The pile of paper on Olivia’s desk didn’t seem
to be getting any smaller. She
glanced at her watch and sighed. It
wasn’t even lunch time yet, and she still didn’t feel like she had put a
dent in the work. Sometimes the
first day back from vacation was the worst.
Not just because you wanted to be somewhere else still, preferably in the
warm arms of a very sexy woman, but because the work that you left behind seemed
to develop insane crushes on each other, had crazy desk sex while you were gone,
and left you with their babies to come back to when you returned.
She sighed again, picking up another file,
and tried very hard not to think about desk sex and babies.
That just wouldn’t work because then she’d think about Natalia, and
she definitely wouldn’t get any work done.
She looked at the picture on her desk and smiled.
A sweet, old couple had taken it while they were in San Cristobel
drifting through the marketplace, and Olivia had come in and downloaded it right
away to her computer. She picked up
the unframed picture and stared at Natalia, running a gentle finger along the
image of her cheek.
“So much for not thinking about Natalia,”
she mumbled to herself and looked back to her desk with the pile of work.
“Screw it. This is much more enjoyable.”
The trip away had been more than just a
vacation or even a pseudo business trip. A
part of her knew they weren’t ready to take on something as big as franchising
the Beacon just yet, but the opportunity to simply look and get back in the game
of wheeling and dealing again for the right time and the right place had whet
her appetite for the real thing. One day there would be another Beacon site, but
this wasn’t the time for it.
In spite of that, the trip had been
enlightening to say the least. Seeing her home again and visiting the graves of
her family was hard, but it helped her realize she had a new family. One that
she could lean on and trust, that she’d lay down her life for if needed. The
brief visit she and Natalia made to St. Michael’s had filled her amazingly
with a sense of peace. Even though her memories of religion as a child had left
her scarred and disillusioned, there was something about experiencing it with
Natalia and her calm, loving nature that soothed the old ache of her childhood.
Everything about the trip had been wonderful
and even magical. She had felt connected to Natalia on a whole new level.
Finally, she had opened a door to perhaps her darkest secret, her rape, and
Natalia loved her anyway. She had kept it to herself for so long, fearing
revulsion or disgust from Natalia, but she got rewarded with Natalia’s amazing
strength and insight. Natalia knew
her like no one else ever had, saw into her soul, even the dark and ugly parts,
only to declare it good. This kind
of love, one that doesn’t have judgment or boundaries, was something she
couldn’t understand being given to her and certainly not by Natalia’s God.
A brief smile ghosted over her face. Then again, her God isn’t like any God I’ve ever known, she
mused to herself.
The smile disappeared though as she thought
of that stormy night on the island. Anna. Xing Lung. Whoever the hell she was
now! She hadn’t imagined it. It wasn’t some figment of her imagination. She
had been there the night of her rape, had seen Jeffrey leave the room, and had
done nothing. She closed her eyes feeling the cold chill slide down her back at
the recalled emotions when it all hit her, when it all fell into place at the
hotel; the burly Asian man in the market staring at her, the older Asian woman
who reminded her eerily of an older Anna. Something was very, very wrong and her
gut instincts were on high alert.
It took everything Natalia had, in spite of
her own misgivings and fears, to talk Olivia out of finding Anna and confronting
her in true Spencer fashion, particularly with a well-hidden gun for good
measure. Natalia had made her promise to sit on it for a few days, they both
would, to allow themselves to think with clearer heads, and feel out the
situation when they returned. Even now, thinking about the possibility of Anna
being one of Edmund’s goons, just like Anna’s father had been, was more than
Olivia could tolerate. It put everyone she loved in danger and such a situation
was simply not acceptable. Olivia ground her teeth together, fighting the impulse to
bolt from her office and race down to the Springfield Police Department.
But since assaulting a police officer was unfortunately out of the
question, she took her frustrations out on the poor pencil in her hand and
snapped it with cathartic glee.
