Rose & Thorn

By Arkonia

Chapter One

Toronto, Canada

It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining down on the jubilant crowd as they awaited the arrival of one of the biggest American singing sensations.  Fans lined the red carpet thirty or forty deep, impatiently waiting, each hoping for a glimpse of the star.  They knew she had to pass by them in order to enter into the Theater to attend the International Music Awards. 

The crowd chanted ‘Jamie, Jamie’ each time a limo pulled up, only to be disappointed as various other rock bands or stars of the screen alighted from the posh vehicles.  Expectation was building, Jamie James would eventually arrive, they would wait, albeit, not quietly.  They intended to make their presence noticed, they increased the noise level by several decibels, they felt sure it would make her appear sooner than later. 

“Here we go.”  Inspector Dana Destin stated quietly to the driver beside her as the car turned the corner two blocks from their destination and already they could see the fans waiting expectantly for their arrival.

The voice whispering softly in her left earpiece informed the Inspector that the arrival destination was green.  This was the code used to give the all ok to bring a VIP into an area that had been security swept, secured and protected from an overt threat.  Even though her team had advised her that the status was green, the Inspector couldn’t shake her internal warning system, her sixth sense that was telling her something wasn’t right. 

As they drove slowly towards the front entrance of the building, she scanned the crowd, her clear blue eyes touched just briefly on each person, reading the body language, examining their eyes.  She concentrated on where their hands were, eyes couldn’t hurt you, but hands and what was held in them, could kill. 

Before the armored limo could come to a complete stop, the Inspector was opening her front passenger door and stepping out onto the sidewalk.  Armani’s shaded her eyes from the bright sun as they scanned the crowd of onlookers, searching, always searching for any possible threat.  Hidden behind the mirrored lenses were cold, intelligent blue eyes that seemed to look everywhere at once. 

Hesitating for barely a moment outside the rear passenger door of the limousine, she relaxed her body slightly, allowing it to absorb the feeling of the crowd.  No one noticed the small wireless microphone that was attached to her suit collar, nor did they see the control button that was held on the inside palm of her left hand.  Pressing the button hardly moving her lips, she whispered ever so softly, informing her protection detail that she was about to open the door to the limousine.  She didn’t voice her anxiety, she didn’t have to, the team knew her well and prepared for the worst, they were experts at reading between the lines.

Chapter Two

Los Angeles, USA

We are going!

Since leaving public life, Jamie James had received constant death threats from an unknown stalker.  The stalker’s current threat had promised to make the night memorable if Jamie followed through with her plans to appear at the International Music Awards in Toronto, Canada in two months.  Jamie was nominated for two International awards, Female Singer and Album of the year.

Shortly after receiving the last threat Loren,  Jamie’s partner, had immediately picked up the phone to call the organizers of the awards to tell them they wouldn’t be attending.  Jamie had removed the phone from her hand and replaced it on the desktop charger.

“Loren, I refuse to live my life in fear.” She said shaking with frustration, “by hiding from this, this, this animal.”  Jamie said with distaste as she placed her hands on her hips; this usually indicated to Loren that Jamie was about to make a stand on an issue.

“Jamie, please be reasonable,” Loren pleaded. “We don’t know who this person is, I would die if something happened to you.” She said as she gathered Jamie into her arms and held her close to her rapidly beating heart.

“Don’t you understand?” Jamie said as she lifted anguished green eyes upward to look into her lovers eyes.  “Either way he or she wins, I’m condemned to live in a vacuum always wondering who it is, where they are, is today the day?  What little freedom I have in public now, it’s been completely, taken away from me.  Try and understand, please Loren, I have to do this.  Besides it will provide the best chance for catching him, her, them, whoever it is.  And,” she said sexily, raising an eyebrow as she slipped her hands up the front of Loren’s shirt, slowly, until they met behind the dark-haired beauty’s head.

“I’ll have you to protect me and that will mean,” she said hesitantly, “really, really, realllllly” she whispered huskily, dragging the last word out as she pulled Loren’s head down and traced her tongue slightly over her partner’s upper lip before capturing it between her teeth and murmuring “close supervision on a twenty-four-hour schedule.”

“All right,” Loren sighed pulling her head back slightly to look at her partner, “on one condition, we take Allen with us and we inform the Canadian authorities.” 

The last said as she felt her body respond to Jamie’s. She would do anything to protect Jamie and had every intention of addressing this particular issue with anyone who decided to get close enough to threaten the singer.  Besides, now she would have Allen with her, she had thrown his name out to see if Jamie would agree as she knew the singer liked the body guard. 

Allen Marks was an extremely well trained ex Navy Seal who had been hired to keep watch over Jamie when the original threats had been received.  Loren had met him when they were competitors at a karate tournament where Loren and Allen had taken top scores in their respective divisions.  Allen was very dedicated to his family, his friends and was devoted to the singer he had agreed to protect with his life.

Chapter Three

Toronto, Canada

We don’t all ride horses.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada’s Federal Police Force had taken the matter of the threats against Jamie James very seriously.  After the Los Angeles Police Department had contacted them and forwarded a copy of their complaint file, the RCMP had assigned a VIP protection team. The Feds had agreed to assign their top bodyguard, Inspector Dana Destin, commonly known as “Shadow” amongst her coworkers, to protect the famous singer.

The intercom on Dana’s desk buzzed as her personal assistant informed her that Ms. Jamie James and Ms. Loren Wynfield had arrived at her office to meet with her.  Jennifer stood up and smoothed out her uniform pants, and walked around her desk.  Striding across the carpeted room she opened the door to her office closet and removed her blue uniform jacket from a hanger.  She checked her appearance in the mirror of her bathroom and decided her uniform was properly in order after straightening her tie.  Destin strode to the door of the office opened it and stepped out into the waiting area to greet her clients.             

Loren was perusing the framed prints on the wall in the entranceway to the Detachment building while Jamie sat comfortably in a chair next to a very excited star struck assistant making small talk.  Allen Marks, Jamie’s American bodyguard was standing off to the side watching over his charge and the goings on within the entranceway.  Jennifer stopped at the doorway leading into the waiting room, having never met Jamie James, she was stunned at how beautiful the singer was. 

Loren who was always keenly aware of her surroundings watched the RCMP Officer stop in the doorway.  The dark-haired beauty’s eyes narrowed as she observed the look the police officer was giving her partner. 

Destin realized the tall dark haired woman standing in the corner of the room was assessing her reaction to the singer.  She knew the dark-haired woman was probably the singer’s life partner, Loren Wynfield who was infamous for keeping a protective eye on her partner.  To get to Jamie, you had to get by Loren, a trip few people made without being measured carefully.

Walking purposely across the room to where Loren was standing, the RCMP Inspector stopped a few steps away and stuck out her hand.  “Ms. Wynfield I presume, I’m Inspector Destin thank-you for coming to see me.”

Loren nodded her head and took the hand that was offered into her own.

“Please be assured that we will do everything in our power to work with you and Ms. James, to ensure your visit to our country is trouble free and enjoyable.”  The Inspector said, admiring the dark-haired women’s firm handshake.

“Thank you.” Loren said shaking the Officers hand, liking her forthright manner immediately.  “Let me introduce you to Jamie and Mark.” 

Moving over to where Jamie was now standing, the tall dark haired woman put her hand lovingly on Jamie’s back.  “Inspector Destin, I’d like to introduce you to Jamie James, Jamie, Inspector Destin.”

“Inspector, very nice to meet you, I thought most Mounties wore a red uniform?” Jamie said perplexed, as her eyes took in the blue dress uniform jacket worn by Dana.

“Actually we have several uniforms, our Scarlet uniform, which we refer to as our Red Serge is for Ceremonial occasions.  The blue serge is the Officers working uniform, but we have several orders of dress for several different ceremonial functions.  No,” Dana laughed shaking her head  “before you ask, no, we do not all ride horses, only our ceremonial section called the Musical Ride, rides the horses these days.”

