Dylan was tired of waiting.

That damn driver is probably out smoking. Well, too damn bad. We are outta here. Quickly striding down the hall and past a startled security guard, Dylan reached the limo. Opening the passenger door, she helped Lura in, then rushed around to the drivers door just as the first reporter raised an alarm. Smiling with wicked glee she locked the doors and started the car. Glancing back over her shoulder she eased the large car through the crowd of flashing bulbs, out into traffic and down the road. The squeal of tires and peal of laughter were the only sounds and they were left, still lingering in the air.

Reaching the hotel, she retrieved their key from the front desk and led Lura to their room. As Lura watched, a bemused expression on her face, her partner unlocked the door, pulled the smaller woman in, pushed the dead bolt home, slipped on the chain, walked quickly to the windows, and drew the curtains. She then turned and pulled Lura into a bone-crushing hug. "Sometimes you have just the best ideas." She mumbled into the soft blonde hair. "Let's change, then I am going to take you out for the most normal food you have ever eaten."

Quickly changing, Lura and Dylan escaped the confines of the six star hotel the state had paid for and were searching for what Dylan referred to as one of her many 'vices'. She absolutely had to have a large order of McDonald's French fries. "I'm not sure how they make em, but every true fry connoisseur knows that McDonald's has the best French fries; not too hard on the outside, nice and soft on the inside, with just the right amount of salt." Dylan had assured Lura.

Lura knew how much salt Dylan considered 'just the right amount'. She noticed that the tall woman had a love for the seasoning and tended to overdo it just a bit in that area. Having gotten directions from the front desk, the two women walked three blocks down the street and into the nearby McDonald's. Minutes later they were seated quietly in a corner booth, munching on crisp, hot French fries and slurping down their drinks. Neither noticed the arrival of the news van or the cheerful reporter who stood outside talking to the television camera.

Dylan felt the disturbance first, and raised her head. Still munching on a heavily salted, crispy fry she watched from her corner seat as the other customers began pointing and chatting in excited voices. 'Uh oh." she moaned, reaching over she placed a hand on Lura's head and turned her towards the window.

"Oh my. Oh no. Not here." Lura groaned, watching as the perky anchorwoman motioned her cameraman towards the silent couple.

"I am not giving one more God Blessed interview." Dylan growled. "All I want is to eat my fries in peace. Make them go away Lura." She whined, presenting Lura with a pitiful puppy dog pout.

Lura stared into the big blue eyes of her companion and nodded her head. "I'll take care of it baby, don't you worry. I won't let those big bad nasty news people near you." She spoke in the perfect Mommy voice. "You just sit here and finish your fries. I will be right back."

She stood up, dusted the salt and fry crumbs from her jeans, pulled her shirt straight and headed towards the camera crew. There was a look of staunch determination on her face.

"Go get 'em girl." Dylan said, smiling as she munched on another salty treat.

Holding up her hands to stop any further advance towards her partner, Lura began to speak. "Miss Hawke is not giving any more interviews today. You need to speak with her attorney."

"Are you Lura Grant?" The perky reporter asked. "How does it feel to be nominated for the Pulitzer Prize?"

"Whaaa? ... Huuu? ... I'm not ....but, the Pulitzer Prize?" Lura stammered. Suddenly, she felt strong hands lightly grasping her shoulders.
"Miss Grant is not giving any more interviews today. You may speak with her attorney. Thank you." Dylan said, as she turned and ushered the stammering, confused blonde back into the restaurant.

"The Pulitzer, the Pulitzer. The Pulitzer." Those were the only words that Dylan could hear from her companion as she guided the still mumbling woman down the aisle, ignoring the stares of the other customers. Finally reaching their seat, she pushed the stunned journalist down into the booth and slid in after her. She picked up a French fry and placed it into Lura's trembling fingers, guiding the small hand to her mouth just as the words, "The Pulitzer" spilled out again.

