The Ghost Series by Ri

The Ghost
by Ri

Disclaimer: This story is completely born out of my very over active imagination. It came from my dreams and a gentle comment from my friend Larisa.

There is a same sex relationship and some very minor violence. With in the frame of this story are circumstances that resulted from child abuse. So if any of this disturbs you please don’t read further. There are references to several shows and movies I love and since there are several, I will not name them all, but I only mention them out of love not a desire for profit.

I’d like to thank my friends and fellow Bards Larisa and MJ for their input and helpful comments. I hope you enjoy reading this one as much as I enjoyed writing it. This was one of the hardest stories I have ever written, but I must say that Veba fascinates me.

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

Part 1

A tall red head entered her office carrying her lunch in a paper bag. She placed it on the desk and sat down in a chair. She leaned under the desk to turn on her computer as she heard soft footsteps above her. She rolled her eyes and said up to the ceiling, “Good Afternoon Ghost.”

She got up and stretched walking down the hall to the Ladies Room. Only three minutes later she returned to find her lunch gone. She put her hands on her hips and yelled at the ceiling, “Hey Thanks Ghost! The least you could have done is leave me one French fry!”

*** *** *** ***

About 20 minutes later and two floors down a tall blonde entered her office. She gently lay her brand new leather trench coat on a chair in her office. Before she can even sit down her boss buzzes her to come into his office to take dictation. She grabs her pad and runs out of the room.

A half an hour later she returns to find her coat gone. In tears she ran back to her boss to tell what happened once again to their staff.

*** *** *** ***

The next day a tall thin man came in with bag. Inside the bag was a brand new pair blue jeans and he was really proud of this purchase. It was on sale and he didn’t have to pay extra to have them lengthen.

He went to the office next door to pick up the stack of papers he needed to start his day. He was only gone a minute but when he returned his bag was gone.

He looked straight up at the ceiling and yelled, “Hey you stupid Ghost those were brand new jeans! And they were designer originals!!”

*** *** *** ***

Two women sat in the office of the owner of the building. The small man was pacing angrily.

The smaller one didn’t like him but money was money. He was also boring them to tears with his tirade when they could be investigating already. She glared at the slightly taller one and giving her a significant look. The taller blonde’s hazel eyes met the impatient green of her partner and rolled. She projected through her eyes to just wait she would take care of it.

Mean while the little annoying man was still going on and on. “This so called ghost has been here for years. Now it’s becoming so…well effective. Craftier I guess. Not one floor or company for that matter within this building has not been affected.

The small blonde snapped her gum and said as professionally as she could, “Sir, the sooner you let us get to work the sooner we clear this matter up for you.”

“Oh you think so do you? You are the fifth firm I have called in here. This spook seems to get rid of them all in the matter of minutes. What the hell difference do you think you two can make?”

The taller blonde said with a forced smile, “Well sir, we are made of tougher stuff. You did hire our reputation.”

“Well I hope your reputation protects you from our ghost.”

*** *** *** ***

Rickie and her partner Doris sat on the floor of a deserted office on a blanket they had brought. They had just devoured an entire pizza and were just going to pull some other stuff out of their snack bag when they heard a creak from a floorboard.

Doris asked her partner, “Do you think that’s our ghost?”

“Hell if I know Dory. I think our client is a creep and cold as ice. I really hate him already.”

“Well Kiddo, so do I but he is paying us and we need the money. Hell if a leather coat of mine disappeared I would have my boss ranting at the creep too.”

Rickie chuckled and said, “I think I’d be madder about all the food the ghost is stealing.”

They heard another creak and softly moving feet.

“Ooooh, I think it’s our ghost,” Said Rickie with a wicked grin.

Doris looked up listening to the sounds and said, “It sounds more like person to me.”

Rickie shrugged and the two of them stood up walking slowly down the corridor. Rickie looked up and saw an open vent. She smiled at her partner and said, “How about I go find our friend the spook?”

“I think that’s an excellent idea, ” Doris said with a wicked grin. She put her hands together and then boosted the smaller woman up toward the large old-fashioned air vent. Rickie pulled herself up and then realized the vent was large enough for her stand in. She shrugged and pulled her flashlight out slowly following the tunnel that was created. This must be a really old building to have vents like this, she thought as she walked and listened for sound of the ghost.

She stopped dead when the tunnel branched off into two directions. Just great which way do I go now? She thought with her hands on her hips. Just then she heard another creak and smiled thinking, Thanks spook. I hope you’re like Casper cause there is no place to run away in here from unfriendly ghost.

At the end of the tunnel was a deep drop that she didn’t see because it was so dark and the flashlight didn’t catch it. She stepped through and found herself falling straight down. This is it! She thought grimly as she fell her arms flailing and screams of terror leaving her lips.

To her utter shock she was caught by something warm and very strong. The figure was totally in the dark because she had dropped her flashlight during the fall. All Rickie saw were laser blue eyes that seemed to be boring into her own.

“Hi…um, sorry to just drop in like this…”

The silent figure simply started to carry her along the tunnels of the vent system obviously knowing exactly where it was going even though it was pitch dark. Then it came to a vent and kicked it open. It dropped down into it carrying Rickie as easily as a giant would carry a kitten. They landed in access room and the figure put the small woman on her feet. She opened another vent and pointed out it. In a low soft voice it said simply, “You go.”

Rickie was shocked it was a woman’s voice. “Who are you?”

The icy blue eyes suddenly warmed and the voice was now a quiet plea, “You go…Please.”

Rickie now needed to see the face of that went with those incredible eyes. She reached up and gently pulled off the hood. Staring up she almost fainted. This was the most beautiful woman she had ever seen in her life. She was very tall which is why she appeared to be stooping she was bent down so not to hit her head as she carried her through the tunnel. At least 5’10 or taller. She had long black hair with self-cut bangs. She had a classically beautiful face and strong athletic body. She was dressed all in black so when the robe was covering her and the hood over her head in the dark she appeared to be invisible.

“Who are you?” Rickie asked again in awed voice.

The tall woman looked torn. She was staring at the small blonde like she wanted her to stay. But she was fidgeting because she knew she really should go.

“Veba, Now go.”

“Veba? What are you doing here?”

Blue eyes looked up and then down like a naughty little girl. She whispered to Rickie, “Live here.”

“What?”

Not looking up she said a bit louder, “Live here.”

“But why?”

Shy blue eyes met compassionate green; “Me live here…um, Twenty years.”

“What!”

Veba nodded and looked down again.

“Veba, how old were you when you started to live in these tunnels and access rooms?”

A very tiny scared voice said, “Six.”

*** *** *** ***

Veba had taken the smaller woman’s tiny hand and led her to another access room. Then she reached up and pulled a lever that Rickie hadn’t seen till Veba pulled it. A wall slid back revealing a hidden room.

“Who did this?”

“Uncle Jack. He like me,” Said Veba as they entered the brightly decorated little sanctuary.

Rickie looked at the posters and all the pictures from TV shows obviously cut out of magazines and plastered all over every wall in the hidden room. There was a large bed and a large dresser. It was all clean and comfortable. There was a little alcove that Rickie could see Veba used as a little Kitchen with a small card table beside it.

“Where do you clean things and go to the bathroom?”

Veba smiled and pointed, “There.”

Rickie peeked into another door and saw an industrial shower and sink and small toilette.

“Why would your Uncle have you live here like this all alone?”

“Bad man try hurt Veba. Uncle Jack hide me.”

“Bad man?”

Veba nodded her head and bit her lip.

My goodness she is still a little girl. Well why wouldn’t she be trapped her all alone for twenty years. She’s a beautiful, sweet, innocent and very lonely little girl. I think I just changed our client. Dory and I are going to help her. Thought Rickie as Veba went to the tiny refrigerator and gave her bottle of water.

“Where did you get this?”

Veba shrugged, “Me take.”

Yep, how else would the poor thing survive? She thought as she took a sip of water. “Veba, why would anyone want to hurt you?”

Veba shrugged again and said, “Bad man. Don’t like me. My Daddy die. Bad man hit Veba.” The girls lip trembled as she remembered it. The sight of it broke Rickie’s heart. She put down the water and hugged the tall woman. Uncertain arms slowly reached around and hugged Rickie back. Then Veba lowered her head and rested it against Rickie’s soft blonde hair, “You nice, Rickie.”

Rickie smiled and said quietly, “So are you, Veba. Where is your Uncle now?”

“Me don’t know. He stop coming …two years…had to…take stuff.”

Rickie gently pulled back so she could look into the teary blue eyes. She reached up with her fingers and gently dried them. Then she cupped the tall woman’s cheek. “Have you been all alone since then?”

Veba nodded and sniffled.

“Who is this bad man?”

“Peter…Marry Mommy. Hate him!” Suddenly the warm blue turned icy again and Rickie could see the anger in them. She understood she felt herself swell with anger as she realized who her client was.

“Peter? Peter Daniels?”

Veba nodded, “Bad man.”

Rickie brought the tall woman back to her and hugged her very close again. I’m going kick that Son of Bitches Ass! Thought Rickie as she comforted the distraught woman.

*** *** *** ***

Veba sadly walked Rickie back to the vent that would take her safely to where Doris was waiting for her.

“You go. Bye-bye Rickie.”

Rickie’s eyes filled with tears as she looked into tear filled blue eyes. “Veba, would you like to come and live with us?”

“No…yes…I…I don’t….I can’t….” Veba sat down on the floor and began to sob.

Rickie couldn’t stand this. She came and sat next to her pulling the crying woman into her arms and holding her close. “Please don’t cry. Would you like me to stay with you for a while?”

The dark head nodded against her shoulder.

“Ok, let me tell Doris I’m ok and then I’ll come right back.”

A high squeaky voice said, “Ok.”

Rickie got up and kissed Veba on the top of the head, “I’ll be right back.”

Veba reached up and caught Rickie’s wrist as she turned back toward the vent. “Rickie…care-ful… bad man….I…he um, hurt you…” The poor woman was so frightened for Rickie she was shaking like a leaf and her teeth were chattering.

Rickie sat down again and took both the large strong hands into her own saying, “Shhh, I think that he has a lot more to be scared of then I do. I promise I will be right back.” She squeezed both hands gently and then looked into the uncertain eyes trying to convince her with her own sincere ones. “Really Veba I will.”

Veba nodded and let go, biting her quivering bottom lip.

“Bye-bye, Rickie.”

Rickie gently caressed the frightened woman’s cheek and said. I promise I will be back here really soon. I just have to get something from Doris and then I will be right back. Ok?”

Veba nodded.

Rickie went through the access vent and through a small crawl space till she came to another vent. She was sniffling all the way and her eyes stung with tears. She opened the vent and dropped down right on big soft leather couch. Rickie felt her heart swell at how thoughtful the tall woman was. She knew that she chose this path because of this couch and it touched her heart she was trying to take care of her.

She stepped from her office and pulled the cell out of her back pocket.

“Dory, Where are you?”

“I’m still in that office you started in.”

“Ok, stay put I’ll be right there.

*** *** *** ***

Rickie came barreling into the vacant office mad as hell saying angrily to her partner, “I’m going to kill that abusive Son of a Bitch!”

“Who are you talking about?” Asked Doris calmly looking up at the fiery little blonde from her perch on lawn chair.

“I found the ghost.”

“Is it a vagrant?”

“No, she’s a twenty six year old little girl.”

“Excuse me?”

“It’s a long story. I need to get back there to take care of the poor kid. I need you do a little digging for me. When you find what I need call me on my cell. Where the hell is our snack bag?”

“It’s right behind you. Would you calm down? What kind of digging?”

“That Son of a Bitch that hired us abused this girl so badly that her uncle had to hide here in a secret place in the building to protect her. I need you to find out about her Uncle Jack and her Mother. Daniels was married to her.”

“But?”

“Don’t argue with me Dory, just do it!” Said Rickie fiercely as she swung the huge duffel bag on her back and headed back toward the other office and Veba.

*** *** *** ***

Rickie was almost at the office that had the couch in it that would lead her back to Veba’s hidaway. When a net sprang up from no where trapping her against the wall. She tried to push it back but it wouldn’t budge.

“Fuck! Where the hell did this damn thing come from!” When she tried to move forward and ax fell inches from her foot. “Fucking Shit!” She yelled and then tried to go in the direction she had come from. Another ax fell. “What the hell is this place a death trap!?!”

The ceiling tile above her moved aside and Veba’s blue eyes glittered above her looking down full of concern. “Rickie hurt?”

“No, I’m ok. I’m just trapped.”

Veba nodded and dropped down next to Rickie she picked her up heavy duffel bag and all. Then she jumped straight up into what appeared to be another access room. She went to the safe part of the small room and put Rickie down and dropped the bag beside her. The she moved back to the tile floor and slid the tile back in place. She turned to look at shaken blonde and asked quietly, “Rickie ok?”

Rickie had sat down on the tiny step leading to the vents. She smiled and nodded, “Yep, I’m fine. Um, do you know what that trap was all about? It’s a lousy way to keep his tenant happy?”

Veba looked like she didn’t understand the last part but she did know what the first part of the question meant. She nodded and quietly said, “Bad man. Try to hurt Veba.”

“That…he…my….I’m going to kill that ass hole!”

Veba came over to the boiling mad woman and sat beside her. She put her head on the smaller woman’s shoulder and said sadly, “Me sorry Rickie.”

Rickie gently ran her fingers through the tangled dark hair and said, “Veba you don’t have anything to be sorry for.”

Veba nodded her head against the warm shoulder; Rickie could feel the tears through her T-shirt, “No Veba’s fault.”

Rickie lifted Veba’s chin gently so she could look into the tear filled innocent eyes, which broke her heart into a thousand pieces. She wiped her tears with her fingers as she said softly, “No, this is not your fault at all. It’s his. Thank you for rescuing me my friend. How did you know?”

Veba pulled back and shrugged, “Bad man has…um, traps….Uncle Jack…he show…go around…me followed you…saw you…me scared.”

Rickie smiled and kissed her forehead, “Thank you again.”

Veba shrugged again, “Me like Rickie. You nice.”

Rickie felt her face blush and said softly, “I like you too Veba. You’re a very special girl.”

“No…Veba…bad…me talks wrong…me bad….”

“Shhh, no you are very good and sweet. Veba, didn’t your Uncle Jack ever teach you anything? How to read or write? Didn’t he talk to you at all? Or did he just bring you food and clothes after he hid you here.”

“Uncle Jack like Veba. No read. Count…um, no talk much. Just food and mags…”

“Count? Mags?”

“Me show you…um ,you want…come…my room?” Veba looked at her new friend shyly very unsure.

“Yes, I’d like that.” Said Rickie carefully looking down the tunnel and seeing this one was a crawl space.

“Good,” Said Veba smiling brightly picking up the duffel bag. “What?”

Rickie shrugged and said, “I thought you’d like some food. I have cookies in there.”

Veba tilted her head and said softly, “Rickie very nice.”

Rickie smiled back, “So is Veba.” Her smile grew even brighter when she saw the tall girl blush.

“Um…come please,” She said motioning with her hand that she should stay low and led the way to her secret hidaway.
**** *** *** ***

Veba led the way into her secret room. She went to the alcove and put the duffel down on a card table that she used as a dinner table. Then she pointed to a Tomb Raider calendar on the wall by the alcove.

“Count.”

Rickie looked at the calendar, which was turned toward the correct month. It was the one of Lara at the Temple in Cambodia. “Where did you get all this?”

Veba bit her lip and looked at the floor, “Take,” she replied to her shoe.

“Veba I do understand.”

Veba looked up from under her bangs and saw that Rickie did and she smiled then she waved for Rickie to follow her. Veba sat on the floor by her bed and pulled out two stacks of magazines. One was comic books and the other Star Log Magazines.

“Rickie…Mags,” She said pointing from Rickie to the neat piles.

Rickie looked at the proud heart-stopping smile and almost fainted. Damn she is so beautiful. She looked at the neat pile of comics in perfect condition and the magazine kept the same way pristine. Then she looked at the wall and looked at the pullouts from the magazines and her eyes widened. They were all beautiful women.

Xena, Troi, Sheena and Lara Croft amongst many others. All neatly taped above the tall woman’s bed.

Rickie smiled at the tall woman who was now sitting on her bed watching the small woman intently.

“You look like Xena and Lara Croft, Veba.” She pointed at each picture as she named them.

Veba blushed beat red and looked down at her toes. Then she looked at the picture by her bed in a cardboard frame she held it up and said softly, “Thinks…you look…um, like she.”

Rickie blushed now recognizing the blonde in the picture, “Thanks. Her name is Gabrielle.”

“Gab-ri-elle.”

“A bit faster.”

Veba bit her lip and tried to say it fast it ended up being, “Gabrielellel”

Rickie sat on the bed next to her put a hand on Veba’s arm and pronoused it very carefully. “Gabrielle.”

Veba bent forward her head in her hands tears flowing again, “Me so bad.”

Rickie gently put her arm around her shoulders and said softly in a tone she never heard from herself before in her life, “No Sweetie, You can do this. Now say it for me again. Slowly.”

“Gabrielle,” Veba said it so softly that Rickie had to strain to hear it.

Rickie hugged her and said softly into her ear, “That was perfect now say it a bit louder.”

Veba looked into sparkling green eyes and felt better she said a bit louder, “Gabrielle.”

Rickie kissed her forehead and said, “Good girl.”

Veba leaned her head against Rickie’s chest and closed her eyes. She felt funny around Rickie. It was nice and she liked it though. She felt really good with the nice lady. Special. Loved. She thought to herself as she hugged the smaller woman even closer.

*** *** *** ***

Rickie was lying on the couch trying to relax. Veba came out of the bathroom wearing only a tank top and a pair of Bugs Bunny panties. Rickie’s fingers dug into the couch as she thought, My God she’s a Goddess!

Veba looked at her with hands on her hips her head tilted to the side.
“Rickie why there?”

“I don’t want to bother you.”

“No, I want you.” Veba said with a sweet smile sitting on her big bed patting it gently.

Rickie closed her eyes and reminded herself, She doesn’t mean it like that you big goof!

“Rickie?” Veba’s voice was now very uncertain. “Don’t want me?”

“No! Um, I do…I mean…Veba do you know what the word privacy means?”

Veba leaned back on her bed with tears clouding her pretty blue eyes as she shook her head miserably.

“Veba, I don’t want to disturb you.”

“Rickie no disturb. Veba want. Please?” The tears were now pouring down the beautifully sculpted face.

“Awww Veba. Please don’t cry.” Rickie got off the couch and sat down next to the upset brunette. “I really like you a lot. Really. I was just taught that people need room to be by themselves.”

Veba looked at her from under long black eyelashes and asked very quietly, “You need…room?”

“No…I mean new friends. You Veba.”

Veba face suddenly lit up and smiled through her tears; “Me friend?”

“Of course.”

“Good. Please sleep.” She said as she settled herself in bed pulling a Bugs Bunny stuffed animal out from under the covers and then cuddling down under the quilt she fell almost instantly asleep.

Rickie got in on the other side of the bed making sure that there was space between them. She looked at the sweet innocent face sucking her thumb fast asleep like a beautiful angel. “Good night my friend.”

*** *** *** ***

Sometime during the night the two women moved closer and closer till they were deeply cuddled together. Rickie woke the next morning to discover that she had replaced Bugs Bunny. She felt incredibly happy and comfortable cradled lovingly in Veba’s strong arms.

Rickie sighed, she felt funny because she knew that Veba was a complete innocent. She was so attracted to her that right now all she wanted to do was to kiss her awake. She knew that Veba was very bright. She just needed to learn to read and write and some conversation so she could increase her vocabulary.

Well at least that’s one area I’m totally comfortable with, I am a chatterbox. She should hear the whole dictionary with in a week of being around me. I will teach her to learn to read and write using her “Mags” since she already likes them so much. I know that Doris will help me I just have to convince Veba to come home with us.

She gently ran her fingers through Veba’s soft hair and looked at the beautiful contented face sighing softly again.

Blue eyes fluttered open and Veba smiled as soon as she saw Rickie.

“Hi.”

“Hi.”

“You ok?”

Rickie smiled and nodded. “Yes, I’m fine. Are you ok?”

“Very…happy. I like…with Rickie. I feel….warm…safe.”

Rickie felt her heart beat faster and she caressed Veba’s cheek. “I feel that way too. Why won’t you come stay with us? Doris and I would love to have you. You can stay with me in my room. I can teach you to read and write. I can help you improve your speech. We can be happy.”

Veba hugged Rickie bringing her very close. She put her cheek against Rickie’s and spoke very softly. “Me scared.”

“But why?”

“Bad man…find me…hurt you…hurt…Dor-is….No me have to hide. Can’t let bad man…hurt Rickie.”

Rickie gently pulled back so she could look into the frightened woman’s eyes. “What if I stop him…”

“NO!!!” She pulled Rickie closer to her protecting her the only way she knew how. “Me scared. Think…bad man…he hurt …Uncle Jack.”

“What?”

“Yes Jack…say…he thre…he thre….”

“Threaten? Did he threaten your Uncle Jack?”

Veba nodded, She had tears pouring from her eyes. “Jack gone. Can’t…won’t let…hurt Rickie. You stay here. You go home. No bad man.”

Rickie shook her head in wonder. The girl was doing her best to protect her. She was something else, The poor kid would rather be alone again rather then allow me to get hurt.

“Veba, I won’t let you stay here all alone again. I can’t let that happen. You deserve a good life…”

“No, Veba bad. Rickie good. Rickie need…um, go home.” Now Veba pulled gently out of the hug and got her Bugs Bunny from under the bed. She held him tight against her and sobbed on the opposite side of the bed.

“No way. I’m not going home, my friend. We will fight the bad man together. We will fight the Son of a Bitch my way.”

Veba shook her head no.

“Yes, I’m very stubborn. Veba do you trust me?”

Veba nodded.

“Good. I have a few ideas on how to handle this. First I need to call Doris and get her here. When she comes will you guide her here?”

Veba nodded, “Yes. She nice?”

Rickie nodded and smiled. “Yep. She’s very nice.”

“She like Veba?”

“Oh yes, Doris will be another friend.”

“Good.”

*** *** *** ***

Doris was sitting in the office with the couch that Veba had directed Rickie to that first time. She heard soft footsteps above her head and then a tile moved aside.

Rickie’s face appeared above her with a big smile.

“Hey Dory!”

“Hi. Where is your new friend?”

“She’s right here. She’s a bit shy. Did you bring the food and stuff I asked for?”

“You know I did.”

“Ok throw that up first.”

Doris threw the bag straight up toward Rickie and to her utter shock a hand appeared right in front of the bag and caught it mid flight. Doris eyes widened even more when piercing pale blue eyes looked down shyly from the other side of the hole.

“Doris meet Veba the Ghost. Veba this is Doris. She is an absolute brat but she is someone I trust with my life and she is very nice.”

“Hi,” said Veba’s shy voice.

“Hi, Rickie has talked a lot about you.”

Big beautiful blue eyes widened in surprise and looked at Rickie.

Rickie shrugged and said with a big smile, “You’re my new friend and I tell Doris everything. So yeah, I gushed.”

“Gushed?” asked the uncertain brunette.

Doris smiled and said, “She told me how much she like’s you Veba.”

Doris was suddenly caught in breathtaking smile from the shy girl as Veba said, “Me Like Rickie…You nice?”

Doris shrugged, “I think I am.”

“She is Veba,” said Rickie smiling.

Veba nodded and then said, “Rickie back,” motioning the small woman away from the opening. When she saw that Rickie was safe she looked at Doris and said, “Doris back.” Doris got off the couch and backed away from the opening.

Then with the finesse of a panther Veba jumped down and landed on her feet next to Doris. She smiled at the shocked curly haired blonde. Then she picked her up and jumped straight up though the hole. She gently put Doris down and motioned her to sit by Rickie where she would be safe. Then she crawled back to close the hole up.

“Wow!” Whispered Doris.

“She literally swept me off my feet.”

“Yes, I can see that.”

Veba motioned that they should be quiet when she opened the access vent that they would have to crawl through to get back to her hidaway.

*** *** *** ***

Doris smiled at the décor of the small room. She looked the room over appreciating all that Veba had done in the last 20 years to make it so comfortable and cozy. It was clean and very cheerful with all the pictures from the magazines to liven it up.

“This is adorable, Veba. Who got you all this stuff?”

“Uncle Jack…brought Mags…Ador-able?”

Rickie smiled sweetly and said, “Adorable. Just like you are. It means cuddly and cute.”

Veba blushed beat red and carefully repeated the word. “Adorable.”

“Well done. Now say it in a sentence. Veba is so adorable.”

Veba shook her head and said, “No Rickie adorable.”

Rickie blushed and looked at Doris who was chuckling.

“Well I think you are both adorable. Now I have a lot to tell you two. Are you hungry? Would like to eat first?”

“I do!” Said Rickie with a huge smile.

Veba sat on a chair by the sack and looked up at Doris. “What food?”

“Pizza.”

Veba looked very sad. “No heat.”

“Don’t worry, Sweetie. I just bought this it’s already hot.” Doris pulled out the Dominos box and asked, “Veba do you have any plates or napkins to put the food on?”

Veba nodded and went into the alcove. She came out with pretty royal blue plates and glasses.

Rickie’s smile widened even bigger as she asked, “Where did you get these?”

“Uncle Jack…Um, Mommy’s.” She sat down looking very sad.

Rickie came next to her and put an arm around her shoulder saying very quietly, “They are very pretty.”

Veba smiled looking up at her, “Thank you…You pretty.”

Rickie was shocked she hadn’t expected that. She was tongue tied and looked helplessly at Doris who chuckled and said softly. “She’s right kiddo you are pretty.”

Veba beamed at Doris and said, “Rickie’s right. You nice…um, Dory.”

Doris winked at her and said, “Thanks. Let’s eat Kids.”

*** *** *** ***

Rickie and Veba sat on the comfortable couch. Doris sat in an armchair facing them. She wanted to start slow so she could gage her new friend’s reactions to what she was saying..

“It seems when Peter married your Mother he got control of everything. Your Uncle Jack hid you to protect you. He wanted to make sure he couldn’t hurt you like he did his sister.”

Veba had been holding Rickie’s hand when she heard that Peter had hurt her mother she squeezed it tighter then she meant to. She didn’t really hurt Rickie she just made it uncomfortable and the small blonde squeaked. Veba let go of the tiny hand at once and got up. “Sorry Rickie. I sorry…I sorry…”

“Shhh, It’s ok. Come back here. You really just surprised me you didn’t hurt me really.”

“Never ok…to hurt. Not at all. Uncle Jack say.”

Doris smiled and nodded, “He was right, Sweetie but I doubt you hurt Rickie. She’s pretty tough. Do you want me to stop?”

“No. Please. Um, go.”

Veba walked over to her bed and pulled out Bugs Bunny from under the covers. She sat on the edge of the bed hugging her beloved toy tightly to her.

Doris’s eyes met Rickie’s. Rickie quietly got up and walked over till she was in front of the distraught woman. “Oh no you don’t. Put that Wrascally Wabbit down. I’d rather I comfort you then old Bugs.”

Veba’s eyes grew wide; “You know Bugs? Uncle Jack read me. Bugs…Wrascally Wabbit.”

Rickie’s eyes twinkled, “Of course we do. He is one of my favorites.”

Doris laughed gently and said, “Who doesn’t love Bugs Bunny.”

Veba looked at one of them and the other. She was utterly shocked by what they said. “Wow!”

“Veba, put Bugs down and give me your hand. I would like to comfort you.”

Veba obediently put Bugs down on her pillow. Then she got up and gave the smaller woman her hand much to Doris’s amusement and delight. Veba sat next to Rickie and Rickie pulled her friend’s hand onto her lap. She put her other hand around the waist of the other woman bringing her as close as she could.

“Go on Dory.”

“Veba, your real name is Veronica Wells. Aparently your family called you Veba when you were little. That’s why it’s the only name you know. Your Father died of a heart attack when you were five. Your Mother married Peter the Bastard a few months later apparently in whirlwind courtship. He must have been pretty damn charming back then or he threatened her because he somehow convinced her to marry him and not leave anything to her very beloved child. From what I read of your Mother’s death, Veba it sounds like he poisoned her and then bribed the doctor into saying it was cancer.”

“Peter hurt…my Mommy?”

Doris nodded sadly, “I’m afraid so. Then about two years ago your Uncle Jack was hit by a car.”

Tears were now pouring down Veba’s face. She pulled Rickie onto her lap and held her tight. She was now a lifeline and she needed her more then anything. Rickie was glad to oblige. She hugged her back, gently stroking her strong back and whispering comforting things into her ear.

“Veba do you need me to stop?”

“No,” was the tiny reply. “Need hear.”

Doris nodded, her eyes met Rickie’s who were brimming with tears too. Doris could see the anger but she gave her a look which said comfort her. So Rickie hugged her tight laying her head on top of Veba’s

Doris cleared her throat, which was pretty choked up, and continued quietly, “Your Uncle Jack was going to his office here. He crossed an empty street and out of an alley came a car with no driver in it hit him head on. It killed the poor man instantly. Jack Thomas’s death meant that everything went to Shit head. He said he didn’t believe in funerals and had everything burned. Veba, I think that’s why he’s after you. If you ever become…well who your capable of being he will lose everything.”

“You mean…If me..smart…like you…like Rickie?”

“No Veba. That’s not what she means. You are already smart. You just need to learn to speak as beautifully as you want to. That’s up to you and we want to help you fix it so you are able to do that. We are going to take you home and teach you to read and write. And between us we’ll talk your ear off so you will have plenty of practice. I know your Uncle loved you but he obviously was a man of few words. A child needs to hear words to learn to speak correctly.”

Veba shook her head no. “You two…get hurt. No.”

“Shh, listen to me. He can’t hurt any of us if he can’t find us…”

“He bad man…he find.”

“No, we’ll find him.”

Unconvinced blue eyes looked at both women very scared and unsure.

*** *** *** ***

The sleeping arrangements amused Doris greatly. She slept on the couch. And Rickie was to sleep on the large bed with Veba. It took one glance of stern warning to stop Rickie from declining the offer. The big blue eyes brightened when the smaller woman climbed into the bed next to the now happy brunette. Doris thought it was utterly beautiful. Veba slept on one side of the bed and Rickie the other. Bugs Bunny nestled in Veba’s arms and an extra pillow in Rickie’s.

I bet that doesn’t last long, Thought Doris as she settled down to go to sleep.

When she woke up the next morning she was very touched by the scene before her. Nestled in Veba’s arms was Rickie. Rickie lay on her side her head cradled against a strong shoulder. The dark head was cuddled against the top of Rickie’s and she had a very sweet contented smile on her pretty face which was missing when they had gone to bed the night before.

Damn, look at them. They look like they’re just supposed to be together. Why is Rickie fighting it? I wouldn’t.

She got up and went to the alcove to make some breakfast from the stuff she brought. As she waited for the water to boil on the hot plate that she had luckily thought to bring with her. She wondered How on Earth are they going to wake up in that position and not realize they were gaga about each other? How are we going to get a six-foot Goddess out of this place without the bastard knowing it?

She knew that all that would be worked out when the other two woke up so she just worked on the setting the table with pretty plates and cups and waited for the sleeping beauties to wake up.

*** *** *** ***

Veba woke up from the strange smell that now wafted through her small room. She smiled as snuggled closer to Rickie. She liked the smell and she liked where she found herself even more. One blue eye opened and looked at the sleeping face nestled in her arms and she sighed in contentment.

It amazed her that she felt this way. She was comfortable, relaxed and yet excited at the same time. Her tummy was tied in knots but she felt giddy with happiness. As far as she was concerned she never wanted to move again. She wanted to kiss Rickie and more but she wasn’t quite sure what that was. She just knew that what she felt was right. It was good. She knew that her Mommy and Daddy would like Rickie and so would her Uncle Jack. She gently kissed Rickie’s cheek and then gently rubbed her cheek against the soft cheek beside her as the small woman squeaked in response. This made Veba feel very good. She thought her family would really have liked to have met this special lady nestled in her arms.

Thinking of the only people in her life that had ever cared for her and loved her brought tears to her eyes. Before Rickie came and showed her that someone else could care she was sure that she would be alone forever. She felt great tears drops fall from her eyes. She hugged Rickie pulling her on top of herself she couldn’t help it she needed her so very much.

*** *** *** ***

Rickie woke up from three very different stimulation’s The wonderful smell of coffee. The wonderful feeling of being held in warm loving arms but the one that was most disturbing were pellets of water that she felt against her neck. She opened her eyes and saw that Veba’s face was flushed she had tears falling down her cheeks.

“Veba?”

Blue eyes opened and the tall woman whispered, “Sorry.”

“Why?”

“Wake you.”

“That’s ok. What’s wrong?”

The dark woman’s bottom lip quivered as she replied softly, “Thinking…miss my Mommy and Daddy. Miss Uncle Jack. Hate Peter.”

“I know. Come here.” Rickie pulled the upset woman very close hugging her tight. She had an over powering need to comfort her new friend.

Veba hugged her back fiercely. She was crying again and asked, “Rickie?”

“Yes?”

“Love you.”

Tears came to the green eyes as she whispered quietly back, “I love you too. Very much.”

*** *** *** ***

After they had breakfast and dressed Veba led them through several passages till they reached a large access room. Veba picked up the large duffel and dropped it down carefully. Then she picked up Doris and carefully dropped down to the floor. She put the small woman on her own feet smiled at her and said, “Back please.”

Doris smiled and backed up till she was next to the wall. Then Veba jumped straight up and landing softly beside Rickie. She gave her a bright loving smile as she gently picked her up. Doris noted that the tall woman held her sister differently then she had herself. Rickie was nestled in her arms like a precious object where with Doris she was carried like some one she just didn’t want to get hurt. Doris smiled sweetly as she watched Veba drop down beside her hugging Rickie close like she was made of porcelain and could easily break. Then she put Rickie down beside Doris and walked to an access lid and easily opened the big heavy piece of concrete.

Veba looked up at the two women and pointed down saying, “Cars.”

Rickie nodded smiling, “Good girl Veba. Um, can you help Doris down so she can get our car?”

Veba nodded. She gently lifted Doris again and jumped down on to the cement of the floor. Then watched as Doris ran off to get the car. She jumped back up landing beside Rickie.

“Rickie?”

“Hmm?”

“Who Doris?”

Rickie smiled lovingly at into the unsure blue eyes as she said quietly, “She is my partner and my older sister.”

“Oh.”

“Why?”

Veba shrugged and looked down at her shoes.

Rickie caressed Veba’s cheek and felt Veba automatically responding to it. Big blue eyes met warm green; “I have never felt toward anyone what I feel toward you.”

“But Veba bad…she…talk bad…”

Rickie shrugged and shook her head. “No you’re not bad. When Dory and I get through with you, you will talk as beautifully as you look.”

“What bu-ti-fully?”

“Beautifully. You are Veba. You are so beautiful both inside and outside it sets my heart on fire.”

Confused blue eyes met hers and Veba shook her head trying to get the meaning of the words sensing how important they were.

Rickie kissed her cheek and said softly, “You will understand. Very soon. I’ll help you.”

“You…help…um now.”

“When we get home I will explain it all. I promise.”

Veba nodded. She trusted Rickie so she would wait.

*** *** *** ***

When they arrived at the bungalow the girls had shared for the last eight years Rickie was gently guiding Veba to the couch. Doris went to the answer phone and checked the caller ID.

“We had 8 messages from the bastard,” said Doris calmly as she sat down in the armchair by the phone.

Veba’s eyes were huge and she was clutching tightly to her stuffed Bugs Bunny. Her big blue eyes looked frantically at everything in both fear and wonder. Rickie sat beside her she put a comforting arm around her shoulders and asked gently, “Veba are you all right?”

Veba nodded very slowly. She pulled Bugs close with one arm and Rickie close with the other getting comfort from both.

“Sweetie, You don’t have deal with everything at once. Would you like lie down till you feel a bit better?”

Veba rubbed her cheek against Rickie’s and then shook her head no.

Rickie looked over at her sister with very worried eyes.

Doris stood up and walked close to them kneeling next to the shook up brunette.

“What is it that’s scaring you, Veba? Is it being here with us?”

“No,” was the tiny reply. Veba’s voice was so quiet the girls could hardly hear it at all.

“Is it being out of the office building for the first time since you were six?”

Veba nodded her head so hard they were afraid it would roll off.

Rickie brought Veba back into her arms. She hugged her close and asked softly, “Do you feel safe here with us?”

Veba put her head in the crook of Rickie’s neck and whispered, “Here with Rickie.”

Doris smiled and asked gently, “You mean your ok as long as long as you’re with Rickie?”

Veba nodded her arms tightening again around the smaller woman.

“Don’t worry I’m not leaving you for a second.”
“Veba, is there anything I can do to make you feel more comfortable,” asked Doris quietly.

Veba pulled back and pointed toward the window, “Close please.”

Doris tilted her head and asked, “Do you mean you want me to close the blinds?”

Confused blue eyes peeked up at her from Rickie’s shoulder.

Doris understood, “What you want is for me to cover those, right?”

Veba understood that and nodded.

Doris closed the blinds and made the room like it was pretty much dark outside except for two small lamps. One on the end table by the girls and the other in the hallway.

“Is that better?”

Veba smiled up at Doris and said, “Yes, Thank you.”

Doris sat back down on the arm chair smiling. “You are so polite.”

“Pu-lite?”

“Polite…you say please and thank you.”

“Mommy teach Veba.”

“Well you’re a very good girl.”

Veba blushed and hid her face against Rickie’s shoulder. Rickie smiled at her sister as she gently ran her fingers through the tangled soft hair.

“Dory I’m starved, how about making us a snack.”

“Sure. No problem.” Doris went to the kitchen.

“Veba would you like to see our room?”

“You and Dory?”

“No, I mean yours and mine.”

“Oh?” Said Veba smiling for the first time since leaving her sanctuary. “Yes please.”

Rickie smiled and took the other woman’s hand leading her toward it saying, “I hope you like it.”

“Me like,” said Veba holding tightly to Rickie’s hand and clutching Bugs to her chest.

*** *** *** ***

After Rickie gave Veba a tour of the small home they went into the bedroom. Veba sat down on the huge old-fashioned canopy bed.

“What do you think, Veba?”

“Pretty…like you…me like green,” Veba was examining the green quilt missing the blush on Rickie’s cheeks.

Rickie sat down on the bed next to her saying, “Thanks. Want to see what I made sure I brought from your place?”

Veba peeped up at she nodded and bit her lower lip.

Rickie smiled and pulled out Veba’s “Mags” from the duffel bag that she had brought with her after showing Veba the place.

“My “Mags”!” Veba smiled brightly very surprised.

“Yep since you like them so much I thought they would be perfect to teach you how to read with..”

“Um Rickie…Veba no read…”

“You will. I promised you remember…”

“But me bad…”

“Veba, if you say your bad one more time you will sleep on the couch in the living room.”

Big blue eyes looked up at her suddenly filling with tears, “Mad at me?”

Rickie shook her head and dried the drops falling from the upset woman’s eyes gently. “No I’m not. I want you to stop saying your bad. You’re not. In fact you’re very, very good.”

“But?”

“Veba.” Warned the small blonde.

Veba shrugged and said quietly looking at the quilt, “Veba not bad.”

Rickie hugged her close and kissed her cheek. Veba returned the hug enjoying the loving warmth.

“That’s my girl.”

*** *** *** ****

Doris just got off the phone when Rickie came out to get Veba some hot chocolate.

“How’s Veba, squirt?”

“Very scared. She trusts us though so I believe she will be ok. And don’t call me squirt your not much taller then I am!”

“But I am taller,” teased Doris back with a huge smile. “She trusts you little sister.”

“Dory.”

“Don’t growl at me she’s head over heals in love with you blind jerk! And in case you haven’t figured it out yet you are head over heals in love with her too.”

“I figured it out. Dory she is so innocent…so untouched…I feel…funny…”

“Kiddo, she has been all alone for a long time. Of course she is untouched. She is a woman. With all the needs, feelings and desires of any woman. She loves you and you love her. Go slow by all means but for God’s sake go.”

“Considering how we’ve woken up the last two mornings I’d say our bodies are way ahead of the game.”

“Rickie you will have to guide her but once she understands she will be incredible I’ll bet.”

“I know that too. She is very clever and creative. You don’t survive that long with out being both. What she did took a lot of brains…Dory, I do love her so…Hell I’m in love with her but I will not take advantage of her.”

“You won’t. You’re the most honorable person on this planet. I’ve got news for you dear sister of mine. I watched you two last night. She pulled you to her in her sleep and you went willingly like you were waiting for it. She wants you, needs you, craves you. How the hell do you resist that?”

Rickie sighed and said, “I can’t. You’re right. I am head over heals in love her and I want her so badly I think sometimes I will explode.”

Doris hugged her sister and who hugged her back fiercely.

“So do you want to know what the Bastard said?” Asked Doris as she pulled back.

“Sure.”

“He fired us. Three days with no results.”

“Almost four actually.” Said Rickie with a wide smile. “I am just so heart broken about it. I wonder how the ass hole will react when he finds out who our new client is.”

“Maybe he will die of heart attack and save us a lot of trouble.” They smiled at each other wishing he would but knowing they had a long way to go to get Veba’s heritage back.

*** *** **** ***

When Veba came out of the bathroom wearing the same night things she had for the last couple of nights she noticed that Rickie had that same look again.

Veba sat on the edge of the bed looking down at her bare feet. “Me ugly?”

“What? No, you’re beautiful. Why would you think that?”

Veba looked up with tear filled eyes as she replied softly, “You look…don’t like…me looks…”

“It’s my looks,” Rickie said with a gentle smile. The upset brunette’s eyes filled with tears and Rickie realized how up set she truly was. She crawled over to her and pulled her into a hug. “No, don’t cry. I think you’re very pretty. Beautiful. Perfect really…”

“My looks Bu-ti-ful?”

Rickie kissed her on the cheek for the effort to correct her speech and then found herself in bear hug. Veba loosened the hug but she didn’t let her go. She whispered softly, “Me like hugging you.”

Rickie just decided to go with the flow. She couldn’t really resist the wave of love that hit her from the tall woman holding her in arms kissing her sweetly all over her face. She hugged her back and closed her eyes enjoying each sweet kiss as she whispered; “I like being hugged by you. Veba?”

Veba stopped kissing her and looked at Rickie with suddenly passion filled deep blue eyes, “Yes?”

“Can I kiss you on the lips?”

“Yes.”

“But…um, are you sure?”

“Yes please.”

“But…?”

“Please yes,” Veba tilted her head so their lips were almost touching.

Rickie smiled and said, “Thank you,” She then kissed her very softly and tenderly.

Veba liked kissing Rickie on the lips. Her body seemed to be alive with strange feelings and needs that she had never felt before. She craved the woman in her arms. She wanted more. She kissed her back passionately bringing the little body as close as she could. When she felt Rickie’s little tongue caress her teeth she opened her mouth wide and met it happily with her own. It was like her body had knowledge that was hidden away and all it took was Rickie to find it and open it up.

When they ran out of breath they pulled back slightly. Veba cradled both Rickie’s cheeks gently in her hands and whispered panting, “More please.”

Rickie closed her eyes and followed her heart home.

As they drifted off to sleep nestled close Veba whispered, “Love you.”

Rickie sleepily replied, “I love you too with my whole soul.

*** *** *** ***

The next morning Veba woke up with the wonderful feeling of warmth from the woman nestled against her. She knew what they had done last night was the right thing for her. She could feel it in her soul. She had never felt anything like it before. It was like being full of energy and contentment at the same time. It made her feel so happy and at peace.

She was very worried about Rickie though. She wasn’t sure if it was the right thing for her love at all. She knew that Rickie wanted her as much as she wanted Rickie but she also felt her fear and worried about it very much. Veba was very determined never to leave her new home. So when Rickie woke up she would ask her if she wanted her to sleep in the living room. She would do anything to stay with Rickie even if it meant not being like this anymore. She would do whatever the woman she loved wanted her to do. Sacrifice anything as long as the small blonde was happy. Veba cuddled closer she wanted to enjoy this loving feeling of warmth as long as it lasted.

*** *** *** ***

Rickie felt drops of water hitting her back and it nudged her awake. Her eyes blinked open. She could feel the wonderful embrace of her sweet love. When she felt another drop she knew exactly what it was and it tore her up inside. Tears? Veba is crying. Maybe…? She thought as tried to turn toward the tall woman but Veba held her even tighter as she felt her try to pull away.

“Veba?”

“Hi,” was the tiny squeak that she heard by her ear.

“What’s wrong love? Why are you crying?”

“Veba did bad.”

“What?” Now Rickie gently disentangled herself so she could look into the red rimmed blue eyes. She gently wiped the tears and asked quietly, “Sweetheart, What could you possibly do that was bad?”

“Love you…you scared….Don’t make Veba go….please….”

“What? Why would even feel that way?” Rickie was shocked as she gently rubbed the upset woman’s back.

“I could feel…you ….um, scared. When we….Please no make go!” Veba pulled away and buried her face against the pillow. Her tears became sobs as her heart felt like it was breaking apart she was sure Rickie would send her back to her room in the building.

Rickie pulled the tall woman back into her arms and held her close. She kissed her forehead and stroked her hair. “I’m never, ever letting you go. Do you hear me? Please calm down. I love you. I don’t want you to ever leave here. Ever.” She was rubbing her back with one hand and stroking her hair with the other. She was gently giving her kisses on her face till the blue eyes opened and looked at her.

“But you scared?” Veba looked at her with unbelieving eyes. She was enjoying the gentle stroking and beautiful words but she had felt Rickie’s fear. She would never hurt her so she wanted to be very sure.

“I wasn’t scared about what we did, my love. You did absolutely nothing wrong. You were beautiful. I…I was upset with myself Veba, not you…”

“Why?” Veba was stunned by these words.

“You are so innocent. I shouldn’t have allowed that yet. I felt like I made you. Like I did something wrong…”

“What in-no-cent?”

“That you don’t understand what we did. I forced you…”

“No!…no force. No make. Me want. Me thought….I bad….I do wrong. Me thought….I should not kiss….My Rickie. You scared. Me scare my Rickie. You make….go back to room. Me want this home!” She cried as she burst into tears of pure fear.

“No, sweetheart. This is your home. I want you here forever. I want you as long as you want me….”

“I want…Please Rickie…please….” Veba was now gently kissing Rickie all over her face and neck. The tiny little butterfly kisses were driving the small woman mad with desire.

“Veba, I never want you to leave. Ever. All I want is for you to be happy.”

“Me happy with Rickie,” she pulled back and looked her into her eyes. She asked very unsure, “Veba kiss Rickie…there?” she put her finger gently to Rickie’s lips.

Rickie kissed the finger and replied, “Actually I was thinking that Rickie really wanted to kiss Veba right there,” She leaned forward and brought the soft lips that were now smiling to her own and kissed them tenderly. Bringing their bodies closer the kiss grew more and more passionate. This time Rickie only wanted Veba to feel her love and desire so she didn’t even think she just gave the tall woman all she felt in her heart.

Veba joyfully returned the kiss and just allowed the small woman to do with her what she would. All Veba wanted to do was to love her.

*** *** *** ***

A very tired but happy Rickie stumbled into the kitchen.

“I take it that your bodies finally told you what your hearts knew all along?”

Rickie poured herself a cup of coffee and looked at her sister confused. “What?”

“I heard the grunts and moans of passion coming from your room. You finally allowed yourself to love that beautiful woman. Right?”

Green eyes met hazel and Rickie nodded. “Yes, I…I couldn’t help it. I love her so much and I needed her. What’s really strange to me is she loves me the same way. She needs as much as I need her…”

“Strange? Yeash Rickie do you need a house to fall on you? Your so blind! I could tell by the way she looks at you and holds you. I could feel the pure love from across the room. She truly likes and respects me but Sis, she is head over heals in love with you.”

Rickie nodded, “I know that now. I feel the same way. I’m in love with her. I’d do anything for her. I’d die to protect her.”

“Well lets hope it doesn’t come to that. What are we going to do about jerk head?”

“I have a few ideas with Veba’s help,” Said Rickie with a wicked grin as she sipped her coffee.

*** *** *** ***

Veba looked from one woman to the other and then asked quietly, “Why do that?”

“Because it will scare him and then maybe we can get some of your stuff back that he took.

Veba simply looked up at Rickie with big confused eyes.

Doris sat in the kitchen chair next to the confused woman and handed her a cup of hot coa-coa. “Veba we have to scare him so we can get a confession out of him. Otherwise he could go on like he has for years.”

“Con-fes-sion?”

“We want to make him tell us in front of the police what he did to your Mom and Uncle.”

Veba shrugged and said with a big smile, “Veba beat him up.”

Rickie smiled and caressed her cheek. “Actually I think he would deserve that but I would be worried that the police would arrest you instead of him.”

“What ar-rest?”

“They would take you away and lock you up…” Veba looked very scared suddenly, Rickie pulled her into her arms holding her tight. “No, Sweetheart. I won’t let that happen. I promise. The best way is to scare the hell out him. We will need your help for that though…Will you help us?” She asked stroking her back and looking up into warm loving eyes.

Veba nodded and leaned her head against Rickie’s.

“Good girl.”

“Me?”

Doris smiled and nodded, “Yep, you are a very good girl.” Veba took a sip of the warm liquid and her face lit up like a Christmas tree. “This good.”

“Not as good as you, but damn close,” teased Rickie. Doris smiled as the pink blush covered the tall woman’s face.

*** *** *** ***

The three women crawled through the access vent in the office building that led the hated man’s private office. Veba motioned that they should stop and then pulled up a tile that would give them access to the office. She jumped down onto the ground landing on her feet silently like cat.

She held out her arms and caught Doris when she dropped out of the hole. She smiled at her and gently put her on her own feet. Her whole face lit up with a great big loving smile as her eyes met Rickie’s twinkling eyes looking down from above her.

Rickie returned the smile with a look of pure love and a wink that made Veba blush. She then pulled herself over the edge and dropped right into the strong loving arms she knew would be there for her whenever she needed her. Instead of putting her down, Veba cuddled her closer and kissed her tenderly.

“Hi beautiful, nice of you to catch me.”

“Thanks…you beautiful,” replied Veba carefully sounding out the new word carefully so she said it correctly. Then she rubbed her cheek against Rickie’s cuddling the small woman closer to her.

“Would you two mind cuddling later? We’re in enemy territory.”

Veba lovingly caressed Rickie’s cheek but turned to look at a worried Doris, “Ter-ri-rory?”

“It means were in the bad man’s place.”

Veba nodded and said, “Yes, Bad man’s place.” She gently put Rickie on her own feet and then hugged her again.

Rickie hugged her back and then pulled back caressing her strong arm, “Dory’s right let’s get to work.”

*** *** *** ***

They were in the car heading back to the house. Veba sat in the back seat with Rickie. She was still very scared outside of the house and the building. She was cuddled with the smaller woman and Rickie was gently running her fingers through the long black hair and kissing her on the neck. Soon all she really could think of was what her Rickie was doing to her body. She was in such a dreamy state that she really forgot they were in the car till Doris opened the door to the back seat and scolded them so they should get into the house already.

