To Protect My Soul
by T. Stratton
Part 3 in the Protect Trilogy
Tyler stood in front of the mirror looking at the freshly pressed white shirt that was tucked into equally pressed dress slacks. She ran her hand down the front of her body as she let out a large sigh. “Never thought I would be this nervous.”
A soft knock on the door made Tyler look over as the door was opened slightly. “You about ready?” Leo asked with a smile.
“I think so. I’m just really nervous.” Tyler walked to the door and stepped past her friend.
“Boy, you sure look good.” Leo whistled as he followed Tyler across the room. “You’re about ready to commit before everyone and God that BJ is the only one you will love for the rest of your life. Why would you be nervous about that?” He sat down on the edge of the bed.
Tyler moved the curtains away from the window to get a look at all the decorations and people milling around the yard. She closed her eyes and her stomach twisted and turned. “Am I doing the right thing? Am I keeping BJ away from someone who would be better for her?” She opened her eyes and turned her head to look at Leo. “Am I doing this just to make me happy?”
Leo shook his head at his friend. “I guess you’re not as smart as I always thought you were.”
“What?” Tyler spun around. “What did you mean by that. I’m pouring my soul out to you and I get a response like that? Gee thanks buddy, I love you too.”
Leo stood up and placed his hands on Tyler’s shoulders. “How do you think BJ would feel if she heard you say those things?” He squeezed her shoulders and gave her a little shake. “You have the most perfect woman waiting to walk down the aisle to commit her life to you. I can pretty much guarantee she isn’t thinking twice.” He looked Tyler straight in the eyes. “Let’s not even get into the fact that you now have a son with that woman.”
Tyler leaned her forehead against the man’s chest and cried. “Thank you for being my friend.”
Leo wrapped his arms around the small woman. “Not a problem.”
“You look beautiful,” Barb stated as she walked up behind her daughter. “I’m so proud of you honey.”
BJ turned around and hugged her Mom. “Thanks Mom, I’m so happy.”
Barb pulled back and wiped the single happy tear that had fallen down the tall actress’s cheek. “You have everything you ever said you wanted: a career that makes you happy, a son who thinks you are his world, and Tyler.”
“Tyler.” BJ grinned at the thought of her lover and best friend. “God I love that woman.”
A knock on the door made both women jump a little.
“Yes,” Barb raised her voice to be heard.
“It’s time,” the wedding coordinator said when she opened the door. “You look like the perfect bride. Tyler is gonna go nuts when she sees you.”
“Thanks, Ivy and I hope you’re right.” BJ took one last look at herself before she followed Ivy out of the room.
Mike walked into the room and grinned, “Don’t you two look great?”
“Why thank you,” Leo stepped over and kissed Mike lightly on the lips. “They ready for us?”
“Yep, it’s time.” He glanced over to Tyler. “You ready shorty?”
Tyler rolled her eyes at the name. “I am now.”
“Good, because I just saw your bride-to-be, and I must say,” he waved his hands in front of his body, “Hot.”
“Well then, let’s not keep her waiting any longer.” Tyler raced by the two men before she grabbed her jacket and stopped at the door looking back. “You two coming, or you want to stay here and make out?”
Leo and Mike each raised an eyebrow and with wicked smirks reached for each other, but before they could get further Tyler yelled out. “Come on horn-dogs, I’m about ready to get married so you can do that later on.”
Leo and Mike leaned in for a quick kiss before they headed out of the room and down to the back yard where the ceremony was going to be held.
Tyler fidgeted with the end of her jacket as she rocked back and forth. Every few seconds she would look down the aisle to see if she could get a glimpse of BJ, but with the way things were set up she wouldn’t see her until she started to walk down the red and white rose petaled walkway.
When the music started, the crowd hushed and turned in their seats. After several quiet moments, gasps could be heard and smiles shined as they caught a glimpse of BJ making her way from the house to the aisle.
As soon as Tyler spotted BJ in her white silk dress her heart stopped. She had always thought BJ was the most beautiful woman in the world, but the sight that greeted her was a goddess. Her eyes met blue and she took a step forward.
“Hold on there tiger. She will come to you.” Leo grabbed Tyler’s elbow.
Without taking her eyes off her lover she stuttered, “But, but…”
“This is the time all little girls dream of. Walking to the one they love so they can promise their love forever,” the best man stated calmly. “Let her have this moment.”
“She can have anything she wants.” Tyler moved back to where he stood and watched.
BJ slowly made her way to the aisle that would take her to Tyler. When her eyes connected with the green she knew so well, she willed her body to stay calm and not run over to her lover.
As she continued to walk, she let her eyes slowly make their way down the elegantly dressed blonde. The hem of the black jacket that covered a pure white dress shirt stopped just below Tyler’s waist. Tapered black slacks fitted the blonde’s legs just right, as did the shining black cowboy boots. The only color visible was the soft blue rose pinned to the collar of the jacket’s lapel.
When she reached the first step of the podium she smiled as Tyler offered her hand to guide her up to the arched platform where a minister waited.
“Hi,” Tyler whispered softly as she held on to BJ’s hand. “You take my breath away.”
BJ blushed as she brought Tyler’s hand up to her lips and placed a kiss. “You do the same to me.”
The minister waited patiently while the two women stepped closer. He couldn’t help but smile as he saw the love and admiration the two had for one another. When they nodded that they were ready, he started the ceremony.
The reception after was one no one would soon forget. Tyler surprised BJ with tickets for a Caribbean cruise that would last three weeks. All they had to do was wait for BJ to decide when she wanted to go.
BJ was not one to be outdone. She pulled Tyler to the front of the house where a brand new deep-blue Jeep Wrangler was sitting. Everything that could be put into the vehicle was, from a state of the art stereo, to a GPS navigational system.
When it started to get late, the two newlyweds kissed their son’s head knowing he was in the capable hands of his Grandma, and went off to where they would spend their honeymoon. They climbed into Tyler’s new Jeep and headed out of town, to a cabin they had decided would be a perfect, secluded getaway away from the prying eyes and cameras of the media.
The sun painted the morning sky as the two lovers sat on the open porch steps. Tyler sat behind BJ with her arms wrapped around the tall brunette’s shoulders. BJ had her chin resting on the forearms that held her tight.
“What a great way to start our lives together.” Tyler kissed the ear she had just spoken into.
BJ closed her eyes and let the tender touch sweep through her. “I agree.” She turned slightly to look up into Tyler’s eyes. “What should we do today?”
Tyler gave BJ an evil grin and wiggled her eyebrows. “I can think of a few things that would keep us busy.”
BJ thought for a few seconds before she stood up. “I so love how you think.”
Tyler copied her wife and held out her hand. “Well sexy, nothing is stopping us.”
The actress let herself be pulled back into the house towards the messy bed they had left just a short time ago. She lifted her arms into the air to let the t-shirt she had on be pulled off, and gasped a lungful of air when a warm mouth found her nipple.
“Damn, I love that.” BJ grabbed Tyler by the hair. “Suck harder, Baby.”
Tyler did, as her hands made their way down BJ’s slim body to her waist. Without even thinking, the still suckling woman undid the button and unzipped the zipper of the jean shorts her wife had on.
Letting the clothing drop to the floor without a second thought, Tyler scooped BJ up in her arms and placed her on the bed. Kissing her way up the long neck below her until she found an ear.
Tyler softly spoke, “I thank God everyday you’re in my life.”
BJ couldn’t help the tear that fell down her check. She tightened her hold on the smaller woman and just reveled in the intense love they shared.
The rest of the day was spent in each other’s arms, making love and planning what the rest of their lives would be like.
“Tell me,” the angry man yelled as he puffed on a large cigar.
“I’m sorry, Sir, but no one has any clue where they are staying,” Darren said, as he hoped his boss wouldn’t kill the messenger.
A large fist slammed down on top of the dark cherry-wood desk. Smoke billowed up around his gray balding head, making it look like steam was coming out of his ears. “I want you to find that fucking bitch and make her pay for putting my son behind bars.”
Darren stepped back as his head nodded up and down quickly. “Yes, Sir, we will. It just may take us longer since she was married last weekend and she is on her honeymoon.”
“Well, then I suggest you find out where she is staying. Then make sure you make her regret ever butting her nose into a place it didn’t belong,” the boss stated in no uncertain terms.
“It will be done.” The younger man with greasy hair turned and headed for the door.
“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” BJ casually turned her head to look over at Tyler. She waited until she saw the smile form before she grabbed her cell phone and dialed. “Hi, Mom how is TJ?”
“I was wondering how long it was going to take you two to call,” Barb laughed as she watched her Grandson swing in his swing-chair.
The lounging woman rolled her eyes. “Oh be quiet and answer the question.”
Barb stood up and walked over to TJ. “He is doing just fine. He really misses his morning walks with Tyler, so Leo and Mike have been doing their best to fill in.”
“Awwwwwww, I bet that is so cute.” BJ ran her hand over Tyler’s sock covered foot.
Tyler sat up, “What? What’s so cute? He didn’t start walking yet did he?” She tried to reach for the cell phone but BJ moved it to her other ear.
“No, he didn’t start to walk.” BJ shook her head. “Leo and Mike have jumped in to take TJ for his morning walks.”
“Well they better not get used to it,” the slightly agitated woman huffed. “That’s my time with my boy, and as soon as we get back they can go back to sitting at the table drinking coffee and eating muffins.”
“Tell Tyler not to worry. The boys know that those walks are her time with TJ.” Barbara tickled the bottom of the baby’s foot. “Do you want to talk to him?”
BJ handed the phone over to Tyler. “Talk to your boy so you can calm down.”
Tyler quickly grabbed the phone and started in with the baby talk and other kind of language someone only spoke when a baby was present.
Memories of the first time she had caught Tyler talking to TJ ran through BJ’s mind. It would be a moment in her life that she will never forget.
A sound woke BJ up from a sound sleep. Not sure what it was, she reached over to Tyler’s side of the bed, but found it empty and cold to the touch.
“Hmm, wonder where she went?” the sleepy woman asked the dark room.
Tossing the covers off her legs she climbed out of bed and walked to the bathroom. Not seeing a light from under the door she stopped and listened.
Hearing soft voices coming from the baby monitor, she figured out where Tyler had disappeared too. Wondering what was happening, she shuffled her sock-covered feet down the hallway to where they had TJ’s room.
The sight she saw when she pushed open the door made happy tears form in her eyes. Tyler was lying on the floor with TJ on her stomach sleeping soundly, but that didn’t stop Tyler from continuing her conversation.
“I promise that you’ll never have to be afraid to come to me and tell me anything. Yet if I disagree with you I’ll use all my power to change your mind.” Tyler’s hand rubbed small circles on the baby’s back as she continued to talk. “The most important thing that you must never forget is that you have the greatest momma, and she loves you more than anything in the world.”
TJ smiled and pursed his lips as he continued to sleep. Tyler kissed the top of his head and laid her head back down on the rug and closed her eyes in peace.
BJ stood in the doorway for several long minutes watching her family. She always knew Tyler would be a great partner and even a better mom.
“Here, your mom wants to talk to you.” Tyler held the phone out to BJ. When the brunette didn’t grab the phone she started to wave it in front of her face. “Honey, phone.”
