See part 1 for disclaimers and warnings

Leather and Lace

Part Four

By Greek Warrior (Joan)

Chapter Twelve:

The drive to the house, Kris didn't think of it as home anymore, was taking less time than she would have liked.  She sat lost in thought and staring out of the passenger window oblivious to the passing scenery.  Without her knowledge an occasional sigh escaped past her frowning lips.

"You doing alright?"  Raven had glanced at her passenger each time the almost inaudible groan had left the young woman's mouth.

Kris managed a smile as the deep voice of her companion rumbled through her.  "Yeah.  I just wish I knew what to expect, you know?"  She reached across the space between the bucket seats and circled her fingers around Raven's.

"Yeah, I do."  She squeezed the smaller hand entwined with hers.  "I'm sorry Parker found out about us."  Raven rubbed her thumb up and down Kris'.  "Hopefully I scared him enough to make him think twice about causing trouble."  She was trying to be optimistic and relieve some of the tension radiating through her lover.  She turned the blinker on and made a right turn.

Kris chuckled.  "Don't hold your breath.  He'll have had time to think about his humiliation and his damaged ego."

They drove on in silence until Raven pulled the car over to the curb a few houses away from their destination.  "You ready?"  She asked, pulling the smaller hand that she still held up to brush her lips across the knuckles.

"No."  Kris answered honestly.  "But I need to get this over with."  She took a deep breath.  "You know, there's really no reason you have to go in there and subject yourself to the rude and insulting remarks mother and father will probably throw my way."  Kris had been arguing with herself during the drive.  The part of her that felt safe and protected in Raven's arms wanted her lover by her side, knowing it would be easier to face her parents with her security blanket wrapped around her, so-to-speak.  But the adult part, an annoying little voice, was telling her to stand on her own two feet and take care of her own problems.

"There is a very good reason."  Raven placed her fingers under Kris' chin and lifted until their eyes met.  "I love you and I won't let you go through this alone."  As the silence grew, Raven became a little insecure.  "I mean if you want me to...go with you, I mean.  Unless you think it'll make it harder on you...with me there."  She forced herself to not look away.

"I do."  Kris saw the shattered expression on Raven's face and hurried to clarify.  "Want you with me, that is."  The transformation was amazing; Raven went from devastated to elated in the blink of an eye.  Kris couldn't help but grin at the joy radiating from her friend.

They snuck around the side of the house and headed for the kitchen, deciding a little reconnaissance was more prudent than an all out frontal assault.  Kris opened the back door just enough to stick her head in and look around.  "Psst...Issy."

Issy jumped.  "Good lord, child, you tryin to give ol' Issy a heart attack?"  The cook leaned against the sink with her hand covering her chest like she was checking to make sure her heart was still beating.

"Sorry, didn't mean to scare you."  Kris tiptoed into the kitchen with Raven right behind her.

"Where've you been?  I just sent Miss Vivian to wake you up."  She eyed the pair wondering what was going on as Kris turned a colorful shade of red and Raven looked down at her shoes instead of meeting the cook's eyes.

"She's her room."  Viv smirked and finished her sentence even though it was obvious where her sister was.  "I take it the two of you...made up?"  Kris' face darkened by several shades.  "Nice color."  Viv couldn't pass up an opportunity to tease her sister.

Issy was trying to keep a straight face, which was hampered by the lecherous grin that was plastered across Viv's face.  "Anyone want coffee?"  The cook turned to retrieve mugs before anybody had a chance to respond.

They sat down and explained the morning happenings to a stunned pair.  "That no good, sorry south end of a north bound mule."  Issy's hand hit the table so hard that the coffee mugs jumped.  "Pardon my foul mouth."  She stated as she retrieved the coffeepot and refilled their mugs.  The two sisters knew for Issy that was as close as the cook had ever come to cursing.

Viv was both angry and amused.  "Did he really wet himself?"  At her sister's nod, she chuckled.  "God, I wish I had seen that."  She sobered at her increasingly nervous sister.  "Maybe he hasn't said anything, he never did mention the argument in the dining room the other night."  Viv reminded them.

"Issy!"  Regina called out as she entered the kitchen.  "Oh good, here you are."  She hadn't noticed the other occupants of the room as she stood facing the cook who was making another pot of coffee.

"And where else would I be?"  Issy mumbled.

"What was that?"

"Nothin', Mrs. Whitfield.  What can I do for you?"  The cook replied.

"I finally convinced Felicia LeClaire that the annual Ambassador's Christmas Party should be here instead of at that over-decorated pompous French Embassy.  That woman is so snobbish, I don't know why anyone bothers going to her little get-to-togethers in the first place."  She missed Issy's eye roll of exasperation as she let out an exaggerated sigh.  "I don't want anything ordinary so come up with some spectacular ideas by the end of the week and let me see the menu."

The three people sitting at the table had frozen when Regina entered the kitchen; each hoping inactivity meant invisibility.  No such luck.

"Vivian, shouldn't you be with the tutor?"  Regina asked as she turned to face the three statues.  "Run along, dear."  Viv stood, but only moved to stand beside Issy, out of her mother's line of sight.  She wasn't about to leave until the confrontation had been resolved.  "Kristen, it's about time you finally got out of bed.  I volunteered your services to Stephanie to word the invitations for the party.  I don't know why I pay that woman as much as I do."  She mumbled to herself.  "But before you do that, I want you to tell me about the opera last night."  Her eyes fell on the last occupant.  "And lastly, Miss Chandler, your job here is over and you're not welcome in this house.  I'll thank you to leave."

"Mother, that's enough.  I won't have you treating my...friend like that."  Kris stood and glared across the table at her momentarily stunned parent.

"And I won't be spoken to with such disrespect from my own daughter in my own home."  Her voice gained volume with each word.  "I can't believe you would turn against your own mother and take her side."  She said with disgust as she pointed toward the Captain.

"What is going on in here?  I can hear you in my office."  Andrew stood by the kitchen door with his hands on his hips, glancing at each person in turn.  Issy, still standing by the coffeepot, remained mute.  Viv was quietly standing by the cook and staring at the floor.  His wife stared at their eldest daughter who defiantly stared back at her mother.  The Captain was the only one to look his way.  "Well?"  He glanced back at Regina.

"She's the problem."  Regina again pointed at Raven.  "I don't want her here and I don't want Kristen associating with her kind."

Raven flinched, thinking Regina knew she was gay.  Kris jumped to her defense.  "If by 'her kind' you mean a woman who's strong and independent and doesn't need to be taken care of, I not only want to associate with 'her kind', I want to be 'her kind'."  Kris stated as she leaned her weight on her arms that were propped on the tabletop.

"We'll just see what Parker has to say about this.  I'm sure he won't take too kindly to his wife associating with 'her kind'."  Regina stated triumphantly, thinking that was a threat.

Kris took a few deep breaths, trying to calm down before she said something that she would regret.  It wasn't working until she felt Raven's hand lightly rubbing her back.  'How can such a small gesture mean so much?'  She smiled inwardly.  "Mother, you need to listen very carefully.  I'm not marrying Parker.  I don't love him.  Heck, I don't even like the dweeb."  She raised her hands from the table, palms up and shrugged her shoulders.  "He's self-centered and egotistical.  The only reason he wanted to marry me was because he thought it would benefit his career."

Regina looked panic-stricken.  "This is all your fault."  She accused Raven.

This time Raven beat Kris to the punch.  "No ma'am, as much as I'd like to take the credit, Kris had a mind of her own long before I came along."  That comment got her a warm and loving smile from her companion, which she returned.

"Are you going to stand there and let your wife be insulted?"  Regina huffed.

Andrew had to admit a growing pride in his daughter and an increasing respect for this woman that Kris had chosen to care for.  He wasn't blind either, he could see more than friendship in the way they looked at each other.  "Dear."  He addressed his wife.  "I haven't heard any insults, except towards Parker that is.  Let's all sit down and discuss this like adults."  His diplomatic side always came through when his personal side didn't quite know how to cope.

"No, I refuse to be around her."  Regina stamped her foot.  "I want her out of this house."  Andrew sighed and rubbed his temples.

Viv was shaking her head in embarrassment and whispered to Issy.  "This is the first time I've seen someone my mother's age throw a temper tantrum and I hope it's the last."  Issy patted the girls shoulder in sympathy.  "It certainly isn't a pretty site."  Vivian groaned.

"Fine, Mother."  Kris grabbed her companion's hand and left the kitchen heading towards the stairs.  "There's only a few thing I want to grab from my room then we can get out of here."

"Kristen, I forbid you to leave this house!"  They heard Regina yell from the kitchen.

"Are you..."  Raven started to ask but was stopped by Kris' fingers placed lightly on her lips.  Kris turned on the stairs to face her companion.  The young woman was standing one step higher than Raven, which made it easier to look the Captain in the eye.  "Sure?  Yes, very sure."

She asked and answered.  "It's not just a case of choosing you over them, I'm also choosing to take control of my life.  It's mine to do with as I see fit, whether they approve or not."  She smiled and tweaked Raven's nose.

Kris' stuff consisted of her laptop, back-up disks of her writings and the suitcase that she had brought with her from the embassy and a few knickknacks and stuffed animals she had acquired while growing up.  Raven shouldered the duffel bag as Kris did the same with her laptop case.  Viv was standing in the doorway as they turned to go.

"Believe it or not, I'm going to miss you, sis."  Vivian held out her arms as Kris stepped into them.

