Lucy yawned and stared out of the window, while Trishia concentrated on steering her car safely through the busy streets. Friday evenings always seemed to bring out every tourist who stayed at one of the many hotels, motels and bed and breakfast at the coast. The intense heat of the day had disappeared when the sun had set and the cool ocean breeze had brought some much needed relief. The evening air was still warm, but not uncomfortable.
"Idiot," Trishia mumbled, barely able to avoid hitting the car in front of her, when its driver suddenly turned lanes without using his indicator light.
"Yeah, where are the police when you need them?" Lucy joked, trying to lighten the mood.
She cast a look aside and noticed Trishias frown. Immediately she reached out a hand and softly rubbed the tall womans thigh.
"Whats up, Trish?" she asked, suddenly sounding very serious, knowing the far away look in those clear, intelligent eyes.
" I am worried about that whole situation with Alice, " Trishia confessed, not taking her eyes off the busy traffic in front of them. " I cant help wondering if I did the right thing. What if... ?"
"What if she is not what she seems to be?" Lucy helpfully added. "Its a risk we take Trishia and do you notice how I said we? You are not alone in this. I am right behind you and so are Sam, Jody and mom. We all have the same feeling about this girl and I cant imagine we are all dead wrong."
"What feeling is that?" Trishia asked, knowing the answer, but still in need of reassurance.
"That there is a lot more than meets the eye, positive things," Lucy answered, gently squeezing the warm skin underneath her hand. "I think we all believe that Alice is a victim of circumstances that are still unknown to us, but believe me, if somebody has a chance of revealing them, it will be my family."
That last remark made Trishia smile.
"Between you and Fiona, the poor kid doesnt stand a chance," she remarked dryly.
"But we will be gentle about it," Lucy promised, with a twinkle in her eyes. "Besides, I believe she really does not remember a thing."
"I do too. But she hides it really well underneath that indifferent attitude. Did you see the look on her face when Sam was telling her about that... .that... dam thing in her home country? She positively glowed. And when your mom and Jody grabbed her hand when we were saying grace? At first she looked like she wanted to jump up and run, but then something changed and I bet she was just soaking up the kindness."
"You are a good observer, Trishia Waters."
"I am a police officer, Lucy McDonnell. Its what I do."
Lucy grinned and leaned in to give Trishia a quick kiss on the cheek, which made the police woman smile.
"Careful now, honey. You dont want us to crash?" she teased.
"Not in a car, no," Lucy admitted, wrinkling her nose at the thought. "But, crashing in bed, in an air-conditioned room, together with you... naked... now that sounds like something I would like to do."
"Is that an invitation?" Trishia asked, trying to concentrate on traffic and not on the visions of a naked Lucy that threatened to overtake her thoughts. She swallowed hard when she remembered the feel of Lucys skin against her own, the silky texture of the long, dark hair brushing against her skin, teasing fingers and lips driving all coherent thought out of her mind
"You bet," Lucy voice softly purred, letting her hand wander up Trishias leg and disappear underneath the blue cotton of a pair of shorts, approaching dangerously close towards a very sensitive area.
"Lucy!!" Trishia almost squeaked. " Please!"
Laughing Lucy withdrew her hand and put it back on Trishias leg.
"Sorry, "she grinned, not at all sounding repentant." I just wanted you to have something to look forward to."
"Right," Trishia snorted. "Just be careful, because you know what pay backs are."
"Mmmmm... yes," Lucy answered. "Up until now I have always loved your pay backs."
"That is only because I havent used those handcuffs yet," Trishia quipped, glancing aside and seeing the dark blush creep up Lucys face.
"I am going to kill Fiona for that one," Lucy groaned.
"I thought it was funny," Trishia laughed. "You should have seen your face, it was priceless."
Lucy shook her head and stared out of the window. She loved her younger sister dearly, but sometimes she could just shake the teenager until her teeth rattled. That evening, when she had made the handcuffs remark, had been one of those moments. If it had just been in the presence of Sam and Jody she would have been embarrassed enough, but with her mother there as well the damage had been double.
