Disclaimer: This is a work of pure fiction. Any resemblance to anyone, living or dead is purely coincidental. The characters are fictional and of my own creation. The place, time, and incidents are purely fictional. Copyright © January 2004.
This work is rated as adult material because it involves a relationship between consenting adults of the same gender, and because anything can happen in my stories. If you are easily offended please read something else. If any of this is illegal where you live, stop reading. Beyond this you may wish to take the following immediate actions. First, move. Second, if it is your wish, resume reading. Let no one dictate what you may or may not read, except you, the only person who should be in control of your life.
Warning! This section contains extreme language.
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Inevitable Destiny 13 - New Beauty
By Ken Rogers
"Yes, now come here!"
"I'll look like a geek!"
"No you won't."
"Yes, I will!"
"Get over here!"
"Aw damn, Sammy," Tanya grumbled, but reluctantly complied.
Samantha was standing in the entry to her closet in her underwear, holding out a very lacy pink bra. Tanya slowly edged up to her, wearing the matching pair of lacy pink panties and a large frown, her arms crossed determinedly over her breasts.
"Put it on." Samantha glared at her until she reluctantly took the garment in two fingers. "Tanya! Put. It. On."
Tanya rolled her eyes but slipped her arms into the thing and pulled it in place, turning around. "Hook me. I don't do these damned things," she grumbled. "Still don't see why I can't wear a sports bra, if I have to wear a damned bra."
Samantha hooked it for her, ignoring her tirade, then turned her around to check the straps, adjusting them slightly. "See, I told you we were the same size. You're just a little taller and slimmer, so you look smaller.
Tanya continued to frown.
Samantha dug in one of her drawers again and came out with a package that she ripped open to reveal a new pair of pantyhose.
"No fuckin' way!" Tanya exclaimed, stepping back away from her, her hands out in front of her as if she were being attacked.
"Come on, Tan. You agreed to my plan."
"No I didn't."
"Yes, you did!"
"Reluctantly. I still think you should stay under cover."
"But you did agree and you yourself admitted that cover will be blown in a matter of hours, if it hasn't already. I can't believe we got four days as it is. If I stay hidden anymore it makes me look more like I had something to do with the accident. I need to get in there and do damage control. Besides, you want to look nice when we go see Phyllis, don't you?"
She was beginning to regret having admitted to the sharp-eyed woman that she cared for the redhead. Once Sam had gotten her own emotions under control she had easily spotted Tanya's feelings for her friend and was relentless in coaxing the truth out of her.
"Well, I'm not wearing those damn things. I shaved my legs for you, but that's as far as I go, Sammy."
Samantha walked slowly up to her, smiling. "You either put them on, or I'll do it for you."
Tanya grinned. "Just try it, short stuff."
* * *
The hot wind was blowing her hair back as she raced down the long straight highway, the scenery in her peripheral vision a blur as she swept past, the lonely road racing beneath her feet as she straddled the powerful bike. The throaty rumble of the engine was soothing music to her ears and she reveled in the freedom the bike allowed her. Something tickled her lip and her nose, startling her. The dream faded as it happened again. Once more she twitched her nose at the tickle and her eyes popped open.
She was greeted by a mischievous grin from a face that strongly resembled hers, striking blue eyes, long dark hair, and all.
"Good afternoon, sleepy head."
"Julie wha·?" She paused, her throat dry and her mind still confused at the loss of one reality for another. The dream had been so vivid, so incredibly real.
"Here, this will help." Juliana held a glass up to her with a straw and she took a sip of cool water, then another.
"Thanks," she said, smiling faintly.
Julie set the glass back on the table and turned back to her, smiling happily.
"I'm so glad Samantha found us and you're going to get better. Luca told me he killed you, Angel." Her lips trembled and a large tear slid down her suddenly unhappy face.
Angela smiled. "I'm just glad to see that you're okay, Julie."
Her face lit up again. "Samantha saved me. She saved you to, Angel."
Angela felt the knot in her stomach as she remembered the strange woman that she had somehow known was Samantha. She had all she could do to maintain her smile for her sister.
"She's great. She took care of me and stayed with me and told me stories and· and made me not be so scared and everything." Her face clouded again. "I wish she would come back. I miss her."
"She's not here?"
"No. The scary woman came back and she went away with her."
"Scary·? Oh, the woman with Samantha when they found us?"
"Yeah, she's scary. I· Samantha told me she's really nice but she scares me. Those men scare me too, but Samantha told me they were okay so I guess they are. I trust Samantha but she's got some scary friends."