"I'll miss you too, Viv.  I'll call in a couple of days."  She stepped back and wiped a tear off her sibling's cheek.  "Tell Issy I love her and I'll keep in touch.  I'd go hug her neck but I don't want to get her in trouble with mother."

"I'll let her know."  She assured her sister and surprised Raven by wrapping her arms around the Captain.  "Make her happy, she deserves it."  She let go and stepped back to allow them to exit the room.

As they reached the bottom of the stairs, Andrew met them.  "Kris still needs to be protected until the talks are completed."  He addressed Raven but never took his eyes from his daughter.  "I'm counting on you to do that, Captain."

"I assure you, Ambassador, the only way they would get to Kris is if they come through me first."  She heard the sharp intake of breath next to her and felt Kris' hand, tighten around hers.

"I'll hold you to that."  His eyes had tracked to Raven's and held for several seconds before looking back at Kris.  " for each other, don't you?"  He couldn't quite bring himself to use the word love.

"Yes, Father, we do."  She looked directly into his eyes and saw something that surprised her.  It wasn't quite the happiness or understanding she wished for, but a grudging acceptance of her as an adult and able to make her own decisions.

"I don't know if I'll ever be able to come to terms with...this, but I do want you to be happy.  Give me some time, okay?"  He asked nervously.  "I'll even see if I can work on your mother."

"Of course I'll give you time.  I love you."  Kris placed a kiss on her father's cheek.  "But if you can change mother's mind, you'll go down in history as the greatest diplomat ever."  They smiled at the truth of the statement before Kris hurriedly pulled Raven out the front door when she heard her mother's voice headed in their direction.

The ride back to the hotel was spent in silence until Raven broke it.  "How do you think it went?  Better or worse than you expected?"  She stole a sideways glance at her companion.  Worried that she was more upset than she looked.

"Actually better, with father anyway.  I'm confused about why mother is so set against you.  She doesn't even know that we're lovers."  She blushed shyly at the still new concept.  "And to tell the truth, I'm a little worried that Parker might try to get back at us in some way."

Raven grinned at the blush, which gave her body a warm feeling and her mind a few ideas of how to spend the afternoon.  "You really think Parker would be that stupid?"  She put a lid on her lurid thoughts and concentrated on Kris' concern.

'Enough of these depressing thoughts.'  Kris was determined to get her mind off the past few hours.  "Well, as Issy would say, 'sometimes he's a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic'."

Raven almost missed the turn into the hotel garage since she was laughing at Kris' response.  "Sorry."  She said when she had to brake quickly in order not to have to go around the block again.  "I can imagine Issy standing there and very nonchalantly telling someone off and them not figuring out until hours later that they've been insulted."

They got out of the car and headed for the elevator.  "She did that to a caterer once and the poor man stood there and thanked her then hours later came stomping into the kitchen, demanding an apology."  They exited the garage elevator when they reached the lobby and headed for the elevators to take them to their room.

As soon as the doors slid closed and Kris hit the button for the 12th floor, she found herself enveloped from behind.  "What would you like to do this afternoon?"  Raven whispered in Kris' ear.  "If that blush is any indication, I think I'll approve."  She turned Kris around and kissed her passionately.  They continued their tongue duel, with Kris practically climbing Raven's body, until the car started slowing down.

When the door opened, they wedged past two older couples, with a mumbled 'excuse us' and ran down the corridor to their door.  "Young people today."  One of the ladies stated.  "They're always in a hurry.  Seems like they could slow down and enjoy life."

The two men chuckled.  "Oh, I think those two probably will enjoy a lot this afternoon."  One whispered to the other.  They had both noticed the heavy breathing and disheveled clothing of the young women.

Raven finally got the door to their room open after fumbling with the key card for what seemed like forever.  Once inside, she dropped her coat and was immediately pinned with her back against the door and a very amorous smaller body attaching itself to her front.

Kris attached her lips to Raven's neck as her hands pulled at the shirt tucked into faded jeans.  "Gods, Kris."  Raven managed to grab her shirt and pull it over her head as Kris' lips moved to the newly exposed skin of her Captain's stomach.  Her bra joined her shirt somewhere on the floor as Kris not so lightly claimed an erect nipple with her teeth.  "Ugh."  The older woman groaned as she tangled her fingers in blonde hair and pulled Kris tightly into her.  Her hips bucked forward trying to force more contact with the smaller body of her lover.

Kris chuckled as she released a very red and stimulated nipple, she couldn't believe she was having this kind of effect on her more experienced lover.  "Is there something you want, Taz?"  She ran her hands up Raven's thighs and around to grasp the firm ass then pressed her body into the Captain's.  "Is there?"  She prompted when no answer was forthcoming.

Raven's head slammed back against the door.  ""  She finally answered through her heavy breathing as Kris stepped between her spread legs and their hips ground together.

"I think that can be arranged."  Kris dipped her head and suckled both nipples before she crouched at Raven's feet and removed her shoes.  She watched blue eyes darken with desire as she ran her hands slowly up the front of Raven's legs, stopping when she reach the waistband of her jeans.  Kris straightened her back, bringing her mouth level with her lover's crotch.  "Mmm, you smell good."  She maintained eye contact as she opened her mouth and raked her teeth along Raven's denim covered mound.  "I bet you're dripping by now and your panties are soaking wet."

"Please."  The Captain begged as she watched Kris lean towards her.  "Oh fuck...Kris."  She almost collapsed when she felt teeth rake across her.

Kris smiled.  "Oh, I definitely think that can be arranged."  She stood and pulled her Captain into the bedroom by her belt loop.

Raven was turned around which placed her back towards the side of the bed.  She stood as still as her shaking legs would allow while Kris unbuttoned and unzipped her jeans.  They were slowly pushed, along with her underwear, down around her knees, and then fell to the floor.  She was pushed backwards until she was laying on her back across the bed.  She propped up on her elbows to watch her lover as she leaned down and finished removing the clothing that was still bunched around her ankles.

Kris straightened and locked green eyes with blue as she slowly and enticingly started stripping for her lover.  She almost lost her focus as a moan escaped Raven's mouth and her tongue hungrily moistened her lips.  She regained her equilibrium as the last of her clothing was removed.

Raven sat up and reached for the young woman that was teasing her so wonderfully.  She arched an eyebrow in surprise as her target nimbly stepped back.

"Uh uh."  Kris wiggled her finger.  "You, my love, are going to let me have my way with you."

"But..."  Raven started to protest.

"No buts.  You gave me so much pleasure last night and this morning, I just want to show you how much I love you."  Kris moved within touching distance and leaned down to place gentle kisses on Raven's eyelids, nose and mouth.  "Now, Captain."  Her voice became authoritative.  "You are going to follow orders."

"Yes Ma'am."  Raven responded to the wicked gleam in Kris' eyes.  She knew at this moment she would do anything and everything that her seductress wanted, including sit up and beg.  'And I thought she was innocent and shy.'

"Lay down."  A devilish smile spread across her face.  "And roll over."  Kris swallowed hard and wondered if she could control her own desire as her eyes roamed up the tall, tanned, beautiful body when Raven leaned back.  'No tan lines.'  She filed that thought away for later consideration.  Raven turned to her stomach.  'Nice ass.'  She felt the moisture cascading down the inside of her thighs.  'Of course I could allow myself one quick little climax.  Just to make sure I stay in control.'

Raven rolled over and clutched the edge of the mattress in her hands as she waited.  She was about ready to plead when she felt the bed shift as Kris straddled her thighs.  She tried to spread her legs when she felt Kris' nipples lightly graze her butt and move upwards to leave a trail of goose-bumps, but her young companion refused the action by clamping her legs tighter against her lover.  "Please."

Kris chuckled.  "Not yet, Taz."  She whispered in Raven's ear before she moved along the strong back, placing kisses down her spine.  She paused and licked her lips as she hovered over the firm, smooth mounds of flesh that had captured her attention minutes ago.  One long wet swipe of her tongue sent hips pressing into the bed then raising up begging for more.

Raven wanted desperately to open herself to her lover, but was denied.  She clutched the mattress tighter, not caring if it ripped apart.  Her hips bucked as she felt the warm wet muscle glide over her left cheek.  She groaned her frustration into the blanket below her when there was no other immediate contact.  "Take me...please, Kris."

"God, it turns me on when you beg."  She placed a delicate kiss on her captive's rear end just before sinking her teeth into the inviting flesh, hard enough to leave an indention.  The sound that passed from her companion's throat was a cross between a growl and a groan.  Kris eased up her lover's body until her knees were beside Raven's hips.  She spread her own folds and lowered herself until her center was pressing against her lover's ass.  She threw her head back, moaning at the delicious contact touching her clit as she rhythmically undulated against the body beneath her.

Raven felt teeth sink into her skin and was about to pass out from unfulfilled need, then when she felt hot moist softness grind into her, she briefly wondered if lust had ever been a cause of death.  She felt Kris' release throb through her own body and settle between her legs adding to her already agonizing need.  "Ugh...Kris...please...need you."  She whimpered.

Kris didn't wait for her body to calm before she spread Raven's legs and knelt between them.  "You've been very patient, Taz.  Time for a small reward, I think."  She entered her lover with one finger, twisting it as she slowly pumped in and out of Raven's over heated body.

"M..More."  Raven pleaded as she raised her hips in invitation.

Kris removed her well-lubricated finger and placed it at the smaller puckered opening and hesitated.  "Is it okay?"  She asked her lover, realizing that they were still discovering what did and didn't please each other.

