Uber Star Trek Voyager, JAG and X-files. No infringement
intended since this is an original story. Among other
things it is about same gender love between consenting adult women and if that is illegal where you are or offensive to
you in any way - please hit your back button!
Rating: Chapters vary between G - NC-17
Revised May 2, 2001
I know I repeat myself - but my beta reader Pol is a true pearl!
Finding Shelter From The Storm
voice failed her.
tried to call out, to scream a warning to the woman standing only ten
yards away from her, but she couldn’t.
throat worked hard, convulsing under the pressure of the air gushing from
her lungs but her vocal cords would not produce a sound.
tried frantically to find someway to get her message across to the slowly
she saw them, dark shadows, men, moving in and out of the sudden mist. The
sight chilled her soul. Sensing the danger she knew she had to act.
began to run towards the woman.
the woman turned towards her. Their eyes met.
her voice broke the silence.
she watched in horror as a bullet formed a large hole in Laura’s
…the blood … Laura’s blood, was everywhere.
rose out of her bed sobbing Laura’s name over and over. Panting for air,
she felt the tears flowing down her cheeks.
terrifying vision had left her shaken. Even the knowledge that it was only
a dream did nothing to lessen the horrible loss she felt as she helplessly
watched Laura die.
the blankets around her to fight the cold that she felt within, Sunny
curled around the pillow she held close to her chest.
Closing her eyes she tried to gain control but it was of little use.
sensing his owner’s distress, came and put his chin on her thigh.
is she?” Sunny asked him, trying to stifle the sobs that painfully
forced their way through her throat. “Oh, where is she?”
managed to sleep very little the rest of the night. Her dreams were short,
erratic and confusing; not unlike the ones she had after her father’s
giving up the thought of sleep, Sunny got up and entered the bathroom.
took a quick shower and then pulled her hair back into the usual austere
ponytail. She regarded herself in the mirror, noticing absentmindedly how
pale she was and how colourless her blue eyes had become.
touched her own cheek and then quickly withdrew her hand.
touch was a painful reminder of how Laura had cupped her cheek several
times. Sometimes to get a point across properly and sometimes just to
touch her, to caress the younger woman while regarding her with even
bit her lip and made herself focus.
needed his morning walk.
finished getting dressed and then went to the agents’ room and knocked
on their door.
have to walk Hubert,” Sunny said, not meaning to sound so harsh. She was
simply trying not to break down at the sight of the tousled woman in front
of her. The doctor’s colours were very close to Laura’s and the blonde
ached inside as she looked at her.
regarded her closely.
can wait a couple of minutes,” she said seriously. “Come in.”
held the door open and Sunny reluctantly walked in.
came out of the bathroom wearing a bathrobe and Sunny felt a pang in her
stomach when she noticed the look the brunette gave Dawn.
cleared her throat.
she said, urging them to talk, she wanted to leave the room as quickly as
going down for breakfast. You can join us when you’ve walked your
dog,” Dawn said firmly. “I‘ll call Valerie Jones and find out what
walked closer to Sunny and gently touched the taller woman’s arm.
know you‘re worried, but I feel responsible. You’re a civilian and you
could end up getting hurt if we’re not careful. Sunny, you must do as I
say, when I say it. Can you promise me that?”
you sure? Both Joan and I know how you feel about Laura. I don’t want
you out there as a loose canon. I have to know that I can trust you. When
we find Laura, and we will, I don’t want to be the one that has to tell
her that we allowed you to get hurt. Do I make myself clear?”
shoulders slumped a little at those last words. She could very well end up
being hurt if she allowed her fiercely protective feelings towards Laura
to rule her head.
she whispered, this time looking directly at Dawn.
took both of Sunny’s hands in hers.
We need your co-operation if we’re going to pull this off.
I would have preferred not to involve you, given the choice, but
since things are the way they are …”
nodded solemnly and freed her hands slowly.
won’t disregard your orders,” she said quietly. “See you at
pivoted and almost fled the room, Hubert hot on her trail. Out in the
corridor she had to lean against the wall, breathing hard to stay in
control of her feelings. She couldn’t fall apart here, not yet. Not when
they needed her to reach Laura, should they find her.
patted Hubert and signalled to him to follow her to the elevator.
things never changed.
were something strangely comforting and normal in walking your dog.
looked at the door for a couple of seconds after it closed behind the
a loose canon whether you like it or not,” Joan stated and wrapped her
arms around the doctor from behind.
nodded grimly and then turned around in her partner’s arms.
know,” she admitted, “but I think I reached her, at least to some
degree. She is aware now that we need her; that she needs to focus to help
Laura. This should at least make her think twice before doing something
hope so. I don’t like that desolate look in her eyes.”
do I,” Dawn agreed.
smiled down at her partner.
are you feeling?”