Rickie had begun kissing and caressing her love so she could calm the frightened girl down. Veba was so scared when they went into the garage that she was shaking like a leaf. As she felt the warm skin touching her lips and the soft moaning in her ears she lost her way and glided into the same dreamy state that Veba was in. Her passion intensified as she kissed her loves lips deeply forgetting where they were and what they were doing. She was shocked when they got home and Doris opened the back door to tell them to get out.

Doris smiled and hummed as she drove them home. She loved to see her little sister so happy. She knew that no one deserved happiness as much as Rickie and Veba did. After all that Veba had been through she couldn’t think of better reward for her then to fall in love with Rickie. She kept her eyes on the road and turned the radio up a bit to distract her from what was happening behind her. She knew she would probably have to spray them with cold water when they got home but she didn’t mind. She was happy for them.

*** *** *** ***

Peter Daniels was a very happy man. He had not heard a peep from his blasted stepdaughter in days. He always knew it was her doing all the ghostly things that had been reported and he had done his damnedest to catch and destroy her if he could.

He entered his office and the first thing he noticed was the scent of lavender. His nose twitched and he said quietly, “Where is that scent coming from?”

He opened his armoire where he kept some of his clothes for use when it rained or he needed to spend the night. He saw a sports jacket hanging there that wasn’t his but looked very familiar.

His face paled as he remembered where he had seen it and he backed up as it were a snake. He knew Veronica couldn’t have put it there because she never left the building and didn’t even know that her Uncle Jack was dead. He went to his desk and sunk into the desk chair his teeth were literally chattering.

He opened the desk and a soft voice came to his ears with a stronger scent of Lavender, which he now remembered was his wife’s favorite scent. “You killed me Peter. You killed me …I know you killed me Peter…”It kept saying the same thing over and over again.

He jumped out from behind the desk and slowly backed out of his own office like a wild animal was tracking him.

“This can’t be Veronica I have never even heard her say one word. I know she doesn’t speak but…how could anyone else know?”

He ran out of the office straight out into the street and home without even stopping to get his car.

*** *** *** ***

Rickie and Veba were on the couch cuddled close together. A Bugs Bunny comic book was settled on both their laps. Veba knew the whole story by heart but now she wasn’t to rely on pictures she had to go through the story by the words. Rickie had said that she must concentrate on each letter of each word. She remembered her ABC’s very well. Her Mommy and Daddy use to sing it with her on rides in the country. She loved to sing it and still did it alone in her room just to hear the sound of a voice. Now she was using that song in her head as she tried to put the letters to use. She was very frustrated.

“B…uh….g…s….um, Bugs. B…uh…neh…neh…” She looked up at Rickie unsure. “Rickie, Don’t know Y…?”

Rickie was so proud of how hard her love was trying. She thought one page at a time would be enough. This was their first page and she was doing exceedingly well. Thank heaven her parents taught her the ABC’s as a playful song that she could remember. This would be so very hard on her without that knowledge. She thought as she gently rubbed her love’s forehead to smooth out the lines of concentration that the beautiful woman was forming there.

“Sweetheart, calm down. You’re doing wonderfully.” She gently kissed her on the forehead.

“Really?”

“MmmHmm, Y is either Yuh or ee. When used in this word it is used as ee. When a word has two letters like an N followed by a y it usually sounds like ee.”

Veba nodded and bit her lip. Then her face lit up like a Christmas tree. “Its Bunny!”

Rickie’s smile matched Veba’s as she nodded and then kissed her loves nose. “Perfect.”

The phone rang; Doris with a happy smile quickly answered it on the other side of the room. She didn’t want to interrupt the lesson that was going on it was very important that Veba learn to read as soon as she could.

“Hello?”

“Its Peter Daniels,” said the hated man in a sharp nervous voice.

“Yes?”

“I want to rehire you.”

“Excuse me? Didn’t you very recently fire us?”

“Um, I…I need you to check my office….I…”

“Sorry, we’re not interested…”

“I’ll pay you whatever you want. For both cases. I won’t fire you again. Just help me. Please.” He begged desperately.”

“Could you hold on.”

She put him on hold and walked across the room to the hard working couple on the couch. Veba looked so cute. She had her bottom lip between her teeth as she concentrated. Rickie had lovingly braided her long hair and Veba was playing with the end nervously as she sounded out each word.

Rickie had her arm around Veba’s shoulders. She was gently rubbing Veba’s arm as she guided her hard working student.

“Wrascally?” Asked Veba unsure she said it right.

Rickie smiled at the up raised eyebrow and the frown on dark woman’s face. Rickie nodded her head and said, “Yep, you got it. That’s perfect. You did the whole page all by yourself.”

“You help me.”

“Only a little bit. You did all the work…”

“Um, We are….team,” said Veba with a beautiful smile. She was proud of herself for thinking of that word all by herself.

Rickie chuckled and said, “Yep, we sure are.”

“Excuse me team, but we have a very upset person on hold.”

“Oh who?” asked Rickie. She took the comic book and gently put it on the coffee table.

“Asshole.”

Veba looked confused, “What Ass-hole?”

“Your step father, Sweetie. It’s a bad name for the rotten Son of a Bitch.”

“Rotten son of a bitch? What that mean?” Asked Veba innocently.

“What does that mean, is the right way to say that Love. And they are very bad words. Dory!”

“Hey considering who she’s in love with she needs to learn them.”

“Dory.” Growled the smaller woman. Veba looked between them like she was totally lost. Rickie realized Veba had no idea what they were arguing about. “Never mind Love, Its just the bad man.”

“Oh?” Veba decided to question Rickie later when they were alone. She could usually get more out of her love when Dory wasn’t there. “Why he call?”

Rickie snorted and asked gently, “Veba Love, remember all that stuff we did to his office?”

Veba nodded innocently. “Yes, you make me say…the same thing over and over. Right?”

“Yes that’s right and you said that very well.” Veba looked down and blushed. Rickie sat down next to her again and said, “I bet he wants us to investigate. Right Dory?”

“Yep. He wants our help pretty badly.”

“Hmm, What are we suddenly exorcists?”

“What that?”

“What is that? Veba, say it again correctly please,” Said Rickie gently stroking her back.

Veba was looking deeply into green eyes and whispered. “What is that?”

“Perfect.” Said Rickie suddenly with an overwhelming need she pulled her love’s lips to her own and kissed her passionately.

“Hey guys? We have a twit on hold remember?” Said Doris impatiently.

Rickie pulled back and rubbed noses with Veba as she said softly. “Yeah, I remember. An Exorcist is a sort of a ghost chaser. He makes them go away?”

Veba was enjoying all the attention she was getting with a soft voice and a big smile she said, “Oh? Like me?”

“No, not exactly. You see my beautiful ghost, we never want you to go away.”

“Don’t want go….um, Don’t want to go. Right?”

“Yep, perfect. Just like you.”

Doris groaned and sat down, “Hey come on! Work before play. What do I say to him?”

“Hmm, Let him stew for a few days. Say you can’t find me and you won’t make this kind of decision without me.”

“Ok good, I can do that,” said Doris with a smile as she went back to the phone across the room.

“Rickie what now?”

Rickie smiled and said, “Why don’t we go to our room and fool around.”

Veba chuckled and said, “That good….um, but what about bad man?”

Rickie gently pulled Veba close and kissed her on her neck as her fingers ran through the soft black bangs. Then she pulled back and whispered in her ear, “The bad man, my love.”

Blue eyes were dark and full of passion as she gently lifted Rickie’s chin and repeated softly, “The bad man.”

“Good girl.”

“Rickie?”

Rickie smiled at her tenderly and whispered, “I have a few ideas.”

“Oh? You tell Veba?”

“Hmm, you should say, “Are you going to tell me?” And the answer is yes I will but right now all I want to do is to go to our room and play.”

As if hypnotized Veba simply got up at the same time Rickie did and allowed Rickie to take her hand and lead her to their room.

*** *** *** ***

Doris smiled at Veba as she came out of her bedroom.

“Hey Sweetie, Where is my little sister?”

“Getting dressed. Dory what going do about…the bad man?”

“That was almost perfect. What are you going to do about the bad man? Say it again.”

Veba eyes narrowed and she shook her head; “You do like Rickie. Don’t want Veba…um, me to know…”

“Veba we don’t want to worry you. We’re trying to protect you because we love you.”

“Me know that…I know that. I worry…um, anyway.”

“Mmm, yes I see your point. What’s Rickie doing right now?”

“Bathroom.”

“Go get her and we’ll have a nice chat.”

“Thank you Dory,” said Veba sweetly as she went to get Rickie out of the shower even if she had to carry her out.

Doris tilted her head as she watched the determined woman, “Your very welcome my other little sister.” She smiled and waited for the family conference in her favorite chair.

*** *** *** ***

Rickie didn’t want to tell Veba her plan not because she didn’t trust her love but because she knew she would hate it but one pout from the determined woman shattered that resolve.

“Love, your not going to like my idea.”

“Why?”

“Because my idiot sister is going to set herself up.”

Confused blue eyes looked at each of them and in a suddenly wary undertone she asked, “What is set up?”

“Veba don’t get upset?”

“Rickie no, you tell me what it mean!” Now there was anger in her voice.

Rickie looked nervously at her sister. As sweet and gentle as Veba was with them Rickie knew she could be formidable when provoked.

“Tell her Sis.”

“I am going to call your step father and set up a meeting so he will get so upset he will try and attack me…”

Veba stood up and cried, “No! Me won’t let you!” She pulled Rickie out of the chair and into a tight embrace. “He will hurt you. Do bad things like to my Mommy. Like Uncle Jack. No Rickie…please….please….”

Rickie hugged the now hysterical woman to her. She rubbed her back gently and waited till she calmed down enough to talk to. She then replied quietly, “I promised that I will never leave you. I won’t. I won’t get hurt he will. I promise, Sweetheart.”

Veba was shaking her head no against her shoulder and crying.

Doris came next to them and said gently, “Ok, how about this. We don’t set up Rickie. We scare him more…um, but we’ll need your help and we need to protect shrimp over there since she may have to be in the room with him. So what if you do your ghost thing and protect her from the vents? Do you trust us?”

Red faced and teary eyes Veba nodded and replied quietly, “Yes.”

“I’ll tell you what I’ll plug you in so you can hear everything too while your doing your ghost bit.”

“I don’t want my Rickie get hurt.”

“To get hurt, and I won’t. How could I? You will both be there protecting me every second. I’ll be surrounded by a screen of love.”

“But?”

“You said you trust us.”

Veba nodded.

“Well I trust you two too. I know if I need you, you will be there.”

Veba nodded and pulled her love onto her lap cradling her against her protectively. “Forever,” she whispered. She heard the word echo in her mind but she wasn’t sure why exactly.

*** *** *** ***

Veba was very carefully studying her assignment today. She had to read three pages all by herself and then explain it on paper. Veba found it becoming easier and easier to read. To write though was very hard for her since she had never done it before at all. She sat staring at the blank sheet of paper doodling in the margins trying to form the sentences that she was taught in her mind before she committed them to paper.

Rickie was going over notes and maps that Veba had gone over the night before with Doris and herself. Doris was out getting some equipment for their little adventure and Rickie was trying to formulate a logical timetable for them.

She looked up from her work and her heart felt like it had expanded inside her chest. Veba had her chin on the desk near the paper. Her tongue was sticking out the side of her mouth as she concentrated on each letter she was committing to paper for her lesson. She was completely focused and unaware of anything but the task in front of her.

She just becomes more and more adorable everyday. It’s amazing. I look at her and my heart feels like it almost stops because she affects me so much. I didn’t think it was possible to love anyone as much as I love that sweet woman. She thought with a sigh as she went back to her own task.

Veba heard the sigh and looked up, “What wrong Rickie?”

Rickie smiled at her concerned soul mate and replied quietly, “That’s “What’s wrong.”

“Oh? Ok. What’s wrong Rickie?”

Rickie chuckled and said, “You are sooo beautiful and special. Its amazing I fall deeper under your spell everyday. You know I am just as worried about you as you are about me?”

Veba tilted her head and asked quietly, “Why?”

“Because my love, You will be right there and if he threatens me with a gun you will drop down right in front of him and take the bullet that would be meant for me.”

Veba shrugged, “Yep, that my job.”

“No Sweetheart. Your only job is to love me…”

“I do love you and I want protect you. They go to-geth-er…together.”

Rickie looked very upset and said quietly, “Would you wear a protective vest for me?”

“Sure, will you wear too?”

Rickie nodded and smiled slightly. “Yes love, I will wear one too. I think it would be best if you wore your hood the whole time too. I don’t want him to know its you till we get him.”

Veba shrugged again and nodded, “Ok…um, Rickie…Are you mad at me?”

Rickie came over to her and pulled her out of the chair and into her arms. “Why would I be mad at you?”

Veba rubbed her head against the soft blonde hair enjoying its clean scent; “Me get mad…um I get mad…” She looked very sheepishly at Rickie.

Rickie thought she looked incredibly cute when she got like this, “I believe your trying for, “I got mad.” And so what if you did. You’re allowed to get upset. I know you love me and your only trying to protect me the only way you know how. I understand that and I would be the same way.”

“But me yell?”

“So? Sweetie, there will be times in our life that I will yell my head off too. It doesn’t mean I don’t love you any more then you yelling at me means that you don’t love me. Would you be mad at me if I lost my temper?”

“Um, no…you never mad.”

“Not yet,” Veba’s eyes grew wide at that thought.

“Come on love,” she pulled her closer and was amazed to hear the taller woman’s heart beat going wildly against her ear. “Why are you so scared?”

“Don’t want you mad.”

“Why on Earth are you so worried about it?”

“Don’t want to go.”
Rickie pulled back and looked into fearful teary blue eyes, “Never. I will never tell you to go no matter how mad I may be. I can really get mad. Ask Dory but I would never say such a thing to you. Ever.”

“Really?”

“Yes Sweetheart, I love you. Only you and I want you forever my sweet ghost.”

A tiny smile came to Veba’s lips; “I love only you too…boo.”

Rickie chuckled and brought their lips together and kissed her passionately.

*** *** *** ***

Rickie came out of the bathroom to find Veba on the floor working out with a set wrist weights that Rickie didn’t even remember she had. She was on the floor stretching out her abs, and the small woman felt herself reel like she would need another shower any minute. She had never seen anything so sexy in her life as the strong muscles rippling under the soft flesh.

Veba was completely focused on her work out. She found these strange things under the bed and thought it would be fun to play with them. She sat with her legs straight out and was bending forward with her arms straight letting her body take her as far forward as she could go. When she came back to her sitting position she found herself captured by small arms around her waist and surrendered willingly. She closed her eyes enjoying the feel of the strong small hands against her skin.

In a rough sexy voice Rickie whispered, “I was going to say the shower was all yours but would like to share it?”

“You came out now…Why go back?” Veba replied softly as she felt soft kisses against her neck and back. She felt that curious electricity soar through her that she only seemed to feel around her Rickie.

“We can go in there and play. There are a lot of fun things we haven’t tried yet.”

“I not try very much.”

Rickie licked the salty rim of her loves ear and whispered, “Say I have not tried very much yet.” She nibbled the ear.

Veba moaned then dutifully repeated, “I have not tried very much yet.” She moaned again as Rickie sucked at her pulse point on her neck making her feel very funny in the stomach and wet below. When the lips started to kiss there way down her body Veba pulled Rickie right on top of her and brought the soft lips to her own kissing her hungrily.

When they ran out of air Rickie traced a line of kisses along her chin as she whispered, “What about the shower?”

“Later,” said Veba with a deep purr bringing the lips back to her own and kissing her passionately. Her fingers unwrapped the towel that covered the soft strong body on top of her. Her hands started to explore the breast she adored playing with.

Rickie had already taken the panties off Veba and almost ripped the tank top off her love with the need to touch the strong supple body beneath her. When they were both naked and flesh had finally touched flesh a fire ripped through them both that water would never have put out. Both women felt like they were flying and they were just beginning.

Rickie was suckling Veba’s breast and while Veba was kneading her loves beautiful behind. Veba really had no idea what she was doing she went with her instincts which seemed to grow better each time they made love. Her mouth was busy tasting any skin she could reach while her hands explored greedily. Rickie had driven her up the spiral slowly suddenly her head came back and she moaned out loud as her loves tongue entered her where she needed her most.

Rickie’s hands were caressing the inside of her loves legs while she lapped up the exquisite juises pouring out of her loves apex. Veba was moaning and begging for Rickie to enter her.

“Rickie….Rickie…now love…please….n-n-need you…”Veba panted.

“Yes my Sweet, right now, ” purred Rickie as she entered her love. Veba stiffened and screamed out her loves name. Rickie felt herself fall over the edge just watching the tall beauty succumb to her love. She screamed Veba’s name and fell onto her stomach unable to move for several minutes.

When Rickie recovered she crawled up the tall body till she was cradling her love in her arms. When blue eyes finally fluttered open and met warm loving green Veba smiled and softly said, “Hi.”

“Hi Sweetie, Are you ok?”

“Yes…nice…you very special…”

Rickie kissed her lovingly and replied, “Not as special as you are.” She smiled and cuddled close to the now sleeping woman. She made her head comfortable against the strong shoulder and said quietly, “I guess we’re sleeping on the floor tonight.”

*** *** *** ***
Doris was pacing in front of her sister mad as hell. Veba was in the other room working on a little test that Rickie had made up for her. If she passed it she would graduate from her comics to her Starlog magazines. The tall woman was very determined to pass.

“Rickie, this is the worst idea you’ve have ever had! I hate it and so would Veba.”

“I know that but this is all for her. You know as well as I do that I have done riskier things in my life.”

“Well this one is just plain stupid. I mean why don’t we just stick with scaring him? Why resort to pretending to black mail him…”

“What black mail?” Asked the tall woman in the doorway holding her test.

“Oh great! You finished your…”

Veba came in and put the test down on Rickie’s desk saying, “Never mind test. What black mail?”

Rickie looked into angry icy blue eyes and sat down in her desk chair.

“Um, It’s saying that you have information on a criminal but not going to police instead you ask them for money….”

“It’s illegal and immoral and she’s not really going to do it, Veba. She’s pretending so she can draw him out more then scaring him would…”

Icy blue eyes met shocked hazel. Doris had never seen Veba so angry before, “What pretending?”

“Make believe…”

“No Rickie! NO!”

“But?”

“NO…I won’t let you. He…he hurt you….Like Mommy. No!”

“I won’t get hurt…”

“You don’t…see…he hurt people! He hurt me…me six! He kill Mommy. He kill Uncle Jack! No! NOOO!”

She pulled Rickie out of the chair and picked her up into her arms. She cradled her protectively in her arms. Tears were pouring down her cheeks and her heart was beating wildly. Rickie hugged her back trying desperately to calm her down. She looked over her shoulder at Doris.

“Don’t look at me Addle Brain! I agree with her. It’s a very stupid plan. I think our original plan is the safest and best. For all of us.”

“Thanks Dory,” said Veba’s soft voice as she nuzzled her head against Rickie’s.

Doris smiled at Veba and then stuck her tongue out at her sister. “No problem, So what do you say Brat?”

“I won’t do it. So what are we going to do?”

“Plan A, Scare the shit out of him. Veba will you still help?”

“Will my Rickie be alone with bad man?”

Rickie was relieved Veba was trying to carefully say things correctly again which meant she was calmer.

“No Sweetie, she will not. I want us all to wear the Kelvar vests but if it works out right none of us will even be near him.”

“Ok, me…I will help.”

**** **** **** ****

Rickie sat behind Veba on the large bed in their room brushing the long black hair. She loved to see it shine in the moonlight coming through the blinds. It looked like it had stardust in it.

“Are you still mad at me?” She asked her quietly as she brushed the soft hair looking at the still tense back.

“Not mad. I…scared…I worry.” Veba’s eyes were closed as Rickie slowly brushed the tangles out of her hair it felt so soothing.

“Do you feel any better now?”

“Yes. Dory smart. She love you.”

“Loves you.”

Veba chuckled, “She loves you much.”

“She loves you very much.”

Veba caught her hand as she pulled the brush through her hair. She took the brush and placed it on the table. Then she brought the little hand to her heart. She looked at her with twinkling blue eyes and said sweetly, ” No more teacher. I want playmate. I pass my test.” She said pulling Rickie on top of her smiling happily.

“Yes you did. You’re the top of your class. The very best,” Then she kissed Veba tenderly.

“Still don’t speak good.”

“You will Love, I promised.”

Veba chuckled and shook her head; “You always keep promises, don’t you?” She cuddled her close kissing her tenderly on the forehead.

“Always,” said Rickie putting her arms around Veba’s neck and bringing her lips to her and kissing her passionately.

*** *** **** ***

Veba sat on the couch in the office fascinated as she watched Doris working on line.

“Dory teach me?”

“Will you teach me, please?”

Veba smiled and said politely, “Will you teach me, please Dory?”

“Yes, I’ll teach you. I think you’ll enjoy it. There’s a lot of fun you can have on line and your very quick witted so I think you’ll like it.”

“Yes, I enjoy. My Rickie already say so. What quick witted?”

“What is quick witted?”

Veba rolled her eyes and repeated with a tolerant smile, “What is quick
witted?”

Doris chuckled and said, “I don’t correct everything you say. I promised your little barracuda of a teacher that I would correct you when you slipped a little.”

“I know. What is quick witted?”

“It means your smart, My Love,” said Rickie with a huge smile leaning on the doorpost that went into the hallway. “And I ain’t a barracuda!”

“What is barracuda?” Asked Veba jumping up and giving Rickie a hug.

“What is a barracuda,” Said Rickie going on her tiptoes and kissing Veba on her nose, which made the tall woman blush prettily. Then Veba sat in a chair and pulled Rickie onto her lap. Rickie cuddled close as she replied in a soft voice, “It’s a very deadly fish.”

“Oh? You fight like a barracuda.”

“I do?”

Veba nodded and rubbed her cheek against Rickie’s soft one. “Yes,” she purred. “Me smart?”

“Yes, Love your extraordinarily smart. The way your learning to read and write proves it. You’re zipping through this stuff like a house on fire. You are amazing. All we have to do is bring your speech to where you’re happy with it.”

Doris was working in the computer with her back to them. She wanted to get as ready as she could for their show down with the man who for twenty years tortured the woman who was now as close to her as a sister. They would see to it that he would be paid back in full.

Veba pulled back from the onslaught of kisses that Rickie was attacking her with. “Wait Love. Me smart? I not talk good? I don’t know what…um, you mean. How can be smart?”

“Love, you didn’t hear whole conversations for years. The only person you talked to was your uncle who was obviously a man of few words. How could you learn to speak well if you had no one to practice with?”

“Yes, Uncle Jack was nice. He just spoke about food, mags, and how I stay safe. Did I say that rightly?”

Rickie face burst into an even bigger smile and she licked Veba on the nose. “It was soooo cute I don’t really care if it was correct at the moment. I think you’re adorable.” She pulled her close and kissed her passionately.

“You know when this is all over I want to find someone I can kiss all the time. You two are driving me nuts!”

The girls parted and Veba’s beautiful smiled disappeared to be replaced with a concerned frown. “Is Dory mad?”

“No Sweetie, I’m not mad just a bit jealous, I guess.”

“What that?”

“What is that?”

Big blue eyes rolled and she corrected herself, “What is that?”

Rickie kissed her cheek and said, “We only correct you because we want you to speak beautifully. Jealous means that someone wants what someone else has very badly. It depends on the person on what it does to them. Some people get sad and depressed like my sister. And some people who are already sick…it drives them to do bad things like Peter. How ever it affects you its not good thing to feel.”

“Oh?” Veba looked at Dory with the sweetest most compassionate expression as she asked, “Do me and Rickie make Dory sad?” There were tears pouring down the high cheekbones, which deeply touched both Rickie and Doris.

Rickie hugged her tightly. Veba just amazed her. She had so much love and compassion. She had never known there was anyone like the woman she loved.

Doris was very touched too and she gently rubbed Veba’s arm, “No Sweetie, I love to see you two together. I’m not sad exactly…I just wish I had someone special like you two do.”

“Oh? Is hard…um, is it hard?”

Rickie kissed Veba on the nose, “Excellent catch, Darling. And yes we are very lucky it is one of the hardest things to find in life.”

“Oh, me…I hope you find soon, Dory.”

Looking at the best example she’d ever seen she smiled and said, “So do I Sweetie, So do I.”

*** *** *** ***

The three women crawled through the vents on the way to the hated man’s office. Veba led them carrying the large duffel bag on her back. The sisters followed each with a small knap sack on they’re backs.

When they reached access area over Peter’s office Veba motioned for them to stop and pulled a large tile from in front of her. Then she carefully dropped the duffel bag down to land on the large ornate couch to the side of the hole she had created. She dropped down to the floor with out a sound landing on her feet like a cat.

She then looked up and smiled brightly. She met sparkling green eyes with warm loving blue and held out her arms. Rickie winked and mouthed, I love you. Then she blew the tall woman a kiss. This made Veba blush beet red she carefully mouthed back, I love you too. Then she copied her blowing a kiss back up to the beautiful woman above her.

Rickie dropped into warm loving arms that brought her very close kissing her cheek. Rickie nuzzled Veba’s long neck and whispered, “Hi.”

“Hi,” replied Veba before she brought the sweet lips to her own and kissed her love deeply.

Dory pulled a piece of bubble gum from her pocket and aimed it carefully hitting Rickie right on the head with it. Rickie pulled back and looked up into irritated hazel eyes. “Oops, I guess you need to get my impatient sister.”

Veba tenderly rubbed where the gum hit and asked softly, “Ok…hurt?”

“No, it didn’t hurt. Put me down Love, and get Dory before she hatches an egg.”

“Ok,” said Veba softly as she gently put Rickie down by the couch and walked back over to the opening. She looked up and smiled at Dory who smiled back took a deep breath and dropped down.

Veba easily caught the smaller woman in her arms. She put her down and turned toward Rickie.

She never misses, thought Rickie full of besotted admiration. The two women walked to Rickie and Veba whispered excitedly, “What we do now?”

“What are we going to do now, Love.” Corrected Rickie gently caressing her cheek.

Veba leaned into in it and purred back with wicked smile, “What are we going to do now, Love?”

Rickie chuckled, “Smart ass.”

Veba gently took the little hand and brought it to her lips kissing it softly. Rickie looked up at her blushing and said, “You are sooo sweet.”

“You sweet.”

“You are sweet.”

“No you are.”

Rickie chuckled and said, “I love the sense of humor that’s coming out keep it out.”

“Ok.”

Dory shook her head, “So Whiz Kid what are we going to do?”

Rickie laughed and said, “Well first we have to set up our sound equipment then we’ll do the special effects. Some of the more delicate stuff we’ll have to wait till we get closer to the zero hour.”

“Zero hour?”

“When we get Peter.”

“Oh? Ok, what you want me do?”

“What do you want me to do?”

Veba shook her head and said softly, ” Rickie never stop,” Then she rolled her big blue eyes full of amusement and repeated, “What do you want…um, me to do?”

“Of course I won’t let up. I promised you will speak as wonderfully as you look and that will take a lot of practice,” Rickie whispered kissing her love on the cheek. “Why don’t you help Dory with the sound equipment while I start on the special effects stuff.”

“Ok,” replied Veba sweetly.

“Gotcha,” said Doris taking Veba’s hand and leading her to the big duffel bag.

Rickie watched Veba with fascination as she followed her sister like a gentle obedient panther. She is just too beautiful for words. She thought to herself as she took a deep breath and got to work.

*** **** **** ****

Veba was in the office carefully doing her latest assignment. She had to read a whole story in Starlog all by herself. She had to find all the parts of it and then after she read it she had to explain it in full detail to Rickie and Doris.

She had the magazine, a piece of scratch paper, the paper she was going to write her notes on, a pencil and a dictionary in front of her as she carefully read the magazine. She concentrated on each word and their meaning digesting it all so she could explain it later.

Doris smiled when she came into the room unnoticed by the completely focused woman. She shook her head as she realized that the brunette had come a long way in a very short time. She knew that Veba wasn’t just smart she was brilliant. She had 100% comprehension and she understood it immediately. What she was having a difficult time with was communicating what she read. Doris estimated that Veba was now at about a third of forth grade reading level. Which considering it was only a few weeks since she started learning how to read it was quite a remarkable accomplishment.

Veba sensed her friend’s presence and without looking up she called, “Dory can’t find word. Please help.”

Doris smiled as she walked beside the other woman and looked down at the word that Veba was pointing to in agitation. She smiled and said softly, “The reason you can’t find that is it doesn’t exist in a dictionary. It’s a made up word like Xenaverse.”

“Oh? No trek-ism?”

“Well it is a word but just not in common usage. Remember what we said about Xenaverse?”

Veba nodded she had her bottom lip between her teeth as she tried to understand what her friend was explaining to her. It melted Doris’s heart it was so cute.

“Well Trekism means that it has something to do with the show Star Trek.”

“What Star Trek?”

“What is Star Trek,” corrected Doris softly and then she pointed to a picture of the character of Deanna Troi. “See this pretty lady in the article?”

Veba nodded.

“She’s from Star Trek.”

“Oh?”

“Hmm, I’ll pull some tapes for you so you can see these shows that you love from the “mags”. I think you will understand it better if you do. Ok?”

Veba smiled brightly and nodded, “I like tape. We watched whole tape of just my Bugs!” Said Veba very excited by the idea.

Doris chuckled and nodded, “Ok, then that’s what we’ll do. I’ll pull some stuff and then you and Rickie can choose which ones to watch each night. Would you like that?”

“Yes please.”

Ok, now back to work, Sweetie.”

Veba nodded and went right back to work with out another word. She was very excited to watch more tapes they were so much fun to see. She got to see all the pictures move and she felt very excited by that.

Doris watched the now totally focused brunette who was brimming with excitement. She is so sweet. My sister is so damn lucky. She sat down at her computer and sipped her coffee as she went to work herself.

*** *** *** ***

Rickie put Tomb Raider in the VCR and yawned. She knew that Veba already liked Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft in pictures in the magazines and the character from her comics. She hoped that she would enjoy it all played out in front of her. She grabbed the remote and smiled at the site before her.

Veba was in their bed under the covers practically bouncing out of it she was so excited. Rickie chuckled and cuddled into bed with the excited woman. She cuddled close and whispered, “You are so cute.”

“I am?”

“Mhmm,” she replied as she hit the fast forward to get past the previews.

“Why you do that?”

“Why are you doing that?” Corrected Rickie as she got her head comfortable on Veba’s shoulder. “I hate the previews I’m getting us to the main feature.”

“Why are you doing that?” Veba corrected herself as her fingers began to automatically stroke the soft blonde hair. Rickie was really tired and this was making her even more sleepy but she didn’t stop it because it felt too good. “No preview…look,” said the excited brunette.

Rickie hit play then she gave the remote to Veba. She pulled closer to the warm body next to her. Veba put the remote on her bedside table and then helped to settle Rickie into a more comfortable position. “Comfy Love?”

Rickie glanced up into sparkling blue eyes and nodded. “Yep…Oh good here we go,” Said Rickie as the actual studio symbol played in front of them. Rickie nodded off to sleep with in seconds of the opening. Veba kissed her forehead and settled her love so she could sleep comfortably as she watched the exciting movie.

Veba was fascinated. She really felt like she was part of the action. She smiled at Rickie and shrugged slightly thinking, Rickie right me look like Lara. Except my eyes different and me…I have bangs.

She had so many questions running through her mind as she watched the film. Her little love was fast asleep though and she would never wake her so she would wait till morning. When the film ended she rewound the tape like Rickie had taught her before. Then she turned off the TV and the VCR and put the remote down on the bedside table. She turned off the light and carefully lowered herself against the pillows so she didn’t wake Rickie up.

She molded her body to Rickie’s and relaxed into instant sleep secure in the knowledge that her smart love would answer all her questions in the morning.

*** *** *** ***

As green eyes fluttered open an excited Veba pulled Rickie up into her arms and said, “Oh Rickie! That was sooo great! Me want…I want to know…how shoot please. Can we go those places? Is place like that…want to see Mommy….”

Rickie gently covered her lips with her finger. Then she caressed her cheek and whispered, “Shh, come here love,” She pulled her love even closer so their faces were right beside each other. “I’m so glad you enjoyed the movie, Sweetie. Yes, I will teach you how to shoot. It takes time and you have to learn every part of the gun, ok?”

“Yes,” said Veba softly kissing her love all over her face so softly and sweetly that Rickie felt like she would lift off into orbit. When Veba stopped she opened her eyes and kissed her love on the nose.

“I can’t really afford or to be honest want to go to either Siberia or Cambodia. But London and Venice might be something we can do next year some time.”

“What afford?”

“It would cost us a lot of money.”

Veba blinked then nodded, “Oh? I understand.”

Rickie smiled and kissed her love tenderly on the lips. “We would have a lot of fun in Europe and I know that Doris always wanted to go so I think that would be a nice adventure for us to plan for ok?”

“Yep, How about…?”

“Sweetie, I’m afraid that there is known way to visit people who passed away. That was a pure fantasy in the movie. I wish I could give that to you so you can visit your parents and your uncle.” She said softly drying the silent tears that were falling from the teary blue eyes. “Hell I wish I could visit my own folks that way…”

“You and Dory don’t have Mommy or Daddy either?”

“No Love, Dory and I lost our Dad to cancer when we small children. We just lost our Mom eight years ago to Breast Cancer. I wish she would have lived to meet you she would have adored you.”

“Me adore her too…” Cried Veba holding the small women closer.

“All the family we have is the three of us…”

“Me glad I have you two.”

“We’re very glad that we have you too. Especially me. I love you so much.” She pulled her into a deep passionate kiss that was fully returned.

When they pulled apart for air Veba gently rubbed her cheek against Rickie’s, “Me love…I love you too. A lot!”

“I know, Sweetie. I know.”

*** *** *** ***

Veba was quietly playing on the Internet. She was having a ball surfing from site to site.

Rickie and Doris were going over a map of tunnels that Veba had made for them. She looked up at Veba lovingly and whispered, “We’re going to have to be very careful about Veba watching stuff on TV. Tomb Raider really confused her. She thought you could go and visit the dead.”

Doris looked up surprised; “Well you were there with her why…”

“I fell asleep…”

“Oh?”

“No nothing like that. I was just tired and when I felt the warmth of Veba’s shoulder…I just fell asleep.”

“Oh? I see. Is she ok now?”

“Yep, I explained it to her.” Rickie watched her love her with the mouse in one hand and her other thumb was in her mouth as she happily looked at every site connected with Tomb Raider. “Isn’t she adorable?”

“I never thought I’d ever see my tough sister so whipped…”

“Nope, neither did I. I am though and you want to know something I’ve never been so happy in my life. I love her so much…I would do anything to make her happy. She just has to look at me with those big blue eyes and I give in. I have never done that even with Mom.”

“I know. She loves you just as much as you love her. It’s very beautiful to watch. I wish Mom and Dad were here. They’d be so happy for you.”

Rickie nodded and looked up at her sister a bit shyly. “I know they would…um, Dory about our discussion.”

“What discussion?”
“About jealousy.

“Sweetheart, I’m just fine. I love you. I love Veba. I am very happy to see that you found each other and you’re so happy. Now it’s nap time so go get your beloved off my computer and go to bed…and I do mean sleep.”

Big green eyes searched the beloved hazel eyes and Rickie asked softly, “But…?”

“Go…and sleep little sister. No playing.”

Rickie smiled slightly and then nodded. “Ok.”

She went over to the busy brunette and kissed her love on the neck softly. The tall woman shivered as she played with computer. Rickie smiled wickedly as she put her arms around her stomach and said, “Come on Love, nap time.”

“Aww Rickie, me… I’m having fun,” said Veba looking over her shoulder with sparkling blue eyes.

“You can have that kind of fun anytime. We’ll save the program and you can come back to whatever place your at in that game?”

“How? You show me please?”

“Hmm, How do I save it? And will you show me please?” Corrected the small blonde as she sat down in the computer chair. Veba stood up to avidly watch over her shoulder.

“Stop that…show me,” said Veba with her head on her loves shoulder. Rickie chuckled and kissed her loves cheek.

“Dory do you need anything in here?” Asked Rickie after she saved the program and closed the Internet window.

“Nope, shut it down.”

“Ok,” Rickie shut down the computer. She got up pulled the tall woman close and Veba automatically put her arm around her loves shoulders. They walked out of the room their heads nestled against each other.

“Dear God, I hope I meet my special someone soon,” She whispered as she walked to her room.

*** *** *** ***

“Wakey-wakey,” cooed Rickie’s soft voice into Veba’s ear. Sleepy blue eyes fluttered open and the tall woman smiled lovingly. “Hi.”

Rickie chuckled and kissed her love on the nose, “You ready to be our beautiful ghost again?”

“Me don’t…um, I don’t think they thought me beautiful,” She said slowly trying to say each word correctly. She was still half-asleep but looking into those loving green eyes they made her want to do one thing so with a big smile she did it. She gently pulled her love to her and kissed her tenderly.

When they pulled back Rickie rubbed her cheek against Veba’s and replied softly, “Well that’s because they never saw anything other then a figure in black. If they even saw that.”

Veba chuckled, “Nope, never saw. I was fast.”

“Mmm, yes you are fast. In just about everything,” said Rickie as she went on top of the taller woman and kissed her deeply molding her body to her loves.

When they pulled back for air, Veba cupped Rickie’s cheeks and whispered, “I fast learner in loving you.”

“Yep, surprisingly so was I. I never felt anything for anyone like I do with you. I loved you when I looked into those blue eyes and that was all I could see. It was like you reached inside my soul and touched me there.”

“I too… I love you when you fell into my arms. You so beautiful…so perfect…I didn’t…um, I didn’t want you to go.”

“I didn’t want to leave you either. The whole time I was with you that first time I was trying to figure out a way to convince you to come home with us.” Rickie kissed her love tenderly bringing her head against her chest kissing her forehead. “You were so scared though. I just decided it would be better for you if I stayed there and tried to convince you in the morning with Dory’s help…By the way once we get the Bastard do you want to get some of the stuff from your room to bring home with us?”

Veba nodded her head against Rickie’s chest and whispered. “I glad you stay too. I was so happy. I can’t…I just wanted you.” She pulled Rickie’s lips gently to her own and kissed her passionately. Rickie responded by pulling the taller woman even closer. When they pulled back Veba whispered, “Me want…I want my pictures and posters. I want Mommy’s dishes. I want my quilt…Mommy made for me when I five years old…Ok?”

“Of course it is love.”

“Thank you.”

Rickie pulled all the way back so they were side by side facing each other, “Are you ready to finish this, Love?”

“Yes…As long you with me, I fine.”

“Then your fine.”

**** *** *** ***

Veba was in her ghost outfit. Rickie and Doris were all dressed in black too. Doris shook her head if it wasn’t so serious it would be comical. We look like we should be in an episode of It Takes A Theif. She thought with a smile.

Veba had carefully guided them to a look out points. She had made holes that went through the tiles so she could secretly spy on the most hated person in her life since she was a little girl. She never thought she would use them for something like this though. Rickie was over the Armoire and couch. Doris was over the bathroom. And Veba placed herself over the Peter’s desk.

As Veba sat on her haunches waiting for they’re target to show up she thought she would never have to live like this again. I never have to. Even if we don’t get him. My home now with My Rickie and Dory. I love them and they love me. We family. I hope Mommy and Daddy like them. I think they do. She thought with a big smile that disappeared the moment she heard the key rattle in the door.

Dory’s voice came over the little thing she stuck in Veba’s ear before they started crawling through the vents. “It’s show time Sisters!”

Veba’s face broke into a beautiful smile at what Doris had just called her. It meant so much to her that Doris thought of her as a sister.

“Veba Love, talk quietly into the little mike on your shirt so we know your ok,” said Rickie’s voice sweetly.

Veba looked down at the thing that Rickie had put on her T-shirt under her robe. She bent down and whispered, “I ok.”

Rickie smiled at how hard her love was trying even her mistakes were adorable. “Ok, remember none of us do any moves unless we have to, right?”

“Right,” said Doris.

“Right,” Said Veba quietly then her eyes narrowed, Peter had come into his office. Her eyes had gone from warm blue to Icy white in a second. She had such a surge of hatred go through her that she had to force herself to stay put. All she really wanted to do was jump down and beat the hell out of him.

He walked into his office with a huge smile on his face whistling happily. This really annoyed Veba she wanted to wipe the smug smile off so badly her breathing became heavy with the effort to keep herself in check.

“Easy love, We’ll get him.” Said Rickie’s soothing voice in her ear.

Veba smiled slightly and whispered back, “I know. Thanks.”

Meanwhile Peter sniffed the air and said out loud in the room, “Lavender again. Why do I keep smelling lavender?” He shook his head and took off his jacket. He opened the Armoire and this time the jacket that had belonged to Veba’s Uncle Jack flew out of it with such force and surprised him so much he fell on his butt.

Veba’s soft voice filled the room again, “You killed me Peter. I know that you killed me!”

Suddenly the image of Veba’s mother appeared in the doorway to the bathroom. It was a perfect hologram that looked real and was walking toward the now quaking man. The beautiful woman was dressed in lovely blue dress walking right toward him with her arms outstretched.

There were tears falling down Veba’s cheeks as she whispered in squeak, “Mommy.”

“Calm down Love, It’s a picture. It’s like the movies we watch. Dory found it on the net and thought it would be helpful.” Rickie whispered desperately hoping that Veba wouldn’t break down she was right over the bastard and she didn’t want her love to get hurt.

“Me…I know.”

The voice on the tape continued to fill the room. “Confess. Go to the police and confess. Tell them how you poisoned me and killed Jack. Tell them Peter. Tell them.

Veba watched the despised man carefully. When he came into the position that Rickie had mapped out, she let the mechanism go and watched as one of the deadly devises that Peter had used against her was now being used to make the cruel man to confess to what he had done.

The arrow left the crossbow and missed Peter’s head by inches. He watched in horror as the ghost walked toward him from the bathroom and a figure in black dropped down from above his desk stalking him from the other side.

He ran out of the office screaming and crying out in to the street. Leaving the building open and his car in the parking lot.

Rickie came down carefully from her hiding place and ran to Veba who was standing as still as a statue. She took the hood off and saw the pale face and the red rimmed eyes as she brought her love to her in bone crushing hug.

“You did really well, Love. I don’t know why he ran off like that, I think you’re sexy as hell in this out fit.”

Veba smiled a bit and hugging her love back, “I only sexy to you.”

“Your sexy to anyone with eyes in their head. I am sorry about that thing with your Mom love.”

“It ok, I understand.”

“If this worked your nightmare is over.”

“If,” said Veba quietly. Holding her love tightly to her.

*** *** *** ***

Veba was very quiet on the trip back to the house after they cleaned up Peter’s office. The sisters exchanged worried looks all the way back to the house. Veba held tightly to Rickie’s hand and said nothing as she looked out the window at the passing scenery.

As soon as they got in the door Rickie asked, “Are you ok, Love?”

“Where you get picture of my Mommy?”

Rickie looked at Dory who looked down and then leaned against the door as she watched Veba and Rickie sit side by side on the couch.

“I got it off the net. It was charity luncheon she attended the year she met Peter. I doctored it a bit so she walked and talked by using an old movie. I’m very sorry Veba I should have warned you.”

Veba nodded and then she leaned her head against Rickie’s shoulder as she said quietly, “I miss my Mommy. I wish…” Rickie pulled her love close and kissed her on the cheek and the chin.

“Oh love! Oh my darling! I’m soo sorry. I didn’t even think about how it would affect you. I am so damn stupid ! Please forgive me…” Now Rickie was crying as continued to kiss her love all over face.

Veba’s hand gently ran fingers through the tangled hair as she whispered. “No, not stupid. I know not mean it.” Veba pulled Rickie on to her lap and kissed her lovingly. They needed each other so much. “I love you. I just…feel…sad,” She put her head into the crook of her loves neck gaining comfort from the closeness.

Doris sat down on in the armchair and said, “Oh Sweetie I am sooo sorry.”

Veba peeked up and looked at the tears falling from Doris’s eyes. “Why you cry? You didn’t know.”

“This is all my fault. I didn’t even think of you having a reaction like this. I am so stupid. So damn insensitive. I am so sorry you two.’

Two sets of compassionate red rimmed eyes looked into the just as red rimmed hazel. “You not know, Dory. I know that. I just miss her.”

“I know you do. That’s what I mean I’m an insensitive lout!”

“No Dory, your not insensitive. I mean we were both insensitive cause I didn’t think of it either. I’m in love with Veba. I would never willingly hurt her and I let you do that.”

“What in-sen-si-tive?”

“What is insensitive?…” corrected Rickie then Dory interrupted her.

“It means I’m an idiot! I didn’t even think of your feelings I just thought what a great effect it would have on Peter. I am so sorry Veba…you don’t know how sorry…” The bright, brave women burst into tears breaking the hearts of both Veba and Rickie.

They both jumped up and hugged the sobbing woman.

“We love you Dory. Please don’t cry.” Whispered Veba kissing her on the cheek.

“Come on Sis, Veba’s not upset with you. She just misses her Mom.”

“I know but…” Doris looked into loving compassionate blue eyes and she hugged Veba tighter whispering, “I know you love me Veba. You and Rickie are my family. I just feel like I should have known better. Like I should have at least warned you. I feel so horrible.”

“It’s ok Sis, really.”

“Me forgive you. It ok.”

Doris cupped a cheek of each sister and kissed each on the other cheek smiling slightly thought tears still fell down her cheeks. “Thank you both. I love you so much.”

“We love you too,” whispered Veba.

“Yep,” Said Rickie quietly.

**** *** *** ***

The call came at 11pm that night. Peter Daniels was dead. He had turned himself in but when the officer was taking him out to the police car he had second thoughts and tried to get the man’s gun. They struggled and the gun went off and shot Peter Daniels in the head.

Amazingly before he called the police he had written out a full confession and signed it. In that document he designated that all his worldly goods should go to his stepdaughter Veronica Wells.

Veba stared at Dory in complete shock. Doris had hung up and then brought her beloved adopted sister to sit down so she could carefully tell her what the police had said.

“Are you ok, Sweetie?” Asked Dory quietly.

Veba hadn’t moved since Dory had finished talking. Rickie had moved to the couch and pulled the completely stunned woman into her arms holding her close. Veba hugged her back tightly her head lowered and she quietly sobbed into Rickie’s neck.

The sister looked at each other not sure why Veba was crying about someone she hated being killed or how to handle it. “Honey, Are you all right?”

“Why he do that? He hate me.”

“Do what?”

“Leave me stuff.”

Rickie was gently drying Veba’s eyes, the tall woman was calmer but her expression was pure confusion.

“It is your stuff, Sweetheart. Maybe he was just giving it back since he knew he was going to jail.”

“But I…I…not…”

“Your not what?” Asked Dory softly sitting on the brunettes other side. Both sisters were trying to comfort her the best they could.

“I still…I can’t…I not…” She buried her face against Rickie’s shoulder unable to explain how she felt.

“Is it because your ashamed about the way you speak, Love?” The dark head nodded. “Sweetheart, you have improved tremendously in a remarkably short time. You read and write very well now. I am so proud of you. We both are.”

“But…I not…Ver-on-ica,” she said her name carefully unsure if she even said it correctly.

“You’re whoever you want to be. All I know is that who ever that is I want to be with for the rest of my life.”

Veba pulled Rickie on to her lap and said passionately, “Don’t even think… leave me.”

“Never Love, never.”

*** *** *** ***

“Rickie?”

“Yes Sweetheart?”

“Do you think bad that I glad Peter dead?”

“No Love, I don’t.”

“They were cuddled together in front of the fire in the livingroom on the big comfortable couch under Veba’s pretty quilt they had retrieved from the room at the building. They had just watched some tapes of Star Trek Next Generation and were now just staring at the fire. Rickie had thought that the positive futuristic show might calm Veba down a bit.

Veba had enjoyed the show she was amazed at how different from the comics the actual episodes were. Veba’s head was in Rickie’s lap and the small gentle fingers were going through her long hair. It was very soothing she felt like she was being soothed right into a deep sleep.

“Rickie, Is it not bad to want people dead?”

“That was very good sentence, Love,” said Rickie kissing Veba on her forehead. “Yes, It is. This isn’t normal circumstances though. He killed your Mother and Uncle and tried to kill you. He tortured you for twenty years and frankly I would have liked him not to have such a quick death. I would like to have seen him on trial. To be publicly humiliated and paraded through the news media. Then tortured in prison by his cellmates. You know prisoners have a they’re own caste system. They don’t like people who try to kill or hurt children. He would have been raped and murdered…”

Veba put her hand over Rickie’s mouth and said quietly, “Shh, I know that you hate him to. You hate him cause you love me. He was a really bad man. I don’t know a good thing he done…did for anyone.”

Rickie kissed the hand and pulled Veba up so they were facing each other. “That was wonderful. You are getting really good at putting sentences together.”

“Really?”

Rickie hugged her and pulled her closer so she could kiss her passionately. When they parted for lack of air she rubbed her cheek against Veba’s and whispered, “Yes. You did that wonderfully love. Your going to get to the point where you don’t even have to think about it. Honey, that man deserved what he got and worse. I just wish I found you sooner.”

“It ok…It is ok. I glad we got each other now. I very lucky to have you find me. Um Rickie, what about…?”

Rickie pulled back as she looked into worried blue eyes and asked, “About what?”

“Um…my…stuff…you know…what he took from Mommy…”

“What about it love?”

“Should I?”

“I don’t understand what you’re asking me? Should you what?”

“I…scared…about money…”

“But why?”

“Love…I do not talk good…”

“What on earth does that have to do with anything?”

“Dory explain…explained I have a lot of money. I worry people try to hurt you and Dory to get me. People like Peter…you know, bad people.”

“Sweetheart you can claim it and then stick in the bank and forget about it. We have enough for the three of us. It is completely up to you. Give it all to charity. I don’t care. All I want is what I have cuddled in my arms the money can go to hell.”

“All I want is you too…all right money stay in bank right now. Ok?”
“Veba.”

“What?”

“Forget about that ok?”

Veba nodded and cradled her head against Rickie’s neck. Rickie kissed her cheek and whispered, “Would you like to make out?”

“Make out what?” Whispered the brunette.

“This,” said the blonde as she gently pulled the soft lips to hers and kissed her passionately. They enjoyed each other till they ran out of oxygen.

Veba pulled back and whispered back, “Oh yeah, I like making out.” She pulled out of Rickie’s arms and gently lifted the smaller woman into hers. “Lets go in our room and make out.” Said the taller woman as she carried her love quilt and all back to their bedroom.

The Ghost – Story #2 Growing Pains

Veba was sitting at their new partner’s desk. She and Rickie had bought it together at a swap meet at a school parking lot near their home. Rickie was trying to slowly get Veba around other people. She felt she needed to get use to being in places that were unfamiliar. It was very slow going; the first experiment was a disaster. They went to a local chain grocery store. The tall woman became scared with an intense case of agoraphobia and bolted out of the building like a scared deer.

Rickie chased after her. She found the frightened shaking women leaning against their car trying to catch her breath. Rickie pulled her into her arms and held her close. “Shh, its ok Love, I’ve got you.”