Loren chuckled and leaned into the Officer, “Sorry, this will only be one of a million questions you will be asked.” To which Jamie landed a well-placed elbow into Loren’s side followed by a mock glare producing a chuckle from all present.

“This is Allen Marks, Allen is retired from the Navy’s Special Services, he is a friend that travels with Jamie to all events” Loren stressed “however we consider him part of the family.”  Marks face remained serious, but the twinkle in his dark brown eyes didn’t go unnoticed by Inspector Destin.

“I’m pleased to meet you Allen, hopefully, we will not intrude too much on your security measures.   Perhaps you can brief me on what systems you have in place and we can try to blend into your system.  If it’s all right with you, I’d like to say welcome to the team.”

Marks accepted the handshake that was offered to him, liking immediately the way the Officer included him and made him feel welcome.  He visibly relaxed then shook her hand with enthusiasm, “Thank-you Inspector, I look forward to helping you any way I can.”

With a nod of her head the Mountie indicated the way to her office, “If you’ll follow me we can discuss this further while you examine our planning and the preparations we have put into place.” The four continued their conversation as they moved off down the hallway to the office.

Over the next three weeks, the trio of women along with Mark’s would form a strong friendship.  This despite the emotional pressures applied by Loren’s demanding nature in regards to her belief as to what was the best course of action in protecting Jamie.  The RCMP Officer managed to accommodate all requests by Loren while ensuring an awareness of how the security team would operate and exactly who, was in charge.

Dana had explained to Allen Marks the standard procedures when a visiting VIP was hosted on Canadian soil.  Explaining that she herself would assume the position of Officer in Charge and was the Senior Bodyguard on the detail.   She went on to explain that she would welcome and appreciate Marks assuming second in command on the detail.  Marks had reviewed the security plans and agreed to work in this capacity, he was aware of Destin’s reputation, and just how well known she was within international protection details.

Destin had pressed home the point that both women had to follow the directions she would give, no ifs, ands or buts about it, no matter what the situation, they had to do as they were directed.  After much lively debate between Loren and Dana they both agreed to the terms each had proposed, realizing the bigger picture being the security of Jamie.

Throughout the discussions and subsequent planning sessions, the Canadian security detail had been driven to distraction by Loren, which had earned her the security name tag of THORN compared to Jamie’s rather tame code, ROSE.

Chapter Four

Toronto Canada Awards Night

Inspector Dana Destin placed her right hand on the door handle; she slowly pressed her thumb on the button to open the door.   She moved her left hand to the corner of the door and laid it flat on the warm metal surface and slowly scanned the area from right to left.  It was an old military trick she had picked up during her years of service.  Most persons would scan left to right the same way they would read it was second nature.  However moving your eyes from right to left slowed down your eye search allowing you to scan and notice the little things you normally wouldn’t.

As she scanned, her senses were tingling, something wasn’t right and she felt it.  Slowly she opened the limo door stalling for time, trying to pinpoint what didn’t fit.  Moving to her left Destin provided the most cover for Jamie’s exit as the musician started to alight from the limo, protecting her to the last second. 

A camera flash went off, Destin’s brain registered the fact as her eyes caught a glint of steel in a lone gunman’s hand from the crowded sidewalk on the other side of the limo, just slightly over Jamie’s left shoulder.  At the same time the crowd of onlookers who had been standing next to the disheveled gunman ran screaming, leaving him standing alone at the front of the sidewalk staring at the limousine. 

Concentrating all of her senses to focus where the light had glinted Destin watched the man holding the revolver step out into the open away from the front of the crowd, and she reached to her side pulling out her nine-millimeter handgun.

Reacting instinctively, she firmly shoved Jamie back into the car while screaming “GUN!” Followed by “DRIVE!”, alerting the other bodyguards to the presence of a threat.  Without warning, the sound of a gun being fired, filled the air deafening everyone in the immediate vicinity.  Destin managed to fire her service weapon at the unknown assassin as she threw herself into the vehicle landing on top of Jamie and Loren.

The driver pulled away from the curb and immediately and headed to a preplanned safe house that had been selected in the event of an incident requiring a quick change of plans.

Loren had instantly known something was wrong, the previously discussed possibility of something dangerous occurring was now a real situation, she had seen the look on Dana’s face.  Grabbing Jamie from behind, Loren had pulled the singer back into the limo on top of herself, turning to the side she pulled Jamie down onto the floor and covered her with her own body.  Destin in turn, had landed for the most part primarily on top of Jamie’s legs and over top of Loren.

Stay down, Jamie, stay down!” Loren screamed, as the singer struggled to sit up.

Loren twisted around shouting at the Auburn haired bodyguard.

“For Christ’s sake Dana, what the hell happened?”

There was no response as Loren moved, pushing Dana to the side of the seat, “Dana, you ok? Oh Christ, she’s hurt!”  Loren eyes took in the crimson stain that was quickly covering Destin’s shoulder and chest area. 

“Head to the hospital, Dana’s bleeding, she’s been hurt.”  Loren directed the driver as she tried to find where the blood was seeping from.

The driver had heard the shots and had started to pull the limo away just before the Inspector had commanded him to do so once he saw that Jamie was safely inside the vehicle.

“Did you hear me?” Loren screamed. 

The driver nodded keeping his eyes on the road and spoke into his headset.

“Destin is down, I repeat Destin is down, down, down, ROSE and THORN are safe, I repeat ROSE and THORN are safe.  Request permission to deviate to the Toronto General Hospital.” 

Loren was stunned for a minute “Request permission to deviate? Who the hell is ROSE and THORN?   For gods sake she’s bleeding Go! Go! Go!”  She screamed.

The driver nodded his head as he listened to the voice being relayed over his earpiece, he turned the limo onto Young street heading towards the hospital, “I’m sorry we just can’t change plans, you don’t understand, I need the authority to ¼”

“What you don’t understand,” Loren said between clenched teeth, as she lifted her head affixing her piercing blue eyes via the rear view mirror directly into the drivers brown ones,  “is that I will personally rip your lungs out of your body if you don’t step on it and get to the emergency ward at the hospital.”

Jamie finally struggled into a sitting position, her clothes and skin covered in blood. 

“My God Jamie, are you hurt, sweetheart are you ok?”  Panic suffused Loren’s voice as she grabbed Jamie by the arm and started to wipe the blood off her face.  The bullet that had impacted into Destin had sprayed her blood down the front of Jamie’s face and chest.

“Loren, honey I’m fine, I’m fine!” Jamie said looking directly into large terrified blue pools of liquid tears, “I’m ok sweetheart, I’m ok.” 

Glancing at Dana she realized the bodyguard had been shot.  “My god Loren, we have to stop the bleeding, pass me the towel from the armrest, quickly.”

Loren grabbed the towel and passed it to Jamie who immediately used it as a pressure pad and pressed it to the wound on the Mounties chest and shoulder area.  “I think the bullet is still inside I don’t see an exit wound, are we close to the hospital?  She’s lost a lot of blood.”

Dana mumbled incoherently, she was in a dream state; she could vaguely hear Jamie and Loren talking.

“Shush,” Jamie said as she brushed back the wounded Officer’s bangs on her forehead, “You’re going to be ok, we’ll get you to the hospital, Dana, honey, are you hurt anywhere else?  Dana?  Dana?  My god, Loren I think she’s gone, Dana honey answer me please, Dana!”

Those were the last words Dana heard before she spiraled down into a black abyss.

Chapter 5

Toronto, Ontario

On the Mend

Dana stood erect in her number one dress, the scarlet red serge uniform of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  The tailor was busy trying to mark the alterations to mend the once form fitting uniform.  She had lost a considerable amount of weight after being shot and her uniform needed to be tailored in certain places. 

Dana was expected to attend a medal ceremony on her behalf where Commissioner Nadine, the top cop of the RCMP was presenting a medal of bravery to her.  Not only had Destin prevented a tragic situation, she herself had been wounded in the line of duty while protecting Rock Legend Jamie James and her manager/partner Loren Wynfield. 