Still watching the dazed mumbling blonde, Dylan picked up on the conversation of a couple standing in line next to them. A smiling woman stood next to a tall young man. The young man looked to be around seventeen or eighteen.

"Aww Aunt Char, I want two Super size Big Mac meals. I have been soooo good and I'm really hungry." He whined, turning pleading gray eyes to his aunt.

"No Michael, you know what your Mom would say. Sam would kill me if she knew I let you talk me into more fast food. You're doing so well on your diet, and for a short woman your Mom has quite a temper."

"Yep," the young man replied with pride. "But she never stays mad for long." He finished with a grin.

His Aunt Char seemed to be considering this comment for a moment when a loud noise in the rear of the restaurant drew everyone's attention. First there was yelling, then screams, closely followed by gunshots.

Dylan reacted instantly. Drawing Lura to her and shielding the smaller woman with her own body, she threw them both to the floor.

Lura felt the tall soldier stiffen just before she was folded into two strong arms. "Dylan, what's going on? What happened?"

Dylan, of course, had immediately recognized the sound of the gunshots. Her first thoughts were to get Lura to safety. Suddenly she was back in the cave, facing the big gun of the tank. Dylan's vision tunneled until all she saw was the threat.

As Lura watched, Dylan changed. Gone was the smiling former soldier. Gone was the gentle, sweet lover. The person rising next to her was familiar, the face a chiseled mask, and the eyes an icy blue.

The Hawk had returned.

The thief, a slender young man, with dirty blonde hair stood in the back of the restaurant. He was dressed in a dark green jacket, two sizes too big, black gloves that could not hide his slender hands and a blue baseball cap turned with the bill in back. He had been in this McDonald's before and had his routine down pat. He planned to simply wave his gun around, threaten a few faint-hearted customers and employees and rob the popular eatery. It had always worked before and he needed a few bucks for the new speakers he was wanted to go with the sound system he had stolen last night. When he arrived in the restaurant he expected some resistance but he had not counted on the creature he now faced. Before him was a demon. The woman's face was hard a stone, her lips were drawn back, exposing white teeth in a chilling grin. But it was the eyes that were the most frightening of all. The irises were almost white and as cold as death.

Lura watched as the would-be thief freeze in place. His hands trembled as he stared into the face of the very tall, very angry warrior. He stood still, not moving a muscle, the way one might if facing a rabid wolf. She watched in utter amazement as he stopped in his tracks. His arms out stretched, palms down. His eyes still locked with Dylan's, he slowly lowered his weapon to the floor and stood, waiting. Dylan had not moved. She had not spoken or threatened him in any way that could have been easily seen or anticipated. Dylan Hawke had simply glared at the trembling man while he, to his total embarrassment, wet his pants in sheer terror.

A quick thinking employee had picked up a phone in the manager's office and dialed 911. The sound of the siren and the arrival of the police brought a cheer from the crowd. But there was no sound coming from the still figure of the warrior or trembling form of the thief. The police rushed into the restaurant, guns drawn, expecting to find cowering customers. Instead, they too, faced the warrior.

Lura knew that Dylan was not herself and tried to stop the police from further escalating the situation, but it was too late. Dylan spun around to face the newest threat. Crouching low, she placed herself firmly between the guns and Lura.

"Put your hands up Miss!" A stunned young police officer ordered, training his weapon on the dark haired woman.

"No!" Lura screamed, rushing forward. Then, she stood with her back to the policeman, facing Dylan. "It's alright Sweetheart. These are the good guys. These are the cops. Everything is okay now. Calm down, we're okay."

Dylan heard Lura's voice and slowly began to focus on the soft green eyes. Shaking her head she began to listen to the voice of her soulmate.

"Everything is okay, these are the police." Lura repeated.

Slowly, Dylan realized that the threat was gone, Lura was safe, and she was no longer in the desert. Reaching out her arms like a blind woman searching through the darkness, she again folded the small blonde to her chest. Breathing in the smell of the sun-kissed hair, she released the Hawk to settle back into her home.

