Part 15


Lois Kay


Jody stared out of the window on the passenger’s side of the car, immensely glad that Sam was driving. She did not think she would have been up to the task. Not with the way her mind was constantly wandering, nor with the persistent stinging of tears in the back of her eyes.

The beautiful view of the lush forest was lost to her teary eyes. The only thing her brain registered were the different shades of green, now and then interrupted by grey and black rocks that littered the occasional spot. In ancient times raging waters had dumped them, or in more recent times they had crumbled off the top of the hill to come tumbling down during the rainy season, when the abundant rainfall softened the ground and loosened the heavy boulders from their positions on the steep hill.

Jody sighed, leaned the back of her head against the car seat and closed her eyes. She dreaded the hours and maybe even days that were in front of her. She knew Sam and Trishia only had their safety in mind and deep down inside she knew they were right. But she was not looking forward to saying goodbye to Sam, knowing her partner could very well be in harm’s way. The fact that there were two experienced, well trained police officers with her did not even remotely make her feel better.

"Penny for your thoughts," Sam’s voice invaded her musings and Jody opened her eyes and turned her head so she could look at the blonde next to her. Sam’s eyes were on the winding road in front of her that was getting a little wider. Soon they would turn onto the highway and then it would only be a short time before they would arrive at The Reef.

"Only a penny?" Jody asked, deliberately keeping her voice light, because of the teenager on the backseat, who looked nervous and drawn.

"Well, I guess that depends on the thought, huh?" Sam teased. "I can only estimate their worth after I hear them."

"Oh, you are in business mode," Jody smiled. "I can’t believe you would put a price on my thoughts."

"I wouldn’t," Sam confessed with an exaggerated sigh. "Your thoughts are priceless to me, honey."

Jody smiled at her partner and half turned in her seat to cast a look at Alice. The teenager was lying on her side on the backseat, nervously fidgeting while her eyes darted from Jody to the window and back again.

"Are you okay, Alice?" she gently asked, forgetting her own worries about her upcoming separation from her partner when she looked into a pair of frightened blue eyes.

"I…um…I am a bit scared," Alice bravely confessed. "I…know what Martin Coles can be like and it’s not pretty. He is really…evil, Jody. I think he killed my family. I am sure he was the one who started the fire." Alice swallowed hard and was very aware of the shiver that ran down her spine. "He tried to choke me to death."

"And he will get what he deserves, Alice," Sam spoke with a grim expression on her face. "It won’t be long now, the police are right behind him."


"My goodness, woman, are you going on a world tour?" Fiona greeted Yarra when she returned to the waiting car with a bag that was so stuffed, it was a miracle she had managed to zip it up.

"Shut up and give me a hand," Yarra grunted, hefting the bag and dumping it on the back seat.

Fiona obediently grabbed the handle and pulled the bag towards her, making room for Yarra to climb into the car and close the door.

"Seriously, Yar, what have you got in there?"

"Just some clothes," Yarra sighed. "And I brought some extra stuff for Alice, if she wants it. I am sure she doesn’t have much."

"That is sweet of you, Yarra," Joan smiled at the teenager. "I am sure Alice will appreciate it."

"Yeah, especially since it’s from you," Fiona teased, making sure to keep her voice down so her mother and Lucy would not be able to hear her teasing remark.

"Brat," Yarra scolded under her breath.

"Charmer," Fiona grinned, thoroughly enjoying the banter.

"I could call you some nasty names, but I suppose I need to be nice to you, since you helped me feed the animals," Yarra teased.

"Of course," Fiona quipped. "That’s how it works Cookie Jar. You are supposed to be extremely nice to me for at least two days now."

"Two days? Wow, you are expensive."

They both laughed and Fiona playfully slapped her friend on her shoulder. She loved teasing Yarra, because the older girl could take it as much as she dished it out and Fiona appreciated that.

"Well, I guess I will let you off the hook," she grinned. "You being nice to me for two whole days would be too much to ask. I don’t want you to hurt yourself."