Destin disliked having a fuss made over her actions as she perceived it as just doing her job.  However she understood what was demanded of her and her position and tried not to fidget while the tailor worked silently. 

The young Mountie let her mind drift back to the events that had surrounded the shooting. 

The local police force had quickly stepped in and arrested the assassin who turned out to be Tony Vigliary, ex manager of Jamie James.  Shadow had managed to hit Tony with one of her shots, the bullet had pierced the fleshy part of his upper thigh.

When he was well enough, the ex manager would face attempted murder and stalking charges, and an extradition trial to California to face theft and fraud charges as they related to his past business ventures involving Jamie’s money. 

A little over a year ago Jamie had discovered that her ex manager Tony Vigliary had defrauded her of over a million dollars, Jamie with the help of Loren had recovered most of the money and had gotten rid Vigliary quietly. 

Six months after that distasteful encounter Jamie had commenced a very successful world tour.  She had in fact changed her life totally during this time period, meeting after falling in love with her tall dark haired blue eyed Loren, Jamie made the decision to leave touring. 

Now one year later Tony was back in her life, but hopefully for the last time. 

Tony Vigliary had digressed to a penniless small time crook vowing revenge on the woman he blamed for his situation.  He blamed her for his current financial woes and swore he wouldn’t rest until he had exacted his ounce of flesh in revenge. 

Tony had gone from a jet setting high profile manager of a top Rock Star, to someone who was persona non gratis with the press, the entertainment world and his family. 

Several months after Tony had been escorted off the recording studio property after being fired, he had lost the love of his life.  When he couldn’t keep coming up with the money to keep her cocaine habit funded, the relationship ended.  To make matters worse, no one would touch him in the music business after word had spread as to his nefarious dealings.

He was bitter and insane with only one constant thought going through his mind.  ‘She’ll pay, the bitch, if it’s the last thing I do, she’ll pay I swear to god.’

Tony had lost any and all ability to think rationally when it came to the person he blamed for his situation.  Couple that with years of drug and alcohol addiction, it made for a lethal cocktail.  He found himself falling into a shifting world of small time hoods, making liaisons with devils he didn’t know, all he did know, was that he could get what he needed from them and not worry about being ratted out.

Chapter 6

The Don Jail

Toronto, Ontario

Tony lay on his bunk in his cell, reading the Toronto newspaper when his eye caught an article on the third page causing him to sit upright and swing his feet to the floor. 

‘So the bitch is going to get a medal.’  He read to himself.

RCMP Officer To Be Honored.

By Sharon Daye

The Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police will present a Medal of Bravery today to Inspector Dana Destin at a star, studded event being hosted at the Toronto City Hall.  Inspector Destin is a sixteen year veteran of the Force who is the Officer in Charge of the Southern Region of Ontario. Three months ago Destin had been assigned to bodyguard American singing sensation

Jamie James after the singer had received death threats from an unknown

stalker.  The stalker indicated, should, James attend the International Music awards being held in Toronto, she would be killed.  Destin had uncovered the stalker at the awards and had taken a bullet to her left shoulder in an exchange of gunfire while saving Jamie James life.  Destin, although seriously injured, managed to direct other officers to the assassin’s location by firing two shots, and wounding the alleged suspect preventing him fleeing the scene.  Inspector Destin underwent surgery and is currently undergoing extensive therapy to regain the full use of her right arm and shoulder.  She is expected to make a full recovery and return to active duty. Expected to be in attendance for the ceremony is Jamie James and her partner/manager Loren Wynfield.  The accused, Anthony “Tony” Vigliary, the ex manager of Jamie James will make first appearance in Provincial court later this month.

Tony shredded the newspaper in his hands, hatred painting the shadows of his face as he threw the tattered scraps disgustedly in the corner of the small cell, ‘bitch’ he muttered to himself, ‘This doesn’t change anything, I’ll get her, no matter how long it takes, I’ll get her.’

Lying down on his bunk, Tony watched as the lone guard did his rounds checking on the prisoners.  After the guard passed by, Tony reached into his pocket and pulled out a creased piece of paper he carefully noted the time and smiled to himself, ‘right on time’ he thought. Then he slipped the paper back in his pocket placed his hand under his head and closed his eyes.

He let his thoughts drift until he felt a restless sleep overcome him, the last thought that crossed his mind before he fell asleep was, this time next week, he’d be back in sunny LA hopefully with his hands around her neck.  His fingers twitched as he began to snore slightly and the lights were turned out in the cells.

Chapter 7


Toronto Ontario

The scarlet clad Mountie walked by Jamie, Loren, and her family on her way to the front of the room to meet the RCMP Commissioner, she caught their eyes and winked.  Jamie and Loren had traveled back and forth from LA to Toronto frequently to visit with Dana.  The three women had become steadfast friends and enjoyed each other’s company.

Jamie and Loren had been very instrumental in pushing the Canadian Federal Agency into making sure that Destin was recognized for her bravery.  Knowing how Destin felt about being in the limelight, they had pushed behind the scenes and were extremely pleased to be here to see their friend receive her commendation.

Inspector Destin accepted the medal from her senior Federal Officer then stepped back and saluted crisply, she turned and stood at the podium addressing the assembled cast of co- workers, friends, family and a very large contingent of media.  Destin had gathered huge celebrity status over the unfolding events of the last three months the media hounded her unmercifully.  As she spoke into the microphone the media photographed and filmed her every move while also trying to capture Jamie and Loren’s reaction. 

“Madame Mayor, Commissioner Nadine, Guests of Honor, family and friends.  Today I have been awarded a medal for doing my job; I thank you for that recognition.  Everyone is referring to me as a hero, I am not a hero, the people who give their lives for what they love doing, protecting the public they are the real hero’s.  So, if you will allow me, I will accept this award in dedication to them, the unsung hero’s, thank you.”

Destin then quietly left the stage followed by the dignitaries to attend in the next room where a large buffet meal had been prepared to serve the guest.

Soft music played lightly in the background as the officials and guests mingled after the ceremony.

“I never really got a chance to properly thank you for saving my life.”  Jamie said placing her hand on the bodyguards arm.   “How do I thank someone for that?  All I can say is I’ve been very fortunate to have had you to look after me.” 

Destin looked into the singers emerald green eyes and smiled softly, she saw the sincerity and thanks that shone outwards directed towards her.

“Jamie, it was a privilege, you really don’t have to thank me.  Besides” she said with a grin, “If I hadn’t shoved you back into the limo, Allen would have.”

A tear slipped down Jamie’s cheek as she gathered the Mountie into her arms and hugged her closely, while Allen wrapped them both in a bear hug.

Loren observed the faint blush coating the bodyguard’s face, Dana looked impressive in her red serge jacket, blue pants with the bright yellow stripe on the side ending in high brown riding boots complete with sterling silver spurs with tabs.  The brown cross strap that would normally hold a holster and sidearm for non commissioned officers, held the gold braided scabbard of an officers sword, which hung dashingly from her side.

The Inspector was a striking looking woman, with short auburn hair and piercing blue eyes standing about five foot nine inches.  She was a respected officer who in her normal course of duties was a Commander in charge of a Region of over six hundred members of the Force. 

Under this umbrella she was responsible for fighting many avenues of international crime, targeting large outlaw motorcycle gangs and drug lords.  As part of her duties she was trained to bodyguard heads of states and other Very Important Persons, of which Jamie James had been delegated as one. 

“Tell me Dana, what will you be doing for the next several months before you return to duty?”  Loren asked as she took Jamie’s hand in hers drawing her partner to her side. 

“I plan on relaxing and working out to strengthen my shoulder muscles, I guess lots of swimming, weights, running and maybe some painting.”  Dana responded. 

