Gwen Stewart was at the peak of her career as dress designer. A moment she had worked independently toward her whole life. She was now one of the center shows that would be focused on during fashion week in New York in just four weeks. Now all that can be destroyed by something she had been staying clear of her whole life. Her father’s ambition.
Her father was now Vice President of the United States. She was very proud of him and loved him dearly but they had never seen eye to eye on his strict Republican out look on life. Her parents loved her and worried over her but had long ago given up on trying to convert her to their way of thinking.
Now she found herself at a conference table surrounded by blue suits who were trying to convince her to allow them to invade her life. And she was so angry that she felt like she might explode.
Miss Stewart, I realize this is very uncomfortable for you but…
“That is an understatement. I am a completely independent adult. I am 35 years old and I worked my way through college. I created my career on my own. I did not campaign for my father nor do I support his politics. I am about to reach the most important week of my life now you want to invade it. No way!”
“This is for your protection.”
“No, it’s for the administrations protection. I am a liberal democrat. I am not…”
“The leader of the team looked at the angry young woman and asked her quietly, “Do you love your parents?”
“Of course I do. What has that got to do with anything damn it!”
“Would you want your parents to mourn you? It is supposed to be the worst thing for any parent to go through.”
Gwen looked at the man with fuming green eyes. “That is damn unfair.”
“Maybe but you know that it is true.”
“So for my parent’s peace of mind I must allow you to invade my life?”
“It’s for the best.”
*** *** *** ***
“We do have some people doing surveillance of her home. We have agents everywhere but back stage of her show. She will not allow us to put a single agent in there. That’s where you come in, Benson.”
“I’ll have no back up?”
“I have two agents undercover at her office one will have some access to the back stage area regularly the other can come there but she’d have to come up with a reason. I need someone who will be with her all the time back stage. Who can come and go and not raise her suspicion. That’s you.”
“I will not lie to her.”
“You won’t have to. You are a professional model. It’s not a lie you just won’t disclose that you have moved on to Secret Service.”
“She might become a tad suspicious if I dive in front of a bullet to protect her.”
“You will think of something.”
“If I survive…”
“Come on Benson, I know you. You’re like a cat. You have nine lives.”
“Is one of them in an evening gown?”
*** *** *** ***
Several beautiful women of different types and shapes surrounded the small designer. She went through them deciding who will do what for the most important show of her life.
“Ok, Ladies you know what your going to do, now I will go over the final fittings with each of you.” All the girls were given the selections by one of the production assistants.
Agent Benson smiled at the assistant who gave her the selections she would be wearing. The beautiful designer had no idea that the sweet faced girl was also a secret service agent as well as an art student.
Gwen walked to her newest model. She was really impressed by her both her intelligence and beauty. The combination was enchanting but she had never allowed that to interfere with her work… until her new model walked into her studio.
Pale blue eyes lit up when her assignment approached her. She knew this was a very important assignment but she could seem to help being attached to the beautiful designer. She was sweet, smart, talented, funny and very, very attractive.
“Hi Tara, shall we?”
The tall woman nodded and followed the diminutive blonde into her work room. After she put on the first dress, Gwen began to pin and fit it to the magnificent body.
“Why did you become a model, Tara?”
“It leaves me time to pursue other interests. I started it as a means to an end so I could work my way through college and have free time for a social life.” Well that is true I did work my way through school I just left out my major. Administration of Justice and computer technology. Thought Tara as she smiled down into beautiful green eyes.
“I have many I guess my greatest passion is my art.” Also true I love my painting above any other hobby.
“Really, What kind of art?”
“I’d love to see them sometime.”
“Uh… sure… I guess….”
“After I’m done here could I see it please?”
“It’s at my apartment.”
“Where do you live?”
“Um, it’s a few blocks away. Off First Street.”
“That’s on my way home. That is if I’m not intruding?”
“No, I just… uh…”
“Surprised, the word here is you’re a bit of recluse.”
“No, I’m not. I’m just private.”
Tara smiled and asked, “And the difference?”
“I choose who I socialize with that’s all.”
“So is it ok?”
*** *** *** ***
Tara was a bit nervous she wondered what her superiors would say about this if they found out. She wasn’t showing the beautiful woman etchings in her bedroom just framed art work in her living room. It was completely innocent. So why do I feel so guilty?
Tara had won a ton of award though she was not the type to display them. They were all in box in her storage closet so there was nothing to blow her cover unless Gwen decided to go to her gun cabinet or search through her computer. She knew that she would do neither so the nervous agent tried to calm the worry she felt having her assignment enter her private domain.
“This is a lovely apartment Tara.”
Gwen was impressed. It was a small apartment but it was tasteful and comfortable. She loved the color scheme and the framed art just seemed to be a part of it.
“Did the art com first or the apartment?”
Tara smirked and shrugged, “Some of them came before I even thought of moving out on my own. This one for example I did when I was sixteen at my Grandmother’s house.” She pointed to an oil painting of floral arrangement on table in the corner of a pretty room. It was all pinks and soft oranges; it just seemed to be lit from with in the canvas. Gwen shook her head in wonder.
“You are amazingly good,” Said Gwen as she looked at each painting carefully framed and centered on the walls of the living room. She went into the connecting dinette and started a beautiful snap shot of the Washington Monument.
“Who took this?”
Tara shrugged and nodded.
“Tara you are so talented you should pursue a career in art.”
“No, not right now. I enjoy traveling exploring the world too much.”
“And you couldn’t do that if you pursued your art?”
“Well I guess I could. I just would have to really focus to make a career of it instead of using to as a form of relaxation. It would require a whole change of attitude.”
“So you don’t want to do that?”
Gwen nodded, she looked at the model and said softly, “You have a lot of talent…. um… do you have plans tonight? I’d like to have a chat with you about this.”
“I don’t understand. What about it?”
“I’d like to back a show for you.”
“Gwen… that… I don’t think…” Tara was beyond stunned. She never would have expected that reaction from the designer.
A little disappointed Gwen smiled sweetly and said, “Well think about it.”
“Gwen, I am so flattered that you think my stuff is worth something but…”
Tara sat down trying to breathe and ease her now wildly beating heart. She looked up into the beautiful confused green eyes and sighed. “Please sit down. I have something I need to tell you and you may want to fire me when I tell you.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Please just sit down first.”
Gwen sat down on the couch beside her model very confused by the now upset expression on the normally placid face.
Tara took a deep breath and said, “I’m a Secret Service agent assigned to protect you…”
Gwen hopped up mad as hell, “What!!!”
“Yes, please calm down. I didn’t lie to you I just suppressed the fact I was an agent. I did work my way through college as a model. I do love my art and traveling, everything I told you was the truth. I just didn’t say that my major was Administration of Justice and Computer Programming. And I didn’t tell you that when I took that snap I was on assignment in Washington to follow a diplomat who was sight seeing at the time. I really like you a lot Gwen. I respect what you have done with your life, but you are the daughter of the Vice President of the United States. And you’re going to be in front of all New York City for your show. You will be vulnerable and you need protection.”
Gwen was flabbergasted. She had sat down and was trying to calm herself so she wouldn’t yell and scream. She really liked this woman. She was attracted to her. She was mad as hell but Tara hadn’t out right lied to her at all.
“Suppression is a form of lying.”
“I guess I did it to protect you though.”
“So you would have jumped in front of a bullet for me and I never would have known why?”
“Yes. That’s my job. In fact I still will even if I have to storm your show under a court order. I don’t want you to be a target. No protection means you are a target.”
Gwen’s head lowered as she played with hem on her leather jacket. She could hear the calm agent breathing next to her but was trying not to be distracted as she tried to figure out what to do.
“Why are you telling me all this now?”
“Because I like you a lot and I don’t like lying to people I like.”
“I like you too. I hate what you do for a living but I do like you.” Gwen sighed as she looked into soft blue eyes. “All right I’d rather have someone I like baby sit me rather then some jerk. What do I have to do?”
“You don’t have to do anything. Just do your normal stuff. I’m just there to keep an eye on things. I’m not there to interrupt your life.”
“I still want to help you with your art.”
“Cause your very talented and I think you’re a wonderful person.”
Tara’s lips turned into a slight smile, “I think you’re a great person. Much better then me… I told my boss I wouldn’t lie to you before I took the job I respected you before I met you. I liked you after I started the assignment. I really respect what you have done with your life on your own. How you love your folks but your not a hypocrite and don’t campaign at all for your Father. Once I got to know you my drive to protect you became stronger… Look let’s put a hold on my stuff till I’m sure your safe. I don’t want any distractions.”
“You want to wait till your assignment is over?”
Gwen smiled and shook her head, “You’re very clever.”
“Like I said I don’t want any distractions.”
“Your art is a distraction?”
No pretty lady, you are, Thought Tara then she said, “Yes it can be.”
Gwen smiled at her with a dazzling smile, “Ok, it’s on the back burner for now.”
Oh boy. Tara thought as she got lost in the beautiful green eyes and the enchanting smile just inches from her.
*** *** *** ***
Gwen was lying in bed staring at her ceiling. She had it designed to look like the night sky with her zodiac sign in the middle and next to it was the big and little dipper. She loved those constellations they brought her a sense of peace.
She wasn’t able to enjoy that tonight. She stared at the starscape and sighed as she thought of Tara Benson. “Damn the first woman I actually like and is attracted to in God knows how long and she’s a damn secret service agent.”
She closed her eyes, “She is so damn talented. She could be anything she wanted to be. Why does she have to work for them?”
Then she rolled over and picked the pictures she took at the rehearsal of her show. She simply stared at the picture devouring the tall woman with her eyes. Her fingers traced the lines of her face as she wished she was there with her. “She is so beautiful.”
*** *** *** ***
Tara couldn’t sleep. She was in her tiny studio working passionately on her latest project. She worked like she usually did with fast sure strokes but her face was intense she felt a need to create the vision with in her mind perfectly. The subject was different from her other work though. Very different and very special.
The lovely glowing features of the face that was now prominent in her mind. The face that she could not get out of her mind or heart. She stared into the eyes on the canvas with a well of feelings that was completely foreign to her. It’s what kept her up and drove her to work on the canvas in the middle of the night.
As she strove to create the face that haunted her she thought, I am in such trouble here. I have never reacted to a subject like this before. Ever. I look into those beautiful green eyes and I feel like I am drowning. I feel lost. It’s kind of scary.
She sighed and looked at her painting and shook head. She said, “Its ok. It just doesn’t capture her essence. I don’t think anything is capable of showing her beautiful complexion… I have to stop this. I have to protect her and that’s it!” She rolled her eyes and went back to her bedroom. She took off her robe and slid into her bed. The silk sheets felt cool against her over heated skin. She closed her eyes and pulled an extra pillow close imaging it to be the beautiful one who captured her imagination and was well on the way to capturing her soul.
*** *** *** ***
“Daddy, this is so unfair!”
“Sweetheart, your mother and I have always respected your choices. We never interfered in your life even if we didn’t agree with you. This is different we’re talking about your life. I will not risk your safety for privacy.”
Gwen knew they only disagreed on two subjects her sexuality and her political views. Otherwise they got along fine.
“I don’t like their methods.”
“What are you talking about, Gwen?”
“They are planting agents in my company, Damn it!”
“How do you know that?”
Gwen thought quickly she didn’t want to betray Tara so she said, “I just got bad vibes from some of them and checked them out. They are agents.”
“My Sweet Gwen, I know you have wonderful instincts but you have never been psychic. So please explain what gave you these bad vibes.”
“Dad! I didn’t want you to think I’m nuts. So I checked them out before I called you. They are agents. How many production assistants have a BA in Administration of Justice and computer management?”
“Well maybe she got burned out and decided to spread her wings.”
“That’s just one of them. Can you call them off? Please Dad, they are going to ruin my show.”
“Well when they do I will have that one person removed but I won’t get rid of the whole team. I won’t risk your life.”
“Fine! Thanks loads Dad.”
“I love you very much, Gwen.”
Gwen sighed and said, “I love you very much too.”
*** *** *** ***
Tara answered the doorbell and was shocked to find one very angry dress designer.
“Hi,” said Gwen as she stormed in to the apartment.
“Hi, what’s wrong?” Asked Tara as she closed the door and followed her friend into her living room.
“Oh nothing, Half my staff are plants from the secret service.”
Tara smiled and shook her head, “Not half, just a handful, including me.”
“It isn’t funny Tara. I trust you. Why should I trust them?”
“Because like me they are well trained and it’s their job to protect you not ruin your show.”
Tara sat down on the couch and a very frustrated Gwen sat down next to her. “They are going to mess it up. They don’t know anything about…”
“I promise it will be fine. They are not saboteurs. They are trained agents.”
Gwen rubbed her face with her hands and said softly, “Tara lets say you took all your best works that you worked on for months. You put it together into the best show you could. To present the world with your life long dream. Then suddenly a van full of high school kids show up as your handlers. How would you feel about that?”
Tara smiled sweetly and said sincerely, “We are not a bunch of high school kids. The Director only chose people with a back ground in the job they are doing for you. Like he did with me. I was a professional model so I was right for this post.”
“Tara you are so intelligent you can do anything, but the others…”
“They are just as qualified and intelligent. We won’t ruin your show. I’ll tell you what; if it would make you feel any better I’ll have a quiet chat with our team to make sure everything runs smoothly.”
“No… I mean thanks but I’m not asking you to do that…”
“Hey, it’s ok. I’ll just let them know your concerns and that they should be extra cautious.”
“I don’t want you to go to any trouble. I just felt I could talk to you that’s all…”
“You can.” Tara shook her head and took the tiny hand into hers. “It isn’t any trouble. I’ll just make sure it goes smoothly on our end.”
“You’re very kind.”
Tara shrugged, “I care about you.”
“Thanks, I really want to back your first show.”
“After your show, ok?”
“Promise me you will let me convince you.”
Tara nodded and squeezed the hand with in her own, “Yes, I promise I will.”
*** *** *** *** ***
Tara was leaning against the back wall during a final meeting of the agents assigned to protect Gwen during her show. The head of her unit was ranting and raving about Gwen’s polite refusal to allow any of the agents except Tara take part in her show. She simply pulled responsibilities from anyone she suspected of being a part of the secret service unit. It was making it impossible for them to do their jobs.
Tara was the only one unaffected. In fact Gwen spent almost all her free time with her new friend. The unit commander had been pleased by all that. He even complimented Tara on not blowing her cover.
