~ Learning Curve ~
by Ri

Disclaimer: This is the fouth part of the Ghost Series that began with: The Ghost, Growing Pains, and Growing Up Together, and shuod be read first. There are loving, committed, same sex relationships and there is also some violence. Thanks to Larisa for the use of her name for the addition to the family, and to my beta reader for being so great and fast! J

Feedback to: sarrabi@hotmail.com.

Veba was on a bench studying her spelling and grammar books. She was in a wooded area in the center the community college waiting for Rickie, Stevie and Dory to meet her after their computer programming class.

She was busily sounding out the words to herself and writing down what she had figured out to be the correct answers. Then she quickly checked the back of her book to see if she had spelled them correctly.

Rickie smiled as she watched her love completely focused on her homework. They had been going to school for a month and Veba loved it. She was so fascinated about what she had learned that she couldn't wait til she got home to do her assignments.

Veba was driving their history and Poly Science professors to distraction. "Why?" Was now her favorite phrase and she was constantly asking her professors why and how things worked the way they do. In English class she simply absorbed all the information. She did ask questions when she didn't understand but she mostly just listened and carefully took notes. Their first reading assignment was pretty hard on her. They were working on it together. It seemed to be a bit easier for her love because Rickie was always happy to give a loving explanation on anything that she couldn't understand.

"How now brown cow," Rickie whispered into an elegant ear.

Veba smiled but didn't turn as she replied, "I asked my teacher about that. He said they used it in the old days." Then she turned and pulled Rickie onto her lap. "Hi."

"Hi," said Rickie softly to Veba as she kissed her tenderly. When they pulled back Veba asked, "Where are Dory and Stevie?"

Rickie caressed Veba's cheek and then she got off her lap and carefully picked up Veba's books so she could sit next to her. "They're coming. Dory is getting this weird stuff on her computer and wanted to talk to our Prof about it."



"Oh. What kind of weird stuff?"

Veba had taken her books from Rickie and placed them in her book bag. Rickie snuggled closer to her as she answered, "We're not sure it started last week. Now she's getting this weird stuff on her tool bar."


"It's the top of her computer screen. It's like some kind of virus only the software won't capture it. Our Professor had some stuff he said might unscramble so he said they should wait til after class."

"Oh? Why did you not stay too?"

"Cause I didn't want to leave my beloved wife all alone. How was class?"

"You are sooo sweet," Veba leaned down and kissed her love tenderly. Then she pulled back full of excitement as she said, "It was very interesting. My teacher said I already speak better then most of his students I just need?um, smoothing out?."

"Hmm, smoothing what out?"

Blue eyes widened in surprise, "My speech."

"Does he touch you, Baby?"

Veba pulled back all the way and studied Rickie's face closely. She was confused by the sudden worry. "No he doesn't. Why would he, Love?"

"Because you are the most beautiful woman in the whole world?"

"Rickie he likes men?"

Now Rickie was shocked, "How?how do you know that?"

"Because he introduced me to his beloved. He said I was his most promising pupil."

Rickie's face lit up as she said gently brushing unruly bangs out of the big blue eyes, "Well at least he has good taste."


Rickie laughed and said, "Did you learn anything new today or was it a review?"

"No, it was new stuff. I have a whole list of new words and a grammar list. It may help with Pride and Prejudice."

"I'm sure it will. If it that doesn't help you with it, then I will."

Veba hugged Rickie close and said, "I already knew that."

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

Veba could see how upset Dory was on the drive home from school. She was moody and wouldn't talk to anyone. When she did she was unnaturally abrupt and her sense of humor seemed to have vanished.

Veba carefully approached her sister-in-law on the back porch.

"Hi Dory."

Doris looked over her shoulder and smiled slightly. "Hi Veba, why do you seemed like your suddenly scared of me?"

"Um, you look very angry. You were kind of?upset with Rickie and Stevie in the car?I do not want you mad at me."

Doris looked into the compassionate blue eyes. "I don't think I could ever be mad at you Veba. You are so kind and you do everything from your heart. I know you're here to try to comfort me."

Veba nodded and sat on the swing next to the smaller woman. "Yes, that is because you are my best friend. It hurts to see you so upset."

Doris put her head on Veba's shoulder and Veba put her arms around her pulling her close. Then Doris whispered, "I'm scared Veba."

"Of what?"

"I think I have a stalker."

"What is that?"

"Someone who is trying to get to me but is not in my life."

"To hurt you?" Veba held Dory protectively this was her sister and every protective instinct prickled her.

"Maybe but if I tell Rickie or Stevie they will act rashly. This needs a very careful approach."

"You mean My Rickie and Stevie would try and get the one who is trying to hurt you?"


"Yes, I see my Love doing that but not Stevie?"

"She can react like that?"

"What would you like me to do?"


"Am I not your sister?"

Doris pulled back and looked into the concerned blue eyes. "Yes, you are my sweet protective sister. Um, what you could do is tell Rickie. She will listen to reason if you explain it to her. If I tell her not to go off the deep end she will just ignore me and do it?"

Veba's eyebrow lifted, "She does not always listen to me but if I ask her to promise me she will not break it."

"Good, cause I need both my sister's help."

"And Stevie?"

"I will try to talk to her but I won't let him get her because of me."

"Yes, I understand that. Dory tell her the truth; tell her how you feel."

"Will that be enough?"

"It is with My Rickie"

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

Rickie had changed into her nightshirt. She knew Veba was out on the back porch talking to her sister. If anyone could get Doris to open it was her sweet wife.

Veba came in and closed the door behind her. Then she went to the bed and sat down staring at the bedspread she said in a soft voice, "Hi Love."

"Hi Baby, Did you get Dory to talk to you?"

Veba nodded as she played with the edge of the bedspread.

"Oh boy, I knew it wasn't good but not this bad. So what did she say?"

Worried blue eyes looked up into just as worried green Veba took Rickie's hand and said, "Sit down please, Sweetheart."

Rickie sat down and asked, "What did she say, Baby?"

"First she wants you not to?um?to go nuts?"

"Dory said that?"

Veba nodded.

"Ok, I won't."

"No, Rickie I want you to promise me."

"Veba is that necessary?"

"Yes Sweetheart, promise me. Please?"

"I promise."

Veba smiled sweetly and tenderly kissed Rickie. Then she pulled back and said, "You are so good?um, Dory is very scared. She thinks she has a?stalker. She says we have to be careful and not do something stupid. She needs you Rickie."

If Veba hadn't had a firm hold of both her hands and she hadn't just promised she knew she would have lost it. She took several deep calming breaths and looked deeply into Veba's sweet loving eyes. Then she blinked and said softly, "Did she say what she wanted us to do?"

"She said she wants our help to find this person. It is someone from your computer class."

"Do you want to change into your nightshirt before we go to our office?"

Veba was so proud of her Rickie for keeping her promise and not losing her temper. She pulled her onto her lap and kissed her passionately. Then she cupped Rickie's cheeks as she gently gave her love butterfly kisses all over her face. She whispered between each kiss, "I love you so much. You are the best. You are perfect."

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

Veba and Rickie looked over Doris's shoulder as she downloaded the floppy disc she had received from her professor. She then took another disc that had a copy of the opening page from her computer at school and down loaded that. Suddenly the screen filled with I Love You Doris with pink hearts all over the screen. The music from Love Story filled the room.

Doris looked at Rickie and Veba who were staring at the screen shocked. Doris said in a soft serious voice, I know this is sappy looking but why the hell would someone do this? Why with an encrypted message that only my professor could decipher? I feel?scared."

"Drop out of class the rest of this semester," suggested Rickie.

"What if he follows you or Stevie home? I couldn't put you in danger."

"How do you know it is a he?" Asked Veba rather surprised.

"I don't but I can't call them it can I? I think it could be a man or a woman. Veba there are 30 people in our computer class how the hell are we going to figure this out?"

Stephanie was leaning against the wall to the office. She was really angry but she had promised her love not to blow up. "Has anyone flirted with you Sweetheart?"

"No, I don't understand this. I don't talk to anyone in class other then you two and the professor."

"Has anyone touched you, Sis?"

"No Rickie; I'm a loner you know that. I just go to class and stick with you. I don't even talk all that much except if I have a question."

Veba was staring at the computer. Something was bothering her about it all. Her gut told her that something was not right. This wasn't cute or charming it was just sickenly sweet like they were trying to be something they were not. She looked at her family and quietly asked, "Is there someone in your class who is?well like a baby? They are silly or dress too young? They are not really a part of the class because they are too strange?"

Rickie smiled slightly and hugged Veba, "Your getting good at this profiling stuff, huh Love?" Veba blushed and shrugged. Rickie looked at Doris, "How about that weirdo Dawn? She is kind of babyish and she stares at you all the time."

"Why would she? I don't speak to her. I don't even look at her."

"She may be lonely. I?I used to play in my head when I lived in the building. I would pretend one of the people were my friends. I never went near them it was all in my head they never knew but I would have a whole story in my head and they would be in it."

Rickie gently lifted the chin that fallen down in shame and whispered, "I am so very glad I found you so you wouldn't ever be that lonely again."

There were tears in the big blue eyes as they met green and Veba swallowed and replied, "So am I." She pulled Rickie on to her lap and hugged her tight. Then she looked at Doris and Stephanie and said, "If this person is sick in the mind then he might not keep as a game like I did. They might try to reach out and touch the person they were using in their game."

"Like me?"

"You are very nice Dory, you are pretty and smart. I see why they would pick you."

The whole thing was setting Stephanie on edge, she asked quietly, "Veba how can we fight someone like this who has taken it way too far?"

Rickie shook her head at her friend frustrating the red head even more. "Stevie we don't want to push this creep over the edge to where he or she would become dangerous. We want to be calm so we can get them?"

Stevie nodded briskly and stormed out of the room.

"Thanks for trying, Sis. It's just that she is so mad I'm afraid she will beat the crap at the next person who looks at us. I?I..tried?"

"She loves you Dory, I would be just as upset if someone was after Rickie?I am really upset but I think we have to try and be calm like Rickie said." Veba said quietly to the frightened woman gently stroking her hair while Rickie rubbed her back tenderly.

"She is trying to protect you, I understand too, I agree with her but I think that we need to take this slow. I want to break this person into pieces too. But I wouldn't be much good for you from jail though would I?" Asked Rickie with tender smile.

Doris smiled through the tears and said softly, "No you wouldn't. And think Veba would have a heart attack."

"Yes, I would?um; do you want us to talk to Stevie?"

"Um, Veba would you?"

Veba nodded.

"And Rickie could stay here and keep me company?"

"Sure Sis."

Veba bent and tenderly kissed Dory on the cheek. Then she looked at her love who she could see was fighting off tears herself. She kissed her love and then pulled back saying looking at them both, "I love all so much. You mean everything to me." Then fighting her own flood of tears she left the room.

"Rickie I thank God you found her."

"I know, so do I every hour of every day."

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

Veba stood in the doorway of Doris and Stephanie's room. The door was open and the redhead was on the bed sobbing.


Stevie looked at her friend but couldn't bring the words she wanted to say out of her mouth yet. Veba approached her like she was approaching a wild animal. Very cautious knowing she could handle what ever was to come but not wanting to provoke anything.

"I know that you are scared."

Stephanie nodded.

"You have to talk to Dory. You have to tell each other what you think and feel. It's the only way to help her and yourself."

Stephanie nodded again she smiled slightly at the wisdom that was coming from her innocent friend. "I know all that Veba. I just?well?we are?."


"Do you really think Dory loves me?"

Veba's eyes became huge in surprise at the words, "Yes I do."

"Then why won't she trust me?"

"Stevie do you think I love Rickie?"

"Of course I do."

"Do you think that I trust her?"


"Your right I love her with all my heart and soul. I trust her with my life and know she feels the same about me. There are times when my Love says that she will be calm and reasonable and then she finds that she just can't. It's like when we were at that stake out at the diner and she promised she would stay in the car with me. I knew she meant it. There is just something inside that is very protective that will make her go out and do dangerous things like that. That is why I watched her carefully and when she started to open the door I pulled her into my arms and kissed her. I did it to stop her but I love her so much I got carried away and just loved her til it was all over. I trust her completely but I also understand her and know that I have to protect her from herself."

"And that's what you did?"

Veba smiled and nodded.

"And you think that's what Dory is trying to do for me?"

Veba nodded again.

Stephanie sighed and said, "Your right. Thank you Sweetie."

Veba shrugged and blushed, "Sure."

She got up to find Doris and tell her to have an honest chat with her beloved.

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

Rickie was lying on her back her eyes closed tears falling down her cheeks unchecked.

Veba came into the room, when she saw the tears falling down her loves cheeks her heart broke into a million pieces at the sight. She went quickly to the side of the bed sitting down and pulling the crying woman into her arms. "Sweetheart, what is wrong?"

Rickie allowed herself to be cuddled and soothed. She knew she needed that right now and knew that only her Veba could give her what she so desperately needed. "Veba?"

"Yes, my love," Veba whispered pulling her love onto her lap cradling her like she was wounded. "Why are you crying, Rickie?"

"I'm so worried about Dory and Stevie?and?you never told me about that thing about pretending you had friends?I wish?I feel like?"

"Shh," Veba kissed her love on her forehead then pulled back and tenderly dried the tears. "We will help them. I?I did not think you?"


"No, no it is not that. I thought you would think it strange that I did that. I was scared you would not?"

Green eyes became huge, "You were scared I wouldn't love you anymore?"

Veba nodded closing her eyes.

"Open your eyes please," Tear-filled nervous eyes met Rickie's, "There is nothing you could do that would make me stop loving you. You are my whole life. I just wish that I could have found you sooner. You must have been so lonely to pretend to have friends?"

"That all stopped when you fell into my arms. I?you always make me feel special."

"That's because you are special I am so glad we found each other." Rickie was tenderly kissing her love along her neck down toward her chest. Veba stretched her neck out her eyes closing as she whispered back, "So..am?I?."

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

Rickie woke to find big blue eyes watching her carefully.


Veba smiled and replied softly, "Good morning, Are you better?"

Rickie nodded and gently untangled Veba's bangs. "Yes, thanks to you. Sorry I got so emotional."


"Why what?"

"Why are you sorry? Are you not allowed to be scared or worried?"

Rickie nodded, "Yes. It's just?well I have always been the strong one. The one everyone could come to with their troubles."

"I do not understand. This means you can not have worries?" Veba shook her head and settled Rickie so her head was comfortably nestled against her shoulder. "That is silly Rickie." Then she kissed her loves nose.

Rickie chuckled and cuddled even closer but keeping back enough so she could still look into the beloved blue eyes. "Yes. I know that. I love Dory but I was always the strong one. I was the one to fix everything and make it better. When you first came it was still that way. Once you started to feel confident in your decisions you didn't need that you actually handle things better then I do. You're calmer and more understanding. Now we all turn to you and I haven't completely adjusted to that yet I guess?"

"No Rickie, that is not true. We work through problems as a family. Not one of us but we all work together. I am not alone anymore. I am so happy to have people who love me and I love. I am proud to have family to love, help and protect, aren't you?"

Rickie pulled Veba closer so their lips were barely apart then she whispered, "I am glad we have you too. I am so grateful that I found you. You're the best thing that ever happened in my life. I love you so much." She kissed her love with a deep passion.

When they pulled back Veba gently caressed her loves cheek and whispered, "So we are family who works together right?"

"Yes Baby."


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

They had all just finished their history class and were heading back to the car. Veba was asking question after question as they walked across the campus.

"So we were a part of Mexico? Why are all the people who come from Mexico not apart of the United States?"

Doris was about to explain what happened when she noticed the hood of their car and stiffened. Rickie and Veba turned as one and looked to where the hazel eyes were now focused. On the hood under the windshield wiper was a pink note. Stephanie stormed over and pulled the note out from under the windshield wiper.

Both Rickie and Doris moaned in reaction to the action.

"What is wrong?" Veba asked as they walked to the car.

"There went any hope of prints."

"Can you not take Stevie's prints and eliminate them when you check for the bad persons?"

