~ Cape of Fear ~
by JAM


Disclaimers: Xena: Warrior Princess, Gabrielle, Argo and all other characters who have appeared in the syn-dicated series, together with the names, titles and backstory are the sole copyright property of MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. God knows, no copyright infringement was intended in the writing of this fan fiction. The story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author. Feel free to make copies for private use and be sure to include the disclaimers and warnings. There will be NO profit of any kind as a result of this story.

Sexual Violence Warning: One small part of the story deals with sexual violence and a lot of it deals with its aftermath. It was necessary to include for the purpose of the story line. If this disturbs you or you are sensitive to this type of depiction you may want to read something other than this story. I certainly would understand and by no means would be offended.

Love/Sex Warning: Of course. This story depicts a loving/sexual relationship between two gorgeous, consenting adult women. If you're under 18 years of age or if this type of story is illegal in the state or country where you live, please go away now.

Feedback: I need it. This is my first story and your opinions - good and bad are welcomed. Cruelty, however, is not.

jmp1@pikeonline.net

A special thanks to my partner - thank you honey - for encouraging me to write this story and for taking your pen to it. Grammar is her forte, not mine. I hope, in the end, the characters did come to life as she so gently told me had to happen.


Wednesday

Sam sat at the bar trembling. It was only four in the afternoon and she had already consumed more than her normal quota. The last of her tears had dried on her cheeks hours ago. Sam sat there and pondered what she would do next. Her parents had told her to get out, they had had enough and they refused to allow her to embarrass them again. How could their daughter have turned out like this? It was bad enough that she had dropped out of law school in the middle of her last semester, but she then wanted to tarnish the family's good name with her nonsensical fears. She would have been a great addition to her father's law firm. Such a disappointment they had told her. Her older sister Dawn called her a foolish 22-year-old. 'To hell with them all,' she thought sourly as she took another gulp.

After finishing her third Corona, Sam worked her way through the dark, quiet bar to find her way to the bathroom. There weren't many customers at that hour, just a few people like herself who needed an afternoon diversion. Once in the bathroom, Sam took several minutes studying herself in the mirror. No, she certainly wasn't the cute little girl with the round face and wide eyes that was sent off to boarding school when she was four, to Sara Lawrence at 17 and onto Yale Law School at the ripe old age of 20. Sam was too smart her parents had said, forcing her to skip a couple of grades along the way. They insisted she mingle only with the brightest and of course the wealthiest. Wouldn't they be surprised, no appalled, to find her in the bathroom of a lesbian bar.

As she nervously worked her way back through the bar, panic engulfed her and she started to run trying to reach the nearest exit. She didn't have a plan and had no idea what she was going to do next. In fact, Sam never had to plan anything in her entire life since her parents had always done the planning for her. Maybe she was just an immature princess riding on daddy's coattails. As she was running a blonde curly-haired woman with dark brown eyes walked in her path and the two collided. "Ow! Watch where you're going! You almost sent me across the bar, damn it." Sam was beside herself. "I? I'm so sorry. I don't know what's gotten into me," she said self-consciously as the tears started anew. As the tears flowed the curly blonde stood there, mouth wide open as she viewed what surely was the cutest woman she had ever seen.

"Hey, hey it's okay. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be so quick. It's my first night managing the bar and I'm a little nervous. Listen, my name's Eppie. And you are?" the manager looked into deep green eyes. 'Why on my first night here did I have to run into such a piece?' Eppie wondered.

"I'm Sam. I'm so sorry. I was just leaving so I'll be out of your way? no more accidents."

Eppie had a major decision to make. 'Do I run after her and beg her to stay, do I ask her for her phone number and promise to call her later, or? do I tell the bitch who owns this damn place that I've got better things to do and quit right now?' Decision made, Eppie grabbed a hold of the arm of the beauty before her.

"Look, you seem like you could use some company. How about coming back a little later. Since this is my first night, I think I could use some friendly company, and you look? well ? friendly," Eppie said with a welcoming smile as she eyed the petite wonder before her.

For her part, Sam was confused. Was this woman coming onto her? True, the woman before her was nice looking and built, for lack of a better way to describe her, sturdy and compact. Eppie wasn't much taller than she but seemed real sure of herself. "Look, I'm really not great company now. Maybe some other time. Thanks, though," Sam finally said as she looked away to find the exit..

Eppie, never one to take rejection easy, decided to press on. "Well then, that makes two us. You know, the company thing?" Eppie said after noticing Sam's confused look. "Okay, I'll tell you straight up. I don't know what it was but when I looked into your eyes after you, um? I mean after we accidentally ran into each other I just knew then I had to get to know you. I know that sounds strange but?" Eppie was at a loss for words and her mouth stopped working.

"What time would you suggest I come back?" Sam asked softly as she gazed into the dark brown eyes. Eppie sighed and thanked the higher powers. Maybe her love life would finally take a turn in the right direction.

Sam found her way back to her new turbo VW Bug not exactly sure where she was going. Earlier in the day she had left the mansion from hell in the bright lime green VW, with her checkbook, $500 in cash and a suitcase packed with jeans, tank tops, sandals, Nike sneakers, and other essentials. She threw her journal and laptop in the back of the Bug, gave the mansion and everybody looking out the window the finger, mouthed f-you for all to see and peeled away down the long circular drive like hell was just a heartbeat away. Now, several hours after her dramatic departure, she needed to find a place to stay and she needed to find it quick.

Stopping at the Buy-It-Quick Drive Thru, Sam bought a local newspaper, a sub sandwich, a frozen coffee and a box of tissues. Surely for all her crying she would need the tissues. Having no place else to go, she went to the park to eat her dinner and to look through the classifieds to find a place to live. She was sure her father would cut off her allowance so she needed to find a place that she could afford. But what could she afford? She had no job? in fact she had never held a job in her life! It was a given that as soon as she finished law school she would work for her father. Scanning the classifieds she circled a few rooms for rent that she thought she might be able to afford. Leaning over she opened the glove box with a shaky hand to retrieve the cell phone. As she was rummaging through the box she felt the anger rising and the heat moving up her neck. "Fucking whore! Dawn you bitch, you never returned my phone. Shit, shit, shit!"

Having no other options, Sam left the park and walked over to the gas station to use the public phone that was just outside of the restrooms. She would call a few places and freshen up afterwards.

She was too late for the first room she called. The landlady had told her that she had rented the room just an hour earlier. It seemed as though this woman just wanted to keep gabbing so Sam politely told her that she really had to end the conversation and hung up the phone. 'God, I feel sorry for the person who moves into that house,' she thought. There was finally some hope after her fourth call to a place that was described as spacious with lots of windows and a private bath. She took down the directions and told the landlady that she would be there in about 30 minutes.

Sam pulled up to the large, purple painted Victorian house sitting atop the hill at the end of the street just shortly after 8pm. Standing on the walkway, she looked up at the huge house. Surely one could see for miles around from the top floor. 'Oh God is that high,' she thought with some trepidation as she followed the path leading to the front door. Waiting to greet her was a medium built woman, just slightly taller than Sam herself, dressed in black jeans, a black blouse and black open-toed shoes. "Hello, you must be Samantha Daly," the woman said in a rather raspy voice. "Yes, hmm, please call me Sam. And you are Ms. Baltier?" Sam inquired. "Yes, please come in dear," Ms. Baltier responded with a crooked smile.

As the two women took the stairs up Sam couldn't help but feel creepy. There was something about this woman that was unnerving. Perhaps it was that she was dressed all in black, had black eyes and black hair and even had black nail polish on her finger and toenails. Her mouth also was outlined in black lipstick.

Ms. Baltier led them up to the third floor and opened a door. Moving aside so Sam could enter, the dark woman was struck by the soft looking skin and youthful appearance of her, hopefully, soon to be boarder. She could almost taste her. Clearing her throat the woman in black told Sam to look around, not that there was much to look at. It was a room Sam thought, in a big old house, with a strange lady decorated from head to toe in black. There was a twin size bed against the wall facing the large window, and a chest of drawers in one corner and what looked like a decent size closet in the other corner. The window and bed coverings were in purple and black. A bit on the dreary side, but it would have to do. It was probably colder than hell in the wintertime but hopefully she wouldn't be here then. Who was she kidding? Of course she would be here. Certainly her parents wouldn't take her back. Sam knew there was no going back. No matter how freaky this lady was, the room was nice and spacious and the view was spectacular.

Sam joined Ms. Baltier back down in the main living room. Upon telling her she would take the room the landlady's face lit up. "I'm sure you'll love it here. Please try to make yourself at home," the woman said graciously as she took her long arm and made a sweeping motion with it of the room. "The kitchen is through the doors at the end of the hall. Feel free to use it as you wish" the boarding house owner said as she leaned forward and held her hand out to affirm their deal.

Sam pulled 75 dollars from her bag and handed it to Ms. Baltier for the week's rent. Their fingers touched during the exchange and a shiver ran up and down the dark woman's back.

Having taken care of business with Ms. Baltier, Sam moved what few things she had up to her room. After unpacking her suitcase she went to the large bay window facing out over the town and was filled with a sense of awe. 'How in the world did I end up here?' She hadn't noticed her still trembling hands.

Eppie moved about the bar as if she had worked there forever. The music was pulsating as the club goers danced to the rhythmic beat. It was a large bar that was frequented only by women. Its reputation was that it was probably the best pick-up joint in town. Women who came to the bar alone, rarely left that way. You could almost smell the sweat and wetness as you tried to make your way across the dance floor.

'God I can't wait for this night to be over.' Eppie thought irritably as the bar bitch glided across the dance floor towards her. "Eppie sweetheart. Do be a dear and get me a Sambucca," Carol purred as she tapped her nails on the top of the neatly polished bar. As the bar manager bent to retrieve the Sambucca Carol couldn't resist staring at the full mounds tucked securely in tight fitting blue jeans. 'Hmm, when I get my hands on her,' Carol contemplated.

Just as Eppie was putting the shot down she looked up and saw the most adorable eyes staring at her. "Sam! I'm so glad you were able to come back. The bar closes in an hour. Maybe we could go get some coffee then?" the bar manager said, excited that the beautiful strawberry blonde had returned.

"That would be nice. I'll just wait at the end of the bar until your shift ends," Sam replied with a small smile and a soft voice as she gradually eased over to the stool at the end of the long bar.

'She is not only cute, but sweet as well,' thought Eppie dryly.

"Look, you're supposed to be working here," Carol snapped at Eppie. "I have rules! No manager is to be hitting on the customers, do you understand that?"

"I wasn't hitting on her Carol. I met her earlier today and she was really upset. I'm just trying to help her," Eppie lied. She really wanted to get to know Sam, it had been a long time since she was involved with anyone and she ached for the touch of another woman. 'It has been too long,' she thought.

"Well if I see you're distracted, or if I get any complaints from the customers I won't even think twice about throwing you out of here," Carol threatened.

"Don't worry Carol," Eppie said shortly as she regarded the tall, thin blonde bar owner bitch who had sidled her way too close to Eppie's breasts.

"I never worry, my dear Eppie," Carol stated coolly as she brushed her hand lightly across the front of Eppie's body and moved with confidence towards the end of the bar where Sam was sitting.

"Well hello sweet thing. Is this your first time here?" Carol asked easily. Sam turned in the direction of the high pitched voice. "I'm sorry, you asked me something?" she said uncertainly.

"I don't think I've seen you here before. Are you new in town?" Carol asked sweetly. She noticed the vibrant green orbs of the unbelievably cute young woman. She also noticed the tight fitting tanktop and the nicely defined round breasts of the strawberry blonde.

"Um, yes. I am new in town," Sam stated nervously. She thought this woman seemed really pushy.

"Eppie! Get my young friend here something to drink." Looking at Sam, she asked "how about a glass of wine?"

"No thank you. I'm just waiting for my friend." Sam hoped that Carol would leave her alone. She didn't like how the tall woman had draped her arm around her shoulder and how her fingers were playing along the edge of her top.

Sensing Sam's nervousness, Carol decided to press her advantage and made a bold move. She gripped Sam's right breast and squeezed. "Oh, come now. Certainly you can have a drink with me while you wait for your friend." Carol squeezed harder then let her hand drop to the side of Sam's breast and started brushing her palm alongside it. Sam froze in her seat and felt fear taking over. She prayed she wouldn't make a scene on her new friend's first night on the job.

"Please, if you don't mind I'm really not interested." Sam practically begged, asking to be left alone.

"You have no idea what you're missing little girl." Carol said seething, before rising from the barstool and stomping away.

"I'm sorry about that," Eppie said apologetically to Sam as Carol left the bar and proceeded to her office. "She's an asshole. She thinks because she owns the place, that she also owns all the women that come in as well."

"It's not your fault Eppie. I survived and I think she got the message that I wasn't interested." Sam said not sounding too sure of herself.

Just then, the lights flashed on and off and then stayed on. The music died and the customers started working their way out of the bar.

"I'll be ready to go in about ten minutes. Wait for me here, okay?" Eppie instructed as she walked towards Carol's office with the night's receipts.

"I don't like your little friend," the bar owner blurted to Eppie as she entered the office.

"Well, we're leaving now," Eppie replied deciding to ignore Carol's remark.

"She's rude! She practically ignored me when I was trying to be nice to her," Carol fumed, annoyed that she was rejected in the presence of her patrons.

"I'm sorry you feel that way Carol. I'm sure she's just a little nervous, you know from being in a new place and not knowing anyone."

"Perhaps, but if she can't be social I don't want her waiting for you here."

"Good night Carol. I'll see you tomorrow," Eppie said quickly and was on her way. As she closed the office door, she counted to 10 and let out a long breath. 'What a day. I start a new job working for a royal bitch and meet the prettiest girl around all in one day. Just my luck. Can't have two goods in a day. Oh well.'

As they left the bar and were walking down the street Eppie asked Sam if she wanted to do anything in particular.

Chuckling, Sam asked if there was anything to do in the town at 2:30 in the morning.

"Not really. How about we walk down by the docks? There's a nice little coffeehouse down there," the curly-haired woman suggested.

"Sounds wonderful," Sam replied. Feeling shy, Sam couldn't really think of anything to say so she remained silent.

"I assume your new in town," Eppie said, the statement sounding like a question.

"Um, yeah. I just arrived today."

"So what brings you to our fine town? A new job?"

Sam had to think for a minute. She wasn't prepared to share what was going on in her life, especially with someone who really was a stranger. "I'm on vacation," she said hesitantly.

Noticing the hesitation Eppie responded "I see. So which of our illustrious hotels are you staying at?"

'Oh God, why am I so bad at this?' Sam wondered. "Oh, I've rented a place about a few blocks from the center of town. I'm thinking about relocating to the area."

"So where is home?" Eppie asked.

"New York," Sam responded in a soft voice.

"So why Massachusetts then. To relocate that is?"

"I like New England and thought there might be some opportunities for me here," the strawberry blonde answered.

"What kind of work do you do?"

Sam got real quiet. She was having a hard time keeping up with all the questions and the trembling was getting worse. All she knew was that she got in her car and ended up here. She didn't know why. She had never been to Cape Cod before but she had heard a lot about it from the few acquaintances she had made throughout her years at Sarah Lawrence.

Noticing the young woman's hesitation, Eppie decided to change the subject. Something was wrong with her new friend and it was obvious she was holding back talking about herself. 'That's okay,' Eppie thought. 'I've been in that place a few times. So long as she's not a mass murderer, I think I'll be okay'.

"The coffeehouse is just down this street here," the bar manager noted as she took hold of the strawberry blonde's arm and guided her along the street. She could feel the young woman shaking.

"Eppie, I'm sorry. I didn't realize how tired I am. Would you mind if I took a raincheck on the coffee?" Sam asked in a nervous tone.

Feeling a little stunned by the change in events, but not wanting to appear so, Eppie got control of her feelings and in a caring voice asked, "is there something wrong? Anything I can help you with?" Eppie had stopped walking and was facing Sam.

"Like I said I'm just tired. It was a long drive and then I had to find a place to stay. You've been helpful already Eppie, making me feel welcomed and all." Sam was unsure as to how to get out of this date. She had been grappling with her sexuality for awhile now and had just come to terms with it. 'The incident', she was sure, had something to do with her finally admitting who she was.

Eppie stared into Sam's eyes for what seemed like a long time and her heart broke at what she saw there. This was a woman in a lot of pain and she looked so frightened. "Sam, I know we've just met, but I'm worried about you. Please tell me what's going on."

Sam could no longer look at Eppie so instead she looked at the ground. She could feel the tears beginning to build. With a lump in her throat, she tried to assure her companion that it was her long day catching up with her.

"Eppie, I'm really sorry I disappointed you." She said quietly, still staring at the ground.

Eppie took Sam's hand and moved closer to her hoping to comfort her. "I don't know what's going on and you haven't known me long enough to trust me. But I am a really good listener."

Still not getting a response, Eppie used her other hand and with little force gently pushed upward on Sam's quivering chin until she could look into her eyes. She saw the tears sitting there just waiting to make an exit. The trembling in the hand she still held did not escape her attention. Eppie leaned over and placed a soft kiss on Sam's cheek. "Let me walk you back to your car. I'll give you my phone number. Promise me you'll call?" the bar manager asked with compassion in her voice.

Sam nodded affirmatively and then felt a strong arm cross over her shoulders. Eppie guided them back to the bar where Sam's car was parked. They didn't say a word the entire walk back. At Sam's car, Eppie leaned over and placed a feather light kiss on Sam's full mouth. "Now remember to call, okay?"

"I will. And Eppie? thanks. For caring." With that she got into the VW and drove off towards the outskirts of the town.

'I wish I knew what was bothering her. I like her, a lot. Eppie girl, what are you getting yourself into?'

By the time Sam got back to her room in the big purple Victorian it was almost 4am. She couldn't remember the last time she was out that late. Too bad she didn't have much to brag about being out so late. If anything she had made a fool of herself. Here Eppie was trying to be kind and she didn't even know how to respond. 'Eppie's kiss was very gentle,' she thought as she ran her fingers along her lips. It was the first time she had been kissed by a woman.

The trembling, still unnoticed, was getting worse.

After changing into a T-shirt Sam moved over to the big bay window. Looking out on this town at night she realized that she was really alone. She was afraid of being alone, of failing, afraid of just about everything. She climbed into the bed and pulled the covers up to her chin. Before she knew it she was crying uncontrollably. Finding it hard to catch her breath, Sam sat up. She pulled her knees up tucking them under her chin and with her arms wrapped tightly around her legs, all she could do was to rock back and forth. She was cold, so cold?

Thursday

"Where in the world is she?" Ms. Baltier growled out loud to herself as she looked at the large grandfather clock in the corner of her cluttered living room. It was now 1pm and she had not seen her new boarder since she left the evening before. The VW was parked outside so she was sure that Sam had found her way home. She was surprised that she had not heard her come in. 'She better not have someone up there with her. I didn't tell her about that rule,' she thought dourly to herself.

Finally, after waiting another two hours, Ms. Baltier quietly went up to the small room on the third floor. Leaning her head up against the bedroom door she waited hoping she would hear the girl. What she heard startled her. It sounded like a child whimpering. She knocked on the door but got no response. 'She didn't tell me she had a kid,' Ms. Baltier thought angrily. She knocked louder. Still no response. Finally, she decided to open the door. Using the master key, she barged into the room. Her eyes went wide when she saw Sam sitting on the bed rocking back and forth. She was staring at nothing. Nothing at all.

"Samantha? Samantha sweetie?" Ms. Baltier said in her raspy voice. Getting no response she leaned over to nudge Sam's shoulder. Just as she laid her hand on the shoulder, Sam's eyes widened in horror and she jumped off the bed.

Sam ran to the corner and huddled there. "Leave me alone!" she screamed. "Don't touch me!" she added and started to make movements with her hands as if swatting away a band of mosquitoes. Then she started clawing at herself.

"What are you high or something? I do not allow drugs in my house!" Ms. Baltier bellowed. "I'm calling the cops. You are dirt! A degenerate! I want you out of my house now!" And with that the dark lady stormed from the room.

Ten minutes later the police arrived. Two officers entered the room. One of the officers, Luke Polis, tall, blue eyed with wavy sandy blonde hair approached Sam who was still huddled in the corner. The other officer, Mike Sullivan, began searching through Sam's belongings hoping he would find the drugs he was sure were there.

As Officer Polis got closer to Sam she began scratching furiously at her arms. He moved slowly hoping he would be able to get close enough to her to grab her hands to keep her from hurting herself. In a soothing voice he asked her name. Sam did not respond. Instead she started banging her head on the wall. Fearing she was going to hurt herself, the two officers moved in on her, each grabbing an arm. Sam let out a long loud shriek that could be heard down the block. Ms. Baltier was standing just outside the door and in a loud voice told the officers to get the girl out before she scared away all her boarders. She couldn't afford to lose the few people who were renting rooms.