“Sorry.” Said the slowly calming woman her head leaning against Rickie’s shoulder as Rickie gently rubbed her back.

“Shhh, nothing to be sorry for. We just tried something too soon. Don’t worry you will be ok soon. I promise you will get over this.”

“Do you really think so?”

“I know so.”

Now they shopped at a tiny family grocery store near their home with an open fruit and vegetable section outside. Veba felt very comfortable there she now knew all the other customers and the older couple who owned it have practically adopted them as part of their extended family.

For someone who was scared of wide-open spaces and crowds six months earlier she had completely gotten over the former. She loved the outdoors now especially going to the park and playing with the kids there. However she was still terrified of crowds. She was fine with small groups of people that she knew but she was scared of large groups of strangers. Rickie knew that her brave love had to fight this fear and that’s why they took baby steps toward that goal. They went to a movie matinee and had a really good time. And they went to a small swap meet every weekend. It was not crowded but it did have enough interesting people for Veba to watch and learn from. She was also fascinated by the fact that they could go to this school parking lot and she could buy all of her favorite things.

The baby blue eyes lit up with excitement every time she discovered a booth that had something she loved. She bought several Xena and Star Trek Next Generation dolls. A poster of Lara Croft and several novels with her favorite characters in them. One of her goals was that she was determined to read those novels all by herself.

Both of them really enjoyed themselves at the small gathering. They ate cotton candy and ran from booth to booth. They usually left with several precious finds and huge smiles. There were enough people at the event to interest Veba but not enough to scare her.

Both of them had fallen in love with the beautiful redwood partners desk from the 1920’s. It had lovely inlay design and they both loved they could see each other while they worked in they’re office.

Veba was working on her most recent reading test. Rickie had bought an anthology of Xena stories and surprised her love with it. They had been together 6 months and it had been her anniversary present for the tall beauty. Veba had been overjoyed with her first real book other then the large dictionary that Dory, Rickie’s sister, had given her when she had first started to learn how to read. Veba’s progress was remarkable. She now was at a tenth grade reading level and her knowledge and understanding were growing daily. Her speech was much better but she still got very frustrated when she messed up words. She was pleased that she was beginning to sound like Rickie and Dory when she spoke though she still felt she had a long way to go.

Her writing had improved incredibly and Veba often said that she could write better then she could speak. Her assignment was to read the first story and then write a paper on how she felt about it. She was diligently working on that while Rickie worked on her computer on some reports of her latest case.

Doris came in and said quietly, “I have someone coming in to interview on the management of your building Sweetie, Do you want to sit in?”

Nervous blue eyes looked up from her book to meet compassionate green. Rickie smiled and said, “Sure Dory, we both will talk to the person.”

“Great, she will be here in a half an hour, her name is Stephanie Scott.”

Veba looked at both women and said, “I am not sure… um, what to say to her.”

“That’s ok Love, Dory and I will do the interviewing. You’ll just listen. If you have a question just ask, ok?”

Veba nodded and smiled confidently, “Yes, I can do that.”

Rickie’s smile became huge. Veba now spoke in short very correct sentences. She did slip from time to time but the only time she ever forgot everything was when she was scared or very, very angry.

Doris smiled and winked at her friend. “Oh I know you can do it, Kiddo. Ok you finish your work and I’ll talk to her in my office first when she comes. Then I’ll bring her here so you can talk to her, ok?”

The two women nodded. Veba then went back to her book and paper. She now was focused completely on her test again. Rickie was very proud of her partner. She sighed quietly and then went back to her report.

*** *** *** ***

Doris entered her partner’s office and cleared her throat looking at them both with an excited expression. They exchanged glances unsure of what was up with her and then Stephanie Scott stepped into the room.

“This is Stephanie Scott. Stephanie this is Veronica Wells she owns the building and my sister Rickie.”

They all politely shook hands and then Doris gestured toward a guest chair. Stephanie sat down while Doris leaned against the doorframe she couldn’t seem to be able to take her eyes off the beautiful auburn haired woman.

Rickie’s eyes met Veba’s and she gestured with her head and winked at her partner. Veba nodded and smiled at Rickie knowing what she was thinking and very please with the idea.

Rickie thought as she looked at the woman in the guest chair and then her sister, Mmm, Looky at you Dory my girl, I don’t think I have ever seen you this riveted by anyone. Then she smiled at the other woman and asked pleasantly, “Could you tell us a little something about yourself, Miss Scott?”

“Um sure, Please call me either Stephanie or Stevie. I really hate formality.”

Rickie chuckled and met Veba’s pleased eyes as she said sweetly, “Good, Then you’ll fit in with us.” She looked at Veba and raised her eyebrow. Veba looked unsure and a matching eyebrow went up. Rickie gestured and Veba nodded squaring her shoulders before she turned toward the women in the guest chair.

Veba looked shyly at the red head in the chair in front of her and said quietly, “I like to be called Veba. I really do not want to be called Ve-ro-ni-ca.” She spoke very slowly and correctly. She sounded out her given name because she rarely used it. So far only when she signed the documents for her inheritance and on the legal partners papers that Doris had drawn up to add Veba to their licenses. She wasn’t really sure if she said her name right so as soon as it left her lips she looked at Rickie.

Rickie winked at her and nodded much to Veba’s relief. She took a deep breath and snuggled back into her comfortable leather office chair.

Stevie looked at her stunned; she never expected the beautiful woman to speak in such a stilted way. She wondered if she was a foreigner. She smiled at Veba and replied politely, “Sure Veba it is then, Please call me Stevie.”

The tall woman nodded and smiled back happily.

Doris cleared her throat and said, “Ok Rickie do your thing.”

Rickie rolled her eyes and Veba chuckled. “Stevie, I’m suppose to be the tough one in the family but I’m really a marshmallow. First I need to explain that my Veba is very special. She had a very difficult life until recently. She lived in that building hidden away for her own safety for over 20 years. She had no contact with anyone except her uncle who apparently didn’t talk a lot. She is incredibly bright, a genius really. We recently tested her IQ and even with the limited education we have given her she tested off the scale.”

Rickie was interrupted by a groan from the tall brunette who was hiding her red face in her hands.

Doris looked at the shy girl hiding behind her hands and exchanged amused looks with her proud sister. “She is a very, very modest genius.”

Veba looked over the tips of her fingers at the room. She looked at first at her partner then her best friend whispering, “Shh, both of you.”

Stevie found this very adorable. Rickie had her hand covering her mouth because she knew she would burst into laughter at any minute from her partner’s cute expression. Then she said with a wicked grin, “Ah, my love you are darling when you blush.”

“Rickie!”

Rickie now laughed out loud and said, “Well you are.”

Veba rolled her eyes. Then she hid her head behind her arm that was resting on the desk. She peeked up her partner but she was still blushing so she wanted to hide the rest of her face if she could.

Rickie wiped the smile off though it was very hard, and looked at the amused red head. “Do you have a problem with the fact that Veba and I are partners?”

“No. I really think you two are adorable.”

This made Veba groan again her forehead now firmly tucked against her arm. Rickie stood up chuckling and went to her love gently massaging the tense shoulders. She lowered her head and whispered, “She’s right my love you are adorable.”

“Rickie please,” whispered the very embarrassed brunette. Rickie kissed her beloved on the neck and then continued to gently massage the tense shoulder and neck muscles.

Doris shook her head and cleared her throat, “Rickie stop teasing her she going to turn redder then an apple.”

Veba nodded her head against her arm in agreement. Though truth be told she was enjoying the gentle massage thoroughly.

Stevie really liked these women. They were a definite a family unit and she would love to get to know them all better. She fervently hoped they would end up liking her because these were the kind of people she really wanted to work for.

Rickie gently lifted Veba’s head and kissed her tenderly. She caressed her cheek and waited for the blue eyes to open and meet her own. Veba’s now calm eyes met the beautiful green and she smiled at her love. Rickie winked at her then walked back to her own desk chair.

She leaned back and said quietly to waiting redhead, “Ok Stevie, what is your style of management?”

“Well, I believe in hands on instead of using the phone and emails. I like to interact both with tenants and the owners. I think of myself as bridge between you making communication easier between the two factions.”

“I see and what would Veba’s part in all this be?”

“Well as the owner she would have the final say of course.”

“Hmmm, What about Me and Dory?”

“Dory?”

“That’s me. It’s my family name.” Dory said quietly from behind her.

“Oh? Well from observing you three I see you are equal partners, so the best course of action would be to present each case to the three of you so you can decide by committee.”

Rickie met Veba’s eyes and then looked at Doris whose hazel eyes were sparkling and focused on the red head. “That is very good, Stevie. Would you mind stepping into the living room for just a minute please?”

The red head smiled and got up gracefully. She smiled sweetly at Doris then stepped through the door. Doris stood at the door watching the beautiful woman walk down the hall till she was out of sight and then closed the door. She turned to them and said, “I think she’s perfect.”

Rickie and Veba immediately burst into giggles.

“Hey, what’s this all about?”

“You. Dory, shit you have the most love sick expression on planet plastered across your pretty face.”

“I do not!”

Veba nodded and said quietly, “You do Dory. It is very cute.”

“Veba!”

Veba shrugged and looked at her partner. Rickie chuckled and said, “Hey she calls them as she sees them, Sis.”

“Well lets stick to business shall we,” said an annoyed Doris looking from one smiling face to the other. “What do you two think of her.”

“I like her,” Veba said gently now her face was very calm but her eyes were sparkling with amusement.

Rickie nodded and said, “Yeah me too. I take it you think she’s a keeper, Dory?”

“Um, yeah, you could say that. Should I tell her or do you two want to?”

“Oh I think it would be best coming from you.” Rickie’s crossed her eyes and laughed at her sisters outraged face.

“Brat!” Doris then left the office and went to the living room to tell the pretty woman she was hired.

“Why is Dory so…uh….shy?” Asked Veba unsure of what word would describe her friends obvious uneasiness with the situation.

“Embarrassed?”

“Yes,” said Veba nodding. Rickie gave her a look and Veba rolled her eyes and repeated, “Embarrassed.”

“You know I make you repeat cause I love, don’t you?”

“Yes Love.”

“Good. Now what is your real opinion of Dory’s crush?”

“I really do like her. She is very nice.”

Rickie rolled her big green eyes very amused, “My Darling, you think everyone is nice.”

Veba tilted her head and then shook it no. “That is not true. I do not like the man at the gas station. He is not a nice man.”

A huge smile spread on Rickie’s face, “Is that because he hit on me last week?”

Veba nodded.

Rickie shook her head and gestured, “Please come here my Darling,” She said smiling as she waited for the tall brunette to come to her. Veba smiled sexily and moved to Rickie’s side. Rickie patted her lap and gave her an incredibly sexy look. Veba sighed in a lovesick way, shook her head as she leaned forward and picked Rickie up in her strong arms cradling her very close. Then she turned around and sat in Rickie’s chair snuggling even closer to her beloved.

“You wanted me, Rickie?”

“Every moment, of every hour, of every day,” whispered Rickie as she brought sweet lips to her own kissing the love of her life passionately and feeling the return of passion from the sultry brunette. I don’t know how she learned to be so sexy but I’m not one to fight with a gift from the Gods. Rickie thought as she deepened the kiss and let nature takes it course.

*** *** *** ***

Rickie didn’t really like their new assignment. It wasn’t the client, he was a really nice guy. A prizefighter that was being threatened and they were asked to protect him. It’s the way it was set up. It felt strange to her, her instincts were prickling her and she couldn’t shake the bad vibes.

The manager for the fighter had explained that they were not to do security per say but to do research and check out threats against the champ’s life. The threats came in the form of letters that were accurate and scary.

Doris and Rickie were going over the letters in the office. They described where the fighter was and exactly what he was doing. They even told him when his vulnerable moments had been and when they could have struck with out warning.

“So? What do you think? Where do we go from here?”

“We split up. We each do what we do best. You do computer search and I follow leads and stay with our client.”

“And Veba?”

“She’ll go with me.”

“Um, ok that sounds good. When are we going to start?”

“Tonight, He’s going to a ritzy exclusive night club…”

“But Veba is scared of crowds…”

“It won’t be that crowded, and she wants to fight the fear. She asked to go.”

“Ok, if you think she’ll be all right.”

“Yeah, I think it will be ok, the champ likes Veba and me so he will protect her from any onslaught and so will I. We’re just going to blend in with his entourage…”

“Kiddo, Our Veba does not blend in.”

“Well she could always wear her ghost outfit.”

“Rickie!”

*** *** *** ***

It was decided that Veba would wear her long beautiful hair in a cap. That would hide half her face in the shadow of the brim so it should conceal what a knock out she was. She wore her black jeans, black top and her black trench coat, with her brand new black boots.

“Damn you look sexy in black. I don’t think this is going to work, Love.”

Veba chuckled in the seat next to her. They were in a limo on the way to the nightclub. “I’m only sexy to you because you love me.”

“Love, you are sexy to anyone with eyes in their head. Sweetheart, are you sure you’re going to be ok in this nightclub? It won’t be crowded per say but it will be close in there.”

“As long as I’m with you, I’ll be fine.”

“Oh believe me with you looking this hot I will not waver from your side.”

“Rickie!”

“What? You’re breathtaking.”

“Well so are you.”

“Mmmm, I am a special taste.”

“You’re my taste.”

“Veba!”

Veba chuckled and kissed her on the nose.

*** *** *** ***

They arrived at the club and met up with the champ and his entourage. Veba was very close to Rickie, squeezing her hand in vice like grip.

“Sweetie, circulation.” Whispered Rickie smiling up at her rubbing her arm with her free hand.

“Sorry Rickie.”

“I’m sorry Rickie.”

Veba’s face broke into a tiny smile of amusement, “Rickie.” She said shaking her head.

“Come on love, say it.”

Big blue eyes now were warm and very calm as they locked onto the loving green ones. “I’m sorry Rickie. And you are very clever.”

“That was much better. And, how am I clever?”

“You made me forget I was scared.”

“That’s my job.” She offered her love her arm as she smiled up at her rakishly saying, “Come on.”

Veba laughed taking her loves arm as they followed their party to a ringside table. Rickie was between the Champ and Veba. Her eyes carefully watching the crowd for trouble. Underneath the table she rubbing her loves leg gently trying to soothe the tall woman’s nerves at being surrounded by so many strangers. The champ was distracting her with a story about his first time going onto an interview show and how scared he was. She was enjoying the Champs stories and Rickie’s soothing touch.

Suddenly from the corner of her eye Rickie saw a glint of steel. “Shit!” Cried Rickie as she pushed the big man down one way while throwing her body on top of her loves. Machine gun bullets ripped the booth into tiny pieces above them where their heads had been seconds before.

When it was all clear, Veba tried sit up but she couldn’t. Rickie was out cold. When Veba turned slightly and saw her loves blood, a primal scream ripped from her lips in pure anguish. She pulled out from under Rickie and then gently pulled her love on to her lap. She looked her over and saw that she had been hit on the shoulder and it looked pretty bad.

She looked at the champ and saw he’d been hit in the arm but he seemed alert and normal. In a scared frightened voice she said quietly, “Doctor.”

The champ nodded and told one of his men to get a doctor. “Don’t worry Veba, A doctor will be here in a minute. She will be ok, I promise.”

Veba looked at the handsome black men with kind soft brown eyes, she had tears pouring from her own which made it hard to maintain eye contact, “She my life.”

“I know, Veba. It will be ok.” He looked over his shoulder and bellowed toward one of his useless security men. “Where the hell is the God Damned Doctor!?”

He turned back to watch Veba tenderly brushing blonde hair out of the closed eyes and said, “You know I’m surrounded by professional security people and your little Rickie saved me.”

Veba nodded holding Rickie like she was small delicate child, running her fingers though the soft blonde hair. She bent down and whispered, “Rickie…wake up…. I love you….please….”tears fell continually from her eyes landing on the pale skin.

The champ felt Rickie’s pulse and said, “Her pulse is strong, Now if we could get a little help here!” He called out angrily.

A doctor finally came but instead of going to Rickie who was unconscious and obviously badly injured. He went to the champ. The big man grabbed the small doctor by the arm and pointed him toward Rickie, “Not me you Idiot, her!”

The small man came over toward Rickie and tried to pull her out of Veba’s protective arms. A fierce growl came out of the tall woman her blue eyes turned to ice. “Fix her!”

“I?”

“NOW!”

Rickie felt the drops hitting her face. Is it raining? I thought we were inside? Green eyes fluttered open just as Veba had started growling at the small doctor. When she opened them and they focused she was looking into a frightened face of the smaller man. Rickie looked up into the fierce angry face of her beloved wife.

“Veba?” Croaked Rickie.

The ice melted the moment she heard her beloved’s voice below her. “Rickie?” Her loves strong angry voice became a tiny strangled squeak.

“I’m ok Love.”

“No he fix!” Growled Veba looking daggers at the doctor who was trying to back away from the angry woman.

The champ came to the rescue saying, “Veba, the ambulance is here.”

Veba didn’t wait she picked up her love and ran outside the club. She went to the doctor with tears still rolling down her cheeks, “Please help her.”

The attendant looked into the hazy green eyes and automatically began checking her vitals. “Could you put her down on this stretcher please.”

Veba nodded.

“She’s going to be ok Miss.”

Veba nodded again and started to follow the stretcher into the ambulance. The tall man grabbed her arm and was faced with a suddenly ferocious looking woman.

“Um why don’t you travel with her.” Veba nodded and sat on the floor next to her loves stretcher making sure there was room for the paramedic to continue his work.

“Veba?” Rickie cried out.

“I am here.” She said from beneath her.

Rickie was very woozy from the drugs and her voice was slurred as she said, “Good.” Then fell asleep again.

Worried blue eyes met the man’s eyes that was cleaning her loves wound. “She’s ok, Miss. It’s just the medicine.”

Veba sighed and nodded relieved. Then she watched as they wheeled the champ into the slot next to her. After watching Veba gently taking hold of Rickie’s hand as she carefully watched over the paramedic’s every move he sighed and said, “I really wish I had a friend like you, Veba.”

Veba looked up at him. Her eyes were red and swollen from crying but she was bit calmer now that she knew that Rickie was going to be looked after. She tilted her head and studied the man’s sweet face and said, “You do.”

“Thanks Kid, I needed to hear that right now.”

*** *** *** ***

Doris and Stephanie came running into the hospital. They went into the waiting room where they found a very angry and distraught Veba pacing like a raging panther.

“Sweetie, what happened?”

When Veba heard Doris’s voice she ran to her sister in law crying. Doris immediately pulled her into a loving hug. Veba held her friend tight as she cried, “No let me see My Rickie!”

“Shhh, who won’t let you see her?”

“Them…say no family!” She said pointing to the nurse’s station.

“Oh Sweetie, they don’t know anything. Calm down. I’ll take care of it.” She looked at Stephanie, “Could you stay with Veba while I teach this hospital a thing or to about community relations?”

Stephanie nodded she took Veba’s shaking hand and gently led her to a large couch by the wall. “Come on Veba, Don’t worry, Doris will knock some sense into them. You’ll see Rickie.”

“I know. Dory very smart,” Said Veba trying to calm down and get her breathing back to normal. She wiped the tears with her fingers and looked anxiously down the hall.

Stephanie pulled the still very upset woman into a gentle hug and said kindly, “Really, Doris will fix it. Everything will be ok.”

“I hope so…Rickie my life.”

“I know.” She gently rubbed her new friend’s back and looked down the hall for Doris.

Doris came into the room about 20 minutes later. She looked into Stephanie’s warm brown eyes with deep affection. She smiled at the redhead and then said to her still upset sister in law, “Its ok Veba, Come on. They are not only going to let you see Rickie, I’ve arranged for you to keep her company till she recovers.”

Veba looked at the sweet blonde with very grateful eyes. “Thank you so much Dory.”

“No one is going to tell me your not apart of our family, stupid ass holes! I straightened them out but good.”

“You’re apart of my family too. You’re my only family.” Said Veba relieved hugging Doris tightly.

Doris returned the hug and whispered, “Come on Sweetie, lets go see my pain in the ass sister.”

*** *** *** ***

Rickie slowly opened her eyes. She felt like someone was holding her but she knew that had to be an illusion. She remembered that she was in the hospital. When her eyes opened and focused on the arm holding her close she felt a deep joy spread through out her whole body. She was protectively being held in her beloved’s loving embrace. She looked up at the sleeping woman and smiled. She was so glad that she got the hospital to break their rules somehow. She was stunned they let her snuggle against her like this is the same hospital bed. She was too happy to worry about it though.

“Veba love?”

Veba slowly opened very sleepy eyes that were red and sore from crying all night. “Rickie?”

“Oh honey, were you crying all night long?”

Veba nodded as she nuzzled the soft blonde hair against her cheek.

“How did you end up in my bed? It’s fantastic to wake up in your arms but you just getting to stay in my room is incredibly extraordinary. To actually be in my bed is a miracle.”

“It is…um, Dory, she do it.” Said Veba gently as she tenderly hugged Rickie her eyes filling with tears once again. She cradled her head against Rickie’s chest carefully making sure not touch the injured shoulder.

Rickie now knew how bad it must have been the night before. Her Veba had reverted back to her old speech patterns. That only happened when she was very angry or scared. From what Rickie glimpsed as she went in and out of consciousness her love had been both. Well I guess being scared out of her mind that I would die and mad at anyone who stopped her from helping me would invoke both those reactions. My poor sweet love. She thought to herself as she gently rubbed her loves back.

“Sweetie, I am really ok. Please try and calm down.”

“You…you’re my life…I…I…”She struggled to continue but couldn’t and started to sob against her loves warm chest.

“Shhh, I know Baby, I know. I love you so much.” She hugged her back and kissed her lovingly all over her face. “Mmm, you taste really good salty.”

A very tiny smile came to the dark woman’s lips as she pulled back from the loving onslaught. “You nut,” She whispered delighted to have her playful little love back in one piece.

Rickie kissed her way back to a tasty earlobe and whispered back, “You are a nut,” Then she pulled the ear into her mouth sucking it gently.

Veba closed her eyes and moaned. Then in soft voice repeated dutifully, “You are a nut. I love you so much, my nut.” She then pulled her loves lips to hers and kissed her deeply.

When they pulled back because they ran out of air, Rickie cupped both her cheeks and said, “You are feeling better now, huh?”

Veba bit her lip and looked up into the concerned green eyes as she replied very softly, “More important. How you feel?”

“How do you feel?”

Veba smiled and said, “Fine, but I ask you first.”

“I asked you first.”

“No, I did,” replied Veba laughing now enjoying the look of pleasure on her loves face. Rickie joined her in laughter and then brought her lips back to her kissing her tenderly.

Doris and Stephanie walked in just then and grinned at each other in reaction to what they saw on the bed. “Well I see you are both feeling much better.”

Two heads popped up. Veba’s face was very red and she hid it against Rickie’s neck. Rickie gently stroked the soft dark hair as she gave her visitors a cocky smile. “Now that I have my Baby calmed down, yes I do.” She gave her sister a loving grateful look. “Thank you Dory, I am so happy you were able to get my Veba in here.”

“I pulled some strings because I knew that Veba wouldn’t calm down till she was with you. And I couldn’t think of anything more healing for you then to be with her. Are you two up enough for a visitor?”

Veba’s head popped up and she asked surprised, “Who?”

“The champ, He was really worried about both of you.”

“That’s really sweet of him.”

“He is a nice man,” agreed Veba quietly.

“He thinks you two are the best things since sliced bread,” Said Dory amused.

Rickie looked confused, “Why I never really got a chance to do anything.”

“Yes you did,” Said Veba proudly, “You push us both down. Then threw your body on top of mine. You save us.”

Rickie looked very confused.

“Yep, that’s what he said too. If you hadn’t shoved him down and yelled he would have been shot in the head and our sweet Veba would have been shot in the heart. You’re a hero Kiddo!”

“I am? Why can’t I remember any of that?”

The three other women looked at each other very worried. Veba gently pushed some hair out of the puzzled green eyes and asked, “You don’t remember?”

Rickie shook her head, “No. I remember, sitting down with you and the rest of the party. I remember seeing some steel out of the corner of my eye. The next thing I remember was seeing you about to kill that little doctor in the club who was trying to fix the champ and ignoring me.”

Doris let out a breath she didn’t even know she was holding and said quietly, “Well Veba remembers and so does the champ and he would like to thank you. Is it ok?”

“Sure Sis, Why not?”

*** *** *** ****

The tall handsome black man came into the room with a beautiful smile for the two young women who smiled back at him with deep affection.

“You two look a hell of a lot better then the last time I saw you.”

“What was wrong with My Veba?” Asked Rickie a bit confused still.

He was sitting in a visitor’s chair beside Veba and looked up at Rickie in the hospital bed as he smiled and shrugged. “She was bit distraught.” Then he looked at the beautiful woman beside him who blushed and replied looking up at him through her bangs, “A bit?”

Rickie chortled and said, “If I know Veba she was a force to be reckoned with.”

The champ nodded, “Oh believe me she was to anyone who got between you and someone to help you. But to me and the paramedics she was just an upset lover anxiously watching and waiting to see if they would be able to help you.”

“Um Champ?”

“Todd.”

Rickie smiled warmly and nodded, “Todd, does that bother you at all?”

“Me, no I had a very wonderful warm Mother who taught me to love everyone based on their goodness. She used to say others oppress us so we have no right to turn around and do it to someone different from us. I truly believe that love is love. I do admit some of my boys and the security guys were a bit shocked. I don’t give a damn what they think though in fact I’d like your firm to take over my security.”

“NO!” Said Veba emphatically.

“Shh Sweetheart, wait a sec. Todd what are you talking about?”

Todd looked at the very agitated brunette who looked like she was about argue with Rickie but held her tongue. He reached out took her hand gently and said softly, “My friend I won’t let anything happen to her I promise. I will never be a sitting duck like that again.” He squeezed her hand then let it go.

Veba’s piercing blue eyes seemed to gaze right into in his soul then she looked at her wife. With one glance into those beautiful green eyes that she now knew so well she knew that the decision was made. It didn’t make her happy she was very scared for Rickie’s safety. She knew that Rickie would jump into the fray again. And she now knew what it was like to almost lose her.

She looked at Todd with big worried blue eyes and said softly, “Todd I scared…I mean…I am scared.”

Todd nodded and replied quietly, “I know that Veba. I promise you I will not let anything like what happened at the club happen again. I won’t be going anywhere like that again. There will only be one exception and the only one who will be exposed to the public will be me. That’s when I step into the ring.”

Veba looked very surprise then she looked at Rickie. She knew as soon as she saw the grave expression on her beloved’s face she would not be able to talk her out of it so she accepted it. She would just have to protect her the best she could.

Rickie could see the fear but proudly she could also see the respect that Veba had for her. She saw that she didn’t like her choice but she would back it up and that’s all she needed. She looked at the champ and said, “We’ll do it Todd. I promise you we will get this creep before you ever step foot in that ring.”

Veba knew that they would do everything in their power to do just that. She smiled at the sweet man and nodded that she agreed.

The tall man smiled at both of them and felt air escape his lungs in pure relief. “Thanks you two I feel much better.”

*** *** *** ***

Rickie was pouting sitting up in their bed. Veba came in carrying a covered tray. She saw her love pouting and shook her head. She and Doris wouldn’t let Rickie leave the bedroom till she was released to do so by her doctor.

“Dory say she will tell you when she finds something. Don’t pout.”

Rickie looked over at her love and smiled at her. She was so beautiful that she took her breath away. “I really don’t feel like correcting your English today you just look so stunning I really just want to admire your beauty.”

Veba blushed looking down at the tray in her hands. She walked over to the bed and gently lay the tray on the smaller woman’s lap. “I look the same.”

Rickie patted the bed beside her and said, “I know that. You always look stunning. I am a very lucky woman.”

“Rickie!”

“Yes?” Purred the smaller woman a big rakish smile on her face.

“Stop. Please eat.” Veba said picking up the little hand and kissing the palm. Rickie closed her eyes enjoying the kiss. “Mmm, this is my best medicine.” She opened her eyes and pulled off the cover on the tray. “Oh you are so sweet, I love Chinese food. Would you share this with me?”

Veba sat down on the edge of the bed and pulled out two sets of chop sticks handing one to Rickie and pulling the paper off her own. Rickie chuckled as she took the paper off and kissed her wife on the cheek saying, “You’re not only beautiful you are the kindest person I have ever known.”

Veba shook her head and gently caressed Rickie’s cheek saying, “You are very beautiful. You are also kind.”

Rickie picked up a piece of chicken and gently fed it to Veba saying, “I think my love that you are the only one who would say that. I am not known as either kind or beautiful.”

Veba swallowed as she fed Rickie a piece of broccoli saying softly, “The people who think that are not smart.”

“Eggroll?” Asked Rickie after she swallowed and picked up an eggroll holding it up toward Veba. At the nod, she split it in half and fed one part to Veba holding the other in her hand as she replied, “No I don’t think they are not smart, Love. I’m just not a classic beauty like you. You really can not compare your innate kindness and sweetness to mine. If someone was to compare our personalities and looks, I’d lose.”

Veba swallowed her eggroll and cleaned Rickie’s face carefully with a napkin. Then she put it down and looked down at her hands as she carefully formed the words she was going to say in her head.

“To me you are the most beautiful woman in the world. You have the sweetest, kindest soul. I know I have not been among a lot of people like you and Dory but I know how I feel. I love you so very much.”

Rickie gently lifted the shy woman’s head till she could look into the tear-filled sincere blue eyes. She wiped the tears and replied in a barely heard whisper, “God, How you invade my heart, my very soul. I am so grateful and lucky that I found you. My Love, I am so sorry it took me so long to get to you, to save you.”

“I am just happy that you did.” Veba couldn’t resist it anymore; she kissed her love tenderly. As soon as they’re lips met the kissed deepened into heartfelt passionate kiss.

Rickie pulled back when they ran out of breath and brushed some hair out of the passionate loving eyes, “Sweetheart could you move that tray over because at the moment. I have something far more delicious that I want to concentrate on.”

*** *** *** ***

Rickie was now allowed to be on the large comfortable couch in the livingroom. She leaned back on a stack of pillows with her laptop nestled on her lap. She was going through some cross checks on the Champ’s staff. Several of his boys had some very shadowy backgrounds.

Veba was sitting on a comfortable easy chair reading the last story in her anthology. She smiled when she finished looking at Rickie triumphantly saying, “Done.”

“Wonderful,” said Rickie with a smile. She reached behind her and pulled out wrapped gift. “Here’s a little present for you. Did you like the last story in that book?”

“Yes, I loved it.”

“Wasn’t it by Melissa Good?”

Veba tilted her head and saying a cautious, “Yes.”

“Well open it up.”

Veba carefully unwrapped the gift and she looked up at Rickie stunned. “Tropical Storm, It’s a whole novel.”

“Yes.” Said Rickie with a very delighted expression.

“But?”

“Well why not?”

“I haven’t…”

“So, why not start now? I know you will love it. It’s one of my favorites.”

“Oh good, you didn’t buy it just for me.” Said Veba relieved.

“No Sweetheart, I bought this especially for you.”

“But why?”

“Love, I know this will be right up your alley. You’ll love it! And I bought it because I love you sooo much.”

“I…I do not know what to say.” Veba looked at the book in her lap and then up into Rickie’s delighted expression very overwhelmed. Veba got up and carefully sat next to Rickie on the arm of the couch. She put her arms around her and kissed her tenderly. “Thank you.” She very carefully put the book down on the coffee table.

Rickie shook her head and said, “Sweetie, Its not delicate, it’s a book.”

“But?”

“What is it?”

“To me it is the most special book I have ever seen…”

“You are so sweet,” said Rickie hugging her closer. She pulled her even closer and kissed her cheek. “I hope you like this, Love. It’s one of my favorite stories.”

“What if I can’t…”

“What?”

Understand the words…”

“Then we’ll work through it. You’ll use your dictionary and if you need help ask. It’ll be ok. I promise.”

Veba gently picked up Rickie and then sat down on the couch with Rickie nestled into her lap. “Ok. Thank you Rickie. I love you.”

“I love you too, I’m so very proud of you.”

*** *** *** ***

Bugs Bunny was sitting on Veba’s lap as she read Tropical Storm her face transfixed by the words between the covers of the novel. Rickie stood in the doorway to their bathroom admiring how adorable her love looked. Her hair was pulled into long ponytails that kept the hair from going into the blue eyes as she concentrated. She wore a Tomb Raider tank top they found at the swamp meet and her bugs bunny panties. Rickie felt like her libido would hit the ceiling from just looking at her.

Rickie’s hair was wet, she wore a Tweety bird sleep shirt and matching panties, a gift from Veba on their one month anniversary. She sat down on her side of the bed and asked, “Are you enjoying it?”

“Oh yes, It is really very interesting.” She said the last word very carefully she had added it to her vocabulary this week. She put her Bugs Bunny bookmark in her precious book and carefully lay it on her bedside table. Then she took Bugs and put him in his place of honor on a shelf above the table that Rickie had made for him specially. She then slid under the covers and looked up at Rickie waiting for her to do the same.

Rickie got under the covers and cuddled close to her love as she asked, “So where are you in the story?”

“They just met and are very attracted to each other but don’t like each other at the same time. They’re trying to figure out why they are having such strange reactions…um, I think they are….”

Soft fingers covered her lips and Rickie said, “Don’t second guess yourself. You’re right, Two people who fall for each other at first sight but really can’t see it. Sounds kind of familiar, huh?”

“No, not really. I knew I loved you when I looked into your beautiful eyes after you fell into my arms.”

Rickie pulled the taller woman even closer and whispered, “I know…I fell in love with your eyes before I even saw you or heard you. It was like you pulled me right into your soul at the first moment.”

“Mmm, so we can’t compare with the story, huh?” Veba asked as she kissed the little chin and then a line of butterfly kisses up to tiny the ear.

“Nope.” Pulling Veba back up to her and kissing her passionately.

*** *** *** ****

The Champ was seated in their office next to Veba and facing Rickie across their desk. She had just reluctantly given him a progress report on the case. He listened and shook his head; he was very upset but not surprised.

“Damn, I’ve known both of those men since we were kids. I can’t understand why they would betray me like this. I know they are jealous that I finished school and that I am a success. I always treated them well though; I always kept them on the payroll and out of trouble. Why?”

Veba immediately put a gentle hand on his arm squeezing comfortingly. “I’m very sorry Todd.”

“Thanks Veba, you’re a nice girl.”

Rickie looked sympathetic but she was a force to be reckoned with. “Yes she is.” Veba looked up and met Rickie’s eyes. She saw the anger in them and drew a breath. “I’m very sorry too. I know they are old friends but now they want to kill you, Todd. Dead. I want to stop them. I need you to set them up. Can you do that?”

Todd looked down at his own hands and moaned. “I know your right, Rickie. I know that. It’s just so hard. I really have been getting bad vibes from them but…how do you suspect someone you did your homework with. That you went on double dates with. That you hung out with every weekend for laughs…?”

He looked up into two sets of eyes that looked a bit lost. Veba had no idea about any of that. She looked at Rickie who smiled at her love and said, “I never had any of that either.” She looked at Todd and shrugged. “When Dory and I were kids we moved a lot. I never went to the same school for very long. All I ever had were my parents and Dory. Now I have my Veba. I’m too…well I’m a pain in the ass so I don’t have many friends.”

Todd looked at both women and then said softly, “I think of all of you as my friends. I have grown very comfortable around you three. I hope you feel the same way.”

“Thank you Todd, I think you’re a friend too.” Said Veba with a very sweet smile.

“So do I. I am very pleased you feel that way too. I do understand your pain but we have to do this. I don’t want to have to try to protect you in the ring. I want to end this before your championship bout. Will you be able to help us help you?”

Todd looked at the two women and nodded his head slowly. Rickie came around the desk and hugged him. She pulled back and then slid onto Veba’s lap her arms going around her wife’s waist for comfort. Veba immediately pulled her closer kissing her cheek. “I know that was hard Todd but we have to do this. I’m very proud of you.” Whispered Rickie her eyes full of emotion.

*** *** *** ***

Doris, Rickie and Todd were in the office going over some new plans for how to handle the champ’s protection and deal with his men that were under suspicion. Veba was in the living room reading her book and stuffing popcorn in her mouth.

When the meeting broke up Doris showed the champ to the door while Rickie went to check and see what the tall brunette was up to. She came in the livingroom and leaned against the doorframe watching a completely focused Veba reading her novel. Her wide blue eyes drinking in every word as she turned the pages quickly as if eager to see what happened next.

It’s amazing how much she’s grown in such a short time. I love it! I am so proud of her I could burst. She thought as she watched the brunette stuff even more popcorn in the already full mouth.

“Hey take it easy with that popcorn your going to choke.”

Veba looked at Rickie and quickly chewed what she had in her mouth. Then she swallowed a large gulp of strawberry soda to help it on its way. “I really like popcorn. It tastes so good. I can’t seem to help it.” She said shrugging and looking a little embarrassed.

“I know love, but I worry that you’ll not pay attention and choke.”

The big blue eyes looked hurt and she looked down saying softly. “Sorry Rickie.”

“Hey don’t look so upset. I thought it looked cute as hell I just worry about you cause I love you.”

The big blue eyes now appeared shocked as she looked back at Rickie. “You worry about me?”

“Of course I do. Don’t you worry about me?”

Veba nodded.

“Do you know how much I love you.”

Veba suddenly smiled and nodded, her face taking on a glow of happiness, which caused a similar response from Rickie. “Yes, I do.”

“So why wouldn’t I worry about you?”

“I just never thought…. I mean your so strong…I…?” Her eyes dropped again.

Rickie shook her head and walked to sit on the arm of the couch by Veba. She gently took the book and put it on the end table. The she took the box of popcorn and put it on the coffee table. Then she slid onto the tall woman’s lap causing Veba to look her in the eyes as she brought the small woman even closer to her body. Rickie smiled and kissed her nose, “No one is so strong that they don’t worry about their loved ones. If you care, you worry; it goes with the territory. And considering how much I love you, my need to protect you, is about the size of the Grand Canyon.”

Tears welled up in Veba’s eyes as she hugged Rickie tight. “Oh Rickie.”

“I know, I love you too,” cooed Rickie, stroking her loves hair and drying her tears.

“I knew you loved me. I just never knew you felt like that. Thank you,” She whispered pulling her close and kissing her passionately.

When the ran out of breath Rickie rubbed her cheek against Veba’s and asked, “So am I interrupting an exciting part of the story?”

“Yes, but I don’t care. I much rather love you,” Whispered Veba kissing her love on the neck in tiny little butterfly kisses.

“Mmm, What part?” she asked closing her eyes enjoying the loving attention as Veba reached her ear and started nibble along the rim.

“Love, do you want a book report now?” She asked then licked the rim causing the small woman to move even closer to her.

“No….um….no….”

“Good,” replied Veba, she pulled Rickie on top of her stretching out on the couch and then flipped over so she was on top but their bodies hardly touched. She started to kiss her way down to her loves breast that busy hands had exposed during their conversation. Veba began to suckle the breast with a very focused and loving attention till Rickie couldn’t think anymore. All she did was feel was the electricity in her body as her passion built. When Veba reached the small woman’s core and took her over the edge Rickie wondered what in the hell it was they had been talking about anyway.

*** *** *** ***

Rickie woke up on the couch the next morning nestled in her loves arms. She thought, I am so lucky I have a beautiful wife who loves me as much as I love her. Who would have thought that would ever happen?

Blue eyes fluttered open and she smiled brightly as she pulled Rickie closer. “Hi pretty one,” Then she kissed her love deeply before she could reply.

When they pulled back, Rickie cupped Veba’s cheeks and said softly, “Mmm, I got to end my day and begin it the same wonderful way. Kissing you. I am so lucky.”

“So am I.” Veba gently traced Rickie’s jaw line as she asked, “Do you want my book report now?”

“Yes, but only if you want to give it to me. Were relaxing today. Tomorrow we work, I’m going to catch the bad guys…”

“Uh Rickie…”

“Honey, I will not be in any danger.”

“What do you mean you will not be in danger? You are going to be in the middle of it!”

“No I won’t…”

“Yes you will. They are trying to kill Todd.”

“So, I will be fine.”

Veba pulled back against the pillows and closed her eyes growling slightly in quiet frustration. Rickie leaned onto her elbow and looked at the flushed face. Worried she gently inquired, “Love?”

Veba formed the words in her mind with her eyes closed so they would come out clear and correctly. She took a deep breath but kept her eyes closed as she said, “I know that you think you are protecting me. It really scares me that you place yourself in danger like this. I don’t want to lose you. Please don’t do this to us.”

Rickie looked at the flushed face and how tight her eyes were shut as if to keep out the fear. She kissed each eye and then her nose and tenderly her mouth. Then she whispered into her ear, “Don’t be scared. I’ll be fine, don’t you believe me?”

“I love you and I know you. You will risk your life to safe someone else. That is what scares me.” Veba’s eyes opened and she pinned the green eyes with a very forthright expression that Rickie hadn’t expected.

“But…?”

“Please lets find a safer way.” The eyes were like laser beams now going right into her soul. “Please.”

Rickie couldn’t fight the look she was getting. She surrendered. She put her head on Veba’s shoulder and asked. “How do we protect Todd then? Tell me what you’re thinking.”

Veba kissed her loves forehead and ran her fingers through the soft blonde hair; “Can’t you work with the police. I thought you and Dory had friends there.”

“You mean a stake out?”

Veba shrugged she wasn’t sure what it was called but she wanted someone else to take the risk. Someone who’s job it was to protect people. She couldn’t go through losing Rickie again. It was just too hard.

“Yeah, I guess I could do that but what if they mess up…”

“You will take part. You will work hand in hand with them but they will do the actual…um, stake out.”

“Damn you’re smart.”

“No, I’m not. I’m scared I can’t go through that again. I won’t risk you.”

Rickie shook her head, “Sweetie you’re both, ok? I have a good friend I can trust with this. I will work with him but I will not be in the center of action. I will stay on the sidelines. How does that sound?”

“Perfect. Thank you,” Veba said kissing Rickie passionately.

“I really like how you show your graditude.”

Veba smiled, “I love you so much. I mean it. Thank you for doing it this way. I know your doing for me. I am very grateful.”

Rickie kissed her nose and winked, “Yes but its ok because I love you that much that I will do this. I think it will be ok. I mean being shot once per case is a pretty good limit.”

Veba face became serious again her eyes blazed with sudden anger, “I do not want you to get shot at all.”

“Shh, Ok Sweetie. I’ll make an official note no more being shot at.”

Veba calmed down breathing deeply. She shook her head and kissed Rickie’s cheek saying, “You are such a nut.”

“But I am your nut.”

“Yep thank you for being my nut.”

“Oh anytime, Sweetie. Anytime.”

*** *** *** ***

Veba was sitting in the back seat of an unmarked patrol car. She had her thumb in her mouth and Bugs Bunny nestled on her lap as she nervously watched Rickie outside the car setting their trap with the police detective. Doris slid into the seat beside her and took the woman’s thumb out of her mouth. She shook her head and asked sympathetically, “Didn’t she promise you she would stay out of it? You know she would never break a promise to you don’t you?”

Veba nodded.

“You do know that I understand what the hell this is like don’t you? She has always been a risk taker. Sorry, she will always be this way, has been even when we were little.”

“I know Dory. I just…I worry.”

Doris nodded and leaned her head against the seat. She sighed as she closed her eyes. “Veba what do you think of Stevie?”

“She’s nice.”

“Do you think Rickie likes her?”

“Yes, I think so.”

“Veba….I um,…I really like her…”

Blue eyes widened and she smiled for the first time since they had left home. “Really?”

“Yes.”

“Like I love My Rickie?”

“Um…I….I’m not sure, Sweetie.”

“Do you not want to ever leave her?”

Doris nodded.

“Do you feel your tummy hurt when you do?”

She moaned and nodded again.

“Do you just want to kiss her all the time?”

Doris covered her face and nodded moaning even louder. Veba smiled sweetly as she gently stroked the tangled blonde curls, “Do you feel wonderful when you hold her and you can’t even explain what it feels like to kiss her?”

Doris leaned against Veba’s shoulder and nodded again.

Veba joyfully hugged her sister in law saying quietly with a deep inner knowing, “You love her Dory.”

Doris lifted her eyes to meet the bright happy blue eyes and she replied quietly, “I was afraid you would say that.”

Veba’s eyes became confused, “Why would you be afraid?”

“I have been alone a long time…I don’t know if I can…well do it…”

“I don’t understand that, Dory. You’re so wonderful. Perfect. You’re my best friend. Rickie’s sister. We both think you’re lovely.”

Doris smiled and kissed her sister in law’s cheek, “I think you mean lovable.”

Veba rolled her eyes and chuckled, “You are both. So there.”

Doris laughed, “Thank you, Sweetie. Do you think after this mess I should talk to Rickie?”

“Yes but I think the person you should really talk to is Stevie. She needs to know you love her. I know she loves you.”

“What!?”

Veba shrugged and hugged Bugs close to her.

“Veba did she say something to you?”

Veba shrugged again and played with her favorite toys long ears.

Doris just watched Veba trying to avoid her eyes, but could see the glow of happy knowing in them. “You are one of kind, Sweetie.”

Veba hid a smile behind Bugs head, she knew that it would work out because she already knew that the redhead loved her quiet sister. Now all she had to worry about was her wife out there with a bunch of killers on the loose.

*** *** *** ***

Two men drove into the parking lot and parked an old Toyota next to Todd’s Mazarati. They were unarmed and seemed like any normal patron entering the restaurant. Two detectives were undercover one as a customer and one as a waiter who was working at Todd’s table.

Todd was in a booth by himself talking with a great deal of agitation into his cell phone. He was actually speaking to Rickie who was now in the unmarked police car beside Veba. Veba had a tight hold of Rickie’s other hand, she gently rubbed the taller woman’s knuckles as she tried to calm down their friend on the phone.

“Todd, try to be as casual as you can. Say goodbye to me then talk to them just like you always do. Just remember do not leave with them. Don’t even go to the bathroom with them. Just sit nice and safe at that table surrounded by people.”

“Ok, Thanks Kid. I’ll talk to you soon. I will, I promise. Bye.” He replied calmly in a very friendly tone. He looked up at the two men standing in front of him and smiled a friendly smile. “Hi Guys, Have a seat.”

They slid into the booth next to the big man smiling back. “So boss what’s up.”

“Nothing much, I just thought it would be nice to talk about the fight. We haven’t had a nice casual talk over a meal in long time.” He said calmly leaning back against his seat.

“Oh Todd, you know you’ll win.” Said the older of the two men again smiling and hitting his elbow in the younger man’s ribs.

“Yeah man, you know you will.” Said Lee with a huge smile.

Reg the older man said, “Hey can’t we go eat with the brothers? This stuff sucks.”

“No I like this place, they make great steaks. I already ordered and I want a hot fudge sundae after.” Said Todd smiling at the waiter as he put a bowl of soup in front of him.

“Uh, but Boss…”

Todd took a big slurp of soup and shook his head no.

*** *** *** ***

Rickie had put the cell phone down and was now watching the action in the restaurant through some binoculars. So was her friend Captain Mark Philips and Dory. Veba didn’t need them she had perfect vision and was able to see everything very clearly without them. She was holding Rickie’s free hand tightly. She had decided no matter what happened out there she was not going to let that little hand go.

“Love my circulation.” Rickie teased her gently.

Veba loosened her grip slightly and said, “Sorry.”

Rickie brought Veba’s hand to her lips and kissed it gently. “S’kay, I know your worried about me. I did promise you though.”

“Yes, I do know that. I was just worried that during the heat of action you might…”

“Run out of the car and get myself shot again?”

Veba bit her lip and nodded.

“Love, If I were in danger wouldn’t you run out in the blaze of gun fire to save me?”

Veba reluctantly nodded.

“I did promise and I will keep it for you. I will let our friends in the department do their jobs but if there is something I can do to help I will. It’s who I am. Who you love. Don’t you understand?”

Tear filled eyes closed and Veba reluctantly nodded again. She put her free hand to her face and covered her face. She felt like she would sob and didn’t want to embarrass Rickie in front of her friend.

Rickie put the binoculars on the floor and leaned over carefully pulling Veba’s hand away from her face. She gently dried the tears and whispered, “Open your eyes Sweetheart. I’d like to see the pretty blue please. Um Mark, let us know what’s happening, OK?” She said to the man in the front seat.

“Sure thing, Squirt.”

“Mark,” growled Rickie rolling her eyes.

“Oops no Squirts today, huh?” He said with chuckle turning back to the front to watch the action in the restaurant.

Veba had opened her eyes meeting compassionate green with a tiny smile. “You know how much I love you Veba. I will always be here for you. You do know me now though and it’s part of my nature to help people as it is yours. We both just have to learn to live with it.”

“Live is important word.”

“The important word,” Corrected Rickie with a wicked smile as she gently brushed back black hair from the now calm blue eyes.

“Most important word, Love.”

Rickie rubbed her nose against Veba’s and then she gently brought the soft lips to her own and she kissed her gently.

“Kid, Something is happening my guys are giving us the high sign!”

“Shit!” Rickie got her binoculars and Veba leaned forward so she could see through the windshield.

*** *** *** ***

“Boss this place really doesn’t know shit about food!”

“I’m hungry and I like it. I just got my damn steak!”

The officer came over as the waiter his eyes meeting the agitated brown eyes. He poured his own calmness toward the nervous man saying, “Is anything wrong, Sir? Is the food ok?”

“No everything is fine. The food is great!”

“Bull shit! We want the fucking bill,” Said Lee his voice rang with anger. “Lets go to Mother’s Bacon Boss. This place is rotten its worse the Sodom and Gomorra.”

Todd looked at Lee and shook his head, “Are you on something again? What the hell does this nice normal family restaurant have to do with the homes of sin? Are you nuts?”

“What do you mean?”

“Never mind Champ, he is back to the bible again and he ain’t got no idea what he’s reading. He is right though Mother’s has better chicken.”

“I don’t want chicken, I want my steak. In peace if you don’t mind.” He deliberately took a huge bite of steak.

“Come on Boss if we ast you nice…” Lee said very upset.

“No, I am very happy here.”

“Um Champ were going to the bathroom,” Said Reg pulling Lee behind him.

“Lee your English seems to be slipping are you nervous?”

Lee’s face broke into a sweat and he hurried behind Reg to the bathroom.

*** *** *** ***

“Mark did you see that?”

“Yep, two cars filled with gang bangers just drove in.” He pulled out his walkie-talkie, “Rob get in there with the Champ and get him down now!” He put down his walkie-talkie and jumped out of the car saying, “You girls stay here.”

Rickie was about to go out her door when two strong arms pulled her back to a warm body behind her and on to the tall woman’s lap. “Oh no you don’t,” Whispered Veba as she pulled her tight against her.

*** *** *** ***

Everything happened fast then. Veba could hardly remember it all. First ten men jumped out of those two large cars. They were immediately surrounded by police who called out that it was bust and to drop their weapons. Bright police lights flooded the parking lot and then gunfire erupted.

Two men ran out the back door and were arrested as accomplices immediately. The police had flack jackets and sharp shooters from SWAT quickly got all the shooters in legs or arms. There minor injuries but no one was badly hurt. The Champ was once again thrown down onto a booth seat and was safe to fight for his championship.