A knock at the door made her jump, and she quickly
schooled her face for business. “Come…”
She hadn’t even gotten the rest of the
sentence out when Doris pushed the door open with a huge grin. “Hey,
“What?” Olivia was truly confused.
Doris walked up to the desk and looked over
the edge. “So, let me see it.”
It finally registered with Olivia what she
was talking about, and she lifted her left hand with the glittering band on it.
Doris took the proffered hand in her own and looked at the beautiful band
from one side and then the other, whistling her approval.
“Very nice! Who knew Natalia had such great taste. After all, she is
Green eyes slit dangerously as the hotelier
looked towards Doris. “What are you doing out and about so early, Wolfe?
I didn’t think vampires came out until after dark.”
Doris laughed good-naturedly, enjoying their
comfortable banter. “Good one,
Spencer.” She shrugged her shoulders. “Not much. Just thought I’d drop by
and have a chat with a dear friend.”
Olivia looked over her shoulder, then back at
the Mayor. “Where? I don’t see
The Mayor’s face fell.
“Bend over.” A dark eyebrow quirked up.
“Stop flirting with me, or I’ll have to
get my girlfriend to beat you up. I’m
trying to be serious here, okay?”
Olivia stopped smirking and made her face
serious. “Fine. What’s up?”
The other woman leaned back comfortably in
her chair and bit her lip, a smile of self-satisfaction and almost girly
giddiness popped up on her face. “I’m
in love. I’ve done it, Olivia.
I’ve found my Natalia.”
Olivia smiled falsely at her, but she knew
Doris hadn’t seen it nor noticed how Olivia had shifted uncomfortably in her
chair. Doris had been going on about Anna, oblivious to anything else. “I mean, she’s so great, Olivia.
She does sweet, little romantic things all the time, and she’s never
rushed me about being out or being more open. She’s just let me - be me, and I
think she’s making me a better person. More
open, honest, caring.” Doris
shook her head. “I don’t know.
I just know I’ve never felt like this before, and I’m really
happy…finally.” Doris looked off wistfully, lost in her own world.
Olivia looked down and closed her eyes. She pressed
two fingers to the bridge of her nose, as she thought through the situation.
It wasn’t good, and it had been exactly the position Olivia had hoped
to avoid. Doris was her friend and she wanted to protect her. If Olivia told her
about Anna, it would break her heart and maybe destroy their friendship.
If she didn’t tell her and Anna was up to no good, it would break
Doris’s heart anyway, if not actually endanger her life; Olivia would likely
lose their friendship for not telling her, too.
Either way, Olivia was royally screwed.
Damn, this was exactly why she didn’t get close to people!
It took Doris snapping her fingers in front
of her face to get her attention. “Earth
to Olivia! Where’d you go? No daydreaming about your girl. This is my
The blonde offered a half-smile to her.
“Sorry.” Olivia tried to
think of a quick way out of the conversation, she raised the hand with her new
ring. “I’m still in honeymoon
land.” She reached into her
pocket, where she had placed her cell phone. She pulled it out and looked at it
as if she had a call coming in. “Speaking
Doris smirked at her and stood. “Fine, I can tell
when I’m getting the brush off. Call
me though. I need someone to talk to.”
Olivia flipped the phone open and nodded at
Doris. When the door closed behind
the Mayor, she sighed and hit the numbers for home.
“Hey.” Olivia smiled as she heard the
cooing and laughter of their daughter in the background.
“Hey, what’s up?” Natalia questioned
with curiosity at the unexpected call from her partner.
“Doris just dropped by.”
There was a stretch of silence on the other
end. “Oh. And?”
Olivia closed her eyes, and pinched the
bridge of her nose, as she spoke with a resigned voice. “She admitted to being
in love with Anna.”
“Oh.” Natalia’s tone added the
unnecessary ending to the statement of “that’s not good.”
The older woman ran a hand through her hair and
leaned her head back against the tall leather chair.
“I don’t know what to do now.”
“At this exact moment, nothing,” Natalia
noted, sensing Olivia was not going to get any further work done that morning
the more she worried. “Just come home and we’ll talk it out, okay?”