"Fucking bitch!" Sullivan said as he tried to pull Sam's arm behind her back. "She's fucking biting my arm, man." Polis quickly grabbed her other hand and put the handcuffs on her. Sam was squirming uncontrollably and mumbling incoherently.

"Hey listen Sullivan, I don't think she's on drugs. There's something else going on with her. I think we need to get her to the hospital," the blue eyed officer said worriedly.

"You must be crazy! She's hallucinating or something." Sullivan protested.

"I know asshole! But there's no sign of drugs here, you looked yourself. Come on, we need to get her to the hospital," the tall officer said sounding as if Sam's life were in his hands.

That being said, the two officers lifted Sam and using every bit of their strength to keep her from squirming out of their grasp, took her out to their squad car. Polis was sure she would have bruises later from resisting them. He was also sure she'd have a black eye after seeing Sullivan elbow her there when she bit him.

On the way out Polis grabbed the strawberry blonde's bag and told Ms. Baltier that somebody would follow-up later with her to get her statement.

______________________________________________________________

By the time they reached the hospital Sam appeared catatonic. Except for her trembling she made no other movements. Officer Polis gently pulled her from the back of the car and led her into the emergency room. Seeing that she had calmed down considerably, he unlocked the handcuffs and explained the situation to the nurse. The nurse, a large Hispanic woman spoke soothingly to Sam.

"What's your name honey?" the nurse inquired.

There was no response so the nurse tried again. "Honey, we want to help you. Can you tell me your name?"

For the first time, Sam made eye contact. Not with the nurse though, but rather she looked straight into Officer Polis' blue eyes. She opened her mouth to speak but nothing came out.

Officer Polis explained Sam's condition to the nurse. 'I don't know why, but I feel for this girl,' Polis was thinking, worried for the young woman.

The nurse told him they would move Sam to the psychiatric unit for observation. She asked if they had made any attempt to reach her family and the officer responded that his patrol partner was trying to get more information on her. He really didn't know the first thing about her.

Polis informed the nurse that as soon as they had anything to report they would notify the hospital. He took one last look at Sam before leaving the hospital. She was beautiful. What could have possibly happened to her to cause this?

Back at the station Polis learned that the young woman he had picked up was a Samantha Daly from New York. She came from a prestigious family, her father being a partner in a large well established law firm in the city. Her mother was actively involved in the Republican party, was a community leader, and quite vocal when it came to very conservative issues. In fact, her mother was an active supporter of the religious right.

Upon calling the Daly residence he was stunned by the reaction of her mother "I have no daughter by the name of Sam," Mrs. Daly promptly announced.

"Ma'am, your daughter is ill and the hospital needs authorization to treat her," he politely said.

"Perhaps you didn't hear me Officer Polis. But my husband and I no longer have a daughter by the name of Sam," she restated in an angry and uncaring tone.

"Maybe you would want to discuss this with your husband Mrs. Daly. You see Samantha is? I cannot fucking believe this. I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS!" Polis snapped as he slammed the phone down. "She hung up on me! What kind of mother would reject her own kid?"

Just as he hung up the phone it rang again and an indignant Ms. Baltier was on the line. "When are you going to get her stuff out of here. I've got to get that room rented. I'm losing money! And I want that God awful lime green thing parked in front of the house out of my sight."

Polis explained that he would have somebody come by later to gather Sam's belongings and would also arrange to have her car impounded until they were able to figure things out. He promised it would be done today. 'What a heart she has,' he thought disgustedly.

Polis was at a loss. So he did what he almost always did when he didn't have an answer. He picked up the phone and called the State Police crime lab. "Hey sis, how are you? Haven't seen you around lately."

"What do you want Luke?" the deep sultry voice on the other end asked.

"I thought I'd ask my favorite sister out to dinner. Is there something wrong with that?" the officer asked, clearly sounding as though he needed a favor.

"What do you want Luke?" the voice asked, this time with a little playfulness in her tone.

"Look sis, I need to talk with you. Can't you spare a few minutes for your baby brother?"

"I'm supposed to meet Sarah for dinner. Can't it wait?" the sultry voice sounded hurried.

"Chris, I picked somebody up earlier today. I thought you might be able to help her."

"I'm a forensic psychologist, Luke. I don't get involved in relationships, unless of course, they lead to murder." she said almost teasingly.

Luke took a moment to get his thoughts in order. 'How come she never takes me seriously?' he pondered.

"It's nothing like that. This is strictly work related."

"Yeah, just like the last time."

"Alright Chris, you're right. I'm a total screw up. But I have to do something for this girl and you're the only one I could think of who might be able to help."

Hearing the desperation in his voice, Chris told him to meet her outside in the parking lot in ten minutes. If he was late, he would have to wait for the following day.

Like always Luke was late. Just as Chris was about to leave, she heard him hollering to her from across the lot.

Luke saw his tall, ebony-haired sister as soon as he walked out of the station and knew she would comment on his tardiness.

"I told you to meet me in ten minutes! It is now twenty." Chris said in a stern voice.

"I know, I know. I was just trying to get some information for you," he gasped trying to catch his breath after sprinting across the parking lot to meet his sister.

"Look Luke, I've promised Sarah I would meet her at the restaurant. We're trying real hard to work things out. I can't have her thinking that I don't take this commitment thing seriously," Chris said while glancing at her watch.

Ignoring his sister's statement, Luke began to tell his sister about Sam.

"So, what do you want me to do?" She asked not really understanding where her brother was going with this and annoyed that he was taking up her time.

"I was hoping you would go and see her. There's something about her Chris. I don't know what it is. But if you look deep in her eyes, you can see a tender caring person whose in a lot of pain," he insisted. "And you're the best psychologist I know. So if anybody could reach her, I know it would be you."

"Luke, you're missing something real important here. I work with criminals, not little rich girls."

By now Luke was feeling desperate. "Chris, please. Just go and see her. I promise I will never ask you to do me a favor again."

Chris could not remember ever seeing her younger brother like this. She couldn't help but wonder if there wasn't something he was holding back from her.

"Her name is Samantha Daly. She's 22 years old and I doubt she's rich now because according to her mother, Samantha is no longer her daughter." Luke explained trying his best to convince his sister..

Chris looked her brother squarely in the eyes. "This had better be worth it. If it turns out you're sending me into a psych ward to check this babe out for you as a possible future prospect you better start running and running fast," she threatened, knowing her brother would do almost anything to gain the attention of a good looking woman.

Feeling a major sense of relief, Luke wrapped his arms around his sister and squeezed hard. He could feel her muscles flex in response. 'Damn, when did she develop these,' he wondered.

"I'll try to stop by tomorrow to see her," Chris said and turned to climb into her big burgundy Ford Expedition XLT.

"Um, I know you're doing me this favor, and I really am grateful and all?" Luke started.

Chris looked at him with one eyebrow lifted and drawled out a "yesss?"

"I was hoping you could stop by the hospital tonight," he finished quickly.

"Aw come on Luke. I can't, damn it! How many times do I have to tell you that I'm meeting Sarah? We've got the whole evening planned. I can't cancel out on her now."

"I'm not asking you to spend a lot of time there tonight. Just drop in and see her, that's all." Luke pleaded.

As they stood there in the parking lot Chris' cell phone rang. "Oh hello babe. I was just leaving now," she said staring at her brother.

After a few silent moments, Chris hung up the phone. "You're lucky. Sarah has a problem at work and is running late. I'll go to the hospital now and call you later."

"Great! I knew you'd come through for me," Luke said finally able to relax.

As she was pulling away, Chris stopped briefly and called Luke over to driver's side window. "Just remember what I told you baby brother, because I wasn't joking."

____________________________________________________

Chris knew everybody who worked on the psych ward at the hospital because her job required that she go the ward to interview, evaluate, and assess people arrested for various crimes. When she got off the elevator she was greeted by the head of the psych department, Dr. Joy Slavin. Dr. Slavin had been Chris' mentor since she had started her undergraduate studies. At one low point in the tall woman's life, the psychiatrist had even taken Chris into her own home.

"How the hell are you, Polis? I haven't seen your sorry ass around here in awhile."

"Seems like all the criminals have been sane lately, Joy." Chris was in a hurry and didn't have time for socializing. "But I understand a young woman was brought in late this afternoon. A Samantha Daly?"

"She wanted for something?" Dr. Slavin asked somewhat perplexed.

"No. My brother picked her up earlier today and brought her to the ER. He seemed to be concerned about her so I thought I'd stop in. I guess you could say this is official state police business? Especially since one of Massachusetts finest asked for my help?" Chris was hoping her friend wouldn't mention this visit to the hospital administration who demanded to be informed whenever the police brought someone in for observation.

Dr. Slavin smiled broadly. "I doubt this one will be of much interest to you Chris. She's not the crazy criminal you seem to thrive on. She's in room 702, next to the nurses' station."

"Thanks Joy. I won't be long. And by the way, I owe you one." Chris said gratefully before heading to Samantha Daly's room. 'Let's see what my brother's in an dither over,' she thought as she made her way to the room and pushed on the door.

Christina Polis was not prepared for the sight that she beheld when she entered the room. Lying on the bed with her hands bandaged and restrained to the sides of the hospital bed was the most beautiful, adorable and sweetest looking woman she had ever seen. She didn't think that she had ever seen that shade of strawberry blonde hair in her life. Her heart went into her throat when she saw the pain etched on the young woman's face.

'Ah Luke. What the hell are you doing to me man,' she thought as she felt her own heart warming at the sight of Sam lying there.

As she was working her way to the bed Sam opened her eyes. Chris stopped dead in her tracks. She was struck by the pleading green eyes that looked in her direction. 'You're going to pay big time for this brother,' she thought irritably.

"Hello Samantha. I'm Dr. Christina Polis from the State Police."

Chris moved to the side of the bed and noticed that Sam's arms and face had several deep scratches and there was a large bump on the left side of her head that was showing a hint of bruising. She also had a black eye forming. Chris would be sure to ask her brother about the injuries later.

After making a quick assessment of Sam's physical condition, Chris' dark blue eyes traveled back to the green orbs and lingered there.

'God I don't know what to do,' Chris thought feeling a bit panicky, as she looked down at the beautiful face. At just that moment a single tear fell from Sam's right eye and Chris' heart suddenly felt heavy.

"Um listen, I'd like to try and help you. Can you tell me what's going on?" What a stupid question that was Chris thought. 'Here you are, the one with the PhD and you don't know what to do.'

At just that moment Joy Slavin walked in.

"Joy, has she said anything?" Chris inquired in a soft voice.

"Not a word. I haven't a clue what's going on in her head," The psychiatrist replied as she pulled the taller woman away from the bed so they could talk without the new patient hearing. "I was going to give her something to help her rest and see what happens tomorrow. We're doing some lab work on her and should have the results in the morning. I've also ordered a brain scan"

"The um? restraints? You think you could take them off? She doesn't look as though she's dangerous and she keeps looking at them" Chris commented as she glanced over at the smaller woman.

Joy looked at Chris as though she had lost her mind. "What's going on Chris? I'm sure your brother told you what she was like when she was brought in. Her trembling was uncontrollable and from what the doctor in the ER reported most of the injuries she has are self-inflicted. The possibility is too great that she'll cause more damage to herself. Once we're able to communicate with her we'll make a decision regarding the restraints. But, you know that already, right? And you also know procedure with these kinds of cases."

"You're right Joy. I'm sorry. It's been a long day. Listen, I understand her parents don't want anything to do with her. Did the hospital run a check on her insurance?" the dark-haired woman inquired.

"Yeah, great parents. Her insurance was cancelled about an hour after she was brought in. I have two days to figure out what to do with her."

"Well before you do anything please let me know what the options are okay? I'd like to help her if I can," Chris said as she looked into the green eyes again. 'What the fuck is going on here?' she said silently to herself, feeling captured by the eyes of the small woman.

"You might be interested in the business card we found in her bag," Joy said as she pulled the card from her pocket.

Handing it to Chris, Joy watched as Chris' eyebrow shot high up and disappeared under her dark bangs. "She had this in her bag? You're kidding right?"

"Not at all. There's somebody's name written on the back along with another phone number. A home number I'm guessing. The card looks new so I'm assuming it's from a recent? acquaintance?" Joy offered.

"I'll check it out. Maybe this person can tell us something about her." Chris had not taken her eyes away from Sam's except to look at the card. "Joy, I really want to thank you for helping her. I'll let you know if I find out anything that would be useful in treating her."

"Listen Chris, don't go getting yourself too attached here. It's bad enough I have to treat her. Treating you, I believe old friend, would be a challenge I do not want to entertain" Joy teased trying to lighten the mood a bit.

"I won't. I'm just going to spend a few more minutes here then head out. I'm already late meeting Sarah for dinner." The tall woman said as she looked at her watch.

"So how are you two?" Joy asked gently, sensing something not quite right.

"We've been better. We're trying to work through some issues. She wants to buy a house. It's real important to her," Chris said not sounding even the least bit interested.

"And you of course, aren't the settling down type?" prodded Joy, detecting the distracted tone in her friend's voice.

Chris laughed then added "not by a long shot." Looking back down at Sam, she felt as though she was being studied by inquisitive sad green eyes. Unconsciously shook her shoulders as if experiencing a sudden chill.

"I'm sure you'll figure things out," Joy said encouragingly before leaving the room.

"Well now," Chris said warmly. "What do you propose we do? Hmm."

There was no reaction from Sam at all. She just continued to stare into the deep blue eyes of the tall forensic psychologist whose long dark hair was pushed behind her broad shoulders.

"I need to tell you that all my work is with criminals and well, you don't look like one to me. So quite honestly, I haven't a clue as to what I should be doing," Chris said with a smile. "My brother was the officer who brought you here. Do you remember coming here to the hospital?"

No response.

"So how long have you been on the Cape? There really isn't much to do this time of year. But next month it'll start picking up. A lot of tourists will be coming in." Chris found herself talking to fill in the silence. Talking was not her forte, she always felt more comfortable being the listener.

"Samantha is a nice name." 'What in the world am I supposed to say to her? I feel desperate. Sarah is probably wondering where the hell I am, and I can't seem to pull myself away from this bedside. This is making no sense. Christina, you've never seen this woman before. She has not uttered one word to you and you're feeling totally responsible for her.'

Just then the unit nurse came in with a large syringe filled with whatever Joy Slavin decided on to help Sam rest.

Chris immediately noticed Sam pulling on the restraints as the nurse got closer. At that moment, the tall woman felt a lump growing in her throat. 'She's so afraid and I can't do a damn thing for her. Try to soothe her asshole,' Chris chastised herself.

"Samantha, the nurse is going to give you something to help you rest. Don't be afraid, I'm going to stay here with you for awhile. I promise nothing bad is going to happen to you," Chris said in the most calming voice she could conjure up.

While she was talking the nurse moved to the other side of the bed and lifted the blanket and administered the sedative.

"There you go young lady. Now that wasn't bad was it?" the nurse said sounding like she was patronizing Sam.

'Why do I feel like strangling this sorry piece of shit nurse. She's talking to her like she's a four-year-old,' Chris fumed.

"She'll be out of it in a few minutes," the nurse said rather loudly and Chris looked at her with a warning in her eyes. "Um, I think I'll leave now," the nurse said hastily and departed quickly.

Fulfilling her promise to Sam that she would stay, Chris pulled a chair close to the bed and sat down. She stretched out her long legs and made herself comfortable. Sam would probably be asleep in a few minutes and then Chris would be on her way. She was sure that Sarah would not be happy with her tardiness. Just then her cell phone rang.

As Chris went to retrieve the phone she noticed Sam starting to tremble again. She was sure that if the restraints were removed, Sam would have huddled herself in a corner again. "It's okay," Chris said soothingly. "It's just my phone. See?" And with that she turned the phone off instead of answering it. There was no doubt in her mind that there would be hell to pay when she got home, but she didn't care.

Leaning close to the side of the large hospital bed Chris gently brushed her fingers along Sam's trembling arm testing to see if Sam would try to pull away. "What has you so frightened, Samantha?" Chris asked delicately, glad that there was no attempt to escape her touch.

Just then, tears started rolling down the gentle face of the strawberry blonde. Chris brought her hand up to capture what tears she could. She was struck by the softness of the pale skin that greeted her hand. "Samantha, I want you to listen to me sweetheart." 'Oh God, where did that come from? Why did I call her sweetheart?'

Sam gazed deeply into dark blue and she made a small almost purring sound. Chris felt that Sam was trying to say something, but for whatever deep reason couldn't verbalize her thoughts.

"I know you can hear me Samantha Daly. Now, what I want you to do is to close your eyes and try to rest. I'll be here for awhile longer and again tomorrow. Okay now?" Chris asked almost pleading for Sam to trust her.

Within a few seconds Sam closed her eyes and Chris sighed in relief. 'Now what do I do with you?' she wondered. Maintaining her vigil, Chris leaned over and again started running her fingers lightly over Sam's arm. "Go to sleep Samantha, go to sleep," Chris whispered.

It wasn't long before Chris noticed that Sam's breathing was slow and deep. It was evident she was in a sound slumber. Whatever Joy had given her had calmed her enough so that the trembling had stopped completely. Chris rose from her chair to leave the room. Before doing so, however, she leaned over and gently moved the hair away from Sam's face. She couldn't resist placing a soft kiss on her forehead before leaving the room.

Upon settling herself into the big Ford Chris pulled out her cell phone to call Sarah. She was not surprised to find that her partner's phone had been turned off. She then called home.

After a few rings a sleepy, obviously angry voice answered.

"Hi Sarah, I'm so sorry. Something is happening? at work and I was asked to respond to an emergency." Chris offered not really sounding sorry at all.

"Oh really? When I wasn't able to get you on your phone I called the crime lab. Funny, they all thought you were at home," Sarah stated bluntly.

"I see. Look Sarah, I'm on my way home now. When I get there we'll talk okay?" Chris asked, half hoping that Sarah would be asleep when she arrived.

"You know Chris, your problem is that you don't see. You could have easily called me but you didn't. Don't bother rushing home, I really don't feel like talking. After being stood up by my own partner I really don't think I could stomach the sight of you now."

Chris' eyebrow shot up at that last assault. "Well you know darling, the way you're whining right now, I'm not so sure I can stomach you either," she shot back.

"Go to hell Chris," and with that Sarah slammed the phone down.

"Guess I'm on my own tonight," Chris said to herself, not affected in the least by her partner's tirade.

Forty-five minutes later Chris was paying the cover charge to get into the Rainbow Bar & Dance Club. 'How in the world did Samantha Daly end up in this joint,' she wondered.

Chris worked her way towards the bar. The place was quite busy since it was a popular spot for lesbians who liked to dance. This was not Chris' idea of a fun place to be. She hated disco music and couldn't stand strobe lighting. She'd take rhythm and blues over this any day.

When she reached the bar she was greeted by a tall blonde. "Hi, I haven't seen you here before," the high pitched voice said.

Chris nodded and stated simply, "that's right."

"Oh aren't you the talkative type. My name's Carol, I own the place," the tall thin blonde said as she worked her way closer to the forensic psychologist.

Looking directly at the bar owner, Chris decided to take the upper hand. She pulled out her badge, announced that she was with the State Police and that she needed Carol to answer some questions. She pointedly told the bar owner she didn't have time to play games.

"Well, I'm not looking for any trouble here," Carol quickly replied moving away. "Please, let's go to my office."

As Chris followed her to the office, she noticed several women gawking at her as they made their way through the crowd on the dance floor. She gave them all her best 'not a chance in hell' look as she glided past them. Once in the office Chris pulled out the Rainbow Bar & Dance Club business card that Sam had at the time the police picked her up. Turning it over, she asked the owner if she recognized the phone number written on the back.

"That's the home number to my new manager, Eppie Morgan. She just started here yesterday. Is there a problem? I'll get rid of her before I have any problems with the police," Carol stated firmly.

"Is she here now?" Chris asked shortly. "If she is I want to speak with her."

"Of course. I'll get her," Carol said and left the office to retrieve her manager. She wanted this cop out of her place. It was always bad for business when law enforcement started hanging around.

When Eppie entered the office she looked concerned but not worried. She hadn't done anything wrong. "Hi, I'm Eppie Morgan. I understand you wanted to question me about something."

Chris noticed that Eppie spoke with a no nonsense approach. "This business card was found in the possession of a young woman picked up earlier today. It has your phone number on it."