Jamie looked at Loren, winked slowly as she entwined her arm with the Mounties.  “Dana, Loren and I had an idea, why don’t you join us in LA, stay with us for a while, you can relax, paint, work out in Loren’s gym and just have a blast?” 

Loren hugged her lover to her, and looked across at Dana, “So why not Dana, we would love to have you visit.  You can fly back with us tomorrow to L.A., eventually we’ll bring you back when you tell us.” She added with a chuckle.

Destin  was speechless, “I’d love to, but one of the rules of body guarding is not becoming involved with your clients, I’m not allowed to¼”

“Not allowed to do what Inspector Destin?”  Commissioner Nadine queried as she joined the circle.  “I don’t see this as being a repeat performance therefore I think it’s a lovely opportunity for you.  Besides some of that California air might be the catalyst needed to speed up your recovery.  Yes, the sooner you are healthy and back to work with us, the better it will be, you have my permission to leave the country to recuperate.”

“Well I guess that matter is cleared up,” Loren said with a smile as she hugged Jamie to her.  “Looks like we have a friend coming to visit us for awhile.” 

“Great!” Jamie said as she kissed Dana on the cheek, “We’ll send a car for you and meet you at the Pearson Airport Maple Leaf Lounge tomorrow morning for a nine o’clock departure.  Is that enough time for you to get ready?” Jamie said hugging Dana, “I hope this isn’t going to be too boring for you after everything that has happened.” 

The bodyguard grinned as she hugged Jamie back, and winked at Loren “I don’t think so star, I don’t think so.”

Destin left the black tie event and returned to her apartment penthouse suite at the Strathcona Towers.  She had hurriedly thrown together two suitcases of clothes, dug out her passport and with a host of last minute details completed, she turned her light out at one oh five in the morning.  Dana fell fast asleep wondering if she would wake up to discover she had only been dreaming. 

Chapter 8

Arrival at

Los Angeles

Arriving at L.A. international airport had been exciting for Dana she had never been to California before and was enjoying every minute of her adventure.  They had flown over part of the Grand Canyon via Las Vegas then on into L.A.  

The four had spent the last several hours sipping champagne while Loren had related several funny stories from her time when body guarding Jamie on tour.   Jamie in turn had related tour stories that had left Loren burning with embarrassment and Dana crying with laughter. 

In the quiet moments Allen and Dana had compared notes in regards to their careers and traded war stories.  All told, there was no doubt the three women and Allen enjoyed each other’s company with each of them privately musing that the next several weeks would be fun.

Upon landing at L.A. International the foursome cleared customs and were ushered out to a waiting Limo.  Here Allen was met by his wife and said his goodbyes to his friends. 

The three women feeling a bit tipsy from the on board champagne giggled and climbed into the rear of the vehicle and settled back for the ride to Loren and Jamie’s home. 

The couple had decided to live at Loren’s while Jamie’s estate was being remodeled, this allowed for a secure peaceful environment in which Jamie could indulge her artistic side and write music.  If she wanted to record any demos she would drive over to her house and lock herself away in her private sound proof recording studio while the remodeling continued around her uninterrupted. 

Sometime during her last world tour her usual recording studio had closed its doors to the old buildings and had relocated to a new facility located on the other side of L.A.  This didn’t prove to be a hardship to Jamie since the same demands placed upon the singer prior to her retirement from public life were non-existent now. 

Jamie snuggled into Loren and rested her head just under Loren’s chin and wrapped her arms around her tall blue-eyed love.

“Its great to be home hmm my darling.” Jamie whispered into Loren’s shirt.

Loren responded by hugging Jamie close and kissing the top of her golden head, “its nice to be anywhere with you my love.”

Dana felt a lump grow in her throat as she watched the two nestled in each other’s arms, she wished she had someone to share her life with.  

Letting the two have a private minute with each other, Dana turned and watched the signs, the buildings and the people as they drove through LA.  Her thoughts drifted, ‘maybe its time I moved onto something else.  I was lucky this time, maybe next time I won’t be so lucky, maybe I should start my own business, maybe, maybe, maybe.’

Dana let out a sigh that was audible enough to catch the attention of the two women seated across from her. 

Jamie squeezed closer to Loren as she let her gaze sweep over the young Mountie,

“Dana, have you always wanted to be a police officer?” 

Distracted for a second she turned her head towards Jamie and Loren.

“Yes,” Dana answered simply, “ever since I was in high school, it’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do.  Yup, no doubt about it, its what I wanted, however I’ve sort of been playing around in my mind that maybe I should look at other opportunities.  See if I could make it on my own, start my own business.”  She said while leaning forward and retrieving a bottle of water from the limousines well-stocked cabinet.

“Are you dissatisfied in some way with what your doing now?”  Jamie asked sitting up, but staying within the circle of her lovers arms.

“No, I wouldn’t say that, I’m, well I’m restless.  I’d give anything to meet that someone special, that person who makes your life complete, to be like you and Loren are, like two pieces of a puzzle that fit together and make you whole.  I feel so alone at times that I don’t know what to do with myself.  Although I guess my job keeps me busy enough that I don’t have too many moments of self reflection.”  She replied with a little laugh.

Loren pulled Jamie in closer and looked at the Mountie, “there is someone for everyone Dana, it’ll happen.  It happened for us.” She said as she looked into Jamie’s eyes and kissed her softly on the lips.  

Chapter 9

The Don Jail

Toronto Ontario

Tony waited patiently; he knew of the two guards on duty for the night, that the young guard would be tasked with making the bed checks.  He had heard the more experienced guard ask the new hire if he would be ok by himself for a few minutes. 

The older guard wanted to slip outside for a cigarette and figured anyone leaving the joint would have to go my him anyway so as far as he was concerned why not slip out for a quick one. 

The newbie corrections officer only had two months on the job, he’d be by the book, he’d want to make sure he did everything perfect in a nonchalant manner trying hard to appear experienced.  To Tony, this meant that no one for a small amount of time would be manning the cell surveillance camera.  Therefore, no one would be alarmed at anything that took place in the next two minutes!

The newbie guard walked by the cell and stopped, he took two steps backward ending up right in front of the bars of Tony’s cell.  Tony grasped the bars and spoke softly, “excuse me Sir, do you have a light for my cigarette?” 

“Actually no I don’t”

“Can you get me one?”

The guard looked at him hesitantly, torn, should he complete his rounds first then get the light or just tell the prisoner no.   He ran his fingers through his hair in frustration, “oh alright, hold on I’ll be right back.” 

The guard turned and went back to the main desk, noting on the way back that the other two prisoners were in their bunks sleeping.  ‘Hell, I guess it won’t hurt any, what does it matter if I get a light for him, and finish rounds in a few minutes.  Hell the other two are in the cells along the way and prisoners contrary to us are allowed to smoke inside.’ He thought to himself. 

Grabbing the lighter out of the drawer the young guard turned and headed back down to the cell where Tony waited for his light.  As the guard approached Tony’s cell the overhead lights switched off triggered by the master timer as the clock struck 22:30 hours. 

“Damn!” muttered the guard, “I forgot my flashlight.”

“Here,” he said to Tony and without thinking he stuck his arm between the bars. Tony grabbed the young guards arm and pulled him hard into the iron bars he watched as the blood oozed out of the large gash that was now on the unconscious guards brow. 

Tony supported the weight of the guard as best he could with his injured arm he deftly searched the unconscious man’s pockets.  He grinned widely as his fingers wrapped around the cell keys.

“Come to mama baby, come to mama.”  Twirling the keys around he found the large metal key and fit it snugly into the cell door keyhole.   Within seconds he had the young guard inside undressed, sleeping peacefully in the bunk that had housed Tony for the last several months.  

Tony quickly dressed in the guard uniform it was almost a perfect fit.  He stepped out into the hallway and dropped his chin down to his chest and tilted the ball hat down over his eyes.  Only someone peering closely at the closed circuit monitor would notice the difference between the guard’s build and Tony’s but that wasn’t a concern to an unmanned monitor. 