Olivia smiled a little, soothed by her
partner’s calmness. “Okay. What’s on the lunch menu at the Spencer-Rivera
Natalia laughed at something Francesca did
before answering her. “Oh, a nice
big serving of warm milk with a little rice cereal in it.”
“Mmmm, sounds yummy. Save a dish for me.”
“Oh, don’t worry.
I’m sure if you stand close enough to your daughter, she’ll let you
have a helping as it comes back up.” A short pause of amusement. “I’ve
changed shirts three times this morning, and that’s with the burp cloth.”
Olivia laughed at the mental image. “Ewww!
I’ll be there in a few. Love you.”
“Love you, too.”
Natalia put the phone down and wiped at her
daughter’s chin. Running a hand through her long hair, she felt a tad bit of spit up that had gotten her earlier.
She turned to the giggly little baby. “Oh,
you think that’s funny, mija? Give me a few more months, and I’ll have the
last laugh when I get you to eat strained green peas. I think somehow Mommy
Olivia slipped in some of her genetic material ‘cause you seriously have the
The lunch crowd was starting to pick up when Doris
walked through the door of Company. She
immediately spied a spot at the counter and slid onto a stool.
She checked her phone to make sure Anna hadn’t called, and then set it
on the counter in front of her to make sure she wouldn’t miss her, if she did
Blake raced out of the back, through the swinging
doors, carrying a tray of food for a table in the back. Doris smiled as she peeked over her shoulder at the way the
redhead shamelessly flirted for a big tip from the table of businessmen.
It didn’t surprise her either that when Blake turned to walk away that
there were four sets of male eyes on Blake’s ass.
Not that she could really blame them.
Blake was a damn beautiful woman and anyone with eyes could see that.
What the hell Blake sees in Frank Cooper she’d never know.
“You know, Blake, the last time I checked
the name of this place wasn’t Hooters,” Doris said with a smile to keep the
sting out of her comment. “Keep up that kind of flirting and poor Frank will
have to whip out his badge and gun on those boys.” Doris tipped her head back
indicating the table behind her as Blake looked up at her.
The redhead busied herself with filling
several glasses with ice, not speaking right away, then turned to fill a coffee
mug and walked over to Doris, handing it to her.
“He’s been pretty busy lately. I
doubt he’d notice,” Blake spoke distractedly and with a shrug of her
“Late nights?” Doris inquired.
She nodded. A small part of her wanted to
share what Marina had said about Eleni coming into town because she couldn’t
help but have a tiny shred of doubt that Frank was entirely clueless about her
being here. She shook off her own
jealousy and focused instead on the blue eyes intently watching her. “Yeah,
well, there’s been lots of small crimes happening, and that means lots of
paperwork and hunting for evidence, especially with Desilva screwing things up.
By the way, weren’t you supposed to fix that?”
Doris held up her hand. “I can’t talk
about employee details, you know that, but I am taking care of it. I’ve even
been headhunting for a new CSI supervisor. I promise I’ll take care of it.”
The redhead smiled at her friend. “Good.
Doris fought the uncharacteristic blush on
her face. “No problem.”
Blake kindly let it pass, even though she
noticed the redness in Doris’s cheeks. “Anyway,
he has been really grateful to have Anna there though. He says she really knows what she’s doing and has an eye
Doris smirked knowingly. “That she does.”
Blake wiped down the counter to hide the
blush the innuendo caused. “Going well then, I assume. You two looked awfully
cozy at New Year’s.”
“Valentine’s wasn’t that bad either.”
Doris’ smile grew bigger as Blake rolled her eyes.
Blake’s retort was cut short when she
looked up and saw a tall man in a dark suit standing behind Doris. She quirked
an eyebrow and nodded to the space over Doris’ shoulder, causing the other
woman to turn around.
“Mayor Wolfe.” The beefy man with crew
cut hair stuck out his hand to her.
“Yes?” She shook his hand solidly and
gave him a quizzical look. She knew
him from somewhere.
