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WARNING: This is a uber story. All characters are figments of my imagination. Any similarity to living or dead individual are unintentional.
VIOLENCE WARNING/DISCLAIMER: The violence in this story, is not into gross or gory. There are fight scenes. Please feel free not to read if violence of any kind bothers you.
LOVE/SEX WARNING/DISCLAIMER: This story depicts a love/sexual relationship between two consenting adult women. If you are under 18 years of age or if this type of story is illegal in the state or country in which you live, please do not read it. If depictions of this nature disturb you, you may wish to read something other than this story.
Kasey Lovett: immortality
Dru Warlord: courageous & strong
Kasey waited until Barry left, then moved into the living room. "Hi."
"You're not suppose to be in here." Spud wrinkled his brow in worry. "I don't want Barry mad at me."
"I didn't want to be alone, and thought it would be nice if we could sit and talk." She moved farther into the room, found a chair and sat down. Her legs finally felt normal again.
"Oh, ok, as long as you don't cause any trouble. I'm sure he wouldn't mind if you sat there. Barry didn't say you had to stay in the bedroom." He looked confused, but was curious at the same time.
"How about making a fire in the fireplace?" Get him to get his guard down, good idea there, Kasey. "You do like a nice warm fire don't you? I know I do." She knew she was rambling, but couldn't stop herself. "I remember when I was a kid, my parents would let us make S'mores sitting by the fire. For sure we would make them when camping, but we also thought it great fun when we were home and dad would let us pretend in front of the fireplace that we were camping. My sister and I, would put marshmallows on straighten coat hangers." She watched Spud relax into the chair listening to her, "my sister liked putting her marshmallows directly into the flames, where they would catch on fire. Then she would pull them out and watch them burn. Blowing on them at the last minute before they were complete pieces of black, charcoal." A lazy, sweet smile spread over Spud's face. "Now, me on the other hand I liked to roast mine just to a light golden brown. It takes a long time to do it just right. You can't rush something like that, but when they're done, Mmm, they're good." She winked, and he laughed. "Then we would break a Hershey candy bar in half on a graham cracker, and place our hot marshmallows on top of the chocolate. Topping the marshmallow with another graham cracker. We would then look at each other and laugh biting into our treat, when we were done, we would start all over again." She laughed lightly. "Say, why don't we make some?" She had his interest now.
"Really? Do you think we could?" Spud stood up, I'll get the firewood, and you look for the chocolate and graham crackers. "I'll be right back."
It was almost too easy, but she didn't feel guilty about it one bit. There was a certain tall, dark-haired beauty out there she needed to find. The sound of a vehicle driving up, stopped Spud dead in his tracks. He turned and glanced at her.
"Who do you think that could be?" Spud worried out loud. Kasey was hoping it was the Calvary, but would settle for Dru first, and the police second.
"Why don't you let me go and see?" she asked, but he wasn't that gullible.
"No! Get back to the bedroom until I find out who it is," he glared, she didn't move. "Don't make me hurt you, now go." He hit the wall in frustration, the drywall caved in leaving a deep depression.
"Don't hurt me, Spud, please, you don't have to do this." The vehicle had stopped out front, a door slammed, and steps came up on the porch. Though both of them were expecting it, they jumped when they heard the knock on the door. Spud glanced at her again bobbing his head toward the bedroom, and she shook her head in reply.
"Don't say anything, or I'll have to hurt you and I will." His eyes were wide like a cornered wild animal. She had pressed as far as she could go, he was at his limit. The knock came again. Kasey nodded finally. He opened the door. Kasey had hoped to see a six foot tall Amazon but came up with a slightly shorter Italian young man who she recognized from the license printout, Antonio. Her heart sank. Oh Great Caesar's ghost, she was in trouble now.
"Hey Spud, is Barry here, I need to see him." Antonio didn't wait to be invited in, and pushed by the lanky man. Brown eyes met emerald, and Kasey's heart jumped when she realized he was trying to communicate without saying a word to her. What was going on here? This wasn't adding up, was he or wasn't he with Barry? Then she remembered the conversation in the car. If this was Antonio he didn't know about the kidnapping. First thing she noticed, he wasn't surprised to see her. Something was up, and she hoped her friend was behind it.
