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~ Woman of My Dreams ~

BY Debbie Dee





"Jamie. Jamie, come in. Are you there? Answer me are you there?" It took a few minutes for the voice to finally get passed the shock that she was in. "I’m here, dad."

"Good, now get back here, honey, we need you so we can start searching." Dan tried to reason with his daughter.

"Ah…sorry, dad. I can’t." Jamie was trying her best to hold it together, but all that kept coming to mind was that the woman she loved, that meant the world to her, was out there somewhere with a mad man. And there was no way in hell she was coming out of these mountains without her.

"Jamie, listen I know you’re hurting, but we need to all stick together. We will get her back. Now come on back here." Dan tried again to get Jamie to listen to reason.

"Dad, please, I am not trying to be disrespectful. But tell me, dad what would you do if it was mom? Would you come off this mountain without her, dad? Would you?" Jamie emotionally asked her father as tears slowly rolled down her cheeks. She felt as if her heart was breaking.

It seemed forever before Jamie heard her father’s voice come back on the radio to answer her, but it had only really been just a few minutes. "No, Jamie, I wouldn’t." Dan’s voice had a sound of defeat to it. "I would not come off that mountain if it was your mother up there. God, Jamie, please honey, just be careful. I don’t want to lose you."

"You’re not going to lose me or Casey, dad, I promise. I will find her and bring her home where she belongs," Jamie promised not only to her dad but to herself as well.

"Just make sure you do. Keep in touch and let us know if you find anything. Jamie, what places have you not checked yet?" Dan asked.

"The only two places I haven’t checked are up by Little Trout Creek and Blue Lake. He has to be in one of those places." Jamie hopped like hell she was right. Casey’s life depended on it.

Jamie looked up at the sky giving a little prayer. She took a look at the area around her, thinking how Casey was out there somewhere. Her heart gave a tug as she looked in the direction of Blue Lake. "Blue Lake, dad!" Jamie almost yelled over the radio.

"What Jamie?" Dan asked

"I don’t know how to explain it, dad, but some how I just feel she is heading for Blue Lake." Jamie told him

"No, sweetheart, I won’t ask. If you feel the way about Casey that I do about your mom then some how you just know where they’re at." Dan knowingly told her. "Hang on a minute, honey."

Dan was gone for only a few seconds before he came back on the radio. "Jamie, the Sheriff is going to take some men and head for Little Trout Creek just in case. I’ll grab the others and head up your way," Dan informed her.

Jamie knew it would take her dad hours to get up to Blue Lake. There weren’t any roads on this side of the mountain. "Ok dad, thanks. I’ll let you know if I find anything meet you there."


"Yeah, dad?"

"I love you, honey. Be careful," Dan lovingly replied to his daughter.

Jamie felt her throat tighten as she answered her dad, "Love you too, dad. You be careful yourself." Jamie let up on the button as she felt the tears once more flow freely down her cheeks.

"Joey, if it’s money you want, my parents will give it to you," Casey suggested

"Will you just shut up! All the way up here all you’ve been doing is flapping your jaw," Joey sharply told her then chucked to himself as if thinking of an inside joke.

Joey stepped in front of Casey to stop her. "Okay, you want to know what I am going to do with you? Fine, I don’t see why I can’t tell you now. There ain’t nothing you can do about it. I thought about doing to you what you did to me. Make you lose everything you ever worked for. I even tried to get rid of that bitch of yours. But it seemed like no matter what I did, nothing worked." Joey stopped talking and just stared off into space thinking to himself.

Casey didn’t think Joey was going to say another word when he started laughing. "It took me a while, but then I thought of the perfect plan to make you sorry for what you did to me. To make you think of it for the rest of your life. After I’m done with you, I’m selling you to a friend of mine. Showed him your picture, and he don’t care what kind of shape you’re in; he wants you. Play your cards right and after he’s done with you, he might sell you to someone rich." Joey laughed again at the shocked look Casey gave him.

Casey felt as if she was going to be sick at what Joey just told her. She could feel her stomach twisting and turning. "Oh God," she thought there would be no way she would live through that. Or even want to.

"Come on, get moving. We have about another hour walk ahead of us, and I want to get to camp before dark," Joey informed her as he gave her a push to get her started.

Jamie had been traveling none stop for almost two hours. She was trying to get to Blue Lake ahead of Casey and Joey. Dan had been away from the house when Joey had shown up. Jenny was just coming around when he had gotten home, and she could not remember what the clock said last time she looked at it. So no one was too sure how big of a head start they had.

She had cut across country taking shortcuts when she could. "Come on, girl, we’re almost there," Jamie called to her dog as she climbed over some rocks. Her knee and ankle that had been injured in the car wreck were hurting a little. Even though they were healed, they were still tender with all the climbing she had been doing.

The lake was just over the next hill. Jamie’s heart was pounding as she felt the blood pump through her veins. "Would they already be there? What would she find when she got to the lake?" Jamie couldn’t help but wonder. She topped the hill and looked down upon the waters of Blue Lake.

"Okay Joey, where did you camp?" she asked herself as she looked around the lake from her perch high on the hill. "Oh of course, stupid, by the road where else? Damn, I need a new brain," Jamie scolded herself for not thinking of this area earlier, but she really had thought Joey would have picked an area closer to the bar and grill.