“Gerald Sanders.” He offered up his name
when he realized she was trying to place him.
“We met last year in Chicago at the Republican Party’s state
convention. I was elected to the
Faith and Family Values Committee.”
Now she remembered and she had a sickening
feeling come over her as she remembered getting lauded for her “Protect the
Children” campaign that Emma had been at the center of last year.
“Right, I remember.”
“We were very proud of the strong stand you
took on family values. Your pro-family campaign was very inspiring to many of
us.” He hesitated and dropped his
voice. “I hope that will continue
as you seek out your next term.”
She held his stare, refusing to be
intimidated. It helped that she could feel Blake standing not far away because
right now, she felt terribly alone. “And
why wouldn’t it?” Doris asked evenly.
The man cleared his throat, giving away his
obvious discomfort with having to be blunt. He leaned in a little closer to
avoid being heard. “There’s been talk, Madam Mayor. That concerns us.”
She felt the hair standing up on the back of
her neck, and she didn’t like it one bit.
Fighting to keep her composure, she took a sip of her coffee, buying
time, hoping that he didn’t see the slight shake in her hand as she raised the
mug. “Well, there should be no
concern, Gerald. I support nearly all of the Party’s platform. And as far as
family values go, I have a family and I have strong moral values.
I’m not a drug addict, murderer, embezzler, or cheat, so I can’t
imagine what someone’s dreaming up that’s so immoral and anti-family.”
Doris stood tall as she spoke with conviction.
He stared at her with dark eyes, the
friendliness of their earlier exchange gone dead in the cold of his eyes. “I
think you know, Madam Mayor.”
The door bell dinged as another patron
entered. They both looked back to
see Anna standing in the doorway, then spying Doris and smiling warmly at her.
Gerald turned back to her with a dirty smirk.
“Have a very nice day, Mayor Wolfe.”
He spun on his heel and gave a curt nod to Anna as he passed her.
Anna watched him go then looked back at
Doris. The older woman had sunk shakily back onto her bar stool as the fight
left her. She raced to Doris’s side as Blake came around the corner of the
Anna placed a hand on Doris’s arm, as she spoke,
“Hey, baby, are you okay? What
was that all about?”
Dark eyes looked at Blake for an explanation
when Doris didn’t respond. Anna
was worried because she could feel Doris physically shaking. “That asshole basically threatened her,” Blake spoke
indignantly, protective of her friend.
“What?” Anna straightened up at that as
her voice dipped to a growl. She
looked as though she wanted to bolt out the door after him.
Doris grabbed her arm. “No, not that kind
of threatened. It was a political
threat,” Doris quickly added. After
a breath, and a drink of her now lukewarm coffee, she continued, “Seems I’m
no longer fitting the All-American Family Values image anymore.”
Doris, I’m sorry. Maybe we need
to, you know, lay low or something for a bit,” Anna offered.
The Mayor straightened up with that and
looked her in the eye. By God, she wanted a little piece of happiness too.
She was tired of bowing down to everyone else.
She had been doing it all her life just to get ahead. But no more. “No.
No, I won’t live my life in fear.
I’m tired of being afraid.”
Blake smiled and gave her a gentle rub on the
back. “Good for you.”
Doris glanced to the redhead and smiled
Anna’s eyes narrowed at the exchange and then she
closed them again as she recalled the image of Doris kissing Blake’s hand at
the New Year’s party. She took a
deep breath and decided to steer things back on course. “So, um, Blake have you seen my boss? You know, your
She shook her head.
“He was here first thing to get some coffee, but that was the last time
I heard anything.” Blake shrugged, but she hadn’t moved from her spot
alongside Doris. “Has he not been in the office?”
She raised her shoulders again. “Maybe he’s on a case.”
Anna looked back at Doris as Blake reluctantly left them to walk over to
a table to refill water. Returning
her attention to her girlfriend, Anna asked, “You okay now?”
Blue eyes warmed as Anna inched closer.
“I am now.”
