Disclaimers ~ This is an original work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, places or events is purely coincidental. These characters belong to me, if they have a passing resemblance to you or share your name, it's purely coincidental. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without permission from the author.

Bad language ~ A fair bit.

Disclaimers ~ This is an original work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, places or events is purely coincidental. These characters belong to me, if they have a passing resemblance to you or share your name, it's purely coincidental. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without permission from the author.

Bad language ~ A fair bit.

Love/sex ~ Romance between men and women and between women. Sex between consenting couples.

Sickness & death ~ There are some deaths in this story. If that's not for you, I hope you enjoy reading something else.

Author's note ~ Sorry for a lack of updating, been caught up watching the World Cup. This series takes place in the fictional town of Honeyport in the South of England. Questions, comments & thoughts all welcome. Loves_to_write_fic@yahoo.co.uk

© June, 2006 Cam Taylor



Chapter Two

J ames wasn't gone long and when he returned Kate suggested they sit at the kitchen table. He nodded in agreement and followed the doctor and Janet through the house and into the modern, hi-tech kitchen. It wasn't all that big, but enough for Kate. There were sandalwood cabinets lining the wall on the right and beneath them were granite work surfaces and a sink. A cross the room, on the left, was the glass-top dining table and four chairs.

James started spreading out the files he held on the table, while Kate put the kettle on. Janet's police partner excused himself and left, reluctantly returning to work, while Janet remained at home with her mother. James sent Chris, Laurie and Joey outside into the back garden, wanting them to search the grounds carefully for anything that might have been missed before.

"Unfortunately, I think my investigators are going to be with you for a while, Kate," James said, as he took a seat.

Janet sat down opposite the silver-haired man she had known nearly all her life with a cup of coffee, eager to look over the files, especially a certain blonde investigator's.

Kate brought over James' coffee and her own cup of tea and sat down next to her daughter.

"Let's start with Harrison." James handed over the folder, waiting as Kate put it down between herself and Janet. "Harrison Kiene. Thirty-five years old. He graduated from Oxford. He can hack into any computer system, can plant bugs and taps anywhere he wants, and give him something broken, he'll fix it up and make it sparkle."

"What is it he's doing now?" Kate asked.

"Tapping your phones," James replied. "You said you'd had hang-ups. This will give us something to go on if he or she calls again."

"She?" Kate questioned. "Do you really think that's likely?"

James shrugged. "Right now we don't know. We do know your stalker has now been to the house. It seems he or she is getting bolder."

The two Levens women looked over the folder. "He's never done stake-out work before?" Kate asked, not seeing anything written down.

"No. He usually stays at the office doing the computer stuff. He's a hard worker, I know he won't let me down." James handed over the next folder. "Joseph Devine, goes by Joey. Twenty-five years old," he started as Kate opened the folder. "Grew up here in town, you probably know his family, Kate?"

The doctor nodded, eyes on the file, reading over all the other information noted.

"He was on the police force!" Janet exclaimed in surprise.

"Yes, a couple of years before you joined. He was kicked off for breaking all the rules to catch the bad guys. That is why I hired him. He can break into anything from cars to buildings, that talent has come in very handy." James sipped at his coffee and handed over the next folder. "Charley Rigg. Twenty-three. Former college rugby star up in Scotland. He moved to Honeyport four years ago with his older brother Bryan. He is big, strong and reliable; if I'm worried about one of my girls going alone somewhere, I usually send him with them. He joined the army when he turned eighteen and when he left, he was looking for something new to do and ended up with me."

"His brother is Bryan Rigg, the man who owns the garage just outside of town?" Kate asked.

"Yeah, that's the one. Charley used to help him out."

The kitchen fell silent as they all drank their hot drinks, the two Levens women looking over the folder that sat in front of them. "What was going on earlier?" Janet asked, her curiosity getting the better of her. "Something about a man being in the trunk of a car?"

"Chris has been undercover for the last couple of weeks. We received good info that this man knew something in regards to an ongoing case of ours, so she was supposed to get close to him to get the information. My daughter, Madelyn, told her what was happening here when she checked in this morning, so Chris being Chris, decided to end her case and come back."

"Aren't you glad she's here?" Kate asked. "You mentioned she was your best investigator."

James sighed and picked up Chris' folder, handing it over to the doctor. "Last year I put her and Helen Maguire undercover. Helen was killed and Chris badly injured. She hasn't been the same since. Whatever case she's on, she is a one-woman demolition team. She doesn't stop until the case is closed."

"She was on the police force as well," Kate commented. "Not for very long."

"No. I think... she joined for personal reasons and when it didn't work out like she thought, she got frustrated and quit," James explained.