"Are you upset by it?" Trishias concerned voice interrupted her thoughts.
"Not really," Lucy sighed. "I just wish Fiona wouldnt be able to embarrass me to death on occasion. That kid is just something else. Did you see my moms face? Oh, crap!"
Trishia laughed out loud and lovingly patted the hand that was still resting on her thigh.
"Try not to worry about, love. I think your mother is pretty open minded."
"Yeah, but I bet she doesnt like to be confronted with the things her daughters do in their bedrooms, right?"
"I guess not," Trishia chuckled. "And vice versa, of course."
"Of course," Lucy grinned. "There are certain rules and one of them is that parents dont have sex."
"Which makes it hard to explain why we are here though," Trishia smiled.
"They just did the deed a few times when they were young and thats it," Lucy chuckled. "No more after that."
"Well, I guess I need to ask my grandmother to have a talk to you," Trishia teased. "She might be in her eighties, but she still enjoys a nice roll in the hay, as she puts it."
"Your granny is really something. Just remind me to never have her and Fiona in the same room at the same time. I have a feeling those two would get along a little too fine for my liking."
Just as Trishia wanted to respond, the cell phone that was clipped to her belt was starting to buzz. She quickly snapped it loose and handed it to Lucy.
"Would you answer that for me, please?"
Lucy flipped open the cover and pressed a button.
"Hi, Peter. No, its Lucy. Trishia is driving at the moment, so ... ... ..you want me to ask her to pull over? Oh... ok. What? ... ..Where?... ... Now?... ... Right... yes, I will tell her. Alright, see you there."
"What was that all about?" Trishia asked as soon as Lucy had pressed the off button. "Is there a problem? What is it? "
"That was Peter. Some hikers have found a body and he wants you to come and have a look at it," Lucy said, not able to suppress the shiver that ran down her spine.
"Me?" Trishia frowned. "Why? I am off duty at the moment, Martin and Phil are on call. He didnt say anything else?"
"Nope, just to meet him at the beach in front of Ocean View Gardens."
"Ocean View? They found a body there? Thats one of the busiest places around."
"Maybe it is a natural cause of death?" Lucy carefully suggested, knowing full well that they would not have called Trishia if that had been the case.
"I am afraid that wont be the case, honey," Trishia answered absentmindedly. "Do you want me to drop you off at home? I dont know how long I will be there and it might not be a pretty sight to see."
" No, I will come with you," Lucy decided, knowing that if she would be there, Trishia would most likely get home a lot earlier than she usually would. "Ill keep my distance though. I dont find the thought of looking at dead people very appealing."
"It isnt, Trishia answered with a grim look on her face. " But somebody needs to do it."
Even from a distance it became clear that the whole area around Ocean View Gardens had been sealed off. There were a few road blocks to stop the traffic and police officers were standing guard to keep curious onlookers away.
Trishia was recognized almost immediately and with a nod one of the officers motioned her to keep driving, which she did, slowly, to finally stop the car in the parking lot overlooking the beach.
Her eyes quickly took in all the activity that surrounded them and with a sad smile she finally turned to Lucy.
"I hate to ask this from you, but maybe its best to stay in the car. Or I can ask one of the uniforms to drive you home."
Lucys green eyes took on a darker shade and she frowned when she looked at the tall police woman.
"Because this is not going to be pleasant and I dont want you to see and hear things that might upset you."
A soft smile turned Lucys eyes yet in another shade of green and she reached out her hand to grab Trishias. Immediately it was engulfed in a warm, firm grip.
"You are so sweet, Trish. Thank you. Okay, I will stay in the car, but if it takes too long, I might want to get out and stretch my legs. But if I do, I will walk away from the scene. So dont worry, I really dont want to see all the gruesome details," Lucy joked.