“What?” BJ blinked. “Oh, sorry.”
After a week of peace and quiet BJ and Tyler were more than ready to come home. What they weren’t ready for was the horde of reporters surrounding the house.
“What the hell is going on?” Tyler quickly hit the gate’s automatic opener and drove the Jeep in. Looking in the rear-view mirror, she made sure no one snuck in while the metal gate was open. “You would think they had better things to do than wait for us to come home.”
“No kidding.” BJ shook her head.
The two parked in the back and headed for the backdoor. They were met by a happy baby and an upset Grandma.
“Mom, what’s wrong?” BJ rushed over to the older woman.
Barbara took a deep breath. “It’s all over the damn tabloids.”
“What is?” Tyler asked as she picked up her son.
Barbara leaned over and grabbed a handful of newspapers and tossed them on the tabletop. “They think we stole TJ away and that Cait is alive somewhere trying to get him back.”
“You have got to be kidding me.” Tyler flipped through the rag magazines. “Un-fucking-believable.” She quickly handed TJ to her wife and headed upstairs to get a hold of their attorney who had handled the adoption.
BJ held on to TJ and rocked him back and forth as she stared at the assorted pictures of herself and Tyler. The one of Cait looking straight at her with pleading eyes made her heart break. It was the same look Cait had given her right before she died.
Tyler hung up the phone and dropped her head in her hands. She didn’t notice BJ walk in until she sat down next to her on the bed.
“Can’t do anything can we,” BJ stated, already guessing what the lawyer had said.
Tyler nodded her head. “We could sue, but that would get the thing dragged out and I don’t want to put you or TJ through something like that.”
“Always protecting me?” BJ knew the answer before she asked.
Tyler looked right into the blue eyes she loved. “Always, until the day I die.”
BJ cupped Tyler’s face with her hands and placed butterfly kisses all over the exposed skin.
Tyler closed her eyes and smiled. The love she had for the woman before her grew with each touch of those soft lips on her skin.
“Where you going so early?” Tyler asked her wife as she sat up in bed.
BJ tied her shoestring as she looked over at her slightly awakened partner. “I’m going for a walk with TJ.”
“You sure you want to do that?” the messy blonde-haired woman questioned as she moved to get out of bed. “With all the crap those tabloids are spouting off and reporters in every bush?”
“I refuse to let those nasty people run my life.” BJ stood up and walked towards Tyler. “They can say whatever they want, and the public can and will think whatever they want. The only thing that matters is that we know the truth.”
“Everyone else can basically kiss our asses?” Tyler wrapped her arms around BJ’s waist and placed a kiss on the taut stomach. “Right?”
“Right – now you want to come with us?” The actress ran her fingers through the blonde unruly hairs.
Tyler placed one last kiss and stood up. “You know that the morning walks are for me and TJ, but since you are so sexy you can come with us.”
BJ laughed and swatted the bare butt that rushed by her. “Hurry up or we’ll leave without you.”
“Do you have any news for me?” the burly man yelled into the phone.
“Yes, Sir,” Darren mumbled. “Her and her family have been taking morning walks around their neighborhood.”
“Good. So do you have a plan, or do you need someone with some brains to draw you out a diagram?” A wicked smile formed as he knew he was getting close to his goal.
“I can handle it, Sir,” Darren stated. “In fact my men and I have it all planned out. You will have your paybacks, and your son will know that his son is finally out of the lesbian’s hands.”
“I don’t give a rat’s ass about that child. I just want Tyler Jones to know what it is like to have her family taken away from her.” The man sucked in a large drag from his cigar. “The only difference is, she won’t know if they are dead or alive.”
“Yes, Sir, revenge will be yours.” Darren ran his hand through his greasy hair. “It will happen tomorrow morning. I’ll let you know when it is taken care of.”
“You better get this right, or it will be your ass that is in trouble.” The boss hung up and looked at a picture that showed himself and his only son. “Royal, you always were a dumb fuck, but you’re my son and I’ll get that bitch back for sending you to prison.”
The next morning was chilly, but the sun was shining and as the day progressed the heat would become so unbearable that people would run towards their air-conditioned houses.
“So which way do you want to go? To the park or down by the pond?” Tyler asked her walking companions.
“Well since we went to the park yesterday, let’s head down to the pond. Maybe we’ll get lucky and see some ducks or geese.” BJ started off with the stroller in hand. “Maybe next time we’ll bring some bread and see how TJ reacts towards the birds.”
Tyler followed just slightly behind BJ. “Have to remember that.”
The three made their towards the small pond that had a trail that wrapped itself around the pond. People could walk or run on the trails, or sit by the calm body of water watching the waterfowl dunk under the surface or float lazily by.
“It’s so calming here.” BJ sighed as she watched a small group of joggers pass by. “Too bad we can’t stay here and play all day.”
Tyler had TJ out of his stroller and was playing with the baby’s feet as he lay in between her legs. “I know what you mean. Just the thought of not having any responsibility is nice and not so stressful.”
“Yet we both have responsibilities and life won’t let us alone just yet.” BJ leaned over and placed a kiss on Tyler’s shoulder.
Tyler made goofy faces at her son as she replied. “True, very, very true.”
The two lounged around the pond for about an hour before they needed to head back home. Tyler tucked TJ into his stroller and watched as he smacked his lips together enjoying the flavor of his recent bottle before slipping off to sleep.
BJ watched with a smile as she held onto the stroller’s handles. “People can toss anything they want at us, but as long as we are together life is good.”
“Life is most certainly good.” Tyler stepped next to her tall wife. “Especially since I have you in it.”
“Aww, aren’t you a sweet talker.” BJ used her hip to nudge the blonde. “You just like the sweet treats you get.”
“Ohh yes, sweet treats are so tasty.” Tyler wiggled her eyebrows and gave BJ a wicked grin.
BJ laughed, “You know I mean the oatmeal cookies don’t you?”
“Those are good too.” Tyler stopped to tie her shoe.
The two women didn’t pay any attention to the black van slowly making its way closer to them. When Tyler bent over to take care of her shoestring the van gunned the gas until it was right next to BJ and TJ. The door swung open and out jumped three men in dark clothing and masks.
“What the hell? Let me go,” BJ yelled as she tried to fight the strong grip around her body.
Tyler quickly jumped up and ran towards her wife. She used her strong legs to kick one of the attackers in the ribs and an elbow to the back of another’s head.
The passenger door swung open and a fourth man ran around the back of the van to take Tyler out of the picture. With a police baton held firmly in his hand, he used all his strength and hit Tyler on the back of her head.
Tyler felt her whole body go limp before everything went black.
“NOO,” BJ screamed. “TYLER, TYLER NOOO.”
“Get her in the van before someone decides to play hero,” one of the men ordered as he kicked Tyler in the stomach. “She’s down for the count.”
“You Bastards. What have you done?” BJ’s eyes didn’t leave the still form on the ground. A red pool of blood slowly grew below Tyler’s head. “Ohh God Tyler, please Baby, be okay.”
“If she’s lucky she’s dead,” a voice in the van stated. “If she is alive she is going to be living in hell, because what’s going to happen to you will be all her fault.”
The door slammed shut as people started to head towards the body on the ground. “Let’s go. We’ve got what we want.”
TJ had awakened and started to whimper and cry. One of the joggers that were using the trail was on his cell phone calling the police, while another woman picked up the upset baby. Several people knelt down next to Tyler, but looks of sadness quickly shown on each of their faces.
Mike, Leo and Barb rushed into the emergency room doors with two policemen behind them.
One of the policemen pointed out a plain-clothes woman talking to another man drinking coffee. “Detective Rush, this is Tyler Jones’s family.”
“What’s going on? Where is BJ and TJ?” Barbara stopped right in front of the brown haired woman. “What about Tyler?”
“If you follow me I will tell you everything that I know.” Detective Rush took a step towards an open door. “Please come in and have a seat.”
The three quickly walked in and sat down.
“We don’t have much information so far, but it seems that Ms. Jones was injured severely while trying to stop some men from kidnapping Ms. Stanton.” Detective Rush flipped through her small notebook.
“On no,” Barbara gasped as she held onto Tony’s hand.
“What the hell do you mean kidnapped? Where is BJ?” Leo stood up.
Mike wrapped his hand around Leo’s wrist to keep him calm and his other arm went around Barbara for support.
The brown haired detective sat down across from the three people and waited until Leo sat back down. “This morning someone succeeded in kidnapping BJ Stanton. They were in a black van and several people were involved. They took out Tyler with a hit to the head. The baby was left alone. When bystanders started to notice they quickly left.”
“They have my baby,” Barbara mumbled as tears started to run down her checks.
“Did anyone get a license plate number? Or a description of the people involved?” Mike asked as he supported his friend’s mom.
“No one was close enough to see anything other than several people dressed in black. No license was seen,” Rush informed them. “We basically have no clue whatsoever where to start. We were hoping you might have some clue as to who would want to do this?” The detective ran a hand over her face and through her hair.
“Shit, you have a popular actress who is gay, a retired security officer with a history of putting nut-cases behind bars and who just happens to be the lover of said actress,” Leo leaned over so his elbows were resting on his knees. “Then add in the fact that they adopted a baby, and that whole story I bet you’ve seen in the rag magazines recently.”
Detective Rush nodded her head.
“I want to see TJ and Tyler.” Barbara stood up and headed for the closed door. “Where are they? Can you take me to them?”
“TJ is down the hall with a nurse, but you will have to wait to see Tyler. She is in the operating room.”
“How bad is she?” Mike asked with fear in his voice.
“I’m not sure. The doctors haven’t given me an update yet,” Rush said as she followed the small group out of the room. “Let me show you were TJ is at.”
Mike, Leo and Barbara followed the detective to the end of the hallway. She pulled back a curtain and they saw a nurse feeding TJ a bottle.
Barbara quickly stepped past Detective Rush to her grandchild. “Is he okay? Can I hold him?”
The nurse stood up and allowed Barbara to sit down before she handed the silently eating baby down to her. “He is doing fine. At first he wasn’t happy being here, then he calmed down after we changed him. He just started to get mad again, so we got him this bottle and he seems pretty content now.”
“Thank you so much for looking after him.” Mike smiled at the young woman. “His Momma and Mom will be happy to know he was in good hands.”
The nurse smiled. “I’m glad I could help,” she said and quietly left the family alone.
“I’ll go and see if the doctor has been by yet with a report on Ms. Jones.” Detective Rush started to leave, but was stopped by Barbara’s voice.
“Do you think we will be able to find my daughter?” she asked, taking her eyes off TJ to look into deep brown eyes.
“I want to say yes, but at this moment I’m not sure. We have nothing to go on, and no one saw anything that is of any help.” Rush walked over and knelt down next to the seated woman. “Hopefully Tyler will remember something, and that will give us a lead that we need to catch these men.”
After waiting six long hours, as the surgeons tried to get the bleeding under control and get Tyler stable enough so they could see if the swelling in her brain would go down; Mike and Leo were told they could see their friend for just a few minutes.
Slowly entering the quiet room, Mike and Leo held on to each other’s hand for support. Tyler’s head was completely covered in stark white bandages with tubes sticking from all angles. The ones that were attached to her body were attached to several machines that beeped and hummed to help the unconscious woman.