"Don't be mad Tony, but Barry said he would..." Spud tried to explain.
"Why is she here?" interrupted Tony, he turned to face the other man.
"Barry will explain when he gets back with the money," answered the perplexed Spud.
"You kidnapped her!" Tony raised his hands, then let them drop. "This isn't good, Spud."
"But Barry said everything would be all right. He said he was going to make it so no one would ever know she was here."
Tony placed a kind hand on the taller man's shoulder. "Do you know what he meant by that, my friend?"
Spud shook his head, and waited knowing Tony was going to tell him.
"He's going to kill her. Do you want that?"
The blood drained from the young man's face, "No," he whispered, "he wouldn't kill her."
"No, Barry probably was planning to have you do it."
Dog-brown eyes grew the size of oranges, "I couldn't do that, she's nice," and he added, "and she's my friend." Kasey edged forward placing a hand on is fair-haired muscular arm. There was fear in his eyes, yet they warmed as she smiled at him.
"Then we have to stop him, Spud." stated Antonio, they waited for his decision.
"How?" came the simple reply, and Kasey breathed a sigh of relief.
Tony patted the man's shoulder. "You've made the right decision. Let's get out of here."
"But what about Barry?" Spud looked from Tony to Kasey.
"Someone is taking care of that problem right now," informed Tony. Instantly Kasey came alert.
"Dru's out there?" she asked, her mouth had gone dry, and her knees felt a little weak. Tony nodded.
"Oh no," she cried. "Where is she?" Kasey grabbed Tony, "I need to know where to find her."
"She was going to try and meet up with him just this side of the turn off in the woods, but you shouldn't go out there alone."
Kasey was already out the door running, leaving the men in the house. She crashed through the bushes getting scratched and torn by them, adrenaline keeping her from feeling any pain. The crack of a pistol discharge made her blood run cold. Don't let me be too late, and she piled on the speed. Finally the Stygian gloom exposed a shape kneeling over a prone body. Kasey leaped. Powerful arms wrapped around her as she tried to strike out. Her arms forced to her sides by strong hands. They rolled together on the leafy forest ground.
"Bitch!" Barry hissed, his knuckle turning white as he began to compress the trigger. The loud crack echoed through the darkness, and a sudden burning sensation tore through Dru's side as she ducked and whipped a backhand across, cutting down onto Barry's hand. She exploded with power, kicking out catching the side of his head, snapping it back with a loud cracking noise. He fell in a lifeless heap on the ground. Edges of darkness that surrounded her vision had nothing to do with the night. She couldn't allow it to take her under. Isolating the pain and forcing it down, took all her concentration, but she finally could move without having the agony take her breath away. Leaning over Barry, she rolled him over to tie him up with his belt. His breathing was regular, and he would live, though he would have one hell of a headache. There was movement in the woods. Someone was running in her direction. A sigh of relief escaped her lips as the fragrance of vanilla touched her senses. Dru turned in time to catch the flying body. They rolled together on the ground as she held onto the struggling form. Finally the woman under her realized who she was, and gifted Dru with a large smile. The next look took her breath, as she saw there in the depths of emerald in dim moonlight, what she could hardly allow herself to believe. Until Kasey said it aloud it would be only Dru's overactive imagination. Could this woman really care for her?
"Oh there you are, I was worried sick when I saw Kasey running from the house." Greg, bounced the light given off by his flashlight around the area. "Then I heard the shot. Are, are you all right?" With nervous energy he scanned the area. "You sure know how to scare the bejabbers out of someone, Dru. Is that Barry?" He indicated with the flashlight.
Reluctantly, she got to her feet pulling the younger woman with her, who appeared disappointed. Dru nodded, "Yeah, there he is in all his glory."
"The money is over there." She indicated with a nod of her head.
Greg went to the unconscious Barry, the briefcase lay close by. He knelt down and opened the lid. The money still was where he had first put it in nice neat stacks, sighing loudly, "I'll take this back to Mable, maybe I can talk her out of," he looked up to capture Dru's attention, "having to pay interest."