The reporter and cameraman rushed forward shoving the camera and mike into the soldier's face. "Can you tell us what just happened here Ms. Hawke? How do you feel right now, having just stopped a hold up?"

Lura pushed the reporter back and glared into the camera until the cameraman finally caught a hint and lowered it.
Dylan stood there, her arms still wrapped around Lura, still in a state of shock.

The manager of the McDonald's was talking to the stunned law enforcement officers about the tall dark woman. He told them how she had subdued the thief before they arrived. He was attempting to explain what they all had seen, but could not believe.A woman stopped a robbery with only a glare. As the police cuffed the thief, the manager slowly approached the two women. "Thank you for stopping that asshole. That's the third time in two months he's been in here. The police have never been able to catch him. Somehow, I don't think he will be coming back this time." he said, smiling. "Now I know you weren't here for the 'entertainment', so whatever it is you wanted, it's on the house."

Lura smiled and thanked the manager. She started to turn the offer down when she heard a deep voice respond. "French fries, and a Dr. Pepper." Lura turned and glanced back at her partner. Dylan still had the disturbed look in her eyes, but if she wanted French fries, by God, she was gonna get them. "Supersize that and add a Strawberry shake to it."

"I'll do better than that." He walked to the counter and pulled out a slip of paper. He quickly wrote out a note and signed it, then passed it to Lura, still staring at her dark friend.The note read: 'Free French fries, Dr. Pepper and Strawberry shake for life at this McDonald's'. It was signed: John Wilson, owner/manager. Lura chuckled and passed the note to Dylan, who glanced at it briefly before stuffing it into the pocket of her jeans and turning an expectant glare at the manager. John Wilson had not flipped a burger or salted a fry in years, but he jumped to fill this order. Pushing aside the startled teenager behind the deep fryer, he shook out the fry basket and dumped the hot fries into the bin.

"She likes lots of salt." Lura added, trying to keep the smile out of her voice. Turning, she again to face her lover. Lura took Dylan's hand and led her back to their seat past the looks of gratitude on the faces of the other patrons. Dylan sat with her back to a wall, her eyes scanning the open spaces between their seat and the door. Waiting. Lura watched as Dylan pulled a napkin from the dispenser on the table and slowly tore it in half, then half again and again until there was nothing but a small pile of white confetti. "Getting ready for a parade love?? Lura asked.
"Huh, what? Oh, sorry sweetheart. What did you say?" Dylan asked, focusing worried eyes on her companion.

"I asked if you were getting ready for a ticker tape parade." Lura asked, smiling.

"No, sorry. I guess I am a bit distracted." The dark woman said. "That guy kinda shook me up a bit. I kinda forgot where I was for a minute there." Dylan said staring at the small pile of snowy napkin bits. She gently gathered the pieces and placed them in the brass colored ashtray at the next table.

Turning to Dylan, Lura noticed the worried frown on her face and reached up to stroke the dark hair from her lovers eyes. "Honey, what's wrong? Is what happened still getting to you? I know that happened pretty quick but it's over now. Let's just enjoy our snack and go back to the hotel. I know it's been a long month, but we can go home after this."

"Home?" Dylan asked just as John brought over a tray loaded with fresh hot fries and two large drink cups.

Lura was sure she had heard Dylan mumble something but wasn't certain what it was. 'I need to get her back to the hotel so we can get into some soft clothes and do some serious cuddling, I think my big bad warrior could use a bit of snuggle time.' She thought, watching the still frowning woman munch on the hot fries and stare at the door.

Chapter Three

The drive back was thankfully uneventful. Lura spent the majority of it trying to revive the atmosphere. By the time they pulled into the parking garage she had succeeded in getting Dylan to unwind enough to allow the circulation to return to the hands gripping the steering wheel. The ride up in the elevator resulted in a poking tickle fight and by the time they had reached their room, Dylan's good humor was on an upswing. Lura knew what would keep that happy mood. She reached for her toiletry bag and walked into the bathroom. Turning on the hot tap she squirted a generous amount of scented oil into the running water. Adding a touch of cold she filled the tub. The crisp sent of evergreens filled the air. Satisfied that the water wasn't too hot she turned and called out, "Dylan honey, take off your clothes."