"Good," Trishia nodded, spotting a rapidly approaching Peter. "Ill make it as quick as I can."
"Please do," Lucy said, leaning towards Trishia to kiss her. "I do have some nice plans for the rest of the evening, remember?" she whispered, before leaning back in her seat.
"How could I forget?" Trishia smiled. "If you need me, just shout. I wont be far away."
Lucy nodded and pointed at Peter, who was standing next to the car, impatiently rocking back and forth on his heels.
A last encouraging smile and Trishia opened the door and unfolded her tall frame. Before she had even closed the door, Lucy could hear Peters low voice informing Trishia about the situation.
Trishia grabbed Peters elbow and steered him away from the car, very aware of the fact that Lucy had extremely sharp ears.
"Its a kid, isnt it?" she asked, her voice strained with emotion.
Peter nodded and rubbed his chin, his eyes staring at his partner with a genuine, profound sadness.
"How did you know?"
Trishia pointed at the beach where a group of people were busy taking pictures and combing the sand for clues and evidence.
"Cause the boss never gets called at a regular homicide. I have only seen her come out twice before. In both cases there were kids murdered."
"You are right," Peter sighed. "Its a kid, a teenage girl. She died of an unnatural cause. A knife, straight into her heart."
Trishia swallowed hard and tried to block out any emotion, to be able to think clearly and analyze the situation.
"Why did they call us?"
Peter bit his lip and nodded towards Martin Coles and Phil Kanides, fellow officers who were talking to Carol Wong.
"Remember that Phil was at the office this afternoon, while we were there, talking to Alice? Well, he recognized her and gave me a call."
"Recognized who?" Trishia asked, puzzled, looking from the scene at the beach to Peter and back again.
"Alice," Peter answered.
"Alice?" Trishia repeated, still not understanding. "Alice is at Sam and Jodys. I left her there about thirty minutes ago. I dont know who that girl on the beach is, but its not Alice."
"She seems to be about seventeen years old, long blond hair, slender. And you are right, she is not Alice," Peter explained. "But this is."
He handed Trishia a picture that was carefully wrapped in plastic and with wide eyes she studied it, slowly feeling an icy chill settling in the pit of her stomach.
It was obviously a photocopy of its original, but it was still very clear. A picture of a younger Alice, who was sitting on a simple, wooden chair in a room that was mostly dark and could, easily be an anonymous motel room.
But, the most chilling sight, were Alices eyes, they were wide and full of fear. These were the eyes of a tortured soul and Trishia felt herself become sick when she realized that their initial suspicions could be right.
"Where did this picture show up?" she asked, her voice soft and low.
Peter swallowed and closed his eyes for a second, remembering what it had been like when he had arrived at the scene.
"The photo was neatly packed in plastic and was attached to the girls shirt, with a safety pin. Over her heart, so, it was done after she was murdered."
"Do we know of any other cases like this?"
"Not yet," Peter answered, his face set in a grim mask. "But the boss sent the word out, so if there are, we will hear about it soon."
"Anyone who has seen anything?"
"Nothing? This is one of the busiest places around!! When was she found?"
"The call came in around six, when most people had left the beach, although there were still quite a few tourists around and shoppers who were sitting up there, on the benches enjoying the view. We are still interviewing people, but nobody saw a thing. And I have to admit, when I arrived and looked at the scene, it was just like the kid was napping. The killer must have turned her on the stomach and put her head on her arms. I swear, Trish, it was like she was sleeping."
"Then who found out she had died?"
Peter pointed towards one of the balconies of Ocean View Gardens, that overlooked the beach and the ocean.
"Theres an elderly lady who lives up there. She said the kid had been lying in the same position all afternoon. She noticed the girl because she wasnt wearing a bathing suit or something, but she didnt think much of it. Later, when people left the beach, she saw the girl was still there and had still not moved. She started to worry and thought maybe she was ill, or something, so she asked the janitor if he would please go and check on the girl."