Dory dropped down in the front seat and covered her head as the shots rang out. Veba did the only thing she could think of to keep the struggling Rickie from running into the battle zone. She kissed her passionately.

When it was all over Doris almost had to throw a bucket of water on them to separate them they had become so involved with each other they forgot where they were and why they were there.

*** *** *** ***

Veba opened the door for Stevie the next day. She had called the night before saying she had some papers for the tall woman to sign.

“We are going to start on the improvements next month. Would like to overseer it?”

“Overseer?” Asked Veba as she looked up confused she had just started to very carefully sign the papers.

“Um…watch over our project.”

“Oh? No thank you.” Said Veba who started to sign the papers again. After she finished she handed them back to Stevie smiling; “Watching over Rickie is a full time job. I’ll leave our building to you.”

“Ain’t that the truth,” Said Doris with a huge smile in the doorway.”

“Um…Hi Doris.”

“Hi.”

“Um, I’m going to go to the office and play with the computer.” Veba’s eyes were sparkling as she left the room and she winked at her sister in law as she left.

“Veba!”

“Bye-bye.” Said a very amused brunette she closed the door behind her.

Stevie was staring at the place Veba was a second before then she looked shyly at Doris and said, “She is a very sweet person but she seems so innocent to me.”

“In some ways she is. In other ways she is the wisest person I have ever met. Its like all those years alone created this inner sense of self that gives her knowledge that the rest of us would never know. Meeting Rickie gave her happiness and peace so you put that all together and she is really an incredibly special person.”

“Yes, I see that.”

“Yes, it is really beautiful to watch her develop. For some one who doesn’t know much about the world she understand people to such a degree she can seem almost psychic. My sister is very lucky because Veba is very focused on loving and protecting her.”

“And Rickie seems just as focused isn’t she?”

“Oh yeah, it is so hard to find that special someone like Veba.”

“Yes, special people are very scarce when you meet one you should let them know it.” Said Stevie staring deeply into Doris mesmerized gaze.

*** *** *** ***

Two women were peeping through the tiny glass window at the top of the door.

“Why does Dory not tell her?” Whispered Veba.

“Why doesn’t Dory tell her?”

“Well?”

“Come on Sweetheart, say it.”

“Why doesn’t Dory tell her? Well why?”

Rickie chuckled quietly and whispered back, “I think she’s scared.”

“But why?”

“She’s afraid that Stevie doesn’t love her.”

“But she does.”

“How on Earth do you know that, Love?”

Veba looked away and then whispered even more quietly into her love’s ear, “She told me.”

“She did?” Rickie almost whistled but stopped herself and pulled Veba away from the door. “When did she do that?”

“In the hospital while we waited for Dory to make them let me see you.”

“Why didn’t you say anything to me at least?”

“She told me not to. I did hint, if you remember.” Veba moved back to the door so she could peep through the window again.

Rickie leaned against the wall and shook her head chuckling; “Yes you did do that didn’t you?”

“Yep, I…” Veba then pulled Rickie back to her side and pointed. They both smiled like naughty little kids as they watched the two other women kiss passionately in the other room.

“Aww, isn’t that beautiful? I am so please for them both.”

“Me too.”

“Well what would you like to do while there busy in there?”

“Play.”

“Tomb Raider?”

“No.”

“Xena?”

“Nope,” Veba scooped up the beautiful blonde and kissed her passionately. Then she carried her to their room kicking the door closed behind her saying as she lowered to her love to the bed, “We won’t need the computer for the game I want to play with you.”

The Ghost – Story #3 Growing Up Together

The blue eyed woman had a very dreamy expression on her face as her beloved turned off the VCR and cuddled closer to her.

“Rickie?”
“Yes love?” Replied Rickie quietly as nuzzled her head against Veba’s shoulder.

Veba brought her arms around the smaller woman hugging her close putting her head on top of Rickie’s and nuzzling the soft blonde hair.

“Are there really Wizards?” She asked quietly in a very hopeful voice.

Rickie smiled and kissed Veba on the neck enjoying the humming moan she got in reaction to it. “Well I never met any but I’d really like to think so. Did you like the movie?”

“Yes…um, do you think?”

“I already bought it for you, it’s in your bottom drawer.”

Veba’s eyes widened and she pulled back so she could look into delighted green eyes sparkling back up at her. Veba then reached over and opened her drawer and there it was “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” Tears welled up and as she closed the drawer. Then she cuddled Rickie close again as she whispered in emotion filled voice, “Thank you, Rickie.”

Rickie gently dried the tears as she replied quietly, “I knew you’d love this story but why are crying, My Love?”

“You always do things like this. I was just thinking it would be nice to read it…and it is here…You are so good.”

Rickie kissed her love on the nose then each eye and then on the lips tenderly. When she pulled back she whispered, “Good huh?”

“Uh huh…and thoughtful,” she answered as she pulled Rickie back to her and kissed her love hungrily the passion setting them both on fire.

*** *** *** ***

Rickie was pacing in front of her sister. She hated the idea of doing this under cover job because it meant going to New York with out her Veba. Doris wasn’t too thrilled either since Stephanie would be staying here so Veba wouldn’t be alone. They both hated it but knew that this case called for it so they were debating options.

“So we’ll think of another angle calm down, Rickie.” Doris was sitting at her desk watching her sister angrily pace the room.

“What angle, Dory? This is an inside trading case we have to go undercover to find the damn mole!”

“How about Veba going under cover too?” Asked Doris hopefully.

“Hmm, I don’t know Dory. She is so honest, do you think she would be willing to pretend she is something she is not?”

“Ask her, Sis.”

*** *** *** ***

Veba was on the couch lying cuddled in a corner reading her new book. Rickie smiled at how sweet she looked when she did this.

“Hi Love. Enjoying the story?”

“Oh yes, I do not like his Aunt and Uncle in the book. Or his cousin! They are even meaner then they were in the movie.”

Rickie smiled and nodded as she sat beside the tall beauty.

“What is wrong, Rickie?” Asked Veba as she put her book down and sat up straight as arrow. Her eyes were full of concern as she pulled Rickie on to her lap.

“What makes you think there is anything wrong?”

Veba shook her head and traced the soft lips, ” That is easy. You have a very upset look on your face and your voice gets funny.”

“Funny?”

“Kind of like the gravel in Dory’s garden when we walk on it.”

“That’s flattering.”

Veba shrugged and kissed her love on the nose, then she said with a sweet smile, “I call them like I see them.”

Rickie chuckled recognizing one of her own lines. She put her head on Veba’s shoulder and enjoyed the strong gentle fingers running through her hair.

“So what is wrong, My Love?”

“I have to go out of town with Dory, we have to pretend to be someone else to catch a bad guy. We don’t want to leave you, but Dory and I have to go.”

Veba felt her own eyes begin to tear up at the thought of being all alone again, “Oh? So I will be all alone here.”

“No Darling, I wouldn’t do that to you. Stevie will stay here and keep you company…um, there is a way you can go too but you’d have to pretend like Dory and I are going to.”

“To be what?”

“A fashion model was my thought since I’m going in as a photographer…”

“Me?”

“Why do you look so shocked. You are the most beautiful woman in the world.”

“I am not. You say that because you love me. I am too old anyway.”

Rickie smiled and asked, “So you would consider it even if it is a bit like lying?”

“Why are we doing this?”

“Because were trying to catch some one who is stealing money from our client.” Rickie knew that was a simple explanation for insider trading but she wanted to convince Veba first then she’d educate her on it.

“Oh? Well yes, I would do that. I don’t want you to be away…I …I think…”She finally broke down and cried.

“Shh, it’s ok Love,” purred Rickie soothingly as she gently rubbed her back and kissed away her tears. “It’s settled, we will all go. The whole family.” She pulled back and looked at Veba, who was calming down, she cupped her cheeks and asked, “How do you feel about flying on an airplane?”

Veba pulled Rickie closer and rubbed her cheek against her wife’s, “Don’t know.”

“Ok, one bridge at a time.”

“Bridge?” Squeaked Veba at the thought of these new things she had only read in book and seen in movies.

“Just an expression.”

“Oh?”

*** *** *** ***

Veba held very tightly to Rickie’s hand in the crowded airport. As they went through a security checkpoint the woman ran a hand held metal detector over Veba’s chest area. Veba tilted her head as the small instrument was held toward her and asked quietly, “What is that, please?”

The woman put it down and motioned Rickie forward so she could do the same with the small blonde. The airport had a recent scare so they were taking extra precautions. “It’s a metal detector, Honey.”

“Why?”

“To protect you. Ok, you’re both clear go on through.”

The confused brunette allowed Rickie to pull her through the checkpoint toward Doris and Stephanie who were waiting by the entrance to the gates.

“Rickie?”

“I’ll explain on the plane.”

Veba nodded.

Once they were settled on the plane she looked into the green eyes and asked with very curiously, “Well?”

Rickie smiled and said softly, “You’re so cute. Well do you remember all the bad stuff we have been seeing on TV lately?”

Veba’s lips quivered and she nodded her head. All the violence against innocent people lately really scared and upset Veba. So Rickie and Doris said she shouldn’t watch the news anymore.

“Well that was a precaution against bad people like that.”

“Oh? But how can they be sure?”

Rickie looked very sad as she said softly, “They can’t Love, They can only take precautions. We can’t let that stop us from living our lives can we?”

Veba shook her head and said, “No but I do not like this bad stuff. I wish it would all stop.”

“Me too Darling, I think we all do. Ok were getting ready take off now see we are pulling away from the ramp. The plane will go down the runway really fast and will get really noisy before we take off. Are you ready?”

Veba bit her lip and pulled Rickie’s hand onto her lap closing her eyes. As she heard the roar of the plane she lowered her head onto Rickie’s shoulder and gripped the seat rest with her free hand.

Rickie kissed the top of her loves head and gently ran her fingers through the soft black hair. “Shh, you’re safe darling,” She whispered gently trying to ease her fear.

Veba felt the soft stroking and the gentle reassuring words and let it envelop her till she felt her heart rate slow down again.

Rickie looked out the window and smiled. “Open your eyes and look out the window, Love.”

Blue eyes blinked open and then she looked out the small round window. Her eyes widened and she whispered, “Oh Rickie, It is so pretty.”

*** *** *** ***

They had been in the air about 20 minutes and Veba found once they were up she wasn’t scared anymore. “Do you feel better?”

“You make me feel safe.”

Rickie watched as she love stared out the window watching all the beautiful colors below. Rickie smiled and kissed her cheek saying softly, “that’s because I love you.”

Veba turned her eyes were sparkling, “And I love you so much.” Their heads started to come together for a tender kiss but the rattle of tray pulled them back apart. The flight attendant smiled and asked, “Would you like a salad or a sandwich?”

“Sandwich please,” said Rickie as she squeezed Veba’s hand gently reassuring her.

Veba squeezed back and said, “Me too.”

“And to drink?”

“I’ll have a coke, please. Veba?”

“Chocolate milk please.”

The flight attendant nodded and continued down the aisle. Veba examined the sandwich in the wrapper and said, “Um Rickie? This looks like the stuff we get in the park.”

“Well it’s better then staving to death.”

Veba looked at the bag of potato chips and frowned. ” I do not like these.” She leaned back between their seats and smiled at Doris and Stephanie. “Dory, would you like another one of these?”

Doris smiled at Veba and shrugged, “Sure. Are you two ok?”

Veba smiled and nodded, “Yep, thanks to My Rickie.”

Stephanie nodded at Veba as she chewed her sandwich. Veba winked at her and she straightened back up. The flight attendant came up to them and asked, “Would you like some cookies?”

“Oh yes, Thank you very much.” Said Veba happily with and started to open the package up when little hands pulled it out of Veba’s.

“First you eat your lunch then eat the cookies.”

“Oh Rickie.” Pouted Veba fluttering her eyelashes sadly.

Rickie shook her head and said softly, “Come on Sweetheart, eat your food first.”

“Oh ok,” said Veba then she bit into her sandwich and her eyes widened. “This is better then what we get in the park.”

Rickie chuckled and winked at her love.

*** *** *** ***

Rickie was growling as they all got into the cab out side of JFK. She had her arm around Veba who was visibly upset. She made sure that her love was settled next to her while Doris gave the cab driver instructions. Stevie sat next to Rickie and Doris sat in the front with the driver who moved the partition over for her so she could talk to her family.

Veba was shaking and she couldn’t speak yet because her teeth were chattering with pure reaction to what she had been put through. Tears were falling down her cheeks and she was holding tightly to Rickie’s free hand. She had gone through one of the worst experiences of her life and her love was her only lifeline.

“Baby are you ok?”

Veba nodded.

“What the hell happened?” Asked Doris as soon as the cab driver started toward their hotel.

“Well you know how bad the bumpy landing shook up My Veba?”

Doris nodded.

“Well this idiot has a strange idea of how terrorists operate instead of watching people getting on planes he was watching people getting off. He saw how jittery she was and decided she was nervous because she was up to something. He pulled her out of the line to get luggage to security and then the bastard tried to stop me from coming with them, he’s speaking a bit higher now…”

“Rickie, you didn’t?” Asked Stephanie shocked.

“Oh yeah, he may never have kids. Anyway the head of security was pretty cool. After squeaky spoke to him he talked to me and he was very reasonable. He saw how upset and shaken up Veba was and said there was no reason to detain her. He apologized but I told him what he can do is change our return flight to leave out of Newark with out any charges or penalties. After a bit of a debate he agreed.”

“Why Newark?”

“Less crowded, hopefully less paranoid. I will not allow My Baby, to go through that again.” They reached the hotel and Rickie asked, “Honey are you sure your ok?”

Veba nodded and followed Stephanie out of the cab. Rickie followed very worried.

*** *** *** ***

Doris and Stephanie went on to the magazine to start the tap into the computer system. Rickie brought Veba up to the suite that the client had booked for them all. Veba still hadn’t uttered a word.

“Baby, please say something.”

Wide blue eyes met green and suddenly filled with tears, which just as quickly burst into sobs. Rickie pulled her into a tight hug saying, “Your ok now Love, I won’t let anyone hurt you. I love you so much.”

Veba nodded against Rickie’s shoulder and pulled the small woman onto her lap holding her very tight.

“Veba?”

“Scared.”

“I know Sweetheart.”

“Sorry.”

“Why love? You did nothing wrong.”

“Then why…?

“It was an over zealous nit-wit. He overreacted because you were nervous. He was stupid and his boss said so. In fact he’ll probably get in trouble for that we could sue them and that Manager knows it. He is suppose to be on alert for people who get on a plane not off of one.”

“I …sorry…”

“Shh, you have no reason at all to be sorry.”

Veba pulled slightly back sitting straight as a rail. “I should have…stayed…home…”

“No…”

“I ruin…every…thing…”

“No you don’t! Please listen to me…”

“No Rickie…I go…Please…” Veba tried to pull out of the embrace but Rickie just held on tight not letting her move away.

“Stop, please listen to me,” she cupped a cheek so she could look into the upset eyes and poured her love and support into the upset blue eyes. Red rimmed eyes looked deeply into sincere green and she stopped struggling. She put her head on Rickie’s shoulder and said softly, “Ok.”

Rickie smiled and kissed the top of her loves head, “Thank you. Ok, this was a small set back. We both learned a lesson here. You’re not ready for a big Airport like JFK, they had a big scare there and they are really anxious about anything and everything. You are allowed to be scared of things. All you did was to try to fight the fear and there is nothing wrong with that. Now, I believe in you, Darling please try and believe in yourself.”

“I …It…hard…I…”

“Say: I believe in me.”

Veba was now looking deeply into Rickie’s eyes she had lifted her head so she could make sure she heard every word. Veba was deeply entranced by the soft words and the gentle soothing caress against both her cheeks. She quietly repeated the words, “I believe in me.”

Rickie was just as entranced, she pulled Veba’s body back to her so they were barely apart and whispered, “I love you.”

“I love you too,” said Veba then she hungrily pulled the soft lips into a passionate kiss. Suddenly wanting more but not sure why the tall woman began to seduce her partner. Rickie was just as intoxicated she returned the affection with as much passion needing her love as much as she needed her.

When they both fell over the edge screaming each other’s name they both fell into a deep healing sleep. They were curled happily around each other neither even aware of their ringing phone.

*** *** *** ***

A knock on the door a few hours later woke Rickie up. She found herself tightly held in her loving wife’s arms. She smiled and kissed Veba on the cheek. Veba’s eyes blinked open and then she looked down and smiled back at her love saying softly, “Hi.”

“Hi Baby, do you feel better this morning?”

Veba nodded as another knock was heard at the door. Rickie kissed Veba tenderly then gently pulled out of her arms to go see what was up.

Once she had her robe on she opened the door to find a very angry Doris, “Where the hell have you two been? We’ve been calling and calling?”

“Veba was very upset last night. It took a while to calm her down and convince her that it wasn’t her fault. She was sure it was and wanted to go home.”

“You’re kidding? Did you convince her?”

Rickie glanced over her shoulder at the beautiful woman who was getting out of bed putting on her robe. Then she looked back at her sister answering evasively, “Yeah eventually.”

Doris could read her sister like a comic book rolled her eyes and asked, “Will she be ok? They are expecting both of you this afternoon.”

“Yeah, she will be fine.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yep, Dory go back to your own woman.”

Dory shook her head and went back to her room. Rickie turned back to find a now a wide-awake Veba, “Is Dory ok?”

“Yep, she’s worried about you though.”

“Because of before?”

“Yes.”

“I fine.”

“I’m fine.”

“Good, we both fine.”

Rickie snorted and said, “Veba!”

Veba laughed and said softly. “I am fine, Rickie. I will play the part like we practiced.”

“Good girl…Um, Love about last night…?

“Yes?”

“Um, you were very hungry…”

Veba looked down and shrugged, “I needed to love you. Was wrong?”

“Was that wrong? And no it wasn’t I enjoyed every second of it. It just surprised me I wasn’t expecting it.”

“It surprised me too….Rickie, will I…will I ever be like you? I mean…?”

“I know what you mean and I love you the way you are. There is not a thing wrong with you. Did you know a lot of people have a fear of flying? It is quite normal.”

“Really?”

Rickie smiled at the shocked expression and nodded.

“Well I liked the flying, Rickie. It is the landing and the airport I did not like.”

“You were ok at LAX.”

They were nice there. They didn’t scare me. They check me without thinking me bad.”

“I think you will be ok at Newark too. It’s a busy Airport too but not as big as JFK and it doesn’t get international traffic so it should be easy going. I will make sure your not scared by any of it this time.”

“How?”

“I will distract you.”

“Oh?” Veba smiled at the memory of last night and said, “Good.” Then she played with the tie on her robe as she asked quietly, “When we go do work?”

“Veba?”

“Um, when will we go to the magazine to work.” She said slowly and carefully with a spark of mischief in her very blue eyes.

“Leave, Veba. Its when do we leave…”

“Well?”

“Say it, Love.”

Veba rolled her eyes and said slowly, “When do we leave to the magazine to work?”

“Well done.”

“Rickie?”

“A couple of hours, are you hungry?”

Veba looked up and smiled with a very sexy look, “Yes, please.”

Rickie was astonished, “Um, what are you thinking?”

Veba walked over to the smaller woman picked her up and carried her back to bed, “I’m thinking of loving you.”

*** *** *** ***

Veba was dressed very elegantly in a black lace dress with a long strand of pearls. Her hair had been set in curlers by Stephanie. Veba had whispered to Rickie that she didn’t like them, but now her thick hair appeared even fuller and more beautiful. She wore high heels and walked very erect. She appeared tall, aloof and very arrogant. Rickie was amazed, she hadn’t been sure if her Veba could pull this off but seeing her now just filled her with wonder at her beloved’s ability to take on a part so far from her own sweet nature.

Rickie was in character too. She was acting the part of grumbling, angry photographer. She wore men’s clothes and man’s fedora. She was protective of Veba naturally, but right now she was acting like a Grizzly bear.

As the two women strode into the magazine’s main lobby many eyes observed them. One person’s lips curled into a viscous smile when she saw Veba then walked quickly away from the formidable pair.

The girls went into the Editor’s outer office where two sets of people were drooling over the two women. The models were all licking their lips and smiling seductively at Rickie who had a very good camera strung around her neck as she entered the room. Two staff photographers straightened their clothes and approached the beautiful brunette like hungry wolves. They both tried to give her they’re cards but Rickie partially in character and partially because it just ticked her off grabbed both of them and tore them in half. With an angry glare said, “This beauty is my find. She is my treasure now go push off and find your own!”

The two men bolted away from the small angry woman as the editor came out of his office. “Ladies, if you will?” He said smiling at Rickie and Veba.

Rickie stood up and put her hand out in a gallant gesture to Veba. Veba accepted the arm like a princess would. Allowing herself to be regally escorted into the office.

When the door was closed the editor leaned against the door and smiled happily. “Wow Veba! I am so impressed. I wasn’t worried about Rickie but you my child are so sweet I just didn’t expect such a wonderful performance. I know you never did this before. You were remarkable.”

Veba blushed. She was leaning back in a large comfortable guest chair looking down at her dainty shoes. “I practiced.”

“She is the most amazing person I know,” said Rickie quietly full of admiration. “You were even better than when we rehearsed. Who was the model you picked?” Rickie and Dory thought it would be easier for Veba to mimic someone then to create a whole new identity.

“I picked someone from a book. I just pictured Dar Roberts if she had to pretend to be a model to catch a bad guy.” Veba said quietly her blue eyes peeked up and were caught in the admiring green.

“Dar huh? Well you did perfectly. I thought those two photographers were going to wet themselves.”

“And I thought you were going to hit them,” said Veba with a teasing smile.

Rickie snorted, “I was! Those slimy suckers if they had…”

“Ok, ok Rickie, I need you to fake a photo shoot and then we’ll…”

“Wait! That wasn’t part of our plan.”

“I don’t know how…” said Veba slowly very nervous.

“Ladies it won’t be real. We need evidence this is the way to get it. Just fake it.” Rickie looked at Veba who looked terrified then back at the client who looked stubborn. She sighed and rolled her eyes.

*** *** *** *** ***

They were in the studio shooting pictures of Veba. There were several possible suspects that were present and could be observed while they were working. Veba was very scared about the whole thing. Rickie thought it would be easier for Veba if she just focused on her so she whispered, “Love, just look into my eyes and listen to my voice. Focus on me with your whole being and I will do the same for with you. If we don’t pay any attention to anyone else they won’t bother us.

Veba nodded and whispered back, “Yes, I can do that.”

Now they were both deeply focused on each other. It was like the studio had faded into a backdrop and didn’t exist. Rickie took picture after picture lost in Veba’s beauty deeply transfixed by the blue eyes. It was like they were almost linked to each other, an extension of each other. Rickie was so in tune with the tall brunette that she knew when she was tired and had enough. She pulled back and said, “Ok, that’s a wrap.”

Veba nodded and walked straight toward her wife across the studio. Before the shoot Rickie had pretended to take some test shots but she really was taking pictures of their suspects and knew the film that was safely tucked her pocket would help forward their investigation.

A young make up artist was really pissing her off though. Veba was completely ignoring her but that didn’t stop her from following the tall woman like a puppy. She seemed to know a lot about everyone and was in everyone’s business so Rickie took her picture when she was touching up Veba’s make up and had her handle a light, carefully placing it a bag so she could have Doris lift the finger prints later. Now the young woman was crossing the room behind Veba trying to keep up with the tall woman’s powerful stride and talking non-stop.

“I could do your make up for your next shoot. Do you have any make up kind of business like most models today? Are you into business at all? Do you only work with that photographer? Are you partners?”

Veba had a pleading look in her eyes as she approached the small detective. Rickie smiled and said in commanding voice, “Ok, Naomi that’s enough. Veba needs to rest now.”

“But?”

“Maybe you can chat with her some other time.”

“Oh? Ok.” The disappointed girl crossed back to her make up area.

Veba very quietly whispered, “I hope not.”

“Veba!”

Veba shrugged and said, “Can we leave yet?”

“Yes Love, come on.” She escorted the beautiful woman through the throng of people and out the door. Neither saw a pair of cold calculating eyes watching them both with interest.

*** *** *** ***

When they got back to their hotel suite the first thing Veba did was take off her shoes and stockings. “I do not like these things, Rickie. Do I have to wear them again?”

“No Sweetheart, how about wearing that sexy leather pants suit?”

“Yes, I can do that. At least it is comfortable. I do not like that girl, Love… I do not like many people there. It will be hard, will it not?” She asked as she pulled the dress off over her head. Rickie had already taken off her hat and jacket. She was sitting taking off her hiking boots when the sight of Veba in her black slip got her libido humming.

“Um, you mean to figure out who the bad guy is?”

Veba nodded she was about to take off her slip when two small hands grabbed hers. Rickie looked deeply into the perplexed blue eyes and smiled as she pulled the slip off her loves beautiful body. Veba simply felt like melting from the sizzling look in the beloved green eyes.

They crashed onto the couch as they tore off each other’s clothes hungrily tasting and caressing each other.

“Rickie…dinner…client…”panted Veba.

“Fuck the client,” roared Rickie as she tore off her loves black lace bra.

“Oh no you will not,” replied Veba she pulled off Rickie’s pants.

“I didn’t meant it that way…”She couldn’t finish the sentence Veba had ripped off her shirt was now very hungrily suckling her breast. Soon they were so busy loving each other time seemed to stop…

*** *** *** ***

…But of course time didn’t stop. The ringing telephone woke up Veba. She was cuddled close to Rickie relishing the feel of her skin against Rickie’s soft skin. Rickie was still fast asleep and Veba wanted her love to rest, so she pulled back so she could whisper into the phone with out waking her love.

“Hello?”

“Hello, this is Carmen Markus of the sales department. I was told by Mr. Cules to pick up you and your photographer.” Veba glanced down at the snoring woman gently brushing the hair away from the sleeping face. She tilted her head studying her and shook it.

“No, I am sorry but we can not come.”

“But?”

“Please tell Mr. Cules we will talk to him later. Bye.” And she hung up the phone curling back around the smaller woman. She cuddled close and found herself easily falling back to sleep from the loving warmth.

*** *** *** ***

Rickie woke up about four hours later. She was being held tightly in her loves arms. She looked at the clock and rolled her eyes. Hmm, 10p.m.? I guess we missed dinner. Her hand reached out to Veba’s arm stroking the soft smooth skin; it was worth it though. Veba has become so expressive and open in our love making lately. I am so damned proud of her. She has grown into a beautiful confident woman. If I could just stop things like what happened at JFK, from happening to My Veba, life would be perfect.

“What are you thinking about?” Said a soft sexy voice in her ear.

“Hmm, how beautiful you are. How much you’ve grown and how proud I am of you.”

Veba lifted her head so she could look into Rickie’s eyes, smiling she asked, “All that?”

“Yes. Also I was trying to figure out a way to protect you from disasters like what happened at the airport.”

“You can not. I know that. You want to protect me and I want to protect you. It is what we talked about…um, we can not always do that, Love.” The blue eyes were fully focused on Rickie and full of such love it set the blonde’s heart on fire.

“You are so wise.”

“No I am not.”

“Yes you are, Sweetheart. You know it’s amazing in so many ways you are a complete innocent and yet you understand people easily. I mean you seem to see right through them to who they really are. Like Naomi, she bugged you cause you could tell she was trying to manipulate you.”

“What do you mean?”

“She was trying to get you to invite her into your life.”

“Oh yes I did see that. She was also talking way too much. She was giving me a headache.”

“Hmm, I know someone you are very close to with that same flaw.”

“No, it is not the same. She was bugging me. I did not like her voice or what she was saying. I love your voice though; it soothes me. I love what you say and how you say it. You make me feel safe and loved.” She then pulled Rickie to her and kissed her passionately.

When they ran out of air Rickie pushed some of the dark bangs out of the clear blue eyes and said softly, “You do the same for me, Sweetie. You make me feel special and of course very loved.”

“Like we are home.”

Rickie nodded and rubbed noses with her. Veba smiled and kissed Rickie’s nose then she said, “Oh, I almost forgot. Some woman named Carmen called to pick us up. I told her to go away. I do not think I made our client very happy.”

“You don’t, huh?” She kissed Veba tenderly then she reluctantly rolled out of her arms and off the bed. She pulled on her robe and said, “Come on Love, lets get moving.” She picked up the phone and called their client.

Veba got out of bed and pulled on her robe. She then picked up the house phone and called Doris and Stephanie’s room. She asked them over saying she had a feeling they were about to have a meeting.

“Tell Dory the client will be here in a couple of hours.” She smiled at Veba who nodded and winked at her as she continued to talk on the phone with her sister in law.

When Veba got off the phone she sat beside Rickie on the couch, “What are we going to do?”

“Study the pictures and have Stevie lift the prints.”

Veba nodded and said, “Um, I ordered Dinner before I called Dory…it will be up in a…half an hour…..”

“Great, come on lets take a shower…”

“Rickie?”

“Come on Sweetheart we have to have some kind of fun,” said Rickie as she pulled a very willing Veba behind her.

**** *** *** ***

“She scares me.” Veba was holding one of the pictures and her face reflected her revulsion.

“Who Sweetie, Naomi?”

Veba snorted making Doris shake her head and say, “Veba you are picking up all my sister’s bad habits.”

Veba’s face brightened into a beautiful smile, “Good. I want to be just like My Rickie.”

“Baby, I want to be just like you too. Who is it that scares you, Love?”

Veba blushed and handed the picture to her beloved. Rickie gently caressed her loves cheek then she looked at the picture. “I don’t know this one. Why does she scare you?”

Veba bit her bottom lip and said quietly, “I get this bad feeling in my tummy when I look at her.”

“Well Love, you have perfect instincts so I think we should check her out with the local cops. Dory, see what you can dig out on this one, ok?”

Doris nodded taking the picture. She showed to Stephanie who was curiously looking over her shoulder.

“Dory, isn’t she the one who was so nosy when we were setting up our equipment in the sales department?”

Doris carefully studied the photo slowly nodding her head; “Yeah, Carmen or something wasn’t it?”

Veba looked shocked, “Um, that is the name of the girl who came before. Do you not think it strange that she would be the one?”

Rickie smiled at her beloved proudly nodding, “Yes my Darling, Well done. You get two presents for this one.”

“Rickie you are always getting me gifts!”

“I know, but its ok, cause I love you.”

Veba blushed beet red and pulled Rickie into her arms. She gave her a deep loving kiss and they were lost for a while in the sweet tenderness of it.

Doris looked at Stephanie and said rolling her eyes, “Oh boy they are off again.”

Rickie pulled back gently brushing a strand of Veba’s hair from her sparkling happy eyes. “Why don’t you try it, Sis? You may like it?”

“Hmm not a bad idea,” Said Stevie pulling her woman to her and kissing her love passionately. Dory closed her eyes and pulled Stevie even closer still.

Veba smiled sweetly and whispered, “I like that too. Its pretty.”

“Yep, I do too,” said Rickie pulling Veba’s ear lobe into her mouth nibbling it gently.

“Mmm, I like…this more….”

Rickie kissed her way to her loves mouth kissing her passionately again.

A knock on the door made the four women look up and groan. Rickie pulled back and growled, ” I’d say our client has lousy timing.”

“It could be our dinner,” said Veba softly. Then with a twinkle in her eyes she reached forward and gave her loves nose a lick.

“Veba!”

A delighted giggle floated out of the tall woman’s mouth as she escaped her love and headed for the door saying, “I think I better get that.”

Rickie chuckled shaking her head as she watched her sexy wife walk across the room to answer the door.

“I would say you are just one big mushball now, Sis. But then so am I. It’s really weird huh?”

“Sis, I love her. I don’t care about the tag it may place on me. I’d rather die then lose that woman.”

“I know that Veba would be really furious to hear you say that but I understand it completely now.” Doris was talking to her sister but staring at Stephanie who was helping Veba set up their dinner at the table.

“It is the best thing and the worst thing at the same time. I am so grateful to have it and desperately scared of losing it. Does that make sense?”

“Yep, we were existing before they came into our lives now we are actually living them. We are apart of the world because we are sharing our love with it. It’s the way it’s supposed to be. We are very blessed and I’m grateful.”

“Me too, Sis. Me too.”

*** *** *** ***

Their client looked at the picture that had disturbed Veba and was very upset by the person he saw. “But that’s Carmen! She…she’s in our sales department…we never had any kind of problems or complaints about her.”

“A perfect mole,” said Doris quietly.

Both the man’s eyebrow’s shot up, “Mole? Carmen?” He looked at the picture in his hand and then at the girls. I would never have suspected her. Um, you are the professionals…proceed I…” He swallowed and took a sip of coffee his hands shaking.

Veba was always sensitive to others feelings saw how upset the man was and put a gentle hand on the man’s arm, “Is Carmen…um, special to you, sir?”

He put a hand on Veba’s and smiled up at her, “You are a very sweet and perceptive child. Yes, she is…um…well she is my niece. I hired her because I knew it would have made my late brother happy. I loved him so and I miss him so I try to do my best for his little girl. She is not really to good at the work but she has never done anything wrong either.”

Rickie looked down and said in a voice full of compassion, “I understand how you feel Nigel, if she is the mole I think it would be better for her to stop her before she does any real damage. She may be a dupe and is in real trouble herself…”

“What do you mean?”

“Nigel, the mole isn’t really the problem, they are a tool for the real criminal. Who ever is directing the mole is the person were after. Maybe your niece is being forced into this.”

“So you catch her and your theory is you will be helping her? But what if she doesn’t want to be helped?”

“One thing at a time, lets catch the mole first.”

*** *** *** ***

Veba was wearing a Bugs Bunny sleep shirt; her beloved toy bugs was at home guarding their bed as Rickie put it. Veba was reading waiting for Rickie to finish a series of phone calls.

Rickie hung up. She had been on the phone with an old friend from the FBI. She slid into bed with Veba and smiled asking, “So how is Harry doing?”

“He, Ron and Hermine just escaped from danger again…I love Hagrid. He has such a big heart.”

“Yep, he does just like you.”

Veba had put her book down on her bedside table and turned off the light. She pulled Rickie closer and asked, “Me?”

“MmHmm, a sweet sensitive heart that really understands people.”

They were now cuddled close and Rickie’s head was nestled against her loves strong shoulder. Veba was tenderly rubbing Rickie’s back; “I do not understand what you mean.”

Rickie’s eyes were closed she was enjoying the gentle stroking. “Like tonight with Nigel, you read him like one of your mags. You just listened to him and pin-pointed what was bothering him right away.”

Veba’s voice sounded shocked, “Didn’t you?”

“No Love, I didn’t. You have a very special gift to truly understand people. You are very good at that you know?”

“Rickie, the only one I want to understand is you,” she said as she was kissing her loves soft neck now.

“Mmmm, this is a perfect case for my argument cause that’s just where I wanted you to kiss me.”

Veba smiled and kissed her way to her loves mouth, “Mmm, do you want me to kiss you here yet?”

Rickie was now looking deeply into dark passionate blue eyes, “Yes please.”

“Ok, I always do what I feel is right,” whispered Veba as she brought smiling lips to her own kissing her love with an abandon that took their love making up another notch.

Rickie was now beyond responding but she couldn’t have agreed more.

*** *** *** ***

Veba was playing with her new leather cuffs they matched her outfit perfectly and she loved them. They were a present from Rickie; she found them under her pillow when she woke up in the morning. After she found them she turned to a glowing Rickie and asked, “Did my Fairy God Mother give these to me?”

“Let’s just say she was bribed into doing it.”

“Oh? By whom?”

“A very good friend of yours.”

“Just a good friend?” A slight pout on Veba’s face made Rickie shake her head and chuckle.

“Veba my Love, you are relentless. They are from your lucky and loving wife, ok?”

Veba smiled brightly and nodded, “Yes, it is much better.”

Rickie was smiling at the memory of that morning as she looked at the tall beauty from under the safety of her fedora.

“You know I can see you under your hat, Love. You are not invisible,” said Veba with a huge grin as she reached over and pushed the hat back so she could see her loves beautiful green eyes. Her eyes twinkling Veba caressed Rickie’s cheek saying, “You are very beautiful when you blush, Sweetheart.”

“Veba…um, did you know you are driving me nuts?”

“Am I? Good, I think I am enjoying this undercover thing.”

“Especially when we are under our own covers.”

“Yes I am.”

“Veba!”

Veba leaned down gently lifting the little chin till she could reach the soft lips she longed to kiss, “I love you,” then she kissed her till they ran out of air.

*** *** *** ***

When they were riding up in the elevator Rickie moved very close to the tall woman and whispered so only Veba could hear, “I can’t wait to peel that thing off you tonight.”

Veba leaned down and whispered back smiling seductively, “I can not wait to be peeled.”

“Veba…What on Earth has gotten into you?”

They were all alone now as the elevator made its way to the top floor where the magazine was located. Veba shrugged and said, “I am not sure…but…I really am enjoying making love to you. I want to do it all the time day and night. It is…um, fun.”

Rickie leaned against her and said softly, “I see that…I feel it too. Its very hard to concentrate on our case sometimes…”

The elevator doors opened to absolute chaos.

“Rickie, what is going on?”

“I don’t know, Sweetheart. Come on lets go to Nigel’s office and find out.” She put her arm around Veba and guided her very fast through the mob of scared running people.

*** *** *** ***

They got into Nigel’s secretary’s office and Rickie not acting as anyone but herself breathlessly asked, “What the hell is going on here, Jean?”

Rickie was rubbing Veba’s arm and holding her close. You couldn’t tell to look at the tall woman how scared she was but Rickie could feel it. She felt how she was quaking and when she looked into the blue eyes she saw signs of panic.

“Someone shot someone else down in the studio.” Jean replied there were tears falling from her eyes and she was very scared too.

“What?” Both women asked at the same time.

The small older woman nodded, “Yes, the new publisher was doing a surprise inspection of the whole plant. There was some sort of fight between him and one of the photographers the next thing anyone knew the photographer was dead and the publisher had blood splattered all over his expensive suit.”

“Wow! Um, Jean can you look after my Veba while I check out…”

“No! You are not going out there!!” Veba pulled Rickie back to her desperately holding on tight. She whispered in Rickie’s ear her voice now filled with pure fear, “Please Sweetheart, no…”

“Shh, Ok Baby, Calm down. I won’t go out there. I’m staying with you.” She gently stroked her loves back hugging her back just as tight.

Veba slowly pulled back her eyes full of tears as searched Rickie’s eyes to make sure she wasn’t going to out there and get shot again. “I…please….I can not…”

“I know, Baby, I know. I am not going to go out there. Calm down please.”

Veba nodded and took a deep breath. “Thank you.”

“I remember what you went through before I wouldn’t put you through it again.” Veba smiled gratefully and pulled Rickie close kissing her passionately.

The embarrassed older woman who had witnessed the very personal scene escaped into her boss’s inner office. She was going to see if she could find her boss while the girls calmed down.

The door from the outside suddenly opened and a small man with blonde hair and hazel eyes came storming in. When he saw the women in a clinch he smiled saucily and said to Rickie, “I heard you were here string bean. Good, I could use your help.”

“String bean?” Whispered Veba.

“He knew me years ago Love,” Rickie whispered back.

“Hi Clark, how’s tricks?”

“Not great considering the madness out there. I hear your working for the Editor undercover?”

“Yes, but nothing that would lead to murder. We are here trying to unravel a white collar crime, a mole doing insider trading.”

“Any leads that might have exploded like this?”

“No, Dory and I wouldn’t have let Veba be here if we did.”

“And Veba is?”

Rickie proudly turned her shy love toward the small man in the doorway. “This is Veba, she is my beloved.”

“No shit!”

Rickie laughed and kissed Veba on the cheek. “No shit. Veba my love, this old coot is Clark Brayson of the FBI.”

Veba shyly held her hand out and said, “Hello.”

Clark took the elegant hand shaking it gently saying, “Nice to meet you.” He smiled saucily at Rickie and said, “You old dog, she’s incredibly beautiful. How on Earth did you get you so lucky.”

“I am the one who is lucky,” replied Veba quietly.

Rickie chuckled pulling Veba back to her and hugging her close. “That is still up for debate.”

“Well I never thought anyone would capture a wild one like you. You must be very special Veba.”

“She is,” purred Rickie looking into the shy highly embarrassed blue eyes.

“Shh,” Said Veba hiding her face against Rickie’s neck.

“Isn’t she adorable?”

Veba pulled back and looked at Clark asking in shaky voice, “How you…How do you know each other?” Veba was still shaken up from the chaos caused by the shooting and she was always nervous when she met new people so she had to really concentrate on her words.

“When I was young and stupid I wanted to be in the FBI. Dory and I both were at the academy with dingbat over there. Dory did better then I did. I was never good at listening to authority…”

“No Really?” Veba asked in mock shock.

“Well done Love, sarcasm becomes you.”

Veba chuckled and said, “So you were at school with Dory and my Rickie?”

Clark smiled at the beautiful woman. He was surprised at how slow she was when she spoke though she seemed to understand everything. One glance at Rickie’s besotted face told him this girl was special so he just knew there was hidden depth there.

“Yep, Rickie got kicked out when she published an underground newsletter saying our director wore dresses on the weekends.”

“Hey I had proof!”

“Yeah sure you did, you’re just lucky he had a sense of humor.”

“Oh yeah he was a riot, either get out or go to the stockade.”

“What is stockade?”

“Jail.”

“What!”

“Shh, it was ok. Dory helped me I left very pale faced but in tact.”

“What?”

Rickie kissed her on the cheek and explained, “I was embarrassed but I didn’t get in any real trouble.”

“Oh? What happened to Dory?”

“She graduated with honors but she left to work with the nut you’re in love with over there,” Clark said with good-natured grin.

“Dory was in the FBI?”

“She graduated but no, she was never really in it. That’s why we know so much about electronic surveillance; we learned it at the agency. It made us better detectives. So Clark? Fair is fair – what does the agency have to do with all this?”

He looked into curious eyes and shrugged, “Well lets just say the new publisher is of interest to us. We had a plant on his team and he called us when all the craziness happened. You want to take a look before the locals get here?”

Before Rickie could say a word or move an inch Veba asked, “Are they shooting?”

“No, it’s quiet.”

Veba nodded and let Rickie go. Rickie smiled and asked, “Can Veba come too?”

“Sure,” they went through the door Veba behind them as Clark whispered, “She’s a bit overprotective isn’t she?”

“She has very good reason. Let me tell you about our last dangerous case.”

**** *** **** ****

“He is a nice man, Rickie.” Veba said quietly as they entered their suite and Veba sat down on the couch.

“Yes, he was always a good friend to Dory and I. He will probably be over with Dory and Stevie a while would like to go to dinner with them later?” Rickie sat on the arm of the couch and put an arm around an obviously upset Veba.

Veba played with her cuff not looking into Rickie’s eyes as she usually would as she said quietly, “Um, maybe I should stay here you can go ahead…”

“Why?”

“You will want to talk to about your school and stuff. I do not know about that. I feel…funny.”

“Why sweetheart? You’re wonderful. Everyone loves you. They all think your very charming, funny, sweet and…well wonderful!”

“But…I not know things…”

“You’re learning…”

“Too slow…”

“No very fast…”

“Rickie no…”

Rickie swiftly lifted the quivering chin till she could look into the tear filled blue eyes. She shook her head and gently dried Veba’s wet cheeks with her fingers. “You are the most incredible person I have ever known. You are very,very smart, charming, funny, sweet, beautiful and so perfect I can’t even think of words to describe you. Everyone we know adores you and I won’t go anywhere with out you.”

“But?”

“Don’t you think Clark wants to get to know the woman who captured my wild heart?”

“Is your heart wild?

“Would you like a private demonstration?”

“Yes please,” said Veba smiling softly as she pulled her love off the arm of the couch on to her lap snuggling close.

Rickie put her arms around her love and looked into the now sparkling blue eyes and purred, “Happily.” Then she pulled the lips of the woman she loved to her own and kissed her with total abandon.

*** *** *** ***

Clark sat with Dory at the table in the living area of their suite. He was going through the down loaded information from Dory’s laptop.

“You are better at this now then at the academy,” said Clark smiling fondly at his old friend.

Doris shrugged, “I’ve had a lot of practice since then, Old Man.”

“Are you happy with your choice?”

“Yep, I think that it was important I stay with my sister. I think we have done pretty damn well too, don’t you?”

“Oh yeah, you both have an excellent reputation.” He glanced at Rickie who was talking with a great deal of animation on the phone.

Stephanie and Veba were cleaning up in the kitchen. Veba came out with a tray with teacups and a pot of hot coffee. She settled it on the table handing one a cup to each of them and then pouring out a cup of coffee for Rickie. She smiled at them sweetly and walked to Rickie with the now steaming cup. Instead of taking the cup Rickie caressed Veba’s cheek, Veba leaned into the loving stroke smiling brightly. Rickie smiled back and kissed her love on tenderly on the lips. Then Veba smiled pulled back winking at the smaller woman and walked to the couch to curl up with her book.

Clark leaned into Doris and whispered, “I would never have believed that Rick would fall for a girl like that.”

“Why the hell not?” asked the small curly haired blonde she was protective of Veba as her sister was.

“Don’t get your panties in a twist, I just thought Rick would fall for some one dark and dangerous. Not a gentle sweet soul like that kid curled up with a book.”

Doris burst into laughter shocking the hell out of her old friend. “I’d love to see you even attempt to threaten Rickie in Veba’s presence. You would find your self face to face with a lethal panther. She is a lot tougher than you think, and she is literally the strongest woman I know in every way possible.”

Clark looked at the girl curled up on the couch avidly reading Harry Potter, “That charming sweet kid, dangerous? Come on Dor…”

“Hmm,” Doris smiled sweetly and then looked at Veba. “Sweetie, could you bring me my work out stuff I’m going to use it later tonight. It’s in my room.”

Veba’s head popped up, “Sure Dory,” replied Veba with gentle look she got up reverently putting her book down on the end table by the couch with her marker holding her place. She softly stroked Rickie’s arm as she passed and went into Doris and Stephanie’s bedroom.

“What exactly is your point?”

“You’ll see,” said Doris with a huge knowing smile.

In another minute Veba came back with small collapsible work out set. She held it in one hand like a book as she looked at Doris and asked, “Where would like me to put it Dory?”

“Right there is fine, Sweetheart.”

“Ok,” Veba carefully put it down out of everyone’s way and went back to the couch to read her book.

“So?”

“Go take a peak at how much that thing weighs. It took three people at the airport just to put it on the conveyer belt. They wouldn’t let Veba do it for them though she volunteered.”

He walked over and bent down so he could read the label. His eyes widened when he saw how much they weighed. Then he looked at the young women on the couch again calmly reading her book. He went back to his friend shaking his head. “Wow that girl is strong, isn’t she…?”

“She is strong, powerful and brighter then she has figured out yet. She is warm and sweet. She only blossoms from the light in my sister’s eyes and Veba is the only soul who I ever saw bring out Rickie’s tenderness. Don’t ever again say anything against them to me. You see, they are soul mates and I will not hear a word against them.”

“Ok, you convinced me.”

Rickie had finished on the phone and had walked over to Veba. She sat on the arm of the couch and asked, “So how is Harry and company doing?”

“They are in great danger, they are trapped. Hermonine has figured a way to get out of it but they won’t listen to her yet.”

Rickie chuckled, “She’s smart girl, she will get them to. You have done well on this one. You’re almost done.”

“Too fast?”

“Do you remember and understand everything you’ve read?”

Veba nodded.

“Then its perfect. Come on Love, I want you to come and talk to Clark…”

Veba pulled back shaking her head no. Rickie was stunned Veba had never done that before. “Sweetheart?”

Veba looked down at her book softly stroking the binding with her finger. “I…I…am not com-fort-able with him…”

“Why?”

Veba shrugged still looking at her book.

Rickie tilted her head and asked, “Is it because the three of us were at the academy together?”

Veba shrugged again.

Rickie gently leaned down and kissed Veba’s chin and then pulled the embarrassed blue eyes up to look into her own. “You never have felt that way with Dory or Stephanie or me so why?”

“I love you all.”

“We all love you too. My sweet love, please tell me what’s really wrong.”

Veba bit her lip and said, “Um….He….he is more like you than me.”

Rickie was stunned. Her Veba was jealous of Clark. “Baby I don’t care if we were made from the same haystack! I am hopelessly head over heels in love with you. Only you! You alone, fill me with joy and peace. I have never had so much happiness till you came into my life. You’re all I want…”

“Really…I thought…uh…” Veba looked up suddenly relieved, “I don’t want to lose you, Rickie.”

“You won’t ever. I promise. You’re my soul mate Veba.” She pulled her closer and gave her a kiss filled with the purest love. Once she sealed their love with the sincerity of her kiss, Rickie pulled back saying softly, “Now come on Love, I need you. Only you can give Clark a clear slant on the suspects.”

“Slant?”

“Your special understanding of people that we talked about earlier. Remember?”

“Yes,” Rickie dried the tears kissed her loves nose making her smile. Then she stood up offering Veba her hand. Veba’s eyes were totally locked with Rickie’s as she put her book back down on the table and stood up to walk beside Rickie to the table to see if they could get cracking on solving this case.

*** *** *** ***

“Clark, Veba has a very insightful way of looking at people and situations. I want you to listen to her slant on the people at the magazine.”

“Sure, ok Tiger, shoot.”

“Tiger?” Veba was surprised that anyone would call her that.

“Well you are sleek and sexy.”

Both Veba’s eyebrows shot up and she looked at Rickie who shook her head and playfully slapped the man’s arm. “He is just playing, Sweetheart. Go on tell him.”

Veba nodded as she sat down between Clark and Rickie. She took a deep breath and then gave a very credible run down on all the people they had encountered since going into the magazine. She carefully explained how she felt about the people and what she thought they were like by what she observed.

Clark’s smile broadened, “Excellent, do you have any suspicion on who you believe might be capable of murder? That woman Carmen?”

Veba tilted her head and closed her eyes deep in thought. Then they flashed open and she shook her head, “No Clark, I do not think so. I do not like several people who work there. I do not feel happy or safe with any of them but I do like the Editor and his secretary. They are nice. The others are not nice but not bad. I do not feel they would shoot me or anyone else.”

“Ok, that does help me get a scope on them.” He looked at Rickie, “Are you still going to finish your job here?”

Rickie nodded, “Yep, Nigel needs answers.”

“Ok see you at the salt mines,” He said as he got up and left the suite.

“Salt mines?”

“It is an old expression, Love. Clark is just one big cliché’. You’re ok with him though, right?”

“Yes, he is very nice to me…us…I just…well…worry…”

“Well don’t. I’m all yours.”

“Good,” said Veba with a smile as she took Rickie’s hand and led her to their room.

Doris looked at Stephanie and rolled her eyes causing the red head to laugh.

**** *** *** ***

Rickie was in the bathroom; Veba was on the bed laying on her back staring straight up at the ceiling deep in thought. Rickie came out and saw the expression on the other woman’s face. She sat down on the side of the bed and gently caressed her loves cheek. Big blue eyes blinked then Veba looked at Rickie and smiled sweetly.

“Are you ok, Sweetheart?”

