180 Degrees-Tae , Vicky’s Tomorrow 02
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The ride home was filled with tension, both women lost in their own thoughts. Vicky wasn’t sure how to feel…what to think. This woman…this silent, brooding, strong, attractive woman had pretty much just saved her life. She’d made it so that she wouldn’t have to leave, give up her name, her job…her identity. She might be found guilty when she spoke to the ADA, and she would probably take a plea…or maybe she would only get probation considering it was her first offense. She could move back into Dylan’s house, considering he’d put it in her name, and she could move on. All because of the woman sitting beside her.
She turned to look at her a few times, but Tae didn’t respond. She seemed…distant. Maybe even angry? Perhaps all of this, calling in favors, having to deal with her family, had angered her? Had made her resentful? Or maybe Tae was annoyed because Vicky had not offered her anything? Other than one bout of sex, she had pretty much been taking, taking, taking and offering nothing in return. The thought upset her. There had to be a way to make things right.
Once they arrived at the hotel, Vicky set about looking for one of the purses she’d brought with her from Dylan’s house. She found it after a few minutes and approached Tae who was sitting on the bed watching television.
“Here,” she said, handing her a bankbook.
“What’s that?” Tae asked.
“It’s something I should have given you a while ago.”
She watched as Tae opened the book, frowning, “what is this?”
Vicky shrugged, not sure how to interpret Tae’s question. “You pretty much saved my life…I just wanted to—”
“And you thought I would want you to give me every last dime you have as payment?” Tae snapped.
“N-no…no. I didn’t mean it like that. I just wanted to—”
Tae tossed the bankbook across the room. “I don’t want it.”
Vicky sighed, ignoring the bankbook lying on the floor.
“Well, what do you want? I mean, you’ve been ignoring me since we left your Grandfather’s place. What do you want from me? Why are you so angry?”
Tae snorted, standing and snatching her jacket. Vicky watched as she headed toward the door.
Vicky grabbed her arm to stop her, not really shocked when Tae slammed her back against a wall.
“Just—” Tae struggled for the words, found none, and turned to leave again.
“No! Talk to me damnit!” Vicky grabbed her arm again, stopping her.
She watched as Tae closed her eyes, taking a deep breath.
“Just give me a few, okay?”
“No, I can’t! I can’t sit here while you disappear again! I can’t—”
The panic registered. She didn’t want it to, but Tae could hear it. She took another deep breath, tossing her jacket onto a chair and turning to take in the woman standing before her. She was trembling…open…exposed…and damn if she wasn’t incredibly fucking sexy. All that soft, honeyed caramel skin, the intense, amber colored eyes, staring up at her, asking…begging…those delicious, full lips… This woman just reached down deep and grabbed at something inside of Tae. Something that just made her…
She didn’t know if she’d made the conscious choice to kiss her. She only knew a moment later she was capturing those lips, taking possession of them…plunging in. She couldn’t seem to get enough. Enough of the taste of her, the smell of her, the feel of her… She pulled her closer, roughly, not caring if she bruised, her tongue invading, tasting, savoring, staking claim. She inhaled the sweetness of her as she pillaged, stole her most prized possessions…her sanity…her heart. She forced her backwards, lying her down on the bed as she removed her clothing like a woman obsessed. She needed to feel her, to taste every inch of her, to possess her in a way no other ever had, no other ever would, spoiling her for every other person she would ever meet…
And she set about doing just that. Licking, laving, atoning, glorying in every nibble, every bite. She felt consumed by an incomprehensible heat…this woman…lying beside her, beneath her…she was starved for her, her body filled with a desperate need…desperate to please, frantically seeking the next moan, the next gasp, the next incoherent plea. She expertly molded flesh until it hardened in response, her fingers dipping, invading , exploring until Vicky was a quivering mass…and then she continued, urging her on, pushing her forward, forcing her to new heights…
She’d lost count of how many times Vicky came. She only knew if she didn’t find some release soon, she would implode. She grabbed Vicky’s hand, forcing it into her jeans, squeezing her thighs together as Vicky took control, caressing, manipulating, breaking down her defenses and sending her into an agonizing orgasm. She felt her body shudder violently as the pressured released…and then, finally, she slept.