"Yes Sweetie; that's an excellent idea," said Doris softly.

"This person is nuts!" Cried Stephanie when they reached her. Doris walked past her to the car and pulled out some rubber gloves for her, Rickie and Veba.

Then she took the paper from the angry redhead.

Doris my love, don't worry I am waiting for my opportunity to take you away from that unhappy home.

It was unsigned and the words were cut from magazines. How they found enough letters in pink was what Rickie wondered when she got her turn to look it over. "I'll analyze it when we get home. I think I'll call Clark too, we need some help, Dory."

"No Rickie, Please don't call him. I don't want everyone in the bureau to know about this."

"Dory, Clark is our friend. If we ask him he will not tell everyone," said Veba softly her eyes very worried as they met Rickie's.

Rickie nodded at her wife then looked at her sister, "Veba is right Sis; He also has access to a lot of stuff we couldn't get in to. He will help us and he is our friend."

Doris closed her eyes and nodded. She walked over to Stephanie and pulled her into her arms. She whispered, "It will be ok Love, I promise."

"Damn straight it will. I will not let this loony lay one finger on you," said Stephanie hugging her tight trying to control her rage.

Veba looked at Rickie; Rickie put an arm around her waist hugging her close. Then she looked at her family and said, "Come on lets get home."

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

After they arrived home Rickie called Clark and asked if he would be able to fly to Los Angeles. He was in Las Vegas at the time and just wrapping up a case so he said he would be there the next morning.

Veba was beside Rickie at their partner's desk carefully studying the note.

"What do you think of it, Sweetheart?"

"I think that Stevie is right. This person is going to try to take Dory away from us. I am very scared for her. I think we need to?um tail her?" Big blue eyes looked into proud green unsure if she was choosing the right word.

"Yes, that is the perfect word." Said Rickie smiling, she was so proud of how Veba had learned the terms that she and Dory just used naturally for their work. "I don't think Dory will give us a problem. She is very scared. I am worried about Stevie. She could get her self arrested by beating the crap out of the mail man."

"Why would she do that?"

"If she thought he was doing anything that might harm Dory she might even just handing her the mail."

"But is that not his job?"

"Yes Baby, but that is the problem. Our Stevie is on red alert. She will be very over protective?"

"More over protective than you?"

"Yes, actually much more."

"Oh boy, that is scary."

Rickie smiled for the first time since they got the note. "Are you teasing me?"

Veba smiled shyly back and nodded, "Yes. At least I got you to smile. I am scared for our family too but at least Clark will be here soon. That will help, will it not?"

"Yes Love. He does know his job."

Veba nodded. She looked back at the letter. She had on rubber gloves so she wouldn't damage it. The only finger prints were Stevie's and they hoped the person who was doing this. Rickie took finger prints and put it carefully under glass so Dory could look at it when she got up and Clark could examine them as well.

"Do you see anything that might help, Baby?"

"The paper is sort of like the note on Dory's computer. It is the same type of person that picked this out. It is all pink at this part?"

"The insert?"

"Yes, the insert is lacy. All the letters are loopy and fancy. It is very carefully done. I wonder if there will be any finger prints at all. This is not a stupid person."

"You think it might be wiped clean?"

"Yes, it is very neat. Um, Love?we take a different car every week. How did they know that was our car?"

Green eyes widened as she realized the truth of that. Stephanie had decided to try out all the cars that Veba's family owned so they drove a new one every week. "Shit! Your right. How could they know that unless?"

"They are watching us?"

"They know our schedule?but how could they?shit!"

"They must have broken into the school files, Rickie."

"Terrific! That means he could find us. Are we locked in for the night?"

Of course Darling, we do that automatically." Blue eyes suddenly widened. "Rickie could they get into our phone and computer?"

"No, they would have to break in to do that or at least have a truck out side. I'll have Clark check in here and have him sweep the area to be sure we're clean. I'll also have Dory run our computer system in the morning to make sure there are no little spies in our programming."

"I'll go check the house," said Veba softly as she got up took off the gloves. Then she tenderly kissed her wife before she left the room to make sure the family was safe for the night.

"This is getting too damn scary," Rickie said to herself when she was alone waiting for Clark to answer his cell.

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

Clark knocked on the door to be met by very sleepy grumpy green eyes. He smiled brightly and said, "Hi ya, String bean."

"Put a cork in it old man, I am not in the mood right now," said Rickie as she led her friend to the office down the hall.

"Well if you yawn that big I'd say you had no sleep last night, right?"


"No sleep or a sense of humor makes Rickie a dull girl."

"Shut up!" Said Rickie as she entered the office and headed right to her wife.

Veba was watching in fascination as Doris used scans of Stephanie's finger prints to eliminate them and leave only the stalker. She pulled her love into her arms and smiled sweetly at the FBI agent, "Hi Clark."

"Morning Tiger, See Rick your wife knows how to be pleasant in the morning."

"I said shut up!" growled the blonde as she was pulled onto Veba's lap and cuddled close. She felt a soft kiss on the crown of her head she nuzzled her head on her loves warm shoulder.

"Tiger, I think you need to put her to bed."

Big blue eyes sparkled as they met amused hazel eyes, "Oh yes I will, I want to see you work with Dory first."


"I want to watch you do your stuff."

"Why don't you just tuck her into bed and then come back here."

"We don't like going to bed with out each other?"

"That is too much information, Darling," Whispered Rickie.

"Oh?" She shrugged her shoulders kissed Rickie on the nose which made the smaller woman smile and wiggle so she was even closer.

Clark chuckled as he pulled out his laptop and got to work.

Dory asked, "Did you get anything from the scans you ran outside?"

"Yes. It was all negative. No bugs out there that we can detect. Did you check your phone and computer?"

"Yep, thanks to all the nice shiny equip you sent us. Its all clear."

"No problem my friend ok let's see what nutso is doing here."

"I have a partial print."

"That may be enough," said Clark with a smile.

"Would you stop stalling and do it!" growled the sleepy blonde.

"Your wife is really polite, Tiger."

Veba nuzzled her cheek against Rickie's and stroked her hair as she replied, "She is just sleepy. She will be fine. What are you going to do with that?"

"I am going to down load your partial print into the FBI files and see what pops out. Even if it's only a security scan for a job"

"Oh? I did not know people did that."

"Anyone who works for the Government. Both Rickie and I have one," said Dory smiling at her curious sister-in-law.

"But why?"

"Because we work for the government a lot."

"Oh? Would you need to do one for me?"

"Not yet Tiger. Not unless you do some work for the government directly. You haven't yet so it's not needed."

"Oh? Ok," Veba shrugged as the files blinked on and off the screen and picture focused.

"Do you know that person, Dory?" asked Veba quietly.

Doris shook her head.

"Love?" Veba asked Rickie softly.

Sleepy green eyes blinked open. She was still leaning her head against Veba's strong shoulder. Her very blearily eyes focused and Rickie said, "No I don't know him either."

Doris was still studying the pic carefully, "He does look sort of familiar but I don't know from where. Do you think it's a red herring?"

"Could be, I'm printing his file."

Veba pulled off one copy for her and Rickie to read while Clark read the second one with Doris. Veba was very alert and read the information fastest.

"Clark, this man in is a very bad person. He has done a lot of stuff."

Rickie nodded, "He's a terrorist, I think you should call in a team"

Dory shivered as he met her sister and sister-in-law's eyes and then she looked at Clark. "Do it."

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

Clark had left and everyone was fast asleep when the peace of the house was disturbed by loud a piercing scream.

Veba and Rickie jumped out of bed and ran down the hall to Doris and Stephanie's room. Doris was sitting up still screaming her eyes open and glazed with pure fear. Stephanie had pulled her into her arms and was trying to ease her back into the here and now.

Slowly Doris calmed down and lowered her head onto her love's shoulder. Stephanie kissed the crown of her head as she rocked them both back and forth in a soothing motion.

Panting Doris whispered, "Sorry."

Veba and Rickie came to the side of their bed. Veba tenderly took her friends hand and stroked it. Rickie skidded back and gently rubbed her sister's back.

"No need to say sorry, Dory."

"Veba is right, Sis. You have every right to be scared.

"I've never reacted like this to danger before.'

Rickie met Stephanie's eyes and slightly shook her head. "Dory, you've never been a target before."

"I know but we all need our sleep?maybe I should sleep in the living room?"

"No way!" Stephanie said angrily. "This nut is not going to drive you from our bed. I can deal with the nightmares."

"Stevie is right Dory, You are allowed to have nightmares?" Veba looked into understanding green eyes, Rickie smiled sweetly and nodded encouraging Veba to continue. Veba took a deep breath and then looked at her sister-in-law with eyes full of the purest understanding.

"When I first met you and Rickie I had nightmares every night. I never screamed?.I just got out of bed curled in corner and cried until I was over the fear that haunted me. You see I did not want to wake my love I was worried she would think that I was weak. When Rickie found me a few days after I moved in here with you, I told her what I was hiding and why so she insisted we that have a long talk."

Doris was surprised she never knew about that. "What were they about?"

"My stepfather hurting you and my Rickie."

"You're kidding?"

Veba shrugged and looked at her wife lovingly. Rickie put an arm around her and kissed her cheek tenderly. "No she's not; they went on for quite a while."

"What happened," Asked Doris shocked by the whole story.

"After a month and half of cuddling and talking out her fears they seemed to ease away. After a while they stopped." Said Rickie then she tenderly kissed Veba on the nose making her smile. Then Rickie looked at her sister and asked, "So?"

A very tiny smile came to Doris's face which made a flicker of a shadow of one flashed across Stephanie's. "What?"

"Come on Sis, talk."

Doris looked at her love and then she smiled at her sister, "You are a pain in my ass."

Rickie chuckled, and put her head on Veba's shoulder, "Yep, ain't I lucky everyone loves me despite my many flaws?"

"I think your flaws are beautiful," whispered Veba softly and kissing her cheek.

"That's cause you love me."

"Very, very true," purred Veba as she licked the rim of her loves ear.

Doris's expression had gone from terrified to amusingly annoyed, "Hey, excuse me you two, my problem?"

Rickie playfully snapped her fingers, "Oh yeah that's why were all on your bed I thought we were having a pajama party."

All four women laughed relieving some of the tension. "So Sis?"

Doris swallowed then replied softly, "I was walking alone on the campus at the school. I'm looking for all of you. I can't find you?I get very desperate as I keep trying to find you. I walk toward the parking lot and find someone standing by my car. I am there but the person disappeared?then suddenly there are cold hands around my throat?then I woke up in a cold sweat screaming my head off?" Doris closed her eyes tears gently falling down her cheeks as she shivered in memory.

"Did he look like that man in the file?"

"No Sweetie. They had no face at all. It was just this scary figure."

"How long have you been having them?" asked Veba reading the hidden meaning behind the shy hazel eyes.

Doris looked down at her hands and whispered, "A week."

"A week?" Why didn't you say anything?" Asked Stephanie shocked and even more upset.

"I didn't want to worry you, Love."

"I was already worried."

"Well, worry you more then?"


"Steph, I?"

"Come on you two lets stop worrying about who did what in the past and concentrate on now please. You can have a talk after we all go back to bed." Said Rickie trying to defuse the fight before it got out of hand.

"We sure as hell will won't we?" asked Stephanie pointedly.

Dory nodded mutely.

Veba was observing Dory her head tilted, "Dory were you this nervous before we found that note?"

"I was upset by the computer thing, but no, I didn't have this kind of feeling of danger. Why?"

"Do you think there is a connection between finding the note and the nightmares?"

Doris blinked. "Um, yeah I think that's it? do you think I foresaw this?"



"Oh? Yes, I think that is possible. It is strange that your nightmare is in the parking lot and that is where we found the note."

Rickie looked at her wife and asked softly, "What are you thinking about?"

"Maybe we should focus on that parking lot in our plans against this person."

*** *** ****

Rickie kissed Veba passionately as soon as they got into bed. Then she kissed her way lovingly down the long beautiful neck. Veba just lay back her eyes closed pulling her love closer, basking in the love.

"Hmmm, Rickie?"

"You are sooooo goooood?."


"Mmm, very," purred Rickie as she continued to devour the beautiful body below her. She had just reached a beautiful breast when the phone rang. Rickie pulled back glaring at it with deadly intent. "I am going to kill him!"

Veba smiled and gently traced her loves angry mouth. "No, you won't."

Rickie smiled back and said softly staring deeply into Veba's eyes, "How about just breaking his damn arm?"

Veba merely chuckled as she reached over picked up the receiver and handed it to her wife. Rickie took it leaning her head on Veba's warm shoulder as she growled, "This had better be damn good!"

"Oooh, Did I interrupt something?"


"Well Veba loves you so she will just have to get used to it, huh? Sandy is so good that she gets out of bed while I'm still on the phone and she starts packing my bag."

"I never, ever want my baby to have to get use to something like that. And with us Clark it would be our bags."

"Sandy would like that too but we have kids. Anyway Veba puts up with all your moods that almost makes her a saint."


"Ok, ok," She could hear him chuckle, "I'm just saying that I think she's a great wife."

"Yes she is, so what the hell are you bothering us with in the middle of the God damned night for?" She could feel Veba tenderly running her fingers through her hair calming her. She could also feel a tender kisses against the top of her head. She closed her eyes just wallowing in the love as she listened to voice on the other end of the phone laugh and say, "Touchy, touchy you went to bed early if I recall, unless of course?"

"It's 2am!"

"You went to bed at 7pm."

"Give me a break will you? I haven't slept in two days and Dory woke up screaming tonight from a nightmare. I am not a happy person so what the hell are you calling about?"

Ignoring the sarcasm in a really concerned voice for the first time Clark asked, "Is Dory ok?"

"No. Not really. We calmed her down and got her back to sleep and we were just settling in again. We have got to find this guy Clark."

"I did and we have a problem."


"He's in jail in Mexico for assault and attempted murder. He will be there for a long, long time."

"Mexico! Could he have?"

"No, no computer. And he doesn't have that kind of skill anyway. We will have to start from scratch. I'll bring the Starbucks."

"Double extra strong for me and Tea for my Veba she doesn't really like coffee."

"Gotcha, see you all in a few."

Rickie hung up and pulled back to looked into concerned blue eyes. "What did he say?"

"They faked the prints on the note. The perp is in jail in Mexico for life and does not have a computer or the skills to pull all this off. Shit, What a mess!"

"So what are we going to do?" She pulled Rickie into a cuddle tenderly rubbing her loves back trying to ease the stress a bit.

"Clark is going to come over to start all over again from scratch with nothing but that damn cryptic message." She laid her head on Veba's shoulder and just soaked in the love; it soothed her like nothing else could. "By the way you're a saint."

"What am I?"

"It means you're so good you're almost an angel. It's from the Catholic religion I don't know much about it really."

"Rickie I am not anything like that. You know that. All I want to do is be a good wife to you?"

"You're a great wife. Clark was just teasing. He thinks you have a lot of patience to deal so easily with me."

"Do I?"

"Yes, I think your very patient with me."

"Hmm, thank you. I love you deeply and I do understand you so if that means I am patient I guess that is fine. I am not an angel though. I am just Veba."

"Sweetheart just Veba is just perfect for me."

"That is good because you are perfect for me too."

"Thank you my love," whispered Rickie before she kissed her love deeply and pulled her very, very close.

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

Clark knocked at the door holding a large Starbucks bag. Veba answered wearing one of her many collectable t-shirts over a pair of jean shorts. She had her hair pulled back in pigtails and she was barefooted. Clark smiled at his friend, greeting her with the now familiar, "Hi Tiger."

Veba with her hands on her hips and shaking her head replied, "I am not a saint, Clark."

"Um, I didn't say you were; I just said you were damn close to one though for putting up with all Rick's moods."

"Well I am not close either. I love Rickie. I understand her and her moods. That does not make me near an angel."

"Believe me Veba, to understand someone as complicated as Rickie you have to be very special. Can you accept that?"

Veba bit her bottom lip and shrugged, "I guess so. Come in. Rickie says you better have remembered to bring the coffee."