"Are you okay, honey?" Joan softly asked Lucy, who was skillfully steering the car down the hill and who was unusually quiet.

Lucy glanced at her mother, noticing the worried look and she managed a weak smile.

"It’s just…hard," she sighed, remembering the look on Trishia’s face when they had said their goodbyes.

"I worry about Trishia. I mean," Lucy fell silent for a moment and chewed on her bottom lip, trying to organize her thoughts. "I mean, she hardly slept last night and I know how tired she was yesterday when we drove home, before all…this happened. I know she is good at what she does, but even a super policewoman needs a decent sleep," Lucy faintly joked, not able to hide the slight trembling of her voice.

"I heard Peter and Sam talking about sending Trishia to bed while they kept an eye on the surveillance system," Joan responded. "Maybe she will be able to sleep for a few hours. And I think you should do the same."

"I know Trishia," Lucy smiled. "She won’t take a nap, unless they force her."

"In that case I hope they will," Joan sighed, having noticed the dark circles underneath the policewoman’s eyes. She had also seen the way her daughter and the tall police woman interacted. Of course she had seen them together before and she knew the two women meant a lot to each other.

But recently Joan had noticed their relationship had changed, in a good way. She could tell by the looks her daughter and Trishia exchanged, the soft touches and the smiles. And Joan sincerely hoped that Lucy had found in Trishia a partner to settle down with. It had been a surprise to her when Lucy had, uncharacteristically shy, told her she had fallen in love with the police officer who had saved Sam’s and Megan’s life. Afterwards Joan had realized it had not been the fact that the object of Lucy’s affection was a woman, that had surprised her, but the fact that her independent, quick witted daughter had fallen head over heels in love. But the thing that was most pleasing to her, was the knowledge that the two of them were still together and obviously very happy.

Trishia had been Lucy’s first serious relationship and at first Joan had been a little worried about it, hoping her daughter would be happy and not end up with a broken heart. Or break Trishia’s heart, because Joan had really liked the police woman from the very beginning. But that had not happened and Joan could not be happier about that. She respected her daughters’ partners. All the seeds of hate and prejudice her ex-husband had tried to sow in their children and his wife, had fortunately not fallen on fertile ground. Joan had never fought her dominant husband about his opinions and she still felt guilty about that. If only she had tried harder, she might have made things more bearable for her children. The moment she had taken a stand, her ex husband had hit her, marking the end of their marriage of thirty years. She had left David McDonnell, knowing she could never undo the damage he had caused Jody and Lucy, but realizing that at least for Fiona, who was so much like Lucy, things would be better.

"It’s so nice to see how Trishia and you have grown closer together over the past few months," Joan finally spoke. "You seem so happy, Lucy."

"Oh, mom, I am," Lucy sighed, not able to hide a smile. "Trishia is such a wonderful person."

"Not to mention sexy as hell," Fiona mumbled from the backseat, which earned her a warning glare from Yarra.

But Lucy’s excellent ears had picked up the remark and through the rear view mirror she sent her youngest sister a quizzical look.

"How would you know?" she calmly asked, refusing to take the bait. "I didn’t know you were an expert in that field, Fi. Care to share?"

"I am not blind, Lucy," Fiona answered. "I have eyes, you know. Besides, I know half of the women at the police station have the hots for her. I heard them in the break room."

"You did, huh?" Lucy mumbled, refusing to let jealousy get the better of her.

"Yeah," Fiona answered, waiting for her sister to break down and ask her exactly what she had heard. But Lucy remembered the look in Trishia’s eyes the night before and the way she had asked her to be her partner for life and she knew that, no matter how much Trishia’s co-workers lusted after her, the tall police woman was hers and hers alone.

"Don’t you want to know what they were saying?" Fiona finally asked, not able to hide the disappointment in her voice.

Lucy glanced in the rear view mirror and softly chuckled.

"Nah, I don’t. I am sure it was all praise and glory and who am I to argue with that, huh?" she winked at her youngest sister.