Angela couldn't help but smile at her over exuberant sister.
"Honey, you have to trust what Samantha tells you."
"I know and I do, it's just, I don't like it when she leaves and all those scary people are here."
"Julie, honey, those people have to look scary to scare off the people that want to hurt us, but they would never hurt you." It seemed strange that she could have so much faith in someone that hated her so much, but she had never doubted Samantha. "You have to trust them and do what they say, okay?
Julie nodded, her expression thoughtful. "That's what Samantha said." Her expression changed to one of concern again. "Angel?"
"Are your really going to get better? Samantha said you will, but I heard one of those nurses say you wouldn't be able to walk anymore." Her lips were trembling again and her eyes had brightened with more tears.
Angela silently cursed the inconsiderate nurse as she raised her left hand and cupped it against Juliana's cheek. She felt her lean into the soft caress from her older sister, craving assurances and comfort.
"Julie, honey, I won't lie to you. I don't know what's going to happen. It's too soon to tell what will happen. We'll just have to wait and see what happens, okay?"
Tears rolled down Juliana's face as she nodded uncertainly. "I hate Luca. He hurt you, Angel. I hate him."
"Oh, honey, I'm sorry you had to learn that, but you shouldn't hate anyone."
"I don't hate anyone· except Luca. He hurt you, Angel," she repeated stubbornly.
"I know baby, but try not to hate him. Hate doesn't do you any good, baby. It just makes you angry and that isn't good for you."
Julie thought about that for a moment. "Well· okay· but I don't like him anymore."
Her head swiveled to the door and she leaned harder into the hand still touching her face.
"Uh, oh," she mumbled. "She turned panicked eyes to Angela.
"What are you doing in here? "You didn't wake·."
"She's okay, nurse. We were just talking."
The nurse turned to her. "She's not supposed to be in here."
"What? Well, because you need your rest. You need quiet."
"I also need to see my sister."
"Don't you dare try to keep her out of here."
"No buts, Julie is my sister. She can come in here any time she wants, understand?"
"I'll have to talk to Ms. Aveno."
"Talk to whoever you want, but Julie stays as long as she wants, even if I'm sleeping, you go that?"
"I· um, oh dear·." She left the room shaking her head.
"Thank you, Angel."
Angela turned back to her to find her radiant smile again. "Hey, we're sisters, right? We have to stick together."
Her smile widened even more, but then her face clouded again, as she seemed to come to a decision. "I'm sorry I woke you. I just wanted to see you so bad."
"It's okay, Julie."
"Do you want to go back to sleep?"
Angela realized that she was exhausted by their short talk, feeling slightly giddy and light headed. "I think I need to Julie, but we'll talk again."
Julie nodded. "Okay." She looked back at her doubtfully. "Can I stay for a while if I'm quiet?"
She smiled again and leaned over, kissing Angela on the forehead. "You sleep. I'll just be here in this chair if you need anything, okay?"
A quick hand reached out and gently caressed Angela's cheek then Julie sat down in the chair behind her looking up at Angela. "Go to sleep, my Angel."
She didn't even remember closing her eyes.
* * *
"Damn, Sammy, how the hell do you get around on these things?" Tanya asked as she very carefully walked across the room.
Samantha turned from the mirror and smiled at her. "They're my lowest pair, Tan. Big tough chick like you can master them. Stop watching your feet."
Tanya looked up at her and the look of frustration on her face made Samantha laugh.
"Yeah, just go ahead and laugh. I am so dead when the guys see me like this."
Tanya was wearing a light gray business suit with a pale pink silk blouse, the low gray heels adding another inch to her height. Samantha had fixed her hair and done her makeup for her, since Tanya seldom worried much about either and then only in a very minimal way.
Tanya did so and Sam held up a pair of diamond studs and a fine gold chain. "Put these on."
Tanya groaned but complied, her defeat over the pantyhose her last major protest. "Why am I doing this again?" she asked.
"You're my new associate, remember? And my bodyguard. I need you with me to coordinate your people." She grinned. "Besides, Phyllis will be impressed.
"I could do that without dressing like a store manikin," she grumbled as she pushed the back on the last earring, but Sam saw her resistance fade at the mention of impressing Phyllis.
Samantha smiled and took her hand. "Come with me, my little store manikin." Sam led her into the bathroom and stood her in front of the larger mirror.
Her mouth fell open.