A dark eyebrow arched, "Interest? We didn't have it that long."
"Well, I had to sweeten the deal because of the time limit," he hid his face in his hand. "I can't believe I offered to..." He looked up without finishing the comment, "Remember, you owe me."
"Oh I'm sure you're not going to let me forget," drawled Dru, as she heaved Barry up and over her shoulder. She settled him a little before heading off toward the house. Kasey walking along side.
Homicide detective, Huggs, instructed three policemen. Spud was siting in the backseat of a cruiser appearing somewhat bewildered, and Anthony was giving a statement to another officer. They all looked up as Dru carried her burden into the open. One uniformed officer spoke into his radio. "They're here, come on back in."
"What in tarnation did you think you were doing?" Hank stood with his hands on his hips. "You could have gotten someone killed doing a foolhardy stunt like this."
The raven, haired woman dropped the unconscious body on the ground at the detective's feet.
"You're welcome." Dru stated flatly.
"What?" Hank blinked, "I'm suppose to thank you for interfering in an ongoing homicide investigation, I think not. You've got some major explaining to do, and I should drag your butt down to the station right now." The detective caught the flinch Dru made as she stood relieved of her heavy load. And immediately was by her side holding her up. Kasey's face had gone white seeing the writer crumble into Hank's arms. "Get a paramedic and ambulance out here on the double!" he shouted. Just before the pain finally took control of Dru, she felt Kasey's hand in her own. She didn't want to let go, but her body had other ideas when the darkness, she had been keeping at bay, crashed in upon her.
Kasey hadn't noticed the blood oozing from Dru's side in the dark, but now she realized the distinct metallic odor of that precious fluid scented the air. The exertion of carrying Barry back to the house hadn't helped the wound. The writer's shirt clung to her firm body in a wet crimson mess. Oh God, no. She stared down at her own hand clasped in Dru's, both covered in the sticky substance. She couldn't lose her now, she hadn't told her how she felt. This was too cruel. Hank eased Dru's limp body to the ground. Kasey leaned close to the writer's ear, and whispered, "Don't leave me, Dru. Please I need you. We've got some unfinished business to take care of yet." There was no reaction or response. Only the mourning sounds of the approaching sirens screamed through the night. Paramedics arrived, who forced Kasey aside. They cut away the writer's clothes, started an I.V., and took her vitals applying compression dressing to the wound. The ambulance arrived, and Dru was lifted onto a gurney and loaded into the back of the vehicle. They slammed the doors. Kasey jumped at the finality of the sound, and watched as the ambulance drove off. The ability to think of what to do next eluded her when a huge hand settled on her shoulder.
"C'mon, I think she would like to have a friend around when she wakes up," Hank gave her a sympathetic smile, "I'll drive you over to the hospital. While we're waiting, you can fill me in on all the little details Mrs. Bondini didn't know, hmm?"
Numb, Kasey allowed Hank to lead her to his car. "She's going to be all right, right?" She searched the detective's face wanting desperately to believe Dru wasn't going to die.
"Don't give up on her too soon, Kasey. Dru's a fighter, always has been. If there's a way to stay with us, she'll find it, believe me." He smiled, then turned on the siren, and headed down the hill to the hospital. Hank pulled the cruiser up to the emergency entrance, and threw the car into park. Kasey was already out of the car, and racing inside to find her friend.
"I'm sorry you can't go in there, miss," an intern, grabbed hold of the strawberry-blonde's arm. "Only patients and authorized staff, you'll have to wait out in the waiting room. You can leave your name with the hospital volunteer, and they'll inform you of your friend's condition." The young intern eye's became the size of saucers. Kasey took his hand like she had seen Dru do with Barry, and squeezed.
"Listen here you little pipsqueak, no one, and I repeat, no one is going to keep me away from my friend. Do you understand?"
"Kasey!" Hank rescued the intern and sent him on his way. "Let's find a doctor and see what's going on. But without resorting to physical violence if you don't mind."
The detective had found an empty tan, wicker table to sit and wait for word of Dru, and to drink a cup of coffee. They were in a gigantic room, which housed a gift shop, snack bar, and all of this arranged around a million dollar Koi pool underneath a dome skylight.