Raven pulled her knees under her, leaned forward on her forearms and presented herself to her lover.  "Take"  She growled and felt the small finger enter her.  "Gods...yes."  Her entire being focused on that one finger easing in and out of her until she felt two other fingers fill her neglected opening.  "Uh, Kris...fuck me...hard."  She had never before wanted to give herself so completely to another.

Kris felt the tight opening give way as she gently pushed in with her index finger.  With her free hand she entered Raven's soft warmth.  She could feel her finger's slowly pumping past each another, one entering while the others pulled out, never leaving her lover completely empty.  She felt Raven's muscles quiver and convulse and worked her fingers harder and faster.

Raven bucked forward as a soul shattering orgasm erupted throughout her body.  Tremors continued to throb within her even after she collapsed onto the bed.  She groaned and turned over to find Kris propped on her elbow, lying beside her.  "You look mighty pleased with yourself."  Raven was still waiting for her heartbeat to slow down.

"And why shouldn't I be?"  Kris caressed a smooth cheek before tracing Raven's lips with her finger.  "I wanted to give you as much pleasure as you've given me.  And I think it's safe to say, I did."  Kris suddenly needed conformation.  "Didn't I?"  Her brow furrowed.

"Oh, I think that's a fairly safe bet."  Raven captured Kris' finger in her mouth, tasting her own essence.  'Gods, I can't get enough of her.  Is this what it's like to be in love?'  Raven wondered as the desire to possess and be possessed over and over again by this wonderful beautiful young woman raged through her body and soul.  "I love you, Sagira."  She declared and eased her companion back on the bed as she covered the smaller body with her own.

Chapter Thirteen:

"Andrew, I can't believe that you just let Kristen leave with that...that woman."  Regina sat staring into the fireplace where the gas logs flickered with small blue flames.  "What were you thinking?"  She turned her head to glare severely at her husband while her hands fidgeted nervously with her monogrammed linen handkerchief she held.

Andrew rubbed his suddenly tired eyes.  "Dear, I couldn't keep her here against her will, she's an adult."  He tried to reason with his irrational wife as he sat down in the recliner facing the stubborn woman.

"She may be an adult but her judgment has obviously been affected, she's not thinking clearly, Andrew.  That Captain Chandler has coerced her into leaving her family and her husband-to-be.  We have to bring her back, Andrew.  I have been planning this wedding since she and Parker met and I won't be denied."  She stated firmly while slapping the palm of her hand on the arm of the couch.

"Sweetheart."  He leaned forward resting his forearms on his thighs and tried again.  "I don't think she would marry Parker even if we brought her back."

"Well of course she would.  We just have to get Kristen away from 'her' influence."

"No, Regina, they care for each other."  He waited a few minutes for any acknowledgement of understanding from his wife.  'Talk about having to have a brick wall fall on you, so much for the delicate approach.'  He took a deep breath and braced himself.  "Kristen and the Captain seem to be quite taken with each other."  He watched as a somewhat puzzled expression cross his wife's features.  "They're in love."  He expected denial, anger, and or resentment.  He was at a loss on what to do as his wife keeled over in a dead faint.  "Oh my."

Parker had been standing in the hall listening the entire time.  He fully expected the Ambassador to denounce the two women and demand that Kristen return and go through with the wedding.  And he would, of course, play the grieving hurt boyfriend and gladly take Kris back which he knew would get him points with the Ambassador.  When that didn't happen, he had to rethink his position.  'Is it worth going against my benefactor just to get even with them for embarrassing me?  If I do, I could jeopardize my career if the Ambassador takes exception to it.'  He quietly eased back from the door, deciding that his career was far more important than any woman was.  'Besides, there's bound to be others that would be grateful to be the wife of an up and coming political star, such as myself.  Someone that would be a lot less trouble.'


"Is there anything you need to do before we go home?"  Raven asked the contented young woman that was spooned in front of her.  She raised her head and kissed a bare shoulder.

"Home, I like the sound of that."  She hadn't really thought of any place being home in a long, long time.  "I'd like to go visit my grandparents and introduce you to them, if it's okay to let them know that we're back, that is."  She absentmindedly rubbed her fingers across the arm around her waist.

"I believe they were notified of your return and asked not to contact any of you.  For their safety."  She answered before Kris could ask why.

"I won't put them in any danger by seeing them, will I?"  She turned in Raven's arms to face her.  "I was also going to pick up the money that I've made from the short stories I've sold, they've been investing it for me, but I could just get them to send it."

"No."  The Captain assured her.  "They're being watched.  Just not as closely as your family."  She explained.

"I thought at first this would be a big adventure but now I must admit this terrorist stuff scares me."  'Especially after seeing the scars you have, some look almost faded, others look fairly new.'  She absentmindedly traced a small one that was one of the fading ones.  'I wonder if you would tell me about them?  And how do I watch you go off on a mission knowing that you might not come back?  Or that you might be hurt and I can't go to you?'

"Do they have the published copies of your writings?  I'd like to read them if you wouldn't mind."  Raven wasn't aware of the misgivings of her companion she was just trying to get Kris' mind on more pleasant things.

"Yeah, they've kept an extra copy for me."  She felt the blush creep up her face.  "I'll get those too."  They cuddled together, enjoying the closeness.  "Can I ask you a question, love?"  Kris linked her fingers with the ones caressing her middle.

"Sure."  Raven propped her head in her unoccupied hand.

"John mentioned something, more to himself than to me, the other night when I didn't know what was upsetting you.  Something about your last mission, the one before this one, I mean.  He was afraid that was what was bothering you.  Can you talk about what happened?"

"John worries too much and still blames himself."  Raven wondered if telling her would mean the start of Kris' own nightmares when she went back into the field.  'I could just say it was top secret.  That would be the truth, but I'd be keeping things from her and I promised I wouldn't do that.'

Raven kissed Kris' bare shoulder and took a deep breath, hoping she wouldn't regret this.  "Workers from a US company and their families were being held captive and we were sent in to rescue them.  The plan was for one of us to pose as a representative from the company and to be taken to the complex with the others so the rest of the team could follow, courtesy of a tracking devise.  Two things went wrong; one, somehow they knew I wasn't from the company and two, the captives were held in underground cells with thick stone walls and the tracking devise wasn't strong enough to transmit through all that.  It took the team several hours to get into the complex undetected and to find the captives and me and to get us out.  I had been, ... questioned and John blames himself for not using the right equipment.  But the intel we had been given never mentioned the underground area."  Raven pulled Kris tightly into her body when she tensed up.  "It's okay now...I'm here, baby...I'm okay."  She whispered soothing words.

Kris almost panicked when she realized that Raven could have died before they had a chance to meet.  "How ba...badly were you...hurt?"

Raven's hand that was wrapped around her lover, started a gentle caress across Kris' stomach.  "I was in pretty bad shape, it took me a few months to recover and a few more months to get back to work."

Kris turned around, pushing her partner on her back and covered her Captain's body with hers.  Looking into the concerned blue eyes calmed her racing heart.  She realized that Raven probably hadn't wanted to tell her because of the worry that it would cause.  "I'm beginning to realize that what you do scares the hell outta me."  Kris admitted.  "But I'll never ask you to quit and I'll always be waiting for you at home."  She paused.  "I just want you to promise me that you'll always come back to me, no matter what."

"Always."  Raven looked deeply into pleading green eyes.  "I promise."  She wrapped her arms around the smaller body and pulled them into a comforting embrace.  She knew that nothing could keep her from returning to the love the two of them shared.


After a shower, packing, calling Gwen, talking to John and Sharon, checking out, eating lunch, and extending the return date of the rental car, the two women headed east towards Ocean City, Maryland.  Kris happily snacked away on one of the many goodies she had stocked up on before leaving the hotel.  Raven had to admit that when driving for more than a few hours at a time she tended to get the munchies too.  Though she knew that it was more from boredom than from hunger.

About 30 minutes into the drive found both women deep into their own thoughts and concerns.  The studio apartment she had now was definitely not big enough for both of them and not good enough for Kris.  'I want her to have the best I can give her.'  Raven had always meant to look into buying a house, she just had never gotten around to it.

'They're probably going to tell me I need my head examined.  Leaving every thing and every body I know to move across the country with someone I hardly know.'  Kris glanced sideways at her companion and smiled.  'But she's worth that and more.  I know I'd never be happy without her.'  "Looks like rain."  She pointed to the south.

"Yeah, but we're about to head southeast, so maybe it won't effect us."  Raven said as they started across the toll bridge that took them across Chesapeake Bay.  She noticed the far away look and the anxious tone in Kris' voice.  'Could she be having second thoughts about this?  And why in Hades not, you idiot, you're dragging her across the damn country.  Could I live here if she changes her mind?  I'd have to, because I know I can't lose her.'

'She looks a little lost.  I wonder if she's nervous about meeting my grandparents?'  "Are we there yet?"  She grinned at the surprise in her friend's face.

"Don't start."  Raven tried to scowl.  "And don't pout."  She said as Kris did just that.  "I'm warning you."

"Or what?"  She crossed her arms over her chest and poked her bottom lip out further in defiance.

"Or I'll turn you over my knee."  The Captain warned.

"Huh."  Kris got a gleam in her eyes.  "I might like that too much, Taz.  Better think of something else."  They both started laughing.  Kris' mission to get Raven out of her funk had been accomplished.  She reached over and closed her hand around her friends.  "I think we might have the makings of a new kind of fairytale here."