Looking at the card, Eppie had a troubled expression on her face. "Is Sam alright? What's happened to her?"

"I was hoping you could tell me," Chris stated looking directly into the dark brown eyes.

"Are you trying to imply something officer?" Eppie retorted.

Chris raised both brows. "No, and the title is doctor, not officer. I'm a forensic psychologist, not a cop. How do you know Samantha Daly?"

"I met her for the first time yesterday. Here. She was upset about something and was running from the bathroom. She ran into me. That's how we met."

"What else?" Chris was not in the mood to play twenty questions.

"We arranged to meet when I got off work. We went for a walk down to that coffeehouse by the docks. She decided at the last minute she was tired and wanted to go home. I kept asking her if there was something wrong, but all she would tell me was she was tired. I noticed she was trembling. so I wrapped my arm around her shoulder, I thought she was cold. She was still trembling when I kissed her good night. That's when I gave her the card. I asked her to call me because I was concerned for her. She got in her car and left. End of story."

"What did she tell you about herself?" Chris asked feeling a pang of jealousy growing in her stomach.

"Just that she was from New York, was here on vacation and thinking about relocating to New England. What's happened to her?" Eppie inquired again, feeling her patience starting to fray.

"She's in the hospital. Is there anything else you want to add?" Chris rose to leave.

"In the hospital doesn't explain what happened to her, doctor," The manager said accusingly.

Chris turned quickly back towards Eppie and coming as close as she could without touching her sneered, "if I knew what happened to her I wouldn't be in this stinking hellhole asking you that very same thing, now would I, Ms. Morgan?"

'Damn, is she a mean one,' Eppie thought before opening her mouth to respond. "I'm sorry doctor. I'm concerned about Sam. I like her and was hoping I could get to know her better," the bar manager responded, sounding concerned.

"I just bet you were Ms. Morgan," Chris said tersely before darting out of the office and out of the bar.

Back in her Expedition, Chris called the hospital to see how Sam was doing. She was relieved to hear that the young woman was sleeping peacefully.

'Now where do I go? It's after midnight and my partner wants nothing to do with me. Well at least that feeling's mutual.' After thinking over her options for a few minutes Chris was fuming. 'This is bullshit. I'm tired and I live there too.' Chris' decision made, she went home.

"Holy shit. I can't believe she's doing this," Chris growled as she opened the front door to the apartment and saw her luggage sitting there. "SARAH!" she bellowed as she stomped towards their bedroom. Surely the tenants on the floor above and below heard her yell.

"Sarah what the hell is going on here? Why are my bags packed?"

"That's a pretty foolish question don't you think Chris? We had a dinner date remember? Actually I believe we talked about needing a nice quiet romantic evening. Just you and me. I also remember talking about dessert. Don't you remember, Chris?" Sarah said putting the emphasis on the CH.

"I remember. But something happened Sarah and I'm sure you wouldn't understand. Perhaps it is better for me to leave. I probably should have left a long time ago," Chris threw in just for the sake of stinging her soon to be ex-partner of five years.

"You know Chris, I don't think you're capable of making a permanent commitment. All you did was use me and I got nothing in return. Absolutely nothing," Sarah said waspishly as angry tears fell.

Now they were just saying things for the purpose of hurting the other.

"You're wrong Sarah - you got my life? for five fucking years! And in the end it's turned out to be a living hell. I'll come by over the weekend for the rest of my things." That being said Chris stormed out of the apartment. She could hear Sarah throwing things at the door as she walked down the hall.

"What's next Chris, ole girl? Hmm?" she said sarcastically as she tossed her luggage in the back of the Expedition.

"Well, Luke. I'm gonna blame you for this one, so you get to put up with me for awhile until I find a place." she said to the face in the rearview mirror as she pulled out of the apartment parking lot

By the time Chris had gotten to Luke's it was one-thirty in the morning. 'What a night," Chris was thinking tiredly as she rummaged quickly through her things trying to find something to wear for the next day that didn't need ironing. By the time she was finished, everything that Sarah had packed was strewn about the back of the huge vehicle.

Chris started banging on Luke's door. When it finally opened, she was surprised to see an attractive brunette with shoulder length hair standing behind her brother. "Um, what's up Chris?" Luke asked confused by his sister's sudden arrival and somewhat embarrassed by his lady friend's scantily clad body clinging to him.

"It seems I'm without a place to live right now Luke. I told you I was supposed to meet Sarah for dinner. Remember that Luke?" she asked. Becoming nervous, Luke nodded his head in acknowledgement.

"Well I'm sure you must have realized?" Chris hissed as she moved closer to Luke, "that involving me in your little act of kindness?" Chris gritted through her now clenched teeth, "was going to really FUCK THINGS UP FOR ME," she thundered while grabbing him by the collar of his shirt.

The brunette let out a high pitched scream and Luke turned to her and told her to shut up.

"It's not nice to talk to women like that Luke. I thought I taught you better," Chris said firmly, still holding onto him. "Now tell your little friend here to get dressed and go home. You see, LUKE, I'm moving in now."

"Okay, okay. Barbara honey, this is my um? sister. She needs to spend the night. So how about you leave now and I'll call you in the morning." Luke said.

"Really, Barb, I'll be okay," Luke added when he saw the worried look on his girlfriend's face.

While Luke was saying his goodbyes to Barbara, Chris called the hospital again. She gave them the numbers to Luke's place and her cell phone. She ended the conversation by telling the nurse that if there was any change in Sam's condition she should be notified immediately. 'Still no change,' she thought. 'This waiting is really getting to me, and why do I feel like I'm missing her?'

Luke found Chris in the kitchen leaning against a counter drinking a Heinekin. "So what happened?" her brother asked cautiously.

"Luke, tell me again why you wanted me to go see that girl," Chris requested while studying the bottle and unconsciously thinking that she liked the color green.

"I'm not sure. There was just something about her. And when her mother told me that she wanted nothing to do with her I couldn't let it go. You know Chris, I often think that if it weren't for you I probably wouldn't be here today. In fact, I probably would have either been dead or in jail. Everybody needs somebody to care for them. I just had a terrible feeling that Samantha Daly didn't have anyone. I was feeling real bad for her, Chris. I'm sorry if I put you in a bad spot. I was only hoping you would make sure she got the right kind of help. I can't explain it, and I'm no head doctor, but I don't think she's as fucked up as what she appears now. That's all." Luke finished.

Looking up from her bottle, Chris stared intently at her brother. 'He really did turn out okay' she thought. 'His problem is he's na´ve and idealistic. Some day he's gonna get hurt because of it.' "Go to bed Luke. It's been a long day" she said in almost a motherly tone as she turned to look out the window that faced a neatly landscaped yard dotted with a few large oak trees.

Friday

Chris tossed and turned for what seemed like hours. A portrait was etched in her mind of the beautiful strawberry blonde with a dash of freckles running across her nose accenting the gentle features of her face. Finally Chris rolled over and glanced at the clock. It was now five in the morning and she hadn't slept at all. 'Enough of this' she thought as she rose from the bed and made her way to the shower.

Taking a long hot shower, Chris noted her own reflection in the mirror. She compared her tanned complexion and angular face with the high cheekbones and piercing blue eyes to that of the young blonde. 'Couldn't be any more different, could we,' she thought as she towel dried her long dark hair. 'I wonder what you like Samantha Daly. Do you like to watch old movies, go for walks along the beach, rollerblading, reading, ice cream and cookies?'

Chris left the house quietly. She left a note for her brother telling him that she would call him later. The big Ford Expedition seemed to find its own way to the hospital, the driver having other things on her mind.

Chris' first stop was at the nurses' station. There were only a couple of nurses on duty at this time and there was little activity at the station. The head nurse, a rather petite woman with, in Chris' opinion too much make-up on, told her that except for one incident Sam had a peaceful night.

"Incident?" Chris asked, her left eyebrow rising along with the tone of her voice.

"She woke up and wanted us to remove the restraints so she could use the bathroom. So we tried to get her to use the bed pan but she didn't like that idea," the nurse concluded.

"So she communicated?" Chris prompted.

"Yes. Like I said Dr. Polis she needed to relieve herself."

"How is she this morning? Is she still talking?" Chris continued with her questioning of the obviously agitated nurse.

"She seems okay. The trembling has stopped but she's not talking to any of us. I think she's angry because we wouldn't remove the restraints."

"Was Dr. Slavin notified when Ms. Daly became coherent?"

"We thought we would tell her when she arrived this morning. She's on morning duty."

"What time is she due to arrive?" Chris persisted with her questioning.

"She should be here by 10," the nurse said with some irritation in her voice.

"That's too late. Get Dr. Slavin on the phone." Chris demanded.

"But Dr. Polis, we really do have things under control. With all due respect I don't think it's necessary to disturb Dr. Slavin so early in the morning," the nurse replied hoping she hadn't said anything out of line to the psychologist who seemed to tower above her shorter frame.

"I am sure Dr. Slavin would be grateful to know that her head nurse cares so much about her comfort. I'll be sure to let her know that when I speak with her. So, if you don't mind, and for the last time, get Dr. Slavin on the phone NOW," Chris gritted out through clenched teeth as she moved with authority towards the office reserved for consulting practitioners.

A half a minute later the phone in the office rang. "Polis, what are you doing there so early in the morning and why are you trying to scare my staff out of their pants?"

"It's not early for me Joy and your head nurse isn't wearing pants. Perhaps if she did it wouldn't be so easy to scare her. Did she tell you about my conversation with her?"

"Yeah, she did. You want the restraints removed, right?" Joy asked.

"Joy, I know it's against procedure but like I said yesterday this case really is different. It doesn't involve the police anymore since she's not being charged with anything. I'll stay here with her until you arrive. I won't let her out of my sight. If she should make any move to hurt herself again I'll have the restraints put back on. I give you my word," Chris pleaded.

"I'll make you a deal Chris. I'm going to tell Nurse James to give our pretty patient a mild sedative. Allow at least fifteen minutes and then you can remove the restraints. I'll be there within an hour. I'm trusting that you'll take appropriate measures should there be a need," Joy said knowing that Chris' heart had kicked in and was working major overtime.

"I promise I won't jeopardize your esteemed status at the hospital, Joy," the tall dark-haired woman said a bit facetiously. "I'll put your lovely nurse back on the phone. I appreciate what you're doing here Joy. See you later."

Chris entered Sam's room feeling a bit of trepidation. The sun was just beginning to rise and its rays were starting to brighten up the small, white room. The forensic psychologist moved slowly about the room. She wasn't sure what to expect. Sam was awake and staring out the window, her attention obviously elsewhere and not on the comings and goings of people in the room.

"Good morning," Chris said in her softest voice. "I'm not sure if you remember me from last evening, but I'm Chris Polis. How are you feeling Samantha?"

Slowly Sam turned her head in the direction of the deep smooth voice. The strawberry blonde recognized her from the night before but wasn't sure why the tall woman was there. Chris did everything she could to keep herself from running to Sam's side and wrapping her in her arms. The ebony-haired woman worked her way to the edge of the bed and stood looking down on the young woman.

"I spoke with Dr. Slavin a short while ago. In a few minutes the nurse will be coming in to give you something. Dr. Slavin said that afterwards they will remove the restraints." Chris explained.

"Thank you," Sam whispered. It was the only response the young woman could get out at the moment.

Just as Chris had said, a nurse came in and administered the shot. Sam's face scrunched up at the activity. As the nurse pushed the blanket back into place she patted Sam's leg and told her she would have an aide come in to help her get herself cleaned. At that Sam's face turned a deep shade of red. Chris could see the tears building.

"Thank you, but Ms. Daly won't be needing the assistance of an aide. I'm sure we can take care of things here," Chris said hoping the nurse understood. The nurse nodded and left the room without any further comment.

"So Samantha, how are you feeling today?" Chris asked brightly.

There was no response.

"Now I know you can talk because just a few minutes ago you thanked me." Chris said with a smile on her face.

"Where am I?" Sam asked with a slight slur to her speech as the sedative was obviously taking effect.

"You're at the county hospital Samantha. Do you remember coming here yesterday?"

Sam shook her head no in response. "Why am I here?"

"The police were called to the boarding house where you were staying. They were concerned for you so they brought you here to the hospital," Chris supplied.

Sam's eyes appeared to be getting heavy so Chris decided it would be OK to take the restraints off. She wanted to get her cleaned up before the sedative took full effect.

As soon as her hands were freed, Sam brought both up to her face, rolled onto her side facing away from Chris, curled up into a tight ball and sobbed. Chris was at a loss for words so she laid her hand on the small woman's back and gently massaged the area hoping to bring some comfort to the very distressed young woman. Gradually the dark-haired psychologist could feel the crying begin to subside.

"How about we try to get you to the bathroom. You'll feel much better after you've taken a shower." Chris didn't wait for Sam's response. Instead she placed her long arms under Sam's much shorter ones and slowly pulled her to her feet. "You're going to be a little light headed so take it easy, okay." Although Chris didn't show it, she was amused by Sam's feeble attempt to hold the hospital gown together in the back. 'Ah, she's the modest type.' It was the first time she had seen Sam standing and was struck by her small, petite frame. She felt the warmth of Sam's body as she held her up.

After entering the bathroom Chris directed Sam to the toilet and helped her to sit. Sam sat there but didn't do anything. Bending down so she was at eye level with her charge she said "Samantha, I really can't leave you alone right now because the medication the nurse gave you sometimes makes people dizzy. I'm afraid that you may fall and hurt yourself. Please try not to be embarrassed."

Sam was struck by the intensity of the blue eyes that penetrated into her. She relaxed at the softly spoken words and relieved herself. Chris also relaxed at that moment. 'One hurdle jumped. Now onto the shower,' Chris thought.

Leading her to the shower, Chris told Sam that she would get the water set to the right temperature and then help her into the stall. She directed Sam to sit on the bench in the stall and to take whatever time she needed, but under no circumstances was she to stand and move about without her assistance. "Do you understand me?" Chris asked crisply, sounding like a drill sergeant. Sam shook her head in acknowledgement thinking the woman was a bit bossy. Which, of course, Chris was.

Finally having the temperature set, Chris helped Sam into the shower. She tried to help her remove the gray hospital gown, but Sam stubbornly held onto to it, refusing to remove it until she got into the shower and had the curtain pulled. Once in the stall, she tossed the gown out onto the floor of the bathroom and sat on the bench as instructed. As the warm water cascaded over her body Sam couldn't help but wonder who this person was and why she was taking care of her. She marveled at her beautiful tall languid body that moved with grace and sureness. Her features were striking - the vibrant blue eyes, high cheekbones, and long ebony hair. Her heart started beating at a more rapid pace and her mouth was now very dry. Suddenly Sam began to feel a sensation building between her legs. She slowly moved her hands over her body taking great care in washing herself. Why was her body tingling like this? Continuing with her shower, Sam sat quietly, moving the wash cloth over her body, with her eyes closed for a few extra minutes still sensing the feelings.

Chris got a little concerned when she didn't hear any movement so she peeked around the curtain to check on Sam. 'Oh my God,' Chris said to herself as her own heart started pounding. She caught herself staring at Sam's beautifully full and firm milky white breasts, her nipples peaked from the water that was now cooling. Sam's hair was wet and hanging over her shoulders. Her arms and legs were well toned and Chris imagined herself being enveloped in them. She unconsciously licked her lips to wet them and grudgingly moved away to allow Sam her privacy as Sam continued to run the wash cloth over her soft body.

Sam licked her lips at the precise same moment.

"Samantha? Isn't that water getting a little cold now?" Chris asked several minutes later.

No response.

Chris got up from her perch on the sink's vanity and again peered behind the shower curtain. "Oh shit. What a great caretaker you are Polis," she chastised herself.

Leaning into the stall Chris gently nudged the softly snoring Sam. Getting no response she tried again, this time nudging a little harder.

"NO!" Sam screamed. "STAY AWAY, OH PLEASE STAY AWAY. LEAVE US ALONE. DON'T TOUCH ME, DON'T TOUCH ME, OHHHH?" she screamed and starting swatting at the invisible mosquitoes again.

Suppressing her initial surprise, Chris jumped into the stall in a flash. She quickly turned off the water and grabbed a large bath towel to use to wrap Samantha in to keep her from hurting herself.

"Samantha sweetheart listen to me. Samantha, I want you to look at me. Come on now. It's just me Chris. I'm not going to hurt you. You're safe here."

Chris slowly moved her hand to the side of Sam's face and stroked gently. "Samantha honey. You're okay. Come on now, let's get you dried and back to your room, okay?" Sam was trembling again, but unlike yesterday with the police, Sam allowed Chris to touch her.

Upon hearing the screaming, Joy Slavin ran to the bathroom. She watched her longtime friend soothe the obviously frightened woman. She had never seen her comfort anyone like she was this young woman.

"What happened?' Joy queried.

"I'm not sure. She fell asleep in the shower and when I went to wake her she acted like she was under attack or something," Chris responded as she tried to dry the trembling body. She wrapped another large towel around Sam and with soothing words told her she was going to take her back to her room. Dr. Slavin held the door open to Sam's room as Chris led her in. The bed linens had been changed while they were in the shower.

Sam curled up on the bed, wrapped the blankets around herself and continued to tremble. She looked so tiny laying in the large bed.

"Chris, let's go to my office. I think we could both use a cup of coffee." Joy suggested, having just arrived when she heard the commotion in the bathroom.

"I'm fine Joy," Chris said not budging from the side of the bed.

"Chris, I want to talk with you in my office," the doctor said with authority, "now."

As she was leaving the room, Joy Slavin stopped and was about to exert her authority in a more commanding way. She refrained when she saw a single tear trailing down her friend's normally stoic face.

Going back to Chris, she put her hand on the strong arm of the psychologist. "Come on Chris, you need a break."

The two left the room in silence.

"Hold my calls Terry," Dr. Slavin told the nurse as she and Chris walked silently down the dimly lit hallway of the Psychiatric Unit.

Being the head of the unit, Joy had seen Chris handle many criminals with ease. She had an uncanny ability to decipher the good from the bad, the sane from the insane. While Chris had advocated heartily for several people she believed were dealt a bad hand in life that prompted them to turn to crime to sustain themselves, she had never seen her younger friend emotionally involved like this. There seemed to be no boundaries with this case and Chris was far from acting as a psychologist when it came to Sam's treatment.

"Chris, how about telling me what's going on?" the psychiatrist gently prodded with a caring voice as she poured a cup of coffee and handed it to the tall woman.

"What do you mean Joy?" Chris asked as she stared at a colorful mural hung on the powder blue painted walls of the office, deliberately pretending not to understand the question.

'Okay, so she's going to be pig headed about this. I've handled her before, I can do it again,' Joy thought before pressing on. "What do you think I mean?" the doctor shot back.

"Well if you don't explain yourself, how am I supposed to know," Chris retorted, again being deliberately obtuse.

"You're getting too attached to this case. I want to know why."

"She's not just a CASE, Joy. She has a name and I presume at some point in her 22 years she had a life." The agitation was evident in Chris' voice

"And your point would be?" the doctor inquired knowing Chris was about to explode.

"The point is? if I don't help her who will?" Chris countered, glaring at her friend.

"Chris, how long have you known Samantha Daly?"

"Less than a day," was the response.

"Less than a day, hmm? What is it about her, Chris? You're defending her and watching over her like you've known her forever," the psychiatrist said as she held the tall woman's attention.

Chris was silent for awhile trying to figure out the answer to Joy's question. "I don't know what it is, Joy. All I know is that when I look at her I feel like I have known her for a lifetime. I can't even begin to explain why. I look in her eyes and I feel as though I'm being pulled to her. Like a magnet."

"You're acting like you're in love with her, Chris."

"Come on Joy. Now you're being ridiculous. How could I be in love with somebody I just met yesterday?" she said forcing a chuckle.

Joy decided not to respond to Chris question and changed the direction of their conversation. "Did you check out that club listed on the business card?"

Chris was relieved for the change of subject. "Yeah, I went there. Not where I would hang out, but it also wasn't the worse lesbian bar I've ever been to."

"And did you locate the person whose name was written on the card?"

"Yeah. She was somebody who took Samantha out on a date the night before last," Chris responded sounding a bit annoyed by that fact. "She said Samantha was trembling the whole time they were out but she thought it was because Samantha was cold. She said she was worried about her so she gave her the phone number. She also said she wanted to get to know Samantha better?like that's gonna happen. Hmmph," Chris concluded not cognizant of her final biting statement.