Holding up the large bag he replied, "I did. I brought brownies too. Am I forgiven?"

Veba's eyes lit up and she smiled brightly. "Yes. Thank you Clark; I love brownies." She took the large bag and kissed his cheek then she disappeared down the hallway.

Clark blushed and whistled. "Wow! Rickie you are so damn lucky."

Clark came into the living room. He smiled at the sleepy blonde on the couch. Veba came bustling out of the kitchen with plates and napkins. Neatly centered on each plate were brownies for each of them. Watching the tall woman lick her licks he suspected that she had gobbled one up while she was getting the plates.

Clark pulled the tea out of the bag and handed it to Veba. Veba accepted it with a sweet smile, "Thank you, Clark."

"Taste it."

Veba tilted her head and looked at Rickie. Rickie chuckled at the confused expression and said softly, "Go ahead Sweetie; you know he wouldn't hurt you."

"I never even thought of that but he looks so?um?"

Clark rolled his eyes "Taste it. Trust me."

Veba shrugged and tasted it. Her eyes widened and she moaned in pleasure. "Mmm, this is so good! What is it, Clark?"

"Raspberry, boysenberry with touch of vanilla it's a special blend. I knew that you would love it," said Clark with pleased smile.

Veba handed the cup to Rickie so she could taste it. "This is really wonderful. This is a Starbucks blend?"

"Um, sort of. There is a kid at the one here who blends his own. He is always giving me new concoctions when I come in."

"Well this is very, very good. Tell him thank you please," said Veba as she happily ate her brownie already taking more out of the bag."

"I will and you're very welcome. Hey take it easy on that Tiger; we need you; we don't want you to get sick."

"Why do you need me?"

"I have 27 files in my car."

"27?" asked Rickie confused. She was shaking her head as she watched Veba eating her third brownie.

"Yes, your class including the professor, minus of course you three."

"Why do need me?"

Veba was grabbing for the bag again when quick little hands took it away from her.


"You have had enough."

"But I love them."

"I know, but you're going to get an upset tummy."

"Why are you both saying that? I do not get sick from brownies."

"They're pure sugar, Tiger. That's not good for you."

"We care, that's all love."

"But why do you think I'll get sick?" asked Veba as she licked her fingers trying to get every bit of brownie she could.

Rickie laughed and took the bag of brownies into the kitchen. When she came back she found her wife pouting on the couch and one very amused FBI agent.

"Stop that. I promise you will get more tomorrow."

Veba nodded her mouth still in very adorable pout.

Rickie shook her head, "Clark would you excuse us for a couple?"

"Sure," said the agent as he watched Rickie pull Veba into the kitchen. Rickie closed the door and pulled the tall woman into her arms kissing her passionately. When they pulled out of the kiss Veba was now smiling happily again. Rickie smiled back and cupped her cheeks saying softly, "That's better."

"What is?" asked Veba as she tenderly kissed her love on her forehead.

"I like to see a smile there much better then a pout."

Veba shrugged and bit her lip, "I just love brownies a lot."

"I know and I do too. I just prefer that you limit it so you don't get sick."

"I didn't the last time."

"Um Sweetie, remember you trotting back and forth to the bathroom all night the last time."

"Oh? Yes, I do remember that."

"You can have some more tomorrow, ok?"

"Yep," Veba licked Rickie's nose then pulled the smiling lips to her and kissed her passionately again.

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

Veba and Rickie came back into the living room all smiles. Clark smiled in pure reaction, shaking his head saying, "Everything back to normal?"


"You know, happily ever after?"

Veba looked surprised. She shook her head and sat down on the love seat replying softly, "No, we are not happy. We are very worried about Dory."

Clark nodded, "Yes, I know. I am too. Ok, I will get the files and we will get to work."

"Thanks Clark," Said Rickie with soft smile as she handed Veba her tea and picked up her large coffee.

"Don't drink all of it I brought enough for everyone, not just one cranky detective."

"No worries, one of these is more than enough."

"Well as long as you think so. That's a bit different than it used to be but very nice." He chuckled and left the room.

"What was that about, Rickie?"

"He was teasing me, ignore him."

"What was he teasing you about? I do not understand."

"He means that about women. We use to joke one was not enough. Then he fell in love with Sandy and became devoted to her only. I use to tease him pretty mercilessly." Rickie looked up into confused blue eyes and then quickly looked at her coffee cup as she continued. "I fell for you and I guess he is getting back at me."

"We're there many others?"

"No Love. Hardly any. Remember what I told you about that before? I am a pain in the ass."

Veba put her cup down and tilted her head looking deeply into beloved green eyes. She tenderly caressed Rickie's leg as she said softly, "I love your ass. I love every part of you. There must have been many before me who loved you?"

"No, I never loved anyone before I fell in love with you."

"But you're so adorable, lovable, and perfect. There must have been others?"

"No," Rickie looked right back into deep loving gaze and honestly replied, "I only loved you. If you're asking me if I had sex before we met the answer is yes. If you're asking if I loved them, then I'd have to say no."

"Um?Why did you have sex if you didn't love?"

"It's hard to explain. You know how you enjoy your brownies and it feels good to eat them. You're not in love with the brownie your just enjoying your self."

"Rickie a brownie is not a person."

"I know that but?"

"Am I interrupting something?" asked Clark as he came back in the door with large box of files.

"Yes. Thanks old buddy your stupid comment opened a can of worms!" replied Rickie angrily to her old friend.

"Oh? Do you want me to go out back til you're done?"

Looking into upset and confused blue eyes Rickie nodded. Clark looked worried, he nodded put down the box and left them alone.

Rickie gently cupped Veba's cheeks and said, "Ok, when I was young I was kind of head strong and crazy?"

"That has not changed?"

"Thanks Sweetheart. That is very perceptive of you to notice that." She tenderly kissed Veba and the rubbed noses with her. Then she took a deep breath and said, "I want you to know that I was an idiot and that I never knew what it was all about until I made love with you for the first time."

Veba nodded and she put her cheek against the soft red one saying softly, "I know that. I just do not understand how these other people did not love you?"

"I don't care! I finally found you and you made my life wonderful. I guess I was just experimenting and so were they. I never knew what it was really like til I made love with you. I have never felt so special, loved and happy until then."

"I am sorry. I still do not understand. How can you have sex and not love that person? Maybe it is because I only have made love to you but do you?can you feel like we do if you do not love?"

"No! It is impossible. There is a certain pleasure in the simple act but difference is as deep as the ocean."

"Do you? Would you??"


"Want to do something like that now?"

Green eyes were now very alarmed, "No, never, ever!"

"But what if you become bored with me?"

"Impossible. I could never be bored with you. How could I be? Your sexiest most adorable person on the planet?"

"I do not know much?"

Rickie hugged her love very close, "Believe me my darling; what you know has made me very, very happy. I will never be bored with you and I will never stray. I have no reason. You are more than enough for me. I am so very lucky."

"I am lucky," said Veba softly kissing Rickie all over her tear-stained face.

"Were lucky." Rickie kissed her love passionately and was not about to let her go til she was sure that her love understood fully what she had just explained to her. Her action being more convincing then words.

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

Five exhausted people were lying around the living room. There were Coke cans and pizza boxes scattered around the room a pile of folders by each bleary eyed person.

The most alert eyes were pale blue; she was eating cold pizza and writing detailed notes on each folder in her stack.

Dory looked at her sister-in-law in pure awe, "Sweetie, don't your eyes hurt you?"

Veba looked up from the file she was working on and replied, "A little, but it is my neck that really hurts." She said as she lowered her head and rubbed her neck briskly.

"I'll help you with that," Rickie said with a tired soft smile, crawling over to her wife. She sat behind her and said, "Scoot up so your head is in my lap."

"Ok," Veba turned onto her stomach and crawled over to Rickie. She cradled her head on Rickie's thigh. Rickie tenderly moved Veba's long beautiful hair to one side and kissed the long elegant neck. When she heard the delighted squeak she smiled and started a gentle rub down.

After a few minutes of moaning in pure relief, Veba curled up in a ball and fell deeply asleep. Rickie smiled and gently kissed her loves head. Clark chuckled as he went on with the file he was reading.

Stephanie looked at Dory patting her lap with a sweet smile. With in seconds the very tired blonde fell into a deep sleep as well.

Rickie smiled at Stephanie and gave her a wink. Stephanie smiled back as she tenderly stroked the curly blonde hair.

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

Going through the notes on the files Clark found the only one who really had instinct for finding the stalker was Veba. The tall brunette was sleeping peacefully with her head cradled on Rickie's lap. Rickie was sleeping too her head pillowed against the cushion on the couch behind her.

Stephanie and Doris were curled around each other also deeply asleep.

Clark smiled as he took a sip of his cold coffee and whispered, "If I knew this was going to be a pajama party I would have invited my Sandy."

Sleepy blue eyes blinked open and Veba smiled at Clark, "Hi."

"Do you feel better, Tiger?"

Veba smirked and nodded. "You are not going to stop calling me that are you?" She whispered as she sat up and stretched.

"Nope, no more than I will stop calling your wife, Stringbean."

Noticing the uncomfortable position Rickie was in Veba pulled the sleeping blonde in her arms and cradled her close nuzzling her cheek against the pretty blonde hair.

Clark smiled and whispered back, "You are so sweet the way you take care of each other. You know it's really beautiful to watch for an old cynic like me.

Veba tilted her head, "Do you love Sandy like I love my Rickie?"

Yes, I think I do. My wife and kids are my whole life."

"Yes, Rickie told me that. What is it like to have kids?"

"A wonderful pain in the ass."

Veba chuckled softly and shook her head, "No Clark, I am serious."

"What do you want to know?"

Veba was tenderly running her fingers through her loves tangled hair; she shrugged and didn't meet his eyes.

"Would you like to have a baby?"

"I don't know how?I love children. I like to play with them and talk to them. It is really interesting to watch their mother take care of them?Rickie says I am fascinated because I get to hand them back."

Clark laughed silently and shook his head, "Yep, I can just hear her saying that. The most important days in our lives were when each child was born. It was spiritual. We were very happy together before but nothing compares to the first time you look at your child and hold him or her in your arms. They are our joy but they are also a collective pain the butt. I am always scrambling to keep up with them, helping them, cuddling them when they're scared. Guiding them to make the right decision while trying not to make it for them. I wouldn't trade it for all the money in the world and I know Sandy wouldn't either."

"Hmmm, I see. Yes, I would like a baby but?"

"Why didn't you say anything?" rumbled a familiar voice from Veba's lap.

Veba looked down startled by the sleepy grumble from her lap. "Rickie. I thought you were asleep. We were whispering."

"Yes, you were love but I have excellent hearing. I heard most of your conversation. You want to have a baby? Really?"

Veba looked into the pretty green eyes, "Yes, I would. I'd love any child but if they looked like us it would be even more special to me. Is that wrong?"

"No Sweetheart. How could such a loving thought be wrong? It's just a huge responsibility and I want to discuss it with you when I'm more than half awake. What would you like?"

"I love kids but we do need to discuss it when I'm not half dead. Please?"

Veba nodded and kissed her on the nose. "Ok."

Rickie pulled her back and gave her love a proper good morning kiss. Then she looked at Clark and said, "So what did you find out?"

"That Veba is a great profiler her picks are dead on."

"So we will be ready to go over the profiles in the morning?"


"Want to sleep in the guest room?"

"I don't have to; I can sleep on the couch. It's not a big?"

"Stop rambling Clark and answer the question."

"Yes, I would like that."

"Ok, Veba help me up and we'll tuck Clark in and go to bed.

"What about Dory and Stevie, Rickie?" asked Veba gazing at them sleeping snuggled together with a fond expression.

Rickie looked at them and smirked, "They look comfortable leave them alone." Veba stood up and brought Rickie with her cuddled close. Then she gently placed her on her feet an arm going protectively around the smaller woman's waist.

"Come on Dorothy we'll take you to The Land of Oz."

"I'd rather be the Cowardly Lion after he got his courage," said Clark with a tired smile.

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

Veba woke up curled around Rickie. She brought her head against the nice soft hair and thought about the conversation she had the night before.

It would be nice to have a baby or even a couple of them. But what would My Rickie think? Like last night, we could not have done something like that with a baby in the house, could we?

"Hmm, maybe we should start with a puppy?" She whispered to herself not even aware she had said it out loud.


Veba opened her eyes and looked down into very alert green ones. "Did I say that out loud?"

"Yep," Rickie replied as she gently pushed some hair out of the beautiful blue eyes. "What about a puppy?"

"I was thinking how difficult a baby would be for us to raise. Maybe we should start with a puppy and see how we do."

"You are so cute." Rickie pulled Veba to her kissing her deeply. Then she pulled back and rubbed noses with her now purring wife, "Sure, we can start with a puppy. If you want to have a chat about a baby, we still can still do that too."



"Um, after we are all done helping Dory I would like to talk about a baby. Um?Rickie can really get a puppy? soon?"

"Sure Love, we will get it today, ok?"

"But would it not interfere with our helping Dory?"


"I'll?want to?um, play with the new puppy and cuddle it and?"When the shy blue eyes met the affectionate green Rickie could see that she wanted the little puppy right now.

"Well discuss it with the family over breakfast. After Dory is safe we'll have a nice long talk about our baby too. Ok?"

Veba kissed Rickie with a deep happy passion. Then when she pulled back unsure eyes looked down at her and said softly, "Sweetheart, you do not have to."

"Darling I want to."

"You are so good to me, My Love. Clark says it is sweet that we love each other and are so good to each other. I do not understand that. Does not everyone who loves their mate treat them well?"

"Yes, in they're own way. Everyone has their own idea of what loving treatment is?"

"I do not understand that at all. All I want to do is love you. To hold you, kiss you; make you feel better when you are hurting. I?Why would people not want do that for each other?"

"Darling your heart is so big you wouldn't know how not to treat others well. There are people out there who don't understand that. They wouldn't dream what it would be like to be on the receiving end of your love. And they certainly wouldn't know how to bestow it."

Blue eyes blinked as Veba took in what Rickie had just explained to her. "But that is terrible. Everyone should love like our family does."

Rickie cupped Veba's cheeks and looked deeply into the misty blue eyes. "Yes they should. Come here and demonstrate it for me."

Veba's eyes sparkled as she moved close to her love whispering, "Ok."

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

There was a lively discussion that morning over pancakes made by Clark about the possible new addition to the family. Everyone loved the idea. They didn't have class for a couple of days so they wanted to all go and find the puppy that day.

"What kind of puppy would you like, Veba?"

"I love all of them. It will be very hard to pick just one."

Rickie smirked, "One is ok my Darling, not ten."

Veba laughed and replied, "How about one hundred?"

"I knew I shouldn't have gotten you that Disney movie for your birthday," said Dory with a wide grin.

Veba had bright smile and said, "Would that not be fun!"

"No Love, it wouldn't. I love animals. They are very cute and lovable. One is more than enough though. Wait until you see all the work that will go into that one puppy."

Veba's expression seemed to fall right before their eyes; she looked sadly at Rickie and said softly in an emotional voice that broke Rickie's heart, "If you do not want one?"

"No Baby that is not what I meant. I do want a puppy. I just want you to understand that its not all playtime. A puppy is a responsibility."

Veba was pouting. She bent her head and was playing with her napkin not looking at her love. Rickie shook her head and gently tilted the chin up til the blue eyes met her own. She gently traced the mouth and said, "Stop that. I do want a puppy too. I think we will have fun playing with it. I just have had many pets and I know how much work they are."

"Ok, Rickie," Veba replied with slight smile.

"Veba think of it as one tenth the trouble that Rickie is. That's what a puppy is like." Clark said smiling. He thought they would be great with a puppy and wonderful parents too.

Veba chuckled and replied, "She is not trouble, she is the love of my life."

"Sweetheart, I know I am trouble. At least the old man made you smile."

"Hey! I'm only two years older than you."

"That's two years to tease you about."

"Ok, I'd say that is a tie. Shall we retire to the living room and look at my brilliant sister-in-law's findings?" said Dory with a sweet smile.

"My findings?"