“She looks so small and helpless,” Leo mumbled softly.
Mike only nodded his head. He wanted to cry and grab a hold of his friend, but all he could do was take her cold fingers in his hand and caress them softly.
“You need to get better so we can find BJ,” Leo whispered from the other side of the bed. “Mike and I will do what we can until you are able to help, but you know we need your help, and more importantly BJ does.”
Tyler didn’t move or make a sound, but the heart monitor increased just slightly.
“You can hear us can’t you?” Leo asked, as he held onto Tyler’s fingers tighter. “Then you better get off your ass. BJ needs you now more than ever. We don’t have a clue where she is, and you might hold the only key as to who took her,” his voice rose louder and a nurse entered the room.
“I’m going to have to ask you to leave. You’re disturbing the other patients.” She held the door open waiting for the two to leave. “Come back tomorrow and hopefully she’ll be awake.” She said before she walked into the next room.
The two men each placed a kiss on the injured woman’s hand and walked out of the room. Not bothering to look around, they never noticed the squirrelly looking man slip out of a janitor’s cleaning closet and slowly make his way down the hallway and into Tyler’s room.
“Well you don’t look so tough now,” Darren said as he moved to the bed. He pulled out a white envelope with Tyler’s name written on the front of it. “Here is a little something to keep your mind occupied when you wake up.”
He placed the envelope on Tyler’s legs but stood there and watched the small woman lay there immobile. “I think your wife and I are going to become real friends.” He laughed as he wiped his hand across her mouth. “Oh yes, really close friends.”
Darren smiled and left after a few seconds. If he had waited just a few more seconds he would have heard Tyler’s soft moan.
“What the hell did you did you do to her?” a deep voice growled. “You weren’t suppose to kill her for fuck sakes.”
“I didn’t kill her, Chad. I just knocked her out with some shit.” He held up a dirty rag. “That bitch can fight.”
“You’re lucky. The boss would have had you fitted with some cement shoes and lots of water.” Chad smacked the other man on the back of the head. “Any clue when Darren will be back?”
“He said he had to start the ball rolling,” the man replied as he rubbed the back of his head.
Chad looked at his friend with a questioning look. “What the hell do you mean by that? The damn ball has started by us grabbing her.” He pointed over at BJ’s still body.
“He went to deliver a note so the bitch who put Royal in jail will know who is in charge, and that she will forever be sorry.” The man laughed. “I would love to be a fly on the wall when the little cunt wakes up and realizes what’s what.”
“No kidding.” Chad grabbed a pack of cigarettes from his shirt pocket. “I’m betting it will be awhile before she even wakes up. That one dude really hit her head. All that damn blood and the sound.” He shivered from the memory.
“Guess the cop in him had a little aggression that needed to get out.” Chad’s buddy laughed. “I’m just glad it was her head and not mine.”
“No shit.” Chad nodded in agreement as he took a long drag from his cigarette. He saw BJ’s body stir slightly. “Looks like movie queen is waking up. We should close the doors so she doesn’t see us.”
The two men quickly slid the metal door shut and wrapped the large chain around the handles so they could padlock them together.
The first thing BJ noticed was the smell of old oil and grease. Slowly she opened her eyes and looked around, but the smallest movement of her head made the pounding in her head increase tenfold. “Oh shit, my head hurts.” She grabbed her head with her dirty hands.
Barbara sat in the rocking chair with her grandson. She had hummed softly until he had fallen asleep sucking on his tiny fists. “You sleep now my little angel. Your mammas will be home soon and everything will be back to normal.”
“He sleeping?” Leo asked from the doorway.
Barbara nodded as she kissed the baby’s head. “Been asleep for about thirty minutes.”
“Good,” the tired man replied with a sigh.
“Any news on Tyler’s condition?” the exhausted woman questioned as she started to stand to set the baby in his bed.
Leo shook his head. “She was still unconscious when we left.” He closed his eyes and fought back the tears that threatened to fall. “Mike just called that Detective Rush, and still no news on BJ either.”
Barbara didn’t try to fight the emotions. She let the tears fall as she walked across the darkened room. “Do you think we’ll get my daughter back?”
“We will,” Mike stated with conviction as he stepped up next to his partner. “As soon as Tyler is awake nothing, and I mean nothing, will keep her stuck in that hospital bed.”
“That’s true, but what if for some reason she is unable to do anything? What if that blow to her head damaged her somehow?” the now crying woman asked. “My poor baby is out there in the hands of some lunatic. What if…”
Mike and Leo quickly wrapped their arms around Barbara and each other.
“No what ifs.” Leo hugged the older woman tighter. “Everything and everyone will be okay and home soon.”
“I hope you’re right, Leo,” Barbara mumbled through her sobs. “God, I hope you’re right.”
BJ coughed as she slowly turned onto her back and opened her eyes. The dimly light prison was smelly and hot. “Where the hell am I?”
She sat up and tried to figure out where or what she was in. The walls were metal and green. Old oil stains and dirt covered the walls. She could make out graffiti against one wall done up in white and black paint as well as a small sign saying, ‘Bolds Railroad’.
“Taking a guess, I’m in an old box car.” BJ swung her feet off the mattresses she was on and stood up. As soon as she could keep the world around her from spinning and making her nauseous, she carefully stepped to the side where the door was located.
She grabbed a hold of the door handle and pulled with all her might. “Nothing. Knew it wouldn’t, but had to try,” she mumbled as she looked around for another possible exit. “Shit, shit, shit.”
“Good morning,” the nurse at the nurse’s station said as she greeted Leo and Mike. “There have not been any changes to Ms. Jones’s condition. Though her heart rate did increase for a small amount of time after you left last night, it went back to normal.”
“Thank you,” Leo replied. “When will the doctor be around?”
“He should be doing his rounds at anytime. You can go ahead and sit in the room with Ms. Jones.” The nurse gestured towards Tyler’s room door.
Mike nodded and held onto Leo’s hand. “Thanks for everything you all are doing for Tyler.”
“Not a problem. I just wish I could do more to help,” the nurse replied with another smile. “Oh by the way, the card that you left on Ms. Jones’ lap is sitting on the dresser next to the bed.”
“What card?” the two men asked at the same time, then looked at each other.
“You didn’t leave a card?” the nurse asked with concern. “I found it after you were asked to leave last night. No one else has been in that room but the night nurses.”
“Call Detective Rush immediately,” Mike ordered and took off with Leo right on his heels.
“Did anyone touch it?” Detective Rush asked when she walked into the hospital room.
“The nurse did,” Leo replied looking at the small white envelope resting on the dresser. “Otherwise no one.”
Detective Rush slipped on a pair of see-through gloves before she picked the card up and opened it. Slowly she scanned the typed message before she showed it to Leo and Mike. “Looks like the people who have BJ are trying to torment Tyler.”
We have your precious wife.
She will know what it’s like to be locked up with no chance of freedom. I thought it was only right to get paybacks and take something away from you. Make you feel the loneliness of not having your family near. Knowing that your family member will never see the light of day again as a free person makes me very happy.
Have a good life Tyler Jones.
“Any clue who this person is?” Detective Rush asked as she put the note in a plastic bag.
“As of right now, no.” Leo watched the brown haired police officer. “Give us time.” He looked the woman straight in the eyes. “Just give us time.”
“Just make sure you don’t do anything that would get you arrested,” Rush stated, knowing that it would be ignored.
BJ slumped down onto the mattress and rested her head in her hands. “Damn it.” She let the tears fall down her dirty face. “Tyler baby I hope like hell you are okay and find me soon.”
A noise from outside the train car made the captured woman look towards the door. After several long minutes the sound of the chain being moved and the door opening made BJ scoot over to the corner.
“I see that you are awake now.” Chad smiled as he tossed in a box of stuff. “I would suggest you save what you can of this stuff. Since it may be the last food and water you get for a while.”
“What the hell do you want with me? I don’t even know you.” BJ stood up and headed towards the open door.
Chad reached into his back pocket and pulled out a gun. “I suggest you get your pretty ass back on that bed.”
“Not until you tell me how Tyler is.” BJ stopped just shy of the door as she tried her best to calm her fast-beating heart. “Since I’m guessing you were one of the assholes that grabbed me.”
“Sure I was one of them.” Chad laughed. “And as for your bitch of a girlfriend, she is snug as a bug in a rug at the hospital. Last I heard she still had not woken up from the nasty hit to her head.”
“You mother-fucking asshole.” BJ wanted to run straight for the man, but knew that he would pull the trigger and any hopes of her getting out of this alive would vanish in a flash.
Chad laughed harder. “Boy, for someone who is supposed to be Hollywood’s sweetest star, you sure do have one hell of a mouth on you.”
“What did you do with my son?” BJ seethed at the laughing man.
“We didn’t want the baby,” Chad replied with a shake of his head. “Though that would be the icing on the cake.”
“You are sick,” BJ spat.
“Can you hear me Tyler?” Leo said as he watched his friend move her head slightly. “Come on Tyler. We need you to wake up.”
“Hmmm,” Tyler moaned.
Mike grabbed a hold of Tyler’s hand. “You can do it.”
Tyler blinked fast before her eyes opened half way. “BJ?”
“Sorry buddy, it’s just Leo and me.” Mike squeezed the small hand he held. “How do you feel?”
“I don’t even want to go there,” Tyler mumbled. “Got any water?”
Leo quickly poured some into a paper cup and added a straw. “Mike help her sit up a little.” He held the straw still. “Take small sips.”
Tyler was glad she had help, because she wasn’t sure she could move even an inch without passing out from exhaustion. “Thanks, guys.”
“Not a problem,” Leo and Mike replied at the same time.
Tyler looked from one man to the other before she asked. “Where’s BJ?” She didn’t like how they looked up and then at each other. “And what the hell happened?”
“You don’t remember?” Leo ran a hand through his hair.
Tyler shook her head. “Sorry guys, I don’t.”
Leo stayed and told Tyler all that they knew about the kidnapping, and how Tyler had received her injures. Mike went into the hallway to call Detective Rush and let her know that Tyler wasn’t any help as of right now.
“You might get some memories back,” Dr. Jameson said as he flipped through his notes on Tyler. ”Just give it time.”
“I don’t have time. My wife is out there, God only knows where, and I can’t remember a damn thing to help find her. So I suggest you come up with a better answer than that Doc,” Tyler yelled out in frustration.
“I’m sorry, Ms. Jones, but that is the only answer I have for you,” Dr. Jameson replied calmly. “If all your tests come back with good news, you can be released in a few days.”
Tyler waited for the doctor to leave and the door to close before she tossed the blankets off her legs.
“What are you doing?” Leo walked up to her.
Tyler pulled the IV out of her arm, not caring about the blood dripping on the bed. “I’m getting out of here.”
“Do you think that is a good idea?” the very concerned man asked as he offered his arm for support.
Tyler looked into his eyes. “What would you do if it was Mike?”
They both knew the answer to the question, and with Leo’s nod of the head they finished getting ready to sneak out of the hospital.
“What in the hell are you doing home?” Barbara asked Tyler as soon as she saw her walk into the house. “You should still be in bed.” Tyler didn’t have to say a word as Barbara watched the tears start to fall. “Come here.”