Jamie made it to the road without any trouble. She had walked down the road for a good 30 or 40 yards when she noticed some tire tracks going off to the side. Following them Jamie found what she hoped was Joey’s car. He had driven it off the road, and then covered it with bushes he had cut. It would be hard to spot from the road.

Jamie felt the hood, and found it to be cold so knew the car had been there for awhile. She stood by the car as she wondered what way Joey would go to make his camp. Time was running out and she could not afford to make a mistake by going in the wrong direction. Casey’s life depended on her being right.

Kaisha, who had been searching the area too, came out of the trees behind Jamie and started whining. "What is it, girl?" Jamie asked as the dog came over and sat down beside her. "Did you find something, girl? Come on, Kaisha, show me what you found." Jamie started moving towards the trees as she gave her dog the command. Kaisha took off running a little ways ahead of Jamie. Coming to the edge of a little clearing the dog stopped and waited.

Jamie stopped beside Kaisha and looked. In the small clearing a camp had been set up. It would have looked like any other camp, except over on the other side was a stake pounded in the ground with what looked like a long pair of handcuffs attached to it. "Good girl," Jamie praised her dog.

"Damn, if I knew what trail Joey was taking to get up here, I could set some traps for him. But we don’t, right girl? So we will have to do the best we can." Jamie took a deep breath not knowing how much time she had, so she got started.

"Kaisha, guard the area and tell me if anyone is coming," Jamie told the dog as she went over to the cuffs. Taking them she could see that they had to be at least 20 years old. "My god, where the hell did he get these?" She noticed they were hooked to a metal stake. Taking a look around the camp she saw a little shovel. Grabbing it, Jamie started digging at the stake. Every little bit she would stop and pull and push on the stake. It took a few minutes, but she was finally able to get it loose enough so she could pull it up. Taking the stake Jamie put it back in to the ground, and very carefully filled the dirt back in so it would look like the stake was still deep in the ground.

"Okay Jamie, now you just need to come up with at good plan to get Casey from him," Jamie whispered. Again Jamie took a look around the camp trying to think of something that would help her.

Over to her left the camp stove was set up on a stand. A little ways away a tent was set up. In the middle of the camp the campfire was already setup so all you would have to do is light it. Jamie started to turn away from the campfire to look around some more, when she stopped and whipped her head back to look at it again as an idea came to her.

"Damn, it just might work," Jamie thought to herself. Pulling her backpack off, she reached inside and grabbed out a throwaway plastic container that she had kept the cookies in. "Kaisha, bark if you hear someone coming," Jamie called to the dog as she ran back to where Joey’s car was parked.

Picking up a rock by the car, Jamie got ready to smash the window when she stopped. Looking at the door handle instead, she wondered if Joey would be stupid enough to leave it unlocked. Pulling the handle up the door came open with ease. "Yep, he’s that stupid," Jamie thought.

Bending down she grabbed a lever and pulled. The hood popped opened. Running around to the front, Jamie finished opening it. Taking a fast look Jamie spotted what she was looking for, the gas line. Knowing she didn’t have the tools to break it, she hoped this car would have the gas line that was connected to the fuel filter by a rubber tube. Jamie gave a big smile when she spotted what she was looking for.

She took her knife out and cut through the rubber hose. Grabbing the plastic container she filled it up with gas then put the lid on tight. Not taking time to worry about closing the hood or the gas that was running out onto the motor, she ran back towards the camp.

Kaisha was still standing guard, so Jamie knew no one had been there. Going over to the campfire, Jamie very carefully unstacked the wood that had been neatly stack and ready to be lit. Taking the container Jamie put it down into the cold campfire. Then carefully restacked the wood back up around the container, making sure you couldn’t see it. Taking a good look she made sure the campfire didn’t look like it had been disturbed.

Jamie then got up and went back into the woods. She came back out with a small tree limb, and started sweeping it around the camp where she had walked so no one would know she had been there.

Stopping at the edge of the camp, Jamie took another look around. Hoping like hell Joey did not see something that she had missed. "Come on, girl, we’ll go up to those rocks on the side of that hill and wait." The rocks Jamie started walking towards where about 20 yards away up a little incline. They would be big enough to give her and Kaisha plenty of cover.

They had just gotten behind the rocks when Kaisha give a little growl in her throat. "Easy, girl. Do you hear them coming?" Jamie very carefully looked around the rock as she too started hearing voices.

She watched them as they walked out of the woods into the clearing. A rage that Jamie had never known before ran though her body at her first sight of Casey. All she wanted to do was jump over these rocks and beat the hell out of Joey. No, that wasn’t right, she wanted to kill him for what he had done to Casey.

As Casey stumbled into the clearing, Jamie could see cuts on her arms and legs. But what got her was the cut she could see on Casey’s lip and the bruise on her cheek. Jamie squeezed her fists tight as she tried to control the rage inside her. This was not the time to let it take over. She had to get Casey away from him first.

Sitting back down behind the rock, Jamie looked at Kaisha. "Isn’t this the part where I stand up and yell at the top of my lungs, ‘GO, Rin Tin Tin!’ And you go get help for the hero?" Jamie whispered to her friend.