A laughing disembodied voice replied, "Lura, I know I usually take charge in the bedroom, and I know I promised that you could be in charge sometimes but Sweetie you are going a bit overboard don't ya think?"

"Dylan!" Lura laughed coming out of the bathroom holding a large towel advancing on her lover a look of determination on her face. "Now you listen to me. Hawke, if you are not naked in the next fifteen seconds you are gonna see one very pissed off little falcon. You hear me!" Lura stood there, her hands on her hips and watched as a grinning Dylan stripped.

As she turned to place her clothes on the bed Dylan felt the towel smack her naked butt. "HEY!" she yelped turning to face a smiling small blonde.

"Get that cute butt of yours in the tub Hawk, before the water gets cold." Lura laughed.

"Alright, alright just keep your flippin towel to yourself." Dylan said as she ran bouncing into the bathroom and stepped into the tub. "Ya gonna join me, it looks big enough for two."

"Nope, not this time lover, this one is all yours, you earned it. But if you ask really nice, I might be persuaded to scrub your back." Lura replied

Dylan sank into the hot, scented water of the tub and allowed the soft oily water to caress her body. "Lura this is great all I need is ..."
"Dr Pepper?" Lura said appearing in the doorway with a sweating can of cold Dr. Pepper.

"God, I love this woman." Dylan said reaching for the can.

Lura smiled as she watched the exhausted woman sip on the cold soda, a crooked grin on her lips. Her eyes traveled the length of the beautiful bronzed body, frowning as they touched on the still healing scars made by the bullets. Her Hawk had been through Hell. The question wasn't if she survived, but did her soul make it as well.

Dylan lay back with a deep sigh finally relaxing, finally feeling a measure of security behind the door of the hotel room. Her soul mate was here and safe, she was here and safe. The doors were locked and she was on the fourth floor, in her own room and in her own country. There was no need to worry, no worries.

As Lura watched, Dylan closed her eyes and slipped deeper into the tub. At first she was worried that the sleeping woman would slip under the waters but her long legs prevented that from happening. Lura decided to let her relax. 'This is probably the first decent rest she has had in days.' Lura thought. 'I'll give her a few minutes but I swear if she comes out of there looking like a prune...

She felt the sweat dripping down her face, she was hot and it was nighttime. He was coming, no not for her, for Lura. He was going to hurt Lura! 'I have to get to her before he does.' The sand was so thick, she was sinking into it, 'Quicksand! I can't run! Have to get to Lura! She's in the cave surrounded by my men. They can't fight him, they have no arms, no legs, no heads. They can't protect her. She will die, like they did. I have to get to her. Lura!' "LURA!" Dylan screamed leaping from the tub, sliding on the now wet floor and crashing to her knees. "Lura!"

Lura heard her from the bedroom and rushed in to find a sodden Dylan on her hands and knees beside the tub. Her face streaked with tears, her hair in disarray. "Dylan honey, are you okay?" She bent to help the tall woman to her feet. Reaching for a towel to wrap around the wet body she guided the still stunned soldier into the bedroom and onto the bed.

Dylan turned and looked at her soul mate. Reaching up with an unsteady hand she stroked the soft pink cheek. "So soft." She glanced into gentle green eyes. Placing her hand behind Lura's head she slowly drew the soft pink lips to her own, kissing the blonde gently. "I love you Lura." Dylan pulled Lura to her and began to undress the other woman, kissing each portion of flesh as it was exposed.

Lura, threw her head back offering her lover a choice bit of neck to nuzzle and moaning softly as Dylan took advantage of the opportunity.

part 2

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