Tara almost lost it but some how kept a nervous giggle from bursting out and said with straight face, “Just doing my job, Sir.” She was amused. She knew no one would believe the stoic quiet agent had become best friends Gwen. It was just so out of character, she was always polite and civil. She had a good sense of humor and used it but she kept everyone at a distance. Gwen had in fact, been the first person she had ever invited to her apartment.
She sighed as she watched her superior saying how uncooperative Gwen was. “She is just so spoiled…”
“No she isn’t…” spurted out from Tara’s lips before she could stop herself.
Her boss looked into the dark corner that Tara was in, and asked, “Do you have an objection, Benson?”
“Yes Sir, she isn’t spoiled. She just has worked hard on this show. She poured every ounce of her talent into it and she is worried about us spoiling it. She has been working night and day and I think the other agents can acknowledge it.”
Reluctantly several heads bobbed up and down around the room.
“You don’t think she is a spoiled brat, huh? You’re kidding? She doesn’t even listen to her own father.”
“No sir, I don’t think she is at all spoiled. She told me she wanted to have us pulled and that her father said he wouldn’t. I talked to her and explained we won’t ruin her show. She is reasonable, Sir. She just wants everything to go well.”
“Well at least you got her to see reason. That was a good job, Benson.”
“I just told her the truth. We are professionals and we will not ruin her show.”
“Well you must have done something special to get her to actually listen to you. She doesn’t even listen to the Vice President of the United States.”
“That’s because to her he’s just her father, and I simply told her the truth.”
I told her the whole truth because I couldn’t look into those beautiful green eyes and lie to her. She thought to herself as her boss continued to lay out what they would be doing at the show to protect their difficult subject.
*** *** *** ***
Gwen was pinning Tara into her first dress. She smiled up at her and said, “You look very beautiful Agent Benson.”
Tara chuckled, “Your not suppose to know that I’m an agent, remember?”
“Of course, we’re all alone though unless of course you’re wearing a wire?”
“In this dress? Where?”
“Hey! It’s my dress.”
“I know, and I love it. It’s just a bit skimpy.”
“Well you look very sexy in it.”
Tara’s smile widened and she asked coyly, “Do I?”
“You know damn well you do. It’s a pity that you gave this up. You’re very good you know.”
“I like helping people… like you…”
“Even when I act like a pain in the ass.”
“Um, I just defended you from our last planning meeting when someone said the same thing.”
Gwen’s face lit up. “You defended me?”
Tara shook her head and said, “Of course I did. You’re my friend, I wasn’t about to allow someone to drag you through the mud.”
“Thank you Tara.”
“No problem, Just don’t stick me with a pin.”
“Hey you have pins in your teeth, don’t swallow one I don’t CPR for someone who swallowed pin.”
Gwen spit the pins into her hand, then she laughed again, “You’re a nut.”
*** *** *** ***
Tara was by the curtain peeking out to watch the crowd unnoticed. She spotted to men in the front row that looked vaguely familiar. She called one of her people over and said, “Jackie, let me use your cell.”
The agent carefully took the men’s picture with the digital camera in the cell then called the agents in the surveillance truck outside the back entrance. She emailed them the pics and waited for their response.
When it was her cue she handed Jackie the phone and said, “Let me know what they found out about those two.” Then she strutted down the catwalk in her beautiful midnight blue evening gown. She didn’t seem to be checking out her suspects but she did, and what she saw made her nervous. She wanted to talk to Gwen but the dresser dragged her back stage to change her into her next dress.
Jackie came to her and said, “I have a message for you Tara.”
“It can wait,” growled the dresser.
Tara’s eyes met Gwen’s and the designer sighed. She took the message from Jackie and gave it to Tara. Tara smiled at her friend and turned patiently as the dresser fitted her into her next gown.
Tara’s eyes widened, she looked at Gwen her eyes full of worry. “Gwen, may I speak to you for a minute. I promise it will be quick I will be ready for my cue.”
Gwen saw the fear in the beautiful blue eyes and was stunned by that fact cause she realized that fear was for her. Gwen nodded and the moved away from the others to a quiet part of the stage.
Tara whispered there was worry, and surprisingly panic in her voice. Again Gwen could see in Tara’s eyes that the panic was for her. “I need you to do a huge favor for me.”
“What kind of favor?”
“Can you please not take your bow at the end of the show? Please. Say you’re sick or something.”
“Shh,” Tara put an arm around her friend’s shoulders and brought her even further away from the others. “The men in the front row looked familiar to me. I sent some pics to our agents in the surveillance truck and this came back. Their terrorists. Please Gwen don’t go out there…”
“But I have to, if this is a success…”
“You know it will be; it’s a fantastic line…”
“Tara, I have to take my bow…”
“No you don’t,” Said Tara quietly but intensely. “No you don’t its traditional but not something you have to do and you damn well know it…”
“Tara your up,” The dresser came up to them hurriedly pulling the very reluctant agent away from her friend. Gwen could see that Tara was very scared for her and frustrated that she wouldn’t listen to her. Tara was sweet, kind, funny and very smart and intuitive. Every time Tara smiled at her she tingled all over. She knew that she was very special and her only concern was for her safety.
I can’t believe this. Terrorists are targeting me. Real terrorists. Thought Gwen and she shivered with pure fear. She watched Tara strut down the catwalk like she was born to it. She stared down at the terrorists her eyes were like pure ice. She had never seen those beautiful eyes so cold before. When she came back she took Gwen’s hand and led her to the changing area, “Help me with this next gown.”
Gwen nodded, as she helped Tara out of the last outfit, Tara whispered, “Please listen to me Gwen. Don’t go out there. I have a terrible feeling. Please trust me.”
Gwen looked up at Tara, she wearing a bridal dress but her creation was in pink and up to the knees. She looked sexy and beautiful but her eyes were full of raw fear.
“I do trust you Tara, very much. I can see how scared you are for me. I have to go out there…”
Tara growled and slugged one of her hands into her own hand in a rare moment of pure anger. She looked at Gwen through slitted eyes and whispered in growling angry voice, “”Can’t you see that I am trying to protect you?”
“Calm down.” She took one of her friend’s hands, held it against her chest and whispered back, “I do see that very clearly. I do trust you. I know you will protect me.”
Blue eyes seared into her own, Tara then rolled her eyes. Then she said, “Ok, then if you insist on going out there and being a sitting duck I will be your God Damned shield!”
“What do you mean?”
“What I mean is you will not set one foot on that catwalk with out me being between you and those men.”
*** *** *** ***
The music picked up a faster rhythm. One bride after another strutted down the catwalk. Tara waited till the last minute till her cue, she was on her cell trying to get the other agents in place in case of attack. When it was her cue she strutted down the catwalk making sure the only suspects were the two men she had spotted earlier.
When she came back stage she made sure the other model that would escort Gwen was another agent. The well built handsome man had a gun hidden under the jacket of his tux. As they walked down they made sure they completely covered the designer.
“Stay between us Gwen, Please don’t move out of our line if you stray you could get hurt and I need to make sure your safe.”
Gwen nodded nervously and the three of them started down the cat walk. They had a standing ovation both agents were watching the crowd like hawks. They walked down and then straight back up. As they came back the two men jumped on the catwalk. One man was in front of them and the other was behind them with their guns drawn.
Tara pulled Gwen close and yelled, “Now!” Then she wrapped her arms around Gwen tight and jumped straight up and over the man in front of them. Landing on her feet, then she gently brought her to the agent who was acting the part of a production assistant. “Jaimie, take her to safety, No arguments Gwen.” She said quickly then ran back to the fight behind them.
She came back to fight one of the terrorists who had a look of pure hatred on his face. He looked at the pink bridal gown and sneered. “You have got to be kidding?” He said in clipped accented English and a gun pointed right toward her midsection.
“No, I’m deadly serious.” Her face was a mask of non-emotion but she was seething mad inside. She easily knocked the gun out his hand and fought her emotions trying to focus on taking the bad guy down. She would deal with Gwen later; she needed to focus on the job at hand. She flew into a perfect side kick which clipped him on the chin. The spike heals she wore seemed to have no affect on her as stayed steady and turned to face her opponent.
“Ok, so you’re good. You saved the spoiled rich girl. You know heroes do have to die.” He pulled a knife from his boot but before he could even attempt to use it she disarmed with a kick to the elbow.
“I’m not a hero; I’m just doing my job.” She flew into a roundhouse kick knocking him unconscious as he hit his head on the stone floor beneath the stage. She turned to check her fellow agents. They had it all under control; the agent who guided Gwen with her said with a wicked grin, “We got them all Tara.”
“Good man, I have to take care of things here and then check on Gwen. Will you all be ok?”
“Sure you go ahead.”
The tall woman nodded and ran back stage.
*** *** *** ***
Jaimie took Gwen to Tara’s apartment since Tara was sure the terrorist would be watching Gwen’s place. She led the shaken up woman into the living room, then she went to the kitchen to make her a cup of tea. Gwen sat down on the couch with a thump, she was in shock and full of worry for Tara.
Jaimie brought the designer the tea and sat on easy chair beside the couch.
“Do you think Tara is ok?”
“Yeah she already called she’s on her way. She just wanted to make sure everything was secure in your work room before she left.”
Gwen nodded and sipped some tea.
Gwen looked up and met the bright hazel eyes of the young agent. Jaimie swallowed, “Um, Gwen can I tell you something?”
“I’ve known Tara for three years. She has always been polite and civil but very distant. I have never seen her like she has been with you. And then today… It was so strange if you know Tara. I mean she’s an excellent agent, competent and efficient but today she was like… well a panther protecting her cub.”
“You know what I mean. Tara cares deeply about you. She always cares about our subjects but this was more, this was personal. She cares for you like a close friend.”
“She is a close friend.”
“Good… I know it’s none of my business…”
“Damn straight this is none of your damn business!” Said a very angry voice from behind her.
Jaimie found herself staring into two blazing angry blue eyes, “How dare you Jaimie.” She did not raise her voice but the tone and intensity made it clear that the tall woman was seething. “Jaimie my personal life is just that personal…”
“I was just putting in a good word for you. I know Gwen is not crazy about the service and…”
“That is between Gwen and I. Keep your nose out of it. Good night Jaimie.”
“Go back and help the team secure Gwen’s studio and apartment.”
The small agent with a bowed head left the apartment. Tara looked at Gwen with a sheepish expression.
“Sorry… I… What is between us is private. Very private…”
Gwen smiled and nodded, “I know. I understand. Are you ok?”
“Yeah, I secured both the showroom and your work room. I also sent a team to secure your apartment. Your designs are safe and the dresser made the minor repairs to my dress. And if your worried don’t be, your marketing rep told me that W Magazine has requested a layout of your stuff for their spring issue. And you already have six orders from very good retail outlets.”
Wide green eyes met now calm but tired blue. Tara was sitting beside her on the couch she looked exhausted.
“Wow… I… wow… um, thanks.”
Tara smiled her eyes now sparkling with something that Gwen could not quite read. “I really wanted to know how you were feeling. I know this shook you up.”
Gwen leaned her head back against the couch and sighed. “Yes, I was shook up. I feel like I have gone through the gauntlet but I am so glad you are here with me.”
“Yes…um, about what Jaimie was saying before…”
“Sorry about that…”
Gwen’s hand gently covered her lips “Don’t be sorry. I have a question, well really two.”
Tara took the tiny hand that covered her mouth and gently brought it to her lap. She asked quietly, “What questions?”
“Is your assignment now over?”
“No, I have to make sure your secure first. I won’t hand you off to another team till I’m sure you’re safe.”
Gwen smiled and nodded, “Ok you said our friendship was between us right?”
“So where do we stand?”
Tara swallowed, she looked down at the tiny hand within hers then her head popped up as she remembered something important. She stood up and gently pulled Gwen up with her leading her by her hand to her tiny work room. “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
They entered the room and walked to a covered painting. With her free hand she pulled off the drop cloth and Gwen gasped. It was a beautiful painting of her. It made her look like she was glowing. She had never seen anything quite like it.
“When… when um… did you have time to do this?”
“Every night since I met you… I haven’t been able to sleep much.”
The blue eyes looked very nervous. They seared into Gwen’s and the designer felt herself very much hypnotized by the passion she saw in them.
“Neither have I… I really think of you as more then a friend Tara.”
“Really?” Tara’s arms went around Gwen’s shoulder bringing her close into an embrace.
Gwen licked her lips, her eyes were only on Tara’s, “Yes… Do you… How do you… could you possibly…”
Tara’s lips were just a breath away as she whispered, “I’m in love with you Gwen.”
“I’m in love with you too.”
And with that feeling finally softly whispered Gwen pulled the soft lips to hers and kissed Tara with a deep passion. Tara surrendered to the kiss couldn’t have resisted it if she had wanted to, which she did not. She had been using every ounce of strength not to fall for Gwen in the last month she’d been assigned to her. When they separated they were cuddled on the couch in the living room and she had no idea how they had gotten there and didn’t give a damn. She was just glad to be in the arms of the woman she loved.
She wanted her so badly she actually hurt. She really had no idea what was happening to her. The kiss seemed to open parts of her she never even knew existed.
“Gwen…” She whispered her voice so different she didn’t even recognize it. “I love you so very much. I fell in love with you almost from the first moment but I…”
“You’re worried?” Asked Gwen as she tenderly kissed her all over her face.
Tara pulled back and nodded. She cupped her loves face and said with a soft passion, “Yes, I am about you. I love you and I need to protect you. Now that they have targeted you they will keep coming. When my assignment ends my worry won’t. I have never felt like this about anyone before. It’s out of control. All I want to do is make love to you but I’m scared that if I let my guard down you will be hurt.”
“Me, losing control. Forgetting that my job is to protect you. Gwen you are still in danger.”
“I love you Tara and I have an idea. Can you become my personal agent?”
“Yes, but then I can never be your love… but I do think that …”
“Why can’t you be my love I don’t…?”
“Cause my sweet darling; I can’t be your protector and your lover at the same time. It’s against the rules and it’s for a very good reason…”
“But if you’re given another assignment I won’t be able to be with you.”
“Then the only option left is to quit…”
“No, you love your job. I couldn’t do that to you.”
Tara gently dried the tears falling from Gwen’s eyes then she said sweetly, “To be honest I was thinking about what you said about my art. I do love helping people but the bureaucracy was getting worse and worse. I would like to only think of you and my art if you still…”
“Really? Are you sure?”