Kaisha tipped her head and gave Jamie a look; then licked her on the side of her face. Jamie reached over and gave the dog and hug, then looked back around the rock in time to see Joey untie Casey’s hands and put the handcuffs on her. He then gave her a push to make her sit down on the ground.

Joey started to walk away when he turned back to Casey kneeling down in front of her. He said something too quiet for Jamie to hear. As Joey stood back up he kicked some dirt towards her, laughing as he walked away.

Jamie didn’t know what Joey said, but by the look she could see on Casey’s face it wasn’t good. "Kaisha, when you get a chance, bite that jerk. But be careful, I don’t want you to get sick."

Casey was so tired as she stumbled into the clearing of the camp. She stood and took a look around her, wondering if she would really leave this place alive.

Joey grabbed her by the arm and led her over to the other side of the camp. He reached for his knife giving a laugh when Casey tried to take a step back. Joey jerked Casey around so her back was to him. As he cut the ropes, her arms fell to her sides. Pain that was almost enough to bring her to her knees shot through them as the blood started to flow freely once again in her arms.

Joey bent down and picked up a pair of handcuffs and snapped them tightly on to Casey’s wrists. He gave her a push to make her sit down. Joey started to walk away as Casey sat, but stopped and came back to her. Kneeling down in front of her he said, " Just wanted you to know, sweet thing, that the fun will begin right after dinner. You’re my dessert." Joey stood back up when Casey looked as if she wanted to throw up. Kicking some dirt at her, Joey laughed as he walked away.

Jamie could feel the sweat rolling down her back as she sat waiting for something to happen. Taking another look she could see Joey get a sleeping bag from his tent. He rolled it out on the ground by Casey. Walking over to a cooler, Joey opened it up and took out what looked like a can of beer. Opening it up, he took a long drink before setting it back down on top of the cooler. Jamie watched as Joey walked towards the campfire.

"Okay, girl, get ready to move fast if this works like I hope it will," Jamie softly told the dog. She reached down and checked the straps of the backpack to make sure it was secured. Looking around the rock again, Jamie glanced over at Casey. She was just sitting on the ground with her head down. Jamie couldn’t be sure, but it looked like she was softly crying. "Damn that bastard. What did he say to you, honey?" Jamie wondered as she turned back to watch Joey.

Joey kneeled down by the campfire, and took a small box of matches out of his pocket. He gave a look over his shoulder at Casey. "I’ll get us a nice campfire going. Won’t that be romantic?" He smirked as he lit the match and touched it to the kindling. As the fire started going, Joey picked up bigger pieces of wood to set on top. Joey sat there rubbing his hands together warming them over the growing fire.

He looked over at Casey again and started wondering if he really wanted to wait till after supper to sample his little treasure over there. Just as he decided to get a little taste to hold him over, the fire suddenly gave a big roar as the container Jamie buried melted and the flames and gas came together. The gas hitting the fire caused a blast as flames shot high.

Jamie heard the roar and screams as the flames from the blast hit Joey right in the face knocking him to the ground. "Come on, Kaisha!" Jamie yelled has she jumped from behind the rock and ran towards the camp.

Joey was rolling on the ground holding his face, screaming. He saw Jamie running down the hill towards him through burning, watery eyes. "God, I’m going to kill her," Joey swore through clenched teeth as he tried to stand and reach for his knife.

Jamie saw Joey reaching for his knife as he tried to stand. Not stopping for a second she reached down and grabbed a broken tree limb on the ground. Giving it a swing as she ran pass Joey, she heard the crack of the wood as it made contact with Joey’s head, as he dropped to the ground.

Not wanting to take the time to see if Joey was really out, Jamie just kept heading right for Casey. Reaching down she grabbed the stake and pulled. It came up out of the ground without any trouble. Helping Casey up, Jamie just wanted to stand there and hold her, but couldn’t take the chance. She had no idea if Joey had a gun. Putting her arm around Casey to help her, they made a run for it into the woods.

The hit Jamie gave to Joey’s head only dazed him, but he was in tremendous pain. His eyebrows where gone and his face throbbed with burns. Taking a water bottle he slowly poured it over his eyes trying to get the stinging pain out of them. Joey had no idea what damage had been done to them. Taking a cloth he wet it down, and held it to his face, and over his eyes as pain from the burns on his hands sharply shot through them.

"When I catch up to that bitch, I’m going to kill her. I’m going to kill the both of them; I don’t give a shit about the money I could’ve gotten off that bitch anymore. They both die."

Wishing he had some kind of first aid cream for his burns, Joey was finally able to get up. Stumbling into his tent he found his duffel bag and dumped the stuff inside of it out onto the tent floor. Pushing the items around until he found what he was looking for. He held his hand out and in it was a gun and some bullets he had just bought that morning.

"I should’ve taken this with me in the first place and finished that blonde haired bitch off." Joey loaded the gun and put the rest of the bullets in the pocket of his blue jeans. Reaching into the other bag he pulled out a clean shirt, and switched it with the dirty burnt one he had on.

Walking out of the tent, Joey went over and once more poured water on his face. Throwing the water bottle down, he started walking towards the area he had seen Jamie and Casey disappear into.

