~ The Sanitation Engineer ~
by Larisa

Top 25: Jul. 29, 2002
Disclaimer: Yep we all know who they remind us of but these are all mine. All the normal stuff that's in all my stuff is in here.

Violence: Some, not much

Sex: Of course there is!

The rest of the story: If you're a baby and still in diapers, come back when you're no longer jailbait. If it's illegal in your state, you live in a very boring place and should move.

Thanks to my Beta reader Salt4 for all the work, she did on this piece and Lesia, Ri, Maggie, Pebbles and the Webwarrior and Bardeyes. I'm a slave ta terrorize ya guys.

The Sanitation Engineer
By Larisa

The sun was yet to make its appearance in the sky, mists hung close to the ground, trailing their chilled fingers across surfaces. Dampness ran to collect in the gutter of a glistening road top. Streetlights gave an eerie glow to vehicles, trashcans and gathered litter and a tall dark figure waiting in the gloom of an alleyway. Dressed in black, the figure lounged against the damp brick wall of the adult bookstore. The gleam of a small silver object shone beneath the streetlight and then disappeared.

"Where the fuck is he?" A deep voice asked the darkness while a snapping noise signaled the closing of a pocket watch. The low chirp of a cell phone came from the deep pocket of the black leather duster the tall figure wore. A quick snip and a pale yellow glow of the phone cast the figure's face into jagged slashes of light when the phone was raised to an ear.


"Hey boss, the goods are in the trashcan across from you, I had an emergency and had to run. Mama ran out of Depends diapers."

"Why the Hell did you put it in the garbage?"

"I was in a hurry; it's wrapped in newspaper, inside a Food Lion bag that's inside a brown paper bag, inside a green garbage bag. Second steel garbage can on the right, Gotta go, happy scrounging." The voice was gone with the sound of the phone hanging up.

Narrowed eyes looked down at the slim phone in a large calloused hand and then to the garbage cans across the street.

"Stupid bastard couldn't walk across and hand me the goods."

Before Brice could move, a large baby blue garbage truck with a huge rainbow across the side came lumbering down the street on the opposite side. Coming from behind the truck was the most horrid noise ever to grace the ears of man or beast. A voice was singing loudly and in notes not meant to do anything but scare rodents away. The little electronic boxes, emitting the high piercing sound waves, sounded soothing compared to this. Brice slapped large hands over twitching ears and prayed for her eardrums not to bleed.

"Anxiety's got me on the run, anxiety destroys all the fuuuuuuun!
Can't ya hear my heartbeat, hear the way it sounds?
Can't ya feel my heartbeat, feel the way it pounds.
Don't ya have something ta slow it down yeaaah?"

A small figure dressed in grey work clothes bounced in the street behind the garbage truck, grabbing trash and tossing it into the large gapping mouth of the crusher. With each chorus she screamed, she did a little hip thrust to punctuate her words. Brice watched in horror as the second steel garbage can was tossed, slammed and banged onto the lip of the truck. After it was severely dented, it was tossed to the curb to roll aimlessly. The small women grabbed the handle on the side of the truck, her short blond hair blowing in the breeze as the truck moved through town.

Brice kicked the wall and everything in her path, the garbage cans scattered all over the street as she took out her anger at having lost the pick-up by mere seconds. Jumping up and down on the steel can, she made sure that it would never be used for anything again. The sounds of yelling came from a window above her and then sirens from a cop car approaching her. Kicking a can one last time, she ran off into the dark screaming curses to who ever she could think of. Running to her nondescript 1988 black Ford Escort with a bumper sticker that said "Bite Me" on its rusty bumper. She cringed when she pulled open the door and it let out a loud rusty squeaking noise. Jumping inside, the driver's seat fell to the side when the 2x4 slipped from beneath the seat's frame and fell halfway through the huge hole in the floor. Turning the key, the starter clicked until it caught and the engine sputtered to life.

"Have to follow that damn truck!" She wrenched the steering wheel in a tight turn and groaned. "No damn power steering! Fucking piece of shit Ford!" Screaming at the top of her lungs, she steered her car down the street the garbage truck. The Escort thumped and banged down Queen St. with the driver's side sitting much lower in front because of the Mickey Mouse spare wheel that donned the front axle. In minutes, smoke filled the small car causing Brice to open the windows and stick her head out to see where she was driving. She was used to smelling oil burning but not the scent of burning wood. The 2x4 sticking through the floor, glowed like a matchstick as she picked up speed in her pursuit of the garbage truck.


The truck rumbled down the gravel road toward the landfill. Dink had given up hanging off the side of the truck going down this road because at the end of the ride, she had so much dust covering her that she looked like Casper the friendly ghost. Sitting up in the cab with her co-worker and roommate, who everyone knew as DK because she said, "Don't know" to every question, she was asked. Dink bounced up and down in the seat as she sang at the top of her lungs to the music coming through the headset of her CD player.

Your love is like a tidal wave, spinning over my head
Drownin' me in your promises, better left unsaid
You're the right kind of sinner, to release my inner Fantasy.
The invincible winner, and you know that you were born to be.
You're a Heartbreaker
Dream Maker, Love Taker
Don't you mess around with me!
You're a Heartbreaker
Dream Maker, Love Taker
Don't you mess around?NO. NO. NO!

She looked at DK, who was completely oblivious to her surroundings and the God-awful sound of Dink's singing and grinned . Thanks to the dark wraparound sunglasses, headphones, cotton and earplugs that protected her hearing. Her dark wild hair tangled around her neck and covered half of her scowling face; she knew what Dink was doing and hoped that she would fall into the landfill when she emptied the truck. Pulling up to the edge, DK swung the truck around and backed it up. Hitting the brakes at the last second, she stopped, kicked the footbrake in, hit the switches that controlled the crusher and got out of the truck. Dink was already in the back with a long wooden pole with a nasty looking pointy hook on the end. The scraping noise of the crusher came to a halt from something blocking the hydraulic piston. Using her hook, she pulled out a large piece of wood and jumped back when a ragged paper bag popped out and landed at her feet.

"Put your eye out with that thing." DK growled at her and hit the button to engage the crusher.

"Jab you in your ass with it Lesssslie." She knew using DK's real name and dragging it out would irritate the hell out of her.

Gold eyes looked over the edge of dark sunglasses to glare at a grinning Dink. A lip curled up to show a gleaming white canine as a low throaty growl came through clenched teeth. "Shudup Dink!" Taking slow steps toward Dink, she came to an abrupt halt when garbage was forced from the back of the truck. "GOT LUCKY!" Was yelled over the noise. Dink picked up the paper bag and was ready to chuck it with the rest of the trash, when a box fell out. Opening it up, she pumped one hand in the air and yelled "YES!" Dropping down to sit with her feet hanging over the edge of the landfill pit, she looked closer at what she had found. A huge grin came to her face as she looked at the Buzz Light-Year doll. "Kewl! I don't have this model yet. You can sit right next to Woody." She wiped a bit of dust off the plastic and continued to talk to the doll.

"Dink let's go." DK hit the button and made sure that the crusher retracted all the way back before shutting it down.

"Look what I got Leslie, it's the collector's edition of Buzz! Ya know how much this is worth on E-Bay? I could sell it for a couple hundred bucks!" She grinned at her. "But I won't, he's gonna sit next to Woody. Aren't cha?" She imitated his voice, "Buzz Light-Year master of the universe!"


Brice walked into her store that she owned with her long time friend Terry. They had opened the novelty shop ten years ago to sell hard to get collectors items to the public. They had everything ranging from comic books to old 45 records. What made them lots of money were the figurines of super heroes like Xena, Gabrielle, X-men, Spiderman, Batman, Buffy, Willow and the Spawn characters. What they had lost that morning was something that would have brought them a sum of $600.00 dollars. Brice couldn't wait to get her hands on their friend and employee Ralph, he had cost them this sale and she would make sure that he paid for it. Going into the back office, she saw a head full of curly tawny hair peeking up from behind the desk that they shared.

"That God damn stupid ass Ralph lost our sale this morning!"

Terry jumped up and hit her forehead on the filing cabinet she was looking through. Rubbing her brow line, she glared at Brice with hazel colored eyes.

"I hate when you sneak up on me!" She got up to stand nose to chest with her six-foot friend. "One of these days I'm gonna knock myself out and it'll be all your fault!" She jabbed a finger into Brice's chest. "Now explain to me what Ralph did this time."

Crystal blue eyes were revealed when Brice took her Raybans off and laid them on the desk. Rubbing her eyes slowly, she tried to wipe the weariness from their depths.

"He put the package in a trash can and before I could get it, a garbage truck came by and this little woman with the worst singing voice I have ever heard, threw everything in her garbage truck and left." She sat with one hip propped on the edge of the desk and moaned. "I tried to follow the truck but my car caught on fire, so I lost them."

A portly man with the top of his head reflecting the overhead lights walked into the back room. He stopped, pointed a finger at Brice and rubbed his beard covered chin with his other hand.

"It's not my fault you were (opps) too slow getting across the street." He threw up his hands and rolled his eyes. "I have no idea why you have to pretend that we're some kind of criminals and play cloak and dagger shit all the time."

Brice stood up and came to her complete height to look down into Ralph's brown eyes. Her voice dropped to a dangerous purr.

"Because little man, I like playing games. It keeps my many skills honed to perfection, that's why." She grabbed the hair on his chin, gave it a yank and smirked when he gave out a loud yelp. "Now get your ass moving and find us another one before I go warrior princess on your ass and kick it to Hades and back!"

Ralph waved a hand in the air at her. "You are so damn?butch!" He glanced around her tall muscular body at Terry. "Why don't you get her a date so she can get laid, the Gods know she might be nicer after some woman changes her oil." A deep growl came from Brice; Ralph snorted at her, smacked her in her tight stomach and walked from the office. "Don't worry, I'll find the damn thing, after I get my mama her damn Depends. She needs to be potty trained again." He tossed over his shoulder to them.