Peter noticed Trishias raised eyebrows and shrugged his shoulders.
"She has a bad hip and walking in the sand is very difficult for her," he explained. "Anyway, the bloke did just that and when he reached the girl he tapped her shoulder, but there was no response. Then he noticed the paleness of her arms and legs and when he touched her shoulder again, he felt she was really cold. Thats when he used his cell phone and called us."
"God, what a mess," Trishia sighed, raking her hand through her curly hair. She looked up when Martin, Phil and Carol Wong approached them and answered her boss tired smile with one of her own.
"I am sorry you had to come back, Trishia," the inspector sighed. "But considering the circumstances I thought it would be best to let you know as soon as possible. Where is Alice?"
Trishia and Peter exchanged glances and he gave her an imperceptible nod.
"She is in a safe place, inspector. But maybe we should consider something safer."
Carol Wong slowly nodded and used one of her feared cold stares to discourage Martin Coles from speaking. She had noticed the irritated look on his face when Trishia had given them a vague answer about Alices whereabouts.
"No, Martin," she spoke. "Trishia is right. The less people who know where the girl is, the better it is. For the moment anyway. Besides," she paused and took the time to scan the environment, noticing the people who were lined up behind a yellow tape. Some of them were carrying cameras, no doubt using zoom lenses to bring the gruesome scene as close as possible.
"I am no brain picker," she continued. "But I have read enough files and met enough murderers to be aware of the fact that this is not just another violent crime. Somebody has a message and that same person could very well still be around to make sure we pick that up. And before we receive any more information, I dont want one single word leaking to the press. Is that clear?"
"Sure, inspector," Phil voiced their mutual feelings. "We should get some information pretty soon. If there have been any other murders like this before, anywhere, we will hear about them. Its not something youd come across every day."
"Thank God," Martin added his voice rough with emotion. "Bastard."
Trishia cast a look over her shoulder and was pleased to see that Lucy was still sitting in the car, apparently totally engrossed in some reading material she had found in Trishias car.
"So, whats the plan, inspector?"
"Martin and Phil will stay here and see whatever they can find out. I want to speak with the two of you in private for a minute. Nothing personal, boys," she spoke to the two police officers. "But I dont want to be over heard by one of those modern spy gadgets. There are too many people around here for my liking. We will have a little talk in my car and Martin?"
The muscular blond man turned around and looked at his inspector.
"Keep an eye on the public. Especially for any man who shows more than the usual morbid interest. I am no profiler, but I am pretty sure we are dealing with a bloke in his thirties or forties, white, probably a neat freak who looks like the nice guy next door. And who is pretty full of himself right now, for being able to put his victim on display on a busy beach, while nobody noticed a damn thing."
After these words, Carol Wong turned around and quickly walked towards her car that was parked behind the coroners van. She motioned Trishia and Peter to get in and closed the door behind them. When she was seated herself, she started the engine to run the air-conditioning.
"Thanks, boss," Peter mumbled, wiping some thick drops off his forehead.
"Alright Trishia, Alice is in a safe place, I believe you. I know which place that is and I am pretty confident she will be safe there for the time being as well. But, we have a killer on the loose, apparently looking for her. Maybe it is pure coincidence that he murdered this poor girl here, but on the other hand, he might know that Alice is around and he might be actively looking for her. Our job is to find the killer and keep Alice safe. In the meantime, the less people know about it the better it is. I dont want any information leaking out to anyone. That includes your fellow officers. I know Phil is one of the most reliable people I know and although Martin has only been with us for a short time, I trust him as well. So, its nothing personal. I just dont want to take any risks right now."
"I understand, Inspector," Trishia answered. "But I will need to inform certain individuals. I cannot tell them what to do and what not to do, without explaining the situation."