"Run, girls, run as fast as you can!" Joey yelled as loud as he could. "Makes no difference to me, you bitches. I’ll find you and when I do I am going to blow your damn brains out." Joey started laughing. "Maybe I’ll let the little blonde watch me kill her girlfriend, after I have some fun with her. Then I will blow the blonde away." Joey was still laughing to himself as he followed after the girls.

Jamie led them as far away from Joey as she could, knowing Casey was very tired. She followed a little creek deep into the wood to a little clearing that was right by the water. Jamie wanted to give Casey a chance to rest, and she wanted to get a look at the cuts on Casey arms and legs.

Helping Casey to sit down on a log, Jamie took her pack off. "I’m sorry, honey, but we can’t stay here for very long. It’s still too close to Joey’s camp. Here, let’s see if I can get those handcuffs off you." Jamie took her knife out of her pocket and sat down by Casey. She laid Casey’s wrist across her knee so she could get to the lock easier. Giving a prayer of thanks that Joey was too stupid to get a new pair of cuffs. The cuffs were so old Jamie had no trouble at all picking the lock.

Reaching again for her pack, Jamie took out a cloth and an empty water bottle. Going over to the creek she filled the bottle with water. Kneeling down in front of Casey, Jamie wet the cloth down, and very carefully started cleaning the many cuts on Casey’s arms and hands. All the while talking softly to Casey.

Casey lifted her head as she watched Jamie. It felt as if she was just coming out of a bad dream. Everything she had been through in the last few hours felt like it was all tumbling down on top of her. Tears silently started rolling down her cheeks.

Jamie was softly washing the cuts on Casey’s arm as a tear dropped and hit her arm. Jerking her head up she watched more tears roll down Casey’s cheeks dropping to the ground.

"I’m sorry. I’m so sorry I yelled at you the night before you left." Casey started crying. "I told myself if I survived all this I would tell you how sorry I am and how much I love you."

"Oh god, baby," Jamie cried, dropped the cloth, and took Casey into her arms. "Shhhh, it’s okay. I’ve got you now, no one is going to hurt you," she whispered lovingly to the crying woman as she rocked her back and forth in her arms. "I’m here now, honey. I’ll take care of you."

"No," Casey told her as she lifted her head sniffing. "We will take care of each other. Damn, I can’t believe I let him get to me." Casey raised her hand to wipe at her tears when Jamie stopped her.

Slowly Jamie leaned forward and kissed away her tears as she made her way down to the lips that were burning with desire for her. They kissed with the hunger of need for each other the desire to connect their souls back together once again.

"I love you, Casey. I love you so much." Jamie could feel the tightness in her throat as she thought how close she came to losing the love of her life. "I’m so sorry I left you. That was so stupid. I should’ve been there to keep you safe, not up here trying to act like super woman. If anything had happened to you…"

Casey placed her finger over Jamie’s lips. "Shhhhh…Sweetheart, what happened was not your fault." Jamie started to shake her head, but Casey was having none of it. "Damn it, Jamie, knock it off. Like you just said, you’re not super woman. No one knew he would come to your parents house in the middle of the day." Casey tried to reason with her. "Besides, if you had been there you could have been hurt; then who would have been my hero and saved me?"

Jamie tried to believe Casey and see it from her side, but she knew in her heart she should have been there. But now was not the time to worry about it. They had to get farther away from Joey.

Jamie reached into her pack and pulled out her change of clothes. "I know these might be tight on you, but we have to try and protect your arms and legs some. We’ll be traveling through bushes and I don’t want you to get anymore cut up," Jamie explained to Casey as she helped her put the clothes on.

Jamie was right, the shirt was a little tight, so Casey left her tank top on so she would not have to button it. But the pants fit fine, except they were too short. Casey put the socks on, but had to put her sandals back on, because Jamie didn’t have an extra pair of boots.

"Okay, are you ready to go again?" Jamie asked her. Casey gave her a nodded yes. "Okay but…well you might not be too happy with me when I tell you this."

"Tell me what, honey?" Casey questioned as she walked up to Jamie

Jamie shifted from one foot to the other acting like she was a little ashamed to tell Casey what she had to say. "I…ah…ran the wrong way," Jamie finally said as she ran her hand across her face.

"What! What do you mean ran the wrong way?" Casey was confused.

"In all the excitement, like a dummy, instead of running in the direction of dad, I ran the wrong way. Now Joey is between us and dad," Jamie informed her.

"Oh." Was all Casey could get out as she looked back towards the way they had come. "So what you’re telling me is, we have to go back that way?" Casey asked hopping she was wrong.

"Well, in a way, yes. But we won’t go back the way we came. We are going to go through the woods, and go around Joey, missing him," Jamie tried to reassure her.

Casey took a big breath and let it out. "Okay, great woods woman, you lead and I’ll follow."

Jamie stood there and looked at her for a second. "You’re never going to let me live it down that I ran the wrong way are you?"

"Oh you bet your booties, I’m not ‘Miss-I- know- the- woods- like- the- back- of- my- hand." Casey chuckled. It felt good to just laugh again, and not have to think about who was out there looking for them.

"Yeah, that’s what I thought." Jamie shook her head as she took Casey by the hand, grabbed her pack, and started back the way they had just came from.