Tyler didn’t need to be told twice. She walked on still unsteady feet towards the woman who had become a mother to her. “I’m so sorry. So, so sorry.”
“Tyler, why are you sorry? You didn’t do anything,” the older woman whispered as she held on tight to the shaking woman.
“It’s all my fault. I couldn’t protect her, and I can’t even remember what the hell happened,” the distraught woman cried. “What am I going to do?”
“You are going to do what you do best.” Barbara moved so she could look the small blonde straight in the eyes. “You are going to find the bastard that took my baby and bring her home to me safe and sound.”
Nothing but silence filled the room, until a gurgle was heard.
Tyler turned her head and a smile formed across her face. “Hey buddy.” She sat down in the closest chair and waited for Leo to bring him to her.
As soon as TJ heard Tyler’s voice he started to kick and swing his arms.
Barbara and Leo watched for several seconds before they left the room so Tyler could have some time with her boy.
BJ leaned against the side of the prison with her knees bent. Tears that had stopped began to fall again. “I feel in my heart that you’re alive my love, but the image of you getting hit, plays over and over in my mind.”
Several long minutes went by before BJ took in a deep breath. “TJ, my son, I know Mom will take great care of you, and I know that we’ll all be together soon.”
“Tyler, please Baby, come find me. I’m waiting for you. You’re my only way out of here,” BJ thought before she lay down and fell into a restless sleep.
Sitting up in bed Tyler gasped for air. Visions of BJ in a dark place crying filled her mind. “I’ll find you and bring you home where you belong.”
Pulling the covers off her body, she slid out of bed and headed to the bathroom. Tyler flicked on the light and stood in front of the big mirror above the double sink. With shaky hands, she pulled off the large white bandage from the back of her head. Tossing it in the garbage can, she grabbed BJ’s hand mirror and held it behind her head so she could see what it looked like.
Staples closed the long incision from the base of her skull to almost the top. A small amount of dried blood clung to the metal and the hair that surrounded it.
“Guess I’ll have to wear a hat.” Tyler carefully touched one of the staples and cringed. “Frankenstein looking.”
Tyler carefully brushed her hair after she washed her face. She grabbed a pair of dark jeans and a pullover sweatshirt and walked to her dresser for some fresh socks. She stared at the empty bed and sighed. “Hold on BJ. I’m coming.”
She walked out of the bedroom only stopping to pull her boots on and to grab her coat. Stopping just before she closed the back door Tyler looked around she closed her eyes and took in a deep breath. The smell alone reminded her of what she had here. “Home.”
Taking one last look she closed the door and headed to the guesthouse. She banged hard on the front door until Leo opened it in his boxers. “Grab Mike, we are heading out and not coming back until BJ is with us.”
Leo nodded. “Mike get dressed, it’s time.”
Tyler didn’t wait for them. She headed to the garage and the locked cabinet that held her weapons from when she was a bodyguard. “Hate to say I knew at some point I would need these again,” she whispered as she unlocked the gray door.
“How is our guest?” the boss asked before he took a long drag off of his cigar and blew the white smoke into the air above his head.
Darren smiled. “She has been welcomed with open arms.”
The boss nodded staring at the greasy man. “How about the note?”
“Been delivered,” Darren replied as he clasped his hands behind his back. “What do you want us to do next?”
“Depends on what Ms. Jones does. Has she been discharged from the hospital yet?” The large man leaned forward in his chair to rest his elbows on the desktop.
“She is no longer at the hospital. Seems she didn’t wait for the discharge papers and just left yesterday afternoon.”
“Figured she’d do that.” Blowing another puff of smoke into the air the large man thought for a few seconds. “Just make sure Ms. Stanton has all the comforts of home until we see what Ms. Jones does.”
“Yes, Sir,” Darren grinned and headed out of the room. He would make BJ fell right at home in more ways then one.
“Darren,” the boss yelled. “Make sure you don’t do anything stupid.”
The grin on Darren’s face slipped and turned to a scowl. “Yes, Sir.”
Tyler, Leo and Mike sat in the jeep – watching people walking and out of the building they were parked in front of. They were waiting for a certain person to head in before they would enter.
“You sure he will be here?” Mike asked through a large yawn. “It’s been how many years since you saw him last?”
“He’ll be here,” Tyler replied looking down the street and then back the other way. “He comes to this bar every night, rain or shine.”
“Do you want me to go look again? Maybe I missed him when I went and looked the first time.” Leo took a sip of his lukewarm coffee.
Tyler shook her head.
Thirty minutes later Tyler pointed to an old man slowly making his way down the sidewalk with a cane in one hand and a dog on a leash in the other. “There he is.”
The three stepped out of the jeep and waited for the man to come closer. He stopped about twenty feet from the trio.
“Knew you’d be stopping by soon,” he said and started walking towards them. “Buy me a drink and I’ll tell you what I know.”
“Thanks, Bing.” Tyler opened the door and followed the man in knowing Mike and Leo would follow her.
They grabbed a table in a corner. Bing had his dog lay on the floor between himself and Tyler before she lit a cigarette and spoke. “You want to know about BJ Stanton.” It wasn’t a question, but a statement.
Tyler nodded and waited for him to continue.
Leo and Mike leaned back in their chairs glancing around the room to make sure no one would start any trouble.
“I heard that she was taken because someone has a big grudge against you,” Bing said as he scratched his dog’s head. “You pissed off some bigwig, and they knew that she was the only way to get to you.”
“We know that already. They left me a note while I was in the hospital. We just don’t have a clue who it is.” Tyler leaned her elbows on the dirty table. “Is there any word on the street who it is? Where they might have her? Anything, anything at all?”
Bing set his cigarette down in the ashtray. “The only name on the street is some punk of a guy named Darren. He is talking more than he should, and that is the only reason I know that. Otherwise that’s it.”
“Darren? Where can I find this guy?” Tyler reached into her jacket pocket and pulled out a wad of money. She tugged out a couple of hundred dollar bills and slipped them into the old man’s wrinkled hand. “Please, Bing, anything else you know?”
“You don’t have to pay me anything,” Bing replied, trying to hand the money back. “I do this for you for free. You’re the only one besides your grandfather that ever cared a rat’s ass about me.”
“Keep it. I know you can use it.” Tyler stood up. “If you hear of anything else give me a call.” She handed Bing her card that already had her cell phone number written on the back. “Use the one on the back. I’ll have my cell on and with me at all times.”
“You got it kid.” Bing stuffed the money in his shirt pocket.
Tyler bent down and petted the old dog that was sound asleep on the floor. “See you still have Rags with ya.”
“He goes where I go.” Bing smiled.
Tyler nodded and stood up. Thoughts of Bandit ran through her mind. “I just lost my dog not so long ago. Got hit by a car.”
“Sorry to hear that. They’re like children at times,” Bing replied softly. “You go get your girl and make those sons of bitches pay for what they did.”
“I will.” Tyler walked away.
Leo and Mike pushed their chairs back and started to follow but Bing’s voice stopped them.
“Boys, watch over her. She may take a turn down a dark path and find it hard to come back.”
Barbara opened the door and greeted Detective Rush. “Morning, please come in. Would you like some coffee?”
“That would be great.” Rush smiled. “Thanks.”
The two women walked into the bright kitchen. The Detective noticed TJ swinging in his bay swing and walked over. “Isn’t he the cutest baby.”
Barbara grinned. “How do you like your coffee?”
“Black is good.” Rush wiggled a little toe before she took a seat at the table. “I need to talk with Tyler and see if she remembers anything since yesterday. Is she around?”
Barbara set the coffee cup down in front of the seated woman. “I’m sorry, she’s not here.”
Rush lifted the cup up to take a sip, but stopped. “She’s out hunting down who did this isn’t she?”
The older woman nodded as she took a sip of her own coffee. “They left in the middle of the night, last night.” She took in a deep breath. “I found a note from Mike on the table this morning when I woke up. I doubt they will be home until they find my daughter.”
“Damn,” Rush groaned out. “I knew she would do this. I just had hoped she’d wait a few days.”
“I was surprised she didn’t leave as soon as she got home,” Barbara stated. “She looked so lost as she walked around the house after she put TJ to bed. I knew I couldn’t do anything for her, so I just let her pace around. I heard her finally go to bed around eleven.”
“Do you have any clue where she might go or who she might have contact with?” Rush questioned, already knowing the answer.
“I’m sorry, but I couldn’t even take a guess.” Barb sighed softly.
“Wakey, wakey,” Darren yelled out as he pounded on the side of the train car. He unlocked the padlock and slid the door open to reveal a grumpy BJ. “Well, good morning Sunshine. How did you sleep last night?”
“Who the hell are you?” BJ snapped as she stood up.
Darren pulled himself up through the door. “I’m gonna be your best friend.”
“Bullshit,” BJ spat. “You’re going to pay for what you’ve done to me. When Tyler gets a hold of you…” She was interrupted by a deep laugh from Darren.
“Last time I saw your girlfriend she was out like a light with bandages wrapped around her head like a mummy.” Darren didn’t stop laughing. “I could have killed her with one hand tied around my back.”
BJ darted towards the grungy man. “You bastard.”
Darren quickly wrapped his arms around the fighting woman. Once he knew she couldn’t get away he whispered in her ear. “Careful sweet thing. You wouldn’t want me to hurt you.” He then licked the side of BJ’s face. “You and I could become real close. So close you’d forget your girlfriend’s name and only want me.”
BJ cringed at the gross smell of the man’s breath and the feel of his tongue against her skin. “You’d have to kill me first.”
“That could be arranged.” Darren circled around and tossed BJ towards the mattresses. “And so much fun.”
Darren leaned over BJ with an evil smirk. He had always wanted to get his hands on someone who was as pretty as BJ was, and he was about to make his dreams come true. “Look at you. I bet you have never had a real man.”
“Don’t.” BJ held her hands out in front of her body. “Please.”
“Oh, I love it when they beg.” Darren grabbed his crotch. “You’re gonna love this just as much as I will.” He started to unzip his pants.
BJ knew that if she was going to stop this from happening, she would have to fight. Laying herself on her back, she kicked out with both her legs.
Darren didn’t have time to move out of the way of the long legs that came at him. “Hummph.”
“You won’t touch me,” BJ yelled out as she moved off the mattress as fast as she could. “I’ll rip your dick off and shove it down your throat first.”
Darren crouched in a fetal position and groaned out in pain, “You fucking bitch.”
“Try it again and I’ll hit you harder,” the captive woman stated in anger but the sight of a gun being pulled out stopped her in her tracks.
Mike and Leo watched quietly as Tyler drove through the streets. They could feel the emotions the woman was feeling radiate off her as she gripped the steering wheel tighter and tighter.
“Maybe we should head home,” Mike said as he watched the crowded sidewalks pass by. “Barbara might be worried.”
“No, I’m not going home until I have BJ with me,” Tyler replied coldly.
Leo turned his head to look at Mike. “Tyler, it could be days until we do find her. You need to take care of yourself so when we do get her back you’ll be able to take care of her.”
“I said no. If you want me to drop you two off at the next bus stop I will and you can go home.” Tyler continued to drive.
“What about TJ?” Mike asked softly. “You know he’ll miss you.”
