~ Growing Up Together ~
by Ri

Top 25: Oct. 27, 2003
Disclaimer: This is the third part of my Ghost series. You do need to read my stories The Ghost and Growing Pains to understand this story. There is a loving committed same sex relationship. There is also some violence. I have mention in passing several books and stories that I love but I am not giving away any plot lines nor am I trying to make any money from the characters this is just my loving tribute to them.

I would like to thank my friends MJ, Larisa, and Webwarrior for their support. This one took a long time and I really needed shoulders to cry on. Thank you my friends.

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

The blue eyed woman had a very dreamy expression on her face as her beloved turned off the VCR and cuddled closer to her.

"Yes love?" Replied Rickie quietly as nuzzled her head against Veba's shoulder.

Veba brought her arms around the smaller woman hugging her close putting her head on top of Rickie's and nuzzling the soft blonde hair.

"Are there really Wizards?" She asked quietly in a very hopeful voice.

Rickie smiled and kissed Veba on the neck enjoying the humming moan she got in reaction to it. "Well I never met any but I'd really like to think so. Did you like the movie?"

"Yes?um, do you think?"

"I already bought it for you, it's in your bottom drawer."

Veba's eyes widened and she pulled back so she could look into delighted green eyes sparkling back up at her. Veba then reached over and opened her drawer and there it was "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." Tears welled up and as she closed the drawer. Then she cuddled Rickie close again as she whispered in emotion filled voice, "Thank you, Rickie."

Rickie gently dried the tears as she replied quietly, "I knew you'd love this story but why are crying, My Love?"

"You always do things like this. I was just thinking it would be nice to read it?and it is here?You are so good."

Rickie kissed her love on the nose then each eye and then on the lips tenderly. When she pulled back she whispered, "Good huh?"

"Uh huh?and thoughtful," she answered as she pulled Rickie back to her and kissed her love hungrily the passion setting them both on fire.

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

Rickie was pacing in front of her sister. She hated the idea of doing this under cover job because it meant going to New York with out her Veba. Doris wasn't too thrilled either since Stephanie would be staying here so Veba wouldn't be alone. They both hated it but knew that this case called for it so they were debating options.

"So we'll think of another angle calm down, Rickie." Doris was sitting at her desk watching her sister angrily pace the room.

"What angle, Dory? This is an inside trading case we have to go undercover to find the damn mole!"

"How about Veba going under cover too?" Asked Doris hopefully.

"Hmm, I don't know Dory. She is so honest, do you think she would be willing to pretend she is something she is not?"

"Ask her, Sis."

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

Veba was on the couch lying cuddled in a corner reading her new book. Rickie smiled at how sweet she looked when she did this.

"Hi Love. Enjoying the story?"

"Oh yes, I do not like his Aunt and Uncle in the book. Or his cousin! They are even meaner then they were in the movie."

Rickie smiled and nodded as she sat beside the tall beauty.

"What is wrong, Rickie?" Asked Veba as she put her book down and sat up straight as arrow. Her eyes were full of concern as she pulled Rickie on to her lap.

"What makes you think there is anything wrong?"

Veba shook her head and traced the soft lips, " That is easy. You have a very upset look on your face and your voice gets funny."


"Kind of like the gravel in Dory's garden when we walk on it."

"That's flattering."

Veba shrugged and kissed her love on the nose, then she said with a sweet smile, "I call them like I see them."

Rickie chuckled recognizing one of her own lines. She put her head on Veba's shoulder and enjoyed the strong gentle fingers running through her hair.

"So what is wrong, My Love?"

"I have to go out of town with Dory, we have to pretend to be someone else to catch a bad guy. We don't want to leave you, but Dory and I have to go."

Veba felt her own eyes begin to tear up at the thought of being all alone again, "Oh? So I will be all alone here."

"No Darling, I wouldn't do that to you. Stevie will stay here and keep you company?um, there is a way you can go too but you'd have to pretend like Dory and I are going to."

"To be what?"

"A fashion model was my thought since I'm going in as a photographer?"


"Why do you look so shocked. You are the most beautiful woman in the world."

"I am not. You say that because you love me. I am too old anyway."

Rickie smiled and asked, "So you would consider it even if it is a bit like lying?"

"Why are we doing this?"

"Because were trying to catch some one who is stealing money from our client." Rickie knew that was a simple explanation for insider trading but she wanted to convince Veba first then she'd educate her on it.

"Oh? Well yes, I would do that. I don't want you to be away?I ?I think?"She finally broke down and cried.

"Shh, it's ok Love," purred Rickie soothingly as she gently rubbed her back and kissed away her tears. "It's settled, we will all go. The whole family." She pulled back and looked at Veba, who was calming down, she cupped her cheeks and asked, "How do you feel about flying on an airplane?"

Veba pulled Rickie closer and rubbed her cheek against her wife's, "Don't know."

"Ok, one bridge at a time."

"Bridge?" Squeaked Veba at the thought of these new things she had only read in book and seen in movies.

"Just an expression."


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

Veba held very tightly to Rickie's hand in the crowded airport. As they went through a security checkpoint the woman ran a hand held metal detector over Veba's chest area. Veba tilted her head as the small instrument was held toward her and asked quietly, "What is that, please?"

The woman put it down and motioned Rickie forward so she could do the same with the small blonde. The airport had a recent scare so they were taking extra precautions. "It's a metal detector, Honey."


"To protect you. Ok, you're both clear go on through."

The confused brunette allowed Rickie to pull her through the checkpoint toward Doris and Stephanie who were waiting by the entrance to the gates.


"I'll explain on the plane."

Veba nodded.

Once they were settled on the plane she looked into the green eyes and asked with very curiously, "Well?"

Rickie smiled and said softly, "You're so cute. Well do you remember all the bad stuff we have been seeing on TV lately?"

Veba's lips quivered and she nodded her head. All the violence against innocent people lately really scared and upset Veba. So Rickie and Doris said she shouldn't watch the news anymore.

"Well that was a precaution against bad people like that."

"Oh? But how can they be sure?"

Rickie looked very sad as she said softly, "They can't Love, They can only take precautions. We can't let that stop us from living our lives can we?"

Veba shook her head and said, "No but I do not like this bad stuff. I wish it would all stop."

"Me too Darling, I think we all do. Ok were getting ready take off now see we are pulling away from the ramp. The plane will go down the runway really fast and will get really noisy before we take off. Are you ready?"

Veba bit her lip and pulled Rickie's hand onto her lap closing her eyes. As she heard the roar of the plane she lowered her head onto Rickie's shoulder and gripped the seat rest with her free hand.

Rickie kissed the top of her loves head and gently ran her fingers through the soft black hair. "Shh, you're safe darling," She whispered gently trying to ease her fear.

Veba felt the soft stroking and the gentle reassuring words and let it envelop her till she felt her heart rate slow down again.

Rickie looked out the window and smiled. "Open your eyes and look out the window, Love."

Blue eyes blinked open and then she looked out the small round window. Her eyes widened and she whispered, "Oh Rickie, It is so pretty."

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

They had been in the air about 20 minutes and Veba found once they were up she wasn't scared anymore. "Do you feel better?"

"You make me feel safe."

Rickie watched as she love stared out the window watching all the beautiful colors below. Rickie smiled and kissed her cheek saying softly, "that's because I love you."

Veba turned her eyes were sparkling, "And I love you so much." Their heads started to come together for a tender kiss but the rattle of tray pulled them back apart. The flight attendant smiled and asked, "Would you like a salad or a sandwich?"

"Sandwich please," said Rickie as she squeezed Veba's hand gently reassuring her.

Veba squeezed back and said, "Me too."

"And to drink?"

"I'll have a coke, please. Veba?"

"Chocolate milk please."

The flight attendant nodded and continued down the aisle. Veba examined the sandwich in the wrapper and said, "Um Rickie? This looks like the stuff we get in the park."

"Well it's better then staving to death."

Veba looked at the bag of potato chips and frowned. " I do not like these." She leaned back between their seats and smiled at Doris and Stephanie. "Dory, would you like another one of these?"

Doris smiled at Veba and shrugged, "Sure. Are you two ok?"

Veba smiled and nodded, "Yep, thanks to My Rickie."

Stephanie nodded at Veba as she chewed her sandwich. Veba winked at her and she straightened back up. The flight attendant came up to them and asked, "Would you like some cookies?"

"Oh yes, Thank you very much." Said Veba happily with and started to open the package up when little hands pulled it out of Veba's.

"First you eat your lunch then eat the cookies."

"Oh Rickie." Pouted Veba fluttering her eyelashes sadly.

Rickie shook her head and said softly, "Come on Sweetheart, eat your food first."

"Oh ok," said Veba then she bit into her sandwich and her eyes widened. "This is better then what we get in the park."

Rickie chuckled and winked at her love.

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

Rickie was growling as they all got into the cab out side of JFK. She had her arm around Veba who was visibly upset. She made sure that her love was settled next to her while Doris gave the cab driver instructions. Stevie sat next to Rickie and Doris sat in the front with the driver who moved the partition over for her so she could talk to her family.

Veba was shaking and she couldn't speak yet because her teeth were chattering with pure reaction to what she had been put through. Tears were falling down her cheeks and she was holding tightly to Rickie's free hand. She had gone through one of the worst experiences of her life and her love was her only lifeline.

"Baby are you ok?"

Veba nodded.

"What the hell happened?" Asked Doris as soon as the cab driver started toward their hotel.

"Well you know how bad the bumpy landing shook up My Veba?"

Doris nodded.

"Well this idiot has a strange idea of how terrorists operate instead of watching people getting on planes he was watching people getting off. He saw how jittery she was and decided she was nervous because she was up to something. He pulled her out of the line to get luggage to security and then the bastard tried to stop me from coming with them, he's speaking a bit higher now?"

"Rickie, you didn't?" Asked Stephanie shocked.

"Oh yeah, he may never have kids. Anyway the head of security was pretty cool. After squeaky spoke to him he talked to me and he was very reasonable. He saw how upset and shaken up Veba was and said there was no reason to detain her. He apologized but I told him what he can do is change our return flight to leave out of Newark with out any charges or penalties. After a bit of a debate he agreed."

"Why Newark?"

"Less crowded, hopefully less paranoid. I will not allow My Baby, to go through that again." They reached the hotel and Rickie asked, "Honey are you sure your ok?"

Veba nodded and followed Stephanie out of the cab. Rickie followed very worried.

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

Doris and Stephanie went on to the magazine to start the tap into the computer system. Rickie brought Veba up to the suite that the client had booked for them all. Veba still hadn't uttered a word.

"Baby, please say something."

Wide blue eyes met green and suddenly filled with tears, which just as quickly burst into sobs. Rickie pulled her into a tight hug saying, "Your ok now Love, I won't let anyone hurt you. I love you so much."

Veba nodded against Rickie's shoulder and pulled the small woman onto her lap holding her very tight.



"I know Sweetheart."


"Why love? You did nothing wrong."

"Then why??

"It was an over zealous nit-wit. He overreacted because you were nervous. He was stupid and his boss said so. In fact he'll probably get in trouble for that we could sue them and that Manager knows it. He is suppose to be on alert for people who get on a plane not off of one."

"I ?sorry?"

"Shh, you have no reason at all to be sorry."

Veba pulled slightly back sitting straight as a rail. "I should have?stayed?home?"


"I ruin?every?thing?"

"No you don't! Please listen to me?"

"No Rickie?I go?Please?" Veba tried to pull out of the embrace but Rickie just held on tight not letting her move away.

"Stop, please listen to me," she cupped a cheek so she could look into the upset eyes and poured her love and support into the upset blue eyes. Red rimmed eyes looked deeply into sincere green and she stopped struggling. She put her head on Rickie's shoulder and said softly, "Ok."

Rickie smiled and kissed the top of her loves head, "Thank you. Ok, this was a small set back. We both learned a lesson here. You're not ready for a big Airport like JFK, they had a big scare there and they are really anxious about anything and everything. You are allowed to be scared of things. All you did was to try to fight the fear and there is nothing wrong with that. Now, I believe in you, Darling please try and believe in yourself."

"I ?It?hard?I?"

"Say: I believe in me."

Veba was now looking deeply into Rickie's eyes she had lifted her head so she could make sure she heard every word. Veba was deeply entranced by the soft words and the gentle soothing caress against both her cheeks. She quietly repeated the words, "I believe in me."

Rickie was just as entranced, she pulled Veba's body back to her so they were barely apart and whispered, "I love you."

"I love you too," said Veba then she hungrily pulled the soft lips into a passionate kiss. Suddenly wanting more but not sure why the tall woman began to seduce her partner. Rickie was just as intoxicated she returned the affection with as much passion needing her love as much as she needed her.

When they both fell over the edge screaming each other's name they both fell into a deep healing sleep. They were curled happily around each other neither even aware of their ringing phone.

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

A knock on the door a few hours later woke Rickie up. She found herself tightly held in her loving wife's arms. She smiled and kissed Veba on the cheek. Veba's eyes blinked open and then she looked down and smiled back at her love saying softly, "Hi."

"Hi Baby, do you feel better this morning?"

Veba nodded as another knock was heard at the door. Rickie kissed Veba tenderly then gently pulled out of her arms to go see what was up.

Once she had her robe on she opened the door to find a very angry Doris, "Where the hell have you two been? We've been calling and calling?"

"Veba was very upset last night. It took a while to calm her down and convince her that it wasn't her fault. She was sure it was and wanted to go home."

"You're kidding? Did you convince her?"

Rickie glanced over her shoulder at the beautiful woman who was getting out of bed putting on her robe. Then she looked back at her sister answering evasively, "Yeah eventually."

Doris could read her sister like a comic book rolled her eyes and asked, "Will she be ok? They are expecting both of you this afternoon."

"Yeah, she will be fine."

"Are you sure?"

"Yep, Dory go back to your own woman."

Dory shook her head and went back to her room. Rickie turned back to find a now a wide-awake Veba, "Is Dory ok?"

"Yep, she's worried about you though."

"Because of before?"


"I fine."

"I'm fine."

"Good, we both fine."

Rickie snorted and said, "Veba!"

Veba laughed and said softly. "I am fine, Rickie. I will play the part like we practiced."

"Good girl?Um, Love about last night??


"Um, you were very hungry?"

Veba looked down and shrugged, "I needed to love you. Was wrong?"

"Was that wrong? And no it wasn't I enjoyed every second of it. It just surprised me I wasn't expecting it."

"It surprised me too?.Rickie, will I?will I ever be like you? I mean??"

"I know what you mean and I love you the way you are. There is not a thing wrong with you. Did you know a lot of people have a fear of flying? It is quite normal."


Rickie smiled at the shocked expression and nodded.

"Well I liked the flying, Rickie. It is the landing and the airport I did not like."

"You were ok at LAX."