The proofreader surrounded her coffee cup with delicate fingers. The liquid had long since gone cold while she sat and told Hank everything. He grunted in the right places to encourage her to proceed, and groaned loudly when he disapproved of their decisions. Still, Kasey believed they had done a good job in solving a murder case. She felt sorry for Spud, he had been used by Barry, so she believed him innocent for the most part. But the blackmailer was a different matter altogether. He was in another hospital room with a set of guards posted outside his door.
She had tried to stay with Dru but couldn't, and her guts ached from worry. Hank had tried to keep her mind busy with questions. Dr. Rhana, a vertically challenged, dyed, red-head with sparkling brown eyes, had informed them Dru would be fine. The wound only looked bad. She had lost a lot of blood and that had caused the writer to lose consciousness. Fortunately, the bullet had missed the important internal organs, but the writer would feel some pain when she awakes.
All Kasey wanted to do was be with her friend. She didn't want Dru to wake up alone. A strong premonition told her, almost urged her to be with the raven-haired beauty, Dru needed to have someone by her side. Kasey needed to be there for herself. Already she had lost one opportunity, she wasn't about to allow it to happen again. As soon as Dru was awake she was going to flat out tell her how she felt.
"Excuse me, you asked to be notified when you were able to visit your sister. The doctor said it would be all right for you to go to her now." The elderly hospital volunteer gave Kasey and Hank a sympathetic smile. The detective had told the doctors and hospital staff that she was Dru's sister. Only family members were allowed to visit patients in the intensive care unit.
A lump lodged in her throat when she entered the room. Tubes and monitors were hooked up to the woman in the bed. She appeared so vulnerable. Kasey pulled up a chair and leaned her elbows on the mattress. She couldn't help but reach out and touch the silent face, the strong features she had grown to love. Gently she drew her partner's hand to her lips holding it there feeling the soft skin. A sharp ache settled in her chest. She hadn't realized how tired she was. Now that she was where she was suppose to be, and knowing Dru was going to be fine, her body switched gears. Her eyes grew heavy and soon she was fast asleep.
Dru fought the darkness, but it won out. She tried to rise above the fog surrounding her, while water lapped around her knees. Mom and Dad had decided to go the scenic route home. It was suppose to be a day for the family to be together.
"Kids, it's time to go. Get in the car." Her mother, Rachel, was of middling height and build. Dark brunette hair fell past her shoulders, and her stark blue eyes could nail anyone to the wall. Right then those eyes were glued to two youngsters. One with raven hair, and the other the duplicate of his mother's coloring.
"Race ya!" the boy screamed. His older sister took the challenge and sped off to the car. She won by a stride, slamming into the side of the vehicle.
"Beat ya." She laughed, and nudged the boy, gasping for air, next to her.
"You cheated, your legs are longer." Remington frowned.
"Like I have anything to do with that, Rem. You really are a wienie."
"I know you are, but what am I." He taunted.
Dru rolled her eyes at her brother. "You're so lame." Their father walked out of the house carrying a large picnic basket.
"Are we ready?" Trent, had ebony-black hair, silver eyes, and a smile that reached from ear to ear. And that smile was aimed at his family now sitting in the car waiting.
An hour of 'Are we there yet' had her parents breathing a sigh relief when they finally arrived in Old Sacramento. They had promised Dru and Rem a day in the old west town. Rem was mainly looking forward to touring the Railroad Museum. Dru didn't care one way or the other what they did, she enjoyed it all, especially the horse carriages ambling through the streets. Gray-aged wood facades framed shops and restaurants tempted the wallets of window shoppers. Planks creaked under numerous tourists walking up and down the wooden sidewalks.
At lunch time Dru's father retrieved the picnic basket. They settled on a small patch of grass by a bronze statue of a Pony Express rider. Her mother had prepared potato salad and fried chicken. Dru would only eat white meat, so her mother handed her a chicken breast, while Rem only liked drumsticks. Dessert was a double scoop of Rocky Road ice cream. Rem's dripped down his arm and smeared across his face, but Dru was spotlessly neat. Though she had to eat pretty fast to keep up with the quickly melting ice cream in the summer heat.