Joy's own eyebrow lifted at the last comment. "I want to tell you what I have planned for Samantha today. I've already gotten the lab tests back. She could be a bit more diligent with her nutrition, but otherwise everything appears to be normal. We're going to run the brain scan and do an MRI. Afterwards, I want Samantha to meet with Emily Matson. I think we need to explore what's been going on in her life."

"Dr. Matson's a psychologist." Chris said sharply.

"I know. You don't like Dr. Matson?" Joy asked.

"She's okay. You don't have anybody with more experience though? I mean Matson's only been practicing for two years."

If Chris weren't her friend she would have burst out laughing. She remembered when Chris was just starting out and she had gotten really upset with somebody who doubted her abilities for the same reason. "Dr. Matson is one of the best psychologists we have on staff Chris. You don't have to worry about the quality of Samantha's care."

"I'd like to be there when she meets with Matson," Chris stated firmly.

'Here we go,' Dr. Slavin thought. "I can't allow that Chris. You're emotionally charged by this case, I mean situation. You're too close to it. Matson is good and you know it. Give her the respect she deserves," The doctor insisted.

If looks could kill, certainly Joy Slavin would be dead. "Joy, come on now?"

"No Chris. I won't give in on this. You're emotionally charged by Samantha Daly." Joy stated simply, yet firmly. "Aren't you late for work?" she asked trying to get Chris to leave.

"At least let me be with her when she's taken for the brain scan and MRI. I don't want the restraints put back on her. She responds to me when I'm with her."

For her part Joy was relieved that Chris didn't press her on her assessment that she was too close to the troubled woman. "I'll be sure that she's treated well Chris. I'll do whatever is necessary to keep from using the restraints. I really believe it would be good for you to get out of here for awhile. You need a break. Let us do our job, okay? Come back this afternoon and I'll give you a full report. I give you my word she'll be taken care of properly. In fact, I'll personally oversee her case. I won't assign any other psychiatrist to treat her. I'll be involved each step of the way."

Chris looked up at the doctor appearing as though she were about to cry. 'Chris Polis I wish I knew what was going on with you,' Joy thought with a touch of concern while staring back at her friend. No, she definitely had never seen Chris like this.

"I'll tell Samantha what's going to happen today. Promise that you'll call me if anything changes?" Chris asked looking for reassurance that her friend would contact her if something happened.

"We should be finished with the tests by late this morning. Then I'll have Matson see her right after lunch." Joy stated providing the timeline of events for Chris.

"Okay, so I'll see you about mid-afternoon." Chris said as she turned to leave Joy's office.

"Chris, if you can, try to get some sleep. You're not going to be any good for her if you can't think clearly because you're exhausted."

"Right," Chris said as she closed the door behind her knowing there was no way she would be able to rest until she knew what was going on with the younger woman.

'I really don't like the idea of leaving her alone,' Chris thought as she entered Sam's room to tell her what was going to happen. She looked at the bed and noticed that Sam was turned so she could look out the window and was watching a flock of Canadian Geese fly by. Chris watched as Sam's eyes slowly followed the geese on their way to God only knows where.

"Hey," she said softly as she approached the bed. To her surprise, Sam rolled over to face her upon hearing the simple greeting. While looking into the strawberry blonde's eyes Chris couldn't help but think again that she loved the color green as she reached the edge of the bed and sat down on it. Sam sidled her way closer to Chris but stopped just short of touching her long frame. 'I think she's beginning to trust me,' Chris thought hopefully.

"I was just talking with Dr. Slavin. She's ordered a couple of tests for you. They have to take you to another room to do them so somebody will be coming in to help you. She also wants you to talk with somebody by the name of Dr. Matson while you're here. I'm sorry but I can't be with you while they're running the tests and all. Samantha, I think it's real important that we do what Dr. Slavin advises. She promised me she'd personally watch over things. I trust her Samantha, she's been a good friend to me over the years." Chris hoped her words would put the younger woman at ease.

Sam watched the blue orbs and listened intently to the words coming from the beautiful woman sitting on the edge of the bed. She couldn't bring herself to say anything so instead she took her small hand and wrapped it around the larger one resting on the bed. She slowly brought the hand to her mouth and placed a gentle kiss on it before relinquishing it to its owner.

An unbelievable wave of warmth, care and love filled Chris' entire being at that moment. The simple gesture caused her heart to leap and she realized she had no words to describe how she was feeling. Her smile alone brightened the otherwise dreary room. She leaned over and placed a similar kiss on her Samantha's forehead. 'My Samantha??' "I'll be back this afternoon. Try to eat something while I'm gone okay?" she added after hearing a tiny rumble coming from Sam's belly.

As she got closer to the door Chris could have sworn she heard her name being called. She turned and was relieved when she saw a tiny smile on the strawberry blonde's face. "See you later," she said gently, a smile appearing on her own face, as she left the room.

"See you later," Sam whispered softly back as the door closed.

A few minutes later Dr. Slavin came in holding a chart. She was pleased to see that Sam was sitting up in the bed and not curled up in a ball as she had been when she last left the room. 'Well Chris, it appears as though you're having an effect on her too,' she thought.

"Hi Samantha. I'm Dr. Joy Slavin. I want to run some tests to see how your brain is functioning. Once we get the results we'll be able to determine how we should proceed. Neither of the tests will hurt, but they can be uncomfortable, especially if you're feeling a little anxious. I want to give you something for the anxiety. It'll help you to relax," she finished noticing Sam's reaction at the mention of more medication.

"The effect of the sedative won't last long. Maybe an hour or so. I'm concerned that the tests may cause you discomfort and that you may react in a way that could cause you to harm yourself," she concluded.

Wanting to avoid the restraints being put back on her, Sam reached out for the pill the doctor held. She swallowed it making a face as if it were going to come back up. 'So she doesn't like swallowing pills,' Joy noted knowing that if they prescribed medication Sam would most likely avoid taking it if she could.

At that point an orderly came in with a wheel chair and helped Sam into it. Dr. Slavin hid her smile while thinking it would have been an easier task to get her into the chair if Sam would just let go of the rear of the gown.

The brain scan went without incident but the MRI was a different story. Once inside Sam was told not to move. All of a sudden it had gotten real dark. The air inside the machine was frigid and she imagined that she was barricaded in a cold cave. Her heart was pounding furiously and she wanted to shout out. She felt she had to get out but couldn't move.

When the test was completed and the MRI machine was opened to reveal its lone occupant, Dr. Slavin was taken aback by the sight before her. Sam lay there, fear embedded on her now pale features with tears flowing from her eyes. She was shaking, but not trembling as before. "Chris, CHris, CHRis, CHRISTINA," she cried out.

"Shh, you're okay. You did great Samantha. The test is over and you're fine," Dr. Slavin assured her young patient while looking down and patting her on her shoulder. "Chris will be here this afternoon. Everything is okay. Come on, let's get you back to your room."

Joy Slavin was amazed that for as distraught as Sam was she continued to hold onto the hospital gown. She found that little impulse endearing and chided herself. She couldn't risk getting emotionally involved with this girl so she shook off the feeling. She'd make it a point to call Chris and have her bring something for Sam to wear that didn't reveal her behind every time she got up.

When they got back to the room a tray holding a cheese sandwich, fruit and juice was waiting. Sam's eyes lit up at the sight of the food. It had been almost two days since she had eaten. She hadn't even thought of food until she saw the tray. The psychiatrist told her to take her time eating and she said she would be back in a little while so they could talk then.

Entering the busy State Police Headquarters Chris immediately went to see Al Miller. Al, a tall, well-built middle aged man, had been the head of the crime lab and her supervisor since she started working there a little more than a year ago. "Chris you're three hours late. Where've you been? You were supposed to be at the 8:00 meeting?"

"Look Al, I know this is short notice but I need to take a few days off. Something has come up."

"Not even a good morning or a how are you doing today? You know we've got a tight schedule now with Ascott and Zirling away at that conference," Miller responded sourly.

"I know it's not a good time, but I really need the days off. I haven't taken a day off since I started. I already have three weeks vacation due me, not to mention the personal days and all those holidays I worked. Come on Al, I've never asked you for anything and it's been dead around here lately. Surely you can spare me for a few days. I'll even wear the beeper. If there's an emergency you can call me and I'll come right in." Chris pleaded.

"You'll carry the beeper at all times?" he asked irritably.

"I promise Al. You can reach me at any time."

Seeing the desperation in her eyes Al reluctantly agreed. "Alright, I'll approve it this time Chris. But don't hit me with anymore last minute requests. Just make sure you're back next Wednesday. We need you in court for the Logan case."

"Thanks Al. And I will be back."

As Chris was leaving her supervisor's office she stopped to pick up her messages. Glancing through them she saw that Sarah had called four times. "What the fuck does she want," Chris said as she threw the messages into the wastepaper basket and headed for the squad room to find her brother only to be told he was in court.

Shortly after lunch Joy briefed Emily Matson on the Psych Unit's newest arrival. Dr. Matson was a tall dark skinned African American woman. She had several earrings running around each ear and wore her hair in a short Afro. She received the full briefing including Chris' involvement. "So what you're saying is that Chris is requiring as much attention as Samantha."

"You comprehend things quite well," Joy chuckled as they proceeded to Sam's room.

"Sam, this is Dr. Matson. She is a psychologist on our staff. I would like for you to talk with her for awhile." Joy said noticing the food tray was void of its contents. "Chris should be back by the time you're finished talking."

"What do you want to talk about?" Sam asked in a such a soft tone that it was almost impossible to hear.

"Well, I'd like to hear about you, where you come from, how you ended up here on the Cape. Things like that." Dr. Matson encouraged.

"I come from New York. My parents kicked me out. I got in my car and drove here. End of story." Sam stated bluntly.

'Ah. So she's going to be a toughie. Good. Just what I need. Like Chris Polis' involvement isn't already enough,' Matson thought sarcastically, remembering her last run in with the tall woman over an assessment she had done on somebody charged with assault. "Well, that's a start Sam. Maybe you could tell me more about home."

"I'll leave you two alone for awhile. And Sam, I think it's really important that you try to answer Dr. Matson's questions as completely as possible. We need to find out what's going on in order to help you," Dr. Slavin said mildly admonishing Sam for her curt response before she left the room.

Now alone with her patient, Dr. Matson pressed on. "Tell me about your family, Sam."

"My father is an attorney and my mother, well I don't know what you would say she is. She doesn't work, but she's always involved in something. She's active in church affairs and politics. I also have an older sister Dawn who will be getting married in a few months. She doesn't work either. She's following in my mothers footsteps." It was the most Sam had spoken in at least two days. She leaned over for some water to soothe her dry throat.

"And what kind of work do you do Sam?"

"I don't work either. I dropped out of law school last month. I was supposed to join my fathers firm after graduation. I don't know what I'll do now." Sam said with a hint of sadness in her voice.

"Why did you drop out of school?"

"I couldn't stay there anymore."

"Why not?"

After a minute of silence, Sam's quivering voice spoke words that were filled with pain "I just couldn't. My parents didn't understand. They weren't there," she finished as she turned and stared out of the window. She could see that it would probably rain soon.

"Why did you leave home?" Matson asked.

"I told you. My parents kicked me out," bitterness evident as she spoke.

"Why did they do that?"

"We couldn't agree on how to handle 'the incident'. In the end they won. But they always do," Sam said sounding as though she expected the doctor to know what she was talking about.

"The incident?"

"Yes," was Sam's only response as she began to fidget.

"What was the incident?" Dr. Matson inquired, knowing she was pushing the young woman a little harder than she should.

At that moment Sam got up from the bed and started pacing as sweat appeared on her face. It was evident that the medication was still working because even though the trembling had returned it wasn't nearly as bad as Matson had been told Sam had previously experienced.

"If you don't want to talk about it now it's okay, Sam," the psychologist offered just as Sam's eyes began to dart back and forth across the room. "Actually, I think you've done great today. How about if I come back early this evening and we'll talk more then."

Just as the psychologist was about to leave the room, Sam ran to the bathroom. Everything she had for lunch made a quick exit. 'Okay, so she throws up when she gets upset,' Dr. Matson thought as she waited for the strawberry blonde to finish in the bathroom.

Sam headed right for the bed and lay down when she came out of the bathroom. "I'm sorry. I'm not feeling too good right now. My stomach's a little upset. If we could talk later I'd appreciate it. Maybe I'll be feeling better then."

Dr. Matson couldn't believe that Sam was apologizing to her. 'Damn, is she polite. None of my patients has ever before apologized to me for making them physically sick.' "It's alright Sam. I understand it's difficult for you. You're doing really well. We'll continue later," she said gently before leaving.

Feeling suddenly tired Sam rolled on her side and drifted off to sleep.

The ring of Chris' cell phone startled her out of her deep thoughts. "Hello."

"Chris, hi it's Joy."

"What's wrong? I knew I should have stayed," she shouted excitedly into the phone without giving the head of the psych unit a chance to talk.

"Woah, slow down there. Everything is fine. I'm just calling to ask you to bring some clothes for Sam. She's real self-conscious while wearing the hospital gowns. I guess they reveal more than she's accustomed to."

"Damn Joy, you scared me. Sure, sure." Chris said relieved. "What should I bring? What size is she?"

"Something that would be comfortable and I have no idea what size she is. Give it your best shot. And Chris, hurry the hell up. I promised her you would be here by the time she finishes with Matson. Make sure you stop in to see me first when you get here."

"I'm on my way Joy. I'll be there in about a half an hour," she responded quickly as she made an illegal turn into the shopping center she was just passing.

Chris didn't walk to the department store, she ran. She made her way to the petite women's section and then came to an abrupt stop. 'What the hell do I get her? Something comfortable and something that covers her cute little behind, asshole. That's what you get her.' Chris went to the rack holding flannel shorts. 'Yeah this will do,' she thought as she pulled two pairs off the rack. One was a dark green and the other was the same color as the strawberry blonde's hair. She held the shorts up and examined them. 'They look about the right size.' In a hurry she found two v-neck T-shirts, paid for all of the items and then was on her way.

As she was on her way out of the store, Chris passed by the lingerie area. 'Damn, underwear. I forgot the underwear. Shit, now this is really out of my league. I have never bought underwear for anyone except myself.' Knowing that time was of the essence the forensic psychologist examined some panties and bras, made her selections and finally left the store.

As Chris was heading into the hospital parking lot she saw a State Police car pull into the emergency lane. Luke jumped out of the car and ran towards her, flagging her down. Chris pulled into the first space she saw.

"What's the matter Luke," she asked seeing the concern in his face.

"Chris, I think you should see this. I found it in Samantha's purse when I was looking for the keys to her car. It might explain some things," he said hastily while pulling a yellowed piece of paper from his pocket.

Taking the paper, Chris made a snide comment to him about rifling through women's purses. Her comment had no impact on him. "Just read the damn thing Chris," Luke snapped obviously annoyed with his sister.

After giving her brother what could only be described as a dirty look, Chris unfolded the paper. It was an article from the November 12, 1998 New York Times. The headline read: Coed Found Raped & Murdered, 2nd Victim Refuses to Cooperate." "Oh fuck. Shit. God Luke this is terrible. Any idea what the outcome of the case was."

"Yeah, the guys got off. I called a buddy of mine who's an investigator with the district attorney's office there. Seems there was nobody around to provide testimony when the case finally went to trial. Sam was accused of skipping out at the last minute. They investigated her because the prosecutors thought there might have been a pay-off to keep her from testifying. Everybody who was involved, the victim and the perps came from real prestigious families. The father of one of the accused is a high-ranking member of some prominent religious right organization. Sam's mother is also deeply involved in the same organization. Since the trial had already been delayed several times the judge refused to adjourn it and dropped the charges when they couldn't find Sam. There was a follow-up article in which the victim's family said some really bad things about her. They accused her of being part of a plot to clear the guys who were responsible. My buddy told me that the Daly family made a public display announcing disappointment in their daughter's disappearance. The DA's office, however, thinks her family was behind it. Seems their reputation was being tarnished, although I can't figure that one out. I mean, she was a victim too." Luke finally finished.

Chris appeared dazed by the sudden onslaught of information. "What happened to Samantha?" she asked sounding as though she could barely get the words out.

"My buddy doesn't know for sure. He said they had been trying to get her to open up and tell them what happened, but she would break down when she got closer to describing the actual crime. She refused medical treatment. He said the prosecutors reached a point where they just wanted her to ID the guys. But, as you know, that never happened. Poor kid."

"Listen, um Luke?" Chris stopped, she wasn't able to find the words.

Luke understood. He also felt an unexplained connection to the girl. "If you need anything, anything at all Chris I want you to track me down," he offered, the compassion evident as he addressed his sister. "We'll talk later, okay?" he said as he lightly grabbed Chris' arm. All she could do was nod her head as she turned and headed into the hospital, the article held securely in her hand.

The young woman was sitting at the edge of a large blue lake that was surrounded by tall trees. The birds were singing a song she could not recall ever hearing before. It was beautiful. The sun was beginning to retire for the day and its last rays shining on the strong back of a tall, tanned figure wading in the water. In a flash, a fish landed in her lap. It was wiggling and while she attempted to grab a hold of it the fish was just too slimy and kept skirting her attempts.

"Ew, why did you do that? Get this thing away from me!" she yelled to her tall partner.

The tanned figure came running up to her laughing. She leaned down and removed the fish with ease and then placed a long searing kiss on the full lips of the young woman. When their lips parted, both women were gasping for air. "Come on" the tall woman said guiding her towards the trees.

"Where are we going. I thought you were going to fish for awhile," she said.

"I've already caught what I want," her partner responded while looking down at her seductively.

"You have, hmmm? I only saw one fish. That's enough for me. What are you going to have?" she asked.

Now behind the trees in a grass covered glen, the tanned woman turned to her. Placing long arms around her much smaller frame, she was pulled close to the strong body. A long, deliberate and earth shattering kiss was delivered. When the kiss ended, they laid on the ground, the tall woman consuming her smaller body. She felt the wetness coming from her center as the strong hands roamed her body, loving it as it had never been before.

Suddenly it got very dark and she felt a stinging sensation covering her body. The strong body of the tanned figure was gone. She cried out for the stinging creatures to leave her. Using her hands she swatted furiously to keep any more from attacking and clinging to her skin. It hurt so badly and her skin felt as if it was on fire. Her cries went unheard.

Behind the door, the doctor was pulled from her paperwork by a soft knock. "Come in," she called. When the door opened she was surprised to see Chris. Her tall friend always knocked but she never waited for permission to enter. From the look on her face, Joy Slavin was sure something was terribly wrong.

"Chris, what is it," concern emanating from the head doctor.

"Read this Joy. I think it holds some answers as to what's happened to Samantha," she said gravely handing the article over. When she finished reading it Chris filled her in on the other information her brother had provided.

After a few minutes Joy looked up at her friend. "Chris, I'm so sorry. You know we'll do everything we can to help her. Reaching for the phone she called the nurses' station and asked them to find Dr. Matson. She wanted to fill her in immediately.

"What? I told you I wanted to be notified IMMEDIATELY if there were any changes. Next time, DO IT or I'll have you up on disciplinary charges!" Joy Slavin was enraged as she slammed the phone down.

"Come on Chris. Samantha's in trouble."

The two ran from the office as if their own lives were at stake. Stopping briefly at the nurses' station, the psychiatrist handed the article to a nurse and instructed her to give it to Emily Matson as soon as she arrived on the unit.

Chris burst through the door, with her mentor right behind her. Two hulking orderlies had Sam cornered. Her entire body was trembling furiously. Her small hands were clawing at her arms and face and blood was running down her right cheek. The orderlies were trying to close in on her. As soon as they caught their prey the restraints would be quickly reapplied.

"Get away from her," Chris yelled. The orderlies, ignoring her continued to pursue their target. She repeated her command. One of the orderlies turned to her and in a dismissing tone told her they had things under control.

"If I have to tell you again to get away from her, I will break every bone in your fucking body and rip each of your fingers from your hands. Now, GET OUT OF HERE!" Chris roared. There was no doubt that her threat would be carried out if they continued in their pursuit to capture the helpless young woman who looked like a frightened animal about to be swallowed by giants.

Knowing her friend too well, Dr. Slavin told the orderlies to wait outside. If their assistance was needed they would be called. As the orderlies left, Dr. Matson entered. Sam was still huddled in the corner trembling.

"Get away from me. Get away from me. Don't touch me. Oh God NO!!!!" she gasped her hands working their way up and down her arms leaving behind a trail of red marks some seeping with blood. "Leave her alone, leave her alone, stop it, stop it, get back, get back, " she continued, her arms now swatting the air as they had done during the prior episodes. "It burns, it burns, please stop, oh God PLEASE STOP," she cried out while banging her head on the wall.