“Good.” Anna leaned in and gave Doris a
kiss on the cheek. Pulling back
just enough to see Doris’ eyes, she whispered, “Missed you last night.”
“There’s always tonight.”
“I like the sound of that.” Anna
couldn’t resist the soft lips only inches from hers. So she leaned in and gave
Doris a soft kiss that didn’t feel nearly as innocent as it would look to an
When the phone on her hip buzzed, the younger
woman moaned and broke the kiss. Looking
at the caller ID, she looked at Doris sadly.
“Gotta take this. See you
Doris quickly nodded and Anna gave her a
quick peck on the lips before flipping the phone open as she slipped out the
Jonathan watched as Sarah’s long dark curls
bounced around her face as she ran from swing to monkey bars to the slides in
record time. He kept a careful eye
out on the perimeter, wishing he had eyes in the back of his head so he’d have
a full 360 view of the area. He was
trying desperately to give his little girl as normal of a life as possible when
all he really wanted to do was hole her up in a compound away from dangerous
He growled into the phone. “Something’s
not right. I don’t like it.”
“This isn’t your concern,” The voice
came over the line.
“It is when it involves my daughter.
Edmund’s out there, somewhere, and every second he’s free and alive
is another second my daughter’s life and every other kid in town’s life is
in danger. And now you’re telling
me not to worry when some mysterious woman pops up in town.” He ran his hand
through his messy pile of dark hair, trying to reign in his fears.
“You have to trust me, Jonathan.” The
other voice was far too calm for his liking.
Why should I?”
“Because I know her, okay?” He was
frazzled, probably just as stressed out and fearful for the people in
Springfield as Jonathan was.
“I need to talk to her.”
There was a sigh on the other end and a long
pause. “I’ll set it up. For tonight. I’ll
call with details later.” A click
and the line was dead.
He closed his eyes for a moment and rubbed at his
forehead, the tension causing a headache to build.
When he opened his eyes, he didn’t see Sarah anywhere.
He jumped up from the bench and ran to the middle of the playground.
She jumped out from a slide behind him.
He spun and grabbed her up in his arms.
“Don’t do that again, Sarah. What
have I told you about hiding?”
She dropped her head and pouted, the dark
ringlets blocking her eyes. “You
told me not to do it because it scares you.”
“That’s right, baby.
So, please, don’t do it, okay?”
“Okay.” He hugged her tight before
putting her down so they could walk back to the car.
From behind a tall thicket of bushes, a
figure watched them leaving before slinking back into the semi-darkness of the
Anna stood in the dark alley next to the dumpster
that smelled like rotting hamburgers and cat urine.
Occasionally, she would sneak a peek around the side to make sure Doris
was nowhere in sight. Leaning her
head back against the cold brick wall, she shook her head. This was getting far too complicated, and it wasn’t helping
that she was growing more and more attached to Doris.
She flicked her eyes quickly to the left and
relaxed when she realized the noise she heard was just some newspaper being
blown by the wind. Shoving her free
hand in her pocket, she rocked back on the heels of her boots.
Not tonight,” She sighed into the phone.
“I’m not stupid, you know.
I know what you’re doing. You’re
getting too close to Doris Wolfe, and it needs to stop.” She clenched her jaw
at the paternal tone he took with her. He
may have been older than her, even if only by a couple of years, and they may
have had a lot of history between them, but she still couldn’t help but feel
ruffled by his demeanor.
“It’s my life.” Her tone was nearly
pouty, and it seemed to soften him up.
I know. I know you just want
a normal life with a girlfriend and a community to be a part of, but every day
that you stay in her circle, you put her in danger.” She swallowed down the
fear the words put in her head. “I thought I could do it, too. I thought being closer to those I loved would help, and it
almost cost me everything. Don’t make that same mistake.”
She dropped her head resigned to this not
ending well. “I just want to end
this so I can finally be free of him and the past, so it can all be over.”
“Then meet with Jonathan tonight. Seven o’clock behind the ball field. You can’t do this alone.