“Yes…I was just thinking.”

“Yep, I could see that. You were thinking very hard. What about?”

“Do you think I should go to school?”

Rickie looked like she’d been slapped which surprised and upset Veba. “Rickie?”

Rickie swallowed and looked down at her hands saying quietly, “Sure….I…. Yes, you should go to real teachers…”

“Real teachers?” Veba was now scared and confused. She knew she really hurt Rickie but she didn’t understand why. “What do you mean?”

“I mean that Dory and I try, but we’re not the real thing. You are way to fast for us to keep up with. We don’t know enough…we had hoped we were doing the right thing but…”

Veba now understood and she pulled Rickie onto her lap holding her close. “No Rickie, YOU are perfect. I learn from you everyday. I just thought… I…well it is boring to be teaching me all the time…you know…explaining….”

“No it’s not boring…I like it. I never thought I would have the patience for it but I really do. I want you to be the very best you can be though. Veba remember that IQ test that Dory gave you? You are rocket science level. Dory and I just aren’t in that league..I…” upset green eyes met compassionate blue.

Veba kissed her loves salty cheek and said, ” You taught me everything. I love learning from you so much. You and Dory are great…perfect. I just thought I need some formal training you know… like in my Harry Potter book.”

Rickie smiled and leaned her head against Veba’s shoulder, “Yes, some formal training would be good. You would meet people and learn a lot more then we can teach you…”

“No!” Veba pulled Rickie very close and kissed her all over her face while whispering, “No one like you. You everything. Perfect.”

Rickie closed her eyes enjoying both the tender kisses and the words, “No Sweetie, I am not perfect. I…” She pulled back and looked deeply into Veba’s eyes. “Veba will you marry me?”

Without a second of hesitation Veba nodded and then whispered, “Like Lara and Sarah in Time Flies?”

Rickie smiled and gently rubbed her nose against Veba’s, “No, not exactly but that’s the idea yes. We are married to our family and friends but I now want to declare it to the world. Would you…”

“Yes please,” interrupted Veba with love and excitement sparkling in her eyes. Rickie pulled soft lips to her own, and kissed her love passionately. They snuggled closer then Rickie asked, “Would you mind some company in school?”

Veba’s eyes widened, “Who?”

“Me.”

“But you know everything!”

“No I don’t, no one does. Maybe it would be fun for us all to go. No that would be too much money…”

“How about my money?”

“But?”

“Love, It is just sitting there doing nothing. I want to make a con-tri-but-tion to our family.”

“You do that just by being a part of it.”

“Money…wise…” Veba was losing track of what she was saying, Rickie was now kissing her along her neck and had reach a particularly vulnerable spot.

“Lets talk about it later,” Said Rickie as she made her way to her loves breast she had some other ideas running through her mind at the moment. All Veba could do in response was moan.

*** *** *** ***

The girls were in the shower and Veba was carefully washing Rickie’s hair making sure she got the shampoo nice and even. Rickie leaned into the gentle massage with her eyes closed.

“Baby?”

“Yes?” replied Veba who had her tongue sticking out her mouth slightly as she concentrated on scrubbing the wet hair making it squeaky clean.

“What would you like to learn in school?”

Veba was surprised but then she thought and slowly replied, “I would like to learn to speak better.”

“Check.”

Veba smirked as she recognized the word from when Rickie played poker. “I would like to understand what I am reading better.”

“Check.”

“I would like to understand the world better.”

“That’s a tall order but possible. What else?”

“Tall order?”

“The world is very hard for very learned people to understand but there are definitely classes. Anything else?”

“Yes, I would like to learn about before.”

“Before?”

“You know like when Xena and Gabrielle lived.”

Ok Gotcha! So you want Speech, English, Poli Sci and History.”

“I guess, please bring your head back a bit, love,” said Veba who then gently rinsed the soap out of the soft wet hair. “Ok, you’re all done.”

“My turn, turn around, Sweetheart.”

Veba obediently turned around a leaned back already closing her eyes. She loved how it felt to have Rickie wash her hair.

“Ok, I can take English, History and Poli Sci with you. I guess I will have to find something to keep me busy while you go into Speech class.”

“Rickie, you do not have to do that.”

Gently scrubbing the spot on the back of Veba’s neck that she knew the tall woman loved she whispered into her loves ear, “I want to go. I think it will be fun and I like those classes. When you’re taking Speech I will take a geek class with Dory.”

“Would Dory want to?”

“I’ll ask her but I’m sure she would love the idea.”

“But why? You all know this stuff do you not? You went to school.”

“Believe me Sweetheart there is always something new to learn.”

Veba was enjoying the massage as she thought about what Rickie said. “Yes I do understand that. We will use my money, right?”

“Yes Miss Wells.”

Veba snorted, “Miss Wells, huh?”

“You’re our Patron.”

“No, I am your fi-an-cee.” Veba said the word with loving care.

Rickie kissed Veba’s nose and said, “Yep, thank God you are. Ok Love, lean back, please.” Veba leaned all the way back so Rickie could rinse her hair. When it was squeaky clean she said, “Ok you can stand straight again.”

Veba turned slightly pulling Rickie into her arms and whispered, “Don’t want to,” then she kissed her passionately. The water beat against Veba’s back but she didn’t even feel it, even though the water had turned cold. She just loved her Rickie till they both went over the edge.

When they recovered leaning against the back of the wall of the shower Rickie chuckled and said, “The water is just right to get our temp back to normal. Come on Love lets cool off.”

Veba groaned but dutifully followed Rickie into the now cold jets of water. It felt very good against her hot skin but she knew it would be freezing when they stepped out of the shower.

It is a price I am willing to pay. Thought Veba with smile as happily allowed the cold water to run over her very hot body.

*** *** **** ***

Veba was surprised at the enthusiasm that Doris and Stephanie had for going to school. She knew they would be very happy about the engagement but was not prepared for the excitement they showed about going back to school.

Doris went on line to look up interesting classes from several different schools. Stephanie was calling out some of the classes she thought might be fun for all of them to take.

Veba looked over at Rickie her shock clearly visible. Rickie smiled and shrugged, “I told you Sweetheart, knowledge is power and we all want to be powerful women.”

Veba shrugged but she fully enjoyed going through the print outs with her family.

**** *** *** ***

Veba was in the bedroom lying on the bed reading ‘Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone,’ as Rickie met in the livingroom with her friends from the FBI and the NYPD.

Rickie stood in the doorway and watched as Veba had a very excited, satisfied expression come to her face. She closed the book bringing it to her chest and hugging it with her eyes closed.

“All done?”

Veba’s eyes snapped open and she smiled brightly. “Yep, it is wonderful Rickie. Really! It showed so much more then the movie did. It made me wonder what the next part will be like.”

“Oh really?”

Blue eyes widened, “Rickie?”

“In your drawer.”

Veba took in a deep breath and then opened the drawer shaking her head. Her face became lit up with purest joy, “Thank you so much my Love.”

Rickie’s eyes were sparkling and she laughed gently as came to sit beside her leaning in and kissing her tenderly. Then she pulled back caressing her loves cheek she whispered, “My pleasure…um, would mind holding off on the next part? I need you to look at some files for our case.”

“Me?”

“Yes Sweetheart I need your insight.” She kissed her loves nose and said, “My beautiful Profiler.”

“Profiler? What is that?”

“Someone who is good at figuring what makes people tick, like you are. Come on Love, they have a bunch of files on the employees that I want you to look through.” She took Veba’s hands and pulled her up from the bed. Then led her shy love into the living room full of strangers. Veba only knew Clark. Doris and Stephanie were discreetly checking their equipment at the magazine.

Clark smiled and winked at her, “How is our pretty profiler this morning?”

Veba smiled back and shrugged answering quietly, “Ok.”

Rickie got a pile of stuff from Clark and then led her love to a couch across the room. Then she handed her the files, a pen and pad saying, “Ok, get nice and comfortable and study these please. Write anything that strikes you, Ok?”

Veba took the stuff smiling and nodded her head.

“Would you like some chocolate milk or something to eat?”

“Chocolate milk please.”

“Sure,” Rickie bent down and gently kissed her tenderly on the lips. Then she pulled back and went to the kitchen. Veba felt the hairs at the back of her neck stand up her usually sweet and warm eyes turned to ice as she glared across the room at someone.

Clark was stunned by the change in his new friend. He looked to see who could cause such a big change. He carefully looked over the group of men at the table with him and saw a young man in jeans and sweatshirt glaring at the tall beauty.

Rickie came back and saw what was happening. She handed Veba her milk and said, “Here you go Darling,” then in a whisper said, “Ignore the idiot, I’ll take care of it. Ok?”

Veba nodded and whispered back, “Ok Love.” She kissed Rickie on the cheek and then put her entire focus on the files.

Rickie turned toward the table and said, “Jackie, may I have a word with you please?”

The tall police detective swallowed knowing what had gotten under his friend’s collar and not sure how to deal with it quite yet. As soon as they were in the bedroom Rickie said, “Can you replace that creep?”

“Come on Rick…”

“Don’t come on Rick with me! Did you see that ass hole glare at my Veba? I will not tolerate that kind of behavior. This is suppose to be a team and Veba is apart of it!”

“She handled it really well….”

“Why should she have to? She is a vital part of our team Jackie! Wait till you see the result of her going through those files. Besides that…. She is the love of my life and I’ll be damned if I allow someone like that to treat her badly! I will not let a bigot hurt my Veba’s newly emerging confidence. We have worked hard and he will not destroy that!”

“Ok, ok calm down, I’ll talk to him…”

Big green eyes blazed.

“Come on Rick he has connections…”

“I don’t give a crap!”

He sighed and scuffed his foot, “Come on Rick, Let me speak to him please?”

Rickie went to the door and looked at the man in question. He was grumbling something to the man next to him, which caused glaring blue eyes to narrow into slits of ice showing Rickie just how mad her love was. She turned back to her friend; “I don’t think so! He is making my Veba angry and she almost never gets angry.”

Jackie looked out and door groaning, “Ok Chief, I just hope I don’t get demoted to dog catcher.”

“You won’t be. Your boss will so please when we crack this case and believe me My Veba will be a vital part of that.”

“I hope so Rick.”

“I know so Jackie.”

*** *** *** *** ***

Veba looked at Rickie with an uncertain expression. She had called her over because she was confused.

“What’s wrong, Baby?”

“This list from Clark has 300 people. I only have 85 files. Could you check and see if I counted wrong please?”

“Sweetheart there is no way you could miss 215 files.” She kissed Veba on the forehead and took the list from her. “Hold on a sec.” She walked back to the table and said, “Clark where are the rest of the records?”

“Rest?”

“Did you look at that list before you gave it to Veba?”

“No I…”

“Never mind, this list shows we are missing 215 people.”

“What?”

“Yep, I’ll have Veba work on what we have. How about calling the agency and getting the rest old man?”

Clark shook his head pulled his cell and dialed the office.

Rickie chuckled and went back to Veba. “Baby, you work on what you have ok? Clark is going to work on getting the rest of them.”

“Ok. Um… Rickie? What am I looking for?”

“That funny feeling in your tummy remember?”

“Oh? Ok, I can do that.”

*** *** *** ***

Veba looked at the crowd of law enforcement officials around their dining room table and felt very overwhelmed. She held tightly to Rickie’s hand under the table, Rickie was gently stroking the hand and rubbing her loves back. Doris was on the other side of the tall nervous woman. She gently rubbed her shoulder and said softly, “Go on Veba, tell them what you figured out.” Doris and Rickie were both very proud of her.

Veba shyly looked around the table through her long black eyelashes and whispered very softly back, “Ok.”

Her grip became even tighter so Rickie had to whisper, “Circulation.”

Veba looked alarmed, she lessened the pressure and tenderly stroked the palm of Rickie’s hand with her thumb. She then took a deep breath and looked at Clark who smiled sweetly and nodded at her.

“Um, there were three people that made feel funny so I took a second look.” She nodded to Doris who passed out copies of the files that Veba had selected to the task force. “Each one made me feel as if they could do something very bad. I carefully read the files for…” She looked at Rickie who smiled and said, “Evidence.” Veba smiled back and nodded saying, “Yes evidence.” She took a deep sip of her malted and looked into Rickie’s eyes seeking approval.

Rickie’s eyes were sparkling with love and pride. Veba blushed and looked down at her lap where she was holding Rickie’s hand.

Clark smiled at both of them and then said to Veba, “Ok, my brilliant friend what evidence did you find?”

Veba’s head snapped up, “Brilliant?”

Clark winked at her nodded, “According to your colleagues, yep.”

Veba looked first at Doris then Rickie, “You did not do that, did you?”

They both shrugged and nodded. Veba gulped and looked away from the table.

Rickie popped pulling Veba with her saying as she led her embarrassed wife into their room. “If you would all excuse us for a minute.” She closed the door behind her and pulling Veba into her arms into a deep loving kiss. Then she pulled back and gently pushed back the dark hair out of the big blue eyes, “Baby, I am so very proud of you. You took a stack of useless paper and got three files with hot suspects. Do you know how special that is? You are so smart now all you have to do is go out there and tell the task force you’re reasoning.”

“But…I…?” Veba shook her head and tried to turn away.

“What?”

“I am not like them…”

“Sweetheart, they need you. You have what they want. You pulled this all together all by yourself. Please be proud of yourself, I am so very proud of you. So is Dory and Stevie.”

“Really?”

“Of Course. Now come on tell those blind idiots what you figured out.”

Veba scuffed her bare toe against the soft carpet and asked, “Um, are you all really proud of me?”

“Yes, very.”

Veba looked into Rickie’s beautiful eyes full of love and pride for her and she blushed. “Thank you Rickie.”

Rickie pulled her back till they were nose to nose and whispered, “My Pleasure.”

*** *** *** ***

Veba pulled the first folder from her own pile and said softly, “This girl is Carmen, I do think she is the person Rickie is trying to find. The …um, mole. There are many reasons.” She pulled several pages out of the file her finger going down the page totally focused. “She seems to be away from her desk and near places where she is not suppose to be a lot. Places where business decisions are made. She goes to all the cocktail parties and eavesdrops on conversations. The worst is what Stevie explained to me. She pulled her money out the company just before it…um,” she looked at the couch where Stephanie was sitting looking into her laptop. The red head smiled at her and said, “Split.”

Veba smiled back and said, “Yes, split. She explained that is when a company makes a lot of money. So why take your money out then? Then Mr. Douglas bought the company and everything fell apart. How did she knew that was about to happen?”

“Perfect,” said Clark with wide approving grin. He gently punched Rickie on the shoulder she winked back at him. Veba flashed him a smile and blushed slightly.

Dory was glowing with pride but said softly, “Ok, Sweetie the next one.”

Veba nodded and moved Carmen’s file aside. She pulled out the next one opened it and looked at those gathered. “This man bothered me because in every section he worked something went missing. I do not think he is involved in the really bad stuff but,” she looked at the Police Captain in charge of the NYPD group, “I think you should talk to him, Sir.”

“Call me Jackie, Kiddo and thanks I will.” He winked at his old friend Rickie, who nudged Doris with her foot under the table. Doris smiled at her sister and then nodded to Veba smiling encouragingly.

Veba neatly placed that file on top of Carmen’s and pulled out the last one with an involuntary shudder “This woman really scares me. I get chills just looking at her face. It is a bad face.” She looked at the others and said in a whisper, “I think she is the one.”

“The murderer?” Asked Clark.

Veba nodded, Rickie gently squeezed the hand she was still holding giving the tall girl the courage to go on. Veba gently squeezed back and nodded.

“I do not feel the man she killed was who she wanted to shoot. I think it was the other one. Justin Douglas.”

The young policeman who had annoyed Veba before snorted and said snidely, “Where do you get your information, the psychic friends network?”

Veba didn’t know what he meant but she didn’t like his tone and glared at him in an icy angry stare. Clark had never seen her look so deadly before. He now understood what Doris was talking about before, he now saw the dangerous lethal panther for the first time and was stunned.

His old friend Rickie’s glare was almost as deadly. She snarled at him, she knew the evidence and wasn’t going to put up with his shit. “No it’s called instinct, intelligence and using the mind to understand the way other people think. Traits of good investigator, something you obviously know nothing about.”

The knifes came out and the man growled at Rickie saying, “You people aren’t law enforcement, you’re two bit detectives. Go back to peeking in windows and leave investigating to professionals. Why are we listening to these idiots?”

He looked around the table and discovered that the rest of the men in the room agreed with Rickie. He looked appalled when he realized he was alone in his feelings. “What are you sheep? She says baa and you follow her. They are faggots for God’s sake!”

Jackie stood up angrily, “That’s enough Brad. Follow me.” The two men left the suite a few minutes later only Jackie returned. He looked at Veba and smiled sweetly at her. “Sorry Veba, please continue.”

Veba wide eyed looked at Rickie, who rubbed her leg and said, “Go on, it’s ok. Start with your feelings and then lead them through to the evidence.”

Veba nodded then quietly said, “Ok, this woman has a bad face. She looked like she wanted to kill Rickie. When I looked at this picture I saw the…meanness. I hated her for looking at Rickie like that. I looked at her file and in her…um,” she looked at Doris unsure of the word.

“Resume.”

Veba smiled and said, “Yes, resume…she worked for 5 different companies all owned by the man who was behind the man who was shot, Justin Douglas.”

“Wait!” Clark said very surprised, “Are you saying that Douglas was the target?”

Veba nodded.

“But why?”

“She hated him. According to the stuff you gave me, his company hurt her Da… Um, Father.” She looked down very embarrassed by what she almost said. Rickie gently stroked her leg and nodded for her to continue. She looked up at her uncertain, Rickie quietly whispered, “Go on.”

Veba took a deep breath looked at the others and continued, “He had killed himself many years ago. She changed her name and started going from company to company trying to get near him. She was waiting for the right time to strike but she missed.”

“What made you suspect that he was the target and not the photographer?”

Veba again looked at Rickie who nodded encouragingly. “The blood on the jacket and shirt. It went all the way through. I think the angry man walked in front of him when she tried to kill the man she hated.”

One of the agents at the table shook his head and looked Clark quietly saying, “This is all supposition, Clark.”

“That’s what a good profiler does. Just what Veba did, she made a reasonable hypothesis based on her instincts and the evidence.”

Confused blue eyes met understanding green, Rickie shook her head slightly and smiled. Veba nodded knowing that Rickie would explain it all to her later. Veba now listened breathlessly as Clark decided on the assignments. She was very worried about Rickie and Doris’s part in all this.

Clark looked at the task force and started to divvy up the assignments. Stephanie and Doris would continue to work on surveillance with the help of two other members of the task force.

“Rick and Veba I’d like you both with me…”

“You don’t want me to work on the inside anymore…?”

“Nope that cover is blown, I need your help old boy?”

Stormy green eyes seared into calm hazel then shifted to pleading blue. Rickie let out a long breath and sighed. “Ok, for Veba not for you.”

Clark winked at her, “Deal.”

Rickie rolled her eyes and shook her head.

*** **** *** ***

As soon as the task force left Veba pulled Rickie into her arms kissing her lovingly all over Rickie’s startled face. Veba whispered between kisses, “Thank you,” over and over again. Then much to Doris and Stephanie’s amusement she picked Rickie up and carried her to their room kicking the door closed behind her.

Once inside she went straight to the bed gently depositing her love on it. She deftly undressed her as she continued to kiss every inch of exposed skin she could reach.

Rickie was overwhelmed but managed to pant, “Veba love?”

The tall woman panting herself as she got Rickie’s shirt and bra off whispered, “Need…to…love…you….”

Rickie couldn’t respond as her pants and panties came off next and strings of kisses and caresses were felt all over her body. Veba took off her own cotton shift in swift movement throwing in the pile that was being built at the end of the bed. The delicious skin on skin contact and loving mouth sent Rickie so high up the spiral she could no longer think. Suddenly there was blinding light and then velvet softness as she went over the edge into a deep sleep.

Veba panicked at first but then when she realized the Rickie was only asleep she curled herself protectively around her loves body pulling a blanket up over them both she fell into her own deep healing sleep.

*** *** *** ***

Rickie woke up the next morning in a warm safe and very comfortable cocoon. She pulled back so she could look into the sweet face of her sleeping love.

What got into last night, Sweetie? I mean I agreed with you. I don’t think you have ever been that relentless before. It was like you were possessed. Beautifully possessed of course. Rickie smiled and rubbed her cheek against Veba’s. Not that I didn’t enjoy every second of it. What a rush! I am just so worried about you. It was so out of character. What is bothering you my love?

Soft loving blue eyes blinked opened meeting Rickie’s. Veba smiled sweetly and said, “Good morning.”

“It sure was, Wow!” Rickie was kissing Veba on the chin and then enjoyed watching her sweet love blush.

Veba’s hands came up and cupped Rickie’s cheeks, “You ok?”

“Yes Baby, I’m fine. I am a bit worried about you though. What on earth happened? I have never seen you like that before?”

Veba shrugged and softly replied, “I am not sure. All of the sudden I had to love you. I wanted…I needed…” She looked very confused by her own feelings.

Rickie understood though, “I think you were grateful that I decided to go along with your wishes. And your love for me kind of took over your normal common sense not that I’m complaining about that. It was wonderful. I don’t think you have ever been so intense before and considering how wonderful our sex life is that is saying something.” She kissed Veba on the nose making the concerned woman smile. Then she said, “I love you, Baby.”

Veba looked deeply into the beloved green eyes and said, “I love you too. With every part of me.”

“Me too, forever.”

Veba nodded and kissed Rickie deeply.

*** *** *** ***

The girls were all eating breakfast in their suite. Veba was putting cream cheese on her bagel when she thought of the questions from the night before. She looked up at Rickie who was dissecting an omelet, “Love, can I ask you now?”

Rickie tilted her head confused, “Ask me what?”

Veba took a deep breath as all the questions crowded in her head and she let them spill out of her mouth. “What is ini-ti-ate? What does Hy-poth-i-sis mean?” Veba slowly sounded out these unfamiliar words but continued her list of questions. “Why do you say I’m brilliant? You know I am not….um, Why did…”

“Ok,ok, let’s start with why you are brilliant. You remember all those IQ tests that Dory gave you?” Rickie had come over and was gently stroking her loves cheek. Veba’s eyes were completely focused on Rickie as she nodded. “Well your test were all genius level. Also just considering what you did last night proved it. You took a bunch of files and narrowed it down to hot suspects. Do you realize how special that was? It was brilliant, we are all so proud of you.”

Veba blushed and bowed her head whispering, “I just looked at the files and did what you told me to.”

Rickie lifted the quivering chin and looked into the bashful blue eyes smiling as she leaned closer to kiss her tenderly. Then she pulled back and whispered, “I know. You were perfect.”

Veba lowered her head to Rickie’s shoulder; Rickie gently ran her fingers through the soft black hair. “Thank you.”

Rickie kissed the crown of her head and whispered, “You are so very welcome. Ok Sweetie, your other questions. To initiate means to start something. Hypothesis means to gather the facts and use your intellect to come up with a reasonable answer.” Rickie tenderly caressed her loves cheek and then pulled away gently so they could eat the rest of their food before the guys came. She knew her answers were simplistic but she didn’t think she was capable of more complex answers for her loves growing curiosity.

Veba smiled at Rickie and took a bite of her bagel but then her eyebrows came together and she asked, “Why do they not just say start?”

“The FBI likes to be fancy.”

Veba looked quizzical at that answer but she shrugged and then said, “And do you not always use reason to figure out problems?”

“Well you do because you have a very ordered and logical mind. Most people jump to the easiest conclusion.”

“Why?” Asked Veba as she sipped some orange juice.

Rickie was at a bit of loss she looked at Doris. Doris smiled sweetly and said softly, “Sweetheart, some people are simply lazy and don’t use the brains that God gave you.”

Veba swallowed the bagel she had just bit into in one swallow she was so anxious to ask, “But why?”

Doris tilted her head amused at her friends curiosity, “Why are people lazy?”

“Yes.”

“I have no idea, Sweetie. They just are I guess because they don’t want to think too much. It’s easier to be lazy.”

Veba looked at the three other women nonplused. “How can you be lazy when there is so much to learn?”

Stephanie smiled and put her coffee down. “Veba, most people only are interested in things that effect them and the easiest way to handle it. They don’t care about things. They have no curiosity. They only want to do what is easiest. You don’t see things that way cause you are so special.”

“I am? Why?”

Rickie snorted and got up, she walked over taking Veba’s hand, “‘Cause you are so damn adorable when you ask why.”

Veba laughed shaking her head, “No really Rickie…” She didn’t have time to finish cause Rickie was pulling the tall woman toward their room for a private chat.

Stevie was very amused, “That girl is insatiable.”

“Aparently in every way.”

“Dory!”

*** *** ***

“Rickie don’t give me that crap I know damn well how good you are but I will not sanction you going on the bust. This is FBI business.”

“Why the hell not, if it wasn’t us you wouldn’t even have a God damned suspect to bust!”

“Because Veba would never forgive me!”

Rickie stopped pacing and stared at her old friend. She looked across at Veba sitting on the couch busily going through the rest of the files just in case. She sighed and shook her head.

“Ok, so what the hell do you want me to do, be a damned cheer leader?”

“No, how about be a liaison between us and NYPD?”

Rickie who was moping leaning against the table suddenly became very interested. Her head snapped up and there was slight smile on it, “I can do that and you get to keep your skin.”

“And you will keep yours cause that beauty would skin both of us if I let you in on this bust.”

“Too true. My Veba would be mad as hell if I put myself in danger needlessly.”

“It must have been very scary for her when you were shot.”

Rickie nodded, “From what I remember it was terrifying for my poor love. She thought I was going to die. That she would lose me…I know how I would feel if I was put in the same position,” she looked at Veba again shaking her head. “I would put myself in front of a bullet rather then let her die.”

“I think that’s what she is afraid of Rick.”

Rickie blinked shocked by what Clark had just said, “Oh?”

*** *** *** ***

After dinner, a still upset Rickie went out onto the balcony and sat down on the lounge chair. She looked out at the Manhattan skyline and the stars and thought deeply about what Clark had said.

Veba came to the window that opened onto the balcony looking for Rickie. She leaned against the door and studied Rickie’s very serious expression. She cleared her throat and asked softly, “Would you like to be by yourself?”

Rickie looked up into the concerned blue eyes and shook her head, “No Baby, come here please.”

Veba smiled and walked over to sit beside Rickie on the large comfortable lounge chair supplied by the luxurious hotel cuddling close. Once they were comfortable Veba gently ran her fingers through the soft blonde hair. “What is wrong?”

“Clark said something tonight that really bothered me.”

“What did he say?”

“He said you were so protective because you’re frightened I’ll be shot again. That I knew, but the rest just rocked my world.”

Veba had nestled her cheek against Rickie’s and her fingers were massaging her on the back of her neck right where she knew loved Rickie loved it. “What was the rest?”

Rickie was very comforted by soft stroking, her voice was already more relaxed as she replied, “He said that what you were really afraid of was that I would take a bullet for you…”

“He is very smart,” said Veba softly she had pulled back and cupped both of Rickie’s cheeks looking deeply into shocked green eyes.

Tears started to flow as Rickie whispered in a squeaky voice, “Veba, it’s been months since I got shot please don’t tell me you’ve been in constant fear of that.”

“No Love, I am not constantly worried. I have been scared when you do a case like this one. When you are in danger.”

Rickie’s arms tighten around Veba hugging her tight, “I am so sorry Veba….I’m sorry….so very sorry….”

Veba could feel the tears dropping onto her neck. She was unhappy that Rickie was so upset but was relieved that she was now able to talk to her love about the fear that had been haunting her for months. She had been holding it back every day since Rickie came home from the hospital.

“I…I know you don’t want to worry me. I do. Please do not cry. I am not upset with you. I just care…I love you so much.”

“I love you too. I love you so much I can’t even explain it. I am sorry you have been so scared, Baby.” Tears were now falling and she started to sob. Rickie couldn’t speak anymore but as far as Veba was concerned she didn’t need to. Veba hugged the sobbing woman close her head was gently nestled against Rickie’s and she whispered softly into her ear comforting the upset woman. “I’m sorry you’re so upset. I love you so I can’t help worrying but I am not upset with you at all. Please stop crying.”

“Do not apologize,” Rickie was finally able to squeak out. She pulled back and said, “I’m the one who owes you an apology. I promise you I will never let you feel this way again. I will always consider your feeling in all my decisions…but Veba danger is part of my work… can you deal with that?”

Veba had given that a lot of thought since Rickie had been shot. She knew that helping others and placing themselves in danger to do it was part of both their natures. “Yes, as long as you do your job with the understanding that we will…I would die without you. You do not risk yourself unless there is no other choice.”

Rickie looked deeply into Veba’s eyes and nodded. As naturally as they breathed in air they came together in a tender love filled kiss. Then just as naturally they fell into a healing sleep.

*** *** *** ***

Rickie woke up to the sounds of traffic from the morning rush hour below them. They had slept the whole night on the balcony. Wrapped snugly in Veba’s arms she didn’t even feel cold.

Veba’s eyes blinked open and she smiled at the beautiful face looking up at her, “Hi.”

“Good morning my beauty.”

Veba reached up and stroked Rickie’s cheek smiling she whispered, “We slept outside?”

“Aparently.”

Veba looked Rickie over carefully, “Are you feeling better?”

“Yes. I now owe Clark one. I did need to figure all that out, he pushed me in the right direction.”

Veba played with the hem of Rickie’s shirt as she said quietly, “I do not like you crying like that.”

“I know but Sweetheart, sometimes you have to knock me in the head to get something into it.”

Veba shook her head and whispered, “I’d rather do this,” as she gently started to kiss Rickie all over her face.

“Mm, I think I like your method better. It goes deeper,” she said with a smile angling her head so their lips met.

“So there you two are!” said Stephanie’s concerned voice from the doorway. “Dory is going crazy looking for you two. Dory love, they’re over here! Calm down please.” She called back into the suite. Stephanie was in her bathrobe with her hands on her hips. “Your sister was about to call the police.”

Rickie sat up pulling Veba with her. “Oh, Jackie would have had laugh over that one.”

“Well I sure has hell didn’t. Why the hell are you sleeping on the God Damn balcony!” Dory was standing there in her pajamas very angry.

“Dory we were talking and fell asleep. We did nothing bad.” Said Veba putting her arm around Rickie shoulder so they were sitting even closer together.

“Well why didn’t you leave us a note? Do you know how upset I was when I saw your room was untouched and you were no where to be seen? I was scared shitless!”

Veba looked at Rickie unsure what to say or do. Rickie squeezed Veba’s hand and said very quietly, “We fell asleep. It wasn’t expected. I was very upset…Veba comforted me…”

Now Doris and Stephanie exchanged concerned glances. “Why were you upset?”

“I..we came to an understanding about our mortality.”

“What?” Asked Doris shocked.

“I told Rickie that I understand she needed to save people.”

“And I told Veba that I understood her fears for me and that I would consider her in my choices and be more careful.”

Doris looked confused. “Didn’t you already know all that?”

“Yes, it just had to be said out loud. So we understood each other. Now we do.” Said Rickie pulling Veba to her and kissing her passionately.

Doris rolled her eyes and took Stephanie’s hand, “Come on Stevie they’re fine.”

**** **** **** ***

Rickie was sifting through a FBI report about the target Julian Douglas. As she read it she felt the man was a manipulative, vicious corporate raider who only cared about the bottom line but she also felt no one had the right to act as justice. That was what the courts and the law was for not some insane vigilante.

Jenna Banks was just that. She was pretty damn manipulative herself and had a narrow vicious view of life. In way Rickie could understand that because of what Douglas did to her but there were other ways to even the score. From the picture they had she was an attractive woman but as Veba had pointed out it was a bad face.

Doris had asked Veba what she meant by that after the meeting. “Sweetie, there are a lot of men and women who are ugly or mean spirited but that does not make them a killer.”

Veba shook her head and said, “No Dory, not like that. Her eyes are cold and…very cruel. She is not just mean in her heart…she wants to cause pain. I can see it in her eyes.” Veba shook her head again softly saying, “She scares me.”

That in itself made Rickie want to take this woman down as quickly as possible. Veba was a very brave girl to have someone scare her they had to be very evil indeed.

“Rickie?”

“Yes Sweetheart,” Rickie answered looking up at Veba who had a stack of files under her arm.

“I went through these. I have notes inside each one. I do not see anyone bad in them.”

Rickie nodded, “Great work, is that temps or the models?”

“The temps,” replied Veba with a tired expression. “May I take a break now?” She asked Rickie like a student would from a very big homework assignment. Rickie felt like taking her in arms and kissing her she looked so adorable.

“I think that sounds like an excellent idea.”

“Rickie I did not mean… I mean you don’t have to…I just…” Veba stuttered worried her love was going to be cross for taking a break in the middle of such an important assignment.

Rickie could read what was worrying her and smiled softly saying, “Sweetheart I need a break too, my eyes are getting blurry.”

Veba nodded, “Yes that and I feel very…I hurt…there…” she said pointing to her neck where tension normally built up from study of this kind.

Rickie’s face lit up and she said, “I have an excellent cure for that. Sit here on the couch.”

Veba looked at her quizzically but she sat down. Rickie then started to massage her neck Veba closed her eyes and bent slightly forward enjoying the relief it gave her. She moaned in pure animal relief that sound made Rickie shiver. She continued but she said in a soft voice, “You have the sexiest moan I have heard.”

Veba’s head was now loosely moving from side to side as Rickie’s sure hands relieved tension she mumbled back, “I do?”

“MmmHmm,” Rickie could feel the tension flow out of the strong body she smiled and leaned forward so her mouth was right next to Veba’s ear, “Do you feel better?”

Veba moaned again from the soft massage and whispered, “Yes, thank you.”

Rickie smiled and kissed her right below the ear, then she whispered, “You’re very welcome.” Then she moved over to the empty space beside the now totally relaxed woman and launched herself over the back of the couch to land neatly beside her. She held out her arms and said with warm smile, “My reward please.”

Veba looked into the bright sparkling eyes with a bright happy smile of her own. “Happily,” she hugged Rickie tightly and began to kiss her along her neckline.

“Hmm, Clark and Jackie will be here soon.”

Veba was too involved to really hear the words, “Hm, that’s nice.” She pulled at tiny ear into her mouth and began to nibble on it.”

Rickie was deeply under the seductive spell when she muttered back, “Yes it is.”

*** *** *** ***

Stephanie and Doris came to the apartment but Stephanie stopped dead in the doorway. “Um, maybe you should go in while I delay the guys.”

“What on earth…” Said Doris till she saw past Stephanie to the naked snuggled figures on the couch. She sighed and shook her head, “Yep your right, I guess I should.” She chuckled kissed Stephanie on the cheek and walked into the apartment banging the door behind her.

Two sleepy heads popped up. Veba smiled softly and said, “Hi Dory.”

“Hi Sweetie.”

Rickie hid against the taller woman and said over Veba’s shoulder, “Hi ya Sis.”

“Hello, weren’t you supposed to be working?”

Veba rubbed her cheek against the head that was now pressed against her shoulder. “We were just taking a break Dory.”

Doris snorted, “Some break.”

Veba looked very confused; “We were just cuddling Dory. We do it all the time at home and you do not get mad.”

Doris smiled sweetly at her confused friend and said kindly, “Yes, I know that Sweetheart. My comments are not directed at you at all. They are directed at the woman hiding against you. Excuse me Rickie, isn’t you who always says that there is no play time while you’re in the middle of a case? Or was that some other blonde slob?”

Rickie peeked out over Veba’s shoulder. She kissed Veba’s cheek and then looked sheepishly at her sister. “Come on give me a break, Dory. I wasn’t head over heals in love when I said that. What the hell did I know?”

Doris laughed and nodded, “Well break time is over, the guys will be over soon.”

The two faces reflected shocked at the realization and Doris burst out in a fit of laughter. “You forgot!”

Veba nodded, Rickie shrugged and said, “We had more important things on our minds. Come on my beautiful one lets get dressed before the boys come in carrying a still talking Stevie on their shoulders.”

“But why would they want to do that to Stevie?” Asked Veba as she was pulled out of the room.

*** *** *** ***

“Maybe you should make contact with the target, Clark.”

“No Rick, the man is paranoid. He hired private security task force. Were talking ex swat guys.” Said Clark his voice annoyed at how his case was going.

“Why can’t you inside guy approach him, Clark?” Asked Jackie looking through the files with Veba and Rickie’s notes jotted on the margins.

Clark shook his head; “No he isn’t high up. I merely placed him to keep tabs on his movements.”

Veba had been very quiet during the whole meeting. She listened intently but she felt she had nothing to add to the conversation. They were gathered in the living room going over the files that Veba and Rickie had worked on. Veba had not seen anyone else she felt would be dangerous. Although privately she truly disliked some of the models she didn’t get any criminal feeling from them. She sat next to Rickie who was actively taking part in the tennis game of give and take.

“Clark?” Veba asked very quietly.

“Yes, tiger?”

Veba blushed and Rickie chuckled throwing an empty paper cup at him. “Behave Brute.”

“Hey, what did I say?” He smiled at Veba and winked asking her gently, “What’s on your mind my friend?”

“Why can you not just arrest Jenna Banks? She is the one who shot the photographer.”

Jackie and Clark exchanged concerned looks, Jackie answered her softly, “Veba my friend, we can’t just arrest someone because we feel they may have done it. It’s against the law. We have to have real evidence that will hold up in court.”

Veba looked sad, “Oh? I am sorry. I do not know a lot.” She looked away from them very embarrassed.

Jackie and Clark looked at Rickie alarmed the last thing they wanted was to hurt Veba’s feelings. They both really liked her and respected her abilities. They also knew that their old friend adored her and they would never hurt Rickie or anyone she loved.

Rickie shook her head; she gently turned Veba’s face so she could look deeply into hurt blue eyes. “My love, you know a lot. You know the truth. It’s a deep understanding in your soul. The truth and the law are not always the same though. You know truth. The law only understand facts.”

Veba held by the loving understanding green eyes felt much better. She was still confused though; “I do not understand why the law does not see she is the killer. She is. There must be proof where she lives.”

“Clark?” Jackie said gesturing with his head for him to explain.

Clark got up and sat on the table in front of Rickie and Veba; he took Veba’s hand and looked sincerely into her confused eyes. “My friend, the law is there to protect us all. Innocent people. If we arrest someone cause we feel they are guilty but have no proof a lot of innocent people could be in jail and evil people would be out on the streets. They could put you in jail because you were different, or said something someone didn’t like or even because it looked like you might do something wrong. I know that this way does take longer but please believe us Veba it is better in the long run.”

Veba smiled at Clark and nodded, “Ok Clark, I understand now. I do not want that.”

Clark smiled and patted the hand then kissed it on the knuckles making her blush and Rickie smile. Then he got up and walked back to his seat on a chair beside Jackie. “You’re a good girl, Veba.”

Rickie pulled Veba very close and whispered into her ear, “You’re a very, very good girl.” Then she nibbled her ear. Veba turned beet red.

Doris leaned back on the other couch and stretched then said, “Well what I have to say is that its now 1 am and I am bushed. Let’s continue tomorrow morning. You boys will supply breakfast right?”

The agent looked at the detective and they both nodded to the curly haired blonde.

*** *** *** *** ***

Veba and Rickie had just finished working out and were in the shower playfully washing each other.

“Rickie, was I wrong asking about that?”

Rickie had been building a soap tower on Veba’s powerful abs; she looked up into the concerned blue eyes and shook her head no.

“No Sweetheart, No question is ever wrong. Sometimes answers can be. I think it was a very reasonable question.”

Veba began to wash of the ringlets off Rickie’s breast that she had artistically arranged with some peach body wash, the warm water and Veba’s tender hands caused the smaller woman to moan and lean into the tall warm body. Warm little hand reached around pulling their bodies against each other. Veba melted against Rickie allowing her complete control. When the smaller woman finished washing her loves back she pulled back slightly she looked up and said, “Ok, time to rinse all this soap off.”

Veba nodded and gently began rinse off Rickie as Rickie rinsed off every bit of soap from Veba’s tall muscular form.

Her tongue sticking out slightly as she concentrated Veba mumbled, “Why were they so upset then?”

Rickie smiled at how Veba could ask a question even when concentrating on something else. She made sure that Veba was completely rinsed off knowing that Veba was doing the same for her. Then she turned off the water and handed a large fluffy pink towel to Veba and took a large fluffy blue one for herself.

“They weren’t upset at all by your question. They were upset because you said you didn’t know much like you meant it.”

“But compared to all of you I don’t know much.” Veba said as she handed Rickie out of the shower and they walked hand in hand to bed.

Rickie shook her head and said, “My Darling, I’ll take your mind over anyone else I know. You are so bright; you see things so straightforward and clearly. I think you are the wisest woman I have ever known.”

Now they were both under a sheet in bed, Veba leaned up onto an elbow so she could look into, Rickie’s eyes, “No, you are.”

“How about we are?”

Veba’s lips curled into a sexy smile. “Deal.” Then she lowered herself so she was right on top of Rickie. She kissed her deeply Rickie’s arms went around her pulling her even closer. When they ran out of air Veba whispered in throaty voice, “You make me feel so special.”

Rickie flipped them so she was now on top of the other woman her eyes were sparkling with love as she whispered back her voice just as rough, “That is because you are very special, Baby.” Rickie then began to concentrate on making passionate love to the woman below her. Veba spiraled right off and the flame Rickie created didn’t go out for quite a while.
*** *** *** ***

Veba was in her room reading her new Harry Potter book, ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.’ Rickie was in the living room talking to Jackie and Clark about how to get the goods on Jenna Banks. She had breakfast with them but her part was over so she was trying to relax by getting lost in her book though her mind kept going back to Rickie and if she was going to be walking into any danger.

There was a knock on the door and Stephanie peeked in. “Mind if I come in?”

Veba smiled and put her bookmark in her book she placed it tenderly on her nightstand. “No, I do not mind. Come in please, Stevie.”

The redhead smiled and came in she sat down on the edge of the bed and said, “Dory told me what you’re planning to do for your ceremony. Do you need to rehearse?”

Veba smiled and blushed slightly, “Um, I have been.”

“When?”

“When ever Rickie is not here.”

“But I never saw you doing it?”

“Well, I…um…I did it in the bathroom.”

“Really?”

Veba nodded and bit her lip.

“Can I have a preview?”

Veba’s eyes grew huge, “Um, I guess. Are you sure?”

Stephanie nodded and said, “Yes, I’d like that.”

Looking down at the quilt she said quietly, “Ok, when Rickie goes out to pick up our dinner.”

Stephanie smiled brightly, “Great! Can Dory watch too?”

“Sure.”

“I can’t wait.”

“Why?”

Stephanie shrugged and left the room.

Veba shrugged and picked up her book.

*** **** *** ***

Rickie came back from the Police Station. She had stopped off to pick up their pizza on the way back. Veba had asked for Pizza so that’s what they would have tonight. A medium Canadian bacon for her and large Pepperoni for the rest of the family. Veba didn’t like pepperoni but Rickie knew would end up sharing some of Veba’s too.

When Rickie entered the living room with the food she found her sister and Stephanie working on something on a clipboard. They stopped talking as soon as she came in with big bright smiles on their faces.

“What are you two plotting?” Asked Rickie as she put the boxes on the counter of the small kitchen.

“Nothing,” they said at the same time and then giggled.

“Did I walk into Kindergarten class?”

“Were working on your joining ceremony so mind your own business,” said Dory and then laughed wickedly.

Rickie rolled her eyes; “Oh I am soooo worried. Where is my Veba?”

“In your room reading.”

“Ok, why don’t you to do something useful like heat up dinner while I get my love?”

“Rickie why don’t kiss my ass!”

“Nope, that Stevie’s job,” Said Rickie with an evil smile as she went to her room.

“Smart ass!”

Stephanie merely shook her head.

*** *** *** ***

Rickie came in to find her love with her head deep inside their trunk. Her shapely behind swaying in such an exotic way that Rickie felt her mouth drool. She stepped slowly behind her so she could quietly do what she was thinking when Veba suddenly straightened up and pulled Rickie into her arms. She whispered seductively into her ear, “You are so naughty.”

Rickie chuckled and whispered back, “Oh? And how am I naughty?” Then she nibbled on the tasty earlobe.

“Mmm. You wanted to do something naughty to my butt,” whispered Veba panting against Rickie’s neck. Then she jumped holding on tight to Rickie so they landed safely in the middle of their king-sized bed.

“Hmm, yep I was but this is so much better.” She kissed her way down Veba’s neck as her fingers unbuttoned the flannel shirt her love was wearing.

“I am not unhappy,” whispered Veba stretching her neck, her eyes closed as she stretched her arms so she could touch the hot skin under Rickie’s T-shirt.

“Good,” moaned Rickie as those warm tender hands reached her breasts and played with them seductively.

Too involved to speak anymore, they began to slowly take off each other’s clothes and caress, kiss and make love to every inch of the woman they loved. When they fell over the edge screaming each other’s name it was at such a high pinnacle that Rickie was sure they shattered the windows.

*** *** *** *** ***

Doris was putting the Pizza in the oven to warm it up with a huge smile on her face.

“From the moaning and groaning I’d say Veba was definitely able to distract Rickie.”

“Maybe too well. Darling, how will be able to keep both their secrets for three whole weeks? And how on earth will they keep them from each other?”

“Don’t worry love it will work out. Do you think we should knock when the pizza is warmed up?”

“Yep, I think so. Now that we have Veba’s little secret done how will we occupy our own time?”

Doris pulled the other woman into her arms and whispered into her ear, “Oh, I will think of something.”

*** *** *** ***

The girls were eating their dinner and Rickie was going over what she learned from Jackie at the police station.

Veba sipped her coke and asked, “I do not understand. If Carmen is the mole, who is she working for?”

Rickie chewed and swallowed a piece of Canadian bacon pizza that Veba had playfully put into her mouth. Then she took a sip of her own coke and answered, “Jackie has a line on that. It seems a rival magazine is responsible. They paid her a lot of money and promised her a cushy job…”

“So she was a rat?” Asked Stevie with a distasteful look.

“Poor Nigel,” said Veba sweetly.

“Not exactly, it’s more complicated then any of us knew. She was being blackmailed. She really had no choice. It seems she fell into a …well a rather embarrassing and illegal way to make money.”

“What way?” Dory asked as she took another piece of pizza.

“Call girl.”

“What is that?” Veba asked very curious.

“A high priced hooker.”

Blue eyes became huge, “Why?’

“It seems she had bit of down fall she was a shopaholic. The only way she could pay off her huge debt was by…well…tricks.”

Veba’s head tilted, “Tricks? What does magic have to do with something like that?”

Doris smiled and said, “No Sweetie, that is what a hooker calls a tryst.”

“A tryst?”

Rickie got up and walked over to the confused brunette whispering in her ear. Veba’s eyes became huge with shock; tears filled them as she whispered, “That poor girl.”

Rickie pulled her into a loving hug and kissed her cheek. “You’re so sweet.” She cupped her cheeks and looked into upset blue eyes. “Jackie arrested everyone but I think because of the circumstances and Nigel’s compassion instead of jail she will go somewhere to help her with her obsession.” Rickie gently dried Veba’s eyes and said softly, “So she will be ok.”

“I’m glad.”

“You are so special. You have the biggest heart; you don’t trust or even like her but you feel bad for her. You’re such an angel.”

“I just feel sorry for her. She hurt her family and herself. She is a sad person.”

“Like I said you’re an angel.”

“You love me so you do not…”

“I see all your faults, my love. I find them only endearing. Shall we agree to disagree?”

“Endearing?”

“Charming.”

“Oh?” Veba looked into the loving green eyes that were full of understanding and nodded. “Ok, deal.” She shook her head pulled Rickie onto her lap and kissed her.

“Hey you two, not while I’m eating! Yuck!” said Doris rolling her eyes.

Rickie and Veba pulled back and Rickie said, “Why the hell not?’

“She gets all excited it ruins her digestion,” said Stephanie with giggle. Doris threw a napkin at her and Stephanie stuck her tongue out at Doris.

Rickie kissed Veba on the cheek then slipped out of her lap and went back to her own chair. She took a piece of Canadian bacon pizza and a slice of Pepperoni as Doris watched her sister stuff her mouth she asked, “What progress on Jenna Banks?”

Swallowing and sipping her coke, Rickie replied, ” She is a lot harder to catch. She is under constant watch but she has no friends…really no life so its hard to find any kind of leads. Clark is getting antsy.”

“Why?” Veba asked as she made a funnel out of her pizza and started to put it into her mouth.

“Because, he needs to get her on murder charges so he can concentrate on his target again.”

“Why?” Veba replied with her mouth full of pizza.

Rickie smirked at what seemed to now be Veba’s favorite word. “Because my darling, he can’t catch someone who is afraid to move a muscle.

“Why?” Veba asked, as she was about to take a sip of her drink.

“Because he is afraid he will be shot if he leaves his expensive penthouse.”

Veba put down the slice she had just picked up and looked at the others triumphant. “Then Mr. Douglas knows that I was right, she was trying to kill him.”

Rickie’s face glowed with pride as she nodded, “Yep.”

“My feeling were correct?”

“Yep, did you doubt them?”

“Yes, the others seemed unsure.”

“Did I?”

Veba tilted her head and then shook it, “No, you always believed me.”

“I believed you and in you. I had no doubts that you were right. I had Dory and Stevie bug her office the next day. I bullied Clark into tapping her phone line. The only problem is that the bitch never talks on the damn thing.”

“Does she go on line?” Asked Stephanie.

Rickie’s lips curled and she pulled out her cell. She speed dialed Clark as she said to Stephanie, “Good work Stevie. I don’t think any of us thought of that.” The phone was answered and with out preamble she said, “Clark, listen this is what I think you should do.”

**** *** **** ****

Veba sat up in bed trying to read her novel but her mind was on the sting that Rickie was going to take part in the next day. She was wearing her Xena sleep shirt and tomb raider panties that Rickie had bought her at a collectors show. Her long hair was pulled into a ponytail. She was lying on her side her head against a stack of pillows, ‘Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets’ against her stomach; her thumb was in her mouth as she tried to concentrate on the words on the page.

Rickie came in from a series of phone calls to find Veba in that position she knew that the thumb was a sign that her love was greatly stressed or scared. It upset her to find her this upset and now she kicked herself that she hadn’t checked on her earlier. She sat down on the bed on Veba’s side and tenderly stroked the naked thigh as she asked quietly, “What’s wrong Sweetheart.”

Veba put the marker in her book and reached over to gently place it on the end table then she turned toward Rickie and whispered in a rough whisper, “Worried.”

“About me?”

Veba’s eyes were cloudy like she was about to burst into tears. She nodded and then pulled Rickie into her arms holding her very close. “Yes,” she whispered into Rickie’s ear.

“But why?” Rickie asked holding Veba tight and stroking the very tense back.

” ‘Cause I love you.”

Rickie smiled and tilted her head, “I know that my love, but why are you so worried about me. You weren’t this upset when we took down Carmen.”

“Carmen was bad but she was only going to hurt herself not someone else. This woman is very different. Very bad.”

“How?”