Stevie nodded as she sipped her coffee watching Veba devour a pancake with a determined expression. "Yep, Clark said your notes were very clear and you were dead on."

Veba's eyebrows shot up and she looked at Clark startled.

"You want a job?

"No thank you Clark, I like helping my Rickie and Dory with their work." Said Veba politely and then she drained her orange juice. Putting down the glass and looking around the table for more.

"What are you trying to do Clark? Steal my wife?"

"Nope, just get a little help for my unit."

"I will always help you because you are our friend but I do not want a job with the FBI."

"Fair enough. Shall we?" He gestured toward the door and family left the kitchen to see the results of Veba intensive search.

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

Clark held the three folders in his hand explaining why he thought Veba's choices were right on the mark.

"You have a great insight Veba; you seem to be able to at glance at a file and be able to read a person's character. It is a great gift."

Veba shrugged. She and Rickie were on a large chair snuggled together. She had Rickie on her lap she was running her fingers tenderly through her soft blonde hair. "I just looked at what was in the file and wrote what I felt."

"Yeah, I know Tiger. You do it very well. Let's take this guy Jack. He is a computer salesman. He is over-friendly and boisterous. Rickie thinks he's very strange. Most people in class avoid him because he talks about nothing non-stop. He is very dull and boring. Veba wrote, "Very lonely man. He is trying to make friends but does not know how. He could fantasize about people in class as friends. He works with computers so he might be the one." Very direct and too the point yet compassionate. You're so damn astute, Veba."

"Astute?" Asked Veba not sure of the word.

"It just means that you're very sharp, Sweetheart." Rickie explained very proud of the beautiful woman.

Veba shrugged again, "I just wrote what I felt." She reached over to sip some juice and then gently held the glass to Rickie's lips who gratefully took a sip.

Clark winked at Veba causing her to blush and hider her face in Rickie's hair. Rickie gently rubbed her arm. "Clark."

"Right, back to work. Ok, I think this guy is a hot suspect. Number two is Rickie's pick as well. Her name is Dawn, she is a computer analyst. She has several web pages devoted to soap actors whose lives she follows like she is a part of them. Veba wrote,
"According to Rickie she dresses like a little girl. She talks the same way. Her voice is very high and hard deal with. She stares at Dory a lot. I think she could be the one; because she seems to be like the type of person who would send that note and the computer thing."

Clark smirked and turned to another page of the file, "Rickie said, "This bitch has been obsessed with my sister from day one of the class.""

"I like to get to the point quickly," Rickie replied with a wicked smile.

"Yes, we all know that. Last but not least is this file. It's a long shot. This is a quiet man. He doesn't talk in class. He works in an IT maintenance department at a major company so he really knows his way around computers. Veba wrote, "This man could also be the one. He may be using all the baby stuff so we don't know it. He is very smart and I think very lonely. He may be using Dory as a game in his head." Stevie seems to agree with Veba."

"So what are we going to do?" Veba asked Clark quietly.

"We will put together a team to watch Dory here and school."

"And in the meantime?" Asked Dory.

"We get Veba her puppy." Said Clark with a sweet smile.

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

The family and Clark arrived at the pound. It was decided that just Veba and Rickie should go in while the rest waited out in the lobby waiting for them to make their choice.

The first dog Veba saw was a Great Dane puppy. The big puppy looked at Veba with big sweet eyes happily panting.

"Oh?" cooed Veba.

"No Love?"

"Aw Rickie?"

"He's too big."


"Please Veba?"

Veba scuffed her toe but said softly, "Ok."

The next one was a bunch of poodles. They were standing on their hind legs yapping. Veba thought they were cute but didn't really feel the pull she had with the Great Dane. The German Shepard was fast asleep. Veba could see that he was too big though she thought he was beautiful.

Above him was a bunch of playful kittens. Veba's face lit up, "Rickie?"

"If you get a kitten we can't get a puppy. They would have to get along so it would depend on both their temperaments. I don't think I have the patience for that right now."


"Their personalities."

"Oh? They are so cute."

"I know Sweetheart. Do you want a kitten instead?"

Veba stuck her finger inside and her face lit up as one of the kittens licked her finger. "This one likes me."

Rickie chuckled, "I'm sure the kitten adores you but they also love your salt."

"What salt?" Asked Veba as she petted the cute kitten.

"You have natural salt in your body. If you want it we can get the kitten."

Veba was torn. She studied the cute little kitten. She scratched it's tiny ear and was delighted as the back leg came up trying to scratch the scratch. She loved the playful little one but she really wanted a puppy. She looked at the man who worked there and asked softly, "Can I think about it and still get this one later?"

Use to this from patrons to his shelter he nodded and said, "Sure would you like to see more?"

Veba nodded and followed him. Rickie walked beside him noticing the empty cages she asked. "Those were adopted weren't they?"

"We work with a humane group, if they are not adopted by their termination date they take the lot and get good homes for them. "

Rickie smiled, "I like that. That is unusual though isn't it?"

"Yes, the head of our shelter is married to lady who runs the humane group. Everyone is happy and they all get a good home."

"That's better than the alternative."


Veba had gotten ahead of them and was transfixed by some puppies in an open pen. There were five cocker spaniel puppies. They were all playing with each other. A black one was chasing a white one. The white one jumped over a brown one that was washing itself. A gray one was trying to swat its black and white siblings. A charcoal gray one with white stripes was sleeping the corner.

Suddenly the black one noticed Veba and left her siblings. She just walked right up to her and put both paws on the glass that protected her in the pen.

Veba's face was full of love as she looked into the big brown eyes. She turned to the man and asked, "May I hold this one, please?"

The man smiled brightly and said, "Sure." He walked over picked up the black pup and put it gently into Veba's arms. Veba immediately cuddled the little girl close and laughed as she licked her on the chin. Its tiny paws trying madly to climb up her chest.

Rickie was all smiles too. Veba had chosen the newest member of their family. "Looks like we adopted our newest addition huh?"

Veba nodded, she couldn't speak because the puppy was licking her all over her face.

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

After a trip to Petco for supplies the family arrived home with its newest addition cuddled in Veba's arms. She was followed by Rickie who carried the carrier. Doris who carried a very cute doggie bed with blue pillows to match the new mommy's eyes.

Stephanie followed with a bag carrying bowl with a double bowl, leash and collar. Clark was at the end of the line with a large bag of puppy chow. He put the bag on the floor closing the door behind him. He smiled as he watched Veba talking to the puppy, very excited as she took her down the hall to their bedroom.

Rickie put the carrier down and collapsed on the couch. Doris followed Veba with a huge smile on her face. Stephanie and Clark went into the kitchen with the supplies and then Stephanie came back in and asked Rickie, "What do you want me to do with these?"

Rickie looked at the collar and leash, then she sighed and said, "Put it down for now. I can't see myself trying to get it on her neck tonight."

Doris came out of the hallway all smiles. "I think your going to have a third body in your bed tonight."

"Not if I can help it."

"Veba is just so cute. She is giving the little girl a tour of the house, now she explaining everything in your room to her."

"Did little Lari reply?"

"She licked her face a lot."

Rickie chuckled, "I think I have a rival for her affections now."

"Yep, she is a child to Veba so all her motherly instincts are coming out. I think it's beautiful," said Clark with wide smile.

"Believe me Clark, I love the little pooch. Just seeing how happy she is making my Baby fills me with joy."

"Yeah I could tell. You two were acting like new parents at Petco."

"We are," said Rickie with wink as she got up and stretched. Then she went toward her room to try and convince her love that little Lari would be just fine in her new bed.

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

Veba was on her back with her head raised on a two pillows. The little black puppy was curled in a ball on her stomach fast asleep.

"Did she enjoy the tour?"

Veba's smiled brightly and nodded, "Oh yes, I think she did. She is very tired though. Does she have to sleep in her new bed tonight? It's her first night."

Rickie smiled sweetly and said, "I know that, Darling. I have two excellent reasons why she should sleep in her own bed though. First, she is a baby and I don't think either of us wants to roll over onto accident."

"Oh? I did not think of that."

"Second, considering the way we both twist and turn all night we might squish the poor little thing."

Veba nodded and bent down so she could kiss the puppy on the head. "You are right of course, Love. I just adore her already. I do not want to let her go even to put her to bed."

"I know, so do I. She is already a well loved puppy. It's just that I know some of the drawbacks to having a pet. They are a lot of fun but little Lari is not perfect she will have accidents."

"Yes, I do understand. What do we do?"

"Can you gently put her in her bed so we can set up the room for her?"

Veba nodded, she gently put the puppy in the puppy bed then she got up and walked to her wife. "What would you like me to do first?"

Rickie chuckled, "Wash your face and brush your teeth."


Rickie tilted her head, "Puppy drool."

Veba laughed and said, "Oh? Ok, I see what you mean." She shook her head and walked into the bathroom.

Rickie laughed too and took the stack of papers to start to puppy proof their bedroom. Most of the papers went by the puppy bed which was on Veba's side so she could be close to her new baby. Rickie put a stack by the bathroom door. Then scooped up the puppy and sat on the edge of the bed with it cuddled in her lap. The puppy looked up with sleepy brown eyes and nuzzled Rickie's hand.

Veba was all smiles when she came out of the bathroom to witness the scene. "You do like her."

"Of course I do. Why would think I didn't?"

"Well all the stuff?um?you seem?"

"Baby, she is going to make mistakes and have accidents. She can't help it. She is a little baby. Of course I love her; she's adorable and sweet. I puppy proofed her side of the room could you do the same with the bathroom please?"

Veba studied the way Rickie placed the newspapers and nodded. "Yes, I can do that." She took the papers and went into the bathroom. Rickie placed the puppy on the bed and looked around to make sure there was nothing on the floor. She put some shoes in the closet and picked up a couple of odds and ends on the floor.

"Rickie I put the papers on the floor and anything I thought was bad for Lari I put in the cabinet. Is that ok?"

"Good girl. Ok put the little one to bed and let's get some sleep."

Veba smiled brightly and nodded. She scooped the puppy up and placed her lovingly in her bed. Then she said, "Ok Baby, Rickie and I right there. If you need us we will be here in seconds. I promise," she kissed her on the head and then stood up and walked toward Rickie.

Rickie smiled her arms crossed and said simply, "Love, puppy drool"

"None, I kissed her head."

"Come on Baby, wash your face."

Veba rolled her eyes but obediently went to the bathroom to wash her face.

Rickie chuckled as she changed for the night. She watched the puppy walk around in a circle to get comfortable then settle down and go to sleep. She got into bed and waited for Veba.

Veba came in and jumped on the bed. "No more doggy anything. May I kiss you to prove it?"

"Sure my love." They kissed passionately when they pulled back and Veba said softly, "Thank you Rickie, I love her so much."

"I know, so do I. I think she's a perfect addition to our family."

"I'm so glad," Veba pulled Rickie on top of her and showed her just how much she loved her with total abandon.

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

Around 3am little yelps woke up Veba. She blinked her eyes and realized that it was her new baby. She carefully looked over the edge of her bed not wanting to step on the puppy and found the little girl with her paws on the bottom draw of her side table that was slightly pulled out. She saw that the puppy was desperately trying to climb up to her. She smiled sweetly scooped her up and cuddled her close kissing her on the top of the head. Lari happily licked Veba's face in joy at being picked up by her new Mommy.

The light came on and a sleepy blonde looked over at Veba and Lari with smirk. "Looks our little one had a good time this morning."

Veba looked toward where Rickie was pointing and her eyes widened in surprise. The news papers were scattered and Lari had an accident half on one of the papers by the bathroom and by her new little bed.

"Oh? I didn't even think to look?"

"I know all you knew was your baby needed you. I'll clean it up you play with her?."

"No Sweetheart, she is both of ours. We are suppose to share the responsibility." She said slowly making sure she said each syllable correctly.

Rickie leaned over and kissed Veba on the forehead. Then she scratched little Lari on the head. The puppy was already sound asleep in the warm loving arms.

"Its ok, you entertain her while I clean this up in peace."

Veba looked confused but said, "Ok, if you say so." She shrugged and petted her puppy.

When Rickie was done she held out her arms and said, "Ok, let me put the busy girl back in bed."

Veba nodded and kissed Lari on her nose then smiled as she handed her to Rickie. Rickie tenderly put the puppy back in bed scratching her behind her ear.

Then she slipped back into bed cuddling close to her Veba.

"Was it bad?"


"Why did you not let me help then?"

"You can do the next one."

"Ok, but why not help this time?"

"It was easier to just clean it up with out a curious puppy trying to sniff her own creation."

"Oh? Do they do that? Why?"

"I have no idea why, but yes they do. I guess they're just curious."

"Are you mad at her?"

"No Love, I expected it."

"You did?"

"Yep, I do constantly. She is an adorable, lovable trouble maker. She has such a cute little face you can't get mad at her."

Veba's smile got brighter and brighter then she pulled Rickie up to her and kissed her passionately. "I love you so much. You are just such a loving, kind-hearted doll." She kissed Rickie til the detective forgot what they were talking about.

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

Rickie woke to a rough little tongue licking her shoulder. She knew it wasn't her love so her eyes opened to find big brown ones looking back. Lari moved up and happily began to lick her face.

Rickie smiled and scooped the puppy into her arms kissing the top of her head. She looked into the playful eyes and said with a voice still full of sleep, "Where is your Mommy baby?"

"I'm behind you, Love." The dark woman had just stood up and smiled at the rumpled woman in bed cuddled with their new puppy.

"Good morning Beautiful. Is there a reason Lari is joyfully licking my body?"

"Um, I needed her to be busy."


"She had a little accident."

"Uh, huh?"

"She, um?made all over our bathroom."

"Yuck! Why didn't you wake me?"

"It was my turn?"

"Veba darling, you are not expected to handle stuff like this all by yourself."

"She was my idea?"

"Well she is my responsibility too. We are sharing her aren't we?" Rickie asked, she looked very hurt.

"Of course, You are my wife and partner. I love you more than life?I just do not want you do feel that I am?Well that Lari is?that we are?" Veba had jumped into bed and pulled her upset love into her arms kissing every inch of her.

Rickie slowly pulled back, she cupped Veba's cheeks, "That your causing me trouble."

Veba had tears in her eyes as she nodded.

She kissed Veba's nose and said, "I love trouble."

"I am so glad you are my wife," she kissed Rickie passionately.

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

Two tired women came into the kitchen carrying a lively playful pup.

Doris smiled and said, "I take it that she was quite a bundle of trouble last night?"

Rickie smiled and said, "She was a typical puppy, not real trouble. She is adorable isn't she?" said the blonde rubbing her cheek against a very happy Lari's soft fur. She looked up and licked Rickie on the nose which made Veba smile.

Veba glowed bright as sunshine, she had been worried that Rickie was only putting up with the puppy because she loved her. After Veba had gotten back into bed and they had made love, Rickie, hopped out of bed scooped up Lari and brought the puppy into their bed. The three of them played for quite a while. Rickie had an old sock and had taught Veba how to play with Lari using it. Lari was pulling and growling her little butt up in the air trying to get it out of Rickie's strong grip.

Veba was so happy and relieved. Rickie was really having fun with little Lari, and now their puppy worshipped the blonde detective. Rickie had said, "Ok, my loves time to eat." Then she scooped up Lari took Veba's arm and escorted them both to the kitchen.

Stephanie playfully scratched the little girl under her chin, "Yep, she is adorable all right. What did she do last night?"

Rickie rolled her eyes, "Let us not discuss it at breakfast. Ok Sweetheart, I want to introduce you to your eating area." She then looked around at her family and said firmly, "We are not giving her any scraps right? A. It's a bad habit. B. It's is very bad for her tummy. C. We don't want to start her life with us on the wrong foot, agreed?" She asked looking around the table.

All heads bobbed, Veba said softly, "I never even planned to do that, Rickie."

"I know but look at this sweet face. She will come to your feet and beg for whatever you're eating. It's just the way all animals are. So we are all agreed she will only get dog biscuits and dog food right?"

Everyone nodded.