He continued walking down to the main desk, once there he reached behind to the button that controlled the exit door, pressed it and walked out into the secure bay area.   

Tony immediately spotted the older guard leaning on the far open secure bay garage door having a cigarette.  The stalker immediately took a cigarette out of the package in his uniform top pocket bowed his head turning slightly away from the second guard and proceeded to light the smoke. 

The second guard waved to Tony as he threw his cigarette butt down on the pavement and stepped on it.  “Your turn buddy, take your time I’ll see you inside.” 

Tony kept his face averted pretending to have trouble lighting his cigarette, he waved his hand at the second guard in acknowledgment. The unsuspecting corrections officer turned and walked back into the cell area and sat behind the main desk, scanned the monitor’s to ensure everything was ok, then firmly placed his legs on the desk, tilted his chair back crossed his hands on his stomach and settled in for a nap.

Tony stepped out into the night air and took a deep breath, ‘God it was good to be out,’ then he turned and walked to the end of the building out across the parking lot and disappeared into the tree line.  The whole time his mind kept racing ahead and he laughed crazily, ‘I’m coming bitch, I’m coming¼gonna get yours yes you sure are and I’m gonna give it to you.’

Chapter 10

Home at last!

Los Angeles, USA

The three women piled out of the limo when it arrived in Loren’s driveway grabbing their luggage they entered the house turning on the lights as they went.

“Dana, your room is down the hallway on the right, first one after the office, make yourself at home and then join us out on the patio by the pool, anyone hungry?” Loren asked as she tossed the keys on the foyer table and walked down the hallway to the kitchen.

Both Jamie and Dana answered at the same time “Yes!” and then started to giggle still feeling the effects of the earlier consumed champagne. 

Loren stopped turned around and headed back to the two girls, realizing they had had a little too much to drink. 

“Ok, I’ll order in some pizza, then by the time we all unpack it should be here.” Loren finished her sentence by grabbing two suitcases and a suit bag and headed to the main bedroom.  Looking over her shoulder she grinned at Jamie and said, “wanna help me little girl?” 

Jamie picked up a small bag and followed behind Loren, “I thought you’d never ask!”

Dana gathered up one suitcase laughing she shook her head, “Go ahead you two, I’ll find my way around and carry all this luggage myself, don’t worry about my shoulder, its ok, I can¼.” 

Jamie turned and grabbed the bag from her hand and winked at her “Come on wimp, I’ll carry this one for you.”

“Well here’s home for the next while Dana, get settled in and I’ll give you a tour, we’ll be back shortly.”  Loren said as she took Jamie by the hand and led her down the hallway to their bedroom.  Jamie closed the door behind her and rested her back against it. “So, how long will it take you to unpack?”

Loren stopped mid stride, hearing the innuendo in Jamie’s voice she promptly unzipped the suitcase and dumped the clothing out onto the floor. “There!” she said, “All done!” 

Dropping the now empty suitcase the lawyer turned and slowly walked back towards the singer.  Loren stopped only a centimeter away from having her lips touch Jamie’s.  The singer could feel the lawyer’s breath tingling her own lips.

“We have time for a quick shower?”

Jamie slid her arms around her partner’s neck and placed her lips lightly on Loren’s and whispered, “I might enjoy that.”  Then quickly sidestepping the tall dark haired lawyer she sauntered saucily into the bathroom disrobing as she went. 

Loren leaned against the door grinning watching her blond lover until the last thing she saw was a small pink butt as it shook nastily at her before it disappeared behind the bathroom door. 

‘That women is trying to kill me’ Loren thought as she felt her heart race and literally ran into the bathroom tearing at her clothing.

     Dana unpacked her bags and placed everything neatly into the drawers, she heard the shower going in the other bathroom and decided to take a quick walk around the house to gain her bearings. 

Leaving the bedroom she made her way down the hallway into the kitchen and looked around.  It was well kept and it was very obvious someone enjoyed cooking as the kitchen held every type of convenience known to man.  Looking at the small desk at the end of the cupboards she saw a list of fast food outlets.  Knowing that the other two were still busy ‘unpacking’, she laughed at that notion; she chose an underlined number from a pizza parlor and phoned. 

After talking with the owner and giving her address she explained she wasn’t quite sure what to order.  The older man told her not to worry that he knew exactly what Ms. Loren and Ms. Jamie would like.  He promised he would be there with the pizza in thirty minutes.

After hanging up the phone she wandered outside and stopped just beyond the patio doors, she felt her breath catch in her throat.  This was absolutely beautiful the water was like glass, the landscaping around the pool was lush and green accentuated by water gushing down a Japanese waterfall.

“It is beautiful isn’t it?” A soft voice said over her shoulder startling her. 

“Oh Loren its absolutely amazing, did you do the work yourself?” 

“Some of it, although Jamie has a great eye for where things should go, I’m just glad she’s not into re-arranging furniture!”

“Cute, Loren.”  Jamie said as she joined the two women on the patio. “Cute, although you have a point, we should look at moving the living room around tomorrow.”

Loren groaned loudly and mumbled “me and my big mouth.”

Dana and Jamie laughed out loud as they both sank down onto lawn chairs set around the patio table.

“Alright ladies, I’ll go order the pizza, I meant to do that before I mmm well before I showered.”

“Oh,” Dana said, “I hope you don’t mind, I called one of the numbers on your list, Papa’s, he said he knew what you liked and it should be arriving shortly.”

“It’s a good thing I have you here Dana, or this sexy woman here would have me starved to death.” Jamie smirked.

“Unhuh,” Loren said dryly, “Anyone like a beer with their pizza?”  Both women accepted the cold drinks and leaned back in their chairs.  Hearing the doorbell ring Loren went off to get the delivery. 

“As you can see Dana, you can take your exercise in the pool each day.  It’s heated so don’t wait for an invitation, help yourself.”  Jamie said as she waved her hand towards the pool.  “We’ll give you a better tour tomorrow and show you the work out room where you can keep up your exercises for your shoulder.  How is it by the way?”

Dana flexed her injured shoulder and winced, “It should be good as new in a few weeks nothing a few laps and a daily workout won’t fix.” She said with a grin.

Jamie looked the Mountie in the eye “I don’t want to belabor the point, but thank you, thank you so much for all you’ve done.”

Dana blushed and waved off the thanks “don’t worry about it, its over and you don’t have to worry anymore.”

Just then Loren returned with the pizza and joined the ladies at the table.  They sat around and talked well into the night finally heading to bed around two thirty in the morning promising to have a semi early breakfast together.

Chapter 11

Suddenly Awake

The incessant ringing of the telephone woke Loren out of a deep sleep; groggily she reached over and picked up the telephone. “urmphhhh” she blurted out as one opened eye registered that it was ten thirty five a.m.

“Ms. James?” a voice enquired.

“Who, wants to know!”  Loren responded trying to shake the cobwebs from her brain.

“I’m sorry to bother you Ms. James, this is Special Agent Nicole Reynolds of the FBI.”

Loren sat up in bed, “This is Loren Wynfield is there a problem Agent Reynolds?”

“Good morning Ms. Wynfield, may I speak to Ms. James?”

Loren looked at partner who was asleep on her side facing away from her.  In a quiet voice she told the agent that her partner was indisposed and asked if she could be of any assistance.

“Ah yes ma’am, we just received word that Tony Vigliary escaped from the Detention center in Toronto, Canada.  We’d like to meet with you and Ms. James as soon as possible.”

Loren, looked down at her sleeping lover, and felt a wave of coldness overtake her body, ‘my god she thought he’s going to come after her!’  “Um yes, yes, no problem, where would you like to meet?”

“If you could come to the FBI office downtown we could meet here later this afternoon and discuss what we need to do.”

Loren’s mind raced ‘this afternoon, why are we waiting so long why not this morning?”

“Well Ms. Wynfield, its ten thirty-five right now and I’ve obviously woken you up, listen why don’t I come to you instead.  That will give you time to take care of a few things and I can be there within the hour.”