"What do you mean?"  Raven glanced at her companion out of the corner of her eye, before turning her attention back to the road.

"Most fairytales end with the rescue of the fair maiden by the knight in shining armor, ours begins there."  She brought their entwined hands to her lips and kissed Raven's.  Kris almost laughed at the bewildered expression that she was getting.  "Watch the road, love, I'd like to get there in one piece."

Raven finally found her voice.  "Kris, I'm not..."

"You are to me."  She interrupted.  "I know you're human and you make mistakes and that we're going to argue about things, but you're also my hero, so learn to live with it, Taz."  She winked at her companion when Raven stole a glance in her direction.  "You'll learn in time that's it's easier just to agree with me when I have my mind made up."

Raven shook her head and chuckled.  "I always say a good soldier knows when to fight, when to retreat and when to surrender."

"Which is this?"

"Let's call it a strategic retreat, pending a complete surrender."  She winked at the grinning woman.


Raven had been floored by Kris' willingness to tell her grandparents that they were in love.  Then the unexpected and complete acceptance of her and their partnership had left her a wee-bit stunned.  She was left wondering how Kris' mother was a product of those two understanding and supportive people.

Raven glanced over at her sleeping companion then leaned her head back to rest against her first class seat.  They had left in the very early morning hours to drive to Baltimore, after spending a couple of days with Kris' grandparents, to catch their flight home.  They were due to land at 4:10 p.m. but had been 45 minutes late taking off due to thunderstorms that plagued the Baltimore area all day.  She hoped the pilot could make-up the time in the air, she really didn't want to be in the middle of rush hour traffic all the way to the apartment.

Kris yawned and stretched.  "How much longer?"  She asked as she raised the covering and looked out the small window.

"About an hour and a half.  I doubt you'll be able to see anything.  It's overcast with scattered showers.  That's the standard October to April forecast by the way.  In case I forgot to tell you, it rains here most of the time in the fall and winter."  Raven replied.

"But it stays green here during the winter, doesn't it?"  Kris grabbed her water bottle from the pouch in the back of the seat in front of her.

"Most everything does, yeah.  That was the hardest thing to get used to, being in other places where everything would be grey and bleak, like it was dead."  She handed her empty glass to the flight attendant as he passed by collecting them.

After they landed and collected their luggage, Kris asked, "So, where's home and how do we get there?"  Kris asked as she shouldered her laptop case and stuck her hands in her pockets since Raven insisted on carrying their two large bags.

"We get there by taxi."  She quickly maneuvered around the people still huddled close to the moving carousel and directed Kris towards the exit.  They had made up a little time in the air and she still held out hope of missing most of the commuter traffic.  "And home is a studio apartment on Bell Street a little north of the downtown area."  She headed for the taxi that pulled over at her signal.  "We'll have to talk about getting a larger one or maybe a house.  I was thinking about looking for something out of the congested areas."  She climbed in the backseat after Kris and gave the driver the address.

"I don't want you to change the way you live, just for me."  She stopped Raven from interrupting her by placing her fingers over her companion's mouth.  "I'll be happy wherever you are."

Raven turned Kris' fingers around and kissed her knuckles.  "I know you would be.  But I've thought about doing this for a while.  I just never had the motivation to deal with the agents and the banks and stuff."  Their hands stayed clasped together and rested on the seat between them.  "It won't hurt to look and we won't rush into anything."  She promised.

Kris agreed for now.  She promised herself that they would talk about finances later.  The money she had from the investments by her grandparents was quite a bit more than she had originally made, but she didn't think it would go too far on paying for half a house and expenses.  She spent the rest of the time looking at the passing scenery and asking tourist type questions until the taxi pulled up in front of an older five-story red brick building.  Raven paid the driver while Kris waited at the top of the four concrete steps that lead up to the single wooden door.  The Captain fished in the outer pocket of her duffel bag and retrieved her keys.  She unlocked the door and pushed it open for her companion to enter first.

"Don't you want to check your mail?"  Kris asked as Raven bypassed the mailboxes hanging just inside the door and headed for the elevator.

"Uh uh.  Granny always picks it up for me when I'm gone."  She pushed the button for the fifth floor and waited for the slower than molasses in the winter, antique lift to start upwards.  "The stairs are faster if you don't mind the climb."  She informed Kris who had moved over and leaned against her side.

Kris wrapped her arm around Raven's waist.  "I don't know, I think this time can be used for a good cuddle or two."  She stated and was rewarded with a kiss to the top of her head.  "So when do I get to meet Granny and see if I pass inspection?"  She tried to make the question sound casual but she was a little nervous about meeting her since she knew Raven valued the older woman's friendship and opinion and it showed in her voice.

"Hey."  Raven dropped one of the bags she was caring and tilted Kris' head back until their eyes met.  "There is nothing to be nervous about.  She's going to love you almost as much as I do, Sagira."  Their lips met briefly.  "I promise."  She stated as the door slid open and she lead the way down the hall.

'I hope your right.'  Kris followed her taller companion to a doorway with the number 20 fixed to the wall beside it.  Raven had told her earlier that there were 20 apartments in the building, ten one bedroom units and ten studios and that Granny lived in number 16, directly below them.

"She'll probably come up a little while after she hears us moving around."  Raven explained more to fill the silence than anything else.  "She always has to see for herself that I'm still in one piece.  But she'll never admit she's worried about me."

Kris had been looking around the apartment and turned towards her companion.  "Does she know what you do?"

"No, she doesn't know anything about The Division.  I think she's talked herself into believing that I'm an undercover cop or something."  Raven was standing beside the couch that she had dropped their bags on.  "You want the nickel tour?"

Kris nodded her head.  Raven opened a door that lead to a fairly large walk-in closet, which she thought was an odd thing to have in a small apartment.  The next door lead to a small bathroom that contained a cabinet and sink combination, a toilet, a small corner shower stall and a normal sized bathtub.  The room was wallpapered in an off-white color with yellow and orange pinstripes to give it a little color.

The kitchen was tiny; it contained a stainless-steel sink, a few feet of counter space with cabinets above and below it, a small microwave, a white stove and a white refrigerator that looked skinnier than a normal sized one.  An open counter area with bar stools was used as a dining table but also served to separate the kitchen from the living area.

The bedroom contained a double bed pushed against the northwest corner of the apartment and separated from the rest of the apartment by a wooden screen that reached almost to the ceiling.  A small table sat beside the bed and held an alarm clock.  The main room contained a cloth-covered couch, cream in color with a beautiful forest green colored afghan folded across the back.  One overstuffed chair, the same color as the couch, sat at a 90-degree angle from the sofa with an end table between the two.  A small entertainment center occupied the corner across from the couch and contained a TV, VCR and small stereo.  The entire floor, except for the kitchen, was covered in a dark brown carpet.

"I told you it was small."  Raven reminded her as she stood behind the young woman and rested her forearms on Kris' shoulders.  "We'll need to get you a table or desk, you need someplace to put your laptop to write."

Kris was about to start the dreaded financial discussion when a knock interrupted her.

"What'd I tell you."  Raven winked at her and moved to open the door.

"I figured you'd be hungry when you got back so I made you some lasagna the other day and put it in your freezer with heating instructions.  Here's your mail."  She stated before noticing they weren't alone.  "Oh, sorry.  I didn't realize you had company."  She looked from the one to the other.  "You gonna introduce me or what?"  It was unusual for her tall friend to have anyone other than John and once-in-awhile Sharon, stop by.  In fact, now that she thought back, those where the only two people she had ever remembered seeing much less been introduced to in all the years she had known her.

Kris watched the, younger than she was expecting, woman as she talked to Raven.  She had short grey hair, not quiet reaching her collar.  Expressive bright hazel eyes, covered by wire framed glasses that moved over every inch of the tall frame in front of her.  'Probably checking to see if she's in one piece like Raven said.'  Kris smiled to herself.  She was only an inch or two taller than Kris but had a larger bone frame and a heavier build.  She walked up and stuck out her hand.  "Hi, I'm Kris and you must be Granny, nice to meet you.  Raven's told me a little about you, in her own talkative way.  Is it okay if I call you Granny?"

The older woman shook the hand held out to her.  'She's nervous.'  Granny realized as she grasped the firm but slightly sweating hand.  She stole a glance at the completely open expression that was plastered across Raven's face as she stared lovingly at the young woman.  'It must be important to Kris for me to like her.  And anybody that can get the 'queen of solitude and isolation' here to open up and take a chance, is worth getting to know.'  She gave Kris a genuine 100-watt smile.  "It's a pleasure to meet you too and yes, everybody calls me Granny."  She reassured the young woman.


"I like her."  Kris played with a strand of dark hair as they lay in bed.  "I think she likes me, too."  She rolled over and attached herself to the naked body that was stretched out beside her.

"I told you that she would."  Raven yawned and wrapped her arms around the smaller, also naked body, and pulled her close.

"That lasagna was delicious, I think I'll see if she'll give me cooking lessons."  She moved her head until she found the perfect spot on Raven's shoulder.

"And here I thought you could cook.  What do you think I dragged you across the country for?"  Raven said feigning exasperation.

"Well heck, Taz, I thought it was for the sex.  That's what I came for."  She ran her hand down bare skin causing Raven to draw in a breath and grabbed the wandering appendage before it ducked down between her legs.

"Don't you ever get enough?"  Raven laughed at the pout she could see in the moonlight shining through the window behind Kris' body.

"Never.  I could make love to you all night and still want you again." Kris stated emphatically but a large yawn gave her away.