Tara nodded. “If you really want to be with me and…”
“Of course I do, I need you.”
“I need you too. Then I’ll be able to concentrate on my two great passions, you and my art. They won’t give me a good retirement plan but I can always fall back on my modeling.”
“Why would they care?”
“Gwen, you are the Vice President’s daughter. No matter how private you are your watched all the time. Besides the Secret Service and the FBI have your place bugged…”
“Yep, they have you bugged.”
“To make sure your safe.”
“Why is that a problem for us?”
“The only problem is that the moment they know we’re a couple I will be fired. If I quit and then they find out they will stop my benefits.”
“I have an excellent benefit program.”
“Huh-huh let me explain how much better my benefit package is for you.” She pulled Tara to her and kissed her love with a deep passion. She made her love forget what they were discussing in fact Gwen forgot too. All she knew was that the woman she loved and needed was in her arms and she loved her back.
*** *** *** ***
“Daddy please you have to do something.”
“Sweetheart, what do you think I can do?’
“You’re the Vice President of the United States, you can do something! Daddy, Tara worked too hard to be stripped of all benefits just because she fell in love with me. She didn’t even tell me till her assignment was over. She has been very honorable and didn’t break a single rule…”
“Ok, ok Kitten, I get it. I will call in some favors and see if I can get your Tara her benefits back.”
“When do we get to meet this paragon of virtue? Your mother is dying to meet her.”
Gwen smiled and said, “I thought you two didn’t approve of my lifestyle.”
“Well we would prefer that you fall for a nice rich, handsome, republican male but since that as likely as your mother dancing in congress naked…”
“God I hope so!”
Her father joined her in laughter and then said, “We’d really like to meet the person who finally captured your heart.”
Gwen’s smile widened and she glanced into Tara’s workroom, the artist was hard at work on yet another painting of her. She shook her head and smiled still amazed by all that had happened, “Ok, Daddy I’ll arrange for us to go to Washington to visit you.”
“Great! Ok Kitten let me get to work on your problem. Bye Sweetheart.”
“Bye Daddy,” Gwen hung up and walked into the workroom watching the busy artist.
“You can’t find a better subject, huh?”
Tara looked up and smiled at the beauty that she was trying to capture in her work. “Actually I have been really obsessed by your face since I first met you. I can’t seem to capture your beauty try as hard as I do.” She then turned to examine her latest attempt.
“Come here my Beauty,” She put her brush down and held out her arms. Gwen smiled and went in them cuddling close. Tara hugged her tight and whispered in her loves ear, “Did you have a fight with your Dad? I heard you raise your voice?” She gently nibbled a soft earlobe.
Gwen closed her eyes and held her love even tighter and cleared her throat. “No not really, He is going to try to get your benefit package back.”
“And my folks want to meet you.”
“I thought they didn’t approve of us.”
“They are staunch republicans but they love me and they want to meet the woman I love.’
“Ok Sweetheart,” Tara whispered blissfully as she began to devour the body in her arms. All Gwen could do was melt and allow herself to be swept up into the passion.
**** **** *** ***
They arrived at Gwen’s Georgetown condo. Tara was carrying both suit cases. Gwen with her hands on her hips said, “You know my love I am very capable of carrying my own bag.”
Tara smiled and shrugged as she followed her through the door, “I know you can but I really want to.”
“You’re so sweet and stubborn.”
Tara chuckled, “Look who’s talking.”
Gwen rolled her eyes as she led Tara through the main hallway toward the bedroom so she could deposit they’re bags. When she reached the bedroom door she found she had lost Tara.
She came back down the hall and found the tall woman studying a painting on the wall. Blushing slightly she asked softly, “What do you think?”
“This is wonderful, you are a very gifted artist.” Said Tara in a soft impressed voice.
“How did you know I painted it?”
“Well I love you and adore you but I think your signature gave it away.” Said Tara with wide smile.
“Oh? I forgot that I signed it.”
“Why? Um… I didn’t think it was that great. I mean its ok but would you hang it in our living room?”
“It is really very lovely. I love the colors. I love the strength of your brush stroke. The character of the subject is charming. The squirrel looks like it’s about to take a nut from my hand. You are very talented, Love. Why did you give it up?”
Gwen leaned her head on Tara’s shoulder tears falling onto her shoulder, “My Governess basically said I suck so I switched from art major to design.”
Tara pulled her into a hug and kissed her forehead. “Didn’t your parents react to that?”
“They never really knew. As long as I got passing grades and I played nice with others. My scholastic achievements meant very little. You see I was a girl.”
“Your parents and I may have some issues.”
“I have issues with them so I don’t doubt it. They do love me deeply. They are sweet natured and do care about others. They are just stuck in the last century on some social issues.”
“And how they treat they’re beautiful talented daughter.” Tara said gently wiping the tears and kissing her love all over face.
Gwen’s eyes were closed and she was enjoying the kisses. “You will like them my love. Even I can’t resist it and I know them better then anyone. I kind of arranged for us to see them only in public to avoid any problems. They won’t make a scene with others around.”
Tara kissed Gwen passionately, then she pulled back and said very softly, “And how did you do that?”
“We won’t be alone with them. That’s always dangerous but they will be on their best behavior this way.”
Tara tickled Gwen’s ribs, “Sneaky.”
Gwen giggled and held Tara tighter, “I know one thing I think they will be very impressed by you.”
“Yep, come on, I want to show you our room.” She made an attempt to pick up her own bag but a swift hand got there before her.
“Oh no you don’t,” She picked up the both bags and inclined her head toward the hallway. “You are a sneaky one, Sweetheart.”
*** *** *** ***
Gwen arrived first at her parent’s party. Tara had to sign some paper work at the agency. She was wearing a dress of her own design. It was deep red and showed off her figure to perfection. Her hair was swept up and she was wearing ruby earring a surprise gift from Tara before they left New York.
Her mother swept into the room saying, “Where is your little friend, dear?”
Gwen rolled her eyes and shook her head, “Mom, She’s an ex-Secret Service agent and 6 feet tall you can’t call her little.” She kissed her mother on the cheek and hugged her.
Her Mother hugged her back and then kissed her on the cheek. “Habit I guess, to me your friends were always little. So Darling, where is she? I am dying to meet her.”
“She had to sign some paper work at the agency she will be here soon.”
Her mother nodded and said, “Well come on through and say hello to everyone. They are simply dying to see you again it’s been so very long since you were home.”
“Ok. Mom, lead on,” Said her reluctant daughter as the older woman led her to the ball room.
About 20 minutes later Tara arrived, she was escorted by the butler and met at the foyer by the Vice President.”
“Agent Benson,” He greeted the tall agent with wide friendly smile.
“Ex-agent actually. I just signed my final paper work. Thank you for your help with my retirement package.” She said softly with a gentle look on her face. He was a bit surprised by her gentleness and sophistication. This was not what he expected of an Agent.
He had several men and woman on his team and they were all presentable and affable but not near the elegance of this young woman. She was wearing a midnight blue dress designed lovingly by his daughter specifically for her. Beautiful sapphire blue earrings dangling from her ears that matched her eyes perfectly a surprise gift from Gwen when they arrived in Washington. Her long hair was caught in chignon that matched the color of her dressed. She looked sexy and elegant.
“I was happy to help you, Tara, you saved my baby. For that I am forever in your debt.”
“No sir, there is no debt. I was doing my job at the time and… I happen to love her so deeply I couldn’t live with out her. I’d die for her any time, any place.”
The older man blinked at the passion coming from the normally stoic professional. It was a calm soothing voice but love and passion came through so clearly on her face especially in those expressive blue eyes.
“To be honest I’m relieved that you found her. My daughter is a wonderful woman who has been alone far too long. I’m very, very happy that you’re together.”
“That sounded more like a besotted father then the Vice President I see on TV.”
“Of course, I love my little brat. I want her to be happy.”
“Gee thanks Dad, very charming.”
“That’s my job sweetheart,” he said as they both turned to look at Gwen framed in the doorway.
Tara’s smile became blinding as soon as she saw her causing the older man to shake is head in wonder at the beauty of it. Gwen grabbed her loves hand and pulled her toward the party saying, “Come on Sweetheart, I have a room of equally charming people for you to meet.”
*** **** **** ***
Tara and Gwen were wrapped around each other in bed. Gwen was tracing the lines of Tara’s angular face. “You know I did this to the picture I took of you at rehearsal. I like doing it better in person.”
Tara snatched the fingers and brought them to her lips kissing the palm. “Yes this is much better for me too,” then she brought each finger to her mouth gently sucking on them watching with delight as Gwen’s eyes closed and she moaned deep in her throat in pure reaction that wonderful sight.
Then after she finished devouring the fingers she released the little hand brought her love closer and kissed her passionately. When they pulled back she tucked Gwen’s head against her shoulder snuggling close, she whispered, “I started that first painting of you that night. I was so frustrated because I just couldn’t capture the beauty of your eyes.” Her fingers were exploring and they were both loosing the thread of the conversation.
Gwen’s arms tightened around her, raised her head and kissed her with a deep need. Deeply involved now neither heard the phone ring and wouldn’t have cared if they had.
*** *** *** ***
Tara listened to Gwen’s messages and brow furrowed. She replayed the message and she shook her head. “Sweetheart, do you know someone named Ruby?”
Brushing her teeth, Gwen came out of the bathroom. “Yes, sort of. I went to boarding school with someone named Ruby. She was twit. Why?”
“Apparently she’s invited herself to your parent’s barbeque.”
“But… I can’t stand her… how could she…?”
“I don’t know, but she called Sweetie about 4 times in that short message.” Said Tara her expression annoyed.
“Shit I better warn my folks…”
“No Sweetheart, Let me make a call.”
An evil smile appeared suddenly, “I still have several friends in the Secret Service and the local police department.”
“I don’t like anyone calling you Sweetie. Especially an intruder you dislike…”
“Or inviting themselves to your parent’s private gatherings…”
“You are so very beautiful when your completely dumb founded,” Said Tara smiling as she waited for the phone to be answered. Tara pulled her love to her kissing her tenderly. The she nuzzled her cheek as she greeted the person on the other end of the phone.
*** *** *** ***
Jaimie shook her head after she got off the phone with her ex-boss. They had made up over what happened at Tara’s apartment. Tara said she had a lot going on and Jaimie said that she knew it. They smiled at each other and shook hands and that was it.
Jaimie sat down by her partner Peter and said, “Do you want to do something nice for Tara?”
Get on the good side of Tall, silent and deadly? Hell yeah.”
That was Tara’s reputation in the company. Stoic, silent completely emotionless. She was polite, civil and had respect for her fellow agents but that was it. No one, not even people who she had become a bit friendly with ever got through that thick wall till Gwen came into her life.
“We get to play Washington patrol.”
“What the hell is that?”
“Apparently some broad from Gwen’s high school is trying to crash the Vice Presidents party. They are using Gwen’s name and that is pissing off Tara.”
“They kept calling Gwen sweetie. She didn’t like that one bit.”
“I doubt she knows about Tara. Tara is very protective of her.”
“Yeah, I already got that impression when she flew in the air to protect her from that bullet.”
“Yeah well, Tara would have done that for anyone. She wouldn’t have stayed afterwards and made sure everything was perfect though. She really loves Gwen so the least we can do is go and play cop to help her out.
*** *** **** ***
Tara was leaning against a fence watching Gwen elegantly mingle with the people in her parent’s garden. Every guest was given a sweet smile and a gracious word. She wore jeans and a warm blue sweater her hair in pigtails and was wearing cute blue and white sneakers that had lacy ties. Tara smiled affectionately at her adorable love thinking. I bet she looked like that when she was a girl.
“You really are not allowed to be a wall flower my dear,” Said Gwen’s mother softly, she had just appeared at her side.
“I’m not by nature a very social person, Ma’am,” replied Tara politely.
“Well I know Gwen wants you to meet everyone before you both go to New York.”
“I met the two most important people to her and that is quite sufficient.”
“I see….Your a lovely young woman. My husband and I were both surprised and pleased.”
“Being an ex-agent and all.”
Tara smirked, “Tough, brassy, mean, spits out tobacco….”
The older woman smiled and shook her head, “Not quite that bad but you do out class every agent I have met. You are elegant, well educated and refined. My husband and I were very pleased by Gwen’s choice.”
Highly amused Tara replied with a slight bow, “Why thank you, Ma’am.”
“Oh Mother, I told you Tara wasn’t a cop like you see in the old movies. I swear love that’s where she got that impression.”
Tara’s face lit up as soon as she saw her love, she couldn’t help it she just was so happy it when ever she was near it always showed. Gwen smiled back with a matching look of pure joy, relishing the feel of the strong arm around shoulders as Tara pulled her close.
“Now Dear, be fair. Your father and I can only compare to the agents we have assigned to us.”
Tara tilted her head, “I know all the agents on that detail and I can’t think of one who spits or is brassy, Ma’am.”
“No, I’d never say that. Tara come now look at yourself. You’re wearing Jeans, a t-shirt, a leather jacket and boots. Yet you look like you just stepped out of Harpers Bazaar. You speak better then even my own very literate daughter. You are extremely polite and capable.”
Gwen laughed and kissed Tara’s cheek, “Yes, I agree with that she is one of kind.”
Tara blushed, and hid her face behind Gwen’s head, “Shhh Love.”
“And she’s modest and shy, amazing.” Said Gwen’s mother she is very charmed.
“Mother she is going to explode.” Gwen was gently stroking Tara’s back.
Suddenly there was a loud motion and Tara was the trained agent in an instant protectively in front of both Gwen and her mother.
“I was invited! Ask Gwen! Go ask her!” said the young woman between Jaime and Pete shouting as they dragged her out of the party.
Realizing what it was Tara relaxed and stepped back beside Gwen.
Gwen pulled Tara back into her arms and whispered, “You’re very scary you know that?”
“And a cutie.”
“Gwen.” Whispered Tara blushing again.
“I love when you do that. It’s so cute.”
**** *** **** ****
The director of the Secret Service did not like what he was about to do but he had no choice in the matter. He went to Vice President and whispered in his ear.
“Yes sir, I think it would be best of your gather your family and excuse yourself from your guests.”