I feel great,” the doctor said, blushing faintly. “And you?”
good, in fact,” the brunette smiled and kissed Dawn quickly.
leaned into the kiss briefly and then pulled away.
dressed,” she said and reached for a hairbrush. “I’ll go downstairs
and call Jones. See you at breakfast.”
nodded and began to shrug out of the bathrobe.
felt her cheeks warm again and quickly turned her back to the other woman.
This didn’t help much since the mirror on the wall reflected the tanned,
slender body perfectly.
groaned inwardly and bit her lip. She had loved making love to Joan last
night and just thinking about it aroused her and at the worst possible
you,” she said and hastily left the room.
soft, knowing laughter followed her out into the corridor.
went to the elevator but then opted for the stairs instead. Taking the
steps two at a time, she reached the lobby and quickly checked to see if
anyone was in the area. Spotting
the clerk behind the desk see asked if she could make a call.
clerked showed her into the office behind him.
walked over to the phone. The clerk handed her a key and then left her,
closing the door behind him.
operator put her through and then she heard Valerie Jones’ voice.
the cool, slightly husky voice said. “Good. We need to meet again. I
don’t want to address this matter over the phone any more than I have
right,” Dawn agreed. “Tell me where.”
as last time, in one hour,” Jones said briefly. “Bring the other
you there,” Dawn said and they hung up.
didn’t like the sound of this.
former commanding officer was a no nonsense woman who never used
superfluous words or said anything she didn’t mean. Dawn had worked with
her on several cases and knew by the tone of her voice that the news was
thought turned her stomach and breakfast lost its’ appeal as her
intuition asserted itself warning her that something was about to go down.
gritted her teeth and walked towards the breakfast room assured in her
mind that her food would hold little taste today a hand on her shoulder
made her jump and twirl.
held up her hands in mock surrender but regarded her seriously.
Are you okay?”
but this isn’t looking much better than it did yesterday. Jones’
sounded … well, very much like she did when there was a major screw up
or when someone was going to get a piece of her mind.”
she tell you anything?”
she didn’t want to, not even over the secure line, which bothers me a
see.” She looked past Dawn. “Here’s Sunny and Hubert.”
had to smile.
What a funny name on a dog,” she whispered before turning around to nod
at the blonde.
leaned down and said something to her dog. He obediently walked over to
the entrance to the breakfast room and sat down.
told him to do that?” Joan asked incredulously.
he understand everything you say?”
and everything you say too,” the blonde stated calmly. “Shall we go
could see that Sunny had been crying but that she had pulled herself
together. Her blue eyes now showed a steely expression, which worried the
agent more than any tears.
we need to hurry,” Dawn said amicably. “Valerie Jones is expecting us.”
went into the breakfast room and Dawn couldn’t keep from patting Hubert
on his large head when she passed him. He was really a most remarkable
Jones came out of her private bathroom after freshening up.
on the couch really was for the young, she thought wryly as she smoothed
her slack suit over her hips.
thought about her brief conversation with Dawn Morrison.
younger woman was a brilliant agent. She had shown great promise from the
beginning. Valerie Jones had admired the doctor’s knack for seeing the
could puzzle together small pieces of information, apply intuition
together with her experiences and expertise, and get the job done.
made her one of the best in her field.
sighed and brushed her short, stylish hair.
The information she had gathered last night and now this morning disturbed her. She needed to compare it with what Morrison and Tremayne knew.
had been good at covering up his tracks but something had happened that
made him a little less careful just recently. He was up to something and
from what Morrison had told her yesterday, it could have everything to do
with Grace Farlow.
Jones grabbed her briefcase and then began to look for her keys. This was one of her few weaknesses and a well kept secret. Keys. She kept losing them.
Spotting them behind a lamp on a small sideboard she cursed under her breath and picked them up.
left her office, nodding to those of her staff that were already there.
were not very surprised to see her at that hour. She often pulled all
nighters, not as many as when she was new at this position, but it was
still a common sight.
took the elevator down to the garage under the building, lost in thought
as she began to walk towards her car.
headlights suddenly blinded her.