Samantha gently pushed it closed with her index finger.
"Who the fuck is that?"
Samantha broke down in peals of laughter.
Tanya was stunned. The woman in the mirror couldn't be her. She was· beautiful. Unconsciously her hand went to her face to confirm it was her she was actually seeing. Unaccountably her eyes blurred.
"Oh, crap, don't cry, Tan, you'll mess up your makeup," Samantha said, grabbing a tissue and dabbing at her eyes.
Tanya turned to her and suddenly hugged her. She let go of her just as suddenly. "Aw, shit, Sammy, you turned me into a damned girl," she griped as she grabbed another tissue. "I don't do this crying and touchy-feely crap."
Samantha laughed. "Time to go show the world what a gorgeous chick you really are, Tan. Come on."
Samantha grabbed their purses, holding one out to Tanya.
"I'm gonna hate this, Sammy. The guys are gonna laugh their asses off."
Samantha smiled as she turned towards the door. "Bet they don't."
* * *
Mikey was holding the door of the limo, his mouth hanging open.
"Close your mouth, Mikey," Samantha said with a big grin on her face as she brushed past him and entered the vehicle. Mikey was literally goggle eyed at Tanya. His mouth snapped shut.
"Boss?" It was all he could manage to squeak out.
"Jesus, you're fuckin' gorgeous, boss."
"Drive the damned car, Mikey." she growled, but she was smiling when she slid into the seat."
* * *
The elevator door opened on the twelfth floor. They stepped out and Samantha turned Tanya towards her, doing a little last minute adjusting and primping of her jacked and hair.
"There. Now remember, this is my playground. You don't know the rules, so keep your mouth shut unless I give you the okay. Just look sexy."
"How the hell do I look sexy?"
Samantha patted her cheek. "Just be in the room. Oh, try to cool it with the language a little. We pretend we aren't predators. We pretend we're civilized."
"What the hell does that mean?"
"It means you're going to meet some dangerous people that put your street punks to shame, but they hide behind a veneer of gentle sophistication."
"Gotcha. Be polite but watch your back."
"Right, let's go. Oh, the guy we're going to see looks like a teddy bear. He isn't. Don't let your guard down."
"Don't worry. He's also a prime suspect, since Marci worked for him. I got the full work up on him." She was a little anxious to meet him. She'd never met a real live shark before. She knew Samantha was an extremely formidable attorney, but according to everything she had read, Lester was in a class by himself, if only because of his lengthy experience.
Samantha pushed the large door open and entered. A new face greeted her from behind the desk. Samantha wasn't surprised to see the room neat and tidy without Marci's personal touches. It was nearly ten and she was sure a crew had gone over the place as soon as the police released it.
The brunette had glanced up as the door opened, with a pleasant smile that faded in confusion at the familiarity.
"Uhm, hi." She was obviously confused, her eyes flicking back and forth between the two women. "I'm sorry, do I know you, ma'am."
"You should, we've worked together a few times."
Now she was really confused. "I'm sorry, I÷"
"Listen to the voice, Janice. We worked on the Burlingame case. You were my chief legal assistant."
The woman's hands went to her face in shock. "Oh, my god, Ms. Coulter? But÷"
Samantha laughed to try and ease the woman's shock. "Yeah, I know. You should have seen the problems I had convincing security."
"Oh, my· oh, I'm so glad you're okay," she gushed but her words still had a puzzled tone to them and she still looked confused.
"I need to see Mr. Maranze, Janice."
"Oh, yes, of course. I'll tell him you're here."
She fumbled the phone and her hand was shaking as she pressed his call button.
"Go right in, Ms. Coulter," she said as she replaced the receiver.
Samantha eased the inner door open to find Lester leaning back in his chair. He looked surprised, then angry.
"Who the hell are you?" he demanded, leaning forward against the desk, ready to push himself up.
"Calm down, sir. You'll give yourself a heart attack."
"Samantha?" To say he was shocked was an understatement. The beautiful brunette looked nothing like Samantha.
Sam stopped in front of the desk, Tanya right behind her, and smiled. "You like my new look?"
"Wh· um· wh· Jesus Christ, woman, what the hell are you playing at?"
"Gentle sophistication?" Tanya whispered in her ear.
Samantha sighed, ignoring Tanya's tease. "It's a long story, sir."
"You could start with why you look like· like· like that!" he growled leaning back in his chair again.
"Well, uhm, you see, sir. There's a contract out on me."