Tyler slammed on the breaks stopping in the middle of an intersection. Not caring about all the cars honking and blaring their horns. “TJ will be just fine without me. It’s his mother he needs. Not me right now. So if you two want to go home and sit around and wait for the fucking cops to do whatever they do, then fine, get the hell out.”
The two men didn’t move an inch.
Tyler sat there for several long seconds. She knew that she should head home, but the thought of walking into the house again without BJ being there would slowly kill her. “It’s not a home without her. I can’t go back until she’s with me.”
“We understand what you’re saying Tyler, and we’re here to help.” Leo placed a hand on Tyler’s trembling arm. “We’re just watching out for you, because you know you won’t do that for yourself.”
Tyler leaned forward and rested her head on the steering wheel. “I just can’t go back. Not without her. Not until…”
Mike scooted close to the driver’s seat and wrapped his muscled arms around the crying woman. “We have your back, no matter what.”
Chad walked up to the train car. He listened to see if any sounds were coming from inside. Hearing BJ talking to someone made him step closer.
“When you get me out of here Tyler, we’re going to go far far away. To a place that has never heard of BJ Stanton or Tyler Jones. A place that is safe for our boy to grow up and be the man he is to be.”
Chad shook his head. “Boy, she certainly thinks that this Tyler is going to free her.” He started to laugh. “Crazy bitch.”
The sound of someone coming up behind him made him turn. He spotted Darren carefully making his way through the abandoned railway yard.
“What the hell you doing here?” he yelled out. “Thought you had things to do.”
“Shut the fuck up,” Darren snapped.
Chad flipped him off. “Kiss my ass dick weed.”
Darren walked up and grabbed Chad by the collar of his shirt. “You seem to forget that I’m your boss and you do what I tell you to do. Not ask me questions.”
Chad slapped his hand away. “Kiss my ass.”
Darren grabbed the gun he had hidden behind him. “I suggest you take what I’m saying seriously, because if you don’t they will find your body under the Second Avenue bridge.” He pointed the barrel right at the other man’s face.
Chad swallowed hard and nodded. “Fine, you’re the boss.”
Darren smiled. “Knew you’d see it my way.” He nestled the gun back in the waistband of his jeans. “Let’s check on our friend and get out of here for the night.”
The two men unlocked and pushed the door open. It took Chad a few seconds for his eyes to adjust to the inside of train car. “What the hell happened to her?”
Darren looked at the still woman and laughed. “We had some fun earlier.”
Mike pulled out his cell phone as soon as it started to vibrate. “Hello?”
“Mike, Detective Rush just called and she needs you three to go over to the station as soon as possible,” Barbara said quickly.
“Did she say why we have to stop there?” the man asked as he caught Tyler’s eyes in the rear view mirror.
“No, just said to get a hold of you and make sure you three get there as soon as possible,” Barbara repeated the last part praying that it was good news and not bad news about her daughter.
“Ok, we’re on our way.” Mike hung up the phone and told the other two people in the vehicle. “Rush needs us to stop at the police station.”
“Did Barb say why?” Tyler asked flipping on her turn signal.
Mike shook his head. “No. Just to get there quick.”
“Okay, quick I can do.” Tyler looked both ways before she slammed on the gas pedal, just missing two cars and a truck.
“Damn it,” Leo shouted, “She said get there quick, not dead.”
Rush starred at the white envelope that rested in the middle of the table in front of her. On the front was Tyler’s name, and what was inside she had no clue. She had decided to wait for Tyler, Mike, and Leo to arrive before opening it.
“Detective?” A uniformed policewoman knocked on the old wooden door of the room. “Tyler Jones is here.”
“Thanks, Lieutenant can you please show her and her friends in.” Rush smiled.
Several seconds went by and Tyler, Mike, and Leo walked in.
“You have some sort of news about BJ?” Tyler questioned as she stepped up and shook Rush’s hand.
“Not sure, yet.” Rush pointed to the envelope. “We got that about an hour ago. It was delivered by some young kid who was paid five bucks.”
Tyler stepped to the table and stared at it. Her name was written in large black marker across the front. “Can I open it?” she asked, but didn’t wait for an answer. She grabbed it with the tip of her finger.
Everyone in the room stood still as Tyler slowly opened the envelope. Each one of them held their breath until Tyler had it opened and tipped it over so whatever was in it could slide out.
“Oh God,” Tyler gasped as she saw the dark locks of her lover spill from the envelope.
Rush stepped closer. “Did they leave a note this time?”
Tyler didn’t answer. All she could do was stare down at the soft strands of hair. She felt her temper slowly begin to rise. Without thinking about any kind of evidence they might get from it, she grabbed the small bundle of hair and opened the door.
The other occupants of the room jumped when she slammed the door closed.
“You two better follow her quick before she does something stupid.” Rush pointed at Leo and Mike.
“You better hope you get them before we do. Because after this we can not promise what we’ll do when we find them,” Mike stated quietly, but you could see the anger building behind his eyes.
“No holds barred,” Leo said and opened the door.
The two men didn’t see the police officer talking on his cell phone as they left. Rush however did notice, and stayed back hoping to catch whatever was being said. When the police officer hung up his cell phone Rush stepped out and walked to her Captain’s office.
She knocked on the door and didn’t bother to wait to be told to enter. She walked in and closed the door behind her. “Captain, I think we have a leak.”
BJ glared at the two men that stood before her. Her hair length now reached just above her shoulders.
“You look like your friends forgot your birthday.” Chad laughed at the angry woman. “Bet we could find you a couple of presents that would perk you right up.”
BJ didn’t even bother to say anything. It would just fall on deaf ears and give them ammunition to toss back at her.
“Nice hair cut.” Chad slapped Darren on the back. “Maybe you should get out of this business and start up your own beauty salon.”
“Sure. I could call it, ‘Cut At Gun Point’.” Darren laughed as he looked at his handiwork. “What’s the matter honey? You don’t like my expert hair cut?”
BJ flipped Darren off and crossed her arms over her chest.
Darren bent closer to BJ, but not so close that she could get a clean shot with her legs. “Just so you know. Your girlfriend now has your lovely locks, and from what I heard she wasn’t all that happy.”
BJ couldn’t keep her mouth shut after hearing about Tyler. “Why are you doing this to us? Why are you holding me here and tormenting her like this? What the hell has she ever done to you?”
Chad shrugged his shoulders and smiled. “Not for us to know.”
BJ looked from one face to another, sadness and anger sitting in the pit of her stomach.
Darren laughed, “Hell, it’s fun watching you stuck here in your prison while your protector roams around the city looking for you.”
BJ kicked out at Darren, but missed just by an inch. “I dare you to get closer.”
Darren waved his finger at her. “Not gonna happen.”
Memories of sliding her fingers through BJ’s hair as she held her lover as she slept rushed through her mind, along with the guilt of knowing that because of some action she had done, BJ was taken. She opened the door just in time to lose the only thing she had in her stomach. The sour taste of stale coffee only made it worse.
Mike and Leo rushed to Tyler’s side. Mike patted Tyler’s back as Leo tried to take the cut hair out of Tyler’s hand.
“Give them to me, Tyler,” Leo said softly. “I’ll keep them safe for you.”
Reluctantly she let go and sat up. Sweat beaded over her forehead and upper lip.
“You okay now?” Mike questioned as he continued to rub the small woman’s back.
Tyler whipped her hand across her face and nodded. “I’ll be okay.” She sighed deeply and looked around. “They cut her hair.”
“I know. I know.” Leo squatted down making sure he wasn’t stepping in the mess on the ground. “Don’t lose hope. We’ll bring her home safe and sound.”
Tyler couldn’t hold the anguish in any longer. The tears she had been holding back started to fall. “She’s my whole life.”
Leo leaned forward holding his friend in his arms. He looked up at Mike, and through his own watery eyes he saw that his lover was crying as well.
“Excuse me, Mr. Royal,” a huge man said in a dull voice.
Mr. King Royal looked up from the book he was reading. “You have news on Ms. Jones for me, Sal?”
“Yes, Sir.” The man walked closer to the seated man. “Our friend on the force called, and it seems that she received an envelope from our associate. Apparently it upset her quite badly.”
“Any idea what was in the envelope?” King set the book in his hands down on his lap.
The large man shook his head. “Sorry, Sir he didn’t have any clue.”
“Get a hold of Darren and have him get his scrawny ass in here,” the boss ordered in a deep angry voice.
“Right away.” Sal nodded and quickly left the room.
King stood up and walked around to his desk. “I think Darren is in need of reminding that I make the decisions.”
BJ sat up and leaned against the cool metal sides of her prison. Thoughts of Tyler and TJ filled her head. She wasn’t sure how much longer she could be trapped here without going insane. The smell alone was driving her crazy, but the worst of it was the darkness that surrounded her constantly.
“I so want to see the stars above my head,” she mumbled softly as her mind took her back to the cabin she and Tyler had stayed at for their honeymoon.
“Did you see that?” BJ asked as she pointed to the star lit sky.
Tyler didn’t answer her because she was too busy looking at the profile of the woman in her arms.
BJ shifted until her eyes met soft green. “Did you see the shooting star?”
Tyler shook her head. “I was too busy looking at something else.”
BJ smiled. “Really? What where you looking at?”
Tyler pressed her lips to the tip of BJ’s nose. “I was looking at the most amazing thing God ever made.”
“Why aren’t you just the sweet talker?” The brunette caressed Tyler’s jaw with her finger. “I think you deserve a kiss for that remark.”
BJ wrapped one hand around Tyler’s neck and pulled her down. Her other hand rested over the fast beating heart.
“I want to touch you,” Tyler mumbled between kisses.
BJ placed one big kiss on Tyler’s lips before she stood up and slowly started to unbutton her shirt. “I always did want to make love under the night sky, with the stars giving us our only light.”
Tyler growled deep within her chest as inch after inch of the silky skin was exposed before her eyes.
BJ slowly went down on her knees as she cupped a breast in each hand. “I just want you to watch me.”
“I want to touch,” Tyler pouted.
BJ waved one finger at her and shook her head. “First watch, then when I say, you may touch.”
Knowing she wasn’t going to win, Tyler sat up with her legs crossed and watched.
“Sometimes when you’re sleeping, I have to control myself from waking you up, just so I can have my way with you.” BJ pinched her nipples as she spoke. “My center cries for your touch, and I can’t help myself as I reach down between my thighs.” Slowly her hand traveled down Tyler’s stomach. “My body twitches as I circle my clit. I imagine that it’s your tongue flicking it and stroking it. I want to scream out as I reach my peek, but I like the silence of coming as you sleep next to me.”
Tyler’s eyes follow BJ’s long fingers as they pleasured the tall woman. “You’re killing me.”
“Would you like a taste?” BJ asked, and held up her juice-coated finger.
Tyler moved so she was kneeling right in front of her naked lover. Slowly she ran her tongue over the tips of the fingers offered. “I crave your taste,” she whispered before she slipped one finger into her mouth and caressed it with her tongue.
The feeling of Tyler’s touch on her finger sent an electric shock straight to her already sensitive clit. “I’ll come if you keep that up.”
Tyler smiled with the appendage still in her mouth.
BJ slowly tugged her finger out. “I want you.” She leaned forward and placed a hard kiss against her wife’s mouth. “I want you so bad.”
Tyler reached around and held on to BJ as tight as she could. “Take me.”