They made their way to the brick building which housed the Railroad museum. Mirrors and bright lights glared off the shinning restored steamed locomotives.
"Dru, have you ever seen anything so beautiful?" asked Rem. There was so much to see. "Do you think mom and dad will let us ride on the train?" Rem, looked wide-eyed at his taller sister.
"Sure, that's why we came here." They hunted up their parents and begged to ride the train. It was a short ride of only three miles, but it was fun. Dru and Rem ran from one car to the next while they rocked and swayed down the tracks. The one thing she really enjoyed was hearing her brother laugh, it was so contagious. No matter how hard she tried she couldn't keep from laughing if he was. They flopped down in the seats across from their parents, giggling. The trip ended all too soon, but dad said he was going to drive home by the scenic route via the levee road.
Rem scrunched up next to Dru staring out her car window at the Sacramento River. Assortment of sail boats tacked to and fore. Billowed, kaleidoscopic sails caught the wind hurling the boats through the swift waters. Dru watched her mother reach over and rub her father's neck. Suddenly, an oncoming car darted out to pass the car in front of them, only problem, their car was in their path. Her father had no where to go and no time to think, and reflex action took over. He jerked the steering wheel trying to dodge the oncoming vehicle sending them flying into the air over the bank of the river. Dru held onto her brother, as time slowed. Her mother looked back at them with fear, filled eyes. Her father only had time enough to look sadly at his wife, and cast a quick glance back at his children before the car hit the water. The sudden impact smashed the windshield inward. Water rushed in the new opening, penning Dru's mother in her seat. Trent, worked at freeing her, but the water pressure defeated his efforts. Dru got herself and Rem free of their harnesses. The car balanced out slightly when water filled the trunk.
Rem's eyes were large and round with fear, Dru watched her father struggle trying to free her mother, but he stopped long enough to motion Dru out. The water was almost over their heads, and the pocket of air was escaping fast. She took a large gulp of air. And ducked under to help her father. He slapped her hands away motioning for her to leave. Quickly she bobbed to the roof of the car gulping another breath and grabbed her brother.
Dru went first out the front window opening with Rem in tow. The car started to sink below them, but the girl held on to her brother as well as the car waiting for her parents. They were struggling with the clasp on Rachel's seatbelt. The suction from the sinking car pulled at Dru, and she had to let go. Rem clung to her, Dru's chest thumped with the insistent need to breathe, her long legs and arms pulled for the surface. The current ripped Rem from her grasp. She shot through the surface gasping for air. Giant slimy arms of submerged tree limbs ripped at her. Rem's head bobbed on the water ahead of her. A limb hit her in the stomach, catching her clothing. Water rushed over her head as the river tried to claim her once again. She wiggled out of her blouse caught in the clutches of cold fingers. When she surfaced again Rem was no where in sight. A huge splash in front of her started her. A rope snapped taunt and a man in a life jacket bounced back on top of the water, spitting water out of his mouth. He lunged for Dru, but she struggled against him.
"Calm down!" the man screamed, still trying to hold onto the frighten girl.
"I have to find my brother and my parents." Her eyes never left the water. But Remington was gone, and so were her parents.
"Rem!" she screamed, then another name, "Kasey!" Had she drowned too? She was lost and floundering. Alone in a wilderness of fear and loathing. She failed, she had allowed her family to die. It was all her fault she should have done something. Just like now, she should have kept Kasey safe. Where was she? Oh God, not again. The grogginess cleared slowly, enough to become aware of the warmth, and the silence. Sweat had beaded on her forehead, and her heart still raced. She noticed an I.V. sack hanging from a hook on a stand to one side above her head, with tubing leading down to her hand. A strawberry-blonde head laid on her lap, one hand clasping hers, fast asleep. She wondered what time it was, as memories of the events of the last week refreshed themselves. She knew where she was and why.