Raising her free hand she shaded her eyes and squinted at the car.
wasn’t overly concerned, merely annoyed. There were extensive
surveillance cameras throughout the building, the underground garage
included. She chastised herself for being so paranoid and continued to
walk towards her car.
sound of the engine gunning however made her jump.
she leaped back as the driver slammed the car into gear. The tormented
engine roared as it raced towards her.
tall woman threw herself to the right as she felt the cold metal nudge her.
for air she ended up on the hood of a car, her briefcase flying in the
air, landing close by as it hit a wall.
car, a dark sedan, disappeared from her sight, no longer on screaming
tires but at a considerable speed.
flung herself from the hood. Quickly,
reaching for her briefcase, she snapped it open and grabbed her cell phone.
Dialling a number she hurried towards her car.
reached Security and told them to secure the building immediately.
She then gave a brief description of the car that had attempted to
run her down moments ago. The officer in charge assured her that it would be done
immediately and that no cars had left the garage in the past five minutes.
reached her car, her heart racing both from anger and the shock of the
unexpected attack. Reaching into her jacket she pulled her revolver from
its holster and placed it in her lap as she got behind the wheel.
She knew she had made enemies along the way but to think someone
would be stupid enough to go to such lengths as attack her in this
building was mind-boggling. Turning the ignition she stepped on the gas
and drove in the direction that her assailant had headed.
on her brakes she spotted the car.
had carelessly parked the dark sedan next to the staircase entrance.
pulled out her cell phone and called Security.
They informed her that they were on their way to her location and
had dispatched officers to cover all of the exits within the building.
slowly got out of her car. Grabbing her weapon, she took it off safe and
cocked it as she carefully walked towards the other vehicle not waiting
inside it, she confirmed that it was empty.
steps behind her made her twirl and aim
the weapon and put your hands on your head.”
slowly lowered the weapon.
ma’am. Couldn’t tell it
glared at the officer in charge as she placed the weapon on safe.
“Search the area. Run a
check on this car. I want to know whom it belongs to,” she barked at the
senior officer. “I want our people to go through this thing with a fine
tooth comb, prints, fibbers, the works.
I want to see the surveillance tapes of the garage and this
staircase and I want it on my desk ASAP. Is that clear?”
ma’am,” he said smartly and began talking into his radio as the rest
of the security force spread out and others entered the stairwell.
Jones sighed and holstered her revolver.
She would stay here until she knew what was going on.
was going to be late for the Monument but she knew that Morrison and the
other women would wait. What choice did they have?
pulled the documents closer to her and let her finger trace the lines.
old drawings of the abandoned cotton mill had not been easy to find.
older of the two clerks at the archive at city hall had patiently assisted
provided her with copies of the original blueprints as well as two newer
ones, from when they had renovated the factory.
studied them closely. She knew she needed an edge. She had to know more than Monroe about this place if she was
going to pull it off.
already knew that the original building had had three floors. The heavy
machinery had taken up most of the first floor where many workers had
spent long hours making fabrics.
realised that some of the machinery would be gone, but assumed that there
would be enough junk left to provide some cover.
offices were located in the northern part of the building, closest to the
parking lot. There was a connecting corridor that ran between the rooms of
compared the old drawing to the newer ones. There were differences, mostly
in the basement that stretched underneath the entire building.
might very well be looking at her only means of getting out of this alive.
stood by Dawn and watched her partner trace a name on the wall with her
had told her briefly about him on their drive to the Washington Monument
and she had understood more from the soft, somewhat detached voice than
anything the doctor had actually said.
is late,” Joan stated and looked at her watch.
Dawn nodded, “but she will be here.”
could have come up.”
know, but we’ll wait. She has information and we need to find out about
were hardly any people around at this early hour and they could talk
freely. Dawn turned around and let her eyes scan the area. Only a couple
of early tourists were there and none of them within earshot.
walked over to them, Hubert faithfully by her side.
have waited for more than half an hour now,” the tall blonde said
know,” Dawn said. “Unfortunately there is little else we can do but
if she is not coming?” Sunny asked, her tone more urgent now as she
clasped her hands behind her back.
be here,” the doctor said pointedly. “She’s just delayed. I know
Jones. If she can’t be here on time it is because something’s come
correct as usual, Morrison,” a serene voice said behind them, making
Joan pivot and reaching inside her pocket.
