Whispering Pines - Truth
By Mavis Applewater
For disclaimers see Part 1.
A special thank goes out to my beta reader Mountain Girl.
As always this is for Heather.
Ipswich, Massachusetts 1907
It was the dark of night and Marla was confused by her father's shouting that the girls come down and greet a guest. It wasn't an unusual occurrence for the young O'Shea women to be awakened in the middle of the night. What was truly odd about this evening was they weren't being called down to begin their chores. Tonight they were being beckoned to greet a guest. The simple family rarely greeted guests, much less in the middle of the night wearing nothing but their bed clothing.
The man was stout with a thick, gray beard wearing a warm winter coat the cost of which could have fed the needy family for the entire winter. There was coldness to the old man's eyes as he studied her and her sisters. Trouble was brewing; she could feel it in her bones. "That one," the hideous stranger barked pointing to her younger sister Anna.
They were hurried back up to the room all the girls shared. Marla was stunned when her frail mother began packing Anna's belongings. "What is this?" Marla demanded.
"Hush your sister is to be married," Mrs. O'Shea scolded her daughter.
"Mother, Anna is only sixteen." She gasped horrified by the announcement. "Pray tell me that old man isn't her suitor?"
"Enough," Mrs. O'Shea's voice trembled. "There is no food in the cupboard he will take care of her."
"She's a child," Marla protested shielding her younger sister.
"You are all children," Mrs. O'Shea sniffed. "There is no other way."
Marla and her sisters watched in horror as Anna was packed off and sent away that very evening. They never saw or heard from their sister again. It was not the last time one of the O'Shea girls was sold off. Time passed, the farm perished, and the family moved on. She and her sisters married and led simple lives. They never escaped the poverty driving all of her family to early graves. Only she survived clinging to the hope that Anna had found happiness. None of them had been blessed with children. Marla often wondered if by selling Anna her father had cursed his family. They had one winter of comfort brought upon by Anna's sizable dowry. That winter no happiness echoed in the house only a cloud of darkness that had loomed over them since the night Anna left.
Decades later she was a widow living simply; her husband Blake leaving her a small amount of money that would keep her warm and fed until it was her time to leave this world. She had heard the stories of a rich, old sea captain in the neighboring town of Stewart. He was a cold man living alone since his wife mysteriously disappeared.
She traveled the short distance curious and hopeful that she would find her sister. Her inquires were met with troubled looks and hushed whispers that finally led her to meet a young man, Richard Stratton. She knew the moment she looked into the troubled young man's eyes that he was Anna's son.
The tale he spun broke her heart. Anna was dead without even a grave she could place flowers on. "She was my sister," she wearily told him explaining how Anna had been stolen from the family. She hugged her nephew quickly before walking away returning to her humble home passing that night cursing Horatio Stratton with her dying breath.
New York City, 2003
"I feel sick," Carey blanched barely noticing Rishi, her friend and colleague, resting on the edge of her desk.
"Most people say hello," the dark man teased her.
"It is just this case," Carey blew out. "The ghost hunt from Massachusetts. Anna Stratton was sixteen when she married Horatio Stratton, who at the time was fifty-nine. She would have been twenty-four when she died."
"Speaking of ghost stories," Rishi continued. "You've kept me busy in the lab," he added handing her a folder. "Case closed, the DNA is a match. Brian has already arrested and gotten a confession from your suspect. Good job."
"I heard," Carey smiled happy that at least one spirit could finally rest easily. "It wasn't me; believe it or not the case was solved by a physic."
"Dr. Williams," he beamed brightly. "I heard. I read her book about Whispering Pines. I'm interested in the case."
"You CSI geeks," she laughed. "What, don't we have enough fresh bodies to keep you busy?"
"Have you ever heard about the East India Companies?" Rishi questioned in a sad tone. "Silk, spices, all part of the trade routes that forced my ancestors into servitude. Horatio Stratton is a name I've heard before from my grandmother. She called him the devil. If the rumors are true, he was her father."
"The more I learn about the great Horatio Stratton the more I wish he hadn't died peacefully in his sleep," Carey hissed feeling the pangs of her own lineage gnawing at her. "Did he acknowledge your grandmother? Or do anything for your family?"