BJ did just that, and Tyler returned the favor ten-fold. The stars blinked above their bodies, and the wind carried their cries of passion.
BJ blinked open her eyes and glanced around. “I need to figure a way out of here.”
Tyler rested her head against the chilled window. The people and buildings flashed by the distraught woman as shaking hands held the hairs carefully and with love.
“Think she’ll be pissed when she figures out that we’re taking her home?” Leo asked Mike from the passenger seat.
Mike shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t care if she throws a huge ass fit. She needs sleep, and I’m not taking her to one of these roach motels.”
Leo looked back at the quiet woman. “I think right now she won’t even realize where she is at.”
Mike caught the refection of his friend. “I agree.”
Barbara opened the door as soon as she realized who it was. One look at Tyler and she knew something was way wrong. “Oh God, you got some news.”
Leo rushed to Barbara’s side. “No, we don’t have any news. We just got another envelope and it threw Tyler for a loop. So we figured it was best to get her home before she realized what was going on.”
“Good idea; when you get her settled you will tell me what has happened,” the older woman stated.
Mike and Leo guided the distraught woman in their arms up the stairs to the bedroom. They both knew that when Tyler came around she would kick the shit out of them, but at this point they didn’t care.
“Okay, now that you two are set, tell me everything that has happened.” Barb leaned back against the couch pillows.
Mike and Leo took turns telling BJ’s mom what had happened since they left the house. By the end, the three sat in silence, each one deep in their own thoughts.
A small cry interrupted the silence, and Barb went to stand up and take care of TJ. Slowly she made her way to the stairs, but by the time she reached the bottom step TJ had stopped crying. Knowing that they were safe in the house, she wasn’t worried. Though when she stepped into the room and didn’t see the baby in his crib, she was about to call down to Mike and Leo when the soft sound of TJ’s cooing sent her in the direction of her daughter and Tyler’s room. Her hands went to her mouth to cover the gasp that slipped out. “Even when you’re so out of it the cry of your baby will always break through,” she whispered to herself as she watched Tyler wrap herself around TJ.
Standing there for a minute more, Barbara made her way back down stairs. She smiled slightly and sat back down. “So do you have any clues whatsoever?”
“None, so far,” Mike replied. “Honestly we don’t even know where to look.”
“What about going through Tyler’s old records and maybe even her Grandfather’s,” Barb suggested as she grabbed her cup of coffee.
Leo nodded his head. “We should do that. Where did Tyler put her things when she moved in?”
Barbara gestured towards the garage. “I’m guessing out there. If not, I have no clue.”
“Why don’t you go on up to bed, and Mike and I will start organizing files. Then when Tyler wakes up, it might keep her from killing us for bringing her here.” Leo finished the last of his coffee and stood up.
“I think it was what she needed,” Barb stated. “If she even gets mad, I’ll let her know that you two were only thinking of her welfare, and that she should be grateful that she has such good friends.”
“Thanks.” Mike moved over to kiss Barb on the cheek. “No one could have asked for a better mother in law.”
“Ain’t that the truth?” the woman laughed.
Late in the night, Darren sat around the dark smoky bar drinking. “I tell you I’m like this,” he held up a hand with two fingers crossed, “With the boss man.”
“Shut the hell up twit,” a drunk man yelled out over all the other voices. “No way can someone that important deal with someone like you.”
“Trust me, Jim,” Darren finished his drink and waved for another, “I ain’t lying.” He slapped a ten dollar bill on the bar top. “Give me another drink, and one for my friend.”
“Okay, let’s just say that you’re telling me the truth,” Jim slurred his words. “Why in the hell would someone like King Royal want to deal with a low life like you?”
“I’m taking care of some business for him.” Darren grabbed the fresh bottle of beer that was set in front of him and took a drink. “Let’s just say, I’m watching precious cargo so that it’s taken care of properly.”
Jim grabbed his own drink and shook his head. “You are the biggest liar ever.” He took a swallow of his beer, but it never made it down his throat. It was spewed all over Darren.
“Gesh man, what the hell is wrong with you?” Darren grabbed a napkin and wiped his face off just as a large hand landed on his shoulder. “Get your hand off me,” he yelled and turned. “Oh, shit sorry.”
“The boss wants to see you. Now,” Sal ordered.
Darren laughed and looked at his drinking buddy. “See, I told you I was someone important.”
Sal shook his head and smacked Darren on the back of the head. “I suggest you get your ass in gear.”
“Watch it muscle head.” Darren stood up and tried to shove Sal. “Be nice to me or I’ll get you into trouble with the bossman.”
Sal grabbed Darren by the collar of his shirt. “I suggest you back off before I ram my fist down your throat.”
“Yes, Sir,” Darren wheezed out. “If you’ll let me go I’ll head on over to see Mr. Royal.”
“I think that is a wise decision,” Sal replied and dropped Darren onto his feet.
With it so crowded in the bar, no one noticed the old man and his dog leave right before Darren and followed by Sal.
Tyler jumped ten feet when her cell phone went off in her pocket. “Hello,” she answered as she looked around and realized she was in her own bedroom. “Huh? What?”
“Tyler?” Bing whispered into the pay phone as he watched Darren and Sal get into a black sedan. “I found that Darren guy, and I have a pretty good guess who is behind BJ’s kidnapping.”
“Bing?” Tyler moved to swing her legs off the bed. A soft gurgle stopped her from going any further. She turned to see a wide-awake TJ smiling at her.
“Tyler you there? Tyler?” the old man almost yelled into the phone.
“Yes, sorry.” Tyler put her hand on TJ’s stomach and rubbed in circles. “Tell me what you have.”
“Was sitting in this bar, and this huge mountain of a man walked in and started to talk with this guy. I didn’t realize who it was because it was all dark, but when he stood up and all I recognized him, and I think I know who the big man was,” Bing said as he looked around to make sure no one was listening. “Have you heard of King Royal?”
“Isn’t he that big drug lord that no one can seem to put away?” Tyler replied with a yawn. “Why would he be after us? We have nothing to do with him.”
“Wrong, you helped bring charges against his son,” Bing reminded Tyler. “His son is the one who chased your woman and that young girl into a building, and the young one died.”
“Fuck, fuck, fuck,” Tyler spat out as what the note said ran through her mind. It finally made sense. “Thanks, Bing you are the best.”
“You’re welcome.” Bing hung up the phone and looked down at his dog. “Come on Rags, let’s head home.”
Tyler scooped TJ up and held him close. “Soon you’ll have your mommy here. Soon, real soon.” She stood up and walked into the nursery and sat down on the rocking chair. “First I need to get you to sleep.”
Thirty minutes later TJ was tucked into bed, and Tyler was getting out of the shower. She used her towel to wipe off the moisture from the mirror. The reflection that stared back at her didn’t faze her. She knew she looked like shit, and the way she felt was even worse, but all that didn’t matter. She had a clue, and in her heart she knew that King Royal was the reason BJ was not with her. She would make sure that he knew not to mess with the people she loved.
Tyler held up her hand and pointed it at the mirror. “I’m coming for you Mr. Royal, and you’ll be dead by nightfall.” She pretended to pull the trigger and whispered, “Bang.”
Tyler walked up the dirty steps as the smell of urine and grime assaulted her senses. “Damn Bing, how can you live like this?”
Slowly she made her way down a dark hallway until she reached her old friend’s room. She knocked and waited. A small smile formed on her face when she heard Rags give a soft bark from inside the room.
“Who is it?” Bing asked.
“It’s me, Tyler.”
Bing quickly undid the locks on his door. “Hey Tyler, what can I do for you?” He waved her into his musty one-room home. “Sorry about the mess, but I wasn’t expecting company.”
“Don’t worry about it. I just stopped by to see if you could give me the address.” The blonde leaned over to scratch Rags on the back.
“You’re going there by yourself?” Bing asked, already knowing the answer.
Tyler straightened and looked at the old man. “Yes.”
Bing nodded in understanding. “I’ll write it down for you, but damn it Tyler you should call for backup of some kind.”
“The police won’t be any help. They will just waste time with having to go through red tape.” Tyler started to pace. “BJ doesn’t have that kind of time.”
Bung looked up from the paper he was writing on. “What about the two that were with you at the bar?”
“I don’t want them to get hurt.” Tyler stopped and looked out the grimy window. “It’s just between him and me.”
Silence filled the room. Bing held out the single piece of paper. “Here you go.”
“Go in and take a seat,” Sal told Darren.
Darren sauntered in and took a seat on the leather couch. He let his eyes wander around the dimly lit room.
Royal walked in and looked at the messily dressed man. The smell of alcohol reached his nose from ten feet away. He shook his head and knew he had to get rid of this liability.
Royal moved around the couch and sat in his chair.
“You wanted to see me Sir?” Darren crossed his ankles and leaned back in the couch.
Royal didn’t speak right away. He wanted the slimy man in front of him to sweat a little, but the smell of the man was making him nauseous.
“Who told you to send that envelope to the police?” Royal asked as he lit a cigar.
Darren smiled. “No one did.”
“No one?” the big boss asked with a raised eyebrow. “Then why did you do it?”
“Because I figured it would hurt the bitch’s wife.” Darren laughed. “It was fun.”
“What was?” inquired Royal.
“Cutting that no good slut’s hair. She fought me good.” Darren shifted slightly at the memory. “Kicked me right in the balls.”
Royal blew out a large amount of smoke.
Darren didn’t like the way his boss stared at him.
Royal stood up and walked around to his bar. He poured himself a drink and slowly drank from it. “Do you know what happens to someone who doesn’t follow my orders?”
“I would guess you’d kill them,” Darren whispered as he scratched at a stain on his jeans.
“Good guess.” Royal nodded.
Barbara nearly dropped her coffee cup when the buzz from the front gate sounded from the security pad on the wall. She set her drink down and hit the receive button. “Yes?”
“Umm I was wondering if Tyler’s two friends were available,” Bing muttered as he looked around. “I have some information.”
“Hold on a second will you?” Barbara picked up the phone and dialed the guesthouse number. “Morning, Mike. I have someone at the front gate that is asking for you. He said he has some information for you and Leo.”
“Did the person give a name?” Mike asked.
Barbara hit the button again on the security pad. “Can I get your name please?”
Barbara lifted the phone back to her ear. “He said it was Bing. Do I let him in or call the police.”
“Don’t call the police. Let him come on up and we’ll meet you in the kitchen. You should wake Tyler up too.” Mike hung up the phone and yelled at Leo to hurry up.
“Just follow the road on up and come around back to the back door,” Barbara informed Bing and hit the entrance button to open the gate.
Tyler pulled up in front of a huge mansion with a ten-foot high fence. Trees blocked most of her view, but she could see several windows were lit up.
She opened the car door and quietly closed it and walked around to the ditch. A tree’s limb hung low enough for her to grab a hold and pull herself up and over the fence.
Crouching behind a bush to make sure that no one could see her, she waited for several long moments. Watching and listening to everything. Tyler noticed three groups of two walking the parameter of the house. In each of the groups one of the men had a large gun. “Lovely,” the hidden woman whispered.
“Thank you for coming.” Mike shook Rush’s hand and handed her a cup of coffee.
