~ Growing Pains ~
by Ri

This is part 2 of my story The Ghost and it is very necessary for you to read part one to understand these characters. There is a loving same sex relationship and violence involved in this story. There is also a hurt/comfort section, if any of these things bother you please enjoy one of my general stories(G) I did borrow the image of numerous famous characters I love and admire. I meant only to show my devotion not any copyright infringement so please don't sue me.J I also pay tribute to one of my favorite Fan Fic writers Melissa Good in this story. I hope she doesn't mind I promise I didn't give away any of the plots of your wonderful stories. These two characters are definitely from my demented imagination please don't steal them.

Personal Note: I'd like to thank Webwarrior, Bardeyes and MJ for their continuing support with my stories and I would especially like to thank Larisa for her help and guidance on this and all my tales.

Thank you - Ri. (Sarrabi@hotmail.com)

Veba was sitting at their new partner's desk. She and Rickie had bought it together at a swap meet at a school parking lot near their home. Rickie was trying to slowly get Veba around other people. She felt she needed to get use to being in places that were unfamiliar. It was very slow going; the first experiment was a disaster. They went to a local chain grocery store. The tall woman became scared with an intense case of agoraphobia and bolted out of the building like a scared deer.

Rickie chased after her. She found the frightened shaking women leaning against their car trying to catch her breath. Rickie pulled her into her arms and held her close. "Shh, its ok Love, I've got you."

"Sorry." Said the slowly calming woman her head leaning against Rickie's shoulder as Rickie gently rubbed her back.

"Shhh, nothing to be sorry for. We just tried something too soon. Don't worry you will be ok soon. I promise you will get over this."

"Do you really think so?"

"I know so."

Now they shopped at a tiny family grocery store near their home with an open fruit and vegetable section outside. Veba felt very comfortable there she now knew all the other customers and the older couple who owned it have practically adopted them as part of their extended family.

For someone who was scared of wide-open spaces and crowds six months earlier she had completely gotten over the former. She loved the outdoors now especially going to the park and playing with the kids there. However she was still terrified of crowds. She was fine with small groups of people that she knew but she was scared of large groups of strangers. Rickie knew that her brave love had to fight this fear and that's why they took baby steps toward that goal. They went to a movie matinee and had a really good time. And they went to a small swap meet every weekend. It was not crowded but it did have enough interesting people for Veba to watch and learn from. She was also fascinated by the fact that they could go to this school parking lot and she could buy all of her favorite things.

The baby blue eyes lit up with excitement every time she discovered a booth that had something she loved. She bought several Xena and Star Trek Next Generation dolls. A poster of Lara Croft and several novels with her favorite characters in them. One of her goals was that she was determined to read those novels all by herself.

Both of them really enjoyed themselves at the small gathering. They ate cotton candy and ran from booth to booth. They usually left with several precious finds and huge smiles. There were enough people at the event to interest Veba but not enough to scare her.

Both of them had fallen in love with the beautiful redwood partners desk from the 1920's. It had lovely inlay design and they both loved they could see each other while they worked in they're office.

Veba was working on her most recent reading test. Rickie had bought an anthology of Xena stories and surprised her love with it. They had been together 6 months and it had been her anniversary present for the tall beauty. Veba had been overjoyed with her first real book other then the large dictionary that Dory, Rickie's sister, had given her when she had first started to learn how to read. Veba's progress was remarkable. She now was at a tenth grade reading level and her knowledge and understanding were growing daily. Her speech was much better but she still got very frustrated when she messed up words. She was pleased that she was beginning to sound like Rickie and Dory when she spoke though she still felt she had a long way to go.

Her writing had improved incredibly and Veba often said that she could write better then she could speak. Her assignment was to read the first story and then write a paper on how she felt about it. She was diligently working on that while Rickie worked on her computer on some reports of her latest case.

Doris came in and said quietly, "I have someone coming in to interview on the management of your building Sweetie, Do you want to sit in?"

Nervous blue eyes looked up from her book to meet compassionate green. Rickie smiled and said, "Sure Dory, we both will talk to the person."

"Great, she will be here in a half an hour, her name is Stephanie Scott."

Veba looked at both women and said, "I am not sure? um, what to say to her."

"That's ok Love, Dory and I will do the interviewing. You'll just listen. If you have a question just ask, ok?"

Veba nodded and smiled confidently, "Yes, I can do that."

Rickie's smile became huge. Veba now spoke in short very correct sentences. She did slip from time to time but the only time she ever forgot everything was when she was scared or very, very angry.

Doris smiled and winked at her friend. "Oh I know you can do it, Kiddo. Ok you finish your work and I'll talk to her in my office first when she comes. Then I'll bring her here so you can talk to her, ok?"

The two women nodded. Veba then went back to her book and paper. She now was focused completely on her test again. Rickie was very proud of her partner. She sighed quietly and then went back to her report.

*** *** *** ***

Doris entered her partner's office and cleared her throat looking at them both with an excited expression. They exchanged glances unsure of what was up with her and then Stephanie Scott stepped into the room.

"This is Stephanie Scott. Stephanie this is Veronica Wells she owns the building and my sister Rickie."

They all politely shook hands and then Doris gestured toward a guest chair. Stephanie sat down while Doris leaned against the doorframe she couldn't seem to be able to take her eyes off the beautiful auburn haired woman.

Rickie's eyes met Veba's and she gestured with her head and winked at her partner. Veba nodded and smiled at Rickie knowing what she was thinking and very please with the idea.

Rickie thought as she looked at the woman in the guest chair and then her sister, Mmm, Looky at you Dory my girl, I don't think I have ever seen you this riveted by anyone. Then she smiled at the other woman and asked pleasantly, "Could you tell us a little something about yourself, Miss Scott?"

"Um sure, Please call me either Stephanie or Stevie. I really hate formality."

Rickie chuckled and met Veba's pleased eyes as she said sweetly, "Good, Then you'll fit in with us." She looked at Veba and raised her eyebrow. Veba looked unsure and a matching eyebrow went up. Rickie gestured and Veba nodded squaring her shoulders before she turned toward the women in the guest chair.

Veba looked shyly at the red head in the chair in front of her and said quietly, "I like to be called Veba. I really do not want to be called Ve-ro-ni-ca." She spoke very slowly and correctly. She sounded out her given name because she rarely used it. So far only when she signed the documents for her inheritance and on the legal partners papers that Doris had drawn up to add Veba to their licenses. She wasn't really sure if she said her name right so as soon as it left her lips she looked at Rickie.

Rickie winked at her and nodded much to Veba's relief. She took a deep breath and snuggled back into her comfortable leather office chair.

Stevie looked at her stunned; she never expected the beautiful woman to speak in such a stilted way. She wondered if she was a foreigner. She smiled at Veba and replied politely, "Sure Veba it is then, Please call me Stevie."

The tall woman nodded and smiled back happily.

Doris cleared her throat and said, "Ok Rickie do your thing."