“I see,” He nodded, went to his wife whispered in her ear. She looked frightened but nodded and followed him as they walked toward Gwen and Tara. Gwen looked scared but was comforted by Tara’s warm arm around her shoulders. Tara looked angry and alert. She bent whispered to Gwen who nodded and leaned her head against the strong shoulder. Tara looked around till her eyes met the head of the Agency that was her life until Gwen came into it. She leaned down and whispered again. Gwen nodded and Tara walked toward her ex-boss.
“Sir I request special authorization….?”
“Benson, I don’t think…”
“Sir this is my family were talking about, I want you to go to president and get me special authorization. I will do it with out but I think it best if you do this. I will protect the Vice President and his family so please sir, I need it.” Blue eyes blazed with anger and need.
It actually gave the older man chills, “You will not leave the country?”
“I am not leaving Gwen or her Parent’s side; I just want the authorization to do what ever I have to do to protect them.”
The director looked at the people in danger and then the capable woman in front of him. She was one of his most capable agents and she loved one of the people involved so he knew she had extra incentive. He sighed and nodded, “I will talk to the president it will be only till this is done.”
“That is my intension sir; I was very serious when I loved the service. I love Gwen and I want to devote myself to her and my art. But her safety and her parents is the most important thing and you know I can guarantee that. I won’t let anything happen to them. Gwen means everything” Said the tall woman passionately.
The older man looked distressed but nodded, “Consider done, Benson.”
“Thank you, Sir.” There was a dangerous glint in her eyes that wasn’t there before it sent a shiver down the Director’s spine. He knew that she was the person for the job; he just wished it wasn’t necessary.
When Tara came back, Gwen grabbed her armed and whispered urgently, “What was that all about?”
Gwen pulled Tara closer her voice intense, “What?”
Tara looked away and then right into beloved green eyes, “I was just given special license to protect you and your family by what ever means necessary.”
“What do you mean?”
“Did you ever watch James Bond movies?”
“What does James Bond have that most law enforcement officials never would?”
Green eyes widened and she felt like she would faint, her lips quivered as she said softly, “A license to kill?”
“Yes, I was just sanctioned to protect you at that level…”
“But doesn’t the President…”
“Yes, that is what the Director will arrange…”
The teary voice broke Tara’s heart; she took Gwen’s hand and led her to house. Then she hugged her tightly and said softly into her ear, “It’s just till we get under control. I won’t do anything unless I have to. I just want to protect you and your family.”
“Tara I can’t lose you I just found you!”
“You will never lose me and I will do everything in my power to lose you. I love you too much.”
“Shh, it will be ok. I promise you.”
*** *** *** ***
“The Secretary of Homeland Security will see you now.”
Tara was back in her sleek, aloof, professional mode polite and interested but distant except she had her hand firmly attached to Gwen. Gwen was a bit frightened that the friendly playful woman she loved was almost completely absence. With in the grasp of the warm hand holding hers she knew her Tara was still there but this façade still worried her.
As soon as they entered Tara stiffened to attention.
“Relax Benson, smoke if you got them.”
Gwen looked confused, but Tara relaxed and nodded once.”
“Tara doesn’t smoke and she doesn’t work for you any more…”
“I know, Gwen, That’s an old military term and Tara know it.’
Tara smiled slightly and nodded.
“Ok, let’s get down to business. Agent Benson your request has been discussed by all people involved and the President has approved it. This decision was not taken lightly and the only one you will be answerable to will be the President.” He handed Tara a signed document with the Presidential Seal.
Tara accepted and nodded again.
“What does all that mean?”
“It means that your friend is now back temporally back in the Secret Service and the only one she is answerable to is the President himself.”
Frightened green eyes met calm blue, “It means I can protect you and your family how ever I see fit…”
“There is an additional request you will also be protecting the President and his family.”
“I always intended that, Sir…”
“Wait!!!” Cried Gwen grabbing Tara’s hand stopping her from leaving the office. She looked pleadingly at the man she’d known since she was a little girl, “Uncle Charles are you saying that you just gave Tara permission to throw her life away to save ours?”
“No Sweetheart, I just gave her the ability to keep you, your family and President and his family safe. This way if she kills a terrorist she will not be prosecuted so she can go back to her life with you.”
Tara gently turned Gwen to her. Her face was soft and loving as she gently cupped her cheek. “When I worked for you before I fell in with you my job was to take a bullet for you. Now that I love you could I do less?”
Tears poured down Gwen’s cheeks, “You promised I wouldn’t lose you.”
“You won’t love; I am just free to protect you and your family. That’s all that’s changed. I’m still your Tara and still love, adore and worship you.”
A tiny smile flicked on Gwen’s face, “I don’t want to be worshipped.”
Strong fingers dried the tears falling down the beloved face as Tara shrugged and replied softly, “You can’t always get what you want.” She bent forward and kissed her love’s nose. Then she pulled the upset woman into her arms and hugged her tight. She looked over Gwen’s shoulder into compassionate gray eyes; those eyes were usually cold as ice. “I’m sorry, Sir.”
“It’s ok, Benson I see what Gwen’s Dad means. Just protect them.”
Tara smiled and nodded, “I will, Sir with my life.”
*** *** *** ***
It was a very silent ride home, as soon as they arrived in the foyer. Gwen took Tara’s hand and stopping her in her tracks. “I need to discuss this with you…”
“Sure,” Tara scooped Gwen up into her arms and carried her into the bedroom right onto the bed. She kissed her love passionately, and then started to kiss her way down her loves neck whispering, “What was you wanted to discuss?”
“This…isn’t…fair…”Her eyes closed as she fell deeply under her loves spell.
“Yes my Darling?” Tara pulled her love close nibbling a soft lobe in her mouth and gently suckled it.
“Mmm, Tara…mmm…” Gwen was beyond knowing or caring what they were going to discuss as her love kissed her passionately, she just let it go for now, she’d ask Tara whatever it was later.
*** *** ***
Gwen woke up alone but she saw her mates loving touches all around her. She was tucked under the covers. On table at her bedside was her breakfast with a single rose.
“No my love, you will not distract me again.” Said a very determined Gwen as she put on her robe and went after her sneaky love.
She found her the library on the computer going from site to site on the net.
“Hi Sweetheart, How long have you been up?”
“I just got up, did you get any sleep?”
Tara shrugged and said, “Not much. Did you like your breakfast?”
“I didn’t eat it yet?”
Tara had an adorable pout on her face as she said, “I made that for you special…”
“I’ll eat it I just didn’t want to be distracted this time.”
“How did you get distracted?”
“A certain sexy woman seduced me.”
“Do I have competition?”
“Not unless you compete with yourself.”
Tara chuckled and replied, “You can’t say that you didn’t enjoy it.”
“No, I but I want to talk to you now…what are you doing?”
“Just prowling chat rooms looking for some links to the groups where we are looking for.”
“Have you been up all night?”
“Um…for quite a while, go take a peak at your portrait.” Tara said with a sweet smile. She hadn’t been able to sleep at all. She knew she couldn’t keep Gwen at bay but every possible distraction helped.
Gwen almost fainted when she walked into the study. On the easel was almost a perfect mirror image of her own face except the image was more beautiful then the reality.
“What do you think?” Asked a quiet voice from behind her.
“I think I am far more beautiful in your head then I am in any mirror.”
Warm arms brought her close to the tall strong body and she felt a tender kiss on her neck. “I think this is very realistic. I worked very hard on it.”
“I know. You’re amazing I just don’t think I look that luminous.”
“You do to me, Love.”
Gwen was kissed passionately and then she felt herself being picked up and carried, “What are you doing?”
“I intend to demonstrate to you just how luminous you are to me.”
For a minute she just floated in the love around her. Then after she was gently placed bed Tara was getting her breakfast green eyes widened when she realized what her beautiful love just did. “You are really good.”
Tara sat down on the bed and was about to bring Gwen close to her again, “I haven’t even done anything yet.”
Gwen held her back and said, “No, I won’t let you distract me…”
“Gwen please I don’t want to talk about this…”
“Because I don’t want you to be some super spy killing machine…”
“I won’t. All I want to do is protect you and your family and the President’s family. This way I won’t be prosecuted this way but I will be free to act as I see fit. It is never ever my first instinct to kill.”
“I don’t want you to get hurt either.”
“Darling, before I met you and fell in love with you. My job was to stand in front of a bullet for you. Now I love you more then anything the stakes are even higher…”
Gwen crawled over to her and cuddled close then whispered, “I know…but the thought of losing you in any way just….”
Tara covered her lips with a gentle finger, “You won’t I promise,” she dried the tears, and then she hugged her love tight. “I won’t let anything happen to you either and that is something I promise you too.”
*** *** *** ***
Two men entered a dark dingy dive in downtown Baltimore. The bartender seeing them in the mirror nodded once and pushed a button under the bar that unlatched a door in the back.
A beautiful blonde with big dark blue eyes came up to the bar she put her glass down for a refill. She paid for the new drink and asked in a soft sexy voice, where did those men go? They were cute.”
The bar tender smiled and shook his head he looked the silly woman in the eye as he gave her the change. “Sorry baby I don’t know anything about them. Don’t want to.”
“Oh? They don’t look like gang members.”
“Something much worse. Here you go, Sweetheart have it on the house.” He pushed the money back and smiled at her.
She smiled sweetly and took the drink with a grateful nod. She went down the hall to the ladies room and poured it down the toilet. Then left the glass on the sink. She left out a back door right next to the bathroom unnoticed by the few people in the back of the bar. She walked down the block and slipped into back of a non-descript SUV.-
“So? Asked a soft voice behind her.”
“There is a something going on. They have a meeting room in the back. The bartender is either a hired flunky or a great actor.”
Jamie smiled and winked at her friend and colleague, “Sam you’re a damn fine actress.”
“Part of my job.”
“I know Tara appreciates it.”
“How is she doing?”
“She’s biting at the bit. She really wishes she could split herself in half so she can be in two places at once.”
“That sounds like Tara. I can’t believe the perfect agent left the service. This girl must be something else.”
“Yes she is. I have never seen Tara so happy. They are a cute couple. I like Gwen a lot…”
“Is she beautiful?”
Jamie nodded, “A knock out.”
Sam winked, “I wouldn’t expect less from Tara. So what is next?”
Jamie shrugged; she pulled out a special universal phone only on the service frequency and dialed a very familiar number.
“Hello?” was the whispered reply.
“Yeah, hold on a minute.” It was muffled but it sounded like Tara was moving down the hall. “Ok, what’s up?”
“Where are you?”
“Dinner with Gwen’s family and the President’s family.”
“Oh my God!”
“At least they are under one roof for the moment so I can protect them. What’s up?”
“Sam found one of their lairs. Do you want us to raid it?”
“No Jamie, not yet. Set up a team to find out who is involved. How many can we count on?”
“We have been allotted 12 agents from this team.”
“That should do. Go ahead set up the units but don’t show our hand.”
“I won’t. You be careful too.”
“I will, bye Jamie.”
“Talk to you later.” Jamie hung up and looked at Sam, “She says we should bug them first.”
Sam nodded and started to pull out all the stuff they would need to monitor the bad guys.
*** **** *** ***
On the way home from the White House Gwen kept looking at Tara with an amused grin.
“What are you smirking about?”
“You really surprised them.”
Tara snorted. “Why the hell should they be so surprised I know about history? Just because I was in the service…”
“I don’t think it was the fact that you know history, Sweetheart. I think it was the depth of knowledge you displayed. Wow! You really shocked my Dad when you went into a detailed description about that battle during the Revolution. Did you know my Dad considers himself an expert of that period in American History?”
“Uh….no…did I put my foot in my mouth….?”
“No Darling, my Dad was flabbergasted you were brilliant. You had an answer to his every objection. I can tell you from experience that hardly ever happens.”
Tara shrugged as she pulled into the garage. “I just love history I always have. I ate it up as a kid. I can’t help but put my two cents in when anyone starts discussing it.”
“I thought it was beautiful.”
Tara parked the car and undid the belt watching to make sure the automatic door closed in the garage. She then slid closer to Gwen pulling her close. She whispered into a tiny ear, “You sound just like a besotted lover.”
“Good cause I am too…” She was interrupted by the phone. “Jamie can’t you figure anything out by yourself, Damn it?”
There was silence on the phone then a clearing of throat and the amused voice of the Secretary for Homeland Security came through the phone. “Am I interrupting something Agent Benson?”
Blue eyes widened and met very amused green, Tara rolled her pale blue eyes and then calmly replied, “No sir, I just feel field agents should take more initiative.”
“I see…any progress?”
“Yes sir, we found three of the meeting sites. One is at a very respectable hotel. Once I know who is in this and how many are involved I want to put in a very gifted covert agent into play.”
“You are not one of the agents doing all this investigating are you, Benson?”
“No sir, I made a promise I am going to keep. I am coordinating and protecting the people I am assigned to protect.”
“And since you retired you lost your abilities as an agent?”
“No, but since in there eyes I am no longer part of the team I am not threat. Since the think I retired they will think I am working alone.”
“What if they hit before we have everything in place.”
“I have alternative plans just in case.”
Another pause and grunt, “I bet you do. Goodnight Agent Benson, give my best to Gwen.”
“I will. Goodnight sir.”
Tara looked into serious worried sea green eyes. “I promised not to be an obvious target or part of the initial investigating teams. But my love, I adore and worship you and I will protect you no matter what.”
*** *** *** ***
A dark man entered the exclusive restaurant to be met by a small woman of Middle Eastern descent. She was very elegant and well dressed. She escorted the handsome young man to a table surrounded by four men.
An older man said, “Welcome Dr. Salome.”
The dark man bowed his head and sat down at the table beside the woman.
The woman smiled at the handsome young man who was supplying some much needed funds, “We were saying Doctor that the easiest target would be the Bald Eagle’s chick.”
“What about the saber tooth tiger the chick lives with?”
“She is no longer part of the pack.”
“But she still has teeth,” said the older man very worried.
The woman shrugged, “She is only one cat and a female. My men can handle her.”
The dark man cleared his throat and said, “I have a question.”
“I know I am only here for financial reasons but what would the good be to take out the chick? Were after Father Goose.”
“We are, we will go slowly one step at a time. That’s the way to catch the Goose.” Said the woman with wide grin.
*** *** *** ***
Tara was busy working out some plans with her people when her cell phone rang. She pulled it out and answered, “Benson?”
“Angel! How did it go?”