"Good one, Lucy," Yarra complimented her and the dark girl cast a teasing look at her friend. "It doesn’t happen too often I have the chance to see Fiona McDonnell lost for words. You surely made my day."

Lucy grinned and exchanged amused looks with her mother who shrugged her shoulders and smiled.


They must have called in troops from other police stations, he was certain about that. In all those months he had driven around the area he had never seen so many police cars in one day. Not just the regular ones, that already screamed ‘police’ from a distance, but also the unmarked cars, always with two occupants, who were obviously on a stake out. He could see them on every corner.

At first it had scared him and he was about to hit the breaks, turn the car around and drive the opposite way as fast as he could manage to get away with, but he had decided to taunt fate. Squaring his shoulders he had driven past the dark colored car and he had even cast a look at the people inside, who were clearly not paying attention, because the driver looked him square in the face and didn’t even flinch.

It was an officer Martin had not met before. Probably from a different area and called in to help Carol Wong’s pathetic team to locate him. Martin Coles, the smartest one of all.

Martin smiled and cast an appreciative look in the mirror, wondering why he had not dyed his hair before. It looked good on him, he thought. He was convinced the ladies would simply love it. Although he was not allowed to tell them it was dyed of course. That would be his secret.

Martin giggled and turned the car onto the main street, heading North. He drove past a group of teenage girls and for a moment he thought his heart would stop when he saw a familiar blond head.

"Alice," he whispered huskily, parking the car alongside the road and watching the girls through the back window.

His eyes focused on the blonde and a smile tugged on the corner of his mouth, when he saw the girl throw her long hair back over her shoulder and turn to another girl to say something. They both laughed and Martin gritted his teeth.

"Your laughing will end soon, Alice," he whispered. "You are a bad girl and you know what happens to bad girls, don’t you?"

Martin Coles licked his lips when he remembered the punishment he had in mind. He could almost see the dilated pupils in a sea of blue, shining with pain and horror. He remembered the warm, thick fluid that, again would coat his hand as a symbol of his purity. To sanctify with blood. A sacrifice to wash himself clean.

Soon he would be free.

It took a lot of self restraint to not exit the car and walk up towards the girl who was challenging him. But even in his delusional state of mind, Martin knew that an action like that would attract unwanted attention. So he clenched his hands into fists and took a deep breath.

Soon, he promised himself. Very soon. But first he had to pay a visit to a nice little farm. There were some loose ends he needed to take care off.


Alice took in the room with wide eyes. In her entire life she had never seen anything like it. Oh, maybe in pictures or on TV, but she had never actually stood in the middle of a hotel room that was so spacious and full of luxury.

Sam had driven her and Jody straight to The Reef and had parked the car in a private section of the underground parking garage. From there she had ushered them to a small elevator, that had brought them to the top floor after Sam had inserted a key card and had punched in a four digit code. In response to Alice’s wide eyed look, Sam had explained to the girl it was a private elevator and only people who had the key card were able to use it.

Alice had nodded, happy to know she would be able to enter The Reef without having to walk through the main entrance.

When she had exited the elevator she noticed they were standing in front of a door with a shiny brass plate on it that said ‘Executive wing’. Curiously she had followed Sam and Jody when they had stepped inside and slack jawed she had looked around.

The room was big. On two sides there were more doors and on the far end was a huge balcony with sliding doors that had been opened to let in the cool breeze from the ocean, making the floor-to-ceiling curtains slowly move back and forth.

A comfortable leather couch and two enormous recliners were situated near the sliding doors, allowing anyone who wanted to sit down and relax with an undisturbed view of the ocean, that stretched out to the horizon. The walls were decorated with a few modern looking paintings, that were full of interesting shapes and colors. An entertainment center set in the corner and a classy desk with a computer, printer and fax machine complimented the room, giving the impression of a friendly, well used office as well as a living room that breathed tranquility and style.

"This will be your bedroom, Alice," Jody indicated, opening one of the doors in the corner. "You are absolutely free to share it with Yarra and that wacky sister of mine, but if you’d rather not, we can put them up in another room."