“She does not care who she hurts to get what she wants. That man she shot was not the first she hurt to get to Mr. Douglas. She has hurt many others…I…can’t…Please Rickie…”Veba broke down into sobs burying her face against her pillow.

Rickie pulled her back to her and held her close, “I don’t understand, love. Why are you so scared for me? I will be one of dozens of people at the site. I will be with the last waive to enter her apartment. I am not in the front lines of this bust so why am I in so much danger?”

Veba lifted her head off of Rickie’s shoulder where the small woman had brought it to cuddle; Upset blue eyes came up full of tears and fear for Rickie. “Did you not see that photo you took, Rickie? She was looking right at you. It was look of pure hate. I…I have been scared ever since I first saw it. I knew then she wanted to hurt you.”

“How about I don’t go in till I hear from Clark and Jackie that she was brought down. You trust them, don’t you?”

“Yes, it is not them I worry about it is her. She is very bad and very smart. She will try to get you…can’t you…would you please…”

“Not go?”

Veba nodded.

Rickie sighed and bit her lip. She knew the guys would understand. They love Veba and respected her instincts. She just wanted to get this woman so bad; she wanted to be a part of taking her down. She was so dangerous and she scared Veba that was enough for her to want to beat the crap out of her. But taking one look into those terrified blue eyes she could only make one choice.

“Ok.”

Veba looked shocked, “Ok?”

Rickie chuckled and kissed her nose, “Thought I would fight you more, huh?”

Veba swallowed her bottom lip and nodded.

“Well I did promise you I’d keep out of trouble, didn’t I?”

Veba smiled for the first time since Rickie had said she was taking part in the raid. She pulled Rickie onto her lap and whispered, “And you always keep your promises.” Then she kissed her love passionately.

Rickie felt herself melt into the other woman’s body and just let Veba do what she needed to. Veba pulled back and whispered while kissing her along her jaw line, “I love you so much, thank you Love, thank you.” She pulled off Rickie’s sleep shirt and threw across the room then began to nibble her way down the body she adored.

“Love…you…too…” She panted as she felt her body soar and her mind float away.

*** *** *** ***

Rickie paced nervously in the living room of their suite. She kept glaring at the phone on the coffee table willing it to ring already. She told Clark that morning about her promise. To her surprise he said he figured it would go that way so he had an alternative all set just in case.

“You did, huh?”

“Yep, and you want to know something, Stringbean? I agree with her. You are both very likely targets. I am glad you’ll both be at your suite till it’s all over.”

“I promised my baby I would and for her sake I am going to stay out of it but I’ll tell you the truth waiting is going to drive me up a wall!”

“Well hopefully you won’t have long to wait.”

But it had been twenty minutes since the bust went down and they had not heard a peep out of Clark or Jackie.

“You’re going to wear a hole in the carpet, Sis.”

Dory and Stephanie were on the big couch watching Rickie pace. Veba was curled up in the big chair she had her thumb in her mouth and looked very nervous. “Rickie, Clark said he would call when it was done.”

“I know Love, but what could be taking this long?” She couldn’t stand it any more she pulled out her cell phone and speed dialed Clark. He answered it in a low whisper.

“Clark, what the hell is going on?” Rickie whispered back though there was no reason for her to whisper.

“Rick, we have a major problem here.”

“Well, what is it?”

“The nest was empty but she left a big bag of poop! She rigged a bomb to her computer when we turned it on to get evidence we started the count down. We only have about 20 minutes.”

*** *** *** ***

She looked at the anxious women around her after she hung up the phone. “She left her place rigged with a bomb set to go off when they turned her damn computer on. The bomb squad is working on it…”

“Rickie we all have to get of here!” Veba jumped up almost hysterical.

“Why Sweetie?” Asked Dory calmly

“She will come here.”

Rickie came over to the very upset woman and said, “Shh, why would she come here Love? In all of New York City, why come here?”

“I don’t… know why… but I feel it…Rickie it scares me. She hates us. Both of us…we know what she is…we’re the ones who set her up. Rickie I know she will come here.”

Rickie had pulled the crying girl into her arms holding her close. Veba hugged Rickie back. Then she picked her up and sat back in the chair with her love protectively cradled in her arms. Rickie kissed Veba softly on the cheek and whispered, “I know you have wonderful instincts but I don’t see why you think she…”

There was a crash from the kitchen then a tall blonde woman walked in. She was holding a 45 caliber pistol pointed right at the chair that Rickie and Veba were in. Her eyes sparkled with madness and she chuckled softly.

“Good morning Ladies, I thought you wouldn’t mind one more for breakfast.

*** *** *** ***

Veba’s actions were from the purest instinct. She gently put Rickie down on the chair behind her and stood up so she was protectively in front of her.

“You’re brave aren’t you, my empty headed beauty?”

Rickie tried to get up but Veba moved so the smaller woman fell safely back into the armchair.

“I am not your beauty.”

“No, you belong to the grumpy little bitch with her sticky fingers in law enforcement.”

“No, I do not belong to her; we are soul mates. Why do hate us? What have we done to you?” Veba asked as she slowly walked toward the crazy woman trying to keep the focus on her and away from her beloved family.

“Soul mates huh? How would a mental midget like you even know what it means?” Replied the insane woman scathingly, “I hate you because I knew you would stumble into my plans and when you did I knew I had to destroy all of you.” Veba was now only few feet from the woman who was now holding the gun as casually as someone would hold a flashlight. “My destiny is to avenge my father…you couldn’t possibly understand what that bastard did to me!”

Veba had tears running down her cheeks as those words brought thoughts of her Mother, and Uncle to her and she replied in a soft voice. “Yes, I do.”

“What?” Said the angry woman shocked at the tall ones reaction.

“My Mommy and Uncle were killed and I would not do what you are doing!”

Rickie was now behind her and put her arm around her loves arm saying to the angry bleached blonde, “Veba’s mother and Uncle were killed by her step father and she was tortured by him for years. Believe me Jenna, My Veba has over come much worse then you and look at her. She’s an angel. She would never hurt innocent people like you have. Ever!”

Suddenly realizing that Rickie was exposed Veba whispered desperately, “Back, Rickie please.”

“No Love, we’re in this together.”

“Well ain’t that sweet?” Jenna swung the gun back and forth saying, “Now which one of you should I take out of this miserable world first. Hmm, who would suffer more?” She asked Doris and Stephanie who were staring in terror from the couch at what was happening to their family.

When she turned toward the couch the gun faced away from all of Veba’s family. A primal growl came out of her as she ripped out of Rickie’s protective grasp and flew threw the air both feet aiming right for the tall blonde’s chest. The impact pushed Jenna Banks onto her back the gun flying straight up. Veba caught the gun as she flipped in the air and landed on her feet. The gun pointed down right toward the other woman’s head Veba cautiously approached her to make sure her family was out of danger.

The blonde’s feet came right at Veba’s knees knocking her down. Veba got right back up and they circled each other like angry tigers. Jenna kept trying to find an opening but Veba could easily read the moves in her eyes and danced out of her way. Becoming more and more frustrated Jenna’s movements became more off balance and wild.

When Veba finally saw an opening she took it. She flew into round-house kick knocking the woman back on to the ground with a double kick to her head. When Veba saw that she was out cold she looked at Doris and asked, “Could you tie her up?” Doris nodded as Veba handed the gun that she had slipped into her pocket during the fight to Stephanie.

Veba turned to see why Rickie was so quiet and saw her rubbing her arm. Veba’s eyes widened and she cried out, “Rickie!” She ran back across the room and pulled her into her arms. Kissing her all over face she whispered, “I am sorry Rickie…so sorry my love…Oh I didn’t mean to…I am so…” Little fingers covered her mouth. Veba looked into the compassionate green eyes and knew she was forgiven.

Rickie said softly, “It’s my fault. I should have listened to you when you told me to get back. Um, you were worried about me taking the bullet for you?”

Veba had picked Rickie up and carried her back to the large armchair. She cradled her in her arms as she carefully checked her loves arm. Her voice was soft as replied, “I knew there would only be one chance. She was distracted and I wanted to keep you all safe. I did….I did what I had to. I don’t think I could have done it any other way…”

“I know that my Darling, that is not the point.”

Blue eyes looked deeply into Rickie’s as Veba asked her quietly, “Then what is?”

“Your instincts and your love drove you this time. You are just as protective as I am. You put your body in harms way and flew across the living room for the same exact reason I threw my body on top of your in that night club.”

“Why?”

“Love.”

Veba smiled and nodded, “That is true…I guess I was wrong…”

“No Baby, you weren’t wrong at all. Your love was the driving force the whole time. Your choice to stop me from going to the bust and your choice just now to out-wow Xena or Lara…I understand what you did, do you?”

Veba nodded, “Yes, I do now.” She brought Rickie very close and kissed her with all the love in her heart. When they ran out of breath Rickie looked deeply into her loves eyes and said, “I love you so much. Your everything to me.”

Veba nodded and cuddled her cheek against Rickie’s; “You are everything to me.”
“Love, I have to call Clark.”

Veba looked at Doris and Stephanie across the room. Stephanie was holding the gun right toward the unconscious woman’s head as Doris stood up from tying her up.

“Dory, would you call Clark please?”

“Sure Sweetie, Annie Oakley, and I have this bitch covered I think.”

“She looks more like a Lady Dillinger at the moment,” said Rickie with a huge smile.

Veba didn’t say anything; she simply picked up her love and carried her into the room kicking the door closed behind her.

*** *** *** ***

Veba and Rickie were curled up around each other; the light came through the blinds into Veba’s eyes that were wide open. She blinked and turned so she could continue to stare at the ceiling deep in thought. Her long fingers were tenderly running through Rickie’s hair and her other arm was protectively around the still sleeping woman.

“Are you ok?” Asked a sleepy voice from Veba’s chest.

“Hmm, ” replied Veba her mind still elsewhere.

One green eye opened followed quickly by the other. One look at the distant blue eyes and Rickie knew her thoughts were not pleasant. “Come on Love, What’s wrong?”

“Do you think everyone thinks of me that way?”

“What way?”

“Slow…stupid…”

“No!”

Surprisingly calm blue eyes locked onto very upset green ones. Veba gently traced the lines on her loves forehead as if trying to soothe them, “I know that I get funny looks from people when I speak to them.”

“People are just surprised that you speak carefully but no one who knows you thinks you’re anything but brilliant.”

“And people who do not know me?”

“Love, it’s their problem. Honey please believe me you are so brilliant that it is mind-boggling. When we get done with your first speech class you’ll be correcting my English which believe me is not perfect.”

The finger now caressed the soft lips as Veba lovingly said, “I think you’re perfect.”

“Please don’t let the loony bug you…”

“How about that police officer…”

“He was a damned bigot. It wasn’t your speech that bugged him it was the fact I kissed you right in front of the ass hole.”

“Why?”

Rickie smiled and said, “That is so much better, I prefer you curious then putting yourself down. I guess its because he doesn’t like people who are different from him. There are a lot of people out there like him…”

“Why?”

Rickie chuckled and rubbed her nose with Veba’s making her love smile for the first time since that woman had crashed into their suite. “I really don’t know why but there are a lot of bigots out there.” She pulled Veba to her and kissed her suddenly full of a deep need. When they pulled back in need of oxygen Rickie whispered, “It’s all over. Are you ready to get hitched?”

Veba’s eyes were now lit and sparkling, “Oh yes, I can not wait; it is all I have been trying to focus on…”

“It’s all over love, now all we need to think of is our wedding. So what little secret have you been hiding up your sleeve?”

Veba was busily kissing Rickie’s neckline as she whispered back, “What sleeve?”

“Mmm,” Rickie’s eyes were now closed as Veba reached her ear and licked it along the rim, “Your…um….sleeve…”

Veba pulled back slightly and whispered, “No sleeves on…” She then began to nibble the little ear and her hands were fondling Rickie’s breast so Rickie forgot what she was asking and really couldn’t have cared less.

*** *** *** ***

Doris looked over the living room with a very amused expression. She knew that it was an unusual décor for a wedding but the people about to joined were very unusual.

She smiled at the altar, on a specially made shelf over looking the ceremony were two dolls. One of Xena in Roman finery on Veba’s side, and the other was Gabrielle in her Amazon Queen clothes on Rickie’s. The room had strings of tiny Christmas lights and a beloved Loony Toons character marked each row of chairs. It was very strange but altogether Doris felt it was as charming as the couple about to be joined.

Rickie was in Doris and Stephanie’s room and Veba was in her and Rickie’s. She had just left her fidgety nervous sister. She wore a black tux tailored to her size and shape. With a pale blue cummerbund and tie. Her hair was arranged very prettily and though the small blonde couldn’t seem to sit still for two seconds Doris felt she had done her make up very attractively.

Rickie wore beautiful sapphire cufflinks a gift from her shy bride and she wore their mother’s locked around her neck. It had their father’s picture in it and it was very special to both her and Rickie. Doris had leant the bride a pair of post gold earrings and she was satisfied her that her sister would make Veba glow in pure joy at how well Rickie looked.

Veba had been closeted with Stephanie for several hours. Doris had no idea what her beautiful friend was going to wear except for the dangle pearl earrings that she had leant her.

*** *** *** ***

Veba paced nervously all over her room as the frustrated red head tried to chase after her to finish her make up and hair.

“Veba will you please sit back down? I still have a lot of work to do…”

“Stevie…I…so…scared….”

The redhead shook her head and pulled the terrified girl into her arms. “Shh, It’s going to be so beautiful and your going to be so happy. There is no reason to be scared everyone at the ceremony already loves and adores you.”

“I…do not…want….embarrass…My Rickie…” She panted as she held the smaller woman in a tight frantic hug.

“That is impossible. It is more possible that she will embarrass you with her sweet surprise.”

Veba pulled back her eyes wide. Stephanie sucked in a breath as she saw she was going to have to re-do all the brunettes makeup. The mascara had run and Veba had rubbed her eyes smearing them with her tears.

“What…she….I mean…what is she going to do?”

“Come on Sweetie, sit here so I can fix your face. I need to do your hair too. You want to look beautiful for your Rickie don’t you?” She asked smiling at her friend.

Veba obediently sat down nodding her head, “Yes Stevie…but what did you mean before?”

Stephanie took a cotton ball and some makeup remover and was gently taking off the smeared eye makeup. “Rickie is going to give you a special surprise too. You may be blushing so much no one will notice if you flub a line and I doubt you will. You have been practicing so hard.”

“What she…I mean what is she going to do?”

“No way, its top secret I kept yours didn’t I?”

Veba smiled and nodded, “Yes you and Dory did, Thank you. I better…I mean…I feel better now.”

“That’s good Sweetheart, why are you so scared anyway? You know everyone out there adores you.”

Veba shrugged and automatically her thumb was brought up to her mouth which Stephanie caught, “No Veba, we will have to repair your lipstick too if you do that.”

Veba looked at her friend shyly and tried to keep still as Stephanie busily prepared her for her most important day. She looked at her through her eyelashes and whispered, “Sorry.”

“Its ok Sweetie, now answer my question.”

Veba shrugged again and said, “I know they all love me. I love them too. I do not want to ruin our day.”

“How could you? All you have to do is think about Rickie’s wonderfully shocked expression when she sees how beautiful you look.”

That made the beautiful woman glow with an inner light of pure joy.

*** *** *** ***

Rickie paced nervously in the living room next to Clark who was her best man. Todd who was an ordained Minister smiled at his nervous friend and said softly, “Hey, Rickie calm down. You already got the girl. This is just a formality.”

Rickie looked at the famous prize-fighter and shrugged, ” I just love her so much Todd…I want this to be a perfect day for her.”

Clark nudged his old friend and said confidently, “It will.”

Clark and Todd’s wives were already seated. Also gathered were all the friends that had become their extended family. The people from the grocery store, the swap meet, the park. Stephanie even invited a couple of people she had made friends with from Veba’s building. At first they were nervous about meeting the person they had thought of as the ghost but once they met Veba they fell swiftly under spell and became good friends with her and the rest of the family. Jackie and his girlfriend had flown in New York were sitting in the front row with Todd’s wife Rochelle and Clark’s wife Sandy.

All heads turned as the beautiful strains of Celtic music announced that the ceremony was about to begin. Clark and Rickie turned toward the hall side by side waiting for Veba to enter.

Todd took his place on the podium under the altar and waited for his couple to face him with huge welcoming smile.

Doris was Veba’s maid of honor she was dressed in a pale blue dress as she came down the aisle first. The curly haired blonde winked at her sister as she took her place by the altar. Then Rickie’s eyes widened and her jaw dropped. There was a great intake of breath through out the living room as the bride entered on Stephanie’s arm.

She was dressed in an antique white lace dress that went to just below her knees. Here hair had been curled and pulled back by an antique comb a private gift from Rickie. Her make up had been done to perfection no would ever tell how much work Stephanie had to put into it the beautiful woman glowed with such radiance that she lit up the whole room.

When her eyes met Rickie’s they almost welled up with tears of pure joy. Not only could she tell that Rickie was pleased but she was delighted with how beautiful her little love looked. When she reached the beautiful blonde Rickie gently took her arm smiling at Stephanie in thanks. Stephanie winked at her and walked to her seat, which was by some hidden equipment that she would have to run during the ceremony.

Rickie felt very overwhelmed by Veba’s glowing beauty. She swallowed twice and whispered, “You really look like an angel now, Love.”

Veba now felt the tears come and blinked so Stephanie would not be upset about her make up. “You look beautiful Rickie…perfect.”

Todd smiled at the two shy emotional women and whispered, “Ready my friends?”

They both smiled up at him and nodded. He winked and looked at those gathered for the joining. “We are gathered her in the name of love to celebrate the joining of these two special and beautiful people. Their love already unites them this ceremony is just for us so they can announce to the world that they are one.”

He looked at the two shy women looking up at him with nervous excitement and he couldn’t help but smile a bit wider. “I believe each of you has a gift you are going to bestow. Rickie?”

Rickie took both of Veba’s hands and looked deeply into her eyes. Then she took a deep breath to recite what she had been working so hard on hoping it was good enough because it was her first attempt at such a thing.

“You are the light of my existence.
You brought me joy and light.
You guided me out of my darkness
You saved me from such loneliness.

I have never been so happy
You light every day with your smile.
Thank you
You are Joy.
You are pure love.”

She gently reached up and dried the tears that were steadily falling down the tall woman’s cheeks. Then she kissed her love tenderly. When they pulled back Veba whispered in a very soft emotional voice, “Thank you so much.”

Todd cleared his throat, “Veba.”

Veba nodded nervously at Stephanie, she kept Rickie’s hands in her own as she sang a song she heard on TV and really liked.

In a voice as soft and gentle as an Angel the music came on and Veba sang;

“It had to be you
It had to be you.
I wandered around
And finally found
The somebody who.
Could make me be true
And could make me be blue
And even be glad
Just be sad
Thinking of you.

Some others I’ve seen
Might never be mean
Might never be cross
Or try to be boss
But they wouldn’t do
For nobody else gave me]
A thrill. With all your faults I
Love you still.
It had to be you.
Wonderful you.
It had to be you.”

Veba’s eyes were closed as she sang the old standard, so very unsure blue eyes blinked open to meet tear filled green. Rickie felt like that song was written just for her thought she knew it was an old standard. Coming from the soft loving voice and heart felt emotions of her beloved Rickie knew that Veba had meant every word.

Finally finding her voice again she said, “That was so incredible. You sing so beautifully, like an angel. Thank you so much.”

“I love you Rickie.”

“I love you too.”

Todd cleared his throat and said softly, “Ok ladies my turn.”

Both women looked up at him with faces glowing with happiness. “Rickie, Do you promise to honor Veba in the name of love?”

“I do,” said the Rickie holding tightly to Veba’s hand.

“Veba do you promise to honor Rickie in the name of love?”

Veba’s lips trembled as she said softly, “I do.”

“In the name of love I pronounce you joined.”

The two young women kissed passionately. Todd stepped down to stand beside Clark and saying. “Hey, I didn’t get my last line.”

“They didn’t need it, Todd.” Clark said to the tall handsome fighter with smile.

*** *** **** ***

They were sitting on the patio of a beautiful suite of their hotel in Santa Barbara. It was just steps from the beach and they were entwined on swing looking out at the ocean. There was tranquillity about them and an aura of love.

Rickie had never felt so content as she looked up at Veba and smiled. Veba blushed she had never seen her love so peaceful it made her feel very happy she brought the soft lips to hers and kissed her tenderly.

When they pulled back Rickie said, “Hi.”

Veba gently rubbed her cheek against Rickie’s replying softly, “Hi.”

“Would you like to take a walk?’

“Yes, if you want to,” was the lazy reply her fingers gently tracing her loves mouth.

Rickie gently grabbed the hand tucked it under her chin, “Not really…I feel so…”

“Happy?”

“More then that…I feel blissful.”

“Love, I do not have my dictionary…”Veba was now kissing Rickie along her jaw line.

Rickie closed her eyes and said, “I am so happy Darling, I don’t have any other way to describe it…” Veba was sucking at her pulse point making it now impossible for her to even think let alone explain how she felt.

Veba pulled back slightly and said, “I am the same, I am very happy,” then she kissed Rickie deeply picking her up and taking her love back to bed.

*** *** *** ***

The two figures walked along the beach hand in hand. Veba was staring at the ocean intensely. “Rickie could we…um…?”

“What Love?’

“Go out there?”

Rickie stopped she stared at her bare feet and said softly, “Veba, I’m scared of it.”

Veba tenderly lifted Rickie’s chin till she could look into the embarrassed green eyes. She cupped both cheeks and said softly, “Love if anyone understands fear it is me. I am sorry.”

“Why should you be sorry? ‘Cause your curious and want to explore something that intrigues you? You don’t owe me an apology. I guess I can try…”

“No Rickie. I will not make you do something that you can not…”

“But…Veba you are always fighting your fears and I…”

“Help me.” Veba shrugged and kissed Rickie on the forehead. Then she pulled back and put her arm around her shoulders as they continued on their walk. “It is my nature to fight my fears. I can not help it.”

Rickie put her head on Veba’s shoulder and replied, “I think it is about time I fight one of mine own. We can take the hour boat tour. I should be able to make that as long you’re with me.”

The Ghost – Story #4 Learning Curve

Veba was on a bench studying her spelling and grammar books. She was in a wooded area in the center the community college waiting for Rickie, Stevie and Dory to meet her after their computer programming class.

She was busily sounding out the words to herself and writing down what she had figured out to be the correct answers. Then she quickly checked the back of her book to see if she had spelled them correctly.

Rickie smiled as she watched her love completely focused on her homework. They had been going to school for a month and Veba loved it. She was so fascinated about what she had learned that she couldn’t wait til she got home to do her assignments.

Veba was driving their history and Poly Science professors to distraction. “Why?” Was now her favorite phrase and she was constantly asking her professors why and how things worked the way they do. In English class she simply absorbed all the information. She did ask questions when she didn’t understand but she mostly just listened and carefully took notes. Their first reading assignment was pretty hard on her. They were working on it together. It seemed to be a bit easier for her love because Rickie was always happy to give a loving explanation on anything that she couldn’t understand.

“How now brown cow,” Rickie whispered into an elegant ear.

Veba smiled but didn’t turn as she replied, “I asked my teacher about that. He said they used it in the old days.” Then she turned and pulled Rickie onto her lap. “Hi.”

“Hi,” said Rickie softly to Veba as she kissed her tenderly. When they pulled back Veba asked, “Where are Dory and Stevie?”

Rickie caressed Veba’s cheek and then she got off her lap and carefully picked up Veba’s books so she could sit next to her. “They’re coming. Dory is getting this weird stuff on her computer and wanted to talk to our Prof about it.”

“Prof?”

“Professor.”

“Oh. What kind of weird stuff?”

Veba had taken her books from Rickie and placed them in her book bag. Rickie snuggled closer to her as she answered, “We’re not sure it started last week. Now she’s getting this weird stuff on her tool bar.”

“What?”

“It’s the top of her computer screen. It’s like some kind of virus only the software won’t capture it. Our Professor had some stuff he said might unscramble so he said they should wait til after class.”

“Oh? Why did you not stay too?”

“Cause I didn’t want to leave my beloved wife all alone. How was class?”

“You are sooo sweet,” Veba leaned down and kissed her love tenderly. Then she pulled back full of excitement as she said, “It was very interesting. My teacher said I already speak better then most of his students I just need…um, smoothing out….”

“Hmm, smoothing what out?”

Blue eyes widened in surprise, “My speech.”

“Does he touch you, Baby?”

Veba pulled back all the way and studied Rickie’s face closely. She was confused by the sudden worry. “No he doesn’t. Why would he, Love?”

“Because you are the most beautiful woman in the whole world…”

“Rickie he likes men…”

Now Rickie was shocked, “How…how do you know that?”

“Because he introduced me to his beloved. He said I was his most promising pupil.”

Rickie’s face lit up as she said gently brushing unruly bangs out of the big blue eyes, “Well at least he has good taste.”

“Rickie!”

Rickie laughed and said, “Did you learn anything new today or was it a review?”

“No, it was new stuff. I have a whole list of new words and a grammar list. It may help with Pride and Prejudice.”

“I’m sure it will. If it that doesn’t help you with it, then I will.”

Veba hugged Rickie close and said, “I already knew that.”

*** *** *** *** ***

Veba could see how upset Dory was on the drive home from school. She was moody and wouldn’t talk to anyone. When she did she was unnaturally abrupt and her sense of humor seemed to have vanished.

Veba carefully approached her sister-in-law on the back porch.

“Hi Dory.”

Doris looked over her shoulder and smiled slightly. “Hi Veba, why do you seemed like your suddenly scared of me?”

“Um, you look very angry. You were kind of…upset with Rickie and Stevie in the car…I do not want you mad at me.”

Doris looked into the compassionate blue eyes. “I don’t think I could ever be mad at you Veba. You are so kind and you do everything from your heart. I know you’re here to try to comfort me.”

Veba nodded and sat on the swing next to the smaller woman. “Yes, that is because you are my best friend. It hurts to see you so upset.”

Doris put her head on Veba’s shoulder and Veba put her arms around her pulling her close. Then Doris whispered, “I’m scared Veba.”

“Of what?”

“I think I have a stalker.”

“What is that?”

“Someone who is trying to get to me but is not in my life.”

“To hurt you?” Veba held Dory protectively this was her sister and every protective instinct prickled her.

“Maybe but if I tell Rickie or Stevie they will act rashly. This needs a very careful approach.”

“You mean My Rickie and Stevie would try and get the one who is trying to hurt you?”

“Yes.”

“Yes, I see my Love doing that but not Stevie…”

“She can react like that…”

“What would you like me to do?”

“You?”

“Am I not your sister?”

Doris pulled back and looked into the concerned blue eyes. “Yes, you are my sweet protective sister. Um, what you could do is tell Rickie. She will listen to reason if you explain it to her. If I tell her not to go off the deep end she will just ignore me and do it…”

Veba’s eyebrow lifted, “She does not always listen to me but if I ask her to promise me she will not break it.”

“Good, cause I need both my sister’s help.”

“And Stevie?”

“I will try to talk to her but I won’t let him get her because of me.”

“Yes, I understand that. Dory tell her the truth; tell her how you feel.”

“Will that be enough?”

“It is with My Rickie”

*** *** *** ***

Rickie had changed into her nightshirt. She knew Veba was out on the back porch talking to her sister. If anyone could get Doris to open it was her sweet wife.

Veba came in and closed the door behind her. Then she went to the bed and sat down staring at the bedspread she said in a soft voice, “Hi Love.”

“Hi Baby, Did you get Dory to talk to you?”

Veba nodded as she played with the edge of the bedspread.

“Oh boy, I knew it wasn’t good but not this bad. So what did she say?”

Worried blue eyes looked up into just as worried green Veba took Rickie’s hand and said, “Sit down please, Sweetheart.”

Rickie sat down and asked, “What did she say, Baby?”

“First she wants you not to…um…to go nuts…”

“Dory said that?”

Veba nodded.

“Ok, I won’t.”

“No, Rickie I want you to promise me.”

“Veba is that necessary?”

“Yes Sweetheart, promise me. Please?”

“I promise.”

Veba smiled sweetly and tenderly kissed Rickie. Then she pulled back and said, “You are so good…um, Dory is very scared. She thinks she has a…stalker. She says we have to be careful and not do something stupid. She needs you Rickie.”

If Veba hadn’t had a firm hold of both her hands and she hadn’t just promised she knew she would have lost it. She took several deep calming breaths and looked deeply into Veba’s sweet loving eyes. Then she blinked and said softly, “Did she say what she wanted us to do?”

“She said she wants our help to find this person. It is someone from your computer class.”

“Do you want to change into your nightshirt before we go to our office?”

Veba was so proud of her Rickie for keeping her promise and not losing her temper. She pulled her onto her lap and kissed her passionately. Then she cupped Rickie’s cheeks as she gently gave her love butterfly kisses all over her face. She whispered between each kiss, “I love you so much. You are the best. You are perfect.”

*** *** *** ***

Veba and Rickie looked over Doris’s shoulder as she downloaded the floppy disc she had received from her professor. She then took another disc that had a copy of the opening page from her computer at school and down loaded that. Suddenly the screen filled with I Love You Doris with pink hearts all over the screen. The music from Love Story filled the room.

Doris looked at Rickie and Veba who were staring at the screen shocked. Doris said in a soft serious voice, I know this is sappy looking but why the hell would someone do this? Why with an encrypted message that only my professor could decipher? I feel…scared.”

“Drop out of class the rest of this semester,” suggested Rickie.

“What if he follows you or Stevie home? I couldn’t put you in danger.”

“How do you know it is a he?” Asked Veba rather surprised.

“I don’t but I can’t call them it can I? I think it could be a man or a woman. Veba there are 30 people in our computer class how the hell are we going to figure this out?”

Stephanie was leaning against the wall to the office. She was really angry but she had promised her love not to blow up. “Has anyone flirted with you Sweetheart?”

“No, I don’t understand this. I don’t talk to anyone in class other then you two and the professor.”

“Has anyone touched you, Sis?”

“No Rickie; I’m a loner you know that. I just go to class and stick with you. I don’t even talk all that much except if I have a question.”

Veba was staring at the computer. Something was bothering her about it all. Her gut told her that something was not right. This wasn’t cute or charming it was just sickenly sweet like they were trying to be something they were not. She looked at her family and quietly asked, “Is there someone in your class who is…well like a baby? They are silly or dress too young? They are not really a part of the class because they are too strange?”

Rickie smiled slightly and hugged Veba, “Your getting good at this profiling stuff, huh Love?” Veba blushed and shrugged. Rickie looked at Doris, “How about that weirdo Dawn? She is kind of babyish and she stares at you all the time.”

“Why would she? I don’t speak to her. I don’t even look at her.”

“She may be lonely. I…I used to play in my head when I lived in the building. I would pretend one of the people were my friends. I never went near them it was all in my head they never knew but I would have a whole story in my head and they would be in it.”

Rickie gently lifted the chin that fallen down in shame and whispered, “I am so very glad I found you so you wouldn’t ever be that lonely again.”

There were tears in the big blue eyes as they met green and Veba swallowed and replied, “So am I.” She pulled Rickie on to her lap and hugged her tight. Then she looked at Doris and Stephanie and said, “If this person is sick in the mind then he might not keep as a game like I did. They might try to reach out and touch the person they were using in their game.”

“Like me?”

“You are very nice Dory, you are pretty and smart. I see why they would pick you.”

The whole thing was setting Stephanie on edge, she asked quietly, “Veba how can we fight someone like this who has taken it way too far?”

Rickie shook her head at her friend frustrating the red head even more. “Stevie we don’t want to push this creep over the edge to where he or she would become dangerous. We want to be calm so we can get them…”

Stevie nodded briskly and stormed out of the room.

“Thanks for trying, Sis. It’s just that she is so mad I’m afraid she will beat the crap at the next person who looks at us. I…I..tried…”

“She loves you Dory, I would be just as upset if someone was after Rickie…I am really upset but I think we have to try and be calm like Rickie said.” Veba said quietly to the frightened woman gently stroking her hair while Rickie rubbed her back tenderly.

“She is trying to protect you, I understand too, I agree with her but I think that we need to take this slow. I want to break this person into pieces too. But I wouldn’t be much good for you from jail though would I?” Asked Rickie with tender smile.

Doris smiled through the tears and said softly, “No you wouldn’t. And think Veba would have a heart attack.”

“Yes, I would…um; do you want us to talk to Stevie?”

“Um, Veba would you?”

Veba nodded.

“And Rickie could stay here and keep me company?”

“Sure Sis.”

Veba bent and tenderly kissed Dory on the cheek. Then she looked at her love who she could see was fighting off tears herself. She kissed her love and then pulled back saying looking at them both, “I love all so much. You mean everything to me.” Then fighting her own flood of tears she left the room.

“Rickie I thank God you found her.”

“I know, so do I every hour of every day.”

*** *** *** ***

Veba stood in the doorway of Doris and Stephanie’s room. The door was open and the redhead was on the bed sobbing.

“Stevie?”

Stevie looked at her friend but couldn’t bring the words she wanted to say out of her mouth yet. Veba approached her like she was approaching a wild animal. Very cautious knowing she could handle what ever was to come but not wanting to provoke anything.

“I know that you are scared.”

Stephanie nodded.

“You have to talk to Dory. You have to tell each other what you think and feel. It’s the only way to help her and yourself.”

Stephanie nodded again she smiled slightly at the wisdom that was coming from her innocent friend. “I know all that Veba. I just…well…we are….”

“What?”

“Do you really think Dory loves me?”

Veba’s eyes became huge in surprise at the words, “Yes I do.”

“Then why won’t she trust me?”

“Stevie do you think I love Rickie?”

“Of course I do.”

“Do you think that I trust her?”

“Yes.”

“Your right I love her with all my heart and soul. I trust her with my life and know she feels the same about me. There are times when my Love says that she will be calm and reasonable and then she finds that she just can’t. It’s like when we were at that stake out at the diner and she promised she would stay in the car with me. I knew she meant it. There is just something inside that is very protective that will make her go out and do dangerous things like that. That is why I watched her carefully and when she started to open the door I pulled her into my arms and kissed her. I did it to stop her but I love her so much I got carried away and just loved her til it was all over. I trust her completely but I also understand her and know that I have to protect her from herself.”

“And that’s what you did?”

Veba smiled and nodded.

“And you think that’s what Dory is trying to do for me?”

Veba nodded again.

Stephanie sighed and said, “Your right. Thank you Sweetie.”

Veba shrugged and blushed, “Sure.”

She got up to find Doris and tell her to have an honest chat with her beloved.

*** *** *** ***

Rickie was lying on her back her eyes closed tears falling down her cheeks unchecked.

Veba came into the room, when she saw the tears falling down her loves cheeks her heart broke into a million pieces at the sight. She went quickly to the side of the bed sitting down and pulling the crying woman into her arms. “Sweetheart, what is wrong?”

Rickie allowed herself to be cuddled and soothed. She knew she needed that right now and knew that only her Veba could give her what she so desperately needed. “Veba?”

“Yes, my love,” Veba whispered pulling her love onto her lap cradling her like she was wounded. “Why are you crying, Rickie?”

“I’m so worried about Dory and Stevie…and…you never told me about that thing about pretending you had friends…I wish…I feel like…”

“Shh,” Veba kissed her love on her forehead then pulled back and tenderly dried the tears. “We will help them. I…I did not think you…”

“Care?”

“No, no it is not that. I thought you would think it strange that I did that. I was scared you would not…”

Green eyes became huge, “You were scared I wouldn’t love you anymore?”

Veba nodded closing her eyes.

“Open your eyes please,” Tear-filled nervous eyes met Rickie’s, “There is nothing you could do that would make me stop loving you. You are my whole life. I just wish that I could have found you sooner. You must have been so lonely to pretend to have friends…”

“That all stopped when you fell into my arms. I…you always make me feel special.”

“That’s because you are special I am so glad we found each other.” Rickie was tenderly kissing her love along her neck down toward her chest. Veba stretched her neck out her eyes closing as she whispered back, “So..am…I….”

*** *** *** ***

Rickie woke to find big blue eyes watching her carefully.

“Morning.”

Veba smiled and replied softly, “Good morning, Are you better?”

Rickie nodded and gently untangled Veba’s bangs. “Yes, thanks to you. Sorry I got so emotional.”

“Why?”

“Why what?”

“Why are you sorry? Are you not allowed to be scared or worried?”

Rickie nodded, “Yes. It’s just…well I have always been the strong one. The one everyone could come to with their troubles.”

“I do not understand. This means you can not have worries?” Veba shook her head and settled Rickie so her head was comfortably nestled against her shoulder. “That is silly Rickie.” Then she kissed her loves nose.

Rickie chuckled and cuddled even closer but keeping back enough so she could still look into the beloved blue eyes. “Yes. I know that. I love Dory but I was always the strong one. I was the one to fix everything and make it better. When you first came it was still that way. Once you started to feel confident in your decisions you didn’t need that you actually handle things better then I do. You’re calmer and more understanding. Now we all turn to you and I haven’t completely adjusted to that yet I guess…”

“No Rickie, that is not true. We work through problems as a family. Not one of us but we all work together. I am not alone anymore. I am so happy to have people who love me and I love. I am proud to have family to love, help and protect, aren’t you?”

Rickie pulled Veba closer so their lips were barely apart then she whispered, “I am glad we have you too. I am so grateful that I found you. You’re the best thing that ever happened in my life. I love you so much.” She kissed her love with a deep passion.

When they pulled back Veba gently caressed her loves cheek and whispered, “So we are family who works together right?”

“Yes Baby.”

“Good.”

*** *** *** ***

They had all just finished their history class and were heading back to the car. Veba was asking question after question as they walked across the campus.

“So we were a part of Mexico? Why are all the people who come from Mexico not apart of the United States?”

Doris was about to explain what happened when she noticed the hood of their car and stiffened. Rickie and Veba turned as one and looked to where the hazel eyes were now focused. On the hood under the windshield wiper was a pink note. Stephanie stormed over and pulled the note out from under the windshield wiper.

Both Rickie and Doris moaned in reaction to the action.

“What is wrong?” Veba asked as they walked to the car.

“There went any hope of prints.”

“Can you not take Stevie’s prints and eliminate them when you check for the bad persons?”

“Yes Sweetie; that’s an excellent idea,” said Doris softly.

“This person is nuts!” Cried Stephanie when they reached her. Doris walked past her to the car and pulled out some rubber gloves for her, Rickie and Veba.

Then she took the paper from the angry redhead.

Doris my love, don’t worry I am waiting for my opportunity to take you away from that unhappy home.

It was unsigned and the words were cut from magazines. How they found enough letters in pink was what Rickie wondered when she got her turn to look it over. “I’ll analyze it when we get home. I think I’ll call Clark too, we need some help, Dory.”

“No Rickie, Please don’t call him. I don’t want everyone in the bureau to know about this.”

“Dory, Clark is our friend. If we ask him he will not tell everyone,” said Veba softly her eyes very worried as they met Rickie’s.

Rickie nodded at her wife then looked at her sister, “Veba is right Sis; He also has access to a lot of stuff we couldn’t get in to. He will help us and he is our friend.”

Doris closed her eyes and nodded. She walked over to Stephanie and pulled her into her arms. She whispered, “It will be ok Love, I promise.”

“Damn straight it will. I will not let this loony lay one finger on you,” said Stephanie hugging her tight trying to control her rage.

Veba looked at Rickie; Rickie put an arm around her waist hugging her close. Then she looked at her family and said, “Come on lets get home.”

*** *** *** ***

After they arrived home Rickie called Clark and asked if he would be able to fly to Los Angeles. He was in Las Vegas at the time and just wrapping up a case so he said he would be there the next morning.

Veba was beside Rickie at their partner’s desk carefully studying the note.

“What do you think of it, Sweetheart?”

“I think that Stevie is right. This person is going to try to take Dory away from us. I am very scared for her. I think we need to…um tail her?” Big blue eyes looked into proud green unsure if she was choosing the right word.

“Yes, that is the perfect word.” Said Rickie smiling, she was so proud of how Veba had learned the terms that she and Dory just used naturally for their work. “I don’t think Dory will give us a problem. She is very scared. I am worried about Stevie. She could get her self arrested by beating the crap out of the mail man.”

“Why would she do that?”

“If she thought he was doing anything that might harm Dory she might even just handing her the mail.”

“But is that not his job?”

“Yes Baby, but that is the problem. Our Stevie is on red alert. She will be very over protective…”

“More over protective than you?”

“Yes, actually much more.”

“Oh boy, that is scary.”

Rickie smiled for the first time since they got the note. “Are you teasing me?”

Veba smiled shyly back and nodded, “Yes. At least I got you to smile. I am scared for our family too but at least Clark will be here soon. That will help, will it not?”

“Yes Love. He does know his job.”

Veba nodded. She looked back at the letter. She had on rubber gloves so she wouldn’t damage it. The only finger prints were Stevie’s and they hoped the person who was doing this. Rickie took finger prints and put it carefully under glass so Dory could look at it when she got up and Clark could examine them as well.

“Do you see anything that might help, Baby?”

“The paper is sort of like the note on Dory’s computer. It is the same type of person that picked this out. It is all pink at this part…”

“The insert…”

“Yes, the insert is lacy. All the letters are loopy and fancy. It is very carefully done. I wonder if there will be any finger prints at all. This is not a stupid person.”

“You think it might be wiped clean?”

“Yes, it is very neat. Um, Love…we take a different car every week. How did they know that was our car?”

Green eyes widened as she realized the truth of that. Stephanie had decided to try out all the cars that Veba’s family owned so they drove a new one every week. “Shit! Your right. How could they know that unless…”

“They are watching us?”

“They know our schedule…but how could they…shit!”

“They must have broken into the school files, Rickie.”

“Terrific! That means he could find us. Are we locked in for the night?”

Of course Darling, we do that automatically.” Blue eyes suddenly widened. “Rickie could they get into our phone and computer?”

“No, they would have to break in to do that or at least have a truck out side. I’ll have Clark check in here and have him sweep the area to be sure we’re clean. I’ll also have Dory run our computer system in the morning to make sure there are no little spies in our programming.”

“I’ll go check the house,” said Veba softly as she got up took off the gloves. Then she tenderly kissed her wife before she left the room to make sure the family was safe for the night.

“This is getting too damn scary,” Rickie said to herself when she was alone waiting for Clark to answer his cell.

*** *** *** ***

Clark knocked on the door to be met by very sleepy grumpy green eyes. He smiled brightly and said, “Hi ya, String bean.”

“Put a cork in it old man, I am not in the mood right now,” said Rickie as she led her friend to the office down the hall.

“Well if you yawn that big I’d say you had no sleep last night, right?”

“Yep.”

“No sleep or a sense of humor makes Rickie a dull girl.”

“Shut up!” Said Rickie as she entered the office and headed right to her wife.

Veba was watching in fascination as Doris used scans of Stephanie’s finger prints to eliminate them and leave only the stalker. She pulled her love into her arms and smiled sweetly at the FBI agent, “Hi Clark.”

“Morning Tiger, See Rick your wife knows how to be pleasant in the morning.”

“I said shut up!” growled the blonde as she was pulled onto Veba’s lap and cuddled close. She felt a soft kiss on the crown of her head she nuzzled her head on her loves warm shoulder.

“Tiger, I think you need to put her to bed.”

Big blue eyes sparkled as they met amused hazel eyes, “Oh yes I will, I want to see you work with Dory first.”

“Oh?”

“I want to watch you do your stuff.”

“Why don’t you just tuck her into bed and then come back here.”

“We don’t like going to bed with out each other…”

“That is too much information, Darling,” Whispered Rickie.

“Oh?” She shrugged her shoulders kissed Rickie on the nose which made the smaller woman smile and wiggle so she was even closer.

Clark chuckled as he pulled out his laptop and got to work.

Dory asked, “Did you get anything from the scans you ran outside?”

“Yes. It was all negative. No bugs out there that we can detect. Did you check your phone and computer?”

“Yep, thanks to all the nice shiny equip you sent us. Its all clear.”

“No problem my friend ok let’s see what nutso is doing here.”

“I have a partial print.”

“That may be enough,” said Clark with a smile.

“Would you stop stalling and do it!” growled the sleepy blonde.

“Your wife is really polite, Tiger.”

Veba nuzzled her cheek against Rickie’s and stroked her hair as she replied, “She is just sleepy. She will be fine. What are you going to do with that?”

“I am going to down load your partial print into the FBI files and see what pops out. Even if it’s only a security scan for a job”

“Oh? I did not know people did that.”

“Anyone who works for the Government. Both Rickie and I have one,” said Dory smiling at her curious sister-in-law.

“But why?”

“Because we work for the government a lot.”

“Oh? Would you need to do one for me?”

“Not yet Tiger. Not unless you do some work for the government directly. You haven’t yet so it’s not needed.”

“Oh? Ok,” Veba shrugged as the files blinked on and off the screen and picture focused.

“Do you know that person, Dory?” asked Veba quietly.

Doris shook her head.

“Love?” Veba asked Rickie softly.

Sleepy green eyes blinked open. She was still leaning her head against Veba’s strong shoulder. Her very blearily eyes focused and Rickie said, “No I don’t know him either.”

Doris was still studying the pic carefully, “He does look sort of familiar but I don’t know from where. Do you think it’s a red herring?”

“Could be, I’m printing his file.”

Veba pulled off one copy for her and Rickie to read while Clark read the second one with Doris. Veba was very alert and read the information fastest.

“Clark, this man in is a very bad person. He has done a lot of stuff.”

Rickie nodded, “He’s a terrorist, I think you should call in a team”

Dory shivered as he met her sister and sister-in-law’s eyes and then she looked at Clark. “Do it.”

*** *** *** ***

Clark had left and everyone was fast asleep when the peace of the house was disturbed by loud a piercing scream.

Veba and Rickie jumped out of bed and ran down the hall to Doris and Stephanie’s room. Doris was sitting up still screaming her eyes open and glazed with pure fear. Stephanie had pulled her into her arms and was trying to ease her back into the here and now.

Slowly Doris calmed down and lowered her head onto her love’s shoulder. Stephanie kissed the crown of her head as she rocked them both back and forth in a soothing motion.

Panting Doris whispered, “Sorry.”

Veba and Rickie came to the side of their bed. Veba tenderly took her friends hand and stroked it. Rickie skidded back and gently rubbed her sister’s back.

“No need to say sorry, Dory.”

“Veba is right, Sis. You have every right to be scared.

“I’ve never reacted like this to danger before.’

Rickie met Stephanie’s eyes and slightly shook her head. “Dory, you’ve never been a target before.”

“I know but we all need our sleep…maybe I should sleep in the living room…”

“No way!” Stephanie said angrily. “This nut is not going to drive you from our bed. I can deal with the nightmares.”

“Stevie is right Dory, You are allowed to have nightmares…” Veba looked into understanding green eyes, Rickie smiled sweetly and nodded encouraging Veba to continue. Veba took a deep breath and then looked at her sister-in-law with eyes full of the purest understanding.

“When I first met you and Rickie I had nightmares every night. I never screamed….I just got out of bed curled in corner and cried until I was over the fear that haunted me. You see I did not want to wake my love I was worried she would think that I was weak. When Rickie found me a few days after I moved in here with you, I told her what I was hiding and why so she insisted we that have a long talk.”

Doris was surprised she never knew about that. “What were they about?”

“My stepfather hurting you and my Rickie.”

“You’re kidding?”

Veba shrugged and looked at her wife lovingly. Rickie put an arm around her and kissed her cheek tenderly. “No she’s not; they went on for quite a while.”

“What happened,” Asked Doris shocked by the whole story.

“After a month and half of cuddling and talking out her fears they seemed to ease away. After a while they stopped.” Said Rickie then she tenderly kissed Veba on the nose making her smile. Then Rickie looked at her sister and asked, “So?”

A very tiny smile came to Doris’s face which made a flicker of a shadow of one flashed across Stephanie’s. “What?”

“Come on Sis, talk.”

Doris looked at her love and then she smiled at her sister, “You are a pain in my ass.”

Rickie chuckled, and put her head on Veba’s shoulder, “Yep, ain’t I lucky everyone loves me despite my many flaws?”

“I think your flaws are beautiful,” whispered Veba softly and kissing her cheek.

“That’s cause you love me.”

“Very, very true,” purred Veba as she licked the rim of her loves ear.

Doris’s expression had gone from terrified to amusingly annoyed, “Hey, excuse me you two, my problem?”

Rickie playfully snapped her fingers, “Oh yeah that’s why were all on your bed I thought we were having a pajama party.”

All four women laughed relieving some of the tension. “So Sis?”

Doris swallowed then replied softly, “I was walking alone on the campus at the school. I’m looking for all of you. I can’t find you…I get very desperate as I keep trying to find you. I walk toward the parking lot and find someone standing by my car. I am there but the person disappeared…then suddenly there are cold hands around my throat…then I woke up in a cold sweat screaming my head off…” Doris closed her eyes tears gently falling down her cheeks as she shivered in memory.

“Did he look like that man in the file?”

“No Sweetie. They had no face at all. It was just this scary figure.”

“How long have you been having them?” asked Veba reading the hidden meaning behind the shy hazel eyes.

Doris looked down at her hands and whispered, “A week.”

“A week?” Why didn’t you say anything?” Asked Stephanie shocked and even more upset.

“I didn’t want to worry you, Love.”

“I was already worried.”

“Well, worry you more then…”

“Dory!”

“Steph, I…”

“Come on you two lets stop worrying about who did what in the past and concentrate on now please. You can have a talk after we all go back to bed.” Said Rickie trying to defuse the fight before it got out of hand.

“We sure as hell will won’t we?” asked Stephanie pointedly.

Dory nodded mutely.

Veba was observing Dory her head tilted, “Dory were you this nervous before we found that note?”

“I was upset by the computer thing, but no, I didn’t have this kind of feeling of danger. Why?”

“Do you think there is a connection between finding the note and the nightmares?”

Doris blinked. “Um, yeah I think that’s it… do you think I foresaw this?”

“Foresaw?”

“Predicted.”

“Oh? Yes, I think that is possible. It is strange that your nightmare is in the parking lot and that is where we found the note.”

Rickie looked at her wife and asked softly, “What are you thinking about?”

“Maybe we should focus on that parking lot in our plans against this person.”

*** *** ****

Rickie kissed Veba passionately as soon as they got into bed. Then she kissed her way lovingly down the long beautiful neck. Veba just lay back her eyes closed pulling her love closer, basking in the love.

“Hmmm, Rickie?”

“You are sooooo goooood….”

“I…am…”

“Mmm, very,” purred Rickie as she continued to devour the beautiful body below her. She had just reached a beautiful breast when the phone rang. Rickie pulled back glaring at it with deadly intent. “I am going to kill him!”

Veba smiled and gently traced her loves angry mouth. “No, you won’t.”

Rickie smiled back and said softly staring deeply into Veba’s eyes, “How about just breaking his damn arm?”

Veba merely chuckled as she reached over picked up the receiver and handed it to her wife. Rickie took it leaning her head on Veba’s warm shoulder as she growled, “This had better be damn good!”

“Oooh, Did I interrupt something?”

“Yes!”

“Well Veba loves you so she will just have to get used to it, huh? Sandy is so good that she gets out of bed while I’m still on the phone and she starts packing my bag.”