Dink walked into her bedroom after taking a shower, her short blond hair slicked back and dripping into the collar of her grey Alcatraz T-shirt. Picking the box up with Buzz in it, she placed it on the shelf right next to Woody and all her other toys. For years, she had collected toys of every kind, but her favorites were the X-men and Xena. There was something about the tall dark warrior that called to her. She had every video of the series and watched them repeatedly until she had the lines memorized. Numerous times, DK had caught her throwing a plastic Chakram in the house.

"Dink come and eat!" DK yelled from the kitchen where she had been making lunch for them. She placed the huge pot of spaghetti in the center of the table and dropped two forks into the pot. Grabbing a cartoon of milk, she set it next to the spaghetti before taking her seat. She had just filled her mouth, when Dink came charging in to the kitchen, slid across the tiled floor in her socks and dropped into her chair. They ate their lunch from the pot and shared the milk until DK was full and ready to explode. Dink on the other hand, had gotten a loaf of bread and was cleaning the inside of the pot of the sauce with a buttered slice.. When she finished, she went to the pantry, got a bag of Oreo's and continued to eat. DK wanted to call Ripley's Believe It or Not and have Dink on the show as a human garbage disposal.

"Where the Hell do you put all that food?" She asked as she rubbed her aching stomach.

"Don't know." She said and chuckled at DK's glare. "What are we gonna do tonight?"

"Same thing we do every night, sit and stare at each other."

"God our lives are so thrilling!" She dropped her head onto the table and groaned.


With Dink threatening to sing the entire night from her favorite CD by Belinda Carlyle and the Go Go's, DK gave in and went to a nearby bar that had karaoke after 9pm. DK knew that Dink would get up on stage, make a complete ass of herself, and cause the patrons of the bar to throw money at her to get her off the stage. After she thought about it she realized, the money that Dink picked up whenever they went to that bar was enough to pay for their drinks and get breakfast when they left.

"Come on Dink its 9:02pm get up there and sing. We have drinks to pay for!" DK pushed her toward the stage and ducked the beer caps that people threw at her. Standing to her great height of five foot six, she pointed a finger at one man who was going to throw a lemon he had taken from the bar. "You throw that and I'll shove it up your ass!" Her golden eyes bore into his until he dropped the lemon and turned to face the mirror on the wall. "Asshole men, kick his ass and enjoy it!" She mumbled on her way back to their table.

Dink bowed to the screaming crowd. She just didn't get it that they were screaming in horror, not because she was good.

"Thanks everyone, hopefully I'll get a song you all know." She turned to the blue screen that would show the words for the song that she was to perform. After the first few chords of the song, the patrons let out a loud collective groan, some went as far as to cover their ears. "I love this song!" Dink said over the microphone and gave everyone a big smile that went all the way to her green eyes. "I love Britney Spears!" She bounced around on the stage and waited for the lyrics to show on the screen.

"You tell me your in love with me.
Like you can't take your
pretty eyes away from meeeeee!
It's not that I don't want to stay
but every time you come too close I move awaaaaay!"

Dink continued to sing even though quarters and nickels bounced off her body. The man from earlier, tried to walk up to the stage and dodge the coins being thrown around him. Covering his one ear, he used his shoulder to block the other while he dug in his pocket for money.

"Hey Dink! I got a fifty if you get OFF the stage!" He yelled and waved the bill at her. She took one look at the money, hung the microphone up, grabbed the fifty and ran to join DK.

"Damn I'm getting good if I get a fifty out of it!" She waved the bill in front of DK and gave out a triumphant YES! She went up on stage two more times and got the same reaction, except for the fifty bucks the now inebriated man had given her earlier. They left at closing time with Dink hanging onto DK to keep from falling over. It would be a long walk home since neither one of them could see straight.


"Will you hold the God damn flashlight where I can see! You stupid little man!" Brice yelled from where she was hip deep in garbage. The three of them had been out at the landfill for hours, looking through the garbage trying to find the package that was lost. Ralph sat with his legs dangling over the edge; he kept shining the flashlight away from Brice every time he heard a noise. His greatest fear was to have a rat run up his pant leg, he wasn't taking any chances on that happening. He had a Louisville slugger and a big rock at hand just in case one came near him.

In his lisping faggot voice, he whined. "Brice you do realize that it's dark out here and I'm being eaten alive by mosquitoes carrying hypodermic needles."

"Shudup Ralph! Or get down here and help!" She yelled back, then tripped and fell face first into the garbage.

"Holly shit something got her!" Terry yelled and tried to make her way over to her friend. She let out a blood-curdling scream when a bat swooped down and tangled itself in her hair. She thrashed around in the garbage, swinging her arms trying to beat off the poor flying rodent, which was trying to get away from her. She crawled across the garbage and landed on top of a struggling Brice. Together they screamed, yelled and beat at Terry's head.

"Hey! You can't do that down there!" Ralph yelled and shined the flashlight into their panicked eyes. "Get a motel room for Gods sake." He smacked his forehead and winched. "Sex and the garbage dump, the sordid tail of desperation."

"You're a dead man, Ralph!" Brice yelled while crawling across the garbage and dragging an hysterical Terry by her leg. "Worse! You're taking bat woman home with you!"

"The Hell I am!" He jumped up, grabbed his baseball bat and ran off into the night, leaving Brice to drag Terry out of the pit and take her home.

When they got home, Brice gave her one of her "don't fuck with me looks" and stomped off toward her bedroom, mumbling under her breath and praying that Ralph would be attacked by flying monkeys that would haul his flaming faggot ass off to Oz.

"I hate this shit!" Terry yelled from where she was standing in front of the mirror in the bathroom. "Are you sure he's not still in my hair somewhere?"

"Don't worry about it, with the way you look in the morning no one will know anyway." Brice yelled back to her. "Who knows, he may find a girlfriend hiding in there." She said to herself and chuckled.

"If I find him still in my hair?I'm SLEEPING WITH YOU!"

The sound of Brice's bedroom door slamming shut and the lock going home had her panicking, she turned the shower on as hot as she could get it and jumped in fully clothed.


DK rolled from her bed and crawled across the floor to the bathroom. She wouldn't have had a problem, except Dink was lying in the hallway and in her way for all of a second. She crawled over the top of her and stopped with her head resting on the cold toilet seat. A long sigh came from her when the coldness chased away the fever from her overindulgence of Sex on the Beach shooters. The thought of a Fuzzy Naval made her insides roll and shivers go up her back. All she could picture was some fat guy with his short fat fingers jiggling his hairy gut. Shivering, she crawled on hands and knees to the bathtub and fell in. Turning the water on, she screamed when it came out ice cold.

"Shudup, Leslie!" Dink yelled from the hallway and groaned when a pain shot through her head and almost forced her eyeballs to fall out. "No more Fuzzy Naval shooters!" She whimpered from the floor and heard DK scream from the bathroom. A loud roar had the floor shaking beneath her, she patted her stomach trying to calm down the monster within. What she wanted was almost cooked eggs, greasy bacon and English muffins saturated in grape jelly. Her cooking was something close to a three-alarm fire, she had gotten use to eating her eggs almost cooked and her bacon burnt to a crisp. If not for the little dial on the toaster, she was sure she'd burn her English muffins as well. She had done that half a dozen times, that's what the five-gallon jar of jelly was for, to make the muffins edible when burnt.

Dumping the eggs into the frying pan, she ignored the bits of shell in them and added shredded cheddar cheese to disguise them.

"Ohh my Gods!" DK groaned from where she was leaning against the doorframe in soaking wet clothes. "How can you eat with a hang over from Hell!?"

She turned around to face DK with a spoon hanging out of her mouth and grape jelly all over her face. She pulled the spoon from her mouth and held it out to her roommate.

"Want some? It's really good."

DK shuddered, her face turned white and an inhuman noise came from her before she ran for the bathroom. "Eeehhhggg."

Dink shrugged her shoulders and went back to fixing her breakfast.

"Suit yourself, more for me!"


When Terry and Brice entered the store, Ralph had just hung up the phone. His face a pale color with sweat rolling down his temples. He gave Brice a worried look and fumbled with the notepad before him.

"That was the guy who wanted the package, he?us?we're all dead!" He screamed and fell from his chair in a dead faint.

"What the Hell is he yakking about?" Brice took the pad from the desk and read what Ralph had written down.

Mr. Paul Benson (283) 458-0391 package in three days or else!

"Have ya ever noticed that Ralph writes like a psychopath?" Brice handed the pad to Terry, went over, slapped the Hell out of Ralph until he came to and then slugged him in his jaw. Terry raised an eyebrow at her.

"Did you just wake him up and knock him out again?"

"Yep, and it was fun to. Get on the phone and see if you can find another package for that Sampson idiot."

"You mean do the usual thing of screwing people out of prized positions?"

"Yep and I'm gonna check E-Bay and see if we have any hits on our stuff."


Terry was leaned back in her chair, her feet on the desk and speaking into the phone in a sultry voice that could give gay men hard-on's.

"Yes Sir, this is Terrance Penbrook and I am the executive officer for the recall department of Disney. Because you sent in the warranty paper after your purchase, I am able to contact you. We seem to have a problem with our Buzz Light-Year collector's model and Mr. Walt, I call him that because we're such close friends. Any who," She drops her voice to a deep purr. "It seems that the doll will say very nasty things when your child presses the speak button. We've had reports that he offers to give oral sex." She paused when the man gave a horrified gasp and yelled for his wife to get the toy. "Sir what I need you to do is send that toy to us here and we will replace him with a model that has been checked for the bad micro chip." She gave him the address and hung up with a satisfied smile on her face. She had finally found a sucker after making 30 phone calls, it had become so much easier after Brice had conned some kindergartener into hacking into all the major toy companies warranty files. They could pull up a toy, get the purchasers information and call them.


"Listen you little troll! There's no way in Hell that I'm gonna drop the price of a signed picture of Spiderman to a buck!"

Huge green eyes glared up at her from behind glasses that had to be at the least three inches thick. The kid had a night brace sticking out of his fleshy lips, drool ran down the corners of his mouth and when he spoke spittle sprayed all over the place.

"It's only worth a buck you Amazon bitch!" He lisped. "I can get one on Yahoo for a buck!" His fluorescent red hair stuck up from where the rubber head strap crossed his pointy-head. Brice was about to bust into hysterical laughter, but held it in check, when his face turned the same color as his hair and his big ears started flapping.