"No, no, that will be fine," Alice stammered, eagerly looking forward to sharing a room with her two new friends, especially after Fiona’s promises of some nice movies and popcorn. Alice had never enjoyed sharing things like that with friends and she really wanted to experience what it would be like to be part of so much fun.

She followed Jody into the big bedroom and sucked in a breath. In the middle of the room stood the biggest bed she had ever seen. Alice quickly calculated it could easily and comfortably hold four people.

"I know it’s a bit much," she heard Jody’s voice behind her apologize. "But this wing is usually reserved for people who are willing to pay for abundant luxury and for business relations who need to be softened up. " Jody chuckled and walked towards the window. "And of course for family," she added over her shoulder.

"You work here?" Alice asked.

"Yes, I do," Jody answered, turning around and leaning her back against the window sill.

"What do you do?"

"Oh, nothing earth shattering," Jody smiled, downplaying her role in the huge resort. "I manage some things. Troubleshooting. Keeping people happy, that sort of thing."

"What she means to say, Alice, is that she basically runs the place," Sam added with a grin, stepping up to her lover and giving her a playful, one-armed hug. "Don’t let her fool you. Jody makes it sound like there is nothing to it, but believe me, it’s quite the job."

Alice looked at the couple near the window and suddenly she felt a surge of warmth travel through her body, warming her heart and soul. Even a blind man could see how much Jody and Sam loved each other. They absolutely radiated happiness when they were together and it struck Alice that, to keep her safe, they were willing to be apart, not knowing for how long. To Alice, who did not have anyone to care about her for a long time, it seemed like a truly unselfish act of friendship and love.

"I..I am sorry about all this," she stammered, not able to look the two women in the eye, but instead stared at her feet, that were nervously shuffling on the thick carpet. " I really…appreciate what you are doing for me and…I …I am so sorry that Sam will have to go back to Murrook Farm and you can’t be with her," she ended in a whisper.

Jody and Sam exchanged a knowing look and Sam slowly let go of Jody so the smaller woman could walk up to Alice and gently put a hand on the teenager’s shoulder.

"I am sorry as well," Jody admitted. "I will miss Sam a lot, but you know what, Alice? If staying here, at The Reef, until the police can arrest that Martin will be safer for you, then it will be worth it."

Alice looked up and her eyes nervously darted from Jody to Sam and back again. On their faces she could only see honest concern, warmth and compassion and she knew in her heart that Jody had meant every word she had spoken. It filled her with a gratitude that was almost too much for words.

"I really don’t know how I can ever thank you," she whispered. "I mean, what I…supposedly did for Mrs. McDonnell is nothing compared to what you are doing for me. I can never repay you for that."

"Don’t even try," Jody smiled, squeezing the shoulder underneath her hand. "I will always be grateful for you helping out my mom, but that is not why we are doing this. Look at me, Alice, please?"

Alice raised her eyes to meet Jody’s and they were immediately sucked into a pair of warm emerald green ones.

"We like you, Alice. You are our friend. That is why we are doing this. Not because of some obligation or debt. No, but because you are a special person and we want to be your friends."

"And you are," Alice agreed, barely audible.

"Good, I am glad we have that established," Jody spoke with a twinkle in her eyes. "Why don’t you get acquainted with the place and pick out the best spot to sleep, before Fiona and Yarra come barreling in. And, oh, Alice, a word of warning…" Jody smiled, seeing the apprehensive look in Alice’s eyes. "Whatever you do, don’t sleep near my sister, she kicks in her sleep. If the three of you decide to bunk in that humongous bed together, make sure you put Yarra in the middle. She has dealt with Fi before."

"I remember that," Sam smirked. "We were all camping out and they decided to share this tiny little tent. When we woke up in the morning and crawled out of our own shelter, Yarra was sleeping outside of the tent. Apparently Fiona had been kicking her so badly she had decided to rather face the creepy crawlers than wake up bruised and battered."