Watching the display before her frightened Chris to her core. "Samantha honey, I'm here now," she crooned softly as she slowly made her way to the young woman sitting on the floor. Sam's mouth was moving but no words were coming out. Her entire body was shaking as she wrapped her arms around herself as if they would shield her.

"Samantha, I know you can hear me. Remember I'm here to help you sweetheart. I'll keep you safe. You don't have to be afraid. Look at me Samantha, please," Chris whispered.

Dr's. Slavin and Matson watched quietly as Samantha Daly's trembling body began to relax. They had never seen anything like this. Chris went down on her knees in front of Sam, as she held her own trembling hand out to the young woman and fixed her blue eyes onto green. The room was completely silent and void of any movement, the two psych ward doctors were mesmerized by the sight. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Samantha Daly opened her arms wide for the woman in front of her. She wanted to be rescued. Without hesitation, Christina Polis latched onto the beautiful young woman, who in turn locked her arms around her rescuer's neck. Chris held her close and secure, running her fingers through the disheveled strawberry blonde hair. Nobody would have been able to break their connection.

"I've got you. I've got you" Chris said soothingly as she gently rocked the young woman who had captured her own lonely heart.

"Don't leave me. Please don't leave me again," was the soft request. Only the tall, strong warrior in her dream was able to hear the plea.

Allowing sufficient time for the intensity of the moment to dissipate, Joy Slavin once again took charge. "Chris, how about helping Samantha to the bed. I'd like for someone to come in and check her injuries. Those scratches should be cleaned and I want to have the cut on her head checked too. There's some blood in her hair by her left temple." With that, Joy Slavin left the room to arrange for one of the general practitioners to come in and examine Sam.

Chris, still cradling Sam, clutched her tighter as she lifted the young woman to her feet. Chris realized Sam would not release her hold around her neck, so with great ease, she bent down and putting her arm behind Sam's knees lifted her completely off the floor and with a grace only she possessed took Sam to the bed. She gently lowered her onto the soft mattress.

"Samantha, I need you to let go now. I promise I won't go anywhere. You've injured yourself and Dr. Slavin is going to have somebody come in to check you."

The back of Chris' polo shirt suddenly felt wet. She knew its source immediately. Using her own hands, she took hold of the smaller ones planted around her neck and pulled them apart. When she brought them around she didn't let them go immediately. She didn't want Sam's fears to resurface.

"Hey," Chris finally said looking into the shattered green eyes. With the softest of smiles on her face she released one hand so she could bring her own up to stroke her love's face. 'Samantha Daly, I think I'm falling in love with you,' came the surprised thought as she wiped away the tears and gently coaxed the young woman to lay down and rest for awhile.

Dr. Matson left the room without uttering a word.

When Joy Slavin returned she had the attending physician with her. He was a short round man with a receding hairline. Even though he had severe features he approached Sam with a brilliant smile. He appeared to be in his mid-forties.

"Hello Ms. Daly. I'm Dr. Simon. I'm just going to have a look at your scratches and then I'll be on my way. " He knew the intensity of the situation having been quickly briefed by Dr. Slavin.

Without realizing it, Chris held even more firmly onto the small woman's hand. She hadn't released it since the episode. "Excuse me, Dr. Polis. I'll just be a minute," Dr. Simon said firmly as he nudged his way between Sam and the somber looking forensic psychologist. Chris raised an eyebrow at the intrusion then released the small hand that had melted into her own.

"I'm not going anywhere Samantha. The doctor is going to examine you now," she said reassuringly, backing away just enough for the chunky doctor to have enough space to do his examination.

Dr. Simon was quick and efficient. He labored on the one cut just above Sam's left temple before pronouncing it superficial. He announced that all that was needed was for the cuts to be cleaned, otherwise he felt that his young patient would be fine.

Before leaving the room he leaned over to whisper in Chris' ear "you may want to consider cutting her nails for the time being." Chris looked at him as though he had grown horns, then glanced down at the nails that adorned the small hands.

Nurse James was the next to enter the room. Immediately upon seeing her, Chris' face turned from its stoic look to its menacing one. The look did not go unnoticed by the nurse nor Dr. Slavin who took in the scene. "I'm just going to clean the wounds and then I'll be out of here," the nurse said, confused by the special attention this troublesome patient was receiving. Nurse James was disturbed by her boss' angry response when she had learned that this patient was experiencing an episode and being attended to by orderlies. She didn't like the threat of disciplinary charges being lodged.

Upon finishing her task of cleaning the wounds and updating the hospital chart that hung at the end of the bed the nurse turned to leave. The psychiatrist stopped the woman and ordered some medication for Sam. She told the nurse to bring it promptly. 'I'll have to smooth her feathers later,' Joy Slavin thought reluctantly but acknowledged to herself that the head nurse really was good at her job.

An aide returned a few minutes later carrying a tray with a syringe and a small bottle. As quickly as he deposited the tray on the small oak finished table sitting next to the bed he left.

While Chris resumed her position sitting on the edge of the bed holding the small hand, Dr. Slavin moved to the tray. She picked up the bottle and examined the label, a habit she had acquired years ago when a fellow psychiatrist administered the wrong medication after it had been inadvertently substituted for the one prescribed. After looking at the label, she sat the bottle back down on the tray.

"Sam, I'm going to give you something to keep any infection from developing," she lied. "Some of the scratches are deep and they look inflamed. I want to make sure they don't get worse," she finished looking into the green eyes that stared back at her. "Just roll over a little for me, okay?" the doctor stated holding the syringe to the bottle and pushing its needle into the rubber that capped it.

Not surprisingly, the small woman held onto the gown as she rolled slightly to her left. The doctor, using little force pushed aside the hand holding the gown and found her mark on the buttocks. Within minutes, Samantha Daly was sleeping peacefully.

"Let's go to my office to talk things over Chris. She's going to be asleep for a few hours so you can leave her for awhile," Joy said. Not seeing any movement she added, "Because she doesn't have insurance, I have orders to move her to the state hospital by tomorrow. That doesn't give us much time to figure things out."

Looking out the same window Sam had earlier, Chris noticed the sun was now covered by thick dark clouds. 'It's going to rain soon,' she thought as she followed the doctor from the room, stopping for one last look at the small wonder snoring softly, oblivious to the happenings of the moment.

As they were walking down the hallway heading to Joy Slavin's office, a medium sized woman with curly dirty blonde hair could be seen coming in their direction. In her hand was a bouquet of red roses with a sprinkling of baby's breath mingled in.

Chris stopped dead in her tracks. "I can't believe this," she said to herself. As the woman approached, the menacing look reappeared on Chris' face.

"Dr. Polis, so good to see you again," Eppie said her words dripping with sarcasm.

"What are you doing here, Eppie?" the tall ebony-haired woman asked in a threatening tone.

"I was worried about Sam. I figured this was the only hospital around so I inquired and, sure enough, here she is." The shorter woman responded with a smirk appearing on her face.

"She's not seeing visitors now," Chris responded through clenched teeth.

"Oh no? When I called I wasn't told about any restrictions."

As Chris was about to move towards the shorter woman Joy stepped in. "Chris, go on to my office. I'll explain things to? Eppie was it?"

Chris darted her eyes back and forth between the two women. This was the last thing she needed. "Stay? away?. from her," she snarled before moving away.

"Eppie, Sam is sleeping now. She's had a rough time of it lately. She needs rest and shouldn't be disturbed. I'm sorry we didn't notify the hospital registry that no visitors were permitted. It really is in her best interests."

"When do you think I can see her?" Eppie inquired.

"I don't know for sure. How about calling the registry tomorrow. I'll see to it we have updated information to them."

"Thank you doctor. I'll do that. Is she going to be okay?"

If Chris Polis had anything to do with it she would be and since Chris was involved, Joy put a small smile on her face "yeah, I think she will," then with more confidence repeated her response.

"Can I leave the flowers for her?"

"Drop them off at the nurses' station. It's just down the hall to your right. One of the nurses will be sure to give them to Sam when she wakes up."

Following the doctor's instructions, Eppie left the flowers at the nurses' station. She had no idea that the cute strawberry blonde she had been dreaming about was soundly sleeping in the room right next to the nurses' desk.

When she entered her office Chris was sitting on the sofa. Her elbows were firmly planted on her knees and her head was tucked between her large hands. Taking a deep breath, Dr. Slavin sat down next to her much taller friend.

"Chris, I think there's been some real progress today," Joy offered just as a clap of thunder was heard off in the distance. "We now know that Sam experienced a trauma and she's probably having flashbacks. We just have to find out more about what happened to her to understand what's going on in her head."

At that moment Chris turned her head to face the psychiatrist. This time it wasn't just a single tear. Chris was actually sobbing. 'Damn you Chris Polis. Why did this have to happen on my tour of duty? You must have at least a half dozen friends who are shrinks and you had to end up here. Talk about fate,' the psychiatrist thought while shaking her head and reaching around the muscular shoulders of her friend hoping to some how comfort her.

When Dr. Emily Matson entered the office she was not surprised to see the head of the psychiatric unit consoling Chris Polis. Surely Chris was in a lot of pain. The question as to why she was so engrossed in this case would probably never be known. All the tall African American woman knew was that they had to act quickly. If Sam ended up in a state hospital she would never come out of it without some long lasting effects.

"Listen, I?um?was just at the hospital library and went onto the Internet to search for all the articles on the crime that Sam witnessed. In one of the articles it said that Sam and the victim, Patricia Logan, had grown up together in Westchester County in New York. They were best friends. They both ended up at Yale and shared an apartment off campus. The police were called after one of the tenants heard screaming coming from their apartment. When the cops arrived, they found Sam in a closet. She was covered in some kind of substance. Patricia Logan, as you both know was dead. It was described as a real heinous crime."

"What are you getting at Emily?" Joy Slavin asked confused by the psychologist's need to research the crime.

"I want you to release Sam to Chris and not send her to the state hospital. I think that I can help her. I can see her in my private practice since I have sufficient time in my schedule for her and money isn't an issue for me so I'm not concerned about the insurance," Matson put simply.

"And how do you think I can possibly release her to Chris, hmm? She doesn't even have a home address anymore. Given the nature of the crime I don't think Sam would feel safe at Chris' brother's house," Joy said shocked that the respected psychologist would even consider such an arrangement.

"Well then, we'll have to work on that. We have, what? until eleven tomorrow morning to find her a nice little cottage somewhere? Chris, are you in?" Emily asked.

Chris looked up, a hint of encouragement in her blue eyes. It was clear that Emily Matson had a plan. "Where's the cottage Em?"

"It's about seven miles from here up Route Six. It faces the bay, right across from the dunes. The women who own the place are expecting you. I told them you would be there in about an hour. It's a little expensive since it's on the water, but real nice. I think you and Sam would like it," she concluded trying to hide a satisfied smirk at Chris' jumping so quickly for her solution to this dilemma. She handed Chris a small post-it with the address written on it.

"Joy, will you release her to me?" Chris pleaded nervously, knowing that in order for her friend to do so she would have to alter the medical records to make it appear as though Sam's condition had stabilized and that she was no longer in danger of causing injury to herself.

This was so against everything she had been taught. 'If the board ever learns I'm doing this they'll have me bounced out of here so fast,' Joy thought. Just as quickly as the thought came, so did the response, "Yeah, I'm with you. But you need to agree to keep her medicated until the episodes cease. And I mean CEASE, not subside. She doesn't like the medication so you have to be firm with her about taking it. And of course, she'll also have to agree to be released to you."

Chris leaped up off the sofa. "Thanks Em, thanks Joy," she said happily to both as she gave them each a hearty bear hug. "Joy, she'll do everything you want her to do. I won't give her any options with the medication. I promise. I'm going to have a look at that cottage. I'll be back before you know it." Chris left the office, this time with a little bounce in her walk.

Joy Slavin and Emily Matson could only look at each other. "I hope you know what you're doing here, Em. Both of us will be without jobs and our licenses if the shit hits the fan with this case."

"I know Joy. I know," Matson agreed before leaving the office and heading back to the library. In her effort to know everything about the crime, she would leave no stone unturned. 'Maybe I'll call my friend at Yale. Certainly there must have been a lot of rumors circulating about this crime.'

She was back in the glen. Her warrior had returned and was again laying on top of her. The nice tingling feeling had replaced the burning creatures. Their clothes were thrown a few yards away as they eagerly worked to possess each other for the first time. The hands of the warrior, although callused, felt like cool velvet on her skin as they moved with grace along the inside of her thigh eventually finding their way to the golden curls protecting her wet center.

Sam let out a small murmur enjoying the attention as Chris placed light kisses along her neck and the hollow of her throat. The tall woman's fingers sought entry into the wet alcove between her love's legs, her thumb stopping to play with the nub hardening at the insistent attention it was receiving. Sam had never been loved like this before.

As her fingers pushed aside the soft silky folds to travel deeper within, Chris' mouth captured a pink nipple. She gently nibbled the hardened point with her teeth and caressed it with her hungry tongue, giving the nipple her full attention before capturing it completely it in her mouth. The nipple and as much of the full firm breast she could consume were conquered by her warm mouth. Having taken more than her share of the milky white treat, Chris left it and proceeded on to its twin.

"Please?" Sam panted not sure she would be able to contain herself much longer.

At hearing the plea, Chris pushed her finger further in the warm wet opening. She stopped when she hit resistance. "Samantha" she purred into her love's ear, before nibbling it as well. She continued to torture the hardened nub while she spoke.

"Samantha, what do you want," the sultry voice asked, not wanting to break the shield without permission.

"I want you to love me? completely," the sweet voice answered while struggling to bring air into herself.

Chris was now rubbing her own center along the fit thigh of the strawberry blonde. At the sound of the sweet voice, her own center rejoiced, releasing its nectar that painted the thigh it languished on.

"I do love you Samantha Daly, completely," Chris said as she pushed her finger through the shield to reach the deepest depths of her love.

Sam cried out. She felt a sharp pain at the shattering of the shield and then she was filled with the most delightful feeling. The long finger of her lover was soon joined by another and together they slowly moved in and out. She was unable to stop the moaning that came from deep within. She felt herself wanting to hold onto the smooth fingers that filled her but was unable to fully capture them.

"Oh, God. Oh God" she panted.

In and out, in and out. In???

"OHHHHH?..OHHHHH??.CHRISTINAAAA!!!!!!!" she cried out as a tremendous climax shook her entire being and took her to a place she had never been..

The cottage was perfect. It had two bedrooms, a small living room with a picture window that faced the bay, and a medium-sized eat in kitchen. Surrounding the cottage was a small wrap around porch with a set of stairs that led down to the sandy bay beach and another set on the side that led to the driveway. It was tucked away off the main highway and concealed by tall grasses. You could smell the ocean air and hear the fog horns of the fishing vessels as they returned with their catch to dock for evening.

The two women who owned the cottage also owned a successful arts and crafts store in town. They were older than Chris, Helen appeared to be in her early fifties and the other, Noreen was approaching sixty. Both had hair streaked with gray and except for a few laugh lines, their faces were devoid of wrinkles. They both wore baggy jeans and flannel shirts and their feet were protected only by flip-flops. One of the women wore a straw hat on her head, while the other wore a Boston Red Sox baseball cap. Their left hands bore evidence of their partnership, as did their eyes. It appeared as though they could see the other's soul when they looked at one another.

After doing some quick calculations in her head to make sure she could afford the place, Chris informed the two women she would take the cottage. The fact that it came fully furnished, made her decision easier as she was by no means in the mood, nor would she ever be, to shop for furniture. She handed over a check that totaled the first and last months rent plus one month's security deposit. In return she was given a set of keys to the place.

"Emily informed us a little about your situation with Ms. Daly," Helen informed her. "I want to assure you that you have complete privacy here. Aside from the postal carrier who comes as far as the end of the drive, nobody comes down this way. If you need anything, please do not hesitate to call us," she finished as Noreen moved to her side and locked arms with her partner.

"Thank you," Chris said gratefully after taking in every word the woman spoke. "I'm sure that things will work out in the end. I appreciate you both offering us the cottage on such short notice. It will be a rocky road, but the comfort and solitude this place has to offer should help us." Chris spoke as though she and Sam were partners like the two owners.

After the women left, Chris took one last look around the place. She was actually feeling giddy. As she went to close the cottage door behind her to return to the hospital, she stopped to turn on the porch light. Backing out of the long sandy driveway she took one final glance at the little cottage. "Home" she said out loud and then sped away in the direction of the hospital.

"I think we should tell her what we know," Emily was saying to Dr. Slavin as Chris entered the office. Joy did take note that her friend did not wait for permission to enter this time.

"Hey, what's going on?" Chris asked sounding more up beat than when she left.

"We're talking about how to proceed with Sam. Emily wants us to be right up front with her and take it from there. I'm not sure that I agree," the psychiatrist said cautiously.

"Joy, you know how many of these cases turn out. The victims are so traumatized they never return to a real productive and happy life. They're always looking over their shoulders waiting for the next asshole to come along. They trust no one. I think we have a good chance of helping Samantha. We already know so much, probably even more than she remembers now. We can guide her through the pain and Chris will be there to support her. By the way, how was the cottage?" Emily Matson asked, more so see if her tall colleague was listening, then to gather any real information.

"Great, Great. I got the keys. We can move in as soon as Samantha is released," Chris said somewhat confused that the question had been asked at just that moment.

"Actually, I think you should move in tonight," Joy interjected with authority. "You have got to get some sleep Christina. She's going to be a handful when she's released and you know it. My guess, from the little bits of her personality I've already seen is that she's a handful even when she's not sick," the psychiatrist said.

Chris raised both dark thin eyebrows at the comment. "I thought I would stay with her tonight and then take her home in the morning" she said evenly.

Both of the psych unit doctors looked at each other when Chris finished. "Home?" Emily Matson mouthed to Joy Slavin when their tall friend wasn't looking, and the two smiled.

Just at that moment, the buzzer sounded on Dr. Slavin's phone. "I'm on my way," she replied sharply to the person on the other end.

"I have to check on Sam," she said hanging up the phone and moving to the door.

As the three women entered the room they expected to find Sam huddled in a corner again. Instead she was sitting straight up in the bed, gasping for air. A fine sheen of sweat could be seen on her face. The front of her gray hospital gown was wrinkled appearing as though it had been clutched in a firm grip. Around the area just hiding the beautiful breasts, and where the cleavage was seen, perspiration also appeared.

The blanket on the bed was in a position where it revealed the gown had worked its way up around the strawberry blonde's waist. Upon closer inspection, Chris caught a glimpse of the soft, sunny colored curls that concealed the young woman's precious center.

Chris immediately went to the bed and pulled the blanket into position. "Hey Samantha," she said softly, as she leaned over to reach for a glass of water, her breasts brushing up against the young woman along the way. Her mouth was suddenly very dry.

"Christina," came the husky response.

"I'm right here baby. What do you need?"

Trying to control her breathing, Sam asked to go to the bathroom. Suddenly her bladder felt very full and something was dripping between her legs. She needed to get to the bathroom before there was another accident.

"Chris, why don't you help Sam freshen up a bit. She might even want to change into something more comfortable," Dr. Matson offered. "When you're finished I think some dinner would be in order and then we could talk about tomorrow."

"Tomorrow? What's going to happen tomorrow?" Sam demanded, not missing a word the good doctor said.

Ignoring Sam, Chris jumped in "I think it would be good to freshen up. Dr. Slavin do you think the hospital could spare two dinners tonight? I'd like to dine with Ms. Daly this evening and talk with her about our plans for tomorrow. Hopefully," she said now gazing deeply into the green orbs "Ms. Daly will be in agreement."

Samantha was captured by the blue sea now looking at her, taking over her soul. Clearing her throat, she said "Um?I would like to freshen up now, if you don't mind doctors," she said looking directly at Slavin and then at Matson. "I'm sure Dr. Polis can fill me in over dinner," Sam finished sounding as though she were arranging a business dinner.

Drs. Slavin and Matson looked at each other then to Chris Polis who simply shrugged. There was definitely a smile behind those blue eyes. 'You'll get yours someday Polis,' Matson thought, then offered "Well then, I guess we all understand each other, don't we now?" There was no doubt in her mind who the boss was going to be in this relationship when it finally found its course. "Ms. Daly, if it's alright with you, I would like to check in a little later. Just in case you have any questions."

"That would be fine Doctor," Samantha Daly replied, sounding more like her mother, although she would never admit to it.

Chris released a snort at that moment, then cleared her own throat.

Before long the two doctors departed the room leaving Chris and Sam alone. It was the most coherent the long ebony-haired woman had seen the strawberry blonde. She found the small woman's response to Matson endearing. 'Hmpf, damn is she bossy, but nobody can top me' Chris thought while helping the smaller woman to the bathroom.