Rickie kissed the puppy on the head and tickled her tummy. "Don't worry Munchkin you have a learning curve the human's don't."

"Learning curve, we are not going to grade her are we?" Veba smiled brightly as she watched the puppy wolf down her puppy chow. Rickie smiled too, "Hey take it easy there Munchkin, You're worse than Mommy Veba with any form of sugar." She kissed Veba sweetly and then cupped her cheeks saying softly, "No Sweetheart, we are not grading her. I just meant she is allowed as many mistakes as she makes. We are responsible, intelligent humans that understand our responsibilities."

"Was there a question of it?" Asked Veba still unsure of Rickie's point.

"Sweetie sometimes when you look at a cute little face like our new baby we forget what's best for her and give her what she wants." Doris explained as she started to put plates and glasses out for their breakfast.

"Oh? yes?I want to pick her up and hold her all the time but Rickie says it's not good for her." Veba looked lovingly at the sweet pup who had just finished her water and came sniffing around under Rickie's feet as she poked around the refrigerator.

Rickie, noticing the extra feet under her and said, "Lesson one, puppies do not belong in a refrigerator unless they want to be eaten." She gently turned the little girl around and patted her back in the other direction.

Lari didn't seem to mind she just trotted over to Veba and sat on her bare foot. That made Veba chuckle, she reached down and scratched her behind the ear. Lari yawned and curled up in a ball on her Mommy's foot and went to sleep.

Veba felt very good about the puppy on her foot. She smiled at Rickie and then scooped out eggs and bacon and toast onto one plate for Rickie and the other for her. Rickie was pouring orange juice for the two of them.

Doris was pouring coffee for herself and Stephanie.

As they ate they discussed the puppy. A head popped into the kitchen. "Good morning, this is a charming picture," said Clark with a wide grin.

Rickie smiled and said, "Good morning sleepy head. Did have a nice long chat with Sandy and the kids?"

"Yep, they all send their best. Where is the new puppy? I don't want to step on her."

"Oh? It is all right Clark; she is sleeping on my foot," said Veba with a sweet smile as she scooped out a plate for the agent as he sat down between Doris and herself.

"Thanks Veba," Said Clark as he ate his food.

"Did you talk to your office this morning?" Asked Rickie with a mouthful of eggs.

"Yes I did Rick; we finished setting up the parking lot. Doris?um, Dory how would feel about us putting a wire on you? Its not like when we were at the academy. They are very light, you won't even feel it."

Doris banged down the fork against the plate she had been eating from. "You know, little Lari almost succeeded in making me forget the whole thing for a bit." She took a piece of toast and looked at her Sister and Sister-in-Law and knew they both wanted her to do it. Stephanie took her free hand in silent support. "I guess. Ok, I don't have to do it til tomorrow, right?"

"Yes, I?well I sort of already set it up. I knew it would be sensible."

Doris rolled her eyes, "Yeah, that's me. Miss Sensible. Excuse me please," She got up and left the table followed by an equally upset Stephanie.

Clark looked at Rickie and Veba, "I'm sorry it was important and?"

"There is no need to apologize Old Man. You were right. Eat your breakfast; you can help me when we put the collar on Lari after breakfast."

"Ok, I'll be happy to."

"Why will you need his help?"

"She won't like the collar, Sweetheart."

"Why not?"

"Puppies are free spirits they don't like confinement. It will take her a couple of days to get used to it. Though knowing our Lari she might try taking it off a several times."

"How would she do that?"

Clark chuckled and said, "Anyway she can. Puppies are very creative creatures."

"Yes, very creative. Last night and this morning she showed us just how creative she is."

"Oh so Veba has already seen her little one's art work."


Wide blue eyes went from Rickie to Clark and then asked very confused, "Art work?"

"You know what she did last night in our room and the bathroom?"

"Oh yuck!" said Veba shaking head, "You know how much I adore and love you but you are very strange sometimes."

"Yep," said Rickie with a playful smile.

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

After Clark and Rickie battled little Lari to get her collar on, Veba asked if they could play with the puppy at the park.

"Not yet Sweetheart. She is too little. We can play with her in the backyard though."

"Oh? Ok, that will be fun. I just wanted to introduce her to some of the kids there."

"They can come here and play with her. She will have to be a bit older though to play in the doggy run their."

"How old does she have to be?"

"About a year."

"Ok, but Rickie what will we do when we all go out?"

"We will introduce her to the joys of the bathroom."


"Darling, do you want accidents all over the house? Also someone as tiny as she can get into a lot of trouble all alone."

"Yes?I guess?I just hate the thought of locking her up." Veba's eyes filled with tears as she watched her precious chasing the ball they were rolling between them. "She loves to be free and to run around."

"She will be almost all the time and as soon as she is potty trained she will get free run of our whole house."

"Potty trained? She is so little. How can she do that?"

"No Love, not on our toilet. We will train her to hold it til we let her outside. The back yard will be her potty. Right now though we need to puppy proof this place."

"Oh yes, that makes more sense to me," said Veba as the new puppy waddled over to her and collapsed in her lap. "She is so tired.
Should I put her in bed?"

"Yep, I think that is a very good idea."

Veba nodded pulled the puppy into her arms and stood up. "Would you like to say goodnight to her?" she asked Rickie with a sweet smile.

Rickie's face lit up as she looked at the sweet picture and nodded. She kissed the sleeping puppy's head and then received a tender kiss from her loving wife.

"Night Clark."

"Night Veba," Clark watched Veba disappear down the hall.

"To be honest, I think you two will be great parents. I love watching you two with that pooch and I had no idea you knew so much about dogs, old friend."

Rickie shrugged as she leaned back against the couch. "I have always loved animals. When we were kids our pets were suppose to be everyone's responsibility but it ended up being mine. Dory didn't have the patience. I really do love little Lari. She is so sweet, and she can't help being a pain in the ass. Its part of a puppy's nature.

"I agree. I think you will be great with a baby and Veba will be sensational. Have you talked yet?"

"No, not til after all this shit with Dory is settled. I wonder if I should talk to Dory."

"You mean about the mike?"

"No, I mean about quitting school. She is so scared and she may drop out so she doesn't have to deal with it anymore. I don't want her to do that she will loose and the Looney will win. I hate that idea."

"I don't like it either. Yeah, I think you should talk to her."

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

Stephanie answered the door. Rickie could see her sister lying on the bed crying.


"Hi, would you mind is if I spoke to my sister for a couple of minutes?"

"No, I think that's a very good idea," She waived Rickie out and whispered once she closed the door behind her. "She is terrified Rickie. I don't think she's thinking straight."

"I know that. I need to talk to her. I know just how to calm her down. It'll be ok. My sister has never been a quitter and I won't let her start now."

"I know. I don't want her to be either. I just want to protect her but she won't let me. What I really want is to kill the bastard."

"I do too. That won't help Dory though will it?"

"I guess not. I just?I am?Shit." Stephanie met Rickie's eyes sheepishly. "I'll go keep Clark company."

Rickie opened the door and went inside her sister's room. She sat on the edge of the bed and smiled sweetly at her. Doris looked up at Rickie, she wiped her eyes with her fingers and said, "Hi. Where's Stevie?"

"She's keeping Clark company. Can I talk to you, Sis?"

Doris sat up against her pillows and nodded.

"I know your scared. I also know you like a book and I can see what's going on in that brain of yours. You want to quit instead of catching this creep cause your worried about the rest of us."

Doris closed her eyes and nodded. In a tiny whisper she replied, "Yes."

"Honey, I know how frightened you are and but I know your heart. You wouldn't want him to go after another target. What he if went after one of us?"

"I'd want to kill him."

"Just like we do. We can't do that. We can only help Clark and his people catch him. Will you do that?"

Scared hazel eyes met loving green and gained strength. "Ok."

"That's my big sister."

Doris rolled her eyes and laughed lightly. She kissed Rickie on the cheek and said in soft emotional voice, "Brat."

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

Veba was sitting with Stephanie and Clark. As soon as Rickie came in Veba asked, "Is Dory ok?"

"Yes Love, she's going take a nap."

Stephanie nodded and left with out another word.

Rickie sat down beside Veba and asked, "Where is the munchkin?"

"Asleep in her bed and I closed the door like you told me too."

"You're such a good Mommy."

Veba blushed brightly and brought Rickie onto her lap cuddling close. "So are you."

*** *** ***

Friday morning Clark's crew arrived to work on the car they were taking to school that night. Clark had brought the set up and demonstrated how it would work to the women and puppy gathered in the living room. Lari sat on Veba's lap sucking her fingers and wagging her tail happily.

When he finished he asked Doris, "Are you ok with this? Do you have any questions?"

"Yes. Won't it interfere with our computers in class?"

"No, its set to a very high frequency and the only people to be able to pick it up will be my team."

"Do I put it on before I leave for school or after our English class?"

"Before you go. I can use a brush up on my English." said Clark with a smile.

Veba chuckled at that then asked, "Will Dory be able to speak to you too?"

"Yes. It's two-way. We will hear everything and she can speak to us. If she needs us we'll be there in seconds."

"What are you doing to Veba's car?" asked Stephanie concerned since that was her responsibility.

"Were putting a multi camera rig and Lojack in it just in case."

"In case of what?" asked Veba innocently.

Clark looked down at Rickie in the chair beside Veba on the couch. She looked up at Clark and instantly knew why he was so slow to answer. She then looked at Veba and answered her quietly.

"In case they try and take our Dory away."

"No!!!" cried Veba she almost knocked Lari off her lap but settled her baby and looked imploringly at Rickie.

Dory swallowed and said, "I think I will take a nap." She was crying, she got up slowly and walked out of the room. Stephanie walked right behind her.

Rickie moved to sit beside Veba on the couch absently petting Lari as she said reassuringly, "It's a worst case scenario my love. It's not going to happen. Is it?"
"Absolutely not."

Veba leaned her head on Rickie's shoulder tears falling down her cheeks. "I am so scared, Rickie."

"I know Love, we all are."

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

Veba was very reluctant to leave her little puppy all alone in the bathroom while they were at school. She was worried that her baby would need her but she and Rickie wouldn't be there.

"Sweetheart, she has to get used to it. So do you, it will be ok. I promise you. She has her water, food and all her toys. She will probably sleep."

"But she is in there crying," cried Veba who had tears falling down her cheeks. She was sitting on the bed and Rickie was holding her back from letting the little puppy out of the bathroom.

"She will curl up and go to sleep as soon as she smells that we're gone."

"She's crying now."

"Come on my Love. Let's conduct a little experiment. We will get our books from the office as soon as we close the door and she sees we're gone she will be quiet."

Veba swallowed her bottom lip and nodded.

They went to the office and Rickie tried to distract Veba but all the tall woman could think of was the unhappy puppy. When ten minutes passed they went back to their room. They stayed out side Rickie put her finger to lips and motioned for Veba put her ear against the door. Then she smiled at her with a surprised expression. Rickie then motioned her down the hall. They quietly closed the door to the hallway.

"See, she settled down as soon as she knew we were gone. She will be fine. We'll only be gone for a few hours."

Veba nodded, "I know that you are right I just miss her already. Is this what being a Mommy will be like?"

Doris kissed her sister-in-law on the cheek and said, "Yes, Sweetie."

"I do not think I will be able to do that."

"Yes you will, all parents go through it. Sandy and I did. It took me months just to get her to go out to dinner after our first child was born," said Clark with a great deal of sympathy.

"Do you think I'll be a good Mommy, Clark?"

"I think your going to be great at it."

"Really?" Her thumb was slowly going into her mouth.

Rickie gently pulled the thumb out and kissed it. Clark smiled and nodded. "I think you both will be great."

"I think your going to a perfect Mom," said Rickie hugging Veba tight.

Veba's face lit up, "Really Rickie?"


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

The three women were very nervous during their computer class. Veba was very distracted during her speech class all she could think of was her family down the hall.

Her teacher gently motioned for her to join him away from the rest of the class and asked, "Veba what's wrong with you today? I don't think you have heard a word I said all night."

Veba looked at her favorite teacher with tear filled blue eyes and replied quietly, "I'm sorry Mr. Andrews I am?I?well I have?I can not?" She shook her head. She promised Rickie and Clark she wouldn't tell anyone but she couldn't lie to the kind man either.

"You don't have to tell me Veba. I'll tell you what I'll put together a packet for you to take home. That way you can just go home and take care of your personal business. How does that sound?"

Veba swallowed, then nodded, she smiled very slightly and gently touched his arm. "Thank you for understanding. I will be better next week."

"I know you will. Take care of yourself."

Veba simply nodded and swallowed her bottom lip nervously.

**** *** *** ***
Veba went to where Clark and his team were hidden.

"Veba, what are you doing here? Your suppose to be in class."

"I? I was very scared Clark?I could not listen. My teacher was very nice and let me take my lesson home."

Clark nodded and stepped aside to let her into the small shed they were set up in.

"Has anything happened yet?"

"Not yet Veba."

She nodded and sat next to young blonde agent she had met earlier. "Hi Kelly."

"Hi Veba. Was it a bad class?"

"No I?"

The other team member Peter an attractive young man with a crew cut called for their attention. He looked like a typical TV style FBI agent. He motioned them over to his surveillance screen, "Hey look at this weirdo!"

A figure was stealthily heading toward Veba's car. He was dressed in black from head to toe. "Its 85 degrees outside and he's wearing a sweater and knit hat and mask. It's got to be the guy," Said Kelly who was now behind Peter.

"Ok Veba you stay here with Peter. Kelly come with me," directed Clark briskly.

Veba watched them leave then turned toward Peter, "What are they going to do?"

"They can't do anything until he does something. Keep watching," explained Peter.

Veba nodded and watched the screen.

The figure moved to the car very slowly. He took a tool and expertly broke into the car. He got in and closed the door.

"He broke into our car!"


Clark was slowly coming to one side and Kelly on the other. Clark nodded and they both opened the two doors at the same time. Clark pulled the figure out. Something happened and Clark crumbled as the figure got away. Kelly ran to Clarks side then yelled into her walkie talkie, "Call 911 Peter now!" Then she ran after the suspect.

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

Clark opened bleary eyes to see several pairs of red rimmed eyes looking back at him.

"Hi," croaked Clark as he tried to sit up.

A gentle hand pushed him back against the pillows, "Lie back down, old man," said Rickie gently.

"Clark, I'm so sorry I should have crawled through the car and jumped him?"

Kelly, how many times?do I have?to tell you?not to second guess your?self?" panted Clark having a hard time talking, his voice still rough from the pain. He stopped took a deep breath, "Please believe me, you didn't do this. The perp did." He smiled at Veba and looked up at Rickie who was beside him. "Where are Dory and Stevie?"

"They are home with our little Lari. Peter is there with too to keep them all safe," replied a very quiet Veba.

Clark looked at his tall friend her eyes full of tears leaning against a wall trying not show how upset she is. "Tiger why aren't you home with your baby?"

"Stevie will take care of her?I worried?I was worried about you."

"Thank you my friend. I'm fine?um? How bad am I?"

"The knife wound hit the stomach and missed the lungs. You will be out ICU tomorrow," said Rickie quietly. "And Sandy is on her way."

"Did you call or did the agency."

Veba shrugged and said, "I called."

"You are such a doll."

"You're my friend, Clark."

"I know. I am so grateful. Thank you."

Veba nervously put her thumb in her mouth. Rickie stood up and gently pulled it out. She hugged her tight rubbing her back comfortably. "You ok, Baby?"

Veba nodded.

Rickie kissed her on the cheek and said, "The doctor will be here soon. They will kick us out, so we will be back tomorrow. Anything you want us to bring you."

"Yeah that assholes head on a platter."

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

Veba was in bed with Lari in her lap. She was tenderly petting her puppy but her mind was on her friend in the hospital.

Rickie sat on the edge of the bed. She gently caressed Veba's cheek, "You ok, Sweetheart?"

"Yes?I think there was something strange man about that man who attacked Clark."

"You think this was a man?"

Veba bottom lip went in between her teeth and she nodded. Her eyes were on the puppy.

Rickie gently lifted Veba's chin and said, "Tell me."