That was a bad one, she thought, it had been years since she had that dream. Gradually, the heavy feeling of loss left her as she watched the young woman sleeping. An arm with fine, light golden hair outstretched possessively across her abdomen. The location, which at the moment throbbed with pain, but she didn't want to move and wake Kasey. Without realizing what she was doing she ran a finger down the side of proofreader's face, enjoying the softness. She looked so young when she was asleep. Maybe too young for someone like her.
The dream had brought back all the guilt and agony she lived with since that day. Why hadn't she died along with her brother and parents? Why couldn't she save her brother, he was her responsibility and she had failed. Even now it hurt, and she felt the tears cascade down the sides of her face. A gentle touch wiped them away, and cerulean eyes met emerald.
"Hey," said Kasey, sounding a little concerned seeing the writer crying. "Are you okay?"
"Now I am," Dru forced a smile to her lips. "So, have you been here the whole time?" Kasey's clothes had dark dried blood caked across one side. Her hair could have used a good brushing, but she looked beautiful to the writer. More beautiful than anything she could think of to compare her to.
"I didn't want you to wake up alone," Kasey softly stroked the side of Dru's face, which sent little shivers down her spine. "I want to tell you something... "
The door burst open, "Okay, here's the clothes Kasey asked me to pick up for you." Greg flew into the room setting down an overnight bag.
Tony hadn't been arrested pending a further investigation. And there was a small point whether Dru would press charges for the prank calls. The other part of tampering with evidence of a murder sight needed still to be sorted out. Clarice retained a lawyer to represent herself and her son. The lawyer went with his client to the police station to turn over the Brandon's Journal. It was considered a deathbed confession, and Lyanda Pharold's murder was marked as solved.
In the mean time, Antonio drove Greg back to pick up his car. The agent then stopped by Dru's place to pick up a change of clothes for her. He held the garments close, smelling Dru's fragrance on them, and wishing things could be different. Greg would never admit to balling his eyes out sitting on her bed, or that he had been scared witless when he finally found her in the woods. Then when she fainted didn't help, but he had also witnessed the interaction between the writer and proofreader. His heart hurt, but if Dru was happy he was happy. He knew she had never been interested in him, still that didn't stop him from hoping.
"How did you get in here?" asked Dru, throwing him a perturbed look.
"Oh, that, well I told them I was your brother," he moved to the side of the bed. "How ya doing?" he smiled at Dru, who forced herself not to growl at him. She had a strong impression that Kasey had been about to say something very important to her when Greg walked in. Was she going to say what she thought she was, or was this residue left over from her dream?
The doors opened again, and this time Hank strolled in. "I see you are awake. Now maybe you can tell me your side of the story." Hank stood at the foot of Dru's bed. She was surrounded. Dru cast a glance in Kasey's direction. Oh boy, there were storm clouds building there. Then she felt it full bore, it was written across the young woman's face exactly how she felt for the writer. Emerald eyes searched deep into hers. Why couldn't Hank and Greg just go away?
Then, Dr. Rhana and a nurse then walked into the room. It was just too much. The proofreader leaned over her and looked directly into her eyes, ignoring everyone in the room. Oh God those eyes, so trusting, so willing to believe held her captive.
"I don't care how many people walk into this room." Kasey's eyes glowed with determination. "I'm not going to wait to say what I have to." She studied the writer's face. "For a time last night I thought I had lost you. It scared me to death because I hadn't told you how I felt," she sighed. "I assumed I would have all the time in the world to express how much you have come to mean to me, and to learn how to say it to you in a way you would believe it." Kasey reached out and caressed her cheek, then lean forward until their lips touched, and when their tongues met, the explosion of emotions was almost more than Dru could bear. This was where she wanted to spend eternity with these two lips on hers. Her heart almost jumped out of her chest with joy. How could this happen so quickly, and so totally consume her? She probably would never understand and really didn't care. Some things are just best left unexplained, the undefinable mystery of life and love.
Reluctantly they finally parted. Kasey and Dru glanced around the room. They were alone. They looked at each other and chuckled. "Well that's one way to clear a room," grinned Dru. "So does this mean you're willing to work with me on another book?"
"Just try and stop me." Kasey leaned forward again and kissed Dru deeply.
Then End of Desperate Measures
And the beginning of another Mystery.
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