ONE YEAR LATER…
It was dry. It was so dry…and hot. It didn’t matter that everyone said such heat was unusual for this time of year, it was still hot…and dry. canlı bahis şirketleri She drank bottle after bottle of water, trying to quench a thirst she couldn’t seem to quench. But what did she expect when she was relocated to New Mexico?
When she left Pennsylvania, it had been raining. Lots and lots of rain. Cool drops that splashed on your face, snuck into your collar to slide down your back. It was a rain that promised to cool off whatever heat might have been threatening. And it left behind green, lush bushes and trees, and air filled with the scent of freshly cut grass…
But not here. Not in this damn…desert. There was dirt, and clay, and red rocks…and prickly little parts of plants that hurt when they clung to you. There was very little green, very little water, very little life.
At least that’s how it seemed. Even after a year, it still seemed that way. The people were nice. They spoke with a weird, Southwestern, Hispanic twang. They were kind and generous, although most of them were quite poor. There were cattle, goats, chickens, donkeys and horses moseying around the property they’d rented for her. Some “landgrab” agreement where livestock were still allowed to freely roam the area and people were allowed to live as homesteaders. The entire life, from the brown, drab, dry heat to the adobe houses and farm animals, made no sense to her. But this is where they’d stuck her until she testified.
She could remember the evening they returned from the meeting with Tae’s family, Tae’s well-connected criminal family, like it was yesterday. Tae hadn’t said a word to her on the drive back to the hotel. Then she’d ravaged her, erased every thought from her brain…and then disappeared. The next time they saw one another, it was a few days later and Tae was picking her up for the meeting with the Assistant District Attorney.
Another silent car ride, and then they were sitting in a conference room as she told her story to a relatively young, white male who was prematurely balding and wore a suit that didn’t fit very well. But he wasn’t interested in hearing about Dylan’s petty crimes. He kept pushing, kept asking questions…and she kept talking, ignoring Tae’s warning glare. When she was done, she’d told the ADA everything and his eyes had brightened at the thought of arresting someone so high up in the Neta organization. She could directly link Dylan to Jimmy L. and, ultimately, to Marco. That’s the testimony he wanted.
It had all happened so quickly. She was talking with the ADA, then with the Federal Marshals about witness protection…and then she was packing a few bags and moving to New Mexico. Her only stipulation? She wanted Tae with her. They’d bulked at the idea at first. She and Tae weren’t married, they weren’t even really a couple. And Tae was a state trooper, they couldn’t really find a place for her. But when Vicky refused to back down, they agreed to assign Tae to her and Taegan Elba Marie Gonzalez was sworn in as a federal marshal.
And their relationship, or whatever it could have been, ended there. That was their condition. No fooling around with anyone assigned to her. No exceptions. And so she and Tae became protector and protectee…and nothing more. Tae took the assignment seriously. She stopped talking to her in any context other than as a marshal assigned to protect her. So she had no idea how Tae had explained things to her father and grandfather. No idea how Marcos and Jimmy L. had taken the news. No idea what happened with the Netas when Dylan, Jimmy and Marcos were arrested a few weeks after she had been relocated. All she knew was that she had violated the agreement Tae’s grandfather had brokered. And that probably meant all bets were off. So, not only had she risked her own life, she’d put Tae, her father and her grandfather at risk as well.
She sighed as she dressed for work. Although she was a protected witness, she had not gone into the witness protection program officially. So, she’d kept her first name, but not her last. And they’d given her a new social security number. And they’d placed her in the field of education, although probably as far from her college teaching as possible. She was now the director of a day care facility. Not exactly her cup of tea at first, and certainly not what she’d planned to do with her MSW, but she had warmed up to the position. Now she worried about the kids at her center as much as any parent would worry. She was careful about the women she hired to work with them, followed up with any problems her students might express to their teachers, and she met with parents often, either in her office or in their homes. She had become a dedicated professional, a change she felt she owed society for giving her a second chance and keeping her out of prison.