Jones,” she blurted out, angry with herself for letting her guard down
and allowing herself to be surprised.
don’t take it too hard, agent Tremayne,” Jones drawled. “I have
surprised agents with far more experience than you.”
brunette resisted the urge to roll her eyes and just nodded.
looked at her former commanding officer.
guessing that something came up,” she said. “Did it have anything to
do with Farlow?”
not sure,” replied Jones glancing over her shoulder. “But we better
get out of here. I don’t think I was followed but I wasn’t t expecting
what happened this morning either.”
decided to use the van and drove to a shopping mall with a large open
Jones had only raised her eyebrows a little over the well-equipped van,
regarding the surveillance equipment and the weapons arsenal it provided.
was all she said.
regarded her and noticed that her coat was not as immaculate as yesterday,
nor was her slacks. Something had been going on this morning all right.
parked the van in the middle of the crowded parking lot.
the van slowly into the parking space, Dawn could easily make a speedy
exit if necessary, but the various makes and models of vehicles
surrounding the mall provided them with the needed anonymity.
for the ignition, Dawn turned off the engine. She rose from the driver’s
seat and moved to the rear of the van. Jones, who had ridden in the
passenger’s seat, followed her lead.
Sunny and Joan, the two women pulled out two small stools, apparently
meant for the surveillance team to use in front of the narrow desk at the
far side of the van. Sunny and Joan remained sitting on the lower bunk
let her gaze travel between the three women looking back at her.
let me brief you on what happened just a little while ago,” she said
described the incident in the garage earlier.
felt shivers down her spine. If they had picked up on Jones’ involvement
already and had acted on it so soon, what were the chances of getting to
had the surveillance tapes on my desk within twenty minutes but the man in
the car was careful not to show his face. He was dressed in a plain dark
suit; he had short, dark hair and was of average height and weight. There
was no way any of us could distinguish between him and most of the staff
working in the building. He could have been standing next to me in the
corridor and I wouldn’t have been able to identify him,” said Jones
pressing her lips together tightly. Only
her professionalism prevented her from using a few harsher, more
could see how agitated the older woman was by these events.
regarded her former boss carefully.
you injured?” she asked.
caught Jones off guard a little but then she shook her head.
my pride,” she smirked. “I don’t look good draped over a hood these
smiled inwardly. The lady was tough with a sense of humour that she could
relate to. Somehow she could hear Dawn saying the same thing.
this connected with Farlow?” Joan asked.
can’t be sure,” Jones said. “But the timing is a bit too convenient,
too coincidental wouldn’t you say?
I can’t dismiss the possibility.”
agree. When we talked this morning you said you had some more information
but you didn’t want to give it over the phone, not even over a secure
line. Can you share it now?”
wasn’t as concerned with the line as I was with being overheard at the
office. Since you pointed me in the direction of Monroe, I did a little
investigation of my own I looked at his actions and his files concerning,
Farlow. I was able to cross-reference quite a lot of material using the
computer last night and some more this morning. Although my findings are
only preliminary, I can tell you I’ve discovered several inconsistencies”
as?” Dawn asked.
his earlier reports reflect meticulous attention to detail, his later
reports are only rudimentary, vague, at times almost deliberately
misleading, but never quite to the point of being blatant.
However, in the past few weeks even that trend has changed.
not covering his tracks as well as he has in the past. He’s getting
sloppy, almost rushed in his work. I find this to be very disconcerting.”
you think he’s on the take?”
but as I pointed out, there isn’t enough evidence to accuse him of
anything…at least not yet. There are enough signs to suggest that
someone has gotten to him though.”
payoffs, blackmail … who knows, but you can see when he began to
deliberately manipulate the investigation. The signs are subtle but
there any indication that he is aware of our relationship with Farlow?”
but I can see where he intentionally sent the two of you on some wild
goose chases. By the way, where are the two of you supposed to be right
thinks that we are off visiting a relative, Aunt Bertha to be exact,”
Joan grinned. “That mean he’s not aware of our actions over the past
few days… I like that.”
regarded her calmly.
if Monroe thinks that Farlow is on her own and that we are taking time off
… “ Her voice trailed off.
could see the wheels turning inside her partner’s head as she puzzled
together the pieces.
might suspect that someone’s contacted you,” Dawn continued, her eyes
narrowing as she looked at Jones. “He may think that Farlow’s trying
to strike a deal with more than one agent. Going to you would be going
over his head and if what we believe about him is true; he would take
strong measures to prevent that.”
nodded in agreement.
if he thinks Farlow is trying to cover her bases, this might explain why
he’s getting careless. Monroe’s trying to move fast and he doesn’t
have the time to cover his tracks. This puts Farlow in an even more danger.