"Get some sleep, love.  We'll work on our stamina tomorrow."

"Love you."  Mumbled sleepily.

"Love you too, Sagira."  Raven turned and kissed her forehead.  "Goodnight."  Slight snores were the only reply.


The next morning Raven got up and showered while Kris was still sleeping.  She moved quietly to the kitchen, setting up the coffee maker and opened the fridge to grab the can of coffee.  'Guess shopping is in order.'  She thought as she searched the equally bare cupboards.

The smell of fresh coffee made Kris stir from her state of hibernation.  She stretched and threw on her sleep shirt before joining Raven in the kitchen.  She grabbed the clean mug beside the pot and filled it.  "Morning."  She sleepily stated before kissing her companion's cheek and sitting on the other stool at the counter.

Raven grinned.  "Good morning, sunshine."

Kris ignored the jab at her less than cheery morning personality.  "What are you looking at?"  She inclined her head in the direction of the newspaper that was open to the classified section.

"Houses right at the moment.  But I've also looked at the sales ads for cars.  And there was one in here from a computer store I wanted you to look at.  You mentioned that yours was kinda old and out dated."  She had dressed and walked down the block to get a paper while the coffee was making.

"Hey, slow down a minute."  Kris reached for her companion's hands that where busily searching through the sections of paper for the ad.  "I know we could probably use a bigger place and I did say I'd eventually like to update my computer but I don't think we should go rampant spending money.  I haven't got that much."  She had turned her body to face her companion.

"But I do."  Raven countered.

"Do what?"  Kris was confused.  "Spend money we don't have?"  She asked for clarification.

"No."  Raven chuckled.  "Have money.  More than enough for both of us."  She continued on in a hurry when Kris opened her mouth to comment.  "Listen, my job pays pretty good and I've never been one to spend it just because I had it, so I'll take care of us while you're the struggling writer and you can take care of us after you become rich and famous."  She tilted her head until their foreheads met.  "Deal?"

Kris was silent for a few minutes while she basked in the warmth of the love she felt surrounding her.  "Are you trying to tell me that I'm going to be a kept woman, Taz?"  She leaned her head back and grinned at her companion.

Raven let go of the breath she had been holding and felt relief flood through her.  "I guess so since you're definitely a keeper."

Kris swatted Raven on the shoulder and laughed.  "Look for that ad, woman.  And give me the real-estate section.  I'm curious as to your taste in houses."

"Here."  Raven passed over the requested items and got up to refill their coffee mugs.  "We need to go food shopping today.  There's a grocery store not far from the computer store."  She resumed her seat before she noticed the stunned expression on Kris' face.

She had been reading the listings of the houses Raven had circled.  The areas of course meant nothing to her, but the square footage and the descriptions listed made her wonder if her friend had any idea just how much money the sellers would probably be asking.  She continued reading until she came across one that actually had the price listed.  "!"

"Kris, what's wrong?"

"Did you see how much they want for this?"  She turned to face her visibly relieved companion.  "You did."  She looked suspiciously at Raven.  "Just how much money do you have, Taz?"

"Not real sure.  You'd have to ask the firm that invests it for me.  They also take care of all my bills and stuff since I'm gone a lot, they make sure everything gets paid on time."  She shrugged her shoulders.

"You don't keep track of it?"  She looked unbelievingly at Raven.  "They could be stealing you blind and you wouldn't know it."

"Yes and no.  I mean I look at the statements they send every month and the graphs and percentages keep going up but I don't know how much the stocks and bonds are worth."  She explained.

Kris hung her head and shook it.  "I guess I better hurry up and get my writing career off the ground if I'm going to support us in the manner that we're about to become accustomed to."  She looked up and smiled at her companion.  "Let's get dressed and you can buy me breakfast since you're loaded."

They stopped by Granny's apartment to see if she wanted to go with them, she informed Kris that she never turned down a free meal, and the three women headed for the diner a few blocks over.  Breakfast turned into a becoming acquainted with each other affair for Kris and Granny.  With both of them learning that they had at least one thing in common, that they cared a great deal for their most of the time serious and usually sedate friend.  Which was most definitely enough of a reason for them to start a friendship of their own.

Kris had also talked Granny into agreeing to some cooking lessons, as long as she didn't expect anything too fancy.  'Good ol' home cookin' was the only thing she professed to know.  Kris actually learned more about Granny in the two hours that they spent over breakfast than Raven had learned in the many years of their friendship.

Chapter Fourteen:

Kris found out later that afternoon, why Raven had mentioned getting her a car, the only transportation that the Captain owned was a Harley-Davidson.  They did manage to get all the groceries into the saddlebag compartments on the bike, but they had gotten a few strange looks in the process.  Kris guessed that most people didn't go grocery shopping on motorcycles, even really big ones.

They had decided to leave computer shopping until the next day, so Raven headed in for her debriefing and to discuss the situation of Kris' whereabouts and the problem of The Division's probable leak with the Colonel.  Kris spent the afternoon on the phone with real-estate agents setting up appointments to look at houses the next week.

When Kris had asked Raven if she really wanted to move and leave Granny behind, Raven had confessed that she would love for Granny to move in with them or at least somewhere close by, but she didn't think the older woman would.  Kris' first cooking lesson was this afternoon; beef stroganoff was on the menu since she found that it was a favorite of her companion's.  She told Raven that she would ask Granny to stay for dinner and maybe they could talk to her about their plans for buying a house and see if she might think about staying with them.

She had just finished with the last phone call when the knock came.  She opened the door to let the older woman in.  "Hey, I got all the ingredients on your list so we should be set.  I really appreciate you taking the time to teach me."

"No problem, Kris.  It actually gives me something to do, my bridge and bingo partner's in the hospital so if I weren't doing this, I'd probably be playing couch potato."  She followed the younger woman into the kitchen.

"You want some coffee or tea before we start?"

"Yeah, coffee sounds good."  She sat down on one of the barstools and leaned her arms on the counter.

"Your playing partner's not too sick, I hope?"  Kris asked.

"She's gotten really sick over the last week and they don't expect her to last much longer.  She's a lot older than I am."  She took the mug Kris handed her and took a sip.  "I use to volunteer at the nursing home she's in, reading and whatnot, and we got to be friends so when they needed a new person for bridge she conned me into it."

"I'm sorry."  Kris wasn't sure what else to say.

"Thanks.  She always tells me not to be sad.  She says she's had a good long life and that when it's her time she'll be ready."  She patted Kris' hand.  "Enough about depressing things.  Let's get started on dinner and you can tell me how you and Raven met."

'Oh boy, I should have asked Raven what I can and can't tell her.'  Fortunately she was able to keep Granny talking about cooking until Raven came in a short time later.

Raven walked into the kitchen and wrapped her arms around Kris' waist from behind.  "Hey.  What smells so good?"  She leaned over and down and gave the younger woman a light, quick kiss on the lips.

They had told Granny about them being together at breakfast, but Kris was a little spooked at the unrestrained show of physical closeness around someone she'd just met and started blushing.

"Relax, Kris."  Granny smiled.  "It doesn't bother me that the two of you openly show affection for one another."  She reassured her.

The anxiety Kris felt left at the sincerity of their friend's voice and words.  "Beef stroganoff."  She answered and leaned back into the solidness of the body firmly holding her.

"Just make sure you keep it at a PG-13 rating.  Getting overly excited at my age is detrimental to my well being."  She shook her finger at the two lovebirds.

"Guess that means you'll be canceling the Playboy Channel then."  Raven kidded her.

Granny turned several shades of red.  "How'd you know about that?"

Raven chuckled.  "Remember I watered your plants and borrowed your washer and dryer while you were gone a couple of months ago?"  Granny nodded.  "I watched television while I waited on the clothes.  I can't believe how many channels that satellite dish gets."

"I guess trying to deny watching it wouldn't work?"  The grey-haired woman tried for a sound of innocence in her voice.  Kris had leaned against the counter with her arms crossed in front of her chest, getting a kick out of someone else being embarrassed for a change and Raven raised an eyebrow.  "Guess that would be a no."  Granny said.


Last night over dinner, the two women found out that Granny wouldn't be at all opposed to moving.  She was very flattered that the new couple would want her under foot, but she made it very clear that she would not accept a free ride.  She had even agreed to go on some of the house hunting trips next week.

Kris finished her shower deep in thought.  She and Raven were meeting Colonel Albright for lunch, Kris had insisted on the meeting after learning that the Captain had gotten her ass chewed for removing her from the protection of the Secret Service.  She was going to make it perfectly clear that it was her idea to leave with Raven and that she would have followed on her own if she had been left behind.

"We need to get going if we're going by the computer store before lunch."  Raven opened the door and stuck her head in the bathroom to see her naked mate stepping out of the shower.

Kris tossed the towel she was drying her hair with in the hamper.  "Bout ready.  Give me five more minutes."  She turned back towards the mirror only to find herself trapped by strong arms.  "If you don't stop that, we won't make it to the store before lunch."  She nevertheless abandoned herself to the feelings Raven's lips created in her neck, which sent sparks to points south.

Raven relented and released her prey after a few more nips.  "You got five minutes, Sagira."  She left the bathroom, but not before delivering a swift pat to the rear end of her lover.

"Ow!"  Kris rubbed her butt.  "Retribution's a bitch."  She yelled out to her laughing companion.

"Oh, I'm counting on it."  She replied in a low throaty growl that sent shivers down and back up the young woman's spine.