"No," Rishi snipped. "He denied he fathered any of the children. That didn't stop him from calling upon my great grandmother every time his ship docked. One day he just sailed off and never came back. My great grandmother was shamed leaving my grandmother and her brothers and sisters to work as slaves until they left the country. So you see my interest runs much deeper than just seeing an old crime scene. I'm actually related to the bastard and I would love to shame his name as he has mine."
"I'll talk to the producer, having a CSI tech on board might be something that interests her," Carey offered with a grim look.
"Thanks," he smiled curious as to what was troubling his friend.
"Would you remind repeating that?" Faith stammered bewildered and nervous by the unexpected invitation.
"I said come to bed," Shawn smiled amused by Faith's antics.
"I don't know," Faith hedged alerting Shawn that the brunette was leery.
"I'm not yanking your chain, I promise," Shawn vowed patting the bed. "No more come here, go away or distrusting you because of one mistake. I'm sorry for putting you through all of that just because I was scared. Last week spending time together just the two of us reminded me why I fell for you in the first place. I mean solving murders and long lost siblings aside it was good to get to know one another again."
"It was," Faith agreed climbing into bed. "You weren't the only one who didn't want to rush things by jumping back into bed together. Neither of us wanted that. I mean I wanted it, I really wanted it, but it might have confused things. I really liked spending last week with you. The only thing I need to know is how you feel about me?"
"I'm still in love with you," Shawn vowed. "And I know that this past year might have been a lot different if I had told you that I loved you instead of waiting to hear you say it."
"News flash I love you," Faith smiled clasping Shawn's wrist tracing the bracelet slowly. "I tried to tell you with this because I'm not so good with words. I want to start over," she asserted wrapping her arms around Shawn's waist drawing the blonde closer. "I want to do it right this time. No ghosts pushing us into bed, which is ironic since first thing in the morning we are off on a ghost hunt. No drunken fumbling, no other women barging in, just us dating and acting like a normal couple or as normal as either of us can be. I foresee this as long term, if you don't tell me now."
"This is it," Shawn promised. "Before we were together and after we split up I couldn't get you out of my thoughts and, considering how wild my thoughts are, that is amazing. I love you Faith, and I promise to put you and us first."
"Good now shut up and kiss me woman," Faith demand with a wry chuckle.
"I love it when you take charge," Shawn smirked wrapping her fingers in Faith's long, dark hair drawing her closer and capturing her in a searing kiss. Shawn's senses reeled as she explored the warmth of Faith's mouth and the brunette's body covered her own. She moaned into the warmth of the brunette's mouth while her hands curiously wandered along the supple curves of Faith's body.
Shawn felt alive. She had made her living out of exploring the past and now, for the first time in her life, she was eager to let the past go. The both of them had made mistakes, now all she looked forward to was the future, which was beginning by making love to the only woman who had ever held her heart.
She gasped, Faith's long, dark tresses tickling her face as the brunette's kisses drifted down her neck. "You are wearing far too many clothes," Faith whispered against her skin tugging on the hem of Shawn's nightshirt. Shawn smiled happily leaning back allowing her lover to take control and slowly undress her.
She quivered now lying completely naked beneath her lover. Faith's brilliant, blue eyes were glazed over with desire as she drank in Shawn's body. Shawn licked her lips her excitement growing from Faith's intense gaze. The brunette straddled her body still not touching her, but simply raking her eyes up and down Shawn's body. Yet, Shawn could feel Faith's desire caressing her. 'My God she hasn't even touched me yet,' Shawn silently shuddered reaching up unable to resist touching Faith's lean body.
She brushed the swell of Faith's breasts with the back of her fingers pleased when her lover released a soft moan. "Why do I feel like this is the first time?" Faith questioned in wonderment dragging her blunt nails down along Shawn's body. Shawn was unable to answer her body contently giving into Faith's touch.
Faith purred softly as she kissed her way down Shawn's body. The soft purring was like a jungle animal stalking its prey. The sound was one that Shawn was more than familiar with and one she had not heard in a very long time. Shawn released a tense breath knowing by the sensual sound that Faith was planning on taking things very slowly. Shawn gasped from the feel of Faith's tongue slowly tracing the curve of her breasts. She ran her fingers through Faith's long, dark tresses encouraging her lover to explore every inch of her body.