"Someone wants me dead, sir, so my friend here changed my looks to hide me."
His eyes flicked to the striking blonde and back to Samantha. "This better be really damned good, Samantha. Do you realize that two people have been shot, right in this building? Your friend, Miss Donovan, and Marci for gods sakes!"
"Yes, sir. I can explain, sir."
"I'm waiting," he said, crossing his arms.
It was going to be a long morning. "Uhm, do you mind of we sit, sir."
"Yes, yes. Sit, then tell me who your friend is."
"She's, uhm, she's my bodyguard, sir."
* * *
By the time they reached the big conference room on seven, the whole building was abuzz with her return. She walked through the sea of desks to blatant stares of amazement. Tanya caught her share of stares and she flushed, unused to the reason for the attention.
You could hear a pin drop in the conference room as Tanya closed the door, then followed slightly behind Samantha. All eyes were on the two gorgeous women.
"Good morning, ladies and gentlemen," Samantha greeted as she moved towards the front of the large conference room, Tanya keeping pace with her.
All heads swiveled to follow her. When she stopped and turned, Tanya moving slightly behind her. She almost giggled at the rapt attention she was getting.
"Just to confirm for you, I am actually Samantha Coulter, and I am not dead. My car was stolen. I must say that the person that stole it did me a favor. As you are all aware, since you are my teams, we are working on the Stephanos case. I'm afraid that I upset someone because they put a contract out on me, so I had to go under cover. What you see in front of you is the result."
Pandemonium broke out in the room. Sam let it go on for a short time, acknowledging the well wishing, but ignoring the questions. Tanya stood like a statue and it was as much interest in her as it was Sam's pleas that finally silenced the room.
"All right. As the day progresses I will try to answer some of your questions, but we have lots to do. Let me start by introducing the lady behind me. She turned slightly and pulled Tanya forward.
"This is Tanya Goranovich. No she's not a lawyer and no she's not available." She smiled and waited for the laughter to end. Ms. Goranovich is a very good friend, my protector, and my bodyguard, because my life has been threatened. Treat her with respect and know that she has free reign. I've already cleared it with Mr. Maranze. You would do well to treat her as part of security, because she is. She has saved my life on several occasions these past few days and it was one of her people that prevented Ms. Donovan's death. She's my guardian, my Paladin." Samantha turned to find a stunned look on Tanya's face; her attention wholly focused on her. She smiled. "Well, you are."
* * *
"Julie, honey," she whispered, then gave her a light shake. "Julie."
Juliana was slouched down in the chair in a very uncomfortable position, sound asleep.
Julie, come on honey." She shook her again and this time she stirred and opened her eyes. She stretched looking at the woman bent over her in confusion, then looking around before sitting up and rubbing at her eyes. "Julie, it's getting late, honey. You need to eat something then get ready for bed."
"I want to stay here with Angel," she said in a very sleepy voice, finishing with a yawn and another stretch.
Carla Aveno, the woman in charge of care for Julie and her older sister had become very attached to the sweet child and she smiled tolerantly. Julie was nearly seventeen but emotionally she was more like ten or eleven. Her emotions were right on the surface and rather mercurial, happy one moment and upset the next. Her mood changed with practically ever thought, to fit the thought. Carla had responded to the girl immediately and was pleased that Julie had responded to her. She didn't respond well to people she didn't know and Carla considered herself fortunate that the girl had taken to her. That was not the case with the other staff. The traumatized girl was afraid of many of the staff and so afraid of one of the nurses that Carla had had to replace her. She smiled warmly and patted the child's cheek.
"I know you do, Julie and I think it's wonderful that you want to keep Angel company. I know she is happy to have you stay with her. Tell you what. Why don't you come have dinner with me," Julie began to slowly shake her head. "Just listen first, honey. You come have dinner with me and then we'll get you ready for bed. After that you can stay with Angel for a while, and if you're really good I might have a surprise for you."
Julie's eyes lit up. "What kind of surprise?"
Carla chuckled and touched the girl's nose with her finger. "Wouldn't be a surprise if I told you, would it?" In fact she had decided to move another bed into the room and let Julie stay with her sister if she promised to behave and not bother Angel while she slept. She knew that Julie idolized her older sister and was sure the girl would behave just to be with her. Not that she was much of a problem, but Carla felt it might help ease Julie's mind id she could stay wilt Angel, the one person, other than her savior, she felt safe with. "What do you say? Shall we go get dinner?"