“Can you tell me now what the heck is going on?” Rush asked before she took a sip of her beverage.
“Tyler found out who is responsible for BJ’s kidnapping,” Leo informed the detective.
“Who is it? I need to get my men on it now.” Rush set the cup down and reached for her phone.
“King Royal.” Leo sighed. “We have one small problem. Tyler went there by herself. So if you call your guys and they go in guns blazing it could cost her, her life as well as BJ’s.”
“Is she out of her mind? That man is a lunatic. We have been trying to nail this bastard on one charge after another, and he just slips through our fingers.” Rush started to pace.
“We know, that’s why we have to wait and see what Tyler can accomplish,” Mike stated. “When she’s done she’ll contact us. We just wanted you to know what was going on.”
“Fuck,” Rush spat. “She is going to go in guns blazing and get herself killed.”
“No, she won’t,” Barbara stepped in and said. “Nothing will stop her from getting BJ, nothing at all.”
Tyler waited until the two men she had been watching moved out of sight. She counted to ten and ran for a bush that was under a lit window. Making sure no one was coming, she stood up and peered in.
Inside she saw a greasy looking man sitting on a couch with a large man smoking a cigar off to the side. The bigger of the two looked upset and very angry.
“Looks like I found the King,” Tyler murmured as she continued to watch the show.
Darren cringed when Royal slammed his now empty glass on the table. “It’s little punks like you that detoured my son from being the man he was suppose to be. They brought around the drugs and easy women.”
Darren shook his head. “Sir, I didn’t have anything to do with your son.”
“It doesn’t matter. You didn’t follow the rules. Just like those others. They shoved ideas inside my son’s head and now he is in jail. When he should be by my side ruling the empire I started for him.”
“But Sir…” Darren muttered and stood up.
Royal glared. “I suggest you sit your scrawny ass down.”
Darren quickly sat back down. “I thought the whole idea was to make this Tyler Jones regret what she did to your son. Not me who never met him.”
“You don’t get it.” Royal moved so he was standing right in front of the sitting man. “It is to get at Jones, but it’s under my rules. Not yours and what you think is a good idea.”
Making her way around the back of the house. Tyler ducked just in time as two more security guards made their way around the house. She waited until she was sure that no one was coming and quickly ran towards the door.
“Be unlocked, be unlocked,” Tyler mumbled over and over under her breath. When she was able to turn the doorknob she sighed with relief and opened the door just enough to slip inside. ”Guess people don’t lock their doors so early in the day.”
Scanning the long hallway, Tyler could hear the deep voice of a man she figured was the man she was after, and when she heard him say the other man’s name, ‘Darren’, she growled deep within her chest.
Without thought of running into someone, Tyler stood tall and headed to the partially open door she knew blocked her view of the two men that held her wife. Before she pushed the door open, she pulled out her gun from behind her back.
Royal and Darren both jumped when the door slammed open and knocked several items off a small table.
“Hello boys,” Tyler swung her gun up so it pointed at the big man.
“How the hell did you get in here?” Royal bellowed as he started to walk towards his desk to the hidden gun he kept in his top drawer.
“Stop right there big man or I’ll shoot your ass.” Tyler grinned. “Go sit by your right-hand man.” She waved the gun in Darren’s direction. “Then you’re going to tell me where my wife is, or I’ll make you regret ever being born.”
Leo, Mike and Detective Rush sat in an unmarked police car across the street from where Tyler had parked.
“Well, we know she’s in there.” Leo leaned against the back seat. “How do you suggest we get in there without calling attention to Tyler if she has not been spotted yet?”
“I bet she is in there right now with Royal, and if what Bing said is true, Darren is with them,” Mike stated as he looked up and down the street. “So what do you think?” He looked over at Rush who was in the driver’s seat.
“I know we won’t get a warrant to look around. We don’t have enough evidence.” Rush pinched the bridge of her nose. “We may be able to bluff our way in there and hope they don’t come back at us with a law suit.”
“I say we do that,” Leo and Mike both said at the same time.
“Just make sure your boys in blue stay away.” Mike gestured towards the three police cars parked in various spots down the road. “Especially if some of them are working for Royal.”
“If they were going to call they would have already. So I don’t think our group is part of Royal’s gang,” Rush stated with a sigh.
“Good, because I would hate to have to seriously hurt someone,” Mike replied coldly.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. We don’t know where your wife is.” Royal sat down with his hands up in the air.
“Wrong.” Tyler aimed her gun and fired. “Like I said, I will make you miserable if you don’t tell me.”
Darren and Royal looked at the small space in between them. A dark hole now showed from the bullet.
“You are a crazy bitch,” Darren yelled out as he tried to move away from his boss. “Plus if you kill us you will never find your wife. She’ll be stuck in her prison with only the memories of me on her skin.” He smirked, not realizing what he had said and how it would make his captor react.
“Crap, that sounded like a gun shot.” Rush opened her car door. “That gives us a good reason to enter the premises without a warrant.”
Leo and Mike quickly followed the detective across the road.
“Wait for us to go in first,” Rush ordered as she pulled her gun out. “When the coast is clear I’ll send someone out for you.”
“No way,” Mike replied. “We should go in there with you.”
“You are civilians and will stay where I say,” Rush stated in a serious tone. “Let me do my job.”
Tyler didn’t move. Images of BJ being forced to do what this slimy thug wanted chilled her to her core.
Darren looked from Tyler to his boss. He wasn’t sure what he saw, but he could have sworn he saw fire blazing in the green eyes that bore into him.
The two men didn’t even see the enraged woman come at them. Royal tossed his arms up over his head as Darren dove towards the other end of the couch.
Tyler raised the gun again, but instead of fabric it cut through skin over and over until she was out of bullets.
Shocked eyes opened and stared at the still woman. He wanted to run but was immobilized by fear.
Rush had just split pairs of officers off to cover the back and sides of the house, and ordered the group that were still with her to enter the house with caution, when several gunshots filled the neighborhood.
“Go, go, go.” Rush waved her hand and ran behind the other officers.
Mike and Leo looked from the house to the gate Rush had just run through. They both wanted to follow, but knew that they would just get in the way at the moment.
“Everything will be okay,” Leo said out loud. “It has to be.”
Tyler and Royal didn’t even notice the yelling or pounding on the door. They just looked at the silent bloody body hunched on the couch.
The crazed woman turned the smoking gun towards the other man. “You will tell me where my wife is or I will kill you.”
Royal swallowed hard and shook his head. “I’m not exactly sure where she is at,” he lied.
“What the fuck do you mean?” Tyler poked the big man in the head with the barrel of the gun. “You’re the ‘Boss’ I thought. You are supposed to know everything.” She hit him hard making a cut appear, and a trickle of blood that ran down his forehead to his cheek to drip on his shirt.
“Damn you,” Royal shouted as he brought his hands to his head. “You’re fucking crazy.”
“That’s right.” Tyler stepped back and sat down. “Now, if you don’t want to die, tell me where my wife is.”
“Like I said bitch. I don’t really know where she is. Only that she is being held somewhere that no one will ever find,” Royal stated as he wiped off the line of blood from his face.
“Besides dead Fred over there, who knows where BJ is?” the suddenly quiet woman asked.
Royal could see the defeated look cross over Tyler’s face. He knew that even if he didn’t have a gun, he still held all the cards.
“Police, open up,” Rush yelled out, before she had an officer kick down the door.
The entire front foyer filled with police. Each one had their gun drawn.
“You two go down that hallway.” Rush pointed at two officers. “You’re with me.” She pointed at a third. “We’re going this way. Everyone else, split up and check the rest of this place.”
Slowly the detective made her way down the side hallway. She heard several loud voices and stopped.
“Sal, we have to get in there,” a man stated as he pointed to a closed door.
Sal smacked him on the back of the head. “How do you suggest we do that? The damn door is reinforced and was built so no one could bust it open.”
“Well shit,” the other man shouted. “How the hell are we suppose to protect the boss if we are out here? We don’t even know who’s in there with him.”
“I can tell you, and maybe if you help it will make a difference in what charges are brought against you.” Rush stepped out from behind the corner with her gun pointed right at the thugs. “So what do you say?”
Mike and Leo stood outside for what seemed like hours, but in fact was only twenty minutes.
“If you will follow me,” a police officer said when he stepped up to the two men.
“Can you tell us if Tyler is okay?” Mike quickly asked as they began to walk.
The police officer shook his head and continued to walk. “I was just told to come get you. I have no idea what the situation is.”
The silence that filled the room could have been cut with a knife. Suddenly a chirping was heard.
“What the hell is that?” Tyler asked as she walked over to stand by Darren’s body.
Royal rolled his eyes. “It’s his cell phone.”
Tyler whipped the gun around and pointed it right between the big man’s eyes. “Don’t push me. The only reason you are even still breathing is because you are my link to finding BJ.”
“Shit, he was your best link, and you shot him dead. Now your poor wife is going to die knowing you didn’t save her.” Royal laughed.
Tyler turned back around and searched for the annoying cell phone. When she found it she pulled it free from the pocket and opened it up. “Yeah?”
“Darren that you?” Chad asked.
Tyler didn’t say a word; she stepped over the body and walked to a corner. She lowered her voice and replied, “Yeah, what do you want?”
“Damn, Darren you got a cold or something?” Chad held the phone from his ear and frowned. “I just called to find out if you were going to take the supplies to you know where?”
“Pick me up at the boss’s house.” Tyler hung up the phone and smiled as she turned around. “Well it looks like I may have found someone who will take me directly to where my wife is.”
“What the hell do you mean by that?” Royal stood up.
“Sit back down fat boy,” Tyler ordered.
Before Royal could mouth back, the knocking on the door started again. This time Tyler paid attention to the voice.
“Let us in Tyler. It’s time the police took care of this,” Rush said loudly.
“You know what? I bet the police would love to get in here and poke around.” Tyler wiggled her eyebrows.
“Shit, the lawyers I have can get me out by nightfall,” Royal replied smugly. “So bring it on little dyke.”
Tyler laughed at the potshot as she walked over to the door and unlocked it. “How much you want to bet you’ll be in jail just as long as I will be?”
She opened the door and waited for it to fill up with blue shirts. When Detective Rush was standing right next to her she handed her the gun. “You’ll need this, but before you even think of arresting me I have to meet someone who will show me where BJ is.”
Rush tucked the handgun in her pocket. “What do you need from me?”
“I need all the police cars out front gone.” Tyler stepped out of the room. She saw Leo and Mike walking down the hallway. “Plus, keep them out of that room; they don’t need to see that.”
“Okay.” Rush nodded and followed Tyler who was heading towards her friends.
As Chad slowly made his way down the deserted street he glanced out of his halfway rolled down window. He swallowed several times hoping he wouldn’t have to stay too long. When he reached the gated driveway, he pulled up and rolled down his window the rest of the way to push the call button.
“No need for that,” Tyler stated as she opened the car door and sat down in the passenger seat. She pulled out her other gun and pointed it right at Chad. “You will take me to my wife.”
“But…” Chad looked from the gun back up into crazed green eyes.
“You will die just like your buddy Darren if you don’t back this car up and get moving.” Tyler pressed the muzzle against Chad’s head. “I would suggest you listen to me.”
Chad nodded his head and put the car in reverse, then drive, and headed towards the train yard.