It was slow moving, because instead of being able to walk on the trail, they had to travel through the bush. Having to go around rocks and over fallen trees. Every little bit they would have to stop so Jamie could make sure they were still heading in the direction of where she hoped her father was.

"Damn," Jamie groaned as they sat down for a rest.

"Is everything okay?" Casey asked as she handed the water bottle over to Jamie.

Jamie took a big drink from the bottle. "Yeah everything is fine. I just want to make sure I don’t make another stupid mistake and head in the wrong direction again."

"Come on, Jamie, you know these woods like the back of your hand. Just take it easy." Casey tried to tell her.

"Damn it, Casey! Yes, I know these mountains better than most. But, sweetheart, I have never been chased through them by a mad man who might have a gun before. I’m making too many damn mistakes." Jamie was concerned about that. If she made the wrong move it could cost them their lives.

"Jamie, sweetheart, please clam down. You’ve been great." Casey looked her in the eye. "You got me away from Joey and we’re safe. And if you say one more word about running in the wrong direction, I’m going to hit you. Got it?" Casey smiled at her.

Jamie had to chuckle at the cute smile Casey gave her. "Okay, yeah you’re right. Stop beating myself up and get us the hell out of here."

"Now, your acting like the woman I love. Come here, honey." They both had been sitting on the ground with their back against a pine tree. Casey helped Jamie to lie on her back with her head in her lap. "No, don’t move. Just lay back. We have a few minutes. Besides, you told me Kaisha would let us know if someone was around," Casey told Jamie as she started to sit back up.

"Come on, Casey, we don’t have time for this. We have to get going," Jamie tried to tell her.

"Jamie, your uptight, that’s why you’re making mistakes. Just take a minute to relax, take a deep breath, and you’ll start thinking clearer," Casey softy said to Jamie as she combed her fingers through Jamie’s hair trying to get her to relax.

It felt so good to just lay there and have Casey take care of her. The cool breeze that came up softly caressed her skin. Jamie started to drift off into a light sleep as she listened to the sounds the wind made blowing through the pine trees…the chirping of the birds and the soft growling of her dog. Oh it felt so good to… WAIT…the soft growling of my dog?

Jamie sat straight up and put her hand on Casey’s mouth so she wouldn’t say a word. "Kaisha, shhhh I hear him. Shit, he must be good at tracking or just damn lucky," Jamie whispered to Casey as she took her hand away.

"Oh damn, Jamie, I forgot. I’m so sorry." Casey gave her a worried look.

"Sorry about what?" Jamie questioned her as she kept her eye on the trail farther down to see if she could catch sight of who was coming up it.

Casey felt so bad. "Joey mentioned a few times on the way up here that he used to go camping and hunting with his uncle."

"Shit, damn it all hell. It’s not your fault, honey. I should’ve seen it too by the way he had that camp set up." Jamie couldn’t believe she missed something as important as that. "I should’ve known he knew more than I thought he did about the woods. Shit, it’s a whole new ball game now."

Jamie thought she saw movement down by the beginning of the trail. Grabbing Casey’s arm in one hand and her pack in the other, she started to help Casey up, when Kaisha made a jump knocking her back down just as a sound of a gun went off. The bullet hit the tree just above Jamie’s head causing bark to fly in all directions covering them.

"Run, Casey!" Jamie screamed, picking Casey up as she grabbed her hand and took off through the woods. Weaving in and out of the trees the best they could trying not to give Joey a clear shot at them, not realizing that when Kaisha pushed her down her radio came unhooked and fell to the ground.

Jamie was trying to picture the area in her mind as they ran. "We can’t keep this up for long. I have to find a way to get us away from this jerk." They ran around a little bend and found themselves having to slow down. They where on the side of a hill with loose dirt and rocks, one miss step and you would go tumbling down the loose dirt to the ravine below.

"Wait, Casey, I have a idea," Jamie told her as she got things ready for what she was going to do. Casey wasn’t too sure if she liked the idea, but she agreed to help.

Joey came around the bend just in time to see a flash of Casey on the trail up ahead. So sure of himself that he had them now, he took off at a dead run not taking care at all with the loose ground. Just as he came even to the tree he had seen Casey by Jamie, who was hiding behind it, let go of the rope she had tied to a tree limb that was bent back hitting Joey right in the face.

Joey had been moving at such a fast pace he had no time to get out of the way as the limb hit him with such force, he lost his footing and went tumbling backwards, sliding down the side of the ravine.

Casey came back down the trail to stand beside Jamie as they looked over the edge to see if they could see Joey, but there was too much brush in the way.

"You think he’s dead, Jamie?" Casey asked her.

"I have no idea. I’m sure as hell not going down there to find out." Jamie took a look around to get her bearings and figure out the best way to go. "Come on, dad should be coming from that direction." Jamie smiled at Casey as she gave her hand a squeeze. They took one last look down at the ravine before they took off down the trail.

Down in the ravine a lone figure slowly started moving. The many bushes covering the ground at the bottom of the ravine had cushioned his fall. Joey’s back had been scraped up from his slide down the side of the hill, his forehead had a big gash across it from the tree limb, and he had many cuts along his arms and legs. As long as he could still walk enough to kill those bitches he didn’t give a damn how hurt he got.