He’s becoming desperate.”
glanced over at Sunny, who kept her steady blue gaze at Jones, absorbing
what did Laura tell you that made you think she was innocent?” Joan
blonde turned towards the brunette and cocked her head.
said that she’d never stolen anything from the government and that she
was not responsible for the explosion. Laura also claimed that she was
hunted by the ones responsible because she had everything they were after
with her all along.”
and Dawn exchanged a look.
still remembers it all,” Dawn said, rubbing her forehead.
older woman nodded and seemed to come to the same conclusion.
her mind, Joan skimmed the thick folder they had had on Farlow. Then she
saw it too.
got a photographic memory,” she sighed, slumping back against the wall
regarded them solemnly.
knew this?” Sunny asked, a tone of silent danger in her voice. “You
knew she had a photographic memory and you never realised that that was
the reason she had to run?”
reached into her briefcase and pulled out a folder. To Joan’s surprise,
the older woman moved and sat down next to Sunny on the bunk bed.
the folder she pointed at the first document.
Ms Stewart,” she said. “Look at this and try to understand that before
yesterday, nobody at the Bureau except agents Morrison and Tremayne had
any doubts what so ever regarding Farlow’s guilt.”
recognised the document in front of Sunny.
was the same document that had been published in several newspapers, as
well as on the Internet, when Farlow had made the list of the Bureau’s
ten most wanted. It listed her known aliases and whereabouts. The paper
also showed several pictures as well as detailed drawings of her, made by
one of the Bureau’s forensic artists.
Sunny regarded the pictures and read the document carefully. Then she examined the pictures again.
doesn’t look like her,” she said and pointed at the two earlier ones.
“The two beneath them are more like her but not quite.”
found it significant that Sunny didn’t seem to be in the least curious.
The blonde had never asked about what it was Laura was supposed to have
stolen. She simply didn’t seem to care; apparently all she wanted was
the woman she loved back.
now has auburn hair. Well, at least she did when we saw her last,” Joan
offered. “She has also lost about thirty pounds or so over the years.”
listened but kept her eyes locked on Sunny.
since you know a side of her that we don’t and you’re aware of the
threats,” she said slowly, “what do you think her plan of action is
let a finger trace the last picture of Laura’s face before directing her
pale, blue eyes at the older woman.
wants to end it. I’m afraid that she might think the only way to do so
is to sacrifice herself. She is tired of running and … after bringing me
along; she has been suffering from mood swings. She’s been adamant to
keep me safe from the beginning and when she realised that she might not
be able to do that … that is when she left.”
your opinion; has she contacted Monroe?”
rose and rubbed her neck.
leaves us little choice,” she said. “We don’t know how far into the
organisation this reaches. We’ll have to monitor Monroe.”
regarded her seriously.
better not wait,” she said. “If Monroe is getting desperate … this
could go down faster than we think.”
moved over to the short, chubby man sitting in the corner of the bar.
had called him an hour ago, hoping that he would remember Rita Harris, the
dark haired, intense woman he had met two years ago.
had used that alias for three months when she worked as the right hand
woman for his employer, a low profile but powerful financial shark. She
had created a reputation for herself as being ruthless and with an itchy
had worked as a warning to most people she had come into contact with.
They had stayed on her good side or out of her way.
casually sank down on a rickety wooden chair across from the man.
she nodded solemnly. “It’s been a while.”
man stared at her, not recognising her at first, but then his eyes widened.
he inhaled. “Damn, you have changed. I didn’t recognise you.”
cut him off with an abrupt gesture.
I said, it’s been a while. I don’t have time to catch up on old times.
Can you deliver the stuff I need or not?”
know, it wasn’t easy but I managed to get almost all of it …”
give me that,” Laura hissed impatiently. “Either you have it or you
don’t. I don’t have time for this shit.”
stocky man sighed and rubbed his hands on his trousers.
right, all right,” he muttered. “I can deliver. It’ll set me back
quite a bit …”
get your money,” Laura interrupted. “I need the stuff now.”
man rolled his eyes.
know better than to ask what you’re up to, Rita,” he said, lowering
his voice. “You’ll have more than enough to blow up a small
scientist regarded him without emotions.
exaggerate. Where is it?”
motioned towards the door.
my car. What did you think? That I would bring it in here?”
go,” she said.
shrugged and rose, his short, chubby figure displaying an unexpected
walked through the almost empty bar and into the deserted alley outside.
There was a dirty, grey Volvo station wagon parked half a block away.
carefully kept her hand loosely on her gun in her pocket as they
approached the car.
opened the trunk and pulled out a red sports bag. Holding on to it he
looked at Laura.
