Disclaimers ~ This is an original work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, places or events is purely coincidental. These characters belong to me, if they have a passing resemblance to you or share your name, it's purely coincidental. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without permission from the author.

Bad language ~ A fair bit.

Disclaimers ~ This is an original work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, places or events is purely coincidental. These characters belong to me, if they have a passing resemblance to you or share your name, it's purely coincidental. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without permission from the author.

Bad language ~ A fair bit.

Love/sex ~ Romance between men and women and between women. Sex between consenting couples.

Sickness & death ~ There are some deaths in this story. If that's not for you, I hope you enjoy reading something else.

Author's note ~ Questions, comments & thoughts all welcome. Loves_to_write_fic@yahoo.co.uk

© June, 2006 Cam Taylor



Chapter Thirteen

Tuesday, 5th January, 2010

F ive days into the New Year and Kate was still receiving some mail from her stalker. Her security system had been set off twice -- once by a hungry fox. There had been no more attacks on the investigators and no sign of their man. The investigators were jumpy and nervously waiting for an unexpected attack. It had been too quiet.

James didn't know what to do. He wanted to switch a couple of his investigators back to the case of the Mayor's missing daughter, but with Harrison being killed, he was hesitant to do so. He didn't want to leave his team short-staffed and unable to cope with anything the stalker did next. He had no choice but to keep things how they were, in the hope they could end this case swiftly. Laurie was put back on the day shift; James feeling that Kate was more comfortable in Laurie's company than Patrick's. Charley and Chris were teamed up with Patrick on the night shift to show him the ropes. The two men patrolled the grounds, while Chris watched things from inside.

Janet stayed away. Chris, frustrated at not being able to fix things between them, got angry, then confused, then lonely. She missed their conversations, though she'd deny it if anyone asked.

* * * * *

It was cold this Tuesday night. The temperature had dropped to minus four once again and the town had been hit with snow all day, with more to fall over the course of the evening. Drivers had been advised not to drive unless necessary, only the main roads having been salted. Chris wandered around Kate's house, bored and hoping for something to take her mind off things. As she walked past the doctor's open office door for the fourth time, Kate called her in. The blonde walked in and sat in the soft blue chair at the side of the room.

"You're driving me mad with your pacing, Chris. What's wrong?" Kate asked.

Chris' eyes swept around the small home office, looking again at the certificates, the rows of medical books lined neatly on a pine bookcase, and the family pictures that hung on the walls. Kate waited patiently for the young woman opposite her to speak. "Have you heard from Janet lately?" Chris finally asked nonchalantly, her eyes not meeting the doctor's.

"Yes. She was around earlier."


Kate watched as Chris' gaze wandered around her office again. She looked over at the photo that always captured Chris' attention. "You always end up looking at the photo," she noted with a smile. "She was... ohhh... about sixteen in that."

"Sorry," Chris blushed.

"Don't be. It's one of my favourites as well."

Chris finally allowed herself to look the doctor in the eyes.

You miss her, Kate realised, seeing the well hidden look in sad blue eyes. "Janet followed you around and chatted to you when you first started here, now she hasn't been around at night for a while. Do you miss her?" she asked softly.

"No," Chris replied, a little too quickly.

"You used to have long conversations in the living room or in the kitchen, or while doing your rounds," Kate pressed. "You don't miss that?" Chris frowned down at her folded hands. "When Janet was born, I immediately pictured a happy life for her. I saw her becoming a doctor like myself and maybe working with me, maybe getting married and having children of her own." Kate smiled at the investigator. "So when she came out, I was surprised, to say the least. But... once I saw how happy she was with one of her girlfriends, I understood. It doesn't matter who you love, as long as they love you back; as long as you can make each other happy."

The two women looked at each other, the words Kate wasn't saying getting through to the younger woman. "If you fall in love with someone who doesn't return those feelings, it's very hard to live with," Kate said suddenly. Chris nodded, understanding. The auburn-haired doctor smiled kindly. "She'll come around, Chris."

"We... had an argument. I just... wanted to apologise."

"You could try phoning her," Kate replied, a bemused smile curling her lips.

"She might not come to the phone... or she'll hang up."

"God, you're as stubborn as she is!"

"We haven't spoken for a few weeks. It's... difficult," Chris protested.