The world started spinning around as Joey stood up, but all he cared about was where his gun landed. After several minutes of his head spinning Joey was finally able to start looking for his gun, which he found hidden behind some bushes not far from where he landed.

"Ah there you are my beauty," Joey said as he picked the gun up and started wiping it off with his shirt. "Damn, almost lost you. Now how the hell do I get out of this hole?" Joey wondered to himself as he started looking around while he finished cleaning his gun. Seeing a trail across on the other side of the ravine Joey slowly started towards it.

It took awhile for him to climb up the trail having to stop halfway up to empty the contents of his stomach from feeling so dizzy. After he got to the top Joey lay down for a few minutes to rest. When he figured he had enough time to rest he started towards the trail he figured the girls had taken. He hoped they hadn’t gotten too much of a head start.

"Oh, this is going to be so great." Joey started laughing to himself. "They think I’m dead. It’s going to be so much fun to see their faces when they see a ghost." Joey just kept laughing as he hiked up the trail.

"Jamie, slow down, we need to stop and rest," Casey called out to her partner that was a little ahead of her.

"We don’t have time to, Casey. We have to keep moving. We have no idea if Joey is dead, hurt, or what. He could be right behind us," Jamie explained as she kept walking.

Casey had been watching Jamie for the last half-hour trying to not limp on her right leg, but Casey could see it was hurting her with all the running around they had been doing.

"Jamie!" Casey called but got no answer. "Jamie," Casey tried again. "DAMN IT, JAMIE, STOP!" Casey finally yelled as she grabbed Jamie’s arm and brought her to a stop.

Jamie surprised by Casey’s out burst came to a sudden stop when she felt the pull on her arm. "What?" Jamie asked as she took a deep breath in.

Casey pulled Jamie over to the side of the trail to a fallen tree. "Here sit down. And don’t you darn well tell me no or I will sit you down myself."

Jamie not wanting to argue sat. "What is this about, Casey? We need to keep moving."

"I know we do, but first I’m going to take a look at your leg. And don’t try and tell me it’s okay, I’ve been watching you for the last half-hour. And don’t give me that look you know darn well that Kaisha will let us know if anyone is close by. Kaisha guard." Casey gave the dog the command as she kneed down by Jamie’s leg.

The cargo pants Jamie had on unzipped at the knee’s to make them into shorts. After unzipping them Casey unwrapped the ace bandage Jamie had on her knee to give it more support. Casey knew she was right that the knee had been giving Jamie trouble since it was now twice its normal size. Even though the knee had healed nicely it was still weak and with all the running, climbing, and jumping that Jamie had been doing had put too much stress on it.

"How’s the ankle doing?" Casey asked as she rubbed Jamie’s knee gently before she wrapped it up again.

"It’s okay, really, honey, I’m not lying to you," Jamie assured her when Casey threw her a doubtful look. "It was just the knee giving me a lot of pain. I’m sorry I tried to keep it from you. Damn, this is all my fault."

Casey finished putting the bottom of Jamie’s pant leg back on and zipping it up. Dusting of her hands she stood up and sat down on the log by Jamie.

"Okay, now why is this all your fault?" Casey inquired.

"Damn it, Casey, it just is. I should’ve known he knew the woods better than I thought he did. I should’ve checked on the other side of the mountain by the roads first for his camp. I just thought I was so damn smarter than he was. That’s because I spend so damn much time up in the woods that I thought I knew it better that anyone. I’m just stupid for getting us into this fix." Jamie felt as if the weight of the world was on her shoulders.

"So everything that happened is your fault, huh?" Casey asked as Jamie nodded her head yes. "Okay, let’s look at the whole picture," Casey patiently replied.

"Was there anything in the reports we got on Joey that said he knew the woods?" Casey started asking Jamie questions.


"All the reports came back that he was raised in the city, right?"


"So there was no way you would know he knew how to handle himself in the woods, right?"

"Yeah," Jamie sighed.

"So that being the case, it would be only reasonable to assume that he would be camping close by, and not have too hard of a time to get too. Right?" Casey winked at her.

"Yeah, okay you’re right on that part. It’s not my fault that everything pointed to him being a city boy." Jamie felt the weight lift off her shoulders a little.

"Oh I’m right on all of it, sweetheart, no one had any idea what we were dealing with. And no one thought in a million years he would come to the house in the middle of the day like he did. Everything else he did under the cover of darkness. He’s nothing but a coward. The only reason he’s a big man now is because he has a gun," Casey reasoned with her.

"Yeah, but if I hadn’t acted so damn stupid thinking I could find him and bring him in. I would’ve been at the house with you when he came," Jamie mumbled

"Jamie Hutch, that is the stupidest thing I have ever heard you say." Casey stood and pointed her finger at her. "Agreed, I didn’t want you to go after him, but even your parents thought it was a good idea for you to go up there and find him. We didn’t know he was crazy. We all just thought he was a coward trying to cause trouble for us. None of this is your fault. Or my fault."

"Wait. How can any of this be your fault?" Jamie asked her.