"I had to scale a freaking building, chase him across roof tops, and then tackle him to get that signature. Give me two bucks and it's yours."

"All right, I can't believe I'm paying two bucks for this." He pulled out a change purse and started counting out pennies. Brice rolled her eyes and let out a deep groan.

Ralph poked his head up from the PC where he was checking their E-Bay auctions. "When you're done, I need you and the Queen in the back room. I have an order to fill." He snickered and added. "In costume you butch bitch."

Brice narrowed her eyes and threw a penny at him.

"Hey you screwed up my counting!" The red haired troll whined at her.

"Gimme those damn pennies!" She scooped up a handful and weighed them in her hand. Tossing two back on the counter, she dropped the rest into the register and growled. "Get out!" She let out a crazed laugh when the troll screamed and ran from the store. "Fucking little freak! Signed Spidey picture my hairy ass!"

Ralph raised a dark brow at her. "You have hair on your ass?"

"No you dumb fag, when's the last time you saw Spiderman and got him to sign a picture?"

"Ohhh I gotcha, now get back there and get changed. I need to get this picture out today."

Brice yelled for Terry and walked to the closet where they kept a variety of costumes. Pulling out what they would need, she went into the back to get changed. A few minutes later, she yelled for Ralph and told him to get his camera.


"Ohhh come on now, we all know about the subtext. Get closer you two, you have to make those goo goo eyes at each other." Ralph was getting frustrated with them, he walked up and moved their bodies the way he needed them posed. "OK, now Terry put you face right against her tit and look up with that sappy adoring look."

Ice blue eyes narrowed, Brice flipped her long hair over her shoulder and pointed a long finger toward him. "Ralph, you have two seconds to snap the damn picture before I let this fake Chakram trim your beard!"

"You two are impossible!" He snapped the picture, ran to the PC unit, downloaded it from the digital camera and waited for it to come out of the printer. When it was finished, he went into the back room with a black magic marker. "Now sign it To Candy, Love Xena and Gabrielle."

Terry shook her head in amazement and signed the picture. "I can't believe those fools fall for this, I look nothing like Renee O'Connor."

"Look at me." Brice held out her arms to show off her fake brass breastplate. "My tits are bigger, I'm taller than her and I cut my damn finger putting that resin sword in it's sheath, do ya think Lucy ever did that?

"Ohh who cares!" Ralph said while placing the 8x10 picture in an express envelope. "We just made $25.00 for two minutes work."


Paul Benson cringed at the loud voice chewing him a new asshole. It wasn't his fault that the damn novelty shop fucked up the delivery. All he did was arrange for their military contact to sell the toy to the novelty shop and then they were to pick it up and deliver it to him so that he could give it to his boss Aaron Sampson. Now he was trying to explain everything to the son of a bitch.

"I don't care what you have to do, you get that damn toy! That microchip will be in my hand ASAP! I already told the Russians that we could get it from the military. Without it they can't build their guided missiles!" He leaned over his desk, his brown eyes boring into the other man's. "Get it or I send you to Russia to explain!" He sat back in his chair and smoothed down his goatee.

"Yes Sir, I'll get on it right away."

"Do whatever you need to do, even if it means hiding bodies!"

Benson ran from the office, he would have to make reservations for the next flight from New York to Dulles Airport and then rent a car to drive to Charlestown, West Virginia.


Early the next morning Brice and Terry stopped at McDonalds drive thru for breakfast and then headed to the store. Terry had wrapped herself in a bed sheet to keep from getting her clothes covered in soot from Brice's car. She couldn't believe that the damn thing was still running after catching on fire. The paint was bubbled and browned in places, the windows were shattered, all of the upholstery was blackened and burnt completely through in places to show the springs.

"You need a new car Brice."

"I can't afford one now, I was depending on that sale. I needed two hundred more to be able to buy that 1983 Honda Civic at Bob's car sales."

"Uuhmm Brice, how the Hell are your long legs gonna fit in that tiny car?" She gazed down to where Brice's kneecaps came close to the steering wheel of the much bigger Escort.

She grinned at Terry and winked. "Easy, I was going to take out the driver's seat and sit in the back."

They went into the store; Brice stopped and was looking out the door when a big baby blue garbage truck went past. Her jaw dropped and she stuttered and pointed at it.

"Terr?that's?.truck?toy!" She ran around the store trying to find her keys. "Where's my keys?!"
"In your pocket genius." She said off handed. "Hey, maybe one of the garbage men took the package?"

Brice froze where she was standing halfway out the door, looking back over her shoulder an evil wicked gleam came to her blue eyes, followed by a demonic grin.

"I never thought of that? They always pick up stuff and take it home." She remembered her garbage man taking an old broken down end table and putting it in the cab of the garbage truck. "I have to find that little blond with the awful singing voice." She paced the length of the store and got an idea. "I'll be back!" She sprinted out the door, jumped into her crispy car and lurched away.

"I think she's finally lost it?"

"Lost what?" Ralph said from the back room.

"Her mind, she's going to look for the blond garbage person. She might have that Buzz doll, and Brice is going to see if that's the case. If she finds her, that is."


Dink was hanging off the side of the garbage truck, her CD player blasting in her ears as they drove down a side street, known to have the most trash. This was one of the few places that DK would get out and help load the truck. Dink shook her head at the raggedy couch and chair that someone had thrown out. Did they think that they drove a mulching truck or something? She picked up the chair and struggled with it until DK gave her a hand getting into the back of the truck; she hit the controls and watched the crusher turn it into toothpicks.

"God I love when it does that." DK yelled over the noise. "Love to throw our boss in there." She grinned evilly. "Or your CD collection!" They hefted the couch in and watched it get crushed in half. Using Dink's stick, DK pushed it in the rest of the way until it was smashed to pieces. Forty-five minutes later, they were done with that street and headed to the landfill to empty the truck. When they pulled up to the edge, Dink jumped out and hit the controls to push the garbage out of the truck. She dropped down on the ground and rested while the truck was emptying. It had been a long day and they still had three more runs to make before they could go home. Lying back on the ground, she fell into a light sleep.


Brice drove her lurching car around town looking for the right garbage truck. She had no idea what she would do when she found it. She spoke to the little Yoda doll glued to the dashboard, "By chance while you were scaring us all to death with your singing, did you find a Buzz Light-Year doll in the garbage? I lost my dolly; did you find it in the garbage? Give me the doll or I'll kick your ass! If I don't get Buzz back, a customer's gonna kill us! I can't believe that I'm talking to Yoda, better I can't believe that I'm going to go up to a total stranger and ask if they have Buzz at home and can I have him back!" She had driven around town for an hour before it hit her that the truck might be at the landfill. Turning around, she headed in the opposite direction. "You are so stupid Brice Marlton; you should have gone there to begin with and waited." Twenty minutes later, she was pulling down the gravel road to the landfill. Taking the long way around, she stopped when she spotted five baby blue garbage trucks all emptying into the huge pit. "Shit, just my luck." She drove slowly past the trucks looking for the small blonde woman.


DK bent over and turned off Dink's CD player. "Get up, Dink! I swear you can sleep anywhere." DK kicked her foot and waited. "Two seconds and I roll you into the pit!"

"Meany! won't let me sleep at the landfill." She rolled to her feet and swayed. "It's such a beautiful place, stagnant air, black flies and all the comforts of the Hilton."

They got into the truck and pulled away, DK did a double take when a burned out Escort lurched past.

"Wonder if she's gonna drive it off into the pit?"

"Who and what?" Dink asked as she looked out her side view mirror.

DK gave her a smirk. "Don't know."

"Yeah right." She waved her CD player in front of DK. "Get ready, I have Tina Turner today." She put her earplugs in, turned her CD player on and let her feet tap dance across the dashboard to the theme song from Mad Max Beyond Thunder Dome.


Brice came to a halt to avoid the garbage truck; she looked into her rear view mirror and saw the blonde woman looking at her from the side view mirror of the truck. She hit the gas pedal and heard her car cough and then die.

"You son of a bitch!" She turned the key and heard the starter click and then nothing. She swung the door open, cringed from the noise and pulled the hood up. "Rotten piece of shit!" Steam rose from the radiator cap, oil leaked from the valve cover gaskets and a hose spurted antifreeze. "Damn it to Hades and back!" She went to the back seat, got her roll of duct tape and taped up the hose. Now all she could do was wait for it to cool down and use her solar powered battery charger to get it started and maybe a hammer on the starter. Sitting on the rusty bumper, she rested her forearms on her thighs and let her head hang down. "Just my luck, I find her and this piece of shit dies on me."

"Hey ya need some help lady?"

Brice looked up to see an older man in a grey uniform coming toward her.

"It overheated; I'm waiting for it to cool down."

He looked at the car and snorted. "If I was you, I'd push it in the pit and be done with it."

She gave him a grin and nodded her head. "Believe me I'm very tempted at this point." She got up and slammed the hood down, then turn to look at him. "Do you know a little blonde woman that drives a garbage truck?"

"Only have one woman driving and that's DK, but she's got dark hair." He scratched his jaw and chin, spit tobacco juice a few feet away then turned back to her. "Now there's her roommate Dink, she's blonde and crazier than hell."

Brice's face lit up, a small smile came to her lips. "Sing really bad and dances around?"

"Yep, that's her. Why ya wanna know?"

"She ahhh collected the garbage from my store and something may have been thrown out by mistake." She held out her hands to him. "Just wanted to ask her if she saw it."

"I can tell ya that they go ta that Karaoke bar in town, but take earplugs." He grinned with tobacco stained teeth. "She gets up there and sings."

Brice shivered at the thought of the blond singing. "I'll be sure and take plenty of hearing protection. Thanks." She jumped back in her car, pumped the gas pedal and prayed that it would start. She had plans to make and bribery to do. There was no way in Hell she was going to a karaoke bar alone. She would drag Terry with her so that she could have her ears bleed right along with her.


"Come on Lesssslie! I wanna go sing." Dink was on her knees, arms wrapped around a thick muscular thigh. "Pleeeeease! I'll buy breakfast." She whined and gave her best puppy dog look.

"Breakfast at IHOP?" DK asked.