Rickie rolled her eyes and Veba chuckled. "Stevie, I'm suppose to be the tough one in the family but I'm really a marshmallow. First I need to explain that my Veba is very special. She had a very difficult life until recently. She lived in that building hidden away for her own safety for over 20 years. She had no contact with anyone except her uncle who apparently didn't talk a lot. She is incredibly bright, a genius really. We recently tested her IQ and even with the limited education we have given her she tested off the scale."

Rickie was interrupted by a groan from the tall brunette who was hiding her red face in her hands.

Doris looked at the shy girl hiding behind her hands and exchanged amused looks with her proud sister. "She is a very, very modest genius."

Veba looked over the tips of her fingers at the room. She looked at first at her partner then her best friend whispering, "Shh, both of you."

Stevie found this very adorable. Rickie had her hand covering her mouth because she knew she would burst into laughter at any minute from her partner's cute expression. Then she said with a wicked grin, "Ah, my love you are darling when you blush."


Rickie now laughed out loud and said, "Well you are."

Veba rolled her eyes. Then she hid her head behind her arm that was resting on the desk. She peeked up her partner but she was still blushing so she wanted to hide the rest of her face if she could.

Rickie wiped the smile off though it was very hard, and looked at the amused red head. "Do you have a problem with the fact that Veba and I are partners?"

"No. I really think you two are adorable."

This made Veba groan again her forehead now firmly tucked against her arm. Rickie stood up chuckling and went to her love gently massaging the tense shoulders. She lowered her head and whispered, "She's right my love you are adorable."

"Rickie please," whispered the very embarrassed brunette. Rickie kissed her beloved on the neck and then continued to gently massage the tense shoulder and neck muscles.

Doris shook her head and cleared her throat, "Rickie stop teasing her she going to turn redder then an apple."

Veba nodded her head against her arm in agreement. Though truth be told she was enjoying the gentle massage thoroughly.

Stevie really liked these women. They were a definite a family unit and she would love to get to know them all better. She fervently hoped they would end up liking her because these were the kind of people she really wanted to work for.

Rickie gently lifted Veba's head and kissed her tenderly. She caressed her cheek and waited for the blue eyes to open and meet her own. Veba's now calm eyes met the beautiful green and she smiled at her love. Rickie winked at her then walked back to her own desk chair.

She leaned back and said quietly to waiting redhead, "Ok Stevie, what is your style of management?"

"Well, I believe in hands on instead of using the phone and emails. I like to interact both with tenants and the owners. I think of myself as bridge between you making communication easier between the two factions."

"I see and what would Veba's part in all this be?"

"Well as the owner she would have the final say of course."

"Hmmm, What about Me and Dory?"


"That's me. It's my family name." Dory said quietly from behind her.

"Oh? Well from observing you three I see you are equal partners, so the best course of action would be to present each case to the three of you so you can decide by committee."

Rickie met Veba's eyes and then looked at Doris whose hazel eyes were sparkling and focused on the red head. "That is very good, Stevie. Would you mind stepping into the living room for just a minute please?"

The red head smiled and got up gracefully. She smiled sweetly at Doris then stepped through the door. Doris stood at the door watching the beautiful woman walk down the hall till she was out of sight and then closed the door. She turned to them and said, "I think she's perfect."

Rickie and Veba immediately burst into giggles.

"Hey, what's this all about?"

"You. Dory, shit you have the most love sick expression on planet plastered across your pretty face."

"I do not!"

Veba nodded and said quietly, "You do Dory. It is very cute."


Veba shrugged and looked at her partner. Rickie chuckled and said, "Hey she calls them as she sees them, Sis."

"Well lets stick to business shall we," said an annoyed Doris looking from one smiling face to the other. "What do you two think of her."

"I like her," Veba said gently now her face was very calm but her eyes were sparkling with amusement.

Rickie nodded and said, "Yeah me too. I take it you think she's a keeper, Dory?"

"Um, yeah, you could say that. Should I tell her or do you two want to?"

"Oh I think it would be best coming from you." Rickie's crossed her eyes and laughed at her sisters outraged face.

"Brat!" Doris then left the office and went to the living room to tell the pretty woman she was hired.

"Why is Dory so?uh?.shy?" Asked Veba unsure of what word would describe her friends obvious uneasiness with the situation.


"Yes," said Veba nodding. Rickie gave her a look and Veba rolled her eyes and repeated, "Embarrassed."

"You know I make you repeat cause I love, don't you?"

"Yes Love."

"Good. Now what is your real opinion of Dory's crush?"

"I really do like her. She is very nice."

Rickie rolled her big green eyes very amused, "My Darling, you think everyone is nice."

Veba tilted her head and then shook it no. "That is not true. I do not like the man at the gas station. He is not a nice man."

A huge smile spread on Rickie's face, "Is that because he hit on me last week?"

Veba nodded.

Rickie shook her head and gestured, "Please come here my Darling," She said smiling as she waited for the tall brunette to come to her. Veba smiled sexily and moved to Rickie's side. Rickie patted her lap and gave her an incredibly sexy look. Veba sighed in a lovesick way, shook her head as she leaned forward and picked Rickie up in her strong arms cradling her very close. Then she turned around and sat in Rickie's chair snuggling even closer to her beloved.

"You wanted me, Rickie?"

"Every moment, of every hour, of every day," whispered Rickie as she brought sweet lips to her own kissing the love of her life passionately and feeling the return of passion from the sultry brunette. I don't know how she learned to be so sexy but I'm not one to fight with a gift from the Gods. Rickie thought as she deepened the kiss and let nature takes it course.

*** *** *** ***

Rickie didn't really like their new assignment. It wasn't the client, he was a really nice guy. A prizefighter that was being threatened and they were asked to protect him. It's the way it was set up. It felt strange to her, her instincts were prickling her and she couldn't shake the bad vibes.

The manager for the fighter had explained that they were not to do security per say but to do research and check out threats against the champ's life. The threats came in the form of letters that were accurate and scary.

Doris and Rickie were going over the letters in the office. They described where the fighter was and exactly what he was doing. They even told him when his vulnerable moments had been and when they could have struck with out warning.

"So? What do you think? Where do we go from here?"

"We split up. We each do what we do best. You do computer search and I follow leads and stay with our client."

"And Veba?"

"She'll go with me."

"Um, ok that sounds good. When are we going to start?"

"Tonight, He's going to a ritzy exclusive night club?"

"But Veba is scared of crowds?"

"It won't be that crowded, and she wants to fight the fear. She asked to go."

"Ok, if you think she'll be all right."

"Yeah, I think it will be ok, the champ likes Veba and me so he will protect her from any onslaught and so will I. We're just going to blend in with his entourage?"

"Kiddo, Our Veba does not blend in."

"Well she could always wear her ghost outfit."


*** *** *** ***

It was decided that Veba would wear her long beautiful hair in a cap. That would hide half her face in the shadow of the brim so it should conceal what a knock out she was. She wore her black jeans, black top and her black trench coat, with her brand new black boots.

"Damn you look sexy in black. I don't think this is going to work, Love."