“I never, ever want my baby to have to get use to something like that. And with us Clark it would be our bags.”

“Sandy would like that too but we have kids. Anyway Veba puts up with all your moods that almost makes her a saint.”

“Clark…”

“Ok, ok,” She could hear him chuckle, “I’m just saying that I think she’s a great wife.”

“Yes she is, so what the hell are you bothering us with in the middle of the God damned night for?” She could feel Veba tenderly running her fingers through her hair calming her. She could also feel a tender kisses against the top of her head. She closed her eyes just wallowing in the love as she listened to voice on the other end of the phone laugh and say, “Touchy, touchy you went to bed early if I recall, unless of course…”

“It’s 2am!”

“You went to bed at 7pm.”

“Give me a break will you? I haven’t slept in two days and Dory woke up screaming tonight from a nightmare. I am not a happy person so what the hell are you calling about?”

Ignoring the sarcasm in a really concerned voice for the first time Clark asked, “Is Dory ok?”

“No. Not really. We calmed her down and got her back to sleep and we were just settling in again. We have got to find this guy Clark.”

“I did and we have a problem.”

“Oh?”

“He’s in jail in Mexico for assault and attempted murder. He will be there for a long, long time.”

“Mexico! Could he have…”

“No, no computer. And he doesn’t have that kind of skill anyway. We will have to start from scratch. I’ll bring the Starbucks.”

“Double extra strong for me and Tea for my Veba she doesn’t really like coffee.”

“Gotcha, see you all in a few.”

Rickie hung up and pulled back to looked into concerned blue eyes. “What did he say?”

“They faked the prints on the note. The perp is in jail in Mexico for life and does not have a computer or the skills to pull all this off. Shit, What a mess!”

“So what are we going to do?” She pulled Rickie into a cuddle tenderly rubbing her loves back trying to ease the stress a bit.

“Clark is going to come over to start all over again from scratch with nothing but that damn cryptic message.” She laid her head on Veba’s shoulder and just soaked in the love; it soothed her like nothing else could. “By the way you’re a saint.”

“What am I?”

“It means you’re so good you’re almost an angel. It’s from the Catholic religion I don’t know much about it really.”

“Rickie I am not anything like that. You know that. All I want to do is be a good wife to you…”

“You’re a great wife. Clark was just teasing. He thinks you have a lot of patience to deal so easily with me.”

“Do I?”

“Yes, I think your very patient with me.”

“Hmm, thank you. I love you deeply and I do understand you so if that means I am patient I guess that is fine. I am not an angel though. I am just Veba.”

“Sweetheart just Veba is just perfect for me.”

“That is good because you are perfect for me too.”

“Thank you my love,” whispered Rickie before she kissed her love deeply and pulled her very, very close.

**** *** *** ***

Clark knocked at the door holding a large Starbucks bag. Veba answered wearing one of her many collectable t-shirts over a pair of jean shorts. She had her hair pulled back in pigtails and she was barefooted. Clark smiled at his friend, greeting her with the now familiar, “Hi Tiger.”

Veba with her hands on her hips and shaking her head replied, “I am not a saint, Clark.”

“Um, I didn’t say you were; I just said you were damn close to one though for putting up with all Rick’s moods.”

“Well I am not close either. I love Rickie. I understand her and her moods. That does not make me near an angel.”

“Believe me Veba, to understand someone as complicated as Rickie you have to be very special. Can you accept that?”

Veba bit her bottom lip and shrugged, “I guess so. Come in. Rickie says you better have remembered to bring the coffee.”

Holding up the large bag he replied, “I did. I brought brownies too. Am I forgiven?”

Veba’s eyes lit up and she smiled brightly. “Yes. Thank you Clark; I love brownies.” She took the large bag and kissed his cheek then she disappeared down the hallway.

Clark blushed and whistled. “Wow! Rickie you are so damn lucky.”

Clark came into the living room. He smiled at the sleepy blonde on the couch. Veba came bustling out of the kitchen with plates and napkins. Neatly centered on each plate were brownies for each of them. Watching the tall woman lick her licks he suspected that she had gobbled one up while she was getting the plates.

Clark pulled the tea out of the bag and handed it to Veba. Veba accepted it with a sweet smile, “Thank you, Clark.”

“Taste it.”

Veba tilted her head and looked at Rickie. Rickie chuckled at the confused expression and said softly, “Go ahead Sweetie; you know he wouldn’t hurt you.”

“I never even thought of that but he looks so…um…”

Clark rolled his eyes “Taste it. Trust me.”

Veba shrugged and tasted it. Her eyes widened and she moaned in pleasure. “Mmm, this is so good! What is it, Clark?”

“Raspberry, boysenberry with touch of vanilla it’s a special blend. I knew that you would love it,” said Clark with pleased smile.

Veba handed the cup to Rickie so she could taste it. “This is really wonderful. This is a Starbucks blend?”

“Um, sort of. There is a kid at the one here who blends his own. He is always giving me new concoctions when I come in.”

“Well this is very, very good. Tell him thank you please,” said Veba as she happily ate her brownie already taking more out of the bag.”

“I will and you’re very welcome. Hey take it easy on that Tiger; we need you; we don’t want you to get sick.”

“Why do you need me?”

“I have 27 files in my car.”

“27?” asked Rickie confused. She was shaking her head as she watched Veba eating her third brownie.

“Yes, your class including the professor, minus of course you three.”

“Why do need me?”

Veba was grabbing for the bag again when quick little hands took it away from her.

“Rickie!”

“You have had enough.”

“But I love them.”

“I know, but you’re going to get an upset tummy.”

“Why are you both saying that? I do not get sick from brownies.”

“They’re pure sugar, Tiger. That’s not good for you.”

“We care, that’s all love.”

“But why do you think I’ll get sick?” asked Veba as she licked her fingers trying to get every bit of brownie she could.

Rickie laughed and took the bag of brownies into the kitchen. When she came back she found her wife pouting on the couch and one very amused FBI agent.

“Stop that. I promise you will get more tomorrow.”

Veba nodded her mouth still in very adorable pout.

Rickie shook her head, “Clark would you excuse us for a couple?”

“Sure,” said the agent as he watched Rickie pull Veba into the kitchen. Rickie closed the door and pulled the tall woman into her arms kissing her passionately. When they pulled out of the kiss Veba was now smiling happily again. Rickie smiled back and cupped her cheeks saying softly, “That’s better.”

“What is?” asked Veba as she tenderly kissed her love on her forehead.

“I like to see a smile there much better then a pout.”

Veba shrugged and bit her lip, “I just love brownies a lot.”

“I know and I do too. I just prefer that you limit it so you don’t get sick.”

“I didn’t the last time.”

“Um Sweetie, remember you trotting back and forth to the bathroom all night the last time.”

“Oh? Yes, I do remember that.”

“You can have some more tomorrow, ok?”

“Yep,” Veba licked Rickie’s nose then pulled the smiling lips to her and kissed her passionately again.

*** *** *** ***

Veba and Rickie came back into the living room all smiles. Clark smiled in pure reaction, shaking his head saying, “Everything back to normal?”

“Normal?”

“You know, happily ever after?”

Veba looked surprised. She shook her head and sat down on the love seat replying softly, “No, we are not happy. We are very worried about Dory.”

Clark nodded, “Yes, I know. I am too. Ok, I will get the files and we will get to work.”

“Thanks Clark,” Said Rickie with soft smile as she handed Veba her tea and picked up her large coffee.

“Don’t drink all of it I brought enough for everyone, not just one cranky detective.”

“No worries, one of these is more than enough.”

“Well as long as you think so. That’s a bit different than it used to be but very nice.” He chuckled and left the room.

“What was that about, Rickie?”

“He was teasing me, ignore him.”

“What was he teasing you about? I do not understand.”

“He means that about women. We use to joke one was not enough. Then he fell in love with Sandy and became devoted to her only. I use to tease him pretty mercilessly.” Rickie looked up into confused blue eyes and then quickly looked at her coffee cup as she continued. “I fell for you and I guess he is getting back at me.”

“We’re there many others?”

“No Love. Hardly any. Remember what I told you about that before? I am a pain in the ass.”

Veba put her cup down and tilted her head looking deeply into beloved green eyes. She tenderly caressed Rickie’s leg as she said softly, “I love your ass. I love every part of you. There must have been many before me who loved you…”

“No, I never loved anyone before I fell in love with you.”

“But you’re so adorable, lovable, and perfect. There must have been others…”

“No,” Rickie looked right back into deep loving gaze and honestly replied, “I only loved you. If you’re asking me if I had sex before we met the answer is yes. If you’re asking if I loved them, then I’d have to say no.”

“Um…Why did you have sex if you didn’t love?”

“It’s hard to explain. You know how you enjoy your brownies and it feels good to eat them. You’re not in love with the brownie your just enjoying your self.”

“Rickie a brownie is not a person.”

“I know that but…”

“Am I interrupting something?” asked Clark as he came back in the door with large box of files.

“Yes. Thanks old buddy your stupid comment opened a can of worms!” replied Rickie angrily to her old friend.

“Oh? Do you want me to go out back til you’re done?”

Looking into upset and confused blue eyes Rickie nodded. Clark looked worried, he nodded put down the box and left them alone.

Rickie gently cupped Veba’s cheeks and said, “Ok, when I was young I was kind of head strong and crazy…”

“That has not changed…”

“Thanks Sweetheart. That is very perceptive of you to notice that.” She tenderly kissed Veba and the rubbed noses with her. Then she took a deep breath and said, “I want you to know that I was an idiot and that I never knew what it was all about until I made love with you for the first time.”

Veba nodded and she put her cheek against the soft red one saying softly, “I know that. I just do not understand how these other people did not love you…”

“I don’t care! I finally found you and you made my life wonderful. I guess I was just experimenting and so were they. I never knew what it was really like til I made love with you. I have never felt so special, loved and happy until then.”

“I am sorry. I still do not understand. How can you have sex and not love that person? Maybe it is because I only have made love to you but do you…can you feel like we do if you do not love?”

“No! It is impossible. There is a certain pleasure in the simple act but difference is as deep as the ocean.”

“Do you? Would you…?”

“What?”

“Want to do something like that now?”

Green eyes were now very alarmed, “No, never, ever!”

“But what if you become bored with me…”

“Impossible. I could never be bored with you. How could I be? Your sexiest most adorable person on the planet…”

“I do not know much…”

Rickie hugged her love very close, “Believe me my darling; what you know has made me very, very happy. I will never be bored with you and I will never stray. I have no reason. You are more than enough for me. I am so very lucky.”

“I am lucky,” said Veba softly kissing Rickie all over her tear-stained face.

“Were lucky.” Rickie kissed her love passionately and was not about to let her go til she was sure that her love understood fully what she had just explained to her. Her action being more convincing then words.

*** *** *** ***

Five exhausted people were lying around the living room. There were Coke cans and pizza boxes scattered around the room a pile of folders by each bleary eyed person.

The most alert eyes were pale blue; she was eating cold pizza and writing detailed notes on each folder in her stack.

Dory looked at her sister-in-law in pure awe, “Sweetie, don’t your eyes hurt you?”

Veba looked up from the file she was working on and replied, “A little, but it is my neck that really hurts.” She said as she lowered her head and rubbed her neck briskly.

“I’ll help you with that,” Rickie said with a tired soft smile, crawling over to her wife. She sat behind her and said, “Scoot up so your head is in my lap.”

“Ok,” Veba turned onto her stomach and crawled over to Rickie. She cradled her head on Rickie’s thigh. Rickie tenderly moved Veba’s long beautiful hair to one side and kissed the long elegant neck. When she heard the delighted squeak she smiled and started a gentle rub down.

After a few minutes of moaning in pure relief, Veba curled up in a ball and fell deeply asleep. Rickie smiled and gently kissed her loves head. Clark chuckled as he went on with the file he was reading.

Stephanie looked at Dory patting her lap with a sweet smile. With in seconds the very tired blonde fell into a deep sleep as well.

Rickie smiled at Stephanie and gave her a wink. Stephanie smiled back as she tenderly stroked the curly blonde hair.

*** *** *** ***

Going through the notes on the files Clark found the only one who really had instinct for finding the stalker was Veba. The tall brunette was sleeping peacefully with her head cradled on Rickie’s lap. Rickie was sleeping too her head pillowed against the cushion on the couch behind her.

Stephanie and Doris were curled around each other also deeply asleep.

Clark smiled as he took a sip of his cold coffee and whispered, “If I knew this was going to be a pajama party I would have invited my Sandy.”

Sleepy blue eyes blinked open and Veba smiled at Clark, “Hi.”

“Do you feel better, Tiger?”

Veba smirked and nodded. “You are not going to stop calling me that are you?” She whispered as she sat up and stretched.

“Nope, no more than I will stop calling your wife, Stringbean.”

Noticing the uncomfortable position Rickie was in Veba pulled the sleeping blonde in her arms and cradled her close nuzzling her cheek against the pretty blonde hair.

Clark smiled and whispered back, “You are so sweet the way you take care of each other. You know it’s really beautiful to watch for an old cynic like me.

Veba tilted her head, “Do you love Sandy like I love my Rickie?”

Yes, I think I do. My wife and kids are my whole life.”

“Yes, Rickie told me that. What is it like to have kids?”

“A wonderful pain in the ass.”

Veba chuckled softly and shook her head, “No Clark, I am serious.”

“What do you want to know?”

Veba was tenderly running her fingers through her loves tangled hair; she shrugged and didn’t meet his eyes.

“Would you like to have a baby?”

“I don’t know how…I love children. I like to play with them and talk to them. It is really interesting to watch their mother take care of them…Rickie says I am fascinated because I get to hand them back.”

Clark laughed silently and shook his head, “Yep, I can just hear her saying that. The most important days in our lives were when each child was born. It was spiritual. We were very happy together before but nothing compares to the first time you look at your child and hold him or her in your arms. They are our joy but they are also a collective pain the butt. I am always scrambling to keep up with them, helping them, cuddling them when they’re scared. Guiding them to make the right decision while trying not to make it for them. I wouldn’t trade it for all the money in the world and I know Sandy wouldn’t either.”

“Hmmm, I see. Yes, I would like a baby but…”

“Why didn’t you say anything?” rumbled a familiar voice from Veba’s lap.

Veba looked down startled by the sleepy grumble from her lap. “Rickie. I thought you were asleep. We were whispering.”

“Yes, you were love but I have excellent hearing. I heard most of your conversation. You want to have a baby? Really?”

Veba looked into the pretty green eyes, “Yes, I would. I’d love any child but if they looked like us it would be even more special to me. Is that wrong?”

“No Sweetheart. How could such a loving thought be wrong? It’s just a huge responsibility and I want to discuss it with you when I’m more than half awake. What would you like?”

“I love kids but we do need to discuss it when I’m not half dead. Please?”

Veba nodded and kissed her on the nose. “Ok.”

Rickie pulled her back and gave her love a proper good morning kiss. Then she looked at Clark and said, “So what did you find out?”

“That Veba is a great profiler her picks are dead on.”

“So we will be ready to go over the profiles in the morning?”

“Yep.”

“Want to sleep in the guest room?”

“I don’t have to; I can sleep on the couch. It’s not a big…”

“Stop rambling Clark and answer the question.”

“Yes, I would like that.”

“Ok, Veba help me up and we’ll tuck Clark in and go to bed.

“What about Dory and Stevie, Rickie?” asked Veba gazing at them sleeping snuggled together with a fond expression.

Rickie looked at them and smirked, “They look comfortable leave them alone.” Veba stood up and brought Rickie with her cuddled close. Then she gently placed her on her feet an arm going protectively around the smaller woman’s waist.

“Come on Dorothy we’ll take you to The Land of Oz.”

“I’d rather be the Cowardly Lion after he got his courage,” said Clark with a tired smile.

*** *** *** *** ***

Veba woke up curled around Rickie. She brought her head against the nice soft hair and thought about the conversation she had the night before.

It would be nice to have a baby or even a couple of them. But what would My Rickie think? Like last night, we could not have done something like that with a baby in the house, could we?

“Hmm, maybe we should start with a puppy?” She whispered to herself not even aware she had said it out loud.

“Puppy?”

Veba opened her eyes and looked down into very alert green ones. “Did I say that out loud?”

“Yep,” Rickie replied as she gently pushed some hair out of the beautiful blue eyes. “What about a puppy?”

“I was thinking how difficult a baby would be for us to raise. Maybe we should start with a puppy and see how we do.”

“You are so cute.” Rickie pulled Veba to her kissing her deeply. Then she pulled back and rubbed noses with her now purring wife, “Sure, we can start with a puppy. If you want to have a chat about a baby, we still can still do that too.”

“Really?”

“Sure.”

“Um, after we are all done helping Dory I would like to talk about a baby. Um…Rickie can really get a puppy… soon?”

“Sure Love, we will get it today, ok?”

“But would it not interfere with our helping Dory?”

“Nope.”

“I’ll…want to…um, play with the new puppy and cuddle it and…”When the shy blue eyes met the affectionate green Rickie could see that she wanted the little puppy right now.

“Well discuss it with the family over breakfast. After Dory is safe we’ll have a nice long talk about our baby too. Ok?”

Veba kissed Rickie with a deep happy passion. Then when she pulled back unsure eyes looked down at her and said softly, “Sweetheart, you do not have to.”

“Darling I want to.”

“You are so good to me, My Love. Clark says it is sweet that we love each other and are so good to each other. I do not understand that. Does not everyone who loves their mate treat them well?”

“Yes, in they’re own way. Everyone has their own idea of what loving treatment is…”

“I do not understand that at all. All I want to do is love you. To hold you, kiss you; make you feel better when you are hurting. I…Why would people not want do that for each other?”

“Darling your heart is so big you wouldn’t know how not to treat others well. There are people out there who don’t understand that. They wouldn’t dream what it would be like to be on the receiving end of your love. And they certainly wouldn’t know how to bestow it.”

Blue eyes blinked as Veba took in what Rickie had just explained to her. “But that is terrible. Everyone should love like our family does.”

Rickie cupped Veba’s cheeks and looked deeply into the misty blue eyes. “Yes they should. Come here and demonstrate it for me.”

Veba’s eyes sparkled as she moved close to her love whispering, “Ok.”

*** *** *** ***

There was a lively discussion that morning over pancakes made by Clark about the possible new addition to the family. Everyone loved the idea. They didn’t have class for a couple of days so they wanted to all go and find the puppy that day.

“What kind of puppy would you like, Veba?”

“I love all of them. It will be very hard to pick just one.”

Rickie smirked, “One is ok my Darling, not ten.”

Veba laughed and replied, “How about one hundred?”

“I knew I shouldn’t have gotten you that Disney movie for your birthday,” said Dory with a wide grin.

Veba had bright smile and said, “Would that not be fun!”

“No Love, it wouldn’t. I love animals. They are very cute and lovable. One is more than enough though. Wait until you see all the work that will go into that one puppy.”

Veba’s expression seemed to fall right before their eyes; she looked sadly at Rickie and said softly in an emotional voice that broke Rickie’s heart, “If you do not want one…”

“No Baby that is not what I meant. I do want a puppy. I just want you to understand that its not all playtime. A puppy is a responsibility.”

Veba was pouting. She bent her head and was playing with her napkin not looking at her love. Rickie shook her head and gently tilted the chin up til the blue eyes met her own. She gently traced the mouth and said, “Stop that. I do want a puppy too. I think we will have fun playing with it. I just have had many pets and I know how much work they are.”

“Ok, Rickie,” Veba replied with slight smile.

“Veba think of it as one tenth the trouble that Rickie is. That’s what a puppy is like.” Clark said smiling. He thought they would be great with a puppy and wonderful parents too.

Veba chuckled and replied, “She is not trouble, she is the love of my life.”

“Sweetheart, I know I am trouble. At least the old man made you smile.”

“Hey! I’m only two years older than you.”

“That’s two years to tease you about.”

“Ok, I’d say that is a tie. Shall we retire to the living room and look at my brilliant sister-in-law’s findings?” said Dory with a sweet smile.

“My findings?”

Stevie nodded as she sipped her coffee watching Veba devour a pancake with a determined expression. “Yep, Clark said your notes were very clear and you were dead on.”

Veba’s eyebrows shot up and she looked at Clark startled.

“You want a job?

“No thank you Clark, I like helping my Rickie and Dory with their work.” Said Veba politely and then she drained her orange juice. Putting down the glass and looking around the table for more.

“What are you trying to do Clark? Steal my wife?”

“Nope, just get a little help for my unit.”

“I will always help you because you are our friend but I do not want a job with the FBI.”

“Fair enough. Shall we?” He gestured toward the door and family left the kitchen to see the results of Veba intensive search.

*** *** **** *** ***

Clark held the three folders in his hand explaining why he thought Veba’s choices were right on the mark.

“You have a great insight Veba; you seem to be able to at glance at a file and be able to read a person’s character. It is a great gift.”

Veba shrugged. She and Rickie were on a large chair snuggled together. She had Rickie on her lap she was running her fingers tenderly through her soft blonde hair. “I just looked at what was in the file and wrote what I felt.”

“Yeah, I know Tiger. You do it very well. Let’s take this guy Jack. He is a computer salesman. He is over-friendly and boisterous. Rickie thinks he’s very strange. Most people in class avoid him because he talks about nothing non-stop. He is very dull and boring. Veba wrote, “Very lonely man. He is trying to make friends but does not know how. He could fantasize about people in class as friends. He works with computers so he might be the one.” Very direct and too the point yet compassionate. You’re so damn astute, Veba.”

“Astute?” Asked Veba not sure of the word.

“It just means that you’re very sharp, Sweetheart.” Rickie explained very proud of the beautiful woman.

Veba shrugged again, “I just wrote what I felt.” She reached over to sip some juice and then gently held the glass to Rickie’s lips who gratefully took a sip.

Clark winked at Veba causing her to blush and hider her face in Rickie’s hair. Rickie gently rubbed her arm. “Clark.”

“Right, back to work. Ok, I think this guy is a hot suspect. Number two is Rickie’s pick as well. Her name is Dawn, she is a computer analyst. She has several web pages devoted to soap actors whose lives she follows like she is a part of them. Veba wrote,
“According to Rickie she dresses like a little girl. She talks the same way. Her voice is very high and hard deal with. She stares at Dory a lot. I think she could be the one; because she seems to be like the type of person who would send that note and the computer thing.”

Clark smirked and turned to another page of the file, “Rickie said, “This bitch has been obsessed with my sister from day one of the class.””

“I like to get to the point quickly,” Rickie replied with a wicked smile.

“Yes, we all know that. Last but not least is this file. It’s a long shot. This is a quiet man. He doesn’t talk in class. He works in an IT maintenance department at a major company so he really knows his way around computers. Veba wrote, “This man could also be the one. He may be using all the baby stuff so we don’t know it. He is very smart and I think very lonely. He may be using Dory as a game in his head.” Stevie seems to agree with Veba.”

“So what are we going to do?” Veba asked Clark quietly.

“We will put together a team to watch Dory here and school.”

“And in the meantime?” Asked Dory.

“We get Veba her puppy.” Said Clark with a sweet smile.

*** *** *** ***

The family and Clark arrived at the pound. It was decided that just Veba and Rickie should go in while the rest waited out in the lobby waiting for them to make their choice.

The first dog Veba saw was a Great Dane puppy. The big puppy looked at Veba with big sweet eyes happily panting.

“Oh…” cooed Veba.

“No Love…”

“Aw Rickie…”

“He’s too big.”

“But?”

“Please Veba?”

Veba scuffed her toe but said softly, “Ok.”

The next one was a bunch of poodles. They were standing on their hind legs yapping. Veba thought they were cute but didn’t really feel the pull she had with the Great Dane. The German Shepard was fast asleep. Veba could see that he was too big though she thought he was beautiful.

Above him was a bunch of playful kittens. Veba’s face lit up, “Rickie?”

“If you get a kitten we can’t get a puppy. They would have to get along so it would depend on both their temperaments. I don’t think I have the patience for that right now.”

“Temperament?”

“Their personalities.”

“Oh? They are so cute.”

“I know Sweetheart. Do you want a kitten instead?”

Veba stuck her finger inside and her face lit up as one of the kittens licked her finger. “This one likes me.”

Rickie chuckled, “I’m sure the kitten adores you but they also love your salt.”

“What salt?” Asked Veba as she petted the cute kitten.

“You have natural salt in your body. If you want it we can get the kitten.”

Veba was torn. She studied the cute little kitten. She scratched it’s tiny ear and was delighted as the back leg came up trying to scratch the scratch. She loved the playful little one but she really wanted a puppy. She looked at the man who worked there and asked softly, “Can I think about it and still get this one later?”

Use to this from patrons to his shelter he nodded and said, “Sure would you like to see more?”

Veba nodded and followed him. Rickie walked beside him noticing the empty cages she asked. “Those were adopted weren’t they?”

“We work with a humane group, if they are not adopted by their termination date they take the lot and get good homes for them.”

Rickie smiled, “I like that. That is unusual though isn’t it?”

“Yes, the head of our shelter is married to lady who runs the humane group. Everyone is happy and they all get a good home.”

“That’s better than the alternative.”

“Amen.”

Veba had gotten ahead of them and was transfixed by some puppies in an open pen. There were five cocker spaniel puppies. They were all playing with each other. A black one was chasing a white one. The white one jumped over a brown one that was washing itself. A gray one was trying to swat its black and white siblings. A charcoal gray one with white stripes was sleeping the corner.

Suddenly the black one noticed Veba and left her siblings. She just walked right up to her and put both paws on the glass that protected her in the pen.

Veba’s face was full of love as she looked into the big brown eyes. She turned to the man and asked, “May I hold this one, please?”

The man smiled brightly and said, “Sure.” He walked over picked up the black pup and put it gently into Veba’s arms. Veba immediately cuddled the little girl close and laughed as she licked her on the chin. Its tiny paws trying madly to climb up her chest.

Rickie was all smiles too. Veba had chosen the newest member of their family. “Looks like we adopted our newest addition huh?”

Veba nodded, she couldn’t speak because the puppy was licking her all over her face.

*** *** *** ***

After a trip to Petco for supplies the family arrived home with its newest addition cuddled in Veba’s arms. She was followed by Rickie who carried the carrier. Doris who carried a very cute doggie bed with blue pillows to match the new mommy’s eyes.

Stephanie followed with a bag carrying bowl with a double bowl, leash and collar. Clark was at the end of the line with a large bag of puppy chow. He put the bag on the floor closing the door behind him. He smiled as he watched Veba talking to the puppy, very excited as she took her down the hall to their bedroom.

Rickie put the carrier down and collapsed on the couch. Doris followed Veba with a huge smile on her face. Stephanie and Clark went into the kitchen with the supplies and then Stephanie came back in and asked Rickie, “What do you want me to do with these?”

Rickie looked at the collar and leash, then she sighed and said, “Put it down for now. I can’t see myself trying to get it on her neck tonight.”

Doris came out of the hallway all smiles. “I think your going to have a third body in your bed tonight.”

“Not if I can help it.”

“Veba is just so cute. She is giving the little girl a tour of the house, now she explaining everything in your room to her.”

“Did little Lari reply?”

“She licked her face a lot.”

Rickie chuckled, “I think I have a rival for her affections now.”

“Yep, she is a child to Veba so all her motherly instincts are coming out. I think it’s beautiful,” said Clark with wide smile.

“Believe me Clark, I love the little pooch. Just seeing how happy she is making my Baby fills me with joy.”

“Yeah I could tell. You two were acting like new parents at Petco.”

“We are,” said Rickie with wink as she got up and stretched. Then she went toward her room to try and convince her love that little Lari would be just fine in her new bed.

*** *** *** ***

Veba was on her back with her head raised on a two pillows. The little black puppy was curled in a ball on her stomach fast asleep.

“Did she enjoy the tour?”

Veba’s smiled brightly and nodded, “Oh yes, I think she did. She is very tired though. Does she have to sleep in her new bed tonight? It’s her first night.”

Rickie smiled sweetly and said, “I know that, Darling. I have two excellent reasons why she should sleep in her own bed though. First, she is a baby and I don’t think either of us wants to roll over onto accident.”

“Oh? I did not think of that.”

“Second, considering the way we both twist and turn all night we might squish the poor little thing.”

Veba nodded and bent down so she could kiss the puppy on the head. “You are right of course, Love. I just adore her already. I do not want to let her go even to put her to bed.”

“I know, so do I. She is already a well loved puppy. It’s just that I know some of the drawbacks to having a pet. They are a lot of fun but little Lari is not perfect she will have accidents.”

“Yes, I do understand. What do we do?”

“Can you gently put her in her bed so we can set up the room for her?”

Veba nodded, she gently put the puppy in the puppy bed then she got up and walked to her wife. “What would you like me to do first?”

Rickie chuckled, “Wash your face and brush your teeth.”

“Why?”

Rickie tilted her head, “Puppy drool.”

Veba laughed and said, “Oh? Ok, I see what you mean.” She shook her head and walked into the bathroom.

Rickie laughed too and took the stack of papers to start to puppy proof their bedroom. Most of the papers went by the puppy bed which was on Veba’s side so she could be close to her new baby. Rickie put a stack by the bathroom door. Then scooped up the puppy and sat on the edge of the bed with it cuddled in her lap. The puppy looked up with sleepy brown eyes and nuzzled Rickie’s hand.

Veba was all smiles when she came out of the bathroom to witness the scene. “You do like her.”

“Of course I do. Why would think I didn’t?”

“Well all the stuff…um…you seem…”

“Baby, she is going to make mistakes and have accidents. She can’t help it. She is a little baby. Of course I love her; she’s adorable and sweet. I puppy proofed her side of the room could you do the same with the bathroom please?”

Veba studied the way Rickie placed the newspapers and nodded. “Yes, I can do that.” She took the papers and went into the bathroom. Rickie placed the puppy on the bed and looked around to make sure there was nothing on the floor. She put some shoes in the closet and picked up a couple of odds and ends on the floor.

“Rickie I put the papers on the floor and anything I thought was bad for Lari I put in the cabinet. Is that ok?”

“Good girl. Ok put the little one to bed and let’s get some sleep.”

Veba smiled brightly and nodded. She scooped the puppy up and placed her lovingly in her bed. Then she said, “Ok Baby, Rickie and I right there. If you need us we will be here in seconds. I promise,” she kissed her on the head and then stood up and walked toward Rickie.

Rickie smiled her arms crossed and said simply, “Love, puppy drool”

“None, I kissed her head.”

“Come on Baby, wash your face.”

Veba rolled her eyes but obediently went to the bathroom to wash her face.

Rickie chuckled as she changed for the night. She watched the puppy walk around in a circle to get comfortable then settle down and go to sleep. She got into bed and waited for Veba.

Veba came in and jumped on the bed. “No more doggy anything. May I kiss you to prove it?”

“Sure my love.” They kissed passionately when they pulled back and Veba said softly, “Thank you Rickie, I love her so much.”

“I know, so do I. I think she’s a perfect addition to our family.”

“I’m so glad,” Veba pulled Rickie on top of her and showed her just how much she loved her with total abandon.

*** *** *** ***

Around 3am little yelps woke up Veba. She blinked her eyes and realized that it was her new baby. She carefully looked over the edge of her bed not wanting to step on the puppy and found the little girl with her paws on the bottom draw of her side table that was slightly pulled out. She saw that the puppy was desperately trying to climb up to her. She smiled sweetly scooped her up and cuddled her close kissing her on the top of the head. Lari happily licked Veba’s face in joy at being picked up by her new Mommy.

The light came on and a sleepy blonde looked over at Veba and Lari with smirk. “Looks our little one had a good time this morning.”

Veba looked toward where Rickie was pointing and her eyes widened in surprise. The news papers were scattered and Lari had an accident half on one of the papers by the bathroom and by her new little bed.

“Oh? I didn’t even think to look…”

“I know all you knew was your baby needed you. I’ll clean it up you play with her….”

“No Sweetheart, she is both of ours. We are suppose to share the responsibility.” She said slowly making sure she said each syllable correctly.

Rickie leaned over and kissed Veba on the forehead. Then she scratched little Lari on the head. The puppy was already sound asleep in the warm loving arms.

“Its ok, you entertain her while I clean this up in peace.”

Veba looked confused but said, “Ok, if you say so.” She shrugged and petted her puppy.

When Rickie was done she held out her arms and said, “Ok, let me put the busy girl back in bed.”

Veba nodded and kissed Lari on her nose then smiled as she handed her to Rickie. Rickie tenderly put the puppy back in bed scratching her behind her ear.

Then she slipped back into bed cuddling close to her Veba.

“Was it bad?”

“Yep.”

“Why did you not let me help then?”

“You can do the next one.”

“Ok, but why not help this time?”

“It was easier to just clean it up with out a curious puppy trying to sniff her own creation.”

“Oh? Do they do that? Why?”

“I have no idea why, but yes they do. I guess they’re just curious.”

“Are you mad at her?”

“No Love, I expected it.”

“You did?”

“Yep, I do constantly. She is an adorable, lovable trouble maker. She has such a cute little face you can’t get mad at her.”

Veba’s smile got brighter and brighter then she pulled Rickie up to her and kissed her passionately. “I love you so much. You are just such a loving, kind-hearted doll.” She kissed Rickie til the detective forgot what they were talking about.

*** *** *** ***

Rickie woke to a rough little tongue licking her shoulder. She knew it wasn’t her love so her eyes opened to find big brown ones looking back. Lari moved up and happily began to lick her face.

Rickie smiled and scooped the puppy into her arms kissing the top of her head. She looked into the playful eyes and said with a voice still full of sleep, “Where is your Mommy baby?”

“I’m behind you, Love.” The dark woman had just stood up and smiled at the rumpled woman in bed cuddled with their new puppy.

“Good morning Beautiful. Is there a reason Lari is joyfully licking my body?”

“Um, I needed her to be busy.”

“Oh?”

“She had a little accident.”

“Uh, huh…”

“She, um…made all over our bathroom.”

“Yuck! Why didn’t you wake me?”

“It was my turn…”

“Veba darling, you are not expected to handle stuff like this all by yourself.”

“She was my idea…”

“Well she is my responsibility too. We are sharing her aren’t we?” Rickie asked, she looked very hurt.

“Of course, You are my wife and partner. I love you more than life…I just do not want you do feel that I am…Well that Lari is…that we are…” Veba had jumped into bed and pulled her upset love into her arms kissing every inch of her.

Rickie slowly pulled back, she cupped Veba’s cheeks, “That your causing me trouble.”

Veba had tears in her eyes as she nodded.

She kissed Veba’s nose and said, “I love trouble.”

“I am so glad you are my wife,” she kissed Rickie passionately.

**** *** *** ***

Two tired women came into the kitchen carrying a lively playful pup.

Doris smiled and said, “I take it that she was quite a bundle of trouble last night?”

Rickie smiled and said, “She was a typical puppy, not real trouble. She is adorable isn’t she?” said the blonde rubbing her cheek against a very happy Lari’s soft fur. She looked up and licked Rickie on the nose which made Veba smile.

Veba glowed bright as sunshine, she had been worried that Rickie was only putting up with the puppy because she loved her. After Veba had gotten back into bed and they had made love, Rickie, hopped out of bed scooped up Lari and brought the puppy into their bed. The three of them played for quite a while. Rickie had an old sock and had taught Veba how to play with Lari using it. Lari was pulling and growling her little butt up in the air trying to get it out of Rickie’s strong grip.

Veba was so happy and relieved. Rickie was really having fun with little Lari, and now their puppy worshipped the blonde detective. Rickie had said, “Ok, my loves time to eat.” Then she scooped up Lari took Veba’s arm and escorted them both to the kitchen.

Stephanie playfully scratched the little girl under her chin, “Yep, she is adorable all right. What did she do last night?”

Rickie rolled her eyes, “Let us not discuss it at breakfast. Ok Sweetheart, I want to introduce you to your eating area.” She then looked around at her family and said firmly, “We are not giving her any scraps right? A. It’s a bad habit. B. It’s is very bad for her tummy. C. We don’t want to start her life with us on the wrong foot, agreed?” She asked looking around the table.

All heads bobbed, Veba said softly, “I never even planned to do that, Rickie.”

“I know but look at this sweet face. She will come to your feet and beg for whatever you’re eating. It’s just the way all animals are. So we are all agreed she will only get dog biscuits and dog food right?”

Everyone nodded.

Rickie kissed the puppy on the head and tickled her tummy. “Don’t worry Munchkin you have a learning curve the human’s don’t.”

“Learning curve, we are not going to grade her are we?” Veba smiled brightly as she watched the puppy wolf down her puppy chow. Rickie smiled too, “Hey take it easy there Munchkin, You’re worse than Mommy Veba with any form of sugar.” She kissed Veba sweetly and then cupped her cheeks saying softly, “No Sweetheart, we are not grading her. I just meant she is allowed as many mistakes as she makes. We are responsible, intelligent humans that understand our responsibilities.”

“Was there a question of it?” Asked Veba still unsure of Rickie’s point.

“Sweetie sometimes when you look at a cute little face like our new baby we forget what’s best for her and give her what she wants.” Doris explained as she started to put plates and glasses out for their breakfast.

“Oh… yes…I want to pick her up and hold her all the time but Rickie says it’s not good for her.” Veba looked lovingly at the sweet pup who had just finished her water and came sniffing around under Rickie’s feet as she poked around the refrigerator.

Rickie, noticing the extra feet under her and said, “Lesson one, puppies do not belong in a refrigerator unless they want to be eaten.” She gently turned the little girl around and patted her back in the other direction.

Lari didn’t seem to mind she just trotted over to Veba and sat on her bare foot. That made Veba chuckle, she reached down and scratched her behind the ear. Lari yawned and curled up in a ball on her Mommy’s foot and went to sleep.

Veba felt very good about the puppy on her foot. She smiled at Rickie and then scooped out eggs and bacon and toast onto one plate for Rickie and the other for her. Rickie was pouring orange juice for the two of them.

Doris was pouring coffee for herself and Stephanie.

As they ate they discussed the puppy. A head popped into the kitchen. “Good morning, this is a charming picture,” said Clark with a wide grin.

Rickie smiled and said, “Good morning sleepy head. Did have a nice long chat with Sandy and the kids?”

“Yep, they all send their best. Where is the new puppy? I don’t want to step on her.”

“Oh? It is all right Clark; she is sleeping on my foot,” said Veba with a sweet smile as she scooped out a plate for the agent as he sat down between Doris and herself.

“Thanks Veba,” Said Clark as he ate his food.

“Did you talk to your office this morning?” Asked Rickie with a mouthful of eggs.

“Yes I did Rick; we finished setting up the parking lot. Doris…um, Dory how would feel about us putting a wire on you? Its not like when we were at the academy. They are very light, you won’t even feel it.”

Doris banged down the fork against the plate she had been eating from. “You know, little Lari almost succeeded in making me forget the whole thing for a bit.” She took a piece of toast and looked at her Sister and Sister-in-Law and knew they both wanted her to do it. Stephanie took her free hand in silent support. “I guess. Ok, I don’t have to do it til tomorrow, right?”

“Yes, I…well I sort of already set it up. I knew it would be sensible.”

Doris rolled her eyes, “Yeah, that’s me. Miss Sensible. Excuse me please,” She got up and left the table followed by an equally upset Stephanie.

Clark looked at Rickie and Veba, “I’m sorry it was important and…”

“There is no need to apologize Old Man. You were right. Eat your breakfast; you can help me when we put the collar on Lari after breakfast.”

“Ok, I’ll be happy to.”

“Why will you need his help?”

“She won’t like the collar, Sweetheart.”

“Why not?”

“Puppies are free spirits they don’t like confinement. It will take her a couple of days to get used to it. Though knowing our Lari she might try taking it off a several times.”

“How would she do that?”

Clark chuckled and said, “Anyway she can. Puppies are very creative creatures.”

“Yes, very creative. Last night and this morning she showed us just how creative she is.”

“Oh so Veba has already seen her little one’s art work.”

“Yep.”

Wide blue eyes went from Rickie to Clark and then asked very confused, “Art work?”

“You know what she did last night in our room and the bathroom?”

“Oh yuck!” said Veba shaking head, “You know how much I adore and love you but you are very strange sometimes.”

“Yep,” said Rickie with a playful smile.

*** *** *** ***

After Clark and Rickie battled little Lari to get her collar on, Veba asked if they could play with the puppy at the park.

“Not yet Sweetheart. She is too little. We can play with her in the backyard though.”

“Oh? Ok, that will be fun. I just wanted to introduce her to some of the kids there.”

“They can come here and play with her. She will have to be a bit older though to play in the doggy run their.”

“How old does she have to be?”

“About a year.”

“Ok, but Rickie what will we do when we all go out?”

“We will introduce her to the joys of the bathroom.”

“Rickie!”

“Darling, do you want accidents all over the house? Also someone as tiny as she can get into a lot of trouble all alone.”

“Yes…I guess…I just hate the thought of locking her up.” Veba’s eyes filled with tears as she watched her precious chasing the ball they were rolling between them. “She loves to be free and to run around.”

“She will be almost all the time and as soon as she is potty trained she will get free run of our whole house.”

“Potty trained? She is so little. How can she do that?”

“No Love, not on our toilet. We will train her to hold it til we let her outside. The back yard will be her potty. Right now though we need to puppy proof this place.”

“Oh yes, that makes more sense to me,” said Veba as the new puppy waddled over to her and collapsed in her lap. “She is so tired.
Should I put her in bed?”

“Yep, I think that is a very good idea.”

Veba nodded pulled the puppy into her arms and stood up. “Would you like to say goodnight to her?” she asked Rickie with a sweet smile.

Rickie’s face lit up as she looked at the sweet picture and nodded. She kissed the sleeping puppy’s head and then received a tender kiss from her loving wife.

“Night Clark.”

“Night Veba,” Clark watched Veba disappear down the hall.

“To be honest, I think you two will be great parents. I love watching you two with that pooch and I had no idea you knew so much about dogs, old friend.”

Rickie shrugged as she leaned back against the couch. “I have always loved animals. When we were kids our pets were suppose to be everyone’s responsibility but it ended up being mine. Dory didn’t have the patience. I really do love little Lari. She is so sweet, and she can’t help being a pain in the ass. Its part of a puppy’s nature.

“I agree. I think you will be great with a baby and Veba will be sensational. Have you talked yet?”

“No, not til after all this shit with Dory is settled. I wonder if I should talk to Dory.”

“You mean about the mike?”

“No, I mean about quitting school. She is so scared and she may drop out so she doesn’t have to deal with it anymore. I don’t want her to do that she will loose and the Looney will win. I hate that idea.”

“I don’t like it either. Yeah, I think you should talk to her.”

*** *** *** ***

Stephanie answered the door. Rickie could see her sister lying on the bed crying.

“Hi.”

“Hi, would you mind is if I spoke to my sister for a couple of minutes?”

“No, I think that’s a very good idea,” She waived Rickie out and whispered once she closed the door behind her. “She is terrified Rickie. I don’t think she’s thinking straight.”

“I know that. I need to talk to her. I know just how to calm her down. It’ll be ok. My sister has never been a quitter and I won’t let her start now.”

“I know. I don’t want her to be either. I just want to protect her but she won’t let me. What I really want is to kill the bastard.”

“I do too. That won’t help Dory though will it?”

“I guess not. I just…I am…Shit.” Stephanie met Rickie’s eyes sheepishly. “I’ll go keep Clark company.”

Rickie opened the door and went inside her sister’s room. She sat on the edge of the bed and smiled sweetly at her. Doris looked up at Rickie, she wiped her eyes with her fingers and said, “Hi. Where’s Stevie?”

“She’s keeping Clark company. Can I talk to you, Sis?”

Doris sat up against her pillows and nodded.

“I know your scared. I also know you like a book and I can see what’s going on in that brain of yours. You want to quit instead of catching this creep cause your worried about the rest of us.”

Doris closed her eyes and nodded. In a tiny whisper she replied, “Yes.”

“Honey, I know how frightened you are and but I know your heart. You wouldn’t want him to go after another target. What he if went after one of us?”

“I’d want to kill him.”

“Just like we do. We can’t do that. We can only help Clark and his people catch him. Will you do that?”

Scared hazel eyes met loving green and gained strength. “Ok.”

“That’s my big sister.”

Doris rolled her eyes and laughed lightly. She kissed Rickie on the cheek and said in soft emotional voice, “Brat.”

*** *** *** ***

Veba was sitting with Stephanie and Clark. As soon as Rickie came in Veba asked, “Is Dory ok?”

“Yes Love, she’s going take a nap.”

Stephanie nodded and left with out another word.

Rickie sat down beside Veba and asked, “Where is the munchkin?”

“Asleep in her bed and I closed the door like you told me too.”

“You’re such a good Mommy.”

Veba blushed brightly and brought Rickie onto her lap cuddling close. “So are you.”

*** *** ***

Friday morning Clark’s crew arrived to work on the car they were taking to school that night. Clark had brought the set up and demonstrated how it would work to the women and puppy gathered in the living room. Lari sat on Veba’s lap sucking her fingers and wagging her tail happily.

When he finished he asked Doris, “Are you ok with this? Do you have any questions?”

“Yes. Won’t it interfere with our computers in class?”

“No, its set to a very high frequency and the only people to be able to pick it up will be my team.”

“Do I put it on before I leave for school or after our English class?”

“Before you go. I can use a brush up on my English.” said Clark with a smile.

Veba chuckled at that then asked, “Will Dory be able to speak to you too?”

“Yes. It’s two-way. We will hear everything and she can speak to us. If she needs us we’ll be there in seconds.”

“What are you doing to Veba’s car?” asked Stephanie concerned since that was her responsibility.

“Were putting a multi camera rig and Lojack in it just in case.”

“In case of what?” asked Veba innocently.

Clark looked down at Rickie in the chair beside Veba on the couch. She looked up at Clark and instantly knew why he was so slow to answer. She then looked at Veba and answered her quietly.

“In case they try and take our Dory away.”

“No!!!” cried Veba she almost knocked Lari off her lap but settled her baby and looked imploringly at Rickie.

Dory swallowed and said, “I think I will take a nap.” She was crying, she got up slowly and walked out of the room. Stephanie walked right behind her.

Rickie moved to sit beside Veba on the couch absently petting Lari as she said reassuringly, “It’s a worst case scenario my love. It’s not going to happen. Is it?”
“Absolutely not.”

Veba leaned her head on Rickie’s shoulder tears falling down her cheeks. “I am so scared, Rickie.”

“I know Love, we all are.”

*** *** *** ***

Veba was very reluctant to leave her little puppy all alone in the bathroom while they were at school. She was worried that her baby would need her but she and Rickie wouldn’t be there.

“Sweetheart, she has to get used to it. So do you, it will be ok. I promise you. She has her water, food and all her toys. She will probably sleep.”

“But she is in there crying,” cried Veba who had tears falling down her cheeks. She was sitting on the bed and Rickie was holding her back from letting the little puppy out of the bathroom.

“She will curl up and go to sleep as soon as she smells that we’re gone.”

“She’s crying now.”

“Come on my Love. Let’s conduct a little experiment. We will get our books from the office as soon as we close the door and she sees we’re gone she will be quiet.”

Veba swallowed her bottom lip and nodded.

They went to the office and Rickie tried to distract Veba but all the tall woman could think of was the unhappy puppy. When ten minutes passed they went back to their room. They stayed out side Rickie put her finger to lips and motioned for Veba put her ear against the door. Then she smiled at her with a surprised expression. Rickie then motioned her down the hall. They quietly closed the door to the hallway.

“See, she settled down as soon as she knew we were gone. She will be fine. We’ll only be gone for a few hours.”

Veba nodded, “I know that you are right I just miss her already. Is this what being a Mommy will be like?”

Doris kissed her sister-in-law on the cheek and said, “Yes, Sweetie.”

“I do not think I will be able to do that.”

“Yes you will, all parents go through it. Sandy and I did. It took me months just to get her to go out to dinner after our first child was born,” said Clark with a great deal of sympathy.

“Do you think I’ll be a good Mommy, Clark?”

“I think your going to be great at it.”

“Really?” Her thumb was slowly going into her mouth.

Rickie gently pulled the thumb out and kissed it. Clark smiled and nodded. “I think you both will be great.”

“I think your going to a perfect Mom,” said Rickie hugging Veba tight.

Veba’s face lit up, “Really Rickie?”

“Absolutely.”

*** *** *** ***

The three women were very nervous during their computer class. Veba was very distracted during her speech class all she could think of was her family down the hall.

Her teacher gently motioned for her to join him away from the rest of the class and asked, “Veba what’s wrong with you today? I don’t think you have heard a word I said all night.”

Veba looked at her favorite teacher with tear filled blue eyes and replied quietly, “I’m sorry Mr. Andrews I am…I…well I have…I can not…” She shook her head. She promised Rickie and Clark she wouldn’t tell anyone but she couldn’t lie to the kind man either.

“You don’t have to tell me Veba. I’ll tell you what I’ll put together a packet for you to take home. That way you can just go home and take care of your personal business. How does that sound?”

Veba swallowed, then nodded, she smiled very slightly and gently touched his arm. “Thank you for understanding. I will be better next week.”

“I know you will. Take care of yourself.”

Veba simply nodded and swallowed her bottom lip nervously.

**** *** *** ***

Veba went to where Clark and his team were hidden.

“Veba, what are you doing here? Your suppose to be in class.”

“I… I was very scared Clark…I could not listen. My teacher was very nice and let me take my lesson home.”

Clark nodded and stepped aside to let her into the small shed they were set up in.

“Has anything happened yet?”

“Not yet Veba.”

She nodded and sat next to young blonde agent she had met earlier. “Hi Kelly.”

“Hi Veba. Was it a bad class?”

“No I…”

The other team member Peter an attractive young man with a crew cut called for their attention. He looked like a typical TV style FBI agent. He motioned them over to his surveillance screen, “Hey look at this weirdo!”

A figure was stealthily heading toward Veba’s car. He was dressed in black from head to toe. “Its 85 degrees outside and he’s wearing a sweater and knit hat and mask. It’s got to be the guy,” Said Kelly who was now behind Peter.

“Ok Veba you stay here with Peter. Kelly come with me,” directed Clark briskly.

Veba watched them leave then turned toward Peter, “What are they going to do?”

“They can’t do anything until he does something. Keep watching,” explained Peter.

Veba nodded and watched the screen.

The figure moved to the car very slowly. He took a tool and expertly broke into the car. He got in and closed the door.

“He broke into our car!”

“Watch.”

Clark was slowly coming to one side and Kelly on the other. Clark nodded and they both opened the two doors at the same time. Clark pulled the figure out. Something happened and Clark crumbled as the figure got away. Kelly ran to Clarks side then yelled into her walkie talkie, “Call 911 Peter now!” Then she ran after the suspect.

*** *** *** ***

Clark opened bleary eyes to see several pairs of red rimmed eyes looking back at him.

“Hi,” croaked Clark as he tried to sit up.

A gentle hand pushed him back against the pillows, “Lie back down, old man,” said Rickie gently.