The big blue eyes blinked and she replied, "Yes?I feel it was a man. He had no reason to attack Clark. He could have just pushed him down and run away. He didn't have to stab him. He wanted to hurt someone." Frightened blue eyes seared into understanding green. "I am very mad and even more scared then I was before."


"What if he attacks us next? He knows we all go to class and we all are Dory's family. How can we protect her and stay safe."

"Why would he do that?"

"He wants to hurt us, Rickie we are stopping him from being with Dory. I am so very worried about Stevie."

"Because they are a couple?"

"Yes and because of what he said in that horrible note."

"Which part?"

"I am going to take you from that unhealthy home." It is because we love each other, does it not?"

"Yes Baby."

"So our Stevie is in danger and so are we."

"Yes, but Sweetheart I have already taken steps to protect us all." Rickie hugged Veba, little Lari climbed up Veba's chest so she could get in on the hug. They laughed and Rickie picked up the little girl and cuddled her, "You had a good day in spite of your confinement huh?"

Veba smiled slightly, "Yes, she was fussed over when they came home so she is feeling much better. Dory had come right into here picked up Lari and took her in the living room so she could love and pamper her."

"And who cleaned up the mess the little darling left?"

Veba's smile widened in wonder and she scratched Lari's head as she asked, "Stevie did. How did you know?"

"She was upset so she did what came naturally. Did you give Stevie a treat?"


"Well not a dog biscuit."

Veba laughed, "How about a brownie? There are still about five of them."


"I was upset."

"Three brownies?"

"They were very good."

Rickie rolled her eyes, "How many biscuits did you get little one?" She asked the puppy tickling her tummy.

Veba smiling brightly as she tickled her under chin, she didn't look at Rickie as she said softly, "Six."

"Veba my love you're spoiling her."

"She was upset too."

"So am I. Veba I could eat a whole gallon of ice cream by myself but I'm not?"

"Would you like me to get that for you Love?" asked Veba as she seductively ran her finger down Rickie's chin.

"Yes?.mmm?no?.Sweetheart your distracting me?"

"I know," Veba picked up Lari and leaned over and tenderly kissed Rickie on the nose. Then she put Lari in her bed and said over shoulder as she headed for the door. "I'll be right back with your ice cream."

"But?"It was too late the tall beautiful woman smiled brightly and she left the room. She looked at Lari who was walking in circles til she settled in a little ball in her bed.

"You have one stubborn Mommy, Short Stuff."

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

Peter answered the door the next day; a pretty woman smiled at him and said, "Hi Peter."

A smile spread across his face when he saw his superior's wife. "Sandy! How are you?"

"Ok, I guess I came as soon as I could. I had to make sure there was someone to take care of the kids. Why are you so out of breath? Where are the girls?"

"Outside chasing the new puppy. She somehow got out between our legs and she discovered the game catch me if you can. She's having a ball. Even Veba can't catch her."

"Hmm, where do they keep the puppy's biscuits?"

Lari was very happily running all over the back yard. Her Mommies and all the family were trying to catch her and she was enjoying the new game of dodging them. Suddenly she heard her favorite treat and ran right to it causing Doris and Kelly to run right into each other.

Sandy was sitting on the porch Peter leaning on the door behind her. She was a small woman with bright green eyes and beautiful short red curly hair. Lari ran for her treat and when she just about get her treat Sandy grabbed her and brought her on her lap. She gave her a biscuit and pet her. Veba and Rickie came up to the porch. Veba sat next to Sandy and Rickie nearly fell into her lap she was so exhausted. Veba gently rubbed Rickie's tummy; she kissed her then smiled at Sandy and Lari. "Hello Sandy, you are very smart you caught our Lari."

Veba smiled at the sweet woman with the puppy who was now cuddled on her lap she was almost fast asleep from the run and the gentle petting she was getting. "Hi Veba. I'm not smart I have lots experience with three kids and a menagerie of pets."

Rickie just caught her breath and said, "Hi Sandy. Yeah but this little rug rat runs like the wind and avoids us like a quarter back."

"Hi Rickie. They all do dear. She is sweet," said Sandy as she petted the sleeping pup.

"Thank you for catching our Lari, Sandy. She is very clever as well as sweet. She just discovered this game. Kelly and Peter were going to do something out here and she escaped out of the kitchen door. I almost caught her by the fence but she just wiggled right out of my hands," said Veba with a chuckle as she reached over to pet her on the top of the head.

"Little brat is too clever. Thanks Sandy at least we now know how to catch the little Houdini," said Rickie with exasperated affection.

Sandy actually laughed for the first time since she got Veba's call about her husband's wounds. "Thanks I needed a laugh. Children and animals always respond to food. She just wanted to play a bit. Didn't you girl?" The tired puppy snuggled against her fingers in her sleep as Veba and Sandy gently continued to pet her.

"Thank you for helping us Sandy?um, did you see Clark?"

"Yes Veba, I stopped there first. He really wants to get out of there."

Rickie smiled and said softly, "Sounds like the old man." She petted Lari and then leaned against Veba's shoulder. Stephanie and Doris collapsed on the lawn chairs. Kelly and Pete went into the house.

"Clark is worried about you all. He wants to get out so he can capture the bastard that stabbed him," replied Sandy her eyes were full of deep concern.

"He will not leave the hospital before he is supposed to will he?" Asked Veba worried, she remembered how Rickie had been in the hospital.

"He wants to but Sweetheart please believe me he won't. He will be a good boy or else." Sandy with a wicked smile.

"No nookie?" asked Rickie with a smirk.

"You got it."

"Nookie?" Asked Veba confused.

"I'll explain it to you in detail tonight, my love."

"Why tonight? Why not right now?"

"Because I will demonstrate it for you."

"You will? Um?Ok?" Veba was really confused but she shrugged her shoulder. She knew Rickie would explain it to her. Rickie tenderly stroked her innocent love's hair then she kissed her cheek. Veba's eyes fluttered closed in response. "Why don't put our tired little baby to bed? I'll take Sandy to the office to show what progress we have made."

Veba nodded and picked up her sleeping puppy and kissed Rickie on the cheek. Rickie smiled as she moved out of Veba's way. The tall woman took the baby to their room.

Sandy watched Rickie watching Veba with a sweet smile. "Veba has grown so much since I first met her but she's still so sweet and innocent."

"Isn't she amazing? She is wonderful with Lari. I think we will adopt a baby."

"Or have one?" asked Sandy.

"Maybe, I don't know?Veba would like to do that but she's worried about me?"

"Isn't she always?"

Rickie snorted and nodded, "Full time job, like Clark."

"Yes, she asked me about that before you had your commitment ceremony. She was worried about being a good wife since she worried so much?"

"What did you tell her?"

"I told her the truth; I think that shows just what a great wife she would be."

"And you were right. She's wonderful."

"Yes, she is. She is an amazing woman."


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

Sandy, Rickie, Kelly and Pete were in the girls office when Veba entered the room after the settling the sleepy puppy down for the night.

"How's the Munchkin?"

"She is fast asleep. She is very tired. I put her in bed and closed the door. Did you?um, show Sandy that horrible note?" Veba's face had gone from sweet and loving to extremely angry in seconds.

"Not yet Sweetheart, come here," Veba went into loving arms that were open and waiting for her. Rickie hugged her close and then pulled back and kissed her love tenderly.

The rest waited with respectful affection. When they pulled back Kelly asked quietly, "Shouldn't we show Sandy the note?"

Sandy read the note and then looked at the tall brunette. "What do you think, Veba?" Sandy had heard from Clark how insightful the beautiful woman was.

"I think he was happy to hurt Clark. I hate him?I really do!" Her voice was a low growl and she gritted her teeth she was so mad she wanted to go out and the beat the bad man up.

"I know Darling, so do we." Rickie tenderly brushed the hair from the beloved face and caressed her cheek. Veba closed her eyes feeling deeply comforted by the caress. "I think Sandy wants to know if you get any ideas from the note."

Blue eyes blinked open and Veba shook her head. "No, I am too mad. I have to calm down first."

They looked at the note which was again in pink.

Darling, One protecting pest gone. Now I only have to remove a few more and we can be together. I will be at your side again. I am ashamed that I didn't kill him. I hate and despise anyone who comes between us. I want that whole bunch gone. I will remove you from that unhealthy home and we will be together forever. I promise you.

"We have stopped all deliveries to the house. We also set up a perimeter out side with a surveillance team all over the area so the house and even the block are all protected." Said Pete softly knowing how upset they all were.

"I didn't see anything," said Sandy surprised.

Kelly smiled and said, "That's the way its suppose to be."

"I just want to make sure were all safe," said Rickie anxiously.

Veba was hugging Rickie tightly her eyes were closed and her cheek was resting against Rickie's soft hair. Veba's eyes blinked open and met Sandy's. Veba smiled sweetly and asked quietly, "How is Clark feeling?"

"You're asking how he is really feeling instead of what he said, right?"

Veba's smiled brightened slightly and she nodded. "Yes, he is just like my Rickie. He will not say if he hurts either."

Rickie pulled back and said, "Hey, I do not."

Veba chuckled and kissed her cheek, "I love you very, very much but you are a very stubborn woman."

"You love me anyway, huh?" Rickie kissed Veba's nose and smiled at Veba's cat-like reaction as she rubbed her nose in response. Then she kissed her passionately.

Veba was purring now as they pulled back for air saying softly, "Forever, no matter what?"

Rickie nodded and said, "And I love you forever too." Then she pulled her to her kissing her again with a deep need.

"Oh for God's sake get a room," Said Doris from the doorway.

Rickie and Veba went to her at once. The poor girl had bags under eyes and it was obvious she had no rest since Clark had been stabbed.

"I thought you were trying to sleep?" asked Rickie very gently.

Doris came in and sank into a chair, "I can't sleep."

"But Dory, you must sleep you will get sick." Veba said softly gently rubbing her back.

"I try Sweetie, I just keep ripping out of sleep from horrible nightmares."

Sandy went to the exhausted woman taking her hand, "Come on I have some non addictive sleeping herbs. You'll sleep like a certain puppy."

"You just happen to have it?" Asked Doris with a slight smile.

"It's for me. I am married to an FBI agent and I have three lively children I have to do something to ease all that stress." Sandy helped Doris up and gently led her out of the office. Kelly and Pete followed. They were going to check all the alarms.

Veba leaned her head against Rickie's shoulder, "Sandy is such a sweet, smart lady."

"Yep she is the perfect wife for Clark. She has loads of patience but she doesn't take any crap."

"Hmm, I could learn a lot from her."

"You don't have too. You're just like her, my love."

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

For the third night in a row a series of piercing screams shattered the peace of the night. Three heads popped up. Veba scooped up Lari and joined Rickie as she ran toward Dory and Stevie's room. They were met at the door by Sandy, Kelly and Pete.

Doris was sitting up in bed trying to catch her breath. Stephanie had been taking naps during the day so she could be there for her love at night.

Veba gently handed the puppy to Rickie and sat on the edge of the bed taking Doris's hand. "Can you tell me about what happened to scare you?"

Doris was still very scared her red-rimmed hazel eyes met sweet loving blue. She nodded and said in rough voice, "I saw a man?only his back. He was trying to stab Rickie, she pulled away and he came toward me. I screamed again as he tried to put hands around my neck and?and?they were dripping in blood."

"Where were you?"

"The parking lot in school."

"You are safe here Dory. He will not hurt you here."

"How do you know that Veba?" Her voice was full of fear and she was crying again.

"All your dreams are at the parking lot in school, Dory."

"But Veba these are only dreams?"

Your fear is real and it is not here Dory. You are safe. Please go to sleep you need it."

"No?I can't?"

"Yes, you can Love," Said Stephanie sweetly.


"Sis, I know you can." Rickie put Lari in Dory's hands and the puppy licked the beloved face making the upset woman smile. "Lari can keep you company."

"I'd squish her," said Doris with a slightly wider smile as she petted the puppy's soft ears.

Lari happily licked Doris hands and tried to climb up Doris chest. Sandy sat on the other side of the bed she said, "Doris take another dose; it's been four hours."

"Isn't that too much," asked Stephanie worried.

"No she can take more if there is separation. She needs to get some sleep. I'll get you a half dose."

Stephanie whispered to Rickie, "I don't want her to get addicted."

Rickie gently touched her arm and said, "It's an herb called Kava-Kava it's harmless. I have taken it myself. Sandy wouldn't hurt her."

Kelly and Pete went back to their monitoring systems. Sandy came back with pills and some water.

Rickie and Veba moved back from the bed with Lari cradled in Veba's arms.

"Sandy come have a chat with us before you go back to sleep." Sandy nodded and Rickie smiled slightly she took her loves arm and led her family back to their room.

*** *** ***

When they got back to the room they settled on the bed with Lari cuddled on Veba's lap. Veba gently stroked Lari's ears, she didn't look up as she asked very quietly with obvious worry in her voice, "Do you think Stevie will leave Dory?"

"They are going through a tough period, but you know that we have too."

Veba nodded.

Sandy knocked. After Rickie let her in, she explained Veba's concern to her. She sat on the bed and gently lifted Veba's chin. Teary blue eyes met the compassionate eyes of the older woman who asked, "When you and Rickie were going through a tough period did you ever consider leaving her?"

"No, never!"

"No, I could never leave my Baby either, I love her too much," said Rickie passionately still leaning against the door to their bedroom.

Veba looked at Rickie. The tear-stained face called the blonde woman to her in an instant. Rickie pulled Veba into a hug, then Veba looked over Rickie's shoulder and asked softly, "Why did you ask that, Sandy?"

"I think that their love is as powerful as yours and I know they are going through a very bad storm but I think they will make it through. Their love is very deep. My real concern is Dory's health. She is allowing that creep to make her sick."

"Yes, I know. We've all talked til we were blue in the face about it. She knows intellectually that she shouldn't but emotionally?" Rickie's voice trailed off. Veba kissed her on the forehead and Lari licked her chin.

"When I had my nightmares they did not stop til my step father killed himself. When he was gone I felt safe. He killed my parents and my uncle?I?"

"Sweetheart are you saying that this won't stop til we get this jerk?"

Veba nodded. She brought up the puppy and rubbed her tear-stained cheek against the soft fur. Lari enjoyed that, she happily licked the salty tears making the upset woman smile a bit.

Rickie shook her head and said, "Lari, come here let me take care of your Mommy." She gently took the pup kissed her on the head then handed her to Sandy. Sandy took the little girl onto her lap turning her over and tickling her tummy.

Rickie pulled her beloved in a tight hug and said, "We'll finish this. We will protect our family. Dory is going to be ok."

"I hope so, I am so worried."

"I know Sweetheart, we are stronger then that bastard is. We will be ok."

Veba nodded against Rickie's shoulder then she asked, "Rickie is there a way to follow the email back to this bad man?"

Rickie pulled back and looked into intelligent blue eyes that were full of several emotions, worry, anger, fear and love. "Yes I think so. Why?"

"I do not want this bad man to attack us anymore. I want to attack him." said the beautiful brunette angrily.

Rickie nodded, she agreed with Veba, "Sounds good but how?"

"Is there a way to find out where they are coming from? I think we need to find and let this man know who he is playing with." Veba now looked like a powerful avenging Goddess. Sandy was amazed at the transformation she was glad that Veba was on their side.

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

A young man knocked on the front door and Kelly answered it. She smiled saucily and said, "Hey Mike! I'm glad they dug you out from under your comic books for this."

"Very funny beautiful. How are you? How's the boy genius."

"Shut up, they are all waiting for you in the back of the house."

Kelly led the handsome Native American to the girls office. Pete smiled, "Hey Mike old boy I'm glad it's you they sent."

"That's what you beautiful friend said. They said you needed a cool cat."

Veba looked at Rickie completely lost by what they were talking about. "It's just teasing, Love."


Pete smiled affectionately at the beautiful brunette, "Veba this is Mike Littlefeather. He's one of our top agents and a very talented hacker."


Mike smiled charmingly at the tall woman, "Wow, are you gorgeous. What Pete means is that I am good at working with computers."