"I know," Carol Wong sighed. "You should tell them, they have a right to know. God knows what they will be getting themselves into again. Tomorrow I want you to go and talk to one of our psychiatrists. Alice suffers from amnesia and I believe she has a damn good reason not to want to remember, but she is the key, Trishia. Chances are that Alice is the one who can identify our murderer."
"IF she remembers," Peter spoke.
"Yes, if she remembers," Carol Wong admitted.
Sam yawned and stretched her tall frame, groaning in satisfaction when she felt one of her vertebrae pop back into place. It had been a long day and she was tired, feeling the beginning of a familiar ache in her right leg. She winced when she cautiously stretched the muscles in her calf.
"Are you Alright, honey?" Jody asked with a worried frown.
She had just walked into their bedroom and carefully closed the door behind her. The tired and pained look on Sam's face told her enough. Without saying another word she walked towards the bathroom, to reappear with a large bottle of massage oil and a towel.
"Oh, sweetie, you don't have to that," Sam protested. "I am sure my leg will feel a lot better in the morning. You are tired and you need to go to sleep."
"No, Sam," Jody answered calmly. "I know you will sleep better without those cramps. And when you feel better, I feel better, so don't even think about arguing with me, because... .whoa.." Jody yelped, when unexpectedly a pair of strong arms suddenly pulled her down on the bed. A pair of twinkling eyes looked at her from only a few inches away and immediately Jody got lost in the clear blue that radiated warmth and love and mischief.
"If you are trying to distract me, it's working," Jody whispered, completely fascinated by a pair of soft lips, that were tantalizing close.
"Is it now?" Sam smiled, her voice reduced to a soft purr. "Are you that easy, my love?"
"Only around you," Jody answered, letting go of the towel and bottle of lotion and wrapping her arms around Sam's neck, impatiently pulling her closer.
"I am glad to hear that, I... ."
"Sam!" Jody interrupted, her green eyes dark in the soft light of the lamp on the night stand. "Shut up and kiss me."
Sam ran her hands through Jody's hair, while her eyes leisurely took in the smaller body that was almost resting on top of her. With a slow smile her hands slid down Jody's shoulders and down her back, until they came to rest on her hips. With negligent ease, Sam lifted the smaller woman up a little to settle her comfortably on her own taller frame.
Jody's sigh of pleasure had not escaped her attention and with rapidly increasing desire, she run her hands over Jody's back, but this time underneath the oversized t-shirt.
"Did I ever tell you how beautiful you are?" she whispered, feeling a familiar warmth spread through her body, when Jody wiggled around a little to get more comfortable and slid a smooth, strong leg between her thighs.
"Several times," Jody answered. "And I am glad you feel that way."
"How can I not?" Sam asked, lightly brushing Jody's lips with her own. "You are getting more beautiful every day."
"Oh, Sam," Jody sighed, before a pair of insistent lips robbed her of any desire to speak.
They exchanged soft touches and caresses that were loving, gradually building up the desire until they were both breathing hard and needed unhindered contact.
"I want... .this... out," Jody moaned, tugging at Sam's t-shirt, craving to feel the soft skin she knew was waiting for her underneath.
"Yes, we are clearly overdressed," Sam breathed, pulling her shirt over her head when Jody had lifted her upper body to get rid of her own.
As soon as their, now naked bodies came into contact again, they both sighed in pleasure, while their hands traveled to familiar sensitive areas, increasing their desire to an almost painful level.
"I need to feel all of you, honey," Jody panted, when Sam's hands had traveled down the small of her back and pressed their bodies even closer.
Without a word, Sam flipped herself over, and Jody found herself on her back, staring into a pair of almost dark blue eyes filled with love and desire.
Sam's lips and hands caressed Jody's almost overheated skin and slowly but surely found their way down the smaller body that had started to tremble while Jody desperately whispered for release.
Even if any of them had heard Sam's cell phone ring, they would not have answered it. So, after softly buzzing a few times, a soft beep announced a message and a tiny envelope appeared in the center of the dimly lit display. Like a silent request for attention. But after a few seconds, the display went dark and the little, silver colored phone remained where it had been, ever since its owner had put it there, on the night stand.