The change in her was clearly indicated by the simple white blouse, slim navy skirt and black pumps she wore. She typically wore a lightweight blazer, but the weather was threatening to dazzle New Mexico residents with triple digits and she knew canlı kaçak iddaa she would be soaked through with sweat if she wore one. She checked her simple make-up once again, amazed at the change in the mirror. Her skin was still silky, but the honeyed caramel had darkened a bit under the New Mexican sun. Her cheeks, decorated with deep dimples when she smiled, were a little more pronounced from her recent weight loss (just 15 pounds, but it made a difference) and her eyes, still the color of deep, rich amber, reflected a qualified, serious woman, certainly different from how she saw herself when she was dating Dylan. And now, she wore a natural colored foundation and just a hint of color on her lips. The package, she’d been told more than once by interested parties, was quite attractive, including the curves upon curves hidden beneath her professional attire. She’d also let her hair grow. Instead of short, tight curls that used to frame her face, she now had a dark, rich mane that brushed her shoulders. She typically wore her hair in a bun or a ponytail these days. It was easier to maintain it that way. She sighed. But what difference did it make what she looked like when the only person she wanted to notice ignored her? She closed her eyes for a moment, taking a deep breath. Okay, she had a full day today and she needed to get started.
Shaking her head to clear it, she shoved the files she’d been reviewing into her oversized purse and grabbed the car keys, making her way to the front door. Her hand was on the doorknob when someone knocked, startling her. She glanced at her watch, wondering who would be at the door at 7am. Cautious, as she always was since relocating, she checked the peephole, sighing when she saw Sam’s face, one of the marshal’s assigned to her. When she opened the door, her smile quickly faded. His face was tight, pale, his green eyes worried and quickly assessing everything around him. His typical smile was missing from his thin lips. Something was wrong.
“What is it?”
He took her in, nodding as he remembered she left for work around this time.
“No work today. We have a breach and we need to move you. Now.”
She hesitated as the words sunk in. A breach? Move her? Where? Now? And where was Tae?
“A breach? What do you mean?”
He closed the door behind him, leading her over to a sofa and trying to sit her down.
“I just need you to pack a bag—”
“Tell me what happened, Sam. Please.” She pleaded, refusing to sit.
He paused. He could see she was not going to move until he told her what was going on. And she hadn’t asked the one question he’d been expecting.
“Vicky, Taegan is gone. I went to pick her up this morning and—” He was pacing, combing his fingers through his hair as he tried to explain. “There wasn’t anything wrong. Nothing out of place, no sign of a struggle. She just—…she packed some of her stuff and-and…she’s gone.”
She sat. Her heart was pounding in her chest suddenly, her hands trembling. She closed them into fists to try and stop them from shaking.
“She didn’t contact you? Anyone? Leave a note?”
The words sounded absurd even as she asked them. Tae would not leave a note. But she also wouldn’t just abandon her. Not without good reason.
“There wasn’t anything. And until we find out why she broke protocol, we move you to keep you safe.”
She was still having some trouble following his logic, “you think she would put me in danger? She wouldn’t.”
He nodded, “I believe you, but it’s procedure. So please, you’ve gotta pack—”
“I need to go to New York.”
The words startled him and he paused for a moment.
“I need to—…I have to go to New York.”
He shook his head, slowly at first, more passionately when she failed to understand.
“Vicky, you can’t go to New York. There are people trying to kill you there, did you forget that?”
She nodded, “I understand that, but I still need to go.”
He knelt in front of her, taking hold of her hands.
“It will never be approved Vicky. Just…just let me get you somewhere safe and then—”
“Then I’m opting out of the program.”
He paused again, this time for much longer. He stared at her for a moment, surprised. Then he stood, combing his fingers through his hair again and again.
“Sam, it’s okay. I understand that you’re not responsible if anything happens to me. I just have to do this. And if they won’t let me go…”
She watched him as he began to pace again. She waited a few moments before standing.
“Make the call, Sam. It’s okay. Just tell them I’m out.”
Finally he turned back to her. She could see the resignation on his face as he realized she was serious.
“Okay, okay…just wait. Uh…”
She watched as he struggled with the words.
“Just give me a day—”
She was already shaking her head.
“A few hours then? Let me try to find her, okay? Before you make any drastic decisions.”