Tyler knew that the car was being followed by Detective Rush and her friends, so she just looked out the window at the passing scenery.
“What are you going to do to me?” Chad asked softly.
Tyler slowly glanced at the young man driving. “If you don’t give me any trouble and take me to my wife, then you’ll live.”
“Okay, I won’t give you any grief.” Chad wiped his face with his hand. When he reached the spot he always parked at he pulled over and shut the car off. “We’re here.”
Tyler glanced around, not seeing anything but a high fence with a hole in it. “Where is here?”
“Deserted train yard.” Chad opened the door. “If you’ll follow me I’ll show you.”
Tyler nodded and opened her own door. She stood up and let her eyes roam over the area. She could see the lone undercover police car sitting down the road waiting. “Lead on.”
Chad stepped to the fence and made his way through the hole. He stepped back and waited for Tyler. “It will take us about five minutes to walk there.”
It finally hit Tyler what BJ was being held captive in. “You guys have her held up in an old train car?”
“Umm, yes,” Chad squeaked out. “It was Darren’s idea.”
“Glad I shot him dead,” Tyler mumbled just loud enough for the man she was with to hear.
BJ lay on the mattress staring up at the ceiling. The intense heat was really getting to her, especially since her captors had yet to re-supply her with water and food.
“That one.” Chad pointed to a lone car. “She is in that one.”
All thoughts but getting to BJ flew out of Tyler’s mind. She began to run as fast as she could. When she reached the train car she stopped and looked at the padlock. Turning sharply to Chad she said, “Give me the key, now!”
She grabbed the key from his hand, fumbled it into the lock, then with shaking fingers Tyler pulled the lock off and tossed it to the ground. Using all her might she wiggled her fingers to slide the door open. The smell almost made her throw up, but she pushed it down and pulled herself up into the dark car.
“BJ?” Tyler whispered softly. “Baby?”
“Oh damn I’m hearing voices now,” BJ stated in a tired voice.
Tyler moved in the direction of BJ’s voice. When her foot hit something she bent over. “BJ?” She could sense her lover, but was unsure of her feelings after everything that had happened lately. “Please say something.” She didn’t get a chance to say anything else, because a foot collided with her chest. “Ooooff.” She went back and landed on her butt.
BJ had hoped to get another shot at Darren. “Guess you didn’t learn the first time asshole.” She quickly stood up on shaky legs and moved towards the open door. She didn’t care if his friend was out there or not. She wanted out.
Tyler gasped for breath. She tried to grab a hold of BJ’s leg as it passed by but it was no use.
BJ took in a deep breath before she jumped down to the gravel ground. She saw Chad standing there with a shocked expression on his face. “You going to try and stop me?”
“Ummm,” Chad just pointed at the train car.
“Idiot,” BJ spat as she made her way past.
Chad suddenly broke free of his speechlessness. “Why are you running from her? She is here to save you.”
She didn’t register what he had said until she walked several feet away. “Her who?” She turned around glaring at the startled man.
“Her.” Chad pointed to the open door of the train car just as Tyler poked her head out. She had an arm wrapped around her chest from the pain.
“Oh God.” BJ started back towards her prison. Not caring if she was shoved back in, as long as she got to hold Tyler.
Tyler sat down on the edge before she slid down to the ground. She looked around to see which way her lover had gone so she could follow. She didn’t have to look far, because BJ was now not five feet away from her.
Time stood still as BJ and Tyler wrapped their arms around one another. Each of them had tears of joy and love as they each made sure the other was okay.
BJ could not understand what Tyler was mumbling. She just knew it was the same thing over and over again. “Tyler, what are you saying?”
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” Tyler continued to repeat.
BJ cupped the smaller woman’s face. When tired sad eyes met hers she leaned in and placed a kiss on soft lips. When she pulled back silence met her ears. “Listen to me. You have nothing to be sorry for.”
Tyler blinked and slightly shook her head and put a block on her emotions. She had smacked herself mentally because she knew she had to be here for BJ not the other way around. “I need to get you to a hospital and have you checked out.”
As the two made their way towards where Tyler had entered the train yard, Leo, Mike and Rush ran to them.
Leo wrapped his arms around BJ and let the tears fall. “I knew she would find you.”
Mike patted Tyler on the back. “You did good kid.”
Tyler looked up at her friend and replied coldly, “I did what I had to do for my family.” She looked over at Rush and she nodded at the detective.
Rush knew what the look was for. The blonde woman in front of her knew that murder charges were more than likely to be pressed against her by the state. “Why don’t you four head on home and I will be in contact.”
Barbara stood by the door looking out through the window every few seconds. Leo had called and said they had found BJ and would be taking her to the hospital and then home as quickly as they could. That was three hours ago, and she was about to go out of her mind with excitement.
The sound of her grandbaby waking up from his nap made Barb smile. She walked up the stairs to TJ’s room and cooed at him. “Guess what big boy? Your mama is coming home.” She picked him up and closed her eyes. “It’s all going to be fine now.”
TJ drooled and smacked his lips.
“You hungry Sweetheart?” Barb asked as she picked him up and cradled him in her arms.
The sound of doors opening and closing made her smile. “I bet that is your mama. Let’s go check.”
The older woman slowly made her way down the steps and watched as the door opened. The sight of her daughter stepping into the house made tears of joy and sadness fall down her cheeks. “Oh thank God you are okay.”
BJ couldn’t stop her own tears from falling at the sight of her mom and son coming towards her. Unable to say a word, she quickly made her way to the bottom step and waited for the two to hug her and welcome her home.
Tyler watched from the open door. She nodded her head and smiled. BJ was home were she belonged. She yawned and scratched her head where the new staples had been put in. “Damn persistent nurses.”
“You know it was for your own good.” Leo brought his hands up and began to massage Tyler’s tense shoulders. “You lucked out by being able to come home. So go in there and be with your family.”
Tyler silently continued to watch the heartwarming scene in front of her. She sighed and shook her head. “I need to call detective Rush and see if any charges are going to be brought up against me.”
Leo dropped his hands and watched his friend make her way around the house to the guesthouse. Mike walked next to his lover and asked without saying a word.
“She’s shutting down, and I have no clue what the outcome will be,” Leo responded softly.
“I need to speak with Detective Rush,” Tyler said as she sat down on the couch. “Sure I’ll wait.”
She leaned her head back against the soft material and closed her eyes. Her heart felt relief, but her mind would not shut down. It was jumping from one thought to another, and half of them made no sense at all.
Tyler knew that it all stemmed from the way she had killed Darren. She had never killed someone who was not armed and able to protect themselves. Basically she saw herself as a cold blooded killer, and she knew in her heart she would do it all over again if it meant BJ was now in their home holding their son.
“This is Detective Rush.”
Tyler cleared her throat. “This is Tyler Jones, and I was wondering how the investigation was going?”
“Royal has been charged with the kidnapping of BJ and several other charges from drugs to prostitution,” Rush informed Tyler.
“How about the charges against me?” The tired blonde woman asked. “Should I turn myself in or…”
“Tyler, I honestly cannot tell you if charges will be brought up against you. In my best opinion I would have to say yes, some sort of charges will be brought against you. It just depends on how far they want to take this,” the detective stated.
“I don’t understand. How far they want to take what?” Tyler ran her hands through her short hair. She was so into the phone call she didn’t see BJ walk into the house. “I shot a man pointblank over and over until I was out of bullets. I didn’t care about anything but him being dead for what he said he did to BJ, and God damn it, I would do it again in a heartbeat.”
“I’m just going to ignore what you just said for right now. I know I could lose my job for it, but your family has been through enough crap, and they don’t need this right now. If charges are going to be pressed, I will come tell you myself.”
BJ let her mind wrap itself around the idea that Tyler had killed someone in cold blood. She stood in the hallway for a second before she made her way over and sat across from Tyler and watched the way the smaller woman moved. It took her a second to realize it, but Tyler was moving differently and it disturbed the tall brunette greatly.
“Okay Detective. Thanks.” Tyler hung up the phone, but didn’t open her eyes. It took her several quiet minutes to realize that someone else was in the room. “Why aren’t you in the house with TJ?”
“Because at the moment you need me more than he does.” BJ stood up and sat next to the other woman.
“How much did you hear?” Tyler asked still not moving or opening her eyes.
BJ reached across Tyler’s lap to hold a hand, but before she could even touch the skin of the other woman Tyler stood up and moved away.
“You shouldn’t touch me. You should go back in the house and be with your son. Not out here with me,” Tyler said in frustration and anger.
“You won’t push me away. I won’t let you. The only thing that kept me from going totally insane in that train car was images of you, and knowing you’d save me. Which you did, and damn it I won’t let you fall into some dark hole because you regret what you did,” BJ yelled back.
“That’s just it. I don’t feel regret, or guilt, or anything for killing that fucking asshole.” Tyler looked right into BJ’s eyes. “How can you love someone who can do something like that?”
BJ carefully made her way towards Tyler. Hoping beyond anything that when she got close enough her wife wouldn’t move away. When she was within six inches of the other woman she brought a hand up and traced over Tyler’s jaw line to her lips. “You did what you did because you were protecting your family. Nothing more, nothing less. You aren’t a cold-blooded killer and never will be. Trust me, because I see your heart every time I look into your eyes.”
Tears started to fall down Tyler’s cheeks as she grabbed a hold of the front of BJ’s shirt. “I would do it again. Without a second thought. To keep you safe or bring you home. You are my soul, and I swore to protect you.”
BJ ran her hands over Tyler’s shaking shoulder and brought her into a strong, loving hug. “I know.”
Several months later…
“Would you look at this view?” Tyler gestured towards the creeping sun.
BJ smiled as she watched the way her wife watched the sky turn from one brilliant color to the next with child-like abandon.
It was quiet for a moment before Tyler turned towards the woman she loved and smiled. “Thank you.”
“For what Honey?” BJ asked as she entwined her fingers with the smiling woman.
Tyler waved her free hand around. “This.”
“Like I would let you move all the way out here without me or TJ. Heck, even Mom and you know the boys will come for a visit whenever they can.” BJ leaned down and placed a kiss on the tip of Tyler’s nose. “You are part of this family, and where you go we all go. No matter what.”
“Then I guess it was a good thing I was found not guilty.” The smile left her face for a second as she remembered the sounds and smell of killing Darren.
“Don’t go down that path again. Stay with the here and now. Forget the past, it means nothing.” BJ stated something the therapist had said over and over to her and Tyler during one of many sessions they had gone to.
“I know, and I am getting better at it, but the past does hold some great things.” Tyler wiggled her eyebrows.
“Then just think of those and not the bad.” BJ brought their entwined hands up and placed a kiss on the back of her wife’s hand. “I love you.”
“Love you more,” Tyler whispered before she tugged BJ into an embrace and a long passionate kiss.
“Break it up you two and come here and see this,” Barb shouted from inside the house.
The two groaned, but walked back into the house. Where they saw their son, slowly and wobbly making, his way across the living room towards their newest family member, Digger, a four-month-old German Shepherd puppy.
“Oh my,” BJ gasped in delight. “He’s walking.”
“I need to get the camera.” Tyler ran to the closet and started filming.
Barb watched her small family and nodded with approval. “Life is good once again.”