"This is just too funny," Emily Matson laughed so hard the tears were running down her cheeks.

"Em, come on, try to control yourself" Joy chided her. "This is really serious you know."

"I know it is Joy. I'm not laughing at Samantha Daly or her situation. But come on now Joy, you saw it yourself. That cute, little, sweet thing, politely and firmly told us ALL, how things were going to go down tonight."

"Did you see the look on Polis' face," Joy Slavin was now laughing herself.

"Oh yeah, I saw it alright. But you told her before she would have her hands full. I can't wait to see how this unfolds. When these two get together, and I mean really get together, it's going to be a battle of wills" Emily finally ended.

"Come on let's get some dinner," Joy suggested, knowing that it was going to be a long night.

"You know I'm more than capable of going to the bathroom on my own," Sam pointed out to Chris.

"I'm sure you are but because of the medication they've been giving you it's good to have somebody around in case you get dizzy or something."

"Or something?"

"You know, light headed, tired. It's common for people to have those reactions." Chris responded, feeling a little nervous all of a sudden as she led Sam to the toilet and again helped her to sit.

"Um, I really can't go with you standing there," Sam said conjuring up her sweetest voice.

"Okay, I'll um?, I'll turn my back how's that? And I'll run the shower water too. That way I won't hear you." Chris could not believe she was having this conversation. When she had to go, she didn't care who was in earshot.

"Would you mind if I took a quick shower since you're going to be running the water any way," the strawberry blonde asked.

"Sure you can. I?um?brought you some shorts and a T-shirt to wear. I thought you would be more comfortable wearing them instead of that gown," Chris offered while adjusting the shower water.

"You can make the water on the cool side," Sam said while removing the hospital gown. She was hoping the cooler water would help stem the flow still coming from her center after her dream.

"No problem. I?think it's?about?perfect?right now" Chris stuttered as she turned to see the most glorious vision she had ever laid her eyes on.

The two gazed at each other for mere seconds. Samantha pulled her arms up to cover her full breasts while Chris turned her head quickly in the direction of the shower. Her arm and the right side of her head was saturated from playing with the nozzle to adjust the water.

Clearing her throat Chris moved away from the shower, keeping her back to the beautiful woman. "You can go in now. I'll?um?just wait over here by the sink. When you're finished let me know and I'll hand you a towel," she ended. As a blush crept up her neck, she could have sworn she heard giggling coming from behind the shower curtain.

"Thank you," came the soft response.

"You're welcome," was returned in a deep sultry tone as the forensic psychologist tried to remember how many times she had said 'um' during her last conversation with the beautiful young woman.

Back in the room, Sam devoured her meal. Chris gladly handed her share over thinking it not fit for human consumption. "When was the last time you ate something?" Sam asked.

Thinking for a minute, Chris realized she couldn't answer the question because she didn't remember. "I'm not really all that hungry. You go ahead and finish it up. It'd be a shame for it to go to waste," she lied, not exactly being truthful about the food going to waste.

Having consumed enough to hold her over for a little while, Sam finally found the courage to ask what was going to happen tomorrow.

Chris was now sitting on the edge of the bed where the woman she was falling in love with was reclining on a couple of pillows. "Samantha, your parents cancelled your medical insurance so the rules of this hospital are that you be transferred to the state hospital." Fear appeared on the young woman's face in an instance. Chris quickly took hold of a small hand to try to calm her. She looked into the deep dark green and began again.

"Instead of going to the state hospital, I was hoping that you would allow me to take care of you. You would have to sign some papers authorizing the doctors to release you to me. And Dr. Matson has agreed to continue treating you in her private practice. I got us a cottage, it's small but it's nice and?"

A small hand found its way to Chris' cheek. "Why are you doing this?"

"I care about you. I know it's hard to believe but I feel as though I've known you for a lifetime. I promise I will never hurt you. You know, my brother convinced me to come and see you. He was worried about you. Now I understand why. You are an angel," she finished while touching the hand on her cheek.

"I'm not an angel, that's for sure, just ask my parents."

"I don't care about your parents. I only care about you. And in my eyes you are an angel," Chris said sincerely, staring deeply into her eyes as she brought the small hand around to her mouth and placed a kiss on it.

Tears could be seen in Samantha's eyes "Nobody has ever cared about me, including my family," she said sadly, holding back the sobs that were about to break through a weakening dam.

"Then they are fools Samantha Daly," Chris said softly as her blue orbs attached onto brilliant green ones.

Upon hearing the love in those words, Sam leaned over and kissed the welcoming red lips of the tall, tanned woman. While it started as a simple kiss it quickly grew in its intensity. The tongue of the younger woman sought entrance and was allowed in to explore the mouth of her rescuer. The two tongues danced for minutes until the forensic psychologist took the lead and sought out the mouth of the strawberry blonde. When the kiss ended, only their mouths parted. The two sat there still gazing into the others eyes, foreheads meeting and holding the connection. Both had smiles on their faces.

"Hm. Hm," Dr. Slavin cleared her throat to announce that there were others now in the room.

Chris lightly stroked the younger woman's face before pulling back to look at the doctors. "Dr. Slavin. Dr. Matson. I believe that Samantha has agreed to be released to me."

"We see," Dr. Matson noted, her arms folded in the front of her body.

"And have you told Samantha about the conditions of her being released to you?" Joy Slavin asked.

"She knows that Dr. Matson has agreed to see her in her private practice. I was about to explain the other condition when you arrived," Chris responded looking a little guilty.

"I bet you were." Matson jumped in.

"Sam, you're experiencing some flashbacks that are causing you to injure yourself. All of the tests that we have run indicate that there is nothing physically wrong with you." Dr. Slavin explained. "We can control your reactions to the flashbacks with medication while you work with Dr. Matson on dealing with whatever it is that has caused you to be here. I can't release you to Chris unless you agree to take the medication, starting now." Slavin finally finished holding the medication in her hand.

"But the medication makes me tired," Sam argued.

"I know it does, but it's necessary," Slavin insisted.

"Sweetheart, listen to me, please. You only have to take the pills for a little while. Once we figure out what's going on, then you can stop taking them. But for now, I think it's important," Chris pleaded with Sam. The forensic psychologist knew that if Joy had any doubts about Sam taking the medication she would not allow the plan to be carried out.

Sam held out her hand to receive the medication. She looked at the tiny pink pill sitting in her palm for several seconds before placing it in her mouth and washing it down with a glass of water Chris had provided.

"What time do I leave tomorrow," she asked in a childlike voice.

"You'll be released as soon as the attorney comes in the morning and you sign the paperwork. It will probably be before eleven," Dr. Slavin replied in a businesslike tone.

"Thank you," came the small response. Sam laid herself down on the bed and rolled over. The tears began their departure and the two psych ward doctors chose that moment to leave.

"Samantha, I know this is hard for you honey," Chris said gently while rubbing the young woman's back. She could feel the vibration of the sobs against her hand. "I'll be with you the entire time. Please remember that." The rescuer leaned over and kissed the exposed cheek of the strawberry blonde. "Sweet dreams, Samantha."

A short while later Samantha Daly was sound asleep. Chris prayed to whatever God was out there to keep the demons away this night. She couldn't stand the thought of her love being sent to the state hospital.

________________________________________________________________________

"Oh, no," Joy Slavin said as she and Emily Matson stood at the nurses' station.

"What's wrong?" Emily asked.

"The woman coming down the hall is Sarah Josephs. She and Chris lived together for several years until yesterday. Sarah kicked her out."

"Et oh," was all the tall African American could get out of her mouth.

"Joy, hello. I understand that Chris has been here at the hospital. I've been leaving messages for her at her office but haven't heard from her. Could you tell me where I can find her?" Sarah asked.

Joy had come to know Sarah quite well. She didn't particularly care for the woman, but since Chris was her friend she tolerated her. It was obvious that Sarah had been crying.

"She's with a patient now Sarah. If you want you can wait for her in the consulting practitioners' office. We'll let her know you're here and as soon as she finishes I'm sure she'll come in to see you," Joy offered cordially.

"Thank you, I'd appreciate that," she agreed as she headed towards the office.

"Joy, why don't you go on to your office and try to get some rest. It's been a long 24 hours and chances are it's going to get worse before it gets better," Emily suggested. "I'll let Chris know about her unexpected visitor."

"What unexpected visitor? Samantha is asleep so I thought I would stretch my legs," Chris chimed in.

"Who is Samantha?"

They all turned in unison to see Sarah standing there, looking every bit the part of the jilted lover.

"What are you doing here Sarah?" Chris asked.

"I left several messages for you this morning. When I called this afternoon I was assured you got the messages. When I didn't hear from you I got worried so I called Luke. He told me I would probably find you here."

"He did, did he? Well Sarah, I'm sorry you made the trip down here for nothing. I'm fine, so there is no need to worry."

"I would like to speak with you in private, Chris. Just for a few minutes, please," Sarah asked hoping the two doctors would get the message and find something else to do.

"Why don't you two use the consulting practitioners' office," Joy jumped in, not wanting there to be a scene in the hallway.

"There is no need for an office. Sarah, I don't have anything to discuss with you. I believe we both said it all the other night." Chris said sharply as the veins started to appear on the sides of her neck.

"You can't even offer me a simple explanation for the other night?" Sarah shot back.

"Nothing is simple with you Sarah. Now, I've got to get back to Samantha."

"You didn't answer me before. Who is Samantha?" she persisted.

Chris spun around and looked right into Sarah "Somebody I care deeply for, somebody I think I love."

"I see," was all Sarah could say. She turned and quietly walked the length of hall to the elevators. It almost appeared as though she were walking to the death chamber. "I hope some day you're happy Chris. I only wish that it could have been me who brought it to you. God knows I tried," she said as she got on the elevator and left.

"Damn," was all Chris said shaking her head as she went back to Samantha's room.

Sam awoke about six in the morning. It had been the first dreamless sleep she had in days. When she awoke the sun was just beginning its own awakening. Its rays were coming through the window and settling on the long back of her rescuer where Chris had fallen asleep. While the bottom half of her tall frame was nestled in the uncomfortable chair, the other half was sprawled across the foot of the bed. Her long hair had fallen to cover her tanned, well-defined face.

Sam sat for several minutes taking in the scene before her. Even though she had only known this beautiful woman for a short while, it felt like she had fallen in love. Chris had told her she felt like she knew her for a lifetime. The strawberry blonde sensed the same about her. 'I think I love you,' she admitted to herself.

Trying not to wake the beautiful woman, Sam slowly moved her legs to the side of the bed so she could get up and go to the bathroom. It would be her first opportunity to walk on her own since being brought to the hospital. As she stood on solid ground her legs felt a little wobbly, and her head was a bit light, but otherwise she was okay.

Just as she was about to take her first full step a deep, commanding voice was heard. "Where do you think you're going," the taller woman asked as she rose to a full sitting position and extended her long arm blocking the path.

"I'm just going to use the bathroom. That's all. I feel fine. Please, can't I at least go to the bathroom on my own?" she begged.

"No," was the quick response.

"You're treating me like a child. There's nothing wrong with my legs. I'm more than capable of going by myself." Her voice was lifting to a higher pitch and her bottom lip was giving hints that major pouting would be next.

Chris ignored the display and in no uncertain terms responded. "I said NO, and I mean it. When we get home and have had some time to see how you adjust to the medication then we'll talk about it. But for now, the answer is NO."

"I can't believe that I'm not even allowed to have five minutes to myself. That's all I want."

"No."

An hour later Joy Slavin entered the silent room. Chris was sitting in the chair and had her foot propped up on the bottom drawer of the small cabinet that she had pulled out just for that purpose. Sam was sitting in the bed and was surrounded by little frogs she had made out of paper. The breakfast tray still held one cold portion of food.

"Good morning" she said brightly receiving no response.

"Did I miss something?" she asked as she observed the pouting strawberry blonde and the stoic forensic psychologist.

"Dr. Slavin, I need your opinion on something," Sam stated assertively. "Christina thinks she has to follow me everywhere I go, including the bathroom."

"I see," Dr. Slavin said evenly as she moved towards Sam, the young woman's morning dose of medication clearly in her hand.

The assertive look on Sam's face quickly gave way to a scowl. She knew what would happen when she took the pill.

"I want to discuss what will happen this morning. The attorney will be here in a half an hour to have you sign the papers authorizing Chris to serve as your primary caretaker. It's called a healthcare proxy and means that if you are not able to make decisions regarding your health then Chris is authorized to make them for you. The attorney will file the papers with the court so if anyone should challenge Chris' decisions you'll both be protected. Do you understand so far?"

"Yes," came the tiny response. The pill sitting in the palm of her hand waiting to be consumed.

"My only concern with this Sam, is that you won't take your medication like you're supposed to. There's only so much Chris can do to care for you. I know you don't like it but you must take the pills. Over time, and I don't expect it to be too long, the effects that you feel now won't be nearly as bad. Now, please take that pill," Dr. Slavin insisted.

Chris looked up at that moment and watched Sam as she stared at the pill for a brief moment before finally putting it in her mouth and swallowing. She got up from her chair and moved towards the bed so she could be closer to Sam. Chris felt a knot in her stomach every time the small woman was required to take the medication.

"Okay, now," Joy said crisply. "Chris I need you to go to the hospital pharmacy and get this prescription filled. I've written it for a week's supply. Samantha, you need to take three tablets a day. Do not miss any doses. The first few days you'll probably be napping a lot, but like I said before, the effects will gradually lessen.

"And Chris, let Sam have a little privacy," the doctor scolded. Chris' eyebrows of course, rising above her bangs on the last instruction.

"Your first appointment with Dr. Matson will be this afternoon at three in her private practice office. Oh, and Chris, the sessions will be private so you find something else to do during them. I believe that covers everything. Do either of you have any questions?"

A duet of no's was the response.

At exactly eleven, Christina Polis and Samantha Daly were leaving the hospital. The younger woman was dressed in a pair of baggy white sweat pants provided by a nurse and one of the v-neck t-shirts that Chris had purchased the day before. Her feet were covered in a pair of hospital issued slippers. Glancing down at her younger charge, Chris noted that Sam kept clutching the sweats to keep them up. 'They must really be uncomfortable,' she thought laughingly.

"I made arrangements for my brother to drop your things off at the cottage this morning," Chris offered brightly.

"Thank God," came the grateful response that was then followed by a yawn.

When they reached the big Ford, Sam eyed it for awhile before climbing in. "You know, I've seen these before but don't remember them being so high off the ground."

"I got the larger wheels on this one, that's probably why."

"Why'd you get bigger wheels?"

Thinking for a minute Chris admitted, "I don't know."

"Well you must have thought they would serve some purpose," Sam persisted as the tall woman pulled out onto the highway.

"Nope, I just wanted them."

"Hmpf."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Chris asked.

"I don't know. It seems silly to put bigger wheels on a car this size if there isn't a reason. I mean you're already tall enough, and then you go and put these monster wheels on and you're like, I don't know, a giant on wheels," she chuckled.

Looking down at her passenger from the corner of her eye, Chris smiled. It was the first time she had heard the strawberry blonde chuckle. 'She is so cute,' she thought happily.

"And what kind of car do you drive?" the tall woman asked noticing Sam's eyelids getting heavier as they continued down the highway.

"A VW," the younger woman said between yawns.

"VW? Why a VW?" Chris would never have chosen a VW as her vehicle. Nope, she was strictly into the SUV's.

"I always wanted a Bug, so a few months ago I bought one. It's a turbo," she added hoping that might impress her caretaker.

"I see," Chris said.

"You don't like turbo's?"

"Turbo is good Samantha." That's about the only thing the tall tanned woman could say was good about it - in her opinion.

After a short while, Chris turned left off the highway and followed a narrow sandy driveway for a short distance until the cottage came into view. It looked even smaller in full daylight. She noted the porch light was still on.

Sam's eyes lit up upon seeing the small bungalow. "Christina," she whispered "it's so adorable."

'Adorable? I can't believe I'm moving into a place described as adorable' she thought as she pulled alongside the cottage.

As soon as the Expedition came to a stop, Sam was out of it. Chris watched as she ran to the porch of the cottage. Her heart went into her throat as Sam stumbled on the steps and quickly went into a sitting position with her hands holding her head.

Chris was by her side in an instant. "Samantha, what's wrong?"

"I got dizzy. Damn!" she said.

"It's okay, just sit for a minute until you get your bearings." Chris instructed in her sultry voice. "Hey look, there's some boats heading out. I wonder where they're going?" she said trying to pull Sam out of her sudden depression.

Slowly Sam turned around to view the parade of small vessels. She was leaning up against Chris who was now sitting on the step next to her.

"Do you like boating Samantha?"

"Don't know. I've never been on one."

"Not even a row boat, or a canoe?" Chris asked somewhat perplexed that someone could go through life and never have been on a boat.

"No, never," the strawberry blonde answered with another longer yawn, her head now resting on the shoulder of her caretaker.

"I'll tell you what. As soon as you're feeling up to it we'll go on a whale watch. How does that sound? Hmm?"

No response.

Looking down, Chris couldn't help but smile again as she took in the beauty of the now sleeping young woman. Her face was scrunched on Chris' arm where she had involuntarily laid it when Chris joined her on the step. 'This medication is really affecting her,' Chris thought as she gently began to rise to her feet.

"Samantha, honey, come on now. Wake up. We're going to go inside and you can lay down for a little while before we go to Dr. Matson's."

Little sleepy noises came from Sam. Chris held her tight while leading her into one of the bedrooms and guiding her to the bed. Without making a sound, she took a blanket and laid it over Sam's prone body.

Sam awoke to the sound of voices. She was not familiar with the lay-out of the cottage, but thankfully, it was small enough that she had no problem finding the source of the voices. Chris and one of the officers that had taken her to the hospital were in the living room. She noticed that he was carrying her laptop and that her suitcase was on the floor. The two seemed to be deeply involved in their conversation. She stood by the door waiting to be noticed.

"Ms. Daly, I'm so glad to see that you're feeling better," Luke said solicitously moving towards her with an extended hand.

Sam immediately stepped away from him. Fear was etched on her face. Luke saw the fear and stopped.

"Samantha, this is my brother, Luke. He's the police officer who told me about you. He came here today to bring your things. Why don't you check through everything to make sure it's all here. He arranged to have your car towed to a garage until you're feeling better. He didn't want it sitting on the impound lot," Chris explained.

The strawberry blonde made no attempt to check her things. With a scared look in her eyes Sam thanked him for his assistance and left the siblings alone.

"It's going to take some time I guess before she begins to trust anyone. I'm just glad that she has you to help her. I still don't know what it is Chris, but she just seems so familiar," Luke said as he departed the tiny cottage.

"I know what you mean," the tall woman quietly said to herself as her brother pulled the patrol car out of the driveway.

"Hey, you want something to eat before we leave for Dr. Matson's," Chris hollered into the small bedroom.

"No thanks, I'm not hungry," came the soft response.

Chris had moved Sam's belongings into the room and she was busy putting everything away. She had already changed into a pair of jeans and was now sporting a light beige sweater. Her outfit was complimented by Nike sneakers.

"Are you sure? You know you haven't eaten since this morning."

"Chris, who else has had my pocketbook?" Sam was obviously ignoring the tall woman's attempt to get her to eat.

"I don't know. Why, is there something missing? I can ask my brother to look around the station if there is," Chris said while entering the bedroom. Sam was rummaging through the pocketbook like a million dollar lottery ticket was missing. The frustration was clear on her face.

"What's missing Samantha?"

Sam looked up at her as if to say something but then stopped. "Are you missing any money, credit cards, what is it?" she asked again.

"It's nothing, really? nothing," Sam said distractedly as she lay the bag down and started fidgeting with her hands.

"If there is something missing Samantha, my brother will find it. I'm sure he wouldn't?"

"NO! I said it was nothing now let it go, please," was Sam's panic stricken response.

"Okay, okay. We need to leave in a few minutes. Dr. Matson's office is a little further down the Cape. It'll probably take us about fifteen minutes to get there," Chris pointed out, noticing Sam's eyes starting to dart about the room.

"I'm ready," Sam suddenly said rising from the bed. But instead of heading for the door, she went to the suitcase in her closet that had been emptied of her clothes and proceeded to go through it as she had done her pocketbook. Next she went to the bureau where she had put her clothes. By the time she was finished, her neatly folded clothes were in disarray.

"What are you looking for?" the tall woman persisted, irritation now evident in her voice.

"I told you NOTHING! Now let it go," Sam countered in a threatening tone as she took her fingers and began twirling them in her hair while her eyes moved about the room as if following sudden bolts of lightening.