Veba chuckled in the seat next to her. They were in a limo on the way to the nightclub. "I'm only sexy to you because you love me."

"Love, you are sexy to anyone with eyes in their head. Sweetheart, are you sure you're going to be ok in this nightclub? It won't be crowded per say but it will be close in there."

"As long as I'm with you, I'll be fine."

"Oh believe me with you looking this hot I will not waver from your side."


"What? You're breathtaking."

"Well so are you."

"Mmmm, I am a special taste."

"You're my taste."


Veba chuckled and kissed her on the nose.

*** *** *** ***

They arrived at the club and met up with the champ and his entourage. Veba was very close to Rickie, squeezing her hand in vice like grip.

"Sweetie, circulation." Whispered Rickie smiling up at her rubbing her arm with her free hand.

"Sorry Rickie."

"I'm sorry Rickie."

Veba's face broke into a tiny smile of amusement, "Rickie." She said shaking her head.

"Come on love, say it."

Big blue eyes now were warm and very calm as they locked onto the loving green ones. "I'm sorry Rickie. And you are very clever."

"That was much better. And, how am I clever?"

"You made me forget I was scared."

"That's my job." She offered her love her arm as she smiled up at her rakishly saying, "Come on."

Veba laughed taking her loves arm as they followed their party to a ringside table. Rickie was between the Champ and Veba. Her eyes carefully watching the crowd for trouble. Underneath the table she rubbing her loves leg gently trying to soothe the tall woman's nerves at being surrounded by so many strangers. The champ was distracting her with a story about his first time going onto an interview show and how scared he was. She was enjoying the Champs stories and Rickie's soothing touch.

Suddenly from the corner of her eye Rickie saw a glint of steel. "Shit!" Cried Rickie as she pushed the big man down one way while throwing her body on top of her loves. Machine gun bullets ripped the booth into tiny pieces above them where their heads had been seconds before.

When it was all clear, Veba tried sit up but she couldn't. Rickie was out cold. When Veba turned slightly and saw her loves blood, a primal scream ripped from her lips in pure anguish. She pulled out from under Rickie and then gently pulled her love on to her lap. She looked her over and saw that she had been hit on the shoulder and it looked pretty bad.

She looked at the champ and saw he'd been hit in the arm but he seemed alert and normal. In a scared frightened voice she said quietly, "Doctor."

The champ nodded and told one of his men to get a doctor. "Don't worry Veba, A doctor will be here in a minute. She will be ok, I promise."

Veba looked at the handsome black men with kind soft brown eyes, she had tears pouring from her own which made it hard to maintain eye contact, "She my life."

"I know, Veba. It will be ok." He looked over his shoulder and bellowed toward one of his useless security men. "Where the hell is the God Damned Doctor!?"

He turned back to watch Veba tenderly brushing blonde hair out of the closed eyes and said, "You know I'm surrounded by professional security people and your little Rickie saved me."

Veba nodded holding Rickie like she was small delicate child, running her fingers though the soft blonde hair. She bent down and whispered, "Rickie?wake up?. I love you?.please?."tears fell continually from her eyes landing on the pale skin.

The champ felt Rickie's pulse and said, "Her pulse is strong, Now if we could get a little help here!" He called out angrily.

A doctor finally came but instead of going to Rickie who was unconscious and obviously badly injured. He went to the champ. The big man grabbed the small doctor by the arm and pointed him toward Rickie, "Not me you Idiot, her!"

The small man came over toward Rickie and tried to pull her out of Veba's protective arms. A fierce growl came out of the tall woman her blue eyes turned to ice. "Fix her!"



Rickie felt the drops hitting her face. Is it raining? I thought we were inside? Green eyes fluttered open just as Veba had started growling at the small doctor. When she opened them and they focused she was looking into a frightened face of the smaller man. Rickie looked up into the fierce angry face of her beloved wife.

"Veba?" Croaked Rickie.

The ice melted the moment she heard her beloved's voice below her. "Rickie?" Her loves strong angry voice became a tiny strangled squeak.

"I'm ok Love."

"No he fix!" Growled Veba looking daggers at the doctor who was trying to back away from the angry woman.

The champ came to the rescue saying, "Veba, the ambulance is here."

Veba didn't wait she picked up her love and ran outside the club. She went to the doctor with tears still rolling down her cheeks, "Please help her."

The attendant looked into the hazy green eyes and automatically began checking her vitals. "Could you put her down on this stretcher please."

Veba nodded.

"She's going to be ok Miss."

Veba nodded again and started to follow the stretcher into the ambulance. The tall man grabbed her arm and was faced with a suddenly ferocious looking woman.

"Um why don't you travel with her." Veba nodded and sat on the floor next to her loves stretcher making sure there was room for the paramedic to continue his work.

"Veba?" Rickie cried out.

"I am here." She said from beneath her.

Rickie was very woozy from the drugs and her voice was slurred as she said, "Good." Then fell asleep again.

Worried blue eyes met the man's eyes that was cleaning her loves wound. "She's ok, Miss. It's just the medicine."

Veba sighed and nodded relieved. Then she watched as they wheeled the champ into the slot next to her. After watching Veba gently taking hold of Rickie's hand as she carefully watched over the paramedic's every move he sighed and said, "I really wish I had a friend like you, Veba."

Veba looked up at him. Her eyes were red and swollen from crying but she was bit calmer now that she knew that Rickie was going to be looked after. She tilted her head and studied the man's sweet face and said, "You do."

"Thanks Kid, I needed to hear that right now."

*** *** *** ***

Doris and Stephanie came running into the hospital. They went into the waiting room where they found a very angry and distraught Veba pacing like a raging panther.

"Sweetie, what happened?"

When Veba heard Doris's voice she ran to her sister in law crying. Doris immediately pulled her into a loving hug. Veba held her friend tight as she cried, "No let me see My Rickie!"

"Shhh, who won't let you see her?"

"Them?say no family!" She said pointing to the nurse's station.

"Oh Sweetie, they don't know anything. Calm down. I'll take care of it." She looked at Stephanie, "Could you stay with Veba while I teach this hospital a thing or to about community relations?"

Stephanie nodded she took Veba's shaking hand and gently led her to a large couch by the wall. "Come on Veba, Don't worry, Doris will knock some sense into them. You'll see Rickie."

"I know. Dory very smart," Said Veba trying to calm down and get her breathing back to normal. She wiped the tears with her fingers and looked anxiously down the hall.

Stephanie pulled the still very upset woman into a gentle hug and said kindly, "Really, Doris will fix it. Everything will be ok."

"I hope so?Rickie my life."

"I know." She gently rubbed her new friend's back and looked down the hall for Doris.

Doris came into the room about 20 minutes later. She looked into Stephanie's warm brown eyes with deep affection. She smiled at the redhead and then said to her still upset sister in law, "Its ok Veba, Come on. They are not only going to let you see Rickie, I've arranged for you to keep her company till she recovers."

Veba looked at the sweet blonde with very grateful eyes. "Thank you so much Dory."