"Anywhere you want."

A huge toothy grin came across DK's face; she nodded her head and helped Dink to her feet. "Can I ask ya something?"

"Sure, what cha want ta know?" She batted her lashes at her.

"Why do we go there all the time and don't tell me it's so you can sing. You sing all damn day and even when you sleep!"

A light blush ran up from her neck to color her cheeks a healthy pink. Her eyes downcast she answered in a whisper.

"I want a woman who can sing to me."

"Dink, that happens to be the straightest place around, and you're the only woman who's ever gotten up there and sang."

"I can hope can't I? Who knows? Maybe some big butch woman will get lost and wander in there one night?"


"You want me to do what?" Terry yelled. "Karaoke bar? Are you nuts or what?"

Pale blue eyes rolled, Brice threw her head back and shook her head. "Come on Terry, she goes there to terrorize the hearing. If you can chat her up, which you do soooo good, then we can see if she has Buzz."

"You are sooo good at BULLSHIT!" She shook her head making her long tawny hair swirl across her shoulders. "Chat her up, and what if she knocks the Hell outta me because she thinks I'm hitting on her?"

Brice shot her a lopsided grin and clapped her on the shoulder. "Duck and run like hell."

"And how am I supposed to know who she is?"

"Easy, when your ears ache and start to bleed, look on stage and you'll find her."

"OOHH GREAT! My ears bleeding." She walked away mumbling under her breath.


Dink put on her rattiest blue jeans, a white wife beater and her black work boots. She wanted to make sure that if a dyke did come in she could recognize her right off. Running her hands through her hair, she mussed it to give it an un-kept look. Satisfied with the way she looked, she went to see if DK was ready.

When they walked into the bar, the place was more crowded than usual. Then again, it was Friday. DK went to the bar and got their drinks while, Dink found a table close to the dance floor and stage. It was still early so they had about an hour to wait until the karaoke started. After staking claim to a table, Dink went onto the dance floor and danced alone. DK watched her small roommate dance, she may not be able to sing but she could certainly make everyone's blood boil when she danced. A few minutes before 9pm, Dink came back to the table to slam her beer and take a few minutes to catch her breath. She had a good feeling that night her life was about to change.


Paul Benson swore up and down that he was the sorriest bastard in the world. He had followed Brice all day long, since he had located her store. The fumes coming from her car were so bad that he had a migraine and now he was inside a damn karaoke bar. He checked the .38 pistol in the back of his waistband and felt a little better. He was running out of time, in just a day and a half, he had to have the doll and get it back to his boss. He would give her half a day and then take care of everyone involved. He wasn't going to take any chances with this assignment; his own life depended on it. He moved in the shadows of the bar but kept an eye on the tall woman and her friend. After browsing her store and speaking to a flaming little man, he knew that they had no Buzz dolls in the store. He needed to get in her house and see if she had lied about the thing being taken to the landfill by mistake. He thought that maybe the outrageous price that Mr. Sampson had paid for the doll had made her suspicious.


Brice and Terry stood at the very back of the bar and watched Dink dance. Brice felt her blood roar in her ears, while Terry filled her fingernails.

"Uuhhmm Brice you big dummy, if you're staring at her thinking you can will her clothes away, it doesn't work! The Gods know I've tried that a few times and been completely disappointed."

"No you just take all the clothes off the dolls in the shop."

Terry's eyes grew wide, her mouth opened and worked for a bit before she spoke. "How?I do?well..." She dropped her hazel eyes to the floor and scuffed her toes. "So, it's been years since I've seen a real honest to God naked woman."

"That may change tonight." She nodded to Dink. "Go charm her clothes off. Use that sexy ass telephone voice of yours."

"And if I manage to do that, then what?"

"You go home with her and search her house for Buzz."

"So I bang her and then search? That sounds so?cheap, not to mention low!"

All Brice could do was shrug her shoulders and push Terry toward Dink. "Go get her, Terry." Her heart fought with her over what she had just done. She knew it wasn't right to use the woman like that but her and her friends' lives depended on finding that stupid doll. What bothered her was why the doll was so important. Why would this man pay $600.00 for the damn thing, when he could get it somewhere else a whole lot cheaper? When and if they got Buzz, she was going to make sure that she took the damn thing to a friend of hers and have it checked out before she turned it over.


Terry straightened her clothes and strutted over to where Dink was sitting alone. She cleared her throat and leaned against the edge of the table. "Excuse me, I've never been here before can you tell me what the stage is for?" Green eyes lifted to lock with twinkling hazel. "Can I sit down; I feel a little funny hovering over you like this?"

"Sure have a seat." Dink pushed the chair across from her out with her foot. "The stage is for Karaoke, ya know when people get up there and make asses out of themselves?" She gave Terry a small smile. "Do you sing?"

Terry smiled and shook her head no. "Can't carry a tune to save my life. Why?"

"Ohh, no reason really." She blushed and looked down at the tabletop to play in the moisture from her beer bottle.

"Ohh, come on, I can tell by that look that there's more to it than that. Who better to tell than a total stranger?" She leaned over the table and offered Dink a friendly smile.

"All right, I see your point." She picked up the red rose she had bought up at the bar and sniffed it's delicate scent. "This will sound really stupid and pathetic. I want a woman to sing to me."

Alarms went off in Terry's head; here was something she could work with. "Does she have to be good?"

"No, it's just the thought of someone doing something as simple as singing to me that counts. Is that lame or what?"

Terry gave her a genuine smile. "No it's not; people take the small things for granted."

Dink realized the lights on the stage had come on; a wicked grin came to her face. "Looks like it's time for me to make the drink money." She winked at Terry. "Nice talking to you, maybe I'll see you after I sing?"

"OK, I'll make sure to stick around until you're done."

When Dink got up and went to the stage, Terry rushed over to where Brice was standing.

"Can you sing?"

"What?" She asked with a raised eyebrow.

"Can you sing? If you can even hit a right note we got a way into her house."

"What the hell are you rambling about?"

"She wants a woman to sing to her. If you sing to her you can get closer to her."

"Terry that has got to be the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard."

"No, it's something very simple and just talking to her I can tell that it's small things that mean the world to her."

Brice dropped her head, closed her eyes and thought about it for a minute. This could save their lives.

"All right, I'll do it." She said softly.

"Ya know she is kinda cute in a butch way?"

"Huh? What are you getting at?"

"For Gods sake, Brice, take a good look at her. She screams family."

Dink got up on stage and bowed to all the people throwing stuff at her. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw DK smack some guy in his head, snatch a lime from his hand and smash it on his forehead. Giving her a thumbs up, she started the song by Usher. Brice handed Terry a pair of earplugs and stuck her own into her ears. Terry gave her a funny look until Dink started singing. She quickly stuck them in her ears and sighed with relief.

After the normal treatment from the patrons, Dink got down off the stage and watched as a drunk man took her spot behind the microphone.

"That was just?awful!" DK said as she handed her friend a beer.

"So? It got us our drink and breakfast money." She waved close to thirty dollars in DK's face.

DK picked up the red rose and spun it between her fingers. "What's the rose for?"

"For the woman who sings for me."

"You sound awful sure of yourself, Dink."

"I can always hope."


An hour went by and the karaoke was winding down for the night. Terry kept poking Brice in her ribs and getting dirty looks in return. "Brice we're running out of time here."

"I know I know, but all the songs suck!"

"For Christ sakes, Brice, what do you want, the top ten?" She looked to the table where Dink was sitting with DK. Her eyes grew wide when she was able to see DK clearly. She jumped when Dink got up from the table and started toward the door. "Shit! Get up there she's leaving!" Brice looked to see Dink talking to the bartender, then shaking his hand. She took off at a slow jog to the stage and cleared her voice. Keeping her eyes on Dink, she waited until she turned around. Then dropped her eyes to the screen for the lyrics. A lopsided smile came to her face when she saw the name of the song.

I've walked these streets
a virtual stage it seemed to me
make up on their faces
actors took their places next to me
I've walked these streets in a carnival
Of sights to see
All the cheap thrill seekers
The vendors and the dealers
They crowd around me
Have I been blind
Have I been lost
Inside myself and my own mind
by what my eyes have seen?

Brice sang the song without looking at the screen, instead she looked right into shocked green eyes that came closer to her with each word. By the time she was done, Dink was at the edge of the stage completely mesmerized by the voice and pale blue eyes. Her hand rose of it's own accord and offered the red rose to Brice. Their fingers touched for a brief moment as the rose was exchanged from one hand to the other. Brice gave her a small smile and a nod of her head. Before she could say more, DK took Dink's hand and led her from the bar. Brice was ready to scream and then she saw Terry standing near the door wiggling car keys. She jumped down from the stage and ran to the door.

"Let's go stud muffin, we'll follow them." Terry grabbed Brice's hand and pulled her from the bar. Once in Terry's car, they took off to follow the taillights of DK's truck. "I didn't think her friend would drag her out like that." Terry said.

"And I had her right in my hand!" She ran her thumb over her fingers and swore that she could still feel Dink's small-calloused fingers. She lifted the rose to her nose, took in the scent and smiled. "Ya know, Terry, no one's ever given me a rose before."

"Well, no one ever told me you could sing." She took a quick glance at her friend. "I almost fell over and Dink had to have creamed her jeans." She chuckled at the disgusted look on Brice's face. "You should have seen her, I swear she almost tripped over her jaw."

"Come on I'm not that good and what the hell are we gonna do when they get home?"

"I have no idea?" She cracked a grin. "You could stand outside her window and serenade her."

"Haa! Think again Penbrook, I'm not serenading her. We'll break in when they go to sleep."


"I will make you hurt when we get home!" Brice whispered hoarsely in Terry's ear.

"Promise?" She wiggled her brows, handed her a rose and then pushed Brice toward the bedroom window, where they had seen Dink. "Now sing!"

"Can't believe I'm doing this." She took a deep breath and moved closer to the window. She began singing Natalie Merchants' Beloved Wife.