“Scary, it was too smooth.”
“They are after your Blossom”
“Shit! I knew it. Thanks…”
“I will. You be careful too, you’re in the wolf’s den.”
“I know but you’re the meat they are after.”
“I’ll take care of it.”
“I know you will, Night.”
Tara hung up and looked out the window.
Tara looked over her shoulder at Gwen. She smiled sadly and held out her hand.
Gwen hugged Tara tight; Tara bent her head and kissed her love on the top of the head. She replied softly. “I have a covert agent working on this and he just informed me that we were targeted.”
“What are we going to do?”
“Don’t you like to be surprised?”
“No, not this kind. What?”
“You know all that stuff I have done around the condo?”
“You said they were some sort of Home Improvement.”
“In a way.”
What are they for?”
“Traps? What kind of traps?”
Tara smiled, picked up Gwen carried her to the couch and then cradled her in her lap. “They are old fashioned traps but very effective.” Said Tara then she kissed Gwen distracting her for the time being.
****** **** ***** ****
Tara, Gwen, Jamie, Sam and Peter were in Gwen and Tara’s kitchen. Tara had made up a blue print of their condo. With sure even strokes of her pen she created all the traps and where they would be with absolute accuracy. All points of entry would be covered both by her traps and surveillance equipment.
Gwen was standing behind Tara watching her work and said plaintively, “Who is going to clean this mess up?”
Tara smirked and looked up at Gwen as she wrapped a long arm around Gwen’s waist pulling her close. Then she went back to her work as she answered, “We’ll have a hasmit team come in.”
Gwen put her arm around Tara’s shoulder and leaned her head against Tara’s as she asked, “Will it be that bad?”
Tara tickled Gwen and said, “No, but it sounds good. It will be messy I will assign a team to clean up.” The others chuckled. Tara looked at them and said in a low menacing voice, “Are you three volunteering?”
The three agents looked at each other then their temporary leader and Jamie said, “No Ma’am, I think I will bow out of that detail.” The others nodded.
“Well then don’t volunteer by your action,” Then she pulled Gwen into her lap. “Don’t worry, Sweetheart, I will have team who specializes in it come in and clean up.”
“Thanks.” They kissed tenderly. Tara rubbed her cheek against Gwen’s and then is absent voice she asked, “Peter, how is your equipment? Are all the exits covered?”
“Yes Ma’am we’re all set.”
Still cuddling Gwen, Tara explained out her plan. Peter looked at her and said, “You are so evil Tara.”
****** ***** *******
With her love’s permission Tara made Gwen’s den into a control room. She set up several monitors to keep a watch at every possible entrance to their home. The monitor held several pictures and schematics.
“I can see your degree is hard at work, Sweetie. Are you all set?” Asked Gwen from the doorway with a smile.
Tara admired the beautiful woman so casually dressed, in black slacks, black turtleneck sweater, nothing on her feet. Her hair pulled back in a ponytail. “You look very beautiful tonight, my Darling.” She motioned for Gwen to come closer. “And yes we are all ready.”
Gwen blushed and went to the agents side, Tara was in jeans and tank top her hair was pulled into a ponytail too. She had her boots on the desk but when Gwen came over the landed quickly on the floor. Gwen thought the beauty looked exhausted, “Have you had any sleep since this whole thing started?” She asked as she tenderly brushed the dark messy bangs out of the tired blue eyes.
Gwen had cupped Tara’s cheeks with her hands tenderly rubbed the soft cheeks, Tara’s eyes closed in reaction and she replied softly, “Of course I have.”
“I know you haven’t. You are going to get yourself sick.” She tenderly kissed Tara’s closed eyes, her nose and her chin.
“I’m fine my Darling, really I…”
An alarm went off. Tara pulled back and gently kissed Gwen’s nose. She gently put Gwen into a desk chair. She looked at the schematic and then at the screens, “Ah, they decided we left the garage door open…”
**** *** *** ****
Two figures in black crept into the garage. One pulled a very advanced electronic key from a pouch and tripped the lock.
They slipped through the side door and walked quickly to the inner door of the house. When they reached the step they heard a loud groan. They looked up to get a face full of oil. Soon they couldn’t even stand the garage was drenched in it. They were holding on to each other for balance. They couldn’t stand and slid to opposite sides of the garage.
**** **** ***
Both girls were laughing at the two goons skidding around on the oil.
One of the figures pulled out something with a flick of the mouse Tara had a whip come out of no where and grabbed the object taking straight up to hole in the ceiling.
“What was that?”
“You really don’t want to know, Darling.”
“Its not going to blow us up is it?”
“No, it is an explosive but since they were rolling around the garage I’d say it was very stable. Its now full of oil and that should damage it.”
One of the figures pulled out a cross bow from their back pack. With a wicked grin Tara flicked the mouse again and another whip came out to grab it and bring it up to another hidden enclosure. Then Tara hummed as she worked a sequence and bits of white fell like snow. The men screamed as touched their oil drenched skin.
“What is that white stuff? It’s not acid is it?”
“Sort of, it’s salt. The kind that you use to take ice off your car.”
“Then why are you screaming.”
“Its eating right through the fabric of their gloves because their soaked in oil. It’s like the old saying of salt on a wound.”
“Shit!” She reacted to the thought and then smiled. She kissed Tara on the nose and said, “I am so glad you’re on my side.” Tara smiled and winked and said, “Always.”
****** ********* ******** ****
The two captured terrorists were brought straight to the director of Secret Service. When the director saw one of the fish Tara had caught he whistled and pulled out his cell.
“Benson, did you recognize one of the fish you caught?”
“Nope, I just had Jaime bring them in. Why?”
“One of the men is a small fry but the other is one of the organizers of the attack on Pan Am. I’d like to kick the butt of who ever let that bastard in our country! You did a great job.”
“Thank you, Sir, I am afraid that is only the first waive. My operative said there will be several of them not only against us but my Gwen’s folks. I have people at the Vice Presidents residence to work with his usual Secret Service Staff. They have a few traps set up there too. I am not moving from this control room till we get all of the bastards.”
“What about the President?”
“Oh, I have a few plans in motion for him and his family too. I don’t think they will go after them till were secure though. Hopefully my man will get enough on them so we can get them before they can get that far in there plans. I want to nip this in the bud.”
“I hope so, I hope so. I don’t think the American People will appreciate the cleaning bill for a white house full of oil.”
Tara laughed as she caressed Gwen’s cheek, “Neither did Gwen, sir. It did the trick though.”
******* ****** ****
Gwen carried a tray of sandwiches for Tara and Jamie. Jamie had come in to report to Tara on the progress at the various posts that Tara had set up. It had been twenty four hours since the last attack and Tara was getting edgy.
“Anything to indicate they have someone on the inside?” Asked Tara who was leaning back in her chair stretching Gwen could see how tired she was and shook her head as she put down the tray.
“No Sam did everything but seduce the bartender and she said he does know who they are but not what their up to. Sam suspects he is a sympathizer but not a player.”
“Are you two going to eat these or are they going to be a decoration?”
“Actually I need to go I have some field work to do. You two be careful,” Jaime said sweetly as she grabbed her coat.
“You be careful too Jamie,” said Tara as she watched the young woman head to the door.
“Yes Jamie, I’d like you to….never mind….”
“Nothing, I need to talk to you about it first.”
The two agents looked at Golda and then each other very confused.
“Gwen honey what are you talking about?”
Gwen gave her a significant look and said, “Later.”
Jamie decided to scoot not wanting to interrupt a private conversation.
Tara pulled Gwen onto her lap, “What was that all about my love?”
Gwen nestled close, she whispered, “Nothing you have enough on your mind.”
“Nothing is more important in my life then your happiness. So what is wrong?”
“I was going to say something to Jaime and then I realized it was presumptuous.”
“What are you talking about?” Tara looked into Gwen’s eyes and she saw fear so she pulled her closer and hugged her tight and whispered, “Please tell me darling, please.”
“Sweetheart, you’re busy and I….”
“Please, my love, tell me.”
“I was going to say…well….” She tried to pull away but Tara pulled her back and held her tight.
“Come now I need to know what is troubling you.”
Hearing the worry Gwen took a deep breath and said, “I was going to say I wanted her in one piece for our wedding.” She tried to pull back again. Tara only allowed her to pull back enough so she could look into the scared green eyes. “Are you proposing to me?”
“Yes but you don’t have to answer I…”
“Are you asking me to marry you?”
Gwen looked down and nodded.
“Sweetheart look at me please.” Tara’s voice was very soft.
Very shy eyes looked into loving blue, “Yes.”
Tara tilted her head and replied, “You’re too intelligent a woman not to understand that reply. You asked me the most in important question of our lives and I replied very quickly. Very simple really.”
Green eyes became huge and filled with love and happiness. “Really?”
Tara’s face matched Gwen’s “Yes I love you and I’d want to be with you forever. I accept.”
“Oh…God…Tara….” She pulled Tara to her kissing her passionately.
A signal emitted from Tara’s board, they pulled back and Tara looked at the schematic and the surveillance monitor. “Fucking lousy timing these bastards have.” Tara growled as she reluctantly went back to work.”
********* ********** *********
Three men scaled up the back wall to a sky light at the top of the condo. It was above the enclosed patio area. As they climbed black goo oozed down the wall from cans set up by Tara.
“What is that stuff?” Asked Gwen as she watched on the monitor still sitting on her loves lap.
“It’s not hot, just warm enough to ooz down on the bastards.”
“No, they are only far enough up to break a leg at most.”
They didn’t need to the monitors to hear the screams coming form above them. They were attached to tethers and were desperately trying to release them so they could go back down but they were so sticky they could get it to release.
Tara laughed wickedly and said, “Interrupt us when we are becoming engaged will you?” A bag of white stuff started fell and it was released over there heads.
“What is that?”
“Yuck, tar and feathers? You have a very evil sense of humor my darling,”
“Now that you know that you still want to marry me?”
“Yep I love it.”
“Thanks, I love you so much.” She kissed Gwen’s nose.
“How long are you going to leave them like that?”
“I think an hour should do it.”
“Were you a torturer in another life?”
Tara smiled wickedly and shrugged.
************ *************** ********
The inner circle met at a bar in Baltimore.
“It would seem the tiger not only has teeth she has a sense of humor.”
“She took out five of our best men with out a shot fired. They lost all honor. I’d say she has teeth and claws.”
“So what are we going to do?”
The leader stood up and said with a grim look. “We are going to switch targets.”
“The bald eagle.”
“What if she has traps set up there too?”
The leader moved toward a phone in the private room and said, “We will go for a more direct approach.”
******** ********* *******
The last thing Tara wanted to do was scare Gwen’s parents. She and Gwen drove over to the Vice Presidents residence. They waited in the library. Gwen could see that Tara was very nervous but the agent wouldn’t tell her what she learned from her surveillance unit until she spoke to her father.
The Vice President came in to the room. Gwen got up went to her father to give him a hug and kiss. Tara was in full agent mode she stood at attention and waited to be acknowledged.
“What’s wrong, Agent Benson?”
“Is your wife available, Sir? I need to speak to all of you.”
“Agent Benson, Gwen can tell you her mother is a wonderful woman but she doesn’t take bad news well. She will panic. It would be better if you told us and then one of us go talk to her and break the news gently.”
“Very well. Could you have seat, Sir? You too Darling.”
Gwen nervously sat close to her father. Tara had been upset and very stiff since she got a call from Jaime and hour earlier. She had sent Gwen to get her coat and they came straight here. Now she looked into concerned blue eyes with trepidation.
It’s the terrorist’s, Sir they switched their target. Not here in public. They are going to go after you, Sir. All we know it’s a public function we don’t know which one. You have several functions on your own. I believe though that they will hit you when we go to the presentation at the White House. We are all scheduled to go on that one and it would be too good a time to miss. I believe they will attempt to hit us while we are in transit.”
“Tara, why would they strike at my Father then?”
“Love, then they will get all of us. It would be a hit that would really affect the whole country. The best time to hit us is when we are in transit because we are more vulnerable then. What they don’t know is that I have an inside man there that warned us. I will have a trap set for them.”
“What do you suggest we do?”
“I think the best strategy would to be put a decoy out. I can’t say anything else. It would only be one part of the plan but believe me, Sir I will not allow you or your family be hurt. Especially my Darling Gwen.”
“I know that. I trust you. I also know how much you love each other so I know my Baby is safe.”
“No matter what, Sir.”
Gwen had tears streaming down her face. Tara went to her pulled her into her arms and hugged her tight. She looked at the older man who nodded and looked indulgent. Then Tara pulled back slightly keeping her arms around her upset mate.
“I am tripling all your security.”
“Your Gwen’s Father and she adores you. I won’t let anything happen to you. To any of you.”
Gwen looked up and said, “It won’t happen to either. You promised.”
“Yes, I know and I will keep my promise.” She kissed her loves forehead and then pulled her into a tight hug again.
“I will need help to explain this to my wife, in fact Kitten could you do it? You’re so good at that.”
“Sure Dad, I’ll be happy to.” She kissed Tara passionately. Then she caressed her cheek. She walked to her Dad and kissed him on the cheek and they she left the room.
Once sure she was out of earshot. “Is she still in danger to Tara?”
“And you have a full team on her as well?”
“Three of them, Sir.” Tara smiled and said. “They were handpicked by me and very discreet. She doesn’t even realize it.”
He nodded and said, “Good. Um…I hear we are to be related.”
“Do you object sir?”
“No Tara, I don’t. I think you’re the best thing that has ever happened to her. I have never seen her so happy.”
A bright smile appeared on the tall woman’s face and for the first time since she got that phone call Tara was back to her normal self. “She is the best and most important person in my life.”
*** **** ****
Tara and Gwen stayed the night at the Vice Presidents residence. They were tangled around each other in bed and Tara asked quietly, “Did your Mom object to our sharing a room?”
“No’s she’s to shook up by the threat to worry about us. Sweetheart, what are you planning?”
Hopefully my operative will find out what is planned so we can nip it in the bud. If not it will appear seamless we will just have to through life with a lot more security.”
“You took out those terrorists in New York and five more here. Can’t they catch a clue and just stop?”
“No, I think that’s why they switched targets. I shook them up. I am so sorry, Love.”
“I thought I would have nailed them by now. I never meant for them to target all of us.”
“You’re not an Oracle. How would they have expected you to have predicted this?”