They were nice there. They didn't scare me. They check me without thinking me bad."

"I think you will be ok at Newark too. It's a busy Airport too but not as big as JFK and it doesn't get international traffic so it should be easy going. I will make sure your not scared by any of it this time."


"I will distract you."

"Oh?" Veba smiled at the memory of last night and said, "Good." Then she played with the tie on her robe as she asked quietly, "When we go do work?"


"Um, when will we go to the magazine to work." She said slowly and carefully with a spark of mischief in her very blue eyes.

"Leave, Veba. Its when do we leave?"


"Say it, Love."

Veba rolled her eyes and said slowly, "When do we leave to the magazine to work?"

"Well done."


"A couple of hours, are you hungry?"

Veba looked up and smiled with a very sexy look, "Yes, please."

Rickie was astonished, "Um, what are you thinking?"

Veba walked over to the smaller woman picked her up and carried her back to bed, "I'm thinking of loving you."

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

Veba was dressed very elegantly in a black lace dress with a long strand of pearls. Her hair had been set in curlers by Stephanie. Veba had whispered to Rickie that she didn't like them, but now her thick hair appeared even fuller and more beautiful. She wore high heels and walked very erect. She appeared tall, aloof and very arrogant. Rickie was amazed, she hadn't been sure if her Veba could pull this off but seeing her now just filled her with wonder at her beloved's ability to take on a part so far from her own sweet nature.

Rickie was in character too. She was acting the part of grumbling, angry photographer. She wore men's clothes and man's fedora. She was protective of Veba naturally, but right now she was acting like a Grizzly bear.

As the two women strode into the magazine's main lobby many eyes observed them. One person's lips curled into a viscous smile when she saw Veba then walked quickly away from the formidable pair.

The girls went into the Editor's outer office where two sets of people were drooling over the two women. The models were all licking their lips and smiling seductively at Rickie who had a very good camera strung around her neck as she entered the room. Two staff photographers straightened their clothes and approached the beautiful brunette like hungry wolves. They both tried to give her they're cards but Rickie partially in character and partially because it just ticked her off grabbed both of them and tore them in half. With an angry glare said, "This beauty is my find. She is my treasure now go push off and find your own!"

The two men bolted away from the small angry woman as the editor came out of his office. "Ladies, if you will?" He said smiling at Rickie and Veba.

Rickie stood up and put her hand out in a gallant gesture to Veba. Veba accepted the arm like a princess would. Allowing herself to be regally escorted into the office.

When the door was closed the editor leaned against the door and smiled happily. "Wow Veba! I am so impressed. I wasn't worried about Rickie but you my child are so sweet I just didn't expect such a wonderful performance. I know you never did this before. You were remarkable."

Veba blushed. She was leaning back in a large comfortable guest chair looking down at her dainty shoes. "I practiced."

"She is the most amazing person I know," said Rickie quietly full of admiration. "You were even better than when we rehearsed. Who was the model you picked?" Rickie and Dory thought it would be easier for Veba to mimic someone then to create a whole new identity.

"I picked someone from a book. I just pictured Dar Roberts if she had to pretend to be a model to catch a bad guy." Veba said quietly her blue eyes peeked up and were caught in the admiring green.

"Dar huh? Well you did perfectly. I thought those two photographers were going to wet themselves."

"And I thought you were going to hit them," said Veba with a teasing smile.

Rickie snorted, "I was! Those slimy suckers if they had?"

"Ok, ok Rickie, I need you to fake a photo shoot and then we'll?"

"Wait! That wasn't part of our plan."

"I don't know how?" said Veba slowly very nervous.

"Ladies it won't be real. We need evidence this is the way to get it. Just fake it." Rickie looked at Veba who looked terrified then back at the client who looked stubborn. She sighed and rolled her eyes.

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

They were in the studio shooting pictures of Veba. There were several possible suspects that were present and could be observed while they were working. Veba was very scared about the whole thing. Rickie thought it would be easier for Veba if she just focused on her so she whispered, "Love, just look into my eyes and listen to my voice. Focus on me with your whole being and I will do the same for with you. If we don't pay any attention to anyone else they won't bother us.

Veba nodded and whispered back, "Yes, I can do that."

Now they were both deeply focused on each other. It was like the studio had faded into a backdrop and didn't exist. Rickie took picture after picture lost in Veba's beauty deeply transfixed by the blue eyes. It was like they were almost linked to each other, an extension of each other. Rickie was so in tune with the tall brunette that she knew when she was tired and had enough. She pulled back and said, "Ok, that's a wrap."

Veba nodded and walked straight toward her wife across the studio. Before the shoot Rickie had pretended to take some test shots but she really was taking pictures of their suspects and knew the film that was safely tucked her pocket would help forward their investigation.

A young make up artist was really pissing her off though. Veba was completely ignoring her but that didn't stop her from following the tall woman like a puppy. She seemed to know a lot about everyone and was in everyone's business so Rickie took her picture when she was touching up Veba's make up and had her handle a light, carefully placing it a bag so she could have Doris lift the finger prints later. Now the young woman was crossing the room behind Veba trying to keep up with the tall woman's powerful stride and talking non-stop.

"I could do your make up for your next shoot. Do you have any make up kind of business like most models today? Are you into business at all? Do you only work with that photographer? Are you partners?"

Veba had a pleading look in her eyes as she approached the small detective. Rickie smiled and said in commanding voice, "Ok, Naomi that's enough. Veba needs to rest now."


"Maybe you can chat with her some other time."

"Oh? Ok." The disappointed girl crossed back to her make up area.

Veba very quietly whispered, "I hope not."


Veba shrugged and said, "Can we leave yet?"

"Yes Love, come on." She escorted the beautiful woman through the throng of people and out the door. Neither saw a pair of cold calculating eyes watching them both with interest.

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

When they got back to their hotel suite the first thing Veba did was take off her shoes and stockings. "I do not like these things, Rickie. Do I have to wear them again?"

"No Sweetheart, how about wearing that sexy leather pants suit?"

"Yes, I can do that. At least it is comfortable. I do not like that girl, Love? I do not like many people there. It will be hard, will it not?" She asked as she pulled the dress off over her head. Rickie had already taken off her hat and jacket. She was sitting taking off her hiking boots when the sight of Veba in her black slip got her libido humming.

"Um, you mean to figure out who the bad guy is?"

Veba nodded she was about to take off her slip when two small hands grabbed hers. Rickie looked deeply into the perplexed blue eyes and smiled as she pulled the slip off her loves beautiful body. Veba simply felt like melting from the sizzling look in the beloved green eyes.

They crashed onto the couch as they tore off each other's clothes hungrily tasting and caressing each other.

"Rickie?dinner?client?"panted Veba.

"Fuck the client," roared Rickie as she tore off her loves black lace bra.

"Oh no you will not," replied Veba she pulled off Rickie's pants.

"I didn't meant it that way?"She couldn't finish the sentence Veba had ripped off her shirt was now very hungrily suckling her breast. Soon they were so busy loving each other time seemed to stop?

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

?But of course time didn't stop. The ringing telephone woke up Veba. She was cuddled close to Rickie relishing the feel of her skin against Rickie's soft skin. Rickie was still fast asleep and Veba wanted her love to rest, so she pulled back so she could whisper into the phone with out waking her love.


"Hello, this is Carmen Markus of the sales department. I was told by Mr. Cules to pick up you and your photographer." Veba glanced down at the snoring woman gently brushing the hair away from the sleeping face. She tilted her head studying her and shook it.

"No, I am sorry but we can not come."


"Please tell Mr. Cules we will talk to him later. Bye." And she hung up the phone curling back around the smaller woman. She cuddled close and found herself easily falling back to sleep from the loving warmth.

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

Rickie woke up about four hours later. She was being held tightly in her loves arms. She looked at the clock and rolled her eyes. Hmm, 10p.m.? I guess we missed dinner. Her hand reached out to Veba's arm stroking the soft smooth skin; it was worth it though. Veba has become so expressive and open in our love making lately. I am so damned proud of her. She has grown into a beautiful confident woman. If I could just stop things like what happened at JFK, from happening to My Veba, life would be perfect.

"What are you thinking about?" Said a soft sexy voice in her ear.

"Hmm, how beautiful you are. How much you've grown and how proud I am of you."

Veba lifted her head so she could look into Rickie's eyes, smiling she asked, "All that?"

"Yes. Also I was trying to figure out a way to protect you from disasters like what happened at the airport."

"You can not. I know that. You want to protect me and I want to protect you. It is what we talked about?um, we can not always do that, Love." The blue eyes were fully focused on Rickie and full of such love it set the blonde's heart on fire.

"You are so wise."

"No I am not."

"Yes you are, Sweetheart. You know it's amazing in so many ways you are a complete innocent and yet you understand people easily. I mean you seem to see right through them to who they really are. Like Naomi, she bugged you cause you could tell she was trying to manipulate you."

"What do you mean?"

"She was trying to get you to invite her into your life."

"Oh yes I did see that. She was also talking way too much. She was giving me a headache."

"Hmm, I know someone you are very close to with that same flaw."

"No, it is not the same. She was bugging me. I did not like her voice or what she was saying. I love your voice though; it soothes me. I love what you say and how you say it. You make me feel safe and loved." She then pulled Rickie to her and kissed her passionately.

When they ran out of air Rickie pushed some of the dark bangs out of the clear blue eyes and said softly, "You do the same for me, Sweetie. You make me feel special and of course very loved."

"Like we are home."

Rickie nodded and rubbed noses with her. Veba smiled and kissed Rickie's nose then she said, "Oh, I almost forgot. Some woman named Carmen called to pick us up. I told her to go away. I do not think I made our client very happy."

"You don't, huh?" She kissed Veba tenderly then she reluctantly rolled out of her arms and off the bed. She pulled on her robe and said, "Come on Love, lets get moving." She picked up the phone and called their client.

Veba got out of bed and pulled on her robe. She then picked up the house phone and called Doris and Stephanie's room. She asked them over saying she had a feeling they were about to have a meeting.

"Tell Dory the client will be here in a couple of hours." She smiled at Veba who nodded and winked at her as she continued to talk on the phone with her sister in law.

When Veba got off the phone she sat beside Rickie on the couch, "What are we going to do?"

"Study the pictures and have Stevie lift the prints."

Veba nodded and said, "Um, I ordered Dinner before I called Dory?it will be up in a?half an hour?.."

"Great, come on lets take a shower?"


"Come on Sweetheart we have to have some kind of fun," said Rickie as she pulled a very willing Veba behind her.

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

"She scares me." Veba was holding one of the pictures and her face reflected her revulsion.

"Who Sweetie, Naomi?"

Veba snorted making Doris shake her head and say, "Veba you are picking up all my sister's bad habits."

Veba's face brightened into a beautiful smile, "Good. I want to be just like My Rickie."

"Baby, I want to be just like you too. Who is it that scares you, Love?"

Veba blushed and handed the picture to her beloved. Rickie gently caressed her loves cheek then she looked at the picture. "I don't know this one. Why does she scare you?"

Veba bit her bottom lip and said quietly, "I get this bad feeling in my tummy when I look at her."

"Well Love, you have perfect instincts so I think we should check her out with the local cops. Dory, see what you can dig out on this one, ok?"

Doris nodded taking the picture. She showed to Stephanie who was curiously looking over her shoulder.

"Dory, isn't she the one who was so nosy when we were setting up our equipment in the sales department?"

Doris carefully studied the photo slowly nodding her head; "Yeah, Carmen or something wasn't it?"

Veba looked shocked, "Um, that is the name of the girl who came before. Do you not think it strange that she would be the one?"

Rickie smiled at her beloved proudly nodding, "Yes my Darling, Well done. You get two presents for this one."

"Rickie you are always getting me gifts!"

"I know, but its ok, cause I love you."

Veba blushed beet red and pulled Rickie into her arms. She gave her a deep loving kiss and they were lost for a while in the sweet tenderness of it.

Doris looked at Stephanie and said rolling her eyes, "Oh boy they are off again."

Rickie pulled back gently brushing a strand of Veba's hair from her sparkling happy eyes. "Why don't you try it, Sis? You may like it?"

"Hmm not a bad idea," Said Stevie pulling her woman to her and kissing her love passionately. Dory closed her eyes and pulled Stevie even closer still.

Veba smiled sweetly and whispered, "I like that too. Its pretty."

"Yep, I do too," said Rickie pulling Veba's ear lobe into her mouth nibbling it gently.

"Mmm, I like?this more?."

Rickie kissed her way to her loves mouth kissing her passionately again.

A knock on the door made the four women look up and groan. Rickie pulled back and growled, " I'd say our client has lousy timing."

"It could be our dinner," said Veba softly. Then with a twinkle in her eyes she reached forward and gave her loves nose a lick.


A delighted giggle floated out of the tall woman's mouth as she escaped her love and headed for the door saying, "I think I better get that."

Rickie chuckled shaking her head as she watched her sexy wife walk across the room to answer the door.

"I would say you are just one big mushball now, Sis. But then so am I. It's really weird huh?"

"Sis, I love her. I don't care about the tag it may place on me. I'd rather die then lose that woman."

"I know that Veba would be really furious to hear you say that but I understand it completely now." Doris was talking to her sister but staring at Stephanie who was helping Veba set up their dinner at the table.

"It is the best thing and the worst thing at the same time. I am so grateful to have it and desperately scared of losing it. Does that make sense?"

"Yep, we were existing before they came into our lives now we are actually living them. We are apart of the world because we are sharing our love with it. It's the way it's supposed to be. We are very blessed and I'm grateful."

"Me too, Sis. Me too."

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

Their client looked at the picture that had disturbed Veba and was very upset by the person he saw. "But that's Carmen! She?she's in our sales department?we never had any kind of problems or complaints about her."

"A perfect mole," said Doris quietly.

Both the man's eyebrow's shot up, "Mole? Carmen?" He looked at the picture in his hand and then at the girls. I would never have suspected her. Um, you are the professionals?proceed I?" He swallowed and took a sip of coffee his hands shaking.

Veba was always sensitive to others feelings saw how upset the man was and put a gentle hand on the man's arm, "Is Carmen?um, special to you, sir?"

He put a hand on Veba's and smiled up at her, "You are a very sweet and perceptive child. Yes, she is?um?well she is my niece. I hired her because I knew it would have made my late brother happy. I loved him so and I miss him so I try to do my best for his little girl. She is not really to good at the work but she has never done anything wrong either."

Rickie looked down and said in a voice full of compassion, "I understand how you feel Nigel, if she is the mole I think it would be better for her to stop her before she does any real damage. She may be a dupe and is in real trouble herself?"

"What do you mean?"

"Nigel, the mole isn't really the problem, they are a tool for the real criminal. Who ever is directing the mole is the person were after. Maybe your niece is being forced into this."

"So you catch her and your theory is you will be helping her? But what if she doesn't want to be helped?"