After half an hour of talking to Kate, Chris finally walked out of the office feeling slightly better. She did a quick check on the rooms upstairs then made her way back downstairs, sighing as she stopped at the living room window. I don't know why I care, she thought, as she looked out at the dark front garden, eyes on the falling snow flakes. I should be happy Janet's not hanging around. It's what I wanted. Chris turned away from the window and headed for the kitchen. But I miss her, our chats, our jokes. Hell... even our comfortable silences. She got herself a mug, dumped in a tea-bag and a couple of spoonfuls of sugar, then picked up her walkie-talkie. "Charley, do you or paddywhack want a tea or coffee?"

Charley laughed down the line. " I'll have a coffee. Patrick wants tea. "

The investigators had been calling Patrick paddywhack as a wind up. He insisted they call him his proper name or go without a response. Chris took it upon herself to still wind him up.

She walked out of the kitchen to the bottom of the staircase. "Doctor Levens," she called out loudly, looking up toward the second floor.

Kate walked out of her office and stopped at the top of the stairs, looking down in puzzlement at the blonde. "Yes, Chris?"

"Would you like a tea or coffee?"

"Ohh, tea, please. Did you ask the boys if they wanted something?"

"I did," Chris nodded, before turning to walk back to the kitchen.

They all gathered in the kitchen once the drinks were made, sitting down at the table to drink and talk.

"What are we going to do for Laurie's birthday?" Charley asked Chris.

"It's not until February!"

"That's next month, Chris. It'll be here before ye know it."

"Oh." The time had slipped by faster than she realised and she hadn't really given her best friend's birthday any thought.

"Well?" Charley prodded.

"I don't know," Chris responded. "I haven't thought about it."

"How old will she be?" Kate intervened, seeing Chris was getting annoyed by Charley's questioning. "You're all in your twenties, aren't you?"

"She'll be twenty-six," Charley answered.

"No, she'll be twenty-five," Chris replied.

"So, Charley, what are you getting her?" Patrick asked.

"A car," the handsome blonde replied with a wide grin.

"A car!" Patrick gaped.

"Yep. As a favour to me, mah brither is fixing up a Golf for her."

"Jesus, how can any of us top that!" Chris exclaimed, pouting.

"Ye don't need to top it. I'll be her favourite person this year."

"Maybe we could get her a stripper?" Patrick asked, getting dirty looks off the other two investigators.

"Why don't you take her out for a meal?" Kate suggested. "She'll like having you all around, I'm sure." The investigators nodded in agreement.

Patrick snapped his fingers. "You see her all day, Kate. You could ask her for us."

"Won't that make her suspicious?" Kate questioned.

"Course it will. That's almost as obvious as one of us asking," Chris said.

* * * * *

Just after 11.30, Chris walked with Kate upstairs, doing a final check on the doctor's bedroom before Kate went to sleep. "It's Janet's birthday next week," Kate informed the blonde. "Sunday."

"The seventeenth?"

Kate nodded, looking closely at the blonde. Getting no further response, she changed the subject. "I can't believe you investigators have been with me nearly three months!" she wearily stated.

"It's not that long in cases like this."

"You've done cases like this before?" Kate asked in interest.

"No," Chris shook her head. "But I have a friend who is in security. He's had a couple of stalking cases, he hates them. He told me they tend to drag on and on."

Kate turned on her light as Chris finished checking the windows. "It's not that I don't like having you all here..."

"...but you want your life back," Chris finished, giving the doctor a warm smile to let her know she wasn't insulted.

"Yes, please." Kate returned the smile.

Chris frowned as she watched a red beam playing across the bedroom wall, wondering what it could be and where it was coming from. "GET DOWN!" she suddenly yelled, rushing to Kate and pushing her down. They dived onto the floor as a stream of bullets crashed through the glass. With Kate lying flat on the fluffy, newly washed, white carpet, Chris protected her with her own body. Awkwardly, she got her walkie-talkie out of her pocket. "Charley, we're being shot at! Kate's bedroom window was just destroyed. He's somewhere out back."

" We know. We ran around to the back as soon as we heard the shots. We can't move. He's got us under fire. "

"I'm going to be bait and peek out the window. See if you can't get a fix on his position."

" Can do, Chris. Babe... be careful. "

"Wait until..." Chris looked down at her watch, "11.45."