As calmly as she could Chris attempted to reach the younger woman who was now rocking back and forth on her heels. "Samantha, it's okay. We'll find it."

"I TOLD YOU TO LET IT GO! WHY WON'T YOU LISTEN TO ME!" she screamed.

Chris' eyes could not have opened any wider. She could not remember the last time she was as scared as she was right now. It was so much easier dealing with criminals. "Okay, I'll let it go, I'm sorry. We really do need to leave now or we're going to be late," the tall woman insisted calmly try to disguise her feelings.

"I'm not going," Sam said evenly, voice void of any emotion.

"What do you mean, you're not going?" Even though Chris knew there was something terribly wrong, she was getting angry at Sam's behavior and her own responses were beginning to get loud.

"I'm tired and I don't feel well. So I'm not going," the blonde announced.

"Samantha, we have to go. We promised Dr. Slavin we would do everything she said."

"That was before," Sam said flatly as she looked about the room.

"Before what?" the tall woman asked confused, her voice gradually rising.

"They're coming. They're coming" was said in quick succession. The strawberry blonde had found a corner in the bedroom and was huddled there.

Chris was heartbroken. She hadn't expected anything like this and she knew she needed help and she needed it now. "Samantha, what are you talking about? There's nobody else here, just you and me."

Suddenly Sam bolted into the bathroom. She was nauseous and had broken out in a sweat that covered her entire body. Her skin was so hot. "it burns, oh please no, it burns, please don't ?.PLEASE don't?NOOOOO?" she screamed as she threw up what little there was in her stomach into the sink.

"Samantha come on now. I want you to go in and lay down," Chris pleaded knowing she was in over her head. She had to get to her cell phone and call Dr. Matson.

"GET AWAY FROM ME!!!!" Sam cried looking straight into the worried blue eyes. She had wedged herself between the vanity and the shower stall. Tears ran from her eyes and she was trembling. Chris had never seen her this bad.

As much as she feared leaving the small, frightened woman alone, Chris knew she had to get help. She ran out to the Exposition to retrieve her cell phone and called Emily Matson's office. A receptionist answered the phone and told her that the psychologist was due any minute. Chris asked her to tell Matson that there was an emergency. She gave directions to the small cottage and hung up. She prayed the psychologist would get there soon.

Barely a minute had gone by when Chris had returned to the bathroom. What she saw scared her to her core. Samantha was now sitting in the bathtub with a pair of large scissors. She was aimlessly cutting her long strawberry blonde locks.

"Samantha, honey, give me the scissors," Chris encouraged, her own voice shaking.

"Get away from me or I'll cut you to PIECES!" Sam said threateningly turning towards the voice and pointing the scissors in her direction.

"It's just me, sweetheart? Christina. I'm not going to hurt you. Now give me the scissors, please." Chris' tone was calm as she gradually moved closer to the traumatized woman.

"Samantha, look at me. Look into my eyes. It's only me honey," Chris was now on the floor about an arms reach from Sam.

In a flash, Sam had the scissors repositioned in her hand. She was ready to stab her rescuer if she came any closer.

"You killed her and you know it. You raped her and then you killed her!!! I saw you do it. And then you tried to kill me. Oh it burns, oh God it burns. Why did you do it? Why did you do it. We weren't hurting anyone," She cried out.

"PLEASE STOP. STOPPPPPP."

At just that moment Emily Matson came running into the bathroom. Even with all of her training this scene scared her as well. Chris was on the floor, tears rolling down her cheeks in silent sobs. Sam was in the bathtub, her hair cut erratically. She was flailing the scissors about, ready to attack.

"EMILY! I don't know what to do. She thinks that those guys are here. She was looking for something in her bag and couldn't find?"

"Chris, get out now," Emily commanded.

Chris slowly got up from the floor and stood just outside the bathroom door. Emily took her seat on the floor.

"Is this what you're looking for Sam?" Emily pulled out the newspaper article and unfolded it.

Sam's eyes widened at the sight of the aged yellow paper.

"Gregory and Thomas are not here Sam. It's just Chris and me and we're not going to hurt you," the psychologist tried to convince her.

"They are here. They followed me. They went through my things." Sam insisted while her eyes continued to dart about the bathroom.

"No Sam, they didn't. I took your article. See, this is it. This is your writing on it, isn't it?" Dr. Matson rationalized, shaking the paper in her hand to get the young woman's attention.

Sam eyed the yellow paper suspiciously then slowly brought her eyes up to the psychologist's and held them there. The small mouth opened, but struggled to get the words out.

"We know they killed your friend and that they hurt you. What did they do to you Sam?" Emily Matson pressed on seeing sudden realization in the eyes that locked onto her own.

"What did they do?" the psychologist asked.

"It hurt. They hurt us," she wept, pain evident in her voice as she tried to stop the tears.

"How did they hurt you?"

"It burned so bad, I thought I was on fire," she said while making the movements to put out the flames on her face and arms, although this time knowing she really wasn't on fire. The scissors were still held in her right hand and coming close to her left eye each time she tried to put out the imagined flames out.

"They thought it was funny. They kept laughing! I begged them to stop, but they wouldn't." By now Sam was sobbing uncontrollably.

"Sam, I want you to tell me what they did," the psychologist persisted. "What did they do?"

"THEY RAPED HER! They RAPED Patty. They sprayed her and made her burn. They kept laughing at her because she was crying. They ripped her clothes off and kept mauling her. Every time she called for me they sprayed her again. Then she couldn't talk anymore. She just laid there and they kept raping her, over and over again." Sam was gasping for air to get her words out in between her sobs.

"What happened to you Sam?" Emily asked with great compassion.

"When I first heard Patty I ran into her room and tried to get them away from her. They hit me with a bat. They took turns holding me while they raped her," she said between gasps.

"And then what happened?"

"And then? and then? Thomas hit Patty on the head with the bat. He was laughing. He wouldn't stop laughing. Patty was bleeding real bad. There was blood coming out of her ear and nose. I kept hollering for her but she wouldn't answer me. Oh, why wouldn't she answer me? And then Gregory sprayed me. It burned. Oh, God IT BURNED." Sam hollered.

"What did Gregory and Thomas do to you Sam?"

"They ripped my shirt off. Thomas pulled out a knife and he cut me. I was so scared and I didn't know what to do. He said they were going to cut off my breasts if I didn't shut up. They kept spraying me, over and over again. Gregory told me I was going to get the same thing Patty got. He said we needed to be taught our place. He grabbed for my pants while Thomas held me. Thomas started biting me. Oh? why didn't somebody come to help us? I begged them to leave us alone but they wouldn't. Then? then he threw me to the floor. He was on me and I couldn't breath and just when he was going to enter me somebody knocked on the door. Thomas put his hand over my mouth and he pushed me into the closet. He kept spraying me, every where. They told me they would hunt me down and slaughter me. Then Gregory hit me with the bat again. They closed the door and I couldn't get out."

Samantha Daly's sobs would not stop. She finally dropped the scissors and wailed, her arms wrapped around herself providing little comfort. It was the first time she had told her story.

As Emily Matson sat back and took a deep breath, Chris entered the bathroom her own tears falling helplessly. She could not believe what this sweet woman had endured. 'How could somebody do that to an angel,' she thought sadly to herself.

"Samantha, sweetheart. I'm so sorry. God if only I could have been there for you," Chris said in almost a whisper, barely holding a rein on her anger that was now simmering. For as crazy as it seemed she loved this small, beautiful woman that she had just come to know.

She went to the bathtub and knelt down facing Sam. Reaching over, she softly stroked the freshly clipped uneven hair. Big green eyes looked up at her. They looked like two specks in a red river that had overrun its bank. "Christina" could be faintly heard coming from the mouth of the angel.

Upon hearing her name, Chris leaned over and gently pulled Sam from the tub. She held her secure in her arms, sheltering her from the demons that had finally been released. She swore that nobody would ever hurt this woman again.

With her hand under Sam's chin, she gently lifted her head and sought out the wide green eyes. When their eyes met, Chris leaned over and placed the gentlest of kisses on her forehead. "I know this sounds crazy but, I love you Samantha Daly. And I promise you, nobody will hurt you like that again."

Green eyes were fixed onto blue, new tears for a different reason were now falling down the beautiful cheeks. "I love you" was whispered back. Chris picked up the smaller woman and cradling her in her arms, took Sam into the bedroom and gently laid her on the bed. With little prodding, Chris convinced Sam to take her medication. She stayed by her love's side, gently running her short nails around the small back until the strawberry blonde fell asleep. Looking down, Chris was amazed that with all Sam had gone through, she still was a loving and caring person. The tall woman doubted that she could have survived such an attack without striking back to kill the ones who inflicted so much pain.

While Chris was comforting the small woman, Emily Matson quietly made her way to the porch where she finally let out a long held breath. 'Sometimes I hate this job,' she thought bitterly to herself as she listened to the fog horns sounding off in the distance.

"How did you get here so fast?" the now somber dark-haired woman asked.

"Marcia, the receptionist who answered the phone, called me on my cell phone. I was only about five minutes away from here. I was heading to my office from the hospital. I called Joy, she'll probably show up here soon" Emily said.

"Emily, what do we do now," Chris asked gravely as she settled into a white wicker chair on the porch.

"The worse part is over Chris. What a nightmarish experience that must have been. She's a strong woman to have survived it. You know, if you hadn't come to her rescue the end result would have been very different."

"I can't believe that somebody would want to hurt her like that," Chris said sadly shaking her head.

"You know Chris, this wasn't a crime committed by crazy people. Those assholes knew what they were doing." Emily Matson's own anger was now surfacing.

"What do you mean?" the tall woman asked.

"I talked to my friend at Yale. She told me that Sam and Patricia Logan were active with the women's center. There apparently were a lot of threats being called in to the place and the women who volunteered were warned to take precautions." Emily said.

"Are you saying they weren't careful enough?" Chris started to feel defensive.

"Absolutely not. There was nothing either of them could have done. Those bastards were out to make a point about women. They didn't like the ideas the women's center was promoting. They sought things for women that Sam and her friend could only dream about given their backgrounds," Emily stated as a matter of fact.

The sound of a car pulling up to the cottage indicated that Joy Slavin had arrived.

"What happened?" the psychiatrist asked as she jogged up to the porch.

"My brother brought Samantha's things here this afternoon. She was going through her pocketbook looking for the article. I guess none of us made a connection that she carried it with her for a reason. When she couldn't find it, she thought that those fucking bastards had found her and were going to kill her. She thought they were in the cottage," Chris explained tersely as the veins on the side of her long neck came into sharp view as she neared the end of the story.

"She told us what happened," Emily said flatly. "There's other things we need to deal with, but like I told Chris, the worse is over. My friend told me that the one guy returned to school after the judge dismissed the charges. She said at the time Sam dropped out of school there was a lot of negative talk about her bailing out and as a result all the women were at risk because she didn't testify. I would assume that's on her conscience too. I'm also sure that she couldn't bare the thought of the possibility of running into the asshole," the psychologist ended.

"Where is Sam now?" Joy inquired, concern evident in her voice.

"She's sleeping. I convinced her to take her medication," Chris said, a blank look decorating her face as she stared out at the bay.

"So, what's next Christina?" the psychologist asked softly.

"I don't know," the tall woman replied, finally bringing her eyes to meet Emily's. "I'd like for her to take it easy for a little while and to focus on the counseling sessions with you. I make enough money to support us so I want her to take the time she needs to heal completely," Chris said with compassion. "And Emily, we will pay you some day for your help."

Emily Matson figured she would seize the moment when she heard the last statement made by the forensic psychologist. "Was that a thank you, Christina Polis? Because if it was, you can consider it payment. I never thought I'd hear you say thank you to me," she teased gently.

Chris' left eyebrow shot up and a smirk appeared on her face. "Thank you Emily. I don't know what I would have done if you weren't here today."

"Joy, did you hear that?" Emily asked amazed as she leaned over and placed her hand on the psychiatrist's arm.

Joy Slavin just shook her head. It was probably the first time the two psychologists spoke to each other without throwing thinly veiled insults about the others capabilities.

All three women chuckled.

"Hey," Sam said softly, a sleepy look on her face as she joined Chris on the porch.

"Hey yourself," the tall woman responded with a tiny smile on her face as the blonde strode over to her. "Come here," Chris said as she took a small hand into her own and pulled Sam to her directing her to sit in her lap.

Chris had one hand on the younger woman's back and was scratching it lightly in a comfortable circular motion. "How are you feeling?" she asked.

Sam laid her head down on an ebony hair covered shoulder. "Tired," she stated simply as she settled further into the lap making herself comfortable.

Looking out onto the moonlit bay Chris couldn't help but feel her own sense of comfort with this beautiful woman snuggling close to her.

"Samantha, I want you to know that I meant it earlier when I told you that I love you. Every time I look into your eyes and every time I hear your voice I feel complete. I don't know how to explain it, and I know it doesn't make any sense, but I feel as though I lost you for awhile and now you've returned." Chris said sincerely, feeling every word.

Samantha suddenly felt warm all over, but this time it felt good. She wrapped her short arms around the neck of her rescuer and placed a passionate kiss on the soft lips. "I'm still not sure I know who you are Christina Polis, but I also feel as though I belong to you. In some of my dreams you were there, as a warrior. I don't know, maybe we were together in another life. Perhaps the fates have brought us back to share our love again."

Chris' smile lit up the entire porch, just as the moon did the bay. She really was hopelessly in love. "The fates?" she asked as a dark eyebrow lifted.

"Yeah, the fates. You know from Greek mythology," Sam explained looking at her as though everyone knew of the fates.

"You'll have to tell me about them some time," Chris said as she reached for the strawberry blonde's head and pulled her close for another kiss. The feeling in the kiss made her body tingle. The smaller woman also felt it.

"Come on, let's get you something to eat before your stomach wakes up all the fish out there," Chris laughed while rising from her wicker chair.

Monday

"Sam, your hair looks very nice," Dr. Matson greeted Sam as she led her new patient into the office. It was their first session together since Sam's revelation a couple of days ago. Emily was pleased to see that the young woman looked relaxed, the dark circles that had been prominent before were gone.

"Um?Dr. Matson, if you don't mind, can Christina come in with me?" Sam asked once the door to the private office was closed and ignoring the psychologists comment about her hair. When the episode was over and she had realized what she had done she was embarrassed and didn't want to be reminded of it. Chris had assured her that the haircut Noreen had given her turned out nice. In fact, Chris told her she looked quite cute.

"Sam, these sessions are for you, not Chris," The doctor pointed out.

"I know. But there are some things I need to talk about that will effect her," she pleaded.

"What kind of things Sam?" Emily wanted to make sure the young woman wasn't manipulating her into allowing Chris in because she didn't want to deal with her issues.

Silence.

"Sam?? Tell me, what are you thinking about?" Emily asked.

"I've been thinking about going back and pressing charges against Gregory and Thomas. My parents are not going to be happy about that and there will likely be a lot of negative publicity. After what I've been through, the thought of others becoming victims because I didn't do anything to put them away frightens me," Sam stated.

"Christina and I are just learning about each other. I mean, we haven't even, you know?um?been intimate yet. And then there's the fact that I'm not working, I mean I don't have any skills. I'm not feeling too confident right now and I don't think I can pursue pressing charges if she doesn't support me," the blonde admitted.

Moving to her desk, Emily Matson pushed the intercom button and asked the receptionist to have Chris come in. While they were waiting, Emily decided to test new waters.

"Samantha, how do you feel about getting involved in a sexual relationship with Chris?"

"How do I feel about it?" Sam repeated, her face turning an interesting shade of pink.

'I should have known that she would blush at the question,' the psychologist thought remembering the small woman's modesty when she was wearing the hospital gown. "Yes, how do you feel about it?"

"Well, I?um?would like that. But I?um?really don't know if she would."

"What do you mean?" Emily was truly in the dark with Sam's response.

"I've never? um? had a relationship and I?um?I know she's been with other women who had a lot more experience. I guess I'm a little nervous about that." Sam's face was now beet red.

"I see. Well, maybe it would be good to talk with Chris about that too. She may be able to alleviate some of your fears," Emily suggested.

Sam's eyes opened wide at the statement. "Oh, Nooo, I don't think so," she said hastily, shaking her head.

Just then there was a knock on the door and Chris entered, an apprehensive look on her beautiful face and concern evident in the blue eyes.

She saw the look on Sam's face and felt relieved. When the receptionist came out and told her Emily wanted her to come into the office she immediately feared that Sam was having another episode. Whatever Sam and the psychologist were talking about must have been embarrassing to her. Chris had learned during the short time they had been together that Sam embarrassed easily. She'd always end up with the same look and shade of red on her face.

"Hey, is everything okay?" Chris asked curious to find out why she had been summoned.

_____________________________________________________________

That night after dinner the two women settled in the small living room. The room was lit by several candles and the reflection coming off the stereo which was playing a Carole King CD. The full moon shining through the big picture window also helped to illuminate the room. Chris' long frame was stretched out across the length of the sofa. Sam was sitting in a yoga position on the floor, her back being supported by the sofa where Chris lounged. She was going through the selection of CD's that Chris had picked up, along with her other things, over the weekend.

From her position on the sofa, Chris was running her right hand through the small woman's hair. It was so soft and sitting that close she could smell cinnamon. She had refrained from initiating anything of a sexual nature out of concern that Sam's experience, having just been relived, was still too recent. She knew that it could take awhile before Sam felt comfortable exploring a sexual relationship with her. She couldn't, however, get the thoughts of loving this beautiful woman out of her mind. The sensual feeling between her legs at the moment reminded her of that.

"Find anything you like?" Chris asked a little huskily.

"There's quite a selection here. You like rhythm and blues?"

"Yep."

"Do you want to hear anything?" the small woman asked.

"If you do," was the deep response.

Sam turned around and knelt next to the sofa, her arms leaning on its edge. "How come you never tell me what you want?"

"What do you mean?" Chris countered, her eyebrow lifting as she answered.

'She is just too beautiful' Sam thought as she focused on the blue eyes. "Well, I ask you what you want for dinner and you say whatever I want; I ask you what you want to do and you say whatever I want. That kind of stuff. I'd like to know what you want," the small woman finished, tapping her right index finger on the long arm of her rescuer with each word to emphasize her point.

"You want to know what I want," said as a statement, not a question.

"Yes," came the soft response.

Sam's closeness was driving the dark-haired woman crazy. "I think what I want, right now, is for you to kiss me."

"A kiss?" Sam asked, her finger now brushing lightly over the soft hair of the long arm.

"A kiss," was the sultry response.

With that, Sam started giggling. Chris was looking at her with a smirk on her face and, of course a raised eyebrow. Sam was just too damn cute and when she giggled like this she was even more so.

"Okay, okay," said between bout of giggles. "I can do that." The strawberry blonde leaned over and placed her soft lips on those of her rescuer. While she initially had to stifle the giggles, Chris' unspoken request to enter her mouth quickly turned the giggles into passion.

The tall woman's tongue filled the smaller woman who was slowly beginning to rise and move closer. Before either of them knew it, Sam was sprawled on top of the beautiful dark-haired woman whose hand had found its way under her flannel shirt and was skating gracefully along the length of her back. Every time the hands neared her buttocks, Sam breathed deep.

When the kiss broke, blue and green eyes were melded. The strawberry blonde laid her head on Chris' full firm breasts. The hands of the rescuer continued their peaceful journey along the smooth back.

"That was nice," Sam said her voice now sounding husky. She could feel the pull of this strong woman between her legs now. It felt very much like the last dream she had.

"Yes, it was," Chris agreed, a little short of breath.

"Christina?"

"Hmm?"

"Um?I know you've been in relationships before and?" Sam was having a hard time getting the words out.

"And?"

"Well, you have experience."

"Experience?" Chris wasn't getting the point. Although it was that much harder to get it since the small woman's lips were so close to her nipple and every time she spoke, Chris could have sworn those beautiful lips were touching her. She was getting wet, fast. "Is there something you want to talk about Samantha?"

"How do you feel about sex?" Although it wasn't exactly what she had meant to ask, Sam at least got the ball rolling.

Both of Chris' eyebrows shot up at the question and she glanced down to look at the sweet face. "I think sex is good. Is there something you're needing to know?"

"Well, I'm sure that all of the women you've been with have had experience," a nervous giggle escaped as Sam finished her statement. She was really, really nervous.

"Samantha, have you ever had a sexual relationship before?" the tall woman asked, finally getting the point.

"No," was the soft answer.

"I see. So you're a virgin," Chris stated as fact.

"Yes," spoken shyly.