"One thing at a time, lets catch the mole first."

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

Veba was wearing a Bugs Bunny sleep shirt; her beloved toy bugs was at home guarding their bed as Rickie put it. Veba was reading waiting for Rickie to finish a series of phone calls.

Rickie hung up. She had been on the phone with an old friend from the FBI. She slid into bed with Veba and smiled asking, "So how is Harry doing?"

"He, Ron and Hermine just escaped from danger again?I love Hagrid. He has such a big heart."

"Yep, he does just like you."

Veba had put her book down on her bedside table and turned off the light. She pulled Rickie closer and asked, "Me?"

"MmHmm, a sweet sensitive heart that really understands people."

They were now cuddled close and Rickie's head was nestled against her loves strong shoulder. Veba was tenderly rubbing Rickie's back; "I do not understand what you mean."

Rickie's eyes were closed she was enjoying the gentle stroking. "Like tonight with Nigel, you read him like one of your mags. You just listened to him and pin-pointed what was bothering him right away."

Veba's voice sounded shocked, "Didn't you?"

"No Love, I didn't. You have a very special gift to truly understand people. You are very good at that you know?"

"Rickie, the only one I want to understand is you," she said as she was kissing her loves soft neck now.

"Mmmm, this is a perfect case for my argument cause that's just where I wanted you to kiss me."

Veba smiled and kissed her way to her loves mouth, "Mmm, do you want me to kiss you here yet?"

Rickie was now looking deeply into dark passionate blue eyes, "Yes please."

"Ok, I always do what I feel is right," whispered Veba as she brought smiling lips to her own kissing her love with an abandon that took their love making up another notch.

Rickie was now beyond responding but she couldn't have agreed more.

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

Veba was playing with her new leather cuffs they matched her outfit perfectly and she loved them. They were a present from Rickie; she found them under her pillow when she woke up in the morning. After she found them she turned to a glowing Rickie and asked, "Did my Fairy God Mother give these to me?"

"Let's just say she was bribed into doing it."

"Oh? By whom?"

"A very good friend of yours."

"Just a good friend?" A slight pout on Veba's face made Rickie shake her head and chuckle.

"Veba my Love, you are relentless. They are from your lucky and loving wife, ok?"

Veba smiled brightly and nodded, "Yes, it is much better."

Rickie was smiling at the memory of that morning as she looked at the tall beauty from under the safety of her fedora.

"You know I can see you under your hat, Love. You are not invisible," said Veba with a huge grin as she reached over and pushed the hat back so she could see her loves beautiful green eyes. Her eyes twinkling Veba caressed Rickie's cheek saying, "You are very beautiful when you blush, Sweetheart."

"Veba?um, did you know you are driving me nuts?"

"Am I? Good, I think I am enjoying this undercover thing."

"Especially when we are under our own covers."

"Yes I am."


Veba leaned down gently lifting the little chin till she could reach the soft lips she longed to kiss, "I love you," then she kissed her till they ran out of air.

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

When they were riding up in the elevator Rickie moved very close to the tall woman and whispered so only Veba could hear, "I can't wait to peel that thing off you tonight."

Veba leaned down and whispered back smiling seductively, "I can not wait to be peeled."

"Veba?What on Earth has gotten into you?"

They were all alone now as the elevator made its way to the top floor where the magazine was located. Veba shrugged and said, "I am not sure?but?I really am enjoying making love to you. I want to do it all the time day and night. It is?um, fun."

Rickie leaned against her and said softly, "I see that?I feel it too. Its very hard to concentrate on our case sometimes?"

The elevator doors opened to absolute chaos.

"Rickie, what is going on?"

"I don't know, Sweetheart. Come on lets go to Nigel's office and find out." She put her arm around Veba and guided her very fast through the mob of scared running people.

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

They got into Nigel's secretary's office and Rickie not acting as anyone but herself breathlessly asked, "What the hell is going on here, Jean?"

Rickie was rubbing Veba's arm and holding her close. You couldn't tell to look at the tall woman how scared she was but Rickie could feel it. She felt how she was quaking and when she looked into the blue eyes she saw signs of panic.

"Someone shot someone else down in the studio." Jean replied there were tears falling from her eyes and she was very scared too.

"What?" Both women asked at the same time.

The small older woman nodded, "Yes, the new publisher was doing a surprise inspection of the whole plant. There was some sort of fight between him and one of the photographers the next thing anyone knew the photographer was dead and the publisher had blood splattered all over his expensive suit."

"Wow! Um, Jean can you look after my Veba while I check out?"

"No! You are not going out there!!" Veba pulled Rickie back to her desperately holding on tight. She whispered in Rickie's ear her voice now filled with pure fear, "Please Sweetheart, no?"

"Shh, Ok Baby, Calm down. I won't go out there. I'm staying with you." She gently stroked her loves back hugging her back just as tight.

Veba slowly pulled back her eyes full of tears as searched Rickie's eyes to make sure she wasn't going to out there and get shot again. "I?please?.I can not?"

"I know, Baby, I know. I am not going to go out there. Calm down please."

Veba nodded and took a deep breath. "Thank you."

"I remember what you went through before I wouldn't put you through it again." Veba smiled gratefully and pulled Rickie close kissing her passionately.

The embarrassed older woman who had witnessed the very personal scene escaped into her boss's inner office. She was going to see if she could find her boss while the girls calmed down.

The door from the outside suddenly opened and a small man with blonde hair and hazel eyes came storming in. When he saw the women in a clinch he smiled saucily and said to Rickie, "I heard you were here string bean. Good, I could use your help."

"String bean?" Whispered Veba.

"He knew me years ago Love," Rickie whispered back.

"Hi Clark, how's tricks?"

"Not great considering the madness out there. I hear your working for the Editor undercover?"

"Yes, but nothing that would lead to murder. We are here trying to unravel a white collar crime, a mole doing insider trading."

"Any leads that might have exploded like this?"

"No, Dory and I wouldn't have let Veba be here if we did."

"And Veba is?"

Rickie proudly turned her shy love toward the small man in the doorway. "This is Veba, she is my beloved."

"No shit!"

Rickie laughed and kissed Veba on the cheek. "No shit. Veba my love, this old coot is Clark Brayson of the FBI."

Veba shyly held her hand out and said, "Hello."

Clark took the elegant hand shaking it gently saying, "Nice to meet you." He smiled saucily at Rickie and said, "You old dog, she's incredibly beautiful. How on Earth did you get you so lucky."

"I am the one who is lucky," replied Veba quietly.

Rickie chuckled pulling Veba back to her and hugging her close. "That is still up for debate."

"Well I never thought anyone would capture a wild one like you. You must be very special Veba."

"She is," purred Rickie looking into the shy highly embarrassed blue eyes.

"Shh," Said Veba hiding her face against Rickie's neck.

"Isn't she adorable?"

Veba pulled back and looked at Clark asking in shaky voice, "How you?How do you know each other?" Veba was still shaken up from the chaos caused by the shooting and she was always nervous when she met new people so she had to really concentrate on her words.

"When I was young and stupid I wanted to be in the FBI. Dory and I both were at the academy with dingbat over there. Dory did better then I did. I was never good at listening to authority?"

"No Really?" Veba asked in mock shock.

"Well done Love, sarcasm becomes you."

Veba chuckled and said, "So you were at school with Dory and my Rickie?"

Clark smiled at the beautiful woman. He was surprised at how slow she was when she spoke though she seemed to understand everything. One glance at Rickie's besotted face told him this girl was special so he just knew there was hidden depth there.

"Yep, Rickie got kicked out when she published an underground newsletter saying our director wore dresses on the weekends."

"Hey I had proof!"

"Yeah sure you did, you're just lucky he had a sense of humor."

"Oh yeah he was a riot, either get out or go to the stockade."

"What is stockade?"



"Shh, it was ok. Dory helped me I left very pale faced but in tact."


Rickie kissed her on the cheek and explained, "I was embarrassed but I didn't get in any real trouble."

"Oh? What happened to Dory?"

"She graduated with honors but she left to work with the nut you're in love with over there," Clark said with good-natured grin.

"Dory was in the FBI?"

"She graduated but no, she was never really in it. That's why we know so much about electronic surveillance; we learned it at the agency. It made us better detectives. So Clark? Fair is fair - what does the agency have to do with all this?"

He looked into curious eyes and shrugged, "Well lets just say the new publisher is of interest to us. We had a plant on his team and he called us when all the craziness happened. You want to take a look before the locals get here?"

Before Rickie could say a word or move an inch Veba asked, "Are they shooting?"

"No, it's quiet."

Veba nodded and let Rickie go. Rickie smiled and asked, "Can Veba come too?"

"Sure," they went through the door Veba behind them as Clark whispered, "She's a bit overprotective isn't she?"

"She has very good reason. Let me tell you about our last dangerous case."

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

"He is a nice man, Rickie." Veba said quietly as they entered their suite and Veba sat down on the couch.

"Yes, he was always a good friend to Dory and I. He will probably be over with Dory and Stevie a while would like to go to dinner with them later?" Rickie sat on the arm of the couch and put an arm around an obviously upset Veba.

Veba played with her cuff not looking into Rickie's eyes as she usually would as she said quietly, "Um, maybe I should stay here you can go ahead?"


"You will want to talk to about your school and stuff. I do not know about that. I feel?funny."

"Why sweetheart? You're wonderful. Everyone loves you. They all think your very charming, funny, sweet and?well wonderful!"

"But?I not know things?"

"You're learning?"

"Too slow?"

"No very fast?"

"Rickie no?"

Rickie swiftly lifted the quivering chin till she could look into the tear filled blue eyes. She shook her head and gently dried Veba's wet cheeks with her fingers. "You are the most incredible person I have ever known. You are very,very smart, charming, funny, sweet, beautiful and so perfect I can't even think of words to describe you. Everyone we know adores you and I won't go anywhere with out you."


"Don't you think Clark wants to get to know the woman who captured my wild heart?"

"Is your heart wild?

"Would you like a private demonstration?"

"Yes please," said Veba smiling softly as she pulled her love off the arm of the couch on to her lap snuggling close.

Rickie put her arms around her love and looked into the now sparkling blue eyes and purred, "Happily." Then she pulled the lips of the woman she loved to her own and kissed her with total abandon.

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

Clark sat with Dory at the table in the living area of their suite. He was going through the down loaded information from Dory's laptop.

"You are better at this now then at the academy," said Clark smiling fondly at his old friend.

Doris shrugged, "I've had a lot of practice since then, Old Man."

"Are you happy with your choice?"

"Yep, I think that it was important I stay with my sister. I think we have done pretty damn well too, don't you?"

"Oh yeah, you both have an excellent reputation." He glanced at Rickie who was talking with a great deal of animation on the phone.

Stephanie and Veba were cleaning up in the kitchen. Veba came out with a tray with teacups and a pot of hot coffee. She settled it on the table handing one a cup to each of them and then pouring out a cup of coffee for Rickie. She smiled at them sweetly and walked to Rickie with the now steaming cup. Instead of taking the cup Rickie caressed Veba's cheek, Veba leaned into the loving stroke smiling brightly. Rickie smiled back and kissed her love on tenderly on the lips. Then Veba smiled pulled back winking at the smaller woman and walked to the couch to curl up with her book.

Clark leaned into Doris and whispered, "I would never have believed that Rick would fall for a girl like that."

"Why the hell not?" asked the small curly haired blonde she was protective of Veba as her sister was.

"Don't get your panties in a twist, I just thought Rick would fall for some one dark and dangerous. Not a gentle sweet soul like that kid curled up with a book."

Doris burst into laughter shocking the hell out of her old friend. "I'd love to see you even attempt to threaten Rickie in Veba's presence. You would find your self face to face with a lethal panther. She is a lot tougher than you think, and she is literally the strongest woman I know in every way possible."

Clark looked at the girl curled up on the couch avidly reading Harry Potter, "That charming sweet kid, dangerous? Come on Dor?"

"Hmm," Doris smiled sweetly and then looked at Veba. "Sweetie, could you bring me my work out stuff I'm going to use it later tonight. It's in my room."

Veba's head popped up, "Sure Dory," replied Veba with gentle look she got up reverently putting her book down on the end table by the couch with her marker holding her place. She softly stroked Rickie's arm as she passed and went into Doris and Stephanie's bedroom.

"What exactly is your point?"

"You'll see," said Doris with a huge knowing smile.

In another minute Veba came back with small collapsible work out set. She held it in one hand like a book as she looked at Doris and asked, "Where would like me to put it Dory?"

"Right there is fine, Sweetheart."

"Ok," Veba carefully put it down out of everyone's way and went back to the couch to read her book.


"Go take a peak at how much that thing weighs. It took three people at the airport just to put it on the conveyer belt. They wouldn't let Veba do it for them though she volunteered."

He walked over and bent down so he could read the label. His eyes widened when he saw how much they weighed. Then he looked at the young women on the couch again calmly reading her book. He went back to his friend shaking his head. "Wow that girl is strong, isn't she??"

"She is strong, powerful and brighter then she has figured out yet. She is warm and sweet. She only blossoms from the light in my sister's eyes and Veba is the only soul who I ever saw bring out Rickie's tenderness. Don't ever again say anything against them to me. You see, they are soul mates and I will not hear a word against them."

"Ok, you convinced me."

Rickie had finished on the phone and had walked over to Veba. She sat on the arm of the couch and asked, "So how is Harry and company doing?"

"They are in great danger, they are trapped. Hermonine has figured a way to get out of it but they won't listen to her yet."

Rickie chuckled, "She's smart girl, she will get them to. You have done well on this one. You're almost done."

"Too fast?"

"Do you remember and understand everything you've read?"

Veba nodded.

"Then its perfect. Come on Love, I want you to come and talk to Clark?"

Veba pulled back shaking her head no. Rickie was stunned Veba had never done that before. "Sweetheart?"

Veba looked down at her book softly stroking the binding with her finger. "I?I?am not com-fort-able with him?"


Veba shrugged still looking at her book.

Rickie tilted her head and asked, "Is it because the three of us were at the academy together?"

Veba shrugged again.

Rickie gently leaned down and kissed Veba's chin and then pulled the embarrassed blue eyes up to look into her own. "You never have felt that way with Dory or Stephanie or me so why?"

"I love you all."

"We all love you too. My sweet love, please tell me what's really wrong."

Veba bit her lip and said, "Um?.He?.he is more like you than me."

Rickie was stunned. Her Veba was jealous of Clark. "Baby I don't care if we were made from the same haystack! I am hopelessly head over heels in love with you. Only you! You alone, fill me with joy and peace. I have never had so much happiness till you came into my life. You're all I want?"

"Really?I thought?uh?" Veba looked up suddenly relieved, "I don't want to lose you, Rickie."