She wrapped one leg around Faith's long, lean body tickling her lover with her foot, her body reeling from Faith's tender caresses. All sights, sounds and outside intrusions vanished, and all Shawn could feel and sense was her lover's tongue flickering against her nipple coaxing the bud to harden.
A small part of her wanted to take control and flip Faith over and ravish her. The rest of her was basking in the feel of Faith's hands gliding along her body while she suckled her nipple. Shawn's body swayed matching Faith's slow rhythm their bodies moving in unison as their passion mingled. Shawn caressed her lover's shoulders giving into the pure pleasure of Faith worshiping her breasts.
The bed creaked beneath them, as their bodies became one Shawn fought against the tide, her wetness overflowing as her desire threatened to consume her. 'I'll never let her go again,' she silently vowed feeling her skin quivering from the moist kisses Faith bestowed upon her breasts. Her nipples ached while her lower anatomy pulsated in a demanding rhythm. Her hazel eyes darkened with desire as she ground her clit against Faith's throbbing nub. She was certain that their hearts were beating in unison as she clung tighter to her lover.
Shawn whimpered with disappointment when her lover's mouth abandoned her breasts drifting lower. She released a tiny yelp from the feel of Faith's lips and teeth teasing her flesh. "Soon," Faith quietly vowed while teasing Shawn's taut stomach.
"Faith," Shawn pleaded unable to stop her body from arching, grinding her wetness against her lover's body. Faith seemed determined to explore every inch of Shawn's body before granting the pleading blonde's wishes.
Shawn could smell her own arousal filling the room, her body thrusting harder as she begged her lover for release. Faith's sultry purr echoed in the darkness, her tongue dipping playfully into the blonde's navel before tracing her hips. Shawn cried out as she felt Faith's warm breath teasing the glistening curls nestled between her thighs. Her cries grew louder as Faith nestled her body between her thighs and cupped her backside.
Faith's tongue teased the inside of Shawn's thighs as she drew her closer. Shawn fought to keep her eyes open as her lover's hands caressed her bottom and her warm breath teased her sex. Shawn almost passed out when she felt Faith parting her and dipping her tongue inside of her wetness.
Faith's tongue glided slowly along Shawn's slick folds while her hands caressed the blonde's body. Shawn's breathing became ragged as she fought against the tidal wave that was threatening to send her over the edge. A guttural moan escaped when she felt Faith's lips capturing her throbbing clit.
Shawn rocked her hips pressing her wetness harder against her lover's face while the brunette slowly teased the engorged nub. 'Not yet,' she silently pleaded fighting against the storm brewing inside of her. She bit down on her bottom lip as she felt Faith's long, slender fingers slipping inside of her.
Shawn's screams echoed loudly her body riding against Faith's fingers and mouth. "Faith!" She cried out her body thrusting wildly as the brunette pleasured her. The blonde's ears were ringing, her body convulsing, and each time she felt her body reaching the crest her lover's touch ebbed.
The sweet torture lasted for what seemed like hours and Shawn's throat was raw from begging her lover. Finally Faith gave into her frantic pleas her hand and mouth devouring Shawn until the blonde's body exploded. Her lungs seized, her body flushed with pleasure as Faith took her higher forcing Shawn's body to thrash wildly climaxing again and again.
Shawn ignored the soreness of her muscles as her focus returned and she captured her lover in her arms. She straddled Faith's long, lean body and unable to calm her desires she plunged her fingers deep inside the brunette's warm, wet center. She could feel Faith's body tightening against her touch as she kissed her deeply while plunging in and out of her lover. Her body trembled as she felt Faith climaxing and she smiled down upon her lover's trembling form slowing her touch.
Their eyes were locked in a smoldering gaze as Shawn slowly made love to Faith tenderly guiding both of them over the edge. Cradled in one another's arms each knew that sleep would not be coming that night as they kissed and touched each other determined to drive their lover insane.
New York, 2003
"Oh for the love of heaven," Carey sneered still searching for her other shoe while her ex-husband sighed dramatically. "I get it Brian. No talking to the television people about the case until everyone is certain that Maynard is locked up for good. What am I, a rookie? Just help me find my other shoe before we miss the ballet."
"I don't think you get it Jay," Brian grumbled climbing on his hands and knees searching for the errant shoe. "The brass is less than pleased about the call from that television producer. Frankly they don't want it advertised that a psychic solved this case."