"And you're afraid you won't please me because you haven't had, how did you put it, experience?" Chris was bordering on teasing now but refrained. She knew that Sam was having a really hard time with this conversation and didn't want to make her any more nervous. 'This must have been what she and Emily were discussing today.'

"I guess that's what I'm trying to say. I'm afraid I won't be able to make you happy." There, Sam finally said it.

"Well, you know sweetheart, I can't deny that I have had sexual relationships before and that I have enjoyed many of them. But there was always something missing. I've come to believe there's probably a big difference between having sex with someone and making love with someone."

Sam was suddenly feeling warm all over again. "Christina?"

"Hmm?" the tall woman responded as her hands still traveled the smooth back.

"Will you make love to me? Please," Sam whispered.

At that moment Chris was filled with an indescribable love and tenderness for the small wonder inclined on her long frame. "Samantha, honey, look at me please."

The small woman lifted her head and gazed into the eyes that captured her soul. "I want you to know that you already please me. You being here with me right now, makes me feel complete. I have never felt this way before. I do love you, and yes, there is nothing I can imagine that I would like more than to make love to you. But if you're doing this now because you're afraid that I'm not satisfied, I have to tell you that you're wrong."

The tears were running down Sam's cheeks by the time Chris finished. "Christina, I never knew that having somebody love me could make me feel this way. I have never felt for anyone what I feel for you. When we're together like this, I seem to want more. I want to feel all of you. I can't deny it, I am afraid. But, even more than the fear, I feel an even stronger desire for you to love me? completely," she finished very relieved that she was able to get the words out.

As Sam spoke, Chris unconsciously moved both of her hands from the smaller woman's back to her sides. From this angle she was able to gently run her hands along the sides of the strawberry blonde's breasts. Sam felt the sensations the hands left and leaned down to again place her lips on Chris'. The delicious kiss lasted for several minutes, each of them enjoying the feel of the other's tongue.

When they finally broke apart, Chris gently moved the small body lying on top of hers so she could stand. She went about the living room extinguishing the candles and turning off the stereo. The room was now lit only by the full moon. Then she turned back to her angel who was sitting on the sofa watching her intently. She gently pulled Sam to her feet and wrapped her long arm around the smaller woman, guiding her to her bedroom.

Chris stopped when they reached the foot of the bed. She turned Sam around to face her and with a loving smile leaned down towards the younger woman and kissed her with a passion Sam had never known was possible.

When the kiss ended, Chris ever so slowly began to unbutton the short sleeve flannel shirt the smaller woman was wearing. This act alone caused Sam to tremble with desire. Once unbuttoned, Chris slid the shirt over the shoulders and down the arms of her angel. The shirt landed on the beige colored carpet. The tall woman reached behind and while staring deep into green orbs undid the bra that quickly joined the shirt on the floor.

"My God, you are beautiful Samantha," Chris husked as she took in the firm milky white breasts. Placing a deep kiss on the lips of her love, she moved her hands to the flannel shorts. Gently grabbing a hold of the shorts and the jockey panties, she worked them over the hips of the small woman.

Chris' mouth followed the path of the clothing as she moved slowly down the toned body placing light kisses along the way. When the shorts and panties reached her feet, Chris put her hand around Sam's ankle and lifted first the right leg and then the left to release the garments. Upon freeing the beautiful strawberry blonde of her clothing, Chris made her way back up the smooth body. She stopped briefly at the juncture of the legs of her angel, placing kisses there and breathing in deeply the scent of desire that was building.

After leaving the soft curls Chris worked her way to the full breasts. She placed feather-light kisses on the pink taunt nipples and moved upward to the red lips. When she broke the kiss, she stepped back and stared at young woman before her. Her own desire was boiling within and she could feel the wetness now. Standing before the sensuous green orbs, Chris took off her own clothes and threw them onto the pile on the floor. She stood before her precious Samantha and watched as the young woman's eyes slowly took in all of her.

Satisfied that Sam had sufficient time for both her own examination of the tall, tanned woman, and to be honest, to change her mind, Chris moved back in. She wrapped her arms around the strawberry blonde's waist and pulled her in until their bodies fit snuggly together. Chris could feel the wetness of her angel on her thigh as the two were connected by tongues, each aggressively pursuing the mouth of the other. Of all the times that Chris had sex she never once felt anything like this before. The passion and love she felt for this beautiful woman was communicated in every word and touch.

When the kiss finally ended, the tall woman led them to the bed. She pulled the blankets completely off not wanting there to be any intrusion. As she guided the younger woman to lay down she felt a slight trembling in the small hand she held. She reminded herself to slow down. This was Samantha's first experience and she wanted it to be special.

Chris laid Sam down on her back on the soft mattress. She joined her but laid on her left side, her head held up by her hand. She gazed down on the smaller woman and allowed her deep blue eyes to roam the much smaller frame. She noticed the soft wet curls between Sam's legs and imagined it must taste like honey. She then brought her eyes further up and looked upon the full breasts. She found herself licking her lips as her own desires were building. She looked into the green passion filled eyes of her lover and saw desire and shyness. She smiled down at the woman and then took her right hand and allowed it to run between the strawberry blonde's breasts down to the soft wet curls. She ran her fingers through the fine hair enjoying the feel. The green eyes were attached to her blue ones the entire time and when Chris' fingers started to slowly run through the curls, Sam unconsciously closed her eyes and moaned with desire.

It was time for Chris to make her most daring move. She got up on both knees, and placed one on each side of Sam to straddle her. She then lowered her body so that the dark wet curls at her apex were meshed with the soft honey colored ones of her love. Leaning on her forearms with her face nestled between the two full breasts, Chris began to move her lower body in a slow circular motion, the clits on each woman being highly aroused from the grinding motion. Sam's body moved of its own accord joining in the magical motion.

The wetness from the two women made their passions flare. Chris moved her head to the lips of the petite woman and kissed her with all the love she felt. She looked into the deep eyes when the kiss ended. "Tell me what you want Samantha," Chris asked her voice deep with desire.

"I want you to love me completely. I want all of you," was the whispered response.

At those words, Chris' hands came up to meet the milky white breasts. Sam moaned again, at the feeling. The tall woman's mouth moved to an extra sensitive ear that delighted at the feel of the dancing tongue. While still straddling the smaller woman, Chris gently filled her hands with the breasts squeezing them and enjoying their fullness.

"Oh, God Christina," Sam moaned.

"Samantha, I love you so much," was whispered in the extra sensitive ear just as the tall woman left it to place kisses and gently suck on her sweet neck. The strawberry blonde sensed the direction of the warm mouth and her entire body shivered in anticipation. Chris allowed a smile when she felt the small quake, then took a sweet pink nipple into her mouth. She savored the nipple as she sucked it, running her long tongue around it and over it and then gently nibbling it with her teeth. "Ohhh, Samantha," she moaned before moving to the other breast and feasting on it as well.

The smaller woman was breathing heavily. Some how she had seized the breasts of her rescuer and was massaging them in her small hands. Chris knew that neither of them could last much longer. Still straddling the strawberry blonde, she began to slowly move herself down the firm body. She settled about mid-way between knees and ankles. She then took the short legs between her and separated them, placing one on each side of her much longer ones.

At just that moment Samantha looked up and saw brilliant blue eyes. "Love me, please," she moaned.

Upon hearing the soft plea, Christina Polis leaned down and with all the love she felt for this beautiful, green eyed wonder parted the honey laden folds and began a slow journey with her curious tongue. Sam was writhing in ecstasy as she held onto the ebony covered head.

The tongue of the rescuer continued its quest while nibbling and sucking on the now hard nub of the strawberry blonde. Sam thought there was no way she could hold on as Chris' tongue persisted in its sometimes gentle and sometimes aggressive pursuit of the honey flavored clit and all of its exotic juices.

"Christina, please," Sam gasped, her body rocking as the tongue devoured her, "I want to feel you in me."

With unbelievable tenderness, Chris brought her finger to Sam's opening and allowed it to languish in the sweet honey and then with gentle prodding entered the warm center stopping just short of breaking the barrier. Chris tongue continued its own quest as the strawberry blonde writhed beneath her.

"OHHHH, PLEASE!!!" Sam screamed. Never, even in her dreams had she ever imagined anything like this.

At just that moment, Chris pushed her finger through the barrier. She felt Sam tense for a brief moment and then the shorter woman started rocking, the feelings intensifying where the tall woman's tongue was loving her clit and the finger that had been joined by another pumping in and out, in and out, in and out?

Chris was at the point of going over the edge herself. Her own juices were flowing down her legs.

As she continued the tender assault of her love, she began to feel Samantha's body shake with incredible intensity. Finally, it seemed as though Sam stopped breathing. Suddenly, the green eyes opened wide and latched onto hers, the small mouth opened but nothing came out. Then???

"CHRISTINA!!!!!!!!!!!" was bellowed for everyone on the Cape to hear.

Feeling the intensity of Sam's climax, took Chris to heights she had never been as she rocked back and forth on the small thigh, her wetness running up and down its short length.

"Oh, God, Oh, God??" came from deep within the rescuer.

"SAMANTHAAAAA?"

"I LOVE YOUUUUU" was hollered and nearly shook the cottage as the tall, tanned, dark-haired woman climaxed before falling on the sweat covered body of her love.

Both women lay there for many minutes trying to catch their breath, neither of them having ever experienced, in this life anyway, the intensity of loving anyone the way they did each other.

Slowly Chris rolled off of the small woman and lay on her back. Try as she might she was having a real hard time catching her breath. She turned her head in the direction of the strawberry blonde and again was filled with such love that it overtook her.

"Samantha, sweetheart," the husky voice said, as a small hand reached over and gently wiped away tears of joy. "I don't think I've ever been more happy than I am right now."

"I love you," came the quiet response as the strawberry blonde's head settled on the strong shoulders of her warrior, the warrior's long arm wrapped around her.

'Sweet dreams, Samantha?. Sweet dreams," Chris said as she and her angel drifted off into a peaceful sleep.

The aroma of bacon and cinnamon spiced french toast filled the small cottage. A beautiful voice could be heard singing in the kitchen. Sam got up from the bed and searched the floor for her clothes. There was a broad smile plastered on her face. She felt so happy and it showed everywhere - in her eyes, her smile, and her walk.

After a stop at the bathroom, Sam made her way to the kitchen. The tall woman had her back to the kitchen door and was mixing orange juice by the sink. Sam couldn't help but focus on the fit behind as Chris shook the container. Unconsciously, she ran her tongue around her lips to wet them. Chris was still humming. 'She has a beautiful voice,' the small woman thought happily.

"Good morning," Sam said a little shyly.

Chris turned around to see the strawberry blonde. Sam had a huge smile on her face and her green eyes held a sparkle to them.

"Good morning to you," was returned in a deep sultry voice. "Come over here."

Sam moved towards the tall woman and when she reached her was surprised that without even thinking she wrapped her short arms around Chris and looked up into her blue eyes. "I really would like a good morning kiss," was requested in a sweet voice.

Chris put down the juice container and turned to look directly into the bright green orbs. The small arms were still wrapped around her resting where the tall woman's waist and behind met. She took her much longer arms and brought them up to rest on Sam's shoulders. Leaning down she captured gloriously soft red lips. The tongue of the smaller woman explored her mouth. By the time the kiss ended, both women were breathing deeply and both had tremendous smiles on their faces.

"I love you," came from deep within the tall woman as she continued to hold the small woman's shoulders. "I made you breakfast."

"Christina, I want you to know that last night was wonderful. Thank you for making it so special," Sam whispered.

"And you have made me feel special by allowing me to be the first to love you. By the way, how are you feeling this morning? Are you sore at all?" the tall woman asked solicitously as she moved her hand down to the well-toned tummy and rubbed it gently.

Sam giggled as the hand roamed her belly. "You're welcome; I feel great; and why would I be sore - you were so tender." Sam then took hold of the strong hand that had been aimlessly roaming and brought it to her lips where she placed a soft kiss on it. She kissed the same fingers that had tenderly entered her last night. "I love you," Sam avowed as she looked into deep blue eyes while still holding the strong hand.

Chris leaned in for another kiss, but didn't allow it to progress as the others had. "Come on sweetheart. We've got to eat and shower and be out of here in a couple of hours. We don't want to be late getting to Joy's office. Emily was going to talk with her about your medication, maybe cutting it down. Go on now, sit down and eat."

"Ummm, Christina, this french toast is excellent," Sam said while chewing as she eagerly followed it with a strip of bacon. After devouring the bacon, Sam repositioned herself on the chair so that her legs were tucked under her. From Chris' perspective it appeared as though the young woman was making herself comfortable and planning on spending some time at the table. She leaned over the table and pulled the plate containing all of the french toast towards her.

Both of Chris' dark thin eyebrows shot up as the small woman took six of the eight remaining slices of toast and put them on her plate. 'Good thing I'm not too hungry,' she thought.

"Samantha?"

"Hmm?" murmured between chews.

"I'm glad you like the french toast sweetheart. You take your time, I'm going to go in and take my shower," Chris said as she rose from the table. She stopped and placed a kiss on the rosy cheek of the strawberry blonde and then shook her head. Not even she could eat that much. And look at all the syrup she had poured on the plate! Yuck.

"Okay, honey," was said around tasty bites of french toast.

As soon as they entered Dr. Joy Slavin's private office in the Medical Building across from the county hospital, the head psychiatrist knew that the two women had consummated their relationship. Needless to say, she was rip roaring pissed.

"Sam, would you mind waiting outside for a minute. I have some business I need to speak with Chris about" the psychiatrist asked pointedly.

Forever polite, Sam turned back in the direction of the waiting room. "I'll be right here," she purred to the tall ebony-haired woman and then leaned up on her toes and kissed her solidly on her lips. That tiny little act brought a blush to the older woman, and if she were to be honest, wetness between her legs.

Chris had seen the look on her mentor's face as she passed through the doorway and knew that she was in for a lecture. When the door closed, Dr. Slavin looked into the blue eyes of the tall woman and held them for a minute.

"Christina, I am so pissed off at you right now," the doctor snapped still holding the now innocent looking blue eyes attention.

"Joy, listen, I um?um?well? it's not like she's a client or anything," Chris blurted out not able to come up with anything else.

"Not a client. Okay." Joy Slavin said so calmly through clenched teeth. "So, ? WHERE THE HELL WAS YOUR FUCKING HEAD CHRIS!!" the doctor shouted.

Chris felt like a sixteen-year-old who had been caught making out for the first time. Of course the hickey that graced Sam's neck was certainly a dead give away that the two had more than enjoyed each others company. If it weren't so warm, Chris would have insisted the strawberry blonde wear a turtle-neck just to avoid this scene.

"Christina, you know that it isn't wise for her to be getting involved in a sexual relationship now. You know there's a healing process. I just don't understand why, with all your training, you went ahead and slept with her," the doctor stated acidly.

"I didn't just have sex with her," the tall ebony-haired woman responded, now through her own clenched teeth. "Samantha and I love each other Joy. We made love, plain and simple. Never in my entire life or in my wildest imagination have I ever thought of loving anyone like I do her. I am telling you Joy, after loving her last night, and seeing the happiness in her eyes this morning, there really is no greater gift. Samantha is my life now, she is my future and I will do whatever it takes to protect her. I promise you Joy, I did not hurt her. If anything, I've shown her what love truly can be," Chris finally finished hoping she had regained the respect of the psychiatrist.

"Chris, you know she has a long road ahead of her. There's a lot at stake here and I'm not sure you realize it. When her parents learn that she's planning on pressing charges it's going to get real ugly. You, my dear friend, will be right smack in the middle of it. You took away their daughter's innocence. You can be sure that her family has ties to high level political figures and will use them to make your life hell for what you did to their daughter."

"The only thing I DID to her was to love her. There is nothing they can do to me to make me change how I feel for her. I don't expect it to be easy Joy. I was, however, hoping I had at least one friend who understood and would be supportive," Chris retorted, feeling her anger now.

"You've always been a private person, Chris. That's going to change when Sam's story is finally told. You've come a long way to turn your life around and I'm worried for you. I don't want to see you get hurt," the psychiatrist said with concern in her voice.

"Joy, I love her. She needs to bring closure with everything that has happened to her and I want to be there for her. It would make it that much easier if I knew that you were supporting us. I know that might be asking a lot, especially since you've already bailed me out of more than a lifetime of shit, but it means a lot to me," the tall woman finished, looking directly into the eyes of her mentor.

"Damn you Chris. I swear, if you do anything to hurt that girl you're going to have my wrath to deal with. Do you understand me?"

"Thank you Joy. And yes, I understand completely," Chris said gratefully with a huge smile on her face while hugging the psychiatrist.

"And one last thing" Joy said.

"Yes?" Chris asked, her eyebrow arched.

"You're twenty-eight years old Christina. If you're going to be making out with the girl, how about using a little discretion, hmm?" the doctor scolded as she opened the door and waved for the beautiful strawberry blonde with the hickey to join them.

It was impossible to see where the blush began and where it ended on the tall woman.

"Are you sure you're going to be okay tomorrow, sweetheart? I can call and try to arrange for a few more days off from work," Chris offered to the strawberry blonde as the two walked hand in hand along the beach.

"I'll be fine, stop worrying. Noreen and Helen are going to pick me up and take me to their shop in town. I can't wait to see it. Helen said they're getting everything set up for the opening next month. I told her I would help them, so I'll be spending the day there. It was really nice of them to rent us the cottage on such short notice," Sam said as she unconsciously took her hand out of her rescuer's and ran her short arm around the waist of the tall woman.

The two had walked for quite a distance in silence until they came to a jetty that had not yet been consumed by the coming high tide. Chris guided them to the furthest point and sat down. She breathed in a lungful of ocean air before talking.

"It really is beautiful out here," Sam sighed as the wind gently blew her shorter hair.

"Not nearly as beautiful as you," Chris insisted as she eyed the shorter woman.

"Christina, I'm not sure if I've told you about my parents," Sam said ignoring the compliment.

"You've told me a little. Is there something in particular you think I need to know?"

Silence.

"Samantha, what is it sweetheart?"

"Gregory, you know, the guy who killed Patty and then tried to rape me, well his father is a major client of my father's law firm. Actually, it's not his father who is the client, but the organization that his father leads. It's one of those religious right groups. They're anti everything that's not white male dominated and God fearing."

Chris had draped her arm around the shoulder of the smaller woman and had pulled her closer so she could lean her head on the strawberry blonde's. "So?"

"My mother is very much a supporter of their way of thinking. She believes that the life I have chosen means that I am damned to hell. I could tell when I told her what happened, you know what Gregory and Thomas had done, that she knew I was telling the truth. But yet, she still told me that I was responsible for what happened to us."

"Samantha, you and Patty were not responsible and you know that. There is never a reason, good or bad for anyone to rape and kill. Those guys are a product of their parents. They're perfect examples as to how, when bad values, bigotry and hatred are taught, people end up doing things, bad things to innocent people. To people like you and Patty."

"Christina, I don't think you realize what is going to happen. I not only have to go and face Gregory and Thomas, but I also have to deal with my parents. I keep trying to come up with a reason why they threw me out but I can't. I thought they loved me. It hurt, a lot, when they sent me away just before the trial and then started saying things to make it sound as though I had disappointed them. My father was more concerned about his law firm and my mother was more concerned about her precious religious organization. Neither of them were concerned about me," Sam finished, as the tears were now coming down her cheeks.

"Samantha, honey, I want you to listen to me," Chris said in an authoritative tone while staring deeply into the green orbs. "Nobody, and I mean nobody, will ever hurt you like that again. I know it must have been hard for you when your parents made their choices. But I believe that what you've decided to do is right. And I will be there with you. I don't care if it takes years, but we will see that justice is done. You are a kind, gentle and loving woman Samantha Daly. And when this whole thing is over, I promise you that the people who are most important will know that."

"Christina Polis, you have the attitude of a warrior and I love you so much," the strawberry blonde said quietly as she put her arms around the neck of her rescuer and placed a searing kiss on the full red lips. When the kiss ended the two sat staring into the others eyes. Both sets were filled with tears of love and joy.

"I'm not the warrior here, that's for sure," the tall beautiful woman said softly to her angel. "In time, my love, you'll see who the warrior really is," the rescuer said as she gently pulled the small woman up and carried her gracefully in her long arms to the small bungalow.

'Home, I finally know what home really means' Sam reflected happily as she wrapped her arms around the long neck and started nibbling on it. A small smile grew at the corners of her mouth when she noticed her lover quicken her pace to get them back to the cottage.

'It's going to be a long night,' the smaller woman thought hopefully.

'When I get her home?' the warrior thought sensuously.

The End???



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