"You won't ever. I promise. You're my soul mate Veba." She pulled her closer and gave her a kiss filled with the purest love. Once she sealed their love with the sincerity of her kiss, Rickie pulled back saying softly, "Now come on Love, I need you. Only you can give Clark a clear slant on the suspects."


"Your special understanding of people that we talked about earlier. Remember?"

"Yes," Rickie dried the tears kissed her loves nose making her smile. Then she stood up offering Veba her hand. Veba's eyes were totally locked with Rickie's as she put her book back down on the table and stood up to walk beside Rickie to the table to see if they could get cracking on solving this case.

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

"Clark, Veba has a very insightful way of looking at people and situations. I want you to listen to her slant on the people at the magazine."

"Sure, ok Tiger, shoot."

"Tiger?" Veba was surprised that anyone would call her that.

"Well you are sleek and sexy."

Both Veba's eyebrows shot up and she looked at Rickie who shook her head and playfully slapped the man's arm. "He is just playing, Sweetheart. Go on tell him."

Veba nodded as she sat down between Clark and Rickie. She took a deep breath and then gave a very credible run down on all the people they had encountered since going into the magazine. She carefully explained how she felt about the people and what she thought they were like by what she observed.

Clark's smile broadened, "Excellent, do you have any suspicion on who you believe might be capable of murder? That woman Carmen?"

Veba tilted her head and closed her eyes deep in thought. Then they flashed open and she shook her head, "No Clark, I do not think so. I do not like several people who work there. I do not feel happy or safe with any of them but I do like the Editor and his secretary. They are nice. The others are not nice but not bad. I do not feel they would shoot me or anyone else."

"Ok, that does help me get a scope on them." He looked at Rickie, "Are you still going to finish your job here?"

Rickie nodded, "Yep, Nigel needs answers."

"Ok see you at the salt mines," He said as he got up and left the suite.

"Salt mines?"

"It is an old expression, Love. Clark is just one big cliché'. You're ok with him though, right?"

"Yes, he is very nice to me?us?I just?well?worry?"

"Well don't. I'm all yours."

"Good," said Veba with a smile as she took Rickie's hand and led her to their room.

Doris looked at Stephanie and rolled her eyes causing the red head to laugh.

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

Rickie was in the bathroom; Veba was on the bed laying on her back staring straight up at the ceiling deep in thought. Rickie came out and saw the expression on the other woman's face. She sat down on the side of the bed and gently caressed her loves cheek. Big blue eyes blinked then Veba looked at Rickie and smiled sweetly.

"Are you ok, Sweetheart?"

"Yes?I was just thinking."

"Yep, I could see that. You were thinking very hard. What about?"

"Do you think I should go to school?"

Rickie looked like she'd been slapped which surprised and upset Veba. "Rickie?"

Rickie swallowed and looked down at her hands saying quietly, "Sure?.I?. Yes, you should go to real teachers?"

"Real teachers?" Veba was now scared and confused. She knew she really hurt Rickie but she didn't understand why. "What do you mean?"

"I mean that Dory and I try, but we're not the real thing. You are way to fast for us to keep up with. We don't know enough?we had hoped we were doing the right thing but?"

Veba now understood and she pulled Rickie onto her lap holding her close. "No Rickie, YOU are perfect. I learn from you everyday. I just thought? I?well it is boring to be teaching me all the time?you know?explaining?."

"No it's not boring?I like it. I never thought I would have the patience for it but I really do. I want you to be the very best you can be though. Veba remember that IQ test that Dory gave you? You are rocket science level. Dory and I just aren't in that league..I?" upset green eyes met compassionate blue.

Veba kissed her loves salty cheek and said, " You taught me everything. I love learning from you so much. You and Dory are great?perfect. I just thought I need some formal training you know? like in my Harry Potter book."

Rickie smiled and leaned her head against Veba's shoulder, "Yes, some formal training would be good. You would meet people and learn a lot more then we can teach you?"

"No!" Veba pulled Rickie very close and kissed her all over her face while whispering, "No one like you. You everything. Perfect."

Rickie closed her eyes enjoying both the tender kisses and the words, "No Sweetie, I am not perfect. I?" She pulled back and looked deeply into Veba's eyes. "Veba will you marry me?"

Without a second of hesitation Veba nodded and then whispered, "Like Lara and Sarah in Time Flies?"

Rickie smiled and gently rubbed her nose against Veba's, "No, not exactly but that's the idea yes. We are married to our family and friends but I now want to declare it to the world. Would you?"

"Yes please," interrupted Veba with love and excitement sparkling in her eyes. Rickie pulled soft lips to her own, and kissed her love passionately. They snuggled closer then Rickie asked, "Would you mind some company in school?"

Veba's eyes widened, "Who?"


"But you know everything!"

"No I don't, no one does. Maybe it would be fun for us all to go. No that would be too much money?"

"How about my money?"


"Love, It is just sitting there doing nothing. I want to make a con-tri-but-tion to our family."

"You do that just by being a part of it."

"Money?wise?" Veba was losing track of what she was saying, Rickie was now kissing her along her neck and had reach a particularly vulnerable spot.

"Lets talk about it later," Said Rickie as she made her way to her loves breast she had some other ideas running through her mind at the moment. All Veba could do in response was moan.
*** *** *** ***

The girls were in the shower and Veba was carefully washing Rickie's hair making sure she got the shampoo nice and even. Rickie leaned into the gentle massage with her eyes closed.


"Yes?" replied Veba who had her tongue sticking out her mouth slightly as she concentrated on scrubbing the wet hair making it squeaky clean.

"What would you like to learn in school?"

Veba was surprised but then she thought and slowly replied, "I would like to learn to speak better."


Veba smirked as she recognized the word from when Rickie played poker. "I would like to understand what I am reading better."


"I would like to understand the world better."

"That's a tall order but possible. What else?"

"Tall order?"

"The world is very hard for very learned people to understand but there are definitely classes. Anything else?"

"Yes, I would like to learn about before."


"You know like when Xena and Gabrielle lived."

Ok Gotcha! So you want Speech, English, Poli Sci and History."

"I guess, please bring your head back a bit, love," said Veba who then gently rinsed the soap out of the soft wet hair. "Ok, you're all done."

"My turn, turn around, Sweetheart."

Veba obediently turned around a leaned back already closing her eyes. She loved how it felt to have Rickie wash her hair.

"Ok, I can take English, History and Poli Sci with you. I guess I will have to find something to keep me busy while you go into Speech class."

"Rickie, you do not have to do that."

Gently scrubbing the spot on the back of Veba's neck that she knew the tall woman loved she whispered into her loves ear, "I want to go. I think it will be fun and I like those classes. When you're taking Speech I will take a geek class with Dory."

"Would Dory want to?"

"I'll ask her but I'm sure she would love the idea."

"But why? You all know this stuff do you not? You went to school."

"Believe me Sweetheart there is always something new to learn."

Veba was enjoying the massage as she thought about what Rickie said. "Yes I do understand that. We will use my money, right?"

"Yes Miss Wells."

Veba snorted, "Miss Wells, huh?"

"You're our Patron."

"No, I am your fi-an-cee." Veba said the word with loving care.

Rickie kissed Veba's nose and said, "Yep, thank God you are. Ok Love, lean back, please." Veba leaned all the way back so Rickie could rinse her hair. When it was squeaky clean she said, "Ok you can stand straight again."

Veba turned slightly pulling Rickie into her arms and whispered, "Don't want to," then she kissed her passionately. The water beat against Veba's back but she didn't even feel it, even though the water had turned cold. She just loved her Rickie till they both went over the edge.

When they recovered leaning against the back of the wall of the shower Rickie chuckled and said, "The water is just right to get our temp back to normal. Come on Love lets cool off."

Veba groaned but dutifully followed Rickie into the now cold jets of water. It felt very good against her hot skin but she knew it would be freezing when they stepped out of the shower.

It is a price I am willing to pay. Thought Veba with smile as happily allowed the cold water to run over her very hot body.

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

Veba was surprised at the enthusiasm that Doris and Stephanie had for going to school. She knew they would be very happy about the engagement but was not prepared for the excitement they showed about going back to school.

Doris went on line to look up interesting classes from several different schools. Stephanie was calling out some of the classes she thought might be fun for all of them to take.

Veba looked over at Rickie her shock clearly visible. Rickie smiled and shrugged, "I told you Sweetheart, knowledge is power and we all want to be powerful women."

Veba shrugged but she fully enjoyed going through the print outs with her family.

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

Veba was in the bedroom lying on the bed reading 'Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone,' as Rickie met in the livingroom with her friends from the FBI and the NYPD.

Rickie stood in the doorway and watched as Veba had a very excited, satisfied expression come to her face. She closed the book bringing it to her chest and hugging it with her eyes closed.

"All done?"

Veba's eyes snapped open and she smiled brightly. "Yep, it is wonderful Rickie. Really! It showed so much more then the movie did. It made me wonder what the next part will be like."

"Oh really?"

Blue eyes widened, "Rickie?"

"In your drawer."

Veba took in a deep breath and then opened the drawer shaking her head. Her face became lit up with purest joy, "Thank you so much my Love."

Rickie's eyes were sparkling and she laughed gently as came to sit beside her leaning in and kissing her tenderly. Then she pulled back caressing her loves cheek she whispered, "My pleasure?um, would mind holding off on the next part? I need you to look at some files for our case."


"Yes Sweetheart I need your insight." She kissed her loves nose and said, "My beautiful Profiler."

"Profiler? What is that?"

"Someone who is good at figuring what makes people tick, like you are. Come on Love, they have a bunch of files on the employees that I want you to look through." She took Veba's hands and pulled her up from the bed. Then led her shy love into the living room full of strangers. Veba only knew Clark. Doris and Stephanie were discreetly checking their equipment at the magazine.

Clark smiled and winked at her, "How is our pretty profiler this morning?"

Veba smiled back and shrugged answering quietly, "Ok."

Rickie got a pile of stuff from Clark and then led her love to a couch across the room. Then she handed her the files, a pen and pad saying, "Ok, get nice and comfortable and study these please. Write anything that strikes you, Ok?"

Veba took the stuff smiling and nodded her head.

"Would you like some chocolate milk or something to eat?"

"Chocolate milk please."

"Sure," Rickie bent down and gently kissed her tenderly on the lips. Then she pulled back and went to the kitchen. Veba felt the hairs at the back of her neck stand up her usually sweet and warm eyes turned to ice as she glared across the room at someone.

Clark was stunned by the change in his new friend. He looked to see who could cause such a big change. He carefully looked over the group of men at the table with him and saw a young man in jeans and sweatshirt glaring at the tall beauty.

Rickie came back and saw what was happening. She handed Veba her milk and said, "Here you go Darling," then in a whisper said, "Ignore the idiot, I'll take care of it. Ok?"

Veba nodded and whispered back, "Ok Love." She kissed Rickie on the cheek and then put her entire focus on the files.

Rickie turned toward the table and said, "Jackie, may I have a word with you please?"

The tall police detective swallowed knowing what had gotten under his friend's collar and not sure how to deal with it quite yet. As soon as they were in the bedroom Rickie said, "Can you replace that creep?"

"Come on Rick?"

"Don't come on Rick with me! Did you see that ass hole glare at my Veba? I will not tolerate that kind of behavior. This is suppose to be a team and Veba is apart of it!"

"She handled it really well?."

"Why should she have to? She is a vital part of our team Jackie! Wait till you see the result of her going through those files. Besides that?. She is the love of my life and I'll be damned if I allow someone like that to treat her badly! I will not let a bigot hurt my Veba's newly emerging confidence. We have worked hard and he will not destroy that!"

"Ok, ok calm down, I'll talk to him?"

Big green eyes blazed.

"Come on Rick he has connections?"

"I don't give a crap!"

He sighed and scuffed his foot, "Come on Rick, Let me speak to him please?"

Rickie went to the door and looked at the man in question. He was grumbling something to the man next to him, which caused glaring blue eyes to narrow into slits of ice showing Rickie just how mad her love was. She turned back to her friend; "I don't think so! He is making my Veba angry and she almost never gets angry."

Jackie looked out and door groaning, "Ok Chief, I just hope I don't get demoted to dog catcher."

"You won't be. Your boss will so please when we crack this case and believe me My Veba will be a vital part of that."

"I hope so Rick."

"I know so Jackie."

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

Veba looked at Rickie with an uncertain expression. She had called her over because she was confused.

"What's wrong, Baby?"

"This list from Clark has 300 people. I only have 85 files. Could you check and see if I counted wrong please?"

"Sweetheart there is no way you could miss 215 files." She kissed Veba on the forehead and took the list from her. "Hold on a sec." She walked back to the table and said, "Clark where are the rest of the records?"


"Did you look at that list before you gave it to Veba?"

"No I?"

"Never mind, this list shows we are missing 215 people."


"Yep, I'll have Veba work on what we have. How about calling the agency and getting the rest old man?"

Clark shook his head pulled his cell and dialed the office.

Rickie chuckled and went back to Veba. "Baby, you work on what you have ok? Clark is going to work on getting the rest of them."

"Ok. Um? Rickie? What am I looking for?"

"That funny feeling in your tummy remember?"

"Oh? Ok, I can do that."

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

Veba looked at the crowd of law enforcement officials around their dining room table and felt very overwhelmed. She held tightly to Rickie's hand under the table, Rickie was gently stroking the hand and rubbing her loves back. Doris was on the other side of the tall nervous woman. She gently rubbed her shoulder and said softly, "Go on Veba, tell them what you figured out." Doris and Rickie were both very proud of her.

Veba shyly looked around the table through her long black eyelashes and whispered very softly back, "Ok."

Her grip became even tighter so Rickie had to whisper, "Circulation."

Veba looked alarmed, she lessened the pressure and tenderly stroked the palm of Rickie's hand with her thumb. She then took a deep breath and looked at Clark who smiled sweetly and nodded at her.

"Um, there were three people that made feel funny so I took a second look." She nodded to Doris who passed out copies of the files that Veba had selected to the task force. "Each one made me feel as if they could do something very bad. I carefully read the files for?" She looked at Rickie who smiled and said, "Evidence." Veba smiled back and nodded saying, "Yes evidence." She took a deep sip of her malted and looked into Rickie's eyes seeking approval.

Rickie's eyes were sparkling with love and pride. Veba blushed and looked down at her lap where she was holding Rickie's hand.

Clark smiled at both of them and then said to Veba, "Ok, my brilliant friend what evidence did you find?"

Veba's head snapped up, "Brilliant?"

Clark winked at her nodded, "According to your colleagues, yep."

Veba looked first at Doris then Rickie, "You did not do that, did you?"

They both shrugged and nodded. Veba gulped and looked away from the table.

