See Part 1 for Disclaimers.
As always, comments, suggestions, praise, criticisms or other forms of feedback are accepted and desired. If you've got a thought about the story, I would really like to hear it. Just drop me a word or two at: Dreams2Fly Thanks.
Dear readers: If you sent me feedback and I didn't reply, I apologise. I'm currently staying in a hotel that has less than stellar internet access. Sometimes my emails go out, and never get to their destination. I'm not ignoring you, I swear. I really appreciate it when I get some feedback. It helps me to stay focused on writing.
Lee watched the silver Blazer leave the parking lot and drive away. When it was no longer in view, he let the curtain fall back in place and turned from the window. It's just as well, he thought glumly. I've got plenty of female friends already.
For a long time he stood with his mind skittering from idea to idea as he stared at the painted conceptualization of an ancient Greek goddess interacting with a mortal hero. The goddess, her mask-like helm tipped back on her head and her armor top gleaming across her chest with the long flowing dress beneath, was caught in the act of reaching out to the unknown hero. In one hand, she held a long, thin spear. The other was flat against the hero's chest as if to hold him back. The hero, wearing little save the look of anguished rage on his face, was staring beyond the goddess where an army lay dead among the ruins of a city and its slain inhabitants.
The hero's focus was on that of a dead woman holding two equally dead children and Lee's eyes settled there as well. Some things, his mind taunted him as he contemplated a deity who would allow her own champion such grief by not intervening, are just not meant to be.
"Sorry about that, boss."
Lee blinked slowly. As if coming out of a deep sleep, he pulled his gaze from the painting and let it settle on Lane. The swelling under her eye had gone down some but not enough to hide the effects of the hit. Luckily, the coloring of her skin would render the resultant bruise into a dark shadow rather than the stark violet marking it might've been on lighter skin.
"Hmm?" Lee shook his head, returning his mind to the present. "It was a lucky shot, Lane. I only came out as back up. I didn't expect that you'd actually need me."
"Yeah." She studied him a minute. "Good thing you're more than you appear, huh?"
Lee grunted and looked away. His eyes fell on the door and he thought to ask, "Was she okay?"
Lane nodded. "Yeah. Laurie took care of her." She was silent a moment then sniffed and turned for the door.
Lee followed the security chief with his eyes. When she paused and looked back him, he lifted a brow in query. She hesitated a moment longer. Then, "She says the boy's on the list of riders for Friday. You'll see them again."
Lee's eyes narrowed slightly. "Has she been gossiping again, or something? "
"Laurie!" Lee stopped himself from saying more.
Lane looked confused. "No, I don't think so. She just said the kid would be back." She shrugged. "I thought you looked a little disappointed that you'd missed them, so I figured I'd pass it on."
"Right," he replied, drawing the word out. "She's up to something. I can feel it."
Lane shrugged again. "If you say so." She took a breath. "I gotta go fill out a report on this," she gestured at her cheek. "I'll catch you later."
Lee nodded. "Yeah, sure. Just leave a copy with Laurie and I'll sign it when I'm back up here on Friday."
Lane waved as she turned and left the room. Lee watched her leave, but his mind had already returned to the woman he'd struck and the smaller one that had been her target. He could still see those green eyes looking back at him.
He really didn't want to admit it, but Laurie's earlier comment had been on the mark. The small red-head intrigued him for some reason and Lee was sorely disappointed that he had missed the opportunity to speak with her. But, it was as if it there was something - or someone - blocking him.
Lee had been stopped four times before he made it to the kitchen to retrieve drinks for the mother and her son. As he had reached up for a bottle of water, his pager went off with a priority code. He had been forced to send Laurie out with the drinks while he stayed behind.
As it turned out, the call was two fold, though the priority code was only for half of it. Cass had run into a problem with advertising and needed to discuss alternatives with him so a decision could be made before the end of the business day. When they were done, she passed on a message that Mrs. Leminski had called to say that their meeting for that evening needed to be postponed due to a family emergency.
By the time he'd made it out to the front room, he could see that she was no longer on the porch. A twitch of the curtains had revealed the woman buckling her son into his car seat. Lee had stood there and watched her move, his mind in turmoil. She seemed to have an aura of strength about her that contradicted her connection to the dark woman who had attacked her. As much as he tried to wrap his mind around the idea, he just couldn't reconcile her to the role of a battered mate. It was almost as if this had been the first time the well dressed woman had ever resorted to physical violence.
Yeah, right, his mind scoffed. Isn't that what they always say? Lee shook his head. He just didn't know enough to come to any clear conclusions.
After a while, he let out a long sigh. He glanced at the clock hung prominently over the outer door, which read 5pm. Well, nothing else to do tonight, he mused. I guess I can go get some people watching in.
~Continued in Part Eight~