"No one is going to tell me your not apart of our family, stupid ass holes! I straightened them out but good."

"You're apart of my family too. You're my only family." Said Veba relieved hugging Doris tightly.

Doris returned the hug and whispered, "Come on Sweetie, lets go see my pain in the ass sister."

*** *** *** ***

Rickie slowly opened her eyes. She felt like someone was holding her but she knew that had to be an illusion. She remembered that she was in the hospital. When her eyes opened and focused on the arm holding her close she felt a deep joy spread through out her whole body. She was protectively being held in her beloved's loving embrace. She looked up at the sleeping woman and smiled. She was so glad that she got the hospital to break their rules somehow. She was stunned they let her snuggle against her like this is the same hospital bed. She was too happy to worry about it though.

"Veba love?"

Veba slowly opened very sleepy eyes that were red and sore from crying all night. "Rickie?"

"Oh honey, were you crying all night long?"

Veba nodded as she nuzzled the soft blonde hair against her cheek.

"How did you end up in my bed? It's fantastic to wake up in your arms but you just getting to stay in my room is incredibly extraordinary. To actually be in my bed is a miracle."

"It is?um, Dory, she do it." Said Veba gently as she tenderly hugged Rickie her eyes filling with tears once again. She cradled her head against Rickie's chest carefully making sure not touch the injured shoulder.

Rickie now knew how bad it must have been the night before. Her Veba had reverted back to her old speech patterns. That only happened when she was very angry or scared. From what Rickie glimpsed as she went in and out of consciousness her love had been both. Well I guess being scared out of her mind that I would die and mad at anyone who stopped her from helping me would invoke both those reactions. My poor sweet love. She thought to herself as she gently rubbed her loves back.

"Sweetie, I am really ok. Please try and calm down."

"You?you're my life?I?I?"She struggled to continue but couldn't and started to sob against her loves warm chest.

"Shhh, I know Baby, I know. I love you so much." She hugged her back and kissed her lovingly all over her face. "Mmm, you taste really good salty."

A very tiny smile came to the dark woman's lips as she pulled back from the loving onslaught. "You nut," She whispered delighted to have her playful little love back in one piece.

Rickie kissed her way back to a tasty earlobe and whispered back, "You are a nut," Then she pulled the ear into her mouth sucking it gently.

Veba closed her eyes and moaned. Then in soft voice repeated dutifully, "You are a nut. I love you so much, my nut." She then pulled her loves lips to hers and kissed her deeply.

When they pulled back because they ran out of air, Rickie cupped both her cheeks and said, "You are feeling better now, huh?"

Veba bit her lip and looked up into the concerned green eyes as she replied very softly, "More important. How you feel?"

"How do you feel?"

Veba smiled and said, "Fine, but I ask you first."

"I asked you first."

"No, I did," replied Veba laughing now enjoying the look of pleasure on her loves face. Rickie joined her in laughter and then brought her lips back to her kissing her tenderly.

Doris and Stephanie walked in just then and grinned at each other in reaction to what they saw on the bed. "Well I see you are both feeling much better."

Two heads popped up. Veba's face was very red and she hid it against Rickie's neck. Rickie gently stroked the soft dark hair as she gave her visitors a cocky smile. "Now that I have my Baby calmed down, yes I do." She gave her sister a loving grateful look. "Thank you Dory, I am so happy you were able to get my Veba in here."

"I pulled some strings because I knew that Veba wouldn't calm down till she was with you. And I couldn't think of anything more healing for you then to be with her. Are you two up enough for a visitor?"

Veba's head popped up and she asked surprised, "Who?"

"The champ, He was really worried about both of you."

"That's really sweet of him."

"He is a nice man," agreed Veba quietly.

"He thinks you two are the best things since sliced bread," Said Dory amused.

Rickie looked confused, "Why I never really got a chance to do anything."

"Yes you did," Said Veba proudly, "You push us both down. Then threw your body on top of mine. You save us."

Rickie looked very confused.

"Yep, that's what he said too. If you hadn't shoved him down and yelled he would have been shot in the head and our sweet Veba would have been shot in the heart. You're a hero Kiddo!"

"I am? Why can't I remember any of that?"

The three other women looked at each other very worried. Veba gently pushed some hair out of the puzzled green eyes and asked, "You don't remember?"

Rickie shook her head, "No. I remember, sitting down with you and the rest of the party. I remember seeing some steel out of the corner of my eye. The next thing I remember was seeing you about to kill that little doctor in the club who was trying to fix the champ and ignoring me."

Doris let out a breath she didn't even know she was holding and said quietly, "Well Veba remembers and so does the champ and he would like to thank you. Is it ok?"

"Sure Sis, Why not?"

*** *** *** ****

The tall handsome black man came into the room with a beautiful smile for the two young women who smiled back at him with deep affection.

"You two look a hell of a lot better then the last time I saw you."

"What was wrong with My Veba?" Asked Rickie a bit confused still.

He was sitting in a visitor's chair beside Veba and looked up at Rickie in the hospital bed as he smiled and shrugged. "She was bit distraught." Then he looked at the beautiful woman beside him who blushed and replied looking up at him through her bangs, "A bit?"

Rickie chortled and said, "If I know Veba she was a force to be reckoned with."

The champ nodded, "Oh believe me she was to anyone who got between you and someone to help you. But to me and the paramedics she was just an upset lover anxiously watching and waiting to see if they would be able to help you."

"Um Champ?"


Rickie smiled warmly and nodded, "Todd, does that bother you at all?"

"Me, no I had a very wonderful warm Mother who taught me to love everyone based on their goodness. She used to say others oppress us so we have no right to turn around and do it to someone different from us. I truly believe that love is love. I do admit some of my boys and the security guys were a bit shocked. I don't give a damn what they think though in fact I'd like your firm to take over my security."

"NO!" Said Veba emphatically.

"Shh Sweetheart, wait a sec. Todd what are you talking about?"

Todd looked at the very agitated brunette who looked like she was about argue with Rickie but held her tongue. He reached out took her hand gently and said softly, "My friend I won't let anything happen to her I promise. I will never be a sitting duck like that again." He squeezed her hand then let it go.

Veba's piercing blue eyes seemed to gaze right into in his soul then she looked at her wife. With one glance into those beautiful green eyes that she now knew so well she knew that the decision was made. It didn't make her happy she was very scared for Rickie's safety. She knew that Rickie would jump into the fray again. And she now knew what it was like to almost lose her.

She looked at Todd with big worried blue eyes and said softly, "Todd I scared?I mean?I am scared."

Todd nodded and replied quietly, "I know that Veba. I promise you I will not let anything like what happened at the club happen again. I won't be going anywhere like that again. There will only be one exception and the only one who will be exposed to the public will be me. That's when I step into the ring."

Veba looked very surprise then she looked at Rickie. She knew as soon as she saw the grave expression on her beloved's face she would not be able to talk her out of it so she accepted it. She would just have to protect her the best she could.