Janet looked closely at the folder, wanting to know everything she could about the fascinating blonde. "Wow! Her case completion rate is amazing! Surely that's a good thing, James?"

"There is more to life than working non-stop, Janet."

Kate frowned in thought. "Wasn't Helen Maguire married to one of your other investigators?"

James nodded slowly. "Laurie Maguire. They had been together six years. She's still not completely over the loss, nor do I expect her to be." He handed over Laurie's folder. "Laurie Maguire. Twenty-four years old. So friendly and approachable, she now has an amazing contacts list. She knows people everywhere, from homeless people to city officials. This list is amazing." James picked up the last folder. "Jackson Valmont. Twenty-four years old. My other investigators don't like him." James sighed. "He lives with his parents over in Somerset."

"Why don't the others get along with him?" Janet asked.

"Jackson is... lazy and cuts corners where he can and he's uhh... he's a brat. He has never had to work hard for anything in his life." James sat back in his seat and crossed his arms. "He approached me one day stating his interest in coming to work for me. I still don't know how he found out what it is I do, but there you go. I considered him mainly for his family's contacts. He doesn't have an army or police background and he failed the initial test I set when considering someone for my company. That should have been the last of him, but... Jackson and his father came to me with, well, basically a bribe. The agency had only just gotten up and running and we didn't have a lot of business. I couldn't turn the money down."

"How is the agency doing now?" Janet asked. "Surely you can get rid of him?"

James smiled. "Business is good now. I think we get more work than you do. But I can't fire him. I have to have a legitimate reason for doing so."

Janet finished her coffee and stood up, walking across to the sink. "How is Madelyn? I forgot she had started working for you," Kate was saying to James.

Janet looked out the window at the three investigators standing in her mother's yard. The rain had stopped for the while, but so had they it seemed. They all stood together, not particularly doing anything. She wondered what they were discussing. Her gaze fell on the blonde investigator standing deathly still, only her head turning slightly when one of the other two said something. I wonder what she's thinking? She looked so deep in thought earlier. Janet smiled dreamily. Chris Branagon. I wonder why I haven't seen her around town? I wonder if Mia knows her? Or maybe Trinity? I wonder if Chris is short for something? Guess I'll have the chance to find out if she's working here.


* * * * *

"There's the daughter at the kitchen window," Joey said.

"She told me earlier that she sort of knows you," Laurie told him, as she glanced towards the house.

"Yeah? I sort of know her. I mean, she lives here in town, after all, and you know, female!" he smirked. Joey was very much a ladies' man and a bit of a stud.

"How's Vincenzo?" Chris asked after Joey's four year old son. "Do you have him this weekend?"

Joey sighed. "He's fine, a bundle of tireless energy. I'm supposed to have him, but you know what Angela's like. She might turn up or she might not! Anyway, with us taking on this case, I might not be free, except on Sunday." He smiled, eyes back on the house. "She is definitely checking me out," he told the two women.

Chris and Laurie looked over their shoulders towards the house and saw the young policewoman staring back.

"You think everyone checks you out," Chris replied, turning back to look at the glass-enclosed pool, her thoughts turning elsewhere.

"Yeah, well, if it's not me she's looking at, it's you," Joey replied.

Startled, the blonde looked back over her shoulder at the kitchen window. The attractive young woman with chestnut-coloured hair and enticing green eyes had moved away.


* * * * *

James called all of his investigators into the living room to be given their assignments. Charley and Jackson had returned from the office after an afternoon of getting nowhere with the perp Chris had brought in.

Joey, Laurie and Charley sat down on the sofa, Harrison sat in the armchair, Jackson stood as close to James as he could, while Chris stood away from everyone. She liked to distance herself. Kate Levens stood in the doorway, quietly watching on in interest.

"Okay," James began. "I'm going to split you into groups of three."

"I don't work with anyone," Chris interrupted, arms crossed in defiance.

"Chris, this is a big house. How will you cover it all on your own?"

The blonde scowled at her boss. "I'll manage."

"I'm putting you with Charley and Harrison on the night shift. Okay?"

Chris, though still not happy, nodded.

James looked at Joey, Laurie and Jackson. "That means you three will be working the day shift. Laurie, you will be going to Doctor Levens' practice. Jackson, I want you to follow up on the Mayor's missing daughter, try and get that case done with, then you can help out on this one. And Joey, you can start going through the patients as soon as Kate gets a list to you."

The investigators nodded their understanding.

"I think that is everything," James concluded, rubbing his forehead as he tried to think of anything he might have left out. He looked over at his hovering friend. "Kate, do you have any rules you want them to know about?"