The computer store offered a variety of machines and printers in a variety of prices.  They not only bought Kris a brand new laptop; Raven also sprung for a new more powerful desktop model for herself.  Of course that meant that she could also run the new games that had been too much for her old system to handle.  Kris spent the next 30 minutes talking to the young salesman while Raven pondered and finally selected two games.  They left the store, instructing them to deliver their purchases later that afternoon and headed for their lunch date with the Colonel.

Walking into the restaurant, Raven spotted her boss sitting at a back booth and guided her companion in that direction.  "Kris, this is Colonel Albright."

"Pleasure to meet you."  He stood and lightly shook her hand.  "Please have a seat."

"Thank you, Colonel."  Kris said politely but stiffly as she slid into the vinyl-covered bench, moving against the wall to allow Raven room to sit next to her.

"Call me Sam."  He insisted as the waitress handed menus to the new comers.

They quickly glanced over the selections and placed their order.  Kris barely gave the waitress time to get out of earshot before she opened fire on the unfortunate man sitting across the table from her.  "I'd like to make a few things clear, Colonel."  She hurried on before he could correct her.  "One, I was not removed, I'm here because I choose to be.  Two, I feel safer with the Captain than I would with anybody else.  Three, I'm an adult and I'm not going to be sent back like some runaway child.  So don't you dare blame any of this on Raven."  She stared defiantly at the Colonel.

Sam looked at his Captain, noticing the stunned expression on her face that confirmed his belief that she had no prior knowledge of this little outburst.  He slowly and deliberately wiped his mouth with his napkin before neatly folding it and placing it on the table.  "Are you quite through?"  He questioned in a subdued tone.

Kris swallowed audibly and held Raven's hand that was resting on the bench between them, intertwining their fingers.  "Yes."  She answered, hoping her voice was steady and not revealing the fact that she was scared she might have gone too far.

"Give me a little credit, I can see that you wish to be here.  And if I needed protection, my first choice would also be the Captain here, I can't think of anyone better.  And I have no intention of trying to force you to return, as you said, you're an adult.  As for any disciplinary action against her."  He paused, cleared his throat and turned his attention towards Raven.  "I've assigned you as her," he pointed towards Kris and grinned, "personal bodyguard.  I think that's punishment enough."  He sat back with a playful smirk on his face.

Raven started laughing and Kris looked from her companion to the Colonel and back.  "I think I've been had."  She chuckled.

"Not by me."  Raven assured her.  "I can safely say that I'm totally ignorant in regards to this entire conversation."

"I didn't decide on this until last night."  Sam explained.  "And as far as The Division's concerned, you're on vacation."  He told Raven.  "The fewer people that know of Kris' whereabouts, the better."

After they ate they stood outside the restaurant and talked a few more minutes while the Colonel waited on his car and driver, which appeared at the curb along with honking horns and squealing tires.  The driver had darted across several lanes of traffic and into the restricted lane, cutting off a Metro bus in the process.

"I think I'd get a new driver if I were you."  Kris commented.

"He is new."  The Colonel looked skyward and shook his head.

Raven leaned over and looked into the passenger window to gaze at the driver.  "Sergeant Hardly."  She mumbled and straightened as he hurried around to open the door for the Colonel.

The Sergeant quickly removed the silly grin that had appeared on his face at seeing Kris and stood at attention as he opened the car door.  He slammed the door and tipped his hat at the two women before he rushed back around the car and resumed his position behind the wheel.  He pulled back into traffic with more horns and a few shouts from irate drivers at the blue sedan that cut them off.

"You think they'll make it back in one piece?"  Kris asked as she watched the red taillights disappear down the street.

"They'll be okay but I'm not so sure about everybody else.  I'm glad we're headed in the opposite direction."  They turned as one and started walking.  "You up for a little exercise since its stopped raining?"  Raven tilted her head down to look at her companion.

"Sure."  Kris nodded her head and they continued past the bus stop heading north along Fifth Avenue.


Kris buzzed in the delivery people from the computer store and instructed them to take the elevator to the fifth floor.  She had waited for them while Raven had gone down to help Granny re-hang a fallen curtain.  She opened the door to the apartment when she heard the elevator and was surprised to see the salesman accompanying them.

"Hello, Kris.  I thought you might need some help setting up the system."  He explained while she signed the invoice.  The brown coverall clad men finished stacking the boxes, retrieved their clipboard and headed down the hall towards the stairs.

"Thanks...Mark."  Kris hesitated a second before she came up with the young man's name.  "But I'm sure we'll be able to handle it."

"Oh...okay.  But you can call if you or your sister have any questions or anything."  He looked down at his feet nervously.  "Would you, ah, be interested in going out to dinner or maybe a movie with me?"  He glanced back up hopefully.

"Uh, Mark that's nice of you, but she's not my sister, she's my..."  Raven entering interrupted Kris.

"Oh good."  She leaned over and lightly kissed Kris on the lips before continuing towards the stacked cartons.  "The goodies are here."  She ignored the blushing young man as she started opening boxes.

As soon as she closed the door behind Mark, Kris walked over to where Raven sat cross-legged on the floor surrounded by cables, packaging and computer parts.  She knelt down behind her companion and put her arms around her neck.  "It was nice of you to let him bow out gracefully."  She kissed her on the cheek.  "You, ah, do know what you're doing, don't you?"  Kris asked as she regarded the mess that was scattered out on the floor.  "I could probably catch Mark before he got too far."

"Ha, ha, very funny."  Raven tried to look hurt.  "I'll have you know that I can read the instruction manual just as well as anybody."  She stuck her tongue out at her companion and was surprised when Kris caught it lightly between her teeth.  "Don't damage that."  Raven said when Kris let go of her prisoner.  "I've got plans for it later tonight."  She wiggled her eyebrows.


Fingers kept a steady rhythm, lightly drumming on the desktop.  'So, she's back and she brought the girl with her.  How considerate of her.'  A vengeful smile spread across a surly face.  'I'll have to completely rework my plan, but I think I can use this to my advantage.  Bring down The Division and get rid of a certain Captain along the way.'


The following Wednesday found Granny visiting her friend in the hospital and Raven and Kris meeting the real-estate agent at her office.  She called just after breakfast telling them of a brand new listing that she thought might fit their requirements.  The property located just north of Woodinville on a private drive accessed off a dead end street was seventy acres of mostly woodland with a small lake.  The house was located on a small rise of land and was a rambling two-story grey stone structure with a three-car single-story garage built of the same grey stone connected to the eastside of the house.  Several hundred yards behind and to the east of the garage was what sold them before they even saw the inside of the house, a small one level two bedroom cottage that would be perfect for Granny.

The main house was bigger than they needed.  Four bedrooms and two baths upstairs, the downstairs contained a dining room, a huge kitchen, a study, a small room with built-in floor to ceiling bookcases, a half bath and a living room with a stone fireplace that took up practically an entire wall.  A finished basement the size of half the ground floor of the house was located at the bottom of a staircase accessed by a door in the kitchen.  At the back of the house was a wooden deck, accessed from the breakfast nook in the kitchen.  It was large enough to hold a table, a gas grill and several deck chairs.  A set of wooden stairs led up to a smaller deck area that was also accessed from a set of French doors located in the master bedroom.

"We'll take it."  Raven announced after the tour was complete.

Kris stared at her companion but spoke to the agent.  "Excuse us a minute."  She pulled Raven into the corner of the deck.  "Are you crazy?"

"What?  You don't like it?"  The Captain drew her eyebrows together.  She thought Kris had been just as taken with the house as she had been.

"I love it.  But did you even look at the price?  It's too much."

"I thought you did, yes I did and no it's not."  She turned and walked over to the agent.  "How long before we can move in?"

"Well, you'll need to make an offer and I'll need to take it back to the seller, then get back to you."

Raven interrupted.  "I'll pay what they're asking."

"Oh, okay.  Well then, a month or two should do it.  That will depend on the credit check and whether or not you finance through a bank or Mortgage Company."  The agent was about to continue her explanation when she was interrupted again.

"What if I give you a cashiers check?"  She wrapped her arm around Kris' shoulders as she joined them.

"Excuse me?"  The agency that Sue worked for always made it a point to run a check on prospective buyers before sending their agents out to meet them, just to make sure that they weren't meeting weirdoes in lonely empty places.  Sue wondered if they might have missed something on these two.  "For the entire amount?"  She knew her eyes were about to pop out of their sockets but there was no way she could hide her shock.

"Yes."  Raven glanced at Kris who was trying hard not to laugh at the startled, confused and wary expression that was on the agent's face.

"I, ah, don't know.  I've never heard of anyone paying cash for a house.  I'll need to talk to my boss."  She explained as she unconsciously backed away from them and dug in her briefcase for her cell phone.

After a short conversation with her boss, in which she was assured that Ms Chandler was not some kind of wacko, she hung up and smiled sheepishly at the two women.  "The boss said as soon as the papers are signed and the seller has the check, it's yours."

They had taken Granny out and given her a tour of the house a few days after they signed the papers.  She had been speechless upon seeing the house that was to be hers.  Several days later they were still arguing over how much she was going to pay for rent.  Raven didn't want her to pay anything; Granny wanted to pay more than she was paying now.  They were both being incredibly stubborn and Kris didn't know whether to give them boxing gloves or try to mediate a settlement.


The three women ended up spending a pleasant Thanksgiving at the apartment even after the phone call Kris placed to her family.  An upbeat cheerful conversation with her father and sister, with a promise from Viv to visit soon, but the refusal by her mother and brother to even talk to her, upset her more than she cared to admit.