"No luck, huh?" Trishia sighed, pulling over the car and staring at Lucy whose face mirrored her own, drawn and tired.
"I won't call again, Trish. I know it's not that late yet, but... invading their privacy is not a real good idea. I hate it when the phone rings, when I am... .engaged in... .certain activities... ."
Despite the situation and her worries about Alice's safely, Trishia smiled, brushing Lucy's cheek with the back of her hand.
"Well, yes," she admitted. "Good thing that doesn't happen often."
"Because you switch off the phone," Lucy chuckled. "So everybody who calls us will know what we probably are... .engaged in."
"Why do so many people have a dirty mind?" Trishia complained, feigning a hurt look. "We could be... ..in the shower, or... .watching a movie... .or... just wanting to have some peace and quiet. Right?"
"Sure, baby," Lucy smiled. "You just keep hanging onto that thought and you will never be embarrassed."
She grabbed Trishia's hand and pressed it against her cheek, aware of the fine lines around the other woman's eyes that all of a sudden seemed to be so much deeper than before.
"Talk to me, Trish," Lucy urged. "What happened on that beach, except for the fact that there was a body there?"
After she and Peter had talked to their Inspector, Peter had headed off towards the police station to see if he could find any information to help their case, while Trishia had set off with the assignment to keep Alice safe.
As soon as the tall police woman had walked towards her car, Lucy had noticed the deep frown in her forehead and the distant look in her eyes, which Lucy knew meant that Trishia was deep in thought. She knew that look from the times when Trishia had been working on difficult cases, or had come home after assisting at the site of a serious accident. Or that time when she and almost all the other members of her team had been involved in the search for a lost child, a little boy. After hours of frantic searching, Trishia had found the boy in the pool of one of the neighbors. He had drowned.
The first thing that had come to mind had been that poor little boy and with a chilling feeling of foreboding, Lucy had known the body on the beach was that of a young person. The pained expression on Trishia's face had confirmed that.
When Trishia had stepped back into the car and had silently started the engine, Lucy had given her friend the space she obviously needed, but when she noticed they were not driving home, but in the direction of her sister's place, Lucy had softly asked Trishia if she wanted to talk about it.
The tall woman had just shaken her head and had shot Lucy a sad, apologetic smile.
"Not yet," her voice had sounded hoarse. "But soon."
That was more than fifteen minutes ago and Lucy stared at the phone in her hand with a worried frown. She wanted to gather up the courage to ask Trishia what had happened on the beach, what she had talked about with Peter and Carol Wong and why they where driving back to Murrook Farm. But every time the words that had formed in her head seemed sensible and logical to voice, she hesitated and did not speak. With a sense of clear self knowledge, Lucy admitted to herself that she would not want to hear the answer. And another look at the haunted look in Trishia's eyes filled her with fear. It had not happened a lot to her in life, but this time Lucy McDonnell was scared.
"I know it's after ten already and I know Sam and Jody won't be happy, but I need to talk to them as soon as possible, Luce," Trishia finally spoke, while her fingers were nervously drumming on the steering wheel.
The unexpected sound of Trishia's voice had startled Lucy from her own thought and with a quick glance aside she noticed a pair of green blue eyes staring at her. She swallowed hard and took a deep breath to try and settle her racing heart.
"Why?" she whispered.
"It's... complicated and I want to spare you the details, but... it comes down to the fact that we have every reason to believe that Alice could be in danger."
Lucy's head jerked up and with wide eyes she stared at Trishia.
"In danger? As in... ..?" she didn't finish her sentence, but the expression on Trishia's face told her all she needed to know.
"Somebody wants to... ..kill Alice?"
"We are not sure yet," Trishia sighed. "But we have every reason to believe that is the case, yes."