Rickie slid in front her wife and said with wicked grin, "Hi Mike, I'm Rickie this is my wife Veba. She is very bright in fact she is a genius; your boss is trying to steal her services?"

"He is not!" Veba said behind Rickie slipping her arms around her loves stomach.

"Can't blame him."

"Mike lay off Veba," said Sandy from the doorway. "Clark wouldn't like it."

"I am just admiring all the beautiful women. I adore you Sandy."

"He's harmless girls, really. Mike get cracking."

Mike chuckled got out his laptop and got to work.

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

Rickie found Veba lying on their bedroom floor playing with Lari.

Rickie closed the door again and sat on floor by Veba, "What are doing in here love?"

"That man makes me?um?"


Veba bit her lower lip and nodded.

"Because he flirted with you?"

Veba put her head against Lari's furry body and rubbed her cheek as she whispered, "Yes."

"Well my Darling, I keep telling you how beautiful you are now you have proof of it. To put your mind at ease the man is just a flirt. He's really sweet and he is upset he hurt your feelings. He is already on the trail of the stalker. We will need you soon."

Veba looked up from Lari and met loving green eyes. She took a deep breath and nodded. "Ok. He does not mean what he says then?"

"No. He meant that you're very beautiful. He just didn't mean to hurt your feelings. He knows you are very taken. I spoke to him and he promises not to do anything to scare you away again."

"He does?"

"Yes, he thinks your beautiful but recognizes how smart and valuable you are. He just can't help but react to your looks."

"That is why I came in here. None of the other men we know do what does to me."

Rickie smiled softly and said, "My Sweet, most men love to flirt with pretty women. It's playful and natural unless they touch you there is nothing wrong with it. Pete thinks you're pretty too."

"He does? He never even looks at me?"

"That's because he's shy and you're beautiful?"


"Sweetheart, put the baby in her bed and come here."

Veba tenderly kissed Lari and placed her gently in her bed. Then she stood up and walked to the bed standing beside Rickie. Rickie looked up and patted the space beside her. As soon as Veba was beside her she pulled her love to her and kissed her deeply and passionately.

Then she pulled back and said, "I know that I am the only person your in love with and I hold that to my heart as a special gift. That said, I have to tell you that no matter what you think, other people are going to notice how drop dead gorgeous you are. They would have to be dead not to. As long as you don't return it and its no more than flirting it really doesn't bother me."

"I do not return it. It does bother me. I only want you to think I am beautiful."

"I do. I am so proud of you. You're so special. I love you so deeply that I know in my heart that no one could take you from me and so I know that a little flirting won't hurt us. Mike is nice guy; I like him. I think if you give him chance you will too."

"Well?if you think he is nice?I love and trust you?I will try, Rickie?Love, and he will not try to?um??

"Touch you disrespectfully?"

Veba nodded sucking her lower lip.

"No, He won't. He's a playful pup like our Lari. Flirting is his way of playing. He's flirted with all of us. It's just his way. I think you will feel ok in the office."

"Ok Rickie, I will try."

Rickie kissed her and rubbed noses with her making her smile. "That's my girl."

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

Rickie led Veba back into their office. Veba was holding tightly to Rickie's hand as she looked at the others through her long eyelashes.

Sandy came over to her shy friend and put a gentle hand on her shoulder, "Don't worry Veba. Mike will be good; he promised me."

Mike looked over at Veba and nodded, "Hi Veba. I promise I won't scare you away again."

"Hi Mike. I was not comfortable with you but you did not scare me."

"I just say what I think but I didn't mean anything disrespectful."

"I know Rickie told me?I love my Rickie only?um I can be your friend though." She held her hand out to shake his; Mike smiled and gently took her hand shaking it looking very relieved.

"I'd like to be your friend, Veba. You're a very special person from what all your family has just told me." He smiled at her in a friendly way.

"Ok, now that were all friends again tell Veba and Rickie what you found out," said Sandy softly.

Veba sat on her chair, Rickie sat on the corner of their desk her fingers entwined with Veba's. Their complete attention was on Mike.

"I back tracked the encrypted message through several lines and I traced it back to the school."

"That means it could be anyone at the school," said Veba softly.

"Yes, but I did some hacking and I found out who's password was used, and then traced that. It does belong to your class, some creep named Bart."

Veba looked shyly at Rickie; her face reflected the shock she felt, "You were right, huh?" Rickie asked Veba very softly.

"He was on my list of bad people. Do you know where he lives, Mike?"

"I can find it."

"Love, what are you plotting in your brilliant mind?"

Veba's face reflected her anger. She was also aware that it was not in her to be a vindictive person. "I want to make him think twice before he hurts our family again."

"You're going to try and scare him?"

Angry blue eyes met just as angry green, "Yes I am."

Rickie smiled grimly, "Good my Darling, very good. So am I."

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

Veba was petting her puppy on the couch her expression was deeply thoughtful. Lari was relishing the loving attention.

Rickie saw the expression on her loves face and approached the couch.
She sat on the arm of the couch putting her arm around Veba's shoulders.

"Is Lari helping?"

Veba smiled at her and nodded, "Yes, she is so sweet, so comforting?I really am glad we have her now. Is that wrong?"

"You mean your playing with her when you're upset?"

Veba nodded, rubbing her cheek against Lari's soft fur.

"No. All she knows is that you love her and your playing with her and she knows she is making you feel good, so that's a good thing?"

"Rickie, am I bad?"


Veba swallowed and nodded.

"Why would you ask that?"

"I want to make that man pay for what he did to Dory and especially Clark. I want him to suffer for every moment of pain he has brought to my family."

"No, cause I'd be bad too. I want that son of bitch to rot in jail forever?"

"I can't stop hating him?I am very scared I will become bad."

Rickie pulled Veba closer and kissed the top of her head, Veba gently put the puppy on a pillow and then pulled Rickie onto her lap. She then kissed her love passionately. Lari decided she wanted in on the fun and went onto Rickie's lap crawling up between the two women. They both pulled back giggling at the puppy's antics. Rickie settled the puppy on her lap and then said, "Looks like our baby has our curiosity." Veba smiled and played with the soft ears of the tiny puppy. Rickie gently caressed her loves face and said, "Sweetheart you are too good and kind to be turned into a bad person. Just worrying about it shows what good soul you are. You see a bad person wouldn't give a damn. To me you are an angel."

"No, I'm not? I just want you to be proud of me."

"I am. You're such a special person?"

"No Rickie you are?"

They were about to kiss again, when Lari stuck her head between them trying to get a lick in herself. "You really want in on the fun, you little stinker."

Veba chuckled and kissed her puppy on the nose, "She is such a good girl, isn't she?"

"Hmm, no not good; she's lovable, sweet, charming, adorable?"

"You do love her? Don't you?"

"Yes, I do. I just love you more."

"I love you the most too."

"Do you want to have our baby talk now?"

Veba looked at her through her long black eye lashes, "Not yet, I think we should make sure that everyone is safe first."

"We will talk though??"

"Ok." Veba looked up at her, her eyes were glowing. Do you?"

"Yes, I sure do."

"Oh really? I am so glad."

"Yeah, I am very glad we will talk about it I think it's very important."

"I do too."

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

Veba was writing in a note book, her school books all around her. She was deeply concentrating. She had school the next evening and unlike her usual custom she had not touched her homework.

Lari came trotting up to her Mommy and plopped herself right into middle of the books that Veba was studying.

Veba smiled and picked up her puppy saying, "No Sweetheart, Mommy has to finish her home work."

She kissed her on the head and settled her on her lap.

Then she continued to work on her homework. Rickie smiled, "What are you doing, my Sweet?"

"My history homework. Did you finish it?"

"Yep, I finished it. I still have to work on my essay for Poly Sci."

"I finished that, I am working on my History essay. I am still confused by the Alamo thing. Were we the ones who started it or not?"

"It depends on whose side you're on, which contingent did she assign you?"

"I am to write from the view point of the protectors."

"I think it was 50-50, but if you write from the protector's perspective then the Spanish started it."

"So why is it like that? Why is it 50-50?"

"Because it really depends on how you look it. There are more ways to look at it than that. There are actually hundreds of angles in an armed conflict. May I see what you have so far?" She asked snuggling next to Veba and tickling Lari on the belly.

Veba looked nervous as she handed it to Rickie.

"Why are you so worried? This is very good so far?All you have to do is tie all the loose ends and put it in your summation."

"Yes. I am trying to be fair and I can't tie it up. It's?um?"




Veba nodded, "Yes I do not want to be prejudiced, but I do not want to misquote it either."

"Ok, when you tie it up use the prospective of the protectors. Then when you sum it up use your own stating that it is your opinion."

"Thank you," Veba pulled Rickie close, "Perfect." She whispered in her ear before she nibbled it. Then she kissed her passionately. When she pulled back she picked up her notebook and busily started writing.

Rickie smiled at her love affectionately and picked up Lari, "Come on Munchkin your Mommy is busy getting another A."

*** *** ***

The family came home from school. Sandy had a book in her hands when she looked up to greet them.

Veba smiled at her and asked softly, "Where's Lari?"

"She's pooped. I put her to bed."

Veba nodded and went to their room to see the little girl. The others plopped on the couch.

"Is Mike still working on Veba's idea?" asked Rickie curling up on the end of the couch very tired.

"Yep he and Pete have been your office all night."

"Any progress?"

"I've no idea. I've not heard a peep from them all night."

"How's Clark?" Asked Dory, she was curled up in one of the easy chairs with Stevie.

"Much, much better. He wants to leave now, but the doctor did some more tests so he has to wait til tomorrow."

"Great!" Said Veba happily as she reentered the room and cuddled next to Rickie. "Lari was very good. She didn't do anything at all. I just took her outside; the poor little thing really had to go."

Rickie kissed Veba on the top of the head getting a happy purr in response.

"Did you give her a treat?"


"How many?"


"Veba!" Rickie pulled back shocked.

"She was a very good girl."

"Yes, but five of them?"

"She deserved something?"

"You are so spoiling that pooch?"

Veba looked worried, "Sorry Rickie."

Rickie smiled and kissed Veba tenderly,"It's ok Sweetheart, she was a good girl. It was her first time with no accidents. Two is more then enough though."

Veba put her head on Rickie's shoulder, "I know." Sighed Veba, "She was just so good and she wanted more and she looked up at me with those sweet eyes?"

"It's like holding her all the time and feeding her scraps. It may be what she wants but it's not good for her."

"Ok Rickie." Veba cuddled her cheek into the warm shoulder as she sighed again.

"I love you Mommy Veba."

Veba suddenly smiled in reaction, "I love you too Mommy Rickie."

"Yuck, that is way too much sweetener for me," said Dory with a smile.

"Shut up, Sis."

"That's the first time you said that to me in a while. I must be getting better."

"You are Love," said Stephanie kissing the top of her head.
"You look much better Dory. How do you feel?" asked Veba.

"Thanks to all of you I feel much better. Especially since nothing happened tonight."

Pete came into a living very tired but happy. "Mike wants all of you to come to the office. He has Veba's little message for the perp ready to go."

*** **** ***

"Ok, I sent it," Mike said looking at the people gathered around him.

"Good," said Rickie with an evil grin.

"Do you think it will work?" asked Veba quietly.

"Well it may not stop him but it will slow him down," said Pete quietly.

"I think it might scare him but not stop him," Sandy said thoughtfully, "Not someone this obsessed, he will keep coming."

"That's what I am scared of. I wonder?" Veba looked at Kelly thoughtfully, "Is this man being watched?"

"Yes, we put a team on him as soon as we found him?"

"Can we not set a trap?"

"What kind of a trap, Veba?" Asked Dory.

"I am not sure, but now he knows we know I want him to feel upset. Like he is being watched. If he feels like he's being watched by the FBI maybe he will get scared and make a mistake."

"So you want our guys to be visible?" asked Pete.

"Yes, but I want to be more than that. I want you to ask him questions. I want him to feel like he is a suspect."

"He is," said Kelly.

"Well with that note and the FBI, he will feel very nervous," said Rickie.

"I want him to be more than scared. I want him to be terrified. How can we do that?" Veba's mind was moving fast as she tried to figure it out her eyebrows furrowed and she tapped her finger on the arm of the chair.

Rickie kissed her cheek, "You'll think of something."


"Cause you're a genius."


"You are. We can prove it can't we, Dory?"

"Yes, lay off her Rickie. She is turning as red as a beet."

"I think she looks beautiful," said Rickie then she kissed her on her neck and nibbled her ear licking the rim with a satisfied moan.

"Rickie?" said Veba in a throaty voice her eyes closed.

"Come on Love. I think we need some inspiration." Rickie took her hand led her out of the office.

"They are so cute," said Sandy affectionately.

"It is inspiring," whispered Kelly her eyes lifting to look at Pete.

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

Sandy brought Clark to the girls place. He smiled sheepishly at his hero's welcome. He was brought directly into the guest room which had a "Welcome Back" sign and Lari was placed on stomach. She licked his hands welcoming him home knowing how much her Mommies loved him.

Clark was a bit embarrassed but he joked, "I guess I should get stabbed more often?"

"That's not funny, Clark," His wife chastised him gently slapping his arm.

"Sorry Darling. How are the kids?"

"Fine, they are all relieved that you're ok. They wanted to come out but I told them you'd want them to finish out their school year and you'll be coming home soon."

"As soon as we nail that asshole."

"Veba has an idea on that subject," said Doris proudly.

"What's your idea, Tiger?"

Veba laughed and rolled her eyes at the silly nick name that Clark insisted on calling her. "I asked Pete and Mike to send the bad man a message that let him know we know who he is and where he is."

"We set up a surveillance team to watch the suspect. Hopefully the combination will make him nervous enough to make a mistake." said Kelly quietly leaning against a wall by the door.

"I want to be in on this," growled Clark.

"Clark," said Sandy in warning tone.

Rickie tilted her head and smiled at her old friend, "I think I have a way that you can and still not leave this bed."


Rickie chuckled, "Let it percolate a bit before I tell you."

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

Veba was working on her homework for her speech class and Rickie was working on some logistics for her plan at their partner's desk in their office.

Blue eyes glanced up from her paper to the busy blonde, "Rickie?"

"Yes, Love?"

"Are you sure we will be ready before he tries something?"

"Yep. He was very careful even when he stabbed Clark. There was no panic every move is slow and careful. If he tries something it will be at school after or during the computer class."

"Yes. I do not think he will attack here. All Dory's fears are centered at school. Um?Sweetheart?. your plan is very complicated."

Rickie looked up and smiled into the worried blue eyes. "It is but it will work."

"I have faith in you. I am just worried that all the pieces will not be in place on time."

"They will."

Veba shook her head and said softly, "You are so smart."

"Not as smart as you?"

"Yes you are?" Veba swiftly got up swept Rickie in her arms kissing her deeply. "We are," she whispered into her loves ear nibbling it as she carried her to their bedroom.

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

The family separated after English class. They were all wearing set ups. Veba had made special arrangements with her speech teacher who accepted her homework packet and gave her another one with a worried look. She promised she would explain everything later and to her relief he nodded accepting her word.

She went to her post and waited for her Rickie's plan to unfold.

Clark was in bed with a laptop and communications set on flat table that was made so it would fit over his stomach. Mike was sitting on the floor running his technical command post from his laptop.

Sandy and Lari sat in a large comfortable chair that Veba had moved into the bedroom for her. That was Veba's idea knowing that Sandy would want to be in there and not wanting her to be uncomfortable all night.

Veba, Pete and Kelly were in several spots outside of the classroom out of sight. There were other agents and a few police friends of Rickie scattered around too.

Veba and Kelly were in the Ladies Room watching the classroom through a small window. She had put her homework in Kelly's car and walked quickly with her to their post.

Pete was in an empty classroom with a couple of other agents. They had a camera set up with the permission of the computer class professor they were watching inside the classroom for a high sign from Rickie or for trouble in any form. After the School Chancellor was presented with all the evidence he became very cooperative with what they were requesting.