He’s suspicious. The least
you can do is get him on your side.”
She nodded her head.
“So, what does he know?”
I thought I’d leave that to you.” His flat intonation gave away no
perspective on the matter.
Anna sighed, feeling more adrift than ever.
When she heard the dial tone, she flipped the
phone closed and headed back up the alley.
Rounding the corner to head back to Company, she nearly knocked Doris
down. She grabbed her by the
forearms and caught her before she could fall to the ground.
“Whoa! You okay, baby?”
Doris put a hand to her chest to slow her
racing heart. “Yeah, I’m
fine.” She looked strangely at Anna when she noticed her girlfriend had been
hanging out in the alley. “What
were you doing down there?”
“Eh,” she waved her hand around and
quickly changed the subject, “nothing. Look, Doris, I hate to do this, but I
just got a work call. There was a
series of break-ins this morning over at some warehouses on the other side of
town. I’ll probably be late for
dinner, but I’ll be there, okay?”
Doris looked down, clearly disappointed, but
she tried hard not to let it show. “Sure, that’s fine.
If you can’t make it at all, just call me.”
The shorter woman tilted her head a little
and smiled sweetly. “I’ll be
there. Nothing can keep me from
Doris gave her a half-smile. She knew she was being sweet talked, but she couldn’t
resist Anna if she tried, so she decided to let it go.
Work was work, and she knew how it could get in the way of a personal
life. Boy, did she ever know that!
She was making a conscious effort to not let her insecurity and jealousy get in
the way of her relationship with Anna.
She leaned down and gave Anna a soft but lingering
kiss. “I’ll talk to you later then. Have
fun with your investigation.”
Anna twirled her finger in the air. “Wheee!”
One last kiss then Anna was pulling away from
the curb and headed to the other side of town.
Doris watched her drive away then looked back over her shoulder at the
entrance to Company. She really didn’t feel like going to the office now, and
she had no meetings. Sighing, she
went back in. At least she had
Blake to talk with.
Halfway out to the farmhouse, Olivia got a text
from Natalia, “SP’s going down for a nap. Be quiet.”
With a little pout, she realized she was really sad about that.
She wanted to see her daughter, but she also knew that for her and
Natalia to really talk, they didn’t need the distraction either.
She gently pushed the door open, then quietly
put her purse down and hung up her coat. The
house smelled wonderful. It always
did these days with Natalia staying at home with Francesca and working on some
small projects for Olivia from home. That
gave Natalia more time to cook some of those amazing meals that she did so well.
Olivia leaned over the stove and sniffed,
then jumped a little as arms circled her waist from behind.
She smiled and leaned her head back onto Natalia’s shoulder.
Mmmm, now this was a welcome home she could get used to. No wonder men
liked to have wives. She turned in Natalia’s arms and enveloped the petite woman
into a kiss that pushed her back against the dining room table.
Natalia moaned and reluctantly pushed her
away. “As much as I want to
continue this, you know your little one will start wailing as soon as it gets
The blonde sighed and admitted to the truth.
“Too young for sleep medicines still?”
Her partner patted her chest. “Too young, querida. Sorry.”
Natalia smiled and stepped back from the temptation that was Olivia
Spencer to focus on other matters.
“Have a seat.
I’ll make you a sandwich.”
Olivia did as she was told and watched with
pleasure as Natalia moved around the kitchen.
Her girlfriend finished up making the ham sandwich and put it in front of
her, then slipped over to the radio, turning it off before sitting back down at
the table across from Olivia.
“So, what happened with Doris?”
Olivia sighed as she swallowed her bite of
sandwich, then pushed her plate away and pushed up the long sleeves of her
shirt, before resting on her elbows and looking at Natalia.
“Pretty much what I said on the phone.
She came in all happy and excited, rambling about finding her very own
Natalia and being in love. She said
more, but I kind of tuned it out. I…I
just don’t know what to do.”
Natalia reached across the table and took her
hand. “Maybe there’s nothing
for you to do.”