She hesitated, reluctant to waste a few hours, canlı kaçak bahis but then nodded. She would let them try to locate Tae first. If they couldn’t, she’d hidden most of the money she’d taken from Dylan. And she was pretty sure she could find that brownstone in Manhattan. She would go there, even if the Netas wanted her dead, to make sure Tae was okay.
She waited exactly three hours before she began to pack. She took only what she needed in one carry on bag, including the cash she’d hidden at Tae’s suggestion, before leaving a note for Sam and making her way to the airport. The only flight she could get to New York left in three hours and had three layovers. She wouldn’t arrive until after midnight. She knew she would be exhausted, but she didn’t care. If Tae’s father, or grandfather, didn’t know where Tae was, then…She didn’t want to think about it.
She knew she should be worried about her own safety, but she wasn’t traveling under her own name. It would take the Neta’s some time to realize she was in New York…she hoped. And that time should be enough time for her to find Tae and come up with a new plan. She realized, once again, as she ate breakfast to pass the time, she was putting a lot of stock in Tae taking care of her…again. Assuming she could find Tae, of course. She shook that thought from her head. She would find her. She had to.
It was late, and much colder, in New York when she arrived. She regretted, for a moment, not grabbing a jacket before leaving the very warm state of New Mexico. She found a cab and gave them what she thought was at least the right city block. She’d probably have to walk around a little in order to find the brownstone.
When the cab dropped her off, she realized the area looked more familiar than she was expecting. She found the building easily, making her way up the steep flight of stairs leading up to a massive front door and what looked like a pretty intricate intercom system. She was about to press the button when the front door opened and a huge man, the color of warm bronze, with tattoos decorating both arms and the area of his neck visible above the tee shirt he wore, stared down at her.
“¿Que tu quieres?” He barked at her.
She didn’t speak Spanish, but she assumed he was asking what she wanted.
“I’m looking for Tae? Taegan Gonzalez? My name is Victoria Long—…uh, I mean Victoria Cummings.”
He continued to stare at her for a moment before barking her name and some other words in Spanish into a cell phone. She waited anxiously, not sure what response he would get. Considering she hadn’t listened to them before, perhaps they would turn her away. Or, perhaps they had made arrangements to hand her over to Marcos if she dared show her face in New York ever again…
But none of those things happened. Instead, after a few moments, the huge man pointed her in the direction of the elevator. She rode up to the second floor alone and was greeted by one of the most attractive, young, Hispanic women she’d ever seen in her life. Skin the color of olives and a figure to die for, the woman indicated she should follow her. She recognized the room the woman led her to, closing the door behind her and leaving Vicky alone with her thoughts.
She didn’t have much time to think about the choices she’d made in the last day before the door opened. She turned, expecting to see the broad forehead, thick, pudgy nose, and full thick lips of the plain looking, caramel-colored woman that haunted her dreams most night. But it was not her impressive sight, raspy voice or intense gray eyes that met her. Instead, she was staring into the face of the older man she’d met only once before. Very attractive himself, he looked older than she remembered just a year ago. He was dressed in an impressive silk shirt and slacks, his ever present cane in his hand, his hair just a little grayer, his eyes dark…and haunted? He looked tired…actually more worn out than tired. And his limp was more pronounced.
He didn’t speak to her immediately, instead walking to one of the huge windows and staring out of it, his back to her. Finally, when she thought she couldn’t hold her tongue for another moment, he turned back to her and raised a brow.
“What are you doing in New York, Ms. Longman?”
So he did remember her, she thought. She licked her lips nervously.
“I’m looking for your grand-daughter. She’s missing—”
“No, she’s here.”
Relief. That was the emotion that first registered in her mind. Relief that she was okay. Relief that she’d found her. Relief that she was with her family and not beaten, shot and bleeding to death somewhere. She closed her eyes for a moment, trying to gather her thoughts. When she opened them, Don Carlos was watching her.
“Please, can I speak with her?” Vicky finally managed to ask.
He hesitated for a moment before indicating that she should sit down.
“She’s not here at the moment. Have a seat. Rest a little. I’ll have someone bring you something to eat.”
And then she was alone again. She sat down heavily, a weight lifted from her that she hadn’t realized she was carrying. Tae was in New York and she was okay. She couldn’t imagine hearing anything else that would change how she felt at the moment.
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