"Uhm... no smoking in the house, please, and wipe your feet when you come in."

James smiled. "Okay. I'll give you a call tomorrow, Kate, to see how things are going. Any problems tonight, call me at home right away."


* * * * *

Chris stood in the now darkened living room, looking out at the front garden. There wasn't much light, the moon obscured behind patches of cloud. She stood still, enveloped in the darkness around her, only her eyes shifted, scanning the dark trees, the shadows playing tricks on her mind. She searched for anything that didn't belong. I don't know why I feel so nervous. Or is it fear? Fear of the unknown and of what's to come? She heard someone enter the living room. Without turning around, she listened to the quiet footsteps, listening as the person walked closer to her position.

"I thought you could do with some coffee," a voice with a soft American lilt behind her said.

"I don't drink coffee," Chris responded.

God, her voice is so sexy! Janet thought, as she walked closer to the investigator. "Should've guessed. You're English, so it's got to be tea, right?"

Chris smiled to herself, though remaining focused on the garden outside. Janet stopped beside her, the aroma of the cup of coffee she held assaulting Chris' nostrils.

"Why are you standing in the dark?" Janet enquired.

"Night vision."

"Do you think he'll come back tonight?" she asked softly.


Janet frowned. "Then why are you standing here?"

"Because whilst I don't expect him or her back tonight, maybe he or she will come." They fell quiet, Chris remaining ever vigilant, Janet sipping at the black coffee she had made. It had started to drizzle on and off, tiny droplets pitter-pattering against the glass.

"Where are the other two investigators?" Janet finally asked, turning to look at Chris' dark profile.

"Harrison is in a car out on the street and Charley is prowling the perimeter."

"Why did you get house duty?"

"Because they worry," Chris grumbled. "They treat Laurie and me like their little sisters. They can be very protective."

"Must be hard on your boyfriend, you working closely with four men?"

Chris looked at Janet. The policewoman had changed out of her blue uniform and was dressed casually in a cream sweater and dark trousers, her long hair tied back. "Hmmm."

"I uhh... saw your folder earlier..."

"Can you do me a favour?" Chris asked suddenly, interrupting.

Janet smiled softly. "If I can."

"Would you stay here and keep watch while I use your bathroom?"


Chris heard the uncertainty in Janet's voice. "You'll be okay. Just remember, if you see someone out there..."

"Go out and kick his butt?"

"It's... probably Charley doing his rounds," Chris finished, wondering momentarily if Janet would go out and kick butt. "I'll just be a couple of minutes." She turned around and walked towards the door. Standing in the doorway, she turned back to see Janet standing in her spot, motionless and watching, her hands wrapped around the mug of steaming coffee. Smiling, Chris headed for the stairs.

Kate Levens owned a four bedroom house with a large back and front garden. The doctor had turned one of the bedrooms into an office for herself, so she could work from home when possible. The property was secured behind security gates and a stone wall. It was a nice family home, tastefully decorated and kept clean and neat.

Upstairs, Chris knocked softly on the office door where she had left Mrs. Levens working on a list of her patients.

"Yes?" came the muffled response from the woman inside.

The investigator pushed open the door and smiled at the seated doctor, Kate sitting behind her rosewood desk. "Just checking that you're all right, Doctor Levens."

"I've got a madman stalking me. How all right should I be?" Kate snapped tiredly.

Realising the doctor probably just wanted to be left in peace, Chris started to shut the door. "No, wait," she heard Kate call out. The blonde opened the door again and looked back in at the doctor.

"I'm sorry. I shouldn't take my frustration out on you," Kate apologised. "Are you checking upstairs again?"

"Yes, ma'am," Chris smiled politely.

"Would you mind if I tag along?"

"Not at all. I'm sure it'll help put your mind at ease."

Kate stood up and walked around her desk to the door and followed the investigator out of her office and along the hall to the first bedroom. Chris opened the closed door and turned on the light.

"Do you think you'll catch this g-... person?" Kate asked, watching the blonde walk over and check the windows.

"I can't make any promises, Doctor Levens. But if he or she slips up, we'll have a good chance."

"They... usually do slip up, don't they?"

Chris didn't reply. She turned and smiled, hoping to reassure the older woman that way, rather than by making false promises.

"Whereabouts in England are you from, Mrs. Branagon?" the doctor asked. "Did you grow up here in Honeyport?"

"Please, call me Chris. I'm from Surrey originally." Satisfied the windows were locked and secure, Chris turned and made her way back to the door, walking out and along the hall to the next bedroom.

"What made you move to our little town?"

"I uhh... I wanted a change." Chris checked the windows, her whole body tensed. She changed the subject quickly, before Kate could ask anything else. "Can I ask why you didn't call the police? Your daughter's a cop."