I know it’s none of my business …”
It’s not,” the auburn haired woman stated firmly and reached for the
held on to it, apparently not ready to hand over the supplies.
could always be trusted, back then,” he said grumpily, “and I hope you
don’t plan to blow me now. I want my money.”
have it,” Laura said. “I always keep my word.”
regarded her and then shrugged, handing over the bag.
be both our heads if you don’t,” he stated. “The boss is under a lot
of pressure these days. He’s particular about what goes where and to
whom. He’ll know that I sold some stuff and he’ll want to know whom I
sold it to and for how much. Don’t make me regret this. I’ll be the
least of your troubles if you do. You’ll have him coming down on you.”
knew he was right. She had already arranged for a money transfer via
another old contact the next day. If everything went well, she would be
around to make sure Gordon got his money. If not … there wasn’t much
she could do about it.
the sports bag she nodded briskly to the man in front of her.
she said and turned around to walk away.
glanced over her shoulder.
you sure you know what you’re doing? You don’t want to be around when
that stuff goes off,” Gordon said, frowning.
I know exactly what I’m doing,” she said wryly. “I’m finally
living up to my reputation and as for being around? I wouldn’t miss this
for the world.”
clutched at the paper still in her hand.
was looking at the different faces of Laura Carter, or Grace Farlow as her
real name was.
briefly closed her eyes. She couldn’t think of Laura as Grace no matter
how she tried.
her she would always be Laura. She had moaned, whispered and cried that
name when they made love. She would form that name soundlessly or in a
desperate cry like this morning, every time she woke up. The name Grace
Farlow represented someone else; someone from another time and place.
blonde inhaled deeply and tried to ignore the feeling of nausea that was
welling inside of her. Swallowing hard, she forced herself to not show
anything in front of the other three women riding in the van with her.
were on their way to start following this Monroe guy, hoping that he would
lead them to Laura. She hated him with everything in her being, for all he
had done, both to Laura and to Dawn and Joan.
desire to take personal vengeance was almost palatable. Only once before
could she remember having such a desires that was the time Jared had
rescued her from the attack at the motel.
was frustrating not being able to do more than wait. She knew she had to
trust the other women. They were the professionals in this, but the fear
and the anger inside her wanted to drown out all reason.
glanced over at the older woman sitting next to her on the bunk bed.
Jones had an aura of authority that reminded her of her father. He had
died eighteen months ago and it felt oddly comforting to recognise some of
his qualities in this woman.
looked up as if she had felt her gaze.
you all right?” she asked, frowning.
very pale,” Jones insisted, regarding her firmly.
blonde bit her lip and averted her eyes, fearing that the other woman
would spot her inner turmoil. They would not hesitate to exclude her from
this operation, should they suspect that her self-control was failing.
reached out and cupped her chin.
Sunny flinched and looked at her.
me,” the older woman said softly. “Tell me about Laura. Not the things
we talked about earlier but the personal things.”
would you want to know that?” Sunny whispered huskily, feeling her
throat go dry.
have at least fifteen minutes to kill before we reach headquarters,”
Jones said with a crooked smile. “I think you need something to focus
on. From the way you look I can only judge that it would be a complete
waste of time trying to talk about anything or anybody else … Let’s
talk about your Laura. Tell me how you felt when you saw her for the first
was a new softness in the other woman’s eyes, making Sunny believe that
Dawn’s former superior officer would actually be interested in what she
had to say.
had been walking Hubert. It was windy and raining and I had to dry him
off,” she began quietly. “The door chime rang and when I came out to
the desk, there she was. She was wet and tired … just another guest.
Simply someone seeking shelter from the storm, I thought. Then she looked
at me and gave her name, or what I thought was her name and some how I
knew even then. I knew she would become special to me; that she would mean
Jones regarded her evenly.
on,” she said softly.
went out the next day, on some business, looking absolutely confident when
she left. When she returned that evening … She was bleeding from a
gunshot wound. It was bad. Not life threatening, but bad enough. She was
alone in the parking lot and if Hubert hadn’t heard her …”
choked on her words and had to swallow hard.
that when she sustained the wound in her side?” Jones asked.