Rickie popped pulling Veba with her saying as she led her embarrassed wife into their room. "If you would all excuse us for a minute." She closed the door behind her and pulling Veba into her arms into a deep loving kiss. Then she pulled back and gently pushed back the dark hair out of the big blue eyes, "Baby, I am so very proud of you. You took a stack of useless paper and got three files with hot suspects. Do you know how special that is? You are so smart now all you have to do is go out there and tell the task force you're reasoning."

"But?I??" Veba shook her head and tried to turn away.


"I am not like them?"

"Sweetheart, they need you. You have what they want. You pulled this all together all by yourself. Please be proud of yourself, I am so very proud of you. So is Dory and Stevie."


"Of Course. Now come on tell those blind idiots what you figured out."

Veba scuffed her bare toe against the soft carpet and asked, "Um, are you all really proud of me?"

"Yes, very."

Veba looked into Rickie's beautiful eyes full of love and pride for her and she blushed. "Thank you Rickie."

Rickie pulled her back till they were nose to nose and whispered, "My Pleasure."

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

Veba pulled the first folder from her own pile and said softly, "This girl is Carmen, I do think she is the person Rickie is trying to find. The ?um, mole. There are many reasons." She pulled several pages out of the file her finger going down the page totally focused. "She seems to be away from her desk and near places where she is not suppose to be a lot. Places where business decisions are made. She goes to all the cocktail parties and eavesdrops on conversations. The worst is what Stevie explained to me. She pulled her money out the company just before it?um," she looked at the couch where Stephanie was sitting looking into her laptop. The red head smiled at her and said, "Split."

Veba smiled back and said, "Yes, split. She explained that is when a company makes a lot of money. So why take your money out then? Then Mr. Douglas bought the company and everything fell apart. How did she knew that was about to happen?"

"Perfect," said Clark with wide approving grin. He gently punched Rickie on the shoulder she winked back at him. Veba flashed him a smile and blushed slightly.

Dory was glowing with pride but said softly, "Ok, Sweetie the next one."

Veba nodded and moved Carmen's file aside. She pulled out the next one opened it and looked at those gathered. "This man bothered me because in every section he worked something went missing. I do not think he is involved in the really bad stuff but," she looked at the Police Captain in charge of the NYPD group, "I think you should talk to him, Sir."

"Call me Jackie, Kiddo and thanks I will." He winked at his old friend Rickie, who nudged Doris with her foot under the table. Doris smiled at her sister and then nodded to Veba smiling encouragingly.

Veba neatly placed that file on top of Carmen's and pulled out the last one with an involuntary shudder "This woman really scares me. I get chills just looking at her face. It is a bad face." She looked at the others and said in a whisper, "I think she is the one."

"The murderer?" Asked Clark.

Veba nodded, Rickie gently squeezed the hand she was still holding giving the tall girl the courage to go on. Veba gently squeezed back and nodded.

"I do not feel the man she killed was who she wanted to shoot. I think it was the other one. Justin Douglas."

The young policeman who had annoyed Veba before snorted and said snidely, "Where do you get your information, the psychic friends network?"

Veba didn't know what he meant but she didn't like his tone and glared at him in an icy angry stare. Clark had never seen her look so deadly before. He now understood what Doris was talking about before, he now saw the dangerous lethal panther for the first time and was stunned.

His old friend Rickie's glare was almost as deadly. She snarled at him, she knew the evidence and wasn't going to put up with his shit. "No it's called instinct, intelligence and using the mind to understand the way other people think. Traits of good investigator, something you obviously know nothing about."

The knifes came out and the man growled at Rickie saying, "You people aren't law enforcement, you're two bit detectives. Go back to peeking in windows and leave investigating to professionals. Why are we listening to these idiots?"

He looked around the table and discovered that the rest of the men in the room agreed with Rickie. He looked appalled when he realized he was alone in his feelings. "What are you sheep? She says baa and you follow her. They are faggots for God's sake!"

Jackie stood up angrily, "That's enough Brad. Follow me." The two men left the suite a few minutes later only Jackie returned. He looked at Veba and smiled sweetly at her. "Sorry Veba, please continue."

Veba wide eyed looked at Rickie, who rubbed her leg and said, "Go on, it's ok. Start with your feelings and then lead them through to the evidence."

Veba nodded then quietly said, "Ok, this woman has a bad face. She looked like she wanted to kill Rickie. When I looked at this picture I saw the?meanness. I hated her for looking at Rickie like that. I looked at her file and in her?um," she looked at Doris unsure of the word.


Veba smiled and said, "Yes, resume?she worked for 5 different companies all owned by the man who was behind the man who was shot, Justin Douglas."

"Wait!" Clark said very surprised, "Are you saying that Douglas was the target?"

Veba nodded.

"But why?"

"She hated him. According to the stuff you gave me, his company hurt her Da? Um, Father." She looked down very embarrassed by what she almost said. Rickie gently stroked her leg and nodded for her to continue. She looked up at her uncertain, Rickie quietly whispered, "Go on."

Veba took a deep breath looked at the others and continued, "He had killed himself many years ago. She changed her name and started going from company to company trying to get near him. She was waiting for the right time to strike but she missed."

"What made you suspect that he was the target and not the photographer?"

Veba again looked at Rickie who nodded encouragingly. "The blood on the jacket and shirt. It went all the way through. I think the angry man walked in front of him when she tried to kill the man she hated."

One of the agents at the table shook his head and looked Clark quietly saying, "This is all supposition, Clark."

"That's what a good profiler does. Just what Veba did, she made a reasonable hypothesis based on her instincts and the evidence."

Confused blue eyes met understanding green, Rickie shook her head slightly and smiled. Veba nodded knowing that Rickie would explain it all to her later. Veba now listened breathlessly as Clark decided on the assignments. She was very worried about Rickie and Doris's part in all this.

Clark looked at the task force and started to divvy up the assignments. Stephanie and Doris would continue to work on surveillance with the help of two other members of the task force.

"Rick and Veba I'd like you both with me?"

"You don't want me to work on the inside anymore??"

"Nope that cover is blown, I need your help old boy?"

Stormy green eyes seared into calm hazel then shifted to pleading blue. Rickie let out a long breath and sighed. "Ok, for Veba not for you."

Clark winked at her, "Deal."

Rickie rolled her eyes and shook her head.

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

As soon as the task force left Veba pulled Rickie into her arms kissing her lovingly all over Rickie's startled face. Veba whispered between kisses, "Thank you," over and over again. Then much to Doris and Stephanie's amusement she picked Rickie up and carried her to their room kicking the door closed behind her.

Once inside she went straight to the bed gently depositing her love on it. She deftly undressed her as she continued to kiss every inch of exposed skin she could reach.

Rickie was overwhelmed but managed to pant, "Veba love?"

The tall woman panting herself as she got Rickie's shirt and bra off whispered, "Need?to?love?you?."

Rickie couldn't respond as her pants and panties came off next and strings of kisses and caresses were felt all over her body. Veba took off her own cotton shift in swift movement throwing in the pile that was being built at the end of the bed. The delicious skin on skin contact and loving mouth sent Rickie so high up the spiral she could no longer think. Suddenly there was blinding light and then velvet softness as she went over the edge into a deep sleep.

Veba panicked at first but then when she realized the Rickie was only asleep she curled herself protectively around her loves body pulling a blanket up over them both she fell into her own deep healing sleep.
*** *** *** ***

Rickie woke up the next morning in a warm safe and very comfortable cocoon. She pulled back so she could look into the sweet face of her sleeping love.

What got into last night, Sweetie? I mean I agreed with you. I don't think you have ever been that relentless before. It was like you were possessed. Beautifully possessed of course. Rickie smiled and rubbed her cheek against Veba's. Not that I didn't enjoy every second of it. What a rush! I am just so worried about you. It was so out of character. What is bothering you my love?

Soft loving blue eyes blinked opened meeting Rickie's. Veba smiled sweetly and said, "Good morning."

"It sure was, Wow!" Rickie was kissing Veba on the chin and then enjoyed watching her sweet love blush.

Veba's hands came up and cupped Rickie's cheeks, "You ok?"

"Yes Baby, I'm fine. I am a bit worried about you though. What on earth happened? I have never seen you like that before?"

Veba shrugged and softly replied, "I am not sure. All of the sudden I had to love you. I wanted?I needed?" She looked very confused by her own feelings.

Rickie understood though, "I think you were grateful that I decided to go along with your wishes. And your love for me kind of took over your normal common sense not that I'm complaining about that. It was wonderful. I don't think you have ever been so intense before and considering how wonderful our sex life is that is saying something." She kissed Veba on the nose making the concerned woman smile. Then she said, "I love you, Baby."

Veba looked deeply into the beloved green eyes and said, "I love you too. With every part of me."

"Me too, forever."

Veba nodded and kissed Rickie deeply.

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

The girls were all eating breakfast in their suite. Veba was putting cream cheese on her bagel when she thought of the questions from the night before. She looked up at Rickie who was dissecting an omelet, "Love, can I ask you now?"

Rickie tilted her head confused, "Ask me what?"

Veba took a deep breath as all the questions crowded in her head and she let them spill out of her mouth. "What is ini-ti-ate? What does Hy-poth-i-sis mean?" Veba slowly sounded out these unfamiliar words but continued her list of questions. "Why do you say I'm brilliant? You know I am not?.um, Why did?"

"Ok,ok, let's start with why you are brilliant. You remember all those IQ tests that Dory gave you?" Rickie had come over and was gently stroking her loves cheek. Veba's eyes were completely focused on Rickie as she nodded. "Well your test were all genius level. Also just considering what you did last night proved it. You took a bunch of files and narrowed it down to hot suspects. Do you realize how special that was? It was brilliant, we are all so proud of you."

Veba blushed and bowed her head whispering, "I just looked at the files and did what you told me to."

Rickie lifted the quivering chin and looked into the bashful blue eyes smiling as she leaned closer to kiss her tenderly. Then she pulled back and whispered, "I know. You were perfect."

Veba lowered her head to Rickie's shoulder; Rickie gently ran her fingers through the soft black hair. "Thank you."

Rickie kissed the crown of her head and whispered, "You are so very welcome. Ok Sweetie, your other questions. To initiate means to start something. Hypothesis means to gather the facts and use your intellect to come up with a reasonable answer." Rickie tenderly caressed her loves cheek and then pulled away gently so they could eat the rest of their food before the guys came. She knew her answers were simplistic but she didn't think she was capable of more complex answers for her loves growing curiosity.

Veba smiled at Rickie and took a bite of her bagel but then her eyebrows came together and she asked, "Why do they not just say start?"

"The FBI likes to be fancy."

Veba looked quizzical at that answer but she shrugged and then said, "And do you not always use reason to figure out problems?"

"Well you do because you have a very ordered and logical mind. Most people jump to the easiest conclusion."

"Why?" Asked Veba as she sipped some orange juice.

Rickie was at a bit of loss she looked at Doris. Doris smiled sweetly and said softly, "Sweetheart, some people are simply lazy and don't use the brains that God gave you."

Veba swallowed the bagel she had just bit into in one swallow she was so anxious to ask, "But why?"

Doris tilted her head amused at her friends curiosity, "Why are people lazy?"


"I have no idea, Sweetie. They just are I guess because they don't want to think too much. It's easier to be lazy."

Veba looked at the three other women nonplused. "How can you be lazy when there is so much to learn?"

Stephanie smiled and put her coffee down. "Veba, most people only are interested in things that effect them and the easiest way to handle it. They don't care about things. They have no curiosity. They only want to do what is easiest. You don't see things that way cause you are so special."

"I am? Why?"

Rickie snorted and got up, she walked over taking Veba's hand, "'Cause you are so damn adorable when you ask why."

Veba laughed shaking her head, "No really Rickie?" She didn't have time to finish cause Rickie was pulling the tall woman toward their room for a private chat.

Stevie was very amused, "That girl is insatiable."

"Aparently in every way."


*** *** ***

"Rickie don't give me that crap I know damn well how good you are but I will not sanction you going on the bust. This is FBI business."

"Why the hell not, if it wasn't us you wouldn't even have a God damned suspect to bust!"

"Because Veba would never forgive me!"

Rickie stopped pacing and stared at her old friend. She looked across at Veba sitting on the couch busily going through the rest of the files just in case. She sighed and shook her head.

"Ok, so what the hell do you want me to do, be a damned cheer leader?"

"No, how about be a liaison between us and NYPD?"

Rickie who was moping leaning against the table suddenly became very interested. Her head snapped up and there was slight smile on it, "I can do that and you get to keep your skin."

"And you will keep yours cause that beauty would skin both of us if I let you in on this bust."

"Too true. My Veba would be mad as hell if I put myself in danger needlessly."

"It must have been very scary for her when you were shot."

Rickie nodded, "From what I remember it was terrifying for my poor love. She thought I was going to die. That she would lose me?I know how I would feel if I was put in the same position," she looked at Veba again shaking her head. "I would put myself in front of a bullet rather then let her die."

"I think that's what she is afraid of Rick."

Rickie blinked shocked by what Clark had just said, "Oh?"

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

After dinner, a still upset Rickie went out onto the balcony and sat down on the lounge chair. She looked out at the Manhattan skyline and the stars and thought deeply about what Clark had said.

Veba came to the window that opened onto the balcony looking for Rickie. She leaned against the door and studied Rickie's very serious expression. She cleared her throat and asked softly, "Would you like to be by yourself?"

Rickie looked up into the concerned blue eyes and shook her head, "No Baby, come here please."

Veba smiled and walked over to sit beside Rickie on the large comfortable lounge chair supplied by the luxurious hotel cuddling close. Once they were comfortable Veba gently ran her fingers through the soft blonde hair. "What is wrong?"

"Clark said something tonight that really bothered me."

"What did he say?"

"He said you were so protective because you're frightened I'll be shot again. That I knew, but the rest just rocked my world."

Veba had nestled her cheek against Rickie's and her fingers were massaging her on the back of her neck right where she knew loved Rickie loved it. "What was the rest?"

Rickie was very comforted by soft stroking, her voice was already more relaxed as she replied, "He said that what you were really afraid of was that I would take a bullet for you?"

"He is very smart," said Veba softly she had pulled back and cupped both of Rickie's cheeks looking deeply into shocked green eyes.

Tears started to flow as Rickie whispered in a squeaky voice, "Veba, it's been months since I got shot please don't tell me you've been in constant fear of that."

"No Love, I am not constantly worried. I have been scared when you do a case like this one. When you are in danger."

Rickie's arms tighten around Veba hugging her tight, "I am so sorry Veba?.I'm sorry?.so very sorry?."

Veba could feel the tears dropping onto her neck. She was unhappy that Rickie was so upset but was relieved that she was now able to talk to her love about the fear that had been haunting her for months. She had been holding it back every day since Rickie came home from the hospital.

"I?I know you don't want to worry me. I do. Please do not cry. I am not upset with you. I just care?I love you so much."