Dink thought she was hearing things, a sweet voice was coming from outside her window. She closed her eyes and waited for it to leave her head, it only became clearer. With slow steps, she walked toward her window and looked out to see pale blue eyes looking in at her. At first, she was afraid, until she recognized the woman from the bar. A smile graced her face and traveled to her eyes. A large hand came into view, holding a pure white rose. Tears formed in Dink's eyes. No one had ever given her a flower, let alone a rose. She held up one finger and ran from her room. In a matter of seconds, she was standing before Brice and accepting the gift. By the end of the song, tears flowed from her eyes to trail across her blushing cheeks.

Brice felt her heart pound in her chest, the light from the window shone down onto Dink, making her look like an ethereal being. Then a sadness overcame her when she saw the tears flow from the green eyes. For a reason she didn't quite understand, she reached out and wiped the tears from Dink's cheek. As the last word drifted from her lips, she shocked herself by pulling the small blond into her arms and held her as she cried. It felt so right to hold her and she didn't want to let go.

Terry fell over where she was hiding in the bushes. She couldn't believe what she had just witnessed. "I gotta hand it to ya, you are a smooth one Marlton."

"I'm sorry, I'm such a wuss." Dink whispered with her face pressed to Brice's chest. She leaned back and looked into blue eyes. "Here I am getting your shirt all wet and I don't even know your name."

"I'm Brice Marlton, when you left so suddenly... I... well?I wanted to ask you about the rose, so I followed you home." She looked down to where she was still holding Dink's hands. "I hope I didn't overstep any boundaries by doing this."

Dink let out a soft chuckle. "You're kidding right, my Gods, no one has ever done anything so romantic as serenade me before. In fact no one has ever done anything romantic for me period." She dropped her eyes to their hands. "Sorry, I babble when I'm nervous. Would you like to come in for some coffee?"

"Sure, I would like that."

Terry punched a hand in the air when Brice and Dink walked toward the front door of the ranch style house. She waited until she heard the front door close and went to the window, pushed the screen up and climbed in. She waited for a minute before she started her search. She held back doing a happy dance when she saw a number of Buzz dolls sitting on the shelf against one wall.

"Shit! Which one is it?"

"Doesn't matter because I'm taking them all," a deep voice said from behind her. She spun around to see the end of a shiny .38 pointed at her forehead. She did something she would never have thought she could in such a situation. She screamed Brice's name and slammed her body into the man. The pistol went off and shot Woody through his hat.


"What the Hell was that?" DK screamed running into the kitchen from the living room, where she had been watching TV. Her eyes grew wide at the sight of Brice, then she turned tail and ran, Brice and Dink right on her heels, in the direction of the sound. When they reached Dink's bedroom, they discovered a man jumping out the window and Terry lying on the floor with blood seeping into the carpet at her head. Brice dropped by her friend's side and ran her fingers up her neck to feel a strong pulse beating.

"I'll get you a towel." Dink said as she ran to her bathroom.

DK kneeled on the other side of Terry and looked Brice in the eye. "What the Hell are you doing here, what's she doing in Dink's bedroom and who the Hell jumped out the window?"

Ice blue eyes narrowed and drilled into gold. "Can this wait?" Brice looked down when Terry moaned and her eyes fluttered open.

"Damn my head hurts." Brice helped her sit up and found the lump behind her ear and the small gash that was bleeding heavily. "That son of a bitch hit me with a gun!"

"Terry what happened?"

She looked at the angry looking woman beside her and knew she had to lie. "He?went through the window so I came to the window to see what he was doing?"

"Wait, Terry, we can't do this." She took a deep breath and looked at Dink. "We have to tell them what's going on, their lives are in danger now." She helped Terry to her feet. "Can we talk in the kitchen, she needs some ice for her head."

They sat around the table drinking coffee, Brice told them as much as she knew of what was going on. What she didn't know was who the guy was that had tried to kill Terry or how he knew where they were.

Dink held up her hand to halt Brice. "You mean to tell me this is all over the Buzz doll that I found in our garbage truck?"

"Seems so." Terry replied. "I think there's something more to this." She looked to Brice. "I know there are crazy collectors out there but who's crazy enough to pay 600bucks for Buzz?"

DK slapped the table and leaned close to Terry. "What? 600bucks! Give it to the guy! And a finder's fee to my good buddy Dink. She could spend it on singing lessons."

"Hold on now, let me get Buzz and see if there's something different about him." She left the others and she ran to her bedroom, returning with the box in her hands. She sat down, looked closely at the box and saw nothing abnormal. She used a fork from the table to cut the tape on the box and slid Buzz out. She looked first at his feet. Her green eyes narrowed and then went to Brice. "He's not a collector's model, he's just a regular Buzz."

"Well that proves it, there must be something else about him." Brice mumbled. "Got a screwdriver?"

Fifteen minutes later, Buzz was in pieces and a small microchip lay in the middle of the kitchen table.

"Know anybody who knows about microchips?" Brice asked Dink and DK.

"Nope." They answered.

"Brice, how about that hacker you use, maybe he knows about them?"

"Terry he's in kindergarten."

"A six year old hacker." DK gave them a funny look. "Just what kind of people do you associate with?"

Terry explained what the hacker had done for them and why. She was willing to tell her all of her deep down secrets, including her sexual fantasies. DK's golden eyes made her stomach do flips and the sight of her strong hands made tingles rush through her body.

Dink's eyes grew wide at what Terry was saying, and her jaw hit the table when she heard about the phony autographed pictures of Xena and Gabrielle they sold over the internet. Without saying a word, she ran from the kitchen and returned with an 8x10 of the famous duo. She looked closely at it and growled deep in her throat.

"That's you two isn't it?"

Terry picked up the picture and grimaced. "Gods do I look sappy in that. I look like I'm about to rip your breast plate off." She slid the picture to Brice and watched her smirk.

"I'd have to hit you if you tried." She looked at the pissed off little blond. "Sorry Dink, I'll give you what you paid for this."

"You sing another song to me and I'll call us even."

"Deal. Now I don't know how you two will feel about this but?I think you should come home with us. He knows where you live and he may come back to get Buzz."

DK looked right at Terry and grinned. "Sounds good to me, lets get going."

Dink held up a hand, a huge toothy grin covered her face. "Let's put Buzz back together without the chip, put him on the shelf and let that guy steal him. That gives us some time to figure out what the Hell is going on."


Terry pulled Brice to the side once they were outside, she had something up her sleeve and Brice wasn't sure she wanted to hear it. Her ideas always managed to get them into trouble.

She pulled Terry by the front of her T-shirt so they were nose to nose. "This had better not be one of your asinine ideas, Ter, or I'll poke your eyes out."

"Nope, trust me on this one. I think we should split up, ya know, I ride with DK and you take Dink. We go in different directions to get home, that way if mister freaky is following, we'll make it harder for him."

Brice closed her eyes, scratched her jaw and then nodded her head. "OK, sounds good to me even though I know what you really want."

Terry gave her a look of complete innocence and blinked her eyes a few times.

"Excuse me, but what could you mean by that statement?"

"Easy, you and a certain non-speaking, golden eyed, muscle head in your car. Alone!"

"Wrong!" She hit Brice in her stomach. "Me and DK alone in her truck. I shouldn't drive with this serious head trauma and I may just pass out across the seat to land in someone's lap." Dropping her keys in to Brice's hand, she gave her a wicked grin before running off to moan and groan about how much her head hurt her.

"Simple ass bitch." Brice mumbled walking over to Terry's car. She felt odd about being alone with Dink after what they had discussed. She couldn't help but blame her self for the danger the two women were in now.. "Ohh, what a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive. And tangled I am with a big spider coming for my stupid ass." Motioning to Dink, she explained what they were going to do. With the chuckling noise that Dink was trying to hold back, Brice narrowed her eyes at her. "What?"

"Ohh it's just that DK was saying the same thing to me, it seems that she's hot and heavy over your friend Terry." She gripped Brice's upper arm and gave it a slight squeeze, her eyes blinked a couple times and used both hands to feel up Brice's arms.

"Damn woman, you lift cars for a hobby?"

Gently pulling away, she blushed shyly. "Nah its genetics." Knowing damn well that it wasn't.


A pissed off Paul sat in his rental car a few houses down from Dink and DK's. He was not about to give up on getting the Buzz doll, he didn't care what he had to do. He waited until he saw both cars leave the darkened house before he crept through the shadows to Dink's window. He crawled through, after listening for any sounds in the house, and went to the shelf and pulled down every Buzz doll there. His arms full, he tossed them out the window and followed. On his way back to his rental, he dropped, kicked, stumbled over and finally fell on top of his booty. Cussing his boss's name, he was able to pick everything up and make it into his car with no dignity left. Pulling out his cell phone, he called reservations and got the next flight back home. He would wait until morning, take all of the dolls to his boss and let him worry about which one it was that held the microchip.


Terry and DK made it to the large house she and Brice shared. It was an older two-story home right outside Martinsburg. It sat in the middle of ten acres of land and far enough off the road to allow them peace and quiet from the traffic. Over the years, they had remodeled it and now had a total of four bedrooms, four bathrooms, living room, dinning room, kitchen, den, finished basement, workout room with all the latest exercise machines and a two-car garage/workshop. All the materials that they had used in the remodeling had come from dumpsters at construction sites and from people that wanted a collectable and were willing to trade for building materials. They got really) lucky during the holidays and traded a Johnny West doll to a plumber for his services to update their water pipes. DK held the door open for Terry and led her to the kitchen, where she pulled a couple bottles of beer from the refrigerator. Handing one to Terry, they went into the living room to watch DirecTV on the large screen TV. DK looked around at all the electronic appliances in the room and whistled. She and Dink had stuff that was almost as old as they were and ready to either fall apart or blow-up.

"You guys must make a lot of money to be able to afford this house and all the stuff in it." She turned amazed golden eyes to a shrugging Terry.

"Not really, I'm good at bartering and Brice is good with her hands."

They heard the kitchen door open, the refrigerator door and then murmurs coming closer to where they were. Terry shot Brice a wink from over the back of the leather couch.

"Any problems?"

"Nope unless ya count the side of your car being smashed."

Hazel eyes grew wide. "What! You didn't hurt my car?did you?" She was now leaning over the back of the couch and ready to tackle Brice.

"Nah, just like doing that to you." She dropped into a rattan chair and motioned Dink to have a seat. "Did you guys see anything on the way here?"