"Because I could’ve fought him harder at the house, Jamie. But I didn’t and he didn’t have a gun then that I knew of. So isn’t it my fault he got me up here?" Casey answered Jamie’s question with a question of her own.

"Hell no, it’s not your fault anymore than it’ mine…oh you’re so tricky. You little sneak." Jamie shook her finger when Casey started laughing at the look on her face.

Jamie just shook her head and chuckled as she gave Casey a hug.

"Come on, let’s get going. Hopefully dad is not too much farther.

As Casey put her arm around Jamie’s waist, Jamie put her arm around Casey’s shoulders to help take some of the stress off her injured knee.

After giving each other a kiss they started back down the trail with Kaisha in the lead.

It was getting close to early evening; Jamie knew her father was close, and wished she still had the radio with her to call him to make sure of where he was at for sure. It had been a lot slower going than she really wanted, but Casey insisted they stop every little bit to let the knee rest.

"God, I wish this whole nightmare was over with and behind us," Jamie thought to herself. All she wanted to do was get on with building hers and Casey’s lives together.

"You know, Jamie, I’ve been thinking." The sound of Casey’s voice broke into Jamie’s thoughts.

"What about, honey?" she asked giving Casey a wink.

Chuckling Casey told her what was on her mind. "I’ve been thinking about us. I think we should just move the rest of your stuff over to the house, and maybe if you want to, rent out your place to Amy." Casey stopped and took a look at Jamie’s face. "That is if you want to?" she nervously added.

Jamie put her head down so Casey couldn’t see the big gin on her face. "So you’ve been thinking that, huh? And you want to know what I think about it." She could see Casey’s feet as she nervously moved from one foot to the other as she waited for Jamie’s answer.

Jamie couldn’t hold back any longer she let out a big "Yahoo!" as she grabbed Casey and swung her around in a circle then stopped and gave her a big kiss. "Honey, I think that would be a great idea," Jamie said in between kisses.

Casey was so happy she thought her face was going to split her smile was so big.

"Come on, let’s go tell dad. You do know Mom is not going to let us get away with not having some kind of wedding. And party." Jamie smiled at her.

Casey didn’t care what they had to do. Jenny would take care of everything and love doing it. All she knew was she was getting the best of the gifts-- Jamie’s love.

The loud bark of Kaisha broke into their thoughts giving them a start.

Jamie looked up the trail and saw her dad with a group of men just coming over the rise a little way up the trail. She gave her dad a wave as she squeezed Casey’s waist.

"There’s dad. Let’s go tell him the good news. Everything is going to be okay now, honey. Go ahead, Kaisha. I know you want to go see dad." Jamie gave her dog the go ahead as Kaisha took off up the trail.

Jamie took Casey’s hand as they started down the trail towards the safety of her father. Jamie was watching Kaisha run up the trail towards Dan when the dog suddenly whipped around and look back in their direction.

"AHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhh!" Jamie heard the scream and moved to protect Casey as the figure of Joey slammed into her causing them both to go off the trail and roll down the little hill.

"NO!" Casey screamed when she saw them roll down the hill.

Joey got to his feet first and took a swing at Jamie, but Jamie was able to duck in time and came back with her own swing that connected with Joey’s jaw. Joey stumbled back a little then made a jump for Jamie as they both went down again, hitting and rolling around on the ground.

Jamie just got to her feet when Joey kicked her in her bad knee, taking her down again. Joey jumped on Jamie and started hitting her as fast as her could. Jamie bucked her hips and gave a twist throwing Joey off her. Joey came up swinging, but Jamie was able to block his hits and return some good ones of her own.

As Joey jumped at her again Jamie slipped and hit her head on a rock stunning her.

Kaisha shot past Jamie aiming for Joey as she saw him picked up a rock. She jumped him taking him down knocking the rock out of his hand.

"Ahhh! Get this damn dog off me!" Joey screamed as he tried pulling his arm away from Kaisha’s grip. Somehow Joey was able to reach for a stick as he rolled around hitting Kaisha in the head to get her off him as he pulled his gun.

Aiming the gun at the dog, Joey was ready to pull the trigger when Jamie came to enough to yell and throw a rock at his back. Twisting around Joey aimed the gun at Jamie.

"Now we end this, you bitch." Joey laughed as he squeezed the trigger.

Everything happened so fast, but Casey felt like she was moving in slow motion as she tried to get down the hill as fast as she could, fearing she would be too late. Casey looked up as she saw Joey turn and point the gun at Jamie. "JAMIE!" Casey screamed as she heard a shot ring throw the mountain air.

Casey fell to the ground not wanting to look at the still form of her lover. Placing her hands over her face she heard the whining of Kaisha as she went over to Jamie. "God, why did this have to happen? We were so happy just a few minutes ago," Casey thought as tears ran down her face as her heart broke.

Casey sat there as images of Jamie’s face ran though her thoughts-- her look of when they first make love-- her look when Casey told her she wanted her to move in with her. She was so happy. "I love you so much, my love. How can I live without you?"



The blow she took from Joey stunned Kaisha, but the sound of the gunshot and the way her master laid there on the ground not moving made the dog get up. She slowly made her way over to the prone body. When she noticed a slight movement from Jamie she got so excited that she started jumping around licking Jamie’s face.