"I love you too. I love you so much I can't even explain it. I am sorry you have been so scared, Baby." Tears were now falling and she started to sob. Rickie couldn't speak anymore but as far as Veba was concerned she didn't need to. Veba hugged the sobbing woman close her head was gently nestled against Rickie's and she whispered softly into her ear comforting the upset woman. "I'm sorry you're so upset. I love you so I can't help worrying but I am not upset with you at all. Please stop crying."

"Do not apologize," Rickie was finally able to squeak out. She pulled back and said, "I'm the one who owes you an apology. I promise you I will never let you feel this way again. I will always consider your feeling in all my decisions?but Veba danger is part of my work? can you deal with that?"

Veba had given that a lot of thought since Rickie had been shot. She knew that helping others and placing themselves in danger to do it was part of both their natures. "Yes, as long as you do your job with the understanding that we will?I would die without you. You do not risk yourself unless there is no other choice."

Rickie looked deeply into Veba's eyes and nodded. As naturally as they breathed in air they came together in a tender love filled kiss. Then just as naturally they fell into a healing sleep.

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

Rickie woke up to the sounds of traffic from the morning rush hour below them. They had slept the whole night on the balcony. Wrapped snugly in Veba's arms she didn't even feel cold.

Veba's eyes blinked open and she smiled at the beautiful face looking up at her, "Hi."

"Good morning my beauty."

Veba reached up and stroked Rickie's cheek smiling she whispered, "We slept outside?"


Veba looked Rickie over carefully, "Are you feeling better?"

"Yes. I now owe Clark one. I did need to figure all that out, he pushed me in the right direction."

Veba played with the hem of Rickie's shirt as she said quietly, "I do not like you crying like that."

"I know but Sweetheart, sometimes you have to knock me in the head to get something into it."

Veba shook her head and whispered, "I'd rather do this," as she gently started to kiss Rickie all over her face.

"Mm, I think I like your method better. It goes deeper," she said with a smile angling her head so their lips met.

"So there you two are!" said Stephanie's concerned voice from the doorway. "Dory is going crazy looking for you two. Dory love, they're over here! Calm down please." She called back into the suite. Stephanie was in her bathrobe with her hands on her hips. "Your sister was about to call the police."

Rickie sat up pulling Veba with her. "Oh, Jackie would have had laugh over that one."

"Well I sure has hell didn't. Why the hell are you sleeping on the God Damn balcony!" Dory was standing there in her pajamas very angry.

"Dory we were talking and fell asleep. We did nothing bad." Said Veba putting her arm around Rickie shoulder so they were sitting even closer together.

"Well why didn't you leave us a note? Do you know how upset I was when I saw your room was untouched and you were no where to be seen? I was scared shitless!"

Veba looked at Rickie unsure what to say or do. Rickie squeezed Veba's hand and said very quietly, "We fell asleep. It wasn't expected. I was very upset?Veba comforted me?"

Now Doris and Stephanie exchanged concerned glances. "Why were you upset?"

"I..we came to an understanding about our mortality."

"What?" Asked Doris shocked.

"I told Rickie that I understand she needed to save people."

"And I told Veba that I understood her fears for me and that I would consider her in my choices and be more careful."

Doris looked confused. "Didn't you already know all that?"

"Yes, it just had to be said out loud. So we understood each other. Now we do." Said Rickie pulling Veba to her and kissing her passionately.

Doris rolled her eyes and took Stephanie's hand, "Come on Stevie they're fine."

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

Rickie was sifting through a FBI report about the target Julian Douglas. As she read it she felt the man was a manipulative, vicious corporate raider who only cared about the bottom line but she also felt no one had the right to act as justice. That was what the courts and the law was for not some insane vigilante.

Jenna Banks was just that. She was pretty damn manipulative herself and had a narrow vicious view of life. In way Rickie could understand that because of what Douglas did to her but there were other ways to even the score. From the picture they had she was an attractive woman but as Veba had pointed out it was a bad face.

Doris had asked Veba what she meant by that after the meeting. "Sweetie, there are a lot of men and women who are ugly or mean spirited but that does not make them a killer."

Veba shook her head and said, "No Dory, not like that. Her eyes are cold and?very cruel. She is not just mean in her heart?she wants to cause pain. I can see it in her eyes." Veba shook her head again softly saying, "She scares me."

That in itself made Rickie want to take this woman down as quickly as possible. Veba was a very brave girl to have someone scare her they had to be very evil indeed.


"Yes Sweetheart," Rickie answered looking up at Veba who had a stack of files under her arm.

"I went through these. I have notes inside each one. I do not see anyone bad in them."

Rickie nodded, "Great work, is that temps or the models?"

"The temps," replied Veba with a tired expression. "May I take a break now?" She asked Rickie like a student would from a very big homework assignment. Rickie felt like taking her in arms and kissing her she looked so adorable.

"I think that sounds like an excellent idea."

"Rickie I did not mean? I mean you don't have to?I just?" Veba stuttered worried her love was going to be cross for taking a break in the middle of such an important assignment.

Rickie could read what was worrying her and smiled softly saying, "Sweetheart I need a break too, my eyes are getting blurry."

Veba nodded, "Yes that and I feel very?I hurt?there?" she said pointing to her neck where tension normally built up from study of this kind.

Rickie's face lit up and she said, "I have an excellent cure for that. Sit here on the couch."

Veba looked at her quizzically but she sat down. Rickie then started to massage her neck Veba closed her eyes and bent slightly forward enjoying the relief it gave her. She moaned in pure animal relief that sound made Rickie shiver. She continued but she said in a soft voice, "You have the sexiest moan I have heard."

Veba's head was now loosely moving from side to side as Rickie's sure hands relieved tension she mumbled back, "I do?"

"MmmHmm," Rickie could feel the tension flow out of the strong body she smiled and leaned forward so her mouth was right next to Veba's ear, "Do you feel better?"

Veba moaned again from the soft massage and whispered, "Yes, thank you."

Rickie smiled and kissed her right below the ear, then she whispered, "You're very welcome." Then she moved over to the empty space beside the now totally relaxed woman and launched herself over the back of the couch to land neatly beside her. She held out her arms and said with warm smile, "My reward please."

Veba looked into the bright sparkling eyes with a bright happy smile of her own. "Happily," she hugged Rickie tightly and began to kiss her along her neckline.

"Hmm, Clark and Jackie will be here soon."

Veba was too involved to really hear the words, "Hm, that's nice." She pulled at tiny ear into her mouth and began to nibble on it."

Rickie was deeply under the seductive spell when she muttered back, "Yes it is."

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

Stephanie and Doris came to the apartment but Stephanie stopped dead in the doorway. "Um, maybe you should go in while I delay the guys."

"What on earth?" Said Doris till she saw past Stephanie to the naked snuggled figures on the couch. She sighed and shook her head, "Yep your right, I guess I should." She chuckled kissed Stephanie on the cheek and walked into the apartment banging the door behind her.

Two sleepy heads popped up. Veba smiled softly and said, "Hi Dory."

"Hi Sweetie."

Rickie hid against the taller woman and said over Veba's shoulder, "Hi ya Sis."

"Hello, weren't you supposed to be working?"

Veba rubbed her cheek against the head that was now pressed against her shoulder. "We were just taking a break Dory."

Doris snorted, "Some break."

Veba looked very confused; "We were just cuddling Dory. We do it all the time at home and you do not get mad."

Doris smiled sweetly at her confused friend and said kindly, "Yes, I know that Sweetheart. My comments are not directed at you at all. They are directed at the woman hiding against you. Excuse me Rickie, isn't you who always says that there is no play time while you're in the middle of a case? Or was that some other blonde slob?"

Rickie peeked out over Veba's shoulder. She kissed Veba's cheek and then looked sheepishly at her sister. "Come on give me a break, Dory. I wasn't head over heals in love when I said that. What the hell did I know?"

Doris laughed and nodded, "Well break time is over, the guys will be over soon."

The two faces reflected shocked at the realization and Doris burst out in a fit of laughter. "You forgot!"

Veba nodded, Rickie shrugged and said, "We had more important things on our minds. Come on my beautiful one lets get dressed before the boys come in carrying a still talking Stevie on their shoulders."

"But why would they want to do that to Stevie?" Asked Veba as she was pulled out of the room.

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

"Maybe you should make contact with the target, Clark."

"No Rick, the man is paranoid. He hired private security task force. Were talking ex swat guys." Said Clark his voice annoyed at how his case was going.

"Why can't you inside guy approach him, Clark?" Asked Jackie looking through the files with Veba and Rickie's notes jotted on the margins.

Clark shook his head; "No he isn't high up. I merely placed him to keep tabs on his movements."

Veba had been very quiet during the whole meeting. She listened intently but she felt she had nothing to add to the conversation. They were gathered in the living room going over the files that Veba and Rickie had worked on. Veba had not seen anyone else she felt would be dangerous. Although privately she truly disliked some of the models she didn't get any criminal feeling from them. She sat next to Rickie who was actively taking part in the tennis game of give and take.

"Clark?" Veba asked very quietly.

"Yes, tiger?"

Veba blushed and Rickie chuckled throwing an empty paper cup at him. "Behave Brute."

"Hey, what did I say?" He smiled at Veba and winked asking her gently, "What's on your mind my friend?"

"Why can you not just arrest Jenna Banks? She is the one who shot the photographer."

Jackie and Clark exchanged concerned looks, Jackie answered her softly, "Veba my friend, we can't just arrest someone because we feel they may have done it. It's against the law. We have to have real evidence that will hold up in court."

Veba looked sad, "Oh? I am sorry. I do not know a lot." She looked away from them very embarrassed.

Jackie and Clark looked at Rickie alarmed the last thing they wanted was to hurt Veba's feelings. They both really liked her and respected her abilities. They also knew that their old friend adored her and they would never hurt Rickie or anyone she loved.

Rickie shook her head; she gently turned Veba's face so she could look deeply into hurt blue eyes. "My love, you know a lot. You know the truth. It's a deep understanding in your soul. The truth and the law are not always the same though. You know truth. The law only understand facts."

Veba held by the loving understanding green eyes felt much better. She was still confused though; "I do not understand why the law does not see she is the killer. She is. There must be proof where she lives."

"Clark?" Jackie said gesturing with his head for him to explain.

Clark got up and sat on the table in front of Rickie and Veba; he took Veba's hand and looked sincerely into her confused eyes. "My friend, the law is there to protect us all. Innocent people. If we arrest someone cause we feel they are guilty but have no proof a lot of innocent people could be in jail and evil people would be out on the streets. They could put you in jail because you were different, or said something someone didn't like or even because it looked like you might do something wrong. I know that this way does take longer but please believe us Veba it is better in the long run."

Veba smiled at Clark and nodded, "Ok Clark, I understand now. I do not want that."

Clark smiled and patted the hand then kissed it on the knuckles making her blush and Rickie smile. Then he got up and walked back to his seat on a chair beside Jackie. "You're a good girl, Veba."

Rickie pulled Veba very close and whispered into her ear, "You're a very, very good girl." Then she nibbled her ear. Veba turned beet red.

Doris leaned back on the other couch and stretched then said, "Well what I have to say is that its now 1 am and I am bushed. Let's continue tomorrow morning. You boys will supply breakfast right?"

The agent looked at the detective and they both nodded to the curly haired blonde.

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

Veba and Rickie had just finished working out and were in the shower playfully washing each other.

"Rickie, was I wrong asking about that?"

Rickie had been building a soap tower on Veba's powerful abs; she looked up into the concerned blue eyes and shook her head no.

"No Sweetheart, No question is ever wrong. Sometimes answers can be. I think it was a very reasonable question."

Veba began to wash of the ringlets off Rickie's breast that she had artistically arranged with some peach body wash, the warm water and Veba's tender hands caused the smaller woman to moan and lean into the tall warm body. Warm little hand reached around pulling their bodies against each other. Veba melted against Rickie allowing her complete control. When the smaller woman finished washing her loves back she pulled back slightly she looked up and said, "Ok, time to rinse all this soap off."

Veba nodded and gently began rinse off Rickie as Rickie rinsed off every bit of soap from Veba's tall muscular form.

Her tongue sticking out slightly as she concentrated Veba mumbled, "Why were they so upset then?"

Rickie smiled at how Veba could ask a question even when concentrating on something else. She made sure that Veba was completely rinsed off knowing that Veba was doing the same for her. Then she turned off the water and handed a large fluffy pink towel to Veba and took a large fluffy blue one for herself.

"They weren't upset at all by your question. They were upset because you said you didn't know much like you meant it."

"But compared to all of you I don't know much." Veba said as she handed Rickie out of the shower and they walked hand in hand to bed.

Rickie shook her head and said, "My Darling, I'll take your mind over anyone else I know. You are so bright; you see things so straightforward and clearly. I think you are the wisest woman I have ever known."

Now they were both under a sheet in bed, Veba leaned up onto an elbow so she could look into, Rickie's eyes, "No, you are."

"How about we are?"

Veba's lips curled into a sexy smile. "Deal." Then she lowered herself so she was right on top of Rickie. She kissed her deeply Rickie's arms went around her pulling her even closer. When they ran out of air Veba whispered in throaty voice, "You make me feel so special."

Rickie flipped them so she was now on top of the other woman her eyes were sparkling with love as she whispered back her voice just as rough, "That is because you are very special, Baby." Rickie then began to concentrate on making passionate love to the woman below her. Veba spiraled right off and the flame Rickie created didn't go out for quite a while.
*** *** *** ***

Veba was in her room reading her new Harry Potter book, 'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.' Rickie was in the living room talking to Jackie and Clark about how to get the goods on Jenna Banks. She had breakfast with them but her part was over so she was trying to relax by getting lost in her book though her mind kept going back to Rickie and if she was going to be walking into any danger.

There was a knock on the door and Stephanie peeked in. "Mind if I come in?"

Veba smiled and put her bookmark in her book she placed it tenderly on her nightstand. "No, I do not mind. Come in please, Stevie."

The redhead smiled and came in she sat down on the edge of the bed and said, "Dory told me what you're planning to do for your ceremony. Do you need to rehearse?"

Veba smiled and blushed slightly, "Um, I have been."


"When ever Rickie is not here."

"But I never saw you doing it?"

"Well, I?um?I did it in the bathroom."


Veba nodded and bit her lip.

"Can I have a preview?"

Veba's eyes grew huge, "Um, I guess. Are you sure?"

Stephanie nodded and said, "Yes, I'd like that."

Looking down at the quilt she said quietly, "Ok, when Rickie goes out to pick up our dinner."

Stephanie smiled brightly, "Great! Can Dory watch too?"


"I can't wait."


Stephanie shrugged and left the room.

Veba shrugged and picked up her book.

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

Rickie came back from the Police Station. She had stopped off to pick up their pizza on the way back. Veba had asked for Pizza so that's what they would have tonight. A medium Canadian bacon for her and large Pepperoni for the rest of the family. Veba didn't like pepperoni but Rickie knew would end up sharing some of Veba's too.