" Okay. "

Chris anxiously looked down at Kate. "Are you okay, Doctor Levens?" The older woman's head moved in a nod. "I'm going over to the window in a minute. First I'm going to turn off the light. I need for you to stay here and keep your head down. Okay?" Kate nodded again. Chris crawled over to the wall and slowly inched her way up. Her hand darted up the wall and hit the switch, plunging the bedroom back into darkness. Back down on the floor, she crawled over to the chest of drawers and started to push the furniture towards the closed door.

"Chris?" Kate asked from her position on the floor. "What are you doing?"

"Trying to move your chest of drawers."

"Let me help you."

"No, Doctor..."

"I insist." Kate crawled over to Chris and together they shoved the drawers against the bedroom door, barricading themselves in, just in case.

"Thanks. Now, remember to stay down." Chris crawled over to the window and checked the time. She saw she had a minute to go and got to her knees. At the sound of extra shots, she got up, looking towards the back of the garden, looking for the flash of the muzzle or the red beam. The window to her left shattered. "Shit!" She dropped heavily to the floor.

"Chris?" Kate called out nervously.

"I'm okay. Just got bits of glass sprayed at me." She got back up slowly, frowning as she searched the garden again. There was no one out there. She could still hear the gunfire though, so knew the shooter hadn't left. She looked further back, through the scattered trees and past the tall hedge at the back of Kate's garden. "I don't believe it!" Getting back down onto the floor, she pulled out her walkie-talkie. "Charley, he's not in the garden. He's on the balcony of the house at the end of the garden."

" Son of a... can you see what he's using? "


" You and Patrick keep him busy. I'll go over and see if I can't end this tonight. "

"Be careful. We know he's capable of anything and tonight he's armed." Chris dropped her walkie-talkie on the floor and stood, her back to the wall. Breathing slowly, her eyes closed as she focused, she suddenly moved quickly over to the broken window pane, making herself a visible target and hopefully distracting their guy from Charley's approach.

A couple of bullets slammed into Kate's bedroom wall. Chris waited, making sure he was done before moving back to the other side again. Again she waited, but nothing happened. As she started to make her move, the glass shattered. "Shit!"

"Chris?" Kate's voice called to her.

"I'm okay." The investigator moved across to the other side of the window, getting no return fire. After a moment's pause, she moved again back and forth, still getting nothing. Their guy was either gone, or he had run out of ammo. Chris got down on the floor, not taking any chances, and crawled back to Kate. "Are you okay, Kate?" she asked softly.

"I was here on the floor. Are you all right?"

"A few cuts from the flying glass, nothing serious."

"What do we do now?"

"Wait a while. Charley's gone over to that house at the back of your garden. We'll see what he reports back."

Someone banged loudly on the bedroom door, making both women jump in fear. "Chris? Chris, it's me."

"Jesus, Patrick! You scared the shit out of us!" Chris growled back.

"Sorry. Are you both all right?"

Chris got up and flicked on the light. "We're fine." She started moving the chest of drawers back to where it had been standing.

"He ran off," Patrick said through the door. "I watched him get up and disappear into the darkness, calm as you like. Don't know if he heard or saw Charley."

"Have you tried getting hold of Charley?" Chris enquired.

"Didn't think I should. If he's sneaking about, I didn't think he'd appreciate me alerting the guy to his presence."

Chris opened the bedroom door. "Have you called the boss? He'll want these bullets and the casings taken in for testing. If the guy left the casings."

"I'll do it now."

"And Patrick..." He turned back to look at the attractive blonde, a questioning look on his face. "Put the kettle on." He gave her his cute smile and nodded before moving away. Chris turned her attention back to the shaken doctor. "Let's go down to the living room."

Kate nodded and stood on trembling legs. Holding onto Chris' arm, they walked downstairs together.

* * * * *

James arrived carrying a leather bag, which Chris knew contained crime scene gear. She wasn't entirely sure why he had it, they rarely dealt with cases that required a crime scene kit. But tonight, it proved useful. James spent a few minutes with Kate, then spoke to his investigators.

"Chris, try to find out if Kate knows who lives over there. Go slow, I think she's a bit shocked. Perhaps get her a stiff drink. Patrick, get in touch with Charley, get him back here." He left them to go upstairs, intent on collecting the evidence.