"I get it," she repeated bitterly. "At last!" She beamed emerging from her closet with the missing shoe. "I bet you thought you were going to get out of going." She taunted him as he groaned while climbing to his feet. She studied him for a moment sensing that there was something else bothering him. She loved Brian dearly. When she first met him it was magical, at least the young policewoman thought so at the time. He had come to Boston working on a case and the duo hit it off immediately. After he returned to New York they kept in touch. It didn't take Brian very long to convince her to relocate. She truly cared for Brian and, to this day, the two of them remain close friends. But it didn't take a genius to figure out that Carey's initial attraction to the older cop had more to do with needing a father figure in her life than a husband. When Carey finally realized her mistake the two parted as friends. "What is it?"
"Why didn't you tell me that Dr. Williams is Faith Charles' girlfriend?" He quietly inquired.
"What does my sister have to do with any of this?" Carey barked. "You of all people know that Faith and I aren't close."
"Faith Charles doesn't have a lot of friends on the force," Brian tentatively began. "Three good cops will never rise in ranks because of that story she did five years ago. One of those cops is your C.O. It could hurt you if people found out that you are related to her."
"Good cops?" Carey sputtered. "I seem to recall that when she broke that story you said that they got what they deserved for crossing the line. As for Faith have you ever heard me say anything nice about her?"
"Not until just now when you referred to her as your sister." Brian confessed. "Is she involved in the Marshal case?"
"No," Carey asserted dragging him out of her bedroom. "She just happens to be dating Shawn and she is working on the Whispering Pines case. I did talk to her last week."
"And?" Brian asked with concern as they made their way downstairs.
Carey was silent as they hailed a taxi her emotions still confused by the chat she had shared with Faith. "Well?" Brian pressed when they climbed into the taxi.
"She isn't the ogre I had assumed she was," Carey confessed. "Actually she is nice, well a little edgy like me. You know?"
"Sadly I do," he laughed. "As your friend and someone who cares about you, I think it is great that you and your sister are finally speaking. As a fellow cop I feel I should warn you, she is a reporter."
"Hey these days all she does is chase after ghosts and, apparently, Dr. Williams," Carey corrected him. "Strange, all these years seeing her on television, hating her and I didn't even know she was gay. We're here," she beamed as the cab pulled up in front of the theatre. "Growing up, I thought my parents were divorced. But my Dad was always there for the special events until I found out the truth and told him to go to Hell. I was convinced that he and Faith were evil and now I don't know what to think. But then again she could be evil, and she did say I could shoot her."
"Well there you go," Brian laughed as he picked up the tickets at the box office. "Let me know if you need help hiding the body?"
"I will," Carey joked linking her arm in his. "Oh brother my life just gets more and more complicated and all because I said sure I'll work with those pesky television people. How hard can it be?"
Faith felt content as she sat in Althea's hotel room sipping a cup of coffee. She watched as the producer paced about the room yammering into her cell phone. All was right with the world even if her body ached and she hadn't slept since the short nap she had the day before. She grinned wickedly recalling the passion from the night before which lasted until she and Shawn were forced to climb out of bed. They made love in the shower or tried to when the specter that lurked about their room decided to shut the water off and start wailing.
They were greeted by curious looks when they arrived late to the early morning staff meeting. Now Shawn and Connor were off shooting various spots around town and Faith was waiting for Althea to get off the phone so they could have their meeting and prepare for the main shoot that was scheduled for that evening.
"Save me some coffee," Althea barked indignantly as Faith helped herself to another cup.
"Hang up the phone and I will," Faith smirked feeling positively giddy.
Althea scowled before snapping her cell phone shut. "Wait until the company gets the bill on all of these calls," she growled before pouring a cup of coffee and shuffling through her notes. "Okay the crew is off shooting various points of interests," she began in a cold, professional manner while Faith simply grinned back at her. "You will do the narration in post production. Tonight is the big one The City of the Dead. The only way to get inside the Black Mausoleum is by the tour. The tours run at night, 8:30, 9:15 and 10pm every night. It lasts about an hour and a half. It starts at the St. Giles Cathedral near the Mercat Cross on the Royal Mile. It winds through Old Town and into Greyfriar's Graveyard then we enter the permanently locked Covenanters Prison, which contains the Black Mausoleum. I didn't want to deal with tourists so we are booked for a private tour at midnight. Here is a list of questions and comments I want you to use," she supplied handing Faith a slip of paper.