" Oh, no, not again," Lucy almost cried, vividly remembering a time, not that long ago, when a criminal organization had almost killed Sam and one of their friends, Megan. It had been a bullet, fired from Trishia's gun that had saved their lives. "Trishia, please, tell me... ."
"I can't," Trishia interrupted, sounding gruffer than she meant to. "I wish I could, honest to God, Lucy, I wish I could tell you something different. I know what your family has been through last year and if I had it in my power to change the current situation, I swear I would. But honey," Trishia half turned and took Lucy's hands in her own, looking at her lover with moist eyes. "Without going into any details, there was a picture on that... person... on the beach and it was a picture of Alice. Somebody with very bad intentions is sending us a message and we have to take that bloody seriously."
Trishia could feel Lucy's hands tremble inside her own and she silently cursed the confinement of the car, which made it impossible to take the woman she loved more than anything else in the world, into her arms properly and give her the support she needed.
"I know this will bring back bad memories and I am so sorry about that," she continued, tenderly brushing away a strand of hair from Lucy's forehead. "But I have come to know your family very well and one thing is for sure: Alice could not be in a better place."
Peter Jones impatiently waited near the fax machine, pacing up and down and eyeing the package of technology with a look that would make most people want to crawl away and hide.
It had been ten minutes since he had spoken to a police officer from Sydney, who might have valuable information regarding an unsolved murder that had occurred two years ago. A young teenage girl, with long blond hair had been found stabbed to death, at Watson's Bay, north from Bondi Beach. Pinned to the body they had found a picture of a young, blond girl.
Peter had almost been beside himself when he had heard the news and he had requested a copy of the file and, most importantly, a copy of the picture. A little voice in the back of his mind told him it would be the same picture, but he wanted to see it for himself.
He was grateful for the information, but the fact that they were probably dealing with someone who had killed before, in the same, cold heartless way, was sending chills down his spine.
Finally, after what had seemed like hours, the soft beeping of the fax machine indicated that something was coming through.
With two big steps, Peter stood next to the machine and his eyes were glued to the slowly appearing page. When it was finished printing, he reached out his hand and carefully picked up the sheet of paper between trembling fingers.
Unconsciously holding his breath he flipped the page over, to stare into the pale face of a terrified Alice. It was exactly the same picture he had shown Trishia earlier that evening.
Peter let out a shaky breath and cast a look at the clock on the wall. It was after ten already. He knew Trishia would be on her way to Sam and Jody's and he decided to give her some time to break the news. He could always call her later. He knew Trishia would not sleep much that coming night.
He slowly walked back to his desk, when somebody called out his name.
"Pete? Phone call!! Shall I put it through to your desk?"
"Yeah, sure," Peter called back, looking at his coworker with raised eyebrows. "Who is it?"
"Perth. Something about an unsolved murder on Cottesloe Beach," was the chilling answer.
With a curt nod Peter sank down in his chair and waited for his desk phone to start ringing. When it did, he took a deep breath and tried to push down the bile that was rising in the back of his throat.
Jody stretched her tired, but sated body, enjoying the feel of the soft cotton sheets against her naked skin. With a smile she looked at the sleepy woman who was practically wrapped around her and Jody softly chuckled.
"Whats so funny?" Sam mumbled, without opening her eyes.
"You look adorable. So sleepy and comfy, " Jody answered, kissing Sams chin and snuggling deeper into the loving embrace.
"I am comfy," Sam admitted with her eyes still closed. "I love to feel you so close. And no barriers too," she added, referring to their naked state.
"You are a hedonist, Samantha Stevens," Jody whispered, raking her fingers through Sams blond hair.
"Guilty," Sam mumbled.
She shifted her tall body, so she would be able to look at her lover without having to release her hold. Her eyes opened and immediately found Jodys. Their gazes locked and for a long moment they just stared at each other.
"I love this warm, soft, loving cocoon I am in," Sam admitted. "Its my most favorite place to be."