"Nope, all clear. Maybe we lucked out and the creep left for another state."

Dink leaned forward in the recliner, bracing her forearms on her thighs; she looked at the three women. "I don't think he's gonna give up that easy, obviously that microchip is important enough to try and kill Terry." She leaned back in the chair and crossed her leg over her knee before she continued. "Who do we get to look at that chip and not blame us for stealing it?"

Brice looked to Terry who was sitting very close to DK and running her long fingernails across her Levi clad thigh. She was lost in her own little fantasy world and hadn't heard a word.

"Hellooo Terrance!"

"Huh, what? I didn't do it!"

"Not yet anyway you perv. Tomorrow, get on the phone and use that voice of yours to sweet talk that computer geek at the Xerox center. See if he'll look at the chip for us."

Terry shuddered and gave Brice a pleading look. "Why can't you just scare the piss out of him? He gives me the creeps."

"Come on now Ter, he's just your normal abnormal Star Trek geek. I don't think it's creepy that he wants you to dress like Seven of Nine and walk across his chest in stilettos."

Two sets of eyes, one green, the other gold, looked back and forth between them. DK shook her head and mumbled.

"Sick bastard, rip his arms off and turn him into a Borg." She raised an eyebrow and gave Terry a toothy grin. "Will ya dress like that for me? Ya don't have to walk on me or anything. Just stand at the foot of the bed and let me drool."

Brice shook her head; now she had two perverts to deal with instead of just Terry. Draining the last of her beer, she waved to Dink to follow her.

"Let me show you your room and get you settled, then I'll start supper. You guys like breaded Bambi steaks?"

"Bambi steaks?" Dink's eyes were buried beneath her drawn brows.

"Ya know, venison, deer meat?"

Dink gave her a light chuckle. "I'll eat Kermit the frog as long as I don't have to cook him. Me and the stove don't get along too well. DK does all the cooking."

Brice took her upstairs, to the end of the hallway to the spare bedroom next to Terry's. She flipped the light on to a large room with a queen-size brass bed. A nightstand on each side, adorned by bone white lamps. The walls were painted a soft white and trimmed with a light green flowered border at chair rail level. The bedspread was a darker green with matching pillow shams. The floor was hardwood with an oriental rug in greens, blues and whites. Dink walked to the center of the room and looked around.

"It's beautiful Brice, did you decorate it?"

"Nope, Terry did. She does most of the decorating around here. She said if it was left to me, we'd be living in a house more suited for frat boys." She pointed to a door on the other side of the room. "That's the bathroom, it connects with Terry's bedroom. There's clean towels and stuff in the linen closet and I think she has spare toothbrushes in one of the drawers in the vanity. I'll have Terry get you some clothes to sleep in."

"Thanks, you know you could have left us at home and not had to deal with all of this."

"It's no problem and I couldn't do that?I wouldn't be able to sleep wondering if that bastard showed up and hurt you because of my own stupidity."

Dink looked at her watch and saw that it was almost midnight. "Do you realize what time it is and your going to cook supper?"

Brice looked at her watch and flinched, she had lost track of the hours and now felt really stupid. "Guess it's kinda late for supper huh?" She grinned. "If you're hungry, there's plenty of food in the kitchen just help yourself." She walked to the door and stopped. "I'll get Terry to get you some clothes."

She left to get Terry, a little afraid of what she would find since her roommate was known as a fast worker. She yelled when she was at the bottom of the stairs to give them both a warning. "Dink needs some clothes for the night." She walked into the living room and found it empty. In the kitchen, she caught them sitting at the kitchen table eating ice cream by smearing it on each other's necks and licking it off. "Should have known." She shook her head. "Dink's in the room next to yours, she needs something to sleep in for the night."

"All right, give me a minute." She turned and gave DK a kiss that left the dark haired woman gasping for air and turning a dark red when her golden eyes connected with amused blue. Terry came running from the laundry room with clothes bundled up in her hands. She ran past them and they heard her feet running up the steps and seconds later back down. Breathing hard, she came sliding across the kitchen floor in her socks and landed in DK's lap.

"I'm going to bed." She pointed a long finger at Terry. "Behave yourself, I'll get the other room ready for DK."


The next morning Brice was standing in the shower when she heard the door to the bathroom open. She slid the shower door back to see a half-asleep Dink dressed in one of her large T-shirts.

"Guess they were noisy last night." She said as she stepped from the shower and grabbed a towel. She couldn't hide a smirk, seeing Dink's face turn a bright red. Throwing the towel over her shoulder, she stepped past Dink. "Showers all yours, breakfast will be in a half hour or so."

Dink stood in the bathroom still holding the breath she didn't know she was holding. Letting it out in a gush, she used the counter top for support. After the sounds from Terry's bedroom, she had been subjected to last night, until she finally moved to the other room, seeing a tall gorgeous tanned all over Brice in the buff was enough to throw her into a coma.

A stupid grin was firmly planted on Brice's face, she just couldn't get the image of a shocked Dink out of her mind. She wondered if she went back upstairs she'd find the small woman still just standing in the bathroom. Her answer came on shuffling feet, Dink with her hair still wet, eyes barely open dropped into a chair and rested her cheek in the palm of her propped up hand. A huge yawn opened her mouth wide enough that Brice could see that she had no fillings in her back molars. Taking pity on the tired woman, she placed a cup of coffee in front of her and then added the creamer and sugar.

"Are the other two up yet?" Brice asked taking a seat across from Dink.

"From the noises I heard when I passed Terry's door, I'm surprised my hair isn't standing on end."

"Guess that means they're up but I really don't want to know what they're up to if they're making strange abnormal noises."

"Ever heard a rabbit being killed?" Dink asked as she took a sip of the dark rich brew.

"EEEWWW! I told Terry about doing freaky stuff."

"You're just jealous 'cuz you're not bendable like Gumby." A gleaming smile on her face, Terry did something Brice had never known her to do in all the years they had known each other. She planted a sloppy kiss on her cheek and then fixed two cups of coffee.

"You kissed me." Brice scrubbed her cheek with a dishtowel. "That is just too weird, Ter." She looked to Dink and saw that she was sound asleep with the cup of coffee in her hand. "Almost as weird as that." She pointed to Dink.

"Ain't nothin." DK said from the doorway. "She falls asleep standing up waiting to punch the time clock." She took a seat and within seconds had Terry sitting on her lap and holding her coffee cup to her lips. Brice rolled her eyes at the two new lovers, she had never acted like that with someone and knew she never would. She was not a sappy one and never wanted to face the morning after, so after the act was done, she threw them out. Getting up from the table, she pulled down plates and utensils and set the table. After filling everyone's plates, she woke Dink.

"My Gods DK look plates!"

Terry and Brice looked at her in total confusion.

"And real honest to God glasses!"

"Uuhhmm Leslie what is she ranting about?"

Dink looked at Terry in wonder, she didn't know anyone besides herself who knew DK's real name, or used it if they did.

A deep growl rumbled in Leslie's throat, one finger pointed at Dink. "Don't you start Beatrice." A huge evil grin split her face at the angry looking Dink. Brice and Terry shrunk down in their seats and waited for the coming eruption.

A deep demon like sounding voice burst from Dink. "Beulah!"

"Scranton!" Leslie yelled back.

Brice couldn't handle anymore, she covered Dink's mouth with her hand and pointed a finger at Leslie.

"Hold on you two, what's with the names here?" She uncovered Dink's mouth and told her to be nice or else.

"She hates people using her name so I was just surprised is all, but she didn't have to?use mine!" Strong arms stopped her from crawling across the table. Brice pulled her into her arms and then sat her down on her lap.

"What is your name anyway?"

Dink told her in a low voice. "Scranton Beatrice Shotz II."

Brice was thrilled that Dink couldn't see the look on her face, she thought her name was odd but this one beat hers by a mile. Scranton wasn't too bad, but the Beatrice made her think of Bea Arthur of the Golden Girls. "It's not that bad Dink, really." She forced back the laugh that wanted free.

"Not as bad as Leslie Beulah Norton." She grinned when Leslie growled at her.

"OK, now that we have everything ironed out, breakfast is getting cold." She was surprised when Dink pulled her plate over and dumped the contents onto hers and handed her a fork.

"Me and Leslie there usually eat out of what ever she cooks in." She glanced over her shoulder into pale blue eyes and grinned. "Better start eating or I'll eat it all."

"And then some." Leslie said around a mouthful of egg that Terry had fed her.


Leslie and Dink left for work, leaving Brice to wash dishes and Terry to dry them. Brice kept stealing glances at the still grinning Terry.

"She must be Hell on wheels in bed, you're still grinning like a damn maniac."

Terry swooned into her friend's side. "You would not believe, so what about you and Dink?"

"There's nothing about us."

Terry slapped her in the stomach and snorted. "Right, that's why you were holding her last night and she sat on your lap this morning and fed you breakfast."

Brice started scrubbing the frying pain with so much force Terry swore she would scrub a hole in the center of it. "There's nothing there, Ter, I was comforting her last night and this morning I have no idea what happened." She stopped what she was doing to stare out the window and collect her words before looking into hazel eyes. "I feel like shit for what I did last night, I fucked around with her feelings both times I sang to her."

"Brice, she knows about that but it still didn't stop her from getting cozy with you. I see loneliness in her. Be her friend Brice, what can it hurt?"

Brice wiped her hands on her thighs; she didn't know what to do about Dink. She could try to be her friend even though she wasn't very good at it. The only real friend she had was Terry and she felt they were more like sisters than anything.

"I'll try, but you know I suck at friendships, relationships, anything with the word ship attached to it."

"Maybe if you had given the others more than a jump in your bed and a swift kick out the door?" A low growl stopped her from continuing.

"That's all I ever wanted from them."

"Keep Dink out of your bed and just be her friend."

"Tell that to the monster below that has a mind of its own."

Terry's brows buried themselves in her hairline; her friend never said anything to her about her feelings, other than when she was pissed and ready to kill someone. Admitting in her odd way that she was attracted sexually to Dink was a big surprise.

"I'll find you one of those chastity belts if that'll keep the monster under control."