Rickie could see the fear but proudly she could also see the respect that Veba had for her. She saw that she didn't like her choice but she would back it up and that's all she needed. She looked at the champ and said, "We'll do it Todd. I promise you we will get this creep before you ever step foot in that ring."

Veba knew that they would do everything in their power to do just that. She smiled at the sweet man and nodded that she agreed.

The tall man smiled at both of them and felt air escape his lungs in pure relief. "Thanks you two I feel much better."

*** *** *** ***

Rickie was pouting sitting up in their bed. Veba came in carrying a covered tray. She saw her love pouting and shook her head. She and Doris wouldn't let Rickie leave the bedroom till she was released to do so by her doctor.

"Dory say she will tell you when she finds something. Don't pout."

Rickie looked over at her love and smiled at her. She was so beautiful that she took her breath away. "I really don't feel like correcting your English today you just look so stunning I really just want to admire your beauty."

Veba blushed looking down at the tray in her hands. She walked over to the bed and gently lay the tray on the smaller woman's lap. "I look the same."

Rickie patted the bed beside her and said, "I know that. You always look stunning. I am a very lucky woman."


"Yes?" Purred the smaller woman a big rakish smile on her face.

"Stop. Please eat." Veba said picking up the little hand and kissing the palm. Rickie closed her eyes enjoying the kiss. "Mmm, this is my best medicine." She opened her eyes and pulled off the cover on the tray. "Oh you are so sweet, I love Chinese food. Would you share this with me?"

Veba sat down on the edge of the bed and pulled out two sets of chop sticks handing one to Rickie and pulling the paper off her own. Rickie chuckled as she took the paper off and kissed her wife on the cheek saying, "You're not only beautiful you are the kindest person I have ever known."

Veba shook her head and gently caressed Rickie's cheek saying, "You are very beautiful. You are also kind."

Rickie picked up a piece of chicken and gently fed it to Veba saying, "I think my love that you are the only one who would say that. I am not known as either kind or beautiful."

Veba swallowed as she fed Rickie a piece of broccoli saying softly, "The people who think that are not smart."

"Eggroll?" Asked Rickie after she swallowed and picked up an eggroll holding it up toward Veba. At the nod, she split it in half and fed one part to Veba holding the other in her hand as she replied, "No I don't think they are not smart, Love. I'm just not a classic beauty like you. You really can not compare your innate kindness and sweetness to mine. If someone was to compare our personalities and looks, I'd lose."

Veba swallowed her eggroll and cleaned Rickie's face carefully with a napkin. Then she put it down and looked down at her hands as she carefully formed the words she was going to say in her head.

"To me you are the most beautiful woman in the world. You have the sweetest, kindest soul. I know I have not been among a lot of people like you and Dory but I know how I feel. I love you so very much."

Rickie gently lifted the shy woman's head till she could look into the tear-filled sincere blue eyes. She wiped the tears and replied in a barely heard whisper, "God, How you invade my heart, my very soul. I am so grateful and lucky that I found you. My Love, I am so sorry it took me so long to get to you, to save you."

"I am just happy that you did." Veba couldn't resist it anymore; she kissed her love tenderly. As soon as they're lips met the kissed deepened into heartfelt passionate kiss.

Rickie pulled back when they ran out of breath and brushed some hair out of the passionate loving eyes, "Sweetheart could you move that tray over because at the moment. I have something far more delicious that I want to concentrate on."

*** *** *** ***

Rickie was now allowed to be on the large comfortable couch in the livingroom. She leaned back on a stack of pillows with her laptop nestled on her lap. She was going through some cross checks on the Champ's staff. Several of his boys had some very shadowy backgrounds.

Veba was sitting on a comfortable easy chair reading the last story in her anthology. She smiled when she finished looking at Rickie triumphantly saying, "Done."

"Wonderful," said Rickie with a smile. She reached behind her and pulled out wrapped gift. "Here's a little present for you. Did you like the last story in that book?"

"Yes, I loved it."

"Wasn't it by Melissa Good?"

Veba tilted her head and saying a cautious, "Yes."

"Well open it up."

Veba carefully unwrapped the gift and she looked up at Rickie stunned. "Tropical Storm, It's a whole novel."

"Yes." Said Rickie with a very delighted expression.


"Well why not?"

"I haven't?"

"So, why not start now? I know you will love it. It's one of my favorites."

"Oh good, you didn't buy it just for me." Said Veba relieved.

"No Sweetheart, I bought this especially for you."

"But why?"

"Love, I know this will be right up your alley. You'll love it! And I bought it because I love you sooo much."

"I?I do not know what to say." Veba looked at the book in her lap and then up into Rickie's delighted expression very overwhelmed. Veba got up and carefully sat next to Rickie on the arm of the couch. She put her arms around her and kissed her tenderly. "Thank you." She very carefully put the book down on the coffee table.

Rickie shook her head and said, "Sweetie, Its not delicate, it's a book."


"What is it?"

"To me it is the most special book I have ever seen?"

"You are so sweet," said Rickie hugging her closer. She pulled her even closer and kissed her cheek. "I hope you like this, Love. It's one of my favorite stories."

"What if I can't?"


Understand the words?"

"Then we'll work through it. You'll use your dictionary and if you need help ask. It'll be ok. I promise."

Veba gently picked up Rickie and then sat down on the couch with Rickie nestled into her lap. "Ok. Thank you Rickie. I love you."

"I love you too, I'm so very proud of you."

*** *** *** ***

Bugs Bunny was sitting on Veba's lap as she read Tropical Storm her face transfixed by the words between the covers of the novel. Rickie stood in the doorway to their bathroom admiring how adorable her love looked. Her hair was pulled into long ponytails that kept the hair from going into the blue eyes as she concentrated. She wore a Tomb Raider tank top they found at the swamp meet and her bugs bunny panties. Rickie felt like her libido would hit the ceiling from just looking at her.

Rickie's hair was wet, she wore a Tweety bird sleep shirt and matching panties, a gift from Veba on their one month anniversary. She sat down on her side of the bed and asked, "Are you enjoying it?"

"Oh yes, It is really very interesting." She said the last word very carefully she had added it to her vocabulary this week. She put her Bugs Bunny bookmark in her precious book and carefully lay it on her bedside table. Then she took Bugs and put him in his place of honor on a shelf above the table that Rickie had made for him specially. She then slid under the covers and looked up at Rickie waiting for her to do the same.

Rickie got under the covers and cuddled close to her love as she asked, "So where are you in the story?"

"They just met and are very attracted to each other but don't like each other at the same time. They're trying to figure out why they are having such strange reactions?um, I think they are?."

Soft fingers covered her lips and Rickie said, "Don't second guess yourself. You're right, Two people who fall for each other at first sight but really can't see it. Sounds kind of familiar, huh?"

"No, not really. I knew I loved you when I looked into your beautiful eyes after you fell into my arms."

Rickie pulled the taller woman even closer and whispered, "I know?I fell in love with your eyes before I even saw you or heard you. It was like you pulled me right into your soul at the first moment."