"I cant argue about that," Jody smiled. "I love it as well. But then, I dont think theres anything about you I dont love."
"Wait until we celebrate our five year anniversary," Sam predicted with twinkling eyes. "You will be complaining about me always walking into the kitchen without leaving my muddy shoes outside. Or you will be fed up about me never hanging my towel on the rack to dry. Or you will be sick and tired of being the one who does most of the cooking."
Jody smiled and raised one eyebrow, aware of the teasing tone of Sams voice.
"You are giving me too much credit!"
"I am?" Sam chuckled.
"Yes, you think it will take me five years to start getting ticked off by all those things? Honey!"
Sam laughed and tried to avoid Jodys hands who were trying to tickle her. She was a lot taller and stronger than her partner, but sometimes it was fun to wrestle Jody and let her win. Especially since Jody had a habit of emphasizing her victory by draping her body firmly over Sams. Something Sam always thoroughly enjoyed. Losing a tickle match was a small price to pay.
Jodys busy hands found a very sensitive spot behind Sams knee and the taller woman jerked up and would have fallen off the bed, if Jody had not wrapped her arms around Sams upper body and held on for dear life.
Sams long arm had managed to knock over the night stand and grinning she rubbed her wrist, which had collided with the small table.
"Its true what they say about redheads," she panted with a grin.
"What is that?" Jody asked.
"That they are little spitfires," Sam answered with a grin.
"As long as you remember that," Jody replied, resting her chin on Sams shoulder.
Sam chuckled and started to bend over to put the night stand back on its four legs and collect the bottle of massage oil and her cell phone that had ended up on the ground.
"Is it still in one piece?" Jody informed.
Sam grabbed her cell phone and inspected it in the light of the lamp.
"Yup, no harm done," she answered. "Its still....hey, I have a message. Did you hear the phone ring?"
Jody wrinkled her nose and playfully bit Sams shoulder.
"Sweetheart, with the things you were doing to me before, I wouldnt have noticed if the house had fallen apart," Jody smiled, her voice soft and loving.
"Same here," Sam admitted with a grin, turning her head to look into a pair of emerald green eyes. "But since I am holding the phone, Id better check it out."
"Why dont you?" Jody answered, untangling her body from Sams. "In the meantime I will go to the bathroom. When I come back I will massage your leg, Sam."
"Aw, honey, you dont have to do that," Sam objected. "I am pretty relaxed at the moment and the cramps have disappeared, so...."
"Ill have a look at it, stubborn Dutchie, whether you like it or not," Jody spoke, heading for the bathroom and very aware of a pair of blue eyes that were taking in her nude form with interest.
Only after Jody had shut the door behind her, Sams eyes slowly traveled back to the phone.
"I hope its no business emergency," she mumbled, while pressing a button and bringing the small device to her ear.
Sams eyebrows rose into her hairline when she heard Lucys voice and involuntarily she looked at the clock, noticing the call had not been made all that long ago.
"Important, call Trish back," Sam mumbled to herself, after listening to the short message.
With a sigh she went to the phone book menu to look up Trishias cell phone number. Just when she was about to dial the number, her phone started buzzing. Startled by the unexpected sound, Sam almost dropped the phone.
"What the....? Hello?"
"Oh, yeah, I just heard your message, Trish. Whats up?"
A deep frown appeared in Sams forehead when she listened to Trishia talk and after the police woman had finished, she was silent for a few seconds.
"Sure, come on up. Jody and I werent ....sleeping yet, so we are still up. Um...do I need to wake anybody else?.....Okay, Trish. We will see you in a little while."
"Trish?" Jodys voice suddenly asked.
Sam looked up, not having noticed Jodys return from the bathroom.
"What is going on, Sam?"
"I dont know, baby," Sam answered, stretching her long legs and slowly getting up from the bed. "I do know Trishia and Lucy are on the way up here."
"Trishia didnt want to tell me over the phone. But she sounded pretty upset."
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To be continued in part 6
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