"Yes, no, very good and not a chance," Faith noted marking the sheet with her own notes.
"Tell me what you know about the prison, and then tell me why you look so freaking happy?" Althea growled.
"I have no idea what you are referring to," Faith feigned innocence while making more notes. "What would you rather have Lanie back?"
"Lanie?" Althea scoffed. "Well, she was easy to deal with. I just had her show up at hair and make up, then told her what to say and where to stand, and then told her how pretty she was and she did whatever I said. You, on the other hand, challenge everything, adding your own material, which frankly makes the shoot better. So no I'd rather work with you and your reporter's instincts. Now tell me why you are glowing you slut?"
"Slut?" Faith barked with laughter. "Why I should sue! Come on do I really have to tell you?" She added with a knowing smile.
"It is about time," Althea sighed happily.
"I know," Faith nodded in agreement. "But sadly relationships don't come with an owner's manual. Enough about my love life. Let's get down to business. My mother is a history teacher and gave me a quick run down on the history. In 1679 the Covenanters engaged in a battle with Charles II., the battle of Bothwell Bridge on the river Clyde. They got the snot beat out of them and those that survived were taken prisoner and returned to Edinburgh. There really wasn't any place for the thousands of Covenanters so they were placed in an enclosure at the north end of Greyfriars. They were crammed into this enclosure to await their fate. There was no real shelter and little food during that winter. Many of them died while waiting and many were executed. Those that did survive were shipped off to the West Indies as slaves. They didn't make it because the ship wrecked on route. The present site of the prison isn't the real site. What we are seeing tonight was erected around 1703. In recent years a lot of spooky things have happened much of which have been blamed on the MacKenzie poltergeist. Have I missed anything?"
"No, that about sums it up," Althea conceded. "Should be an interesting shoot tonight."
"And cold," Faith grumbled as she glanced out the window spying the gloomy weather lurking outside. "Any chance wardrobe is going to be kind to me or do I have to dress like Barbie again?"
"You'll have a warm coat," Althea sighed. "The grave yard and walk to the prison isn't suitable for the usual on camera look. The tour guide you will be working with will be Mary Summers. She knows the place up and down. One more thing, about that amendment you insisted on for the Whispering Pines shoot,"
"No," Faith barked cutting the stunned woman off. "I will not, repeat will not, go into that kitchen ever again."
"Faith," Althea carefully began in an effort to placate the irate brunette. "Carey is bringing a CSI guy along and it would be good to have you on camera asking questions when they go through the kitchen."
"No fucking way," Faith drew out slowly so there would be no room for an argument. "The only thing I will do on camera regarding the kitchen is explain that I will never go in there again. If it makes you happy I will go into great detail as to why I won't go. I'm serious, the bitch slapping ain't going to happen again; I don't care how good it looks on camera, got it?"
"Got it," Althea gulped in response. "I'll have them go in this week before we arrive with the second unit. I guess I don't have a shot in convincing Shawn to go back in there?"
"You guessed correctly," Faith snarled. "You saw what happened. You were there when that thing tried choking Shawn. Why on earth would you even consider sending us back in there? Never mind I know. It would be good footage. Forget it. Send some other homo in to start the freak show. This little dyke will be more than happy to hide up in Anna's bedroom thank you very much."
"This weather sucks," Faith scowled later that evening as the group plodded down the road towards the graveyard.
"What?" Connor laughed seemingly content in his surroundings.
"Try being out in it all day long," Shawn shivered quirking her head slightly.
"I hear that you and Connor have been going at it all day," Faith commented as Althea waved for them to hurry up.
"He's worse than you were," Shawn snickered. "Oh man," she trembled stumbling slightly. "I think we need a camera set up."
"What is it?" Faith questioned fearfully waving for the crew.
"Death," Shawn wearily explained, the crew hurrying to catch whatever was happening on film. "That mound is filled with bodies isn't it?" She addressed the tour guide while pointing to the large mound.
"Yes," Mary calmly responded. "It is a mass grave."
"The cries of the innocent," Shawn explained before Mary related the history.