Chris walked quietly into the living room and over to the bar. She poured Kate a small measure of strong whiskey, then walked over to the sofa and sat down next to the doctor, handing over the glass. As she waited for Kate to speak, Patrick left the house via the front door.

" Chris, are ye all right? " Charley's voice crackled through her walkie-talkie.

She took her walkie out of her jacket pocket. "I'm fine. You?"

" Fell over in the snow. Couldn't get into the hoose. We're gonna have to get Joey down here, this is his area of expertise. This nut might be staying there. "

"I thought Joey went out of town on a lead about the Mayor's missing daughter?"

" He got back this afternoon. "

"The boss is here. He wants you back over here," Chris told him.

" I'm on mah way. "

"Patrick just left here, look out for him." Chris turned her attention back to Kate. "Doctor Levens..."

Kate met Chris' eyes. "I should clean up your cuts," she said, starting to stand.

Chris put a hand gently on her arm. "They can wait. Would you like another?" she asked, pointing to Kate's empty glass. The doctor shook her head for no and settled back down on the sofa. "Do you know who lives over in that house?"

Kate shook her head. "The town is small, but not that small. I don't know everyone. It could be a summer house."

Chris nodded in agreement. She had lived in Honeyport for two years and knew of the comings and goings of summer families. They came down for the summer months, caused mayhem, then left. "Do you want to go and stay with Janet?"

"No! I will not be chased out of my home!"

"Okay," the blonde soothed. "It was just an idea. Uhh... let's see. Over the last couple of nights, have you noticed any lights on over there?"

Kate frowned and eventually shook her head. "Not that I can remember."

"You haven't noticed anything unusual? You might have glanced out the window..."

Kate frowned again. "No, I'm sorry. I can't think of anything."

"Okay... it's okay." Chris stood up and walked over to the window, her walkie-talkie to her lips. "Patrick..." Someone knocked on the front door.

" Chris? " Patrick's voice came over the walkie-talkie. " Is Charley back there? I can't find him. "

Chris walked out of the living room and to the front door. Opening the door, she found Charley staring back at her, grinning. "It's okay, Patrick. Charley just showed up. Come on back." She dropped the walkie-talkie into her pocket. "Did you deliberately leave him out there?"

"Hey, babe," Charley greeted, as he walked in and headed for the living room, ignoring her question. "Tell the boss we need Joey down here," he told her over his shoulder.

Chris rolled her eyes and made her way upstairs. James was standing beside Kate's bed, looking at the bullet holes in the wall. "Hey, boss..."


"Charley's back. He said the house is locked up, but the guy might be staying there. He thinks we should get Joey down here to... you know, work his magic. And uhh... Kate thinks the house belongs to summer people."

"Kate seems to think it's a summer home?" James asked absent-mindedly, frowning at the wall.


"Is there any chance this guy could've just been on the balcony without entering the house?"

"I don't know, boss. I wasn't there."

"If there's no way onto the balcony without entering the house, we'll need Joey over here. Otherwise, we'll wait until tomorrow and see if we can't get in touch with the owners first."

Chris nodded her understanding. "Boss, our guy is evolving fast," she said ominously.

James nodded as he turned to glanced at the blonde. "Yes, I agree. I really do hope we catch up to him quickly or I fear more people will get hurt."

Chris left the bedroom and walked back downstairs. "What did he say?" Charley asked, as soon as she walked back into the living room. He had removed his winter coat, gloves, hat and scarf, and was now warming himself in front of the burning fire.

"Could you have gotten onto the balcony of that house?"

Charley frowned. "I didn't see any stairs leading up, if that's what you mean. Why?"

"Could the guy get up there without entering the house?"

"I suppose he could've climbed a drainpipe. Why?"

Chris sat down on the sofa. "The boss said only call Joey if there was no way he could've gotten up there without entering the house." She looked at Charley, seeing him thinking it over.

"I think we should call Joey," he finally said.

"It's your call, hon. You were there. But remember, if this backfires, Joey could get done for breaking and entering." Charley nodded. "You didn't see anything then?" Chris asked.

"Nope. When I got there, I had a good look around, but didn't see or hear anything. That's what made me think he might still be there."

"He's not, Patrick told me he saw the guy slip back into the darkness. You should've been looking for footprints, Charley." Sighing, Chris sat back and closed her eyes, knowing it was going to be a long night.



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