"Thanks for the warning," Alice smiled with a hint of amusement in her voice. "I guess I should stay on the other side of the bed then, huh? Although," her eyes fell on the huge couch in the corner of the room. "I suppose I can always sleep on the couch."

In fact, Alice mused, compared to the places she had used for a bed before, the couch would be extremely comfortable. It would make an excellent bed.

"Whatever you feel comfortable with, Alice," Sam answered, looking at the door where a lot of stumbling could be heard. "Here are the girl scouts," she announced with a wink.

The door opened and Fiona and Yarra came stumbling into the room, both carrying an overstuffed bag.

"Hey, girls," Fiona greeted with a big smile. "Here is the entertainment crew."

"Really?" Sam asked, hiking one eyebrow into her hairline. "What would that be? The two Stooges?"

"No, Dumb and Dumber," Lucy’s tired voice sounded from behind the teenagers, making her youngest sister turn around and shoot her an insulted look. Yarra just grinned and dumped her bag on a chair in the corner.

"Wow," the dark skinned girl exclaimed, taking in the room with big, dark eyes. "This is a palace."

"Hardly," Sam dryly replied, turning to Jody and extended her hand that was immediately grabbed and held tight. "You princesses make yourselves comfortable. Jody and I will show Lucy and Joan around and then I will head back home. Make sure you behave," she added, addressing no one in particular, but her eyes were looking at Fiona, who did her best to smile sweetly and look innocent.

"We will, Sam," Yarra promised.

"Good," Sam smiled, pulling Jody with her to the door. "I expect all of you to do use your brain and be sensible."

"We will, Sam," Fiona promised, noticing the darkening of her sister’s eyes. Her heart went out to Jody, because she knew how hard it would be for her sister to say goodbye to her partner and Fiona silently decided to be on her best behavior and support her sister as much as she could. "Be careful, okay?"

"I will, Fi. I promise," Sam answered, seeing her youngest sister-in-law slowly nod. Her eyes traveled to Alice who stood near the window with a forlorn look on her face. It was obvious to Sam that the teenager was close to tears. She squeezed Jody’s hand and reluctantly released her hold, so she could walk up to the young blonde, who looked up at her with tired eyes.

"You will be safe, here, Alice," Sam gently spoke, putting a hand on a slender shoulder, pleased to see Alice accepted the kind gesture without flinching. "I will keep in touch with Jody and if there is something you need…anything, just let me know, okay? I want you to be comfortable here."

Alice chewed on the inside of her lip and nodded, not knowing what to say. She liked the tall Dutch woman, who usually oozed self confidence and strength. But those same qualities also impressed her to such an extent, that she found it hard not to shy away from Sam’s kindness. If only she could be a little more like Sam.

"Thanks, Sam," she finally managed to whisper while their eyes briefly met.

"You are welcome, Alice," Sam responded. She brought her head a little closer and cast a look over her shoulder. "Keep an eye on those two, will you?" she stage whispered with a smile. "They are famous for getting themselves in trouble."

"I will," Alice smiled back, appreciating the joke and the look of indignation on Fiona’s face.

"Thanks," Sam winked, giving her shoulder a last friendly squeeze, before turning around and walking back to a patiently waiting Jody. While walking past Fiona she affectionately ruffled the teenager’s dark hair and quickly stepped aside to avoid being punched in the stomach. Still laughing she wrapped her arm around Jody’s shoulder and guided her out of the room, closing the door behind them.


Half an hour later, Jody followed Sam out of the elevator into the private parking garage underneath The Reef. Sam had postponed her departure as long as she could, but the inevitable moment had finally arrived. During the brief descend into the elevator they had silently stood together, wrapped in each other’s arms, each of them lost in their own worrisome and sad thoughts.

"I really don’t want to leave you here," Sam had whispered, closing her eyes and reveling in the feel of Jody’s body against her own. "But I know it will be the best option. Please be careful, baby. Stay inside and if you have any doubts or questions about your safety, call me. Gary Larrabee will be outside the door and there is an extra security guard at the entrance."