When Rickie entered the living room with the food she found her sister and Stephanie working on something on a clipboard. They stopped talking as soon as she came in with big bright smiles on their faces.

"What are you two plotting?" Asked Rickie as she put the boxes on the counter of the small kitchen.

"Nothing," they said at the same time and then giggled.

"Did I walk into Kindergarten class?"

"Were working on your joining ceremony so mind your own business," said Dory and then laughed wickedly.

Rickie rolled her eyes; "Oh I am soooo worried. Where is my Veba?"

"In your room reading."

"Ok, why don't you to do something useful like heat up dinner while I get my love?"

"Rickie why don't kiss my ass!"

"Nope, that Stevie's job," Said Rickie with an evil smile as she went to her room.

"Smart ass!"

Stephanie merely shook her head.

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

Rickie came in to find her love with her head deep inside their trunk. Her shapely behind swaying in such an exotic way that Rickie felt her mouth drool. She stepped slowly behind her so she could quietly do what she was thinking when Veba suddenly straightened up and pulled Rickie into her arms. She whispered seductively into her ear, "You are so naughty."

Rickie chuckled and whispered back, "Oh? And how am I naughty?" Then she nibbled on the tasty earlobe.

"Mmm. You wanted to do something naughty to my butt," whispered Veba panting against Rickie's neck. Then she jumped holding on tight to Rickie so they landed safely in the middle of their king-sized bed.

"Hmm, yep I was but this is so much better." She kissed her way down Veba's neck as her fingers unbuttoned the flannel shirt her love was wearing.

"I am not unhappy," whispered Veba stretching her neck, her eyes closed as she stretched her arms so she could touch the hot skin under Rickie's T-shirt.

"Good," moaned Rickie as those warm tender hands reached her breasts and played with them seductively.

Too involved to speak anymore, they began to slowly take off each other's clothes and caress, kiss and make love to every inch of the woman they loved. When they fell over the edge screaming each other's name it was at such a high pinnacle that Rickie was sure they shattered the windows.

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

Doris was putting the Pizza in the oven to warm it up with a huge smile on her face.

"From the moaning and groaning I'd say Veba was definitely able to distract Rickie."

"Maybe too well. Darling, how will be able to keep both their secrets for three whole weeks? And how on earth will they keep them from each other?"

"Don't worry love it will work out. Do you think we should knock when the pizza is warmed up?"

"Yep, I think so. Now that we have Veba's little secret done how will we occupy our own time?"

Doris pulled the other woman into her arms and whispered into her ear, "Oh, I will think of something."

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

The girls were eating their dinner and Rickie was going over what she learned from Jackie at the police station.

Veba sipped her coke and asked, "I do not understand. If Carmen is the mole, who is she working for?"

Rickie chewed and swallowed a piece of Canadian bacon pizza that Veba had playfully put into her mouth. Then she took a sip of her own coke and answered, "Jackie has a line on that. It seems a rival magazine is responsible. They paid her a lot of money and promised her a cushy job?"

"So she was a rat?" Asked Stevie with a distasteful look.

"Poor Nigel," said Veba sweetly.

"Not exactly, it's more complicated then any of us knew. She was being blackmailed. She really had no choice. It seems she fell into a ?well a rather embarrassing and illegal way to make money."

"What way?" Dory asked as she took another piece of pizza.

"Call girl."

"What is that?" Veba asked very curious.

"A high priced hooker."

Blue eyes became huge, "Why?'

"It seems she had bit of down fall she was a shopaholic. The only way she could pay off her huge debt was by?well?tricks."

Veba's head tilted, "Tricks? What does magic have to do with something like that?"

Doris smiled and said, "No Sweetie, that is what a hooker calls a tryst."

"A tryst?"

Rickie got up and walked over to the confused brunette whispering in her ear. Veba's eyes became huge with shock; tears filled them as she whispered, "That poor girl."

Rickie pulled her into a loving hug and kissed her cheek. "You're so sweet." She cupped her cheeks and looked into upset blue eyes. "Jackie arrested everyone but I think because of the circumstances and Nigel's compassion instead of jail she will go somewhere to help her with her obsession." Rickie gently dried Veba's eyes and said softly, "So she will be ok."

"I'm glad."

"You are so special. You have the biggest heart; you don't trust or even like her but you feel bad for her. You're such an angel."

"I just feel sorry for her. She hurt her family and herself. She is a sad person."

"Like I said you're an angel."

"You love me so you do not?"

"I see all your faults, my love. I find them only endearing. Shall we agree to disagree?"



"Oh?" Veba looked into the loving green eyes that were full of understanding and nodded. "Ok, deal." She shook her head pulled Rickie onto her lap and kissed her.

"Hey you two, not while I'm eating! Yuck!" said Doris rolling her eyes.

Rickie and Veba pulled back and Rickie said, "Why the hell not?'

"She gets all excited it ruins her digestion," said Stephanie with giggle. Doris threw a napkin at her and Stephanie stuck her tongue out at Doris.

Rickie kissed Veba on the cheek then slipped out of her lap and went back to her own chair. She took a piece of Canadian bacon pizza and a slice of Pepperoni as Doris watched her sister stuff her mouth she asked, "What progress on Jenna Banks?"

Swallowing and sipping her coke, Rickie replied, " She is a lot harder to catch. She is under constant watch but she has no friends?really no life so its hard to find any kind of leads. Clark is getting antsy."

"Why?" Veba asked as she made a funnel out of her pizza and started to put it into her mouth.

"Because, he needs to get her on murder charges so he can concentrate on his target again."

"Why?" Veba replied with her mouth full of pizza.

Rickie smirked at what seemed to now be Veba's favorite word. "Because my darling, he can't catch someone who is afraid to move a muscle.

"Why?" Veba asked, as she was about to take a sip of her drink.

"Because he is afraid he will be shot if he leaves his expensive penthouse."

Veba put down the slice she had just picked up and looked at the others triumphant. "Then Mr. Douglas knows that I was right, she was trying to kill him."

Rickie's face glowed with pride as she nodded, "Yep."

"My feeling were correct?"

"Yep, did you doubt them?"

"Yes, the others seemed unsure."

"Did I?"

Veba tilted her head and then shook it, "No, you always believed me."

"I believed you and in you. I had no doubts that you were right. I had Dory and Stevie bug her office the next day. I bullied Clark into tapping her phone line. The only problem is that the bitch never talks on the damn thing."

"Does she go on line?" Asked Stephanie.

Rickie's lips curled and she pulled out her cell. She speed dialed Clark as she said to Stephanie, "Good work Stevie. I don't think any of us thought of that." The phone was answered and with out preamble she said, "Clark, listen this is what I think you should do."

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

Veba sat up in bed trying to read her novel but her mind was on the sting that Rickie was going to take part in the next day. She was wearing her Xena sleep shirt and tomb raider panties that Rickie had bought her at a collectors show. Her long hair was pulled into a ponytail. She was lying on her side her head against a stack of pillows, 'Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets' against her stomach; her thumb was in her mouth as she tried to concentrate on the words on the page.

Rickie came in from a series of phone calls to find Veba in that position she knew that the thumb was a sign that her love was greatly stressed or scared. It upset her to find her this upset and now she kicked herself that she hadn't checked on her earlier. She sat down on the bed on Veba's side and tenderly stroked the naked thigh as she asked quietly, "What's wrong Sweetheart."

Veba put the marker in her book and reached over to gently place it on the end table then she turned toward Rickie and whispered in a rough whisper, "Worried."

"About me?"

Veba's eyes were cloudy like she was about to burst into tears. She nodded and then pulled Rickie into her arms holding her very close. "Yes," she whispered into Rickie's ear.

"But why?" Rickie asked holding Veba tight and stroking the very tense back.

" 'Cause I love you."

Rickie smiled and tilted her head, "I know that my love, but why are you so worried about me. You weren't this upset when we took down Carmen."

"Carmen was bad but she was only going to hurt herself not someone else. This woman is very different. Very bad."


"She does not care who she hurts to get what she wants. That man she shot was not the first she hurt to get to Mr. Douglas. She has hurt many others?I?can't?Please Rickie?"Veba broke down into sobs burying her face against her pillow.

Rickie pulled her back to her and held her close, "I don't understand, love. Why are you so scared for me? I will be one of dozens of people at the site. I will be with the last waive to enter her apartment. I am not in the front lines of this bust so why am I in so much danger?"

Veba lifted her head off of Rickie's shoulder where the small woman had brought it to cuddle; Upset blue eyes came up full of tears and fear for Rickie. "Did you not see that photo you took, Rickie? She was looking right at you. It was look of pure hate. I?I have been scared ever since I first saw it. I knew then she wanted to hurt you."

"How about I don't go in till I hear from Clark and Jackie that she was brought down. You trust them, don't you?"

"Yes, it is not them I worry about it is her. She is very bad and very smart. She will try to get you?can't you?would you please?"

"Not go?"

Veba nodded.

Rickie sighed and bit her lip. She knew the guys would understand. They love Veba and respected her instincts. She just wanted to get this woman so bad; she wanted to be a part of taking her down. She was so dangerous and she scared Veba that was enough for her to want to beat the crap out of her. But taking one look into those terrified blue eyes she could only make one choice.


Veba looked shocked, "Ok?"

Rickie chuckled and kissed her nose, "Thought I would fight you more, huh?"

Veba swallowed her bottom lip and nodded.

"Well I did promise you I'd keep out of trouble, didn't I?"

Veba smiled for the first time since Rickie had said she was taking part in the raid. She pulled Rickie onto her lap and whispered, "And you always keep your promises." Then she kissed her love passionately.

Rickie felt herself melt into the other woman's body and just let Veba do what she needed to. Veba pulled back and whispered while kissing her along her jaw line, "I love you so much, thank you Love, thank you." She pulled off Rickie's sleep shirt and threw across the room then began to nibble her way down the body she adored.

"Love?you?too?" She panted as she felt her body soar and her mind float away.

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

Rickie paced nervously in the living room of their suite. She kept glaring at the phone on the coffee table willing it to ring already. She told Clark that morning about her promise. To her surprise he said he figured it would go that way so he had an alternative all set just in case.

"You did, huh?"

"Yep, and you want to know something, Stringbean? I agree with her. You are both very likely targets. I am glad you'll both be at your suite till it's all over."

"I promised my baby I would and for her sake I am going to stay out of it but I'll tell you the truth waiting is going to drive me up a wall!"

"Well hopefully you won't have long to wait."

But it had been twenty minutes since the bust went down and they had not heard a peep out of Clark or Jackie.

"You're going to wear a hole in the carpet, Sis."

Dory and Stephanie were on the big couch watching Rickie pace. Veba was curled up in the big chair she had her thumb in her mouth and looked very nervous. "Rickie, Clark said he would call when it was done."

"I know Love, but what could be taking this long?" She couldn't stand it any more she pulled out her cell phone and speed dialed Clark. He answered it in a low whisper.

"Clark, what the hell is going on?" Rickie whispered back though there was no reason for her to whisper.

"Rick, we have a major problem here."

"Well, what is it?"

"The nest was empty but she left a big bag of poop! She rigged a bomb to her computer when we turned it on to get evidence we started the count down. We only have about 20 minutes."

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

She looked at the anxious women around her after she hung up the phone. "She left her place rigged with a bomb set to go off when they turned her damn computer on. The bomb squad is working on it?"

"Rickie we all have to get of here!" Veba jumped up almost hysterical.

"Why Sweetie?" Asked Dory calmly

"She will come here."

Rickie came over to the very upset woman and said, "Shh, why would she come here Love? In all of New York City, why come here?"

"I don't? know why? but I feel it?Rickie it scares me. She hates us. Both of us?we know what she is?we're the ones who set her up. Rickie I know she will come here."

Rickie had pulled the crying girl into her arms holding her close. Veba hugged Rickie back. Then she picked her up and sat back in the chair with her love protectively cradled in her arms. Rickie kissed Veba softly on the cheek and whispered, "I know you have wonderful instincts but I don't see why you think she?"

There was a crash from the kitchen then a tall blonde woman walked in. She was holding a 45 caliber pistol pointed right at the chair that Rickie and Veba were in. Her eyes sparkled with madness and she chuckled softly.

"Good morning Ladies, I thought you wouldn't mind one more for breakfast.

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

Veba's actions were from the purest instinct. She gently put Rickie down on the chair behind her and stood up so she was protectively in front of her.

"You're brave aren't you, my empty headed beauty?"

Rickie tried to get up but Veba moved so the smaller woman fell safely back into the armchair.

"I am not your beauty."

"No, you belong to the grumpy little bitch with her sticky fingers in law enforcement."

"No, I do not belong to her; we are soul mates. Why do hate us? What have we done to you?" Veba asked as she slowly walked toward the crazy woman trying to keep the focus on her and away from her beloved family.

"Soul mates huh? How would a mental midget like you even know what it means?" Replied the insane woman scathingly, "I hate you because I knew you would stumble into my plans and when you did I knew I had to destroy all of you." Veba was now only few feet from the woman who was now holding the gun as casually as someone would hold a flashlight. "My destiny is to avenge my father?you couldn't possibly understand what that bastard did to me!"

Veba had tears running down her cheeks as those words brought thoughts of her Mother, and Uncle to her and she replied in a soft voice. "Yes, I do."

"What?" Said the angry woman shocked at the tall ones reaction.

"My Mommy and Uncle were killed and I would not do what you are doing!"

Rickie was now behind her and put her arm around her loves arm saying to the angry bleached blonde, "Veba's mother and Uncle were killed by her step father and she was tortured by him for years. Believe me Jenna, My Veba has over come much worse then you and look at her. She's an angel. She would never hurt innocent people like you have. Ever!"

Suddenly realizing that Rickie was exposed Veba whispered desperately, "Back, Rickie please."

"No Love, we're in this together."

"Well ain't that sweet?" Jenna swung the gun back and forth saying, "Now which one of you should I take out of this miserable world first. Hmm, who would suffer more?" She asked Doris and Stephanie who were staring in terror from the couch at what was happening to their family.

When she turned toward the couch the gun faced away from all of Veba's family. A primal growl came out of her as she ripped out of Rickie's protective grasp and flew threw the air both feet aiming right for the tall blonde's chest. The impact pushed Jenna Banks onto her back the gun flying straight up. Veba caught the gun as she flipped in the air and landed on her feet. The gun pointed down right toward the other woman's head Veba cautiously approached her to make sure her family was out of danger.

The blonde's feet came right at Veba's knees knocking her down. Veba got right back up and they circled each other like angry tigers. Jenna kept trying to find an opening but Veba could easily read the moves in her eyes and danced out of her way. Becoming more and more frustrated Jenna's movements became more off balance and wild.