“Its part of my job to try and stop attacks before they happen.”
“I think your doing a great job. So do my folks.”
“Really? Both of them?”
“Yep. Mom thinks you’re a saint. Dad is very impressed with you, and that’s saying a lot. He is not easy to impress, believe me.”
“Just because I’m good with history?”
Gwen laughed and hugged Tara whispering in her ear, “No silly because you love me so very much.”
Tara nibbled the little ear and whispered back. “Loving you is so easy. I loved you the moment I saw you. All I want to do is keep you and your family safe.”
“I know that, and so do my folks.”
“You’re my life, Gwen.”
“And your mine.”
********** *********** ************
The family was very nervous in the back of a long white limo. The decoy was already heading in the opposite direction. They were in coming through a back way when a car came out of no where blocking their path.
“Pete, pull over and let me off here. Then high tail it out of here as soon as I am clear.”
“Shhh, it’ll be ok Sweetheart. I’ll meet you at the banquet.” She kissed Gwen passionately then quickly hopped out of the car. The car pulled out fast, she waited for the black sedan that was about to give chase to get where she wanted it to, and shot expertly taking out both front tires and then shattered the glass on the windshield.
From behind the offending black sedan another car, an old station wagon came careening up and 4 agents jumped out with their guns drawn. Two men and a woman came out of the black sedan with their hands above their heads. Tara recognized her right away and eyebrow rose as she whistled quietly.
“Good evening Miss Asori. I think the assistant secretary to the Ambassador of Oman should travel with better companions.” Her gun was aimed at the woman’s head as Jaime put cuffs on the well dressed woman.
“I was kidnapped; I am here against my will…”
“A gun and a knife, Ma’am” Said a male agent holding them up after pulling one from her pocket and the knife from the woman’s boot.
“You’re a well armed hostage.” Tara laughed shaking her head at the absurdity of her defense.
“It was planted on me….I was being watched…”
“Save it for the Secretary of Homeland Security you’re his prisoner not mine. I don’t need to hear your bullshit you have diplomatic immunity so you’re his headache. Sam!”
“Take this garbage. I have a banquet to make.”
***** **** *** ***
A very nervous blonde paced in an underground parking lot at the Watergate hotel.
Jamie and Pete exchanged very nervous expressions as they watched knowing that Tara wanted Gwen safely upstairs.
“How in the hell will she be able to get here when we left her in the middle of nowhere?”
“She has transport…”
“Can’t one of you go and get her…?”
“No Ma’am we are not allowed to leave you.”
“I’m safe now, go get her damn it!”
“We can’t Gwen…”
“Damn straight they can’t! What are you doing Love? Are you trying to get them in trouble with their boss?”
Gwen ran into the tall woman’s arms and hugged her tight. Tara returned the hug lovingly and then thoroughly kissed Gwen till they both forgot where they were for a moment. Then Tara pulled back caressing the soft cheeks she asked, “Are you ok?”
“Yes, are you?”
“Not a scratch.”
“I knew something was up when you wore your coat instead of your evening wrap. You usually don’t wear that trench over an evening gown….”
“I needed it for my badge, gun and handcuffs. As beautiful as your stuff is I can’t conceal much in it.”
“I never considered that when I designed it. I guess I will have to make your stuff more functional and less sexy…”
“Don’t you dare? I love the stuff you make. I love how sexy and slinky I feel in them and how you look in them. There is nothing wrong with wearing my trench when I have to; it’s an upscale London Fog. I am not dressed like Lt. Columbo.” Tara handed Pete her coat with smirk.
“Are you sure you want to go into the hotel unarmed?”
“Who says, I’m not armed,” she pulled back the slit of her long dress to reveal a tiny holster and small pistol.
Gwen laughed and shook her head, “You got that from Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality.”
“Yep, I don’t know how she got all that stuff in their though and was still able to walk at all. It took some practice with just that tiny pistol.”
“Come on Columbo”
***** **** **** ***
“Well you won us some time by taking out the leader of the cell.”
“What do they have up there sleeves, Angel?”
“They are all arguing about what to do. She was the brains.”
“Did you find a sell out?”
“Yes, I had drinks with him last night.”
“He got so plastered he told me everything.”
“Have Pete and Jamie tag him.”
“Should I stay under cover?”
“Yes, but be very careful. You know the old saying just because you chop off a head of dragon be careful a more ferocious one doesn’t take his place.”
“I’ll be careful.
*** *** *** ***
“She is not saying a damn thing, Benson.”
“I have an idea, Sir. It’s not very orthodox though.”
“What is it?”
“Can I go in there?”
“I guess, what are you going to do?”
“Hopefully I will be able to imitate and irritate the information out of her.”
*** *** *** ***
“Good evening Ana, I’ve heard you have had an entertaining 24 hours.” Said Tara with a wicked smile as she came into the very comfortable holding room. Because of the woman’s diplomatic level she could not be brought to a normal holding cell for interrogation.
“Go eat shit!”
“Charming. That’s not on my diet if it’s on yours I can see you’re served it.”
She sat down on a comfortable chair crossed her legs and asked softly, “So are you with Bin Laudin?”
“I work for the Ambassador of Oman.”
“Hmm, you know it is very interesting he told us that you got your post as a favor to your brother. He is the head of the security force and the Ambassador is having him investigated because he believes that he was planted by one of the terrorist groups…”
“You leave my brother alone!”
“I am not bothering your brother, The Ambassador is, in fact after our chat he had him arrested and he is waiting the outcome of the investigation for a trial. He is afraid that others might be planted on his staff and he needs to find out who they are before your brother tried and sentenced. Hanging is the punishment for betrayal in your country isn’t it?”
“He wouldn’t do that. No, he trusts my brother. Your trying to play with my mind…I won’t let you.”
“Won’t let me what?”
“You’re trying to get me to talk.”
“Why else would you be here?”
From the expression of a completely stoic agent Tara became an outraged lover, “To you let you know point blank if you harm one hair on any member of the Vice Presidents family I will personally hunt every member of your cell down and take you out forever.”
“You can’t threaten me your not an agent.”
“Oh? Then why would I be here?”
“You’re the lover of that spoiled brat designer.”
“Lovers are not given access to terrorists. I have news for you I am still very much an active agent. In fact I am the team leader.”
“And you better call of your assault on us or I might not be so nice next time. Guess who will die if anything happens to my love’s family?”
“You can’t kill me.”
*** *** *** ***
“Agent Benson that was insane!”
“You told her you’re an agent and you’re authorized to kill.”
“No, I didn’t. I told her I still worked for you but I could have been lying to bug her, I also made it clear that if I killed her it would be personal and not agency business.”
“In a way you did do that, but not really. It was risky. ..”
“Sir, I just wanted to shake her up.” They watched the nervous woman through the monitor as the spoke.
“I don’t see what good that will do Benson.”
“I think the control is on the inside, Sir. I want her to be so nervous that she will give it away.”
“What do you mean?”
“Either the State Dept or the Treasury would be the most likely but it could be anyone.”
“If I am right, they will be in touch with her. I want to follow them to the top. I want them all.”
*** *** *** ***
Gwen came running into the control room at the condo. Tara was throwing things all over the room in a rage. Her face was a mask of rage but she wasn’t uttering a word.
“What’s wrong? What happened.”
Icy eyes met hers her voice shook with emotion, “They killed Angel.”
“They had to be good. I have known him for years; he was a good friend and a very great agent. Someone must have sold him out. Someone high up. If I could get my hands on that son of bitch I would…”
“Tara…” Gwen pulled her love into arms, Tara’s eyes suddenly filled with tears. “Oh Damn” She hugged Gwen tight the tears flowing freely in pure grief. She nuzzled the soft blonde hair.
“I’m so sorry Darling; it’s my fault your friend died. You wouldn’t even been involved in this if it wasn’t for me. God, I am so sorry…”
Suddenly hearing the words that Gwen was saying she pulled back and cupped the soft cheeks in both hands as she looked deeply into tear filled green eyes. “No Love, This isn’t your fault at all.” She tenderly dried the tears and traced soft lips. “I am here because I love you, but even if I had never even met you I am an agent I would be a part of this and Angel would have been exposed to danger. It was his job. I won’t let you blame yourself. You are completely innocent.” Tara kissed her with little butterfly kissed all over her face.
When she pulled back she smiled slightly, Gwen’s eyes were closed, “Open your eyes My Love.” Big green eyes opened and looked into loving pale blue so warm it lit her soul. “Sorry, I was really angry. They were so scattered I was shocked they were able to plan a hit like that.”
“What are you going to do?”
“Find out that the traitor is and round them all up so they can all rot in jail forever.”
“I know that…I am just scared that…I….”
“Hey, I promised you. You know I’d never break that, don’t you?”
“The terrorists don’t care about anything but there own bloody agenda.”
“No, but I do and that’s all that counts.”
**** *** *** ****
The Secretary of State got off the phone with the Secretary of Homeland Security very disturbed. What he was just told made him have second thoughts about his whole staff. It was scary. There were only two possible traitors on his staff both were trusted by him and their betrayal stabbed him deeply. His secretary and his chief deputy. They were the only people other then himself who know the route of the Vice President’s caravan.
“Carrie could you come in please?”
“Yes Sir,” was the prompt reply.
The handsome older man leaned back and thought, What am I going to do?
The beautiful blonde smiled sweetly at her boss as she had very ugly thoughts, Jap twerp, if he wasn’t in this position of power I wouldn’t go near the horrible yellow twerp. She sat demurely as she awaited his dictation.
“It would seem there was an attempt made on the Vice President and his family last night. Since we were part of the planning of that caravan we were just notified we are under investigantion. I want our staff to give the department of Homeland Security complete access. Please cooperate with the investigators. Sign that and post it and send it to all email address in our department.”
“Yes Sir. What will they do, Sir?”
“Check us all out, if you have done nothing wrong you have nothing to worry about.”
“Of course, Sir.”
“So you have nothing to worry about.”
“Not a thing.”
*** *** *** ***
“Hey it’s Pete. The Secretary fed the bait and the rats are nibbling.”
‘Two, it seems they are lovers.”
“Does the Secretary know that?”
“Tell him. Gently ok Pete, try and be diplomatic.”
“Sure do I need to buy him a drink first…?”
“I’m kidding. Are you two ok?”
“Yes, did you…?”
“Yep, I tripled it.”
“My pleasure I don’t want anything to happen to either of you. I’ll keep you informed, Boss.”
“I am not your boss.”
“Sure you are.”
“Bye you nut!”
Everything ok?” Asked a quiet voice from behind her.
Tara looked over shoulder and smiled. She stretched and said, “Its fine.” She tried to hide a yawn but couldn’t.
Gwen shook her head and took the beautiful hand into her own, “Ok Super Agent, time to go to sleep.”
“Honey I still have a lot of work to do.”
“After you get a few hours sleep.”
“You need some sleep you haven’t had a wink of sleep since this all started.” She took the beloved hand and began to pull it toward her, Tara looked amused, “Sweetheart do you really think you can pull me anywhere I don’t want to go?”
She let go of her hand and pouted. Then she looked like she knew exactly what she was going to do. She took a few steps from the door and took off her sweater and kept walking.
Tara stared at her half naked mate in shock, “What are you doing?”
Gwen smiled seductively as she took off her slacks and threw them over her shoulder. Then started out the door in her bra and panties. Tara was chasing after her picking up clothes. “Darling you do know there are cameras on all around us.” She chased after her almost naked love trying to put her Jacket around the smaller woman.
Gwen avoided it, “The panties come off next if you don’t come to bed with me.”
Tara caught up with her put her coat around her and pulled her into her arms. “I’ll get into bed if you get in with me, Sexy.”
“That was always my plan, Darling.” Said Gwen as she hugged her love back. Tara picked her love up as Gwen cuddled close in the warm loving arms. Tara jumped onto the bed. Took off the coat and then tenderly took off Gwen’s panties and she whispered, “Promise me that you want show your sexy body with anyone else from now on. You’re all mine.” She kissed her passionately.
Gwen was beyond replying she just went with her love, she figured that they would discuss it later.
*** *** *** ***
Tara was happily trapped under Gwen. She had finally slept a few hours. She knew Gwen was right but she felt like she was betraying her love by sleeping.
“You’re not setting a toe out of this bed yet so forget it,” Said a soft sexy voice from beneath her.
“What exactly do you have in mind, my little sex kitten?” She looked into mischievous green eyes.
“That you’re going to sleep for 8 hours.”
“I don’t have…”
“You’re sleeping or…”
“Or what. Are you going to do another strip tease?”
“Yep don’t think Pete would enjoy it?”
“Yes I do and no your not. I am just fine, Darling.” She glanced at the clock. “I slept four and half hours believe me that is a lot of sleep for me.”
“No it isn’t, eight hours that’s not negotiable.”
“Because you’re going to make yourself sick and I won’t accept that.”
“I won’t, Sweetheart really I have very strong constitution. I don’t need 8 hours.”
“Tara for once in your life please surrender.”
Tara looked deeply into the beautiful green eyes and smiled lovingly, “Actually when it comes to you its really hard not to. I am doing this for you. Look into my eyes.” Gwen looked deeply into the beautiful blue eyes distracting Tara from her point.
Tara cleared her throat, “Um do they look tired or sleepy.”
“No they look very beautiful,” She pulled Tara to her and kissed her passionately. Tara pulled back slightly licking her lips. “That wasn’t what I was going for, Love.”
“What are you going for, Sweetheart,” She was kissing Tara all over face, Tara closed her eyes and let herself sink into the pillow losing herself temporally in the sweet love of the woman in her arms. “I have no idea.”
*** *** *** ***
Tara opened her eyes and glanced at the clock then down at the head nestled against her shoulder. I always knew that when I fell in love it would be a combination of beauty and brains. I just never realized that both could seduce you so easily. Her fingers were tenderly playing with blonde hair that was all over her chest. She reached over to the end table with her other hand and grabbed her cell. She looked at the read out and her eyes narrowed, “How the hell can I have no messages?”
Tara hadn’t realized that she had muttered that out loud. “I asked Jamie to take care of things while you slept.”
“When did you do that?”
“Before I seduced you into bed.”
“Aren’t you the clever girl?” Tara whispered seductively as she pulled Gwen close.
Gwen looked up and met Tara’s lips in a deep loving kiss. Tara pulled back and licked Gwen on the nose making her love laugh and nip her ear.