Julie looked doubtfully towards the bed and her sleeping sister. "Will she be okay?"
"I think she'll be okay for a little while, honey, and you'll be back before you know it."
"Okay. I am kind of hungry, but I didn't want to leave Angel in case she needed me."
"I know sweetie, but she'll be fine for a little while and I know she would want you to eat. Come on now."
Julie rose unsteadily to her feet and Carla took her hand leading her form the room.
* * *
Samantha pushed her hair back and leaned back in her chair as the last of the police officers was escorted from her office by their own security. It had been a tough two days and a hard fight but Samantha was sure they were finally satisfied that she and Phyllis were the victims here, not the woman in her car, and not Marci. At least they were satisfied enough that she hadn't been hauled downtown in handcuffs, which had been a very definite possibility for a while. She knew that Tanya's presence and confirmation had helped her case greatly. She could tell that the cops, especially lieutenant Winters, didn't like Tanya much, but they seemed to respect her. They were also astounded to see her in a business suit. Tanya, for the most part, had gotten over her pique at her new attire. Samantha was sure it hadn't hurt that nearly everyone that saw her practically tripped over themselves to get another look.
She looked up then took the glass and sipped the ice water. "Hey, yourself."
"What's next? I think you're through with the cops."
"God, I hope so. How many different ways can they ask the same questions?"
"Trying to trip you up, counselor. You should know that."
"Yeah. It still sucks."
"If Winters had her way they'd have taken you downtown and used the rubber hose on you."
"Yeah, that was pretty obvious. What's got her panties in a wad anyway?"
"Ah. Thought I recognized the signs. You dump her?"
"Nah. I just wouldn't play when she wanted to."
"Oooo, I'm lucky I have any skin left. Uhm, they don't really do the rubber hose thing do they, Tan?"
"Not officially, but they have their ways. You'd be surprised what you'll say or sign after sleep depravation for three of four days."
"Glad I didn't get to find out."
"Me too. I'd hate to have to bust you out of city jail."
She laughed. "You'd try it too, you goof."
Tanya grinned fiendishly and Samantha laughed. "Let me make a couple calls and check up on progress then we need to go see Phyllis.
The smile left Tanya's face, replaced with concern. "Don't take too long."
* * *
"Hi." Her voice sounded so faint and weak, even to her. She smiled up at the little blonde, glad to see her. She tightened her grip on the hand that gently took hers.
"Sorry I couldn't get by sooner."
"We've been pretty busy. The cops have been bugging me and we just got away from them a little while ago."
"You're okay, right?"
"Oh, yeah. I'm fine. Don't worry about me."
"I do worry about you, Sam."
"I know, but you need to worry about you right now." A tear slid down her face. "I'm so sorry this happened, Phil."
"Not your fault."
"Yes it is. I brought this whole thing down on us playing the hotshot lawyer."
"No, Sam. That's your job. Don't you dare take the blame for those slime. They were trying to kill you. Marci just thought she could use me to get to you."
"You should have told her."
"Like hell. I wouldn't give that bitch the sweat off my brow if she were dying of thirst. Besides, she was going to kill me anyway. I saw it in her eyes. Did they catch her? No one will tell me anything."
"Yeah, Phil. They got her."
"Hey listen, that dragon you have for a head nurse only gave me a couple minutes and I've got someone with me. Up for another visitor?"
Sam released her hand and went to the door, motioning outside. "I think I'll just show you." Sam pushed the woman into the room then quietly left a pleased smile on her face.
She didn't recognize the blonde at first then she flushed.
Tanya grinned and came closer to the bed. "Yeah, it's me, Phyllis."
"My god· look at you." She lifted her hand and Tanya gently took it.
"Hard to believe this old hard ass could change so much, huh?"
Tanya chuckled. "Samantha can be really stubborn when she gets something into her head."
"She did this?"
"You look fantastic."
"Thanks. I still can't believe it's me in the mirror."
"All right, that'll be quite enough," a nurse said as she bustled into the room. You're wearing out our star patient."
"See you later, Phyllis."
"Call me Phil, everyone does."
"All right, Phil." Tanya gave her a smile then turned it on the impatiently waiting nurse. "Keep your panties on, Alice. I'm going." She walked briskly from the room.
Alice turned to her patient, puzzled. "Do I know her?"
"Yeah, you'd probably know her as Tanya."
"What?" She practically flew to the door, sticking her head out and watching the two women leave. "Son of a bitch."
* * *
Inevitable Destiny 14
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