The following week they would start moving into their new place, which meant Kris was dragging Raven to every furniture store in town.  Raven had told her that she could decorate the house anyway she wanted, but Kris knew her companion just didn't want to go.

"So if I put orange shag carpet with red beanbag chairs in the living room, you won't complain?"  Kris had innocently asked one afternoon when Raven tried to back out of going.  "You wouldn't?"  Raven had countered, but had ended up going even though they were heading across the lake to Bellevue.  The traffic on 520 always put Raven in a bad mood but she gritted her teeth and refused to take her foul temper out on Kris.  She actually surprised herself and her companion by contributing to the selections bought that day.  Several days and furniture stores later, they had just one room left to fill, the library.  Raven told Kris that she could fill it with anything from first editions to romance or comic books to erotica.  The young woman accepted the challenge on one condition; they would sit in the living room in front of a roaring fire every night and take turns reading to one another until they finished every book on every shelf.  Raven promised and told her to buy enough books to last the next 60 or 70 years.

Kris still wondered if she would have had the courage to buy such hideous looking furnishing.

Two weeks before Christmas, the minor inside re-modeling was finished, the new furniture had been delivered and the three women had settled into their new homes.

Raven surprised Kris with an eight-foot Christmas tree and box after box of decorations for the house and tree.  It took an entire afternoon but by the time the sun dipped below the tree line, Kris leaned back into the tall warm body behind her as Raven's arms circled her stomach and shoulders.  Both stood in silence as they admired the multi-colored lights twinkling and reflecting off the many different sized and colored balls that hung from the branches of their first Christmas tree.

"Why don't I go warm up the leftovers, you go get Granny and we can have dinner.  Then we can sit in front of the tree with some eggnog and tell each other our most embarrassing Christmas stories."  She peered up and over her shoulder.

Raven leaned down and kissed the grinning lips.  "I talked to her earlier, she said she was going to make it an early night.  I think she's still pooped after all the unpacking."  She wiggled her eyebrows.  "Or she's being polite and trying to give us some time alone."  She turned Kris in her arms and rested them across the shorter woman's shoulders.  "You fix the food and I'll bring the presents in and put them under the tree."

Kris put her hands on her hips as she backed away and gave Raven a severe scowl.  "You promised me you wouldn't get me anything.  Not with all this."  She held out her arms and turned in a circle meant to include the house, car, computer, furniture and everything else.

"All of this."  Raven moved closer to her upset companion.  "Is ours."  She placed her palms against Kris' cheeks and tilted her face up.  "I promise I didn't go overboard.  I just wanted you to have a few things under the tree."  She kissed Kris' forehead and pulled her into a hug.  "Besides, I never had much of a Christmas when I was growing up, mother always had to work and we didn't have much money for presents and things.  And lately, except for Granny and John, I haven't been close enough to anybody to buy presents for or spend time with, so indulge me.  Please?"  Raven thought about the one gift she had for Kris that she hadn't bought, a ring that her father's mother had given her before she died.  Being the oldest girl she had meant that it should automatically pass to her by way of her mother.  But her grandmother hadn't trusted Raven's mother to give her the ring, so she had called an eight-year-old into the hospital when the old woman had known she was dying and presented it to her.  She had explained to the wide-eyed child that it had been passed down from mother to daughter or daughter-in-law for so long that no one remembered where it had come from or how old it was.

"Oh all right."  'Makes me feel better about the few things I got her.'  Kris looked up and rested her chin above her companion's breast and lost herself in the sparkling blue eyes for a long minute.  "I can't deny you anything when you plead with me like that."

"Glad to know that.  It might come in handy some time."  Like the next time Kris was teasing her with a promise of a climax then backing off and denying her the release she so desperately needed.  Which brought thoughts of the night before to mind.  Which in-turn reminded her of one of the gifts she had picked up today from a little store on 2nd Avenue, which she still had to wrap.  'Mm, maybe I'll make that an early present.'

"What are you thinking about?  You've got the strangest smile on your face."  Kris asked with a wary tone.

Raven ignored the question.  "I thought you where going to get dinner?  I happen to be starving."  She squeezed Kris' butt and crushed her companion's hips to her thigh while leaning down and capturing an earlobe with her mouth.  After several minutes of very stimulating attention she abruptly let go and turned the smaller body around.  With a pat to her butt she gently pushed the young woman towards the kitchen and whispered to a very aroused Kris.  "Dinner."

Raven chuckled and headed upstairs to retrieve the wrapped presents.  After a couple of trips she had them arranged under the tree then headed back upstairs and into their bedroom to prepare the gift she had bought today that was as much for her as it was for Kris.  She had just finished arranging it when her partner called her down to eat.  Raven decided that Kris would 'unwrap' the gift after dinner while they relaxed on the floor in the living room in front of a roaring fire.

Every once-in-awhile Kris would catch Raven with a self-satisfied grin on her face and by the time the relatively quick dinner was over she had to find out what was going on.  "Okay spill-it, Taz.  You've been grinning like the Cheshire Cat through the entire meal and twitching in your chair like you've got ants or something in your pants."  She stated as she sat down behind Raven who was kneeling in front of the fire she had just started and handed her friend the cup of eggnog that she had promised earlier.

Raven took the cup and drained half of it before she looked over her shoulder at her lover and raised an eyebrow.  "Or something."  She replied then turned back to face the fire.

"What do you mean, 'or something'?"  Her brow furrowed with confusion as Raven finished the remainder of the eggnog, put her cup down, stood up and slowly turned around.

The blinking lights on the tree and the fire that was consuming the logs provided the only illumination in the room so that when Raven turned from the fire and closed the small distance between them she was shrouded in shadows.  She stopped less than a foot in front of where Kris sat cross-legged on the floor.  "You said ants or something, it's or something."  She said in a quiet, controlled voice.

Kris' face still showed confusion as she looked up at the tall figure that stood so close to her she could smell her partner's unique scent.  Comprehension quickly dawned on her as she also recognized the smell of desire that radiated from Raven.  Her eyes tracked down the body of her lover and stopped at her crotch that was just about at eye level and saw the bulge that pushed against the buttons of her jeans.  Kris unconsciously licked her lips and grinned.  "What do we have here?"  She ran her hands slowly up Raven's thighs.  "Is this for me?"  She asked as she got to her knees and leaned her butt back on her heels.

Raven's hips moved forward several inches at the seductive tone and the feel of Kris' hands on her legs.  "Guess you'll just have to unwrap it and see."  Her voice was thick with desire.  The harness was equipped with a smaller dildo that fit into the wearer as well as the larger cylindrical dildo that was intended for one's partner, so Raven had to contend with the teasing movement all through dinner.

Kris roughly grabbed Raven's pants and unbuttoned them, then pulled them down the length of her legs until they pooled around her ankles.  She licked her suddenly dry lips and she looked at the medium sized purple dildo that was made from a very pliable rubbery substance.  She noticed that this particular one hadn't been made to resemble a man's appendage like the others that she had seen.  She had been making use of their recently acquired satellite dish and the adult film channels.  Kris ran her fingers up and down the slick shaft before she wrapped her hand around it and continued her stroking.  She knew the friction was having an effect on Raven when she heard the moan from her companion.  "You like that, uh?"  She curiously asked.

"Gods yes."  She placed her hands on Kris' shoulders for balance and explained while she still could talk coherently; about the smaller end and that it pleasured both of them at the same time.

"So when I pull and push on it, like this."  She exaggerated her stroking.  "You feel it inside you?"  She grinned at the guttural moan that escaped from Raven.  "That answered my question."

"Ugh."  Raven's eyes shot open.  "Are you trying to kill me?"

Kris ignored the question; correctly assuming it was a rhetorical one.  "Take your shirt off, love, I want to see all of you."  She commanded as she unbuttoned and removed hers along with her bra.  Her eyes never left Raven's chest as the sweatshirt her companion was wearing was pulled off.  She wasn't wearing a bra much to Kris' delight.  She helped Raven step out of her pants that where still pooled around her ankles, then moved her eyes up until she was staring into blue ones that seemed to turn violet.  She took the accessory into her mouth and sucked down the length of it before drawing it in again, while her hands traveled up her lover's stomach and occupied themselves with her breasts.

Raven tossed her shirt to the couch then watched in fascination as her lover's mouth stroked the toy.  She let out a sensual moan as she felt the corresponding movement within her from Kris' actions.  She rested her hands on Kris' shoulders as she gently rocked her hips in time with Kris' activity.  "Gods, Sagira, if you don't stop," she paused and licked dry lips, "I'm gonna come."  Her head was thrown back and her hips were starting to move faster and faster.

Kris removed her mouth but continued playing with Raven's nipples.  "And that would be a bad thing?"  She asked, clearly puzzled by the statement.

Raven's eyes tracked to her companion's.  "No, but I want to be inside you when I do, love."

"Ah."  Kris slowly raised her body to a standing position.  "I can live with that."  She kept up her manipulation of Raven's breasts, kneading them, then pinching nipples between her thumb and forefinger.

Raven decided she needed to regain control of this encounter.  She pulled the smaller body into hers and captured Kris' lips.  Her tongue demanded entry into her companion's mouth and wasted no time in claiming the area as hers.  She released Kris' mouth and quickly lowered her head to seize the young woman's breast.  She alternated between the two, first suckling then biting and stretching the nipple out then letting go.