“Yes that makes sense, ok we live at¼”

“Its ok, I know where you live.”

“Um, yes, well¼I guess you would, we’ll see you then.”  Loren replaced the phone on its cradle and sat there stunned. 

Jamie rolled over and looked up at her blue-eyed lover, “What’s wrong?  What’s going on?” 

Loren slid down in the bed and wrapped her arms around Jamie, “oh sweet heart, he escaped, Tony escaped, that was the FBI they’ll be here shortly they want to meet with us this morning.”

Jamie stiffened in Loren’s arms, “My god¼. coming here?” 

“Well yes honey, we thought it would be better to meet here.”

“Not the FBI! Tony!  Tony’s coming here to get me?”

“Oh sweetheart” Loren said as she squeezed Jamie close to her body, “He’ll never get near you, that I promise on my life.” 

Chapter 12

The hunted.

Loren paced the patio tile restlessly, “How the hell did he get out?” 

Jamie was pouring coffee and seemed to be the calmest of the three.

Dana was talking on the portable phone trying to gather information from her contacts back in Toronto as to how Tony had broken out of his cell the night before.  They were all awaiting the arrival of Special Agent Nicole Reynolds of the FBI.

Dana clicked the phone off, and ran her hand through her short auburn hair. “Well I guess it was a combination of things, they had a newly hired corrections guard with little training and with Tony being one of only three individuals in the cells that night they didn’t think they needed extra guards¼”

The sound of the doorbell broke the silence that had ensued, Loren turned and went to answer the door.  Dana was lost in thought and didn’t hear the patio doors slide open to admit Loren and the agent. 

“Jamie, Dana, this is Special Agent Nicole Reynolds.”

Dana lifted her head and looked into soft gray eyes, her breath caught in her throat. If you had asked her to speak she wouldn’t have been able to do so.  Somewhere her brain measured the fact that this beautiful angel had a face that was framed by short blond hair, giving the agent a sophisticated feminine look.

Long lean legs seemed to go on forever in a pair of black dress pants, a small curved waist was displayed under an open dark gray suede jacket that covered a white button down collared shirt tucked neatly into pants.  A slight bulge on her right hip indicated she was carrying a sidearm. 

Dana stood and immediately stuck her right hand out, “I’m ah¼Destin, I mean Dana, and ah Shadow is my nickname.” The Mountie felt the heat rise up her cheeks as she realized she sounded like a stuttering fool.

Both Loren and Jamie’s eyes met across the table with a knowing look, seems like their Mountie was taken by the Special Agent.

“Nicole Reynolds.”  The agent responded as she took the Mounties hand into her own.  They remained that way until Jamie coughed and put her own hand out, “I’m Jamie please have a seat would you like coffee?” She asked dryly.

“Yes please.” The agent responded as she sat in a chair opposite to Dana.

“I’m sorry I have to meet you like this, but we received word early this morning from the Canadian authorities that Tony Vigliary escaped last night from custody.  We believe that he is headed this way and after his last threat he may try to harm you again.” 

“I understand that Agent Reynolds,” Loren said, “but why are the FBI involved?”

“Our agency is involved because he’s a wanted felon from the US and Canada and he will in all likelihood be crossing jurisdictional boundaries, in a nutshell the border if he hasn’t already.” Agent Reynolds stated casting a glance at Dana the young agent continued diplomatically,  “If you wish we can discuss this in private.”

Dana turned her head to Jamie and Loren understanding immediately the position the FBI officer was in, as she stood to leave she said “ I’ll be in the living room if you need me.”

“No” Jamie said placing her hand on the Mounties arm.  “Agent Reynolds Loren is my partner and very much part of this discussion and Dana, well if anyone is familiar with Tony its her after everything that’s transpired.”

“I’m not sure if you know who Dana is, but she’s the reason Jamie is safe with us right now.  She protected Jamie during the International Music Awards in Toronto a few months ago.”  Loren explained to the agent. “This is Inspector Dana Destin of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.”

Reynolds looked at Dana with a new measure of respect.  “Well it certainly is an honor to meet you Shadow of the Mounties.  We’ve been reading quite a lot about you in our intelligence reports, you could say your one of my hero’s, nice job you did.”

Dana nodded her head in acceptance of the complement, blushing slightly “Thank you.”

“Well then, if you would be agreeable, we could use your help in setting up security for Ms. James.” The Agent looked at the Canadian officer awaiting the Mounties response.

“Wait now¼ explain to me what security you are talking about?”  Jamie blurted out looking at the Agent.

“Ah sweetheart,” Loren interrupted trying to diffuse some of the tension now building in Jamie’s eyes. “I think that Agent Reynolds is correct, we have to be ready, Tony may be on his way back to try and finish what he started.”  Loren shuddered as she folded her hands around Jamie’s.

Jamie leaned heavily back in the chair a defeated air to her demeanor, “I guess its back under the microscope eh.” She said in a small voice.

Loren moved her chair next to Jamie’s and stroked her arm in comfort. “Its alright Jamie, I’ll be with you the whole time, he won’t get near you.”

Jamie smiled weakly at her lover and traced her hand down Loren’s cheek, “I know my darling, I know.”

“I’d like to suggest that you allow us to make a few security changes both in and outside of the house.  Then I’d like to meet with you each day and obtain a copy of your schedules, I’ve been assigned to be with you as your security officer until Tony is back in custody.  Of course I will have a second in command who will relieve me when I am attending to other duties.”

Jamie slunk even further down in her chair “You’re talking twenty four hours a day?” 

“Jamie.” Dana spoke gently, “We’ll get him, besides you have three bodyguards now. Just think about it¼we’ll be at your beck and call besides now you have two more people to help distract you with all this security stuff.  Besides, you know I’ll never let him get near you, we got him once we’ll get him again.”

Jamie sighed, “I suppose so, after the last few months I was hoping to relax knowing that Tony was out of our life.  He’s going to take everything I’ve worked so hard at getting back.”  Bolting straight out of her chair Jamie stared with horrified eyes at her partner.  “Oh my God Loren, in trying to hurt me he may end up hurting you or…. or worse.”

Agent Reynolds spoke up, “He’ll never get the chance Ms. James I promise you I’ll do whatever it takes to catch him.”

Loren gently guided Jamie back into her chair and kept her arm around the singer’s shoulders murmuring soothing words, words of comfort telling her it would be ok.

A brief silence settled over the table, each woman lost in their own thoughts as they sipped their coffee.

“I have to make a few phone calls to arrange for the technicians to come in and prepare the house.  Ms. James, Ms. Wynfield, I want you to know that I will try to respect your privacy, I won’t get in your way, most of my time will be spent outside the house when you’re home.”

“But where will you sleep?”  Jamie enquired her brows drawing together in confusion.

“Don’t worry about that, I’ll make arrangements.” The young agent said with a grin, “its what we do.”

“I don’t think so,” Loren said with a stern look on her face as she tightened her grip on Jamie.

“Ms. Wynfield, I know it will be a disruption¼” Agent Reynolds started to say before Loren interrupted her.

“Dana?” Loren queried.


“Ah, well, we don’t have another bedroom¼”

Understanding immediately what Loren was asking Dana looked at the Agent.  “Would you mind sharing a room with me?  Since you’ll be staying with us also?”

“Oh no, don’t worry about me.” Reynolds said, “I can have arrangements made, its no problem.”

“Agent, I’ve done a lot of bodyguard work and I don’t have to tell you, as you already know you will need space to relax and sleep, so it’s no problem whatsoever, I would love a room mate.”  Dana let a large grin spread across her face.

Looking around the table the Agent noted the varied expressions, relief on the singers, to the ‘I won’t take no for an answer’ from Loren.  But it was the rather sexy grin from the Canadian that swayed the Agent.  She replied, “Well with an offer like that, I wouldn’t dare refuse!”