Tara smiled and called Jamie, When the agent answered Tara said with out preamble, “So I hear you were part of conspiracy.”
“It was for a very good cause.”
“Come on you know I never get sick.”
“No I don’t, I know you ignore it and pretend your not. Well now you have a family and you can’t do that anymore. All I had to do was the work of 10 people while you slept.”
Tara snorted, “So what’s happening?”
“We got the perk that killed Angel, but he isn’t talking.”
“Mind if I give it a shot.”
“Are you allowed to leave the Condo?”
“Yep, I passed my eight hours an hour and half ago.”
“Ok, but you can’t beat the crap out of him.”
“Ok Boss, He’s in interrogation.”
“I’m not the Director.”
“This is your case and we all know it.”
“Pain in the ass, I’ll see you in about an hour.” Tara hung up and tickled the giggling blonde. Then she pulled back and asked, “What’s so funny?”
“You are so cute.”
“Yep, adorable. So you have to go in?”
“Yes, they have the creep who iced Angel.”
“How long will you be?”
“About an hour,” She pulled Gwen back into her arms and started to nibble her tiny ear. She whispered, “Thank you for taking such good care of me.”
“You’re not mad at me?”
“No…I just….I don’t want to lose focus. We have to protect you and catch the bad guys. That means if I lose sleep, then I lose sleep.”
“My focus is a bit different to keep you healthy and with me for a long, long time.”
“So we compromise?”
“Yep, I love compromises.” Gwen kissed Tara deeply with all her love.
*** *** *** ***
The two women stood in the viewing area of the holding cell watching the suspect. At first Tara had no intension of bringing her Gwen, and then she realized that she just couldn’t leave her with the other agents. She had to protect Gwen herself.
Gwen had asked Tara to come thinking she would end up having to convince the stubborn agent. She was stunned when bright beautiful eyes gazed at her with love and affection and said, “Good idea, Love. Why don’t you.”
“I love the idea of having you close. Thanks for volunteering.”
“I love you.”
“I know that, Love but why are do you feel the need to baby-sit me?”
“Because I love you and I can’t stand to have anyone else protect you.”
“You’re a beautiful sexy mother hen. Did you know that?”
Gwen shook her head and said, “You are such a brat!”
“You already said that. Come on Sexy have a seat while I do my thing.” She led Gwen to comfortable chair by the two way mirror. She was looking at a cold blooded murderer; she tilted her head at the average looking man at the other side of the glass. He was sitting calmly speaking with two agents.
“He looks so normal, ordinary even boring. Not a crazed killer.”
“Sweetheart, most killers look like him. They look normal even boring like you said, but something went wrong upstairs. He likes to kill people. It almost a sexual high. They are damaged and need to be put away to keep nice people safe.”
“But…He killed your friend…”
“He is a hired thug, a dime a dozen. I want the scum who hired who him. That is who I want to tear to little pieces. This guy is just a means to an end.”
“I’m confused. You were so angry at home and I thought…”
“I still am. I just understand criminals a bit better then you would. I dealt with them for many years. Think of him as a trained guard dog in a yard, he’d been trained for years to go after anyone who intrudes into his territory. Some innocent kid climbs over the fence to get a ball into that territory he just follows his training. Would you be mad at the dumb animal for following his masters training or the master who trained him?”
“He’s not a dog, Tara, he is a human being.”
“He doesn’t act like a human being he acts like a trained animal. He sure has the brains of one.” Tara smiled at Gwen wickedly, “Are you ready to watch me scramble them?”
“It sounds like it will be fascinating.”
“Oh that I can promise you, it will be enlightening.” Tara bent down and kissed Gwen tenderly, she winked and left the room.
Gwen looked over her shoulder at the agent Sam who was working for her at her show in New York. “Sam, Do you know what she meant by that?”
“Tara is very intimidating when she interrogates people. She’s unorthodox she loves to psych the creeps out. She does so fast and so well they usually spill their guts.”
Tara entered the interrogation room, Gwen shook her head, the sweet playful woman who just left the room she was in was gone, replaced by cold distant agent who looked at the suspect like he was an insect.
Gwen was amazed at the transformation. She saw her as the efficient talented agent many times but this cold distant calculating person was foreign to her.
“Was she like this before we met, Sam?”
“No, this is only what comes out when she confronting a bad guy.”
“You ain’t seen nothing yet.”
In side the small room Tara and suspect were staring at each other.
“What the hell are you staring at lady?”
“What the fuck does that mean?”
“It means your nothing.”
Tara’s eyebrow raised as she said softly, “Well put, Malcolm.”
“Flattery will get you no where. Who hired you Moron.”
“Hey! What about respect…”
“I do not give respect to nothing. Who hired you?”
“I ain’t telling you nothing.”
“Hmm, that’s too bad. You’re from the Reds, right? I will enjoy putting in with the Tong.” An evil grin was on Tara’s face and suspect went pale.
“There are fucking rivals!”
A very evil chuckle came from Tara and a quiet, “I know.”
“They will rape me! They will kill me! You can’t…”
Tara leaned back in her chair smirking at him like he was an insect. “I know.” She got up and walked to the door. Her hand landed on the door knob as the man cried out, “Wait!”
“Yes,” she asked with a blank inquiring face.
“I’ll tell you who it was.”
“Daniel Les Faust.”
*** *** ***
“Power and bigotry. He has more money then is healthy for someone like that.”
“You are very scary when you’re mad like this, Darling.”
“I shouldn’t let you see this side of me.”
“But why not?”
“Its ugly and I scared you.”
“I didn’t say you scared me at all, I said that you can be scary when your angry at someone evil like him. There is a big difference you know? I love you no matter what so what are you apologizing to me for?”
“Yes, actually I think you’re very sexy when you’re all protective or intimating bad guys.”
“Yep, very fascinating.”
“You have such depth, I have not even begun to explore you have I?”
“Nope, and I hope it takes a long, long time.”
Tara pulled Gwen close to her, she whispered into her ear, “A lifetime.”
Gwen cuddled closer, Tara had undone her seat belt and had the smaller woman now cuddled on her lap. “And beyond.” She kissed her love with such abandon that she knew that the passion she felt would last the whole night.
*** *** ***
Daniel Les Faust was the Chief Council to the Presidents Security Council. He was a very gifted and sharp lawyer. He is also one of the big players in the Republican Party. What no one in that world knew was that he was also very high up in the KKK. He was against everyone who was an Anglo Saxon American.
He met with his conspirator in from the State Department and his lover at the Biltmore Hotel in Maryland. It was a beautiful respectable hotel where Daniel knew no one would suspect a group like theirs would meet. They were in a small private room in the restaurant, the big man sat across from his compatriots and said, “So now they know there is a leak. They don’t know it’s you or your connection to the terrorists that attacked the Vice President and his family. They certainly don’t know about me so why are you alarmed?”
The young man jiggled the silver wear as he whispered, “They picked up Malcolm.”
“He’s a loser he will be too scared to talk.”
The young woman had been quiet the whole time but she had to ask, “So what the hell are you going to do about this?”
“We will keep our mouths closed and our eyes and ears open. If I can get this to work the way I planned I will be nominated by the party the next president and you will be on my staff. We will get this country back the way its suppose to be, pure.”
The other two nodded agreeing with the man who they considered the next great leader. The young man asked, “What are we going to do?”
“Are we going to tell the terrorists?”
“No, just let them do what I paid them to do.”
*** ** *** ***
Sam and Pete looked at each stunned at what they just heard through the wire they planted in the private room at the restaurant.
“Did you hear what I just did?” Asked Sam quietly. “That Bastard plans to hijack the Republican Party to make our country into Nazi Germany. They won’t let him…would they?”
“He is a smart charming lawyer, if he scares the shit out of them and charms them they might. We won’t let it get that far though so don’t worry about it. Let’s call Tara.”
*** *** *** ***
Gwen was at her drawing table working on her newest design. She had an idea for a new line. It was an active wear line for sexy busy women. She smiled as she thought of her love in each of the outfits she was sketching.
Tara watched her mate working from the archway of the den. She had a troubled expression on her face. Gwen looked up with a welcoming smile which turned into look of concern as soon as she saw the upset blue eyes.
Tara held out her arms, “Come here, Sweetheart.”
Gwen put down her pen and her glasses. She quickly crossed the room into the warm embrace. Tara picked her up and carried her to their room. Gwen nuzzled her head against Tara neck and asked, “Not that I am complaining but why am I being taken to bed?”
“I want us to be comfortable.”
Tara sat down on the bed and scooted back so her back was against the backboard, Gwen was on top of her cuddled close.
“We now know what the bastard is planning. It’s very bad. He is planning a Kew really. If he succeeds he wants to make our country into the KKK!”
“What? How can he?”
“He is arranging for the terrorist cell to kill the President. You’re Father and both families are also on his list. Then he will convince the Republican Party that he is the only man to save our country. He is a sick evil man.”
“Tara we now know. We can stop him…”
“We do know, and we will. It is going to get scary…I wanted you know what they planned; I need you to listen to me. In fact I need all of you to listen to me, because I have an idea but it is scary and ugly but it is the only way I can protect all of you.”
“What are you talking about?”
“We have two choices, I prefer the first choice but the final choice will be the Presidents.”
“What are the two options?”
“Expose him or kill him.”
“I know, I think that killing him would be a mistake not just morally but it would be bad policy. It’s not up to me though. The president has to make this decision. I want you to know I will fight for exposure.”
“Why wouldn’t the President listen to you? He likes you.”
“Killing the Bastard would be faster, the military will say a swift strike would be the quickest way to end the situation. They will say it will stop the continued attacks and you will all be safe. I want to expose them, try all the players and make them the center of attention of the media as the evil bastards they are, then no one will attempt to do it again.”
“What if the President says to kill them?”
“I would only be involved if it was fight to protect you and your family as well as the President and his family. Other wise it will be an assassin from the FBI or a military attack.”
“I really hate this whole thing.”
“I do too. I already set up an appointment for a fight against it.”
“I will, Darling. I’m going to leave Pete, Sam and Jamie with you. I need them in one piece in case of attack.”
“I don’t want to leave you at all. I hate leaving you with anyone else. I want to be here to protect you 24 hours a day, 7 days week. I have to…”
“I want you to go, I want you to fight for what’s right.”
“Darling what if….?”
“I will be fine.” She kissed her love tenderly.
Tara pulled back and said softly, “You’re coming with me. You can wait in your Dad’s office.”
“No arguments. Get dressed.”
*** *** *** ***
Gwen waited with Jamie and Pete in her Dad’s office.
Tara sat quietly beside her boss and the Secretary of Homeland Security. The Directors of the CIA, FBI, The Secretary of State, The Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as the President and Vice President. They were in the oval office.
The Director of the FBI had just finished detailing the plan for the assassination against this man who was trying to take over the country.
Tara politely waited till director had finished and raised her hand.
The President smiled at her and said softly, “Agent Benson you don’t have to raise your hand. Do you have something you want to add to this discussion?”
“Yes sir,” Tara was in her professional agent mode. She stood up and spoke in a soft but authoritative voice. “I believe that this plan is ill advised. It is sending the wrong message. It would be better for our country and this administration to expose the truth and try the culprits publicly. I think it would be better for the American people the show the world we have high ideals. If we have our own people commit cold blooded murder it would not be in the best interest of our country. We have always had trial by jury and I think that’s the way our country prefers it.”
“That could take weeks…” Said the CIA director.
“Yes Sir, but I think it would be worth it in the long run.”
“I agree with Agent Benson, I think it would be ill advised to kill them, it would be best for the people to expose these traitors.” Said the Vice President from beside the President.
The President looked at the people in his office and nodded. “Thank you, I will think about your input and give my decision.”
They filed out of the Oval office. Tara walked up to the Vice President and said, “Thank you, Sir.”
“Tara what you said was right. I truly agreed with you. Your argument was well thought out and logical. No other reason.”
Tara smiled and nodded, “Thank you sir, it means a lot to me. Even my boss didn’t do what you did.”
“Temporary boss and he’s a twit.”
Tara laughed for the first time since was given the latest from Sam about who it was and what they were going to do about it. He smiled back and said as they walked to his office, “My daughter will be pleased.”
“That you made me laugh.”
“Yes and that were getting along.”
Tara shook her head, “As far as I know we always have.”
“Yes, but it is surprising considering our back grounds and beliefs.”
“I think that shows why you raised such a wonderful, intelligent and independent daughter. Your heart is guiding you force not your beliefs.”
The older man blushed slightly as he opened the door for the tall agent. Tara felt pretty good she scored points with her future father in law and even made him blush. As soon as they entered Gwen rushed to Tara and her father. She took each of their hands, “How did it go?”
Tara tenderly kissed the top of Gwen’s head and said softly, “Fine, the President will consider our thoughts and let us know. You get to leave by an ancient tunnel.”
Gwen looked up at Tara and asked, “What do you mean?”
“Get you coat, Kitten you get to leave by a tunnel that was part of the Underground Railroad.”
“Your Kidding, you mean they smuggled slaves through the White House?”
“It’s very secret because it’s still used for situations like this one.”
“Come on Darling, lets git,” said Tara with soft loving look that surprised the older man.
*** *** *** ***
With in 24 hours the terrorists had announced such a violent attack against the Vice President’s home that Tara’s team and the President had decided to bring the Vice President’s family to the bunker beneath the White House. Tara and her team had won that battle but she was worried about continued attacks and wanted everyone where she and her team could protect them.
The bunker was separated into comfortable apartments but with in 12 hours she felt like she was prisoner. She was nervously pacing wishing she was home. Tara came into their apartment after a briefing with the President and Gwen’s father.
Gwen looked at Tara with tears in her eyes which broke that tall woman’s heart. “I feel like a caged animal. I hate this so much.”
Tara pulled the upset woman’s into her arms, “I’m sorry Love, I…this is for your protection. I…they…The terrorists have attacked you three times…I can’t let them hurt you, I’d die….”
“I know, “Gwen cuddled close enjoying the sweet attention. “I know your doing this for us, to protect us. I just wish I could stay home. You have it so well booby trapped.”
“It is but I can’t man it, watch your parents at their place and the white house. I need you all in one place.”
“So what now?”
“I hate waiting.”
“So do I but we have to.”
An alarm sounded it scared Gwen but alerted Tara.