I cleaned and dressed it. I used my connections and got antibiotics for
her. I tried to protect her … “ Her voce trailed off.
then you left together?”
that was the next evening. We left in Vincent’s car. I was driving and
Laura slept with her head on my lap. She was still very weak. The only
reason that she let me come with her was that she thought I’d be safer
away from the motel since I had been attacked the same day. Now I realise
that she was probably just trying to get me to Jared all along.”
voice lost its colour as she quieted, biting her lip.
shook her head slowly.
know, you shouldn’t see that as rejection,” Jones said softly.
bit her lip.
can see that you do, at least to some degree but try to look at it from
another perspective. If Laura
had been indifferent to you in any way, she wouldn’t have done all she
did to keep you safe. She would have used you, like she has used other in
the past, to stay ahead of anyone following her, including the Bureau. She
wouldn’t have risked everything to keep you safe. Do you understand the
difference?” the older woman asked seriously.
is an extremely intelligent woman we are talking about. She has kept the
Bureau and everyone else at bay for years. God knows how many times she
has had to move on and leaving people behind.”
many times,” Sunny said darkly.
Then she came across you and apparently falls head over heels in love.
Still she gave you up. She wasn’t lying to you. She was doing what she
thought best. Sunny, this is the first time she has deliberately
confronted anyone who is hunting her.”
looked at her pointedly.
worries us is that she has chosen to confront Monroe even though she knows
he is most likely a traitor,” she continued. “She must have a plan and
I’ll be blunt; there is every possibility that this could turn very ugly.
My gut feeling is that she’s prepared to sacrifice herself
literally if that’s what it takes to accomplish her objectives. What do
mean, she would allow herself to get caught?”
what I mean is that she might let herself get killed if that’s the only
way she could take out her enemies. We’ll do everything in our power to
prevent it, that’s why we need you. We need to see her through your eyes,
in order to not lose sight of who she has become. This is why you must
think of her, help us and not let your feelings cloud your judgement.”
her jaw and squaring her shoulders, Sunny nodded solemnly.
do it,” she said, making it a vow. “What ever happens, I’ll be there
and I’ll do what ever is necessary.”
other woman winced, not looking reassured at all.
parked the van a block from the Bureau’s headquarters.
was sitting on a stool at the narrow desk, adjusting the monitors.
Inconspicuous cameras on the outside of the van were directed at the large
building a little further down the street.
of them to leave us all these toys,” Joan said wryly as she came back to
join her partner.
useful,” she agreed.
glanced over her shoulder, not sure what had passed between Sunny and her
former boss as they were driving. She had found the two women looking at
each other and the air thick with unspoken words.
you all right, Sunny?” the doctor now asked.
turned her head and looked at her.
she answered politely.
groaned inwardly at the passive voice. She didn’t know Sunny very well,
but she knew that tone in her voice didn’t bode well.
… we’re in luck,” Joan interrupted and started to flick several
outside cameras zoomed in on a man dressed in a dark overcoat talking to
two other men as they walked out the front door.
Dawn’s hands flew over switches and knobs, making the speakers come alive with a static noise that soon turned into mumbling words. Some words filtered through, turning into chopped sentences.
… Sooner than we expected … lost her … tonight … “
… why … this other woman … reward?”
… friend … Farlow … before tonight.”
It’s too early. We have to set … to be sure.”
… have one shot at this. We can’t screw this up. Somehow this has
moved higher up. Valerie Jones … acting as if …”
That bitch always … in everything!”
looked over at Jones who smirked and nodded, looking oddly pleased.
want us to … it all?”
I have to be there in person. The old … mill … south of Alex- … -mac.”
there were only static and as the two men wearing suits went to a car in
the parking lot, the man in the overcoat walked back inside the building.
we follow them?” Joan asked hesitatingly.
Jones and Dawn said simultaneously.
think Farlow has a deal with Monroe and she has most likely demanded that
he’d be there personally. She wouldn’t deal with anyone else,” Dawn
glanced at Sunny, flinching at the naked hatred that flickered over the
blondes narrow features as she kept her gaze locked on the monitor showing
the closing door of the building.
she said pointedly.
blonde tore her eyes off the monitor and turned her head slowly towards
Dawn. Her blue eyes were pale and emotionless. There was no sign of the
rage that were present just a moment ago.
you and Laura ever talked about DC? Has she ever mentioned any buildings,
anything that might give us a lead to where she might be setting this
We never talked about this city,” the blonde answered.
had played the tape back and was listening intently.
waited and tried to not drum her fingers on the desk.
partner pulled her headset off and regarded them all with a frown.
must be somewhere along the Potomac, somewhere in the industrial area,”
she said grimly. “He said something sounding like old mill, Alexandria
and Potomac, I’m certain about it. We have to find if there are any old
doctor nodded and looked over at Jones.