"Mmm, so we can't compare with the story, huh?" Veba asked as she kissed the little chin and then a line of butterfly kisses up to tiny the ear.

"Nope." Pulling Veba back up to her and kissing her passionately.

*** *** *** ****

The Champ was seated in their office next to Veba and facing Rickie across their desk. She had just reluctantly given him a progress report on the case. He listened and shook his head; he was very upset but not surprised.

"Damn, I've known both of those men since we were kids. I can't understand why they would betray me like this. I know they are jealous that I finished school and that I am a success. I always treated them well though; I always kept them on the payroll and out of trouble. Why?"

Veba immediately put a gentle hand on his arm squeezing comfortingly. "I'm very sorry Todd."

"Thanks Veba, you're a nice girl."

Rickie looked sympathetic but she was a force to be reckoned with. "Yes she is." Veba looked up and met Rickie's eyes. She saw the anger in them and drew a breath. "I'm very sorry too. I know they are old friends but now they want to kill you, Todd. Dead. I want to stop them. I need you to set them up. Can you do that?"

Todd looked down at his own hands and moaned. "I know your right, Rickie. I know that. It's just so hard. I really have been getting bad vibes from them but?how do you suspect someone you did your homework with. That you went on double dates with. That you hung out with every weekend for laughs??"

He looked up into two sets of eyes that looked a bit lost. Veba had no idea about any of that. She looked at Rickie who smiled at her love and said, "I never had any of that either." She looked at Todd and shrugged. "When Dory and I were kids we moved a lot. I never went to the same school for very long. All I ever had were my parents and Dory. Now I have my Veba. I'm too?well I'm a pain in the ass so I don't have many friends."

Todd looked at both women and then said softly, "I think of all of you as my friends. I have grown very comfortable around you three. I hope you feel the same way."

"Thank you Todd, I think you're a friend too." Said Veba with a very sweet smile.

"So do I. I am very pleased you feel that way too. I do understand your pain but we have to do this. I don't want to have to try to protect you in the ring. I want to end this before your championship bout. Will you be able to help us help you?"

Todd looked at the two women and nodded his head slowly. Rickie came around the desk and hugged him. She pulled back and then slid onto Veba's lap her arms going around her wife's waist for comfort. Veba immediately pulled her closer kissing her cheek. "I know that was hard Todd but we have to do this. I'm very proud of you." Whispered Rickie her eyes full of emotion.

*** *** *** ***

Doris, Rickie and Todd were in the office going over some new plans for how to handle the champ's protection and deal with his men that were under suspicion. Veba was in the living room reading her book and stuffing popcorn in her mouth.

When the meeting broke up Doris showed the champ to the door while Rickie went to check and see what the tall brunette was up to. She came in the livingroom and leaned against the doorframe watching a completely focused Veba reading her novel. Her wide blue eyes drinking in every word as she turned the pages quickly as if eager to see what happened next.

It's amazing how much she's grown in such a short time. I love it! I am so proud of her I could burst. She thought as she watched the brunette stuff even more popcorn in the already full mouth.

"Hey take it easy with that popcorn your going to choke."

Veba looked at Rickie and quickly chewed what she had in her mouth. Then she swallowed a large gulp of strawberry soda to help it on its way. "I really like popcorn. It tastes so good. I can't seem to help it." She said shrugging and looking a little embarrassed.

"I know love, but I worry that you'll not pay attention and choke."

The big blue eyes looked hurt and she looked down saying softly. "Sorry Rickie."

"Hey don't look so upset. I thought it looked cute as hell I just worry about you cause I love you."

The big blue eyes now appeared shocked as she looked back at Rickie. "You worry about me?"

"Of course I do. Don't you worry about me?"

Veba nodded.

"Do you know how much I love you."

Veba suddenly smiled and nodded, her face taking on a glow of happiness, which caused a similar response from Rickie. "Yes, I do."

"So why wouldn't I worry about you?"

"I just never thought?. I mean your so strong?I??" Her eyes dropped again.

Rickie shook her head and walked to sit on the arm of the couch by Veba. She gently took the book and put it on the end table. The she took the box of popcorn and put it on the coffee table. Then she slid onto the tall woman's lap causing Veba to look her in the eyes as she brought the small woman even closer to her body. Rickie smiled and kissed her nose, "No one is so strong that they don't worry about their loved ones. If you care, you worry; it goes with the territory. And considering how much I love you, my need to protect you, is about the size of the Grand Canyon."

Tears welled up in Veba's eyes as she hugged Rickie tight. "Oh Rickie."

"I know, I love you too," cooed Rickie, stroking her loves hair and drying her tears.

"I knew you loved me. I just never knew you felt like that. Thank you," She whispered pulling her close and kissing her passionately.

When the ran out of breath Rickie rubbed her cheek against Veba's and asked, "So am I interrupting an exciting part of the story?"

"Yes, but I don't care. I much rather love you," Whispered Veba kissing her love on the neck in tiny little butterfly kisses.

"Mmm, What part?" she asked closing her eyes enjoying the loving attention as Veba reached her ear and started nibble along the rim.

"Love, do you want a book report now?" She asked then licked the rim causing the small woman to move even closer to her.


"Good," replied Veba, she pulled Rickie on top of her stretching out on the couch and then flipped over so she was on top but their bodies hardly touched. She started to kiss her way down to her loves breast that busy hands had exposed during their conversation. Veba began to suckle the breast with a very focused and loving attention till Rickie couldn't think anymore. All she did was feel was the electricity in her body as her passion built. When Veba reached the small woman's core and took her over the edge Rickie wondered what in the hell it was they had been talking about anyway.

*** *** *** ***

Rickie woke up on the couch the next morning nestled in her loves arms. She thought, I am so lucky I have a beautiful wife who loves me as much as I love her. Who would have thought that would ever happen?

Blue eyes fluttered open and she smiled brightly as she pulled Rickie closer. "Hi pretty one," Then she kissed her love deeply before she could reply.

When they pulled back, Rickie cupped Veba's cheeks and said softly, "Mmm, I got to end my day and begin it the same wonderful way. Kissing you. I am so lucky."

"So am I." Veba gently traced Rickie's jaw line as she asked, "Do you want my book report now?"

"Yes, but only if you want to give it to me. Were relaxing today. Tomorrow we work, I'm going to catch the bad guys?"

"Uh Rickie?"

"Honey, I will not be in any danger."

"What do you mean you will not be in danger? You are going to be in the middle of it!"

"No I won't?"

"Yes you will. They are trying to kill Todd."

"So, I will be fine."

Veba pulled back against the pillows and closed her eyes growling slightly in quiet frustration. Rickie leaned onto her elbow and looked at the flushed face. Worried she gently inquired, "Love?"

Veba formed the words in her mind with her eyes closed so they would come out clear and correctly. She took a deep breath but kept her eyes closed as she said, "I know that you think you are protecting me. It really scares me that you place yourself in danger like this. I don't want to lose you. Please don't do this to us."