"Anyone could have looked that up," Connor shrugged for the benefit of the camera. "It was a dark page in history."
"Did you see that?" Ronnie, one of the cameramen, exclaimed.
"What did you see?" Faith questioned looking around seeing nothing but the landscape.
"A flash of light," Ronnie stammered pointing his camera to the spot in question.
"I don't see anything," Connor shrugged. "Could have been a reflection, or someone wandering about."
The group proceeded after Althea chastised Ronnie for not catching the light on film. Mary explained the history as they entered the graveyard and headed toward the prison. At this point, Faith and Mary were a good distance ahead of Shawn and Connor each with their on crew members recording them.
"Okay before we open the gates I need Charles on camera, keep Dr. Williams and the others behind," Althea instructed.
"Yeah you just love that element of surprise," Faith snickered. "Where do you want me?"
"In front of the gate, and move it along it is getting late," Althea chided the reporter. "Speaking of surprises are you sticking to the script?"
"We'll see," Faith taunted the producer as she stood on her mark.
"On three," Althea demanded amused by Faith's cocky smirk. Faith recited the history of the graveyard and the prison as she had done earlier that day for Althea's benefit. Then she went into some of the strange occurrences that included people feeling scratching, being pushed and suffering physical injuries. "Many say it starts with a tingling feeling in their feet. Is this just the work of over active imaginations or is there really something lingering in this desolate prison? We are about to find out."
"Cut," Althea called out motioning for Connor and Shawn. "You stuck to the script, mostly. Hot sex must agree with you."
"Shut up," Faith hissed spying Shawn's approach.
"Doesn't it with everyone?" The blonde quipped nudging Faith in a playful manner. "Blabber mouth."
"She guessed," Faith stammered with a slight blush.
"Wasn't that hard," Althea teased. "Ronnie and Justine you go in first, film the prison, then I need you to shoot Shawn and Connor entering. Faith and Mary will be last, keep the cameras on Shawn and Connor and on anything Dr. Williams points out. Got it? Good, now let's go, I'd like to finish before the sun comes up."
Faith was filled with apprehension when she entered the tiny space that had once held thousands of people captive. She wasn't certain if it was the coldness of the night, the eerie surroundings, or the way Shawn seemed ill at ease that was the source of her troubles. Faith was miffed by the way Connor was strutting about dismissing everything Shawn pointed out.
Suddenly Connor jerked and looked behind him. She almost laughed at how he played it off. 'Then again that is what I used to do,' she mentally sighed keeping a watchful eye on Shawn. She knew the blonde's body language there was something happening.
"Cold, hungry," Shawn explained shifting her feet in a nervous fashion.
Faith jerked around feeling something yanking on her hair. She quickly returned her focus to Shawn recalling that many of the physical encounters began with a tingling feeling in the feet.
"Nice try," Shawn taunted whatever was toying with her. "Over there," she instructed Ronnie calmly. All eyes turned to the corner, jaws hung open when a shadow passed in a space that held no light.
"Reflection," Connor choked out trying to make sense of what he had just witnessed.
"Evil," Shawn blew out, the area growing chillier with each passing moment.
"Evil?" Connor groaned with a sneer.
"Fine, why don't you stroll on over and check it out?" Shawn challenged him with a confident smile.
Connor pursed his lips knowing he couldn't back down. He strutted to the area in question smiling when nothing happened. Suddenly he fell forward, his eyes were filled with fear as he climbed to his feet. "I must have tripped over something," he lied, quickly scurrying from the spot.
Faith would have burst out in laughter if she hadn't been so focused on Shawn. The blonde's breathing was growing ragged. "Dr. Williams?" She questioned, the cameras turning to the shivering blonde.
"Execute me," Shawn whispered. "Spare me from the slow torturous death," she recited. "It isn't just one voice pleading it is many. There is something else lurking here," she tried to explain as one of the camera lights blinked off.
"Justine, keep filming," Althea nervously instructed. "Forget it Ronnie, we'll get what we can and call it a night," she calmly instructed the young cameraman who was about to run off to get a new battery.
Faith blew out a sigh of relief knowing that changing the batteries would be futile. The only thing she cared about was finishing and getting Shawn away from the bad energy that was obviously wearing on the blonde. Faith watched for another agonizing hour as shadows lurked about and noises erupted from what should be a quiet space.