"Okay, Sam," Jody had responded, pressing her face against Sam’s chest, breathing in the familiar scent and soaking up the warmth and love that Sam always gave to her in abundance.

Jody stretched out her hand and used her fingertips to softly stroke Sam’s cheek. She let her hand travel down the tall woman’s shoulder, down her arm, until she reached her hand, where she intertwined her fingers with Sam’s, that were resting on her hip.

The tall blonde glanced down and sent her partner an encouraging smile.

"You look like you are a million miles away, sweetie," she gently spoke.

"I know," Jody sighed. "I can’t help it, Sam, I am worried about this whole situation. I can’t help thinking back to what happened a year ago. I don’t want to be separated from you again, Sam. I have been through that once," Jody managed to choke out, trying to swallow away the lump in her throat. "I nearly lost you a year ago, honey. I don’t think I can go through that again."

The tears were rolling down Jody’s cheeks now and she used her free hand to wipe them away, while her other hand was clutching Sam’s.

Sam chewed on her bottom lip, feeling her own tears sting her eyes and she rapidly blinked a few times to keep her vision clear and pulled the softly crying woman closer to her body, feeling Jody bury her face in the crook of her neck.

"I wish I could promise you this whole situation will be over soon," Sam’s voice sounded in Jody’s ear. "But I can’t. I can only hope it will. But I can promise you I will be careful, Jody. I swear that I won’t take any risks and that I will stay close to Trishia and Peter. And I promise to call you every couple of hours. And that is not only to reassure you baby, it’s for my benefit as well." Sam smiled and used her fingers to lift up Jody’s face. A pair of watery green eyes looked at her, oozing misery, pain and worry.

"You ground me, Jody McDonnell Stevens," she continued. "You always have. Hearing your voice is not the same as being with you, but it will have to do for a short period of time. I will miss you, so much," Sam swallowed hard and Jody could see that tears were clouding the clear blue eyes. "I need you as much as you need me, but right now we need to think about Alice first."

"Yes, we do," Jody whispered. "She is our main concern, I know that. It’s the bad memories that haunt me, Sam."

"I know, sweetie," Sam answered in a tender voice, pressing her lips against Jody’s forehead. "But we will get through this, I promise."

"Okay," was the soft answer, before Jody pressed her cheek firmly against Sam’s.

That simple remark contained all the confidence Jody had in her tall partner and Sam smiled wistfully, knowing that as long as she and Jody would be apart, she would be absolutely miserable. But the trust her smaller partner had in her was endearing and somehow it gave the tall blonde the strength to keep going and do her utmost not to disappoint the woman who owned her heart and soul.

"I need to go," she spoke after a long silence, in which both women soaked up the warmth and love between them. "Lucy can come barreling down the stairs any minute now to get her stuff out of the car and if she or Fiona will find us here, we will never hear the end of it," Sam gently joked. "They will probably think we desperately needed some privacy to do a bit of hanky panky."

Jody snorted in response and in spite of the situation she chuckled softly.

"That’s probably how Fiona would describe it, although it would be typically her to come up with some insane expression only she can fabricate."

"Your sisters are truly a breed apart," Sam grinned, pleased to see that Jody seemed more relaxed. "And I mean that in a positive way. Just don’t tell them that."

"My lips are sealed," Jody smiled.

"They sure are," Sam agreed, bringing her face closer and catching Jody’s lips in a heartfelt kiss.

Jody softly moaned and pressed her body closer to Sam’s, needing to feel as much of her partner as possible. Sam’s strong arms held her tight, her hands resting on the small of her back, pulling her even closer and for a few undisturbed moments, they were able to completely forget they were standing in a parking garage, underneath The Reef.

"Jody, honey…no matter how much I am enjoying this, and believe me, I do enjoy this, I think we need to get moving. If not I won’t be able to drive anymore. At least for a while," Sam finally managed to breath.

"Yes…we need to stop," Jody panted, wondering how on earth her hands had ended up underneath Sam’s t-shirt. "Although…" She smiled and kissed the tip of Sam’s nose, glancing at the vehicle behind her partner. "I have never made love in a car before."