Rickie looked at the flushed face and how tight her eyes were shut as if to keep out the fear. She kissed each eye and then her nose and tenderly her mouth. Then she whispered into her ear, "Don't be scared. I'll be fine, don't you believe me?"

"I love you and I know you. You will risk your life to safe someone else. That is what scares me." Veba's eyes opened and she pinned the green eyes with a very forthright expression that Rickie hadn't expected.


"Please lets find a safer way." The eyes were like laser beams now going right into her soul. "Please."

Rickie couldn't fight the look she was getting. She surrendered. She put her head on Veba's shoulder and asked. "How do we protect Todd then? Tell me what you're thinking."

Veba kissed her loves forehead and ran her fingers through the soft blonde hair; "Can't you work with the police. I thought you and Dory had friends there."

"You mean a stake out?"

Veba shrugged she wasn't sure what it was called but she wanted someone else to take the risk. Someone who's job it was to protect people. She couldn't go through losing Rickie again. It was just too hard.

"Yeah, I guess I could do that but what if they mess up?"

"You will take part. You will work hand in hand with them but they will do the actual?um, stake out."

"Damn you're smart."

"No, I'm not. I'm scared I can't go through that again. I won't risk you."

Rickie shook her head, "Sweetie you're both, ok? I have a good friend I can trust with this. I will work with him but I will not be in the center of action. I will stay on the sidelines. How does that sound?"

"Perfect. Thank you," Veba said kissing Rickie passionately.

"I really like how you show your graditude."

Veba smiled, "I love you so much. I mean it. Thank you for doing it this way. I know your doing for me. I am very grateful."

Rickie kissed her nose and winked, "Yes but its ok because I love you that much that I will do this. I think it will be ok. I mean being shot once per case is a pretty good limit."

Veba face became serious again her eyes blazed with sudden anger, "I do not want you to get shot at all."

"Shh, Ok Sweetie. I'll make an official note no more being shot at."

Veba calmed down breathing deeply. She shook her head and kissed Rickie's cheek saying, "You are such a nut."

"But I am your nut."

"Yep thank you for being my nut."

"Oh anytime, Sweetie. Anytime."

*** *** *** ***

Veba was sitting in the back seat of an unmarked patrol car. She had her thumb in her mouth and Bugs Bunny nestled on her lap as she nervously watched Rickie outside the car setting their trap with the police detective. Doris slid into the seat beside her and took the woman's thumb out of her mouth. She shook her head and asked sympathetically, "Didn't she promise you she would stay out of it? You know she would never break a promise to you don't you?"

Veba nodded.

"You do know that I understand what the hell this is like don't you? She has always been a risk taker. Sorry, she will always be this way, has been even when we were little."

"I know Dory. I just?I worry."

Doris nodded and leaned her head against the seat. She sighed as she closed her eyes. "Veba what do you think of Stevie?"

"She's nice."

"Do you think Rickie likes her?"

"Yes, I think so."

"Veba?.I um,?I really like her?"

Blue eyes widened and she smiled for the first time since they had left home. "Really?"


"Like I love My Rickie?"

"Um?I?.I'm not sure, Sweetie."

"Do you not want to ever leave her?"

Doris nodded.

"Do you feel your tummy hurt when you do?"

She moaned and nodded again.

"Do you just want to kiss her all the time?"

Doris covered her face and nodded moaning even louder. Veba smiled sweetly as she gently stroked the tangled blonde curls, "Do you feel wonderful when you hold her and you can't even explain what it feels like to kiss her?"

Doris leaned against Veba's shoulder and nodded again.

Veba joyfully hugged her sister in law saying quietly with a deep inner knowing, "You love her Dory."

Doris lifted her eyes to meet the bright happy blue eyes and she replied quietly, "I was afraid you would say that."

Veba's eyes became confused, "Why would you be afraid?"

"I have been alone a long time?I don't know if I can?well do it?"

"I don't understand that, Dory. You're so wonderful. Perfect. You're my best friend. Rickie's sister. We both think you're lovely."

Doris smiled and kissed her sister in law's cheek, "I think you mean lovable."

Veba rolled her eyes and chuckled, "You are both. So there."

Doris laughed, "Thank you, Sweetie. Do you think after this mess I should talk to Rickie?"

"Yes but I think the person you should really talk to is Stevie. She needs to know you love her. I know she loves you."


Veba shrugged and hugged Bugs close to her.

"Veba did she say something to you?"

Veba shrugged again and played with her favorite toys long ears.

Doris just watched Veba trying to avoid her eyes, but could see the glow of happy knowing in them. "You are one of kind, Sweetie."

Veba hid a smile behind Bugs head, she knew that it would work out because she already knew that the redhead loved her quiet sister. Now all she had to worry about was her wife out there with a bunch of killers on the loose.

*** *** *** ***

Two men drove into the parking lot and parked an old Toyota next to Todd's Mazarati. They were unarmed and seemed like any normal patron entering the restaurant. Two detectives were undercover one as a customer and one as a waiter who was working at Todd's table.

Todd was in a booth by himself talking with a great deal of agitation into his cell phone. He was actually speaking to Rickie who was now in the unmarked police car beside Veba. Veba had a tight hold of Rickie's other hand, she gently rubbed the taller woman's knuckles as she tried to calm down their friend on the phone.

"Todd, try to be as casual as you can. Say goodbye to me then talk to them just like you always do. Just remember do not leave with them. Don't even go to the bathroom with them. Just sit nice and safe at that table surrounded by people."

"Ok, Thanks Kid. I'll talk to you soon. I will, I promise. Bye." He replied calmly in a very friendly tone. He looked up at the two men standing in front of him and smiled a friendly smile. "Hi Guys, Have a seat."

They slid into the booth next to the big man smiling back. "So boss what's up."

"Nothing much, I just thought it would be nice to talk about the fight. We haven't had a nice casual talk over a meal in long time." He said calmly leaning back against his seat.

"Oh Todd, you know you'll win." Said the older of the two men again smiling and hitting his elbow in the younger man's ribs.

"Yeah man, you know you will." Said Lee with a huge smile.

Reg the older man said, "Hey can't we go eat with the brothers? This stuff sucks."

"No I like this place, they make great steaks. I already ordered and I want a hot fudge sundae after." Said Todd smiling at the waiter as he put a bowl of soup in front of him.

"Uh, but Boss?"

Todd took a big slurp of soup and shook his head no.

*** *** *** ***

Rickie had put the cell phone down and was now watching the action in the restaurant through some binoculars. So was her friend Captain Mark Philips and Dory. Veba didn't need them she had perfect vision and was able to see everything very clearly without them. She was holding Rickie's free hand tightly. She had decided no matter what happened out there she was not going to let that little hand go.

"Love my circulation." Rickie teased her gently.

Veba loosened her grip slightly and said, "Sorry."

Rickie brought Veba's hand to her lips and kissed it gently. "S'kay, I know your worried about me. I did promise you though."

"Yes, I do know that. I was just worried that during the heat of action you might?"

"Run out of the car and get myself shot again?"

Veba bit her lip and nodded.