The nervous suspect entered the classroom. He didn't look at anyone. He went straight to his monitor and waited for the class to begin. The professor entered. He was in on Rickie's plan and had been very helpful and cooperative since Dory got her first note here in his classroom. He was very worried about Dory and her sister.

Rickie sat quietly waiting for their first break to put her plan into action.

As they waited, Kelly asked Veba, "Can I ask you something?"

"Sure," her eyes never leaving the classroom across the way but her voice was gentle.

"Did you know right away that you loved Rickie?"



"That is a very hard question, Kelly. I?felt in my tummy. I just wanted to hold her forever. She made me happy for the first time in long time. She made me feel safe; I had not felt that way since my father died. I felt so sad when she left me and so very happy when we were together that I knew I loved her."

Kelly nodded looking down at her own shoes. Then she asked in whisper, "Did you feel her love for you right away too?"

Veba shook her head no. She looked at Kelly with honest blue eyes, "No, I am not like you." Her eyes went back to the Classroom but she continued explaining quietly. "At that time I did not live like you do?I did not know how people acted. I only knew a few things from magazines and comic books. I remembered how love felt from when I was little girl but that is not the same. I heard tiny bits of conversation from time to time but like Rickie said it was not enough to understand speech. That is why I speak so badly."

"You don't Veba, really. I think you speak very well better than I do in fact."

Veba chuckled and shook her head, "No. I speak slowly. I do not know a lot of words. I am getting better. I read a lot. My professor says I am doing well in my speech class."

"I think you're great. Everyone does."

Veba blushed and looked her saying softly, "Thank you, Kelly." She looked back out the window and said with a wide grin, "I think Pete loves you too."

Kelly's eyes widened, "How did you know?"

"I listen to people and watch how they act. Rickie says it's a talent. I don't know how I do it. I just do," said Veba with a slight shrug of her shoulders.

"It is a talent. A special one. Yes, it's Pete. How did you tell?" Clark's voice broke in to her words from their ear pieces, "They are calling break, get ready. Remember don't move til I say so." Putting a cautious hand on Veba's well developed bicep.

"I know?but Kelly, I will do what I have to protect my family. Don't be mad at me."

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

Rickie nodded at Stephanie who nodded back. She took Dory's hand and led her quickly out of the classroom. The room quickly emptied of students which was not unusual most left to get a snack, go to the bathroom or smoke.

Rickie approached the man who was torturing her family with very angry green eyes. "So did you get our note?" She growled.

His head snapped up to meet icy green eyes that seared into his black ones. "What note?"

"Our note telling you that you won't be able to fulfill your little fantasy, Sicko!"

"I?you?.your CRAZY!"

"No, we both know who is crazy and it isn't me. Let me make this clear. My Sister is not at all interested in you and never could be. Even if we all disappeared she would still spit in your face. So leave her alone or face the consequences."

"Back off now. Rick. He is too close to you damn it," growled Clark into her earpiece.

"I don't know what the hell you're talking about you little Bitch. Leave me alone or I promise you will be sorry."

"Listen Bart. I know where you live. I know where you work. I know what your car you drive and what the car payments are. I'm a detective. As soon as you started to harass my Sister I dug you out. No one torments my Sister and gets away with it."

"I am not?.I couldn't?.I love her."

"You have lost it. You don't know her, she doesn't know you?"

"She's been corrupted by you and your sick friends. She just thinks she's in love with that red headed slut. She's just got to see the light?"

"Rick back up now. He's got a knife he just pulled it out of his pocket," yelled Clark.

The crazed man suddenly lunged at her with the knife. She held up her English book and deflected the strike. The knife fell to the ground and skids under a desk.

Rickie put her foot over it and he yelled, "Get the fuck off my God damned knife!!!"

"I do not think she will," said Veba from behind them her voice as soft as a kitten's purr but she looked as dangerous as a panther.

He looked up and up til he met icy blue eyes in a set angry face. Kelly and Pete were on both sides of her with their guns drawn. Pete pulled Rickie back, her book falling to the ground breaking all the pages scattering around the room like butterflies. All eyes were on Veba and Bart. Veba had picked up the knife and now they were just standing their staring each other down.

"Veba?Tiger, give the knife to Kelly and back off, please."

"No Clark. I will not back off," she answered her friend aloud and suddenly turned and kicked the surprised man in the gut. She held the knife and growled, "Is this knife you used to stab our friend?"

He coughed and looked at his enraged attacker, he'd never been on the receiving end before and he was scared but he wouldn't let this dyke stop him from getting the woman he loved. "I don't know what you're talking about. Someone pull this crazy broad away from me."

"I do not believe anyone here thinks that I am crazy."

"Sweetheart please pull back now," Clark pleaded, he was afraid he might have a gun.

"No Clark, I am not done." She looked down at the man. Instead of going back she went forward. Rickie started toward her love but Pete held her back. Kelly was readying herself to protect Veba if the man tried anything that the tall woman wasn't prepared for.

"I am not crazy. I am not in love with someone who does not know me, who does not talk to me or even looks at me. I am not the one who has been threatening innocent people. I am not the one who broke into our car and stabbed an FBI agent?"


"Yes, you are a very dangerous man. I will not let you hurt my friends and family anymore." She had been backing him up by threatening him with his own knife; he suddenly stood up and jumped out the closed window. Glass scattered everywhere. Rickie pulled out of Pete's arms and ran to Veba pulling her back. She carefully checked Veba to make sure she wasn't cut. When she was sure she was ok, she pulled her into her arms and held her tight.

She heard Clark, "Get the subject he's most likely armed and badly cut."

"Veba Honey, what were you thinking? He could have had a gun! He could have shot you!" Rickie cried as her hand tenderly rubbed her loves back.

"I?I was mad?I wanted him to know how mad I was. Do you think that was the knife he stabbed Clark with?"

Rickie pulled back and looked at it. "It could be. It looks like the same from the footage on the tape."

"He's in the parking lot," yelled one of the agents. Both Veba and Rickie heard it from their earpieces. Veba tried to gently slip out of Rickie's strong arms. "Oh no you don't, remember our discussion. We think of each other before we jump into battle."

"You didn't?"

"So do as I say not as I do?"

"Rickie that is silly?"

"Sweetie stay here, for me. Pretty please?"

Veba looked deeply into her beloveds eyes and nodded. She put the knife down on the desk and hugged Rickie tightly. They stayed there and waited for them to catch the man that Veba wanted so badly to hurt that her tummy ached.

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

The suspect was shot to death in the parking lot. He got to his car pulled out a rifle and shot at the agents and police. He wounded two people but only the suspect was killed. The Agent and Policewoman were sent to the hospital with minor wounds.

Inside the trunk they found another note, several knives, a hand gun, and a laptop. The FBI had taken jurisdiction since Clark had been stabbed and took possession of all the evidence. The note was to be left to Dory's family and in the laptop; they found everything he had done trail of all the notes he sent and all his plans and strategies. They raided his apartment and found it plastered with pictures of Doris. The pictures of the others girls were shredded and some had a fate that Clark didn't think the girls needed to know about. His stomach twisted in anger as heard the report over the telephone.

When Veba came in to reclaim her baby she had a very angry agent waiting for her.

"What the hell were you thinking Veba? You're suppose to be the calm reasonable one in this family."

"Not when someone threatens it Clark. Rickie was in great danger. I did what I had to do to protect her. I warned Kelly that I would." Lari licked her Mommy happily Veba pulled her puppy close, very happy to have her in her arms. "Was she a good girl Sandy?"

"Yes, she didn't even have one accident; she mostly stayed with me and cuddled all day."

"Oh, you're a good girl aren't you Love? Come on lets get your treats." Veba left a flabbergasted Clark who looked at his wife with a funny flatfooted expression.

Sandy laughed, "You would have done the same thing Sweetheart and you know it. When family is threatened reason flies out the window."

Clark laid back and closed his eyes, "Oh, I give up."

Mike silently chuckled he closed up his laptop and left the husband and wife alone.

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

Veba sat on the steps of the back porch watching Lari do what she had to do. Rickie came out and sat on the step next to her.

"Are you mad at me?" Rickie asked softly from the doorway.

"Me? I thought you were mad at me? You did not speak to me all the way home."

"I was thinking. I thought about what he had in that trunk what his intentions were, and what could have happened. I also thought about you saying that I didn't think of you, of our family when I rushed into danger. I also thought about me almost getting stabbed, and you almost getting shot all because you were mad. I am very worried about us all Love."

"Why?" Asked Veba confused. Her eyes were clear but there was tension in the soft voice.

"How we both react to danger. We both rush toward it instead of away from it. Are we healthy? Sane?"

Lari trotted up to her Mommies and plopped into Veba's lap panting. Veba smiled down and petted her ears as she said quietly to the puppy, "Good girl." Then she looked at her wife and answered, "I think we love each other and our family passionately. We both love deeply and will do anything to protect each other. I think that is good. I think we care deeply about other people and have a deep need to protect the innocent. Yes, I think we are both healthy and sane, My Love."

"Do you think we should have children since we do this?"

"Clark does."

"He has Sandy; we have four hard-headed women."

Veba smiled and pulled Rickie closer, and then kissed her tenderly. She pulled back and took a biscuit out of her pocket for Lari which she nibbled happily. "Yes, I have been thinking a lot about it and I think it will be good. We have a lot of love to give a child. We love and respect each other. With four of us our baby will always have a Mommy no matter what happens. It makes me feel safer about having a baby."

Rickie shook her head and kissed her loves nose, smiling, "So you would like to have a baby?"

"Yes, very much. I am only worried about what you feel."

Rickie kissed Veba tenderly and confiscated the biscuits from Veba's coat pocket as she reached inside to give Lari a third biscuit. She pulled back and smiled at Veba's pout. She traced her lips and said, "Remember two is enough." She pulled Lari so she was no on her back on both their laps and tickled her belly. She then replied softly to the question of the hour.

"I think you will be a great Mom. I have no doubt about that. I think your right about our protective instincts and all of us loving the baby. I just worry about me. I am so quick-tempered I think I will be a rotten Mom."

"No you wouldn't your wonderful with Lari?"

"Sweetheart, she's a dog."

"So. Love is love. That's all that matters. You will love our baby even more than Lari and that's a lot. I think you will make a wonderful Mommy."

"I will love our baby with every last breath, just as I do you. I just wonder if its right."

"Because of the danger?"


"I?I do not know. I know my heart says yes, that it will be ok. I want a baby badly. I have for a while, ever since I knew I had your love I wanted to share that with a baby. My head sees all the stuff you have said but I think we can handle it. We are good loving people and we deserve a baby and more importantly, our baby deserves us."

"You really think so?"

Veba nodded.

"You thought about this a lot haven't you?

"Yes. Have you?"

Rickie nodded. Rickie looked at the puppy as she curled up on their laps very happy and contented. It would be wonderful to look at a baby curled up on our laps like this. And my Veba would be a great Mom.

"Ok my love lets do it."


"Yes I want a baby so much I can barely breathe."

Veba's face lit up with the most beautiful smile. "Me too." She hugged Rickie to her and kissed her passionately.

*** **** ***

Pete was cleaning up the equipment from the office when Veba came in she leaned against the door way just watching him for a few minutes.

"Hi Pete."

Pete looked up surprised he thought she was having breakfast with the rest of the family.

"Hi, is everything ok?"

Veba nodded and smiled shyly. "Yes?um, have you talked to Kelly since you got back last night?"

"No, why?"

"Can I ask you something?"


"Do you like her?"

Pete looked very surprised by the question, then he started to pack again as he replied quietly, "I don't know what you mean."

Reading the shy man very easily Veba smiled and said. "I know you like her Pete. In fact I think you are in love with her, are you not?"

"Veba! What makes you say something like that?"

"Watching. I watch people to learn stuff. I have for a long time because I had no one to talk to so I watched people through peep holes in the building I lived in. I?I know I won't see you again at least for a while?I know you love her so I thought I'd help."

"Veba I?" He sat down in one of the desk chairs and then said in soft embarrassed voice, "I do have deep feelings for her. It doesn't matter much though I have seen the men she goes out with and I'm not like them at all. She likes men like Clark, handsome and dashing. I'm not like that."

"You do not understand Pete; those are the men that ask her out. That does not mean that she likes that type of man they are just the ones who ask her out."

"I don't understand."

"Have you ever attempted to ask her out? Even for a cup of coffee after an assignment?"

Pete looked down and stared at his knees as he shook his head, "No, I never thought I was good enough for her."

"And she thinks you don't like her."

"How do you know that?"

"I watch you; you look at her when she's not looking at you. She would stare at you when you are looking at something else. I don't know a lot but since I fell for Rickie I do recognize longing in a person's eyes. I know you love her. Why don't you just talk to her?"

"You don't understand Veba; an Agent like Kelly wouldn't like a nerd like me."

"Why don't you let Kelly make that choice?"

"I'm scared."

"Of what?"


"I know how hard it is to go against your fears I do it all the time. The only thing you can do is take a deep breath and do it."

"You are a very brave woman Veba."

"So are you."

"I know I will screw it up."

"How can you screw it up if you never try? You will never be with the woman you love if you don't talk to her about it. At least ask her out for a cup of coffee."

Scared brown eyes met very compassionate blue and Pete nodded, "Ok, I'll try."

Veba smiled and nodded back, "That is all you can do."

*** *** ***

Veba entered her room she looked in the doggy bed and smiled lovingly at the puppy fast asleep holding her new soft toy a fish that Sandy had gotten her as a going away present.

The shower turned off and Rickie came out wrapped in a towel and Veba met her half way to their bed. She wrapped her arms around the tall woman and Veba put her long arms around her shoulders.

"How did it go with Pete?"

"Ok, I think he will ask her out at least. It's a step in the right direction," said Veba as she began to kiss the naked shoulder that was right next her.

"Yes, he has to take baby steps." Said Rickie closing her eyes and stretching her neck as Veba tenderly nibbled her at her pulse point.

"Mmm, you have to crawl before you can walk." Then Veba started to suck on a tasty ear enjoying the deep moan she got in response.

"Ummm, Where?did?you ?learn?that?" moaned Rickie starting to get distracted by the nibbles and kisses.

Veba pulled back slightly and said, "My mags." Then she licked the rim of the ear causing Rickie to almost lose her ability to stand. It was all right; Veba caught her and cradled her in arms.

"That's nice?" Rickie murmured forgetting what the hell they were talking about.

"Yes it is," Veba whispered back she had dropped both of them on the bed and was now exploring the warm skin she loved so very much.

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

Clark came into the girls office. He watched Rickie working diligently on the computer. Then scribbling into a note book. He had three weeks leave and he couldn't wait to see his kids. He and Sandy were leaving that night and so he had to say good bye to his friends again.

"Hi, Veba said that you were in here working on something."

"So you're going home old man?" Rickie said as she put the notebook down and smiled up at her old friend.


"Thank you Clark, you and Sandy were both extraordinary for us. We really appreciate all you both did."

Clark blushed shyly and cleared his throat, "Thanks String Bean. You know I care about you, Veba and your family."

"I know. We love you too."

"You know, you have gotten awfully mushy since you fell in love."

Rickie merely shrugged and smiled. She got up and hugged him tightly saying, "Yep."

He hugged her back smiling. Then he pulled back pointing at the computer, "New case?"

"No, Veba and I have decided to start a family so I was doing some research."

"That's great! I am so proud of you."

Rickie blushed and said, "Thanks."

"So?till next time right?"

Rickie nodded. "Yeah, we'll miss you."

They hugged again; Clarke mussed Rickie's already messy hair, and then left. Rickie walked quietly to the window and looked out at the back yard. She felt warm arms suddenly go around her waist and strong body against her. She smelled the wonderful scent of her wife and purred.

"You ok?" Veba asked nuzzling her head against Rickie's soft hair.


"The danger is over."


"Are we going to start a family?"


Veba chuckled and kissed Rickie on the neck, and then whispered into her ear, "Are you going to say anything other then yep?"

"Later. Right now I just want to adjust."

"To what?"


"Oh? Ok," Veba then scooped her up and carried her out of the office so she can help Rickie enjoy the new peace in private.

The End?

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