When Veba finally saw an opening she took it. She flew into round-house kick knocking the woman back on to the ground with a double kick to her head. When Veba saw that she was out cold she looked at Doris and asked, "Could you tie her up?" Doris nodded as Veba handed the gun that she had slipped into her pocket during the fight to Stephanie.

Veba turned to see why Rickie was so quiet and saw her rubbing her arm. Veba's eyes widened and she cried out, "Rickie!" She ran back across the room and pulled her into her arms. Kissing her all over face she whispered, "I am sorry Rickie?so sorry my love?Oh I didn't mean to?I am so?" Little fingers covered her mouth. Veba looked into the compassionate green eyes and knew she was forgiven.

Rickie said softly, "It's my fault. I should have listened to you when you told me to get back. Um, you were worried about me taking the bullet for you?"

Veba had picked Rickie up and carried her back to the large armchair. She cradled her in her arms as she carefully checked her loves arm. Her voice was soft as replied, "I knew there would only be one chance. She was distracted and I wanted to keep you all safe. I did?.I did what I had to. I don't think I could have done it any other way?"

"I know that my Darling, that is not the point."

Blue eyes looked deeply into Rickie's as Veba asked her quietly, "Then what is?"

"Your instincts and your love drove you this time. You are just as protective as I am. You put your body in harms way and flew across the living room for the same exact reason I threw my body on top of your in that night club."



Veba smiled and nodded, "That is true?I guess I was wrong?"

"No Baby, you weren't wrong at all. Your love was the driving force the whole time. Your choice to stop me from going to the bust and your choice just now to out-wow Xena or Lara?I understand what you did, do you?"

Veba nodded, "Yes, I do now." She brought Rickie very close and kissed her with all the love in her heart. When they ran out of breath Rickie looked deeply into her loves eyes and said, "I love you so much. Your everything to me."

Veba nodded and cuddled her cheek against Rickie's; "You are everything to me."
"Love, I have to call Clark."

Veba looked at Doris and Stephanie across the room. Stephanie was holding the gun right toward the unconscious woman's head as Doris stood up from tying her up.

"Dory, would you call Clark please?"

"Sure Sweetie, Annie Oakley, and I have this bitch covered I think."

"She looks more like a Lady Dillinger at the moment," said Rickie with a huge smile.

Veba didn't say anything; she simply picked up her love and carried her into the room kicking the door closed behind her.

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

Veba and Rickie were curled up around each other; the light came through the blinds into Veba's eyes that were wide open. She blinked and turned so she could continue to stare at the ceiling deep in thought. Her long fingers were tenderly running through Rickie's hair and her other arm was protectively around the still sleeping woman.

"Are you ok?" Asked a sleepy voice from Veba's chest.

"Hmm, " replied Veba her mind still elsewhere.

One green eye opened followed quickly by the other. One look at the distant blue eyes and Rickie knew her thoughts were not pleasant. "Come on Love, What's wrong?"

"Do you think everyone thinks of me that way?"

"What way?"



Surprisingly calm blue eyes locked onto very upset green ones. Veba gently traced the lines on her loves forehead as if trying to soothe them, "I know that I get funny looks from people when I speak to them."

"People are just surprised that you speak carefully but no one who knows you thinks you're anything but brilliant."

"And people who do not know me?"

"Love, it's their problem. Honey please believe me you are so brilliant that it is mind-boggling. When we get done with your first speech class you'll be correcting my English which believe me is not perfect."

The finger now caressed the soft lips as Veba lovingly said, "I think you're perfect."

"Please don't let the loony bug you?"

"How about that police officer?"

"He was a damned bigot. It wasn't your speech that bugged him it was the fact I kissed you right in front of the ass hole."


Rickie smiled and said, "That is so much better, I prefer you curious then putting yourself down. I guess its because he doesn't like people who are different from him. There are a lot of people out there like him?"


Rickie chuckled and rubbed her nose with Veba's making her love smile for the first time since that woman had crashed into their suite. "I really don't know why but there are a lot of bigots out there." She pulled Veba to her and kissed her suddenly full of a deep need. When they pulled back in need of oxygen Rickie whispered, "It's all over. Are you ready to get hitched?"

Veba's eyes were now lit and sparkling, "Oh yes, I can not wait; it is all I have been trying to focus on?"

"It's all over love, now all we need to think of is our wedding. So what little secret have you been hiding up your sleeve?"

Veba was busily kissing Rickie's neckline as she whispered back, "What sleeve?"

"Mmm," Rickie's eyes were now closed as Veba reached her ear and licked it along the rim, "Your?um?.sleeve?"

Veba pulled back slightly and whispered, "No sleeves on?" She then began to nibble the little ear and her hands were fondling Rickie's breast so Rickie forgot what she was asking and really couldn't have cared less.

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

Doris looked over the living room with a very amused expression. She knew that it was an unusual décor for a wedding but the people about to joined were very unusual.

She smiled at the altar, on a specially made shelf over looking the ceremony were two dolls. One of Xena in Roman finery on Veba's side, and the other was Gabrielle in her Amazon Queen clothes on Rickie's. The room had strings of tiny Christmas lights and a beloved Loony Toons character marked each row of chairs. It was very strange but altogether Doris felt it was as charming as the couple about to be joined.

Rickie was in Doris and Stephanie's room and Veba was in her and Rickie's. She had just left her fidgety nervous sister. She wore a black tux tailored to her size and shape. With a pale blue cummerbund and tie. Her hair was arranged very prettily and though the small blonde couldn't seem to sit still for two seconds Doris felt she had done her make up very attractively.

Rickie wore beautiful sapphire cufflinks a gift from her shy bride and she wore their mother's locked around her neck. It had their father's picture in it and it was very special to both her and Rickie. Doris had leant the bride a pair of post gold earrings and she was satisfied her that her sister would make Veba glow in pure joy at how well Rickie looked.

Veba had been closeted with Stephanie for several hours. Doris had no idea what her beautiful friend was going to wear except for the dangle pearl earrings that she had leant her.

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

Veba paced nervously all over her room as the frustrated red head tried to chase after her to finish her make up and hair.

"Veba will you please sit back down? I still have a lot of work to do?"


The redhead shook her head and pulled the terrified girl into her arms. "Shh, It's going to be so beautiful and your going to be so happy. There is no reason to be scared everyone at the ceremony already loves and adores you."

"I?do not?want?.embarrass?My Rickie?" She panted as she held the smaller woman in a tight frantic hug.

"That is impossible. It is more possible that she will embarrass you with her sweet surprise."

Veba pulled back her eyes wide. Stephanie sucked in a breath as she saw she was going to have to re-do all the brunettes makeup. The mascara had run and Veba had rubbed her eyes smearing them with her tears.

"What?she?.I mean?what is she going to do?"

"Come on Sweetie, sit here so I can fix your face. I need to do your hair too. You want to look beautiful for your Rickie don't you?" She asked smiling at her friend.

Veba obediently sat down nodding her head, "Yes Stevie?but what did you mean before?"

Stephanie took a cotton ball and some makeup remover and was gently taking off the smeared eye makeup. "Rickie is going to give you a special surprise too. You may be blushing so much no one will notice if you flub a line and I doubt you will. You have been practicing so hard."

"What she?I mean what is she going to do?"

"No way, its top secret I kept yours didn't I?"

Veba smiled and nodded, "Yes you and Dory did, Thank you. I better?I mean?I feel better now."

"That's good Sweetheart, why are you so scared anyway? You know everyone out there adores you."

Veba shrugged and automatically her thumb was brought up to her mouth which Stephanie caught, "No Veba, we will have to repair your lipstick too if you do that."

Veba looked at her friend shyly and tried to keep still as Stephanie busily prepared her for her most important day. She looked at her through her eyelashes and whispered, "Sorry."

"Its ok Sweetie, now answer my question."

Veba shrugged again and said, "I know they all love me. I love them too. I do not want to ruin our day."

"How could you? All you have to do is think about Rickie's wonderfully shocked expression when she sees how beautiful you look."

That made the beautiful woman glow with an inner light of pure joy.

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

Rickie paced nervously in the living room next to Clark who was her best man. Todd who was an ordained Minister smiled at his nervous friend and said softly, "Hey, Rickie calm down. You already got the girl. This is just a formality."

Rickie looked at the famous prize-fighter and shrugged, " I just love her so much Todd?I want this to be a perfect day for her."

Clark nudged his old friend and said confidently, "It will."

Clark and Todd's wives were already seated. Also gathered were all the friends that had become their extended family. The people from the grocery store, the swap meet, the park. Stephanie even invited a couple of people she had made friends with from Veba's building. At first they were nervous about meeting the person they had thought of as the ghost but once they met Veba they fell swiftly under spell and became good friends with her and the rest of the family. Jackie and his girlfriend had flown in New York were sitting in the front row with Todd's wife Rochelle and Clark's wife Sandy.

All heads turned as the beautiful strains of Celtic music announced that the ceremony was about to begin. Clark and Rickie turned toward the hall side by side waiting for Veba to enter.

Todd took his place on the podium under the altar and waited for his couple to face him with huge welcoming smile.

Doris was Veba's maid of honor she was dressed in a pale blue dress as she came down the aisle first. The curly haired blonde winked at her sister as she took her place by the altar. Then Rickie's eyes widened and her jaw dropped. There was a great intake of breath through out the living room as the bride entered on Stephanie's arm.

She was dressed in an antique white lace dress that went to just below her knees. Here hair had been curled and pulled back by an antique comb a private gift from Rickie. Her make up had been done to perfection no would ever tell how much work Stephanie had to put into it the beautiful woman glowed with such radiance that she lit up the whole room.

When her eyes met Rickie's they almost welled up with tears of pure joy. Not only could she tell that Rickie was pleased but she was delighted with how beautiful her little love looked. When she reached the beautiful blonde Rickie gently took her arm smiling at Stephanie in thanks. Stephanie winked at her and walked to her seat, which was by some hidden equipment that she would have to run during the ceremony.

Rickie felt very overwhelmed by Veba's glowing beauty. She swallowed twice and whispered, "You really look like an angel now, Love."

Veba now felt the tears come and blinked so Stephanie would not be upset about her make up. "You look beautiful Rickie?perfect."

Todd smiled at the two shy emotional women and whispered, "Ready my friends?"

They both smiled up at him and nodded. He winked and looked at those gathered for the joining. "We are gathered her in the name of love to celebrate the joining of these two special and beautiful people. Their love already unites them this ceremony is just for us so they can announce to the world that they are one."

He looked at the two shy women looking up at him with nervous excitement and he couldn't help but smile a bit wider. "I believe each of you has a gift you are going to bestow. Rickie?"

Rickie took both of Veba's hands and looked deeply into her eyes. Then she took a deep breath to recite what she had been working so hard on hoping it was good enough because it was her first attempt at such a thing.

"You are the light of my existence.
You brought me joy and light.
You guided me out of my darkness
You saved me from such loneliness.

I have never been so happy
You light every day with your smile.
Thank you
You are Joy.
You are pure love."

She gently reached up and dried the tears that were steadily falling down the tall woman's cheeks. Then she kissed her love tenderly. When they pulled back Veba whispered in a very soft emotional voice, "Thank you so much."

Todd cleared his throat, "Veba."

Veba nodded nervously at Stephanie, she kept Rickie's hands in her own as she sang a song she heard on TV and really liked.

In a voice as soft and gentle as an Angel the music came on and Veba sang;

"It had to be you
It had to be you.
I wandered around
And finally found
The somebody who.
Could make me be true
And could make me be blue
And even be glad
Just be sad
Thinking of you.

Some others I've seen
Might never be mean
Might never be cross
Or try to be boss
But they wouldn't do
For nobody else gave me]
A thrill. With all your faults I
Love you still.
It had to be you.
Wonderful you.
It had to be you."

Veba's eyes were closed as she sang the old standard, so very unsure blue eyes blinked open to meet tear filled green. Rickie felt like that song was written just for her thought she knew it was an old standard. Coming from the soft loving voice and heart felt emotions of her beloved Rickie knew that Veba had meant every word.

Finally finding her voice again she said, "That was so incredible. You sing so beautifully, like an angel. Thank you so much."

"I love you Rickie."

"I love you too."

Todd cleared his throat and said softly, "Ok ladies my turn."

Both women looked up at him with faces glowing with happiness. "Rickie, Do you promise to honor Veba in the name of love?"

"I do," said the Rickie holding tightly to Veba's hand.

"Veba do you promise to honor Rickie in the name of love?"

Veba's lips trembled as she said softly, "I do."

"In the name of love I pronounce you joined."

The two young women kissed passionately. Todd stepped down to stand beside Clark and saying. "Hey, I didn't get my last line."

"They didn't need it, Todd." Clark said to the tall handsome fighter with smile.
*** *** **** ***

They were sitting on the patio of a beautiful suite of their hotel in Santa Barbara. It was just steps from the beach and they were entwined on swing looking out at the ocean. There was tranquillity about them and an aura of love.

Rickie had never felt so content as she looked up at Veba and smiled. Veba blushed she had never seen her love so peaceful it made her feel very happy she brought the soft lips to hers and kissed her tenderly.

When they pulled back Rickie said, "Hi."

Veba gently rubbed her cheek against Rickie's replying softly, "Hi."

"Would you like to take a walk?'

"Yes, if you want to," was the lazy reply her fingers gently tracing her loves mouth.

Rickie gently grabbed the hand tucked it under her chin, "Not really?I feel so?"


"More then that?I feel blissful."

"Love, I do not have my dictionary?"Veba was now kissing Rickie along her jaw line.

Rickie closed her eyes and said, "I am so happy Darling, I don't have any other way to describe it?" Veba was sucking at her pulse point making it now impossible for her to even think let alone explain how she felt.

Veba pulled back slightly and said, "I am the same, I am very happy," then she kissed Rickie deeply picking her up and taking her love back to bed.

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

The two figures walked along the beach hand in hand. Veba was staring at the ocean intensely. "Rickie could we?um??"

"What Love?'

"Go out there?"

Rickie stopped she stared at her bare feet and said softly, "Veba, I'm scared of it."

Veba tenderly lifted Rickie's chin till she could look into the embarrassed green eyes. She cupped both cheeks and said softly, "Love if anyone understands fear it is me. I am sorry."

"Why should you be sorry? 'Cause your curious and want to explore something that intrigues you? You don't owe me an apology. I guess I can try?"

"No Rickie. I will not make you do something that you can not?"

"But?Veba you are always fighting your fears and I?"

"Help me." Veba shrugged and kissed Rickie on the forehead. Then she pulled back and put her arm around her shoulders as they continued on their walk. "It is my nature to fight my fears. I can not help it."

Rickie put her head on Veba's shoulder and replied, "I think it is about time I fight one of mine own. We can take the hour boat tour. I should be able to make that as long you're with me."

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