“Ok,” Jamie said, “that’s settled, I guess I had better plan something for dinner.”

“I’ll give you a hand.” Loren said somberly and followed Jamie into the kitchen.

“May I ask what type of security your installing?”  Shadow enquired as she watched the couple leave the patio and go into the kitchen. 

“Well first on the list is a peep hole in the front door, security motion lights strategically placed on the property, sensor detectors, and should the power be disconnected a backup generator.  Surveillance camera’s, oh and a panic button in several rooms.  Rounding that off will be myself with the security team.  We will be here full time do you have any other suggestions?”

“Well, I know they had a close friend by the name of Allen Marks work with both of them anytime they went out, he’s ex military and very well trained.”  Dana explained.

“Yes, I know Allen, he’s very good.”

“Don’t forget Loren is a black belt in two disciplines but has limited exposure to being a trained bodyguard.  That leaves me, I am both trained and very capable however, my arm is still weak, I’m also not permitted to carry a weapon in this country sooooo, that really leaves only you.”  Dana grinned, “And I’m betting heavily that you are not only experienced but quite capable.”

The Agent blushed at the compliment then fixed her gray eyes on Dana’s blue ones.  “I’m not as experienced as you think, Inspector, but I feel I can hold my own.”  It was Dana’s turn to blush as she caught the meaning behind the words.

Smiling softly Dana invited the Agent to call her by her first name.  “After all” she said after issuing the invite me, “we will be roommates!”

“Actually I’m going to make a few phone calls and have the tech teams install everything today.”

“Yes, I suppose the sooner the better, have you thought of placing a send signal on Jamie?” Dana queried.

“A send signal?”

“Yes, doesn’t your agency use them, it’s a device that is given to a person who is a possible target usually in the form of a piece of jewelry.  Should an incident occur the person will remove a pin, or covertly press a button which sends a signal to a receiver informing the individual guarding the person that something serious is happening.”

“Hmm, yes, I’m aware of them but haven’t used one yet, no actually I hadn’t given that any thought but it makes sense, I’ll have the crew bring a couple out, what would you suggest.”

“Well the usual one is placed in a necklace, however I haven’t noticed Jamie wearing one.  What about the ring or bracelet type, not easily noticed and if her hands are restrained she can still activate it.”

“I’ll have a couple sent out immediately we should give one to Loren also, better to be safe than sorry.”

Chapter 13

Security setup

Later that day as the last tech departed the house the young Agent closed the door ensuring all the locks were turned.  She made sure the new security system was set, and then she wandered back through the house to the patio where Dana, Loren and Jamie were talking quietly.

“I hope you don’t mind,” the Canadian said as she watched the Agent approach “but I was just explaining to Jamie and Loren what a send signal was and how it works.” 

“No not at all.” The Agent responded as she slid into a chair next to Jamie.  “Let me see which ones they gave us.” 

Dana passed over a two gold wrist bangles, one containing a small sapphire the other was a small plain band with a diamond set into its gold.  “They are both quite good, the blue Sapphire has a small button underneath it, all Jamie has to do is press the top of the stone and it will activate.  It’s placed up inside the band so it can’t be set off accidentally, rather a nice job.  It’s the same with the diamond band, look under the diamond.  The receivers are set into the matching bangles and vibrate when it’s set off.  Try it.”

Reynolds slid her finger over the diamond and pressed down activating the small button.   The receiver, which was lying on the patio table, started to vibrate immediately while letting off a steady beeping noise.

“I hope this is the one with a hundred mile signal range?” Dana said.

“Yes the tech said it was good for a little over a hundred mile radius, it’s a great piece of work.”

“Ok, Ms. James which wrist do you prefer?”

“Neither,” Jamie mumbled as she extended her left wrist. “By the way its Jamie...”

The agent replied softly “Ok Jamie, call me Nicky.”

After affixing one bangle on Jamie’s wrist, Dana picked up the second bangle and placed it on Loren’s extended wrist. 

“Ok, ladies, I guess its time to brief you on all this electronic stuff that’s taking up space here on your property.”  Nicky cleared her throat and began describing each piece of equipment and how both Dana and herself would monitor it along with a relief team twenty-four hours a day from Loren’s office.  This was followed by a quick tour as Nicky pointed out the various cameras and sensors scattered around the property. 

Returning to sit around the pool, Jamie seemed unusually quiet.  Loren looked at Dana and moved her head to the side indicating she would like some privacy with Jamie. 

“Ah, Nicky, shall we take a look at the monitors to ensure everything is working correctly?”

Nicky understanding what was happening stood up suggesting that she retrieve her bag out of the car then after she put her stuff away, she would meet Dana in the office where the monitoring equipment was located. The two Federal Agents left the room their thoughts lingering on how crushed Jamie looked.

Loren got up and walked over to the lounger that Jamie was reclining in with her eyes shut. “May I join you?”

Jamie moved to the side without responding and Loren laid down beside her pulling the singer into her arms. 

“Oh Loren, I feel like I’m under a microscope.”

“I know darling, but remember, there are no camera’s in this area, only along the perimeter of the property.  So there is privacy, although not as much as we would have liked it won’t be for long, I promise.”

Jamie started to cry softly while Loren held her and stroked her hair gently soothing her with softly whispered words of love and encouragement.  Eventually, the crying stopped.  Jamie’s breathing evened out as she fell into a restless sleep in which she was soon joined by Loren.

Chapter 14


“I’ve made room in the closet and the dresser for your things.” Dana said as she decided to wait for the Agent before heading to the office.

“Thank you,” Nicky said as she began to unpack.

“How long have you been with the FBI?” Dana enquired as she lounged on the bed and watched the Agent unpack.

“Hmm about nine years now, I joined as soon as I graduated from university.”

“What made you join?”  Dana asked as she tucked a pillow under her chin and got comfortable.

“Well,” Nicky said as she finished putting her clothes in the dresser and turned around to face Dana.  She crossed her arms and leaned back against the drawers.  “I had just graduated from university and was approached by a friend of mine who suggested I may enjoy working in the agency.  So, I joined.” she said shrugging her shoulders, “and you, why did you join the Royal Canadian Mounted Police?”

Rolling over on her back Dana placed her hands under her head and again got comfortable. “Well,” she responded “it was always something I wanted to do.  I knew I wanted to go into public service, I just didn’t imagine it would lead me where I ended up at.  It’s been a wild ride, but I don’t think I’d ever change anything about it.”

“Hmm, sounds like you like what you do.”

Turning on the bed to look up at the agent who had walked to the head of the bed and stood looking down at the Mountie, she replied, “Yeah, I guess you could say that.”

Blue eyes looked directly into gray and held for a moment, both understood the world of the other.  An unspoken understanding passed between the two women until Nicky reached down and tousled Dana’s hair.  “C’mon, lets go check the monitors.”

Dana was on her feet in a flash headed to the door, “last one there has to make the beds in the morning!” with that she took off to the office next to the bedroom.

She was followed by a laughing Nicky “No fair you have a head start.”

“Well then,” Dana responded over her shoulder “I guess I win and I love hospital corners on my bed.”

Nicky could be heard muttering to herself as she walked behind Dana. “Keep it up and you’ll have the real thing.”

Shadow cocked her head to the side and responded with a huge smug grin “Now, now, you know I’m injured and need to be looked at in a sympathetic light, don’t be a spoil sport.”

Chapter 15

Ready and waiting.

Several days later after a comfortable routine had settled over the house Jamie and Loren had decided to visit Loren’s parents for dinner.  Usually the family get together was held at Loren’s home but since recent events had unfolded the family thought it was wise to have the family football game at mom and dad’s.  

“So.” Loren said to the other three women seated around the table at breakfast.  “Jamie and I are headed over to my mom and dad’s for the family barbeque and of course a little game of football.  You two want to join us?”