"Damn it! Get off me, you mutt, before you do kill me!" Jamie howled trying to get the dog to stop licking her and move off her so she could get up.

Casey jumped to her feet when she heard the sound of Jamie’s voice. When she saw Jamie struggling with Kaisha she ran over to them and threw herself on Jamie smothering her with kisses.

"Oh god, I thought you were dead. I love you. I love you so much. Don’t ever scare me like that again," Casey scolded her.

"Will you two stop it or I will be dead. I love you too. But let a person breath will you?" Jamie finally was able to get both her lover and dog to move back far enough so she could at least sit up.

"What happened? I saw Joey shoot you?" Casey asked as she looked around and saw the body of Joey lying there. "Is he dead? But how?"

"I hope so, and no, what you saw was Joey pointing his gun at me. And then I bet you closed your eyes, right?" Jamie chuckled at the sheepish look Casey gave her.

"But I heard the shot." The puzzled Casey told her.

"Yep, you sure did and I’m glad he was close enough to shoot," Jamie explained as she pointed in her dad’s direction.

Casey looked over to the trail and saw Jamie’s dad standing there with a rifle in his hands. She had not realized he had moved so fast to get that close. Knowing now where the shot came from Casey mouthed the words, "Thank you" to him. He smiled in reply.

The sheriff and the others finally caught up with Dan as they all made their way down the small hill to Jamie and Casey.

The Sheriff and the men went over to take care of Joey’s body while Dan went over to make sure his daughters were okay.

"You gave all of us a pretty good scare there. Are you okay?" Dan asked as he looked over the girls himself to make sure none of their cuts were very bad.

"Yeah, dad, thanks to you we’re just fine. I sure am glad you’re a good shot." Jamie thanked her dad with a big hug and kiss.

Casey went over and gave Dan a kiss too and whispered in his ear as she hugged him, "Thanks for making it here on time."

With Dan on one side and Casey on the other they both took Jamie’s arms to help take the stress off her knee that hurt again.

Casey and Jamie looked into each other’s eyes knowing that things could have turned out a lot different today. But grateful to have their lives spared so they could have the chance to love and grow old together. Off they walked as Kaisha ran up ahead to show them the way.




Dan and Jenny had just left with the Sheriff; Casey was very glad the emotional day was over with. Joey would never give them trouble again. Even though Casey was sorry that a life was lost today, she was more grateful it was Jamie’s life that was saved. They had given their statements to the Sheriff and the doctor agreed to come there and look at Jamie’s knee instead of them having to go all the way into the hospital. It was now very late and everyone was gone. It was now just the two of them in the quiet house.

"Okay now this time you’re going to stay in bed till that knee is healed all the way and no arguing with me about it," Casey firmly told Jamie as she tucked her into bed.

"Yes, ma’am, I will. But only if you stay with me." Jamie winked at her.

"You, my dear, are in no condition for what you have in mind." Casey laughed at her.

Jamie reached out and grabbed Casey’s arm and tugged. Casey lost her balance and landed across Jamie’s chest. "And just what do you think I have on my mind, Miss Marks, hmmm?" Jamie questioned Casey as she started to tickle her.

Casey laughed so hard it was tough for her to talk. "Stop! Oh god, Jamie, stop. You’re going to make me pee my pants."

Jamie chuckled as she stopped and gave Casey a hug. "Oh god that feels so good just to laugh after the day we had."

Casey agreed it did feel great. She lifted her head up off Jamie’s shoulder and kissed her. Not just a little kiss but a long I- can’t- get- enough- of- you type kiss. By the time they stopped Jamie felt as if her chest was going to explode from lack of air.

Taking in big gulps of air she was finally able to talk. "Ahhhh…Casey, I think I’m in good enough condition for what I have in mind. Oh boy, do I think I’m in condition."

"Jamie, behave." Casey stood up trying to look serious, but with Jamie’s bottom lip sticking out and the sad look she was giving her was just too much. "God, how I love you," Casey said from the heart.

Jamie could feel the tears form as she held open her arms for Casey to crawl into again. Her heart felt like it was going to bust with the love she felt for Casey.

"I love you with all my heart, and I promise from this day forward, I will be here for you no matter what and will always love you. I give to you my love, my heart, and my soul," Jamie vowed as she sealed it with a kiss.

"Oh, Jamie, I promise with all my heart to love and take special care of your love, heart, and soul. I will till the day I die and beyond. You are my life, and my soul. You’re the woman of my dreams." And they once again sealed their love with a kiss.

"Ah…Jamie, are you sure you’re in good enough condition? Because right now I’m very much in need of your love." Casey started unbuttoning Jamie’s shirt.

Jamie started laughing as she helped Casey take off her shirt. "Oh baby, I’m in more than good condition, and I am going to show you tonight. All night."

"Just do me a favor, okay? Be careful with your knee, there is no way in hell I want to explain how it got hurt again," Casey told Jamie as she slipped into bed beside her after she was done getting rid of her clothes and Jamie’s.

All through the night Jamie and Casey proved their love and commitment to each other over and over again. The sound of their lovemaking drifted through out the night on the cool breeze.


This story is dedicated to my dog Kaisha. She was a great friend and companion. You will be missed my friend.

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