“Clark, I’m so sorry I should have crawled through the car and jumped him…”

Kelly, how many times…do I have…to tell you…not to second guess your…self…” panted Clark having a hard time talking, his voice still rough from the pain. He stopped took a deep breath, “Please believe me, you didn’t do this. The perp did.” He smiled at Veba and looked up at Rickie who was beside him. “Where are Dory and Stevie?”

“They are home with our little Lari. Peter is there with too to keep them all safe,” replied a very quiet Veba.

Clark looked at his tall friend her eyes full of tears leaning against a wall trying not show how upset she is. “Tiger why aren’t you home with your baby?”

“Stevie will take care of her…I worried…I was worried about you.”

“Thank you my friend. I’m fine…um… How bad am I?”

“The knife wound hit the stomach and missed the lungs. You will be out ICU tomorrow,” said Rickie quietly. “And Sandy is on her way.”

“Did you call or did the agency.”

Veba shrugged and said, “I called.”

“You are such a doll.”

“You’re my friend, Clark.”

“I know. I am so grateful. Thank you.”

Veba nervously put her thumb in her mouth. Rickie stood up and gently pulled it out. She hugged her tight rubbing her back comfortably. “You ok, Baby?”

Veba nodded.

Rickie kissed her on the cheek and said, “The doctor will be here soon. They will kick us out, so we will be back tomorrow. Anything you want us to bring you.”

“Yeah that assholes head on a platter.”

*** *** *** ***

Veba was in bed with Lari in her lap. She was tenderly petting her puppy but her mind was on her friend in the hospital.

Rickie sat on the edge of the bed. She gently caressed Veba’s cheek, “You ok, Sweetheart?”

“Yes…I think there was something strange man about that man who attacked Clark.”

“You think this was a man?”

Veba bottom lip went in between her teeth and she nodded. Her eyes were on the puppy.

Rickie gently lifted Veba’s chin and said, “Tell me.”

The big blue eyes blinked and she replied, “Yes…I feel it was a man. He had no reason to attack Clark. He could have just pushed him down and run away. He didn’t have to stab him. He wanted to hurt someone.” Frightened blue eyes seared into understanding green. “I am very mad and even more scared then I was before.”

“Why?”

“What if he attacks us next? He knows we all go to class and we all are Dory’s family. How can we protect her and stay safe.”

“Why would he do that?”

“He wants to hurt us, Rickie we are stopping him from being with Dory. I am so very worried about Stevie.”

“Because they are a couple?”

“Yes and because of what he said in that horrible note.”

“Which part?”

“I am going to take you from that unhealthy home.” It is because we love each other, does it not?”

“Yes Baby.”

“So our Stevie is in danger and so are we.”

“Yes, but Sweetheart I have already taken steps to protect us all.” Rickie hugged Veba, little Lari climbed up Veba’s chest so she could get in on the hug. They laughed and Rickie picked up the little girl and cuddled her, “You had a good day in spite of your confinement huh?”

Veba smiled slightly, “Yes, she was fussed over when they came home so she is feeling much better. Dory had come right into here picked up Lari and took her in the living room so she could love and pamper her.”

“And who cleaned up the mess the little darling left?”

Veba’s smile widened in wonder and she scratched Lari’s head as she asked, “Stevie did. How did you know?”

“She was upset so she did what came naturally. Did you give Stevie a treat?”

“What?”

“Well not a dog biscuit.”

Veba laughed, “How about a brownie? There are still about five of them.”

“Veba!”

“I was upset.”

“Three brownies?”

“They were very good.”

Rickie rolled her eyes, “How many biscuits did you get little one?” She asked the puppy tickling her tummy.

Veba smiling brightly as she tickled her under chin, she didn’t look at Rickie as she said softly, “Six.”

“Veba my love you’re spoiling her.”

“She was upset too.”

“So am I. Veba I could eat a whole gallon of ice cream by myself but I’m not…”

“Would you like me to get that for you Love?” asked Veba as she seductively ran her finger down Rickie’s chin.

“Yes….mmm…no….Sweetheart your distracting me…”

“I know,” Veba picked up Lari and leaned over and tenderly kissed Rickie on the nose. Then she put Lari in her bed and said over shoulder as she headed for the door. “I’ll be right back with your ice cream.”

“But…”It was too late the tall beautiful woman smiled brightly and she left the room. She looked at Lari who was walking in circles til she settled in a little ball in her bed.

“You have one stubborn Mommy, Short Stuff.”

*** *** *** ***

Peter answered the door the next day; a pretty woman smiled at him and said, “Hi Peter.”

A smile spread across his face when he saw his superior’s wife. “Sandy! How are you?”

“Ok, I guess I came as soon as I could. I had to make sure there was someone to take care of the kids. Why are you so out of breath? Where are the girls?”

“Outside chasing the new puppy. She somehow got out between our legs and she discovered the game catch me if you can. She’s having a ball. Even Veba can’t catch her.”

“Hmm, where do they keep the puppy’s biscuits?”

Lari was very happily running all over the back yard. Her Mommies and all the family were trying to catch her and she was enjoying the new game of dodging them. Suddenly she heard her favorite treat and ran right to it causing Doris and Kelly to run right into each other.

Sandy was sitting on the porch Peter leaning on the door behind her. She was a small woman with bright green eyes and beautiful short red curly hair. Lari ran for her treat and when she just about get her treat Sandy grabbed her and brought her on her lap. She gave her a biscuit and pet her. Veba and Rickie came up to the porch. Veba sat next to Sandy and Rickie nearly fell into her lap she was so exhausted. Veba gently rubbed Rickie’s tummy; she kissed her then smiled at Sandy and Lari. “Hello Sandy, you are very smart you caught our Lari.”

Veba smiled at the sweet woman with the puppy who was now cuddled on her lap she was almost fast asleep from the run and the gentle petting she was getting. “Hi Veba. I’m not smart I have lots experience with three kids and a menagerie of pets.”

Rickie just caught her breath and said, “Hi Sandy. Yeah but this little rug rat runs like the wind and avoids us like a quarter back.”

“Hi Rickie. They all do dear. She is sweet,” said Sandy as she petted the sleeping pup.

“Thank you for catching our Lari, Sandy. She is very clever as well as sweet. She just discovered this game. Kelly and Peter were going to do something out here and she escaped out of the kitchen door. I almost caught her by the fence but she just wiggled right out of my hands,” said Veba with a chuckle as she reached over to pet her on the top of the head.

“Little brat is too clever. Thanks Sandy at least we now know how to catch the little Houdini,” said Rickie with exasperated affection.

Sandy actually laughed for the first time since she got Veba’s call about her husband’s wounds. “Thanks I needed a laugh. Children and animals always respond to food. She just wanted to play a bit. Didn’t you girl?” The tired puppy snuggled against her fingers in her sleep as Veba and Sandy gently continued to pet her.

“Thank you for helping us Sandy…um, did you see Clark?”

“Yes Veba, I stopped there first. He really wants to get out of there.”

Rickie smiled and said softly, “Sounds like the old man.” She petted Lari and then leaned against Veba’s shoulder. Stephanie and Doris collapsed on the lawn chairs. Kelly and Pete went into the house.

“Clark is worried about you all. He wants to get out so he can capture the bastard that stabbed him,” replied Sandy her eyes were full of deep concern.

“He will not leave the hospital before he is supposed to will he?” Asked Veba worried, she remembered how Rickie had been in the hospital.

“He wants to but Sweetheart please believe me he won’t. He will be a good boy or else.” Sandy with a wicked smile.

“No nookie?” asked Rickie with a smirk.

“You got it.”

“Nookie?” Asked Veba confused.

“I’ll explain it to you in detail tonight, my love.”

“Why tonight? Why not right now?”

“Because I will demonstrate it for you.”

“You will? Um…Ok…” Veba was really confused but she shrugged her shoulder. She knew Rickie would explain it to her. Rickie tenderly stroked her innocent love’s hair then she kissed her cheek. Veba’s eyes fluttered closed in response. “Why don’t put our tired little baby to bed? I’ll take Sandy to the office to show what progress we have made.”

Veba nodded and picked up her sleeping puppy and kissed Rickie on the cheek. Rickie smiled as she moved out of Veba’s way. The tall woman took the baby to their room.

Sandy watched Rickie watching Veba with a sweet smile. “Veba has grown so much since I first met her but she’s still so sweet and innocent.”

“Isn’t she amazing? She is wonderful with Lari. I think we will adopt a baby.”

“Or have one?” asked Sandy.

“Maybe, I don’t know…Veba would like to do that but she’s worried about me…”

“Isn’t she always?”

Rickie snorted and nodded, “Full time job, like Clark.”

“Yes, she asked me about that before you had your commitment ceremony. She was worried about being a good wife since she worried so much…”

“What did you tell her?”

“I told her the truth; I think that shows just what a great wife she would be.”

“And you were right. She’s wonderful.”

“Yes, she is. She is an amazing woman.”

“Absolutely.”

*** *** *** ***

Sandy, Rickie, Kelly and Pete were in the girls office when Veba entered the room after the settling the sleepy puppy down for the night.

“How’s the Munchkin?”

“She is fast asleep. She is very tired. I put her in bed and closed the door. Did you…um, show Sandy that horrible note?” Veba’s face had gone from sweet and loving to extremely angry in seconds.

“Not yet Sweetheart, come here,” Veba went into loving arms that were open and waiting for her. Rickie hugged her close and then pulled back and kissed her love tenderly.

The rest waited with respectful affection. When they pulled back Kelly asked quietly, “Shouldn’t we show Sandy the note?”

Sandy read the note and then looked at the tall brunette. “What do you think, Veba?” Sandy had heard from Clark how insightful the beautiful woman was.

“I think he was happy to hurt Clark. I hate him…I really do!” Her voice was a low growl and she gritted her teeth she was so mad she wanted to go out and the beat the bad man up.

“I know Darling, so do we.” Rickie tenderly brushed the hair from the beloved face and caressed her cheek. Veba closed her eyes feeling deeply comforted by the caress. “I think Sandy wants to know if you get any ideas from the note.”

Blue eyes blinked open and Veba shook her head. “No, I am too mad. I have to calm down first.”

They looked at the note which was again in pink.

Darling, One protecting pest gone. Now I only have to remove a few more and we can be together. I will be at your side again. I am ashamed that I didn’t kill him. I hate and despise anyone who comes between us. I want that whole bunch gone. I will remove you from that unhealthy home and we will be together forever. I promise you.

“We have stopped all deliveries to the house. We also set up a perimeter out side with a surveillance team all over the area so the house and even the block are all protected.” Said Pete softly knowing how upset they all were.

“I didn’t see anything,” said Sandy surprised.

Kelly smiled and said, “That’s the way its suppose to be.”

“I just want to make sure were all safe,” said Rickie anxiously.

Veba was hugging Rickie tightly her eyes were closed and her cheek was resting against Rickie’s soft hair. Veba’s eyes blinked open and met Sandy’s. Veba smiled sweetly and asked quietly, “How is Clark feeling?”

“You’re asking how he is really feeling instead of what he said, right?”

Veba’s smiled brightened slightly and she nodded. “Yes, he is just like my Rickie. He will not say if he hurts either.”

Rickie pulled back and said, “Hey, I do not.”

Veba chuckled and kissed her cheek, “I love you very, very much but you are a very stubborn woman.”

“You love me anyway, huh?” Rickie kissed Veba’s nose and smiled at Veba’s cat-like reaction as she rubbed her nose in response. Then she kissed her passionately.

Veba was purring now as they pulled back for air saying softly, “Forever, no matter what…”

Rickie nodded and said, “And I love you forever too.” Then she pulled her to her kissing her again with a deep need.

“Oh for God’s sake get a room,” Said Doris from the doorway.

Rickie and Veba went to her at once. The poor girl had bags under eyes and it was obvious she had no rest since Clark had been stabbed.

“I thought you were trying to sleep?” asked Rickie very gently.

Doris came in and sank into a chair, “I can’t sleep.”

“But Dory, you must sleep you will get sick.” Veba said softly gently rubbing her back.

“I try Sweetie, I just keep ripping out of sleep from horrible nightmares.”

Sandy went to the exhausted woman taking her hand, “Come on I have some non addictive sleeping herbs. You’ll sleep like a certain puppy.”

“You just happen to have it?” Asked Doris with a slight smile.

“It’s for me. I am married to an FBI agent and I have three lively children I have to do something to ease all that stress.” Sandy helped Doris up and gently led her out of the office. Kelly and Pete followed. They were going to check all the alarms.

Veba leaned her head against Rickie’s shoulder, “Sandy is such a sweet, smart lady.”

“Yep she is the perfect wife for Clark. She has loads of patience but she doesn’t take any crap.”

“Hmm, I could learn a lot from her.”

“You don’t have too. You’re just like her, my love.”

**** *** *** ***

For the third night in a row a series of piercing screams shattered the peace of the night. Three heads popped up. Veba scooped up Lari and joined Rickie as she ran toward Dory and Stevie’s room. They were met at the door by Sandy, Kelly and Pete.

Doris was sitting up in bed trying to catch her breath. Stephanie had been taking naps during the day so she could be there for her love at night.

Veba gently handed the puppy to Rickie and sat on the edge of the bed taking Doris’s hand. “Can you tell me about what happened to scare you?”

Doris was still very scared her red-rimmed hazel eyes met sweet loving blue. She nodded and said in rough voice, “I saw a man…only his back. He was trying to stab Rickie, she pulled away and he came toward me. I screamed again as he tried to put hands around my neck and…and…they were dripping in blood.”

“Where were you?”

“The parking lot in school.”

“You are safe here Dory. He will not hurt you here.”

“How do you know that Veba?” Her voice was full of fear and she was crying again.

“All your dreams are at the parking lot in school, Dory.”

“But Veba these are only dreams…”

Your fear is real and it is not here Dory. You are safe. Please go to sleep you need it.”

“No…I can’t…”

“Yes, you can Love,” Said Stephanie sweetly.

“No!”

“Sis, I know you can.” Rickie put Lari in Dory’s hands and the puppy licked the beloved face making the upset woman smile. “Lari can keep you company.”

“I’d squish her,” said Doris with a slightly wider smile as she petted the puppy’s soft ears.

Lari happily licked Doris hands and tried to climb up Doris chest. Sandy sat on the other side of the bed she said, “Doris take another dose; it’s been four hours.”

“Isn’t that too much,” asked Stephanie worried.

“No she can take more if there is separation. She needs to get some sleep. I’ll get you a half dose.”

Stephanie whispered to Rickie, “I don’t want her to get addicted.”

Rickie gently touched her arm and said, “It’s an herb called Kava-Kava it’s harmless. I have taken it myself. Sandy wouldn’t hurt her.”

Kelly and Pete went back to their monitoring systems. Sandy came back with pills and some water.

Rickie and Veba moved back from the bed with Lari cradled in Veba’s arms.

“Sandy come have a chat with us before you go back to sleep.” Sandy nodded and Rickie smiled slightly she took her loves arm and led her family back to their room.

*** *** ***

When they got back to the room they settled on the bed with Lari cuddled on Veba’s lap. Veba gently stroked Lari’s ears, she didn’t look up as she asked very quietly with obvious worry in her voice, “Do you think Stevie will leave Dory?”

“They are going through a tough period, but you know that we have too.”

Veba nodded.

Sandy knocked. After Rickie let her in, she explained Veba’s concern to her. She sat on the bed and gently lifted Veba’s chin. Teary blue eyes met the compassionate eyes of the older woman who asked, “When you and Rickie were going through a tough period did you ever consider leaving her?”

“No, never!”

“No, I could never leave my Baby either, I love her too much,” said Rickie passionately still leaning against the door to their bedroom.

Veba looked at Rickie. The tear-stained face called the blonde woman to her in an instant. Rickie pulled Veba into a hug, then Veba looked over Rickie’s shoulder and asked softly, “Why did you ask that, Sandy?”

“I think that their love is as powerful as yours and I know they are going through a very bad storm but I think they will make it through. Their love is very deep. My real concern is Dory’s health. She is allowing that creep to make her sick.”

“Yes, I know. We’ve all talked til we were blue in the face about it. She knows intellectually that she shouldn’t but emotionally…” Rickie’s voice trailed off. Veba kissed her on the forehead and Lari licked her chin.

“When I had my nightmares they did not stop til my step father killed himself. When he was gone I felt safe. He killed my parents and my uncle…I…”

“Sweetheart are you saying that this won’t stop til we get this jerk?”

Veba nodded. She brought up the puppy and rubbed her tear-stained cheek against the soft fur. Lari enjoyed that, she happily licked the salty tears making the upset woman smile a bit.

Rickie shook her head and said, “Lari, come here let me take care of your Mommy.” She gently took the pup kissed her on the head then handed her to Sandy. Sandy took the little girl onto her lap turning her over and tickling her tummy.

Rickie pulled her beloved in a tight hug and said, “We’ll finish this. We will protect our family. Dory is going to be ok.”

“I hope so, I am so worried.”

“I know Sweetheart, we are stronger then that bastard is. We will be ok.”

Veba nodded against Rickie’s shoulder then she asked, “Rickie is there a way to follow the email back to this bad man?”

Rickie pulled back and looked into intelligent blue eyes that were full of several emotions, worry, anger, fear and love. “Yes I think so. Why?”

“I do not want this bad man to attack us anymore. I want to attack him.” said the beautiful brunette angrily.

Rickie nodded, she agreed with Veba, “Sounds good but how?”

“Is there a way to find out where they are coming from? I think we need to find and let this man know who he is playing with.” Veba now looked like a powerful avenging Goddess. Sandy was amazed at the transformation she was glad that Veba was on their side.

*** *** *** ***

A young man knocked on the front door and Kelly answered it. She smiled saucily and said, “Hey Mike! I’m glad they dug you out from under your comic books for this.”

“Very funny beautiful. How are you? How’s the boy genius.”

“Shut up, they are all waiting for you in the back of the house.”

Kelly led the handsome Native American to the girls office. Pete smiled, “Hey Mike old boy I’m glad it’s you they sent.”

“That’s what you beautiful friend said. They said you needed a cool cat.”

Veba looked at Rickie completely lost by what they were talking about. “It’s just teasing, Love.”

“Oh?”

Pete smiled affectionately at the beautiful brunette, “Veba this is Mike Littlefeather. He’s one of our top agents and a very talented hacker.”

“Hacker?”

Mike smiled charmingly at the tall woman, “Wow, are you gorgeous. What Pete means is that I am good at working with computers.”

Rickie slid in front her wife and said with wicked grin, “Hi Mike, I’m Rickie this is my wife Veba. She is very bright in fact she is a genius; your boss is trying to steal her services…”

“He is not!” Veba said behind Rickie slipping her arms around her loves stomach.

“Can’t blame him.”

“Mike lay off Veba,” said Sandy from the doorway. “Clark wouldn’t like it.”

“I am just admiring all the beautiful women. I adore you Sandy.”

“He’s harmless girls, really. Mike get cracking.”

Mike chuckled got out his laptop and got to work.

*** *** *** ***

Rickie found Veba lying on their bedroom floor playing with Lari.

Rickie closed the door again and sat on floor by Veba, “What are doing in here love?”

“That man makes me…um…”

“Nervous?”

Veba bit her lower lip and nodded.

“Because he flirted with you?”

Veba put her head against Lari’s furry body and rubbed her cheek as she whispered, “Yes.”

“Well my Darling, I keep telling you how beautiful you are now you have proof of it. To put your mind at ease the man is just a flirt. He’s really sweet and he is upset he hurt your feelings. He is already on the trail of the stalker. We will need you soon.”

Veba looked up from Lari and met loving green eyes. She took a deep breath and nodded. “Ok. He does not mean what he says then?”

“No. He meant that you’re very beautiful. He just didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. He knows you are very taken. I spoke to him and he promises not to do anything to scare you away again.”

“He does?”

“Yes, he thinks your beautiful but recognizes how smart and valuable you are. He just can’t help but react to your looks.”

“That is why I came in here. None of the other men we know do what does to me.”

Rickie smiled softly and said, “My Sweet, most men love to flirt with pretty women. It’s playful and natural unless they touch you there is nothing wrong with it. Pete thinks you’re pretty too.”

“He does? He never even looks at me…”

“That’s because he’s shy and you’re beautiful…”

“Rickie…”

“Sweetheart, put the baby in her bed and come here.”

Veba tenderly kissed Lari and placed her gently in her bed. Then she stood up and walked to the bed standing beside Rickie. Rickie looked up and patted the space beside her. As soon as Veba was beside her she pulled her love to her and kissed her deeply and passionately.

Then she pulled back and said, “I know that I am the only person your in love with and I hold that to my heart as a special gift. That said, I have to tell you that no matter what you think, other people are going to notice how drop dead gorgeous you are. They would have to be dead not to. As long as you don’t return it and its no more than flirting it really doesn’t bother me.”

“I do not return it. It does bother me. I only want you to think I am beautiful.”

“I do. I am so proud of you. You’re so special. I love you so deeply that I know in my heart that no one could take you from me and so I know that a little flirting won’t hurt us. Mike is nice guy; I like him. I think if you give him chance you will too.”

“Well…if you think he is nice…I love and trust you…I will try, Rickie…Love, and he will not try to…um…?

“Touch you disrespectfully?”

Veba nodded sucking her lower lip.

“No, He won’t. He’s a playful pup like our Lari. Flirting is his way of playing. He’s flirted with all of us. It’s just his way. I think you will feel ok in the office.”

“Ok Rickie, I will try.”

Rickie kissed her and rubbed noses with her making her smile. “That’s my girl.”

**** *** *** ***

Rickie led Veba back into their office. Veba was holding tightly to Rickie’s hand as she looked at the others through her long eyelashes.

Sandy came over to her shy friend and put a gentle hand on her shoulder, “Don’t worry Veba. Mike will be good; he promised me.”

Mike looked over at Veba and nodded, “Hi Veba. I promise I won’t scare you away again.”

“Hi Mike. I was not comfortable with you but you did not scare me.”

“I just say what I think but I didn’t mean anything disrespectful.”

“I know Rickie told me…I love my Rickie only…um I can be your friend though.” She held her hand out to shake his; Mike smiled and gently took her hand shaking it looking very relieved.

“I’d like to be your friend, Veba. You’re a very special person from what all your family has just told me.” He smiled at her in a friendly way.

“Ok, now that were all friends again tell Veba and Rickie what you found out,” said Sandy softly.

Veba sat on her chair, Rickie sat on the corner of their desk her fingers entwined with Veba’s. Their complete attention was on Mike.

“I back tracked the encrypted message through several lines and I traced it back to the school.”

“That means it could be anyone at the school,” said Veba softly.

“Yes, but I did some hacking and I found out who’s password was used, and then traced that. It does belong to your class, some creep named Bart.”

Veba looked shyly at Rickie; her face reflected the shock she felt, “You were right, huh?” Rickie asked Veba very softly.

“He was on my list of bad people. Do you know where he lives, Mike?”

“I can find it.”

“Love, what are you plotting in your brilliant mind?”

Veba’s face reflected her anger. She was also aware that it was not in her to be a vindictive person. “I want to make him think twice before he hurts our family again.”

“You’re going to try and scare him?”

Angry blue eyes met just as angry green, “Yes I am.”

Rickie smiled grimly, “Good my Darling, very good. So am I.”

*** *** *** ***

Veba was petting her puppy on the couch her expression was deeply thoughtful. Lari was relishing the loving attention.

Rickie saw the expression on her loves face and approached the couch.
She sat on the arm of the couch putting her arm around Veba’s shoulders.

“Is Lari helping?”

Veba smiled at her and nodded, “Yes, she is so sweet, so comforting…I really am glad we have her now. Is that wrong?”

“You mean your playing with her when you’re upset?”

Veba nodded, rubbing her cheek against Lari’s soft fur.

“No. All she knows is that you love her and your playing with her and she knows she is making you feel good, so that’s a good thing…”

“Rickie, am I bad?”

“Bad?”

Veba swallowed and nodded.

“Why would you ask that?”

“I want to make that man pay for what he did to Dory and especially Clark. I want him to suffer for every moment of pain he has brought to my family.”

“No, cause I’d be bad too. I want that son of bitch to rot in jail forever…”

“I can’t stop hating him…I am very scared I will become bad.”

Rickie pulled Veba closer and kissed the top of her head, Veba gently put the puppy on a pillow and then pulled Rickie onto her lap. She then kissed her love passionately. Lari decided she wanted in on the fun and went onto Rickie’s lap crawling up between the two women. They both pulled back giggling at the puppy’s antics. Rickie settled the puppy on her lap and then said, “Looks like our baby has our curiosity.” Veba smiled and played with the soft ears of the tiny puppy. Rickie gently caressed her loves face and said, “Sweetheart you are too good and kind to be turned into a bad person. Just worrying about it shows what good soul you are. You see a bad person wouldn’t give a damn. To me you are an angel.”

“No, I’m not… I just want you to be proud of me.”

“I am. You’re such a special person…”

“No Rickie you are…”

They were about to kiss again, when Lari stuck her head between them trying to get a lick in herself. “You really want in on the fun, you little stinker.”

Veba chuckled and kissed her puppy on the nose, “She is such a good girl, isn’t she?”

“Hmm, no not good; she’s lovable, sweet, charming, adorable…”

“You do love her? Don’t you?”

“Yes, I do. I just love you more.”

“I love you the most too.”

“Do you want to have our baby talk now?”

Veba looked at her through her long black eye lashes, “Not yet, I think we should make sure that everyone is safe first.”

“We will talk though…?”

“Ok.” Veba looked up at her, her eyes were glowing. Do you?”

“Yes, I sure do.”

“Oh really? I am so glad.”

“Yeah, I am very glad we will talk about it I think it’s very important.”

“I do too.”

*** *** *** ***

Veba was writing in a note book, her school books all around her. She was deeply concentrating. She had school the next evening and unlike her usual custom she had not touched her homework.

Lari came trotting up to her Mommy and plopped herself right into middle of the books that Veba was studying.

Veba smiled and picked up her puppy saying, “No Sweetheart, Mommy has to finish her home work.”

She kissed her on the head and settled her on her lap.

Then she continued to work on her homework. Rickie smiled, “What are you doing, my Sweet?”

“My history homework. Did you finish it?”

“Yep, I finished it. I still have to work on my essay for Poly Sci.”

“I finished that, I am working on my History essay. I am still confused by the Alamo thing. Were we the ones who started it or not?”

“It depends on whose side you’re on, which contingent did she assign you?”

“I am to write from the view point of the protectors.”

“I think it was 50-50, but if you write from the protector’s perspective then the Spanish started it.”

“So why is it like that? Why is it 50-50?”

“Because it really depends on how you look it. There are more ways to look at it than that. There are actually hundreds of angles in an armed conflict. May I see what you have so far?” She asked snuggling next to Veba and tickling Lari on the belly.

Veba looked nervous as she handed it to Rickie.

“Why are you so worried? This is very good so far…All you have to do is tie all the loose ends and put it in your summation.”

“Yes. I am trying to be fair and I can’t tie it up. It’s…um…”

“Biased?”

“Um…?”

“Prejudice?”

Veba nodded, “Yes I do not want to be prejudiced, but I do not want to misquote it either.”

“Ok, when you tie it up use the prospective of the protectors. Then when you sum it up use your own stating that it is your opinion.”

“Thank you,” Veba pulled Rickie close, “Perfect.” She whispered in her ear before she nibbled it. Then she kissed her passionately. When she pulled back she picked up her notebook and busily started writing.

Rickie smiled at her love affectionately and picked up Lari, “Come on Munchkin your Mommy is busy getting another A.”

*** *** ***

The family came home from school. Sandy had a book in her hands when she looked up to greet them.

Veba smiled at her and asked softly, “Where’s Lari?”

“She’s pooped. I put her to bed.”

Veba nodded and went to their room to see the little girl. The others plopped on the couch.

“Is Mike still working on Veba’s idea?” asked Rickie curling up on the end of the couch very tired.

“Yep he and Pete have been your office all night.”

“Any progress?”

“I’ve no idea. I’ve not heard a peep from them all night.”

“How’s Clark?” Asked Dory, she was curled up in one of the easy chairs with Stevie.

“Much, much better. He wants to leave now, but the doctor did some more tests so he has to wait til tomorrow.”

“Great!” Said Veba happily as she reentered the room and cuddled next to Rickie. “Lari was very good. She didn’t do anything at all. I just took her outside; the poor little thing really had to go.”

Rickie kissed Veba on the top of the head getting a happy purr in response.

“Did you give her a treat?”

“Um…yes….”

“How many?”

“Uh…five…”

“Veba!” Rickie pulled back shocked.

“She was a very good girl.”

“Yes, but five of them?”

“She deserved something…”

“You are so spoiling that pooch…”

Veba looked worried, “Sorry Rickie.”

Rickie smiled and kissed Veba tenderly,”It’s ok Sweetheart, she was a good girl. It was her first time with no accidents. Two is more then enough though.”

Veba put her head on Rickie’s shoulder, “I know.” Sighed Veba, “She was just so good and she wanted more and she looked up at me with those sweet eyes…”

“It’s like holding her all the time and feeding her scraps. It may be what she wants but it’s not good for her.”

“Ok Rickie.” Veba cuddled her cheek into the warm shoulder as she sighed again.

“I love you Mommy Veba.”

Veba suddenly smiled in reaction, “I love you too Mommy Rickie.”

“Yuck, that is way too much sweetener for me,” said Dory with a smile.

“Shut up, Sis.”

“That’s the first time you said that to me in a while. I must be getting better.”

“You are Love,” said Stephanie kissing the top of her head.
“You look much better Dory. How do you feel?” asked Veba.

“Thanks to all of you I feel much better. Especially since nothing happened tonight.”

Pete came into a living very tired but happy. “Mike wants all of you to come to the office. He has Veba’s little message for the perp ready to go.”

*** **** ***

“Ok, I sent it,” Mike said looking at the people gathered around him.

“Good,” said Rickie with an evil grin.

“Do you think it will work?” asked Veba quietly.

“Well it may not stop him but it will slow him down,” said Pete quietly.

“I think it might scare him but not stop him,” Sandy said thoughtfully, “Not someone this obsessed, he will keep coming.”

“That’s what I am scared of. I wonder?” Veba looked at Kelly thoughtfully, “Is this man being watched?”

“Yes, we put a team on him as soon as we found him?”

“Can we not set a trap?”

“What kind of a trap, Veba?” Asked Dory.

“I am not sure, but now he knows we know I want him to feel upset. Like he is being watched. If he feels like he’s being watched by the FBI maybe he will get scared and make a mistake.”

“So you want our guys to be visible?” asked Pete.

“Yes, but I want to be more than that. I want you to ask him questions. I want him to feel like he is a suspect.”

“He is,” said Kelly.

“Well with that note and the FBI, he will feel very nervous,” said Rickie.

“I want him to be more than scared. I want him to be terrified. How can we do that?” Veba’s mind was moving fast as she tried to figure it out her eyebrows furrowed and she tapped her finger on the arm of the chair.

Rickie kissed her cheek, “You’ll think of something.”

“Why?”

“Cause you’re a genius.”

“Rickie?”

“You are. We can prove it can’t we, Dory?”

“Yes, lay off her Rickie. She is turning as red as a beet.”

“I think she looks beautiful,” said Rickie then she kissed her on her neck and nibbled her ear licking the rim with a satisfied moan.

“Rickie?” said Veba in a throaty voice her eyes closed.

“Come on Love. I think we need some inspiration.” Rickie took her hand led her out of the office.

“They are so cute,” said Sandy affectionately.

“It is inspiring,” whispered Kelly her eyes lifting to look at Pete.

*** *** *** ***

Sandy brought Clark to the girls place. He smiled sheepishly at his hero’s welcome. He was brought directly into the guest room which had a “Welcome Back” sign and Lari was placed on stomach. She licked his hands welcoming him home knowing how much her Mommies loved him.

Clark was a bit embarrassed but he joked, “I guess I should get stabbed more often…”

“That’s not funny, Clark,” His wife chastised him gently slapping his arm.

“Sorry Darling. How are the kids?”

“Fine, they are all relieved that you’re ok. They wanted to come out but I told them you’d want them to finish out their school year and you’ll be coming home soon.”

“As soon as we nail that asshole.”

“Veba has an idea on that subject,” said Doris proudly.

“What’s your idea, Tiger?”

Veba laughed and rolled her eyes at the silly nick name that Clark insisted on calling her. “I asked Pete and Mike to send the bad man a message that let him know we know who he is and where he is.”

“We set up a surveillance team to watch the suspect. Hopefully the combination will make him nervous enough to make a mistake.” said Kelly quietly leaning against a wall by the door.

“I want to be in on this,” growled Clark.

“Clark,” said Sandy in warning tone.

Rickie tilted her head and smiled at her old friend, “I think I have a way that you can and still not leave this bed.”

“How?”

Rickie chuckled, “Let it percolate a bit before I tell you.”

*** *** *** ***

Veba was working on her homework for her speech class and Rickie was working on some logistics for her plan at their partner’s desk in their office.

Blue eyes glanced up from her paper to the busy blonde, “Rickie?”

“Yes, Love?”

“Are you sure we will be ready before he tries something?”

“Yep. He was very careful even when he stabbed Clark. There was no panic every move is slow and careful. If he tries something it will be at school after or during the computer class.”

“Yes. I do not think he will attack here. All Dory’s fears are centered at school. Um…Sweetheart…. your plan is very complicated.”

Rickie looked up and smiled into the worried blue eyes. “It is but it will work.”

“I have faith in you. I am just worried that all the pieces will not be in place on time.”

“They will.”

Veba shook her head and said softly, “You are so smart.”

“Not as smart as you…”

“Yes you are…” Veba swiftly got up swept Rickie in her arms kissing her deeply. “We are,” she whispered into her loves ear nibbling it as she carried her to their bedroom.

*** *** *** ***

The family separated after English class. They were all wearing set ups. Veba had made special arrangements with her speech teacher who accepted her homework packet and gave her another one with a worried look. She promised she would explain everything later and to her relief he nodded accepting her word.

She went to her post and waited for her Rickie’s plan to unfold.

Clark was in bed with a laptop and communications set on flat table that was made so it would fit over his stomach. Mike was sitting on the floor running his technical command post from his laptop.

Sandy and Lari sat in a large comfortable chair that Veba had moved into the bedroom for her. That was Veba’s idea knowing that Sandy would want to be in there and not wanting her to be uncomfortable all night.

Veba, Pete and Kelly were in several spots outside of the classroom out of sight. There were other agents and a few police friends of Rickie scattered around too.

Veba and Kelly were in the Ladies Room watching the classroom through a small window. She had put her homework in Kelly’s car and walked quickly with her to their post.

Pete was in an empty classroom with a couple of other agents. They had a camera set up with the permission of the computer class professor they were watching inside the classroom for a high sign from Rickie or for trouble in any form. After the School Chancellor was presented with all the evidence he became very cooperative with what they were requesting.

The nervous suspect entered the classroom. He didn’t look at anyone. He went straight to his monitor and waited for the class to begin. The professor entered. He was in on Rickie’s plan and had been very helpful and cooperative since Dory got her first note here in his classroom. He was very worried about Dory and her sister.

Rickie sat quietly waiting for their first break to put her plan into action.

As they waited, Kelly asked Veba, “Can I ask you something?”

“Sure,” her eyes never leaving the classroom across the way but her voice was gentle.

“Did you know right away that you loved Rickie?”

“Yes.”

“How?

“That is a very hard question, Kelly. I…felt in my tummy. I just wanted to hold her forever. She made me happy for the first time in long time. She made me feel safe; I had not felt that way since my father died. I felt so sad when she left me and so very happy when we were together that I knew I loved her.”

Kelly nodded looking down at her own shoes. Then she asked in whisper, “Did you feel her love for you right away too?”

Veba shook her head no. She looked at Kelly with honest blue eyes, “No, I am not like you.” Her eyes went back to the Classroom but she continued explaining quietly. “At that time I did not live like you do…I did not know how people acted. I only knew a few things from magazines and comic books. I remembered how love felt from when I was little girl but that is not the same. I heard tiny bits of conversation from time to time but like Rickie said it was not enough to understand speech. That is why I speak so badly.”

“You don’t Veba, really. I think you speak very well better than I do in fact.”

Veba chuckled and shook her head, “No. I speak slowly. I do not know a lot of words. I am getting better. I read a lot. My professor says I am doing well in my speech class.”

“I think you’re great. Everyone does.”

Veba blushed and looked her saying softly, “Thank you, Kelly.” She looked back out the window and said with a wide grin, “I think Pete loves you too.”

Kelly’s eyes widened, “How did you know?”

“I listen to people and watch how they act. Rickie says it’s a talent. I don’t know how I do it. I just do,” said Veba with a slight shrug of her shoulders.

“It is a talent. A special one. Yes, it’s Pete. How did you tell…” Clark’s voice broke in to her words from their ear pieces, “They are calling break, get ready. Remember don’t move til I say so.” Putting a cautious hand on Veba’s well developed bicep.

“I know…but Kelly, I will do what I have to protect my family. Don’t be mad at me.”

*** *** *** ***

Rickie nodded at Stephanie who nodded back. She took Dory’s hand and led her quickly out of the classroom. The room quickly emptied of students which was not unusual most left to get a snack, go to the bathroom or smoke.

Rickie approached the man who was torturing her family with very angry green eyes. “So did you get our note?” She growled.

His head snapped up to meet icy green eyes that seared into his black ones. “What note?”

“Our note telling you that you won’t be able to fulfill your little fantasy, Sicko!”

“I…you….your CRAZY!”

“No, we both know who is crazy and it isn’t me. Let me make this clear. My Sister is not at all interested in you and never could be. Even if we all disappeared she would still spit in your face. So leave her alone or face the consequences.”

“Back off now. Rick. He is too close to you damn it,” growled Clark into her earpiece.

“I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about you little Bitch. Leave me alone or I promise you will be sorry.”

“Listen Bart. I know where you live. I know where you work. I know what your car you drive and what the car payments are. I’m a detective. As soon as you started to harass my Sister I dug you out. No one torments my Sister and gets away with it.”

“I am not….I couldn’t….I love her.”

“You have lost it. You don’t know her, she doesn’t know you…”

“She’s been corrupted by you and your sick friends. She just thinks she’s in love with that red headed slut. She’s just got to see the light…”

“Rick back up now. He’s got a knife he just pulled it out of his pocket,” yelled Clark.

The crazed man suddenly lunged at her with the knife. She held up her English book and deflected the strike. The knife fell to the ground and skids under a desk.

Rickie put her foot over it and he yelled, “Get the fuck off my God damned knife!!!”

“I do not think she will,” said Veba from behind them her voice as soft as a kitten’s purr but she looked as dangerous as a panther.

He looked up and up til he met icy blue eyes in a set angry face. Kelly and Pete were on both sides of her with their guns drawn. Pete pulled Rickie back, her book falling to the ground breaking all the pages scattering around the room like butterflies. All eyes were on Veba and Bart. Veba had picked up the knife and now they were just standing their staring each other down.

“Veba…Tiger, give the knife to Kelly and back off, please.”

“No Clark. I will not back off,” she answered her friend aloud and suddenly turned and kicked the surprised man in the gut. She held the knife and growled, “Is this knife you used to stab our friend?”

He coughed and looked at his enraged attacker, he’d never been on the receiving end before and he was scared but he wouldn’t let this dyke stop him from getting the woman he loved. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. Someone pull this crazy broad away from me.”

“I do not believe anyone here thinks that I am crazy.”

“Sweetheart please pull back now,” Clark pleaded, he was afraid he might have a gun.

“No Clark, I am not done.” She looked down at the man. Instead of going back she went forward. Rickie started toward her love but Pete held her back. Kelly was readying herself to protect Veba if the man tried anything that the tall woman wasn’t prepared for.

“I am not crazy. I am not in love with someone who does not know me, who does not talk to me or even looks at me. I am not the one who has been threatening innocent people. I am not the one who broke into our car and stabbed an FBI agent…”

“FBI?!?”

“Yes, you are a very dangerous man. I will not let you hurt my friends and family anymore.” She had been backing him up by threatening him with his own knife; he suddenly stood up and jumped out the closed window. Glass scattered everywhere. Rickie pulled out of Pete’s arms and ran to Veba pulling her back. She carefully checked Veba to make sure she wasn’t cut. When she was sure she was ok, she pulled her into her arms and held her tight.

She heard Clark, “Get the subject he’s most likely armed and badly cut.”

“Veba Honey, what were you thinking? He could have had a gun! He could have shot you!” Rickie cried as her hand tenderly rubbed her loves back.

“I…I was mad…I wanted him to know how mad I was. Do you think that was the knife he stabbed Clark with?”

Rickie pulled back and looked at it. “It could be. It looks like the same from the footage on the tape.”

“He’s in the parking lot,” yelled one of the agents. Both Veba and Rickie heard it from their earpieces. Veba tried to gently slip out of Rickie’s strong arms. “Oh no you don’t, remember our discussion. We think of each other before we jump into battle.”

“You didn’t…”

“So do as I say not as I do…”

“Rickie that is silly…”

“Sweetie stay here, for me. Pretty please?”

Veba looked deeply into her beloveds eyes and nodded. She put the knife down on the desk and hugged Rickie tightly. They stayed there and waited for them to catch the man that Veba wanted so badly to hurt that her tummy ached.

*** *** *** ***

The suspect was shot to death in the parking lot. He got to his car pulled out a rifle and shot at the agents and police. He wounded two people but only the suspect was killed. The Agent and Policewoman were sent to the hospital with minor wounds.

Inside the trunk they found another note, several knives, a hand gun, and a laptop. The FBI had taken jurisdiction since Clark had been stabbed and took possession of all the evidence. The note was to be left to Dory’s family and in the laptop; they found everything he had done trail of all the notes he sent and all his plans and strategies. They raided his apartment and found it plastered with pictures of Doris. The pictures of the others girls were shredded and some had a fate that Clark didn’t think the girls needed to know about. His stomach twisted in anger as heard the report over the telephone.

When Veba came in to reclaim her baby she had a very angry agent waiting for her.

“What the hell were you thinking Veba? You’re suppose to be the calm reasonable one in this family.”

“Not when someone threatens it Clark. Rickie was in great danger. I did what I had to do to protect her. I warned Kelly that I would.” Lari licked her Mommy happily Veba pulled her puppy close, very happy to have her in her arms. “Was she a good girl Sandy?”

“Yes, she didn’t even have one accident; she mostly stayed with me and cuddled all day.”

“Oh, you’re a good girl aren’t you Love? Come on lets get your treats.” Veba left a flabbergasted Clark who looked at his wife with a funny flatfooted expression.

Sandy laughed, “You would have done the same thing Sweetheart and you know it. When family is threatened reason flies out the window.”

Clark laid back and closed his eyes, “Oh, I give up.”

Mike silently chuckled he closed up his laptop and left the husband and wife alone.

*** *** *** ***

Veba sat on the steps of the back porch watching Lari do what she had to do. Rickie came out and sat on the step next to her.

“Are you mad at me?” Rickie asked softly from the doorway.

“Me? I thought you were mad at me? You did not speak to me all the way home.”

“I was thinking. I thought about what he had in that trunk what his intentions were, and what could have happened. I also thought about you saying that I didn’t think of you, of our family when I rushed into danger. I also thought about me almost getting stabbed, and you almost getting shot all because you were mad. I am very worried about us all Love.”

“Why?” Asked Veba confused. Her eyes were clear but there was tension in the soft voice.

“How we both react to danger. We both rush toward it instead of away from it. Are we healthy? Sane?”

Lari trotted up to her Mommies and plopped into Veba’s lap panting. Veba smiled down and petted her ears as she said quietly to the puppy, “Good girl.” Then she looked at her wife and answered, “I think we love each other and our family passionately. We both love deeply and will do anything to protect each other. I think that is good. I think we care deeply about other people and have a deep need to protect the innocent. Yes, I think we are both healthy and sane, My Love.”

“Do you think we should have children since we do this?”

“Clark does.”

“He has Sandy; we have four hard-headed women.”

Veba smiled and pulled Rickie closer, and then kissed her tenderly. She pulled back and took a biscuit out of her pocket for Lari which she nibbled happily. “Yes, I have been thinking a lot about it and I think it will be good. We have a lot of love to give a child. We love and respect each other. With four of us our baby will always have a Mommy no matter what happens. It makes me feel safer about having a baby.”

Rickie shook her head and kissed her loves nose, smiling, “So you would like to have a baby?”

“Yes, very much. I am only worried about what you feel.”

Rickie kissed Veba tenderly and confiscated the biscuits from Veba’s coat pocket as she reached inside to give Lari a third biscuit. She pulled back and smiled at Veba’s pout. She traced her lips and said, “Remember two is enough.” She pulled Lari so she was no on her back on both their laps and tickled her belly. She then replied softly to the question of the hour.

“I think you will be a great Mom. I have no doubt about that. I think your right about our protective instincts and all of us loving the baby. I just worry about me. I am so quick-tempered I think I will be a rotten Mom.”

“No you wouldn’t your wonderful with Lari…”

“Sweetheart, she’s a dog.”

“So. Love is love. That’s all that matters. You will love our baby even more than Lari and that’s a lot. I think you will make a wonderful Mommy.”

“I will love our baby with every last breath, just as I do you. I just wonder if its right.”

“Because of the danger?”

“Yes.”

“I…I do not know. I know my heart says yes, that it will be ok. I want a baby badly. I have for a while, ever since I knew I had your love I wanted to share that with a baby. My head sees all the stuff you have said but I think we can handle it. We are good loving people and we deserve a baby and more importantly, our baby deserves us.”

“You really think so?”

Veba nodded.

“You thought about this a lot haven’t you?

“Yes. Have you?”

Rickie nodded. Rickie looked at the puppy as she curled up on their laps very happy and contented. It would be wonderful to look at a baby curled up on our laps like this. And my Veba would be a great Mom.

“Ok my love lets do it.”

“Really?”

“Yes I want a baby so much I can barely breathe.”

Veba’s face lit up with the most beautiful smile. “Me too.” She hugged Rickie to her and kissed her passionately.

*** **** ***

Pete was cleaning up the equipment from the office when Veba came in she leaned against the door way just watching him for a few minutes.

“Hi Pete.”

Pete looked up surprised he thought she was having breakfast with the rest of the family.

“Hi, is everything ok?”

Veba nodded and smiled shyly. “Yes…um, have you talked to Kelly since you got back last night?”

“No, why?”

“Can I ask you something?”

“Sure.”

“Do you like her?”

Pete looked very surprised by the question, then he started to pack again as he replied quietly, “I don’t know what you mean.”

Reading the shy man very easily Veba smiled and said. “I know you like her Pete. In fact I think you are in love with her, are you not?”

“Veba! What makes you say something like that?”

“Watching. I watch people to learn stuff. I have for a long time because I had no one to talk to so I watched people through peep holes in the building I lived in. I…I know I won’t see you again at least for a while…I know you love her so I thought I’d help.”

“Veba I…” He sat down in one of the desk chairs and then said in soft embarrassed voice, “I do have deep feelings for her. It doesn’t matter much though I have seen the men she goes out with and I’m not like them at all. She likes men like Clark, handsome and dashing. I’m not like that.”

“You do not understand Pete; those are the men that ask her out. That does not mean that she likes that type of man they are just the ones who ask her out.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Have you ever attempted to ask her out? Even for a cup of coffee after an assignment?”

Pete looked down and stared at his knees as he shook his head, “No, I never thought I was good enough for her.”

“And she thinks you don’t like her.”

“How do you know that?”

“I watch you; you look at her when she’s not looking at you. She would stare at you when you are looking at something else. I don’t know a lot but since I fell for Rickie I do recognize longing in a person’s eyes. I know you love her. Why don’t you just talk to her?”

“You don’t understand Veba; an Agent like Kelly wouldn’t like a nerd like me.”

“Why don’t you let Kelly make that choice?”

“I’m scared.”

“Of what?”

“Rejection.”

“I know how hard it is to go against your fears I do it all the time. The only thing you can do is take a deep breath and do it.”

“You are a very brave woman Veba.”

“So are you.”

“I know I will screw it up.”

“How can you screw it up if you never try? You will never be with the woman you love if you don’t talk to her about it. At least ask her out for a cup of coffee.”

Scared brown eyes met very compassionate blue and Pete nodded, “Ok, I’ll try.”

Veba smiled and nodded back, “That is all you can do.”

*** *** ***

Veba entered her room she looked in the doggy bed and smiled lovingly at the puppy fast asleep holding her new soft toy a fish that Sandy had gotten her as a going away present.

The shower turned off and Rickie came out wrapped in a towel and Veba met her half way to their bed. She wrapped her arms around the tall woman and Veba put her long arms around her shoulders.

“How did it go with Pete?”

“Ok, I think he will ask her out at least. It’s a step in the right direction,” said Veba as she began to kiss the naked shoulder that was right next her.

“Yes, he has to take baby steps.” Said Rickie closing her eyes and stretching her neck as Veba tenderly nibbled her at her pulse point.

“Mmm, you have to crawl before you can walk.” Then Veba started to suck on a tasty ear enjoying the deep moan she got in response.

“Ummm, Where…did…you …learn…that…” moaned Rickie starting to get distracted by the nibbles and kisses.

Veba pulled back slightly and said, “My mags.” Then she licked the rim of the ear causing Rickie to almost lose her ability to stand. It was all right; Veba caught her and cradled her in arms.

“That’s nice…” Rickie murmured forgetting what the hell they were talking about.

“Yes it is,” Veba whispered back she had dropped both of them on the bed and was now exploring the warm skin she loved so very much.

*** *** *** ***

Clark came into the girls office. He watched Rickie working diligently on the computer. Then scribbling into a note book. He had three weeks leave and he couldn’t wait to see his kids. He and Sandy were leaving that night and so he had to say good bye to his friends again.

“Hi, Veba said that you were in here working on something.”

“So you’re going home old man?” Rickie said as she put the notebook down and smiled up at her old friend.

“Yep.”

“Thank you Clark, you and Sandy were both extraordinary for us. We really appreciate all you both did.”

Clark blushed shyly and cleared his throat, “Thanks String Bean. You know I care about you, Veba and your family.”

“I know. We love you too.”

“You know, you have gotten awfully mushy since you fell in love.”

Rickie merely shrugged and smiled. She got up and hugged him tightly saying, “Yep.”

He hugged her back smiling. Then he pulled back pointing at the computer, “New case?”

“No, Veba and I have decided to start a family so I was doing some research.”

“That’s great! I am so proud of you.”

Rickie blushed and said, “Thanks.”

“So…till next time right?”

Rickie nodded. “Yeah, we’ll miss you.”

They hugged again; Clarke mussed Rickie’s already messy hair, and then left. Rickie walked quietly to the window and looked out at the back yard. She felt warm arms suddenly go around her waist and strong body against her. She smelled the wonderful scent of her wife and purred.

“You ok?” Veba asked nuzzling her head against Rickie’s soft hair.

“Yep.”

“The danger is over.”

“Yep.”

“Are we going to start a family?”

“Yep.”

Veba chuckled and kissed Rickie on the neck, and then whispered into her ear, “Are you going to say anything other then yep?”

“Later. Right now I just want to adjust.”

“To what?”

“Peace.”

“Oh? Ok,” Veba then scooped her up and carried her out of the office so she can help Rickie enjoy the new peace in private.

The End

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s