Dana and Nicky looked at each other, it was Nicky’s first day off and she had promised to take the Canadian Mountie to Universal Studio’s.   Dana looked at Nicky reading her silent message and said, “I’d like to Loren, but we sort of made plans and besides, I can’t really play with my shoulder the way it is.  How about we join you for the barbeque part?”

Loren rolled her eyes as she noted the look that had passed between the two law enforcement agents.  “Ok, no problem.”

Jamie looked up from the newspaper and smiled at the women, “Not too late as I have plans for my friend here, you might want to see her go down in the flames of defeat in the game.”  She winked at Loren.

“Defeat, defeat!!  I tell you we whooped your butts last time and we will do it again!”  Loren said with mock indignation.

“Un-huh right,” Looking at the two laughing Agents Jamie rolled her eyes, “The season tabulation is 7 - zip for the A team, which I might add” she said with a beaming smile “is my team, and for the wannabe’s well they just keep on trying.”  

Jamie got up and folded her newspaper neatly and placed it on the patio chair.  As she passed by Loren she stopped with her back towards the dark haired lawyer and started to scuff her feet back and forth.  All three women wrinkled their brows, perplexed as to what Jamie was doing.

“Um honey?” Jamie said to Loren without looking back, “Do you know what that is?”

“No.” Loren stated curiously.

“That is my dust honey, where you and your team usually find yourselves before, during and after the game.”  With that Jamie sashayed saucily into the house with a big smile on her face.

Loren was dumbstruck and looked over at the two women who were literally hanging off the patio chairs laughing so hard their sides hurt. 

Loren got up and started into the house, as she passed by the two laughing women she muttered “Sure laugh it up, laugh it up good cause pay backs are a bitch!”  Which caused the two women to laugh even harder.

Chapter 16

Out for a day

 “Aaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhh” Dana screamed as the roller coaster completed its final corkscrew turn and came to a sudden stop in front of the off loading ramp. 

Nicky laughed gleefully “Wasn’t that fun” she said as she exited the small two seated coaster car and began bouncing from one foot to the other “let’s go again?”

Shadow leaned against the exit wall and raised one eyebrow as she glared at the young agent.  “Again?” she said slowly “You mean go on that ¼ that¼ whatever you call it, again?”

Nicky laughed loudly, “Oh c’mon big strong Mountie, you aren’t ¼um afraid are you?” She asked with an innocent look on her face as she blinked her eyes rapidly.  “I mean, a big time bodyguard like you can’t possibly be afraid of a simple little ride like the Death Dragon?  Are you?”

“Fine!” Dana said staggering away from the wall “but if I get sick you’ll be the one regretting it.”

Nicky paused for a second, “Ok, on second thought, c’mon let’s try something different.”

Dana grinned wickedly ‘yes she mentally pumped her hand in the air, thank god!’

Nicky took Dana by the hand and almost skipped in her eagerness to lead her companion to the next event.  “I’ve just been dying to try the new Virtual 250 ft Drop Compacter Ride, they say it’s awesome!”

Looking sideways at Dana she saw the Canadian go two shades paler than she was when she got off the last ride.

“Mmm!” Dana barely whispered, “That would be just perfect.”

Nicky laughed heartily as she spontaneously wrapped her arms around Dana’s neck and hugged her closely. “Aw Dana, I’m only joking hon, come on I’ll buy you an ice cream instead at the parlor.  You’ve been a sport and you’ve earned any flavor that you want, so go ahead and pick.”  The young agents sparkling eyes literally glowed as she stared into the young Mounties eyes. 

The world as Dana knew it, here, now in the middle of one of the largest amusement parks in the world went silent, it virtually stood still.  All she felt were butterflies in her stomach, far worse but ten times sweeter than the last ride.  She knew without a doubt she had found the one.

Her arms tightened around Nicky and she was about to place her lips on the tender rose buds that were being offered to her.  When she put the agent down and put some space between them.

Nicky stood perplexed, she had felt sure that Dana was going to kiss her but wondered what had happened.

“Dana?”  She said and placed her hand on the Mounties arm, “did I do something wrong?”

“Oh no,” Dana gasped as she covered the hand on her arm and turned pained eyes on her friend.  “Its not you, I just¼ I just felt um a bit queasy still.  So how about that ice cream” she said with a smile, “you promised.”

Nicky smiled and without a word took Dana’s hand and led her to the ice cream parlor.

After several hours of unbridled fun exploring the park it was time to leave to head to Loren’s mom’s house to take part in the family barbeque and listen to the exploits surrounding the outcome of the football game.

Nicky and Dana arrived at the house, hand in hand both laughing, enjoying their time immensely.  Just as they arrived at the front door they heard shouting coming from the back yard.  Looking at each other they turned and went through the side gate just in time to see Jamie streak by two identical looking blond giants who crashed into each other and collapsed on the ground.

“OOOOHHH, I bet that hurt.”  Nicky said as she closed her eyes and looked momentarily away from the human collision.  

“YEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH” a shout went up from an older gray haired woman who was covered in dirt as she ran toward the singer who was bent over catching her breath.

The older woman grabbed Jamie and swung her around in a hug.  “Yaaahoooo girl, you did it, game over and look at them¼just look at them.  Pitiful if you ask me, just plain pitiful.”

With that a rather battered Loren raised an eyebrow and looked at the two blond giants lying on the ground, “shall we gentlemen?”

Hearing this both the gray haired women and Jamie looked up in horror.  “No!” They both said as they started to back up until they hit the fence and realized they had nowhere to go. 

“Now Gerry, David, I’m still big enough to place you over my knee.” 

Both men continued to advance with huge grins on their faces; Loren’s two siblings were up to no good.

“Now boys, I’m your mother and you should respect that.” With those words spoken the gray haired woman squared her shoulders and started to walk towards the two men.  Acting like she had every right to just continue about her business.

Weakly from behind she heard Jamie ask “Um, Mom, what about me?”

“Oh sweetheart” the woman turned with concern written all over her face which turned into a sweet innocent look “Sorry darling, its every woman for herself!”  Turning away from the shocked singer the woman smoothed her sweatshirt and almost walked by the two giants when she felt her feet swinging in the empty air.

“PUT ME DOWN!” she demanded as the two blond giants carried her over to the pool and before throwing her in, turned towards the rest of the clan who were gathered around laughing loudly at the matriarch’s situation.

One by one the family mafia raised their arms and true to the days of their roman gladiator ancestors, turned their thumbs down unanimously. 

Without a second glance they calmly tossed the older lady dead center of the pool.

Total pandemonium broke out and within a moment everyone was in and out of the pool, children and all. 

Nicky and Dana looked at each other and shrugging their shoulders they walked out onto the patio. 

Loren was helping her mom out of the pool while Jamie was picking up several towels to pass around. 

Standing on the pool side, with her gray hair falling to one side, her shorts and sweatshirt plastered to her tall lean body, Loren’s mom noticed the two new guests.

“Oh, hi Dana, and you must be Nicky, glad to meet you.”  Alexis, Loren’s mom said.

“Here, Benedict Arnold!” Jamie said as she passed Loren’s mom a towel. 

Loren’s mom laughed loudly as she wrapped her arms around Jamie and gave her a big kiss  “Come on love, you know you forgive me!”

“Yes, unfortunately I do, but it doesn’t mean I will forget this traitorous act!”

Loren gave Dana and Nicky a hug “Welcome to the Wild World of the Traitors Guild!  Take my word for it, trust no one, absolutely no one.  Any alliance formed will fall under the heading of “unholy!” 

Everyone laughed and agreed with Loren’s warning as they crowded around Dana and Nicky with everyone yelling out their names and hugging the new additions.

A sharp whistle brought everyone’s attention to the tall older man standing next to the pool.  “It seems to me that everyone here is almost the same, except for two new additions.”

All eyes turned towards Nicky and Dana as realization donned on the pair, as to what Loren’s dad was inferring.  Slowly they started to back up until they felt a set of strong arms envelope them at the same time. 

The last though that entered their brain before their bodies hit the water, was that they should have gone out to dinner.