"The police can only do so much. They have boundaries and rules to follow," Kate replied, following Chris out of the bedroom.

"The boss told me that he has known you since you were a teenager," Chris mentioned, changing the subject again.

Kate nodded and smiled warmly. "I came over to England to go to school and ended up attending with Marilyn. We're both ten years younger than him, you know?"

Chris didn't know, but she nodded anyway.

"James and Marilyn started seeing each other and they married a year later."

"I've met his family a couple of times," Chris mentioned. "They're nice people."

"From what I hear, you're part of the family," Kate joked. "James has really taken you under his wing." The two women shared a smile.

"You're from America originally?" Chris asked, remembering Janet mentioning travelling there earlier in the day.

Kate smiled and nodded. "Yes, born and raised in Boston. All my family still lives there and Janet and I go over a couple of times a year."

Chris frowned in thought. She could go back to Boston while we try to catch this nut. Have to remember to bring that up to the boss.

"I should get back to writing that patient list," Kate said.

Chris nodded. "Okay, Doctor Levens. Give me a shout before you turn in for the night and I'll do a final check on your bedroom. We can't be too careful."

Kate nodded and offered the investigator a small smile before turning to walk back to her office.

Chris checked the remaining rooms, then headed for the stairs. As she walked into the living room, she smiled as she saw that Janet was still in the same spot she had left her. Chris cleared her throat.

Janet whipped around and scowled at her. "If you didn't want to talk, you could have just said so!" She walked towards the blonde. "I have been here half an hour! That's the last time I try to be nice." She brushed past Chris and left the room in a huff.

Smirking, Chris walked back to her spot by the window and checked the outside. The rain had stopped for the time being and all was still in the darkness. She watched as Charley approached the window from the right. The handsome blonde pressed his face to the glass and blew out his cheeks. "Oh, very attractive!" she chuckled. He gave her a cheeky smile and pressed his lips to the glass, kissing it before walking onwards. Chris picked up her walkie-talkie. "Harrison, you awake?"

" Jesus, I am now! "

"Seen anything?"

" Yeah, an old guy out walking his mutt. "

"You... weren't really asleep... were you?" Chris asked slowly.

Harrison chuckled. " Course not. How are things inside? "

"I just uhm... pissed off the daughter."

Harrison laughed. " Typical Chris. Doesn't get along with anyone! "

"What you talking about, I get on with everyone I meet!" the blonde replied. "Anyway, stay awake. I'll check in with you in an hour."


* * * * *

Later that evening, as Chris stood at the window watching the front garden, she tuned out the sound of the television, the occasional small talk between the two Levens women, who had come into the living room and were sitting on the sofa, and any other noise that wasn't important.

Janet was nursing a cup of hot chocolate, studying the enigmatic blonde. From where she was sitting, the policewoman viewed a side-long profile of the investigator. There. There is that look again. It's... I want to say sad, but it's more than that. What happened to give you that look? Janet again ran her eyes down the investigator's body. I wonder if you workout? You must, look at the muscles in your arms. Ohhh, I wonder if she's toned all over? She shook her head, a slight smile on her lips. God! I don't even know her and I'm already lusting after her!

Chris shifted her weight. She had a feeling someone was watching her and could only guess that it was the daughter of her client. I hope she's not about to throw something at me for what I did earlier. A corner of Chris' lip lifted into a smirk. She looks kinda sexy when she's angry. The way her eyes lit up and that accent she has... at that thought, the blonde frowned. Where the hell did that come from?

Kate shook her head, watching the silent exchange between her daughter and investigator Branagon. Janet is completely taken with her! she thought in amusement. I hope this won't complicate things too much. I know James doesn't like his investigators getting involved with clients, but... what about clients' daughters? I wonder what his stance on that would be? She sighed, feeling weary all of a sudden. I've got too much on my plate without Romeo and Juliet dramatics! The doctor stood up and cleared her throat, almost laughing out loud as her daughter jumped in her seat, startled.

Chris turned around and looked at the doctor, a pale eyebrow raised in question.

"You told me to inform you when I was turning in for the night," Kate said to her.

Chris nodded and walked towards her.

"Goodnight, darling. Don't stay up too late," Kate directed at her daughter, bending to kiss the top of Janet's head.

"I won't, mom. Night."

Kate smiled and turned to follow the waiting investigator out of the room.


* * * * *

The night crept past slowly, the house completely still and silent once Kate and Janet went to bed. Chris checked in with Harrison and Charley on the hour and walked around the house every two hours. Nobody rang the house, nobody was out on the street; all was quiet.



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