"I would love to accommodate you, baby," Sam answered with a mischievous sparkle in her eye. "But I am afraid this car is a little too small for a person of my length. I wouldn’t know where to put my legs."

"Outside the window?" Jody dead panned.

"Oh, well, yes, that is a possibility," Sam grinned, brushing away a strand of hair from Jody’s forehead. "But I am afraid we would never, ever live that down if your sisters would catch us. And notice I haven’t even mentioned the security camera’s yet."

"Ewww, yes, you are right," Jody wrinkled her nose and after giving Sam one last kiss, she slowly released her hold. "I guess we’d better behave."

"Unfortunately," Sam mumbled, turning around to open the door of the car.

"I love you, Samantha Stevens," Jody’s voice sounded, full of love and tenderness.

Sam glanced aside and shot her partner a brilliant smile, which colored her eyes almost impossibly blue.

"And I love you, Jody McDonnell. I always have and I always will."

In response Jody stretched out her hand and covered Sam’s, giving it a gentle squeeze. When their eyes met, Sam was pleased to see that there was a confident spark in those emerald depths she loved so much. And she knew that, even when they were apart, the love they shared would always help them through.

"One last kiss, for the road?" she asked, opening her arms in invitation.

Jody didn’t need any more encouragement and literally threw herself in Sam’s arms, clutching the taller woman close as if she would never ever let her go again. Which was not far from the truth.

"Be safe, Sam," she choked out, squeezing her eyes shut and feeling the hot tears escape. "Please be safe."

"I will call you as soon as I get home," Sam’s voice croaked. "I will miss you so much, honey. Hell, I already do and I am not even gone yet."

Without a word Jody pulled Sam’s face down and caught her lips in a kiss that was hungry, passionate and desperate at the same time. At first it was far from gentle, their emotions were simply too raw and their fear too great, but slowly their lips changed the rhythm of the dance and the intimate embrace became soft and tender. A wordless declaration of love, trust and hope. Until they both breathlessly pulled away, looking each other in the eye and knowing no more words needed to be said.

"Keep your cell phone charged," Jody whispered when she finally released her hold.

"I will," Sam promised.

The tall woman stepped into the car, closed the door and started the engine with trembling fingers. Inwardly she was screaming in pain and frustration, but outwardly she looked calm and in total control. She cast one last look towards Jody, who was standing in front of the elevator with her arms wrapped around herself, like she was cold. Their eyes locked and they both managed a watery smile.

"I love you," Jody mouthed.

Sam’s response was to press her fingers against her lips and blow her partner an imaginary kiss. After that she pulled up and slowly drove away, knowing without looking that Jody’s moist eyes would follow the car until it disappeared out of sight


There was a lot of traffic on the road, which was not uncommon for a Saturday afternoon, when most of the locals would usually do their shopping and tourists swarmed the many restaurants and bars. Nobody noticed the car that had already passed the dirt road up to the house three times within the last fifteen minutes.

The driver’s eyes kept traveling back and forth between the road in front of him and the hardly visible track that would bring him to the top of the hill where he knew revenge would be waiting.

After a few moments of indecision he finally found a parking spot alongside the road and stopped the car. With a quick motion of his wrist and fingers he killed the engine and pulled out the keys, twirling them around in his clammy fingers. Perspiration coated his forehead when he looked in the mirror to check on his appearance one last time. Only the brown eyes in the reflection that greeted him looked familiar. Beacons of recognition in a stranger’s face, that was sporting a goatee and round, metal rimmed glasses.

"Showtime," he whispered to the image that stared back at him with cold eyes.

He was about to exit the vehicle when an approaching car slowed down and turned into the track that had his undivided attention for the last twenty minutes. He squinted his eyes and a slow smile spread across his face when he recognized the driver.

"The lady of the mansion," he chuckled. "How convenient. Miss Samantha Stevens in person. Another cockroach to crush. Two dykes for the price of one. And a little girl as my bonus…"


To be continued in part 16

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