Brice snorted at her. "Might as well lock me in the basement."

That can be arranged; in fact, I think I could manage to lock you and Dink down there. That way you wouldn't be able to kick her out the door afterwards."


Paul dragged his tired body into his boss's office and dropped the bags of dolls onto his desk. When Mr. Sampson gave him the evil eye and waved at the mess, he just shrugged his shoulders.

"I took all of them, I didn't want to take a chance and not get the right one." He dropped into a chair and sighed with relief, it had been one Hell of a night. He was hassled at the airport because of the dolls. He was striped searched, the wand put where it should never be put, run through the metal detector numerous times and had to wait for the stupid security people to x-ray all the dolls. He missed his flight and had to wait for the next one. What really pushed him to the point of beating the shit out of every one there; was the fact that the security people, who were supposed to keep terrorists from getting on the plane, all fit the damn profile!

Sampson opened the bags, looked inside, and with a raised dark brow, eyed Paul.

"Where did you get all of these and how do you know that it's one of these to begin with?"

"I followed that Marlton woman all over Hell and then she followed this woman from a bar. Which I didn't find so strange until her friend crawled through a bedroom window. That's when I found all of those." He pointed to the dolls.

Sampson pulled out three boxes, looked at two of them and put them back into the bag. When he got to the last one, a huge smile came to his face. On the bottom of the box was a mark that told him it was the one. He quickly pulled Buzz from the box and flipped him over to check the screws. His dark brows drew down over his nose and a growl seeped from between clenched teeth. His dark eyes looked up and held Paul from running from his office.

"The screws on the back are stripped, they took him apart!" He flung Buzz across his office to smack the wall, pieces flew everywhere. Paul jumped from the chair, dropped to his knees and started searching for the microchip. When he looked inside of the body where the chip was supposed to be, all he found was the double-sided tape where it had been attached. "Shit!"

"Get your ass back there and find that chip!" Sampson threw dolls at him as he ran from the office. "Lets a damn woman out smart him!"

Paul ran down the hall and out the door, he had to get that chip or he'd be found floating in a river somewhere. He would have to think of how to find it and fast.


Leslie didn't know what to do with Dink; this was the first time that she wasn't singing at the top of her lungs while in the cab of the garbage truck. She glanced over at her but couldn't read the look on her face. She pulled the truck into the parking lot of a small store, shut the engine off and turned to stare at her pensive friend.

"Are you broken or something?"

Green eyes blinked a few times at her before focusing. "Broken?"

"Yeah ya know not working right, did that Brice do something to you? 'Cuz if she did I'll knock the shit outta her."

"Nah, I was just thinking?about all that's happened." She turned and leaned against the door and looked at Leslie. "Do ya think we're safe now, ya know with that guy running around hitting people in the head and every thing?"

A gleam came to Leslie's eyes, she got the picture now, her little buddy wanted to stay with Brice again. She didn't blame her; she wanted to see Terry and had been trying to come up with an excuse.

"Don't really know Dink, all we can do is go home and see if he's been there." She turned back in her seat and started the truck. "Come on, let's get done and we'll see what happens later."

Dink's mind was racing with images of a tall dark woman with pale blue eyes and an awesome body. She felt a flame flicker to life when she remembered sitting on Brice's lap and feeding her breakfast that morning. That was something she could get used to real quick.


Brice grabbed Ralph by his shirt and hauled him over to the PC on the desk. Pushing him down into the chair, she pointed at the monitor.

"Get on-line and find me a REAL autographed picture of Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor. I don't care how much it costs but get me one!"

"You're kidding right? You know how hard those things are to find?" His brown eyes widened when she bared her teeth and growled.

"Go to the Xena Store, Creation, and Powerstar and get me one! Fly there if you have to!" She grabbed his beard and yanked to make sure he knew she was serious.

Brice had to make it up to Dink, somehow, for the phony picture that she had sold her. What better way than a real one? A brilliant smile came to her face and stayed there as she walked into the office where Terry was.

"What are you smiling about?" Terry looked fit to be tied.

"Oh, nothing but sending Ralph on a chase for a real autographed picture of the duo. What's with you?"

"Me? I've just had the most asinine conversation with that geek. He wants Moi to bring the computer chip to him tomorrow and he'll look at it."

"But that's good, then we'll know why it's important enough to dent your head."

"Then you go in Amazon leathers and let him drool all over your feet. Damn pervert."

A wicked grin split Brice's face. "Take your muscle head with you." She watched as Terry's spirits rose to the heavens. Turning, when she heard heavy breathing behind her, she looked over her shoulder to see Ralph huffing and puffing.

"I got one?shipping?United?first freight?pick-up at?airport?hour."

"Why are you breathing heavy?" She asked the red face little man.

"Jogging in place?told them?secret service?jogging with?President George W."

"Good job, Ralph, I'll go get it." She ran from the store and out to her crispy car.

Ralph dropped into a chair and caught his breath, shaking his head over the stunt he had pulled; he looked at a grinning Terry.

"What is she up to?"

"Ohh, she's giving friendship a go."

His brown eyes just about fell out of his head. "I did all that for friendship!" He sunk into the chair and sighed. "She's insane."

"Nope, she's finally becoming human."


Leslie was the first one out of the truck and to the door; she was anxious to see if they had been robbed the night before. A lot of good it did if they had been, she never got Terry's phone number. Showing up on her doorstep was not her style. Yet. She fell through the door as a small body pushed her from behind and sprinted past. Before she could recover, she heard a loud yell of satisfaction and then Dink came jumping into the kitchen.

"We were robbed!" She yelled and jumped up and down and danced in a circle. Her joy became contagious and soon they were both dancing around the kitchen. Dink stopped cold in her dancing and looked at a still gyrating Leslie. "Aaahh... this is really sick, ya know? Some weirdo breaks in, steals all my Buzz dolls and we're in here jumping around like idiots." She planted her hands on her hips and glared at Leslie. "Why is that?"

"I don't know about you but I get to see Terry." Her face fell. "You don't happen to know their phone number do you?"

"Leslie, we have one of those books they give out every year, its call a phone book."

"Oohh! Right, I guess we could look in there huh? That is if you know their last names?" She gave a bashful grin.

"You are hopeless, you slept with her and you didn't even get her last name."

"Well, I called her Terry Oh Gods a few times and Terry Please More, and some others I can't remember."

"You're a dog!"


Brice walked back and forth in front of the United Airlines freight counter. Her blood pressure was to the top of the scale and if her package wasn't found in the next two minutes, she would let them all feel her wraith. The employee that waited on her looked like he was with Noah on the ark and moved at a warp speed of minus 200. She swore that snails moved faster than this guy named Ted. She stopped to watch him peel a green banana and knew that by the time he had it peeled enough to eat; it would be brown and nasty. Storming up to the counter she shot him a glare and waited for him to focus through the pop bottle thick lenses of his glasses.

"Where the Hell is my package?"

"Oohh I'm sure someone will find it." He went back to peeling his banana. "Guys are watching Jerry Springer, be done as soon as it's over."

"WHAT?" She yelled, crawled over the counter, snatched the banana from his hand and smashed it on top of his baldhead. "You get on the damn radio right now or I'll go find it myself."

"Sorry can't do that, you'll have to wait your turn."

She looked around with silvery eyes to the empty room, when she spotted the phone; she grabbed it up and hit the speed dial button for the intercom.

"This is Agent Marlton of the Secret Service! Someone had better find my God damn package before I call the President and tell him you assholes lost it!" She slammed the phone down, crossed her arms over her chest and waited. The whole time Ted just sat there peeling another damn banana and letting the smashed one run down across his glasses. The door to the warehouse burst open and a short fat guy came jogging toward her with her package in his hand.

"Sorry, Agent Marlton, dumbasses sent it to the Post Office instead of bringing it here." He handed it to her and ran when she snarled at him. Jumping over the counter, she ran out the door to her crispy car. Tearing the package open, she pulled the picture out and grinned.

"She's gonna die when she sees this." Placing it back into the package, she put it in a safe place and tore out of the parking lot.


Terry was just closing the shop when the phone rang; she knew that would happen it always did. Snatching up the phone, she barked into it. "Collector's Unlimited!"

"You?me?chunky monkey ice cream with Reese's pieces mixed in it and the Jacuzzi."

"Huh? Is this a prank call?" Terry was just about to hang up when she heard a very familiar growl. "Leslie is that you?" A big smile came to her face when Leslie growled louder. She dropped her voice to a purr. "Oohh, phone sex!"

"I'd rather be in the Jacuzzi with you, but we can do foreplay right now."

Terry was about to say something when she heard Leslie and Dink fighting for the phone.

"Terry this is Dink, we got robbed last night. Is Brice there with you?"

"Nope, she had to pick up a package at the airport. She should be home later though."

"When she gets home would you have her call me?"

"Sure no problem." Terry wrote down her phone number and asked to speak to Leslie again. After a few minutes of heavy breathing over the phone, she hung up and ran from the store.


"Go on Leslie, I'll wait for Brice to call and ask her what to do." She pushed her roommate out the door and locked it behind her. There was no way she was going to sit there and watch Leslie pout. It was the most God-awful sight, seeing those golden eyes giving her the puppy look. She reminded her of a Labrador begging for food scraps. Leslie's feet pounded through the house and back, she slid across the floor to where they kept the bags from the grocery stores, grabbed one and stuffed the things in her hand into the bag.

"What are you doing?" Dink asked as she searched for something to eat.

"Taking an over night bag."

"Leslie, that's a Food Lion bag."

"I know but all I need is this." She pulled out a purple vibrator and grinned. "Never leave home without it." With that, she was out the door.

After fixing a sandwich, Dink sat in the living room and watched TV until the six o'clock news began.. Brice was yet to call. "Probably has better things to do than worry about me, why should she worry about me?" She flipped through the channels until she came across the re-runs of Mad About You. "Probably has a date tonight, a woman like her does not spend her nights alone."