"Oh god."  Kris moaned at the treatment of her breasts.  She shook her head no when Raven asked if she was being to rough.  Kris held on to her companion's shoulders when she thought her legs might give out.

Raven lowered herself to her knees as she quickly removed Kris' shoes and pants.  She took her time moving back up her lover's body, pausing to lick, kiss or nip each and every inch of exposed skin.  She paid particular attention to the places on Kris' thighs, stomach and neck that she knew were the most erotically sensitive.

Kris was breathing hard and heavy by the time Raven had moved from her neck to her ear.  "And you thought I...was trying to kill you."  She heard the low rumble of a chuckle in the ear that was receiving her companion's undivided attention.  "Ah god...the things you can do to me."  She pulled Raven's mouth to hers and tongues dueled for dominance.

As lips met, Raven reached down and grasped Kris' right leg behind her knee, raising it and holding it against her hip.  She thrust her hips forward; making sure the dildo came in contact with Kris' folds.  She pulled back and pushed forward again and again, running the appendage lightly across Kris' sensitive clit until she was driving her companion wild.  "Is there something I can do for you, love?"  She asked with a slight teasing in her voice after listening to the grunts and moans of her companion.

After their mouths parted, Kris groaned in frustration at not being able to force more contact where she needed it the most.  Her hips bucked wildly but she still couldn't get satisfaction.  "I need you now."  Kris shouted, her distress evident in her voice and actions.  "Please."  She whimpered.

"You want me to take you?"  Raven continued the stimulation.

"Yes."  Kris pleaded.

"You want me inside you?  To fill you completely?"  She prolonged the sweet torment.

"God...yes inside...please."  Kris hung on to Raven like her life depended on it, her sanity certainly did.

Raven claimed a quick and intense kiss from her suffering companion.  "Put your legs around me, Sagira."  She instructed as she let go of the leg she had been holding and took a firm hold around Kris' waist.  She gently lowered them both to the blanket that had been spread out in front of the fire, stretching her body out and fully covering the smaller women.

Kris devoured Raven's lips, tugging on the bottom one before letting go.  "I can't wait...any longer."  Intense green eyes smoldered with pent-up passion.

Raven knew she had pushed her lover and herself for that matter to the edge of tolerance.  She wanted and needed Kris just as badly as Kris needed her.  She rose up until she was kneeling between her lover's legs and ran her fingers through the young woman's folds.  'We definitely won't need the lubricant.'  She licked the glistening juices off her fingers, growling her pleasure at the succulent taste.

Kris' eyes closed when she felt Raven's fingers touch her.  "Please...please."  She moaned over and over again.

Raven spread her knees apart, further opening Kris to her and sat back until her butt rested on her ankles.  She grabbed Kris by her hips and pulled her lover's body close to her own.

Kris wrapped her legs around Raven's waist when she felt the dildo at her entrance and tried to pull the device into her by forcing her lover closer.  She whimpered her disappointment when the strong body refused to accommodate her.

Raven moved the appendage until it barely entered her companion, holding it there for what seemed like a lifetime, then abruptly thrust her hips forward, swiftly filling Kris.  She pulled almost completely out then plunged in again and again.  "Ugh...gods, baby, that feels so good."

Kris' eyes rolled back as she felt the accessory penetrate her.  "Harder."  She commanded as she propped herself up on her elbows watching her lover thrust into her over and over again.  "Yes, love...fuck me harder."  She forced out between labored breaths.  "Oh god...that's it...just like that."  She felt the familiar tingling start deep within her being then spread throughout her body.

Raven forced her eyes to stay open and watched the phallus disappear into Kris' depths.  She felt herself on the edge of euphoria and drove in once more as they both tumbled over the edge together.  She collapsed on top of Kris and sweat covered bodies molded together as one.  "Gods...I love you, Kris."  She stated when she could catch her breath.

"I love you too, Taz."  Kris groaned when Raven pulled out of her still throbbing tunnel.  "That was truly inspired."

Raven chuckled, a rumbling sound deep within her throat.  "Is that what you had in mind?"  She turned on her side facing her companion and propped on her elbow, resting her head on her hand.  "Did it meet all your expectations?"  She wiggled her eyebrows as her free hand played with Kris' sweat soaked hair.  Her young companion continued to amuse and amaze her, Kris had been so embarrassed when she had come to her lover stumbling over her words and turning bright red while trying to tell Raven about the 'toy' she wanted to try.  But nothing seemed to be too awkward or too uncomfortable for her while she was at the height of passion.

Kris turned on her side to face her love and ran her finger slowly down Raven's chest, leaving a trail of goosebumps between her breasts, before continuing downwards.  "Oh yes, one fantasy fulfilled."  She assured her companion as her finger stopped at the leather that still circled Raven's hips.  "Now, let's see if we can," she paused as she reached around to unbuckled the harness, "fulfill a few more."

Raven rolled onto her back and groaned as the smaller dildo was slowly removed from its resting-place inside her.

Kris was on her knees between Raven's legs.  "Open wider for me, love."  It only took her a second to decide that she wanted to taste the savory mouth-watering fragrance that assaulted her sense of smell instead of using the appendage that she held in her hand.  She tossed the apparatus over her shoulder and licked her lips before lowering her mouth to devour the liquid delicacy that flowed freely from her companion.

Raven bent her knees and spread her legs as wide as she could.  "Oh gods."  She mumbled and lifted her hips to meet the attack that was consuming her body and short-circuiting her brain.

Kris paused in her feasting of Raven's juices to run her tongue through her lover's folds and to tease the swollen nub that was pulsating in time with her companion's rapid heartbeat.

Raven looked down between her legs at sassy green eyes.  'She's having way too much fun.'  She decided she didn't want to be left out of the banquet.  "Turn around, love.  I need to taste you too."

Kris stopped long enough to reverse her position.  She was on her knees and elbows and was about to continue where she left off when she was rolled over and found herself laying on her back.  She was about to protest but found something better to do with her mouth as Raven's center hovered over Kris' face.  She wrapped her arms around strong thighs and continued her interrupted feast.

Raven turned them over so her longer body was on top.  She placed a cushion underneath Kris' hips and inhaled the heady aroma that was distinctly her lover.  She wondered if she could become intoxicated from the liquid desire that poured from the young woman.  She ran her fingers through her lover's folds as she felt Kris' mouth making love to her.  She rocked her hips and encouraged Kris.  "Suck harder.  Just like that, baby."  Raven's fingers continue their path past Kris' tunnel and paused for a second before one of the lubricated digits pushed into the young woman's tight anal entrance.

Kris moaned as she felt the finger slide into her.  "Oh yes...that feels good."  She knew she was close to coming when Raven attached her lips and tongue to her clit.  She continued in her own effort to bring her companion to climax.

Raven felt the euphoria start deep inside her body and quickly spread outward.  She pressed her tongue hard against Kris' sensitive nub as the spasms of their release jerked they're bodies in time with each other.  Raven managed to roll off the smaller woman and collapse beside her.

After a few minutes, Kris turned her body around and pulled the blanket up to cover their bodies.  She laid her head on Raven's shoulder and sighed contentedly.  "Your wonderful, love."  She lightly patted the stomach that her hand rested on.  "And I think we'll be sleeping here tonight unless you carry me up the stairs."  She yawned loudly and snuggled in closer to prove her point.

Raven chuckled softly and wrapped her arm tightly around her companion.  "Your wonderful too, Sagira."  She placed a kiss on the blonde head that was using her shoulder as a pillow.  "Sleep tight."  She whispered to Kris who was already doing just that.


'Just the patsy I wanted to see.'  He had reworked his plan and was convinced that he could get his revenge against The Division and a certain Captain.  "Please step into my office, Soldier."  He addressed the one person that he was sure he could manipulate into doing his bidding.

"Yes, Sir."  The patsy stood at attention in front of his superior's desk.

"Sit down, Sergeant."  He leaned forward over his desk and whispered.  "I have a 'top secret mission' that I need your help on."  He stroked the Sergeant's ego.

"Me, Sir?"  He couldn't believe his good luck.  He'd finally be able to prove to his uncle that he did deserve this chance in The Division.  "I'll do anything you need, Sir.  I won't let you down."

It was all he could do not to laugh.  'Look up goofy in the dictionary and I'd bet this guy's picture is there.'  He controlled his emotions and leaned his forearms against his desktop.  "I'm sure you will, Sergeant."

"Yes, Sir, most definitely, Sir.  Anything at all, Sir, you can count on me, Sir."  He assured him.

"This is the problem, Sergeant.  The Ambassador's daughter is in grave danger."  He had the Sergeant's undivided attention.  "I have discovered that our traitor is none other than the illustrious Captain Chandler."

"I can't believe it.  Are you sure, Sir?"

"Are you questioning a superior office, Sergeant?"  His voice was full of indignation.

"Oh, no, Sir, of course not.  It's just that it's hard to believe that she would turn traitor with her service record and all.  A lot of people look up to her around here."

The Sergeant should have known things weren't quite right.  The man sitting across the desk from him had almost turned purple with rage at the praise directed towards the Captain.  "Since you seem to be more loyal to the traitor than to this organization, maybe I should find someone else to rescue the Ambassador's daughter."

Since the Sergeant had an enormous crush on Kris, that suggestion was all it took to secure his complete co-operation.  "No, Sir.  I'm your man, Sir."

"Very well, Sergeant.  This is our plan of attack."  He proceeded to outline his 'rescue' of Kristen Whitfield.

Continued in part 5

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