Olivia pulled her hand away in frustration.
“You still can’t just believe this is some bizarre coincidence. That
Anna, whose father was the head of the Winslow family’s security detail and
had one of his goons pay me off to stay quiet about the rape, just magically
appears in Springfield after all these years and after Edmund Winslow has shown
up here after many years to raise all kinds of hell here, and it’s all just
“It’s possible, Olivia. Now, in my heart,
I really don’t think it is but there’s a lot at risk here, baby. If you’re
wrong, it’ll cause a big mess between you and Doris. If you’re right, then
that’s an even scarier thought because you could put yourself and our family
in the middle of a dangerous situation by knowing too much.” Natalia tried to
reason with her again. She thought they had talked some of this out on the trip
back, but it still seemed to be eating at Olivia.
Olivia threw her hands up in frustration and
could not believe she was hearing this. She
stood up and paced the short distance in the kitchen. “You really believe I should ignore the situation?”
Olivia asked incredulously.
Natalia pushed her long hair back and stood
too. “Until we know for sure,
anything’s possible. And we’ve
talked about this, Olivia. What if
you’re wrong? What if it is just
coincidence? You could destroy
Doris, her relationship with Anna, and the friendship the two of you have. She’ll never forgive you for doing this.”
The blonde sagged with the weight of it and
ran a hand over her hair. Turning
she walked into the living room with Natalia following.
“I know. Either way,
it’s not going to end well.”
Natalia walked around her to stand in front of
Olivia. She watched the patented
Spencer move of Olivia shoving her hands in the pocket of her jeans and rolling
her head back in frustration. “All
I know, Natalia, is that if she has something to do with Edmund and if she’s
working for him, no one’s safe, not Doris, not you…me…our kids.
The man’s unhinged and so is anyone who followed him.
I won’t allow anyone to hurt my family, or my friends…ever.”
Stepping closer, Natalia took Olivia’s hands from
her pockets and held them in her own in front of her like she’d done many
times before in comforting a frantic Olivia.
“No one’s going to hurt us, Olivia, and you have to promise me that
you won’t do anything crazy. Please.”
Olivia quirked her mouth to the side a little.
“I moved the gun. Don’t worry.”
The brunette smiled at her.
“I know you did, and I know where you hid it.”
“You do, huh?” She smiled a little, some
of the sadness of the situation dissipating, as her voice took on a sultry tone.
“I do. I know everything about you,”
Natalia flirted back, the register of her voice dipping lower than usual.
“Scary.” She wrapped her arms around
Natalia and sighed. Olivia’s phone rang and she reached down to pull it from
her pocket. “Doris.”
She dropped it back in her pocket and let it go to voicemail.
She couldn’t deal with it right now.
“So what should I do, oh wise one?”
Olivia asked as she pulled back enough to look Natalia in the eyes.
Natalia chuckled as she pulled Olivia back
into the comforting hug and let her fingers trace along Olivia’s spine. The
younger woman enjoyed the soft groan it elicited from her partner. “I can’t
tell you that, baby. You’ll know what to do when the time comes.”
The honk behind Olivia startled her.
She was headed back to the office after lunch at home and took a road she
normally never used. She caught all
the stop lights and the further she drove, the more lost in her thoughts she
became. The fire she had felt while
talking to Natalia about Anna had toned down to a dull simmer and in that sense
she felt better, calmer, but she wasn’t any closer to an answer to her dilemma
than she had been before going home. Much
to her chagrin, Natalia had left the decision in her court. Usually, when it came to moral and ethical issues, Natalia
was her touchstone. But now…
Natalia was big on signs.
What was her sign?
The horn behind her blared again, and she
glared up and over her shoulder at the huge black truck behind her revving its
engine. Coming back around, her eye
caught the familiar white crest with the red cross.
St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church. And, there was an open parking space out
front. How convenient!
She decided not to think about it too hard.
Instead, she pulled into the spot and cut off the engine.
Taking a deep breath, she got out of the car and walked up the steps.