"StupidfuckingpieceofshitFord!" Brice roared as she pushed her car down the road toward home. Her legs felt like rubber, her foot was swore and probably broken from when she kicked the fender. She was soaked in sweat, grease, gasoline and something she didn't want to identify. Her cell phone was dead and the Mickey Mouse tire was flat. She was only five miles from home when smoke started pouring from under the hood, her crispy car shuddered and quit right in the middle of the intersection. Raising her hands above her head, she tried to fend off the curses that came her way for blocking the intersection. She couldn't believe that not one person would help her move her car out of the way. Instead, they tried to make her their hood ornaments as they flew past her. At one point, she ended up leaping onto the hood to keep from being run over. Getting close to her house, she gave her car one last push and watched it wobble across the drive and stop in the middle of the yard. On weak legs, Brice fell through the doorway. She uttered more curses when she saw what had tripped her. Lying on her back, she struggled to pull Terry's bra off her feet.

"PENBROOK! You're a dead woman!" She screamed and rolled around on the floor trying to get to her feet.

"Sorry, Brice." Terry said sheepishly from where she and Leslie were laying on the living room floor. Brice looked up with silvery eyes and pinned them where they lay. A deep snarl came from her clenched teeth. "I hate my life, I hate my car and I want my mama!" She fell face first on to the floor and kicked her feet in a temper tantrum.

Leslie leaned in close to her lover's ear and whispered. "That's scary, she has a mama? She looks more like a test tube flunky."
"Uhhmm, Brice, call Dink, they were robbed last night." Terry snickered when Brice let out a groan and crawled across the floor to the phone. Exhausted blue eyes looked to them and rolled.

"Sick pups, put some damn clothes on or something." She looked down at the phone and then to Leslie. "Phone number would be good."


The phone at Dinks rang on for a good five minutes until it stopped for all of two seconds, then it started again. The house was pitch black and silent, all the windows and doors were closed and locked. Dink had grown tired of waiting for Brice to call; she waited until 8pm before leaving for the bar. The place was packed as usual, and Dink was feeling a little uneasy without Leslie. She got her beer, went to a far table near the wall and sat down. She sat quietly and watched people dance to the music coming from the DJ booth. She had no idea why she came to the bar, except she didn't want to be alone in the house. She had never felt afraid alone there before, but now after it had been broken into twice, she wasn't about to be there along in case it happened again. Though, she would have to go home sooner or later.

After her third beer, she loosened up enough to get up and dance. She was in the center of the floor dancing all by her self as she usually did. She felt the heat of a body close to her back and ignored it until large hands gripped her waist and pulled her back into a hard body.

"How would you like to feel a real Texas longhorn?"

She frozen where she stood, tilting her head back she looked into a drunken face.

"How would you like to feel your longhorn ripped off?" She stepped away from him and headed for the door.


"Come on Leslie, where could she be, if she's not at home?" Brice was losing patience, it was late and Dink still wasn't answering the phone.

"Well?ya know my little buddy is an adventurous type, she might be out picking up a date for a few hours." Her golden eyes twinkled; a satisfied smirk came to her lips when she saw arcs flash behind pale blue eyes.

"What bar?" Brice growled.

"The karaoke place, where else?"

Brice ran from the house, grabbing Terry's car keys on the way out the door. The squeal of tires was heard as she tore down the road toward her destination.

"Did you see her face? My Gods she looked?spooked!"

Terry rolled her eyes at her. "Why wouldn't she be, she thinks Dink's out there picking up a lay for the night. Thanks to you."

"Knew it would work." She grinned and fell across her lover's body on the couch. "Make her a little jealous. She don't know that Dink doesn't date."


"I told you to take a hike! I ain't interested so go the fuck away!" Dink shoved the tall man in his chest and walked out of the bar. She walked quickly to her car, but before she could get there, she was yanked to a stop as the drunk grabbed her arm. He swung her around to face him; a mean snarling look covered his rough face.

"I don't take no for an answer from no woman."

"Oh, well then let me feel that longhorn of yours." She gave him a smile, reached down, grabbed hold of him and squeezed with all the strength in her. He let out a yelp and tried to back away. "Didn't you say you wanted me to FEEL your longhorn? Well, what I'm feeling isn't long at all!" She gave one last squeeze."


Brice saw Dink from a distance, she started to jog slowly to where she was and stopped when she saw her reach down and grab a guy by his manhood. Disgusted, she was about to turn away and leave when she saw Dink haul off and clock the guy in his jaw. A big grin spread over her face and she took off to where Dink was still standing and came up behind her.

"Nice punch." She jumped back when Dink spun on her heel and brought up her fists to fight. "Hold up there, Dink."

Dink dropped her hands with relief; she'd had enough fun for one night.

"Sorry, I didn't know it was you." She crossed her arms over her chest and gave Brice a narrow eyed look. "What are you doing here? I waited all day for you to call me."

Brice dropped her head and looked down at her shoes. "It's a long dirty story." She looked back up into dark green angry eyes. "I called when I got home, when you didn't answer I asked Leslie where you could have gone." She held out her hands at shoulder height. "So here I am."

"Let's get out of here before I kick the shit outta someone else." Dink walked toward her car and looked back over her shoulder to Brice.

"Hey Dink, why not just follow me home. Leslie's there and I really don't want you home alone."

"OK, I'll follow you there." She jumped into her car and waited for Brice to pull out of the lot. The entire drive to Brice's she sang at the top of her lungs to whatever came on the radio.


The house was dark and quiet when they got there. Brice opened the door and held it for Dink to enter before her. Flipping the light switch on, she checked the floor for booby traps before she went in all the way.

"If you want, you can stay in the same room as last night. They're most likely in Terry's room doing animal acts or something." A loud rumbling reached her ears; she looked down at her stomach and remembered that she hadn't eaten anything that day. "I'm gonna see what's in the refrigerator, are you hungry?" Then she remembered Dink's appetite. "Never mind, I'll fix enough for four while you get out of your clothes?I mean changed into..."

"Brice, calm down." She squeezed her upper arm and left the red-faced woman standing in the middle of the living room.

Brice threw together four sandwiches that were large enough to choke a horse, a bag of Frito's and two beers. Taking everything to the living room, she put it all on the coffee table and then headed upstairs to shower and change. When she returned to the living room, her hair still wet and slicked back, she found Dink on her second sandwich. Right off, she noticed that Dink was wearing the same clothes from the night before.

"I can find you a shirt that's a little smaller."

Tired green eyes connected with hers, a small smile came across Dink's lips and traveled all the way to her eyes. Running her hand across the front of the shirt, she snickered.

"Nah I like this one, I never took you as one to have a shirt with the Teletubbies on it."

Brice turned a deep red, she had no idea why she had bought the shirt, and Terry teased her every time she wore it. "Yeah, well?" She shrugged her shoulders and sat next to Dink on the couch. Taking one of the sandwiches, she started eating and sneaking glances at Dink, who had just finished her second sandwich. "You can have the other, I can only eat one."

"Thanks." She grinned into pale blue eyes. "I can't remember the last time I ate. What are we gonna do about the Buzz theory?"

"Buzz Theory?Ohh right, Terry has to go see the geek at the Xerox Company. As soon as we find out what that chip is, we'll contact the authorities and turn it over to them."

"What about the guys who want it, what do we do about them?"

Brice remained silent for a minute; she flipped the TV on and turned to Dink. "We wait for that son of a bitch to try and get us, catch him and then turn him over to the Feds, cops or whoever wants him."

"Ohh, that sounds easy." Her voice drifted off.

"Easier than you think. He knows where the store is and your house, and by now whoever it is knows the chip is missing."

They sat together in silence, staring off into space until they realized an infommercial was playing on the TV. Brice handed the remote to Dink and got up from the couch. "I'm going to bed, see you in the morning."

Dink sat on the couch for a while thinking about Brice. There was something there but she didn't know quite what it was. The tall woman showed concern for her, but down deep inside of her there was something fighting to be set free. Turning the TV off, she headed for the bedroom next to Brice's.


Brice lay in her bed listening to the sounds outside her window and the quiet footsteps of Dink as she came closer to the other room. A small smile on her face; she rolled onto her side and watched the light come beneath the bathroom door. It was went off minutes later. She would never have taken the small woman for a fighter; she seemed almost innocent in a way. She was still surprised by what she had seen that night. Taking a deep breath and snuggling down into her pillow, she drifted off to sleep thinking of flashing green eyes.

Dink dropped onto the bed and noticed the package on the end table. Her name was scrawled in bold handwriting across the front. Opening it up, she pulled out the 8x10 autographed, color picture of Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor. She looked closely at it and saw that it was indeed a real one. She then looked into the package and found a handwritten note from Brice.

I hope this will make up for the phony one you bought from us.


Placing the picture on the nightstand, she jumped from the bed and bounded through door into Brice's room. Seeing her form outlined in the bed by the moonlight through the window, she ran and jumped on top of her. She felt Brice stiffen under her, Brice rolled so that she was on her back with Dink looking down into her surprised face.

"Thank you for the picture." She placed a chaste kiss upon her lips and gave her a tight hug. She jumped when a funny noise came from where her left arm was resting against Brice's side. A brow rose when she pressed down on the bed again and Brice cringed. "What was that funny noise?"

Brice's face turned deep red with embarrassment. "Uhmm nothin."

"Right, I don't think so." She reached under the blankets and pulled out a doll. A huge wicked grin crossed her face. "A tickle me Elmo? You sleep with Elmo!"

"If you say one word to the others, I'll deny it until I'm red in the face."

Dink gave her a toothy grin. "Ohh, don't worry, I won't say a word?Elmo." She leaned down and gave her a soft kiss before going back to her own bed.


"Damn." Brice mumbled as she rolled over and clutched Elmo to her chest. "It's all your fault! ya had to giggle didn't ya?" She ran a finger across her tingling lips and fell asleep with a smile.


Dink couldn't hold back the chuckle any longer, as soon as she hit the bed; she buried her face in her pillow and laughed hysterically. She never took Brice to be the kind to sleep with a stuffed animal, let alone a Elmo doll. Rolling onto her side, she ran a fingertip across her lips and sighed. What was meant as a thank you kiss now meant something more to her. "I have a new mission in life." She whispered into the darkness. "To break through that hard shell you wear, Elmo." She drifted off to sleep thinking of a little red giggling doll.


Continued In Part 2

The Athenaeum's Scroll Archive