“Gwen stay here and I mean it. Don’t leave this apartment. They have infiltrated the bunker.” She pulled out her cell, “Jamie?”
“I’m on my way, Boss. You want us with Gwen, right?”
“Yes, where is Sam?”
“She is on her way to the infiltration point. It’s the laundry.”
“Right, I’m on my way. Get here double time.”
“Were almost there.”
“Ok, bye.” She hung up and pulled Gwen into a passionate kiss. , then she cupped her cheeks and looked deeply into the beautiful green eyes. “I need know you’re safe. Please stay here with Jamie and Pete. I love you; I need to know you’re not in danger.”
“Ok, I will…Tara please be careful.”
“I will…I promised when we came here remember.”
Tara quickly kissed her again then very reluctantly ran out of the apartment. Jamie and Pete came from the other direction into the apartment. “Take care of her or I will kick your ass!”
“Don’t worry, Boss she will be fine,” Said Pete with a smile.
Tara nodded and ran down the corridor.
*** *** *** ***
Tara met Sam outside the laundry room. She took point and carefully keeping back against the wall as she inched her way down the hall. Sam was across from her doing the same. They came to door and met their first adversary.
A male terrorist shot at Tara, she pulled back against the wall the bullet missed her arm by an inch. A female terrorist shot at Sam who jumped behind a washer; she heard the whoosh of the bullet over her head. They both returned fire; Sam hit the woman on the shoulder causing her to drop the gun. Tara hit the man in shoulder and the hand. He dropped to floor and curled into a fetal position in agony.
Stepping over the pools of blood, the agents knocked out the two terrorists knowing another team will behind them to clean up. They continued to large back folding room. They were met by three terrorists. Sam and Tara shot them at the same time they shot them. They got both their target, Sam was hit in the leg but she kept firing.
The third terrorist, shot Sam in the shoulder and she fell. He tried to hit Tara but she dropped to the ground and evaded the shots. She timed the dive so she could pop back up and kick the sawed off shot gun out of the man’s hands. She looked at Sam briefly seeing that she had crawled back to safety.
Tara and the terrorist circled each other ready for hand to hand combat.
“I have to admit, you are good for a woman.”
“You’re pretty good for a loser.”
“Why am I a loser? Because I don’t buy your American bullshit?”
Circling him one warrior against another, Tara growled, “You have no problem buying American designed clothes and buying American luxury cars. The American dollar doesn’t seem to be bullshit to you. Isn’t amazing that every time we catch you bastards you always have US Dollars that you’re spending?”
“That’s all you people care about is money. You have no values at all!”
“Oh like your values? Killing thousands of people shows me that you really have no values. I have read your Koran, it doesn’t say that your suppose to do that, it’s how you interpret it. It makes you superior, and shows you care for no one not even your own people.”
“We are trying to purify the world.”
“Purify! You are nuts! Murdering innocent Men, Woman and children shows the world how horrid you are. You would kill ten of your own people to kill one diplomat. Values! Animals don’t do what you do, they are pure, and you’re diseased.”
“You are so western. You have no understanding of other cultures.”
“I believe in the value of every human life. I believe that once we are here we are important. If that is so western then so be it. I am really open minded about culture and values, I have problem with killing innocents. One of us will lose this fight and won’t be me.”
“A woman? You are delusional!”
“Really? I am younger, smarter and faster. “She had enough of circling and dodging. She growled when she saw her chance she took it. She flew into a flying kick right into his gut. He fell doubled over in pain. She gave him a quick chop to the next before he could move knocking him out cold. Then she went to check on Sam and check on the rest of troops.
*** *** *** ***
Tired and bloody Tara came back to their suite, one look Gwen screamed. Tara held out her hands and said, “Its ok. Its not my blood, some of it is Sam’s she’s ok she was just nicked. The rest is the bastard that I had the fight with. All the bad guys are alive and in custody.”
Gwen nodded and moved toward Tara, Tara backed away saying, “No wait till I take a shower. I don’t want you…I am trying to protect you…could you wait please? Please….?”
Tears filled the beautiful blue eyes as they looked beseechingly at Gwen. Gwen blinked away her own tears and whispered, “Ok. Are you sure you’re not hurt?”
“Yes. I just need to wash this shit off me.” Tara ran into the bathroom.
Gwen looked at Jaime for explanation. “Gwen, Tara loves and adores you. She wants so much to protect you. She is trying to shield you from the ugly side of life. What just happened was very, very ugly.”
“But I don’t give a damn about it. I just want to be a part of her life…”
“She knows that but it matters to her. Once she cleans up I suggest you have a talk.”
“Damn straight we will!”
*** *** *** ***
Tara sheepishly came out of the bathroom. She had been so upset and felt so dirty she hadn’t wanted Gwen to touch her. After she came out of the shower and looked into the mirror she realized she may have over reacted and upset Gwen even more. She timidly looked at the woman sitting against the pillows on the bed. Her loves expression was a mixture of compassion and annoyance. Gwen smiled and held her arms out, Tara ran to her side and cuddled close to her. Gwen pulled Tara all the way onto the bed gently stroked her on the back.
“Are you feeling better now?”
“May I ask you an important question then?”
“Do you trust me?”
Shocked Tara pulled back and looked into very worried green eyes. “What?”
“Tara I mean it. I know you love me, I just don’t know if you trust me. What just happened really makes me wonder.”
Tara closed her eyes and put her head against Gwen’s shoulder, “Yes I trust you completely. I felt so dirty. I really wanted to leave all this behind. I never wanted you exposed to all this. I love you so much I just want to protect you and then…”
“I know all that, Sweetheart.” She kissed Tara on the top of her head. “I’m the one who got you into this mess, if I wasn’t a target…”
Tara’s head snapped up and she covered Gwen’s lips with a trembling finger. She had been silently crying against Tara’s shoulder. Her voice shook with emotion as she interrupted Gwen, “Stop that. I will not let you take this on. I would die for you; I just don’t want you exposed to all this ugliness…”
“I never want you to die for me. I don’t want you to suffer any of this either. I don’t want you to go through this alone. I want you to trust that I will never turn from you no matter what. I wouldn’t…never…ever…”
Tara tenderly wiped away the tears then hugged the smaller woman tight. “I know that. I do trust you. I just…I guess I over reacted. Forgive me? Please?”
“Of course, I love you. It’s ok.”
You are so…I just…” Tara couldn’t express herself she pulled Gwen to her and kissed her hungrily. They kissed till they ran out of breath then looked deeply into each others eyes deeply and kissed again.
** *** *** **
Tara woke to a blaring noise next to her ear, She reached over and picked up the phone, ” Benson.”
“Tara, its Pete.”
“What?” She asked now sitting up alert.
“We’ve surrounded the fox, are you in?”
“Of course. When are you moving?”
“I’ll be there.”
“Bye.” Said Tara rolling her eyes as she shut her cell. She turned to look to very angry green eyes. “Sweetheart, I have to go.”
“No you don’t.”
“Yes I do. I’m the one in charge. I’m responsible for this one. I have to be on scene and make sure no one over reacts.”
“Darling, I need you to stay with your folks. Sam is there and several other good agents. I need you here safe and sound so I can think and react the way I should.”
Gwen burst into tears but she nodded. She pulled Gwen on to her lap. “I promise love I will be safe. I always keep my promises. Especially to you.”
*** *** *** ***
Tara was at Pete’s side watching the troop movements on Pete’s lap top. She then nodded when she was satisfied that they had enough people and the estate was completely surrounded. She nodded at the \Director and said, “Its time, Sir.”
He took a deep breath lifted his cell and dialed the number.
“Jack, it’s a bit late…”
“I know what your doing Daniel, I know what you have planned. Your terrorists are all captured or dead. Your co-conspirators are all captured. It’s over Daniel, its over.”
“That’s all hear say and you know it.”
“No, its evidence. I have enough to put you away for life, or to ask for the death penalty. Considering what you tried to do, it will probably be the death penalty.”
“I see. So what are you planning? You think I will just come out of my house and say, “Here I am, take me.”?”
“As we see it can go two ways. Yes, you can surrender or we can capture you.”
“Well I’m not going to surrender. I refuse to be a show piece for this administration at some hyped up trial.”
“What you plotted was so horrible I can hardly believe someone we knew did it. You are a traitor in every way and I think any punishment you get you deserve. However I believe in trial by jury not death by shoot out. So be a man and take your damn punishment.”
“You are such a damn puppet, what I did was what was best for this country. We need to get this country back on track…”
“We will by getting rid of vermin like you. I guess you made your choice?”
“No, I am going to fight to the death….”
“That is not in our plans, we have the best here and they have their orders…”
“Too bad, Jack! That’s what I am going to do, fight to the death!” He slammed the phone down.”
The Director looked at Tara who raised an eyebrow and said softly, “Were ready to capture him sir. No matter what he has planned.”
“Do it, Benson….Tara be careful.”
“We will, Sir.” She whistled the troops moved in.”
*** *** *** ***
Four waives of troops moved into the powerful man’s house. None of the man’s family was in the estate just armed men.
The fourth waive entered led by Tara. They had one assignment take their target alive, Tara took point and Jaime was mirroring her.
They got to the targets office; they were prepared for a booby trap. Very carefully Jaime kicked the door in precisely in the center of it. It exploded; Jamie and two other agents got hit by debris. They were all padded and so no one was hurt just startled.
Tara entered the room flanked by two agents. A bolt from cross bow went right toward her. She caught it right out of the air and threw it disgustingly to the floor. She walked right to the big older man and just pulled the cross bow out of his hands. Then she broke it across her knee her face a mask but inside she was full of anger she knew that she could have easily killed the man.
“Take him, “She watched as her people took him the now broken man screamed Nazi slogans as he was taken out of his own office. “Sick Bastard,” She said to Jaime who had a cut on her eye and sprained her wrist diving away from the exploding door. “Come on lets go back, we need to stop at the infirmary. Gwen will kill us is she see either of us.” Tara had cut on her face from the debris but she didn’t feel it in her anger and single minded need to get her target.
Jaime smiled and said, “Hey she’s not in love with me?”
“No, but you are her friend and she will be upset so come on.”
*** *** *** ***
One blonde tornado stormed the infirmary. She looked at her love as the doctor sewed up the small cut.
“Sweetheart, it’s a tiny nick, I didn’t even feel it.”
Green eyes narrowed and she softly growled.
Tara swallowed and said, “Doc, could we have a couple of minutes before you dress it.”
“Sure,” the doctor carefully moving away. She walked over to Gwen and bent down saying, “Look Sweetheart it’s more of a boo-boo then a wound. Would you kiss it and make it better, please?”
“A doctor does not sew up a boo-boo.”
“I’m fine. Kiss it please?”
“No, it’s yucky. I will kiss you but not it. I am upset because you could have been hit on the neck or heart….It could have…”
“It didn’t, we were very careful…”
“Did you see Jaime?”
“Yes and if we barreled in she wouldn’t just have a cute and hurt wrist. We were careful. Now we can go home to the condo and you kiss me all over because I am just so sore.”
“Will it make it feel better?”
“You bet it will.”
“Is this all over?”
“Yes. The trial will be a big deal and we will have to testify but yes there is no more danger.”
“You can become a full time artist again?”
“I intend to become a full time lover.”
“How about my spouse.”
“That is part of it.”
“You think I am that easy?”
“No way, you’re the kind of challenge that I worship.” Tara smiled and hugged her tightly.
*** *** *** ****
They were cuddled in bed in the condo, Gwen was cuddled close but Gwen was scared of brushing the wound. It was now dressed and bandaged but she didn’t want to hurt Tara.
“Kiss it, Sweetheart,” Said Tara softly.
“I don’t want to hurt you.”
Very timidly Gwen kissed the wound.
“Hmm, I didn’t feel it; could you do it again please?” To be honest it did hurt a bit but her loves tender kisses were doing wonders for the healing process.
Gwen kissed her again then started to kiss her neck, sucking it gently making the taller woman purr. Then Gwen kissed her between her breast making Tara’s eyes pop open and she pulled her love up kissing her passionately.
“Hmm, I’m in love with sex fiend,” said Gwen with a smile when she pulled back.
“No, I am so in love with you that you make me wild with need. Your lips their softness makes me very crazy. Most importantly, I love you so much that just your touch makes me melt…”
“I get it love, I feel the same way.” Gwen pulled her close and kissed with just as much passion as her mate.
*** *** *** ***
Tara was in her studio in the town house she now shared with Gwen in New York. The phone rang she answered it in an absent minded way, “Benson.”
“Hi Tara, still answering the phone like an agent huh?”
Tara blushed, “Old habits.”
“Well some old habits can be broken for instance, when you and Gwen come down for the trial, your mother in law wants to know if she can make arrangements for a commitment ceremony.”
“I…I thought you didn’t like the idea of us…”
“We changed our minds on the personal level…”
“I can’t say I am in favor or same sex marriage but I love my daughter. My little girl loves you and you love her. My wife and I watched Gwen while she waited for you and she acted like any distraught worried spouse. We also know how you will do anything for our baby so privately we will support anything you two want.”
“Sir, that’s kind and we appreciate it. I know Gwen wouldn’t want you to go against your principles for us.”
“Tara when it comes to my child my principles can just go hang. I love and adore my baby. I like and respect you. I really don’t see a problem in having a part in celebrating that.”
“A commitment ceremony is more then a party.”
“I know that.”
“Wow! I will get Gwen.”
“Tara, in case I didn’t say it in Washington. Thank you.”
“You did, but your very welcome, Sir.” Tara put the receiver down and blinked some tears away. She didn’t even realize she had shed them.
“Your Dad is on the phone.”
“Oh?” Gwen came into the room and was surprised to find a very emotional mate. “Tara?”
“Um, he wants to arrange our commitment ceremony.”
Tara nodded and said, “It seems you’re more important then your parents political principles.” The shocked tears flowed down her cheeks again.
Gwen was choked up she ran to her love and hugged her tight. They pulled back and then they wiped each others tears. Gwen then picked up the phone. “I love you Daddy. You just made us both so happy.”
“We love you too Kitten. So I take it the answer is yes?”
“After the trial.”
“That’s fine. Thanks Daddy.”
“We love you both Kitten.”
“Oh Daddy, we love you too….um, bye.”
“Some things work out much better then expected huh?” Asked Tara who was still hugging her.
“Yep, thanks to you.”
“Ok…us…I love you Tara.”
I love you too Sweetheart.”