"Cut," Althea wearily called out just as the second camera died. "Okay people, it is after four time to call it a night. The talent has the day off; I need to go over the editing. We can do the post shots on Wednesday I'll call with the times. Pack it up. Mary, thank you."
"I need a drink," Connor grunted as he brushed past the weary group.
"Ditto," Shawn groaned in agreement.
"The bar it is," Faith sighed with relief wrapping her arms around her tired lover.
"Two fingers of Glen," Connor barked at the bartender.
"Have pity on us," Shawn pleaded knowing that the older man was ready to call it a night. "A round of scotch and pints, please," she begged slapping a wad of money down on the bar.
"We can sleep in," Faith reassured her as the group grabbed up the drinks and vied for a spot by the fireplace.
"Shawnie you're not looking quite right," Connor noted before downing his scotch and waving for another round.
"Back to back shoots," Shawn wearily explained. "How is your knee?"
"Fine, nothing happened," Connor lied. "So, just over worked or is it a lack of sleep that has you wrung out?"
"Bite me," Shawn grumbled.
"I believe that post has been taken," he teased as Faith glared at him. "Got your magnets aligned did you Charlie?"
"Do I want to know what he is referring to?" She questioned her lover who was still glaring at Connor.
"Nope," Faith retorted dryly. "So Connor gotten clumsy all of a sudden or did something happen back there?"
"I tripped," he muttered.
"Yeah or were pushed," Faith snickered.
"Bloody hell," Connor snorted indignantly. "I will never go on camera admitting that, but yes, something pushed me. What happened to you Charlie you seemed a might skittish?"
"Something pulled my hair," Faith shrugged. "I'm glad Althea pulled the plug. I wasn't looking forward to going back tomorrow. Maybe we can get some rest before going home."
"I hope so," Shawn yawned finishing off her drinks. "I think I need to be up to par for the Pines shoot. I'm not looking forward to it."
"Neither am I," Faith agreed brushing aside Connor's offer for another round. "Althea is already trying to get me to go into the kitchen."
"Fat chance," Shawn laughed releasing another yawn.
"Bed?" Faith tenderly inquired as she rubbed the nape of Shawn's neck.
"Bed," Shawn nodded in agreement as she took Faith by the hand and helped the brunette to her feet. "Night Connor."
"Have fun," he called out as the couple exited the bar.
"I'm exhausted," Faith yawned as she opened the door to their room. "I can only imagine how you feel."
"I'm wiped," Shawn confessed looking about the room for their unwanted roommate. "Good we are alone. Forgive me if I fall asleep on you."
"No worries," Faith sighed shrugging out of her coat. "I may just steal this from wardrobe. The sun is almost up and I am planning on sleeping the day away."
"I like the way you think," Shawn murmured in agreement nestling her face against Faith's chest.
"Just wait to see what I have planned for when our batteries are charged," Faith promised in a husky tone.
"Hmm," Shawn murmured happily. "I can't wait."
"Is it just me or is Connor being a bit of an asshole this trip?" Faith questioned as they climbed into bed.
"No, he's being a jerk," Shawn confirmed sighing happily as she nestled her body against Faith's warm, inviting flesh. "He misses having you as a playmate. I think he blames me."
"Why would he blame you?" Faith questioned as her hands busied themselves by rubbing Shawn's back in a soothing manner.
"Because he has always had a bit of a crush on you," Shawn explained.
"Get out," Faith argued. "He knows that I only play with parts that match not fit."
"True, but before this trip he could at least cling to the hope that he still had a shot," Shawn explained. "And in the meantime, the two of you could at least kick up your heels and chase girls together."
"Idiot," Faith murmured.
"Can't say that I blame him," Shawn sighed kissing Faith's shoulder. "You can't help it if you are drop dead gorgeous."
"Are you getting fresh with me?" Faith gasped as Shawn's kisses began to drift lower.
"Perhaps," the blonde whispered her body warming from the feel of Faith's hands wrapping around her body.
"Sleep," Faith wearily suggested. "I really don't want to start something neither of us is going to be able to finish," she cautioned her lover before kissing her tenderly.
"Sleep," Shawn agreed after they exchanged a few more kisses.
To be concluded in Chapter 16
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