means we have to split up.”
agreed. “Yes. You and Tremayne stay on Monroe’s tail. I will take cab
back to the monument and get my car. I’ll research the records at city
hall. You can reach me on my cell phone if you need to. Once
everything’s in motion, they won’t bother with tracing calls.”
turned to Sunny.
can use your help.”
glanced at the monitor but then rose from the bunk bed.
she said quietly and then turned to her dog. “Hubert, you stay here.”
eyebrows almost left her face as the dog actually seemed to nod.
thinking,” Joan said. “He is a bit conspicuous to bring into city
checking the monitors again, Jones opened the passenger door and jumped
out. Sunny followed her quickly and the two women disappeared into a cross
street. Dawn watched Jones raising her hand to stop a cab before losing
sight of them.
glanced over at Joan.
brunette reached out and touched her partner’s cheek.
hate waiting,” she said softly.
know,” Dawn nodded. “Stake outs were never your strong side. Not
that’s not what I mean. I hate waiting.”
frowned not understanding at first. Then she figured it out and inhaled
Joan said and pivoted on her stool, reaching for the closest monitor,
adjusting it. “That’s what I mean.”
entered the old abandoned cotton mill.
lock had not been much of a challenge and she only had to push the door
open a little bit to slip though.
many years of collected dust whirled up as she moved along the wall. She
regarded the floor. There were no footprints in the dust and she was
confident that nobody had been there in a long time.
pulled out the strip map she had made and checked it quickly. Pleased that
she had entered through the door she had intended, she put it back in her
bag and moved on.
were plenty of old pieces of machinery left from the days when this had
been a thriving business.
were large and dusty, most of them covered with rust.
walked around the large hall, paced in and out around the machinery,
making sure her footprints were everywhere. This would make it less
obvious to Monroe once he and his goons arrived.
regarded the eight large pillars she had chosen.
were made of cast iron and supported the ceiling, about twenty-five feet
the sports bag, Laura pulled out two packages, one large and one smaller.
She rolled out large one, revealing eight grey lengths of what looked like
children’s modelling clay. They were about three feet long and as thick
as her thumb.
smaller package contained eight small technical devices and one larger,
which also boasted a small antenna.
regarded it all and then briefly closed her eyes.
had been times when she had hardly ever heard of things like these. She
had been an expert in her field of science but explosives had not been
part of her world.
herself for becoming distracted, she got up after picking up the first
had asked Gordon for C4, a plastic explosive that was easy to handle and
also very potent. She walked over to the closest pillar and wrapped the
length around it in a circle. She flattened it carefully against the
surface and was pleased to see how well it blended in with the old pillar.
she attached the small detonator, operated by remote control, to the
circle of C4. Pressing it deeply inside the grey matter, it would be hard
to detect unless you knew where to look.
repeated the whole thing with the other seven pillars she had chosen,
making sure she altered the level where she attached the C4. There could
be no margin for errors.
she was done, Laura grabbed her bag and walked across the hall to a remote
down on an old wooden box she pulled out another package from her bag.
Unfolding a large sandwich, a sub with ham and cheese, she began to eat,
needing the energy. She still had to force the food down her dry throat,
her stomach on the verge of nausea.
scientist swallowed down the last of the sandwich with some coke.
irony of her choice of food had not escaped her. This ‘killer sub’ had
not been as good as the one Sunny offered her guests at River Meadow, but
it was still bittersweet.
allowed herself to think of the woman she loved for a moment. She was
fairly sure that Monroe and who ever he would bring would not appear
she whispered almost soundlessly, only to taste the name.
pain erupting inside her chest threw her and she let her head fall forward
as she forced back the tears. There had been no warning, no premonition or
omen that she would fall … no, crash into love like she had.
was she kidding? There could have been a dozen omens and she would have
disregarded them all, scornful of such things, as any scientist would be.
The fact remained. She had walked into Sunny’s life and fallen in love.
What was even more astonishing, from what ever angle you looked at it, was
the fact that the young blonde loved her back.
slammed her fist against the brick wall.
had hurt a lot of people over the years.
had walked out on them without explanations after telling them only lies.
She had killed.
nothing hurt the scientist more than the memory of the sleeping woman she
had left at Malachai’s.
she wiped the tears away, making herself stop crying out of sheer
was not the time for tears.
time would no doubt come later.
was the time for action, action and revenge for all that she had lost and
for the sake of all that she had left.
Determinedly she stood and began to put the rest of her plan into motion.