"Love, If I were in danger wouldn't you run out in the blaze of gun fire to save me?"

Veba reluctantly nodded.

"I did promise and I will keep it for you. I will let our friends in the department do their jobs but if there is something I can do to help I will. It's who I am. Who you love. Don't you understand?"

Tear filled eyes closed and Veba reluctantly nodded again. She put her free hand to her face and covered her face. She felt like she would sob and didn't want to embarrass Rickie in front of her friend.

Rickie put the binoculars on the floor and leaned over carefully pulling Veba's hand away from her face. She gently dried the tears and whispered, "Open your eyes Sweetheart. I'd like to see the pretty blue please. Um Mark, let us know what's happening, OK?" She said to the man in the front seat.

"Sure thing, Squirt."

"Mark," growled Rickie rolling her eyes.

"Oops no Squirts today, huh?" He said with chuckle turning back to the front to watch the action in the restaurant.

Veba had opened her eyes meeting compassionate green with a tiny smile. "You know how much I love you Veba. I will always be here for you. You do know me now though and it's part of my nature to help people as it is yours. We both just have to learn to live with it."

"Live is important word."

"The important word," Corrected Rickie with a wicked smile as she gently brushed back black hair from the now calm blue eyes.

"Most important word, Love."

Rickie rubbed her nose against Veba's and then she gently brought the soft lips to her own and she kissed her gently.

"Kid, Something is happening my guys are giving us the high sign!"

"Shit!" Rickie got her binoculars and Veba leaned forward so she could see through the windshield.

*** *** *** ***

"Boss this place really doesn't know shit about food!"

"I'm hungry and I like it. I just got my damn steak!"

The officer came over as the waiter his eyes meeting the agitated brown eyes. He poured his own calmness toward the nervous man saying, "Is anything wrong, Sir? Is the food ok?"

"No everything is fine. The food is great!"

"Bull shit! We want the fucking bill," Said Lee his voice rang with anger. "Lets go to Mother's Bacon Boss. This place is rotten its worse the Sodom and Gomorra."

Todd looked at Lee and shook his head, "Are you on something again? What the hell does this nice normal family restaurant have to do with the homes of sin? Are you nuts?"

"What do you mean?"

"Never mind Champ, he is back to the bible again and he ain't got no idea what he's reading. He is right though Mother's has better chicken."

"I don't want chicken, I want my steak. In peace if you don't mind." He deliberately took a huge bite of steak.

"Come on Boss if we ast you nice?" Lee said very upset.

"No, I am very happy here."

"Um Champ were going to the bathroom," Said Reg pulling Lee behind him.

"Lee your English seems to be slipping are you nervous?"

Lee's face broke into a sweat and he hurried behind Reg to the bathroom.

*** *** *** ***

"Mark did you see that?"

"Yep, two cars filled with gang bangers just drove in." He pulled out his walkie-talkie, "Rob get in there with the Champ and get him down now!" He put down his walkie-talkie and jumped out of the car saying, "You girls stay here."

Rickie was about to go out her door when two strong arms pulled her back to a warm body behind her and on to the tall woman's lap. "Oh no you don't," Whispered Veba as she pulled her tight against her.

*** *** *** ***

Everything happened fast then. Veba could hardly remember it all. First ten men jumped out of those two large cars. They were immediately surrounded by police who called out that it was bust and to drop their weapons. Bright police lights flooded the parking lot and then gunfire erupted.

Two men ran out the back door and were arrested as accomplices immediately. The police had flack jackets and sharp shooters from SWAT quickly got all the shooters in legs or arms. There minor injuries but no one was badly hurt. The Champ was once again thrown down onto a booth seat and was safe to fight for his championship.

Dory dropped down in the front seat and covered her head as the shots rang out. Veba did the only thing she could think of to keep the struggling Rickie from running into the battle zone. She kissed her passionately.

When it was all over Doris almost had to throw a bucket of water on them to separate them they had become so involved with each other they forgot where they were and why they were there.

*** *** *** ***

Veba opened the door for Stevie the next day. She had called the night before saying she had some papers for the tall woman to sign.

"We are going to start on the improvements next month. Would like to overseer it?"

"Overseer?" Asked Veba as she looked up confused she had just started to very carefully sign the papers.

"Um?watch over our project."

"Oh? No thank you." Said Veba who started to sign the papers again. After she finished she handed them back to Stevie smiling; "Watching over Rickie is a full time job. I'll leave our building to you."

"Ain't that the truth," Said Doris with a huge smile in the doorway."

"Um?Hi Doris."


"Um, I'm going to go to the office and play with the computer." Veba's eyes were sparkling as she left the room and she winked at her sister in law as she left.


"Bye-bye." Said a very amused brunette she closed the door behind her.

Stevie was staring at the place Veba was a second before then she looked shyly at Doris and said, "She is a very sweet person but she seems so innocent to me."

"In some ways she is. In other ways she is the wisest person I have ever met. Its like all those years alone created this inner sense of self that gives her knowledge that the rest of us would never know. Meeting Rickie gave her happiness and peace so you put that all together and she is really an incredibly special person."

"Yes, I see that."

"Yes, it is really beautiful to watch her develop. For some one who doesn't know much about the world she understand people to such a degree she can seem almost psychic. My sister is very lucky because Veba is very focused on loving and protecting her."

"And Rickie seems just as focused isn't she?"

"Oh yeah, it is so hard to find that special someone like Veba."

"Yes, special people are very scarce when you meet one you should let them know it." Said Stevie staring deeply into Doris mesmerized gaze.

*** *** *** ***

Two women were peeping through the tiny glass window at the top of the door.

"Why does Dory not tell her?" Whispered Veba.

"Why doesn't Dory tell her?"


"Come on Sweetheart, say it."

"Why doesn't Dory tell her? Well why?"

Rickie chuckled quietly and whispered back, "I think she's scared."

"But why?"

"She's afraid that Stevie doesn't love her."

"But she does."

"How on Earth do you know that, Love?"

Veba looked away and then whispered even more quietly into her love's ear, "She told me."

"She did?" Rickie almost whistled but stopped herself and pulled Veba away from the door. "When did she do that?"

"In the hospital while we waited for Dory to make them let me see you."

"Why didn't you say anything to me at least?"

"She told me not to. I did hint, if you remember." Veba moved back to the door so she could peep through the window again.

Rickie leaned against the wall and shook her head chuckling; "Yes you did do that didn't you?"

"Yep, I?" Veba then pulled Rickie back to her side and pointed. They both smiled like naughty little kids as they watched the two other women kiss passionately in the other room.

"Aww, isn't that beautiful? I am so please for them both."

"Me too."

"Well what would you like to do while there busy in there?"


"Tomb Raider?"



"Nope," Veba scooped up the beautiful blonde and kissed her passionately. Then she carried her to their room kicking the door closed behind her saying as she lowered to her love to the bed, "We won't need the computer for the game I want to play with you."

The End?


Continued in Growing up Together.

The Athenaeum's Scroll Archive